The Human Emperor Chapter 819
Chapter 819: Fumeng Lingchas End I
Chapter 819: Fumeng Lingcha's End! (I)
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Dusong Mangpoje and Fumeng Lingcha had clashed many times on the Tibetan Plateau, and rarely had either emerged with a decisive victory. And yet at the battle of the triangular gap, Dusong Mangpoje had abandoned his army and fled for his life. To these Qixi generals who regarded Dusong Mangpoje and the Tibetans as mortal foes, this shock was tantamount to an earthquake.
All of them clearly remembered the terrifying aura of those two elders that had emerged with Wang Chong from that miniature city of steel. If those two elders were still present, then none of them would dare to try and attack Wang Chong.
Fumeng Lingcha took in a deep breath as he subconsciously glanced at the walls behind Wang Chong, a deep apprehension within his eyes as he slowly came to his senses.
This truly was not the time to attack this brat. Since everything was now clear, a gentleman could wait ten years for revenge. He could leave him alive for now, as there would always be time for vengeance in the future.
"Wang Chong, I will not kill you today, but don't get too happy yet. I've remembered this matter, and once I return from the capital, I will have you and your Wang Clan pay the price."
Fumeng Lingcha gave Wang Chong a vicious glare, as if branding his appearance deep into his mind, and then he fiercely turned his horse around and began to ride to the capital.
Fumeng Lingcha swung down his hands and led his forces away.
As Fumeng Lingcha's mountainous pressure left with him, everyone breathed a sigh of relief.
"Milord, please don't take such risks in the future. Fumeng Lingcha is far too powerful. You were placing your life in his hands right there."
"That's right. Milord, if Fumeng Lingcha had known that your master and the Wushang Village Chief weren't present, we truly would be in danger."
All of Wang Chong's subordinates began to chide him, fear still evident in their voices. The moment Fumeng Lingcha had pulled out his saber, each of them had smelled the pungent scent of death. It had been a direct confrontation with an Imperial Great General, and those who had not personally experienced it would find it difficult to imagine.
"Haha, relax. Whether or not Fumeng Lingcha knew, he would still never attack."
Unlike his subordinates, Wang Chong was completely relaxed, with no sign of tension on his face.
"Lord Marquis, I also felt that you were too rash in this incident," Li Siye suddenly said. "Fumeng Lingcha is too powerful, so we should have been more cautious."
"Heh, Siye, relax."
Wang Chong chuckled and patted him on the shoulder.
"Fumeng Lingcha appeared here, so he naturally already guessed that it was me. If he really wanted to attack me, do you think he would have waited until now and exchanged so many words with me?"
Wang Chong's words immediately left his followers speechless. It was true. Given Fumeng Lingcha's personality, if he was sure it was Wang Chong, he would not have been so patient.
"Fumeng Lingcha is currently headed to the capital, and as long as he explains himself clearly, he still has a chance of returning to the Qixi Protectorate. But if he kills me now, then it doesn't matter what happens with regards to the Xueyang Palace Incident, because he's still doomed. The great clans are not something simple to deal with, and I'm also the Son of Heaven's disciple. Fumeng Lingcha is a shrewd and deep thinker, so he certainly understands all this. Thus, he was never prepared to attack me today, so I was willing to meet with him."
Wang Chong grinned as he explained.
"But Fumeng Lingcha's thinking was still too simple. He thought that he still had a chance to stage a comeback, but he has no idea… that I will never give him such a chance!"
Wang Chong shook his head, his eyes glimmering with a sharp light as he looked in the direction of the capital. When the evil grew one foot, the righteous would grow a zhang. Fumeng Lingcha believed that he could rely on his past record, but Wang Chong would not let him do as he wished.
Wang Chong turned his horse around and left.
The rage of the Sage Emperor was not to be underestimated, and added to that was the fact that Fumeng Lingcha's oath of fealty had already been spread throughout the court and the public. It took eight to nine days of constant traveling for Fumeng Lingcha to reach the capital.
"I've finally returned!"
As he gazed at the lofty Imperial City, Fumeng Lingcha felt a mixture of emotions. As a border general, he could not lightly enter the capital unless he was summoned by imperial decree. Fumeng Lingcha had imagined countless times before the scene of him entering the capital and taking the position of Prime Minister so that he could reign over the world.
But he had never imagined that he would be entering the capital like this.
Wang Chong, just you wait! Once I explain myself to the Sage Emperor, I'll definitely have you and your Wang Clan experience a living death! Fumeng Lingcha mentally swore.
As Fumeng Lingcha's mind was abuzz with thought, a callous voice rang out by his ear. "Is it Lord Protector-General? The Sage Emperor has decreed that we escort you to the court for your audience!" Two wooden-faced guards from the Imperial Army had emerged from the sides of the gate.
"There's no need! I'll go in myself!"
With a wave of his sleeve, Fumeng Lingcha pushed aside the approaching guards and strode into the Imperial City.
"The lowly subject Fumeng Lingcha has come to call upon His Majesty!"
