Joy of Life - Chapter 563 - The Spy Of An Instant[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:49:54]
Chapter 563: The Spy Of An Instant
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
There was a death-like silence. Perhaps it was very long or maybe only an instant. All around them were shards and shavings from wooden boards shattered by the zhenqi. The tables and chairs were broken into pieces. They fell down quickly as blood dripped onto the ground. Fan Xian slowly pulled out the sharp sword. The sound of a blade dragging through flesh and blood made a terrifying sound.
Ye Zhong relaxed his iron grip. Gong Dian coughed up blood and stood. The old Qin Master’s sat at the foot of the wall in a puddle of blood with his eyes wide open, even in death. His hands were open slightly like he wanted to grab onto something.
This elder of the Qin army had finally died. He had died in a conspiracy that was the longest planned and longest hidden since the inception of Qing Kingdom.
Fan Xian wasn’t injured, but he felt his body was slightly cold. Raising his head, he used a strange gaze to glance at the silent Gong Dian on his right side. He looked at this man, who was the first guard he had seen after he entered the capital at 16, like he was looking at a strange creature.
Then, he turned his head and glanced at Ye Zhong heavily. At the same time, Ye Zhong happened to also be looking at him. The two of them exchanged glances. There were no sparks. Each carried an understanding and a clarity, as well as a test.
Fan Xian knew that his gamble, at some levels, had succeeded. He did not gamble on the Palace walls because he had inside information. Rather, when he pressed down on the empress dowager’s foot, he remembered what his grandmother in Danzhou had told him.
The Emperor never bought a battle he did not prepare for. The Emperor’s will was very strong. It was not something that common people could imagine. The Emperor did not have any weaknesses. When Fan Xian was faced with a dead end, he did not believe the Emperor had not left anything behind at all. The Emperor clearly knew of the situation in Jingdou. How could he go to Dong Mountain to worship heaven? Thus, Fan Xian had to gamble that some unexpected change would happen in the rebel army.
The change finally happened. The Ye family defected. Rather, the bravest spies in Qing history had risen out of the depths.
When Fan Xian decided to gamble, he was unable to convince himself why the Ye family would suddenly take action until he saw Ye Zhong’s eyes.
The glance perhaps only lasted a second, but it was enough for Fan Xian to understand many things. The past and everything that he had once suspected—everything these four years in Qing court that had appeared weird and proven the Emperor’s paranoia, each exposure of his flaws—had a perfect explanation.
Fan Xian only glanced at Ye Zhong for a second, but he saw everything.
Earlier in the month, at the foot of Dong Mountain, Ye Liuyun approached on a boat across the waves. His strike came from the heavens, striking through reefs and entering sheer precipices, leaving only the hilt outside. At that time, Fan Xian was standing on the reef heavily injured by an arrow. He was fortunate enough to escape through the ocean.
Earlier in the year, in Suzhou’s Baoyue Brothel, Ye Liuyun came wearing a straw hat and split the building in half with his sword, acting on behalf of the Junshang Conference and forcefully taking away the account master. At that time, Fan Xian had cursed loudly, been heavily injured, and was fortunate to escape death.
Given Ye Liuyun’s abilities and a Great Grandmaster’s might, he had allowed Fan Xian to meet him twice and not die. With this as a reference, looking at the past events in the Qing Kingdom, everything became clear.
Two years ago, Gong Dian strangely failed at his duty when the Emperor was admiring chrysanthemums in the Hovering Temple. Thus, an assassination targeting the Qing Emperor suddenly happened. The tower fell into chaos. Fan Xian was heavily injured. Ye Zhong gave chase but was unsuccessful. The court was shocked. The Emperor was angry. He took away Ye Zhong’s post as Commander of the Jingdou Garrison and sent him back to Dingzhou. Gong Dian went to prison and was lucky to return.
