The Human Emperor Chapter 944
Chapter 944: The Behemoth Army
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"Bastard! He's being far too brazen!"
Huoshu Huicang's fists were clenched in rage as his teeth ground against each other. Dalun Ruozan had been able to hear that derision, and so had he. Not even the Tiger of the Empire, Zhangchou Jianqiong, had dared to act so arrogantly before them. He found Wang Chong simply too hard to endure.
"Great Minister, do not let him get to you. This bastard is trying to provoke us. You must not take the bait."
"Heh." Dalun Ruozan shook his head and reassured Huoshu Huicang, "How could I not see what his intentions are? But I truly did lose this round. I wholeheartedly accept my defeat."
Wang Chong's art of war was far too alien. Let alone the Central Plains, such an understanding of war and such a commander had never appeared in the entire world. Dalun Ruozan had wanted to learn Wang Chong's style and use his own strategies against him, but he had still lost.
But Dalun Ruozan merely shook his head to regain his composure, not at all dejected or beaten down.
"No matter what scheme Wang Chong employs or what sort of effect he wants to have on me, he's miscalculated. That is because his opponent in this battle is not us, but another! Huoshu Huicang, send this letter for me. In this war between the Arabs and the Great Tang, we have already done all we could, given them all the help we can. They will have to depend on themselves."
Huoshu Huicang took the letter from Dalun Ruozan and bowed.
Dalun Ruozan turned his horse around and began to ride back toward the Tibetan camp. After riding ten zhang, he stopped and turned back, looking past the majestic walls of Talas to the dense ranks of the Arab cavalry, which were readying themselves for battle. The Arab army today was clearly different, the atmosphere much more somber and more seething with killing intent.
Not long after Dalun Ruozan returned to his camp, a black hunting falcon descended into the Arab camp.
A few moments later, a burly Arab guard strode toward Abu Muslim, with the hunting falcon in one hand and the letter it was holding in the other.
"Lord Governor, the Tibetans have sent a letter!"
The messenger got down on one knee and respectfully offered the letter.
"Oh? Bring it here."
Abu Muslim sat up from his throne and reached out his right hand to take the letter. After glancing through it, he broke into a smile.
"Interesting! Ziyad, the Tibetans have sent us a letter. Take a look."
Standing behind Abu Muslim, Ziyad raised a brow and glanced at Abu Muslim in surprise before taking the letter.
"The Tibetans suffered heavy losses and will not be fighting today? What do the Tibetans mean by this?"
Ziyad raised his head, his face covered in disbelief.
"Hahah, didn't he say it clearly in the letter? In this battle, he hopes that we can deal with the Tang by ourselves and show off the true power of we Arabs," Abu Muslim lightly said.
"These Tibetans truly deserve death. Since we are allies, we should work together. Are they still thinking about preserving their strength?"
A flash of anger appeared in Ziyad's eyes. The Arabs did not need allies. At the very least, rarely in their history of conquest had they invited anyone to be their allies. In their view, agreeing to the alliance with the Tibetans was already a great favor. But now, the Tibetans were actually trying to avoid battle and preserve their strength, showing little appreciation for the kindness they had been shown.
"They cannot be blamed for this!"
Abu Muslim smiled and waved his hand to dispel Ziyad's anger.
"Dalun Ruozan said that they have already lost fifty to sixty thousand elite soldiers, as well as eighty thousand wolves, and he is certainly not lying there. Although these losses are nothing to us, it's no small number to the Tibetans and Western Turks. It's not strange at all for them to want to avoid battle and preserve their remaining strength. Moreover, the eyes are far more reliable than the ears. The Tibetans and Western Turks have never witnessed our formidable might and are presumably not actually convinced, so they would be unwilling to cast aside their lives to fight for us… Besides, as we conquer the Great Tang, we will need their assistance. "
Abu Muslim suddenly turned his head to look at Ziyad. "Ziyad, what of the two armies sent by His Majesty?"
"Both armies have already arrived and are ready for deployment. As soon as they receive the order, they can join the assault!" Ziyad smoothly replied. His demeanor was completely transformed, as if he had grasped upon some powerful trump card that was certain to crush the Tang.
"Very good! Pass on my order to have them get ready!"
The Western Turks and Tibetans to the east, the Tang in the center, and the Arabs to the west—these three mighty powers remained in a stalemate on the battlefield of Talas. Not one of them had made a move since sunrise, but everyone knew that this calm and quiet could not last for long.
