Official Wang suddenly paled. How could he not understand Tie Bu Tian's implications?
"You Xiang's son was sentenced to be exiled as a soldier, but ended up dying a questionable death in prison. From then on, Emerald Flow Lake, while seemingly without an owner on the outside, was actually controlled by your Wang family."
Tie Bu Tian said casually, "Official Wang, around Emerald Flow Lake, there are a total of a few dozen businesses. Um... there are sixty-eight altogether. Thirty-seven of those belongs to the Wang family. The truth is, the royal court had not investigate this because: First, in the chaos of war with external forces, we have been busy. Second, all three inspectors of the royal court have properties at Emerald Flow Lake. Although not too many, those thirty-one properties left over were somehow fairly divided amongst the three. Hahaha, the income from all these years were not little at all; they were quite impressive actually!"
"Third, I was hoping that there would be a day when you realize your mistake and turn back. Because for building my Iron Cloud, it was not easy for you officials either. What we have today is partly from your efforts. There is also the support of the royal court, public relations, as well as all your merits. For the country and the people, you have made your contributions! Haha..."
Within Tie Bu Tian's voice there was a slight chilliness. The two officials trembled as sweat poured down their faces... They felt as if their heads were spinning.
"Emerald Flow Lake is a place where seven or eight of you officials have been sharing profits for a long time! Yet, now that the royal court wants to take it back for use, you dare come to me complaining about the people's anguish...! Where are the anguished people? Could it be that the people's anguish is really your anguish?"
"You used the pretense of public opinion to put pressure on my decision!" Tie Bu Tian's gaze became icy all of a sudden. He yelled coldly, "Wang Zhi! Do you think I am an easy target to pick on because I am young?"
The two men trembled uncontrollably. Their legs became weak; unable to stand they kneeled flat on the ground.
Tie Bu Tian continued, "So, officials, do I need your permission to make use of Emerald Flow Lake?"
"We do not dare!" The two people banged their heads on the floor repeatedly. At this moment, they were filled with regrets. They could not believe that this Emerald Flow Lake incident was the prince's idea. Moreover, they could not believe that he was that determined!
"Hmm! Emerald Flow Lake is property of the country, a beautiful scenic area in Iron Cloud Citadel... yet you people conspired to make your own profits. What a joke! You are officials of the royal court; you get paid by the royal court and yet... You truly disappoint me!" Tie Bu Tian said hurtfully, "Never mind! You are elder officials of the royal court; I don't want to pursue this any further. Official Wang, go and notify all the other houses that they have to contribute half of their earnings from Emerald Flow Lake these past years to the country's treasury. You may leave."
"Yes, yes. Thank you for your generosity, your highness. The two bowed over and over again. Sweat were pouring as if they just bathed, as if they just took a tour past the gate of hell and managed to return.
"Do you think any of the houses need me to send my own books for comparison?" As the two thankfully backed out, Tie Bu Tian seemingly muttered this phrase. It immediately startled them, and caused them to trip down the stairs in the most embarrassing manner.
Looking at the two people leaving awkwardly, Tie Bu Tian's gaze remained cold. He had been waiting and waiting for news from Bu Tian Pavilion, news about Chu Yang, not words from these people.
Now that he had verified Chu Yang's ability, Tie Bu Tian made his final decision. If he had not yet gotten the results, Tie Bu Tian would have kept those two waiting for another day...
"Bu Tian Pavilion is finally beginning to take shape." Tie Bu Tian looked up the moon suspended outside his window, and sighed. Since it was formed, Bu Tian Pavilion was just a useless name. It was nothing more than a diversion to distract the enemies. Even though Tie Bu Tian's title was only prince, he held the complete responsibilities of a country's ruler. How could he have had any time for Bu Tian Pavilion?
This appearance of Chu Yang basically filled in that gap.
"Shadow Lord, what do you think? How far will Chu Yang raise Bu Tian Pavilion?" Tie Bu Tian seemed to be muttering to himself.
The air in front of him became blurry and twisted mysteriously for a while. The atmosphere seemed to have been slightly contorted... and suddenly a ghostly shadow appeared. A dry and low voice spoke, "You really should not be asking me about this."
"I am not asking you. It's just... I want to meet you two for a little." Tie Bu Tian said lightly, "I rely on you two the most, and yet I cannot see you... Umm, it has been a few days, so I wanted to talk with you that's all. Only when I am sure that you are next to me that I can sleep peacefully. Only then will I dare fall asleep... Haha..."
The eyes of that shadow seemed to be slightly touched. It said with a raspy voice, "Your highness can rest assured, as long as the two of us are here, then no one in Lower Three Heavens can kill you."
Tie Bu Tian chuckled and nodded. He muttered, "I am so tired..." After that he took two steps back and lay down on the bed. He whispered, "Two shadow lords, you should rest also."
The atmosphere changed and contorted for a while before the shadow completely disappeared in the darkness of the night.
On the comfortable bed, Tie Bu Tian quickly became immersed in deep sleep. The appearance of the shadow seemed to have greatly reassured him. Even though Tie Bu Tian did not know what the shadow's cultivation was, he was clear on one thing: If it were not for these two shadows always staying next to him, Diwu Qing Rou would have picked off his head countless times already.
By the time Cheng Zi Ang came back from Tie Bu Tian's place it was almost morning. When he got the door of his room and was about to push it open, he suddenly became startled. He yelled in a low voice, "Who's there?"
"It's me." A cool voice answered. Then the candle in the room was immediately lit.
"So it's the Minister." Cheng Zi Ang breathed a sigh of relief as he pushed the door and walked in. In the room, Chu Yang was haughtily sitting in the middle chair. His cold eyes looked at Cheng Zi Ang.
"Did the Minister visit my room this late in the night to teach me something?" Cheng Zi Ang did not understand why his heart started to beat fast.
He clearly felt that the opponent's strength was not equal to his. He only needed to raise his arm and he could send Chu Yang to his death... However, he did not understand why he felt reluctant and even scared when it came to this frail looking youth. To him, this was something that really could not be explained.
"I dare not." Chu Yang smiled and said, "This afternoon, my words were a little harsh. Plus, I did not notify Official Cheng ahead of time about the changes in positions so I felt a little uneasy."
"No, no. Minister Chu is clever. With a flick of your hand, you found a bunch of traitors and helped Bu Tian Pavilion eliminate this quiet danger. Moreover, as fast as lightning, you organized all of Bu Tian Pavilion's strengths into the appropriate groups. I truly admire that." Cheng Zi Ang laughed.
"Ah, so in that case, Official Cheng agreed with all of my actions, correct?" Chu Yang smiled and asked.
"Of course, of course. I fully support them." Cheng Zi Ang nodded repeatedly as he continued to contemplate Chu Yang's true motive in this visit. At this time, he felt a little apprehensive and a little unsettled.
"Ah, the prince did not say anything right?" Chu Yang smiled as he continued to ask.
"Uh, he didn't say anything, he didn't say anything... ah!" Half way through, Cheng Zi Ang suddenly became lucid. The words choked in his throat as he looked at Chu Yang in astonishment. His eyes looked as if he just saw a demon.
"It's good that he did not say anything, ah..." Chu Yang stood up, and said with a slight nod, "Actually, I had hope that he would add something, hahaha... Official Cheng, you are of a great age and yet you have to work so hard... haha. You should rest soon." He stopped there, then pushed the door open and walked out arrogantly.
Cheng Zi Ang's head was full of sweat; however, his whole body was cold.