The Human Emperor Chapter 905
Chapter 905: Wang Chongs Countermeasures
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Chen Burang's face was solemn as he replied, and it was apparent that he had been waiting for Wang Chong's order for some time.
"I will not let Lord Marquis down!"
Chen Burang gave a subservient bow, then he called over his warhorse and took off in a cloud of dust, riding toward Talas in pursuit of Zhang Shouzhi. With this taken care of, Wang Chong turned his gaze to deal with other matters.
"All infantry and axemen, take heed! Prepare to eliminate the wolf packs as they come in. Beehive team, get ready to sweep the field. Ballista teams, fire at will, and be ready to retreat at any time!
"Xue Qianjun, pass on my order to the first defense line. Have them use sand and dirt to cover the Arabian Kerosene and extinguish the fire!
"Craftsman teams, set up bunkers. Logistics teams, get ready to repair the ballistae!"
As Wang Chong issued these orders, his eyes remained wise and unperturbed, as if nothing in the world could shake him. The disordered army quickly and effectively executed these orders. A team was formed to hunt down the wolves that managed to get past the defense line, while another team set about using sand and dirt to quench the oily flames, swiftly bringing the blaze under control.
Although the flames were still burning, they were several times weaker and no longer as terrifying. More importantly, those clear and effective orders had immediately reestablished calm in the army. Even though people were still being smashed and burned to death, the Qixi Protectorate army soldiers all calmed down, as did the mercenaries of the Western Regions.
"Do you see that? In order to deal with the Tang, the Arabs and I prepared for a very long time, but he needed only a few moments to stabilize an army of more than one hundred thousand. Even those unorganized mercenaries from the Western Regions obeyed his orders. Just how many people possess this sort of ability for command and fast reaction time?"
On the eastern end of the battlefield, Dalun Ruozan stood atop a high hill, his hands held behind him, his eyes shining with a profound light as he looked into the distance. Even though Wang Chong was his enemy, Dalun Ruozan still had to sigh in admiration at Wang Chong's talent for the art of war.
Though the Ngari Royal Lineage had been destroyed, though two hundred thousand of its cavalry had been buried in the southwest, Dalun Ruozan had nothing to say about his loss. Some people had a talent that was like the blazing sun in the sky, so dazzling and radiant that no one could ignore it. Even their opponents would find it difficult to suppress a feeling that they were extremely lucky to fight against such an enemy.
"Alas, we are still enemies! With this sort of person here, neither the Tibetans nor the Western Turks will be able to sleep at night. This was also why I got in touch with General. This kind of person must be killed!"
Duwu Sili said nothing in reply, only turned to the refined Dalun Ruozan with a strange look on his face. Since their relationship was one of sworn enemies, Wang Chong naturally had to be killed. Admiring one's opponent on the battlefield was extremely odd behavior in Duwu Sili's eyes and was certainly not his style.
"Great Minister is truly an interesting person."
Duwu Sili's lips slowly perked into a smirk, one tinged with cruelty.
"I have never respected my enemies. I only like to kill them. Anyone who makes an enemy of me will only be meeting with death! My best enemies are the dead ones!"
Dalun Ruozan shot a glance at him and gave a faint smile in reply.
People were inevitably different from each other. The Great Peng was different from an eagle, and dragons were different from tigers. Duwu Sili was a fierce general, not a strategic one!
"Pass on my order! Increase the strength of the assault! In addition, begin attacking the Tang steel walls as well."
Dalun Ruozan waved his sleeve and gave orders without turning his head.
"Yes, Great Minister!"
A messenger quickly left with these new orders.
Dalun Ruozan gave a satisfied nod. Everything was on the right track. The Tibetan catapults and Arabian Kerosene were proving successful in suppressing the Tang, and if this continued, victory was assured.
"Great Minister, look over there!"
A shout of warning immediately attracted everyone's notice, originating from a Tibetan general at Dalun Ruozan's side. His arm was raised, his finger pointed not at the battlefield, but at the nearby looming city of Talas. Dalun Ruozan, Huoshu Huicang, Dusong Mangpoje, and even Duwu Sili were momentarily dazed, and then they turned to see what was being pointed at.
