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The two hundred nighttime soldiers were able to fulfill their tasks safely, at least until the rain fell. By the time the sun rose, it was still raining, so Baron elected to postpone the day’s siege. In the meantime, he gathered the troops and gave another small speech in an effort to keep his force’s morale high. A few hours later, the rain subsided, and they made their way towards the city walls. 

 

At the end of the day, even with Baron's help, the army could not keep up its momentum from the day before. Even so, the tally at the end of the day came out positively for them, with about thirty-eight hundred to Yue Fei’s eight thousand. Numerically speaking Baron had the upper hand if you counted his “missing” camp of five thousand soldiers, hidden from the eyes of Yue Fei. 

 

However, Baron was still unsatisfied regarding Yue Fei’s lack of presence on the field. This had him worried, as the only reason why Yue Fei hadn’t shown up by now, would be because he was still confident in his chances of victory despite his army being oppressed in such an unfavourable way. 

 

As night fell, Baron decided that his nighttime soldiers wouldn’t go out to light firecrackers again, as they had the previous nights. Instead, Baron had his officers distribute some wine to the soldiers in an attempt to keep their spirits up. 

 

-----------------------

 

“Sir, it seems that the enemy has chosen to not engage in their petty activities tonight.” Lieutenant En told Yue Fei with a sense of relief. “Our soldiers will finally be able to get a good night’s rest.” 

 

Yue Fei shrugged. “The only reason they're not doing anything is because the moon’s shining brightly tonight. It’d be far too easy for us to leave the city and hunt them down. Baron’s pretty smart to have realized this.” 

 

Lieutenant En paused before responding. “Sir, we’ve also found the location of the enemy camp.” En showed a fearsome smile.

 

“Hmm.” Yue Fei scratched his chin. “I think it's best if I personally go and have a look at their defenses. Have some cavalry join me at the front gate in an hour for scouting.” 

 

“As you command.” 

 

A short while later, a group of about fifty could be seen leaving the walled city on horseback. 

 

Once they were a kilometer from where they thought Baron’s camp was, they dismounted and slowly approached. Once the camp was in view, they slowly made their way around the camp, observing all the while. Yue Fei took in everything, from patrol routes, to the timing of shift changes. After a few hours, Yue Fei sighed to himself. If only he’d brought more troops, he could’ve stuck a spear into Baron’s chest that very night.

 

He’d seen many of Baron’s army drinking and celebrating, clearly with their guard down. 

 

How unfortunate.

 

Yue Fei couldn’t help but sigh with disappointment. If only he’d been a bit more daring, and had moved to immediately attack Baron’s camp tonight, he might’ve been able to end the simulation here tonight. Even if he sent word back to the city, now, by the time his troops arrived the sun would almost be up, and the impact wouldn’t be the same. 

 

Yue Fei signalled with his hands, and he and his men retreated as quietly as they’d come. Once back at the city, Yue Fei immediately relayed his orders to his lieutenant.

 

“Lieutenant, we have a few more hours until daylight. Have two thousand cavalry spread out around Baron's camp, but make sure they are a good distance away. And do make sure to let them know, they’re not to be seen. Once the sun is down tonight, they are to attack Baron’s camp at these three points.” He pointed to three locations on the map.

 

Lieutenant En took the map and looked it over. “Excellent. The enemy won't know what hit them.” 

 

Yue Fei grabbed Lieutenant En by the shoulder, as an older brother would. “Lieutenant En, you are to personally lead one of these attachments to break into the enemy camp. For the other two attachments, choose the best under your command.” 

 

“Rest assured, sir. Our cavalry have been itching for battle. They’ll be ready to go.” 

 

“Quickly make the necessary precautions and set off before the sun rises, speed is of the essence. Remember En, whether you succeed or fail will determine the outcome of this battle. Don't let me down.” Yue Fei cautioned his lieutenant.

 

“Worry not sir, leave everything to me. There’s little chance Baron will be prepared for such an attack.” En left the room to lay the groundwork for Baron's demise.

 

-----------------

 

With the night behind them, the two armies once again faced each other head-on, but today Baron had a little surprise for his enemy. An hour before noon Baron ordered all forces to retreat outside the range of the enemy archers and had his 500 cavalrymen run to just inside the enemy archers' range and drop off wagons that they had brought with them, all around the city. 

 

These wagons contained many dead sticks and chopped wood. The soldiers quickly lit this kindling, still somewhat damp, with the help of animal fats and other flammable materials. Within a few short minutes, the lit-up branches had created a makeshift smoke-screen that blocked the city defender’s view. It was Baron’s good fortune that he’d had the wood hidden and covered well enough so that they could still be lit after the rain. Now, he was able to bring forth one of his plans ahead of schedule. With an extra added bonus,

 

Baron had quite a surprise waiting for Yue Fei's army.

 

---------------

 

Yue Fei could see the smoke from the center of the city. “Why would they expend so much effort into blocking our view of them? What could they possibly want to hide from us?” Yue Fei mused. 

 

Officer Mike responded. “I'm not too sure, General, but we'll find out soon- ” A messenger suddenly burst into the room, breaking Mike’s words off.

 

“Apologies for my rudeness, but I have some news. There have been multiple sightings of siege towers emerging from the smokescreen.” The messenger hurriedly said.

 

“Siege towers? Why have they chosen now to use such gadgets? Hm… it doesn't matter. Just shoot it down with fire arrows. Once they’re on fire, they won’t be able to use them anymore.” 

 

“I'm sorry sir, but the troops have already tried. It seems that the siege towers are rather damp, probably from the rain from the previous day. They’re not catching on fire.” 

 

“Mike!” 

 

“Sir?” 

 

“Bring what troops we can spare to the walls and relay to the other officers that no matter what, we must not fall today.” 

 

“As you wish.” Mike moved to leave the room but nearly collided headfirst into another messenger, who promptly relayed his message. 

 

“Sir, the north and east walls are having difficulty holding on, and are requesting immediate backup.

 

Yue Fei groaned. “Dammit, those two walls are the ones where their lieutenant killed our officers yesterday. Officer Mike, head to the north wall. I'll personally lead the soldiers on the east wall. Make haste.” 

 

The two quickly left the strategy room and headed for their respective walls. At the end of the day, they’d managed to hold on to their respective walls, but had paid a huge price to do so. 

 

However, Yue Fei was confident in his chances of victory. Tonight, Lieutenant En would lead two thousand fresh cavalry into battle against Baron’s tired army, which would need time to rest before reaching its full battle potential.

 

Yue Fei wouldn’t give them that opportunity.

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_QUASAR_MAGELLAN_

Bio: Hi...that is all.
And my work if you enjoy endless war and strategy: https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/28995/warfares-final-frontier

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