The Records Of The Human Emperor Chapter 1235
Chapter 1235: Making Trouble
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Wang Chong was not bothered by King Qi. Wang Chong was currently at the height of his power, and was also the first King of the Great Tang with a different surname. Wang Chong's current status was on par with King Qi's, so he had no need to back down.
The Sage Emperor had yet to arrive, so after shooting his glare at King Qi, Wang Chong began to look around the court. His big uncle had been correct. There truly were many new faces in the hall. In his dissolute days wandering the capital, although he had never attended a morning court session, he had learned all about the major officials of court, including their special symbols and how they spoke. And he had still been somewhat influenced by his upbringing in a clan of ministers and generals, and knew, even without entering the Taihe Palace, which people were in the Imperial Court.
But there were many faces in the Imperial Court of which Wang Chong had no impression or knowledge. Moreover, the way these people stood, with their backs straight and their eyes forward, and even the way they moved, indicated that they all belonged to the same group. On the whole, they gave an extremely bizarre feeling.
The majority of them were around thirty years old, which was very young in the Imperial Court.
These people had their eyes shut and showed no willingness to acknowledge the others around them. In this situation, even if Wang Chong wanted to obtain any information from them, he would find it a very difficult task.
His gaze paused on these people for a few moments before moving elsewhere.
Suddenly, Wang Chong noticed something. Standing at the entrance to the hall, Wang Chong could clearly see that while King Song seemed rather worried and absentminded, he was constantly looking in one direction.
Wang Chong followed his gaze and saw a tall and slender figure who seemed prestigious and imposing, their gaze focused on the upper reaches of the hall. This person did not seem particularly powerful, and at least in martial arts, he was much weaker than people like Wang Chong or King Qi. But the power and influence he had built up over the years far exceeded that of any other official. Just by standing there, he was instantly a crane standing amongst the chickens.
Moreover, even though he was just standing there with his hands behind his back, the surrounding officials, when they occasionally shot glances at him, would always have extremely respectful expressions.
Wang Chong immediately recognized this man.
The Great Tang's Prime Minister, and in the eyes of many, a 'sage minister'. Through his actions over the last ten-some years, he had won the respect of the civil and military officials of the court, but to Wang Chong, he was an out-and-out traitorous minister!
At this moment, a voice pulled Wang Chong out of his thoughts. "Chong-er, I'll leave first. My position is over there. Remember, for your first court session, talk less and watch more."
"Yes, Big… Lord Wang."
Wang Chong was just about to call out 'Big Uncle', but he quickly corrected himself.
Wang Gen quickly took his position, and Wang Chong also walked to the end of the Imperial Court ranks and stopped.
As Wang Chong took his place, loud laughter resounded through the Imperial Court as countless people gazed upon Wang Chong with jeering eyes.
"A fine Advisor-in-Waiting!"
Wang Chong's initial entrance truly had left many of them quite scared, but in the end, he was just an Advisor-in-Waiting. In terms of grade, he was even behind some minor officials in the Imperial Court.
Wang Chong only smiled. Standing at the back had its advantages, at least for what he wanted to do. As for those jeerers, Wang Chong immediately knew that these were King Qi's men. But this sort of mocking ridicule that neither hurt nor itched could not shake Wang Chong's mind, not even cause a ripple.
At this moment, a white-haired, silver-robed eunuch positioned on the raised platform suddenly raised his whip and cracked it. The entire Imperial Court fell quiet, and all the officials took up their proper positions.
"His Divine Majesty arrives!"
Ringing bells and musical instruments played, and before the Sage Emperor had even appeared, vast and majestic energy swept forward, engulfing the entire hall. A moment later, a golden figure appeared before the gathered officials, a divine god emerging from the side hall and ascending to the high platform to seat themselves on the dragon throne.
When that figure sat down, the entire hall buzzed and trembled as if the entire world was shaking. Even Wang Chong couldn't help but feel an enormous pressure, and he solemnly lowered his head.
"May the Emperor live ten thousand years!!"
Amidst this sea of roars, all the officials lowered their heads and bowed, and a solemn and respectful atmosphere reigned through the hall.
"If there are any concerns, please present a memorial. If there are none, then withdraw!"
Eunuch Gao stood to the right of the Sage Emperor, his face red and genial like the Maitreya Buddha.
"Your Majesty, this subject has a memorial…"
Eunuch Gao had barely spoken when a civil official stepped forward, his ceremonial tablet held out. Just like that, today's court session had begun.
