Chapter 538: Besieging the Enemy to Defeat Reinforcements1! Wang Chong's Resolve!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
(TN: 'Besieging the Enemy to Defeat Reinforcements' was a military strategy that was a part of 'mobile warfare'. It involved besieging the enemy so as to compel enemy forces from elsewhere to come to the aid of the besieged forces. The goal of the strategy is not to take the city but to destroy the enemy reinforcements.)
The boundless rain covered the earth, seeping into one's vision. Even though he had already prepared himself, Wang Chong still had to admit that matters had developed beyond his expectations.
"Reporting, Tibetan tracks have been discovered up ahead, a force of at least one hundred thousand!"
"Reporting, Lord Xianyu has been discovered! The rest of the Annan Protectorate army has been surrounded!"
"Reporting, the army is being led by the Tibetan Great General, Huoshu Huicang!"
Scout after scout arrived on their horses, delivering reports that none of the officers wanted to hear. But blessings did not come in pairs and disaster never came alone. The predicament facing them was far from just this.
"Reporting! Fengjiayi and Jiaosiluo have been discovered to the southwest. Their forces are in a double-pronged formation and are quickly converging on this location!"
A few seconds later, another Annan Protectorate army scout came forward with this report.
The pinging of rain against the armor of the soldiers could be heard loud and clear as the army fell into silence, the mood heavy and oppressive.
Huoshu Huicang was a name that none of them had wanted to hear, and though their army had moved quickly, the scene that they had least wanted to see had still happened. Not only had the army led by Xianyu Zhongtong been caught up to by Huoshu Huicang, the recently defeated Fengjiayi and Jiaosiluo had actually come back.
The situation was extremely disadvantageous to them!
"Young Master, what should we do now?"
Almost subconsciously, an officer of the Annan Protectorate army swallowed down his saliva and turned his neck to look at Wang Chong. The scouts of the Annan Protectorate army who had managed to survive to this point were the best of the best, and with the guidance of the massive eagle, they had been able to discover their enemy's tracks a little earlier than usual.
But the time they had gained from this wouldn't be too significant. Once Fengjiayi, Jiaosiluo, and the hundred thousand troops under Huoshu Huicang discovered the Tang army and the two forces attacked them from two sides, the only thing that would await all these officers was death.
Time was short, and a decision needed to be made as quickly as possible. But at this moment, this officer truly couldn't think of a way, so he entrusted his hopes to Wang Chong.
If there was one person who could lead them out of this situation, it was Wang Chong.
One, two, three… everyone began to look toward Wang Chong. Wang Chong held Zhangchou Jianqiong's token and now held the highest authority in the southwest. Only he was capable of ordering these people and inspiring conviction in the army.
Wang Chong's brow furrowed. In the current situation, not even he could make a decision this quickly.
I thought I had already chased off Fengjiayi and Jiaosiluo. I didn't think that they would so quickly turn around and come back. They must have received some news and come back to rejoin the rest of the army.
Wang Chong was quiet, but his mind was hard at work.
He was already surprised at the fact that Huoshu Huicang had managed to so quickly catch up to Xianyu Zhongtong, and he was even further surprised at the speed with which Fengjiayi and Jiaosiluo had returned. Just a few hours ago, Wang Chong had clearly chased their army in the complete opposite direction. But they had somehow managed to make a giant loop and almost magically appear here.
The Tibetans were already numerous, and if they added fierce generals like Fengjiayi and Jiaosiluo to their ranks, the Annan Protectorate army would have to engage the Tibetans in the final battle in this place.
The army was practically defenseless, so this was not the result that Wang Chong desired.
Moreover, if this really happened, Wang Chong wouldn't be able to use any of his plans and preparations.
In addition, the Annan Protectorate army's current objective was to delay the Mengshe–Ü-Tsang army, not engage in a final battle to the death with it. On a strategic level, this was completely out of step with Wang Chong's plans.
"Chong-er, just say whatever you're thinking! No matter what, I and the other generals will support you."
A familiar voice rang out at his ear. Wang Yan, stroking his beard, had suddenly spoken. Even though his voice was cold and indifferent, it felt like a wave of warmth in Wang Chong's ears.
"Let me think!"
Wang Chong raised his head toward the stormy skies, his mind whirring as countless thoughts flew through it. Time was short, and the situation facing the Annan Protectorate army was already a worst-case scenario. Wang Chong had to make a decision quickly.
"Besiege the enemy to defeat the reinforcements!"
After what seemed like both seconds and countless years, Wang Chong suddenly spoke a phrase that none of the officers had ever heard before.
"Lord Xianyu can still hold out for a while without a problem, but Fengjiayi and Jiaosiluo are powerful foes that we have to deal with! No matter what, we can't let them join up with the main army. Moreover… whether we can save Lord Xianyu will depend on this battle!"
At the end of these words, an astonishing light shone in Wang Chong's eyes.
The situation in the southwest was at its worst possible state, but nothing in this world was absolute, and there was always a chance for survival. For Wang Chong, after experiencing the calamity of the foreign invaders, there was no such thing as certain death.
"…In addition, the Tibetan cavalry number around two hundred thousand, and if we subtract Fengjiayi and Jiaosiluo's seventy thousand, they should have 160,000 or 170,000. But the forces fighting Lord Xianyu are around one hundred thousand, so there are sixty or seventy thousand soldiers missing. There's no doubt that quite a few of their soldiers got lost in this rainstorm, and they won't be able to return for at least a little while. And this is where our chance lies! As long as we can eliminate Fengjiayi's forces and then meet up with Lord Xianyu, our forces won't be much smaller than the Tibetan forces. It's only ninety thousand versus one hundred thousand! I'm sure all of you have experienced such battles before!"
At the start, the officers were still a little confused at Wang Chong's words, but as Wang Chong reached the head, all their eyes began to glow.
He was right. Purely in terms of strength, the Annan Protectorate army had never been lacking when compared to Mengshe Zhao and the Ngari Royal Lineage. On the contrary, they actually had the upper hand. It was true that the loss of 100,000 of the 180,000 elites had dealt the Annan Protectorate army a heavy blow.
But the soldiers that had survived were the elite of the elite. Not only had their strength not decreased, it had actually increased. This point alone made their situation not as bad as it seemed.
"Milord is correct. If we meet up with Lord Xianyu, our strength is absolutely enough to fight a battle with Huoshu Huicang!"
As the officers looked at Wang Chong, their eyes began to burn with the will to fight.
"Okay, move out!"
Wang Chong waved his hand and immediately took the lead.
Rumble! The army followed close behind.
1.'Besieging the Enemy to Defeat Reinforcements' was a military strategy that was a part of 'mobile warfare'. It involved besieging the enemy so as to compel enemy forces from elsewhere to come to the aid of the besieged forces. The goal of the strategy is not to take the city but to destroy the enemy reinforcements.↩