Chapter 749: Heaven Pillar Mountain, Secret Path to the Plateau!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
A general was just about to say something when a messenger rushed into the room like a gust of wind.
“Reporting! Two thousand warhorses have been discovered seven hundred meters to the rear! Those people claim that these warhorses are for our Big Dipper Army, and they are requesting that our Big Dipper Army come to receive them. The scouts have sent me to ask how they should handle the matter.”
The messenger kneeled on the floor, his eyes suffused with a deep confusion.
Everyone in the Big Dipper Army knew of the army’s severe shortage of warhorses, but now these horses were here, and they had come from a completely unexpected direction. This left him extremely dazed and confused.
The messenger’s words plunged the hall into silence. This news was like a fierce slap against the face of all the generals of the Big Dipper Army. All of them had complicated expressions as they looked toward Geshu Han.
“I was looking down on him!”
Geshu Han had an extremely solemn expression.
“In this round, I was far inferior to him. Public and private are two separate things, and this youngest son of the Wang Clan clearly had much more daring.”
Geshu Han had still not yet met this scion of the Wang Clan, with most of his information coming from the mouths of others. But to witness with one’s own eyes was better than hearsay, and moreover, the events of the southwest had grown so exaggerated by now that only the participants actually knew just how much of a role Wang Chong had played.
Yet now, Geshu Han had to admit that he had truly been underestimating him.
Although Wang Chong knew that the relationship between him and Geshu Han was poor, he could look past that to consider the overarching situation and gift the two thousand horses for the sake of Longxi and the Great Tang… Only someone with an astonishingly open mind could do such a thing. In comparison, his own actions were clearly rather petty.
“Qing Ze, write a letter for me thanking the Young Marquis. Say that I’ve received the two thousand warhorses and that the Big Dipper Army owes him a favor,” Geshu Han said as he mentally sighed.
With these words, Qing Ze quickly left.
At night, with dark clouds hanging low, the gates of the City of Steel thundered open. A group of black-armored cavalry slowly rode out with a vigorous momentum. They had black halos under their feet, clattering like steel and linked together like the rings of a chain.
At the front of the soldiers was a seventeen-year-old youth with sharp brows and bright eyes. Behind him was a strong man more than two meters tall, twice the size of an ordinary adult.
“Lord Marquis, where are we going?” Li Siye said.
In the more than half a month of training within the city, this was the first time Wang Chong was taking the Wushang Cavalry beyond its walls. But Wang Chong had never been one to clearly explain his plans, so not even Li Siye knew where they were going.
“Soldiers are trained for a thousand days to be used in a single moment. They’ve trained for long enough, so it’s now time to proceed to the next part of the plan,” Wang Chong indifferently said.
Wang Chong’s black hair danced in the light wind. Although he was barely over seventeen, Wang Chong was becoming more and more composed, his eyes more dignified and determined.
Unlike his peers, Wang Chong’s eyes could see the most minute of details, could see farther than anyone else.
Wang Chong urged his horse forward, but not to the nearby Tibetan Plateau. Instead, he turned in the direction of the southwest, to Longxi.
Wang Chong said nothing over the course of the journey, so neither did anyone else. Under the starry night, several hundred li went by in a flash. The five thousand Turkic warhorses were showing their value here, as it took only around six hours for the Wushang Cavalry to cover a distant of seven or eight hundred li.
The scenery constantly changed around them, and gradually, the barren landscape turned into lush hills. They had galloped their way into the heartland of Longxi.
In the distant darkness, the massive silhouette of a mountain thrust into the clouds, spanning the gap between heaven and earth.
Li Siye finally couldn’t suppress his worries. “Lord Marquis, are we going to Big Dipper City?”
Longxi was under the administration of Big Dipper Great General Geshu Han. Given their current relationship, a conflict was highly likely to take place if five thousand cavalry appeared in front of the Big Dipper Army.
“Hahaha, we’ll have to meet Geshu Han eventually, but not right now.”
Apparently seeing through Li Siye’s worries, Wang Chong chuckled, but his gaze was on that looming mountain.
Heaven Pillar Mountain!
A thought flitted through Wang Chong’s mind.
I finally found it.
Longxi shared a long border with Ü-Tsang. The massive difference in altitude meant that the vast majority of the border was untraversable for even apes and monkeys, much less humans.
Even the ambitious Tibetans who coveted the Central Plains would shrink away from these areas, much less other people.
Anyone who had tried to force their way through these areas ended up dead.
But Wang Chong knew of a secret path that could bring one safely into the heart of the plateau, and this was the only path in all the several thousand li of border.
