Today was His Majesty Feng Xuan’s birthday . The entire capital was talking about it, for the Emperor’s birthday was a big event . The imperial palace was decorated with colorful flowers and various ribbons, appearing remarkably beautiful .
Golden roofs and stone walls were patterned with various dragon designs brightly colored . The floors were covered with soft brocade embroidered carpets . Occasionally there burned a few bright red flames . The entire grand hall was full of low tables . Graceful figured palace maids and eunuchs dressed in blue and gray eunuch uniforms busily wove in and out of the grand hall .
Outside the grand hall stood line after line of guards, palace maids, and mamas guiding the young ladies and young masters of prestigious families into the grand hall . Lan You Nian was amongst them . The current mistress of Lan manor, Hua Mu Qing, wasn’t in attendance . Lan You Nian entered the grand hall with Yue Bai Lian .
When passing by those guards, Lan You Nian casually glanced at them, a fog of ice flashing over her eyes . Couldn’t wait anymore, could they? Good, really good . Xuan probably can’t wait anymore either . If clowns jumping around long enough, it becomes quite irksome .
“There seems to be something wrong with today’s birthday feast . Nian’er, be careful!” Yue Bai Lian whispered, sitting beside Lan You Nian . The women were already seated here, while the men haven’t yet arrived . They were accompanying the Emperor to worship the ancestors . Every year, right before the Emperor’s birthday, it was necessary to take all the officials and ministers to the Imperial Mausoleum to worship the ancestors .
Lan You Nian observed all the young ladies of ministerial families animatedly chatting and laughing, a profoundness flashing over her eyes, and asked Yue Bai Lian, “Why do you say so?” They haven’t received any news . Lan You Nian only just guessed from what she saw . Probably not even Feng Yi Xuan knew something was going to happen .
Yue Bai Lian wasn’t panicked, as if she was not any different than any other woman attending the banquet, and poured a cup of tine for Lan You Nian, smiling, “Today is His Majesty’s banquet feast, yet there are so many guards outside . That there is guards isn’t strange, but it’s strange that they’re standing outside the banquet . And these guards aren’t palace guards, for they give off a killing aura . ”
Lan You Nian’s eyes flashed with praise . She always knew Yue Bai Lian was smart, but now she knew not only was Yue Bai Lian smart, she was also full of courage and insight; otherwise, if an ordinary woman encountered such a situation, they would be shaking with fear-how could they still smile and make tea for her?
“In a moment, if something happens, remember to stay behind me, understood?” Lan You Nian said with an indifferent expression . Yue Bai Lian doesn’t know martial arts . If something happens, she’ll be able to protect her if she stands behind her . For her own people, Lan You Nian will always protect them .
A picturesque smile bloomed on Yue Bai Lian . It wasn’t that she wasn’t afraid of what was about to happen, but knowing she had Lan You Nian by her side, Yue Bai Lian felt at ease, as if Lan You Nian, who was much smaller and much daintier than her, gave her a great sense of security . If something really goes wrong, she’d risk her life to protect Lan You Nian . But Yue Bai Lian was happy hearing Lan You Nian’s words . They were no longer master and servant, but true friends .
“Don’t worry about me . I’m fine! Nian’er, you must be careful!” Yue Bai Lian reached out her hand to hold Lan You Nian’s hands that were as white and flawless as bamboo shoots . She cannot become become Lan You Nian’s stumbling block . If she hindered Lan You Nian, even death cannot absolve her from blame .
The corner of Lan You Nian’s eyes curled, her gaze was gentle . Her smile was decorous, possessing a natural aristocratic poise . She nodded .
Just as everyone was still laughing and chatting, suddenly, the guards outside barged into the hall . All of them swung out their swords . No matter how dense they were, everyone knew that something was wrong .
“What are you doing? Drop your weapons!” A supervisor eunuch stood out, reprimanding those guards, but upon the tail of his words, his throat was slit by a guard . Bright red blood sprayed out, dying red the carpet in the hall . The eunuch topped over, holding his throat .
“Ah! Ah! Ah!” The moment the eunuch’s blood sprayed out and crashed onto the floor, the hall rung with shrill shrieks . The usually dignified women held to one another in horror as they screamed . Even more women shook in fear and wept . Even more, there were some who run in the hall to leave this place, but unfortunately, before they could leave the hall, they were slaughtered by the guards with a swing of their word, only leaving those who didn’t dare to run .
Lan You Nian’s gazed at this scene apathetically, without a trace of pity, nor did she offer a hand to save those innocent women . Lan You Nian was cold-blooded and ruthless . For those unconcerned people, she would offer any kindness . If those people caught her interest or made her view them in a new light, she would offer her hand, but when she saw those superficial women dying under the blades of the guards, Lan You Nian sat there watching them as if watching a play .
Sitting beside Lan You Nian, Yue Bai Lian, despite turning pale from seeing the blood splattering everywhere, her eyes did not contain any pity or sympathy . Though she’s dwelled in the brothel for many years, she’s seen plenty of death and killing . The only thing making her ill at ease wasn’t fear but worry that Lan You Nian would be dragged into it .
