The Records Of The Human Emperor Chapter 1168
Chapter 1168: Soldiers Encroach Upon The City
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The Arab soldiers arrived much faster than predicted. Only a few days later, the scouts and Khorasani spies that Wang Chong had dispatched sent back word that a force of more than three hundred thousand soldiers had gathered in an area one-hundred-some kilometers from the Great Tang forces. They were rapidly building up fortifications to guard against any possible ambush or offensive from the Great Tang. Moreover, even more soldiers were arriving from the rear, and the Arab forces were swelling in number.
From the report sent by the spies, the Arabs had already gathered at least two Great Generals.
"The commander is Arabia's 'Empire's White Corpse' Hular. This person has a very cruel and restrained personality, and more importantly, this person has always been an extremely meticulous commander. His defenses are almost impenetrable. If we force an attack, we will find it very hard to gain any advantage," explained Bahram from next to Wang Chong.
He knew all the governors and commanders of Arabia like the back of his hand. In this aspect, the Great Tang was dearly lacking. Much of the information Wang Chong had obtained had been given to him by Bahram.
"Hah, even the tightest defense has a flaw. It just depends on what we choose."
Wang Chong softly chuckled. In the Battle of Talas, the Great Tang had overcome five hundred thousand with one hundred thousand, and they were only facing three hundred thousand here.
Wang Chong had never underestimated his opponents, but even the Arab War God Qutaybah had died to him, so what need did he have to fear a measly Empire's White Corpse? No matter how strong Hular was, he couldn't be stronger than Qutaybah.
Bahram froze, and then he immediately thought of something and nodded. Hular was not some nobody of the empire, and Wang Chong was probably the only one who would dare to evaluate Hular in such a way. But Bahram was keenly aware that this young commander was different from any other person he had ever encountered.
The inconceivable reversals he had accomplished imbued him with the confidence to say such things before anyone.
"Xue Qianjun, write a letter for me to the Caliph of Arabia, stating that even though we've already signed a treaty, Arabia has still dispatched three hundred thousand soldiers to Khorasan. This has made us feel threatened and is a blatant breaking of their promise. Within one day, Arabia must withdraw its army. Otherwise, we cannot be blamed for mobilizing our army to maintain the treaty," Wang Chong said without turning his head.
Upon hearing these words, Gao Xianzhi, Cheng Qianli, and the others around Wang Chong all smiled. The Great Tang side understood everything that the Caliph was thinking, but the Arabs continued to play deaf and dumb, pretending that they were unaware.
"This general understands!"
Xue Qianjun bowed and quickly took his leave.
Flapflap! Several messenger birds flew into the air. One was headed toward Baghdad, while the other was headed toward the Empire's White Corpse and his three hundred thousand Arab soldiers.
Wang Chong's letter was like a descending boulder, setting off an uproar the moment it landed in the Arab camp.
"Bastard! This bullying goes too far!"
Hular was known for his composed personality and ability to keep his emotions off his face, but when he received Wang Chong's letter, he couldn't help but slam his fist against the table, his eyes spitting fire.
The Tang had already obtained one billion taels of gold from Arabia, but after getting a deal, they were still trying to barter, turning around and questioning the motives of Arabia. This was simply too much!
Arabia had always respected strength and courage, and the other small and weak kingdoms had always had to look up in respect. This was the first time it had ever been so brazenly threatened.
"Milord, what do we do? They've only given us one day to withdraw. Do we really have to comply with them?" one of Hular's subordinate generals cautiously said, his head lowered.
The Arabs had by now gathered three hundred thousand soldiers, one hundred thousand more than the enemy, and so they normally would ignore such a letter. But everyone knew that a hundred-some li away, behind the high walls of Khorasan, was the fierce and unstoppable coalition army of the Great Tang and Khorasan. Given their past record, not even outnumbering them by one hundred thousand soldiers would be enough to overcome them.
The eyes of the Empire's White Corpse burned with rage as he immediately rejected the notion.
"No one can threaten Arabia like this. Pass on my order. Tighten the defenses. I'd like to see what they can do about it!"
The deputy quickly departed with the orders.
"Wait a moment!"
Hular suddenly called his deputy back, taking in a deep breath as his expression cooled.
"Write a letter for me to the Great Tang. Arabia did not intentionally break our agreement with the Great Tang. This mobilization is just a regular mobilization to carry out necessary defensive work, and we hope that the Great Tang will not think too much of it."
