Chapter 236: Target Found!
“Is everyone in place?”
Stretching his hand forward, Wang Chong knocked on the pillar lightly with his forefinger.
“All ready,” Miyasame Ayaka replied impassively. She was standing perfectly still behind Wang Chong with her head tilted upward and her hands behind her back. In the short interval, she had already changed her clothes. She wore a black bamboo hat with a dark, translucent veil hanging from it, rendering it impossible for anyone to clearly distinguish her facial features.
But her eyes remained as cold as ice. Even through a black veil, it could still send shivers down one’s spine.
Miyasame Ayaka’s disposition as an assassin had permeated her entire being. No clothes could possibly conceal it.
“Good. Tell them to take note of those with a white glow around them later on. It’ll only appear for an instant, so they will have to pay close attention to it. Also, they are not to make any moves without my permission.” Wang Chong said calmly as he grabbed a wine cup from the table and passed it over. Fifteen this year, it might be a little too early for him to be drinking, but a small sip every now and then was fine.
Not to mention, he had an old soul hidden in his body.
“But gongzi, is this really fine? This is the territory of the Goguryeons, and we’re sitting openly in a tavern operated by them.” Miyasame Ayake bent down and with a very natural movement, took the cup from Wang Chong’s hands before lightly placing it down on the table beside her.
The ladies from the Eastern Islands were surprisingly considerate in this aspect. Despite being an assassin, Miyasame Ayaka retained this cultural trait.
“The brutal Goguryeons possess the upper hand in numbers. I fear that we would not be able to escape if we were to provoke them.” Miyasame Ayaka looked at Wang Chong with deep worry in her eyes.
It was only out of ignorance that ordinary civilians could live at ease here. Those who understood the background of this region would feel as though a knife was constantly pressed against their backs.
And this was the current sensation Miyasame Ayaka was feeling. She had crossed hands with Goguryeons, and she knew how fearsome they were. They were fearless in combat, and they didn’t hesitate to trade injury for injury. In a way, they were even more vicious than assassins like her.
Wang Chong was going to deal with the Goguryeons despite being in their territory himself. This left Miyasame Ayaka deeply worried.
“Hmph, who said that this is the territory of the Goguryeons? The land just beneath the Son of Heaven’s feet is clearly a part of the Central Plains. When did the words of Goguryeons count here?” Resting his arm on the railing, Wang Chong glanced at the huge crowd beneath and sneered coldly.
The Central Plains was still existent, Great Tang was still breathing, the catastrophe had yet to befall; the Central Plains hadn’t declined so far as to bow down to the Goguryeons yet. When did the Goguryeons become the new overlords here?
The only reason why no one laid their hands on the Goguryeons was because they hadn’t stepped out of line. But since they weren’t willing to live their lives here peacefully, this relationship would have to come to an end.
Thinking so, Wang Chong’s eyes gradually grew colder and colder. As he spoke those words, he subconsciously released a domineering pressure.
The three men from the Zhuang Clan and Chi Clan were stunned, and even Miyasame Ayaka froze for an instant.
The current Wang Chong possessed a majestic disposition that commanded deference from others. This was completely different from the impression they had of him!
“But even so, we don’t have any evidence! We can’t prove that those Goguryeons who attacked the Kunwu Training Camp are the same as those living here. If we aren’t careful, I fear that they might retaliate against gongzi through the Chamberlain of Dependencies,” Miyasame Ayaka said worriedly.
She knew what Wang Chong was going to do. After all, he nearly lost his life on White Tiger Peak on the very first day he arrived at Kunwu Training Camp. There was no one who wouldn’t feel rage after being put through such an experience.
But in the end, the Goguryeons in the city’s west weren’t those who attacked that night.
Other than engaging in usury and beating up those who refused to pay their debts, they hadn’t really done anything overboard. Otherwise, Great Tang wouldn’t have put up with them.
“Hehe, evidence? Of course I have it.” A smile crept onto Wang Chong’s face, and an icy-cold gleam flashed across his eyes.
The Goguryeons in the city’s west were well-known to be law-abiding citizens. Even an assassin like Miyasame Ayaka was aware that there was ‘nothing wrong’ with them.
But Wang Chong had an entirely different view on the matter.
King Sosurim and his bunch of Goguryeon assassins were notorious in Great Tang. While many people said that they were unrelated to the Goguryeons in the city’s west, Wang Chong found that hard to believe.
In the end, blood was thicker than water. To say that King Sosurim and the Goguryeon assassins were entirely unrelated to the Goguryeons living here, how could that even be remotely possible?
The huge group of Goguryeons living here provided the ideal cover for King Sosurim and his group of assassins. There was nowhere else that they could thrive other than here.
