Chapter 535: Turning Point! The First Victory!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"Wang Yan, these are only the struggles of a trapped beast. The Great Tang is no longer the Great Tang of the past. The southwest is already the world of Mengshe Zhao and Ü-Tsang. You can struggle all you want today, but when the Great General arrives, the only thing that awaits you is death!" Fengjiayi's voice resounded through the heavens.
Even while facing the combined attacks of experts like Wang Yan and Old Eagle, Fengjiayi could still barely put up a resistance.
"There's no need for Crown Prince to waste your breath. Whether the Great Tang is not the Great Tang of the past is not something the Crown Prince of Mengshe Zhao can decide."
Wang Yan's voice was cold, hard, and indifferent. Even someone as capable as Fengjiayi found it difficult to use words to create any flaws in Wang Yan's defense.
"Hmph, still so stubborn even when death is at hand. Even if you manage to escape today's disaster, so what? We're just a meager vanguard, not even worth mentioning when compared to the main army behind us. The lands of the southwest are rather flat, and for a very long time, none of you will be able to see any high mountains and large rivers. Even if you escape for a moment, can you escape forever? I don't believe that your two legs can run faster than four legs!"
Fengjiayi's sword was moving like lightning and the storm of Sword Qi was still howling around him. Although the effects were not great, Fengjiayi had clearly not given up on mentally beating down the Annan Protectorate army.
"Since you're so confident, why did you pursue us so doggedly? When did the Crown Prince of Mengshe Zhao start fighting with his mouth instead of martial arts?" Wang Chong coldly sneered on the side.
Wang Chong's words immediately caused the atmosphere on the mountain to change. A pair of bone-chilling eyes pierced through the curtains of rain and locked onto Wang Chong. At some point, Fengjiayi had shed his disguise, allowing Wang Chong to get a good look at the true appearance of this renowned Crown Prince of Mengshe Zhao for the first time.
This crown prince was twenty-seven or twenty-eight years old. His face was exceedingly handsome and his skin was astonishingly white, even more than that of the nobles in the capital, and he exuded a princely aura from every pore of his body. However, unlike the princes of the imperial household, Fengjiayi was covered in an aggressive air.
Just glancing at the true appearance of Fengjiayi, unobscured by armor, would make someone feel extremely uncomfortable and unwilling to approach him, and this wasn't even considering the rest of his qualities.
If the son is like this, his father probably is much the same. The Six Zhao of Erhai in the southwest are definitely a massive problem for the Great Tang. By spoiling a child, the Imperial Court ended up nurturing a tiger! Wang Chong quietly said to himself.
Signs that the southwest would rebel had been evident for a long time, and while Wang Chong didn't understand how to read faces or feel bones, he could tell that Fengjiayi was not a good person.
"Brat, no matter who you are or where you learned the art of war, you won't be able to escape the southwest alive!"
Fengjiayi's icy voice rumbled like peals of thunder as he announced Wang Chong's fate.
Sword Qi flew through the air. While speaking, Fengjiayi managed to make a tiny opening while matching blows with Wang Yan, through which he sent several streams of Sword Qi out of his fingers and toward Wang Chong. This was so fast that not even Wang Yan had expected it.
It was clear that Fengjiayi's murderous intent toward Wang Chong was not merely in his words.
Purely in terms of how much Fengjiayi wanted to kill them, Wang Chong ranked even higher than his own father, Wang Yan.
To Fengjiayi's surprise, all his blows struck only the earth. Wang Chong had easily dodged these blows, not even using the Single Character Consecutive Slash or Phantom Steps.
To use Sword Qi in front of me is truly laughable. Even the Crown Prince of Mengshe Zhao can't do anything with that.
Wang Chong inwardly grinned.
At Wang Chong's current level of strength, in close-quarters combat, he wasn't even a match for Fengjiayi's fingers. But if Fengjiayi insisted on using Sword Qi and perception, Wang Chong's expertise, to fight against him… well, to speak frankly, as long as Fengjiayi didn't fight up close, Wang Chong really didn't think much of him.
In battles involving tens of thousands of soldiers, one person's martial arts had never been critical. No matter how powerful Fengjiayi and Jiaosiluo were, if they thought that they could change anything with just their strength alone, then they were far too naive.
While Fengjiayi and Jiaosiluo were playing heroes, Wang Chong was playing a game of strategy and tactics.
The two sides weren't on the same level.
