The Human Emperor Chapter 1017
Chapter 1017: The Mamelukes And The High Priest
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Mamelukes were not guards. They would never stand sentry for anyone.
They lived only to kill others. There was only one person who could be guarded by so many Mamelukes: Commander Aybak of the Mamelukes.
"The eastern world had an army like this!?"
Putting down Abu Muslim's letter, Aybak gave a slight frown.
As an army that existed purely for battle, the Mamelukes were callously trained from a very young age. Thousands of Mameluke youths would battle with each other in a training camp, with only the last one standing able to become a true Mameluke.
This cruel training and filtering method had allowed the Mamelukes to develop a reputation as the strongest fighting force in the Arabian Empire.
In this world, there were very few opponents worthy of battling the Mamelukes. Countless so-called elites, claiming to be the most powerful soldiers, had eventually fallen under the hooves of the Mamelukes. It was over their corpses that the Mamelukes had developed their reputation for invincibility.
Aybak had little understanding of the eastern force known as the Wushang Cavalry, nor had he ever heard of them before, but he had heard of the Skyquaking Army. The empire had expended a vast amount of resources and effort, using an ancient training method, to create this army of giants. Even Aybak had to admit that the Skyquaking Army was superhuman. No ordinary soldiers would be able to contend against it.
That this eastern army had been able to defeat the Skyquaking Army, slicing through their armor like they were vegetables, was enough to earn Aybak's attention.
The Mamelukes had never feared formidable opponents, but these weapons Abu Muslim spoke of that could slice through metal like mud made him deeply apprehensive. If these weapons really could cut through the armor of the Skyquaking Army, then they were definitely a threat to the Mamelukes.
"Based on what Abu Muslim has said, only armor forged from Meteoric Metal can stop these weapons. But Meteoric Metal is extremely rare. Where could I find enough to equip my entire army?"
Aybak slightly creased his brow, a contemplative look on his face.
The Mamelukes had never lacked for courage in battle, but they were also not fools. Aybak needed to take the Governor of Iron and Blood's words seriously, and he found this problem rather difficult to deal with.
As he was thinking, hurried footsteps interrupted his thought process.
"Bastard! Didn't I tell all of you not to disturb me right now?" Aybak harshly rebuked. "Have those Khorasan scoundrels started up yet another rebellion?"
The Khorasan rebellion had left the entire city drenched in blood and carpeted with corpses as the Mamelukes put into practice Aybak's cruel suppression methods. Just burying three hundred thousand corpses took a great deal of time, but Aybak had always been one to pull out evil by the roots. It was inevitable that one would bring up some dirt when pulling out radishes, but since the old nobility of Khorasan had rebelled, he needed to ensure that all their influence was exterminated.
Commoner or noble, intentional or unintentional, involved or uninvolved, anyone who had any relation to a rebel was executed together with their family and relatives. These three hundred thousand deaths were only the beginning for Aybak.
Thus, the people of Khorasan were in a panic, and people were constantly paying him a visit, pleading for the Mamelukes to stop and end their search. There were even some Arab nobles and officials amongst these people.
This was also why Aybak had particularly ordered that no one was allowed to enter his room for a certain period.
"Milord, that's not it. It's someone who is not from Khorasan. He… is very special. He wanted me to bring this to Milord and said that Milord would immediately recognize it."
The messenger looked away from Aybak's murderous gaze and took out an object from his bosom.
Aybak was just about to begin another round of cursing when his eyes suddenly fell upon the object in the messenger's hand. His pupils suddenly constricted as if he had been given a sharp jab. This was an ancient bronze token, speckled with blood. It appeared to have experienced many disasters and seemed to have many stories to tell.
But rather than this, what had truly caught Aybak's attention was the golden sun emblazoned upon the token.
"The Founder's Token!"
Aybak's body froze in shock.
This bronze token was very similar to the token Aybak possessed that symbolized his authority over the Mamelukes. The only difference was that Aybak's token depicted a black crescent moon, while this bronze token depicted a golden sun. But despite this difference, any of the Mamelukes would recognize this token.
This was because this was the token used several hundred years ago by Qutuz, the founder and first commander of the Mamelukes.
