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Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Bangbangbang! The Fearless Army soldiers, unable to block the heavy yet nimble strikes of the Roaring Tiger Army, were forced back and back. In the end, they had only the strength to block and not counter. Once, twice, thrice… the Fearless Army soldiers waved their scimitars in a flurry of attacks like wolves a.s.sailing the Roaring Tiger Army.
But this time, they realized that their opponents had seemingly transformed into completely different beings.
The two scimitars glimmered with dangerously cold light as they attacked from above and below, back and front, left and right. But no matter the angle they attacked from, the heavy sword would come down with its enormous weight and block every single attack.
These heavy swords were stronger, faster, and more ferocious. It simply wasn't possible for these Fearless Army soldiers to block them.
The Fearless Army soldiers swiftly began to grimace.
The Arab cavalry also became ghastly pale at this sight.
The Roaring Tiger Army's attack had only one distinct trait: frenzied, ever more frenzied. The extreme speed of their attacks completely suppressed Abu Muslim's Fearless Army.
Abu Muslim was known as the Governor of Iron and Blood, the strongest commander in the history of the Arabian east. But Zhang Shougui was one of those who competed for the position of Great Tang War G.o.d, a person second only to w.a.n.g Zhongsi. Moreover, he had even once had an opportunity to leverage his military achievements to attain the position of Great Tang Prime Minister.
Although Zhang Shougui was not personally at Talas, there was no doubt that in this contest with Abu Muslim, Zhang Shougui firmly stood above him.
"The Prefectural Duke of Nanyang is truly a legend of the army. Qianli is bursting with admiration."
As he watched the rapid suppression of the fierce twin-sabered Fearless Army by the Roaring Tiger Army, Cheng Qianli couldn't help but sigh in heartfelt admiration.
But the distant Abu Muslim and the other Arab commanders all wore gloomy grimaces.
For this Battle of Talas, the Arabs had already invested four powerful armies, more than twenty thousand men, but they had failed to break through the defenses of their enemy. On the contrary, they were the ones being suppressed. Such a thing had never happened before.
All of them turned solemn. As the elite forces of Arabia, whether it was the Ironblood Army or the Blood Beast Army, they all had their own dazzling histories and had rarely suffered defeat. Each army had its own reason to be proud. There was no question that Arabia had encountered a truly formidable opponent this time.
At this moment, an icy voice devoid of emotion spoke.
"Pa.s.s on my order! Deploy the Death Army!"
Four individuals raised their heads in shock toward the imposing and divine golden figure. But Qutaybah remained motionless. All of them could only see the dazzling profile of his face enclosed within his golden helmet. No one could see the look on his face.
The Death Army!
This was the second strongest army under Qutaybah's command, above the Blood Beast Army. Abu Muslim's army was the Fearless that did not fear death, but Qutaybah's army was the true 'Death'. It was rumored that for the sake of training this army, Qutaybah had designed a h.e.l.lish training regimen.
Each battle, he would dispatch a group of around one hundred men to charge into the enemy ranks. When there were only two or three people left in this group, Qutaybah would mobilize his army to save them. If more than one person survived, Qutaybah would have them fight amongst each other until only one survived.
Qutaybah claimed that only a person like this had the strongest will to live, a steely resolve that did not fear death, and the strongest martial arts and talent. This was the kind of person he needed the most.
But even so, this was only the first stage of many in Qutaybah's training regimen. The forging and tempering that came afterward was far crueler. By the time a soldier had become a proper Death soldier, they would have already relinquished all human emotion, leaving behind a steely resolve, tenacious fighting power, powerful martial arts, and a desire to carry out orders and crush the enemy!
Qutaybah's method was so harsh and caused so much loss of life that it had always been the target of much criticism and censure.
But later on, Qutaybah altered his policy so that he also recruited the strongest and bravest warriors from other regions and empires into his Death Army. Even though the losses continued to be astonis.h.i.+ng, since a significant portion were the warriors of conquered empires, Qutaybah had gradually managed to obtain the tacit consent of the Caliph.
This was the only elite army under Qutaybah's command that had more than half its ranks manned by non-Arabs!
From the moment the Death Army was established, it had always maintained an astonis.h.i.+ng casualty rate. But through Qutaybah's all-encompa.s.sing policy, the Death Army had always maintained a rather high number of soldiers and was very frequently replenished with new blood.
As the second most powerful army under Qutaybah's command, the Death Army also possessed incredible fighting power.
