Book 12 Chapter 17 - Willingly Serving As a Dog

Since sixty years of time seemed a bit too distant for a young official like Xu Zhenyan who hadn’t risen in position that long ago, that was why he didn’t know that those True Dragon Guards dressed in Golden True Dragon Armor were the most powerful cultivators who followed Yunqin’s late emperor in the past. However, he understood extremely clearly that without exception, those Grand Court Consecrators were all Sacred Experts, moreover Sacred Experts with extraordinary strength.

The suspicions he began to produce and the increasingly large amount of proof that vaguely showed signs of being connected, was entirely different for Xu Zhenyan. However, he quickly calmed himself down, raising his head to look at Wen Xuanshu. “How are we going to deal with Zhang Qiuxuan?”

“Your performance until now has left me quite satisfied.”

Wen Xuanshu didn’t directly reply to Xu Zhenyan’s question, instead calmly giving him a look. “Jiang Family doesn’t know that you informed me about some of the whereabouts of the military equipment you found out through your interrogations, so Jiang Family and his majesty are also extremely pleased with your performance.”

Xu Zheyang waited calmly. He didn’t say anything, because he knew that he didn’t have to say anything right now.

“Something insignificant like Hanlin Academy’s archives are like weeds that can be randomly pulled at any time. However, the higher the level of a great figure, the more they are like great trees with deep roots and vigorous foliage. If we try to directly pull it out like weeds, we will instead end up crushing ourselves to death.”

Wen Xuanshu looked at the banana tree under the rain, his calm and awe-inspiring eyes flickering with faint radiance. He slowly said, “Regardless of whether it is to deal with Zhang Qiuxuan or his majesty, we need an excellent opportunity. Right now, Yunqin Empire is experiencing a great storm, which is precisely quite the good opportunity.”

Xu Zhenyan’s eyes flickered coldly. “Many thanks for Grand Secretary Great One’s guidance. Your respected self’s intention is… to let Yunqin’s army suffer defeats that are a bit more crushing?”

“You are still too young in the end.”

Wen Xuanshu said with a bit of mockery, “I told you not to underestimate those elders, to not think about things too simply, but you’ve still thought too simply… Apart from Huang Family and Wenren Family, Leng Family and Hu Family, those other families’ strength are not beneath mine. If we want to do anything directly, I will be dragged down. If we want to directly take some action to impede provisions, transport of military equipment, or even expose military information, these are simply the most foolish and suicidal methods. How can we call this an opportunity?”

“This student is slow, I must ask sir to lecture me.” Xu Zhenyan’s head hung, saying respectfully.

“Even now in Yunqin, his majesty wishes to suppress Green Luan Academy, subdue the nine elders, in a rush to expand his own strength. With the battle situation already this tense, the large amounts of military equipment Wenren Cangyue had hidden in Jadefall City is precisely the best opportunity for Yunqin’s decades of accumulation.” Wen Xuanshu gave Xu Zhenyan a look, calmly saying, “If his majesty wants to obtain the most powerful military equipment among them, then he definitely has to choose those closest to him, those he trusts the most. That is why if I arrange for Zhang Qiuxuan to go, there won’t be any issues.”

Xu Zhenyan became silent. He nodded again, bowing slightly respectfully.

“Using this matter to bring down Jiang Family isn’t an impossible matter either.” Wen Xuanshu said indifferently, “As for the emperor… the opportunity lies with Green Luan Academy, with Lin Xi. Lin Xi, for you, he is an enemy?”

Xu Zhenyan didn’t take any time to think before directly saying, “He is.”

“Green Luan Academy has just experienced huge changes. If we want to deal with his majesty, we still don’t have the ability. However, someone like Lin Xi is an opportunity that can be used to deal with his majesty. Moreover, even though this person’s current prestige also had some of my work put in, he really has done far more than I could have imagined, the feeling he gives me is too dangerous.” Wen Xuanshu looked at Xu Zhenyan, saying with cold mockery, “Fortunately, his majesty has never liked him, we can even say that he loathes him. The ruler and his ministers are on bad terms. Right now, Lin Xi can still endure his majesty, but I want to see if he can still continue to endure it if he becomes even more furious.”

“Seizing the opportunity… moving along with the influence of all of these great figures, this is the way to establish oneself, the true highest art of politics.” Xu Zhenyan’s voice was a bit astringent as he said, “This student understands.”

Wen Xuanshu nodded, looking at him with a calm expression. “Since the things you have done before have left Jiang Family and his majesty quite satisfied, the public purse currently tense as well, abuse and corruption running rampant year after year, my proposal to strictly examine and confiscate the property of corrupt officials to fund the military has received the support of most people. That is why soon, there will be an Inspection Division outside of Yunqin’s sectors, precisely in charge of inspecting the eight sectors. Even though it doesn’t concern itself with the royal court’s other matters, only in charge of inspecting the royal court’s officials, under my arrangements, their authority will actually be quite great. Moreover, the individuals I place within this department will grant it with quite the fighting strength. Meanwhile, you will be slowly arranged to take on the position of this division’s head.”

Xu Zhenyan’s breathing stopped slightly, his hands also trembling slightly. “Many thanks for Grand Secretary’s promotion.”

While looking at Xu Zhenyan’s changes in expression, Wen Xuanshu knew that this person understood clearly just what kind of authority and status he was just given. However, there was instead a bit of mockery that appeared between his brows, asking with a smile that was yet not a smile, “Xu Zhenyan, do you know why I like using youngsters like you all?”

