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Chapter 129 Part 1

    "Your Majesty, weichen believes that the Assistant Minister of Ministry of War, Qu Zhang Qing, is a qualified candidate! During the current provincial military examinations, Qu Zhang Qing was earnest in choosing talents. Moreover he was objective and fair when handling the affairs. Weichen believes that he would be able to assume the position as the high official of the Ministry of Justice!" During this time, Chen Wang, was silent for a long time, slowly spoke under the pleading eyes of Su Yuan.

    Su Yuan's entire body began to tremble violently after these words were spoken. He stared at Jiang Mu Chen's face If Emperor Yu Qian agreed with Chen Wang's suggestion, perhaps on the same day next year would be his death anniversary. Qu Zhang Qing, who was Yun Qian Meng's cousin, would never let him get away.

    The pale look in Su Yuan's face faded away and was replaced with a dark, deathly stillness . His last life line had already drifted away along with the spoken words of Chen Wang, leaving him with empty eyes.

    And Chen Wang's recommendation similarly gave rise to all the officials' astonishments.  All of them  knew that Chen Wang did not get along well with Fu Guo Gong Fu, then why would he suddenly recommend his own political enemy to such important position?

    Moreover, Su Yuan was actually Chen Wang's man. This time, aside from not saving Su Yuan, he had also recommended the high position to his own enemy. What would be his intended reason, it was really hard to fathom.

    Not even Yun Xuan Zhi could understand this decision of Chen Wang, a look of surprise flashed across his eyes. He was unable to tell if today's Chen Wang had gone mad from anger or made careful deliberations in making his decision.

    After all, if any other person took over the Ministry of Justice, Chen Wang would have the means to control it. But if it were Qu Zhang Qing, perhaps even if someone held a knife in his neck, he would never surrender.

    With such analysis, Yun Xuan Zhi's gaze shifted towards Chu Fei Yang, yet he discovered that the other person only raised up the corner of his lips, but his eyes were still as calm as usual, unlike the shocked expression of the others. This was truly rare in the whole world.

    "Qu Zhang Qing?" Hearing Chen Wang's suggestion, Emperor Yu Qian's beautify, well-maintained fingers gently tapped the table, as if thinking about the feasibility of this matter.

    All the people watched as Emperor Yu Qian seemed not to immediately overrule this recommendation from Chen Wang. They believed this matter was not completely feasible. What made them really puzzled was that when did the relationship between Chen Wang and Fu Guo Gong Fu became so close like this?

    "Your Majesty, I'm afraid that it will be difficult for me to undertake such a huge responsibility! Weichen's age and experience are still lacking, moreover ever since I assumed my official post, it was usually different positions from the Ministry of War, I had never gotten access to the matters concerning the Ministry of Justice. If I were to suddenly take over the Ministry of Justice, I'm afraid I might......" This time after hearing Chen Wang elected him as a candidate, Qu Zhang Qing cupped his hands and tactfully declined this offer.

    "Governor Qu, are you having doubts with your own ability, or are you just suspecting my insight?" But before he could finish speaking, he heard Chen Wang's extremely cold voice echoed within the main hall.

    After those words were spoken, Qu Zhang Qing wrinkled his brows, then he quickly took a glance at Chen Wang. Yet he discovered that although Chen Wang was speaking to him, but his gaze was directly fixated at Emperor Yu Qian. It could be clearly seen that as for Chen Wang, Qu Zhang Qing really had no say regarding this matter, and the only thing that mattered most was Emperor Yu Qian's precious opinion.

    "Wangye, there's no need to be anxious as to who will be the next candidate for the high official of Ministry of Justice! The Ministry of Justice is one of the six major ministries, the person who will assume the position as its minister must be someone having both integrity and talent. Thus we must cautiously gather everybody's suggestion as our reference, perhaps there will be a candidate more suitable than Qu Zhang Qing!" This time Chu Fei Yang unhurriedly said, his reaction had eased down the nervous atmosphere inside the main hall, also allowing enough time for other people to reflect on the matter.

    "Do you have any suitable candidates, Chu Xiang?" Emperor Yu Qian watched as the people on both sides quarrelled endlessly, then he voiced out this question. But his stern eyes glanced at Qu Zhang Qing, as if he was pondering over the feasibility of this matter.

    "Your Majesty, the six ministries normally have their own administrators, if we were to pull out some administrators from the other five ministries to fill the vacant position for the Ministry of Justice, it might result to insufficient manpower for the other five ministries. It would be better to obtain an outstanding official from the external group to assume the position, it can still be considered as a better option!" Chu Fei Yang slowly remarked, but his opinion made Chen Wang puff the air out from his nose on the spot.

