Chapter 788: Defeat!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Roars and shouts of fighting resounded over the plateau. This clash of supreme cavalry, White Braves versus Wushang Cavalry, had in the end transformed into a one-sided pursuit.
"All soldiers, withdraw!"
As Wang Chong watched the Wushang Cavalry chase down the Tibetans, his eyes flashed and he suddenly raised a hand and ordered the retreat.
This order was so sudden that the Wushang Cavalry, who had been immersed in the chase, were momentarily dazed. Their lightning speed rapidly dropped, and the dust began to settle.
"All soldiers, hear this order! Withdraw!"
Li Siye's order rang out over the plateau, and with both commanders sounding the retreat, all hesitation vanished. All the cavalry drew an arc on the plateau as they gave up on the pursuit and returned to base.
The agility of the Wushang Cavalry was on full display here. It took only a few seconds after the order for the several thousand cavalry to completely turn around, immediately widening the gap between them and the Tibetans.
Not long after Wang Chong's forces had begun to withdraw, fierce neighs could be heard from in front of the fleeing White Braves. A massive black banner was slowly raised into the air, a massive white eagle emblazoned upon it.
This Ü-Tsang Imperial Great General had been holding the rear this entire time, appearing unworried, but when Dayan Mangban was defeated by Wang Chong and Li Siye, he could no longer sit still.
"He ran rather fast! If he had remained just a little longer, I would have been able to catch him!"
The army parted and Dusong Mangpoje rode out on his divine steed. His eyes were as sharp as a hawk's, and the energy rising from his body was as heavy as a mountain range. Although Dayan Mangban was praised as the Asura War God of the plateau and was a Brigadier General, only a step away from a Great General, it was clear that he was still quite lackluster in comparison to Dusong Mangpoje.
This was what it meant to be so close, yet worlds apart. Although it seemed to be only a step away, this step was a vast chasm.
"Milord, should we pursue? Perhaps we could catch up to them before they reach their camp?" a deputy officer probed as he reluctantly stared at the retreating Tang forces. During a battle, it was difficult to pay attention to what was happening in the rear, and they had taken great pains to remain out of sight.
If Wang Chong's reaction had been just a little slower, the Great General's destructive strike would have been waiting for him, and the course of the battle would have been completely reversed.
"There's no need."
Dusong Mangpoje shook his head. Wang Chong's reaction had been swift and decisive. For his army in the middle of a pursuit, fresh from victory, to quickly come to a stop and turn around was extremely difficult. He could tell that Wang Chong had remained cool and rational throughout the battle. They would gain nothing from chasing down the Tang. Moreover…
Dusong Mangpoje gave a profound glance in Fumeng Lingcha's direction, a hint of caution in his eyes.
Dusong Mangpoje raised a hand into the air.
It was enough that he had stopped the Wushang Cavalry from doing even more damage and lessened the casualties of the Tibetan army. The horns blew the retreat signal, and the Tibetan army drew back to their camp two-thousand-some zhang away. At almost the same time, Wang Chong's forces returned to the shelter of the steel walls.
The intimidating presence of Dusong Mangpoje had finally brought this fierce battle to an end.
"These Wushang Cavalry are truly too powerful!"
"They actually managed to deal such a large defeat to the White Braves, and even Dayan Mangban lost! If I hadn't seen it for myself, I would have never believed it!"
"The Young Marquis truly isn't ordinary! No wonder he managed to so thoroughly defeat the cavalry of the Ngari Royal Lineage in the southwest. We've all underestimated him."
"I can't believe it! How could our Great Tang have such a formidable individual! The soldiers he's trained can utterly crush the Tibetans!"
As they watched the two sides return to their bases, all the soldiers of the Qixi Protectorate army were stunned. This was five thousand against ten thousand, half of those being the formidable White Braves! The results of this battle felt like a massive wave crashing down in their minds.
Although the presence of their Protector-General prevented many people from voicing their true opinions, deep down, they had been elated to see Wang Chong crush those vicious Tibetans, felt honored to witness such a sight. After all, at this moment, they were all people of the Great Tang!
Expectant eyes began to turn toward their commander, Heba Ye. All these soldiers had the impulse to charge down and stand alongside Wang Chong's forces to vanquish the Tibetans on the plateau.
