Chapter 345: Wang Chong's Edge!, Part Two
Hong long long!
The earth trembled and mountains shook. It was impossible to describe the furious might of thirty Great Tang cavalrymen charging in an arrow formation as they slaughtered their way through the bandits and highwaymen.
The neighing of the horses was intermixed with desperate screams, dull collisions between bodies, crisp fracturing of bones... It was nothing short of an extremely gruesome scene.
In just a short moment, more than twenty highwaymen suffered great fractures and were knocked into the air by the force of the charge.
At this moment, the disparity between a normal horse and a military war steed was shown very clearly. Be it in terms of strength, endurance, or bulk, the military war steeds were far superior to the tamed horses of those highwaymen.
At the same time, the purpose of Wang Chong in luring the highwaymen and bandits onto the main path, and stretching their formation out narrow and long was also showing through.
Typically, the full might of cavalry could only be displayed in vast plains. However, for a small platoon such as Wang Chong's, a narrow area like this would prove to be be more effective instead.
The main path was only sufficiently wide to allow six war steeds to pass through simultaneously. No matter how numerous the highwaymen and bandits were, only six of them would be able to face off with Wang Chong's troops at any given time. This had placed them in an advantageous situation, especially considering the superior strength and coordination of the Great Tang soldiers.
With the collapse of the frontline, the highwaymen had already lost the momentum to rival Wang Chong's troops. At the current moment, they were no different from weeds standing in a straight line, waiting to be reaped.
Pu pu pu!
The spears of the thirty Great Tang cavalrymen swiftly pierced and retracted from the highwaymen standing in their path, and on an average, each highwayman would suffer around six to seven stabs. Wherever they stormed through, gruesome corpses with holes punched right through them would be left behind.
This seemed to be perfectly normal for Wang Chong and the thirty cavalrymen, but to Bai Siling, who had never witnessed such a scene before, this was completely unimaginable.
On the other hand, for the bandits and highwaymen, the thirty Great Tang cavalrymen were no different from machines of slaughter. Watching as the cavalrymen slowly approached them, it felt like an intangible noose was slowly tightening on their necks. They were in a nightmare they couldn't wake up from!
Before long, the forty highwaymen in the forefront were reduced to corpses lying along the road. Crimson blood and pieces of flesh were splattered all over the area.
One should never gauge a sizeable cavalry force just by its numbers. On flat plains with limited obstacles, it was possible for an army of 10,000 cavalry to subdue an army of 300,000 infantry.
Those who failed to understand this much would only find themselves crushed.
Before the sixty Iron Cloak highwaymen behind could react, Wang Chong's thirty cavalrymen had already merged together with the ten cavalrymen planted on the slope previously.
With the addition of another ten cavalrymen, Wang Chong's already powerful force was bolstered even more.
Without any hesitation, Wang Chong's forty cavalrymen continued charging ferociously into the group of sixty highwaymen. From the start of the retaliation to this point, barely a few seconds had passed.
Steeds collided with steeds, and spear clashed with sabers. The same sight replayed once more. The mounted members of the Iron Cloak Highwaymen were stronger than the other highwaymen stationed at the forefront, nearly matching up to the might of official soldiers of Great Tang.
Nevertheless, that didn't hinder the fact that they were still weaker than Wang Chong's group. On an intense battlefield, that would spell a huge difference in the ultimate outcome.
Boom! With the collision of war steeds, several horses and their riders were knocked several zhang into the air as if they were completely weightless.
And despite their attempts to maneuver in midair, sharp spears would shoot through the air to pierce through their vitals before they could fall back to the ground.
The falling rain of blood brought a shade of crimson to the brilliant orange glow of the rising sun.
As strong and fierce as the highwaymen were, they were still no match for the well-trained Great Tang cavalry.
Peng peng peng peng!
As the spears shot out like vipers, the highwaymen fell one after another with resounding dull thuds. It was a simple fighting tactic, but it was far more effective than profound and exquisite martial arts at the moment.
"We fell into their trap, we need to regroup!"...
Frightened voices resounded across the entire road.
The sixty Iron Cloak highwaymen were significantly stronger than their peers, but nevertheless, they only barely managed to hold a moment longer before the collapse of their formation.
This utter defeat had destroyed them both physically and spiritually, wiping out any thought of retaliation from their minds.
This was how big the gap was!
Di da da!
Looking at how utterly the frontline had collapsed under the enemy's charge, the bandits and highwaymen behind swiftly turned around and fled.
"Charge!" A cold glint flashed across Wang Chong's eyes as he bellowed decisively.
On the battlefield, an army retreating out of fear was one of greatest mistakes that could ever be committed.
