The Human Emperor - Chapter 111: Yao Clan’s Father and Son!
After King Song left, the military and academic officials, as well as the old master’s ex-subordinates, followed suit, and the Four Quarters Embassy finally quietened down. At this moment, the sun had already set.
In the previous years, the entire clan should have already started digging in by the wei hour, but as there were too many visitors this year, so the visiting only ended at the you hour.
(wei -> 1300-1500| you -> 1700-1900)
“You brat, it’s already late, so I’ll talk to you the next time. However, the moment I call for you, you better hurry over!”
Before leaving, Second Sister waved her fists threateningly from her carriage.
“Got it. How would I dare to disobey an order from Second Sister?”
Wang Chong smiled.
Only then did Wang Zhu Yan let the matter slip.
The various families rode onto their own carriages and returned in the direction where they came from. Parting the curtains, Wang Chong took one last look at the Four Quarters Pavilion.
Under the shade of the night sky, with the exception of various lanterns here and there, the Four Quarters Embassy was shrouded in darkness.
Wang Chong knew that a storm would soon be raised from here, and it would sweep across the entire royal court. Be it the regional commander policy or the Consort Taizhen incident, the shock waves would surely resound in the Great Tang royal court for a long time to come.
But to Wang Chong, all of these had nothing to do with him.
He had already done all that he could. What that was left wasn’t within his means as a mere child.
“I should also start dealing with the other matters…”
Wang Chong thought. Looking at the Four Quarters Embassy once more, he felt slightly regretful.
Every year, the Sage Emperor would surely appear for grandfather’s birthday banquet, but Wang Chong had never been able to meet him. The Sage Emperor always appeared publicly in the day, but on grandfather’s birthday, the Sage Emperor would only appear in the Four Quarters Embassy after all of the officials and family members have left.
Therefore, for many years, Wang Chong hadn’t been able to meet with the Sage Emperor. In a sense, this was a great regret he harbored in his heart.
“Let’s go, child!”
Mother’s voice sounded from the side, pulling Wang Chong back from his thoughts.
The cracking of the whip sounded outside the carriage, and the carriage started moving slowly toward the Wang Family Residence.
When the Erudite Pavilion was bustling with crowds, divided by a towering wall, the west of the Four Quarters Embassy was deathly silent, and not even the slightest light was present.
“All of the Wang Clan members… have left!”
Amidst the darkness, an old voice sounded. It seemed as though he was here from the very beginning, listening to everything.
“Yes, father. They have all left.”
The voice of a middle-aged man echoed with a respectful tone.
The sound of a flint striking resounded, and a faint light scattered throughout the room. An oil lamp was lit.
The features of the middle-aged man revealed itself under the faint illumination of the oil lamp, showing a dignified face. One could tell that the person was extraordinary with a single glance.
But those two eyes of his carried deep doubt, as though there was something clouding it.
If Wang Chong was here, he would be surprised.
The person here wasn’t anyone other than the archenemy of the Wang Clan, the one who schemed against Wang Yan, Yao Guang Yi!
At the battle by the border, Yao Guang Yi was done in by his own intelligence, making him a laughingstock in the capital. After that day, Yao Guang Yi had been cooped up in his home, reflecting his actions.
But strangely, on this day of Duke Jiu’s birthday, he didn’t remain in the Yao Residence. Instead, he came to the residence right beside the Wang Clan old master’s Erudite Pavilion.
The Wang Clan was completely oblivious to his presence in the Four Quarters Embassy, and this could be considered as a huge overlook. If the Wang Clan were to know that Yao Guang Yi had been listening here for the entire day, they would surely be shocked.
“Father, you said that as long as I listened here for the entire day, I will know who it was that did me in. Pardon my stupidity, I implore father to enlighten me.”
Lowering his head, Yao Guang Yi spoke respectfully with the attitude of a humble student.
The battle by the border remained as a knot in his heart. He always thought that he was intelligent, and he did his best to ensure that everything was impeccable, yet he still lost to the Wang Clan in his expertise. This was a huge blow to him.
If that was only the case, then so be it.
But Yao Guang Yi didn’t even know how and who he lost to. This wasn’t something the proud Yao Guang Yi could accept.
Yao Guang Yi could never get back up if he didn’t resolve this matter.
No one answered his question. The faint radiance from the oil lamp carved out the shape of a white-skinned old man. His hair and beard were white, and creases filled his face.
The old man only chuckled upon hearing Yao Guang Yi’s words. Grabbing a thin needle, he lightly prodded the wick of the oil lamp.
If one didn’t know, it was hard to imagine that this ordinary old man prodding the wick was another top-notch figure of the Great Tang Empire, Yao Chong Yao Yuan Zhi, the old master of the Yao Clan!
Different from the Wang Clan’s old master, Wang Jiu Ling, Yao Chong never led the army, nor did he participate in any earth-shattering war. He didn’t get involved in any uprising, and he didn’t struggle valiantly to assist the current emperor to the throne either.
Even so, Yao Chong Yao Yuan Zhi still became one of the top figures in the Great Tang Empire, possessing an equal standing to Duke Jiu. In the royal court, his position was something no other officials could match up to, and he was highly favored by the Sage Emperor as well. He was even given a place in the prestigious Four Quarters Embassy.
The Yao Clan’s old master had never depended on brute force to come to this position!
“Did you hear the blessings during the day?”
Old Master Yao asked with a smile, as though he was speaking of something insignificant.
Yao Guang Yi was taken aback, but he replied swiftly. He knew that his father wouldn’t waste his words on something insignificant.
“What do you think of it?”
Old Master Yao smiled. He took out the needle he was prodding the wick with and blew on it. In this instant, he seemed no different from an ordinary old man.
