The Human Emperor Chapter 743
Chapter 743: News From Hulayeg
Translated b: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The army could have its soldiers make a rapid advance, and for special missions, it wasn't unusual for an army to march a hundred li in a single day. But not even an army at its most rapid advance would be able to reach even half the speed of this approaching force, much less maintain such tidy ranks.
The shock and impact that came from thousands of soldiers marching in unison was truly difficult to describe!
"These soldiers are so powerful! And they're so disciplined as well. There's no sign of disorder in their ranks. Where did Lord Marquis get such impressive troops!"
"What an impressive aura. They're even more formidable than the White Braves who attacked last night!"
"Are these the helpers that Lord Marquis found?"
The many workmen and guards inside and outside the walls were gasping in amazement.
"Are these the Wushang soldiers Lord Marquis found?"
On the southwestern wall, Zhang Shouzhi was supervising the construction, but when he saw the Wushang soldiers approaching from the east, he couldn't help but mentally sigh. He was one of the few people to know of the existence of Wushang Village, but this was also his first time seeing the Wushang soldiers.
Truly formidable! This aura No wonder Lord Marquis sent General Li! Zhang Shouzhi quietly said to himself.
He had experienced the gruesome battlefield before. Any soldier who had been able to survive the assault of the Mengshe-Tsang army in the war of the southwest was an elite amongst elites.
But Zhang Shouzhi felt that even the Annan Protectorate army at its finest could not compare to the Wushang troops being led by Li Siye.
The Wushang troops approached quickly, and in only a few moments, they were several hundred zhang from the City of Steel. At this time, the gate rumbled open and Wang Chong rode out, accompanied by Cheng Sanyuan and the others.
Upon seeing Wang Chong, Li Siye dismounted and strode forward to bow in front of him.
"This general completed his mission. The first phase of training for the Wushang soldiers has been completed. Lord Marquis, please inspect the troops."
Wang Chong nodded, his gaze moving from Li Siye to the five thousand Wushang soldiers. These Wushang were completely different from the ones Wang Chong had first met. They were fully equipped in armor and were already taking shape into the 'Wushang Cavalry' of his last life.
"Not bad. I've troubled you," Wang Chong said, patting Li Siye on the shoulder.
Li Siye was truly very capable. Very few people in the army would be capable of training the five thousand Wushang into a force like this, so disciplined and well-trained that they could be as immovable as a mountain at one moment and then as aggressive as fire in the next. He was truly worthy of his future status as the Invincible Great General.
"Go and rest first. Leave the soldiers to me!" Wang Chong said.
Making these isolated villagers into the renowned Wushang Cavalry wasn't something that could be done in a single night. They had still not cultivated that martial art that had been created just for them, nor had they cultivated the Wushang Halo that was their village's namesake. Most importantly
They had not obtained the most important thing for cavalry: their warhorses.
Everything else is ready. The only thing missing is Hulayeg's warhorses, Wang Chong quietly said to himself.
Five thousand Wushang Cavalry needed five thousand warhorses, and if he wanted the superb Turkic warhorses, he would need to get them from Hulayeg.
It should be about time. I wonder how his preparations are going?
Qixi shared a long border with the Turkic steppe, a border which was garrisoned by the forces of the Qixi Protectorate army, the Beiting Protectorate army, and the Western Turkic Khaganate. Normally, these forces mutually constrained each other, maintaining peace and quiet on both sides.
But at a time like this, this situation became the biggest obstacle to Wang Chong's ability to obtain warhorses. Five thousand warhorses was not a small number, and it was not possible to hide such a large herd from the eyes and ears of the three armies.
Given Wang Chong's current relationship with the two Protector-Generals, if this transaction were discovered, there was an eighty to ninety percent chance that all his effort would go to help someone else. Moreover, such a large warhorse transaction would never have the permission of the Western Turkic Khaganate. After all, the Turkic Khaganate was currently enemies with the Great Tang.
I'll just have to see what sort of tricks he has, Wang Chong quietly said to himself.
The rumors said that Hulayeg, as the number one horse merchant of the Turkic steppe, had many secret channels which could allow him to evade the eyes of the border armies.
It was now time to determine the veracity of those rumors.
"Everyone, follow me!"
Wang Chong quickly turned back to the matter at hand. Waving the soldiers over, he led them into the City of Steel.
On the boundless Turkic steppe, vast fields of grass stretched to the horizon. Here, time seemed to be at a standstill, trapped in a cycle of wilting and thriving that would repeat until the end of time.
