Chapter 639: The Shocked Border! (II)
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
In the Regional Commanders incident, Wang Chong had presented a memorial noting the difference between the Hu and the Han, his harsh criticisms resulting in the destruction of a proposal very beneficial for the Hu of the Great Tang. Fumeng Lingcha, as a Hu protector-general, still held a deep grudge over this incident.
It was in his initial rage that he had submitted a memorial requesting Wang Chong's execution.
Fumeng Lingcha hadn't expected to hear this sort of news. In Fumeng Lingcha's view, that boy was nothing more than an incompetent brat, yet he had somehow managed to defeat the united army of Dalun Ruozan and Geluofeng, killing more than four hundred thousand and achieving great merit.
If this was true, wouldn't that brat be impossible to deal with?
An individual like this appearing in the Imperial Court was extremely bad news for the Hu generals on the border!
It wasn't possible for Fumeng Lingcha to be happy about this news.
"Send scouts! To the southwest! I must know what happened there. I don't believe that some brat who's still wet behind the ears could have this kind of ability!!"
Fumeng Lingcha's voice echoed throughout the protectorate headquarters.
In the distant Four Garrisons of Anxi and the Beiting Protectorate in the extreme north, Gao Xianzhi, An Sishun… For these commanders of the Great Tang who held down the border of the Great Tang, this day was bound to be very difficult to forget.
When great powers like the Eastern and Western Turkic Khaganates, the kingdoms of the Western Regions, Charax Spasinu, the Abbasid Caliphate, Goguryeo, the Khitans, and the Xi were covetously eyeing the Great Tang and increasing their soldiers stationed on the Great Tang border, the greatest turning point had come from the place the Great Tang had regarded as in the most danger, the place in the greatest peril, and thus the most likely to fall into enemy hands: the southwest.
"Changqing, it seems that's we've underestimated that Wang Clan brat who walked out of the imperial prison!"
In the headquarters of the Anxi Protectorate, a handsome, bearded, and dignified man giving off an imposing aura sat down on a sandalwood armchair. One hand held an exquisitely made teacup while his other slowly put down a piece of paper.
"180,000 against 560,000, and they killed more than 400,000! To so thoroughly defeat Geluofeng and Dalun Ruozan, I really can't imagine it. How could a seventeen-year-old youth be so formidable?"
Across from Gao Xianzhi, a short, ugly, and dark-skinned man gracelessly slouched on the ground, his back a little hunched, a hand propped under his chin as he silently thought.
Although this man had a hideous face and frightening appearance, this hunchbacked and dark-skinned man's eyes were abnormally bright and clear, bursting with wisdom.
Gao Xianzhi was an Imperial Great General who commanded the Four Garrisons of Anxi, fending off the Abbasid Caliphate and Charax Spasinu. In all of Anxi, there was only one man who could act so carefreely in front of him: Feng Changqing.
The memorial at the center of the Regional Commanders incident which had claimed that Han would promote Han and Hu would promote Hu had infuriated Gao Xianzhi. However, he would have never imagined that the perils of the southwest would actually be resolved by that sensationalist and incompetent Han brat.
In addition, defeating Dalun Ruozan and Geluofeng and killing more than four hundred thousand soldiers was such an incredible achievement that not even Gao Xianzhi, the commanding general of Anxi, could even dream about such a thing!
In Gao Xianzhi's eyes, the Regional Commanders incident now had a completely different character to it.
"Regardless of how he did it, this matter is absolutely certain! It seems like the Great Tang has obtained yet another Imperial Great General!" Gao Xianzhi declared.
These final words caused Feng Changqing's entire body to tremble and his mouth to gape as he stared in shock at his superior.
He knew that the major victory in the southwest was no trifling matter and that the Imperial Court was certain to richly reward Wang Chong, but he had never thought that Gao Xianzhi would raise Wang Chong to the level of 'Imperial Great General'!
Just how old was that child!
From the founding of the Great Tang to the era of the Sage Emperor, a seventeen-year-old had never been made Great General! Even Gao Xianzhi had only been made Great General in his thirties!
Gao Xianzhi's evaluation was shockingly high. After all, in the Regional Commanders incident, these two had been at odds!
Feng Changqing sat in a daze on the floor, momentarily unable to speak.
In the Beiting Protectorate, the nominal Vice Protector-General and de facto Protector-General An Sishun immediately dispatched countless spies to the southwest upon hearing this news.
Of the various border protectorates, the victory in the southwest affected Beiting the most.
The situation on the border was such that the Beiting Protectorate was in the middle of the Eastern and Western Turkic Khaganates, and their combined might was around five hundred to six hundred thousand soldiers. One could easily imagine the pressure placed on the Beiting Protectorate.
Every day, the soldiers of the Beiting Protectorate had to be ready for battle, to throw themselves into an intense fight.
But when the news of the victory in the southwest arrived, the Turkic cavalry receded like a tide in the space of a single night. Neither hide nor hair could be seen of them, even if one traveled one thousand li.
