Chapter 1796: Wang Chong Appears!
Chapter 1796: Wang Chong Appears!
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Li Ying's pupils constricted, and his heart quivered. He had always believed that he had kept the matter of Li Heng a secret, and there was no evidence pointing to him. Moreover, the Sage Emperor had never questioned him on the matter, much less criticized him.
But to Li Ying's surprise, the Sage Emperor's sharp insight had long ago seen through it.
"When you were seventeen, Wang Zhongsi was in command of Longxi and was at the very pinnacle of his career. You hoped to use his influence to firm up your own position, so you attempted to recruit him, but he refused. You developed a grudge, and in order to suppress his edge, you colluded with the Ü-Tsang Empire, sending them a secret message that revealed the situation in Longxi as well as the distribution of Wang Zhongsi's soldiers. This allowed the Tibetans to be ready, and so when Wang Zhongsi attempted to take Ü-Tsang's Stone Fortress, he was forced to turn back in frustration. Did you think you could hide this from Us?"
Bang! The First Prince staggered backward like he had been struck by a lightning bolt.
Li Ying opened his eyes wide as he fearfully stared at the Sage Emperor.
The incident from that time had been his greatest worry and fear. This crime alone was enough to lock him up in the Imperial Clan Court and strip him of his right of succession.
But to think that the Sage Emperor had known about it for so long…!
"This incident caused Wang Zhongsi to plunge from the pinnacle of his fame, but you were still not satisfied. You set up a feast in your residence and invited Wang Zhongsi. Exploiting his honest and frank personality and his relationship with Us, you claimed that We feared him, that his achievements had shaken the sovereign, and that he should know when to courageously back away. After that, you went to Us and requested that Wang Zhongsi be made your Crown Prince's Junior Guardian.
"Did We say anything wrong?" the Sage Emperor coldly said.
In the back, the kneeling Zhu Tong'en was already drenched in cold sweat. Although he was one of the First Prince's closest aides, the First Prince had not told them everything.
He had known that the Eastern Palace had some connection with the Ü-Tsang Empire, but he had not known when this alliance had begun.
And for the First Prince to have even sent intelligence to the Ü-Tsang Empire was an unforgivable crime!
"There was no firm evidence, so We did not question you at the time. We gave you one chance, two chances, three chances, and many more. Although you had so many problems, you were still Our eldest son. We poured a great deal of effort into you. Even if you had many faults, you were still one of Our most outstanding children.
"When you were nineteen, when Jiangnan was afflicted by flooding, you volunteered yourself and spent six months rectifying the problem.
"When you were twenty-two, the borders of Beiting were being raided. You volunteered yourself, saying that as a Prince, you should shoulder the same worries as the people and experience the suffering of the subjects on the border. You also said that you desired to study the style of Us and Taizong and sweep away the foreigners. We permitted you to go.
"You spent one year on the border, personally leading your soldiers in charges on the enemy. You pushed back multiple attacks from the Western Turkic Khaganate and did not let down Our expectations.
"For these reasons, We did not investigate your past wrongs, but similarly, We did not make you the Crown Prince."
All was silent. Li Ying's eyes were wide, his teeth were clenched, and his body was constantly trembling.
"Impossible! Simply impossible!"
He had always believed that he was a wise and shrewd character who had managed to hide his schemes from everyone, even the Sage Emperor. Little had he expected that the Sage Emperor had known everything, even his greatest secrets.
"This was Our last chance to you, but in the end, you wasted it. You stripped yourself of the right to succeed the throne! We are very disappointed!" the Sage Emperor said.
"I don't believe it! I refuse!
"You must be deceiving me! There was no intent to make me Crown Prince, no last chance! This is all a trick!"
Li Ying's eyes were streaked with blood as he bellowed.
"You're wrong. The Sage Emperor never deceived you. You were simply deceiving yourself while trying to deceive others!" A voice came from within Taiji Palace, and then another person emerged from within.
"Who? Who is it?!"
Li Ying savagely turned on this newcomer, and a moment later, he saw a familiar figure coming from behind the Sage Emperor.
Li Ying's face froze in disbelief.
And it wasn't just Li Ying. Zhu Tong'en and all the other Imperial Army soldiers were similarly stunned.
There were cries of alarm from all sides. Even the Dragon Guards didn't know what was going on.
The previous intelligence reports had said that Wang Chong was outside with Hou Junji, but he had appeared here, and he had emerged from Taiji Palace.
This was probably the one place in the Imperial Palace that Wang Chong was least likely to appear.
But after his initial shock, Li Ying exploded in fury and hatred.
Everyone watched as Wang Chong confidently and slowly walked out from Taiji Palace.
Fire and smoke covered the Imperial Palace, and he could see corpses everywhere he looked. Wang Chong could not help but sorrowfully sigh at this sight.
Even though this was still a rather heavy price, it was much smaller than the price that had come with the rebellion in his memories.
