“I am sorry, General Yang Wu . I have to send you on your way for Brother’s great cause!” Zhang Fei’s Serpent Spear was stained with blood . He had managed to deeply cut Zhang Xiu arm when Zhang Xiu wasn’t paying attention .
“Your brother’s great cause?” Zhang Xiu endured the pain in his arm and asked . “Liu Bei wants to kill me?” Zhang Xiu could not understand why Liu Bei would want to kill him after saving him . After all, Liu Bei had sacrificed his White Eared Soldiers and Chen Dao to save him . Besides that, it was easier to kill him earlier when he was still injured from the battle against Lu Bu . Even a common soldier would have been able to kill him . There was no need to wait until now .
“It is not Brother who wants you dead . It is the Military Advisor who wants you dead! He says that you are obstructing my brother’s path so I have to kill you!” Zhang Fei did not hide his killing intent . Zhang Xiu had to die today or there would be a war with the Zhang Xiu’s Army . Zhang Fei was a frank person and immediately said the things on his mind . Naturally, Pang Tong was involved and had been the one to arrange this . The main plan was to kill Zhang Xiu and allow Liu Bei to get past this obstruction . Plan B was to be used if the main plan fails . To pacify Zhang Xiu’s anger, Pang Tong would sacrifice his life to prevent a battle as the Liu Bei’s Army would not be able to win against Zhang Xiu’s Army at this time .
“Pang Tong?” Zhang Xiu thought of the man . “I am obstructing Liu Bei’s great cause? It is he who wants me dead!” Zhang Xiu could not help but laugh bitterly when he understood the real reason . “This Pang Tong is truly good at scheming!”
Zhang Xiu knew that Liu Bei sending the troops to rescue him was Pang Tong’s idea . He knew that Pang Tong wanted him to swear allegiance to Liu Bei out of gratitude or to keep Liu Bei’s fame as a benevolent ruler . What Pang Tong did not expect was for the losses to be this heavy . Chen Dao and the White Eared Soldiers were lost . On top of that, Zhang Xiu did not want to swear allegiance to Liu Bei .
Liu Bei only managed to keep his fame as a benevolent and righteous person from his actions . This was not what Pang Tong wanted which is why this plan was put into action . By killing Zhang Xiu, they claim that Zhang Xiu had died from a serious injury caused by Lu Bu . This would not only allow Liu Bei to be benevolent but they would also be able to use his death as a banner for revenge to absorb the Xiliang Cavalry . Zhang Xiu’s two children would also not be able to fight against Liu Bei . Although Jia Xu was in Nanyang, that man would only protect himself . Besides that, the incident with Cao Cao had already caused a crack in the relationship between Jia Xu and Zhang Xiu . In other words, Jia Xu would not move as long as Liu Bei did not want to get rid of him . Even if Liu Bei had lost the White Eared Soldiers, his strength would have increased by obtaining the Xiliang Cavalry .
Zhang Xiu knew that bloodshed could no longer be avoided . Either he would die and then have his own men work for the enemy or he would manage to escape and break off relations with Liu Bei .
Now that relations have fell apart, Zhang Xiu showed a cold expression and asked . “Zhang Fei . Did you think you could kill me on your own?”
“Hm?” Zhang Fei frowned . Although Zhang Xiu was injured, he was still a powerful general . It was true that Zhang Fei did not have absolute certainty that he could defeat Zhang Xiu .
“Third General . In that case, let us join in as well!” A familiar voice passed through the forest . A group of soldiers wearing the armor of the Xiliang Cavalry soldiers pulled out their swords and showed their killing intent .
“It’s you!” Zhang Xiu widened his eyes when he saw this person . This was one of the person that ambushed Hu Che Er and killed two thousand of his Xiliang Cavalry . Liu Bei had reimburse him for that though they were unfortunately lost in Yangzhou . Liu Bei also executed Liu Pi to placate him but this person was not executed . The man was one of Liu Bei’s two remaining generals, Liao Hua Liao Yuanjian .
