The Human Emperor Chapter 875
Chapter 875: Vicious Battle Clash Of East And West
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"Impossible! Since when did the East have such powerful cavalry!?"
In the rear of the Arab army, Umar felt his breathing stop, and his eyes narrowed. These tens of thousands of cavalry were the best men under his command and had accompanied him in conquests across the world, in suppressing numerous rebellions and revolts. They had even accompanied him in his battles against the Sassanid Empire1 and other ancient cultures.
But Umar had never imagined that such a skilled force of cavalry would be so thoroughly wrecked by a cavalry force from the east.
"Everyone, follow me!"
Almost at the same time, in the rear of the five thousand Wushang Cavlary, Sun Zhiming called out, gathering nearly ten thousand Qixi cavalry to take advantage of the gap in the Arab cavalry and slice through. Under this charge led by Sun Zhiming, the Arab cavalry were thrown into even greater turmoil.
On the other end, Chen Burang, Zhuang Zhengping, Chi Weisi, and the other 'future general stars' of Deflecting Blade Manor were leading the cavalry of the Annan Protectorate army and the mercenaries in their own separate charges. After more than a year of tough and bitter tempering, although they had still not reached the levels of Li Siye and Su Hanshan, they had slowly begun to mature, the insight, experience, and understanding of strategy they had developed in Deflecting Blade Manor allowing them to show the nascent forms of generals.
These skills that they had learned were far more effective on this battlefield than their personal strength, which was why Wang Chong had called them over from Deflecting Blade Manor.
The constant charges of the Tang army chose the weakest and most lethal points of the Arab formation. 'The art of war is the art of chess.' Whether it was Sun Zhiming, Chen Burang, or any of the others, all of them had been influenced by Wang Chong and had a thorough understanding of the art of war, as well as an extremely sensitive nose for opportunities on the battlefield.
One 'War Saint' in Wang Chong was already difficult enough to deal with, and now with all these future generals, the army of one hundred thousand displayed a strength far above normal.
This was the Great Tang's most valiant and most beautifully deployed army!
Boomboomboom! Screams continued to rip through the air, accompanying countless crashes and collisions. The tens of thousands of Arab cavalry were swiftly pulverized. Even though the Arabs were muscular and natural fighters, this war was not a competition between individuals, but a battle between groups.
Once the Arabs were cut and divided into small groups, even the strongest of them was insignificant.
Bangbangbang! Fierce collisions rang out as the Arab cavalry were attacked from multiple angles, charged against time and time again, and slumped down, dying upon their horses. In a few seconds the Arabs had suffered seventeen to eighteen thousand losses, the speed of their defeat leaving them stunned and dismayed.
Led by the future general stars of Deflecting Blade Manor and the future Invincible Great General Li Siye, the cavalry and their Arrow Formations had a might that was nigh impossible to imagine!
Fierce neighing cut through the battlefield. While Sun Zhiming and the others were leading repeated charges through the Arab cavalry, Li Siye had already punched through the whole of the formation. Together with his Ferghana steed, he savagely smashed into the Arab shield wall.
"Careful! Raise the shields! Stop that Tang!"
"Kill them! All who retreat will be executed!"
Urgent orders rang out over the battlefield, suffused with fear and panic. Bangbangbang! Metal clanged on the eastern edge of the Talas battlefield as countless Arab soldiers tensed their muscles and put all their strength into holding fast their massive metal shields.
But what came in reply was a metallic bang…
Clang! Li Siye's massive Wootz Steel sword had cut that massive shield and the Arab soldier behind it into two, striking fear into the hearts of the surrounding soldiers. The Abbasid Caliphate was an empire founded on war, and their armor and weapons were forged to the highest standard. Those heavy shields had been forged from the best iron. Not only were they capable of withstanding the full charge of enemy cavalry, but even the sharpest Arab swords found it difficult to shave even a sliver off them. The reputation of these shields was known throughout the Western Regions.
No one had expected this giant of a Tang general to cleave through this shield like it had been made of paper.
"No matter the price, hurry and stop him!"
"Axemen, shieldmen, archers, hurry!"
"Don't let him charge over!"
The Arab infantry formation fell into turmoil, awed and intimidated by Li Siye's apparently divine might. Countless Arabs rushed forward with their shields to stop Li Siye and cover up the gap, but they were too late.
