The Human Emperor Chapter 549
Chapter 549: Planning A Long Distance Clash
Chapter 549: Planning! A Long-Distance Clash!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Longqinba was dumbfounded for a few moments. He had only been focused on killing the enemy, so his mind had truly not thought in this direction.
It was true. The -Tsang Empire had fought for so long against the Great Tang in the southwest that both sides were exceptionally familiar with the generals on the opposite side. Although Xianyu Zhongtong couldn't be described as mediocre or incompetent, he was also no adaptable schemer. Rather, he was the model of a general who could defend cities.
As for Wang Yan, Longqinba had heard of his name before and personally experienced his style in Lion City.
Although this general was skilled in both attack and defense, he was still a Great Tang general who was better on the defense than the offense!
Neither of this pair could have thought of this plan to swing back around and ambush the enemy.
"Then, Milord, what should we do now? They definitely haven't gone far. Why don't we chase after them?" Longqinba asked, a fierce killing intent in his heart.
A momentary lack of vigilance had almost ended with him dead at the hands of Xianyu Zhongtong and Wang Yan. No matter who the conductor behind the curtains was, that they were able to come up with such a plan filled Longqinba with the ardent desire to tear them to pieces.
"There's no need!"
But before Longqinba could think about how to find that hidden Tang commander, he was dumbstruck by the reply.
"Given how things are, just let them go!"
"But, Milord, how can we just let them go?"
Longqinba's eyes flew open as he looked with surprise at Great General Huoshu Huicang. The Great General had always been hailed for his courage, so for him to let the Tang go despite them having not run very far away had truly surpassed Longqinba's expectations. This was not the Great General's usual style.
More importantly, Longqinba was extremely unwilling to accept this!
"It's late and raining hard. Where would you go and find them? In addition, in this weather, the might of cavalry is completely nullified. If my guess is correct, that Tang commander loves this sort of plan, so if we pursue, he'll definitely have laid even more traps for us. It's so dark that we won't be able to see them, and if there are any ambushes, we'll only be adding to our losses.
"Furthermore, they've already launched surprise attacks against us by disguising themselves as our troops. In this dark night, they could attack at any time Do you know how to defend against that?"
With these final words, Huoshu Huicang brought up the most important point.
The Tang commander opposing them was skilled in schemes, a superb strategist and tactician. They were far above Xianyu Zhongtong, Wang Yan, and the other southwestern generals, with even himself falling prey to their schemes. More importantly, even Huoshu Huicang had to admit that this method of disguising as the other side and constantly launching sneak attacks was incredibly difficult to defend against. Even he was hard-pressed to think of any good ideas.
This was an army of one hundred thousand, not ten or twenty thousand. His opponents disguised were simply impossible to distinguish from his own troops.
This was truly a most vexing strategy.
"This, but" Longqinba stammered out. He had originally thought that one large-scale offensive would settle things, so this conclusion had caught him by surprise. But Longqinba had to admit that he had almost died back there, and in the darkness of the night, it would probably be even easier to ambush him.
Moreover, the opponent actually knew how to speak a little Tibetan!
Wasn't it supposed to be that the people of the Great Tang didn't know how to speak Tibetan?
Flinging out his right hand, Longqinba sent out a tyrannical stream of Stellar Energy smashing into the ground, blowing a pit around a zhang deep in the ground!
It was clear that Longqinba could only helplessly accept Huoshu Huicang's order.
"Be at ease. I never said anything about letting them go!"
Huoshu Huicang's eyes stared into the darkness, exuding a cold light.
"The storm will end and the night will pass. Once the day returns and the rain ceases, not even that Tang commander's wondrous abilities will be able to do anything. A strategy he can use now might not be a strategy he can use later. Don't forget, we have the three hundred thousand soldiers of our ally, Mengshe Zhao. We'll have plenty of time to link up with the Mengshe Zhao army and deal with the Tang. And besides, this was originally a war between the Great Tang and Mengshe Zhao, so it should be their turn to put forth a little strength This is also the Great Minister's intention!"
The Great Minister that Huoshu Huicang spoke of was naturally Dalun Ruozan.
In all of the Ngari Royal Lineage, the only one who could order around Huoshu Huicang, who could keep this valorous general on a tight leash, was the Ngari Great Minister. Longqinba hadn't expected this to be on the Great Minister's orders.
"Don't be so reluctant. If we can pay the smallest price for the greatest harvest, why shouldn't we? Don't forget, the goal of we warriors of -Tsang is not merely the southwest, not merely the Annan Protectorate. An even greater war waits for us! We cannot lose too much on a single battlefield," Huoshu Huicang indifferently said.
