Battle Royale of the Sinners 214 Battle at Bottleneck Valley
Ten kilometers south of Liu Ping's reserved battalions.
A hundred thousand horse hooves kicked the ground as 20,000 horses were rushing.
Zhang Yang and his cavalries were galloping toward the north in dismay. One hour ago, their scouts had spotted Xiongnu Cavalries one kilometer south of them, and their number was exaggerating 50,000 men!
The odd was against them which Zhang Yang had no confidence that he could win!
Zhang Yang's current troops were only 25,000 horsemen after Han Hao and the others had left them in Nie County. The other 5,000 remnants of Wang Kuang's men also decide to leave them the next day. Furthermore, they stole their spare horses while they were deserting, which left them with only 20,000 men without an additional horse.
Zhang Yang had ordered everyone to rush toward the main Imperial Army, hoping to get a platoon of reinforcement while they were escaping from the Xiongnu.
"The trace is getting clearer, my lord! We should see the scouts or the lines of their marching troops soon!" Mu Shun, a commander of Zhang Yang, consoled his boss.
"I really hope so!"
Earthquake and rumble sound erupted from the valley road to Jinyang City.
Lu Bu and his men were also chasing with full speed. If a helicopter were to fly over this hilly road, the passengers would have been able to witness a massive army of horsemen chasing after another army of cavalries.
As Jinyang Army was supported by Li Feihong farm-world skill, all of them was sporting Xiongnu warhorses, which were better than the ordinary central plain warhorses. They were faster and sturdier than Zhang Yang's.
As a result, the army of Lu Bu shortened the distance little by little for each minute passed.
Li Feihong, who was riding a red hare warhorse, stared at the floating monitor in front of him as he was galloping his horse.
"Five li (mile) in front!" Li Feihong shouted.
Lu Bu peered at Li Feihong with the corner of his eyes and smiled as he enjoyed the assistance of supernatural power.
Two minutes later.
"Four li remaining!" Shouted Li Feihong again.
Lu Bu squinted his eyes and clenched his crescent halberd. He could work out to his heart content again soon.
"They're here! Act natural!" Lu Zhi shouted as he spotted the dust from the horizon and the trembling earth. The sounds of horses galloping at full speed were coming from the distance.
Zhou Cang and the men raised the flags with the characters "LIU" to identify themselves as a reserve battalion.
All provision wagons and carriages lined in an order as if they were still marching north. All soldiers formed a dragon tail formation, which was commonly used in mobilizing. Only two thousand spearmen formed a rearguard formation to look as if they were on alert of the oncoming horsemen.
Everyone stood firm, waiting for them to arrive.
Five minutes later, purple "Zhang" flags could be seen in the distance. Zhang Yang and his men arrived, and they were coming in full speed.
Lu Zhi was aware that even if they had formed a spear-wall formation, they would not be able to withstand a heavy cavalry charge as the spears could not penetrate their armored horses. Therefore, he signaled Zhou Cang, so he could shout and recited the prepared phrases.
"HALT! THIS IS THE IMPERIAL ARMY OF THE EMPEROR! STOP!!" Zhou Cang screamed with all air in his lung, hoping to fool the troops.
Zhou Cang's voice echoed for a few seconds before one of Zhang Yang's men shouted back while they were still rushing toward them.
"XIONGNU ARE CHASING US! SEND REINFORCEMENT!!"
Zhou Cang and Lu Zhi's eyes brightened. Their help was closer than they had thought.
The bald commander looked at Lu Zhi as he wanted to confirm if they still had to proceed as the original plan.
"Change of plans. First, wave the signal flags and make them stop marching." Lu Zhi affirmed.
Zhuo Cang nodded, "Battle formation! Form ranks and prepares to battle!"
Lu Zhi's men wave color flags to relay the orders. Although most of the militias had never trained in the military, they were smart enough to catch a clue from their colleagues and formed ranks.
Zhang Yang looked at the battalion in front in delighted. It seemed they had heard their warning about Xiongnu and formed ranks.
"Slow down! We'll form ranks beside the main army!" Shouted Zhang Yang.
Listening to his order, the 20,000 horsemen reined their horses. The loud galloping noise decreased the sound volume a level, and their rushing speed returned to the trotting speed to adjust the formation. Everyone pulled their reins and tried to form lines and ranks.
The running away army stopped fifty meters away from the spearmen formation.
The smile on Zhang Yang's face widened as he saw spearmen and archers in an orderly formation.
'This is how the elites should act! Unlike those fools, they were too weak.' Zhang Yang blamed his defeat to the soldiers as he thought that his troops were undisciplined.
'This battalion should hold the Xiongnu for a few minutes. I have to move my men behind their back and get the Imperial troops to …'
A voice of the middle-aged man interrupted Zhang Yang's thought. Upon looking at the source of the sound, Zhang Yang saw the shadow of a thousand arrows in the sky.
