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Chapter 1678: Entering the Court Once More!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Meanwhile, in the Eastern Palace…
“Ghost King, what do you mean by this? You know that that b.a.s.t.a.r.d supports Fifth Brother. And that scoundrel has opposed us at every turn. Why should we let him be the temporary Minister of War?” the First Prince sternly said as he stared at the Ghost King.
“Minor impatience can ruin great clans. He has spent a lot of time building up to this point, with the border generals and even governors and governor aides coming out to support him. Even in this situation, will Your Highness still refuse him?” the Ghost King asked back, his expression indifferent.
The First Prince became speechless, wanting to say something but quickly falling silent.
“Since we can’t refuse, we might as well agree.”
The Ghost King smiled.
“I don’t care what you want to do, but no matter what, our plan must proceed. In addition, think of a way to get rid of that b.a.s.t.a.r.d for me!”
The veins on the First Prince’s forehead bulged.
It had been incredibly difficult for him to get enough evidence to strip w.a.n.g Chong of his position of Advisor-in-Waiting and drive him out of the court.
This time, right after he had gotten rid of his two most powerful enemies in court, King Song and Zhangchou Jianqiong, w.a.n.g Chong had suddenly come back and forced his way into the court, even taking the post of Minister of War.
He had achieved an even higher status!
“Heheh, Your Highness, relax. I know what to do. Everything is under my control.”
The Ghost King spoke with absolute confidence.
These words caused the First Prince’s rage to somewhat fade.
After a few moments of silence, the First Prince clenched his teeth.
“No! This prince cannot sit by and watch. Tell them that it’s about time to move out!”
A cold and vicious killing intent flitted through his eyes.
While all this was going on in the Eastern Palace, the news that Zhangchou Jianqiong had taken ill and was being temporarily replaced by w.a.n.g Chong as Minister of War sent shockwaves through the capital and elation along the border.
Ever since w.a.n.g Chong’s Advisor-in-Waiting position had been removed, there had been little news about him on the political front. This youngest Marquis, most dazzling general, and the first King of the Great Tang by a different surname was still the center of the realm’s attention, but he was far from its center of authority.
No one had expected that he would become the Minister of War, even if only temporarily. This was the highest and most ill.u.s.trious position he had yet achieved.
Time quickly pa.s.sed, and it was soon time for another court session. The entire capital was noisy and raucous, and the officials left their residences earlier than usual as they gathered together before the appointed time.
“The King of Foreign Lands has returned! The court will be a restless place from now on!”
“The First Prince and the King of Foreign Lands get along like fire and water! Who would have thought that he would actually agree to make w.a.n.g Chong the temporary Minister of War?”
“The First Prince couldn’t do anything about that. No one expected the King of Foreign Lands to intervene. While Kong Wu is exceptionally qualified, when it comes to influence or prestige, the King of Foreign Lands is on an entirely different level. He could never win against the King of Foreign Lands!”
“The King of Foreign Lands came with great force, and I’m afraid that, with his personality, things aren’t going to end just here!”
“That’s right! Today’s court session is going to be a bad one!”
The officials of the capital had gathered in various parts of the capital, where they worriedly whispered to each other. The King of Foreign Lands had a fierce personality, as could be seen from the border incident and Public Order Squad incident. Only the King of Foreign Lands could have established that ‘Public Order Squad’ independent of the court and without the officials even knowing about it beforehand, and the court had even approved it in the aftermath.
The Public Order Squads could now be found patrolling throughout the capital.
As for the First Prince…
Although he was only temporarily the regent and had not been in this position for very long, the First Prince could no longer be considered young. Moreover, before all this, the Sage Emperor had allowed him to take part in governmental affairs, and there were many times when the First Prince could be seen listening from the sidelines.
While his time in the position had been short, the First Prince was beginning to slowly develop the demeanor of a sovereign. Moreover, almost all the officials in the court at this time were standing on the First Prince’s side. w.a.n.g Chong might have pushed the First Prince into a pa.s.sive position and forced him into agreeing to make w.a.n.g Chong the temporary Minister of War, but the First Prince would not likely let the matter go.
Letting him into the court might have been only to more savagely beat him down.
Elsewhere in the capital, some other officials had gathered, but these people had entirely different expressions.
