Chapter 431: The Final Attempt!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"Hahaha, you think I want to rebel?"
Wang Chong finally couldn't help but laugh at Li Siye.
"Is that not so?" Li Siye sternly asked. There was no sense that he was joking on his serious countenance. When he was just starting out, he had known nothing about the capital. He hadn't even known who Wang Chong was.
He had just believed that some hoodlum in the capital, the young master of some noble clan, wanted to transfer him to their side to make him their servant and order him around.
But even if Li Siye was unfamiliar with the capital, his several months there was enough time for him to get a grasp of the critical facts.
The Wang Clan that Wang Chong had come from was one of the most powerful in the Great Tang!
The Hyderabad ore that Wang Chong had bought from Sindhu was priceless, and the Wootz Steel weapons the ore was forged into could cut through metal and were incredibly tough. In the capital, the cheapest Wootz Steel weapon cost seventy to eighty thousand taels of gold, a sum that Li Siye could never achieve.
But this was not the crucial point. What was truly important was the sharpness of those weapons!
When dealing with the Dragon Bandits, Li Siye got to experience the frightening aspects of a Wootz Steel weapon for the first time. That he had been able to take on the thousands of Dragon Bandits alone was in part because of his strength, but Li Siye was well aware that another important reason was the Wootz Steel weapon that Wang Chong had forged for him.
Not a single one of the Dragon Bandits had been able to last a single round against him. This magical Wootz Steel weapon had cut through man and horse like they were paper.
Even the boss of the Dragon Bandits, Black Dragon Zhao, had ultimately failed to block his slash!
And now, Wang Chong had obtained a thousand jun of Hyderabad ore. Such a massive quantity of ore was enough to equip a small-scale army of one thousand men.
Given the terrifying sharpness of the Wootz Steel weapons, no one understood more than him just what sort of effect this army would have on the battlefield.
And this wasn't even mentioning the Meteoric Metal that Wang Chong had managed to find somewhere, or those martial arts manuals.
Any one of these three items was not something any ordinary clan could get their hands on, but the Wang Clan had gotten all three.
In the capital, this sort of strength could move mountains!
If the Wang Clan had any thoughts of rebellion, this sort of hidden strength in the capital was enough to seize control of the capital and launch a coup d’état.
Li Siye truly did want to go to the Western Regions and make a name for himself, but he also couldn't just sit by as this strength grew more powerful right under his eyes.
Moreover, Wang Chong was already gathering troops. At the very least, this was what the Deflecting Blade Manor was to him.
Seeing Li Siye's serious expression, Wang Chong finally turned serious as well.
Li Siye was no scheming general. He had become famous for his incredible strength and bravery, as well as the charm that came from his sincere devotion to the empire!
Regardless of what the truth was, it was clear that the Li Siye before him had already begun to doubt him.
Wang Chong met Li Siye's gaze and firmly denied, "The Wang Clan will not, nor is there a need for such a plan. Besides, if the Wang Clan really did have such designs, do you think we would let an outsider like you know of such an important matter, let you get so many clues?
"Moreover, the matter of the Hyderabad ore is already no secret in the capital. You know of this matter, the Yao Clan knows, so do you think the Sage Emperor doesn't know? If the Wang Clan truly was being disloyal, do you think the Sage Emperor would have let us continue until now?"
"Whether it's the Hyderabad ore or those meteorites you brought in, these are all top-notch strategic resources. If the Wang Clan isn't disloyal, then why are you buying so many strategic resources? This is already more than an ordinary clan needs for operations and defense!" Li Siye harshly returned. His fierce gaze seemed to look through Wang Chong, straight into his heart and into the depths of his soul.
The room fell into a stifling mood.
Wang Chong was quiet. Li Siye was clearly much smarter than he had imagined. The Hyderabad ore, the Meteoric Metal, Deflecting Blade Manor, the spirit vein… He had done far too much since his reincarnation.
This was not the first time since his rebirth that he heard that someone had caught onto his plans. The deeper one was in his circle, the more they would understand and the more they would sense.
Wang Chong had not hoped that Li Siye would believe everything he said like a fool. Wang Chong was just considering whether he should tell Li Siye or not.
"Li Siye, can you tell me why you have to go to Anxi?" Wang Chong suddenly asked.
Li Siye looked blankly at him. He could clearly tell that the way Wang Chong spoke and the tone in his voice were completely different from just a few moments ago. It was like he had become another person.
It was a very strange feeling.
But he could see the sincerity in Wang Chong's eyes, and this attitude unconsciously began to affect Li Siye.
"Is there a need to say it? A man of character should travel afar and make a name for himself. Is there something I won't be able to achieve by being stationed in Anxi?" Li Siye replied without a thought.
