Chapter 1012: Scheming Against Each Other
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Once Dalun Ruozan and Huoshu Huicang had left, Shamask finally spoke up.
"Milord! The Tibetans barely contributed anything to this effort. Almost all of it has been due to Milord's efforts. Isn't just giving it to them like this too much?"
"That's right. In the end, Ü-Tsang is our enemy," Chekun Benba agreed. "Is not giving them the secret of formation phenomena like raising a tiger?"
On this matter, Chekun Benba and Shamask strangely agreed with each other. They were thoroughly confused as to why Duwu Sili had given the secret of formation phenomena to the Tibetans. However, both of them had been raised to follow Duwu Sili's orders to the word, so none of them had said anything while Dalun Ruozan was around.
"Now is not the time to break relations with the Tibetans. In addition, Dalun Ruozan isn't an easy person to deal with. Didn't you see? If they couldn't get the formation phenomena, Huoshu Huicang and Dusong Mangpoje were prepared to attack immediately," Duwu Sili said.
Shamask and Chekun Benba instantly fell silent. Huoshu Huicang and Dusong Mangpoje both had astonishing strength as Great Generals, and they also had the extremely intelligent Dalun Ruozan on their side. This truly was not the right time to turn hostile against the Tibetans. Moreover, the Tibetans had brought far more soldiers than they had.
"If we have to give it to them eventually, just handing it over will be a little more pleasant," Duwu Sili indifferently said.
Shamask and Chekun Benba wanted to say more, but Duwu Sili quickly interrupted them.
"There's no need for buts. Do you two really take me for such a fool? That I would truly give them the entire secret to formation phenomena so easily?" Duwu Sili coldly asked.
Shamask and Chekun Benba were thrown into a daze by these words, but they quickly thought of something and appeared to understand. Although they didn't know how Duwu Sili had pulled it off in such a short amount of time, he had definitely done something to those three papers.
"Milord is wise!" the two said with heartfelt sincerity.
Duwu Sili merely smiled and looked in the direction that Dalun Ruozan had left, his eyes shining with wisdom. They had Zhang Liang's schemes, but he had siege ladders. Dalun Ruozan would have never expected that even though Duwu Sili had not touched a single word of the first two papers, even handing over the third paper to the Tibetans without hiding anything, Duwu Sili had other tricks up his sleeve.
The moment he had handed over the papers, he had used his Stellar Energy to muddle a few of the crucial words on one of the papers.
Although it was just a few words, without these crucial words, the entire meaning expressed through the text would change.
Duwu Sili had not been so pleasant and easy to work with for no reason.
"Dalun Ruozan, I've given it to you already. Don't come looking for me if something goes wrong!"
Duwu Sili gave a sinister chuckle and then led his army back to his camp.
Although Duwu Sili had very carefully planned things out, he would have never imagined how the situation was actually developing.
Ten-some li away…
"Great Minister, with these papers regarding the formation phenomena, no matter what happens, we at least have something to give to the Tsenpo!"
After leaving the Western Turkic camp with the three papers containing the ultimate secret of formations, Huoshu Huicang very solemnly passed them to Dalun Ruozan. At this moment, he felt like a great weight had been lifted off his heart. Dalun Ruozan had left the royal capital's prison with tens of thousands of soldiers and all of the Mutri Great Cavalry without receiving a single word of permission from the Tsenpo.
Dalun Ruozan was already a criminal for his defeat in the southwest. His mobilization of soldiers for personal reasons was piling crime upon crime. But with these legendary formation phenomena in hand, everything was different.
Huoshu Huicang and Dusong Mangpoje had done their utmost to appear apathetic in front of Duwu Sili, appearing to care little for this secret, but that was merely because they were extremely skilled at restraining themselves. They naturally understood the weight and meaning of the secret to formation phenomena.
This was a power that could boost the strength of the entire Ü-Tsang Empire!
To their surprise, the Dalun Ruozan that had appeared so serious and determined in front of Duwu Sili didn't even look at the papers Huoshu Huicang had given him before throwing them to one of his deputies.
This was the attitude one would take for irrelevant pieces of scrap paper.
"Don't dream too much. Huoshu, Dusong, the contents of these two papers are simply not as important as the two of you think!"
Dalun Ruozan spoke lightly and carelessly, but his words left the two Tibetan Great Generals slack-jawed and wide-eyed.
Both of them were dumbstruck.
"Great Minister, you mean that this formation phenomena secret that Wang Chong gave was fake?"
Huoshu Huicang was flabbergasted.
