To be honest, the Emperor was suppressed by the previous Empress for so many years and seeing the third son who looked similar to her would inevitably give rise to fear and guilt. Especially as the older the third son grew, the more extraordinary his bearing and the noble aura his body emitted became, which in comparison would overshadow him as an Emperor. One might as well ask how could he not hate him to death.
Seeing a group of people walking to the divan with strange expressions, the Emperor spoke first, appearing fierce but was cowardly at heart, "Why did you not go organize the funeral of the Crown Prince and the Imperial Concubine, but ran to Zhen’s bedroom without reporting first? Who taught you your manners? "
"Erchen was expelled from the palace since he was a child and has never learned manners, so Erchen asks father for his forgiveness." Ji Changye’s slight jab sounded light but weighty, even so his expression was very gentle. He greeted the Empress Dowager and then sat down on the divan, slowly saying, "Erchen is here to report on the funeral to Father Emperor."
"Bury them in accordance with their standing as the Crown Prince and the Empress, why should you come to report? If you can't even do this, then leave it to your younger royal brother. He should also temper himself." The Emperor put down his brush and pointed to a meatball sitting next to the Empress Dowager.
The sixth prince squinted his small eyes and forced out a smile. Who didn’t want to be Emperor? Even someone as cowardly as him didn't want to push away the stuffed pie that fell from the sky. Anyway, the Empress Dowager had already promised him. After he ascended the throne, he wouldn’t have to worry about anything. He only has to eat, drink, play, boss people around and also summon all the beauties of the world to fill the harem. Wouldn't he be happier than when he was a Prince?
Ji Changye seemed to breathe a sigh of relief and cupped his hands towards the Sixth Prince, "Then let Younger Royal Brother take care of this matter." He actually directly admitted his own inadequacy.
"Well said, well said." The Sixth Prince waved his hand with a smile.
Ji Changye promptly spoke, "Because the funeral of Seventh Younger Royal Brother has not yet been held, the corpses of the Crown Prince and Imperial Concubine Xiao cannot be moved no matter what we do. Even when a dozen strong men tried to lift them, they were still glued to the floor tiles, as if they were as heavy as a thousand jin. Benwang was unable to do anything but cover them up with two pieces of white cloth. If Younger Royal Brother takes up the matter, there is no harm in going to the spirit of the Seventh Younger Royal Brother and explain that everything is gone after death and let him release the corpses of the Crown Prince and Imperial Concubine Xiao. The weather is still very hot now and it is not a problem that the bodies had been placed in Xuande Palace this whole while. Sooner or later, it will rot and smell, and the Crown Prince and dignified Imperial Concubine will lose their dignity."
Blu: 1 jin = 500 grams, 1,000 jin = 500 kg
His words were gentle and modest, but his words were full of irony.
What dignity did the Crown Prince and Imperial Concubine Xiao have left? The occurrence of such a mystical thing has long been known to everyone, whether they were part of the upper class or on the streets. In addition to the deaths of Wang Xiangqian and Wang Tianyou having also been used to pave the way, everyone thought that the Crown Prince and his people were all jackals from the same lair. They were all steeped in evil and deserved to be judged, beasts in human clothing. Their originally poor reputation now gave off an increasingly unbearable stink.
Blu: Jackals from the same lair - they were all just as bad as each other
Could they afford to hold a funeral with the specifications of a Crown Prince and Empress? If they carried the coffins on the street, the commoners would hurl spoiled eggs and rotten vegetables at them until they returned. Thinking of this, the Imperial Concubine Cheng, who had been silent for a long time, bursted out laughing.
In just a few days, she has undergone earth-shaking changes. Before, she only knew to see the face of the Empress Dowager, but now she was sitting far away. She was not even wearing a plain dress and wore a red dress, and painted her eyebrows very strongly, looking flirtatious and strange.
Blu: Iirc, one should wear plain clothes after someone's death during the mourning period and not bright coloured clothing, like red.
With Duke Xiao’s people obstructing him, the Emperor couldn't do anything to this murderer, but he couldn't bear to see her laughing in schadenfreude, so he immediately reprimanded her, "What are you laughing at? Breaching etiquette in the presence of the Emperor, get out!"
