The Human Emperor Chapter 873
Chapter 873: Arrival At The Battlefield
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Rumble! The charge of the Tang army caused a hint of turmoil to run through the distant Arab army.
"Bastard! How could there be this many Tang soldiers? Why didn't we get any reports about this!!!"
On a distant hill, a fully-armored Arab officer furiously cursed in Arabic, his eyes wide open in rage, his entire face contorted as he gazed at the vast and intimidating army before him.
The order he had been given said that there might be an army of twenty to thirty thousand approaching Talas. Although it wasn't certain if this was a Tang army, out of an abundance of caution, his superiors had decided to send a force of around seven thousand cavalry to check it out. The Abbasid Caliphate was a country of war. All of its people, from top to bottom, were practiced fighters. This force of cavalry was riding the mighty Arabian steeds. This was a force strong enough to deal with sixty to seventy thousand soldiers, but this enemy had even more soldiers than that.
The Arabs did not shrink from battle, but this army clearly did not consist of ordinary soldiers. This forbidding and imposing momentum and sharp aura were clearly indicative of a veteran army, elites amongst elites.
Only a madman would take seven thousand soldiers to contend against an army of more than one hundred thousand such soldiers.
"Retreat! Hurry and withdraw!"
"Someone! Report this to Lord Governor!"
Screams and shouts filled the air as the seven thousand Arab cavalrymen panicked and began to retreat. Meanwhile, the vast army of reinforcements from Qixi seemed to swallow up the earth as it unstoppably surged forward.
In a place around seven or eight li from Talas, a region of low hills, the cold winds blew and the grass swayed and trembled. Although the nearby Talas had long been drowned in blood and corpses, this place was silent as if frozen in time.
But at this moment, a sharp cry tore through the skies, shattering the silence.
"The Tang army is coming!"
The Arab cavalry suddenly poured out from the hilltops, shouting in panic as they fled toward Talas. This sudden transformation quickly attracted the notice of the soldiers on the battlefield. The Arab forces stationed on the easternmost flank of the battlefield were the first to notice.
"What's going on?!"
"Aren't these Abdullah's men? Didn't they just leave? Why are they coming back!"
"Bastards! They're in such a mess. What in the world could frighten them so badly?"
The sight of these panicked soldiers immediately had some of the Arab warriors furious with rebuke. Arabia was a country built on war, and they worshiped courage and ferocity. Those who fought unflinchingly at the front lines had always received their utmost respect, while those timid ones who fled in panic were always the first to be cast aside.
"Hurry and inform Lord Governor! The Tang army has arrived!"
"The Tang reinforcements are here!"
One of the Arabian horsemen at the very front paid little attention to the rebukes of his comrades, using all his strength to crazily shout.
But those warnings only incurred further rebukes. The army split apart as a savage-faced Arab general rode out upon a mighty Arabian steed. His right hand rested on the scimitar at his waist while his body seethed with killing intent.
"The most elite soldiers of the Great Tang are right here. What other formidable soldiers could Anxi possibly have?
"Even if the Great Tang really did send reinforcements, what is there to be afraid of? We've gathered more than three hundred thousand soldiers here. Lord Governor has long ago ordered that any coward who flees on the battlefield will be immediately executed! Are these scoundrels seeking death?"
As the strongest existence on the continent, the Abbasid Caliphate had subdued countless states on its periphery, big and small. For this war, the Abbasid Caliphate had even gathered an army of more than three hundred thousand elites in Talas's vicinity. At a time like this, was there anything that could threaten them? What could possibly be worth fleeing in such panic?
But the Arab general soon found it impossible to say any more. Behind those fleeing Arab cavalry, some invisible pair of hands was seemingly shaking the hills, causing them to shudder and tremble. While small at first, the trembling grew more and more intense, and even the battlefield around Talas seemed to be shaking.
What is going on here?
The Arab general slightly paled. No force of seven to eight thousand could cause this intense trembling. Only an army of at least one hundred thousand could do something like this.
As the Arab general and his soldiers looked on, a black banner depicting a dragon was slowly raised over the hills, accompanied by a lofty and stalwart horseman.
