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Chapter 417: The Surprising Truth!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
w.a.n.g Chong walked into the crowd, where he was greeted by cheers from all around. After so many days, someone had finally done something to elate the hearts of the people.
With joy on his face, Old Eagle led a group of people through the crowd to greet w.a.n.g Chong. Only Huang Qian-er stood on the side, a look of concern in her eyes.
Just when the crowd was at its most excited, a voice as cold as the autumn frost came from the center of the crowd.
Under the escort of the Imperial Army, an ashen-faced and apoplectic official of the Chamberlain of Dependencies furiously strode through the crowd. He seemed ready to issue a barrage of criticisms.
In this incident, w.a.n.g Chong had come completely uninvited, forcing himself into the proceedings. The Chamberlain of Dependencies had already found him completely unbearable, so for this official to last until now was actually rather decent.
"w.a.n.g Chong, you're quite the bold one. Do you know what sort of disaster you've wrought? Despite the disaster you've brought down on the w.a.n.g Clan, you can still stand here and laugh!"
The icy voice was like a cold gust, silencing the area ten-some zhang around him. Everyone looked toward that ill-intentioned official and w.a.n.g Chong standing across from him.
Many of their eyes showed fear.
The Chamberlain of Dependencies was a very special existence in the capital. They were not imbued with any actual authority, yet they wielded more authority than any other organization.
This was because the Chamberlain of Dependencies could bypa.s.s the Imperial Court and directly beseech the Emperor. When necessary, they could even act on their own discretion and give their report later.
This was a power that had been bestowed on the Chamberlain of Dependencies when it was first established.
They possessed this enormous authority so that they could accomplish the missions important to the imperial clan. For instance, they were responsible for the offerings made on Mount Tai, the offerings made every year to the temples and G.o.ds, and also the ceremonies and offerings for the imperial ancestral temple.
All of these things had great significance toward the imperial clan, thus bestowing abnormal power and authority on the Chamberlain of Dependencies.
The n.o.ble houses, the great clans, and the rich families might seem to be higher existences to the common folk, but in front of the Chamberlain of Dependencies, they were naught but insignificant gra.s.shoppers.
"Hahaha, Milord, w.a.n.g Chong weighs his conduct and deeds and finds nothing out of line. What is this disaster that the Chamberlain of Dependencies speaks of?"
w.a.n.g Chong gave a faint smile. Not only did he not retreat in the face of this official, he even waved his sleeve and began walking toward this mighty figure.
"By saying this, are you saying that you don't know?"
The official's eyes seemed to be spitting fire, and if looks could kill, w.a.n.g Chong would have been dead a thousand times.
"Do you not know what sort of person the First Prince of Ü-Tsang is? This is the successor to the Ü-Tsang Empire, a true crown prince. Our Chamberlain of Dependencies had thought of every possible means to protect him, but you ended up killing him with your sword. Do you know how great a disaster this is? The several decades of peace between the empire and Ü-Tsang have been destroyed by you!
"Your w.a.n.g Clan should just go and explain yourselves to the Sage Emperor.
"Come! Seize this scoundrel!"
The official from the Chamberlain of Dependencies suddenly pointed a finger at w.a.n.g Chong.
Old Eagle fiercely roared, his foot stomping on the ground as he rushed in front of w.a.n.g Chong. His arms spread apart and his eyes bulging, he firmly warded w.a.n.g Chong with his body.
"Hmph, with the authority bestowed by His Majesty and the decrees of Emperors Gaozu and Taizong, the Chamberlain of Dependencies can act as it sees fit. After provoking such a disaster, you didn't think you could just leave, did you?"
The official waved his hand. Countless Imperial soldiers and experts from the Chamberlain of Dependencies immediately filed in and tightly encircled w.a.n.g Chong and Old Eagle.
The Ü-Tsang First Prince had followed the procedures, joined the diplomatic mission, and presented his credentials. Everything had been done according to regulations. Yet in a place so close to the Imperial City, in a small practice ground, he had been killed under the eyes of the Chamberlain of Dependencies.
This was no minor crime.
Not even the Chamberlain of Dependencies could bear the penalties for such a crime. Yet when one thought about the calamity that would ensue with the death of the Ü-Tsang First Prince, this incident was a trifle.
If the Chamberlain of Dependencies wanted to smoothly dissociate themselves from this incident, they could not let the main culprit, w.a.n.g Chong, escape!
"Anyone who dares to attack Young Master cannot blame Old Eagle for being rude!"
Old Eagle's arms were spread apart while his eyes had gone red from worry. The surrounding guards from the w.a.n.g Clan and the Zhang Clan began to unsheathe their weapons.
"Whatever, it's the only thing that can be done…"
Huang Qian-er internally sighed, her right hand gripping the silver sword on her back as she moved in front of w.a.n.g Chong, but she did not unsheathe it yet.
This battle was already unavoidable.
The entire empire would begin to feel the ripples from the Ü-Tsang First Prince's death. The quakes were certain to shatter the earth and sunder the skies, and all of the great clans, including the Huang Clan, would be swept up in it.
No matter what happened in the future, if she at least protected him today, she could be considered to have performed her duty to the utmost.
"b.a.s.t.a.r.ds! Do you intend to rebel? Come; no matter what, we have to seize him today!"
The official from the Chamberlain of Dependencies once more jabbed his finger at w.a.n.g Chong, this time with even more rage.
In an instant, sabers and swords had left their sheaths, their cold lights glimmering. Two groups stood in stalemate, ready to fight at any moment.
"Ha! Put these sabers and swords away."
Just when the tension was at its worst, w.a.n.g Chong suddenly laughed and pushed his way past Old Eagle's spread-out arms.
