The Human Emperor - Chapter 147: Clue to the Demonic Emperor Old Man!
Even until the very end, Su Zhengchen didn’t eat the peanuts that Wang Chong brought. Even so, the fact that he allowed Wang Chong to bring it to the chessboard was already a huge improvement.
Once it had started, there was no stopping it anymore!
Ever since Su Zhengchen chose not to stop Wang Chong, the entire matter spiraled out of control.
The second day, Wang Chong brought a plate of braised beef.
The third day, Wang Chong brought a few plates of side dishes.
And on the fourth, Wang Chong finally brought… a bottle of wine!
Su Zhengchen finally came to the limit of his tolerance. A deep crease sat on his forehead, indicating his displeasure. He seemed to abhor alcohol a lot.
Su Zhengchen had seen many powerful figures in his life, be it Emperor Taizong, the monk living in the great snowy mountains in the western Ü-Tsang, the Northern Turkic Khan of the Sacred Lands of the Sun, as well as the various generals and powerful officials from Gogouryeo, Abbasid Caliphate, Charax Spasinu, and many other countries.
But none of them dared to act so rowdily before him. At the very least, none of them was as carefree as Wang Chong.
The peanut on the first day was one thing, and he could still overlook the braised beef on the second day. However, what he brought afterward was getting more and more overboard.
Putting aside the various side dishes, he even brought alcohol here today.
What that should have been a tranquil and refined chess match suddenly changed in tone due to Wang Chong’s actions!
Seemingly oblivious to Su Zhengchen’s displeasure, Wang Chong replied casually. As he said so, he placed a wine cup right before Su Zhengchen and poured some wine into it.
“I don’t drink!”
Su Zhengchen frowned, not even sparing a glance at the cup of wine Wang Chong offered him.
“Drinking causes inefficiency. As the offspring of a clan of generals, shouldn’t you understand this logic?”
Su Zhengchen’s eyes were cold.
Even though it had been several decades since he had handed over the military right of the empire and stepped away from the center of authority, he still persisted on the habits he had cultivated in the military during the former half of his life.
He didn’t mind Wang Chong bringing peanuts and braised beef, but alcohol was a huge taboo.
“Hehe, elder, you are jesting with me again. I am just a child, and you aren’t a general in the battlefield either. Why would there be any inefficiencies?”
Wang Chong replied casually.
Su Zhengchen’s eyes were extremely cold. The authority he exerted came from his years of commanding troops, and it wasn’t something that an ordinary person could withstand.
If it was anyone else, he would have already shuddered in fear. However, Wang Chong seemed to be completely impervious to it. On top of that, he even drank his a cup of wine in the midst of his words.
It was refreshing and light.
After drinking his cup, he grabbed a piece of fleshy braised beef and slowly chewed on it in his mouth.
Su Zhengchen froze a moment, and he suddenly came to a realization.
It had been such a long time that he had already forgotten. He was no longer the ‘Grand Marshal’ of the military, and he didn’t have anything to do with it anymore.
What efficiency did the current him have to worry about?
Suddenly, Su Zhengchen fell into a daze.
Until now, he could still remember the orders Emperor Taizong issued for him to strip his armor and hand over his military authority. It had become a sharp thorn lodged deeply within his heart.
“Elder, it’s fine if you don’t wish to drink it.”
At this moment, Wang Chong suddenly spoke up.
“If you lose three fewer points than yesterday, I’ll let you off. Otherwise, you’ll have to drink a cup. What do you think about it?”
Su Zhengchen’s face changed, and the authority of an ex-war god instinctively flowed out from him. Even though the times had changed, how could he change a habit he had cultivated over dozens of years all of the sudden?
“Grandfather, you’re playing cheat… If you lose, you should take your punishment willingly!”
At this moment, a childish voice sounded from the side. A chubby boy ran out from behind, grabbed Su Zhengchen’s arms, and swung it with all of his might relentlessly.
The authority that leaked out from Su Zhengchen immediately collapsed.
For some reason, when he first met this child several months ago, he felt connected with him. Since then, this child had also brought him some joy in life.
Before this child, he couldn’t pull his weight at all.
“Alright, I agree to it, alright?”
With his hands swung vigorously, Su Zhengchen could only agree to it helplessly. He was exceptionally fond of ‘Dai Jianjian’, and as for Wang Chong… This child’s aptitude in warfare truly impressed him.
In his entire life, he had never seen anyone as talented as Wang Chong. It was to the point that he wasn’t a match for this child at all.
Toward these two children, he couldn’t toughen up his heart.
Setting out the chessboard, the stones clashed with one another. A few hours later, the white stones, as usual, were forced to a corner. For the past few days, Su Zhengchen had lost tragically to Wang Chong consecutively, and it was of no exception today.
Looking at the board, Su Zhengchen’s face paled, and eventually, he sighed deeply. Grabbing the wine cup on the table, he gulped it down.
Perhaps it was because he had abstained from alcohol for the past few decades, he choked on this mouthful. His entire face turned red, and he coughed several times.
Upon seeing this sight, little Jianjian burst into laughter. He felt that this big brother was an interesting person.
Wang Chong couldn’t help but chuckle as well.
Once the gears had started turning, it couldn’t be stopped anymore. Even though Wang Chong had brought many snacks the past few days, the ex-war god didn’t touch them at all.
