Chapter 276: Blood Banquet!
"Zhongtong, have you heard Wang gongzi's words?"
Reining in his thoughts, Zhangchou Jianqiong turned to Xianyu Zhongtong and said.
"Yes, Protector-General,"Xianyu Zhongtong stood up and replied respectfully.
"After you return, keep a tight lookout at the border with Erhai. All Mengshe Zhao merchants traveling to and fro must be subjected to stringent checks, especially those intending to head to -Tsang via the Tea Horse Road. All of the documents must be checked carefullythose without official approval shall be strictly prohibited from entering. After I enter the Bureau of Military Personnel, you will become the Southern Protector-General, so you have to pay careful heed to what Wang gongzi said. You mustn't allow Mengshe Zhao any opportunities to ally itself with -Tsang," Zhangchou Jianqiong said.
"I understand. I'll have my subordinates send a black kite to instruct the Jiannan commanders to tighten the security of the borders, Xianyu Zhongtong said.
"Un. Nothing must go wrong with Annan. You should return to Jiannan as soon as the matters here are settled," Zhangchou Jianqiong said deeply.
This was the most he could do at the moment. The border along Jiannan stretched for a great distance: it was impossible for them to guard the border seamlessly. If Geluo Feng really intended to ally with -Tsang to deal with Great Tang, there was little that he could do.
Even so, deep in his heart, he didn't think that it was that easy for Mengshe Zhao to ally with -Tsang.
While Wang Chong did raise a legitimate possibility, it was still only one of the many possibilities. Not to mention, Great Tang wasn't a pushover either.
With the geographical advantage, Great Tang might not necessarily lose to their alliance, either.
Seeing the conversation between Zhangchou Jianqiong and Xianyu Zhongtong, Wang Chong opened his mouth, only to close it once more. He could tell that Zhangchou Jianqiong possessed absolute confidence in his army of 180,000, but the latter was unaware that the army of 180,000 wouldn't be facing the attack from the coalition of Mengshe Zhao and -Tsang as he thoughtwaiting in their fortress in defense.
On the contrary, due to some peculiar turn of events, the army of 180,000 of the Southern Protectorate Manor left their own grounds and ended being ambushed and wiped clean.
But all these things, Wang Chong couldn't say.
This wasn't just due to the limitations imposed by the Stone of Destiny which prevented him from revealing future events outright, but no one would believe him either.
After all, Wang Chong couldn't possibly claim that he had seen the future and had come back to save Great Tang.
If he were to utter such words, even Big Uncle Wang Gen would take him to be a lunatic.
No one could possibly believe such utterly ridiculous words. Doing so would only cast doubt on him.
Seems like this is all I can do at the moment.
Wang Chong sighed deeply, knowing that there was nothing more he could do. At the very least, he had forewarned the commanders on the matter, such that they wouldn't be caught completely unprepared.
As for the rest, he could only think of ideas later on.
"Wang gongzi sure possesses a keen eye and tremendous courage, there are very few your peers who can match you. You're bound to achieve great things in the future," Zhangchou Jianqiong turned to Wang Chong with a smile after instructing Xianyu Zhongtong.
"I am unworthy of such excessive praise. I am only raising this issue casually out of worry, I hope that Lord Zhangchou can pardon me on this matter," Wang Chong quickly replied.
"Hahaha, it's even more incredible for your casual words to possess such insight. Wang gongzi, you need not be so humble. Come, let's drink! Allow me to offer a toast to Wang gongzi!" Zhangchou Jianqiong raised his wine cup as he said that.
"Cheers to Wang gongzi!"
"Cheers to Wang gongzi!"
Everyone chirped in as well.
After gulping down the cup of wine and placing it back on the table, Zhangchou Jianqiong swiftly shot Wang Chong a gaze while thoughts filled his mind.
In the military, Wang Yan's ability can only be considered to be slightly above average. Furthermore, his excessively upright personality and lack of adaptability will limit the progression of his career. Yet, each of his offspring is more formidable than the next. Putting aside his eldest son Wang Fu, even the youngest son has such sharp insight at this young age. This is truly astounding.
With just these talented children, Wang Clan will surely soar to greater heights in the future. While I did advise Zhongtong to get closer to them, I should probably do the same as well, Zhangchou Jianqiong thought.
In this short meeting at this banquet, Zhangchou Jianqiong's impression of Wang Chong had changed sharply.
Superior insight, a keen eye for detail, exceptional sensitivity toward military affairs, and his prestigious background; he had no doubt that this youth would surely become an incredible figure in the future.
Zhangchou Jianqiong could no longer view him as a child anymore. Rather, in his mind, the other party was already a fellow peer that was worthy of standing equally with him and Wang Gen.
While his position was still far above the boy, he was confident that Wang Chong would be a worthy investment for him.
Amidst amicable chatter, more dishes were served. A tall and elegant Goguryeon lady stepped forth to present a plate of Phoenix-tailed Abalone, as a few other ladies served the other guests tea.
The Phoenix-tailed Abalone was simmered to perfection. A golden glow drizzled with rich sauce specially prepared using more than a dozen herbs. Just the very fragrance it carried whetted one's appetite.
Suddenly, a cold harrumph sounded. Just as the beautiful Goguryeon lady had placed down the plate and was about to withdraw her hands, an iron grip suddenly locked the lady's hand firmly in place.
"G-guest, what are you doing?"
This happened so suddenly that the lady immediately exclaimed in shock with her non-fluent Han language as color drained from her beautiful face. At the same moment, the other ladies also froze in astonishment.
All of the sudden, the entire tavern fell silent. Gazes from all around turned to the hand that was clutching tightly to the lady's wrist.
