Chapter 294: Returning to Kunwu Training Camp
To think that the truth would be like that. This explains why Su Hanshan seems to be tied down by something in his previous life, and wasn't able to make the breakthrough to become a great general. It sure is a great regret for the Central Plains!
After hearing Wei Hao's recounting, Wang Chong fell silent.
The elders in Wang Chong's previous life had extremely high evaluations of Su Hanshan, and his demise had upset many of them.
That man possessed capability, wits, and decisiveness.
Even those who didn't like him had to admit that Su Hanshan possessed the charisma of a leader. No matter how fearsome the enemy might be, the army he led would still charge forth without any hesitation.
As long as Su Hanshan remained standing, fear would remain an emotion none of his soldiers would feel!
In that era of catastrophe, Su Hanshan's back felt extremely reassuring to his men. He would always charge forth and retreat with his soldiers.
And eventually, Su Hanshan also fulfilled the promise he made to his men.
Instead of fleeing alone, he chose to die together with his army on the battlefield!
This was a man worthy of respect, a true military man, a great general of the empire!
Even though he was never recognized, even on his dying breath...
When Wang Chong heard of Su Hanshan's demise back then, his heart was also filled with sorrow.
This was the reason why Wang Chong was determined to help Su Hanshan in this life. Of everyone in Kunwu Training Camp, Su Hanshan was indubitably the one which Wang Chong wanted to help the most, as well as the one he wanted to change the destiny of the most.
But it was impossible for him to explain this to anyone else.
Wei Hao leaned down and said derisively, "Hmph, I don't think Li Nian was telling the complete truth. The situation was probably far worse than he had depicted. Despite our partnership with the Duke of Liu Residence, how could we have not known their background? To think that this was where the Li Clan's Duke of Liu conferment came from, how repulsive!"
He was a person who valued his brothers and friends, that was the reason why he rushed over from Kunwu Training Camp without asking a single question right after receiving Wang Chong's letter.
And after a few hours of journeying, he immediately went to meet the second young master of the Duke of Liu Residence. Despite his exhaustion, he didn't utter a single word of complaint.
Given his personality, it was natural that he detested those who betrayed their own brothers and stole their merits.
"It is hard for outsiders like us to say for sure what the truth is. It is also normal that you have never heard of this matter. After all, Emperor Gaozong is involved in it, so no rumors would be tolerated. However, this also explains why the Duke of Liu Residence maintains such a low profile."
Wang Chong's forefinger tapped rhythmically on the table. There were quite a few dukes in Great Tang, and most of the successors to the title choose to stay away from the treacherous royal court and live a peaceful life.
However, even among this group, the Duke of Liu Residence was exceptionally low profile. In fact, the Duke of Liu Residence even had trees planted along the perimeter of its residence, seemingly in an attempt to keep it out of sight.
There were very few in the capital who knew of the existence of the Duke of Liu Residence.
Thinking of it now, it was probably due to this matter.
The Duke of Liu's lineage had always been been snubbed by the both the nobility and the officials. Most probably, even though this matter was a secret to those in the bottom layer, it should be common knowledge among those in the royal court.
It was only out of consideration of Gaozong that no one raised this matter.
Duke of Liu's lineage was probably aware of this as well, that was why he chose to maintain an extraordinarily low profile.
"Even though I don't approve of the actions of Duke of Liu's lineage, there is some sense to their words. The grudge between both clans was a matter between their ancestors. Since they were already long gone, and they are already in the third generation, it is about time to put this matter to rest.
"Besides, even though Su Hanshan's grandfather died of anger, Su Hanshan's father died a normal death. There's no reason for Su Hanshan to get even with the Duke of Liu Residence," Wang Chong said.
"But Su Hanshan might not necessarily agree with that," Wei Hao said.
"Nevertheless, compared to that old grudge, I think what worries Su Hanshan the most was another matter. Besides, whether Duke of Liu's lineage is being hypocritical or not, and whether they have truly turned over a new leaf, we will know very soon... Bring me my brush!"
Wang Chong lifted up his sleeves and reached out for the brush. However, after a moment of hesitation, he smiled bitterly and retracted his hand.
Wang Chong suddenly turned to Old Eagle and asked, "Old Eagle, how is your handwriting?"
"Ah?" The latter was abruptly awoken from his daze. Bewilderment crept onto his face.
"The both of us have poor handwriting, so Wang Chong wants you to write in his stead!" Wei Hao explained.
"I see... Back then, as I had to deliver information frequently, I spent some time training my calligraphy, so I guess it is passable."
Old Eagle didn't know whether he should laugh or cry.
Wang gongzi seemed to be capable in everything, be it his martial arts, business aptitude, and battle formations. It was hard to comprehend how his handwriting could be so bad!
After all, Duke Jiu was known for being a man of literature!
Naturally, Wang Chong could tell what Old Eagle was thinking about, and he felt embarrassed about it as well. Thus, he quickly laughed it off and changed the topic.
Picking up an ink slab and grinding it, Old Eagle wrote as per Wang Chong's recitation, and the seal of the Wang Clan was stamped on the very bottom of the letter. After which, a Wang Family guard delivered the letter straight to the Duke of Liu Residence.
This was the official way how prestigious clans communicated with one another. The use of communication pigeons was considered disrespectful.
Whether this letter was written by Wang Chong or not didn't matter. As long as the Wang Clan's seal was stamped on it, the letter would represent the intentions of the entire Wang Clan.