While the Bureau of Military Personnel and Bureau of Punishments did conduct surveillance over the area for several decades, ending in futility, Wang Chong felt that they had overlooked one extremely important corner…
The customers of the taverns and gambling dens!
Who said that Goguryeons had to be the staff of their own establishments?
Who said that Goguryeons couldn’t pass off as Hans?
As long as one refined one’s speech to take on the fluency of an average Han, there would actually be no distinctive difference between a Goguryeon and a Han.
Wang Chong had given the matter deep contemplation. The officials of the Bureau of Military Personnel and Bureau of Punishments couldn’t possibly be inept; the only plausible reason why there was no progress in their investigation despite several decades of effort could only mean that their direction was wrong right from the start.
The men they were searching for weren’t working in the taverns and restaurants, but were somewhere else.
“Alright, tell them that we’ll start now,” Wang Chong waved his hands and said after returning from his thoughts.
“Yes, gongzi.” Miyasame Ayaka nodded after a moment of hesitation.
Beyond the railing, a huge crowd could be seen walking to and fro on the streets. Wang Chong and Miyasame Ayaka’s presence didn’t catch anyone’s attention. In this region of decadence, there were simply too many wealthy scions like Wang Chong.
Time slowly ticked by, and around half a tea’s time later, Wang Chong finally stood up. Amidst the perplexed gazes of those behind him, he slowly walked up to the railing.
“Whether the Goguryeons are innocent or not, this will tell.” Wang Chong gazed down at the huge crowd beyond the railing.
At this instant, time seemed to have stopped.
Without the slightest warning, Wang Chong lifted his right leg up and pressed it down. Peng. In the next instant, a nearly invisible ripple spread out into the surroundings from Wang Chong.
At the west city’s most prosperous street that was managed by the Goguryeons, Wang Chong activated his Bane of the Battlefield aura.
The royal court never had any effective means to differentiate between the real Goguryeon merchants and Goguryeon assassins, but Wang Chong was different.
Bane of the Battlefield was the ideal method to sieve them out!
The crowd beyond the railing continued walking on normally, as though nothing had happened at all.
“Hmm?” Wang Chong’s eyebrows shot up. “Could I have been mistaken?”
Just as Wang Chong thought that his ‘Bane of the Battlefield’ aura was ineffective, a change abruptly occurred. Amongst the crowd, a white ripple suddenly affixed itself onto a ‘plump, wealthy Central Plains merchant’.
Following which, the second one, third one, fourth one…
Eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth…
Thirtieth, fortieth, fiftieth…
In an instant, several hundred people among the crowd within the Golden Heaven Great Gambling Den were affixed with the white ripple. Weng! And in the next, the ripple disappeared so quickly that its appearance almost seemed to have been a hallucination.
On the second floor of the tavern, Miyasame Ayaka and the group from the Zhuang Clan and Chi Clan saw that sight and froze. Even Wang Chong himself was shocked speechless.
The entire world seemed to have silenced itself to them at this instant!
“To think that… there would be so many of them!”
The Bane of the Battlefield aura came and went swiftly, but it left behind a raging storm in Wang Chong’s heart.
In Wang Chong’s initial plan, he would use the Bane of the Battlefield to eliminate the Goguryeon assassins. But the truth was far more shocking than he could have imagined.
To think that there would more several hundred official soldiers in the vicinity of the Golden Heaven Great Gambling Den itself. This had far exceeded Wang Chong’s expectations.
In that short instant, Wang Chong saw clearly that every last one of these Goguryeons was dressed like the Han. Regardless of whether it was their movement or gestures, there wasn’t the slightest aspect that one could distinguish them from an ordinary Han citizen.
——Wang Chong’s theory had been verified.
“Did you all get a good look?” Wang Chong asked.
He was answered with silence. Everyone was too dumbfounded by the sight they had just seen.
“Gongzi, you were right all along!” Miyasame Ayaka inhaled deeply, but she still couldn’t shake the discomposure off her voice.
While she didn’t know where the white ripples came from, given Wang Chong’s previous words, she could fathom a guess what was going on. Most likely, those affixed with the ripples a moment ago were the targets of their operation.
But they simply numbered too many!
“Lord, these Gogur…”
“Shut up!” The men from the Zhuang Clan and Chi Clan exclaimed in astonishment, but before they could finish their words, Miyasame Ayaka had already silenced them.
They were at a sensitive location now. This was definitely not the place for them to talk.
It was one thing if they hadn’t known anything, but in an instant, the entire place seemed to have changed. Even Miyasame Ayaka showed a hint of fear in her eyes.
“Hehe, alright now. You all have gotten a good look, so let’s foot the bill and go!” In contrast to Miyasame Ayaka’s wariness, Wang Chong stood up with a casual smile, pushed in his chair, and left the tavern.
Since he was aware of the truth, what was left should be easy to deal with.