"All generals, hear my order! Hold down Fengjiayi and Jiaosiluo. Old Eagle, has our army arrived yet?"
Wang Chong slid down the mud of the summit, retreating ten-some zhang to make some distance between him and Fengjiayi. At the same time, he raised King Song's token in his right hand and spoke in a resounding voice.
"Milord, they're here!"
Old Eagle's voice buzzed with a metallic resonance. In transforming into the Six-Armed Ksitigarbha Vajra Guardian, even his voice seemed to have been affected.
Thunder rumbled overhead, and at the same time, an earth-shaking howl rose from below. Although they had been slow in coming, the ten thousand troops led by Commandants Xu Shiping and Xu Andun had still made a timely arrival. Although the rain blurred the view from the summit, one could clearly see a new force appear behind the Tibetan and Mengshe Zhao armies.
"It's another Tang army!"
"Careful about the rear, ah!"
"It's not the Annan Protectorate army! Why is there another army? Wasn't the Great Tang supposed to be out of soldiers?"
"Form a defensive line, and pay attention to the rear!"
Panicked Tibetan voices mixed together with the clang of metal and the neighs of horses into a din that managed to even drown out the rain. It took only a few moments for the army led by Xu Shiping and Xu Andun to thrust into the Tibetan army.
Although there was no Wang Chong, Li Siye, or Old Eagle to help them hold the line, Xu Shiping and Xu Andun were still veteran officers who couldn't fail to notice the opportunity. The Tibetans were already facing the massive pressure from the Annan Protectorate army, and with the arrival of another Tang army of ten thousand from behind, they instantly fell into chaos.
"Congratulations to user for killing 41344 Tibetan cavalry!"
"Congratulations to user for killing 43517 Tibetan cavalry!"
"Congratulations to user for killing 44166 Tibetan cavalry!"
A string of messages cascaded through Wang Chong's mind in a downpour. A single clash had instantly inflicted four thousand losses on the Tibetans, and the situation was continuing to worsen. In the art of war, to be attacked from both the front and rear was one of an army's greatest fears.
The Tibetans were in a complete rout now. The battle was settled, and not even Fengjiayi and Jiaosiluo at their most powerful would be capable of altering the result.
"Damn it, damn it!"
Fengjiayi listened to the screams behind, his eyes going red with madness.
This pursuit from the rain not only involved the vanguard of the Tibetan army, but several thousand of his personal soldiers. Those who had followed through this pouring rain were all the elite of Mengshe Zhao's elite. None of them had been easy to train, but even so, Fengjiayi could still hear their screams.
"This brat—I have to kill him!"
Fengjiayi clenched his teeth so hard that he seemed intent on crushing them to dust. The defeat of his side was already settled, and Wang Yan and the other generals of the Annan Protectorate army had already arrived. Not even killing Wang Chong and cutting down the banner would be able to change anything.
"Jiaosiluo, let's go! Quickly! The Great General and the Mengshe Zhao elites are still behind us. They won't be able to escape!"
Fengjiayi suddenly turned around and shouted, but he was surprisingly speaking in Tibetan.
As the Crown Prince of Mengshe Zhao, Fengjiayi was not only an accomplished warrior. By the time he had entered the capital of the Great Tang to become a hostage, he had already learned quite a few foreign languages. He hadn't only learned Tibetan, Turkic, Goguryeon, and the various languages of the Western Regions, he had also learned the language of the Abbasid Caliphate and Charax Spasinu. Fengjiayi was proficient in everything he attempted, a true genius of both the pen and the sword.
The white tiger opened its mouth and replied in Tibetan, "Don't rush. Wait for me to kill this brat first!" Jiaosiluo had boundless strength, charging left and right as he stared at Wang Chong on the summit. The mountain range was currently covered in the corpses of Tibetans and their highland steeds, and all of it was because of that brat on the summit.
Deaths were inevitable on the battlefield, and Jiaosiluo was never one to get sentimental. He wouldn't even feel much if all his subordinates died. But Jiaosiluo did have a deep desire for victory, and this brat on the summit had now become a stumbling block for the Tibetans, so Jiaosiluo wanted to kill him.
I should have killed him from the start. I truly underestimated him too much! Jiaosiluo mentally bellowed in fury.
His Ksitigarbha White Tiger Halo originated from the Great Snow Mountain Holy Temple. It was one of the supreme martial arts that greatly boosted his power. As a result, he was actually much less hard-pressed than Fengjiayi. Although the Annan Protectorate army had many experts, as long as he was willing to pay a price, he was still capable of killing the brat.
