Chapter 1218: Geshu Han’s Send-Off!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
“The Young Marquis has already rested for three days and three nights! We should be getting back on the road!”
A rude voice came from outside, apparently wanting to force its way into Wang Chong’s room.
“You bastards! Lord Marquis is unconscious, which all of you clearly know, yet you still come to disturb him! Let me tell you, I will take the lives of anyone who dares to touch Lord Marquis!”
A clanging could be heard outside. Apparently, Chen Bin and Xu Keyi, in an agitated state, had pulled out their weapons.
“Impudent! We are imperial envoys! You dare to touch us!”
“The Young Marquis was just made King of Foreign Lands! Do all of you plan to rebel?”
Furious roars could be heard outside, and it seemed like more people were pulling out their weapons. From their voices, Wang Chong recognized them to be the officials from the Bureau of Rites and their guards.
Xu Keyi and Chen Bin were even more infuriated by this sight. Just when both sides were in a tense stalemate…
An angry and stern bellow came from inside the room.
Outside the room, beneath a blossoming plum tree, the two groups froze and turned toward the room.
Creeak! The door opened, and a pale-faced Wang Chong emerged. His aura was disorderly and he appeared extremely feeble, but his movements still exuded an unusual dignity and nobility.
Chen Bin and Xu Keyi were delighted to see that Wang Chong was awake, and immediately put away their weapons. Meanwhile, the red-robed officials from the Bureau of Rites and their guards appeared a tinge apprehensive. The leading official shot his guards a glance, and everyone behind him quickly sheathed their weapons.
A person’s reputation was like the shadow of a tree. The news that Wang Chong had killed Arab War God Qutaybah had already spread throughout the Great Tang. If both sides truly began to fight, no one would be a match for him. This was why the officials from the Bureau of Rites had shown restraint.
Suddenly, before the leading official could say anything, the chief guard impatiently walked out and thrust a rebuking finger at Wang Chong. “Young Marquis, see what your subordinates have done…” But before he could finish speaking, a powerful wave of energy knocked him off his feet and slammed him into the ground.
Almost immediately, all the other guards paled and pulled out their weapons, pointing them at Wang Chong.
The leading official immediately roared and began to scold his own men.
“You bastards, how dare you act without my orders!”
The official glared at the chief guard, silently cursing him.
This idiot had forgotten everything he had been told. It had long ago been emphasized that no one was to act without orders in front of Wang Chong. Bullying around his subordinates while he was unconscious was one thing, but since he was now awake, anyone who dared to act so rashly was seeking death!
The leading official from the Bureau of Rites stepped forward and began to speak in a soft and respectful tone.
“It is not that we are acting out of line, but this is a decree of the Imperial Court. We are just a few civil officials following orders. We hope that Lord Marquis can cooperate with us and not make trouble for us lowly beings.”
The official bowed, his expression extremely respectful. The entire world knew of what had happened in Khorasan by now, and no one dared to provoke the Young Marquis at this time and bring disaster down on their heads.
Wang Chong said nothing, only quietly stared at the official, his eyes so sharp that they seemed to pierce into the official’s soul and see all his secrets. The head official instantly broke out in a cold sweat, his face becoming much paler.
He had a feeling that Wang Chong had always known what foul tricks they had been up to.
All was quiet and oppressive. After a long time, he finally heard Wang Chong’s voice.
“I understand!” Wang Chong nonchalantly said, and then he turned around and headed back into his room. “Chen Bin, Xu Keyi, begin preparations. We will depart for the capital soon!”
Everyone bowed, and upon hearing these words, the officials breathed long sighs of relief.
Several hours later, once everything was packed, Wang Chong boarded a carriage. Next to him were the still slightly ill Xu Qiqin, Chen Bin, and Xu Keyi, while his guards on horseback tightly surrounded the carriage.
“Qiqin, you know that you don’t need to follow me, given the condition your body is in. Moreover, this excursion to the capital won’t be a very peaceful one.”
Wang Chong looked at Xu Qiqin.
Wang Chong had not expected that Xu Qiqin would insist on coming with him to the capital.
“I’ve spent long enough here.”
Xu Qiqin nudged aside the curtain to take one last glance at the Qixi Protectorate headquarters, a complicated look in her eyes. While Wang Chong had been away battling at Talas, she had remained to oversee Qixi, not even taking half a step from its premises. But now, it was all coming to an end.
“And besides, they’ve already taken control over the Qixi Protectorate, and you’re no longer the temporary Qixi Protector-General. There’s no meaning in my staying there. It’s about time I should leave.”
