The Human Emperor - Chapter 38: Acknowledged By the Clan
“Shu Hua, let’s put aside whatever you two mother and son have to say for later. We have very important things that we need to question Chong-er on! We have to clarify with him the matter regarding the Yao Clan, Wang Clan, and King Song.”
Suddenly, a powerful and authoritative voice sounded in his ear. Wang Chong lifted his head and saw that in the direct center of the main hall, in the most prestigious seat, a middle-aged man in his forties was currently seated.
His voice was stern and he exuded an intimidating pressure just by sitting here. He looked like an extremely rational person, someone who held an important and crucial official in the royal court.
In truth, he really did.
This person was Wang Chong’s big uncle, Wang Gen. In his previous life, when Wang Chong had transcended into this world, he did not fear anything at all, except for this big uncle who he wasn’t close with.
There are some people in the world who induced fear in others when they lashed up angrily. At the same time, there are also some people whose natural disposition induced fear in others.
The latter type of people seems as though they are incapable of laughing, and when they did, it looks sinister and scary, a sight that is even more fearsome than crying.
His big uncle was such a person.
In fact, it was highly possible that his cousin, Zhu Yan, had inherited those genes from his big uncle such that Wang Chong was fearful of her as well.
“Since big uncle had said so, then let’s do it by that way.”
Madam Wang’s released her grip with a slightly embarrassed expression. Clearly, she was also a little fearful of Wang Chong’s big uncle. In this feudal era, the elder brother possessed a superior standing to that of the younger siblings, equivalent to one’s father. As the eldest son, Wang Gen possessed the greatest say within the Wang Clan. This quality applied to Wang Chong’s big aunt, uncle, little uncle and the others as well.
TL: There is a saying which goes like ‘Respect one’s elder brother as though one’s father’
No one dared to refute big uncle’s words. Everyone looked anxious, except for Wang Zhu Yan, who remained calm in comparison. She mischievously blinked her eyes and secretly shot a thumbs up toward Wang Chong, encouraging him.
“Wang Chong, allow me to ask you a question. You father had suddenly shifted his campground and army back 50 li, and avoided Yao Guang Yi’s ploy through such. Your father had claimed that it was your credit and that you were the one who asked him to do so. Is that true?”
Wang Gen stared intently at Wang Chong as he asked him about the matter by the border. At that instant, the eyes of the entire Wang Clan in the room was gathered on Wang Chong.
Everyone was curious to see how would Wang Chong reply to this question.
Even though Wang Chong’s mother had already explained everything to them, the crowd seemed to be unable to believe that it was his doing. In fact, even his cousin, Wang Zhu Yan, was slightly doubtful of it as well.
After all, this was a large contrast from his previous actions. The matter he had done this time was simply too shocking.
“It’s true, I asked him to do so!”
Wang Chong was silent for a moment before he lifted his head to meet everyone’s gazes and nod his head seriously.
These few simple words had caused a storm in the minds of its listeners. The eyes of the onlookers were complicated. Even though Wang Chong’s father had explained the matter in another letter to them, the explanation simply sounded too inconceivable to them.
It was still very shocking for them to hear Wang Chong admit to it.
“What is going on?”
Wang Chong’s big uncle’s face was still impassive as he asked coldly.
“Wang Chong, there’s no need for you to be nervous. Your big uncle isn’t interrogating you!”
By the side, Wang Chong’s big aunt, Wang Ru Shuang, said:
“You might not know, but the matter by the border had caused a huge uproar in the capital. A few days ago, Yao Guang Yi had led his army to your father’s deployment site in an attempt to create the facade that the Wang Clan and Yao Clan had put aside their grudges to work together.”
“It was fortunate that your father had listened to your words and retreated 50 li backward with his army in advance, thus catching Yao Guang Yi and Yao Clan by surprise and clearing him of all suspicions. Your father had explained all of these in the letter and stated that it was your credit that our Wang Clan had managed to pull one over them in the battle against the Yao Clan.”
“Wang Chong, you have contributed greatly to our Wang Clan!”
