Joy of Life - Chapter 545[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:49:47]
Chapter 545: Idly Pushing The Door Below The Moon And An Explosive Entrance
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The walls of the Royal Palace were thicker than the skin on the Jingdou nobilities’ faces. Horses could ride across, and objects could be stored below. Even the Imperial Army’s meeting rooms were placed among the giant green stones. In the darkness, it emanated a solemnness. There were only a few flickering lights illuminating everyone’s faces and eyes, startling them away.
The Imperial Army generals and officers were exhausted. Ever since the three riders arrived in the capital and reported on the incident at Dong Mountain, a storm arrived in Jingdou. The Royal Palace they were responsible for guarding had become the center of the storm that all factions kept a close eye on. For many days in a row, no leading officer could leave the Royal Palace. Even when they were off duty, no one returned to their manors to rest.
The fire in the Great Prince’s eyes became a burning light. He looked slowly at the dozen of generals in the room and said in a cold voice, “Does everyone understand what I said?”
The room was absolutely silent. A general with a heavy face knelt with one knee on the ground and said with gritted teeth, “I don’t understand.”
“Do you need me to read the posthumous edict once more?” The Great Prince watched his eyes and asked icily. “The Crown Prince colluded with Northern Qi and Dongyi assassins to kill the Emperor on Dong Mountain in an attempt to steal the throne. Afterward, he framed Sir Fan junior. Since I have already accepted the former Emperor’s imperial edict, those who need to be disciplined will be disciplined!”
The general glanced at the thin piece of paper at the Great Prince’s side and narrowed his eyes. “Your Highness, who knows whether the so-called posthumous edict is real or fake?”
The Great Prince looked at him coldly. He then slowly took out a box from his clothes and placed it on the table.
The box was opened. Inside it was a small seal. It was the Emperor’s Royal Seal that had been missing for many days, preventing the orders from the Palace from being smoothly passed on.
Once the Royal Seal came out, the expressions on the generals’ faces changed dramatically. They all knelt on the ground and bowed in the direction of the seal. No one said a word.
“Awaiting Your Highness’ military orders.”
“Sir Fan junior is getting rid of the rebels according to imperial orders and has ordered me to help.”
The Great Prince’s gaze slowly slid past the faces of the generals kneeling on the ground to read many people’s thoughts. Although he had listened to Fan Xian’s advice and inserted many of his trusted aides into the Imperial Army after he had settled into the command, there were still many remnants of Yan Xiaoyi’s power from when he controlled the Imperial Army. If he wanted to rely on this Royal Seal and posthumous edict, he had to make these people serve him willingly. The corners of the Great Prince’s eyes twitched. He laughed mockingly and coldly in his heart. Nothing in the world was that easy.
“Those generals willing to follow me to rescue the country from danger, please, stand up.” The Great Prince spoke calmly. The light from the oil lamps in the corners of the rooms enveloped his face, making it seem like it was gradually filling with blood.
All the generals in the room stood up. Circumstances were stronger than people. At this moment, everyone in the room were the Great Prince’s trusted officers. Even the generals who had other thoughts in their hearts did not make things difficult.
The general who came forward to speak tasted bitterness in his mouth. He had always maintained contact with the Eldest Princess in the Palace but had not thought the Great Prince would suddenly rise in revolt and gather all of the generals for a meeting in the secret room. Furthermore, the message had come so quickly, so it did not give him any time to react.
All of the generals of the Imperial Army were in the room. No one had been left out. If the Great Prince chose to kill people, no one would be able to resist. Thus, Yan Xiaoyi’s subordinates could only make a pretense of complying for now.
Zhang Hao, Chen Yijiang…” The Great Prince suddenly named five generals.
Their faces turned cold. They met each other’s eyes with a feeling of misfortune as they walked out of the ranks. All five were subordinates that had been promoted during Yan Xiaoyi’s time.
The Great Prince looked coldly at these five people. After pausing for a moment, he faintly said, “You all know why I have called you out.”
