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“Yes, Your Highness!”
Old Eagle’s voice came from outside the carriage. Although he didn’t know what had happened, Old Eagle instinctively followed Wang Chong’s orders. No matter the occasion, Wang Chong’s orders would never be wrong. This had been proved countless times.
“Wang Chong, did something happen in the northwest?”
A gentle voice came from next to him. Xu Qiqin examined Wang Chong’s profile. She had known Wang Chong for a long time, but she had never seen him so grave.
Wang Chong said nothing, only gave a slight nod, his mind recalling Li Junxian’s parting remarks.
Su Hanshan! Li Siye!
A thought flashed through his mind. Wang Chong’s mind turned to his two subordinates in the northwest. He had been so busy handling matters in the capital that he had forgotten about the situation at the border. Wang Chong had not been the one most angered by the stripping of his military authority and the wholesale suppression of the military. Rather, it was the Qixi Protectorate army that had withdrawn from the northwest and the subordinates Wang Chong had left there.
The Confucians were now supervising the army and had even become commanders. This was simply unprecedented. Wang Chong didn’t need to think too much to understand that there were many people in the army disgruntled about this. Once they began to conflict with the Confucians in the army, the Confucians would definitely use them. And from the resolve Li Junxian had displayed, he would not be merciful.
Rumble! The carriage quickly departed.
Flapflap! A few moments later, a hawk shot into the air, carrying a letter to the northwest. As Wang Chong watched the hawk leave through the window, he softly exhaled. At least with this letter, the conflicts in the army would not get too out of hand.
As long as Su Hanshan and Li Siye were not too rash, they would leave nothing that their opponents could exploit.
“Your Highness…” After some time, Old Eagle’s hesitant voice came from outside.
Wang Chong closed his eyes and said, “Speak.”
“…Since we’ve already found our foe, why didn’t Your Highness deal with him there? At least, we should have captured him to minimize the damage to the Great Tang!” Old Eagle said.
When Wang Chong had entered Drunken Moon Pavilion, Old Eagle had remained outside while the members of his intelligence corps surrounded the place, observing the place so tightly that they would know if even a fly came out. Old Eagle had originally believed that after they had finally found the true danger behind the curtain after such herculean efforts, Wang Chong would definitely make his move and capture him so as to completely resolve the danger.
But after they waited outside for so long, other than a slight shaking of the restaurant at the beginning, the place had been calm, with nothing happening.
“Old Eagle, I understand what you’re thinking, but now is not the time!” Wang Chong calmly said, his eyes remaining shut. “And killing him wouldn’t solve the problem at all!”
Old Eagle and the others had no idea that they were not dealing with one person, but a faction of unprecedented power. A young man of twenty-six or twenty-seven would be incapable of controlling the Grand Preceptor, King Qi, the Prime Minister, and the First Prince through his own powers. An even greater power was hidden behind him.
Li Junxian was only the leader that they had chosen. Killing him would solve nothing, as that faction would simply choose a new leader.
Moreover, the people in that restaurant had not represented a martial sect, but a kind of spirit and ideal that had been passed down for one thousand years. They had suppressed the military and called him back from Khorasan not through martial arts, but through thought, spirit, and schemes.
And in this level of contention, martial arts were not very useful. Flesh could be tortured and destroyed, but spirits and ideals were not so easily extinguished. Moreover, even if he killed Li Junxian, the other party could still meddle in the Imperial Court, continue to suppress the Bureau of Military Personnel and the military. This was one reason Wang Chong had not done anything.
Another was that he had only managed with great difficulty to find their leader and discover some clues on his adversary. If he killed Li Junxian, the other side would just pick a new leader while Wang Chong would lose any further opportunity to find them and understand them. When this faction retreated back into the shadows, he would find it nigh impossible to seize them again.
Besides that, Old Eagle and the others had disregarded the most important thing: Li Junxian’s martial arts!
Wang Chong suddenly thought back to the clash of wine cups he had with Li Junxian in the restaurant.
At present, Wang Chong’s cultivation was an extreme rarity in this world, infinitesimally close to reaching the Subtle realm. If he had not seen it for himself, he would have never imagined that there was someone in this world of the same generation whose cultivation was on par with his.
That white-robed youth in the restaurant had possessed an unfathomable strength, far above the Great General level. And in terms of Psychic Energy, he was even stronger than Masil!
