Wuxiaworld > The World Online > Chapter 205 - The Battle of Muye (7)

Chapter 205 - The Battle of Muye (7)

Chapter 205 - The Battle of Muye (7)



Translator: Team TWO

Editor: Nora



Day 10, Battle of Muye, Zhaoge City of Shang dynasty.

Zhaoge City, this name sings the dawn of lights, welcomes the sunrise, and the booming of prosperity.

Facing the bright sun, the troops bathed themselves in the warm sunshine and departed from the South Gate of Zhaoge City. The mighty troops marched toward Muye, consisted of 40 thousand players troops, 100 thousand slave crossbowmen, 10 thousand royal guards, 6 thousand imperial guards, and 12 war elephants. In total, they had over 150 thousand soldiers.

The first time the war elephants appeared before their eyes, Ouyang Shuo and the other lords were stunned.

Armor made of rhino skins and hardwoods protected the war elephants, while bronze basks covered their faces and sharp swords were tied to their tusks. On their backs, they carried a wooden tower with a mahout1, two archers and two pikemen in it.

Such a well-equipped war elephant from top to toe was the perfect bulldozer war machine. No ordinary human could possibly stop it from paving a bloody path of meat and flesh.

Sadly, they only had 12 war elephants, as the others were sent to war with Dongyi to the east. Otherwise, the Zhou armies would be nothing compared to the great war elephants.

If the royal guards were the elites of the Shang dynasty, then the imperial guards would be the elites of the elites. They fought side by side along with their king, Di Xin. They had battled in countless wars, conquered lands to the south and earned great military merits and honors. They were all descendants of the nobles, true soldiers of the Shang dynasty and extremely loyal to the king.

The rebellious act of the Zhou armies enraged them. They were furious that the Zhou and the other countries defected from the king. Rage filled the guards—both royal and imperial. They swore with their lives that they would make the Zhou armies pay the price. With their swords and spears, they would defend the honor of the Shang dynasty. Hence, their blood boiled in excitement and their morale was high.

The people of Zhaoge gathered in front of the city gate to send off the soldiers. Be it the royal guards or the imperial guards, they were all the people of Zhaoge. The glorious blood of Shang flowed in them. The slaves were incomparable to them.

King Zhou of Shang, Di Xin, rode a war chariot embellished with golds and jewels. He would personally lead the soldiers off to Muye.

The mighty troops stood straight and upright; flags and banners soared in the wind, as spears and pikes pointed toward the sky. The morale and discipline of the troops were high. The troops marched out one-by-one from the South Gate and headed toward Muye. They left behind streams of dust.

The people beside the roads danced their worshipping dancing rituals, as they prayed for the soldiers. They hoped that the soldiers could return home safely. Their parents, wives, and children lived here in Zhaoge. They waited for their sons, husbands, and fathers to come home and reunite with them.

Di Xin sat in his golden war chariot. As he rode past his people, he waved at them, and the crowds cheered for their king. Although their beloved king was ruthless, stubborn, and moody, he was their king. He contributed his entire life to them; he never left his people to die. Instead, he led them to war, and this action was more than enough to grant him the people’s support.

When the rows of crossbow equipped slaves appeared before their eyes, the people were dumbfounded. As the last slavery dynasty in China’s history, the slaves had a very low social status. They were captives, goods, commodities, and livestock, but they were never once taken as ‘people.’

Therefore, one could tell how surprised the people were when they saw that the slaves were equipped with crossbows and given military training.

If it wasn’t for this critical moment of death and life, there would definitely be a large group of people among the Shang slave lords and nobles that would stand and oppose their king’s decision. After all, such a decision violated the vital interests of the slave lords and nobles.

In order for the 100 thousand slave soldiers to be selected from the 700 thousand slaves, the chosen must be strong and obedient. They were very cagey, walking in formations. Their hearts were unsettled, and they felt restless as the people stared at them. They felt like they were walking around naked.

They had yet to adjust to their new roles.

General E’lai had similar origins as these slaves. He walked at the forefront of the crossbowmen. The people warmly welcomed the ferocious and strong general.

Lastly, there were the player troops. Although the cavalries had suffered a minor loss during the last battle, they remained as one of the strongest forces, riding at the forefront.

20 thousand shield-sword infantries marched behind them, forming square formations. They trod on the same beat, as they marched their way through the South Gate. Their prime and proper array, along with their fine and exquisite equipment impressed and moved the people of Shang.

The armies traveled along the road and filled the horizon with people. Even when the vanguard forces reached the field of Muye, the rear army was still waiting for their turn to travel through the South Gate. Soldiers filled the whole pathway, and the road could not even fit a single person more.

It was already 3 PM when the last group of infantries reached Muye.

Muye was a small city. The walls were low and half-broken. It was made of loesses and barely possessed any defensive ability. It was only important because Muye was the last line of defense before the Zhou armies reached the Shang capital, Zhaoge City.

The army simply did not enter the city. Instead, they directly settled in the southern suburbs. Tent after tent occupied the plains, the slopes and the valleys of the southern suburbs, surrounding Muye City, which stood at the center.

The southern suburbs had long reached a point beyond recognition. 1 to 2-meter deep trenches covered the entire southern suburbs. Each trench was less than 100-meters from another one, while the whole field covered a kilometer. This layout could effectively put an end to the use of war chariots on the field, while the cavalries could still move around freely.

