The Records Of The Human Emperor Chapter 1206
Chapter 1206: The Third Eunuch Of The Great Tang Bian Lingcheng
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The Great Tang, in its capacity as ally, had also donated ten million taels of gold to the Sassanid imperial household! The Sassanid Dynasty had returned the favor by marking out two large areas in the northeast and southwest corners of Khorasan to forever serve as bases for the Great Tang army. In those regions, the Great Tang had absolute authority. Not even the Sassanid imperial household had the right to intervene.
Besides that, to express their respect and gratitude for the Great Tang, Bahram and the newly established Sassanid Dynasty had also granted the Great Tang a most supreme right.
At any time and for any reason, whenever the Great Tang willed it, they could mobilize the full force of Khorasan, including the Aswaran Cataphracts.
Never had complete control of the Aswaran Cataphracts been given to any other entity. The firmness of the alliance between the Great Tang and Khorasan left everyone shocked. And with this alliance, the Great Tang had displayed its ability to be a powerful backer.
After the Sassanid Dynasty was reestablished and it began to recruit soldiers on the next day, the Great Tang forged many suits of armor and weapons and offered them to the Sassanid Dynasty. In addition, Wang Chong and Gao Xianzhi selected seventy-some veteran generals to assist the Sassanids in training soldiers.
Khorasan originally had two-hundred-thousand-some soldiers, but with the immense influence of the Sassanid Dynasty, two-hundred-thousand-some more soldiers were quickly recruited. These were spread across four different training grounds where they trained night and day.
The Sassanid Dynasty might have been destroyed, but it had been one of the strongest empires of the western world, and the Khorasani were just as brave and pugnacious as any Arab, in some aspects even surpassing them. After a period of training, these new recruits quickly began to mature into true warriors.
Khorasan now had a massive army of nearly five hundred thousand soldiers. Even against a powerful foe like Arabia, it now had the ability to protect itself.
Everything was on the right track. With the Sassanid Dynasty established, the entire coalition army became more and more united, the internal conflicts within the rebel armies weakening and fading away. The prestige of Bahram and the Sassanid Dynasty was sufficient to quickly suppress the objections in the rebel army, and the rising unease was also quickly strangled in the cradle.
And with the Sassanid Dynasty stepping up, the Great Tang avoided interfering in the affairs of the rebel army, which could lead to the various rebel forces developing hostility toward the Great Tang.
Not only that, the establishment of the Sassanid Dynasty caused the other rebel armies to see hope. As long as they had the acknowledgment of the Great Tang, they would be able to establish their own empire or dynasty on the borders of Arabia, precisely what all of them yearned for.
The rebel army leaders all saw hope, and they also saw the Great Tang's humility and tolerance. The Great Tang's prestige and reputation continued to expand its reach through the borders of Arabia and within the rebel armies.
A month passed, but Arabia was still recovering from the severe wound inflicted on it by that terrible blizzard. In this period of time, neither the reestablished Sassanid Dynasty nor the various rebel armies had anything to worry about. Meanwhile, since Wang Chong had helped to reestablish the Sassanid Dynasty, in return, Bahram and the other rebel leaders began to promote the spreading of the Tang language by helping Yuan Shusong and his disciples erect schools on the borders of Arabia.
Yuan Shusong's Tang language schools were not just set up in Khorasan, Samarkand, and Bukhara, but throughout the border region. Each student of these schools not only had three meals a day provided to them but also received a subsidy. Studying in the school for one month could pay out as much as one would make as the lowest handicraftsman.
Besides that, the students with the best grades could obtain an additional sumptuous reward. The promise of reward had many students surging into the classroom, and in a short while, the number of students increased from around three thousand to around seven thousand. This number only continued to rise as more schools were established.
Everything was proceeding according to Wang Chong's plan. In the marketplace, he had noticed that even the ordinary Khorasani could use a few simple words of the Tang language to call out to the members of the great clans, all of them warm and enthusiastic, with beaming faces. It was truly difficult to believe that only a few months had passed.
Wang Chong's ability to administer a city left Hu like Banahan and Guli astounded and admiring.
Time slowly passed, with Wang Chong handling papers on one side while also guiding the development of the coalition army. Just when Wang Chong believed that everything would continue on this path for eternity, an unexpected incident upset his plans.
As Wang Chong was buried in a pile of documents, a soldier of the Anxi Protectorate army walked in and bowed.
"Lord Marquis, Lord Gao has issued an invitation. All he said was that an important guest has come to the city and Milord should go and welcome him."
"Oh? What sort of important guest requires me to personally welcome them? And isn't there still Lord Feng?"
Wang Chong smiled, not even raising his head from the desk.
He had left the administration of the city almost entirely to Feng Changqing, and he was even more at ease now that the Sassanid Dynasty had been reestablished and a bureaucratic system formed.
"Lord Marquis, this person is an emissary from the Imperial Court. Lord Feng and the other generals have already headed off to the reception hall!" the Anxi Protectorate army soldier said.
This caught Wang Chong by surprise. Given the status of Gao Xianzhi and Feng Changqing, Wang Chong really couldn't think of anyone with such high status that they required all ranks of the Anxi Protectorate army to go and personally welcome them. Could it be Geshu Han? But even if Geshu Han was the only person who could sit on the same level as Gao Xianzhi, not even he deserved such treatment.
"Who is the visitor?"
Wang Chong put down his brush, his curiosity finally piqued.
