Chapter 539: Ambush! The Easily Frightened Jiaosiluo!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Rain was pouring down in buckets, and two figures were riding along the rolling hills through the rain.
As Fengjiayi led the remnants of his personal guard, he suddenly rode up to Jiaosiluo's side and broke the silence. "Jiaosiluo, the marshal is up ahead. Have you thought about how to explain this to the marshal?"
"I don't know."
Jiaosiluo's answer was concise. The battle was already over, and Jiaosiluo had dispersed his white tiger transformation. At this moment, one could see that Jiaosiluo was a burly man, 1.8 meters tall, his entire body bulging with muscle. He completely lacked the short and stocky stature of Tibetans.
The nine sons of the dragon all had different shapes, and even among the Tibetans, not all of them were short and stocky. Almost all their generals were tall and imposing figures, completely unlike the ordinary Tibetan.
"Right now, I also don't know what to do."
Many thick black hoops were dangling from Jiaosiluo's right ear, and as they clanged against each other, they seemed to make the atmosphere even gloomier.
In their pursuit of Wang Yan and his son, their almost eighty thousand soldiers had suffered losses of fifty thousand, while the total casualties numbered more than seventy thousand. Such a bitter defeat was unprecedented. Their forces had been in chaos on the battlefield, at least eighty percent of it incapable of reaching the front lines of the battle for more than two hours. However, when the army crumbled, it had suffered many casualties from the pursuit of the Annan Protectorate army.
Such a miserable defeat… To tell the truth, even now, Jiaosiluo still felt a deep shame.
The Tibetans were famed for their ferocity and courage, and had never feared a powerful enemy. But in this battle, from start to finish, they had been like headless flies, completely duped by the enemy strategies. As the commander-in-chief, Jiaosiluo had to bear the brunt of the blame.
"That brat… he definitely wasn't Wang Fu. Who was he?"
Jiaosiluo recalled that the brat had been wearing Wang Fu's armor, but he clearly hadn't been Wang Fu. He clenched his massive fists, as well as his teeth.
Though the battlefield had been a mess and though he had completely lost in terms of wits to his adversary, Jiaosiluo was sure of one thing. Everything had begun when that brat ascended to the summit and took command of the army from Wang Fu.
Although he and Fengjiayi were both hailed as fierce generals, they were tens of thousands of li from that brat in their knowledge of the art of war.
"Although I don't know his background, he's definitely no ordinary person. Given that brat's age, if he didn't have some sort of backing, he would have never been able to command the Annan Protectorate army."
Fengjiayi's eyes glimmered. He had his own doubts on the matter.
Fengjiayi had suffered few defeats in his career. He was the Crown Prince of Mengshe Zhao and had been praised by the Great Tang War God Wang Zhongsi, so he was actually a rather arrogant individual. As a result, even though the Great Tang was far more powerful than Mengshe Zhao, Fengjiayi had been a staunch proponent of this war.
And the battle by the Erhai had only caused Fengjiayi's confidence to swell.
The Great Tang's defeat was certain, as was the defeat of the Annan Protectorate army!
Mengshe Zhao could finally hold its head high and break free of the Great Tang's shadow. He could finally become a true crown prince!
But now, Fengjiayi had suffered a defeat.
And it had been a major defeat!
Fengjiayi had always felt like he could predict how this war would develop, but now, for the first time, a variable had appeared, one that couldn't be controlled and was completely unpredictable.
This war isn't over. We'll eventually clash with them again! Fengjiayi mentally said to himself.
The setback this time had been sudden, and strictly speaking, the Mengshe Zhao soldiers who had taken part in this battle had only been his personal guards. A battle on this level wasn't enough to conclude anything. And he hadn't been the one commanding the Tibetan army. Given Fengjiayi's proud personality, he would never have been willing to so easily concede defeat.
Fengjiayi's eyebrows rose as a thought occurred to him.
"The Tang army that appeared at our rear was clearly not the Annan Protectorate army, nor was it the army led by the Wang Clan's father and son. I'm sure that those troops weren't from Lion City. Jiaosiluo, didn't the Great General defeat the Great Tang reinforcements?"
Jiaosiluo stared at him blankly before finally responding. "Yes, this is absolutely true. Do you think that the Great General would lie?"
"The entire force of sixty thousand was wiped out without a single survivor?" Fengjiayi continued his questions.
"This… How could that be? It's not like those were flatlands, so completely wiping out an army is more easily said than done," Jiaosiluo answered.
"So what you're saying is that he only killed a part of it, and the rest were fish that managed to escape through holes in the net? I understand. Jiaosiluo, the Great Tang's capital has sent us a formidable opponent this time."
Fengjiayi squinted as he attempted to peer through the pouring rain.
The stomping of horse hooves came from ahead as the scouts gave their report. "Milord, there's a report from up ahead. The Great General has already discovered Xianyu Zhongtong's Annan Protectorate army and wants us to hurry over with our troops."