Although he found Wang Chong's attitude rather strange, he had been thinking about this answer for a long time, so there was no need to think about it any further. If anyone asked him, he could plainly and proudly give his response.
A man of character traveling afar and making a name for himself should be taken for granted. It didn't even need to be said.
"Ah! This can't be the true reason. If you want to make a name for yourself, the Beiting Protectorate would be fine as well. Why do you insist on going to Anxi? If you want to fight, isn't the Andong Protectorate also okay?"
Wang Chong shook his head.
"Of course not!" Li Siye immediately interrupted. "If I want to make a name for myself, there's no place better than the Anxi Protectorate. Moreover, the Andong Protectorate can't be compared to Anxi. A man of character should go to the most dangerous of places, as only that way can he prove himself!"
"So you want to go to the Western Regions because it's more dangerous over there?" Wang Chong asked.
"That's basically it!"
Li Siye didn't deny the notion.
"Then did you think about why that place is dangerous?"
This question instantly stupefied Li Siye.
He had only ever thought about going to the most dangerous place, the Anxi Protectorate in the Western Regions, where the most battles were, but he truly hadn't thought of much else.
"If the Great Tang is at peace and the world is at peace, would your presence still be necessary there?" Wang Chong continued to ask.
"What do you want to say?"
"I only want to tell you that in this world, you're far from the only person preparing for this war!" Wang Chong indifferently said.
When his voice faded away, the room was left so quiet that one could hear a pin drop.
Li Siye stared at Wang Chong, an incredulous look on his face, like he was seeing Wang Chong for the first time.
When he first arrived at the capital, Li Siye's impression of Wang Chong had been that of a wealthy and stubborn young master who had been spoiled rotten.
This period of time had already altered Li Siye's impression of Wang Chong, letting him see how Wang Chong was different, how he was astonishing.
Yet at this moment, Wang Chong's words had left Li Siye in a daze. He had apparently far underestimated this youngster.
If he really was what Li Siye imagined, if what he said really was the case, then this youth deserved everyone's respect.
He seemed to have made a grave mistake in his judgment of this boy!
The room was quiet, the pair staring at each other in silence.
"Wang Chong, were your words just now sincere?" Li Siye sternly said.
"With the gods as my witness, I swear on the heavens and earth!" Wang Chong sternly replied.
Li Siye's lips twitched, but he couldn't say a word.
Wang Chong knew that this was his last chance to convince Li Siye. His plans were still missing a powerful individual, and they couldn't rely on just his strength alone.
If he had a Great General like Li Siye assisting him, the effectiveness of his plans would be doubled while the work needed would be halved.
In the future, in those dangerous moments, his strength alone wouldn't be enough, and he would have too many things to do. He needed a powerful figure to stand in for him, to serve as a leader for his forces.
As for himself…
Wang Chong had always been well aware that his greatest advantage had never been his martial arts, but a grasp of the political situation and an understanding of strategy and tactics. And these things did not require a powerful strength.
"No matter what, I have to try!"
Wang Chong looked at Li Siye, a fierce desire taking root in his mind.
"…Li Siye, the Western Regions are more dangerous, and there are battles to be fought there, but this is only what you can see on the surface. The current empire is not the empire of the past, nor are the foreign kingdoms. They've absorbed nutrients from the Great Tang to make themselves stronger.
"The Empire of Goguryeo, the Eastern and Western Turkic Khaganates, the Empire of Ü-Tsang, the Mengshe Zhao, the various kingdoms of the Western Regions, and the Abbasid Caliphate and Charax Spasinu of the far west—these are all threats to the empire. Amongst them, the Western Regions has the various kingdoms, Ü-Tsang, and the Abbasid Caliphate and Charax Spasinu, which we've never interacted with in the past. The situation is complicated, but the Imperial Court doesn't have many troops stationed there, and the supply line is extremely long. This is why there are constant wars in the Western Regions that make it more dangerous than any other region.
"But Li Siye, you have no idea that the greatest threat the empire will face in the future isn't in the Western Regions!"
"Then where is it?" Li Siye's mind was shaken, and he blurted out those words almost inadvertently.
Wang Chong suddenly flicked his finger, sending a sharp Sword Qi flying through the air. The Sword Qi did not cut the scroll hanging from the wall, but it did accurately cut the red cord binding it.
Such fine and subtle control surprised even Li Siye.
The scroll unfurled beneath Li Siye's surprised gaze. A massive topographical map of the Great Tang had unfurled on the wall behind him.
Swoosh! Wang Chong sent out a second bolt of Qi, which accurately struck the southwest corner of the map, where the borders of Ü-Tsang and Mengshe Zhao met.
"…Right here!" Wang Chong calmly said as he slowly drew back his finger.
At this moment, Wang Chong's eyes shone with a sharp light.