The Human Emperor Chapter 1007
Chapter 1007: Transaction I
Chapter 1007: Transaction! (I)
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by Michyrr
Now was truly an excellent chance to further reduce the fighting power of the Western Turks and Tibetans. However, the giant ape could only kill for two or three days before dying, whereas Chen Bin's influence on the army was much more long-term. Under his command, the ballista army would be able to kill far more enemies than the giant ape.
"This… is fine!"
Cheng Qianli hesitated for a moment before giving a nod.
"Duwu Sili, we'll do as you wish. I can withdraw my troops now, but remember, the third quarter of the Noon Period is the last time we can make our transaction. Bring Chen Bin to me unharmed, and you still have one last chance to get the secret of formation phenomena from me. But if there is no transaction at the third quarter of the Noon Period, I will not agree to any transaction regarding formation phenomena. In addition, if Chen Bin is not returned to my camp by that time, we will have our vengeance. Duwu Sili, you will pay a hundred times the price! Let's go!"
With a cold snort, Wang Chong turned his head and led his army away. This time, no one stopped him, not Duwu Sili nor Dalun Ruozan and company. All the Mutri Great Cavalry had scattered, naturally yielding them the path.
In the end, all of them remained still until Wang Chong's army had disappeared into the darkness.
Once Wang Chong was gone, Dalun Ruozan turned with a faint smile to Duwu Sili.
This simple smile made Duwu Sili's heart jump with ill foreboding.
In truth, the people from whom he most wanted to conceal the fact that he had taken Chen Bin hostage were Dalun Ruozan and Huoshu Huicang. Otherwise, he would have never acted out such a play to conceal his motives. But the plans of men were no match for the plans of heaven, and one could not count on any luck or fortune when dealing with someone like Dalun Ruozan. Not only had Dalun Ruozan exposed his plan, he had forced Duwu Sili into an extremely passive position.
"Great Minister!" Duwu Sili called out as he stepped forward with a bold face.
"Hahah, I just so happened to hear that Qixi Protector-General mention something about formation phenomena. If Great General had a lead on such a wonderful thing, Great General should have informed us ahead of time. Perhaps Huoshu and I could have assisted in Great General's scheme and the formation phenomena would have already been ours."
Dalun Ruozan gestured at Huoshu Huicang and Dusong Mangpoje, and the two Great Generals as well as the Mutri Great Cavalry merged together and rode up to Duwu Sili.
Duwu Sili instantly paled at Dalun Ruozan's words. Dalun Ruozan had spoken in a roundabout fashion, but his meaning was obvious: he also wanted a share of the secret of formation phenomena.
This was exactly what Duwu Sili had hoped to avoid. Although the Western Turks and Tibetans lived on very different altitudes, they were both steppe countries that lived a primarily nomadic lifestyle. Both empires also emphasized cavalry. If Duwu Sili could get his hands on the secret of formation phenomena, he could overturn the Western Turkic Khaganate and reforge it into an even stronger Turkic Khaganate. Thus, there was no doubt that Dalun Ruozan could do the same with Ü-Tsang.
"Great Minister truly has excellent eyes. As expected, nothing can be hidden from Great Minister! Even if Great Minister did not bring up this matter, I was prepared in a little while to tell Great Minister myself. Alas… that boy is just too crafty!"
Although he was extremely reluctant, Duwu Sili could only force himself to say these words.
Although Dalun Ruozan was insignificant as a martial artist, he was a master of scheming that even Duwu Sili would find hard to deceive. Now that Dalun Ruozan had discovered what was going and forced Duwu Sili into a passive position, it was better to just confess.
"What Great General says is true. After all, this is the Tang Emperor's personal disciple. He truly is difficult to deal with!"
Dalun Ruozan faintly smiled, exuding a superior bearing.
Dalun Ruozan didn't believe a single word out of Duwu Sili's mouth, but both of them had decided wisely to overlook this point. As long as Duwu Sili was willing to share, Dalun Ruozan didn't really care about the trivialities.
After exchanging a few more pleasantries with Duwu Sili, Dalun Ruozan left with his men.
Once Dalun Ruozan had left, Chekun Benba finally blurted out in anger, "Milord, Dalun Ruozan says that Wang Chong is crafty, but he's probably the craftiest of them all. We were the ones to plant the trees, but he's done nothing and is now plucking the fruit. This is too despicable!"
"That's right. These Tibetans are truly too much! Do they really think they own us?" Shamask agreed, his face similarly contorted in rage.
But Shamask had barely finished speaking when a hefty slap sent him staggering. Shamask covered his cheek, dumbstruck.
