The Human Emperor Chapter 1030
Chapter 1030: Mo Saber Unit1
"Lord Gao, you also know that the majority of our army is infantry. In truth, the Great Tang's strongest force is its infantry, even though a significant part of the army is cavalry. However, in terms of cavalry, there are very few forces in the Great Tang besides the Wushang Cavalry that can compare to the Arab cavalry," Wang Chong earnestly said.
He had thought about this plan for a very long time, but in order to truly implement it, he needed Gao Xianzhi's agreement.
"This truly is the case. The Anxi Protectorate army is already the best amongst the Great Tang protectorates, but it's still disadvantaged when facing the Arabs. If we don't rely on the walls of Talas, we simply won't be able to hold for very long on plains like these against so many Arabs," Gao Xianzhi sternly said.
Whether it was the Arabs, Western Turks, or Tibetans, these were all people who lived on horseback. An agricultural society like the Great Tang could not compare to them in terms of cavalry. This was a publicly acknowledged fact that there was no need to deny.
"When fighting with foreigners, we normally rely on a mix of many soldier types, like infantry, cavalry, and ballistae. In this aspect, we're different from the Arabs and the Turks, so we can't directly compare our ways of fighting. But on open plains, cavalry still possess the absolute advantage," Gao Xianzhi said.
Wang Chong nodded. Gao Xianzhi's final words had illustrated their true circumstances. Talas was situated on an open plain, the worst kind of terrain for the primarily infantry Tang armies. In this place, the flexibility of cavalry far surpassed that of infantry, and the flat and open plain also made it easier for cavalry to take up formation and pick up speed.
If not for the two steel defense lines Wang Chong had erected outside of Talas and the lethal power of the Great Tang ballistae, the Great Tang infantry would have found it very difficult to hold the line against so many elite Arab cavalry.
"This is something that I've always wanted to change. If the situation really is as that Khorasani said, then four hundred thousand soldiers and three Arab governors will be our future challengers. Moreover, after fighting with us for so long, Abu Muslim has experience, and the two steel defense lines probably won't be able to hold him back for long," Wang Chong said.
He would never underestimate his opponents, much less an outstanding Great General like Abu Muslim. Even Dalun Ruozan had thought of using elephants and ropes in the southwest to deal with the steel walls, while Arabia was even stronger and had even more resources available to it.
"If this is the case, our only option is to withdraw into Talas…" Gao Xianzhi said, his brow creasing.
"But if we withdraw into the city, we will lose all initiative and be completely following the tempo of our enemy. More importantly, in an encounter on a narrow road, it is the courageous one that emerges victorious. This is the first large-scale conflict between Arabia and the Great Tang. We don't understand Arabia very well, and Arabia doesn't understand the Great Tang very well. If we withdraw into the city, we will show our weakness to the enemy. This will only spark Arabia's ambition and result in endless wars in the future."
Wang Chong voiced the part that Gao Xianzhi had omitted.
This battle was not merely a battle between factions, but a struggle over momentum. This was why Wang Chong was so determined to hold the two defense lines outside the city, fighting them on the outside and not the inside. This was also why Wang Chong and Gao Xianzhi had not retreated, even though they had defeated the Arabs!
"…Not only that. If the Arabs have absorbed the lesson from the last battle, they'll besiege Talas and not actually fight. It won't even take three months for us to run out of supplies, and then our defeat will be assured!"
The study fell silent. Gao Xianzhi's brows were deeply furrowed, and an oppressive air settled in.
Abu Muslim was a bold general, but he did not lack for a cunning mind. The first time, he thought that he could overcome his opponent by force, but made no progress in two months. This time, if the Great Tang wanted to rely on the walls of Talas, they were being far too simple-minded. Even more dangerous was that without the two steel defense lines, the Tibetans and Western Turks would be able to merge their armies with the Arabs, assembling seven Great Generals. The three empires would have the liberty to select their targets and crush the Great Tang with the power of Great Generals.
After a few moments, Gao Xianzhi broke the silence.
"What do you plan to do?"
Wang Chong faintly smiled, knowing that Gao Xianzhi had understood.
"I plan to form a new kind of soldier group, the Mo Saber soldiers!"
"Mo Saber soldiers?"
Gao Xianzhi raised his head and looked across the desk at Wang Chong, a hint of confusion in his eyes. Gao Xianzhi had a wide range of experience and had studied many military texts, but he had never heard of a unit of soldiers like this.
"What do you mean by this? Do you plan to even change the weapons?"
Gao Xianzhi had immediately noticed the 'Mo Saber' that Wang Chong had mentioned. The Great Tang had many kinds of sabers, but he had never heard of this 'Mo Saber'.
"Haha, I knew that I couldn't hide it from Milord."
Wang Chong faintly smiled and immediately went to the point.
"Come; bring that in!"
"Yes, Lord Marquis!"