"Impossible! How could someone defeat Dalun Ruozan and Geluofeng at the same time? Not even Zhangchou Jianqiong in his ten-some years there managed to do this!"
In a massive hall, behind tightly shut doors, An Sishun gripped the news in his hand, unable to speak, for a long time.
For a very long time, he dared not believe that this news was true.
It was too surprising, too sudden.
"That brat managed to defeat Geluofeng and Dalun Ruozan!!!"
In the Great Tang's northeast, in the land of Youzhou, within the headquarters of the Andong Protectorate, Zhang Shougui stared in shock at the news that had been delivered by carrier pigeon.
As a Great General and veteran general of the empire, as the Protector-General of the Andong Protectorate, Zhang Shougui had established quite the long list of achievements on the battlefield.
If there was one person in the Great Tang who could surpass him, it was the Great Tang War God, the current Crown Prince's Junior Guardian, Wang Zhongsi.
But even in front of Wang Zhongsi, Zhang Shougui could act as an equal and didn't need to act too polite.
After all, his lifetime of achievements was only a tiny bit lacking compared to Wang Zhongsi.
The land of Youzhou bordered many powers: the Xi, the Khitans, the Turks, and also the secluded Goguryeo and its vast reserves of power. Other than him, the Great Tang really didn't have anyone who could oversee this area.
Whether it was Geshu Han, Gao Xianzhi, or An Sishun, they would be fine managing their own territories, but if they were transferred to Andong, they would truly find it difficult to keep the situation under control.
Zhang Shougui was absolutely certain of this.
This was also why he believed himself to be the number two man in the Great Tang.
But the major victory in the southwest had truly taken him by surprise.
The one who had salvaged the southwest war had not been Wang Yan or Xianyu Zhongtong, nor had it been Geshu Han's Big Dipper Army, and it certainly hadn't been the reinforcements from the Imperial Court. Rather, it had been that unremarkable seventeen-year-old brat from the Wang Clan…
Frankly speaking, Zhang Shougui still felt like this was impossible, that it was all a dream.
In his lifetime, in the lands of the Great Tang, how could something like this possibly happen?
Had the more than five hundred thousand soldiers of Ü-Tsang and Mengshe Zhao been made of paper?
And there was Geluofeng and Dalun Ruozan… How did those two lose to one boy?
Even with all his wisdom and experience, Zhang Shougui could not imagine how an army five hundred thousand strong, led by Geluofeng and Dalun Ruozan, could lose to a single boy.
Had they been too incompetent or the child too incredible?
What was in here that he didn't know about?
"Someone! Investigate for me everything concerning the war of the southwest!!"
Zhang Shougui suddenly stood up. A moment later, hundreds of elite Youzhou cavalry left the Andong Protectorate headquarters, galloping toward the south.
Ü-Tsang, Goguryeo, the Eastern and Western Turkic Khaganates, the Abbasid Caliphate, Charax Spasinu… The news of the victory in the southwest caused the borders of the Great Tang to quake.
All the foreign powers receded from the border like a tide.
To the entire world, this was a day in which the heavens shook and the earth swayed.
Regardless of what was happening in the Imperial Court or on the borders, the southwest border after the war was abnormally calm.
In the camp, people spent each day discussing whether they should counterattack and invade Mengshe Zhao or Ü-Tsang. As for Wang Chong, he had put all these questions aside.
The war of the southwest was concluded and his mission was complete, for now.
In Wang Chong's view, once the war concluded, his authority over the army also came to an end. At present, the true commanders of the southwest were Xianyu Zhongtong and Wang Yan—to be even more accurate, it was Xianyu Zhongtong alone.
For generals, it was fine to take command at dangerous moments, but when the battle was over, not relinquishing this authority was overstepping one's bounds and was no wise course of action.
After all, it wasn't like he had come away with no achievements.
And the southwest would still eventually be managed by Xianyu Zhongtong, the Annan Protector-General.
"Congratulations to user for completing 'The Trial of Destiny: Empire's Dirge'. In killing 420,000 soldiers of the Mengshe–Ü-Tsang army, user has succeeded in altering the fate of the empire's southwest!"
Wang Chong was currently seated cross-legged on the summit of the mountain, the voice of the Stone of Destiny ringing in his ear. Bzzt! In a flash of light, countless images began to float in front of Wang Chong's eyes.
Gallop! The urgent galloping of horses rang out in his ear as the entire course of the southwestern war, from the moment Wang Chong left the capital to his victory over the Mengshe–Ü-Tsang army, played out in front of him.
"Congratulations to user for acquiring the new title 'Controller of Destiny'. User's ability to survive, resist the World Constraint, and rule fate have been improved."
Hwoom! As the Stone of Destiny spoke, a gale stirred over the summit, and countless silhouettes that only Wang Chong could see flashed before his eyes.
At this same moment, a furious tide of invisible energy emerged out of the depths of space-time, thundering into Wang Chong's body.
This energy was both cold and hot, imbued with a destructive character.
"Ah!" Wang Chong let out a soft groan of pain as an intense ache throbbed through his body. In these few seconds, Wang Chong's body grew many times tougher.