“Reporting to Your Majesty! Today, I bought four top-grade night pearls from the Globe Merchant Group and am here to dedicate them to you. With this, may Your Majesty stay young forever!” In court, Tang Bing, who had never once spoken up, stepped out presenting a tray with a red cloth on it with both hands.
There was disdain on the faces of Shen Qiandong and Hou Jin when they saw this. No wonder this fellow can climb so fast. He’s a bootlicker!
However, this perception was quickly overturned.
“General Tang, how thoughtful of you. Bring it up!” From behind the curtain, the empress commented with a hint of delight. At her order, Manager Fan walked down.
“Your Majesty, there is no need. Although they are called night pearls, their brilliance during the day is still unrivaled. You will be able to witness it once I unveil this red cloth,” said Tang Bing.
“Is it? Then, let us all see the pearls for ourselves. They are rare treasures!” The delight was now obvious in the empress’ voice.
Tang Bing gave a loud murmur of assent and slowly uncovered the red cloth. Standing the closest to him, Shen Qiandong and Hou Jin were the first to see the contents, and both were shocked speechless.
What night pearls?! These clearly are fish eyes!
“Court ministers, what do you think? Aren’t my night pearls glorious?” asked Tang Bing as he turned around and looked at the officials behind him.
To the surprise of Hou Jin and Shen Qiandong, some people actually answered with flattery!
“It’s so bright that it’s difficult to look straight at! These are absolutely rare treasures that I have the honor to witness!”
Exclamations rang out one after another. Hou Jin and Shen Qiandong rubbed their eyes and checked again, but no matter how many times they repeated this action, they couldn’t make night pearls out of fish eyes. The prime minister wanted to disprove, but Hou Jin pulled him back from behind.
Seeing Hou Jin slowly shaking his head, Shen Qiandong frowned but still swallowed back his refute in the end.
Unlike him, some people couldn’t hold back their words.
“Ridiculous! Those are clearly dead fish eyes! You are openly lying to Her Majesty in court! You should be sentenced to death by beheading!” shouted a confidant of the empress.
Many other confidants of the empress chimed in with approval. We can help you deal with others, but you are bullying Her Majesty! Who can endure this?!!
“Are you sure you’re seeing clearly? These are the night pearls that I paid sky-high prices for, and yet you’re calling them dead fish eyes. You truly hurt my feelings. Besides, you really think that so many officials who agreed with me can’t distinguish night pearls from fish eyes?” asked Tang Bing.
The group of empress’ confidants then hesitated. That’s right, what’s going on here? They are obviously fish eyes. Why did they keep saying glorious and all that?
Then, with a slight smile, Tang Bing brought the tray to Hou Jin and Shen Qiandong. “Imperial Scholar and Prime Minister, you two be the judges. Are these fish eyes or dazzling night pearls?”
All eyes immediately fell upon Hou Jin and Shen Qiandong. At this moment, their words would be crucial.
“We two are old, our eyes are blurred and our knowledge is limited. We are truly unable to tell what these are, but I think General Tang must have his own considerations.” Holding back Shen Qiandong who wanted to speak, Hou Jin smiled at Tang Bing.
“Manager Fan, please present them to Her Majesty then.” Seemingly satisfied with Hou Jin’s answer, Tang Bing turned back around and told Manager Fan to take the tray to the empress, who was currently confused by the reactions of the officials.
After seeing the items on the tray, the empress froze.
These ARE fish eyes. Why did Tang Bing send this up? He didn’t tell me how to cooperate in advance. What should I say now?
The empress was at a loss. She didn’t even know what Tang Bing was trying to do, much less how to deal with such an impasse.
“Are you pleased with my gift, Your Majesty?” asked Tang Bing just when the empress looked hesitant, calling back her wandering soul.
“Er… General Tang’s gift is so ingenious that I’m truly shaken. I’ll accept them, and I hope General Tang will explain to me the purpose of this gift later,” spoke the empress slowly, with meaning behind her words.
However, it only earned a faint snort from Tang Bing.
The court then proceeded in an odd atmosphere. Because of Tang Bing’s act, both the empress and the officials couldn’t focus on anything else as they wondered what he was planning by doing something like that.
In that odd atmosphere, the court session ended.
Just after the empress announced the dismissal of the court, a piece of shocking news struck her.
The second prince was dead. Murdered by an unknown culprit in his own bedroom!
No one saw who did it, let alone noticed any signs. A person who was about to inherit the throne just dropped dead!
The empress felt like the whole world was collapsing. Unable to breathe, she passed out.
However, this wasn’t the worst. When she came around, the whole City of Nabu was in chaos. During the one day and one night that she was in a coma, over 30 officials died, their entire families massacred. The cruelty made all who learned of this shudder.
More than 30 official residences, that would be nearly ten thousand lives!
In such a short span of one day and night, nearly ten thousand people were collectively crushed to death like ants. One-fifth of the higher-ups of Ancient Yue were gone, just like that. When the list of deaths was sent over, Hou Jin and Shen Qiandong discovered one thing in common. Those massacred officials were all confidants of the empress. They all belonged to the group who said that Tang Bing’s gift was fish eyes…
Meanwhile, the ones with an ambiguous answer, Hou Jin and Shen Qiandong, survived!
Now that everything was clear, it was impossible for Tang Bing to clear himself of it. No one would believe him if he said the death of those people had nothing to do with him.
However, when the empress wanted to arrest Tang Bing, she met with a fatal problem. She just couldn’t…
Tang Bing currently commandeered the Royal Guards while the garrison leader was one of the officials who had praised the fish eyes to be dazzling night pearls. The rest of the available forces were hundreds of miles away from the imperial city. When they arrived, everything would be too late.
In a nutshell, Tang Bing now ruled the city.
When the empress realized this, she froze in her chair. She thought she found a powerful helper, but she was actually leading a wolf into her territory!
But it was all too late…Previous Chapter Next Chapter