Joy of Life - Chapter 494 - Half An Hour[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:49:27]
Chapter 494: Half An Hour
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Chen Pingping was silent for a moment and then said, “The Emperor is an overly suspicious man. I’ll admit that it was clever of Fan Xian to use this method, but the problem is that the Emperor is a very suspicious person. These easily spotted points of suspicion would, on the contrary, make him develop a deeper level of suspicion…”
Fei Jie glanced at him and said, “That is why we have to help Fan Xian get rid of people, to solidify these suspicions.”
“Correct.” Chen Pingping smiled slightly. “The Emperor is overly suspicious, so it is actually very difficult for him to come to a decision. After all these years, he is no longer the ferocious general who dared to use 500 people to charge Northern Wei’s iron riders…killing people eases a ruler’s heart. Although it is crude, it is good that dead men cannot speak, but they can tell the Emperor what he wants to know.”
Fei Jie coughed and said, “Although what you said is a bit confusing, I basically understand.”
Chen Pingping smiled. “The Emperor is overly suspicious and self-confident. Once he suspects something, he will look at the evidence in front of him and search for the parts that prove his suspicions…thus, it is the Emperor who is lying to his own eyes. Of course, in some ways, this isn’t lying as these are things that actually happened.”
As they spoke, the sound of urgent conversation came from outside Chen Garden. Chen Pingping and Fei Jie met each other’s eyes. Chen Pingping said, “Looks like the edict from the palace is here. You should prepare to leave the capital.”
Fei Jie nodded and then asked, “And Hong Zhu?”
“Nothing for now.” Chen Pingping furrowed his brows and thought for a moment. He pushed his wheelchair toward the front of the garden and said, “I keep feeling that this little eunuch is not as simple as he looks.”
Far away in Jiangnan, Fan Xian, who thought he was coldly watching everything in Jingdou, did not know that the spy he had hidden the deepest in the Royal Palace had, at the same time, become the person that the two most powerful in Qing Kingdom wanted to kill. This only proved that he was not a god. More accurately speaking, this plan of his that took the most of his efforts and was hidden the deepest still faced many dangers completely outside of his calculations. If it were not for Hong Zhu’s sufficiently good luck, by the time Fan Xian next returned to the capital, it would probably be impossible to find any information in the world about the little eunuch with acne all over his face.
Regardless of whether there were gods in temples, certainly no person in this world was a god. Even the person whose realm was closest to that of a god, Ku He, and the person whose power and state of mind were enough to make a god jealous, the Emperor, were still both mortal people.
Thus, the seemingly unfathomable Emperor was, at this moment, seated in the long corridor by the Taiji Palace looking at the large square in front of him. His gaze appeared to be somewhat lonely and disappointed, like a normal middle-aged man.
Beside the Emperor was that black wheelchair. Chen Pingping’s head was half lowered. He was gently stroking the woolen blanket on his knee in silence.
Ruler and official were both silent, calmly watching the square in front of them. It was the beginning of spring. There were no falling leaves or flowers. The Palace had been cleaned well by the eunuchs and serving girls until there wasn’t even a single speck of dust. The dirt between the stones were all flat and converged together into neat and tidy lines.
It was already late into the night, but the lights in Taiji Palace illuminated the square clearly.
“I was wrong.” The Emperor didn’t use his imperial title to refer to himself today. He sighed and said, “I had always thought that after three Northern expeditions, as well as having fought in the West and South, there was nothing in this world I couldn’t handle. So, I am able to coldly watch as everything happened. However, when things truly happened, I found that I had overestimated my ability to handle matters.”
Chen Pingping glanced at him and quietly said, “This is a domestic matter…the ancients have said, even an honest and upright official has difficulty in deciding family matters. Your Highness is not an exception.”
Chen Pingping already knew what exactly had happened in the Palace, but this old cripple did not purposely show any astonishment or shock. His emotions were calm, as if this wasn’t a major matter at all. This kind of attitude improved the Emperor’s mood. Yes, it was only a shameful domestic matter.
