The Human Emperor - Chapter 104: Xu Shao!
“Little sister, what happened?”
Yang Zhao asked. His voice sounded even more anxious than Consort Taizhen. He traveled a far distance from Jiannan to the capital, and his greatest backing here was his cousin, Consort Taizhen.
If something were to happen to her, then his dream of affluence would come to an end.
“His Majesty hopes to confer me the title of a consort, but this has stirred the violent objections of the officials, and more than half of the officials have been slandering me. I’m currently stepping on burning charcoal, and my life is hanging by a thread. If this matter succeeds, I will be able to fulfill my wish of being beside His Majesty from day to night. However, if it were to fail, since ancient times, people like me have never ended well…”
Consort Taizhen tried her best to stay calm, but a sliver of unease and fear still managed to seep into her voice.
Since ancient times, there has never been a single lady who was attacked by more than half of the royal court. This pressure wasn’t something that she could shoulder alone. Just the thought of those dagger-like memorials sent to the court was sufficient for her to wake up in the middle of the night.
Yang Zhao’s face darkened. He has heard about the matters of the royal court, and he knew that his cousin was in a difficult position. Even so, he didn’t think that she would be in such a precarious situation.
“What can we do about this?”
“Of all of the officials, the ones who oppose to me the most vehemently is King Song and a powerful official named Wang Gen. Putting aside the other officials, King Song is a member of royalty, a qinwang of Great Tang, and he possesses tremendous influence in the royal court. As for Wang Gen, he is a member of the Wang Clan. Even though his standing is unable to match up to King Song, his father is the revered Duke Jiu.”
Consort Taizhen replied.
Yang Zhao frowned. He wasn’t familiar with the personnel of the royal court, but he found the name ‘Wang Gen’ slightly familiar, and it didn’t seem to be because of his father, Duke Jiu.
“… At the moment, only Duke Jiu hasn’t made a stand on the matter. His opinion has a great influence on the court officials and His Majesty. King Song and the Wang Clan have three generations of friendship, and today is Duke Jiu’s seventieth birthday. King Song will definitely head there to offer his blessings. If Duke Jiu were to support him openly, then our situation would truly be dire!”
Consort Taizhen’s worried and frustrated voice sounded from the red tent. She didn’t expect that things would evolve to such a point.
She didn’t do anything vile, and she didn’t interfere in politics either. All she wanted was to be with the person she loved, why must so many people stand between them!
“Little sister, what do you want me to do?”
Without any hesitation, Yang Zhao asked. He didn’t know much, and the only strength of his was that he wouldn’t hesitate to dive into a sea of flames for his little sister.
Even if it was murder, he would do it without any hesitation.
“His Majesty has said that he would induct me into the palace no matter what happened, and many people in the royal court have expressed their approval for His Majesty and me, such as King Qi and the Yao Clan. However, this is far from sufficient. Duke Jiu wields an exceptional position in His Majesty’s heart, and I don’t have any way to influence his decision. All I can do is to try and influence the other officials.”
Consort Taizhen clapped, and a few old nannies appeared from Yuzhen Palace. They carried a few crates of golden sheets, golden coins, and golden bars, and they placed it before Yang Zhao.
The sight of the mountain of gold caused Yang Zhao’s eyes to blur.
“I don’t know much people in the capital, and my relationship with His Majesty makes it difficult for me to appear in public. Thus, I can only entrust this matter to brother. You are the only one who can help me now.”
“These are the rewards that His Majesty bestowed me with, take it! You must find a way to pull as many as court officials as you can to my side in the shortest time possible.”
Consort Taizhen said.
“Little sister, rest assured. Leave this matter to me.”
Patting his chest, Yang Zhao hesitated for a moment before speaking once more.
“However, I’m afraid that just these gold would be insufficient to buy the hearts of those officials!”
“Hmph, rest assured. Tell them that I will find a way to promote them if I survive this ordeal so that they can enjoy a life of luxury! As for King Song, there is no grudge between us, but he gathered officials time and time again to send memorials to His Majesty to kill me. If I manage to survive this, I will make sure that he and the Wang Clan will die tragically!”
Consort Taizhen uttered coldly. Deep hatred emanated from her words.
To King Song, this was a matter of the honor of the royal family. However, to her, this was a matter of life and death. When a person was forced into a desperate situation, no matter how weak they could be, they would slowly grow stronger.
“Hehe, little sister, don’t worry. With your words, I’m confident of convincing them!”
Promising her, Yang Zhao spoke no more.
Even though Yang Zhao has lost all of his money in the gambling den, he has met people from all walks of life there, and he learned many things as well.
‘Under the heavens, all comes for profit, and leaves for profit’, as long as there were sufficient profits involved, he was confident that he could move anyone.
Summoning the two old nannies of the palace to carry the crates, Yang Zhao left Yuzhen Palace.
When Yang Zhao left Yuzhen Palace, in another different location…
“Your Highness, King Song has left King Song Residence!”
In King Qi Residence, a powerful figure walked into the residence, kneeled onto the floor respectfully, and reported earnestly.
Behind a narra table, a massive figure emanating a vigorous aura sat. He had a kind of disposition which induced fear in others, as though a mighty flood dragon had coiled at that spot.
