Chapter 548: Retreat! Huoshu Huicang's Killing Intent!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The sudden attack from this unexpected angle had left all the Tibetans dumbfounded. At this juncture, no one had expected the Great Tang to leave behind an army of disguised soldiers to ambush them in the rear. And the leaders of this ambush were Xianyu Zhongtong and Wang Yan!
These two were both experts inferior only to Great General Huoshu Huicang. Just by fighting alone, they would have been able to last a long time, but now they were working together to ambush Longqinba.
With this one strike, Longqinba was heavily injured.
"Damn it, the Tang are too despicable!"
All the Tibetans instantly reacted, all of them shocked and enraged as they heedlessly charged at Xianyu Zhongtong and Wang Yan. But before they could charge over, the several thousand cavalry of the Annan Protectorate army stabbed into them like a sharp knife, cutting the Tibetan formation into two.
The stomping of hooves filled the air. The attack from the Annan Protectorate army had come from a completely unexpected direction. Even Longqinba had been caught by surprise, so how could the ordinary soldiers not be?
Warhorse crashing into warhorse and scimitar clashing against sword created a massive din. Unwillingly, the Tibetans began to slowly give ground. The army of six or seven thousand had been thrown into chaos by the Tang charge.
Both Xianyu Zhongtong and Wang Yan stared with cold eyes at the fallen figure of Longqinba. This fierce general of Ü-Tsang was the head of the Five Tiger Generals. If they could kill him, they could definitely deal a massive blow to the morale of the Tibetan army.
As mud and water went flying, these two commanders of the Great Tang's southwest launched a fatal strike at the head of the Five Tiger Generals.
"We can't let the Tang harm Milord!"
In an instant, all the Tibetan officers became extremely worried and led the surrounding soldiers in a mad and reckless charge against Xianyu Zhongtong and Wang Yan. Mooo! In the air, the images of yaks began to appear, mixed with the images of the strange beasts from the legends of the plateau.
Stellar Energy covered the heavens, rumbling toward Wang Yan and Xianyu Zhongtong like countless dragons.
In an instant, two majestic barriers of Stellar Energy rapidly expanded in the depths of the crowd. So domineering were these energies that they instantly shattered all the oncoming streams of Stellar Energy into pieces.
Not only that, these two powerful Stellar Energies joined together and swept away everything. These madly charging Tibetan officers and the soldiers they led were sent flying like ragdolls.
Screams rang out through the air. Even the brave and fierce Tibetans were no match for the two highest-ranked commanders of the Great Tang's southwest. With their obstructions blown away, these two generals plowed forward unhindered toward Longqinba.
"Huoshu Huicang isn't here, making this the best chance to kill Longqinba. Brother Gengzhi, attack with all you have. Don't give him a chance!"
Xianyu Zhongtong's furious roar resounded through the skies.
In Lion City, Longqinba had been a monstrous threat. This Tiger General raised by the Great Snow Mountain Holy Temple was incredibly powerful and possessed all kinds of techniques. In terms of one-on-one combat, no one in the Tang army except for Xianyu Zhongtong or Wang Yan was a match for him, and the Tang army had never been able to do anything about him.
But now, Longqinba was alone, giving the Tang the best chance to kill him.
Despite his astonishing strength, he would still die if he tried to fight the combined assault of Wang Yan and Xianyu Zhongtong.
As Xianyu Zhongtong and Wang Yan struck with their lethal blows, a figure suddenly jumped out. Bang! Before anyone could see what was happening, Longqinba was pushed away.
In that split second, a Tibetan officer had charged forward and pushed Longqinba aside.
Longqinba reacted quickly, his palm quickly grabbing hold of a highland steed. With a flip of his body, he had mounted the horse.
Without even looking behind him, Longqinba urged the horse through the crowd and was instantly far away.
If it were only one of Xianyu Zhongtong and Wang Yan, he would dare to exchange a few blows. But he was injured, and his death was certain if he tarried. Only Great General Huoshu Huicang could block the simultaneous strikes of that pair.
"Xianyu Zhongtong, Wang Yan! You won't be able to escape the southwest! I'll definitely tear both of you into pieces!"
Longqinba's enraged bellow traveled across the distance, but he continued to retreat at full speed. Meanwhile, the other Tibetan cavalry cast away any thoughts of survival and began to charge at the pair.
Wang Yan ordered his own forces to respond. Compared to one-on-one combat, he was more skilled in army-on-army.
As Xianyu Zhongtong watched Longqinba escape and use the Tibetans to cover his retreat, his face twisted into a terrible grimace. His hand stabbed like steel chisels into the body of that Tibetan officer and smashed it against the rocky outcrop. Boundless Stellar Energy flowed into the body of the officer, shattering his meridians and organs, snuffing out his life.
"An excellent chance, completely wasted!" Xianyu Zhongtong moaned with great reluctance.
An influential general of Ü-Tsang like Longqinba was normally together with other fierce generals like Huoshu Huicang and Dalun Ruozan. If he hadn't been in such a rush to pursue the Annan Protectorate army, the Tang would have never had this sort of opportunity.
With this chance missed, a future one would be even harder to create.
