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Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"Your Highness, everything is ready. He can go onto the stage at any time," Su Shixuan said with a bow.
"Let him go then!"
w.a.n.g Chong waved his hand.
Su Shixuan quickly left to deliver the order.
A few moments later, there was a banging of gongs and drums. All became still as a hunter wearing coa.r.s.e clothes and a wolfskin tied around his waist was escorted to the stage by a w.a.n.g Clan guard. Behind him was none other than Su Shixuan.
The moment Su Shixuan and this hunter appeared, they immediately became the center of attention. The crowds quieted down, and even those Confucians who had vehemently been criticizing w.a.n.g Chong stopped and looked over.
"What's this fellow up to now?"
"No rush! Let's see what happens first!"
The Confucians turned to the stage to see how things developed. In their restaurants, Yao Guangyi, Li Junxian, the Grand Tutor, and the Crown Prince's Junior Guardian, as well as all the other great clans and n.o.bles of the capital, quietly watched.
Su Shixuan didn't even glance down at the crowd. Once everyone had mostly become quiet, he turned to the hunter and asked, "What is your name?"
The hunter raised his head and fearlessly said, "Chen Dazhong!"
"How long have you lived in the mountains?" Su Shixuan asked again.
This sudden conversation immediately had everyone's attention, all of them finding it rather strange. Hadn't the w.a.n.g Clan arranged for this hunter to show up? Why did this conversation sound like they had no relationship whatsoever?
On stage, the hunter laughed and said, "My family have been hunters in the mountains for generations. Since the time of my grandfather's grandfather, we've been living in that mountain village. When I was seven, I accompanied my father in hunting, and it's been forty-some years now."
Su Shixuan knocked on the iron cage and asked, "Did you raise this dog?"
"Heh, yes. Don't look down on its size. It has a very sensitive nose and is able to sniff out anything on the mountain from far, far away!"
All was quiet as the crowd was increasingly entranced. Some people were beginning to realize that this matter was not exactly what they had imagined.
"If you're a hunter, why did you come to the capital?"
Su Shixuan's question instantly had the interest of the crowd, and everyone stared at the hunter.
"Hah, because the King of Foreign Lands said that if I could answer just a few simple questions, I could get one hundred taels of gold from him, and then I can go back to my mountain. I wouldn't be able to make that much in a year, even if I spent every day of it hunting in the mountains. I only need to answer a few simple questions, so why wouldn't I come?" the hunter replied.
The hunter's answer caused an uproar in the crowd, and within his restaurant, Li Junxian frowned. From the sound of it, w.a.n.g Chong had made no attempt to bribe this hunter into saying anything in particular. While it seemed absurd, he was confident that someone of w.a.n.g Chong's status would not have someone speak such a low-cla.s.s lie in front of so many people.
But this only made Li Junxian even more confused as to what was going on.
"Then let me ask you, how did you get this wolf?"
Su Shixuan was emotionless as he once more spoke to the hunter.
This hunter was the chief hunter of his mountain village and was fifty-some years of age. He had a calm and composed personality, and it was only someone with this sort of personality that could remain so fearless and confident in front of such a large crowd.
"Heh, last year, I hunted down and killed a mother wolf. When I went to its den, I found several wolf cubs. In the middle of winter, with the mother wolf dead and no one to feed them, those wolf cubs would be doomed. At the time, I was somewhat unable to bear it, so I took the wolf cubs back home with me, deciding to have them be playmates for my son. These wolf cubs didn't eat dog food and starved to death, one after the other. In the end, this was the only one left. It guards my house for me and is quite a decent a.s.sistant," the hunter said.
"Why does this wolf not eat the dog?" Su Shixuan asked again.
"This wolf cub was only able to survive by drinking the milk of this dog's mother, and it grew up together with this dog, eating, sleeping, and playing with each other. How could it eat it?!
"Right, Milord, is that all? If that's all your questions, I'll take the one hundred taels of gold, spend a few days in the capital, and go home. It happens to be hunting season."
"There's one last question. Have you heard of 'Benevolence and Righteousness' and 'Might Makes Right'? Which one do you think is correct?" Su Shixuan sternly said.
Everyone waited with bated breath for the hunter's answer.
"Hahaha, on the road, I heard people talking about this. Everyone in the Great Tang is talking about these two books, and your people even brought up this matter to me on the road. I'm just a lowly hunter, so there's no way I could know anything about such high-level problems. But there's one thing that I do know. Although your lord says that all creatures are beasts, that tigers eating wolves and wolves eating dogs is the law of the jungle, this isn't an absolute. At the very least, the wolf that I raised will never eat a dog, at least not this dog that I raised."
