Battle Royale of the Sinners is a web novel completed by Damn Plot Armor.
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Chapter 324 – The Incomplete 12 Pounder Cannons
= Six hours earlier =
Zhang He and his subordinates exited Luo Yang from the north gate . They regrouped with Ding Yuan, who had remained in the former camp of Hua Xiong . All Ghost Legion soldiers were covered in the blood of their enemies from the intense combat .
Li Feihong had opened a portal into Luo Yang City yesterday, which 50,000 soldiers Zhang He and his a.s.sisting generals flooded the city from the inside, killing the garrison soldiers to the last man before leaving the city .
They had completed their objective for raiding Luo Yang .
In Zhang He’s hands, one of the Han Dynasty precious object was there, the Emperor Jade Sword .
This sword itself could not be used in a real fight . Instead, it represented the direct Han Emperor’s order, which equaled to the Imperial Edicts . However, the owner of this sword could use the authority freely without being restricted by the written words in edicts, and the weight of his words would be the words of the Emperor himself .
Had this sword fallen to wrong hands, chaos could have ensued .
Zhang He pa.s.sed the sword to Ding Yuan, “We found the Emperor Jade Sword, but we can’t find the Imperial Seal . “
Ding Yuan shrugged, “That should be in Dong Zhuo’s hands, or it is under the Xiongnu King’s possession . Well, Dong Zhuo is probably dead by now, and the seal is lost . “
“Should I go back and search further?”
Ding Yuan shook his head, “Let the others do the job . For now, we’ll move to Henan just in case Li Feihong wants our support . The entire 200,000 soldiers are going there, so anything can happen . “
“Right . Let’s go . “
. . .
Meanwhile, Khan and his 100 bodyguards escaped from Hulao Gate and arrived at the east wall of Luo Yang before the sunset as promised . He let off a sign of relief that Tong did not chase after him .
“That was close . If Zhang Tong chases after me, I might really be killed . “
Khan chuckled as he jested . He did not mean it when he said “I might really be killed . “
In a good mood, he hummed and gazed on top of the wall of Luo Yang .
“Zhang Tong is still a naïve brat . If I were him, I would have crossed the river and captured this city when the Xiongnu troops appeared at Hulao Gate . Since the banners are still one of ours, their pincer tactic is a failure . “
The banners and flags on the top of Luo Yang City’s walls were still the symbols of Xiongnu tribes, the horse and bow drawing .
Khan gestured his bodyguards to enter the city while his eyes glanced at the system menu . He pressed the clan icon, so he could read the chat log of this afternoon to see if there was any change .
To his surprise, Hua Xiong left a message .
[I’m retreating from the riverbank position ahead of schedule . We will secure Henan County and Hangu Gate first . ]
Another message came a few hours later .
[There is an ambush as I fear . Zhang Tong’s men have long crossed the river, and they are planning to flank us from behind . Your Majesty should abandon Luo Yang and rush to Hangu Gate right away, or you will be surrounded by all sides . ]
Khan paused . He grabbed one of his bodyguards by the collar and shouted, “Stop! We’ll not enter Luo Yang!”
The bodyguards turned around in confusion . Although they did not understand Khan, they followed his order anyway . The one hundred riders detoured Luo Yang and galloped west to Henan County, rus.h.i.+ng through the night .
As Khan and the men avoided entering Luo Yang, he sent one of his spirit inside the city to take a peek about the situation behind the walls . Upon getting behind the wall, Khan clicked his tongue .
All of his garrison soldiers had been killed, and the enemies had withdrawn from the city . All traces led to the north gate, which Khan did not want to waste his times tracking after them .
‘No trace of any siege battle from outside the wall, yet all garrison soldiers inside are all dead . Footprints and traces of battles inside the city are still there, but the raiders got away . ‘
Khan’s spirit returned to his body . He glanced at the city one more time as he recalled the intel about Tong’s armies .
‘Zhang Tong separates his armies into legions and delegates them to the grand commander of each army . If I remember correctly, he deploys two legions on the northern bank . One of them is the legion that my old self is in it, and the other one is Ghost Legion . ‘
The train of thought stopped when Khan recited the word “Ghost” in his mind .
‘That’s silly . Do they really think they’re ghosts!? That’s a fairy tale to scare a child . ‘
Ghosts did not scare Khan as he owned real ghosts .
9 . 30 PM .
Khan and his men reached Henan County, and they were greeted by Li Jue, Guo Si, and Han Sui .
The 150,000 cloned troops of Hua Xiong’s legion were sieging the county in all direction, but they could not defeat the garrison soldiers even though they had fewer troops because all of them were using strange weapons .
Their morale was at the lowest, which the vanguard cloned soldiers even hesitated of climbing ladders to fight the defenders .
“What is happening here?”
