Nightfall - Chapter 700

Published at 13th of January 2019 06:50:06 AM

Chapter 700: The Key to Chang'an City

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Shangguan Yangyu was one of the ugliest prefectural magistrates of Chang'an City since the founding of the Tang Empire thousands of years ago. He had an obscene feeling from the inside out.

Since he was famous for his ugly appearance, naturally, he couldn't make people happy. However, whether it was his wife or him, they both couldn't deny this. Hence, while standing in the solemn and mian hall, he felt more and more ashamed and more sweat started appearing on his forehead. His triangular eyes didn't stop flashing.

Li Yu had seen Shangguan Yangyu many times and he knew that he was extremely ugly. However, every time she saw him, she felt there was newer ugliness added on the pile; a sense of disgust couldn't help but arise.

However, she controlled her own expressions and showed great respect through her words, just like the warmth of the spring wind. She was like this as she was very clear that this prefectural magistrate had an incredibly rare prowess under these ugly looks. If not, he wouldn't be able to hold such a thorny position for this long.

Li Yu was very practical. So long as he was talented, even though his looks were incredibly ugly and he looked crafty and corrupt, she would accept him wholeheartedly.

Moreover, no matter how many faults Shangguan Yangyu had, he had a beautiful strength: even though he gained fame after attaining his position, he didn't leave his wife who had ordinary looks. Till today, he still had deep feelings for his wife.

This impressed Li Yu considerably. In addition, due to the importance of the position of the prefectural magistrate of Chang'an City, this was the first minister that she met since the new emperor started his reign.

According to logic, for Shangguan Yangyu, this was a godsend. For someone like him who had no idea what morals were, he had no psychological issues to be under the Princess and the new Emperor. As for the soliciting intentions between Her Highness' words, he immediately worshipped them.

However, to the surprise of Li Yu and the few people in the hall, Shangguan Yangyu was still as respectful and ingratiating. He looked as if he wanted to kiss the soles of Li Yu's instep. But whenever the topic went deeper, he stared like a fool with his round eyes as if he had no idea how to answer.

Li Yu furrowed her brows slightly. She knew of course that Shangguan Yangyu wouldn't be as dumb to not be able to understand her words. Hence, him pretending to be dumb could only mean that his and some of the courtiers' attitudes weren't firm.

What left her more troubled was that the second person that she wanted to see today refused to enter the palace!

The eunuch leader and the palace nanny didn't stop denouncing the man's disrespect. They looked resentful, almost as if they wanted to send for the Yulin Royal Guards to arrest the man and sent to the palace for punishment.

"Everyone keep quiet."

Li Yu shouted as she waved her hand and chased out all the eunuchs, palace maids and the palace nanny nearest to her.

Chao Xiaoshu wasn't a normal person. Even though she had the position and power she had today, she didn't dare be disrespectful to him, much less attack this person.

He was the underground leader of Chang'an City. Even though it had been years since he asked about the Jianghu world, and when he returned to Chang'an City last year, he had ignored the Fish-dragon Gang's assistance, everyone clearly understood that the Chang'an City's underground was still under his rule.

However, if Chao Xiaoshu was only an elder in the Jianghu world, any of the ministers in the hall wouldn't pay her any attention. Naturally, it would not make Li Yu this troubled.

The key was that Chao Xiaoshu was a Grand Cultivator of the Knowing Destiny State. He had a brotherhood with her father and when she saw him, she had to address him as Second Uncle Chao. Luckily, he had many brothers who would sacrifice their lives for him and in some ways, they were involved in the safety of Chang'an City.

After the eunuch and the palace maids were chased out, Li Yu wasn't the only person left in the hall. There was another middle-aged minister. He was Grand Scholar Mo Han who had joined the ranks four years ago.

"Your Highness, you do not have to worry for now. Just because Chao Xiaoshu isn't willing to enter the palace doesn't mean that he has any opinion of you. Back then when he rejected the position conferred by His Majesty and left the palace, he had already stated his position. Today is just a continuation of that day; to let Your Highness understand his determination for not participating in the government."

Mo Han smiled and said.

Li Yu furrowed his brows and said, "Chang III and Fei VI have been popular with the Yulin Royal Guards. Liu V is already the commander of the Valiant Cavalry Battalion and when Chen VII returns to the bodyguard office, he would become the right-hand man of Xu Chongshan. These people follow the orders of Chao Xiaoshu. If father was still alive, they would naturally not dare to do anything. But now that he is dead, what if Chao Xiaoshu has any ideas, what dangers would Chang'an City be in? I do not want to give up my life for anyone."

Mo Han smile gradually faded as he asked, "Then what does Your Highness think we should do with Chao Xiaoshu?"

Li Yu remained silent for a long time. She understood what the Grand Secretary meant and said, "These were the old matters that were arranged by father, only time can change them. Neither I nor Her Majesty, can handle it."

Mo Han said praisingly, "It is precisely because of this that His Majesty created the Fish-dragon Gang back then. It seemed insignificant and was even denounced by the censor as nonsense. But who would have thought that those people from the Fish-dragon gang back then would become such important figures now? These people were only loyal to the previous emperor and hence, they will definitely only listen to the instructions from the designated heir of the previous Emperor. His Majesty and Your Highness do not need to do anything. Your Highness would just need to follow what she used to do to maintain order and Chao Xiaoshu will understand Your Highness' wishes."

Li Yu said, "Grand Secretary's words make sense. I will make some arrangements later."

