Chapter 1280: Yeon Gaesomun
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Winds blew across the steppe and over the summit of Mount Sanmi. The black cap on the Blackwater Shaman’s head trembled, revealing a strand of gray-white hair. And if one looked carefully, one could see that the Blackwater Shaman’s face was covered in wrinkles and he seemed to have aged greatly.
In his frequent attempts to communicate with the gods and see the future, the Blackwater Shaman had not come away without paying a price!
Wunu Shibi said no more, a solemn look in his eyes. The amount of information gathered up on the Great Tang’s King of Foreign Lands was already as high as a small mountain. In the first part of his life, he was mediocre and nothing impressive, but after that, it seemed like he had suddenly awakened and began to advance with astonishing speed. Even now, this contrast left many people deeply confused.
“But on this matter, the Khagan has entrusted me with this question for you. Is there not a way to play some deception concerning the disarmament of the two hundred thousand soldiers?” the Blackwater Shaman asked.
“The Khagan believes that since the Great Tang and the Western Turks are separated by a great distance, the Great Tang won’t notice if we play some sort of trick while reducing our armies?”
Now they were talking about serious concerns, Wunu Shibi restrained his smile.
The Blackwater Shaman nodded.
“Impossible!” Wunu Shibi lightly said, his answer clean and straightforward. “All of you are looking down too much on that Great Tang Confucian!”
As Wunu Shibi spoke, he slowly stood up from that round and smooth stone. At that moment, the mountain seemed to sway and there was a metallic clattering from his golden Solar Armor. When Wunu Shibi finally stood straight, it was like a giant had appeared in front of that round stone.
Wunu Shibi was two meters tall, an entire head taller than the Blackwater Shaman next to him, and his body exuded an intensely oppressive aura.
“That Confucian might be too naive, but he is no fool. At the very least, he is not so simple as all of you imagine! This is someone who can suppress the King of Foreign Lands, calling him back to the capital at the height of his reputation, and who can suppress all the militarists. Do you really think that he can be so easily fooled?” Wunu Shibi slowly said.
Wunu Shibi had a much higher evaluation of Li Junxian than many people expected.
The Blackwater Shaman’s eyes flashed upon hearing these words.
“The current Great Tang has reached the apex. Any single faction cannot contend against it alone. And if we truly wish to use the Great Tang’s conflict between Confucians and militarists to exhaust the Great Tang, we cannot leave anything to chance. At least for now, we must let them see that we are sincerely reducing our armies,” Wunu Shibi said.
“Understood. I will relay your reply to the Khagan!”
The Blackwater Shaman nodded and turned around.
At the same time, in the distant Ü-Tsang…
Endless fierce winds blew in from the north and swept all the way to the south.
Ever since the Battle of Talas last year, where the three elite fighting powers of Dalun Ruozan, Dusong Mangpoje, and Huoshu Huicang were lost, the entirety of Ü-Tsang was suffused with an oppressive energy. Even the sky itself seemed to be oppressed. At this moment, several figures were standing on the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau, gazing at the vast lands down below.
In the blustery winds, the clothes of the man standing at the very front of the group of three snapped in the wind. He exuded an aura of matchless authority, like a high mountain which one could only look up to and admire.
This man was wearing an azure robe, and as he silently looked ahead, his eyes were brimming with endless intelligence.
As these three were looking down from the plateau at the lands of the Central Plains, an eagle broke through the clouds, flying out from the northwest.
A moment later, an arm extended to receive this eagle.
“Imperial Minister! The Western Turkic Khaganate of the northwest has sent a letter! It bears the seal of Wunu Shibi!”
A Tibetan soldier by the cliff swiftly strode over to Ü-Tsang’s Imperial Minister, Dalon Trinling, and passed the letter to him.
Although Dalon Trinling was not even fifty and still in the prime of his life, his face appeared to have weathered many more years. The deaths of two Great Generals and one Great Minister had dealt an unimaginable blow to the entire empire. Even now, Dalon Trinling had apparently not fully recovered from that beating. Opening the letter, Dalon Trinling gave it a simple glance before putting it away and placing his hands behind his back.
“Wunu Shibi has sent word that the Western Turks have disarmed two hundred thousand soldiers. You should prepare as well!”
Dalon Trinling’s indifferent voice resounded in everyone’s ears.
“Yes! Imperial Minister!”
The generals of the Yarlung Royal Lineage and Yatse Royal Lineage behind him bowed.
Over the last several wars with the Great Tang, the Ü-Tsang Empire had severed catastrophic losses. The illustrious Ngari Royal Lineage had been completely wiped out, as had the Royal Lineage of the northern region. Only two Royal Lineages remained. Even without this, Ü-Tsang had already been facing a dire shortage of talented individuals. At present, Dalon Trinling mostly had the younger generation of soldiers at his side, the scions of great clans such as Dayan Ersongrong or Darlag Nyetsai.
