Chapter 1675: A Tempest in the Court! (II)

Chapter 1675: A Tempest in the Court! (II)

Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Kong Wu had been confident and had been informed that he would be made the temporary Minister of War in today's court session. He hadn't expected that an obstacle would appear to hinder this trifling matter.
But Kong Wu still had an assured expression on his face. Huo Jue was a trifling Auxiliary Assistant Minister. Alone, he did not have the strength to move the opinion of the court by even a hair.
Even Zhangchou Jianqiong wouldn't have been able to do this, so how could Huo Jue?
"Lord Huo must have his reasons," Kong Wu suddenly said. "Kong Wu believes that there is no harm if Lord Wei hears what he has to say before passing judgment."
Kong Wu turned to Huo Jue, his voice calm. "Lord Huo, there is no such thing as a minor affair in the Bureau of Military Personnel. I trust that Lord Huo has his reasons for saying such things, and I am willing to hear your opinion."
He seemed to be very fair and objective, but there was a sharp edge in his tone. It was clear that if Huo Jue could not give a persuasive explanation, this matter would be far from over, and Kong Wu would not let him go.
"Hmph!"
Huo Jue sneered, sensing the edge in Kong Wu's words. But even in the face of the invisible tsunami of pressure from the gathered officials, Huo Jue was not intending to back down.
"Your Highness, this subject believes that there is a person more qualified than anyone else for the position of temporary Minister of War. This lowly subject believes that there is no better candidate than him!" Huo Jue proclaimed in a resounding tone.
"Talk!" the First Prince said, his face twisted into a nasty scowl.
The First Prince had thought that Kong Wu and the Bureau of Personnel official would make Huo Jue back down, not expecting Huo Jue to not know what was good for him and once more voice his opposition, even claiming that there was someone even more qualified than Kong Wu.
The palace had become utterly silent. Although the First Prince was trying his best to control it, everyone could hear the anger in his voice.
His words today had made it so that Huo Jue would probably not be the Auxiliary Assistant Minister for much longer.
But Huo Jue appeared to not hear and was already putting forth his candidate.
"The King of Foreign Lands, Wang Chong!" Huo Jue declared as all the officials watched.
When he announced the name, a bolt of lightning seemed to descend on the heads of all the officials. Kong Wu, the official from the Bureau of Personnel, all the other officials, the First Prince, and even the squinting Prime Minister trembled in shock as their eyes flew open.
The King of Foreign Lands, Wang Chong!
This name had not been mentioned for a long time, ever since Wang Chong had been stripped of his post as Advisor-in-Waiting. The name was like a magic spell, an existence that all the members of the court feared.
No one had expected to hear his name at a time like this, and for such an important post as temporary Minister of War.
The mood in the court instantly tensed. Now that Wang Chong was involved, things were far from simple.
Huo Jue had barely finished speaking when a voice of reproach resounded through the hall. "Huo Jue, what nonsense are you speaking!? The King of Foreign Lands was just removed from his post as Advisor-in-Waiting and simply doesn't have the seniority to take the post of temporary Minister of War. Moreover, the King of Foreign Lands is not a member of the Bureau of Military Personnel and has no knowledge of its operations, much less any experience. For what reason should he be the temporary Minister of War?"
This was the other Assistant Minister of the Bureau of Military Personnel, Wu Tai. While his prestige and seniority were beneath Kong Wu, he was Huo Jue's superior, so it was only natural that he could criticize Huo Jue.
King Qi finally took two steps forward and sneered, "Hmph, a mere Auxiliary Assistant Minister of the Bureau of Military Personnel, an official that's not even lower-rank-four, dares to speak up when the matter of the temporary Minister of War is being discussed, and even object? Just who gave you this audacity?" His expression was cold and oozing with disdain.
With King Song gone, King Qi had no restraints in court, and his power was truly at its zenith.
Moreover, King Qi had always been arrogant and unbridled in his conduct, and even Zhangchou Jianqiong had feared him, let alone a mere Auxiliary Assistant Minister.
As expected, Huo Jue's hand trembled upon hearing King Qi's scornful jeers, but he quickly steadied his resolve.
"Your Highness, Huo Jue alone is naturally irrelevant, and I alone would not dare to enter the discussion of who will be temporary Minister of War. But what if there were others who strongly recommended the King of Foreign Lands?" Huo Jue said, his forceful voice devoid of fear.
