Chapter 458: Fermentation!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
As Wang Chong's forces retreated, this Wang Clan operation that had alarmed countless great clans in the capital also came to a close. But the effects of this incident were only just beginning.
"Why didn't you kill him?"
As the rain slapped down, a furious Hu voice broke the stillness. In the dark night, the advancing line of soldiers suddenly came to a complete halt.
All was quiet in the gloom, all noises vanishing away. Even the sound of the rain seemed to fade into the background. A wave of unease began to spread. As if anticipating something, everyone became too afraid to speak, their hearts filled with fear.
"What did you say?"
After what seemed like a second, but also like countless years, the soldiers finally heard that familiar, bone-chilling voice.
"Why didn't you kill that brat?"
An Yaluoshan seemed unaware. His eyes were red and fixed on that figure standing at the front, his entire body trembling.
"Yaluoshan, you've gone crazy. How could you speak to Commander this way?"
"Quickly shut your mouth! And then apologize to Commander!"
Cui Qianyou and Tian Qianzhen paled as they hurriedly spoke up. The other Youzhou soldiers were also stunned. No one dared to speak to their commander this way!
In Youzhou, anyone audacious enough to defy the commander was already six feet under. That An Yaluoshan suddenly dared to say such a thing to the commander meant that he had gone crazy.
Before the soldiers could react, a powerful palm slapped against An Yaluoshan's face.
An Yaluoshan's entire body went flying with this slap. Spinning in the air, he flew like a kite into the walls of the street seven or eight zhang away.
This hardy moss-covered wall shattered into pieces at the impact, launching debris everywhere.
An Yaluoshan's body dropped down to the ground. As he sat up, he vomited blood, and his entire face was as white as a sheet of paper.
His fellow soldiers all lowered their heads, fear silencing their voices, even preventing them from breathing too loudly.
An Yaluoshan had acted too impudently.
No one was surprised at the consequences.
Zhang Shougui put his hands behind him and coldly said, "You're sure that you were speaking to me?" His face was emotionless, but his body exuded a dangerous aura that could be felt at the very bottom of the soul.
The Youzhou soldiers were far too familiar with this aura.
Every time this aura appeared on their commander's body, a few more corpses would find their way under the ground of the Andong Protectorate headquarters.
"Don't forget your status! You and Ashina Sugan are just two insignificant officers! Officers like you can be found all over the plains. I can promote you, let you live, but I can also destroy you and let you die! Think carefully and then speak to me."
All was quiet. Even Cui Qianyou and Tian Qianzhen had their heads lowered, not daring to breathe too loudly or even glance up.
'The capital is far away and Commander is very close.' In the land of Youzhou, the commander's orders were far more effective than the Sage Emperor's. In that place, he possessed absolute authority.
"Yes, Yaluoshan was wrong! I request Commander's forgiveness!"
After a long time, the soldiers finally heard An Yaluoshan's voice ringing through the rain.
He had lowered his head, draping his hair over his face.
Cui Qianyou and the others gave a long sigh of relief. They had truly been afraid that his impulses would bring him into conflict with their commander. Fortunately, An Yaluoshan had finally come to his senses.
"Hmph, I'll treat this incident as a momentary confusion and forgive you. But next time… you know what the result will be!" Zhang Shougui coldly said.
With these words, he turned and strode away.
The soldiers followed behind, not daring to be slow.
The wind blew and the rain slapped against faces. No one could see that as Zhang Shougui was leaving and An Yaluoshan slowly raised his head, his hair draped down, his eyes were not the meekness and fear everyone would have expected. They were a bloody red, dripping with resentment.
"One day, I'll make you pay the price!"
This voice echoed through his heart, and then An Yaluoshan swayed, stood up, and began walking forward.
Putting aside Zhang Shougui and the Youzhou soldiers, once the battle in the courtyard concluded, the news seemed to grow wings and fly to every corner of the capital, into the hands of the leaders of the various great clans.
The sky was dark, but not because of any thick clouds. It was already night. Yet quite a few people in the capital did not feel the slightest bit drowsy.
Ever since Wang Chong had issued his order, countless great clans had been keeping watch on him.
"Just what is that fellow doing?"
Yao Guangyi read a letter under the light of a lantern, his brow creasing.
He and Wang Chong had exchanged blows in both the light and the shadows. Although he didn't want to, Yao Guangyi had to admit that this youngest son of the Wang Clan was gradually becoming a serious problem for him.
But even someone as intelligent as Yao Guangyi could not understand why this Wang Clan brat had done such a thing.
Several hours had passed since he had received the news, but even after all this time, Yao Guangyi had still not been able to understand Wang Chong's actions.
