Reborn After Widowhood – Chapter 69
In the early morning of the third day after Hua Yang returned to the palace, she was still sleeping in Qifeng Palace. While Emperor Jingshun had already gone to court.
The civil and military ministers stood on the left and right sides of the hall, with two rows on each side.
Chen Tingjian wore the red robe of Cabinet Elder and stood beside the civil servants. Next to him was Cabinet Elder Gao, the current Chief Minister of the cabinet.
Cabinet Elder Gao was sixty-four years old, his hair and beard were already gray, but his waist was still straight. Judging from his momentum, he should be able to serve as the Chief Minister for another ten years.
Chen Tingjian and Cabinet Elder Gao were both confidants and trusted ministers of Emperor Jingshun. They once teamed up with the former Chief Minister to bring down a huge corruption. After the big corruption fell, the two worked together to “invited” the former Chief Minister who had different political views to go home and retire.
When they have a common “political enemy”, they were in the same boat. When the “political enemy” that was standing in front of them disappeared, the differences between Chen Tingjian and Cabinet Elder Gao in handling political affairs became more and more obvious. Both want to do practical things for the court and the people, and both want to realize the ambition of peace and prosperity for the country and the people. But one wanted to take the east road, and the other thought the west road was the right way. Naturally, they both wanted to be the head of the cabinet and let others follow their orders.
In the early years, Emperor Jingshun relied more on Cabinet Elder Gao. Later, Chen Tingjian gradually won more of the emperor’s heart with his talents. As early as when Hua Yang married Chen Jingzong, Emperor Jingshun had the idea of letting Cabinet Elder Gao retire and promote Chen Tingjian to the position of Chief Minister.
Unfortunately, the old lady of the Chen family passed away, and Chen Tingjian had to return to his hometown to mourn, leaving Cabinet Elder Gao to continue to be the Chief Minister for another two and a half years.
Now that Chen Tingjian was back, all the ministers in the court were waiting to see who Emperor Jingshun would choose.
Emperor Jingshun usually did not participate in political matters and left all affairs to the cabinet he trusted. If the cabinet had not insisted on him coming to listen to politics, Emperor Jingshun would have even wanted to sleep in with his beloved concubines.
But today, he had something to announce.
Sitting on the dragon chair, Emperor Jingshun looked at the two Cabinet Elders standing in the front.
Cabinet Elder Gao was well aware of the emperor’s thoughts. When he saw the emperor looking at him, Cabinet Elder Gao’s temper rose. His eyebrows dropped, his face tightened, his mouth was pursed, but he straightened his waist even more, expressing his dissatisfaction with Emperor Jingshun vividly.
Others did not dare to lose their temper with the emperor, but he dare. He had served as the emperor’s teacher. When the emperor was still a crown prince, he often helped the emperor with advice. At that time, Emperor Jingshun always relied on him in everything he encountered.
This confused emperor, who had been on the throne for a long time and had not encountered many troublesome messes inside and outside the court in the past two years, was deceived by Chen Tingjian. Not only did he marry Princess Hua Yang to Chen Tingjian’s fourth son who had no fame at all, but he also wanted to let him retire and asked Chen Tingjian to be the Chief Minister!
Cabinet Elder Gao was very angry. But he was the emperor after all, so he couldn’t curse.
He just hoped that Emperor Jingshun would open his eyes and think about the achievements he had made in the past two years, and stop being deceived by Empress Qi and Chen Tingjian!
Emperor Jingshun’s eyes quickly moved to Chen Tingjian next to Cabinet Elder Gao.
Chen Tingjian also had a straight waist. His red robe made him look like a crown jewel, elegant and modest. His long beard hanging down to his chest was smooth and flowing. The Taoist gods in the painting were probably just like this.
Although Emperor Jingshun had not seen Chen Tingjian in the past two years, the news from Lingzhou had not stopped at all.
His daughter wrote a letter praising Chen Tingjian for personally leading the local people to escape the flood regardless of the danger. Chen Tingjian also placed righteousness before family by punishing his sister-in-law who had taken bribes and his nephew who had persecuted the common people.
Chen Jingzong had the courage to give Lingzhou Guard a new look. In addition to relying on him, his Father-in-law Emperor, wasn’t it also because Chen Tingjian was good at teaching his son?
It was also because his daughter followed Chen Tingjian to mourn in Lingzhou that his daughter accidentally eradicated the big vermin Prince Xiang for the court, and the national treasury suddenly received tens of millions of taels of silver.
What did this show? This showed that Chen Tingjian not only had great talents in governing the country, but he was also very lucky!
Besides, before Chen Tingjian left the capital, Emperor Jingshun had hinted that he would leave the position of Chief Minister to Chen Tingjian. Now that Chen Tingjian was back, as the emperor, he couldn’t break his promise, right?
On one hand, he couldn’t stand Cabinet Elder Gao’s bossing around in front of him, and on the other hand, he admired Chen Tingjian. Emperor Jingshun quickly made a decision.
