Chapter 514: Major Victory!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Halos reverberated with the clattering of metal as they enveloped the armies. The battle had finally reached the crucial moment!
Wang Chong had hidden the 2600 cavalry for a long time, holding them in reserve until they could explode and wash over the enemy like an unstoppable flood. And the one thousand Wootz Steel swords served as the best weapons to clear the way.
The smack of flesh against flesh and the clang of saber against sword resonated through the air.
In normal circumstances, Wang Chong's 2600 cavalry would have been no match for Bachicheng's army of six thousand.
But Bachicheng's advance had been stymied by Li Siye, Old Eagle, and Xu Shiping, and the defensive lines Wang Chong had laid in the central army had still not been broken through. The gap in strategy and tactics had become fatal when facing the War Saint that was Wang Chong.
Cavalry had never been invincible!
Wang Chong was well aware of this fact.
Cavalry without speed was only infantry, perhaps even inferior!
Wang Chong's 2600 cavalry had become a high wall looming in the middle of Bachicheng's army, cutting the tail from the head. The chaos in the middle also made the Tibetans obstruct each other, completely nullifying their advantage in speed. Wang Chong didn't even need to participate. He just needed to stand on the summit, spreading out his Bane of the Battlefield halo to his army.
"Congratulations to user for killing 3601 Tibetan regular heavy cavalry!"
"Congratulations to user for killing 3723 Tibetan regular heavy cavalry!"
"Congratulations to user for killing 3845 Tibetan regular heavy cavalry!"
"Congratulations to user for killing 6561 Tibetan regular heavy cavalry!"
"Congratulations to user for killing 7831 Tibetan regular heavy cavalry!"
"Congratulations to user for killing 8843 Tibetan regular heavy cavalry!"
Countless messages resounded in his mind. On the blustery summit, Wang Chong's Bane of the Battlefield halo had already become a grade-two halo. Meanwhile, Wang Chong's strength climbed from the True Martial realm Tier 5 to Tier 6, a bonus that came from the advancement of his halo. Ever since his reincarnation, this had been the largest and most fruitful battle that Wang Chong had participated in.
As he saw the chaos on the slope and his army encircling the Tibetans, Wang Chong knew that he had won.
The battle ended one hour later.
As the sounds of fighting faded, the mountain finally exploded with cheers.
"We won, we won!"
"We really did win!"
The exhausted soldiers, counting themselves lucky to be alive, looked excitedly at the corpses of the Tibetans and their highland steeds carpeting the slope. Countless Great Tang soldiers had died in the southwest war, dealing the Great Tang an unprecedented defeat. And in all of this vast empire of millions, not a single extra soldier could be found, not in Longxi, Beiting, Anxi, or Andong!
At a time like this, a victory like this truly was necessary to boost morale.
"I can't believe it, I can't believe it…"
Commandant Xu and his officers stood on an outcropping of rock, looking at the gruesome battlefield in excitement.
Although they had taken part in this battle, they were still completely baffled as to how this victory had happened. In Xu Shiping's mind, being able to keep his life in a battle of eight thousand soldiers against twelve thousand fierce Tibetan cavalry was already rather decent. But they had won! And it had been a decisive victory.
And if one added the fact that they were facing a powerful foe like Bachicheng, this victory felt even more inconceivable.
"A general's son, a true general's son! It's no wonder the Imperial Court sent him!"
Xu Shiping almost subconsciously turned to look at Wang Chong.
The merit for this victory unquestionably lay with Wang Chong alone. In Xu Shiping's hands, these same eight thousand soldiers would probably only be able to flee in defeat, but in Wang Chong's hands, they had displayed an unimaginable power.
At this moment, Wang Chong's unobtrusive figure was comparable to a god's.
While Xu Shiping was looking toward the summit, a messenger galloped to the summit on a horse. Dismounting, he strode forward and kneeled at Wang Chong's feet.
"Milord, we've won! Other than one thousand, we've killed almost all of the more than twelve thousand Tibetan cavalry!" The messenger's voice was suffused with an irrepressible joy.
"How many dead do we have?" Wang Chong said indifferently, little fluctuation in his voice.
"Twenty-seven hundred!" the kneeling messenger reported.
For an army of eight thousand to only have twenty-seven hundred killed when battling more than ten thousand cavalry was simply absurd. Not even Longxi's Big Dipper Army would be able to accomplish this. If one did not take part in the battle, it would truly be hard to believe. And the only reason for their victory had been this descendant of a prestigious clan.
The messenger felt an even deeper respect for this youth.
Wang Chong paid no attention to the messenger's adoring gaze, only slightly furrowing his brow at this number. To fight against a powerful foe like the Tibetans and only lose twenty-seven hundred while killing more than ten thousand, achieving a four-to-one casualty ratio, would have been nigh inconceivable for any other general.
