The Records Of The Human Emperor Chapter 1157
Chapter 1157: The Shocked Kingdoms
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
After the defeat at Talas, the remaining Arabs soldiers had truly been fleeing like stray dogs. From Talas to Samarkand, the number of soldiers that had remained at Abu Muslim and Ziyad's side didn't even reach thirty thousand. Fortunately, they had Samarkand. The thought of Samarkand's thick and sturdy walls immediately caused Ziyad to calm down.
At the very least, with the help of these walls, the two of them would have a rare opportunity to catch their breath.
Ziyad had barely walked two steps, not even leaving the military hall, when a frantic voice rang out in his ears.
Both of them nervously turned their heads and saw a panting Arab messenger, his face pale and stricken with unease.
"Reporting! The second gate of Samarkand was broken through. The Sassanids, leading more than twenty thousand Tang, are in the middle of attacking the city."
The moment the messenger entered the hall, he kneeled down, a deluge of sweat coming from his body.
Abu Muslim and Ziyad both trembled in shock, as if they had seen a ghost.
"How could that be? What about the lookouts? Why didn't we receive any word of such a large ruckus! Did not a single person see such a large army approach?"
Ziyad's eyes went round in disbelief. An army of more than ten thousand was so large that all except the blind could spot it, and they hadn't even gotten word of an enemy army approaching.
"Milord, the scouts sent word, but before they could approach the military hall, they were slain by the experts the Sassanids hid in the city. The Sassanid spies are currently starting fires, killing people, and stirring rebellion, and Samarkand is in chaos. Milord, we should quickly retreat!" the messenger frantically said.
The last few words from the messenger were like thunder in Abu Muslim's and Ziyad's ears, and their faces paled. The words 'Milord, we should quickly retreat' dealt an even greater shock to them than the news that Wang Chong had joined hands with the Sassanids in this assault.
The army had been defeated. Although Abu Muslim and Ziyad had recovered their strength and could now fight a battle to the death, their soldiers had no morale. Not even the recovered Abu Muslim and Ziyad could do anything about that.
The death of Qutaybah in that battle of hundreds of thousands had dealt a blow like none other to the army. None of the soldiers even dared to fight with the Tang army.
These thoughts quickly flitted through his mind, and then Abu Muslim raised his head to the dome of the hall and gave a deep sigh. This time, it seemed like there was truly no chance for them to turn the tables.
"Pass on my order! Have the entire army withdraw! Leave Samarkand for the Tang!"
Abu Muslim's voice was tinged with great reluctance, but this battle was already settled.
Ziyad stood next to him, his face a complex mixture of emotions and the look in his eyes constantly shifting.
"This general will go!"
Finally, Ziyad strode out of the hall.
A few moments later, amidst the waving of signal flags, all the Arab soldiers in the city withdrew from Samarkand as if they were clouds being blown away by the wind, and they set off for the even farther Khorasan.
"What? Abu Muslim and Ziyad fled so quickly?"
Within Samarkand, Wang Chong couldn't help but sneer at the news.
"I originally thought that there would be a major battle, but it seems like that's not necessary. Xu Keyi, in my name, write two letters. One is for Feng Changqing back in Anxi. Have him send some soldiers to garrison Samarkand. The other letter is for the Imperial Court. The battle is over, and the Imperial Court will need to send someone to handle the aftermath."
With Talas destroyed, the strongest bridgehead the Great Tang had in the war against Arabia was now Samarkand. Now that they occupied this fortress, even a small number of soldiers would be enough to oppose the Arabs.
"Lord Wang Chong, west of Samarkand is flat land with few defenses. Abu Muslim won't be able to find any strong defensive positions there, so he will definitely flee all the way to Khorasan. This is the best chance for us to continue the assault, suppress Arabia, and widen our conquest!" Bahram sternly said.
"Mm! Let's do as Milord says. The entire army will set out in pursuit!"
Wang Chong nodded. With the guidance of the Sassanids, Wang Chong's forces would progress as smoothly as a fish swam through water, encountering very little opposition.
A few moments later, the war drums began to thunder. Leaving several thousand men behind to hold Samarkand together with the Khorasani, the two armies set off, tightly pursuing Abu Muslim.
As they journeyed, the news of the victory at Talas and the death of Qutaybah began to spread. Between Khorasan and Samarkand, the entire eastern zone of Arabia quaked as the people of the many kingdoms that Arabia had conquered began to cheer.
With Bahram's prestige and coordination, the army was like a rolling snowball, more and more rebel soldiers joining its ranks.
