The Human Emperor Chapter 899
Chapter 899: Open Scheme
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"Haha, good words! Whether it’s the Turks, the Tibetans, or the Arabs, when has the Great Tang feared any of the countries on its borders? Lord Protector-General, whatever you plan on doing, I will do everything as you say, so do whatever you wish. I will do my utmost to cooperate!" Gao Xianzhi declared, his eyes twinkling. In this seventeen-year-old youth, he could sense that passion that he had lost long ago.
Who cared about the Tibetans? Who cared about the Arabs?
In the past, hadn't he relied on himself, rushing to and fro across the Western Regions, impulsive and aggressive, in the end gaining the favor of the Sage Emperor and becoming Anxi Protector-General and Western Regions War God?
Wang Chong felt his confidence swell at these words. Perhaps in terms of elite powerhouses, the Great Tang could not compare to the Arabs, Tibetans, and Turks, but one War Saint from another timeline and one Anxi War God was quite impressive. And when had the Great Tang ever conquered its enemies with overwhelming numbers?
Moreover, in the art of war, it was said that while direct methods could be used to begin the fighting, indirect and unconventional methods would be needed to win the battle. On the battlefield, one could not always rely on 'surprise soldiers' to win. A proper commander, whether on level ground or outnumbered, would have to rely on an outstanding ability to command to utterly crush their opponent in a direct confrontation.
This sort of battle had no tricks. It was the ultimate manifestation of strategic and military skill!
This was a true clash of commanders!
Wang Chong turned to the distant Turko-Tibetan army and indifferently asked, "Zhang Que, have you been able to find out the total number of enemies?"
"Replying to Lord Marquis: we don't have enough rock eagles to contend with the Tibetan vulture army and were unable to get close, so we could only get a rough estimate. The Tibetans have seventy-thousand-some people while the Turks have forty-thousand-some. All of their soldiers are elites!"
Zhang Que's young voice came from behind the four Tang commanders. He was kneeling respectfully on the ground, his rock eagle Little Sha perched on his shoulder.
The Tibetans had brought a vast number of vultures with them, their flocks blocking out the sun and casting a dreadful shadow. Coupled with the Arabian Empire's hunting falcons, the Great Tang's aerial surveillance was now under incredible pressure. Only by relying on master archers on the ground to intimidate enemy birds were the rock eagles able to obtain a little space to maneuver.
Just this forty-thousand estimate for the Turkic army had required Little Sha to personally fly into the skies on a risky surveillance mission.
"Seventy-thousand-some Tibetans and forty-thousand-some Turks, making for an army of around one hundred and twenty thousand. That's good enough! Since the Tibetans and Western Turks aren't willing to attack for now, we'll force them to attack!"
Amidst the fierce winds, Wang Chong held his hands behind his back and gazed at the distant hills. His entire body naturally exuded an intimidating aura, the identity of the supreme War Saint of the Central Plains melding with his current identity as Qixi Protector-General. The current Wang Chong carried none of the immaturity of a seventeen-year-old youth. This was a commander with a domineering gaze and foundation that stretched deep into the earth. Wang Yan and Gao Xianzhi could not help but widen their eyes in astonishment.
"Senior Zhang, begin!" Wang Chong said without turning his head.
"Zhang Shouzhi begins now!"
Zhang Shouzhi and the foremen quickly boarded carriages and set off.
There was a massive boom as the two defensive lines suddenly seemed to gain a life of their own, beginning to rapidly extend. Boomboomboom! Under the machine-like laboring of the craftsmen, one massive steel wall after another was erected on the earth.
The black smoke surging into the skies and this sudden construction activity immediately attracted the attention of both the Arabs and the Tibetans.
"What are these Tang doing? Don't they already have two defense lines? Do they have some sort of scheme?"
At the top of a hill, Dusong Mangpoje couldn't help but arch a brow at this sight. Although he had only one experience with Wang Chong's steel fortresses, these steel walls had left an indelible impression on this Ü-Tsang Imperial Great General. After all, Dusong Mangpoje had suffered the greatest defeat of his life before them.
Those steel defense lines made Dusong Mangpoje instinctively wary, casting a shadow on his heart.
Dalun Ruozan said nothing, but his eyebrows slowly began to crease.
"He plans to completely cut us off from Abu Muslim," Dalun Ruozan finally said, his eyes narrowing.
He was probably the only person in the world who could understand Wang Chong's thought process. Though he had lost in the war of the southwest, he had pushed Wang Chong to the very end of his limits. And in those several months in the royal capital's prison, he had reviewed, analyzed, and researched that battle multiple times.
