“Right prime minister, you’re indeed good at acting, but I won’t only depend on this kind of evidence to accuse you.” Zhao Shi Cheng turned to face the emperor. “Your majesty, can I summon another witness?”
The emperor nodded his head with a black face. Soon afterwards, Lu You walked in.
Many officials in the imperial court recognized Lu You. After all, he was the capital’s number one gifted scholar and also a key figure in the imperial court in the future. If it were not for the fact that he failed the exam this time, maybe he would have already worked as an official in the imperial court with them. Hence, when they saw him appear, everyone was really puzzled.
After Lu You greeted the emperor, he explained in a deep voice. “This commoner can testify that the plot to promote Zhao Shi Cheng as the magistrate and then make it so that he could no longer serves as the magistrate and thereby defeat Great General Zhao was suggested to the right prime minister by this commoner. It’s just that this commoner didn’t realize that right prime minister would actually heartlessly sacrifice the scribe and the palace caller’s life for the sake of pushing Zhao Daren to a wall so this commoner became scared. That’s why this commoner gave up on the exam and wanted to flee from the capital. Fortunately, Zhao Daren persuaded me sincerely and only then did this commoner have the courage to come and accuse the right prime minister, or else you won’t know exactly how many people suffered from his murderous scheme!” After he said this, he took a piece of warm jade. There was even the Yang family’s family emblem engraved in the jade.
The people who knew Yang Wen Chang all know that only his trusted aides possessed this jade. Furthermore, the people who have this jade didn’t exceed ten people. As a result, Lu You’s testimony was quite credible.
Even so, Yang Wen Chang remained composed and said, “Reporting to his majesty, this official doesn’t know Lu You and also doesn’t know who gave the warm jade in Lu You’s possession to him. These people deceived his superiors and dupe his subordinates. They did so many things behind this official’s back. Maybe someone wanted to curry favor with this official, but this official doesn’t really know.”
After he said this, he glanced at a certain direction on the imperial court from the corner of his eyes.
Before long, Civil Official Lin [note] I might have changed the way I translated this person. Sadly, I forgot what I translate him into before…If anyone know, people remind me. Thanks in advance. [/note] walked out from amidst the official’s in the imperial court. He kneeled down and said with hoarsely, “Reporting to his majesty, this official is guilty.”
“What crime are you guilty of?” There was so many people accusing Yang Wen Chang that it nearly drove the emperor insane. This tactless Civil Official Lin actually got in on the action at this time, causing the emperor to be even more vexed.
Civil Official Lin lowered his head and said shamefully, “The things that right prime minister was accused of just now was all this official’s doing. This official gave Lu You’s jade, but only because this official thought that Lu You was a talented individual and wanted him enter right prime minister’s mentorship. It was also this official, who demanded private advisor Cao to do work under the pretense of right prime minister’s orders and Iron Gate fort was also supported by this official alone. It’s just that this official used right prime minister’s reputation to intimidate them. This official wholeheartedly only wanted to help the right prime minister establish a force that was able to withstand the military officials’ suppression. The right prime minister really didn’t know about these matters…”
Yang Wen Chang sneered coldly in his heart, yet on the surface, he had a grievous appearance. “Civil Official Lin, you’re too foolish! Although you did it for the sake of this prime minister, but doing bad things is still wrong. This prime minister is also unable to protect you!” After he said this, he turned to Zhao Shi Cheng again.
“Magistrate Zhao, originally, this prime minister really did have good intentions when promoting you. This prime minister wanted to resolve the conflict between your father and I as well as elect a talented person for the country. This prime minister didn’t expect that you would loathe me so much and falsely denounced this prime minister before the matter was clearly investigated…Ah, the chaos caused by the conflict on the imperial court really causes people to feel distressed!”
His words clearly aroused the emperor’s sympathy. The emperor was already annoyed by the situation of the civil and military officials fighting against each other, however, he also couldn’t do anything about these people. When he saw that Yang Wen Chang, who he depended heavily on, was nearly falsely accused and suppressed to the point that he couldn’t even lift his head up anymore, he was extremely indignant.
“Enough! You’re so busy fighting each other everyday, do you still have this emperor in your eyes? What about the citizens? You can even go as far as to accuse the prime minister of a country falsely now!”