King of Shang, Di Xin, stayed in the city hall of Muye. The city hall would act as the temporary command center until the war ended.

They sent the citizens of Muye and the 600 thousand slaves back to Zhaoge City. This action aimed to reduce the consumption of food and also prevent spies within the crowds. The whole of Muye had turned into a military stronghold. Other than the soldiers, the rest that stayed were logistics personnel.

The imperial guards had taken over the job of the city hall guards. They would do anything they could to ensure the king’s safety.

That night, Di Xin called for a meeting to discuss their war strategies. Ouyang Shuo, as the player’s representative, was given the honor of attending the meeting.

Honestly speaking, Ouyang Shuo was now an apple in Di Xin’s eyes. His status was way beyond an ordinary player’s representative. Di Xin would take his suggestions and proposed plans.

Of course, Ju Shuo gave Ouyang Shuo most of these tactics.

……

Mengjin, Yong, Lu, Peng, Pu, Shu, Qiang, Wei, Mao—the kings of these various countries had finally arrived.

When they were all gathered, King Wu of Zhou and the other kings held an Oath Assembly.

In the assembly, King Wu gave a speech of call to arms against Shang first. He listed the six biggest crime of King Zhou, Di Xin: One, excessive drinking; two, abandoned loyal courtiers; three, employing scoundrels and giving them power; four, blindly trusting the words of woman; five, blindly trusting in faith; six, disregarding the sacrificial ceremony.

For a small country in the west that was still under the control of the Shang dynasty to publicly condemn his king’s crime, one could tell how hypocritical Zhou and King Wu were. Even such a small thing like excessive drinking could be listed. It was a naked rebellion, yet he packaged himself as the embodiment of justice.

After the assembly, they had a sacrificial ritual. King Wu and the others swore an oath to the heavens to destroy the Shang dynasty. Naturally, a sacrificial ritual required them to sacrifice livestock, but instead of livestock this time, they changed the sacrificial offerings to slaves of Shang people.

When they completed the sacrificial ritual, they marched toward Muye.

The forces of Zhou included 300 war chariots, 3,000 royal guards, and 45 thousand armored soldiers. These were all trained soldiers, well-disciplined, fully-equipped, properly trained and with combat experience. In addition to the other kings, the total force numbered 70 thousand, along with 50 thousand player’s troops.

Despite this, the weapons and equipment of Zhou were still incomparable to that of Shang. The bronze smelting and technology of Shang were better. Therefore, Shang produced better bronze weapons and armor.

Especially in the case of infantry armor. Shang military had generally equipped their soldiers with armor made of bronze and rhino skin. They also had bronze helmets as part of the soldiers’ standard equipment. The helmet’s core structure, manufacturing technology, defensive ability and equipment quality made it one of the best equipment in the world of that era.

Meanwhile, the Zhou armies were only equipped with ordinary leather armor or armor made of wood. Even their officers and nobles could not enjoy the luxury of bronze armor. The two were simply incomparable.

Naturally, compared to the slave armies only equipped with a bronze spear and no armor, the Zhou soldiers were much stronger.

Zhou and Shang were rivals, blood feud enemies.

The royal family of Shang had killed and slaughtered the Zhou royal family for three generations. King Wu’s brothers, father, and grandfather had all died because of the royal family of Shang. Furthermore, Shang had raged countless wars on the land of Zhou, leading to the contention of territory, population, and dominance between the two countries.

Therefore, whether it be the royalty or the civilians of the two countries, there were conflicts everywhere. Up till this point, during the King Wu of Zhou period, they had already accumulated over a hundred years of hatred toward Shang.

This time, Zhou threw in every man and all the strength that they had. Their only wish was to destroy the Shang dynasty at all cost. Hence, there was no retreat for the people of Zhou. They had to win the war, as the consequences of defeat were disastrous. The morale of the army—from the king to the soldiers—were extremely high and unified.

Even the soldiers that the other kings sent were the strongest of their countries.

Since the day that Shang was established, their desire to expand its territory and population drove them to continuously invade the countries and nations beside it. While increasing the population served the purpose of expanding the scale of slaves, it also carried the important task of sacrificial offerings selection and sacrificial burial with the nobles.

During the Shang dynasty, theocracy greatly ruled over the land. They often required humans as sacrificial offerings. Moreover, they often required ‘offerings’ of high ‘quality,’ The sacrifices would have to be young and strong. In order to gather such offerings, they would need a large population. Therefore, Shang had actively sought war, plundering populations from different nations. The whole of Shang advocated and believed in violence and force, so they would directly rage war with those beside them, especially to the west.

This all resulted in the unforgettable hatreds from the different nation towards Shang. Since the time was ripe, they would seek revenge at all costs. Their morale and purpose were the same as Zhou.

While the royal family of Zhou acted peaceful and gentle, their propaganda of ‘peace, benevolence, and goodwill’ earned respect, so they enjoyed a high level of prestige among the kings and people.

The mighty force marched along the river of Wei toward Muye. The flags and banners of the different countries fluttered in the wind, expressing their determination to destroy Shang. These were a bunch of blood-eyed enemies.

A group of birds flew by the dark sky, leaving behind endless loneliness.

Mahout1 : An elephant driver.