Chapter 74: Palace Aide of the Censor-in-chief
The Wang Clan was an extremely strict family. Wang Chong only received a few silver taels every month. Based on Su Bai’s calculations, it should be impossible for Wang Chong to produce so many gold taels.
Yet, the fact laid itself before him. There were more than a thousand gold taels here!
Su Bai was stunned.
Wang Chong, Shen Hai, and Meng Long, sensing his astonishment, chuckled.
“Gongzi, there’s no need to be courteous to such people. You should have done this from the very start!”
Shen Hai said.
“Indeed. Unscrupulous people like him should be dealt with this way.”
Meng Long agreed with Shen Hai’s words.
After being beside Wang Chong for the last few days, their attitudes toward him had changed significantly. In the past, when Wang Chong was always fooling around with Ma Zhou and the others and brought trouble to the family, the both of them didn’t really like him.
Many times, they were felt resentful toward him.
However, the past month with Wang Chong had changed their impression of him. They had personally seen him accomplishing many inconceivable deeds.
In the eyes of the two, Wang Chong was already the most outstanding offspring of the Wang Clan, and they see it as their duty to protect him. Whoever who dares to talk bad about Wang Chong is their enemy!
Su Bai tried to publicly humiliate him in public, how could Shen Hai tolerate it?
Wang Chong secretly shot a thumbs up to Shen Hai and complimented him. The truth always surpasses all the other rumors, and Shen Hai’s actions had managed to effectively instill fear in them all.
His action of smashing the crate was truly ingenious! Wang Chong couldn’t have done it any better!
The gates of the Wang Clan was completely silent. Everyone was surprised by the sight of the 5000 gold taels scattered before them! Even Wang Chong’s mother, Zhao Shu Hua, was stunned speechless.
In total, Wang Chong has earned two loads of wealth. In the first time, after circling around the capital, he sent it over to Arloja and Ablonodan.
The second time, he passed half of it to Wei Hao and the other half to his uncle. This was the first time Wang Chong was bringing gold back to his residence. Furthermore, it was sealed in a box.
Thus, not even Madam Wang knew of the existence of this gold.
This amount of gold taels was an unthinkable sum for the Wang Family.
Madam Wang wanted to ask Wang Chong where all of these gold came from, but she held it in. This wasn’t the time for her to be asking such questions.
“How, how did you earn so much money?”
With eyes fixated on the gold spilling out from the crate, a scion muttered to himself in astonishment.
In the Eight Gods Pavilion, they were already considered the more affluent bunch. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have lent their money to Wang Chong. However, from the looks of it now, they were far from matching up to Wang Chong’s wealth.
There were at least 4000 to 5000 gold taels in the crate. This very fact was inconceivable to them.
All of the sudden, everyone felt as though they lived in a different world from Wang Chong. It was as though there was a huge rift between them and Wang Chong.
They were on one side of the rift, and Wang Chong, on the other side, had already ran far ahead of them, becoming an existence they could only look up toward!
Wang Chong was still the same Wang Chong, but there was something about him now that daunted them.
“There’s no need for you to know of it.”
Wang Chong’s gaze swept the surroundings as he sneered coldly:
“Isn’t it just a mere 1700 gold taels? Come and exchange it with your debt notes then. I intended to pay each of you an additional hundred taels, but since you all are siding with Su Bai to deal with me, naturally, you don’t have to dream about that sum. This reward would only be left to those who didn’t come today!”
“A hundred gold taels!”
“Ah! I knew that I shouldn’t have come!”
“Young Master Chong, I have nothing to do with this. I didn’t say anything at all just now!”
“Me too! Young Master Chong, I’m just passing by!”
Upon hearing that a hundred gold taels had just slipped them by, everyone immediately wailed in agony. Those who were of lower birth and lower standing couldn’t afford to offend Su Bai, as well as the Duke of Su who was backing him.
However, the Duke of Su hasn’t reached a level where he was able to dictate everything that goes on in the royal court. Thus, there were also a few who refused to give in to Su Bai. Those who were here just wanted Su Bai to owe them a favor, but losing a hundred gold taels for it was a heavy price.
This was equivalent to their allowance for more than a year!
This wasn’t a small sum. It could finance their drinking and playing for a long time!
Thus, upon seeing Su Bai fail in his affair and losing so many gold taels at once, they felt intense regret.
“Hehe, young master sure is wise!”
Shen Hai and Meng Long didn’t say anything, but they were grinning on the side. This was what being ingenious meant. Without forking out a single tael, he ripped apart Su Bai’s faction.
Some of those who were agitated by the matter even started cursing Su Bai.
“I didn’t realize in the past, but young master sure is formidable!”
The duo thought.
If Wang Chong had just passed the gold to them, these fellows might have just thought nothing of it. However, by telling them that he had intentionally to give them more, but because they decided to follow by Su Bai to deal with him, all of it was cancelled and their benefits were removed, they would feel their heart ache in pain.
Beside Wang Chong, Shen Hai and Meng Long could clearly see the pained faces of the scions. A huge bunch of them were clearly unhappy with Su Bai.
They might be hesitant to speak up as an individual, but it was different in a crowd.
“Bastard! Don’t listen to his nonsense!”
Su Bai didn’t expect Wang Chong to use such a move. He felt both anxious and infuriated. He had gone through much effort to gather so many scions and nobles, but his plan was about to fall apart right before him. How could Su Bai allow this to happen so easily?
“Wait a moment!”
Su Bai glanced at the wooden crate which Shen Hai smashed on the ground and a thought flashed through his head. He abruptly stood forward, pointed to the gold tael, and bellowed:
“Wang Chong! Your Wang Clan isn’t skilled in commerce and given your own capability, how could you possibly earn so much money? Hmph, could it be that your Wang Clan is corrupt and accepted the bribes of others?”
