Chapter 1795: Sovereign and Subject, Father and Son!
Chapter 1795: Sovereign and Subject, Father and Son!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Wang Chong was incredibly farsighted and shrewd, his mind as deep as an ocean. Even though Li Heng had been standing on the sidelines for so long, he had not once realized that this Wang Chong was a fake. His words, bearing, and demeanor had all been perfectly imitated, making them nigh impossible to distinguish.
But what Li Heng cared most about was that if this Wang Chong was fake, then where was the real one?
"Heh, Young Master planned everything out long ago. Your Highness only needs to head toward Taiji Palace to understand everything."
Li Heng seemed to suddenly understand.
"Everyone, hear my order! Follow me to Taiji Palace!"
Amidst galloping hooves, Li Heng quickly led his men away.
Deep within the Imperial Palace, the battle was over.
"Impossible! How did this happen? Why did this happen?"
As First Prince Li Ying stared at the countless kneeling Imperial Army soldiers, his face went pale and his body turned ice-cold.
He didn't even notice when he was escorted to Taiji Palace.
He had had more than one hundred thousand soldiers, the assistance of Army-Shattering War God Hou Junji and numerous other officials and generals, and even those mysterious men in black and True Lord Yellow Dragon. How had he failed?
Moreover, wasn't his father confused and unconscious? And he had been feeding him herbs in his food every day that should have worsened his illness. In every aspect, he was ill beyond all remedy.
Why was he still awake and well? Why could he still unleash such a nightmarish strike?
And also, if he was healthy and well, why had he made him the regent? Why had he just watched as he recruited soldiers to start a rebellion instead of stopping him? Why postpone his defeat to now?
"Unfilial son, you've deeply disappointed Us!" A majestic voice spoke, causing Li Ying to tremble and raise his head. That supreme existence of the realm had at some point walked up to him.
"We favored you so much, so why did you do such a thing?"
The First Prince's expression dimmed. All the courage drained out of him, and he lowered his head and dropped to his knees.
His crown had been blown away some time ago, and his hair draped down over his shoulders and covered his face.
"Imperial Father, I…" the First Prince fearfully said, his body shaking.
Although he had taken control of the one hundred thousand soldiers of the Imperial Army, seized three protectorates, and had long ago decided to start a rebellion, when he saw the Sage Emperor, instinctive fear seized his heart once more.
When they were growing up, whether it was him or the other Princes, the Sage Emperor had always been a transcendent and unfathomably powerful being.
This fear toward the Sage Emperor had rooted itself in his heart long ago. Thus, even though he had already decided to rebel, Li Ying had only dared to do so after waiting ten-some years, striking when the Sage Emperor was confused and at his weakest.
Now that his coup had failed and the Sage Emperor was standing before him alive and well, Li Ying felt all his courage disappear, his grand ambitions gone.
"Imperial Father, I was momentarily bewitched and was not in the right state of mind. Imperial Father, please forgive me."
The First Prince's face was as white as a sheet of paper, and he didn't even dare to look up at the Sage Emperor.
The Sage Emperor shook his head, disappointment written on his face.
"Was Jade Consort Xiao also because you were bewitched?"
Li Ying's face froze, and any last shred of color on his face instantly drained away.
Jade Consort Xiao was one of the Sage Emperor's consorts, and he had used her to frame the Fifth Prince, even killing her to ensure that she could not testify. This was a serious crime that was enough on its own for the Sage Emperor to execute him.
"Geshu Han was an important subject of the court who had rendered great service for the country. You colluded with outsiders, throwing aside the welfare of the Great Tang and its people. Was this also because you were bewitched?"
The Sage Emperor's cold voice came from above. Li Ying trembled and opened his mouth to argue, but he found that he couldn't say a word.
"We made you the regent so that you could govern the country in Our place. We always believed that as Our eldest son, no matter how stubborn you were, you would not fall to this level. But you were blinded by greed so that you disregarded the welfare of the country. We are very disappointed!"
The Sage Emperor sighed.
"Imperial Father, I was wrong! I was wrong! Please, give me another chance. Your child would never dare to do this again! Your child is willing to atone for his misdeeds and be jailed for three years."
Li Ying knocked his head against the ground. He was keenly aware that he had lost and this was his only chance to preserve his life.
"It's too late!"
The Sage Emperor placed his hands behind his back and shook his head.
"Did you know? This was Our test for you. If you had been able to restrain yourself, We would have named you Crown Prince.
"We have always believed that it was a good thing for a Prince to have ambition, so long as it did no harm to the country. Alas, you went well past these boundaries."
"Imperial Father, spare me! Spare me! Your child will never dare to do such a thing again! Your child swears!"
