The Human Emperor - Chapter 223: Guo Feng and Chai Zhiyi!
Chapter 223: Guo Feng and Chai Zhiyi!
“The war against the Goguryeo Empire and the Eastern and Western Turkic Khaganate is none of our business at the moment. Since everyone is here though, I have something to give you all.”
“Wait here a moment.”
Speaking thus, amidst everyone’s perplexed gazes, he stood up and walked into the next room in back.
“What is gongzi up to?”
Everyone turned their heads questioningly to Zhao Jingdian. It was clear from the recent incident that Zhao Jingdian and Wang Chong had a close relationship. If there was anyone who knew what was going on, it had to be him.
But, Zhao Jingdian simply shook his head, an equal confusion written large on his face. While he was a vassal of the Wang Clan, Wang Chong’s actions still remained unfathomable to him.
Through the holes in the wall, everyone could see Wang Chong’s arms moving around with his back facing them. The latter’s arms remained in motion for a significant period of time, and slowly, they realized that he must be writing something.
“Alright, these are my gifts to you all. There’s a book for each of you. I don’t have any string to bind them, but do take care of them and read through them carefully.”
Wang Chong had finally finished what he was doing and returned back with a stack of paper in his hands, which he quickly divvied up and passed out to his waiting audience.
“This is… cultivation technique?!”
Initially, everyone was still perplexed by his actions and wondering what he was up to. However, as soon as their eyes beheld the content on the papers they’d received, agitation immediately overwhelmed them. What Wang Chong had given each of them happened to be cultivation technique secret manual!
“I’ve picked these out based on your strengths, so do look through them at your leisure.”
Nodding his head, Wang Chong replied to their agitation impassively.
The assault yesterday night had made them all, including Wang Chong, realize their powerlessness. It was already a huge blessing that they could survive such an assault.
Initially, Wang Chong was intending to only pass the techniques on some time later. This way, it would look more natural on his part.
But now, there was no longer a need for that.
Without having time to prepare beforehand, Wang Chong could only jot everything down on the spot.
“Gongzi, there are some for us as well?”
Xu Qi, Gao Feng, and Nie Yan looked at the small stack of paper in each of their hands in disbelief. Wang Chong’s birth was much nobler than theirs, and a gift from him couldn’t possibly be anything ordinary.
What shocked the trio most was that despite having only just gotten acquainted with Wang Chong, the latter actually gave something valuable to them. After all, unlike Zhao Jingdian and that lot, the time they’d spent with him was severely limited.
Wang Chong nodded his head. Given how Xu Qi, Gao Feng, and Nie Yan were able to survive amidst the chaos last night and even take the initiative to help others, there was little that needed to be said about their fighting prowess and capability. In truth, he had another reason for his actions, these were also future great generals from Kunwu Training Camp.
While Xu Qi’s other capabilities might not be as outstanding as Su Hanshan’s, his ability to command troops was extraordinary—Wang Chong had a clear glimpse of this yesterday night.
On the other hand, Gao Feng and Nie Yan would go on and become mighty generals on the battlefield. They would hold pivotal roles in the future wars with Ü-Tsang.
One would be a defensive general while the other would be an offensive one! They would become a pair of heroes who made up for one another’s weaknesses!
Other than Wang Chong, not a single one of them was aware of this. While the future Gao Feng and Nie Yan would not require his help, the current duo had yet to mature and grow into their strength. The same was true for Xu Qi.
“Thank you, gongzi!”
Delighted, the trio bowed respectfully to Wang Chong in gratitude.
Wang Chong just nodded his head silently in response. What he imparted them with were the most formidable ultimate techniques he had in his possession from his previous life, carefully selected to complement their strengths. These ultimate techniques were much stronger than those they were currently learning, and it could help them construct a solid foundation.
This was a huge boost to them. Even Wang Chong couldn’t estimate how far they would go in the future at this rate.
The future had already changed, and Wang Chong was aiming to shape it to the form he desired. He hoped to strengthen the future great generals till they could become a powerful pillar propping up the empire.