Huo Jue, as a single Auxiliary Assistant Minister, naturally had no influence, but his words caused everyone in the hall to grimace, and even the First Prince couldn't help but twitch an eyebrow.
"Your Highness, this lowly subject has a memorial. Please inspect it!"
Huo Jue ignored the staring eyes and quickly looked up to the enthroned First Prince. At the same time, he took a prepared letter from his wide sleeve and offered it up with both hands.
When Huo Jue took out this letter, the entire hall fell silent. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Li Linfu couldn't help but slightly frown.
Even a fool could see that Huo Jue had come prepared. This matter had suddenly become much more complicated.
After a few moments of thought, the First Prince finally said, "Bring it up!" In the current situation, he was compelled to look at the memorial.
A eunuch had already come forward. Taking the memorial, he deferentially sent it up to the First Prince. The hall was silent as the First Prince profoundly glanced at Huo Jue and then turned to open the memorial. After reading just a few lines, he nastily scowled.
Li Linfu, King Qi, and Kong Wu had been staring at the First Prince this entire time. They couldn't see the contents of the memorial, but the First Prince's reaction made their hearts thump in dismay. It now seemed like Huo Jue had come to represent Zhangchou Jianqiong, who wanted Wang Chong to take his place. But Zhangchou Jianqiong alone did not have the power to shake the First Prince's resolve. There must have been others.
Huo Jue loudly proclaimed the contents of the memorial. "Your Highness, Lord Zhangchou, Anxi Protector-General Gao Xianzhi, His Highness King Song, and Big Dipper Great General Geshu Han have jointly recommended the King of Foreign Lands to assume the post of temporary Minister of War. The King of Foreign Lands is a skilled campaigner who has achieved great things for the Great Tang. These venerable gentlemen unanimously agree that he is the ideal candidate for temporary Minister of War. Your Highness, please bestow your wise judgment!"
Bang!
Several lightning bolts seemed to crash down. The names of Zhangchou Jianqiong, King Song, Gao Xianzhi, and Big Dipper Great General Geshu Han shook the entire hall. These four names wielded immense weight in the Great Tang, and a single stomp from one of them could shake the realm. Unexpectedly, the four of them had joined together to recommend Wang Chong for the post of temporary Minister of War.
"How could it be like this?"
Kong Wu's body was trembling, his eyes wide open in shock. He had never expected things to turn out like this.
With these four adding their recommendations to Wang Chong's reputation, he was no longer sure how this unexpected development would end.
"What is going on here?"
"Even the Big Dipper Great General recommended the King of Foreign Lands!"
"Isn't King Song still ill and unable to speak? How could he have recommended the King of Foreign Lands?"
The officials began to chatter, and they could not be blamed. This memorial was truly too surprising. The First Prince had clearly been supporting Kong Wu, but no one had expected Zhangchou Jianqiong and King Song to so strongly object.
"Although King Song cannot move, his mind is clear. I have a letter that he ordered his old butler to write, but it has his personal seal. Your Highness, please inspect it."
Huo Jue composedly took out a letter and handed it up.
The arguing officials fell silent. Huo Jue had come even more prepared than they had initially imagined.
King Song was an Imperial King of the Great Tang, and the one with the greatest authority. No one could fake his personal seal.
"Hmph, who cares about King Song?" King Qi coldly snorted and came forward. "This king believes that Kong Wu is the best choice and gives him my full support!"
He was King Song's mortal foe, and Wang Chong had ruined his plans time and time again. He could not let them do as they pleased. If King Song recommended someone, he would oppose them with all his strength.
Everyone else in the hall couldn't help but frown. King Qi's words seemed right. In terms of status, these two were about the same, and he was enough to neutralize King Song's influence.
But the critical problem was that Kong Wu's weight and influence were far inferior to Wang Chong's!
Kong Wu's face had by now turned ghastly. He was in the most awkward of circumstances. He was enraged and filled with venom, yet unable to express any of his emotions. Almost subconsciously, Kong Wu turned to the First Prince.
Written by Huangfu Qi 皇甫奇. Translated by Starve, Hypersheep325. Edited by Desertdoe, Welmar, RED, Michyrr.