Joy of Life - Chapter 550 - Vicious (1)[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:49:49]
Chapter 550: Vicious (1)
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Mu Feng’er’s eyes narrowed. He didn’t why the scholar-like old man in front of him made such an audacious request. A captured rebel wanted to see their Commissioner. Even if he was Xinyang’s main strategist, he could only be thrown into prison and temporarily protect his life.
In his heart, Yuan Hongdao was afraid that he had come to the end of his road, so he wanted to see Fan Xian and use his silver tongue to convince the Commissioner of a path to survival.
Mu Feng’er hated this so-called lightly spoken and scheming strategists from the bottom of his heart. In the orders he had received, there had been instructions concerning such a matter. He would not give Yuan Hongdao any more time to struggle.
Looking at Yuan Hongdao anxiously opening his mouth to speak, Mu Feng’er was further convinced in his judgment that this old man was just terrified of death.
He furrowed his brows. Without giving Yuan Hongdao any more chances to talk, he withdrew his short sword and smashed down with his fist, raising a bruise on Yuan Hongdao’s temple and knocking him out.
Yuan Hongdao only felt a buzzing in his ears. His vision blurred as he fainted to the ground. In the split second before he fainted, his heart was filled with rage and helplessness. As the last surviving member of the first batch of Overwatch Council spies, he deeply understood how severe the requirements of Council tasks were. Since this Overwatch Council official didn’t know of his identity, he chose this crude and simple method to stop him talking.
Only three people knew that he, the main strategist for Xinyang, was a man of the Overwatch Council. One was the Emperor, who had already died on Dong Mountain. The other was Director Chen, who was rumored to have been poisoned and was being pursued by the Qin family’s army. The other was Yan Ruohai. As for the serving girl who had once seen his face, she had already died in an accident.
Yuan Hongdao had no way of proving his identity. Mu Feng’er was strictly following the rules of the Council and didn’t give him an opportunity. Perhaps this was the shared tragedy between the countless spies in the world from the past to the present. The chances of them falling to the hand of a colleague were often more likely than them exposing their identity and being killed by the enemy.
He only felt some remorse and a powerful sense of worry.
Mu Feng’er didn’t know that the person who had fainted in front of him was his senior. He also didn’t know that his simple punch would bring countless unknown dangers to Jingdou in the next few days. He simply ordered his subordinates to clean out the Eldest Princess’s manor and escorted the remaining few captives to the Overwatch Council’s deep and dark prison.
Fan Xian took two ephedra pills one after the other. The powerful medicinal effect covered his eyes with an inauspicious layer of red. In the darkness of the night, it couldn’t be seen clearly.
He walked to the bottom of the palace walls and respectfully welcomed the officials who had been locked up by the Crown Prince in the Ministry of Justice’s prison. His hands supported Shu Wu and Hu the Scholar. His thin lips were raised slightly. He was so moved, he wasn’t able to speak.
There was no need to fake anything. Fan Xian was indeed moved that Qing Kingdom’s civil officials would stand on his side at such a critical moment. Although he had the Emperor’s posthumous edict in hand, and his father-in-law in Wuzhou had finally had his deepest hidden students and old friends in court stand out, he knew how much courage was need to oppose the Crown Prince’s ascension in Taiji Palace.
If Li Chengqian was as cold-blooded as himself or the Second Prince, these officials would probably have long become dozens of heroic spirits in the Royal Palace.
Shu Wu and Hu the Scholar also didn’t say anything. They only bowed toward Fan Xian. Shu Wu was the first person in the world to see the posthumous edict. Hu the Scholar also knew the contents of the edict. They knew that although Fan Xian did not have the title of regent, he was a regent in reality.
The Emperor had given all the authority of establishing the Emperor and heir to Sir Fan junior. Such trust and entrustment were rarely seen throughout all the ages.
“Time is very tight.” Fan Xian knew that this was not the time to speak admiringly of each other. To all the officials in the hall, he said in an even voice, “I must trouble you all to rest here for now. In a moment, there will be royal doctors here to treat you.”
