Time slowly passed.
Wang Chong spent his time cultivating while waiting patiently for the cold-forged Wootz steel weapons to be completed. But ten days from then, a sudden news from the borders rattled the capital.
Yao Guang Yi! A famous general of the Great Tang known for his schemes and wits, the third son of ‘Old Master Yao’. When the Hu crossed the border and stepped on Great Tang’s border, he abruptly led his army out from his deployment location for no apparent reason and appeared on ‘Duke Jiu’s’ second son’s, Wang Yan, deployment location!
But what was bizarre about the situation was that General Wang Yan, who was closest to the invasion point and should have been guarding his location, happened to move his campground back 50 li before the Hu invaded!
li -> 0.5km
Thus, such a bizarre sight appeared for the first time by the borders:
The general who should have been guarding his location was looking at the battle from behind while the general who shouldn’t have appeared in the location took over the guarding general’s position to destroy the invading Hu army!
In the centuries since Great Tang’s establishment, never had such a sight appeared before!
The ones involved in the incident, Yao Guang Yi and Wang Yan, were keeping mum about the matter. However, this bizarre ‘assault incident’ had caused a huge uproar in the capital.
Before the Hu invasion could cause any damage, it was already destroyed by the Great Tang army. On this aspect, the ‘assault incident’ was only an insignificant skirmish by the border, not worth mentioning at all.
However, those in the capital weren’t fools. The ‘Old Master Yao’s’ third son, Yao Guang Yi, and ‘Duke Jiu’s’ second son, Wang Yan, were involved in the matter, and considering the fact that King Song and King Qi happened to be in a heated political war at the moment, the situation was definitely not as simple as it looked
Even fools could tell that if Wang Yan did not coincidentally retreat 50 li from his deployment region before Yao Guang Yi’s appearance, the significance of the matter would be completely different.
Regardless of the truth, just the political meaning behind the ‘Yao and Wang Clan working together’ to repel the invaders opened up too many hints about the relationship between the two.
People don’t believe what you say, they only believe what they see!
But now, when Yao Guang Yi’s army appeared in the zone, Wang Yan took the initiative to avoid the suspicion and retreated 50 li to stay away from the battlefield.
This made the entire incident a one-man show on Yao Guang Yi’s part, and he ended up striking down the Hu in Wang Yan’s place!
Even fools could tell how intentional the affair was, and the scheme that lay behind it.
Regardless of what the Wang Clan was up to, Wang Yan had used his actions to display the attitude of the Wang Clan!
Yao Guang Yi, a scheming old veteran of the royal court, had never lost in the past. He singlehandedly created the feud between the Song and the Qi and stripped King Song of his trusty aides. For the first time, by the border, he suffered a crushing defeat in the field he expertized in!
——Furthermore, he lost in an extremely foolish manner, making a huge laughingstock out of himself.
When the news reached King Song Residence, King Song abruptly slammed his hand on the table. All of the worry and frustration he accumulated throughout recent days disappeared along with that slam.
At this moment, King Song felt extremely relaxed.
“Wang Yan, I have not judged you wrongly! I have not judged the Wang Clan wrongly! As long as I have the assistance of the Wang Clan and Duke Jiu, even if everyone were to betray me and leave my side, what do I have to fear?!”
Sitting in the main hall, delight exuded from King Song’s face. This was the most positive news he had heard in this half month.
Wang Yan had used his actions to express the attitude and stand of the Wang Clan. At this moment, the final doubts that King Song had of him disappeared along with the wind.
“Hehe, Your Highness, didn’t I say that Wang Yan wouldn’t betray you?”
At the bottom of King Song’s seat, Lu Ting looked at King Song with a smile. He was dressed in a blue robe and he held a fan in his hand.
“Hahaha, Academic Lu, you can say anything you want on the matter!”
King Song pressed against the handles of the chair and stood up from his throne.
“I would like to see what King Qi thinks of the matter. That bastard! I nearly fell for his tricks!”
