Chapter 818: The Plot Exposed, the Dagger is Drawn—Fumeng Lingcha’s Fury!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
“I’ve gotten in touch, but I’ve discovered that the speed at which Hulayeg gathers horses is still a little too slow. I’m currently thinking of a method to help him sort out his relationships with the tribes of the steppe and also adjust how he usually gathers his warhorses. I hope that all this will greatly decrease the time between our transactions,” Xu Qiqin said with a smile.
Wang Chong and the other people in the room couldn’t help but sigh in praise. With Xu Qiqin’s arrival at the City of Steel, many things had changed. Construction within the city was left to the devices of the individual parties, and some of the land had already been sold off to the great clans. These clans were each occupied with their own construction projects, making the situation somewhat chaotic.
But when Xu Qiqin arrived, she had placed all the resources under central management and made the construction process faster and more orderly, allowing the great clans to build their stores at a much faster pace. She had only been in Wushang for around a month, but Xu Qiqin had already won the admiration and respect of the people.
She was even helping a Turkic horse merchant like Hulayeg sort out his relationships and increase the speed at which he gathered horses.
“Mm, I’ll have to trouble you with that. No matter what, I hope to get those warhorses as quickly as possible,” Wang Chong said.
Another few days went by, and as Wang Chong was examining a map of the Western Regions, he was interrupted by rumbling hooves in the distance. Before Wang Chong could wonder what this was, a scout rushed in.
“Lord Marquis! It’s bad! Fumeng Lingcha is coming!”
The scout’s words immediately caused the mood in the room to change.
Everyone in the City of Steel knew about Fumeng Lingcha’s relationship with Wushang. Even the lowest scout or craftsmen understood that the marquis and the Qixi Protector-General were at odds with each other, and they also knew that the assault of Dayan Mangban and the Tibetan White Braves on the City of Steel had only happened because Fumeng Lingcha had let them through.
These rumors and many more, including how Fumeng Lingcha had tried to get rid of the marquis in the Regional Commanders Incident, were the talk of the City of Steel. It was said that visitors did not come with good intentions and those with good intentions did not visit, and Fumeng Lingcha clearly did not harbor any good will in this appearance outside the City of Steel.
Standing atop the high city walls, Wang Chong looked down at the roiling dust and finally spotted Fumeng Lingcha. He was coming from the northwest, dressed for battle, but he had only brought ten-some guards with him.
He might not have had the thousands of soldiers of the Qixi Protectorate army around him, but his body was still seething with that tyrannical and chilling aura. No matter how much of a ruckus there was in the court or how society viewed this Qixi Protector-General, his status as Imperial Great General was enough to inspire awe and dread.
“Lord Marquis, Fumeng Lingcha probably doesn’t mean well with this visit!”
Li Siye was standing behind Wang Chong, his brow furrowed in concern. Fumeng Lingcha stood accused of colluding with a prince and needed to head to the capital to meet the Sage Emperor, but at an urgent time like this, he had chosen instead to go to Wushang’s City of Steel. Even a fool knew that he was not here to give gifts.
At this moment, a furious bellow came from the northwest. Fumeng Lingcha pulled on the reins of his horse, his intimidating eyes shining with cold light as they stared at the City of Steel.
“I know you’re there! Get down here!”
This stentorian voice echoed through every corner of the City of Steel. All was still within the city, the laborers and soldiers turning to Wang Chong.
“Lord Marquis, you absolutely must not go! Now is not the time to meet Fumeng Lingcha.”
“That’s right. Lord Marquis, you mustn’t!”
“Fumeng Lingcha no longer cares about the consequences of his actions. He must head off to the capital soon, so Milord does not need to pay him any attention.”
Xu Keyi, Zhang Que, Cheng Sanyuan, Su Shixuan, and the other officers all urged Wang Chong to refuse. At this moment, everyone at Wang Chong’s side, including Li Siye and Xu Qiqin, shared the same view.
“Wang Chong, you should avoid this encounter. Not seeing him would be much more preferable than seeing him at a time like this,” Xu Qiqin advised, her gorgeous eyes tinged with worry.
Wang Chong said nothing, his gaze fixed on the distant Fumeng Lingcha as he silently thought.
While everyone else was overcome with worry, Wang Chong suddenly waved his hand and chuckled.
“There’s no need to worry. Nothing will happen. Fumeng Lingcha would never dare to do anything to me.”
His subordinates were all dazed by these words, and Wang Chong gave no explanation, immediately beginning to descend the walls.
“Lord Marquis, wait a moment!”
The anxious subordinates quickly ran after him.
Rumble! A few moments later, the gates opened, and Wang Chong rode out upon the White-hoofed Shadow, Li Siye and the others following close behind.
