The edited version of the last two releases are up. There will also be additional releases this week thanks to the donors!! 😀
Edited by Tnyhy
Chapter 115: Military Power Taken Away (Part 2)
In the Palace Great Hall, Emperor Wen Hui was sitting on the throne and his face was so dark that it could drip blood. Looking at all the officials in court, he threw the memorandum on hand to the nearest high ranked official with a ‘pa’.
When that memorandum smacked the official’s face, he did not dare to speak a single word and immediately went down on his knees.
Shen Xin and wife, including Shen Qiu, had not left the Palace after entering and no one outside knew what was going on, but the officials were well aware that Shen Xin and wife were arrested by Emperor Wen Hui. As for the reason why they were arrested, it was something that requires no additional thinking. There were some issues with them and thus the Emperor wanted to handle them.
All the officials well understood such a simple logic and would generally kept silent. But Emperor Wen Hui’s expression was strange.
“Count of Ping Nan, speak about it.” Emperor Wen Hui specifically called him out.
Count of Ping Nan, Su Yu, was very smart on his feet and other officials’ quickly turned their attention onto him. Su Yu thought about the conversation he had yesterday night with Su Ming Feng, and no longer hesitated to pull a memorandum from his sleeves, and went up to pass it to the GongGong by the Emperor’s side for him to present it to Emperor Wen Hui.
“Replying Your Majesty, this officially also find that the Formidable Great General had acted boldly and did not respect the Imperial family, thus request Your Majesty to punish Shen Xin heavily, executing nine degrees of relatives.”
It was still alright for the officials who were close with Su Yu to hear about executing nine levels of relatives, but those officials that did not have any relations with Su Yu were in total shock. All along, Count Nan Bo’s action had been gentle and was regarded as a good old man. Who knew that once he spoke, he wanted Shen Xin’s life and his spoken words are just too heavy.
Emperor Wen Hui’s hands that were holding the memorandum quivered, and his eyes were staring straight at Su Yu.
Su Yu nodded his head and had an impassionate appearance.
“Reporting to Your Majesty.” At the other end, the Marquis of Lin An, Xie Ding, who had been silent said, “Shen Xin have to conduct himself with dignity when using military powers, and to dare to resist the orders of Your Majesty outside, one fear that he long had a treasonous heart. This official also agree with Su Daren’s words of executing nine degrees of relatives.”
Everyone’s gaze were at Xie Ding and Su Yu. Everyone knew that the Su and Xie families relationship was deep, and that these two families’ relations were very thin with the Shen family. Now that Shen Xin was in a mishap, since the Su and Xie families were ants on the same rope, they would definitely go over and kick a few times for satisfaction.
Emperor Wen Hui’s eyes were uncertain.
Originally when Fu Xiu Yi sent over these evidences, he was extremely satisfied. His eyes were already on the Shen family, this piece of fatty meat, but was unable to find any opportunity. With Fu Xiu Yi’s evidence, no matter what, at least one would be able to easily reclaim the military power from the Shen family. Who knew that this morning, when this matter was mentioned, the officials actually recommended to severely punish Shen Xin.
Shen Xin was often in battle at the Northwestern region, and did not have deep friendship with the officials in court. Emperor Wen Hui had long expected that there would be many people who did not like Shen Xin, but did not expect that it would be this much. Those who were pleading for leniency for Shen Xin were practically only a few.
The Emperor’s heart was always filled with suspicion, thus if there were many officials who spoke up for Shen Xin, Emperor Wen Hui would suspect that Shen Xin was close with the officials secretly. But if there were more people impeaching Shen Xin, then Emperor Wen Hui would be rest assured with Shen Xin, as an official with a treasonous heart would not make so many enemies for oneself.
If those officials impeachment made Emperor Wen Hui have some hesitation, then the Count of Ping Nan’s and Marquis of Lin An’s ‘executing nine degrees of relatives’ made Emperor Wen Hui suspicious.
The Shen, Su and Xie families were thorns in Emperor Wen Hui’s heart. Not mentioning about how these officials were, but it was only the reputation and military power these big families had, that made Emperor Wen Hui unable to sleep soundly. How would one allow another to sleep soundly at the couch beside them? Emperor Wen Hui would not let families that had the ability to threaten the Imperial power exist.
