The Human Emperor Chapter 591
Chapter 591: The Decisive Battle
Chapter 591: The Decisive Battle
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"If Wang Jiuling were truly this formidable, he wouldn't be a man, but a god, and our Mengshe Zhao would never have stood a chance. So how could we have arrived at today's battle?"
The Wang Clan was truly quite famous, and that former Prime Minister of the Great Tang was even more famous. However, Wang Chong's words could only deceive those people who didn't know the inside story. To formidable characters like Geluofeng, Wang Chong's words were complete nonsense. It would be stranger if they had believed a single word.
Fengjiayi quickly realized and cursed at himself. It was all because Duke Jiu's reputation was too inflated, with everyone talking about how virtuous and noble he was, with the entire world praising him as a sagacious minister.
Fengjiayi had fallen for this first impression and treated Wang Chong's story as the truth.
"This despicable and cunning scoundrel!"
Geluofeng waved his hand and said, "There's no need to get angry at him about this. When two countries fight, every method is on the table. That's how it's always been. The urgent task at hand is to think about how we should attack the Annan Protectorate army."
Truthfully, if it hadn't been so necessary to sweep over the southwest as quickly as possible and subjugate this area, Geluofeng was actually quite interested in Wang Chong. It had been a very long time since he had met such a formidable youth. Whether on the attack or the defense, he covered up every possible angle and left no flaws to exploit.
The crime of rebellion, with Geluofeng himself making the charge, truly might have made any other person fall for his trap. But Wang Chong had quickly nullified this most dangerous of political schemes. This was not something any ordinary person could do.
Putting aside his knowledge of military strategy, his attainments in the realm of politics and schemes meant that he truly wasn't an ordinary person. This was also why Geluofeng immediately put aside any further attempts to make trouble.
With a sweep of his great robe, Geluofeng turned and strode in the direction of Dalun Ruozan and Huoshu Huicang. At the same time, Dalun Ruozan and Huoshu Huicang were leading the Tibetan generals in Geluofeng's direction.
Although they were people of differing principles, as formidable characters of the southwest, the two of them thought on exactly the same level.
"What sort of ideas does Great Minister have?"
Geluofeng cut straight to the point with his stern question.
"This brat is difficult to handle."
Dalun Ruozan took in a deep breath before continuing.
"The urgent task is to remove the defenses he erected on the mountain. Without those metal walls, the one hundred thousand soldiers of the Annan Protectorate won't stand a chance against our army."
Geluofeng also gave a long sigh.
"The Great Tang dominated the world through its infantry, and their expertise is in positional warfare and defensive battles. And the people from the Wang Clan also seemed to be experts in these aspects. In the battle of Erhai, we were able to completely rout the Annan Protectorate army, but we're completely helpless here."
Geluofeng and the Mengshe Zhao army were the ones who had most profoundly felt this change in the Great Tang. Previously, they had relied on pure numbers to swiftly topple the Great Tang, but now, they had lost nearly seventy thousand soldiers on the mountain. The Annan Protectorate army seemed to give off a completely different feeling, as different as the heaven and the earth.
"We underestimated this boy. He clearly came with a plan. In this entire war, he's the one that we underestimated the most," a Mengshe Zhao general suddenly said.
These words instantly plunged all of them into silence. He was right. Compared to saying that they had underestimated the entire Annan Protectorate army, it was better to say that they had underestimated one person. Whether it was Lion City or this fortress before them made up of scattered steel walls, or even the profound transformation of the Annan Protectorate army, all of it was caused by one person.
From a certain perspective, this war was really a war between the Mengshe-Tsang army and a single person.
The Great Tang had only sent a single person, yet this had been enough to completely overturn the war and upset the foregone conclusion.
Fengjiayi suddenly spoke, a pensive look on his face. "Royal Father, Great Minister, sir generals, I feel that we also shouldn't overestimate this boy too much."
Everyone immediately turned to him.
"Does His Highness the Crown Prince have some wisdom to share?"
Dalun Ruozan faintly smiled, appearing to be deeply interested in hearing whatever there was to say.
"I wouldn't dare to call it wisdom, but has everyone forgotten why the Tang chose to break out of Lion City?" Fengjiayi asked.
The moment Fengjiayi finished speaking, everyone's eyes lit up. It was true that in terms of safety, Lion City was much safer than this mountain. The Annan Protectorate army had only chosen to break out for a very simple reason
"Their provisions ran out!" a Mengshe Zhao general suddenly said, his words immediately getting to the heart of the matter.
"Correct! The Annan Protectorate army left Lion City back then because their provisions were about to run out. The provisions to feed nearly one hundred thousand soldiers is not a trifling number."
Fengjiayi's eyes seemed to glow, his gaze turning sharper and sharper.
"No matter how formidable that brat is, could he possibly produce enough supplies to feed one hundred thousand soldiers? The southwest war has only lasted for a bit more than a month. Rations and fodder have to move before the troops can mobilize. I stayed in the Great Tang for some time, so I was lucky enough to understand somewhat how it works.
"The Great Tang isn't like our territory. Its territory is vast and expansive. In order to gather the resources to feed one hundred thousand soldiers, they would need to collect it from all the counties and prefectures. The entire process is extremely time-consuming and requires a long time to complete.