Wang Chong was only a fifteen-year-old kid, and there wasn’t a single person in the Wang Clan who did not fear Wang Ru Shuang’s big brother, Wang Gen. Knowing this fact, Wang Ru Shuang put on a cheerful smile in an attempt to alleviate the heavy atmosphere.
“Other than that, it was your grandfather’s intention for all of us to be gathered here to comprehend more about the situation from you. You are a meritorious member of the Wang Clan, so there’s no need for you to be nervous.”
Hearing big aunt’s words, Wang Chong’s heart skipped a beat and his attention was aroused. If he remembered correctly, his grandfather was currently stationed in the Four Quarters Embassy to support the emperor’s policies at any moment. All along, he had never concerned himself with this kind of small matter.
Apparently, the affair at the border had attracted his attention. Or rather, to be more specific, Wang Chong had attracted his attention.
Among the current younger generation of the Wang Clan, only Wang Chong’s big brother and older cousin had attracted grandfather’s attention. This was the first time that he had been acknowledged by grandfather.
TL: Older cousin = Wang Gen’s son
Wang Chong glanced at his mother, only to see her face flushed. It seemed like she had known of this matter in advance.
“This is great!”
Wang Chong clenched his fists in agitation. This was truly an unexpected reward. Even though grandfather was already advanced in age, he still possessed an unrivaled position in the Wang Clan.
All of the Wang Clan’s authority, standing, reputation, and influence came from grandfather’s contribution in enthroning the emperor back then. In the royal court, grandfather still possessed an immense amount of influence.
The reason why Wang Chong’s big uncle and father had the positions they had now was also due to grandfather’s halo!
The reason why Yao Clan’s Yao Guang Yi, Old Master Yao, and King Qi, a kin of the royal family, were so fearful of the Wang Clan and tried their hardest to divide the Wang Clan from King Song was because of this powerful grandfather! Even though he had secluded himself in the Four Quarters Embassy and rarely showed him, he still induced fear in his opponents.
However, what Wang Chong was concerned about wasn’t this.
“May I first read the letter on the table?”
Wang Chong pointed to the white letter on the table.
“Of course, this is a letter for you!”
The crowd in the room nodded their heads.
Wang Chong grabbed the letter, took a look at it and noticed that the wax seal had been removed. It seemed like everyone else here had already read the contents within.
Wang Chong wasn’t surprised at all.
King Song and King Qi were currently the two most prestigious kings in the Great Tang Empire. Countless powerful subordinates and generals were involved within their sphere of influence.
This kind of internal war between factions was incomparably dangerous, and being involved in it was as though stepping on thin ice.
The Wang Clan wasn’t an exception as well. A single misstep could mean the disappearance of all of their authority, fortune, and prestige overnight.
Given that the matter with Yao Guang Yi had far-reaching impacts, it would be weird if the members of the Wang Clan were not concerned with this matter at all.
Opening the letter and taking out the letter from within, a bunch of powerfully-stroked words appeared before him. He could sense slight agitation from the handwriting.
“It is father’s handwriting.”
In the letter, his father, Wang Yan, had explained the entire situation. Listening to Wang Chong’s words, upon receiving news of Yao Guang Yi’s movements from his scout, he moved his campground back 50 li swiftly.
There wasn’t too much to the event, and what that formed a larger part of the letter was Wang Yan asking Wang Chong on the matter. Through his words, Wang Chong could sense his father’s confusion.
It was clear that there were too many aspects of the matter that he was unable to comprehend. How did Wang Chong know that Yao Guang Yi was going to harm him? How did he know when would King Song send his envoy for him? How did he know that the Hu would invade and that Yao Guang Yi would send his army to his deployment site, thus asking him to retreat 50 li in advance?
If Wang Chong had put on an outstanding and wise appearance usually and is highly regarded by the clan, it wouldn’t be surprising to Wang Yan to see him display such incredible foresight. Yet, Wang Chong’s actions had always been a cause for worry for him.
In fact, not too long ago, there were even rumors that he raped a lady. This was something that even the profligate scions of the capital would never do.
Try thinking about it, for such a Wang Chong to suddenly possess such foresight and wisdom, who wouldn’t carry doubts on it?