The Qixi Protectorate army was the true guardian of the plateau's borders, the true opponent of the Tibetans. If a person who did not even have this duty could put everything on the line, what reason did the Qixi Protectorate army have to back away?
Heba Ye said nothing, only looked to Protector-General Fumeng Lingcha. Unlike his subordinates, Fumeng Lingcha had an extremely gloomy expression. Heba Ye apprehensively glanced down and saw that Fumeng Lingcha's hands had clenched into fists, his palms brimming with destructive energy shimmering with a cold, metallic luster.
Shivering, Heba Ye immediately put aside any thoughts of speaking up.
"Li Siye, how are you doing? Pass on my order to get a head count and determine what our losses were."
Behind the silvery-white steel walls, Wang Chong gripped the reins of his horse and turned behind him to look at Li Siye. Dayan Mangban's Stellar Energy was tyrannical and vigorous, and he was a veteran of many battles. In addition, it was clear that the battle at the City of Steel had riled him up, causing him to bitterly train and grow even stronger.
Wang Chong could rely on the Karmic Battle Armor to defend himself, but Li Siye could not.
In the end, it was still too early. Li Siye had still not matured into that almost peerless and despotic Invincible Great General who could singlehandedly change the course of a battle. With only his Imperial Martial realm cultivation, he had definitely suffered in the battle against Dayan Mangban.
"It's nothing, only a few small injuries."
Li Siye was calm, with no sign of emotion on his determined face, but Wang Chong could see that the armor on his right shoulder had been shattered, and scarlet blood was seeping out.
But Li Siye apparently didn't notice, as if this injury belonged to someone else. His posture also remained as straight as it usually was.
After examining him for a few moments, Wang Chong finally nodded.
Although he was weaker than Dayan Mangban, Li Siye's vitality was clearly far above his cultivation. The jolts of Stellar Energy might have heavily injured others, but they were clearly still bearable for Li Siye.
"Mm, there will be another battle coming up. Take this pill. It will be good for your wounds. In addition… find out our losses."
Wang Chong's expression turned grim.
Wushang Village provided the Great Tang's best soldiers, with the poorest recruits being slightly below the Profound Martial realm, and the vast majority of them at the Profound Martial realm. This and the harsh environment they had adapted to made the Wushang Cavalry innately one of the world's strongest cavalry forces.
But their opponent had been the similarly formidable Tibetan White Braves. Even though Wang Chong had planned out all the countermeasures, losses were unavoidable.
The casualty report quickly arrived. Of the 5000 Wushang Cavalry, 4678 remained. 322 of them had died in the battle just now.
In addition, around seven hundred had suffered from light injuries and three hundred had suffered heavy injuries, making for around thirteen hundred casualties in total!
This had been the greatest wound to the Wushang Cavalry since its establishment, and it was a massive number to the Wushang Cavalry that only numbered five thousand.
The White Braves had won every battle they had ever fought, so they were definitely not some opponent that could be easily dealt with.
"What of the Tibetans?" Wang Chong asked after a few moments of silence.
"They should have suffered even greater losses!" Li Siye loudly proclaimed. "Although we can't get an exact count, the Tibetans should have lost around eighteen hundred people, with two thousand being injured. If Dayan Mangban hadn't been so quick to give the retreat order, they would have suffered even more losses. In addition, they also lost more than two thousand cavalry from that group that came to reinforce them."
To the five thousand White Braves, eighteen hundred deaths was an enormous figure. In comparison, the 322 losses to the Wushang Cavalry were barely worth mentioning.
This was proof that the Wushang Cavalry's strength was greater than the White Braves', and it was quite the significant gap.
Wang Chong sighed and finally gave a nod. Although he had wanted nothing more than to finish off all the White Braves in one go, if not even ten thousand Mamelukes at full power could do it, it would be very difficult for him to do so.
I can only wait for the Wootz Steel and Meteoric Metal to arrive so that they can be forged into weapons and armor. Only after the Wushang Cavalry is fully equipped can I set about exterminating the elite cavalries of the Turks, the Arabs, and the Tibetans, Wang Chong quietly said to himself.