"The Yulin Royal Guards, the Valiant Cavalry Battalion as well as the Bodyguard office, they all cannot extend a hand inwards. This includes Her Majesty and the Prince. Back then, many had been killed that rainy night at the Spring Breeze Pavillion. This was a declaration from the previous minister and from how I see it, there is no problem with the safety of Chang'an City."

Mo Han's expression became increasingly grave as he said, "I am worried instead about matters outside the border. There have been rumors that on the Wilderness, the Headmaster had drawn his sword and battled with Haotian. This has led to the West-Hill army turning against each other. The previous Emperor might have led the cavalry to defeat the enemy but the Headmaster has passed away and so has the previous Emperor. The West-Hill Divine Palace will not squander this opportunity."

"Even though the Tang Empire is strong, it has become the public enemy of the world. There are powerful enemies surrounding us and if we are not careful, we will fall into a precarious state. According to sources, Prince Long Qing has already led the cavalry from the Left King's Palace to attack the Tang Empire. They are prepared to go by the Yan Road to move south; Your Highness should advise His Majesty to think about the military horses and not to place his thoughts on these small things of the court. With an enemy approaching, a civil strife must not break out."

Li Yu knew the Grand Secretary was referring to the Imperial Astronomer and the Imperial Center Administration. With her expression calm, she was grateful that the Grand Secretary could point out His Majesty's mistakes and said, "Grand Secretary do not worry, I will speak with him."

Mo Han nodded and said, "That will be good."

Li Yu then said, "About the Left King's Palace attacking Tang, Grand Secretary you do not have to worry too much. Everyone knows that Long Qing is gunning for the Yan Kingdom's emperor position when he says he is going south. Crown Prince Chong Ming and I have a deep bond and I have anticipated this a long time ago. General Xian Zhiliang is resourceful and naturally, he will know how to handle this."

As a civil servant by the Princess' side for all these years, Mo Han naturally was her most trusted confidant. Of course he knew that Xian Zhilang was Her Highness' person and he was somewhat relieved upon hearing that.

"We can ignore the trouble by the border of Yan territory but I am most worried about the north."

Mo Han said worryingly, "Because Her Majesty is still in Helan City, the position of the Nothern Military Camp seems more special. It cannot be disorderly yet it cannot be oblivious. I wonder what Her Highness has arranged?"

The Northern Military Camp guarded the countless miles of border area to the north of the Tang Empire. It had the most elite cavalry with the most dangerous mission and was fighting against the powerful Golden Palace for many years.

The main general of the Northern Military Camp now was General Xu Chi, one of the Four Greatest Generals of Tang. He was always stable and didn't draw attention to himself.

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However, whether it was Li Huiyuan sitting firmly on the throne or the Tang Empire pitting against the whole world, Xu Chi and the rest couldn't ignore and bypass an important figure.

In the past among the four generals, General Xia Hou was the close confidant of the Queen. Now that the general in the north was Xian Zhilang, he was Li Yu's man. Only General Xu Shi and Xu Chi were impartial.

They were loyal and only loyal to Tang Empire's emperor Li Zhongyi.

What worried Grand Secretary Mo Han the most was whether the loyalty of General Xu Chi to the previous emperor could be successfully passed on to the current emperor. Or would it perhaps move to another prince...

Li Yu said, "General Xu Chi will definitely not be involved in the succession of the throne. This was something father had told me from a long time ago and hence, I believe that he will remain neutral."

Mo Han shook his head and said, "Since His Majesty has already ascended the throne, it isn't right for the general to remain neutral."

Li Yu said, "Grand Secretary words make sense, I have already decided to send Hua Shanyue."

Mo Han furrowed his brows slightly and said, "General Hua Shanyue's loyalty towards Her Highness isn't doubtful. He has an affinity with General Xu Chi's family. However all these... are meaningless."

Li Yu said calmly, "Since I have handed Hua Shanyue the most important mission, I believe that he is able to accomplish my requests. Please rest assured."

Shangguang Yangyu remained behind closed doors after returning from the palace.

His wife sat beside the bed and fed him some herbal medicine. She asked worryingly, "Are you going to hit yourself with a stick again?"

Shangguang Yangyu sighed and said, "This time, I am only afraid that I will strangle myself with white silk."

His wife was shocked as she said, "The new emperor has started his reign and Her Highness has become so powerful. Since she values you, you should just let it be. Why seek death?"

Shangguang Yangyu stared at her with his two triangular eyes as he chided, "What does an ignorant woman like you know? Even though she values me, how long will that be for? If I worship Her Highness, naturally I can get a load of silver and rise up the ranks. However, when the Empress bring the Prince back to Chang'an, what will I do?"

The wife listened and laughed. She said, "You have always talked about the law of the Tang Empire, why have you forgotten about it now? The Emperor ascended the throne with the Edict, who would dare oppose him? Who can oppose him?"

"When I say you do not understand, you really don't. The edict might not be able to be faked but Her Highness asked to see me first. Why is that so? This means she is also afraid that chaos would happen in Chang'an City."

Shangguan Yangyu said, "What circumstances will cause chaos in Chang'an City? Naturally there will be those who are unhappy."

His wife got increasingly puzzled as she pushed the herbal soup to the side and asked seriously, "Who else can cause trouble?"

Shangguan Yangyu burst into laughter as he said, "Now, all the ministers in the imperial court, whether they are with the Queen or Her Highness, they do not understand a rule. From how I see it, even if His Majesty and the Princess do not understand. The edict isn't the key, Chang'an City isn't the key. Even those generals aren't the key."

His wife asked curiously, "Then what is the key?"

Shangguan Yangyu said, "The attitude of the Academy. That is the key."

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