Fortification at the Fort of Guandu (Battle of Guandu part 1)
It was the year 2XX AD.
The struggle for supremacy in China are now between Cao Cao and the mighty Yuan Shao.
Yuan Shao had defeated Gongsun Zan, taking control of the whole area of Hebei, making her a force to be reckoned with even among the other warlords. While at the behest of Emperor Xian Di of Han, Cao Cao conquered the whole area of Zhongyuan. The forces which defeated Lu Bu and Yuan Shu were truly fitting of their elite reputation. The time for them to end this stalemate is fast approaching, and the field of Guandu will be the stage for this fateful battle, where history will record their ferocious battle.
Would the victor be Yuan Shao or Cao Cao? The other warlords observed in suspense…
Fortress of Guandu.
Yang Xiu just arrived in this place, and seeing the liveliness of this place make him quite nervous. That is right, it is in this place where a decisive battle between the Yuan Shao and Cao Cao will be decided. No one was slacking off here, as Yue Jin, Yu Jin and Guo Jia are supervising the whole preparation for defending this place. Compared to his last visit in Guandu, this place defense has been raised. He looked around as he notice many new arsenal for defending, like the establishment of many outpost towers, reinforcing the fort wall… as much as he can see from his position right now.
He notices the rations convoy passing around in to outside of the Guandu. The battle might be dragged to long term battle, seeing the difference of power between them and their enemy. And it is a common sense to preserve the rations. He checked the map surrounding this area to compare it with what he see right now. Nodding several times, sighing in admiration. With such preparation of this place, no wonder it took so many times and attention for advisor Guo Jia to personally oversee the development of this place.
Finished in observing the overview of this place, he goes to report his arrival to Guo Jia.
Both advisor exchange greetings. Yang Xiu offer himself to help their situation. Guo Jia remarked in delight. "I always respect Yang darren's valuable advice. Please give us, when you see us lacking in somewhere." Guo Jia then asked the low rank officer to guide Kazuto to Li Dian, the machinist of Cao Cao army who is a Mohist.
"No! No! you are wrong! Make a careful measurement! " Li Dian was admonishing the foreman of the various carpenter who report to her. She looked busy, as she was surrounded by numerous plan and blueprint for development of this fort. Li Dian calmly pointed one of the various blueprint, and giving an extensive notion. She repeatedly tapped the blueprint as she corrected their report.
"As I said it earlier, use this coefficient based on my calculation to set it up! I don't want to see that when Yuan Shao attacked this position, the wall will collapse due to miscalculation on your part!" Li Dian sighed as she wipes the sweat on her forehead. Being a supervisor in charge of defense are ten times harder than doing the preparation herself, but she can not complain because this fort of Guandu is no small scale fortress. It is built to be able to house 70.000 of Cao Cao's army.
Kazuto recognized that the blueprint which Li Dian tapped and admonish the foreman is the plan for reinforcing the fortress wall. It was shaped in trapezoid shape with height of at least 11 meter. The asymmetrical side have scale of obliqueness about 80 degree.
"The book of Mo Zi says; 'In general, the method of defending a besieged city involve walls that are thick and high, moats and ditches that are deep and wide, towers and parapets that are in good repair, defensive preparations that are appropriate and advantageous (weapons that are well maintained and effective in use) field and food supplies that are sufficient for more than three months, a populace that is capable, officers and people in harmony, many high officials of meritorious service to the ruler, a ruler himself is trustworthy and righteous, and people who are happy to defend to the end.' (chapter on Fortification of City Gate and Wall)."
Li Dian sighed as she recited the passage from Mo Zi and continued her reasoning.
"What I see now is this construction of the fortress wall is far from satisfying! This fortress wall is far from the description of thick and high! Gentlemen! The field of Guandu is situated where it is easy to defend but hard to attack! If somehow the Guandu fall, there is no reasoning that the fault fell to us, the artisan and the follower of Master Mo Di!"
Li Dian tapped the blueprint toward the carpenter foreman as she added. "Reinforce this part, use my coefficient for the scale of obliqueness. Before I forget, add parapet at the place that I marked." She tapped another blueprint beside her.
"Foreman for the city gate!" Li Dian called another to report to her.
"Yes, General Li!"
"What about the construction to the city gate?"
