The Human Emperor Chapter 853
Chapter 853: Scouring The Turkic Steppe
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
At this moment, a low voice rang out at Li Siye's ear.
"Tibetan vultures have been sighted. They've noticed us."
Li Siye's eyes flashed as he turned to follow the scout's gaze. To the southwest, a massive black vulture had appeared in the sky, circling in the air as it clearly observed them. Even farther off, he could see a black silhouette mounted on a warhorse peeking out over the horizon, watching them from a distance.
From his dress, he was clearly a Tibetan horseman.
"There's no need to worry. Let them do what they want."
Li Siye quickly turned back around.
"There's no one left in Ü-Tsang's north that can threaten us."
With this, Li Siye turned his gaze back to the north, transforming into an unmoving war god, silently waiting and watching.
Northwest of Qixi, across the long arc of the border and deep into the Turkic steppe…
Soon after Li Siye had departed, Cheng Sanyuan had left with three thousand Wushang Cavalry, traveling through the Turkic steppe along its most lush and fertile regions. The Wushang Cavalry rarely ventured this deeply into the steppe, so Cheng Sanyuan had brought three guides.
A thin Hu mounted on a warhorse pointed ahead and said, "Milord, another ten-some li ahead is an oasis. The Gu-er-ri Tribe's people often water their cows and sheep there."
"All soldiers, move out!"
A cold light in his eyes, Cheng Sanyuan held aloft his sword and thrust it forward. Instantly, thousands of cavalry surged past him, charging toward that area. Thirty minutes later, the three thousand Wushang Cavalry had arrived. What they were greeted with was not the sight of a clear oasis, but thousands upon thousands of cows and sheep, as well as Turkic shepherds dressed in lambskin.
"Shit, it's the Han!"
"How did their soldiers appear here? Run away!"
At the sight of Cheng Sanyuan's forces, the Turkic shepherds panicked. Some of the shepherds rapidly assembled a small defensive force that galloped forward to intercept Cheng Sanyuan.
Without the slightest hesitation, Cheng Sanyuan and his three thousand Wushang Cavalry swept forward like a storm. Turks had fierce personalities, and while these shepherds appeared innocent, were they to put on some armor, they would all become regular Turkic warriors that would follow the army into the underbelly of the Central Plains to wreak havoc amongst the common folk.
This principle was obvious to everyone. There was no emotion or mercy in this battle, and when it was over, the earth around the oasis was stained with blood and covered with the corpses of livestock and shepherds.
"Let's go! To the next one!"
Cheng Sanyuan's sharp eyes turned to the north as he swung down his arm. Like black clouds, the three thousand cavalry swept toward their next destination.
One after the other, Cheng Sanyuan continued to follow Wang Chong's order, scouring the water sources of the Turkic steppe of shepherds and tribes. His movements were fast and brutal. In just one day, several dozen water sources had been cleared.
Countless shepherds and tribes fled in panic, and this incident quickly bore fruit.
Upon receiving the urgent news from the shepherds, the Turkic deputy general stationed on the western border of the Khaganate slammed his hand against the table and got to his feet.
"These Han are acting too brashly! Do they really think that we Turks have no one else?"
With the death of the Black Wolf Yabgu, all his soldiers had fallen under the command of this deputy general. Until Ishbara Khagan appointed a new Yabgu, the thirty-thousand-some cavalry of the west were under his control.
"What have you found? Only three thousand? No sign of that Young Marquis?"
Nalou Lubu propped his hands against the metal table and leaned over it, his expression savage.
"General, we've already scouted things out," the kneeling Turkic scout subserviently said. "That Wang Chong of the Great Tang is not present. The one commanding this force is some nameless officer, and he only has three thousand soldiers. We've confirmed this report multiple times."
"Pass on my order! Assemble the army and get ready to leave! We'll crush these Han until nothing is left."
Nalou Lubu's voice echoed through the tent, but he had already leapt over the table and walked out.
In the battle of Qixi Armory, Agudu Lan and his five thousand elites had been wiped out, dealing a massive blow to the Western Turkic Khaganate's forces around Qixi. However, despite all that, the Khaganate still had a formidable force in the area.
Nalou Lubu was perhaps not as famous as Agudu Lan, but he was still a general of some renown amongst the Western Turks, and a veteran of many battles. Together with his thirty thousand soldiers, he presented a powerful force.
