The Records Of The Human Emperor Chapter 1232
Chapter 1232: The Supreme Sage Emperor Ii
Chapter 1232: The Supreme Sage Emperor (II)
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Wang Chong's words immediately set off a shockwave in the hall, and on the high platform, Gao Lishi made an extremely unsightly grimace. In the Great Tang, there was no divide greater than that between the militarists and the Confucians. The Confucians now had the complete advantage in the court, and Gao Lishi was worried that Wang Chong would bring up this matter in the audience, but there was nothing that could be done.
The Sage Emperor spoke once more, his voice emotionless.
"Your Majesty, military is a matter of utmost importance to the state, a matter of life or death, extinction or survival! The military is the Great Tang's important defensive barrier against the foreigners on our borders. Reducing it is certain to bring down great disaster. Your Majesty, please consider this!" Wang Chong implored.
The hall was silent, and Gao Lishi finally couldn't help but retort, "Wang Chong! Just what are you trying to do?! The sovereign's orders are as immovable as a mountain and are to be taken seriously. Since His Majesty has already made his decision, it cannot be altered. Are you trying to make demands upon your superiors and extort the Sage Emperor?"
Gao Lishi's face was ashen and suffused with rage.
For the last several decades, no one in all the Great Tang had ever dared to speak to the Sage Emperor like this, much less pressure him as Wang Chong had. This was a treasonous line, enough to have him executed!
This was criminal disrespect of the Emperor!
"Your Majesty, this lowly subject would not dare!" Wang Chong loudly proclaimed, but his voice showed no signs of backing down.
The person before him was no ordinary sovereign. His wisdom and intelligence had earned him the reverence of the people of the world, his ambitions and stratagems their admiration, and his administration and martial arts their praise. More importantly, he had singlehandedly created the prosperous and thriving Great Tang Empire.
The Sage Emperor back then had been capable of making Wang Chong's grandfather do his utmost and serve faithfully. Wang Chong was confident that the current Sage Emperor was still that wise and divine sovereign who embraced the world, a sovereign that was still worth following.
"Wang Chong, hurry and rise!"
Gao Lishi was already trembling in rage, cursing the fact that he had just moments ago had such high regard for Wang Chong and thought him to be such a talented young man who had not let down the Sage Emperor's hopes. He had never imagined that so shortly after, Wang Chong would engage in such a foolish course of action. Did he not understand how difficult this would make his career?
At this moment, the Sage Emperor spoke in an indifferent tone, slightly waving his hand to stop Gao Lishi.
Gao Lishi immediately fell silent and lowered his head.
The Sage Emperor gazed down at Wang Chong and lightly said, "Wang Chong, on this matter, We have our own plans." His voice was suffused with a tone that would brook no objection.
"But, Your Majesty…"
Wang Chong kept his head lowered, still wanting to argue, and Gao Lishi could watch no longer.
"Wang Chong! Such impudence!"
He had always had a good impression of Wang Chong, but no matter how many reasons Wang Chong had, how talented he was, or how much he had contributed to the empire, the Sage Emperor had already expressed his will. For Wang Chong to still try and butt heads was simply audacious and deserved the death penalty!
"King of Foreign Lands, receive the decree!"
At this moment, the Sage Emperor spoke in a vast, majestic, and determined voice. These words ended this conversation, breaking off all of Wang Chong's lines of thought.
Wang Chong was left stunned, his face as white as a sheet of paper.
Wang Chong had imagined this situation before, and he had imagined that as long as he tried every method possible, he would be able to change the Sage Emperor's mind. But it turned out that the Sage Emperor was far more determined than he had imagined, and his words had completely extinguished any hope Wang Chong had.
Wang Chong's face was green and white, and he was unable to say anything for a long time. Suddenly, the crisp bong of a bell echoed through the hall.
Wang Chong had never heard a sound like this before, sharp and precise, like the plucking of a zither. Although it sounded like a bell, it also seemed like it couldn't have come from a bell at all.
More importantly, the Imperial Palace was a sacred ground, the home of the Sage Emperor. Wang Chong couldn't think of anyone who would dare to use this method to disturb an audience in this place. But what Wang Chong expected the least was the reaction of the Sage Emperor and Gao Lishi. When the bell sounded, Wang Chong clearly noticed Gao Lishi pale and even appear somewhat panicked. As for the Sage Emperor, his aura suddenly pulsed. At that moment, Wang Chong clearly sensed a hint of disorder in the Sage Emperor's energy.
But this lasted only for a moment. The disorder quickly vanished as if suppressed by something.
Wang Chong's heart trembled and his face paled as he thought of something.
"King of Foreign Lands, let us end things here for today," Gao Lishi suddenly said. "The Sage Emperor is rather tired. If there is a problem, bring it up next time." Although he was doing his utmost to remain calm, his voice subconsciously spoke in an urgent and anxious tone.
The mood in the court became rather strange, completely different from what it was before. Wang Chong was dazed, countless thoughts rushing through his mind. He still wanted to say something more, but then the Sage Emperor waved his fingers, gesturing that he should leave.
