The Human Emperor Chapter 834
Chapter 834: Qixi Protector General Wang Chong?
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Most important of all was that though no one knew of the name 'Agudu Lan', the words 'Black Wolf Yabgu' were ones that appeared with extremely high frequency in the court.
This title could be found on the list of enemies of both Qixi and Beiting. This man was undoubtedly one of the core members of the war faction in the Western Turkic Khaganate, one of the members of the Turkic upper crust that gave both Qixi and Beiting massive headaches.
No one had expected that this man wanted by the Great Tang Imperial Court, who was such a vexing foe on the northern border, would end up dying by Wang Chong's hands.
"How could this be? This Black Wolf Yabgu has always been crafty. Beiting and Qixi have worked together multiple times to try and kill him, but he always managed to notice early on and flee. How did he die in Qixi?"
"When Fumeng Lingcha was in Qixi, he couldn't kill him, so how could he be killed when Qixi is without Fumeng Lingcha and completely leaderless?"
"Could it be an error? Problems like this have happened before. When we previously thought that the Black Wolf Yabgu had died in Beiting, he would up appearing again as well as ever."
"How could that be? Others might make that mistake, but would the Young Marquis? He rendered great service to the court in the southwest, and His Majesty even conferred a courtesy name upon him. Would he be so incapable as to not recognize the Black Wolf Yabgu? Formally submitting a report of victory to the Imperial Court is no minor affair!"
The hall was awash with chatter. The military officials knew the details about the Black Wolf Yabgu and were rather stunned by this news. As for the civil officials, although some of them still doubted Wang Chong, the majority deeply trusted in his reports.
After all, Duke Jiu had served as the leader of the civil officials in his tenure, and he was a man of high character and prestige, respected by all the people of the world. His grandson would never do something like lie on a military report.
An amiable voice rang out from the upper reaches of the hall. The Eunuch Director of the Inner Court, Gao Lishi, the Sage Emperor's attendant, raised the horsetail whisk in his hand and ordered, "Bring the report up!"
The hall was instantly silenced. Everyone watched as the Golden Guard with the report stood up and walked through the center of the hall toward the throne.
No one noticed that King Song was closely watching this Golden Guard, his brow furrowed as his mind came to grips with a still-indistinct idea.
Eunuch Gao took the memorial from the Golden Guard and passed it behind the bead curtain. A few moments later, the memorial reappeared in Eunuch Gao's hands.
"The identity of the Black Wolf Yabgu of the Western Turks has been confirmed. The Yabgu's seal and tiger tally1, as well as the Black Wolf Yabgu's head, are already en route to the capital!"
Eunuch Gao gave a faint smile, his expression ruddy as he announced this matter to the assembled officials.
The hall once again began to buzz with chatter, though there were no objections this time. As in the Great Tang, high Turkic officials like Yabgus had a Yabgu seal on their person as proof of their identity. The seal served as the most important proof of one's identity, and the Black Wolf Yabgu would never just leave it behind. If Wang Chong was able to kill the Black Wolf Yabgu and also get his seal, then it seemed like there was nothing to doubt about his report.
"I didn't think that he would actually kill the Black Wolf Yabgu!!"
Everyone felt their hearts thumping in their chests. That Black Wolf Yabgu who had wreaked havoc across the northwest had died, died at the hands of Wang Chong. Through a method that caught everyone completely off guard, the curtain had finally dropped on this crafty foe, and the one who had killed him was a mere youth of seventeen.
"The reputation of the Wang Clan's Qilin son is truly deserved."
Even now, they all found it difficult to shake off the shock of hearing this news.
While the officials were still murmuring to each other, King Song suddenly stepped forward, his gaze fixed on the Sage Emperor's throne. "Your Majesty, this subject has a memorial!" With this request, he instantly captured the attention of all the officials in the hall.
"Your Highness King Song, speak."
Eunuch Gao looked down from above, a gentle smile on his lips.
King Song clasped his hands and solemnly declared, "This subject has a proposal for a candidate for the new Qixi Protector-General. This lowly subject strongly recommends the Young Marquis of Wushang, Wang Chong, as the new Qixi Protector-General!"
King Song's words were like a meteor crashing into the center hall, immediately unleashing a storm amongst the officials.
King Qi was the first to step forward.
"King Song, have you gone crazy? That Wang Chong is still a teenager, and you're recommending him for Qixi Protector-General! Of all the candidates nominated by the officials here, which one of them is not more qualified than Wang Chong? If he could become Qixi Protector-General, wouldn't that mean everyone was qualified? And how could that immature boy persuade the masses!"
King Qi had an extremely agitated expression. Putting aside his private grudges with King Song, in his many clashes with him, King Qi had never been so shocked as he was today. Anyone with a brain wouldn't recommend a seventeen-year-old to take such an important post as Qixi Protector-General. Even if he discarded all the enmity they had for each other, King Qi would have refused such a proposal purely on objective measures.
This was the most ridiculous proposal King Qi had heard in his entire life.
"Your Highness, forgive my rudeness." Even the aged Imperial Censor Hao couldn't help but step forward and oppose the motion. "Although this old subject has always viewed Your Highness with great respect, is Your Highness's suggestion not a little too rash? A seventeen-year-old taking the post of Qixi Protector-General, wielding actual power over tens of thousands of soldiers—there is no precedent for such a thing in all the empire's history. Might Your Highness's suggestion be inappropriate?"
