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Chapter 767: Baiting the Mountain Army!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"This is impossible!"
In the distance, Buluhu's eyes were open wide, his face covered in disbelief. The excessive shock and surprise had left his entire body trembling.
"This can't be happening!"
His body leaned forward, his hands and feet icy cold.
The scouts from the Qixi Protectorate were similarly stunned. Three hundred had unexpectedly defeated two thousand, a force nearly seven times their number.
"Impossible! Impossible… Just what sort of people are they?!"
These were all elites of the Qixi Protectorate army who had taken part in their fair share of battles, but they had never seen such formidable cavalry. Not only had they defeated a more numerous enemy, they had swept through them like they were dry weeds.
A few seconds later, the plateau was covered in countless corpses, man and horse. Weapons, limbs and blood were scattered across the gra.s.s in a radius of several hundred zhang.
A gruesome scene!
Whatever anyone else was thinking, on the battlefield, the clash between three hundred and two thousand had already been decided. The Tibetan formation had been cleaved open, with more than six hundred Tibetan cavalry dying in the first round. The remaining fourteen hundred were in a state of complete mayhem.
Squelch! Blades sliced through flesh as the three hundred Wushang Cavalry quickly divided into six teams of fifty that thrust into the remaining Tibetan cavalry like nooses, scattering them even more and beginning the reaping.
Without any formation and left to fight on their own, the Tibetans were simply no match for w.a.n.g Chong's Wushang Cavalry. In just a few moments, they had suffered grievous casualties—eight hundred, twelve hundred, fourteen hundred…
Soon, the Tibetan army had completely collapsed, their corpses carpeting the ground.
In the distance, Buluhu finally gave the order to withdraw, unable to keep watching. At this order, the remaining Tibetan cavalry took flight like startled birds.
"Let them retreat."
w.a.n.g Chong faintly smiled. Rather than chasing a cornered enemy, having these Tibetans experience the true power of his side was enough.
The three hundred Wushang Cavalry quickly reformed and returned. The entire process occurred in a silent and orderly fashion, just as they had left, with the same indescribable intimidation.
At this moment, let alone the Qixi scouts observing the battle from nearby, even the distant Buluhu and his Tibetan soldiers were speechless.
A deathly stillness had settled over the battlefield, suffused with an indescribable pressure.
"What are the casualties?" w.a.n.g Chong asked.
"One heavily injured, two lightly injured. The rest are fine," Li Siye reported.
w.a.n.g Chong smiled. These casualties were acceptable. Now that they had finished cultivating the Wushang Halo, the Wushang Cavalry were on a completely different level, more than enough to deal with that Tibetan vanguard.
After all, the Wushang Cavalry were hailed as the strongest force of cavalry in the era of calamity.
The entire plateau descended into an eerie silence. w.a.n.g Chong did not continue his attacks, and in the distance, Buluhu and his Ü-Tsang Mountain Army remained quiet. Though they continued to look in w.a.n.g Chong's direction, they did not hastily launch any further attacks.
"Lord Marquis, they seemed to have become even more cautious. They probably won't attack for a while," Li Siye suddenly said as he looked forward.
The three hundred cavalry truly had succeeded in defeating the enemy, but they had also made Buluhu even more cautious and less likely to attack. The goal of this incursion onto the plateau was dealing with the Tibetans, uprooting all the strength they had in the area.
If they retracted back into their sh.e.l.l, then this mission would be pointless.
"Relax. It's fine if they attack, and even better if they don't."
w.a.n.g Chong grinned, confident and a.s.sured. He had made many plans and prepared an extremely long time for this operation, so it wasn't important to w.a.n.g Chong how the Tibetans reacted.
He suddenly turned his head and said, "Pa.s.s on my order to begin the second phase of the plan."
"Heave! Ho! Heave! Ho!…"
Shouts came from the plateau below, and after a few moments, craftsmen emerged with ropes on their backs and made their way up.
The ropes were tied to heavy steel modules.
Ten, twenty, one hundred, five hundred… in a few short moments, thousands of craftsmen transferred from the City of Steel had pulled a large number of steel modules up to the plateau.
"Milord, what are they doing?"
