The Human Emperor Chapter 825
Chapter 825: The Western Turks Black Wolf Yabgu
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
In Wang Chong's room, Hulayeg truly did calm down after drinking a few cups of tea, after which he was finally able to explain what had happened. Hulayeg had done exactly as Wang Chong had said. With that steward who had tried to betray him taken care of, Wang Chong's gold, and Xu Qiqin's help, Hulayeg felt like he was the master of the Great Steppe, living a truly refreshing and pleasurable life.
And with gold opening the way, Hulayeg was able to climb to an even higher status. The deal with the Great Tang for three hundred thousand warhorses had left all the tribes of the steppe drooling, and he couldn't even count the number of shameless tribal chieftains who chased after him for the sake of getting in on this deal. But a storm could always come out of the blue, and Hulayeg's heedless buying of warhorses on the Turkic steppe and his enormous wealth had attracted the attention of a man: the Black Wolf Yabgu of the Western Turkic Khaganate, Agudu Lan.
Agudu Lan had dispatched his subordinates to investigate this matter, and they quickly traced the matter back to Hulayeg. In addition, Agudu Lan had dispatched another subordinate to find out where the warhorses were going, who followed the clues until he finally found the City of Steel's Wang Chong at the end. The two incidents added together swiftly made Hulayeg the target of the Black Wolf Yabgu.
Hulayeg had sensed this danger and immediately fled, but the Black Wolf Yabgu's assassins had been relentless in their pursuit. Hulayeg had barely escaped with his life, changing his appearance and disguising himself before finally succeeding. But he was still in trouble, because after escaping, he realized that he had nowhere to go. In the end, the only person he could think of was Wang Chong.
"Wang Chong, you have to save me. I'm worked on the steppe for so long, put in my blood and sweat. I can't just give it up like this. And besides, if I can't get back to the steppe, we won't be able to continue our transaction. Wang Chong, I already have nowhere else to go. Only you can help me now. If you save me from this disaster, I'll definitely repay you many times over."
Hulayeg clutched Wang Chong's right hand like he was holding onto his savior.
Wang Chong's brows were tightly creased as he silently contemplated the haggard and dejected Hulayeg. He had never expected Hulayeg to experience such a large incident, as it had not happened in his last life. His interactions with Hulayeg had caused many things to change, and the Black Wolf Yabgu's hunting Hulayeg down was clearly one of them.
"Hulayeg, are you saying that you are currently wanted by the entire Western Turkic Khaganate?" Wang Chong suddenly asked.
"It's not so bad as that."
Hulayeg hurriedly waved his hands.
"I'm being hunted down purely on the Black Wolf Yabgu's orders. As for the Khagan… I've basically bribed everyone at his side, and I've even bribed the people around the Khatun1. But the Black Wolf Yabgu is a relative of Ishbara, and imperial blood flows through his veins. Although he's not a very close relative, he still has an extremely revered status. There's nothing I can do if he wants to kill me, and none of the people I bribed would want to make enemies of the Black Wolf Yabgu for my sake."
After hearing all this, Wang Chong nodded and gave a long sigh. If Hulayeg was wanted by the entire Western Turkic Khaganate, even Wang Chong was powerless. But if it was just the Black Wolf Yabgu, things were different. As long as he took care of the Black Wolf Yabgu, Hulayeg's problems would be smoothly resolved.
"Hulayeg, you don't need to worry. Leave this to me. In at most two months, I'll take care of this matter for you and return you to the Great Steppe," Wang Chong lightly said, his voice brimming with confidence, subconsciously making others believe in him.
Hulayeg was overjoyed. He had originally come because he knew of no one else except Wang Chong that could help him, and wanted to try his luck, but he had never expected Wang Chong to so quickly agree. And he had even promised that the problem would be dealt with in two months, something Hulayeg would have never believed possible.
"Heh, after working together for so long, have I ever deceived you?" Wang Chong said, his entire body slowly beginning to exude a powerful aura.
After Hulayeg was escorted out, the smile on Wang Chong's face began to fade.
I didn't think it would be him!
Wang Chong began to quietly think, his brow slowly creasing. 'Black Wolf Yabgu Agudu Lan' was a name that Wang Chong was far too familiar with. In Qixi, there were two big threats. One was the Asura War God of the Tibetan Plateau, Dayan Mangban, who he had already killed, temporarily resolving any dangers from the west.
The remaining one was the Black Wolf Yabgu of the Western Turkic Khaganate, Agudu Lan. This person's style was in complete contrast to Dayan Mangban's. While Dayan Mangban enjoyed direct assaults, the Black Wolf Yabgu liked to watch from the shadows, waiting for the right opening before delivering the fatal blow.
But though their styles differed, they were equally threatening.
