Chapter 325: The First Assembly Point
Knowing how fearful the Chamberlain of Dependencies was, the trio lowered their heads and replied respectfully. Only Wang Chong's head remained high up, unmoved by the official's words.
"You! Did you not hear my words?"
Noticing Wang Chong's lack of response, the official's expression suddenly turned frigid. Pointing his bony finger at Wang Chong, he questioned in displeasure.
"What are you doing? Didn't you hear the word of the lord?"
"Don't cause trouble here, hurry up and apologize to the lord!"...
The trio hurriedly turned around to criticize Wang Chong. The officials of the Chamberlain of Dependencies were known to be difficult, it could possibly spell a wide range of trouble should one get on their bad side.
Having seen too many people who had suffered at the hands of the Chamberlain of Dependencies, they weren't willing to offend them at all.
"Hehe. Lord, rest assured. We will surely carry out the task," Wang Chong laughed heartily from the back of his horse. His seniors from Longwei and Shenwei Training Camp might be fearful of the might of the Chamberlain of Dependencies, but he was in a very different position.
Just when the official was about to fly into a fit, Wang Chong lowered his hands and flashed a small golden token by his waist.
It was just a very short instant, such that even the trio who were in proximity didn't notice it at all. However, the official opposite to Wang Chong saw it very clearly.
As if pricked by a needle, he forcefully swallowed back in the insults that were on the verge of spilling from his mouth.
Deep fear was mirrored in his eyes as he gazed at Wang Chong once more. He suddenly realized that the most inconspicuous member of the party actually possessed the highest standing of them all.
As powerful as the Chamberlain of Dependencies was, how could their hands possibly reach into the royal family?
"Lord, I apologize on this brat's behalf. I'll surely teach him a stern lesson later on." Xu Gan turned his steed around and glared at Wang Chong furiously.
He was already very displeased with the young man before him after seeing him at the assembly point of the training camps. Seeing the other party's casual attitude before the official from the Chamberlain of Dependencies, his rage bubbled like a volcano on the verge of eruption.
After all, if they were to get on the bad side of an official from the Chamberlain of Dependencies due to Wang Chong, who knew what kind of difficulties would be heaped upon them in the future?
"Enough! Stop dilly-dallying and get on with the mission."
Xu Gan was just about to berate Wang Chong when the official waved his hands to chase them away. To potentially offend a Great Tang king over such a minor affair would be nothing short of foolishness.
"Hmph! Count yourself lucky!" Xu Gan glared at Wang Chong viciously before driving his steed to the west, headed toward the first gathering point which the official spoke of.
Hua la la!
Shortly after Wang Chong and the others left, a white pigeon swooped down from the sky.
The official stretched out his arm, allowing the pigeon to perch on his arm before carefully untying the note on its leg.
Reading through the content on the note, a hint of realization flashed across his eyes. He took out a brush and swiftly wrote some words on the back of the note: The target has already passed.
Tying the note back to the pigeon's leg, he propped the pigeon up, and hualala, it flew into the sky, headed in the direction of the capital.
Wang Chong never expected that what would be awaiting him in the first gathering point weren't yamen guards, but four platoons of Great Tang cavalry.
These cavalrymen were equipped with battered armor plates, tattered and rusty throughout, seemingly on the verge of falling apart. Nevertheless, the soldiers donning this armor still had their backs upright like erect spears on the back of their steeds.
Sharpness and determination reflected from their eyes, revealing their fearless spirit.
These were four platoons of military veterans who had gone through hundreds of battles!
"Lords!" Upon seeing the four of them, an old lieutenant who seemed to have waited for them for quite some time hurriedly drove his steed forward to welcome them. This gesture clearly showed the exceptional standing of the Three Great Training Camps within the Great Tang military.
The students of the Three Great Training Camps would eventually become top officials of the military. The immense potential behind them granted them a standing superior to even most lieutenants in the various armies.
"I, Lieutenant Zhang Lin, have brought the unit here to report for duty. We are ready to listen to your deployment. Please give us the word as to when we will be setting off!"
As Zhang Lin spoke, he placed his right hand on his chest respectfully to make a military salute.
"What did you just say? These soldiers will be deployed under us?"
If Xu Gan's ears failed him not, this lieutenant seemed to be saying that the group of veterans before them who had been tempered by war would be put under their command.
He had undergone various missions over the past few months, but this was the first time he had encountered one of this nature. He couldn't help but feel a little agitated within.
