Chapter 202: Scheming and calculating!
“What does that mean?” Chu Xianda said coldly. “The person both I and Duke think highly of can’t be wrong. Is it because that old man recommended a Xu Da that we have to change our minds and replace someone else? Minister, no need to worry. Who is a talent and who is useful, I already know.”
“Your Majesty, the chess piece that the Defense Minister effortlessly placed is not that easy to solve.” Since Cui Xichen knew the king in front of him had the intention to assess the situation, he did not want to hide anything that would make him suspicious of himself. “Defence Minister recommended Xu Da to re-establish the Monitoring Division for your majesty. Has your Majesty thought about it, how to make this strategic decision and all it’s strategical implications?”
“Well? I was going to discuss it with Duke first. What do you think?” Chu Xianda looked at him trustingly and said with a chuckle.
“First of all, you can permit the defense minister’s proposal, let Xu Da help your Majesty rebuild the Monitoring Division. But that’s the problem. Xu Da has been leading battles and was formerly a general who guarded the strategic position on the frontier, so he may not necessarily do a good job in the Monitoring Division, in supervising the hundreds of officials. Moreover, the Monitoring division is your Majesty’s Monitoring Division and is the organisation that checks administrators to prevent corruption and provides information for your Majesty. It is your Majesty’s eyes and ears. Such a core department, your Majesty must use one of your trusted aides who you can absolutely trust for you to be at ease. If the leader’s mind is biased or not with your majesty, then the Monitoring Division may become a violent organisation and an opportunity to suppress dissidents. It will become a great danger to the country, your Majesty must consider carefully.”
“Defence Minister is right.” Chu Xianda nodded. “I have to find someone I can trust absolutely. Otherwise, the Monitoring Division would just be an empty shell.”
“Second option, reject Defense Minister’s proposal, adhere to your Majesty’s original choice. This way, the problems are the same.”
“Your Majesty, think about it, who is Xu Da? He started as a solider and fought hundred of battles for the country, and emerged victorious in almost every battle. He has defended Broken Dragon Pool for tens of years, leading to the solid and stable state of the border, and the soldiers respect him greatly. He is known as the ‘iron-walled general’. This is what Defense Minister said earlier and these words have profound meaning. If even with Xu Da’s military success and meritorious service, he can’t take the post of the Chief of the Monitoring Division, then that means your Majesty has to find someone more senior and better than Xu Da?”
“That old thing——” Chu Xianda’s voice was filled with anger. He did not expect that with just a few words, the old dog set himself up with such a painful band-tightening spell.
“Cui Jian is a common person, formerly without an official job, left Tiandu for several years and does not have any achievements. If Xu Da was rejected, then Cui Jian even more cannot take this post. Otherwise, how can your Majesty explain yourself to the Defense Minister? How can we convince the public? If your Majesty insists on using Cui Jian, people would think it was appointed by favouritism. This is detrimental to your Majesty’s reputation. My Cui family has received generous treatment from the Royal Family of West Wind for generations, how can I helplessly
watch your Majesty be talked about? Therefore, Cui Jian can’t become the Chief of the Monitoring Department, your Majesty needs to choose another talented person.”
“Duke wholeheartedly thinks for me, I’m extremely reassured.” Chu Xianda came forward to take Cui Xichen’s hand and personally walked him over to sit him down on the luxury stool as he said: “Before Father died he told me to trust Duke, value your loyalty, bravery and wisdom. Now, the number of courtiers that wholeheartedly think for my sake are really few. I often blame myself, did I treated them badly, which made me lost the support and loyalty of the people?”
“Your Majesty is gracious and merciful, and loved and respect by everyone. West Wind Kingdom is prosperous and the people are at peace; the nation’s power is stronger with everyday, when did you lose popular support and the loyalty of the people?”
“Duke is just comforting me, you can’t be serious.” Chu Xianda laughed heartily. He seemed to be in a much better mood. “Xu Da can’t, Cui Jian can’t, does Duke have any other suggestions?”
“Your Majesty may choose a person of virtue and prestige to manage the Monitoring Division.” Cui Xichen said.
“A person of virtue and prestige?”
“There are precedents like this. The Emperor chose a Prince to run the Monitoring Division; however, the Prince did not handle any affairs, instead the Junior and Senior censorate officials were responsible for everything. And they still had to report to the King. Later, Emperor Kanglong felt that the procedure was complicated and made some changes so that the Chief of the Monitoring Division was directly responsible.”
Chu Xianda’s eyes flashed with delight, clapping as he exclaimed: “This plan is wonderful. I’ll find a prince [TN Note: When prince is mentioned, it can mean the son of the emperor but can also mean brother to the emperor]. to take control of the Monitoring Division; the Monitoring Division won’t have a chief, but three senior investigating censorate officials. As long as they are my people, the Monitoring Division would still be under my control——Wonderful, wonderful.”
“Your Majesty is wise.” Cui Xichen complemented and seemed not at all proud that he was the one who suggested it.
