Chapter 391: Subduing Xu Qiqin!
Wang Chong was also put in an awkward position. Huang Qian-er was an unexpected victim from the conflict between the Wang and the Huang Clan, and even Wang Chong didn't have the power to reverse it.
However, he had no intention of chasing her away, either.
If the renowned Fairy of Dainty Hands were to serve as his bodyguard, he would be much safer then before. On top of that, there was a fatal flaw in the Thunderous Resonance of the Dainty Hands that Huang Qian-er cultivated.
However, Huang Qian-er was filled with hostility for him, so it was unlikely that anything he said would be able to get through to her. He would have to find a suitable opportunity to warn her of the matter.
Just as Wang Chong was in deep thoughts, a voice suddenly sounded in his ear. Turning around, he saw Wei Anfang panting heavily by his side, seemingly having sprinted anxiously to get to him.
"Anfang, what is wrong?" Wang Chong asked.
It couldn't be that Princess Nihuang or Li Siye was causing trouble for him once more?
The only ones who could leave Wang Chong with a huge headache in the Deflecting Blade Manor were those two!
"Gongzi, do you remember Xu Chong?" Wei Anfang asked anxiously.
"Xu Chong?" Wang Chong blinked his eyes blankly. Wasn't that the name Xu Qiqin of the capital's Xu Clan assumed to sneak into his Deflecting Blade Manor?
The previous time she challenged the Chess Hall, he had intentionally made things difficult for her, passing the others except for her. Could she be up to something once more?
"As gongzi was out for too long, I made arrangements for the recruits to be tested in the Chess Hall today so as to sort out the next batch that would be heading to the spirit vein. However, Xu Chong, making use of gongzi's absence, took the initiative to challenge the students of the Chess Hall and defeated all of them!
"That isn't all! He also challenged the examiners of the Chess Hall and defeated them as well. Now, he is waiting in the Chess Hall, saying that he wants to challenge you!" Wei Anfang said.
Wei Anfang wasn't sure what the relationship between Wang Chong and Xu Chong was, but it was clear that gongzi seemed to be bent on preventing Xu Chong from passing his test. Otherwise, given Xu Chong's proficiency in chess, he couldn't have failed the examination while so many other recruits passed.
Perhaps due to that incident then, Xu Chong had decided to return to make things difficult for Wang Chong!
"What?" Wang Chong frowned in surprise.
He hadn't expected Xu Qiqin to go to the extent of challenging everyone in the Chess Hall. However, he soon understood the intentions behind her actions.
She was likely to still be holding a grudge over the matter back then, so she chose to defeat everyone in the Chess Hall so as to prove her abilities. If Wang Chong were to pass someone else, but still fail her, that would bring his judgement into question.
On the other hand, if he were to pass her, that could be considered her 'victory' in this fight.
Xu Qiqin was using such a method to protest against him, as well as to corner him!
"What an arrogant fellow she is!" Having understood Xu Qiqin's intentions, Wang Chong couldn't help but chuckle softly inside..
He had known that the talented young lady of the Xu Clan was a proud person and wouldn't sit idly in the face of injustice, but he hadn't really expected her to come back at him in such a manner.
However, she had made a major miscalculation.
To challenge him in a match of weiqi... Not even the legendary old general of Great Tang was able to defeat him, let alone her!
"Haha, let's go and take a look." Placing his hands behind his back, Wang Chong began walking towards the Chess Hall leisurely with a smile on his lips.
Wang Chong could feel the incredible bustle in the Chess Hall from the moment he stepped through the doors. All of the examinees and the examiners of the Chess Hall were squeezing in on one another, seemingly observing something.
Through the slight gaps in between the crowd, Wang Chong saw a composed young man with a beautiful facial features, and an upright back playing a game of chess against one of his examiners.
The beautiful young man had a calm and relaxed expression on his face, but the examiner opposite to him had his body drenched with sweat, his face was pale without the slightest tinge of red on it.
His eyes were fixated on the chessboard in front of him, as if his soul had been taken away by it.
"That is the most formidable examiner of our Chess Hall in this batch," Wei Anfang whispered quietly to Wang Chong.
"Got it," Wang Chong nodded.
Without even analyzing the formation of the stones on the chessboard, Wang Chong knew that the victory was Xu Qiqin's. If the best logistical officer of King Qi from his previous life couldn't even defeat a couple of examiners in the Chess Hall, she would be unworthy of her title.
And as if proving him right, in just a few moments later, Xu Qiqin's voice sounded, "You have lost!"
Pushing the chessboard slightly forward, Xu Qiqin got to her feet and tilted her chin up proudly. There was a gleeful smile on her face.
This time, she had defeated every single examiner at Wang Chong's side. This was the method she had chosen to get back at Wang Chong for the humiliation she had suffered the previous time she was here.
On the opposite end of the chessboard, the pitiful examiner had his head hanging despondently, defeated.
The entire Chess Hall was silent.
Pah pah pah!
A resounding applause sounded from the back of the crowd. Clapping his hands, Wang Chong stepped forward with a smile on his face.
It was only in that moment that everyone awakened from their daze and noticed Wang Chong's presence. The crowd hurriedly split apart to open a path for Wang Chong to walk through.
