Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
A few moments later, with a great rumble, a metal plank around seven meters long lifted up, exposing a secret passage.
The insides of the passage were pitch-black and revealed nothing, but soon, several figures emerged from it.
Their armor marked them as Tang soldiers, but there was something special about the muscular figure leading them.
He wore the same armor as the other soldiers, but he had a cape on his back and a cold, bronze mask on his face, making him appear extremely mysterious.
But most striking of all were the eyes peeking out of the mask. They were cold and sharp like sabers, and a heaven-engulfing hatred burned in those eyes.
The moment this man emerged from the passage and looked around, everyone who saw those eyes trembled in shock, almost completely swept up in this immense hatred, even Abusi.
"Who is this?"
Everyone was shaken by this bronze-masked figure, some of them even backing away.
They had been in this fortress for a long time, never knowing that such a frightening man was hiding within it.
But Wang Zhongsi appeared somewhat taken aback, his expression turning pensive.
For some reason, this newcomer felt somewhat familiar, but there was also something substantially different. For a moment, he found it hard to determine who this person was.
After looking around, the man lowered his head and stomped up to Wang Chong's side.
"Thank you for your trouble!"
Wang Chong slightly bowed, seeming to deeply respect this bronze-masked man.
Everyone became even more confused.
At Wang Chong's current level of status, they truly couldn't think of anyone who deserved so much respect from him!
"Your Highness, who is this?" Tongluo Great General Abusi whispered.
"You'll find out soon," Wang Chong indifferently said, and left it at that.
Both Abusi and Wang Zhongsi were revered Great Generals, and he should have told them. That he did not meant that he had his reasons.
In the distance, the alliance army had also noticed this newcomer. Millions of eyes combined into a tangible power that focused on Wang Chong and that masked man next to him.
An Lushan frowned, his eyes narrowing.
Even though he knew that Wang Chong didn't have good intentions, An Lushan stil couldn't help but look at this masked man.
"What is this bastard trying?" An Lushan gruffly said.
His forces were now fully mature, and even the previous Emperor's decree was limited in the damage it could do, let alone anything else. He did not believe that Wang Chong had anything more powerful than the previous Emperor's decree!
Gao Shang said nothing. He knew that An Lushan was asking him this question, but all he could do was shake his head.
Wang Chong was not his inferior when it came to schemes!
Up until now, not one of Gao Shang's schemes had succeeded against Wang Chong.
Even he could not see through Wang Chong's plans.
"What is this fellow trying?"
Ozmish Khagan, Yeon Gaesomun, the Khitan King, and the Xi Queen also looked at Wang Chong.
Wang Chong had a thunderous reputation in the continent, and all of these sovereigns had heard of his feats. But this was the first time they had interacted with him, and none of them knew what he was up to.
But Wang Chong didn't have them wait long. As everyone stared doubtfully at the masked man, the mysterious figure began to speak.
"Unfilial son, do you still remember?!"
A thunderous roar of hatred rumbled in everyone's ears.
Wang Zhongsi and Abusi still didn't know what was going on, but An Lushan, Gao Shang, and Cui Qianyou felt as if they had been struck by lightning, their eyes flying open.
"It's him? How!?" An Lushan blurted out, his face paling.
It was a voice he was far too familiar with, one that had been bored into his bones. Even without the face, he could recognize it. He had lived far too many days and nights in fear of this voice.
Today, An Lushan had achieved his ambitions. It could be said that he was only somewhat apprehensive of Wang Chong, not afraid. He even hoped that he could slay Wang Chong through this war. But he nevertheless was horrified by this voice.
The mysterious man reached up and pulled off that bronze mask.
Everyone cried out in shock upon seeing the face beneath.
"How could it be him?!"
"Wasn't he dead?!"
"That poison had no cure! How did he manage to survive?"
Ozmish Khagan, Yeon Gaesomun, the Khitan King, and the Xi Queen all reeled in shock. Even the soldiers behind them panicked.