“Lu Xingkong, this old man will have nothing to say? The princes are of Royal blood. Is his little Xu Da general comparable to them?”
“Your Majesty is right.” Cui Xichen agreed in a deep voice. “If this happens, there will be no objection among the hundred officials, and the public will naturally support and approve. Prince is your Majesty’s family, and your Majesty use his own family to be the eyes and ears. Who is qualified to object?”
“Which prince do you think can share this matter with me?” Chu Xianda asked with a smiling face.
A look of panic crossed Cui Xichen’s face, as he hurriedly explained as though trying to avoid arousing suspicion: “This is your Majesty’s family business, minister dare not to say anything.”
Chu Xianda pointed to Cui Xichen, saying: “Given Duke’s cautious and prudent nature, you should know who is right. I asked you in person and you should answer directly. Do you think I would suspect you’re disloyal to me”
“Your Majesty is wise.” Cui Xichen simply smiled and didn’t answer.
“What do you think of Prince Fu?”
“Prince Fu is very good.”
“What about Prince Kang?”
“Prince Kang is also excellent.”
“Is Prince Fu or Prince Kang better?”
“Prince Fu and Prince Kang are both virtuous princes, whoever your Majesty thinks is suitable, then he is suitable.”
Chu Xianda no longer pressed this old fox; he knew that he can’t obtain any honest words from him. Of course, if he really did strongly recommended a prince, his heart will most likely immediately banish that prince to the cold palace. Important ministers making friends with the members of the Royal family, did it mean they wanted to revolt?
“Then Prince Fu will be in charge of the Monitoring Division. The Monitoring Division won’t have a chief, but three chief investigating censorate officials and twelve junior investigating censorate officials.” Chu Xianda looked at Cui Xichen and said: “Asking Cui Jiang to take the post of senior investigating censorate official is not insulting him, right?”
Cui Xichen hurriedly rose to express his thanks. “Thunder, rain and dew all are Emperor’s kindness. Your Majesty entrusted him with such heavy responsibility, Cui Jian will definitely dash his brains out on the ground and try his very best to serve your majesty, even at the expense of his own life.”
“Okay, okay.” Chu Xianda waved dismissively. “Who wants him to dash his brains out on the ground? Who told him to go to risk his life? Diligently work for me, stay alive, and I will not treat Cui Jian unfairly and will not treat your Cui family unfairly.”
“Your Majesty is merciful.” Cui Xichen smiled.
“Then it’s decided.” Chu Xianda let out a long, loud sigh: “That old man of the Lu family is really not simple at all. A chess piece he conveniently placed, forced you and I to such a point.”
“For the Defense minister to have wisdom like the sea, is the blessing of West Wind Kingdom.” Cui Xichen said.
“Ha ha, if only you really think so.” Chu Xianda said with a smile.
“Your Majesty, now that the matter of the Monitoring Division has been settled, what is the arrangement for General Xu Da?”
“Xu Da——” Chu Xianda pondered for a moment before he asked: “What is Duke’s opinion?”
“Your Majesty, because of some personal matter, I should not add my opinion. However, we must have arrangement for Xu Da and as soon as possible. Otherwise, I’m afraid there would be many more incidents.”
“Yes. I can understand Duke’s problem.” Chu Xianda nodded, and said rather tiredly: “You can’t add your opinions, but I have to give them a reply. In the words of that old man, Xu Da was wronged this time. A warrior who had worked hard and performed valuable services, received such an insult, I obviously have to prepare proper arrangement for him, give compensation. Only this way the troops at the border won’t be bitterly disappointed.”
“However, who would compensate my grievance?”
The young emperor’s face darkened, his voice vicious.
Cui Xichen lowered his head submissively, his face like stagnant water——
The fragrance of tea filled with room.
Inside a study, several men sat on ground.
“General, why bother his Majesty persistently for my affairs. He was right——just that he isn’t very friendly to us. If General pester him too much, it might anger him.” A dark man clad in a casual grey outfit looked sincerely at the elder and said in a low voice. When he was still a soldier, Lu Xingkong promoted him. After, he fought countless battles and become known as the iron wall general.
Everything he possessed was given by the elder before him. If it were not for him, the man, who had no money to give gifts to bribe others and had no power to rely on, how could he become a general? It was something that he had never dared to think about back then.
“If I did not go persecute them, would they be kind to us?” Lu Xingkong lifted a cup to take a small sip, a calm and unhurried expression on his face. “Although it angers him when I go see him every day, but at least he knows that we’re not easily bullied. If we don’t say anything, don’t do anything, he will think we’re weak and easy to bully, and then slowly seize our power. Then, when we want to say something or do something we would already be powerless to do so.”
“I know.” Lu Xingkong waved his hand dismissively. “The whole world all say I, Lu Xingkong, am the stiffest tree, which is also the most easily cracked. However, if I am not tough, your bones will be broken, backbone will be crushed——A general without a spine, is not what the people deserves..”