After weeks of a bad Internet connection, sutiben is back with Gwangaeto the great episode 86. There is a price to pay when you murder a nation’s royal family member.
Goguryeo vs Houyan: The manifestation of Damdeok’s revenge
The truth slowly sets in on everybody: At this point, there is no way to avoid fighting Goguryeo. Just then, Fengba returns to the Houyan palace and joyously reports that Beiwei has agreed to join hands against their common enemy.
With the army of Beiwei coming to back up Houyan, Taiqui boldly states
We have nothing to fear even if Goguryeo attacks.
And soon everybody rushes to prepare for battle, confident — after fearing their disadvantage for some time — the combined forces can withstand anything Goguryeo can dish out.
The campaign to place the three-legged crow flag everywhere
Meanwhile, addressing the Goguryeo court, Damdeok exposes his desire to bring down Houyan once and for all. The country’s expansion won’t end there though, not until they have spilled onto the Central Plains. 1
The army is set to cross the Houyan border by tomorrow with the king at the helm but the generals protest. How can the ruler lead the main unit at the front line and become a target? If he just waits for reinforcements to arrive, they can lessen the danger.
But Damdeok won’t have it. The size of an army never removes danger. More importantly, mobility is key to this war. He must personally push forward to show his strong will and raise morale everywhere. There’s no time to wait for reinforcements to trickle in if they wish to catch the enemy unprepared.
Houyan’s counterattack strategy: Forcing the attack on one surprising point
By next morning, the following report startles the Houyan emperor:
The Goguryeo army has passed Yodongseong. Goguryeo is attacking us!
With everybody surprised at the quick attack, Murong Un attempts calming everybody explaining what this indicates:
- Damdeok’s level of rage over his sister.
- A potential weak spot. Moving this quickly in a heightened state, Gwanggaeto can fall victim to his own emotions and make several mistakes.
Knowing Longcheng being the ultimate target, the forces of Goguryeo will have to take Sheonyangcheng, followed by Sujuncheng.
Almost immediately, he rejects Fengba’s simple plan to use the allied forces in preventing them from moving forward. Houyan must avoid a head on battle since it’s Goguryeo who wants to fight and end this quickly. Stopping the enemy’s movement may win a battle but it won’t stop the war.
To this, Murong Un reveals his plan. Despite the danger it poses to Sujuncheng, Sheoyangcheng must become the designated main battleground. The others question the wisdom in concentrating all of their troops there. Yet, that’s not what Murong Un had in mind.
They need to give that base up.
Everybody looks stunned. Freely give up a critical fortress? The emperor can’t believe what he’s hearing.
You idiot. Now you want to hand Sheonyangcheng over to the Goguryeo army? Why don’t you just tell me to become bait?
That’s the plan. Murong Xi’s eyes widen upon the confirmation.
（＾凹＾） hehehe sutiben had to watch the scene a few times. His face priceless. Mostly the eyes.
The whole point is relying on Damdeok’s impatience to lure the enemy army deep into their territory and isolating them, thereby cutting off any help via supplies and reinforcements.
Never leave clothes behind even when in a hurry
Over at Daiyacheong, hordes of Goguryeo soldiers rush the city walls and overwhelm the defenses. The fortress conquered, Damdeok inspects inside only to find lots of Houyan armor lying around, all meant for farmer soldiers that Houyan never had time to draft. Clearly they didn’t expect Goguryeo to move this quickly.
Suspicions arise over how easy the fortress fell and how Houyan may be dictating their movement. However, if they want Sujuncheng, Goguryeo has no choice but to continue onto Sheonyancheng, regardless of whether or not it’s a trap.
The migrant scouts then send word of a large Beiwei force entering Yungang but Damdeok has a plan ready. Later when Houyan learns half the enemy army set out to face their ally, general Jubu goes to join the incoming Beiwei army and hit Goguryeo from behind.
When you know the opponent’s destination, you know where to attack
Murong Un and Fengba, on the other hand, travel to intercept Damdeok on his way to Sheonyangcheng. Although, they ambush Damdeok’s passing army in the woods, Gal Samu appears out of nowhere and disrupts their formation, forcing Houyan to abandon their first tactic. Fengba, of course, doesn’t like it one bit.
As General Samu reconnects with the Goguryeo army, he informs the king that the fortress lord, officials, and soldiers have fled Sheonyangcheng. The remaining Houyan citizens are locking themselves in their houses out of fear. It smells of a ploy, Ha Muji warns but Damdeok orders taking over the castle anyway.
Once inside, they search the entire area and find nothing strange
- The command center and the house of the fortress lord are empty
- Weapons storage are empty
Because Longcheng is a day and half away, they expect Houyan to concentrate their troops at Sujuncheng and make it a tough fight. Ultimately, they decide they need more men, will use their new property as a base and wait for reinforcements to arrive before moving forward with their war campaign.
A friendship that breaks down never ends pretty
By nightfall, Hwang Hoe and Yeo Seokgae reach the Beiwei encampment in the Yugang plain and observe the large reservoir of soldiers. Hearing that a Houyan detachment is on the way to meet up with the Beiwei generals, the Goguryeo troops launch their attack right away. Fire arrows soon rain down on the unsuspecting camp, killing many soldiers and setting military rations to flames.
Shortly after, two lone fire arrows fly through the night sky signaling a withdrawal.
As Youzheng rushes outside, he spots Houyan soldiers retreating, not knowing they are in fact Goguryeo men disguised with the Houyan armor found earlier.
Why would they attack us? We have an alliance! Why?!
Concluding they’ve been played with a false alliance, the Beiwei army give chase but the Goguryeo unit maneuver around the dark forest and lead their chasers to the now arriving Houyan army. At once, general Jubu happily greets his allies, that is until Beiwei rush at them with a revengeful intent. The Houyan army can only ask themselves why as they defend themselves all night.
By morning, the fight has depleted half of Jubu’s troops and claimed most of Beiwei’s 70,000 army.
Laughing about the event, Hwang Hoe asks,
Wasn’t it a great idea to use the Houyan armor like this?
Occupy Sheonyangcheng at your own risk
Back at Sheoyangcheng, Goguryeo scouts report no enemy movement still.
- No soldiers to be seen.
- Just ordinary citizens.
- No ambushes near the mountains.
Damdeok then orders plenty of rest and food for the soldiers in preparation for the coming battle to bump up morale.
Unbeknownst to the invaders, Houyan soldiers disguised themselves as citizens and mixed with the regular people. They’ve been inside the fortress from the beginning.
By nightfall, the hidden soldiers come out, take out the guard gates and open the gates. Riding from outside, Murong Xi and his army storm the fortress. Hearing the ruckus outside, Damdeok leaves the command center only to find the laughing Houyan emperor ready to capture him.
Damdeok also brings up King Chumo’s name. Guessing he’s the country’s founder ↩︎