The Human Emperor Chapter 1158
Chapter 1158: The Convulsing Capital
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"These Arabs are truly too useless! If I had known that they would lose to the Great Tang, I would have never offended the Great Tang for the sake of some petty profit."
When Qixi Protector-General Wang Chong was frenziedly recruiting soldiers in the Western Regions, not all the tribes had vigorously stepped forward. There was no lack of tribes like the Argen tribe that had been bribed by the Arabs. They found various reasons to not take the mercenary contracts while secretly sowing chaos in the Western Regions.
This would have been fine if the Great Tang had been defeated, and the Argen tribe could have obtained an enormous sum of 'war assistance gold' from the Arabs. But now, Arabia had been defeated, and the Argen tribe had to think about how to deal with the fury and reckoning of the Great Tang.
"Chief, what should we do? I hear, I hear that the new Tang commander is an extremely bad person to provoke!" one of the core members of the Argen tribe asked, his face ghastly pale and sweating profusely.
Qixi Protector-General Wang Chong hadn't been in the Western Regions for very long, but his name already thundered in everyone's ears. For the sake of the Gangke tribe, this Tang commander had exterminated the Saka, accusing them of going back on their word. And in the war between the Great Tang and Arabia, his army had killed four hundred thousand Arabs. Such cruelty and callousness made him seem like an Asura general.
No one dared to imagine what would happen to the tribe once he returned to the capital and began to settle accounts.
Suddenly, he clenched his teeth and added another order. "In addition, prepare one hundred thousand head of livestock, one hundred beauties of the Western Regions, and ten of the maidens the Arabs sent. If Feng Changqing doesn't agree, then our only option is to flee to the deserted and frigid lands of the extreme north. I have heard that there is an emerging group of savages living there. When the time comes, battle with them might be unavoidable."
Similar events were taking place all across the Western Regions. The major victory at Talas had intimidated all the tribes. Unlike in the past, the Great Tang had finally proved itself as the supreme force on the continent by defeating the strongest empire to the west of the Cong Mountains, the Arabian Empire.
All the countries of the continent were filled with awe and respect toward the now-supreme empire.
At this moment, no one was more excited than Feng Changqing, who had been left to hold the rear in Suiye.
"Hahaha, victory! The Great Tang won! Milord, General Wang, I knew that you would return victorious!"
Feng Changqing sat on the spacious throne in the upper reaches of the hall, holding the letter Wang Chong and Gao Xianzhi had sent from Samarkand, his entire body radiating delight. He could read that letter one hundred times and not find it boring.
As the elated Feng Changqing was reading through the letter again and again, a voice came from outside. Thumpthumpthump! A messenger of the Anxi Protectorate strode into the hall.
"Milord, the Jasaka tribe of the Western Regions has sent a letter of congratulations for the victory at Talas. In addition, it has also sent ten thousand taels of gold, ten thousand head of livestock, one hundred beauties, and various pearls and agates.
"In addition, the Naiman tribe has sent thousand taels of gold, one hundred thousand head of livestock…
"The Kiti tribe has sent ten thousand bushels of agates, countless pieces of green jade, as well five thousand jade pendants carved from mutton fat jade!
"The Barta tribe has sent twenty of the highest quality pearls, ten thousand warhorses, and twenty thousand taels of gold to congratulate the Great Tang on its victory!
"The kingdom of Jushi has sent fifty thousand taels of gold, twenty thousand rolls of silk, and five thousand sets of green jade!
"The kingdom of Western Jumi has sent thirty thousand taels of gold, one hundred beauties…"
The kneeling messenger continued to read out from the long list in front of him.
Feng Changqing grinned from the throne, so happy that his lips didn't have time to come together. Quite a few of these tribes were allies of the Great Tang, but the majority of those sending gold and beauties had been wavering over which side to pick in the war, some of them even leaning more toward the Arabs. But Feng Changqing didn't care. The battle was over, and what he needed to do was find the way which would maximize the benefit to the Great Tang.
"Ten thousand taels of gold, ten thousand head of livestock and one hundred beauties? With just this little, you want to avoid a disaster and hope to see your crimes forgiven? How could that be? If I don't squeeze a little more blood out of you, none of you will remember this lesson!"
Feng Changqing squinted as he lightly tapped the fingers of his right hand on the throne's golden armrest. A second later, his mind had settled on a plan.
"Pass on my order. Enlist more soldiers and gather more mercenaries. Ten days later, they are to accompany me to Samarkand. This time, I'd like to see which kingdom or tribe will dare to refuse," Feng Changqing sternly said. "In addition, help me send a letter to Lady Xu Qiqin. If we want to smoothly advance westward and occupy Samarkand and other Arab territories, her assistance will be required."