    "I faile to understand you, Chu Xiang! You are worried that the five ministries will be lacking their manpower, but aren't you afraid that the government offices will incur lack of manpower due to the process of transferring the officer? Such self-contradictory opinion is truly ridiculous!" Looking at Chu Fei Yang who was on his first day in attending the Imperial Court after his wedding, having an invigorated energy, Jiang Mu Chen felt disgusted. Particularly when Chu Fei Yang overruled his own suggestion, it had stirred up the animosity within his heart.

    Facing Chen Wang's criticism, Chu Fei Yang explained without delay, "Your Majesty, now that the current imperial examinations had ended, among the elected scholars, there is no lack of people with ambition. But their experiences were still shallow, having insufficient abilities to be the officials of the capital, it might cause people to criticize them. It would be better to appoint them to the official posts outside of the capital, enabling them to develop their skills, secondly, they will be able to fill the vacancies; with this, it will be hitting two birds with one stone, isn't it perfect?"

    People present listened to Chu Fei Yang's explanation. Immediately they nodded their heads, then started to discuss the workability of this matter in lowered voices. Compared to Yun Xuan Zhi and Chen Wang's proposal, this could be considered getting the best of both worlds.

    However inside all the people's hearts they were originally planning to suggest the members of their own families to assume the high position in the Ministry of Justice. Now taking the advantage of Su Yuan being dragged down from his position, yet if someone from the outside would show up and took this advantage, perhaps the situation would become much more difficult to handle in the future.

    Consequently, although the people recognized Chu Fei Yang's suggestion, but those truly second the motion was too few.

    "Your Majesty, weichen believes that the solution suggested by Chen Wang is feasible! Although Chu Xiang's opinion would be able to achieve both benefits, but since ancient times, all the disciples of the Emperor all held their official posts within the capital, for the time being they were still not familiar with the laws and decrees inside the Imperial Court and all the important matters in every aspect, as much as possible they must retain inside the Imperial Hanlin Academy to learn things. But if in case we were to assign scholar who doesn't know anything to other parts of the country to hold their official posts, perhaps they would make a fool of themselves, not only lose His Majesty's face, also making people thought that the Imperial Court of our Western Chu was lacking abled persons, for going so far as to dispatch these ignorant sons to assume the offices of the government in different regions." Under the all the people's dispute, Qu Yan suddenly stepped out to second the motion of Chen Wang's suggestion.

    Having said these words, he lifted his head and quickly stole a glance at Chen Wang, after which he lowered down his eyes. Deep within his heart he was guessing Chen Wang's intention today.

    Based on Qu Yan's nature, he naturally would not want Qu Zhang Qing to be on an equal footing with himself. If in the future when Qu Ling Ao was not around anymore, Qu Zhang Qing would inherit the title of Hou Ye from him.

    This reason alone was enough to made Qu Yan to feel upset. How could he allow Qu Zhang Qing to be effortlessly promoted from the third-rank assistant minister of Ministry of War to a second-rank minister of Ministry of Justice?

    But Qu Yan also knew that the Imperial Court was evidently not a place for someone to act impetuously. Hence for Chen Wang to make such suggestion, that implied that he had already given serious consideration on this particular issue and instead of waiting for other people to mention about it, it would be better for Qu Yan to also speak out, in order to strengthen his place and significance in Chen Wang's heart, and for Qu Jing Qing to have the chance to marry into Chen Wang Fu.

    As compared to Su Yuan who would always suppress down his opponents, Qu Yan learned to outflank other people. Moreover being able to push Qu Zhang Qing towards the position of the high official in Ministry of Justice under the heated argument of everyone, perhaps this might not necessarily be a good thing for Qu Zhang Qing.

    Everyone was also staring closely at Qu Zhang Qing, waiting for him to commit mistakes, for him to be scandalous, with these, without spending a great deal of effort he would be able to push him to the heart of the struggle, making Qu Yan feel utterly delighted.

    When Qu Zhang Qing saw Qu Yan step forward to second the motion Chen Wang put out, a look of surprise and annoyed flash across his eyes. Qu Zhang Qing immediately retorted back, "Governor Qu, even if you are recommending candidates, you also learned how to avoid arousing suspicions. You and me are children of the Qu family, how could we recommend each other?"

    This statement had roused the hot anger in Qu Yan's heart, yet he could only blame himself for only thinking about winning favor from Chen Wang yet he forgot that Qu Zhang Qing was also his own nephew. Thus favoring his own relative would be very likely to make Emperor Yu Qian doubt about his own motives.

    For a moment, numerous thoughts flashed through Qu Yan's mind, even his gaze towards Qu Zhang Qing was also harbored with anger.

    "Assistant Minister Qu, there's no need to be like that! His Majesty would always employ those who are worthy, what harm is there if the talented person is elected by his own relative? Don't tell me that because of the saying 'employing one's own', making our Western Chu lose the opportunity to employ the talented person. If that is the case, then it will be the Imperial Court and His Majesty's loss." Seeing Qu Yan arguing pointlessly, Jiang Mu Chen remarked, although his face remained cold, but his gaze towards Qu Zhang Qing was mixed with warning and coldness.

