Chapter 842: Lowly, Lowly Hulayeg!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"Khagan, hold on for a little longer. Say that we'll give them one hundred thousand warhorses and see if they agree. If they persist with the demand for five hundred thousand, then we will discuss this again," the Blackwater Shaman said.
"Priest, I will do this for you, but this will be the last time!"
Ishbara Khagan was boiling with rage, but he could only clamp it down.
"Mm. Let us dispatch the emissary. If they truly won't let go, Khagan will still have time to adopt another plan."
The Blackwater Shaman nodded.
Ishbara Khagan angrily huffed, but he said nothing more.
"In addition, I have a request that I hope Khagan can fulfill," the Blackwater Shaman continued.
"Oh? And what is that?" Ishbara Khagan said in surprise. He had originally believed that the Blackwater Shaman had appeared only to discuss the matter of the Fourth Prince, but it now appeared that this was not the case.
"That youth in Wushang's City of Steel who captured the Fourth Prince—I would like to meet him… When Khagan dispatches the emissaries this time, I would like one of my attendants to accompany the mission."
These last words were spoken in a mysterious and profound tone.
Ishbara Khagan's body shivered as if suddenly understanding something. He stared at the nearby Blackwater Shaman, unable to conceal the shock on his face.
"Ayow! It really hurts!"
In the underground prison cell of the City of Steel, Hulayeg's cries of pain echoed across the walls. He was lying on the ground, his bare and plump back gruesomely lacerated, and in some places, one could even see bone.
"Hulayeg, I was wrong about you. I didn't think that they would beat you like this. Relax. If I can get back, I will return all your property to you."
A remorseful voice echoed within the room. The Turkic Fourth Prince was sitting next to Hulayeg, his eyes brimming with reluctance as he examined the numerous wounds.
"Your Highness, there's no need to blame yourself. It is my honor to be of service. I don't believe that these bastards of the City of Steel would be so treacherous as to actually dare to kill me. Your Highness, be at ease. Even if this Hulayeg must put his life on the line, he will definitely get you out of here."
Hulayeg clenched his teeth and squeezed out these words, but then the pain from his wounds came surging back, and he couldn't help but yelp.
The Fourth Prince felt even more remorseful at this sight.
"Wang Chong, you and your despicable and faithless subordinates, I won't let you go for this! Fourth Prince! If any of them dare to touch a hair on your head, I, Hulayeg, will never let them go, even if I have to come back as a ghost!"
Hulayeg bellowed and cursed.
"Hulayeg, don't be like this. They really might beat you to death." The Fourth Prince was both moved and reluctant. "Just look at the wounds on your body. You can't take any more beatings. If they come and find you again, endure it and lower your head, admit that you were wrong. If you're able to leave, you can find my imperial father and have him come save me. That would be much better than the both of us dying here."
The Fourth Prince had no idea that in a certain place outside the cell, a group of people were on the verge of breaking into laughter.
"But the Khagan will not believe me," Hulayeg said.
"It's fine. Take this and he'll believe you."
The Fourth Prince paused a moment before clenching his teeth and finally removing a black token carved from bone from the hiding place in his clothes.
"This is my princely token. As long as you take this token to see my imperial father, he'll definitely believe you."
"This… Your Highness, rest at ease. If I have a chance to leave, I will definitely save you. This Hulayeg's word is his bond. Even if I must die, I will ensure Your Highness's safety."
Hulayeg appeared to undergo a mental struggle before finally gritting his teeth and taking the token.
At this moment, a metal clattering could be heard outside the cell.
"Hulayeg, you Turkic pig who doesn't know good from bad, Lord Marquis, in his kindness, has chosen to release you, but you insist on sticking together with this Fourth Prince. This is your last chance. If you continue to act rudely before Lord Marquis, you and this Fourth Prince will die together in this place!"
An icy voice came from outside as the door to the cell was opened. Several fully-armored guards stalked in. After giving a single glance, they immediately picked up Hulayeg, two to a side, and carried him away like he was a slaughtered pig. Behind them, the door banged shut once more.
"Hulayeg, don't worry about me. Quickly admit your wrongs. First take care of yourself. Don't make enemies of them anymore…"
In the distance, the Turkic Fourth Prince had crawled up to the cell door and was worriedly shouting.
"Hulayeg, you're quite the performer. Look at that—the Fourth Prince is even crying."
"'Don't worry about me, quickly admit your wrongs', hahaha… did all of you see what that Fourth Prince looked like while saying that?"
