The Human Emperor - Chapter 93: Test!
Looking at those figures outside, Wang Chong was awed.
This was the greatest resource of the Wang Clan, as well as grandfather’s greatest asset.
The Wang Clan might be poor, and the monthly allowance of an offspring such a Wang Chong wasn’t even sufficient for him to dine at the Vast Crane Pavilion, but no one in the Central Plains dared to underestimate it.
The old master was an esteemed figure in the Great Tang Empire. He was highly respected in the royal court, and his students and old acquaintances filled the entire Great Tang Empire. These people were involved in every single aspect of the day-to-day operation of the Great Tang Empire, be it the finance, military, regional governor, teacher, scholar…
The people gathered here were from varying trades, and they possessed exceptional influence in their fields!
The strength of the Wang Clan wasn’t just mere talk. Even when the Yao Clan was at the peak of its power, it didn’t dare to underestimate the Wang Clan. Rather, they viewed it as an eyesore and tried their best to get rid of it as soon as possible so as to prevent them from rising up once more.
And what Wang Chong desired the most to attain after his reincarnation was the recognition of these students and old acquaintances of the old master. Whoever who earned their recognition and united them would gain fearsome power!
However, obtaining this power wouldn’t be easy, and even Wang Chong’s grandfather didn’t wield the qualification to pass this influence on to anyone. This wasn’t just a problem of whether grandfather was agreeable to it or not. Rather, the person in question must obtain the recognition of everyone here.
While it wasn’t a difficult task to obtain the recognition of a person or two, winning the respect of the majority wasn’t a simple task.
Wang Chong’s big brother didn’t succeed, Wang Chong’s second brother didn’t succeed, Cousin Wang Li didn’t succeed, and even big uncle, uncle, father, little uncle, and the others failed as well!
The inheritance of a powerful clan has never been easy, and this wasn’t just for the Wang Clan. The Yao Clan and the others faced the same problem as well, but the level of difficulty and the way the difficulty presented itself differed.
When the old master passes away in the future, he might pinpoint big uncle as his successor. However, it was a different question of whether these people were willing to recognize big uncle as their leader or not.
Out of respect for the old master, most of them might agree to it on the surface. However, it would be impossible for big uncle to drive this influence with the same level of ease the old master did.
This was the greatest problem in the inheritance of the Wang Clan!
This was also the greatest dilemma of the old master!
Just as Wang Chong was contemplating over these matters, the doors of the Four Quarters Embassy abruptly opened. A large group of people excitedly entered the courtyard.
They didn’t squeeze or rush. Rather, they formed a queue naturally and moved orderly toward the Erudite Pavilion. Their faces were flushed, and they chatted with another as they proceeded in. The delight on their faces seemed as though the one celebrating his seventieth birthday wasn’t Wang Chong’s grandfather, but their own kin.
Upon seeing this sight, Wang Chong sighed deeply. His grandfather was probably the only one who was capable to winning their earnest respect.
Stepping down from the fake hill, Wang Chong watched as these people walked into the Erudite Pavilion to offer their blessings to the old master.
Without the old master’s agreement, the Wang Clan members weren’t allowed to approach these students and old acquaintances of the old master casually. This was a taboo. Thus, when these people stood forward to offer their blessings, regardless of whether it was Wang Chong, little uncle, or the others, they would walk around them.
Due to the old master’s rules, none of them brought any presents. They would enter row by row to offer their blessings, and after which, they would leave through the entrance row by row as well.
The entire process was orderly!
After a long period of time, everyone in the group finally managed to offer their blessings.
In an instant, the atmosphere in the courtyard turned tense. Everyone gazed expectantly in the direction of the Erudite Pavilion. At this moment, Wang Ru Shuang, Xing Chun Yuan, and Zhao Shu Hua seemed exceptionally nervous.
Wang Chong’s little uncle seemed to be the only one who was unconcerned. Smiling carefreely, he placed his hands behind his neck and leaned against a fake mountain casually.
“Brat, say, do you think that grandfather will call you in?”
Unknowingly, Cousin Wang Zhu Yan has skirted around the bamboo forest over to Wang Chong.
“Heh, Second Sister. Aren’t you worried that big aunt would tug on your ears if she were to find out that you are here?”
Wang Chong chuckled.
“Brat, is your skin itching for a beating?”
Cousin Wang Zhu Yan made use of the bamboo forest to hide from her mother’s sight to sneak here. At this moment, she was waving her fists menacingly at Wang Chong.
Wang Chong knew that big aunt has never liked cousin getting too close with Wang Chong’s family. However, her objection did little to change cousin’s personality.
Given Wang Zhu Yan’s age, it would be difficult for big aunt to keep her in check. Even so, she couldn’t avoid being ‘punished’ by big aunt.
“I really don’t understand why all of you are so obsessed with this matter. My big brother is like that, your big brother as well, and now, even you are the same!”
Wang Zhu Yan gently flicked a bamboo leaf, and it flew into the distance. Slight disdain and dissatisfaction reflected on her face.
Governance and military were male-dominant.
