The sharp whistling of boulders cutting the air left many with aching ears.
The three meter wide boulder smashed onto the wall and rolled onward, crushing all defenders in its path.
It kept going and going, flattening anything to paste, squeezing its victims for everything they had into the soldiers. Including the walls, and the people; It left wide swaths of angry red in its wake.
The ignorant defenders emptied their stomachs on the spot, with some losing their minds in fear and screaming in horror on the walls.
Despite the gnawing fear, the officers kept their discipline. Han Dynasty had a martial reputation four 400 years for a reason. Even this backwater place like Yi State had some military conduct drilled into it.
They knew these horrified and troubled soldiers would infect the morale of the rest of the defenders like cancer.
The general took his personal men to cut them down and restrain the rest back into formation.
It took some time for discipline to be restored once more as they fell back into place, on the walls.
Despite the tough defense, the soldiers were white as paper, some even twitched now and then. This only proved the sheer impact siege weapons had on enemy morale, the fear it spread.
The captain of the catapult division grinned, ‘You have seen nothing yet.’
“Ready the fire bomb!”
Black rocks were pushed into the catapults’ bucket and soldiers came with torches.
“Lite it up and fire!”
With a whoosh, the boulder caught fire and reflected the soldiers’ faces around the catapult.
This time, the bang was followed by a trail of smoke as the ball of fire raced into the wall.
The oil coating was hard to put out and the impact resulted in splashing everywhere, especially on the soldiers.
The soldiers on fire thrashed around in screams of sheer agony as the fire only spread and turned the wall into a burning pyre.
The catapult division didn’t wait for the wall to calm down down, raining down more devastation.
He signaled the men to load a grape shot, a special rock made so it would explode into whistling fragments on impact in all directions.
It was deadlier than just a boulder shot; it had a higher impact radius and would do heavy damage to any it touched.
The shot left few men standing cleaning up the wall nicely. Only the lucky bastards that had a good hidy-hole or fate on their side, missed altogether and survived.
Zhong Yu stood on his podium, calculating. He found the damage three rounds of hurling boulders had resulted in the same effect as sending three divisions. Their morale was also low, needing one last push to collapse.
The effect of catapults was undeniable, yet the defenders still held on, clearly not average men.
“Life is so fragile.” Zhong Yu sighed at the crippled defenders.
“Have the catapults fall back and let the cannon fodder continue!” He sent to his herald.
This wasn’t just a siege to capture the city, but train his 120,000 recruits and make at least 30,000 veterans for the next conquest.
The barrage of stones had a positive effect on these men, boosting their moral and overcoming their fears.
They shouted under the officers’ orders as they marched, ladders ready, at the walls.
The defenders had yet to get over the horror they were subjected to, the cruel and insidious killer that broke lives like twigs. They only got a semblance of coordination when the recruits were at the walls.
They sent rocks of their own over the wall, some even taking chips cracking from the boulders shot into it.
The damage was heavy on the cannon fodder, slowing their momentum.
This blew hope into the defenders’ hearts.
It devolved into the cannon fodder attacking again and again, yet pushed back every time.
The cannon fodder ended with the higher casualties, since this was a siege. No matter how many weapons or siege weapons, attacking a defending city always put one at a disadvantage.
The morning passed yet not once did the walls fell. There were times his men managed to get on the walls but soon pushed back down.
Zhong Yu was in no rush, with all the time in the world, so long he got Yi State’s east in three months. The few days spent here had no effect on his grand design.
Judging by the situation, he didn’t need to care about the lives of his recruits, sending them back out there in batches, since he could just reform their divisions with every attack.
Since he had 120,000 cannon fodder while the defenders only 20,000 men. Numbers alone had this battle won.
With so many people everything would be settled. If there was one thing Ba Region had a plenty, that was people, 400,000 of them.