One was followed by another, a third… In the blink of an eye, the hills were covered by thousands of cavalry, filling the horizon. These cavalry simply stood atop the hills, not chasing after the fleeing Arab cavalry. They were silent, their eyes coldly observing the battlefield.
As these cavalry stood in a distant stalemate with the countless Arabs, an indescribably oppressive air descended upon the battlefield. In a flash, the world was eerily still, with even the sounds of fighting seeming to dwindle.
The Arab general swallowed as he subconsciously took a step back, fear appearing in his eyes. He did not lack resolve, but the pressure exerted by this army was simply too great. These thousands of soldiers silently stood there, gazing at them with scorn and contempt, their eyes like mountains pressing down upon their chests and making it impossible to breathe.
"Impossible! How could the Great Tang still have such a powerful army?"
The Arab general's eyes were wide open in disbelief. Buzz! At this moment, he felt a strange sensation as the army in the center of the hills parted and a massive silver-white dragon banner was thrust into the air.
Beneath this banner, the Arab general finally set eyes on the commander of the Tang force. It was an apparently thin and frail youth, his horse a divine steed with hooves as white as snow. And yet his eyes glowed with contempt, blazed with the searing light of the sun. Powerful generals were arrayed around him like the stars shining around the moon.
"We've finally arrived!!"
Wang Chong looked into the distance from the top of the hill. After five days of marching, the army had finally arrived at Talas. From this vantage point, he could see blazing signal fires and earth covered with Arab soldiers and battle standards.
This was the first time Wang Chong was setting eyes on such a large Arab army. The Arabs had much larger physiques than the people of Mengshe Zhao, and they were much more aggressive than the people of Ü-Tsang. When tens of thousands of them gathered into an army, they exuded an aura that no other power or army on the Great Tang's border could match.
A black flame that devoured all!
This was the first impression Wang Chong got when he looked down upon the Arab army.
This uncountable sea of Arab soldiers had completely surrounded Talas, forming layer after layer.
This famous fortress of the Silk Road had long ago been deprived of its grandeur, its wall forced into an unbearable state of disrepair. Blood gushed down from the walls, imbuing them with a dark red luster. The sky seemed aflame as fires raged over the walls. On the distant hill, Wang Chong could already smell the pungent scent of blood carried along by the wind.
In the rear of the Arab army, catapults were flinging massive rocks through the air and into the city. Meanwhile, under the cover of the catapults, countless Arab soldiers wielding scimitars were scaling the walls along siege ladders.
The battle in the city was at a critical juncture.
After two months, the Anxi Protectorate army in the city was at its limit. Wang Chong could see countless Arab soldiers mounting the walls. Meanwhile, several Arab soldiers outside the gate were madly crashing a massive, ten-some-zhang battering ram into the gates.
The heavy steel gate was severely deformed, and he could tell at a glance that it wouldn't last for long.
"Feng Changqing was right. The Arabs really did launch an all-out offensive!"
Wang Chong only slightly creased his brow at this sight, caring little about this fact. No matter what sort of plan the Arabs had, the moment he appeared, everything was set. He would make Talas the place where the Arabs suffered their most crushing and miserable defeat.
With his mind buzzing, Wang Chong turned his gaze to the walls. At the most obvious place on the walls of Talas, Wang Chong finally spotted that majestic and renowned figure of the Western Regions. Standing atop the walls, he continued to slash at the Arab soldiers assaulting the walls while roaring out orders. His armor was so stained in blood that not a clean spot could be seen.
Gao Xianzhi seemed to be rooted on the walls, his feet fused into it. He appeared like a giant, standing tall and steady. No matter how many Arab soldiers charged at him, they would all be stopped at his feet, forever unable to break through.
Around him, Wang Chong could also see countless soldiers of the Anxi Protectorate army engaged in intense combat.
After two months of battle, each of them was at their limits, all of them so exhausted that they seemed ready to fall at any moment. But a pride in their bones continued to support them, allowing them to fight to the death on the walls. No one could know how they had lasted for so long, but each of them had managed to struggle through it with their own methods.
At this sight, even Wang Chong couldn't help but be deeply moved.