The Human Emperor - Chapter 434: Xu Qiqin's Final Challenge!
Chapter 434: Xu Qiqin’s Final Challenge!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
As he watched the two golden falcons disappear, Wang Chong gave a long sigh. He only had to handle King Song’s side now. In order to address the problem of the southwest, he couldn’t rely on only his father and older brother.
The Great Tang was set up so that an army could have from twenty thousand to at most forty thousand troops. The troops his father and older brother commanded would number in the tens of thousands, which was in no way enough to defend against the combined armies of Mengshe Zhao and Ü-Tsang.
In order to handle the problem of the southwest, Wang Chong needed to work with the Bureau of Military Personnel. But in this matter, Old Eagle wouldn’t be able to help him. He would have to personally pay a visit to King Song in order to come up with a plan. At the same time, he would have to be careful to not stir any objections from the Yao Clan and King Qi.
“Okay, let’s go!”
Wang Chong stretched, gathered his robe, and then began walking along the golden rooftiles. The tiles under his foot seemed unmoved, as if it was only air stepping upon them.
Waves of noise came from around him, and as people saw Wang Chong appear on the edge of the roof, they began to call out.
As he stood on the edge of the golden arch and looked around, he could see that Deflecting Blade Manor was bustling with people. There were people riding horses, shooting arrows, playing chess, drinking wine, drinking tea, frolicking, competing… and many more things.
With the winter over, Wang Chong’s Deflecting Blade Manor had regained its lively air. The moment the training camps reopened, these people almost immediately wanted to make their way to Deflecting Blade Manor.
And as he surveyed Deflecting Blade Manor, he could see various piles of supplies, all of them brought over by the students. The already-lavish Deflecting Blade Manor had now become even more luxurious.
The population of Deflecting Blade Manor couldn’t compare to the three training camps, but this place was still extremely active. The students who Wang Chong had selected basically all had some specialty or talent.
From a certain perspective, it was correct to call this a camp of geniuses, making the place even more popular and appealing.
Right when Wang Chong was looking around, a cold and clear voice suddenly rose from Deflecting Blade Manor.
The bustling Deflecting Blade Manor was instantly silenced.
In Deflecting Blade Manor, everyone either addressed Wang Chong as ‘Young Master’ or ‘Young Master Wang’. Few people were so rude as to address him directly as ‘Wang Chong’.
Standing on the arch, Wang Chong turned to look. In the direction of the Chess Hall, he immediately noticed an abnormally handsome young man with rosy lips and white teeth, dressed in blue, standing in the crowd. He was looking at Wang Chong with a challenging gaze.
Old Eagle’s eyes widened as he immediately recognized who this young man was. This youth had recently become extremely famous in Deflecting Blade Manor, stirring a great storm within.
“Xu Chong, is there something you need?”
Wang Chong put his hands behind him and faintly smiled.
There were few in Deflecting Blade Manor who dared to speak with him like this. And in the Chess Hall, only Xu Chong—or perhaps one should call her Xu Qiqin of the Xu Clan—dared to do such a thing.
Xu Chong, or Xu Qiqin, proudly raised her head and issued a challenge to Wang Chong. “Wang Chong, do you dare fight a match with me?”
‘It takes ten years to hone a sword.’ Xu Qiqin was currently bursting with confidence. Wang Chong could feel from her the aura of a sharp sword being unsheathed.
“Hmph, how boring. Young Master, ignore that woman!”
A voice came from the chinks between the tiles under Wang Chong’s foot—Miyasame Ayaka’s voice. Xu Qiqin’s disguise could fool other people, but it couldn’t fool Miyasame Ayaka.
As an assassin, Miyasame Ayaka was far more perceptive than most.
When she left the Wang Clan and entered Deflecting Blade Manor, she had almost immediately recognized Xu Qiqin’s true gender.
“Young Master, this woman is too conceited and she’s too rude to Young Master. Why don’t I teach her a lesson, or perhaps just make her disappear?”
