Chapter 403: The Hyderabad Ore Is Stolen!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
There was a massive thud as dust plumed up from the peak of Mount Qiongqi. A stone door opened, and a slender and tall figure walked out.
Beneath his feet, a miniature version of the Halo of Earth unfurled, exuding an aura of mountainous weight, making him seem even more powerful.
Without any sign or particular posture, this person standing there seemed like a pillar supporting the heavens, naturally becoming the center of the world. He instantly suppressed the auras of all the bandits and brigands in a radius of several dozen li.
His imposing will seemed to reach to the heavens and swallow seas, shrouding the entire region and weighing down the atmosphere.
"Paying respects to Boss!"
Loud and clear voices resounded through the world. The thousands of bandits and brigands around Mount Qiongqi almost simultaneously dismounted and kneeled on the ground.
These violent and bloodthirsty bandits who regarded life as grass were all lowering their proud heads, showing respectful and docile looks to the man at the summit.
From Longxi to the Western Regions, all the bandits and brigands, no matter where they were, had to acknowledge the rule of this man.
He was the true king of the road to the west, the king of bandits, the king of the desert!
No matter how far a bandit was, they had to send a heavy tribute each year to show their respect.
A resounding and magnetic voice thundered in the ears of the bandits. On the summit, that man's giant sleeve drifted in the air as he slightly extended a hand.
"Thank you, Boss!"
A chorus of voices spoke as the countless bandits and brigands rose.
Starting from Longxi in the East, the Dragon Bandits were known throughout all of the road to the west in the Western Regions, their reputation soaring to the heavens, and there was no one who didn't know the name of Black Dragon Zhao. He was the true king of all bandits.
Black Dragon Zhao had risen to fame a few decades ago, and he had long since gathered a large number of top-notch experts under his banner, even commanding several hundred True Martial Tier 7 and 8 experts. Moreover, he was extremely familiar with the geography of Qixi, and he had made himself a mighty power in the west road.
Right when everyone was standing, a cry shattered the stillness. As the crowd raised their heads, they saw a massive black falcon flying out of the horizon, shooting through the sky like a sharp arrow, pointed straight at Black Dragon Zhao.
For an instant, all was silent.
Black Dragon Zhao's eyes flashed and he immediately stretched out a hand, allowing that sharp-eyed black falcon to land on his arm.
With the wave of his other arm, a fearsome bandit at his side stepped forward and threw a fresh cut of horse meat into the falcon's mouth.
Black Dragon Zhao nodded and untied the letter from the leg of the falcon.
"Hehe, it's finally here."
After reading the contents of the letter, Black Dragon Zhao kneaded it into a ball, his eyes seeming to say that all was as expected. After waiting for so long, he had finally obtained the information he was waiting for.
"Prepare yourselves; we're leaving immediately!"
As Black Dragon Zhao jolted the paper ball in his hands into pieces and threw it away, he issued the order to attack.
In the blink of an eye, the silent crowd of bandits exploded in a cheer that could cause a landslide. The entirety of Mount Qiongqi was rejoicing.
After so long, their boss was finally going to move.
Everyone knew that their boss had never acted on a whim. Something that was worth his personal participation was bound to be a major affair.
Seeing the excited brigands and bandits, Black Dragon Zhao also smiled. As the uncrowned king of the western road, Black Dragon Zhao had long since stopped caring about wealth.
At his level of strength, he only cared about one thing: authority. But he certainly did not want to be some king of bandits.
He wanted true authority!
And now, this letter was offering him just such a chance.
As long as he could complete the matter mentioned in the letter, he could smoothly join King Qi's faction. With King Qi's status and authority, and his own control of the bandits, he could definitely climb to a higher level, one that he had never dared to imagine before.
As for those several dozen great monks from Sindhu, he wasn't worried about them at all.
For a second, Black Dragon Zhao's eyes shone with the vigorous flames of ambition.
It was only for a moment. Black Dragon Zhao waved his hand and all of the Dragon Bandits set off, majestically thundering through the sea of sand and toward the convoy transporting the Hyderabad ore.
"What? The convoy transporting the Hyderabad ore was robbed!"
Several days later, on the spirit vein mountain, Wang Chong exclaimed, his face covered in shock.
He almost didn't believe his ears.
"How is this possible?"
The matter of the Sindhi High Priest sending him a thousand jun of Hyderabad ore had been kept extremely secret. In the entire capital, the number of people besides him who knew of it was extremely small.
Just a few days ago, he had been waiting for the one thousand jun of Hyderabad ore to be smoothly delivered to the capital. He hadn't expected that this shipment would be stolen a few days later.
This abrupt news threw Wang Chong's mind into chaos.
This shipment of ore was extremely important to him and he could not allow a single mishap.
It was not something so simple as wealth!
"Young Master, I've already confirmed this matter. It's beyond doubt!"
Old Eagle also had a glum expression. He currently had a very important mission. While Wang Chong was cultivating in the spirit vein, he had entrusted practically all his affairs to Old Eagle, whether they regarded the Wang Clan, the training camp, or the Hyderabad ore.
All the channels of the Wang Clan were available for him to use.
Several days ago, when Arloja and Ablonodan's letter arrived, Old Eagle almost immediately took action. He not only sent people to receive them, but also sent out his fastest falcons to the Western Regions to keep a close watch.
