Edited by: Michyrr
"Eunuch Gao said that everything was far from over, that there would be many things in the future that we would be unwilling to see. These words are hinting to us that the future situation will be even more disastrous than this one!" Xu Qiqin sternly said.
"Are you saying that Eunuch Gao was warning us?" Wang Chong suddenly said in realization.
Xu Qiqin's eyes were clear as she confidently declared, "That's right!"
In the short time given, she had found it somewhat difficult to understand a few things, but as she analyzed, the situation gradually cleared up.
Eunuch Gao had not come to answer Wang Chong's questions. He had come to warn Wang Chong. Just like Wang Chong, he had an intense unease in his heart.
There was no doubt about this!
Wang Chong managed to maintain a calm face, but his mind was in turmoil.
Wang Chong had never expected that Eunuch Gao had left the palace to warn him.
But now that he thought about it, Eunuch Gao had been intentionally avoiding answering his question and appeared instead to be constantly reminding and warning him.
He had been so caught up in the situation that it was only now that he had time to slowly think it over and realize these 'suspicious' points.
"But even if we understand this, without an answer, it's of no help to the current situation. This is an extremely complicated situation, and if Eunuch Gao was not willing to talk, we have nowhere to start."
Wang Chong shook his head and sighed.
"Who said that?"
Xu Qiqin's eyes had a crafty light as she smiled at Wang Chong.
"Eunuch Gao hinted that everything has its reasons. We can also interpret this as meaning that the origin of all this was from a long time ago, not in the present, perhaps even earlier than we imagined. After all, if it was a recent incident, there would be no reason for all of the officials or us to not know about it.
"Eunuch Gao knows the truth because he's the Sage Emperor's closest advisor, but also because he's served the Sage Emperor the longest."
Xu Qiqin slowly extended two fingers, her eyes like bright beacons that pierced through the darkness.
"In the past, we might have been helpless, but if my hypothesis is true, then we have a chance.
"In my view, we need to question two more people before setting the tone!"
Mountain Water Pavilion fell silent, except for the sound of the gentle breeze. Slowly, Wang Chong began to smile.
"Haha, Qiqin, you really are the most talented woman in the capital. I knew that you wouldn't let me down when I brought you along!"
"You flatter me!"
Xu Qiqin blushed and turned her head away.
Even a talented woman like Xu Qiqin couldn't help but show her childish side in front of the man she loved.
"Right, has Your Highness realized who I'm talking about?" Xu Qiqin asked.
"Come; let's write down the two people we're thinking of and see if we are of the same mind!" Wang Chong said with a smile.
The two took up brushes, dabbed them in tea, and wrote on their palms. A few moments later, they opened their palms, and when they saw what the other had written, they both gave knowing smiles.
Yes, besides Eunuch Gao, there were still two people in the Great Tang who had served the Sage Emperor the longest and had extremely close relationships to him. These were Wang Chong's grandfather, the illustrious Duke Jiu, and the Old Master of the Yao Clan, Yao Chong.
Ever since these two had entered Four Quarters Embassy, they had essentially withdrawn from government affairs. No matter what happened in court, even the war of the northwest, the two old gentlemen did not appear.
The passage of time had made many people forget that these two old gentlemen had once been influential ministers who had been closest to the center of power.
Even the Sage Emperor had once regarded them as his arms. The accomplishments achieved by the cooperation of these subjects with their sovereign had created stories that the entire realm knew.
There were some things that Eunuch Gao could not speak about due to his status, but the same was not necessarily true for these two old gentlemen.
With Wang Chong's mind set, he left Mountain Water Pavilion and had his carriage head toward Four Quarters Embassy.
This was a massive estate surrounded by Imperial Army soldiers and Golden Guards that signified its status, and the words 'Four Quarters Embassy' above the gate were written by the Emperor himself.
Through his carriage, Wang Chong could see that the bamboo trees peeking over the walls were thriving even more than in the past.
Each time Wang Chong visited this place, he experienced something different.
Four Quarters Embassy was a plain, elegant, and refined place, even though the two old gentlemen residing here had more than enough status to decorate the place in a majestic and opulent manner.
From a certain perspective, the style of Four Quarters Embassy reflected the mental pursuits of the two old gentlemen.
When one experienced enough in life, when one reached a certain level of wealth, fame, and political power, everything returned to the origin, and one began to yearn for peace and grow indifferent to fame.
With these sentimental thoughts, Wang Chong opened the door and exited the carriage.
