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Chapter 1309: Predicament!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The First Prince took in a deep breath and fell quiet for a few moments.
“w.a.n.g Chong, this prince knows that all you did was for the sake of the country and people, but the country has its laws and the clans have their rules. Since the Imperial Court issued this law, everyone must comply with it. Even the Son of Heaven will suffer the same punishment as a commoner if he breaks the law.”
The intense court debate came to an end.
“Respectfully sending off Your Highness!”
Everyone bowed and watched the First Prince leave.
In this entire process, w.a.n.g Chong was abnormally cold and calm, even excessively so.
As everyone was leaving the hall, w.a.n.g Chong coldly chuckled and said, “Secretariat Advisor!”
This was so abrupt that everyone stopped. King Qi, the Grand Preceptor, and Li Linfu all turned to look and see what was happening.
“The King of Foreign Lands has something else to say?”
Li Junxian paused for a moment, but he quickly regained his composure and walked out from the crowd. Whoosh! All the other officials yielded, leaving w.a.n.g Chong and Li Junxian a large s.p.a.ce to talk.
Everyone understood what was going on with this court debate. This was truthfully a struggle between w.a.n.g Chong and Li Junxian, and for w.a.n.g Chong to suddenly call out Li Junxian now despite remaining quiet for the entire court debate made everyone feel an extreme sense of danger.
“Heheh, come here!”
w.a.n.g Chong waved a hand at a Golden Guard standing at the side of the hall. The Golden Guard walked up in a daze, and then, clink! w.a.n.g Chong dropped the silver fish token that symbolized his status as Advisor-in-Waiting into the hands of the guard.
At the same time, he lightly pulled at his chinstrap, taking off the purple-gold cap and handing it over, allowing his black hair to pour down his shoulders, several strands hanging down his temples.
“Li Junxian, I overestimated you!”
At w.a.n.g Chong’s words, Li Junxian’s ears reddened.
On the surface, the Confucian Sect had won this round, but both w.a.n.g Chong and Li Junxian knew that the moment he invited Master Zhu to step forward, the Confucian Sect had conceded the round.
“Do you think that you can win just by removing me from my Advisor-in-Waiting post and making me take off the royal robes of the King of Foreign Lands?”
w.a.n.g Chong sneered, derision in his eyes.
“King of Foreign Lands, what do you mean?”
Li Junxian’s eyes narrowed as he stared at w.a.n.g Chong.
But w.a.n.g Chong said nothing more. With a wave of his sleeve, he strode out of the hall.
“Chong-er, wait a moment!”
w.a.n.g Chong’s big uncle w.a.n.g Gen rushed to catch up.
Li Junxian stared speechlessly at w.a.n.g Chong’s back for a long time.
The moment w.a.n.g Chong handed over his fish token and walked out of Taihe Palace…
Countless birds took to the skies of the Great Tang capital, carrying with them the information on everything that had transpired in the capital, including w.a.n.g Chong’s impeachment, to all the surrounding countries.
In an Eastern Turkic tent, a bearded and muscular man loudly laughed as he held the letter in his hand.
“This Confucian Sect truly is very formidable. With just a few words, they were actually able to cast the King of Foreign Lands into the abyss.”
Ozmish Khagan was overjoyed by the news he had received from the Great Tang.
Although the area the King of Foreign Lands was responsible for was not adjacent to the lands of the Eastern Turks, the teeth would feel the chill if the lips died. The amount of power he had shown was enough to threaten any empire.
Moreover, once the Great Tang dealt with its opponents in the other directions, it would have the spare manpower to launch a campaign to Youzhou. At that moment, the Eastern Turkic Khaganate would undoubtedly suffer severe damage.
“Forbidden from partic.i.p.ating in government affairs, forbidden from partic.i.p.ating in military affairs, haha! With these two restrictions alone, he’s nothing more than a tiger without claws and no longer much of a threat to us!”
“It was all nothing but a false alarm! But regardless, we won this round!”
The Goguryeo Empire, the Xi and Khitans, Mengshe Zhao, the Western Turkic Khaganate—the moment the upper echelons of these countries received the news, they all celebrated.
This reversal had come too quickly and caught everyone by surprise. A moment ago, all of them had been worrying about whether or not the Great Tang would become even more bellicose than it had before, but a moment later, all the threats had been neutralized.
“Master Zhu! I didn’t think that he was still alive! With this move, the Confucian Sect has already won!”
In the distant Ü-Tsang, Dalon Trinling received a similar intelligence report. But unlike the others, Dalon Trinling was more focused on the matter of ‘Master Zhu’s reemergence’. In his early years, when he was traveling through the Central Plains, he had heard of Master Zhu’s reputation. At the time, he had not been a Great Minister, and he had held great admiration for this esteemed scholar and only ‘Master’ of the Central Plains.
But what he had heard at the time was that Master Zhu had already pa.s.sed away. Clearly, this had not been the case.
“Li Junxian is far from enough for this conflict between militarists and Confucians. Only by having this Confucian leader step forward can everything be changed. There is essentially no one in the Central Plains who could contend against someone of Master Zhu’s status!” Dalon Trinling indifferently said.
