The Human Emperor Chapter 898
Chapter 898: Turko Tibetan Alliance
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"Duwu Sili, stop!"
Huoshu Huicang's face contorted in shock as he rushed forward to stand in front of Dalun Ruozan. At almost the same time, Dusong Mangpoje unleashed a powerful energy to cloak Dalun Ruozan and keep out Duwu Sili's energy.
Ü-Tsang and the Turks had never been a unified whole. Long before the Great Tang had entered the Western Regions, the two sides had been locked in a fierce struggle. If not for the fact that a third party, Great Tang, had invaded and taken control of the entire Western Regions, taking the focus of both the Tibetans and the Turks, the two parties would still have been fighting.
Although there were no longer many conflicts between Ü-Tsang and the Western Turks, if they succeeded in defeating the Great Tang, the two sides would once again be enemies. In such circumstances, Duwu Sili probably did not mind eliminating Dalun Ruozan.
"Relax. Duwu Sili will not attack me."
Dalun Ruozan waved his hand as he walked out from the protection of Dusong Mangpoje and Huoshu Huicang, confidently and leisurely going to welcome Duwu Sili.
"Irkin, welcome back!"
Duwu Sili stared at Dalun Ruozan, his eyes constantly shifting, but in the end, he broke into a hearty laugh.
"Haha, good! Great Minister is quite the bold one!"
After this long bout of laughter, the tension between the two sides greatly eased. The Five Great Ministers of the Ü-Tsang Empire were on the Western Turkic Khaganate's must-kill list, a result of long grudges that no one knew the exact details to anymore. But for Dalun Ruozan to so frankly and unconcernedly meet him on this first meeting showed a daring that Duwu Sili had to express his admiration for.
"How is it? What is the situation of the Tang?"
As Duwu Sili spoke, he looked over the hills to the distant city of Talas. The sight of those two long lines of steel walls made even someone like him slightly arch his brows in surprise.
"What a swift reaction! Someone of Great Minister's abilities was not able to sneak past their defenses?"
"Great General should not be too careless," Dusong Mangpoje cautioned in his mellow voice as he walked out from behind Dalun Ruozan. "That fellow might be young, but he is the Young Marquis of the Great Tang, so favored that the Sage Emperor personally conferred upon him a courtesy name, making him the Son of Heaven's disciple! We've already lost to him several times, and even your Black Wolf Yabgu died at his hands."
Duwu Sili said nothing, but his brows slightly furrowed. It had been the Tibetans that had lost several times, not the Western Turkic Khaganate, and Tibetan failures did not mean the Turks were incompetent. But when he thought to speak these words, the phrase 'Black Wolf Yabgu' immediately made him swallow them back down. In the battle over Qixi Armory, he had lost a Brigadier General in the Black Wolf Yabgu, and the Khagan's Fourth Prince had even been captured, forcing the Khaganate to pay two hundred thousand of their finest-quality horses. Ü-Tsang was probably well aware of this entire affair.
It was like the pot calling the kettle black. Neither side could really claim that they had fared any better!
"There's no need for you to worry about the Black Wolf Yabgu. After all, I came this time for his sake. No matter what, I'll be killing that brat personally!"
Duwu Sili's hawkish eyes swept over the land, quickly locking onto Wang Chong in the sea of Tang soldiers.
"Haha, then it seems like we are all agreed!"
Dalun Ruozan faintly chuckled. Ü-Tsang and the Western Turks, mortal foes in the Western Regions, were joining together in an unprecedented alliance. And before this, Dalun Ruozan had only communicated with Duwu Sili once through messenger bird.
Although they had heard of each other, they had never met.
But at this moment, Dalun Ruozan was confident that Duwu Sili would be his firmest ally in this battle.
"What have the Arabs said?"
Duwu Sili did not argue or quibble, immediately getting to the point. While the Tibetans and Western Turks had allied, the crucial part was still the Arabian Empire on the other side of the battlefield. It was precisely by the invitation of the Arabian Empire that this alliance had come to be in the first place.
The alliance had also been one of Duwu Sili's conditions for agreement.
Otherwise, once the Western Turkic Khaganate helped the Arabs in dealing with the Great Tang, the Arabs could turn around and attack the Western Turks, and the Turks would have accomplished nothing but dropped a rock on their own feet. The Turks were a nomadic people who lived over an expansive area, so they also had an understanding of the Arabian Empire.
This was an existence even stronger than the Ü-Tsang Empire!
If it hadn't been necessary, the Western Turkic Khaganate would never be willing to fight for the sake of the Arabian Empire.
"Be at ease. Everything has been taken care of. I've already written to the Arab Governor of the East, and he has guaranteed that if we emerge victorious, he will divide up the Western Regions with our Ü-Tsang and the Western Turks," Dalun Ruozan calmly said, his every move suffused with confident assurance.
"But the Arabs have always been exceedingly ambitious. If we win and then they turn against us, won't we have invited a wolf into the house? Has Great Minister thought about what to do then?" Duwu Sili straightforwardly asked.
"Hah, I naturally considered this possibility."
Dalun Ruozan gave a soft chuckle, apparently having expected this question.
