The Human Emperor - Chapter 220: The White Stone’s Secret!
Chapter 220: The White Stone’s Secret!
“That explains why the Turks allied with the Goguryeons and why official soldiers of Goguryeo would appear! If King Sosurim is involved in this operation, everything makes sense.”
Wang Chong frowned as his expression slowly grew grave.
King Sosurim had long been a thorn in Great Tang’s flesh, they had been pursuing him for a very long time already but never succeeded.
Yesterday’s assault wasn’t his first operation in the Central Plains and wouldn’t be his last either. Wang Chong knew; in the future, he would achieve something earth-shattering.
King Sosurim’s existence was a huge threat to Great Tang.
“… I must find a way to eliminate him!”
Wang Chong thought as killing intent flashed in his eyes.
King Sosurim was extremely cunning. In the future, the royal court would lay a huge trap for him, yet he would still manage to escape and flee back to the Goguryeo Empire alive.
His deeds had become legendary in the Goguryeo Empire. On the other hand, to Great Tang, he was an ‘enemy of the nation’ and top on their most wanted list. However, King Sosurim remained ever meticulous and ever vigilant. It was nearly impossible to track down his location…but this problem didn’t apply to Wang Chong.
No. Wang Chong’s problem was that his influence was still sorely lacking. Before he had absolute confidence, he didn’t want to alarm the other party needlessly. Otherwise, once King Sosurim grew wise to him and realized something was amiss, it would become nearly impossible to track him.
The remainder of the night passed peacefully, if slowly. After four hours of unpleasant effort, the scattered bodies had at last been cleared.
The blood, along with the soil, had been disposed of entirely. If not for the tattered structures and the charred husks of buildings, it would seem as though nothing had happened at all. Only they still betrayed a trace that an intense battle had occurred just hours ago.
After splitting up with Marchioness Yi and Wei Hao, Wang Chong returned back to White Tiger Peak alone. By the time he arrived, the cleaning here was already done and a sense of peace had returned to the area.
A few campfires could be seen peaking out in the darkness. While vaguely, Wang Chong could make out the quiet sobbing of his fellow recruits. He felt his heart grow a little heavy.
“These people have never been on a battlefield; never seen bloodshed nor fought to the death with others. Everything that happened tonight would, without a doubt, become an unforgettable memory.”
Wang Chong became pensive. He had been on many battlefields in his past life, and dozens of years of fighting had made him accustomed to the sights of blood and death—the heady rush of struggling with his life on the line. This was the reason why he was able to maintain his composure and adapt quickly to the sudden assault.
But those people were different.
He knew that it was already great progress for them to have pulled together their fighting wills and faced the Goguryeon warriors and the Turk wolves head-on without crumbling. He sympathized but didn’t say a single word.
Many more of such tragedies would only be waiting ahead for them. The only way to survive was to adapt.
Returning to his room, Wang Chong was greeted by a familiar figure attempting to tear a broken-off arrow from his flesh. Before he’d even stepped across the threshold, a strong stench of bloodshed entered his nose.
Su Hanshan’s body was dyed crimson, as though fresh blood was still dripping from it. That white-colored robe he’d worn before had, in the truest sense, become a robe of blood.
Wang Chong’s eyebrows jumped, and he recovered from his momentary daze. Even though he didn’t witness it personally, he could already imagine the scene of the huge battle Su Hanshan had fought his way out of.
“How many people did this fellow kill for his clothes to be so red?”
Wang Chong remembered Su Hanshan had charged out and joined the fray much earlier than he had. By the time he’d also moved out, not a single trace of the other party could be seen anywhere on White Tiger Peak anymore.
But, the blood on Su Hanshan’s clothes wouldn’t lie. His battling style was indeed a huge mystery!
Su Hanshan took a quick glance at Wang Chong before retracting his gaze. Grabbing the end of the arrow with his right hand, he exerted some force and, pu, fresh blood spurted into the air. Despite this, Su Hanshan’s expression remained steady and nonchalant. Except for a slight paling around his face, one might think the arrow hadn’t been lodged in his body at all!
“Here! This is for you. It’ll help you in your recuperation!”
Wang Chong took out a recovery pill and threw it over. However, Su Hanshan merely flicked it back and the pill returned accurately to Wang Chong’s hand.
“I don’t need it!”
Su Hanshan uttered coldly, clearly expressing his attitude.
“He sure hasn’t changed at all!”
Wang Chong chuckled silently as he put away the pill then took a seat on the floor. He had also expended himself greatly in this battle and needed to recover his physical condition soon…
Back in the capital, while peace had returned to Shenwei, Longwei, and Kunwu, in a courtyard in the southern part of the city, a shadow suddenly appeared. As time passed, more black shadows gathered, one after another, from all directions.
These people were well-built and their movements astonishingly swift—with a speed not inferior even when compared to the Eastern Islands assassin, Miyasaka Ayame. The three black sabers or swords that hung by their waists betrayed their identities.
