The Human Emperor Chapter 486
Chapter 486: The Final Preparations Before The War
Chapter 486: The Final Preparations Before the War!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
After a long period of silence, King Song finally asked, "Just how did you know?"
There were far too many secrets hanging around Wang Chong. Although King Song had experienced countless trials and political storms, developing an extremely sharp gaze and feel for politics, King Song still found it at times impossible to see through this teenager standing before him.
Wang Chong shook his head and casually said, "This isn't some big secret!" Although he was a reincarnator and possessed an entire life's worth of memories, some things could be predicted even without foresight.
Mengshe Zhao, -Tsang, Goguryeo, the Eastern and Western Turkic Khaganatesthese empires had grown stronger and stronger over the years while the Great Tang had remained in the same place.
No, it had not just remained in the same place. In reality, it was constantly declining.
The Imperial Court from top to bottom and the whole of society had become haughty and lazy, and the wealth of the Central Plains was bound to stir the ambitions of these foreign countries.
And among all these foreign kingdoms, -Tsang had the fiercest conflicts with the Great Tang and had the greatest capacity to invade.
Unlike the Eastern and Western Turkic Khaganates, -Tsang was based on a high plateau. The Great Tang wanted to deal with this high-altitude empire, but it lacked the strength.
Thus, in every war, the Tibetans only needed to retreat into their interior, a strategic withdrawal saving them from disaster. They had always possessed a safe fortress, and they recovered faster than the other foreign kingdoms.
At the same time, if -Tsang wanted to expand, the Great Tang in the Central Plains was the greatest barrier. Everything foreordained -Tsang to always be the first opponent to strike a blow.
Geluofeng and his 300,000 Mengshe Zhao soldiers had been their chance.
They had already routed Xianyu Zhongtong in the southwest, and if they wanted to amplify their success, they needed to prevent any reinforcements from the Great Tang. Consequently, it was imperative that they send an army to restrain Geshu Han and his Big Dipper Army.
Thus, Wang Chong was utterly unsurprised to see such a thing happen.
Although -Tsang was a foreign kingdom outside the sphere of Han civilization and was far less prosperous than the Central Plains, there were several extremely powerful existences behind it.
Whether it was Dalun Ruozan, Huoshu Huicang, We Tadra Khonglo, or Dusong Mangpoje, they were all the elite of the elite, not one bit inferior to the renowned generals of the Central Plains.
When these generals joined their powers, there would be no flaw in their strategies. Even though Wang Chong knew far in advance, he still wasn't able to do anything about it.
"Since you were able to analyze all this, why didn't you speak up sooner?"
King Song looked at the youth, his heart caught up in a mixture of emotions.
In the past, he would definitely have been full of praise for Wang Chong's analysis. But now there was defeat in the southwest, danger in Longxi, restlessness on the borders of the northeast, northwest, and Beiting. King Song no longer had the mind to think about much else.
"If I said it, would anyone have believed me?" Wang Chong indifferently said.
The campaign in the southwest had already reached this point. After three hundred years, this massive and prosperous empire had finally welcomed its first life-threatening peril.
And the perils that followed would only be more dangerous, more formidable.
If they could not even endure through this one, the following series of events coming down like a line of dominoes would completely knock the empire over.
At this moment, there was no need to hide anything.
All that King Song could do upon hearing Wang Chong's question was to raise his head up to the dark clouds and give a long sigh.
Wang Chong was correct. Military affairs were no trifling matter.
Even if Wang Chong personally told him what would happen, even with his relationship with multiple generations of the Wang Clan, he would never have believed Wang Chong's words.
It wasn't about whether he trusted Wang Chong. This just wasn't how major affairs in the Imperial Court were decided. Private affections were not to play any part in the proceedings.
Without solid evidence, no one would allow a few lines of analysis to decide matters of state, decide the lives of tens of thousands, perhaps even hundreds of thousands, of soldiers. This was not the correct way to run a government.
Thus, no matter what Wang Chong said, no one would believe until it actually happened, not even King Song.
It was precisely because he understood this that King Song couldn't help but sigh, a deep helplessness welling up in his heart.
With Li Zhengyi's defeat, the Great Tang had no more extra soldiers to offer.
"Could all this really be unavoidable"
At this moment, King Song's mind was agitated and in turmoil.
"Your Highness, we cannot avoid what has already happened. The greatest concern right now is how to handle the war in the southwest!" Wang Chong sternly replied.
No matter how terrible things were, as long as the dust hadn't yet settled, he would not give up.
"What else can be done? The southwest has already been lost. Your one thousand men are like a cup of water on a cart of burning firewood. They won't be able to do anything."
King Song bitterly smiled as his gaze shifted toward the roiling dust rising from another mountain.
He understood everything now, understood the moment he had arrived at this place. Wang Chong had sold off the spirit vein so that he could gather the experts of the great clans and set off for the southwest.