Old Eagle hurriedly turned his head, instantly nervous. The Chamberlain of Dependencies was not joking. If w.a.n.g Chong was taken away by them, if they didn't kill him, they would at least remove a layer of skin. And it was clear that the Chamberlain of Dependencies wanted to beat w.a.n.g Chong to death and make him a scapegoat.
"Relax, Old Eagle; things won't reach that point."
w.a.n.g Chong grinned and waved his hands to comfort Old Eagle, his face the picture of relaxation. Under the surprised gazes of the two groups, w.a.n.g Chong walked out from his side and to the official from the Chamberlain of Dependencies.
"What's your name?" w.a.n.g Chong asked.
"Zheng Chenzhou, what of it?" Zheng Chenzhou coldly said, believing that w.a.n.g Chong intended to remember his name so that he could take revenge in the future. But how could the Chamberlain of Dependencies possibly fear a threat from the w.a.n.g Clan?
w.a.n.g Chong suddenly laughed. Under the stunned gazes of the experts from the Chamberlain of Dependencies, he stretched out a palm and patted Zheng Chenzhou on his face.
"If these are the 'experts' of the Chamberlain of Dependencies, I can't blame them for not being able to see the forest for the trees and letting themselves be walked all over."
"What are you trying to say?"
Zheng Chenzhou evaded w.a.n.g Chong's palm and raised his head to fiercely glare.
"Haha, the Chamberlain of Dependencies is responsible for receiving all the foreign countries, but are you not even able to tell the difference between a real and fake prince?"
At w.a.n.g Chong's words, let alone the group from the Chamberlain of Dependencies, even Old Eagle and Huang Qian-er were dumbstruck.
"What are you trying to say?"
"After attending upon a fake prince for more than three months, are you still not able to tell the difference? Fool! Did you think that if that was really the Ü-Tsang First Prince, those armored Tibetan cavalrymen would have so easily left? Didn't you think that their reaction was too flat for the death of their First Prince? Attending on them for three months appears to be a waste. You couldn't even see that it was a fake prince. And you still let them kill so many people in the practice ground!"
One stone could stir a thousand waves. Before Huang Qian-er or Zheng Chenzhou could say anything, the surrounding crowd immediately fell into a clamor.
"A fake prince? How is that possible?"
"Doesn't mean that we were all deceived by the Chamberlain of Dependencies, that it was a fake prince who killed so many of our people?"
"d.a.m.n, can it be?"
"How can it not be? If it weren't a fake, why would Young Master w.a.n.g dare to be so direct and kill that First Prince with a single blow?"
"So we were all tricked?"
"b.a.s.t.a.r.ds! That p.i.s.ses me off!!"
The crowd was buzzing with talk, everyone showing vexation and fury in their eyes. That 'First Prince' in the practice had not actually been that strong.
But precisely because he was the Ü-Tsang First Prince and was constantly using his body as a shield, so many people were afraid of striking him and ended up being killed.
If they had known his true ident.i.ty, he would have already been chopped meat!
In an instant, everyone was furious at being tricked.
Old Eagle and Huang Qian-er speechlessly looked at each other.
Zheng Chenzhou took in a long breath as he looked in a daze at w.a.n.g Chong. He suddenly found himself unable to speak. He had originally intended to seize w.a.n.g Chong so as to give an explanation to his superiors.
But now, catching him was no longer important.
If what w.a.n.g Chong said was true, then the Chamberlain of Dependencies was guilty of a ma.s.sive dereliction of duty.
"How do you know?" Zheng Chenzhou sternly said. Although he did not nod, even he had already begun to believe. Killing the First Prince of Ü-Tsang was no minor matter, as it involved both countries.
w.a.n.g Chong's actions had been far too straightforward, so straightforward that there had been no hesitation. If he had known the truth about this Ü-Tsang First Prince beforehand, known that the one on the practice ground was fake, then his actions were completely understandable.
Moreover, if the First Prince of their empire had died, then Dusong Mangpoje and his soldiers had left too swiftly. Although they also had to think about their own safety, one had to consider the situation.
If the same thing had happened to the Great Tang Empire, they would not have left so easily. Even the main culprit, w.a.n.g Chong, had not been removed.
"This was never anything difficult. It was just that all of you treated the Tibetans too simply. This is the grand First Prince of Ü-Tsang, the future successor to the throne. How could he lightly expose himself to risk, and even use his body to block sabers and swords? Even if he agreed to it, Dusong Mangpoje was there. Do you think he would allow it? It was so obvious, yet none of you questioned a thing!
"A simple game of 'Cat for Crown Prince'1 had you running in circles. If I didn't appear, how many more people were you intending to let him kill? Truly idiotic beyond compare! Is the life of a Tibetan more precious than the life of someone from the Great Tang?
"There's no need to trouble yourselves with the matter of the Ü-Tsang First Prince. Our w.a.n.g Clan will take it on. Use this time to think about how you will explain to His Majesty why you let thirty-some scions and young geniuses die in vain!"
After saying this, w.a.n.g Chong pushed aside Zheng Chenzhou and left.
And Zheng Chenzhou stood there, dumbstruck, not even trying to stop him. w.a.n.g Chong's words had already completely surpa.s.sed his imagination.
Zheng Chenzhou's mind was completely blank. He simply couldn't accept that he had been fooled by a lot of Tibetans.
"How could this be…!" Zheng Chenzhou muttered to himself, but w.a.n.g Chong was already far away.
1. 'Cat for Crown Prince' refers to a legend from the Song Dynasty. The Song Emperor Zhenzong was childless and one of his concubines, Consort Li, was pregnant. A rival, Consort Liu, plotted with a eunuch to have the newborn baby, the would-be crown prince, exchanged for a skinned civet cat. Consort Li was demoted, but the baby survived, the maid who was supposed to dispose of him giving him to an imperial prince to raise as his own son.↩