The Human Emperor Chapter 728
Chapter 728: Hidden Danger
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
-Tsang might not have been a party to the 'drama' taking place in the Great Tang's northwest in Qixi, but it had been keeping a close eye on it the entire time. Gao Xianzhi, Feng Changqing, Fumeng Lingcha, and Longxi's Geshu Han the long arc of a border between the Great Tang and -Tsang was garrisoned by no less than three of the Great Tang's Imperial Great Generals.
In normal circumstances, -Tsang would never dare to rashly act until it had made all the preparations and gathered sufficient soldiers.
But with the arrival of that 'Brigadier General' from the Great Tang, the future 'Great Tang Eighth Great General', -Tsang suddenly found a chance. In truth, Dusong Mangpoje and Dayan Mangban had come because they had smelled bait.
And none other than Fumeng Lingcha had laid this bait!
"Hmph, he's rather smart. Although I don't like being used by others, if it's that bastard I don't mind being used just once! The Tsenpo and the Great Minister are probably thinking the same thing," Dayan Mangban said.
The air instantly grew rather solemn. Dusong Mangpoje had shut his mouth, not saying a word.
In the -Tsang Empire, the name 'Wang Chong' and even the events of the southwestern war had become a sort of taboo. The plague that this youngest son of the Wang Clan had spread through the plateau even now had still not come to an end.
Several hundred thousand cavalry of the Ngari Royal Lineage had been smashed into dust in that campaign, with the Four Royal Lineages now becoming three. And the mountain of corpses had become the foundation for that person's reputation.
Even the Ngari Great Minister Dalun Ruozan, known and respected throughout the world for his intelligence and courage, had ended up being jailed by the Tsenpo because of that campaign.
Other than a few of the Great Tang's renowned generals, no one in the history of -Tsang had ever dealt the empire as grievous a blow as Wang Chong. And not even those renowned generals would have done what Wang Chong did, spreading plague over the steppe.
One could easily imagine the loathing all the Tibetan commanders felt for Wang Chong.
When it was learned that Wang Chong was building a city in Wushang, only several hundred li from the northern border of the plateau, even though -Tsang knew that Fumeng Lingcha had intentionally leaked this news, it was still willing to take the bait.
"The Han have a saying that goes, 'for a nobleman to take revenge, ten years is not too long', but we Tibetans can't wait that long," Dusong Mangpoje said, his expression grave. "This internal strife amongst the Tang is an extremely rare chance for us. Geshu Han doesn't know that we're here yet, so we can use this opportunity to eliminate that Wang Clan scion. Threats must be strangled in the cradle. If that youngest son of the Wang Clan is allowed to mature, he will become a mortal affliction for our -Tsang in just two or three years, and the Great Tang really will obtain yet another Imperial Great General. No matter what, we cannot let him leave alive, much less allow him to use that City of Steel as a base to reenact the southwest!"
Part of the reason Dusong Mangpoje had managed to arrive so quickly was that he wanted to kill Wang Chong and avenge the two hundred thousand soldiers of the Ngari Royal Lineage. But the other part was that the Tsenpo had felt a deep unease.
The Wang Clan's youngest son was a manifestation of this deep concern, a most unpredictable variable. Based on the Lion City that he had constructed by the Erhai, no Tibetan believed that he was building this City of Steel in Wushang purely to manage his fief.
"Get ready! Use this chance and eliminate him to avenge Dalun Ruozan and the others. As for Fumeng Lingcha, we still need to keep an eye on that old fox. I will keep watch on him."
Dusong Mangpoje quickly turned his horse around and galloped back in the direction he had come.
Dayan Mangban looked down over the edge of the plateau, toward that place on the horizon where thick smoke curled into the sky. He gave a mysterious laugh before turning his horse around and galloping into the distance.
The pair quickly vanished.
"Wang Chong, what are you preparing to do next? The ten days will go by quickly. Are you really planning to withdraw? Or do you plan to completely break off relations with him? But Fumeng Lingcha is Qixi's Protector-General!"
On the high steel walls, Bai Siling followed behind Wang Chong, her black eyebrows tightly creased. Ever since Fumeng Lingcha had left, Bai Siling had been very concerned, her heart weighed down by worry.
Although she was infuriated by Fumeng Lingcha's actions and felt them to be extremely shameless, he was still an Imperial Great General, the highest commander of Qixi. No one could underestimate his words.
Wang Chong held his hands behind him and indifferently said, "There's no need to break off relations, as that's already happened."
While Bai Siling had been concerned and worried, Wang Chong had spent these last few days acting like nothing had happened.
"I absolutely cannot withdraw from Wushang, and he absolutely cannot let me be. The 'ten days' were just a time he gave on the spot, but he would never really give me ten days."
"Ah?!" Bai Siling was first stunned, but when she glanced at the relaxed look on Wang Chong's face, she instantly turned furious. "Then why are you still so calm?"
"Haha, relax. He wouldn't dare do anything too out of line. Qixi's Protector-General can only concern himself with Qixi, not with my territory. Moreover, even though I don't look worried, who said that I wasn't doing anything?"
