475 – Minister Lu is innocent!
Chapter 475: Minister Lu is innocent!
It was no wonder that Chu Xianda looked so horrified.
All along, Prince Fu had gave the impression of an idle prince. He only drank and listened to music, was immersed in calligraphy, painting, antiques, cockfight and hunting.
He had a bad reputation because he was too ‘idle’ and too ‘leisurely’. He had nothing to do in this world, and eventually fell into the category of ‘hedonistic’.
His reputation was not too bad, because he had no intention of plotting for political power and was only interested in art. He did not harm anyone nor commit any outrageous acts, the most he did was flirt with women on the street with a few other of his minions——
Chu Xianda had suspected Prince Fu before and had even played countless ‘loyalty quizzes’ with him.
However, everyday Prince Fu had been having fun and enjoying life, and showed absolutely no interest in military and political power. He didn’t have the support of the civil officials, nor did he have a close relationship with any military leaders. In any way, he was unlikely to have a chance to of becoming the supreme ruler.
Many times it was Chu Xianda who forcibly gave him a position and he was often pushed by Chu Xianda to assume a post he didn’t want. For example, it was Chu Xianda who ordered him to be in charge of the Monitoring Division——
The world was so ironic.
“It’s me.” Prince Fu said with a sinister smile. “Elder brother, are you surprised? You had no idea that your most useless younger brother dared to plot after your throne, and even had the guts to stand opposite you to overturn your power——isn’t that right?”
“I really had no idea.” Chu Xianda hissed. “I treated you sincerely, I really didn’t think you would commit treason and go against the heavenly laws. You’re worst than a beast——”—”
“Hahaha——” Prince Fu laughed wildly, unrestrained, head rocking back and forth, eyes almost overflowing with tears. “Worst than a beast? My good brother, how can you say such a thing? If you win you are the king, if you lose you are nothing, isn’t that what you taught us?”
“You were worried that seventh younger brother who controlled the Raging flame army would be a threat to your throne, so you found an excuse to transfer him away from the Raging flame army, and soon seventh younger brother died from drinking too much——”
“Second younger brother was well-read, known for his talent, and had the support of countless courtiers. In the end he died from a cold——and sixteenth younger brother fell down a wall and died. Was it not because he was frank and honest, and said ‘it’s better to be young’ as a joke?”
Prince Fu looked at Chu Xianda with a mocking expression, “Elder brother, these are your creations, aren’t they? Compared with your thunderous methods, the things that younger brother, I, have done can’t even compare——”
Chu Xianda clenched his teeth. “I could understand if you were to satisfy your greed. After all, the West Wind Kingdom will still be in the hands of our Chu clan. But you should know that you’re incapable, you’re versed in neither politics nor military strategy. Even if you get the throne, you’re just one of their puppets——Do you want to be a puppet?”
“Elder Brother, who wants to be a puppet?” The smile faded from Prince Fu’s face. “Who doesn’t want to control the world and fall asleep lying on a beauty’s lap? Who doesn’t want their civilian court officials to obey them, Generals risk their lives for them? Who doesn’t want thousands of men and horse to respond to their order? Who doesn’t want to become an emperor, and succeed the foundation of tens of thousands of years?”
“But you couldn’t do it. This is the case even more so for me – I can’t achieve such a feat. I can’t even do what you can do now——I don’t want to be a puppet, no one wants to be a puppet. But, Elder brother, even if I am a puppet, I will still be the Emperor of West Wind. As long as I listen to them, as long as I meet their conditions, then I am still the high and mighty Emperor——just like how you were before, isn’t that good enough?”
The corners of Prince Fu were curved upwards in a relief smile, “Isn’t this better than having to be careful and cautious under your rule? Isn’t it safer than being constantly worried that you would issue the order to behead me?”
“Do you think you don’t have to worry about these things when you take my position and become the new Emperor of West Wind? You think——those people are going to let you get what you want?”
“I naturally don’t.” Prince Fu smiled. “Elder brother’s fault is a lesson to me. I learned a lot from you. I still have to be careful in the future.”
