The Human Emperor Chapter 799
Chapter 799: Fumeng Lingchas Ambition
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Dusong Mangpoje and Dayan Mangban were at a level where if they wanted to escape, they could move with incredible speeds. Even though Fumeng Lingcha was an Imperial Great General, he still wouldn't be able to catch them. This was also why Fumeng Lingcha was still so confused and unable to determine whether Dayan Mangban was dead or alive.
"Milord, should I still submit a report of your exploits to the Imperial Court?" a Hu deputy with hawkish eyes said. "It would be fine if Dayan Mangban was still alive, but if he died in battle and we can't find his corpse, it will be a significant problem for us in the future. But if we delay the report for too long, even just a few days, this unusual situation on the border will definitely attract the Imperial Court's notice. If they send troops to Qixi to inspect the battlefield, we'll have an even bigger problem on our hands. After all, the military has made it a rule that once a battle is concluded, a report on the exploits and contributions of the soldiers should be noted on the same day. In addition, if there are any particularly significant contributions, the report should be immediately sent to the Imperial Court. A defiance of these rules will attract a great deal of suspicion."
From the moment the battle had ended in the daytime, the protectorate's forces had been seeking any news on Dayan Mangban, and now night had fallen, yet no report had been submitted. This was incredibly dangerous.
Fumeng Lingcha clenched his fists, an intimidating light in his eyes as he finally made his decision.
"Just draft a memorial telling the court about the battle at the triangular gap. There's no need to worry about Dayan Mangban for now. In the future, if the Imperial Court really does begin to investigate, there will be no doubting the fact that our Qixi Protectorate army had a large-scale mobilization and defeated Dusong Mangpoje, killing tens of thousands of Tibetans. This is an absolute truth, and not even the Imperial Court will be able to find anything strange about it. I'd just like to see what sort of problem would come up, and just what sort of person would dare to oppose me."
In his many years in Qixi, rushing east and west to fend off Ü-Tsang and the Western Turkic Khaganate, Fumeng Lingcha was constantly plagued by troubles, and it had been many years since he had been able to perform any exploits on the battlefield. The recent death of Pulan He had even caused him to suffer the questioning of the imperial censors.
The battle at the triangular gap and the defeat of Dusong Mangpoje were far too important to Fumeng Lingcha, and the deaths of the five thousand White Braves even more so. Fumeng Lingcha had spent far too many years in the barren lands of Qixi, so long that he had forgotten that he had once been the Anxi Protector-General, the 'Logistics Commander' who had been able to smoothly transport rations, good, and soldiers.
What had truly awakened Fumeng Lingcha from his stupor was that Zhangchou Jianqiong, after almost twenty years of stewardship in the southwest, had successfully entered the capital and become Minister of War. This news was like a sudden rap to the head. Zhangchou Jianqiong's situation had been very similar to his. Both had spent many years on the border, but neither had much to show for it.
But Zhangchou Jianqiong had still succeeded in becoming Minister of War. If Zhangchou Jianqiong could do it, why couldn't he?
On that day, the long-extinguished flames of ambition began to burn within Fumeng Lingcha once more.
The battle at the triangular gap was a rare opportunity that he could never let go.
The messenger quickly left the hall, the clerk quickly drafted the memorial, and finally, a messenger bird soared into the air, flying toward the capital.
"Lord Marquis possesses divine foresight. The Qixi Protectorate was brightly lit until the third quarter of the Zi Period, upon which a messenger bird flew off in the direction of the capital."
Not long after Fumeng Lingcha made his decision, a scout quickly rushed away from the Qixi Protectorate headquarters and into Wang Chong's residence. After the battle at the triangular gap, Wang Chong had dispatched soldiers to keep an eye on the Qixi Protectorate. Just like how Fumeng Lingcha had sent people to keep a close eye on Wang Chong, Wang Chong had sent people to carefully observe Fumeng Lingcha's movements.
"Lord Marquis, as expected, Fumeng Lingcha couldn't restrain himself."
A chorus of laughter echoed through the room. Upon hearing the scout's report, Xu Keyi turned to look at Wang Chong, an unsurprised look on his face. The City of Steel had been just as brightly lit as the Qixi Protectorate. Li Siye, Su Shixuan, Cheng Sanyuan, and all the other officers under Wang Chong's command had gathered to silently wait for movement from the Qixi Protectorate.
"I understand. You're dismissed."
Wang Chong lightly waved his hand to have the scout withdraw.
"Lord Marquis! Fumeng Lingcha has already moved. Should we move as well and send Dayan Mangban's head to the Imperial Court to give him a surprise?" Cheng Sanyuan inquired.
