The Human Emperor - Chapter 226: Deng Mingxin’s Deal!
Chapter 226: Deng Mingxin’s Deal!
“Thank you, gongzi!”
On the main, central peak of Kunwu Training Camp, Wang Chong was busy practicing his martial arts in one of the training rooms when a figure suddenly entered. Putong! This new arrival kneeled on the floor and kowtowed to him respectfully.
Turning around, Wang Chong looked at the young man before him with surprise. However, the surprise soon turned into a smile.
“Stand up, there’s no need to stand on ceremony.”
“Gongzi, thank you. Thank you for your help!”
Sun Zhiming continued kneeling on the floor as he offered his thanks to Wang Chong. After reading the letter Deng Mingxin passed to him, he had immediately sprinted all the way here.
The Deng Clan possessed sizeable influence, and ordinary people couldn’t possibly hope to stand against them. If not for Wang Chong, the entire Sun Clan might have been implicated by his actions yesterday.
“It’s just a small matter. Since I’ve given you my promise, it’s only right for me to do so.”
Wang Chong replied with a smile and a chuckle.
The matter with Deng Mingxin was indeed a small matter to him. Between the influence of the Wang Clan and King Song, dealing with a mere aide of the Bureau of Personnel was truly a walk in the park. All Wang Chong did in the entire incident was write a letter.
On the other hand, Sun Zhiming’s earnest nature left him feeling quite touched instead.
“It’s a small matter to gongzi, but to me, it means everything. I, Sun Zhiming, will remember this favor for a lifetime.”
Standing up, Sun Zhiming bowed deeply and said.
Deng Mingxin’s determination to control him was very strong. If not for Wang Chong, it was likely that Sun Zhiming would have spent his entire life living in the cage the Deng Clan had built for him.
More situations, like how Deng Mingxin tried to sacrifice him to enroll in the training camp, would undoubtedly occur, but no matter how much Sun Zhiming contributed to the Deng Clan’s and Deng Mingxin’s personal fortunes, it could never be enough to set him free. They would only continue using his family to blackmail him.
This was the crux as to why Sun Zhiming refused to submit once more to Deng Mingxin.
The gratitude Sun Zhiming felt toward Wang Chong was for freeing him from this cage. Without a doubt, Wang Chong’s actions had opened up an entirely new path for him. His life had been changed, and he felt even more grateful to Wang Chong as a result.
“Right, you came at the perfect timing.”
Wang Chong didn’t want to touch on that matter too much and chose to change the topic instead. He stretched his right hand into his sleeve and withdrew some sheets of paper.
“This is the Panther Bone cultivation technique manual that I promised you. Cultivate it well; you’ll benefit from it greatly in the future.”
Sun Zhiming’s heart skipped a beat, and he abruptly lifted his head.
A person’s root bone would determine their future achievements—Sun Zhiming knew this fact, and he was aware that his root bone was only average. No matter how talented he was, without a good root bone, it would be all for naught; he would never accomplish much in this life.
The reason he decided to enter the training camp? It was all to obtain a root bone cultivation technique manual.
Root bone manuals, however, were carefully hoarded by prestigious clans. He didn’t expect to obtain one easily. Yet, Wang Chong was simply giving him such a valuable item so casually!
“Thank you, gongzi!”
Despite Sun Zhiming’s usual composure, he couldn’t help but feel agitated.
“This is only the first step. After you successfully cultivate the Panther Bone, I’ll impart you the higher level Tiger Bone cultivation technique. Sun Zhiming, you possess outstanding talent. Don’t waste it.”
Wang Chong encouraged.
Hearing Wang Chong’s words, a sliver of doubt flashed across Sun Zhiming’s eyes. The other party’s words seemed to carry a deeper meaning behind it, and that left him a little bewildered. His reaction left Wang Chong smiling faintly.
Sun Zhiming was indeed talented, but his talent didn’t lie in his martial arts but rather his flexible thoughts. He was a rare, ingenious strategist.
