Chapter 430: Tactful Empress
In the huge court, the empress sat straight on the throne behind a curtain that separated her from the ministers below.
“There are three matters to be discussed in today’s court,” spoke the empress slowly.
The entire area below was quiet. They already knew what the empress was going to say.
“The late emperor’s murder has come to the fore. His unfilial son Gu Li yearned for the throne, for which he did not hesitate to harm his father and brother. Now that he is detained, I would like to discuss with you as to how we should deal with this.”
As soon as the empress finished, sounds of discussion arose, until a middle-aged man with a righteous-looking face stood up.
“Your Majesty, is there any conclusive evidence to prove that my royal brother was killed by my nephew?” The one speaking was the fourth great prince, one of the most troublesome existences in the empress’ plan. However, his reason for hindering the second prince no longer existed.
“He was captured red-handed when he brought his people to assassinate me and he has confessed to his crimes. I wonder if his own words count as conclusive evidence?” replied the empress coldly. She looked displeased, but in fact, her heart was blooming with joy. She hadn’t hoped for much when she sought Tang Bing’s help, but she didn’t expect his efficiency to be so high as he quickly swept away a huge obstacle.
At the empress’ words, the fourth great prince sighed.
“What sin, what sin…” saying this, the fourth great prince looked like he had aged a few years in just one second. His expression turned gloomy and he no longer spoke.
“Your Majesty, when our late emperor was alive, he once said that he loathed for family to hurt each other for the throne. Now that the third prince has done the opposite and defied morality, I suggest the supreme execution punishment to completely assuage the public’s concern.” This was the minister in charge of criminal affairs and he was obviously on the empress’ side.
At his suggestion, there was no other choice for the rest except to agree. Voicing dissent at this time was equivalent to offending the empress.
“The third prince still belongs to royalty in the end. I am afraid that it is inappropriate to impose the supreme execution, but death, however, is certain. This old man thinks that just bestowing him with death is enough. Also in that way, the whole kingdom can see Your Majesty’s kindness,” proposed Imperial Scholar Hou Jin, an old man with white hair and beard.
After the fourth great prince yielded, Hou Jin became one of the only two pillars left. If he couldn’t stand straight, the court could only let the empress do whatever she pleased. As someone who watched this batch of princes grow up, Hou Jin knew the princes very well. While Gu Heng and Gu Li showed promising qualities to be an emperor, the second prince just did not qualify no matter how anyone tried to raise him up. If he was enthroned, Ancient Yue would basically be the empress’ possession.
At present, the Imperial Scholar had a candidate. However, he dared not say it because if he did, not only would he die, but even the candidate proposed by him would die. Therefore, his only plan was to drag and delay until he found the perfect breakthrough for a one-hit victory.
“Imperial Scholar is wise. It’s still the mourning period, and execution of a royal member during this time is extremely inappropriate!” Prime Minister Shen Qiandong stepped forward. He was definitely the weakest among the three, so it was easy if the empress wanted to harm him. Still, he felt absolutely necessary to stand up. Even if it broke him!
Any dynasty would have a person that was loyal to it only, and Shen Qiandong was such a person.
“Humph, only bestowing death for this kind of immoral being? Prime Minister and Imperial Scholar, are you two muddle-headed from old age? You’re not afraid of being laughed at by the whole world? When the time comes when people accuse our Ancient Yue of being unfaithful and unfilial, who will bear the blame?!” The minister of criminal affairs stood up again and severely refuted, once again showing his loyalty to the empress.
“The ugly internal affairs of the royal family cannot be publicized. Sentencing a royal member to supreme execution is tantamount to announcing it to the world. Which one do you think will be ridiculed more?” the prime minister retorted with a sneer, rendering the minister of criminal affairs speechless.
“This one is gratified that you all think for our Ancient Yue wholeheartedly. I will take this matter into careful consideration,” the empress slowly spoke up with a hint of fatigue in her tone.
Of course, it remained unclear what she was tired about…
“Your Majesty is wise!” The prime minister cupped his fist to the empress, then stopped talking.
Thus, the matter was temporarily glossed over and it moved on to the remaining two. It had become a routine for the three court seniors to counter the empress’ moves every day.
“The second matter is to reward one person,” said the empress, who then looked at Manager Fan at her side and whispered a few words. Manager Fan immediately issued a loud call.
A while later, Tang Bing entered, dressed in a luxurious outfit.
“Commander of the Royal Guards Tang Bing greets Your Majesty. Long live Your Majesty!” Tang Bing only cupped his fist and didn’t kneel down. Someone should be stepping out to lecture him at a time like this, but they didn’t.
No one was stupid enough to upset the empress over something so trivial and provoke a rising newcomer in turn.
“Tang Bing contributed in my rescue, and also with his help, we could investigate the death of His Majesty. In order to encourage meritorious deeds and dispel the recent bad luck, I have entitled Tang Bing as Mighty General. On this foundation, he now holds the right to participate in court affairs.”
This announcement shook the whole court. Shen Qiandong stood up, but before he could speak, the empress beat him to it.
“Prime Minister, do not persuade me otherwise. I’ve made up my mind, and Tang Bing has the ability to take on this position. I’ll take your opinion on the third prince into consideration, I hope you will not argue with me on this one.”
Ridiculous! Utterly, insanely ridiculous!
Someone actually bargained in court, and the most ridiculous thing was that this person was sitting high above!
This was why some people were just not fit to sit in that position, because they didn’t know the taboos to avoid at all! This kind of person would only lead a country to decline, without exception!
However, Shen Qiandong could not refute this time. Ridiculous it was, then ridiculous he would leave it as. The empress could win this bargain. Compared with Tang Bing’s participation in political affairs, what he could not accept was the supreme execution of the third prince. Not because he held goodwill for the third prince, but simply because Ancient Yue could not afford to lose this face.
It was ridiculous to think about it: it wasn’t the ruler, but the officials below who were worried about the reputation of the kingdom. If this matter got out, it’d be an even bigger joke.
After Tang Bing’s matter was settled, everyone’s heart leaped to their throats. If there was no accident, the last one would get right down to the main business.
“I think everyone already knows, after all, I am a woman. Me sitting in this position will inevitably arouse dispute, so, should you gentlemen consider the next emperor?”
Sure enough, it was about this…
The next emperor, now who else had the faculty to reign besides the second prince?
How very tactful of Her Majesty, huh…?Previous Chapter Next Chapter