“Yuetian! Yuetian…I beg you, take me away…! Let’s start from the beginning. I won’t be any Emperor in my next life, and I don’t want to be apart from you in my whole life!”
The plea, which seemed to exhaust the Emperor’s last strength, echoed in the Golden Dragon Palace. Looking at the expression of the motionless eunuch at the corner of the Dragon bed, it must have shaken his spirit as well. If he’s lucky enough to survive after all this, perhaps he would never forget this desperate cry, filled with love and hate of a lifetime.
The other party was clearly a Vengeful Ghost, yet the one who begged persistently to be dragged to the underworld became the living person instead…Such a complicated and thrilling feeling, Lin Yuetian was honestly unable to comprehend at all.
Just kidding. Was he such an idle person in the first place, for him to bother comprehending others’ feelings? What’s the use of empathizing with the nonsense of a dying man?
Therefore, Lin Yuetian simply nodded and smiled. His expression looked to be genuinely sincere, even the gaze in his eyes looking at Zheng Hongxuan became tender.
“I see.” He said.
The System’s noticed the change in his words, from the humble self-refer of “This Minister“, to the informal “I“changing from the humble chén: This Minister, to informal wǒ: I. It’s a sign that Lin Yuetian had put down any pretense and stopped his role-playing as the Original Body. This could only mean one thing. He was sure of what was going to happen next, hence there was no need to spend more energy on acting.
As expected, Lin Yuetian pulled out the long knife he had been holding covered by the long sleeve of his robe.
It was provided by Consort Lin to him beforehand. She had made it clear, that the Emperor could not possibly die under her elder brother’s hand. The charge of committing regicide could only be borne by Lin Yuetian. General Lin, who led his soldiers to breach the Forbidden City, naturally should have the excuse of worrying about the Emperor’s safety, causing him to be reckless in a moment of anxiety.
Look, wasn’t it truly the tale of a passionate loyal Subject?
Well…despite the nonsensical logic, nevertheless, as long as the victor was General Lin at the end of the day, who’d care about the detail? Therefore, Consort Lin was generous enough to provide him with all the help Lin Yuetian might need at this critical juncture, including a well-casted knife.
Lin Yuetian was holding the scabbard in his hand, and as he witnessed this change, the small eunuch came to his sense.
‘What kind of Vengeful Ghost killing his target using a knife!’
The System couldn’t tell whether the current expression of the eunuch was calmer or even more frightened by this revelation. He looked like he wanted to call out, warning the Emperor about this matter. But his muscles had long been paralyzed by Lin Yuetian’s anesthetic candles he brought with him from the moment he entered this Hall earlier.
After all, how could Lin Yuetian slip a chance for others to ruin his Play? He was used to exploiting loopholes, there’s no way he’d create a loophole in his own plan!
Lin Yuetian didn’t want to waste any more time either. He drew the knife from its scabbard in a swift motion.
The glint from the sharp blade was like a spark of electricity. Lin Yuetian was very much aware that his current body had no skill in martial arts, so he had to make a fast but lethal hit. That’s why he requested a knife instead of a sword.
He mobilized almost all of his strength in his strike, and the long knife slashed violently at Zheng Hongxuan across the bed curtain.
How much did Lin Yuetian put his strength into his attack? It was to the point of ripping the bed curtain from its tent.
The torn curtain fell down, covering the dying Emperor. There was an embroidery of a Dragon on the curtain embroidered by the best Embroiderer. The fabrics were also embellished with the most precious pearls, glistening like real tears. When this cloth covered the Emperor’s body, it looked strangely fitting to put an end to an Emperor.
Zheng Hongxuan didn’t die directly and looked like he was struggling to let out some words from his throat. Lin Yuetian took a deep breath and,
…stabbed him for the second time!
The fabrics began to be smudged with a reddish shade.
Lin Yuetian calmed his breath and delivered another business smile to Zheng Hongxuan.
“Your Majesty…guess what? I’m still alive. It seems like you have to go to Huangquan road by yourself.” Lin Yuetian gave him another stab.
He felt somehow proud of his sense of humor. Perhaps he had developed this from listening to Tom and Jerry during this short period.
“By the way,”
The bed curtain covering Zheng Hongxuan’s body had been completely dyed red and was in tatter. The sound of blood dripping on the floor could be heard like listening to the sound of a raindrop. Lin Yuetian didn’t know whether Zheng Hongxuan has died or was still alive. He stabilized his breathing for a while. Out of respect to the ancient Emperor, he decided to summarize the reasons for Zheng Hongxuan’s failure and gave him some modern ideas in the meantime.
“…There’s neither Ghost nor Deity in this world, according to my belief. There is no Huangquan road, and of course, no next life.”
The Golden Dragon Palace was finally engulfed in complete silence.
Outside the Golden Dragon Palace.
Rows of soldiers lined up solemnly. Each of them had blood stains on their armor. Even if the Commander repeatedly warned his subordinates to be quiet, they couldn’t help but feel restless. The situation above had changed, and their future was guaranteed to have a prosperous life. Who could remain calm in the face of such an exciting prospect?
At this time, the soldiers suddenly dispersed and made way, respectfully welcoming, “General!”
General Lin responded with a casual nod as he strode forward briskly. His silver armor was stained and mottled with blood, and the sword in his hand had yet returned to its scabbard. There was a faint trace of fatigue on his face after a whole night of deadly fighting, but there was also an uncontrollable exhilaration appearing on the surface.