Unfortunately, his strength held him back.
Of the future generals who graduated from Kunwu Training Camp, Sun Zhiming was probably the weakest of the bunch. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have ended up dying so soon on the battlefield. A general who favored conducting surprise attacks needed to possess a strength surpassing that of others to face the enemy’s foot soldiers head on.
While Deng Mingxin did play a role in Sun Zhiming’s death, his own lack of strength played a vital part as well.
Sun Zhiming was unaware of it, but Wang Chong was slowly, a step at a time, changing his future.
After he’d imparted the Panther Bone and Tiger Bone cultivation techniques, he would teach him some of the ultimate techniques he had stumbled on in his previous life. His true intention was to groom the other party into a martial general capable of standing his ground on the battlefield.
“The Zhuang Clan’s steel cavalry is known throughout the world. If one could pair the prowess of their steel cavalry with Sun Zhiming’s talent in military warfare, the world would surely be Great Tang’s in the future!”
Wang Chong thought.
Among those around him, the two whom Wang Chong bore the greatest expectation for were Chen Burang, whose talents granted him the ability to groom the strongest army of archers the world had ever seen, and Sun Zhiming.
Archers and cavalry were always the two roles that shone the brightest on the battlefield. Archers provided long-range support, whereas cavalry granted an army mobility!
This made it necessary for any cavalry commander to have a good grasp over the flow of battle and an awareness of possible openings in the other party’s defenses; Sun Zhiming happened to possess these capabilities. Wang Chong had full faith in the other party’s ability to build the strongest army of cavalry known to Great Tang.
‘Instincts of the Wild.’ This was the evaluation that future generations would have of Sun Zhiming as heard in his previous life.
Sun Zhiming might be unaware of his talents as of yet, but without a doubt, they were definitely already flowing in his veins. As long as he was granted a troop of powerful steel cavalry and autonomy over them, he would surely be able to create results that would leave anyone dumbfounded.
Hence why Wang Chong didn’t think there was a need to make Sun Zhiming his vassal. As long as the other party grew strong, he would surely contribute greatly to Great Tang no matter where he went.
“Wang gongzi! I beg of you to spare me, I know my mistakes now!”
Just as Wang Chong was deep in thought, he was interrupted by a voice that preceded its owner through the door. Wang Chong and Sun Zhiming turned around, only to see a familiar figure stagger in and fall heavily onto the floor.
“I was still wondering who it would be. To think it would be you, Deng Mingxin.”
Seeing the figure kneeling before him, Wang Chong sneered.
“Are you here to offer me yet another warning?”
Meanwhile, Sun Zhiming gazed at Deng Mingxin with disdain. He didn’t expect the man to be so thick-skinned as to come pleading before Wang Chong. When in power, he’d wagged his fingers at him arrogantly, bossing him around. Yet, as soon as he lost power, he immediately threw aside his pride to beg Wang Chong for forgiveness.
“Deng Mingxin, what are you doing here?”
Sun Zhiming’s complexion wasn’t too good.
“Sun Zhiming, it’s all my fault. It’s fine for you to go with whoever you want; I won’t try to stop you anylonger. Wang gongzi, I apologize for my blindness. I must have been a fool to challenge you. I beg of you to pardon my pettiness and save my father!”
Deng Mingxin lowered his head in defeat. This was the law of the jungle where the winner is king. Given that even Zheng Xuan had abandoned him, he knew that the only one who could save him now was Wang Chong.
“Deng Mingxin, it’s pointless to beg me. I can tell you very clearly that I won’t help you!”
Wang Chong replied indifferently.
He truly possessed no goodwill toward Deng Mingxin at all. This youth was both manipulative and scheming. Given Sun Zhiming’s capability, he could have easily achieved much more, but he was dragged down by the greed and foolishness of the one holding his strings. In the end, he’d died in vain.
