The Human Emperor - Chapter 108: King Song Offers His Blessings!
To the empire, the regional commander and utilizing the Hu policies had much further reaching impacts than the Consort Taizhen incident.
But Wang Chong knew that this was currently the most important matter plaguing the royal court, and it dominated the thoughts of nearly all of the officials.
The damage that the regional commander and utilizing the Hu policies will cause is a matter of the future while the Consort Taizhen incident was happening right before their eyes at this moment.
The number of officials affected by this matter far surpassed that of any past incidents of the dynasty.
“Big uncle is still worried!”
Staring at big uncle, who was chatting urgently with the Head Censor after walking him to the entrance, Wang Chong felt worried.
Big uncle was an important official of the royal court, but this prestigious identity has become something that shackled him instead. Furthermore, grandfather’s massive influence had made him the de facto leader of the officials opposing to Consort Taizhen.
In the future, when everything was settled, big uncle would face the harshest punishment.
“This isn’t good!”
Lowering his head, Wang Chong frowned.
The Consort Taizhen incident was a matter regarding their responsibility as subordinates of the emperor and the societal conventions in this traditional era. Wang Chong was certain that if he didn’t talk about the regional commanders policy and mess up big uncle’s arrangements, he would surely think of a way to bring up the Consort Taizhen incident in the conference hall and try to win the old master’s support.
It was not that Wang Chong didn’t want to persuade big uncle, but he knew that even though he may agree with him on the matter regarding the regional commanders, it would be impossible for him to agree with his view of the Consort Taizhen incident.
Not only would he not agree with his view, he would even reprimand him harshly. Even the old master wouldn’t take his side.
It was their responsibility as subordinates to lead their emperor back to the right path. Since it was a matter regarding their fundamental responsibility, it was impossible for big uncle to listen to anyone’s advice on this matter.
This was also the reason why Wang Chong didn’t bring up the matter in the conference hall.
“King Song has arrived! ——”
While Wang Chong’s mind was still plagued with worry over the matter, a high-pitched voice sounded from the direction of the entrance suddenly. Hong long long, at the same moment, the ground rumbled. Somehow, Wang Chong could vaguely hear a sound resembling ocean waves.
Outside the Four Quarters Embassy, at the very end of the street, a carriage drove in. Exuding from the interior of the carriage was a powerful aura reminiscent of a rising sun, making one aware of its presence regardless of how far one was.
However, this domineering aura didn’t lack gentleness, and the gentleness didn’t blunt the majesty either. It felt as though the aura of an upright monarch.
“He’s finally here!”
Feeling the aura, Wang Chong heaved a sigh of relief. In the royal court, including Big Uncle Wang Gen, the authoritative officials who opposed Consort Taizhen view King Song as their leader.
‘To untie a knot requires the one who tied it’. To resolve this crisis and avert the damage the Consort Taizhen incident would cause to half of the officials in the royal court, King Song played a crucial role.
“Your Highness! You’re finally here!”
At the entrance of the Four Quarters Embassy, upon noticing the arrival of King Song, Wang Gen’s spirit lifted and he seemed much more energetic than before.
For this entire day, too many important things have occurred. However, what Wang Gen’s thoughts were centered around was, without a doubt, the Consort Taizhen incident. This matter involved half of the royal court, and it has already grown to become a huge political storm in the Great Tang Empire.
“Have you spoken with the old master yet?”
The moment the doors of the carriage opened, King Song stepped out dressed in a gunfu. His expression was grim, and he seemed to be plagued with worries as well.
(Gunfu is something similar to a Mianfu, and it is a robe worn by royalty.)
Wang Gen shook his head. At this moment, what the old master was concerned with was how he should report to the Sage Emperor to prevent the policies of regional commanders and utilize Hu talents from being passed.
Under such circumstances, Wang Gen had no idea how he should raise the subject.
After pondering over the matter, he decided to wait until King Song arrived.
“Your Highness, the matter regarding Consort Taizhen isn’t a small matter. This affects His Majesty’s reputation, as well as ours. No matter what, we have to prevent this matter from going through. As a father, how could he take his son’s wife as consort? If word were to spread out, wouldn’t the incorruptible image of the Sage Emperor crumble? He’ll become a laughingstock!”
“His Majesty is currently too mesmerized by her, causing him to be oblivious to the situation before him. He will regain his composure after a period of time, but by then, it will already be too late. As his subordinates, we can’t allow His Majesty to commit this kind of mistake. We have to find some way to wake him up.”
Wang Gen spoke with a grim voice.
“Un, I share your sentiments as well. A father inducting his son’s wife as consort… This is a scandal of the royal family, a scandal of the Great Tang Empire!”
King Song nodded worriedly.
“But it is a pity that King Qi and Yao Clan are meddling with the matter behind, and half of the royal court supports His Majesty’s induction of Yang Taizhen into the court as a consort. His Majesty is already blinded by love, so we have no choice but to render the help of Duke Jiu for this matter. This is also the main reason why I rushed here to offer my blessings.”
“Duke Jiu is one of the most established elder in the royal court, and he commands massive influence there. At the same time, he is a meritorious subject who supported His Majesty to the throne, and His Majesty carries great trust for him. If he were to make a stand, he will surely be able to stop this scandalous and immoral matter from going through, thus preventing history from repeating itself.”
“Those are my thoughts as well! It wasn’t easy for His Majesty to maintain an incorruptible reputation, it mustn’t be ruined in the hands of a woman!”
Wang Gen sighed.
“Your Highness, follow me. Something cropped up in the middle, allow me to tell you about it later.”
Wang Gen gestured, and he personally led King Song to where the old master was resting.