Li Ying's body shivered, and he clenched the Sage Emperor's right leg like a drowning man.
"Please, take this as a first offense and give me another chance!"
Li Ying had not even a shred of his former vigor, ambition, and callousness.
All was quiet in front of Taiji Palace. For a moment, as the Sage Emperor looked at the quivering ball at his feet, he wavered, but then he calmed back down.
The Sage Emperor closed his eyes and loudly proclaimed, "Come! Escort the First Prince to the Imperial Clan Court! Henceforth, the Imperial Clan Court has full authority over this matter!"
As he spoke, two Dragon Guards stepped forward.
"Imperial Father! No!"
The First Prince's body froze, his face covered in disbelief.
"Look at what your mistakes have wrought! Rivers of blood run through the Imperial City! If We give you another chance, who will give them another chance?
"You treated political power as a mere game!"
Stellar Energy spread out from the Sage Emperor's feet, jolting away the First Prince. The two Dragon Guards came forward and held Li Ying down.
That last rescue rope had been cut away.
A thread in Li Ying's mind snapped.
Stellar Energy erupted from his body, jolting those two Dragon Guards away.
"Imperial Father, must you be so heartless?"
Several feet from his father, Li Ying straightened up, revealing his red eyes.
Given the crimes he had committed and now that he no longer had the protection of the Sage Emperor, he understood more than anyone else what would happen once he was sent to the Imperial Clan Court.
"Unfilial son, even now, you still refuse to repent?" the Sage Emperor coldly said, but he did not move.
"Unfilial son, hahaha… unfilial son!"
Li Ying's shoulders trembled, and then his entire body quivered.
"Hahaha, in the end, it's always like this. I'm always going to be an unfilial son in your eyes, right?
"Aren't you going to ask me why I did this?
"Let me tell you now! You taught me all of this, Imperial Father!
"Imperial Father, you said that you favored me, but since you favored me, why did you never make me Crown Prince after so long?!
"You let me suffer everyone's doubting gazes!"
Li Ying laughed like a madman, and he vented all of his hatred and dissatisfaction.
"Because of your favor, Fourth Brother fought with me, as did Fifth Brother, Seventh Brother, and Ninth Brother! They all fought with me!
"You even made me the regent, so why did you refuse to make me the Crown Prince?! Is this your favor? Since you weren't willing to give it to me, I could only take it for myself. Besides, Imperial Father, didn't you also seize your seat?"
Anger had overcome fear, and Li Ying was practically bellowing every word.
"Imperial Father, since you can do it, why can't I?!"
Li Ying's treasonous words frightened the two Dragon Guards, the Imperial Army soldiers, and even Zhu Tong'en, and all of them immediately lowered their heads.
Everyone in the Great Tang knew that the Sage Emperor had not been the eldest. According to the traditions of primogeniture, the Sage Emperor had not been the rightful successor. To mention this was a great taboo in the Great Tang. No one had expected Li Ying to be so bold as to directly criticize the Sage Emperor in this way.
"Your Highness, you can't!"
Zhu Tong'en kneeled against the ground, his heart stricken with panic. After the rebellion's defeat, Li Ying still had a slim chance of surviving, and there had been a chance of obtaining the Sage Emperor's forgiveness. But now, this slim chance was microscopic.
The Sage Emperor's face instantly chilled, and a cold energy erupted from his body. The temperature for several thousand feet instantly plunged, and everyone lowered their heads even more.
The voice was cold and devoid of emotion.
"Hahaha, is that not the case?"
Li Ying stared at the Sage Emperor, not backing down an inch.
"If you want to know, We will tell you.
"When you were five, you took a liking to a jade ruyi owned by King Rong's second son. Because he was not willing to give it to you, when he entered the palace, you lured him to the back garden and had him fall from a tree, thus taking your revenge.
"We believed that you were still immature then, so We pretended not to know.
"When you were nine, your fourth brother was born. He had a delicate face and appeared cute and pleasing. When We praised him, you used the excuse of his mother being a Hu to urge your other brothers and sisters to secretly exclude him.
"When you were thirteen, you had already developed an understanding of political power, and began to form a faction, recruiting your second brother and third brother, even buying the authority of palace maids and eunuchs to attack your fifth brother. Your fifth brother continuously yielded ground until he was eventually forced into Kunwu Training Camp. You still did not let him go. On the surface, it was your third brother who sent assassins against him, but the true architect was actually you!"
As the Sage Emperor spoke, he coldly glanced at Li Ying.
Starve, Hypersheep325's Notes:
Written by Huangfu Qi 皇甫奇. Translated by Starve, Hypersheep325. Edited by Desertdoe, Welmar, RED, Michyrr.