"Wang Chong... You're Chong gongzi!"
Sun Zhiming became dumbstruck the moment he realized this fact. Wang Chong's bravery in speaking up against the regional commanders policy despite the hostility from the Hu and his imprisonment had become something no one didn't know of in Great Tang.
Sun Zhiming didn't expect the one who appeared and stood up to Deng Mingxin for him would be that Wang Chong. In an instant, Sun Zhiming's heart began to beat wildly in agitation.
"Wang gongzi, there's no grudge between us so why must you stand against me?"
Deng Mingxin glared at Wang Chong with a dark expression.
Upon learning of Wang Chong's identity and seeing King Song's token in his hand, it was clear that he had picked a fight with the wrong person this time.
"Where did your arrogance go to? Why? Are you going to give in now?"
Wang Chong said coldly as he nonchalantly tidied his robe.
"But regardless, I only have a message for you. Sun Zhiming's affairs shall be my affair from now on!"
These words left an incomparably grave expression on Deng Mingxin's face.
"Wang gongzi, do you really intend to go to such extents?"
Deng Mingxin took in a deep breath. Knowing that there was no way to settle this matter amiably anymore, he decided to just go all in.
"My background might be inferior to you but there's nothing for you to be gleeful about. There are plenty of people who can trample over you in this Kunwu Training Camp. King Song might possess immense influence, but there's still a King Qi standing above him. --Sun Zhiming, you better think it over and decide whether you'll go with me or him. You should know better the result of offending King Qi. By then, it won't just be a matter of your father being stripped of his position!"
He was determined to keep Sun Zhiming. It wasn't just for the matter of whether he could get into Kunwu Training Camp or not. Rather, Sun Zhiming was the only talent he had received from his father.
Even that person had said that Sun Zhiming possessed immense talent and instructed him to grasp onto him tightly. As long as Sun Zhiming remained under him, it wouldn't be difficult for him to accomplish great things in the future.
Furthermore, he was also depending on Sun Zhiming to join King Qi's faction.
He didn't mind Wang Chong teaching his lackeys a lesson, and he was fine with his pride being trampled upon as well. However, Sun Zhiming was one thing he couldn't compromise on.
Seeing that Deng Mingxin was still threatening Sun Zhiming at this moment, Wang Chong's rage flurried.
If Sun Zhiming continued to follow Deng Mingxin, it would only be a matter of time before he was destroyed. Since Deng Mingxin was willing to use his background and King Qi's name to force Sun Zhiming into submission, then Wang Chong didn't mind using his lustrous background to teach that despicable scum a lesson.
"Deng Mingxin, I finally understand why you dare to speak so arrogantly. I see, so you've decided to side with King Qi. However, do you think that that makes a difference?"
Wang Chong sneered coldly. Since Deng Mingxin was unwilling to release Sun Zhiming and was using his background to threaten the latter, the other party shouldn't blame him for getting nasty.
"Hmph, Deng Mingxin, if I recall correctly, your father's name is Deng Zhou, right? Fine! You and your father can return to the countryside tomorrow!"
Those words made Deng Mingxin's face darken.
"Wang Chong, stop bragging here. Who do you think that you're scaring? I'm only afraid that you don't have the influence to do so!"
"Heh, we'll see tomorrow then."
Wang Chong sneered.
His big uncle, Wang Gen, was an influential official in the royal court, and King Song was also reinstated into his former positions. As long as the two collaborated with one another, it was a walk in the park to send a minor official back to his hometown.
Deng Mingxin's father, Deng Zhou, was an official in the Bureau of Personnel, and he wielded the authority over the livelihood of the officials. It was through this influence that the Deng Clan was able to hold onto Sun Zhiming tightly.
It would be interesting to see what Deng Mingxin would threaten Sun Zhiming with once Deng Zhou falls.
"Sun Zhiming, don't worry. Regardless of what happens, I'll be by your side! So just rest assure and do your best in the examination. As for Deng Mingxin, the person named Deng Zhou will disappear from the Bureau of Personnel from tomorrow onward so you don't have to worry about him threatening you anymore."
Wang Chong replied calmly as he patted Sun Zhiming's shoulder. He exuded an aura which instinctively made one wanted to believe him.
The current Wang Clan had just reborn and all of its members were united along the same front. On top of that, King Song and Consort Taizhen were standing behind the Wang Clan as well. Protecting a Sun Zhiming wasn't a problem at all!
"Gongzi, thank you!"
Sun Zhiming bowed deeply in gratitude.
The reputation of 'Duke Jiu' was resounding. There was no one in Central Plains who had never heard of that name. If Wang Clan were to stand up for them, there would really be no need for him to worry about his father's matter anymore.
"Bastard! Sun Zhiming, you better not regret your decision today!"
Upon seeing this sight, how could Deng Mingxin still not understand Sun Zhiming's choice? His face turned livid, and he furiously flung his sleeves backward and left.
Given that Sun Zhiming had already chosen Wang Chong, there was nothing else he could do.
If he were to remain here, he would only embarrass himself further!
Seeing Deng Mingxin leave, the other lackey hurriedly followed him with a darkened face.
Wang Chong chuckled internally as he watched the two departing figures.
'It takes a villain to deal with a villain', to deal with someone with Deng Mingxin, Wang Chong didn't mind playing the role of a 'villain'.
