“If big uncle wishes to send cousin to higher heights, it is best that you make a move yourself and settle this matter quickly. Many things can happen if you were to delay it! Furthermore, I think that cousin Wang Li possess greater talent in governance than in the military. I hope that big uncle can consider this as well.”
Wang Chong said.
In his previous life, Yao Clan had schemed for the downfall of everyone in the Wang Clan to whittle down its influence in the royal court. Wang Chong’s father, big uncle, uncle, little uncle, cousin Wang Li, and Wang Chong’s eldest brother, Wang Fu, were on the list.
Big Brother Wang Fu had a stable footing in his position, so the Yao Clan was unable to lay their hands on him. However, his cousin Wang Li was different.
Based on what Wang Chong recalled from his previous life, big uncle was too anxious then and added Wang Li’s name into the promotion list of the royal court. Thus, the Yao Clan made full use of this opportunity.
Yao Guang Yi made use of the Bureau of Military Personnel’s personnel redeployment to put Wang Li under him. Then, he tried all means to make him commit mistakes. Not too long later, something occurred to Wang Li, and he became a spear for the Yao Clan to deal with the Wang Clan.
But back then, big uncle and father had already fallen, so the handle over Wang Li was of no use.
However, the situation was different now. Yao Guang Yi had suffered a setback by the border, and father and big uncle were still standing tall in the royal court. In order to deal with the Wang Clan. they would definitely make a move there.
‘A dam of a thousand li crumbles can crumble due to an ants’ nest’. Given the capabilities of the old and young wily fox of the Yao Clan, they would definitely try all means possible to overthrow the Wang Clan if such an opportunity were to fall into their laps.
Wang Chong told this to Big Uncle Wang Gen was to remind him of the possibility. Big uncle may not be interested in the affairs of Wang Chong’s family, but it was impossible for him to remain unmoved by his own son’s plight.
Wang Chong was selling him a favor. At the same time, he was trying to alter the impression his big uncle had of him.
“I know what to do, so you don’t have to bother about this matter. Also, leave the matter with the Yao Clan to us. I will report the matter today truthfully to the Old Master.”
Big Uncle Wang Gen said. His face was clearly much gentler than before.
At that instant when big uncle spoke, a mechanic voice devoid of any emotions suddenly rang in Wang Chong’s head:
【User has awakened! You have successfully altered the destiny of your clan and received the approval of your clanmate. Thus, you have been awarded the title ‘Destiny Struggler’!】
Wang Chong was startled. The voice disappeared as quickly as it appeared, making Wang Chong doubt if he was hallucinating.
“What was going on?”
Shocked by the sudden voice in his head, Wang Chong’s face turned ghastly white.
The voice appeared abruptly and it clearly wasn’t the voice of anyone who was present in the room. In fact, it seemed to have simply appeared in his head, and that wasn’t just it.
Wang Chong remembered the voice. In his previous life, when he was on the verge of death, he had once heard this voice. Even though he couldn’t recall the contents of what it said, he remembered the mechanic voice.
Wang Chong did not expect that he would hear it again at this moment.
“Chong-er, are you alright?”
Wang Chong’s mother was the first one to notice the anomaly with Wang Chong.
Wang Chong quickly shook his head. Even though he didn’t know what was going on, he was sure that something had happened. Furthermore, it was definitely something very important.
Mother Wang nodded her head. She attributed the matter to Wang Chong’s excitement.
“Zhu Yan, let’s go!”
Not too far away, Big Uncle Wang Gen waved his hand, got up, and left. He was still worried about the matter with the eldest son, so he wasn’t in the mood to remain here for even a second longer.
Actually, other than Wang Chong himself, no one in the main hall really noticed Wang Chong’s peculiar condition. Even if they did notice something, they simply attributed it to his excitement, just like Mother Wang.
“Good job, Wang Chong. You truly amazed Second Sister this time! Remember to come over and visit your Second Sister soon.”
Cousin Wang Zhu Yan fondled Wang Chong’s hair and followed behind her father.
“Child, you have truly changed. Big aunt is happy for you. If you have time, do come over and visit your big aunt.”
Big Aunt Wang Ru Shuang also stood up:
“Shu Hua, I will be leaving first. If you have time, do bring the children over for a visit.”
“Sure! Allow me to walk you out!”
Madam Wang Zhao Shu Hua stood up to send them off. The smile on her face was extremely bright, but Wang Chong wasn’t in the mood to pay it any heed. His mind was a mess and all of his attention was focused on that emotionless mechanic voice he heard previously.