With Nalou Lubu's order, all the soldiers that the Western Turkic Khaganate had around Qixi were gathered. Thousands upon thousands of warhorses transformed into an enormous wave that rumbled toward Cheng Sanyuan and his three thousand Wushang Cavalry.
Almost the moment the Western Turks began to move, on the Qixi border, Zhang Que received a descending eagle and turned to Cheng Sanyuan. "Milord, they've begun to mobilize."
"Heh, it's just as our lord predicted. As long as we occupy the water sources and prevent those Turkic shepherds from watering their livestock and horses, the Turkic army will be forced to attack."
Cheng Sanyuan grinned from atop his gray horse.
Lush grass could be found all over the steppe, so the Turks could move wherever they wished and have their animals graze, but no matter where they grazed, they couldn't stray far from the water. By seizing the water sources, they had seized the weak point of the Turks. For this, Cheng Sanyuan was full of admiration for Wang Chong.
Although he had only given a few short orders, he had seized the life source of the Turks.
Without another word, Cheng Sanyuan opened his hands, allowing a golden-eyed pigeon to take off, flying in the direction of Qixi. After doing this, Cheng Sanyuan gave a faint smile and turned to the disciplined ranks of the Wushang Cavalry behind him.
"All soldiers, hear my order! Prepare for battle!"
Around two hours later, the earth suddenly began to rumble, and a cloud of dust could be seen rising over the horizon, soon followed by a creeping line of black that began to rapidly charge toward their position.
Wolves howled as a massive war banner was thrust into the air. Upon this black banner was the image of a blue wolf.
The Turkic army!
This great threat to the Great Tang, the Turkic army garrisoned on the Qixi border, had finally arrived.
"All soldiers, get ready! Chaaaaarge!"
While the thirty-thousand-some Turks were still far away, their formation still loose and disorderly, Cheng Sanyuan smiled and swung down his arm. Though his meager force was like a rock in the face of a mighty wave, he fearlessly charged forward.
War halos began to erupt from beneath the feet of Cheng Sanyuan and his men, and in the blink of an eye, these halos had melded together, transforming the three thousand men into a small fortress.
Nalou Lubu's eyes flew open at this sight, and his blood rushed to his head in fury. He had more than thirty thousand men, ten times their number, and yet this obscure officer of the Great Tang dared to take the initiative and charge at him.
"Kill them all! Leave no one alive!"
At Nalou Lubu's order, not only did his army not slow, it picked up speed, and the two sides rapidly closed the gap…
The earth shuddered as the three thousand Wushang Cavalry in Arrow Formation savagely smashed into the thirty thousand Turkic soldiers.
"Kill them all!"
The two armies clashed, and everything fell into chaos. Countless soldiers were knocked into the air, and when they crashed back down, their blood quickly seeped into the earth. To the consternation of the Turks, the three thousand Wushang Cavalry had displayed a crushing strength that immediately pierced through the vast Turkic army.
The difference between quality and quantity was immediately made evident. At only the first clash, more than four thousand Turks had been killed.
Enraged, Nalou Lubu drew his saber and pointed it at Cheng Sanyuan.
"Nameless soldier, give me your life!"
Before he had even finished speaking, Nalou Lubu had already swung down his saber, charging together with his elite guards at Cheng Sanyuan. He could already see that though these Tang cavalry possessed astonishing strength, their commanding officer wasn't that powerful. 'To shoot a person, shoot the horse, and to catch thieves, first capture their leader.' As long as he could kill this officer, the Tang cavalry would naturally crumble.
Rumble! Seeing Nalou Lubu's movements, other Turkic soldiers immediately began to follow.
"Hmph, I was waiting for you!"
Cheng Sanyuan sneered, a harsh light in his eyes.
Rumble! Just as Nalou Lubu's elites began to charge, the situation suddenly changed. Buzz! The three thousand Wushang Cavalry split up into hundred-man units, scattering apart and beginning to wreak havoc on the army.
The Turkic center was already in ruins, and now it fell into complete mayhem. Caught by surprise, Nalou Lubu subconsciously slowed down, but by the time he regained his composure, the three thousand Wushang Cavalry had suddenly turned around.
Nalou Lubu paled as an intense sense of danger began to surge out of his heart and envelop his entire body. He wanted to fall back and flee, but it was already too late. The thousands of Wushang Cavalry were charging in from all sides.