Chapter 523: Chaos! The Army in Danger!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Boom boom boom!
The rapid beat of the war drums reverberated through the world. Not even the storm was able to stop their sound from traveling hundreds of li. On this vast land, a fierce battle was currently taking place around a greenish-black mountain range. One side was a vast sea of infantry while the other side was vicious and ferocious heavy cavalry!
The beating of war drums, the sounds of fighting, the neighing of warhorses, and the clashes of metal mixed into a single clamorous din. One person's strength was limited, but thousands of soldiers fighting and shouting produced a sound that not even the thunder and downpour could drown out.
"Surround them! Don't let a single one escape!"
In the dense rain, a mustachioed Tibetan commander turned his horse around and sternly shouted. Around him, the Tibetan formation was in complete chaos. The muddy ground and the curtains of rain had crippled the ability of the Tibetan cavalry to take up their powerful formations.
But even so, this Tibetan commander still ordered his army to engage in a full-out assault.
The Tibetans were affected by the rain, but that didn't mean that the Great Tang soldiers were unaffected. At the very least, the formation of the Annan Protectorate army was not impenetrable. No matter what, this was the best opportunity to eliminate their mortal foes, the Annan Protectorate army!
"Forward, forward, forward! Break the center of their army and pierce through their formation. The only thing waiting for the Tang will be death!"
The Tibetan commander continued to order around the warriors at his side, continuing to urge them to charge. However, even he did not realize that in a place not very far away from him, several figures were crawling through some low hills. The thick shrubs common throughout the southwest had succeeded in hiding them.
This was the first time since the start of their journey south that Wang Chong's forces had experienced a battle of this level. Although the Tibetan army around the mountain range was somewhat disorderly, incapable of using its normal strength, it was incredibly large. The shroud of the rain and their dense ranks made it impossible to give an exact count.
But there was one thing that Wang Chong could be sure of: this army was far larger than he had imagined.
If Wang Chong's ten thousand soldiers had met this force, they would be doomed.
But right now, all the Tibetans were focused on the Annan Protectorate army on top of the mountain range. None of them had any mind for activity in their rear, and the pouring rain also served as the best shroud for Wang Chong's forces.
Old Eagle crawled to Wang Chong's side and worriedly asked, "Milord, what do we do?"
They had come south to reinforce the Annan Protectorate army in Lion City, but right now, the Annan Protectorate army was on the mountain range in front of them, with a vast human wall of Tibetans between them. Yet this human wall was like an insurmountable fortress.
Wang Chong waved his hand and whispered, "Don't panic!" His eagle-like gaze pierced through the openings in the shrubs and examined the Tibetan army. To occupy and defend the high ground, overlapping layers of defense, attacking to defend, even using the agile Coiling Serpent Formation—this was the style of his big brother, Wang Fu.
His father was never this flexible, and Xianyu Zhongtong was a general who specialized in defending cities.
Wang Chong was extremely familiar with the members of his own family.
"The Annan Protectorate army is different from the reserve soldiers led by Li Zhengyi. These are all elites of the empire garrisoned in the southwest. Although they're infantry, their strength far surpasses that of ordinary soldiers. Moreover, those who have survived all those consecutive battles are the elite of the elite. They'll be okay for the time being," Wang Chong sternly said.
Zhangchou Jianqiong was not praised as the Tiger of the Empire for no reason. Crucially, Xianyu Zhongtong was a general who specialized in defending cities, not someone who was skilled in going on the offensive. There was no city to defend on the Erhai plains, and fighting the 300,000 soldiers of the Mengshe Zhao army there was completely to his disadvantage. Even in those conditions, the Annan Protectorate army had managed to preserve quite a bit of its strength.
These soldiers were the last hope for the empire and the crux upon which the southwest war turned.
If these soldiers could not be saved, the Annan Protectorate would become the first protectorate in the history of the empire that would be dissolved because it had been lost on the battlefield. More importantly, it would trigger the other foreign kingdoms to begin looking upon the Great Tang and the Central Plains with covetous gazes!
Wang Chong could not accept such a result!
I found it!
Wang Chong's eyes suddenly brightened, his gaze piercing through the rain to rest on a large banner at the top of a mountain. Although his vision was blurry, Wang Chong could still tell that this was his brother Wang Fu's banner!
Wang Chong clenched his fists, his mind in turmoil.
The brothers of the Wang Clan had a rather large age gap, and when Wang Chong was still very young, his older brother Wang Fu had already entered the army. Wang Chong had always had a good impression of Wang Fu. Unlike Wang Bei, Wang Fu was the model older brother, always treating him and his sister Xiaoyao very well.
Not so long ago, Wang Chong had thought about meeting up with his big brother on the battlefield and fighting side by side with him. He hadn't expected his musings to be realized.
