The Human Emperor Chapter 654
Chapter 654: The Mountain Of God
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"If Great Minister has a question, then please, speak."
The Tsenpo who had been enraged just a moment ago seemed to change into a completely different person, his face filling with joy and amity as Dalon Trinling stepped forth.
Upon saying these words, the Tsenpo shifted his gaze to the two guards.
"You two, withdraw for me!"
The two royal capital guards quickly withdrew from the hall, shutting the door as they left.
"The Sage Emperor of the Great Tang is rewarding that youngest son of the Wang Clan at this very moment. Do you know of this matter?"
Dalon Trinling's gaze was sharp. He took two steps forward and stared at Dalun Ruozan, going straight to the main topic.
Dalun Ruozan was stunned by this news and raised his head. Dalun Ruozan was well aware of the significance of the Sage Emperor's rewarding Wang Chong. The -Tsang Empire had suffered such a bitter defeat entirely because of the seventeen-year-old Wang Chong.
Now that the Sage Emperor was richly rewarding Wang Chong, that youngest son of the Wang Clan would gradually begin to do more and more for the Great Tang, present more and more of a threat to the -Tsang Empire.
"Hmph, very good. It looks like you've noticed. The southwestern war has already passed. No matter how many warriors the Ngari Royal Lineage lost or how massive is the scope of this plague, all of it is the past. Death is inevitable in war, and prices must be paid. In our past wars with the Great Tang, we have suffered defeats of even greater magnitude. But even so, we did not come away empty-handed. At the very least, we know of a name. Wang Chong, wasn't it?"
Dalon Trinling snorted. His gaze was as sharp as the edge of a saber, its cold light piercing through even the smoke in the hall.
Astonished, Dalun Ruozan hurriedly lowered his head in subservience.
"Victory and defeat are both commonplace for a soldier. Regardless of the price we have paid today, in the future, the Great Tang will pay an even greater price. But before that why don't you tell us about this Wang Chong?"
In the clouds of smoke, Dalun Ruozan's voice alone rang out through the hall.
"Your Majesty, Great Minister, in the southwestern war, Ruozan is undoubtedly responsible for the defeat of the empire. No matter what punishment is issued, this guilty subject is willing to accept it. But that youngest son of the Wang Clan If it really is as Great Minister says, that he has received the great favor of the Great Tang's Sage Emperor, then in the future, he will definitely become a fatal affliction for all of -Tsang. His demeanor is composed and confident. Even in the most intense and perilous moments of the battle, when the Great Tang army was on the verge of being annihilated, he remained unpanicked and continued to command the army.
"Moreover, his tactics and strategy are mysterious and seemingly limitless, utterly impossible to predict. More importantly, although he is only seventeen, he is farsighted, his methods vicious. This sheep plague is his handiwork.
"For him to have such foresight and stratagems at only the age of seventeen, I'm afraid that if he is allowed to mature, that old incident of the royal capital will repeat itself!"
These final words seemed to thud against the ground, throwing the entire hall into an uproar.
Whether it was the Imperial Great Minister Dalon Trinling or the most revered Tsenpo of the -Tsang Empire sitting in the rear, everyone was stupefied. Not even Dalon Trinling, who had begun this line of questioning, had ever expected Dalun Ruozan's assessment of that youngest son of the Wang Clan to be so high.
The old incident of the royal capital!
Any Tibetan understood what this phrase represented.
-Tsang was protected by natural barriers. A lofty altitude and a thin atmosphere were the -Tsang Empire's best defenses. All the foreign warriors who entered this place would find their strength greatly limited. Only the Tibetans, the natural inhabitants of this world, remained unaffected.
As a result, Tibetans also called themselves the 'people chosen by heaven'.
But it wasn't like -Tsang had remained totally undefeated throughout history. At least in the last century or so, the walls of -Tsang's royal capital had been breached twice. The first incident was during the era of Tang Taizong by the War God Su Zhengchen.
The second time was twenty-three years ago by the Great Tang War God, now Crown Prince's Junior Guardian, Wang Zhongsi. Although he had not actually entered the royal capital, there had been scarcely a difference.
This was because all the important officials, the Tsenpo included, as well as all the people in the royal capital, had already retreated far away.
The royal capital they left behind had been an empty city.
It was precisely because Wang Zhongsi saw an empty city that he decided to withdraw his troops. But that unstoppable edge and the large-scale upheaval and panic the incident had caused across the plateau had made it so that all Tibetans would feel a deep fear whenever they heard Wang Zhongsi's name.
In the southwestern war, the entire Ngari Royal Lineage had essentially been crippled, but that was still only a local war. -Tsang had four royal domains and one royal capital, so the losses suffered by the Ngari Royal Lineage were not too great of a wound to the overarching -Tsang Empire.
The true factor was the sheep plague.
However, Dalun Ruozan was saying that this Wang Chong also had the potential to repeat that old incident and breach the walls of the royal capital!
This was an assessment of the highest order, especially since in the past few decades, the -Tsang Empire had done all it could to increase the prosperity of the empire, and had even begun to learn the forging methods of the Great Tang. It had purchased a great quantity of refined iron and weapons, and also begun to raise and breed many warhorses so that it could train a large army of elite cavalry. Dalun Ruozan's assessment in the present seemed even more inconceivable.
