Chapter 1094: Qutaybah's Order!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Everyone had seen Qutaybah's strength with their own eyes. A single stream of Sword Qi from him could send thousands of steel walls flying and open up a gap for the rest of the Arab army. Thus, there was still a large chance to defeat the Great Tang.
Qutaybah was completely encased in golden armor, making it impossible to see the look on his face. Just when everyone believed that he would refuse, the War God of Arabia gave a rare nod.
"Okay! However, none of you are allowed to touch that black-robed old man with the Tang. This person can only die at my hands!"
Everyone was stunned by this request, but they quickly understood. Qutaybah was the strongest governor of Arabia, with even Abu Muslim finding it difficult to contend against him at times, but in Talas, he had actually run into someone that could oppose him and block his attacks, that elder from the east. This was unacceptable to the arrogant Qutaybah.
While Qutaybah had agreed to Abu Muslim's request, it was more out of a desire to kill that mysterious old man. But no one was foolish enough to point this out, much less object to his request.
"There is still another matter."
At this moment, Ziyad suddenly spoke, immediately drawing everyone else's attention. Abu Muslim, Aybak, and Osman all looked over in astonishment.
"The Tibetans and Western Turks can no longer act like this. In this battle, they each sent out only one army and no other soldiers. Our Arabian Empire has already lost more than two hundred thousand soldiers in this campaign while the Tibetans and Western Turks have lost only a trifling twenty thousand. Since they wish to be allies with our Arabia and enjoy the fruits of our conquest, they cannot keep hiding behind us. If they wish to reap the harvest, they must appear on the front line!" Ziyad solemnly declared.
As the Deputy Governor of the East, Ziyad had been dissatisfied with the Tibetans and Western Turks for some time. In the first phase of this battle, if the Tibetans and Western Turks had worked together with the Arabs and attacked from the rear, the situation now would be completely different. Ziyad and Abu Muslim might have already swept past Talas.
Abu Muslim was silent, a pensive look in his eyes.
Abu Muslim finally made a decision and sternly declared, "Inform them! We will do as you suggest!"
If it could get him victory, Abu Muslim no longer cared about the consequences.
"The Tang are truly too powerful. The Great Tang Emperor seems to already be paying attention to this area. He actually dispatched the Tongluo Cavalry. Another step further would be the Emperor himself participating in the campaign!"
Far away from the Arabs, Dalun Ruozan, Huoshu Huicang, Dusong Mangpoje, Duwu Sili, and the others had gathered. When speaking of the Great Tang's Sage Emperor, Huoba Sangye appeared deeply apprehensive.
In the Great Tang, the Emperor was not merely an Emperor. Even Huoba Sangye knew that the strongest expert of the Central Plains was not any Imperial Great General or some hidden expert belonging to a sect. Rather, it was the Sage Emperor concealed in the depths of the Great Tang Imperial Palace. The title of 'Sage Emperor' was enough to see his status in the Central Plains and the entire eastern world.
After all, the magnificent golden age of the Great Tang had been forged by none other than the Sage Emperor!
If that person appeared at Talas, the scene on the battlefield would probably be entirely different.
"Don't worry about such things. A sovereign cannot recklessly step onto the battlefield," Huoshu Huicang suddenly said. "When we were in the southwest, if Geluofeng hadn't put himself at risk, we wouldn't have been defeated so quickly! And Mengshe Zhao wouldn't be in this state where it is a complete vassal of the Great Tang and still paying an enormous compensation. Our first priority is to deal with the battle before us!"
Huoshu Huicang turned to Dalun Ruozan, his eyes brimming with concern.
"Great Minister, this battle was a grievous defeat. I sense that the Arabs will probably vent their anger on us!"
Dalun Ruozan said nothing, but his eyes brimmed with the same worry. He was in complete agreement with Huoshu Huicang on this point.
Ever since Qutaybah and the other two Arab Great Generals had arrived at Talas, the relationship between Ü-Tsang and Arabia had slowly become more complicated. Moreover, Dalun Ruozan could sense that the authority over the battlefield had inexplicably moved from Abu Muslim, who everyone had agreed upon, to the Governor of War, Qutaybah.
This meant that the alliance between Ü-Tsang and Arabia was no longer as sturdy as it was before, that there were now many more variables to consider.
"This isn't the time to ponder such things. Our alliance with the Arabs will only have meaning if we win this battle. Otherwise, Ü-Tsang will lose any hopes of contending with the Great Tang," Dalun Ruozan sternly reminded.
