Three days later.
Late at night, the Golden Dragon Palacethe Emperor’s private chamber which should be guarded by a group of guards at the entrance and waited by rows of servants inside, was oddly barren.
In the distance, the fighting noise could be heard from all corners of the palace’s inner gates. The Commander of the Imperial Guards was leading all of his subordinates to resist the sudden infiltration, all guards from every station were led out to act as reinforcement.
The Forbidden CityIt’s basically the whole complex of Imperial Palace. There’s a real Forbidden City in CN, built around 1400s, by Emperor Yongle. It looks like this today:
was almost dyed red with the blood flowing, and the glints from blades meeting with other blades illuminated the sky above the Imperial Palace. Dozens of palace servants were trying to escape or run into some hiding place. The whole palace was plunged into disarray. The outcome had yet been determined, but the situation had been out of order.
Among the chaotic background, Lin Yuetian came to the deserted Golden Dragon Palace, with a little makeup on his face.
The Original Body was a handsome Gentleman with a pristine and jade-like appearanceA jade-like gentleman: basically a mix of elegant, graceful, and refined, looking like someone who was far from worldly matter. Yet this appearance was currently covered up with a Ghostly makeup.
Lin Yuetian was wearing a red dress that he had prepared in advance, entering the Golden Dragon Palace smoothly. He walked slowly, keeping his steps incredibly light, so that not a single sound could be heard in the empty Palace. It’s almost like he was floating, looking frighteningly similar to those wandering Spirits.
There was only one eunuch left who was keeping guard inside. His eyes saw the red-dressed Lin Yuetian entering the Palace, fluttering like a vengeful ghost, and simultaneously, his hearing also caught the faint sound of slaughter happening outside the Palace.
The eunuch felt immense fear in his heart. He fell to his knees beside the Dragon bedThe Emperor’s bed, shivering and unable to move a muscle.
Lin Yuetian himself halted his advance once he arrived in front of the Dragon bed. There was a candle held in his hand. Yes, it was the very familiar anesthetic candle. Lin Yuetian was someone who was very stingy and thrifty when it came to mission expenditure. The candle was used over and over, a small amount at a time, to avoid any waste (and save more money for him to enjoy).
The lights from the candle and other palace lamps inside the Palace had dimmed outsince it was late at night and other servants who were responsible for it had run away, and the remaining lights swayed in the night wind. Lin Yuetian’s shadow falling on the bed’s curtain became elongated and distorted as if trapping the Emperor who was lying on the bed inside.
There was a coughing sound from behind the curtain. Inside, Zheng Hongxuan felt deep fatigue, he closed his eyes and asked in a low voice,
“…Is it the Imperial Guards Commander? Have you taken care of the rebels?”
The previous eunuch had inhaled the anesthetic from the candle and couldn’t move to answer or warn Zheng Hongxuan.
Lin Yuetian replied faintly in a high-pitched tone, “Your Majesty…”
He had been practicing this kind of voice many times prior to today’s event. The sound reverberated in the empty palace and drifted alongside the light and shadows from the candles. As if it was a sound coming out from the other sidehell.
The first one who reacted was the System, with a shudder, he couldn’t help being affected by the atmosphere and talked to Lin Yuetian in a low voice as well,
[“Uh, that, Big Brother, I think this scene will be scarier instead if I chant the Buddhist Scriptures like I used toHELL YEAH! No matter what kind of religious chanting when it is paired with Horror, it’s damn spooky!. So, do you mind if I change the background to Tom&Jerry? No, actually, do you know Tom and Jerry at all? Anyway, It’s a good show. Of course, it’s not like I’m afraid of Ghost or anything! I just want to recommend a good show to you…”]
Lin Yuetian curiously wondered, “Is it really that good? Then, do as you please, I’ll listen.”
Meanwhile, the sound of coughing from inside the curtain ended abruptly, as if someone suddenly pinched the person’s throat. Lin Yuetian stood in front of the bed curtain, facing the shadow of Zheng Hongxuan’s figure lying on the bed inside.
Zheng Hongxuan didn’t even dare to lift the curtain to take a look outside.
