Chapter 582: The Decisive Battle! Arabian Kerosene!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Before the fireball could land, rumbling came from the distance as one fireball after another began to rise from the rear of the Mengshe–Ü-Tsang army, swiftly hurtling toward the mountain.
Time seemed to slow to a crawl, the massive fireballs floating in the air seeming to inch toward the mountain like giant snails.
One, two, three, four… dozens of these massive fireballs dotted the sky, transforming the sky into a sea of fire. Even the dark clouds in the sky were painted with a layer of red light.
Shrill cries rang out from the summit. Even though all the soldiers were dumbfounded by this sight, all the officers, from the highest-ranking generals to the five-man and ten-man commanders, managed to maintain their calm.
A report of everything that could possibly happen had already passed down from the summit to the dense ranks of the army. Although none of them had expected Mengshe Zhao or Ü-Tsang to use this method of attack, Wang Chong had given specific plans for what to do if the army came under attack from siege weapons or arrow volleys.
Everyone had to hide!
"Remember to stay hidden!"
Energetic voices rang out like giant bells across the mountain slope. It took mere moments for the Great Tang soldiers to react.
All the Great Tang soldiers began to follow their square formations to hide behind the metal walls. The mountain slope was already inclined, and Wang Chong had even designed the modular metal walls so that several metal pieces protruded from the tops of the walls to ward off projectiles.
At this moment, all the metal walls immediately revealed this additional ability.
One of the massive fireballs crashed down on the mountain behind the soldiers, sending dust and flames billowing. The dust plumed ten zhang upward and the entire mountain trembled.
Everyone paled at the power behind this strike.
The strength of this fireball was enough to render any level of soldier into ash in seconds. No soldier of the True Martial realm could possibly block such a blow.
Not even high-ranking commandants like Xu Andun could block it!
On the summit, Luo Ji and the other generals of the Annan Protectorate army also paled. The level of this Tibetan attack was already enough to threaten generals on their level.
Every one of those massive fireballs weighed several thousand jin, and given the height that they were falling from, their might could easily be imagined.
But this was only the beginning.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
As if time had suddenly sped up, countless massive fireballs suddenly began to plunge down from the heavens. Boom! One of them smashed against the several-zhang-high metal wall. The sturdy wall instantly bent inward, a massive depression formed by the impact.
The massive power contained in these fireballs was enough to cause the entire metal wall to tremble and sway, making it seem like it would fall over at any moment.
"These fireballs… are too powerful!"
Behind the steel walls, the Great Tang elites paled even more.
All of them felt like these massive fireballs could knock the metal walls over at any moment and smash all of the soldiers hiding behind them into pulp.
"Young Master, careful!"
On the summit, a massive fireball suddenly plummeted toward Wang Chong's position. Alarmed, Chen Shusun immediately pushed Wang Chong away with a palm.
The fireball smashed into the ground several zhang behind Wang Chong, sending out a rain of fire and gravel. And where Wang Chong had originally been standing was a massive scorched hole with black smoke billowing out.
A powerful barrier of steely Stellar Energy shrouded Wang Chong, blocking the explosive rain of fire and debris. Wang Chong quickly retracted the Stellar Energy and walked out. As he examined the scorched ground and the still-burning hole, his expression turned grave.
Arabian Kerosene was a product of the Abbasid Caliphate and Charax Spasinu in the far west. According to Wang Chong's memories, this product should still have been a small-scale industry that had still not been completely developed.
Not even the Abbasid Caliphate and Charax Spasinu should have had much of it.
Ü-Tsang was based on the Tibetan Plateau, with Sindhu separating it from the Abbasid Caliphate and Charax Spasinu. Logically speaking, this product should not have appeared in the Tibetan army. The situation before him could only mean one thing…
Ü-Tsang was already collaborating with the Abbasid Caliphate!
Although the two were far from reaching the level of alliance shared between Ü-Tsang and Mengshe Zhao, there was no doubt that the Abbasid Caliphate and Charax Spasinu had given the Tibetans a little support.
The Abbasid Caliphate's desire for the Central Plains might have started far earlier than I imagined!
As Wang Chong stared at the hole, his mind was abuzz with thought.
It would actually be a long time before the Abbasid Caliphate truly broke out in conflict with the Central Plains. Wang Chong recalled that the Abbasid Caliphate and Charax Spasinu had not shown much ambition toward the Great Tang until after the relationship between Gao Xianzhi and Feng Changqing of the Anxi Protectorate soured.
And Arabian Kerosene also wouldn't become a strategic asset until far in the future.