    Qu Zhang Qing wasn't in the least bit afraid of the attitude that Chen Wang was showing him right now. On the contrary, he straightened up and carried on despite of being stared at by Chen Wang, then earnestly faced the hundred officials' whispering about.

    And Chen Wang's words gave rise to another heated debate, as all the people were pondering about whether to employ the worthy person or to use one's own.

    But thinking about the relationship between the Qu family and Emperor Yu Qian, the recently heated up discussion immediately died down.

    "Chen Wang, do you mean to say that Qu Zhang Qing is usually prudent when handling things, and his personal character is fair and strict, thus being suitable for the position being the high official of the Ministry of Justice? Governor Shen!" Being able to see all the expressions and reactions of the people, Emperor Yu Qian slowly spoke.

    "Yes, Your Majesty!" Being called out by Emperor Yu Qian, the minister of Ministry of Rites immediately stepped out, awaiting further instructions.

    "Immediately draft an Imperial Decree promoting the Assistant Minister of the Ministry of War to Minister of the Ministry of Justice, in the next few days he shall take over the office of the Ministry of Justice!" Emperor Yu Qian handed over his Imperial Decree while watching Qu Zhang Qing's calm expression slightly sank down.

    "I hereby receive this Imperial Decree!" Noting down the words Emperor Yu Qian spoke earlier, the minister of Ministry of Rites immediately responded.

    Seeing Emperor Yu Qian's precious words had lef his lips, even if the hundred officials still having their opinions, they could only swallow them down to their belly, all the people were slightly bewildered as to why during the usual days Emperor Yu Qian always trusted Chu Xiang, but now he had actually listened to Chen Wang's opinion, and instead ignored Chu Xiang's suggestions? But they had never heard any conflicts between Chu Xiang and Emperor Yu Qian prior to this.

    For a moment numerous thoughts flashed through everybody's mind. As they still couldn't understand the relationship between this important official and Emperor Yu Qian, which was supposedly linked in countless ways.

    But now that the matter concerning Su Yuan and Qu Zhang Qing had been settled, the atmosphere within the Imperial Hall had gradually eased down a bit, unlike the solemn and rigorous way earlier.

    "As we are nearing the end of the year, each and every government office perform the duty well, do not permit such kind of thing like Su Yuan to ever happen again!" Seeing the situation in the group of officials, Emperor Yu Qian issued his command once again.

    "Weichen shall remember it with reverence!" Hearing this reprimand, the hundred officials replied altogether.

    "Your Majesty, weichen has something to report!" At this time Governor Wu, who was patrolling inside the Palace earlier entered the main hall, facing Emperor Yu Qian he knelt down in his both knees then spoke in a clear voice.

    "What's the matter?" Seeing Governor Wu's face was lacking the happy expression, Emperor Yu Qian asked.

    "Your Majesty, just now weichen received an urgent report from Luo City. The plague has already been contained, majority of the common people who were affected has gradually recovered. This time, several physicians from the neighboring cities have proceeded to Luo City to study the treatment process, but don't know if Your Majesty wants to recall the first batch of physicians that went there?" Governro Wu reported the details of the urgent news, at the same time he handed over the letter to Yu Gong Gong.

    Having heard what was said, the voices of discussion echoed once again inside the Imperial Hall. Simultaneously one after another shifted their gaze towards Chu Fei Yang who was standing in front, their eyes bearing an inconceivable expression.

    Emperor Yu Qian quickly skimmed through the letter. His heart was greatly pleased, as he immediately spoke "Summon them all back! For the new year's eve banquet this year, I shall grant them their rewards!"

    "Long live Our Majesty the Emperor!" The hundred officials congratulated respectfully altogether.

    "Chu Xiang possessed a great talent indeed, to my surprise even the plague can be cured now, that truly is an eye-opener! Those who don't know might think that Chu Xiang is an official with a medical origin!" After the assembly dismissed, Chen Wang sneered as he approached Chu Fei Yang.

    He initially thought that Chu Fei Yang would die in Luo City, yet he was unexpectedly alive and even snatched Yun Qian Meng away. Also he surprisingly found a cure to the plague that had been troubling Western Chu for many years. These things made Chen Wang's heart brim with resentment.

    Chu Fei Yang frankly walked near him, Jiang Mu Chen's biting cold gaze was able to expose his hatred and murderous spirit, yet he maintained a shallow smile all along, then slowly spoke "Thanks for your praise, Wang Ye. Finding the prescription of the treatment was imperial physician's duty, I am merely just maintaining the order in Luo City.  If I had good means, I wouldn't be like Wang Ye, who had actually used a person like Su Yuan, then replaced him with Qu Zhang Qing. that was truly a great plan, Wang Ye, I am utterly impressed!"

