To my dear readers,
This chapter took me forever. It took me nearly 15-20 minutes just to translate the first two paragraphs. Imagine looking at the same chapter for hours. (You guys only spend 5-10 minutes…) Oh my goodness. My brain felt like it was rotting.
Anyhow, the story is going to get a lot more serious. Lin Shan is still going to be her usual self, but the plot is going to get a lot darker.
The Emperor’s residence was nearby. As Lin Shan followed Du Hao, she noticed many worried looking Imperial counsellors walking back and forth outside. All of them wanted to meet with the Emperor but were driven away. It wasn’t surprising though. Now that the Emperor was critically ill, all government affairs were at a standstill. The likelihood of a new Monarch was looming around everyone’s head.
A new power could alter the entire Imperial court. Those who were once favoured could end up a couple ranks lower, while those who were at the bottom could suddenly rise rapidly. In order to ensure the stability of their positions, the Imperial counsellors must go where the wind blows and have the most accurate details at all times.
Once Lin Shan entered the Emperor’s residence, the Imperial counsellors were no longer seen. Instead, there were many servants and eunuchs running about. There were also many Imperial physicians that looked distressed.
“Sun Physician!” Du Hao called after an old physician. He was definitely a senior figure in the department. “How is my father?”
The old physician shook his head: “Your Highness, please forgive me. I have already tried my best…..”
“Tried your best? What best? Why is the Imperial court raising you group of useless people? Get out of my sight!” Du Hao shrieked. Lin Shan had never seen him act like this before. Although Du Hao had a nasty temper, he would never lose self control in public. Undoubtedly, he was very anxious.
Lin Shan was behind Du Hao, and she didn’t know what to say. She felt a little sympathy for Du Hao though. After all, his dad was critically ill. How could he not be anxious? Was Lian Feng feeling like this as well?
As the thought flashed through Lin Shan’s mind, she suddenly noticed a familiar black figure standing behind the screen. Seriously? Wow. I thought about him and here he is! Speak of the devil! But why would Lian Feng be here? Could the Emperor have summoned him because he is ill?
By now, Du Hao and Lin Shan had walked pass the screen and stood in front of the Emperor’s bed: “Father, your son is here to see you.”
The Emperor was lying behind a thin cotton veil. From the sound of his voice, it was clear that his condition was severe. He coughed for a long period of time before he was able to murmur: “Hao-er, I’m glad you are here. Come to father’s side.”
“Yes, father!” Du Hao walked over.
As Du Hao walked over, the cotton veil was lifted momentarily from his movement. Lin Shan got to see the Emperor’s face for a second. As expected, he looked very yellow. However, it was a very strange kind of yellow. Could it be the same disease? Lin Shan wasn’t sure. She turned her head to look at Lian Feng. She wanted to see some sort of confirmation from him. At that moment, suddenly, the eunuch guarding the entrance’s trembling voice could be heard.
“To….to report to the Emperor….the e-eldest Prince has r-returned to the Capital!!”
Du Ye? Du Hao was on guard. Shouldn’t he be at the borders fighting a war? Why did he suddenly return?
Du Hao looked at his father. The illness had already worn him out so badly that he could no longer read his mood. The Emperor only waved his hand and weakly whispered: “Send someone to the gate… to welcome him in…”
“To…to respond back to the Emperor, the e-eldest Prince is n-not outside of the city gate… H-he is right outside in the Palace hall!”
What? Not only has Du Ye returned, but he was out waiting in the Palace Hall? Du Hao’s heart was hanging by a thread. The storm he had predicted has finally arrived!
Lin Shan had never met Du Ye, but she had heard of his name many times. He was ranked as the second hottest man in the Capital. In addition, Du Ye’s mother was actually a commoner; as a result, although Du Ye was the eldest, he could not be the Crown Prince. However, that did not affect Du Ye’s position in many Imperial counsellors’ hearts. Some secretly dared to compare Du Ye with Du Hao. They pointed out that regardless of talent or behaviour, Du Ye was superior; the Crown Prince position should have been his.
