An Unreasonable Old Man
Seeing Wang Zhuo’s dumbfounded expression, Xuan Tian Ming snorted and said: “He’s not dreaming, and he’s not eating. It seems that he’s singing.” After saying this, he reached out and pushed the door open before walking in on his own.
Wang Zhuo followed him in. Not a few steps later, he heard the Emperor’s broken singing voice, singing: “Elder brother snapped some willow twigs for younger sister, and younger sister made a basket to gather mushrooms. Elder brother caught some fish and gave them to younger sister, and younger sister raised them next to the stream.”
Wang Zhuo was confused. What exactly was going on? There was chaos outside, yet the inside of the palace had people ordering pigeon soup and singing plays. Had they all gone insane?
Of course, he only dared to wonder this to himself. He did not dare to say it. Looking again at Xuan Tian Ming, this ninth prince did not have any particular reaction. It was as though everything that was happening before him was very normal. He then turned around and said to him: “Since the imperial palace is fine, go lead the people outside to catch Bu Cong and his heavily armored soldiers. Catch all that you can. If you can’t catch them, just beat them to death. Hand down the order to Bai Ze to immediately send a notice to the military camp. Have Qian Li lead a group to assault the remnants of the Northern forces. Don’t leave a single one alive.”
Wang Zhuo finally let out a sigh of relief. Right now, he would rather leave the palace to fight a battle than continue to experience the weird atmosphere of the imperial palace! Thus he quickly complied and said: “This subordinate obeys!”
This reply was a little too loud and shocked the Emperor. The song came to an end, and he exploded with anger, “Who is it that came to cause a disturbance?”
Wang Zhuo trembled and dropped to his knees: “This official Wang Zhuo, captain of the city gate guards, greets your Majesty!”
The Emperor hastily walked out from the inner hall of Zhao He Hall. It was clear that he was a little annoyed. He did not ask Xuan Tian Ming and Wang Zhuo why they had come into the palace this late into the night. He just began to discuss with Xuan Tian Ming: “Could you not have gone over to Heavenly Hall? Heavenly Hall has a throne. You just need to sit on that throne and give orders as you please. You can give whatever order you want. We will have little Yuan bring over the imperial jade seal. If you feel that your ability to speak is a little lacking, just have someone plan the decree. After it’s been written, you just need to place a stamp on it. How about it? Don’t cause any trouble here. We are busy.”
Wang Zhuo was about to collapse from hearing this; however, Xuan Tian Ming was already accustomed to this, but he was truly angry this time. Not even the golden mask could cover the anger. The anger in his body surged forth and caused the Emperor to retreat a couple steps subconsciously.
“Ming… Ming’er.” The Emperor was a little lacking in confidence, “Who angered you? Speak! Your father Emperor will support you. Is it old third? Old third or old fourth? Or is it old third working with old fourth? Just arrest all of them. How about having your wife go and beat the two to death! Hah, as I said last time, your wife beat old third too lightly. In truth, there was no need to give Us any face. We have not wanted that bastard for a long time. She…”
“She is still outside the city!” Xuan Tian Ming suddenly raised his voice and shouted at the Emperor: “Heng Heng and seventh brother were tricked into leaving the city by Duan Mu Qing, and neither has returned yet!” He angrily clenched his fists, his knuckles popping. Although he knew that Feng Yu Heng had a space that she could dodge into, what if she did not evade in time? What if something went wrong with her space at a critical moment? He did not dare place Feng Yu Heng’s life in any danger. The Emperor and the palace’s lack of care had angered him.
The Emperor was stunned. Feng Yu Heng had left the city? She had been tricked by Duan Mu Qing? Old seventh had also gone out? He was startled and his back suddenly became soaked in a cold sweat.
“We… I-I did not think that those two would leave the city.” The Emperor was truly anxious. Originally, he felt that he was quite calm. Even this imperial palace had been quite calm. Even if the sound of the gate being rammed was quite loud, spreading to every corner of the imperial palace, he still had Zhang Yuan spread the word to each palace that there was no need to fear. The ninth prince’s army was already outside and apprehending the criminals. The people inside the palace had truly listened to him. They ate and slept as they should. In fact, the Empress, who did not fear things getting out of hand, brought some imperial concubines down to the theatre to watch a play. But he never thought that Feng Yu Heng would fall for a trick.
What should be done? Even if he was the ruler of the country, he also began to worry at this time because he knew what Feng Yu Heng meant to Xuan Tian Ming. He knew even more what Feng Yu Heng meant to Da Shun. That girl was a national treasure. No matter what happened to anyone, nothing must happen to her. Otherwise, it would be enough for him to regret living.
Seeing that the Emperor was becoming anxious and had a bad expression, Zhang Yuan quickly went forward to support and comfort him, saying: “Your Majesty, you must not become anxious and get angry. Your health is important. County princess Ji An’s group has heaven’s favor. Even if they did not have heaven’s favor, don’t we still have his Highness the ninth prince favoring them? Also, his Highness the seventh prince has also left the city. Based on his Highness the seventh prince’s abilities, he would definitely be able to protect county princess Ji An.”
The Emperor stomped his foot: “What if the North prepared more people?”
“There is no what if.” Zhang Yuan was very resolute and said: “This is something that the two princes can definitely do!” After saying this, he glanced at Xuan Tian Ming, “Your Highness, what do you say?”
