The Human Emperor - Chapter 199: The Three Great Troops of Great Tang
“The Three Great Training Camp is a major affair of the royal court, and the Sage Emperor is extremely concerned about it. One thing you must know about the Three Great Training Camps is that they are built to augment the military. The royal court’s intention behind contributing resources to train you is not for you to boast about your strength. Rather, it is to prepare you for the military so that you can contribute to the empire through your talents.”
“Thus, there is some basic knowledge that you must know about Great Tang’s military. Judging from your current cultivation realms, it’s also about time for you to come into contact with this.”
Zhao Qianqiu said as the group stood by the side of the archery training ground encircled by a fence.
“The troops in the military can be divided into three main categories—archer, footsoldier, and cavalry. You’ll have to choose among the three categories in the future. Of them, archers represent dexterity!”
Zhao Qianqiu pointed to a student standing a significant distance away in the training ground. The student drew an arrow on a gigantic bow and abruptly released his grip. Xiu xiu xiu! In the blink of an eye, a dozen arrows were released in unimaginably short intervals.
In just a short instant, that person managed to shoot twelve arrows individually. The twelve sharp arrows flew in differing trajectories and struck twelve different wooden dummies fifty meters away accurately.
Xiu xiu xiu!
Almost instantaneously, another recruit drew his arrow. This time, it was fourteen sharp arrows striking the same puppet from many different directions.
And all of the arrows accurately landed on the vitals of a human.
Upon seeing this sight, everyone was stunned.
“That’s dexterity! Martial artists who cultivate dexterity-type secret arts will possess attacking speed far beyond that of their peers. In fact, some of the outstanding ones are even able to move ten times faster than —-. In other words, in a physical brawl, in the duration that you are able to deal your opponent a single punch, the other party might be able to deal you two, three, or even more.
On the battlefield, the most suitable class for such a martial artist is archery. With a high attacking speed, one will be able to shoot a huge quantity of arrows to be fired within a short moment. Rumor has it that the most talented archer in the Eastern and Western Turkic Khaganate is capable of simultaneously striking fifty sprinting hares on the exact same spot of their body from several li away.
(li -> 0.5km)
In other words, on a battlefield, he could destroy fifty of our elite foot soldiers in the blink of an eye! If there were ten such people like him, can you imagine how many of our footsoldiers would die in just a short face-off? If the numbers increased further to fifty or even more, our vanguard would start to falling apart!”
“However, even though the master archers in the Eastern and Western Turkic Khaganate are incredibly talented, the strongest archers are still within Great Tang. Do you know why?”
At this point, Zhao Qianqiu abruptly paused and flashed the group a mysterious smile.
“Bow, armor, and arrows!”
Zhao Jingdian muttered after contemplating for a moment.
“Smart! It’s because our Great Tang has the world’s best bows, sharpest arrows, and sturdiest armors!”
Zhao Qianqiu complimented.
On the other hand, Wang Chong’s eyebrows knitted together inconspicuously. At that instant, he recalled the issue that Elder Ye, Duke of Hu, and the others raised.
In the past few decades of trade between Great Tang and the rest of the world, the Eastern and Western Turkic Khaganate had accumulated a massive pile of top-notch metal, arrows, and armors.
Such a long period of time was sufficient for them to craft a huge quantity of armor and sharp arrows.
Even though Wang Chong had already advised Elder Ye and the others regarding the usage of using tariffs to control the flow of metal, there was nothing they could do about those the resources had already been transported out of Great Tang’s borders.
“Everyone has just enlisted into the camp. Zhao Qianqiu is probably intentionally leaving this issue out so as to prevent fear and panic!”
Wang Chong thought. In truth, he couldn’t tell whether this was good or bad.
“… But the only ones who could deal with master archers are master archers themselves. Thus, the empire has always valued the grooming of master archers!”
Zhao Qianqiu continued.
“Strength, speed, and dexterity. Those are the three main classifications of martial arts. If dexterity grants one aptitude for archery, speed would correspond to cavalry then.”
Zhao Qianqiu said as he walked toward another giant training ground. Several fully-armored examinees could be seen riding taking turns riding two valiant black war steeds, and the wind whistled as they galloped to and fro the area. On the training ground, there were various obstacles such as wooden stakes and formations.
These few people had to travel along the narrow spaces between the wooden stakes, but even so, their speed didn’t fall by the least.
Held in the hands of the riders were wooden swords which they jabbed the wooden stakes with relentlessly as they passed them by. Every single one of their stabs would accurately strike the vitals on the wooden stakes.
“Seems like there are many good buds in Kunwu Training Camp!”
Standing by the perimeter of the training ground, Zhao Qianqiu saw an examinee stabbing accurately on every wooden stake from the same angle on the same location and complimented.
“There are two main advantages to a mount—greater mobility and enhanced strength from the momentum of a charge!”
Zhao Qianqiu suddenly gestured to another instructor on the training ground and the latter replied with a chuckle.
“Zhao Qianqiu, I’ll just say it first. This stone is mine so you better carry one up to replace it by tonight!”
“Cut the nonsense, are you doing it or not?”
Zhao Qianqiu reprimanded jokingly. Clearly, the two of them were close to one another.
“Fine, on the account of your students, I’ll give in to you this once!”