Su Bai glared at Wang Chong menacingly, to the point that it felt as though he would tear him apart with his eyes. Previously, when Wang Chong had returned the blow to him, he nearly panicked.
However, Su Bai swiftly recovered and the thought appeared in his mind. Given how the Wang Clan didn’t deal in commerce, living off just their measly stipends, how could they have so much money?
In any case, Su Bai would never believe that the Wang Clan would be able to save up so much money. There must something amiss in the matter.
“Censor Fu! Checking on the officials and ensuring order is your job. Even though the Wang Clan has always been known as upright and incorruptible all along, they secretly corrupted so much gold for their own. I believe that there’s a need for you to stand up and uphold order!”
Su Bai suddenly turned to look at a carriage led by a black and white striped horse. Jiya, the doors of the carriage slowly opened and a purple-robed white-haired elder walked out from the carriage with a dark expression.
The elder was probably listening to the matter in the carriage, and only when Su Bai called for him did he walk out.
Wang Chong didn’t recognize the elder, but when he saw the ‘fish token’ on his waist, his expression immediately darkened. Not only was he a censor of Great Tang, he was the assistant head censor.
(The ‘fish token‘ is a metal token that is shaped like a fish.)
In order to deal with him, Su Bai had brought over two officials from the Court of Judicial Review, as well as a censor of Great Tang.
Wang Chong glared at Su Bai ferociously. At the very worst, the officials from the Court of Judicial Review would just land Wang Chong in their jail.
However, since he brought a censor along with him, it was clear that Su Bai’s goal wasn’t just him but the entire Wang Clan. He was trying to pin the blame on the entire Wang Clan, not giving Wang Chong a chance at all.
And for a censor, instead of discussing important matters in the royal court, to hole himself in a carriage and listen to this farce, Wang Chong would never believe that Su Bai hasn’t been planning this matter for a long time.
“Su Bai, you’re bringing it upon yourself!”
A savage glint flashed across Wang Chong’s eyes.
“Madam Wang, Wang gongzi, I’ve seen everything that has happened from the carriage. I believe you all should have heard Su gongzi‘s words. The Wang Clan isn’t a rich clan, and Duke Jiu is respected in the royal court for his incorruptibility. I do not want to suspect the Wang Clan, but this crate of gold isn’t something that the Wang Clan could save up through their stipends. As a censor, it’s my job to check on the officials and maintain order. I’m afraid that I’ll have to report this matter to the emperor and the other nobles!”
Censor Fu spoke slowly, spouting out word by word. However, every single word of his felt incredibly heavy.
Initially, the anger of the crowd was focused on Su Bai. However, ever since the appearance of this censor, everyone turned completely silent, not daring to say anything at all. Their gaze was filled with fear for the censor.
In the Great Tang, there wasn’t anyone else who instilled as much fear as the censors. A single wrong word from your mouth could end up as a report up the royal court.
In the Great Tang, even the most playful scions knew that they could offend anyone but these censors.
A ten li radius around any censor was considered as a forbidden zone. There wasn’t any scions or nobles who dared to fool about in front of these censors for fear of bringing harm onto their clan.
No one could have imagined that Su Bai would hide a censor in his carriage and bring him along to the Wang Clan,
“That bastard! Is he mad? To bring a censor over, does he not know that it is a taboo?”
Everyone was apprehensive and resentful.
It was one thing for Su Bai to deal with Wang Chong, to bringing a censor over was pull everyone else into the flames. In order to prove his allegiance toward the Yao Clan and King Qi, as well as to deal with the Wang Clan, he had truly gone all out.
If possible, they would immediately escape as far as they could from Su Bai and Censor Fu. However, no one dared to move at all. If they were to catch the censor’s eyes, they would be in for a great deal of trouble.
Su Bai could sense the change in the atmosphere, but he was unrepentant. Instead, he gleefully stared at Wang Chong.
“Wang Chong, Wang Chong, did you underestimate me? Since I want to present your ‘head’ to the Yao Clan, do you think that I wouldn’t have done sufficient preparations?”
Su Bai sneered coldly.
Before coming, he had reviewed his plan countless time to make sure that it was impeccable. If Wang Chong was unable to pay the 1700 gold taels, the two officials from the Court of Judicial Review would be his present to the Wang Clan. With them, he would surely be able to cause a big ruckus over the matter.
But, if by some sheer luck, Wang Chong was able to repay them all, ——Even though he didn’t believe that it would be possible, the assistant head censor which he had brought would appear.
No matter what, the Wang Clan was doomed.
Madam Wang grabbed Wang Chong’s hands tightly. At this moment, her face was incomparably pale.
A censor appearing before the Wang Family Residence wasn’t a small matter. By tomorrow, the Wang Clan would be at the tip of everyone’s tongue. Even though Madam Wang was a decisive person, it was limited to household affairs.
How could a lady like her know of the matters of the royal court? Thus, she panicked.
It is an organization which overlooks the various bureaus and the nobles, checking on them for potential corruption and such.
The head is the Censor-in-chief (御史大夫) whereas the Palace Aide of the Censor-in-chief (御史中丞) is his vice-head.
The members of the organization are known as Censors.
Due to the long title, I will just use Assistant Head Censor (Censor Fu is an official aiding the Censor-in-chief, so in a way, he can considered as a vice-head)
Also, after my editor edited away my ‘land Wang Chong in their jail’ to ‘land Wang Chong in jail’, I suddenly realized something.
If I recall correctly, there are many different jails in ancient China, similar to how is it in our present time. There is a jail for those who committed minor crimes and another one for those who committed heinous crimes. Also, some judicial departments may have their individual jails as well (Such as the Court of Judicial Review)