The Su and Xie families were twisted together like a rope, and fortunately the Shen family was incompatible with both families like fire and water, else Emperor Wen Hui’s heart would suffer greatly. If one were to really follow what the Su and Xie families’ words meant, then in the entire land of Ming Qi, there would not be any forces to contend with the Su and Xie families. By letting the Su and Xie families grow, it would only unstabilize his Dragon seat (aka throne).
For the first time, Emperor Wen Hui felt that it is hard to get off after riding a tiger. He only wanted to reclaim part of the military power, and still retain the Shen family to check and balance the Su and Xie families but now, there was no one who was willing to speak for Shen Xin. Emperor Wen Hui only felt pained and a headache.
He slowly asked back, “Executing nine degrees of relatives?”
Usually with this kind of question, the officials could see that His Majesty’s expression was not correct, but one did not know what went on in Xie Ding’s head as he actually raised his neck and said, “Yes.”
Emperor Wen Hui closed his eyes and when he looked at Xie Ding again, it was as if he could see his wolf-like ambition under his skin.
Su Yu was somewhat worried but there was not a slightest trace of it on the surface, and still had an appearance as if Xie Ding’s words were very reasonable.
Finally a lower ranked general stepped out, “Although this time General Shen was headstrong and rash, the offence is not as heavy as death. Since one had made contributions for the court earlier, one can atone for the offences by meritorious acts. Your Majesty is benevolent, and one hope that by remembering the Shen family’s army constant battles to protect the country, the sentencing would be lenient.”
This lower ranked general had not bad relations with Shen Xin, and most likely saw that the current situation was unfavourable to Shen Xin, and finally could not tolerate and stood up for Shen Xin.
Emperor Wen Hui had been waiting for someone to say that, but one did not know that Shen Xin’s relationship skills were that bad, that no one was willing to speak for him. Once this low ranked General spoke, Emperor Wen Hui’s brows stretched out, “Beloved Official’s words are right. Even though General She is guilty now, previously he had made numerous meritorious contribution, thus by saying about executing nine degrees of relatives, would be that Zhen do not care about old affections.”
“Your Majesty must absolutely not.” Su Yu quickly knelt down on the ground, “General Shen even dared to lie to a Monarch, one do not know what he will do in the future.”
Xie Ding quickly said, “Your Majesty, it is precisely so. Please think twice.”
The more both of them said as such, the more suspicions Emperor Wen Hui had. He did not look at the both of them but at that lower ranked General, and faced the entire court of civil and military officers, “When the Old General Shen was alive, he had accompanied the Late Emperor through life and death. For generations the Shen family has been loyal and the Formidable Great General Shen, Shen Xin is incomparably brave and fierce. He had returned back at the end of the year defeating the Xi Rong, and this can be considered as atonement for the offences. Zhen is not a despot Monarch that will be executing nine degrees of relatives. Shen Xin’s family is innocent in this.”
“Your Majesty is wise.” That low ranked General quickly knelt down.
Emperor Wen Hui waved his hands, “It is just that Shen Xin had done that offense, Zhen still have to punish him. Pass the order down and retrieve the military tally of the Shen family army, and deduct Shen Xin salary for a year. The Shen family’s army would be transferred to another person to command. As for the rest, they will be integrated into the Gui Lin army.”
Everyone sucked in a cold air and their eyes were all strange.
If one say that Emperor Wen Hui was cruel, he did not take or harm any lives in the Shen family. But if one say that Emperor Wen Hui was warm, he retrieved the military tally right from the start. The military tally could command three armies and for a General, once the military tally was lost, it meant like a soldier losing one’s life on the battlefield.
However the front of the Shen family’s army were just a few unrelated soldiers, and the real Shen family’s army was integrated into the Gui Lin army, meaning that all the troops that Shen Xin had painstakingly trained, now belonged to the Imperial family.
The officials were distressed. No wonder Emperor Wen Hui said it so generously, as he already held the other’s lifeblood in his hands. Even though Shen Xin escaped, this Formidable Great General is now an empty shell and not a deterrent force anymore. Leaving the reputation of the Shen family, was only to balance the rest of the other aristocratic families’ power.
After Emperor Wen Hui finished speaking, he waved his hands bored before, “End of court.” And with his remark, it would not be long before Shen Xin and wife, including Shen Qiu, would be released from the Palace. Only at that time Shen Xin and wife would be facing the deprivation of their military power, and one would not know if they could come out of it.
Emperor Wen Hui brushed his sleeves and left, leaving the officials to look at each other in dismay.
No one had expected that this large-scale event would be dealt in such a simple way. One could say that this had become a matter of removing the commanding position, so would Shen Xin be angry and start cursing?
