The Records Of The Human Emperor Chapter 1207
Chapter 1207: Intimidating Bian Lingcheng I
Chapter 1207: Intimidating Bian Lingcheng (I)
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Back then, when Wang Chong had learned of what had happened to Gao Xianzhi, he had felt a complex mixture of emotions. In the history of the empire, Gao Xianzhi had definitely made his fair share of mistakes, but he was also a loyal servant of the Great Tang. Regardless, a Great General like this should not have died to such a petty man.
And Wang Chong only needed a glance to roughly understand the situation.
Not long ago, Wang Chong and Gao Xianzhi had obtained 1.2 billion taels of gold from the Caliph of Arabia. After the victory at Khorasan, they had demanded another seven hundred million taels of gold as compensation. The Great Tang army was currently in possession of an astronomical sum.
Someone of Bian Lingcheng's personality had definitely smelled the blood in the water and had requested some errand so that he could run off to Khorasan.
As Wang Chong was thinking, Bian Lingcheng was already all smiles, putting on a completely different face as he went up to welcome Wang Chong. He was no longer that arrogant and commanding figure. If he hadn't been listening in, Wang Chong would have thought them to be two different people.
A palm suddenly gave Bian Lingcheng's beaming face a fierce slap. Wang Chong's strike left Bian Lingcheng dumbstruck, and Gao Xianzhi, Feng Changqing, and the others were even more alarmed. Bian Lingcheng was only a eunuch official, but he was a favorite of the Sage Emperor and had also come in the capacity of an inspector.
This was an authority the Sage Emperor granted to his subordinates so that he could understand the situation on the border. Gao Xianzhi was so subservient to Bian Lingcheng partially because of the events of the past, but it was more because of his official status and authority.
Bian Lingcheng was no ordinary eunuch.
"You, you hit me!"
Bian Lingcheng covered his swelling cheek as he stared in shock at Wang Chong. Even someone like Gao Xianzhi had to treat him politely and not dare treat him like this.
"Haha, I heard a fly buzzing from outside, so I simply helped Milord kill the fly. Is there a problem?"
Wang Chong smiled and pinched Bian Lingcheng's cheek.
Gao Xianzhi was a Hu and didn't have much backing in the capital, so he would always have to yield. Wang Chong was different, however. He was born from a clan of ministers and generals, was the Qixi Protector-General, had the protection of King Song and Duke Jiu, and was also the Young Marquis personally appointed by the Sage Emperor, the true 'Son of Heaven's Disciple'. And now, he had rendered yet another great service.
Frankly speaking, Wang Chong really wasn't afraid of this Bian Lingcheng.
The authority wielded by Bian Lingcheng was completely useless against Wang Chong.
Bian Lingcheng's face flashed green and red, but no matter how slow he was, he knew that Wang Chong was indirectly scolding him. It was clear that Wang Chong had heard what he had said to Gao Xianzhi.
While Bian Lingcheng was able to lord about in front of an important individual like Gao Xianzhi, he was unable to muster any sort of power in front of the Young Marquis.
"Hahaha, a good strike, a good strike!"
Just when everyone was worried that Bian Lingcheng was going to get angry, he suddenly began to laugh. Not only was Bian Lingcheng not angry, he even gave Wang Chong a deep bow.
"If that's the case, this one must thank the Young Marquis!"
Bian Lingcheng waved his sleeve with a carefree and relaxed look on his face, as if it had been someone else who had been viciously slapped.
Even though Wang Chong knew that this person was a devious minister who would smile while concealing a knife behind his back and put on a genial face while scheming one's ruin, he still felt a tinge of admiration. With this personality and his abilities, it was no wonder he was so capable and dared to make an enemy of Fumeng Lingcha, pushing the Anxi Protector-General Fumeng Lingcha to Qixi and making him sit there for ten-some years.
On the side, Gao Xianzhi and Feng Changqing were even further unsettled by this scene. They had worked with Bian Lingcheng for ten-some years and knew him well. The more respectful and subservient he was, the more troublesome he became.
"Lord Marquis, this sir is Bian Lingcheng, Eunuch Bian! He is a favorite of His Majesty and holds the Sage Emperor's token. His Divine Majesty granted him the titles of General of the Palace Gates and Imperial Director. Even Eunuch Gao treats him with high regard." Cheng Qianli couldn't help but interject at this time.
The blood of generals had always run hot. These people were brash and stubborn, heedlessly pressing on despite obstacles. But one had to see who one's opponent was.
No one understood why Wang Chong was so hostile to Bian Lingcheng on their first meeting. Bian Lingcheng was not an ordinary eunuch, and the fact that the Sage Emperor had granted him the title of General of the Palace Gates indicated just how greatly favored he was.
It was exceedingly rare for a eunuch to be made a general. It was not without reason that the soldiers of the Anxi Protectorate army treated Bian Lingcheng with such reverence.
Whether it was Gao Xianzhi, Feng Changqing, or Cheng Qianli, they were all worried that Wang Chong had offended this important eunuch with little understanding of the situation.
But before Cheng Qianli could finish, Wang Chong waved his hand and shot him a comforting glance.
It was fine for Bian Lingcheng to act so brashly in front of the Anxi Protectorate army, but if he still harbored such thoughts in front of Wang Chong, then he would truly be seeking death.
"Haha, Sir Director has worked hard and achieved much, and shows great care for the Anxi Protectorate army. Once I return to the capital and meet with Eunuch Gao, I will definitely speak well of Director's achievements."
Wang Chong glanced at Bian Lingcheng and smiled.
Bian Lingcheng immediately paled. The name of Eunuch Gao seemed to have some magical effect on him. Although not many generals knew of him or had even heard of him, in the Imperial Palace, and particularly amongst the eunuch officials, this name carried an intimidating force. This was the true Director of the Inner Court, the leader of the eunuch officials.