One general’s face was the color of dirt. With a thud, he knelt in front of the Great Prince and said, “Your Highness! I swear I follow you blindly and have no other thoughts.”
The Great Prince looked at him and nodded. Gently, he said, “I’ll have to ask you to stay in this room for half a day. Is that alright?”
The general’s expression changed, but he nodded his head in the end and returned back to the side of the wall.
The emotions in the hearts of the other four were complicated. If they were guarded by the Great Prince’s trusted soldiers in this secret room, how could they send a message into the Palace?
The four men met each other’s eyes. It was the person who had spoken first who opened his mouth, Chen Yijiang. He had been personally promoted by Yan Xiaoyi and was his trusted aide. Knowing that the Great Prince had rebelled, he knew he would not be tolerated. His identity had already been set, so he could not just wait helplessly to be tied up.
Chen Yijiang was silent for a moment ad then said, “Your Highness, at this moment, at least 600 or 700 of the 2,000 imperial soldiers are our subordinates. Dare I ask, Your Highness, how will you suppress these soldiers without our help?”
He abruptly raised his head and smiled coldly. “The Jingdou Garrison could enter Jingdou at any time. The Imperial Army moved a third of its forces to Dong Mountain. What will you use to resist those savage beasts? I dare ask that you consider again so that you won’t put your own life in danger.”
Although these words were spoken severely, the silent officers in the room all knew that this was nothing more than Chen Yijiang’s weak final struggle.
“I never need to think again about the things I have already decided.”
The Great Prince looked coldly at Chen Yijiang. A sense of murder gradually filled his eyes. It was a cold killing intent that had honed when he had killed Hu people in the West.
Chen Yijiang’s heart trembled as hot blood rushed through him. With a roar, he grasped the knife at his waist and pulled it out with a clash before charging toward the Great Prince.
The angry roar was cut off in the middle. The knife fell to the ground. Three long spears pierced with unusual cruelty into Chen Yijiang’s body, skewering him and hanging him in mid-air.
Fresh blood sprayed out from Chen Yijiang’s mouth. He gazed with dissatisfied hopelessness at the Great Prince a meter away. His body twitched on the long spears as his head drooped and he died.
At the same time Chen Yijiang pulled out his knife and charged, the other three generals Yan Xiaoyi had left behind also pulled out their knives and charged bravely and hopelessly forward. However, the room was filled with the Great Prince’s trusted aides. A number of swishes rang out. Knife light flashed under the red lanterns.
The bodies fell to the ground. The stench of blood gradually rose. The four generals of the Imperial Army died sullenly.
The Great Prince calmly looked at the bodies by his feet. He suddenly turned his head to glance at the last general. The man’s legs trembled. He did not have the courage to go forward. Involuntarily, he shook his head and quietly cursed something.
“Watch him well.” The Great Prince ordered his trusted aides and then walked out of the meeting room without turning back.
Walking up to the tall palace walls, the Great Prince stood in a tower building. His hand gently stroked the city-guarding crossbows that were firmly secured. His eyes followed the black light of the crossbow and toward the square outside the Royal Palace, as well as the four streets already controlled by the Imperial Army.
“As per your orders, the 600 people are all off duty right now.” The trusted aide that arranged for Fan Xian to lead a group into the Palace stood behind the Great Prince and reported in a low voice.
Using half a day, the Great Prince made some changes to the Imperial Army’s guard schedule. He successfully moved the 600 imperial soldiers out of the Royal Palace without alerting the four already dead generals.
The Great Prince faintly said, “Is everything ready?”
The officer raised his head to glance at the Great Prince and reported with unswerving determination, “One thousand, two hundred people have already surrendered the area and can take action at any time.”
At this moment, imperial soldiers were resting inside the campground as 1,200 soldiers loyal to the Great Prince had snuck in the dark and surrounded the 600 soldiers. Once the order came down, they would raise their knives and clean out the last of the restless faction.
“Those soldiers should still be sleeping.” The Great Prince’s expression was a bit complicated. “It should be pretty good to die in one’s dream.”