Theoretically speaking, even if one was on the horseback as well, they should at least be able to maintain a fixed gap from their enemies, which represented a chance that they might at least be able to outlast their pursuers and successfully get away. However, reality wasn't as simple as that.
Speed had to be built up. The group that began the charge first would always be at a decisive advantage in terms of speed.
In this case, Wang Chong's party was already at a considerable speed, and the fleeing highwaymen had to start accelerating from zero. This meant that the speed of the highwaymen wouldn't be able to compete with Wang Chong and his group for several vital seconds.
Furthermore, considering the chaos during their flight, the bandits and highwaymen were likely to block each other's paths, thus making it even more unlikely for them to escape.
Tragic screams sounded as the Great Tang cavalrymen tore through the fleeing crowd. The spears in their hands moved swiftly to strike down every enemy that came into their range, destroying everything that was in their path.
Pu pu pu!
One, two, three... ten... twenty...
Just like that, it felt as if hell had materialized on that short road of thirty zhang. The bandits and highwaymen fled as if they were pursued by demons, and those who lagged behind were viciously slaughtered.
At some point, a few highwaymen decided that they wouldn't survive in such a manner and attempted to turn around and stand their ground, perhaps dragging down a few souls down with them. However, what they were met with was a dense assembly of spear tips instead.
"Hurry, let's flee to the slope!"
Finally, someone realized that it was impossible for them to rival Wang Chong on the main road. Thus, he led the pack up the mountainous slope with dense undergrowth.
Without thinking, the Great Tang cavalrymen also prepared to charge into the forest to pursue them.
"Stop! Let them escape!" Wang Chong raised his hand and spoke forcefully.
The cavalrymen immediately stopped their movements and backed out from the mountain forest.
This was the most basic discipline expected of a soldier.
The capability Wang Chong had displayed had won everyone's trust. At this moment, everyone already regarded him as their true commander, not just one assigned to them by the royal court.
"It's unwise to drive a cornered dog up the wall. They are just a few highwaymen and bandits, they won't pose much of a threat. Let them go!" Wang Chong said nonchalantly as he pulled on his reins.
His expression was composed, and wisdom was reflected in his eyes. Despite the hot-blooded charge just a moment ago, an air of calm seemed to permeate him.
Perhaps even Wang Chong himself was unaware of it, but at this moment, he seemed more like an experienced general instead of a sixteen-year-old youth.
"Yes, lord!" the group replied in harmony. Their expressions and movements were respectful, reminiscent to how one would behave before a high-ranked commander in the army.
At the same time, it suddenly dawned on them that the battle had ended. Other than the few bandits and highwaymen who managed to escape, the others who had pursued them were already utterly destroyed.
The forty zhang stretch of road behind them was perhaps what one would term as a living sight of hell. Turks, Tibetans, Goguryeons, Han, Arabs, Persians... corpses of bandits and highwaymen of differing ethnicities and origins were littered around the area. Carcasses of dead horses, torn limbs, ripped intestines... truly a horrible sight.
Fresh blood oozing out from the corpses slowly crept down the road, tainting as much ground as it could reach. An overwhelming stench of blood wafted in the area, threatening nausea to those unaccustomed to it.
Bai Siling was still oblivious to this all in the midst of the battle, but as soon as it ended, everything just struck her all at once, and she couldn't help but feel a surge of nausea. As powerful and strong-willed as she was, she was still a lady.
How could she have ever seen such a brutal sight?
Bai Siling's body trembled. The overwhelming stench of blood was persistently provoking her senses, stoking her disgust.
She swiftly leapt off her horse, ran to the side of the road, and began vomiting violently. Everything that she had eaten in the past day poured out of her.
Even tears were threatening to fall from her eyes from the immense discomfort.
"This is your first time, isn't it? It'll be fine once you get used to it," an impassive voice sounded behind her. Unknowing to her, Wang Chong was already standing behind her.
Even the strongest of women had a weak side to them. This was the first time Wang Chong had seen such an unseemly side to Bai Siling.
"How are you doing that?" Bai Siling tried to hold in her repulsion, but another surge of nausea welled up in her in the next moment, and she vomited yet another mouthful of stomach acid.
"What do you mean?" Wang Chong was taken aback by Bai Siling's question.
Kneeling feebly on the ground, Bai Siling asked, "How are you doing that? Why aren't you vomiting before this?"
Wang Chong was stunned by the sudden question. When encountering death for the first time, one would find an instinctive surge of repulsion welling up within them.
Of course, Wang Chong was no exception to the rule. Just that, this was not his first time.
His thoughts drifted to a faraway place along with Bai Siling's words.