Chapter 400: Withdraw your Soldiers... Be Obedient and Withdraw your Soldiers
Translator: Novel Saga Editor: Novel Saga
According to Diwu Qing Rou's tentative plan - Jing Meng Hun would've led his troops and killed King of Hell Chu at the last moment. Then, he would've created obstacles for Iron Cloud's army. He just needed to delay the enemy by one or two hours; that's all.
This was possible. In fact, the three-thousand experts were far more skilled than ordinary soldiers. They could easily set-up roadblocks to block the cavalry soldiers if all of them participated in their destruction. It was rather easy to pull this off in the mountain-forest. They could randomly cut down a few giant trees to achieve this goal. Moreover, Diwu Qing Rou had ordered them to burn down the entire mountain-forest. This could've worked towards creating an atmosphere of panic and menace.
It was possible to cause an even longer delay under these circumstances; let alone a delay of one or two hours. Jing Meng Hun should've easily achieve that. Moreover, Tie Bu Tian needed to find out King of Hell Chu's whereabouts. This required time and energy. Diwu Qing Rou had also taken this into consideration while he had drafted his plan.
Therefore, Tie Bu Tian's return-journey was supposed to be delayed by more than two hours; no matter what. In fact, it might even get delayed by four to eight hours.
However, Diwu Qing Rou needed only two hours. This request wasn't far-fetched. The delay of two hours wasn't a big deal; no matter who sketched-out the plans for the route as long as they kept the tasks that needed to be done during the course of the journey in view.
However, these two hours were going to be the most vital factor for the implementation of Diwu Qing Rou's plan since it involved the soldiers who were one-hundred-and-fifty kilometers away.
The two hours of time might not seem very brief. However, even the elite cavalry troops would require more time to cover a distance of one-hundred-and-fifty kilometers; especially after having undergone a long and arduous journey. Yet, these two hours were enough to narrow down this distance to one-hundred-and-twenty-five kilometers... or even less.
This would surely create a disturbance as long as the enemy could see or feel the vibrations of the approaching cavalry. Diwu Qing Rou only needed this internal disturbance to take place. That was because it would be impossible for hundreds of thousands of soldiers to orderly pass through the slanting valley in the presence of the enemy at such a close distance. The internal chaos would make it even worse. The soldiers wouldn't be able to advance forward, and would end up getting squeezed together.
This is basic human nature. Everyone wants to live, and everyone wants to push forward to seek the way-out for oneself. Even the so-called 'military teachings of war' lose their meaning in such chaotic situations... and the trained soldiers end-up behaving like a bunch of motley crew.
Diwu Qing Rou had understood this aspect very clearly.
These two hours would decide who would unify the land under the Heavens. The end result of this war between millions of soldiers of the two nations would be decided within these two hours.
However, Diwu Qing Rou had never imagined that thousands of experts led by the Ninth Grade King Level Expert - Jing Meng Hun - wouldn't be able to play their roles in an efficient manner. They hadn't blocked the enemy, and had escaped without a trace.
Diwu Qing Rou hadn't anticipated this situation. According to his plan - King of Hell should've been taking his last breath by that time. He had never expected that King of Hell Chu's battle efficiency would erupt at the last moment and become so terrifying... and that he would single-handedly slaughter more-than-a-thousand of the total three-thousand experts led by Jing Meng Hun during the besiege.
Even a Ninth Grade King Level Expert like Jing Meng Hun was seriously injured, and was compelled to escape in a distressed state. This scary variable had appeared out of nowhere. One could wrack one's brains, and still couldn't predetermine such a variable.
Moreover, Diwu Qing Rou hadn't thought that King of Hell Chu would arrive at the same time as Tie Bu Tian's army. They had arrived at the same time, and had met quite easily.
This had saved a lot of time which would've otherwise been wasted in Chu Yang's search and rescue. Tie Bu Tian had then made a prompt decision, and had ordered Wu Kuang Yun to lead the army and return. This had saved precious time once again.
These two factors had significantly cut-short the buffer time required for the timely arrival of Diwu Qing Rou's army.
