The Human Emperor - Chapter 1058 - A Battle Without Precedent in History (II)
Chapter 1058: A Battle Without Precedent in History (II)
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The soldiers of Governor of War Qutaybah were the vanguard of the battle and also the most experienced army on the battlefield. Even though they were seeing the beehives for the first time, they had almost instantly executed the ideal countermeasures.
These Arabs, who saw war and conquest as their duty, did not think much of camaraderie. As long as it could help in achieving victory, they would feel not even the slightest remorse even if the corpses of those soldiers were riddled with so many arrows they looked like hedgehogs.
Thumpthumpthump! As one corpse after another was thrown over, more than half of the beehives were swiftly obstructed.
The Great Tang commanders behind the steel defense line all grimaced at this sight. The Arabs had reacted far too quickly, and the callousness of their methods had completely caught the Tang by surprise. In just a few seconds, the powerful beehives were rendered into wall decorations. None of them had ever foreseen this.
But the Arabs cared little for what the Tang thought. The moment the beehives were dealt with, the Arab cavalry once more descended like a crushing cloud of locusts.
The neighing of horses and the thunderous barrage of hooves against shields rang through the air as the first defense line once more came under a furious storm of attacks. All the Tang soldiers felt a large increase in the pressure on their shoulders.
A voice rang out over the front line, not in the Han tongue, but in the language of Greater and Lesser Balur.
The thousands of pikemen suddenly stepped forward and thrust their extremely sharp pikes out from behind the first row of shieldmen. Plushplushplush! Blood gushed into the air as the formidable pikemen of Greater and Lesser Balur displayed their ability to pierce through armor.
The sharp pikes all managed to find their way through the chinks in the Arabian armor to strike at the lethal points. Squelchsquelchsquelch! As the pikes were retracted, the Arab cavalry began to drop to the ground.
Greater and Lesser Balur were just small kingdoms of the Western Regions, but even small kingdoms had their unique traits. When hiring these pikemen, Wang Chong had spent a significant portion of the ten million taels of gold the Imperial Court had given him. Now, the pikemen were displaying their abilities to their fullest extent. But not even the power of the pikemen could halt the frenzied Arab assault.
All the shieldmen at the very front line were enduring unimaginable pressure. The muscles on their shoulders were bulging, the veins rising out of their skin. Their legs were trembling as the muscles flexed and their teeth were clenched as beads of sweat rained down from their foreheads.
The consumption in Stellar Energy was secondary compared to the nigh unbearable consumption of physical energy. The frequency of the attacks each shieldman suffered every second was difficult to imagine.
“Second group, forward!”
With a wave of Wang Chong’s hand, the second row of shieldmen rapidly advanced and thrust their shields into the earth. The first line of shieldmen were instantly relieved of a great burden and began to proficiently retreat, their armor drenched in cold sweat.
The three groups of shieldmen had practiced relieving each other countless times. They could do so without a single gap in the formation.
“Third group, forward!”
A few moments later, another order was issued, and the third group of shieldmen formed from the infantry of the Anxi Protectorate army swiftly took the place of the shieldmen at the front. This process continued, one group on the front line, one group resting, and one group waiting for orders, everything proceeding in an orderly fashion.
Through this method, the first defense line was able to barely hold against the flurry of Arab attacks.
As the battle reached a fever pitch, a rumbling suddenly came from the rear of the Arab army.
“Lord Marquis, look over there!” Xue Qianjun suddenly called out, his eyes widening in shock at what he saw.
Wang Chong silently followed Xue Qianjun’s gaze and saw that something unexpected was occurring in the rear of the Arab army.
Enormous silver weapons, three meters wide and one man tall, were being escorted out from the rear, each one guarded by seven to ten men.
These silver weapons seemed extremely heavy, with the act of moving them producing an astonishing noise. Although he didn’t recognize what they were, Wang Chong’s eyes twitched as if instinctively sensing an ill foreboding.
“Inform Chen Bin to quickly act!” Wang Chong immediately ordered without turning his head.