"Your Highness, this is not acceptable." Even the Tongluo Great General Abusi, who rarely interfered during court debates, had to step forward and object. "I know that Your Highness has a good relationship with the Wang Clan, but the Qixi Protector-General post is tied to all of the Western Regions and the well-being of the tens of thousands of soldiers of Qixi. By proposing that a seventeen-year-old child take such an important post, is Your Highness not treating this matter too lightly? Abusi finds it impossible to agree!"
In Kunwu Training Camp, Wang Chong had stripped his son Abutong naked and tied him to a bamboo pole for the entire camp to see, humiliating both father and son. For King Song to propose that Wang Chong be made Protector-General was something that Abusi could not accept.
Another official stepped out and objected. "That's right. The Qixi Protectorate has many Hu soldiers, and during the Regional Commanders Incident, Wang Chong worsened his relationship with them, with the Qixi commanders even submitting a memorial censuring Wang Chong and desiring his execution. And this time, Wang Chong also impeached Fumeng Lingcha, so why would the Hu of Qixi submit to him? If he were to take the post of Qixi Protector-General, wouldn't this lead to Qixi splintering even further? Not only would this be of no benefit to Qixi's safety, it would be adding disaster onto disaster. Forgive me, but I cannot agree to this!"
"Yes, putting aside everything else, does he even fulfill the requirements in terms of martial arts? This proposal cannot be allowed to pass!"
One official after another voiced their objections, and by the end, more than half of the court was standing opposed to King Song.
Even Wang Chong's big uncle Wang Gen was staring speechlessly at King Song. This proposal was simply too bold. Not even he would have had the nerve to say such things. In terms of qualifications and record of service, wouldn't Wang Chong's father, Wang Yan, be more suitable? Wang Gen couldn't understand why King Song had proposed Wang Chong instead.
Meanwhile, the new Minister of War Zhangchou Jianqiong and Yang Zhao were exchanging flabbergasted gazes.
Not even they had anticipated this proposal from King Song. But at this time, the two wisely chose to remain silent and see how the situation developed.
During all this, King Song remained calm, a smile on his lips. As he listened to the fierce objections from the court, that indistinct idea in his mind grew clearer and clearer, and his smile grew larger and larger.
"Your Majesty, and my colleagues of the court, I believe that not only is Young Marquis Wang Chong suitable for the post of Qixi, but that he is also the best candidate. There is no other person in the entire empire more suitable for this position."
King Song had a composed expression, and his every move exuded a formidable and infectious confidence.
"I know why all of you oppose him: age, shallow record of service, inability to persuade the masses, and Wang Chong's quarrels with the Hu living within the empire. However, I believe that one is qualified for Qixi Protector-General based on ability, not on minor details like this. Qixi occupies a very unique position, the vital throat that connects the interior to the Western Regions. To the west is the Tibetan Plateau, soaring into the clouds. The Tibetan cavalry could charge down from there at any time to plunder the Central Plains. Meanwhile, to the east is the Turkic steppe, the land of the Western Turkic Khaganate. These two factions have always been a serious danger for our Great Tang, and our previous discussions to select a Qixi Protector-General as quickly as possible were also because the forces of these two empires might avail themselves of the chaos to strike.
"But now, everyone can see what Qixi is like after Fumeng Lingcha's departure. To the west, after the battle at the triangular gap, the Tibetans have lost one hundred thousand men and Brigadier General Dayan Mangban, with even Dusong Mangpoje fleeing in defeat. It will probably be some time until they finally gather enough soldiers to invade the interior once more. As for the east, the greatest problem had always been the Black Wolf Yabgu, Agudu Lan, but now, even Agudu Lan is dead. And this was while Wang Chong was not even Qixi Protector-General… Before he was even Qixi Protector-General, he already finished everything that a Qixi Protector-General should do, resolving the threats to the west and the east. If he is not suitable for Qixi Protector-General, then who is?"
King Song's mind grew clearer the more he spoke, and he grew even more confident in his recommendation of Wang Chong as Qixi Protector-General.
"And have my honorable colleagues forgotten about the war of the southwest, how Wang Chong snatched victory from the jaws of defeat and routed both Mengshe Zhao and Ü-Tsang? Even Duan Gequan, Huoshu Huicang, and Dalun Ruozan lost to him, and now we can even add Dusong Mangpoje to this list… he even managed to salvage this sort of difficult situation against such formidable adversaries, even killing more than four hundred thousand soldiers of the Mengshe–Ü-Tsang army. If this cannot be considered an accomplished record of service, what can? More than a thousand years ago, Gan Luo of the Great Qin Empire was made a minister at the age of twelve. What is unacceptable about Wang Chong's being made Qixi Protector-General at the age of seventeen?"
King Song's voice grew louder and louder, ringing through the hall. Once King Song spoke his final words, the entire hall was silent, no one able to answer his questions.
1. The tiger tally was a two-part object used for military identification purposes. One half was given to the officer in question, while the other half would be kept so that it could be matched with its counterpart.