Chapter 513: Major Battle (IV)
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"Everyone, heed my orders! Assume Echelon Formation! All soldiers, charge! Those who retreat will be executed!"
Bachicheng's eyes were frigid, his entire body exploding with a chilling aura of dread.
The beast-like calls of the Tibetan cavalry echoed through the skies.
In the Ü-Tsang Ngari Royal Lineage, Bachicheng's prestige was incomparable to Xiangyang Dalu. In both the internal conflicts within the tribe and in the battles against the Great Tang, Bachicheng had already proved his strength. In the fight against the 60,000 soldiers of the Tang army, Bachicheng had led the charge that had broken through the Tang center.
His very high status among the Five Tiger Generals was based on this ability.
With Bachicheng himself deciding to personally take part, the six thousand Tibetan cavalry once more exploded with an intense will to fight. The gloom brought about by Xiangyang Dalu's death was instantly swept away.
His eyes spitting lightning, Bachicheng took from a subordinate the holy banner of Ü-Tsang, several zhang tall and as thick as an arm, emblazoned with a white yak over a black background. Meanwhile, his right hand held his scimitar.
Like a bolt of lightning searing across the sky, Bachicheng urged his horse forward, scarlet-red flames bursting from his body and enveloping the entire army. He led them like a fiery cloud toward the summit, the aura and momentum of his six thousand cavalry completely different from Xiangyang Dalu's.
The massive mountain trembled, sending rocks constantly rolling down from the summit. And at this point, Bachicheng had not even reached the foot of the mountain.
"Young Master, Bachicheng has committed his entire army!"
The officers on the summit were all nervous.
Bachicheng led his army in a completely different manner from Xiangyang Dalu. His army had a majestic momentum, a powerful and boundless storm. If one described Xiangyang Dalu's army as giant waves endlessly smashing against the rocks, Bachicheng's army was a typhoon or tornado. It spanned the gap between heaven and earth, approaching with an unstoppable momentum. Comparing the two was like comparing a child to an adult.
"Milord, Bachicheng is not to be looked down upon. All the soldiers under him are elites with exceptional fighting prowess. It was they who broke General Li's Golden Fortress Formation," an officer cautioned.
None of the officers wanted to see the past repeated. Bachicheng's forces back then had been exactly like this as they broke through Li Zhengyi's defense: nimble as the wind, aggressive as a fire, steady as a mountain. Every person felt an enormous pressure as they attempted to recall those past mistakes.
"Milord, we should also commit our main forces ," another Tang officer nervously suggested. "Otherwise, the forces we have deployed at present won't be able to hold. If the front lines collapse, we'll all be doomed!"
Wang Chong raised an arm and lightly said, "There's no need to panic! Listen to my orders!" His calm tone carried a persuasive power, and as the officers looked at each other, they felt their anxiety fading away.
As the army approached, red Halos of Thorns began to appear, expanding over the soldiers of the army. As space began to twist, a red flame seemed to engulf the army. Seeing that Bachicheng was moving out, the demoralized Tibetans on the mountain were stirred back into action and began to join Bachicheng's charge.
Like a rolling snowball, the Tibetan army swelled, its momentum growing to astonishing levels.
Rumble! When Bachicheng reached the base of the mountain, the mountain seemed to tremble at the weight of his army. The earth quaked and shuddered as if on the verge of collapse.
"It's this again!"
"Bachicheng, he's coming!"
On the mountain, as the Tang soldiers saw that sacred white yak banner and that fully-armored Tibetan general cloaked in scarlet flames, fear began to show in their eyes.
Other than the forces that Wang Chong had initially led, almost all of the soldiers had taken part in that head-on battle against the Tibetans.
The flying white yak banner and the black-armored general covered in seething flames had become their most haunting nightmare!
Xu Shiping was worried, his voice tearing as his shouts resounded over the army.
Ten-some days ago, Bachicheng had used exactly this method to break through the center of the 60,000 soldiers of the reinforcement army. Now, history was repeating, and Bachicheng had come attacking once more. This was a division-level battle between the Great Tang and Ü-Tsang. The only paths were life and death. If they couldn't defeat this army before them, the Great Tang would have no more reinforcements to send south.
Not for a very long time.
"All troops, stand ready!
"Spearmen, axemen, prepare yourselves!"
Order after order was issued. At this moment, the most composed was actually Wang Chong, who was experiencing his first campaign.
"He truly is a fierce general!"
As gales traveled from the foot of the mountain to the summit, Wang Chong could almost feel the heat and scorching flames. While his entire army was in an extreme state of tension, Wang Chong could be described as the calmest and most composed. But even after all the battles he had experienced, Wang Chong still had to admit that Bachicheng truly was an extremely formidable general.
Wang Chong had used several hundred ballistae to instantly slay an important general like Xiangyang Dalu, dealing a grievous blow to his army. But Bachicheng's order to charge had greatly minimized the effect and had even inspired fear in Wang Chong's army of eight thousand.
The advantages gained in the first half of the battle were basically nullified.