"King of Foreign Lands, go! This servant will send you off!"
Gao Lishi was already coming down the steps.
Wang Chong mentally sighed. No matter how unwilling he was, he could only leave the hall. If he spoke any further, he would be committing a treasonous action, which would only hurt his cause, not help it.
"This lowly subject receives the decree!"
Wang Chong gave a deep bow.
Once they had left the hall, Gao Lishi stopped and turned to Wang Chong. "King of Foreign Lands, this servant can understand your mood, but today is different from yesterday. You are now the Great Tang's King of Foreign Lands, the first King of the Great Tang of a different surname. Whether in the open or in the shadows, many people will be watching you. I hope that the King of Foreign Lands will be cautious with his words and actions and protect himself. As for His Majesty, he has his reasons for this matter. King of Foreign Lands, you will understand in the future!" He sighed as if he wanted to say more.
Wang Chong wanted to ask more questions, but then Gao Lishi turned around and strode back into the hall. After a few moments of silence, Wang Chong recollected his thoughts and began to descend the steps of white jade.
Not long after Wang Chong had left, Gao Lishi returned to the Sage Emperor's side.
"Your Majesty, this matter has been a very bad blow to him. Is there really no need to tell him?" Gao Lishi hesitantly asked.
"There's no need!"
The Sage Emperor waved his hand, his expression indifferent.
"My body cannot hold on for very much longer. Even if this matter is corrected, it is certain to happen in the future. It is better to simply treat it as a trial for him and see just how far he can go."
"This old slave… understands."
Gao Lishi lowered his head and bowed.
"But, Your Majesty, your shift in attitude was so great, the officials… they find it very discomfiting!"
The Sage Emperor leaned against his throne, his eyes half-shut as he calmly said, "A grave disease requires fierce medicine, and a world in chaos requires heavy-handed methods! We have already spent twenty years guarding against them. If We do not reveal some weakness and give them some opportunities, how could they ever be lured out!"
The Sage Emperor spoke so that only the two of them could understand.
The 'they' that he spoke of caused Gao Lishi to sigh, a hint of worry in his eyes.
"This old slave understands!"
At this moment, a sudden coughing could be heard, causing Gao Lishi to instantly pale.
Gao Lishi swiftly stepped forward to help the Sage Emperor, and a vigorous and steady pure Yang energy surged out of Gao Lishi's body and into the Sage Emperor.
The aura in the hall was in chaos, and only after a very long time did it finally calm down.
Outside the Imperial Palace, Wang Chong was seated motionless in a carriage, his mind in upheaval. In this meeting with the Sage Emperor, not even at the final moment had Wang Chong received the answer he desired. The Sage Emperor's condition, that strange bell, and Gao Lishi's words before leaving… all of this was extremely abnormal. Wang Chong had originally believed that meeting the Sage Emperor would clear up some of the clouds of doubt and suspicion, but it had only caused them to thicken.
"Wait a moment!" Wang Chong suddenly said. "Don't return to the residence yet! Take me to the southern part of the city!"
The carriage immediately turned in that direction.
On Azure Dragon Avenue in the southern part of the city was a massive estate, dignified and solemn, its gates flanked by two stone lions. Hanging over the gate was a black and golden placard declaring this place to be the Zhou Residence!
These two words were deeply embedded into the wood and written out in a bold and flamboyant style. This place was the residence of the Violet Azure Bright Minister, Zhou Wenchen. Wang Chong raised his head to look at this estate, his mind in turmoil. The Great Tang had twenty-seven Elder Statesmen and eighty-one Senior Statesmen. Zhou Wenchen was one of the leaders of the Elder Statesmen and one of the most important civil officials in the faction of King Song and the Wang Clan.
When that incident happened, Zhou Wenchen had been one of the important officials to defect, and his defection had taken even King Song completely by surprise.
When he was unable to get an answer from the Sage Emperor, Wang Chong had almost immediately thought about Zhou Wenchen. If he could understand why one of King Song's faithful supporters had suddenly flipped positions, he might be able to make sense of the entire matter.
"Please send a message that King of Foreign Lands Wang Chong has come to pay a visit."
At the gate of the Zhou Residence, Wang Chong made a gesture, upon which Zhang Que stepped forward and offered a calling card. The guard captain quickly received the card, glanced at it, and slightly paled.
"Your Highness, please wait a moment. This one will deliver the message."
The Zhou Residence guard captain put away the calling card and swiftly headed into the residence.
Wang Chong stood in front of the gates, his eyes slowly closing. The Zhou Residence was calm at first, but in a moment, it fell into turmoil, and he could even faintly hear the cries of a woman.
Zhang Que turned and looked worriedly at Wang Chong. As Old Eagle's disciple and the vital subordinate at Wang Chong's side in charge of intelligence, Zhang Que knew the entire situation. After his sudden defection, Zhou Wenchen had retreated into his estate and refused all guests. He had also refused to go to morning court on the basis that he was ill.
In truth, King Song and Wang Chong's big uncle Wang Gen had come to find him in this period of time, but both of them had left empty-handed.