At almost the same time, Chen Bin had also spotted those silver weapons from atop his supply carriage. His expression was grave as his hair was blown about in the wind.
As his sword swung down, it left a faint mark in the air, and with Chen Bin’s order, the one thousand Tang ballistae switched their targets. Boomboomboom! The ballista bolts howled forth with a thunderous speed as they rapidly descended on the silver weapons.
There was a metallic clanging. These ballista bolts had struck the silver weapons, but they had left not even a tiny dent. It was just thirty to forty Arab soldiers escorting these weapons who were caught off guard and pierced through by the ballista bolts.
“Adjust the angle by fifteen degrees. Aim at the soldiers escorting those silver weapons. Release!”
Chen Bin’s eyes flashed as he rapidly adjusted his plan.
Swooshswooshswoosh! The ballista bolts once more displayed their power, and with a chorus of screams, more than two thousand Arab soldiers escorting these silver weapons were struck down. Moreover, these bolts continued with their unspent strength to kill three thousand more.
Orders roared in Arabic resounded over the battlefield. As these escort soldiers fell to the ground, the silver weapons were put into action.
With the creaking of gears, a massive silver plank emerged from the left side of these weapons, and then the right side, and then from the top. Soon, these wing-shaped planks had sprung out from these weapons, protecting both the silver weapon and the soldiers behind it.
Immediately after, countless soldiers surged out from the rear, with even some cavalry dismounting to gather behind these silver weapons.
More than two thousand soldiers had died escorting these silver weapons, but even more had surged in to replace them. Not only that, these mysterious silver weapons, propelled by the combined efforts of the Arab soldiers, were getting faster and faster…
They were getting closer and closer to the first defense line.
“Wushang Cavalry, get ready!”
Wang Chong’s eyes flew open as he gave the order.
“Iron Wall Army, get ready!”
At almost the same time, Gao Xianzhi gave his own order from nearby, his expression solemn and grave. Just like Wang Chong, he felt an extremely ill foreboding from those silver weapons.
As those silver weapons picked up speed and got closer and closer to the walls, the tension increased with them. The rumbling wheels seemed to be rolling right over the hearts of every soldier, placing an immense weight on their minds.
Wang Chong and Gao Xianzhi both gravely watched.
On the other end of the battlefield, beneath the black hell flame war banner, the motionless Qutaybah watched from atop his horse, shrouded in a golden halo. As those silver weapons advanced, a cold sharpness flickered through his eyes.
As an Arab governor, Qutaybah had spent almost his entire life on the battlefield. He had encountered opponents of every kind and just as many defensive measures—high city walls, sturdy fortresses, layers of heavy shields, and all other kinds of war equipment, both familiar and unfamiliar, usual and unusual.
When facing the edge of Arabia and Governor of War Qutaybah, many opponents elected for defense. They had hoped to slowly grind down Arabia through a defensive battle, just like these Tang, but in the end, no faction or empire had been able to survive a battle with Qutaybah.
Qutaybah had means of dealing with every kind of tactic or foe.
In order to deal with these opponents who relied on defense and refused to leave their fortifications to do battle, Qutaybah had ordered the imperial smiths to construct a unique siege weapon for him.
The Silver Behemoths!
This was the name of those enormous silver weapons!
In the midst of uneasy rumbling, the huge silver weapons drew closer and closer to the steel defense line. Finally, boom! If one looked down from the sky, one could see that a long steel ram had popped out from a silver weapon like a tongue. Through various mechanisms, it smashed with tremendous force against the steel wall in front of it.
What happened next made all the Tang soldiers stop breathing for a moment. That extremely heavy and incredible sturdy steel wall shuddered, and then it, along with the shieldmen and pikemen behind it, was blasted into the sky and smashed into the army some twenty zhang away.
Boom boom boom!
These silver weapons began to move up to the steel walls, shooting out their steel battering rams and sending the walls flying. In the blink of an eye, these Silver Behemoths that Qutaybah had brought from the north were throwing aside the steel walls like they were sheets of paper.
This stunning sight coupled with the deafening metallic rumble made all the Tang feel dazzled and stunned.