‘Like repels like.’ Proud women never much liked proud women. From her first glance at Xu Qiqin, Miyasame Ayaka had gotten a bad impression of her.
“Hey, Ayaka, you’re looking down on her too much. If you two truly fought, you probably wouldn’t be a match.”
Wang Chong smiled to his feet.
“Hmph, Young Master is underestimating me?”
Hidden under the rooftiles, Miyasame Ayaka immediately replied, refusing to back down.
Wang Chong couldn’t help but chuckle. He really wasn’t looking down on Miyasame Ayaka. She just knew too little about Xu Qiqin, only that she was a woman masquerading as a man. Miyasame Ayaka had no idea that Xu Qiqin was actually extremely strong, comparable to Marchioness Yi.
However, in order to play the part of a man, she had intentionally concealed her aura and cultivation.
It was for this reason that Wang Chong had never once competed with her in martial arts or the like. He was simply no match for her.
“There’s no need. Leave this matter to me. Just help me keep a watch on King Qi’s side,” Wang Chong indifferently said.
Although Miyasame Ayaka was weaker than Xu Qiqin, Wang Chong still did not dare to risk a fight. In his plans, Xu Qiqin was a vital member of Wang Chong’s team.
This woman’s skills in logistics were far too good, and she was also a woman, which meant that she was more meticulous and careful.
On the battlefields of his last life, Xu Qiqin’s logistics skill had been enough for her to view the entire world with disdain. Even someone as paranoid as King Qi had great trust in her, placing the logistics of basically his entire operation in her hands.
If he had had this sort of talent helping him, Wang Chong would not have had to lead an army of tens of thousands on an empty stomach and ultimately come to a dead end.
Now he had been reborn, and Xu Qiqin had still not made a name for herself, at least not on the level of her reputation from his last life.
Other than him, no one else had discovered the astonishing talents of this daughter of the Xu Clan.
Wang Chong had expended an enormous amount of time and a great deal of energy and patience to persuade her to join his cause.
Wang Chong’s robe flew as he suddenly jumped off the arch. Using the Phantom Steps, he immediately appeared by the Chess Hall.
“Looks like something fun is about to happen!”
“Someone is actually challenging Young Master! Hurry, let’s go and see!”
Wang Chong’s movement caused an uproar in Deflecting Blade Manor as a large number of people excitedly began to gather. Very few people in Deflecting Blade Manor challenged Wang Chong.
It was not only because of Wang Chong’s background, but also because of his capabilities. And this was the first time someone had challenged Wang Chong in public.
On the principle that spectators didn’t care how big an incident got, a crowd quickly gathered around the Chess Hall.
Just when the crowd’s faces were red from anticipation, Wang Chong gave a surprising answer.
“Haha, Xu Chong, do you think you can challenge me whenever you want? I don’t seem to have a reason to agree, do I? I seem to recall telling you something last time, right? You’re just not suitable for the Chess Hall,” Wang Chong leisurely said, his hands held behind him.
Wang Chong’s easygoing response had caused the proud Xu Qiqin’s pale complexion to turn red, and then purple.
Xu Qiqin’s face was swollen with rage. She had never been one to let her temper get the best of her, but in front of Wang Chong, she was so irked that she was about to reach her bursting point.
“Wang Chong, are you afraid?”
“Afraid? Hmph, this isn’t even a question of being afraid. You just don’t have the right to challenge me. If I remember correctly, haven’t you lost to me three times already?” Wang Chong grinned.
“You!” Xu Qiqin bellowed in fury, her face beet-red from anger. She had always been proud and she had never been so infuriated as in this shabby Deflecting Blade Manor next to Kunwu Training Camp.
“I’ve never been one to lightly compete with others. You’ve already lost to me three times, losing your right to another fight. Nothing can be accomplished without rules. If everyone were like you, wouldn’t things be a mess? So just go back.”
