Chapter One Hundred and Six: The Dust Has Settled
The period of the fourth night watch, between one and three in the morning, was when people were at their most tired. However, none in Xian Wang Fu dared to sleep. Regardless of their gender, they all held blades or sticks as they looked nervously at the gate of the wang fu, afraid that the rebels outside would charge in.
“Wang Fei, a servant girl wanted to escape from the back door, but we caught her.” Two servant women grabbed a female who was dressed like a servant girl. Their faces were full of anger and hate. At such an important time, this person wanted to run away. If the rebels took the opportunity to enter the wang fu, what to do then?
Bai Xia looked at the person being held by the servant women and said in a small voice to Hua Xi Wan, “Wang Fei, it is Yuan Shu Yi.”
“Take her away.” Hua Xi Wan was slightly irritated. She didn’t care what Yuan Shu Yi had planned, and at this time, she was not in the mood to talk to the other. “Have someone keep a watch on her and not let her walk around.”
She looked at the moon in the sky. She could feel that the rebels outside the wang fu were losing their patience. Her heart tightened slightly. She did not know what Yan Jin Qiu had arranged before he entered the palace. However, rather than putting her hopes on other people, it was better to be prepared herself.
“Archers, prepare!” She raised her hand. “Throwers, to your positions.”
The rebels outside Xian Wang Fu had become impatient a long time ago. If it wasn’t for the leader being hesitant, they would not have waited for so long. Now, they finally could not wait any longer. A team captain went forward and said, “Commander, this soldier is willing to lead the troops.”
The rebel commander looked at Xian Wang Fu which had been quiet for a long time and finally nodded.
Just after he nodded, sound rended the air. The team captain kneeling in front of his horse suddenly fell down. There was a shiny arrow stuck in his chest.
Before the rebel commander could react, he found countless flaming arrows shoot out of Xian Wang Fu. Even more frightening were the sparking jars. When these jars landed, fire shot out and could not be extinguished.
Was it wine that was burning?
At this time, the rebel commander did not have the presence of mind to think about what kind of wine could make fire like this. He watched as his subordinates panicked because of the fire and moved out of their ranks, and his heart jumped.
How many archers were in Xian Wang Fu?
While a qinwang fu could possess some weapons according to its status, this was still limited. But had Xian Wang Fu abided by the rules?
When he thought of how his master was only a junwang but had hidden some good things in secret, he felt even more unconfident. This Xian Wang Fu would not be an easy one to take down.
Just as he was hesitating, he found a personal guard troop suddenly come out of the alley and starting to kill people. They were shouting loudly about killing rebels and protecting the Emperor. While they were not many in number, it caused his subordinates who had already started to panic to become even more disorganized.
These were the personal guards of Ning Wang? Wasn’t Ning Wang usually a cunning and selfish person? How come he dared to stand out at this time?
The rebel commander was still unable to think through this matter when he saw another troop appear. This time, it was the personal guards from Xu Wang Fu.
Then behind them was a group of people dressed as manservants. The leader of the group was the second young
master of Yi’an Marquis Fu, Hua Ding Chen.
“Rebels, we will not allow you to threaten the Emperor. You have committed such great crimes—put down your weapons and comply with arrest!” Hua Ding Chen got off his horse, one hand holding a long spear. “If you put down your weapons, I am willing to ask for mercy from the Emperor.”
The rebel commander was astonished. Xu Wang Fu, Ning Wang Fu, Yi’an Marquis Fu—these people all risked danger by protecting Xian Wang Fu. Leaving aside the marriage relationship between Yi’an Marquis Fu and Xian Wang Fu, when did Xu Wang and Ning Wang get on Xian Wang’s side?
What about the other troops that Wang Ye had stationed in Jing? How come they had not stopped these people? Was it… He had a bad feeling. Wang Ye had planned a long time for this day, but why was the situation developing like this?
In the wang fu, Hua Xi Wan listened to the guard captain report what was happening outside. She was slightly surprised. “You say that my second brother has also come?” She had sent Hong Ying before to tell the marquis fu how dangerous it was. With her father’s personality, he should not allow Second Brother to enter such danger. Had something happened?
She had heard that Xu Wang and Ning Wang had been summoned into the palace. Now the personal guards of these two wang fu had appeared. Had this been prearranged?
The situation was not clear. Hua Xi Wan did not overthink it. She said gravely, “Wait and see.”
While Xu Wang and Ning Wang’s people seemed to be helping Xian Wang Fu, who knew if they were truly helping or just acting? At this time, she could not consider whether or not if this was impolite.
Outside, the rebels had been anxious to start with. When they saw themselves surrounded, and thinking of their families, a great part of their energy dissipated. How much resolve did they have left to fight with their lives?
Emotions would spread. Once one rebel hesitated, it would affect another person. After being surrounded by the guards of the wang fu and marquis fu, they lost their fighting spirit. They only wanted to stay alive and not have this affect their families.
They were not stupid. When they saw this situation, they knew who these people were supporting. If these nobles dared to come out at this time, it meant only one thing—that there were benefits to helping Xian Wang Fu.
They were all wang ye—what benefit would helping Xian Wang give them?
The meaning did not have to be stated. Their own master probably was going to be defeated.