"Hulayeg, you bastard, if that Fourth Prince knew the truth, he would probably flog off your flesh and eat you alive."
Once they left the hearing range of the Fourth Prince's cell, the soldiers couldn't help but break into laughter. All of these guards were very familiar with Hulayeg, accompanying him as he entered and exited, and they were not afraid to crack a few jokes.
"Heheh, this isn't anything. A person with small limits is no gentleman, and a man without a little viciousness in their blood can never be great. Isn't that a saying of you Han? As long as I can regain my property, what does a minor matter like this count as? And once this Fourth Prince returns, I will rise to glorious heights and invite you all to a feast, and then what will today's events count as?"
Hulayeg took a silk robe from a guard and put it on as he carelessly replied.
"Hulayeg, you truly are a shameless and lowly man," the guards all teased.
"Thank you for your praise."
"Oh, by the way, where is Lord Marquis?"
"Still in his residence. Do you need to see Lord Marquis?" a guard said with a smile, patting Hulayeg on the shoulder.
"There's no need for that. Just give this letter to Lord Marquis."
Hulayeg gave a mysterious smile as he took out a letter. This done, Hulayeg walked out of the prison alone as the flabbergasted guards looked on. He did not return to his usual residence, nor did he head toward Wang Chong's residence. Instead, he made a circle, stopping beneath a transplanted plum blossom tree, where he mounted an excellent Turkic warhorse and rode out of the city.
Moments after he left, a scout barged into Wang Chong's residence. "Lord Marquis, Hulayeg just mounted a horse and left the City of Steel!" The City of Steel was still not fully open to outsiders, so every person who entered and exited was closely watched.
Wang Chong was sitting at a sandalwood table. When he heard this news, his brows arched in surprise.
A few moments later, a guard of the City of Steel strode in.
"Reporting! Before leaving, Hulayeg left a letter that he said should be given to Lord Marquis."
Although surprised at the start, Wang Chong quickly began to understand.
"Bring it here!"
Wang Chong waved his hand and took the letter. Glancing through it, he immediately began to smile, a knowing look on his face.
"I understand. You're dismissed. There's no need for any of you to worry about this matter any longer."
"Yes, Lord Marquis."
The two quickly assented and left.
"Hulayeg, it's all up to your performance now."
Wang Chong turned to look out the window, a smirk on his lips. But in the blink of an eye, the smile was gone, and Wang Chong quickly took up an intelligence report. This report did not concern Talas, but Qixi.
A warhorse kicked up a long trail of dust over the vast Turkic steppe. A slightly plump figure riding a Turkic warhorse had left Wushang and begun galloping to the northwest. After some time, he finally arrived before a massive mountain range, soaring into the clouds.
"I've finally arrived!"
As he saw the enormous Mount Sanmi and the thousands of Turkic elite cavalry and wolf packs patrolling around it, a joyful smile appeared on Hulayeg's face. Whether he could stage a comeback and reforge his glorious life would rely on his performance here.
"Hahaha, the tent of the Khagan, I've come!"
Hulayeg's eyes glowed as he urged his horse to gallop to the summit.
"Who goes there? Stop!"
"Don't attack! I'm on your side. I have news of the Khagan's Fourth Prince. I know how to save him! Let me in!"
Hollering and yelling the entire way, Hulayeg made his way through the defenses of Mount Sanmi, galloping all the way to the tent of Ishbara Khagan of the Western Turks.
Time slowly passed, with everything proceeding according to the plans Wang Chong had set out. Within the City of Steel, the sounds of soldiers drilling along with the thundering of hooves resounded through the air. As the first rays of the morning sun fell upon the training ground, the five thousand Wushang Cavalry were shifting through various formations, gathering and scattering with extreme proficiency, their dreadful killing intent soaring into the heavens.
"Not bad! It's about ready!"
Looking at all this through the window, Wang Chong gave a satisfied nod. At the very start, people used to curiously surround the training ground to spectate as the Wushang Cavalry trained, but now, no one was standing around. Nobody dared to.
The Wushang Cavalry were getting stronger and stronger, growing more and more like that supreme cavalry force that had dominated the world.
"Bring out my armor!" Wang Chong suddenly said. "In addition, tell the soldiers to get ready to move out."
"Yes! Lord Marquis!"
A guard quickly left.
A few moments later, the earth trembled as Wang Chong and Li Siye led the five thousand Wushang Cavalry through the gates and onward to Qixi. Some time had passed since the Imperial Court had issued its decree, and Wang Chong had finally finished all the preparations to deal with Qixi.