The Human Emperor Chapter 760
Chapter 760: A Letter Flying To Anxi
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Wang Chong squinted and suddenly rose from his armchair, striding over to reach into the chest and snatch a handful of the little red flowers. The color and shape were exactly as he recalled, though not even in his last life had he brought troops to attack the plateau.
Moreover, in that last life, he hadn't regarded them with much importance, so his memories about them were rather fuzzy.
Wang Chong brought a flower up to his nose and smelled it. Yes! It was exactly this sort of scent: faint, but with the fresh odor of the plateau soil, exactly as he remembered.
Wang Chong suddenly summoned the guards in the reception hall. "Come! Take these chests and have the flowers boiled in pots of water to make a broth. In addition, add in a little for every meal served to the army."
"Yes, your subordinate will do so."
The guards swiftly strode over and took the chests away.
Wang Chong nodded and turned to the old steward standing to his left.
"Tell your patriarch that I am very satisfied and that he can begin purchasing on a large scale now."
The steward was elated. There was no doubt that they had found the right thing. Only someone who truly began to buy roseroot would understand that it was exactly as Wang Chong had said. It was a common wildflower of the plateau, and when their patriarch had spread the news that he wanted to buy some, many herdsmen had set about gathering them and sending them over.
Moreover, since they had said that the roseroot was horse fodder to help with bowel movements, the price had been unimaginably low. A few taels of silver was enough to buy a large bundle. Since it was so easy and could win them the good favor of the Young Marquis, they were happy to do it.
"Besides that, has there been any sign of activity in Talas?" Wang Chong asked.
"Replying to Lord Marquis: there has not been any activity for the time being. The Arabs are acting as normal. Lord Marquis, be at ease. Patriarch has said that since Lord Marquis gave this order, our Yang Clan will carry out this duty to the very end, even to the death. Any activity from the Arabs, even just a little fly flying past, will definitely be reported to Lord Marquis."
The old steward had a solemn expression, bowing as he deferentially answered.
"Mm. Tell him to prepare himself to receive my orders at any moment," Wang Chong gravely replied. The matter of Ü-Tsang and the Turks was important, but even more important were Talas and the Abbasid Caliphate. These two were the true focus of Wang Chong's attention. The steward left shortly after, and Wang Chong soon fell into a contemplative silence. Up to now, the Arabs had still not shown any strange movements, and it didn't seem like the Arabs had infiltrated Talas yet.
The cicadas would sense the coming of autumn before the first chill wind, and it wasn't possible for the Arabs to engage in any strange activities without showing any signs. In other words, he still had time.
…This can be considered the best news I could receive right now. I hope that the events of Talas won't take an unexpected turn because of my appearance, Wang Chong quietly said to himself.
Many things had changed since his reincarnation: the fate of the Wang Clan, the fate of King Song, the fate of the southwest… Wang Chong's greatest concern was that the butterfly effect would cause everything to change, particularly with regards to time. But from what he could see, the Battle of Talas had not undergone any serious transformation.
To oppose outside forces, he needed to pacify internal ones first, and it seemed like he would at least have time to settle down Qixi and take care of the Tibetans and the Turks.
In all things, preparation leads to success while unpreparedness leads to ruin. Although the Abbasid Caliphate hasn't shown any signs of activity, I should still take some precautions.
After thinking for a little longer, Wang Chong returned to his chair. Taking up a fine brush and dabbing it in ink, he began to write. This letter was written to someone he had never met, and he had no idea if this letter would be of any use, would succeed in persuading the receiver.
But Wang Chong still had to do it, as it was of utmost importance. If he succeeded, perhaps that historic clash between the empires of the east and west could be avoided. Perhaps if there were no Battle of Talas, or if it could be delayed a little longer, he would have enough time to prepare himself even more.
'The Great Tang Young Marquis of Wushang, Wang Chong, greets the Great General of the Right Imperial Guard, Prefectural Duke of Miyun…'
As he set the first line down to paper, there was a rumbling of thunder outside, and dark clouds began to gather. At the same time, the long-unheard voice of the Stone of Destiny rang out in his mind. But unlike before, the Stone of Destiny's voice was much softer and a little less sharp.
"Notice: User is currently skirting the laws. Starting from now, user will be deducted 10 points of Destiny Energy for each second, and in serious circumstances, user will be deducted additional points of Destiny Energy, even obliterated."
As the voice rang out in his mind, Wang Chong immediately noticed the change in its wording. In the past, the Stone of Destiny would always use words like 'warning', but this time, although it had immediately begun to deduct Destiny Energy, and 10 points every second at that, the situation wasn't actually as serious as it seemed.