    After speaking, Chu Fei Yang saw the murderous spirit which was initially concealed within Jiang Mu Chen's eyes to suddenly expose out, the smiling expression had immediately frozen like a thousand years ice, emitting the coldness, causing people not to look straight t his eyes.

    This was the first time the two of them confronted each other face to face since Chu Fei Yang's grand wedding. Yet the tense atmosphere was still the same, had not lessened  even to the slightest degree.

    Jiang Mu Chen's harbored resentment towards Chu Fei Yang for snatching away what was initially belonged to him, while Chu Fei Yang also contained the grudge against the other person involved for daring to set his hands on one particular person.

    The two of them wearing the same cold face, matched with the similarly dangerous eye expressions. Even though they were simply having eye contact, but the people around all were able to feel the strong airflow between the two of them.

    "Sooner or later, she will be mine!" After a long while, Jiang Mu Chen squeezed out these few words through his clenched teeth.

    "As compared to staring at another person's wife, wangye, it would be better for you to pick up your own Ce Fei at the soonest time and return back to Wang Fu, isn't it?" Chu Fei Yang really hit the bull's eye, reminding Chen Wang of the humiliation that he had experienced before.

    Jiang Mu Chen who was being reminded of Yun Ruo Xue's shameless expression, suddenly  felt quite disgusted.

    On the contrary, Chu Fei Yang was wearing a smile as he watched Chen Wang's retreating figure as he left in rage. The former still put on a smile that slowly being transformed into layer by layer of ice that instantly ruptured and concealed deep within his eyes.

    Seeing Chen Wang had left, Qu Zhang Qing then approached Chu Fei Yang, using the same eye expression watching Jiang Mu Chen walking farther away from them. After a long while he spoke in a hushed voice "Xiangye, does the current matter has something to do with Chen Wang and......"

    After all, they were still standing inside of the Imperial Palace, even if it was just a simple conversation they would evidently avoid mentioning everything in detail. Furthermore, based on Chu Fei Yang's intelligence, how could he not know the other person that Qu Zhang Qing failed to mention?

    "Nothing is impossible! There are no permanent enemies in this world, and besides we're just having a mutually beneficial relationship." Chu Fei Yang's eyes became colder, but this time a shallow smile surfaced, concealing that bone-chilling coldness, making people think that he was full of warmth.

    Seeing this situation, Qu Zhang Qing slightly lowered down his head. But just as he was about to speak again, he saw the Empress Dowager's Qu Gong Gong passed through them with his face wearing a smile, upon seeing Chu Fei Yang he immediately saluted "Chu Xiang, Governor Qu!"

    "Gong Gong, you look happy, did you come to report good news?" Seeing Qu Gong Gong beaming, Chu Fei Yang simply smiled as he spoke, his words seemed simply sarcastic.

    "Chu Xiang, you are being funny, nucai is just handling things on behalf of my master." Qu Gong Gong was already a man with extensive experience inside the Imperial Palace, how could he not be able to detect the sarcastic tone of voice.

    But facing Chu Fei Yang who was a man of high authority, he knew very well that he himself should not invite disaster by overreaching himself. Having this thoughts, he could only force a smile then jested in to defuse the awkwardness.

    "Since you are handling things for your master, then as an experienced old man in the Palace, you must able to clearly understand that the members of the harem will not be allowed to meddle with politics. Instead of remembering to dissuade the Empress Dowager, you have unexpectedly arrived here in the front of the Imperial Court quite eagerly attentive, are you deliberately trying to make other people misunderstand Empress Dowager's intention?" However, with Chu Fei Yang being the previous top-scorer in the Palace Examinations wasn't merely for display, his ability to respond to situations was so amazingly sensitive that other people would not be able to ward him off.

    The smile on Qu Gong Gong's face was slightly frozen, after which he chuckled, "Please don't make fun of me, Chu Xiang! Nucai is just a servant after all, the Empress Dowager misses her family, why should nucai obstruct her from doing it? Although nucai is someone who would open eyes wide at the sight of profit, yet I know how to behave myself with integrity in the way people usually feel about things."

    Upon speaking, Qu Gong Gong shifted his gaze from Chu Fei Yang to Qu Zhang Qing who was behaving indifferently then gently spoke "Superior Qu, the Empress Dowager would like to invite you over to Feng Xiang Palace."

    Having heard what was said, Qu Zhang Qing's eyes looked hesitant but he did not decline. Instead, facing Chu Fei Yang he nodded his head, then followed Qu Gong Gong to the harem.

    Chapter 129 Part 1 Zhang Qing's Promotion

    cristina

    ChocolateMorn
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