In the past, the Great Prince had personally led tens of thousands of troops on a Western expedition and completed many meritorious feats by Xi Lake. His most commendable quality, which also inspired his troops to be loyal to him to the death, was his love of his soldiers like they were his children. However, kindness could not maintain an army. When it came to matters that implicated Qing Kingdom’s future, the Great Prince’s heart was like metal.
“Awaiting your orders, Commander.” The trusted aide didn’t know what the Great Prince was thinking and was a bit worried. He thought to himself, Sir Fan junior already entered the Palace. If His Highness’s heart suddenly turned soft at this point, no one knew what would happen tomorrow.
The Great Prince smiled self-mockingly and pulled his gaze back from the private residences in the dark to turn his head and look at the Royal Palace enveloped by a dark night.
He watched for a long time. He still did not give out the order because the rear of the Palace was so quiet.
“It is not my decision for when we move.” The Great Prince gently patted the heavy city-guarding crossbow under his palm. “If we act first, we may surprise the people in the Palace. Fan Xian will decide when it is time to make a move.”
He looked at the silent Palace and couldn’t help but shake his head. He actually had a lot in common with the city-guarding crossbow on the palace walls. Although he had great power, he was bound, hand and foot, by specific and illusory things. He could only point the crossbow toward the outside and not allow it to be pointed inside the Palace.
The entire Royal Palace was split into three areas. At the very back were the Cold Palace, autumn gardens, and little buildings. Barely any nobility lived there. It was basically a forgotten corner. The area the wall at Junling Square encircled ws a group of stately buildings that included Taiji Palace, where the Qing Emperor and officials discussed and decided all Qing Kingdom matters.
The place the concubines lived was behind Taiji Palace and made up of countless Palaces. Internal guards and eunuchs from the internal court were responsible for managing and guarding it. It was usually called Harem or rear palace.
Many people thought that once they entered the Royal Palace, they could successfully enter the rear palace. They seemed to have forgotten how much a strange masculine creature like the Emperor cared about his territory and female companions.
Generations of emperors had placed high importance on this matter because they had too many women. No matter how talented and well-endowed, it was inevitable that many would be neglected. Naturally, the Emperor became the easiest person to wear a green hat.
In order to not wear the green hat, the emperors invented eunuchs and built a tall wall between the rear and front of the Palace, scattering large numbers of trusted guards. Thus, in history, the perverts who had some illicit relationship with the concubines in the rear of the Palace were always guards, imperial doctors, or eunuchs.
Although the tall wall could not stop these illicit affairs, they successfully stopped many people who wanted to rebel.
History had long proven this point. A hundred years ago, during the Wei Kingdom rule, there had been a civil official who wanted to rebel while the Emperor was far away on tour. Like Fan Xian, he only brought a thousand people into the Royal Palace. He mysteriously passed through the Imperial Army’s defenses and was about to succeed. Suddenly he was blocked outside the Palace doors by the empress, who had been left in the rear palace, leading a large group of guards, eunuchs, and serving girls who successfully keep the rebellious soldiers out.
In the end, the daring civil official discovered hopelessly that the women, youth, and eunuchs were actually more powerful than the Imperial Army. They kept him out of the Palace for three days.
In the end, this rebel died to conclude the matter. Other than the empress’ calm bravery and the hearts of the eunuchs, serving girls, and guards in the Palace, the most important factor in successfully preventing this rebellion was the tall wall the Emperor used to keep his women locked away. It was truly too strong.
However, where there were walls, there had to be a door. People did not like to climb in and out of windows, so they always had all kinds of doors.
If there were doors, then there was someone to open them. When deciding whether or not a place is easy to attack, what was important was not how thick the door was or whether or not the door frame was made of metal. Rather, it was whether or not one controlled the person who opened the door.
Fan Xian dared to exceed expectations and attack the rear palace because he controlled the person who opened the door.
