The Records Of The Human Emperor Chapter 1211
Chapter 1211: The High Priests Prophecy
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"Out! Out! Out!"
The shouting Caliph's face was ashen and twisted, his entire person insensible with rage. No matter what the reason was, he would never be able to accept it.
Mutasim III's eyes were bloodshot, his demeanor like that of a man-eating beast. Everyone was shocked and alarmed, and hurriedly withdrew, none daring to argue.
In just a few moments, the hall was empty except for Mutasim III.
"Bastard! Bastard! Bastard!"
Mutasim III stood in front of his throne, his eyes staring at the doors, his fists clenched and his chest heaving like pumping bellows.
Although the Arabs had only lost sixty thousand men in this first battle at the start of spring, the remaining hundreds of thousands of soldiers had fled without even trying to fight. This was even more unacceptable to him than the army of seven hundred thousand soldiers being defeated with five hundred thousand losses. This also meant that the Arabian Empire no longer had a means of dealing with the coalition army in the newly established Sassanid Dynasty.
No hope of victory and retreat without a battle—this was the greatest humiliation Mutasim III had suffered in his entire life.
The Caliph clenched his teeth and finally yelled out, "High Priest! Must I keep holding back my rage? Does my enormous empire really have no means of dealing with these easterners?"
All was quiet, the only sound in the hall that of the Caliph's echoing voice. After what seemed like a second and like countless years, an elderly voice finally came from behind the Caliph.
"It is just a single defeat. What need is there for Your Majesty to be so troubled?"
Light and shadow shifted behind the Caliph, and then an elderly figure wearing a black robe and holding a staff that represented supreme divine power slowly walked out from the shadows. As he moved, his black robe shifted, its rustling akin to the dying cries of countless sandworms. But the figure itself made no noise, as if it was a ghost emerging from the abyss.
At this time, the only person in the entire empire who could appear so close behind the enraged Caliph was that most mysterious High Priest.
"We cannot endure any longer! This is truly an enormous humiliation! We will gather up all the armies of the empire and fight a battle to the death with the Great Tang, vanquishing Khorasan and all the infidels of the east once and for all!"
The Caliph's eyes were red as he howled, the energy erupting from his body causing his robes to fiercely flap in the air, shrieking as if they were actually sabers or swords.
"Your Majesty does not need to worry. It's just a small bunch of Tang. There is no need to get angry over them. And the problem Your Majesty is worried about will soon be easily resolved."
In contrast to the furious Caliph, the High Priest was calm and extremely clear-headed. His profound eyes seemed capable of seeing through all the world's secrets.
Upon hearing the High Priest's words, the Caliph shuddered as if in understanding and turned his head.
"High Priest, what do you mean by this?"
The High Priest concealed words within words, and it did not seem like that had been some casually-made comment.
"Haha, Your Majesty, there has already been a shift in the heavenly phenomena. The matter Your Majesty hopes for will very soon take place."
The High Priest faintly chuckled, but did not explain any more.
Meanwhile, the Caliph stood in a daze, countless thoughts flitting through his mind. Suddenly, he seemed to think of something, and the fires of rage burning in his chest were greatly reduced.
The Arab assault had once more been pushed back, causing all the people of Khorasan to rejoice. Unlike the last few battles, Khorasan had relied on its own strength to push back the Arabs. This showed that Khorasan and the newly-established Sassanid Dynasty had the ability to protect themselves.
Countless cheering Khorasani walked the streets in jubilation.
Time slowly passed, and at some point, night fell, at which time Wang Chong was reviewing documents in his room. The battle during the daytime had been completely within Wang Chong's expectations. He had had more than ten thousand ballistae and one million ballista bolts imported from the Qixi Armory, which could deal with practically any enemy army. Even if there had been one million enemy soldiers outside the city, a single bolt for each soldier would still be enough to wipe them out. This was also why the Great Tang had not been stingy with its use of precious ballista bolts in this battle.
Each ballista bolt cost around one hundred taels of gold, so one million ballista bolts was essentially one hundred million taels of gold. Not even Wang Chong would dare to actually use them so recklessly. But since he had already extorted more than one billion taels of gold from the Caliph of Arabia, such costs became almost irrelevant. Even if the Bureau of Military Personnel or Bureau of Revenue criticized him, Wang Chong could take out a few hundred million taels to silence them.
With such an enormous fortune, Wang Chong really didn't care how much the ballista bolts cost, allowing him to brashly mobilize so many ballistae in Khorasan.