Wang Chong turned his head, his lips curling into a faint smile at Bai Siling's furious appearance. After spending a while with Bai Siling, he was beginning to find her worried and angry appearance rather cute.
Bai Siling froze for a moment, and just when she was about to ask just what this plan was, she was interrupted by the galloping of hooves. A horseman was riding in from the north, stirring a large cloud of dust. From the distance, he could be heard shouting, "News!"
After passing through the city gate, the rider quickly dismounted and made his way up to the city wall, where he clasped his fists and got down on one knee in front of Wang Chong.
"Lord Marquis, this subordinate has finished the investigation according to your orders and has come back to report!"
"How was it?" Wang Chong said, clasping his hands behind him.
"Reporting to Lord Marquis! We've investigated the Qixi Protectorate headquarters. Everything there is proceeding normally, and the Lord Protector-General has not made any strange movements," the kneeling rider said.
Then what of the border between Qixi and -Tsang?" Wang Chong asked.
"Reporting to Lord Marquis: other brothers went to investigate. Everything appeared normal, but"
The rider hesitated, his eyes occasionally glancing at Bai Siling.
"It's fine. You can speak plainly. She's one of our own," Wang Chong said.
In the military, it was a rule that intelligence reports could not be lightly told to those outside the army. In her long dress, Bai Siling clearly did not seem like someone from the army, so the rider had been somewhat apprehensive.
"Yes, Lord Marquis! We made a careful inspection and realized that on the border between Qixi and the Tibetan Plateau, the defenses on the east are as normal, but the defenses on the western lines have clearly become much sparser, with fewer troops stationed there," the kneeling rider said with lowered head.
Wang Chong raised his head and muttered, "The defenses on the western line isn't that exactly where our City of Steel is? Fumeng Lingcha is trying to divert the floodwaters, borrow another's knife to commit murder!"
These words left the rider and Bai Siling trembling in shock, especially Bai Siling. She had been at Wang Chong's side this entire time, but she still had no idea what countermeasures Wang Chong had made.
"Wang Chong, do you mean that Fumeng Lingcha wants to use -Tsang to deal with you?" Bai Siling blurted out.
When Bai Siling said these words, her body was ice-cold and her hands and feet were trembling in panic.
The grandiose Qixi Protector-General of the Great Tang was actually planning to invite the Tibetans into the border to deal with Wang Chong. This could be considered treason, and if this news were to get out, it would unleash a storm that would shake the entire court.
"It's not that he wants to, but this is his only method. Although Qixi has many strong soldiers, those are soldiers of the Great Tang. If he were to use the soldiers of Qixi to deal with me, he would be digging his own grave. The risk would be far too great, and His Majesty would never spare him. Fumeng Lingcha has been in the army for many years and is a meticulous planner. He would never leave behind such a massive flaw. Thus, allowing the Tibetans in and borrowing them to kill me is the only solution," Wang Chong lightly said, his gaze sharp and perceptive.
Fumeng Lingcha might have come with a fierce momentum, but Wang Chong knew that the cards available to him were actually rather limited.
"Withdraw!" Wang Chong quickly turned back to the rider.
"Yes, Lord Marquis."
The rider immediately left down the stairs.
"Sanyuan, has the person that Old Eagle sent arrived?" Wang Chong suddenly said.
"Reporting to Lord Marquis: he arrived an hour ago and is currently awaiting Lord Marquis's summons," came a voice from behind him.
Wang Chong nodded and headed down the walls.
Within the City of Steel was a newly-constructed building of upturned eaves and arches. It was here that Wang Chong met the disciple Old Eagle had dispatched. This was a youth of fourteen or fifteen with a rather ordinary appearance and rough skin. He was the sort of person that would immediately be forgotten in a crowd.
On his shoulder was an eagle around one foot long, with a sharp beak of gold and claws like hooks. This kind of eagle was a smaller species, and its gaze wasn't very sharp. Its eyes seemed rather turbid, giving it a rather dumb appearance.
"Paying respects to Lord Marquis!" Upon seeing Wang Chong, the youth quickly kneeled on the floor and bowed.
"You are Old Eagle's disciple?"
Wang Chong slightly creased his brow.
He rarely interfered in Old Eagle's concerns. While he was building the city in Wushang, countless birds had been observing him from the air, so Wang Chong had requested Old Eagle to send someone over. Old Eagle had quickly responded, saying that he would be sending a disciple that he was rather proud of. But Wang Chong had not expected that Old Eagle's disciple would be a teenager, and given how unimpressive the eagle on his shoulder was, Wang Chong truly found it hard not to feel discouraged.
But he had been with Old Eagle for so long that Wang Chong was confident that Old Eagle would never put in the bare minimum effort for such an important matter like this. There had to be some sort of explanation.
"Yes, Lord Marquis. This lowly person is an orphan that Master picked up in the capital. Afterward, I remained in Master's residence, learning how to train birds. During the southwest incident, Master did not let me go with him, so Lord Marquis has never met me before. That's right, I have a letter here from Master. Lord Marquis will understand everything after reading it."
The youth took a letter from his bosom and offered it with both hands.