Those Years In Quest Of Honour Mine - chapter 103.2
Three days later, due to Yu Mucheng’s human testimonies and material evidence, the truth came to light: Emperor Chongan had colluded with Little Imperial Consort Zhong back in those years to poison the previous emperor to death. That he had an affair with his father’s concubine was already enough. But the shocking ironclad evidence for patricide and regicide was now placed in front of everyone. The cabinet ministers could not dispute these facts. The imperial clan members were elated, and righteous indignation filled their hearts; no matter what, they wanted to find justice for the previous emperor.
Yu Mucheng was careful and thorough with his actions. Regarding every matter of those days, he only used the words “heard” and “think,” before tossing out the evidence again. Everything had been investigated and discovered by others. When they questioned him, Yu Mucheng would only say he didn’t personally hold the investigation. He merely said that he had suspected this for many years, but since this was a very serious matter, he did not dare to investigate thoroughly.
So for the past many years, he didn’t know any of the facts. However, out of curious coincidence, the evidence fell into his hands.
Everyone knew Yu Mucheng was lying. But Emperor Chongan’s faction couldn’t do anything to him. And the imperial clan members were even more eager to participate in deliberate misrepresentation. All of a sudden, Yu Mucheng actually became a loyal senior official.
Everything went according to Yu Mucheng’s plan. Emperor Chongan was angered to the point of fainting many times. Although he kept dragging it on and wouldn’t actually die, he had lost all of his power. He could only watch on as the subject he had relied most heavily on in the past did as he pleased.
The evidence that could completely destroy Emperor Chongan was a remnant of the previous emperor.
The Imperial Household Department had opened the doors to an old storeroom. And they found an old piece of clothing.
After the previous emperor had died, these kinds of things should either be burned or buried with him. By coincidence, this article of clothing was left behind. Because a palace servant had mistakenly placed it in a chest of books, it was stored away.
A trace of medicine had stained the clothes. It was due to the previous emperor throwing it up while he had been seriously ill.
After the article of clothing had passed through the hands of the imperial physicians and old coroners, it was discovered that there indeed had been poison in the medicine.
From start to finish, Emperor Chongan’s faction adamantly persisted that the previous emperor had died from illness. But once this old piece of clothing came out, they were rendered speechless.
The martial officials with authority in the capital were all loyalists. Previously, they had helped suppress the imperial clan members. As such, no matter how ferocious the imperial clan members were, they were unable to force the emperor to abdicate. But now, there was definite proof that Emperor Chongan had participated in regicide, and in a flash, those loyalists didn’t know what to do.
Emperor Chongan held the imperial authority. Thus, everyone ought to pledge their life to him, to vow loyalty and devotion to him. However, wasn’t the previous emperor an emperor too? Should they still vow loyalty and devotion to someone who had murdered the previous emperor?
During the deadlock, the official from Qian An came to report. He said they had finally found the tracks of the former Prince Qian An. Indeed, Emperor Chongan had sent assassins after the former Prince Qian An. But because of Heaven’s blessing, Xuan Rui avoided death.
First, Emperor Chongan murdered the previous emperor. Then, he framed Prince Ning. And now, he didn’t even want to spare Prince Ning’s legitimate son. Layer upon layer of evil conduct at last drove the imperial clan members to the end of their patience. They were of the mind that they must bring Xuan Rui back to the capital. And the matter of deciding the crown prince must be revisited.
Now that they were at this point, Emperor Chongan’s faction was powerless.
Although Yu Mucheng could not leave the Imperial Clan Court, he wasn’t the slightest bit worried.
So what if he had to stay under house arrest for some time? If Xuan Rui wanted to ascend the throne, he had to let him out.
Yu Mucheng had exhausted all his energy during these several months. Finally, the dust settled. And he completely relaxed. In the Imperial Clan Court, he ate well and slept well every day. He had a calm state of mind and nurtured his energy, quietly awaiting for Xuan Rui’s return to the capital so that he could reverse his situation.
But this time, the Heavens no longer blessed him.
For Xuan Rui had disappeared.
“Impossible.” Yu Mucheng had ups and downs in the court for many years, and had trained his composure well. When he had heard Zhong Wan’s words, his expression was normal. He shook his head lightly. “Don’t try to lie to me.”
