The Records Of The Human Emperor Chapter 1283
Chapter 1283: New Development The Office Of Supervision
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
"In the war of the southwest, everyone remembers how the Young Marquis led several thousand experts he recruited by expending all his wealth to reverse the tides and defeat the four hundred thousand soldiers of the Mengshe–Ü-Tsang army with an army of only one hundred thousand. Everyone sings praises of the Young Marquis's heroism and incredible strategies, but how many of them know about how affluent the southwest once was, how friendly and amicable the people of the countries were with each other, sharing the same food and drink!?"
The storyteller had an anguished look on his face.
Su Shixuan was infuriated.
"Milord, these scoundrels have evil intentions, clearly attempting to push everyone's responsibilities on Milord to stain your reputation! Who doesn't know that the war of the southwest had erupted long before Milord intervened? And if not for Milord, not only would the southwest be barren, the number of dead would be even higher! This bastard would only say such things after taking someone else's money! I should tear his mouth off!"
Su Shixuan's heart burned with rage as he stood up and clenched his fists. Stories should be kept distinct from facts, and matters of fact should be discussed on their own merits. But this storyteller was clearly intending to have the crowd connect the results of the war of the southwest to Wang Chong. These were extremely evil intentions, and if someone said that this storyteller wasn't taking money from someone else, Su Shixuan would never believe them.
It was precisely because he had served at Wang Chong's side for so long and knew what Wang Chong had done and had paid that he could not tolerate seeing Wang Chong slandered and humiliated like this. He felt more infuriated than if he had been humiliated, and this was a line of thought that Su Shixuan shared with all of Wang Chong's other subordinates.
A person who was devotedly loyal to the empire and had risked it all to save the empire from crisis time and time again should never have been disgraced in such a manner. Otherwise, what dignity would this empire have left?
Just as Su Shixuan was about to charge out and teach the storyteller a lesson, a voice called out and made Su Shixuan's mind tremble. Behind him, Wang Chong had a dignified expression, his eyes shining with a strange light as he sat motionless in his seat.
"There are many more storytellers in the capital. Do you plan to teach them a lesson one by one?"
"But, Your Highness…"
Su Shixuan still wanted to argue, but Wang Chong silenced him with a wave of his hand.
"You still don't understand? My worry has never been these storytellers, but the hearts of the people. Look at the people listening."
Wang Chong sighed.
With a jolt, Su Shixuan turned to look at the crowd around the stage, for the first time focusing his attention on the spectators. He saw that all the members of the audience were seemingly enraptured by the storyteller.
And it wasn't just them. Looking outside the inn, he saw that there was a vast crowd outside, seated on stools or even standing. The young, old, men, women—all of them were looking at the storyteller, silent and solemn.
Su Shixuan's heart shook in understanding.
"Did you see it?"
Wang Chong's voice rang out in his ear, sounding as if it was coming from extremely far away.
"This time, I had you reserve a box seat not to listen to this storyteller, but to observe the common people. You cannot change the mind of a person. The only person that can change someone's mind will always be themselves, will be a thought that they always harbored in their minds. This storyteller might be connected to the Confucian Sect, but everything he talks about with regards to before and after the war is true and unaltered. I am confident that even though they are our enemies, Li Junxian and the Confucian Sect would disdain to do such things.
"The Confucian Sect truly is worth our concern, but what has always been our true concern is the shift in the minds of the people. The Great Tang has spent decades fighting war after war. Now, the people desire peace and resent battle. Li Junxian and his people are only catering to this mindset!" Wang Chong solemnly said.
He had been occasionally looking at the storyteller, but more of his time had been spent looking at the audience inside and outside the inn. And he could already see something changing. This was his true concern.
"…And in the Great Tang's northwest, in the Battle of Talas and the Battle of Khorasan, the Great Tang, despite being outnumbered, managed to kill one million Arab soldiers. Even the War God of Arabia, Qutaybah, was killed. It was this achievement that allowed the Young Marquis to be titled the King of Foreign Lands, the first King of a different surname in the history of the Great Tang. Everyone in the world knows of this. But do all of you know the effects of this war on the Great Tang?"