In addition, this matter was finally over!
"Your Highness, you're wrong."
Wang Chong quickly turned to Li Ying.
"Decrees carry an enormous weight, as heavy as a mountain. If His Majesty wanted to deceive you, there would be no need to go through so much trouble, much less any need to make you the regent and give you the Imperial Seal. Does Your Highness not know the weight of the Imperial Seal?" Wang Chong sternly said.
'Accepting the Mandate of Heaven, Let the People Live Long and the Country Forever Prosper.' These were the words inscribed on the Imperial Seal, and they represented the supreme status and authority of the Son of Heaven. Since ancient times, only the Son of Heaven could hold this seal. Regents were empowered by decree, but they did not hold the Imperial Seal. In granting him the seal, the Sage Emperor had clearly exhibited his favor.
"Wang Chong! If not for you, this prince would have succeeded long ago and would already be seated on the throne of the Sovereign of Nine and Five. The victor is king and the loser is scorned! That's all it is! But even when I'm dead, I won't let you go!"
The First Prince's eyes burned with rage. If not for Wang Chong, how could he have possibly ended up like this?
If not for Wang Chong, he would have seized Li Heng long ago. Would there have been any need to kill Jade Consort Xiao and order Geshu Han's death? If not for Wang Chong, what would he have had to fear with his more than one hundred thousand soldiers and three protectorates? As long as his forces could join together, he would have had a high chance of success.
If he had been willing to assist him, the sovereign and subject complementing each other's flaws, why couldn't they have continued the fairytale that had begun with the Sage Emperor and Duke Jiu?
If not for him, there would have never been so many setbacks!
The First Prince's eyes were red, the veins bulging all over his body. A thick black energy of the same nature as the men in black erupted from within.
"Wang Chong, I'm going to kill you!"
Bang! Before anyone could react, Li Ying was shooting toward Wang Chong like a cannonball.
"Black Heaven Demon God!"
Amidst the thick plumes of black energy, one could hear tens of thousands of howling beasts.
Behind Li Ying, space twisted and a massive twelve-armed demon god appeared. Li Ying's energy instantly began to climb, rising from the Imperial Martial realm to the Saint Martial realm, and then to the peak of the Saint Martial, to peak Great General, and finally drawing infinitesimally close to the Subtle realm.
After holding it down for so many years, the First Prince finally revealed his immense cultivation level. He was far stronger than King Qi.
"Unfilial son! You still stubbornly cling to your misguided path!" A voice resounded in the First Prince's ears like a thunderclap.
Boom! The Black Heaven Demon God that the First Prince had manifested lasted half a second before it was blasted apart by the Sage Emperor's divine majesty.
While the First Prince had displayed a high level of cultivation, he was ant-like, almost nonexistent, in front of the Sage Emperor. Boom! An immense, almost tangible pressure descended on Li Ying. Crack! Li Ying's legs went soft, and he was rammed into the ground like a nail, blood flowing out of his arms and orifices.
Li Ying was forced to lie prone on the ground, not able to move a muscle!
"You still try to commit evil in front of Us!"
The Sage Emperor stared straight ahead, not even glancing at Li Ying.
"Release me! Release me! The throne is mine! Mine!"
Li Ying's face was twisted, and he struggled like a madman. Finally, his vision went dark, his overexertion causing him to fall unconscious.
"Come; take First Prince Li Ying away, and keep a close watch on him!" the Sage Emperor said.
"Yes, Your Majesty!"
Several True Dragon Sentinels stepped forward and took Li Ying away.
"Wang Chong, you played an enormous role in pacifying this rebellion. We truly were not wrong about you!" the Sage Emperor said with his hands behind his back, his cold expression softening.
"Many thanks, Your Majesty. This lowly subject only devoted all of the meager strength that he could. The battle in the capital is still not over, and Zhang Zheng's soldiers are still trying to get into the city. They still need to be pacified!"
Wang Chong walked up to the Sage Emperor and bowed.
The Sage Emperor understood Wang Chong's meaning, and indifferently said, "Since Zhang Zheng dares to rebel, there is no need to keep him!"
Zhang Zheng was nothing in the past, but now, he was the Beiting Protector-General of the Imperial Court. Regardless of the fact that the First Prince had appointed him, this important status meant that not even Wang Chong could kill him without a decree. This was why Wang Chong had said such things.
"This lowly subject understands!"
Wang Chong nodded.
A familiar figure arrived with many more soldiers. Fifth Prince Li Heng and the soldiers of Jinyang Palace had finally arrived.
He dismounted at a distance and immediately began to rush over. At this time, there was another rumbling of hooves. Not far behind Li Heng, Tongluo Great General Abusi was riding over with his ten thousand Tongluo Cavalry.
Starve, Hypersheep325's Notes:
Written by Huangfu Qi 皇甫奇. Translated by Starve, Hypersheep325. Edited by Desertdoe, Welmar, RED, Michyrr.