ROHYX Chapter 491 : Imperial Envoys (5)

🦊 : Sorry for the delay in posting. I've been absorb MTL-ing a novel by Salted Lobster (the author of Spending the Villain's Money to Extend My Life) called Decadent Beauty, Achieving Fame By Seeking Comfort. A game character transmigrated into a novel. I haven't finished it yet, but the story is really funny. Sorry again for the delay. 🙇‍♀️

This chapter hasn't been edited yet.

Cao De began interrogating the members of the Xu family on the second day after he arrived in Xinping City. The matter of the Xu family selling grain beyond the Pass was only known to the key figures of the Xu family and a few of their trusted confidants; most of the others were unaware of it. Of course, those who knew were not stupid. It was useless for them to resist before, for the evidence was conclusive. Now that they had the opportunity to do so, they would truly be foolish if they did not retract their confessions.

Xu Bu, the chief steward of the Xu family, even shouted on the spot: "Imperial Commissioner Daren1, the Xu family hasn't done anything illegal. Even the accusation of treason by collaborating with the enemy is a false accusation by Yun Qing based on fabricated evidence. Imperial Commissioner Daren, please bring justice to our masters..." After saying these words, he knelt on the ground and kowtowed heavily.

Cao De slapped the jingtangmu2 and questioned, "You said that Yun Qing has a grudge against your Xu family? What kind of grudge? Tell me one by one."

Xu Bu explained: "After becoming the chief general of Yu City, Yun Qing demanded our Master to give him 500,000 taels of silver as a tribute. Daren1, my Master's business had always been clean; they had earned all the family's possessions and property through hard work. Yun Qing just opened his mouth wide like a lion3 for a tribute of 500,000 taels. Our Master could not give him that much even if he had a lot of silver in his hand. Besides, once you started giving, it would become endless. But I didn't expect that when Yun Qing saw my Master's unwillingness to pay the tribute, he would get angry and forbid my Master from continuing the grain and fodder supply business. Daren1, the so-called treason is nothing more than Yun Qing coveting our Xu family's property. When my Master died in prison that night, it must have been Yun Qing who poisoned him. He is doing everything possible to get our Xu family's property."

Cao De slapped the jingtangmu2 again and said, "You said your Master had half a million taels of silver? Is that true?"

Xu Bu said, "With the money that the Xu family has accumulated over five generations as merchants, half a million taels was still completely affordable. It was just that my Master didn't want to fuel Yun Qing's arrogance and satisfy his greed, so he was unwilling to give it to him. If I had known that Yun Qing was so insane, I would have persuaded my Master to give him half a million taels of silver." As the family's most trusted steward, Xu Bu had a rough idea of how much money the Xu family made each year. He just didn't know where the Xu family hid that money. This time, in order to stay alive, he naturally had to say something.

If the Xu family could easily take out half a million taels, it showed they had enough reserves. Cao De was honestly surprised and pleased. What surprised him was that the Xu family, indeed, had a tremendous amount of money hidden away. What pleased him was that it would be a great achievement if he could recover that much money, and the Crown Prince would definitely reward him handsomely when he returned. Cao De asked solemnly: "Is this true? You know the consequences if you dare to deceive the Imperial Commissioner, right?"

Trembling, Xu Bu prostrated himself on the ground and said, "Daren1, even if you gave this little one nine guts, this little one wouldn't dare to lie!" At this point, saving his life was the most important thing, and everything else was secondary.

Cao De asked Tan Tuo, "Tan Daren1, where is the gold and silver you confiscated from the Xu family? How much is there in total?" In fact, Cao De knew that the confiscated gold and silver were in the prefect's yamen4. Although he didn't know the exact value, he knew there were only twenty-nine large wooden boxes in the yamen. On reflection, he knew that these boxes weren't all the Xu family owned.

Tan Tuo did not argue with him either. It was foolish to confront Cao De at that moment as he replied, "There were 100,000 taels of gold and 127,000 taels of silver confiscated from the Xu family. There were 23 boxes of gems and jewellery worth between 70,000 and 80,000 taels of silver, I believe. These things are now stored in the Prefect's yamen. If Daren1 wants to check on them, Daren1 can go to the yamen." Tan Tuo's statement's meaning was obvious: there was no such money, as Xu Bu had said.

