The Human Emperor Chapter 505
Chapter 505: Warning Danger Of Obliteration
After searching through Batunlu's body, Wang Chong quickly turned his gaze to Batunlu's horse.
If those items weren't on Batunlu's body, they might be hidden on his horse.
But after a few moments, Wang Chong was disappointed once more.
"That's impossible. Where was I wrong? Could it be that Batunlu really doesn't have those secret martial arts manuals on him?"
Wang Chong rubbed his chin, a look of doubt in his eyes.
He originally believed that Batunlu would hide those items under his horse's saddle, but his search had turned up nothing. It appeared that he wouldn't be able to obtain Batunlu's Ksitigarbha Secret Art and Six-Armed Ksitigarbha Vajra Guardian technique.
But then Wang Chong's gaze swept over Batunlu's boots, and he was suddenly struck by an idea.
Batunlu's boots looked somewhat different from normal boots. Wang Chong was also wearing a pair of war boots, and he was aware of how thick they were. But Batunlu's boots were clearly a little thicker. Could it be
With this thought, Wang Chong suddenly lowered his body and began to carefully cut away at the edge of the boots with his Wootz Steel sword.
As he cut away at the boot, something dropped out from it and onto the ground. It was a brightly-colored object, and after a more careful look, it appeared to be a golden picture scroll that was made of some material between silk and cloth.
"It really was there!"
Wang Chong's eyes brightened as he inwardly rejoiced. He picked up that thick golden picture scroll and slowly unfurled it. What greeted him was a black-skinned six-armed Ksitigarbha stepping over dried bones, black clouds overhead while flames raged on his body. He had an expression of fury and seemed ready to leap out of the scroll.
"It really is the Ksitigarbha Vajra Guardian. He actually hid it so well!"
Wang Chong roared with laughter. A renowned general like Batunlu really did have some valuable items on him. He had just hidden them very well. If he hadn't noticed that his boots had been a little thicker than normal, he would have never considered that place a potential hiding spot.
"That's right, there's still another boot!"
With gusto, Wang Chong took up his Wootz Steel sword and began to cut away at the bottom of Batunlu's remaining boot. Just as he suspected, the Ksitigarbha Secret Art that Batunlu used to stimulate his potential had been hidden in the lower layer of his left boot. Unlike the Ksitigarbha Vajra Guardian technique, Batunlu's Ksitigarbha Secret Art was written on a thin and square sheet of paper, densely covered in squiggly Tibetan words.
Thankfully, I learned Tibetan in my last life, otherwise these two techniques would be useless to me.
Wang Chong rejoiced as he glanced over the paper.
These two techniques had both been written in Tibetan, a writing system completely different from that of the Central Plains. If he didn't understand this language, his owning these two manuals would be like a hero without a place to display their talents.
After putting away these two manuals, Wang Chong stood up and called for Old Eagle, upon which he suddenly heard a boom in his mind.
"Warning! Important event: The Annan Protectorate army has suffered large losses and Lion City is about to fall, counting down from three days. If user is not within five hundred li of Lion City three days from now, user will fail the mission and be completely obliterated!"
The icy and mechanical voice of the Stone of Destiny spoke.
Wang Chong's body shivered as that frigid voice rang through his mind, and all the blood seemed to recede from his face.
How can it be?
Wang Chong's face was ghastly pale. This hadn't been his first time hearing a warning from the Stone of Destiny in the last few days. This warning voice didn't normally appear, but when it did, it meant that something big was about to happen.
Lion City was built by Zhang Shouzhi. It's a nigh impregnable fortress and has eighty thousand soldiers standing guard. How could it be broken?
Wang Chong didn't dare to believe his ears.
He had expended a vast sum of gold on this city. The outer walls were plated with iron and inscribed with countless toughening inscriptions. The walls were also smooth and steep, making them impossible to climb. Wang Chong had built it for the express purpose of war, to provide a fortress for the Annan Protectorate army.
In reality, this city had been effective.
In this period of time, the only reason Wang Chong had been able to leisurely spend a great deal of time training his soldiers through actual combat was that Wang Chong firmly believed that Lion City wouldn't be broken for some time. But everything appeared to have changed.
What exactly happened in the south? Wang Chong wondered, his complexion still not having recovered.
The joy that came from defeating Batunlu and his three thousand Tibetans had vanished. At this moment, a terrible sense of danger had dropped down from the heavens and enveloped Wang Chong. Wang Chong looked into the distance, and though he couldn't see anything from where he was, he could feel that dark clouds were sweeping in from the south.
The southwest campaign was progressing faster than he had imagined.
That Xianyu Zhongtong had been defeated was already an incontrovertible fact. No matter what sort of plans he had for this war and the empire's future, if he didn't get to the Erhai plains in three days, he would be dead.