It was incredibly surprising for such an excellent general to arise from Ü-Tsang.
But that was as far as it would go.
When facing Wang Chong, no matter how powerful Bachicheng was or how learned in strategy and tactics, he could never change that critical flaw of his. Battles were not won by one man's martial strength, so for Wang Chong, it didn't really matter how powerful Bachicheng was. That flaw was sufficient for Wang Chong to deal with him.
Wang Chong suddenly opened his mouth and gave his final order. "Pass down my order. The forward army should take up the Crane Wing Formation. The left and right wings should draw close to the central army and be four ranks deep, vacating their current positions. In addition, tell Lord Zhao to arrange his forces into Arrow Formation and prepare to charge!"
Behind him, that messenger soldier who had seemingly been waiting for a long time to pass down this order seemed elated and quickly left.
"You should also go!"
Wang Chong suddenly turned his head to the ten-some Black Dragon Bandit elites that Li Siye had sent to guard him.
"But what about you, Young Master?"
"There's no need to worry. The decisive moment is here! There's no meaning in your staying here. Bachicheng won't be able to get here," Wang Chong indifferently said.
"Yes, Young Master!"
The elites had no more objections and left with their orders.
Like a meteor crashing into the Great Tang formation, Bachicheng's attack had come, far quicker and more violent than anyone had expected. The dense formation that had blocked the Tibetan waves earlier on, that had even managed to inflict a disastrous defeat on Xiangyang Dalu, was now as weak as an ant trying to shake a tree, crumbling away at Bachicheng's assault.
Screams filled the air as the shield soldiers of the Great Tang were flung away like they were made of straw, many of them dead before they had even hit the ground. At the same time, hooks, axes, spears, and halberds came from all directions, but all of these attacks were stopped by the boundless Stellar Energy protecting Bachicheng's body.
Even though these thousands of Great Tang soldiers were focusing their attacks on Bachicheng, not one of them could stop him.
Bachicheng only had to stimulate the Stellar Energy in his dantian to cause screams in all directions and fling away countless soldiers.
"Kill them all. Anyone who kills a Tang soldier will be richly rewarded!"
Bachicheng's ruthless voice was like that of a vicious beast, emanating waves of almost solid killing intent that struck out like the tide.
Behind Bachicheng, the Tibetan cavalry began to shift from Echelon Formation to the piercing Arrow Formation. The Arrow Formation favored by the Great Tang was now being used in the hands of the Tibetans, and their proficiency was not one bit inferior.
Merely through this aspect, Bachicheng had exceeded the vast majority of Tibetan commanders.
When charging from high elevations, he used the Echelon Formation, striking his opponent with wave after wave until they collapsed. Charging from lower elevation, he used the Arrow Formation, personally taking the lead to thrust into the middle of the enemy army and burst it apart. In Bachicheng's hands, the army would never invariably follow a single strategy. As long as he could rout his foe, Bachicheng didn't mind using any method, including the formations of the Tang army.
"Trying to show a fish how to swim!"
Wang Chong stood on a rock, his lips curling into a smile of ridicule.
Bachicheng's tactics might have been useful in front of other commanders, but they were completely laughable in front of him.
Rumble! Wang Chong's Crane Wing Formation began to move, the dense ranks closing in from both sides.
Bachicheng sneered. As long as he broke through the center of the Great Tang army, any further tactics were useless against him. The Tibetan cavalry were like carp surging through a river, and Bachicheng paid no attention to his sides as he continued to pierce through the Tang defensive lines, with no one able to slow him down.
But gradually, Bachicheng's complexion was beginning to change.
"Damn, why are there so many defensive lines!"
The Tang army's central army was seemingly endless. He had already broken through ten-some layers, but he still had ten-some layers to go.
"Plateau barbarian, take my saber!"
A vigorous and tyrannical voice yelled out, and right as Bachicheng raised his head to see where it was coming from, a giant of a man, his two hands wielding a massive saber, jumped into the air like an eagle and slashed down…
Bachicheng finally paled.
Layer after layer of Tang infantry poured in from all sides. Not even Bachicheng had noticed that as his army shifted from Echelon to Arrow, the front of his Arrow Formation was also being slowed, and a large crack had opened up between the front and back of his army. His six thousand troops had suddenly become two groups.
This change wasn't too big of a deal. Only a moment would be needed for the soldiers to rejoin, but for Wang Chong at the summit, this 'small flaw' was enough!
With a wave of a sword, the one thousand clan experts and the one-thousand-some cavalry under Xu Shiping, a total of 2600 horsemen, charged down from the summit. The images of the Dusk Stallion entered their bodies, each one of them forming a Halo of Dusk Stallion.
It took only a few moments for this force to reach maximum speed.
Wang Chong had finally revealed his hidden cavalry!
There was only thundering and neighing as Wang Chong's cavalry cut into that crack like a sharp knife before anyone could react. Swishswishswish! Wootz Steel swords shone with cold light as they swept through the air, leaving flying heads in their wake.
The Tibetan army was instantly thrown into chaos!