Chapter 1613: Catching a Turtle in a Jar! (I)
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The four golden Qilins meant that Wang Chong had a higher status than King Qi, something that King Qi could never accept.
The King of Foreign Lands Residence was finished. Fireworks exploded and countless officials and generals voiced their congratulations as Wang Chong and his joyous subordinates officially moved in.
The new residence was twice the size of the Wang Family Residence and exuded an air of majesty. The Sage Emperor had even placed five hundred Golden Guards to guard his residence. These men were the elite of the elite, and all of them were loyal and reliable. And upon seeing the insides of the residence, Wang Chong could only sigh in praise.
He had thought that King Qi would cut corners on the construction, but it was apparent that since the Imperial Court had already confirmed the treatment and standards Wang Chong should enjoy, not even King Qi dared to do anything more than delay the work. He didn’t touch a single detail of the insides.
This was the power of the Imperial Court’s laws!
After the party was over, everything returned to peace and quiet.
An exquisite tea pot decorated with golden dragons was held in the air, white steam pouring out from the tiger-shaped spout as tea was poured into a teacup which was white on the outside and uniformly green on the inside.
“Good tea! This should be the Jinjunmei tea that the First Prince gifted you, right?”
Within the main hall of the King of Foreign Lands Residence, King Song took a light sip of tea and sighed.
“Your Highness truly has sharp eyes. This is the Jinjunmei tea that the First Prince gifted me.”
Wang Chong lightly chuckled as he put the tea pot back on the table. After a long wait, the King of Foreign Lands Residence was finally done, and King Song had seized this rare opportunity where the two of them could just sit down and enjoy some tea.
“Savor it well. This is high-quality tribute tea, and only five boxes were offered in all. Two boxes were left for the Empress and the Consorts, one for the Sage Emperor’s personal use, and another box was for the Grand Commandant. This box was one that the First Prince had left for his personal use. From this, we can see that the First Prince was plotting something when he gave you those rewards.”
King Song took another light sip of tea.
Wang Chong silently smiled. He truly couldn’t understand the path of tea, nor did he aspire toward it, so he couldn’t taste the value in this tea.
“The situation in the capital is very strange,” King Song abruptly said.
Wang Chong blinked in surprise. King Song wasn’t someone to just randomly comment without reason.
“You might not know this, but your residence has already exceeded the initial standards in some places. These were things that the craftsmen did on their own without telling King Qi.”
King Song smiled.
Wang Chong was shaken by these words. He was rarely involved in such affairs, and he truly had not known of this.
“But the Bureau of Works… hasn’t it always been under King Qi’s control? How could they tolerate it?” Wang Chong asked in shock.
“Heh, you think they wouldn’t know what the craftsmen under them were doing? This time, the key to the early completion of your King of Foreign Lands Residence was those officials in the Bureau of Works. This is also why King Qi is so furious.
“More than four hundred lives were lost in this border incident, and the Confucian Sect, instead of trying to find a solution, tried its best to suppress and diminish it. Not even the officials belonging to the Confucian Sect could stomach this, but they didn’t dare to protest. However, they used their actions to show their support, and this was how your residence came to be so swiftly constructed.
“In this aspect, Wang Chong, you performed splendidly!”
King Song put down his teacup and lightly stroke his beard, a look of praise in his eyes.
Wang Chong couldn’t help but be taken aback by King Song’s words. The First Prince and Confucian Sect acted in unison within the court, and Wang Chong had almost instinctively paid the court no attention. If King Song hadn’t brought it up, he would have never noticed the changes wrought by the border incident.
King Song smiled and explained. “Heh, there are not so many sects and clans, and the Confucian Sect and Confucian school are not as powerful as imagined. As they say, justice resides in the hearts of the people, and everyone can decide for their own what is right and wrong. Justice and righteousness are concepts that exist beyond sects and factions.”
As a senior of Wang Chong’s, he could never rest easy, so no matter what happened, he always had to go to court and do all he could to help Wang Chong. But this time, King Song was greatly relieved.
The times had changed. In the past, he had once been the backer of the Bureau of Military Personnel, one of the standing pillars of the Great Tang’s military, but now, the younger generation had matured. Even if he weren’t around, Wang Chong would be able to skillfully navigate the situation, enduring the pressure of the First Prince, King Qi, and the Confucian Sect to emerge with a beautiful victory.
