The Human Emperor Chapter 856
Chapter 856: Sworn Enemies The Saka
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Yuan Shusong's face was frozen in shock. Never had he imagined that the Gangke leader would not even show them a little face and at least give them a meeting, instead choosing to flatly reject them.
Yuan Shusong turned to Wang Chong, momentarily at a loss for words. If the other party refused even a meeting, all their persuasive methods would be useless. Wang Chong's brows were slightly raised, but he was not too surprised.
As expected of the proud King of Mercenaries.
Wang Chong inwardly chuckled. The Gangke King had been quite famous for his pride in his last life. Although the Gangke were mercenaries of the Western Regions, they did not accept mercenary contracts from just anyone. At present, the Gangke were interacting with these Han for the first time, so it would be quite strange indeed if they had agreed to a meeting.
"It's fine. This food is a gift. Sir Yuan, let's go."
Wang Chong gave a faint smile and waved his hand, turning and beginning to leave as Yuan Shusong looked on in astonishment. The five thousand soldiers of the Qixi Protectorate army also began to slowly move, leaving the territory of the Gangke Tribe.
When the army had traveled around one thousand zhang, Yuan Shusong turned to Wang Chong with an embarrassed expression, his heart unable to accept this. "Lord Marquis, are we really leaving?"
When he received Wang Chong's summons, he had believed that he would be able to offer some help. The Young Marquis was known throughout the world, and though Yuan Shusong was much older than he was, he deeply admired this descendant of Duke Jiu.
But on this first outing, he had to return in failure.
"Relax—the Gangke will definitely agree. But going faster might not get us closer to our goal. We've communicated our good intentions in this first meeting, and that's enough. As for what comes next… let's just watch and see how the situation changes."
Wang Chong's lips curved into a profound smile.
The moment Wang Chong said these words, a mounted Qixi scout arrived.
"Milord! We've found the target ahead! Around two thousand people, currently riding toward Gangke territory."
Yuan Shusong was left dazed by these words as he subconsciously looked to Wang Chong. It appeared that Wang Chong had made more plans than he had imagined.
"Haha, Sir Yuan, there's no need to worry. Let's quietly watch how things develop."
Wang Chong waved his hand, and the five thousand soldiers came to a stop several thousand zhang from the borders of the Gangke territory. After a few seconds, they could all hear the rumbling of hooves. A group of more than two thousand natives of the Western Regions appeared, all with deep eyes, high noses, and loose hair. They flailed sabers, spears, and cudgels, yowling and shouting as they charged toward the Gangke Tribe's territory.
Halfway through their charge, these two thousand people clearly noticed Wang Chong's men, but they only heartily laughed and continued to brashly charge toward the Gangke.
Yuan Shusong's eyes widened in recognition. The Saka1 were an extremely powerful nomadic people of the Western Regions, divided into many tribes. Their most defining traits were their tall bodies, powerful bones, and aggressive natures. These people had a habit of using lime to draw an 'X' on the right sides of their horses.
The Saka enjoyed bullying the weaker tribes, and countless such tribes of the Western Regions had been extinguished under their hooves.
Wang Chong smiled, already knowing what Yuan Shusong wanted to say.
In the distance, the two thousand Saka had already traveled deep into Gangke territory. The Gangke had gathered and formed a stalemate with the Saka. It was not possible to hear what was being said at this distance, but the Gangke appeared very agitated, flailing their arms as they spoke. Their actions only seemed to elicit laughter from the Saka.
"Lord Marquis, the Saka have always been powerful, and they enjoy enslaving these small and weak tribes, often plundering sheep, cattle, and horses from them. The Gangke were already lacking in food. I'm afraid…"
Yuan Shusong had turned to Wang Chong and was still speaking when screams suddenly filled the air. Trembling, Yuan Shusong turned back around and saw that several Gangke had been run through by halberds. The laughing Saka had suddenly begun a brazen slaughter on Gangke lands.
The Saka had clearly come prepared, and a volley of arrows was immediately launched at the Gangke. Meanwhile, other Saka began to charge, their sabers, spears, and cudgels hacking here and there. The Gangke were unarmed and defenseless, not to mention malnourished, so they were simply no match for the Saka. Their wretched screams rang through the air.
"Wait for my order," Wang Chong indifferently said.
Roooar! At this moment, a furious bellow thundered over the land, and a seething wave of energy exploded from the tent in the center of the Gangke lands. Such was the strength of this aura that ten-some Saka who weren't even close were immediately sent flying along with their horses. So abundant was this energy that even the horses of Wang Chong's army, several thousand zhang away, neighed in alarm.