"As you ordered, city gates that constructed are outfitted with suspension bridge, with mechanism for raising and lowering them. We have dug moats surrounding it with depth as you ordered."
Kazuto looked at the blue print which the foreman carpenter revealed and pointed to Li Dian. A blue print schematics for suspension gate, with control mechanism to raise and lower the bridge. Then beside it, is the blue print for the model of the gate itself. It is the two leaves gate.
Li Dian nodded several times before giving her own opinion which the foreman carpenter needs to pay attention, it was the technical measurement for the city gate.
"foreman for the city gate, make sure you place a good officer to guard the city gate, for the defense of this place relied on the men, no matter how well defended this fort is."
Li Dian still continues explaining and examining the report from all other foreman carpenter in this room.
"Foreman carpenter who is responsible for the construction of outpost towers and sally port!"
Two foreman carpenters move forward to report the situation on their side. They explained the construction so far, which Li Dian added. "add this contraption as you see at that blue print…" Li Dian pointed the blue print which she remarked. A contraption for closing the sally port with tiled roof designed for the sally port. There is also schematics for a furnace deployment.
And for the foreman responsible for the construction of outpost towers. "Place those who have good affinity with archery, make sure their arrows are sharpened. The Outpost tower should be designed as that schematics." Li Dian pointed another outpost tower designed which followed to the design of Master Mo Zi.
Li Dian was a bit tired, so she sat for a while as she reach the tea to wet her throat. The low rank officer approach her and reported that Advisor Yang Xiu has arrived.
Li Dian asked all the foreman carpenter to suspend their report for a while, she goes to welcome Yang Xiu, and both exchange greetings. "Advisor Yang daye… This Li Dian welcomed you."
"General Li, in seeing the impending battle, this Yang Xiu wished to offer his help in defending the fort of Guandu."
Li Dian though was honored, but she showed an uneasy expression. "I am fully honored. But, I believe that there is no need for this Li Dian to bother advisor Yang in construction matter."
Yang Xiu admitted. "General Li, though I don't have any skill which I can boast, but at least I wish to take a part in giving suggestion in matter of defending this place."
Li Dian sighed. "Advisor Yang, frankly speaking… I don't think that there are many persons who is well accustomed in Mo Zi's Art of Defense in this whole realm. Without any intention of belittling your skill, But I believe you should leave this matter to us, the artisan and the Mohist."
According to record of history, the school of Mohism was extinct after the end Qin dynasty. Many historian attributed this to Qin Shihuang's Burning of Book, other related it to Xiang Yu's Burning of Xiangyang…. Li Dian herself is a rare example, which we can compare to Gyro Gearloose from Donald Duck comic book of Carl Bark's. Li Dian admitted that she studied the Mohism Art of Defense from the very few survivor of the almost extinct Mohist. Their knowledge were secretly passed orally among the artisan and carpenter. The Mobile Attack Fortress Juggernaut which Cao Cao used during the siege of Chang'an were designed by her. It was a proof of her talent as a Mohist.
"General Li, I understand that most strategist and tactician only know to give instruction based on overall situation and their meddling in technical field will only hinder the officer in the field, but surely you would allow me to learn from you…"
Li Dian always respected Kazuto for his leadership and field warfare tactic, but she doubt that Kazuto understand her Mohism's Art of Defense. It is a rare and almost extinct talent. No one would be understand her (her knowledge is too advanced for others) , which is why she does not bother to explain to anyone. But seeing he insist… she relented.
"Very well… but, Advisor darren, We the Mohist does not have any intention to teach anyone because most commoner outside of the follower of Mohism will frowned and given up when we tried to teach them. Please allow this lowly Li Dian to impose an examination before she allowed Yang Darren to embrace the path of Mohism."
Kazuto relented. He cupped his hand. "Very well then. Please give this Yang Xiu several instructions in the Art of Defense."
"Let us say there is a stable established in some rural area. In this stable, the owner breed chickens and rabbits inside. After counting them all, there are 35 heads of both animals in the stable. While there are 94 legs of both animals in entirety. The question is … how many rabbits and chickens are raised inside this stable?"
Yang Xiu asked for a paper and a writing brush. Li Dian leave him, she thought that by giving him this problem… Advisor Yang might surrendered and leave the construction to herself. Sometimes there should be one officer who decided the overall matter, to avoid unnecessary meddling.
