The Human Emperor Chapter 836
Chapter 836: Earthquake Winds Stir Clouds Gather I
Chapter 836: Earthquake! Winds Stir, Clouds Gather! (I)
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"Gudu Li, what are you planning? Don't forget, that brat is a marquis of the Great Tang. Would you really dare to attack him?" a Hu commander in the crowd suddenly called out.
"Hey hey, all of you might be afraid of him, but I'm not!"
Gudu Li stood on the metal fretwork table, a fierce expression on his face and a savage light in his eyes.
"As long as all of you are willing to dare with me, I dare to make him pay attention. A mere teenager who hasn't even managed to grow some hair over his lip—do all of you really want to listen to the orders of someone like that? And don't forget, how did Lord Fumeng Lingcha treat us? If there was a good post, wouldn't he always give it to us? Now is the perfect time to take revenge for our lord, but are all of you getting cold feet now?"
"That's right! Our lord treated us with favor as weighty as the mountains. If we don't avenge our lord, won't be we be just like those timid Han?"
"Right on! Avenge our lord!"
"No matter what the Imperial Court decrees, we should submit a memorial asking for the release of our lord."
The mention of Great General Fumeng Lingcha immediately had everyone following Gudu Li's tune.
"Hey hey! Good, as long as you follow me, we won't kill him just yet, but I'll at least make it impossible for him to stand firmly within the Qixi Protectorate so that he'll slink out of here in shame! The Hu should make the decisions in the territory of the Hu!" Gudu Li loudly declared, striking while the iron was hot.
"Good! Hear hear! We Hu should make the decisions in the territory of the Hu!"
The already riled-up crowd of Hu commanders immediately exploded into cheers.
The explosive cheers shook the roof of the hall and traveled far, very far. Several hundred meters from the main hall of the protectorate, several cavalrymen had gathered together. A young Hu amongst them turned his head in unease toward the Hu general behind him.
"Milord, what do we do?"
"This is quite the problem…"
Heba Ye appeared to not hear his subordinate's worried question, his eyes still fixed on the distant hall. Gudu Li was one of Fumeng Lingcha's trusted subordinates, but at the start, he had not wielded any actual power. However, by using his status as a trusted subordinate and his ability to rile up a crowd, Gudu Li had managed to raise his reputation in the Qixi Protectorate army until it had surpassed his own, even though he was the general overseeing the defenses on the Tibetan border.
As he and Gudu Li had a complete difference of opinion, he had not gone into the hall.
"Wang Chong…. is not as easy to deal with as you think he is!"
Heba Ye thought back to the triangular gap and the sight of Wang Chong leading his Wushang Cavalry sweeping unstoppably through the Tibetan force and ultimately even killing Dayan Mangban, and his heart went cold. That youth within the City of Steel was a most dreadful opponent on the battlefield. He would rather have him as a friend than foe.
Heba Ye turned his horse around and swiftly disappeared in the direction of the Tibetan Plateau.
Meanwhile, carrier pigeons were flying to the other border protectorates, delivering the news that Wang Chong had been made the new Qixi Protector-General. In contrast to the complicated effects this news had within the Qixi Protectorate, the reactions were much simpler.
"What? Wang Chong of the City of Steel was actually made Qixi Protector-General?"
Within the Anxi Protectorate, Gao Xianzhi's eyes flew open, and he didn't dare to believe his ears.
"How could that be? How could those old officials in the court agree to this? And putting aside everything else, his martial arts shouldn't be at the peak of the Saint Martial realm yet, right? And there are so many extremely experienced generals in the military with long records of service. Were they all rejected?"
"The old officials in the court truly did not agree. It was King Song who silenced them all and wholeheartedly recommended him. In addition, his martial arts truly are lacking, so he is only serving as temporary Protector-General, not as the true Protector-General. In addition, I've investigated this matter…"
Feng Changqing was standing near Gao Xianzhi, and he looked up at his commander in hesitation before continuing.
"Just before the Imperial Court issued its decree, he ambushed the Black Wolf Yabgu at Qixi Armory. Agudu Lan was killed and his five thousand Turkic elites were almost wiped out."
Gao Xianzhi's entire body trembled, and he instantly calmed down. Not long ago, Wang Chong had killed Tibetan Brigadier General Dayan Mangban at the battle of the triangular gap, and exterminated the White Braves who had awed and intimidated all of the Western Regions. This had taken place around a month ago, and now, Wang Chong had even killed Agudu Lan.
These were the two most famous enemy commanders of Qixi, but in the space of two months, both had died to Wang Chong. Even Gao Xianzhi was speechless at this moment.
"When an awl is in a bag, its point will immediately poke through. It seems like nothing can hide the radiance coming off this youngest son of the Wang Clan!"
Gao Xianzhi sighed, his heart filled with emotion.
