Chapter 751: Before the Battle!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"Inform General Huang Botian to pick up the pace and clear the path to the summit as quickly as possible," Wang Chong said.
"Yes, Lord Marquis."
"In addition, Zhang Que, have your eagle team keep the skies above of us clear of any surveillance birds."
"Yes, Lord Marquis."
As order after order was issued, the five thousand Wushang Cavalry moved with unprecedented efficiency and speed through the meandering path.
Whoosh! The gentle breezes brought with them the chill of the plateau. If one turned their heads at this moment, one would only see thick clouds. All the mountains had become extremely small, and even the Heaven Pillar Mountain that they had come through looked like an ant.
Starting from last night, they had already traveled along this path for eight to ten hours. The altitude was now around three to four thousand meters, and they weren't far from the plateau.
Time slowly passed as Wang Chong led his five thousand soldiers along this forgotten path, silently advancing toward the plateau. An hour later, a muscular Turkic warhorse neighed, its mane waving in the wind as it leapt onto the plateau.
One after another, countless Wushang Cavalry followed, stepping onto the plateau. The last was Wang Chong, his cape flapping in the wind.
We've finally arrived!
Wang Chong sat on his horse, allowing the winds to buffet him as he breathed the unique air of the Tibetan Plateau with a long sigh in his heart.
After so long, he had finally stepped onto the Tibetan Plateau for the first time since his reincarnation.
As Wang Chong raised his head to the sky, this scene began to meld with the scenes in his memories.
In his last life, Wang Chong had only been able to step onto the plateau after the calamity, but now that he had reincarnated, everything was foreordained to be different.
"Hahaha, Lord Marquis, we've finally stepped onto the Tibetan Plateau."
Around him, the soldiers couldn't help but heartily laugh as they took in the view.
From yesterday to now, Wang Chong had never indicated where the army was marching to. Now, when these soldiers stepped onto the plateau and saw these never-before-seen sights, they all felt a sincere admiration for Wang Chong.
Since ancient times, there were only four paths from the Great Tang into the Tibetan Plateau. The first was in the southwest, the Tea Horse Road guarded by Zhangchou Jianqiong. The second was the path guarded by Geshu Han in Longxi, the third was guarded by Fumeng Lingcha in Qixi, and the last was guarded by Gao Xianzhi and his Four Garrisons of Anxi.
There were no other paths except these four.
No one had expected that deep within the mountain forests of Longxi, another path had been hidden, and that Wang Chong would lead them through this hidden path to the Tibetan Plateau.
"Zhang Que, lead the way," Wang Chong said.
"Yes, Lord Marquis."
The excited Zhang Que immediately rode forward with his horse. Cree! With a sharp cry, that foot-long rock eagle stretched its wings and shot into the air.
The galloping warhorses left trails of dust as the soldiers quickly formed into ranks and followed behind the rock eagle, swiftly advancing into the Tibetan heartland.
A journey of several hundred li went by in a flash. The five thousand Wushang Cavalry showed no hesitation, drawing a straight line toward the Zhangzhung Recruit Traning Camp in Tsongkha.
Dawn was when people were at their most relaxed, the least on their guard. The army's progress of several hundred li attracted no notice. After several hours, creee! Sharp cries filled the air as rock eagles, gyrfalcons, and hunting hawks suddenly appeared in the air.
"Lord Marquis, we've been discovered. Those are the birds the Tibetans use for surveillance," Zhang Que nervously said as he looked up at the birds.
"It's fine. If they've discovered us, they've discovered us. There's no need for us to hide anymore."
Wang Chong looked up at the sky and smiled. He had already seen the dense mass of tents on the distant horizon. From the center of those tents rose a massive black banner, fluttering in the wind.
Tsongkha, Zhangzhung Recruit Training Camp!
Everything was exactly as he remembered. Not even that legendary Great Minister of Ü-Tsang could have possibly predicted that he would appear here.
"Get ready! We have a tough battle in front of us!"
Wang Chong gazed into the distance, a sharp light in his eyes.
