Chapter 568: The Decisive Battle! Old Foe!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
With Duan Wuzong personally leading the charge, the Whitestone Corps became a completely different army. The difference in their damaging capabilities and charging power was like that between night and day.
"I don't believe that the one hundred thousand soldiers of the Whitestone Corps can't break through these soldiers led by a defeated general! Everyone, follow me! Anyone who dares to retreat will be executed without question!"
With a wave of Duan Wuzong's sword, all his bodyguards formed into dense ranks and began to surge forward. His easy defeat at the hands of the Great Tang in front of Dalun Ruozan and Huoshu Huicang, as well as Geluofeng's rebuke, had stirred feelings of pride and fury in Duan Wuzong's heart.
His dantian vibrated as countless streams of Stellar Energy roiled out. As Duan Wuzong sat on his horse, his sword raised, an image began to appear behind him, that of a Buddha holding baskets of herbs in its hands. Bangbangbang! Space began to vibrate as spheres of light suddenly began to burst out around the Buddha. These spheres of light began to transform into various artifacts: a medicinal pestle, an herbal pot, a medicine stone, a medicine bottle, and a medicine jar. This was the legendary Medicine King of Erhai mythology.
The beliefs of the Six Zhao of Erhai differed from those of the Central Plains. Their religion had been formed from local beliefs.
The Medicine King was both Erhai's god of medicine and god of strength!
It was no secret to the people of Mengshe Zhao that Duan Wuzong cultivated the Medicine King technique.
As Duan Wuzong manifested the Medicine King, a massive Halo of Thorns began to reverberate and revolve around him. In an instant, the earth began to quake and Duan Wuzong's clothes and black hair began to flutter. A storm of energy began to explode from his body.
Boom! With a light jolt from the halo, all the Annan Protectorate army soldiers in a radius of around ten zhang felt their bones shatter and muscles tear. All of them were sent flying into the air like ragdolls.
"All soldiers, advance!"
The officers of the Whitestone Corps acted like a giant net, gathering up their soldiers around Duan Wuzong so that they could charge up the mountain. Rumble! Dust roiled and screams filled the air. Amongst the massive Annan Protectorate army, not a single person was capable of halting Duan Wuzong's advance.
With Duan Wuzong opening the way, the Whitestone Corp rallied, beginning to yell out as they followed their general up the mountain.
Although Wang Chong had shipped a large number of war armaments from the capital, even going so far as to set up a set of metal walls along the side of the mountain, these metals walls were targeted against cavalry. They weren't much use against infantry, at least not against the Whitestone Corps.
Crash! Like a breaking dike, a hole was quickly opened up in the seemingly impenetrable Tang defense. Under Duan Wuzong's command, this gap further widened.
"Not bad. Uncle Duan is truly putting all his strength into this!"
As Fengjiayi watched the battle from the base of the mountain, a strange look flashed through his eyes.
Behind him, Geluofeng and Duan Gequan also nodded their heads. 'Dispatching a general is not as effective as inciting a general' was one of the oldest maxims of military strategy. With Duan Wuzong personally leading the charge, the performance of the Whitestone Corps had instantly improved.
The Whitestone Corps truly does have some power!
Although it can't compare to the cavalry of Ü-Tsang, they could be commended as elites.
On the other side, although Dalun Ruozan and Huoshu Huicang said nothing, they still mentally gave their acknowledgments.
Neither Dalun Ruozan nor Huoshu Huicang had personally witnessed the battle of Erhai, only seen the aftermath. In truth, when they heard that the 180,000 elites of the Annan Protectorate army had lost, the pair had been rather shocked. There was no doubt that Mengshe Zhao under the leadership of Geluofeng was a completely new country.
The strength they had shown was ample proof of this.
"Follow General—slaughter the Tang!"
All the soldiers of the Whitestone Corps were suddenly energized, their bellows resounding through the air as they charged up the slope. The Great Tang's situation had instantly become extremely unfavorable. In the first wave, they had managed to persevere for a long time before retreating. This time, however, the defense line had almost instantly collapsed.
Hmph, leading the troops in a charge is a fine thing, but the hard is easy to break. For the grand commander of the army to charge into the enemy formation before the situation is clear, putting themselves at risk, is no sensible act.
As the two sides battled, the only person on this mountain who managed to maintain their calm was Wang Chong.
By leading the charge, Duan Wuzong had bolstered the morale of the Whitestone Corps. He seemed to be building an astonishing momentum, but it wasn't even worth a laugh in Wang Chong's eyes.
He has the courage, but he doesn't have the wisdom or resolve. Duan Wuzong, I'm afraid you wouldn't even count as a third-rate general! Wang Chong thought.
