Chapter 1152: General and Minister!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
A heart-wrenching cry came from the distance. When Dalun Ruozan saw that w.a.n.g Chong had run Huoshu Huicang through with his sword and was holding him aloft in the air, he felt like his own heart had been pierced through by ten thousand arrows.
At that moment, his mind was completely blank and his soul seemed to have been s.n.a.t.c.hed away. His eyes lost all their light.
In the war of the southwest, the cavalry of the Ngari Royal Lineage which they had needed decades to acc.u.mulate had been almost completely wiped out on the sh.o.r.es of the Erhai, and the region of the plateau occupied by the Ngari Royal Lineage itself had been rendered a complete no-man's land, and yet the light in Dalun Ruozan's eyes had never gone out. When he had been imprisoned in the Tsenpo's prison to live a dark and sunless life, the light in his eyes had never gone out. Even after they had experienced setback after setback in Talas, the light in Dalun Ruozan's eyes had never dimmed. Not even the death of Dusong Mangpoje, the Eagle of the Plateau, could cause Dalun Ruozan's eyes to darken.
But when w.a.n.g Chong ran Huoshu Huicang through with his sword and held him high in the air, the light in Dalun Ruozan's eyes was snuffed out, and they became utterly devoid of life.
“Great Minister, go!” an urgent voice bellowed out from the roaring wind. Huoba Sangye, leading the remnants of the Mutri Great Cavalry, anxiously stared at Dalun Ruozan's back.
The Arabs had already lost and Qutaybah had been killed. The Tibetans had no more reason to stay in this place. The Tang could charge over at any time, so the urgent task at hand was to preserve what manpower they had left, escape Talas, and return to Ü-Tsang.
But at this moment, Dalun Ruozan was in a completely downcast state, staring in Huoshu Huicang's direction while completely unaware of the rest of the world.
Huoba Sangye's mind was aflame with concern, and he immediately shouted orders at two of his Mutri Great Cavalry. “Get over there and help Great Minister onto his warhorse, and then immediately withdraw!”
The two Mutri Great Cavalry swiftly dismounted, frantically grabbed Dalun Ruozan, and placed him on a horse.
A moment later, Huoba Sangye took Dalun Ruozan, the remaining Mutri Great Cavalry, and the remaining Tibetan soldiers fleeing in a churning cloud of dust, not even paying a glance toward the Arabs behind them. In the face of a calamity, everyone had to fend for themselves. The soldiers of the Great Tang would catch up soon, so everyone could only take their lives into their own hands.
Huoba Sangye's force moved very quickly, traveling tens of thousands of feet in just a few short moments. And when he heard the ruckus behind him and saw the Tibetans fleeing in a trail of dust, Abu Muslim could only sigh, a complicated look on his face. He knew that the battle was over.
“Pa.s.s on my order! There's no need to try and stop them! All soldiers, withdraw at full speed!”
By working with the Tibetans, the Arabs might have been able to hold back the Tang for a while to preserve as much manpower as possible when they returned to Samarkand, but the Western Turks had already fled, and now the Tibetans were fleeing as well. The Arabs were left alone on the battlefield, and a single block of wood could not hold up a crumbling gate. The only choice here was to run.
The tens of thousands of Arabs cast off their armor and screamed as they began to madly flee westward. Unlike the previous few times, there was no resistance, nor was this any sort of strategic retreat. There wasn't even any need to sound a retreat signal. Everyone fled in a mad rush to protect their own lives.
A shout resounded over the sky and war drums thundered. Gao Xianzhi, Cheng Qianli, Xi Yuanqing, w.a.n.g Yan, Cui Piaoqi, and Li Siye all charged forward. At the same time, the Divine Martial Army, Divine Prison Army, Dragon Stallion Army, Roaring Tiger Army, the other elite armies, and even Su Hanshan's ballista soldiers swept past the steel defense line in pursuit of the defeated Arab army.
On the battlefield, w.a.n.g Chong slowly withdrew his sword, gently placing Huoshu Huicang's corpse onto the ground.
“Someone! Take care of Huoshu Huicang's body! Give him an individual burial,” w.a.n.g Chong said from atop his horse.
In the end, Huoshu Huicang had not been able to wait until w.a.n.g Chong gave him an answer, but when he saw Huoba Sangye grab Dalun Ruozan and flee the battlefield, this renowned general of Ü-Tsang, a Great General of Ü-Tsang who had once contended against Zhangchou Jianqiong, finally closed his eyes.
As his enemy, w.a.n.g Chong had originally been br.i.m.m.i.n.g with killing intent, but once Huoshu Huicang finally died, his killing intent receded, leaving behind pure respect for a true Great General.
Though they were mortal foes, Huoshu Huicang could be considered a true soldier. Even in his final moments, he was not thinking of himself, but of the fleeing Dalun Ruozan.
That smile had left an extremely deep impression on w.a.n.g Chong.
Perhaps this is the best ending for you.