Fortunately, each of the three generals selected by Diwu Qing Rou was a desperado and fully determined to move ahead. They continued to rush forward at a frightening speed even though they didn't get the buffer time of two hours. In fact, they even managed to curtail the time gap.
This had nearly brought the situation to a stalemate.
Meanwhile, Wu Kuang Yun retreated at the fastest possible speed in order to help out the friendly forces. He had already sent a message through a hawk. This order was meant for Wu Yi, who was waiting at the slanting valley - Return to the Heaven Splitting Mountain Pass immediately.
He had clearly mentioned - You aren't allowed to come out to provide support if my army and the enemy's army arrive there at the same time... even if I - Wu Kuang Yun and my three-hundred-thousand men - die in the Heaven Splitting Mountain Pass.
Wu Yi understood the urgency of the situation as soon as he received this message. He immediately ordered his two-hundred-thousand soldiers to rush back in the starry night. They left behind an empty slanting valley in their wake. Wu Kuang Yun and his cavalry troops entered the slanting valley - like a thunder - after Wu Yi and his men had withdrawn behind the barricades. Then, they went all the way into the Heaven Splitting Mountain Pass.
The three armies of Diwu Qing Rou arrived the moment Wu Kuang Yun's cavalry troops entered into the Heaven Splitting Mountain pass. They began to follow their enemy's troops in order to kill them. Around fifty-thousand soldiers at the rear of Wu Kuang Yun's army were overtaken outside the Heaven Splitting Mountain Pass. They had to turn around, and were forced to engage in a fatal battle with the enemy.
Not a single man survived among the fifty-thousand soldiers. Then, the enemy troops crossed the slanting valley, and stationed themselves in the Heaven Splitting Mountain Pass. They took advantage of the high morale from the battle they had just won, and launched the siege warfare without any delay.
The natural defenses of the Heaven Splitting Mountain Pass played an important role at this point.
Several hundreds, or even a thousand people, were dying at any given moment. However, more and more people were rushing to join the battle. Therefore, both sides couldn't bring the battle to an end even though they wanted to.
Wu Kuang Yun wanted to stop, but he couldn't because he needed to defend the Heaven Splitting Mountain Pass. After that, he needed to rush to the rescue of His Majesty. So, he couldn't withdraw even an inch. He would continue to fight till death - by relying on the natural defenses of the terrain. But, he couldn't retreat.
Meanwhile, the three tiger generals of Great Zhao were in a dilemma. They had never thought that they would have to face such an awkward situation.
They had advanced triumphantly to kill the enemy. In fact, they had dashed into the slanting valley with irresistible force, and had rushed all the way to the Heaven Splitting Mountain Pass. But, after they reached there, [What is this f*king place... ah!]
It was a several hundred kilometers long slanting valley with towering cliffs on both sides. It was a big stretch of open space with a perimeter of hundreds of kilometers. Moreover, it gradually narrowed down like a huge bottle gourd.
It was very hard to get out after one had entered it.
The front part of their army had already entered into the stretch of the open area. But, the latter part was still sticking out in the slanting valley - like a long tail. The circumstances were extremely aggravating and uncomfortable.
The natural defenses of the Heaven Splitting Mountain Pass come into play after one enters it. So, one couldn't withdraw even if one wanted to...
Moreover, the retreat was possible only to a certain extent. Wu Kuang Yu would certainly send his troops from the side of the mountain pass to chase down the retreating soldiers as soon as they would come out of the mountain pass and enter the slanting valley. Then, the troops would surely be annihilated since they'd be trapped in the narrow slanting valley.
That would be a great sacrifice.
However, the generals didn't give up this great opportunity even though they were highly reluctant. It was impossible for them to stop after they had covered half of the journey. Moreover, these generals were the Golden Tiger General Jin Nankai, Silver Tiger General Long Ao and Jade Tiger General Yu Chenglong. These great generals were determined to advance towards victory.
In pleasant words - the three generals were brave and good warriors, and wanted to advance courageously; in unpleasant words - they were desperados.
The three desperados were determined to attain victory at any cost. Diwu Qing Rou had selected them to carry out this long-range raid mission only because of this quality.
