What Baron, Guan Yu, nor Yue Fei knew about their current situation was that Ho Yang and Gou Shi had left with the previous fleet mobilizing to go to the other battlefield. Now, it would only be Wu San Gui that would stand in their way of defending their little area of dispute. The battle began when Baron's side did not make any moves and just stared at their enemies with an iron will. As for Wu San Gui, he still did not know if Yue Fei and Baron were still gone, for all he knew this could just be another ploy for them to take advantage of something he just did not take into consideration.
Alas, he had been given strict orders from his superiors that he had to wrap things up as quick as he could so that he could go stop Madam Zheng's attacks to their north. He had already sent a portion of his ships to the other battlefields so that he could even get this opportunity to finish off Baron and his friends. He did not dare underestimate Baron as he had for the past few days and decided to go all out to cripple him, if not kill him outright. All ships were ordered to move in for the kill.
Baron and the other two, of course, had already come back before Wu San Gui made his move and pulled out all of their tricks so that they could defend for the next few days. At this point, they only had one surprise that they could rely on to overwhelm the enemy fleet, they had been pretty lax on their land-based defenses.
If those weapons were firing at full force, the situation wouldn't be as dire as they were the past few days, but then again, it was because they took this high-risk option that they could now use this to their advantage. This was the reason that they just stayed their fleet and did not make a move but instead have their enemies come to them.
The battle finally began when half of Wu San Gui's fleet was hit with the 200 or so ships led by Guan Yu and Yue Fei fighting on the front lines and commanding spectacularly. Similarly, Baron had sent in a further 300 Sloops of War to reinforce his allies, but even so, their ships were outnumbered and outmatched in nearly every aspect excluding maneuverability.
This would not be an easy fight even with half of their enemies had already left the fray. Just under an hour after the initial clash of both sides, the first message from Wu San Gui came through. He was going to sending 400 ships to the left and right of Guan Yu’s fleet. In response to this, Guan Yu and Yue Fei decided to wait until they were close enough then suddenly switched to an all-out retreat tactic.
This was where their greater maneuverability served them well and they were able to shake loose of all the ships that were coming for them. Their foes gave chase, and this would serve to become one of Wu San Gui’s greatest miscalculations. It took only a few words from Baron and the result of what he had done spoke volumes for everyone to see. Baron gave the orders for all land-based defenses on the island that they were defending to deal as much damage as they could.
The previous days had served for these soldiers manning these defenses as practice so that they could perform even better under pressure, and since they had quite a few days cycling through these motions and target practice, they were able to effectively hit enemy ships with little difficulty.
The number of Wu San Gui’s Ironclads that were hit by these attacks were not few in number either, and although they were not down for the count after just one hit, they would require repairs that would almost effectively put them out of commission for at least a few days. A few days that Wu San Gui did not have the leisure of taking his time with. In the end, very few ships actually sank, around 50, but the number of casualties for soldiers and ships alike was a sight for sore eyes for Wu San Gui.
Nevertheless, he had a time limit, and if he did not fulfill his superiors’ orders, then he would be more than just punished. This was why he chose to continue pushing in on Baron relentlessly, even going so far as to send his 5 mercenaries to the front lines to boost morale and progress at the same time.
Baron also received this piece of news that Wu San Gui meant for the ships at the front lines, and this surprised Baron a bit. It seemed like he had seriously underestimated his foes’ resolve to end this as quickly as possible. This was not good news as Baron was hoping to drag this battle out for the next few days to increase his chances of success. This would prove to be an important piece of intel that he was glad that he knew about sooner rather than later. If speed was what this clever fellow wanted, then that is what Baron must absolutely not give him the chance to do.
There was something else that caused Baron, Yue Fei, and Guan bewilderment, it was that the ships that any sane commander would halt and have them repaired were still coming towards them. The three of them already knew that if the men on those ships knew anything about the boats they were on, they would know that it was foolish to continue a chase in such a reckless state.
Not only was it dangerous, if they pushed more than the ship can take, but it might also actually blow up in their faces. There could only be one reason for them having to do such an act, Wu San Gui ordering them to give chase at all costs. Even at the cost of the soldiers’ lives.