The Human Emperor Chapter 1072
Chapter 1072: Su Hanshans First Battle
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The ballistae were still firing, but the vast wave of Arabs showed no signs of stopping. And there was a particularly loud rumbling that could be heard over the sounds of fighting.
"Look over there!"
A voice suddenly sounded from the army. Zhang Que, standing on a transport carriage, was pointing into the distance with a look of shock on his face.
"It's those silver war machines!"
Following Zhang Que's gaze, everyone saw the enormous silver siege weapons gleaming in the distance, slowly proceeding toward the Tang.
All of them were rather familiar with the power of these Arabian siege weapons. They had been brought over from Qutaybah's northern war zone for the express purpose of dealing with the Tang defense line. They were incredibly sturdy as well as offensively powerful, and no one could underestimate them.
"They've changed their tactics!" Huang Botian suddenly called out, his expression grim.
On the first day, Qutaybah had sent several hundred of these Silver Behemoths. The Arabs had pushed forward the Silver Behemoths as quickly as possible to the Tang defense line in the hopes of ending the battle quickly.
But this time was completely different. The Silver Behemoths were now moving extremely slowly. More than a thousand of the Silver Behemoths were arrayed in a single line, forming a steel wall. Behind this steel wall were tens of thousands of Arab soldiers.
"They're using those silver war machines as defensive tools to cover the approach of their soldiers. Our ballistae will find it very difficult to pierce through this defense, and it will be impossible to deal any harm to the soldiers behind them."
Sun Zhiming sat atop his horse, in the third row behind Wang Chong, his face tinged with deep concern.
A ballista bolt shot forward, immediately striking one of the Silver Behemoths. There was an enormous clang, but the ballista bolt snapped without even piercing through this Silver Behemoth. Su Hanshan's eyes widened at this sight and he gestured behind him to bring this probing assault to a close.
"Their defenses are extremely formidable, but we don't need to worry about that. Change targets and attack other Arab cavalry!"
Su Hanshan's face remained aloof and his eyes remained emotionless as he gestured at the ballistae to his right. Quickly, three thousand ballistae began to move to another area.
There were more than a thousand of these Silver Behemoths, but the battlefield was long and vast. There were not enough of these machines to cover the entirety of the Arab army.
Once the ballistae had finished moving, Su Hanshan's men once more began to fire their volleys. Squelchsquelchsquelch! In a chorus of meaty thumps, one Arab horseman after another was sent flying backward together with their horses, their corpses stirring up clouds of dust.
"The Earth Shield Army still hasn't arrived yet?"
Beneath the fluttering black hell flame banner, Qutaybah coldly spoke, his face calm and unperturbed.
A general so fully wrapped in armor that only his eyes were showing spoke from behind Qutaybah. "Milord, the Earth Shield Army has already been deployed. They should be arriving on the battlefield soon."
The Earth Shield Army was the only defensive army under Qutaybah's command. Qutaybah had made his name through constant and unending war, and he was rarely ever on the defense. But nothing in the world was absolute. The Earth Shield Army was a heavy shield army Qutaybah had established to deal with enemy attacks.
This army did not have many soldiers, only around ten thousand, but each of them had undergone strict training and been tempered through a hundred battles, in the end forging an army made of steel.
They had stopped countless foes on the battlefield, some even approaching the Mamelukes in terms of power.
Qutaybah's basic requirement for this army was that it had to take one hundred attacks from him.
This general had barely spoken when a shift occurred on the battlefield. The soldiers on the right flank of the Arab army suddenly parted, allowing a vast and powerful flood to surge forward.
There was a metal clattering as massive shields, glimmering beneath the overcast sky, suddenly appeared before everyone's eyes.
These shields were each seven to eight feet high. Only the shields were visible, completely obscuring the soldiers behind them.
With this loud howl, the ten thousand Earth Shield warriors pressed forward like a moving wall.
Boom boom boom! These soldiers marched in unison as they charged forward, their discipline and cohesion producing an intimidating tempo.
Even Su Hanshan was taken aback by this sight, but he almost immediately regained his composure.