Zhong Wan stared at him, calm. “It’s fine if you don’t believe me. I’m leaving.”
“Wait!” Yu Mucheng’s fingers twitched involuntarily. “Just now you said… said that Xuan Rui disappeared? What do you mean disappear? How could he be missing?”
Flatly, Zhong Wan said, “Disappear is disappear. From start to finish, it was only you, Prince Yu, who felt happy. Who was confidently saying Xuan Rui was still around. What proof do you have?”
Yu Mucheng said impatiently, “Xuan Rui is the proof!”
“But right now, we can’t even find him at all,” said Zhong Wan. “The imperial clan members are in a panic and uneasy. Everyone has been harmed by your empty talk.”
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
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Calm, Zhong Wan stared at Yu Mucheng. Not a word left his lips.
All of a sudden, Yu Mucheng turned to Zhong Wan. A good while later, realization struck him.
Seeing his complexion pale at once, Zhong Wan said with pity, “Prince Yu, you’ve been too greedy, haven’t you?
“Originally, you had the opportunity to grasp Xuan Rui in the palm of your hand. But in order to make me and Ziyou at odds, you purposely allowed Ziyou’s men to follow. So that once something happened to Xuan Rui, I would be furious with Ziyou,” said Zhong Wan, his words hitting the nail on the head. “If something truly happened to Xuan Rui, and people investigated it in the future, you could blame it on Yu She. In this way, you can kill three birds with one stone, right?”
Yu Mucheng’s face grew bone pale.
“Now that you’ve gotten to this step,” said Zhong Wan, “you still haven’t forgotten to harm him.”
Yu Mucheng tried his best to compose himself. He asked, “So you people killed Xuan Rui on the road? Zhong Wan, you have let down how dearly Prince Ning had loved you in the past. For the sake of helping Yu She ascend the throne, you actually treat Prince Ning’s son like this?!”
Zhong Wan was too lazy to explain.
Yu Mucheng thought quickly for a moment. Suddenly, he remembered someone, and at once, he shouted, “Men! Men!!”
“It’s too late,” said Zhong Wan coldly. “I’ve come here just to let you know that the emperor is about to leave the world and Yu She is in the palace as we speak.”
At this moment, Yu Mucheng still didn’t understand what Zhong Wan meant by “it’s too late.” Not caring that Zhong Wan was around, he completely lost his bearing, rising to his feet to call for his men.
Meanwhile, in the palace.
Among Emperor Chongan’s pale face, there were traces of green. He did his utmost to open his mouth. Quite a while after breathing out, he panted. Only then was he able to breathe in again.
Outside the resting palace kneeled a crowd people, each and every one of them sobbing.
Inside, Yu She sat by the side of the bed, his indifferent gaze upon Emperor Chongan.
An old eunuch rushed into the room and collapsed on the floor, face full of joy. “Your Majesty! Your Majesty! Xuan Rui, that rebel, is truly dead! He basically cannot be found. The imperial clan members are in a panic!”
In an instant, Emperor Chongan widened his eyes. He looked at Yu She. He expended all his energy to move the left hand that still obeyed him, sliding it under his pillow. He pulled out the imperial edict.
With a trembling hand, he threw it over the bed. Then he used a lot of effort to receive the writing brush handed over by the old eunuch. On the blanket, he wrote with an indecipherable handwriting, “Ascend the throne now. There’s not much time left. Don’t wait for them to snap back their senses and search for Xuan—”
Emperor Chongan had exhausted all his energy, the writing brush falling from his hand, unable to continue writing.
Yu She picked up the imperial edict on the ground. He opened it. Read through it carefully once. A moment later, he said in a low voice, “I knew it.
“Why you’ve kept it in your hands until now. Why you didn’t give it to me.” Yu She opened up the imperial edict and said with indifference, “You’ve even picked who the next empress will be?”
Then, in an even lower voice, Yu She said, “If I wanted to become the emperor, then I must marry someone you chose as my empress, right?”
Emperor Chongan stared at Yu She, unwavering. A trace of elation appeared in his eyes.
Even if the imperial clan members took advantage of a crisis for personal gain, and made threatening gestures for so many days, so what? The country must have an emperor. Once Emperor Chongan was gone, there would be a new emperor immediately. Since Xuan Rui could not be found, who would dare to say anything bad about Yu She?