A shout suddenly shattered the serenity of the steppe, and the earth began to quake with the thundering of hooves. Thousands of tall and handsome horses with glossy coats began to approach from the southeast.
In the blink of an eye and a shout, another herd of Turkic warhorses galloped out of the southwest. And then from the northwest, the northeast Herds of warhorses from various directions gathered in this area.
In a few moments, all the warhorses had gathered into a massive herd of more than ten thousand horses.
Herdsmen rode around the horses, constantly driving them back and making sure that they didn't run off.
While they did so, a bearded Turk with sideburns dismounted in the blustery winds and began to make his way through the herd. He eventually reached a middle-aged Turk of somewhat portly constitution wearing two skulls of bronze on his shoulders.
"Boba, all ten thousand horses from the various tribes have arrived. They are all the highest quality of warhorses. They do not require any training and only need a saddle to be ridden."
'Boba' was a form of address. In the Turkic language, it was used to refer to a respected elder or most welcome guest. In all of the Turkic steppe, there was only one man who could be addressed like this while also being welcomed by the various tribes, and that was the number one Turkic horse merchant, Hulayeg.
"Hahaha, good! Tell the chiefs that if they follow Hulayeg, they'll be able to feast and drink as they please, and that I, Hulayeg, will never treat them poorly! We can now inform that Young Marquis and conduct the first transaction!"
Hulayeg was seated on a red Ferghana horse, and he exuded a lofty air as he looked upon the vast horse herd, his laughter echoing across the steppe.
Two days later, a messenger bird flew into Wang Chong's residence in the City of Steel. In the residence, Wang Chong was seated cross-legged in front of a desk, perusing the 'Travel Log of the Western Regions' that Yang Hongchang had sent over.
This was a handwritten account introducing the various kingdoms of the Western Regions that Wang Chong had personally requested Yang Hongchang to find for him.
When he saw the bird fly into his study, Wang Chong's eyes widened.
Wang Chong instantly recognized the black band on the bird's right leg. This was a bird Wang Chong had given to Hulayeg so that they could communicate with each other at any time.
A look of surprise appeared in Wang Chong's eyes as he quickly moved to take the letter off the bird's leg. Hulayeg's writing was twisted and sloppy, but his letter contained exactly the news that Wang Chong wanted to see.
'To Your Excellency the Young Marquis Wang Chong, the first batch of ten thousand horses has been prepared. The exchange will take place in two days, with delivery of the goods upon reception of payment. I will personally send the warhorses to Your Excellency's City of Steel!'
Although Hulayeg had done his utmost to imitate the official language of the Great Tang, his language was still quite off. But none of that was important. It was far more important that Hulayeg had truly managed to prepare ten thousand high-quality Turkic warhorses.
"I truly didn't make the wrong choice! This Hulayeg truly does have some tricks. It was worth the risk of going to the Western Regions and seeking him out!"
Wang Chong's eyes were shining with joy as he gripped the letter. Hulayeg had truly given him a pleasant surprise.
Ten thousand warhorses, and high-quality Turkic horses at that, was no small number, tantamount to a blazing fire in the dark night. It was difficult for such a large herd to avoid the attention of others, especially the Western Turkic Khagan. If he were to discover it, the transaction would immediately be put to a stop.
But Hulayeg was apparently a master strategist. He had not only managed to gather so many fine Turkic warhorses, he was even going to personally deliver them to the City of Steel.
This was a wonderful surprise!
"Is it Hulayeg?"
Li Siye's voice came from behind him. In these last few days after returning to the city, he had learned from Wang Chong about Hulayeg.
"Mm!" Wang Chong nodded.
"I'll leave this matter to you. Bring a few people and meet up with him."
"This general understands." Li Siye gave a nod. Warhorses were of utmost importance to cavalry. Wang Chong didn't need to explain that to him. Li Siye might have even cared more about this transaction than Wang Chong.
"Mm, this transaction involves one million taels of gold. Hulayeg will probably want part of the payment in advance. The gold is with Senior Zhang Shouzhi. Take some people with you to get it. I leave all the matters regarding Hulayeg in these early stages to you, and you can make any decision as you see fit.
"If you discover that Hulayeg is up to no good, you should know what to do," Wang Chong said.
Although Hulayeg's reputation as the number one Turkic horse merchant rang out through the world, Wang Chong did not completely trust in him.
If Hulayeg encountered some mishap or was up to some scheme, Li Siye was completely capable of handling the situation.
Li Siye quickly left. When he left, Wang Chong pushed aside the desk and slowly walked to the window. As his eyes peered up at the sky, his heart was in turmoil.