The Human Emperor Chapter 824
Chapter 824: Court Debate Selection Of Protector General Iii
Chapter 824: Court Debate, Selection of Protector-General! (III)
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"Zhao Qiang, you know yourself if I'm speaking nonsense, and do you think no one knows what your intentions are…" Ye Zhun suddenly blurted out.
The people around him all began to shrink back in unease. The officials in their direct vicinity were particularly affected, like they were hung over a blazing fire and wanted to break free. However, court regulations bound them to their ranks, forbidding them from moving out of turn.
Damn it, it's the First Prince and the Seventh Prince! They've actually begun to quarrel in the middle of the court.
Even the upper and lower rank two officials in the hall were beginning to grow uneasy. Zhao Qiang might have been a minor official, but he had the First Prince backing him, and Ye Zhun had the Seventh Prince's support. In every dynasty, the War of the Princes had always been extremely intense. In this battle for the unequalled and supreme throne of the Emperor, all brotherhood and camaraderie had to stand to the side.
Although the First Prince currently held the most support, the other princes were still struggling mightily against him. The Fourth Prince had been the first to be exposed, having thought of the absurd idea of bringing the Hu Great Generals on the border into his battle against the First Prince. However, another prince had also been struggling just as much against the First Prince: the Seventh Prince, Li Huang.
It was forbidden by the Emperor for the princes to court the important officials of the court, but there was generally no problem if they tried to court minor ones. Lower rank three was generally the upper limit tolerated by the generations of sovereigns. For officials at this rank and below, the Emperors would turn a blind eye to the princes. It was now an unspoken rule of the War of the Princes.
Even though the Sage Emperor knew what the princes were doing behind his back, he would mostly ignore it and not dig into the matter too deeply.
The selection for Qixi Protector-General had ultimately turned into a struggle between the princes. No one had expected this at the outset, and now, all of them wanted to get as far away as possible. The example of the Fourth Prince was still fresh on their minds, so no one dared to interfere in this battle between the First Prince and Seventh Prince.
In the hall, many important officials were beginning to panic, shooting glances at the throne. But the Sage Emperor remained unmoving behind the bead curtain, and no one could tell what he was thinking. However, since the Sage Emperor had not expressed his dissatisfaction, it was clear that he didn't really mind this quarrel.
Zhao Qiang and Ye Zhun, who had begun this quarrel with some reservations and fears, saw that the Sage Emperor did not care, or at least wasn't indicating such, and instantly began to intensify their bickering.
In the middle of that fierce debate, a ringing voice drowned them out, echoing through the hall. "Your Majesty, this subject also recommends Great General Abusi! This lowly subject believes that Imperial Censor Hao's argument is reasonable!"
The Tongluo Great General was still kneeling, and his complexion immediately turned green as he heard someone once again endorse him for Qixi Protector-General. Bastard! Which of these blind fools has decided to recommend me?! He fiercely turned his head in anger, but then he shivered, his fury vanishing without a trace.
The Prime Minister!
Abusi's body chilled, and he froze like a frog facing down a snake, his heart drowning in fear and unease. As a member of a long line of Tongluo Great Generals that had served the Emperors for more than a hundred years, from Taizong to the Sage Emperor, Abusi had very few people that he truly needed to fear.
Many times, when Abusi was forced to kneel, it wasn't because he feared the imperial censors or the other officials, but because he was worried about what the Emperor might think. In truth, the Emperor was the only person that the Tongluo truly needed to fear.
Besides that, as an Imperial Great General, Abusi was a upper rank one official in his own right, above many other officials. However, Abusi had never been much of one to speak, never participating in any court debates, so many people had forgotten that his rank was equal to Geshu Han, An Sishun, Fumeng Lingcha, and Gao Xianzhi.
Abusi feared none of these officials, except the Prime Minister of the Great Tang.
"Lord Prime Minister, this subject understands your good intentions, but when Abusi inherited the position of Chief of the Tongluo, he swore an oath to always serve at the sovereign's side, to guard His Majesty's safety. Even if offered high status and reward, this lowly subject will never leave His Majesty! His Majesty is wise and divine, and even if Abusi must die, he will never leave His Majesty's side."
Abusi pressed his head against the ground while his heart crazily thumped.
Meanwhile, Abusi's fierce oath had silenced all the officials. In particular, Imperial Censor Hao, who had been the first to recommend him, was greatly disappointed, but there was nothing that he could do. Abusi had already said that he would not leave the Sage Emperor's side even if he died. Anyone who recommended him now would be forcing him to commit suicide.
This was all that the tall and thin figure standing at the very first row said before he stepped back into the ranks.