"Who did this?"
Wang Chong's right hand clenched into a fist and he took a deep breath. The robbery had already happened, so the priority now was to take the ore back.
"It was the Dragon Bandits of Qixi!" Old Eagle declared, his answer surprisingly straightforward. Even Wang Chong was surprised. He had originally believed that this matter would be very difficult to investigate.
"These fellows never even think about hiding their tracks, swaggering around as they plunder. They even leave the symbol of their bandit group behind once they're done."
"What's the origin of these Dragon Bandits?" Wang Chong asked.
In his last life, he simply didn't pay attention to such things, so he had never heard about any Dragon Bandits of Qixi.
Old Eagle spoke without hesitation, immediately informing Wang Chong of everything he knew. As a former official of the Bureau of Punishments, he knew much more than Wang Chong in this field.
Wang Chong instantly fell silent.
A king of bandits who ruled from Longxi to Qixi and on to the Western Regions… this truly had surpassed Wang Chong's expectations.
"…However, even now, we can't find out why the Dragon Bandits did this. The Dragon Bandits had never robbed ore before. Normally, only gold and treasure can attract their attention. Of course, we can't deny that they might know the value of Wootz Steel and so robbed this shipment of Hyderabad ore to extort and blackmail us," Old Eagle conjectured.
"No! They're definitely not thinking about extorting or blackmailing us!"
A pensive look on his face, Wang Chong immediately rejected the notion with a wave of his hand.
"Oh? How can Young Master be so sure?"
Old Eagle was somewhat surprised.
"A tiger won't steal food from stray dogs and a lion won't associate with hyenas. Other brigands might engage in blackmail and extortion, but never a bandit like Black Dragon Zhao. He must have a deeper meaning in this action."
These words caused Old Eagle to widen his eyes as an ill omen emerged in his heart.
"Young Master, you aren't saying that…"
"Correct! This matter definitely involves the Yao Clan and King Qi!" Wang Chong firmly declared.
"But the time is too short. Their reaction couldn't be this fast, could it?"
Old Eagle didn't dare believe it.
Although he had also suspected the Yao Clan and King Qi, their relationship with the Wang Clan being as hostile as it was, Old Eagle still did not think that their reaction would be so fast.
"Hmph, there's always an evildoer behind the abnormal. As you said, the Dragon Bandits treat plundering as second nature, but their boss Black Dragon Zhao rarely takes part himself. Moreover, he has so many bandits paying him tribute each year. Why does he want to steal our Hyderabad ore? When did bandits begin to forge swords? If no one was commanding him, he would never do such a thing!"
Wang Chong said with a grim smile, "If we want to know if this was the work of the Yao Clan and King Qi, I have a very simple method. Old Eagle, send someone to see what the Yao Clan and the King Qi Residence have been up to these last few days. If the Yao Clan and the King Qi Residence have been just as busy as usual, then it's probably not them. But if they're unusually quiet, then there's no need to ask. It was definitely them."
Old Eagle moved quickly. A black falcon flew out.
An hour later, someone in the capital completed Wang Chong's test.
Wang Chong smashed his fist down, pulverizing a stone.
"It really was them!"
Wang Chong's complexion was ashen.
Old Eagle's complexion was not doing much better.
Wang Chong's conjecture had been correct. The ever-busy and overbearing Yao Residence and King Qi Residence had been abnormally calm these last few days. Something strange was clearly going on.
"Young Master, what should we do next?" Old Eagle asked.
Whether the Yao Clan and King Qi had done this was not important right now. What was important was taking back the Hyderabad ore.
A thousand jun of Hyderabad ore was no small amount. Even though Old Eagle didn't much understand Wootz Steel swords, he still knew that the value of this ore was an astronomical sum.
Even the great clans of the capital could not fathom such a number.
With one order, the Yao Clan and King Qi had dealt Wang Chong a heavy blow! This time, they had struck Wang Chong's weak spot.
Wang Chong said nothing, his complexion still dark.
He had never once been in such a situation.
Based on the reports from Old Eagle's falcons, the Dragon Bandits were numerous and had more than a thousand experts.
And their boss, Black Dragon Zhao, was a high-tier Profound Martial realm expert.
Even if Wang Chong fought to the end, he wouldn't be able to deal with such a character.
Moreover, Qixi was the territory of Protector-General Fumeng Lingcha, his mortal foe. In the Regional Commanders incident, Fumeng Lingcha had been the one who had most desired Wang Chong's death.
Wang Chong could not let him know that he had lost a thousand jun of Hyderabad ore in his territory, or else he would be in even more trouble.
As for the Yao Clan and King Qi…
He had been ambushed by them while returning from the training camp mission and had teetered on the verge of death. If anyone from the Wang Clan dared to leave the capital, Wang Chong could be sure that they would be assassinated in the middle of the journey.
Moreover, when they had been dealing with him, the Yao Clan and King Qi had been overcautious, but if he sent out just the experts of the Wang Clan, these two factions would have free rein and act without fear.
At the moment, a wolf waited in front of Wang Chong while a tiger lurked behind him!
The Yao Clan and King Qi were definitely waiting for him to strike, and in Qixi, an abyss was waiting for him!