Amidst cheers of ‘long live’, Tie Butian slowly descended from the chariot . Her eyes swept across the hall loftily and she announced softly, “You may rise . ”
The court officials thanked the Emperor for her favor and rose .
However, among them, there was someone at the very back who didn’t go down on his knees .
Chu Yang leaned casually against a pillar and watched Tie Butian . He scoffed inwardly, “You want me to kneel before you? Hmph!”
However, after a separation of nearly two years, the young emperor was obviously different from what she was like in the past .
She was just as youthful and a delicate beauty as before, and just as graceful and dignified as before . Compared to what she was like in the past, there was more of a hint of natural poise and bearing and less a sense of immaturity . Each and every action of hers came into themselves naturally .
Toward the fact that Chu Yang, the fake Pavilion Master, did not kneel in greeting, Tie Butian unexpectedly took it in good stride and didn’t flare up . All the court officials were also used to it .
As it turned out, the Pavilion Masters of Bu Tian Pavilion did indeed have this special privilege — Once they entered the golden hall, they were the representatives of Minister Chu . Therefore, they didn’t need to get down on their knees!
Within these Iron Cloud skies, who didn’t respect King of Hell Chu? Thanks to how the royal family held back no expenses to promote and spread the news, Minister Chu had already become the messiah of the entire Iron Cloud Empire!
Not kneeling upon seeing the emperor? What was the big deal about that? That was the way it should be!
Even if they were just representatives of Minister Chu, they absolutely couldn’t bow down to others!
Tie Butian strode forward, coming nearer and nearer .
All of a sudden, Chu Yang felt a little unsure . This was… clearly a man! Was she really a woman?
Minister Chu fixed his gaze on Tie Butian and looked her up and down closely . The more he looked, the more doubts he had in his heart .
Adam’s apple! No chest! The waist isn’t very slender either, nor are the buttocks round…
Other than the fact that there was no facial hair, no matter how he looked, this was obviously a man!
Chu Yang grumbled inwardly, “Wu Qianqian would never lie to me… So what’s the meaning of this?”
Could it be that this damn bitch had pretended to be a man for so long that she had already become half a man?
Minister Chu watched her sneakily .
Tie Butian walked over to the court officials . All of a sudden, her eyes flicked to the side and she said warmly, “Prime Minister Wang, I heard that you’re down with an illness . Why aren’t you resting at home instead? I was thinking of going over to visit you after the morning court assembly today and didn’t expect to see you here . The Prime Minister is already getting on in his years; please take care of yourself . ”
Prime Minister Wang shed tears of gratitude . “To think Your Majesty remembers this lowly subordinate’s illness when he is wholeheartedly focused on state affairs . This lowly subordinate is beyond grateful . How can I allow such trivial illnesses to delay important state affairs…”
Tie Butian sighed deeply . “I have already prepared corresponding medicine and a prescription for you yesterday . Later after the morning court assembly, I will send an imperial physician over to the Prime Minister’s residence to take a look . ”
All the court officials could sense their ruler’s kindness toward her subordinates . All of them looked at Prime Minister Wang in envy; there were even tears in some people’s eyes .
Tie Butian was calm and kind . As she made her way to the front, she asked after and made small talk with a few of the court officials . This made everyone immensely gratified .
Before the morning court assembly had even begun, a loyal and patriotic atmosphere of ‘A gentleman is willing to die for his bosom friends’ was already thick in the air .
As Tie Butian continued to make her way to the front, a strong smell of alcohol suddenly wafted over . She couldn’t help but furrow her brows slightly . As she looked toward the source of the smell, the form of the Pavilion Master of Bu Tian Pavilion entered her sight . Dressed in black robes, he leaned against the corridor pillar, looking as though he hasn’t awoken from his drunken stupor .
The two Pavilion Masters of Bu Tian Pavilion had always alternated between themselves to attend morning court assembly . It was Cheng Zi-ang yesterday, so it was of course Chen Yutong’s turn today .
