The Human Emperor - Chapter 85: Consort Taizhen
This was Wang Chong’s first time experiencing the prowess of the World Constraint, or rather, the rejection of the world. It felt as though the entire world was hostile toward him.
Before such overwhelming strength, Wang Chong felt insignificant, helpless, and fearful.
And it was likely he wouldn’t be the only one. Wang Chong believed that no matter who it was, before that imposing torrent of the world, all cultivators would feel as inconsequential as an ant.
Leaning against the frame of his bed, Wang Chong panted heavily. Even until now, perspiration was still flowing freely down his body.
“So this is the price of my reincarnation, I’ve become the enemy of the entire world. If not for the Destiny Stone, I would have been crushed to smithereens long ago.”
Closing his eyes, Wang Chong thought silently. A bitter smile slowly crept onto his lips.
Wang Chong finally realized what kind of trial lay before the reincarnators of the world. His only hope at this point was the Destiny Stone.
That torrent of the world was ceaseless, and it would come crashing down on him again and again. However, the faint light exuded from the Destiny Stone provided him a sanctuary amidst the raging storm, allowing him to survive the calamity.
“That 20 Destiny Energy should have been consumed by now. And this is only the first wave!”
The moment he thought of this, the Destiny Stone appeared in his mind once more.
【Only 5 Destiny Energy points is left!】
【Countdown to the next World Constraint: 3 months!】
【Destiny Energy required: 30 points!】
Reading the news that appeared in his mind, Wang Chong smiled bitterly. It was exactly as he has expected. The Destiny Energy that he needed to repel the World Constraint had increased to 30 from 25.
Sitting on the ground, Wang Chong’s stamina slowly recovered. Gradually, a mystical feeling spread across his entire body. Surge after surge of energy foreign to him suddenly burst bit by bit from his pores, muscles, and beneath his skin.
He could feel that his physical strength was increasing along with the recovery of his stamina. Furthermore, this energy seemed to wield incredible penetrative ability. Seeping through his skin and muscles into his bones and bone marrow, it began to strengthen Wang Chong’s bones, meridians, and his muscles.
“Un? This is…”
Wang Chong was alarmed. Then soon, he came to a realization. The Destiny Stone once mentioned that with the successful repulsion of each World Constraint, his physical body would be strengthened.
Thinking such, Wang Chong was delighted. He abruptly stood up and began to execute the Celestial Steps, cultivating by the formula of the Herculean Punch. Peng peng peng! Shock waves burst about the room, and an air current reminiscent of tidal waves were generated.
It was as he expected! When Wang Chong executed the Herculean Punch, the speed at which the gradually dissipating energy seeped into his body increased significantly. Wang Chong could feel his bones absorbing the nourishment from his bloodstream, growing stronger swiftly.
“Could this energy be the remaining Power of the World?”
Wang Chong was overjoyed. Recalling the grand Power of the World, he wondered if it was possible that the faint yellow light barrier formed through Destiny Energy has captured some of the dissipating Power of the World and directed it to him.
“If that’s the case, the World Constraint isn’t as bad as I thought!”
Wang Chong smiled. Immersing his mind into his martial arts, he quickened his pace in practicing the Herculean Punch.
Time seemed to creep by slowly in the room.
Wang Chong heard a series of cracking sound in his bones which sounded like popping beans. Somehow, he could feel that he has broken through a bottleneck, and his strength instantaneously rose tremendously.
“Panther Bone 2-dan!”
Exhilarated and refreshed, not only did Wang Chong recover his strength, the internal injury he has sustained by the attack of the Eastern Islands assassin has recovered, and his cultivation has risen by a significant amount as well.
Now that he has reached ‘Panther Bone 2-dan’, it was just a matter of time before he breaks through Origin Energy Tier 6!
Thrilled, Wang Chong only fell asleep when dawn approached.
“Mother, I’ve returned!”
