The Human Emperor Chapter 664
Chapter 664: Meeting Second Brother Wang Bei Again
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The air was suffused with the thick stench of blood, but the two black-robed figures continued to sit across from each other and drink as if nothing had happened.
If Solitary Wolf were present, he would definitely have been given a shock. The dress of these people and the aura they exuded were exactly the same as the people who had pursued him in Jiange.
No one could have expected them to follow the trail all the way from the southwest to the capital.
"It seems like we'll have to request Lu Wu's help."
Nearby, a third figure in black was standing on a corpse, suddenly speaking as he cleaned the blood off his sword.
The moment he said this, the entire restaurant turned deathly still, the faint smell of fear beginning to drift through the room.
"Oh, you're not willing? Don't forget, if the mission fails, we'll all be killed."
The third black-robed figure sneered at the silence of his comrades.
"But Lu Wu is too bloodthirsty. If he makes too much of a ruckus and provokes the notice of that person in the Imperial Palace, we still might all end up dead," one of the black-robed figures at the table said in a shaky voice.
The capital of the Great Tang was said to be the most dangerous place in the world precisely because of that supreme existence of the world presiding over Taiji Palace, the Great Tang's Son of Heaven.
The third man instantly fell silent, deep apprehension in his eyes.
"Hmph, relax, we're just a few shrimps. How could someone like him pay attention to us? And as Emperor, he has countless matters to deal with every day. Would he really throw aside government affairs and come to deal with minor players like us?"
Although he seemed to be speaking to the other two figures, the third black-robed man was actually trying to convince himself.
"In any case, we still have to do it, even if we don't want to. If we don't want to die, we have to unleash Lu Wu. As long as that brat is killed, we'll have made a great contribution. When the time comes, we just need to leave the capital as quickly as possible Do you think we have any other choice?"
As he spoke, the third figure's voice grew increasingly resolved.
The expression in the eyes of the pair began to change. After a long silence, they both nodded.
"Let's do as you propose. Once Lu Wu is released, that brat's death will be assured. But if we do this, we'll have to leave as quickly as possible."
With these final words, the restaurant gradually fell back into silence.
The assassination attempt on the road had merely been a minor interlude to Wang Chong. Something that could make his heart thump a little was very hard to come by.
Seating himself in another carriage, Wang Chong changed course for the palace gates.
"Take me to the Death Prison."
Wang Chong flashed his marquis token, allowing him to smoothly proceed toward the Death Prison. Wang Chong was the Son of Heaven's disciple, and the token displaying his Young Marquis title had the insignia of the five-clawed dragon. This was unique amongst the marquises, a special gift the Sage Emperor had conferred on Wang Chong.
Other than the harem and a few special places, Wang Chong could use his Young Marquis token to freely travel through the majority of the Imperial Palace.
The Death Prison held convicts guilty of serious crimes, and few people were ever able to come out. But when compared to the imperial prison, which one could only leave alive with a pardon from the Sage Emperor, imprisonment in the Death Prison was a far lighter punishment.
Wang Chong proceeded toward his second brother Wang Bei's cell.
"Lord Marquis, please proceed!"
It was still the same set of guards, but they appeared much more respectful to Wang Chong this time, their heads bowed and their eyes fixed on the ground as they spoke.
By now, Wang Chong's reputation was well-known even to these guards of the Death Prison deep within the Imperial Palace, and they held an incomparably deep respect for him.
This was not Wang Chong's first time entering the Death Prison. He gave a slight nod to these guards and proceeded through the gate, walking the familiar path into its depths.
The dark cell was silent, the surroundings brimming with the dreadful stench of death. It was like he had walked into some dangerous netherworld.
However, there was no chill in this gloomy cell. On the contrary, a burning hot strength filled the place, as if an active volcano lay underground.
Everything about this place had changed since Wang Chong's first visit.
"Second Brother," Wang Chong called. As he looked at that long-haired figure in the cell with its back toward him, a hint of concern flashed through his eyes.
This sort of continuous release of heat was not normal. Wang Chong could sense that the Berserker Syndrome his second brother suffered from was getting more and more serious.
The cell was quiet and still. Nothing came from it except the endless heat.
After what seemed like ages, Wang Bei finally spoke, his voice flat and devoid of emotion. "You went to see Xu Qiqin?"
Wang Chong nodded, a thin smile on his face.
No one else had known that Xu Qiqin had been placed under house arrest in the Xu Clan, but Wang Bei had left a small message for Wang Chong.
In the southwestern war, the second wave of provisions, men, and armaments that Xu Qiqin had dispatched had all been intercepted and detained by King Qi, and the one who had acted on King Qi's behalf in leading the forces that intercepted all these convoys was Zhou Zhang.
King Qi was an Imperial Prince of the Great Tang, a member of the imperial household, which meant that there were many matters in which he could not personally take part. But Zhou Zhang was different. As King Qi's adopted son, he could wield King Qi's token and use the powers at his disposal to hinder Wang Chong.
