Legend of Ling Tian - Chapter 72: Grave Situation - Wuxiaworld
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Chapter 72: Grave Situation

Chapter 72: Grave Situation

Translator: chuchutrain Editor: celllll
In a flash, ten years had passed.

In this ten years, each of the Empires within the continent repeatedly engaged in warfare. Though most of them were small skirmishes, those who were smart could tell that the monarchs of each country were beginning to be a little unwelcoming of each other. After this round of probing each other's defenses, the confusion of war would likely descend upon the entire continent.

At this point, self preservation was not enough of an excuse for a country to use in order to keep the peace. A man does not have the intention to harm a tiger, but the tiger has the intention to kill the man; even it is for self-preservation, everyone had to enter into this war for hegemony!

The Sky Bearing Empire was involved in various wars unceasingly for the past few years. Since it was located in the middle of several countries, the country became an ideal target for the opposing countries to set troops to probe them. Furthermore, they were definitely considered a fat piece of meat! Luckily, the Sky Bearing Empire had an unbeatable commander, General Ling Xiao. Moreover, the other countries were reluctant to engage in an all out war to prevent the case where the mantis stalks the cicada, unaware of the oriole behind. Were they to be invaded when they were off invading someone, then it was as good as handing all their hard work over to the others!

As such, though the Sky Bearing Empire faced much shocks, it did not leave any irreparable damage. The citizens believed that so long General Ling was alive, there was no worry about any invasions. Thus, even though the country’s situation was a little tense, the people still put on a show of happiness and prosperity.

Western Line Military Camp. The General’s tent.

Ling Xiao furrowed his brows, looking at the deployment map, his eyes betraying his worries.

Behind him stood a neat row of officers, gazing steadily at their general, awaiting Ling Xiao’s next battle plan.

Ling Xiao let out a sigh internally as he pointed to the topographic map. "Look at this place. The two mountains are pressed close together like horns, leaving a narrow gorge in the middle close to five or six miles in length. The narrowest part here isn’t even a hundred feet. However, this is a place we must pass if we want to advance or retreat. If the Western Han's army were to lay down an ambush here, they can hide alongside the two walls of the valley to wait for our army to pass. When we appear they can use rocks or fire to attack us and our losses will definitely be disastrous! Even if we manage to pull through, we would definitely not have the military power to clash head on with the enemy forces. However, this narrow gorge is a path which we do not have a choice but to take if we want to advance our troops!"

All the officers stood behind Ling Xiao, staring closely at the map. Most of them already had knew about this trap; the reason as to why the Western Han and Sky Bearing did not engage in wars for the past 10 odd years was the fact that this gorge existed between them. From past to present, an uncountable number number of troops lay within this gorge. Soldiers had termed this place as the "Valley of Sobbing Spirits" and the two flanking mountains as the "Mourning Soul Mountain!" It was to the extent where the Sky Bearing Empire retreated the moment they approached this place, with no intentions of conquering any further ground.

One of the deputy general raised his head to look at Ling Xiao, and hesitatingly spoke, "General, in the past, we have always stopped our wars at this point. So why must we take over this Valley of Sobbing Spirits this time? We can also rely on the natural barriers, and will not likely to suffer any losses!"

The rest in the tent echoed his sentiments, "Yeah, that’s right!"

However, Ling Xiao instead hollered out angrily: "Imbeciles! Times are not different and the continent is about to break out into chaos; if our Sky Bearing Empire can conquer this Valley of Sobbing Spirits in one go, this would guarantee our safety towards the west. If war and strife were to ensue, the initiative to attack or defend would lie with us with this gorge in our hands! How would this be the same as the past?"

Pausing for a while, he continued, "Any news from the scouts?"

A young officer stepped out and saluted, before saying, "Reporting, there has been no news so far!" As he spoke, worry clouded his face. Ever since the war started, they had employed over 10 rounds of scouts to scout this place out, but not a single one returned. From this, they could tell how tightly the enemy was guarding their secrets.

