The Human Emperor - Chapter 145: The Clash Between the Old And New Grand Marshal!
There was no imposing disposition or intimidating authority to the elder seated before Wang Chong, and he seemed nothing more than an ordinary old man.
If Wang Chong hadn’t known about the background of the chess match, he would have never imagined that the elder dressed in simple black clothes who was holding onto a white stone in his hand would be the great war god whose name shook the entire Great Tang, Su Zhengchen!
————An undefeatable legend that had long disappeared in the minds of many!
Under the old Chinese scholar tree in the western district of the capital, a normal golden-plated chessboard was the key for this old war god to select his successor.
At this moment, all Wang Chong could feel was a warm sensation in his eyes. The very thought that the great war god of Great Tang was seated right before him sent his heart beating furiously in agitation.
With the strength of an individual, Su Zhengchen stood against over ten thousand enemies. Even to his last breath, he fought to protect the citizens of Great Tang. His faith was worthy of respect!
And from the depths of Wang Chong’s heart, this was what he felt.
But soon, Wang Chong suppressed all of his emotions.
Even though Su Zhengchen’s sudden appearance was a good sign, it didn’t mean that the other party was willing to hand over his inheritance to him yet.
The difficulty of obtaining the ‘Art of God and Demon Obliteration’ inheritance was definitely at max level. Wang Chong didn’t think that he was the only one to have sat before this golden chessboard.
There were definitely several talented individuals who were able to triumph over Su Zhengchen on the chessboard. Yet, none of them were chosen by him in the end.
Su Zhengchen dared to even disregard the emperor’s edict, rejecting the incomparably noble prince without any hesitation. Just by this itself, the difficulty of obtaining the Art of God and Demon Obliteration was unimaginable.
And it wasn’t by coincidence that this was the case. It was predetermined, and Su Zhengchen’s character played a large role in it.
No one knew what qualities Su Zhengchen was looking for in his disciple, and even if he were to accept one, often, it wouldn’t be long before he chased the other party out. There were many of such precedents in Wang Chong’s previous life.
Thus, Wang Chong didn’t dare to get belligerent at all!
Luring Su Zhengchen out was only the first step, what that came next was the true test!
Harboring such thoughts, Wang Chong walked over to the Chinese scholar tree.
Wang Chong bowed respectfully before Su Zhengchen before sitting at the opposite side of the chessboard. It seemed as though he was just here to attend an ordinary chess match with an ordinary elder.
Given the other party’s plain clothes and hidden imposing disposition, it was clear that Su Zhengchen had sneaked out from the Su Residence, and he didn’t want anyone to know his true identity.
Thus, Wang Chong chose not to act too restrained or polite.
At this time, being casual while showing a suitable level of respect would be more appropriate.
Su Zhengchen didn’t say anything. His eyebrows were tightly knitted, and his eyes were fixated on the clash between the black and white stones on the golden-plated chessboard. It almost seemed like he hadn’t noticed Wang Chong at all.
“Big brother, you’re incredible! Grandfather has been seated here for an entire day already, and he still doesn’t know where he should make his next move!”
At this time, a slightly childish voice sounded by the side. A chubby child, Dai Jianjian, stood on the right side of Su Zhengchen’s back, and he was currently licking on a stick of sweet candied haw while staring at Wang Chong in admiration.
He might be young, but having watched the chess match here day after day, he had learned a thing or two from them. He could somewhat tell that the big brother he met this time was a formidable player.
To think that his grandfather would actually be stumped!
At this moment, an authoritative voice sounded, and a momentary frown furrowed on Su Zhengchen’s forehead.
Even so, his body remained completely motionless. He continued staring intently at the chessboard with a white stone in his hand.
The young boy stuck out his tongue before he walking away.
Seeing the sight, Wang Chong smiled before turning his attention to the golden chessboard once more. The layout on the chessboard was exactly as how he left it yesterday.
That was to say, from yesterday until now, Su Zhengchen had been unable to decide on his next move.
Since Su Zhengchen hadn’t made a move, Wang Chong could only wait patiently
The wind blew, and the Chinese scholar tree rustled slightly under the light breeze.
Except for the occasional call of the cicadas, the surroundings were completely tranquil.
Su Zhengchen didn’t say a word, so Wang Chong chose to remain silent as well.
It seemed as though the world beneath the Chinese scholar tree had paused.
“Young man, your way of playing sure is unorthodox!”
After a long period of time, Su Zhengchen finally lifted his gaze, and he looked at Wang Chong with a stern expression.
This was the first time Wang Chong was facing Su Zhengchen.
Su Zhengchen was skinny, but that did little to whittle down his authoritative aura that seemed to be embedded deep in his bones. He had a strong air of righteousness to him, but his face was devoid of emotions, giving others an extremely austere impression of him.
Also, another thing that Wang Chong noticed was that he had thick snowy eyebrows.
It had been many years since Su Zhengchen had locked down his residence and stayed away from the royal court and the military. Throughout those years, his disposition had changed a lot. But even so, in his relaxed and ordinary state, Wang Chong could still find traces of the imposing and powerful war god from back then.
——Of the duo seated beneath the Chinese scholar tree, one was the legendary war god of the past while the other was the future Grand Marshal of the Central Plains. This chess match was the disciple selection process of the legendary war god, as well as the clash between the older and newer generation of Grand Marshal!