Two years and two months ago, Fan Xian heard about the Second Prince’s marriage to Ye Ling’er while he was in Shangjing, Northern Qi. Feeling great astonishment, he secretly realized that the Emperor wanted to force Ye Zhong to quit his post himself and not involve himself in the matter of the princes.
Tracing back, it was eight years ago. At that time, Fan Xian was 12 and working hard to master the Tyrannical martial arts on the precipice in Danzhou. At that time, the singer Liuyun had come and tested himself casually against Wu Zhu. Then, he returned to his boat and floated far away.
After the Hovering Temple incident, Fan Xian and Chen Pingping had once talked late into the night. They knew the Emperor had purposely arranged for this matter and used it to suppress the Ye family, remove Gong Dian from the position of Deputy Commander of the Imperial Army, and force Ye Zhong to leave Jingdou. At the time, he and Chen Pingping had been confused. They believed the Emperor’s paranoia was strong. They also believed that this was a conflict between imperial power and the Great Grandmasters, so they had thought too closely about it.
On the matter of punishing the Ye family, the Emperor clearly exposed his flaw of being overly suspicious. Although the method he had used was obscure, it lost him the chance to be upright and frank.
Fan Xian thought about the singer he had met for the first time when he was 12. Now, he had thought through everything and finally understood that the Emperor’s paranoia, the Emperor’s blunder, were all to purposely show weakness. Through the Ye family’s growing distance, he was giving his enemies the courage to take action.
After eight years, Fan Xian had never seriously considered why the first of the four Great Grandmasters he had met was Ye Liuyun. He had also never thought about why in his travels around the world, Ye Liuyun would just have happened to go to Danzhou and so easily find his Uncle Wu Zhu, whom many people wanted to but could not find.
Where was Wu Zhu? No one in the world knew. Some people knew that where Fan Xian was, Wu Zhu would also be. The only people who knew of Fan Xian’s true identity at that time were the Emperor, Chen Pingping, and Fan Jian.
Having analyzed it to this point, he understood that Ye Liuyun had gone to Danzhou because someone had told him that Ye Qingmei’s son was in Danzhou. Naturally, Wu Zhu was also in Danzhou.
The one that had told him everything was the Emperor. Or, perhaps, the Emperor had solemnly requested that Ye Liuyun go to Danzhou to have a look at his illegitimate child with a bizarre history.
Such a person was someone the Emperor trusted the most. How could such a person betray the Emperor?
The Emperor’s paranoia, Ye family’s distance, marriage between the Second Prince and Ye Ling’er, and Ye Liuyun’s unnatural existence suddenly changed direction. All of this was actually a lie. Maybe it was just a price that had to be paid. All of it was to create a perfect and flawless detail.
This plan had been woven for years. If one thought about Ye Liuyun’s venerated position in the Junshang Conference, the beginning of this plan was probably as distant as a dozen years ago.
Having used so much time and paid such a large price, it had fooled everyone, including him and the Eldest Princess. It could definitively be said that this was the most terrifying ploy in the history of Qing Kingdom.
In comparison, what did Yan Ruohai and Yuan Hongdao, whom the Overwatch Council had planted, count as?
It was only a second, but countless images flew through Fan Xian’s mind. He withdrew his gaze and looked at the calm-faced Ye Zhong. Suddenly, he felt a chill in his body. It was as if he had fallen into an icehouse. Probably even Chen Pingping didn’t know about this plan. The Emperor’s resolution was terrifying.
He looked at Ye Zhong. His lips felt dry as he took out his special token and handed it over. In a trembling voice, he asked, “Is the Emperor still alive?”
Ye Zhong was also looking at the young Duke. His emotions were complicated. When he started the attack on the old Qin Master, he had not thought that Fan Xian on the Palace would be able to raise his power and cooperate with him. He was in a state of shock. Had the Emperor already told Sir Fan junior the entire plan?
When Fan Xian opened his mouth, Ye Zhong opened his mouth at the same time and said, “Is the Emperor still alive?”