A few moments later, amongst the gathered civil and military officials of the court, the fully-armored Fumeng Lingcha kneeled on the floor of Taiji Palace.
"Haha, Lord Marquis, this is far too interesting."
A few days later, while Wang Chong was inspecting a map of the Western Regions, Xu Keyi excitedly rushed into the room, holding a letter as he laughed.
"Has King Song sent a letter?"
Wang Chong smiled as he shifted his gaze away from the map.
Wang Chong was placing more and more of his attention on the Western Regions and the Abbasid Caliphate, leaving many of the more minor matters to others. For example, after Fumeng Lingcha entered the capital, Wang Chong had left almost everything regarding it, including the correspondence with King Song, to Xu Keyi.
This could also be considered a sort of training. Xu Keyi was gradually beginning to show the abilities of a commander beyond just strength, so Wang Chong was also beginning to see more value in him.
"Mm. Lord Marquis is truly wise. This letter is from King Song."
Xu Keyi gave a firm nod and immediately relayed King Song's message. The moment Fumeng Lingcha stepped into the capital, he was summoned to court, where, before all the assembled officials, he had wept as he confessed all his sins to the Sage Emperor.
Fumeng Lingcha had constantly emphasized his loyalty to the Great Tang, and though he had colluded with the Fourth Prince, it had only been because he wanted to be a little closer to the Sage Emperor, not out of any thought of rebellion. In addition, Fumeng Lingcha had also brought up many past events, like his first meeting with the Sage Emperor and their many years of friendship as lord and subject.
At certain emotional high points, Fumeng Lingcha wept so hard that others couldn't help but feel grief-stricken.
In addition, Fumeng Lingcha also emphasized his status as Hu, emphasized that he did not have a deep background in the Confucian teachings. The Hu had a straightforward nature, but they did not have evil hearts.
As for the oath of fealty, Fumeng Lingcha had pleaded that he had lost his head from greed. His long watch over the border and the ten-some years in the desert of Qixi, unable to enter the court, had made him susceptible to the temptations of the Fourth Prince.
In any case, he had an excuse for everything. One could say that Fumeng Lingcha had played the part of a wretched and remorseful subject very well, had given an excellent one-man play.
Even Wang Chong had to feel admiration for this performance. As Qixi Protector-General and the oldest of the Great Tang's Hu Great Generals, Fumeng Lingcha was a shrewd fellow, a clever strategist. The tactic he had employed was truly exquisite, and Wang Chong could find no problem with it.
“'Ginger gets spicier the older it is. He truly is a cunning old fox!”
Wang Chong sighed.
In the Great Tang, the Hu had always been a very special community. Fumeng Lingcha had chosen to exploit the emotions of the crowd, emphasizing that though he was a Hu, he was still devoted to the Great Tang. This was truly a wise move.
"What did His Majesty say? Was this enough to get him off the hook?" Wang Chong indifferently said.
"That wasn't the case. His Majesty has not made his stance known as of yet," Xu Keyi hurriedly replied.
Wang Chong smiled, his eyes twinkling. He was apparently unsurprised by this result.
"Fumeng Lingcha is very smart, but the heart of a sovereign is unfathomable. The Fourth Prince is His Majesty's flesh and blood, a member of the imperial household, but even he was locked up in the imperial prison. Fumeng Lingcha shouldn't think that just his explanation would be enough for His Majesty to let him go, right?"
Nothing in the Imperial Court was a trivial affair, much less something as dangerous as the War of the Princes. No matter what methods Fumeng Lingcha employed, this matter would never be brought to an end so easily. A prince colluding with a border general, an Imperial Great General at that, had always been forbidden. If it were not such a taboo, why would the Sage Emperor have gotten so angry?
"What of the court? What have they said about how Fumeng Lingcha should be punished?" Wang Chong asked from his spacious armchair.
Xu Keyi bowed and said, "Lord Marquis is wise to have predicted everything so exactly. Fumeng Lingcha truly did try to exploit the emotions of the crowd, and there have been voices in the court saying that Fumeng Lingcha has a unique status and has done much for the court. In addition, Qixi needs an Imperial Great General like him to oversee it. Thus, some people have advised that Fumeng Lingcha be stripped of his official rank and lose his titles of Protector-General and Imperial Great General, but that he should remain in Qixi under careful inspection and use his deeds to repent for his crime. Moreover, quite a few people support this view."
Wang Chong's eyes flashed as he chuckled.
"Fumeng Lingcha wasted so much effort playing out the wretched subject in front of all the officials for the sake of this result. But things are never this simple. Xu Keyi, what did King Song say?"
"Lord Marquis is wise. This matter truly isn't that simple. Fumeng Lingcha colluded with the Fourth Prince seeking the position of Prime Minister. That letter has already circulated throughout the entire court, so no one is willing to forgive him. Even more voices in the court are asking for Fumeng Lingcha to be severely punished, with some of them even proposing execution so as to uphold law and order. Zhangchou Jianqiong, Zhang Shougui, Wang Zhongsi, and even King Qi and the Prime Minister can no longer tolerate his presence," Xu Keyi said.