Transcending the Nine Heavens - Chapter 232 This Is A Great Gift!
What happened?” Tie Bu Tian asked. The expression written on his face was extremely grave.
“Well…” All of the officials who had kneeled down continued keeping quiet and didn’t dare to say a word. They just kept on banging their heads on the floor as they said, “We have sinned! We deserve to die ten thousand times over…”
“Is anyone going to tell me what happened?” Tie Bu Tian asked as he stood up slowly from his throne and he looked at them with an icy gaze.
“It really isn’t a very big deal.” The elderly prime minister of Iron Cloud, Huang Fu Ming said as he stroked his beard. He was among the few who still remained standing. He casually said, “Your Majesty, it is because Minister Chu had the treasury sealed and arrested Lian Cheng Gui. Moreover, all of the books from the treasury are being investigated by Bu Tian Pavilion…”
“Minister Chu had ordered that everything has to be investigated and no stone will be left unturned! Anyone who caught during this investigation shall be arrested and anyone found guilty will be killed!” His voice gradually grew colder. He seemed as though he enjoyed the fear that the rest of the officials kneeling down felt. This made all of the people who were kneeling down on the floor tremble even more.
“However, how is the treasury even a matter of concern for them?” Tie Bu Tian looked at the people who kneeled down in him in shock. There were almost a hundred people whose whereabouts he was still unaware about. His head was spinning.
There was the ministry of revenue, the ministry of justice, the ministry of rites, the ministry of personnel, the ministry of war…
“In the past few years, everyone seemed to be doing poorly so… cough cough…” Huang Fu Ming coughed dryly as he said slowly, “Many officials started to think about the nation’s treasury and how the it was being managed by the ministry of revenue. Somehow as things went along, everyone’s lives suddenly became much better. In addition, Official Lian only needed to use the tools at his disposal in order to… cough, cough… write everything off in the records neatly…”
Huang Fu Ming said this because had been left with no other choice. However, his intentions themselves were cruel and did not have any mercy at all!
“I don’t know what is happening now but I am worried that Minister Chu has heard about this…” Huang Fu Ming continued cautiously and said, “Minister… I heard that Minister Chu was so angry that his face turned purple… Last night, Bu Tian Pavilion conducted searches in over thirty-five homes…”
Tie Bu Tian’s face turned pale, “Could all of these people be involved in this treasury issue?” Tie Bu Tian’s finger trembled as he pointed to all of the officials who kneeled in front of him with their heads on the ground.
The officials themselves continued to keep quiet. All they could do now was to tremble in fear with their foreheads stuck to the ground like glue.
Tie Bu Tian staggered back as he saw the whole lot of officials with a different look in his eyes. His head suddenly hurt and he closed his eyes.
He didn’t blame Chu Yang. In fact, he was unable to and definitely would not!
However, in that moment, he was overwhelmed with sadness.
What sort of place was the royal court? It was supposed to be a place in which the scholars of the world dreamed of and aspired to be. There were many local officials who had attempted to get into the royal courts their entire lives and weren’t even permitted to stand inside for even a second!
It could be said that this revered hall was the location in which scholarly talents became the true pillars of the Iron Cloud Nation.
This place was the very foundation of all of Iron Cloud Nation! If the situation here was filled with corruption, Iron Cloud would not be any better! Moreover, these past few years had been the most difficult of times in the history of Iron Cloud! Everyone should have put in an effort and worked together in order to tide the nation over and overcome the challenges that they faced. However, all they could think of was their own personal gain and emptying out the nation’s treasury.
All of the effort that was placed into developing them into leaders for Iron Cloud seemed to have resulted in the creation of destructive pests!
“You people are good! Very good…!” Tie Bu Tian grounded his teeth and nodded. His ashen face suddenly let out a bitter smile, “Hahaha, not bad! You are truly the pillars that hold up our Iron Cloud Nation! Pillars!”
He knew that this issue regarding the treasury was extremely serious. However, he thought that he would have been able to fix it after he ascended the throne.