No matter how complicated the situation, Dalun Ruozan was always able to extract the most crucial pieces of information from the chaos.
"I don't know if the rest of you have realized, but the greatest advantage the Arabs have in this war, their greatest strength, is not those elite soldiers, but the Governor of War Qutaybah. All of the soldiers regard him with incomparable respect, and he is the foundation of their morale. But Qutaybah seems to have encountered an opponent!"
At this time, Dalun Ruozan gave a profound look at Dusong Mangpoje.
No one knew the backgrounds of those two elders, but this was not the first time Dalun Ruozan and the Tibetans had run into him. The two sides had clashed when the Tibetans had attacked the Great Tang reinforcements led by Su Hanshan. As for Dusong Mangpoje, this was already his third meeting with those two!
Dusong Mangpoje said nothing, but his brow imperceptibly twitched while a flash of heartache flitted through his eyes.
He knew what Dalun Ruozan was referring to. In the battle of the triangular gap on the northeast corner of the Tibetan Plateau, those two elders had forced Dusong Mangpoje to flee and caused almost his entire army to be wiped out. This had also left the entire northern region of Ü-Tsang devoid of soldiers and unable to fight back against the Great Tang, only watch as the plateau was invaded.
Dusong Mangpoje had even recently heard that they had built a massive ranch there to raise warhorses. This was a humiliation that the proud Eagle of the Steppe would probably never be able to wash away.
After a long while, Dusong Mangpoje mastered his emotions and finally spoke. "Leave that person to me. In the future, no one will be able to stop Qutaybah."
Tap tap tap!
At this moment, heavy footsteps shattered the silence in the tent. Soon after, a voice speaking in Arabic came from outside.
"Is Ü-Tsang Great Minister Dalun Ruozan present?"
This voice had the trill unique to Arabs.
Dalun Ruozan appeared a little surprised, but replied, "Enter!"
A hairy Arab guard with hawkish eyes and a high nose entered the tent.
The Arab guard got straight to the point. "Great Minister, the Lord Governor has ordered that in tomorrow's battle, Ü-Tsang should deploy its soldiers and do everything in its power to cooperate!"
Dalun Ruozan instantly grimaced at these words.
"What is this Arab saying?" the hitherto-silent Duwu Sili suddenly asked.
Dalun Ruozan didn't hesitate in revealing what the Arab guard had said. In a flash, the mood in the tent changed, with even Huoshu Huicang appearing somewhat angry. He knew that the Arabs would target their rage at them, but he hadn't imagined that it would be so fast. And it seemed like the Arabs actually wanted the Tibetans to be in the vanguard and serve as cannon fodder.
Before Dalun Ruozan could reply, Dayan Ersongrong could not restrain himself. "These bastards are going overboard!"
To the young genius Dayan Ersongrong of the Dayan Clan, people like Dalun Ruozan, Dusong Mangpoje, Huoshu Huicang, and Duwu Sili were all supreme existences, truly important individuals. But this was precisely why he found the Arabs' request so unacceptable.
"Hahaha, Great Minister, do you need me to kill him?" said a brash and devilish voice. Dama Trimo, the Brigadier General of the Yarlung Royal Lineage, patted the golden Buddha dagger at his waist and laughed. His gaze was as sharp as a blade as it incessantly scanned this Arab guard like he was inspecting a slab of meat on a cutting board.
"Bastard! What are you planning on doing!" the burly Arab guard roared. Although he didn't understand Tibetan, Dama Trimo's gaze clearly communicated his intentions.
"Dama Trimo, stop!" Huoshu Huicang sternly reproved.
Dama Trimo had an overly murderous nature that even he had heard of, and now was certainly not the time for internal strife.
"Haha, since Great General has spoken, then I suppose I can let this ignorant scoundrel live."
Dama Trimo wickedly chuckled.
Huoshu Huicang shared an uncommon friendship with Yarlung Great General Namri Songtian. Moreover, everyone on the plateau knew of Huoshu Huicang's loyalty to Ü-Tsang. Dama Trimo might have been an extremely murderous person, but he still greatly admired and respected this loyal Great General.
Dalun Ruozan quickly waved his hand and dismissed the Arab guard. The tent fell silent once more as everyone focused on Dalun Ruozan.
The Arabs had their complaints about the Tibetans, a point that could be seen from tonight's conference. The two might not have shared a language, but after the horrendous losses in today's battle, the Arabs had unexpectedly not invited the Tibetans and Western Turks to their night conference. The displeasure of the Arabs could also be seen in the order the Arab guard had been sent to convey.