The Human Emperor Chapter 854
Chapter 854: Hiring The Gangke Tribe
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
A scream tore through the air as the four-feet-thick barrier of Stellar Energy around Nalou Lubu rapidly extinguished. After a few moments of silence, Nalou Lubu's mangled body toppled to the ground, blood spurting out from both him and his warhorse.
In death, Nalou Lubu's eyes were still wide in seeming disbelief, stunned that he could die like this to these three thousand men.
A Wushang cavalryman flew past, his sword sweeping down and immediately sending Nalou Lubu's head flying several zhang. And with Nalou Lubu's death, the Western Turks fell into complete chaos.
Cheng Sanyuan immediately gave the order to strike while the iron was hot.
Nalou Lubu had still been too careless. Although Cheng Sanyuan wasn't some renowned general, the Wushang Cavalry behind him were the best in the world. Wang Chong had used this same technique in his attack on Zhangzhung Training Camp to kill the Saint Martial realm Dayan Pugyal, so how could Nalou Lubu contend against it?
Without the command of Nalou Lubu, even though the Western Turks still had twenty thousand soldiers, they no longer had the strength to organize an effective counter.
When Heba Ye arrived with eight thousand soldiers from another direction, the battle was completely settled.
When the news of this defeat reached Mount Sanmi, the entirety of the Khagan's court trembled!
To the south of Qixi, along the Silk Road leading to the capital, an expansive road of cement was extending to the Western Regions, several thousand kilometers in length and traversing many mountains. At the end of this road, thousands of workers were laboring like bees.
Zhao Jingdian, several nobles from the capital, and the elders of the great clans were supervising this entire process.
A carrier pigeon descended from the sky, and Zhao Jingdian extended his right hand to receive it. With just a glance, Zhao Jingdian turned serious.
"It's a letter from Lord Marquis!"
Zhao Jingdian opened the letter, scanned through it, and immediately put it away. He strode up to the front, stopping in front of an old man wearing close-fitting clothes.
"Sir Xu, how much farther is Wushang?" Zhao Jingdian asked.
"It's not far," the old man replied. "In truth, we could have reached Wushang some time ago, but according to Milord's orders, we widened the road and strengthened the cement so that it could hold even more weight. But if things continue like this, we should reach Wushang in twenty days at most."
The old man was the chief foreman, the representative of the clan alliance for this project. All matters involving construction speed were under his control.
Zhao Jingdian frowned and put up one finger.
"I only give you ten days. In ten days, the road must reach Wushang."
After a brief moment of hesitation, the old man nodded.
"Although it's somewhat difficult, it shouldn’t be too big of a problem. If Milord is in a hurry, I can personally supervise the task and urge them on."
Zhao Jingdian nodded and said no more.
Wang Chong had given him a time limit of twenty days, but Zhao Jingdian was well aware that something that necessitated the marquis personally writing a letter hurrying him on was extremely urgent, so Zhao Jingdian had changed this limit to ten days.
I hope that this can be of help to Lord Marquis! Zhao Jingdian quietly said to himself.
While the pace on the construction of the cement road was being quickened, countless chimneys across the Central Plains were belching out black smoke. All the sword-smithing clans, sword shops, and smiths had begun to fully mobilize, frenziedly working on the steel modules that Wang Chong required.
If one looked down from the skies and viewed these tens of thousands of sword shops and smiths, they would see a most grandiose and magnificent sight!
"Pack up all these steel modules! I need them to be delivered to Qixi as quickly as possible! As for payment, there's no need to worry about that. Our customer is the Wang Clan of the capital, and there's nothing more trustworthy than a clan of ministers and generals. The buyer is precisely the Young Marquis whose title was personally bestowed by the Sage Emperor."
In an ancient residence within Jiangnan, a refined steward dressed in blue robes was currently pressing a caravan to quickly load the steel modules onto the carriages. Having already gone through the process once, these sword-smithing clans had greatly increased their speed and efficiency.
"Save it! The Qixi Protector-General, eh? Our Great Tang's Eighth Great General! Is there anyone in the Great Tang that doesn't know of him? Relax! I'm not concerned about such things."
Outside the estate, the burly caravan leader gave a hearty laugh and made a gesture. With the clinking of bells, this caravan of ten-some carriages immediately set off for Qixi.
East to west, north to south, thousands upon thousands of such caravans, loaded with countless steel modules, set off on their nonstop journeys to Qixi.
When Wang Chong gave the order, the entire Great Tang was available for him to use.
Time slowly passed. Eight days later, the two-zhang-wide cement road finally arrived in Wushang, causing a great stir within the City of Steel.
"Cement road! Cement road! …Everyone, come and look! The new cement road has finally reached us!"
"Ah, let me go and see!"
"I can't believe it! What a strange thing! It's really even tougher than stone!"
