The Human Emperor Chapter 657
Chapter 657: Paying A Visit To The Xu Clan
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The people from the Western Regions, the Characenians one group after another appeared around the mountain. But it wasn't just the Hu and the foreigners who were paying attention to this war. Zhang Shougui, Fumeng Lingcha, Geshu Han, Gao Xianzhi, An Sishunthese protector-generals and Great General of the Great Tang had dispatched their best and most trusted scouts to investigate the truth in the southwest.
More than a month had passed since the conclusion of the war, but to these supreme commanders of the Great Tang, it was still a complete enigma how Wang Chong had managed to defeat the Mengshe-Tsang army.
Although they had received all the information concerning the war, there was some information that could not be explained through words on paper.
To many of these Great Generals, the name of Wang Chong was that of an insignificant nobody. Many of them had even prepared themselves for a major defeat in the southwest and peril coming in from all sides.
But at this time, the southwest was actually won!
This caught everyone by surprise.
Wang Chong was just a simple name, but now, even those Hu Great Generals who hated him to the bone from the Regional Commanders incident like Fumeng Lingcha, Gao Xianzhi, Geshu Han, and An Sishun did not dare to look down on him.
"I can't believe it!"
"What a desperate battle!"
"Even the soil has turned red. Just how many people died here!"
"Milord might be wrong. This Wang Chong is even scarier than we imagined."
Countless scouts, investigators, and spies gazed at the scars of the southwestern war in shock. They were all people that lived on the hellish landscape of the battlefield, so they had a deep understanding of it.
Far too many people had died on this battlefield. Whether it was the northwest, the northeast, or Beiting, these places were embroiled in war throughout the year. But none of those wars had ever had this sort of desperate aura. To these veterans, this cold and sinister stench lay far too thick on this land.
And unlike those generals who resided high above, all these lower-level veterans could feel the intense struggles and screams of these soldiers in their final moments.
One hundred thousand soldiers of the Annan Protectorate army had contended against five hundred thousand soldiers of the Mengshe-Tsang army. When they first heard of this news, they found it very difficult to believe, because conflicts on the border rarely reached this scale. But when they saw the size of the battlefield and the layers of red soil that extended several feet into the ground, none of them had any more doubts.
Shock was the only emotion that all those who arrived here felt.
Just the thought of that boy called Wang Chong, leading the one hundred thousand soldiers of the Annan Protectorate army in carving a bloody path through and defeating the five hundred thousand soldiers of the Mengshe-Tsang army, made these soldiers feel a deep respect for this youngest son of the Wang Clan.
Countless pigeons took off in all directions, bringing new information to their masters, whether it was the generals of the border or the foreign powers around the Great Tang
The intelligence reports of these powers had all added a name with extremely great weight: Wang Chong!
Putting aside the activity on the Great Tang's southwest and its borders, the empire itself was shrouded in an air of celebration and liveliness.
"Make way, make way!"
Not long after Wang Chong's reward ceremony concluded, red-uniformed cavalry galloped out of the gates of the palace to various places in the capital.
The leader of this unit of cavalry dismounted and quickly strode toward the city wall, upon which he pasted a pronouncement written on yellow paper and stamped with the seal of the Six Bureaus.
After doing this, the unit of cavalry quickly departed.
"Hahaha, Wang Chong has been made a marquis, a marquis!"
"The Young Marquis? I've never heard of it before. Did His Majesty make this position just so that he could make him a marquis?"
"Hey, just based on his achievements in the southwest alone, what does a marquis matter? This is a young hero! A grand reward is only expected!"
"That's right! Hear, hear!"
"Hahah, it seems like His Majesty greatly favors him! This is a blessing for the empire!"
Once the cavalry left, a large group of people gathered around the announcementpeddlers and carriers, merchants and porters, restaurant owners, performers, calligraphers and painters.
"Make way, make way!"
A voice suddenly came from outside. At some point, an old man who appeared to be a teacher squeezed his way through the crowd and to the proclamation.
"Let me take a look."
"Haha, old man, what are you squeezing in for? Is someone of your age trying to learn how to be conferred the title of marquis?" someone jeered, eliciting roars of laughter from the crowd.
But the old teacher appeared to not hear. He squinted at the announcement, his expression focused, a finger pressing against the word that he had seen from a distance.
"A fief! A fief! I didn't see wrongly! In the three hundred years of the Great Tang, His Majesty actually broke tradition and conferred upon him a fief!"
The teacher's voice was loud, his expression fraught with excitement.
An invisible energy seemed to suck the air out of the crowd. Their laughter suddenly dwindled away into absolute silence.
Anyone who had lived in the capital for a long time and experienced various celebrations would know at the very least that 'conferring of title without fief' was a tradition of the Great Tang. In the Sage Emperor's era, no one had ever been conferred a fief.
No one had expected the Sage Emperor to confer Wang Chong a fief!
This was a massive show of favor!
