The Records Of The Human Emperor Chapter 555
Chapter 555: The Final Plans The Quarrel In The Tent
Chapter 555: The Final Plans! The Quarrel in the Tent!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Eited by: Michyrr
Zhang Shouzhi was not the only one waiting at the base of the mountain. There were also Zhang Shouzhi's disciples and students, as well as the craftsman and foremen who had worked in the construction of Lion City and the merchants and guards who transported the supplies. Once Wang Chong and Zhang Shouzhi finished greeting each other, these people began to step forward to offer their greetings.
Wang Chong also began to greet them back.
"I've troubled all of you!"
"It's no trouble at all. How can it compare to Young Master's efforts!"
"That's right! Everyone is talking about how even though Young Master was far away in the capital, you already foresaw this war. For you to send us here to work for the sake of the Great Tang, for the sake of the Central Plains, it's our great honor!"
"Yes, Young Master! If you need us to do anything, we'll do our best to carry it out!"
This was actually their first meeting with Wang Chong, but all of them were excitedly chattering.
In Lion City, Wang Chong had practically become a legend. Moreover, as the war progressed and everything began to align with Wang Chong's predictions, these rumors and legends began to spread even more rapidly. Just like everyone, these craftsmen were very curious to see the leader who was behind everything, who had directed the construction of Lion City, the crucial point in this war.
And when they heard that Wang Chong was coming to the southwest, the craftsmen had all buzzed with excitement.
Compared to controlling everything from the distant capital, personally coming to the empire's southwest would be far more effective and influential.
Wang Chong gave a firm nod, his heart soothed as he accepted these ardent gazes.
Once he had exchanged greetings with everyone, Wang Chong turned his head and asked Zhang Shouzhi, "Is everything ready?"
"Yes, Lady Xu has already informed me." Now that they were talking of a serious matter, Zhang Shouzhi nodded, his expression turning stern.
"Everything has already been delivered, though even I don't quite understand what their purpose is. I'm afraid that Young Master's instruction will be required."
Saying this, Zhang Shouzhi's expression turned a little strange. He was a grandmaster of civil engineering, yet he had never seen or heard of the items that Wang Chong had had Xu Qiqin send over.
If he hadn't seen it for himself, Zhang Shouzhi would never have believed that Wang Chong was an even more accomplished engineer than he was.
"Haha, there's naturally no problem with that!"
Seeing the look in Zhang Shouzhi's eyes, Wang Chong naturally knew what he was thinking, but there was no need to explain.
At least they were promptly delivered!
Not even Zhang Shouzhi noticed that Wang Chong had inwardly heaved a great sigh of relief. With Xu Qiqin having delivered the items, the most important phase of Wang Chong's plan was half-complete.
"Where are they? Take me to see them!" Wang Chong said.
On the summit of the mountain, many large metal boxes had been neatly lined up. These boxes were all placed in an obscured area of the mountain, and coupled with the fact that they were all black, they were very difficult to see unless one was close by.
As Wang Chong approached, he could make out the emblems of the capital's various sword-smithing clans, sword shops and sword smiths on the boxes.
And amongst all these boxes, the symbol of the Wang Clan was the most prominent of all.
These truly had been sent from the capital!
Seeing the familiar emblems of his clan on these boxes, Wang Chong gave a long sigh of relief.
"This is only a small part of what Lady Xu sent over. More of them have been concealed at the back of the mountain," Zhang Shouzhi commented.
Wang Chong nodded as he unsheathed his sword and thrust it into a chink in the box. With a pop, the box opened.
"What is this?"
At this moment, Old Eagle, Xu Shiping, Xu Andun and the others also arrived. As they looked at the strangely shaped objects in the boxes, everyone except Old Eagle revealed curious expressions.
Even Wang Chong's father, Wang Yan, and Xianyu Zhongtong also seemed curious.
From the moment the battle with Huoshu Huicang concluded, Wang Chong had pushed the army to march day and night, as fast as wind and fire, to reach this place.
But no one knew why he had chosen this place. Yet no matter what Wang Chong did, there was one thing that everyone could be sure of: it had to do with these large boxes on the mountain.
"This is… our last hope for survival!"
With these words, Wang Chong suddenly thrust his hands into the box, grabbed a piece of steel, and flung it out.
