Chapter 268: Elder Xiang!
"Such talent really shouldn't be wasted. Since your Wang Clan is a clan of ministers and general, you should leave this young lass with me. In the future, she might become an invaluable expert to your clan!" the Demonic Emperor Old Man said.
"Teacher, don't worry. Feel free to teach her as you please. I'll explain everything to my mother," Wang Chong replied.
It wasn't easy to find someone who could curb his little sister. Wang Chong was no samaritan, so his little sister was truly foolish to have thought that she could have depended on him to talk his teacher out of this.
It was already a huge kindness on his part that he didn't get his teacher to intensify her training.
The Demonic Emperor Old Man nodded before looking at Wang Chong worriedly.
"I don't know whether it's a right decision for me to impart to you the Little Yinyang Artyour progress is too fast. I thought that since you weren't a member of the martial world, your cultivation wouldn't progress too fast. To think that being in the military would actually augment your cultivation instead. This ultimate technique might be powerful, but it has a fatal flaw.
"This also played an important reason as to why I was done in by that unfilial disciple back then. Chong-er, you must remember that you mustn't rush with the Little Yinyang Art. If possible, it would be best for you to slow things down so as to prevent any future problems."
"Teacher, rest assured. I know what I must do," Wang Chong chuckled, thinking nothing much of it.
The reason why he was interested in the Great Yinyang Heaven Creation Art was because it was the quickest way to raise one's cultivation. As for the side effects he would incur due to it...
If he could change Great Tang's fate and prevent that catastrophe, what did those side effects count as?
The Demonic Emperor Old Man didn't say anything, but he clearly saw the nonchalance in Wang Chong's eyes. Knowing that there was nothing he could say that would change the young man's mind, he could only sigh.
He was the one who had imparted the Little Yinyang Art to Wang Chong, so he was the origin of this all. All he could do now was to see if he could find a solution to resolving the flaws of both the Little Yinyang Art and the Great Yinyang Heaven Creation Art.
Let's hope I can succeed! , the Demonic Emperor Old Man thought, looking into the brilliant yellow sky.
Having lived in the martial world for too long, he was accustomed to schemes and vicious battles. Suddenly coming into contact with the Great Tang royal court and an ordinary worldly life with the Wang Clan, he suddenly found the tension he had accumulated over his life loosening rapidly.
There were no schemes here, no one knew that he was the Demonic Emperor Old Man, and no one feared him like the plague. All there was here was this simple and peaceful life.
Teaching a decently talented disciple; cultivating at a spirit vein in the depths of a mountain where no one knew him; facing the assaults of a young lass from time to time while bickering with her everyday, forcing her to work diligently in her cultivation.
When he was free, he could even brew a cup of fragrant tea, have some braised beef with sesame seeds scattered on it, and take a few sips of wine.
The peaceful life had brought unprecedented calm to his soul as well, and he found himself completely relaxed.
The Demonic Emperor Old Man was extremely fond of the current life he had.
And he really loved the two students he had accepted in his declining years, as well. They bore no malice or schemes toward him. Well, the lass did attack him from time to time, but that was due to her fervent wish to get off the mountain.
As for Wang Chong, the Demonic Emperor Old Man could sense that there was something extremely heavy buried deep in his heart, but that was not aimed at him.
He could sense that Wang Chong treated him completely earnestly, and there was no falsehood behind his gestures.
He could tell that Wang Chong really thought of him as his teacher.
And to the Demonic Emperor Old Man who had lived his life in bloodshed and betrayal, such sincere kinship was invaluable.
No matter what, he didn't want anything to happen to these two children.
Flinging his sleeves, the Demonic Emperor Old Man turned around and walked into a hall.
At the same time, Wang Chong looked around the surroundings before walking over to the corner of a man-made hill.
"How is it?" Wang Chong asked.
"Reporting to gongzi, as per your orders, the construction of Training Grounds Number 2 is ready, but there aren't sufficient living quarters and dining halls at the moment. Thus, we might still need a few months before we can set everything in place," a middle-aged Wang Clan guard reported from the side of the artificial hill.
This guard went by the name of Xu Ping, and just like Meng Long and the others, had been in the Wang Family Residence for more than a decade now. While his martial arts weren't on par with Shen Hai and Meng Long, nor was he a very intelligent person, he excelled in getting things done.
Anything that was instructed of him would surely be completed perfectly and on time.
Training Grounds Number 2 was Wang Chong's plan to open up another base aside from this one here.
The spirit vein Wang Chong had discovered extended over a vast area, and a training ground for his recruits didn't require that big a space. It would be a huge pity to let it go to waste.
Thus, Wang Chong initiated his Training Grounds Number 2 plan. At the northern end of the spirit vein, a considerable distance away from this camp, he would establish another training ground and open it to the public.
That training ground would serve a similar purpose to the residence he constructed just beyond the White Tiger Peak, and it was an equally important link to his plans, as well.
"How many people can Training Grounds Number 2 house at the moment?" Wang Chong asked as he gazed at the northern end of the mountain range. He couldn't see it clearly due to the lush forest in between, but in the distance, there was an arched roof rising slightly above the forest, dyed golden by the rising sun.
It was probably one of the buildings in Training Grounds Number 2, still in progress.
"It can house around thirty to forty people at the moment," Xu Ping replied seriously after a moment of contemplation.
"That'll suffice. The Training Grounds Number 2 should be able to be officially opened by the time I return," Wang Chong chuckled.
If he were to make good use of the Training Grounds Number 2, not only could he enhance his own influence, it could also serve as a valuable money tree.
