The Records Of The Human Emperor Chapter 1209
Chapter 1209: Subduing Bian Lingcheng
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
King Song was a member of the imperial household, and his faction in the capital was enormous. As for Yang Zhao, he had Consort Taizhen's backing, and Consort Taizhen's faction and the favor she enjoyed in the court would make investigating a single eunuch incredibly easy. Even if Bian Lingcheng had been appointed General of the Palace Gates by the Sage Emperor, he was still insignificant before Consort Taizhen.
Wang Chong was confident that whether it was in the court or on the border, Bian Lingcheng's greedy conduct had left behind many clues.
News from Yang Hongchang came much faster than expected. It took only three days for Wang Chong to obtain the information he desired.
Ten days later, Wang Chong received word from King Song and Yang Zhao. King Song asked no questions of Wang Chong and provided a detailed report according to Wang Chong's request. Yang Zhao, on the other hand, had sent his report along with a few sentences expressing deep curiosity. He was quite curious to know why Wang Chong was investigating one eunuch, but even so, he still provided an incredibly detailed report.
"Milord, spare me! Spare me!"
When Wang Chong threw the pile of evidence in front of Bian Lingcheng, the number three eunuch official of the Great Tang immediately dropped to his knees and plunged his ashen face to the ground.
According to the rules of the Imperial Court, after announcing the imperial decree, he should have left Khorasan. But his greed and desire for the eighty million taels of gold had caused him to delay his departure for ten-some days. He had originally believed when he had received an invitation to come over that Gao Xianzhi had come to understand something, but he had never expected this.
The stack of evidence in front of him made Bian Lingcheng's heart want to leap out of his chest, his entire body to crumble into pieces. Cold sweat instantly began to trickle down from his forehead. These papers listed his various crimes of embezzlement and bribery, and how he had bought and sold official positions. There were some things here that even Bian Lingcheng wasn't sure about, but when he read them, he suddenly began to recall them.
"Bian Lingcheng, a trifling eunuch official like you relied on the token given to you by His Majesty to commit crimes in the military, wantonly enriching yourself, and even daring to extort an important subject of the empire like the Anxi Protector-General. Did you know that this evidence alone is enough to have you executed via a thousand cuts! And not even death would be enough to redeem you!"
Wang Chong coldly glared at the prostrate Bian Lingcheng, his hands held behind his back and his face cold and hard.
"Milord, spare me! Spare me!"
Bian Lingcheng was drenched in sweat, and he slammed his head against the floor again and again, not even realizing that his forehead was bleeding. An immense fear dominated his mind. Wang Chong's case was simply too comprehensive. Bian Lingcheng couldn't even find any place where he could retort or argue.
Given Wang Chong's status, if this evidence were handed over, the only thing awaiting him was death.
"Hmph! Seeing as you once secretly helped Lord Gao, I'll let you keep your dog life for now. If I hear that you're threatening Lord Gao with that matter again, still trying to bribe and blackmail, or selling off official positions, you're finished. Given my capabilities, you probably understand that I'll know where you are, no matter where you run," Wang Chong coldly said.
"This lowly one understands, truly! Milord, be at ease! No matter how bold this lowly one is, he would never dare to extort Lord Gao," Bian Lingcheng fearfully said, cold sweat trickling down his face.
"Very good! Take these things with you!"
Wang Chong pointed at a wooden box by his side. Bian Lingcheng raised his head in shock.
"This lowly one would not dare, would not dare!"
At a time like this, Bian Lingcheng would not dare to take anything of Wang Chong's.
"I told you to take it, so take it!" Wang Chong icily ordered, his eyes like beads of ice.
Bian Lingcheng's heart trembled, and he didn't dare to speak again. He crawled up on his knees, his head lowered, and took the wooden box from the table.
Wang Chong stared at Bian Lingcheng and indifferently said, "Aren't you going to open it?"
Bian Lingcheng opened the box, and when he saw what was inside, he froze.
Inside the wooden box was a thick stack of gold yuan certificates. The denomination of each of these certificates was enormous. A rough estimate put the total value of these gold yuan certificates at five to six million taels of gold.
Bian Lingcheng raised his head and stared in shock at Wang Chong.
"This is six million taels of gold. Take it. This is for your service to the country in helping Lord Gao. This money should be enough to satisfy your appetite for a very long time, but if you dare to stick out your hand and ask for more, you'll be executed without question," Wang Chong coldly said.
Bian Lingcheng was so drenched in cold sweat that he really didn't dare to argue any more.
"Many thanks, Milord!"
Wang Chong waved his hand.
Bian Lingcheng had originally believed that his death was certain, but now, not only was he not dead, he had come away with a large gift. With his new lease on life, he did not dare to stay a moment longer. However, he had barely walked a few steps when he suddenly hesitated and stopped.
"What? You have something else to say?" Wang Chong coldly said.
"This lowly one would not dare!"
Bian Lingcheng trembled, fear emerging in his eyes.
