The Human Emperor Chapter 611
Chapter 611: The Decisive Battle Deliberations
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"Great Minister, what did the brat mean? Things have already reached this state; could he still have some tricks up his sleeve?"
Longqinba turned to look at Dalun Ruozan.
His battle with Sun Liuyue had exhausted a great deal of Longqinba's Stellar Energy, and his armor was covered in scars. At many places, it had even been hacked open, revealing the mangled blood and flesh beneath.
Even so, Longqinba still maintained a vigorous fighting intent.
Dalun Ruozan said nothing, and Huoshu Huicang slightly furrowed his brow. In the past, he might not have treated Wang Chong with contempt, but he would only give him an extra glance, just a single glance.
The situation now was different. Wang Chong's war halos were even powerful enough to affect his Vairocana Buddha. Moreover, if Wang Chong truly did feel that he could still win this war, then Huoshu Huicang could no longer maintain his calm.
Although he did not care for Wang Chong's individual strength, he had to care about the outcome of this war. After all, as a general, his mission was not to defeat his opponent, but to obtain victory.
Under Longqinba's flabbergasted gaze, Huoshu Huicang opened his mouth and asked, "Dalun Ruozan, what do you think his words mean?"
"Milord, do you really think he can still win?" Longqinba yelped, an incredulous look on his face.
"It would be better to believe than to not."
Dalun Ruozan's brow was deeply creased, a pensive look on his face.
"You saw that boy's abilities. Although his words might not all have been real, there's no guarantee that all of them were false. In addition, at this stage in the battle, he has no need to play small tricks
"Pass on my order to keep the entire army ready. For this period of time, arrange for ten groups of soldiers to keep a rotating watch on the Tang. In addition, use kerosene to set up campfires around the camp. I want all the blind spots clearly lit. All patrols, including if the Mengshe Zhao soldiers approach, are required to use secret signals. We can't give them a single chance."
It hadn't been too long ago that Wang Chong had disguised the Tang soldiers as Mengshe Zhao soldiers and attacked the Tibetans. Dalun Ruozan did not want any sort of flaw to appear at this time. If Wang Chong were allowed to raid the camp again and steal enough water to delay another day, the chance that the Tibetans would fail would increase by another percent.
Wang Zhongsi had already departed the Great Tang capital. The situation was completely different from what it had been at the start. Right now, Dalun Ruozan was even more worried than Geluofeng.
"Yes, your subordinate will go."
Several Tibetan messengers quickly left to carry out Dalun Ruozan's orders.
"Great General, what do we do now?"
On the other side, in a camp very far from the Tibetans, two figures were meeting. One was the King of Mengshe Zhao and the other was the Great General of Mengshe Zhao. Not even Crown Prince Feng was privy to this meeting.
"In today's battle, Your Majesty already witnessed the fighting power of the Tang. If we continue to force the assault, our casualties will be grievous. Even if we succeed, the massive price we would have to pay would not be worth it. Dalun Ruozan has already destroyed their water stores. In this point, I agree with Dalun Ruozan. We should halt the fighting for three days. Although we no longer have much time, we have to wait out this period."
Duan Gequan's voice could be heard within the tent.
The sole general of Mengshe Zhao had always remained behind the curtain, rarely speaking. Only now was the truth exposed. The true commander of this battle had been Duan Gequan, not Geluofeng.
"The crucial point is still that youngest son of the Wang Clan. If not for him, we would have won long ago," Geluofeng said.
Right now, whenever he thought of that brat, that son of the Wang Clan, Geluofeng would feel like there was a dagger at his back. Sometimes, he even found it hard to swallow his food. In terms of strength, a martial artist of Wang Chong's level was an ant to Geluofeng, not even qualified to carry his shoes.
At any other place, Geluofeng would have easily squashed him to death.
However, Wang Chong's expertise did not lie in martial arts, but the art of war which was so crucial on the battlefield. In addition, while the two armies were fighting, the sides were clearly divided. Wang Chong standing on the summit would be surrounded by an impenetrable defense, protected by countless experts including Wang Yan and Xianyu Zhongtong.
Thus, no matter how much -Tsang or Mengshe Zhao wanted to kill him, none of them could do anything against him, not even the wise and intelligent Dalun Ruozan.
It was no easy task to kill the opposing commander.
"Be at ease. Wait for three more days. In the final battle, the Annan Protectorate army will be wiped out, and Wang Yan's youngest son naturally won't be able to escape," Duan Gequan indifferently remarked.
"Did Great General notice something today?" Geluofeng hurriedly asked, noticing something.
"Although it is not to the level that Your Majesty has imagined, it is not far."
Duan Gequan nodded.
"That son of the Wang Clan might have an almost absurd grasp of the art of war, even surpassing Zhangchou Jianqiong, but he is not the true commander of the Annan Protectorate army, nor did he train it up. For him to raise the Annan Protectorate army to be such a powerful fighting force in such a short time is enough to leave a deep impression.
