The Human Emperor Chapter 1118
Chapter 1118: Break The Cauldrons And Sink The Boats
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
In the Beiting Protectorate, in the Qixi Protectorate, and now in this Battle of Talas, Su Hanshan was always fighting alongside his men.
Even though they were of lowly status, Su Hanshan was always willing to speak up on their behalf. In Su Hanshan's mind, they were not subordinates, but brothers.
A drop of compassion would give birth to a spring of reciprocity. Su Hanshan had treated them as brothers, so all of them treated Su Hanshan as their brother and relative. As long as he did not retreat, none of them would say a word, not even if they lost their heads for it.
"Everyone, get ready!"
Rumble! As the ballista army got into position, a banner was thrust into the ground, shattering the hard rock. The black-armored guard firmly gripped the Nine Dragon Blood War Banner as he slowly emerged from the back of the army.
As the black-armored guard emerged, the winds began to howl and clouds began to gather. The Divine Martial Army, Divine Prison Army, Dragon Stallion Army, and the other top-class armies marched out according to their position in the formation. A vast wave of pressure surged out from them.
And as the Great Tang top-class armies emerged, the atmosphere began to grow more tense, with even the Arab soldiers on the other side appearing nervous. Yesterday's battle was still fresh on their minds. The army across from them had been the world's most terrifying killing machine.
As the air tensed, the clopping of hooves and the trembling of armor drew everyone's attention. The Arab army parted, allowing a figure on a pure white highland steed to ride out from beneath the six war banners.
Wang Chong's eyes widened in recognition.
At almost the same time, Dalun Ruozan pulled on the reins of his warhorse, his intelligent gaze sweeping over Talas and immediately fixing into the figure of Wang Chong atop his White-hoofed Shadow.
"Wang Chong, Gao Xianzhi, do you dare come out for a meeting!"
Dalun Ruozan's eyes flashed as his loud voice was carried along by the fierce winds over the entire battlefield.
Wang Chong and Gao Xianzhi exchanged a silent glance before riding out from the steel defense line.
On the other end, the moment he saw Gao Xianzhi, Abu Muslim rode forward without a word to join Dalun Ruozan. On the eve of this final battle, the four primary instigators of the Battle of Talas stared across at each other, and the mood became rather strange.
"Dalun Ruozan, at this stage in the battle, have you still not given up?"
Wang Chong's hair was gently blown about in the wind as he stared at Dalun Ruozan. After so many battles, Wang Chong's eyes had been imbued with a whole new level of resolve. Anyone who didn't know the truth would find it difficult to believe that one of the commanders in such a large-scale war was just a seventeen-year-old youth.
"Hahaha, the victor is king while the loser gets nothing; that's all it is. This battle is far from over, and until the very end, who can say who is the victor and who is the loser?"
Dalun Ruozan gave a hearty laugh.
"You won't have any chance, nor would I ever permit you one," Gao Xianzhi said. "Dalun Ruozan, Ü-Tsang has already lost. Even if you collude with the Arabs in another alliance, what meaning will it have? In the end, you'll just suffer an even greater defeat."
Gao Xianzhi didn't understand Dalun Ruozan very well, and the two hadn't interacted very much, but there was no doubt that Dalun Ruozan was one of the critical individuals in this war.
If not for him, the war between the Great Tang and Arabia would have been nothing like as complicated. At least in the first phase, the Great Tang wouldn't have had to worry about being attacked from both the front and the back. In addition, the Tibetan Great Generals had also posed an enormous threat to the Great Tang. One could say that it was Dalun Ruozan's ambition that had made each side suffer severe losses.
Even though the Great Tang had managed to throw back the trilateral alliance, the Tang, Arabs, Tibetans, and Western Turks had all paid an enormous price.
"Haha, Protector-General Gao, don't get ahead of yourself. Until the final moment of this battle, how can you possibly know that the Great Tang will be the winner? Wang Chong, in the war of the southwest, I had four hundred thousand soldiers and lost to you, and for this war, I brought five hundred thousand. Before this final battle, why don't we make a bet?"
The war of the southwest remained a heavy weight on his heart, and the person he could never forget was Wang Chong.