“Do you know——do you know how hard I have worked to get rid of the puppet’s fate, and what I have done to get the Chu Clan to truly be in charge of this country and to be able to really——govern my country? How much have I invested? How many things have I done? But all these will be destroyed by you, all destroyed by you——” Chu Xianda roared with extreme grief and rage.
“Elder Brother, it is not me who destroyed you, it is you who destroyed yourself——without me, there will be other idle Princes pushed out by them to take over your position. You wanted to take power, you wanted to get rid of their control, and it is because you had such thoughts, had such an idea. It put things into motion, it made them sense danger——They immediately took action, and pulled you down from that high and dazzling position, and replaced you with another person of the Chu clan. It could have been Prince Kang, it could have been Prince Jin or Prince Ming——Since it can be anyone, then why can’t it be I, Prince Fu?”
“Why would they choose me in the end? It’s because I don’t seem to have any chance at all, and I don’t have a shred of fantasy of being the supreme Emperor. Otherwise, I would have been chopped up into pieces by you and thrown out to feed the dogs——The most unlikely person is the one who is most likely. Because that’s the only way one can hide, and for them to be able to use this chess piece completely.”
“Yes, you did put a huge effort into taking back the power that was supposed to belong to you. You did a great deal to make yourself to be truly in charge of the Kingdom. You pretended to be a fool, and borrowed other people’s strength to fight. You took of advantage of the hostility among the Song, Cui, and Lu clan to constantly to reduce the power of the Song family and Cui family. You acted like you were standing on the side of the Song family and Cui family, but in fact, only Lu Xingkong is your faithful servant——”
“Life is like a play, everything relies on acting. Elder Brother, I have been acting for decades, but haven’t you also been acting? Although you say that you hate Lu Xingkong, and had scolded Lu Xingkong again and again in front of everybody, but so many years have passed yet have you ever taken back even the slightly bit of military power from his hand?”
“If it hadn’t been for the Song and Cui families joining forces, all the frontier towns would have fallen into his hands, wouldn’t they? Even the direct line of descendant of the Lu clan, who have been ordered to enter the capital, have their own arrangements——Of course, you couldn’t get what you wanted——”
“Brother, the person you really trust is Lu Xingkong, and it has always been only Lu Xingkong. Even in front of your chamberlain Li Fu you had never leaked out anything through your words——you have placed great trust in him.”
“Because Minister Lu is the one who is truly loyal to this country, unlike some people who have the ambition of wild wolves.” Chu Xianda clenched his teeth.
“Yes, Lu Xingkong is a loyal man, he loves his country. He is indeed loyal to Elder Brother. Had it not been for the Lu family’s control of the military power, the throne under Elder brother’s butt would have been shaky, right?”
“If the Lu family had not been in control of the military power, the country of our Chu clan would have long been gone and would have long been replaced by someone else. Would you Prince Fu have the chance you have now? How much have the Lu clan done to protect my royal family? His whole family has sacrificed themselves for the country, the majority have sustained injuries or are already dead. They have had only one son for several generations——If the Lu clan had not secretly guarded us, how could our Chu clan compete against the Song family? How could we fend off their offense?”
“Your Majesty, that’s not right.” Cui Xichen interjected. “If Your Majesty have not had such a close relationship with the Lu clan then it would not have come to this point——In the past, after the former Emperors saw clearly the situation, they also controlled themselves, sat upright on that high position to be a peaceful Emperor——but instead Your Majesty felt that you’re a leader with great skill and strategy and had to conspire with Lu Xingkong to root out the Song family and regain the power of governing the country——which made Elder Song very unhappy. Since the Emperor is disobedient, then it would be better to change to an obedient Emperor——since it wouldn’t require much effort anyway——”
“I know, I know, Your Majesty has a grudge against me. But, your Majesty, do you think I don’t have a grudge in my heart against your Majesty? Our Cui family was a trusted aide of the founding emperor back then. Later His Majesty was grateful to the Cui family and gave the Cui family the ability to supervise over everything and let the Lu family control the military power of the world.”
