Joy of Life - Chapter 680 - Chen Pingping’s Revenge[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:50:40]
Chapter 680: Chen Pingping’s Revenge
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The royal study fell silent again. Like the darkest hours before dawn—when the sun rose above the land, to when the warm morning light was obscured by the dark clouds and the patter of autumn rain came down—during this time, the sounds in the royal study were like the weather. Sometimes large, and sometimes small. Sometimes violent, and sometimes as quiet as a glacier. The atmosphere was the same. At times it was tense and harsh, and then silent and bloody. At times it was perplexed by the recall of past events, and sometimes it was chilled by the speaking of past matters.
The Qing Emperor and Chen Pingping were not common ruler and official to start with. The battle between the two of them was different to common battles. Until now, Chen Pingping had only spoken, perhaps only about things that represented his thoughts. He stabbed and poked toward the raised wheat, hoping to draw blood from the other’s naked and tender heart to form fresh wounds.
An unhealthy paleness lingered on the Qing Emperor’s cheeks, unwilling to leave. His eyes were blank. Or, it could be said that his eyes were very hollow. Matched with his slight thin face, his current expression and aura appeared particularly cold.
No one knew what kind of perilous situation was going on in the Emperor’s. He only looked calmly at Chen Pingping. After a long silence, he slowly said, “What gives you the right to watch over me? When have you understood what I gave up to search for?”
This was a kind of disdain from an Emperor to an old dog. However, Chen Pingping’s hands rested naturally on the arms of the black wheelchairs as he looked at him calmly. His eyes were only filled with coldness and disdain. The coldness and disdain between the ruler and official slowly filled the entire royal study.
“Your Majesty, no matter how powerful you are, no matter how powerful the Qing Kingdom is, there is still a reality you cannot change and are unwilling to admit,” Chen Pingping said, lowering his eyelids slightly. “In the end, the power of the Qing Kingdom still depends on the beneficence she left behind. If she had not left the palace treasury, which endlessly supplies the lifeblood of the court, or the Overwatch Council to help Your Majesty control the balance in court, how could you have supported the Qing Kingdom?”
“You want to prove that without her you could still do things best or even better than when she was alive.” Chen Pingping slowly raised his head and said in a raspy voice, “You want to lift up the piece of sky she covered over your head. In reality, you only proved that you need to rely on her.”
“There is much you don’t know about her.” Chen Pingping said calmly and naturally, piercing into the deepest reaches of the Emperor’s heart.
The Emperor suddenly remembered the stormy night three years ago. He had been in Guangxin Palace not far behind them and had personally clutched Li Yunrui’s throat and said to his most beautiful sister, “You can never compare to Ye Qingmei.”
His heart trembled slightly as his face paled. His thin and heartless lips were pressed tightly together as he coldly said, “In the end, history is written by the living. I am alive, and she is dead. That is already enough.”
“Thus, why bother explaining anything? You just need to admit your cold-bloodedness, heartlessness, falseness, inferiority…” A sliver of a smile rose to Chen Pingping’s face. “That would be enough.”
“Was she truly a woman from the heavens, above the common people, kind, and benevolent?” The Emperor suddenly said. “Or is it to say that in your heart, you only allow yourself to think of her as such? No, not only you but also Fan Jian, King Jing, and probably An Zhi. You all think that I am cold and heartless, yet allow your imaginations to run wild in gilding her imagine.”
“She was not a person or a woman from the heavens, and certainly not a savior of the world.” The Emperor faintly sighed and his brows gradually furrowed tightly. Slowly, he said, “She is only the imagination of you people, which includes me as well. I often wonder if that woman ever even existed and only formed from our collective imaginations.”
Chen Pingping shook his head coldly. “You know that’s not the truth.”
“But, it’s still an imagination!” The Emperor’s expression became cold. The corner of his lips twitched slightly as he looked at Chen Pingping. “You useless creatures put all the good in the world into her, so she shines with brilliance in your hearts to the point where not a single shadow could be found.”
“Exceptionally intelligent but with no schemes against others. Pities the people but is not a childish woman who knows nothing of the world. Someone with true abilities doing real things.” The Emperor continued with cold eyes. “What kind of person is this? A person without any flaws or imperfections, is such a person still human?”
He suddenly smiled with sorrow and viciousness. “What a pity that there has never been such a person. She is also a mortal, a normal person with likes, anger, glory, darkness, schemes, and conspiracies. When all was said and done, how is she different to me?”
“Your Majesty,” Chen Pingping shook his head slowly, “If she was really as you imagine her to be, how could she have died to your hands?”