Recalling everything that had just happened, King Song was still traumatized. King Qi and Yao Guang Yi had poached too many people from his side. Sometimes, he couldn’t help but doubt everyone around him, unable to find the mood to eat even.
After living in the royal court for such a long time, King Song was well aware of what his subordinates would think if they were subjected to his delusional guesses.
It wasn’t an exaggeration to say that everyone might leave him due to that.
He was just a step off from that, but right before the edge of the cliff, Wang Yan woke him up. As long as Wang Yan and the entire Wang Clan supported him, he hadn’t lost yet. He would still have an opportunity to make a comeback.
It was an utter failure of the King Qi faction in this battle!
As he thought so, he turned around to look at the old butler. Even though the latter was placid and it was impossible to see any emotion on his face, he soon understood the meaning behind his master’s gaze.
“Your Highness, your old servant admits that his mistake. I was too skeptical on this affair and wronged the Wang Clan. If possible, I would like to go ahead and apologize to General Wang directly!”
The old butler said calmly.
Back then, it was him who invited Wang Yan to the King Song Residence. It was also him to told King Song when he had chosen to trust Wang Yan to not be too trusting of others, and the truth could be determined in the future.
Facts had proven that it was all Yao Guang Yi and King Qi’s scheme to frame the Wang Clan, and that Wang Yan was a trustworthy subordinate.
Even though he was wrong, the old butler wasn’t depressed in the least. Rather, he felt happy for King Song.
“Hehe, what are you thinking of? This was my intention back then and it had nothing to do with you. I will clean up my own mess, so there’s no need for you to look for Wang Yan. When Duke Jiu’s birthday comes, I will apologize to him myself and explain this to him.”
King Song waved his hands.
The fact that Wang Yan knew that he had to retreat 50 li showed that the Wang Clan wasn’t completely oblivious on the matter. At the very least, they knew that King Song was suspicious of them.
King Song wasn’t an irresponsible person. Since he had made a mistake, he wouldn’t push the blame onto others.
“Hehe, Your Highness, don’t worry about it. Duke Jiu wouldn’t be bothered by it. I will accompany Your Highness when the time comes.”
Seeing this sight, Lu Ting chuckled beneath his hands. This was the King Song that he knew! Even though he might be blinded by a moment of folly, he would soon realize his own mistakes and admit his own faults courageously!
Given his identity as a member of royalty, this quality of his was extremely precious and rare. This was also the reason why he was so loyal to King Song.
“However, Your Highness, don’t you think that there’s something weird about the matter?”
Chuckling, Lu Ting abruptly said:
“Wang Yan’s nature tends to be straightforward and inflexible, so how would he know that Yao Guang Yi’s troop would bring his troop to his deployment area? Furthermore, how could he have known that the enemy would attack and choose to retreat 50 li in advance? This isn’t something he is capable of!”
“If Wang Yan was that flexible and astute, Yao Guang Yi wouldn’t have chosen to strike the Wang Clan from him and suffer such a huge failure by the border in return, becoming a laughingstock of everyone else.”
“You are saying that…”
King Song’s body jolted. Lu Ting’s reminder left him in contemplation. He was only overjoyed over the matter, and he didn’t bother to think about the bizarre parts of the matter.
Indeed! This wasn’t the first day he and Lu Ting had known Wang Yan. He was well aware of how Wang Yan operated.
Wang Yan’s actions, which caused Yao Guang Yi to be disgraced, was indeed unlike him.
“Could this be the Duke Jiu’s intentions?”
Thinking about the matter, he could only attribute the matter to the respected Old Master of the Wang Clan. If this wasn’t Wang Yan’s intentions, it could only be Old Master Wang guiding him from his back.
Also, Wang Yan would only listen to the words of the Old Master!
“Hehe, Duke Jiu had survived and stood at the apex of the royal court for decades. Even after he had retired, he was invited to the Four Quarters Embassy and the emperor also often consulted him on politics. I also hoped that he was the one. But schemes and political fights aren’t Duke Jiu’s expertise. Furthermore, no matter how incredible the Old Master is, he stays in the Four Quarters Embassy all the time and rarely goes out. If so, how could he have known that Yao Guang Yi was going to lead his army to Wang Yan’s deployment zone?”
