Chapter 370: Tibetan Scouts!
This was the first time Wang Chong had seen Zhao Yatong make a move. With a swing of her spear, crimson clouds reminiscent of flames shot forth, reaching out to a distance of seven zhang.
With a swift sweep of the crimson cloud, the man's head was already rolling in the air. Everything happened at an inconceivable pace.
That man was an expert himself, capable of avoiding being struck in his vitals even under the abrupt assault of the Eight Steps of the Furious Flood Dragon from Wang Chong. Yet, he wasn't able to dodge Zhao Yatong's spear at all.
Under that crimson spear, the thick layer of Stellar Energy shrouding him was decisively torn through in an instant.
Swift!, Wang Chong exclaimed inside.
It wasn't that the figure's reaction speed was lacking, but Zhao Yatong's spear was simply too fast. Even Wang Chong couldn't confidently say that he could stand against the spear given his current strength.
"The Zhao Clan's spearmanship is indeed incredible!" This was the first time Wang Chong had witnessed the true might of the Zhao Clan's Spear of Crimson Blaze.
When Bai Siling had said earlier that Zhao Yatong had a technique which allowed her to draw out strength beyond her current cultivation realm, Wang Chong had chuckled it off. However, it seemed that was no lie at the moment.
When the head finally landed on the ground, it was as if a massive boulder had fallen into a calm lake. The crowd around the resting point finally woke up at this point.
"What is going on?"
"Why are they killing our own men?!"
"Are those fellows insane?"
"Capture them! Let's have them placed on a military trial!"
"Bastards, does the law mean nothing to them?"...
A huge commotion broke out amidst the crowd. Nearly every single soldier in the area flew into a rage. Before all of their eyes, these men actually murdered a cavalryman of their own! That was deranged!
The crowd slowly closed in on the area while some ran straight into the resting point to report the matter.
Staring at the corpse and fresh blood on the ground, they froze in shock.
Murder among fellow soldiers was a severe crime that warranted capital punishment!
With this turn of affairs, Zhao Yatong's complexion didn't look too good. Nevertheless, she still maintained her calm as she turned to Wang Chong with a questioning gaze.
It was under Wang Chong's prompt that she had made a move, but even at this point, she still wasn't too sure what was going on. Even so, she did reserve some trust for him.
Despite the furious bellows in the area, Zhao Yatong believed that there was a good reason behind Wang Chong's actions.
"Protect Wang gongzi!" Seeing that the circumstance was against them, Xu Gan, Bai Siling, and the others reacted immediately and rushed over to Wang Chong's side.
They, too, had no idea what had just happened, and they couldn't comprehend why Wang Chong would suddenly make a move on their own men. However, they had already established a circle of common interests with him, so their first reaction was to protect him.
After all, while the others might be oblivious to it, Wang Chong was the grandson of Duke Jiu, as well as the potential successor of the Wang Clan. Even among the scions in the capital, he was one of the most respected figures.
"Wang Chong, you are insane!" Bai Siling rode her horse over as she exclaimed anxiously. Her eyes had reddened in panic.
She wasn't afraid of trouble, but she was worried for Wang Chong.
She couldn't understand why Wang Chong would make such an irrational move, killing one of their own men.
"There's no need to panic!" Seeing Bai Siling's worried state, Wang Chong couldn't help but feel touched, yet find the situation hilarious at the same time. Did this silly lass think that he had lost his mind?
"Before you panic, take a good look at whom that fellow is first!" Wang Chong spoke confidently as he galloped over to the fallen head of the figure. With a slight flick of his right forefinger, a sword qi shot out and accurately struck the helmet of the cavalryman.
The helmet split apart, and the face which was originally facing the ground rolled a few rounds under Wang Chong's flick, revealing a coarse scarlet face marked with savagery.
In just the blink of an eye, a wave of silence swiftly diffused through the inner circle surrounding the decapitated head to the rest of the resting point.
Even Zhao Yatong, who had beheaded the figure herself was startled by the turn of events, let alone the others!
No one could have imagined that the Great Tang cavalryman who was just murdered would actually be a Tibetan! But looking at the distinctive scarlet skin tone, there was no doubt about it.
Zhao Yatong didn't expect the man who Wang Chong had her kill would turn out to be a Tibetan!
"What's going on?"
Taken by surprise as well, Bai Siling rode her steed over and leaped down right beside the bottom half of the figure's decapitated body. Kicking on it lightly with her right foot, the armor wrapped around the body came apart.
Beneath the Great Tang armor was a coarse merlot shirt typically worn by Tibetan cavalrymen.
Everything couldn't be any clearer than it was.
This figure was clearly a Tibetan scout disguised as one of their own, dressed in the armor, steed, and helmet of Great Tang cavalrymen.
To think that a Tibetan soldier would strut into the vicinity of their gathering point so openly!