When Xu Bu heard Tan Tuo's answer, he shouted, "Imperial Commissioner Daren1, this little one is telling the truth. Not counting the money my master hid in the secret room, there are more than 500,000 to 600,000 taels of gold, silver, gems and jewellery in the mansion. Imperial Commissioner Daren1, Yun Qing framed my master for betraying the country by collaborating with the enemy to take away the Xu family's property and money. He must have coveted those gold and silver."

Tan Tuo stood up, sneering, "Cao Daren1, I have already tried this prisoner. Not only did he take twelve lives, he also resold hundreds of thousands of government grain and traded them outside the Pass. All of his crimes are supported by human testimony and material evidence."

Xu Bu complained to Cao De, "Your Excellency, this little one has been wronged. This little one has never done anything against Heaven and reason, so how could this little one be responsible for taking twelve lives? As for those government grains, this little one has done nothing of the kind."

Tan Tuo sneered, "The crimes you have committed are so numerous that all the bamboo slips have been exhausted in recording them5. Do you think you can eliminate them by making a few excuses?" After speaking, he turned to look at Cao De and said, "Cao Daren1, if you don't believe me, you can reopen the trial and see if this Tan had used torture to extort his confession and force him to sign it." When Xu Bu said that he had been wronged, it was equivalent to saying that he, Tan Tuo, had resorted to forced confessions.

All of Cao De's attention was focused on the huge sum of money missing. Where would he have the time and interest to deal with Xu Bu's grievances? "Let's leave the matter of Xu Bu's life aside for the time being. What we need to do now is to recover the massive amount of money that has gone missing." Nearly a million taels of silver was a huge fortune. Unfortunately, you couldn't take it for yourself after its existence was made public.

A noob translator, きつね, translated this noob translation. Please read this chapter at If you read this in another location other than the site stated, it has been taken without the translator's permission. Please don't support this kind of act.

Tan Tuo was secretly puzzled but didn't show it on his face. He said, "It's just that this prisoner is talking nonsense just to prolong his life for a few more days."

Cao De firmly believed Xu Bu's words, but when he saw that Tan Tuo wasn't cooperating, he simply stopped him from getting involved and took some people to look into the matter.

Tan Ming accompanied Tan Tuo back to the government office. As soon as they entered the office, Tan Ming whispered, "Daren1, did Yun Qing already know that the Xu family had such a huge amount of money and was actually rushing to get it?" If Yun Qing didn't want his Daren1 to help him deal with the consequences, Yun Qing might even have raided the Xu family without telling them. It had to be said that Tan Ming was telling the truth about the situation.

Tan Tuo, however, had a puzzled look on his face. "Xu Bu is the Chief Steward of the Xu family and the confidant of the Xu family patriarch. It's no surprise for him to know that the Xu family has a huge amount of money. But how did Yun Qing know about it?" No one was an idiot, as Tan Tuo had long known there were problems with the raid. Not to mention the large amount that Xu Bu was talking about, if he had to comment on the accumulation of five generations of the Xu family, it should be more than 20 boxes of gold, silver, and jewellery. He knew the number wasn't right at first glance, but he just pretended he didn't know. However, did the Xu family indeed have almost a million in silver? Had Yun Qing taken that silver? There was no evidence to support this claim, and relying on the testimony of a prisoner alone was not credible.

Tan Ming asked, "Does Daren1 think that Xu Bu framed Yun Qing?" 

Tan Tuo shook his head. "No, Yun Qing is highly suspicious. During the raid, he did not allow us to intervene and only allowed our people to wait outside while he packed up the Xu family's things and took them away. Moreover, he transported them away in the middle of the night." This alone was enough to prove that Yun Qing was suspicious.

Tan Tuo used to think Yun Qing was hardworking and frugal; otherwise, why would he even want the furniture? However, Tan Tuo didn't expect that Yun Qing's actions were just a cover-up. Even if there were suspicions, it was impossible to accuse a second-rank general without evidence arbitrarily.

Tan Ming continued, "It is said that military generals are all boorish, bold but not very cunning. However, this General Yun is both bold and cunning." At that time, he even thought Yun Qing was too good at being in charge, not even sparing small things like mosquito nets. Yet he didn't realise that this person was hiding a deep secret!

Tan Tuo chuckled. "Isn't it better to be bold and cunning? The more capable Yun Qing is, the better Yu City will be." As long as Yu City was fine, he, as the Prefect, could still shake up his pillow and have a good sleep6.

Tan Ming said, "Yun Qing is bold and cunning, but I feel he is too brave. He dared to swallow so much money by himself; such a person still needs to be careful."

