Chapter 15 Chip Chip Chip Chip Chip
<Previous Chapter<Table of Contents>Next Chapter>
From a tender age, Huo Caiyu displayed an innate talent that extended beyond a singular domain. His prowess was not limited to the realm of literature or martial arts, but encompassed both with equal ease. His father, a wise and learned man, recognized his son’s talent and often engaged him in discussions on matters of government and military strategy. Despite his exceptional abilities, Huo Caiyu was unlike other child prodigies who basked in the limelight. He preferred to keep a low profile and shun the unnecessary attention that came with his achievements. Nevertheless, a subdued sense of pride swelled within him, for he knew that his accomplishments were a testament to his hard work and natural talent.
He held a firm conviction that the supposed child prodigies of the world possessed nothing but a talent for the art of poetry and a propensity for indulging in leisurely pursuits. In contrast, he devoted his time exclusively to the study of military and court affairs, determined to make his mark in the world through the strength of his knowledge.
This unwavering mindset led Huo Caiyu to a fateful confrontation with the Emperor himself, during one of his grand processions. Undaunted by the intimidating presence of the monarch and his retinue, Huo Caiyu spoke out against the corrupt state of the court and its rulers, who indulged in lives of luxury while brave generals such as his own father struggled to defend the borders. Such brazen words, however, proved to be his undoing. The outraged Emperor wasted no time in punishing Huo Caiyu, throwing him into prison for daring to challenge his authority.
Huo Caiyu had resigned himself to the idea that he would meet his end behind the cold, unyielding bars of his prison cell. But as fate would have it, the capricious and inept Emperor took a peculiar liking to him. His Majesty ordered his release from prison and commanded the imperial physicians to attend to his injuries. And as if that were not enough, he was bestowed with the privilege of residing in the opulent Jiaolan Palace, where he was lavishly provided with an array of literary works and documents to peruse at his leisure.
At first, Huo Caiyu held a contemptuous view of Emperor Jingchang. In his eyes, Emperor Jingchang was a mere puppet, controlled by both the Prime Minister and the imperial harem. His reign had brought about the decline of the court and the nation, and if that wasn’t incompetence, then what was?
However, Huo Caiyu’s beliefs were soon shattered as he came to a startling realization. The Emperor possessed an abundance of skill and talent in governing the country, far exceeding his own.
As Huo Caiyu delved deeper into the world of court politics, he began to understand that running the court was much more challenging than he had anticipated.
The Di Dynasty was a vast and complex entity, with intricate systems and structures that couldn’t be easily controlled by any single individual. Huo Caiyu’s previous ideas, which he had once believed to be revolutionary and capable of changing the world, now seemed as naive as the babbling of a child.
Huo Caiyu cast his gaze downwards, his fingers clenching tightly before gradually easing up.
Perhaps the day His Majesty had thrashed him with a stick, it had not been a mere outburst of anger. Perhaps it had been a brutal awakening, a harsh reminder that there were people above him and that he must not become blinded by his own self-satisfaction.
Huo Caiyu slowly exhaled, his voice laced with a subtle admiration as he said slowly, “Your Majesty is wise.”
The next day, Li Jinyu handed the Single Whip Policy that Huo Caiyu had compiled overnight to the Prime Minister.
When the Prime Minister Ye read it, his expression changed slightly, “Your Majesty, this is…”
Li Jinyu yawned and rubbed his tired eyes. “This is a brilliant plan from Huo Caiyu. Prime Minister, please implement it immediately.”
Prime Minister Ye looked at the visibly exhausted Li Jinyu and remained silent for a moment before saying, “This plan is too risky. This minister thinks it needs further discussion.”
“What is there to discuss?” Li Jinyu sat up straight, trying to make himself appear more forceful. “How could there be a problem with Huo Caiyu’s plan?”
After all, it had been proven effective in the novel.
