The Records Of The Human Emperor Chapter 1173
Chapter 1173: Surrender?
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
It wasn't that Bahram doubted Wang Chong, but Wang Chong seemed so self-assured, as if this Arab assault posed no threat to Khorasan whatsoever. However, other than telling everyone that they only needed to resist the Arabs for half a day, Wang Chong had divulged nothing else. Bahram truly couldn't understand why Wang Chong was so confident.
"Haha, you'll understand when the time comes!"
Wang Chong grinned. There were some matters for which explaining too much was detrimental. The more people that knew, the greater the possibility of the secret being leaked and the higher the chance of failure would become.
"Su Hanshan, get ready!"
Su Hanshan bowed and quickly withdrew.
A few moments later, following Su Hanshan's order, the walls of Khorasan began to creak with the turning of gears.
After so many days of constant labor, Zhang Shouzhi's craftsman team had managed to repair thirty thousand ballista bolts gathered from the battlefield of Talas. In addition, there were twenty-thousand-some damaged bolts. These no longer had the power of regular ballista bolts, but the fifty to sixty percent that they could exhibit could still play an enormous role on the battlefield.
The walls fell silent. Wang Chong, Gao Xianzhi, Cheng Qianli, Wang Yan, Wang Fu, the Demonic Emperor Old Man, the Wushang Village Chief, and the rebel leaders all stood in a row as they observed the opposition.
The world was gray and overcast, the only sounds the bleak howling of the frigid winds and the quaking of the earth.
The almost metallic neighing of a horse came from the distance, and in the blink of an eye, a black warhorse charged up, leading tens of thousands of Arab cavalry to Khorasan. This surprising action immediately captured everyone's attention.
"The Tang and Sassanid remnants on the wall, listen well! This is your last chance! Open the gates and immediately surrender. Otherwise, when the city falls, all of you will die!" the brown-bearded Arab general on the black warhorse loudly called out, his tone extremely stern and vicious.
Creeaak! The Arab general suddenly retrieved a golden bow from his back, nocked an arrow, and loosed it at the walls of Khorasan.
Boom! In a bright flash and a gust of wind, the arrow streaked across the Tigris River and thudded into the walls, only a few feet from the top.
The wall slightly caved in where the arrow landed, and the arrow shaft vibrated from the force of the impact. A letter had been clearly tied to the end of the arrow.
Wang Chong faintly smiled as he stretched out his hand. The golden arrow thrust into the wall immediately flew up and into Wang Chong's hand.
With a light flick of his finger, Wang Chong shattered the golden arrow and then proceeded to open the golden letter.
The contents of the letter were extremely simple, but each word exuded an aggressive and domineering aura.
"General, the Arabs demand that we immediately disarm, give up the city, and surrender. Otherwise, once the city falls, we'll all be killed together with the Khorasani in the city. The Arabs want to massacre all the residents of the city!" Bahram said from behind Wang Chong. Although Wang Chong knew a little Arabic, he had to rely on Bahram to fluently translate this Arabic letter.
After reading the contents of the letter, Bahram turned to Wang Chong to await his decision.
Wang Chong placed his hands behind his back and asked, "Bahram, how much time did the Arabs give us?"
"One hour! If they haven't received a reply in one hour, they will commence the assault on the city. In addition, for this assault, they have dispatched the Three Titans of Black Radiance," Bahram said, his voice tinged with deep concern.
Rumble! As if in response to Bahram's words, the distant Arab army suddenly parted, allowing three muscular warhorses clad in heavy armor to trot out of the sea of soldiers.
The three riders said not a word, but their bodies exuded an immense and suffocating pressure. In a flash, the walls of Khorasan became much quieter. The trio did nothing, but even the most ordinary of warriors could sense their vast and dreadful auras.
The Three Titans of Black Radiance!
Bahram had recognized them with a glance. The trio possessed a thunderous reputation, and in terms of reputation and strength, the Three Titans of Arabia even surpassed Bahram, having forged their reputations long before he had.
Although Bahram had a dour expression, Wang Chong was carefree and relaxed.
"Didn't the Arabs give us an hour to consider surrender? Tell them that we will seriously consider our options."
Everyone on the walls was left dumbstruck by this reply, even Bahram.
At a moment like this, even Chen Bin didn't know what to say.
"…In addition, tell them that one hour isn't enough. I need to discuss this matter with all the rebel leaders, so I need at least six hours!" Wang Chong added.