Father is skilled in defense, and it's not so easy to break through his lines. But Big Brother is skilled in offense, and in defending through attacking. In terms of strategy, he's even above Father. With those two working together, one attacking and one defending, working in concert with each other, not even with all their soldiers can the Tibetans easily prevail!
Wang Chong looked up at the summit, his mind somewhat more at ease.
The southwest war was the first crushing defeat the Central Plains had experienced, and the loss of the 180,000 soldiers of the Annan Protectorate army would be an indescribable wound for the empire. Thus, Wang Chong had very early on transferred Wang Yan and Wang Fu to a place near the southwestern border. Now, this action was showing its use. The leadership talent shown by his father and brother, coupled with the assistance of Xianyu Zhongtong and the generals of the southwest, had made it so that not even Huoshu Huicang and Dalun Ruozan were able to dispose of them very quickly.
As Wang Chong's gaze rested on the fierce battlefield, he suddenly spoke without even turning his head. "Let's go! Old Eagle, let's get ourselves a few Tibetan suits of armor."
"Yes, Young Master!"
Old Eagle almost subconsciously replied, but just as he began to move, there was a whoosh. The shrub in front of him swayed, water splashed, and Wang Chong was gone.
Old Eagle lost his voice and his face paled. Only now did he realize that when Wang Chong had ordered him to get a few suits of armor, he hadn't actually been talking to him. He was going to get the armor himself. In a split second, Old Eagle glimpsed a low figure gliding across the ground like a python, breaking through the mist and vanishing from sight.
This agile appearance seemed utterly inhuman and left a deep impression on Old Eagle.
"When did Young Master learn this sort of skill?"
Old Eagle was stupefied. Not even with his skill could he use such a movement technique. But there was no time to think. Old Eagle's body lunged forward, quickly leaving the cover of the hills and vanishing into the distance.
Faint thuds could be heard in the rain, but they were almost imperceptible amidst all the drumming and the crackling of thunder. It took only a few moments for Wang Chong and Old Eagle to return with a few suits of Tibetan armor. He had his group quickly change gear so that they could disguise themselves as Tibetan cavalry.
As Wang Chong's group galloped through the rain with lowered heads, they raised no alarms.
Only a few moments ago, Wang Chong had gotten a rough understanding of the area around the mountain range.
There definitely aren't 200,000 Tibetan cavalry here. It's probably 70,000 or 80,000! I didn't sense the energy of the Saint Martial realm, so Huoshu Huicang and Dalun Ruozan probably aren't here. This is only the vanguard of the Tibetan army!
Wang Chong seemed calm, but countless thoughts were running through his mind.
Huoshu Huicang and Dalun Ruozan of the Ü-Tsang Ngari Royal Lineage had a thunderous reputation on the Central Plains. The pair of them were singlehandedly propping up the entire Ngari Royal Lineage, and had forced even the Tiger of the Empire, Zhangchou Jianqiong, to adopt a defensive strategy. These two were undoubtedly some of the most illustrious existences residing on the borders of the Great Tang.
But Wang Chong had never met them before, not in this life or the last.
He had once imagined fighting them on the battlefield, but to the Wang Chong of the moment and the Annan Protectorate army, their absence was the best of news.
There's no reason for Huoshu Huicang and Dalun Ruozan not to be here to destroy the Annan Protectorate army. They must be on their way here or got sidetracked in the storm due to the poor visibility. No matter which it is, the situation before me won't last for long. I have to make a decision as quickly as possible and reverse the tides! Wang Chong quietly said to himself.
While he was thinking, he suddenly heard a disturbance. The formation on the northeast side of the mountain range suddenly fell into chaos. The cavalry at the base of the mountains noticed the change and immediately began to attack. Although they were quickly beaten back, the defensive circle around the summit had truly been under extreme danger!
"That scared me! Fortunately, they managed to hold on!" one of the Black Dragon Bandit elites said.
The rise and fall of the country concerned everyone, and in this upheaval of the southwest, there were no hired experts or Black Dragon Bandits, only pure Tang men. Although everyone at Wang Chong's side gave a sigh of relief, Wang Chong was not one bit relieved. His searing gaze stared at the figures on the summit and the twinkling light of their shields, his brow furrowing in concern.
A hint of disharmony had clearly appeared on the northeastern side of the mountain range, and the disorder in the formation was not only failing to dissipate, it was continuing to expand. This was not a problem with the soldiers, and it certainly wasn't because the Tibetan offense was too aggressive. Something had clearly gone wrong with the commander. And while one could disregard the rest, a problem with the commander was lethal.
The banner of his older brother Wang Fu was still flying over the summit, and the defense of northeastern region was his responsibility. If there was a problem with the commander of the northeast, didn't that mean…
A terrible unease gripped Wang Chong's heart.