Chapter 203: Plan carefully and take every possibility into account!
Lu Xingkong’s words made the several people present felt great empathy.
They were all soldiers or had defended a city or region. They had fought countless battles, for the people and the country.
However, the army was not much cleaner than the political circle. It was possible that it was even more corrupted than the political and government circle.
Politics was about money and background, strategy and ability.
The army was also about money and background, strategy and ability
But the difference between them and government officials was that, they have to hold a sword in their hand, and fight with their courage.
The have to go all out, to risk their life.
It was only when they’re alive that they were qualified to think about money, status, strategy and ability.
The several people present had one thing in common: they all came from an ordinary background with no one that they could rely on. Without money to bribe high-ranking officers, they carried their head on their waistband, and the little merit that they achieved by beheading enemies on the battlefield were snatched away by the younger generations of influential officials who have been assigned to the military despite lack of knowledge. And eventually at the time of reward, based on contributions, what they received was not much.
And those younger generations of noble family, who did not do anything, but instead sit and reap the harvest of other, in the end were all promoted and left. They realised their aspirations and eventually reached their goals.
A lot of people like them, who have fought courageously and fiercely on the battlefield, with no money or official jobs, ended up missing arms and leg, riddled with illness, and die miserably.
They were fortunate, because they have met the Bo Le [TN Note: Chinese idiom where it means they met someone who could greatly aid them in their careers] of their lives.
After being spotted by Lu Xingkong, their life changed. Lu Xingkong did not ask for money, or looked at their background. He only assessed their skills and abilities, and how they behaved on the battlefield.
Lu Xingkong was a powerful high-ranking General, and when he was in charge of the military, he drove out all the younger generations of rich families who were trying to form cliques and factions in the military. Lu Xingkong also was a general who understood his soldiers, and allowed everybody to display their talents and made the best possible use of his men and materials. When these ordinary young soldiers finally obtained the opportunity, they were all grateful to Lu Xingkong. Under his command, they won battles after battles.
Lu Xingkong provided a platform for them to bloom and shine.
The reason why they could fight to their heart’s content, display their military talent unrestrained and without fear was because they have a tough leader, sheltering them from wind and rain. They did not need to lower their head with a great show of respect or be whipped and insulted by the younger generations of rich families. They were able to be stand upright and fight war.
If it weren’t for Lu Xingkong, this ‘tough’ old man, would they still have the determination and courage to win battles? Can they maintain this mentality and—— righteous ardour?
Without good morale, without enthusiasm and passion, who would protect the country?
The human race fought for tens of thousands of years, fighting for all sorts of causes. Was it not namely because there were leaders that knew how to control the heart of the people?
“General is right. If General had not carried us, I, Li Kefeng, would have returned to civilian life, gone into farming a long tim
e ago and drink all day long——Who would be willing to stay in Tiandu and suffer maltreatment?”
“The funds and provisions for the troops have been stripped again and again, and the real soldiers that work hard were not selected for promotion, instead they kept sending some white-faced pretty boy here——they were not allowed to do anything, but we have to respect them and whenever they were slightly dissatisfied they would hit our brothers——”
“The most important thing is that if not for General, we——I’m afraid we would have been framed and put into jail? Look at brother Xu Da, they say he’s involved in corruption, I don’t believe it at all——”
Lu Xingkong waved his hand. “Talking is useless. If you really did remove your armour and return to civilian life, you can indulge in drinking in the countryside. That really isn’t a bad choice in life. But the country needs soldiers like you who can actually fight, our people also needs you troops who refuse to budge an inch. Since you’re still wearing that body armour and you have such good brothers following you, you should be on guard, raise your spirit and do well in what you should be doing.”
“General is right.” Everyone echoed in agreement.
“General, about General Xu Da——will the Palace give a statement?” Li Kefeng asked aloud.
“They will give a statement.” Lu Xingkong replied.
“Your Majesty will never let Brother Xu Da re-establish the Monitoring Division, so what would they do with General Xu?”
Lu Xingkong’s eyes were deep, but calm as water.
On one side it was a calm and tranquil lake, but makes people feel that the lake was of unfathomable depths.
“The reason I recommended General Xu as the chief of the Monitoring Division, was merely to give his Majesty a reminder. I want him to know that General Xu Da has contributed greatly to the country and society, and for a general that has been through hundreds of battle to be falsely accused is harder to accept than being beheaded.”
“I want him to know that the General Xu Da’s situation has not been resolved, and ever since General Xu Da was arrested by the Monioting Division he has been staying at home without a new job arranged——I obviously know that it’s impossible for the Emperor to let General Xu Da take over the post of the Chief of the Monitoring Division. If I guessed right, in order to compensate the Cui family, he would select a Chief of Monitoring Division from the candidates the Cui family suggests.”
