The Records Of The Human Emperor Chapter 1243
Chapter 1243: Wang Chongs Counterattack
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"His Majesty has decreed that memorials should be presented if there are any concerns. If there are no matters, then withdraw!"
Gao Lishi's voice resounded from the upper reaches of the hall.
"Your Majesty! This subject has a memorial!"
As a civil official stepped forward, the daily court session began.
Wang Chong half-closed his eyes and silently listened, rarely speaking. The Great Tang Dynasty was a land of plenty and fortune. In handling all these administrative problems, the court was bursting with talented individuals, and Wang Chong's intervention was simply not required.
Time slowly passed, and one matter after another was handled with astonishing speed. It didn't take long before the court had finished working through more than half of the government affairs.
"Your Majesty, this subject has a memorial."
At this moment, the Assistant Minister of Revenue, Chen Yuanbao, stepped forward, grasping his ceremonial tablet.
"A few days ago, this lowly subject discovered that someone had fabricated their background, deceived the sovereign, and infiltrated the Imperial Court, even unjustly holding a high position. This subject implores His Majesty to fully investigate this matter and find the truth!"
Chen Yuanbao's voice was like a boulder slamming into the placid lake of the Imperial Court, immediately unleashing vast waves. The other officials were still trying to digest the words, but those young and newly-promoted officials in the ranks instantly paled.
The Grand Preceptor, who had spent this entire time motionless on his wide palace armchair, immediately trembled as if he had been struck by lightning, his face turning bloodlessly pale.
"Absurd! Chen Yuanbao, you've got quite some nerve! Are you saying that all these important officials in court have gone blind?"
With a thunderous roar, the Grand Preceptor stood up from his chair and glared at Chen Yuanbao, his entire body exuding an intimidating aura.
"That's right! Chen Yuanbao, slandering your colleagues is a major crime. If the investigation turns up nothing, are you prepared to take the responsibility?" King Qi also jumped forward, glaring at Chen Yuanbao as if he wanted to eat him alive.
With two leaders of the Imperial Court rebuking him at the same time, even Chen Yuanbao couldn't help but slightly pale under this immense pressure.
The other officials immediately piled on with their criticisms of Chen Yuanbao. For a moment, Chen Yuanbao was the center of a barrage of attacks, and his face became as white as a sheet of paper.
"The clean will naturally be clean while the corrupt will naturally be corrupt. Since they were able to enter the Taihe Palace to discuss matters of state, have they not even the ability to endure an investigation?"
His cold voice ringing through the hall, Wang Chong stepped forward. At this moment, a chilly wind seemed to blow through the hall, and the rebukes aimed at Chen Yuanbao dwindled away. As for the Grand Preceptor and King Qi, their faces shifted several times, a hint of apprehension in their eyes.
Wang Chong was only eighteen years old, and if he could be described with one phrase, it truly would be that he was still wet behind the ears. The Grand Preceptor and King Qi would have normally paid him little regard, but after experiencing his methods yesterday, both of them, as well as the spectating Prime Minister Li Linfu, were filled with apprehension. They did not dare to underestimate this youth.
"All seated are valued officials of the Great Tang who have attended court for ten-some years. Can none of you keep your tempers? At the very least, we should have Lord Chen say just who he is accusing!" Wang Chong coldly said, his eyes bursting with derision.
Wang Chong's words caused the officials to turn green and white in anger. It was true that they had only cared about rebuking Chen Yuanbao, not even allowing him to state who he was accusing. This show of anxiety was truly unbefitting of their statuses as important officials of the Great Tang.
With a flap of his sleeve, King Song stepped forward. "Your Majesty, this subject agrees! As the matter involves an important official of the Imperial Court, whether it is true or false, this lowly subject believes that it should be investigated. In this way, even if Lord Chen is wrong, the accused can still have their name cleared. An upright man is not afraid that their shadow might be crooked. This lowly subject does not find anything inappropriate about this matter."
King Song's words caused the Imperial Court to instantly become as silent as a grave. The Grand Preceptor and King Qi became rather pale. Meanwhile, the young and unfamiliar civil officials of the court suddenly had extremely unnatural expressions. Even a fool could tell that Chen Yuanbao's accusation was aimed at them, and the people commanding him from behind the scenes were none other than Wang Chong and King Song.
"Lord Chen, please finish your words! Which lord are you accusing?" Wang Chong said.
"Yes, Your Highness!"
With Wang Chong's encouragement, Chen Yuanbao immediately calmed down. He turned and bowed to the Sage Emperor.
"Your Majesty, this subject accuses Assistant Minister of Personnel Zhang Chaoshu!"
Chen Yuanbao thrust out his right hand and pointed at a young civil official standing nearby. This person just so happened to be the young official who had proposed that the prefectural armies should be dissolved yesterday.
