The Human Emperor - Chapter 1060 - A Battle Without Precedent in History (IV)
Chapter 1060: A Battle Without Precedent in History (IV)
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The furious winds began to truly whistle. In the urgent situation, Kong Zi-an didn’t have time to say anything more. Unsheathing his Wootz Steel sword, he slashed it at the exposed gears of the silver weapons. Clang! Even a slash with all of Kong Zi-an’s power was only able to leave a cut about one inch deep on the silver weapon.
These were the ‘Behemoths’ that Qutaybah had brought from the northern war zone. They had been exquisitely forged with many of the finest materials and had been further reinforced with thousands of defensive and toughening inscriptions. Their toughness was difficult to imagine. Even the attacks of the Great Tang ballistae could not effectively damage them.
This was why Kong Zi-an had decided to avoid the main body and attack the exposed gears.
Clang! The moment Kong Zi-an pulled his sword away, another Wootz Steel sword slashed down, leaving a shallow cut on the external gear. Then came a third, a fourth, a fifth… Hundreds of Wootz Steel swords hacked down, and in a few seconds, the external gears of this ‘Silver Behemoth’ were severed. Kong Zi-an and the others had succeeded in destroying the crucial mechanisms of this siege weapon.
Kong Zi-an’s eyes flashed with cold light as he rode off toward the second silver weapon. A few seconds later, another silver weapon had been crippled.
Seeing that the silver weapons were under attack, the surrounding Arab cavalry became nervous and surged at the enemy.
But they were simply no match for the power of the Ten Charges Ten Victories Formation. The faster and fiercer they came, the more quickly they were felled.
Kong Zi-an’s men tore through the Arab ranks like a tornado, constantly assaulting the silver weapons. It didn’t take long for more than half of the silver weapons to be destroyed. Kong Zi-an’s men were so fast that they only paused at each silver weapon for a few moments before leaving for the next. Moreover, they had divided their two-thousand-some men into sixty-some groups. So rapid and numerous were they that not even the Arabs could keep up.
After some time, the several hundred silver weapons were all crippled, each one surrounded by corpses. In the course of this furious assault, the four thousand Wushang Cavalry had killed more than nine thousand people, all of them elites.
The four thousand Wushang Cavalry made another round through the Arab cavalry, sowing death and chaos, before turning back to the defense line. In this entire process, not a single one of them had been wounded.
“How was it?” asked Wang Chong behind the defense line as he continued to look ahead to the battlefield.
Li Siye gave a long sigh, breathing hard. Behind him, the four thousand Wushang Cavalry also seemed a little pale and tired. Although none of them had been injured in this sortie, they had consumed an unbelievable amount of physical energy.
This one whirlwind of a sortie had consumed just as much strength as a regular battle.
Li Siye knew what Wang Chong was asking, and sternly reported, “…This wave of Arabs is stronger on every level. Their training, techniques, martial arts, weapons proficiency, their halos, and cohesion are all stronger than Abu Muslim’s soldiers.”
Li Siye was a top-notch commander who had also served for a spell at the Beiting Protectorate, giving him a sharp gaze that allowed him to very accurately judge his opponents. Although they had put on a brilliant performance just now, sweeping through the Arab ranks, destroying the several hundred silver siege weapons, ‘easily’ killing more than nine thousand elites, and coming away completely unscathed, only Li Siye and his men knew the true ferocity of this battle.
Li Siye hesitated for a long while before finally concluding, “With just our sixty thousand men, it will be very difficult to hold for very long!”
The disparity in numbers was far too obvious. Moreover, the Arabs had come with some of their finest soldiers and were at the peak of their morale. Even the Wushang Cavalry had exhausted themselves in their single sortie, let alone the other soldiers.
Wang Chong said nothing, but his heart slightly sank.
Li Siye was not the sort to lightly give up even when the opponent was extremely powerful, and he certainly wasn’t the kind of person who would say ‘it will be very difficult to hold for very long’. If even he was saying something like this, that could only mean that the situation was even more severe than he let on.
The disparity in numbers was still not a weakness the Great Tang could overcome.
“You’re dismissed. Rest well! In a little while, I’ll have need of you again!” Wang Chong ordered.
“Yes, Lord Marquis!” Li Siye deferentially said.
Li Siye didn’t even try to seat himself cross-legged on the ground. Still on his Ferghana steed, he closed his eyes and began to adjust his energy. White streams of steam began to rise from his body as he slowly recovered.
The battle was currently extremely intense, with the first defense line coming under immense pressure at every moment. Li Siye and his Wushang Cavalry simply didn’t have enough time to rest. They needed to be ready to enter the battlefield at any moment.