“Is that so?” the Emperor’s pupils shrunk slightly as he laughed strangely. “Each person to become their own king? What wild thoughts. The Overwatch Council was to watch over me. Only today did I know that you were left by her to watch me! If she had not doubted me or guarded against me back then, how could she have left such words?”
“You’re wrong, Your Majesty,” Chen Pingping said woodenly. “Regardless of who sat in the throne, my Overwatch Council would have watched over them. This is not proof that she guarded against you and wanted to deal with you from the beginning.”
“What about that Tyrannical martial method?” For some reason, the Emperor’s tone suddenly became very sinister and dark. Although his voice was higher, it did not make one feel a sliver of warmth. His voice was like a sword that had soaked for hundreds of millions of years in the water of the netherworld. It shot out around the royal study.
The Emperor’s face did not twist. Only a coldness flashed through his hollow eyes. “When she imparted the Tyrannical martial method to me, I thought she had made this decision because Northern Qi and Dongyi each had their own Great Grandmasters. I felt a deep gratitude toward her. Using this Tyrannical martial method, I took you, Ye Zhong, Wang Zhikun and swept across the battle fielding, clearing everything in our path with hardly a defeat. Who would have thought that behind this supposedly ultimate martial method there would be hidden the ultimate malice?”
After expelling his rage, the Emperor’s voice became strangely cold, “On our first Northern expedition, I sensed the Tyrannical zhenqi in my body beginning to stir uneasily and become restless. However, with things all lined up, I led the army forward to battle Zhan Qingfeng in the wilds of the North. It was at this time that the hidden damage exploded and inside my body all my meridians broke!”
Chen Pingping was silent, he was one of the people who knew this part of history the best. The Northern expedition that year was difficult. Zhan Qingfeng was an experienced commander, and the Wei Kingdom’s troops had been exceptional. The Qing Kingdom had taken a risk and entered the North with tens of thousands of troops. It was a decision that was most likely going to end in death. However, the Wei Kingdom was corrupted beyond saving, and the people had no ways of making a living. If one wanted to change the situation in the world and have the possibility of creating a new situation and future, it was inevitable that the Qing Kingdom would send out troops.
At the time, the Qing Emperor was only the Crown Prince as he led the army North while Chen Pingping remained in the newly established Overwatch Council to ensure the protection of Jingdou, as well as maintaining a distance from the battlefield to ensure cool and calm decision making.
Initially, it was a situation in which the enemy was stronger. When the battle raged the most fiercely, when Zhan Qingfeng led his troops to surround Xiao Mountain, the Commander of the Qing army, the Crown Prince, was suddenly heavily injured. All of the meridians in his body broke. He was frozen in the army camp, unable to move.
Although Ye Zhong, who was deputy at the time, and the young officer Wang Zhikun had stood out at the most crucial moment on the battlefield, the Qing Kingdom had already been at a disadvantage, the Commander was suddenly unable to oversee matters. In an instant, Zhan Qingfeng’s army pressed forward. The Qing army was scattered, and the Crown Prince was trapped in the mountains.
It was at this time that Chen Pingping led the Black Knights of the Overwatch Council in their stunning first thousand li attack. They forcibly tore a hole in the Wei army’s net and, braving boundless danger, rescued the Crown Prince, now the Qing Emperor.
There was no need to mention the difficulties along the way. The Black Knights were almost all lost in the effort to rescue the present-day Emperor. At that time, there was suspicion in Chen Pingping’s heart. Exactly what kind of strange injury had the Emperor suffered? There were not any major wounds on the outside, but inside, all of his meridians had broken. He had become a useless person.
Through the years, Chen Pingping had guessed some of it. Fan Xian had also once faced the danger of having almost all of meridians broken. Naturally, he knew where the Emperor’s strange and terrifying injury came from.
Presumably, it was a dangerous juncture that would appear when the Tyrannical martial secret was practiced to a certain extent.
“I could not move. My eyes could not see, and my mouth could not speak. It felt like there were countless small and sharp knives inside my body sawing endlessly at my organs, bones, and flesh.” The Emperor’s eyes were empty. “Such pain, hopelessness, loneliness, and darkness were not something you could imagine. My willpower had always been strong. But, at that moment, I could not help but think of suicide… However, I could not even move my little finger. Wanting to die but unable to.”
The corner of the Emperor’s mouth twitched as he smiled self-mockingly. “What a sorrowful and tragic end.” He glanced lightly at Chen Pingping. “That day, if you had not risked everything to save me, perhaps I would have died right then.”
Chen Pingping was silent. He did not mock and did not reply.