But Wang Chong almost imperceptibly furrowed his brow.
The casualties are a little high! Wang Chong silently thought, his head lowered.
He had only started with eight thousand soldiers. With twenty-seven hundred deaths, he now had around five thousand. For Wang Chong, who was severely lacking manpower, this casualty rate was a little hard to accept. However, when one considered that his opponent had been a valiant general like Bachicheng and that most of the deaths had occurred on the first charge, this was still a fact that Wang Chong had to accept.
In the end, these are still reserve troops, not regular soldiers. If it had been the elites of the Annan Protectorate, a thousand deaths might have been the maximum! Wang Chong quietly said to himself.
The soldiers led by Li Zhengyi had almost all been reserve troops of the Imperial Court, with only a small portion being regular soldiers. Such a force was completely different from a regular army that had experienced many campaigns. In terms of strength, they were still a little lacking.
Things would have been completely different if it had been the Annan Protectorate army.
At the very least, one could see the difference in how the Annan Protectorate army had managed to last so long against the joint army of Mengshe Zhao and Ü-Tsang.
Purely in terms of soldier quality and strength, not considering other factors like warhorses, the Great Tang regular army's composite strength was actually far greater than that of any other foreign country.
"Milord, we've captured Bachicheng. How do you want to deal with him?"
Wang Chong heard a set of familiar footsteps as Old Eagle's blood-stained figure came walking over. He seemed to be limping and looked thoroughly exhausted.
This had been a most arduous battle!
Old Eagle had the aid of Batunlu's golden gauntlets, and together with Li Siye, Xu Shiping, the other officers, and the surrounding soldiers, they had ganged up on Bachicheng. Even with their advantage, Bachicheng had still managed to kill and injure many of them. Even Old Eagle had almost given up.
If it hadn't been for a top-notch expert like Li Siye, wielding that massive Wootz Steel sword and wearing that special Meteoric Metal armor, fearlessly fighting with his life on the line against Bachicheng, the rest of them would have been killed.
However, the true 'lethal blow' had actually come from Wang Chong's hidden Wootz Steel cavalry.
When he saw his army in chaos, even a valiant general like Bachicheng began to panic.
When they had come down from the eastern end of the Tibetan Plateau, Bachicheng had basically been unstoppable, with no one able to defeat him. Even the rising star of the Great Tang, Li Zhengyi, who had made his name in Anxi and Beiting, had died to his scimitar. One could easily imagine Bachicheng's self-confidence.
But this self-confidence had easily been punctured by Wang Chong!
Even someone as courageous as Bachicheng began to panic when he heard the screams of his army as it crumbled behind him.
And in this level of battle, such panic was lethal.
"Hmph! Take me over!" Wang Chong didn't waste his time on such thoughts, but immediately replied to Old Eagle's report, his eyes flashing with cold light.
Wang Chong was about to claim what was personally the biggest harvest of this battle.
From the start of this campaign, Wang Chong had privately requested of Old Eagle and Li Siye to capture the enemy generals if possible. Of course, this could only be if the opponent could not resist and was unable to harm him.
Wang Chong had never given the reason.
Old Eagle and Li Siye had never asked.
There were some things that didn't need to be known.
"You are the highest commander of this army?"
Bachicheng lay on the mountain slope, his body covered in wounds and blood. Multiple ropes and a single chain were tightly wrapped around him, but the one truly tying him down was the giant and oppressive body of Invincible Great General Li Siye.
With an icy face, he held his giant Wootz Steel sword up to the sky, prepared at any moment to bring it swinging down.
Li Siye did not dare to underestimate a powerful foe like Bachicheng.
Even though all of Bachicheng's important acupuncture points had been struck, Li Siye still did not let his guard down. Any peculiar movement would immediately cause Li Siye to behead him.
Wang Chong walked up, a faint smile and leisurely expression on his face. His first words immediately astonished Bachicheng.
"You know Tibetan?" Bachicheng said in disbelief.
He had spoken his question in Tibetan, mixed with a few clumsily-spoken Han words, doing his utmost to communicate his meaning to the Tang commander. But Bachicheng hadn't expected that this Tang youth who didn't even seem half his age was actually able to speak Tibetan.
In their arrogance, the Tang had never learned the languages of the other countries.
In the entirety of the Great Tang, someone who could speak Tibetan was as rare as a phoenix feather or Qilin horn, much to the delight of the Tibetans. The less the Tang could speak their language, the less about Ü-Tsang they would understand, which was only an advantage to them.
But Bachicheng hadn't expected the person standing before him to be capable of speaking Tibetan!