Su Yu patted the dust on his knees and when he stood up, he saw Xie Ding tidying up his clothes. He walked closer to Xie Ding and softly said, “What is with you just now? Why did you suddenly speak?”
Although Su Ming Feng had spoken to Su Yu and he had promised to submit an impeachment, but at the end he did not want to involve his good friend in this muddy water. The Xie family was facing a more complicated situation than them, and if it implicate the Xie family, Su Yu would blame himself to death. That was why Su Yu informed his colleagues of the matter, but did not tell Xie Ding. One did not expect that Xie Ding actually went according to his words, and almost angered Emperor Wen Hui.
Xie Ding shook his head, “When you spoke, I knew what kind of idea you were thinking about. Since you wanted to help Shen Xin then I will help, but this is solely for you.” Xie Ding was an old fox that had played in court for so many years, compared to Shen Xin who only knew about fighting battles, Xie Ding knew the inner workings of the court better. He could see that Su Yu was using an alternate strategy to help Shen Xin, so he went along with it with and added fire in.
Hearing that, Su Yu was somewhat frustrated. He felt that his good friend temperament was like the same as Xie Ding’s son, Xie Jing Xing. Thinking of Xie Jing Xing, Su Yu was surprised for a moment, “That is right. I heard from Ming Feng that Jing Xing had requested for commander, is this matter true?”
“Ming Feng also know?” Xie Ding shook his head and sighed, “Yes, it is true.”
“Is Jing Xing crazy?” Su Yu said unfathomable, “The Northern Jiang is not a joking place. Old Xie, are you really assured?”
“Does me being assured or not, matter?” Xie Ding was very helpless, “When was I able to manage the decisions that he had made before? Now I can only hope that he will be safe. This is the consequence of the sin I had created, so I am paying for it now.”
“Actually it is also not your fault.” Su Yu’s heart was a little sour when he heard it. One wrong step, leads to all steps wrong. These years Xie Ding had been tortured due to the matter that happened years ago, his conscience was not calm and his son was not close. One would feel sad as a bystander, so Xie Ding himself must be even more upset. He diverted the topic, “Heard that this time the memorandum that indicated Shen Xin’s offences was submitted by the Ninth Prince, Prince Ding, but why did one not see him today?”
“It seemed that His Majesty sent him to inspect the Ministry of Works.” Xie Ding frowned, “One do not know what he will think when he find out about the matter today.”
“What could one think?” Su Yu laughed coldly, “The thing that one wanted is in the bag, so it does not matter if those few heads stay or not.”
Seeing Su Yu like this for the first time, Xie Ding was somewhat surprised and asked, “That is right, you have not said why did you suddenly helped Shen Xin. When did you start to have a friendship with the Shen family?”
Su Yu saw that they had walked far away and there was no one around, then he whispered to Xie Ding, “How is it me? It is my son, Ming Feng. He spoke to me at night that His Majesty is only using the Shen family as an opening, and once the matter with the Shen family is over, it would inevitably be followed by my Su family.”
What happened in court was quickly spreading throughout the residence. Emperor Wen Hui retained Shen Xin’s family life, but in terms of responsibility he has withered. It made the commoners lament that the Imperial family was kind. Not only that, by seeing how Emperor Wen Hui treated Shen Xin so leniently, everyone all speculated that the prestige of Shen Xin had not diminished, and that the Imperial family valued them greatly in their heart, thus their future is not as bleak as one thought before.
The amateurs were watching the bustle, but the experts were watching the way it was done. The commoners did not understand but as officials, they could clearly see that without military power, the Shen family was like a toothless tiger, only looked good without substance and the prestige had long passed.
In the Shen residence, Shen Gui and Shen Wan were talking about the matter, and as to how Shen Xin ended up like this, even though it was not a severe punishment as they thought, by him losing the military power was something that made both of them satisfied. This was because it meant that Shen Xin’s reputation and prestige had become significantly lower than them.
In the Western courtyard, when Jing Zhe told the news to Shen Miao, she just finished her lunch.
“Young Lady.” Jing Zhe looked at Shen Miao leisurely appearance and her mind was determined as she asked, “Young Lady is not at all worried, is it because even if one does not have military power, it was not as bad as what outside was saying?”
Shen Miao wiped her mouth on the handkerchief, “Do not be afraid. What is yours cannot run away, and what is not yours cannot be stolen or snatched.”