The Human Emperor Chapter 941
Chapter 941: Dalun Ruozans Bewilderment
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"At least six thousand!" Li Siye said.
In the Tibetan camp, it was impossible for him to get an exact count of the number killed, only make a rough estimate. Even so, that a raiding force of around four thousand was able to kill around six thousand while suffering losses of around sixty of their own was truly a major success.
"Not bad! This means that the Tibetans and Western Turks together have around sixty thousand men left. The space and methods available to Dalun Ruozan are getting smaller and smaller. We can presume that he will be even more cautious with his future operations."
Gao Xianzhi gave a satisfied nod.
Wang Chong and Gao Xianzhi's goal in the raid on the Tibetans had been exceptionally clear: efficiently damaging their enemy's effective strength, constantly grinding away at the number of men under Dalun Ruozan's command.
In this aspect, the night raid had achieved its goal.
"What of Lord Gao?" Wang Chong asked.
Just like Gao Xianzhi did not know the specific details of the raid on the Tibetans, Wang Chong did not know what Gao Xianzhi had done. All the details, including the number of losses, were only known by Gao Xianzhi and Cheng Qianli, the highest-ranked commanders of the Anxi Protectorate army.
"Hahah, the operation turned out exactly as I predicted. Abu Muslim truly did not take a single precaution. He was too confident, so confident that he believed the mere fact that he had more than two hundred thousand soldiers meant that we wouldn't dare to attack him. So our operation went off very smoothly," Gao Xianzhi said with a smile.
"Perhaps it wasn't just that he was too confident. He might have also believed that even if we succeeded, it would barely be an itch, something that would have no effect on the overarching situation."
Wang Chong faintly smiled.
"If Abu Muslim thinks that this raid had no effect on the overarching situation, then he's made a grave mistake."
Gao Xianzhi turned to one of the deputies behind him.
"Huaishun, have you finished settling down the Arabian hunting falcons? How many did we manage to get?"
"Milord, they've all been taken care of. We managed to get three in total, all of which have been handed over to the bird trainers in the army," the Anxi deputy general known as Kang Huaishun deferentially said.
"Have the follow-up measures been enacted? Will our actions draw any suspicion?" Gao Xianzhi said.
"Following Milord's orders, we left behind three rock eagle corpses that appeared like Arabian hunting falcons at the Arab camp," Kang Huaishun reported. "Only pulped flesh of those three rock eagles remain, so it's very hard to differentiate them from hunting falcons. The Arabs will not be able to notice the difference. In addition, the members of the raiding party reported that the Arab camp has many hunting falcons. The loss of only three will not attract their attention."
Kang Huaishun was also a renowned general of the Anxi Protectorate army. He had been the main commander of the night raid.
Listening on the side, Wang Chong gave a nod of approval. The primary objective of the Anxi Protectorate army in the raid against the Arabs was to steal a few hunting falcons, not kill Arab soldiers. Dalun Ruozan communicated with the Arabs through letters delivered by these fierce hunting falcons. If they could steal a few, they could intercept some of these letters.
"But there is still one problem. The Arabian hunting falcons are extremely vicious and began to shout and cry the moment they were brought back from the Arab camp. Our men have done all they could, but they can't get them to quiet down. In addition, they aren't willing to eat any of the meat we give them," Kang Huaishun said.
If the hunting falcons could not be tamed, they could not be used. The results would be the same as if they had never been captured in the first place.
"This problem is easy to take care of."
Wang Chong gave a leisurely grin.
"General Kang, I have a bird expert known as Zhang Que under my command. He's done a great deal of research on Arabian hunting falcons, so you can just leave this matter to him."
"Huaishun, do as Lord Wang says," Gao Xianzhi said with a faint smile. "In addition, give that Arab general who led the raiding force known as Nurman to Protector-General Wang as well!"
Wang Chong's eyes brightened in pleasant surprise. He thought that Xi Yuanqing had killed Nurman. That he had been captured was quite unexpected.
"Many thanks for this."
With the war hanging over his head, Wang Chong needed to get as strong as possible, needed his Great Yinyang Heaven Creation Art to absorb the strength of more people. Only this way could he be of more help in the battles to come.
Kang Huaishun bowed his head and quickly departed.
"Lord Gao! Lord Wang!"
At this moment, the new chief of the Karluks, Guli, suddenly spoke.
"There is still another matter…"
Guli's expression was hesitant, his tone uncertain. His movements immediately attracted the notice of everyone in the hall. Both Wang Chong and the Ferghanan chief Banahan turned to see what was going on.