The Emperor changed his self-referential title back again and smiled. “In the past, you always said that you didn’t want to get involved in my family matters, but, in the end, you were still involved. How about it? Do you want to help me handle this matter?”
Cheng Pingping lowered his head even further and said, “Your Highness has already made a clever decision. I will just have to follow it.”
The Emperor was silent for a long time then slowly said, “Many months ago, I told you right here that I was going to play along with them…after all, she is my favorite sister and that rascal is my son, so I always felt a sense of reluctance. However, at this time, even if I am reluctant, I have to make a move.”
Chen Pingping slowly raised his head. His expression didn’t change, but a strange emotion gradually spread through the depths of his heart. In order to have the Emperor make up his mind, he had already done so much and waited for so long. Finally, the moment he had been waiting for, the moment the Emperor opened his mouth, had arrived.
“You outside the Palace and me inside.”
The Qing Emperor slowly closed his eyes.
That night, the 13 Jingdou city gate guards received orders from the Palace and authorization from the Overwatch Council to open the Jingdou city gates an extra half hour later. In the warm morning sunlight, the country folks preparing to enter the city with melons, fruits, vegetables, and meats on their shoulders made the long winding trip outside the city. Their faces were filled with frustration and confusion.
There was little precedent for Jingdou delaying the opening of the city gates, According to the report of the soldier in front, last night, a Dongyi spy attempted to enter the Overwatch Council, So, right now in Jingdou, there was a massive search going on. In order to prevent the spy from escaping out of the city, the 13 city gates were being closely guarded.
Immediately, the people calmed down. No one spoke resentfully anymore. They only cursed the damn Dongyi spy in lower voices. Inside Jingdou, Chen Pingping personally kept watch in the Overwatch Council and had begun to take action in the early hours of the morning. These years, the Director had stayed in Chen Garden and the Overwatch Council was directly commanded by Fan Xian. Now that he had taken the power of the Overwatch Council back into his hands, the efficiency and secrecy of the Overwatch Council immediately increased to a never-before seen terrifying pace. In less than an hour, the Overwatch Council already secretly controlled four manors.
The Jingdou Garrison did not receive any information, and the nighttime patrol stared with wide eyes and open mouths at the black-clothed Overwatch Council members hurrying to and fro urgently delivering reports. They wondered if something major had happened in Jingdou.
The thousand or so imperial guards that guarded the imperial city also didn’t make any noise. They just quietly guarded the gates to the Royal Palace.
The Commander of the Jingdou Garrison, who had just been promoted by the Emperor, the General, who had followed the Great prince on the Western expedition the year before last, heard his subordinate’s report and dressed quickly. He then charged to the outside of the Palace. However, he only saw a calm and normal palace without a sign of anything strange.
A sleepy-eyed Eunuch Hou stood behind the imperial guards with a group of palace guards and coldly rejected the Commander’s request to enter the Palace to make his report.
Not long after, the Great Prince, who had been sleeping in his manor, also arrived on his horse. However, even his request to enter the palace was calmly and resolutely rejected by Eunuch Hou.
The Great Prince and Commander of the Garrison met each other’s eyes. They both saw the unease and wariness in them. At this time, the sky had not yet brightened, but dark clouds floated over and covered Jingdou, making it even darker. The Overwatch Council agents and officials were all moving around, but these two figures responsible for the Jingdou Garrison had no idea what had happened.
The Commander of the Jingdou Garrison glanced carefully at the Great Prince and said, “Commander, should we go to the Overwatch Council and ask?”
During the Western expedition, this Commander was a general beside the Great Prince, so he was still used to referring to him as Commander. The Great Prince paused and then angrily patted his head. The Palace must have issued an edict for the Overwatch Council to come out in full force today. The person managing it must be Director Chen. Other people may not dare to ask Director Chen face to face, but what was he afraid of?
