Joy of Life - Chapter 538 - Secret Meeting In Yangcong Alley[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:49:44]
Chapter 538: Secret Meeting In Yangcong Alley
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
One posthumous edict sent the court into chaos. The officials gritted their teeth and forcefully objected. It was as if each of them had personally seen the posthumous edict. From Shu the Scholar’s words, everyone understood that the edict, which could at least pull the Crown Prince off his horse, was still in Fan Xian’s hands.
Where was Sir Fan junior? There were drawn swords and armed crossbows in Taiji Palace that were, at any moment, ready to send blood spraying tens of meters high. The powers focused on helping the Crown Prince ascend the throne, including the Eldest Princess, who had been behind the scenes and was actually the source of all the chaos, were all sniffing around Jingdou trying to find where Fan Xian had hidden himself.
Capture Fan Xian. Kill Fan Xian. Crucify Fan Xian. Destroy the posthumous edict.
The court could not fall into chaos no matter what. The scholars Shu and Hu would have lost their last support. No matter how strongly they pushed, it would be impossible to rile up the civil officials against royal power again.
It was only in Taiji Palace that Fan Xian was formally announced as the culprit responsible for assassinating the Emperor and committing treason. The pursuit of Fan Xian by powers outside of the Palace had already been happening for many days. However, Jingdou was too big. The Eldest Princess had enough resources in her hands to vaguely control Jingdou but was unable to find a trace of Fan Xian in the hundreds of thousands of people.
The Eldest Princess couldn’t even stop Fan Xian from meeting secretly with Shu Wu the night before the Crown Prince’s coronation.
In an isolated little alley, somewhat far from the center of royal power and most of the luxurious and wealthy manors, it was extraordinarily quiet. The atmosphere of sorrow and fear among the Jingdou people were not able to enter this little alley. There were only a few green trees swaying in the autumn air.
It was called Yangcong Alley, an unremarkable name.
At the end of the alley was a small courtyard. It had been bought by an unknown person a few years ago. Half a year ago, a woman and a few servants moved in. The identity of the woman was unknown, yet she was able to buy such a reclusive little courtyard. In the half year, no one had come to visit her.
In the Palace, there was an irreconcilable battle going. The culprit who had caused this matter to happen was sitting leisurely under the shade of a tree in this courtyard, drinking tea and thinking.
Fan Xian wore green clothing and had changed his face a little. Although it did not reduce his heroic aura, it made him appear more sincere. His fingers gently spun the small goblet. He suddenly furrowed his brows and said to the charming and beautiful woman with deep-set eyes next to him, “Other than Prince Heqing, who else knows of this courtyard of yours?”
The beauty pressed her lips together and shook her head. Her large eyes were filled with curiosity and spirit. She looked at Fan Xian, the evil man rumored to have killed the Emperor, without any fear.
This was the courtyard Fan Xian had bought and given to the Great Prince as a secret place to keep his mistress.
The beauty, whose appearance and spirit was very different to the composed Qing women, was the Princess of the Xi Hu people. She had followed the Western Expedition Army back to the capital after troubling Fan Xian for a year in Jiangnan.
Other than Deng Zi Yue, who had carried out the transaction, no one knew that the person who had bought this little courtyard was Fan Xian. After it was given to the Great Prince, given his henpecked and easily shamed personality, it was even less possible that he had announced it everywhere. After Fan Xian had contacted the officials, he did not return to the inn. Instead, he chose to come to the little courtyard. He was not worried about being found by the Eldest Princess’s faction.
Fan manor and the Overwatch Council were watched in all directions. Yan manor and Wang Qinian’s family were probably watched by aces from the internal court. Fan Xian didn’t want to take the risk. Only this little courtyard in Yangcong Alley could ensure his safety. At the same time, it made it convenient for him to contact an important person.
Hearing Ma Suosuo’s curious reply, Fan Xian’s brows furrowed. He rose from the chair and calmly watched the back door that opened to the left of the alley.
He heard someone coming toward the courtyard and was clearly not the Great Prince he was waiting for.
After a number of clangs and a squeak, the wooden door of the unnamed courtyard was unlocked by someone from the outside and pushed open. Ma Suosuo looked at this scene in shock. She couldn’t help but put her hand over her mouth. All the servants in this courtyard had been brought by the young master of the Fan family. No one had ever come to the courtyard before. Who exactly was this newcomer?
She turned and looked at Fan Xian. In a low voice, she cried out, “Young master, run!”
Fan Xian didn’t run. He only smiled at the woman stepping through the back door. The emotions in his smile were complicated. He bowed and said, “Greetings, wangfei.”
The person who had come was not Prince Heqing. It was Heqing wangfei, the Great Princess of Northern Qi.
The Great Princess’s expression was calm. There was a smile in her eyes as she gazed silently at Fan Xian. A moment later, she leisurely bowed and said, “Greetings, young Duke.”
Fan Xian bowed and gave way, shaking his head with an awkward smile. He was waiting for the Great Prince, yet it was she who arrived. From this, one could see just how henpecked the Great Prince was. He had even reported his mistress’s home to the Great Princess.
“Suosuo, go in first.” Fan Xian waved his hand. He knew that wangfei did not wish to see this Xi Hu beauty, so he signaled for her to temporarily hide inside.
Wangfei had come alone. Although she had not purposely disguised herself, it was clear that some thought had gone into it. Fan Xian watched her eyes quietly and extended a hand to invite her to sit. After a moment of silence, he said, “You are very daring. You know the Palace must be keeping an eye on Prince Heqing’s manor, yet you still came here alone to meet me.”