Xu Zhenyan’s heart suddenly went cold. He knew that he still didn’t need to reply, only had to hang his head and wait.

“It is because you all have enough ambition and boldness.” Wen Xuanshu said with a bit of mockery, “That is why you all are willing to do things others aren’t willing to do for me. However, you are also a smart person, you should understand that everything you have was granted upon you by me… That is why you are only a dog I have raised. The master of a dog will always be watching the dog. If the ambition and courage of this dog one day make the master feel threatened, the master will naturally slaughter this dog without any hesitation. You should understand that all things have limits.”

Xu Zhenyan hung his head, his body becoming rigid.

A moment later, he slowly laid down, kneeling in front of Wen Xuanshu, knocking his head on the ground in front of Wen Xuanshu, saying calmly, “I understand, Grand Secretary Great One… I am your dog.”

Wen Xuanshu’s expression didn’t show the slightest trace of hesitation. He didn’t immediately speak, so Xu Zhenyan continued to kneel on the ground, just as if he was kissing a floor tile in this room.

“You can go.”

Only after this room remained silent for a long time, did Wen Xuanshu’s calm voice sound again.

Xu Zhenyan slowly got up, bowing and withdrawing from this room. He opened a black umbrella in the rain, covering his face while walking into the dense rain.

“Sir.”

Not long after his figure was devoured under the heavy rain, a white clothed scholar who was always waiting outside Wen Xuanshu’s room walked up to Wen Xuanshu, bowing respectfully towards him.

“Speak.” Wen Xuanshu was clearly extremely familiar with this handsome and refined white clothed scholar, only gently and simply saying this word.

The white clothed scholar didn’t show excessive formalities either, revealing a smile and saying, “If you want to raise a fierce dog, but not let the fierce dog have any ideas, the best way is to find a fierce dog who is of similar ferocity, place them in the same ring, let these two fierce dogs mutually tear at each other, mutually suppress each other.”

“Indeed.” Wen Xuanshu also revealed a faint smile. “Finding a fierce dog is rather difficult, killing one is also quite the pity. Do you have a good candidate?”

“Di Choufei.”[1]

The white clothed scholar nodded with a smile, “This person is someone supported by Immortal Academy, just that he was too impatient in the past Great Desolate Swamp battle and ended up angering Green Luan Academy. Originally, Gu Yunjing didn’t favor him either, so he was directly thrown into Dragon Snake Mountain Range’s mines by borrowing the situation. Now, Gu Yunjing dragged quite a few officers from Green Luan Academy into Dragon Snake, so there is no chance for him to make an appearance again. A talent who used to have excellent prospects, during this tense battle situation where cultivators and officers are both lacking, he instead seemed to have been forgotten by our massive empire. Sir can use him to deal with Lin Xi, and you can also use him to restrain Xu Zhenyan, this fierce dog who isn’t inferior to his father in the slightest.”

Wen Xuanshu muttered quietly, “He is indeed quite the good candidate. You can go and handle this matter. Central Continent’s army lacks capable officers to begin with.”

The white clothed scholar nodded with a smile. When he was about to withdraw, he seemed to have thought of something, his figure thus pausing. He quietly asked, “On the young master’s side, should we let him know about some of your respected self’s arrangements?”

Wen Xuanshu shook his head, saying with a bit of regret. “I’ve taught that son of mine too well, he won’t accept these arrangements of mine. However, I am quite satisfied with his current self, so let’s never let him know about these things.”

The white clothed scholar seriously nodded his head, and then didn’t say anything else, withdrawing from this room. Soon afterwards, he opened a yellow oil paper umbrella, disappearing into the pouring rain.

Wen Xuanshu’s eyes still calmly landed on the banana leaves under the rain.

“Just what kind of secrets are hidden in True Dragon Mountain[2]?”

“Changsun Jinse… Just what kind of opportunity can serve as the straw that breaks the camel’s back?”

He spoke to himself quietly, his brows slowly furrowing in thought.

His jade white hands reached out from within his black silk sleeves.

His right hand fiddled with a sparkling white item. It was a small white jade elephant that was sculpted extremely simply, with just a few cuts, but was still full of charm.

Rainwater swept through the Imperial City, some muddy and ice-cold water following the grooves in the ground as they poured into the Ghost Prison’s water cell.

The water prison’s water height was higher than normal, the water also more turbid and cold than normal.

Xu Zhenyan squatted on the stairs of this water prison. In front of him was a criminal bound to a pillar, the water level now up to his chest.

This criminal’s body was covered in crisscrossed wounds. Meanwhile now, what Xu Zhenyan was currently doing was placing some leeches that had been specially chosen, the blood sucking process making the criminals feel unbearable itchiness.

This forty something year old criminal was extremely tough. When he saw the leeches crawling over his body, he instead continuously laughed in a sinister manner. “You all can use all the methods you want on me. One day, Great General Wenren will slaughter your group of dog slaves!”

Xu Zhenyan’s forehead still had a mark from kneeling at Wen Xuanshu’s feet, yet when he heard the words dog slaves, his expression and complexion both remained extremely calm.

“What's so bad about dogs? As long as one knows how to properly serve as a dog, you might even outlive your owner, because all owners need dogs. No matter what age it is, underneath someone, those dogs who are above tens of thousands of others will forever be much stronger than those people who cannot climb up.”

He only calmly said this like he was speaking to himself. Then, he directly threw a thick leech onto the eyes of this criminal in front of him.


2. Isolated Mountain where the emperor has a temporary residence

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