The Human Emperor Chapter 807
Chapter 807: Unexpected Development
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The report from the scout was tantamount to a boulder being thrown into the room, instantly causing massive waves to toss and turn in the minds of everyone present. Even Wang Chong and Li Siye were flabbergasted by this news, and the seated Wang Chong leapt to his feet.
"How could it be like this?"
"Weren't they heading to the capital? Why would they go back?"
"Returning means that without our even needing to eliminate them, they eliminated themselves. But then all five of them are eliminated. What's going on here?"
"Lord Marquis, I recommend that Xu Keyi still investigate them!"
This news had swept through their minds like a whirlwind, completely upsetting the tempo. No one had predicted that their last two targets would decide to return, and yet this wasn't even the most surprising news they would hear today.
At this moment, another scout charged into the room.
"Lord Marquis, Lord Zhang Que has sent back word that the three targets originally eliminated have begun to hurry their advance. He asks from Lord Marquis whether he should follow them!"
The room that had been buzzing with chatter just moments ago instantly went silent. Everyone stared at Wang Chong, their shock clearly written on their faces.
This matter was full of twists and turns. Those that had been suspicious were suddenly not, and those that weren't suspicious were suddenly back to being suspicious. Everyone felt helpless and confused. What should they do next? A clear and open situation had transformed into a befuddling riddle, a thick fog wrapping around them.
"How could it be like this?"
Wang Chong was even more unsettled than his subordinates. Fumeng Lingcha's emissary should have a black tattoo of the 玉 character on his wrist. Those three didn't have one, so they could be eliminated, and the other two had gone off to the plateau, followed by Zhang Que's birds, so they could also be eliminated. Only those two people had been left.
He had believed that he just needed to find that person with the tattoo on their wrist to settle it all, a simple affair that should have gone off without a hitch. Where had the problem been? Why had those two suddenly begun to head back?
Could it be… am I wrong…
At this moment, Wang Chong's face was grim and his mind was a hive of activity.
This situation was different from what he had predicted, so he had to find out where the discrepancy was.
"Lord Marquis, Xu Keyi is still waiting. Those two will soon return to Qixi. Should we continue to investigate them?" someone softly said to Wang Chong.
Wang Chong said nothing, continuing to think. But this incident was still growing more and more complicated. A little while later, another panicked scout entered the room.
"Lord Marquis, it's bad! Lord Zhang has sent back word that one of the three targets vanished! We've lost the trail!!"
If the people in the room had still been able to maintain their composure from the previous news, they immediately panicked now. Fumeng Lingcha and the marquis had clashed quite a few times, and he had even been willing to use the Tibetans. He was truly someone willing to go to every extreme to deal with Wang Chong.
If they could not seize this chance and topple Fumeng Lingcha, they couldn't bear to imagine what life would be like in the City of Steel. Although they didn't know why such a thing had happened, they had no doubt that the vanished target was the true holder of Fumeng Lingcha's important message.
"Lord Marquis, it's too late. Why don't we seize them and search their belongings? We'll definitely be able to find that person!"
"That's right, Lord Marquis! The missing person must be the true target. We were tricked by Fumeng Lingcha."
"Lord Marquis, let's go after them!"
"Lord Marquis, let me go!"
Everyone felt an intense urgency. Time was quickly passing, and if they didn't find that missing person, they would definitely face complete failure.
"Wait a moment!"
Just when all of them were agitated, each of them volunteering to search for that person, a cold voice rumbled like a peal of thunder within the room.
"Without my order, no one is permitted to move!"
Wang Chong's order settled the matter, his firm resolve immediately pulling the officers back to earth.
"Everyone, do not act without permission. Comply with Lord Marquis's orders!"
Li Siye scanned the room before turning back around and striding to Wang Chong's side.
"Lord Marquis, if necessary, I can move at any time. Although I don't know where he is, as long as I'm diligent, I believe that I can find him."
Li Siye spoke these words so softly that only he and Wang Chong could hear them. Although he had no idea what was going on, there was a high chance that Wang Chong had made an error in judgment, though no one present was willing to mention it.
"It's not right!"
Wang Chong shook his head as if he hadn't heard Li Siye. His expression was lacking any of its usual confidence, grim and stern.
"This matter can't possibly be that simple!"
