The plan had been kept a secret from everyone to prevent any mishaps. Only by deceiving An Yaluoshan could Gao Shang and Yan Zhuang deceive everyone.
"I was careless! We were waiting there for Your Excellency, but when we saw the thunderclouds suddenly appearing and had not seen Your Excellency for some time, Yan Zhuang and I became worried and rushed over. We thought that by keeping our distance, we wouldn't affect the battle; we did not expect that man to be so determined to kill us. To think that he would kill Yan Zhuang with one spear…" Gao Shang sorrowfully said.
Although Yan Zhuang had been the one to propose that they go over and look, he clearly bore some of the responsibility as well.
"Cui Qianyou, Tian Chengsi!" An Yaluoshan called.
Startled, Cui Qianyou and Tian Chengsi hastily replied, "Your subordinate is here!"
"Once we return, you must get back Yan Zhuang's body no matter what," An Yaluoshan sternly said.
"Yes, Your Excellency!"
The two immediately understood, their faces becoming agitated.
An Yaluoshan could see the self-criticism in Gao Shang's heart, so he immediately said, "Lord Strategist, there's no need to blame yourself. This was my mistake, and this was a decision Yan Zhuang made himself, one he made for my sake!
"What we can do now is not disappoint him and ensure that he did not die in vain!
"Yan Zhuang was killed by Wang Chong, so in the future, we must avenge him. In addition, I know that Yan Zhuang still has his mother in Youzhou. I will definitely treat her well in Yan Zhuang's place, taking care of her until she finally returns to the heavens," An Yaluoshan solemnly said.
"Many thanks, Your Excellency!"
Cui Qianyou and Tian Chengsi were both moved by this gesture, and bowed.
A gentleman would die for his bosom friends. While An Yaluoshan was a Hu, he was someone who knew how to use the talents under his command, a loyal and true friend. This was one of the reasons Cui Qianyou and Tian Chengsi followed him.
"It's good as long as everyone is fine. However, our journey to the capital was truly a great defeat. I didn't expect that scoundrel to be capable of absorbing my Dragon Qi!" An Yaluoshan hatefully spat. Even now, he still didn't understand what was going on.
He was the future True Dragon, Son of Heaven, the master of the Central Plains, but it was only because of a formation and treasures that he was able to absorb the Sage Emperor's Dragon Qi and the fortune of the Central Plains.
Yet when Wang Chong was fighting with him, he was able to use his evil art to absorb his Dragon Qi, a fact that An Yaluoshan still found hard to believe.
Wasn't it said that only the future True Dragon, Son of Heaven could absorb Dragon Qi?
"I also do not know what is happening here."
Gao Shang's brow creased. An Yaluoshan had already recounted this strange incident to them as they were leaving the palace, but Gao Shang had yet to find an answer.
"This should have never happened in normal circumstances. I tried to use divination to calculate his origins, but I almost broke my fingers, and the divination failed. I don't know the exact details, but I do know that the King of Foreign Lands is hiding some major secret!"
Divination could not be used on someone one had never met. Thus, Gao Shang had appeared at the feast of all countries together with An Yaluoshan. But the final result had taken him by surprise.
"Your Excellency, Lord Strategist, I remember Genesis Supreme calling that man the Child of Destruction!" Tian Chengsi suddenly said.
Everyone glanced at each other, the mood turning strange.
The men in black called An Yaluoshan the 'Child of the World', and these same people called Wang Chong the 'Child of Destruction'.
Genesis Supreme had never brought this up before. If An Yaluoshan, the Child of the World, had the special ability to absorb energy from the world, did the Child of Destruction possess a similar special ability?
"I will get to the bottom of this secret one day," Gao Shang declared. "But right now, we must return to Youzhou as quickly as possible. Though the King of Foreign Lands interfered, our efforts were not completely fruitless.
"Dragon Qi is the energy of the country, and it is impossible for it to be completely undamaged or unaffected. Your Excellency's actions have already caused change in the Dragon Qi. I have calculated that the dragon's den has already begun to move in Youzhou's direction.
"In the future, Your Excellency doesn't even need to do anything and our Youzhou will still absorb more and more Dragon Qi, all the way until Your Excellency replaces the current dynasty and inherits the realm as the True Dragon, Son of Heaven!" Gao Shang said.
Everyone was excited to hear Gao Shang's words, and even An Yaluoshan was surprised.
He had believed that he had failed, but in reality, he had succeeded in causing the dragon's den to shift. This was undoubtedly a pleasant surprise.
"Your Excellency, just as Genesis Supreme said, we can begin the next phase of our master plan."
Gao Shang smiled at An Yaluoshan.
Everyone nodded, sharing a mutual understanding, and then they used their movement techniques and started on their journey.
A few moments later, they were gone.