"Jiaosiluo, don't act on emotion! The Great General will be here soon, and this is a flat land, so they have nowhere to run. We'll have plenty of chances to kill them! As long as we can endure and meet up with the main army, their deaths are assured!"
Fengjiayi was a perceptive person, so he knew what Jiaosiluo was thinking and immediately urged him to think otherwise.
Jiaosiluo was a typical fierce general, his mind only on battle with little care for anything else. But though he didn't care about the deaths of the Tibetan cavalry, Fengjiayi did. The alliance between Mengshe Zhao and Ü-Tsang would have other places to show its power in the future. Fengjiayi's ambitions were not limited to the southwestern corner of the Great Tang!
"Don't let them escape; hold them down!
"Master archer square, hear my order. Forward and to the left, thirty-eight hundred steps, fire as one!
"Inform the cavalry to do all they can to pierce through the Tibetan ranks!"
Although Wang Chong had never once participated in the fierce battle taking place before him, he issued order after fatal order. The superior general broke the enemy's schemes, and victory in a battle was far more important than victory over an individual person.
"Congratulations to user for killing 45744 Tibetan cavalry!"
"Congratulations to user for killing 47915 Tibetan cavalry!"
"Congratulations to user for killing 48416 Tibetan cavalry!"
A string of messages echoed through Wang Chong's mind. Of the almost eighty thousand Tibetan cavalry, Wang Chong's forces had killed almost fifty thousand. The whinnies of the highland steeds and the screams of humans could be heard all over the battlefield. With enemies at both the front and rear, there was no more room for cavalry to charge.
Right now, the Tibetans were merely infantry.
And what they were facing was the world's most organized, disciplined, coordinated, and powerful infantry force, the infantry of the Great Tang. The result of this competition between infantry and 'infantry' was easily imaginable!
"We've lost! There are too many Tang soldiers!"
"Impossible—we clearly had more soldiers, so how did it become like this!"
"Retreat, retreat! We can't win… Why are there so many Tang soldiers!"
"Quickly find the Great General. We've lost too many soldiers. Only the Great General can deal with them now!"
The battle extended from the base of the mountains to the summit, and the morale of the Tibetans had reached an absolute low. None of them had ever expected this battle to turn out like this. They had clearly come with more soldiers than the Annan Protectorate army, but in the end, they felt like they were outnumbered by the Tang soldiers.
It was like having a body filled with strength but no way to use it.
Seeing that the situation was dangerous, Fengjiayi suddenly took out a thumb-sized pill from his bosom and swallowed it down. His strength instantly swelled, and he pushed Wang Yan away with his sword and retreated back the way he came.
"Stop fighting and leave! If we stay here, our forces will be completely wiped out!"
Fengjiayi sent out several harsh streams of Sword Qi and then pressed his right hand against the ground, summoning nine more of those fearless metal men. After warding off the Tang soldiers, he pulled at Jiaosiluo, who had regained his human form, and leaped away.
With these two fierce generals doing their all to break out, it was impossible for the Tang soldiers to stop them. It took only a few moments for the pair to force open a gap and lead their army down the mountain.
Wang Chong's expression flickered. Thrusting the banner back into the ground, he leaped onto the White-hoofed Shadow and began charging down the summit in pursuit.
Wang Chong had never once participated in this battle, not even when Fengjiayi reached the summit. Now, however, he had immediately decided to charge down and enter the battlefield.
"Young Master Chong, careful—a desperate enemy is dangerous…"
In the army, Chen Shusun hastily shouted, worried for Wang Chong's safety.
"The proper general knows when to pursue the fleeing enemy! Uncle Chen, all officers, hear my order! Pursue the enemy! Don't let them escape!"
Wang Chong issued the order as he chased after the Tibetans.
The Tibetan morale was broken, their commanders had fled, and their army was in complete disorder. This was the best chance to widen their gains in this battle. The Tibetans wouldn't give them this chance again the next time they met on the battlefield.
On the summit, Wang Yan surveyed the battlefield with a profound and imposing gaze. He muttered to himself for only a few moments before immediately giving the exact same order as Wang Chong.
This time, the generals did not hesitate. The Annan Protectorate army rallied, their shouts to kill shaking the heavens as they followed the fleeing Tibetan army like an avalanche.
The heaven-shaking shouts were echoed on all sides!
For the first time in this calamity of the southwest, they had finally achieved victory!