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Chapter 643 – The Princes of the Chen Clan
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
What was the Imperial clan? One could be called emperor by ascending to the throne, and from this perspective, the Tianhai Divine Empress being able to awaken the Imperial Design was not at all difficult to comprehend.
But Zhu Luo had a.s.sociated with the Chen Imperial clan for several centuries and knew many secrets. He knew that moving the Imperial Design required the possession of true imperial blood.
The Divine Empress had ruled for more than two hundred years, but she had only ascended to the throne twenty years ago. There was simply not enough time for the Imperial Design to admit that her blood was imperial blood.
She stood at the peak of the Mausoleum of Books, looking down upon the world, looking at the great array within the capital. Her beautiful face was apathetic to the extreme, no emotions visible upon it.
Yes, she was not surnamed Chen. The true blood of the Heavenly Phoenix flowed within her body, but it was not imperial blood, and she also did not have enough time to have the Imperial Design descend, but this did not mean that she was without means.
Daoist Ji was also well aware that she would have a way, so he did not pose a question as Zhu Luo did.
In fact, in the next moment, many people, Zhu Luo included, also thought of this point.
The great array of the Imperial Design was created many years ago, its history incredibly long, at least longer than that of the Chen Imperial clan.
The capital was presently the capital of the Great Zhou, but before the Great Zhou, this place was already the capital.
Before the Chen Imperial clan, there was yet another Imperial clan of extremely pure lineage, one that had even persisted until the present.
Zhu Luo gazed in the direction of the Imperial Palace and sternly rebuked, "Liang w.a.n.gsun, you dare engage in such disgraceful actions!"
There were three high points in the capital.
The Mausoleum of Books and the Dew Platform were two, and the other location was the Lingyan Pavilion.
The Lingyan Pavilion was in the depths of the Imperial Palace and was a high tower.
The most important alteration the Great Zhou Imperial clan had made to the Imperial Design was the construction of the Lingyan Pavilion, and this was also where the pivot of the array was located.
Liang w.a.n.gsun sat in the very center of the Lingyan Pavilion.
Tonight, his hand did not grasp the Vajra Pestle, but a torch.
This torch was not made of gold or jade, but was glittering and translucent. At its tip blazed a white flame.
This was a divine artifact of the demons: the White Sun Flame.
Liang w.a.n.gsun's eyes were tightly closed, his face pale. The hand gripping the torch was constantly bleeding blood.
This blood flowed into the White Sun Flame, and, instead of dripping to floor, was sucked within.
The light released by the White Sun Flame was not dyed b.l.o.o.d.y from this. It remained sacred and pure, seeming to contain infinite energy.
This light was so fierce that even the exterior of the always gloomy Lingyan Pavilion was brightly lit tonight.
As for within, the Lingyan Pavilion was illuminated as brightly as day, very similar to how the Divine Kingdom was often imagined.
The portraits on its wall were illuminated very clearly, the founding ministers of the Great Zhou quietly gazing at Liang w.a.n.gsun.
If they were to know that this young prince was a descendant of the Liang Imperial clan that they had worked arduously to overthrow, they might have felt rueful.
Who were these legends within the portraits willing to confer their blessings upon?
In the past several centuries, the Lingyan Pavilion remained silent in the depths of the Imperial Palace, melding with the darkness and never letting anyone easily set eyes upon it.
Tonight, it was growing brighter and brighter.
In the past several centuries, the stone steps and plaza before the Lingyan Pavilion had been absolutely deserted.
Tonight, these places were crowded with people.
The Imperial Guards vigilantly kept watch in all directions.
Xue Xingchuan sat upon his Red Cloud Qilin, indifferently gazing forward.
Straight ahead in the pitch-black darkness was the main gate of the Imperial City.
Tonight, the gate of the Imperial City was open, as if it was preparing to welcome guests.
At the moment, the Frost G.o.d Spear was in the Imperial Palace, releasing its incomparably tyrannical Qi.
He was here.
Then, who would dare come in?
On this rainy night of early autumn, those who opposed the Tianhai Divine Empress's reign arrived in the capital from all over the continent, attempting to overthrow her in one fell swoop.
But there were also many people loyal to the Divine Empress.
Besides important generals of the Great Zhou Army like Xue Xingchuan, there were also people concealed in the darkness. Perhaps it was as the Tang Second Master had said: although the Elder of Heavenly Secrets was truly unable to keep resisting the wearing away of time after the battle at Mount Han and was on the verge of death, the Divine Empress who had the friendship of the Elder of Heavenly Secrets naturally also still had the aid of the Pavilion of Heavenly Secrets.
Earlier in the night, Chen Changsheng had infiltrated the alley of the Northern Military Department and destroyed the crabapple tree courtyard, but the operations of the Department for Purging Officials were not greatly affected. The moment Zhou Tong awoke, he resisted his injuries to order his subordinates to meet up with the a.s.sa.s.sins of the Pavilion of Heavenly Secrets and begin sneaking into the darkness, preparing for the moment when they would strike at their respective targets.
With the a.s.sistance and masking of the Imperial Design, several hundred crack a.s.sa.s.sins had already arrived outside the manors of the dukes and n.o.ble clans, and approached the carriages of those fifteen princes from the outlying provinces. Once they received the order, these a.s.sa.s.sins would act in the Divine Empress's name to cleanly wipe away ministers and descendants that dared to be disloyal to her.
The person that could send out this order was naturally the Tianhai Divine Empress herself.
All that was required from her now was a word or even a glance, and the entire capital would be bathed in blood. The process might be somewhat difficult, but it seemed that the end was already foreordained.
If speaking of causes and the fruit of these causes, the fruit that was Chen Changsheng was contrarily the cause of this matter.
