The elders felt ashamed as they went limp on their chairs which made them look extremely forlorn.
Yang Pojun sat on his chair with a dazed expression. His lips were trembling because of the strong emotions he was feeling.
“Pojun.” Yang Gongming smiled at his only son and said, “Do you know how painful it was to hear you call Yang Chen an illegitimate child?! You despise Yang Chen but at least he was your son. I wasn’t even my father’s son! Do you know how disappointed I was when you refused to acknowledge your own son when my father could raise a child who was not related to him with all his heart?!”
“I know, you think you’re doing this for the bigger picture and I know it’s my fault, but I was doing this for the Yang clan, for the political future of China! You refused to acknowledge him because of your position as a member of the standing committee. Despite stemming from the same issue, our cases are still undeniably different.”
Yang Pojun was crestfallen and he looked down for a long while before sighing, as though he had let go of something heavy in his heart. “Dad, I was wrong.”
Guo Xuehua wiped her tears while watching from the side. She felt as though her anger had been vented out, seeing how her husband had given in after receiving continuous blows.
At this time, Ning Guangyao who had been quiet for a long time spoke up again. “Sir, we’ve witnessed your touching relationship with the Old Marshal and we respect the principles that you carry. But that doesn’t mean that the issue has been resolved. The whole world, the media, and the public are all paying close attention to this issue. Now that you’ve confirmed that you’re not part of the Yang clan’s bloodline, your clan has lost credibility in the eyes of the citizens.”
The atmosphere became tense again as the government and military officials nodded along in agreement.
Even though Yang Gongming’s speech gained their respect, it was impossible to gain everyone’s trust with it. It could be said that he used this as an excuse from trouble.
Things would only get worse if they ignored it since the media around the world were ridiculing China.
The Yang clan members were distressed. They didn’t feel like they had the right to vie for the spot as the clan leader since Yang Gongming was the reason they were able to stand in this hall today.
Ning Guangyao sounded righteous as he said, “Sir, there has to be a final conclusion today. I won’t be able to hold a news conference at the State Council to address this matter otherwise.”
Everyone looked at Yang Gongming but he turned to look at Yang Chen who was leaning on the door frame. “Yang Chen, what do you think about this?”
As a result of Yang Gongming’s question, everyone shifted their gaze to Yang Chen once again. From the looks of it, Yang Chen was obviously closer to Yang Gongming seeing how he managed to answer Yang Gongming’s earlier question where Yang Pojun had failed to do so.
They were also impressed by Yang Gongming’s foresight because Yang Gongming was bold enough to make the decision to pass the clan over to Yang Chen when he didn’t grow up next to him. However, judging from the present situation, it didn’t seem like Yang Gongming had made an error of judgment.
Yang Chen was already bored to no end at this point. Instead, he returned the question to Ning Guangyao when he was called upon. “Premier Ning, you should just say what’s on your mind.”
Ning Guangyao seemed to have expected this and he gestured towards the government officials. “I’ve already discussed this with them. The citizens are mostly disgusted over the fact that the Yang clan had kept the actual background hidden and yet the Yang clan still retains the military within their grasps. Military officers from the Yang clan can be found all over the country. The citizens feel unsettled because of this since the Yang clan has lost its credibility, it's lineage and it’s reputation at an international level. If we wish to resolve this situation, we have to...do something about the military powers.”
Li Moshen snorted. “Premier Ning, why wasn’t I involved in the discussion? I’m pretty sure that I’m still part of the standing committee.”
Ning Guangyao wasn’t offended at all. He smiled and said, “My apologies. It was carried out in a hurry and we weren’t able to notify you since you were in the State Security.”
“Hmph! Stop beating around the bush and just tell us that you want us to relinquish our control over the military.” Yang Pojun was getting impatient.
Ning Guangyao gave an exasperated look. “Pojun, we’ve been friends for years and I’ve always acted justly. You shouldn’t take this the wrong way.”
“Your intentions have been made clear.” Yang Pojun sneered.
“That’s enough!” Yang Gongming shouted, feeling displeased.
“Premier Ning has provided a viable solution to the problem. We should discuss it peacefully instead of quarrelling!”