(Narra is a type of wood)
“Old Master Yao’s words are true. My chance has finally come!”
King Qi’s eyes lit up and he laughed heartily. Yao Guang Yi promised him time and time again that no mishap would occur for the matter by the border, yet he failed him eventually.
The reason why he decided to hold his anger back was because Old Master Yao had stood up and told him that there was another chance.
As long as they made use of this opportunity well, they would be able to overthrow both King Song and the Wang Clan without lifting a single finger. Furthermore, they wouldn’t have the opportunity to make a comeback.
Because the one who will overthrow them is the current Sage Emperor!
“Hahaha, Li Chengqi, Li Chenqi! Do you think that you are being loyal? You are just going against the will of His Majesty!
King Qi laughed heartily. If not for Old Master Yao’s pointer, he wouldn’t have known that His Majesty had already made up his mind for the ‘Consort Taizhen incident’. No matter what kind of price he had to pay, no matter which subordinates opposed to it, he would induct Consort Taizhen into the royal palace.
There were already people who were addressing ‘Consort Taizhen’ as Her Highness in the royal palace secretly. If not for His Majesty’s orders, no one would dare to be so bold.
Most probably, even Consort Taizhen didn’t know that despite half of the royal court was against her, and her circumstances seemed dire, her position as an imperial consort was already fixed in place!
Old Master Yao’s eye for such things was extremely sharp. He has followed the current emperor for decades, and it was impossible for him to be wrong about this.
“As a subordinate, it’s one thing for you to argue with His Majesty on the important matters of the empire, but to interfere in His Majesty’s private affairs as well… King Song, you are overstepping your boundaries! Hehe, you are courting death, no one can save you! ——Go on, it’s best that you pull that old fogey down along with you!”
King Qi laughed heartily. The matter regarding Consort Taizhen raised a storm in the capital, and all of the officials were bringing out the Confucian classics to advise His Majesty, but King Qi steered clear of the matter completely.
He wished fervently for them to cause an even larger ruckus! It would be best if King Song and the officials he led could force His Majesty to a corner!
Wang Chong didn’t know the commotion outside, and he didn’t know that Yuzhen Palace and King Qi Residence were moving to the ‘Consort Taizhen incident’.
At this moment, Wang Chong was staring at the entrance of the Four Quarters Embassy. A huge commotion was currently going on there. Where friends were, enemies came.
The ones who came for the old master’s birthday banquet weren’t just limited to friends.
“What are you looking at? Can’t I come to offer my blessings to Duke Jiu?”
Playing off his seniority, an elder spoke rudely.
“Old fellow, don’t go overboard. Are you even related to Duke Jiu at all?”
Elder Ma’s voice sounded at the entrance of the Four Quarters Embassy, and he seemed to be obstructing the person’s entry.
“Heh, whether I have any relationship with him or not, do I need a coach like you to point it out? Even Duke Jiu hasn’t said anything yet, who do you think you are? Scram to the side!”
Hong, the entire Four Quarters Embassy tremored. A powerful shock wave shook the surroundings, and it seemed like Elder Ma had crossed blows with that person.
Wang Chong hurried over, just that barely after he took a few steps, a figure walked straight over vigorously. The white-haired elder who seemed like he could even crush mountains led a huge crowd over.
Carrying a gold token in his hand, even the Imperial Army guards didn’t dare to stop him.
“Bastard, it’s that old turtle!”
Standing by the corner of the fake hill, Wang Chong got a good glimpse of the person and cursed in his mind. No one of the current generation of officials dared to act so impudently in the grandfather’s Four Quarters Embassy.
Those who dared to do so, to the point that even the Imperial Army guards didn’t dare to stop, could only be the old officials of the same generations as the old master. However, different from Elder Ma, Elder Zhao, and the others, they were the old master’s political rivals back in those years.
‘Xu Shao’, one of the rivals of the old master in the royal court back then. When he was younger, he often opposed the old master in the military affairs of the empire. The old master was hot-blooded then, and he didn’t like him either.
Back then, the both of them had sent countless memorials complaining about one another.
Back then, during the political change in the royal court, Xu Shao was supposed to be impeached, but by luck of some sort, he led an army and saved the current emperor.
Thus, he managed to survive the ordeal of the political change then. After which, by sheer luck once more, he was conferred the title of Duke of Xu, allowing him to tread fearlessly in the Great Tang.
Back then, the old master was young and hot-blooded. But as years went by, he slowly calmed down and became more cultivated. On the other hand, the Duke of Xu, Xu Shao, didn’t change at all, and he was still the same as back then.
The old fellow was already advanced in age, being just several years younger than grandfather, and he has retired from the royal court. However, his temper of standing at odds with grandfather on everything hasn’t changed at all.
Thus, during grandfather’s birthday banquet each year, they would barge in along with their grandsons to cause a ruckus. In his previous life, Wang Chong had secretly scolded him ‘old turtle’, but he managed to overhear it and he pulled Wang Chong’s ear around the embassy.
Due to grandfather being cultured, as long as the old turtle didn’t go overboard, he would just meet him with a smile, allowing him to do as he pleased.