Just a few days later, Wang Chong's second carrier pigeon, flying along the Silk Road, entered the capital.
Like a boulder crashing into a lake, the news of victory at Talas arriving in court set off an explosion of cheers. Even though the civil officials had many quarrels with the military officials, now that the Great Tang had emerged victorious over those foreigners to the west of the Cong Mountains, all of them celebrated together.
"Hahaha, victory! As expected, another victory! This king knew that you wouldn't let him down! As long as you're here, the Great Tang will have nothing to worry about on its borders!"
King Song was full of energy upon hearing the news, his head held high.
On this campaign, he had endured immense pressure in his support for reinforcing Talas, but now, the storm had passed. Most importantly, with this unprecedented victory, Wang Chong had scored full points, once more confirming King Song's keen insight.
"Bastard! All those Great Generals couldn't kill him! Is this kid a monster!"
King Qi had learned the news as well, and barely after walking out of the Imperial Palace, he could no longer restrain his rage and pulverized his carriage with a single punch.
King Qi wasn't actually very interested in military affairs. All he cared about was authority and power, but as long as the Wang Clan, King Song, and that brat continued to exist, he would find it excruciatingly difficult to achieve his goals. King Qi had attempted multiple times to bring down the Wang Clan and King Song, but that seventeen-year-old brat had ruined his plans every time.
Wang Chong was still young, but he was already a thorn in King Qi's side. The war of the southwest had already allowed Wang Chong to obtain the Sage Emperor's favor and a noble title, becoming the first Young Marquis of the Central Plains, and later, the youngest Protector-General in history. With this additional victory under his belt, even being made a King was not out of the question. King Qi felt threatened like never before.
In the southeastern section of the Imperial Palace, a carriage was parked outside the renowned Four Quarters Embassy. The door to the carriage was open, and Wang Chong's big uncle Wang Gen tidied his robes before walking out of the carriage. Wang Gen was in high spirits, his eyes bright and his face a rosy red, as if he had drunk an entire pot of wine, and his joy was evident from the look in his eyes.
His nephew had been fighting abroad, commanding one hundred thousand against five hundred thousand and dealing a major blow to the trilateral alliance of Arabia, Ü-Tsang, and the Western Turks. The entire Wang Clan was being praised and respected by the people for this feat, and Wang Gen, as the big uncle, was also being honored.
"Let's go! Take me to see the Old Master! I want to personally tell him the news!" Wang Gen loudly proclaimed.
Passing through the main gate and a bamboo forest, he made his way toward the great hall of the Western Embassy. Before Wang Gen had even gone in, he could hear loud laughter from within, and the Old Master's laughter was the most prominent of all.
"Gen-er, you came at the perfect time. That child Chong-er won a major victory at Talas. Truly, he did not let down the Great Tang and His Majesty. Come! Let's share a cup!"
An elderly and steady voice came from the hall. Duke Jiu, dressed in leisure clothes, was seated on the highest seat, and when Wang Gen walked over the threshold, Duke Jiu immediately waved at him.
"Gen-er, your father is in a rare mood. Accompany him today in sharing a few drinks!"
The silver-haired wife urged on from the side, a genial look on her face.
Duke Jiu had never been in good health, so his wife usually forbade him from drinking alcohol, but she had changed her attitude today. Not only did she permit him to drink, she even requested her eldest son to be his drinking partner.
Wang Gen had been mystified at first, not understanding how the Old Master had so quickly learned the news, but when he saw that person sitting next to his father turn his head toward him, Wang Gen instantly understood.
"Elder Ye!" Wang Gen blurted out.
No wonder! With Elder Ye here, it was no wonder how the Old Master had learned the news.
"This child will comply!"
Wang Gen faintly smiled, raising his robe as he set down at the table, which was laid out with an assortment of side dishes. Taking a small cup from the table, he clinked cups with the two elders.
"For the Great Tang!"
At the same time, at the most ancient and most revered Su Residence, the tightly-shut rear gate suddenly flew open with a bang. A child of eight or nine years old charged in, waving around a letter as he shouted.
"Hahaha! Master! Victory at Talas! Senior Brother won! He won!"
Little Jianjian was so excited that his face was red and he hadn't even noticed that he had lost a shoe while running. His eyes were flashing as he rushed toward that simple and somewhat shabby old house in the center of the Su Residence.
While he was still ten-some steps from the house, an elderly and dignified voice sternly called out like a peal of thunder. Little Jianjian's body shivered as he came to a sudden halt.
"Didn't I tell you? As a general, one must be unperturbed even if Mount Tai falls, composed even when attacked by sabers or axes. This was just a minor border conflict, but look at you now," the elderly voice sternly reprimanded.