The Stone of Destiny did not use the word 'warning', but 'notice', a word that clearly conveyed much less danger.
…It's exactly what I speculated! Wang Chong said to himself.
After such a long time, Wang Chong had gradually begun to feel out the rules and principles guiding the Stone of Destiny. For example, the Stone of Destiny had a set of grades on which it judged matters. At the highest grade, the consequence of mission failure was instant obliteration, and there was usually no reward, only consumption of Destiny Energy. An example of this was the 'World Constraint'.
In the past, this had been Wang Chong's greatest concern, but now that he had enough Destiny Energy, he temporarily put the matter to the side.
The second grade was missions that had a reward, but failure of which would result in obliteration, the example being 'Empire's Dirge'.
The third grade was missions that rewarded Destiny Energy for success and deducted Destiny Energy for failure, such as 'The Threat to Qixi' mission which had ordered him to kill Dayan Mangban.
At the time, Wang Chong had already guessed that the Stone of Destiny had another grade, and there was no doubt that it was what he was experiencing right now. And just like he had expected, although it seemed serious, compared to the importance of the task at hand, 10 points of Destiny Energy every second was an extremely light punishment.
And besides, the Stone of Destiny had called this a 'notice', not a 'warning'.
Things like missions always have underlying systems and rules that can be exploited. It seems like the Stone of Destiny has a harsh ban on anything that has far-reaching effects on important historical events. You can do them, participate in them, and change them, but you can't reveal any information on them, and the punishment for breaking those rules is rather serious. But if one only discusses, leaks, or changes a small portion of the related event, using a non-urgent method to discuss them, you can skirt the line and avoid any major consequences.
With these thoughts in mind, Wang Chong quickly returned to writing.
In the end, the letter cost Wang Chong 600 points of Destiny Energy, but Wang Chong didn't care. Regardless of the cost, Wang Chong had confirmed his conjectures. If this method was feasible, he now had another method to change fate.
Most importantly, if this letter proved useful, then any amount of Destiny Energy was worth it.
I hope that person can be persuaded.
Wang Chong walked to the window. Dark clouds covered the sky and it was still raining. On the walls, the craftsmen were taking a break. In the empire's northwest, in the desert region of Qixi, a large downpour like this was extremely rare.
Hooloohoolooo! A pigeon answered Wang Chong's call. Wang Chong placed the letter into a thin bamboo tube and released the pigeon.
Flapflap! The carrier pigeon seemed to sense something, its little eyes turning before it opened its wings and shot into the thunderstorm, quickly vanishing into the skies.
The carrier pigeon flew through the rain, toward the northwest. It swiftly flew past the Qixi Protectorate headquarters and continued on, past the bustling kingdoms along the road to the west. Following the Silk Road, it flew toward the distant Cong Mountains, finally stopping at the most distant western border of the empire, the Four Garrisons of Anxi.
Whoosh! It closed its wings, and the gray pigeon dropped from the sky like a fired arrow, vanishing into the estate below. The estate was heavily guarded by soldiers in full suits of armor. There were even heavily-restricted weapons like ballistae guarding the area, and the array of forces was a dreadful sight to behold.
At the gate, two black Qilins raised their heads to the heavens, their expressions savage and wicked, a manifestation of the heaven-toppling authority of the estate's master.
In truth, there was no one on the empire's western border, no one in all the Western Regions, who had as much authority and as esteemed a status as the owner of this estate. All the kingdoms of the Western Regions, large or small, and all the merchants of the Abbasid Caliphate and Charax Spasinu had to accept the rule of the estate's master.
The nameboard forged from Xuan Metal hung over the gate, the words cast in metal revealing the owner's true identity.
This was the core of the Four Garrisons of Anxi, the farthest extension of the empire's authority on the western border. Thus, all the most elite soldiers from the provinces and prefectures of the Great Tang would eventually be sent here, sent far from the capital, far from the Central Plains, and far from the Emperor's grace.
Drops of rain came down from the sky, splashing onto roof tiles and flying eaves, flowing through the gutters. The fine curtain of rain blurred the horizon like a shroud of smoke.
In a spacious room, a middle-aged man of handsome and elegant appearance, dressed in ornate armor and exuding an air of dignity and authority, was avidly perusing a letter in his hand. His eyes were the narrow, pointed phoenix eyes that were rarely seen in men, but they possessed the demeanor of a true man who had been baptized in the blood of hundreds of battles.
His appearance was similar to that of the Han of the Central Plains, but upon careful inspection, it was also quite different.
Although few in the heartland of the Central Plains would recognize him, very few in the Western Regions, whether they were from Anxi or the Abbasid Caliphate, did not recognize him, and even fewer did not know his name!