The Human Emperor - Chapter 441: Storm!
Chapter 441: Storm!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
On the spirit vein mountain, all was still.
A gorgeous hall loomed in the spiraling white mists at the top of the mountain. In a study within this hall was an exquisite desk made of refined iron, decorated with carvings of birds, flowers, insects, and fish.
And behind this desk, Wang Chong was cultivating while working.
It had been more than half a month since he had defeated Xu Qiqin in the chess game. When Xu Qiqin had appeared in Deflecting Blade Manor according to their agreement, Wang Chong had put aside his affairs there and moved his work back to the spirit vein.
At the moment, all of Wang Chong’s attention was on the southwest. The matter involved one hundred and eighty thousand troops, and also the Mengshe Zhao, Ü-Tsang, and the Great Tang. There were countless things that he needed to handle, and this wasn’t a problem that he needed only a moment to resolve.
Wang Chong could only take care of them little by little.
“Old Eagle, is the letter to Annan Protector-General Xianyu Zhongtong ready?”
“It’s ready! In addition, this subordinate has also prepared a gift that has already been sent to the Annan Protectorate.”
“Mm, we must develop a relationship with Xianyu Zhongtong. In the future, we will still have many things that we’ll need to communicate with him on.”
“Your subordinate understands.”
“In addition, prepare a million taels of gold and have it delivered as quickly as possible to the southwest. Give it to Zhang Shouzhi!”
“This… Milord, we’ve already given two to three million taels of gold. We’ve already greatly exceeded the originally planned sum. That city is a bottomless hole!”
“I have a meaning with everything I do. Just do everything as I say! In addition, arrange to have me meet with Lord Zhang of the Bureau of Military Personnel…”
“Yes, Young Master, your subordinate understands!”
Through Old Eagle, Wang Chong issued order after order.
“Young Master, Young Master, it’s bad!”
At this moment, a burst of shouts disrupted the peaceful mountain.
Before Wang Chong and Old Eagle could react, the door to the hall slammed open. A uniformed guard of the Wang Clan practically scrambled inside.
Upon seeing this guard, Wang Chong and Old Eagle simultaneously frowned.
“What’s happened that’s got you so panicked?” Wang Chong asked unhappily.
This uniformed guard was clearly not one of the spirit vein’s guards. Wang Chong had remembered ordering the clan’s guards that they were forbidden from entering the spirit vein.
And Wang Chong was no fan of this panicked display.
But the guard kneeling on the ground apparently did not notice Wang Chong’s complexion.
“Young Master, it’s bad! Somebody beat up Young Master Liang!”
The uniformed guard was sweating, and the words he relayed instantly caused Wang Chong’s and Old Eagle’s expressions to morph. But the second set of words from the guard caused Wang Chong’s heart to sink into the abyss.
“…Young Master is currently heavily wounded, and it’s unknown whether he’ll make it. The followers at his side were also all injured. They weren’t able to find a way to communicate with Young Master, so they had me come and inform Young Master.”
Finishing his message, the guard kneeled on the ground, unmoving.
Wang Chong slapped the table as he immediately stood up.
“How is this possible? The capital is a vital area under the feet of the Son of Heaven! Who would dare to heavily injure him there? And moreover, he had so many people at his side. How did he get injured?”
Wang Chong was stunned beyond belief. His older cousin Wang Liang was extremely important to his plans and without him, many of them would not be able to proceed.
And more importantly, Wang Liang was his relative, one that Wang Chong completely trusted and was very difficult to replace.
But Wang Chong was still more shocked at the fact that Wang Liang had been heavily injured. Wang Chong clearly remembered that he had placed no small number of guards at Wang Liang’s side, and Wang Liang himself had gained the allegiance of many experts on his voyage.
A normal person wouldn’t even be able to approach him, much less heavily injure him.
“What sort of person was this?”
Wang Chong’s mind was in turmoil.
In the capital, the people of the Wang Clan could be considered rather low-key. But the Wang Clan was still a clan of ministers and generals, and it was already rather good that they didn’t bully ordinary people. Yet now there were people who dared to bully and humiliate the Wang Clan, and right in front of the Son of Heaven.
At this moment, Wang Chong’s heart was filled with rage.
“This subordinate does not know. I only know that the ones who did the beating were a bunch of Hu, and the ones leading were some Four An Brothers,” the kneeling guard said. But before he could get any further, he was interrupted by Old Eagle.
“You said the Four An Brothers?”
“You know them?” Wang Chong twisted his head to turn to Old Eagle.
“Yes, they are new Hu nobles who began to get famous in the capital in the last month. The Four An Brothers are four Hu who are said to have coincidentally met on their journey to the capital. They all happened to have the surname ‘An’, so they all swore to be brothers. In addition, because their clans have Hu Generals in the Imperial Court that hold key posts on the border, they hold a lot of influence in the capital, and even greater influence over the Hu.