Dalun Ruozan well understood that Wang Chong would never do anything without meaning. His every action was for the purpose of some particular goal.
"What do you mean? Aren't we going to coordinate with the Arabs to attack the Tang from the east and west? What's the point in his doing that?" Duwu Sili confusedly asked.
Long before he had set off, Ishbara Khagan had sent him a great deal of information regarding Wang Chong. But information was information, while the person himself was an entirely different matter. Duwu Sili actually didn't have much of an understanding of this person who had extorted two hundred thousand high-quality warhorses from the Western Turkic Khaganate.
"This is different."
Dalun Ruozan shook his head, his expression turning grave as he stared at the billowing smoke.
"When we and the Arabs coordinate and attack from the east and west, our three forces can combine into one allied force. We will be one side while the Great Tang will be another side. If he uses those steel walls to divide us, the Great Tang can stand in the middle and deal with us separately, turning two parties into three parties. We will make up one party, the Arabs will be another, and the Great Tang will be the third.
"In addition, if the Great Tang succeeds in dividing us, our ability to communicate with the Arabs will be hampered. This is extremely disadvantageous to us, and we might only be able to communicate with Abu Muslim by messenger bird," Dalun Ruozan said.
"So, you were originally hoping that if the battle seemed to be proceeding poorly, we could change strategies and join with the Arabs to attack the Tang together?" Duwu Sili asked.
"I did have this idea, but it seems like that's not possible now," Dalun Ruozan softly said, his eyes still gazing into the distance.
Wang Chong always had a way to use the simplest method to make a clear situation complicated. Even as an enemy, Dalun Ruozan had to admire this feat.
In his grasp of strategy, he's probably the finest mind in the Central Plains. Everyone says that Wang Zhongsi is the War God of the Central Plains, but not even he could compare to him in understanding of the art of war!
Dalun Ruozan mentally sighed.
As Great Minister of the Ngari Royal Lineage, he had kept up a stalemate in the southwest with Tiger of the Empire Zhangchou Jianqiong for many years, but never had he ever felt so threatened by a single person. So dazzling was this talent that one could only sigh in praise, and Dalun Ruozan swore that he would destroy it.
As long as this person existed, Ü-Tsang would never be able to rest easy.
"Can we really not work our way around?" Huoshu Huicang reluctantly said, his eyes focused on the distant walls. The more than one hundred thousand soldiers of the Turko-Tibetan army and the approximately two hundred and seventy thousand soldiers of the Arabian Empire had been so easily divided up by Wang Chong's trifling steel walls, leaving them to fight their own battles. This was no longer three parties attacking the Tang, but the Tang dividing them up and fighting them individually. It was a fact that was somewhat difficult to accept.
Dalun Ruozan shook his head and shot a glance at the lofty walls of Talas.
"This was decided by the terrain. He's only exploiting it to his advantage.
"Talas has extremely complicated geography. Even though it is surrounded by plains, the area around these plains is one of deep ravines and gullies, steep hills and mountains, all of them very difficult to climb. This terrain was why the people of the Shi Kingdom chose to build a city here," Dalun Ruozan calmly said.
He had chosen Talas as the place to crush the Great Tang and completely rework the structure of the Western Regions, so he knew the place like the back of his hand.
"To the rear of Talas are some extremely steep cliffs, and there exists only a narrow gap between the walls and those cliffs, leaving the best path through those plains in front of us. But now, Wang Chong has used his two steel walls to cut that path off and prevent us from joining together, altering his position from passive to active. If my guess is correct, he will also leave a gap, not building out his walls to the very end."
"Surround three and leave one open!" Dalun Ruozan firmly answered.
And as if responding to Dalun Ruozan's words, that frenzied construction of those two lines of steel walls suddenly began to slow, leaving behind a narrow gap at the edge of the plains.
At almost the same time, Wang Chong had waved his hand and given the order to halt.
"Surround three and leave one open! Leave a path for them."
"Little Brother, that Dalun Ruozan isn't someone easy to deal with. This strategy of yours of intentionally leaving a path open won't be able to fool Dalun Ruozan."
Wang Chong's big brother Wang Fu walked out, his armor clanging and clattering.
"I'm not trying to hide it, because he already knows," Wang Chong indifferently said, his eyes fixed upon that refined figure on the hill. His expression remained confident and relaxed. "There are hidden schemes and open schemes. This scheme is a clear and upright open scheme, and Dalun Ruozan can do nothing about it, no matter how much he understands it. The superior general breaks the enemy's schemes, and attacking morale is always the better course of action!"