“Bustling, prestigious, and majestic! ——However, father’s birthday won’t lose out to his in any way.”
After hesitating for a moment, Yao Guang Yi added another line behind.
Old Master Yao’s eyes narrowed and he waved his hands with a slight smile. At his position, he was already past fawning words.
“What about now?”
Old Master Yao asked once more. As he spoke, he slowly kept the needle neatly into a box on the table. Taking a closer look, one could see that numerous needles with a dark tip had been placed neatly in the wooden box.
“Now? …Silent, peaceful, and cold!”
Yao Guang Yi hesitated for a moment before answering. He contemplated over the question, but he couldn’t understand what his father was trying to say.
“Hehe, Guang Yi, remember this. Life is just like the day and the night. You might be noble and influential in one moment, but in the next, you could be shunned and disregarded!”
“This is the truth behind prestigious clans such as ours!”
Old Master Yao said. At the very end, he stared at Yao Guang Yi with a faraway look, and there was something indescribable in his eyes.
Yao Guang Yi was stunned. He didn’t expect the old master to speak of the day and the night just to explain this logic to him. In an instant, Yao Guang Yi seemed to have returned back to the time when he was still young, when he listened to the old master’s lectures respectfully.
“Guang Yi, do you know why you lost to the Wang Clan by the border? Do you still think that it was a coincidence? Heh, you’re too conceited. It’s not easy to build up a clan, and it requires countless generations of hard work before it can become prominent. However, it could all be destroyed in the blink of an eye.”
“It’s precisely because I know that nothing is constant in life and that what can be earned can be lost easily that I am always prudent and fearful, not daring to get careless. Child, this is the final lesson I am teaching you, cautiousness!”
Old Master Yao spoke with a deep tone. His gaze was fixated on Yao Guang Yi, as though he was peering into the depths of his soul.
Shocked, cold sweat suddenly started dripping from Yao Guang Yi. For an instant, he seemed to have taken a glimpse into his father’s world.
“Father, I am enlightened!”
Yao Guang Yi stood up and bowed respectfully.
It wasn’t easy to sustain a family business. If one knew this, the more that one should be cautious. Under his father’s protection, Yao Guang Yi had long forgotten the feeling of treading on thin ice.
He had also forgotten that the reason why he could escape punishment for his mistakes was because of the old master’s existence. It was precisely because he was standing beneath the old master’s shadow that he could sit on his position stably.
For many years, he thought that he had already become the new head of the Yao Clan. But the truth was that the head had always been his father!
Seeing Yao Guang Yi’s sweat-drenched clothes, Old Master Yao finally nodded his head in approval. The fact that he could understand that he was standing on thin ice meant that he had finally awakened to reality.
There was no such thing as omniscience in the world. The only reason why he could remain in power for so long was because of these four words ‘treading on thin ice’.
“Since you were able to understand this, this means that there is still hope for you. If you want to know who in the Wang Clan had managed to outwit you, the answer will reveal itself soon…”
As though responding to Old Master Yao’s words, forceful footsteps sounded outside. In a moment’s time, a fully-dressed Imperial Army commander walked in.
“Paying respect to Duke of Yao!”
The Imperial Army commander walked into the room, and without even lifting his head, he immediately kneeled to the floor.
Looking at the Imperial Army commander, Yao Guang Yi was shocked. The Imperial Army guards in the Four Quarters Embassy were personally chosen by the Sage Emperor and every single one of them was loyal and reliable.
Yet, the old master was still able to plant spies within them!
Old Master Yao simply glanced at the Imperial Army commander on the floor with a silent smile.
“Tell me all that you saw on Duke Jiu’s birthday banquet!”
With a lowered head, the Imperial Army commander swiftly recounted all that he saw in the day.
Old Master Yao waved his hands. The latter reacted immediately, and he left as quickly as he came. Yao Guang Yi didn’t even get a chance to see the other party’s face. It seemed as though the other party was intentionally concealing his appearance, such that no one other than Old Master Yao, even if it was Yao Guang Yi, could identify him.
“Did you get anything from what he said?”
Old Master Yao glanced at Yao Guang Yi.
“Pardon my ignorance but I failed to discern anything.”
Yao Guang Yi lifted his head in confusion. He had listened to the contents carefully, but what the Imperial Army commander recounted were just some miscellaneous matters, such as who came to the Four Quarters Embassy, what presents they brought, who the Wang Clan old master met, who left at what time, and who looked intimate with who…
Everything was very superficial. There wasn’t anything deep in the intelligence at all.
Honestly speaking, Yao Guang Yi thought these were all useless intelligence!
“You still don’t get it? Heh, that isn’t surprising. After all, this is out of my expectations as well. The one who outwitted you was actually a fifteen-year-old child!”
Old Master Yao shook his head. At this moment, his eyes were completely unreadable.
“What? A child!”
Yao Guang Yi stared at his father with widened eyes, unable to believe what he just heard.
“Tell me, who was the last person whom King Song, Li Chengqi, last met?”
“The third son of Wang Yan, Wang Chong!”
“It is he! That child is the person you are looking for.”
Old Master Yao spoke slowly with wisdom that seemed capable of peering through all falsehood in the world.
As though a bolt of lightning has flashed across his mind, Yao Guang Yi widened his eyes, and a storm raised in his head!
Yao Chong, otherwise known as Yao Yuan Zhi, has a wikipedia page.
It gives you an idea how influential he is, but even if you don’t go through it, it won’t affect your view on the story. While the story portrays Yao Chong to be a bad person, he did achieve a lot in his lifetime, be it for better or for worse, and he was worthy of his position.