"Great Minister, Your Majesty, this guilty subject has seen many renowned officials and generals of the Great Tang while presiding over the Ngari Royal Lineage, including the Great Tang Minister of War Zhangchou Jianqiong and Longxi's Geshu Han. But none of them could make me feel so threatened as that youngest son of the Wang Clan. This lowly subject advises that no matter what cost we must pay, we must eliminate that youngest son of the Wang Clan!"
Dalun Ruozan spoke these final words with utmost sincerity.
The generals and ministers of the Four Royal Lineages could not enter the royal capital as they pleased. Dalun Ruozan keenly understood that this was his last and only chance to convince the Tsenpo and the Great Minister.
"For this matter, I know what we must do!"
Dalon Trinling stared into Dalun Ruozan's eyes. After a long time, he slowly closed his eyes. The fragrant smoke cloaked his body, making his figure indistinct, but a faint resolve could already be seen on the intelligent face of the Imperial Great Minister.
The Imperial Great Minister and the Royal Great Ministers had all made their name through their intelligence!
In some cases, a few short words were enough to voice many questions.
"It truly is a divine mountain!"
At this moment, while the royal capital of the -Tsang Empire was submerged in silence, in the distant southwest of the Great Tang, an erect figure, sumptuously dressed and with a long and slender face, was standing at the base of a mountain. This middle-aged man carried an air of elegance and confidence as he stood there, a white oil paper umbrella decorated with images of pear blossoms in his hand.
Before his eyes was the place where Wang Chong and his one hundred thousand Annan Protectorate army soldiers had fought their desperate battle and defeated the five hundred thousand soldiers of the Mengshe-Tsang army.
This nameless mountain in the Great Tang's southwest had gained a new name after the war: the Mountain of God. It had already become a mountain of good luck and fortune to the southwest.
The southwestern war had just been too inconceivable!
One hundred thousand soldiers had defeated the five hundred thousand valiant warriors of the Mengshe-Tsang army, even killing four hundred thousand!
At the crucial moment of the battle, when the Tang soldiers were running short on water, they actually managed to dig water out of the bare mountain surface!
If a god was not watching over them, how could all this be explained?
So this mountain of the southwest must be a divine mountain.
As for that young man from the Wang Clan who had stood at the peak of this mountain, energetically commanding his one hundred thousand soldiers and vanquishing the Mengshe-Tsang army with a faint smile on his face, protecting the nearly one million civilians of the southwest, he was naturally the incarnation of this god, perhaps even the god's son.
Because only he was able to summon that supreme deity!
The mountain was covered in bruises. After that intense battle, its surface was uneven, with many places showing marks of explosions of energy and fierce combat. All over, one could see that the tan soil of the mountain had turned a reddish-brown.
In a few areas that had been depressed the most, it was even possible to see dried purplish objects. These were condensed pieces of blood.
The middle-aged man's eyes were half-closed as he took in a deep breath, smelling that thick stench of blood that still had yet to dissipate. The man showed no signs of disgust. On the contrary, he seemed to be a little intoxicated.
To some people, war was a vicious plague that should be avoid at all costs.
But to other people, it was the finest source of nourishment!
War was paradise to those warriors who truly craved battle!
The most beautiful sights were there for them to witness!
The moment where life faded away was the most gorgeous of vistas.
The middle-aged man fully closed his eyes, facing the divine mountain as he began to imagine the hundreds of thousands of warriors on both sides charging to fill their lines and being cut down like wheat stalks. The intoxication on his face increased, thickened.
The man let out a long moan.
King Song's arrival had completely altered the situation in the southwest. All the soldiers of the Annan Protectorate army had left with King Song to the border between the Great Tang and Mengshe Zhao. The 'Mountain of God' was currently deserted.
"Your Highness, the Annan Protectorate army might be patrolling this area. We should move quickly. Don't forget, His Majesty entrusted us with the task of investigating the truth behind the grievous defeat of the Mengshe-Tsang alliance!"
A man nearby spoke. Although he was dressed like those merchants who frequently traversed the Tea Horse Road, beneath his clothes, he was all muscle. His eyes, which were constantly and warily observing his surroundings, and the long package wrapped in white cloth at his waist both indicated his true identity.
This was a powerful warrior, and no ordinary one either. Only one kind of person would have his sort of straight posture: a soldier.
"Hahaha, what are you afraid of? The southwestern war is already over. The attention of the Tang is all on the Erhai border. If there's nothing happening, what would they be doing running over here?"
The slender-faced man raised his pear blossom umbrella and laughed, his expression leisurely and free.
His demeanor and expression made it very hard to believe that this man was one of the eight kings beneath Yeon Gaesomun of Goguryeo in the northeast, holding the same title as King Sosurim but standing at an even higher level, 'King Micheon1'.
1. Historically, King Sosurim was the seventeenth King of Goguryeo and Micheon was the fifteenth King of Goguryeo. They lived centuries before the Tang Dynasty. There is probably some significance in Yeon Gaesomun conferring the names of ancient kings from Goguryeo's history on his subordinates.