The three generals trembled as they could not find the right words for their excuses . Han Sui mustered his courage and answered Khan, “They are using sorcery, your majesty . “
“A thunder sorcery, your majesty . “
“On top of the walls, they have placed those mysterious lumps of bronze behind the battlements . All of them had a round mouth that they breathed fire and roared like a thunder sound, your majesty . Every time they roared, our troops will suffer casualties because of the mysterious explosion sorcery . “
Khan frowned . As a reincarnator from the second century, he had no experiences with firearms, so he did not know about the weapons that the garrison force was using .
As they were speaking, garrison soldiers tossed several bags with ignited fuses on them . As soon as they touch the ground and the lighted fuses entered the bags, they exploded and killed surrounding men who stood beside the bomb bags .
One of the black metal mouths spat smoke and a loud boom . In the next second, a group of Khan’s reserve troops on the backline, which stood in a square formation, flew to the air along with a loud explosion .
On the top of the wall in Khan’s line of sight, 5,000 soldiers defended the east wall of Henan County .
They were the Mountaineer Legion soldiers . These men had detached from other units and were defending Henan County while the others completed their roles .
Khan squinted his eyes . Because of the dark night, he could not see the banners of these soldiers, but he could guess that these men should be Tong’s subordinates that had crossed the river .
“Where is Hua Xiong?”
“H-He went ahead to secure Hangu Gate for our escape route, your majesty!”
Khan and the three generals were speechless by the sudden system notification . They opened the system menu to check the list of their clan members, and Hua Xiong’s name had been crossed with a red line .
‘Wenyuan . Are you fighting for them?’
Khan felt complicated that he had to fight his former brother-in-arms . Zhang Liao was his best friend and his right-hand-man, so Khan hesitated if he should kill Zhang Liao or recruit him into his army once more .
Glaring at the top of Henan County wall, Khan gritted his teeth, “Did Hua Xiong say he was going to Hangu Gate?”
“Y-Yes, your majesty . “
“We’ll kill everyone in Henan first, then we’ll avenge for Hua Xiong . Tell the men to storm the wall! I want this county before the daybreak!”
. . .
Li Feihong opened his eyes and sighed because of the exhaustion . Riding a horse around all day and expanding his vision across over 100km range was tiring .
He ma.s.saged his temples while he gazed in front of him .
Currently, Li Feihong was sitting on the top of the wall of Henan County . Above him, live broadcasting inside of his private world was showing Zhang Liao’s soldiers and Xiongnu soldiers fighting each other .
The cannon sounds woke Li Feihong up from his slumber . He stood up and walked to the side of a red knight, who was administering the cannon squads .
These cannons were Li Feihong’s pride as he and Te Langpu completed it with difficulty . They were bronze cannons with smooth bores, which was the most crucial part in firearms development in the future .
They could not complete the steam engine technology in times, so they followed Tong’s advice and drilled a smooth bore by using a windmill-powered drill .
The windmill factory was initially used to mill the rice in the western countries, but they constructed it here to develop the 12-pounder Napoleon cannons with a simple trunnion . Bronze protrusions from the side of the barrels were pre-casted, which became one with the cannon itself, so the cannon crews could rest the cannons with a supporting carriage .
Unfortunately, they failed to develop the reinforce rings, the chamber within the bore, and other parts in times .
Each of the cannons took many days to dig the bore into the casted bronze, and the best blacksmith had to create a small vent hole at the rear end of the cannon to insert the quickmatch, which they ruined many finished products because of their inexperienced hands .
In the end, they managed to construct 20 of these incomplete cannons before they brought them here to use it in real combat .
One of the crews shoved in a long stick with a corkscrew on top, the worm, into the bore . They twisted the stick and pulled it out, getting rid of all the leftover projectile parts inside the bore .
After he pulled the corkscrew out, he shoved a sponge rammer stick, which had been soaked with water, into the bore, cleaning the remaining gunpowder inside the barrel .
When the rammer guy pulled out the sponge stick, the other a.s.sistant put in a bag of gunpowder and a cannonball into the cannon muzzle . The rammer soldier pushed the cannonball to the end before he took the rammer-stick out again .
The commander of the cannon stabbed the bag of the gunpowder with a prepared thin stick to the pre-made vent hole at the rear end of the barrel . He thrust a pre-made fuse into the hole afterward and ignited it .
The cannon fired a round cannonball, which landed at the back of the sieging army .
This was the part that was incomplete as they lacked the tools and technologies to create a friction device . To shoot the cannons by pulling the friction device instead of using the quickmatch, Tong and Li Feihong required the steam engines and precise metallic cutting technologies to develop the inner parts of the cannons, which they did not have it now .
“Feihong, your toys take too much time to reload . One shot of cannon can kill only three to ten men . But the time it takes to reload, all the crews can use repeating crossbows to kill a hundred men . “
Listening to Lu Bu, Li Feihong wryly smile, “The cannons are incomplete . The better version will be deadlier than this . We have yet to develop exploding sh.e.l.ls . “
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