Marquis, a fief, and even a courtesy name bestowed by the Son of Heaven
This day was foreordained to be Wang Chong's day. All his rewards had broken the precedent of the Great Tang. Yet no one felt this to be inappropriate. On the contrary, the streets were festooned with ribbons and lanterns while firecrackers were ignited.
Some actors and performers were even performing on the ends of the streets for free.
Only those who had truly lived through the southwestern war understood just what sort of panic it had evoked in the capital. The mobilizations of soldiers, the news of defeats, the various foreign powers encroaching on the borderall of these things had made the capital quake.
Not even the oldest person in the capital had ever experienced something like this. A vast empire threatened by foreign powers from all sides actually found itself without a single soldier to use.
This was true terror.
But in their most terror-stricken moment came the news that Wang Chong had won a major victory in the southwest.
At the most dangerous and riskiest of moments, this youngest son of the Wang Clan had desperately pulled against the tides and rescued the southwest, rescued the empire. Whether he was made a marquis, conferred a fief, or bestowed a courtesy name
No one felt any impropriety. All this was deserved!
A carrier pigeon flapped its wings as it flew through the air, landing in a heavily guarded estate in the western part of the city. On the board hanging over the gate, two words had been written in a bold and flamboyant style: 'Xu Residence'!
"The Sage Emperor has richly rewarded Wang Chong, making him a marquis, giving him a fief, and even bestowing a courtesy name on him This is a problem."
In the Xu Clan Residence, Xu Qiqin's big uncle Xu Henian frowned as he read the letter in his hand, a deep concern appearing in his eyes. During the southwestern war, under pressure from King Qi and for the sake of political reasons, the Xu Clan had placed Xu Qiqin under strict house arrest, driving away the guards from the Wang Clan and breaking off its relationship with it.
The Mengshe-Tsang army in the southwest had been five hundred thousand strong, and it had renowned generals like Dalun Ruozan and Huoshu Huicang commanding it. Anyone could have seen that victory was impossible in the southwest and occupation was just a matter of time.
Even now, Xu Henian did not think his judgment was wrong.
If he had to pick between the Wang Clan and King Qi, it would undoubtedly be the imperial clansman who was more powerful and worthy of his trust. Thus, Xu Henian had placed Xu Qiqin under house arrest and broken off her communications with the Wang Clan.
No one could have expected the southwest to be won and that boy called Wang Chong to be the greatest contributor.
A marquis, a fief, a courtesy name
The first news from the Imperial Palace had been like a needle stabbed deep into Xu Henian's heart, causing his expression to contort into a nasty grimace. Even a fool could see that the Wang Clan was now in good graces and the Sage Emperor highly favored the youngest son of the Wang Clan. For a long period of time, one could expect the Wang Clan to be shrouded in the Emperor's favor, and this would only increase with time.
While Xu Henian was sitting in his room in worry, a voice suddenly came from outside.
"Master, the newly titled Young Marquis has come to pay a visit. He is already at the gate."
Xu Henian's body trembled at this news as he bolted up. This was truly a case of 'speak of Cao Cao and Cao Cao arrives1'. He had never expected the main character of the reward ceremony to already be at the Xu Clan's gates.
"Does he plan to use his momentum to publicly denounce us?"
Xu Henian's gaze chilled as this idea came to mind.
He had a rough idea of Xu Qiqin's relationship with this youngest son of the Wang Clan. They were both in the age of youthful romance, so the relationship between man and woman could not be escaped.
Xu Qiqin had been placed under house arrest, and the first thing Wang Chong had done after being made a marquis was to rush over to the Xu Residence to pay a visit. His goal was as plain as day.
"Tell him that we won't see him!" Xu Henian immediately ordered with a wave of his sleeve.
Who cared if it was the Wang Clan?
The Xu Clan had existed for centuries, its origins traced back to the final days of the Sui. Even if it was a clan of ministers and generals, the Xu Clan could still choose whether they wanted to meet or not.
"Wait a moment!"
The servant outside had just turned and walked a few steps when Xu Henian called him back.
"Hmph, a marquis, a fief, and a courtesy name from the Son of Heaven That boy from the Wang Clan is currently at the peak of his success. The entire capital is watching him. If we refuse him at the door, the Xu Clan will become the target of the entire Great Tang. That's exactly what this brat intends to do, which is why he's acting so confident."
After the victory in the southwest, Xu Henian was well aware of how great Wang Chong's reputation in the Great Tang was. For Wang Chong to pay a visit on his own initiative at a time like this, if the Xu Clan were to refuse him at the gate for no reason, not even he could predict what the Xu Clan would end up as once the people were done with their rebukes.
No one in the capital would dare to not give Wang Chong face. After all, his body had just been branded with the mark of 'The Son of Heaven's Disciple'.
1. 'Speak of Cao Cao and Cao Cao arrives' is just a Chinese version of the English idiom 'speak of the devil'. It apparently originates from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Cao Cao was a figure from the Three Kingdoms period following the end of the Han Dynasty. He was an ambitious and capable general who ruled the kingdom of Wei.