The Human Emperor Chapter 729
Chapter 729: Cavalry Attack
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Wang Chong skeptically took the letter and began to read it.
Although his brow was creased at the start, it slowly began to relax, his eyes growing brighter and brighter. Eventually, he put down the letter and gave the youth an extremely odd look.
In the letter, Old Eagle had given a detailed introduction of his disciple, bursting with praise for this unimpressive youth and even claiming that the boy could carry on his legacy and would be of great help to Wang Chong in Wushang.
Old Eagle had particularly mentioned that those who trained birds were completely different from what ordinary people imagined. This was especially the case for those people who gathered intelligence. The more ordinary one was, the less likely they were to attract anyone's notice.
In this aspect, Old Eagle's disciple was a perfect fit.
"Your master said that the eagle on your shoulder is completely different from ordinary eagles. It's a new breed recently produced from your master's hidden chamber and specializes in hunting and killing other birds. Can you give a demonstration?" Wang Chong said.
He was truly rather curious. Old Eagle had always bought his birds from bird sellers and then used a special method to train them into the best and most outstanding hunting birds.
But now things were different. Old Eagle had opened up a hidden chamber where he bred birds through his own special methods to develop unique and specific traits.
Such a thing had never happened before.
"Yes, Lord Marquis!" the youth responded, and stood up. As his head turned to the eagle on his shoulder, his eyes flashed with an astonishing light. In that moment, he appeared like a sword leaving its sheath, a sight so unforgettable that even Wang Chong found himself a little moved.
"Little Sha, strike!"
The youth patted the eagle's back and suddenly gave a sharp whistle. In an instant, the turbid-eyed and dispirited old eagle shook its feathers, and its gaze became incredibly sharp and intimidating.
Wang Chong had seen many birds, including the rock eagles of the Western Regions, the gyrfalcons of Goguryeo, and the Turkic hawk-eagles, but none of them had such an intimidating gaze, sharper even than a sword.
An almost metallic whistle could be heard as the eagle shot into the air like a lightning bolt. Boom! A hole appeared on the opposite wall. The sandalwood boards threaded with metal had been punched through and left shattered and broken. Countless claw marks had been left on them, each of them several inches deep as if the owner of these claws had cut through the boards as easily as tofu.
Creeee! There was another sharp cry as the eagle returned, shattering yet another wall as it flew back into the room and onto the boy's shoulder. As it drew back its metallic wings and drooped its eyes, the eagle returned to its turbid-eyed and dispirited self.
It was like nothing had happened. Only the shattered wood, the holes in the walls, and the deep claw marks served as evidence for what had happened.
"Not bad!" Wang Chong praised, his eyes bright. He finally understood why Old Eagle had dispatched this disciple and this bird.
"You may go now! I need you to watch the movements on the Qixi and -Tsang border. This is the map. In addition, I've written out your instructions here."
As Wang Chong spoke, he took out a prepared map as well as a silk bag and handed them over.
"Yes, Lord Marquis!" the youth affirmed, and took both items before quickly leaving.
Time slowly passed, and night fell.
The winds howled across the vast plains, traveling from the Tibetan Plateau into the skies. The night grew late and the starlight dimmed. This was the moment when everyone tended to fall asleep, when they were at their drowsiest.
Gallop! Suddenly, the earth began to tremble as the sound of galloping hooves came out of the starry night. While almost inaudible at first, it quickly became a thunderous rumbling.
In the dim starlight, one could see thousands of cavalry, wave after wave sweeping forward. These cavalry were fully armed and armored, all of them quiet. They were like demon gods walking through the underworld, and the air was so oppressive as to be stifling.
A harsh shout could be heard. At the very front of the cavalry was a pure-white steed with four hooves of blood. The Tibetan general on its back raised an arm, his body exuding vast waves of energy that caused the space in a radius of several dozen zhang around him to twist and contort.
His eyes looked forward, his expression cold.
"Ahead of us are the lands of the Great Tang. The people from the Qixi Protectorate have already withdrawn, so now is the time for us to move. Does everyone understand tonight's mission?"
"Yes!" all of the soldiers replied in frightening unison.
"Remember, kill Wang Chong and destroy the City of Steel, and tonight will be the night we wash away our -Tsang's shame!"
The Tibetan general unsheathed his scimitar and howled, immediately taking the lead as he plunged down the plateau.
Thousands of highland steeds neighed as they flooded down the plateau, leaving behind thick clouds of dust. They galloped toward the City of Steel with an unstoppable momentum.
