Chapter 293: Su Hanshan's Secret!
Fatty Wei, quickly come down the mountain!
A pigeon flew from the Wang Family Residence into the blue sky, headed for Kunwu Training Camp. That was the only message on the note attached to the pigeon.
At the very bottom of the note, there were three ink dots positioned in a triangle.
This was the password that Wang Chong and Wei Hao agreed on beforehand.
There was no one more suitable to serve as a middleman than Wei Hao. As the sole son of a duke of Great Tang, Wei Hao's birthright wasn't beneath that of the Duke of Liu. In some aspects, he even surpassed the latter.
With Wei Hao serving as the middleman, the Duke of Liu wouldn't be embarrassed.
Besides, Wei Hao was already reaching adulthood, so it was about time he should do something befitting his standing as a scion.
Soon, Wang Chong received a reply note from Kunwu Training Camp. On it was a word written in incredibly ugly handwriting.
In terms of calligraphy, Wei Hao was on par with Wang Chong.
By the time the pigeon returned to the Wang Family Residence, Wei Hao was already on the way. He didn't question Wang Chong's intent or reject the urgent request.
This was simply the trust between brothers. As long as Wang Chong beckoned, he would immediately rush over.
As the day neared evening, Wei Hao finally arrived at the Wang Family Residence's entrance, drenched with sweat. He swiftly maneuvered through the corridors adeptly and arrived at Wang Chong's study. "Wang Chong, you were looking for me?
"How is it? I'm fast, aren't I? After seeing the 'emergency' mark you left in the letter, I rushed over as quickly as I could!"
Standing by the door, Wei Hao's hands were placed against the doorsill for support as he chuckled excitedly.
Having grown up with Wang Chong, Wei Hao knew that Wang Chong wouldn't call him for nothing. Something important must have happened.
"Not so much an emergency, but I do have an urgent matter that I need your help on," Wang Chong chuckled. Be it his previous life or his current life, he truly appreciated and admired Wei Hao's personality.
Loyal and dependable, willing to stand by him even before the greatest of dangers.
"Do you still remember Su Hanshan from White Tiger Peak? It's that person who shared a room with me..."
Wang Chong immediately dove into the topic, revealing everything that he had uncovered about Su Hanshan.
After stepping into the study, Wei Hao immediately gulped down cup after cup of water. Upon hearing Wang Chong's words, he was astonished.
"The Duke of Liu maintains quite a low profile in the capital, how did Su Hanshan get involved with him?"
He had heard of the glacier on White Tiger Peak, and he knew that the other party wasn't a person to trifle with. Most people would try to avoid him.
Wei Hao didn't expect the reason why Wang Chong called him over was for that person!
"That is precisely what I want to know as well, that's the reason why I called you over. Help me liaise with the second son of the Duke of Liu and get the information out of him," Wang Chong said.
"Alright, leave this matter to me! It happens that my clan has some ties with the Duke of Liu Residence. I'll help you get to the bottom of this matter."
Without any hesitation, Wei Hao stood up and left.
It was already late evening by the time Wei Hao left, and Wang Chong thought he would return soon. But even after waiting until midnight, Wei Hao still hadn't returned.
Wang Chong sent someone to look into this matter, and it seemed like Wei Hao had asked the Li Clan's second young master out, and they had booked an entire tavern. No one was allowed to enter or leave the premises in the midst of their conversation.
In the study, Old Eagle stood up and asked, "Gongzi, shall I send some men to take a look? For a meeting, isn't this a little too long?"
"There's no need for it. In the city where the Son of Heaven resides, the Duke of Liu won't dare to do anything to the offspring of the Duke of Wei," Wang Chong waved his hands casually.
Doubt not the ones you use, use not the ones you doubt. This matter involved three great clans of the empire, Wang Chong believed that the Duke of Liu would never dare to harm Wei Hao.
"Let's wait patiently. He'll surely return." After saying those words, Wang Chong closed his eyes.
Time slowly passed, and four hours later, a slight commotion could be heard outside. Before the person could be seen, a loud exclamation was already echoing in the air.
"Wang Chong! Wang Chong! This is incredible, truly incredible! ... Do you know what I heard?"
Under Old Eagle's accompaniment, Wei Hao rushed into Wang Chong's study. His eyes were bright, even amidst the darkness.
Despite having a busy dayrushing down from Kunwu Training Camp and chatting with the second young master of Duke of Liu Residence until the middle of the nightWei Hao didn't seem exhausted at all. On the contrary, he seemed to be spirited.
Wang Chong was jolted awake, and all traces of exhaustion scattered in an instant. He pointed at the empty seat opposite of him, gesturing for Wei Hao to sit down. "What did the second young master of Duke of Liu Residence say?"
"Wang Chong, I finally know what Su Hanshan is looking for in the Duke of Liu Residence. He's looking for his little sister! Can you imagine that? That fellow actually has a little sister!" Wei Hao exclaimed in shock.
Wang Chong and Old Eagle glanced at one another in surprise.
"Wei gongzi, you can't be saying that Duke of Liu's eldest son, Li Bing, fell in love with Su gongzi's little sister, and kidnapped her into the Duke of Liu Residence? And in order to seal this scandal, the Duke of Liu Residence decided to kill Su gongzi?" Old Eagle exclaimed in surprise.
Even though he was the one who escorted Wei Hao from the doorstep to the study, there wasn't sufficient time for him to make sense of the situation.
"Hehe. If only it is as simple as that. This matter is at least a hundred times more complicated than that!" Wei Hao chuckled as he crossed his legs, intentionally keeping things in suspense.
Ignoring the other party's gleeful and punch-inducing look, Wang Chong asked, "Is that not it?"