“Pavilion Master Chen, were you drunk last night?” The Emperor asked in a joking manner . Tie Butian had always treasured these two old subordinates whom Chu Yang had left behind . If not, she wouldn’t have granted them so many privileges .
“Yes, drunk…” replied Chu Yang vaguely as he thought inwardly, “Drunk in anger . ”
“Serve Pavilion Master Chen a bowl of alcohol-dispelling soup . ” Turning to the side, Tie Butian issued an order . A servant responded at once and before long, a bowl of thick concentrated alcohol-dispelling soup was served . Chu Yang naturally did not stand on ceremony; he received it and downed it all .
Such treatment made all the court officials unbelievably envious . Bu Tian Pavilion was just so impressive!
Tie Butian finally reached the throne in the middle . Her back to the north and facing the south, she slowly took a seat .
After a series of protocols, the morning hearing finally began .
Chu Yang shrank into the corner and listened . The more he listened, the more bored he was .
It was just stuff about drought in the east, water logging in the west, bandits in the north, lack of manpower in the south; whoever’s term was up and wherever needed a new term for an official; so-and-so being called out for corruption, so-and-so receiving compliments for bringing benefits to the citizens…
Other than that, it was impeachment claims, persecutors presenting their views and defendants coming out to defend themselves, followed by a debate between both parties…
The assembly was filled with topics like those; Chu Yang listened till he was yawning non-stop . Good thing he wasn’t the emperor; if he had to face these things every day, he would probably have had a mental breakdown by now…
However, Tie Butian on the throne sat with her back straight and her attitude serious . She read every document and responded to every issue seriously, her demeanor extremely stern . She gave out clear responses on every matter, only suppressing very few issues .
When the Emperor herself was this serious and stern, how would any of the subordinates dare to take a negligent attitude? They were expectedly even more alert and energetic, fearing that any overlook on their end would be caught by His Majesty . If that happened, then they would truly be in deep trouble…
And this was exactly why the efficiency of Iron Cloud Empire’s court officials was especially high . The Emperor was clever, hard-working and discerning; all the ministers didn’t dare to neglect their duties . As this attitude went down the hierarchy, orders became stricter and stricter . As a first-grade court official, they already had to work day and night; these people at the bottom had better be on their toes!
As such, when subordinates followed the example of their superiors, the result was obvious .
These trivial matters only concluded after three hours . What followed closely was a discussion on borderland territories and official administration issues . Only then did everyone breathe a sigh of relief .
At this point, the sun was already shining into the hall .
At last, Tie Butian received a cup of tea that an imperial maid had served to her . She took a sip and asked impassively, “Pavilion Master Chen, how is the matter regarding the supervision of court officials that you’re in charge of?”
“Uhhh??” Chu Yang was in the midst of falling asleep . When the question was thrown at him, he hurriedly stood at attention .
With a smile, Tie Butian said, “Bu Tian Pavilion has always been very efficient in putting affairs of official administration into order . Previously, when you were handling the east and west, there were some issues that even I was very worried about . Considering the timing, reports on the north and south should be ready by now?”
Chu Yang wiped the saliva off his mouth . He was flabbergasted for a moment before he replied, “Err, I forgot about this matter…” He didn’t try to disguise his voice when he spoke, using his actual voice and way of speech instead .
The crowd went into an uproar at once!
Everyone’s sharp and piercing gazes shot over . Knowing that the Emperor favored him, this bastard was actually this insolent?
On the other side, an official with a full head of white hair was infuriated; it was that Prime Minister Wang from before . His faltering voice said loudly, “Pavilion Master Chen! What do you mean by that? His Majesty entrusted the important task of supervising official administration to you because he trusted you . How could you… be so casual about this? This is an important issue which concerns the nation! This…”
He was so furious that he couldn’t speak further .