The hunter loudly laughed.
"Is that so? Are you really sure?"
Su Shixuan shot the hunter a profound glance.
When this hunter stepped onto the stage, Su Shixuan could sense that everyone believed that the w.a.n.g Clan had sought out this hunter's help. But Su Shixuan knew that they had said nothing to this hunter nor done anything to him. The hunter himself didn't even know why he had been brought here. All his answers were sincere expressions of his thoughts, unaffected by the opinions of others.
"Sir is making a joke. It might not be the case for anything else, but no one understands the beasts of the mountains more than us hunters. I can guarantee that this wolf cub that I raised will never eat a dog!" the hunter confidently proclaimed, patting his chest.
The crowd began to chatter. If they were dubious at first, everyone was slowly beginning to realize that this hunter truly was an ordinary hunter that the w.a.n.g Clan had found deep in the mountains. There had been no collusion between the two parties, or else the hunter would have never said such words. And his expression did not seem to be one of a liar.
The crowd spoke in hushed voices to each other, each person befuddled. If the w.a.n.g Clan had not colluded with this hunter, what game was the King of Foreign Lands trying to play? In the surrounding restaurants, all the n.o.bles and influential officials who had heard this conversation creased their brows.
"Forgive my slow eyes, but not even I can tell what the King of Foreign Lands is up to. I've always heard that the King of Foreign Lands is unconventional, but his way of thinking truly is unfathomable!"
In the Moon Lake Pavilion, across from Vast Crane Pavilion, the Duke of Zhao creased his white brows.
"Lord Duke, even I am left befuddled. Didn't the King of Foreign Lands want to defeat the Confucians? By doing this, isn't he just doing the reverse and defeating himself?" a n.o.ble next to him said.
The others in the party glanced at each other in confusion, all of them speechless.
"Young Master, what should we do now?"
In the restaurant across from the stage, a Confucian Sect disciple bowed, confusion in his eyes.
"Withdraw. There's no need to do anything else."
Li Junxian frowned and waved his hand.
This hunter had already thoroughly described their standpoint. Finding some more beast tamers was completely unnecessary.
After some thought, Li Junxian waved a hand and called over a Confucian Sect disciple. "Come!
"Immediately send people to investigate this hunter, including how w.a.n.g Chong's people got in touch with him. The more detailed the report, the better."
The Confucian Sect disciple swiftly left with this order.
Elder Song stepped forward and said, "Young Master, the King of Foreign Lands has given us a difficult problem this time."
Li Junxian nodded. w.a.n.g Chong had completely upset his previous plan, rendering the countermeasure useless.
"Send some people to keep a close watch on them. Inform me as soon as possible of any sign of activity! We must see how this situation develops," Li Junxian sternly said.
Elder Song nodded.
On Azure Dragon Street, the event had finally reached its final moments.
"Very good. Everyone clearly heard what was said just now. The dog is yours, and the wolf is yours too. Since you're so certain that the wolf won't eat the dog, let's make a bet. If it really is as you say, His Highness is willing to pay you an additional ten thousand taels of gold, but if you lose… my lord will not have to pay you anything. Take your things and return to your home. And you will naturally not have any chance at some ten thousand taels of gold," Su Shixuan sternly said.
The hunter suddenly paled. He had never expected something like ten thousand taels of gold, and Su Shixuan and his men had never even hinted at such a possibility.
"Chen Dazhong, everyone here heard it and can serve as your witness. We've also even informed the Court of Judicial Review of this matter. If you can prove what you say, then the ten thousand taels of gold will all be yours!"
As Su Shixuan spoke, he gestured behind him.
Rumble! Four muscular soldiers carried up a heavy iron chest and placed it on the stage. The moment it was set down, everyone could feel the stage quiver.
"Okay, let's go!"
Su Shixuan looked around at the guards around the stage before leaving.
At almost the same moment, w.a.n.g Chong stood up from his seat and left the restaurant. The show was basically over.
I hope that this can finally make everyone understand!
w.a.n.g Chong inwardly sighed before he left.
An empire could not be changed in a single night. This was a method he had thought of to resolve this problem from the smallest possible cost.
The Confucian Sect was incredibly efficient. On the night of the same day, an extremely detailed report on the hunter Chen Dazhong was sent by messenger bird to the Secretariat Advisor Residence.