“Because our circle has basically no intersection with the Hu and because Young Master has always asked me to investigate the southwest, the northwest, the Yao Clan, King Qi, Deflecting Blade Manor, and the spirit vein, I carried out this investigation of my own volition and hadn’t told Young Master yet. However…”
Old Eagle paused for a moment, then continued, “The four Hu with the surname An are called An Wenzhen, An Xiaojie, An Yaluoshan, and there’s one other that I haven’t finished investigating, but I hear that he’s related to the Administrative Aide for Lanzhou…”
Before Old Eagle had finished, he saw Wang Chong freeze, his face utterly dumbstruck. It was like someone had dealt him a thunderous blow.
Old Eagle had followed Wang Chong for so long, yet he had rarely seen Wang Chong in this state. His eyes were wide open in rage, all the blood in his body had seemed to flow to his face, and the veins on his forehead were bulging out. It was a face to be dreaded and feared.
“Old Eagle, what did you say were the names of those people?”
Wang Chong seemed to be in a state of extreme agitation, but his voice was abnormally cold and calm, so cold that it seemed to be devoid of heat.
The state of extreme agitation and the extreme coldness of his voice formed a stark contrast. Even the Wang Clan guard noticed that there was something strange about Wang Chong and raised his head in surprise.
“An Wenzhen, An Xiaojie, An Yaluoshan…”
As Old Eagle was talking, he heard a clattering of metal. That iron desk in the room had been instantly thrown aside by some powerful energy. Old Eagle saw a blurry black silhouette flash past his eyes, and Wang Chong was gone.
“Carry out my orders. Mobilize all the guards of the Wang Clan; have all of them prepare to move out. Send word to Deflecting Blade Manor to have Li Siye, Miyasame Ayaka, and Wei Anfang prepare to move out, and also mobilize all the guards of Deflecting Blade Manor!
“Summon Steel Arms. Order him to put aside his current mission and immediately return!
“Meet up with Luo Tong and notify King Song. I need all the help they can provide!
“Gather Zhao Jingdian, Sun Zhiming, Zhuang Zhengping, and Chi Weisi, and have them prepare to move out! Send someone to the Huang Clan and tell Huang Qian-er to immediately return!
“Tell all the great clans in the capital that we have good relationships with to send out their experts. Tell them that the Wang Clan will owe them a favor!
“Gather up all the strength that we can gather up!
With this last word, Wang Chong had already vanished down the mountain, leaving the galloping of hooves ringing through the air.
In the hall, Old Eagle and the guard were dumbfounded.
Almost immediately after Wang Chong left, a massive bolt of lightning, dazzling as could be, seared over the spirit vein. Dark clouds began to gather and fierce winds began to blow.
With Wang Chong’s final order, the entire capital began to quake. Like some fine-tuned apparatus, the Wang Clan went to work.
Countless experts began to emerge, from the Wang Clan’s residences, from the spirit vein mountain, from Deflecting Blade Manor, from the Zhang Clan, the Huang Clan, and the other great clans on good terms with the Wang Clan.
Deflecting Blade Manor had been completely emptied of guards and experts.
On the spirit vein, Zhao Jingdian, Zhuang Zhengping, Chi Weisi, and the others, who had all been immersed in cultivation, absorbing the spiritual energy, quickly left as soon as they received Wang Chong’s order.
At the same time, all the Imperial Army instructors that Wang Chong had gathered also left.
Even the home of Wang Chong’s family and the home of his big uncle Wang Gen were quickly emptied and were now eerily quiet.
For the first time, four places usually so heavily guarded that they seemed like dragon ponds or tiger caves were completely unguarded.
This situation affected many other great clans of the capital, as these clans had received Wang Chong’s request and dispatched their experts.
No one knew what had happened, but everyone felt unease from this sudden mobilization. It felt like a storm was coming.
The great clans of the capital were all used to the Wang Clan being inconspicuous and meek. This large-scale mobilization was unprecedented.
“The weather’s about to change!”
In the courtyards of a great clan, an elder of this clan raised his head to the dense clouds in the sky, a look of deep concern in his eyes.
All beasts could hear the roar of a tiger, and even snakes and insects had to yield before the march of the elephant.
The Wang Clan was so inconspicuous that many people occasionally forgot them, forgot that they were one of the most elite clans of the empire.
But the Wang Clan was publicly acknowledged across the empire as a clan of ministers and generals. Wang Chong’s order was like a prologue, a prologue to the massive creature that was the Wang Clan slowly rising out of the water to reveal itself to the world.
“This is the star of ill omen!”
Right when Wang Chong was leaving the spirit vein, nobody knew that deep within the Imperial Palace, a gale suddenly blew in from the north of Taiji Palace and over a violet and circular platform.
This was a sumptuously decorated platform, its surface covered with circle after circle of strange inscriptions, all of them seeming to harbor some unique power.
If one looked down from the sky, one could see that this purple platform looked like a giant compass, and this compass was covered in circle after circle of mysterious symbols.
This was the star observation platform, the oldest building in the entire Imperial Palace!
At this moment, an old man robed in white, seemingly possessing great virtue and prestige, was looking up at the sky in consternation as a shooting star streaked across the southwest.