An Si Yan who was sitting amongst the noblewomen stood up, smiling . Under the disbelieving gaze of the surrounding women, she walked over to the guards . Those guards didn’t kill her; instead, they respectfully greeted her .
“You,” a girl who was usually friendly with An Si Yan reached out her fingers to point at An Si Yan, looking at her fearfully, weeping as she asked, “An Si Yan, what are you doing? What’s happening?”
An Si Yan smiled daintily, a sharp contrast to the horrified noble women . She smirked, saying to the girl, “What am I doing? Can’t you tell? I’m controlling you!”
“Why? Do you know the consequences of your actions?” The girl looked at An Si Yan fearfully . This was a rebellion! “Si Yan, we have such a good relationship . Can you let me go? I promise I won’t say anything . I just want to go home!” the girl hoped An SiYan can consider their many years of sisterhood and let her go . She didn’t want to die; she was so afraid .
“Let you go?” An Si Yan laughed happily . All these years, though her status was pretty high, but An Si Yan felt right now was the best . Look, so many people feared her . She was the most powerful woman in the capital . “Why would I let you go? Rest assured, as long as you’re obedient, I won’t let them kill you!”
An Si Yan was luxuriating in this feeling when she realized Lan You Nian didn’t show a trace of fear . She just sat there like a beautiful painting . Her white face, without any makeup, was enchanting as a celestial maiden . Those pair of eyes, so clear you could see to the bottom, weren’t lacking in allure . Her fine brows were like willows as a apathetic, mocking smirk filled her eyes . A petite nose and full, red lips rippled on that exquisite and flawless palm-sized face .
“Why aren’t you afraid!?” An Si Yan came over to Lan You Nian, roaring, “Lan You Nian, you slut, why won’t you beg for mercy!?”
Yue Bai Lian was already infuriated on Lan You Nian’s behalf, but she knew she couldn’t do anything at this moment . If she did something wrong, it will only implicate Lan You Nian . Yue Bai Lian could only suppress the fury in her heart, expressionlessly looking at An Si Yan .
Lan You Nian lifted her head, the smile on her lips remain unchanged . It was clear her seated position was much lower than An Si Yan who was standing, but her comportment made other feel An Si Yan was looking up at Lan You Nian .
“What is there to fear?” Lan You Nian asked .
An Si Yan stared at Lan You Nian . Her eyes seemed to dripping with poison, making people shudder with fear . She thought she has already become the knife while Lan You Nian has become the fish . An Si Yan’s expression became distorted as she ordered a guard, “Drag her out! Lan You Nian, today I will let you know the consequences of offending this young miss!”
But the guard stood there without moving an inch . An Si Yan roared, “Didn’t you hear this young miss’s words!”
A guard said, “Replying to young miss, the Prime Minister’s orders were that this Lan manor’s legitimate matter can’t be touched at the moment . There’s still a use for her!” Though he disliked An Si Yan’s temper, he was a subordinate; moreover, he was the Prime Minister’s subordinate, so he can only answer . But he can’t go against the Prime Minister’s wishes .
Lan You Nian smirked . It seems the Prime Minister saw her as Feng Yi Xuan and father’s weak spot- if he caught her, what was there to fear?
“What!?” An Yi Yan didn’t expect that she couldn’t touch Lan You Nian even now, but thinking as long as she didn’t die, father and grandfather could still use Lan You Nian to threaten Ming wang and General Lan . An Si Yan reached out her palm to slap Lan You Nian . She resented Lan You Nian’s exquisite and flawless face . She wanted to destroy Lan You Nian’s face . Let’s see who will like Lan You Nian then .
A faint smile hung on Lan You Nian’s face, but the frostiness within that smile trounced the frost of winter . As An Si Yan was about to slap her, Lan You Nian abruptly stood . Her left foot lifted violently, a whip of her leg carried a howling wind, ramming into An Si Yan’s waist, directly slamming An Yi Yan onto the floor .
Meanwhile, at the Imperial Mausoleum…
Emperor Feng Xuan led many ministers and young masters to the Imperial Mausoleum . In actuality, heading to the Imperial Mausoleum was actually just praying to the ancestors at the dais, the meaning was to thank the ancestors for their blessings and to continue protecting Feng country .
The dais at the Imperial Mausoleum was even higher than a hundred steps, giving people a solemn and upright air . Emperor Feng Xuan led four sons up the steps . The ministers below were already kneeling down and showing their reverence .
Feng Yi Xuan followed Emperor Feng Xuan’s footsteps up the stairs . Suddenly, Feng Yi Xuan’s foot paused momentarily, his cold, piercing eyes emitted a bone-chilling frost, but in an instant, they returned to normal . Glancing at Feng Shao Chu, Feng Yi Xuan’s fingers shifted slightly, giving a covert corner a secret signal .
This secret signal was to have An Yi led a portion of Ming army to the palace hall . For many days, be’s been observing for when the Empress’s faction would make their move but didn’t expect they would make their move today . Feng Yi Xuan instantly thought of Lan You Nian who was attending the palace banquet . What fight for imperial power? He didn’t care for it . Nian Nian’s safety was the most important to him . Even if assigning a portion of Ming army to the palace banquet was an unwise move, he simply didn’t care .