To say that Deng Mingxin had played a part in Great Tang’s eventual defeat wouldn’t be an exaggeration.
Besides, he had the heart of a pragmatist. It was clear that Wang Chong was the one who did him in, and yet, he could lower his pride and plead for mercy on one hand, while attempting to blackmail Sun Zhiming on the other.
If such a person was allowed to rise once more, there was a chance that Sun Zhiming might fall under his control again. No matter what, Wang Chong couldn’t possibly allow that.
“Zhiming, I know. I know that I went overboard at times, but in the end, all I wish for is to accomplish something for the empire. Aren’t you aiming for the same as well? I might have threatened you before, but you shouldn’t have taken my comments seriously; it was just a joke.”
“I admit that I went a little too far this time, but Zhiming, touch your conscience and think about how well our clan has treated you. My father even praised you and gifted you with a box of ginseng. Have you forgotten about that as well?”
Gritting his teeth, Deng Mingxin turned to look at Sun Zhiming.
Sun Zhiming hesitated. Even though he knew that the Deng Clan only did so to pull him over to their side, his resolution still wavered. He understood how major an issue it was to be stripped of one’s official position, and he felt a bit guilty that Deng Mingxin’s father had landed in such a state because of him. Thus, he subconsciously turned to look at Wang Chong.
“Deng Mingxin, you still aren’t giving up yet? Let me tell you, the orders of the royal court can’t be revoked by anyone. Even I can’t help you anymore at this point, so don’t waste your effort.”
Wang Chong interjected coldly.
What he said was the truth. It was easy for him to strip a person like Deng Zhou, but reinstating him would be exceedingly difficult.
‘Water thrown out can’t be easily regathered’; actions completed can’t be easily undone. Even Big Uncle Wang Gen and King Song would be unable to accomplish the feat.
Like he said, Deng Mingxin was wasting his breath.
“Wang gongzi, I don’t expect you to reinstate my father’s official position. I just hope that you can let my father and I go.”
Deng Mingxin suddenly said through his gritted teeth. These words caused Wang Chong’s face to warp.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Wang Chong made his cold response.
However, Sun Zhiming immediately realized something, and he turned to look at Wang Chong in shock. Based on what Deng Mingxin said, it seemed like Wang Chong wasn’t just going to stop at stripping Deng Mingxin’s father of his office.
“This fellow is way too smart!”
The thought flashed in Wang Chong’s mind.
Deng Mingxin was right. Stripping Deng Zhou of his position wasn’t the end of his plan. He did intend to go further than that. Deng Zhou and his son were Sun Zhiming’s Achilles’ heel. Just stripping Deng Zhou of his official position wouldn’t guarantee that Sun Zhiming’s fate would be changed.
The best solution for that was to ensure that they could never make a comeback.
For the future of the empire, Wang Chong didn’t mind playing the role of the ‘villain’. However, he didn’t expect Deng Mingxin to pick up on his intentions.
“So, it seems that Sun Zhiming’s death back then was no coincidence.”
Wang Chong’s thoughts shifted and he realized that he had underestimated Deng Mingxin. The other party was much more shrewd than he had previously imagined.
“Wang gongzi, regardless of whether you admit to it or not, I would just like to have you promise to let my father and I off this time. I’m willing to trade this promise for a secret.”
Deng Mingxin said through clenched jaws. After all, he was no fool. Even though Wang Chong had had no relation to Sun Zhiming, he had still been willing to mobilize his connections with King Song and Wang Gen just to deal with him.
From the other party’s actions, Deng Mingxin felt a menacing threat.
Since Wang Chong had decided to deal with him, there was a good chance he wouldn’t stop before he’d finished the job. Stripping his father of his office was just the first step.
Wang Chong inquired nonchalantly.
“It’s regarding the Yao Clan and King Qi. I only heard a two words… Hyderabad ore!”
Deng Mingxin finished with a shout.
Hearing those words, Wang Chong’s eyes narrowed.