Wang Chong had been able to attain his level of cultivation at the age of eighteen entirely because he had two lives’ worth of experience and because he had the miraculous art that was the Great Yinyang Heaven Creation Art, allowing him to absorb the energy of powerful foes. But this adversary was only twenty-six or twenty-seven, yet his cultivation was so formidable that he could sit on the same level as Wang Chong. This was not something that could be achieved merely through diligent effort.
Behind his adversary was an unimaginably powerful faction!
The Confucian Sect!
This thought floated to the surface of Wang Chong’s mind. Wang Chong had observed that many of the Confucians in Drunken Moon Pavilion had a mysterious black symbol on their wrists, the same symbol on the wrists of the three Confucian experts at Khorasan who had received his military authority. At the start, Wang Chong had vaguely sensed that he had seen this symbol before, but he couldn’t remember where.
But now, Wang Chong finally remembered. He had never seen that symbol in this life, but he had in his last. In the apocalyptic era, when the remaining experts of humanity had gathered together, there was a group of Confucian experts with this symbol on their wrists. They had run around loudly proclaiming their theories, making them extremely unique in that era.
Later on, when the otherworldly invaders attacked his base, those people had disappeared along with some other experts of that era.
Wang Chong had never particularly paid them much attention or tried to understand them. He only knew that these people called themselves the ‘Confucian Sect’ and had a black symbol on their wrists that normal Confucians did not possess.
The two symbols were identical.
Now that time had been reversed and he had been reborn, changing the history of the southwest and Talas, pushing the influence of the militarists to its maximum, the rest of history had changed as well. The Confucian Sect which had not appeared in his last life was now stepping onto the stage to vigorously suppress the militarists.
“Go! Let’s get back first!”
Wang Chong quickly regained his composure.
His adversary had been revealed, the schemer brought to light. It was now time to carefully think about his countermeasures.
“Young Master, this is impossible. How does he know about our Confucian Sect!?”
Within Drunken Moon Pavilion, now bereft of Wang Chong, a middle-aged scholar of some thirty years walked up behind Li Junxian and stared in shock at the stairwell.
“Our Confucian Sect has always been secretive, known only to a few core people. Even the Grand Preceptor is not very clear about it, so how does a teenager like him know of its existence!?”
The scholar voiced the question on everyone’s minds. All the words Wang Chong had said before could not compare to his parting words.
This sort of feeling was simply indescribable.
This was a secret that had been kept hidden for very long, believed to even be kept hidden from gods and ghosts, and yet their adversary had easily revealed its existence.
The restaurant was quiet. Li Junxian stood quietly in his white robes, a pensive look in his eyes, his straight and impressive brows creasing. How could he not share the doubts of the middle-aged scholar? The threat Wang Chong posed to them was far greater than they had imagined.
The Confucian Sect had never thought about always remaining behind the curtains. If they wanted to change the world, there would have to be a day where they stepped onto the stage. But Li Junxian had always imagined this day to be very far in the future.
Ever since the Khorasan incident, countless factions had tried to investigate him, but all of them had come away empty-handed. Yet after spending only three or four days in the capital, Wang Chong had been able to force him out, and in less than ten, Wang Chong had succeeded in finding his true self.
And his true identity might have been discovered even earlier than that.
Li Junxian felt like he was confronting an extremely sharp sword, and this sword was aiming at all the lethal points on his body.
An elderly voice came from his left. “Young Master, this King of Foreign Lands poses too much of a threat to us, and he will never be willing to cooperate with us. It’s only a matter of time until he becomes a stumbling block and begins to severely affect our plans. If we had struck just now, we would have had an extremely high chance of killing him. Why did Young Master not permit us to strike?” This was an elderly Confucian of fifty-some years. His expression was rigid and inflexible, and his eyes flashed with a dangerous light.
The impression this Confucian elder had given before was of someone who would be blown over by a gust of wind, but now that Wang Chong was gone, this elder finally revealed a part of his cultivation. In a flash, a boundless torrent of energy surged out of his body, not one bit inferior to Wang Chong or Li Junxian.
“Elder Song, you are correct. This young scion of the Wang Clan will be our greatest hindrance in the Imperial Court, but now is not the time to move against him. The three major campaigns of Talas, Khorasan, and the southwest have pushed his reputation to its maximum level. You saw it when he returned to the capital. Not just in the Imperial Court, but even amongst the people, he possesses immense prestige. If we try to kill him now, we will only win the revulsion of the people, which will only ruin all our plans,” Li Junxian calmly said.
His eyes were sharp and profound, seeming to gaze far into the future.
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