He was no Han, and his background was completely different from other Han commanders. To work his way up from an ordinary foot soldier to Anxi Protector-General, Gao Xianzhi didn't even know how much of a price he had had to pay, how much sweat and blood he had to put in. Just breaking free of Fumeng Lingcha's control had been extremely risky for him, a journey fraught with barriers that had him teetering on the brink of death.
In complete contrast was Wang Chong's smooth and rapid ascension, reaching the post of temporary Protector-General in the space of a year. Even Gao Xianzhi had to admit that he was a little envious. It felt like the younger generation was overtaking the old, like the new waves of a river pushing down the old.
But even so, Gao Xianzhi also had to admit that Wang Chong's current accomplishments had not been made by relying on his luck and background. The talent for command he had revealed on his campaigns had been stupendous and outstanding. Even as an Imperial Great General, Gao Xianzhi was stunned and dazzled.
Wang Chong's abilities were truly far above those of his peers. At the age of seventeen, Gao Xianzhi would have found it impossible to compare himself to Wang Chong.
"But that's not the only thing. Milord, if Wang Chong really does assume the post of Qixi Protector-General, many of our plans will have to change. We can't simply attempt to suppress or contend against him anymore. Qixi controls the transportation of our supplies and soldiers. In the future, we will be dependent on them for many things and will have to interact with them," Feng Changqing said, a worried look in his eyes.
Although Wang Chong might have been Duke Jiu's grandson, a scion from a clan of ministers and generals, the Son of Heaven's disciple, and the Young Marquis, this was the western border, where the heavens were high and the Emperor was far away. The statuses of Gao Xianzhi and Feng Changqing meant that they could disregard many things. But now that Wang Chong was the Qixi Protector-General and had seized the vital thoroughfare of Qixi, everything was different.
It had to be said that the Imperial Court's decree had caught both of them completely off guard.
Gao Xianzhi said nothing, but one could see from the furrowing of his thick and straight brows that he shared the same opinion as Feng Changqing.
"But Milord should also not be too worried. Qixi has quite a lot of Hu, and if the Young Marquis wants to truly sit upon the Protector-General's seat, he still has a long way to go. If he truly manages to get through that pass, we can reconsider how we should interact with him," Feng Changqing said.
"Aaah, that's all we can do."
Gao Xianzhi gave a long sigh.
At the same time, in the distant Longxi, Big Dipper City's shock at the news that Wang Chong was being made Qixi Protector-General was no less than Anxi's.
"A seventeen-year-old Imperial Protector-General? How could there be something like this? The court approved this, and His Majesty even passed the proposal!"
Geshu Han gripped the message from the capital in his hands, his mind still reeling from shock. Not even the appearance of the Ü-Tsang King of Generals, the White Lion Great General We Tadra Khonglo, had given him as much of a shock. This news was simply too unrealistic.
He had been keeping a close watch on the court debates. After seeing all those officials recommending so many experienced and long-serving generals, Geshu Han had never expected them to ultimately pick Wang Chong.
It wasn't just Geshu Han. All the Big Dipper Army commanders around him were also in a stunned daze.
The news from the capital had been like a reef hidden deep in the water, catching them by surprise and dealing them a massive shock.
"It's absurd! In a single year, he reached the post of Qixi Protector-General!"
"Qixi also has that Qixi Armory set up by the imperial household. Our Big Dipper Army receives armaments and supplies from that place every year. If this really is the case, then our Big Dipper Army will be under his control!"
"Am I going deaf? Protector-General! Just this achievement alone is enough to leave his name on the history books to be revered for centuries after he's gone!"
"But isn't he too young? Why did the court let it through? There's no way the masses would accept this!"
"The acceptance of the masses? Do you still think he's some ordinary youth? In the war of the southwest, he killed more than four hundred thousand soldiers of the Mengshe–Ü-Tsang army, and now he's killed Dayan Mangban and Agudu Lan, burying countless Tibetan and Turkic warriors with them. This is a god of slaughter! Do you think the court would recommend him for no reason? His current achievements are simply not something the court can ignore!"
The Big Dipper Army commanders were still struggling to come to grips with the idea. When Wang Chong had first arrived at Wushang and begun constructing the City of Steel, everyone had treated him as an outsider. Even though he had achieved enormous feats in the southwest, he was still just a teenager in their eyes. A one-time achievement wasn't proof of anything. It was luck, coincidence, not a guarantee of transcendent strength or a sign that it would last for very long.
But to their surprise, Wang Chong had succeeded in building that grandiose City of Steel, firming up his foundation, and had also begun to achieve feat after feat: defeating the Tibetans, defeating the Turks, killing Dayan Mangban and Agudu Lan. Finally, he had ascended to the post of Qixi Protector-General.
And all this had taken place in only a few months since Wang Chong's arrival at Wushang. This advancement speed was like he was climbing a ladder to the heavens, leaving everyone slack-jawed and wide-eyed!