If there was an issue with this person, it was that he was too upright, too clean! In short, it was so perfect it was fake!
Chu Yang’s methods had always gone against the grain.
One verse he always kept in mind: people worked hard to become officials for wealth. A person who did not put himself first would be destroyed by heaven and earth (TLN: actually a very common saying). In his previous life, he wandered everywhere and was angered by the endless greed of officials that he had witnessed so often.
Even if an official was considered as being extremely upright, he still lived in a big house and ate rare delicacies. No one ended up living life any less luxuriously than the big wealthy families.
No one was truly capable of living upright and being poor. Even ordinary peasants would hope that their land would be expanded by a few meters, and their families could eat a little better.
Frankly speaking, the people Tang Xin Sheng helped ate and dressed better than the people in his own family.
“There’s an issue with this person!” Chu Yang contemplated and pointed to the document on Tang Xin Sheng, “Investigate!”
“Huh?” While Wu Qian Qian had not been in Iron Cloud Citadel that long, she had heard of the great official who “poured out his own blood to protect his country and stayed upright for the people,” Tang Xin Sheng! (TLN: Would it be information overload if I tell you that his name meant heart of a saint?)
Tang Xin Sheng had become a role model for all of the officials in Iron Cloud Citadel to emulate!
How could a person like this be a spy? Is Chu Yang messed up in the head?
“No need to doubt, give it to Heavenly Secret Hall to investigate immediately! Before this afternoon, I want to see that information in front of me. If by then, the information indicates that Tang Xin Sheng did not do anything wrong, all of Heavenly Secret Hall would be paddled as punishment! Repeat everything I said to Chen Yu Tong!”
Wu Qian Qian wrinkled her nose, wrote a note and walked out.
Suddenly there was a burst of chaos outside; people were yelling and horses were neighing. Heavenly Secret Hall’s people were running out as if there was a fire. King of Hell Chu’s paddle was surely not going to spare anyone.
Chu Yang smiled and said slowly, “You must remember, everyone in this world is flawed; a saint like him cannot possibly exist!” He pointed to Tang Xin Cheng’s document and snorted icily.
In his heart, he always remembered these words: “Are there saints in this world? First, let’s assume that there are. Then would the saint not need food and clothes? Would these things not require the use of money? Would the saint need to find a wife? And other physical needs?… If a person needs any of these things then he is surely not a saint! Because he has needs, and from that we can infer that there are no saints in this world.”
These words were said by Mo Tian Ji! Chu Yang hated Mo Tian Ji to the bone, but he could not deny that these words of his made sense.
Since the day the three halls were created until now, Chu Yang had always managed them with great severity. But, under Chu Yang’s strictest scrutiny was Heavenly Secret Hall. The leader of Heavenly Secret Hall would be called in and yelled at by Chu Yang every two to three days. Afterward, he would come out with a grim face, and grab his underlings to yell at…
Of course, when King of Hell Chu yelled, he had reasons; a person would only get yelled at if he did something wrong. While Chen Yu Tong got yelled at he could not get angry; after all, he deserved it since he was at fault. Minister Chu was the big boss…
So, the only thing Chen Yu Tong could do was yell at his underlings and dare not get mad at Minister Chu. This had created a rigorous and meticulous work ethic for Heavenly Secret Hall. As time went on, no one dared make a mistake…
Writing one wrong word would lead to the hall’s leader getting yelled at. Then everyone under him would suffer with him. Who would dare to make a mistake?
But of course, Chen Yu Tong and his men did not know that their suffering was brought on by Mo Tian Ji’s words. If they knew this, they would probably swallow Mo Tian Ji alive…
It was not even afternoon when detailed information on Tang Xin Sheng was placed on Chu Yang’s desk. The amount of information greatly increased to about half a foot thick. This kind of efficiency even impressed Wu Qian Qian…
Truly fast… (walkthejianghu.com)
Chu Yang opened it and carefully looked over them once; a smile finally appeared on his face.
The new information was also clean, but under Chu Yang’s eyes, many discrepancies were found.
“This person became an official ten years ago. He was twenty-seven years old at the time. He was a poor youth from a farming family. He lost his parents at the age of ten. At the age of twelve his village was raided by Great Zhao; the whole village perished with him as the lone survivor. He was hiding in a cellar.”