“For such a major decision, it is imperative to hear the opinions of Your Majesty’s ministers. Please allow the court officials to discuss about it at tomorrow’s court session.”
After thinking for a moment, Li Jinyu realized that the Prime Minister’s reasoning was sound, so he readily nodded and said, “Alright.”
He had complete faith in Huo Caiyu’s words, so he was not worried at all.
Seeing Li Jinyu’s confident expression, Prime Minister Ye suddenly suggested, “If Your Majesty is willing, perhaps this minister could invite Huo Caiyu to attend tomorrow’s court session as well.”
As a commoner without official rank, Huo Caiyu did not have the qualification to attend the morning court session. However, if the Emperor granted special permission, he would be allowed to attend.
Li Jinyu’s eyes lit up as he suddenly realized something. I completely forgot about the morning court session! I should have had Huo Caiyu attend sooner!
“Very well then!”
During the morning court the next day, Li Jinyu arranged for Huo Caiyu to stand in front of Taihe Hall and even wanted to prepare a chair for him. However, Huo Caiyu firmly refused and voluntarily stood at the back.
Li Jinyu was a little disappointed that he couldn’t persuade him.
This hall will be your property in the future!
Li Jinyu was determined to lend his support in aiding the future Emperor in the implementation of his policies. To that end, he ordered the eunuch to rouse him from his slumber at an ungodly hour, ensuring that his every appearance was immaculate and beyond reproach.
Chief Kang, who was serving Li Jinyu, marveled once again at Huo Caiyu’s charisma. When had His Majesty ever displayed such eagerness to attend the morning court?
Young Master Huo’s charm is unexpectedly so great!
If Young Master Huo could stay forever, would His Majesty never return to being a cruel and despotic ruler?
Li Jinyu excitedly ascended the dragon throne in Taihe Hall, his anticipation overwhelming his fear of humans. He looked down at the silent ministers, and announced, “‘Zhen has a plan today and wishes for all of you to hear it.'”
The ministers remained silent. Li Jinyu turned his head to glance at Chief Kang beside him.
Chief Kang understood and picked up the notes placed on the black and gold brocade beside him, and read it out loud.
It was a list of workable measures and reform directions for the Single Whip Policy that Huo Caiyu had reorganized, almost all of which were proposed by Huo Caiyu himself.
Li Jinyu was not surprised by the comparison— these were all things that Huo Caiyu had written in the novel, and now they were just being squeezed out by him ahead of time!
In fact, Huo Caiyu was extremely surprised in his heart— Li Jinyu’s idea of “Single Whip Technique” gave him infinite inspiration, and whenever he had doubts in the follow-up improvement process, he could always find the appropriate starting point from Li Jinyu’s words.
His Majesty had a vast knowledge of the classics and history. However, for some reason, he insisted on attributing this credit to himself. Huo Caiyu pursed his lips, collected his scattered thoughts, and waited quietly.
After Chief Kang finished reading the notes, Li Jinyu enthusiastically asked, “This is the method proposed by Young Master Huo. What do you all think?”
In his own opinion, this plan should be approved by the vast majority of the ministers. However, in reality, as soon as Li Jinyu finished speaking, the ministers below expressed their objections one after another, as if they had agreed in advance to shoot down the proposal.
“Your Majesty, be cautious! This method is simply absurd! The common people have no silver in their homes. Where will they get the silver when they pay their taxes?”
“If the government were to sell off the confiscated grain, it would involve the transactions between officials and merchants. If all of it were to be handed over to the people, who knows what kind of chaos it would cause!”
“Just what is this little kid talking about! Your Majesty, taxes are the foundation of the country and cannot be taken lightly!”
The ministers were extremely agitated, as if the proposal was an unforgivable offense that, if implemented, would destroy the entire Di Dynasty.
The sudden outburst of voices made Li Jinyu’s face instantly turn pale, and his fingertips curled up and trembled slightly.