The worry on Ling Xiao’s face grew more obvious, "The Western Han’s Commander-in-Chief, Han ShiZe is extremely proficient in the military arts. Having defended the Valley of Sobbing Spirits for a few years, he should have long ago turned the place into an impregnable fort with all of his experience. How hateful! However, our army must take down the Valley of Sobbing Spirits, else when chaos strikes, we will be besieged on both sides and most likely annihilated!"

Furrowing his brows again, he asked, "How long has the latest batch of scouts been gone for?"

That young officer replied, "Roughly five days or so."

Heaving another long sigh, Ling Xiao spoke, "They’re most likely not around any more!" After a short pause, "Send another batch!"

The other officers remained silent. They all knew that their general had the ambition to take down the valley by all means possible. Otherwise, their empathetic general would have long given the order to retreat from the valley.

From the importance that their general stressed towards the Valley of Sobbing Spirits, the crowd began to sense something amiss. Could it be that chaos was going to strike the continent soon?

Seeing the looks on all of his officers’ faces, Ling Xiao knew that all of them were not aware of the scenario. Thus, he commanded for some people to bring down the current topographic map, replacing it with another. When all of them took a look, it was actually a map depicting the area of governance for every country in general.

Ling Xiao gestured with a finger, "The latest intelligence report shows that Northern Wei has amassed a troop strength of around 150,000. They will soon be deployed towards the north of our Sky Bearing Empire. In at most 3 months, they will reach their objective. Adding on to the garrisoned troops of 80,000, they would have a military strength of 230,000! Without speaking, I believe all of you can tell what their motives are."

Everyone present took in a breath of cold air at this news.

Ling Xiao’s finger now shifted towards the east, where he continued, "To our east, the Moon Deity Empire is still at war with the Great Zhao Empire and both are at a stalemate. However, whichever side claims the final victory, our Sky Bearing Empire would have to bear the brunt. To our south, though both Wu Empire and South Zheng seem to be biding their time, they’re all amassing soldiers on the sly, making them future threats. Being in the central region of this continent, Sky Bearing Empire will be besieged on all sides once it gets messy, however stable we might seem now!"

Ling Xiao spun around, facing the crowd, before saying in a steely voice, "Therefore, no matter the price, we have to take down the Valley of Sobbing Spirits in the shortest possible time, stabilizing the west. When the time comes, we would have 100,000 men defending the west, sparing 60,000 men to tackle the other three fronts of war to prevent any loss of territory."

The audience stared agape, even in their dreams they did not expect that the situation had already deteriorated to such an extent!

A forty-odd year old officer spoke up with a mask of confusion, "In the recent years, our Sky Bearing Empire had maintain harmonious relations with our neighboring countries. With Wu, Southern Zheng and Northern Wei, they even have political marriages with us. So why would they…"

Ling Xiao threw him a look, but remained silent. Innately, he was cursing, "You senile fool! Old bastard! No wonder you’re still an officer even after 30 years in the army! Just a simple political marriage, how could it compare to the allure of global domination? At this time, which monarch would be so stupid as to bother about such things?"

Currently, all sights were fixed on the battle between the Sky Bearing Empire and Western Han on the possession of Valley of Sobbing Spirits. If the Sky Bearing were to triumph, the continent would see another few years of peace. If the Sky Bearing Empire were to lose this war, the fires of war would immediately blaze to the point of no return! No sovereign country would allow the Western Han to break the balance of power and monopolize the Sky Bearing Empire. Thus, everyone would send in their troops to get their share of profits.

This war, while only a confrontation of less than 200,000 people between two countries, was the linchpin!

Ever since they came to the Western Line for the past half a year, both armies had received their fair share of victories and losses. However, the Western Han general, Han ShiZe, was also a veteran and could see through Ling Xiao's intentions! Thus, he only focused on guarding the Valley of Sobbing Spirits, not advancing prematurely. This left Ling Xiao without any alternatives; if the battle were to continue dragging on, it would spell disaster for the Sky Bearing Empire!