"It was just that this lowly one thought of a matter and did not know if he should mention it. It is related to Lord Marquis." Bian Lingcheng emphasized his last sentence.
Wang Chong carelessly waved his hand.
"This lowly one heard some news in the capital. Although Lord Marquis rendered enormous service in the Western Regions and the entire Imperial Court is discussing how Lord Marquis should be rewarded, the Confucian school has spoken of Lord Marquis with veiled criticism," Bian Lingcheng said.
Wang Chong's eyebrows rose, but he quickly relaxed. The quarrel between civil and military officials over the Battle of Talas had been exceptionally fierce, with the Confucian officials led by the Grand Preceptor putting up a staunch resistance to any further battle. Moreover, for his sake, his grandfather had intervened and quarreled with the Grand Preceptor in front of the court. Now that the Imperial Court desired to richly reward the Wang Clan, it was only natural that the Confucian school would object.
"I understand. I have taken into consideration your willingness to speak of this matter to me. You're dismissed!"
Wang Chong waved his hand.
Whether or not the information provided by a treacherous eunuch like Bian Lingcheng was useful, he had at least been willing to bring it up. This was also evidence that he had not spent the six million taels in vain.
Bian Lingcheng bowed and quickly withdrew, leaving Wang Chong alone in the room.
"Lord Protector-General, why did you still give him six million taels of gold even though you had firm evidence of his crimes?" A voice came from behind, as well as the tapping of footsteps as Gao Xianzhi and Feng Changqing emerged from the curtain at the rear of the hall. Their eyes flashed as they looked in the direction that Bian Lingcheng had left.
Both of them had been present as Wang Chong spoke with Bian Lingcheng. They had originally believed that, given Wang Chong's personality, Bian Lingcheng would be finished. Much to their surprise, Wang Chong had not only spared Bian Lingcheng but had even given him a significant sum of money. This was definitely not the Wang Chong that they knew.
"Treacherous eunuchs have their uses. Bian Lingcheng's greed may be insatiable, but his abilities are without question. As long as one can subdue his ambitions, he can be used to serve us. Perhaps he might be useful. Moreover, I've already thought of a way I can use him in my plans," Wang Chong indifferently said.
No matter how greedy Bian Lingcheng was, he was the one who had allowed Gao Xianzhi to rise. Without him, the empire would be lacking this Anxi War God. In this aspect, Bian Lingcheng was still a little useful. At the very least, he had been able to pick Gao Xianzhi out from the crowd and resist Fumeng Lingcha's threat to recommend him to the Sage Emperor.
This was one of the reasons Wang Chong had spared his life.
Gao Xianzhi and Feng Changqing remained silent. Wang Chong had not mentioned what this plan was, but they had silently agreed to not ask.
Time passed by, and once Bian Lingcheng left with his six million taels of gold in gold yuan certificates, Khorasan returned to normal. Everything proceeded in an orderly fashion according to the plans of Wang Chong and Feng Changqing. An entire month passed in this fashion.
At dawn, a great clamor could be heard from outside Khorasan. A horseman rode out of a cloud of dust, crossing the newly-built bridge across the Tigris River and riding into Khorasan.
"Reporting to Milord!" The messenger entered the hall and kneeled, speaking between gasps for air. "Arab soldiers have been sighted thirty li from the city. A force of more than five hundred thousand soldiers is heading toward Khorasan!"
"What? The Arabs are coming again!"
The rebel leaders bolted up from their seats in agitation.
The Arabian Empire had lost more than one million soldiers in the battles from Talas to Khorasan. No one had expected that they would be coming back so quickly now that the snow had melted.
"Milord, I'll go and gather the men so we can give them another harsh lesson!"
"Milord, I request that we sortie to deal with the Arabs!"
The rebel leaders began to turn one by one to the leader of the coalition army, the enthroned Wang Chong.
"There's no need!"
Wang Chong faintly smiled, lightly waving his hand before the eyes of the stunned commanders.
"It's just several hundred thousand Arab soldiers. I've already made arrangements! Bahram, is it ready?"
"Milord, everything has been prepared. The army is ready to go into battle at any time and wipe out the enemy!" A firm voice resounded through the hall. Bahram was standing nearby like a statue, his body exuding a powerful aura.
"Very good! Then let's begin!"
Wang Chong's eyes flashed with an intimidating light as he slowly raised himself from the throne. His body erupted with boundless energy that seemed to make the entire world quake.
A battle was imminent.
All was quiet outside Khorasan, the only sounds being the rushing of the Tigris River and the rustling of the wind. After some time, a rumbling came from the distance, going from barely audible to earth-shaking in just a few moments.
"Look over there!" A voice came from the walls of Khorasan, shattering the silence.
A moment later, countless eyes turned to see a black tide surging over the horizon.
The black banners of Arabia could be seen fluttering over the army, as dazzling as could be. After fighting with the Arabian Empire for so long, everyone was far too familiar with these war banners.