Two Golden Guards spotted Wang Chong and hurriedly lowered their heads, not daring to block the way.
When Wang Chong had first come here, he was a mere child, but now, he was one of the highest officials.
The Imperial Dragon Bracelet he held signified his status, and it was more than enough for Wang Chong to freely enter and exit Four Quarters Embassy.
"Your Highness, should I announce you?" one of the Golden Guards said, continuing to keep his head bowed.
"There's no need."
Wang Chong waved his sleeve and quickly stepped into Four Quarters Embassy.
The fake mountains and ponds of Four Quarters Embassy created an atmosphere of peace and harmony, and the bamboo forests were lush.
Passing the various fake mountains and bamboo forests, Wang Chong quickly spotted that familiar residence.
As soon as Wang Chong appeared, a listless steward standing by the gate suddenly straightened up, his eyes brightening as he excitedly rushed inside.
"The Young Master! The Young Master is here!"
A great boom came from the residence, and Imperial Army soldiers rushed out from the residence, as did the Imperial Army soldiers who had been keeping watch from their hiding spots.
"What? Chong-er is here?!"
The voice of the Old Madam was the loudest of all, and a few moments later, a gentle and silver-haired old lady came out. Her eyes swept over the area and quickly spotted Wang Chong, upon which she warmly smiled.
"Grandmother!" Wang Chong called out, his heart warm. He strode over and joyously hugged his grandmother.
A clan had its rules, and his clan had strict rules that had been passed down through generations.
Ever since the Old Master and Old Madam had entered Four Quarters Embassy, the entire Wang Clan, even Wang Chong, Wang Gen, and Wang Yan, were not allowed to enter Four Quarters Embassy as they pleased.
If not for the fact that Wang Chong held an Imperial Dragon Bracelet and was enshrined in Lingyan Pavilion, he would not have been able to enter Four Quarters Embassy as he pleased.
The same applied for the Yao Clan next door.
"Heh, you've finally come to see your grandmother. Come; let your grandmother take a good look at the hero of the Wang Clan, a meritorious official of Lingyan Pavilion!"
The Old Madam carefully examined her grandson, her face brimming with joy, bursting with pride when she spoke about Wang Chong.
The Old Master was a virtuous minister of the Great Tang, the revered Duke Jiu, a hero of a generation. But Wang Gen and Wang Yan's generation had been lacking, producing no outstanding figures. It had been enough that they could preserve the Wang Clan's lineage and maintain the influence and property left behind by the Old Master.
No one had expected Wang Chong's sudden rise. Not only had he surpassed his father, he even outshone the Old Master.
While the Old Master had also gone on the campaign trail and defeated many opponents, including the Eastern and Western Turks and Ü-Tsang, he could not compare to Wang Chong, who had wiped out millions of Arab cavalry and conquered the entire western world.
He had expanded the territory of the Great Tang from Suiye to the Cong Mountains, and onward to Talas, Samarkand, Khorasan… all the way to Baghdad!
The Great Tang's domain was so large that it could grow no longer. It had truly become the strongest empire of the continent!
Wang Chong was also the King of Foreign Lands, with all of the western world being his fief.
Even if his descendants were lacking, the vast property he would leave could not possibly be totally lost. Even though Wang Chong was not a minister or any other official in the court, his status had already surpassed that of the Prime Minister!
The Old Master had his own glorious age, had also fought on the battlefield and presided over the court, but when it came to achievements, he was truly lacking compared to his grandson.
There was a descendant of the Wang Clan who had surpassed his forebears. As his grandmother, how could she not be happy?!
"Hurry; come inside. Your grandfather has been waiting for you for ages."
The Old Madam happily pulled on Wang Chong's hand.
"Grandfather has been waiting for me?"
Wang Chong was taken aback, but before he had time to think, he was pulled inside by his grandmother.
An armchair had been placed in the room, and next to the chair was a wooden table. A potted plum blossom tree rested on the table, and next to it was a pair of shears. The Old Master of the Wang Clan, wearing simple clothes, was seated on the chair.
It seemed that the Old Master had been pruning the plum blossom tree when Wang Chong had visited.
The Old Master was about the same as Wang Chong remembered. His face was still noble and austere, but it had become much older and thinner.
Upon seeing the Old Master, Wang Chong hastily bowed.
"There are no outsiders here, and there is no need to be overly polite to members of your own family. Come here and let me have a look at you!"