Within the Mamelukes and throughout Arabia, this founding commander Qutuz from several hundred years ago still enjoyed a magnificent reputation. Even now, many people attempted to imitate him, and he was hailed as a hero of Arabia. No one could shake his status. There were many legends as to why Qutuz had created the Mamelukes.
But amongst these legends, there was one that was most widely accepted and believed.
It was said that Qutuz was a mercenary of the Arabian Empire who ended up being imprisoned and enslaved after a defeat in battle. By pure coincidence, he caught the eye of a certain person who took him out of the prison and restored his status. At the same time, this person taught him a formation, the same formation that the Mamelukes used now.
In the legend, it was said that Qutuz had also created the first generation of Mamelukes with the help of this person. Out of gratitude, Qutuz had a special token forged. The golden sun on this token represented Qutuz's agreement with that person. This token was the Founder's Token of the Mamelukes, but not longer after it appeared, it disappeared. No one knew where it had gone. Aybak had never expected it to appear now.
"Where is he?" Aybak suddenly said.
The messenger lowered his head and solemnly replied, "In the courtyard in the back."
Aybak felt his curiosity piqued. The matter of Talas was pushed to the back of his mind as he strode to the back courtyard.
In the rear courtyard of the white square building, Aybak saw the person the messenger had mentioned. This person was thin and extremely tall, and the black robe draped over his body made him seem extremely mysterious. Several large carriages were parked behind the man. These carriages were several times the size of normal carriages, the wheels taller than the average man. The carriages were entirely shrouded in black cloth. There were nearly twenty such carriages, some of them even parked outside.
"Just who are you? Why do you have the Mamelukes' Founder's Token?" Aybak coldly asked, wariness in his eyes.
These people had appeared far too suddenly. Qutuz's token had always been a great mystery. Even though Qutuz had decreed in his will that anyone with this token could command the Mamelukes and carry out the agreement he had made in his place, no one had ever been able to identify the other party of this agreement. Aybak did not dare to relax his guard.
"Haha, there is no need for Milord to be nervous. It is fine for you to have misgivings about us, but even you should be able to recognize this."
The tall and thin man smiled as he raised his sleeve, revealing a string of tadpole-like letters on his wrist. These divine runes circled his wrist like a bracelet, and in the very center of them was the image of a golden eye.
In a flash, Aybak lowered his head, his mind surging with mighty waves.
The Temple possessed supreme authority in the empire. It represented God in Heaven and the Caliph of the empire. The members of the Temple did not lightly leave Baghdad, nor did they recklessly interact with outsiders. Aybak had never imagined that a priest of the Temple would appear in Khorasan.
"So it was a venerable priest. This Aybak was too rash. What order has Venerable Sir come here to deliver?" Aybak deferentially said.
"Haha, it is not me who has an order, but the High Priest. He knows that Lord Aybak has encountered difficulties and has sent me to bring gifts to Milord. In addition, the Founder's Token of the Mameluke Army is not mine, but the High Priest's."
The thin man in black grinned.
Aybak's body trembled in shock, his eyes going wide as he raised his head.
The High Priest was the owner of the Mamelukes' Founder's Token?!
Countless thoughts flew through Aybak's mind. He suddenly recalled Qutuz's last words. Could it be that the mysterious person who had helped Qutuz establish the Mamelukes was the High Priest?
That was far too shocking!
But even so, Aybak had an even greater question in his mind.
The High Priest was a supreme existence of the empire that no one could compare to, no one could offend. Although Aybak was the commander of the Mamelukes, he was insignificant compared to the High Priest. Aybak had never met the High Priest, nor had they ever communicated with each other.
Aybak was truly puzzled as to why the High Priest would send someone to him, and even have them come with gifts.
"Venerable Sir, what gifts has the High Priest bestowed? And did the High Priest say anything else?"
"Haha, Lord Aybak, there's no need to ask any more. Just look, and you will naturally understand."
The tall and thin priest gestured behind him. Whoosh! A burly and muscular man standing next to a carriage suddenly pulled the enormous black cloth off the carriage. In a flash, all the surrounding soldiers turned to look, Aybak being particularly attentive.
Even though Aybak had prepared himself for every possibility, he couldn't help but shudder when he saw what was on this carriage, his mouth dropping open in shock.
Under the light of the scorching sun hanging high over Khorasan, Aybak could clearly see that this carriage had been loaded with an enormous metal ball, its surface mottled and uneven, taller than three men!