Countless thoughts were working through his mind, the memories from that event of his past floating before his eyes. Fumeng Lingcha didn't know of his existence. To be more precise, Fumeng Lingcha had no idea that Wang Chong knew of the secretive collusion he had with that prince. There were no secret countermeasures being enacted specifically against him.
This was the prerequisite which allowed Wang Chong to form the plan to remove him.
…In addition, the matter at the center of the Xueyang Palace Incident was of such importance that Fumeng Lingcha would never let a messenger bird carry the message. It's too important for that. Fumeng Lingcha would definitely send one of his trusted aides. Thus, that crucial letter tying Fumeng Lingcha to one of the princes must be on one of those five subordinates.
Wang Chong continued to silently ponder.
In other words, Fumeng Lingcha has no reason for such complicated arrangements, not unless he noticed something!
This thought was like a bolt of lightning cleaving apart the curtain of the night. Trembling, Wang Chong shouted, "Cheng Sanyuan, ask Zhang Que again if he noticed anything else strange. I want to know all the details, anything suspicious! Tell me everything!"
Wang Chong's sudden bark and his grave complexion made all the officers realize that he had discovered something.
Cheng Sanyuan left without another world. Zhang Que's reply quickly arrived.
"Milord, Zhang Que said that nothing strange happened."
"Milord, there truly was nothing abnormal."
"Milord, Zhang Que has replied that other than seeing several carrier pigeons while following the three targets, he truly didn't notice anything strange. That matter didn't seem very important, so Zhang Que put it aside and didn't report it."
The other officers hadn't yet realized the importance of this news, but Wang Chong's pupils constricted as if he had been stabbed by a needle.
"Order Zhang Que to withdraw all his birds. They should remain grounded, and any pursuit is forbidden.
"Inform Xu Keyi to immediately withdraw all his soldiers. In addition, attempts to sound out the two targets currently returning are forbidden, as is any pursuit. Without my order, no one is permitted to make the slightest move!!!"
With these final words, Wang Chong fiercely clenched his fists.
He had greatly underestimated Fumeng Lingcha!
This bastard was even more cautious than he had imagined. The critical moment was coming, and if Fumeng Lingcha felt the smallest doubt, all of Wang Chong's efforts would be for nothing, gone with the wind.
"Lord Marquis, what did you realize?" Li Siye whispered.
Wang Chong's two orders were simply inexplicable. One of the three targets had vanished, and the two other targets were picking up the pace, yet Wang Chong had ordered that everyone should withdraw, not follow. All the officers were left scratching their heads, but Wang Chong's authority was supreme in the City of Steel, so no one except Li Siye dared to question his decision.
"…Lord Marquis, did Fumeng Lingcha notice?"
Wang Chong nodded.
"We only cared about determining which of the targets was the true one, but we forgot about how prudent Fumeng Lingcha was being. It's not important that we can't find that man with the black tattoo of the jade character on his right wrist. The most important thing is to allay Fumeng Lingcha's worries."
"But how did Fumeng Lingcha notice us? We were very careful to not make anything seem unnatural," Li Siye said, his brow creased.
All the methods for sounding out the targets had been decided in advance, after careful thought and consensus. It was only after they were sure that these methods were natural and not liable to stir any doubts that they decided on them. Li Siye didn't understand how they had aroused Fumeng Lingcha's suspicion.
"You don't understand."
Wang Chong gave a deep sigh. Not even Li Siye understood the reason, so he held no hope for the others. If Fumeng Lingcha hadn't run into Wang Chong, his plan would succeed eight or nine times out of ten.
"At present, we've used three methods: a young beggar, a carriage crash, and a large group of cavalry. The one most liable to arouse suspicion was the carriage crash, but we first had the carriage crash into other carriages before 'accidentally' hitting the target's carriage, minimizing the chance the target would get suspicious. Purely on its own, this wouldn't be anything to worry about, but if these incidents were to all crop up around the same time, if you were in Fumeng Lingcha's position, wouldn't you also get suspicious?"
Li Siye was left stunned, and not only him—everyone else in the room was dumbfounded by Wang Chong's words. True, every incident had been played out to perfection, but when added together, their performance had been anything but.
"But, these five targets were all very far from Qixi. How did Fumeng Lingcha know so quickly…"
The moment the question left Li Siye's mouth, he realized, and his voice began to dwindle away.