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Bang! An enormous cudgel flew through the air and struck the cavalry in the rear. “Aaaah!” Several dozen Mutri Great Cavalry and Celestial Wolf Cavalry were struck by the giant cudgel, the enormous impact pulping their bodies and killing them on the spot.
With the transaction complete, Cheng Qianli having thrown Chen Bin to Li Siye, the two sides no longer needed to cooperate, and Wang Chong would not let this chance go by. But the one who felt most pressed by this situation was not Wang Chong, but Gao Xianzhi.
“Duwu Sili, where are you going? Leave behind the formation phenomena!”
Gao Xianzhi’s speed was like that of a lightning bolt, sufficient to make any level of expert gasp in fright. The air boomed as Gao Xianzhi pursued Duwu Sili with incredible speed, leaving a long white trail behind him.
A ten-some-zhang stream of Sword Qi cleaved through the air like water as it slashed at Duwu Sili. Gao Xianzhi seemed to be set on Duwu Sili and intent on pursuing him until the very end. A sharp energy was locked onto Duwu Sili, suffused with a resolve to never stop until the secret to formation phenomena was taken back.
Duwu Sili was both shocked and enraged. In the past, he really wouldn’t have feared a battle with Gao Xianzhi, but right now, a single strike would be sufficient to pulverize the paper in his hand. Clashes between experts were decided in seconds, and in this situation, Duwu Sili didn’t even have time to unfold the paper and memorize its contents.
Duwu Sili was also sure that Gao Xianzhi would never give him this opportunity!
“Huoshu Huicang, hurry and help me stop Gao Xianzhi! Afterward, I’ll divide the secret of formation phenomena with your side!” Duwu Sili bellowed as he clutched the paper.
He had been only half-convinced of the veracity of this last part of the secret to formation phenomena, but now, he was eighty percent confident. If it were not real, Gao Xianzhi would not be so doggedly pursuing him.
This boy is truly easy to swindle. He doesn’t even understand the principle that all deception is fair in war. The people of the Central Plains are truly sincere! Duwu Sili scornfully thought.
He was now basically certain that in this formation phenomena transaction, Wang Chong had not carried out any discussions with Gao Xianzhi, and had made this decision on his own. If this were not the case, Duwu Sili would have never had this chance.
At this time, Huoshu Huicang had already fled some distance, but when he heard Duwu Sili’s words, he immediately changed his mind. While everyone was retreating, Huoshu Huicang turned and charged at Gao Xianzhi. Bang! A golden Vairocana Buddha appeared in the air, and then an earth-sundering saber energy cleaved at Gao Xianzhi.
Saber energy clashed with Sword Qi, throwing the air and earth in the surrounding fifty zhang into turmoil and creating a series of explosions. This simple collision was enough to buy Duwu Sili an important moment to catch his breath. Neeeeigh! His warhorse cried out, and Duwu Sili picked up speed, leaving behind an afterimage as he vanished into the distance.
Meanwhile, the furious Gao Xianzhi was simply unstoppable, and not even Huoshu Huicang could stop his advance. Whoosh!A terrifying Sword Qi swept past Huoshu Huicang, shattering the armor on his left shoulder and tearing open a bloody wound. But Huoshu Huicang only creased his brow for a moment, his face showing little expression. It was like Gao Xianzhi had attacked someone else’s arm.
After blocking Gao Xianzhi for one attack, Huoshu Huicang began to rapidly retreat. Although Huoshu Huicang was weaker than Gao Xianzhi, if he put all his mind into escaping, not even Gao Xianzhi could do anything.
“Lord Protector-General does not need to worry about them. Come back!”
Just when the ashen-faced Gao Xianzhi was prepared to pursue, Wang Chong came from behind him and urged him to stop.
Dalun Ruozan had already left. He had been present for this transaction, and there was no guarantee that one would be able to gain much more from a continued pursuit. Killing a few Mutri Great Cavalry and Celestial Wolf Cavalry was already quite decent.
“What a pity! A little bit more and I could have gotten it back!” Gao Xianzhi loathsomely spat as he looked into the distance.
Wang Chong would save his subordinate while he would destroy the secret to the formation phenomena. Gao Xianzhi had not opposed this transaction because he had planned to destroy the paper the moment the exchange occurred. In this fashion, he could satisfy Wang Chong by allowing him to rescue Chen Bin while also putting a stop to Duwu Sili’s schemes.
Alas, a single Huoshu Huicang had made all his plans for naught.
“Haha, Lord Protector-General, there’s no need to worry. Let them go!”
To his surprise, Wang Chong seemed unperturbed, watching with a smile as Duwu Sili and his men fled.
Gao Xianzhi turned in shock to Wang Chong. When he saw Wang Chong’s smile, his mind immediately buzzed with countless thoughts, and he suddenly seemed to understand.
“Heh, Lord Protector-General, the transaction is complete. Let’s go back first and then talk about it.” As if guessing at what Gao Xianzhi would ask, Wang Chong preempted him.
