Chapter 1801: The End of the Rebellion of the Three Princes!

Chapter 1801: The End of the Rebellion of the Three Princes!

Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
As the foreign countries digested the news, the situation in the capital of the Great Tang was still restless. It had been more than thirty years since such a treasonous conspiracy had taken place in the capital.
The Court of Judicial Review, the Imperial Clan Court, the Bureau of Military Personnel, and the various government offices worked together to assess the situation. The case was judged in just a few short days, and their determination was announced to the entire realm.
"First Prince Li Ying committed treason, spurning the relationship between father and son, and gathered the Imperial Army to assault Taiji Palace. With the approval of the Sage Emperor, the First Prince is to be stripped of his status as Prince and demoted to commoner status. He is to be imprisoned within the Imperial Clan Court and never leave again. Sovereign and subject, father and son, are to never meet again!
"Second Prince Li Ju and Third Prince Li Yao were also principal offenders in this coup. These two are stripped of their status as Princes and exiled to Lingnan, forbidden from stepping into the interior ever again!
"King Qi, Li You, burning with ambition, treasonously incited the First Prince into rebellion. For this unforgivable offense, his property is to be confiscated by the Bureau of Punishments, his family records seized, and the man to be demoted to commoner status. His entire family is to be banished.
"Beiting Protector-General Zhang Zheng and Big Dipper Great General Fumeng Lingcha colluded with the members of the Eastern Palace, mobilizing their soldiers without the decree of the Sage Emperor and engaging in rebellion. This offense cannot be tolerated. Zhang Zheng has already been executed, and Fumeng Lingcha's punishment is to be decided by the Bureau of Punishments and the Court of Judicial Review!"
……
A long list of names containing the primary offenders in the Rebellion of the Three Princes was posted throughout the capital and the Imperial City. It had been decades since the Great Tang had last experienced something like this, and the denizens of the capital were all focused on its developments.
"Treason! It's treason!"
"The Sage Emperor is both wise and powerful, a sovereign for the ages, but they dared to conspire against him! How bold! For these treasonous scum who know no father or sovereign, not even death is enough!"
"Not a single one of these criminals should be let go! They dared to conspire against the Sage Emperor? Even dogs and pigs are better!"
"That's right! Drag all of them out! Don't go easy on a single one! The heavens won't be satisfied until these people are dead!"
"Starting a rebellion is a serious crime! The realm won't learn from this and our descendants won't feel any fear unless all these people are seized!"
The indignant crowds packed the streets of the capital. The events of that night had completely overturned their understanding of the world and left them stunned.
Sovereign and subject, father and son, each had their proper role to play. This was the basis on which the culture of the Central Plains had persisted. It was one thing if the current sovereign had been some muddleheaded incompetent, but this was an age of peace, and everyone in the realm knew the Sage Emperor to be a wise ruler. It was precisely because of him that the Great Tang was able to attain its current level of power. The thought that someone would try to harm the Sage Emperor infuriated the people.
Conversations like this could be heard all over the capital.
A carriage was slowly moving through Vermillion Bird Street. On the outside, Zhang Que looked excitedly around at the gathered crowds.
"Your Highness! The First Prince has no chance of coming back from this one! And those traitors who worked with him! Though the realm is vast, there's no place that will hold them! I'd like to see if anyone tries to start a rebellion after this!"
Zhang Que turned to look inside the carriage at Wang Chong.
Wang Chong said nothing. In fact, he slightly frowned upon hearing Zhang Que's words, faintly concerned.
He had heard all of the conversations going on outside. Although the Rebellion of the Three Princes was over, its effects were only just beginning to be felt, and a storm was already beginning to brew.
This isn't good! Wang Chong said to himself.
In the original timeline, the First Prince had started his rebellion and killed many people. Once the Sage Emperor was back in power, he started up an investigation and had another large batch of people executed to calm the furious public. Both killings had been extremely widespread, and countless elites of the empire had been lost.
Wang Chong clearly recalled that when that storm was at its fiercest, anyone who was connected to those traitors in even the slightest fashion, even if all they had done was deliver firewood or pay a visit to their home, would be dragged in.
Everyone had been panicked and fearful in this period, and more damage would be done in this time than the Rebellion of the Three Princes itself had caused. This was Wang Chong's greatest concern.
The anger of the people was understandable, but if it were not controlled and were simply allowed to fester, it would cause even greater harm.
The empire was showing signs of instability, and there was still another calamity to come. He needed to minimize the effects of this current matter so that it wouldn't end up crippling the Great Tang for the next crisis.
Buzz!
As Wang Chong was thinking to himself, the carriage suddenly shuddered to a halt. Wang Chong frowned and raised his head.
"The King of Foreign Lands? Is the King of Foreign Lands inside?" An excited voice came from in front of the carriage. A commoner had noticed the carriage and blocked its path.