Taihe Palace was the center of the Great Tang, and those able to enter this place were all of advanced age. Excluding Wang Chong, the majority of the people present were in their forties, and those able to obtain a high status like Assistant Minister of Personnel were even older.
But this official called Zhang Chaoshu was only thirty-five at most! It was hard to believe that he was so young, and yet no one had ever heard his name before.
When he heard Chen Yuanbao accusing him, this Zhang Chaoshu did his utmost to maintain his composure. But Wang Chong could clearly see his throat move as if he was swallowing.
Zhang Chaoshu took in a deep breath and quickly stepped forward, giving the court a deep bow. "Lord Chen, this one was a local official, and all of this one's achievements have been recorded. In addition, this one knew when entering the Imperial Court that their knowledge was shallow, so this one has always been cautious and conscientious, not daring to be lazy. Is there a reason Lord Chen has targeted me? Presumably, Lord Chen has deep prejudices against this one. The country is of utmost importance, so if Lord Chen believes that this one is too young and unable to bear the responsibility, this one is willing to resign so as to maintain the harmony of the court!"
Zhang Chaoshu had barely spoken when a white-haired official immediately stepped forward and harshly rebuked, "Absurd! Zhang Chaoshu, you stand there. I'd like to see just who would dare to frame you. In the Imperial Court, one is able to discuss matters of state based on their ability, not their age, correct?"
"That's right!" Another civil official stepped forward and severely scolded Wang Chong. "The matters of state are of utmost importance. King of Foreign Lands, even if you are a King granted their title by the Sage Emperor, we will never fear you!"
Wang Chong coldly took this all in and sneered. He recognized these people as colleagues, schoolmates, or intimate friends of the Grand Preceptor. These people were clearly acting on the Grand Preceptor's orders. If he judged the matter purely from the righteous air of these officials, Wang Chong really might have believed that he had made an unjust accusation.
The Grand Preceptor is truly rather wise!
This thought suddenly occurred to Wang Chong.
Two days of attending court had not been in vain. He had been carefully observing the court from his position in the back and had gradually noticed a few things. These new and strange faces had replaced the civil officials in King Song's faction—a truly brilliant move on the Grand Preceptor's part. Even more brilliant was that one group of this batch of officials knew the truth while the other batch was left completely clueless.
Their trust in the Grand Preceptor seemed to have overcome everything else.
And these officials unaware of the truth were the best tools for the Grand Preceptor and the civil officials to attack Wang Chong. Even a few generals had been fooled into thinking that this was an unjust accusation.
…Alas, this move is of no use against me!
Wang Chong coldly laughed.
If he had not made ample preparations, he would have never made this counterattack. The reaction of the Grand Preceptor and those civil officials had been completely within Wang Chong's expectations.
"Since you want evidence, I will give it to you!"
Wang Chong stepped forward and immediately produced two thick books, the ones he had asked Old Eagle to deliver to him last night.
Wang Chong turned to Zhang Chaoshu, his eyes sharp. "Lord Zhang is truly impressive. One of these two reports is from ten-some years ago, recording your administration of Chun County, while the other is from two years ago, recording your administration of Qiao Prefecture, yet both reports seem to be new. Most suspicious of all is that Chun County is extremely remote, and the county office is old and in a state of disrepair. Many reports have been lost or have rotted, but only Lord Zhang's still remains. As for Qiao Prefecture, I checked… Lord Zhang truly was assigned to that place, but only for around one month! Lord Zhao, you truly are incredible! A promotion in a single month! Not even this king is capable of such a feat!"
When he saw the two reports in Wang Chong's hands, Zhang Chaoshu immediately felt the blood drain from his face, and even his lips began to tremble. He had never imagined that Wang Chong would take out his reports. The Grand Preceptor also immediately lost his composure.
"How could this be!"
The Grand Preceptor clenched his fists, his face taut.
Facts spoke louder than words, and only now did he realize that Wang Chong had come prepared—far more prepared than he had imagined. With these two reports, Zhang Chaoshu's defense immediately lost its luster. Most importantly, there was no question that Wang Chong held the true reports.
Even the most meticulous plan had a flaw!
At this moment, half of the court was deathly still. Even King Qi had chosen to keep his mouth shut at this time. Even those two old officials who had been passionately rebuking Wang Chong remained silent.
Accusations were one thing, but Wang Chong had managed to get his hands on Zhang Chaoshu's reports and firmly proved his case!
This was no random slandering of a court official, but a prepared attack. To speak at this time would be to draw the fire onto their own person!
"Does the Grand Preceptor have anything else to say?"
Wang Chong coldly smiled as he raised the two reports and gazed at the Grand Preceptor.
The Grand Preceptor's face was pale and he truly had nothing to say. Wang Chong was clearly returning blow for blow and mocking his previous words.