With this thought, w.a.n.g Chong quickly regained his composure and looked into the distance. As he stared at the Arabs and Tibetans retreating in a great cloud of dust, his eyes turned harsh and sharp.
Even if Abu Muslim fled to the ends of the earth, w.a.n.g Chong would hunt him down. He would not give him a chance to catch his breath, much less come back again.
The White-hoofed Shadow neighed and immediately brought w.a.n.g Chong into a flying leap, covering more than a hundred feet in a single bound as it went off in pursuit.
As w.a.n.g Chong moved out, all of the power the Great Tang had at Talas was mobilized. Even those shepherds of the Western Regions that had fled a great distance were excitedly shouting as they charged back. After gathering up their herds, they began to follow the army.
“Divine soldiers! They must be divine soldiers!”
A shepherd, his head covered in a white headscarf, was so excited that his entire body was shaking. The Great Tang had truly given him an enormous surprise. Whether it was about using the Myriad Rakshasa Earthen Stronghold Formation to attack Qutaybah or that final heaven-shaking battle, the Great Tang had not leaked out any information, not even to their allies.
But no one was complaining about it now. It was enough that Arabia could be defeated and the battle won. War should be left to those people responsible for war.
“Hear my order! Teams two and three, dismantle the steel walls! Team one, load the steel onto the transport carriages and prepare to follow the army!”
Zhang Shouzhi's beard was flying in the wind and his elderly eyes were shining brightly. After working with w.a.n.g Chong so many times, Zhang Shouzhi had long ago ceased to be a simple craftsman and now knew some things about military affairs. After a stalemate of several months, Zhang Shouzhi sensed that this pursuit would not come to an end so easily. This would be an unprecedented hunt, and these steel walls could be tremendously useful to w.a.n.g Chong in any future battles.
And now that the city of Talas behind him had collapsed, there was no defensive value in holding this ground. This was a barren land that wasn't even good for grazing. Someone of w.a.n.g Chong's personality was bound to advance the defense line. Zhang Shouzhi understood this through the mutual understanding he had developed with w.a.n.g Chong over their long relationship.
With the Wushang Cavalry and Tongluo Cavalry leading the way while the shepherds and craftsmen brought up the rear, this unprecedented pursuit began. The pursuit went on through day and night, and even the elite infantry armies decided to mount horses so that they could keep up.
This was a great taboo in ordinary circ.u.mstances and did not allow these elite soldiers to wield their full power, but at a time like this, military tactics were completely irrelevant. The Arab cavalry had lost all their will to fight. For the first time in their history, these fearless Arabs that lived for war had encountered a stronger and more courageous opponent. For the first time, they had experienced a complete rout.
“Great Minister, hurry! Ahead of us is the stone bridge. As long as we get across, we can destroy the stone bridge and then return to the Tibetan Plateau through Greater and Lesser Balur, throwing off the Tang pursuit!” Huoba Sangye frantically called out.
The Tang pursuit was far fiercer than imagined. They had been fleeing from Talas all this time, and yet the roars of the Tang behind them had been ever-present. It was as if the Tang were determined to chase down the Tibetans and Arabs until they were completely wiped out.
Huoba Sangye had a proud personality, and he had led his Mutri Great Cavalry to this battle to correct their reputation, but now, Huoba Sangye didn't even dare to look back.
The auras of w.a.n.g Chong, Gao Xianzhi, the black-armored guard, Cheng Qianli, and the others were like threatening storms, and no one amongst the Tibetans could stand against them. Even someone as proud as Dama Trimo had put away his Buddhist dagger and was fleeing with all his might.
As for Abu Muslim and Ziyad, because they had given their energy to Qutaybah, they were extremely weak. Moreover, they had not been given any time to rest or recover their energy.
In this state, the Tibetans and Arabs did not have the right to battle with the Tang.
Huoba Sangye turned to the nearby Dayan Ersongrong. “Dayan Ersongrong, lead a group of soldiers to disrupt the Arabs and slightly slow them. The Tang are mostly focused on the Arabs right now. If they're thrown into disorder for a few moments, we'll have a greater chance at survival!”
Even though Dusong Mangpoje and Huoshu Huicang had both been killed, the Tibetans still had some soldiers that could fight.
Dayan Ersongrong immediately led a group of soldiers charging toward the Arabs.
With just a single charge and a chorus of shouts and curses, the Arabs were impeded by Dayan Ersongrong. As expected, the soldiers in the rear were significantly slowed and fell into disorder. In the past, Huoba Sangye would have never dared to do such a thing, but now that they had lost, the two sides could no longer be considered allies. As long as he and the Great Minister could return to Ü-Tsang, nothing else mattered.
“Go! Everyone go! Get across the stone bridge, and then we can destroy it and cut off the pursuit!” Huoba Sangye sternly shouted.
Gallop! A highland steed bounded forward onto the stone bridge that all of them had arrived at. Behind it, hundreds of thousands of Tibetan soldiers followed like a school of fish swimming through a stream.