When Wang Chong's army appeared on the edge of Tsongkha and noticed the Tibetan surveillance birds, the Tibetans also noticed Wang Chong's army. A rock eagle flew into the large black tent in the center of the camp.
A guard in the tent kneeled on the ground and said, "Reporting! The scouts say that an unknown force has appeared on the outskirts!"
Upon hearing the guard's report, Dayan Pugyal frowned, his expression turning gloomy.
"What nonsense are you saying? Where did an unknown force come from? This is the heartland of Ü-Tsang! How could someone bypass our defensive lines and get so deep? Look again and see if they aren't our soldiers before coming back to report to me!"
"Yes, your subordinate will do so."
The guard also had a rather ashamed expression. This was the interior of Ü-Tsang, with Tibetans everywhere. How could some unknown force appear? At most, it would just be some nearby herdsmen or cavalry who happened to be passing by.
Those scouts and cavalry on the perimeter were being far too cautious.
The guard left quickly and returned just as quickly. The second rock eagle had arrived with news, causing the guard to rush back into the tent.
"General, more information has come in. A force of cavalry has truly appeared on our perimeter. We dispatched people to speak with them, but none of them have returned. In addition, the force has dispatched some extremely formidable individual to eliminate our eyes in the sky."
Dayan Pugyal's expression flickered as he finally raised his head from his desk.
This was a recruit training camp for the Ü-Tsang Empire. If these were just nearby herdsmen or some other soldiers, they would never try to eliminate the training camp's birds, much less attack the people sent out from the training camp.
"Let me take a look!"
Dayan Pugyal sensed that something was wrong. Standing up and walking around his desk, he quickly left for the edge of the camp.
Dayan Pugyal had just walked out of his tent when he suddenly heard a screech from overhead. Raising his head, he saw a green hawk plummeting out of the sky. It thudded into the ground several steps from Dayan Pugyal, its bones shattering and its body pulverized into a lump of meat.
Above Dayan Pugyal, a rock eagle that was clearly much smaller than normal flapped its wings and contentedly flew off.
At this moment, Dayan Pugyal's face was twisted into the nastiest of grimaces.
This was a naked challenge. No matter what sort of people were in that force, they definitely weren't Tibetan. Dayan Pugyal gloomily watched as the rock eagle flew back toward the horizon.
Over there, Dayan Pugyal finally spotted the enemy forces the guard spoke of. A black tide seemed to be surging out of the horizon, rushing toward the camp.
"Reporting! Lord General, the scouts have confirmed the identity of the enemy force. They are not a Tibetan force, but a Tang army."
Even though Dayan Pugyal had mentally prepared himself, these words still made his body shudder.
The Tang? How had they ended up here? How had they circumvented the defensive lines without anyone noticing?
"Someone, go and see how many soldiers they have!" Dayan Pugyal hurriedly said.
The Tibetan guards quickly took off and returned very quickly. At such close distances, it was extremely easy to determine the size of the enemy force.
"Reporting to General, their numbers have been determined. There are five thousand Tang, all cavalry, currently heading in our direction."
Dayan Pugyal had a solemn expression at first, but upon hearing the number, he quickly sneered.
"Just a trifling five thousand cavalry dares to come so deep into the plateau. They're seeking death!
"Pass on my order! Gather all the troops and prepare for battle!"
Dayan Pugyal's pupils constricted as he gave the order to get ready.
Although Zhangzhung was a recruit training camp, there were more than twenty thousand soldiers gathered here, and a significant portion of this were the formidable Qinghai Soldiers!
No matter who these people were or how they had avoided the defenses, if they believed that they could deal with Zhangzhung Recruit Training Camp with just five thousand soldiers, then they had lost their minds!
He would let them know why the Tibetans were the true masters of the plateau.
Once Dayan Pugyal gave the order, the long and plaintive yak horns began to blow, resounding over the training camp. The camp quickly came to life, horses galloping as the Tibetan soldiers gathered. War drums banged, and the relaxed Zhangzhung Recruit Training Camp began to seethe with killing intent, a fiendish aura beginning to emerge.
Neeeigh! Boomboom! As warhorses neighed and war drums beat, the skies over Tsongkha became fraught with tension, and the smell of war filled the air.