This piece of steel flew into the air, spinning several times before stabbing into the ground.
It was impossible to describe the thoughts of the Tibetan army as the storm clouds scattered and the sky began to clear.
"It's finally over!"
Longqinba looked up at the sky and mentally sighed in relief. This very normal sign of changing weather felt like it had taken ten thousand years in Longqinba's mind.
"I'd like to see where you can run without the help of the rain!"
The dark clouds had not completely scattered, only greatly thinned out. It was still a far cry from a clear sky, but this was enough for Longqinba and the Tibetan cavalry.
As long as they didn't have the cover of the pouring rain, the Tang ambushes were useless. The ambushes and raids they had used last night were an impossible task today.
As Longqinba drew back his gaze from the sky and looked around, he saw that his fellow Tibetan commanders shared the same expression.
"Haha, once my army catches up to them, I'll tear each of them to pieces! I can finally vent all my hatred!"
Longqinba's eyes were dark and sinister, and a killing aura suffused his complexion.
In the battle from last night, Longqinba had nearly been killed by an ambush from Wang Yan and Xianyu Zhongtong, the two highest Tang commanders in the southwest. If the Great General hadn't come with reinforcements, he might have died.
Longqinba had grown up in the Great Snow Mountain Holy Temple and had always had a high opinion of himself. This sort of disgrace was impossible for him to endure.
While Longqinba was lost in his thoughts, the earth began to quake. A majestic energy spiraled up into the sky like a tornado as a furious roar reverberated through the entire camp.
"Bastard thing! You should be executed on the spot!"
Whoosh! A furious gale swept over the land as the power within that voice caused the air currents in a radius of several hundred zhang to be thrown into chaos. Great General Huoshu Huicang's furious bellows caused even Longqinba to suddenly feel stifled, a tinge of fear appearing on his face.
It's good thing that I wasn't the one pursuing Wang Yan last night! Longqinba inwardly rejoiced.
He suddenly counted himself lucky that it was Jiaosiluo the Swordfanged Beast and Fengjiayi the Crown Prince of Mengshe Zhao that had been sent after Wang Yan while he had remained at the Great General's side.
Jiaosiluo, this bastard, actually lost almost fifty thousand soldiers in a single battle. Not even I would dare to make such a serious mistake. Given Great General's temper, he might get a layer of his flesh flayed off. And he still dared to return this morning! Longqinba thought to himself.
Rumble! As if to respond to Longqinba's thoughts, a boom came from a distant tent. A burly figure blasted a hole through the canvas as he was sent almost one hundred zhang high, eliciting cries of alarm as he smashed back into the ground.
The thud as he crashed back down made everyone quail in fear, and those close by could even feel the ground tremble from the impact. But after a few moments, Jiaosiluo heedlessly crawled out of the debris and charged back into the tent.
It was like he was not the one who had just been sent flying.
"General, Great Minister, your subordinate truly met a formidable opponent this time…"
Jiaosiluo's pleas could be heard from very far away.
Longqinba's heart shivered. Pretending not to listen, he quickly made some distance.
Now that the decisive battle with the Annan Protectorate army was approaching, it was far more important for him to think about how to wash away his shame rather than worry about Jiaosiluo's encounters.
While Longqinba was resolving himself and striding away, things were just getting started in that large tent.
This massive tent was currently packed with people. Besides the two leaders from the Ngari Royal Lineage, Huoshu Huicang and Dalun Ruozan, there was also the King of Mengshe Zhao, Geluofeng, and its Great General Duan Gequan.
When Jiaosiluo came back with the news of his massive defeat, much less Huoshu Huicang and Dalun Ruozan, even Geluofeng and Duan Gequan were stunned.
The fighting power of cavalry exceeded that of infantry, and the Tibetan cavalry were famed across the world, with few being their match. One could even say that though the Mengshe Zhao army was the larger of the two armies, the true fighting force was still the more than two hundred thousand cavalry brought by the Tibetans.
Ever since the war had started, the Tibetans had proved their strength by suffering very few casualties. Thus, one could easily imagine the shock delivered by the news of Jiaosiluo's devastating loss.
Of the almost eighty thousand Tibetan cavalry, only around twenty thousand had returned. There was no doubt that this was a grievous defeat. This was the first such loss the Tibetans had suffered in this war.