After all, that was a spirit vein! An immense spirit vein that harnessed an astonishing reserve of Origin Energy!
All the large clans would be dying to lay their hands on it!
As long as Wang Chong made good use of this resource, it could possibly become his next mountain of gold, after the Hyderabad ore.
However, this matter would still have to be settled a step at a time; haste would only make waste.
After giving instructions for the future to Xu Ping, Wang Chong pondered for a moment before walking over to one of the training fields in the base.
By the side of the training field stood an old instructor, who was presumably in his fifties. He was supervising the training of the young men and women on the field. His sideburns were snowy-white, and he had a stern expression which indicated professionalism in this job.
Upon seeing Wang Chong walking over, the old instructor hurriedly walked over and bowed respectfully.
At the same moment, the young men and ladies also noticed Wang Chong as well, and they hurriedly put aside their training and bowed to Wang Chong excitedly.
Their eyes were filled with admiration and delight, as though they were meeting with their idol.
"Un," Wang Chong chuckled as he waved his hand, "You should continue with your training."
Those simple words incited a wave of excitement across the group, and some of the younger ladies were screaming in delight.
Wang Chong might still be young, but the accomplishments behind him far surpassed his age. As such, the crowd was under a slight illusion that Wang Chong was significantly older than them.
"Elder Xiang, this way please!"
Amidst the enthusiastic gazes of the crowd, Wang Chong smiled and walked around alongside the old instructor. The old instructor went by the surname of Xiang, and he was the chief instructor whom his little uncle and the eight initial instructors had strongly recommended.
Even though he wasn't the first to arrive at this base, he did possess the greatest prestige here, and it didn't seem like this would change anytime soon.
All of the Imperial Army instructors viewed him as their leader and respected him deeply. It truly wasn't easy for Wang Chong to invite him here.
Before him, Wang Chong didn't dare to pull his weight as the offspring of Duke Jiu, so he too respectfully addressed the other party as Elder Xiang.
"There are strict regulations for those who have retired from the Imperial Army, and these rules forbid us from accepting requests such as that of gongzi's, not to mention, gongzi seems to have great ambitions in this aspect. However, Duke Jiu is a respectable man with high morals; the world has seen this for themselves. Furthermore, gongzi has displayed a heart that worries for your country, and a willingness to bear the burden. It is because of these that I accepted your request," Elder Xiang said as the duo walked by the perimeter of the training field. There were many prestigious and powerful clans in the capital, and many had the intention of engaging his expertise. But he had turned down every single one of them without fail.
The only reason why he made such an exception was because he bore a very high opinion of Wang Chong. The regional commander incident was an extremely sensitive issue, and it took great guts to report this to the Sage Emperor.
One must know there was a good chance that one might be executed for this matter.
Not to mention, Wang Chong also came from the respectable and incorruptible lineage of Duke Jiu. These were the main reasons why he accepted this undertaking.
"I thank Elder Xiang for your compliments. The main reason why I established this base is indeed to serve the country in times of need. In the present circumstances, there are many hostile gazes eyeing us-Tsang, the Turkic Khaganates, Goguryeo, Mengshe Zhao, and the Abbasid Caliphate. These powers aren't what they used to be. Their militaries have grown strong, and they have displayed strong aggression against us. However, few of the entire royal court is aware of this matter, and even fewer are paying it any heed. All I hope is that my actions may prove to be of some use in the perilous times that we're venturing into," Wang Chong sighed.
Wang Chong would never say such words to the other instructors, and neither would they ask him about them, either. However, Elder Xiang was different. Having spent twenty-seven years of his life as an instructor, he had groomed many generations of Imperial Army soldiers. In fact, most of the current instructors were his students.
His prestige, influence, standing, and rallying power were incredible in the Imperial Army.
On top of that, Elder Xiang had also participated in several major campaigns in the past, and this had helped him to build a strong relationship with many military officers and governmental officials. As such, he was well aware of the various affairs surrounding the empire.
Little Uncle Wang Mi had emphasized multiple times in the letter that he must treat Elder Xiang earnestly and not hide anything from him, and that he wouldn't be able to do so even if he tried to.
If he could win Elder Xiang's favor, he could win considerable help through the rallying prowess of the other party.
Elder Xiang stopped in his footsteps and turned to look at Wang Chong with a pair of eyes that could peer deep into one's soul. A short while later, he nodded his head. He could see sincerity in the other party's eyes.
Wang Chong meant what he said.
"It's a good thing that you can think of all of this. As a child from a clan of general and ministers, it's a blessing for the nation that you noticed the threats surrounding the empire and are facing them. I have seen many scions in my life, be it from the royalty, prestigious clans, or nobility. Some of them live their life idly and without purpose, some of them vie with one another for fame and prestige... but very few of them can truly see past themselves and share the burdens of the nation. This is truly a rare trait among your peers.
"If you can protect this earnest heart of yours, you'll achieve great things in the future. I've already sent a few letters to my old friends and students in hopes that they can lend you a hand in your future endeavors!"
Elder Xiang spoke slowly, but his words struck a chord of joy in Wang Chong's heart.
"Thank you, Elder Xiang!"
Elder Xiang's friends and students didn't just number in the dozens; just his old friends themselves numbered in the hundreds, not to mention his students!
Given Elder Xiang's standing in the Imperial Army, his words would surely have a huge and instantaneous influence on the retired Imperial Army instructors.
With this, what Wang Chong had to worry about now wasn't whether there were sufficient Imperial Army instructors to support his base, but whether there was sufficient space to support the inflow of Imperial Army instructors!