The Human Emperor Chapter 931
Chapter 931: Predicting The Enemy I
Chapter 931: Predicting the Enemy (I)
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Wang Chong stood on the walls, his clothes blown about by the blustery winds. As he looked into the distance, he exuded an air of confidence and grace.
"Light the torches!"
Wang Chong made a gesture, and in an instant, torches were rapidly lit along the walls. Clingclingcling! Oil lamps were let down from the walls along chains, lighting up all the shadowed corners and niches of Talas. Whether the Arabs and Tibetans wanted to make a sneak attack on the steel defense lines or climb the walls of Talas under the cover of darkness, they no longer had any blind spots to use.
Time slowly passed, but the Tibetan, Tang, and Arab camps were all quiet. All three sides seemed extremely restrained and concerned with their own affairs. This state of affairs lasted deep into the night, all the way until the Zi Period.
But the mood around Talas did not relax, only grew tenser and tenser. To the east, west, and in Talas at the very middle, the soldiers on guard were completely focused, growing even more cautious as the night went on.
As the Zi Period passed, the darkness grew deeper, and the drowsiness hung heavier.
Everyone knew that this was when night raids most frequently took place.
At the edge of the eastern battlefield, the cries of vultures came from above the blazing bonfires. Around six thousand Tibetan soldiers were patrolling along the perimeter formed by the bonfires. The area they patrolled was crossed by newly constructed fences and dotted with tall sentry towers.
It was difficult to imagine that a nomadic civilization in Ü-Tsang had been able to pick up the tactics of the Central Plains so quickly.
A Tibetan commander stood in front of a sentry post and loudly ordered, "Stay focused! The Great Tang commander loves sneak attacks! Keep your eyes sharp! Don't let a Tang get through the gaps."
The Tibetan soldiers sounded off from the various sentry points. Their wary eyes peered like hawks at their surroundings. In these circumstances, no one could break the Tibetan defense line without being discovered. Gallop! Tibetan cavalry kicked up clouds of dust as they patrolled through the dark night.
The tight patrols of cavalry and the multiple sentry posts created an airtight defense that ensured the safety of the Tibetan and Turkic camps.
Time marched on. Dark clouds obscured the moon, casting the surroundings into an even deeper gloom.
After some time…
Outside the southern defense line of the Tibetan camp, rumbling hooves immediately raised the vigilance of the Tibetans.
"Who goes there!"
Creaking could be heard from a high sentry post as a Tibetan suddenly turned and pulled on a large bow, the sharp arrow pointed toward the direction of the noise. At almost the same time, all the patrolling cavalry within a radius of several hundred zhang began rushing toward the location in a din of clattering armor and neighing horses.
Countless eyes peered out of the darkness in the direction of the approaching horse hooves. Through the light of the fires, one could see innumerable figures rapidly approaching.
"Don't attack! We're on your side!"
A voice spoken in panicked Tibetan came out of the darkness. At the sound of these familiar words, the sentry grew only more worried, not less. Thwish! The arrow let out a piercing whistle as it landed in front of those approaching figures.
"Stop immediately! Get off your horses and remove your helmets! I want to see your faces!
"This is Great Minister's order! Any who defy it will be executed!" the sentry soldier shouted. As he spoke, he threw a torch from the sentry tower.
The torch drew a dazzling arc through the air, but then there was the thwish of an arrow as the torch was shot down in mid-air.
"Hahaha, Dalun Ruozan is truly formidable to have already prepared for this. Brothers, retreat!"
The voice cheerfully spoke in Tibetan before the figure swung his hand down and led the soldiers away, not even entering the light of the bonfires.
The Tibetan still hadn't figured out what was going on when he heard furious bellows and the sounds of horses galloping off in pursuit.
"Stop! Come back right now!"
A Tibetan officer riding a muscular highland steed galloped forward and stopped the other soldiers. "The Great Minister has ordered that there is to be no pursuit! Remember that they might have set up an ambush!"
The neighing of the horses quickly settled down as the pursuing Tibetan cavalry swiftly withdrew.
"These Tibetans really are quite impressive. Not a single one of them took the bait!"
Sun Zhiming watched the Tibetans retreat in the darkness, a look of interest in his eyes.
Behind Sun Zhiming, a cavalryman who had taken part in the war of the southwest noted, "Dalun Ruozan is truly impressive. He well deserves his reputation as a wise minister! Even Lord Marquis praises him. Moreover, he already experienced Lord Marquis's sneak attacks in the southwest and took precautions. This move of ours will be practically useless against him."