Had it not been for Wang Chong, he might have already been in the gathering point by now, and no one actually noticed it!
In that instant, Bai Siling turned her head around to stare at Wang Chong with astonishment in her eyes. Even though she was already accustomed to Wang Chong's extraordinary means, she still couldn't help but find the situation before her incredulous.
It clearly wasn't the first time the Tibetan had done this. Dressed in the wear of a typical Great Tang soldier, he donned on his helmet and feigned injury, which gave him a reason to lower his head, thus allowing him to conceal his identity.
With this disguise, he managed to infiltrate the camp without incurring anyone's notice, until he met Wang Chong.
Bai Siling never could have imagined how Wang Chong could have discovered that. From his position, it should have been impossible for him to see the Tibetan soldier's face.
On the other hand, Zhao Yatong was even more surprised by Bai Siling. That was because she was the one who killed the Tibetan soldier!
She never thought that the reason why Wang Chong stopped her was to kill a Tibetan scout.
"What happened?" A forceful voice sounded out suddenly. Following which, heavy footsteps accompanied with a powerful aura emerged in the crowd's senses.
A few powerfully-built guards along with an authoritative figure walked up from the resting point. That authoritative figure glanced at the surroundings with a sharp gaze, and the atmosphere in the surroundings abruptly changed.
The cavalrymen and recruits couldn't help but lower their heads in fear.
At the same time, Wang Chong hid his aura, lowered his head, and headed to Xu Gan and Huang Yongtu's side.
"Is there not a single person here who knows what has happened?" The Big Dipper Army commandant's voice was hiked up several notches, and there were hints that he was on the verge of flying into a rage.
Zhao Yatong took a glance at Wang Chong before galloping forward.
"Reporting to lord, I found a Tibetan cavalryman disguised as one of our own sneaking around our camp. Thus, I had him killed!" Zhao Yatong reported loudly before the Big Dipper Army commandant.
"A Tibetan scout?" The Big Dipper Army commandant's face warped in astonishment. His gaze swiftly swept across the area before heading toward the corpse of the Tibetan scout.
At this moment, Wang Chong backed into the crowd and inconspicuously blended into the outer perimeter.
With Zhao Yatong to deal with the Big Dipper Army commandant, there should be no problem here.
"How did you notice him?" Just as Wang Chong was tearing himself away from the crowd, Bai Siling rushed up to him. By her side were Fang Xuanying and the others, who were staring intently at him in admiration as well.
The truth was that they still didn't know Wang Chong well, and the only reason why they chose to agree to Wang Chong's deployment was due to Duke Jiu's prestige, as well as Bai Siling and Zhao Yatong speaking up on his behalf.
However, the slaughter of the Tibetan cavalryman had truly shocked them this time around.
"This is inconceivable! Gongzi, how were you able to identify him?" the others asked curiously as well.
They had been prowling around the camp for an entire day now, but they weren't able to find the slightest trace of a Tibetan soldier at all. However, with just a casual glance, Wang Chong was able to recognize a Tibetan soldier. To them, this was an unbelievable feat.
"It's actually nothing much," Wang Chong said nonchalantly.
"There is no doubt that the Tibetans would send in scouts to check in on the situation. It doesn't make sense for all of you to be unable to find any trace of them after so long. Considering how we were unable to find them through conventional means, and yet they were still able to obtain intelligence from our side without any problem, this could only mean one thing. They were resorting to other means to gather intelligence.
"And naturally, the easiest way is to..."
"... infiltrate our camp as one of our own!" The one who completed the sentence was one of the recruits.
"That's right!" Wang Chong glanced at the recruit. He had a vague impression of the latter. Based on Zhao Yatong's words, that person seemed to go by the name of Sun Bailu, and he was an heir of the capital's Sun Clan. Unlike Zhao Yatong and the others, he was a recruit from Shenwei Training Camp.
"In the first few battles, you have lost too many men and steeds. Considering how the steeds and armor are readily available, there's little doubt that we would do the same if put into their position. That's the simplest method after all," Wang Chong continued as wisdom gleamed in his eyes.
"Scouts are elites trained to conduct such missions. As long as they don our gear and proceed carefully so as to not attract any suspicion, it would be difficult to notice them. I was just about to remind Zhao Yatong of that matter when I saw that person."
"But considering how you couldn't see his face, how could you accurately determine that he was a Tibetan among the other soldiers here? If your deduction turned out to be wrong, wouldn't you have ended up killing one of our own instead?" Xu Gan said with a frown.
He did have similar guesses as well, but there was just one thing he couldn't understand.
Wang Chong might have guessed that the Tibetan scouts were disguised as one of their own, but finding a few specific people among all of the cavalrymen was no easy feat.
Furthermore, Wang Chong had struck abruptly, killing that Tibetan scout with Zhao Yatong even before getting a chance to verify his identity. If he had made an error in his judgement, the consequences would have been severe.