Only the dangerous situation in the southwest was worth Wang Chong's gathering so many experts and paying such a heavy price.
But all of this was a drop in the ocean. What could one thousand 'soldiers' do, even if they were experts from the great clans of the capital?
A war was not something a mere one thousand experts could resolve. War was far from being that simple!
"If I don't try, how do I know whether I can succeed?" Wang Chong asked back, his expression firm.
With the war in the southwest at this stage, he had no other methods. Although one thousand experts was not a lot, this was all he could do on short notice, and he had invested everything he could.
"How can I help you?" King Song sternly said.
"Your Highness, if everything goes as expected, in at most seven days, I will be leaving. I don't have any rank or title, so I won't be able to make the generals over there submit. I require Your Highness's token so that my orders are followed without fail. In addition, if possible it would be great if Your Highness could lend me a few of your experts," Wang Chong said.
King Song nodded and handed over his token. Then, he and his old butler silently left.
Wang Chong watched King Song leave, and though his eyes flickered with emotion for a few moments, he quickly went back to normal.
The danger in the southwest grew with every passing moment. He didn't have much time left, and he needed to efficiently use every moment of it.
A neigh reverberated through the mountains as hooves thundered. In a flash, a horse shot out of the forest like a dragon. After several months, the White-hoofed Shadow had grown even stronger and sturdier.
Whether it was its bones, ligaments, or muscles, the White-hoofed Shadow was now a completely mature adult, the difference from its former self as stark as night and day.
Wang Chong mounted the horse, took the reins, and gripped the flanks of the horse with his legs. He became one with the horse and left behind a trail of dust as he galloped off to the smithy of the Zhang Clan.
To the west of the capital loomed a giant smithy. From a distance, Wang Chong could already hear the sounds of hammering and see the plumes of smoke.
Upon seeing Wang Chong, a supervisor from the Zhang Clan hurried to welcome him. At the moment, there was no one in the Zhang Clan who didn't recognize Wang Chong.
"Let me go in and take a look."
Wang Chong dismounted and got straight to the point.
The smithy of the Zhang Clan was a hive of activity, generating smoke everywhere and incessant sounds of hammering. Upon walking in, Wang Chong could feel intense waves of heat slapping against his face.
"Young Master, following your orders, all the master smiths of the clan worked day and night to forge the Wootz Steel swords you required! The clan viewed this task with utmost importance, and the clan head personally supervised the entire process. He just left a few moments ago. If you had come a little earlier, you would have been able to meet him," the Zhang Clan supervisor explained.
It had been a very long time since the Zhang Clan's smithy had been this busy. All of its master smiths had come forward, and these last few days had been even more busy than the last few months.
Wang Chong nodded.
The matter of the Wootz Steel swords was incredibly important. With a sweep of his gaze, Wang Chong could see that many guards were standing sentinel, including the Wang Clan experts that had been dispatched to this place.
Such was the value of the Wootz Steel swords that many people were willing to go to desperate lengths to obtain one.
"Wang Chong, why are you here!"
As the supervisor was speaking, another voice butted in. Zhang Cong and Zhang Jian were leading several elders of the Zhang Clan to receive Wang Chong.
Wang Chong nodded in greeting and asked, "How is the forging of the Wootz Steel swords going?"
"It'll be finished in another three days, but we'll have to rely on you for the next step."
Zhang Cong looked worriedly at Wang Chong. A thousand Wootz Steel swords required many steps. Even a great clan like the Zhang Clan had felt it very exhausting, and Wang Chong had to finish them all by himself!
Zhang Cong was concerned that Wang Chong wouldn't be able to do it alone.
"I know. All you need to do is finish with the initial processing for the one thousand Wootz Steel swords. None of you have to worry about the rest," Wang Chong calmly said.
The crucial steps for forging the Wootz Steel swords rested almost entirely in his hand, and no one could copy them. However, though the process overall was complex, the last steps were actually very simple.
As long as enough liquid was prepared, the temperature of the Wootz Steel swords could be lowered fairly quickly. In any case, he had it much easier than the Zhang Clan.
"In addition, we've already passed the matter of the armor to the other clans for them to work. We've dispatched supervisors to oversee the process. The armors might be finished before the Wootz Steel swords!" Zhang Jian added.
There were too many steps in forging the Wootz Steel swords, making the work rather troublesome. In comparison, the Meteoric Metal armor was much simpler. Wang Chong did not intend to forge armor made of pure Meteoric Metal, but instead wanted to mix the Meteoric Metal with other high-class refined iron. This made the forging much easier and also allowed for more suits of armor to be produced.
And unlike the Wootz Steel swords, the various clans were all more experienced in forging armor. The only problem was that Meteoric Metal had a higher melting point. Otherwise, the process would have been even faster.