Yang Pojun turned around in a silent manner, as though he refused to give in to Ning Guangyao.
At this moment, those in the hall realized that Yang Chen was laughing with his hands in his pockets.
His shoulders were shaking from laughing so hard and it looked as though he had heard of something funny.
“Yang Chen, what are you laughing at?” Ning Guangyao squinted his eyes.
Yang Chen waved his hands and he took a deep breath to stop himself from laughing before saying, “I was just thinking, you talk as if you know what the citizens think. I’m really skeptical about your intentions regarding this. Whether you’re doing this for the media or the citizens…”
“What’s the difference? Our answer will be passed onto the public by the media, it works the same way,” Ning Guangyao said in an indifferent matter.
Yang Chen shook his head. “Don’t waste your breath. Which leader hasn’t been ridiculed since the founding of the internet? A country’s president was caught harassing an intern and he was also caught in the middle of a blowjob. He did not retire. Nor did his people start a revolt. He’s just a retired old man and do you think the citizens will try and kill you and the State Council just because he’s not his father’s biological son?”
“You’re right, but this is China. Our situation and culture are different,” Ning Guangyao said.
“Yes, as far as I know, their average annual income is much higher than the citizens in China. Their lives are simple and they don’t really have anything to do so they watch the president’s family like they’re a bunch of monkeys. Unlike our citizens who are afraid of being caught for giving birth to a child. They have to fight for a spot in schools for their children, constantly worry about their studies, worry about graduating from a top university, worry about being fired from their job. Day by day they fear giving into workplace pressure and trade sexual favors for security.
Yang Chen took a deep breath before continuing. “They have to be meticulous with their expenses and those who don’t have a car feel embarrassed to leave their house. In some places, there are people who struggle to place food on their dining table and they’re simply grateful that they have not been starved to death. Why should they care about whether or not the Yang clan’s bloodline is pure? That wouldn’t help them if it were true or otherwise. Besides, even if you did discuss it and played it on the television, do you think the citizens would know what it is about? If I’m not mistaken, during the dispute over the island, you guys were all talk and took no action even when the citizens protested about it. That was actual indignation displayed by the public but you guys did a great job, no? There wasn't a protest this time and the whole world had only ridiculed a retired old man. Even if he didn’t tell everyone that he’s an illegitimate child, no one asked him about it! We were also involved in this but we haven’t even spoken up and you guys were already planning to take action?”
Different emotions showed up on Ning Guangyao’s face and he tightened his jaw but no words came out of his mouth.
The government officials seemed troubled by this too. Yang Chen made it sound as though it wasn’t a big deal.
Yang Gongming picked up his teacup and took a sip before telling Yan Sanniang, “Sanniang, the tea’s getting cold, add some hot water for me.”
“Will do.” Yan Sanning nodded with a grin before walking away to carry out his orders.
Everyone else finally understood what was going on. Yang Gongming and Yang Chen were never nervous about it. They were merely enjoying a show!
Guo Xuehua and Lin Ruoxi were amused by Yang Chen’s nonsense. He was turning a serious matter into a comedy.
Yang Chen continued on. “I know it isn’t easy for you guys either. Casualties are inevitable when it comes to war. Even though your children weren’t affected, people tend to forget it since it was ignored. Speaking about that, I’m quite puzzled by something. If you guys could ignore that, why are you guys rushing for a solution when it comes down to this?”
Everyone exchanged gazes with each other but no one had an answer.
At last, Ning Guangyao furrowed his brows and said, “Yang Chen, then what should we do about this?”
Yang Chen yawned. “It’s simple, just tell the truth.”
“What?!” One of the government officials cried out involuntarily. “How can we do that!? It will only cause more trouble once the rumor is confirmed to be true!”
Yang Chen rolled his eyes. “Even you people with ulterior motives were shocked by the old man’s past. I am willing to bet that the citizens would believe it once it has been released.”
Everyone was speechless at the underlying truth in his solution. The Yang clan’s past was indeed an encouraging story but they still didn’t feel comfortable being ‘called out’ by Yang Chen.