Having finished speaking, Wang Chong raised his right hand and flicked his fingers. He then turned, preparing to leave.
“Wait a moment!”
Xu Qiqin was infuriated, her proud personality wounded from suffering this unprecedented humiliation. The more Wang Chong didn’t want to fight her, the more she wanted it.
“Okay! You’re not someone who lightly competes with others in chess? Then if you win another game against me, I promise you that I’ll immediately leave Deflecting Blade Manor and never bother you again!”
These words were already a huge concession for Xu Qiqin. Her personality made it exceedingly difficult for her to show such weakness.
“Hey, who wanted you to leave? This sort of condition is really lacking in sincerity. Let’s do it like this. If you win, I promise to let you into Deflecting Blade Manor. I can even tell everyone that my abilities are no match for you. If I win… you must promise to comply with one condition from me!”
Wang Chong’s back faced Xu Qiqin, one of his hands extending a single finger.
“Okay!” Xu Qiqin’s eyes were red and she agreed without thinking, her voice firm and decisive.
Upon hearing her reply, Wang Chong gave a satisfied smile, a cunning look flashing through his eyes. It certainly hadn’t been easy to hoodwink an intelligent woman like Xu Qiqin.
After spending so much time, he had finally managed to make Xu Qiqin agree to his condition. All that was left was to defeat Xu Qiqin and have her join his side.
This could be considered the most exciting moment he had experienced since Xu Qiqin had shown up in front of him.
But right when Wang Chong was getting excited, a voice suddenly rang out in his ears.
“Hmph, Wang Chong, you definitely think you’ve won, right? Don’t get too happy just yet. A parting of three days requires one to look at another with a completely different outlook. The victor’s not decided yet!”
Xu Qiqin had suddenly calmed down and was now coldly smiling at Wang Chong.
She knew what Wang Chong was thinking, but if he thought that his victory was certain, he was making a grave mistake. She was no idiot. If she were not confident in her success, she would never have so hastily come to challenge Wang Chong.
If Wang Chong still thought that he could win as easily as before, she would give him a wonderful surprise.
“Haha, is that so? Then I look forward to your performance.”
Wang Chong grinned, a careless look on his face.
Suddenly, an impatient voice intruded. “Enough! Boy, if you beat this brat, this princess will definitely give you a big reward!”
Princess Nihuang had been watching from the back of the crowd for a long time and had already lost any interest in this story of ‘man’ versus ‘man’. However, if there was someone that could beat down Wang Chong and weaken his prestige, Princess Nihuang did not mind supporting this opponent.
The moment Princess Nihuang stepped forward, the surrounding crowd recoiled like she was a snake. There were a few people that one should never provoke in Deflecting Blade Manor, and Princess Nihuang happened to be the worst one of them.
In Deflecting Blade Manor, the greatest lesson the students had learned was to always keep Princess Nihuang at a distance.
Even Wang Chong had to bitterly smile at Princess Nihuang’s appearance. Xu Qiqin, on the other hand, had a glimmer in her eyes.
“Many thanks, Princess!”
“Hmph, there’s no need to give me face. Just give this brat a thorough lashing. I’ve been tired of him for a while now.”
Princess Nihuang jabbed a finger at Wang Chong, her face scowling as she rudely spoke.
“Princess, be at ease. I will definitely do my best.” Xu Qiqin gave a slight bow.
But Princess Nihuang did not appear to be very happy. After saying these words, she left with a sweep of her sleeve, not even glancing at Xu Qiqin as she strode away.
She had no interest in seeing two men play chess. She would wait to hear the good news!
Xu Qiqin bitterly smiled.
She had spent long enough in Deflecting Blade Manor to know why Princess Nihuang looked this way at her. But this was a misunderstanding on Princess Nihuang’s part.
However, since she was currently disguising herself as a man, she couldn’t explain.
“Wang Chong, come! This time, I’ll definitely make you pay a price for your pride!”
With an icy face, Xu Qiqin turned to face Wang Chong.