The Records Of The Human Emperor Chapter 1288
Chapter 1288: Khorasan In Danger
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Li Junxian's expression was cold, his voice deafening. The news had also caught him off guard—the siege of Khorasan had happened too abruptly. But if the Great Tang sent soldiers now, all that he had worked so hard to achieve would be for nothing.
"…In addition, the relationship between Arabia and Khorasan is complicated. Khorasan was previously the territory of Arabia and ruled by it for thirty years. Your lowly subject advises to first consult with Arabia and make the standpoint of the Great Tang known, that they should do their utmost to resolve this matter peacefully."
"Your Highness, this subject agrees!"
A major official stepped forward, his eyes coldly turning toward Wang Chong.
"King of Foreign Lands, the battles for Talas and Khorasan just barely concluded. Have not enough Tang soldiers died for you yet? Back then, it was for the sake of protecting the Western Regions, but now, for this war between Arabia and the Sassanid Dynasty, must the brave warriors of our Great Tang also spill their blood? King of Foreign Lands, it seems to me that you've taken leave of your senses!"
"You too have heard the cries of the people! Anyone who dares to deploy soldiers at this time will be offending the world! King of Foreign Lands, the world has only come to this current peace through great difficulty. Please remember that you are a King of the Great Tang, not of the Sassanid Dynasty!"
One civil official after another stepped forward, the voices of opposition getting louder and louder. Even without the current conflict between the civil and martial factions, they would have never allowed this proposal to pass. This was a war between Arabia and the Sassanid Dynasty, and yet the Great Tang was to send soldiers? Absurd!
Wang Chong said nothing, only turned to the generals in Taihe Palace. But this time, even the generals had withdrawn. At any other time, they would have not hesitated in the slightest, but now… they could still hear the anti-war protests in the capital ringing in their ears. Outside the gates of the Imperial City, countless people were marching in protest against any more wars. Not even these generals had the courage to have the Great Tang involve itself in an irrelevant war between the Sassanid Dynasty and Arabia.
The sight of these generals avoiding his gaze caused Wang Chong's heart to chill in understanding. The thing that he had most worried about had still ended up happening: the people were against war. The Confucian school had succeeded, and even the generals in the court had been influenced.
"Your Highness, if the lips wither, then the teeth will feel cold. If there is no skin, where will the fur attach to? Khorasan is a dam of the Great Tang, blocking out the floodwaters. If the dam falls and the floodwaters pour over, the Great Tang will not be able to survive on its own…" Wang Chong said in anguish. But before he could finish speaking, the First Prince cut him off.
"King of Foreign Lands! As you yourself said, military is a vital matter of state that must be carefully considered. Let us end this matter here for now. Once I report this matter to Imperial Father, I will make my decision!"
With these words, Wang Chong was forced to swallow back his speech.
"Gentlemen, court is dismissed!"
"Respectfully sending off Your Highness!"
When he saw the aloof First Prince rise from the throne, Wang Chong's mind went blank. He felt like he had accidentally stepped onto thin air and was now plunging into an endless abyss.
In his muddleheaded daze, Wang Chong didn't even know how he left Taihe Palace and the Imperial Palace.
Raising a tiger! This is raising a tiger to invite future calamity!
Does no one understand that when Khorasan falls, the next target for Arabia will be the Great Tang?
Khorasan has always been a source of powerful soldiers. If the Arabs reoccupy it, then if given enough time, those Khorasani who had resisted the Arabs will be used against the Great Tang. Arabia will be like a tiger given wings!
Countless thoughts flew through Wang Chong's mind, and he felt like something had stuffed up his chest, leaving him in excruciating misery. Not even in the southwest, when he had been facing hundreds of thousands of soldiers and had little chance of victory, had he felt so grief-stricken. But the evasive eyes of the generals in the court…
Prosperity and peace would cause the people to long for continued peace, but just when did the minds of the people crumble into such a state?
The carriage traveled forward for some time. Finally, Wang Chong heard a familiar voice at his ear.
"Your Highness, the Imperial Court didn't pass the proposal, right?"
Su Shixuan's voice came from outside, cautious and uneasy.
Wang Chong leaned against the carriage and closed his eyes. With a deep breath, he finally came back to his senses.
"The Imperial Court could never have passed it!" Wang Chong replied at last.
Outside the carriage, Su Shixuan trembled, his face paling. Although his lord had appeared out of sorts when leaving the court, Su Shixuan had not expected the Imperial Court to directly refuse the proposal to send soldiers to Khorasan. If this happened, then wouldn't Bahram and Princess Adiya… Su Shixuan felt his heart sink.
The carriage was quiet.
Wang Chong said nothing, his expression fraught with concern. Although the First Prince had said that he would make a decision after reporting the matter to the Sage Emperor, Wang Chong understood more than anyone else that these words actually meant that the Great Tang would never send reinforcements to Khorasan. And without aid from the Great Tang, Khorasan would never be able to hold against the endless attacks from Arabia.