Although these words were not said openly, deep down, it gradually became the thoughts of many Imperial counsellors. Hence, the Emperor decided to send both his sons to war. He wanted to cultivate one and alienate the other.
Surprisingly, now that the Emperor was critically ill, Du Ye suddenly arrived back from the borders. He was sure “on time”.
No one said it upfront, but even Lin Shan could see an issue with this. Clearly, Du Ye purposely returned to “rob during a fire”*. However, based on the speed he had returned, he was probably not only here for the “robbery”. Most likely, he was the one who started the fire!
Lin Shan analyzed the situation in front of her. Du Ye was already in martial attire. Furthermore, he brought two subordinates with him. Oh, Xiao Lu was correct, Du Ye was definitely a gorgeous man. Despite his looks, he was too aggressive though. How dare they come into the Emperor’s residence with weapons out? That was disrespectful!
While Lin Shan’s thoughts were racing in her mind, Du Hao suddenly spoke up from the bedside. He hollered at the two subordinates behind Du Ye, “How dare you, servants? Who allowed you to carry weapons in here? Get the f*** out!” Du Hao showed no mercy. Although he was yelling at the servants, it was inwardly directed towards Du Ye.
What was more surprising was that the two subordinates did not seem to care. On the contrary, they calmly looked into Du Ye’s eyes for his approval. Only when they received his consent did they leave the room.
Lin Shan was impressed by Du Ye. The fact that he was able to train his subordinates to be so willingly loyal towards him must mean he was a powerful and dominating man. For sure, Du Ye must be here to rob during the fire! Looks like Du Hao is in for some trouble!
While Lin Shan was worrying for Du Hao, Du Ye spoke up: “Second brother, please calm down. I have brought the army back to the Capital because I heard Father was very ill. I was concerned, therefore, I didn’t wait for the messenger and came right in. It is a bit rude of me. Please forgive me, second brother.”
Although Du Ye was being polite, his words had hidden meaning. First of all, he did not refer to Du Hao as the Crown Prince; but rather, second brother. This meant that he refused to acknowledge his position. Secondly, Du Ye purposely hinted that he had his troops right outside of the Capital. He had made his statement very clear.
“Oh really?” Du Hao icily laughed, “If I knew brother was going to be so timely, I wouldn’t have needed to send a messenger. I should just summon him back. He probably hasn’t gone too far.”
“Second brother is busy as a machine, yet still found time to send me a messenger to inform me. I can’t thank you enough.”
“Brother, you are too modest. How can I compare to you? As a General, you need to attack the enemy for our country, yet you found time to worry about the issues in the Palace. It must be a lot of trouble for you.”
The two of them were having the battle of the lips. Each line had thorns. Lin Shan couldn’t help but sigh within: Who says they’re different? Based on their bickering abilities, they’re definitely from the same mold!
At this moment, suddenly an announcement was made: “To report to the Emperor, Liu Superior, Wang Superior and Cai Superior are all waiting outside to come in.”
“Can’t you see father is sick? Tell them to go away!” Du Hao angrily shouted.
“But…” The eunuch’s complexion didn’t look very good. “Liu Superior said they’re not leaving until they see the Emperor…”
“Shameless! Do those old geezers not care about the Emperor? Spread my words. Whoever that does not leave will be demoted and sent home!”
“Uh…..” On one hand, the eunuch must not go against the Crown Prince, but on the other hand, he cannot go against the Imperial counsellors either. The eunuch was stuck in the middle and didn’t know what to do. He looked horrified.
At this moment, Du Ye suddenly spoke up: “Since Liu Superior wants to come in. Second brother, why don’t you allow him to come in?”
“Are you the Crown Prince or am I the Crown Prince? Spread my words. Tell them to go!” Du Hao yelled as his eyes gleamed.
*There is no actual “fire”. This is an idiom. Basically, the situation is vulnerable, making it easier for intruders/thieves.
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