"What sort of person is this? How formidable!"
"This person is at least of the Saint Martial realm. I didn't think the Gangke had such a terrifying expert!"
The Qixi Protectorate army commanders around Wang Chong were all shocked, their eyes wide open. These Gangke had seemed like beggars on their first meeting, filthy and smelly, and these officers had paid them no regard. But none of them had predicted that the Gangke would be hiding this sort of expert.
The Gangke King has finally come out!
Wang Chong squinted, his eyes bursting with anticipation.
Wang Chong was not completely clueless as to the relationship between the Gangke and the Saka. Just as Yuan Shusong had said, the two tribes had a relationship of master and slave. As one of the Saka's vassal tribes, the Gangke owed tribute of cows, sheep, and horses to the Saka, and the Saka used this method to hamper the growth of the Gangke.
But even though the Gangke had no capacity to fight, their leader, the Gangke King, was the largest variable, an extremely terrifying and concealed Saint Martial expert.
In the distance, with that explosion of energy, a tall and thin Gangke man, clothed in animal skins and exuding a heroic aura, walked out of the tattered tent. His gaze was frosty and suffused with a vicious killing intent, and those brash and unstoppable Saka were instantly reduced to tiny ants.
"Qie-ke-pa, jie-xiang-si, mo-qi-fa…"
The Gangke King's eyes shone like lightning as his furious voice thundered over a radius of several li, causing warhorses to whinny in fright. Even Wang Chong, with his understanding of the Gangke King, couldn't help but mentally reel in shock at this frightening demeanor.
This was a true lion!
"What did he say?"
Wang Chong turned to Yuan Shusong.
"The leader of the Gangke is angry and has told them to immediately withdraw," Yuan Shusong said as he looked into the distance, this conflict completely absorbing his focus. In his early years, Yuan Shusong had wandered the Western Regions, interacting with the Gangke Tribe, but he had never known them to be hiding such a formidable individual. The Stellar Energy around the Gangke King was like destructive lightning, making him appear like a god.
On the other side, the Saka seemed to care little about the powerful Gangke King. Several formidable Saka leaders surrounded the Gangke King and began to berate him.
"Those Saka are threatening the Gangke leader. If he dares to do anything, they will kill all the Gangke," Yuan Shusong immediately translated.
The Saka's threats were clearly effective. The Gangke King appeared extremely apprehensive, his majestic aura shrinking as if out of fear that innocents would be harmed if he attacked.
"Pass on my order. We can move now."
Wang Chong faintly smiled and swung down his arm.
The world instantly began to quake as the five thousand Qixi Protectorate army soldiers began to mobilize. Clangclangclang!Thousands of war halos burst from under their feet like dazzling flames, and this army began to charge into Gangke territory like a mighty flood.
The killing intent of five thousand soldiers charging at once seemed to take physical form, immediately drawing the intention of the stalemated parties.
"It's the Qixi Protectorate army!"
"What are they planning? Have the Tang forgotten the rules? What do our dealings with the Gangke have to do with them?"
"Send a few people to talk with them. We've worked together with the Tang before!"
Several Saka shouted and immediately turned to head the Qixi Protectorate army off, but what awaited them was cold steel. Swish! Cold light flashed and blood spurted. Several Saka, their mouths open as if wanting to speak, were immediately beheaded, their corpses gushing blood as they fell from their horses.
All the Saka were left stunned by this sight. They had never imagined that the Great Tang soldiers would dare to attack them, and this was to help these 'filthy pigs' of the Western Regions!
"This lot of bastards! They actually dare to attack us!"
"They dare to break the rules! Kill them!"
The eyes of the Saka turned red, as even the slowest of them now realized that these Tang were aiming for them. In a flash, the blood surged to the tops of their heads, and they began to roar and flail their weapons as they charged at the five thousand Qixi soldiers.
Although the Tang ruled the Western Regions, as the fierce Saka saw it, these formidable Tang only had some tens of thousands of people living in the region, with the bulk of the long-term population being made up of the various tribes of the Western Regions. The Tang only ruled the Western Regions on the surface, with the Saka serving as the true leaders behind the curtains.
1.The Saka, also known as the Scythians, were a nomadic people of the steppe. However, they were eventually forced south, out of the steppe, due to conflict with other steppe nomads such as the Xiongnu, settling in both India as well as the Tarim Basin, with some of the Saka settling in cities like Khotan and Kashgar.