The turmoil on w.a.n.g Chong's side had attracted the notice of the Tibetans, and the officers were currently observing the situation with an uneasy feeling in their minds.
This Tang army was far too strange, different from any other army they had encountered. And those steel walls thrust into the plateau made them all extremely anxious.
"Don't rush. See what they're doing first. We'll still have time to strike once we see what they're up to," Buluhu said.
The layers of steel somewhat obstructed their view, so they could only see that the number of people had increased.
"Look! Milord, it's smoke!" a Tibetan officer suddenly said. Following his gaze, the other officers could clearly see that a thick plume of smoke was rising from behind the walls, from within the Tang army.
"What are these Tang barbarians doing?"
Buluhu's brow deeply creased as an indescribably strange feeling overtook him. In his years of campaigning, he had never seen something like this, so he could not understand the goal of his enemy's tactics.
More plumes were beginning to rise, multiplying as he continued to think.
"Those are… furnace fires!"
Suddenly, in a flash of insight, Buluhu understood, and his entire body trembled. Those strange plumes of black smoke were the smoke from furnaces.
At this moment, all the Tibetans could see the flames rising from the distant Tang army.
"What are these b.a.s.t.a.r.ds up to?"
Buluhu was growing more and more perplexed. Furnace fires, steel, and around seven thousand cavalry—never had he seen such a puzzling display. In truth, it wasn't just Buluhu. The entire Ü-Tsang Mountain Army was confused by this sight.
But this confusion did not last for long. They soon determined the goal of these furnace fires.
"General, look over there!"
Past the scattered steel walls, they could slowly see another, higher, steel wall rising up, glimmering with a silver sheen.
Yes! This was a steel wall, different from those smaller steel plates thrust into the ground. This steel wall was an authentic portion of what would be a fortress.
"General, this is bad! The Tang want to build a fortress on the plateau! They want to build a base here!"
At this moment, everyone finally understood the aims of the Tang army. Unlike past armies, it didn't plan on some brief incursion. It intended to build a fortress of steel and put down roots to stand guard forevermore.
The Tibetans were both stunned and infuriated.
Since ancient times, the Tibetan Plateau had always been regarded as a blessed land conferred by the heavens to the Tibetan people. No other country or people could taint it. A temporary garrison here was one thing, but building a fortress of steel for a long-term garrison, even occupying the land, was another thing entirely.
More than that, these Tang were obstructing one of the most important entry points of the plateau.
And most unacceptable of all was that these Tang were building a fortress on the plateau right in front of the Tibetan army.
Even though Buluhu had a cautious and composed personality, even he couldn't prevent his face from turning red, his rage from bubbling out from between clenched teeth.
"These Tang have no regard for anyone else. Their arrogance is as high as the heavens! Pa.s.s on my order! All troops, stand ready! Kill all these Tang and don't leave behind a single survivor! Let them know what it means for a gra.s.shopper to try and stop a carriage, how gravely they have overestimated their strength!"
Suddenly, an officer at Buluhu's side began to shout. "General, no, wait a moment." For some time, his gaze had been fixed on w.a.n.g Chong and he had been silent. Now, however, he seemed to wake up from a dream, and his expression became extremely agitated and fearful. "I remember now. That youth seems to be Wushang's…"
But his words were interrupted by Buluhu's scarlet eyes. "What Wushang! Don't say anything! I don't care who he is! Anyone who dares to build a fortress on the plateau is a dead man. All soldiers, attack!"
The plaintive horns sounded, traveling far across the plains. The vast sea of Tibetan cavalry two thousand zhang away began to move, their horses neighing and armor clattering as a murderous energy began to explode outward, aimed at w.a.n.g Chong's forces.
"Not good; they're about to attack! Quickly inform General!"
The Qixi scouts paled and immediately began to fall back. Meanwhile, two hors.e.m.e.n broke away from their group, galloping toward the main camp of the Qixi Protectorate army on the eastern line. In this battle, the fate of one side was already sealed, so they had to report this matter as quickly as possible.
Putting aside the reaction of the Qixi scouts, w.a.n.g Chong and Li Siye were completely unworried. On the contrary, they were actually quite pleased to see the Tibetan army slowly prepare for attack.
"Lord Marquis, our plan was effective," Li Siye said as he peered into the distance.