Even if Yu Mucheng lived in seclusion for many years, so what? In the end, wasn’t this just a wasted effort?
Even if Yu She was unyielding, so what? If he wanted this throne, then he must accept the empress along with it.
Although he was unable to stop Zhong Wan from becoming a court official, Emperor Chongan was unwilling to let Yu She do as he pleased for his own marriage.
Scared witless, the old eunuch who attended to Emperor Chongan said, “Crown Prince, His Majesty has said in the past that he feared you being muddleheaded. That for Young Master Zhong, you would be unwilling to take on an empress. Therefore… he arranged it for your honored self. The empress’ paternal family is influential and can match you. It may be assumed that you won’t neglect her. So… this is good for everyone.”
But Yu She laughed. “You still want to control me in your last imperial edict.”
Relieved, Emperor Chongan gasped twice. Once again, he picked up the writing brush and wrote on the blanket, “It’s good that you have this child in your hands. But don’t waste any more time. Very soon, the imperial clan members will think of him. Don’t let them—”
“Don’t worry.” Yu She folded the imperial edict neatly. “Even if the imperial clan members snap back to their senses and remember that Prince Ning still has another son, they can’t find him or snatch him away.”
Yu She said without a care, “Xuan Yu has been in my hands from the start.”
Thinking Yu She had finally compromised, Emperor Chongan was just about to nod when he realized something was off.
A smile graced Yu She’s lips. “You haven’t thought about this, right?”
Emperor Chongan whimpered hoarsely a few times, left hand trembling.
“The imperial clan members did what I originally wanted to do, saving me a lot of trouble.”
Following that, Yu She said softly, “But everyone would only focus on Xuan Rui, forgetting that Prince Ning still has another son.
“If Prince Ning has already been acquitted of his crimes, then that also applies to his sons.”
Realizing what Yu She wanted to do, Emperor Chongan wheezed.
After that, Yu She opened up the imperial edict again, reading it carefully. Then he said to himself, “For so many years, everyone has been pushing me toward the abyss…
“I am the chess piece of you all… You obviously know that if I marry an empress, I would lose Zhong Wan, would rather die, yet in order to pass on the throne to your own son, you still try to force me. You still try to control me even after your death.
“I’ve originally given up as I stood in the abyss, but Zhong Wan suddenly hopped in with me. Not only that, he even wanted to pull me out and leave together.”
Yu She turned to face Emperor Chongan. “You should thank him. If not for him, this ending would be even more horrific.”
Emperor Chongan widened his eyes to the point of nearly splitting them open, whimpering in agony.
“Yu Mucheng and the others thought that Xuan Rui would see him as his savior. And since he would also help him ascend the the throne later, he felt like he truly had Xuan Rui in the palm of his hand.
“There are disagreements between Xuan Rui and Zhong Wan that cannot be overcome, and he hates me even more. If he becomes emperor, he naturally won’t let us off.
“So I cannot allow Xuan Rui to return to the capital. However… What about Xuan Yu?
“Originally, it’s a bit difficult to help him up the throne. But because the imperial clan members have kept causing a commotion these days, it’s pushing the boat with the current.
“Isn’t Xuan Yu closer to Zhong Wan, who personally raised him, than those imperial clan members he doesn’t know? And isn’t he closer to me too, this older cousin of his who presented the emperor’s seat to him?
“Don’t worry, I won’t treat him as a puppet. I will properly cultivate him, guide him. Once he comes of age, and can truly take on all the imperial power, I will give back everything to him. Then Guiyuan and I would truly have paid back all our debts.
“I won’t be stuck in the past. Guiyuan won’t have to feel like he let Prince Ning down anymore.
“We will be clean, and no longer owe anyone.”
Yu She rose to his feet. And for the first time, he said calmly and without stress, “Imperial Father, from start to finish, I have never thought of wanting the throne. I only wanted…”
Meanwhile, in the Imperial Clan Court, Zhong Wan looked at the dazed Yu Mucheng. In a hoarse voice, he said, “Ziyou only wanted to try his best…”
“To move the misplaced broad and powerful gear from twenty years ago back to its correct position.”