The Human Emperor - Chapter 2241 - Despairing Gao Shang!
Chapter 2241: Despairing Gao Shang!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
In the explosion, the two generals had been badly injured, and when they took in the scene of devastation around them, they lost the will to fight and joined the army in fleeing to the north.
“No! We have to quickly find Master!”
Zhao Kan suddenly stopped, his face grave.
Even though it was all over, he was no ordinary soldier. And it wasn’t as though everyone in Youzhou was so lacking in loyalty. An Lushan could still claim to have some faithful subordinates.
“The war is over, but if we find Master and quickly depart, there could still be an opportunity for a comeback!”
“This… mm!” Baizhen Tuoluo hesitated before clenching his teeth and nodding.
Over the last few years, An Lushan had always treated them rather well. To abandon An Lushan at this time and flee alone would be to deeply wrong him.
The two of them scanned the battlefield and saw a familiar figure some seven thousand feet away, floating in the air.
An Lushan was still wearing the World Armor, and it appeared that the armor had neutralized the majority of the shock. His hair simply appeared disheveled, and he apparently had sustained some minor injuries.
Floating in the air, he looked down at the ground with a slack expression. It was as if he was still lost in the midst of that massive explosion.
But anyone close by would be able to see that An Lushan’s lips were trembling, and he was mumbling the same phrase over and over…
“Impossible, impossible. We are the master of the world and could never lose to him…”
“Now is not the time to stand around! Hurry and get out of here! So long as there are still green hills, there will still be wood to burn!”
Disregarding everything else, the two of them anxiously cried out as they seized two horses and rode over to An Lushan.
Finally, seemingly recognizing their voices, An Lushan began to slowly come to his senses, his eyes coming back into focus.
“An Lushan, you think you can escape?” A cold and aloof voice rumbled through the fortress.
Hearing Wang Chong’s cold voice, An Lushan came completely to his senses. Whoosh! Before Zhao Kan and Baizhen Tuoluo could get close, An Lushan shot off into the north like a frightened bird.
Seeing An Lushan instantly leave them far behind, Zhao Kan and Baizhen Tuoluo were rendered speechless, their mouths dropping.
The two of them were certain that An Lushan had passed over their heads just now, but in the entire process, An Lushan had not even glanced at them, only caring about running for his life.
There was an indescribable sensation in their hearts, but the Tang army was coming and there was no time to be concerned about such things. Spurring their horses, they madly fled toward the north.
The army was in a complete retreat, and those that couldn’t escape faced death. But as everyone fled, no one noticed that amidst the debris and bodies, a middle-aged scholar was silently watching this all unfold, appearing so dejected and soulless that he appeared like a walking corpse.
In this battle, as Gao Shang was a civil official, he had been left in the rear, so he had managed to avoid the heart of the explosion.
More importantly, when the explosion happened, countless soldiers had lunged forward, using their bodies to protect Gao Shang.
Even so, Gao Shang didn’t feel fortunate over having survived. All he felt was infinite sorrow and despair.
Gao Shang saw the fleeing alliance army and saw An Lushan fly past his head without even glancing at him, and he watched as the Tang army surged forward, seething with killing intent…
“Impossible, absolutely impossible!
“How did this happen…” Gao Shang muttered.
The army had lost!
Gao Shang was like a deflating leather ball, completely drained of strength. Thump! His legs went weak, and he dropped to his knees.
Gao Shang no longer appeared like that farsighted and confident advisor.
“Was I really wrong? Were the divinations wrong? Was An Lushan not the future true dragon?”
Gao Shang raised his head to the skies, his eyes filled with pain.
The outcome of the battle was secondary, and he cared little about his life.
What he found hardest to accept was that what he had considered the culmination of half his life’s work had ultimately been nothing more than a moon in the water.
“Impossible! Was I really… wrong?”
Gao Shang stared into the depths of the sky. In the world of stars, he could see that the star that was An Lushan’s, which had been beginning to show violet Qi, the image of the true dragon, had seemed to sustain a heavy blow. The violet Qi had scattered, and the form of the black dragon had reemerged.
And that black dragon… seemed to be even weaker than before.
This massive explosion had directly altered An Lushan’s fate and cut off his evolution into the true dragon.
“The hidden dragon rising to heaven and becoming the true dragon. This is a sign that things have been settled, and never has this been possible to alter. Could it be… that the sign of the true dragon can be altered even after it has become destined?”