Two hundred “imperial soldiers” followed the usual path, patrolling silently and nervously above the tall walls of the Royal Palace toward the west. Just as they were about to reach the bright star, a cloud suddenly blew by. The starlight gradually faded, making the wall grow dark. The soldiers followed the return stairs down.
There was not a single light in Taiji Palace. Occasionally, one could see a few guards holding lanterns on their patrol and the eunuchs, with their bodies bent over, who were responsible for sounding the night watches.
The group of soldiers gathered below the wall in the place closest to the rear palace. Then, they all dispersed like the wind.
Fan Xian looked coldly at his subordinates as they dispersed like countless eagles, heading toward the few people and lights left in the front of the palace. In a moment, the few guards were silently stabbed to death.
He nodded his head. These 200 people were a mixed group. One hundred were chosen from the 500 Black Knights. The other hundred were the last batch of assassins the Sixth Bureau took in. Working in the dark, they were ruthless and powerful.
Jing Ge, the Deputy Commander of the Black Knights that was by his side, glanced at him and then at the tall palace walls of the rear palace about 30 meters away. In a low voice, he asked, “Forced entry?”
Fan Xian slanted his gaze at the unremarkable door at the bottom of the wall and shook his head. “We’re going through the door.”
“Through the door?” Jing Ge glanced at the Commissioner with astonishment, thinking that his words were truly miraculous. Had he learned the legendary skill of walking through walls during his trip to Dong Mountain?
Fan Xian didn’t pay any attention to him. He took off the heavy soldier armor and revealed his black tight-fitting night walking clothes. Using the woods in the front palace as cover, he moved closer to the door.
Jing Ge made a hand gesture behind him. The members of the small attack squad scattered in all directions immediately flew over like bats. With Fan Xian as the center, they lined up in two straight lines and stuck tightly to the wall of the rear palace.
Jing Ge followed him and stood about six meters behind Fan Xian. He raised his head and glanced at the wall, thinking, It’s not too tall. At least half of the 200 could flip over it.
The clouds in the sky suddenly dispersed slightly. A stream of bright moonlight shone through the faint layer of cloud. The silvery moonlight shone on Jing Ge’s silver mask. It was very beautiful.
Fan Xian stood in front of the door and gently knocked under the moon.
The knuckle landed lightly on the thick wooden door and made a gently buzzing sound. It was only one sound. No one replied from behind the door. Immediately after, the slight sound of door springs rang out.
The 200 black-clothed people hidden on either side of Fan Xian couldn’t help the shock rise on their faces. They had followed Sir Fan junior and made their way into the Palace because of the previous Emperor’s posthumous edict. Although they had courage and bravery, sorrowfully, they had made preparations for certain death.
Unexpectedly, Sir Fan junior had easily knocked open the rear palace door.
All the subordinates who had come into the Royal Palace immediately felt a boundless respect for Fan Xian. Everyone’s confidence in their victory also grew by manifold.
The wooden door to the rear palace was very thick. It was clear that the spy inside was struggling greatly. Fan Xian closed his eyes and placed the flesh of his palm against the wood door. Furrowing his brows, the zhenqi in his body circulated slightly. The gently Tianyi Dao zhenqi flowed out of his palm and onto the door, rocking it open the width of two people.
The door opened gently without a glimmer of sound.
Fan Xian flashed through the door like a gust of wind. He then glanced at the nervous eunuch behind the door with fear filled eyes and nodded slightly, “You’ve worked hard.”
Eunuch Dai swallowed and looked around in fear at the oppressive darkness. He didn’t dare comment.
The Eldest Princess’ side had probably never expected that there was someone in the Palace who would brave the risk of having their entire family wiped in order to be Fan Xian’s spy. Even fewer people would have thought that this spy was the common and pitiful old Eunuch Dai, who had long lost his initial power.
Eunuch Dai owed a great debt of gratitude to Fan Xian on at least three major occasions. However, this eunuch had braved such danger to help Fan Xian not just to return the favor. First, he wanted to regain the power he particularly missed by helping Fan Xian. Second, over these years, his connection to Fan Xian had grown deep. If the Crown Prince truly became the Emperor, he probably wouldn’t be able to keep his task in the laundry facility and could only wait for death.