Even though Wang Chong knew that he wasn’t a match for Old Marshal Su in terms of martial arts, he was confident in triumphing over the latter in terms of warfare.
“Elder, in a battlefield, there’s only life and death, victory and loss. There’s no such thing as orthodox and unorthodox!”
Hearing Su Zhengchen talk of ‘unorthodox’, Wang Chong refuted without restraint.
Wang Chong was someone who had lived through that chaotic doomsday, and he had undergone all kinds of small-scale and large-scale battles.
Even if his opponent was Su Zhengchen, Wang Chong didn’t think that he would lose.
Su Zhengchen frowned slightly, not expecting Wang Chong to speak such words. He had said that Wang Chong’s playing style was unorthodox, but Wang Chong went on to apply the game to the military!
Chess and military came from the same fabric. From the very start, Go was an offshoot of warfare.
Thus, Wang Chong’s words weren’t without sense.
Holding onto the seemingly heavy white stone in his hand, Su Zhengchen turned his eyes back to the chessboard, and the entire area fell into silence once more.
After a long moment of contemplation, Su Zhengchen seemed to have finally thought it through. With a loud thud, the white stone in his hand finally smacked down on the chessboard.
Su Zhengchen had finally found a way to counterattack.
His sudden movement immediately piqued Wang Chong’s interest. With a glance, Wang Chong chuckled inwardly. This move from Su Zhengchen was indeed an extremely profound and wise move.
With this single move, the entire situation on the chessboard seemed to have changed. All of the sudden, it felt that the dragons had risen from their slumber, and the hope of reversing the tides emerged.
But Wang Chong could only shake his head after seeing that move.
Wang Chong smiled. He took a black stone and ‘padah!’, he placed it cleanly on the center of the chessboard. With this smack, the tides on the chessboard changed once more.
A moment ago, Su Zhengchen seemed to have managed to escape from death, and it almost felt that the tides were reversed with that single move. But with Wang Chong’s move, everything crumbled, and the dragon slowly withered away. Su Zhengchen’s army was collapsing.
Beneath the Chinese scholar tree, before the chessboard, a deep crease etched on Su Zhengchen’s forehead, and a grim expression appeared on his face.
In truth, the chess match beneath the Chinese scholar tree was a lowering of his standards so that all talents could give it a try. This way, even those who possessed even the slightest aptitude in warfare could participate and possibly succeed.
The thought that this match would blow up into a full-scale war never ever crossed his mind, and even worse, it seemed like it was his loss.
This was something he completely out of his expectations.
Su Zhengchen stared at the desolate sight on the chessboard motionlessly with a grave expression, and it was hard to tell what he was thinking of.
“Which clan do you come from?”
After a long period of time, Su Zhengchen finally raised his head. It wasn’t possible for an ordinary clan to cultivate this level of skill in their offsprings.
“I am Wang Chong, the son of Great Tang General Wang Yan, the grandson of previous Prime Minister Wang Jiu Ling!”
Seated in a kneeling position, Wang Chong replied confidently and respectfully.
“Ah, so you’re the grandson of Wang Bo Wu.”
(Wang Jiu Ling’s nickname)
Su Zhengchen’s eyebrows twitched slightly, but his face remained indifferent.
‘Duke Jiu’ Wang Jiu Ling, the previous prime minister of Great Tang, was a figure whom no one in the Central Plains didn’t know of. Upon speaking of him, there wasn’t a single person who wouldn’t lift up their thumbs to compliment his noble deeds.
But to Su Zhengchen, Duke Jiu was a person who he could address by his nickname casually. In fact, it seemed as though he was simply talking about another junior.
If it was anyone else, Wang Chong would have thought that he was humiliating Duke Jiu, and he would stand up and leave immediately.
However, of the entire Great Tang, there were indeed a few who could address his grandfather in the capacity of a senior.
And Su Zhengchen was one of them.
As the previous war god, Su Zhengchen had made his name far earlier than Duke Jiu, and when he was at the peak of his authority, the other party was still an unknown lad.
And speaking of age, while grandfather had just passed his seventieth birthday not too long ago, he was still significantly younger than the elder sitting before Wang Chong at this moment.
“Thinking about it now, he seems to be around eighty or ninety? …Or perhaps even greater!”
Wang Chong’s heart leaped furiously. Grandfather only made his name when he was in his twenties, and by then, Su Zhengchen was at least in his forties already.
In other words, Su Zhengchen was likely to be in his nineties already. In fact, Wang Chong even suspected that he might have passed the century mark.
After all, he was a general during the generation of Emperor Taizong!
Even so, it was impossible to tell this much based on Su Zhengchen’s appearance. Wang Chong lifted his head and briefly examined Su Zhengchen. Even though the other party’s hair was white, he seemed to be energetic, and his body was still healthy. He didn’t look too much older than grandfather.
Emperor Taizong = Li Shimin
He is the son of the first emperor of Great Tang, and he has played a crucial role in the building of the Great Tang.
Most Chinese have several names, such as courtesy name etc.
In this case, Wang Bo Wu is a nickname for Wang Jiu Ling.
Just in case you’re interested, his courtesy name is Zishou (Wang Zishou)
Courtesy name is kind of like an ‘adult name’. It’s given to you once you reach adulthood.
There’s also art name (the name artists use in their artwork).
Actually, Wang Yan also has a courtesy name as well, but I’ve been translating it straight to Wang Yan so as to avoid confusion.