He walked over to the Commander and asked in a low voice,
“How long has it been since that Shadow Guard stay inside?”
“It’s been an hour.” The Commander replied in a similarly low voice. “General, do you want to go in and check the situation…?”
“We have stationed our people in every corner of the palace. They all recognize Zheng Hongxuan’s appearance. Even if he tried to escort his Master to flee from the palace, he has no power to go against the Sky.” General Lin had already referred to the Emperor by using his direct name.
“How about Consort Lin?”
“Consort Lin is currently staying with the little prince in Ganquan Palace.” The Commander answered. “This subordinate has guaranteed the safety of the Consort.”
General Lin nodded in satisfaction and whispered, “The last person who’ll die tonight is that Shadow Guard. No one else needs to die aside from him. He knows too much. There’s a lot of casualties tonight, so let’s give the Forbidden City a peaceful state for a while, before welcoming its new Master…”
General Lin and the other soldiers waited outside the Golden Dragon Palace for another two or three sticks of incensearound 15 minutes. When they were starting to feel unease about the situation, at that time, they suddenly heard someone shouting from inside the Emperor’s chamber,
“Delivering His Majesty’s decree—,”
“Zhen, has been on the throne for 2 years. Zhen feels regret for believing in superstitious belief in Ghosts and Deities and has been abandoning his duty in the government as a result, leading to the formation of unsupervised factions in the Court, letting the corrupt officials exhaust the Imperial’s funds, and causing misery to the people. Zhen feels ashamed to his Ancestors, ashamed to Heaven and Earth, yet Zhen is unable to make an atonement.”
“Today, Zhen will finally bid farewell to the world. The Third Prince, the son of Consort Lin, is still young in age, but is smart and has an exemplary temperament. Such a person is worthy to shoulder the Great Causebecoming the Emperor.“
“During the time Zhen has sat on the throne, the harem is sparse, and the descendants are few. Fortunately, Consort Lin is a virtuous concubine and has been courteous to managing the Six PalacesResidents of the Imperial Harem, the East and West 6 Palaces, built on both sides of the Emperor’s Palace. The aerial view of the current 6 Palaces in Forbidden City:
Therefore, Consort Lin shall be bestowed the position of Empress Dowager.”
“General Lin has been a loyal and dedicated Subject to the Dynasty, and thenceforth shall be appointed as the Guardian of the Dynasty and will manage the army of the Dynasty onwards!”
General Lin could finally put down his tensed emotion after confirming that the great event had been successfully accomplished! He kowtowed to the ground for quite a long time, and announced in a loud voice,
“This Minister is grateful for the Emperor’s trust and shall accept the decree!”
At this time, suddenly a head was thrown out from inside the Palace, rolled for a while on the jade steps, passing in between the soldiers outside.
It was Zheng Hongxuan’s head!
His expression was stuck in indescribable despair, it was unknown what kind of torment he had experienced for having such a look in his death door.
However, such bold actionthrowing the head, needless to say, it must have been done by that fearless Shadow Guard!
General Lin smiled and ordered the confidants on his sides, “Go in. Check the situation of His Majesty-Pardon me, now should be the Late Emperor’s.”
Afterward, he lowered his voice and added, “When you encountered that Shadow Guard as described by this General inside, kill him!”
He had a comprehensive plan prepared in his hand. When that Shadow Guard died, there would be no one who hold either the evidence or witness of tonight’s event.
Unfortunately, not long after his trusted subordinate entered the Palace Hall, they hurried out to report, informing him that when they entered the Golden Dragon Palace, except for the corpse of the Late Emperor, there was only a trembling small eunuch on the ground.
Naturally, Lin Yuetian had expected such an ending long ago.
He was extremely clear that General Lin would never let a living witness or evidence of his regicide. Therefore, soon after he finished his business with Zheng Hongxuan, he forged the decree, taught the small eunuch how to pass the passages well, and threatened him to obey his last demand; throwing the Emperor’s head outside. Otherwise, the eunuch should know the consequence in the future.
All this time, General Lin had never met face to face with Lin Yuetian to prevent any loophole in his rebellion. Therefore, he was unaware that the so-called Shadow Guard was in fact, the (should be) deceased-Prime Minister Lin. The two partners had no encounter, naturally, he didn’t recognize Lin Yuetian’s voice either.
After completing his task, Lin Yuetian disguised himself as a dainty Palace Maid, mixing with the other servants and maids who were escaping from the Forbidden City.
In order to avoid any pursuit and being caught back, he fled from the Palace, heading to General Lin’s Mansion. He knew judging from the character of both General Lin and Consort Lin, it was impossible to get his final payment. Therefore, General Lin must have guarded Consort Lin’s Palace heavily.
Compared to the iron bucket in the palace, the General Mansion’s safety measures could be said to be deserted. In this way, disguising as a maid, Lin Yuetian sneaked into the Mansion, took the amount of money he deserved, and directly left the Capital City that very night.
The moment Lin Yuetian was out of the city corresponds to the time when the small eunuch finished announcing the forged Imperial Decree.
The System likewise announced the completion of his Task.
[“3rd Mission: Take back Zheng Hongxuan’s love and his throne. Completed.”]
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|↑1||changing from the humble chén: This Minister, to informal wǒ: I|
|↑2||around 15 minutes|
|↑3||becoming the Emperor|
|↑4||Residents of the Imperial Harem, the East and West 6 Palaces, built on both sides of the Emperor’s Palace. The aerial view of the current 6 Palaces in Forbidden City:
|↑5||throwing the head|