As time passed, the eastern skies began to brighten. The City Guard, the patrolling Imperial Army, and Wang Chong's experts withdrew into the city, returning to their original posts.
The grandiose hunt was over.
The King of Foreign Lands Residence, located around one thousand meters from the southwest corner of the Imperial Palace, was still brightly lit and humming with activity.
King Song, Zhangchou Jianqiong, the Demonic Emperor Old Man, and the Wushang Village Chief were all gathered in the main hall, solemnly looking at Wang Chong.
The night's operation had been on a monumental scale, involving one hundred thousand men. But even now, no one knew why Wang Chong had gone to such great lengths, or why the target had been the empire's newest major border general, the Andong Protector-General.
They had been able to repress their questions while the operation was ongoing, but now that the operation was over, everyone looked forward to Wang Chong's answer, including the Demonic Emperor Old Man and the Wushang Village Chief.
That giant thundercloud that had suddenly appeared over the head of a single person…
The Wushang Village Chief and Demonic Emperor Old Man had never seen such a thing in their long lives.
It was far too bizarre!
In the quiet hall, Wang Chong finally began to speak.
"It's a long story, and I can't explain too much, but you just need to see this to understand."
Wang Chong thrust out a palm, opening a secret compartment on the other side of the hall and drawing a wooden box from it.
The wooden box exploded, revealing the inhuman and decaying Yeluohe arm.
Everyone looked in confusion at Wang Chong.
Seeming to know what they were thinking, Wang Chong flicked a bolt of energy into the arm.
Everyone watched in disbelief as the motionless arm on the fretwork table suddenly animated, the five fingers twitching and cracking, and even the arm shifting around. It seemed to have a life of its own.
"How could this be!?"
Let alone King Song and Zhangchou Jianqiong, even the Demonic Emperor Old Man was alarmed.
No matter how strong a martial artist was, a severed limb would immediately lose any vitality. This arm had clearly been severed some time ago, but it still seemed to be alive and could move on its own. This clearly defied common sense.
And the decaying energy exuded by the arm made the Demonic Emperor Old Man very uncomfortable.
Though he was called the Demonic Emperor by others, when he felt this energy of death and decay, he felt like a dwarf in the presence of a giant.
"Such powerful death energy! This thing shouldn't exist in this world. Where did you get it?"
The Wushang Village Chief frowned.
While the Central Plains had so-called righteous and evil paths, that was a difference in the nature of the arts they practiced and the extremities of their actions.
But this severed arm was something different. Its nature was one of true evil, the clouds to the dirt that was the evil of the martial arts world.
Wang Chong revealed that this was the severed arm of a Yeluohe.
"What? An Yaluoshan has soldiers like this?!"
"How could that be? How many more secrets is he hiding?"
King Song and Zhangchou Jianqiong were both deeply shaken. They only knew that Wang Chong wanted to kill An Yaluoshan, never realizing that the chubby Hu was hiding so many more secrets.
"I can't tell you too much at the moment, but An Yaluoshan is definitely harboring ill intentions. He squeezed out Zhang Shougui, seized the Andong Protectorate, and secretly established the Yeluohe. This is a man of great ambitions. Everyone has been deceived by his appearance!" Wang Chong said.
"This man is too terrifying! It is unfortunate that the Sage Emperor was deceived by him and regards him with great favor. If I had known this earlier, I would have tried to help you kill him back at the Pavilion of Petal and Sepal, even if the Sage Emperor was there!" Zhangchou Jianqiong sternly said, his eyes pulsing with killing intent.
"It's too late now. An Yaluoshan has some mysterious people helping from the shadows—that group you saw just now. There will be plenty of time in the future, but he's already run back to Youzhou now. We will just have to think of another way to deal with him in the future," Wang Chong said.
"I'll try to discuss this matter with the other officials of the court. An Yaluoshan is sinister and cunning, far too dangerous to be allowed to live!" King Song gravely said.
He and Zhangchou Jianqiong remained only a little longer before taking their leave.
For the empire to have such a fiend lurking under the surface, one who had even snatched the Andong Protector-General post, was no fortune for the Great Tang. This matter needed to be resolved quickly.
Wang Chong was left alone with the Demonic Emperor Old Man and the Wushang Village Chief. At this moment, the Demonic Emperor Old Man spoke.
"Chong-er, we made some discoveries on this journey that we planned to tell you."
The Demonic Emperor Old Man had a solemn expression.
"Master, please speak."
Wang Chong raised an eyebrow, an attentive look on his face.
If the Demonic Emperor Old Man had not said anything, Wang Chong still would have asked.
The Wushang Village Chief and the Demonic Emperor Old Man had been gone for a very long time, and not even Wang Chong had not known where they were. Moreover, it was clear from the clash with the Tianfu Divine Lord's men that the two of them had gotten much stronger.
It was obvious that they had come across some good fortune in their travels.