Chapter 564: Walking into a Trap! Both Sides Sound Each Other Out!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Without waiting for the battle to develop, Geluofeng sent another wave forward with a wave of his hand, and tens of thousands of soldiers of the Whitestone Corps marched into the fray. The clash of shield against shield, steel against steel, rang out as the dense ranks collided.
The second wave had barely arrived and Geluofeng was already sending his third wave of troops sweeping forward.
"Don't give them a chance to rest! Duan Wuzong, go up there and personally hold the line!"
"Yes, Your Majesty!"
At Geluofeng's side, a heroic general carrying a white-tasseled spear urged his horse forward. This was the commander of the Whitestone Corps, Duan Wuzong, and he was also Mengshe Zhao Great General Duan Gequan's cousin.
He was the one who had trained the Whitestone Corps to its current level.
From this action of sending out Duan Wuzong so early, one could see the importance Geluofeng placed on this battle.
The air resounded with the rumbling of halos as they overlapped and incessantly pressed forward. In a few short moments, the Great Tang soldiers on the outermost perimeter of the mountain were put under enormous pressure.
Each inch of ground had multiple members of the Whitestone Corps charging into it.
Massive Halos of Thorns intersected with each other, their rumbling and clattering mixed in with the endless cries of battle. Geluofeng used no other strategy than that of sheer numbers to push and press against the Annan Protectorate army garrisoned on the mountain.
In a one-on-one matchup, a soldier of the Whitestone Corps was no match for a soldier of the Annan Protectorate army, not in strength, speed, or dexterity. But when their numbers reached a certain level, this quantitative change would effect a qualitative change, and everything would be different.
"Let's see how they do?"
At the base of the mountain, Geluofeng, Huoshu Huicang, and Dalun Ruozan quietly watched on, everyone waiting in anticipation for the Annan Protectorate army's reaction.
The rows of steel walls on the mountain seemed like an imposing fortress, a castle that wasn't a castle.
Not even people with Geluofeng's or Huoshu Huicang's experiences had ever encountered such a situation before.
Neither of the pair could grasp Wang Chong's strategy.
This first wave was just a test.
"What do you think they will do?" Geluofeng suddenly asked.
"What they'll do… we'll find out soon." Huoshu Huicang squinted as he spoke.
These two powerhouses of the southwest, enemies yet not enemies, friends yet not friends, in Zhangchou Jianqiong's generation had always suppressed each other. But after Zhangchou Jianqiong, these two had suddenly stood together to deal with the Great Tang.
"The Whitestone Corps is a corps that I trained to have an extremely formidable defense. No matter what sort of tricks they have, their effects will all be greatly reduced against the Whitestone Corps. As long as we can shatter the Annan Protectorate army's defense and annihilate them, the Great Tang's southwest will be ours for the taking. This will be our final battle!"
Geluofeng looked up to the summit as he spoke.
It was the last battle. Once these enemies before him were eliminated, the southwest would be a world that belonged to Ü-Tsang and Mengshe Zhao. At this moment, not even Geluofeng could conceal his agitation.
All that he had anticipated would become reality on the morrow.
"Don't get too careless!" Huoshu Huicang chided from the side.
"What? With our five hundred thousand soldiers, do you think that we can't destroy their remaining forces?" Geluofeng asked, his brow furrowed.
Huoshu Huicang was an Ü-Tsang Great General and incomparably valiant. Geluofeng had originally believed that he would agree with his point of view. To his surprise, Huoshu Huicang had taken a stance that he would have never imagined.
"I didn't say that we wouldn't destroy them. I am only saying that we need to show the appropriate level of caution. I feel that things won't proceed as smoothly as we imagine," Huoshu Huicang calmly said.
For some reason, Huoshu Huicang had an ill foreboding that he couldn't shake off. Perhaps it was because that Tang person on the summit was too quiet. Perhaps it was because the Annan Protectorate army had been retreating all this time but had seemed to stop here solely because of this mountain.
"In short, maintain an appropriate level of vigilance. We just can't get careless…"
On the slopes, shield clashed against shield in an unending din.
The thousands of Whitestone Corps soldiers roared as they pressed forward.
The Annan Protectorate army was constantly being pushed back, its shield soldiers constantly retreating. Bangbang! The rocks under their feet shattered as a massive pressure pushed these soldiers on the front line into the dirt and rock of the mountain face.
The collapse of the front line seemed like only a matter of time.
The grinding of shield on shield made one's teeth ache, and the Great Tang infantry all had red faces from the effort they were putting forth. At the base of the mountain, Geluofeng, Duan Gequan, Fengjiayi, Dalun Ruozan, and Huoshu Huicang were all looking up at the summit.
Once the Great Tang front line could no longer hold, their soldiers would all surge, availing themselves of the mountain to cleave their way to the summit and take care of all the Tang soldiers.
"It's about time!"
As Wang Chong observed the melee from the summit, watching the Great Tang tussle with the Mengshe Zhao and Tibetan soldiers, his gaze slowly turned harsh. Geluofeng and Huoshu Huicang were using the Whitestone Corps to sound him out.
But Wang Chong was sounding them out as well.
With a swing of his right hand, the situation changed in a way that the Mengshe–Ü-Tsang army did not expect. Right when the Annan Protectorate army seemed to be reaching its breaking point, boom! All the Tang soldiers on the outermost perimeter suddenly retreated, thousands of soldiers rushing further into the mountain.
Buzz! It was so sudden that the Whitestone Corps soldiers farthest back were dumbfounded.
"What's going on here?"
Geluofeng slightly paled at this sudden change.
Although he hoped to see the Annan Protectorate army fail, this sort of utter collapse was occurring far earlier than he had expected. But before he had time to think, all the soldiers of the Whitestone Corps were already surging forward.
Geluofeng wanted to say more, but it was already too late. Thousands of soldiers were already charging forward, their formations completely ruined.
"Slaughter them all!"
"Kill these Tang and the southwest will be our world!"
The sight of the Annan Protectorate army fleeing had made them all go crazy. With the Tang in front and the Whitestone Corps behind, the two sides began to play out a pursuit drama. Yet none of them noticed that though the soldiers on the front lines had begun to retreat, the Great Tang soldiers on the summit had remained steadfast.
With the wave of a right hand, the left and right flanks roared to life. Before these countless Whitestone Corps soldiers could react, countless Tang soldiers were charging in.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
Yet the first wave was not the Great Tang infantry, but the sounds of thousands of ballistae. These ballistae had all been concealed behind the steel walls such that they were impossible to see from the base of the mountain.
Cold lights flashed in the air as these ballista bolts, harbingers of death, thundered toward the soldiers of the Whitestone Corps. There was no time to dodge as the Whitestone Corps was cut down like waves of wheat.
Their roiling Stellar Energy and Halos of Thorns were utterly incapable of stopping the ballista bolts.
Screams filled the air as thousands of Whitestone Corps soldiers were felled by the assault. Each ballista bolt had run through ten to twenty soldiers.
In normal circumstances, the large shields they wielded would have mollified the damage of these ballistae. However, as they charged, they had clumped together, leaving them no space for such maneuvers.
And their dense ranks were now perfect for the ballista bolts to display their maximum power.
"Run! They have ballistae!"
"It's a trap! Hurry! Retreat!"
The soldiers instantly fell into chaos.