The Emperor’s nose moved slightly as he took a deep breath coldly. “However, the heavens had not abandoned me. After enduring this pain for months, I finally woke up. Additionally, I had also finally broken through the juncture of the Tyrannical martial secret.”
The Emperor’s voice trembled slightly. Although decades had passed, when he thought of that terrifying torment that humans could not endure, his strong and firm heart still could not help but shake.
He lowered his head and said to Chen Pingping, “What exactly did she want to do by giving me this fatal martial secret?”
“I asked her how to break through the juncture, and she said she did not know.” The Emperor suddenly laughed out loud with his eyes narrowed. A chill emanated from the slit of his eyes. “She didn’t know! She trained Ku He, Sigu Jian, and me. Yet, she said she did not know!”
“She wanted to take hold of my weakness so that I would listen to her and obey her forever.” The corners of the Emperor’s lips quirked strangely. “But, how could I be such a person? I had gotten through this trial of life and death and took everything in this world much less seriously. I finally saw that this dazzling woman of yours also had her cruelty. Since the world had not abandoned me, how could I give up on myself?”
After listening to the Qing Emperor’s words, Chen Pingping smiled slightly. After he sighed, he again revealed his restrained smile. Shaking his head, he said in a croaky voice with a laugh, “Suspicious, suspicious… Your Majesty, you have probably never been able to toss it aside your entire life.”
Chen Pingping’s laugh was very open and sorrowful. He looked at the Emperor calmly and said, “Excuses are forever excuses. Perhaps you thought this in the past, but Fan Xian has now also practiced it. If Haitang had not helped him, he probably would have also fallen in that hell-like juncture.”
“She’s always had the Heart of Tianyi Dao in her hands.” The Emperor slowly closed his eyes.
“But, there is the chance of being forever stuck in the ninth-realm,” Chen Pingping said with slight mockery. “Would you be satisfied?”
Without waiting for the Emperor’s reply, he gently waved his hand and sighed. “There is no need to bring up past matters. Since you could even suspect her, then you could suspect everyone under heaven. However, was such suspicion not too much of a joke?”
Since it was a joke, then one had to smile. Chen Pingping laughed. In the black wheelchair, he rocked with laughter. Muddy tears were almost squeezed from his old eyes.
“I just want you old dog to know before you die that everything you remember is only an illusion of your imagination.” The Emperor opened his eyes and woke from his memories. He looked at Chen Pingping coldly. “You are my dog, yet you are questioning me on her behalf. I want you to know that the mistress you so loyally protected is not a pure immortal from heaven.”
Chen Pingping’s smile froze as his shoulders dipped slightly. After a moment of silence, he said, “I am not a saint for taking the world upon myself, and I have no right to be a saint. I did not accuse you earlier for the common people of the world and not because I feel any pity for this. It was just that this was her dying wish. Yes, Your Majesty, I didn’t meet with you today for the common people but for personal grievances.”
He lifted his head and looked calmly at the Emperor. “You killed her, so I must avenge her. This is a personal vendetta. There is no bullsh*t righteousness. This is just a very simple matter that does not need to have any other meaning. I care nothing about what kind of person she was, whether she was an immortal who came to the world or a little demon filled with schemes, what does it matter? She was called Ye Qingmei, and that is enough.”
The Emperor looked at his old comrade on the wheelchair. After a long time, he sighed quietly. A slight smile rose to his face, but it carried a deeper layer of meaning. In his eyes, this old dog was already dead.
“This a very abnormal and wild emotion,” the Emperor said coldly. “To watch over the ruler of a kingdom and for a eunuch to keep a woman in mind constantly. You went crazy many years ago.”
“Of course, I have to admit that I was fooled by you for many years. The Overwatch Council being in your hands was indeed a thorny problem. At this time, the entire Overwatch Council only knows of Chen Pingping and not of me, the Emperor. This is because of my indulgence in you but also because of your own abilities. However, I don’t understand what right you have to raise the knife of vengeance against me. What power do you have?”
The Emperor looked at Chen Pingping with light disdain and picked up the cold tea he had not drunk for a long time from beside him and slowly took a sip.
Chen Pingping also picked up the sill warm tea from in front of the arms of his wheelchair and wet his dry lips. After a moment, he quietly said, “Presumably, Yan Bingyun is already tidying up the Overwatch Council on your behalf.”
The Emperor’s gaze on the golden tea in his cup froze slightly and then returned to normal.
“Since I have come back along to the capital, I don’t want the entire Qing Kingdom to sink into instability because of my vengeance,” Chen Pingping said, “So, I will pay no attention to what Yan Bingyun’s doing.”