In the northeast, amongst these countries, Zhang Shougui was even more famous than Wang Chong.
Although Wang Chong had vanquished Arabia and was acknowledged as the War Saint, with some even referring to him in awe as the 'Butcher of War', these things had taken place too far away. Before this, he had never once clashed with these countries. But Zhang Shougui was another matter entirely.
Zhang Shougui's prestige had been built up over several decades.
All of these sovereigns had clashed with him, and all of them had suffered major losses.
Zhang Shougui had become seriously ill, and in the Youzhou war, Goguryeon Emperor Yeon Gaesomun had mobilized his entire army and dealt him a heavy defeat. The Great Tang Emperor had been so enraged that he removed Zhang Shougui from the post of Andong Protector-General. This was the only reason the countries of the northeast had dared to work with An Lushan.
And An Lushan had said before that the poison he had given Zhang Shougui had worked its way into his marrow, and it had been a most vicious poison that was more effective the stronger the target was.
More importantly, An Lushan had said that Zhang Shougui had been demoted to be Governor of the Kuo Province, and he had also sent the men in black to take his life. Why was Zhang Shougui still alive?
"It's Lord Protector-General! What's going on here?"
The most panicked were the soldiers of Youzhou. Many of the Hu cavalry had panicked expressions.
Six hundred thousand cavalry had been standing in neat formation, but the moment Zhang Shougui appeared, all fell into disarray.
Even though An Lushan had the firmest control over the Youzhou cavalry, Zhang Shougui's decades-old reputation was not so easily wiped away. This was precisely why he had chosen to deal with Zhang Shougui first.
"Damn it! What's going on here?"
An Lushan's face was ashen as he glared at Tian Chengsi.
Zhang Shougui's appearance had completely upset his plans, even left him somewhat at a loss. He clearly recalled that he had left Zhang Shougui's assassination in the Kuo Province to Tian Chengsi, and Tian Chengsi had reported that Zhang Shougui was dead.
So what was all this?
"Master, I-I don't know!"
Tian Chengsi broke out in a cold sweat, his face turning ghastly pale.
Although he had been the contact with the men in black on this matter, in truth, he did not have much control over them. When the men in black reported that they had killed Zhang Shougui, he had no means of questioning the conclusion.
Moreover, the spies in the Kuo Province had also reported that Zhang Shougui was dead, so the matter had been dropped there.
An Lushan stared at Wang Chong and hatefully spat, "Bastard! This must have been his doing!"
Wang Chong had to be connected to all this!
"You unfilial son! Did you really think bribing my maid to poison my tea was enough to kill me?"
Zhang Shougui stood atop the wall, his body exploding with killing intent and anger.
"This old man was the hero of a generation, but in the end, I was blinded by my unfilial son. This time, I will personally use my sword and stab it inch by inch into your body. This old man will correct his own mistakes!"
Zhang Shougui gnashed his teeth, his cold voice as penetrating as a saber.
"Who are you? Don't go speaking nonsense!" Gao Shang suddenly called out.
"Wang Chong, don't think that you can find just anyone to pretend to be Lord Protector-General! Protector-General Zhang Shougui is the most venerated figure of the Youzhou army! Did you really think you could fool everyone with some random person?"
Zhang Shougui's appearance was a major blow to the alliance army. He had only just appeared and spoken a few words, and the army's morale was already in disarray. If he were allowed to continue, the damage to the alliance army would be unthinkable.
An Lushan realized what was going on and shouted, "That's right! You're not Zhang Shougui! How could all of us fail to recognize my adopted father? Wang Chong, cease your falsehoods!"
"That's right! You're not Zhang Shougui! Stop this nonsense!"
"Wang Chong, the Youzhou army won't let you go for finding someone to imitate the Lord Protector-General!"
Cui Qianyou, Tian Qianzhen, and the other Youzhou generals called out as well.
But deep down, their hearts were reeling in shock.
If they did not quickly deny Zhang Shougui's identity, the consequences would be too awful to think about.