As they looked up the mottled, scorched, yet majestic walls of Talas, they could clearly see the gleam of metal on the southeast corner of the walls. Armored Great Tang soldiers were laboring on the walls, setting up a row of some extremely complicated and strange objects.
"What are they doing?" Duwu Sili blurted out. Despite his vast breadth of experience and his status as Western Turkic Great General, having even defeated Beiting Protector-General An Sishun once, he had never seen this sort of set-up.
"I do not know!"
Dalun Ruozan's reply was short, and he blinked constantly. His intelligence reports contained no information about these things, but purely on instinct, Dalun Ruozan had a very bad feeling. Regardless of what sort of steel objects were being installed on the walls of Talas, it was bad news for the Tibetans and Turks.
"Impossible! Could he have already planned for this?!"
Dalun Ruozan's face slightly paled as this thought occurred to him. He had never believed that Wang Chong would have predicted this battle like he had, so he logically shouldn't have made as many preparations as Dalun Ruozan had. But in the next moment, he heard an enormous boom.
A massive black silhouette flew through the air, flying past the three Great Generals and landing behind the hills.
Duwu Sili squinted, his slender eyes instantly exploding with a fierce light. Clang! Before anyone could see what Duwu Sili had done, a blazing saber glow soared into the skies like the rising sun, roaring like a dragon. Boom! With a flash, that black silhouette several dozen zhang in the air suddenly exploded into bits and pieces.
But the moment that Duwu Sili struck, another large boom came from the rear. One of the just-completed catapults, ready to throw its boulder, had been crushed by a large boulder dropping out of the air.
Dalun Ruozan, Duwu Sili, Huoshu Huicang, and Dusong Mangpoje all paled.
They understood everything now. Those steel installations Wang Chong had built up on the walls of Talas were actually also catapults, ones made of steel. And judging by their effects, they were even more powerful than the catapults that Dalun Ruozan had made out of wood!
Dalun Ruozan's catapult unit behind the hills was not the only one to fall under attack. On the western walls of Talas, the side facing the Arabs, Chen Burang swung down his right hand, and the heavy steel catapults immediately began to fire, flinging massive boulders high into the air. After drawing a massive arc through the air, crossing the entire western battlefield, they plummeted into the rear of the Arab army.
The dense shower of boulders descended upon the Arab catapults, crushing them into pieces. Boom! One of the boulders landed in the small mountain of metal balls piled next to a catapult, the enormous impact instantly pulverizing the balls and spilling the black kerosene over the ground.
One of the nearby Arab commanders reacted too slowly and ended up being splashed with the kerosene.
The face of the Arab commander contorted, but before he had any time to react, a fire arrow had already landed in the pool of kerosene. Fwoosh! Flames licked the air, setting that unlucky Arab commander on fire.
His miserable scream cut through the sky, opening the curtain on this wave of attacks.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
Under Chen Burang's command, boulder after boulder was flung from the walls of Talas into the Arab catapult unit. The attacks of catapults were random and had no accuracy to speak of, with a large error range. They were far inferior to ballistae in this aspect.
But the ferocity of catapults paired with Chen Burang's astonishing perception and hearing made for a terrifying combination. Although they were still not as accurate as ballistae, they were able to aim surprisingly well with Chen Burang's assistance.
Boomboomboom! Hundreds of stones were cast from the walls of Talas, aimed at the mountains of metal balls piled next to the catapults. One after another, these piles were smashed open, allowing the black kerosene to spill out and flow across the ground.
And each time, a fire arrow soon arrived, shooting into the ground to ignite a roaring fire. The Arab catapult unit immediately transformed into a sea of fire, discharging smoke so thick that the sunlight was blocked out.
"Change the target! Aim at the walls of Talas!"
"It's useless! They're too high up! They're far outside our range!"
The Arab officers attempted to change their targets to the walls of Talas, but at this moment, Gao Xianzhi's choice to occupy Talas first was showing its benefits. Wang Chong's steel catapults stationed on the walls had far greater range and power than those of the Tibetans or Arabs.