But Kazuto called her. "General Li, There are 12 rabbits in the stable and 23 chickens in the stable."
Li Dian was surprised when she heard the answer Kazuto gave her. "How… How could you reach that answer so quickly?" She asked Kazuto to show his calculation.
The paper read "[(x) + (y) = 35] [(2x) + (4y) = 94]"
The second paragraph read "[(2x) + (4y) = 94] - [(2x) + (2y) = 70]"
The third paragraph read "[(2y) = 24] then [(y) = 12]"
The fourth paragraph write "hence [(x) = 35 - 12] then [(x) = 23]"
The fifth paragraph read "In conclusion [(x) = 23 ; (y) = 12]"
"General Li, is there a problem with my answer?" Kazuto asked
"Yang Darren… it is a correct answer. There are 12 rabbits and 23 chicken in the stable, but… But how can you answer it so quickly?" Li Dian asked in confusion and wonder.
Kazuto can not help but offended by her remark. "General Li, please don't insult me… I studied Algebra back in Middle school."
"Algebra? Middle School?" Li Dian become more confused of Kazuto's alien word. No wonder, because the word 'algebra' is introduced later in Euclid's Element. But the basis for mathematical operation called as Algebra has been introduced since the Han dynasty, in the book of Jiu Zhang Shuan Shu. Jiu Zhang Shuan Shu recorded mathematical operation which is now known as 'Exponent', 'Fraction', 'Trigonometry' , 'Quadratic Equation', 'Logarithm', 'Formula of pi', 'Algebra' and other mathematical operation. The subjects taught in Jiu Zhang Shuan Shu are considered as compulsory subjects to be mastered in performing governmental job.
However, most commoners during this period still struggling in Four Basic Mathematical operations of Summation, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division… and those who mastered Algebra are less than few. During the reign of Emperor Ling of Han, people were able to buy governmental position using money, without considering their skill. Hence, officials who really capable in arithmetic could be considered as very few.
Those who greatly adept in Arithmetic are mostly merchant (but they are mostly limited to accounting) and the remaining are the very rare follower of Mohist. Li Dian have prejudice on her view based on experience that everyone in the court are only good in politics but their skill in calculation are questionable.
Now seeing Yang Xiu was able to answer her question, without drown in confusion make her wonder greatly. She laughed. "…I see.. I see now. No wonder your role has been argued among all the officers."
"What do you mean general Li?"
"After Cao Darren relieved you of commanding a military division, there are arguments among Cao Cao's Darren retainers who want you to be their deputy officer. Now I can see the reason." Li Dian cupped her hand. "But regardless…. This Li Dian will be honored to accept Advisor Yang's wisdom."
After that, Kazuto makes many suggestions toward Li Dian. Upon hearing those suggestion, she quickly marked her own blueprints. She was surprised that Kazuto thoroughly understand what she is doing, and as she asked how could he done it, he simply answer.
"Geometry is a basic compulsory object in arithmetic. It is not that hard." (as long as it is not matrix and calculus…. It is okay.)
And Kazuto himself felt grateful that he is allowed to give assistance to Li Dian, because he can learn various interesting subject from School of Mohism, which during his own time period (21st Century) has already lost. Ah… what a pity!
"I see… I see…" Kazuto repeatedly nodded as Li Dian explained to him, various lost chapters from the book of Mohist.
Master Mo Zi is a very mysterious individual from state of Lu, there are a very few record remaining about him, it was said that upon seeing the devastating of warfare during the Warring States Period, he aspired a world where there is no war in this realm. He announce the concept of Universal Love as the basis of Mohism. But he was more famous in his accomplishment in siege warfare and fortification, due to his background as artisan and carpenter. This is what makes many of his follower come from this social background.
Kazuto become perplexed in this beauty of so called Siege warfare. This beauty is first used according to record of history is during the siege of Jerusalem. The battle against Siege Engine and Fortress could be compared like Han Fei Zi's Spear and Shield. Will the spear penetrate the shield or will the shield shatter the spear?
Kazuto then take the tools lying around, a pair of compass (before you are misunderstanding, this tool that I meant is the tool to draw a circle) and ruler. He then drew somewhat schematic of the overall situation of this fortress… He began to mark them one by one and showed it to Li Dian.
