The Human Emperor Chapter 817
Chapter 817: Tempest Fumeng Lingchas Oath Of Fealty
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"Your Majesty, several days ago, when the city guards were on patrol, they found a suspicious Hu furtively moving about. After interrogation, the Hu admitted that he was a person of the Qixi Protectorate, a trusted subordinate of Protector-General Fumeng Lingcha," Imperial Censor Deng said, his face grim.
Imperial Censor Deng's words immediately had the whole hall buzzing with chatter. As of late, the court's most vicious and savage quarrels had occurred over the Xueyang Palace Incident.
With the old censor broaching this topic, the gathered officials could already smell what was going on.
"What does the old censor intend, only speaking about this matter now?"
"No wonder this old censor who normally doesn't attend the court sessions came of his own volition today. But why did he specifically mention Fumeng Lingcha?"
"No one visits a temple without cause. Has the old censor discovered something?"
The gathered officials had all sorts of speculations and theories. The Xueyang Palace Incident had already begun to fade into the background, so no one understood why this imperial censor had brought it back up again.
At this moment, King Qi in his dragon robe suddenly spoke. "Venerable Censor, Fumeng Lingcha and the other Hu Great Generals are all valued subjects of the Great Tang who have performed great services. You must think carefully before you speak. After all, we cannot let those Great Generals who have done so much for the court be disappointed in our conduct, no?"
When an imperial censor was directly submitting a memorial to the Sage Emperor, only an Imperial Prince like King Qi had enough status to butt in. Of all the Imperial Princes of the court, King Qi was the one with the best relationship with the Hu Great Generals. As for why their relationship was good, the reason was simple.
King Song had successfully courted almost all the Han generals, so King Qi had no other choice than to court the Hu Great Generals. However, despite this, King Qi still knew a little about propriety and never got too close.
This was also the plan his strategists had designed for him.
At a time like this, only he could speak up for the Hu Great Generals.
The old censor only gave King Qi a glance before returning his gaze to that supreme existence of the empire, the wielder of imperial authority, the most esteemed Sage Emperor.
"A border general of the court leaving the army without seeking permission is a dereliction of duty, a severe crime under military law. In addition, he was infiltrating the capital disguised as a Hu merchant and clearly had some ulterior motives. Thus, the city guards arrested him. However, this is not the important point. The important point is that the city guards found a letter, and this letter is the primary reason this old subject has appeared.
"Civil officials have no love for wealth and generals do not mind death. Everyone has their own place and duties to attend to, with no side interfering with the other. This is the foundation upon which my Great Tang's centuries of peace were established. But Fumeng Lingcha, a Great General of the border, an Imperial Great General, does not focus his attention on the border, has no inclination to proactively render service to the Imperial Court. Instead, he frequently exchanges letters with the Fourth Prince, only thinking about how to collude with him. One promises to do all he can to help the Fourth Prince ascend to the position of Emperor, and the other promises that after success, he will make Fumeng Lingcha Prime Minister and Grand State Preceptor, setting a precedent for the Hu!" As the old censor spoke, his entire body trembled in agitation. "These two are villains working together, insolent to the extreme! This old subject impeaches Fumeng Lingcha for harboring evil intent and planning rebellion!"
Boom! The censor's words were like a boulder smashing into the center of the hall, immediately unleashing a storm of discussion amongst the gathered officials. Impeachments and accusations were thrown around every day in the capital, as the duty of imperial censors was to supervise the world and impeach those who had made errors. Their purview ranged from the highest ranks of officialdom to the lowliest county functionary. Even the supreme Sage Emperor was not excluded from their impeachments.
Impeachments were a common sight for anyone who spent long enough in the court!
But this matter was of an entirely different nature. Imperial Censor Deng Chang's mouth had spoken several very unusual terms, ones that could even be called forbidden. One was 'Emperor', another was 'Prime Minister', and there was also 'collude'. Such words were an absolute taboo for officials.
"Lord Deng, is what you say true?"
"A Great General of the border was colluding with a prince so that he could be made Prime Minister? Absolutely shameless! Fumeng Lingcha is quite bold!"
"Deng Chang, you better not be speaking nonsense! This concerns an Imperial Great General and a prince. This is no laughing matter, so think carefully before speaking! Moreover, didn't Fumeng Lingcha just render great service on the Tibetan Plateau? Are you slandering a meritorious subject?"
"What do you mean 'think carefully'? Imperial Censor Deng is a veteran official of the court. If he's not thinking carefully, are you? The duty of imperial censors has always been to supervise the world, and this is a matter completely within their range of duties. As for you, speaking up for Fumeng Lingcha at a time like this, could you also be involved in this matter?"
