The Human Emperor Chapter 765
Chapter 765: The Alarmed Qixi Protectorate
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The other vultures quickly turned and flew off in panic.
Zhang Que and his team noticed this and gave off another whistle, quickly calling their rock eagles back. 'Don't chase a cornered enemy' was a principle that wasn't just suitable in a battle between two armies, but in a battle between birds as well.
"Pass on my order! Prepare for battle!"
As Wang Chong watched the vultures flee, his smile slowly faded and his expression turned grim. These ten-some vultures were just the first wave of scouting. It was good enough to make them flee.
But this was not the most important thing. What was important was that since the scouting vultures had appeared, the Tibetan army wasn't far behind.
Before the first wave had even settled, the next arrived. Not long after the vultures had fled, another set of sharp cries could be heard in the air, but these were completely different from the cries of the vultures. To the right of Wang Chong's army, from a direction that no one had expected, several old eagles suddenly appeared.
These old eagles did not fly very close, stopping seven to eight hundred zhang away before beginning to circle in the air as if observing something.
Wang Chong appeared a little surprised as he looked up at those circling eagles, but he quickly began to smile.
"Lord Marquis, shall we eliminate those eagles?" A young and immature voice came from his side. Zhang Que was also looking up at those eagles, his eyes bursting with an intense will to fight and kill. He would not permit a single error in the marquis's plan, nor would he let any person observe as they pleased.
No matter who their owners were, as long as those birds were in the sky and the Lord Marquis gave the order, he would wipe them out.
The one mistake from the White Braves assault was enough. Zhang Que would not allow a second mistake.
"There's no need."
Wang Chong indifferently waved his hand, rejecting Zhang Que's suggestion.
"There are some birds that you can eliminate, but there are others that you can't. Don't worry about these eagles. Let them do what they want. They won't affect us."
Zhang Que was still young, so it was normal for him to be cautious and want to wipe out any spies in the sky. But Wang Chong had immediately noticed the golden hoops on the right claws of these eagles, a sign that they belonged to the Qixi Protectorate army. It was clear that his construction of fortifications on the border had not only attracted the attention of the Tibetans, but of the nearby Qixi Protectorate army as well.
Since they belonged to the military system, Wang Chong naturally couldn't eliminate those eagles.
He had just barely spoken when a vigorous voice behind him began to ponder. "This… I believe there was Xiluo Na, Heba Ye, and Qunan Dun. Xiluo Na is currently garrisoned on the steppe between Qixi and the Western Turkic Khaganate. His status is on the same level as Pulan He, perhaps even a little higher. In addition, Qunan Dun is also defending against the Turkic soldiers with him. If nothing else has changed, then after Pulan He's death, the one replacing him to guard the western border of the Qixi Protectorate against the plateau should be Heba Ye."
Li Siye had served in Beiting, and though he hadn't achieved the rank of general, he had been one of the highest levels of officer, almost on the verge of being promoted to commandant. As a pure soldier, Li Siye had a significant understanding of the army.
Coupled with the fact that Beiting and Qixi were very close to each other and often cooperated in defense, he also had some understanding of the Qixi Protectorate army. It was exaggerating to say he knew it like the back of his hand, but he had some basic knowledge, like the well-known generals in its ranks.
Wang Chong began to look through his memories, a pensive look on his face.
He had a little understanding of the person behind this name. Compared to Pulan He, Heba Ye was more proactive, and while he commanded the army, he attacked the plateau more often than Pulan He. Unfortunately, his flaws in this aspect were fairly obvious.
This flaw was that once he failed to obtain the desired result from his operations, or when he failed in the most serious cases, Heba Ye would become abnormally defensive, more defensive than even those generals who had conservative natures. It was not one bit excessive to say that he was a turtle drawing back into its shell.
In the early stages, the Qixi Protectorate army adjacent to Ü-Tsang would occasionally launch an offensive, but during Heba Ye's tenure, the entire line began to retract and enter a passive state.
Wang Chong remembered that he had once studied material on this matter and have even been tested on it by several of his seniors from the military. He had given the following assessment: Heba Ye truly was a proactive person, and even at his most conservative, he still proactively sought out chances to attack. But his proactiveness was the sort where he had to be absolutely confident, where victory was certain. To put it another way, he was a practitioner of 'conservative proactiveness'.
But how could there ever be an opportunity for certain victory? Thus, in the later stages, Heba Ye trended toward the other extreme, entering a completely defensive state that took not even the smallest risk.
So it was him!
Wang Chong shook his head and grinned, quickly casting the thought aside.