This was the passing of the torch. He had spent more than half his life working for the Great Tang, never once able to relax, but now, he could draw his hand away and let Wang Chong and the other juniors hone themselves in the court and uphold the Great Tang.
Wang Chong pensively looked at King Song, his mind in turmoil.
King Song merely smiled.
After some time, the old butler slowly walked out, his voice ringing through the hall. “Your Highness, it’s getting late. It’s about time to start with that other matter.”
Hearing the butler’s words, King Song blinked and came back to his senses.
“It’s about time. Wang Chong, I have some matters to attend to. Until next time.”
King Song stood up as he spoke.
“Your Highness, let me see you out!”
Wang Chong stood up and walked with King Song to the gate. He watched in slight confusion as King Song hastily boarded his carriage and went off into the distance.
For some reason, King Song had seemed very rushed and anxious as he was leaving. Wang Chong had always taken King Song to be a calm and composed man, always taking his time. This was the first time he had ever seen the man so anxious.
“I wonder where he’s going?”
Recalling the old butler’s words, Wang Chong had a sudden thought, but since King Song had said nothing, he decided to put the matter aside and return to his residence.
As Wang Chong was gradually suppressing the Confucian Sect, in the serenity of the darkness deep within the Imperial Palace, progress was also being made.
In the northeast corner of the Imperial Palace, whoosh! A figure flew across the sky like some large bird.
Not long after that figure had gone, strange laughter came from a dark corner of the palace, and two figures, one tall and one short, emerged.
“They endured for so long, but they finally lost their patience!”
One of these figures held a cane and had extremely vicious eyes. If one looked carefully, one could see that his lips were unnaturally twisted, his muscles seemed loose, and a few of his teeth were missing. This was something that usually only could be seen with the mute, as they didn’t use their lip muscles as much. If a member of the martial arts world were here, they would be able to instantly recognize the man as the illustrious Earth Mute.
But this did not mean that Earth Mute didn’t know how to speak. The sharp observer would have noticed that the voice just now had come from his abdomen.
Abdomen Voice Art!
This was an art that Earth Mute had cultivated to make up for his natural infirmity. By vibrating the abdomen muscles with Stellar Energy, he could create sounds and make it seem like he wasn’t mute at all.
“Hahah, anyone who dares to make an enemy of His Highness is truly seeking death. What does it matter that he’s the First Prince? He’s made an enemy of the King of Foreign Lands, making him an enemy of the entire martial arts world!” the taller individual in the pair said. This one was naturally Heaven Deaf.
Just like Earth Mute was a natural mute, Heaven Deaf was born deaf, but through her astonishing talent, she had cultivated an ancient art that could allow her to use Psychic Energy and Stellar Energy to sense sound waves to understand what others were saying.
Most importantly, the pair’s natural infirmities had made them cultivate special arts that granted them surveillance and pursuit abilities that few martial artists could match. One was skilled in an art that could observe the heavens while the other had an art that could listen to the earth. When the two of them worked together, they could see every part of the Imperial Palace excluding the Sage Emperor’s residence. Even a fly would find it hard to escape their eyes and ears.
This was why Wang Chong had sent them into the Imperial Palace.
“Inform Commander Zhao that there are nine ‘flies’ tonight, approaching the Fifth Prince’s location from various locations. Tell him that we can close the net!”
Heaven Deaf suddenly turned to an Imperial Army soldier hidden in the shadows.
The soldier had eyes brimming with respect as he turned around.
A gentle breeze wafted through the quiet night, but an invisible killing intent was sweeping through the air. In the darkness that no ordinary people could see through, numerous figures were converging on Fifth Prince Li Heng’s residence.
But while an invisible killing intent was seeping through the Imperial Palace, the Fifth Prince’s residence was brightly lit. Maids and eunuchs were completely unaware of what was going on, some of the maids even yawning in fatigue.
“Are they ready?”
An indistinct mental wave traveled through the darkness.
“Our superiors have given the death order. No matter what, we cannot fail!”
“Hmph, relax; everything has been taken care of. Within one hour, not even a fly will be able to approach the Fifth Prince’s palace. All of the Imperial Army soldiers have already been ordered away. The only people in that palace are the Fifth Prince and some maids who don’t know anything.”
On a roof not far from the Fifth Prince’s palace, several figures wearing black assassination clothes were silently waiting. Their bodies were like those of leopards, bursting with explosive power that was so restrained and compressed that they barely seemed to exist.