The heavy mourning bell rang out from the imperial palace. Everyone stared blankly and then knelt down. Even the rebels knelt after a moment of hesitation. By doing this, it meant that they had surrendered.
The bell rang out nine times. All of Jing became grave.
“Wang Fei…” Bai Xia looked hesitantly at Hua Xi Wan and was worried.
The old emperor was dead—then who was the new emperor?
Hua Xi Wan looked in the direction of the imperial palace and took a deep breath. “Open the middle gates of the wang fu, put up white banners, take down anything that has color.”
“Open.” Hua Xi Wan shook her head. Since the palace dared to ring the bell, it meant that everything had settled. Right now, it made no difference if Xian Wang Fuopened its gates or not.
In the Emperor’s residential hall, Yan Bo Yi was pushed to the ground by imperial guards. However, his eyes still glared hatefully at Yan Jin Qiu, as though he wanted to take a bite of him and drink his blood.
The other people in the hall seemed to not see him and knelt down in Yan Jin Qiu’s direction. They performed the three kneels and nine kowtows. “Long Live the Emperor, Long Live The Emperor.”
“Emperor, the country cannot go a day without a monarch. Emperor, please succeed to the throne immediately.” Xu Wang reported as he knelt, “Many people in Jing have been scared by the rebels. Only your immediate ascension to the throne can reassure the hearts of the people.”
Yan Jin Qiu said with a sorrowful expression, “The Emperor has just passed away. I do not have the ability to govern and am grieving deeply. I cannot take such a responsibility.”
“How can Emperor be so humble? You’ve had outstanding literary talent since childhood, was raised in the imperial palace, and the previous emperor thought highly of you. The previous emperor’s last wish was for you to ascend the throne, and this is also the wish of the people,” Ning Wang said sincerely. “This subject thinks that Emperor, you should take the throne first, and then have the ceremony on another day. What do you think?”
People couldn’t help but look at Ning Wang. He had said everything good already—what could they still say? While they disdained Ning Wang’s double dealing and back stabbing, everyone present voiced their agreement with Ning Wang. Emperor, you ascension is the wish of all, the people need you, the officials trust you, the future of the country needs you even more, ascend the throne.
They urged like this three times, and Yan Jin Qiu refused three times. In the end, only when the sun had risen did Yan Jin Qiu agree with red eyes. The officials sighed in relief. This play was finally finished.
Yan Bo Yi looked coldly at this group acting. Yan Jin Qiu was still like this. He benefited, but he also wanted the good reputation. It was as though the other people were begging him. It was disgusting to see him pretend like this.
After the play was finished, people finally started to discuss the rebel Yan Bo Yi. However, Yan Bo Yi was a member of the Imperial Family, so the officials could not speak. The members of the Imperial Family also did not dare to speak. They could only observe the expression of the new emperor to guess the thoughts of the new emperor.
Yan Jin Qiu knew what these people were thinking and did not show anything on his face. He looked at Yan Bo Yi kneeling in front of him and said in a deep voice, “Tang brother, I hadn’t thought that you would come to this step.”
Hearing this, Yan Bo Yi gave a bark of laughter. “Is there anything you do not think of and do not scheme for?”
Yan Jin Qiu was not angry at being challenged like this. He looked at Yan Bo Yi with a calm expression, as if he was looking at a foolish child. “The situation is like this—does Tang Brother not have any regret? You took soldiers to seize the palace when the previous emperor was seriously ill. You caused the previous emperor to die from anger. Do you have any regrets about committing such a serious crime?”
“I only regret not being as calculating as you, and being captured.” Yan Bo Yi knew that he had no avenue of life. Therefore, he did not plan to lower himself to live. “You want to scheme, do it. I don’t want to see you acting.”
Yan Jin Qiu heard this and his brows moved slightly. He walked in front of Yan Bo Yi and looked down at him. He slowly said, “How can Tang Brother misunderstand me so?” Finishing, he did not wait for Yan Bo Yi to speak and said loudly, “Sheng Junwang was misled by servants, and committed a great crime that cannot be pardoned. But considering his past reputation, zhen will spare him from the sentence of death, take his surname Yan, and give him the ‘punishment of the character.’ He will be imprisoned for life in the Resting Building.”
The Resting Building was the place to jail the members of the Imperial Family who had committed serious crimes. It had been many years since someone had lived there. In many people’s minds, Yan Jin Qiu was merciful to send Yan Bo Yi there.
“I heard that Tang Brother has a pregnant concubine. Tang Brother, you need to take care of your health and see your child grow up.” Yan Jin Qiu said this in a gentle voice to Yan Bo Yi before having the servants take him away.
Ning Wang looked at Yan Bo Yi being dragged out without resisting and sighed inside. The new emperor appeared to be benevolent, but he was actually a vicious person who killed without spilling blood. He clearly hated Yan Bo Yi but did not take the other’s life. He wanted Yan Bo Yi to live a life worse than death, and live it willingly.
The ‘punishment of the character was to tattoo the character “prisoner” on the forehead of the sentenced person, and to also take their surname before imprisoning them in a building that no one had lived in for a long time. This was not being benevolent. This was cutting people with a dull knife. The person could not die but would not live well.
But when did the new emperor start to have such a great grudge against Yan Bo Yi?