Chu Yang spoke slowly as Wu Qian Qian, with brush in hand, quickly wrote down everything he said, “Everyone was killed in the most meticulous manner; this is the first point of suspicion. Moreover, if his house had a cellar, then in accordance with the general customs of rural life, wouldn’t most of the houses have cellars as well? Why was his house not searched? Everyone died, and yet a little child hiding in a cellar was unscathed. This is the second point of suspicion.”
“If Great Zhao soldiers killed villagers, there would surely be pillaging. After pillaging, they would only need to set fire to the place. This is the best and easiest way. So a fire would be inevitable in these cases. If he was really in a cellar and no one discovered him, even if the fire did not reach him, he would not be able to live through the suffocation! In a situation where he could not have possibly survived, he managed to do just that. This is the third point of suspicion.”
“After that, he escaped from his village and came to Brocade Official City. Brocade Official City is not far from that village, only fifty miles. But this distance, to a youth of twelve, was not exactly close… Forget about that, this point is a little forced. Let’s just put that aside for now. Uh… when he arrived at Brocade Official City, he immediately found a famous scholar to study under… A village child was able to find referrals for such a thing? Without any referrals, would that famous scholar take on such a beggar to be his student? He was such a saint? This is the fourth point of suspicion.”
“Uh… Tang Xin Cheng passed his scholar exam at sixteen, and married after. He passed his official exam at the age of twenty six; and was trained for six months before becoming an official at the age of twenty-seven. Haha, even heavenly talents need time to learn how to be an official and the ways of politics. How could he be instated only six months after passing his examination? This is the fifth point of suspicion.”
“While there were clearly witnesses for this time period… A poor guy getting chosen as a guard would be a call for celebration. Tang Xin Cheng successfully passed his exams like a prodigy, a godsend; and yet he did not have any fame at the time. This does not fit with human mentality.”
“Mentality?” Wu Qian Qian paused and asked with some doubts.
“A person like that, no matter where, is always a role model for everyone to follow. And yet Tang Xin Cheng did not want to be this role model, he continually downplayed his accomplishments. A rising youth who did not want to be famous. This is the sixth point of suspicion.”
Chu Yang continued, “If he was truly humble, then he should not have promoted anything he did. However, since he became an official until now, word of his good deeds spread at an extremely fast pace. Plus, he was only an official of a small area and managed very few people, how did the word get spread so quickly? It seemed as if there was someone behind him putting in effort to build him up.”
“When he came to Iron Cloud Citadel, he became even more unyielding; it seemed that everyone knew that this was an upright official! He has been an official for only ten years, and his position is not low. But such great fame is abnormal. This is the seventh point of suspicion.”
“He is extremely harsh with himself, but forgiving with others. Plus, in his ten years as an official, not one person hates him, not one enemy! Everyone is on good terms… This is the eight point of suspicion!”
Chu Yang smiled slightly, “Everyone says he does a good job. But, whether in the political arena or Jiang Hu, people must choose a side. If you stay in the middle, you would offend both sides. This is unavoidable! The royal court is like this; two-sided fighting until some sort of balance is reached so they can move forward.”
“He has superior ability, never got into any power struggles, and yet he has never lacked in accomplishments.” Chu yang laughed, “This world has never been so overly fair, and yet such a phenomenon happened with him. He had no money, no backings, and no background, how did he receive such fairness? This is the ninth point of suspicion!”
“More than ten years ago, Diwu Qing Rou just started to have some power. He immediately started his plan of depriving Iron Cloud of blacksmiths. The timing is too much of a coincidence! This is the tenth point of suspicion.”
“Even though his accomplishments were clear and not small, but going from a lowly ninth rank official to a fourth rank official in ten years… It seems that he was promoted once a year… (TLN: This is as the author wrote it. Maybe promotions are half a rank each time?) This speed is too fast. This is the eleventh point of suspicion.”
“His son is talented, but he won’t allow him be an official. He used the excuse of avoiding people’s criticisms, but he was not an Iron Cloud Citadel official at the time. So why did he need to avoid people’s criticism then? Moreover, he is overprotective of his son and barely allows contact with the outside world. Would this not make it difficult for him to contribute to the nation with what he called ‘undying loyalty’? Such an action is difficult to decipher, but is filled with hidden meanings. His son is a farmer, but never ceased his scholarly studies… Laughable. If he does not want to be an official, why keep studying? For whose benefit is he preparing?”
Chu Yang’s smile became icy, “This is the twelfth point of suspicion!”
“With these twelve points, even if he were a real saint, I would still want to kill him!” In King of Hell Chu’s eyes there appeared a sharp light with such darkness, as if it was from the netherworld.