Regardless of how serious it was, Tie Bu Tian had only expected for it to be a few corrupted officials. Perhaps at most, there would be able two dozen officials involved. However, two dozen was already a generous estimate and it would have been astonishing if that many officials were involved!
As such, never would he have imagined that there would have been as many people involved!
If all of these corrupt officials were to have their positions revoked, the royal court would only be left with thirty to forty people! This was tantamount to an empty royal court!
However… If I don’t get rid of these people, would I still be able to keep trust these terrible scum?
“All of you can remain kneeling!” Tie Bu Tian was so angry that he kicked the golden table which was in front of the dragon throne and roared, “Send order for Minister Chu to come to the royal court at once!”
In less than an hour, the sound of horse hooves were heard as they unexpected seemed to be headed straight for the royal court!
If this was in peaceful times, someone would have probably been surprised and pointed out that there was a lack of decorum. However, at this point, no one dared to speak a word.
“Your Majesty, Minister Chu is requesting an audience with you.”
“Send him in!”
In the silence, the rhythmic and soft sound of footsteps rang out. Right after, everyone felt as though the entire atmosphere darkened. In the middle of the door to the golden hall, a person in black appeared.
He was dressed in black from head to toe; the only exception was his face, which was covered with a fierce golden mask!
The very moment that this individual appeared at the doors of the royal court, the air seemed to have been sucked out of the room. Fear filled the room and it was those with a guilty conscience suddenly began to tremble uncontrollably. It was as if the person who just arrived brought hell with him!
“Bring a seat for Minister Chu!” Tie Bu Tian spoke before Chu Yang even had a chance to say anything. Tie Bu Tian did not want the officials to know that Bu Tian Pavilion was currently not under his control but under Chu Yang’s. Nor did he want to reveal that Chu Yang was not a citizen of Iron Cloud Nation.
For an emperor, this would have been a huge embarrassment.
“Thank you, Your Majesty.” Chu Yang was aware of the situation and understood Tie Bu Tian’s hidden intentions. Therefore he chose to remain silent and thank him before sitting cautiously. “I wonder what has happened for Your Majesty to summon me here today.”
“Minister Chu, you have been very busy these past two days.” Tie Bu Tian smiled and said, “I am wondering what Minister Chu plans to do with regards to the situation of the national treasury.”
“In accordance with our previous agreement, Bu Tian Pavilion has the power to execute and notify afterwards.” Chu Yang said calmly, “Upon realizing that a great crime had been committed, we managed to verify a few guilty parties. Earlier this morning, we have already sent those guilty individuals as well as their families to the eastern part of the citadel for execution! In total, there were over three hundred people being punished!”
As he said these words, the entire group of officials who were still kneeling on the ground trembled violently with fear.
“Then where are the remaining people?” Tie Bu Tian blew out a long breath.
“Regarding this… Your Majesty’s judgment is needed.”
Chu Yang said carelessly, “However, from Bu Tian Pavilion’s perspective, it is best that we just kill all of them! After all, our brothers have paid a dear price for all the investigating that we have had to conduct. This investigation left most of our brothers so exhausted that they seemed to have preferred dying than to continue with the investigation.”
Someone immediately fainted; there were also others who let out muffled cries as their heads were on the ground.
Elderly Prime Minister Huang Fu Ming could not help but widen his eyes. Kill all of them? He was talking about thousands of lives… The old man felt as though something wasn’t right. Before Chu Yang arrived, Tie Bu Tian was extremely furious. However, now that Chu Yang had arrived, the entire atmosphere and situation seemed to have changed.
It was as if the ruler and subject were playing question and answer and acting out a coordinated script.
One was a good cop while the other was acting as a bad cop.
“Kill all of them? Is that advisable?” Tie Bu Tian frowned and asked, “You should at least be aware that if you intend to kill all of the families of those who have committed crimes, there would be thousands of people…”
“Your Majesty worries too much!” Chu Yang said casually, “These past few years, Iron Cloud has been constantly at war! Eight million men have died in battle! We are only talking about a few thousand people now; our Iron Cloud can afford it!”