A moment later, these two, leading their personal soldiers, went from the door of the Royal Palace and turned into the Overwatch Council. As their entered the yard, they were not met with any resistance. They saw the old cripple beside the shallow pond in the garden.
“Director, what happened?” The Great Prince gazed at Chen Pingping and asked straightforwardly.
Chen Pingping didn’t raise his head and said, “Nothing much. Last night, an ace from Dongyi infiltrated the Council and stole a number of important reports. I entered the capital during the night and went into the Palace to ask for an edict. At this time, we are searching the entire city.”
The Great Prince furrowed his forehead. He knew for a fact that this was a lie. What kind of spy entering the capital would rouse Chen Pingping? And, what would cause even the door of the Royal Palace to be closed?
The Commander of the Jingdou Garrison respectfully asked, “Director, do you need any cooperation from the Jingdou Garrison?”
“Xie Su…” Chen Pingping glanced at this garrison commander and sighed. “You haven’t been in the post for long. You have to quickly control the Jingdou Garrison. At the moment, you only have an empty position. You can’t even order the soldiers under you, so how can you cooperate with me?”
Commander Xie Su was surprised. His mouth tasted bitter. He knew that the Director had spoken the truth. The Jingdou Garrison had first been controlled by the Ye family for 20 years and later managed by the second son of the Qin family. The Ye and Qin families put countless of their trusted aides into the garrison. Given the position of these two families in the military, as an outsider from the Western expedition army, if Xie Su wanted complete control, it was indeed a very difficult task.
The Great Prince asked worriedly, “Uncle Chen, tell me the truth, is it a major matter? Why are the Palace doors closed?”
“It’s a small matter.” Chen Pingping calmly said, “Only half an hour is needed. Nothing will go wrong.”
“Oh right,” he sat in his wheelchair and said. “The Emperor has an ordered that the court conference today will be delayed by half an hour. Go to the various manors to deliver the message so that Shu Wu and those other old folks so they won’t wait for a long time outside the Palace and curse up a storm.”
Another half an hour. The Great Prince was worried, but he knew that before this matter concluded, Director Chen would not tell him the truth.
Chen Pingping said, in the end, “But there are a few families you won’t need to visit. My people have already gone.”
The Overwatch Council people had already been sent out to the Lotus Pond Square, where the common people gathered. With the cooperation of the Jingdou bailiffs, they captured all of the ruthlessly and fierce men who were still in their dreams. Although the jianghu people resisted valiantly, they had no choice in the end but to lower their heads and be bound by black chains after paying the price of a dozen lives.
Another group of Overwatch Council members came to the manors of a few Imperial Censorates. Very roughly they pushed these famously iron-boned Imperial Censorates into the ground without a care to civility and directly took them to the Supreme Court. The Imperial Censorates manors’ were filled with shock and crying.
Amongst the Overwatch Council group, a young man using a black hat to hide his appearance furrowed his brows and said to Mu Tie, the head of the First Bureau, beside him, “Sir Mu, these are, after all, Imperial Censorates. Even the Emperor has to show them understanding. Rumors and discussing business is not a crime…if you seize them like this, are you not afraid it will damage the Emperor’s good name?”
“Sir He, you are now the scribe of the Imperial Censor,” Mu Tie respectfully said. “As for the aftermath, it will all depend on your planning.”
The person was He Zongwei, and he was the Imperial Censorate that Qing Emperor had inserted into the Overwatch Council during the change in personnel. Who knew what Chen Pingping was thinking having him following the Overwatch Council and participating in a mission that targeted the Imperial Censor.
He Zongwei huffed coldly and knew that if he showed his face after the day arrived and cooperate with the Overwatch Council to have these Imperial Censorates sent to prison, his reputation would be gone. However, he was also a very clever man. He knew this early morning mission was the Palace’s intention. He gradually realized that this was the Emperor’s only power with which the Emperor would rely on to sweep out the Eldest Princess.