Even Bian Lingcheng would feel incredibly apprehensive upon hearing this name.
Wang Chong was the Young Marquis much favored by the Sage Emperor, the Son of Heaven's disciple, but Bian Lingcheng had never imagined that he would be so capable. From the sound of it, it seemed like he could get a meeting with the Director of the Inner Court whenever he wanted.
More importantly, Gao Lishi was his direct superior.
"Milord, this puny one had no such intentions. Milord and Lord Gao have both rendered great service for the country. How would this puny one dare to show disrespect!"
Bian Lingcheng's face was ashen as he lowered his head, not daring to show the slightest rudeness.
"Lord Bian, didn't you bring an imperial decree? Hurry and pronounce it!" Wang Chong said, staring at the rolled-up imperial decree behind Bian Lingcheng.
Bian Lingcheng was a eunuch official, and a treacherous one, but just like the Fifth Prince's Li Jingzhong, Wang Chong would only intimidate, with no intention of immediately killing them. Whether it was the future traitorous minister Li Jingzhong or General of the Palace Gates Bian Lingcheng, as long as they were used well, they could be extremely helpful. All that was needed was to promptly get rid of them before they began to stir up their disasters.
Moreover, no one was the same forever. It all depended on how one used them. Thus, Feng Deyi1 was a traitorous minister of the Sui Dynasty who deceived both his superiors and subordinates, but after the Sui was destroyed and the Tang established, he became an illustrious and valued subject under Emperor Taizong.
"The Young Marquis is correct. How could this one have forgotten about such an important matter?"
Bian Lingcheng slightly paled as he shot a glance at Wang Chong. This time, he truly did appear rather afraid.
At this sight, Gao Xianzhi, Feng Changqing, Cheng Qianli, and the other Anxi generals finally breathed a sigh of relief. They had long ago noticed the imperial decree Bian Lingcheng was carrying on his back, but Bian Lingcheng had come here to make threats, and as long as he did not bring up the matter of the decree, Gao Xianzhi and the others could do nothing about it.
In addition, although Bian Lingcheng was extremely greedy, he truly had been kind to the Anxi Protectorate army. Moreover, Bian Lingcheng had a special status, as only a few people in history had been eunuchs who had also been granted the rank of general. They were truly worried that Wang Chong would be unforgiving and engage in open hostilities with Bian Lingcheng.
"Lord Bian, let me help you."
Feng Changqing saw his chance and stepped forward, helping Bian Lingcheng remove the tube containing the imperial decree from his back. This small action immediately caused the mood in the hall to relax. Bian Lingcheng chuckled and immediately became much more natural.
"Everyone, hear the decree!"
Bian Lingcheng didn't dare to look at Wang Chong as he unrolled the golden imperial decree. The five-clawed golden dragon could faintly be seen on the decree, exuding a divine majesty.
Upon seeing this decree, Gao Xianzhi, Feng Changqing, Cheng Qianli, and the other Anxi generals bowed.
"Acceding to the will of the heavens, the Emperor declares: Anxi Protector-General Gao Xianzhi firmly persisted in Talas for several months, defeating more than four hundred thousand Arabs soldiers and killing Aybak, Huoshu Huicang, Dalun Ruozan, and others, and then led the army in advancing all the way to Khorasan. For rendering this great service, Gao Xianzhi is promoted to Left Great General of the Golden Guards and granted the title of Duke of Qi, enjoying a salary of six thousand dan of grain. Gao Xianzhi is also granted a suit of Purple Ultimate Dracolion2 Armor, five thousand bushels of pearls, countless agate ornaments, and a ducal residence. This matter will be proclaimed for the people of the world to admire, and to inspire the people of my Great Tang!
"Cheng Qianli is appointed Deputy Imperial Censor, enjoying a salary of four thousand dan of grain. He is also gifted a suit of golden scale armor and ten thousand taels of gold. Feng Changqing is granted the title of Bright Minister of the Left, enjoying a salary of four thousand dan of grain, and is further granted ten thousand bushels of pearls! Thus is the Emperor's decision!"
Bian Lingcheng had a solemn expression as his shrill voice echoed through the hall.
As he spoke, all the Anxi generals began to grow agitated.
"Duke of Qi! His Majesty made Lord Protector-General the Duke of Qi!"
"And also Left Great General of the Golden Guards! This is an unprecedented honor!"
In a flash, the people in the room were in an uproar. The title of Duke was an enormous honor! Before the Battle of Talas, Gao Xianzhi had already been Prefectural Duke of Miyun, which was already an incredible achievement.
For the Great Generals of the Great Tang to be granted the title of Prefectural Duke was the absolute limit, an unspoken law. No one had expected that the Sage Emperor would make an exception and make Gao Xianzhi the Duke of Qi. One had to realize that the Dukes existed alongside the country, and as long as the Great Tang persisted, Gao Xianzhi's title could be passed on through generation after generation. It had been a long time since such an honor had been granted.
1. Feng Lun, or Feng Deyi, was an official of the Sui Dynasty who was a trusted advisor of Yu Shiji, the prime minister of the second and final emperor of the Sui Dynasty, Emperor Yang. He drafted policies that pleased Emperor Yang while preventing the Emperor from seeing any policies that he might disagree with. As a result, he was partially blamed for the waning competence of the Sui government. After the fall of the Sui, he was appointed to high positions of government by both Gaozu, the first Tang Emperor, and Taizong, the second Tang Emperor.
2. The Dracolion, or 'Suan Ni' is one of the nine mythological sons of the Dragon King, a hybrid of the lion and dragon.