Chapter 243 "The Duel of the Both Generals"
“Royal Father, the implication of this matter is significant. Your son, I, believes we must give this case a thorough and serious investigation. As for Princess Yue, there's already two witnesses indicating her of being connected to the incident. I suggest we remove her princess title and lock her in the prison cell until we can bring the trial to a close." Crown Prince Xia Hou Hong steps forward and chimes in with his take of the matter.
Nangong Liang was a member of his faction – plus the girl in question had offended him during the consort selection - so there's no better opportunity to exact revenge then now.
"Your servant here also believes His Highness is correct in his recommendation." Supporting the boy from the back, Hong Feng also calls out to give pressure.
“Royal Father, the matter hasn't even been investigated yet. We can't just judge Princess Yue based only on speculation and suspicions. Please reexamine the evidence." Sixth Prince Xia Hou Qi also jumps in with his argument after finding that side taking fire at Ling Yue.
Since the sixth prince himself was willing to step forward, the ministers revolving around his faction likewise too also came forward, each giving their side of the argument of why Ling Yue's innocent.
Caught in-between both princes and generals, the king now felt a headache coming at his head. No matter which side he takes with this matter, it will bring trouble regardless.
“Reporting to Your Majesty, the Phoenix Lord is seeking an audience outside the hall." Just when the king didn't know how to decide, the guards outside broke his dilemma with this announcement.
North Qing's Phoenix Lord?
Da Xia was what they call the "little brother" of North Qing, and in order to please the bigger brother, he – the King of Da Xia – deliberately gave the right to this "nephew" to listen upon the court hearings. However, this right was never exercised until today. This would be the first time the Phoenix Lord did that!
Upon hearing the announcement, Lan Ying Wu's tensed heart immediately released itself. He knows, with the Phoenix Lord here, things will be alright.
“Quick, invite the Phoenix Lord.”
Following suit with that summoning was a young man in purple casually strolling inside. Although the hall was the throne room of Da Xia, the youngster had none of the stiff awkwardness that's come to expect of those entering this sacred place.
“Feng Shen greets Your Majesty." Dignified in his posture, he only made a slight bend on the head instead of the usual full bow on the knee.
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During this moment, he didn't forget to take it all in of how Ling Yue was being forced to kneel on the floor and criticized by the eyes of everyone. Flickers of cold gleaming light keeps shooting out from those irises, chilling and dangerous. Yet, as soon as he looked up again, the gentle and kind look was restored without anyone noticing the change.
Meanwhile still on the throne, the king became somewhat perplexed by the arrival of the prince. He didn't expect the matter today to attract someone like the Phoenix Lord, a known individual who doesn't get involved with politics. Nevertheless, he still hurried the servants to grab a chair for the boy.
"I heard the Royal Hospital incurred a huge explosion today. As someone who's constantly bothering the physicians of the hospital, I felt there was a need for me to come have a look." Feng Shen made a face full of concern as he said this.
Such a huge commotion, forget about Feng Shen, literally the entire city could hear the loud blast when it occurred. Right now it's become a heated topic of discussion among the populous.
“Your Majesty, this matter is not difficult to solve. Since this military alchemist here claimed he gave 'Princess Yue' a sack of black powder stone, we just need to locate the remaining portion. A single stone should be enough to raze the entire Royal Hospital to the ground, but since it's only the cauldron that's destroyed, its safe to assume not all of it was used. Your Majesty, you can send your people out to search for the remaining portion. It must be hidden somewhere."
Towards the suggestion made by Feng Shen, both Manager Chou and General Nangong exchanged a sinister glance with each other.
Back when the cauldron first exploded, the two had already discussed the matter in secret. General Nangong knew there's no saving his daughter anymore, but that doesn't mean he can't continue with the plot to exact revenge.
Using their connection and wealth, the two immediately bribed one of the servants in the Lan House and had the remaining sack of black powder hidden away inside the hateful girl's bedroom. When it comes time to search, the evidence will be there without dispute.
Normally General Nangong wouldn't resort to such scheming means to deal with an enemy. That's simply not in his character as a military man. However, whenever he recalled the image of his daughter's cindered corpse lying on the ground, unrecognizable and deformed, his heart would ache with pain like someone's knifing him over and over again.
“Your Majesty, the Phoenix Lord is right. The remaining black powder must be hidden in Princess Yue's bedroom at the Lan residence. I plead you to get justice for my daughter." Getting down to his knee, General Nangong began kowtowing to the king.
“This…” The king himself didn't expect the matter to implicate the entire Lan House too. If so, things will get messy.
“Royal Father, the effects of this matter are far reaching. As a pillar of the country, General Nangong deserves an answer so we must search the Lan House's residence." Crown Prince Xia Hou Hong steps forward too and pleaded.
As everyone in the hall knew, General Nangong was a strong supporter of his and an indispensable force to Xia Hou Hong within the military.
If not for the botched flower gazing gathering, there's a good chance that Nangong Qinglin could've become the crown princess.
“Royal Father, if we must search the Lan residence then we must also search the Nangong family's home. Both families have cause for suspicion. Moreover, the military alchemist stated that he only heard the buyer state she's Princess Yue and hadn't seen the actual person's face. If it becomes known that we are wronging Princess Yue then it will become a scandal. It's only fair we search the Nangong manor too in order to avoid the public from criticizing us for being bias." After seeing Ling Yue and the Lan House being attacked from all corners, Sixth Prince Xia Hou Qi also stepped forward to fight for their end.
“My King, what the Sixth Prince said is true. At the present there's no concrete evidence to indicate the black powder was bought by my daughter Ling Yue. If we are going to search my home then I request that we do the same to the Nangong manor too." Lan Ying Wu sends a hateful glare at his counterpart before making a heavy grunt.
“Very well. Someone come, send the royal guards to search both the Lan manor and the Nangong manor. If anyone locates the black powder then they are to report back immediately." Apparently the king was at a loss on how to deal with these two important generals so he can only do it this way to keep things fair.
Splitting into two teams, the royal guards rushed out of the palace for the two residences without warning, leaving behind the still kneeling Ling Yue on the floor and the worried looking Sixth Prince Xia Hou Qi.
Like a suppressed crowd, none of the ministers in the throne room would dare make a peek. Their only action was to stand there and wait.
“Reporting to Your Majesty, we've found the black powder." After more than an hour later, one of the captains sent out to search returned to the palace with this news.
Lan Ying Wu pricks his brow and moves his gaze to the girl still kneeling beside him. Due to the fact that Ling Yue had her eyes in a downcast position, none in the throne room could tell exactly what she's thinking at the moment.
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(30$ to make me stay up late into the night is fair right for this novel?