Longqinba still felt a little unwilling, but when he heard those last words, he immediately bowed, a deep veneration in his heart. The southwest was only a corner of the Great Tang, and the great war that Huoshu Huicang spoke of naturally wasn't this place, but the war between -Tsang and the Great Tang.
This was no secret between the high-ranking officers of the Tibetan Plateau.
A centipede could die, but it would never fall over.
From the moment the Tsenpo decided to attack the Great Tang, the war between -Tsang and the Great Tang had begun. This war in the southwest was merely the prologue to an even greater war. Although the Great Tang was on the decline and was no longer what it once was, it still possessed a massive, resplendent, and intimidating army.
The Annan Protectorate was only one of the Great Tang's protectorates.
Even though the -Tsang Empire had already made its decision, all of its officers were still treating the war with extreme caution.
"A day early or a day late, we'll still end up killing them! Let them struggle on death's door for a little longer!"
With these final words, Huoshu Huicang turned his horse around and immediately returned.
This undertaking could be described as a massive failure. The results achieved by an army of one hundred thousand had been completely different from expected. And this was not because the Tibetans were incompetent or Xianyu Zhongtong and the Annan generals were too strong, but because of the strategies and tactics utilized by the Tang.
No one had expected this outcome.
And the casualties were also rather large!
Moreover, Huoshu Huicang had vaguely noticed something from this battle that only he could handle. In comparison, chasing down Xianyu Zhongtong and the rest wasn't that urgent.
After all, it was only a single day. They couldn't flee the southwest in such a short time.
Huoshu Huicang quickly vanished into the darkness. Behind him, the Tibetan army slowly began to move in the exact opposite direction of the one in which Wang Chong's forces had vanished.
The battle through the rain had come to an unexpected end.
Yet the air over the southwest remained fraught with tension, and even managed to grow even tenser.
In the pouring rain, several large trees spread out their twisted roots into the muddy earth.
This rare rainstorm meeting the dirt had made almost all of the southwest into a swamp. And in a place that no one could see, the air was tinged with killing intent.
Time slowly passed, and all remained quiet. There was no sound except the falling of the rain.
After some time
Suddenly, the ground loosened as its surface bulged. Soon after, a muscular man came out of the ground like a fish leaping out of water.
"What's going on here? The Tibetans actually left?"
Xu Shiping gazed in the direction of the mountain range, confusion on his face.
The war between -Tsang and the Great Tang was past the point of reconciliation. Given the standpoint of -Tsang and Huoshu Huicang's temper, it was truly out of character for the Tibetans to not give chase.
"It's hard to say. Don't get careless. The Tibetans might just be pretending to be slow to make us let down our guard. The Tibetans are renowned for their courage, so they would never so easily give up the chase."
Xu Andun also stood up out of the muddy water.
This sort of camouflage was difficult to endure, as it required painting one's body with filthy mud, even the chinks in the armor. Although this sort of disguise truly was difficult to detect, it drenched one's body, and smearing a layer of mud over oneself was truly an unbearable task.
"There's no need to think about it. They've already left!"
A figure slid down from a nearby tree trunk. The tips of Wang Chong's feet lightly pressed against the ground as he descended. He wore heavy armor and an extremely vigilant expression.
"The Tibetans can make feint attacks and assume holding positions, but no matter how much they stand guard, they can't hide the sounds of horse hooves. Even if they could manage to muffle the hooves of their horses in such a short time, they can't stop their horses from neighing. It's not possible to do this with the number of horses they have, and it's not the Tibetan style."
As Wang Chong spoke, his brow furrowed.
"I originally thought that the Tibetans would pursue, but it looks like I underestimated him. Huoshu Huicang has probably predicted that I laid an ambush and halted any pursuit. Moreover, cavalry aren't good at fighting in the darkness, much less in the rain. Huoshu Huicang must have known that the circumstances did not favor him and that we had prepared, so he decided to just give up! I thought that Huoshu Huicang was just a courageous and fierce general, but it seems I thought too little of him. Purely from this decision, I can confirm that Huoshu Huicang is one of our greatest foes in the southwest!"
Although the enemy's retreat was to the Tang's advantage, the enemy retreating after being defeated and retreating of their own volition were two completely different things.
No matter what, the result before him was not a good one for him or for the Great Tang.
It's an even thornier problem than I imagined! Wang Chong said to himself as he looked toward the southwest
In the past, he had only known that Great General Huoshu Huicang was the mortal foe of Zhangchou Jianqiong, but he had never known specifically why this was the case. Now, however, Wang Chong had begun to understand.