Wang Chong stood in the very back of the court, silently observing everything. Whether in this life or the last, this was his first time taking part in a court session in which matters of state were discussed. Personally taking part was different from listening to gossip in the marketplace. The dynasties of the Central Plains had lasted for thousands of years, one generation after another, and the process in which officials discussed matters of state was now extremely refined.
From as great as the budget for the military and financial allocation for the various areas to as small as miscarriages of justice and torrential rains and landslides—all these things were in the purview of the Imperial Court. The vastness of the Central Plains meant that the memorials and records accumulated each day ranged from the hundreds to thousands. This was why the Great Tang's morning court session began at the fifth watch. And some time ago, the Sage Emperor had relinquished a part of his authority and would only participate for extremely important proposals.
The court session was halfway done when a discordant voice suddenly spoke. "Last year, a flood took place in Ji County, and six or seven out of ten were drowned. Later, the men sent by the Imperial Court to handle the situation discovered that nine out of ten households in Ji County were impoverished, and more than ninety percent of common folk could not even guarantee three meals a day. Most families owned nothing more than a single table, a single bed, and one chest of clothes, and only ten-some coins in savings. This was a situation of extreme poverty, so the Imperial Court removed the local officials and dispatched six or seven young officials skilled in administration and with past achievements to the county. But in the end, Ji County was unchanged and remained in dire poverty. Afterward, the Imperial Court made up its mind and ordered the Bureau of Revenue to allocate money to Ji County. However, not too long ago, the Imperial Court sent an imperial censor to investigate the situation. Not only was Ji County not prosperous, it is now even poorer than before. It has been said that Advisor-in-Waiting Lord Wang is extremely blessed with intelligence. Does he have any view on this?"
The mood in the Imperial Court instantly turned strange, and countless gazes focused on Wang Chong.
Wang Chong had been quietly listening this entire time, but when he heard these words, he suddenly raised his head and looked to see who had spoken. What he saw was an official wearing azure robes standing at the front ranks, turning to him with a cold sneer.
The other civil officials around him were also jeering at Wang Chong and appeared to be waiting to watch a good show.
Investigating Minister Lin Changxin!
Wang Chong immediately recognized this person as one of King Qi's staunchest followers. Lin Changxin had clearly asked Wang Chong this question on his first court session so that Wang Chong would make a fool of himself.
On the other end, King Qi, his back to a cinnabar pillar, inwardly sneered. He rarely got involved in matters like this, but Lin Changxin and the others had a greater understanding of these things. The matter of Ji County had been a constant headache for the Bureau of Personnel and Bureau of Revenue. No matter what they did, they couldn't resolve the problem. And after the Imperial Court intervened, the situation had actually gotten worse. Such a thing had never happened before.
Truthfully speaking, this was an intractable problem with no solution. It had been brought up solely to make Wang Chong look bad.
Although Wang Chong had an awesome reputation as King of Foreign Lands, matters of the Imperial Court were different from killing on the battlefield.
One did not use sabers or swords to kill people in the Imperial Court.
Foul brat, let me see how you answer. If you keep your mouth shut, I'll have people spread around that you're just a useless man who only knows how to kill, a boor, a monster. If you do answer and give a bad one, I'll have everyone jeer at you, and then I'll exaggerate the matter and say that you're ignorant and incompetent, with only your good looks to rely on, and that though you've rendered great service, you're still a good-for-nothing in your bones. If you say something a little useful and seem to have some sort of plan, I'll have everyone support you in implementing your plan. When Ji County's problems remain unresolved, I'll say that you're just an armchair strategist who can only speak nonsense and has greatly hindered the politics of the country, making you unsuitable to be an official of the court. In any case, no matter what you do, I have a way of sweeping away your reputation!
King Qi said nothing, but his eyes were brimming with pride. He truly had hundreds of ways to deal with this immature and inexperienced brat. The Imperial Court was his territory, and Wang Chong didn't even have the power to decide how he died.
Wang Gen also turned back from his place on the front row to worriedly look at Wang Chong. King Qi's challenge had caught him off guard, but not even someone like Wang Gen could do anything about it. After all, Wang Chong had been clearly named in front of all the other officials.
The hall was so quiet that one could hear a pin drop. Even the Sage Emperor and Eunuch Gao were watching Wang Chong.
This was Wang Chong's first court session. If he did not quickly deal with this wave of problems and challenges, he would leave behind a disaster that would affect his future prospects. Moreover, once certain ambitious people began to embellish and exaggerate the matter, Wang Chong would be forced into an extremely passive position.