Bang!
An uproar immediately broke out around Wang Chong's carriage.
"It's the King of Foreign Lands! The King of Foreign Lands is inside! Everyone, come here!" someone shouted, and an excited flood of people soon swamped his carriage.
In just a few seconds, Wang Chong's carriage was surrounded by a crowd that numbered in the hundreds.
"Your Highness, I finally got a chance to see you! You're truly a hero of our Great Tang!"
"A hero! The King of Foreign Lands is a hero!"
"The King of Foreign Lands!"
"The King of Foreign Lands!"
"The King of Foreign Lands!"
The crowd elatedly cheered. With the Rebellion of the Three Princes over, many details had begun to leak about that night. In that extremely disadvantageous situation where almost the entire empire had been in the hands of the rebels, with the rebels having even locked up the officials in Taihe Palace, Wang Chong had battled to reverse the tides. Without him, no one dared to imagine what would have happened to the empire.
Outside the carriage, Zhang Que was delighted to hear this praise. After all the effort they had put in, their work was finally beginning to show results. Before this, the people had developed a major misunderstanding of his liege, particularly during the militarist-Confucian conflict. Those books that his liege had put so much work into had all been burned, making his heart ache. But now, through their various plans, society was gradually beginning to appreciate his liege's efforts.
This was undoubtedly their greatest harvest from this operation.
The enthusiasm of the crowd delayed Wang Chong's carriage for a full hour. Finally, the carriage managed to escape and pass through the palace gates.
Boom!
With Wang Chong's entry, the massive gates rumbled shut. This was the first court session since the Rebellion of the Three Princes.
As Wang Chong stepped into the vast Taihe Palace, countless eyes focused on him. Wang Chong had an imposing and dignified gaze, and while he had yet to reach twenty, he had none of the immaturity of his peers. On the contrary, he already faintly exuded the intimidating aura of a frontier general.
The First Prince had been toppled and King Qi had been demoted to a commoner, all his property confiscated. There was no one left in the court who could oppose Wang Chong, and he was now the undisputed number one official.
Even Li Linfu somewhat restrained himself when Wang Chong came in, lowering his head slightly to express his respect.
A few moments later, the session formally began. The Sage Emperor, dressed in his dragon robe and wearing his crown, finally reappeared in the court and seated himself upon that highest of thrones.
"Honored officials, if there are any concerns, please present a memorial. Otherwise, you may withdraw!"
With his mellow voice, Eunuch Gao also reappeared at the Sage Emperor's side, a white horsetail whisk in one hand. Just by being there, the Sage Emperor and Eunuch Gao were like two giant nails that pinned the entire empire to the earth.
The hall immediately fell silent. The officials glanced at each other, but no one said anything. The ripples stirred by the Rebellion of the Three Princes had yet to settle, and the Court of Judicial Review, Imperial Clan Court, and the Six Bureaus were still in the middle of investigating the remaining rebels. The officials were still uneasy, so none of them were willing to speak.
As the silence persisted, an official stepped forward, his expression solemn.
"Your Majesty, this subject has a memorial!
"The hearts of the people are unsettled after the coup, and they cry out that the rebels should be harshly punished. In order to calm the people and reestablish law and order, this subject requests that Your Majesty harshly punish the rebels to set an example!
"This matter is being discussed in the capital and in all the prefectures and commanderies, everyone hoping that the Imperial Court will punish those evildoers. This subject has here a petition signed by ten thousand people. Your Majesty, please inspect it!"
As the official spoke, all the officials grimaced. Even Great General Abusi, standing next to the Sage Emperor, couldn't help but twitch a little.
"That's right! Your Majesty, please heavily punish them!"
Numerous officials spoke up in support. Many of these officials had been imprisoned in Taihe Palace during the Rebellion of the Three Princes, some of them with their wives and children. The lingering hatred from this incident needed to be vented, and now that someone had led the way, they were only too happy to give their assent.
More and more voices agreed, and this proposal for collective punishment was on the verge of being passed…
"Your Majesty, this subject believes that this is not acceptable!"
As more and more people were calling for mass punishment, a single voice silenced them all. Wang Chong stepped forward, raising his ceremonial tablet as he strode out of his row.
"In the Rebellion of the Three Princes, the offense lies with the primary schemer, while the remainder were merely forced into obeying. Now that the primary offenders have been dealt with, this subject hopes that Your Majesty can pardon the rest so as to avoid the net being cast too wide!" Wang Chong firmly declared.
Buzz!
All the officials felt like they had been struck by lightning bolts, and they stared in silence at Wang Chong. Even the Sage Emperor was looking toward Wang Chong.
No one had expected that the greatest contributor to the pacification of this rebellion would be asking for mercy for the rebels!

Starve, Hypersheep325's Notes:

Comment on the latest chapter in discord: https://discord.gg/nXsPGma

And if you want to read more, consider supporting me on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/hypersheep
Written by Huangfu Qi 皇甫奇. Translated by Starve, Hypersheep325. Edited by Desertdoe, Welmar, RED, Michyrr.