The Records Of The Human Emperor Chapter 1227
Chapter 1227: The King Song Residence Meeting The Old Butler
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
A few moments later, a muscular figure with the dominating aura of the chief guard strode out of the residence, his every step heavy and forceful. This person first suspiciously examined Wang Chong and then quickly said, "His Highness is not present. King of Foreign Lands, please return!"
The chief guard was straightforward and to the point. After saying this, he immediately gestured as if to guide him away.
"Not present? Where did he go?" Wang Chong inquired.
King Song never left the capital, and the capital was only so large.
"I do not know. In short, His Highness is not present. Please return!" the chief guard indifferently said.
"Since that's the case, let me see the old butler!" Wang Chong said.
"Please return!" the chief guard said, his tone even harder.
This time, however, Wang Chong did not argue and instead strode straight into the King Song Residence.
Everyone paled at this sight, and the two guards immediately leveled their spears at Wang Chong. Meanwhile, the chief guard, his expression cold, went to block Wang Chong's path. But a moment later, an object appeared in Wang Chong's hand that caused all of them to grimace.
"King Song's token!" one of the guards couldn't help but blurt out.
Wang Chong had revealed none other than the token King Song had given him before he left for the war of the southwest.
"All of you, withdraw." An elderly voice rang out in everyone's ears.
The guards immediately began to withdraw. Wang Chong raised his head and saw a familiar figure standing at the open gates of the King Song Residence, his black robes flapping in the wind.
After the half a year since they had last met, the old butler was still as healthy as ever, but he now appeared to be somewhat more aged. The old butler stood on the steps and slowly said, "Wang Chong, come in."
This time, no one stopped Wang Chong, and even those other guards who had noticed the disturbance at the gate began to fall back. Wang Chong walked into the residence and up the steps, stopping in front of the old butler.
"Old butler, long time no see!"
Wang Chong gave a respectful bow, treating him just as he had on their first meeting.
"You truly haven't changed."
A thin smile appeared on the old butler's worried face. Whether it was in martial arts, strength, or status, Wang Chong far exceeded him, but he still treated him with just as much courtesy and respect as in the past. This was one of the traits the old butler appreciated about Wang Chong.
"When I heard that you had returned to the capital, I expected that you would pay a visit. Come with me!"
The old butler glanced at Wang Chong and quickly walked into the hall, Wang Chong following closely behind.
The hall was so quiet that it seemed like another world.
The old butler seated himself in the hall, raised an exquisite tea pot, and filled Wang Chong's cup. Wang Chong noticed that the tea was steaming hot. It was clear that he had been expected.
Wang Chong quietly seated himself next to the old butler.
"Wang Chong, I know that you must have many questions, but the guards at the gate were not deceiving you. King Song is not here," the old butler slowly said as he placed the tea pot on the table.
Wang Chong said nothing, but his brow slightly creased. He looked into the old butler's eyes and saw that they were just like when Wang Chong had first met him. At this moment, Wang Chong knew that the old butler was not lying.
After what seemed like an eternity, Wang Chong finally took a sip of fragrant tea and asked, "Just where did King Song go?"
"I cannot answer you, but His Highness truly does have matters he must attend to," the old butler softly said.
"That matter… His Highness is actually even more confused about it than you, and was even less willing to see it passed. His Highness has always been a member of the pro-war faction in court. You, Duke Jiu, and your father all understand this point."
"But why is it that King Song hasn't replied to a single one of my letters? Tell me, just what happened? If King Song has some difficulties that he is compelled to deal with, tell me, just what is he so afraid of?" Wang Chong sternly said.
The old butler said nothing, only took the tea pot and filled his own cup. The tea in the pot gurgled as it struck the porcelain cup. After a long silence, the old butler began to speak once more.
"Wang Chong, His Highness has his own difficulties. All I can tell you is that His Highness will definitely give you an answer in a few days. But before this, His Highness has to investigate a matter! Only then… can he answer all your questions!"
The old butlery gave Wang Chong an extremely profound stare.
Wang Chong fell into a long and pensive silence.
Putting down his cup, Wang Chong tidied his clothes, stood up, and began to walk away.