The latter gestured helplessly. Then, taking off his helmet, he slowly aimed his spear at a specific direction.
The group turned in the direction at which the spear was aimed for, and at around fifty zhang away, a massive rock possessing the height of two men towered.
“Heavy! This must be Xuanwu rock. It probably weighs four thousand to five thousand jin!”
Wang Chong roughly estimated the weight of the boulder. He had already noticed it when they had just arrived earlier, but thinking that it was just an ornament, he didn’t pay it any heed then.
But from the looks of it now, it seemed to be a dummy for the training of the cavalry!
Seated on the back of an armored steed, the instructor was dressed in a heavy black armor and an aura of menace crept forth from him. At this instant, he felt like a demon who had just crawled out from hell.
The war steed neighed and charged forward, leaving behind innumerable after images behind them.
Before the crowd could process what was going on, a deafening explosion sounded in the distance. The ground shook violently, and the four thousand jin Xuanwu rock abruptly burst apart, blasting thousands of fragments into the air.
At that very instant, everyone was stunned. A huge wind blustered from the impact, and even at several dozen zhang away, the group could feel a dull pain on their faces.
The war steed cried valiantly. Under a mysterious veil of dust and rock fragments. the silhouette of a man and his steed gradually reappeared. At this instant, he resembled a war god who had descended from the heavens.
“Zhao Qianqiu, I’ll be expecting you to replace this! Remember to move a Xuanwu rock over by tonight!”
The instructor said as he leaped off the horse, flipped across the fences, and disappeared toward the bottom of the mountain.
“Did you see that? That’s the might of a charging cavalry. With a war steed, an Origin Energy Tier 5 martial artist can easily achieve an assault equivalent to the full might of an Origin Energy Tier 8 martial artist, and that is just a conservative estimate. A group of True Martial Tier 5 steel cavalry can easily subdue a True Martial Tier 7 footsoldier army! That’s the strength of the cavalry!”
“Regardless of which nation it is, be it the Eastern and Western Turkic Khaganate, the Goguryeo empire, the Ü-Tsang empire, or Erhai’s Mengshe Zhao… even when going as far west as the Charax Spasinu and the Abbasid Caliphate, every single one of them prioritize the grooming of a large and powerful army of steel cavalry.”
“The might of a single cavalry might be negligible on the battlefield but when they came in an army, they would be the nightmare of any nation. They’ll also be the greatest threat you all will face in the future battlefields.”
“A frontal charge by a huge army of steel cavalry can easily tear apart any formation. Just like with archers, the only ones who could deal with cavalry face-on are other cavalry. As such, Great Tang also places stress on the grooming of cavalry as well!”
Zhao Qianqiu said.
Hearing those words, Wang Chong frowned inconspicuously but eventually, he decided against saying anything.
Admittedly, the might of an army of charging cavalry was fearsome, but to Wang Chong, they couldn’t even come close to be considered as ‘unstoppable’.
The current empire was still stuck with the notion that only cavalry could deal with cavalry. However, in that era when he was the Grand Marshal of the Central Plains, the charge of an army of cavalry definitely wasn’t a difficult problem to solve at all.
At the very least, the ones who could deal with cavalry were far more than just cavalry themselves!
“Last but not least, the footsoldiers! Just as you all can see here, footsoldiers are the most numerous troop we have in Great Tang!”
Oblivious to Wang Chong’s thoughts, Zhao Qianqiu advanced forward and soon, they arrived at their last destination.
Tracing the Zhao Qianqiu’s gaze, amidst a massive training ground, the group could see a large number of recruits brawling with one another.
Of the three main training grounds—the archer training ground, cavalry training ground, and footsoldier training ground—the footsoldier training ground had the most number of recruits. In here, everyone wielded different kind of weapons and utilized innumerable types and styles of martial arts.
In comparison to the archers’ shots and cavalry’s charges, the training here was much more lively and diverse.
“The core of footsoldiers is strength! Even if you are lacking mastery in riding and archery, as long as you possess sufficient strength, you will be a powerful footsoldier. Of the three main troops, the requirements for footsoldiers have always been the lowest, and the death toll has always been the highest as well. However, things have changed in the current Great Tang dynasty. From the Han to the Sui, the footsoldiers of our Great Tang can be said to be the strongest in history!”
“Even though our cavalry is inferior to Ü-Tsang, and our archery is unable to match up to Eastern and Western Turkic Khaganate, our footsoldiers are the strongest of them all!”
“You all have to remember that the troops of our Great Tang never operates individually. When our archers are suppressing the other archers and our cavalry are curbing the other cavalry, all that is left is for our footsoldiers to conquer!”
Hearing those words, loud cheerings sounded in the area. Even the other recruits who were passing by couldn’t help but smile at those words.
Indeed. Of the entire world, Great Tang’s footsoldiers definitely ranked at the top. When a legion of footsoldiers were allowed to come into close quarters, regardless of whether they were facing archers or cavalry, with just their overwhelming number in itself, they would be able to subdue just about any enemy easily.
Thus, even though footsoldiers couldn’t match up to soldiers and cavalry, Great Tang still chose to maintain a huge army of footsoldiers.
Of the entire world, Great Tang was the only one who could utilize footsoldiers to such a level!