The next day, while Wang Chong and Madam Wang was eating, a lively voice suddenly sounded. The doors opened, and Wang Chong’s little sister barged in with two heaven-piercing horn braids. As she walked in, she chewed on a fragrant chicken thigh piece that she might have received from her cousin.
“Brother, I heard that baddies have come to our house yesterday night. Where are they? Where are they? I’ll beat them up!”
The Wang Family’s little sister furiously scanned her surroundings as she waved her white fists about, as though flaunting her strength.
“You’ve become really busy since you started hanging out with our cousin. They would have long escaped if we were to wait for you!”
Wang Chong glanced at his little sister and reprimanded.
After a few days of absence, his little sister seemed to have changed completely. She was equipped with a rattle drum by the waist, and her shoes has changed to one with flower and canary embroidery and a tiny silver bell on each of them. There was even a kite behind her.
——From the looks of it, she hasn’t been idle since he gave her the hundred gold taels. She has used the money to live ‘carefree’ for a period of time.
Upon hearing Wang Chong’s words, Wang Xiao Yao stuck out her tongue and rushed over to sit beside her mother. Her eyes scanned the table and she quickly picked up her chopsticks, stabbed a roasted goose on the table, and started chewing on it happily.
“Gluttonous and playful! You haven’t changed at all!”
Wang Chong shook his head. Looking at his little sister, he felt helpless.
Given his little sister’s talents, if she were to expend some effort on her cultivation, almost no one in the capital would be a match for her.
However, his little sister was only ten-year-old. Playfulness and gluttony were part of her nature, Wang Chong couldn’t change that.
Little sister didn’t return alone. Tagging behind her were the experts Cousin Wang Zhu Yan dispatched over. They were the main defensive force of big uncle’s residence.
Wang Chong assigned them to the areas around his mother’s living quarters and tasked them to guard there 24 hours a day.
After finishing the meal, little sister suddenly turned to Wang Chong and grinned mischievously:
“I’ve heard Shen Hai and Meng Long say that you’ve earned 600,000 gold taels. Let me take a look, let me take a look…”
She shook Wang Chong’s arms as she pleaded.
“I knew that you would do this.”
Wang Chong burst into laughter. However, instead of rejecting her, he looked at her dotingly:
“Let’s go, I’ll let you have a look.”
A small gold mountain was stacked by the corner of the Wang Family vault. Wang Xiao Yao’s eyes were immediately filled with stars.
“Wahhhh, brother, we’re rich!”
Wang Xiao Yao immediately dived into the gold pile and rolled about. Excited, she yelled:
“So much gold! So much gold… I wonder how much delicious food we could buy with this!”
In the end, food was all that was on her mind!
Just as the intrusion of the Wang Family caused a huge uproar in the capital, another earth-shaking matter happened in the royal court:
The matter regarding Consort Taizhen!
The current sovereign, the Sage Emperor, was determined to induct Consort Taizhen into his back palace, and the entire royal court, King Song, King Qi, Yao Clan, Wang Clan, Duke of Su, Duke of Wei, Duke of Zhao… All of the military officials and ministers were embroiled into this matter.
And this included Wang Chong’s big uncle, Wang Gen, as well.
The entire royal court was torn into two; one faction strongly supported the emperor’s decision while the other violently disagreed to it! This has become the biggest affair of the Great Tang in the past few decades.
Regardless of which faction one was in, they were extremely agitated over the matter.
The atmosphere of the royal court abruptly became tense. In fact, two academics even fought in the royal court over the matter, severely wounding each other. In the end, the two of them was locked in the Court of Judicial Review’s Imperial Jail.
The entire Central Plains was shaken by the matter. All gazes were fixated on the situation in the royal court.
Wang Chong heard the news from the royal court while he was cultivating in his residence, and he fell silent for a long moment.
“To think that this matter still happened in the end!”
Wang Chong lifted his head to look at the dark skies. The ominous clouds seemed to gloom over Great Tang.
A sliver of worry flashed across Wang Chong’s eyes.