Unclear whether trying to ease the tension or add fire to the fuel, someone at the side commented lightly, “Pavilion Master Chen is drunk, it’s no wonder he forgot . What’s the point of getting so angry, Prime Minister Wang?”
Prime Minister Wang flew into an even bigger rage . “How could one delay such important state affairs just so he could indulge in alcohol? No matter how prestigious the Bu Tian Pavilion is, how can they be this preposterous!”
It was apparent that this group of people, with Prime Minister Wang in the lead, was the key members opposing the Bu Tian Pavilion .
However, when Tie Butian heard what Chu Yang said, a light shudder went through her . Gleaming light appeared in her eyes as she gazed intently at this ‘Pavilion Master Chen’ who emanated laziness and the smell of alcohol . She said slowly, “Pavilion Master Chen, what did you say just now? I didn’t hear you . ”
Everyone could tell that the Emperor seemed to be trying her best to suppress some kind of emotion when she spoke . All of them speculated that perhaps the next moment, the dignity of heaven would be affronted and blood would start to flow…
This ruler is someone extremely decisive and resolute in making bloody decisions . Even if you, Chen Yutong, are the Pavilion Master of Bu Tian Pavilion, you ultimately only got to this position by relying on King of Hell Chu! Now that you’re tired of living, you can’t blame anyone else for your death!
Pindrop silence reigned in the great hall .
Everyone’s countenance was stern but in truth, they were all rather smug .
“Cough, cough…” Chu Yang let out a couple of coughs and cleared his throat . Then, he raised his head . His clear eyes gazing upon Tie Butian, he said leisurely, “Did Your Majesty not hear me? If so, I’ll say it again . Mm, what I said earlier was, ‘Err, I forgot about this matter…’”
This response of his was totally just adding fire to the fuel . Such audacity, such insolence!
This wasn’t an attitude a subordinate should be adopting when facing the Emperor!
The great hall was abuzz at once .
All the officials were filled with indignation, clamoring to remove Pavilion Master Chen, Chen Yutong, from his position and relieve him of his duties . They clamored to throw him into prison, torture him to death and execute him!
Everyone was very agitated .
Prime Minister Wang and his men were especially furious . All of them went forward and got down on their knees . “We beg Your Majesty to put to death this insolent knave at once! Chen Yutong’s disrespect toward Your Majesty is a crime punishable by death! No matter what, we cannot let him off!”
From beginning to end, after hearing what Chu Yang said, Tie Butian suddenly just sat there in a daze, her eyes staring at Chu Yang’s black-robed figure . Her hands clenched the handles of the throne so tightly that blue veins were visible . Her whole body trembled lightly .
This voice didn’t belong to Chen Yutong .
This voice was his!
When her eyes met those clear eyes behind the mask…
Tie Butian’s mind exploded; waves of dizziness went through her mind . After a long pause, she finally closed her eyes weakly and waved her hand . “Morning court assembly is dismissed… Pavilion Master Chen is to remain!”
“Your Majesty!” exclaimed the court officials . They didn’t expect His Majesty to be infuriated to this extent! To actually dismiss the morning court assembly right away!
“Your Majesty, please take care of yourself!”
“I said, morning court assembly is dismissed!” Tie Butian slammed down on the table at once . “You are all dismissed!”
The Emperor’s wrath was obvious; no one dared to make another sound . Even Prime Minister Wang who was on his knees and risking death to remonstrate hastily got to his feet . At this point, they mustn’t ever stand against His Majesty… Otherwise, someone would really die!
“All of you are dismissed too!” Tie Butian yelled fiercely at the maids and servants . “The guards as well, you’re dismissed!”
“Yes . ”
In just a moment, only two people remained in the great hall .
The current Emperor Tie Butian and the fake Pavilion Master Chen .
Tie Butian remained on the throne for a while . When her breathing finally stabilized, she slowly descended from the throne and walked to Chu Yang . Looking at his mask, she said in an extremely passive, almost to the point of being guilty, tone, “Mi-ni-ster Chu?”
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