First, there was silence, and then everyone began to understand, faint smiles appearing on their faces.
"Understood. Leave this matter to me!"
Bahram was the first to respond, a grin on his face. As more and more began to understand, they began to chip in with their own comments.
"How could six hours be enough? Lord Marquis, we need at least eight!"
"That's still not enough! We need at least twelve hours!"
"How could that do? Think about how many rebel armies there are!"
The wall was all smiles as everyone joked around. At this moment, everyone understood what Wang Chong was up to. A few moments later, a letter personally written by Bahram was tied to an arrow and handed over to a Khorasani master archer.
"We've finished thinking it over! Receive our reply!" Bahram called out from the walls, after which he glanced at the master archer next to him.
Boom! An arrow streaked through the air, unleashing an explosion of dust and debris as it landed in front of the Arab army.
Neeigh! An Arab horseman quickly rode up and snatched the arrow from the ground, after which he rode back to the Three Titans of Black Radiance and Hular in the rear.
Fadi, the Head of Black Radiance, opened the letter with a flick of his finger. After just a glance, he creased his brow.
Hular scooted over and glanced at the letter, and just like the Three Titans, he creased his brow.
The demand for surrender had just been a courtesy. None of them had expected the Tang to actually agree, though they had asked for eight hours to further discuss the matter.
"What does it mean?"
Fadi threw the letter to Hular. The Three Titans of Black Radiance were mighty Arab governors who had made their names long ago, and they had extremely high status in the military. If this were any other war, the trio would have never creased their brow. However, the contents of this letter had left all Three Titans stunned and confused as to how to respond.
"Hular, what do you think?" the Blade of Black Radiance, Imron, suddenly asked.
Hular frowned and pensively said, "This… I also do not know, but this general believes that the Tang are scheming something!"
"So you mean that we should commence the assault on Khorasan right now?" Imron asked. His face was completely obscured by a black helmet that made it impossible for anyone to see his expression.
Hular's mouth opened as he hesitated. His instinct told him to say 'yes', but he retracted this response the moment it touched his lips. For a moment, all was silent, neither the Three Titans nor Hular saying a word, all of them put into difficult straits by Wang Chong's letter.
"Lord Marquis, look over there. The four of them seem to be in some difficulty. They definitely never imagined that we would reply to them saying that we would seriously consider surrender."
On the distant walls of Khorasan, Xue Qianjun, Xu Keyi, Chen Bin, and Su Hanshan were keeping a close watch on the movement from the Arabs. The horses of the Three Titans of Black Radiance and Hular were paused there as if petrified, appearing almost comical as they were frozen in indecision.
"As expected, Lord Marquis's reply has put these fellows in an awkward position."
Chen Bin chuckled.
"Wang Chong, how do you think they will reply?"
Gao Xianzhi was also observing the situation, and he couldn't restrain his question.
"It doesn't matter to me if they agree or not. Let's just see what they choose."
Wang Chong held his hands behind his back and smiled.
Wang Chong and the others didn't have to wait long. A few moments later, thwish! A golden arrow nailed itself to the walls, its trembling shaft carrying the Arabs' reply.
The Arabs had agreed to the request of the Great Tang, but they had only given six hours. If the gates were not opened in six hours, the Arabs would immediately attack.
Everyone seemed stoic upon receiving the Arabs' reply, but their bellies were already aching from having to hold down their laughter.
"Write another letter. Tell the Arabs that some of the rebels are putting up extreme resistance and have already begun to talk of revolt. Six hours isn't enough. We need even longer," Wang Chong once more commanded.
Bang! Another arrow was sent out from the Great Tang side, carrying the reply into the Arab camp.
The Three Titans and Hular were even more perturbed by this reply. On this campaign, they had accepted the prospect of a tense and fierce battle, but this development had taken them completely by surprise.
In normal circumstances, or in the past, the Arabs would have never even considered these demands. They would have charged up, breached the walls, and killed all the Tang.
But everyone knew just how high and sturdy the walls of Khorasan were, and there were also two hundred thousand rebels inside, a significant number. Even in normal circumstances, the Arabs would have to pay a hefty price for victory.
Even if there was a one-in-one-thousand chance that the Great Tang side would actually open the gates and surrender, the Arabs would be tempted. Even more vexing for the four commanders was that even though they knew that there was a high chance the Tang were just playing games, all of Wang Chong's replies were reasonable and serious, making it impossible for them to know what to choose.