Chapter 1215: Returning to the Capital on Imperial Decree!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
“Emissary, is there any way to request His Majesty, the Emperor of the Great Tang, to slightly alter his orders and have the Young Marquis stay in Khorasan!”
Bahram stepped forward and used some of the Tang language he had recently learned, mixed with some Khorasani words, to plead with the official surnamed Wen.
Bahram was not the sort of person who would lose his cool, but all this was too abrupt. Wang Chong’s new title and his transfer left him greatly unsettled, so he hoped to negotiate with this emissary.
The official with the surname Wen looked down from his horse, his brows creasing at Bahram’s request.
“Although I do not know what you are saying, the decree of the Imperial Court cannot be altered, and the words of the sovereign are to be taken seriously. Lord Wang, you should understand this principle as well!”
He at first spoke to Bahram, but then he aimed his last words at Wang Chong, his expression sharp and fierce. It was clear that he was placing all the blame on Wang Chong.
“Enough!” Wang Chong suddenly said.
“This is the decree of the Imperial Court and the decree of the Sage Emperor. Orders are as firm and as immovable as mountains. Great General, I know that you have good intentions, but the words of the sovereign cannot be taken lightly. The Great Tang is different from the Sassanid Dynasty. Once a decision is made, it must be carried out. As for Khorasan, I have already made ample preparations. With the coalition army overseeing and Lord Gao and Lord Feng present, even without me, this place will still be impregnable. Even if the Arabs attack again, it will not be worth worrying about. Moreover, with fifty thousand ballistae present, Arabia will never be able to succeed.”
From the moment they had breached Khorasan, Wang Chong had begun to think about how to establish a firm foundation and make it so that even without him, Khorasan would be able to remain stable and free from the hands of Arabia. All this was for the sake of creating the firmest stronghold on the front lines for the Great Tang.
After saying all this, Wang Chong turned around and headed through the crowd toward the three Confucian officials that the imperial decree had stated would take on his military authority.
“Milords, Khorasan is the Great Tang’s major frontline stronghold. As long as the strength of the coalition army is properly used and we work with the Sassanid Dynasty and the rebel armies, the Arabs will not be worth worrying about! After I leave, I hope that Milords will work in good faith and not sacrifice the lives of soldiers in exchange for achievements,” Wang Chong sternly said.
Xue Qianjun looked at Wang Chong’s back, his heart quaking. Wang Chong had maintained an extremely calm attitude up until now, his every word and action complying with etiquette and regulation. But Xue Qianjun, who had been with Wang Chong for so long, had clearly noticed that Wang Chong’s hands, hidden by his sleeves, were slightly trembling.
Xue Qianjun was keenly aware that Wang Chong’s mind at this time was in even greater turmoil than anyone else’s.
“Lord Wang, there is no need for you to trouble yourself over these matters. We have our own plans!”
The three mounted officials looked down on Wang Chong, no ripple of emotion on their faces.
The surrounding crowd clenched their fists and softly cursed.
Wang Chong had been personally made the Young Marquis by the Sage Emperor and was the Qixi Protector-General. Even though he had been removed from this position, he was still the newly-titled King of Foreign Lands, a true Great Tang King, above all the other nobility.
But these three officials and the official surnamed Wen showed not one hint of respect toward Wang Chong. This left everyone furious.
“Lord Wang, please! The decree of the Imperial Court cannot be defied. Lord Wang, please hand over your jade seal as quickly as possible and come with us!”
At this moment, several horsemen broke out from the group and rode toward Wang Chong. These officials from the Bureau of Rites looked at Wang Chong and made a gesture of invitation.
“You would dare!”
“Do you think Lord Marquis to be a criminal! To dare treat him in this way!”
With a harsh shout and the clattering of weapons, Li Siye and his men stared furiously at these officials from the Bureau of Rites. Everyone in the Great Tang capital knew that the Bureau of Rites was manned by King Qi’s men. For these men from the Bureau of Rites to accompany the Imperial Court’s emissaries, they clearly did not harbor good intentions.
The red-robed officials from the Bureau of Rites paled at this scene.
“Lord Marquis, we are only carrying out the will of the decree. We hope that Lord Marquis will understand the difficulties we are in and not make things any harder.”
Wang Chong said nothing, only coldly glared at the three. He had no idea what King Qi had told these officials, nor why they were so anxious to have him leave, but there was no doubt that they did not harbor good intentions.
Wang Chong stared at the officials and said, “Whether I leave or not and what time I leave are up to me.”
“But, Lord Marquis…”
The officials from the Bureau of Rites still tried to argue.
“Let me ask you, did the decree say that I should leave right now? Or is this a direct order from His Divine Majesty?”