"It is a eunuch from the Imperial Court. His surname is Bian and his name is Lingcheng!" the Anxi Protectorate soldier frankly reported. "He brings an imperial decree with him!"
Wang Chong's eyes narrowed when he heard the words 'Bian Lingcheng'. Putting down his brush entirely, he finally raised his head. His mind was in an uproar, having never imagined that he would hear this name at a time like this.
"Take me there!"
Wang Chong immediately rose from his seat and walked over.
Before he had even gotten close to the reception hall, Wang Chong could already hear a sharp voice.
"Lord Gao, long time no see! Lord Gao took the Shi Kingdom, defeated Qutaybah, and even occupied Khorasan. Your future potential cannot be measured! It seems like it won't be long before I will have to look up to Milord and follow Milord's orders!"
The voice was suffused with an aloof pride. Although the voice proclaimed 'Lord Gao', there was not the slightest hint of respect within those words.
"We would not dare!"
"We would not dare!"
The voices that Wang Chong was familiar with sounded off in response.
"It's Gao Xianzhi and Feng Changqing!"
Wang Chong's expression sank. Not since he had known Gao Xianzhi and Feng Changqing had he ever seen them treat a person with so much respect. No, this was no longer respect, but fear and dread. The proud Gao Xianzhi who had never lowered his head to Wang Chong was now lowering his head to the owner of this shrill voice, his voice suffused with unease and fear.
"Haha, that doesn't seem to be the case. I wrote Milord seven letters, but Milord did not reply to a single one!" the voice said, its words dripping with sarcasm.
"Milord has misunderstood. Gao Xianzhi was only too busy with military matters and had no time to reply."
Gao Xianzhi's voice rang out from the hall.
Wang Chong's brow creased tighter and tighter as he listened, and he finally couldn't help but open the doors and enter. Within the hall, a man wearing an official's hat and the purple robes of a eunuch official was seated on a black armchair, appearing extremely prestigious and aloof.
Across from him, Gao Xianzhi, Feng Changqing, and the other generals of Anxi were all standing, all of them viewing this eunuch with extreme apprehension. Cheng Qianli and Xi Yuanqing were ashen as they watched this official order their superiors about, but they could only swallow their anger, not daring to say a word.
Wang Chong's entrance caused the mood to suddenly shift. The eunuch seated on the armchair suddenly shot up from his seat as if a spring had been installed in his buttocks, and the Anxi generals all subtly breathed a sigh of relief.
Wang Chong swept his eyes through the room and quickly understood what was going on. This extremely wealthy and sumptuously dressed eunuch official was probably none other than Bian Lingcheng.
The Great Tang had three most famous eunuchs. The first was the virtuous eunuch Gao Lishi who had served the Sage Emperor for his entire life and ultimately died to express his fealty. But the two ranked behind him were awful things. One of them was the traitorous eunuch who served at Fifth Prince Li Heng's side, Li Fuguo, though he was currently still called Li Jingzhong. The third was the man before him now, Bian Lingcheng!
Although he didn't appear to be that famous, he actually wielded enormous power from the shadows. From a certain perspective, the second-ranked Li Jingzhong was incapable of comparing to him. The reason was very simple.
Bian Lingcheng had singlehandedly elevated Gao Xianzhi, who had hitherto been suppressed and kept out of important positions by Fumeng Lingcha and Tian Renwan1, and had even assisted Gao Xianzhi in rising to the position of Anxi Protector-General. That Gao Xianzhi had been able to become one of the Great Tang's top-class Great Generals, and be known as the Anxi War God and Wall of the Empire, was largely due to Bian Lingcheng.
In this aspect, Bian Lingcheng was not too bad.
But he who was raised by Xiao He was cast down by Xiao He. Although Bian Lingcheng had helped Gao Xianzhi attain his current position, this had not been out of the kindness of his heart. At the time, Gao Xianzhi had secretly bribed him with an extravagant gift. This was the only and greatest stain on the young Gao Xianzhi's record.
After taking Gao Xianzhi's money, Bian Lingcheng worked around Fumeng Lingcha and wrote two letters directly to the Sage Emperor, causing the Sage Emperor to finally notice Gao Xianzhi and allowing Gao Xianzhi to finally start on the path of his legendary career.
But Bian Lingcheng was greedy to his bones. From what Wang Chong had learned later on, Bian Lingcheng was constantly extorting Gao Xianzhi, and his appetite only got larger with time. Gao Xianzhi had taken the Shi Kingdom partially for strategic reasons, but there was also no denying that he had done so to pay off Bian Lingcheng.
The two sides had been brought together by the pursuit of profit and were divided in the same way.
In the end, in that chaotic world, Bian Lingcheng, unable to satisfy his desires, made false accusations to obtain an imperial decree and used it to have Gao Xianzhi executed! A Great General of a generation had been unable to exert any power in this chaotic era, instead dying at the petty hands of Bian Lingcheng2.
1. Tian Renwan was the Anxi Protector-General before Fumeng Lingcha, who was the Anxi Protector-General before Gao Xianzhi succeeded to the position.
2. The story between Gao Xianzhi and Bian Lingcheng is essentially what has been written by the author. More specifically, while Gao Xianzhi and Feng Changqing were defending Tong Pass, which needed to be accessed to get to the capital of Chang'an, from An Lushan's rebel army, Bian Lingcheng falsely accused Gao Xianzhi and Feng Changqing of corruption, upon which Xuanzong ordered both of them to be executed.