Emperor Jingshun said that Cabinet Elder Gao had up in years and dim-sighted and no longer had the energy to deal with political affairs. What else could Cabinet Elder Gao say?
Emperor Jingshun was determined to let him go, and now he had at least given him a decent reason. If he refused to agree, Emperor Jingshun could make up all kinds of charge against him!
“This old minister thanking Your Majesty for the great kindness!”
Cabinet Elder Gao knelt on the ground, thinking about the past, tears still flowed from the corners of his eyes.
Chen Tingjian leaned over to help him.
Cabinet Elder Gao snorted coldly and walked away. When he passed Chen Jingzong who was standing in the middle, Cabinet Elder Gao snorted again.
In fact, Chen Bozong, who was also a fourth-grade civil servant, stood opposite his younger brother Chen Jingzong.
Of course Cabinet Elder Gao also saw him, but he knew that Chen Bozong passed the imperial examination brilliantly as Zhuangyuan based on his ability and had real talent and learning, so he did not sneer at Chen Bozong.
Chen Bozong didn’t appreciate this sentiment. He looked at his fourth brother without any trace.
Chen Jingzong stood there with a solemn expression, his figure as tall as a pine tree. Because he had nothing to comment, his eyes looked at his nose and his nose pointed at his heart, looking very serious.
After Cabinet Elder Gao left, the second thing Emperor Jingshun announced was to promote Chen Tingjian to the position of Chief Minister of the cabinet.
Then Emperor Jingshun pushed political affairs into Chen Tingjian’s hands, and he just sat there.
After the morning court was over, Emperor Jingshun called Chen Tingjian, Chen Bozong, and Chen Jingzong to the imperial study.
Emperor Jingshun trusted Chen Tingjian very much and simply gave him a free hand in everything.
For Chen Bozong, who was already in his thirties, Emperor Jingshun felt that Chen Bozong could change his position. If he always handled cases in Dali Temple, it would be hard to be promoted in the future.
Chen Jingzong always said that Hua Yang loved the rest of the Chen family because of her admiration for Chen Tingjian, but how about Emperor Jingshun?
As soon as the eighteen-year-old Chen Jingzong came back from Lingzhou, Chen Tingjian had not yet figured out how to arrange his son. When Emperor Jingshun heard the news, he immediately put Chen Jingzong into the Jinyiwei and gave him a position of fourth-rank commanding officer. Didn’t it all just to give Chen Tingjian some face?
At that time, Emperor Jingshun didn’t even know Chen Jingzong’s ability, but he was already so partial. As for Chen Bozong, Emperor Jingshun wanted to cultivate him well and recruit him into the cabinet. While the Tanhua Chen Xiaozong, he was still young and could continue to practice for a few more years.
Emperor Jingshun’s intention to promote him was very obvious, and the reasons for his promotion were ready. In the past year and a half, Chen Bozong’s political achievements as the magistrate of Lingzhou were outstanding.
However, Chen Bozong knelt down and said respectfully: “This minister thank Your Majesty for your kindness, but this minister determined to judge cases in prison, and strive to ensure that no unjust case in the world is wrongly convicted, and no prison sentence is unclear. This minister hope that Your Majesty will fulfill this minister’s selfish motives.”
Emperor Jingshun smiled, looked at Chen Tingjian, and said curiously: “Zhen only have seen officials think up every method to get promoted, but you actually just want to stay in Dali Temple. Could it be you don’t want to change places your whole life?”
Chen Bozong raised his head, looked directly at Emperor Jingshun and said, “It would be a great honor for this minister to serve in Dali Temple until the old age.”
At this time, Chen Tingjian said: “Your Majesty, this minister’s son has an upright temperament and is not good at dealing with fellow officials. If he works in the Six Ministries, he will easily offend his colleagues. It is better to let him display his ambitions in Dali Temple.”
Of course, Emperor Jingshun also knew something about Chen Bozong’s temperament, and knew that what the father and son said was true, so he agreed. Remembering that there were previous examples of father and son taking power in the cabinet, he felt more and more that Chen Tingjian and his son were rare people.
Finally, Emperor Jingshun looked at his son-in-law Chen Jingzong and said with a smile: “Prince Consort has made great contributions at Lingzhou Guard. Zhen will definitely reward you, what do you think?”
Chen Tingjian and Chen Bozong’s hearts were slightly raised.
One was the old father and the other was the eldest brother who was like a half-father. Both of them were worried that Chen Jingzong, who was “new to officialdom”, would accidentally say the wrong thing.
Chen Jingzong looked at Emperor Jingshun and said respectfully: “This minister is a martial artist who knows nothing about court affairs, only want to train troops for Your Majesty.”
Emperor Jingshun was still thinking about what he meant when Chen Tingjian turned around and scolded his son: “There are so many talented military attachés in the imperial court. Where is it your turn to train troops for His Majesty. You dare you speak arrogant words in front of His Majesty, and still don’t kneel down to apologize!”
