The Human Emperor Chapter 656
Chapter 656: Each With Their Own Axe To Grind
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The black-clothed Yabgu half-closed his eyes. In an instant, a scene appeared in his mind. The mountain was still the same mountain, but countless soldiers had appeared, their different armor clearly indicating that they belonged to three different forces.
These people were engaged in a frenzied melee.
In the middle of these dense ranks, the Yabgu could clearly see four giants, and in front of these four giants, another enormous figure, shining with golden light, was currently striding toward the pit
If those experts who had participated in the southwestern war were to see the scene playing out in this Turkic Yabgu's mind, they would assuredly be stupefied.
This Yabgu had clearly managed to replay the scenes from the battle on that day. Those scars and fissure in the ground were wholly sufficient for him to visualize the battlefield.
In both the Eastern and Western Turkic Khaganates, the only person capable of this feat was the Eastern Turks' Ghost Eye Yabgu.
The Ghost Eye Yabgu looked forward and suddenly said, "I understand. Geluofeng fell at precisely this place
"Wang Yan and Xianyu Zhongtong, two powerful experts, joined forces. Against one Mighty Miracle God and one Vajra God, it's no wonder Geluofeng was heavily injured. He was too careless."
"But Geluofeng was also a wise sovereign. No mediocre figure could strengthen Mengshe Zhao to this level. How could he be caught completely off guard? Such a thing shouldn't have happened!"
Behind the Ghost Eye Yabgu, an Eastern Turkic general furrowed his brow in doubt.
The Ghost Eye Yabgu was silent. To tell the truth, when he had heard about the defeat in the southwest and Geluofeng falling into a coma after being heavily injured, he had found it very strange. As a sovereign, it was his duty to preside in the rear and only take to the battlefield when absolutely necessary. This was a most basic principle of the battlefield.
Geluofeng should have been in the rear and remained uninjured.
Even after wracking his mind, he couldn't think of a reason.
The Ghost Eye Yabgu swept his gaze questioningly over the surroundings. Finally, it passed over the summit and stopped, seeming to notice something.
"It wasn't that he was being imprudent, but because someone was baiting him. That boy Wang Chong is a very deep schemer. Geluofeng was like a plaything in the palm of his hands."
The Yabgu gave a deep sigh.
Although more than a month had passed since the battle, nothing here could be kept secret from him. It was like he could see the furious Geluofeng seeing that figure on the summit jeering at him.
It was precisely those jeers that robbed Geluofeng of his rationality.
Wang Chong was a name completely unfamiliar to the Turks who dwelled beyond the walls, on the vast steppe. Although none of them had heard of it before, after today, all the foreign kingdoms beyond the walls of the Great Tang would have this name ringing in their ears like thunder. It would be impossible to not know of this name.
An individual who could defeat Dalun Ruozan and Huoshu Huicang, and kill hundreds of thousands of Mengshe Zhao and Tibetan soldiers, was someone that no power could ignore.
When one considered that they had known nothing of him before, gathering information on him now became an utmost priority.
This matter was not something any minor scout could accomplish.
It wasn't strange at all for the various powers to send important figures to investigate.
"But Geluofeng is no fool. How could that Wang Chong be sure that his plan would succeed?" the Turkic general asked in confusion.
The Ghost Eye Yabgu was quiet for a few moments before suddenly giving a laugh.
"Ha! Do you still have the first intelligence report from the southwest? Let me take a look at it."
"It's here, Milord."
The Turkic general quickly passed over a letter covered in Turkic characters.
"Heheh, as expected."
The Yabgu looked at it for a few moments before giving a nod and smiling.
"From the reports back then, smoke was rising from the rear of the Mengshe Zhao army. Their granaries were attacked, all their provisions destroyed. Mengshe Zhao had hundreds of thousands of soldiers, and the amount of food needed to feed them is no small number. Moreover, Geluofeng was an ambitious character. He wanted to use the southwest as a jumping board for an even greater undertaking. With millions of piculs of provisions burned, the ambitions Geluofeng had held for decades were all wasted. This is the true reason for Geluofeng's loss of rationality."
The Yabgu sighed, his eyes showing a deep admiration and apprehension.
"If the battle hadn't been at its climax, Geluofeng wouldn't have been unaccompanied. If Duan Gequan had not entered the fray, he would definitely have advised him against the action. If the Annan Protectorate army had not been exerting so much pressure that they absorbed the attention of the Mengshe-Tsang army, the granaries would not have been so under-defended.
"Regardless of which one it was, if that boy were only missing one of them, he would have never been able to provoke Geluofeng, and this battle would have ended in a completely different way. While he stood on the summit and lured Geluofeng over, he had Wang Yan and Xianyu Zhongtong in their godly avatars strike from the sides. All the schemes were closely interlocked, and despite all the renowned generals I have fought and all the battles I have experienced, I have never encountered an opponent with such foresight and such thorough plans. This is truly a frightening opponent! I truly can't believe that he's only seventeen."
The Turkic intelligence report had only said that Wang Chong had a divine strategic mind, but the Ghost Eye Yabgu, through his observations of the battlefield, had obtained far more information than the intelligence report could ever provide.