Imperial Concubine Cheng leaned back in the chair, sat more firmly, and softly commented, "Chenqie is laughing at the Emperor's muddle-headedness! Raping and murdering the father’s concubine, forming a clique for personal interests, plotting to usurp the throne and poisoning blood relatives. This mother and son pair had committed every kind of crime worthy of capital punishment and instead of exterminating nine generations of their clan, they are to be buried by the standards of Crown Princes and Empress’. The ministers didn’t care, the people didn’t care, how could the ancestors in the Nine Springs not? Chenqie is worried that when the coffins are transported to the imperial mausoleum, the ancestors will refuse to open the door. That would be embarrassing and it will not be easy for the Emperor to explain when he goes to the Nine Springs."
Did Imperial Concubine Cheng go insane? This was clearly cursing the Emperor! The ministers did not dare to speak and the hall was so quiet that you could hear a needle drop. Except for the heavy breathing of the Emperor who was about to explode from anger and the sound of the Sixth Prince frequently raising his hands to wipe away his sweat.
He originally thought that the funeral would be very easy to handle, but who would’ve thought that that aggrieved ghost would stubbornly hold onto the corpses of the Crown Prince and Imperial Concubine Xiao. This meant that he would not let them go even after they went to hell. Too ruthless. However, Imperial Concubine Cheng’s words were even harsher. With the Emperor condoning the crimes by the Crown Prince and Imperial Concubine Xiao these past few years, he really let down the country, the people and even the ancestors who initiated the golden age of the Daming Dynasty. It was also unknown if they were looking over the top of his head at this moment, and whether or not they would dole out heavenly punishment.
Thinking of this, the sweat poured down from the Emperor like a waterfall and his heart thumped loudly like a beating drum. He nervously looked around and then he closed his eyes, pursing his lips while beating at his chest, as if he would faint at any time. Death was not the end, but another beginning. The sins committed during his lifetime must be repaid one by one after death, which undoubtedly deepens his fear of death. So what if you had the throne? So what if you had power and influence? It's useless in the end. If he had known this earlier, he wouldn't have……
Blu: This is what you call regretting till your intestines are green.
The Emperor deeply regretted desperately for some time and gritted his teeth once again. In the end, his willful character prevailed. He tried his best to lift the brush and continue to write the edict of passing the throne. He must not allow the third child to ascend the throne and then deprive him of the honor he deserved after death. If he randomly gave himself a posthumous name and title, he would have no face to go down to meet his ancestors and his name would end up in the annals of history as a byword for infamy.
The Empress Dowager couldn't help but lean forward, feeling extremely excited. She didn't believe that these people would dare to go forward and grab the Emperor's imperial brush.
The fat all over the Sixth Prince’s body jiggled and his mouth was wheezing. After many years of enduring humiliation, he has finally reached the end. When the old fool dies, he will immediately draft up some women to be part of his harem, collect treasures to put in his private treasury.
A few old princes were very angry, but when they saw the Third Imperial Nephew look at them nonchalantly, they slowly recovered their composure. If the edict has been written, then so be it. It’s the same when you take it and change it. Now, the outside of the palace was surrounded with layers of guards, even the birds wouldn’t be able to fly in. How would the outside know what happened in Yangxin Palace? As the saying goes, ‘called a king if successful, called bandit if defeated’.
Blu: called a king if successful, called bandit if defeated - losers are always in the wrong/ the winners are the ones who write history
However, what they didn't expect was that though the Third Prince didn't care, the ghost face sores on the Emperor's body were very concerned. She had already promised that demon to help the Third Prince ascend the throne. If the edict is issued, it’s hard to guarantee that the other party will not forcefully dig her out of the Emperor and burn her into ashes.
Thinking of this, she sprayed black qi to corrode the fabric on the Emperor's chest, struggling to poke her head out and sinisterly conjectured, "Ji Zhengze, you still won’t shed a tear until you see a coffin!”
Blu: to not shed a tear until one sees a coffin - to refuse to yield until faced with one’s coffin
When she showed up and spoke again, everyone in the hall was frightened. Especially the Empress Dowager, she screamed in fear and tumbled off the ceramic embroidered stool. At that moment, her hair pins fell out of place and her countenance abruptly changed. This ghost face sore was actua- actually alive?
The most frightened was the Emperor himself. Such a thing grew on his chest and it even turned into an aggrieved ghost. He didn't dare to touch it nor look at it. He hadn't taken off his clothes or bathed for several days. Of course, even if he dared to, the servants dared not.