“I was wondering why it was so fishy but it seems that you have already planned this!” Zhang Xiu finally understood why they managed to find an empty space so quickly after Zhang Fei asked for a spar and why Zhang Fei managed to get his Serpent Spear so quickly . Everything had already been prepared earlier . The two guards outside his camp may have already been caught in this trap .
“General Zhang Xiu . With us here, would you be able to go on your way with ease?” Liao Hua led a group of men out .
“Once I get out of here, if that Big Eared Liu does not give me a good explanation for this, the Liu Bei’s Army better be prepared to become history!” Zhang Xiu’s expression was ice cold . Pang Tong had truly caught him in a trap and wants him dead . Not only did he send Zhang Fei but also Liao Hua to kill Zhang Xiu . Zhang Xiu did not care whether Pang Tong was acting independently . Even if Pang Tong was acting independently, he was certain that Liu Bei knew about this . To have someone scheme against you was truly uncomfortable .
“Say that once you escape!” Liao Hua immediately led his men to attack Zhang Xiu . Zhang Fei saw Liao Hua moved and joined the attack .
“Not bad!” Zhang Xiu avoided Liao Hua’s slash . A second class warrior like Liao Hua could attract Zhang Xiu’s attention but it was not enough to kill Zhang Xiu . Zhang Xiu knew that Liao Hua was not weak . Otherwise, he would not have been able to ambush Hu Che Er successfully . Hu Che Er even had to retreat fighting against Liu Pi and Liao Hua . “You are still lacking a little!” Zhang Xiu said and knocked away Liao Hua’s sword . Liao Hua may be strong but he was still not good enough to fight against Zhang Xiu .
Besides that, the group of soldiers only numbered around ten . They were not even worth the attention for Zhang Xiu . Zhang Xiu swung his spear causing blood to fly . In a single swing, Zhang Xiu killed two people .
“Even if we are lacking, we just need to kill you!” Liao Hua saw two of his men fall to the ground but he did not care and continued to attack Liao Hua .
Zhang Xiu wanted to kill Liao Hua and the other few soldiers but Zhang Fei suddenly appeared and attacked together with Liao Hua, placing pressure onto Zhang Xiu . When Zhang Xiu wanted to kill Liao Hua, Zhang Fei’s Serpent Spear would strike from another angle . If Zhang Xiu insisted on killing Liao Hua, he would also die from Zhang Fei’s attack .
On the other hand, Liao Hua’s attacks was able to pester Zhang Xiu such that Zhang Xiu would have even greater difficulty obtaining an upper hand against the equally skilled Zhang Fei .
With their cooperation, Zhang Xiu quickly used up his strength and frowned . Continuing like this would not be good . Zhang Xiu quickly searched for an opportunity . He then broke away from the two warriors and killed one ordinary soldier .
After breaking away, Zhang Xiu gasped for breath and said, “Not bad . One attack from afar while the other attack at close distance . It truly makes people amazed but let us end this here today!” Zhang Xiu coldly said .
“You are about to die and yet you are still so noisy . General Yang Wu . If you hang yourself, we can allow you to keep your corpse intact as a show of respect to Milord . ”
“Haha! Liao Hua . You think too highly of yourself! Your Military Advisor schemed well to get both you and Zhang Fei to kill me! If it was last time before I recovered from any injury, I would have truly died by your hands . Unfortunately, your Military Advisor miscalculated a little . The current Zhang Xiu is no longer the Zhang Xiu from last time!”
“What are you talking about?” Liao Hua could not understand . However, Zhang Fei frowned as he noticed something wrong . He certainly felt that Zhang Xiu had changed . This feeling gave him a sense of crisis .
“Nonsense! Today is the day that you die!” Liu Pi had died because of Zhang Xiu . Although Liu Pi was not Liao Hua’s friend, they had still worked together for many years . As a result, Liao Hua had some kind of feelings for Liu Pi . Liao Hua would not blame Liu Bei for Liu Pi’s death so he blamed Zhang Xiu . Liao Hua was about to attack again but Zhang Fei suddenly stopped him and shouted, “Fall back!”