Her opponents, waiting for her to suffer the backlash of the Heavenly Dao or to walk into a trap, had come one by one to the capital.
Those foes that had remained hidden for two hundred years in the darkness, those enemies that had silently endured for so many years…she had long since determined that she no longer wanted to see them again.
After tonight, she would have killed all her enemies, and then she could relax and do her own things.
This was the result she desired. Besides this, anything that happened tonight had no meaning and no effect on her.
This included the matter of how she had used the mighty energy of the world and the primordial Qi of the Mausoleum of Books to defy the heavens and change Chen Changsheng's fate. To her, it seemed that this was also a trivial matter.
The rain gently drizzled down from the night. It had no sound, and it also seemed to lack any corporeal existence. There was only an extremely faint sense of moisture.
She held her hands behind her back and gazed at the dark capital, her expression calm.
Only Chen Changsheng behind her could faintly tell that her hands were faintly trembling.
On a certain street in the capital, a heartrending cry of grief tore through the night.
"Imperial mother, you can pay so much for your son, this lowly one…this lowly one is also your son!"
A man fell from one of the fifteen imperial carriages that had entered the capital under the darkness. This man was dressed in clothes of dull yellow, his appearance ugly. With an extremely sincere look on his face, he incessantly kowtowed in the direction of the Mausoleum of Books, tears dripping down his face as he spoke. "Mother, please forgive, your child has been deceived…no, your baby has been tricked by others to this place!"
In these few remarks, this man had addressed the Tianhai Divine Empress one way and then another, and he changed the way he called himself three times, making the listener want nothing more than to cover up their ears.
This man was the famously mediocre and incompetent Prince of Louyang. It could be said that this prince had no sense of honor, but there was truly no one who felt he was lying.
Ever since he was a child, he had been timid and afraid of getting in trouble. On a grand undertaking like the rebellious princes entering the capital, with his everyday temperament, he would have never dared to take part, so he truly must have been tricked here. Only after entering the capital did the Prince of Louyang finally understand what they were intending to do tonight and was so scared that his entire body was shuddering. After seeing how easily the Tianhai Divine Empress took control over the situation, he was so scared that his legs gave out. He didn't dare stay, yet he couldn't even walk. Quailing in fear, he quickly clambered out of the carriage and kneeled on the ground to beg for mercy.
Soon after, a few princes recalled the Divine Empress's dignified grandeur of the past and also walked out of their carriages to kowtow towards the Mausoleum of Books. However, most of the princes hurled abuse at the Mausoleum of Books. Before coming to the capital tonight, they had already pushed thoughts of life and death out of their minds. For a moment, phrases like 'Demon Empress' and 'Go die' filled the air.
The Tianhai Divine Empress stood at the peak of the Mausoleum of Books and gazed at those people who were nominally her sons, slightly arching her brow. In truth, she already didn't have much of an impression of the Prince of Louyang, only remembering that he was very dumb. As for those other sons, she found them extremely unpleasant. She rebuked, "Seeing you pieces of trash, I will be grief-stricken in place of Emperor Xian. To have given birth to so many sons, yet not one of them has any promise!"
She was scolding these princes of the Chen clan, so all the princes of the Chen clan heard her voice, whether they were in the capital or on the road from Luoyang to the capital.
On that official road surrounded by nothing but wasteland, the Prince of Xiang used his hands to support the fat around his waist and gasped as he walked in front of the carriage. Looking in the direction of the capital, he yelled, "Mother, I can do it, I have promise. Your son treated Mother with great filial piety. I even picked the flowers of the Hundred Herb Garden to present to Mother in a vase, had fruits washed clean and sent to Mother's bed, playing along with whatever Mother wanted to play…"
The more he spoke, the more he felt wronged. Holding his belly, he resentfully cried out, "Up to now, Chen Changsheng hasn't even called you Mother, and Mother is still willing to show such an unfilial son so much kindness. Why can't Mother treat me a little better? I am also Mother's son; just let me become Crown Prince."
These shameless words made the prince's followers on the road feel very embarra.s.sed, confused as to how to react.
In the distant summit of the Mausoleum of Books, the Tianhai Divine Empress heard these words and the fiendish aura about her appearance actually somewhat dissipated. "You are the one with the most promise."
As he heard the voice coming of the night sky, the Prince of Xiang's face was filled with joy and he found it difficult to restrain himself.
The Divine Empress continued, "But you've grown too fat, too ugly, like a pig."
This first sincere conversation between the Tianhai Divine Empress and the Prince of Xiang in twenty years made many of the princes that had already arrived in the capital laugh, and then go absolutely silent.
The Prince of Louyang completely ignored these things. Accompanied by his attendants, they traveled in the darkness through a side alley that he had known as a child. He did not move according to what they had all agreed upon beforehand and go to the observatory, but instead headed towards a different place.
"Your Highness, where are we going?"
"The Orange Garden," the Prince of Louyang replied, his face pale.
He was one of the last Chen princes to be exiled from the capital, so he had an opportunity to get to know Mo Yu, and their relationship wasn't bad.
At this dangerous moment, the first thing he thought of was that he had to find her and request that she protect his life.
He had never once thought that Mo Yu might not be in the capital.
At such a critical moment, as the Divine Empress's most trusted right hand, there was no reason for Grand Lady Mo to not be present.
However, she really wasn't here. The gate to the Orange Garden was shut, the little orange lantern hanging in front of it unlit.
The Prince of Louyang paled even more as he wondered what was going on.
"Your Highness, where do we go next?"
The Prince of Louyang grit his teeth, then said, "To the Imperial Palace. Grand Lady Mo should be there."