However, Prime Minister Diwu Qing Rou had made an enormous mistake despite being a cautious man - he hadn't told them what to do if trapped in this kind of a situation.
That was because he couldn't have imagined that this kind of a situation would arise. He was sure that the enemy would be slaughtered, and the three generals would have a brilliant victory. There was no doubt about it.
However, this brilliant victory had turned into a miserable situation. They were trapped and couldn't back down. And, this was all because of an unpredictable variable like King of Hell Chu. Even the heavenly wisdom of Prime Minister Diwu Qing Rou hadn't anticipated this.
The three desperados issued an order to gather the corpses, rocks and trees together to set-up a fire in Heaven Splitting Mountain Pass even though they were trapped in a war situation where they couldn't back down.
Suddenly, an overwhelming stench spread in the Heaven Splitting Mountain Pass. The smell was so pungent that it could make one feel nauseated.
This move was extremely brutal and inhumane.
This decision had made them feel a numbing sensation in their backs; regardless of whether it was meant for them or the enemy.
[Aren't there more than one-hundred-thousand corpses in the slanting valley? Moreover, there wasn't enough time to tidy-up the corpses from the previous conflict. So, there are more than three-hundred-thousand corpses in total. These undoubtedly include several corpses of Iron Cloud soldiers. But, the majority of them belong to Great Zhao.]
[So, why are we accumulating and burning piles of corpses?]
[Shouldn't we have sympathy for our dead comrades? Is it because we are the soldiers of Great Zhao... and are out on an expedition to win the world for our nation... that we're supposed to devote our bodies to this cause? So... even our dead bodies would become a weapon against the enemy because we are the soldiers of Great Zhao...? Isn't that too brutal and inhumane?]
[Even the tallest of the trees eventually return to their roots through their leaves. But... our ashes can't go back home even after we die?]
[What if I'm the one who dies next... will my body be thrown into the fire as well? Will my body also get reduced to a pile of ashes?]
The fire was burning. Countless soldiers stood pondering under the wall; each one of them was consumed by his own worries. An unexpected silence had replaced the hustle-and-bustle of the battlefield.
The three Tiger general were also helpless, [What do you all want us to do... to not burn them? Do you really think that we want to burn them? But, we have no choice as this is the summer season.]
[The weather is burning-hot. This pile of corpses is more than we can handle. It'll cause an epidemic if it's not dealt with properly and in-time... And then, everyone will have to stay here and deal with the epidemic. The total number of bodies - including the living and the dead - will reach a million.]
[Digging these many graves is unrealistic. This is a mountain region with hard rocks. It's extremely hard to break these white stones with axes. You won't even be able to chip them. Trying to bury hundreds of thousands of corpses... isn't something even our three armies can achieve together.]
However, the three generals' explanation didn't have much effect on the soldiers.
However, their commands were carried out to the letter. Whether the troops understood the gist of it or not was a different matter altogether. [Even if we're burning them down... can't we do it under the pretext of using them as a weapon?]
The war had reached a stalemate. They attacked every day to besiege the wall. However, the effect wasn't too serious. The three generals were helpless, and couldn't think of any other way. They could only suffer with each passing day.
Wu Kuang Yun was burning with impatience inside the Heaven Splitting Mountain Pass.
[You f*kers! You can't capture the wall. So, why don't you just withdraw? I guarantee that I won't chase you or attack you. You may leave. I'll even swing my hips in a dance to send you off. What's so great around here that all of you are even willing to throw your lives in vain in this nonsensical entanglement?]
[I still have to go save His Majesty!]
In fact, Wu Kuang Yun personally went to the top of the wall, and openly made an announcement, "Jin Nankai, Long Ao, Yu Chenglong - listen to your grandfather... you three sons of bitc*es. This is Wu Kuang Yun! You may quickly retreat... and I won't pursue. I give you my word... I ensure your safe departures... I pledge on my Grandfather's honor and fame... Hurry up, and retreat quickly. Your men are dying here every day. How tragic is that... ah. Quickly withdraw your soldiers. Be obedient and withdraw your soldiers..."