A general should only have to personally lead the charge if the situation required it, not merely because the sovereign had ordered it or because one wanted to open a gap in the enemy's front line. In Wang Chong's eyes, Duan Wuzong's attainments in the art of war weren't enough to make him an average general.
If the commander of an army decided to lead the charge in every battle, what would differentiate him from the common soldiers?
Duan Wuzong's large-scale advance wasn't able to last for long. Crash! Right when Duan Wuzong's momentum had reached its peak, there was a massive explosion that brought Duan Wuzong's seemingly unstoppable charge to an immediate halt. It was like a flood crashing against a dike, a windstorm encountering a cliff. In the middle of the army, between two of the large steel walls, a mighty figure descended like a pillar from heaven to stop Duan Wuzong's attacks and prevent the Whitestone Corps from leaving.
One general and one black horse had been enough to stop Duan Wuzong's unstoppable momentum.
"Duan! Wu! Zong!!!"
A voice howled out, each word shouted out from clenched teeth. His red cape flapping in the wind, that dark-skinned general stood erect on his horse with his saber bared. His cold eyes fixed on the charging Duan Wuzong, desiring nothing more than to eat him alive.
Upon seeing this general, Duan Wuzong appeared dazed for a moment, but he very quickly began to explode with a fiendish energy that soared to the heavens.
"When two armies clash, each person has their master. Don't blame me. Those who try to stop me will die!"
Rumble! Duan Wuzong's massive halo reverberated as his body began to explode with dazzling light. As he waved his longsword, the Medicine King behind him seemed to focus its eyes. Countless medicine pots, pestles, jars… each one, as heavy as a mountain, flew toward Zhao Wujiang in a furious storm.
As one of these 'medicine jars' flew past a metal wall, it directly tore it out of the ground, even though each piece of that wall weighed several thousand jin!
There was a flash of light as all the attacking medicine stones, jars, and pots… seemed to strike an invisible wall. Three or four zhang out from Zhao Wujiang, they stopped in the air. These objects formed from destructive Stellar Energy were completely incapable of getting any closer to Zhao Wujiang.
"Treacherous cur! If I knew that you would have betrayed me, I would have executed you back then!"
Zhao Wujiang's eyes were bloodshot, spitting with flames of rage. Fwoom! A bloody fire flashed, incinerating those medicine stones, jars, and pestles. The counterattack of these bloody flames crashed against the Stellar Energy emanating from Duan Wuzong's body.
Crash! A searing and refined energy soared into the sky. Meanwhile, the clanging and clattering of steel filled the air as Zhao Wujiang and Duan Wuzong smashed their Stellar Energies against each other. In a flash, in the moment their Stellar Energies met, the two jumped forward. Clang! Saber met sword, and the collision of blazing Stellar Energy and Halos of Thorns instantly triggered a fierce explosion.
Around this pair, both Great Tang soldier and Whitestone Corps soldier had no time to dodge, even react. Screaming, they were flung away.
Behind Zhao Wujiang, the officers of the Annan Protectorate army unsheathed their swords and bellowed, taking this opportunity to lead the Annan Protectorate army charging down the mountain. At the same time, the officers of the Whitestone Corps also led their troops up. These two armies who were most similar in style in all of the southwest fell into a fierce melee.
On the summit, Wang Chong slowly drew his gaze back and began to look in another direction.
The course of this battle would not be decided by the fight between these two generals. The moment Zhao Wujiang appeared and intercepted Duan Wuzong, the battle had moved onto its next phase.
It's my turn now. Geluofeng, Duan Gequan, this time, your Whitestone Corps won't just be losing eight thousand soldiers!
A chilling smile emerged on Wang Chong's lips as he stared at those two figures in the sea of soldiers.
Courtesy would never be enough to teach a lesson to one's opponent. Only through battle could one leave an indelible mark!
The empire's southwest had already paid too great a price. Now, it was finally time for his enemies to pay for their actions. Although he was currently an insignificant player in the field of martial arts, the art of war had always been a contest of intelligence.
Geluofeng, Duan Gequan, Fengjiayi, and even Dalun Ruozan and Huoshu Huicang… no matter what sort of dazzling pasts these foreign powerhouses had, no matter what sort of desires and ambitions they had against the Great Tang, Wang Chong would let them properly understand what the might of the War Saint was!
Only a most painful lesson would teach these foreign dignitaries to respect the Great Tang!
"Pass on my order! Begin the operation!"
With a wave of his right hand, Wang Chong swung down the signal flag.
Zhao Wujiang was only bait. He had never been the commander of this battle. From the moment Duan Wuzong had decided to commit the entirety of his one hundred thousand troops, he had already fallen into Wang Chong's net…