An Yi, who has been standing guard in the shadows, saw his master’s secret signal and immediately led a portion of Ming army that has been hiding in the imperial palace over to the palace banquet . He was aware of how important the matriarch was to his master . If something happens to the matriarch, don’t mention the endings of those enemies, he feared the entirety of Feng country will be plunged into an abyss of misery and suffering .
Ming army hastily followed An Yi’s footsteps in the palace unseen . Their master was Ming wang, but below Ming wang, An Yi was also their master, so when they knew they were going to save Ming wangfei who they’ve never seen but have heard of, they were all elated as they aimed to perform well in front of wangfei . They just didn’t know if a woman like wangfei would be afraid of iron-blooded men like them .
Seeing An Yi disappear into the shadows, Feng Yi Xuan felt slightly reassured . He knew of Lan You Nian’s capabilities; he knew even without An Yi, Nian Nian can escape danger, but Feng Yi Xuan won’t let go even a sliver of a possibility . He couldn’t afford the gamble .
When Emperor Feng Xuan finished his prayers and walked down from the dais, from all sides of the Imperial Mausoleum swarms of soldiers came pouring out . These soldiers were carrying weapons . Even more startling was that these soldiers were facing the Emperor .
Emperor Feng Xuan remained unflappable as he looked at these soldiers, reproaching, “Treacherous villains, are you rebelling?”
At this moment, Prime Minister An who was hidden amongst the ministers stood out . His ministerial outfit couldn’t hide Prime Minister’s ambitions . He stared up at the Emperor . For the first time, he didn’t kneel deferentially; instead, he smiled sinisterly, “Feng Xuan, you can’t sit steadily on this throne . It’s about it changed masters! This old man is only complying with heaven’s will!”
“What an ambitious wolf!” Feng Xia Qi’s fox eyes jumped , “Old man, if you want to rebel just say so, why make so many excuses? But Prime Minister An, do you want to sit on the throne yourself, or is there someone else behind you?”
Feng Xia Qi knew Prime Minister An’s rebellion was at second wangye Feng Shao Chu’s signal, but unfortunately Feng Shao Chu was still standing on their side . If it was so, then even if they eliminated the prime minister and his forces, future trouble still existed .
As for Feng Shao Chu, like everyone else, he was glaring furiously at Prime Minister An as if he doesn’t know anything, but was he really ignorant? Of course not! An manor’s rebellion was his idea, but Feng Shao Chu was aware that rebelling wasn’t a small matter . If something goes wrong, it was the huge crime facing nine familial exterminations . He wanted to ascend the throne so how can he die? So he had Prime Minister An them rebel . Though a portion of the military power in their hands belonged to him, if they succeeded, he could ascend the throne, if they failed, he could still escape blame and make a comeback . Empress Mother and grandfather both agreed to this plan, so he didn’t do anything today .
“Ministers, be at ease . I had my subordinates invite your daughters as guests!” An Gong Jing stood beside his father, looking at those ministers who were about to make a fuss arrogantly . They already had these ministers’ children in their hands .
The ministers who were about to take a stand for the imperial family didn’t move out of fear once they heard this . Many of them were genuinely loyal, but behind them, they still had their own family . At the moment, many of the ministers didn’t move, only glared 愤恨 at the pair of father and son .
“An Gong Jing, you dare!” Lan Jian Jun pointed his spear at the pair of father and son . Know his daughter has already entered the palace, Lan Jian Jun already wanted to kill . Even though he knew that he should run over to the Emperor’s side to protect their sovereign, Lan Jian Jun couldn’t do it . His heart was filled with . his daughter . He wanted to kill these people who wanted to hurt Nian’er .
“Ha!” Prime Minister An’s subordinates immediately stepped forward and formed a protective circle around the pair of father and son . There were already some soldiers who were fighting Lan Jian Jun, with his spear .
Though there were many soldiers, Lan Jian Jun was a war general . Though he couldn’t hurt the pair of father and son, none of the soldiers were able to hurt him . He faced millions of enemies when he fought on the battlefield, so Lan Jian Jun skillfully maneuvered amongst them .
Lan Mo Xian was also infuriated, but remembered his own place . Father has already offended imperial power . If he too ignored His Majesty’s safety, even if His Majesty subdued the rebels, Lan Manor will face His Majesty’s suspicions .
Lan Jian Jun fought for a long time but still wasn’t able to charge out of the Imperial Mausoleum . He could only retreat back to His Majesty’s side . At this point, the situation was even clearer . more clear
On the Emperor’s side stood several princes, Lan manor’s father and son, Jing manor’s father and son pair, as well as some devoted old ministers . On Prime Minister An’s side, there stood some officials promoted by Prime Minister An, leaving only the conservative faction, neither standing on the the Emperor’s side to display their loyalty nor standing on Prime Minister An’s side to revolt .
In an instant, the entire Imperial Mausoleum became quiet . Both sides emitted killing intent, things were at the verge of breaking out…