Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Once at the restaurant in the capital, again during the feast of all countries, and another time when he had been fleeing the capital…
An Lushan had never been humiliated so many times in his life, and it was all inexplicably by the same person.
Besides Zhang Shougui, Wang Chong could be considered the existence most loathed by An Lushan.
This time, he intended to wipe away all his humiliation!
At almost the same time, Wang Chong, looking down from the walls, noticed An Lushan.
You've got some guts to dare appear in front of me! Wang Chong mentally sneered.
An Lushan might have thought that he had been very patient in waiting so long for this moment, but he had no idea that Wang Chong had also been waiting ages for this moment.
There had even been many times when Wang Chong wanted to just drop everything and run off to Youzhou to kill An Lushan. Alas, at the time, he had been some nobody who was regarded by all as a hedonistic wastrel. He had no strength or faction backing him. He had no way of influencing a place like Youzhou, and this wasn't even considering that the conceited Zhang Shougui had been protecting An Lushan.
Given his abilities back then, he could only dream about assassinating An Lushan.
After that, the war of the southwest and the Battle of Talas had come, crises endangering the Great Tang like a row of dominoes. Wang Chong had no choice but to focus on these wars.
Thus, Wang Chong's plans had been delayed again and again, until he had finally become the revered King of Foreign Lands, wielding supreme power and status. Only now did he have the strength to truly deal with An Lushan.
What destined foe? I don't believe it! An Lushan, no matter how many cycles pass, how many times you reincarnate, I will pay any price to cut you down!
Wang Chong stared at An Lushan, his body radiating killing intent.
As the army got closer and closer, it became possible to see the white steam exhaled by the Turkic warhorses, to see the snow covering the long sabers of the Goguryeon soldiers, and to see all those eyes seething with murder.
At a distance of ten-some li, An Lushan stopped his black steed and extended his hand.
"Attend me! Bring me my bow!"
Cui Qianyou immediately rode forward and placed a bow made of Deep Sea Xuan Metal and inlaid with gold in An Lushan's hand.
An Lushan placed his grip around the bow with one hand while his other hand reached out and took a long arrow that was about seven feet long from Gao Shang. Nocking the arrow on the bow, he pulled back the string until it formed a full moon.
This sudden movement drew everyone's attention. Yeon Gaesomun, Ozmish Khagan, the Khitan King, and the Xi Queen watched the arrow in An Lushan's hand, none of them surprised.
Coldly snorting, An Lushan took aim at Wang Chong and released. Boom! With a shrill howl, the arrow left the string and shot toward Wang Chong, leaving a long white trail in its wake.
Time seemed to stop. An Yaluoshan's arrow exploded with the light of a dazzling sun, instantly becoming the most striking existence on the battlefield.
And with this arrow, the tension on the battlefield hit its maximum.
Those on the wall paled as they cried out in alarm.
No one had expected that An Yaluoshan would try to kill Wang Chong with an arrow before the battle had even begun.
Wang Zhongsi and Abusi instinctively moved to stand in front of Wang Chong.
Wang Chong was the Supreme Marshal of the Nine Provinces, and if he were injured, it would damage the morale of the army.
Wang Chong waved his hand, fearlessly staring down that shining arrow.
In the blink of an eye, An Lushan's destructive arrow reached Wang Chong's face. But at this moment, with a massive explosion, a golden light gushed out of Wang Chong's body and blocked the arrow.
The power in the arrow was instantly dispersed by Wang Chong, and the arrow was fixed in the air by his Stellar Energy.
Wang Zhongsi and Abusi frowned.
The two of them had believed that An Lushan's arrow had been loosed out of hatred, but now, it seemed that though it had come with shocking momentum, it had been all bark and no bite. It was not an arrow intended to kill.
"This is An Lushan's declaration of war!"
Wang Chong coldly laughed as he gave the explanation. At the same time, his hand reached out and plucked the white cloth from the arrow.
Three words had been written on one side of the cloth.
'Declaration of war'!
With a shake of his wrist, Wang Chong unrolled this declaration of war. Wang Zhongsi and Abusi came over to look.
'…In ancient times, the mighty Qin had a weak ruler, and Zhao Gao concocted a plan. When he called a deer a horse, none dared to speak the truth, and thus, Qin Ershi died. In the present, there is Wang Chong, who poisoned the previous Emperor and seized the new Emperor, and now monopolizes imperial authority. From this, it can be seen that the day of the Tang's demise is not far!