But right now, things had clearly changed.
Right now, there are only two possibilities. The first possibility is that my appearance caused this change out of line with history to occur. The other possibility is that Ü-Tsang had already begun to interact with and collude with the Abbasid Caliphate and Charax Spasinu much earlier than I thought, and this Arabian Kerosene had been sent to Ü-Tsang a long time ago.
It was just that Xianyu Zhongtong and the Annan Protectorate army weren't worthy enough for the Tibetans to take out their siege weapons, as they were simply wiped out on the Erhai plain. As a result, the Great Tang never knew that the Tibetans had this kerosene.
Wang Chong's mind was in a state of turmoil.
The southwest war had already undergone a massive transformation due to his interference. At the very least, he had never heard about the southwestern war lasting this long or the Annan Protectorate army being so fierce as to require the Tibetans to use siege weaponry.
But regardless of what the truth was, there was one thing that was certain: the Abbasid Caliphate and Charax Spasinu were supporting Ü-Tsang. The Abbasid Caliphate and Charax Spasinu definitely did not harbor any good intentions for the Great Tang.
Massive objects in the rear of the Mengshe–Ü-Tsang army were constantly being loaded and constantly flinging massive fireballs, which streaked like lightning bolts to smash into the mountain.
As these fireballs continued to explode over the mountain, flames began to spread. In a few moments, the entire mountain had become a sea of fire.
The corpses of horse and soldier alike were set ablaze.
Such was the immensity of this fire that even the Mengshe–Ü-Tsang soldiers at the base of the mountain could feel the heat.
"Hahaha! The Tang are already completely suppressed!"
The Mengshe Zhao generals began to laugh, their expressions much more relaxed. The previous phase of the battle had left all of them struggling to breathe.
Although it was Duan Wuzong's Whitestone Corps that had taken part in the battle and not their own armies, the teeth would feel cold if the lips died, and the hunting dogs would be cooked once the rabbits were hunted. The Whitestone Corps was one of Mengshe Zhao's elite corps. If even it was beaten so badly, with not even thirty percent of its original force remaining, one could easily imagine the pressure placed on the remaining commanders.
"The strength of these fireballs is truly superb. It wasn't in vain that we mobilized so many peasants, laborers and porters to construct so many catapults!"
All the Mengshe Zhao generals watched on in excitement as the mountain blazed.
The kerosene had been provided by the Tibetans, and Dalun Ruozan had proposed that so many siege weapons be constructed. Dalun Ruozan had even made alterations to the schematics.
But the actual operation, the fireballs, and the construction of the siege weapons… the Tibetans, with their half-nomadic, half-farming lifestyle, would never have been able to do such a thing.
Without the cooperation of Mengshe Zhao, even Dalun Ruozan, the wisest of the Ngari Royal Lineage, an existence that even Zhangchou Jianqiong was wary of, would have been powerless to carry out his plans.
Moreover, the fortifications the Tang had constructed on the mountain were targeted at Tibetan cavalry. As for Mengshe Zhao, which relied primarily on infantry, such objects had little effect.
"Don't get too happy just yet! These fireballs are only suppressing them. It's still too early to talk about victory!" Geluofeng suddenly said. His gaze was fixed on the mountain, his brow deeply furrowed.
Fiery light illuminated the sky and the blazing mountain was the very image of hell. The Tang seemed completely suppressed, with none of their soldiers to be seen, yet Geluofeng was far from relaxed.
This boy is even harder to deal with than I imagined! Geluofeng said to himself.
He could see far more than most. Although explosions were covering that mountain, transforming it into a sea of fire sprinkled with the occasional dying scream, upon careful consideration, the number of Tang dying to these fireball attacks was far fewer than expected.
The actual killing power was inconceivably low!
After all the energy Ü-Tsang and Mengshe Zhao had consumed to construct these more than one hundred siege weapons, such few deaths was absolutely impossible to imagine.
Geluofeng's gaze flitted over the mountain, quickly falling on those scale-like metal walls scattered across its surface.
Each of these metal walls was several zhang high and weighed several thousand jin.
These thousands of metal walls formed a sturdy defense and fortress for the Annan Protectorate army, allowing one hundred thousand to contend against five hundred thousand. Duan Wuzong's one hundred thousand Whitestone Corps soldiers had charged up the mountain and come back with less than thirty thousand, and their own commander severely wounded.
Just yesterday, in the pouring rain, this place had been bare. A single day's delay had resulted in the seemingly miraculous appearance of the metal walls…
This was simply inconceivable!