“Did you come to die so you could scold me a little?” An enigmatic smile rose to the corners of the Emperor’s lips.
“You understand me, which is why you have chatted with me, who is certain to die, for so long,” Chen Pingping said with a slight smile. “You also don’t know what my last move is going to be, so you have to keep me company until I have finished saying what I wanted to say.”
“Now you’ve finished what you wanted to say, I want to see what other trump cards you haven’t played yet.” The Emperor smiled warmly. He had already shaken off his earlier unstable state of mind and the emotions brought by past events and had recovered his appearance as a calm and powerful Emperor.
Chen Pingping didn’t reply. He just looked at the Emperor thoughtfully. He then suddenly asked another question, “During these 20 years, I’ve already done so many things, do you still not understand?”
The Emperor’s finger pushed the blue patterned teacup around, but his gaze slowly landed on the ground and the files lying beside the black wheelchair that recorded step by step how Chen Pingping had pushed all of the people close to the Emperor to stand against him these years.
“The fire in Huichun Hall was set by the Council. The doctor was killed by someone I sent. That imperial relative was met with the same fate. As for the drug the Crown Prince used, it was personally concocted by Fei Jie. Of course, Fei Jie had already left this land. Even if you wanted to charge him with the death penalty, you would not be able to.” Chen Pingping looked at the Emperor coldly and heartlessly. “I watched the affair between the Eldest Princess and Crown Prince coldly from the side and helped them slightly. I then did my best to make you learn of it.”
The Emperor’s finger moving the teacup stopped.
“It was storming that night. In Guangxin Palace, you should have lost control of yourself. Although I did not see it with my own eyes, each time I think of this, I feel comforted.” All the lines on Chen Pingping’s relaxed. He appeared very comforted. “Your Majesty, why are you so angry about the affair between the Eldest Princess and Crown Prince? Is it because you have always thought that your sister should belong to you? Because of your self-torturing notion of a good Emperor, you could only suppress it?”
“Who would have guessed that the Crown Prince actually did it?” Chen Pingping laughed loudly. “What you could not do, the Crown Prince did. How could you not be angry? How could they not die?”
“The Crown Prince died. The Eldest Princess died. The empress died. The empress dowager died. The Second Prince also died.” Chen Pingping’s harsh gaze focused on the Emperor. “All of your family has essentially died by your hands. You are the most selfish and ruthless Emperor in the world. I want your family to die because of your selfishness.”
The Emperor’s hand holding the teacup trembled slightly, making a crisp clinking sound.
Chen Pingping’s voice was crisper, colder, and harsher. “I don’t have any trump cards. I just returned to the Palace to tell you something. Back then, you heartlessly let them die in loneliness. I can make you taste the same loneliness and then die in this torment. Perhaps I cannot kill you, but letting you live like this, is it not the most wondrous of complicated methods?”
“I still have some good sons,” the Emperor said slowly. “You even wanted to kill the Third Prince, I cannot help but be shocked by the coldness and hatred in your heart.”
Chen Pingping coldly said, “All the people of the Li family in this palace should die.”
“What about An Zhi?” The Emperor’s finger knocking against the blue patterned teacup suddenly stopped. Furrowing his brows, he said with light mockery, “He is mine and Qingmei’s child. You’ve always been so loyal to him. How could you try to kill him over and over again? Until now, An Zhi probably still thinks you are the senior that loves him the most. He has no idea that the attack on the valley, the aftermath of the Hanging Temple, and near miss with the dagger were all single-handedly organized by you.”
After a moment of silence, Chen Pingping said with a deep and arctic tone, “Fan Xian is only a bastard. What right do you have to be her son’s father? For her, Fan Xian’s existence is a mark of shame. He is a blight on my eyes.”
The Emperor laughed. It was filled with resentment. “Very good, you are indeed a perverted eunuch. If I just kill you like this, is that not too much to your liking?”
“How I die has never been a problem,” Chen Pinging said, looking mockingly at the Emperor. “I only know that my revenge has succeeded. That is enough.”
The Emperor’s hand holding the teacup hung in the air. After a moment, he faintly said, “I still have three sons…”
“Since I have returned to the capital, I’m afraid none of those three sons are yours anymore.” Chen Pingping’s pupils gradually narrowed. With a cold and joyful laugh, he said, “If I die to your hands, how will Fan Xian regard you? How will the Great Prince regard you? How will you explain it to Fan Xian? Are you going to tell him that I was avenging his mother? How will you explain to him what happened in the past?”