"Thus, I've already agreed with the Arab Governor of the East that if we win this battle, we will maintain this alliance and work together through Anxi, Qixi, Longxi, and finally assault the capital of the Great Tang, in the end dividing up all of the Central Plains between us!"
Like a thrown rock stirring a thousand ripples in a lake, Dalun Ruozan's soft chuckle caused Dusong Mangpoje, Huoshu Huicang, and Duwu Sili to shudder as massive waves raged in their mind. Dalun Ruozan knew the languages and writing systems of many countries, and his correspondence with Abu Muslim had been carried out in purely Arabic.
Dusong Mangpoje and Huoshu Huicang only knew that both parties had agreed to fight against the Great Tang, but Dalun Ruozan had not spoken about the exact details, leaving the pair ignorant. They had originally believed that this collaboration would stop at just defeating the Great Tang here. They had never expected that Dalun Ruozan had agreed to continue the advance together with the Arab Governor of the East to partition the Great Tang!
So bold was this idea that even Great Generals like Dusong Mangpoje and Huoshu Huicang felt a deep shock.
If this venture succeeded, the Tibetans, Western Turks, and Arabs would be forming an alliance of unprecedented power. This alliance of three empires might really succeed in discarding the old map of the continent and creating a completely new one, realizing the ambitions of both the Western Turkic Khaganate and the Ü-Tsang Empire.
The Celestial Wolf Great General Duwu Sili heartily laughed in response, his excited eyes erupting with a dazzling light.
"Dalun Ruozan, I truly did not judge you wrongly. You have guts! The Arabs haven't stabilized their position, haven't even defeated Gao Xianzhi, and have even less understanding of the Central Plains. That Abu Muslim would never propose such a condition. It was probably your idea, right? A wise minister indeed… of the Four Great Ministers of Ü-Tsang's Four Royal Lineages, you are ranked first. I was not wrong in agreeing to your alliance. Relax. I can agree to this alliance in Ishbara Khagan's place. Once we win this battle, let us divide the whole world!"
With these final words from Duwu Sili, the thousands of Western Turkic cavalry, including the elite Celestial Wolf Cavalry, surged forward to take their place on the hills closest to Talas. The silver-armored Celestial Wolf Cavalry and the golden-red-armored Mutri Great Cavalry stood to the left and right, an unprecedented array of forces exerting an enormous pressure from those hills.
At this moment, two mortal foes had become true allies!
Clang! Clang! Clang!
Outside the walls of Talas, at the second line of defense, thousands of craftsmen were hammering away at the steel walls, sending countless sparks into the air. With each blow, the steel defenses grew tougher and tougher. As the beehives were installed atop the walls, this fortification in these foreign lands to the west of the Cong Mountains became a wall of death.
Thousands of steel modules, thousands of beehives, and all other kinds of armaments…
It was only at this moment that Wang Chong's ample preparations over the last two months finally showed their true power. But despite all this, the atmosphere failed to relax, only growing more tense. Everyone could see that new banner of the golden wolf on the hills as well as that destructive storm of energy rising from the Western Turkic Great General.
The formidable figures of the Mutri Great Cavalry and Celestial Wolf Cavalry were like hungry wolves, their presence making the hearts of the Tang sink. Those three Great Generals standing side by side with Dalun Ruozan were even more demoralizing, the pressure so heavy that they found it difficult to breathe.
To the west, the Arabs continued their slow and confident advance. The Gangke King and thousands of Tang soldiers stood ready behind the first line of defense, all of them focused and attentive. But at the second line of defense, Wang Chong, Wang Yan, Li Siye, and Cheng Qianli, four of the highest Tang commanders, stood in a row, none of them paying attention to what was going on behind them.
The atmosphere was heavy and tense.
"Lord Protector-General, what is your strategy for this battle?" Gao Xianzhi asked as he looked forward.
The Anxi Protectorate army had only around ten thousand soldiers left, and if one added the mercenaries in the city, they had around thirty thousand, a far smaller force than the Qixi Protectorate army. In terms of troop strength, there was no doubt that Wang Chong was the true commander-in-chief of this battle. Gao Xianzhi was only an assistant.
"Hah, soldiers are used to block an enemy and earth is used to dam the waters! This battle was inevitable," Wang Chong indifferently said. "The Great Tang has remained quiet for far too long. A war is needed so that everyone understands that the Great Tang still stands tallest amongst all the countries of the world, is still the strongest existence in this world!"
His words caused the eyes of Gao Xianzhi, Wang Yan, and Cheng Qianli to fly open in surprise. Their hearts began to stir as if a long-silent flame had suddenly blazed to life.
It was true! The Great Tang had been silent for far too long!
After all, that Great Tang in all its sharpness had once dared to rely on some several hundred thousand soldiers to vanquish all its surrounding foes and conquer all the nearby capitals. With eight thousand cavalry, it had dared to pursue the hundreds of thousands of soldiers of the Great Turkic Khaganate, causing them to flee in such panic that they even abandoned the Khagan's court!
If this were still that most valiant, elite, militant, and domineering Great Tang, would there be so many trifling foes who would dare to recklessly test its edge?