The Records Of The Human Emperor Chapter 1164
Chapter 1164: The Caliphs Fury
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Boom! The Arab noble had barely spoken when a golden boot suddenly stomped down. As everyone watched with reverential gazes, Mutasim III stood up from his throne. At that moment, the entire world seemed to shake and sway, the grandiose city of Baghdad unable to bear the weight of this power.
"We will not be threatened by anyone! Even if all the cities of the east are destroyed and their people slaughtered, We will never accept such extortion from an eastern madman! Let him come to take the one billion taels of gold himself! Even if We must pay the price of half the city, We still wish to personally tear his corpse to pieces!"
Mutasim III could no longer restrain his rage, and his eyes were like lightning bolts, shining with intimidating light. In the face of the enraged Caliph, everyone fell silent, none of them daring to say a word.
In the Arabian Empire, the Caliph's words were absolute. Once he made a decision, no one dared to try to stop him or defy him.
Just when the temperature had reached freezing point, a hoarse and mysterious voice came from outside, echoing within the hall. "If I were Your Majesty, I would send those one billion taels of gold!"
The sound of this voice caused everyone to shudder. No one had expected that someone would speak up at this moment, daring to provoke the Caliph's wrath.
But a moment later, just when everyone was shocked at the daring of this mysterious individual, there was a flash of light, and then a long shadow was cast into the hall.
At some point, a tall and black-robed figure had appeared at the entrance to the hall. His pitch-black and wide robe was embroidered with mysterious characters made of golden thread.
"High, High Priest!!"
An Arab noble trembled at the sight of this figure, his eyes going wide. No one had expected that the mysterious person who had dared to oppose the Caliph was that most enigmatic individual of the Arabian Empire, the wielder of divine authority, the High Priest.
This was undoubtedly the most unexpected guest the Imperial Palace had received.
This was a legendary existence who had lived in the empire for several hundred years. Although almost no one had truly met the High Priest, everyone recognized his unique Sun God Robes, as well as the gnarled black staff of the Temple.
One of the High Priest's thin hands had reached out of its sleeve like a bird's claw to grip the staff, and churning black mist was endlessly flowing out of the sleeve.
His hood was pulled down, completely obscuring his face. He was simply standing at the entrance, motionless, and yet none of the governors, generals, or nobles in the hall could perceive his cultivation level.
Although he had truly and physically appeared before them, all of them could only sense that black and gnarled staff. Besides that, there seemed to be nothing else there.
The High Priest's robes moved as he crossed the threshold and entered.
"High Priest, when did you get here!"
To everyone's surprise, the furious and frenzied Mutasim III seemed to deflate like a punctured balloon, all the rage draining out of him. Not only had he ceased to be angry, he even looked pleasantly surprised. Bangbangbang! He excitedly rushed off the dais to personally welcome his guest.
Everyone in Arabia knew the Caliph's attitude toward the High Priest. But only at this moment did they realize how highly he regarded him!
"Talas was a defeat, Qutaybah was killed, and the Tang from the east have taken Khorasan and now threaten Baghdad. How could I not come after such major events?" the High Priest indifferently said as he slowly walked forward. As he walked, the air rippled out from him like bright waves of water, emerging with each step he took.
Not only that, as the High Priest walked, even his body became fainter, becoming itself like a faint wave of water. It was like the person passing by was not a real person, but simply a faint ripple.
In a flash, everyone retreated to the sides. Even the governors couldn't help but lower their heads and yield the path.
The governors were of varying cultivation levels, but all of them were extremely capable. Yet they couldn't even sense the High Priest's breathing. All they could sense was a thick darkness that could devour all, instilling fear and dread in them.
A few moments later, the High Priest stopped in front of the Caliph. He did not bow nor show any of the respect a subject should have. He seemed to exude an aura that transcended imperial authority.
From a certain standpoint, this was an offense, an offense against the Caliph!
But the Caliph appeared to not care. Not only that, the Caliph appeared to treat the High Priest with great respect.
The Caliph strode before the High Priest and said, "High Priest! You came at just the right time. We have so many soldiers and so many generals. Must We be threatened by a child from the east of ten-some years? Arabs live for battle, and no one who surrenders can be called a warrior. We still have half an empire and one million elites. Must We yield to the Tang of the east?"
"It is only one billion taels of gold! Is Your Majesty so lacking for money?"