Duwu Sili's expression as he looked at Shamask was ice-cold.
"If you hadn't put on such a disappointing performance and lost to a Tang at only the Imperial Martial realm, putting on a farce for the Tibetans to see, they wouldn't be acting so arrogantly!"
Shamask turned red in shame. His mouth opened and closed, but he could not find a single word to defend himself.
Duwu Sili ignored Shamask. With a flick of his sleeve, he rode back to his camp.
Ten-some li from the Western Turkic camp, Dalun Ruozan and Huoshu Huicang were leading the Mutri Great Cavalry back to their own camp.
"Duwu Sili appeared to be very unwilling!" Huoshu Huicang suddenly said.
"It would be far stranger if he were willing. In this transaction for the formation phenomena, we were the ones he was guarding against," Dalun Ruozan replied with a light smile.
"But now, whether he wants it or not, it's no longer his decision," Dusong Mangpoje commented.
Dalun Ruozan's schemes were always closely linked together. If tonight's plan had been a success, Wang Chong would be dead, but if the plan failed, he could exploit the situation against Duwu Sili, and even though Duwu Sili would be extremely unwilling, he would be compelled to agree.
Dusong Mangpoje had to express his admiration.
"But the matter of formation phenomena is no minor affair, and our two empires are too similar. A mountain can't hold two tigers. Will someone of Duwu Sili's style really be willing to give the secret to us?" Dusong Mangpoje suddenly asked.
The army fell quiet, and Dalun Ruozan suddenly stopped. Everyone immediately took notice of this, and Huoshu Huicang, Dusong Mangpoje, and all the Mutri Great Cavalry stopped as well, their eyes focusing on Dalun Ruozan.
"Heheh, willing or not, won't we know when the time comes?"
With a soft chuckle, Dalun Ruozan urged his horse into a gallop. Huoshu Huicang and Dusong Mangpoje glanced at each other before following.
In the Noon Period, the sunlight scorched the earth. An enormous dragon banner fluttered on the eastern side of Talas, upon the high hills. Wang Chong stood under the dragon banner with Gao Xianzhi, Cheng Qianli, the other Tang generals, and the Wushang Cavalry, silently looking to the east.
"Lord Marquis, will Duwu Sili come?" Xue Qianjun suddenly said, shattering the silence.
He looked up to the sky, worry slowly creeping into his eyes. In the sky, the sun was slowly reaching the third quarter of the Noon Period. This was the last possible time for the transaction Wang Chong had proposed, but there was still no sign of Duwu Sili or Chen Bin.
"Relax. He will come!" Wang Chong nonchalantly said.
The calm tone soothed Xue Qianjun and the other officers, lessening their worries.
This conclusion did not arise from blind faith, nor out of trust in Duwu Sili, but from careful analysis. After fighting for so long with Chen Bin, Wang Chong well understood that Chen Bin would rather die than divulge any secrets. Duwu Sili was too greedy, so once he failed to get what he wanted from Chen Bin, he would have probably proposed a deal on his own.
"Look at that!"
Someone suddenly pointed into the distance. The ground began to tremble, and dust began to rise from the horizon. A vast army suddenly surged out from the horizon like a mighty flood.
"It's the Western Turks!"
"No, there's also the Tibetans!"
The Tang soldiers began to buzz with chatter. Two banners could be seen flapping in the wind. One was that of a golden wolf on blue, and the other was a white yak on black.
The mood instantly turned grim. The several days of fighting had made the Tang very familiar with the tactics of the Tibetans and Turks.
The Mutri Great Cavalry were in the middle of the vast army, riding in orderly ranks, their armor shining in the sun. At a distance of around two thousand zhang from Wang Chong's group, Duwu Sili's and Dalun Ruozan's forces stopped. Their gazes swept over Wang Chong's group and then over the hills, quickly falling upon the giant ape.
"What? Why isn't this beast dead yet!"
Duwu Sili's face was a mixture of vexation and fear.
The Arabs had used four Behemoths in the previous battle, and three of them were now dead, leaving only this giant ape, but for some reason, it continued to struggle on. In terms of pure strength, no one on this battlefield was a match for this ape, not even Duwu Sili. For this reason, Duwu Sili did not dare lead his army too close. Moreover, he had them ready to retreat at any moment to avoid being ambushed by this beast.
"Great General, let's go!"
Dalun Ruozan smirked as he spoke.
Duwu Sili hesitated for a moment, but he overcame his reluctance to give a nod.
Duwu Sili patted the back of his horse and broke away from the rest of his army. Dalun Ruozan, Huoshu Huicang, and the others followed closely behind him.