Wang Chong felt like he was burning up from the inside with worry.
After some time, Wang Chong opened his eyes and sternly said, "Shixuan, we don't have any more time. Prepare a brush and paper and write a few letters for me."
"This subordinate will deliver this order!"
Su Shixuan bowed. The matter of Khorasan was of utmost importance. Following Wang Chong's order, they had brought brush and paper with them before leaving so that Wang Chong could issue orders at any time.
"Write the first letter to Anxi Protector-General Gao Xianzhi. Have him transfer away forty percent of his army, sending them with Cheng Qianli, Lou Shiyi, Xi Yuanqing, the Iron Wall Army, and the Mo Saber Unit being trained. Have them head toward Samarkand with the excuse of patrolling the border. Then, have them travel at night to reinforce Khorasan. I will have Lord Zhangchou of the Bureau of Military Personnel permit them to transfer three thousand ballistae for them to use," Wang Chong sternly said.
The carriage clearly began to slow down, and Wang Chong could hear the soft sounds of a brush as Su Shixuan began to write.
"For the second letter, send it to Su Hanshan and Li Siye."
The more dangerous the time, the colder and calmer Wang Chong's voice became. Through the activities of Wang Chong and Zhangchou Jianqiong in the Imperial Court, Su Hanshan and Li Siye had finally been released. Moreover, their involvement in this incident had greatly improved their stature in the army, and even the three Confucian commanders acted with much more restraint.
"Tell them to take all the Wushang Cavalry and immediately head for Khorasan. In addition, tell them to remove all the military insignias of the Wushang Cavalry, making them free men once more."
Su Shixuan's brush paused as his face frozen in shock. But he quickly understood and lowered his head once more.
"Yes, Your Highness!"
The Wushang Cavalry were the most unique of all the soldiers under Wang Chong's command. Their fighting power far surpassed that of any other group of soldiers, and not even the Mamelukes had been any match for them. But even though Wang Chong had brought them together with the Qixi Protectorate army on his campaigns to Talas and Khorasan, the Wushang Cavalry were not actually part of the Qixi Protectorate army.
When the war was over, there had been some attempts to formally bring them into the regular army, but the Wushang Cavalry were numerous and did not belong to any protectorate army, so this matter remained incomplete even now. This force was now one of Wang Chong's strongest in reinforcing Khorasan.
The carriage got slower and slower, now barely faster than walking. The brush swished incessantly, and Su Shixuan swiftly finished writing the first and second letters.
"For the third letter, help me notify the Gangke King in the Western Regions! Have him use my name to recruit soldiers in the Western Regions. Tell the chiefs of the various tribes that our agreement will be the same as last time. They will be sufficiently rewarded by me!"
As Wang Chong issued one order after another, his expression became increasingly calm. Outside the carriage, Su Shixuan continued to rapidly write.
"For the last letter, write it to the Caliph of Arabia, Mutasim III…" Wang Chong said.
Su Shixuan froze, a stunned look on his face. He could understand writing letters to Gao Xianzhi and Su Hanshan, and even erasing the military markings on the Wushang Cavalry, but Su Shixuan had never imagined that Wang Chong would have him write a final letter to the Caliph of Arabia. Was he trying to persuade the Caliph to withdraw his troops?
Wang Chong had no idea what Su Shixuan was thinking, his mind immersed in deep thought.
"Tell Mutasim III to immediately withdraw his army. Tell him that politeness is returned with politeness, and that if he refuses to withdraw his soldiers, in the future, I will personally lead an army to seize Baghdad. In addition, tell him that if Khorasan falls and the Arabs massacre the populace, I will inflict the same massacre upon the Arabs!"
Wang Chong's voice was ice-cold as he spoke.
Su Shixuan was dazed, and then he suddenly understood. Given the vast distances between the Great Tang and Arabia and the Imperial Court's refusal to make a decision, what they needed to consider was not how to save Khorasan, but the revenge the Arabs would take once the city fell.
The Great Tang had worked with the Aswaran Cataphracts to kill nearly one million Arab soldiers. The Arabs undoubtedly held a deep-seated grudge over this matter, and given their usual style, there was a ninety percent chance that they would slaughter the inhabitants of the city once it fell. Wang Chong's final words were clearly to prevent this from happening.
Given the tough nature of the Arabs, it was naturally impossible to intimidate them with a single letter. But if the letter was from Wang Chong, then everything was different. Wang Chong had killed nearly one million Arab soldiers, meaning that he could kill even more, even massacre a city.
This letter was not just an attempt to intimidate or frighten, but an authentic threat.
Wang Chong definitely had the ability to realize his words!
With these last words, Wang Chong had apparently used up all his strength. As he leaned against the carriage, deep exhaustion appeared on his face. The swishing of the brush continued for some time, and after all the letters were finished, flapping could be heard as several eagles took off into the sky.