The Human Emperor Chapter 496
Chapter 496: Tension As Nimble As Fire
Chapter 496: Tension! As Nimble as Fire!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"Old Eagle, go and take a look."
Wang Chong's brow creased in thought. In these last few days, he had swept through every encounter, meeting essentially no resistance.
Part of it was because the Tibetan cavalry were scattered and had no reinforcements. The other part was that the Tibetans were still not on their guard.
But if the Tibetans had gathered together, then things had completely changed.
As he recalled the information he had heard from the fleeing Great Tang soldiers, Wang Chong began to form a vague idea of what was going on.
There was a rush of air as Old Eagle raised his hand and the massive eagle on his shoulder took flight, vanishing into the clouds.
At the same time, several dozen li away, the clouds of war had gathered. The highland steeds of the plateau had congregated, their large eyes wide open as they occasionally scanned the surroundings.
On each of their backs was a fierce Tibetan horseman.
The area was quiet, punctuated by the occasional gust of wind. These horsemen would occasionally raise their heads to warily glance to the north.
The air was suffused with a frenetic tension.
"Have you figured out what's going on?"
It was a hoarse voice, like the vibrating of a zither string. It reverberated in the air and felt like the gnawing of a horde of ants on the mind, and it was imbued with the accent unique to -Tsang.
"Yes. Tang reinforcements suddenly appeared out of the north, an exceptionally formidable force. All of our forces in the north have basically been wiped out."
The other face was tinged with fear.
"Impossible! As long as there are at least one hundred of us Tibetans, we can immediately form a Halo of Fortress, and coupled with our thick armor, who can break our defense? Besides, didn't we still have Ciren Luri in the north"
"Ciren Luri was killed!"
The hoarse voice immediately stopped, and what followed was a long and oppressive silence. It was clear that the owner of the voice had not expected this outcome.
"When did this happen?"
"Wasn't Ciren Luri at True Martial Tier 9"
"But our people personally witnessed it. A giant Tang man killed Ciren Luri with a single slash!"
One could hear the profound fear in that voice.
Ciren Luri had been a mighty Tibetan commander, but he had been slain with a single blow. Such strength was utterly ridiculous.
The Tibetan cavalry had one of the most powerful charges in the world, second only to the Great Tang's Tongluo elite horsemen. Perhaps they could have understood if that giant had been from the renowned Tongluo Tribe, but that person had clearly been a Tang man!
Had the Great Minister been wrong? Were the Tang still just as strong as they were in the past?! Had they not actually waned?
But hadn't the Tang been thoroughly routed on the shores of the Erhai?
Weren't the Big Dipper Army, Beiting and Anxi and all the other regular armies of the Great Tang being suppressed? When did the interior armies of the Great Tang become so strong?
"Hmph! Dengba, you think too highly of the will of those Tang men and too poorly of your own side's power!"
That hoarse voice coldly snorted and rebuked his subordinate. This was a fully-armored Tibetan commander, those red cheeks characteristic of the plateau the greatest proof of his ethnicity.
Tibetans normally had bodies a little shorter than the people of the Central Plains, but this person's body was completely different. He was extremely sturdy and tall, a head taller than the average person of the Central Plains.
Streams of Stellar Energy flowed under his skin like pythons, and he exuded an astonishing aura.
The most unique part about him was the pair of golden gauntlets on his hands. They seemed incredibly heavy and bursting with power.
"I don't believe that the Tang are this formidable. Continue to gather our comrades. I want all the Tibetans in a radius of several hundred li to gather here."
Dengba quailed at his commander's anger and hurriedly lowered his head. The Tibetans rigidly enforced the command hierarchy, even more than the Tang.
Although he was the deputy commander, he did not dare to lightly offend his commander, who was only one rank above him.
"First kill those one thousand Tang, and then we'll deal with that Great Tang Commandant Xu. With the Annan Protectorate finished, I don't believe that there's still anyone left in the southwest that can resist us!" the Tibetan commander coldly said.
Tibetans were noble and powerful. Those Tibetans in the north had lost merely because those Tang men had not encountered any real opponents.
He thought it utterly impossible for there to be anyone in the southwest that could stand against him!
"Sound the horn! I want these leftover Tang soldiers completely cleaned up!"
After a few moments, a row of Tibetan horsemen took up their large white horns and blared so loudly that it could be heard a hundred li away.
This was the horn of the white yak!
No matter where a Tibetan was, they all knew that the horn of the white yak was a signal for them to gather.
This was the prelude to battle!
"Reporting! Tibetan scouts have been discovered up ahead!"
A muscular Great Tang scout rode over, his waist bent in a slight bow. His sudden voice immediately shattered the previous calm.
Wang Chong was sitting cross-legged at a high vantage point, adjusting his energy. Behind, Old Eagle and Li Siye were standing guard like warrior attendants.
Wang Chong's eyelashes fluttered as he slowly opened his eyes.