"I believe that we can assume this as the overall defense of this fort Guandu?"
Li Dian checked it for a while and smiled in approval. "He He..! Advisor Yang is really good with this stuff!" Li Dian walked, but her stature seems wobbly. And after several step, she fall. But Kazuto quickly catch him. "General Li, are you alright?"
"Nyah… I'm fine.." Li Dian answered him with a sleepy tone, and her eyes seemed hard to open.
Kazuto changes his holding to easier stance to help her walk, but due to her limp body, he was forced to carry her instead. Which coincidently….
"General Li, Advisor Yang… Am I bothering you? I was going to tell you that…" Guo Jia was about to say something but felt loss of word "…lunch…." Her eyes widened…
"Am I bothering you?" Guo Jia re-emphasize her question.
Kazuto felt weird by her question and her tone of word. "What?" And he looked at his own condition, and realized that the way he is holding her is kind of inappropriate. "No… this is…"
".. Are you interested in joining lunch?" Guo Jia pretend not to notice his situation
Kazuto who felt ignored , could only answer her question. "Yes."
"Okay, sorry to bother you. Please finish your affairs then." Guo Jia then walked out before leaving this message "I will keep this a secret."
"Nyah… So tired. I lack sleep." Li Dian place her head on the table. Seems that she lacked sleep due to supervising the construction of Guandu. While Guo Jia was being explained of the overall schematic of the Guandu by Yang Xiu who make the schematic earlier.
"I see… so in this point, we will add outpost tower, archer and several entrapment right?"
"That is right. Also, General Li suggested for us to add several arcuballista batteries on these place."
Guo Jia thought for awhile. "I see… and what about this site?" Guo Jia pointed another marking in the schematic.
"These are all the place where the mangonels will be constructed. Right now, we need more wooden logs and bamboo, am I allowed to order them, Master Advisor Guo?"
"Can't help it. Young Master Sima is now inspecting them. She will join us shortly." Guo Jia signaled Yang Xiu to tell it directly.
Xu Huang remarked. "Are you going to play around with the ration again, advisor?"
"Play around the ration?" Yue Jin become confused.
"Well, during the campaign of Baima… Advisor Yang shortened the time to prepare the ration which gave us more energy to fight. If not, I am afraid the soldiers would be too tired and hungry to move."
Yang Xiu gave a short laugh and remarked. "No. I don't need to do that. But this time I bother General Li to make preparation to extend the time to prepare the ration."
"Did you mean about the contraption at the south-eastern part of the wall?" Xu Huang noted
"Seems I can not hide it from you." Yang Xiu give a meaningful smile.
Yu Jin recalled something, and quickly handover a report to Yang Xiu. "Advisor Darren. As you ask. A report of the troops training report for archery."
Yang Xiu quickly skimmed through the report and thanked General Yu Jin. "Thank You, General. After this I will have to add another burden to you."
Yu Jin calmly accepted. "No need to worry, advisor. I, Yu Jin shall not disappoint you."
"Thank you." Kazuto cupped his hand. "General Yue Jin."
Yue Jin become flustered. Nagi never expected Yang Xiu will address her. "Yes advisor Darren?"
"After this please prepare the Elite Qingzhou Infantry. I will train them a new formation."
"It will be our utmost pleasure!" Nagi saluted.
Then while they are eating, Kazuto passed around a smaller copy of the schematic while explaining several pointer which he gathered from Li Dian whom already fallen asleep (it was supposed to be her job.), the function of the entrapment and several defensive equipment installed in Guandu.
"But really! We built parapets and high walls, what will be the use of all these devices?" Xu Huang annotated as she point out based on the schematics.
"It is for the worse situation when we are forced in battle of attrition. Remember we will face 700.000 men of the Yuan clan." Kazuto calmly replied. "Mantlets will be constructed at those places, while the trenches and moats will be deepened. While these suspension shields are for the worst situation."
Yu Jin calmly analyzed it, as the self proclaimed artillery of the Cao army he needs to search for the best positions to set his elite archers.
While Nagi quiet down….
"Back then, of all our campaign… we don't need all of these preparations… aren't these gone be wasteful? If I recall the enemy usually come with less than five method of siege." Xu Huang raised her opinion.
