The Records Of The Human Emperor Chapter 1248
Chapter 1248: Within Reach
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"Right, Milord, there is one other matter."
As if remembering something, Old Eagle suddenly raised his head.
"Lord Zhangchou just sent word that Zhang Chaoshu committed suicide in prison. Before his death, he left behind a letter admitting that he had fabricated his reports and taking the blame for everything, freeing the Grand Preceptor and the other civil officials of blame. Zhang Chaoshu also mentioned in his letter that he did all this out of a sincere love for his country, and although his methods were wrong, he did not have bad intentions. But the country has its laws and the clans have their rules. After committing these crimes, he said that he needed to be punished, but he hoped that His Majesty would not blame the Grand Preceptor and the other civil officials, who did not know the truth!"
Old Eagle relayed almost word for word the contents of Zhang Chaoshu's letter.
Wang Chong's eyebrows shot up at Old Eagle's words. He had already suggested to Zhangchou Jianqiong that the Bureau of Military Personnel increase the number of men around Zhang Chaoshu to prevent any accidents. But he hadn't expected Zhangchou Jianqiong to commit suicide.
"Cutting off the tail to survive! They've made a clean escape this time!!"
Wang Chong closed his eyes and became motionless.
Wang Chong could not determine whether this had been Zhang Chaoshu's will or the will of the schemer behind the curtain, but there was no doubt that with Zhang Chaoshu's death, there would be no more clues left behind. And they had already taken care of those reports by artificially aging them.
The new and strange officials in the Imperial Court were almost impervious. Not even Wang Chong could do much about them now.
After a long period of silence, Wang Chong massaged his temples and finally opened his eyes. He could not change the events of the past, only accept the result.
"I understand. You're dismissed!
"In addition, take this silk bag. Open it after you leave! Remember: don't divulge the contents of the silk bag to anyone!"
Old Eagle took the bag and quickly departed.
"It seems like I can no longer use Zhang Chaoshu," Wang Chong muttered to himself as his finger lightly tapped against the table.
His opponent had reacted much more quickly than he had imagined, but this was fine and all within his expectations. Zhang Chaoshu had only been used to scare and startle them.
When striking a snake, one had to strike its vital points. It had always been impossible to rely on these reports and documents to vanquish his foe.
"Since you've shown up, you can no longer remain in hiding. Next is for me to drag you out and see just where you came from!"
Wang Chong slowly closed his eyes, and quiet and serenity gradually returned to the study.
Wang Chong's uncle-in-law Li Lin arrived at midday of the next day.
"Chong-er, you were looking for me!"
Li Lin came into the estate in a rush, and even before he had entered the reception hall, his voice resounded through the grounds.
Over this more than half a year, Li Lin had diligently cultivated and was already completely different from the impression Wang Chong first had of him. He had the demeanor of a dragon and the gaze of a tiger, and he walked with great energy and momentum.
When one remembered that Li Lin had started out as a minor officer assigned to supervise a gate, this was simply a jaw-dropping transformation, and all this was possible because of Wang Chong.
"Uncle-in-law, there's a matter that I will have to trouble you with."
Wang Chong got straight to the point with Li Lin.
"Haha, speak! As long as I can do it, even if I have to dig three feet into the earth, I will do it!" Li Lin said.
Wang Chong pointed at the table and said, "There is some information on the table. I need Uncle-in-law to mobilize the men of the City Guard to investigate the people of the capital. They should be looking for a Confucian scholar of twenty-six or twenty-seven who has stayed in the capital for no more than five months. And this person should have some minor reputation amongst the Confucian scholars."
Li Lin blinked in surprise. Wang Chong's request was exceedingly strange, but Li Lin was no fool. In this period of time, there was no matter that had caused a greater stir in the Great Tang than the matter of Khorasan.
"Chong-er, have you already found the tracks of those people?"
Wang Chong nodded.
"If all is as expected, the person I'm looking for is in this group. I hope that Uncle-in-law can investigate these people as quickly as possible along with their associated documents."
Forcing out his opponent was only the first step. Now was the time for Wang Chong's true counterattack. Perhaps his opponent thought himself to be well-concealed, but as long as Wang Chong had only a tiny clue, he would not let them so easily escape.
To find a young man of twenty-six or twenty-seven in the capital was like trying to find a needle in the ocean, but the fact that they also needed to be a Confucian scholar greatly narrowed down the scope.
Moreover, as someone who could mobilize the Grand Preceptor, Li Linfu, and King Qi at the same time, this person could not be some mediocre and ordinary individual. Even if they had adopted a false identity, they would still have to be someone with minor reputation among the Confucians.
