Seven days of fierce attacks and struggling defense later, Jiangzhou City fell.
But not without a price asZhong Yu had only 30,000 of his 120,000 recruits surviving.
As if 10,000 people died per day, bringing a whole knew meaning to ‘life had no value’.
The price was worth it though as there were no other major problems in taking down the eastern Yi State after Jiangzhou City. Here was where the main army took a stand.
His remaining cannon fodder rested in Jiangzhou City while Zhong Yu took his 10,000 elites for Fuling Region in the east.
He wanted to cut off the path to Yi State before the court army came.
He had no trouble taking Ba Region with how it lacked defenders and continued on to Badong Region.
The Badong Region’s governor fell in the battle of Jiangzhou City, leaving this region in chaos and with no one to stem the fear rising in the populace.
Some resisted, most surrendered, but the end was the same, Zhong Yu taking Badong Region for himself. Now he could breathe easier, knowing the entry point was plugged and could recoup for when the court came.
A month later, Baxi Region, Fuling Region, Jianyou Region surrendered, needing but a week to get them under control.
January 184 A.D. Zhong Yu summoned the governors of the regions to the state city, making an offering to the heavens and proclaiming himself ruler over Yi State, making it his kingdom, Yu.
The news of his action shook the court and the nation. These meager rebels had grown up so much they took Yi State for themselves and barred the gates to the court.
Yi State’s roads were blocked, making it even harder to travel.
The court had no way of just taking Yi State back. The only choice was a drawn out siege through which they whittled the rebels’ numbers.
Emperor Ling decreed for Huangfu Song to defend Jingzhou from Yi State’s attacks once he finished training his men.
The magisters of Guanzhong were ordered to strengthen their defenses as well, to hold on and block Yi State’s advance, effectively cutting off the whole southeast from the Han Dynasty.
There was no mention of any attack on Yi State. Emperor Ling knew Yi State had been taken from him and it would take decades before he would get it back to the Han Dynasty.
Some rejoiced and some wept. While the whole Han Dynasty’s righteous subjects sighed in pain, a Daoist in Ji State’s Julu County was by himself with joy.
Zhang Jiao, the leader of the Way of Peace, who’s fame spread far and wide through Ji State, was regarded as a sage by his congregation in the eight states, millions upon millions of people.
He planned to gather the power of the entire Han Dynasty to overthrow the decadent court and establish the Heavenly Kingdom so that people may live a life of prosperity, to have food on the table and clothes on their backs.
But he was also worried no amount of power was enough to topple a 400 year dynasty.
As he heard the southeast falling already, that a man did what he had in mind, his confidence surged.
It only steeled his resolve. Though one could never have enough friends. Zhang Jiao sent a messenger to Yi State, to join hands and topple the Han Dynasty and share south and north between them.
It was one thing to do it alone, and another to know there was one to help you.
With the dynasty in turmoil, it would gloss over the defenses in its back, focusing on the more obvious threat, leaving itself open to attack.
Northwest of Liangzhou, the despot of Qiang tribe, Beigong Bayu was conspiring to Han Dynasty’s northwestern rule and form their own Qian nation.
Hearing his neighbor, Yi State, had achieved its own independence, Beigong Bayu reached out to other Qiang tribes with unbridled joy.
The court was now filled with growing cancers, people ready to take a big chunk of this aging behemoth.
While these lords were all thirsty for power, our dear MC, Zhong Yu, was in the Yi State city’s hall, discussing with his officials the ruling of Yi State.
The four million people of Yi State had dropped to three in these months of war.
Nevertheless, he had expanded from just 2,000 soldiers to 120,000 veterans, from one county to owning a hundred, a state.
The expansion rate was insane.
Yi State’s basic defense was a total of 20,000 men. He could still take out 100,000 conquests, the equivalent of Han’s army, if not better.
While the dynasty could only make use of around 80,000, leaving the rest to defend the capital.
In the end, the most the dynasty would throw at him would be 40,000 fresh men with poor experience in war.
Other than that, ten days later, the entire Han Dynasty was in flames as Zhang Jue, forced by his disciple Tang Zhou’s accusation to revolt ahead of schedule. His 100,000 men used to unify the southern Han.