Chapter 229: Yang Zhao’s Backer
A faint smile constantly played across Ye Chonglou’s face. He could see the king’s pained expression very well.
“Your Majesty, I’m only giving you advice. As to how to actually handle the situation, that is up to you as the ruler of a nation.”
The king started to sweat. While he knew that the honored tutor wouldn’t interfere in politics, his advice also wasn’t something that the king could simply neglect.
“Honored tutor, this Yang Zhao has committed some absurd acts, but he happens to have a sister who’s connected to Elder Iron of the Precious Tree Sect. I know that leaving Yang Zhao in place is forming a latent threat, but if we were to move against Yang Zhao, his brother-in-law likely won’t let matters rest easily.”
At the end of the day, the Skylaurel Kingdom was still backed by the Precious Tree Sect. Even the royal family could possibly be swapped out by the Sect if the former ran afoul of the Sect.
Therefore, when something had to do with a Precious Tree Sect elder, even the king couldn’t help but be cautious.
Ye Chonglou laughed faintly, “The Precious Tree Sect is the Precious Tree Sect. Yang Zhou is Yang Zhou. Elder Iron is but one of many senior executives within the Sect.”
Ye Chonglou chuckled and stood up after he finished speaking, speaking to Dan Fei, “Little Dan, it’s late, let’s not disturb His Majesty further. Let’s go.”
The king was slightly surprised to see that the honored tutor was going to leave just like this.
“Honored tutor, you…”
“Your Majesty, you hold Skylaurel Kingdom in your hands. Your decisions and judgments are the law. I only offer my opinions.”
Ye Chonglou gave a grand flourish of his sleeves after speaking and departed the palace with Dan Fei.
The king’s brow was deeply furrowed. He really was in a tough spot now.
Although the honored tutor hadn’t exerted any pressure and had been quite affable, given his status, even a suggestion was absolutely full of meaning.
The honored tutor was obviously in favor of destroying Yang Zhao and cutting out this tumor from the capital.
However, an elder stood in the shadows behind Yang Zhao. Although this elder was merely one of many, the king still didn’t wish to offend a Precious Tree Sect elder if he could help it.
Although the elder wouldn’t necessarily help him in the future, it would be easy for him to suppress the royal family in a variety of ways if the king gave offense.
“It’s the spirit king protector of the kingdom on one side, the elder of the Precious Tree Sect on the other…” The king truly was in a difficult position.
He knew that in terms of strength and qualifications, Ye Chonglou would definitely outclass a Sect elder.
However, although the elder looked like only one person, an entire sect stood behind him!
Honored tutor Ye Chonglou had an unquestionable strength, but his relations with the Precious Tree Sect had always been vague and unclear. Even the king wasn’t sure of their exact relationship.
“Wait a moment, the honored tutor has almost never inquired after matters of politics in all this years, why has he suddenly come to find me now? Something is always amiss when the unexpected occurs, can it be that the honored tutor has another reason for his actions?”
The king was still the king in the end; his broadmindedness enabled him to consider the multiple facets of a situation.
As he pondered, he went over all the particulars of this matter again.
“Yang Zhao is Ye Dai’s good friend and Crown Prince Ye Rong;s rival. In the end, this matter’s crux always seems to point to the Crown Prince. The honored tutor has always had a high opinion of Ye Rong, can it be that he is paving the way for the Crown Prince? Or is there another reason at play?”
Deep in the king’s heart, he too wished that no other changes would crop up in the matter of the Crown Prince. He was satisfied with Ye Rong in this role.
He also knew that Yang Zhao’s existence was a potential threat to the Crown Prince.
“Ye Rong’s rise to prominence has been swift and sudden. His largest aid is Jiang Chen. This matter seems to have come about due to Jiang Chen as well… it seems that Jiang Chen’s shadow can be seen in this entire matter? Wait, it’s rumored that the honored tutor greatly values Jiang Chen and even wanted to take him in as a personal disciple. Can it be that the honored tutor has come looking for me because of Jiang Chen?!”
The king almost couldn’t bear to sit still.
He discovered that he always seemed to have somehow overlooked Jiang Chen. To think that this young man from the Eastern Kingdom had influenced so much in the short half year that he’d been present!
Even honored tutor Ye Chonglou was stepping out to personally speak on his behalf.
“Can it be that the honored tutor means that Jiang Chen is more important than Yang Zhou, and more important than an elder of the Precious Tree Sect?”
The king was deep in thought when another eunuch came in to report, “Your Majesty, Crown Prince Ye Rong requests an audience.”
“The Crown Prince? Have him come in.” The king’s bewilderment had risen to its peak at the moment and he wanted some answers.
Ye Rong walked in and bowed respectfully.
“Rong’er, the disturbances of the past couple of days have been rather big.” The king rubbed his forehead and displayed a look of weariness.
Ye Rong hastened to say, “Royal father, your child has been conscientious and has been doing my best in playing my part. It is with great resignation that I was forced to act due to those who have still not given up their schemes against me. This time, they’ve even colluded with the assassins of the Hidden Hand and invited disaster into the capital. If they dare to make a move against Jiang Chen today, that means that they may even make a move against your child tomorrow. Your child has been forced to protect myself and defend the stability of the greater picture of Skylaurel Kingdom.”
The king also knew that the fault of the matter didn’t lie with Ye Rong.
“Rong’er, how do you plan on resolving this matter?”