But with this gulp of wine, everything would change.
In the distance, under an inconspicuous roof, the old servant, Fang Hong, smiled upon seeing this sight. It had been a long time since he had seen such an expression on the old master.
Choked on the alcohol, Su Zhengchen’s face flushed red. However, at this moment, Fang Hong could sense that the sorrowful aura that had accompanied him for many years was fading.
For some reason, Fang Hong found himself extremely fond of that youngster named Wang Chong and that four-year-old child.
Wang Chong’s judgement was spot-on!
After drinking that cup of wine, it was as if a barrier had been shattered. The control that Su Zhengchen had been imposing on himself was destroyed.
In the next few days, Su Zhengchen would occasionally pick up a few pieces of peanut, a few slices of beef, few side dishes, and drink a mouthful or two of wine…
Even though it wasn’t much, he seemed much more casual than before. The atmosphere also wasn’t as tense as before.
This was a positive change!
Seeing that the elder he respected was finally able to put down some of his sorrows, Wang Chong felt happy for him.
Day after day passed, but Su Zhengchen still didn’t reveal his identity. At the same time, Wang Chong didn’t point anything out either. Every single day, the elder and the youngster would sit beneath the Chinese scholar tree, and they would play chess like anyone else.
During this period of time, Wang Chong came into contact with Uncle Li Lin, and upon hearing that the saber was sold for three hundred thousand gold taels, he was astounded!
Wang Chong didn’t think that the Death’s Abyss could be sold for such a fearsome figure. This strengthened Wang Chong’s resolution to walk the high-end route.
This three hundred thousand gold taels also helped to fill up Wang Chong’s treasury, which was already running low.
However, there was still no progress on the matter regarding the ‘Demonic Emperor Old Man’. No matter how many men Wang Chong sent, there wasn’t any result.
“Wang Chong, what are you doing? Stand like a tree, sit like a bell, one should be disciplined in his actions. How can you behave so casually?”
Su Zhengchen frowned in displeasure.
Wang Chong seemed to be becoming more and more casual before him. Awhile ago, he had only brought some alcohol, but now, even his sitting posture had changed. He began to play while lying down.
“Hahaha, the purpose of life is happiness, don’t allow your wine cup to face the moon emptily. What’s the use of restricting yourself so much? Being happy is enough.”
Wang Chong chuckled happily, not paying it any heed.
Since Su Zhengchen didn’t reveal his identity, Wang Chong was also content to act ignorant. Otherwise, if Su Zhengchen were to flash out his identity as the ex-war god, he wouldn’t be able to behave so casually anymore.
Su Zhengchen frowned, but he didn’t say anything. Instead, he turned his attention back to the chessboard. On the golden chessboard, the white stones were on the verge of collapsing once more.
“Cough! Cough! Cough!”
Suddenly, a series of violent coughing sounded. While the duo was immersed in the game, Little Jianjian sneaked to the little table Wang Chong brought, and he gobbled a slice of braised beef and drank a small mouthful of wine.
The braised beef was nothing much, but when drinking the wine Wang Chong brought, Jianjian choked and coughed violently.
“Cough cough cough! Bad, it tastes bad. The charcoal wine from the Eastern City’s Zhou Clan is better!”
Little Jianjian patted his chest as he said with a bitter expression.
Upon seeing this sight, Wang Chong and Su Zhengchen couldn’t help but chuckle.
“Little fellow, who told you to drink it without permission?”
Su Zhengchen reprimanded. However, his eyes were filled with affection, as though he was looking at his own grandson.
“Indeed. At your age, you should be taking on good habits instead of learning how to drink!”
Wang Chong reprimanded with a smile as well. However, the next instant, his mind suddenly jolted. For a brief moment, Wang Chong fell into a daze.
“Little fellow, what did you just say?”
Wang Chong suddenly stared at little Jianjian intently. It felt as though something that the other party said had jolted him, and some memories that had sunk deep in his mind were about to float to the surface.
“Hmph, I said that your wine is bad!”
Little Jianjian crossed his arms in displeasure.
“Not that, the other one.”
Wang Chong asked anxiously.
“The other one? The charcoal wine from the Eastern City’s Zhou Clan? You think that I’ve never drunk it? Hmph, that’s not true…”
Hong long long!
It felt as though a bolt of lightning had flashed across Wang Chong’s mind. His entire body trembled, and suddenly, a memory flashed across him.
“Eastern City’s Zhou Clan, Eastern City’s Zhou Clan… That’s right, how did I forget about it!”
Suddenly, Wang Chong’s heart started beating furiously in agitation
He suddenly recalled the details regarding the ‘Demonic Emperor Old Man’ and the expert with mediocre talent who used the Great Yinyang World Creation Art.
That rich clan that hired the expert back then was the Eastern City’s Zhou Clan! He had only heard this name by chance several times in the past, but that was definitely it.
In fact, Wang Chong even recalled hearing that the Eastern City’s Zhou Clan had a specialty wine which was a household name among the ordinary civilians, even though it wasn’t well-known among the larger clans.
That wine was known as the ‘Zhou Clan’s Charcoal Wine!”
By finding the Eastern City’s Zhou Clan, he would be able to track down that young expert and locate the whereabouts of the ‘Demonic Emperor Old Man’.
In this instant, Wang Chong suddenly saw a ray of hope!
Delight gushed through his heart!