The High Priest did not directly reply, instead bringing up another matter.
"This…" The Caliph slightly raised his head, a scornful look in his eyes as he proudly declared, "One billion taels is a vast sum, but given what the empire has accumulated over the centuries, it is possible to produce it."
To many dynasties, countries, and even large empires, one billion taels of gold was an astronomical sum. When Wang Chong had requested reinforcements from the Imperial Court for the Battle of Talas, the Bureau of Personnel had only given him twenty million taels of gold, and the Imperial Court had actually considered this to be too much. One billion taels of gold was fifty times the sum Wang Chong had used to fund his campaign and was enough to buy quite a few cities.
But this was not a sum that the Arabian Empire would find impossible to bear.
This was the advantage of habitually plundering a conquered country of everything it had upon victory! The Great Tang, restricted by its system of rites and etiquette, simply could not compare. However, the only countries that could compare with Arabia in singlehandedly creating such wealth were those of the Central Plains.
The Caliph's eyes went sharp as he firmly declared, "I can produce one billion taels of gold, but I cannot accept the conditions of those easterners and yield to them. Never!"
This was no longer a matter of money. Accepting the Tang's conditions was submission, humiliation. As the highest commander of the Arabian Empire, the Caliph could never endure such a thing.
"It's just one billion taels of gold. How is it now submission? Is Your Majesty prepared to surrender without a fight?" the High Priest nonchalantly said, his expression confident and relaxed. This was something only the High Priest could do, daring to speak to the supreme Caliph in this way, acting like he possessed an authority above imperial authority, and yet not being blamed by the Caliph.
"How is this possible?"
The Caliph was stunned at first, but he quickly denied the possibility.
"We still have many soldiers in the southern war zone, western war zone, and the other war zones. These soldiers can all be mobilized. It's just a measly army of two hundred thousand. Once We have finished mobilizing the army, the only thing awaiting them is death!"
The Caliph clenched his fists, his voice brimming with killing intent. Arabia was a country founded on war, and this was precisely the reason for his anger. That commander from the Great Tang called Wang Chong had sent a letter threatening that if he did not receive a reply in three days, a compensation of one billion taels of gold, he would immediately continue his advance westward and occupy even more cities. To Mutasim III, who had always been unyielding and whose attitude had always greatly influenced the governors and generals beneath him, this was nothing more than a brazen challenge and humiliation.
This had the Caliph practically apoplectic.
Moreover, although Qutaybah and Aybak had been killed, he had only lost two top-class figures. Arabia still had many more top-class fighting powers.
"Then that's not the case. Since Your Majesty still has many soldiers and is preparing for an even larger war, how could this be considered surrender? For someone of Your Majesty's abilities, gold and silver should be worthless. One billion taels of gold is simply to comfort and soothe these Tang. I hear that the Great Tang values benevolence and righteousness. Once they receive the money, they will keep their promise. Your Majesty only needs to temporarily soothe them. When the army arrives, the cities to the west of the Tigris can be protected from their attacks, and we can also assault Khorasan and wipe out the Tang and rebel soldiers in one fell swoop. At the same time, we will also be able to recover the gold."
The High Priest's scratchy voice resounded in everyone's ears.
"One billion taels of gold is not a small number, and even if they whip their horses, they won't be able to run very far. Once we breach Khorasan, Your Majesty can send cavalry in pursuit and regain the gold all the same. Moreover, hasn't Your Majesty been fruitlessly searching for those former nobles and rebel soldiers all this time?
"We can use these Tang to bring in all the rebels. We would be killing two birds with one stone, ensnaring them all with a single net!"
The Caliph raised his head in shock. He had been so enraged by the demanded compensation of one billion taels of gold that he hadn't thought about anything else. It was true. Those former nobles and rebel soldiers of the conquered countries had always vexed Arabia. For the last ten-some years, the empire had gone to great effort to find any trace of these rebels.
The Behemoth Army, Mamelukes, Skyquaking Army, and even the Arab War God Qutaybah had once been dispatched by Mutasim III to surround and suppress these rebels. But these former nobles and rebels were like moles, burrowing into the ground the moment the army arrived and refusing to come out. And once the army left, they would come back up and start making trouble again.
Without pacifying these rebellions, the empire would never know peace, nor would it ever fully control those regions.