Moreover, Wang Chong had spent more than half his life in the capital, and he had some understanding of the various schools of thought in the capital. However, he had never heard of someone like this, so it was clear that they were an outsider who had not been in the capital for more than five months.
The number of people who fulfilled these requirements was probably only several hundred. With the power of the City Guard, it wouldn't take very long to search through these people.
"Understood! Leave this matter to me!"
Li Lin nodded and quickly turned serious. After taking the sheets of paper from the table, he left without another word. The entire Wang Clan from top to bottom was infuriated by that schemer hidden in the shadows who had orchestrated the stripping of Wang Chong's military authority. Li Lin had watched Wang Chong grow up, and he was even more angered than Wang Chong by what had happened to him.
Li Lin left with almost as much haste as he had arrived, and he soon arrived at the City Guard.
"Come! Come! Everyone, hear my orders! Dispatch everyone as quickly as possible!
"Twenty-six or twenty-seven, Confucian, a young man who has been present for no more than five months and has some small reputation. Search according to these conditions. I want that person found, even if you have to dig three feet into the ground!"
Li Lin's voice resounded through the City Guard as he summoned all the high-ranking officers. A few moments later, the place resounded with the thundering of hooves as all the soldiers of the City Guard were dispatched.
The tens of thousands of City Guard soldiers were set to work like an enormous machine.
The capital of the Great Tang was the heart of the Central Plains, gathering together all the people of the Nine Provinces, a home to more than one million people. To begin an investigation in such a thriving city amongst such a massive populace was no easy task. But although there were many people in the capital, there were far fewer Confucians. This search was well within the capabilities of the City Guard.
Wang Chong was in no rush, and silently waited within his residence. The arrow had been fired, and there would come a day when it would land. Wang Chong was awaiting this final result.
Meanwhile, to the northeast, in the land of Youzhou, a small bird flew with incredible speed, disappearing into the headquarters of the Andong Protectorate.
"Bastard! Wang Chong, are you threatening me?!"
After reading the letter, Zhang Shougui slammed a fist against the table, and the sturdy metal table crumpled as if it had been made of paper. Even the land of Youzhou itself seemed to be quivering.
"Investigate! I need this investigated now! Just who leaked this matter! Once I find him, I'll tear him to pieces!"
Zhang Shougui clenched his teeth, his entire person erupting with rage.
A pale-faced officer behind Zhang Shougui immediately turned and left.
"But, Milord, what do we do about the capital? Niu Xiantong has already exposed the matter, and the King of Foreign Lands is using this matter to threaten us…" A cautious and uneasy voice resounded through the hall.
"Bastard! What does it matter if it was discovered? Must I be threatened by some brat? Other than His Majesty, no one in this world dares to oppose me! In Youzhou of the northeast, this old man's hand can obscure the sky. Everything goes according to my will here. I don't believe that I can't handle this matter!"
Zhang Shougui's eyes were cold, his body seething with rage.
Before the subordinate could argue any further, bang! An enormous energy slammed him into the wall.
"Wang Chong, this old man was wrong about you! For the Battle of Talas, this old man put aside past grudges and sent you four thousand of my Roaring Tiger Army and several thousand of my Youzhou Army, and then you oppose me! This old man won't be threatened by you!"
Rumble! The entire hall trembled under Zhang Shougui's rage.
"Pass on my order! I want this matter completely buried!"
Flapflap! Countless birds took flight, and the entire northeast was thrown into upheaval.
Time slowly passed, and several days later, the City Guard's investigation bore fruit.
Thick stacks of documents were placed on Wang Chong's table, causing the table to groan under the weight.
"Chong-er, the information you wanted is all here. There were two hundred and seventy-eight people who fulfill your conditions. All of them are new Confucian talents who have been in the capital for five months at most. Surprisingly, however, sixty-three of these people have vanished without a trace," Li Lin said.
Wang Chong couldn't help but crease his brow at these words.
"There's nothing that can be done about this. There are many people in the capital, and some people just leave when they want to. Even the City Guard has people that they can't investigate. But the laws of the Great Tang decree that anyone who wants to enter the capital must have a travel document. The City Guard has records of all of these, and I've already sent my men to look through them," Li Lin said.
"It's fine. As long as they didn't disappear in the last month, we don't need to worry about them. Leave these documents here. You can leave the rest to me," Wang Chong indifferently said.
After sending off his uncle-in-law, Wang Chong began to swiftly look through the documents.
"Now, it's time to see who you really are!"