The Human Emperor Chapter 957
Chapter 957: Step Onto Stage Giant Ballista I
Chapter 957: Step Onto Stage, Giant Ballista! (I)
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The Behemoth's roar resounded over Talas, its enormous body continuing to press forward against Wang Chong. Although Abu Muslim's arrow had failed to strike true, it had not been completely ineffective. While Wang Chong was briefly distracted, the scaled Behemoth had used the opportunity to suddenly advance, and it was now less than ten zhang from the first steel defense line. Its exhalations battered against the walls like mighty waves, causing them to ring and clatter. Some of the closest Tang soldiers couldn't withstand this pressure and were swept away along with their horses.
Wang Chong's Godking Yama was using its two free arms to hold the Terrorizer's neck, but despite Wang Chong's best efforts, he was finding it harder and harder to hold on. The energy provided by 'Yama Descends Upon the World' was not limitless. With each second that passed, Wang Chong grew weaker. While Wang Chong had been able to completely halt the scaled Behemoth's advance at the beginning, he was now slowly being pushed back.
Wang Chong roared in fury as his cudgel slammed again and again on the Behemoth's head, the violet flames manifested by the Strength of Lu Wu continuing to spread into the monster's body. With each passing second, the exuberant flames of life within the Behemoth dimmed and vitality surged into Wang Chong. But even in this state, Wang Chong could not stop the frenzied beast. Although a hole had been pierced through its skull, this was apparently the limit. Some invisible power prevented Wang Chong from going any deeper.
On the ground, Chen Bin was swinging down his right arm over and over. Countless ballista bolts flew through the air at the scaled Behemoth. This time, however, most of the ballista bolts bounced off the scales, only a few of them being able to get in through the chinks.
Wang Chong was holding down the Behemoth, but the enormous girth of the Yama was significantly hindering the attacks of the ballista army.
Chen Bin was unmoved as he once more gave the order to fire. This was the last attack they would be able to make. The Behemoth could cross the boundary at any time, and a single stomp would be enough to inflict horrifying losses on the ballista army.
"Zhang Shouzhi, is it still not done?!" Wang Chong's worried voice resounded in the sky. Within the Godking Yama, where no one could see, Wang Chong's face was as white as a sheet of paper, blood trickling down from his lips. Forcing himself to fight against the much stronger Behemoth was placing an enormous burden on his body.
An enormous crack suddenly began to creep across the Godking Yama's back, from the shoulder to the waist. Moreover, such cracks continued to appear on the Godking Yama's body at astonishing speed. In just a few moments, the Godking Yama was engulfed in this fine network of cracks, making it appear like a porcelain doll on the verge of falling to pieces.
This was a sign that the Godking Yama was at the limits of what it could take and was going to collapse soon.
On the ground, the air was saturated with tension. All the craftsmen were frenziedly at work, their faces pale and their heads feeling like they were going to explode from the anxiety.
"Just a little longer! Lord Marquis, you must hold!"
Zhang Shouzhi's beard was flying in the wind as he anxiously called out from the ground.
At this moment, no one could understand just how much pressure he was facing.
There was not enough time! Far from enough!
If he had some diagram as a guide, Zhang Shouzhi would be able to quickly set it up, but the giant ballista had never appeared in the history of the empire. All the craftsmen, including Zhang Shouzhi himself, had no experience in building such a thing. There was simply too little time.
Just moments after Zhang Shouzhi called, the giant scaled Behemoth pushed the Godking Yama back once more. The Godking Yama's enormous foot scraped dirt and dust as it smashed into the steel walls behind it. Boom! Amidst a chorus of gasps and screams, seven steel walls were pulled out of the ground and sent spinning through the air.
"Retreat! Hurry and retreat!"
Screams rang out in the air as countless soldiers began to back up in panic. Before this Behemoth, they were just puny ants, so weak that they couldn't even harm it, much less hold against it.
"Seventh unit, tenth unit, twenty-third unit… fall back!" Wang Chong's familiar voice rang in everyone's ear. Even in the midst of an intense battle and with his back to the army, Wang Chong still had a grasp of the battlefield situation. He himself was in extreme danger, but he still knew which units were stationed where.
Upon receiving Wang Chong's order, the army standing in front of the Behemoth quickly scattered to the sides.
At almost the same time, the scaled Behemoth turned savage, swinging its body with an agility unbefitting its girth and sending out a thick cloud of dust. Aaaah! Screams filled the air as the Behemoth's dreadful power turned this ordinary sand and dust into lethal weapons.