Xuan Tian Ming helplessly sighed. What could he say? It was good that the Emperor was calm. It was also good that he trusted him. Feng Yu Heng being tricked into leaving the city was unexpected to all, and nobody could be blamed.
“Right.” He nodded to the Emperor and said magnanimously, “With seventh brother there, nothing will happen to Heng Heng, but…” He frowned and recalled that Wang Zhuo was still present. He quickly gave Wang Zhuo a kick, “Go handle your business.” Wang Zhuo did not say another word and ran off.
The Emperor watched him run off like a rabbit with his injured leg and could not help but ask: “His injury is fake, right?”
Xuan Tian Ming did not have any desire to joke with him and coldly said: “It’s real.” He then gave a brief summary of what had happened outside. He then said that Xuan Tian Ye had already been tossed into the mountain prison. Only then did he continue with what he was about to say earlier: “Although the situation is under control, can you show a little conscience? The way you express your calmness is by singing? Even if you sing, in any case, sing a military song. What elder brother and younger sister. What sort of thing are you doing?”
The Emperor became unhappy: “Aren’t I doing this to make your imperial concubine mother happy? Back then, she had sung this sort of song that hooked this old man’s heart! After she caught hold of me, she just left me alone. She has let me go? That’s awfully nice! This old one will definitely sing to get her back!”
Xuan Tian Ming felt that this old emperor of a father was truly too unreasonable. He waved his hand: “Just continue singing! I will be going to Heavenly Hall.”
The Emperor became anxious: “Hah! How about you stay here. Either way, We cannot sleep. Don’t leave! That uh… I will give you the imperial jade seal!”
Xuan Tian Ming was so angry that his nose became crooked. The imperial jade seal, was that something that could casually be given away? Could his father be reasonable for once? Helpless, he waved his hand behind him: “I don’t want it!”
“Then you must send someone out to find Heng Heng! How about you go look for her yourself! There are no problems in the imperial palace!”
Xuan Tian Ming said in a cold voice: “I leave? If I leave, what would you do if something were to happen? If the imperial palace fell into chaos, none of us would survive!”
The Emperor wanted to say a little more, but Zhang Yuan tugged him back: “Enough, his Highness has already gone far away. Don’t keep pretending.”
The Emperor looked out for a bit and asked with some uncertainty: “Has he really gone far away?”
“That’s fine. Let’s continue singing. Where did we get to earlier?”
When Xuan Tian Ming left the vicinity of Zhao He Hall, the last thing that he heard was the Emperor’s awful singing voice start up once more. This caused him to angrily roll his eyes. he truly wondered how the great Da Shun prospered more with each passing day under this unfortunate emperor. Its vitality was truly indomitable!
This night, Xuan Tian Ming stayed in the imperial palace and commanded 20 thousand soldiers. With the imperial guard of the imperial palace, the Yu Palace, the Chun Palace and the county princess’ manor, they were sent to all corners of the capital. Not two hours later, all of the heavily armored soldiers were shackled; however, Bu Cong could not be found.
Bai Ze hastily brought a gate guard into the imperial palace. The guard saw Xuan Tian Ming and dropped to his knees, saying in a shaky voice: “Your Highness, roughly one hour ago, county princess Ji An and General Bu Cong left the city together. They left through the Eastern gate. This subordinate saw them go all the way East; however, I do not know for what reason.”
“You saw this clearly?”
“Completely clearly!” The guard added: “This subordinate even spoke with county princess and can guarantee that it was the county princess herself.”
Xuan Tian Ming began to have some guesses in mind; however, he was unable to guess why Feng Yu Heng would leave with Bu Cong for the East. Wasn’t it said that she had gone North to chase Duan Mu Qing?
His mind shifted and a thought suddenly came up. He then ordered Bai Ze: “Go call someone that guards the city gates.”
Bai Ze left and returned not too long later. The person that had been brought back had a body covered in injuries. “Master.” He said to Xuan Tian Ming: “The Northern gate’s guards had been swapped out by Bu Cong. This is the only living one.”
Xuan Tian Ming nodded and said to the person: “Don’t worry. Although your wounds are serious, they will not cost you your life. All of the soldiers that have been injured tonight will be treated by military doctors.”
The soldier kowtowed gratefully then heard Xuan Tian Ming ask: “This prince will ask you. Before you were attacked, did you see county princess Ji An and his Highness the seventh prince leave the city?”
The guard nodded and said with great certainty: “I saw them. It was not just county princess and his Highness the seventh prince. There were also two servants.” At that time, Ban Zou was hidden in the shadows and was not discovered.
Once this was said, the guard from the Eastern gate was dazed and anxiously asked: “When did you see them? Did county princess come back after that?”
That person thought a little, “County princess left when night was just falling. There was no disturbance in the capital. People were still circulating on the streets. As for whether or not she returned…” He looked at Xuan Tian Ming and had a remorseful expression, saying: “After the city gate was lost, this subordinate does not know what happened.”
Xuan Tian Ming nodded and had developed a bit of an understanding. Feng Yu Heng and his seventh brother had left through the Northern gate. It was not possible for them to return in such a short period of time. That was why the person that had left the city with Bu Cong through the Eastern gate should not be Feng Yu heng. But if it was not Feng Yu Heng, then who was it?
He furrowed his brow and ordered Bai Ze: “Continue to send people North to meet up with county princess and Prince Chun. Also, send people East to pursue. Regardless of whether it’s Bu Cong or the so-called county princess, capture them alive for this prince!”