Ye Rong looked at the king’s face and was silent for a bit as he gathered his courage. “Royal father, now that things have progressed to this point, your child is afraid that it’d be difficult to just let things go. If we don’t take care of Yang Zhao this time, that would be an unequivocal message to the entire kingdom that we cannot do anything to Yang Zhao. He will then become even more unbridled and royal prestige will be deeply affected.”
There was nothing that couldn’t be discussed between father and son at this moment. After all, they were father and son, and thinking on behalf of the gains and losses of the royal family.
Candor and frankness were even more imperative in times like these.
The king wasn’t unhappy with Ye Rong’s sentiments. He nodded and said, “Rong’er, it’s easy to take down Yang Zhao, but you know that there is a Sect elder behind him. The elder is sure to fly into a rage as soon as we do anything to Yang Zhao. The elder may even step forward to interfere when we haven’t even done anything to Yang Zhao either.”
Ye Rong knew that this would be a problem, but they had no other choices currently.
“Royal father, while it is true that the Precious Tree Sect protects the Skylaurel Kingdom, they also have a rule that the senior executives may not easily interfere with kingdom matters. Particularly when we have done no wrong, even the elder of the Sect may not act against the royal family.”
“Granted that’s the case, but if the elder of the Sect really wishes to act irrationally, we’d still tremble from the fall out!”
“Royal father, this matter came about because of your son. Your son is willing to shoulder all the consequences. I will remove this malicious tumor from the royal family even if I end up in pieces!”
Ye Rong’s attitude was quite resolute. He knew that if he didn’t take out Yang Zhao this time, he would have no chance to do so in the future.
If all these crimes weren’t enough to fix his guilt, then how would they suppress Yang Zhao in the future?
Therefore, Ye Rong knew very well that although he wasn’t openly going head to head against Yang Zhao this time, their battle had already reached the point where one had to fall.
If Yang Zhao didn’t fall, he would be sure to use all his strength to bring down Ye Rong.
“Rong’er, it’s difficult. The general director of the Dragonteeth Guard has just departed, and his attitude was also one of being wary of Elder Iron. It will be difficult for you to handle Yang Zhao if Shangguan Yi’s attitude isn’t firm.”
This was true, unless the king himself gave an order, the men that Ye Rong could deploy wouldn’t be enough to contend against Yang Zhao.
Although Tian Shao was loyal to a fault, he was only the general of one troop. There were ten troops in the entire Dragonteeth Guard. Without Shangguan Yi’s Dragontooth Emblem, he wouldn’t be able to deploy any of the other Dragonteeth Guard troops.
Not to mention that Yang Zhao was a vice director of the Dragonteeth Guard; the accompanying status and influence made it so that it wouldn’t be easy to turn the Dragonteeth Guard against him.
With the current situation, in order to make a move against Yang Zhao, the king himself has to give an order and Shangguan Yi has to carry it out.
Otherwise, even though Ye Rong was the Crown Prince, he still wouldn’t be enough.
“Royal father, he who hesitates is lost. Once Yang Zhao weathers this current situation, his next step will surely be to move against your son. If the vice director of the Dragonteeth Guard can manipulate the position of Crown Prince, then wouldn’t it be a tragedy for the royal family?”
Ye Rong wasn’t concealing anything at this point.
“Rong’er, from my perspective, I’m still willing to support you. However, a slight move on one part could affect the entire situation as a whole. Consequently, it’s difficult for me to give the order. I’ll give you some advice. You can ask the honored tutor for his opinion. He’s just departed after giving me advice to clean out Yang Zhao. If you can obtain the honored tutor’s endorsement, I will certain help you.”
It was also a tragic thing, being king. Even if he wanted to help his own son, even if the situation was critical, the king had to consider the delicate equilibrium formed of multiple parties.
“The honored tutor?” Ye Rong started.
The king nodded, “Rong’er, with the current situation, the honored tutor is the only way to break the stalemate. If you can obtain his proclamation, then hope remains yet.”
Ye Rong mused silently for a moment and nodded. He could understand his father’s attitude.
As the ruler of a nation, any decision would have to take into account the balancing of all sides.
Ye Rong had wanted to call upon the honored tutor immediately when he left, but he felt that the night was already late and decided to go the next day.
At the same time, Jiang Chen was looking over Xue Tong’s injuries within the manor. The personal guards on all sides were looking on anxiously.
“Huh. The Hidden Hand possesses some sophisticated methods , but these restrictions are child’s play to me.” Jiang Chen noted, looking over Xue Tong. “You’ll be fine after a few days of rest.”
Pills could cure the internal and external injuries. The restrictions that Xue San had laid down were rather clever, but they were still elementary in Jiang Chen’s eyes.
The personal guards heaved a sigh of relief only after they heard that Xue Tong would be fine.
“Young master, we’ll go and patrol for a little bit.”
Jiang Chen waved his hand. “No need to patrol, go rest.”
“But, Yang Zhao’s nephew is dead, we’re afraid…”
Jiang Chen smiled faintly, “I’d rather be afraid if they didn’t come.”
Jiang Chen’s smile gave the personal guards a feeling of impenetrable mysteriousness.
However, Jiang Chen wasn’t blustering. He had deployed millions of Goldbiter Rats in the ground around the Jiang family manor. With the merest hint of motion, they would come surging out like a newly released dam to gnaw on the enemies until there was nothing left!