At this moment, the Great General of the Yarlung Royal Lineage, Namri Songtian, suddenly spoke. “Imperial Minister, the impeachment of the King of Foreign Lands is admittedly a matter worth celebrating, but—and please forgive this subordinate for speaking too much—if the Confucian Sect can command someone like Master Zhu, then it is no simple faction! This Confucian Sect will likely pose a major threat to us in the future!”
“Hah, even so, that’s a matter for the future!”
Dalon Trinling waved a sleeve and carelessly chuckled.
“Come! It is rare for Master Zhu to show himself. Prepare a gift and send it to Master Zhu in the name of the Imperial Minister of Ü-Tsang! I and all the other Great Ministers of Ü-Tsang have all traveled through the Central Plains and learned the teachings of the Confucian school, so we can be considered students of Master Zhu. Treat it as a gift from a disciple!”
“This subordinate will deliver this order!”
A Tibetan guard bowed and quickly left to deliver the order.
Once the guard was gone, Dalon Trinling spoke again.
“Songtian, it is rare for Li Junxian to send us a gift, and thus, we should reciprocate and send a gift back. Let us prepare something more for the King of Foreign Lands!”
Namri Songtian remained standing like a ma.s.sive and immovable rock, but his lips curled into a smile.
“Your subordinate will do so!”
As the surrounding foreign countries made their moves, w.a.n.g Chong returned to his family’s residence. Despite the storms taking place around him, w.a.n.g Chong’s mind was calm and placid.
“Chong-er, don’t worry too much about this matter. I will definitely think of a way to submit a memorial to the Sage Emperor. You raised soldiers and opened up the armory for the sake of the Great Tang. Without those weapons, all of Qixi and Longxi would be in a state of dire peril. I am confident that His Majesty and all the people of the realm will understand.”
Within the w.a.n.g Family Residence, w.a.n.g Gen sat across from w.a.n.g Chong, his face fraught with concern. w.a.n.g Chong was simply too calm, and the calmer he was, the uneasier w.a.n.g Gen felt.
From the war of the southwest to the Battle of Talas, from Marquis to King, w.a.n.g Chong’s path had been smooth and easy, but suddenly, he had been tossed into the bottom of a valley. Even his t.i.tle of King of Foreign Lands had been stripped away. w.a.n.g Gen was truly worried that his nephew would not be able to endure all this.
After all, great joys and great sorrows had both come too quickly, and no ordinary person would be able to endure it all. Besides that, w.a.n.g Chong was only eighteen and truly too young.
“Heh, Big Uncle, I know what you’re thinking. You don’t need to worry about me! I can still deal with it!” w.a.n.g Chong indifferently said.
The door to the hall was tightly shut, and all was quiet within. There was no one in this room except for uncle and nephew.
w.a.n.g Gen couldn’t help but sigh.
“Chong-er, there’s really no need to put so much pressure on yourself. Our w.a.n.g Clan is a clan of ministers and generals, and with the wealth that you saved, we have more than enough to feed ourselves for a generation. From another perspective, your retirement from the Imperial Court and the army could be considered a good thing. At the very least, you can live a more relaxed life and not have to face so many dangers. As for the realm, you’ve already done your best. Just like you said, as long as the people of our w.a.n.g Clan have no regrets in their actions, that is enough!”
w.a.n.g Chong was startled. As he gazed at his big uncle’s worried face, a hint of warmth surged through his heart. No matter what the time was, family was family and relatives were relatives. His big uncle had always diligently put all his effort into the affairs of the court. In his mind, this person was always someone who encouraged the people of the w.a.n.g Clan to work for the sake of the Great Tang, the Imperial Court, and the people of the empire.
When his little uncle w.a.n.g Mi chose to stay at Heaven Pillar Mountain and serve as an instructor for the Imperial Army, even though his big uncle had always had a cordial relationship with him, they got into such an argument at the time that they almost completely broke off their relationship.
This was also why his big uncle had given w.a.n.g Chong such a cold eye when he used to idle around in the capital and mix together with people like Ma Zhou, becoming nothing more than a hedonistic good-for-nothing.
But now, for his sake, his big uncle was saying things like ‘your retirement from the Imperial Court and the army could be considered a good thing’ and ‘you’ve already done your best’. w.a.n.g Chong was well aware of how difficult it was for his big uncle to say such things.
“Big Uncle, thank you,” w.a.n.g Chong sincerely said.
While sending off his big uncle, w.a.n.g Chong realized to his great consternation that his big uncle had gotten much older. He was immediately filled with sorrow. With his withdrawal from court, his big uncle and King Song would have to somehow manage in the court by themselves.
But w.a.n.g Chong blinked his eyes and quickly calmed back down.
“Come!” w.a.n.g Chong suddenly said.
Two figures immediately appeared behind w.a.n.g Chong: Old Eagle and Zhang Que.
“What have the great clans had to say about my impeachment?” w.a.n.g Chong said, his back continuing to face the two.
The eyes of Old Eagle and Zhang Que immediately dimmed at w.a.n.g Chong’s question.
“Upon learning that Milord was impeached, many great clans have begun to cut their relations and distance themselves from us. We sent people over, but they were refused at the door.”
When w.a.n.g Chong’s star was rising, all the great clans rushed toward him like sharks that had smelled blood. But now that w.a.n.g Chong’s power was in decline and he was being criticized all around, all these great clans had abandoned him. This left Old Eagle and Zhang Que furious.