He could only say, “…You’re here…”
“This Ministerchén: Minister, a way to refer to oneself for Officials in the ancient CN is here.” Lin Yuetian replied in a low voice while listening to the sound of Tom& Jerry being played inside his mind.
“Are you here to take ZhenThe way an Emperor refers to himself, similar to Bengong(for Empress/Consorts), Benzhuo(Xianxia/Wuxia Lords), Benwang(for a Prince/King). with you?” Zheng Hongxuan asked in a low voice, with a complicated tone.
“YOuR mAjeStY…Do yOu sTiLl rEmeMbeR tHe dAy wHeN yOu aNd I fiRsT mEt?” Lin Yuetian deliberately controlled his voice wandering between low and high-pitched.
The palace lanterns placed on the walls were fluttering due to the night wind. The eunuch who was paralyzed at the bedside went paler as white as paper in extreme terror.
The System was also reacting, [“Holly Molly! It’s a little, uh, a bit scary…Please allow me to turn up the back sound volume. Just ignore me, you can continue.”]
Zheng Hongxuan, however, seemed to be caught in past memories.
He was in a trance as he mumbled, “…Zhen remembers…”
Lin Yuetian then turned his voice softer, “The spring day of that year was exceptionally beautiful…This Minister have never seen a better Spring other than that particular year…”
“Well…” Zheng Hongxuan murmured, “Zhen was not the Emperor at that time…Zhen went to visit the town where you were first appointed at…You were paraded at the town, riding a white-hoofed Black Horse, the horse was sturdy, with a mane as white as snow, and the hoofs looked like it was treading on frosts…As for you, you’re wearing the red robe of the ChampionThe top scorer of the CN Official/Scholar Examination…Zhen thought, What a fine equestrian…”
Lin Yuetian stopped talking, deliberately letting the silence embrace the whole room.
After a while, Zheng Hongxuan’s coughing started to be heard once again. Only at this time did Lin Yuetian deliver a response, faking a sorrowful yet gloomy voice,
“Your Majesty…Between the two of us, how could it get to this point…?”
“…Even now, you have never realized it…Zhen hates you…You had no idea how to be humble…You were aloof even toward Zhen…even if Zhen has become the Emperor…You’re still the venerated Prime Minister…You were so brilliant Zhen unable to put off your radiance…And yet, and yet, all of your hard work was for Zhen…You were invincible…Every time Zhen saw you, Zhen will be reminded of the fact that Zhen once lowered myself to beg for your help…Zhen can’t forget that…One more day of your existence was one more sleepless night for Zhen…”
Zheng Hongxuan’s voice was getting lower and lower, as if he was absorbed in a dream.
“Zhen…wanted to see you…being humiliated…and had to beg me in return…”
The System who was previously watching the battle of wits between Tom and Jerry, couldn’t help but got his attention shifted, and cursed, [“WTH! What kind of logic did this Scumbag use?”]
Lin Yuetian himself sighed, and said, “Your Majesty, This Minister just want to ask you…Have you ever been sincere to me?”
Zheng Hongxuan fell into silence for quite a long time. Lin Yuetian was not in a hurry either, just patiently waiting for him to answer.
It was unknown for exactly how long, but after a while, Zheng Hongxuan’s voice floated out in between his sigh,
“Zhen does not know. But after you died…Zhen seems to be crazy…Zhen still wants to see you, keeps recalling those times when you’re alive, Zhen…should be fond of you…”
[“It’s really a good move. When someone knows they’re dying, they are often soft-hearted and sentimental.”] The System had already defaulted Zheng Hongxuan was aware that his time was not much.
[“Though, how are you going to make him beg you? I think he no longer has any desire or wishes at this point.”]
Lin Yuetian nodded his head. It’s unclear whether he’s responding to the System or to Zheng Hongxuan.
He repeated what he had said earlier, “This Minister is here…”
Zheng Hongxuan suddenly turned his gaze on him. “Yuetian, are you here to take me away?”
Lin Yuetian returned his question instead, “Does Your Majesty want to go with This Minister?”
The small eunuch wanted to cry out a warning, but he was unable to produce a single sound. He could only stretch his eyes wide open, witnessing the contradictory scene being unfurled in front of him, and listen to this perilous conversation.