“What?” Liao Hua was pulled back by Zhang Fei . He was about to become angry when he noticed that only one of his men remained standing while the rest were already dead . These small group was Liu Bei’s guards that were taken out by Pang Tong . They were not generals but were still strong as far as soldiers go . Now, most of them had already been killed . Liao Hua was shocked . If he had attacked earlier, there was a possibility that he might have joined them .
“Have you made a breakthrough?” Zhang Fei looked at Zhang Xiu unwaveringly with a mixture of disbelief, excitement and admiration in his voice . A breakthrough was something that could happen at any time . One example was Liu Mang who gains every time he trains . But for people like Zhang Fei, it was something that was hard to come by as they were already top quality generals . To reach the peak of the refinement stage was something only a few people could manage .
Zhang Fei and Guan Yu have already reached a refinement stage many years ago but they still have not progressed from there . As a result, Zhang Fei had a huge desire for this . He had always yearned for what Zhang Xiu had achieved .
“A breakthrough? How is this possible?” Liao Hua was amazed . He was a second class general that could not make a breakthrough even though he train daily . If Zhang Xiu had made a breakthrough he was already about the same level as Lu Bu . Liao Hua trembled as he thought of Lu Bu . Such a person was like a God of Death on the battlefield . He did not believe that he would survive if he were to fight against Lu Bu right now .
While Liao Hua hesitated, Zhang Xiu shook his head and said, “Not yet but it will happen soon!” Zhang Xiu’s eyes glinted as he spoke . Although Lu Bu had almost killed him when they fought, Lu Bu had also made him more accomplished .
It was Lu Bu who made Zhang Xiu understand that not all martial skills suit a person . The strength of each skill depended on whether it fits the user .
“Zhang Fei, Liao Hua . Now let us talk about your actions towards me!” Zhang Xiu became oppressive . Pang Tong’s scheme was well done . Zhang Fei was to lure him away from the Xiliang Cavalry . Zhang Fei and Liao Hua would then kill him away from prying eyes and then deal with the other loyal Xiliang Cavalry soldiers . Unfortunately, Pang Tong did not expect Zhang Xiu to make a breakthrough . If Chen Dao had been here, Zhang Xiu would have died . However, since Chen Dao was not around, the one that would die would be Zhang Fei and Liao Hua .
“Yuanjian, fall back . I will hold back Zhang Xiu . Go back and notify the Military Advisor . Tell him that the situation has changed!” Zhang Fei said to Liao Hua . Had Liao Hua been at a refinement stage, he would have some certainty that they could defeat Zhang Xiu . Unfortunately, he no longer had that certainty . Liao Hua would only become a burden on Zhang Fei now .
“Third General? You!” Liao Hua did not want to accept this . How could the two of them be unable to defeat Zhang Xiu .
“There is no time to explain! Hurry back!” Zhang Fei knew that they would not be able to win if they were to fight together as Liao Hua was about as strong as his brother Liu Bei . During the battle at Hu Lao Gate, he was unable to defeat Lu Bu alone . When Guan Yu joined the battle, they were able to supress Lu Bu a little . However, when Liu Bei also joined the battle, they were defeated instead . Lu Bu simply attacked Liu Bei causing Zhang Fei and Guan Yu to become helpless .
“I understand!” Liao Hua nodded and tried to leave but a few steps later, a voice came out .
“Did you think you can just leave after trying to assassinate Milord?” Hu Che Er suddenly appeared from the forest . Although Hu Che Er had lost an arm, he originally uses a sword . As he was at a refinement stage, he would not have any problems stopping Liao Hua .
“Haha! Che Er! You came just in time! Zhang Fei! Did you see? Even the Heavens is on my side! Today is the day the both of you will be buried here! Once I kill you, I will return to Yuzhou . I will personally ask your brother how he manage to obtain such a good little brother and a good Military Advisor!” Zhang Fei felt his heart sank as he heard Zhang Xiu’s words . 1
This chapter ends here and the next one goes back to Liu Mang . It is probably to create suspense and mystery but it may also be a missing chapter . (I can’t find a 359 . 5)
We all know what is going to happen in this fight though .