Dayan Mangban's corpse had already been packed in a chest and secretly transported back. This was a crucial piece of evidence, and as long as it was turned over to the Imperial Court, it would definitely give Fumeng Lingcha a big 'surprise'.
"There's no need."
Wang Chong grinned and waved his hand to reject Cheng Sanyuan's suggestion.
"Fumeng Lingcha is a crafty fellow. Whether it's when he let Dayan Mangban through his defenses or stole the credit from us on the plateau, he always has the proper excuses. Even if we report this matter to the Imperial Court, he would only be charged with giving a false report and taking credit for himself. This isn't enough to deal him a lethal blow. On the other hand, once this matter is exposed, Fumeng Lingcha will feel humiliated and then his humiliation will turn into rage. He'll throw everything aside and crazily try to get revenge. In the end, we would just end up overshooting and bring more trouble to ourselves."
The officers all glanced at each other, momentarily speechless.
"Lord Marquis means that we should be patient for now," Li Siye suddenly said. "But if we do so, then Fumeng Lingcha might become even more insatiable, which is certainly not a good result for us."
"General Li's words are reasonable."
The officers all voiced their agreement.
Fumeng Lingcha had too high of a status, and between moving against him and not, both choices were wrong. Moreover, that he dared to so brazenly snatch the credit for the victory in front of them showed that he had no scruples. There was no telling what he would do next.
"Haha, Fumeng Lingcha will have to be dealt with, but not through some minor itch like a lack of evidence for his reports to the court. Everyone, relax. I have everything planned out. If everything goes as expected, Fumeng Lingcha will be completely removed from his place as Qixi Protector-General in less than a month," Wang Chong indifferently said.
These understated words were like explosions at the ears of these officers. All of them trembled, their eyes widening as they turned to Wang Chong in shock. Protector-Generals and Great Generals were not ordinary individuals, and it was definitely not an easy task to shift these people from their positions.
That Wang Chong could so simply determine the fate of an Imperial Great General was a massive shock to these officers. Anyone who heard him would find these words difficult to believe, but deep within their hearts, these officers believed that Wang Chong really could pull it off.
Wang Chong had already done far too many miraculous things. When everyone else was claiming that it was impossible, Wang Chong was singlehandedly making it into reality.
Wang Chong only smiled at these stares, giving no further explanation.
Fumeng Lingcha's presence in Qixi was now of dubious worth. He showed little initiative and was liable to hinder Wang Chong in many aspects. His desire for material gain meant that he would rarely put the interests of the Great Tang first, and in the future Battle of Talas, he was certain to be a massive obstacle.
For the sake of the Great Tang, the soldiers of the Anxi Protectorate army, and the soldiers of Qixi, Wang Chong had to remove him from the position of Qixi Protector-General. But he said none of this to his subordinates.
"Zhang Que, how is the matter that I asked you about?"
Wang Chong turned to the corner of the hall, where Zhang Que had been lurking in the shadows. On his shoulder was that small but fierce rock eagle, its eyes exuding a searing light. Wang Chong's words quickly made Zhang Que the focus of attention.
"Replying to Lord Marquis: everything is ready. We are following the target according to Lord Marquis's orders."
Zhang Que walked out of the gloom, pressing his right hand against his chest as he bowed.
The officers looked at each other, confused as to what Wang Chong and Zhang Que were talking about. This youth from the capital had studied under Old Eagle for seven or eight years and had arrived with a tender and immature face. But after the baptism of two battles, Zhang Que was now much more mature and steady, his childish face appearing a little more weathered, a little more reliable.
"Mm. Remember to not expose yourselves. Do everything according to my orders," Wang Chong indifferently said.
"This subordinate understands."
Zhang Que bowed again and quickly left, vanishing into the darkness.
The Tibetans won't be able to threaten Qixi for a short time, so I should begin on the other matter.
Wang Chong looked forward, his mind abuzz with countless thoughts.
The matter of the triangular gap coupled with that one future incident would decide Fumeng Lingcha's fate, probably toppling him from his position. He just simply needed to wait a little longer. In comparison, this other matter was far more urgent.
"Xu Keyi, I have a silk bag here. I've written down all the orders and put them within. Just do as they say and finish this matter as quickly as possible."
As Wang Chong spoke, he thrust his right hand into his sleeve and removed a green silk bag.
"Yes! Lord Marquis!"
Xu Keyi took the bag and immediately left. After the southwest, Zhangzhung, and the triangular gap, the officers had branded the image of the farsighted and invincible Wang Chong deep into their minds.
No matter what Wang Chong said or what order he gave, they would immediately obey and carry it out to the utmost.