Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"Ah, they still haven't given up?"
Wang Chong chuckled and shook his head.
The Great Tang was not purely defending. In this period of time, Wang Chong had sent out a significant number of men to raid the alliance army, such as burning the supplies of the army like he had done in the war of the southwest. Such raids would undoubtedly be of great assistance to the Great Tang's situation.
The Eastern Turkic Khaganate, the Khitan Tribe, and the Xi Tribe mainly ate cattle and sheep, but this wasn't the case for all of them, at least for Youzhou and Goguryeo.
However, Wang Chong had achieved little except to burn two small granaries.
On the alliance side, while An Lushan didn't possess astounding intelligence, he had his military advisor, Gao Shang. This man could be said to have been the sole architect behind the calamity the Great Tang had faced in the future.
As for Wang Chong, his title of War Saint said it all.
At the levels of intelligence reached by Wang Chong and Gao Shang, it was difficult to outfox each other, and it was difficult for any schemes to succeed.
In the space of ten-some days, the two had tested each other many times and failed at almost every instance. While Wang Chong had a minor advantage, it was not enough to influence the war.
"I'm going out to take a look."
Wang Chong strode out of the main hall.
A cold gust of wind blasted his face. When Wang Chong stepped out of the main hall, it was like he was walking out of one world and into another. The howling of the wind was like the wailing of ghosts.
The ground outside was frozen solid. Wang Chong raised his head and saw nothing but white. Countless snowflakes were falling from the sky, mixed together with large chunks of snow.
But if one looked carefully, one would notice that the snowstorm within the fortress was much weaker than the snowstorm outside. This was the effect of the massive formation beneath the steel fortress.
The enormous underground formation was capable of dispersing the chill around the fortress, improving the army's situation.
In the middle of his thoughts, Wang Chong spotted a familiar figure walking toward him through the snowstorm.
It was the Formation Elder!
"Wang Chong, I have a matter to discuss with you." The Formation Elder began to speak before he even got close.
"It's about the underground formation. I thought that one was enough, but following your request, I erected two. While this has been of great aid to the army, it has also increased the energy burden on the fortress.
"Though the imperial household sent over a few energy sources, and I've also been trying my best to extract energy from the cold wave and from beneath the earth, I still don't have enough. I estimate that all our energy will be exhausted in a month at most. There won't be any energy left to extract for the surrounding several hundred li, and this could even cause distortions in the earth," the Formation Elder sternly said, a hint of warning in his voice.
Wang Chong pensively frowned.
Ordinary formations just needed to extract energy from deep in the earth. Rarely did situations like the Formation Elder spoke of take place, where not even the Origin Energy in the earth was enough to drive the formation.
"Wang Chong, do you really not want to consider stopping one of the formations or only intermittently activating the formations? This can extend the time.
"At the very least, you should stop the most taxing formation…" the Formation Elder worriedly said.
"There's no need."
Wang Chong shook his head and cut off the Formation Elder before he could finish.
"One month is enough. This war won't last that long. As for that formation you spoke of, though it has no defensive purpose, it will protect everyone's lives."
The Formation Elder was taken aback by Wang Chong's words, but when he thought about it, he realized that the argument made sense.
Though one month was very short, almost none of Wang Chong's wars had lasted longer than one month.
"Since that's what you say, that's what we'll do."
The Formation Elder sighed.
After allaying the Formation Elder's worries, Wang Chong took in a deep breath, focused, and quickly mounted the walls.
From the walls, all of the north was opened up to him.
By now, the battlefield had been cleaned up, but even so, he could still see broken weapons and shattered remnants of armor.
The lands of the north had been painted red, and even after ten-some days, it was still obvious. Even those who had not participated in that battle were able to see just how gruesome it had been.
Wang Chong's gaze did not linger, quickly turning to the distant alliance camp.
The Eastern Turkic Khaganate, the Khitans, the Xi, Goguryeo… the armies of the various countries were clearly divided from each other and organized in a neat fashion. Moreover, there were rings of sentry posts on the perimeter, ensuring that the camp remained well-guarded.
Gao Shang's ability to create such a well-ordered and well-guarded camp made Wang Chong sigh in praise.
"A pity that you acknowledged this Hu as your master and sold your allegiance to the enemy."
