The Human Emperor - Chapter 109: Wang Chong Pays Respect to King Song!
The Song and Wang Clan weren’t just in a simple political alliance. There were many other emotions involved in their relationship as well.
For example, the old King Song and Duke Jiu were fellow peers, and they were good brothers back then.
During the era of turmoil, they fought side-by-side to aid the current Sage Emperor to the throne.
It could be said that Duke Jiu has watched the current King Song grow up.
When the old King Song was still around, Duke Jiu often visited the King Song Residence, and he had often carried and played with him. Putting aside their political alliance, King Song actually regarded Duke Jiu as a fatherly figure, as well as a kind elder in the depths of his heart.
Thus, even though King Song was disappointed by Duke Jiu’s lack of support, he didn’t fly into a fit of rage.
King Song didn’t have much of an impression of Wang Chong, but now that he was thinking of it, he suddenly remembered a few past events vaguely.
King Song had probably carried and cajoled Wang Chong when he was younger. However, after he took over the position of King Song, with many matters on his agenda, he became busier and busier. Thus, he lost the time to be concerned about these ‘juniors’.
Now that he was done tackling the matters of the royal court, looking at Wang Chong brought up some fond memories within King Song, triggering his sentiments as an elder.
Wang Chong didn’t know what King Song was thinking about, but he could sense that he was in his most friendly, casual, and relaxed state.
As though he was talking to him in the capacity of a kind elder.
“Your Highness, I dare not reject your bestowment. If possible, may I ask for a person?”
Wang Chong lowered his head and bowed.
King Song and Lu Ting glanced at one another in curiosity. This was especially so for King Song. He was still frustrated over the Consort Taizhen’s incident, and upon hearing Wang Chong’s words, his interest in the matter surged abruptly, causing him to put aside the worries of the royal court for the moment.
“Hahaha, a person? A woman? Which lady do you have your eyes on? It’s normal to have a crush when one is younger, so feel free to tell me about it. Regardless of who it is, I will talk to them on your behalf.”
King Song chuckled and his mood lightened.
Who hasn’t been young before? After hearing Wang Chong’s words, King Song thought that Wang Chong was infatuated with a lady from some clan, and this raked up many of his childhood memories.
“Indeed, Chong gongzi. You should speak of it. Even if it is a princess, it isn’t entirely impossible with King Song’s help.”
Lu Ting stroked his beard as he teased by the side.
“That’s not it, Your Highness, you have misunderstood my intentions.”
Wang Chong was placed in an awkward situation. This wasn’t the case at all! What were these two thinking?
“I would like to save a person, but only Your Highness wields the ability to do so. Thus, I would like to plead with Your Highness on this matter!”
King Song glanced at Wang Chong, and upon seeing Wang Chong’s serious expression, he frowned and retracted his smile. With a grave tone, he spoke:
“Who do you wish to save? I’ll have to tell you in advance that the royal court has its own laws. Even if I am a king of the royal family, I cannot violate these laws!”
“I understand. This person is called Zhang Munian, and his crime wasn’t very severe. This is the scroll of his sins. Your Highness, please take a look.”
With a lowered head, Wang Chong passed the scroll which he had copied in advance over with both of his hands.
It wasn’t just because of the Consort Taizhen incident that Wang Chong was determined to meet King Song. To Wang Chong, there was a person who was more important than Consort Taizhen.
That person was Zhang Munian!
After his reincarnation, Wang Chong had pondered for many days and nights, and he eventually came to a conclusion. To change the fate of the empire, there was a person which he truly needed:
King Song frowned. He tried to jog his memory, but he realized that he hadn’t heard this name before.
“Academic Lu, have you heard of this person?” King Song glanced over.
Lu Ting shook his head.
He hadn’t heard of this name before either.
King Song was astonished. Grabbing the scroll over from Wang Chong’s hands, he unfurled it and started browsing through.
“So he is an agriculture official. Why would he embezzle so much money? That’s twenty thousand gold taels!”
Glancing through the information on the scroll, King Song frowned. But on the inside, King Song heaved a sigh of relief. He was worried that the person who Wang Chong wanted to save was a crook who had committed vile crimes such as murder, arson, rape, and treason.
Even though corruption wasn’t a minor crime either based on the empire’s laws, it was only a matter involving financial loss. In King Song’s perspective, it wasn’t a huge matter.
At the very least, it wasn’t unpardonable.
“Your Highness, while it’s true that he had embezzled twenty thousand gold taels, I can assure you that there’s something else to the matter. He didn’t take this money for his own use!”
Wang Chong said earnestly.
King Song frowned, but he didn’t ask about the matter. In any case, a small official like that wasn’t worth his attention:
“Regarding this matter, if you can return the twenty thousand gold taels, I can step in and have the Bureau of Punishments lighten his sentence…”
“I can repay the twenty thousand gold taels!”
Wang Chong was delighted. Before King Song could finish his words, he immediately interjected. In terms of the laws of the empire, twenty thousand gold taels was a huge amount. But to the current Wang Chong, it didn’t mean anything at all!
“Hehe, wait for me to finish first. I can order the Bureau of Punishments to review this matter. As long as you repay the twenty thousand gold taels that he embezzled, this matter will be easy to solve. However, if you want me to help you on this matter, you have to answer a question of mine.”
Wang Chong lifted his head, baffled by King Song’s request.