"Get ready! Inspect all the beehives, ballista bolts, and warhorses one more time…"
Wang Chong urged his horse forward.
In the air, an eagle circled a few times before flying back the way it came.
A few moments later, in the main camp on the Qixi Protectorate army's eastern line, a general with coarse, rough skin and an extremely determined face suddenly stood up from his chair in astonishment. "What! The people from Wushang City have constructed a fortification on the plateau?"
"Yes, Milord. They prepared a large amount of steel and brought more than five thousand craftsmen. In addition, they have six to seven thousand soldiers! They've currently gathered more than ten thousand people," the kneeling scout said.
Heba Ye's eyes went wide, and he found himself momentarily speechless. This was far too surprising. He had a little understanding of this Young Marquis, but… Hadn't he just finished constructing his City of Steel? Why had he run off to the plateau? Didn't he know that this was the Qixi Protectorate army's territory?
Just what he was he up to with ten thousand people?
"Milord, when we arrived, we noticed Tibetan vultures flying around. The Tibetans presumably noticed their activity and have probably dispatched soldiers. Should we send soldiers to assist?" the scout inquired.
Protecting Qixi Protectorate army and the Great Tang civilians and merchants that traversed this area was the understood duty of the Qixi Protectorate army. Wushang's ten-thousand-some people, with more than five thousand being craftsmen, could never stop the Tibetan army.
"There's no need." Heba Ye immediately rejected the idea. The mobilization of the army was no trifling matter, and though the ten thousand people of Wushang were important, the safety of the Qixi Protectorate army was even more important. He could not risk the lives of tens of thousands of soldiers. But Heba Ye quickly began to hesitate.
"No, wait a moment. This is a serious matter. Quickly notify the Protector-General and have him determine what should be done! In addition, dispatch more scouts and eagles. I want to know the moment something happens. The Lord of Wushang is the Young Marquis of the Great Tang, the Sage Emperor's personal disciple. If something happens to him, none of us will be able to bear the consequences!"
The scout quickly left with his orders. A few moments later, a messenger bird took off, flying toward the nearby Qixi Protectorate headquarters.
"What is this boy thinking!"
In the Qixi Protectorate headquarters, Fumeng Lingcha had been drinking tea in his chair, but when he received the news, he stood up in shock. This was the most surprising news he had received since Wang Chong had entered Wushang. He would never have expected that the first thing Wang Chong would do after getting a foothold in Wushang was to run off to the Tibetan Plateau.
"Lord Protector-General, this really doesn't make sense! Just what did this Wang Clan scion come to Wushang for? Does he want to attack the Tibetans? But with just his ten-thousand-some people, and five thousand being craftsmen who don't know martial arts, isn't that idea just ridiculous?" said a confused voice. Fumeng Lingcha was not the only one puzzled by this matter. The subordinates who stood guard at his side were just as confused.
"But if he wasn't aiming to deal with the Tibetans, why would he run off to the plateau? Does he not know of the risks?" the other Qixi officer said.
The hall instantly fell quiet. In the war of the southwest, Wang Chong had made an enormous contribution. If one said that he had brought just this many people with him to the plateau for something else other than dealing with the Tibetans, no one would believe it, yet if one said that he had done so to deal with the Tibetans, they would find the idea even more absurd.
The plateau was chilly and far above sea level, the air thin. Even Fumeng Lingcha and the other Hu could only stay a while before withdrawing their army, and they even had to constantly relieve the garrisons, so how could the Han be capable of this feat? Moreover, if the Tibetans couldn't win, they would just run. That was their land, and they knew every grass and shrub like the back of their hands. Could someone be more familiar with that place than them?
If the Tibetans refused battle, anything Wang Chong did would be meaningless. Moreover, the plateau was perfect for the Tibetan charge. It was highly possible that not even scraps would be left of Wang Chong's ten thousand men.
Then the question was, why had Wang Chong led his forces there?
Had he lost his mind?
For a moment, even those extremely experienced veteran officers in the hall were baffled.
In the end, it was still Fumeng Lingcha who broke the silence. "Heh, I was even thinking about how to deal with that brat. I didn't think that he would run off to attack the Tibetans. He did this himself, so even if the Imperial Court investigates, I can profess complete innocence." His eyes narrowed with a chilly light.
"Pass on my order. Tell Heba Ye that he should remain where he is. Without my order, he is forbidden from sending reinforcements. In addition, if that boy from the Wang Clan dies in battle, immediately inform me. Although I won't help him, I still have to recover his corpse, or else those old censors in the court will come and make trouble for me again."
The messenger quickly left with the order.