"What's wrong, Guli?" Gao Xianzhi said in surprise.
"This… During the Arab raid last night, some of their troops mounted the walls and entered the city. They got in touch with us Karluks and mentioned that matter."
Guli was stammering, his expression fraught with deep apprehension. As he spoke, a strange feeling began to suffuse the mood in the hall. Although Guli had not mentioned exactly what 'that matter' was, everyone instantly understood what it was. The Arabs clearly did not know that Wanhe Peiluo had been killed, the treachery of the Karluks exposed. They had even sent out men to secretly get in touch with the Karluks.
"Lord Protector-Generals, we Karluks truly have no intent to rebel. I ask for the understanding of the Lord Protector-Generals…" Guli sincerely implored.
"Guli, there is no need for you to panic. We believe you," Gao Xianzhi comforted, his words instantly calming Guli down.
"Many thanks, Milord!" Guli said with deepest gratitude.
The Arabs were clearly doing one thing as a cover for another. On the surface, they had sent the Wings of Death to attack the Tang army at the first defense line, but their true purpose was to send someone to get in touch with the Karluks within the city. None of them had expected this.
That Guli had brought up this matter was proof of his sincerity to the Great Tang.
"Wang Chong, what do you think about this matter?" Gao Xianzhi said.
Wang Chong faintly smiled in reply. Under the light of the torches, his face seemed particularly energetic.
"Since the Arabs are so impatient, why not agree to their request?" Wang Chong finally asked.
At first dazed, everyone in the hall began to chuckle.
While the Tang generals were gathered in the brightly-lit city of Talas, elsewhere in the restless darkness, the top-class Tibetan and Turkic generals had gathered to meet.
But the atmosphere here was much heavier than that in Talas. All the generals responsible for the sentry posts around the Tibetan camp were standing at attention, their expressions fearful.
On this night, the tens of thousands of men in the Tibetan camp had been thrown into complete chaos by not even one thousand Tang soldiers, so despite all the sentries and patrols, no one knew where the Tang were attacking from. Even after the battle, none of them knew.
This was an absolute disgrace!
"All of you, think carefully. Did you really not notice anything?"
Dalun Ruozan sat on a chair, his eyes surveying the assembled generals. His voice was extremely gentle and soft, devoid of any anger, but this only made the Tibetan generals even more uneasy.
A thunderous roar came from beside him. Although Dalun Ruozan was not angry, Huoshu Huicang was not so restrained.
On this night, the entire Tibetan camp had been played by Wang Chong, to the extent that they were incapable of even answering a simple question like this. This left Huoshu Huicang fuming.
"Huoshu, you can't blame them for this matter," Dalun Ruozan soothed. "That person isn't someone people of their ability can contend against. He only moves after making ample preparations. He definitely won't have left us many clues."
His personality was never that irritable. However, the slight crease in his brows revealed what he was truly thinking. Just like Huoshu Huicang, he found it difficult to let this matter go.
It wasn't that Ü-Tsang could never lose, but it at least had to know how it had lost.
At this moment, urgent footsteps came from outside the tent. A Tibetan messenger raised the tent flap, rushed into the tent, and got down on one knee.
"On our patrol of the perimeter, we found some things that seem to have been left behind by the Tang!"
"What was it?" Dalun Ruozan's brow rose, and the other people in the tent turned to look.
"They were wolf skins!" the kneeling messenger said.
While Huoshu Huicang and the others were still digesting this information, Dalun Ruozan trembled, a thought instantly occurring to him.
"Take me there!"
Dalun Ruozan immediately stood up from his seat.
A few moments later, at a place several hundred zhang from one of the sentry posts, Dalun Ruozan, Huoshu Huicang, Dusong Mangpoje, Duwu Sili, and the other generals arrived at the site of the incident. Dalun Ruozan's prestige and the training he had put the soldiers through had played a major role in preserving the scene. The surrounding Tibetan soldiers had not acted on their own, instead choosing to wait for Dalun Ruozan to arrive and handle the matter.
"This is where they are?" Dalun Ruozan asked. His brows were furrowed and there was a grimace on his face as he looked at the large gray wolf skins lying on the ground. Huoshu Huicang and Dusong Mangpoje also had grimaces, and Duwu Sili was faring no better.
"Great Minister, we found wolf skins in other places, but the majority of them were found here," a low-ranking Tibetan officer explained. "Our men didn't notice them at first, but after the battle was over, they felt that something was wrong. These are all empty wolf skins with no bones, flesh, not even blood. They're all very clean, which is clearly abnormal."
Everyone became eerily silent.