Thus, he didn’t dare to have any objections.
He was just confused. Jingdou had been peaceful for a long time, so why was it that the Emperor suddenly couldn’t tolerate the Eldest Princess anymore?
The third Overwatch Council group was in Yan manor.
A cold-faced Yan Bingyun held the orders from the Council and looked at Yan Hangshu kneeling in front of him. He slowly and resolutely read out the crimes of the Minister of Appointments, Yan Hangshu, one crime after another. Each was a heart-shattering crime.
Yan Hangshu knelt on the ground with disheveled clothing. Hearing these crimes, his body was already feeling rubbery. He knew that unless it was a critical moment, the Emperor would never use these crimes to punish him, the head of a department. Since these accusations had been tossed out, it meant that the Emperor was truly going to destroy him.
There was only one reason. These years, he and the Eldest Princess had gotten too close. Yan Hangshu thought sorrowfully in his heart, but he continued to hopelessly cry out, “I want to see the Emperor’s orders! I want to see them! If the Overwatch Council doesn’t have direct orders, you cannot capture a third-rank official on your own!”
Yan Bingyun glanced at him and shook his head. He took out the orders and waved it in front of his eyes. Yan Hangshu’s eyes went dark. He had actually fainted from fear of this order.
There were a few other groups of Overwatch Council members taking action. Because the time chosen was early in the morning, there was not a sound to be heard. Most of the Jingdou officials and elders were all sleeping heavily, so the missions progressed very smoothly. In less than half an hour, most of the officials in Jingdou too deeply involved with the Eldest Princess had been invited back to the Overwatch Council’s prison or Supreme Court’s hut.
The last group of Overwatch Council officials was waiting patiently outside a quiet manor. They had long surrounded this manor but had still not made a move. They were waiting for the news from other places.
This group of officials didn’t have a leader or carry the edict with them. They didn’t even have a copy of the Council orders that Chen Pingping personally wrote. Their structure was very simple—they were all people of the Sixth Bureau.
They didn’t need to go into this manor to announce the edict. The orders they had received were enter the manor, do not converse with anyone in the manor, and kill everyone.
Usually, the horizon would already be a marble white, but this day, the clouds were too thick and the color of the sky remained dim.
Fei Jie with disheveled hair walked out from a side street beside the manor. He nodded at the Sixth Bureau assassins surrounding the manor and left.
The Sixth Bureau assassins swarmed in. They didn’t meet any resistance. They knew that this manor hid the Eldest Princess’ most powerful martial force, the most secret reports, her most trusted aides, the most…yet there was not any resistance.
All of the Xinyang aces had already been drugged in their sleep by the poison Fei Jie had spread out. The occasional ace who had refined internal strength was cut down by the knives in the hands of the Sixth Bureau swordsmen. Immediately, their spirits returned to the Yellow Spring, forever deeply asleep.
The yard of the manor was filled with the dead.
The face of Huang Yi, the head Xinyang strategist, was filled with hopelessness as the Sixth Bureau swordsmen charged into his room. A few days ago, he had been poisoned by Fan Xian and almost lost his life. Today, he had been poisoned again by Fan Xian’s teacher. He had long lost any opportunity to retaliate.
He was just a bit unsatisfied. His mind had not been sufficiently used, and he hadn’t even left a tiny mark on the history of Qing Kingdom, yet…he was going to die.
An ice-cold sword cut through his thoughts. It pierced through his throat and kill him.
Entering the back garden, the Sixth Bureau swordsmen did not give the young and beautiful men any chance to beg for mercy. With great speed, they killed them and began to deal with the bodies.
However, no one noticed that before the Sixth Bureau swordsmen charged into the Eldest Princess’ manor, at the moment that Fei Jie had begun to spread his poison, a man called Yuan Hongdao, once a friend of Prime Minister Lin and now the Eldest Princess’ most trusted strategist, escaping from a dog hole behind the manor with a deathly pale and terrified expression.