Wang Chong was quiet for a few moments and then finally nodded.
“Zhang Que, let’s go!”
Crack! A whip snapped in the air as Zhang Que, seated at the front, set the carriage into motion. As the wheels began to turn, the group quickly rode off to the southeast.
At almost the same time, the officials from the Bureau of Rites and the Golden Guards of the Imperial Court began to follow.
Several days passed by.
“Lord Marquis, the City of Steel is up ahead!”
These words seemed to have a magical effect, and the entire convoy, carriage included, came to a stop. Inside the carriage, Wang Chong almost unconsciously raised the curtain and looked out. In the distance was a massive city, built out of steel, looming over the landscape.
People were going in and out, and it seemed like a lively place.
He had personally designed this city and built it out of the desert. This had been the beginning of his plans in the west, and now, he had finally come back.
A soldier rode over and asked, “Lord Marquis, do you want to go over and take a look?”
“There’s no need!”
Wang Chong let the curtain back down and mentally sighed as the convoy continued its journey.
Three days later, the group finally entered Longxi. It would only be ten-some more days until they reached the capital.
Not long after they had entered Longxi, a horseman suddenly rode to the carriage, leaving a trail of dust behind him.
“Milord, there’s a group of soldiers up ahead blocking the road. They seem to be waiting for us.”
“Who is it!” Xu Qiqin said in surprise, her brow creasing.
Everyone in the world knew that the Great Tang and Arabia had signed a peace treaty, the Tang army had been withdrawn from Khorasan, and Wang Chong had been summoned to the capital. Xu Qiqin truly couldn’t think of anyone that would stop Wang Chong at this time.
“I don’t know. The soldiers were not wearing any armor by which they could be identified,” the soldier respectfully said.
Xu Qiqin was utterly confused. Around the carriage, Chen Bin and Xu Keyi looked up ahead with hostile eyes.
“Qiqin, wait for me a moment!”
At this moment, a calm voice resounded in everyone’s ears. Wang Chong, who had been quietly seated with his eyes closed, got up and exited the carriage.
“Put away your weapons. They mean no harm. It’s an old friend!” Wang Chong lightly said, as if he had long ago predicted who these people were.
The road was quiet, gusts of wind blowing across it, the dust weakly reflecting the light of the sun.
Wang Chong’s clothes lightly flapped in the wind as he descended from the carriage and slowly began to walk forward. His steps were confident and unhurried, as if he was heading to a meeting with an old friend.
Zhang Que turned to Xu Keyi and the others and uneasily said, “Chen Bin, Xu Keyi, Milord is not in very good condition. Shouldn’t we go with him to protect him?”
Xu Keyi thought for a while before finally saying, “There’s no need!
“Zhang Que, I’m just as worried as you are, but no matter what, I will always believe in Lord Marquis and his judgment. If Lord Marquis believes that they don’t mean any harm, then it must be the case.”
After a moment of surprise, Zhang Que fell silent.
Wang Chong’s light footsteps echoed over the road. As he proceeded along the road and took a turn, he finally saw the soldiers the scout had mentioned. There were ten-some people, all of them dressed in simple cloth clothes. They didn’t seem like soldiers at a glance, but the halberds in their hands, erect postures, and the callous demeanor that had been forged through hundreds of battles indicated that they were soldiers without doubt, and those of the most elite caliber.
These people were all guarding the middle-aged man in the middle, who was dressed in a gray robe.
This person was wearing a cape and had his back to Wang Chong, and he had a happy and content demeanor. At his side was a small square table, upon which stood an exquisite, white, long-necked porcelain bottle. Two white porcelain cups had been placed next to the bottle. The middle-aged man raised the bottle, filled his cup, and took a sip.
His actions were refined and confident, suffused with a noble air. It made Wang Chong feel like this was a swordmaster flourishing his sword.
This was a truly admirable bearing, and Wang Chong had met few people that could compare.
A warm and mellow voice resounded over the road. The sound of footsteps had finally caused the middle-aged man to turn around. At this moment, Wang Chong had a clear view of the man’s handsome face, the long beard hanging down from his chin. In terms of appearance, he was not one bit inferior to the ‘Handsome War God’ Gao Xianzhi, and in terms of demeanor, he even exceeded him.
More importantly, this person had the high nose and deep eyes signifying that he was a Hu. And even though he had done his utmost to restrain his aura, he could have never hidden that vast ocean of energy from Wang Chong’s eyes.
Wang Chong didn’t recall ever meeting this person before, but he recognized him at first glance.
In all of Longxi, there was only one person with this appearance and bearing: the Big Dipper Great General.