“Imperial Minister, disarming one hundred and fifty thousand soldiers is something that has never been done before. Can we truly use that destined son of the Confucian school to topple Wang Chong?” the Great General of the Yarlung Royal Lineage, Namri Songtian, asked.
As a Great General of Ü-Tsang’s last generation, Namri Songtian was one of the only remaining Great Generals of the plateau. The death of Dalun Ruozan and the others had also been a major blow to this Great General of the Yarlung Royal Lineage.
Dalon Trinling looked ahead and coldly said, “If we can’t, then we just have to make it so that he can!”
Upon close inspection, one would realize that Dalon Trinling was sharply surveying the lands to the east.
“This is also the primary reason we are cooperating with them.”
It was difficult for any faction to even imagine the feat of making all the countries around the Great Tang simultaneously disarm. And behind all this, besides the Confucian Sect and that destined child rushing around negotiating and consulting, was another person that very few people were aware of.
Although he had not shown his face, it was none other than Ü-Tsang’s Imperial Minister who had assisted in getting in touch with the other countries and promoting this mass disarmament.
To take, one had to give! And the daring needed to make this decision was not something any ordinary person could have.
“Your subordinate understands!”
Namri Songtian lowered his head, his face brimming with respect. If there was one person in Ü-Tsang who could surpass Dalun Ruozan in schemes and intelligence, it was the Imperial Minister.
And only the Imperial Minister could avenge Dusong Mangpoje, Huoshu Huicang, and Dalun Ruozan.
This was an unwavering conviction held by Namri Songtian and all the other Tibetan soldiers.
“The time is ripe. The internal discord in the Great Tang is the best opportunity for us to borrow a knife to commit murder, to weaken the Great Tang! But we cannot be careless. Write a letter for me warning the other countries that until the militarists of the Great Tang are completely suppressed, no one is allowed to be careless. In addition, tell them to be wary of the Great Tang’s King of Foreign Lands,” Dalon Trinling sternly said.
Bzzz! Namri Songtian trembled as if he had thought of something.
“Imperial Minister, what do you mean?”
Dalon Trinling suddenly turned around, his eyes seeming to pierce into minds. “This was someone who hacked his way through a mountain of corpses and sea of blood, who defeated Dalun Ruozan, Abu Muslim, and Qutaybah. Do you really think that he would just sit around and wait for death?”
Namri Songtian’s heart shivered and a look of fear appeared on his face. He had always believed that Ü-Tsang could act as a bystander to this entire affair, but at this moment, he suddenly realized that his way of thinking had been too simple.
“The outcome has not been decided. If all goes as expected, the Great Tang’s King of Foreign Lands is about to make his move. Tell them to not show any flaw!”
Dalon Trinling turned his eyes once more toward the east, toward the end of the horizon, where Big Dipper City loomed.
The plateau quickly calmed back down, but with a new order from Dalon Trinling, the plateau once more stirred to life.
The disarmament had formally begun!
A few moments later, a hawk took off with fluttering wings to the Great Tang’s northeast.
Youzhou of the northeast! Besides the Western Regions, this place was probably the most complicated region of the Great Tang. The Eastern Turkic Khaganate, the Goguryeo Empire, the Xi, and the Khitans—this small region was actually a gathering place of four major powers.
And at this time, many black war banners were flying from the walls of the city of Bisa, the city closest to the borders of Youzhou. But few people noticed several yellow imperial banners amongst the others.
Flap flap! An eagle flew through the skies and landed in Bisa.
A few moments later, a black-armored soldier of the Goguryeo Empire, the eagle on his shoulder, rushed into the hall. “Your Majesty! A letter from Ü-Tsang!”
Across from him was a muscular figure surrounded by a storm of energy, seated high above. His hands rested on the armrests while his bronze eyes roved around the room like lightning bolts. He seemed like a lion or tiger in human form, his very presence inspiring dread and reverence.
In all of the Goguryeo Empire, the only person who could possess such an aura was probably the Emperor of Goguryeo.
And the six crossed sabers behind him served as the most definitive proof.
This was the most legendary existence of the Goguryeo Empire, and it was even said that he had been miraculously born from the water. From the moment of his birth, he had drawn the attention of countless people, and he had not let down the hopes of these onlookers, having eventually become the supreme Emperor of the Goguryeo Empire. And his martial arts had reached a level that all other Goguryeons could only look up to in admiration. Those six sabers behind him were the Abyssal Blades, and it was rumored that no one had yet been able to make him use all six of them.
“Read it!” Yeon Gaesomun coldly said, his majestic voice devoid of emotion.
The guard immediately opened the letter and read it out. “Ü-Tsang reports that Ü-Tsang, the Western Turks, the Xi, and the Khitans have all begun to reduce their armies. It hopes that Goguryeo can do its utmost to cooperate!”