The Western Zhao invasion arc has been running for more than a year already, so many developments occurred within that given time and so many debates arose. And that faithful 9th day is of no exception, the day that finally pushed Qin’s right-wing to the verge of despair.
Imma just jump right to the main point: did Riboku use cheat engine to break through Ousen defence?
Or people just quickly jump to conclusions while missing out on some details? I’m well aware that many Kingdom fans aren’t fond of Riboku for some reason, but well, there’re manga facts that you just can’t brush away with your bias.
I mean think about it, this is Ousen we’re talking about, the guy who’s been constantly hyped up to be on 6GG level, yet his defensive strategy got wrecked by someone who didn’t actually see it? That’s just too absurd, so I am here to right that wrong and clear all the confusion for those who still don’t quite grasp the full situation.
First off, let’s have some review about the chessboard.
On the 9th day, AKou himself volunteered to “tank” the 3 armies, which consists of Gyou’un + Bananji + Chougaryuu, so that our boys Shin and Ouhon can deal with Gakuei and his army without being disturbed.
While at first glance it seems AKou is being overconfident (who isn’t in Kingdom?), he did have what it takes to back up his words: the ability to imitate Ousen’s strategies to absolute precision, and in this specific scenario, Ousen’s defense.
Ousen’s defense is an absolute beast of a strategy that is capable of enduring all sorts of brute force punishment, even when struck simultaneously by 3 notorious armies at the same time:
The Three Zhao Armies
- The Bananji army had their number reduced drastically on the 2nd day, but that doesn’t completely render them useless, seeing as how Bananji acts as the “brawl” agent for RBK, while SSJ as the “brain”, surely the Bananji army doesn’t fall behind any big names in terms of raw strength alone.
- The Gyou’un army is no doubt the most offensive-oriented army in Zhao’s left wing. They have an elite division number up to 2000, the Raiun, which the narrator stated to be “the strongest soldiers on the entire Shukai Plains”, and on top of that, they are also the very same soldiers that once served under Rinshoujo, an equal to Renpa. With Gyou’un taking the lead, few can really withstand their ferocious charge.
- The Chougaryuu army while seems like one who specializes in tricks and the likes given CGR’s portrayal as a pure strategist, the “brain” to be more precise, but his army still possesses a group of elite similar to the Raiun of Gyou’un (but definitely not on the same level), plus his 2 subordinates Jo Rin and Jo Shou who appear to be some sort of offensive commanders.
Cracking The Formation
I’m pretty sure some folks gonna just brush all that and say “meh, that doesn’t matter, his defense still got cracked in the end”. I won’t deny the 2nd half, but you’re missing half of what was going on, the fact that Riboku guided them from the shadow.
Without Riboku’s aid, what AKou said in chapter 557 would have been manga fact.
So then, with all that hypes and feats for both Ousen (indirectly) and AKou, how did Riboku manage to subdue the phenomenon known as Ousen’s defense?
I believe the general consensus is that Riboku just simply knew, without actually witnessing it in action beforehand, which is then treated as “hack” or “cheat code” by the community.
To be honest, I was also on the same page at the beginning, but after many thorough re-read, I’ve found out some minor yet important details that pretty much back up the fact that this defensive strategy from Ousen had come into play before the 9th day, thus giving Riboku a chance to observe and come up with a way to defeat it.
Now let’s take a quick look at these moments:
1. Before the battle began Riboku said that “he noticed something after observing the battlefield in these last few days“.
2. As the AKou army was assuming formation, one soldier said: “Our last proper fight was four days ago“, hence we can deduce that there was a fierce clash or so between the AKou army and someone on Zhao side on the 5th day but was off paneled.
3. Ouhon commented on the same day that: “A few days ago I caught a hint of how sturdy that guards of theirs is”.
With these 3 shreds of evidence leaning on one another's backs, it’s pretty much clear that: "In the last few days before the 9th, especially the 5th one, the AKou army had a proper fight with Zhao which forced AKou to unleash Ousen’s strategies, and thus exposed their weakness through the eyes of Riboku, who had also been observing the battlefield."
With this, it makes sense that Riboku had a fair amount of time (4 days at least, not instantly like many people believe) to come up with a way to tame the beast.
The Big Picture
But then, something is amiss, why was the Zhao’s left-wing so freaking surprised as they were facing the AKou army with their defensive formation?
If what I pointed out above is true then shouldn’t they have been used to it already? At this point, it’ll mostly be my own interpretation but I don’t think it’s too far-fetched since it fits the nature of the battle on the right-wing:
1. It’s pretty much proven above that the AKou army had resorted to Ousen’s strategy before the 9th day, but that was more like a teaser or wasn’t used in the right way to make full use of its true potential. Kinda like, when you play a game and use a weapon with splash damage against just 1 enemy, you can’t see its effectiveness, but against 100 creeps coming at you, that is exactly when that weapon is put to right use.
2. The same could be said to Ousen’s defense. Before the 9th day, the AKou army probably didn’t face these many enemies when they were using this formation, because I’m pretty sure their battle plans during those times weren’t anything like that of the 9th, which requires one unit tanking 3 armies. It was probably something like the 3rd day where Shin vs GU, Ouhon vs Bananji, and AKou vs the rest.
Hence Ousen’s defense didn’t seem that impressive or struck as a threat to them, and they just took it for granted, until its true capability/form is then revealed.
So yeah that’s all I wanted to share with Kingdom fans, I didn’t really plan on writing this long post since not many folks here would bother reading. However, I just can’t take it when people criticize Hara for his writing without any solid evidence to back it up.
And lastly, I’d like to express my opinion a bit. This faithful 9th day, when observed from an even higher plane, such as the position of Commander-in-Chief from both sides, can be treated like a little contest between Ousen and Riboku, without them actually moving an inch.
On one hand, Ousen had AKou as his agent to challenge the Zhao side (feels like "my boi got this" vibe) while Riboku, on the other hand, simply responded by instructing Bananji, who also acts as his agent, to conquer that formation (with the help of Gyou’un and CGR ofc).
This is what makes Kingdom so awesome, no matter which angle you look at, be it from a foot soldier’s perspective or the commander of a particular battle or even the chief of the entire “chessboard”, everything is interwoven.