Chapter 477: Simulating the Southwest!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Zhao Jingdian, Wei Anfang, Xu Qiqin, and Huang Qian-er arrived at the Wang Clan Residence at a very late hour. The residence was brightly lit, and Wang Chong invited these people into his study before shutting the door.
No one else knew what they discussed, only that once Zhao Jingdian, Wei Anfang, the usually uninterested Xu Qiqin, and Huang Qian-er left Wang Chong's study, they all had very unsightly expressions.
The four were completely out of sorts, every one of them dazed and absentminded, unresponsive to the calls of the Wang Clan guards. They did not stay the night, leaving right after the meeting.
But the lanterns in Wang Chong's study were not extinguished.
After the four left, the silhouette on the window of Wang Chong at his desk remained while the scratching of his brush could be heard. But the door was shut, so nobody knew what Wang Chong was actually doing inside.
"…Lion City was finished a long time ago, and a massive amount of food was stored within. That is the last chance to save Xianyu Zhongtong and the Annan Protectorate army!"
In the study, Wang Chong looked at his desk under the flickering lantern light, an incredibly grave expression on his face.
On Wang Chong's table was a miniature topographic model of the southwest. All the canyons, mountain ranges, rivers, plains, cities, and forests were displayed here in breathtaking detail.
Wang Chong had borrowed the necessary information from the Bureau of Military Personnel quite some time ago and then hired artisans to make this model. In the Great Tang, all information involving geography, including models of military defenses, were classified secrets, and keeping them for oneself was a major crime.
But Wang Chong had never cared. He had kept this model in his study the entire time.
The defeat of the Annan Protectorate army in the southwest was already set in stone. The past could not be changed, but that did not mean that everything was hopeless.
"If there are no surprises and everything goes as it did in the past, Xianyu Zhongtong and Geluofeng should have fought on this plain!"
Wang Chong stared at the model, countless thoughts flickering through his head. He looked nothing like a young and inexperienced teenager.
Without knowing, Wang Chong had once more become the experienced Grand Marshal of the Great Tang, leading a powerful army and deciding victory or defeat with a forceful jab of his finger!
Wang Chong took out a small flag and thrust it into the Erhai plains. As someone praised by the entire world as 'War Saint', Wang Chong had experienced thousands of battles, big and small. Not even he could remember exactly how many.
Even a completely clueless layman would become a decent commander if they managed to survive through thousands of battles, and this was Wang Chong!
As long as Geluofeng wasn't an imbecile, as long as Duan Gequan was still a commander, they would definitely have chosen the Erhai plains for their decisive battle.
And only the Erhai plains could hold so many soldiers!
The Great Tang and Mengshe Zhao of his past life hadn't chosen that place to fight for no reason. And as long as Xianyu Zhongtong wasn't a complete idiot, as long as he was still an ordinary person, after the defeat, he would definitely be able to see that place!
Wang Chong took out a small red flag and placed it on Lion City, positioned behind the Erhai plains. Wang Chong had still not been to Lion City, had no idea what this city he had spent millions of taels of gold on even looked like.
But given Zhang Shouzhi's abilities, Wang Chong was sure that the city he had built, that massive city near the Erhai plains, was a most remarkable existence.
Even from a distance of several hundred li, one would definitely be able to see that city seemingly forged from steel, 'Lion City'!
This Lion City had been constructed for Wang Chong, and it had also been constructed for those 180,000 Great Tang warriors. It was their only hope.
In his last life, those 180,000 soldiers had no place to retreat to after the battle at Erhai, and there was no way infantry could outrun cavalry. As a result, those 180,000 elites were completely annihilated.
Other than Xianyu Zhongtong, who barely managed to escape, the rest were utterly wiped out!
But Wang Chong's Lion City had now become the only hope for survival for these 180,000 elites. Wang Chong could almost guarantee that the remaining 80,000 Great Tang soldiers only existed because they had escaped into Lion City.
Otherwise, the army would have already been wiped out and the Stone of Destiny would have already killed Wang Chong for failing the mission.
But Wang Chong was well aware that one Lion City was not enough to alter the fate of those 80,000 soldiers and the disposition of forces in the southwest.
There was no city in the world that could not be broken, and Lion City was no exception.
The 300,000 or more Mengshe Zhao soldiers that Geluofeng had practically emptied his country to raise and the 200,000 or more soldiers of Ü-Tsang's Ngari Royal Lineage constituted a force that could break down any city.
Lion City couldn't last for too long!
Wang Chong had expended a massive amount of resources on Lion City only to give the 80,000 Great Tang soldiers some space to breathe, to offer them a temporary moment of reprieve.
But this reprieve would not last for too long.
Moreover, even if Lion City were unbreakable, it still wouldn't be able to last for too long. 'Food is god for the people.' Even though Wang Chong had prepared a massive number of rations in the city, this amount was absolutely insufficient for these 80,000 Great Tang soldiers who needed to step onto the battlefield at any moment.
'Before the troops and horses can be mobilized, rations and fodder must be prepared.' Without sufficient food, a great army would crumple without even the need to attack!
In order to save the 80,000 remaining Great Tang soldiers and alter the course of the war in the southwest, he had to act before the rations were completely exhausted.
There was not much time left for Wang Chong!
Wang Chong's gaze flitted over the model, taking measure of the southwest's geography.
300,000 Mengshe Zhao soldiers and 200,000 Ngari Ü-Tsang soldiers were not something a mere 80,000 soldiers could fight against.
Even with the tens of thousands of soldiers under his father and Li Zhengyi, it still wouldn't be enough.
But Wang Chong had no other choice. In addition, while difficult, it wasn't impossible for the few to defeat the many, at least for Wang Chong.
With proper use of geography and suitable strategies, such a thing was completely possible.
'All warfare is based on deception.' In this world, no one understood the meaning of this phrase more than Wang Chong.
(TN: This quote is a proverb from Sun Tzu's Art of War.)
Wang Chong was searching for the proper geography.
Swish! Swish! Swish!
One small flag after another was thrust into the model. Hills, forests, riverbanks, mountains… these places that Wang Chong thrust the flags into were projected onto his mind.
The model was empty, devoid of activity. But in Wang Chong's mind, a massive army was surging through it.
The Mengshe Zhao army, the Ü-Tsang army, and the Great Tang army besieged in Lion City… all of these soldiers began to fight in his mind as if they were alive.
This was Wang Chong's first time using his mental energy to simulate the changes in the war of the southwest.
'Military strength relies on simulation.' This was a skill that every commander needed. But the most formidable commander could only simulate tens of thousands of soldiers, perhaps a bit more than a hundred thousand. No one had ever done what Wang Chong was doing, simulating in his mind a war involving 700,000 soldiers.
Moreover, this war involved famous and powerful generals like Geluofeng, Fengjiayi, Duan Gequan, Dalun Ruozan, and Huoshu Huicang!
The styles of renowned generals were difficult to grasp. If someone were to see what Wang Chong was doing at this moment, they would definitely be flabbergasted.
Because if one wanted to predict the actions of generals on the level of Dalun Ruozan and Huoshu Huicang, one had to have an extremely deep understanding of them. In addition, one had to completely surpass them in terms of strategy.
Only by fulfilling these two conditions could one smoothly simulate this war!
Yet this was precisely what Wang Chong was doing!
The future had already changed. 80,000 survivors was already a massive difference from his last life. To Wang Chong, what happened next was no longer in the bounds of fate. He could only rely on himself!