In this way, Yang Wen Chang still couldn’t be defeated. This person was simply an old fox that developed a spirit! Even if the circumstances were already abominable up to this point, Zhao Shi Cheng still calmly bowed with his hands clasped towards the emperor and said, “Your majesty, the right prime minister can let someone take the blame in his stead, but if you let this kind of official remain in the imperial court, then it will only cause the the rules of the imperial court to be ruined. Whether or not it is defamation, the emperor will be able to know right away.”
Yang Wen Chang’s eyebrows knitted. It was already at this point and Zhao Shi Cheng actually still has some tricks.
Another person walked out from amidst the officials. It was actually Sun Ting Cao. He and Civil Official Lin could be regarded as fellow officials. It’s just that his record of service was dozens of years less than him. They merely saw him holding letters that the eunuch handed over to the emperor. After waiting for the emperor to finish reading, he said, “Reporting to Your majesty, this official took these letters from Civil Official Lin’s office’s secret compartment. The content are all about the right prime minister and Civil Official Lin’s contact on their conspiracy. They’re all personally written by the right prime minister and it also has his seal. It can’t be faked. These letters are enough to prove that Civil Official Lin is merely taking right prime minister’s blame in his stead.”
At this moment, Yang Wen Chang’s mind was completely blank and he was wholly at his wit’s end. He glared at Civil Official Lin with hatred. Didn’t he repeatedly tell this old thief that after he finished reading the letter, he must burn it? He actually still kept it?
After Civil Official Lin saw those letters, his entire body shuddered and all of his courage disappeared. He was completely unable to conceal the panic and vicissitudes of life on his old face and seemed to have aged ten years in an instant.
“Sun Ting Cai…You…I understand now. Yesterday, Magistrate Zhao and his wife went to the imperial academy to visit me. On the surface, it was to ask me to come out and accuse right prime minister Yang. But in reality, it was merely to divert my attention and let you get the chance to go to my secret compartment and steal those letters…Ah, you caused me a lot of trouble, a lot of trouble!” Civil Official Lin yelled like he was about to cry out loud.
Luckily, he promptly told Yang Wen Chang that Zhao Shi Cheng has evidence and wanted to defeat Yang Wen Chang secretly last night. That’s why there was someone who took the blame in his stead today. Unexpectedly, it was still unsuccessful. Could it be that Zhao Shi Cheng even thought of this part? When he recovered from his panic and grief, he suddenly comprehended and he turned his astonished look on Zhao Shi Cheng. It seems that no matter who it was, they all underestimated this great general’s son.
What Civil Official thought of, how could Yang Wen Chang not think about this? He looked resentfully at Zhao Shi Cheng and practically wanted to tear this young man into shreds. He didn’t expect that he attacked the wild goose all his life, yet his eyes were pecked blind by the wild goose. He never regarded Zhao Shi Cheng as a threat. But now, he suffered an unexpected failure and this young fellow was the one who caused it.
It wasn’t like Sun Ting Cai didn’t regret doing those things. It’s just that for the sake of righteousness, he must do what he has to do. He turned to face the emperor and said, “Reporting to your majesty, although Civil Official Lin helped the right prime minister do evil, but it is excusable because nominally, Civil Official Lin’s son was studying under right prime minister Yang’s mentorship, yet in reality, he was put under house arrest. If Civil official Lin didn’t bear the blame for Right prime minister, then his son will definitely die without a doubt. This official believes that Civil Official Lin kept those letters only to give him and his son a escape route. Therefore, Civil Official Lin was forced to do this. May the emperor show mercy.”
Now that the truth was out and the emperor also verified the letters’ legitimacy, even if Yang Wen Chang had ten mouths, he would still be unable to explain himself. He simply risked everything and rained curses on Sun Ting Cai while pointing at him, “Sun Ting Cai, we’re both civil officials. Why would you want to be a military official’s lackey? When did I do you wrong you?!”