When they had first set out from Samarkand, Wang Chong's army together with the Sassanids totaled thirty to forty thousand, but by now, they had gathered a force of one hundred thousand, and the number was continuing to rise at an astonishing rate. Ultimately, Wang Chong managed to gather the forces of thirty to forty different factions at his side and commanded an army of more than two hundred thousand, an intimidating and grandiose force.
Abu Muslim was originally still capable of doing battle with Wang Chong, but now that he had more than two hundred thousand soldiers, Abu Muslim had completely lost this opportunity.
In the past, the Arabs had ruled with an iron fist, slaughtering the people of its eastern region and levying heavy taxes upon them, causing resentment to build amongst the people. When the Arabs were strong, all was fine, as they were able to suppress any dissent, but now that a new challenger had appeared, particularly one that had inflicted upon Arabia a devastating defeat at Talas, this resentment and hatred flooded out and became Wang Chong's greatest assistance in his western campaign.
As Wang Chong continued to pursue Abu Muslim's defeated army, elsewhere, the other empires and civilizations of the conflict quaked at the news of the Great Tang's victory, and the structure of the world silently began to change.
A carrier pigeon from the distant Samarkand flew into the headquarters of the Anxi Protectorate. Its news of the victory at Talas left all the factions of the Western Regions slack-jawed and wide-eyed.
"One hundred thousand versus five hundred thousand! Such a large difference in numbers, and yet the Great Tang won! Unbelievable!"
In the palace of Further Beilu, a muscular man with a long beard suddenly jumped to his feet, his large, bronze eyes brimming with extreme shock.
The war between Arabia and the Great Tang had swept up the kingdoms of the Western Regions in a storm, and the numerous kingdoms swayed back and forth like grass growing on the top of a wall, struggling over whether they should submit to the Great Tang or Arabia. All these countries were trying to guess at who the final victor would be, and Further Beilu had clearly favored Arabia.
After all, this was an army of five hundred thousand elites overseen by powerful individuals like Qutaybah, Abu Muslim, and Osman. Defeat was practically impossible. But reality had given the King of Further Beilu and all his ministers a vicious slap to the face.
"Pass on my order. Prepare ten thousand taels of gold, ten bushels of jewels, one hundred beauties, and ten thousand head of cattle. Have them delivered to the Anxi Protectorate as soon as possible to congratulate the Great Tang for its victory!" the King of Further Beilu roared within his palace like a lion. Finding that the guard delivering the message was moving too slowly, he practically kicked him out of the hall.
Unlike Further Beilu, both Greater and Lesser Balur were in a celebratory mood.
"Hahaha, I just knew that this was how it would turn out! As expected, the Great Tang emerged victorious!"
The kings of Greater and Lesser Balur had decided to meet upon learning the news so they could celebrate.
For this battle, Greater and Lesser Balur had loaned out eight thousand of their best pikemen for an incredible sum. Although all these pikemen had died in battle, the Great Tang had won, allowing Greater and Lesser Balur to receive an enormous return on investment. With this victory, the Great Tang now owed Greater and Lesser Balur an immense favor. In the future, Greater and Lesser Balur could rely on the shade of the tree that was the Great Tang and would no longer have to worry about being bullied around by Ü-Tsang.
As for the eight thousand pikemen who had died in battle, this was truly a painful loss, but Greater and Lesser Balur knew the method to train pikemen, so training more was just a matter of time.
Greater and Lesser Balur were far from the only ones rejoicing over the news. Besides those kingdoms that had supported the Great Tang, there were also countless mercenary tribes that had participated in the battle.
"Haha, victory! The Great Tang won! The chief also won! This time, it's the Arabs that are being bullied around!"
Across the entire Western Regions, north to south, east to west, all the tribes that the Great Tang had hired for the Battle of Talas were cheering.
Victory and defeat were both commonplace for soldiers, and almost all the mercenaries they had dispatched for this battle had been killed. But to the shepherds of the tribe who had remained in the rear, this wasn't important. They only cared about one thing: did the heroic warriors of the tribe die for the winning side?
Although they had lost many warriors, this meant that they would receive a great sum of money in compensation. This money together with the support and guarantee of the Great Tang would give these tribes an ideal opportunity to further develop and strengthen themselves.
For the tribe, they were willing to sacrifice everything, and dying in battle was the best ending for a warrior.
This was a principle that all the nomadic tribes upheld.
"Damn! Now this is a problem!"
While those tribes of the Western Regions that had participated in the Battle of Talas were celebrating, several dozen li from the headquarters of the Anxi Protectorate, a one-eyed tribal chief of the Western Regions tore off his eye patch and threw it to the ground.