The ‘matter’ in the Erudite Pavilion has nothing to do with granddaughters and daughter-in-laws, and grandfather has never summoned for them either.
It has always been the sons and grandsons who would fight with one another over the matter, and this made her displeased and contemptuous.
Smiling, Wang Chong simply shook his head.
He had to vie for the matter in the ‘Erudite Pavilion’. He had to give it his all and use all means at his disposal for it. However, he wasn’t doing this for his own cause.
Wang Chong had compelling reasons for it!
To realize his dream and accomplish the mission he shouldered, Wang Chong had to gain the recognition of grandfather’s students and old acquaintances so that he could drive them.
However, there was no way Wang Chong could explain this to his cousin.
The members of the Wang Clan spread throughout the perimeter of the Erudite Pavilion waited patiently. Soon, powerful footsteps sounded, and an Imperial Army commander dressed in his battle suit appeared by the door of the Erudite Pavilion.
The Imperial Army commander glanced about before walking toward the crowd.
Unknowingly, everyone’s gazes were attracted onto this Imperial Army commander. At this moment, even Wang Chong subconsciously held his breath.
“Young Master Li, Duke Jiu orders you to enter the conference hall.”
Around eight to nine zhang away from Wang Chong, the Imperial Army commander footsteps came to an abrupt halt. He turned toward Wang Chong’s cousin, Wang Li, and spoke.
“Li-er, hurry over. Your grandfather is calling for you.”
Delighted, big aunt urged her son on.
Wang Chong’s heart sunk. He felt disappointed and empty.
“So I’m not the one…”
For an instant, Wang Chong thought that the Imperial Army commander was looking for him.
Cousin Wang Li swiftly entered the Erudite Pavilion.
It wasn’t his first time entering. Even so, Wang Chong could sense that he was anxious.
Then, the Imperial Army commander went back in as well. However, he soon came out once more, and this time, he headed straight for Wang Chong.
“Chong gongzi, Duke Jiu invites you over!”
The attitude of the Imperial Army commander was extremely polite.
For an instant, the air in the Four Quarters Embassy froze. Xing-shi stared at the fifteen-year-old Wang Chong in astonishment, and her complexion gradually darkened.
There has never been a fifteen-year-old who was summoned into the Erudite Pavilion for this matter. Wang Chong was still a child, and the old master’s action has broken all of her expectations.
“Damn it! The old master is being too biased!”
Within Xing-shi‘s sleeves, her fists were tightly clenched together.
Wang Chong disregarded Xing-shi‘s awful complexion. At this moment, all he knew was joy, and his stopped heart started beating once more.
“It’s finally my turn!”
Wang Chong was thrilled.
While the others were astonished by the old master’s decision, Wang Chong wasn’t surprised at all. For this, he did too many things so as to gain the old master’s acknowledgement.
Regardless of whether it was saving the family from a crisis at the Vast Crane Pavilion, scheming against Yao Guang Yi by the border, the Hyderabad ore plan, or the sword he prepared for the old master’s seventieth birthday…
Wang Chong has done everything to the best of his abilities, and it wasn’t easy for him to come to this step. Perhaps big aunt may think that the old master was being biased toward him, but Wang Chong knew that this wasn’t favoritism. This was something Wang Chong has achieved with his own diligence.
“Mother, I’ll be going in.”
Wang Chong walked over and grabbed her mother’s hands.
Madam Wang fondled Wang Chong’s head delightfully.
“Second Sister, I’ll be going!”
Wang Chong mischievously gestured secretly to the bamboo forest. Regardless of whether she saw it or not, Wang Chong started walking toward the Erudite Pavilion.
There weren’t anyone in the hall, but voices could be heard at the back of the hall. The old master and his subordinates never discussed matters in the hall, and they didn’t allow anyone to eavesdrop either.
Even the Imperial Army members guarding the perimeter weren’t allowed to enter.
“This will be the crucial step to earning the old master’s trust.”
Wang Chong took in a deep breath. Circling around the zhang tall ancient flora and bird drapery, Wang Chong stepped into the conference hall.
The conference hall was packed with people.
Upon entering, Wang Chong immediately saw the old master seated at the top. In his surroundings were several white-haired old men whose every action displayed steadiness, calmness, and imposing authority.
Upon sensing Wang Chong’s entry, those powerful white-haired old men immediately turned their sights over.
Even though Wang Chong was mentally prepared for this, his heart still tightened upon seeing those white-haired old men in the conference hall.
Most of the students and old acquaintances have left, and those who remained were the powerful and influential old subordinates of the old master! Among those came to offer their blessings, they were the ones who possessed the greatest prestige, influence, and rallying ability.
To earn the recognition of those students and old acquaintances of the old master, the opinions of these white-haired old men carried significant weight.
Only after conquering them and earning their recognition could one proceed on to win the favor of the students and old acquaintances of the old master!
This was a test!
Even the old master couldn’t interfere in this matter. He could only nominate the candidates, but he couldn’t meddle in the process. The old master himself also had no idea whether those he nominated would be able to earn the recognition of the old subordinates here.