Chapter 846: Consolidating Qixi! (I)
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Li Siye, upon receiving the order, immediately began to reorganize the Qixi army. The army valued speed and decisiveness, and whether in the last life or this, the Invincible Great General had always conscientiously carried out his duty. Besides that, the five thousand Wushang Cavalry armed to the teeth had thoroughly cowed the Hu soldiers.
"Xu Keyi, see what the casualties amongst the Hu are," Wang Chong lightly ordered upon making a circuit of the battlefield.
"Yes, Lord Marquis."
Xu Keyi immediately left with the order. In terms of administration, Xu Keyi was undoubtedly an excellent worker. It took only a few moments for Xu Keyi to return.
"Milord, of the Qixi Protectorate army, four Hu generals were killed. The Hu cavalry suffered one hundred and fifty deaths. As for heavy injuries… eight thousand seven hundred, and countless people with light injuries!"
Xu Keyi's voice paused and became much faster as he reported the last number.
This battle had successfully defeated and subdued the rebel Hu of the Qixi Protectorate army, but the cost had been unavoidably large. Eight thousand seven hundred heavily injured… Xu Keyi snuck a glance at Wang Chong, a little concerned that this news would be extremely disadvantageous for Wang Chong once it reached the Imperial Court.
After all, the Qixi Protectorate army only had a few tens of thousands of soldiers in total!
"Just one hundred and fifty soldiers… that's good enough. Xu Keyi, prepare a memorial reporting this matter to the Imperial Court!"
To Xu Keyi's surprise, Wang Chong was quite relieved at this report, even giving a long sigh of relief. Wang Chong knew what Xu Keyi was thinking and shot him an indifferent smile.
"Relax—it'll be fine. Just do as I say!"
Wang Chong had grown up in clan of ministers and generals, so he knew a great deal about how the army worked. Although eight thousand seven hundred soldiers of the Qixi Protectorate army had been heavily injured in this battle, a rather astonishing number, the Imperial Court would actually only care about the one hundred and fifty dead.
It would barely even pay attention to the heavily wounded!
In the military, 'heavily wounded' and 'dead' were two completely different concepts. The heavily wounded could recover once a certain amount of time had passed, but the dead could not be revived. One hundred and fifty dead to resolve the chaos of Qixi would leave both the Imperial Court and the Sage Emperor with nothing to complain about.
Wang Chong had planned this all out from the very beginning.
"Everyone else, follow me!"
Wang Chong waved an arm and led the rest of his subordinates to the Qixi Protectorate headquarters. The battle was over, so Wang Chong could put all his attention on that enormous structure.
I can finally get a good look…
In truth, he had passed the Qixi Protectorate many times, but the existence of Fumeng Lingcha had meant that he never dared to get close. The closest he had ever been to this massive building was the night of his battle with the Black Wolf Yabgu, but even then, Wang Chong had not been so close.
Wang Chong carefully inspected this massive edifice. It was more than ten zhang tall, the entire building constructed from bronze, refined iron, gold, silver, and Deep Sea Xuan Metal. While grandiose and gorgeous, it was also firm and steady. But Wang Chong's attention was more on the countless scars left by weapons on its surface as well as the scorch marks left by the flames of battle.
On this massive building, Wang Chong could see the deep marks of history, eroded by the long passage of time.
The Qixi Protectorate headquarters had not been built recently. In fact, one could trace it all the way back to the era of Emperor Taizong, many years ago. Fumeng Lingcha was also far from the first Qixi Protector-General. Generation after generation of border generals had presided over this place, each one leaving their own marks upon it.
After many years, the Qixi Protectorate finally welcomed another Han Protector-General.
"Su Shixuan, get the roster for the Qixi Protectorate. Inspect all the servants, maids, and laborers. Keep all those that pass muster and dismiss all those who can't. In addition…"
Wang Chong suddenly paused for a moment, a smile emerging on his lips.
"In addition, you can tell Xu Qiqin that she can come over."
With these words said, Wang Chong strode like a shooting star into the center of the hall. The floor of the Qixi Protectorate headquarters was also made of metal, and it felt cold beneath his feet, but Wang Chong could also sense something else. This was the first time since he had reincarnated that Wang Chong had stepped into the famous Qixi Protectorate of the western border.
Wang Chong could sense that the marks of authority had been deeply branded into every inch of this building.
The tens of thousands of soldiers of Qixi, the nearby Qixi Armory, and the vital road to the Western Regions were all controlled from this massive building.
This was the first time in his life that Wang Chong had stepped upon this peak of supreme authority.
Tap! Tap! Tap!
Wang Chong's pace was leisurely and unhurried, his footsteps echoing through the hall. As he passed through a pair of heavy metal doors, Wang Chong finally set his eyes upon the throne that was the condensation of this authority.