Every one was a Goguryeon assassin.
The entire courtyard was hushed and deeply shadowed, despite the numerous occupants. The chirps of cicadas sounded in the night, unaffected by their human visitors.
In a room at the north end, a single candle flared to life, and from the dim illumination, a distorted silhouette could be seen. A powerful aura seemed to emanate outwards through the thin sheet of paper plastered over the window.
The assassins maintained their silence like cicadas hibernating in winter, not making a single noise at all.
“The mission has failed. Relay my orders: everyone is to lay low for this period of time. Be sure not to catch the Great Tang royal court’s attention!”
A hoarse voice came from the room. The distortion made It impossible to discern whether it came from a man or a woman.
Everyone outside nodded impassively.
The Three Great Training Camps were a project that the royal court and the Sage Emperor paid particular attention to. Since the Goguryeons dared to ambush the recruits there in the middle of the night, naturally, they were prepared to lose their lives for the cause as well.
Having accepted this situation, they elicited no surprise or anxiety at all.
“Also, I need you all to collect some information regarding Kunwu Training Camp for me. I want the information of all recruits on White Tiger Peak.”
That hoarse voice issued another order. This time, everyone was taken by surprise. They couldn’t understand why the lord would be interested in an insignificant White Tiger Peak.
Even so, they didn’t dare to doubt or reject the lord’s command.
As the order went out, all of the Goguryeon assassins disappeared like they’d never been. With a gust of wind, the candle was snuffed. The entire courtyard went dark.
“That White Tiger Peak… is too bizarre! I must look into it!”
A faint voice trailed off in the night, swiftly vanishing altogether.
Time kept trickling onwards. Soon, the incident concerning the Three Great Training Camps had spread and become public knowledge. With the sun barely risen, the precision machinery that was Great Tang’s royal court had already whirred into high gear.
Bureau of Military Personnel, Bureau of Punishments, Bureau of Personnel… The members of all different bureaus began working in concert, and even the Chamberlain of Dependencies was involved in the matter.
The royal court’s agenda for today included compensation for the families of recruits who died during the night and mounting a retaliation against Goguryeo and the Turkic Khaganates. Just that, these issues weren’t something that ordinary citizens could come into contact with.
Today was not destined to be a calm day!
Kunwu Training Camp, White Tiger Peak.
After an unknown period of time, Wang Chong finally emerged from his state of imperturbability. Following a night of recuperation, he could clearly sense that his Origin Energy had recovered fully, and the injuries he had suffered in the battle previously had mostly healed.
“However, my strength is still too lacking! I have to find a way to raise my cultivation!”
Recalling the fight yesterday, Wang Chong grew agitated.
The Wootz steel sword was sharp enough to even cut through a floating hair.
Despite that, last night, there were at least two times his sword failed to slice. The first time was when he clashed with a Turk master archer’s wolf fang arrow. The second time was when he was repelled by a Goguryeon warrior’s Origin Energy.
This wasn’t the fault of his Wootz steel sword; the main issue was that the gap in cultivation between his enemy and himself was far too great. The Wootz steel wasn’t enough to make up for his own weakness.
“I must find time to cultivate properly.”
Wang Chong thought feverishly.
He was awakened from his thoughts when a sudden bizarre sensation crept into his heart. A concealed killing intent! Were it not for the utmost tranquility at daybreak, he would have definitely overlooked it.
But, what left Wang Chong the most surprised was that the faint killing intent actually came from his own person.
“What’s going on?”
He frowned in contemplation. A moment later, he stretched his hand into his sleeves and started fumbling about. Something cold and hard soon brushed against his fingertips.
Wang Chong froze.
The white stone!
The origin of the killing intent was actually the white stone that Su Zhengchen gave him.
Astonished, Wang Chong swiftly retrieved it. In the next moment, a transparent white stone that looked as though it was carved from jade appeared between Wang Chong’s fingertips.
“What’s going on?”
Staring at the fingernail-sized white stone, he became dumbfounded. Having played chess with Su Zhengchen for the past few months, Wang Chong couldn’t be any more aware of the other party’s white pieces.
These were only ordinary stones. Under normal circumstances, it was impossible for killing intent to be concealed within one. Unless…
A thought flashed across Wang Chong’s mind. The parting words of Su Zhengchen surfaced in his mind.
“Fate comes and goes. This white stone is my gift to you. Keep it well. I hope that you can be like this stone, maintaining your core and remembering your aim regardless of the situation!”
Wang Chong remembered the situation back then extremely clearly. Su Zhengchen had plucked a random stone from the chessboard and given it to him.
Could he have been mistaken from the very beginning? When Su Zhengchen spoke of a ‘gift’, did it have a deeper meaning?
Countless thoughts swirled and flickered in his mind. A conjecture slowly surfaced in his sea of thoughts, and his heart beat wildly in agitation.
PS: I do make errors with the posting often, but I think my team and I do put a lot of effort into the translations, research, and editing