After making contact with the civil officials, Fan Xian most wanted to contact the Great Prince, who held the Imperial Army in his hands. According to rumors, Lady Ning was already held in Hanguang Palace. Additionally, there were many spies from the Jingdou Garrison and internal court keeping watch outside Prince Heqing’s manor. Fan Xian had found a clever way to leave a message inside the manor, hoping the Great Prince would think of a way to contact him.
He had not expected that it would be wangfei who came.
“It is you who has heroic daring cast by heaven,” Wangfei smiled and replied to his comment. “You knew that all the powers in Jingdou were anxiously searching for you and that the Crown Prince was taking the throne today. Yet, you are able to sit calmly in a gilded courtyard and watch the events unfold. I don’t know whether you already have a plan or are at your wit’s end.”
“It may not be true that I already have a plan, but it is false that I am at my wit’s end,” Fan Xian said in a quiet voice. “If I didn’t have some ideas, why would I disturb you?”
Wangfei replied evenly, “Presently, the situation is dangerous in the capital. My Lord is responsible for the Imperial Army. it is impossible for him to return to the manor. If you wish to meet him, I’m afraid it will be difficult. However, we don’t know what difficulties you are having. I took the liberty of coming to see you. I hope you will not take offense at that.”
Fan Xian sank into silence. He suddenly said, “Great Princess, presently, I am the culprit for killing the Emperor. Since you dare to come to see me and ask what difficulties I have, then naturally you understand my meaning.”
Wangfei’s eyes rippled slightly. She didn’t know what to say for a moment.
Fan Xian lowered his head and thought for a while. He then slid a little closer toward wangfei and said in a quiet voice, “I don’t know if you still remember what I said outside the carriage when we were going South from Northern Qi?”
Wangfei immediately smiled. “Naturally, I will not forget a promise. However, times have changed. The situation in Jingdou is too dangerous. The Great Prince depends wholly on the Imperial Army in his hands for hard-pressed support. If you really want to do something big, I’m afraid the Great Prince will not be able to help. As a woman, I am even less able to promise.”
“Hard-pressed support?” Fan Xian laughed quietly. “Are you talking about the matter of the Jingdou Garrison changing people yesterday?”
Wangfei fell silent.
Fan Xian sighed. The changing of people in the Jingdou garrison could be considered to have pierced into his weak point, as well as that of the Great Prince’s.
Initially, the position of Commander of the Jingdou Garrison had always been controlled by the Ye family. Later, it was controlled for two years by the second generation general of the Qin family, Qing Heng. The Emperor used the attack in the valley earlier in the year as an excuse to clean out the division of power in the court. He moved Qin Heng into the Bureau of Military Affairs as a deputy and appointed Xie Su, once the Great Prince’s deputy commander in the Western Expedition Army, as the commander of the Jingdou Garrison.
All of this changed yesterday. After the empress dowager stabilized the Palace, her first edict was to completely remove Xie Su from his post and re-appointed Qin Heng once more as the commander of the Jingdou Garrison!
Xie Su was dismissed for no reason. Since the Imperial Army was under a great deal of pressure from the Emperor’s assassination, the Great Prince was unable to say anything. Furthermore, this once courageous general of the Western Expedition Army had controlled the Jingdou Garrison for less than half a year and had not been able to form his own power base. The Great Prince and Xie Su could do nothing when the Qin family returned and took it back.
Fan Xian was troubled by this matter. Putting aside the matter that the Jiaozhou sailor Xu Maocai had suggested to him, the changing of hands of the control of the Jingdou Garrison meant that all the military power outside Jingdou was held by the Qin family.
He glanced at wangfei and furrowed his brows. “The Jingdou Garrison is often stationed at Yuantai. As long as nothing goes wrong with the guards of the 13 gates, the only power that could resolve the situation in Jingdou is still the Imperial Army.”
“I have never forgotten my promise to you,” Wangfei looked at him calmly and said. “After you have returned from Dong Mountain, you had no idea how strictly guarded the Palace in the capital was. The Great Prince is just managing to control the Imperial Army because the empress dowager has not written an edict.”
Fan Xian was silent.
Wangfei continued, “Why does the empress dowager feel at ease with the Great Prince controlling the Imperial Army? She knows that he is a straightforward person. He will not move rashly or rebel…”
Without waiting for wangfei to finish, Fan Xian was already laughing. “The current situation is that there is someone rebelling in the Palace.”
Wangfei smiled bitterly. “The problem is, it is the person who sits in Taiji Palace that has the authority to determine who is rebelling. If, at this moment, you were in the Palace and at the empress dowager’s side reading the posthumous edict that had been announced far and wide today, I can promise that the Great Prince would be your strongest supporter.”
After a pause, wangfei suddenly said, “Bring the posthumous edict out. Regardless of which angle you look at, making the posthumous edict public right now gives us a chance to fight. Otherwise, we can only continue being passive.”
“No, there are still many people who haven’t made a move. For example, my mother-in-law,” Fan Xian said calmly. “With the posthumous edict with me, peace can at least be maintained for a while. Once the edict has truly come out, both sides will have to show their faces and declare battle.”
Wangfei said with light mocking, “At such a time, you still want to preserve the meaning of bright clarity in Danbo?”
Fan Xian smiled self-mockingly and said, “I am not a stupid person. The reason I am not making the edict public is the same as the reason you gave earlier for the Great Prince’s silence.”
He stared into wangfei’s eyes and slowly said, “Lady Ning is in the Palace, so the Great Prince cannot do anything. Don’t forget, my wife and concubine are also in the palace. If the battle is to happen openly, neither I nor the Great Prince can endure such a loss.”