The exact same words. They made Fan Xian and Ye Zhong feel shocked at the same time. Looking into each other’s eyes, they felt a chill. It was only now they knew that the people of Jingdou, regardless of whether it was Fan Xian, who the Emperor trusted without question, or Ye Zhong, who played the most important role in this entire plan, did not know whether the Emperor was alive or dead.
“Where is Li Yunrui?”
Both of them stopped talking. Ye Zhong accepted Fan Xian’s token. Gong Dian picked up the old Qin Master’s body and headed quickly toward the square, where the sounds of killing were shaking the heavens.
Only a moment had passed since the assassination of the Qin master. The people involved had a lot of thoughts in their minds. However, there had only been two sentences of proper conversation because the first sentence out of both their mouths had explained too many things. Everyone was only a piece on the board. They only had to do play their role well. It was a man who planned, but it was the heavens that accomplished. For now, they had no idea of the situation on Dong Mountain, so there was no need to think about it.
Fan Xian breathed heavily a few times and forcefully suppressed the irritation that the Tyrannical zhenqi and medicine in his body brought up. He dissipated some of the coldness in his heart and didn’t notice the small opening on the wall.
This plan the Emperor had strategized for so long and had given so much attention to was for a great purpose. Clearing out the opposing powers within the Qing Kingdom was one part of it. The Emperor’s true purpose was far beyond that.
Using Chen Pingping’s words, in this world, only the Emperor stood the highest and saw the furthest. With the Emperor’s gaze over these decades, he had been looking at the beautiful scenery in the world and elegant sights, particularly those lands and people not yet his.
The target of this plan with the Ye family as agents was probably Northern Qi and Dongyi. Ku He and Sigu Jian on Dong Mountain were part of it, but Ye Liuyun was the Emperor’s helper. The situation of the entire world may have already undergone earth-shattering changes on that mountain.
There were still some matters Fan Xian did not understand. Even if Ye Liuyun suddenly changed sides on Dong Mountain, Ku He and Sigu Jian were still unnatural people beyond compare. The four Great Grandmasters gathered at Dong Mountain. Even if Ku He and Sigu Jian suffered some losses, how could they be taken into the Emperor’s control?
His brows furrowed together. It looked like the most important reason why the Emperor had chosen Dong Mountain to end the plan was because he counted on Uncle Wu Zhu to take action. However, he knew Uncle Wu Zhu’s personality. He would probably disappoint His Majesty.
Sounds of killing came from behind him. it pulled him out of his complicated emotions, reminding him that he was standing beside a battlefield. The situation in Jingdou was not yet stabilized. There were still countless people spilling hot blood for a conspiracy woven over many years.
He took another deep breath and temporarily stopped thinking about the Dong Mountain incident. Charging through the wall, he disappeared into the cover of the dense private residences. The moment before he took action, he suddenly felt a wave of sorrow.
Suddenly, he felt sympathy for the Eldest Princess, Crown Prince, Second Prince, and all the Qing soldiers fighting in the Royal Palace. He also began to feel sympathy for himself. Had the fate-unknown Emperor never thought about the damage the conflict in Jingdou would have on the country’s power given its level of aggressiveness?
The four Great Grandmasters were on Dong Mountain. Even a sleeve and a finger were enough to shake the heaven and earth, could the Emperor really still be alive?
Why did he have to take such a risk and expend so much energy to do this? Was it truly just to unite the world? Was it just to be the master of all ages?
At the same time Ye Zhong, Gong Dian, and Fan Xian were assassinating the old Qin Master, the middle-ranking Dingzhou generals, who had long appeared silent, looked at each other. They saw the determination and confusion in each other’s eyes. It was not until these generals had entered the city did they quietly receive secret orders from Commander Ye and General Gong. In order to keep the secret, they could not move the lower ranking soldiers.