The deputy was stunned, but he quickly came around, lowering his head and quickly departing.
An hour later, an Arabian hunting falcon soared into the sky, crossing the tributary of the Tigris River and entering Khorasan.
Five minutes later, Wang Chong, Gao Xianzhi, Cheng Qianli, Li Siye, and the others had all gathered. After reading the letter, all of them had rather amused looks on their faces.
All of them knew what the Arabs were up to and what they were planning.
Xi Yuanqing suddenly broke the silence. "Lord Protector-General, how should we reply to this letter?"
"Reply? Do we need to reply? The Arabs don't think that we would accept such far-fetched reasoning from them."
Wang Chong heartily laughed.
The Arabs were playing a game of words. Everyone understood what they were preparing to do. Since he knew that they were preparing for a war, Wang Chong wouldn't just sit back on his laurels and let them gather without any obstacle.
"Great General Bahram, General Cheng, Li Siye, get ready. Let's go see this Empire's White Corpse Great General!" Wang Chong said.
Bahram, Cheng Qianli, and the others all nodded, a smile on their lips.
Several hours later, in the city of Shifan, a hundred-some kilometers from Khorasan, the Arab soldiers had organized into disciplined ranks, their bodies seething with killing intent. This army of three hundred thousand was prepared at any time to fight a fierce and large-scale battle.
"Focus! Everyone, get to your positions!"
"Order the craftsman team to hurry up! If five thousand barracks aren't finished by tomorrow, immediately execute half of the craftsmen!"
"Hurry and feed the warhorses! In just five days, we will be battling with the Tang!"
Whips cracked through the air as the Arab generals spurred on the craftsmen and soldiers into erecting the camps. Shifan was not a large city, and three hundred thousand soldiers had already made the city seem rather packed. And there were still four to five hundred thousand soldiers on the way.
An army of eight hundred thousand required the construction of a vast number of facilities.
On the high walls of the city, an Arab deputy bowed as he reported, "Milord, the construction in the city is about finished, and the external defenses are in the middle of being strengthened. For the short term, we should not have to worry about the Tang!"
Hular gave a satisfied nod and took his eyes away from the horizon.
The enemy this time was extremely powerful. Hundreds of thousands of Arab soldiers, Qutaybah, and other Great Generals had already died at their hands. Everyone in Arabia, Hular included, now viewed these Tang soldiers with great apprehension.
As he was thinking, an Arab horseman suddenly galloped out of the distance, leaving a cloud of dust in his wake. The scout had an extremely pale face and seemed to be in great panic.
"A large force of Tang soldiers is marching toward Shifan!"
These words immediately sent shockwaves through the city. On the walls, Hular and the other Arab governors paled. No one had expected the enemy to dare launch an offensive while the Arabs had the advantage of both numbers and position.
"Bastard! We just signed a treaty and even sent them the one billion taels of gold. The ink isn't even dry yet, and yet they're already tearing it to shreds!"
Hular was both shocked and furious. In previous wars, no one had ever dared to treat Arabia like this.
Moreover, the Great Tang had just received one billion taels of gold, but now they were tearing up the treaty to attack them. This was simply too despicable.
A few moments later, a shout and the thundering of hooves could be heard from the distance. Another Arab scout with a panicked expression galloped toward Shifan.
"Reporting to Milord: a combined force of seven thousand Tang and rebel soldiers is heading toward us. They are less than three li away!"
All the people on the walls grimaced at these words.
In the brief interval between the two scouts, the enemy had already gotten within three li of Shifan. At this speed, they would soon appear at the walls.
"Arrogant! They're far too arrogant!"
An Arab governor on the walls became furious. These Tang of the eastern world had no regard for others. The Arabs had only lost once, but they still had a vast army and many governors and generals.
Hular was also internally livid.
"Everyone hear my order. No one is to act without my word. I'd like to see what this Tang commander wants!"
With Hular's order, the atmosphere around Shifan turned somber. Just a few moments later, there was a thundering of hooves and a great roaring as an army charged out of a cloud of dust.
At a distance of six to seven hundred meters, Hular viciously called out, "Who goes there?!" His voice was brimming with energy, resounding over Shifan like a peal of thunder.
"Hahaha, is that the Empire's White Corpse on the walls, Hular of the Arabian Empire?"
A loud laugh could be heard as a red and black warhorse rode out from the army of seven thousand, its mane glossy and bright. The gaze of its rider, sharp as a sword, was focused on the three Arab governors standing on the walls.