Time slowly passed, with Wang Chong completely immersed in his documents. As the coalition army got larger and larger, so did all the trivial matters concerning it. Feng Changqing was incapable of handling all these matters by himself.
Gradually, however, Wang Chong began to sense that something was wrong. At some point, a ruckus had begun to build up outside his window, and only become louder with time. By the end, he even began to hear the firecrackers of the Central Plains and the cheering of the crowd.
"What's going on here?"
Wang Chong put down his brush and frowned.
He had spent several months in Khorasan, but he had never run into a situation like this. In the middle of his consternation, he heard a set of rapid footsteps and then a hurried knocking on his door.
"Milord, General Bahram has invited you to take part in the Fire God Festival!"
"Fire God Festival?!"
Wang Chong raised his brow in surprise.
"Great General says that Milord will only need to go to find out," the guard outside said.
Wang Chong was even more confused. But he knew that he wouldn't get anything from questioning this guard, so he stood up and exited the room. Poppopop! As he opened the door, ten-some massive fireworks shot into the air, filling the sky with dazzling light. It was only now that he realized just how raucous it was inside Khorasan.
Wang Chong stood at the entrance to his room, taking in Khorasan. Wherever he looked, he could see bonfires fiercely burning, illuminating the night sky with their intense glows. And at this time when Khorasan should have fallen silent and all its people gone to bed, the city was now an ocean of music and merriment. There were so many people packing the streets that not even Wang Chong could count them all.
"What is going on here?"
Wang Chong's eyes went wide. After spending so much time in Khorasan, he still had no idea what was going on.
In the midst of his confusion, he heard a familiar voice. "General Wang, over here!"
Wang Chong turned and saw Bahram wearing a fiery-red robe, standing together with several other rebel leaders by a fire. All of them had ruddy expressions and beaming faces of happiness.
Wang Chong walked over and asked, "Great General, what's happening in the city? And what is the Fire God Festival?"
"Hahaha, the Fire God Festival is the Festival of Light. We Khorasani worship the Fire God, who is also the God of Light. This is the most significant festival that we celebrate each year. But ever since the fall of the Sassanid Dynasty, all the Khorasani were enslaved and controlled by the Arabs, so we were no longer able to hold the Fire God Festival. But this time, with the Sassanid Dynasty reestablished and the Arabs having been defeated twice, all the people were jubilant and decided to once more hold the Fire God Festival. After considering the matter for a long time, we decided to go with the will of the people.
"General Wang, you are the savior of our Sassanid Dynasty and all Khorasani. Without you, the Sassanid Dynasty would have never been able to see the light of day again and all of us Khorasani would continue to remain under Arabia's reign of terror. Thus, no matter what, you must take part in this Fire God Festival!"
Bahram smiled as he made the invitation.
Wang Chong was hesitating when he heard the rebel leaders urging him on.
"Milord, hurry! Even Lord Gao and the others have participated. You're the only one missing out!"
"That's right, Milord! Everyone else is waiting for you!"
After some hesitation, Wang Chong finally nodded.
As he followed Bahram and the others along the streets, he could see thousands of figures gathered around numerous bonfires, singing, dancing, and celebrating. There were men and women, the old and the young, in these crowds, each face brimming with joy and excitement that came from the depths of their hearts. Wang Chong couldn't help but be affected by the infectious mood of the crowd.
At this moment, the crowd noticed Bahram and Wang Chong, and immediately began to loudly cheer. Boom! A well-developed Khorasani maiden rushed through the crowd, gave Wang Chong a charming smile, and then placed a garland of fiery-red flowers around his neck.
At this moment, the crowd broke into deafening cheers and sharp whistles, and even Bahram couldn't help but laugh.
"Haha, this is a tradition of our Sassanid Dynasty. If a foreign guest takes part in the Fire God Festival, we will gift them with a fire garland to show our warmth and respect. But if an unmarried maiden gifts it, it means that they love you!"
Bahram's words immediately made Wang Chong's cheeks turn red, and the surrounding rebel leaders all laughed. As for the Sassanid maiden who had gifted Wang Chong the garland, she madly danced around Wang Chong while boldly shooting him sultry gazes.
Bahram softly chortled as he wasted no time in whispering into Wang Chong's ear, "Ah, that's right, I forgot to tell you. Sassanid women are different from those of the Central Plains. When they find a man they like, they'll start to court them. Milord, your martial arts are peerless and talent extraordinary, and you are still unmarried. There are many young maidens in our Sassanid Dynasty who are filled with admiration toward you."