Gao Xianzhi nodded in understanding. After gathering the army and the giant ape, they set off for Talas.
In the distance, with Talas no longer in sight and the Tang having stopped their pursuit, Duwu Sili finally breathed a sigh of relief.
“Great General, congratulations. To exchange a Tang soldier for the secret of formation phenomena—there can be no more profitable transaction.” From behind Duwu Sili came a familiar voice, accompanied by the clopping of hooves.
Dalun Ruozan, riding upon a highland steed, had caught up to Duwu Sili, and he had a beaming and profound smile on his face. “With these formation phenomena, the Western Turkic Khaganate will experience a resurgence and Great General can reach even greater heights.”
This voice made Duwu Sili’s heart give a fierce thump. Now that the Tang had ceased their pursuit, the people Duwu Sili wanted to see the least were the Tibetans.
“Great Minister’s words are too much. I only plan to use it to complete my Celestial Wolf Illusory Formation. I certainly don’t have such great ambitions.” Duwu Sili pretended not to understand.
“Haha, our Ü-Tsang’s Great Scarlet Sun Formation also happens to have some flaws that could be filled by the formation phenomena. Perhaps Great General would also allow us to take a look?”
Dalun Ruozan gave a faint smile, but his eyes gleamed with sharpness.
Before the exchange with the Great Tang, the Turks and Tibetans had agreed that the secret of the formation phenomena would be shared between them. Now that Duwu Sili had the item in question, he persisted in playing the fool, but Dalun Ruozan would not be so easily tricked.
The air turned solemn as Dalun Ruozan spoke. Duwu Sili said nothing, but his body clearly seemed to stiffen as he sat upon his pitch-black Turkic steed.
Duwu Sili had worked hard to finally get this secret from Wang Chong. Although he had agreed to Dalun Ruozan’s terms, he had been compelled to by the situation. But for him to actually give it up was easier said than done.
“What? Is Great General not willing to give it up?”
Dalun Ruozan seemed to peer into Duwu Sili’s heart, an implied threat in his voice.
Cold snorts came from Dalun Ruozan’s side as Huoshu Huicang and Dusong Mangpoje suddenly grimaced. The pair said nothing, but both of them pressed their palms on their weapons. The mood instantly became sharp and dangerous.
“Duwu Sili, in this exchange, we also put in quite some effort. Are you planning to remove the bridge on us after crossing the river and go back on your words?” Dusong Mangpoje coldly said.
The air was tense as the Mutri Great Cavalry began to unsheathe their scimitars and point a forest of cold and gleaming weapons at Duwu Sili and his Western Turks. At this same moment, all the Celestial Wolf Cavalry grimaced in rage and began to point their own swords at the Mutri Great Cavalry.
Two armies that had been fighting side by side just moments ago were now pointing their weapons at each other.
Just when this tense atmosphere seemed ready to dissolve into a bloody melee, Duwu Sili suddenly laughed.
“Great Minister, Great Generals, what are you thinking? This Duwu Sili is not one who will go back on their words. This is just a scheme of that Tang brat. He wants to use the formation phenomena to sow discord between us. But we don’t need to go along with his plans. Dalun Ruozan, these are the first two sheets of paper. I’ve already looked them over and memorized them. Take them!”
Without hesitation, Duwu Sili took the first two sheets of paper Wang Chong had given him and tossed them over without a second glance.
Huoshu Huicang and Dusong Mangpoje were shocked at this abrupt move, and even Dalun Ruozan appeared slightly surprised.
Although he was surprised, Dusong Mangpoje still reached out and took the two sheets of paper. He unfolded one of them and gave it a glance, and his eyes immediately twitched. Although Duwu Sili had not let them see those two papers before, he just needed to see the profundity of these words to know that Duwu Sili was not trying to hide anything from them.
He had given them the two original and unmodified sheets of paper regarding the formation phenomena!
Even though Dusong Mangpoje was also an illustrious and veteran Imperial Great General, at this moment, he found it somewhat difficult to fathom Duwu Sili’s thoughts. He had just moments ago appeared extremely unwilling, but now, he seemed only too happy to help. It was hard to believe that these were the actions of the same person.
“Great General, it is a pleasure! We are all allies. Be at ease. Once we have read through these two sheets of paper, we will return them to Great General,” Dalun Ruozan said with a leisurely and relaxed expression.
As he spoke, Dalun Ruozan made a subtle gesture with his hand. In the next moment, the air rang with metal as the Mutri Great Cavalry sheathed their weapons. The taut atmosphere instantly relaxed.
“Haha, that’s not necessary. Great Minister can keep them,” Duwu Sili chortled, adopting a completely different attitude from before.
Duwu Sili quickly finished reading the third paper regarding the formation phenomena and gave it to Dalun Ruozan. Everyone was happy, and a satisfied Dalun Ruozan soon left with the three papers regarding formation phenomena.
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