If not for Wang Chong, Dalun Ruozan would still be the high-spirited Great Minister of the Ngari Royal Lineage. If not for Wang Chong, Dalun Ruozan would not have suffered defeat after defeat and slunk off to Talas to place himself under the Arabs in the hopes that they could defeat the Great Tang.
How else could such an ambitious man have been forced to bend the knee to another?
Wang Chong narrowed his eyes. He could hear a special meaning in Dalun Ruozan's words.
"What do you want to bet?"
"Hah, this will be the final battle between us, so why not make an agreement? No one is allowed to retreat until all sides have committed their forces and one side is utterly defeated. And the losing side cannot leave the territory of their country for the rest of their lives, much less enter the territory of the other side. How about it?"
Dalun Ruozan's eyes suddenly turned sharp.
"Of course, you can refuse!"
The battlefield fell deathly still as everyone looked at Wang Chong, even Gao Xianzhi. Wang Chong said nothing as he silently stared at Dalun Ruozan. Dalun Ruozan was relaxed and laid-back, a faint smile on his lips, as if he wasn't afraid that Wang Chong would refuse.
"Hah! As you wish!" Wang Chong abruptly said.
Neither the Great Tang nor Arabia had any way to retreat. Dalun Ruozan's words had been said to Wang Chong, but they were for himself as well. There was no question that he had already decided to fight to the death with the Great Tang, so it didn't really matter if Wang Chong agreed or not.
Wang Chong and Dalun Ruozan were mortal foes that would one day decide between them who would live and who would die.
Almost the moment Wang Chong and Dalun Ruozan had finished speaking, Abu Muslim spoke. Unlike Dalun Ruozan, he only had eyes for Gao Xianzhi. This long war had begun because of the two of them and it would be ended by the two of them.
"Gao Xianzhi! Why don't we make an agreement as well! If Arabia is defeated in this battle, I will take my army west to Khorasan and never leave for the rest of my life. Arabia will not step into Talas for ten years and will no longer lust for the Central Plains. And if you are defeated…"
"If the Great Tang is defeated, then this Gao will keep a far distance from wherever Arab soldiers march and never oppose Arabia!"
Gao Xianzhi forcefully spoke before Abu Muslim could finish.
"Okay! Then it's decided!"
Abu Muslim's eyes flashed as he turned his horse around and rode back to his army.
If Dalun Ruozan was Wang Chong's mortal enemy, then Abu Muslim was inevitably Anxi Protector-General Gao Xianzhi's.
The pair had battled for three to four months, and even Abu Muslim had to admit that Gao Xianzhi was the strongest and most vexatious foe he had ever fought.
Even if he couldn't kill Gao Xianzhi in this battle, this bet would be enough to cripple a powerful Great General of the Great Tang and remove one of Arabia's powerful foes.
Gao Xianzhi waved at Wang Chong, and the two of them returned together.
No matter how this battle turned out, no new war would be springing up between the Great Tang and Arabia. It was obvious that both the Great Tang and Arabia were exhausted from this protracted battle, and all four parties had decided to make this decisive showdown.
A loud cry in Arabic could be heard in the distance, and soon after, the horns began to blow as a somber air swept over the army.
Clang! Fierce Sword Qi howled through the air as all the Tang soldiers unsheathed their weapons. Hwoooo! Winds ripped across the field in anticipation of the imminent battle.
After what seemed like both a second and countless epochs, a roar tore through the heavens, and the one hundred thousand soldiers of the trilateral alliance charged at the Tang defense line.
The earth quaked and shuddered.
The four black Arabian war banners, the white yak Tibetan banner, and the blue wolf Western Turkic banner suddenly rose from the earth and began to rush at the Great Tang. This sight caused the Tang to immediately grimace.
"Qutaybah and the rest are taking the field!" Gao Xianzhi solemnly said.
The Arabs were employing a completely different tactic this time. Previously the Arabs had always sent their soldiers first and only used their Great Generals at the end, but now they were sending both.
The battle hadn't even begun yet, but Qutaybah, Abu Muslim, Aybak, Ziyad, Osman, Huoshu Huicang, and Duwu Sili were all moving out.
The six banners followed them like shadows.
In this battle, the three empires had decided to break the cauldrons and sink the boats, staking everything on this one last battle, to succeed or die trying!
Such enormous resolve was something that none of the Tang had ever expected, and all of them instantly became grim.