It was Guo Jia who surprisingly answered her remarks
"The fort of Guandu will house 70.000 men of Cao Cao Darren. Soon, Cao Cao Darren and her key generals will be directly commanding us. Because we are up against Yuan Shao and all her 700.000 elite troop (Which she proclaimed as the Million Army)" Guo Jia calmly replied. "Against these wide difference of power, it is natural to be afraid."
All of the general have already heard of the news from the scout and spies that Xun You is leading 700.000 men toward encampment in Yangwu, and Yuan Shao will arrive later to raise their morale. Leading them in the decisive battle between Yuan against Cao.
"But, Cao Cao Darren already has the determination to fight. Therefore as her retainer, I must pay attention to all things, big and small. These whole preparations are only done to make sure they are not used. Yuan Shao's sly advisor are known to be unpredictable. Being 'wise' and 'enlightened' strategist is unfortunately not enough against her."
That is right.
Being well-versed in tactics and strategies is just a start.
The true merit of military strategist depends on his ability to react and adapt to the ever-changing situation. There was never be a war that completely turned out according to a preset scenario.
"Hence, I can only rely to the teaching of Master Mo Di this time."
Guo Jia looked up, as she recited the passage
"Mo Zi says; "My city walls and moats would be in good repair, the instrument of defense prepared, fuel and grain would be sufficient, superiors and inferiors would be well disposed towards each other, and I would get help from the neighboring feudal lords on the four sides. This is how my defense would be managed. Furthermore, although the defender is skilful, if the ruler does not use him, then it remains impossible to mount a successful defense. If the ruler does use the defender, he must also be capable in defense. If he is not capable and the ruler uses him, then it remains impossible to mount a successful defense, So then the defender must be skilful and the ruler must respect and use him. Only then can there be a successful defense.- Mo Zi's Art of Defense, chapter on Fortification of City Gate and Wall."
Zhongda is now busy recording the list of order that Guo Jia signed. Sima Yi muttered calmly… this long list is so different than any usual order. I wonder what kind of campaign they are expecting later….
Zhongda walked around, only by reading the long list of purchase order to her Sima clan is hard to deduce what kind of mind, Guo Jia up to. Zhongda then walked around using her authority as business partner and military contractor for them to look around at their situation.
She witness how the Guandu has been constructed to be prepared against any kind of invasion, she can not help but felt elated at this majestic view of what we perceive as absolute defense for a fortress.
"No wonder master Mo Zi is greatly respected."
But as Zhongda sung her praise, the Master Sun whom always assisting her (from her own artifact) resurface. "Back then, the Lord of Beiping, Gongsun Zan made the impenetrable fortress in Yijing by borrowing the concept of Mohism fortification, and Yuan Shao's sly advisor want to penetrate their fort using siege weaponry."
"Ah… Master Sun, I can see that you are greatly interested in this subject."
The pale face and gloomy Master Sun did not react but reply smoothly. "My ancestor against of attacking fortified place. That is why her method of battle will be unusable for siege warfare. But…"
"You on the other hand, Master Sun. are different. " Zhongda playfully speak as if talking to a close friend who is like a sister to her. "You propose to attack their fortified well defended place because you viewed that a siege attack will destroy their morale."
"Now here comes the question. Sun Zi from the state of Wu advised to against siege warfare. But then, why would you dare to voice in opposition? Eh?" Zhongda smiled as she hugged her from behind.
Master Sun did not react to Zhongda playful act. "Two great minds does not always agrees with each other. Even if they are both well versed in tactic and strategy, and even if they are both surnamed Sun."
"Rivalry, isn't it?" Zhongda hissed it close to her ear.
The book of Zhuang Zi annotated;
When a labor from the state of Chu is busy smearing limestone to the construction of his responsibility, a single drop sprinkled and covered his nose with a thin layer of liquefied limestone. A stonemason who is her friend and rival come at her with an axe, offering him to remove the stain on his nose which he accepts. With a single swing of axe, he cleaned the stain on his nose without leaving any injury to the labor. People who heard of it become awestruck at the story.
Duke Yuan of Song who heard of the story invited the stonemason asking whether he can repeat his great feat for once again. The stonemason refused, replying that "Because my rival, the labor has died, I'm afraid I can not do it again."