“Go do what you need to do,” Hu the Scholar said gently. “At this time, we are no longer of much use. The banner has been raised, and the cry has gone out. If those treasonous officials still refuse to stop, then we will need the Duke of Danbo to wield the Emperor’s sword and kill them all.”
Although his words were faint, the support he showed to Fan Xian was absolute.
Fan Xian said, “There are still countless important matters that need everyone’s support. Presently, the empress dowager has learned of the Crown Prince and the Eldest Princess’s evil doings. Overly pained by this, she has fallen ill and is now bedridden. She has entrusted all court matters to you two. I hope that you will be able to temporarily resist the pain of the flesh and perform this task well for Qing Kingdom.”
“We dare not disobey.”
Shu Wu replied in a raspy voice. The dozens of officials behind him all raised their hands in a bow. They knew that the present situation in Jingdou was complicated. They had to quickly settle the major matters. As for the news that the empress dowager was bedridden, these officials unconsciously filtered it out in their brains.
No one was stupid, particularly these civil officials. They all knew that Fan Xian planned to use the empress dowager to command the various departments. Presently, he had the previous Emperor’s posthumous edict in hand, the empress dowager, and support of various officials. The entire Jingdou, at least on the surface, appeared to be stable.
The officials began to rest where they sat in a side room of Taiji Palace. Although this place was far better than the Ministry of Justice’s prison, it was still cold and cheerless. The floorboards were cold, hard, and jarring. Everyone knew that before the court conference started, they shouldn’t rush to enjoy anything.
The scholars Hu and Shu followed Fan Xian into the royal study. In this room, where the Emperor handed court politics day after day and annotated memorials, the lights still shone brightly. Fan Xian did not need to hide anything in front of these two scholars, so worry naturally appeared on his calm face.
After a conversation, the scholars’ expressions also became heavy. They had originally thought that Fan Xian had control of the entire situation. They had not thought that the Crown Prince and Eldest Princess had disappeared.
“Everything proceeds according to precedent,” Hu the Scholar suddenly and calmly said. “Regardless of what absurd and shameless things these rebels and traitors do, presumably, it would not cause us any surprises. Although we are unable to immediately resolve the chaotic situation, the court conference today must happen. The crimes of the Crown Prince and Eldest Princess must be stated in writing and sent out everywhere under heaven.”
Shu Wu carefully said, “Sent out everywhere under heaven… How is the court going to explain this to the people under heaven?”
Hu the Scholar calmly said, “Orthodox and righteousness is an explanation. If we constantly act in the shadows and do not state anything clearly, it would be not proper.”
Fan Xian nodded, thinking to himself that Hu the Scholar’s persistence in immediately having the court conference at such a complicated time was close to his thoughts. Since they didn’t know whether or not the Crown Prince and Eldest Princess would escape out of Jingdou, the people in the Palace had to immediately depose of the Crown Prince and successfully hand down the power of the royal family. Then, announce it to the world.
The discussion came to an end. The scholars began to personally write letters that briefly explained what happened in Jingdou. Then, Fan Xian solemnly stamped it with the royal seal the Emperor had entrusted to him and the empress dowager’s seal he had taken from Hanguang Palace. He then signed his own name. After sealing these dozen letters, Fan Xian handed them to his trusted aide for them to be sent along the Overwatch Council’s secret mail roads to the Governor’s manor of Qing Kingdom’s seven Roads. At the same time, it was sent toward the five Road armies that were stationed along the border.
Only Fan Xian knew that the letter going to the Northern Expedition Camp in Cangzhou would be completely pointless.
When Fan Xian affixed the empress dowager’s seal, the scholars looked at each other and shook their heads slightly. They thought to themselves, Sir Fan junior doing this right in front of them without any concerns was taboo. It was truly daring.
The dozen messengers, accompanied by the clip-clopping of horse hooves, charged out of the Palace as quickly as possible and into the streets of Jingdou, which seemed like they would never see daylight again. They mixed in with the killing by the Fourth Bureau and the fires that were at times lit and at times extinguished as they rode toward the city gates.
They carried a heavy burden on their shoulders.
“Can they get out of the city?” Hu the Scholar suddenly watched Fan Xian calmly. The scholar wanted to get a definite answer out of Fan Xian’s mouth as to who exactly controlled the 13 city gate guards.