To the west, clouds of dust rose into the air as the stomping of hooves shattered the calm, attracting the notice of everyone else on the battlefield.
A massive Arab general more than eight feet tall rode out on a bulky black warhorse, stopping some three hundred zhang from the walls of Talas.
"All Tang, listen here! Our Lord Governor has ordered me to give all of you one last chance. Surrender to Arabia and accept our rule, and we can still leave you a path to survival. Otherwise, today will be the day we destroy both you and your city!"
From the first defense line came silence, and then an uproar of laughter.
"Arab, should these words be coming from your mouth? You should hurry back and tell your governor that he should think hard about surrendering to the Great Tang!"
Sun Zhiming rode up on his own horse, standing in one of the gaps at the first defense line as he chortled.
The Arabs were truly arrogant. After suffering multiple defeats, they still dared to threaten the Great Tang and demand its surrender. Nothing could be more ridiculous in the world.
The Arab general in the distance silently took in this laughter, his expression grim and unmoved.
"If this is your choice, then let us begin the battle!"
The Arab general turned his head and gestured to his rear, and then…
An enormous sound came from the distance, so loud and clamorous that the din produced by several hundred thousand soldiers fighting would seem insignificant. And as this sound rang out over the world, the ground began to tremble.
Sun Zhiming, along with the thousands upon thousands of Tang soldiers behind the first defense line, began to pale.
"What is this?"
"The sound is coming from the west. What are the Arabs doing? Do they have some sort of secret weapon?"
The men became uneasy, but the trembling quickly faded away. But just when they thought everything was over, another jolt traveled through the earth, and then another. The enormous sound this time was even louder and sounded even closer.
"Just what is this? Why do they feel like footsteps?"
"Impossible! You're crazy! What sort of thing could have such heavy footsteps?"
The eyes of the soldiers were wide open. For some reason, even though they could see nothing, they all felt nervous and uneasy.
The sounds came one after another… and as the earth quivered, the stentorian sound grew even closer and closer. The earth, the steel walls, and the ballistae on the city walls all trembled.
The heavens shook with this beastly bellow, and a fierce gale swept over the earth, stirring up sand and stone. Countless people looked on in shock as an enormous figure, a veritable mountain, began to rise over the western horizon. This thing's body was so enormous that even the tall and muscular Arabs seemed like tiny ants.
"What is that!"
"How could there be such an enormous thing? I must be seeing things, I must be!"
"What kind of monster is this? Impossible!"
All of them found themselves at almost a complete loss for words. Even at this distance, they could sense the primal, brutal, and destructive aura of dread exuded by this black silhouette. The strength of humans, even of martial artists, was triflingly insignificant before this thing.
"What is this?"
Even Wang Chong and Gao Xianzhi, looking down from the western walls of Talas, were stunned by this sight. This surpassed the bounds of common sense, and not even Wang Chong, with a life of fighting battles big and small behind him, could ever remember encountering such a thing.
"I don't know! The Arabs have never shown such a thing before. I can't believe it! If I wasn't seeing it for myself, I would never believe that such a massive beast existed in this world!" Gao Xianzhi muttered, his shock no less than Wang Chong's.
Wars were affairs between mortals, but what he was seeing had clearly surpassed that realm. Even though it was still very far away, he could already see the outline of that animal. He thought of it as an animal because it could move on its own, and both Wang Chong and Gao Xianzhi could see the vigor running thickly through its body. In comparison, the vitality of a martial artist was like a drop in the ocean.
Like a rhinoceros, this animal had a single huge horn, though this one was golden. It had a fortress of a body and a pair of extremely red eyes. From a distance, one could still sense the desire to rend and destroy in those eyes. Anyone who saw them would feel a dread that came from the very depths of their souls, like they were ants being observed by a god.
Could this be… the Behemoth Army that once existed in the Abbasid Caliphate?!
Wang Chong's mind was in turmoil as he looked down from the walls. For the first time, he sensed that this battle was moving past what he remembered and entering unpredictable territory. The 'Behemoth Army' was a product of the Arabian Empire at the very peak of its power. There were many legends about it that claimed that this army had helped the Arabs conquer many countries.
But for reasons known to nobody else, the Behemoth Army vanished from the history of the Arabian Empire.
Wang Chong had never known if this legend was true or false, as he had never seen the Behemoths himself nor seen any evidence for their existence. Deep within his heart, Wang Chong had believed it to be a fairytale, but he now knew that he had been wrong.