Under Gao Xianzhi's curious gaze, a soldier of the Qixi Protectorate army strode in, a silk box eight feet long on his shoulder.
"A crescent moon saber?"
Gao Xianzhi turned his head to Wang Chong in surprise.
In the Great Tang, swords were three feet long, with a minority being four feet. Sabers were slightly longer, but not by much. Long sabers of four feet were very rare, and the only one Gao Xianzhi knew of was the Green Dragon Crescent Blade. It was rumored that more than five hundred years ago, in the end stages of the Eastern Han Dynasty, the Martial Saint with the long beard and the surname Guan used a Green Dragon Crescent Blade.
But this kind of weapon was suited only for applying skills and techniques. Battles between Great Generals were duels between supreme experts, so such a weapon could be used there, but for ordinary weapons, this kind of weapon was extremely inconvenient.
"Of course not!"
Wang Chong saw Gao Xianzhi's dumbstruck expression and shook his head. Getting up from his desk, he walked to the Qixi soldier.
"Milord will know once you see."
He gestured to the soldier as he spoke. Pa! The silk box was opened, revealing an eight-foot weapon different from any other weapon in this world. At the sight of this weapon, Gao Xianzhi's pupils constricted and an amazed expression appeared on his face.
The weapon in the box was an extremely straight saber. The edge was extremely sharp and both sides of the blade were extremely smooth, making it easy to hack and slash with the weapon. At a glance, one could see that this was an incredibly lethal weapon. Moreover, the surface of the weapon was as smooth as a mirror and gorgeous to behold. It was like a shark, vicious and brutal but bestowed with a graceful body.
This was no longer a weapon, but a work of art. It could even turn the cruel act of killing into an art form.
Even Gao Xianzhi had to admit that Wang Chong had reached a breathtaking level in the art of weaponsmithing!
There was probably nobody that could compare to him in this, not just in the Great Tang, but perhaps all the countries of the continent.
However, the look of praise in Gao Xianzhi's eyes persisted for only a few moments before dimming.
"It truly is a good saber! But it doesn't seem usable on the battlefield."
Gao Xianzhi somewhat regretfully looked away from the Mo Saber.
Wang Chong softly smiled. Wang Chong took a light sip and then turned to Gao Xianzhi, apparently having expected this reaction.
"Lord Protector-General believes that this sort of saber is too long, making it easy to apply force but also easy to break?"
Gao Xianzhi's voice was half-tinged with regret.
"We've thought about using a saber like this before, and there were even quite a few people who wanted to go another step and have a large number of them forged. But all the attempts failed. This is what it means that 'what's hard is actually easy to break'. Designing a saber or sword to be three to four feet long was always to make it difficult to break. This saber is nearly eight feet long. In an actual battle, it might not even last ten slashes before snapping in two. On the intense battlefield, you probably understand what it means when this kind of weapon breaks in the middle of a fight."
Gao Xianzhi couldn't help but deeply sigh. Wang Chong's idea was rather good, but it wasn't practical. Concept was completely different from reality. This saber… could only stop in the realm of concepts!
"Hahaha, Milord, I naturally considered this point when designing this Mo Saber. If Lord Protector-General thinks it will break, why don't you try and snap it in two?"
Wang Chong chuckled, an expression of absolute confidence on his face.
Gao Xianzhi's eyes flickered in shock, but he quickly regained his composure. Long sabers were easy to break. This was a problem that had not been solved in one thousand years. How could it be solved so easily now? But Gao Xianzhi said nothing more. Reality reigned supreme over debate. He could determine with a single move whether Wang Chong's saber was usable or not.
Without turning his head, Gao Xianzhi extended a finger and flicked it at the Mo Saber, four feet up from the hilt. Clang! A thunderous metallic boom immediately came from the blade and resounded through the room.
The uncaring Gao Xianzhi instantly grimaced. Although he had just casually flicked his finger, this strike from a Great General had the weight of one thousand jin behind it. This was equivalent to a ferocious attack from a Profound Martial expert. Gao Xianzhi had originally believed that the length of this saber and the fact that he had attacked where the saber was weakest meant that this Mo Saber would snap. He had not expected this result.
Gao Xianzhi immediately flicked his finger again, though this time, his face was much more serious. The power in his finger was also much greater, sufficient to snap many precious swords and sabers, much less this Mo Saber.
There was yet another metallic boom, and the pile of papers and tea cup on Wang Chong's desk trembled. A few drops of tea even shot out of the cup and struck the ceiling. But when the metallic boom faded, the eight-foot-long Mo Saber was still unharmed within the box. Its gorgeous surface was still a shiny mirror that showed not a single trace of damage.
1.The Mo Saber was a kind of one-edged weapon that the Tang developed for use against Turkic cavalry. It was seven feet overall, with the hilt being four feet while the blade was three feet. The historical Li Siye was apparently an expert in the use of this weapon and had a unit of soldiers under his command that used this weapon. The weapon as described in this chapter is somewhat different from the historical version.