The Yabgu could tell that this youth of the Great Tang he had never met had begun planning everything long before he began to move.
Lion City by the Erhai, the steel walls of the Mountain of God, the sheep plague on the Tibetan Plateau, and the burning granaries in the rear of the Mengshe Zhao army All these plans were so tightly interlocked with each other that they presented no flaw.
Just thinking about this made the Yabgu's scalp go numb and sweat bead out of his forehead. When Dalun Ruozan and Duan Gequan were still only thinking about the battlefield in front of them, that seventeen-year-old boy had already cast off old conventions and placed his gaze over the world. It was like nothing could ever stop him.
Such thoughts and schemes were enough to make one shiver in fear.
It was no fluke that Dalun Ruozan and Duan Gequan had lost. In truth, the Ghost Eye Yabgu was somewhat relieved that this war had happened in the southwest, not the northeast.
The ones facing that boy had been Dalun Ruozan and Duan Gequan, not him and the Eastern Turkic Khaganate behind him.
"Tell the Khagan to redouble our efforts to gather information on Wang Chong. We have to watch his every move. If possible, we need to eliminate him as quickly as possible, but it can't be traced back to us."
"Yes, Lord Yabgu."
The Mountain of God in the southwest, the battlefield between the Great Tang and the Mengshe-Tsang alliance, was to many factions a threshold that they would not be able to detour.
At this moment, the factions that had come here were not simply the Goguryeons and the Turks.
In another area of the Mountain of God, several Hu merchants with wise gazes had gathered together. The Great Tang was in an age where foreigners were welcomed with open arms. All the Hu merchants who had once been refused at the gates were now permitted to enter the capital of the Great Tang and even carry out business in the interior.
To the people of the Great Tang, seeing a few Hu in the interior was no longer that strange.
But the deep green eyes of these people revealed their true identities. These people were actually Arabs.
To the Hu, the Arabs were very different from them and were recognizable at a glance. But to the people of the Great Tang, the Hu and Arabs all looked the same and were impossible to distinguish.
"I found it!"
An Arab spoke in his Arabic tongue that foreigners would not be able to understand.
At the base of the mountain, these Arabs had finally found the item they sought. This was a shard of armor. The Annan Protectorate army had already cleaned up the battlefield, but this was a large region covered with hundreds of thousands of corpses. It was simply impossible to completely clean up, and there would always be some fish that escaped the net.
"Such a smooth cutwhat a sharp sword!"
An Arab picked up the two shards on the ground and raised them high in the air to examine them. This was a piece of shoulder armor formed from plates.
In his hand, he could feel that this armor was both thick and heavy.
Tibetan armor was so crude that even the Arabs viewed it with deep contempt. But the focus the Tibetans placed on the forging process meant that though their armor was crude, it had reached an extremely high level in another aspect.
It was heavy, but also extremely tough and durable.
This sort of armor would even give the Arabs and their extremely sharp weapons a headache.
But this was not the reason they had appeared here.
At this moment, the Arabs were all focused on the cut that had cleaved this shoulder armor in two.
"So smooth, so sharp. It's almost like a mirror. Is this from that 'Wootz Steel sword' said to be created by that person from the Great Tang?"
As the Arabs examined the shards of armor, their eyes glimmered with a searing light.
Unlike the other foreign powers bordering the Great Tang, the Arabs were not very interested in the war. To them, there was one thing that was of even greater priority.
Wootz Steel weapons!
There was a trifling bit of news from this war that had attracted the notice of the entire Abbasid Caliphate. Apparently, a small army of about one thousand soldiers had been completely equipped with Wootz Steel weapons. In battle, this army had managed to defeat a force of Tibetan cavalry ten times their number, and their momentum had been essentially unstoppable. In the end stages of the battle, this army had dealt a massive blow to the Mengshe-Tsang army.
To the Abbasid Caliphate, which possessed incredible forging skills and constantly pursued weapons of higher quality and killing power, this news was earth-shaking.
After all, this was only one thousand weapons, and the users had been from the Great Tang, which did not specialize or have much expertise in cavalry. If the Arabs could get ahold of such sharp weapons, even if only ten thousand, then given that the Abbasid Caliphate was far more powerful than -Tsang, they could dominate the battlefield.
"I can't believe it! Such thick plate armor was cut through like it was paper."
"I know! Our smithing arts are at a far higher level than the Great Tang's, but none of our weapons could ever do this."
"The Hyderabad ore is actually this formidable. If I wasn't seeing it with my own eyes, I definitely wouldn't believe it."
"Alas, the smiths of the caliphate have already tried various methods but still haven't reached this level. I really don't know how that Tang called Wang Chong managed to do it."
"The capabilities of a Wootz Steel weapon on the battlefield have already been verified. No matter what, we have to get our hands on some! At any price!"
As this group stared at the smooth cut through the plate armor, their eyes practically glowed with fervor. No matter what they thought in the past, starting from today, all the Arabs, especially their craftsmen, would know the name of one Great Tang youth:
This was a true god of craftsmen!