Countless people watched from the towers and walls as Wang Chong and Fumeng Lingcha approached each other, the howling winds casting the entire scene in a dusty shroud.
“Haha, Lord Protector-General, long time no see!”
Wang Chong clasped his hands as he rode over. His expression was calm, his face even holding a smile, and his entire body was relaxed. If one didn’t know that he and Fumeng Lingcha were sworn enemies, they would think them to be old friends who had not met in many years. On the other side, Fumeng Lingcha’s eyes were shining with a frigid light.
Fumeng Lingcha angrily snorted and swung his hand down, leading his soldiers galloping closer to Wang Chong before stopping again.
“Wang Chong, you truly are quite bold. I didn’t think that you would have the nerve to meet me.”
“Milord must be joking. As subjects of the Great Tang, why would Wang Chong not dare meet with Milord?” Wang Chong said with an amiable smile, a stark contrast to Fumeng Lingcha’s menacing and murderous appearance.
“Wang Chong, you’ve done a fine job! Do you really think that we still don’t know?”
“Do you think our lord won’t kill you with a single swing of his saber!”
Before Fumeng Lingcha could speak, two of his trusted subordinates immediately began to berate Wang Chong.
Fumeng Lingcha extended two fingers, ordering his subordinates to be quiet, but his intimidating gaze continued to rest on Wang Chong.
“Wang Chong, the Wang Clan is a clan of ministers and generals, and your grandfather is a virtuous minister of the Great Tang. This one has only a single question for you. Did you tamper with Qifu Li?”
At Fumeng Lingcha’s words, the expressions of the people behind Wang Chong paled. None of them had expected Fumeng Lingcha to be so perceptive that he could so quickly understand how events had developed and even connect these developments to Wang Chong. Wang Chong absolutely could not admit to this deed, especially because Wang Chong’s master the Demonic Emperor Old Man had gone to Wushang Village with the village chief. It was difficult to imagine what would happen if Fumeng Lingcha started to make trouble at a time like this.
To their surprise, Wang Chong chuckled and gave an extremely frank confession.
“Correct—I had King Song capture Qifu Li. Your intuition was correct. When you sent out your five subordinates, the carriage crash and the beggar boy were both arranged by me. Your reaction was very fast, but unfortunately, I was still the one who won the gamble!”
Wang Chong’s confession immediately caused Li Siye, Cheng Sanyuan, Fumeng Lingcha, and his subordinates to reel in shock. Wang Chong should have denied this deed, but he was actually so bold that he had confessed to everything right in front of Fumeng Lingcha.
A saber hummed as it swished through the sky. Almost the moment Wang Chong had finished speaking, Fumeng Lingcha had unsheathed his saber.
“Bastard! Do you really think that I wouldn’t dare to kill you? This one has dominated Qixi for ten-some years, killing countless people, but no one has ever dared to oppose me like this. Do you know that with the current distance between us, I could bury you with a single thought!”
Fumeng Lingcha’s face was gloomy, his entire body trembling in rage. Although he had his theories, seeing Wang Chong personally admit and confirm it all still left Fumeng Lingcha fuming with an indescribable rage. His mind had only one thought at the moment: slaying this youngest son of the Wang Clan.
“Milord, there’s no need for any more wasted words. Just kill him!”
The Hu generals behind Fumeng Lingcha were also indignant, the anger obvious on their faces. Clangclangclang! They also began to unsheathe their weapons, and their swords and sabers glimmered, the reflected light like dragons or snakes flying through the air. Meanwhile, Wang Chong’s subordinates also began to unsheathe their weapons, with Li Siye’s massive Wootz Steel sword exerting a similarly massive pressure.
“Who dares to touch Lord Marquis!”
“The Wushang Cavalry are here! Just give the order, and no one will be able to even think about leaving!”
Both sides were wary and vigilant, the air fraught with tension as both sides readied for battle. Just when both sides were about to move, just when a gruesome melee was about to occur, a relaxed and confident voice broke the silence.
“Put your weapons away.”
Wang Chong first stopped his own subordinates before turning to Fumeng Lingcha and the Qixi generals. While everyone was nervous and worried, Wang Chong remained confident and assured, his bearing subconsciously causing everyone else to relax.
“Lord Protector-General, it is said that politeness is returned with politeness. At the triangular gap, you tried to use Dusong Mangpoje to kill me, and then you stole the credit for my battle. All I did was seize one of your subordinates. Is that really such a big deal? In addition, I’m not boasting, but do you really think that you can kill me? You should know as well why Dusong Mangpoje had to flee, no?”
Fumeng Lingcha immediately paled, as did the generals behind him.