“This… Minister, can we be a little lenient?” Tie Bu Tian smiled and said.
“Well… Since it is Your Majesty who is asking, I suppose we can deal with them in accordance with the severity of their crimes…” Chu Yang said, “With regards to the results of the investigation, I shall send them to Your Majesty and you can have total authority over this matter!”
Tie Bu Tian sighed and said, “Let it be so then.”
Chu Yang’s words was clearly a stab at Tie Bu Tian. How could he have not heard this? Total authority? What is total authority? Hmm!
But Chu Yang’s stab was also a reminder. As for what that reminder was… He didn’t have a clue.
At that moment, their little dialogue scene was over…
“Minister Chu, can we have a chat?” Tie Bu Tian smiled and said.
“The royal court is dismissed for today.” Tie Bu Tian smiled again.
“This is my gift to Your Majesty…” Chu Yang said quietly, “All of these killings and testing of the foundation which I am doing now will eventually lead to the long term stability of Iron Cloud Nation and peace later on! I was careless in not giving Your Majesty a gift for your coronation… As such I intend on using this to make up for my sin.”
Minister Chu’s speech almost made Tie Bu Tian’s eyes pop out of their sockets in shock. Not only was it annoying but it was funny at the same time. All he could do in the end was sigh.
The two of them continued to talk in the palace for a long time. No one knew the exact time when Minister Chu left. However, at very least, their hearts were relieved. At least… they wouldn’t be punished immediately.
A few days later, Tie Bu Tian decreed that those who had taken less than fifty thousand silver taels would have to return their ill-gotten money and redeem themselves at their current posts. Those who had taken fifty thousand taels or more would have to return the ill-gotten money, lose their position in the royal courts and would become commoners. Those who had taken more than a hundred thousand silver taels would be beheaded as examples, and their families would be exiled…
Those who had taken more than one million taels would have all of their properties seized and their entire family beheaded…
Although this decision seemed to be more lenient, the ground of Iron Cloud Citadel was soaked with blood and thousands of people were still being punished by losing their lives!
The laws were not made to punish the masses. This principle continued to remain true to this day. If everyone was beheaded, the royal court of Iron Cloud would probably collapse. All Tie Bu Tian could do was to deal with them slowly. Nonetheless, one thing was certain, if these people did not change their ways, their old sins would be taken into account once more and they would be punished for it…
Chu Yang had effectively given Bu Tian Pavilion even more power by bringing up this issue. He had portrayed himself as a heartless minister in order to help Tie Bu Tian win the hearts of the people. This would not only help Tie Bu Tian firmly hold onto the power as the new emperor but also his position as the ultimate power in the royal court!
This was true even if the royal court had half of the people that it originally had.
After this period passed, at least for a very long time, the appearance of the officials in Iron Cloud Citadel would become much more dignified than what it originally was
This was Chu Yang’s gift to Tie Bu Tian! It was his way of congratulating him on his coronation…
However, Minister Chu didn’t reveal the real reason that he did this. If he were to say that it was because he was fighting for a girl at the House of Exceptional Beauties… the new emperor would probably die from anger!
It was not long after that the name of King of Hell Chu terrified all of those within the Lower Three Heavens! The King of Hell Chu’s brutality made people tremble as they heard about his punishments and feats!
The King of Hell Chu’s name struck even greater terror in the hearts of the officials now that he corrupt officials were heavily punished! Not a single individual didn’t know the name King of Hell Chu. His reputation was so famous that news about him spread all the way up to the ninth heaven.
Everyone in Iron Cloud was feeling restless. Even though there were much fewer officials now, their effectiveness increased greatly!
After trekking for almost a month, Cheng Yun He finally returned to Great Zhao in the middle of the continent overwhelmed with exhaustion! Only one more day and the Meng Hun Solution would have lost its effectiveness…
If Diwu Qing Rou learned of what had happened, what would his reaction be…