The moment his mother and the others left, Wang Chong immediately darted out of the main hall and rushed to his own room!
“Let’s go! It’s been long since I have left here. I have been staying in the Four Quarters Embassy for so long; it’s about time for me to go out for a walk!”
Right when Wang Chong’s Big Uncle Wang Gen, Big Aunt Wang Ru Shuang, and the others were walking out of the Wang Family Residence, in the Four Quarters Embassy, a white-haired, sharp-eyed old man was currently holding onto a dragon-head cane. Sighing, he slowly stood up from his seat.
That old man looked as though he wasn’t a martial artist, but as he stood up from his seat, a powerful aura reminiscent of the powerful waves from the ocean exuded from him.
The eastern part of the Four Quarters Embassy seemed to shake under the foot of the old man, as though the earth was struggling to prop up the body of the old man.
Upon seeing the old man stand up, the surrounding Imperial Army members, guards, maids, and servants all knelt down and on the faces of their lowered head was a mix of respect and fear.
That expression was as though a weak insect meeting a gigantic elephant in the jungle. In reality, this white-bearded old man who seemed old and fragile was definitely one of the most authoritative figures in the entire Central Plains.
He was the pillar propping up the Yao Clan, the Old Master of the Yao Clan, Duke Yao!
“Old Master, are you going to meet King Qi?”
An old but powerful voice sounded by the side. By Duke Yao’s side stood an old man seemingly in his sixties. Despite the deep creases on his forehead, he exuded the aura of an expert possessing immeasurable strength. That dangerous old man stood with his body bent, and his attitude and gestures were filled with respect.
“Guang Yi had suffered a setback at the southern border. This isn’t a matter which he could handle!”
Old Master Yao couldn’t help but sigh deeply:
“Looks like there’s a wise man assisting the Wang Clan!”
After which, the entire hall turned silent. The stilled atmosphere was extremely intimidating.
The son which the Old Master had high expectations of, Yao Guang Yi, had suffered a setback by the borders. As though it had wings, the news flew across the entire capital, turning the entire Yao Clan into a laughingstock.
Nowadays, the eastern part of the Four Quarters Embassy has been completely silent. No one dared to comment anything about the matter. But privately, everyone has been saying that Wang Yan had received the assistance of a sage.
This ‘sage’ was even more incredible than Old Master Guang Yi. He was able to play the careful and intelligent Old Master Guang Yi in his palms.
In fact, people were even saying that the affair in the Vast Crane Pavilion was a scheme of the other party as well.
To date, no one knew who the ‘sage’ who guided the Wang Clan was. In the Wang Clan, from ‘Duke Jiu’ to Wang Yan, no one was skilled at political games.
That eldest son was slightly knowledgeable on it, but his capabilities were only limited to the royal court. He was completely oblivious of military affairs. In terms of foresight, he paled far in comparison to Old Master Guang Yi.
The Wang Clan would be able to soar to greater heights with the assistance of such a strategist. This wasn’t a good thing for the Yao Clan!
The old servant, Yao Chun, had accompanied Old Master Yao for several decades now, but it seemed like on this matter, the Old Master had no clues whatsoever as well.
“Old Master, even though Second Young Master is unable to compare up to you, he has also inherited a certain level of your abilities. Yet, he suffered such a huge setback and he was played in the palm of the other party. The other party had a close grasp over his intentions and his plans… This had never happened before. Furthermore, our men were unable to find any clues about the opponent!”
“Old Master, the Second Young Master’s opponent isn’t ordinary! You have to help him.”
Yao Guang Yi was already in his forties, but in the mouth of this old servant, he was still termed as ‘Second Young Master’.
“Seems like the other party did not come with good intentions! I have my own judgement on the matter. ——Call Guang Yi back and say that it’s my orders. Tell him not to get involved with the Wang Clan for the time being.”
Duke Yao closed his eyes and silence loomed over the room for a long time.
The old servant, Yao Chun, was surprised. He had followed the Old Master for several decades, but this was the first time he was seeing the Old Master acting so defensively against an opponent.
Clearly, even the Old Master found it hard to settle this matter.
“But Old Master, it won’t be easy to placate King Qi. The Second Young Master had failed time and time again, and after the incident by the borders, King Qi is currently at the heat of his anger. Over a span of three days, he had already sent sixteen tokens to summon Second Young Master back. Calling Second Young Master back at this moment might not be a good thing!”
Yao Chun said worriedly.
“Ask Guang Yi not to worry about that. I will settle King Qi’s side personally. However, before that, I need to make a trip to the western side to meet my old rival from the Wang Clan!”
