The Human Emperor Chapter 843
Chapter 843: Soldiers Approach Qixi
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
As Wang Chong led his forces out of the City of Steel, a horseman watching from the distance began to ride to the Qixi Protectorate in a panic.
"It's bad! Inform General that Wang Chong has led his army out of Wushang and is heading toward the Qixi Protectorate!" the horsemen yelled as he galloped.
Creee! An eagle soared into the sky as the Hu horseman called out, and swiftly flew to the northwest. At the end of its journey, it folded its wings and landed in the main hall of the Qixi Protectorate.
"What?! That Wang Chong is coming!"
The news brought back by the eagle was like a boulder crashing into the hall, immediately making waves in the bustling Qixi Protectorate.
"Bastard! He harmed Protector-General and he still dares to come? Does he really think that we're afraid of him?"
"Gather all our brothers in the protectorate headquarters. I'd like to see how he deals with all of us."
"Qixi Protector-General! Who cares if the Imperial Court decreed it? Without the nod from our brothers, he's nothing!"
"The heavens are high and the Emperor is far away! Not even the Imperial Court dares to deal with us. I'd like to see what tricks he has. Let's send him packing in the direction he came from!"
The hall was bursting with anger, with the news of Wang Chong's coming seeming to have provoked a beehive, all the Hu commanders on the verge of exploding. In the blink of an eye, countless figures surged out of the hall, and a few moments later, all the Hu soldiers of the Qixi Protectorate army had been mobilized. Numbering in the thousands, they converged from all around to the Qixi Protectorate headquarters.
Eagles shot into the air as all of Qixi was caught up in this unprecedented turmoil, the air fraught with tension.
On the road to Qixi, Zhang Que looked up and saw several black dots in the sky. "Lord Marquis, look over there! The surveillance eagles of the Qixi Protectorate army!" HIs words immediately attracted everyone else's attention.
"Lord Marquis, should we get rid of them?"
"There's no need."
Wang Chong glanced upward before grinning and waving his hand.
"Let them do what they want. Give them a good look and let them prepare. We can resolve all of this with just one go."
Wang Chong's voice was flat and emotionless, yet it exuded a supreme confidence. The matter of Qixi had been delayed long enough, and it was about time to get it done.
"Pass on my order! Quicken the pace!"
Dust surged more than ten zhang into the air as the five thousand Wushang Cavalry picked up speed, still maintaining their neat and orderly ranks. On the other end, all the Hu cavalry of the Qixi Protectorate had assembled, organizing into neat rows and columns, a vast army gathered before the Qixi Protectorate headquarters. All of them were quiet, and the air was suffocating.
"How much farther?"
"Good! Get those things ready. Let's give him a big present! If he can't see our good intentions and still dares to come over, then we can't be blamed."
Scout after scout galloped off.
A few moments later, a Wushang scout galloped back from the front and kneeled on the ground.
"Reporting! Lord Marquis, many barricades have been set up on the road!"
Wang Chong's straight brows rose, and he peered into the distance. Several hundred meters away, hundreds of triangular stakes, each around three to four feet long, had been planted on the ground, blocking the road to the Qixi Protectorate. With Wang Chong's vision, he could even see that a large wooden pillar had been planted on the side of the road, several crude words in Han written upon it.
'Go back now!
'Forward is death!'
These six simple words were suffused with an intense murderous aura.
"These words… how ugly!"
Wang Chong smiled and quickly turned his head.
"Have some soldiers clear those barricades away!"
"Yes, Lord Marquis!"
An officer quickly left to deliver the order.
The post of Qixi Protector-General had never been as lucrative as imagined. On the contrary, it was one fraught with challenges. Just the unruly Hu commanders and soldiers alone were enough to give one a major headache. Wang Chong hadn't even taken up the position, was still ten li away from the actual protectorate, and he was already being greeted by barricades. The attitude expressed here was loud and clear.
The average person, or even someone that wasn't Wang Chong, would find this a very difficult problem to deal with, and would do as those words said and step back. Unfortunately, these Hu were dealing with Wang Chong, and Wang Chong had never been a lord who was easy to dismiss. He was not prepared to deal with these resentful soldiers of the Qixi Protectorate army using ordinary methods.
Rumble! A group of horsemen quickly split off, and in a few moments, they were raising up clouds of dust on the official road. It took them mere moments to clear the barricades and open up the path.
In cavalry battles, running into barricades or pits was commonplace. In the war of the southwest, Wang Chong had even used countless metal caltrops to obstruct the advance of the Tibetan cavalry up the mountain. As the commander of an outstanding cavalry force, Wang Chong had to consider this problem.
If the Wushang Cavalry could not even deal with this completely plausible situation, their reputation as the number one cavalry force in the world would be wasted.
Thus, when he first established this force, Wang Chong had specially trained a group of soldiers to deal with these obstructions.
After removing the barricades, the army encountered pits, caltrops, trip ropes… all sorts of obstacles appeared to obstruct their advance, but Wang Chong swiftly had them cleared away. To the current Wushang Cavalry, such things did not even count as threats. It didn't take long before Wang Chong had advanced to five li from the Qixi Protectorate.