The horsemen cried out in pain as arrows pierced their backs. Even though they were wearing bronze-leather armors, arrows were still deadly to them if they were caught off guard.
"AGAIN! FIRE ANOTHER VOLLEY!" Another shout was heard.
Zhang Yang looked at the reserve troops in a panic and cried, "STOP SHOOTING! WE'RE ALLIES!"
Alas, his plea was too late and useless for a reason. One thousand more arrows were released into the sky and poured onto Zhang Yang's men.
"STOP SHOOTING!" Zhang Yang still shouted in confusion.
"DAMN IT! FRIENDLY FIRE!" Mu Shun, a general of Zhang Yang also shouted. He kicked his horse to turn around, making his way to the commander of the reserve army. He was planning to give the commander a beating after this.
Mu Shun parried the arrows with his shield and managed to reach a bald man, who looked like their commander.
"You moron! We're friendlies. Tell your men to stop…"
A halberd severed Mu Shun's head from his neck before he could finish his sentence.
Instead of letting Zhang Yang passing through their lines, Lu Zhi decided to pick a fight with these men. There were reasons behind his bold decision.
At first, Lu Zhi planned to pretend to be a group of stagglers. Seeing the panic looking faces of the incoming soldiers and their shouts, Lu Zhi changed his mind.
If Lu Bu and his company was this close, then he had to join this battle as their hands were forced. Had Zhou Cang and Lu Zhi let these men passed, Lu Bu might have mistaken them as enemies and could have caused friendly killing.
To avoid that scenario, Lu Zhi had to declare themselves as their enemies and block their path, so Lu Bu and the others could notice their presence.
Zhou Cang beheaded the confused Mu Shun as he was in the way.
Four thousand spear soldiers rushed at the panicking heavy cavalries in front of them. Undaunted by the overwhelming number, they stabbed their spears at the injured and the confused horsemen.
A thousand archers reloaded their bows and fired their third volley. Because the frontline was in chaos and their allies were also mixed into the enemy's ranks, they targeted the backlines of the horsemen and fired.
The arrows went overhead of the spearmen and landed into the crowd on the back, killing and injuring the pack of soldiers.
"DAMN IT! WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS!?" Zhang Yang roared, "ALL UNITS, TURNABOUT! WE WILL CRUSH THIS STUPID BATTALION AND REPORT THIS TO HIS MAJESTY!!"
The soldiers turned around as ordered. The backlines of the heavy cavalries took out their polearms and began their counter-attack.
The path they were on was barely five hundred meters wide as the sides were mountains and tall cliffs. As a result, only about a thousand men or six to seven hundred horsemen could fight at a time while the rest had to wait or support their friends from the back.
Spearmen of Zhou Cang formed four lines of a spear-wall formation. The first line bore the brunt of the attacking horsemen with their shields and counter-attack them with spears. The second and third line used their long-range spears to support and harass the enemy soldiers, and the last line was the rescuers who would drag any injured comrades out of the fight. They would also replace the lost troops if soldiers in front of them were killed.
With the narrow passage in this valley path, they limited the number that the horsemen could fight against them while at least 3,000 of them could fight at the same time.
On the other hand, Zhang Yang heavy cavalries could not use their horse charge as they had stopped their rush earlier. The size of the horses and their armors were also large so they could not squeeze too many soldiers into the narrow passage.
Despite the fact that they outnumbered the infantries, they could not utilize the number to the fullest!
And more importantly …
Another one thousand arrows flew through the air, and the arrow rain dropped down on the dense crowd of horsemen.
Half of the arrows did not harm or kill the soldiers, but they had a psychologic effect on the battlefield.
Nobody wanted to be the targets of these arrows.
"Shit! We're sitting ducks!"
"Do something and get rid of those archers!"
As they got stuck in the middle of the pack with their horses, nobody could move. Their morale plummeted, and doubts were born in their mind.
Zhang Yang thought that they would have defeated these traitors in a couple of minutes, but the reality betrayed him. Two minutes later into the fight, his men still could not move forward.
The earthquake rumble sounds from the south alerted Zhang Yang. The Xiongnu Army, AKA Jinyang Force, was near.
"Form a rearguard! Hurry, they're here!"
The men, who had nothing to do in the backline, turned around again. Over 10,000 cavalries decided to shift their attention to the south where Lu Bu and his men were coming from.
Unfortunately for them, Lu Bu troops had shortened the distance to 500 meters by the time they began reorganizing the army. They did not have enough times to counter-charge, let alone forming a formation.
Then, a giant red horse leaped over their heads.
Chapter 214 – Battle at Bottleneck Valley