This chapter is updated by Novels.pl
“Hm?” Everyone was stunned and looked toward Xuan Tian Ming. The eighth prince, Xuan Tian Mo, asked: “Ninth brother, what do those words mean? The decision to make steel weapons was made by Father Emperor back then. The money to produce them came from the national treasury. At that time, it was because the battle with Qian Zhou was looming that the steel weapons were sent to the North. Oh, of course, the Northwestern Army controlled by ninth brother was the one that attacked Qian Zhou. That is to say that all of the steel weapons that were made are all in ninth brother’s hands. Later on, the East was in imminent danger, and some steel weapons were sent over, but the other sides did not receive any steel weapons. Ninth brother, those nice things were made using money from the national treasury. Hoarding all of them is improper, right?”
Xuan Tian Ming rolled his eyes and looked at the eighth prince’s faction as if looking at morons. He then remained silent.
Everyone felt oppressed. Every time they conversed with the ninth prince, there would be a feeling of pressure that could not be described. You could never tell what his gaze meant, nor could you tell what he wanted to say or what he would not say. They could not even guarantee that he would not raise his whip and leave someone crippled. Even in court, they definitely did not suspect that the ninth prince’s personality of losing his temper at the drop of a hat would disappear. After all, it would not be the first time that he suddenly acted out in front of the Emperor.
Now that they brought up the matter of the steel weapons with the eighth prince, they received the answer of “There aren’t any,” from the ninth prince. This was followed by an eye roll and nothing else. This atmosphere… was extremely awkward!
Some of the old officials gently coughed a couple times, but who knew if they were reminding Xuan Tian Ming or the Emperor. But looking at the father and son, they were both extremely reticent. They were competing with each other to see who could anger the people more. The Emperor even closed his eyes to get some rest, and it looked as though he had fallen asleep. Even the eunuch, Zhang Yuan, who was standing at his side averted his gaze. He did not want to pay any attention to them.
The eighth prince quietly snorted and repeated what he had said one more time. In the end, he asked: “Does ninth brother not think it is improper?”
Xuan Tian Ming finally reacted and said: “Improper? Un, it is indeed improper.” When the people heard this, there was an opening? But immediately following this, he said: “So what if it’s improper? This prince said that there are none.”
“How can there be none?” The officials lost it. “Hasn’t the military camp near the capital been producing steel the entire time?”
Xuan Tian Ming nodded, “It is producing steel, but everything that was produced was sent to the North for the battle, and a portion was sent to the East. There are none left in storage. The original thought was to produce another batch after the new year, but you collaborated and said that Imperial Daughter Ji An can no longer meddle with the matters of the court, to no longer allow her into the palace and to no longer allow her into the military camp. She isn’t even allowed to run Hundred Herb Hall. Now, this is great, she’s been chased out of the capital by you to return to her fief. The production of steel was Imperial Daughter Ji An’s contribution, and it has never been taught to anyone else before. Not to mention those blacksmiths, but even this prince does not know. It was always her that led the production. Now that she had been chased away by you guys, steel production has stopped. This prince was thinking of simply having them dispersed since they are a waste of supplies. Either way, there will no longer be any steel produced in the future.” He spread his hands and spoke very innocently.
The eighth prince’s faction was dazed upon hearing this. The production of steel was considered Imperial Daughter Ji An’s work. This was something that everyone knew, but they had chased Imperial Daughter Ji An away. This was also something that everyone knew. Not only did the people in the palace know about it, but the commoners outside also knew about it. For them, they had really suffered quite a miserable new year! Now that they brought up the matter of steel weapons with the eighth prince, were they not slapping themselves in the face? What else could they say?
Xuan Tian Mo also did not expect that the opposition would make use of this. The matter of producing steel was very secretive, but it was Da Shun’s secret. The Emperor had already decreed that nobody aside from Imperial Daughter Ji An and His Highness Prince Yu could pry about the secret. Otherwise, regardless of who it was, they would all be executed. But… “Ninth brother is a little too despotic!” He was a bit angry, and his tone was a little too severe, “You just trust a girl to keep such a secret?”
Xuan Tian Ming glanced at him then spat out: “It’s no wonder the people of the capital say that the eighth prince is shameless. It seems that it’s true.” After saying this, he fell silent once more, angering Xuan Tian Mo.
At this time, the left prime minister, Lu Song, suddenly stepped forward and said something that was aligned with Xuan Tian Ming: “Your Highness Prince Sheng is mistaken. This is not leaving a girl to keep a secret. Instead, that secret was brought to Da Shun by that girl. For her to help produce such a heaven-defying weapon for Da Shun, that is already considered plenty. Why is it that Your Highness Prince Sheng does not show gratitude and instead has this sort of thing to say? With these sorts of thoughts, what would the people that come up with plans and exert their strength for Da Shun think? Who would dare to improve Da Shun’s national prestige? Would Your Highness Prince Sheng please think about Da Shun’s future. Do not continue to obstruct Da Shun’s growth. This official is ashamed to listen to it!”