This time, there were no more pits or other traps. On the spacious road was a single Hu soldier, fully armored, with hawkish eyes and a high nose. He stood before the five thousand Wushang Cavalry, apparently having waited for them for a long time.
The Hu soldier turned his cold gaze to Wang Chong and suddenly bellowed, "Wang Chong, General has ordered that you immediately withdraw your soldiers. Do not make harm for yourself! If you turn back now, it will not be too late. If you cross this line, we will no longer be polite!"
Swish! The Hu soldier suddenly dragged his sharp halberd across the ground, creating a sharp boundary line on the road.
"Impudent! Is Lord Marquis's name something that you can say?"
The soldiers behind Wang Chong were incensed at this sight. Wang Chong was the Son of Heaven's disciple, the Young Marquis of the Great Tang, and the new Qixi Protector-General. Even Li Siye and the other officers would normally not dare to call Wang Chong directly by his name, and this Hu was just a trifling soldier. To directly refer to Wang Chong by name was brazen and presumptuous to the extreme.
But before any of them could do anything, a warhorse neighed and a bloody light flashed. Boom! The Hu soldier was stupefied as a massive sword cleaved him, his horse, and the earth below him into two.
The remnants of the Sword Qi continued to tear through the earth, leaving a fissure more than ten zhang long!
"The low offending a superior! Thus is the punishment for treating Lord Marquis without proper courtesy!"
Li Siye's eyes were frigid as his cold voice thundered over the heavens, traveling for several li. Even the soldiers in front of the Qixi Protectorate headquarters could hear his voice, and instantly paled. In the light of the morning sun, Li Siye's figure loomed like a majestic mountain, the sight deeply branded in everyone's mind.
All the soldiers in front of the Qixi Protectorate headquarters had nasty grimaces.
Wang Chong gave a faint smile and swung his sword down. If the Hu of the Qixi Protectorate thought that these methods could be used to deal with him, they were barking up the wrong tree. Such methods would only succeed in their wildest dreams.
The army advanced, encountering no other resistance. A few moments later, Wang Chong finally arrived before the towering Qixi Protectorate headquarters and the thousands of Hu soldiers gathered before it!
The thousands of Hu were all equipped for battle and drawn up in formation, forming a massive chasm that obstructed Wang Chong's Wushang army from reaching the Qixi Protectorate. The army was silent, their invisible killing intent soaring into the sky. The fierce gazes of these Hu soldiers seemed to want nothing more than to tear Wang Chong's body into pieces.
The air was tense and grim. Wang Chong's five thousand Wushang Cavalry slowly came to a halt.
"Bastards! What are these scoundrels up to!"
The soldiers behind Wang Chong were all enraged by this display. The Sage Emperor had personally decreed that Wang Chong be made Qixi Protector-General, and yet these people had mustered soldiers to resist him. This was already a blatant rebellion.
"This is absurd! Are they really thinking about rebellion?"
Xu Keyi also appeared angry, and he urged his horse into a charge.
"Wait a moment."
Wang Chong extended a palm and called for Xu Keyi to stop.
"Come back. Let's see what they want to do."
Wang Chong seemed to not care about all this, and wore an indifferent expression on his face. He had long ago predicted this sight. He had been the one to remove Fumeng Lingcha, and the Hu on the border had never had a good impression of him. It would have been stranger if he had been able to smoothly enter the Qixi Protectorate to assume the post.
"The Feast at Hong Gate1—interesting!"
Wang Chong trotted his horse forward with a faint smile on his face as he confronted the vast Hu army.
He had no intentions of returning to the City of Steel. No matter how many Hu showed up, he would make them yield, whether they wanted it or not!
Suddenly, a stentorian voice boomed out from the rear of the army, carrying that trilling tone unique to the Hu.
"You're quite bold. After harming our Protector-General, you still have the face to appear before us! Do you really think that we don't dare to kill you? I will give you one chance. Retreating right now won't be too late!"
As this cold and stubborn voice thundered, the Hu army slowly split apart, allowing twenty to thirty Hu commanders in clattering armor to stride out, killing intent seething from their bodies. Leading this group was a muscular Hu, his eyes vicious and sharp, bursting with endless ambition. The thousands of Hu soldiers around him fused their energy with his own, making him appear like a giant.
The leader of the Hu generals of the Qixi Protectorate and Wang Chong's greatest opposition in his effort to assume the post of Qixi Protector-General.
1. The Feast at Hong Gate was an event that occurred in the period between the Qin and Han Dynasty. In this period, Xiang Yu, who was the leading contender for the throne, had heard that Liu Bang, the eventual founder of the Han Dynasty, was planning to crown himself king and was enraged. He invited Liu Bang to a feast, during which his advisor Fan Zeng signaled multiple times that he should kill Liu Bang. Xiang Yu was hesitant, however, and Liu Bang was eventually able to make his escape.