“Because of Cui Zhaoren’s death, the Cui family’s seven sons have all gathered in Tiandu. All the other children have important affairs, but the eldest Cui Jian has just came back from his travels. It is in the interest of the Emperor and the Cui family for him to take over the Monitoring Division. Presumably the Cui family will not let this opportunity slip by.”
“General, since the Cui family wants Cui Jian to be in charge of the Monitoring Division, but you still recommended General Xu Da——would he be successful?” Meng Hao said dully. This was a comrade he ate food from a ditch with. The fact that his good brother was ignored and removed from an important position filled him with indignation.
“No.” Lu Xingkong said unhesitating. “I recommended Xu Da, if Xu Da is unsuccessful, Cui Jian will also be unsuccessful.”
“Why would Cui Jian be unsuccessful?”
“What does Cui Jian have to compare with General Xu Da? Qualifications? Ability? Or past merits? If they reject General Xu Da, then they must choose a better and more senior figure than General Xu Da to take this important position. Otherwise, how could he convince the majority? Whether or not other people dare to speak out, I will yell at the Palace Hall.”
“General, is that not the same as killing one thousand enemy but self-damaging eight hundred?”
“If we can’t kill the enemy, we also can’t damage ourselves.” Lu Xingkong lifted the cup, and sat staring at the billowing steam from the hot tea in a sort of trance. “Cui Jian can’t be the Chief of the Monitoring Division, but he can still be in charge of His Majesty’s Monitoring Division, is still the Emperor’s eyes and ears—— ”
“General——” Li Kefeng said, a puzzled look on his face. “Did General not say Cui Jian also don’t have a chance? Why would he still be in charge of the Monitoring Division for his Majesty?”
“His Majesty is paranoid, indecisive, stubborn and do not accept any suggestions. I went and gave him a little push and he was so angry. He would only be more determined to use Cui Jiang.”
“General, is that not an arduous and fruitless task?”
“The difference is that in order to convince the public, he will not let Cui Jian become the chief of the Monitoring Division, but instead choose a well-respected person for this post and then entrust the three major senior censorate officials with heavy responsibility——Cui Jian’s experience and military success cannot be compared to Xu Da, so he obviously cannot be in charge. But it is reasonable to appoint him as a Senior Investigating censorate official. No one can say anything. After all, there are three senior investigating censorate officials, making it sound like this role is much less important.”
“However, the Monitoring Division is directly responsible to the emperor. Who his Majesty sees important or who he trusts, would be the one in charge of the Monitoring Division. If his Majesty trusts Cui Jian and the other two senior investigating censorate officials are His Majesty’s confidants. Doesn’t that mean Cui Jian is still the chief of the Monitoring Division?”
“What about General Xu Da?” Li Kefeng asked. “He can’t stay in the house forever? What would the outside people think? What would the boys in the army think? If His Majesty does not trust General Xu Da, others would also think that General Xu Da is seriously guilty of corruption and accepting bribes.”
“General Xu Da will become one of the three senior Investigating censorate officials.” Lu Xingkong said. “In order to express his trust of General Xu Da, he will appoint him as a senior Investigating censorate of the Monitoring Division, leave him by his side but not give him any powers and ignore all his intelligence——this would be the best arrangement.”
“Are they going to make General Xu Da just a figurehead?”
“With the emperor’s attitude and manner towards us, he will no longer let General Xu Da return back to Broken Dragon Pool?” Lu Xingkong sighed lightly. “They are worried of General Xu wielding immense military power, and is also vigilant of us.”
“I’m fine. I’m just sorry for General Xu. Pity the people of the West Wind Kingdom. General Xu Da was a valiant military leader of West Wind Kingdom, this is equivalent to trapping a fierce tiger in a cage, hiding a sword in a box. There’s nothing I can do to help.”
“General——” Xu Da dropped to the ground on his knees, his head heavily knocking against the stone floor, as he exclaimed: “Xu Da will remember your kindness. I, unable to return the favour, am willing to die for you instead.”
Lu Xingkong waved his hand. “I do not need you to die. I will work together with all of you, and help earn a living for your family. Not for anything else, but for the sake of our families who can live with their heads held high. If we can make a few more years of peace for the people of the Kingdom, I will have no regrets.”
“General——” The crowd was astonished.
The next day, Chamberlain Li Fu came to the Lu Mansion to deliver the imperial decree.
“General Xu Da, loyal and brave, is the backbone of the Kingdom. For his merits, he will be assigned to the post of Senior Investigating Official of the Monitoring Division. He will be relieved of his duties as a General standing guard at Broken Dragon Pool, which will be taken over by White Feather General Song Qianyun.”
Xu Da, already expected this and was prepared. He went down on his knees and accepted the imperial edict.
Just as Lu Xingkong had foreseen, Prince Fu became in charge of the Monitoring Division, and the East and West, North and South and central senior Investigating censorate officials of the Monitoring Division were assigned to Yan Xiangma, Cui Jian and Xu Da, respectively.