Chapter 940: After the Battle
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The darkness swiftly receded, exposing this mysterious Arab raiding force for the first time. Somewhat dazzled by the light, a bearded soldier of the Wings of Death raised an arm to block his eyes and had his horse trot backward. The Wings of Death were so used to attacking their enemies from the shadows that they found the sudden light of the torches extremely uncomfortable.
In truth, the entirety of the Wings of Death showed signs of panic at the appearance of these torches.
"Damn it! Put out these torches now!"
Nurman almost instinctively felt danger. The situation was extremely poor, as it seemed like the enemy commander had already found a way to deal with his men. Never in his career had he felt such intense danger.
Nurman raised his arm high in the air and gave the order to retreat. But he was too slow, as the enemy commander was far more formidable than he had anticipated.
A bowstring twanged, and a ballista bolt more than one zhang long flew out from behind the first defense line, shooting through one of the Wings of Death. So swift was his death that he didn't even have time to scream as the bolt punched through both him and his horse.
The ballista bolt continued unabated, in the end piercing through six Wings of Death before disappearing into the darkness.
Great Tang ballistae!
Nurman immediately realized what had happened, and his face grew as white as paper. During the day, he had seen these ballista bolts in action. The howl of each one through the air was the roar of the death god.
For this night raid, he had intentionally chosen an area not defended by the Tang ballistae. He had not expected them to arrive so soon.
Nurman was no longer just nervous, but in a complete panic. The range of the Tang ballistae was far greater than the scimitars of the Wings of Death, as was their power. In a direct confrontation, the Wings of Death had no chance against this Tang heavy weaponry.
To put it simply, the Great Tang ballistae were the bane of the Wings of Death!
"Retreat! Retreat! Retreat!"
After shouting the order three times, Nurman immediately began to ride away. Behind him, the Wings of Death began to flee with him. However, the Great Tang had prepared long for this moment, so how could it allow them to easily escape? If Nurman's Wings of Death survived, they would continue to inflict gruesome massacres on the Tang forces.
Boom! Boom! Boom! The ballista bolts poured in from all sides, fired en masse at the fleeing Wings of Death. Warhorses were fast, but they could never outrun ballista bolts. Levers were pulled and the air thundered as the once-unstoppable Wings of Death were cut down like weeds.
Thud! Crash! In the blink of an eye, countless cavalry of the Wings of Death had been felled, their corpses scattered along the ground. The whinnies, screams, thuds, and the booming of the ballistae created a discordant din as the pungent scent of blood began to waft through the darkness.
This one-sided conflict had rapidly tilted in the other direction. Nurman's Wings of Death, which had dominated the field, were now being dominated by the Great Tang ballistae.
"Release! Release! Release!"
In the distance, Chen Bin was swinging his arm down again and again, releasing volley after volley of ballista bolts at the fleeing Arabs.
"Let me see just how far you can run!"
Chen Bin's expression was cold and hard as iron. These Arabs were far too crafty, their methods of attack far too dreadful. It had taken mere moments for the defenders behind the steel walls to suffer grievous casualties. This was a group of elites extremely skilled in night raids. Their methods were clearly well thought out and planned, from the archers extinguishing the torches to attract attention to the scimitars coming in afterward to reap the harvest.
No ordinary force of soldiers was capable of this, so Chen Bin could not let them escape.
"Release! Release! Release!"
Chen Bin's expression was cold and his eyes devoid of emotion. Staring at the Wings of Death, he swung his arm down again and again.
Chen Bin was the true commander of the ballista army, and he had been with it from its establishment up to the present. He was the only one who could utilize their full might; not even Xu Keyi was capable of replicating his performance.
The ballista bolts continued to snatch away at the lives of the Wings of Death, each inflicting large losses. However, Chen Bin's eyes were focused on one person. Although ballistae did not have as great a range as catapults, they could still fire extremely far, and in Chen Bin's hands, dealing with a single person was far too easy.
"It's too late to think about escaping!"
Chen Bin stood on a transport carriage, his eyes locked on the distant figure of Nurman, a hint of killing intent within them. Anyone who dared to kill so many Tang and think about retreating unscathed was truly delusional.
Ten steps, nine steps, eight steps, seven steps…
Chen Bin silently counted down, and then he swung down his arm.
"Second team, fire!"
Boom! More than sixty ballistae fired as one, all of them aimed at the distant Nurman, their ballista bolts launching from their strings like dragons.
Nurman grimaced. Although his back was to the first defense line, the moment the ballistae fired, he instinctively felt an incredible danger approaching him. His muscles tensed and his scalp went numb, and every pore of his body began to ooze out cold energy.
Despite participating in many battles, Nurman had never felt such an alarming dread.
Booooom! A prolonged peal of thunder was approaching him at astonishing speed.
With no time to think, Nurman took a flying leap from his horse. Arabia was a country of cavalry, and for a general to be without a horse was unthinkable, but Nurman did not have time to worry about such trivialities. Bang! Mere moments after Nurman jumped away, twenty-some thick ballista bolts intersected at his horse, nailing it to the ground.
Nurman's heart was cold with fear, but he was still not out of danger.
When Chen Bin's forces had begun their assault, Chen Bin had already considered his paths of escape. More than seventy ballistae had sealed off the space around him, leaving Nurman nowhere to run.
Boom! Boom! Boom! The moment Nurman jumped away, at least seventeen ballista bolts followed him in pursuit, aimed right at his back. Nurman only had time to let all the Stellar Energy in his body explode outward before the bolts landed.
Nurman screamed as the Stellar Energy around him flickered. Although he had succeeded in blocking all the bolts, he was sent flying by the force of the impact.
As Nurman flew through the air, a horse rode out of the darkness, a muscular figure riding upon it.
"The Great Tang's Xi Yuanqing is here! Hand over your life!"
There was a heaven-shaking boom, and then silence.
At almost the same time that Xi Yuanqing suppressed Nurman, the Arab camp suddenly exploded with the sounds of fighting, and countless Arabs poured out amidst blazing fires in pursuit.
This night raid lasted until almost dawn before finally settling down. Only when the elites of the Anxi Protectorate army responsible for raiding the Arabs returned did this night truly come to an end.
Torches fiercely burned along the walls in the reception hall of the Lord of Talas. The yellow light made the faces of the people in the room shifty and indistinct. Wang Chong, Gao Xianzhi, Cheng Qianli, Li Siye, Chen Bin, Xi Yuanqing, Huang Botian, and the other officers who had taken part in the night raids were present, as well as Ferghanan Chief Banahan and Karluk Chief Guli.
The atmosphere in the room was solemn.
"How was it?"
Gao Xianzhi first turned to Li Siye. In this operation, Wang Chong and Gao Xianzhi had acted separately against the Tibetans and the Arabs, each left to their own devices. But now that the battle was over, it was time to take stock of the gains and losses.
"Sun Zhiming and Cheng Sanyuan were both discovered beforehand, so their three forces didn't suffer any losses. But we still encountered some resistance in the Tibetan camp, and several of the teams were obstructed, leading to losses of around sixty to seventy men," Li Siye sternly replied.
They had made ample preparations for this operation, and had even worn Tibetan armor to confuse their foes, yet they had still lost around sixty men. This was war. No matter how cautious one was, losses were inevitable.
Gao Xianzhi nodded.
"What of the Tibetans?"