In the past, Yao Guangyi had at least been able to see through Wang Chong's intentions and pin down his goal.
But this time, he truly was perplexed.
Had he really gathered so many forces to kill an insignificant and negligible Turkic Hu? How could that be possible?
Yao Guangyi didn't even remember his name.
If the Wang Clan thought he would believe that, then it was insulting his intelligence.
"That shouldn't be!"
Yao Guangyi's brows leapt up as vexation plagued his mind. This inability to understand his opponent was an excruciating feeling for him.
And there was also a deep sense of defeat.
"Father, Wang Chong's abilities are still far from reaching that level! Could this really be the doing of the figure standing at the upper echelons of the Wang Clan? But isn't this method too straightforward, too childish? Your son has thought about this over and over and still finds it unreasonable. I ask Father for instruction."
Yao Guangyi took in a deep breath and then suddenly turned his head. Looking toward his father quietly seated in the room, he gave a deep bow.
His father normally resided in the Four Quarters Embassy, and he had issued an order that it was forbidden to seek him out in the Four Quarters Embassy unless the Yao Clan had a very important matter to discuss.
And as his father aged, he appeared less and less. Yao Guangyi, using their relationship as father and son, had been able to get a few meetings, but the other members of the Yao Clan…
In the past, they were able to meet three or four times a year, but in the last few years, even one meeting was a rarity. Even for Yao Guangyi, the Yao Old Master had clearly indicated that he should visit the Four Quarters Embassy less in the future.
Authority was something that became less effective the more it was used, and being used less made it all the more revered.
More mysterious things inspired more respect.
Yao Guangyi was well aware that this was the Old Master's guiding rule in life. However, this incident was very unique, so he had still come.
The room was quiet.
The Yao Old Master's hands rested on a five-foot-tall rattan cane, but his body was hidden in the shadows. The shadows cast by the flickering candle light shrouded his entire face, obscuring his true appearance.
But the flickering candle light also seemed to twinkle on the cloth robe he was wearing.
After some time, the Yao Old Master finally spoke, his voice steeped with some mysterious flavor. "Wang Bowu is not this sort of person."
(TN: 'Bowu' is Wang Jiuling's courtesy name.)
The person who understood one the most was always one's enemy.
Although he had struggled against Wang Jiuling for several decades, Yao Chong had to admit that his neighbor was truly one who united action and knowledge, the inside and outside.
Other people might be modest, humble, frugal, and restrained to build a reputation, but Wang Jiuling really was this sort of person.
If not for his inflexible personality, then with Wang Jiuling's achievements in assisting the current Emperor, his status as Prime Minister, and his role in opening the Great Tang's golden age, the Wang Clan would have been rolling in wealth and honor. How could his Yao Clan have been able to suppress it?
The Wang Clan and Wang Jiuling had placed these constraints on themselves.
But even so, this reputation had led Wang Jiuling to be loved and admired by the world. Yao Chong wouldn't be able to learn to do this even if he wanted to.
"I understand what you want to say. However, even if the Wang Clan wants to avoid suspicion by dirtying its name itself, it wouldn't use these methods. At the very least, Wang Bowu would not use them."
The Yao Old Master gripped his cane and closed his eyes, seemingly deep in thought.
"Although I don't know what's going on, there's probably an eighty or ninety percent chance that the child really was behind this incident and that it has nothing to do with Wang Bowu."
A tinge of doubt could be heard in his voice.
There truly weren't many matters that the Yao Old Master couldn't understand, but today's incident had left both him and Yao Guangyi puzzled.
Although he couldn't understand the crux of incident, he could still conclude that it was completely Wang Chong's idea. But he did not understand why Wang Chong had done it.
That Hu was just a Hu. There was nothing special about him. Wang Chong had probably never met him before. But then why did Wang Chong act so crazily?
He didn't even mind offending Zhang Shougui!
The Yao Old Master closed his eyes and fell into deep thought.
"For the moment, our Yao Clan will not involve itself in this matter. We should first observe before making a decision on how to respond," the Yao Old Master finally said.
A hint of astonishment flashed through Yao Guangyi's eyes, but he quickly lowered his head and respectfully agreed.
"But Father, this is such an excellent chance. Are we really not taking the opportunity to beat them down?"
"Hmph, what you want to do is your own matter. However, don't use your authority in the Bureau of Military Personnel. If you really want to do something, you have to inform the Court of Judicial Review."
"Yes!" Yao Guangyi elatedly said.
The Yao Old Master seemed to think of something and added, "Investigate that Hu. In the future, he might be useful…"
Though shocked, Yao Guangyi quickly replied in the affirmative.