Gao Shang painfully closed his eyes as he muttered.
All of the books he had studied had only talked about how to calculate fate, seek out the True Dragon, Son of Heaven, and assist that person in becoming the sovereign. None of them had ever talked about the sign of the true dragon being reversed.
A foot stomped down in front of Gao Shang, and a powerful energy appeared in his senses.
Gao Shang opened his eyes in shock and saw a Tang general that he had never seen before, wearing scaled armor and holding a golden sword.
“Military Advisor Gao, His Highness has summoned you. After several years, we still managed to find you.”
Xue Qianjun looked down on him and faintly smiled.
Several years ago, when Wang Chong was still insignificant, he had sent people to seek out Gao Shang. Alas, they were not fated to meet, and Gao Shang had fled to Youzhou and become An Lushan’s advisor.
But as time passed, now that the outcome was decided, Wang Chong had managed to find him once more.
“His Highness was a better strategist, and Gao Shang has nothing to say. Whether it is execution or torture, this one will obey!”
Gao Shang sighed, dropped his head, and said no more.
Xue Qianjun grinned and quickly departed with Gao Shang.
Hooves pounded as the Tang army came charging back, but this time, the result was entirely different.
“I surrender! I surrender!”
Many of the alliance soldiers were heavily injured and in panic. Getting on their knees, they raised their hands into the air.
But there were also some fierce alliance soldiers that still tried to resist. In a cold flash of light, hundreds of Tang cavalry charged up and cut down the resisting alliance soldiers.
They had no formation or will to fight, and even their sovereigns had fled. Rather than a battle, this was a one-sided slaughter.
Those of different peoples were certain to have differences!
Those who offended the Great Tang would be punished, no matter how far away they were!
Facing down these alliance soldiers who had thought about toppling the Great Tang and even enslaving its inhabitants, they showed no mercy.
The surging steel torrent of Tang soldiers cut down all the alliance soldiers in their path. It was apparent that there was no force that could stop the Great Tang’s charge.
“Milord, what next?”
As the alliance soldiers died or fled, a Tang officer pulled on the reins of his horse and turned to Crown Prince’s Junior Guardian Wang Zhongsi.
“The flames produced by the explosion will extinguish soon. The soldiers and craftsmen can’t last for too long.”
The high temperatures produced by the explosion had kept the cold wave out temporarily, and even the steel buildings in the fortress were radiating heat. For the Tang army immersed deep within the cold wave, this was the perfect shelter and allowed them to escape the cold for now.
But the heat from the explosion was constantly dissipating, and once all the heat was gone, they would once more be assailed by the extreme cold.
If this problem were not resolved, then even if they won, the victory would be meaningless.
“There is no need to worry. His Highness has already made arrangements,” Wang Zhongsi calmly said.
He and Wang Chong had played out this extremely risky operation many times and had considered various outcomes.
If he and Wang Chong had not made any sort of back-up plan for the destruction of the three underground formations, they would have never carried out this plan.
“The heat from the explosion will last a while. In addition, Great General Bahram has already gathered up the ritual tools the alliance army was using to resist the cold. These should be enough for us to get through the snowstorm and reach Youzhou.”
After hearing Wang Zhongsi’s words, the general’s eyes brightened, his face glowing with joy.
It was true. The alliance had used a large formation within Youzhou to resist the cold. Did that not make it a natural place to shelter?
The steel fortress wasn’t far from Youzhou, and the army could easily make it there.
The general instantly understood what was going on, and his heart was filled with admiration.
There was no doubt that when Wang Chong had drawn the alliance into the trap and detonated the fortress, he had been prepared to use An Lushan’s base in Youzhou to avoid the cold wave.
Wang Zhongsi looked at his subordinate’s excited appearance and smiled.
A general’s duty was to plan the battle out in the tent and decide victory from one thousand li away. Wang Chong was the number one War Saint, so how could he have not considered these factors?
The army had withdrawn only a short distance past the southern gate. Wang Chong had never intended for the army to make a full retreat.
Wang Chong, this is the surprise attack you spoke of?
Wang Zhongsi thought about the strategy Wang Chong had brought up before their departure, smiling.
He did not feel any sort of envy with regards to Wang Chong, only the gratification and admiration a senior held for a junior. With a vassal like Wang Chong around, no matter what danger it faced, what did the Great Tang have to fear?