Chen Pingping’s eyes were very cold. His face was gradually growing paler, either from excitement or some other emotion. He stared at the Emperor and said “Your Majesty, soon you will find yourself completely isolated. Amidst this loneliness, you will see all the land under heaven but have nothing.”
See all the land under heaven but have nothing. What poisonous curse and hatred! The Emperor’s body trembled slightly as his face gradually paled again. Glaring at Chen Pingping with a look that could devour him, he icily said, “How dare you!”
When the Emperor said these three words, he showed that he understood the complicated and successful journey Chen Pingping had been on for 20 years that had gradually moved past the point of no return. No matter whether it was Fan Xian or the Great Prince, they were both very close to Chen Pingping. If the Qing Emperor wanted to explain anything to these two sons, he would have to explain the matter from many years ago on which he would not be able to speak of.
Could the most powerful Emperor in the world only gradually grow old and die beneath his own sons’ angry and hateful gazes?
The Emperor’s face was pale. He felt boundless coldness and anger in his heart. He looked at Chen Pingping’s similarly pale face and knew that he had already calculated everything. He was using his own death to launch the last and most vicious attack against this Royal Palace.
The royal study sank into a death-like silence while the autumn rains continued to fall slowly outside, soothing the dry earth inside the Royal Palace and the gaps between the stones. The royal study was outfitted with glass produced by the palace treasury. The carved flowers on the windows looked very much like faces watching the last conversation between this pair of ruler and official of the Qing Kingdom.
“You ask for death, but I will not let you die so easily.” The Emperor’s face was pale, and his eyes were blank. Like a god suppressing a blazing rage, he coldly and calmly said, “I am going to have you escorted to the Meridian Gate. I am going to have you stand naked in front of all the people. I want everyone to know that you, this old dog, are a eunuch without the male instrument, a perverted creature that shames your ancestors and forefathers. I want the gaze of countless people to stare between your thighs to see how you, a hateful eunuch, used the ruined flesh between your legs to concoct these evil conspiracies.”
The Qing Emperor’s tone was very quiet but contained boundless hatred, endless humiliation, and a never-ending anger. Coldly, he said, “I will have you die of a thousand cuts. I will have every subject of the Qing Kingdom tear the flesh from your bones bite by bite and then have your bones buried beside the three large workshops so that you can see for yourself how I first killed her, then killed you, and then used the things she left behind to conquer my kingdom, unite the world, and lay down a foundation without compare.”
“I want you, and them, to know that I can kill you all. I want you all to watch everything yet be unable to do anything and make you cry, struggle, and regret in the underworld.”
The Emperor’s face grew paler and paler, but his tone became calmer and calmer. His eyes grew more blank and less like a living person.
Sitting in the black wheelchair, Chen Pingping’s face was also very pale. He knew that madness ran in the Emperor’s bloodline and what tragic end he would face under the Emperor’s wild anger.
The two of them used each other’s words to saw at the other’s heart until they were both dripping with blood without a good spot left anywhere. Like two pale spirits, they swallowed each other’s soul.
Slowly and with great difficulty, Chen Pingping bent his body and placed the teacup on the ground. His hands gripped the front of the arms of the wheelchair. With his elbows as the axis, he placed his forearms calmly and steadily against the black and smooth arms of the chair. He didn’t think about anything. He only repeated a motion he had performed countless times over these years.
His gaze once again flew past the Emperor’s pale face and slender but strong shoulders and focused on the wall behind the royal study. It was as if he saw through this wall straight to the small building in the back palace and to that painting. The back of the yellow-robed woman in the painting was incomparably desolate and lonely. She looked at the sight of tens of thousands of people repairing the river bank at her feet and did not speak for a long time.
Chen Pingping did not speak for a long time. In his heart, he thought to himself, This was good, this was good.
“Xiao Yezi?” A strange smile rose to the corners of his lips. It was as if he saw that woman’s form appear in the air at the back of the royal study.
The woman looked at him with distress and asked, “You really are a eunuch? Then should we refer to each other as sisters or what?”
The Emperor heard Chen Pingping say the name he had hidden inside his heart for many years. This name was like a spell he still could not undo. Although he could not think about it for a very long time, once he realized he had not forgotten, that face, that person would appear out of thin air and look at him with a glimmer of confusion, sorrow, and disdain.
He unconsciously followed Chen Pingping’s gaze and turned his head slightly. He then heard a loud crash.
With a boom, a wild wind swirled around inside the royal study. Two explosive blasts of air containing powerful amounts of fire powder, pellets, and steels balls flew ferociously toward the Qing Emperor’s body.