“The Cui family was loyal to the Chu clan, and had always been trusted aides of the past generations of Emperor. ‘As long as there is the Cui clan there will always be the Chu clan’. This was what the ancestor said back then, the two families were integrated as one. Where the Chu family was there was bound to be the Cui family——”
“But, Your Majesty, where have you placed the Cui family all these years? And how unfair have you treated the Cui family? The son of a servant of the Lu family, Li Muyang, killed a direct descendant of the Cui family, Cui Zhoaren, and wiped out Your Majesty’s Monitoring Division. In the end the big issue was reduced into a small one, and the small one into nothing——Not only did the Lu family not receive any punishment, but Xu Da who is under Lu Xingkong’s command also entered the Monitor Division——Your Majesty, old Minister, I, can’t accept it.”
“If it wasn’t for your selfishness, why would I do that to you? If you and the Song family had not sent speechless messages to each other, arranged marriage between the two families, then how would I need to take that step?”
“Duke, fortunately you were ostracized by Elder brother.” Prince Fu reassured with a smile. “If you are still as loyal to him as you used to be, guard him all the time, then the Cui family would be in danger now——”
“Man dies for money, and birds die for food. Your stance was not firm enough.” Chu Xianda sarcastically said, “Lu Xingkong holds the military power of the world, I don’t believe that you have not tried to draw him to your side. Why is he still loyal to the West wind and loyal to me?”
“Yes, I did try to draw Lu Xingkong over to my side.” Prince Fu answered. “I have expressed goodwill to him countless times, openly and secretively, and even placed my favorite son Chu Xun at the Lu family’s daughter Lu Qiji’s side. I wanted to let the two marry to each other, then I will pass the throne to the hands of Chu Xun, and the Lu family’s boat will also rise with the tide. In the end the Lu family was not tempted, and repeatedly refused——What’s wrong with my son, how come he is not good enough for the daughter of the Lu family?”
It was no secret across Tiandu that Chu Xun liked Lu Qiji.
The two were always thought to be the perfect couple, a match made in heaven, and the two families were also well-matched in terms of social status.
What no one expected was that there was such a dangerous crises behind the two.
If Lu Qiji also liked Chu Xun, and if Lu Xingkong agreed to this marriage, then Prince Fu would have received the support of the Song family, Cui family, and the Lu family at the same time. How could Chu Xianda compete with him at that time?
Prince Fu pointed to the distance where Lu Xingkong was. “It is precisely because of this that Lu Xingkong brought about his own death today. Today, he must be killed. Otherwise, I cannot calm the hatred in my heart.”
“Twelve and thirteen listen to order, immediately go and save defense minister. No matter what, you must protect Defense minister and ensure he is safe——”
“Yes. Your Majesty.” Two white figures behind Chu Xianda soared into the sky.
“You can’t go.” Another two figures sped over to intercept.
All four were imperial masters of the palace and it was difficult to determine the outcome of the battle.
“Broken palm——” Chu Xianda exclaimed again.
Among the crowd there was a middle-aged man whose palm was completely severed off, standing there without expression and not following the Emperor’s order.
“Monitor Division listen to my order——”
Everyone of the Monitor division were expressionless and no one obeyed the order.
Yan Xiangma’s face was ashen, tightly biting his lower lip.
Cui Jian threw a ruthless glare at him out the corner of his eye.
“Don’t forget what your surname is.” Cui Jian uttered with a cold voice, like a knife slashing through the skin.
“Flying Feather Army listen to my order—”
The Flying Feather Army did not move, standing there silently as if did not hear the order of Chu Xianda.
“I——” Chu Xianda’s eyes were blood-red, hissing, “I’ll fight you.”
“Li Fu, what are you waiting for? Want to jump ship?” Prince Fu said with a cruel smile curling around his mouth.
Li Fu’s body suddenly bounced up, like a thin dark monkey leaping towards Chu Xianda.
The sound of the blade cutting the flesh could be heard.
As Li Fu’s body flew back, Chu Xianda was looking at his chest with a look of disbelief.
There was a jade-studded tiger-head dagger inserted in the position of his heart.
It was the tiger-head dagger he had gifted to Li Fu.
“My death is not to be regretted——” Chu Xianda’s chest was stained with blood, and even his mouth began to overflow with chunks of blood. “Minister Lu is innocent——the Lu clan is innocent——”