In the City of Steel, the atmosphere was jubilant as thousands of workers flooded out of the city. This new cement road in the Great Tang had been built from soft sand and lime, but it was even tougher than stone, could hold dozens of tons of weight. Even those warriors who could strike with the weight of one thousand jin found it very difficult to damage this road, a fact that had already spread throughout the entire Great Tang.
And this brand-new cement road was currently being built from the capital to Wushang, filling the entire city with anticipation.
"Lord Zhao, welcome back."
As fireworks filled the sky, Master Architect Zhang Shouzhi personally led the craftsmen and workers out of the city to welcome Zhao Jingdian.
"Senior Zhang, we meet again."
Zhao Jingdian clasped his hands in greeting and gave a faint smile. The two had fought side by side in the war of the southwest, and were old friends.
"That's right, where's Lord Marquis?"
Zhang Shouzhi buried his hands in his sleeves and said with a faint smile, "Lord Marquis has already gone to Qixi, but even if you go to Qixi, you probably wouldn't be able to find him."
"Oh, why is that?"
Zhao Jingdian's eyes widened in surprise. He had worked day and night on the Silk Road, supervising the construction, exactly so that he could reach Wushang as quickly as possible and meet with Wang Chong. But it was now apparent that the situation was different from what he imagined.
Zhang Shouzhi could see through Zhao Jingdian's confusion and explained, "There's a war going on in Talas, and everyone has placed their hopes on Lord Marquis. How could Lord Marquis possibly sit still at a time like this?
"In addition, don't ask me where Lord Marquis is. Not even I know that right now. Lord Marquis has always been one to carefully ponder his plans, and his thoughts are not something that people like us can fathom."
Zhao Jingdian nodded, his expression pensive.
Wang Chong was not in Qixi, though very few people knew of this. Even Xu Qiqin, the person closest to Wang Chong, only knew that he had gone to the Western Regions to see some people, but not even she knew the specific details.
"Lord Marquis, ahead of us is the territory of the Gangke people. These people are extremely simple and don't even know how to ride horses. Does Milord really want to hire them?"
In the northeast corner of the Western Regions, a barren and sparsely inhabited region, Yang Hongchang and Wang Chong were riding side by side. Behind them were five thousand soldiers of the Qixi army. When he heard that Wang Chong was coming to the Western Regions, Yang Hongchang had immediately put down all his other tasks and personally gone to receive him.
But Yang Hongchang was still completely bewildered by Wang Chong's decision.
"If Milord wishes to hire mercenaries, this one knows many decent mercenary groups, any of them more formidable than the Gangke Tribe. In addition, the Gangke Tribe doesn't have a lot of people. They really can't be of use."
"There's no need for that. We can talk about hiring other mercenaries later. This time, I came specifically for the Gangke Tribe."
Wang Chong was riding the White-hoofed Shadow. He waved his hand in refusal, his expression confident and unconcerned.
"There's no need," Wang Chong leisurely said. Wang Chong always had his reasons for his actions, never randomly firing off arrows, but there was no need to explain his reasons to Yang Hongchang.
At this moment, a Han general rode up and whispered in Wang Chong's ear. "Lord Marquis, the scouts ahead have sent back word that people have come to bar our path. They are probably the Gangke."
This Han general appeared similar to the guards around Wang Chong, but he wore the armor of the Qixi Protectorate army. During Fumeng Lingcha's tenure, Han generals were quite rare.
Wang Chong had only found him by consulting the register of the Qixi Protectorate army. This person was called Xue Qianjun, and his original rank was commandant. He had served in the Qixi Protectorate army for fifteen years, and though he had made no small number of achievements, he had never been promoted. Upon discovering him, Wang Chong had made an exception and directly promoted him to general, placing under his command all the Han soldiers of the Qixi Protectorate army.
As the Qixi Protector-General, Wang Chong possessed an authority that was difficult to imagine. In promoting a commandant directly to general, Wang Chong didn't even need to obtain the agreement of the Imperial Court and the Bureau of Military Personnel. He just needed to approve the decision and then submit a memorial to the Imperial Court afterward.
"Oh? Don't get into a fight with them yet. Wait for me to arrive."
Wang Chong's eyes gleamed as he urged his horse forward. A few seconds later, Wang Chong could see the people that Xue Qianjun had spoken of. These people were natives of the Western Regions, but unlike the tall people of the other kingdoms and tribes of the Western Regions, they were much shorter, only around five feet.
They were also much less muscular, and their bodies were covered in dust and filth, as if they hadn't bathed in six or seven years, their hair tangled into mats. Most unbearable of all was the stench rising from their bodies. Even though he was still around seven zhang away, he could already smell that nasty odor.
Upon seeing them, Wang Chong finally understood why the Gangke had been pushed away by the rest of the Western Regions.