Chapter 78: Siege(I)

January 184 A.D.

Wang Fang reached  Yizhou Region with ease from his cruel reputation. He took it without a hassle and went down to Yongchang Region.

The counties east of it surrendered. Only the barbarian chiefs in the west gathered an army of 100,000 men to fight Wang Fang.

The enemy had no discipline and with a bit of coordination from Wang Fang’s side, it collapsed, chased for miles and miles. Thus the Yongchang Region was pacified.

Meanwhile, Li Zhen took his army to Xinggu Region, taking the southern Yi State. Afte Zhao Ping took Yinping Region, he moved to Hanzhong Region overseeing Yi State’s northern five regions. 

Zhong Yu led his men to face the army from Yi State’s eastern five regions at Jiangzhou City.

The city had 20 meter tall walls, housing armies from Fuling Region, Baxi Region and Ba Region; 20,000 men.

While they had numbers as well, the sheer sea of green and red below the walls for miles on end had them faltering.

Well, the soldiers had no fear since they were clueless, but their leaders had more experience and knew the walls wouldn’t keep such an army at bay.

The three magistrates’ hearts shook with dread, with many officials wishing to flee on the spot. Alas, with their kin under the court’s control, such actions would be a death sentence. 

All they could do was push through this war, hold out until the imperial army arrived.

Roar~

The enemy came with loud trumpets and filled with mettle, only working to cower the defenders.

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Bang~

The drums echoed and the squads advanced on the walls. The soldiers marched with discipline, their boots thumping on the solid ground.

The blades and shields knocked from time to time, with soldiers shouting in between, to stem their own fear of war.

They stopped 300 off the wall, readied their gear and listened to Zhong Yu’s orders.

The creaking announced the coming of a hundred siege weapons. They were ten meter tall and had iron reinforced joints that could hit from 300 meters away. Siege weapons were strong instruments of war, only trumped by artillery. 

While the army itself had tens of thousands of archers, split in two groups, inspecting their bows before launching arrows at the unsuspecting prey on the walls.

Zhong Yu sat on a makeshift podium, overlooking the battlefield, with people anywhere he looked for miles. 

Zhong Yu waved at the man next to him:

“Archers, ten volleys!”

“Archers,  ten volleys!” The herald shouted.

He then waved the flag in his hand and the archery divisions stepped up.

“Raise bows! Aim!”

A thousand bows were raised, with the defenders on the walls dead in their sites.

“Fire!”

Thousands of arrows pelted the sky.

After a three second gap came the second volley.

With thousands of archers, each shooting ten times, the next thirty seconds would be hell on eearth for the defenders, hammered in waves and scrambling for any kind of cover they could find, and shivering alone.

The attacks continued for five minutes as different archery divisions fired. But in these short minutes, the defenders were hanging by a thread.

With arrows after arrows coming to bear on these recruits’ heads, they felt fear and horror like no other.

To a point anything sharp would trigger this trauma, replacing them with the image of bow and arrow aimed at their heads.

Trauma aside, the casualties were numerous, no longer the tight ranks on the walls and gaps among the defenders.

10,000 men lost their lives in that brutal attack, with many more having a mental breakdown.

With the city surrounded by Zhong Yu’s armies, they would’ve long since abandoned their posts.

Zhong Yu ordered for the archers to withdraw in the rear. Overusing the bows would lead to a shorter service life.

Next up were the cannon fodder, to fill moats, climb walls and take the brunt of the war.

But even before them it was best to have the siege machines careen stone at the enemy.

The first record of a stone thrower ever being used was by Qin general Li Xin with his 200,000 men attacking Chu. The Chu general XIan Yan came with a thousand catapults instead, crushing the Qin army. Ever since, the Qin King banished him to the borders to defend the Longxi Region for all his life. 

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They were rarely used afterward. Now the Han ruled China, fighting only against uncouth savages and no cities to need the use of stone thrower.

So Liu Ye from Cao Cao improved upon the design and resulted in the catapult. It caused mass panic among Yuan Shao’s armies in the Battle of Guandu, giving Cao Cao the edge he needed to win the battle. WHile the barbarians here, he reckoned never even knew the concept of throwing stones like this.

As the city had no ranged forces, nor cavalry to launch a swift attack on the catapults, they were doomed.

The catapults were 100 meters off the walls and still quite safe when they began firing.

The supervisors of the catapults were going to make those savages wish they were never born when faced with a hail of boulders.

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