In the City of Steel, the light of thousands of furnaces blazed, making the sky as bright as day. Amongst the furnaces, tens of thousands of workmen were busying themselves on the walls.
This place was currently the busiest and most active place in all the Western Regions.
"Careful of the crane!"
"Teams eight and nine, remember to align the modules. Don't leave behind any gaps!"
"Workmen stand aside! Prepare to pour the solder!"
Countless craftsmen directed the work on the walls, issuing order after order. Now that a new batch of wall modules and steel had arrived, the City of Steel had once more become a hive of activity.
"Squads two and three, check on squad four. They went out on patrol, but why haven't they come back yet?"
While all the craftsmen were laboring, the people patrolling around the City of Steel also had no time to rest.
Ever since Fumeng Lingcha had come with his army, the City of Steel had been under heavy guard both day and night, with the range of patrols being expanded even farther.
Right now, if anyone got within ten kilometers of the city, the City of Steel would be warned and could prepare itself.
Outside the city, in the light of the furnaces, the cavalry captain in charge of patrols said, "Milord, squad four was led by Zhang Xiao. He's very strong and has always been cautious. They should be fine." They were all elites who had survived the war of the southwest and had extensive battle experience. They were more than well-equipped to deal with a situation like this.
But before the cavalry captain could finish speaking, a scream came out of the night.
"Ah! Careful, enemy!"
This voice was like a boulder crashing down, instantly sending waves of turmoil through the City of Steel. The tens of thousands of craftsmen working on the walls suddenly stopped and nervously turned in the direction of the scream. The atmosphere was deathly still.
It had always been peaceful and quiet around the City of Steel. Such a situation had never happened before. The most worrying thing was that though no one could see anything or tell what was going on, they could all hear that only someone on the verge of death could scream like that.
"Everyone, get ready!"
The first to react were Cheng Sanyuan and Su Shixuan. The two were in contact with the patrol squads night and day, and they could instantly recognize that this was the voice of fourth squad captain Zhang Xiao.
Zhang Xiao was definitely no weakling. No one knew what his squad had encountered, but one thing was certain: it had been ambushed.
Rumble! Following Cheng Sanyuan and Su Shixuan's orders, the guards around the City of Steel began to gather. In a short while, they had taken up their orderly formations, exuding a dense killing intent of a heavily guarded fortress.
After surviving the war of the southwest, the cavalry under Wang Chong were far superior to ordinary cavalry, both in training and in strength.
While Cheng Sanyuan and Su Shixuan were gathering the guards of the City of Steel, the workmen outside the city sensed the tension of the air and hurriedly fled into the city.
In a flash of white light, Bai Siling and Zhao Yatong mounted the walls. At the same time, another erect figure appeared beside them in a gust of wind.
Upon seeing this figure, the surrounding people lowered their heads and bowed.
"That was Zhang Xiao's voice."
Wang Chong looked into the distance, his expression grim and his brow furrowed. He could remember everyone who had fought together with him, and all those he had brought to the City of Steel had extraordinary strength.
A guard on the wall lowered his head and reported, "Yes, Lord Marquis. As was routine, today was Zhang Xiao's turn to patrol the north, but he has yet to return. Lords Cheng and Su were preparing to send additional squads to check on him when the incident occurred."
Wang Chong said nothing, but his brow furrowed even tighter. It was quiet in the distance. After that wretched scream, there had been no other noise.
Wang Chong suddenly had a very bad feeling.
Zhang Xiao had taken part in the war of the southwest with him, and he was very experienced, his strength and training even more unquestionable. Wang Chong found it very difficult to imagine what sort of situation his squad could have encountered that could instantly wipe it out, without even a single person able to escape.
The strangest thing of all was that standing on the wall, Wang Chong could not hear a single thing in the darkness.
There were only two explanations for this situation. The first was that everyone in the City of Steel had a problem with their ears. The second was that the opponent who had come this time was far stronger than he had imagined.
The City of Steel was still, everyone staring in the direction of the scream.
Time slowly passed, and after some time, a sound could be heard. It was similar to that of galloping hooves, but also completely different. Moreover, it was far too soft a sound.
The atmosphere instantly grew tenser, with even the sounds of breathing growing smaller.
When everyone was silently and nervously waiting, a shrill cry could be heard. It was a very sharp sound, one that none of them had ever heard before.
When he heard this sound, Wang Chong's complexion instantly turned solemn. He seemed to remember something, but in the short time available, he found it difficult to completely understand it.
"Look over there!" someone on the walls nervously shouted, pointing into the distance.