Most importantly, Eunuch Dai knew that this nephew had always been under Fan Xian’s surveillance. Eunuch Dai still hoped that his nephew would look after him in old age and send him off in death.
Eunuch Dai looked in fear around him. He was actually rather confused. Why had he opened the door so easily? Why had the guards looking around not seen him?
“Sir, let me lead the way…”
The door has opened the width of two people. In a moment, the black-clothed people floated through. They moved quickly. In less than a moment, they had all entered the rear palace and found a spot to hide. Eunuch Dai looked at this scene with fear trembling in his heart. He knew that these were the people Sir Fan junior was going to use to cause chaos in the Palace. However, was there too few people?
“Go find a place to play dead.”
Fan Xian spoke quietly to Eunuch Dai. The determination gradually grew thicker in his eyes. He was familiar with the geography of the Royal Palace, which was the something no one expected. Ever since the first time he had entered Hanguang Palace to steal the key, he had acted out the sudden attack of the Palace and the retreat path countless times in his manor.
Opportunity was always left to those who were prepared.
Eunuch Dai heard these words and quickly bent his body. He disappeared into the dark night. He obeyed Sir Fan junior’s words to find an unremarkable place to play dead.
Fan Xian glanced at Jing Ge. His thin lips were slightly raised. He then spat out an incomparably icy word. “Go!”
The tasks had been planned out long before entering the Palace. He had spies that no one expected in the Palace who had various ways of helping Fan Xian learn information. He was clear on the layout of the Palace and had divided these 200 people into four groups. Among them, the most important ones were the two groups led by him and Jing Ge.
Fan Xian was going to lead the swordsmen assassins of the Sixth Bureau straight to Hanguang Palace. He had to rescue Lady Ning, Yi Guipin, and the Third Prince from under the empress dowager’s personal watch before anyone reacted.
This was the most important matter. The Great Prince led the Imperial Army in revolt because he trusted that Fan Xian would be able to save his mother. Fan Xian could not disappoint a brother who trusted him so much.
Jing Ge mostly commanded the single riding aces in the Black Knights. They were to head straight to Guangxin Palace with their element of surprise and succeed in one try.
The Eldest Princess was in Guangxin Palace. If he didn’t kill this woman, Fan Xian would always feel that there was a poisonous snake watching him.
Fan Xian had already discovered that Wan’er and Da Bao were in Guangxin Palace, yet he wasn’t going to go personally. Hanguang Palace was more important. Additiionally, perhaps unconsciously, he was also afraid of facing that situation and had Jing Ge take the lead.
The 200 black-clothed people moved like 200 spirits, splitting into countless lines under the faint moonlight. Following the arrowhead, they headed toward various locations in the palace.
Fan Xian headed quickly in the direction of Hanguang Palace. Along the way he passed flowers, trees, lakes, and pavilions. He then saw a few guards.
Poisoned guards with knives.
Fan Xian didn’t even look at the guards that stood dumbly on the side. He only thought this to himself. The guards responsible for scouting this area during this time period had all been replaced. It looked like that fellow did not fail.
He didn’t glance at these guards because they were already unable to move. Either they had been poisoned or cursed. The guards closest to the Palace gate that Eunuch Dai had opened spun their eyes wildly but could not make any sound. Their entire bodies were frozen. No wonder Eunuch Dai had opened the Palace door for Fan Xian so easily.
It was a very strange sight. A number of the guards responsible for protecting the rear palace watched as black-clothed men floated past their eyes, yet they were unable to have any response.
With a few spluttering noises, the last two swordsmen of the Sixth Bureau in Fan Xian’s group pulled out metal drills. Cleanly and quickly, they split the guards’ necks and killed them. It also allowed them to leave the entrapment of these nightmare-like feelings.
Passing by more trees, flowers, lakes, and pavilions, Hanguang Palace was right before their eyes.