Without the slightest hesitation, Su Hanshan swung his hand down. With a sound like a roaring dragon, five thousand ballistae fired, their bolts reaching the Earth Shield soldiers in a flash.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
There was a heaven-shaking rumbling. Countless people were paying attention to this very first clash, and everyone was waiting with bated breath to see the outcome.
Time seemed to stop at this moment. A massive shield nearly eight feet tall and half a foot thick suddenly trembled, and then it was struck by a terrifying power. Part of the shield caved in while its surface was instantly covered in tiny cracks. The Earth Shield soldier behind the shield went pale. He had experienced many intense battles and had even witnessed the power of these Tang ballistae from the rear, but there was no doubt that this was the strongest weapon he had ever seen.
But the dreadful power being exerted on the Earth Shield rapidly faded. Even though the impact left his arm numb, the Earth Shield soldier had managed to hold on.
At this moment, the Earth Shield soldiers in the rear breathed a sigh of relief.
Similar scenes occurred all across the line. In this intense clash, the ten thousand Earth Shield soldiers did not sustain a single casualty, fully stopping the attack of the Tang ballistae.
The army exploded with cheers as the tens of thousands of Arab soldiers celebrated the success of the Earth Shield soldiers, even more ecstatic than the Earth Shield soldiers themselves.
The Arabs regarded war as their mission, and none of them feared death, but this did not mean that they didn't want to live. These thousands of Tang ballistae were nothing but their worst nightmare.
Both Su Hanshan and Wang Chong slightly grimaced at this scene. Wang Chong had seen all kinds of heavy shield armies, but this was the first time he had seen one that could stop a ballista volley through sheer physical strength and the power of its shields. There was no doubt that this was the strongest force of shield soldiers Wang Chong had seen in his entire life.
Su Hanshan immediately changed his plan. "Everyone, hear my order!
"Cease firing. Ballistae, form groups of five and concentrate fire on the upper part of those shields."
Creakcreak! Su Hanshan could control the five thousand ballistae like they were extensions of his body, and his order was quickly carried out. As the ballistae grouped up in fives, they shrunk their targets from five thousand men to one thousand men.
Su Hanshan coldly swung his right hand down. Boomboomboom! Five ballista bolts shot forward, swiftly covering several thousand feet of distance and striking a single large shield.
The Earth Shield soldier behind his nearly eight-foot shield barely had time to catch his breath before he was struck by an attack like never before. The massive shield seemed on the verge of shattering as it boomed and clattered. Meanwhile, a terrifying power had traveled through his shield, up his arm, through his shoulder, and into his body. Plush! The Earth Shield soldier almost instantaneously vomited blood.
A few seconds later, an Earth Shield soldier could no longer hold and was sent flying into the air. The other soldiers had managed to hold through their immense physical strength, but the simultaneous attack of five ballista bolts had still forced them back, causing them to dig deep furrows in the ground.
Su Hanshan's eyes seemed to glow as he stared forward. Upon seeing the result of this first strike, Su Hanshan ordered another volley without even thinking.
No one could last against the attacks of the Tang ballistae through physical strength alone. In Su Hanshan's view, no matter how powerful his enemies were, as long as this method proved effective, all these shield soldiers could only die before his ballistae.
As the second volley descended, the ten thousand Earth Shield soldiers finally began to take losses. Those massive Earth Shields that had been tempered many times and had endured countless attacks shattered, the pieces flying more than a hundred feet into the air. The soldiers behind them were also flung into the sky, the bolts piercing through the bodies and carrying them more than one hundred feet through the force of inertia.
"Release! Release! Release!"
Su Hanshan's hawkish gaze was ever fixed on the Earth Shield soldiers. As soon as he spotted a gap in their lines, Su Hanshan immediately seized the chance and ordered his ballistae to fire through the gap at the Arab cavalry behind it. Blood spattered and corpses dropped to the ground as the Arab soldiers were caught off guard and thrown into chaos.
Su Hanshan's eyes coldly flashed as he once more ordered his soldiers to fire. In this contest with the Earth Shield soldiers, he had already completely grasped the initiative.
On the side, Wang Chong had been watching everything from atop his White-hoofed Shadow. Only now did he give a satisfied nod of approval.