In Huo Caiyu’s eyes, the spectacle meant that His Majesty was being being collectively opposed by the court officials. He could not bear it for a moment.
Huo Caiyu looked at Li Jinyu, and felt a sense of sourness and distress in his heart that he had never felt before.
His Majesty had thought hard and come up with a plan to govern the country, but it was criticized by these ministers as worthless!
Huo Caiyu’s gaze grew colder as it settled on the head of the civil officials, Prime Minister Ye.
Even though he had never attended court before, he knew that this situation was far from normal.
To be able to make the ministers unanimously oppose His Majesty could only be the work of the Prime Minister!
Prime Minister Ye seemed to notice Huo Caiyu’s gaze and glanced at him sideways before stepping forward and making an obeisant salute in a dignified manner, “Your Majesty.”
The surrounding officials immediately fell silent.
Prime Minister Ye stood upright and said, “As Your Majesty can see, the court officials think that this policy is too far-fetched. These humble ministers implore Your Majesty to rescind the order and not be deceived by incompetent people. Furthermore, it is important to timely clear away the vermin around to avoid damaging Your Majesty’s reputation.”
Li Jinyu tightly grasped the armrests of the dragon throne, his face turning even paler. It took him great effort to utter a few words, “What does the Prime Minister mean?”
Prime Minister Ye raised his head slightly, his voice firm and powerful, “Although Huo Caiyu is the son of a good general, he harbors rebellious thoughts, disrespects the court, and causes chaos in the country by flattering the ruler. This minister ask Your Majesty to execute this traitor!”
The other ministers knelt down in unison, shouting, “Your Majesty, please execute the traitor!”
Li Jinyu’s face turned even paler in an instant, a hint of confusion showing in his eyes.
What went wrong?
Shouldn’t the Single Whip Policy be welcomed by everyone immediately? Shouldn’t Huo Caiyu be able to smoothly enter the center of the court and quickly gather power and support?
Why did it turn out like this?
He gazed at Huo Caiyu from afar, through the kneeling ministers, and felt a sense of sadness and guilt.
It was all his fault that the future Emperor was now being rejected by the officials…
Huo Caiyu saw the guilt in Li Jinyu’s eyes and suddenly understood.
No wonder His Majesty wanted to give him the credit for Single Whip Policy.
This court session was just a test between His Majesty and the Prime Minister. His Majesty wanted to take over the court, while the Prime Minister did not want to relinquish power. As a result, Huo Caiyu became the scapegoat to bear the consequences of His Majesty’s failure.
The Prime Minister’s proposal to execute him served as a warning to His Majesty!
If one were content to be a pleasure-seeking Emperor and stayed within their bounds, that would be one thing. But if one sought to seize power, they would become a warning to future Emperors!
Huo Caiyu looked around and saw the contempt in the eyes of many ministers. He didn’t feel angry but rather found it somewhat amusing.
This was the court of the Great Di Dynasty today.
They didn’t even take a breath to consider such a brilliant plan and simply rejected it based on their own interests!
Their own political struggle was more important than seeking the welfare of the people!
Thinking of these parasitic worms who were getting fat on the prosperity of the Di dynasty, and of his father who sacrificed his life to protect this land, Huo Caiyu suddenly lost the will to argue.
He closed his eyes for a moment, took a slight breath, clenched his fists and waited for His Majesty’s verdict.
Suddenly, Li Jinyu’s clear voice rang out, “Zhen forbids it! Huo Aiqing is a great talent with the ability to govern. The Single Whip Policy is beneficial to the country and the people, and must be implemented!”
His voice quavered slightly, yet it carried an unmistakable tone of resolute affirmation that brooked no dissent. Huo Caiyu’s eyes flew open in astonishment, fixated on the sight of the young Emperor seated on the dragon throne before him.
If you enjoy this novel, support the Translator ginevre on her ko-fi account :))
<Previous Chapter<Table of Contents>Next Chapter>