"Haha, it's even more fun because he's made precautions. Retreat for now. In any case, we still have an entire night to play with the Tibetans!"
Sun Zhiming gave a careless grin and swiftly set off with his men into the depths of the darkness.
Meanwhile, the news that the Tang had attempted to disguise themselves as Tibetans and raid the Tibetan camp was sent back to the commander's tent in the hills. The tent was brightly lit, and the precious map of the continent was laid out on a round pitch-black table. Sitting next to this table were Dalun Ruozan, Huoshu Huicang, Dusong Mangpoje, and Duwu Sili.
"Just as Great Minister predicted, that boy really did try and use that move again!"
Huoshu Huicang snorted in derision upon hearing the news.
"Haha, he tried the same method twice? It seems I overestimated him."
Dalun Ruozan gave a leisurely grin. In his view, Wang Chong had clearly hit the extent of his abilities, only able to employ these childish and meaningless tricks.
"If this is all he has for tonight, we might all be able to sleep easy tonight."
"Could it be that this is all he had and Great Minister overestimated him a little?" Duwu Sili finally spoke, a tinge of resentment in his tone. "This is only a teenager. It's not like he could have started learning the art of war and martial arts from the womb, right?"
Although he was somewhat unwilling to admit it, for the first time in his life, his Celestial Wolf's Divine Procession had encountered an opponent it could not defeat, and this was an opponent whose strength and cultivation level were lower than his own. For this to happen in front of Great Generals like Huoshu Huicang and Dusong Mangpoje made Duwu Sili feel like he had lost all his dignity.
Dusong Mangpoje had his head lowered, and he slightly frowned at these words, but he said nothing.
"Haha, General's words are reasonable, but there is no harm in being cautious. It's better that we take precautions against any accidents."
Dalun Ruozan chuckled and did not attempt to retort.
Dalun Ruozan would never look down on an opponent who had defeated him once, but he didn't need to explain that to Duwu Sili.
"Great Minister, do you need me to join the patrols?" Dusong Mangpoje suddenly offered. "This way, if the Tang try anything, I can move out and cut off their retreat."
"There's no need!"
Dalun Ruozan's smile turned into a frown as he swiftly rejected Dusong Mangpoje's proposal. In the battle of the triangular gap, Dayan Mangban had been killed and Dusong Mangpoje's army of tens of thousands had been almost wiped out. Ever since that battle, Dusong Mangpoje had been anxious to get revenge, even prostrating in front of the Great Snow Mountain Holy Temple. Dalun Ruozan naturally understood what he was thinking, but now was not the time to make decisions based on emotion.
"A general should hold the center of the army. It is impossible to do everything personally. Leave these minor matters for your subordinates. Moreover, the Tang are crafty—both Wang Chong and Gao Xianzhi are skilled in schemes and deception. If they were to learn that you were taking part in the patrols, they could have you running around until you're completely exhausted, never giving you any time to rest. Then, when a battle occurs, your defeat will be assured."
Dalun Ruozan's expression was exceptionally grim.
Fire crackled in the tent as Dusong Mangpoje fell silent and finally gave a nod.
The darkness continued to deepen, with even the dim moonlight now fading. Fifteen minutes later, when Dalun Ruozan and the others were still discussing countermeasures in the tent, galloping came from the center of the Tibetan defense line.
"Who goes there?!"
Creaking could be heard as arrows were aimed into the darkness. The Tibetans were still at the ready, the sound of anyone approaching immediately triggering their reaction. Breaking through their defense line was no easy task.
"It's us! Don't attack!
"We were dispatched under Great General Duwu Sili's orders and have come to the Tibetan camp to report on the mission!"
A voice came out of the darkness, speaking in rather choppy Tibetan.
"A Western Turk?"
A hint of surprise flashed through the eyes of the sentries as they slowly loosened their bowstrings. Down below, a muscular and tanned Tibetan general also slowly sheathed his saber. They could clearly see in the light of the fire that the men opposite were wearing the armor of the Western Turks.
The Tibetan general swung down his arm and ordered, "Put down your bows! No one is allowed to fire without my order!" His vigilant eyes began to relax.
The Western Turks and Tibetans were allies. Although they had different languages, they shared a common enemy. If they started killing each other due to a misunderstanding, it would have a poor effect on the overall situation.
"Many thanks!" the 'Western Turk' shouted as he led his soldiers forward. No one noticed the smug smile on the lips of the 'Western Turk' leader.