Dalun Ruozan waved his sleeve as he firmly concluded, "It was always fake! How could it possibly be true!"
"But didn't we see the results from practicing the method on the paper? Just sixty Celestial Wolf Cavalry were able to produce formation phenomena after only a little practice. No formation could do such a thing. If it wasn't formation phenomena, it could have never had this kind of power!" Dusong Mangpoje objected.
Although he had also wondered if those three papers could be fake, he would never have been like Dalun Ruozan, concluding that they were fake without even looking at them.
"Correct! All of us were witness to it," Huoshu Huicang agreed.
Huoshu Huicang had initially been rather happy to get those three papers from Duwu Sili, but his excitement was all gone now.
"Moreover, if all of them are fake, then didn't Duwu Sili also get the fakes?"
Duwu Sili enjoyed playing the pig to eat tigers. He enjoyed acting weak and clumsy, but this was only an act, not the truth. It was difficult to believe that Wang Chong could make a fool of three Great Generals with so little time to work with. And it was clear from Duwu Sili's reaction that he regarded those papers as real.
But Dalun Ruozan was never one to lie. If he concluded that the formation phenomena were fake, there was an eighty to ninety percent certainty that they really were fake.
Dalun Ruozan only smiled.
"Duwu Sili doesn't understand him very much, so it's normal for him to be deceived by his tricks. But, haha, I understand him far too well. This isn't our first match. Given his personality, he would never give the secret of formation phenomena to anyone. This was all just wishful thinking on Duwu Sili's part."
"But the phenomena…"
Dusong Mangpoje still found it very difficult to believe that the contents of all three papers were fake.
"This is the clever part of his plan. If my guess is correct, the simplified version of formation phenomena he gave, everything on that first sheet of paper, was the real thing. He joined the real with the false! Truly an excellent plan!"
In this transaction, Dalun Ruozan had been sitting on the sidelines, coldly and objectively studying the process. In truth, he was rather curious to see just how Wang Chong would deceive Duwu Sili. But Wang Chong's daring had won even Dalun Ruozan's admiration.
"But since Great Minister knew, why didn't you warn him? After all, we are currently allies," Huoshu Huicang said with a slight frown.
"It's not like I didn't want to, but it would have fallen on deaf ears."
Dalun Ruozan shook his head.
"Duwu Sili wants the formation phenomena too much. If we tried to warn him at a time like that, he would just think that we had ulterior motives. Besides, we have no evidence, so why would Duwu Sili believe us?"
Huoshu Huicang and Dusong Mangpoje were both dazed by Dalun Ruozan's words, both of these Great Generals momentarily speechless. In the end, Ü-Tsang and the Western Turks were merely impromptu allies. Their friendship wasn't very deep, so why would Duwu Sili give up on this deal simply because of a baseless warning from the Tibetans?
"Let's go. We'll talk about it more once we return to camp."
With these words, Dalun Ruozan quickly led his men away.
"Wang Chong, why did you stop me from chasing down Duwu Sili?"
At the same time, Gao Xianzhi, Cheng Qianli, Wang Yan, Banahan, and all the generals of the Tang army had gathered in the Lord of Talas's reception hall. Before they even had time to settle down, Gao Xianzhi had voiced his question.
"That's right. Lord Marquis, Duwu Sili is our enemy. With the formation phenomena, he will be even more difficult to deal with."
Xi Yuanqing, Banahan, and the other generals all voiced their agreement. In this deal, there was no question that Duwu Sili had been the big winner. More importantly, the spread of formation phenomena might result in even more terrifying foes.
"Haha, Lord Protector-General, be at ease. This matter is definitely not so simple. With just those three papers, Duwu Sili will never be able to gain the secret of formation phenomena."
Wang Chong gave an assured and confident smile.
The chattering in the hall instantly died down. Wang Chong's words had at first astonished them, and then they all felt relieved.
"So you mean… Duwu Sili only got a fake?" Gao Xianzhi said.
His greatest concern for this deal was that Wang Chong would really give Duwu Sili the secret to formation phenomena, strengthening the Western Turkic Khaganate. But based on what Wang Chong had said just now, he had been overthinking things. The three papers that Wang Chong had given to Duwu Sili were probably all fake.
"Hah, how could that be? Dalun Ruozan was present at this deal, and he's no easy person to fool. Besides, Duwu Sili himself is also rather difficult to deceive."
Wang Chong faintly smiled. He sat across from Gao Xianzhi, a long table between them. At this moment, he extended a finger and lightly rapped on the table.