How fast! Wang Chong said to himself.
The Tibetans truly did have some experts among them. Although they weren't at Huoshu Huicang's level, merely from the speed at which they had dispatched scouts and found them, Wang Chong could tell that he was facing a rather decent commander.
As for what level, that would depend on how they reacted next. Different reactions would indicate different levels.
As the War Saint of the Great Tang, he could determine his opponent's level from many minor details.
"Continue watching!" Wang Chong ordered with a wave of his hand.
The scout bowed from his horse and then quickly went to continue his mission.
"As long as we continue south, we'll meet more and more people like this!" Old Eagle's familiar voice sighed emotionally at his ear. Old Eagle was watching that military scout, an absentminded look in his eyes.
Quickly and cleanly investigating the enemy's movements, extremely quick-witted, coming and going like the windthese were qualities that those clan experts could never have.
Not even those experts and assassins that Wang Chong had hired in the capital would have been able to do it.
The scouts from the military were of a completely different sort.
The truly experienced scouts would be able to use the landscape to hide themselves while keeping watch on the enemy. There were some scouts that not even his eagles would have been able to discover.
Only scouts could deal with scouts!
And to deal with a richly experienced scout, one needed a similarly experienced opponent!
Before he could speak, a vigorous voice came from his right. "A soldier in the army has to strictly follow their orders and rigorously execute their mission. He's just abiding his duties, nothing more." Li Siye was unmoved by Old Eagle's sighs of praise.
He was from the army, from the Beiting area, where foreigners were as numerous as the hairs on a bull. To scout out the enemy and discover their forces while hiding oneself was a basic ability.
There were many scouts of this level in Beiting.
It had to be pointed out that hiding oneself on the grassy plains was no easy task. Although Old Eagle had worked in the Bureau of Punishments, he had never been on the battlefield.
This sort of emotional sigh was expressing shock at the trivial.
Wang Chong couldn't help but smile at their discussion. These two were skilled in different domains, and it was rather normal to feel this sort of amazement.
But there was one thing that Wang Chong was certain of: the number of regular infantry and cavalry at Wang Chong's command was growing larger and larger.
As he continued to clean up the scattered Tibetan cavalry on the northern border, he also brought more and more Great Tang soldiers under his banner. At present, Wang Chong had gathered six or seven hundred infantry and cavalry formerly of Li Zhengyi's army.
And he was also collecting more and more supplies.
Right now, Wang Chong had ten-some heavy ballistae!
Each of these heavy ballistae was priceless. Every year, the Great Tang relied on precisely these ballistae to demoralize the foreign countries and dominate the world.
These heavy ballistae had contributed no small part to the Great Tang's current reputation!
Ignoring the bickering of the pair, Wang Chong stood up and began walking.
Li Siye and Old Eagle tensed up and hurried after him.
A hundred zhang behind the vantage point was a hive of activity.
The one thousand clan experts that Wang Chong had recruited were currently training with the six or seven hundred Great Tang soldiers.
The clan experts had enough strength, but they lacked military discipline and the ability to fight cohesively with their comrades.
Wang Chong had trained them previously, but it still hadn't been enough.
But now, with the 'catfish effect1' brought with the arrival of these actual soldiers, this one-thousand-man army equipped with Wootz Steel swords was quickly becoming a cohesive unit.
The aura of an 'army' was quickly beginning to form on their bodies. No longer were they just a simple group of one thousand experts.
The difference was like that of night and day.
Utilizing these actual soldiers, Wang Chong was currently in the midst of getting his hands on an elite troop of one thousand men.
"Li Siye, when Zhao Jingdian is done, it'll be your turn. You'll be responsible for the second phase of training!" Wang Chong said.
"Yes, Young Master!"
Li Siye lowered his head and gave a respectful bow, after which he turned and began to stride toward the drilling troops.
Such a thing would have been impossible to imagine with the brash Li Siye that had first appeared at Deflecting Blade Manor. There was no doubt that Wang Chong had already obtained his respect.
Wang Chong was currently using all sorts of methods to raise this army, including Zhao Jingdian's talent for the art of war and Li Siye's powerful strength and soldier's aura.
As for what lay ahead on the road south, only Wang Chong truly knew. To alter the course of the southwest war would require a perfect mastery!
Time flew by, and two hours later, when Wang Chong was still in the middle of training his army
"Reporting! Enemy army up ahead!"
"Reporting! Enemy army is less than fifty li from our position!"
"Reporting! It's the Tibetans! They are advancing toward us at full speed!"
In just a few short moments, several military scouts galloped out of the forest, jumped onto the ground, and kneeled as they gave their reports.
Like some mysterious power had swept through the void, the entire world instantly fell silent, all the men and horses quieting down.
Everyone was looking toward Wang Chong, and the atmosphere had instantly grown tense.
It was too fast!
That army had been far faster than any of them had imagined!
1. The catfish effect is when a strong competitor causes the weak to improve.