The Human Emperor Chapter 1050
Chapter 1050: Three Sides Gather
To the west of Talas, in the distant Black Forest…
Flapflap! Countless birds took off into the air in fright as an enormous Arab army marched toward the Black Forest. The three massive banners of the army were visible from a great distance. They were a black crescent moon, a long and narrow river, and a burning black hell flame.
Thump thump thump!
The thundering of the war drums made all the Black Forest tremble before the might of this army.
In front of the Black Forest, Ziyad stood up and looked to the rear, his eyes glowing with joy. Behind Ziyad, Abu Muslim also stood up. His expression appeared calm but his eyes revealed all.
The Arabs required a victory in this war, and Abu Muslim and Ziyad had been waiting far too long for this day to come. To break Talas and conquer the eastern world had always been the greatest desire of Abu Muslim and all the other Arab governors.
As the Governor of Iron and Blood, Abu Muslim could not endure a loss to a puny army of infidels, nor could his deputy Ziyad.
"Hahaha, Abu Muslim, we meet again!"
A vigorous laugh came out of the army as Governor Osman of Cairo rode out to meet Abu Muslim and Ziyad.
"Lord Osman, we've been waiting for you for a long time."
Ziyad laughed and rode his own horse forward to meet him, a warm and amiable look on his face. Ziyad had also participated in the war with the Sassanid Dynasty, and he had even worked with Osman to kill a Sassanid Great General. They could be considered old friends.
Abu Muslim also rode his horse forward, but he only calmly spoke a single word.
"Abu Muslim, you're still your old self, still with that same foul expression. What's wrong? Are the Tang at Talas really that formidable? Such that even you are no match for them?"
Osman gently smiled while his eyes shone with curiosity.
Abu Muslim was practically a symbol of invincibility in the Arabian Empire. In the last few decades, there had been no empire that he had not been able to conquer. But this time, not only had he failed to conquer, but he had been defeated as well. Osman had to admit that he had been rather stunned when he had first heard this news, even believing it to be some sort of joke.
"Osman, don't get careless. This Tang army is different from any opponent we've ever faced. Their weapons, equipment, strategies, formations, and their commanders are all extremely formidable. In addition, eastern martial arts are completely different from ours. It was precisely because Masil was too careless that he died at their hands," Abu Muslim grimly said.
"Is that so?"
An indifferent voice spoke, tinged with disdain and a tyrannical air.
"That makes me want to try even more. I'd like to see if there's an army in this world that our Mamelukes can't defeat!"
Aybak slowly rode out from the army upon a pure white steed.
Ziyad's expression became slightly apprehensive at the sight of Aybak and he immediately bowed.
The Mamelukes were an army with supreme fighting power. All of Arabia knew this. As the leader of the Mamelukes, Aybak wielded immense influence. Even Ziyad had to show him a great deal of respect.
"Aybak, if that's what you want, you can try my army."
An icy voice came out from the rear, accompanied by the clopping of hooves. A figure shining with a dazzling golden light appeared, riding on an abnormally large Arabian steed.
Abu Muslim, Osman, Ziyad, and Aybak all turned serious and immediately shut their mouths. The Governor of War Qutaybah almost certainly commanded the most unique army in all the Arabian Empire.
Qutaybah craved battle so much that he started wars even more frequently than Abu Muslim. He was an out-and-out battle maniac. This was one of the few people who surpassed Abu Muslim in status, and the formidable strength and authority he wielded made even the Caliph think about ways to restrain him.
A hint of anger flashed through Aybak's eyes, but he did not dare to voice his opinion. At its full strength, the Mamelukes only had ten thousand men, but Qutaybah's elite soldiers were more than ten times this number. The Mamelukes were used to break defensive positions on the battlefield, not for large-scale combat. Even if the Mamelukes could break through Qutaybah's formation, they would still end up in a bitter melee from which they would emerge with severe casualties.
Most importantly, Aybak was no match for Qutaybah.
Qutaybah was known as the War God of Arabia, a title that well reflected his level of strength. If it was not necessary, Aybak did not want to make enemies with this battle maniac.