Tan Tuo responded, "He wouldn't dare to swallow that much money." It was still possible for Yun Qing to try to swallow hundreds of thousands of taels of silver alone. But when it came to millions, if Yun Qing dared to swallow it, he would definitely hold it to death.

Tan Ming's eyes widened as he exclaimed, "Could it be that Yun Qing has split it up with all his subordinates?" It was no wonder that Tan Ming thought so. He had seen this kind of situation too many times.

Tan Tuo was silent for a while before he replied, "It may not be split up; maybe he will use it for the defence of Yu City." He felt that Yun Qing was not greedy for money. Besides, Yuxi had done so many good things that Tan Tuo still thought positively. However, only time would tell whether the money was truthfully spent on the soldiers and the defence of Yu City.

A day later, Cao De made one thing clear: the massive amount of wealth that Xu Bu said had been transported to Yu City by Yun Qing. Yu City was Yun Qing's territory, so recovering that money would be difficult.

When Tan Tuo heard the rumours circulating outside that Yun Qing had embezzled millions of silver from the Xu family, he immediately approached Cao De. He said, "Cao Daren1, Yun Qing is no ordinary officer. If something happens to him that can shake the morale of the military, and the northern barbarians take advantage of the chaos to attack the city, can you afford to take the blame?"

Cao De remained unmoved. "Even the son of a wang7 is treated like a commoner if he breaks the law, let alone him, a mere general."

Tan Tuo sneered when he heard this statement. "Breaking the law? May I be so bold as to ask Cao Daren1, do you have any proof for your claim that General Yun has broken the law?" Cao De suspected Yun Qing, but the problem was that he had no evidence.

Cao De replied, "Tan Daren1 needn't worry about that." Looking at Tan Tuo's appearance, he suspected Tan Tuo and Yun Qing were working together. Otherwise, why would Tan Tuo help Yun Qing clean up the mess?

Tan Tuo said nothing in response. In his mind, he clearly knew that Cao De must have found some evidence before he dared to say such a thing. However, Cao De was too prone to think he was always right. Yun Qing was no ordinary official. He was a border city general and a highly trusted one at that. Cao De must have been carried away by wishful thinking, wanting to punish Yun Qing with the seemingly plausible evidence in his hands. 

After three days of investigation, Cao De had enough evidence in hand and was ready to go to Yu City. Jiang Bin, a scholar at the Hanlin Academy, suggested: "Daren1, since the evidence is conclusive, just let someone summon Yun Qing for questioning." Jiang Bin, who came from Hanlin Academy, looked down on military generals the most, even if the military general's official position was much higher than his. Now that he was an Imperial Envoy, he naturally wanted to show off.

Xu Chen, an official from the Ministry of Justice, didn't want to go to Yu City either. "Cao Daren1, it's better to send someone to invite Yun Qing over and have him come here to settle this matter!" Seeing that Cao De insisted on going to Yu City, Xu Chen whispered, "Daren1, it's better to let Yun Qing come to Xinping City to clear this matter! Yu City is Yun Qing's territory. If he kills us in a fit of rage, we won't even have a place to call for help by then." Yun Qing was known for his ferocity, so if he got angry and killed them, they would face an unjust death.

Xu Chen had yet to consider that Xinping City was only two days away from Yu City. If Yun Qing wanted to kill them, there was no difference between doing it in Xinping City or Yu City.

It was unknown what kind of mentality Cao De had, but in the end, he listened to their advice not to go to Yu City and instead sent someone there to ask Yun Qing to come to Xinping City.

Footnotes Full List
  1. title of respect toward superiors
  2. (dated) wooden block used by a magistrate to strike the table in calling for attention or order. It has the same function as the gravel used by the judge today. The author had mistakenly used the word jiangmutang (jiang=startle/shock, mu=wood/wooden, tang=room/hall) instead of jiangtangmu.
    The legendary Justice Bao with a jiangtangmu.
    Image Credit | The rightful owner via Sohu (惊堂木:古代封建权势的象征,用起来都有哪些说法?, Jan 02, 2020)
  3. fig. to demand an unfairly large amount of money or/and goods
  4. government office in feudal China
  5. Chinese idiom: (of crimes) too numerous to record
  6. Chinese idiom: to be carefree without anxiety
  7. king

きつね's Musing


DISCLAIMER: I don't own the raw novels, images, and videos on this site. But I do own the translations. If you're interested in translating it to other languages, no problem with me. Just link to this site.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post