The Emperor originally wanted the imperial physician to cut it off, but he didn't expect it to be directly connected to the heart. Unless the heart was also removed, there would be no relief in this life. However, a more terrible situation happened after all that. It, it was not a dead thing, it can move and can even speak!
Those who were only watching all felt their hair stand on end and were frightened out of their wits, let alone the Emperor's mood at this moment. He desperately wanted to faint, but because his heart was controlled by the ghost face sore, his heart was very strong and healthy. And Imperial Concubine Cheng, who has always been very hostile to him, even poured him a bowl of strong medicine in a hurry, afraid he can't hold on.
These women all want him to be tortured alive!
The emperor felt that he had failed terribly, but the ghostly sore words made him fall into a deeper hell.
"You think that you can still proclaim yourself king and enjoy unlimited splendour and glory after you die if you have an incomparably venerated posthumous title? Your thoughts are too beautiful! Those who can be reincarnated to be a human emperor are indeed blessed. If you properly govern the country and treat the people kindly, it will be easy for your accomplishments to be engraved on an ancestral tablet after your death. However, if you are muddle headed and unscrupulous till the people are plunged into an abyss of misery, the retribution will multiply many folds on your body. Because you fear the maternal clan of the previous Empress, you deliberately delayed the reinforcements and caused the death of hundreds of thousands of soldiers in the frontier. You caused the people of the five cities to be buried with the dead, their dead souls lining up in front of Yama, the King of Hell to report you. Your karma piled up to a weight of a million jin. Until the day they settle accounts with you, you will not be able to compensate for it even if you reincarnate for tens of thousands of times, unless you countlessly reincarnate into an ant and be trampled by people for generations. Might as well let you also taste the taste of life like weeds. This is the heavenly law of reincarnation and karma. No one can escape!"
In fact, the consequences should not have been so serious, but the Emperor wanted to put the Purple Emperor Star to death several times and he had already angered the Heavens. This was the real karma. Even if the evil spirits don't come to clean him up, Heavenly Law will also send down a punishment and the end will only be more miserable. But these internal factors are not to be mentioned to outsiders.
Blu: Purple Emperor Star - those born with/under this star are believed the become the head of the family or the Emperor
When the words fell, the ghost face sore looked at the sixth prince again and said with a sinister smile, "Ji Xu, want to sit on the throne, do you have that fate? Speak about it after looking at the top of your head and first pay off the karma! People are watching from the Heavens, it’s not that they’re not coming because the time isn’t right yet!”
Blu: fate - could also be read as ‘life’
The Emperor's last hope was shattered. Reduced to an ant and be trampled down for generations. Is this how he will end up after death? He might as well have his soul thoroughly scattered! Huge despair and regret finally crushed him. He threw away the edict and dug it into his chest, trying to die with it.
Ghost Face Sore opened his mouth and bit his fingers, and let out a sharp, piercing laugh. Hate? Regret? Scared? Very good, this was exactly what she wanted!
On the other side, the Sixth Prince was looking above his head in horror. Although he was cowardly and incompetent, he has done a lot of attrocious things, so he will naturally be affected by these words. At this moment, he already felt guilty and frightened, not to mention being an Emperor, he doesn’t even want to be a Qinwang, wishing he could find a Buddhist holy place to be a monk. Ghosts will never chase him there, right?
Blu: There are many characters that mean Prince. I’ve glanced at the further arcs and I’ll probably change from English to pinyin after this arc. Qinwang - iirc, a Qinwang is a high-ranking Prince title given to members of the imperial family. You pronounce ‘Qin’ like ‘Chin’, not ‘Kin’. I’ve heard someone mispronounce chinese names and I almost accidentally on purpose slipped on a banana peel to kill myself.
Teh: I’ve heard worse unfortunately.
He picked up the edict and tore it to pieces and ran out dementedly, "Benwang doesn’t want to be Emperor anymore. Don't look for Benwang, Benwang knows his wrongdoings!"
At the same time, the ghost face sore that bit the Emperor's fingers slowly turned into black smoke and the stench wafts in the air. The Emperor suddenly fell back and his chest gradually caved in, forming a rotten black hole that discharged pus.
The change happened too quickly and even after a few breaths, the ministers were still immersed in shock. Only Ji Changye stepped forward slowly, felt the pulse of the Emperor and declared, "Father Emperor has passed."