"Let's go! Hurry!"
Fengjiayi's and Jiaosiluo's expressions flickered, and with the wave of a hand, their army began to advance. The rain was still coming down, and as the day grew late, their vision grew worse and worse. More than twenty thousand soldiers continued to advance, their minds distracted and inattentive.
Neither Fengjiayi and Jiaosiluo noticed that the surrounding atmosphere had become a little strange. Of the scouts they had dispatched, eight in ten hadn't come back. But none of them had the mind to spare for this sort of thing.
While the army was traveling through a hilly region, shouts suddenly burst out of the rain. Before the soldiers could react, bangbangbang! Thick ballista bolts howled out of the void. Before the Tibetan cavalry could dodge, they were punched through and carried away along with their horses.
"Not good! All troops, stand ready; it's an enemy attack!"
The guard's warnings spoken in Tibetan resounded through the skies. This attack had been too sudden, and the soldiers were only now beginning to rise up in alarm.
But before they could react, they all heard a familiar voice.
"Hahaha, Fengjiayi, Jiaosiluo, I've been waiting for you for a long time. Did you really think you had escaped? Hand over your lives!"
Rumble! The moment this voice finished speaking, countless Tang soldiers charged out from their hiding places.
"Damn it, it's the brat!"
Upon hearing this voice, Fengjiayi and Jiaosiluo paled.
Although they still didn't know who that mysterious youth was, it was impossible to forget that special voice of his.
"What's going on here? How did he know that we would be here!"
Jiaosiluo's alarm was not without reason.
They had been chased far away by Wang Chong's forces and had expended great effort to finally complete their retreat. Afterward, they had taken a long detour in the rain, almost making a complete circle. They had originally believed that they had escaped Wang Chong's grasp, but to their surprise, even after their large detour, they had still managed to run into him.
Of their almost eighty thousand forces, only twenty-thousand-some remained. This army was like an easily frightened bird, its morale at an absolute low.
Not even Fengjiayi and Jiaosiluo were willing to meet Wang Chong at this time.
Panicked shouts filled the air, and both Fengjiayi and Jiaosiluo, not a single shred of fighting intent in them, paled as they struck their horses and urged their armies to retreat. Their reaction couldn't be described as slow, but since Wang Chong had prepared for this ambush and chosen to strike when they were halfway through the hills, it was no easy task for them to retreat.
"You barbarians, give me your lives!"
Horses stampeded through the mud, four or five thousand cavalry charging out of the rain.
"Careful, it's the enemy!"
The Tibetan soldiers began to yell.
Before many people could react, the Tang cavalry struck like lightning, stabbing into the Tibetan ranks.
"Damn it, stop them!"
"They don't have too many people. Don't be afraid!"
"Kill them! Four thousand cavalry dare to charge at us? Don't be afraid! Kill them all!"
The ferocity and courage of the Tibetans were rooted in their bones. All of them were enraged at the audacity of four or five thousand cavalry charging into more than twenty thousand Tibetan elites. Clangclangclang! In a flash, the Tibetan soldiers at the tail of the army who were beginning to flee turned around and began to fight with the Tang cavalry.
The two armies immediately fell into a melee. The neighing of horses, shouts and yells, and the clanging of metal formed a giant clamor. No one could stop this battle now.
"Damn it, retreat! Hurry! Everyone, hear my order—don't fight with them! The goal of these Tang soldiers is to slow us down!" Fengjiayi anxiously shouted. How could four or five thousand cavalry defeat more than twenty thousand heavily-armored Tibetan cavalry?
Thus, the goal of this cavalry had never been to kill, but to hold them down. Infantry were much slower than cavalry, so in normal circumstances, the Tibetan army would have been able to escape without casualties. But now, it was too late.
This brat is too cunning! Fengjiayi inwardly cursed.
The battle developed exactly as Fengjiayi had expected. While several thousand Tibetan cavalry couldn't keep themselves composed and began to fight with the Tang soldiers, the Tang infantry emerged from the hills on both sides and began to charge down. Before they had even arrived, various flying axes, spears, and arrows fired by master archers preceded them.
These projectiles whistled through the air, causing Tibetan after Tibetan to fall.
The Annan Protectorate army came in wave after wave. The four thousand cavalry were the first wave, the arrows of the master archers were the second wave, and the third wave was the axemen, spearmen, and shieldmen… The entire attack was like a flowing river, with no delay between waves. Under Wang Chong's command, the forty-thousand-some soldiers of the Annan Protectorate army were now at a completely different level of strength.
Before those Tibetan cavalry who had turned around to fight the Tang cavalry could react very much, they were surrounded by the Tang soldiers. Crushcrushcrush! As bones splintered, Tibetan after Tibetan was dismounted, and the casualties began to climb at an unimaginable speed.