"Hehe, you don't know, right? If I were to tell you the truth, you might just die of fright! In truth, the current Duke of Liu should have been Su Hanshan!" Wei Hao gleefully threw out a huge bomb.
"How could that be?" Wang Chong widened his eyes in shock.
He knew that there was a huge grudge between Su Hanshan and the Duke of Liu Residence, but Wei Hao's revelation was still a huge twist. This was shocking, especially considering that the news was provided by a member of the Duke of Liu Residence.
Wang Chong's first instinct was to think that Wei Hao was bluffing.
Wang Chong straightened his body and asked, "Wei Hao, what is going on? Tell me what did you and the second young master of Duke of Liu Residence spoke about. Stop keeping me in suspense."
He felt that he was coming into contact with the deepest secret behind Su Hanshan. If he could decipher this mystery, perhaps he might be able to open up Su Hanshan's path to becoming the greatest general in the empire.
The latter would be able to unleash the full extent of his potential, reaching heights he could have never dreamed of in his previous life.
"It's a long story. Initially, that fellow was extremely hesitant, and he was unwilling to reveal anything. Fortunately, thinking that Su Hanshan would tell you the truth anyway, he eventually told me everything."
Seeing Wang Chong put on a grim expression, Wei Hao knew that he shouldn't kid around any further. Thus, he began recounting everything he heard in the tavern.
The grudges between Duke of Liu Residence and Su Hanshan could be traced back to three generations ago, when Great Tang was still under the rule of Emperor Gaozong.
Even though the Duke of Liu Residence and Su Hanshan's clan were mortal enemies now, the two were actually the best of friends back then.
Su Hanshan wasn't a foreigner, either. He was a bona fide citizen of the capital.
Emperor Gaozong was a rare emperor who possessed average capabilities.
His martial arts couldn't be said to be poor, but he was nowhere near the top, either. He could hardly compare with the current Sage Emperor.
Given someone of Emperor Gaozong's qualifications, it was natural that he would face grave danger before his ascension.
There was once when Gaozong met with danger, and in the midst of escaping, he fainted. It was Su Hanshan's ancestor, Su Feng, who found him at a timely moment and brought him out of danger.
Su Feng didn't tell anyone about this matter, except for his best friend, who was the ancestor of the Duke of Liu's lineage.
Gaozong was a rare sentimental type among the generations of emperor, so he decided to express his gratitude to his savior by conferring him with the position of a duke.
However, as Gaozong was unconscious then, he unintentionally mistook Su Feng's friend to be the one who saved him.
On top of that, Su Feng's friend was blinded momentarily by greed. Despite knowing that Emperor Gaozong had made a mistake, he still accepted the conferment.
On the other hand, Su Hanshan's ancestor, Su Feng, was kept in the dark throughout the entire matter.
When Su Feng finally found out about it, everything was already over. Fearful that Su Feng would expose the matter, Su Feng's friend actually ordered Su Feng to be incarcerated.
On the other hand, Su Feng had always regarded the other party as his closest buddy, so he viewed this matter as a huge humiliation.
Even though Su Feng's friend couldn't get past his conscience and eventually let Su Feng go, Su Feng still eventually died of anger and indignance.
This was also where the grudge between Su Hanshan's lineage and the Duke of Liu Residence first originated from. The son avenges the father: given the humiliation that Su Feng was put through and the overwhelming indignation he felt even at death's bed, how could his son possibly allow the Duke of Liu to get away scot-free?
Su Feng's son filed a case, and the matter eventually got to the royal court, but as the emperor's decree couldn't be retracted, they could only go along with the mistake.
Su Feng's son was given some rewards in compensation, but how could he possibly let this matter slip just like that?
Thus, a dead knot was formed!
Coming to this point, there was no longer any ground for reconciliation between the two clans.
After failing in his deed, Su Feng's son fled from the capital, and he passed down his will to his son, Su Hanshan.
And thus, this feud was passed on down to the third generation.
While the Su Clan was passing down their grudge generation to generation, dreaming of the day that they could finally exact vengeance, the Duke of Liu's lineage wasn't waiting idly for death, either. They also passed this matter down so that the later generations could prepare themselves for vengeance from the Su Clan.
Even though the Duke of Liu knew that he was at fault for this matter, he couldn't possibly allow the other party to put the heads of his entire clan into a guillotine.
Thus, the Duke of Liu Residence also retaliated.
Somehow, they managed to uncover the Su Clan's hiding place, and dispatched an army over, capturing Su Hanshan's little sister in the process.
Due to some coincidence, Su Hanshan wasn't around at that moment, so he managed to escape the capture.
Even though the Duke of Liu Residence had captured Su Hanshan's little sister, they didn't do anything to her. They fed and dressed her well, and even assigned maids to take care of her every need.
Other than the lack of freedom, her life was much better than how it was in the mountains. And the members of the Duke of Liu Residence also didn't dare to take advantage of her, either.
Actually, the intentions of the current Duke of Liu were simple.
Since the grudge between the two clans was a knot destined to never be unraveled, he would take Su Hanshan's little sister as a hostage. This way, Su Hanshan would have to consider twice before doing anything as extreme as his father.
While the Su Clan and Duke of Liu Residence could be considered enemies, their relationship was far more complicated than that. After all, the current standing of the Duke of Liu Residence came from Su Feng.
All of this was written clearly in the letter left behind by the Duke of Liu Residence's ancestor, so the members of the Duke of Liu Residence didn't intend to do anything to the young lady.
They still treated her with respect and politeness!
And this was what Wei Hao had heard from the second young master of the Duke of Liu Residence, Li Nian.