Something must have happened in the south that he was not aware of, but Wang Chong couldn't understand what it could be. What could inflict so many losses on Lion City?
"Young Master, what's wrong?"
A concerned voice came from behind him. Old Eagle was walking over, a worried look on his face.
He had been paying attention to Wang Chong for a little while and noticed that Wang Chong had been standing motionless, his face deathly pale. There was no way this condition was normal, and it wasn't strange for it to make Old Eagle concerned.
Wang Chong placed Batunlu's golden gauntlets in Old Eagle's hands.
"These gauntlets are for you!"
With these words, he strode forward and flipped onto his horse, after which he raised his arm.
"All troops, heed my orders! Put down everything and prepare to advance at full speed!"
Everyone was flabbergasted at this order. These corpses hadn't even been buried yet, so why were they so suddenly moving out? But even though they were confused, they still immediately began to mount their horses and move out.
Li Siye rode his horse over and asked, "What's happened?" He similarly felt that something was off about Wang Chong.
"Something's happened up ahead. We have to move out immediately. Old Eagle, have you found out where Commandant Xu is?" Wang Chong asked.
"Mm." Old Eagle nodded.
Here was a tall mountain, the forest growing thick around it.
A tanned man with a black mustache, dressed in the armor of a Great Tang Commandant, stood at the summit of the mountain, letting the howling winds blow around him. There were actually very few mountain ranges of significant height in the southwest, and this mountain was unquestionably the tallest of them. By standing here, he could see any movement in the surrounding area.
This was also why he had chosen to set up his camp here.
Xu Shiping stood on the summit, attended by two guards. He looked into the distance, squinting in confusion.
"Have you figured out what's going on?"
"Yes sir. It's not a trap. Batunlu really has withdrawn, but we do not know why."
"You didn't follow to see where they were going?"
"This We were worried that it was a trick, so we didn't follow them very far. We only carefully inspected the surroundings to determine that there was no ambush. After confirming this, we came back," the captain of the scouts said respectfully, bowing.
"I understand. You're dismissed!"
Xu Shiping frowned and quickly ordered the scout captain to leave.
Batunlu had clearly been about to attack, but he inexplicably disappeared. There was clearly something bizarre going on, but this wasn't Xu Shiping's greatest concern As his gaze swept over the lush forest and his vigilant army, a hint of deep worry flashed through his eyes.
These people were those he had gathered from all over in this period of time and now totaled five thousand. But the increase in numbers was of no relief to Xu Shiping. On the contrary, it only made him more confused and uneasy.
General Li was already dead!
The most brilliant rising star of the empire had died on the journey south. Even though he had warned the general, he had still not been able to stop the 60,000 soldiers of the army from being crushed by the Tibetans. And there was an even greater danger to the southwest.
In his twenty years in the army, he had participated in all kinds of battles, big and small, and experienced all sorts of dangers. But Xu Shiping would never dare to claim that he had encountered a danger as enormous as this one!
The 300,000 troops of Mengshe Zhao had joined with the 200,000 cavalry of the -Tsang Ngari Royal Lineage and defeated the 180,000 soldiers of the Annan Protectorate army on the Erhai plains. This was a peril that the empire had never experienced in all its history. The door to the southwest was open, and the hundreds of thousands of civilians were exposed to the horse hooves of foreign kingdoms.
The Great Tang's several centuries of peace was about to suffer its first heavy blow!
As for him and the Great Tang soldiers he had gathered here, they were faced with a dilemma. Death faced them both ahead and behind. If they advanced, what awaited them was a 500,000 man army. Five thousand soldiers trying to stop the combined army of Mengshe Zhao and -Tsang was like a grasshopper trying to stop a carriage, only seeking its own destruction.
As for retreating military orders were as weighty as a mountain! Their purpose had been to reinforce the Annan Protectorate army, and their mission was not complete, their objective not even reached. How could they retreat? Moreover, uncountable numbers of Tibetan cavalry were waiting for them.
"Reporting! Enemies sighted!"
A whistle suddenly came from a lookout post that had been set up halfway up the mountain.
This voice immediately stirred Xu Shiping from his stupor. At the same time, the more than five thousand Great Tang soldiers began to move. With squeaks and crunches, they aimed all their weaponry toward their surroundings as the atmosphere instantly became tense.
Their opponents had come even faster than imagined. A great plume of dust could be seen in the distance, a flood of steel approaching with a shocking momentum.
"Milord, the Tibetans are already here. What should we do next?"
A group of subordinates looked toward Xu Shiping. Their opponent had earlier withdrawn without a battle, so they must have made some preparations before coming again. Things seemed ominous for the Great Tang soldiers.