Wang Chong stared at the group with an intimidating gaze.
The officials from the Bureau of Rites instantly grimaced.
The decree naturally hadn’t given a specific hour or time that he needed to leave, and the Sage Emperor would never issue an order for such a trivial matter as this. Forging an imperial decree was no trifling matter, and they would never even dare to try such a thing. Wang Chong ignored these men and turned back to Gao Xianzhi and Bahram.
“Lord Gao, it seems that I must leave. I leave Khorasan to you.”
“Understood. Be at ease. I will do my utmost to protect this place,” Gao Xianzhi gloomily said to Wang Chong. But at almost the same moment, a soft whisper could be heard in Wang Chong’s ear.
“Wang Chong, something we don’t know about must have happened in the Imperial Court, or else this never would have happened. You’ll have to investigate this on your own. In addition, if something happens that requires my help, notify me as quickly as possible.”
Wang Chong was momentarily stunned, and then he nodded his head.
“Many thanks, Milord!”
Gao Xianzhi gazed at Wang Chong’s calm and determined face, and sighed. A measly Advisor-in-Waiting was insignificant in the Imperial Court, and the unprecedented title of King of Foreign Lands was clearly just an empty title. He truly didn’t know how big an incident would have to take place in the Imperial Court for there to be such a targeted action against Wang Chong, stripping him of his military authority and granting him a de facto demotion.
A normal person would have already gone mad from anger, but Wang Chong had managed to endure, his actions remaining composed.
Wang Chong had no idea what Gao Xianzhi was thinking as he turned to Bahram. This transfer was far too sudden. Not only him, but his father and older brother had been transferred away. The ones who needed the most comfort at this time were Bahram and the other rebel leaders.
“Great General, this is an order from the Emperor, and I cannot oppose it. But I ask that you believe that as long as the empire has a garrison here, it will guard this place to the death. In addition, I am only leaving temporarily, not forever. Once I resolve this matter, I will naturally return to Khorasan,” Wang Chong sincerely said.
“Milord, there is no need for you to explain any more.”
Bahram gave a long sigh.
“I completely understand, and this is not something Milord can resolve. I just wish to say that no matter the time or occasion, Milord will always be a friend and ally of our Sassan. Although Milord is not here, as long as your successor remains loyal to the alliance signed between the Great Tang and the Sassanid Dynasty, the Sassanid Dynasty will be loyal to the Great Tang and be its firmest ally in the west!”
Wang Chong nodded. He had been waiting for exactly these words. With these words, it didn’t matter if he left Khorasan or not.
“Lord Wang, is it enough?”
The official surnamed Wen spoke from atop his horse. He had been watching Wang Chong the entire time, but he had only spoken once had seen that Wang Chong had just about finished speaking with Gao Xianzhi and Bahram.
“Chong-er, the decrees of the sovereign cannot be defied. Think a little more positively. After all this, this is a decree from the Imperial Court,” Wang Yan said in his mellow voice as he walked out from the back and patted Wang Chong on the back.
“The war has already been won. That’s what is most important.”
Wang Chong’s big brother, Wang Fu, also walked over.
The sight of Wang Chong’s figure was of great comfort to Wang Yan and Wang Fu. As a clan of ministers and generals, the Wang Clan saw it as its duty to loyally serve the country. As a descendant of the Wang Clan, Wang Chong had faithfully carried out this duty. Nothing else was important.
“Father, your child understands!”
Wang Chong nodded. He took the jade seal symbolizing the authority of Qixi Protector-General and passed it to the three middle-aged Confucian experts.
This small square jade seal captured the attention of everyone. All of them knew that this not only symbolized the authority of Qixi Protector-General, but also the leader of the coalition army. This jade seal in Wang Chong’s hand symbolized supreme authority and status.
“Lord Wang, there is no need to worry. We will manage this place well!”
The leading Confucian expert reached out and took the jade seal.
An official from the Bureau of Rites seized the moment to speak. “Lord Wang, it’s daylight. We should begin to move out now. Please come with us!”
As he spoke, he waved behind him, and then in a cloud of dust, a group of twenty-some soldiers clad in golden armor rode out. These were the dazzling Golden Guards of the Imperial Palace, and they had come to escort Wang Chong and the officials from the Bureau of Rites.
The Golden Guards.
These were the most respected guards in the Imperial Palace, and their duty was to protect the Son of Heaven. On the outside world, they also represented the Great Tang’s Son of Heaven, and since these officials had brought the Golden Guards with them on this journey, it was clear that they had made ample preparations.
In a cold flash of light, the subordinates around Wang Chong pulled out their weapons and angrily stared at these guards.