Sun Ting Cai said disdainfully, “You didn’t let me down. You merely disappointed all the civil officials who supported you! In order to frame Great General Zhao, you murdered the scribe and Eunuch Liu. What’s more is that you used Civil Official Lin’s son’s life to threaten him. Those are all your people. You regarded all the civil officials as your chess pieces that could be abandoned as you please. This is enough to let someone be bitterly disappointed and hold you in contempt.”
He walked to Zhao Shi Cheng’s side and patted his shoulders, saying, “However, not all civil officials are hostile towards the military officials. At least, Magistrate Zhao and I are best friends for many years.”
Now that everything was out in the open, the emperor was extremely angry. He stripped Yang Wen Chang of his black gauze hat [note] The black gauze hat are worn by feudal officials and also symbolizes the official post. [/note]and seized his official position on front of the imperial court. But under Yang Wen Chang’s painful begging, complete with crying and tears to the point where he lose his voice, the emperor couldn’t help but feel sorry.He thought that he has labored for the country for so long as well. It’s just that he was momentarily blinded by his fight against Zhao Zhong Shi so the emperor spared Yang Wen Chang of his death sentence, while instead ordering the foreclosure of the Yang Family, and his clansmens’ exile.
As for Lu You, although he used his contribution to compensate for his crimes, nevertheless he went astray. Still, under Zhao Shi Cheng’s plead, the emperor knew that Lu You was endowed with outstanding literary talent and he really had no choice but to give up on the exam so he gave Lu You the punishment of not being able to serve as an official for three years. In addition, Civil Official Lin’s situation was understandable and he was only demoted 3 ranks and his salary was forfeited for an year.
From these punishments, you would realize that the present dynasty’s established practice was to stress the civil matters and neglect the military. As a result, the military officials were forced to band together and challenged the civil officials. When you see that although Yang Wen Chang commuted such a serious crime, he could still be spared from death, then you know that the civil officials were indeed forgiven easily.
However, this still cannot change the emperor’s decision, at least this time, it caused Yang Wen Chang’s faction to thoroughly collapse, and Zhao Zhong Shi wasn’t a belligerent person. In the past, it was also because Yang Wen Chang went overboard closing in on him so he could only counterattack reluctantly. From now on, the interactions between the civil and officials on the imperial court won’t be with daggers drawn again at least.
After morning court was over, Zhao Shi Cheng and Sun Ting Cai finally didn’t need to hide their friendship and walked together calmly.
Sun Ting Cai smiles wryly and said, “ De Pu, I suppose I only got to know you, today. I didn’t expect that your strategy didn’t lose to anyone in the imperial court. Letting you work as a small magistrate really wrongs you.”
“Don’t give that! I only got promoted once and it already caused people to thrown into confusion. Please don’t let me go through this again.”
When Zhao Shi Cheng said this, the civil and military officials nearby who heard this all couldn’t help but secretly laugh.
However, after Zhao Shi Cheng finished dispelling his gloom, he couldn’t help but bow towards Sun Ting Cai to the end with regards to his friend’s great help. He thanked him sincerely and said, “I have to thank you, Brother Sun, for your help. This time, with your help, I was able to successfully expose Yang Wen Chang’s conspiracy.”
Sun Ting Cai laughed heartily. “Hehe, to be honest, when you wanted to me to go and steal Civil Official Lin’s things, I was trembling with fear. But I, Sun Ting Cai, can shed my blood and lay down my life until the end of my days for the sake of my brothers…but, if I don’t need to die, then of course, that will be better.”
When this was said, all the officials already stopped differentiating between civil and military officials and all of them couldn’t help but laugh out loud. The misunderstanding that spanned between the civil and military officials for a long time seemed to have been resolved in a flash. Hopefully, everyone will be of one mind and work together in the future even more and do more good deeds for the citizens.
In order to thank Sun Ting Cai’s effortful support, Zhao Shi Cheng and Tang Wan was currently arranging a feast and inviting him over.
Due to Zhao Shi Cheng’ stinginess, the best wing was without a doubt set aside for the customers who will pay big money. They, on the other hand, are sitting in the second floor’s private room similarly to other customers. It’s just that when they’re facing the window, they used the screen to slightly cover it up.
T/n: Sorry for the delay. I’m going to be honest and admit that I was procrastinating yesterday because I was busy watching a really good cdrama.