Lu Ting said.
“It isn’t the Old Master?”
King Song frowned. He thought that he had already arrived at the answer, but Lu Ting refuted his words. If it wasn’t the Old Master, who else could it be?
Yao Guang Yi wasn’t an average person, and not everyone could win him in a battle of wits and make him a laughingstock. Not to mention, the fellow wasn’t able to say anything about the huge setback he suffered at all.
No one of the Wang Clan seemed to possess such ability.
Duke Jiu’s eldest son, Wang Gen, was a court official as well as a noble. He often went to the royal court for discussions and was skilled in politics as well, so it was possible for him to be the one. However, he was an academic official instead of a military one. He practically knew nothing about the military, needless to say, advice Wang Yan on the aspect.
The youngest son, Wang Dian, was serving as an instructor at Heavenly Dragon Mountain and he was an oaf. The rest of them were females.
Who could be the one who advised Wang Yan? Furthermore, his means were profound yet simple. Just by moving 50 li back, he managed to cause the intelligent Yao Guang Yi’s plan to fall apart and become a laughingstock. What’s more, he wasn’t able to complain about the matter at all.
His discernment ability, his thoughts, and his means were top-class. If such a person were to assist him, it would be as though equipping a pair of wings, allowing him to fly to even greater heights.
Due to Yao Guang Yi and King Qi’s poaching, nearly all of his aides left his side. This made King Song even more so aware of the fact that he was lacking a talent of Yao Guang Yi’s caliber by his side.
Lu Ting was an excellent strategist, but he was only adept in analyzing. He lacked the ability to craft plans to deal with others, and thus, he was still a significant way off from the person who guided Wang Yan.
Who could it be?
King Song dredged up every single person he could think of, but he was unable to pinpoint anyone.
“Your Highness, have you forgotten that there is such a person around Wang Yan?”
Lu Ting said.
King Song lifted his head and asked immediately.
“Have Your Highness forgotten that Wang Yan’s family’s Third Young Master? Your Highness had sent him a present not too long ago.”
Lu Ting smiled meaningfully.
“You mean him?”
King Song was taken aback. He finally knew who Lu Ting was pointing to:
Even though Lu Ting said that it was that Old Master of the opposite faction, King Song wouldn’t be so astonished. After all, Lu Ting was saying that a teenage kid was able to match up to a veteran top-tier strategist.
King Song found the situation unbelievable. How could a teenage child possibly see through Yao Guang Yi’s plans and advice his father from countless miles away?
“Hehe, I am raising a possibility.”
Lu Ting said:
“Have Your Highness forgotten ‘The one who laughs in the end is the winner’ and the incident with Bao Xuan? These two incidents also didn’t seem like it was done by a teenage kid.”
Lu Ting’s words struck through King Song’s brain like a lightning strike. In that instant, King Song felt indescribably shocked. Indeed, if one were to say that this matter didn’t seem like the doing of a teenage kid, then did what the Third gongzi of the Wang Family did before seem like the doing of an ordinary child?
King Song recalled Lu Ting’s words once more. Could the fight in the Vast Crane Pavilion between the Wang and Yao truly be intentionally triggered by one party?
If that was true, then the incident was truly shocking!
Of course, this was just a conjecture. Just like Lu Ting said, it was ‘just a possibility’. Even so, this was sufficient for the name ‘Wang Chong’ to be inscribed deeply in King Song’s brain.
“It will be Duke Jiu’s birthday soon. No matter what, I have to meet this Wang Chong personally.”
At this moment, a strong curiosity about Wang Chong emerged in King Song’s mind.
Four Quarters Embassy (四方馆)
Technically, it literally means an embassy for everyone, and its function is the same as well. It hosts all foreigners and diplomats.
For those who are sharp, the little uncle (in Chapter 24) was written to be on Mt Tianzhu. However, it wrote here Heavenly Dragon Mt. I believe that it is a mistake on the raw part and I edited the two to be the latter.