That is right, without someone who respect and valued you as a rival… Life is sad. When Hui Zi (The Prime Minister from the state of Wei, also a native of Song who frequently argues with Zhuang Zhou) died, Zhuang Zhou (Zhuang Zi) missed him very much and felt agony , remarking "Now with Hui Zi died, I don't have any rival… and no one who can understand me."
The same can be said to Su Qin who proposed the Hezong Alliance and Zhang Yi who proposed the Contra Alliance of Lianheng.
"Yes. That is right. But, I don't have what it said as considering my ancestor as a rival. My skill was still lacking compared to my ancestor who served the state of Wu. If once could consider it as rivalry it should be the level of Master Mo Di of the Mohism school and Gongshu Lu Ban, the patron of carpenter."
"The spear and shield of Siege warfare…. Master Mo Di fortification technique and Gongshu Lu Ban's various equipment of siege engine."
"Correct. I don't play honestly because I am a good acquaintance to Master Mo Di's most skilled apprentice, whom he taught personally in his Art of Defense."
"…. The Mohist surnamed Qin?"
Master Sun nodded sadly. She mused as she looked at the defensive mechanism of Guandu, recalling someone…. "Brother Pang…. Why did you have to hate me..? I always respects you a lot… you always so kind to me…."
Zhongda ended her daydreaming by patting her shoulder. "Master Sun…."
"Please forgive me. I recalled a bad memory. " Master Sun shyly moved and explain. "Once during my study under the reclusive Master Wang Xu…. Oh perhaps you are not familiar with his true name. he always call himself as the hermit of Mysterious Valley, Master Guigu Zi."
"The mysterious hermit who taught many famed scholar. So you are the same generation of Zhang Yi and Su Qin who creates the foundation of School of Diplomacy."
"They are both my school mates… but return to my story…. One time during my study, Master Mo Di sent one of his apprentice to pay visit to my master, Guigu Zi. we become a good acquaintance because we have the same view on warfare…. We both talked about the future of that chaotic time of the Warring States Period. We exchange view regarding tactic and strategies in warfare because…"
"War is vital to the state."
"He taught me Mo Zi's Art of Defense for a while…. Looking back then…. He is always very kind to me. He saves me when all hopes have lost… Brother Qin Huali…." Master Sun walked around in daze… well no one can see her except Zhongda and other military treatise type artifact user.
"Well it is hard if she is going to that melancholic nostalgia mode…" Zhongda sighed as she walked around observing everything.
"This whole preparation is indeed fitting against an opponent the likes of the Yuan clan…. With their enormous wealth who knows what kind of attack she is planning." Zhongda stopped when she noted that fellow Yang Xiu ordered the construction of new device.
"Zhongda, have you learned about Mo Zi's Art of Defense?" Master Sun suddenly surprised her.
"Twelve Methods, right?"
"That is right;" The Master Sun from the state of Qi began to recite a lesson from Mo Zi's Art of Defense.
"Qin Huali asked Master Mo Zi; "According to the Sage's words, when the phoenix did not come forth, the feudal lords rebelled against the King of Zhou. Weapon and armies arose in the world, the large attacked the small and the strong seized the weak. If I wished to defend a small state, how would I go about it?"
Mo Zi asked; "Defense against what kind of attack?"
Qin Huali replied, "The Method of attack in frequent use at the present time are: lin, gou, chong, ti, yin, shui, xue, tu, kongdong, yifu, fenwen, and xuanche. May I ask about defense against these twelve things?" - Mo Zi's Art of Defense, chapter on Fortification of City Gate and Wall."
"lin, gou, chong, ti, yin, shui, xue, tu, kongdong, yifu, fenwen, and xuanche….. I can not wait to see the show…" Zhongda brilliantly smiled.
Usually i always bored when reading vanilla style doujin, but Kamino Ryu-ya is different! i don't know how, but the author always portray them sensually even though it is the boring love story. I feel elated!
well... the real story is now beginning.
glad that you enjoyed it. That is how the original story of Guan Yu recruiting Zhou Cang. I did not make any major change.
No, Zhou Cang is based on Baran Doban. WARE WA KOSO! BARAN DOBAN ! BAN! BAN! also some bits from Kinnikuman... Go Fight!
Liao Hua... if i am not wrong i already uploaded her portrayal along with Zhang Yi in my Livejournal.