"I studied in the Great Tang capital for a time, and I had the opportunity to inspect the historical records of the Great Tang. The empires of the Central Plains need to gather provisions for at least three years to fight a war of three months. Moreover, their lands grow less fertile and less productive the farther north one goes. While our Mengshe Zhao also grows rice, we have plentiful sunlight and fertile lands, so we produce much more than they do.
"So I am certain that the Great Tang cannot prepare the provisions for one hundred thousand soldiers in a short time. Even if we gave that brat wings, he still wouldn't be able to conjure the provisions for one hundred thousand soldiers out of thin air.
"Even if they guard the mountain so tightly that not even a drop of water can leak in, as long as we simply besiege them and refuse to attack, their deaths are assured. When the time comes, it won't be on us to attack them, but on them to think about ways to break out and leave this place."
With these final words, Fengjiayi clenched his fists, his eyes blazing.
Putting aside his status as Crown Prince of Mengshe Zhao, Fengjiayi had never encountered someone like Wang Chong, who had completely outshone him in terms of reputation. Although Fengjiayi did not show it on the outside, he internally regarded Wang Chong as a thorn in his side.
A Mengshe Zhao general immediately voiced his agreement. "Your Highness Crown Prince is correct. Even if we do nothing, as long as we don't let the Annan Protectorate army escape, then without sufficient provisions, they're sure to quickly crumble. No matter what happens in this war, isn't their defeat assured?"
Geluofeng slightly frowned, but he remained quiet.
Dalun Ruozan suddenly spoke, a faint smile on his lips. "Haha, Your Highness Crown Prince happens to be thinking along the same lines as this humble one. But right now, there is still a small problem."
Fengjiayi raised his brows, but he quickly lowered his head. "I humbly ask to hear the Great Minister's wisdom!"
"Heh, Your Highness Crown Prince is a dragon among men, so it's already rather decent for you to have noticed all this. Provisions are truly the lifeblood of the Tang, but this war is somewhat different from the ones of the past Why does Your Highness Crown Prince believe that we can stand here and attack the Great Tang without worrying about being attacked from anywhere else?"
A hint of doubt appeared in Fengjiayi's eyes. "What has Great Minister noticed?"
"Just like that Wang Chong said, the Great Tang has the four protectorates of Annan, Andong, Anbei, and Anxi as well as Longxi's Big Dipper Army, making a total of five armies. Right now, the reason the other four armies can't come down and deal with us is because we've reached a consensus with the Abbasid Caliphate, Charax Spasinu, the Eastern and Western Turkic Khaganates, the Goguryeo Empire, the Xi, and the Khitans. A tree that stands out from the forest is bound to be knocked down by the wind. It's not just us that wants to deal with the Great Tang. They wish to as well, so they are willing to help us by holding down the Great Tang's armies.
"But if we draw things out for too long and fail to conquer the southwest, the situation will change. The moment they realize that the Great Tang is still the invincible Great Tang of the past, they'll retreat. When that time comes, all of you should know what we'll be facing!"
Dalun Ruozan's voice cast a silence over his surroundings.
In truth, this was not some profoundly deep problem. It was just that, as generals, they had subconsciously placed their thoughts on the battle at hand and not on the overall situation.
Given the state of the southwest war, there was no time to delay, and they certainly couldn't wait for the Annan Protectorate army to fall apart on its own. If the Annan Protectorate army could be defeated a day earlier, they could settle the southwest a day earlier, strengthening the resolve of the Eastern and Western Turkic Khaganates, Goguryeo, the Xi, the Khitans, and the other foreign powers, and having them enter the war.
Time flew by quickly, and the longer they delayed, the more unfavorable the situation would become for the Mengshe-Tsang army. No one was more worried about this than Geluofeng. After all, the Tibetans had the ability to retreat, but Mengshe Zhao did not.
At this point, he was actually willing to pay any cost. Thus, despite the great losses Mengshe Zhao had suffered in the last two days, including the heavy damage to the Whitestone Corps, Geluofeng had not mentioned it once.
Geluofeng was undoubtedly qualified to be a ruthless man of ambition.
But it was clear that Fengjiayi was not that sensitive to his father's worries.
"The question of the Great Tang's provisions can be a problem for the future!"
Geluofeng abruptly inserted himself into the conversation.
"Great Minister, do you have any wisdom to share with regards to the current situation?"
"There are currently no other methods!"
Dalun Ruozan shook his head and firmly declared, "If we want to deal with the Annan Protectorate army, we must remove the steel walls. If we cannot do this, it will be just like before, and we will pay a massive price!"
"But that Qilin son of the Wang Clan isn't a simple person. If my guess is right, he probably has a group of craftsmen with him that are ready to repair those steel walls at any time. If we attack and they repair, we'll never be able to make any progress. It might even be that if we attempt to force the issue, we might pay a price even larger than we expected."
"If Great Minister is worried about those steel walls, then leave it to us. Duan Yangyan, I'll leave it up to you!"
Geluofeng turned his head to a fair-skinned and refined general at his side.