“What do we do? We just barely managed to drive him out, but now he’s back!”
“What are you afraid of? The court is packed with our men, so you think he’ll still dare to act so brashly?”
“Don’t get too careless. He’s most likely not coming with good intentions. We have to be on our guard.”
“Mm. Yesterday, the First Prince ordered that we can’t let any of his proposals pa.s.s, no matter what they are! If we do this, what does it matter that he’s back in the court?”
“That’s right. I don’t believe that he can put up much resistance by himself or play any sort of trick!”
The group vigorously discussed their common foe. w.a.n.g Chong was greatly revered amongst the military, but he had made his fair share of enemies amongst the civil officials, particularly as his ‘Might Makes Right’ had offended the entirety of the Confucian Sect.
Soon, the ringing of chimes came from deep within the Imperial Palace. It was time for the morning court session. The two large and heavy gates opened, and a moment later, carriages flooded through the gates, the numerous officials making their way to Taihe Palace.
Before the court session, the officials of the court had gathered in small groups to chatter and converse, and even the common folk had been talking about the matter. But when the gates closed, all the officials became utterly silent.
Although they said nothing, their eyes looked around, searching for that man. But to their surprise, they couldn’t find him in the surge of people.
“Is he not coming today?”
The confused crowd all had the same thought, but they quickly rejected it. After causing such a stir, the King of Foreign Lands had no reason to suddenly retreat.
“Enter the palace!”
The crack of a whip came from the top of the white jade stairs, and the doors to Taihe Palace opened. The officials quickly pa.s.sed through the threshold and began to take up their ranks. King Qi, whose presence at the court sessions was usually unnecessary, was already standing beneath a coiling dragon pillar, a cold smile on his lips. He was silently waiting for that man to appear so that he could immediately raise a ruckus.
Standing at the very front, Prime Minister Li Linfu had his usual appearance, his eyes half-opened and half-closed. But if one looked carefully, one would notice that Li Linfu’s hands, which were usually hanging by his side, were now concealed in his sleeves as he pondered something.
As for the leader of the Confucian Sect, w.a.n.g Chong’s constant rival, Li Junxian, surprisingly, he had not appeared.
As time slowly pa.s.sed, everyone scanned the hall. Both the place where Zhangchou Jianqiong had once stood and the place where the Advisor-in-Waiting had once stood were empty. There was no sign of the King of Foreign Lands.
“What’s going on? Why hasn’t he appeared yet?”
“It’s been five minutes since the officials were supposed to enter the palace. Let’s wait a little more to see if he will appear!”
Two officials amongst the ranks whispered to each other so softly that only they could hear.
The seconds continued to drip away. Just as the whip was about to crack a second time, and it was the final moment in which officials were allowed to enter the palace…
An opulent golden boot stepped over the threshold and into the hall, and a long and slender shadow was cast. The entire hall seemed to shake as the officials turned in unison. Even Li Linfu and King Qi looked over, their opened eyes exuding a sharp and blazing light.
The sight of that young and familiar figure immediately made King Qi’s eyes turn vicious. The air in the hall instantly tensed, and everyone looked fearfully at w.a.n.g Chong. What should have come had finally come, and w.a.n.g Chong had returned to the Imperial Court.
w.a.n.g Chong was wearing his dragon robe and bore a confident expression and domineering eyes, his every move exuding vast power. Compared to a few months ago, when he had taken the post of Advisor-in-Waiting, w.a.n.g Chong seemed even more composed and mature, exuding a majesty that had been washed free of all impurities.
The natural brilliance coming from his body made all the officials in the hall seem dim by comparison.
A gentle breeze blew past, and w.a.n.g Chong faintly smiled at all the staring eyes. He confidently crossed over the threshold and made his way inside. Tap! Tap! Tap! w.a.n.g Chong slowly strode forward. His steps were not heavy, yet they rang out as if they weighed more than a thousand jun, and the entire palace seemed to buckle under the weight, trembling with each step he took.
As w.a.n.g Chong strode forward, the quiet crowd became slightly more restless. The members of the Confucian Sect and the officials subordinate to the First Prince and King Qi couldn’t help but back away, instinctively avoiding w.a.n.g Chong’s edge.