"Wang Chong, you're not going to ask about that day's events?"
This time, it was the old butler who was caught off guard.
"There's no need!"
Wang Chong's voice echoed through the hall as he took his leave.
Outside the hall, the bright sunlight and spring breeze revealed the consternation in Wang Chong's eyes. In the end, Wang Chong had failed to meet King Song, failed to get the answers he had sought. But, at the very least, the old butler had told him that he would receive an answer in a few days, which was some consolation.
On the street, as Wang Chong pondered in the middle of the surging crowd while walking toward his own home, he heard a stranger's voice.
"Milord, would you like to board the carriage?"
"There's no need."
Wang Chong immediately refused and continued forward, but quickly he heard the voice again.
"But didn't Milord already agree to have a drink with my master?"
Wang Chong was startled as he turned his head. He saw that the driver of the carriage was wearing a hat with an extremely low brim that obscured his face, and the carriage was very simple and inconspicuous, the kind used by the merchants of the capital. But when he saw the special insignia on the carriage, Wang Chong's eyebrows rose.
"Then I will take the offer!"
Wang Chong quickly regained his composure and boarded the carriage.
The carriage was quickly put into motion, merging into the vast crowds of the capital. It meandered through alleys and streets, going back and forth, until finally, an hour later, it arrived at the Minister of War's Residence.
As Wang Chong emerged, people of the residence quickly obscured Wang Chong and brought him inside. As for the carriage, it stopped only a brief moment before setting off once more to meander through the capital.
As Wang Chong entered the reception hall, he heard the boom of the residence gates closing behind him. Many candles had been lit on the walls of the hall, and the entire Minister of War's Residence appeared to be ready to face down some major enemy. Wang Chong silently took this all in, and though his face showed no change in expression, his heart softly thumped.
"Lord Zhangchou!" Wang Chong called out as he walked toward that large and familiar figure.
A man solemnly stood across from Wang Chong, dressed in casual clothes. He had apparently been waiting for some time.
"Wang Chong, you're finally here."
Zhangchou Jianqiong breathed a sigh of relief, his entire body relaxing.
"Lord Zhangchou, is the situation in the capital this dire? With the status of the Minister of War, Milord should not need to be so secretive," Wang Chong commented as he walked forward.
No one would have believed that the Great Tang's Minister of War, who controlled all the military forces in the empire, would have to convey a message at the city gate by means of a slip of paper. Not only that, he had also prepared that carriage. The vigilance level of the Minister of War's Residence didn't make it seem like the estate of an important official of the court, but a border headquarters preparing for a campaign.
"Wang Chong, if you personally witnessed the changes in the capital like I have, you wouldn't be saying this. We're in a period of trouble, and the Imperial Court now is completely different from the one that you know."
Zhangchou Jianqiong sighed as he extended a finger. The two seated themselves at a black sandalwood table.
There were no servants or maids in the hall. Zhangchou Jianqiong himself held up the tea pot and filled his and Wang Chong's tea cups. He took a sip from his cup with a sorrowful look on his face.
Wang Chong quietly sat down and examined Zhangchou Jianqiong's face.
Zhangchou Jianqiong had clearly gotten much older in the more than half a year since their last meeting, and there were many more wrinkles on his face and at the corners of his eyes. He appeared to be greatly weighed down by worries. Zhangchou Jianqiong was a top-class warrior who had reached the peak of the Saint Martial realm, making him an Imperial Great General. Wang Chong found it very difficult to imagine what could have happened that would make him turn so old so quickly.
"Lord Zhangchou, just what happened that day? Why did the Imperial Court become like this? The Bureau of Military Personnel is the heart of the empire's military, and any order related to mobilizing soldiers has to go through it. They had to have gone through you to make such a decree. Thus, Milord, I can only ask you!"
A long sigh resounded through the hall.
"It seems like Wang Gen has already told you a few things."
Zhangchou Jianqiong had a complicated expression.
"You're correct. Any mobilization of soldiers must go through me, and I truly am one of the people familiar with what happened on that day. But there is one thing that you're mistaken about. I only have a partial understanding of what happened in the Imperial Court."