The dazzling golden figure of Qutaybah ignored Aybak and turned to Abu Muslim. "Abu Muslim, you've truly disappointed me. I didn't think that someone of your strength with the help of the Behemoth Army and Skyquaking Army would still lose to a small eastern army with just some tens of thousands of troops. I once thought that you could replace me in the future, but it now seems that I overestimated you."
Abu Muslim's brows moved as if he wanted to say something, but he managed to restrain himself. Hierarchy was strict in the Arabian Empire, and all of it was decided through strength. Abu Muslim had just suffered a defeat at Talas, so he naturally had nothing to say in front of the formidable Qutaybah.
"Qutaybah, you'll quickly know yourself whether the Tang are weak or strong. Since the army is here, we should begin to break Talas and eliminate the Tang army. Ziyad, inform the Tibetans and Western Turks to get ready to move out," Abu Muslim ordered, turning his head.
Ziyad came to his senses and quickly rode away.
Flapflap! An Arabian hunting falcon soon soared into the sky, leaving the Black Forest, passing over Talas, and landing in the Tibetan camp.
At this moment, the Tibetan army was vigilant and disciplined, and now exuded an entirely different aura. The forty thousand Tibetan reinforcements sent by the great clans and Royal Lineages had finally arrived and joined with Dalun Ruozan's army. Dalun Ruozan once more had nearly eighty thousand soldiers, and their average strength was even higher than before.
"Haha, everyone is finally here."
Dalun Ruozan smiled as he gripped Ziyad's letter.
He had been waiting for a very long time, and now the moment had finally arrived. Three governors, four hundred thousand soldiers, and the strength provided by the Tibetans and Western Turks… No matter what, Wang Chong and Gao Xianzhi had no way of surviving this battle.
"Pass on my order! Have the army get ready to move out!"
Dalun Ruozan lightly flicked the letter away.
At this moment, a Tibetan messenger bolted into the tent and got down on one knee.
"Great Minister, the scouts in the rear have discovered Tang reinforcements moving toward Talas. We estimate there to be at least sixty thousand, and all of them are elites. Great Minister, your instructions!"
The tent fell deathly still at these words, time seeming to stop and all movement freezing. Even Dalun Ruozan felt his expression freeze and the smile on his lips die away.
"How far are they?" Dalun Ruozan said, his brows deeply creasing. This news had clearly caught him by surprise.
"They're moving very quickly. They'll need at most a day to reach our position," the messenger respectfully replied.
The tent remained still. Dalun Ruozan propped his chin on one hand and began to silently think.
"The Great Tang's reinforcements came very quickly. It seems like that Sage Emperor has noticed the danger in the northwest and decided to send soldiers early," Dusong Mangpoje sternly said.
This was truly most surprising news. The Great Tang reinforcements had arrived just as they had been preparing to set out.
"That's not what I'm worried about."
Huoshu Huicang also spoke, his brows deeply furrowed.
"The Great Tang is different from us. They have far too many enemies to be capable of mobilizing a lot of soldiers. Sixty thousand elites is truly a rather surprising figure. If we go according to the plan and advance together with the Arabs to attack Talas, I worry that it will be us and not the Tang at Talas who will be attacked in the rear."
In warfare, the greatest blunder of all was to be attacked in the rear.
The Arabs had an astonishing ability to recover their fighting power. Even though they had lost hundreds of thousands of soldiers, they had managed to once more gather an army of four hundred thousand. Even if they were attacked in the rear, they would have nothing to fear. But the Tibetans only had eighty thousand soldiers. An attack in the rear might result in their being completely wiped out.
The tent was quiet. This variable had come abruptly and quickly, not even allowing the Tibetans time to rejoice at the news of the Arab reinforcements before they had to reconsider their own circumstances. A grim and solemn mood hung over the tent.
Dalun Ruozan suddenly chuckled as he made his decision.
"It seems we'll have to alter our plan. Earth is used to block a flood and soldiers are used to block an enemy army. Let's go and see those Great Tang reinforcements. At the same time, we can also buy some time for Abu Muslim.
"In addition, inform Duwu Sili. After so long, it's about time we met up."
A few moments after Dalun Ruozan had given this order, an eagle soared into the air toward the Western Turkic camp. Not even two hours later, the Tibetan and Western Turkic armies merged and began to ride in the opposite direction from Talas.