In an instant, the atmosphere turned peculiar.
"G-guest, we don't offer that kind of services here. P-please let go of your hand," another waitress behind the beautiful Goguryeon lady stuttered nervously.
Hearing those words, Wang Chong chuckled inwardly as he lifted his wine cup and sipped on it calmly. To dare to accuse the Southern Protector-General as a man with no self-control, it would only draw peals of laughter outside.
Even though Wang Chong didn't know why Zhangchou Jianqiong held onto the lady's wrist, he could tell that something was surely wrong.
Since Zhangchou Jianqiong took the trouble of choosing Ten Sun Tavern for the banquet, Wang Chong was content with just watching the show.
"What is this?" With a frosty look, Zhangchou Jianqiong questioned the lady sharply. The temperature in the tavern plummeted, and in just a single instant, it felt as though they were standing in an ice chamber.
"I-it's Phoenix-tailed Abalone!" the lady replied in fear.
"Hmph, why don't you give it a bite then!"
Zhangchou Jianqiong picked up a piece of the Phoenix-tailed Abalone with his chopsticks and placed it to the beautiful Goguryeon lady's mouth.
Upon seeing the Phoenix-tailed Abalone right before her, the stuttering beautiful Goguryeon lady turned visibly more nervous. It was as if the mouthful of abalone was some kind of ferocious beast.
Behind the beautiful lady, the pale, frightened face of the waitress who exclaimed previously abruptly turned savage, and with a shout in Koguryoan, she threw aside the plate in her hand, whipped out a dagger from her waist, and charged at Zhangchou Jianqiong with astonishing speed.
Hua hua hua!
Plate after plate of food and drinks were hurled at the group. Those seemingly feeble waitresses from a moment ago suddenly turned into demons from hell as they brandished their weapons at the group.
"Go, kill them all!"
"For King Sosurim!"
"Don't leave a single one of them alive!"
"For the glory of our great empire!"
Impassioned Koguryoan battle cries accompanied with bone-chilling killing intent pressed down on the group. Peng peng peng, the compartment doors by the side were jolted open, and the assassins ripped apart their disguises and charged towards the group.
Amidst the overwhelming killing intent drifting in the room, bundles of Stellar Energy and glowing halos burst into appearance, filling the entire tavern. A group of the assassins charged straight for Wang Chong.
Seeing the frenzied attacks of the Goguryeons from all around him, Wang Chong wasn't surprised in the least.
This was the Ten Sun Tavern, the center of this Goguryeon district, as well as the symbol of its prestige here. After the previous operation, there was probably not a single Goguryeon in the capital who couldn't recognize him anymore.
Upon seeing the culprit behind the deaths of their brethren, how could they possibly remain motionless? It was already admirable that they could hold themselves back until now.
"But it's a pity that you chose the wrong location and the wrong opponents!" Wang Chong sneered coldly as he lifted the wine cup in his hand and gulped it down.
At the moment when Wang Chong gulped down the wine from the cup, a brilliant outpour of light flooded the surrounding, and a golden Deluge of Stellar Energy, noble and upright, reminiscent of the sun, abruptly burst into the room.
Under the blinding flash of light, time seemed to have stopped. Other than Wang Chong and the others, all of the Goguryeon assassins seemed to have frozen in space, maintaining the previous position of their assault.
"Know your place!"
A cold harrumph vaguely echoed by Wang Chong's ears, and in the next moment, the serving waitresses along with the many assassins who charged out from the compartments by the side were crushed into smithereens. A rain of blood filled with lumps of flesh and fragments of bones filled the entire room, but not a single bit came close to the banquet of the group.
A frenzied wind crushed a wall in the tavern as it blew the remnants of the Goguryeon assassins out, splattering them across the streets.
On the other hand, the tavern on the third floor was completely clean except for the slight traces of blood here and there on the ground. The forty or so top-notch Goguryeon assassins had vanished from the world just like that.
In that instant, all of the noises seemed to vanish from the Ten Sun Tavern, leaving behind nothing but deathly silence in its wake.
Beneath Wang Chong's feet, on the second floor, the ruckus caused by intense fighting had disappeared as well.
And in front of Wang Chong, Zhangchou Jianqiong sat there motionlessly, not having lifted a single finger at all. If not for the sight a moment ago, no one could have imagined that Zhangchou Jianqiong was the culprit behind the slaughter just a moment ago.
This was how powerful a Saint realm expert was!
Wang Chong had once reached this realm, so he didn't feel the slightest nervousness or anxiety before such overwhelming power. Nonchalantly, he filled his cup of wine and gulped it down again.
Those Goguryeons would never know what kind of expert they had attempted to lay their hands on.
This was a Protector-General of Great Tang!
Before him, Wang Chong would be even safer than if he had hidden amidst an army of soldiers.
These Goguryeons had chosen the wrong actions on the wrong occasion!
"Do you know why I chose to host this feast here at the Ten Sun Tavern?"
Zhangchou Jianqiong poured himself a cup of wine before lifting his gaze up. On his face, one could see dispassionate callousness, the unfeeling brutality of a man who had stepped on innumerable corpses to guard the southwest border of his homeland.
Without such ruthlessness, it would be impossible for one to become a Protector-General.
But Wang Chong knew that this face wasn't directed at him but those fortunate survivors in the Ten Sun Tavern.
"I heard that there has never been a precedent where a Protector-General rises to become the Minister of War. If I wish to achieve what no man has done before, I'll have to tread on this bloodied path. This banquet is just my way of welcoming myself to the capital. Let this be known, there is no military man who isn't bloodthirsty!"
Saying those words, Zhangchou Jianqiong gulped down the wine before slamming the empty wine cup heavily on the table.