"However, there are some flaws that cannot be covered," Duan Gequan indifferently said, a frightening light in his eyes. However, this light quickly died away, all returning to stillness.
And the tent also fell back into silence.
Whether it was the Tibetans, the Mengshe Zhao, or the Tang, all of them felt this day to be almost unbearable. While the commanders of -Tsang and Mengshe Zhao were separately convening to deliberate on their plans, on the summit, the core commanders of the Great Tang had also gathered together.
However, this time, it was not just Wang Chong, Old Eagle, and Chen Shusun. Xianyu Zhongtong, Wang Yan, and Sun Liuyue were present as well.
The six of them sat cross-legged in a circle.
In the center was a crude model. The mountain in the center of this model was surrounded by models displaying the disposition of the Mengshe-Tsang army.
To make a crude model was extremely easy when one had the vantage of the summit.
Wang Yan was the first to break the silence.
"Chong-er, no matter what happens, that you could bring us to this point has already surpassed our expectations. Neither your father nor Lord Xianyu will blame you."
The casualty report was already out. The Annan Protectorate army had taken significant losses in this battle. The army that had neared one hundred thousand when adding in Wang Yan's reinforcements and Wang Chong's reinforcements now numbered a bit more than sixty thousand.
Yet the critical point was not this, but water.
With the water sources of the Annan Protectorate army destroyed, sent gushing over the sides of the mountain, even the slowest soldier had realized the state of the army.
"Lord Wang is correct. No matter the result, no matter how things end, none of us will blame you," Xianyu Zhongtong consolingly said, a sense of understanding in his voice.
The Annan Protectorate army had been vanquished long ago on the shores of the Erhai. That it could last until now was already enough of a miracle. The army of the southwest was now plagued by problems internal and external. It was a dragon trapped in shallow water, its back against the wall.
And the existences of Huoshu Huicang, Dalun Ruozan, Geluofeng, and Duan Gequan completely cut off any retreat.
There was no need to speak of what awaited the Annan Protectorate army.
Sun Liuyue also spoke up. "That's right. Young Master, no matter what happens, we won't blame you. At the very least, we've already made the Tibetans and Mengshe Zhao pay a price."
Sun Liuyue was a taciturn fellow who didn't like to speak. For him to say such words, it was clear that the youngest son of the Wang Clan had truly obtained his respect and acknowledgment.
A bright light flashed across Wang Chong's eyes as he sternly said, "No! Father, Lord Protector-General, I know what you're thinking. However, this battle is far from reaching that level. At the very least, it's not there yet."
"Young Master, you don't need to comfort us"
Chen Shusun finally couldn't help but speak, patting Wang Chong's shoulder as well.
"Uncle Chen, I'm not joking."
Wang Chong solemnly shook his head.
"The words I spoke to Dalun Ruozan were not the bluff that all of you think they were."
For a moment, the entire summit was silent. Everyone was looking at Wang Chong, dumbstruck.
"Chong-er, your meaning is?"
Wang Yan frowned.
Even though he was Wang Chong's father, not even he had understood those words. With things as they were, was there still any chance to counterattack?
"Young Master means that we still have a chance to defeat them?" Sun Liuyue said in surprise.
He was no great expert in the art of war, but he could still tell strong from weak, victory from defeat. In the current situation, with their water stores ruined, Dalun Ruozan only needed to keep up the siege to almost guarantee the defeat of the Annan Protectorate army.
In addition, Great Tang armies were skilled in infantry battles, not cavalry battles. If they abandoned the steel walls on the mountain and left the mountain to fight, that was tantamount to cutting off their own hands and feet. The Tibetans wouldn't even need three days to wipe out the Annan Protectorate army.
"Uncle Liu, you've misunderstood my meaning."
Wang Chong shook his head.
"War has never been purely a battle between soldiers, but a continuation of politics. The outcome of a war is not solely decided by victory or defeat on the battlefield, but victory and defeat outside of it as well. The Great Tang has never been fighting -Tsang and Mengshe Zhao only in one placeat least, not in my view."
The remaining people looked at each other in consternation. Much less Xianyu Zhongtong, even Wang Yan, Wang Chong's father, was rather astonished by these words, baffled as to what he meant.
War was war, and to pure soldiers like them, war had always been about simply defeating the opponent before them. Nothing else was involved.
As for this 'war is a continuation of politics', not even an experienced and famous general like Wang Yan had ever heard of such an argument, much less anyone else.
The circle of people looked at Wang Chong, struggling to find words to say but not knowing where to start.
In terms of understanding of the art of war, no one present was fit to carry Wang Chong's shoes, not even Wang Yan or Xianyu Zhongtong. Wang Chong resided on a completely different level.