Wang Chong had tried to find Gao Shang before, and if possible, Wang Chong would have pulled him into his camp. Alas, the dictate of fate had made Gao Shang pledge his loyalty to An Lushan.
As these thoughts passed through his mind, Wang Chong calmed himself.
There was no changing some things. His most urgent task was to end this war as quickly as possible.
Wang Chong quickly turned his attention to some craftsmen and soldiers working on something in the alliance camp.
Starting ten-some days ago, Youzhou had gathered the craftsmen of the surrounding countries to build something, and they had been working all this time.
"When things are abnormal, evil must be at work." A deep and mellow voice came from behind him. "Youzhou and the other countries are inferior to the Central Plains when it comes to both forging and formations. For them to suddenly become so interested in construction makes me worried they're up to something big!"
At some point, Zhangchou Jianqiong, Wang Zhongsi, and Zhang Shougui had noticed Wang Chong and mounted the wall to join him.
"Our men tried to probe it several times, but they all failed. King of Foreign Lands, have you noticed anything?" Crown Prince's Junior Guardian Wang Zhongsi asked.
Wang Chong was learned in many subjects, even possessing knowledge on formations, so he had more authority to speak on a subject like this.
Zhang Shougui looked to the north, his gaze sharp as he said, "The pause in battle has been too long. Even though Youzhou still has the Yeluohe under its command, it has yet to mobilize them. There have been no major assaults, only minor skirmishes. Given that beast's personality, this isn't normal. For him to be so quiet now, he must be scheming something, must be seeking something greater."
Ever since he had fallen into An Lushan's trap and been demoted to the Kuo Province, he had followed Wang Chong's orders and patiently bided his time behind the curtains, during which he had plenty of time to think about everything that had happened.
Many conundrums had been solved, and he finally understood what sort of thankless wretch he had brought into his family.
Construction followed destruction, and after this calamity, he had developed a keen understanding of An Lushan. In this aspect, neither Zhangchou Jianqiong nor Wang Zhongsi could compare.
Just when Wang Chong was about to reply to Wang Zhongsi and the others, a familiar voice rang out in his mind.
"Warning! Special Event! The 'Great Ice Age Era' formally begins! User has twelve hours to prepare!
"Warning! The Great Ice Age Era is about to begin!"
The Stone of Destiny's voice rang out like a bell, each word containing enormous weight, and with those last ringing words, it fell silent.
Winds howled past his ear, and Zhangchou Jianqiong and the others were still watching him, but Wang Chong's mind was in far too much turmoil to care.
Twelve hours, which was half a day!
This meant that that unprecedented cold wave would erupt onto the scene tonight.
This current weather, including the falling snow and ice, was merely a prelude, not the true Great Ice Age.
Wang Chong's face instantly turned grim.
Zhangchou Jianqiong noticed this and immediately asked, "What's wrong?"
"The cold wave is coming. They're setting up a formation to resist the cold!" Wang Chong solemnly declared.
Hearing this, the Great Generals paled.
When everyone's attention was focused on that monumental war in the northeast, few people noticed that the temperature across the continent was plunging at an abnormal speed.
And when night fell, the temperature dropped even faster.
North of the battlefield, at the Chita pastures…
A deafening howl came from overhead, and a cold wave that reached tens of thousands of feet into the air rolled across the earth like a giant snowball, moving toward the Central Plains in the south with astonishing speed.
The cold wave froze everything in its wake. The tents, banners, and fences left behind by the Turks instantly froze into ice sculptures.
One hour later, the terrifying cold wave had swept over the entire Turkic steppe and arrived at Youzhou.
"Wh-what is that?"
Atop a sentry post, an Eastern Turkic soldier heard a terrifying howl, and on the horizon, a clear line of pure white snow appeared in the darkness.
"Not good! It-it's the cold wave!"
The other Eastern Turkic soldier standing with him recognized it and instantly paled. He backed away in panic and slid down the sentry post.
The cold wave was simply too frightening. Anyone who had seen the devastation it had wrought was well aware of what it signified.
The Eastern Turkic Khaganate had sent an army to the north to survey the cold wave, and he had been one of them.
"There's no time!"
The soldier trembled in fear, knowing instantly that there was no chance of escaping.
The cold wave was moving far too quickly, and out in the open, there was nowhere to hide.