Ever since the battle of the triangular gap, the Turkic steppe had remained silent. Wang Chong had never expected that this was how the Black Wolf Yabgu would present himself to him. The three hundred thousand warhorses were important to both him and the Great Tang. He could not allow this plan to be ruined by the Black Wolf Yabgu.
It seems like I'll have to bring that matter forward, Wang Chong silently concluded, a cold and harsh light in his eyes.
On the distant Turkic steppe, seven to eight hundred kilometers from the defensive lines of the Qixi Protectorate army, a massive golden tent soared into the sky. It was guarded by thousands of Turkic cavalry, each of them stern and stalwart, like unsheathed swords. And not far from the Turkic cavalry, massive black wolves with bared teeth sauntered around the perimeter.
Man and wolf worked together in harmony as if they were one.
Only on the Turkic steppe could one see such a scene.
"Have you found out where Hulayeg went?"
A figure swayed within the golden tent, speaking in a crude and savage tone.
"Lord Yabgu, Hulayeg is truly cunning. He actually disguised himself as a woman to escape, and our men were momentarily fooled and let him pass. He has already reached the City of Steel, the territory of that Great Tang youth. As Lord Yabgu previously ordered, we did not pursue him."
A thin Turkic scout kneeled on the ground, his face as white as a sheet of paper and his forehead glistening with cold sweat.
"What?!! Nothing but a lot of bastards!"
The Black Wolf Yabgu was furious, and with a crash, he smashed one of the large pearls seized from Hulayeg's house into powder.
"If you can't even catch a trifling horse merchant, what good are you people! Someone come—"
At these words, the kneeling scout instantly turned ashen, even his posture becoming unsteady. After serving with the Black Wolf Yabgu for so long, he knew what these words meant. Once the Black Wolf Yabgu began to call for someone, heads would roll.
At this moment, a youthful voice broke in. A young Turkic man dressed in luxurious clothing, evidence of his unusual status, walked out from behind the Black Wolf Yabgu and gently pushed down the Yabgu's raised hand.
"It's just a little horse merchant. Is there a need for Lord Yabgu to be so enraged? And besides that, it's enough that we seized so many objects from his home. Is it necessary to be so angry with your subordinates? In comparison to this trifling merchant, what we need to do next is far more worth Lord Yabgu's attention. Is that not the case?"
The Turkic youth's words greatly cooled the Black Wolf Yabgu's temper. As he rubbed the frigid eagle ring on his index finger, he finally calmed down.
"Get out of my sight!"
"Many thanks, Lord Yabgu."
The scout immediately left the tent.
"What news is there from the Qixi Protectorate?"
The moment the scout left, the Black Wolf Yabgu turned to the Turkic youth. He had left everything regarding the Qixi Protectorate to this youth, and that he had spoken up clearly meant that there was new information.
"Haha, everything is as Lord Yabgu predicted. With Fumeng Lingcha entangled in the Great Tang's War of the Princes, Qixi is like a group of dragons without a leader. It has been divided into many factions, all of them opposing each other, all of them fighting for the post of Qixi Protector-General. Just as Lord Yabgu ordered, we have already begun to get in touch with a few of them and done our utmost to court them, agreeing to all kinds of conditions. The effects are already evident. A few of them have already indicated that they would bring some soldiers from Qixi and defect to us. This is an incredibly rare opportunity. We can use it to heavily wound the Qixi Protectorate," the Turkic youth said, his voice exultant.
"Not heavily wound the Qixi Protectorate," the Black Wolf Yabgu said with a frown. "Our goal is not to enrage the Great Tang and start a great war with them. We would be just as foolish as the Tibetans if we did that. Moreover, heavily wounding the Qixi Protectorate isn't that useful. The Great Tang will continue to send troops that way, and while the loss of some tens of thousands of soldiers won't have too great of an effect on the Great Tang, it will incur its ire. The crucial factor is the Qixi Protectorate's massive armory."
The Turkic youth instantly fell silent.
He knew what the Black Wolf Yabgu was talking about. The Qixi Protectorate owned the largest armory in the Western Regions, perhaps the largest along the entire Great Tang border. After the Sage Emperor decreed its construction, this armory had played an enormous role in assisting the Great Tang in its western advance and in its expeditions to the north.
Such was the massive size of the armory that its heavy ballistae alone numbered one hundred thousand, with the various kinds of armor and arrows being simply uncountable. However, although the armory was in Qixi, it did not belong to the Qixi Protectorate. The Qixi Protectorate was simply tasked with guarding it.
This armory supplied the equipment for Anxi, Beiting, Qixi, and Longxi. The transfer of any equipment from it required a decree from the Sage Emperor, which meant that though the Qixi sat on a treasury, it had no right to use it.
This was a point that the Western Turkic Khaganate could exploit.
1. The Khatun is the Khagan's wife.