“Milord, should we commit the Mo Saber Unit?” asked the Gangke King suddenly from atop his black-spotted white horse.
In this interval of more than a month, the Gangke King, Xi Yuanqing, and Lou Shiyi had been training up the Mo Saber Unit. This was a new unit, a new type of soldier, a kind of soldier that wielded immense power. Most importantly, they were a unit of ten thousand that excelled at dealing with a vast sea of opponents like this.
The Wushang Cavalry and Iron Wall Army had already stepped into the fray. Only the Mo Saber Unit remained in reserve.
“It’s still not time yet!”
Wang Chong shook his head as he gazed at the four black banners flapping in the wind, his expression grave and somber.
“The Arabs still haven’t committed their strongest units. Governor Osman hasn’t sent in his strongest soldiers, nor has Abu Muslim, and the Mamelukes also haven’t moved… In addition, none of the five commanders has moved!”
The situation was already extremely dangerous, and even those heavy and nigh unshakable steel walls were swaying and trembling as if on the verge of collapse. If Wang Chong, Wang Yan, Gao Xianzhi, or Cheng Qianli entered the battlefield, they could immediately alter the situation.
But at this time, none of these four dared to make any rash actions.
The Arabs had three governors, one deputy governor, and the Mameluke commander. These were five individuals who could display a Great General level of strength, and none of them had moved. If the Tang commanders wasted their strength in this battle between lower-level soldiers, they would be large beasts showing their backs, their weakness exposed. In the end, they would be certain to suffer a destructive blow.
The battle between armies was important, but the battle between Great Generals was also a crucial factor!
On the other end of the battlefield, the four black war banners flapped in the wind, but all was quiet beneath them. This place and the battlefield were like two different worlds.
To all the armies except Abu Muslim’s, this was their first time experiencing the strength of the eastern world, of the power that lay to the east of the Cong Mountains. In this short amount of time, this empire called the Great Tang had mobilized two powerful armies that had crushed elite Arab veterans with overwhelming power.
At this moment, these commanders finally understood how the illustrious Governor of Iron and Blood had lost to the Tang.
At the very least, this eastern Tang army was not as impotent as they had first imagined.
A deputy general suddenly rode up from behind Governor Osman of Cairo and asked, “Milord, do we need to send in the Beheader Army? The opponent is extremely powerful. We can only contend against them if we send in the Beheader Army!”
The Beheader1 was the god of the Nile River, and the legends said that it was a giant crocodile that lived in the Nile. Osman was the Governor of Cairo and the strongest unit of soldiers under his command had taken on the name ‘Beheader’. This unit of soldiers had followed Osman in his conquest and had won victory after victory. Although their numbers were small, they were extremely experienced in battle and far more powerful than the other soldiers.
In the war against the Sassanid Dynasty, Osman’s Beheader Army had been responsible for sweeping aside the points of resistance in the enemy army and had rendered great service in their elimination of powerful Sassanid forces.
The four thousand infantry on the enemy side possessed supreme strength. The only force under Osman’s command that could deal with them was probably the Beheader Army.
“If that’s the case, then leave those eastern Wushang Cavalry to me!”
Suddenly, Mameluke Commander Aybak coldly laughed as he trotted his horse forward. He cared little for those four thousand soldiers of Anxi’s ‘Iron Wall Army’. All he truly cared about was the Wushang Cavalry led by Li Siye.
“I think that the Mamelukes and I will happily tear those warriors apart!”
A cruel light flashed through Aybak’s eyes. In that whirlwind of a charge, the Wushang Cavalry had destroyed many Arab elites and exhibited their strength, showing that they were worthy of being opponents for the Mamelukes.
Aybak’s eyes were burning with interest.
“Ziyad, get ready!”
On the other side, beneath the banner of the scimitar burning with black flames, Abu Muslim suddenly turned to Ziyad.
The Great Tang had mobilized its Iron Wall Army and Wushang Cavalry. Normal elites would not be able to stop them. Arabia would have to commit its own strongest forces into this battle. Just as Gao Xianzhi had created the Iron Wall Army through his many years of campaigning, Abu Muslim also had a similarly tough and powerful force that served as the core of his army.
“There’s no need!”
At this moment, a cruel and callous voice interrupted everyone’s plans. The three turned in shock to the god-like figure beneath the black hell flame war banner. The dazzling golden-armored Governor of War, Qutaybah, had finally decided to speak.
1. The name that the author uses for this crocodile god is ‘断头’, Duantou, or ‘beheaded’, but I could not find any god of this name. The Egyptian god associated with crocodiles is Sobek.↩