Zhao Jingdian, Zhuang Zhengping, Chi Weisi, Xu Qi, Nie Yan, and Gao Feng all left in satisfaction. Chen Burang stayed back a moment.
“Thank you, gongzi!”
Right after the six of them left, Chen Burang bowed deeply to Wang Chong. Unlike the others, he was born and raised by a family of mountain hunters.
Given his experience with the bow, he could easily tell that the archery technique Wang Chong had given him was formidable.
In terms of quality, it was probably far above what Wang Chong had given to the other six. In fact, he could sense that it was a technique whose might went far beyond the True Martial realm, reaching a level unimaginable to him!
Chen Burang was still able to tell this much despite his tender years.
“Ah, there’s no need for you to thank me. Chen Burang, I’ve my own reasons for imparting you with this archery technique.”
Wang Chong alluded.
Chen Burang was stunned for a moment before quickly realizing something.
“Gongzi, if you have anything you need, feel free to command me!”
He spoke with a deep voice.
“You’re misunderstanding here, I don’t mean for you to become my subordinate. It’ll suffice as long as you practice this archery technique and grow stronger—the empire will have need of you in the future!”
Wang Chong smiled and laughed it off.
Chen Burang with his sharp ears that could perceive an enemy’s location just through sound from several li away had truly impressed Wang Chong. Such a prodigious talent was limited to only Chen Burang, and just this in itself made him a strong contender for the next top master archer!
Of the seven men by Wang Chong’s side, Chen Burang’s talent was the most outstanding.
This was also the reason why Wang Chong had placed so much hope on the other party.
Once a formation of master archers reached a certain scale, they would form a fearsome fighting prowess! Most of those in the Three Great Training Camps had learned this fact the hard way last night.
“You should master this technique first. After you’re done, I still have a few more things to hand over to you.”
Wang Chong’s smile grew broader.
“Thank you, gongzi!”
Even though Chen Burang was left astounded by Wang Chong’s words, he could sense the sincerity in his desire to help him. Besides, Wang Chong was very different from the other nobles he had come into contact with.
Thus, holding onto the archery secret manual he’d been handed, he soon took his leave. However, the stream of visitors didn’t end there.
“Wang gongzi, pleased to meet you!”
Not too long after Chen Burang left, two wide-sleeved young men with extraordinary dispositions and wearing elegant clothes strolled into the room.
While Zhuang Zhengping and Chi Weisi were noble scions as well, their dispositions seemed to pale greatly in comparison to these two young men before Wang Chong now. The reason was simple, they carried the aura of nobility and authority that Zhuang Zhengping and Chi Weisi were lacking. They were, in the truest sense, nobles!
“Welcome. Pleased to meet you too!”
With a faint smile, Wang Chong stood up and returned a bow.
“Please pardon me for my unannounced visit. I am known as Guo Feng!”
The young man with a purple coronet introduced himself before pointing to the young man beside him.
“This is Chai Zhiyi. It’s out of admiration for gongzi‘s strong moral principles that we came uninvited. We hope that gongzi can forgive us for this.”
The duo spoke generously, and their actions were the height of propriety as well. It was clear at a glance that they had taken top-notch lessons on etiquette, a privilege normally unavailable to the average family.
“You are being too polite!”
Wang Chong replied respectfully.
In truth, Wang Chong had never met the pair before. However, the two clan emblems on their robes weren’t foreign to him at all. One of them heralded the Duke of Guo, while the other one the Duke of Chai!
Unlike others dukes of Great Tang, the Guo Clan and Chai Clan were true founding dukedoms of Great Tang. Their history could be traced all the way back to the inception of the Tang dynasty, and they wielded immense weight in the empire.
There was a phrase that was extremely apt to describe these clans, ‘One with the nation!’
