The Human Emperor Chapter 452
Chapter 452: Almost Within His Grasp
Chapter 452: Almost Within His Grasp!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
No one had expected the situation to reach this state.
Zhao Yatong, Bai Siling, and the others had never expected Wang Chong's operation to drag in an Imperial Protector-General, and it was Zhang Shougui, one of the most influential and powerful of Protector-Generals.
The situation had already exceeded the bounds of a normal private grudge.
This made the crowd somewhat uneasy.
As for Wang Chong, Zhang Shougui's existence was like a mountain pressing down on his head, so heavy that he found it hard to breathe.
To kill An Yaluoshan in front of a pillar of the empire like Zhang Shougui was even more difficult than ascending into the heavens. Not even someone of Li Siye's caliber could do it, so how could he?
And what An Yaluoshan did next dashed the last sliver of hope in Wang Chong's heart to pieces.
"Foster Father, save me!"
An Yaluoshan, who had originally been planning to break out of the encirclement, suddenly lunged forward and kneeled in fear before the feet of this pillar of the empire.
And those two words that came out of his mouth made everyone tremble in fear. It wasn't 'Milord' or 'Commander'. It was 'Foster Father'!
This slightly plump Hu that Wang Chong had tenaciously chased down from Drunken Sparrow restaurant to this remote courtyard was actually the adopted son of the mighty Andong Protector-General!
Wang Chong stared ahead of him, his eyes bloodshot.
This was the closest he had ever been since his reincarnation to completing his mission. Perhaps it would be the only time, and perhaps such a chance would never come again.
For this chance, he had mobilized the entirety of Deflecting Blade Manor and the spirit vein mountain, summoning all the guards of the Wang Clan and all the forces that the Wang Clan was on good terms with. Even Elder Ye and Elder Zhao had appeared.
And he had revealed the entire strength of the Wang Clan to deal with An Yaluoshan.
But now, everything had failed.
That figure before him was an enormous mountain, warding off all possibilities and blocking off all his goals.
More importantly, Zhang Shougui still had no idea what he was doing.
And Wang Chong was certainly not going to explain.
At this moment, even Wang Chong's heart was dripping blood.
"Is there really nothing to be done"
Wang Chong's eyes were red, his nails were digging into his flesh, and he had even bitten through his lip.
There was no 'three military regions', no 'King of the Turks', no future 'star of calamity'. The current An Yaluoshan was a powerless 'nameless soldier'.
Not even twenty zhang separated him from Wang Chong. And Elder Ye, Elder Zhao, Li Siye, and even Old Eagle or the Huang Clan patriarch could easily destroy him from a distance of several dozen zhang.
As long as they could kill him, the future calamity could be easily resolved. But now, everything was impossible.
Zhang Shougui oversaw the northeast and had made his name ages ago, and in terms of strength, he was even stronger than Zhangchou Jianqiong. At such close distances, it was practically impossible to kill anyone in front of Zhang Shougui.
Not even if they all worked together!
"Brat, what is your Wang Clan up to? Are you declaring war against me?"
A voice resounded in his ear as Zhang Shougui stood in the center of the courtyard like a god. The hem of his clothes trembled while his eyes seemed to spit fire as they locked onto Wang Chong at the front of the crowd.
This was An Yaluoshan and Ashina Sugan's first outing, so they were not familiar with the great clans of the capital. But Zhang Shougui was able to recognize the emblems on the uniforms of the Wang Clan guards with just a glance.
He had even recognized Wang Chong.
In the Regional Commanders incident, Zhang Shougui had gathered a vast amount of information. He had even accumulated a large stack of sketches of Wang Chong.
But recognizing Wang Chong almost made Zhang Shougui even angrier, and seeing the dead Youzhou soldiers made the flames of his rage spew into the heavens.
He had just gone into the palace for a while to see a few ministers, and the result was that all his subordinates had almost been massacred. How could Zhang Shougui accept such a thing?
Only he could decide the fate of his subordinates. Even if they died, they still had to die at his hands!
"A misunderstanding, it must be a misunderstanding! Lord Zhang, Young Master Wang assuredly did not intend to offend you" Zhang Jian and the Huang Clan patriarch quickly began to explain.
The Zhang Clan and Huang Clan currently shared both glory and disgrace with the Wang Clan. Thus, when they saw that Zhang Shougui's spear was pointed at Wang Chong, the two hurriedly spoke up to defend him.
The pair had not expected that by following Wang Chong in this hunt, they would actually provoke the great god that was Andong Protector-General Zhang Shougui. Now that this matter involved the Andong Protectorate and the Youzhou army, it was no longer some minor concern.
If matters were handled poorly, this incident would send shockwaves through the court.
"Silence!" A furious roar exploded forth like a peal of thunder. Zhang Shougui's face was a sheet of ice, and with a sweep of his sleeve, a dreadful energy that made the heart tremble burst from his body.