(TN: After the death of Qin Shihuang, the first Emperor of the Qin Dynasty, his successor, Qin Ershi, was essentially a puppet for the powerful eunuch Zhao Gao. In a famous display of Zhao Gao's power, Zhao Gao brought a deer before Qin Ershi and called it a horse. Qin Ershi called it a deer, and when Zhao Gao questioned the other officials, some officials said it was a horse and some said it was a deer. Zhao Gao then secretly had those officials who called it a deer executed, thus cowing all the officials.)
'In the thirty-seventh year of the Sage Emperor, the traitor Wang Chong and Crown Prince Li Heng rebelled, committing treason against the Sage Emperor. Within Taiji Palace, the Sage Emperor's single rebuke caused the entire capital to quake and all of the Imperial Army to mobilize. Now, the traitor has ascended to the throne and calls himself Emperor!
"The subject An Lushan was born as a lowly person, yet he received the Sage Emperor's favor and was made Andong Protector-General. Upon hearing of the Sage Emperor's death, he felt as if struck by lightning. Even if he spilled out his guts and dashed his brains against the ground, he would not be able to repay the kindness shown to him!
'But the traitor remained in power, so An could only bide his time until his wings had fully grown. When all was ready, he divulged to the other countries the heinous acts performed against the Sage Emperor. The other countries were overcome with indignation and offered their assistance to An, and this led to today's alliance!
'Let the imperial heavens above and the gods bear witness! Today, this An swears an oath to sweep the court of traitors, remove the rebellious sovereign, and establish a new sovereign, thus bringing succor to the Great Tang and washing away the Sage Emperor's humiliation!'
Though the words had been written in a rough hand, the content was eloquent.
"A load of nonsense!"
Wang Zhongsi and Abusi exploded in rage, their faces red.
The 'Taiji Palace' incident An Lushan had brought up was when the 'Sage Emperor' had summoned Wang Chong to Taiji Palace and had roared, 'Come! Execute this traitor!'
More than half of the capital had heard those words.
But in truth, nobody knew what had transpired in Taiji Palace at that time, not even Abusi. As for why the Sage Emperor had said those words, there had been all sorts of rumors, but the truth had never been revealed.
The Sage Emperor had said nothing about it, Eunuch Gao had not been present, and Wang Chong had not said a word.
There had been rumors that Wang Chong had been plotting rebellion, and An Lushan had used this rumor for his own ends.
But everyone in the court knew that this was all sheer nonsense.
At the time, it had been the 'Sage Emperor' who had summoned Wang Chong, and after Wang Chong entered Taiji Palace, all of the Dragon Guards had disappeared. Even before that, all of the top-class servitors of the palace had secretly gathered within Taiji Palace.
Based on all these clues, it seemed less that Wang Chong was planning to rebel and more that the 'Sage Emperor' wanted to kill Wang Chong.
And nothing had resulted from the Taiji Palace incident. Both the Sage Emperor and Wang Chong had emerged unscathed.
Moreover, before that incident, the 'Sage Emperor' had done several absurd things, like selecting talented women, proposing the construction of a Peace Pavilion, being absent from court… But after the incident, the 'Sage Emperor' returned to normal, once more becoming that wise and energetic sovereign of the ages that everyone knew.
The turbulent court had swiftly settled down.
In this aspect, all of society was grateful to Wang Chong, not resentful.
If he had really been plotting rebellion, why hadn't the Sage Emperor said anything about it?
An Lushan was trying to reverse black and white, uttering sheer nonsense!
"Heh, Great Generals, there is no need to be angry!"
Wang Chong proudly stood on the wall and chuckled.
"This document is merely a slavish imitation. There is no need to waste your emotions on it!"
Wang Chong indifferently glanced at An Lushan, then he flicked his fingers. The white cloth carrying the declaration drifted out several feet, and as it went over the wall, it exploded into bits and pieces.
An Lushan had been staring at Wang Chong this whole time, and when he saw the document explode, a look of satisfaction appeared in his eyes.
"Hahaha, Wang Chong! I knew that you would do this, but it's useless! You colluded with Li Heng to frame the previous heir apparent, and then you poisoned the previous Emperor in Taiji Palace! This one has already dispatched spies to spread the word of your treasonous deeds to all of the Nine Provinces!
"Today, I will expose your true face to the people of the realm!
"The previous Emperor showered you with favor. I, An Lushan, will ensure that this injustice is corrected for him, even at the cost of my life! Today, I have come with the armies of the other countries to bring succor to the Great Tang and ensure that justice and righteousness are always upheld! Wang Chong, today, I will kill you in the name of the previous Emperor and return the favor the previous Emperor showed me!"
An Lushan spoke with a righteous air, and he pulled out a patterned saber and pointed it at Wang Chong. His voice rang out through the snowstorm, resounding within the city of steel and traveling more than one hundred li.