"Yes, my lord! According to the orders we received, one platoon of twenty will be assigned to each of you, and you will be given full authority over the platoons. Rest assured, our soldiers are qualified warriors who will fulfill every single command asked of them, be it to scale a mountain of blades or descend into a sea of flames. Even if death lies at the very end of the path, they will still dash right in without the slightest frown on their faces!
"There are no warriors more qualified than them! Zhang Lin added grimly at the very end.
The three recruits from Longwei and Shenwei couldn't help but tremble in excitement. After all, which recruit from the Three Great Training Camps had never dreamed of commanding an army to dominate the battlefield?
But all of this would only come after they had graduated from the training camps. None of them had imagined that an opportunity would come so quickly.
Even though each of them would only be leading a small group of twenty, this was already not bad, considering that they were rookies and there would be two ten-man squad leaders under their command.
The delight wasn't just limited to the trio, Wang Chong was also thrilled by this opportunity as well.
To think that I would be able to command a sizeable group in this mission!, Wang Chong thought excitedly.
As the previous Great Tang Grand Marshal, he felt an innate intimacy toward the soldiers of Great Tang.
Deploying soldiers and leading them through battles, all of these felt nostalgic to Wang Chong, as if he had gone back to the past.
As if hearing a calling from the depths of his soul, his blood began bubbling in excitement.
Ever since his reincarnation, the only opportunity he had to lead an army was in the operation to eradicate the Goguryeon assassins.
However, that was an extremely brief operation spanning only a single night, and Wang Chong only took an auxiliary role in it.
But it was different this time around. These soldiers would be put under his direct control, and it seemed like the operation would last far beyond a single day as well.
During this period of time, Wang Chong would be able to relive his past days and experience the exhilaration of the battlefield.
As Zhang Lin was passing down the command of the troops to Xu Gan, Wang Chong suddenly drove his steed forward and galloped toward the soldiers.
"That darned brat actually dared to get ahead of us!"
"Hmph, it seems like we mean nothing to him at all!"
"Let's see how he'll fare when we throw him aside for the mission later on!"
The trio was enraged.
Wang Chong heard their furious howlings, but he paid them no heed. It was as if something that had laid dormant deep within veins had suddenly burst into life, compelling him forward.
Upon coming in proximity with the cavalrymen, the White-hoofed Shadow slowed down and strolled in front of them with a unique click-clack rhythm.
This unique click-clack rhythm was a gesture of respect mainly known only among cavalrymen with at least a decade of experience behind them.
The tattered armor that they wore hinted at the number of battles they had undergone as soldiers. Dedicating their entire lives to guarding the borders of the empire, these men were more than worthy of his respect.
Taking Wang Chong's actions, a hint of astonishment flashed across the faces of the eighty veterans from the four platoons. They thought that they would be waiting on the young masters from the Three Great Training Camps, but who knew that such a figure would appear before them instead?
With this simple gesture, Wang Chong had managed to win the approval of most of the soldiers here.
"Who is willing to follow me for this mission?" Wang Chong shouted with a loud and powerful voice. Despite facing eighty seasoned military veterans, Wang Chong showed no signs of fear at all.
"We are willing to follow you!" After a short moment of silence, a platoon of twenty suddenly galloped forward neatly from the formation.
"Good. Follow me!" Wang Chong waved his hand before galloping toward the mountain at the other end. Behind him, the twenty cavalrymen tugged on their reins and followed him tightly. Astonishingly, there wasn't the slightest hint of chaos in their movement or formation. It was as if they were a single entity in itself.
Wang Chong glanced back to take a look, and he nodded in commendation.
His platoon was showing a high level of discipline, and this further boosted his confidence for this operation.
"Where is that lad going to?" Looking at Wang Chong's departing back, Xu Gan frowned.
"Do you even need to ask? Given his caliber, he must be dragging those cavalrymen to one side to make full use of his newfound authority. To get excited over such mere matters, as expected from someone of humble birth," Huang Yongtu replied disdainfully from beside Xu Gan. Their hearts might be leaping with excitement from gaining command of twenty soldiers as well, but coming from prestigious clans, they knew better than to expose their true emotions and get ahead of themselves.
In the end, those from Kunwu Training Camp were just peasants. How could they possibly compare to nobles like them? With such a thought in mind, Huang Yongtu's prejudice toward the young man deepened.
"Forget it, the mission is more important. We should hurry up and divide the platoons among us first," the only lady among the trio, Bai Siling, suddenly spoke up. For some reason, that brat from Kunwu Training Camp felt exceptionally familiar to her. There was a strange feeling that she had seen him somewhere before, but the truth seemed to be eluding her at the moment.