The crowd bowed respectfully to Wang Chong.
In the Chess Hall, Wang Chong possessed absolute authority. After all, the books on military stratagem here were all written and compiled by him.
Not even the instructors of the training camps were a match for him.
(TL Note: They are still unaware that even Su Zhengchen had lost to him on that aspect!)
"Hmph! Gongzi, I should have passed the test this time around, right?" Xu Qiqin looked at Wang Chong with her head tilted up proudly.
Back then, Wang Chong didn't bother showing her any courtesy, so she was just returning the favor to him.
"The Chess Hall has its own rules, and if you wish to enter the spirit vein, you will have to clear the examination first." With a hand behind his back, Wang Chong replied with a smile.
"Sure, I will take the examination gladly then!" Xu Qiqin replied as she chuckled coldly inside.
This time, she had come prepared. Even if it still ended ultimately with her loss, she was determined to make things difficult for Wang Chong.
"Let me see what you can do this time around!" Xu Qiqin said with her lips curled up.
Without even waiting for Wang Chong's reply, she had already begun to clear the chessboard before her to prepare for a match with him.
"Wait a moment!" Wang Chong abruptly raised his hand as his gaze swept across the crowd.
"The rest of you, prepare yourselves too. Just like before, I will be examining you all simultaneously."
"There's no need for that!" An even louder voice sounded.
Xu Qiqin turned to look at Wang Chong with a sly glint in her eyes, "I have helped you assess the others, and their skills are merely so-so. None of them are qualified."
These words were extremely arrogant, and it made the others clench their fists in anger. However, not a single person dared to utter a word of protest. Xu Qiqin had indeed defeated every single one of them, that was an indisputable truth. She was more than qualified to say those words to them.
"Whether they are qualified or not, that is for me to say. You don't have the right to judge them," Wang Chong replied with a smile.
Those words immediately left Xu Qiqin's face flushed with fury, and an intense fighting will towards Wang Chong burst out from her.
As a person of great talents, she had never suffered any major setbacks at the hands of her peers, giving rise to her proud personality. As such, it made her particularly susceptible to Wang Chong's provocations. In that instant, she tore apart the composed disposition she had feigned and roared at Wang Chong.
"I don't have the right? Why don't I have the right? I have already helped you play against them, and they are indeed all useless. Not a single one of them possess a tenth of my skills. Don't you think that your standards are a bit too low if even those of their capabilities are qualified?
"If there are going to be neither standards nor credibility here, I don't think that there's any need to retain this Chess Hall anymore. The system you have set up is completely meaningless, and it has no authority at all!" Xu Qiqin lashed out as she glared at Wang Chong intensely.
She was no longer bothering with putting up a facade anymore. If that bastard was going to play this game with her once more, she would force him into a corner. In any case, even the great Confucius has once said that "Of the world, only women and the despicable are impossible to deal with."
Who asked him to offend her, she was one who remembered grudges vividly!
"Hehehe!" In the face of Xu Qiqin's agitation, Wang Chong chuckled calmly.
"Xu Chong, do you know I have made the Chess Hall a necessary hurdle for those who intend to cultivate at the spirit vein? Do you really believe that the underlying intention of my examination is just to sieve out those with superior chess skills?
"Military strategies can be classified into convention and novel; the convention to bring order, and the novel to outdo and achieve victory. There are some who are skilled in utilizing conventional warfare to defeat their enemies using orthodox means, and there are some who specializes in using unexpected tricks to overcome their enemies. If you were to entrust a person who specializes in conventional warfare to conduct novel maneuvers or vice-versa, that is no different from having an official of the royal court don an armor and brave the battlefield, or to have a general compose poems. It would be a major mistake!
"But if an official can't brave the battlefield, and a general can't compose poems, does that mean that they aren't qualified, and we should abandon them?" Wang Chong replied with an elegant disposition.
"Conventional warfare? Novel warfare?" Xu Qiqin stared at Wang Chong blankly, stunned. Having read many books, she could be considered to be knowledgeable among her peers. Furthermore, coming from a noble family, she had seen and heard many things, which gave her a broader outlook than others.
The words that Wang Chong had spoken, she recognized each of them individually, but when strung together, they made no sense to her. What "conventional warfare" and "novel warfare", she had never heard of those before, and she had no clue what they meant, either.
For a brief moment, looking at the confident Wang Chong, she suddenly felt a little uncertain about herself.
"That's right!" Wang Chong smiled.
He wasn't too surprised by Xu Qiqin's confused response. Perhaps due to this world's overwhelming focus on the field of martial arts, the development of military strategy was rather backward.
In the world where Wang Chong came from, the concept of conventional warfare and novel warfare was something familiar to everyone. But in this world, it was an extremely fresh concept that perhaps no one had heard of.
Xu Qiqin might be talented, but limited by the culture of this era, she had no knowledge of such things at all.
Wang Chong's next plan was to normalize the concepts of "conventional warfare" and "novel warfare" in Great Tang, and through the Deflecting Blade Manor, he would groom future commanders and generals that specialized in one of them.
At this moment, he was just throwing a bit of it out to give them an idea of what was to come.
Nevertheless, looking at Xu Qiqin's response, it seemed like she had been subdued.