Many things have happened differently from Wang Chong’s memory. However, regardless of which time-space continuum it was, the death of Imperial Consort Wu in Year 740, the sending away of Prince Consort Shou, and the bringing in of ‘Consort Taizhen’ held important influence on the future.
No one understood why the astute and wise emperor, celebrated as the greatest Sage Emperor of the Central Plains, would suddenly go against morals and traditions to induct Consort Taizhen into the back palace.
Until now, Wang Chong still didn’t understand the rationale behind his decisions. This wasn’t something a Sage Emperor would do, but without doubt, this incident has a long-lasting impact on the future.
The Wang Clan’s backing, the influential King Song, angered the Sage Emperor due to his violent objection to the matter, causing him to lose the emperor’s favor. Eventually, he was expelled from the center of authority of the royal court.
Losing King Song as a backing was a heavy blow to the Wang Clan, and even worse, the Wang Clan also took the wrong side in this political storm.
Everyone underestimated the determination of the Sage Emperor!
And the price for the Wang Clan’s underestimation was fall from grace. Be it authority, standing, or influence, all of them dropped to pit bottom, and the Wang Clan was kicked out of the Great Tang’s highest echelon.
In political fights, a single wrong move could cause devastating effects!
This was a huge calamity for the Wang Clan.
Other than Wang Chong, no one of the Wang Clan knew of the future!
Even though Wang Chong understood this fact, he knew that this wasn’t a matter he could interfere in currently.
The impact and scope of this storm in the royal court were unprecedented. Such an important matter wasn’t something that a mere fifteen-year-old boy could have the final say in.
“I can only wait for grandfather’s birthday to come. King Song would definitely approach grandfather then and request for his support.”
In the Great Tang royal court, Old Master Yao and Wang Chong’s grandfather were two mountains that were impossible to bypass. Regardless of which important matter it was, their opinions held great sway.
Wang Chong was confident that King Song would definitely ask for his grandfather’s opinion on the matter during his birthday banquet.
Knowing that he couldn’t do anything now, Wang Chong cleared his mind and continued training.
Regardless of whether it was during the catastrophe or in the political world, his strength as an individual would prove to be of utmost importance.
Consort Taizhen (Her Taoist name), more commonly known as Imperial Consort Yang Yuhuan, is one of the Four Beauties of China.
Before Consort Taizhen was married to Emperor Xuanzong, she was married to Prince of Shou, Li Mao, and she was known as Prince Consort Shou.
Emperor Xuanzong, in love with her, took her away from his son, sent her to a nunnery where she was given the Taoist name Taizhen before bringing her into the palace
Just a slight background on them, Emperor Xuanzong chose to bring in Yang Yuhuan despite the objections of the officials. After that, he promoted her cousin, Yang Guozhong, to an important position (chancellor/ prime minister), despite him being terribly incompetent. Even so, he was one of the trusted aides of Emperor Xuanzong.
Yang Guozhong was hostile toward An Lushan, another trusted aide of Emperor Xuanzong, and he often provoked him. (Note: An Lushan is a general wielding great prestige back then) Their conflict eventually led An Lushan to instigate the Anshi Rebellion (755-763), and he established the State of Yan in 756. Eventually, the State of Yan fell in 763, but the Tang Dynasty has already been significantly weakened then.
Even so, in the early half of his rule, Emperor Xuanzong is known to be an astute and diligent emperor who has brought Tang Dynasty to the peak of its power and culture.
Note: The information above is an extremely brief and doesn’t cover the complete reasons and factors that played a role in the incidents. In any case, while the story does have the various characters in history, it doesn’t strictly follow the same path.
Okay, back to the topic of jails (I remember writing about jails somewhere else)
天牢 Imperial Jail -> Where those powerful figures are locked, under the direct jurisdiction of the royal court. (In other words, the emperor) Ordinary civilians will NEVER be locked in the Imperial Jail. Also, the jail isn’t underground.
地牢 (Underground) Jail -> Normal jail where normal criminals are locked. Usually, officials in charge of the jail are able to pass verdict on them.