It was an obscure path that was buried year-round. Wang Chong had only discovered it by pure accident.
In order to find this secret path, one first had to find Heaven Pillar Mountain.
In truth, this mountain didn’t have a name. ‘Heaven Pillar Mountain’ was the name Wang Chong had given it in his last life.
“Li Siye, pass on my order to have them rest here and wait for further orders,” Wang Chong said without turning his head.
After a momentary pause, Li Siye quickly assented. “Yes, Lord Marquis!”
“This lowly person is here.”
Not long after Li Siye left, Zhang Que rode out from the rear, dressed in a military uniform and with his rock eagle perched on his shoulder. For this expedition, Wang Chong had also brought Zhang Que and a portion of his eagle team.
When an army was on the march, what it was most apprehensive about, especially at night, was being discovered by the enemy. To guard against this, Wang Chong had brought Zhang Que.
“It’s your turn now. Have your rock eagle and the eagle team search that area.”
Wang Chong extended a finger and drew an arc in the sky, ultimately stopping on the looming Tibetan Plateau to the right.
“Yes, this lowly person will do so.”
Zhang Que paused for a moment, and then realized something, a hint of excitement appearing in his eyes. Creee! A few moments later, the shrill cry could be heard as the rock eagle took flight.
Wang Chong sat on his horse, watching as the rock eagle climbed higher and higher, all the way until it vanished into the clouds that shrouded the plateau.
Dayan Mangban, now it’s my turn to strike!
Wang Chong’s lips curved into a nearly undetectable smile.
Only after that rock eagle vanished into the depths of the plateau did Wang Chong finally reveal his goal.
Half a month ago, the White Braves had attacked the city, and Dayan Mangban had been frightened away by Wang Chong’s use of rotating teams to constantly assault him. But this future Tibetan King of Generals had suddenly made a backthrust. After leaving the City of Steel, he had run off to a border camp of the Qixi Protectorate army and killed five thousand soldiers and the important Qixi general Pulan He.
Although those people were all Fumeng Lingcha’s soldiers, they were also the Great Tang’s soldiers. They were responsible for protecting the border, and had ultimately died performing their duty.
Wang Chong had been close at hand in Wushang, but by the time he had gotten the news, it was too late. Coupled with the fact that he had no soldiers who could contend against Dayan Mangban’s, he could only swallow his anger.
But the soldiers of the Great Tang would never die in vain, not as long as Wang Chong still breathed.
The hidden path in Heaven Pillar Mountain led straight into the heartland of Ü-Tsang.
If his memories were still correct, at most three hundred li from the place the path emerged onto the Tibetan Plateau was the most famous place in the northern region of Ü-Tsang, Tsongkha.
The most famous new recruit training camp of Ü-Tsang was located there. Every fall, from the tenth month to the eleventh month, a large number of Tibetan recruits would be sent there to undergo strict training. Once the training was complete, they would be transferred to various borders of Ü-Tsang to help it in its conquests.
But this was not the primary objective of Wang Chong’s operation. Wang Chong remembered that right now, Tsongkha was welcoming a very unique group of recruits, the Qinghai Soldiers1.
This was a group of elite soldiers that would one day stand shoulder to shoulder with the White Braves. If everything went as expected, once they completed training, in at most six months, they would begin to frenziedly attack all of the Great Tang. Longxi, Qixi, and Anxi were all under their scope.
If they were not eliminated, they would pose a greater and greater threat to the Great Tang, eventually becoming a threat equal to the White Braves.
This was the true goal of Wang Chong’s expedition.
Dayan Mangban, it is now time for you and all of the Ü-Tsang Empire to pay the price!
With this thought, Wang Chong’s mind quickly calmed down.
A sharp cry penetrated the dark night. A rock eagle with its wings spread wide was riding on the air currents. Whoosh! There was a flash of light as a silhouette flew nearby.
One, two, three, four… in the distance, all sorts of birds were flying through the air, circling over this region. There were rock eagles, gyrfalcons, hunting hawks, and various other kinds of birds.
In this intersection of Ü-Tsang, the Western Regions, and the Turkic steppe, it was not rare to see rock eagles and hunting hawks, and there were even times when the Tibetans would buy gyrfalcons from Goguryeo for scouting purposes.
Although it was late at night, the plateau was still buzzing with activity. Shouts intermixed with the clanging of steel, and rose into the air to mix with the cries of birds.
1.’Qinghai’, or ‘Green Sea’ is the name of the largest lake on the Tibetan Plateau, and indeed, the largest lake in all of China.↩