“Don’t worry, I won’t make things difficult for you. You just have to tell me why you want to save him. Is he your friend?”
King Song smiled. After confirming that the person Wang Chong wanted to save wasn’t an unpardonable villain, he was relieved.
“That… Actually, we aren’t acquainted with one another.”
After hesitating for a moment, Wang Chong decided to answer King Song’s question honestly.
“However, I can tell Your Highness that this person will be of extreme importance to Great Tang in the future.”
King Song and Lu Ting glanced at one another after hearing those words. Unable to comprehend the meaning behind Wang Chong’s words, they could see a sliver of doubt in each other’s eyes
They couldn’t understand why Wang Chong had such a high opinion of Zhang Munian. However, after Yao Guang Yi’s matter, none of them dared to view him as a mere fifteen-year-old boy anymore.
“I don’t know what you’re up to, but as long as he isn’t an unpardonable criminal, as long as it isn’t against the empire’s law, as long as it isn’t damaging to the interests of the empire, I am willing to help you. Wait for my news, I will settle this matter for you.”
King Song said.
Those words weren’t just directed toward Zhang Munian’s matter. It was also King Song’s warning toward the intelligent Wang Chong.
Intelligence should be used wisely for good, not for evil!
Moreover, the Wang Clan was a powerful clan of ministers and generals!
“Wang Chong thanks Your Highness for your teachings!”
Wang Chong understood the intentions behind King Song’s words, so he bowed and thanked him.
“Hehe, alright. It’s about time. Academic Lu, let’s return!”
King Song said to Lu Ting, and the both of them prepared to return to their residence. For some reason, this trip to the Four Quarters Embassy made him extremely fatigued.
“Your Highness, let’s go!”
Lu Ting smiled and gestured for him to proceed first.
“Wait a moment!”
Seeing that the two of them were about to leave, Wang Chong exclaimed.
The both of them turned around and stared at Wang Chong in shock.
“Wang Chong, is there anything else you need?”
King Song smiled at him with the tenderness of an elder. Somehow, he was exceptionally magnanimous toward Wang Chong.
Wang Chong hesitated. He had already made up his mind to advise King Song on the matter of Consort Taizhen, but now that it was time, he found himself unable to speak, and he didn’t know where to start from either.
The Consort Taizhen incident wasn’t really a huge matter, but it was a matter regarding the principles and responsibilities of a subordinate.
King Song had just told him that intelligence has to be used correctly. If he were to bring up the Consort Taizhen incident now and persuade King Song to change his mind, it was clear what King Song and big uncle would think of him.
All of the good impression that took him so much effort to rake up would disappear in an instant. Not only so, King Song and big uncle would even think that he was an immoral person who had put profit above principles albeit his young age.
This wasn’t an easy matter to speak of!
Wang Chong even felt that it was even harder to resolve than the issue of the regional commanders.
Just as Wang Chong was panicking, not knowing how he should bring up the topic, King Song and Lu Ting grew even more curious at Wang Chong’s silence and urged him on.
“Indeed, Chong gongzi. There isn’t anything that is inappropriate to speak of before King Song.”
Lu Ting smiled.
He had always felt that this little lad was a bold person, especially after the matter with Yao Guang Yi. Thus, he was extremely surprised by his hesitance to speak.
This wasn’t how he remembered the star of the Wang Clan!
“If I may be audacious to bring this matter up… Your Highness, are you worrying over the matter of Consort Taizhen?”
Wang Chong struggled internally for a long time before deciding to speak.
The moment Wang Chong’s words escaped from his mouth, the atmosphere around the fake hill and bamboo forest changed. It was as though a tornado was raised, and the skies abruptly darkened.
Wang Chong could only hear the howling of the wind. Lowering his head, he saw King Song’s robe shaking violently.
“What are you intending to say?”
King Song’s voice grew sharp. All along, he had been assuming the appearance of an amiable elder, but at this moment, his complexion was dark to an extremely fearsome point.
Even Lu Ting’s face darkened as well. He had a good impression of Wang Chong all along, but at this moment, he chose to remain silent.
An intangible pressure appeared in their the surroundings, and it seemed to be directed at Wang Chong!
“Your Highness, you’re mistaken…”
Wang Chong hurriedly explained. King Song clearly mistook his intentions.
“Wang Chong, allow me to warn you as an elder. Ensuring that the emperor remains honorable and virtuous is the responsibility of a subordinate. This is a matter of principles, and it is more important than anything else. If an emperor commits a mistake, even if one will be shouted at, demoted, or exiled, a subordinate must advise him because this is something more important than life itself!”
“His Majesty is wise and astute, and he is the greatest emperor in the history of our Great Tang. In his hands, the territories of our Great Tang extended far and wide. From Jiaozhi in the south, the Yin Mountain in the north, the East China Sea in the east, to the Pamir Mountains in the West, all belongs to our Great Tang! Our scale is unmatched by any previous dynasties, and this is the age of prosperity of our Central Plains! No emperor before could compare up to him, be it Qin Shi Huang or Emperor Wu of Han!”
(Jiaozhi -> Northern Vietnam)
“With wise governance and a strong military, we ushered in an era of prosperity. Without a doubt, His Majesty will become the number one emperor in history! He might be acting out of a moment of folly now, bewitched by the charms of a woman, but as subordinates, we have to guide him! No matter what, we mustn’t allow a single blemish to appear on the reputation of the number one emperor in history!”
King Song said with a pained look.