Neeeigh! Unable to move in time, the warhorses caught in this sandstorm were battered into pieces, their bodies covered with tiny holes. Even their riders, wearing heavy armor, were smashed off their mounts, their insides pulped before they had even hit the ground. To an ant, even a snort from an elephant was a destructive blow, and the same principle applied to the Tang soldiers arrayed in front of Talas. The strength of man was truly insignificant before a legendary existence like this Behemoth.
Wang Chong's eyes immediately turned red. With no time to think, Wang Chong took his iron cudgel and stabbed it into the earth behind the defense line. With one end of the long cudgel propped against the bedrock, he used the other end to push back against the Behemoth's body.
This was the only method at his disposal to prevent further mass casualties.
But this was only a temporary measure. The army was still in great danger.
At this moment, countless people looked on in shock as yet another one of the Godking Yama's massive arms snapped off at the base, dropping to the ground in a cloud of dust. Of the Godking Yama's four arms, only two were left!
Within the Godking Yama, Wang Chong vomited blood the moment the arm fell.
Chen Bin, Sun Zhiming, Chen Burang, and Zhuang Zhengping were all deeply disturbed by the sight of the arm falling. Although their cultivation levels were still insufficient, they could all sense that Wang Chong was at his limit and on the verge of falling.
But the assault was still not over. Rumble! The Terrorizer exploded with strength and crashed its head into the Godking Yama, throwing Wang Chong ten-some zhang. With no more Wang Chong to stand in its way, the Terrorizer suddenly found itself with an empty space, the army completely undefended.
"Shit! Get out of the way!"
"Retreat! Fall back! Everyone withdraw!"
"Get out of here! We can't hold!"
The thousands of Tang soldiers immediately fell into chaos. Panic swept through the ranks, thick with the stench of death.
The composure that the army had managed to maintain instantly collapsed into a full rout.
No one could imagine the harm an unobstructed Behemoth could inflict on the army.
Just when the army was about to suffer terrible casualties, a shout came out from the ranks. "Lord Marquis! The giant ballista is ready! Everyone, stand aside!"
The several thousand craftsmen that had been gathered together suddenly scattered in all directions. What they left behind was an enormous and heavy ballista. The string of this ballista was more than ten meters long, its body was pitch-black, and many of its parts were still giving off steam, fresh from the forge.
After using all the time and manpower available to him, Zhang Shouzhi had finally finished the giant ballista!
The moment they had finished, the Behemoth began to tense up its muscles, lowering its body and head, its scarlet eyes hungering for destruction. The Behemoth was readying a charge.
"Senior Zhang, give the giant ballista to us!"
Chen Bin immediately drew his sword and rushed up to the giant ballista, a string of orders leaving his lips.
"Seventh, tenth, twelfth, and fourteenth units… all of you, get up there!
"Thirtieth and thirty-eighth units, load the ballista bolt!”
With the army in chaos and everyone fleeing, the craftsman teams and Zhang Shouzhi exhausted, and Wang Chong having been thrown aside by the Behemoth, only Chen Bin and his ballista teams still had the strength to stop the Behemoth.
The ballista teams immediately displayed the fruits of their training. Chen Bin had barely given the order when the ballista teams that had just been preparing to flee immediately changed direction and rushed toward the giant ballista.
Several hundred ballista team members began to neatly divide up the work, showing not one bit of disorder.
Creakcreak! The firing mechanism was pulled open and several dozen Tang warriors swiftly loaded a ballista bolt, more than ten meters long and weighing nearly one thousand jin, onto the giant ballista. Boom! An enormous foot stomped past the defense line, the tremendous impact unleashing an earthquake. In a space of several dozen zhang, hundreds of fleeing cavalry were tossed into the air.
The Behemoth had finally broken past the defense line and begun its attack!
Nearly one hundred thousand soldiers were now in great peril!
Chen Bin finally gave the order to fire. At this moment, everyone stopped breathing, their hearts leaping up to their throats, and time seemed to freeze. The giant ballista had always been a mere concept, never truly being realized. No one knew if this giant ballista would actually work, could actually fire, or if its ballista bolt could even harm the scaled Behemoth. Not even its creator and builder Zhang Shouzhi knew these things, much less anyone else.
But there was no other choice. Whether or not it succeeded, they could only try.