"Great Minister, General, this matter truly was not our fault! Our brothers did all they could, but we were simply no match. All of us couldn't even get close to their front lines, no matter which direction we approached from. Our brothers all participated in the previous battles and easily toppled over the Annan Protectorate soldiers, despite how formidable they were. But for some reason, these fellows were simply too strong this time…"
Jiaosiluo was far from the only one kneeling in the tent. His fellow officers were present as well. One of the generals had just started speaking but was soon interrupted by Huoshu Huicang's enraged bellow.
Before that Tibetan commander could say any more, a scorching energy struck his body, sending him flying out of the tent before he could finish.
"At this stage, a loss is a loss. And you still dare to argue!"
Huoshu Huicang's complexion was ashen and seething with anger.
In the tent, the officers lowered their heads in fear. The culture of Ü-Tsang was completely different from that of the Central Plains, and Huoshu Huicang was certainly no gentle Confucian general.
Nothing good would come from continued argument.
"Great General, although these are your own Tibetans, please forgive this one for speaking out. This one has interacted with General Jiaosiluo and has always admired his courage. Perhaps the Great Tang has somehow produced a large number of reinforcements that we don't know about?"
In this oppressive air, the King of Mengshe Zhao, Geluofeng, finally spoke up from a corner of the tent.
Although this was Huoshu Huicang's commander tent, it had by now become the tent in which the Mengshe–Ü-Tsang army discussed its plans. There was already no backing out in this war against the Great Tang.
Given the Great Tang's past behavior, there would certainly be a large-scale revenge in the future.
Ü-Tsang, their ally, suddenly experiencing a great number of casualties was something that Mengshe Zhao also had to regard with utmost importance.
Before Geluofeng could say any more, Huoshu Huicang interrupted him.
"The place closest to us is Longyou. Geshu Han's Big Dipper Army is extremely strong and is the army with the highest chance of reinforcing this area. But right now, the King of Generals, We Tadra Khonglo, and Dusong Mangpoje are holding down Longyou, and no matter how formidable Geshu Han is, he can't leave. And besides Geshu Han, where else can one find useable troops in the interior of the Central Plains?"
Although he gave off a rough and barbaric appearance, Huoshu Huicang had not climbed up to become Great General of the Ngari Royal Lineage and competed with Zhangchou Jianqiong for so many years solely by his martial might.
"It's hard to say. The dynasties of the Central Plains have extremely deep reserves. They might have some secret trick that we don't know about," a cold and hard voice suddenly suggested. "And it was dark and stormy at the time, and visibility wasn't good. Perhaps a large Tang reinforcement army came that Jiaosiluo didn't notice."
"Impossible. We were on the summit at the time, and the attacks were primarily coming from the summit," one of the generals under Jiaosiluo suddenly argued. "We definitely didn't misjudge."
"You still dare to mouth off!" Huoshu Huicang instantly bellowed. The hierarchy of Ü-Tsang was even stricter than that of the Central Plains. Since he had already given the order, no one was allowed to disobey, especially in front of Geluofeng's party.
"Great General, your blame is misplaced."
Fengjiayi was standing close to a wall of the tent. Three times, as he watched Huoshu Huicang batter Jiaosiluo's officers, he had hesitated to speak out. Given that his father was present and Huoshu Huicang was disciplining his own subordinates, Fengjiayi normally had no right to speak on this occasion.
But Fengjiayi had also been a participant in that battle, and amongst the Tibetan generals, Fengjiayi was closest to Jiaosiluo. Otherwise, he wouldn't have come along in pursuit of Wang Yan's army.
Now that he was watching Jiaosiluo and his officers being punished, with Jiaosiluo even being heavily injured, Fengjiayi finally had to stand up and say something.
"The Great Tang truly didn't have any reinforcement army. The true cause of our defeat was an extremely cunning Tang youth who disguised himself as Wang Fu! I was there at the time, so I can confirm to everyone that Jiaosiluo's words were absolutely correct!"
Fengjiayi spoke these words with absolute resolve, and these words caused the expressions of Huoshu Huicang, Dalun Ruozan, Geluofeng, and Duan Gequan to shift.
"Yi-er, what are you saying?!" Geluofeng said, his face pale.