Duke Yao said slowly. In the brief moment that he opened his eyes, a cold gleam could be seen.
Hearing those words, the old servant was taken aback. He stared at Old Master Yao in shock. Clearly, he didn’t expect that Old Master Yao would make such a move.
That person from the Wang Clan had been battling with the Old Master since young, and even though they had both been stationed at the Four Quarters Embassy a few years ago by the emperor’s edict, thus becoming neighbors of one another, the two of them had never come into contact with one another.
But now, the Old Master was taking the initiative to head toward the western side, where that person of the Wang Clan lived. Yao Chun was caught off-guard. For a moment, he didn’t know what he should say.
“There’s no need to say anything. Help me prepare the stuff, we will go over right now.”
Duke Yao looked at his old servant and sighed. Even though his old servant had incredible talent in martial arts, he was completely clueless about politics.
His second son Yao Guang Yi had suffered an utter defeat by the borders, thus becoming everyone’s laughingstock. Right now, it was no longer a problem of whether he was willing to do it or not, but whether the Yao Clan would be able to satisfy that person in the palace or not.
If he was still young and at the peak of his strength, he wouldn’t have to lower his head to that old man at the western side. But now, for the sake of his descendant, for the prosperity of the Yao Clan, he had no choice but to do so.
Grabbing his cane, Duke Yao walked out of the door.
At the same time, in the Bureau of Military Personnel.
“Show me the name scroll!”
Right after he left the Wang Family Residence, Wang Chong’s big uncle, Wang Gen, did not return back to his residence. Rather, he anxiously headed straight for the Bureau of Bureau of Military Personnel’s office.
Wang Chong’s second uncle, Wang Gen, was a 2nd rank official of the royal court. He had the authority to read through the documents of the Six Ministries. How could the officials of the Bureau of Military Personnel dare to stop him?
After the official on duty looked through the files, he soon found the list which Wang Gen wanted on a densely filled bookshelf.
Wang Gen immediately snatched over the paper and he soon found his eldest son’s name on it. However, he soon saw a few circles on the list and his heart skipped a beat. He suddenly felt uneasy.
“Other than me, who else has looked through this list?”
Wang Gen asked.
The circles on the Bureau of Military Personnel list meant that others had read through it. He had only paid attention to the Ministry of Personnel promotion list back then; he neglected the fact that his eldest son belonged to the Bureau of Military Personnel, and they possessed the rights to promote and deploy him.
“During this period of time, Lord Zhang, Lord Pei, Lord Liu and Lord Yao of the Bureau of Military Personnel had been here and looked through it. Awhile ago, Lord Yao came here with under the orders of King Qi that we should pass the promotion list of the Bureau of Military Personnel to him. However, for some reason, he sent news that we should leave it be for now, and he would handle it after a period of time.”
After hearing those words, Big Uncle Wang Gen’s face paled. He placed his palm on the table, as though he needed it to stabilize himself. Beads of sweat appeared on his forehead.
Big Uncle Wang Gen took in a deep breath. For a long time, he wasn’t able to say anything. He was overwhelmed with fear and relief of managing to escape a calamity.
He had secretly slipped in the name of his eldest son into the promotion list without telling anyone, and he thought that no one would notice it. Initially, he thought that he could secretly vie for a promotion on Wang Li’s behalf when the time comes. To think that the Yao Clan would have noticed it long ago!
If not for Wang Chong’s reminder, he would have handed over his own son into the hands of the Yao Clan.
Even though Wang Gen did not understand the military well, he knew that it was highly possible that the Yao Clan’s intention of laying their hands of the list was to deploy his eldest son to his camp.
Wang Li was still young, and given the slyness of the Yao Clan’s father and son, they could easily come up with an excuse to exploit Wang Li’s flaws and use it as an opening to strike at the entire Wang Clan.
If things were to really progress to the point, it would be too late for regrets.
“Li-er! Father had almost brought you harm!”
Wang Gen felt intense relief. If not for Wang Chong’s timely reminder, he would have almost committed a huge fault.
He grabbed a brush from the side of the table and canceled Wang Li’s name off the list of the Bureau of Military Personnel.
According to hucker (I have been using it for reference), a 2nd rank official is also termed as Official Elite. It refers to people who have the potential to reach the highest official rank (i.e. Prime Minister, or if there isn’t a Prime Minister, the Left Minister and Right Minister)
They are subsidiaries to the Department of State Affairs (尚书院)
Military Department -> Bureau of Military Personnel (Not a big difference but that’s the standardized term.)