Qutaybah had his Crimson Moon Vanguard to take the lead, and following that was the Blood Beast Army. If there was an opponent that not even the Blood Beast Army could overcome, or if Qutaybah determined that his opponent was stronger than the Blood Beast Army, he would send in the Death Army. In the battles in the northern Arabian war zone, the Death Army numbering ten thousand men was recorded to have defeated an elite enemy army of two hundred thousand while suffering very few losses.
In that battle, countless heavy cavalry of Tarsus had fallen to the ground and become the foundation for the Death Army's invincible reputation.
As Qutaybah's voice rang through the air, the earth began to rumble and a gale howled out from the rear of the army, causing the four ma.s.sive war banners to snap in the wind. At almost the same moment, a thick killing intent soared into the air along with a metallic clattering.
The Arab soldiers rushed to the left and right as a black-armored army, its soldiers equipped with long spears and scimitars at their waists, marched out in an orderly fas.h.i.+on. Black mist seethed on their bodies, tinged with the aura of death.
But the most striking things about them were their faces.
All the Death Army soldiers had their features obscured behind masks of black and silver rendered into the faces of demons from h.e.l.l. The nearly ten thousand soldiers of the Death Army marched forward, the masks on their faces perfectly fusing with the somber and gloomy aura of death around them.
"Get out of the way! Out of the way!"
"It's the Death Army!"
There was chaos in the Arab army as the stalwart Arab cavalry fled in stark fear, getting out of the way of the emotionless Death Army as if it was the bearer of a plague.
Not a single soldier dared to get within a hundred feet of the Death Army. It was like an invisible wall had formed around them.
The Death Army!
This was one of Qutaybah's legendary armies of the north. Even soldiers from Khorasan, Samarkand, and Cairo had heard its name. These soldiers had been forged from mountains of corpses and seas of blood. They were death incarnate. The other soldiers had witnessed the ten thousand men of the Death Army spend all of the previous night standing like sculptures, neither resting nor moving.
There was a rumor amongst the soldiers that the Death Army didn't even need to sleep or that they stood while sleeping. They had nurtured an instinct to kill. Anyone who approached, even an ant, would cause them to wake up. Thus, the Death Army soldiers even maintained a strict distance around each other.
This oddity meant that while the Arab army had been stationed in this place, a very large area around the Death Army had been left vacant. Even though all of them were Arab soldiers, they all regarded the Death Army with dread.
Hrooom! The black war banner of the skeletal G.o.d of death was held aloft over the seething mist of the Death Army as this army continued its heaven-shaking advance.
"Milord, the Arabs are moving!"
Behind the first defense line, the mounted Xu Keyi stood next to w.a.n.g Chong, his eyes extremely grave. Besides the battles between the elite soldiers, the Great Tang had also been keeping a constant watch on the Arab rear.
The Death Army had only just moved out, but the Great Tang had already noticed its movements.
According to the report from the Khorasani, the Arabs had gathered two-fifths of the empire's military strength, meaning that they had also gathered numerous elite forces. Arabia had a different system from the Great Tang's. They divided their borders into four large war zones: East, South, West, and North. These large war zones were further divided into smaller war zones.
Qutaybah and Abu Muslim were undoubtedly the commanders of two major war zones, so they commanded immense armies. These armies together with the armies of an elite commander like Osman meant that the Arabs had many top-cla.s.s soldiers ready to deploy.
"Xu Keyi, how many soldiers do we have right now?" w.a.n.g Chong said.
"We still have the four thousand Dragon Stallion Army soldiers of the Beiting Protectorate as well as the two thousand Ultimate Martial Army soldiers from the Duke of E! In addition, the Mo Saber Unit and the Wushang Cavalry have still not been deployed!" Xu Keyi sternly said.
This battle was far more intense than had been imagined. This was only the first day of battle, but the Great Tang had already committed more than seventy percent of its elite forces. The Arabs had committed about the same percentage.
w.a.n.g Chong slightly creased his brow.
In comparison to yesterday's battle, both sides had now received all the reinforcements they would be receiving, and the level of this war was also on a far higher level. This time, the Great Generals had remained in the background. Qutaybah was still observing from the rear on the Arab side while on the Great Tang side, the Demonic Emperor Old Man and the Wushang Village Chief had yet to move.
Both sides were probing each other's strength!
They were both waiting until the forces of the other side began to collapse or show some weakness. This was a battle of resolve and strength!