Fan Xian waved his hand. A silent crossbow bolt flew out, piercing through a eunuch on night guard duty who had opened his mouth to cry for help after seeing him.
Fan Xian needed speed. He needed the feeling of surprise that this speed brought. He needed the intimidation this feeling brought to everyone in the Palace. That was why he didn’t care about being seen.
The drug could only be used against the first rota of guards and ensure that the guards found him a little later. He had never dreamed that he would be able to bring 200 people unto the Royal Palace and not be discovered by a single guard until he stood in front of the empress dowager’s bed.
Being discovered would happen sooner or later.
Hanguang Palace was only 90 meters away from these black-clothed killers, who were like arrows from a bow.
In the distance behind them and to the side, there suddenly came a surprised cry and metallic sound of countless knives crashing about soldiers. Fan Xian didn’t turn his head. He knew that it had not come from the direction of Guangxin Palace. It should be the other two groups who were going to drug the soldier’s living quarters.
His heart tightened as a drop of cold sweat appeared on his forehead. He knew that they had finally been discovered.”
Fan Xian’s figure did not stop. His right hand was clenched into a tight fist as he dispersed rapidly. Seeing this order, the well-trained swordsmen of the Sixth Bureau immediately dispersed from behind him. Following the lake to the side of Hanguang Palace, they dissolved into countless arcs as they wound around the path and sped toward the isolated Palace under the cover of the trees.
The Overwatch Council swordsman at the end abruptly stopped. He plunged his metal drill into the dirt and took out a small tube from inside his clothing. Narrowing his eyes as he glanced up at the bright moon, he pulled back with force.
The firework flew into the sky. In an instant, the quiet and dark Palace was illuminated clearly. It also sent out a clear signal to the people hiding all around Jingdou.
The hiding phase had come to an end. They had formally entered the killing stage.
A knife came flying over, chopping into the right arm of the Overwatch Council swordsman. At this moment, the swordsman was still holding the fireworks and did not dodge it. Fresh blood sprayed out. After a muffled grunt, he pulled the metal drill up with his left hand and battled with the two guards who had leapt over.
Fan Xian was less than 30 meters from Hanguang Palace. He did not look at the firework or have time to consider the life and death of his loyal subordinates. He only stared coldly at Hanguang Palace and found that there was already movement inside. Involuntarily, his heart grew cold. The reaction speed of the defenses in the rear Palace was quicker than he had estimated.
All around, it seemed the soldiers had regained their senses. Fan Xian faced Hanguang Palace. Narrowing his eyes and releasing his murderous intentions, the Tyrannical zhenqi inside his body rose to the peak of what his meridians could endure in a moment. He stepped on the stone railing to the side of the Palace, making it shatter.
Using the powerful rebound power, Fan Xian flew like a big black bird. Under the moonlight, he used a crude and unbridled posture to fly to the top of Hanguang Palace, exposing his determination.
Having reached the highest point, his zhenqi gradually slowed. His body had a tendency to slide down. Giving a muffled huff, he slapped out with his right hand. Using the Coffin-Breaker technique, he moved his body across a little and slapped it against the glazed tiles on top of Hanguang Palace.
With one slap, the tiles flew wildly. Under the moonlight, it gave the impression that in a split second, the entire Hanguang Palace shook with the slap.
No one could catch up to Fan Xian’s present speed. No one dared to stand against such relentless power. Under the moonlight, he used the power from the slap to fly up again, like a big bird spreading its wings. Before he landed on the roof of the Palace, he circulated the qi in his entire body and fell down.
With a giant boom, he smashed a huge hole in Hanguang Palace with all the Tyrannical zhenqi in his body.
Just as a serving girl in Hanguang Palace lit the first lantern with fear, Fan Xian in all black clothing fell down like a rock and landed on the floorboards in the rear hall. Shattered tiles and dust covered the ground around him. Below his feet were floor tiles that had been cracked into pieces.
In his hands was that Emperor’s sword.