The court immediately exploded. The Xueyang Palace Incident had already resulted in many officials from the Six Bureaus being removed. These people might have been speaking not on behalf of Fumeng Lingcha, but because many of their colleagues and friends of several decades were currently locked up in prison.
As the court fell into disorder and chaos, the Director of the Inner Court, Gao Lishi, suddenly spoke. "Imperial Censor Deng, His Majesty has decreed that you come up and present the letter!"
Without another word, Deng Chang took the prepared letter from his sleeve and stepped forward.
On the side, two fully-armored generals stepped forward and took the letter from Imperial Censor Deng.
At this sight, the buzzing crowd below instantly fell quiet, everyone nervously looking upward. Although Imperial Censor Deng accused Fumeng Lingcha of colluding with the Fourth Prince, no one had seen the letter, so no one knew if it was true.
The moment the letter arrived in the Sage Emperor's hands, the atmosphere in the hall suddenly dropped. It was like countless mountains had descended from the heavens, and all of them felt like they were drowning in unease.
Time seemed to stop. Although no one could see it, they could all sense that a dreadful and oppressive air was sweeping through the hall. Before this energy, all the assembled officials were tiny ants.
A thunderous bellow echoed through the hall, and the entire palace trembled as if about to shatter.
"Tell Fumeng Lingcha that We want to hear him explain this personally!!!"
The Sage Emperor's decree immediately sent an earthquake through the capital, setting in stone a change that was certain to alter the entire structure of the empire.
"Lord Marquis, we've succeeded!" In the distant Wushang, Cheng Sanyuan gripped a letter as he happily barged into Wang Chong's residence. "The capital is currently abuzz with talk about how Fumeng Lingcha colluded with the Fourth Prince, especially about how Fumeng Lingcha wanted to be Prime Minister. With this matter exposed, he's become everyone's target. Right now, it's not just us who regard him as a thorn in the side. Even Andong Protector-General Zhang Shougui, Minister of War Zhangchou Jianqiong, Big Dipper Great General Geshu Han, and all the other important ministers, the Prime Minister included, think this way. Fumeng Lingcha will no longer be able to sit steadily at his post!
"Lord Marquis, Fumeng Lingcha is definitely doomed this time."
"Is that so?"
Wang Chong lightly smiled as he sipped tea together with Xu Qiqin, his expression unsurprised.
"Fumeng Lingcha doesn't have the talent to be Prime Minister, yet he stubbornly insists on trying to be one. He only has himself to blame for that. With this matter exposed, is it any wonder that he's being attacked on all sides?
"But someone of Fumeng Lingcha's personality won't give up that easily. Don't get careless." Xu Qiqin covered her mouth as she smiled and put down her tea cup. Unlike Wang Chong, she was drinking peony tea. Delicate peony petals floated on the surface of the tea, exuding a sweet and elegant fragrance.
"He won't get the chance. The evidence that he's colluding with the Fourth Prince is clear and obvious, and there's even his Protector-General seal on it. There's no way he can explain that. No one can help him now, and the Sage Emperor will not spare him.
"And besides, this matter is far from over," Wang Chong indifferently added.
A profound light shone in Wang Chong's eyes. The oath of fealty he had given to the Fourth Prince was truly a major headache for Fumeng Lingcha that placed him at great risk, but this was far from the only headache he would have to suffer. After all, Wang Chong had still not reported to the court that Fumeng Lingcha had stolen credit for a battle, lied on a military report, and let Dayan Mangban through the defenses for private gain.
"Oh, that's right; how is the Qixi Protectorate doing?" Wang Chong asked.
"Haha, the Qixi Protectorate headquarters has been in a frenzy for a while," Cheng Sanyuan said with a laugh. "After such a major event, how could Fumeng Lingcha sit still? If everything goes as expected, Fumeng Lingcha should be heading to the capital within three days… His Majesty is truly incensed this time."
Wang Chong nodded. After all, the Sage Emperor had just asked Fumeng Lingcha if he had any involvement, and Fumeng Lingcha had professed innocence. It was now clear that Fumeng Lingcha was guilty of deceiving his sovereign, and it only made sense that the Sage Emperor was furious.
"Put aside the matter of Fumeng Lingcha for now. No matter how the Xueyang Palace Incident develops, Fumeng Lingcha won't be able to keep his place as Qixi Protector-General. Let's take care of our own affairs. Qiqin, have you gotten in touch with Hulayeg? Has he gathered enough warhorses yet? With a war in the Western Regions being imminent, these warhorses will come into play very quickly."