Upon seeing this sight, Wang Chong slowly retracted his gaze. Worry flickered across his eyes. He had clearly seen the attitudes of big uncle and King Song when they were discussing just a moment ago.
From the looks of it, they vehemently opposed to the matter of Consort Taizhen, and to Wang Chong, this wasn’t a good thing.
“Little lad, so you’re here!”
A voice abruptly sounded behind him.
Shocked, Wang Chong hurriedly turned around to take a look. An academic dressed in a loose robe was smiling at him.
Wang Chong immediately recovered and bowed respectfully.
The person was Academic Lu Ting, who Wang Chong met once at the Vast Crane Pavilion.
“Hehe, when is Chong gongzi returning back home?”
Lu Ting smiled.
Wang Chong was taken aback. The Wang Clan was rarely gathered together, and only on grandfather’s birthday did the entire clan get a chance to gather together. As such, it became a family tradition to have dinner together on this day before leaving.
Having lived his life alone for his previous life, Wang Chong cherished such moments dearly.
“Hehe, that’s good. King Song has entrusted me to invite gongzi for a meeting.”
Lu Ting spoke of his intentions straightforwardly.
Lu Ting had an extremely good impression of this Wang Clan offspring, and he was the one who pushed for King Song and Wang Chong’s meeting.
Wang Chong was taken aback for a moment before nodding his head.
“Alright! I happen to have something to ask of King Song as well!”
Lu Ting raised his head and glanced at Wang Chong. This time, it was his turn to be surprised.
The sun slowly set, and the crowd who were here to offer their blessings gradually left. Elder Ye, Duke of Hu, Elder Zhao, Elder Sun, Elder Ma, and the others left the Four Quarters Embassy along with their offsprings.
Soon, the entire Four Quarters Embassy fell silent.
Wang Chong waited outside for an hour before King Song emerged from the Erudite Pavilion. He noticed that the other party’s complexion didn’t look too good.
“Seems like King Song didn’t get what he wanted.”
Wang Chong shook his head.
Wang Chong didn’t look into the Consort Taizhen incident in his previous life so he wasn’t clear about the details.
Regarding the Consort Taizhen incident, grandfather’s attitude was vague.
The Song and Wang Clan had several generations of friendship, and on many matters, grandfather would support King Song, and the opposite was true as well. Both parties often shared the same opinions on the major affairs in the royal court.
It was precisely because of this relationship that big uncle and King Song established an ‘Alliance of Offense and Defense’.
Many times, before a court discussion, they would meet in advance to share their thoughts and opinions.
On the matter of Consort Taizhen, Wang Chong thought that grandfather would support King Song. However, that wasn’t the case.
But while grandfather didn’t support King Song, he didn’t object to his actions either.
On this matter, grandfather chose to remain silent.
Having weathered through innumerable tribulations in the earlier part of his life, grandfather often spoke frankly before the Sage Emperor, rarely mincing his words.
Yet, grandfather chose to remain silent on the Consort Taizhen incident. This was out of character for him. Even after decades have passed, Wang Chong was still unable to understand his actions.
Eventually, Wang Chong could only understand it as that big uncle has made a stand, so grandfather decided to take a step back. However, Wang Chong always thought that there was something deeper to the matter.
Lu Ting walked over to King Song and whispered a few words in his ear. King Song pulled himself together, and his complexion alleviated.
Wang Chong met King Song by a fake hill near the bamboo forest. The surroundings were completely silent except for the few Imperial Army members patrolling the area.
Upon seeing Wang Chong, King Song’s spirits seemed to have lifted and a hint of a smile appeared on his face.
“I’ve heard of you from your big uncle. Truly a young hero!”
King Song offered generous words of compliments.
He had heard of the matter regarding Yao Guang Yi from Wang Gen. If not for Wang Gen’s confirmation of the matter, King Song would have found it hard to believe that a veteran strategist like Yao Guang Yi would lose to a fifteen-year-old child.
“I have already ordered for that matter to be silenced, and that all those who know of that matter are strictly forbidden to speak of it. Thus, no one should know that you are the one who hindered Yao Guang Yi’s ploy.”
King Song said.
King Song had a deep impression of Wang Chong. It was an incredible feat to foil the ploy of a formidable adversary like Yao Guang Yi.
This was also the reason why he looked forward to meeting Wang Chong on this birthday banquet.
“Thank you, Your Highness.”
Wang Chong bowed.
Given the years of friendship between the Song and Wang Clan, King Song would protect the members of the Wang Clan without having a word to be said. This was also the reason why the Wang Clan members chose to submit to King Song.
“Hehe, speak. What kind of rewards do you want? As long as it is within my means, I will give it to you.”
King Song spoke magnanimously.
“Your Highness has already rewarded me.”
Wang Chong politely declined.
“Hehe, those are two different matters. Back then, it was because of my appreciation of you. This time, it’s a bestowment from an elder, so you mustn’t refuse me.”
King Song smiled gently.
“…preventing history from repeating itself.”
This is King Song said about Consort Taizhen, Li Mao, and Emperor Xuanzong earlier in the chapter.
By history, he meant Wu Zetian (The one who established Second Zhou Dynasty 690-705 abruptly in the midst of the Tang Dynasty).
Wu Zetian was the consort of Emperor Taizong (the second emperor) before marrying his ninth son (as well as the successor to the throne), Emperor Gaozong, and became the Empress.
In summary, she married both the father and the son.
(There are various tiers to the back palace, and consorts/concubines have different ranks. Empress stands at the very top of the hierarchy, and they are often viewed as the ‘official wife’.)