At this moment, the Ye family’s Dingzhou soldiers had to attack because they had already seen the strange sight in the rebel camp. Soldiers were not robots who only listened to commands. Any army about to change the direction of their attack right before a battle, when no mobilization had yet been done, would always bring confusion.
A moment earlier, they were preparing to attack the Royal Palace. In the next moment, they had to turn their spears to point at their own comrades. No matter how strict military rankings were in the Dingzhou army, their battle power would probably fall to an extreme low.
Fortunately, the talented deputy generals and middle-ranking generals who knew of the inside information cleverly partially resolved the problem of who they were fighting for.
They isolated the Second Prince’s trusted aide outside and surrounded the Second Prince. They then yelled in a loud voice, “The Second Prince has an order! The Crown Prince has committed regicide and patricide. He is no better than an animal. Those who are men of Qing Kingdom, you can all begin your attacks… Kill!”
It was not until now that the Second Prince felt that something was wrong. His face immediately became pale. He didn’t know why these respectful and polite generals were surrounding him in the middle. He didn’t know why they had suddenly given such an absurd military order.
Did his father-in-law see that the Royal Palace was not open and wanted to use this opportunity to get rid of the Crown Prince and help him onto the throne? The Second Prince comforted himself in this way, but he watched as his trusted aides were knocked off their horses by Dingzhou soldiers and bound. Only now did his heart become cold. He knew that changes had happened that neither he nor the Crown Prince had expected.
Once the order went out, the common Dingzhou soldiers reacted quickly and attacked the Qin family’s troops. Perhaps a portion of them truly believed this order and thought the Crown Prince’s assassination had finally been exposed, and the Second Prince had thought of the painful experience and decided to avenge the previous Emperor. More of the common soldiers thought themselves clever and believed the Second Prince had decided to use this opportunity to strike against the Crown Prince.
All of the attacking Dingzhou soldiers finally successfully overcame battlefield defection, the most important of military problems. With great righteousness, they inevitably and rightly began to attack the Qin family.
Such a hurried defection could not, in the end, demonstrate Dingzhou army’s true power. Fortunately, there were still a lot of soldiers of the Qin family. However, the old Qin Master had died, Qin Heng had been stabbed to death by Jing Ge, a few generals had escorted the Crown Prince to the rear of the camp, and Fan Xian had killed five and injured three of the eight family generals on the frontline. It could truly be said that this was a group of dragons without a head.
When a stable army attacked an army without a leader in charge, the victory and defeat were not difficult to guess.
In the chaotic battlefield, other than Dingzhou’s own soldiers, not many people heard the Ye family general’s order. Many people were still striving to kill. Even if it was not to kill an enemy, it was to protect their own life.
Covered in blood, the Great Prince’s long knife danced in his hands. He opened up a bloody path. Although he wasn’t able to charge into the rebel army’s camp, he had successfully joined up with the remaining Black Knights. In the excitement of battle, he had not seen the sight of Fan Xian and Ye Zhong striking out together. He thought he had come to the end of his road.
Fresh blood dripped down from his hand, but his expression was calm. As a prince of Qing Kingdom, he didn’t feel a glimmer of regret in the depths of his heart for having fought for the Royal Palace.
The thunderous roar of horse hooves rang out. The Dingzhou cavalry, which had long been resting, finally charged forward.
The Great Prince narrowed his eyes slightly and glanced at the already exhausted Jing Ge. He tightened his hand on the hilt and was about to chop down.
The Dingzhou cavalry swept by in front of him and didn’t attack at all. In fact, they ruthlessly charged toward the Qin army!
On the square in front of the Royal Palace, an earth-shaking roar of “kill” rang out. Everyone stared dumbstruck at this sight. Because of the rebel army exchanging camps, the Dingzhou army, which was in a relatively advantageous position, seemed to suddenly go crazy and charge toward their own comrades—Qin family soldiers who had already been fighting for several hours, who were already somewhat exhausted, and who had absolutely no preparation.