As long as Great Tang hasn’t fallen, these clans would prosper in perpetuity alongside it. In Great Tang, these powers were true behemoths. Even if their clan were to fall into decline for a period of time, their influence in the royal court and the military would still remain unmatched by any ordinary clans or officials.
“Please be seated!”
Wang Chong gestured invitingly to his side. He wasn’t surprised by Guo Feng and Chai Zhiyi’s sudden appearance. When he discovered that many scions of prestigious clans had come to Kunwu Training Camp, conflicting with his memories of his past life, he instinctively realized that most of them had come for him.
“Brother Wang is a person of great talent, Brother Chai and I have long wished to acquaint ourselves with you. In truth, we had already seen Brother Wang yesterday at Azure Dragon Peak following the assault, but upon seeing that you were having a delightful conversation with Marchioness Yi, we decided not to impose on you.”
Guo Feng spoke eloquently with a serious expression.
Hearing these ‘serious’ words from the other party, Wang Chong nearly burst out laughing. In what way was he having a ‘delightful conversation’ with Marchioness Yi? They had been disposing of corpses, cleaning up the mountain. Barely any words had even been traded.
Guo Feng was clearly spouting a barefaced lie.
Wang Chong chuckled internally as he reminisced about the marchioness.
“I’ve long heard that Marchioness Yi is considered a ‘calamity’ for the noble scions of the capital, and just her name could fill one’s face with fear. It seems like those rumors aren’t unfounded after all. Even established clans like the Guo and Chai clans, with centuries of history behind them, were filled with fear for Marchioness Yi.”
Birds of a feather flock together. Those who could hang out with his Second Sister, Wang Zhuyan, couldn’t possibly be normal. The only difference between the two would probably be that his second sister’s damage area was only limited to him whereas Marchioness Yi’s damage area knew no limits among the upper echelons of the capital.
“Ai, Brother Guo must surely be jesting. Marchioness Yi is a national heroine. A person of great capability! How could I possibly be placed alongside her?”
Wang Chong self-deprecated to reassure the duo. The meaning behind his words clearly was that ‘I fear that person as well.’
“This… It seems like Wang gongzi is the same as us.”
Hearing Wang Chong’s words, Guo Feng and Chai Zhiyi’s expressions slackened. The sense that they were all ‘plagued by the same calamity’ pulled them a little closer with a feeling of shared intimacy. This was especially so for Chai Zhiyi. He looked at Wang Chong as though looking at a ‘fellow peer on the same path’.
In an instant, the atmosphere in the room suddenly grew warmer. The awkwardness and restraint from before gradually vanished.
“Right, since this is our first meeting, here is a token of our sincerity. We hope that Brother Wang can accept it.”
Guo Feng and Chai Zhiyi took out a gold-plated box and pushed it over.
“This is a Goguryeon ginseng with three hundred years of maturity. It has the effect of augmenting Origin Energy and advancing one’s cultivation technique when boiled in water and consumed.
Even though Goguryeo was severely lacking in resources, and their alchemists were less skilled than those of the Central Plains, they had one overwhelming advantage over the Central Plains—the Goguryeon ginseng.
Like what the Hyderabad ore was to the Sindhu, this ginseng was to the Goguryeons, an exclusive and highly prized commodity. These wild ginseng made for the best tonic to augment a martial artist’s strength.
Thus, even though Goguryeo didn’t have many alchemists, and their resources were sorely lacking by comparison, through just these ginseng they were still able to groom a great many experts. In fact, it was through this that their forces gained the strength to fight on equal terms against Great Tang at the fortress of Liaodong.
Even the powerful Great Tang would hesitate before striking them.
Liaodong peninsula is, nowadays, in the Liaoning Province of Northeast China. The Liaodong region, meaning “East of the Liao River”, is considered part of Manchuria and lies on the coast of the Yellow Sea between China and Korea. Historically, it has traded hands several times between Goguryeo and various dynasties of the Central Plains and surrounding territories. In this period of the Tang Dynasty, the region is occupied by Goguryeo and the fortress built there has been the site of numerous conflicts.