The Human Emperor Chapter 858
Chapter 858: News On The Hyderabad Ore
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"Bastard! Never have any of the leaders of the Great Tang dared to say such words. You will regret them!"
The Saka leader was so angry that his entire body was trembling. His face darkened as he spat out these words, and then he immediately turned his horse back around.
The thousands of Saka cavalry immediately began to roar, their eyes scarlet and the air seething with killing intent as they charged. The times had already changed. In the past, the Saka would have never dared to recklessly attack a Tang army, at least not with such resolve.
But with the fearsome Anxi Great General Gao Xianzhi besieged in Talas with his thirty thousand elites and forty thousand allied foreign soldiers, the map of the Western Regions had changed. This was a generation of revolution, and a single Qixi Protector-General was not worth the Saka's fear.
After all, this was their home.
The warhorses got closer and closer, the thundering hooves placing a heavy pressure on every person's heart. All the Gangke had just about finished putting on the armor that Wang Chong had given them. Taking up the weapons, they gathered behind the Gangke King.
Nearby, the five thousand soldiers of the Qixi Protectorate army stood on guard, a lofty and immovable mountain.
Winds would precede a storm, and all of them understood that they were about to confront a foe of unprecedented power, fight a battle in which they were greatly outnumbered!
Two hundred paces, one hundred paces, fifty paces…
The distance was growing smaller and smaller.
The thousands upon thousands of Saka all had vicious expressions, all of them roaring, but when they were at the height of their power, Wang Chong faintly smiled and finally took action. Boom! Halos clanged and clattered in the air, and in the blink of an eye, they had burst blazing brightly out of Wang Chong's body to sweep over the battlefield.
The Bane of the Battlefield Halo!
In a flash of light, Wang Chong had unleashed three Bane of the Battlefield Halos, which engulfed the Saka like a storm. As everyone looked on in shock, the Saka cavalry began to deflate like punctured balloons, their cultivation levels plunging at incredible speeds.
At this moment, the Saka had faces the color of paper, while all the Gangke were invigorated.
In a flash, like a mountainside giving way, the Gangke and the Qixi soldiers suddenly surged forward, charging into the Saka ranks. Other than the best cavalry of the world, no one could defend against three Bane of the Battlefield Halos, and the Saka were no exception.
Under the combined assault of the Qixi Protectorate army and the Gangke, the thirty thousand Saka instantly collapsed, blood and screams filling the air as corpses covered the earth.
Three days later, a piece of shocking news spread through the Western Regions.
The infamous Saka, one of the strongest mercenary tribes of the Western Regions, had been defeated by the Great Tang's Qixi Protectorate army together with the Gangke Tribe. With the Great Tang's ardent support, the Gangke had swept through the Saka tribes. The men were killed while the women and children were dragged away, and all the cows, sheep and warhorses were taken away by the Gangke.
The Gangke that the rest of the Western Regions had called filthy pigs had displayed enormous strength in their battles with the Saka. They were fierce, tenacious, and fearless of death, presenting a completely different Gangke from the ones that they knew. A Gangke with armor, weapons, and a horse could even defeat a Saka in a one-on-one battle.
All the mercenary tribes of the Western Regions were stunned by this news.
But the most shocking of all was the proclamation made through the death of the Saka by the Qixi Protector-General backing the Gangke.
The Saka were exterminated because they were fickle and went back on their oaths. In the Western Regions, any mercenary tribe that went back on their mercenary contract and casually betrayed their employer would end up just like the Saka!
The news left the countless mercenary tribes quivering in fear, with many of them thinking back on their past conduct in panic. The originally chaotic mercenary situation in the Western Regions was given a massive blow by this event. Meanwhile, the rise of the Gangke made some other mercenary tribes see an enormous chance.
After the Saka were exterminated, their wealth, women, cows, and sheep were not taken by the Tang, but given to the Tang's helpers, the Gangke!
Danger and opportunity went hand in hand, and the mercenary tribes of the Western Regions could see that with Wang Chong's appearance, things were changing.
Time slowly passed. Wang Chong, Li Siye, Chen Bin, Cheng Sanyuan, Su Shixuan, Zhao Jingdian, Xu Qiqin… everyone worked together like parts of a machine, all of them madly whirring and revolving in preparation for the upcoming war against the Arabs.