Wang Chong's letter was simple.
In the name of the Wang Clan, he requested the Duke of Liu Residence to release Su Hanshan's little sister and hand her over to the Wang Clan.
The truth would be known once Wang Chong met that young lady. If she had really been abused, there would be nothing Wang Chong could do about this matter.
The grudge between Su Hanshan and the Duke of Liu Residence would surely persist on.
Even though the current Su Hanshan might be powerless, it wouldn't be too long before he gained sufficient power to crush the entire Duke of Liu Residence.
On the other hand, if that young lady was truly treated well, it would mean that Duke of Liu wasn't lying, and there would still be ground to reconcile this grudge.
After delivering the letter, around a day later, a young lady was sent out of the Duke of Liu Residence.
Wang Chong didn't see the young lady, as she was escorted by the guards of the Duke of Liu Residence straight to Kunwu Training Camp.
Accompanying that young lady were two chests of gold ingots and an envelope.
The two chests of gold were returned, though the envelope was accepted.
After the young lady was sent to the Kunwu Training Camp, she suddenly disappeared from view. Nobody knew where she went.
"Alright, this matter has finally come to an end. It seems like the second young master of the Duke of Liu Residence wasn't lying. They really didn't abuse the young lady."
Wang Chong stood up and stretched his back lazily.
The Duke of Liu Residence's kindness didn't come for free. Since the other party had handed over the young lady, Wang Chong had to reciprocate on behalf of the Wang Clan.
"Help me arrange an appointment with the eldest son of Duke of Liu, Li Bing!" Wang Chong said.
Since big brother wasn't around, and second brother was incarcerated in the death prison, Wang Chong would have to take on the responsibility!
After this matter, Wang Chong met with Li Bing at the Royal Jade Pavilion and expressed his gratitude for their handling of this matter.
Just like that, a full stop was placed on this matter.
"Gongzi, I still don't understand. That day, when we were in the Duke of Liu Residence, even my 'scouts' weren't able to tell that it was a trap. How did you know?"
Gazing upon the field of flowers and the peaceful pond from the corridor in the Wang Family Residence, Old Eagle asked curiously.
That day, if they had advanced any further, they would surely have been detected.
The world inside the high walls was different from the world beyond it.
If Wang Chong had been trapped and killed within the high walls, the Duke of Liu Residence would be able to deny this matter vehemently. After all, why would the grandson of Duke Jiu suddenly appear inside the Duke of Liu Residence?
As long as they couldn't explain this, not even the Wang Clan or King Song would be able to redress Wang Chong's grievances.
But fortunately, Wang Chong noticed that something was amiss in advance, and managed to escape a crisis.
"Old Eagle, the 'scouts' you trained are indeed intelligent, but there are some things that a bird's eye can't see," Wang Chong chuckled. It had been a few days since that matter occurred, but Old Eagle seemed to still be hung up over this matter.
In truth, it was for an entirely different reason that Wang Chong realized that it was a trap.
"In Great Tang's two hundred years of history, many people were conferred as nobles, and there were many scions in the capital. It is impossible for anyone to know every single one of these scions. However, by frequently hanging out by the streets, one will hear some gossip or even catch a glimpse of them," Wang Chong explained.
"The Duke of Liu Residence kept a relatively low profile all along, and the young masters of their clan rarely hung out with the other scions of the capital. However, they still maintain a high profile on some aspects. Take, for example, the time when Wei Hao went to meet Li Nian, the latter had quite a few guards with him.
"And the guards by their side were very different from the usual guards that protect scions like us. They were true experts that Duke of Liu hired from the pugilistic world. It felt like he was guarded against something constantly, so very few people hung out with him," Wang Chong said.
Old Eagle nodded as he recalled the two formidable Profound Martial realm experts by Li Bing's side that day in the forest.
These experts accompanied Li Bing no matter where he went, even when he went to meet with Wang Chong.
It was the same when Li Nian met Wei Hao, as well.
It seemed like the rumors were true after all.
No one in the capital could have expected that the Duke of Liu Residence was indeed guarded against someoneSu Hanshan!
"That day, Li Bing's room was brightly lit, but there wasn't even a single guard outside. Considering how they brought Profound Martial realm experts no matter where they went, how could the entrance to their room possibly be unguarded? Since you have already confirmed that it was Li Bing's room, that leaves only one possibilityit was a trap. Think about it, Su Hanshan was able to scout around the Duke of Liu Residence for a few days without being noticed, and he even managed to sneak in and look around easily. What are the odds of this happening?"
Actually, Wang Chong had been rather perplexed by how Su Hanshan was able to maneuver and search around the Duke of Liu Residence so easily. Thus, upon realizing that the latter had entered Li Bing's room, he immediately retreated.
And of course, Old Eagle's avian scouts couldn't possibly read all of that.
On this aspect, the time which Wang Chong spent frolicking around as a profligate scion wasn't a complete waste.
After explaining this matter to Old Eagle, Wang Chong flicked his sleeves and walked to the entrance of the Wang Family Residence. A carriage was waiting for him outside.
Wang Chong stepped into the carriage before instructing the coachman, who had been waiting for him for some time already, "Let's go!"
Since he had managed to settle the matters in the capital, it was about time for him to return to Kunwu Training Camp.
That was where his attention should be at the moment!