Yet this would also not affect King Qi too much, or at the very least would not attract criticism from the imperial censors. If something really did go wrong, King Qi could claim complete innocence.
In these circumstances, Xu Qiqin was beset by problems external and internal, both her clan and King Qi pressuring her, leaving her unable to deal with any problems. And this second wave of supplies and men was extremely important to the Annan Protectorate army in the southwest.
Zhou Zhang and King Qi had placed themselves at this critical juncture.
But not even Zhou Zhang could have expected that he would meet his lifelong foe who had just left the Death Prison, Wang Bei.
At the end of the battle, Zhou Zhang was left heavily injured. When he was about to be killed, Wang Bei suddenly came back to his senses. However, those people who had accompanied Zhou Zhang had all been turned into corpses scattered around the feet of Wang Bei influenced by the Berserker Syndrome.
The sudden appearance of Wang Bei caused the scheme aimed against Wang Chong to vanish into nothing. The Sage Emperor had promised Wang Bei that he would be able to avoid the death penalty, but Wang Bei could do nothing about Xu Qiqin.
After all, the Xu Clan had the right to carry out its internal affairs how it pleased, and it was not proper for Wang Bei to interfere. It would not do for him to allow the Berserker Syndrome to break out so that he could slaughter the Xu Clan to a man.
Thus, after that battle, Wang Bei left a message for Wang Chong and then returned to the Death Prison.
For this reason, Wang Bei also managed to avoid censure from the imperial censors. Moreover, the Imperial City was forbidden ground, the Death Prison doubly so. Even though King Qi was left fuming upon hearing this news, he could do nothing about it.
"I can only help you this much. Since you've managed to resolve everything, you shouldn't have come. This is not a place where you should be."
Wang Bei spoke with his back still facing Wang Chong, his voice still emotionless.
"You're my second brother. We're family. Why can't I come?" Wang Chong calmly said.
"There's no need for such words. I've helped you this once, but I can't help you every time. In addition, when you leave, tell the guards that I won't be meeting anyone anymore, so there's no need for you to come again!"
Wang Bei's voice was as cold as ice, carrying a tone that seemed intent on driving away visitors.
Wang Chong's heart ached as he gazed at that familiar back. This was his second brother, always doing things his own way since he was a child, always bearing all the pain and hardship alone.
He believed that he could handle everything alone, but things had changed.
"Second Brother, I know what you're thinking, but there are some things that you can't resolve by hiding away in the Death Prison. And the situation has changed so that hiding won't solve a single problem."
A hint of respect, as well as sympathy and heartache, flashed through Wang Chong's eyes as he stared at the body of his second brother wrapped in chains, hair flowing down his back.
Wang Chong suddenly slammed his foot on the ground. The cell shook as a bloody energy exploded out of Wang Chong's body, instantly increasing the already broiling temperature.
Wang Chong's demeanor had originally been that of scholarly elegance, but he now appeared like a completely different person. His entire aura became violent, ruthless, suffused with the scent of bloodthirst and slaughter.
Careful observation would reveal that Wang Chong's aura was rather similar to Wang Bei's.
"How is this possible!!"
The earth hummed as Wang Bei turned his head, his eyes wide open, blood streaking through them. He stared with disbelief at the similarly savage face of Wang Chong.
"How could this have happened! Only one person in a single generation of the Wang Clan should suffer from Berserker Syndrome. I thought just me was enough, so why did you also get Berserker Syndrome?!!"
Clangclangclang! The chains shook and clattered. In a flash of light, Wang Bei appeared at the bars of the cell, his pale arms reaching out to snatch at Wang Chong. But they were forced to stop while still several feet from Wang Chong.
The entire cell was built to guard against Wang Bei's Berserker Syndrome. Anyone standing in the passage would be impossible to harm.
But Wang Bei seemed unaware of all this. The veins on his forehead were bulging and his expression was savage. It appeared like he had suffered some massive mental shock.
"The Berserker Syndrome two people in one generation! How could this be, how could this be!!"
Wang Bei muttered to himself, his arms covering his head, his entire body trembling, his disheveled hair madly dancing in the air.
"Aaaah! This shouldn't be! I don't believe it, I don't!!"
Finally, Wang Bei raised his head, his eyes wide as he let out a painful howl. The entire cell trembled.
Wang Chong said nothing, only sympathetically watched his brother's anguished form.
The Berserker Syndrome was the Wang Clan's curse, a burden that his second brother had to bear alone. From the moment he realized that he suffered from Berserker Syndrome, his second brother had begun to intentionally distance himself from others.
He had even requested King Song and the Sage Emperor to imprison him in this lightless cell deep within the Death Prison.
Wang Chong knew what he was afraid of. He was worried that he would become like that legendary ancestor of theirs and kill everyone close to him. If there was a chance, Wang Chong didn't want to coerce him.
But Wang Chong was well aware that what he was doing was not simply coercion, but also helping his brother. If he were just left in this gloomy cell within the Death Prison, his second brother's life truly would end up destroyed.
Wang Chong could not watch him do this to himself.