The storyteller tapped his clappers once before continuing.
"The Silk Road is the most prosperous trade route of our Great Tang. Every year, countless caravans traverse it. Silk, agate, coral, jade, tea leaves, porcelain… these products, which would be as high as mountains if piled up, are carried through Qixi, Anxi, Talas, Samarkand, Khorasan… all the way until they reach the distant Arabia, Charax Spasinu, and even farther places. This is a true road of prosperity, and it was even called by many merchants the Road of Gold, who said that what flowed on this road was not products, but liquid gold. Many bandits and brigands gathered around this road, craving its wealth. But now?
"Now, the bandits and brigands are gone, and though the trade between east and west has not ended, the number of caravans has plunged to less than one-tenth the original. The war between the Great Tang and Arabia has almost completely broken the trade between these two countries. And Khorasan itself is like a steel wall, splitting apart this important trade route involving tens of millions, or even hundreds of millions of taels of gold's worth of trade.
"Everyone might think that the southwest is rather far off, but the starting point of the Silk Road is the capital of our Great Tang. Every year, so much silk, porcelain, and tea leaves are bought that these products flow out like water. But after this war, have none of you sensed what the current situation is? Have none of you noticed a drop in your living standards, that you sell fewer products? The number of Hu coming to the capital has dropped, and when the merchants of the Great Tang go elsewhere, they can sense the hostile stares. This is war! Is that what you want?"
The storyteller's voice suddenly crescendoed.
The audience was deathly still. Unlike before, however, the people in the audience had pensive looks in their eyes.
"Peace! We don't want war!" someone called out from the crowd outside the inn. Very soon, others seemed to awaken and join this cry.
"No more war!"
"No more war!"
What was just a few people at first soon grew into a loud roar. Everyone's voice joined together into a single chorus, and by the end, even the spectators inside the Inn in the Clouds began to yell.
When the crowd was at its most excited, someone suddenly bellowed, "Absurd!"
In a box seat near Wang Chong's own, a burly man exuding the aura of a general flipped over his table and walked out of his box seat.
"You pedant Confucian! Soldiers put their lives on the line and bleed out on the battlefield, but in your mouth, they're the source of chaos? Without generals and soldiers like us, do you know how many people would die?"
The burly middle-aged man roared like an enraged tiger as he fiercely strode onto the stage and lifted up the storyteller by his collar as if he was a chicken.
"It has nothing to do with me, nothing to do with me! I'm just telling a story…"
The azure-robed storyteller fearfully slapped at the burly man’s hands, but he was powerless to resist.
All this happened so abruptly that everyone was left dumbstruck.
At this moment, another furious roar could be heard. Before anyone could react, a young man wearing snow-white robes suddenly appeared on the stage. With a single move, he slapped away the middle-aged man's arms, sealed his acupuncture points, and captured him.
In this process, the sleeve of the white-robed man dropped down to reveal a black symbol. The sight of this symbol caused Wang Chong and Su Shixuan to grimace.
"Milord, it's someone from the Confucian Sect!" Su Shixuan sternly said.
That middle-aged man had the thick aura of a soldier and was probably at Tier 7 or 8 of the Profound Martial realm, perhaps even higher. But he had been powerless to resist that young man of the Confucian Sect.
"Release me now! Just who are you?!" the middle-aged man bellowed as he viciously struggled.
"Hmph! We're the Office of Supervision, newly established by the Imperial Court. We're responsible for pacifying turmoil throughout the capital and the realm, particularly when it comes to the crimes of generals and soldiers! If you have a problem, have your superior come to the Office of Supervision to file a complaint!" the young man of the Confucian Sect coldly said. As he spoke, he flashed a token upon which the words 'Office of Supervision' were written.
"Someone, take him away!"
The white-robed young man waved at the back of the crowd. Immediately, two fully-armed soldiers grabbed the middle-aged man and began to escort him out of the inn.
"The Office of Supervision? What Office of Supervision!? I've never heard of it before! Release me now!"
The middle-aged man struggled as he turned his head and looked back at the young man.
"It doesn't matter if you don't know. In just a little while, everyone will know! Take him away!" the white-robed youth said.