The thousands of Wushang Cavalry poured in behind Li Siye, their Wootz Steel swords slicing straight through the famed Arab shields. By the time the Wushang Cavalry's Arrow Formation had finished charging through, the initially small gap that Li Siye had cut open was now a massive and gaping wound that threw the entire Arab army into chaos.
Cavalry were the undisputed champions, the strongest of all soldier types. Any infantry that lacked large shields to slow the speed of cavalry would never be able to stop a charging horseman. Even the most formidable of the Arab infantry and their pugnacious natures did not make them an exception.
The Arab infantry formation swiftly crumbled under the assault of the five thousand Wushang Cavalry. These were the strongest cavalry in the history of the Great Tang, the world's number one cavalry force. In these foreign lands, they had finally displayed their crushing and invincible power.
Not even the infamously militant Arabs could stop them.
"Ten Charges Ten Victories!"
Li Siye's voice thundered in the skies. Boom! The five thousand Wushang Cavalry instantly scattered apart, and the turmoil near the gap began to spread ten times faster to infect the rest of the army.
Deep within the army, Umar, the Arabian Arrow, trembled in shock at this scene, his entire face contorted.
As a famed Arab general, Umar had conquered countless adversaries, but none had been like this force of Tang cavalry, exuding such an aura of pressure and menace. For the first time, Umar could sense the aura of death. He still had around forty thousand troops, but these numbers gave him no comfort.
The Mamelukes! Only the Mamelukes can deal with them!
At this moment, Umar could only think of that strongest force in the empire, the terrifying Mamelukes. Only the Mamelukes were capable of this sort of feat, crushing the other Arab cavalry in such a dominating fashion.
"All soldiers, hear my order! Assemble and attack those Tang soldiers!"
Despite his consternation, Umar still did not give up, still did not surrender. As the illustrious Arabian Arrow, Umar had always been tough and tenacious. No matter how formidable his opponent was, Umar would never retreat. He would only ever pick one choice: utterly crushing his powerful foes.
"The twenty-third infantry unit, the twenty-fourth, twenty-fifth, and twenty-seventh shield units, get up there and stop their charge!
"The seventh, ninth, and tenth infantry units… all of you reinforce the line!
"Everyone, no matter the cost, we must stop that Tang."
Umar sat on his horse with a straight back and sharp eyes, orders constantly streaming from his mouth. The entire army complied with his orders, speedily working to relieve their comrades. Umar was the only general on the eastern lines capable of maintaining such clarity and discipline in his army in the face of the Wushang Cavalry's charge.
As one of the elite Arab generals, Umar was well aware that even the fiercest soldiers could not be invincible. Not even the Abbasid Caliphate's Mamelukes were all-powerful. The most terrifying aspect of cavalry was their speed. If that speed could be brought down, then cavalry were no different from infantry.
If there was no means of dropping their speed, he would just use lives to make up for the deficiency.
This was the simplest tactic Umar could think of.
"For General Umar!"
"For the Caliphate!"
The Arab soldiers turned savage and vicious. The ferocity of the Wushang Cavalry had not only failed to make the Arabs retreat, but had even stimulated their fighting and killing intent, causing countless Arabs to surge forward. The fierce and pugnacious nature of the Arabs was clearly bared. The Tibetans were also a pugnacious people, but comparing them to the Arabs was like comparing the moon to the sun. They weren't even on the same level.
The aggressive nature of the Tibetans was limited in that it only went down to their blood, but the aggressive nature of the Arabs had bored deep into the marrow of their bones.
Rooar! Bellows shook the heavens. Amidst the surging flood of Arab soldiers was a particularly striking group of soldiers clad in dazzling golden armor. Each member of this group was nearly two meters tall and much more muscular than the other Arabs. All of them used massive axes and scimitars, moving with such speed that they crossed several hundred zhang in mere moments. Meanwhile, the bright war halos under their feet made them seem like divine weapons.
1. The Sassanids were a Persian empire that ruled the Middle East from the third century to the middle of the seventh century, but it was toppled and replaced by the Arab Rashidun Caliphate. Exhausted from years of warfare with the Roman Empire and its own civil wars, it swiftly fell to Arab incursions that began in 632, though its last emperor, Yazdegerd III, would only be killed in 651. Given that it is now around 751, we must either conclude that Umar is very, very old, or he fought against some sort of Sassanid rump state, not actually participating in the initial Arab conquest.