“Heh…Hehe, You finally come. Zhen has been trying to summon your soul 3 times in succession, with no result. Zhen thought that there must be because there are neither Ghosts nor Gods in this world. When a person dies, they die, and nothing will be left behind…But Zhen always remembers your last words…you said, you are going to become a Ghost and return…You really didn’t lie…As expected, you are here today…” Zheng Hongxuan went chuckling afterward.
The System thought about the real Original Body’s farewell words,
“I wish we will never see each other ever again.”
—and he couldn’t help but exclaim, [“Sure enough, as expected of the most familiar stranger! You really know how to grasp others’ mentality.”]
“…The rebels have breached the Imperial Palace, whereas Zhen is lingering in a sick bed, there’s no longer chance of recovery,” Zheng Hongxuan naturally didn’t know that the farewell sentence of returning as a Ghost was made up by Assassin-Lin Yuetian, he continued to murmur, “Take me away…Zhen will go to Huangquan roadIt’s CN afterlife belief, a road to the underworld. The same belief as MengPo Soup, Yellow River, etc. with you…”
“I’ve resented you. I don’t want to cross the Huangquan road with you.” Lin Yuetian replied softly, yet unreservedly ruthless.
“Since Your Majesty remembers the past, and also says that you keep recalling how you begged me to help you realize your ambition, then, do ask This Minister once again, just like how you did in the past, when you’re still the unvalued 9th Prince, and I’m still the promising new Champion. Let’s go back and reminisce about the past…We can start over. No betrayal, no killing…Come, do it once more, as long as you beg me so, I will take you away…There may be another beautiful Spring in the next life.”
During these back and forth between Lin Yuetian and Zheng Hongxuan, the small Eunuch who had been paralyzed beside the Dragon bed was as quiet as a cicada in Winter. His eyes were filled with horror, witnessing the scene where the Evil Spirit was hooking the living to the underworld. In the end, he couldn’t bear the stimulation and fainted.
Zheng Hongxuan stared at the shadow reflected on his bed tent. His hand suddenly reached out, grabbing the curtain. He was barely able to move his withered limbs, yet he kept trying to prop his body and see the person outside clearly. His entire body was almost pressed onto the curtain itself, causing the bluish veins on his hand to protrude.
He whispered, in a hurried voice, sounding like he was out of breath,
“Yuetian! Yuetian…I beg you, please, take me away…! Let’s start over, from the beginning…I won’t become any Emperor in the next life, and I don’t want to be apart from you in my whole life!”
[“2nd Mission: Make the Scumbag Gong, Zheng Hongxuan, begs one more time…Completed.”] The System felt some chill as he spoke with a low voice, [“I never thought…he’ll actually beg you to kill himself…”]
Lin Yuetian couldn’t hear the last words of the System, “What? Why don’t you speak louder?” He was a little bit annoyed, “Tom&Jerry doesn’t have any dialogue, but the sound effect is deafening. I can’t hear you.”
T/N: I’m kinda busy these days, so I’ll change my update schedule to once per week, on weekends. I apologize, and please do bear with me for a while 🙂
A wandering soul.
|↑1||the Emperor’s private chamber|
|↑2||It’s basically the whole complex of Imperial Palace. There’s a real Forbidden City in CN, built around 1400s, by Emperor Yongle. It looks like this today:
|↑3||A jade-like gentleman: basically a mix of elegant, graceful, and refined|
|↑4||The Emperor’s bed|
|↑5||since it was late at night and other servants who were responsible for it had run away|
|↑7||HELL YEAH! No matter what kind of religious chanting when it is paired with Horror, it’s damn spooky!|
|↑8||chén: Minister, a way to refer to oneself for Officials in the ancient CN|
|↑9||The way an Emperor refers to himself, similar to Bengong(for Empress/Consorts), Benzhuo(Xianxia/Wuxia Lords), Benwang(for a Prince/King).|
|↑10||The top scorer of the CN Official/Scholar Examination|
|↑11||It’s CN afterlife belief, a road to the underworld. The same belief as MengPo Soup, Yellow River, etc.|