Fan Xian’s brows furrowed slightly. “It shouldn’t be a problem. My people went there at the beginning.”
Hu the Scholar knew that Fan Xian never said empty words. Since he said that he had already sent people over, he must have sent the best for such an important position as the 13 city gate guards.
Fan Xian walked out of the royal study and waved his hand to summon Eunuch Dai, who had been waiting outside. After a moment of silence, he said, “No problems with the empress?”
Presently, the situation in the Palace had long changed. Old Eunuch Hong and Eunuch Yao had followed the Emperor to worship heaven and had probably long died on Dong Mountain. Eunuch Hou had been shot to death by Fan Xian with unusual coldness. Hong Zhu, who had been endlessly impressive these two years, was locked up with the other eunuchs and serving girls from the Eastern Palace in the Cold Palace. Eunuch Dai had secretly opened the palace doors today and had performed a great deed. He was also someone Fan Xian trusted. Naturally, he had returned to his post as the head eunuch.
Presently, the rear palace was watched by the Imperial Army. All internal matters were fully managed by Eunuch Dai.
With his body bent, he respectfully said, “As per your orders, she has been escorted into the Cold Palace. She is well. Only her spirit is exhausted.”
Fan Xian nodded. Being captured after having escaped in the middle of the night, no one would be able to endure such mental strain.
The effect of the medicine was gradually wearing off. Fan Xian felt himself becoming tired. Although he knew this was not the time to rest, he still tiredly leaned against the round column outside the royal study. He looked at the square by the Palace and didn’t say anything.
He hadn’t lied to Hu the Scholar. It was just as the Great Prince said. From the very beginning, it was impossible for him to truly give up on the city gate guards. However, he did not have enough people in Jingdou, while there were thousands of soldiers in the city gate guard. It was impossible to solve through violent means. Thus, he had made a copy of the Emperor’s edict and gave it to the person he trusted the most.
He had confidence in that person and in Commander Zhang of the city gate guards. He was a proper royalist. After the Emperor was assassinated, he had listened to the empress dowager’s orders, which was why the Qin and Ye families’ armies had been blocked outside Jingdou.
Regardless of how one thought about it, the city gate guards should be making choices that align with Fan Xian’s interests.
Fan Xian didn’t know that the column he was leaning against was where the Emperor and Cheng Pingping had talked twice. He also didn’t know that a man named Yuan Hongdao had, at this moment, been knocked out by his loyal subordinate and locked up in the Overwatch Council’s prison.
He was only worried about Wan’er, Da Bao, and his father in King Jing’s manor. There had still been no message. He didn’t know if someone could rescue his wife and uncle or the safety of King Jing’s manor.
When the white-clothed Sir Yan junior had come out of Jingdou government’s back garden, Fan Xian’s break-in into the Royal Palace had not begun and Mu Tie, who was responsible for subduing the Jingdou government, was still ambushed in the darkness outside.
He tidied his white clothing and walked into the street. He had the sentiment to turn his head to glance at the sky as a firework bloomed beautifully in the night sky.
The usually indifferent Yan Bingyun looked and smiled at the firework that flashed in the night sky and immediately disappeared. He knew that Fan Xian had begun to move, so he should hurry too.
Instead of wearing night walking clothes, he wore very eye-catching white clothes, appearing very distinct from the darkness around him. His mission in going to the city gate guards was not to assassinate but to persuade. Yan Bingyun knew how to speak to subdue the loyal soldiers.
Arriving at the city gate guard yamen, under the escort of 10 spears, Yan Bingyun calmly came to the yamen and waited for an audience with Commander Zhang.
“You are presently a wanted criminal by the court, yet you come see me. You are indeed bold.”
Commander Zhang of the 13 city gate guards, an important figure who controlled the opening and closing of Jingdou’s nine city gates, slowly walked out of the door, looking at the white-clothed Yan Bingyun with a frown.
Yan Bingyun watched him calmly. A moment later, he took out a piece of paper and said, “The Emperor’s posthumous edict. Will you accept it or not?”