The entire world was silent, but in the deepest depths of this silence, thunder was rumbling.
In the distant northwest, west of the northern Tibetan Plateau, lay Greater and Lesser Balur.
A black fortress stood here, with a massive chasm before it and a steep cliff behind it. There was a boom as this city on the easternmost border of Lesser Balur suddenly opened its gate and let down the drawbridge. This bridge was more than one zhang wide and ten-some zhang long, long enough to span the gap between the cliffs and allow passage over the chasm.
At this moment, the rolling of wheels could be heard, and black carriages trundled out of the gate, loaded with Hyderabad ore. Around these carriages were Sindhi monks, their skin pitch-black and caked with dirt. Behind them were Kong Zi-an and his one thousand Wushang Cavalry.
Their armor was covered in deep and hair-raising gashes, and peppered with gaps and chinks. Through these chinks, one could see that the skin underneath was black, as if the owner had fallen into a mine full of sludge. Compared to when they had set off, Kong Zi-an and his men seemed like they had been through a battle which they had barely managed to escape alive.
Each of them had haggard expressions and bodies covered in wounds, but their eyes remained bright and energetic, blazing with a flame that would never extinguish.
"We've finally returned!"
Upon seeing the faint silhouette of the Tibetan Plateau, Kong Zi-an gave a long sigh. In these twenty-some days, only he understood what had happened in that journey deep into Sindhu. As he watched the sun slowly rise from the east, Kong Zi-an felt like he was seeing the daylight for the first time in a while.
"Let's go. General is still waiting for us on the plateau."
Kong Zi-an pointed his sword forward as he spoke to his troops. With a shout, he galloped off, the one thousand Wushang Cavalry following close behind. These men together with the eighty-some Sindhi monks continued their journey to the plateau.
Behind them, within the black fortress, countless people silently watched as they left, their expressions full of respect.
In these twenty-some days, they had seen the legends these Tang soldiers had carved out for themselves in northern Sindhu and Greater and Lesser Balur, what miracles they had wrought.
"These are true heroes!"
The muscular lord of the city took off his helmet and gave a respectful bow to their retreating backs.
This was the respect afforded to the truly brave!
On the northern Tibetan Plateau, banners snapped in the wind. Li Siye, mounted on his Ferghana steed, was still waiting on the plateau like an immovable mountain. Over these twenty-some days, Li Siye and his one thousand soldiers had silently waited for the return of their comrades.
"Milord, they're coming!" an ecstatic voice declared.
Li Siye followed the scout's finger and saw that a long convoy was slowly approaching. He could tell at a glance who was leading it.
"It's Kong Zi-an!"
During this period, Li Siye's face had been as unchanging as a rock, the same no matter what the weather was, but when he saw Kong Zi-an's convoy, he broke into a beaming smile.
The Hyderabad ore!
Only Li Siye and Kong Zi-an knew the true significance of this special ore to Wang Chong's five thousand Wushang Cavalry. Without Wootz Steel weapons, the Wushang Cavalry could not be considered the best in the world. Without these unstoppable and peerlessly sharp weapons, the Wushang Cavalry could not display their maximum power, and without that, there would be no way of salvaging that battle on the other side of the Cong Mountains, no way of defeating that powerful foe.
Amongst all things, this Hyderabad ore that could be forged into Wootz Steel weapons was a true strategic resource, the thing which Wang Chong placed the most importance on. Li Siye had stood sentinel here for so many days precisely so that he could see this sight.
"Kong Zi-an, I've troubled you. When Lord Marquis sees this, he will definitely be ecstatic!"
Li Siye rushed over and patted Kong Zi-an on the shoulder.
Kong Zi-an half-kneeled and respectfully said, "This subordinate completed his mission!"
Li Siye's eyes were bright as he carefully examined the one thousand Wushang Cavalry behind Kong Zi-an. They had all gotten much thinner and much tanner, but they were also more vigorous, powerful and determined. Li Siye mentally gave an approving nod. He had been looking for an opportunity this entire time to train Kong Zi-an and temper his strength so that he could become an outstanding general who could take care of himself in battle.
From what he could see, this objective had been achieved.