Most of the people in Kunwu Training Camp were ordinary civilians and the offsprings of minor officials. Toward them, Wang Chong would never flaunt his background.
But if someone wanted to use his influence to gain an unfair advantage over others, then Wang Chong wouldn't mind using his as well to teach that person a lesson.
"Sun Zhiming, you possess good talent but your root bone is slightly lacking. After the examination ends, come and look for me. I'll impart you a Panther Bone cultivation technique."
Wang Chong said.
Learning martial arts was something progressive. It wasn't that Wang Chong was unwilling to impart him a higher level root bone cultivation technique but that Sun Zhiming hadn't even reached the most basic Panther Bone.
There was no use imparting him with a Tiger Bone cultivation technique given his lack of foundation.
"Thank you, gongzi!"
Delighted, Sun Zhiming stood up and bowed deeply. Root bone cultivation technique had always been confined within the doors of the general and minister clans.
Sun Zhiming knew that his talent was above average but his mediocre root bone had tied him down. There was once an elder who had told him that if he could make up for this flaw, his future would surely be boundless.
This was the reason why Sun Zhiming was determined to enter Kunwu Training Camp.
Sun Zhiming didn't expect Wang Chong to be willing to impart the secret art of cultivating one's Panther Bone to him.
"Hehe, there's no need to thank me. Also, if possible, I recommend you to learn a movement technique as well. Even though the speed of a cavalry is incredible, it doesn't make one invulnerable. After all, one should consider the possibility of one's mount being killed in battle."
Sun Zhiming was taken aback. He didn't expect Wang Chong to abruptly bring up this matter.
Wang Chong simply chuckled mysteriously. There were many reasons to Sun Zhiming's death; an unwise command from a superior, his weak cultivation... All these had played a contributing role to his eventual demise.
Back then, when Wang Chong first heard of Sun Zhiming's affairs, based on his instincts as the Grand Marshal of the Central Plains, he sensed another fatal flaw in Sun Zhiming-He didn't pay much importance to the cultivation of movement techniques.
To be fair, the charging speed of a steel cavalry was formidable. As long as one possessed a good mount, it shouldn't matter whether one learned movement techniques or not.
But once one's mount was killed, the lack of agility would surely prove to be fatal.
From the inception of Great Tang, there were countless great generals who found themselves surrounded by bulks of enemies. However, with their unparalleled cultivation, they were often able to charge out of the encirclement.
But Sun Zhiming was different. Under the circumstance that his mount was killed and he was tightly surrounded, his rate of survival was a flat zero. It was impossible for him to even last until the arrival of reinforcements.
The circumstances of a battlefield were ever-changing. Even though a dense encirclement of enemies was difficult to overcome, if one possessed an outstanding movement technique, this dense encirclement could become beneficial to one's escape instead.
Sun Zhiming's expertise lay in conducting surprise raids. As such, the possibility of him falling into an encirclement was much higher as compared to any other commanders.
If he didn't rid himself of the bad habit of underestimating movement techniques, in the end, he would still walk down the same path. There were very little people of Sun Zhiming's caliber, Wang Chong didn't wish to lose a talent just like that.
Wang Chong didn't stay for long, and he soon disappeared amidst the crowd. If he were to overemphasize the matter, it might have the reverse effect instead.
Behind, Sun Zhiming mumbled to himself. Wang Chong had truly shown him too many unbelievable things.
For one, the other party actually knew him and Deng Mingxin.
And that wasn't just it. More importantly, he even knew that Deng Mingxin's father was an official in the Bureau of Personnel!
Sun Zhiming found this unbelievable. However, there was one thing that was clear-Wang Chong was here to help him.
"That gongzi... is truly unfathomable!"
Sun Zhiming thought. Even though he had no idea why Wang Chong had told him about the matter regarding movement technique, he chose to note it down.
Harboring such thoughts, Sun Zhiming soon pulled his spirit together and started walking up the mountain.
"Gongzi, who is that person?"
Zhao Jingdian walked over from the crowd as he glanced at Sun Zhiming's departing back with a look of bewilderment. He had witnessed the entire proceeding from the side, and all along, he thought that Wang Chong and Sun Zhiming were old acquaintances. However, judging from the conversation of the duo afterward, that didn't seem to be the case.
"Hehe, that person... will become our ally on the battlefield in the future!"
Wang Chong chuckled.
The future had already changed. Even though Wang Chong didn't know where it was headed, he felt that it was probably headed somewhere good.
Pulling Zhao Jingdian along with him, Wang Chong proceeded up the hill. However, the matter with Sun Zhiming had reminded him of the countless future great generals lying all over this Kunwu Training Camp.
Perhaps he could make use of his knowledge of the future to change some people and some affairs. He just might be able to preserve some talents for Great Tang through such, thus retaining some additional power for Great Tang in the future catastrophe.
"Wait here for a moment!"
Thinking so, Wang Chong dived into the crowd. Before Zhao Jingdian could react, Wang Chong had already disappeared.
The latter stood with a confused expression on his face, baffled by Wang Chong's actions.
Around two hours later, Wang Chong finally reappeared before Zhao Jingdian once more. This time, his expression seemed more relaxed. He seemed to have achieved something significant during this period of time.
"Jingdian, follow me! I've found that instructor!"
And thus, the duo rushed toward the peak of the mountain.