As his subordinates looked on, Wang Chong stepped onto the raised platform, turned around, and seated himself upon this throne of supreme power. In that moment, all of Qixi seemed to tremble.
Very few people could sense that as Wang Chong seated himself upon this throne, the power structure of Qixi and the Western Regions shifted, and the course of history began to set off on a completely different path.
I've finally succeeded! Starting from now, I will be the one to protect this Great Tang!
As he rested his arms upon the throne and felt the great power that had precipitated upon it over the long course of history, thunder rumbled within his mind.
Qixi Protector-General, one of the greatest positions of authority in the Great Tang!
At this moment, only Wang Chong was aware that he had truly grasped the strength to change the fate of this empire!
In all of Qixi, Wang Chong no longer had any opponents!
Several days after Wang Chong had taken complete control over Qixi, a carrier pigeon flew into the capital.
"Hahaha, Wang Chong, this king did not judge you wrongly. I didn't think that you would pacify Qixi so quickly!"
King Song laughed in relief upon receiving the letter.
King Song had overcome great opposition to recommend Wang Chong for Qixi Protector-General, and only he knew just how much pressure he had experienced. The court, the Sage Emperor, and even the general populace had been focused on him. Wang Chong's success or failure had not just concerned his own future prospects, but King Song's as well.
If King Song were found to have made the wrong recommendation and Wang Chong could not stabilize Qixi, his influence in the court would receive a massive blow, and even the Sage Emperor would no longer treat him with as much favor.
But to his surprise, not long after the Imperial Court issued its decree, Wang Chong had quickly resolved all the unstable factors in Qixi, and it was at the small price of only one hundred and fifty Hu soldiers.
The old butler bowed and said, "Your Highness! It seems that child has finished maturing. With him in Qixi, Your Highness has nothing to worry about. As expected, this child did not betray Your Highness's high hopes!"
He had also been there to watch as Wang Chong matured. He had never imagined that this youth of the capital who had needed his help to deal with King Sosurim would today become someone who could handle himself and replace Fumeng Lingcha to sit on the throne of one of the highest positions in the empire. At this moment, even the old butler felt a deep admiration.
"Write a letter for me to Wang Chong. Tell him that he can operate without worry in Qixi. If he needs anything, he can just tell me, and I will do all I can from the capital to assist him," King Song said. "That's right, I remember that Wang Chong submitted a memorial not too long ago asking for the City of Steel to be made a transfer point for soldiers. I will present it to the Sage Emperor. In addition, given the many battles Qixi has experienced lately, inform the Bureau of Military Personnel that Qixi should receive priority in terms of troop replenishment."
"Yes! Your Highness!"
Time slowly passed. With the slaying of Gudu Li, Wang Chong had smoothly assumed the seat of Qixi Protector-General, crushing all the opposition in his way. In addition, Li Siye had finished reorganizing all the Hu soldiers who had taken part in the rebellion, and everything was on the right track.
In the massive hall of the Qixi Protectorate had been placed a massive model with Talas at the center. Many small flags of various colors had been placed on the model. Wang Chong stood next to it, gripping a small red flag and looking pensive.
"Lord Marquis, the Hu of Qixi still won't submit!"
A voice suddenly came from behind him as Xu Keyi strode in. He was dressed in martial attire, and his brow was thick with worry.
"We defeated the Hu soldiers of the Qixi Protectorate, killed Gudu Li, and even had General Li reorganize them, but these Hu are still only loyal on the surface. Many disturbances have taken place over the last few nights. Although they're just small things like the killing of a horse, brawls, or a few rations being destroyed, this subordinate worries that these Hu won't be very useful. At some crucial battle, they might cause an even greater disturbance!"
"Heba Ye can't deal with them?" Wang Chong indifferently said, not even turning his head. His eyes were still focused on the model before him.
Heba Ye had rushed over right after the battle had ended. Unlike the other Hu generals, he had witnessed the battle at the triangular gap and was well aware of the monstrous power of Wang Chong's five thousand cavalry. When Gudu Li had been gathering the Hu generals to start a rebellion, Heba Ye had been the sole high-ranking Hu general to remain uninvolved.
And unlike the other Hu generals, the moment Heba Ye arrived, he had immediately acknowledged Wang Chong as his lord and respected the Imperial Court's decision. Wang Chong also knew that this Qixi commander in charge of the Tibetan border was completely different from Gudu Li, a dependable general who was loyal to the Great Tang. Thus, once the Hu army had been reorganized, Wang Chong had passed command over them to Heba Ye.
Heba Ye was also a Hu, and he had always had some prestige in the army. Having him take care of those rebel Hu was the best solution.