Chen Jingzong knelt down, but there was no sign of apology on his face. He looked firmly at Emperor Jingshun who was behind the imperial table.
Emperor Jingshun waved his hand to Chen Tingjian, asked Chen Jingzong to get up, and asked pleasantly: “What kind of troops do you want to train?”
Chen Jingzong said: “Your Majesty is personally in charge of Jinyiwei. Everyone in the guard is an elite. This minister has no use in the Jinyiwei. Therefore, this minister would like to ask Your Majesty to change my position to another guard station. Preferably to the worst guard station among the twenty-six Guards in the capital, that way this minister can show his usefulness.”
Emperor Jingshun smiled and looked at Chen Tingjian.
Chen Tingjian still had an angry look on his face, of course the anger was directed at his son: “Nonsense, the soldiers in the twenty-six Guards in the capital are strong men selected from all over the country. They are all good at martial arts. Just pick any one of them and they may not be worse than you, so why are you giving them orders? Don’t think of yourself as superior and arrogant just because you are a prince consort.”
Chen Jingzong didn’t even look at him. The words went into his left ear and came out from his right ear.
Emperor Jingshun was amused by Chen Tingjian. This was Cabinet Elder Chen who would not change his expression even if the Mount Tai collapsed. Emperor Jingshun and Chen Tingjian had known each other for almost thirty years, and he had never seen Chen Tingjian being so angry that he scolded a cabinet minister outright.
Cabinet Elder Chen had always been a refined man, and he always had good reasons for arguing with others. He probably only speak rudely and unceremoniously when he was disciplining his own son.
After watching the excitement, Emperor Jingshun stroked his beard and said to Chen Tingjian: “Of the twenty-six guards in the capital, Zhen is personally in charge of the Jinyiwei. The other guards are all under the control of the Ministry of War. Zhen is not too clear about the specific situation. Cabinet Elder tell Zhen, which guard station has the worst troops?”
Chen Tingjian was shocked.
At that time, Taizu and Chengzu decided on twenty-six guards in the capital. These twenty-six guards were actually the emperor’s own troops. They were completely controlled and mobilized by the emperor. However, one descendant of the emperor later led the army to conquer the land. Not only was he himself captured, but most of the elites of the twenty-sixth guard in the capital were folded in. From then on, the ministers dared not let the emperor control the personal army, and slowly gathered all the twenty-five guards except for the Jinyiwei into the hands of the Ministry of War.
Emperor Jingshun said it lightly, did he want to take back the military power as his personal army?
It’s all the Old Four’s fault, why are you doing this?
Although his heart was ups and downs, Chen Tingjian’s face remained calm and serene. After thinking for a moment, he replied to Emperor Jingshun: “Back to Your Majesty, people have ten fingers and not all of them the same length, the strength of the twenty-five guards is indeed slightly skewed. Among them, the Commander of Daxing Left Guard, Li Zhengyuan, is over sixty years old and may not have enough energy. In the annual martial arts competitions conducted among the guards, the performance of the Daxing Left Guard was always at the bottom.”
These guards in the capital would hold a martial arts competition every year on the Eleventh Month. Ten people from each guard station were selected to participate in a series of competitions and ranked them according to the final results.
The poor Daxing Left Guard finished last almost every time.
As soon as Chen Tingjian reminded him, Emperor Jingshun remembered that being first in everything, no matter whether it was positive or negative, would be impressive. For example, Emperor Jingshun couldn’t remember which guard station was second to last.
“Now that Li Zhengyuan is old, let the Prince Consort take his place and serve as the commander of Daxing Left Guard.”
Emperor Jingshun said without thinking.
Chen Tingjian hurriedly said: “Your Majesty, you can’t do it. No matter how bad the Daxing Left Guard is, it is still the guard of the capital, and the commander is an official of the third rank. How can he be worthy of it?”
Emperor Jingshun: “Li Zhengyuan is qualified, but see what he has done with Daxing Left Guard. If the old-timer can’t do it, don’t blame Zhen for willing to give young people a chance and let Prince Consort give it a try. If in this year competition Daxing Left Guard is still at the bottom, Zhen will change Prince Consort’s position again.”
Chen Jingzong heard this and said loudly: “Thank you Your Majesty for your trust. Please rest assured, this minister will definitely live up to your high expectations!”
Emperor Jingshun smiled.
Chen Jingzong was Chen Tingjian’s son, but he was also his son-in-law.
Chen Tingjian didn’t like this son, but he liked him. As long as Chen Jingzong reined in Daxing Left Guard and let them listened to him obediently, Daxing Left Guard would be restored into his personal army.
The author has something to say:
After finishing the business talk, the Old Four coughed: Father-in-law, when will you let the princess out of the palace?
Emperor Jingshun: Cabinet Elder Chen, take your son home.