Chapter 473: Wang Chong Leaves the Prison!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The battle in the southwest had been like a peal of thunder, stunning the entire capital!
Just when everyone was expecting to see the newly appointed Annan Protector-General Xianyu Zhongtong, leading the 180,000 Great Tang elites, topple Mengshe Zhao in a single blow and punish Geluofeng, the battle in the southwest dealt all of them a heavy blow.
King Geluofeng of Mengshe Zhao had mobilized his entire army, all 340,000 soldiers, and fought a decisive battle against the 180,000 elites of the Annan Protectorate on the western shores of Erhai!
The sheer difference in numbers led to the defeat of the Annan Protectorate army. The vast distance meant that there was no news on the most recent developments.
But these initial results were already extremely worrying.
In the northeast's Youzhou, Anxi's Suiye1, Longxi's Jishi, and the Yin Mountains of the north… the Great Tang had always held the advantage, at the very least in one aspect. But in the southwest, the Great Tang rarely ever engaged in mobilizations on as large a scale as 180,000 soldiers.
And such large-scale defeats were even more of a rarity!
Upon receiving this news, the Imperial Court immediately sent out a hundred of its most experienced scouts to find out what was happening in the southwest.
And the Imperial Court began to discuss the problem of reinforcements!
Whether it was Anxi, Andong, Anbei, or Longxi, the Great Tang was facing a powerful empire on every side. There was no easy way to withdraw troops to serve as reinforcements.
A rash action might lead to a flaw, leading to even greater danger. As a result, troops would have to be drawn from the interior.
"The Imperial Court's second wave of reinforcements was dispatched two days ago. The army is being led by the young rising star of the army. It consists of 60,000 troops and is heading to the southwest with many crossbows, ballistae, armaments, and supplies.
"You might not know who Li Zhengyi is. He's the leader of the younger generation of officers in the army and has participated in many large battles with sterling performance. Moreover, he made a name for himself very early. His reputation in the military probably even surpasses your older brother Wang Fu," King Song said.
King Song's expression had been very grave this entire time, and when he spoke of the defeat in the southwest, it was solemn to the extreme. However, when speaking of Li Zhengyi, King Song was clearly much more relaxed. It was clear that he regarded Li Zhengyi very highly!
Wang Chong's face contorted into a nasty grimace.
History is repeating itself! Wang Chong thought, his heart suffering from an indescribable pain.
How could he not know who Li Zhengyi was?
Li Zhengyi truly had made his name in the army earlier than his older brother Wang Fu, and he was publicly acknowledged to have formidable talents.
His earliest post had been an assignment in the distant Suiye of the Anxi Protectorate. His performance there had been so eye-catching that even Gao Xianzhi had profusely praised him.
Later on, he was transferred to Beiting, where he subdued the Turks many times. His performance was so remarkable that he even surpassed a few generals in the army.
Li Zhengyi was already acknowledged in the army to be a future candidate for Great General. He was regarding as the leader of the younger generation, a future pillar of the empire who would replace the likes of Wang Zhongsi and Zhang Shougui.
But no matter how formidable the Imperial Court or how talented Li Zhengyi was, they would have never expected that their true opponents were not the people from Mengshe Zhao, not Geluofeng or Fengjiayi2, but Huoshu Huicang and Dalun Ruozan of the Ü-Tsang Empire!
The former was the number one general of Ü-Tsang's Ngari Royal Lineage. He was both aggressive and brave, and had once been conferred the title of 'Invincible Great General' of Ü-Tsang, only inferior to top-notch Great Generals like Li Siye.
The latter was a famous and wise general of Ü-Tsang with an incredibly keen sense for seizing the opportunity at the right moment.
When the two worked together, even Zhangchou Jianqiong would still be in great peril if he were leading those 180,000 elites.
In his decades of service in the Annan Protectorate, Zhangchou Jianqiong had never once attacked the Tibetan Plateau. His concern was not betrayal by Mengshe Zhao. He simply wasn't confident that he could beat Huoshu Huicang and Dalun Ruozan once he left the south.
Li Zhengyi might be strong and talented, but he was simply no match for people like Huoshu Huicang and Dalun Ruozan.
And the troops mobilized from the interior were utterly incapable of dealing with the elite cavalry of Ü-Tsang.
Their strength was already insufficient in a direct confrontation, and coupled with their lack of mental preparation, it was easy to imagine Li Zhengyi's fate.
Wang Chong had not expected the tragedy from his last life to repeat itself once more.
Right as Wang Chong opened his mouth, a voice erupted in his mind.
"The world shifts, a major event: Ü-Tsang has intervened in the Great Tang's war with Mengshe Zhao. The Great Tang has been routed and is left with only 80,000 soldiers. Starting from now, user is forbidden from revealing any information regarding Ü-Tsang.
"Starting from now, within two months, if the number of soldiers in the Annan Protectorate army drops below 10,000, user will fail the mission and be killed. If the Annan Protectorate army is completely wiped out, user will fail the mission and be killed.
"User will not leave behind a single trace in this world, not even in the memory of others!
"The countdown starts now!"
An electrical current traveled from the soles of his feet to the rest of his body, causing Wang Chong to shudder. Paralyzed, he couldn't say one word of what he had planned to say.
"Wang Chong, what's wrong?" King Song said with concern. Wang Chong currently had a rather awful complexion.
The pale-faced Wang Chong shook his head, but his mind was in absolute turmoil.
Xianyu Zhongtong had lost, and it hadn't been a simple loss, but a complete rout. Ü-Tsang had intervened in this war far earlier than he had predicted.
The 180,000 Great Tang elites had already been fighting the entire Mengshe Zhao army of 340,000, and now that they had to contend against the more than 200,000 heavy cavalry of the Ngari Royal Lineage, the fate of Xianyu Zhongtong and his army could be easily imagined.
I didn't expect that I was still too late…
Wang Chong's heart sank. Only 80,000 of the 180,000 elites were left, meaning that 100,000 had died in battle.
The Annan Protectorate had suffered its worst wound since the establishment of the protectorate!
If things continued like this, it would be the first protectorate of the Great Tang to be dissolved due to attacks by a foreign power.
"Wang Chong, your big uncle mentioned to me that you had already predicted all of this, which is why I've shrugged off all criticisms and had you released from this prison. You can leave now. In addition, I hope to hear your views on the southwest.
"Someone, come and open up this cell!"
Rumble! The heavy main door of the prison opened with a boom. A beam of sunlight shot in as Wang Chong walked out, his first ray of sunlight in over half a month.