As the left prime minister of the court, Lu Song had a certain standing among the officials. He had never been part of the ninth prince’s faction, and his daughter had nearly gotten married to the eighth prince, Xuan Tian Mo. Unfortunately, that girl’s body was lacking and could not get married. But the people always believed that even if the marriage had failed, there would still be some friendliness, right? At the very least, they had always seen the left prime minister as being on the eighth prince’s side! They never thought that he would actually tear him down and help the ninth prince push back the person that nearly became his son-in-law.
Xuan Tian Mo was so angry that his teeth itched. He fiercely glared at Lu Song but did not say anything. But at this time, someone reminded: “Back then, it seemed that there was no mention of not allowing Imperial Daughter Ji An into the military camp, right?”
“Hm?” Xuan Tian Ming accurately found the owner of that voice then said in a deliberately ambiguous voice: “Say it again for this prince?”
That person trembled and immediately remembered Xuan Tian Ming’s whip and no longer dared to speak; however, he continued to think and wonder. Had they ever said that Imperial Daughter Ji An could not enter the military camp? There really was no mention, right? He was also confused.
While he was confused, the Emperor, who had not spoken for a long time, spoke up from the imperial throne, only saying: “You won’t even let her into the imperial palace. Do you think that someone that can’t even enter the imperial palace can enter the military camp? Wasn’t it said that she is not to meddle with the matters of the court? Of course, military affairs are also part of the court. You’ve chased her away, yet you want things from her now. There’s something wrong with you, right?”
When the Emperor got serious, he was very serious. Anyone that annoyed him would be thrown out regardless of time, place or occasion. “Is each and every one of you completely shameless? You give someone a slap then go to try and get some benefits from that same person. What sort of logic is this? How exactly did you get your positions? Why do We feel that your minds are not worthy of being officials? How about this! The two prime ministers!” He called right prime minister, Feng Qing, and the left prime minister, Lu Song, “We will give you two a mission. After court has been dismissed, go and research some examination questions. Go in accordance with the imperial exam as a guide. From top to bottom, make a set for each rank. We will give you half a month of time to produce these questions. We will then have these people take the examination once more to see if their brains are still worthy of attending court. You two, remember that the questions must be kept secret. If there is any leak, take the initiative and come to see Us!”
The more the Emperor said, the angrier he got. By the end, he simply began slapping the armrest of the throne. The two prime ministers did not dare delay and quickly kneeled to accept the order. This matter had been concluded like this.
The Emperor’s decision was a first since the creation of Da Shun. It was the first time that there had ever been mention of officials being tested once more. Of course, even more people began to speculate, what would be the outcome for the people that failed to pass?
The two prime ministers both understood that the reason the Emperor was making things so difficult was that he disliked the sight of the eighth prince’s faction. In the mind of the Emperor, Imperial Daughter Ji An was a treasure! This was not just in the Emperor’s mind, as Feng Yu Heng was a treasure to the entirety of Da Shun! Now that these old guys had bullied the treasure of Da Shun and chased her away, could the Emperor avoid getting angry? The two exchanged a glance and saw the same message in the other’s eyes: We must not allow these guys to pass! The questions must be difficult! Difficult! Difficult!
The eighth prince’s faction had suffered greatly, but the words carried great weight, and they were powerless to change it. Their hearts had begun to sink and had nearly sunk to the very bottom. They felt that their lives had reached an end, and the one to bring them to this outcome was the eighth prince, Xuan Tian Mo! They angrily gritted their teeth but also knew that severing ties with the eighth prince now was too late. It was better to think about how to remedy the situation and how to have the eighth prince make a comeback to preserve their positions.
They had made up their minds and were prepared to plan carefully after court was dismissed; however, who knew that the eighth prince, Xuan Tian Mo, had already come up with a different plan. In his eyes, these people were already worthless, unless there were people that could pass the test and could be of use in the future. But once they lost power, they were worthless. He definitely would not think of any ways to help them.
As for the cause of these thoughts being pushed forward, in truth, it was still the matter of the money. He still believed that those people had not lost their wealth. Instead, they had secretly transferred it for the sake of not giving him any money. These sorts of people were the classic examples that would forget the graces granted to them. They had forgotten that the only reason they could make sudden advances in their careers was thanks to Xuan Tian Mo helping them from the shadows. Otherwise, regardless of whether it was their careers or their wealth, how could they have possibly been so successful? And the reason that they could come up with such lies was a result of them hearing about the Sheng Palace being robbed. That was why they tried to copy the situation in the Sheng Palace. This would keep him from thinking more about it.
Xuan Tian Mo felt that the situation was definitely like this, and his heart was filled with hatred. Once again, he decided that he would discard these people and find more elsewhere.
These old officials still did not know that they had already been abandoned by Xuan Tian Mo. After court was dismissed, they gathered together and warmly waved to Xuan Tian Mo and spoke. There was even one that said that they would quickly do any inventory on the assets that remained in their home to quickly send it to the Sheng Palace to prevent it from being stolen.
Everyone left the palace, and Xuan Tian Mo stepped into his imperial carriage before them. The officials were still chatting outside the palace entrance. At this time, a carriage rushed in their direction. After it stopped, someone that looked like a retainer ran over and looked toward the group of officials. Finding their master, they urgently said to one of them: “Master, quickly return to the manor. Third madam is having a difficult birth and is almost unable to hold on!”
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