Wang Chong lifted his head to scan the faces in the main hall. Big uncle, cousin, big aunt, uncle, and everyone else were silent. Their expectant gazes were affixed on him
This was the first time Wang Chong was being acknowledged by so many people in the clan. Countless thoughts flashed across Wang Chong’s mind, but he gradually calmed down, and slowly, his thoughts became clearer and clearer.
In his previous life, until the complete downfall of the Wang Clan, Wang Chong had never been acknowledged by the clan. In the eyes of the entire clan, Wang Chong was someone who could never accomplish great things.
The Wang Clan was no ordinary clan. In the entire Central Plains, there weren’t many clans who could match up to the Wang Clan’s prestige and power.
Wang Chong knew that if he could receive the approval of the clan, it would be extremely useful for his future plans. He would be entitled to the resources of the Wang Clan, and that included that of his grandfather, big uncle, big aunt, little uncle, father, big brother, cousin… All of their strengths, and they added up to an immense amount.
Wang Chong’s strength as an individual was nothing compared to this.
But before that, he had to win all of their trust first. He needed the approval all of the members of the clan! Wang Chong’s first plan of reversing the destiny of the Wang Clan had succeeded. What he had to to do next was to enter the core of the clan, and this was a good opportunity to do so!
His grandfather, who was in seclusion in the Four Quarters Embassy, rarely asked about the matters of the youngsters. Even though the ones who came this time and asked him on the matter were the others, Wang Chong knew that the one behind them was his powerful grandfather.
The potential impacts of the incident at the border was simply too great. Father ‘unintentional’ escape from Yao Guang Yi’s ploy had saved the Wang Clan from a potential calamity.
Such performance was too shocking. This wasn’t something someone of his age was capable of.
Right now, his grandfather wasn’t just the one, probably everyone wanted to know how he was able to accomplish this impossible task.
Wang Chong could easily come up with countless excuses such as those in the transcension novels; an expert had told him about Yao Clan’s ploy, or that he had accidentally overheard of Yao Clan’s scheme to deal against the Wang Clan, so he warned his father of it in advance.
This kind of excuses would be accepted by them, but doing so was contrary to his primary aim.
He wanted to enter the core of the family and become a highly regarded member of the clan. Thus, he had to showcase his full potential and talent so that he would leave an unerasable impression of him in their minds.
“Big uncle, I wonder if you remember the incident of Ma Zhou using my name to rape a lady not too long ago?”
Wang Chong lifted his head and looked at Big Uncle Wang Gen, who was seated in the center seat, and asked calmly.
Wang Gen said. His face was still impassive, but his heart skipped a beat and a bizarre feeling suddenly flashed across his mind.
In the Wang Clan, he was the eldest son. The old master had entrusted nearly all of his authority and influence to him, thus granting him an unparalleled position in the Wang Clan. There was nearly no one who wasn’t fearful of him in the Wang Clan.
Putting aside Wang Chong, Wang Zhu Yan, and the other younger children of the clan, even Wang Ru Shuang, Zhao Shu Hua, and the other elders of the clan were fearful of him.
Wang Chong had met him a few times and each time, he did not even dare to breathe loudly in his presence and cowered backward. But this time, this useless ‘failure’ of the Wang Clan actually dared to meet his gaze without the slightest bit of fear.
This was something that even Wang Chong’s elder brothers weren’t capable of.
Wang Gen frowned. Truthfully, before he came here, he did not believe the words Wang Yan said at all. Given Wang Chong’s capabilities, it was unimaginable to Wang Gen that he could guide Wang Yan.
There was a high possibility that Wang Yan wanted to help his son catch the attention of the Old Master, and thus, he used this incident as a platform for it.
But looking at Wang Chong’s calm and casual attitude, Wang Gen was suddenly unsure. After being in the field of politics for decades, he was able to tell whether someone was truly collected or pretending to be calm.
The Wang Chong before him was truly different from the Wang Chong in his memories.
In Chinese, the word ‘cousin’ differentiates between male, female, elder, and younger. It sounds weird writing it in English i.e. older male cousin (?), so I guess I will just put indications so that you will roughly understand who it is.
Double-checked, no sneaky raws had crept into the text ?