As if incited by the Prime Minister's suggestion, another official, one with wise eyes and a kind face, seemed to think of something and stepped out of the ranks. "Your Majesty, if Great General Abusi is not suitable, this lowly subject would like to recommend Minister of War Zhangchou Jianqiong, the Tiger of the Empire. As Annan Protector-General, he oversaw the southwest for ten-some years with no problems and is greatly experienced. This lowly subject believes that if Lord Zhangchou temporarily takes the position of Qixi Protector-General, Qixi will be stable until someone else can be found."
Zhangchou Jianqiong had been carefully listening to the arguments, but upon hearing his own name, he trembled, paling at the impact of this unexpected blow. Turning his head, he saw that one of the officials of the Bureau of Military Personnel was currently giving him a kind smile, but this smile only made Zhangchou Jianqiong turn green in the face.
Zhangchou Jianqiong immediately recognized this as a lower rank three official serving under him. When he had first entered the Bureau of Military Personnel, this fellow served his tea and many other tasks, following him everywhere and doing his utmost to serve him, unlike the others. Zhangchou Jianqiong could sense that this fellow had nothing but kind intentions, but it was precisely this that infuriated Zhangchou Jianqiong.
This bastard—does he know what he's doing?
Zhangchou Jianqiong clenched his teeth in rage. He had finally managed to get himself transferred from the border to the capital and taken the position of Minister of War, so why would he abandon all he had worked for to go and be Qixi Protector-General? It might have been just a temporary post that he would eventually return from, but was the Minister of War a seat that could be left temporarily vacant? By the time he came back, the position of Minister of War would have been given to someone else.
Zhangchou Jianqiong immediately stepped out of his rank and bowed, his voice resounding through the hall. "Your Majesty, this is not acceptable. This subject is currently serving as Minister of War and is not suitable for taking up any other post!"
"Your Majesty, this subject also believes that Lord Zhangchou is not suitable. Your lowly subject recommends the Bloody Plunder General Liu Xiwei!"
"Your Majesty, your subject recommends the Army Shattering General Jin Yuping!"
"Unacceptable! Your Majesty, this subject recommends Border General Long Qianfan! This lowly subject believes that he is an even better choice!"
The quarreling and debate continued in the hall. With one person offering their suggestion, everyone else began to add in their own opinion, recommending the candidates they had thought of beforehand. Chaos reigned in the hall, and as King Song watched the officials bicker amongst each other, his brow creased tighter and tighter, and he couldn't help but give a long sigh.
While the debate over the new Qixi Protector-General continued without end in the Imperial Court, in the distant City of Steel, Wang Chong was welcoming a guest he had never expected. He was enjoying breakfast when a scout rushed into his room.
"Lord Marquis, there's a Hu outside asking to see you. He says he has something that he wishes to negotiate with you."
Wang Chong's eyes flashed in surprise. The population of the City of Steel was almost completely Han, and he could count the Hu that he knew with his fingers. He truly couldn't think of someone who needed to find him.
"What did that person say his name was?"
"It seems… it seems like he was called Hulayeg," the scout finally managed after thinking for a few moments.
Wang Chong's heart thumped in alarm as he immediately jumped to his feet.
At this point, the familiar voice of the Stone of Destiny rang out in his mind. "Warning: user's mission, 'Warhorses of the Great Tang', is on the verge of failure. User has only one chance to salvage this mission. Mission failure will result in a penalty of 2000 points of Destiny Energy."
Caught off guard, Wang Chong couldn't help but shiver.
What's going on here? Didn't we already advise Hulayeg on how to proceed, and didn't he already implement the changes? Where did all these difficulties come from?
By now, Wang Chong could tell that something had gone wrong on Hulayeg's end, and it was jeopardizing the warhorse deal they had made with each other.
"Where is he? Take me to go and see him," Wang Chong immediately said.
Outside an inn within the City of Steel, Wang Chong saw Hulayeg for the first time in quite a while. He was leading a horse and wearing a dress. He was restless, constantly looking in the direction that he had come from.
Wang Chong only needed to call out for Hulayeg to immediately tremble and turn his head. At that moment, Wang Chong could finally get a clear picture of his face. Hulayeg's eyes were sunken, his cheek bones protruding. His face was haggard and he had clearly shed a great deal of weight.
"Wang Chong, wonderful, you're finally here!"
Hulayeg had apparently seen his savior in Wang Chong, immediately rushing forward in agitation.
"Save me, you, you have to save me! Or else I'm doomed for sure…"
Eyes bloodshot and lips trembling, Hulayeg almost fell on his knees in front of Wang Chong.
"Hulayeg, don't rush. Let's go inside and sit, and then you can tell me what's going on," Wang Chong said soothingly, placing his hands on Hulayeg's shoulder.
Wang Chong turned his head and ordered the scout, "Prepare some hot tea." Hulayeg had seemingly suffered some great shock, so drinking some tea would help calm him down.