"What sort of thing are you? Do you even have the right to speak in front of me?"
As that voice rumbled through the heavens, Zhang Jian and the Huang Clan patriarch felt stifled. Though their mouths were open, they couldn't get a word out in the face of Zhang Shougui's might.
A man's name was like the shade of a tree!
The Zhang Clan and the Huang Clan were both respected clans in the capital, but compared to Zhang Shougui, the ever-victorious Protector-General of countless battles who wielded massive influence in the army, there was quite a large discrepancy.
And Zhang Shougui was not wrong. Neither an elder of the Zhang Clan nor the patriarch of the Huang Clan had any right to speak before him.
"Second Brother Ye, Third Brother Zhao, is this that man's will?"
Zhang Shougui's chilly gaze turned to Elder Ye and Elder Zhao. These elders were the Wang Clan Old Master's subordinates. They had also once held very high positions in the military.
Although they had been retired for several decades and were no longer recognized among the younger soldiers, Zhang Shougui, as one of the most senior Great Generals, had interacted with them before.
Thus, before him, these two couldn't even hope to conceal their identities.
"Lord Zhang, this matter has nothing to do with the duke. It is completely Young Master Chong's will."
"Although we do not know why he wanted to do this, from his past activities, we are confident that he has a reason."
Elder Ye and Elder Zhao had already retreated to Wang Chong's side, standing guard in front of him. Even these two had solemn expressions as they faced down Zhang Shougui, felt the enormous pressure he exerted.
Despite Zhang Shougui's reputation and status, he was still inferior to the old duke in the hearts of the people, but it was not by much. Moreover, he was slowly catching up.
If only he could become Prime Minister of the empire!
All was silent. Elder Ye's and Elder Zhao's words had made Wang Chong the center of attention. To tell the truth, there was still no one who knew why Wang Chong had issued that order.
No one knew what sort of grudge Wang Chong had against that Hu.
"Hmph, brat, so it was all your doing?"
Contempt in his eyes, Zhang Shougui suddenly turned to Wang Chong with a cold sneer.
Wang Chong's voice was calm and flat. Even before this renowned Protector-General, Wang Chong did not show the slightest hint of fear.
"Hahaha, foul brat, did you think I'd believe you?"
Zhang Shougui angrily smiled.
So many people had appeared here, so many Wang Clan guards, and even retired generals like Elder Ye and Elder Zhao, yet Wang Chong said that this was all his doing?
How could Zhang Shougui possibly believe that?
Suddenly, he began to remember how the Wang Clan's Old Master had inhibited his ambitions before, leading him to spend more than twenty years guarding the border, eating wind and drinking dew.
The flames of fury came to life in Zhang Shougui's heart.
Grudges both old and new caused the rage in his heart to flourish. Everything that had happened in this courtyard had made Zhang Shougui conclude without a doubt that this had to do with his entering the capital to seek the position of Prime Minister.
If his base were destroyed and his subordinates slaughtered while he wasn't present, it would assuredly be a barrier in his plan to become Prime Minister!
The Wang Clan had already stopped him once twenty years ago. Did it want to challenge him once more, twenty years later?
The moment Zhang Shougui thought of this, his heart filled with fire.
Wang Chong was observing Zhang Shougui's face and already knew what he was thinking. When Zhang Shougui was young, he had been high-spirited and full of potential, a true servant of the empire.
But the older Zhang Shougui, the one who had spent twenty years squatting in Youzhou, had grown more dictatorial and obstinate as he rose through the ranks. Over the years, he had grown less amenable to the opinions of others.
Wang Chong was well aware that no matter what he said today, Zhang Shougui probably wouldn't listen.
"Milord Protector-General does not need to believe me, but everything I say is true. Today's incident has nothing to do with Milord, nor does it have anything to do with the Youzhou army. It is purely a grudge between the Wang Clan and An Yaluoshan."
As Wang Chong spoke, his eyes were fixed on An Yaluoshan, who was now hiding behind Zhang Shougui.
Whether in this life or the last, no matter how many cycles of reincarnation had passed, An Yaluoshan would always have that same sharpness and cunning!
"What are you trying to say?"
Zhang Shougui's expression showed a small crack. He had only just arrived, so he had no idea what had happened, but he could tell from Wang Chong's expression that he didn't seem to be lying.
"Hmph, why doesn't Milord first ask your adopted son? Ask him what he did this morning in Drunken Sparrow restaurant?" Wang Chong said with a grim smile.
The events of the future and his own 'foresight' were completely off limits, so Wang Chong could only use his older cousin Wang Liang as an excuse for the time being.
"Foster Father, I'm innocent! This matter has nothing to do with me."
An Yaluoshan's expression morphed as he jumped and swore an oath to the heavens, his entire body shaking.
"I can swear that other than drinking alcohol, I did nothing else in that restaurant!!"