"No! I have to kill him!"
Xianyu Zhongtong hardened his heart, but just when he was preparing to pursue and deal with Longqinba once and for all, the situation suddenly changed.
The roar of a dragon soared up from the distance. This sound contained an endless might, creating a pillar of air that extended to the heavens through the rainstorm. With the pillar as the center, massive ripples began to spread out over the air.
All the rain began to glisten and ripple, constantly being jolted outward.
Xianyu Zhongtong's expression sank as his heart quavered. In all of the southwest, only Huoshu Huicang could possess such vigorous energy and have a voice that could move the air and open a path between heaven and earth.
"He's coming! Just like Chong-er anticipated, he's very fast!"
Wang Yan had been commanding the troops to scatter the Tibetans, but had at some point walked over.
"Huoshu Huicang is currently making his way here, as is the rest of the army! It's inadvisable for us to stay here much longer. Once we scatter these soldiers a little more and use them to hinder our pursuers, our mission will basically be complete!"
Wang Yan glanced up at the sky as he spoke.
The originally gloomy sky was now completely dark. This breakout from Lion City had consumed a great deal of time, and now that this fierce battle had done the same, it was very late at night. But though it was nighttime, the rain had still not lessened.
The dark night and the pouring rain had given the Tang the best circumstances for their breakout.
The Tibetans had already lost them a few times when they were pursuing them during the day, and now that the darkness greatly hindered their vision, it would be even more difficult for the Tibetans to find the tracks of the Annan Protectorate army. It didn't even matter that all of them were mounted. This breakout attempt had been a complete success.
This was the analysis that Wang Chong had given to Wang Yan.
"There's nothing that can be done! Although I also want to have a life-or-death fight with Huoshu Huicang, Young Master Chong is correct. Now is not the time for our decisive battle!" Xianyu Zhongtong said as he looked fiercely into the distance, his eyes bloodshot. Although he was unwilling, he still turned his horse around and left with Wang Yan.
"Everyone, hear my order! Quickly retreat!"
Although Xianyu Zhongtong wanted to kill Longqinba, he actually wanted to kill Huoshu Huicang even more. In the Great Tang's southwest, this Ü-Tsang Great General had always been the Annan Protectorate army's greatest foe.
With Xianyu Zhongtong and Wang Yan holding the rear, the Tang forces quickly disappeared into the stormy night.
"Where are they?"
Right after Xianyu Zhongtong's forces left, another stalwart figure, his aura as mighty as a mountain, appeared on the battlefield. Clang! A scimitar of refined iron dropped from the figure's right hand and into the ground, sending mud flying.
A Tibetan officer bowed and replied, "Reporting to Milord, they have already gone!" His entire body trembled in fear.
"Who injured you?"
Huoshu Huicang turned his head to Longqinba. His face was dark and emotionless, but the thick streams of Stellar Energy flowing around his body had manifested into seething flames. Of the Five Elements, Huoshu Huicang was a supreme expert of the most tyrannical and fierce fire element.
The flames on his body allowed one to see very far through the darkness.
"Reporting to General, it was Xianyu Zhongtong and Wang Yan!" Longqinba replied fearfully, lowering his head. Although the Tibetans were renowned for their valor and Longqinba could remain fearless even before powerful foreign enemies like Xianyu Zhongtong or Wang Yan, he felt a most profound dread before Great General Huoshu Huicang, or perhaps one could call it respect.
Huoshu Huicang had made his name far earlier than Longqinba!
Many years ago, his reputation had already been known throughout the upper reaches of the Ngari Royal Lineage. He was a true military general, born through battle!
"Xianyu Zhongtong and Wang Yan? Hmph, it seems that we've truly met an opponent this time! Even those two are listening to his orders!"
A frigid light gleamed in Huoshu Huicang's eyes as he looked in the direction in which Xianyu Zhongtong's forces had left.
Longqinba was stupefied, looking in confusion at Huoshu Huicang with no idea of what the Great General was saying.
"Hmph, planning to lure the tiger from the mountain, bringing me away from the center of the army and then using an ambush to stop your pursuit and kill you in a single stroke… You don't think that Xianyu Zhongtong or Wang Yan could have come up with this idea, did you?" Huoshu Huicang sneered.
He was forced to admit that he had made an error in judgment. His opponent was far smarter than he had imagined, even managing to take into account his own movements.
Moreover, the breakout of an army was no easy task, especially when it involved almost one hundred thousand soldiers. Huoshu Huicang had originally believed that he would make it in time regardless of what happened, but the enemy army had been extremely organized. The breakout, the defense, the counterattack… everything had gone smoothly, and there had been not a single sign of disorder throughout that massive undertaking.
And that army of tens of thousands had descended the mountain and left with such speed.
Not even Huoshu Huicang could have accomplished this feat in such a short amount of time and left with such speed. Such a thing existed only in theory.
His opponent's ability to command an army was almost miraculous, inconceivable!
Huoshu Huicang had lived on this world for many years, but this was his first time seeing a commander of this caliber! However, the more outstanding his opponent was in strategy and tactics, the more brilliant and transcendent, the greater and more vigorous Huoshu Huicang's killing intent was.