Great, finally dead! That was what everyone thought internally, including the Empress Dowager. A day when the Emperor has not died, is a day when the evil spirits and demons will not scatter, then naturally the Capital would also be full of evil qi causing people to be in a state of anxiety, therefore it would be difficult to preserve peace.
"Emperor, the late Emperor is gone, please restrain your grief and accept fate."
Duke Wei took the lead to speak and then the other ministers finally returned to their senses and knelt down and shouted ‘long live’.
Ji Changye nodded, his expression was flat from beginning to end.
The new Emperor's accession to the throne was naturally grand, but at the same time, he had to deal with the funerals of the Emperor, Crown Prince, Imperial Concubine Xiao and the Seventh Prince. The Capital was put under martial law for a while. The crimes committed by the Crown Prince and Imperial Concubine Xiao were made public, and they had their royal status revoked, reduced to commoners and did not enter the imperial tomb or enjoy memorial ceremonies after death. One may as well say that their end was very tragic. The funeral of the Seventh Prince was very grand, and the new emperor personally presided over the ceremony and also treated Imperial Concubine Cheng very preferentially. As for the funeral of the late Emperor, except for the Empress Dowager who really cried for him, the other ministers only felt relief.
He died very shamefully. The new Emperor did not cover for him and ordered the official historian to record truthfully. He even gave him the posthumous name of "Yang". Yang, taking the meaning of "very negligent of internal politics" and "external and internal chaos". Through this word, you can see how much the new Emperor hated the late Emperor.
Some pedantic courtiers were very dissatisfied with this and frequently wrote memorials asking the Emperor to change his posthumous name and even bluntly said that this was "great unfilial piety." However, on the day of the burial, none of them dared to speak up, but secretly regretted it in their hearts. When the Emperor’s coffin was lifted to the imperial mausoleum, it suddenly weighed down, breaking the numerous traction ropes, causing all those who were carrying the coffin to fall.
At this time, everyone still hadn’t noticed the abnormality, only assuming that the coffin was too heavy and the rope too thin, causing an accident. The ceremonial official immediately changed to a thicker and larger rope, but it still wouldn’t budge, so he added dozens of strong men to continue to exert strength, but it still didn’t move. Only now did he realize that something was wrong.
Seeing that he was about to miss the time of the burial, the new emperor had no choice but to kneel in front of the mausoleum and write a memorial about bearing the blame for misgovernment, burn it to the ancestors and then order people to carry the coffin.
Ten more people were added this time, but they still couldn't move the coffin. A respectable old Qin Wang thought for a while and suggested that the new Emperor should try to write an edict assuming responsibility for misgovernment in the name of the late Emperor. The new Emperor tried it and burned it to the ancestor again, and the coffin could finally be moved.
By this time, those who wanted to change the posthumous title thoroughly dropped the idea. You must know that the inscription on the edict contained the posthumous name and the ancestors did not think that it was unfilial. It was clear that they were dissatisfied with the late Emperor. If it weren't for the new Emperor pleading for him, perhaps he wouldn't even be able to enter the Emperor's mausoleum and it was also unknown how bad he would be scolded when he arrived at the Nine Springs.
Of course, these were not things they could manage, so they should put it off and serve the new Emperor.
You Shu hasn't seen the Master for two consecutive months, so naturally he felt flustered.
The four funerals have been completed, but there were still white banners hanging on the street. The commoners dared not to talk and laugh as they liked. Walking on the road, the atmosphere was very dreary. You Shu pinched a string of candied haws and wandered to the Three Princes' residence. The enthronement ceremony is still under way and Ji Changye still lives here today.
There was an endless stream of people coming and going in front of the door, all of them were meritorious noblemen in brocade clothes, so You Shu had to go around the back alley and knock on the side door.
The gatekeeper recognized him naturally, but because of an order from the top, he dared not let anyone in at will.
"Young Master, wait a minute, I'll go in and report." He locked the door with a smiling face and ran away in a hurry.
You Shu furrowed his eyebrows, already feeling that his position in the Third Prince’s residence had changed. If it was the past, why would he need to knock on the door? Why would there be a need to report? Why would he need to wait so long? Was the Master still angry? That’s fair since he took such big advantage of him when he was intoxicated and afterwards ran away without giving any explanation.
Not everyone can accept homosexuality, You Shu knew this.
While he was thinking, the door opened. Ah Da awkwardly nodded at the young man, "You Shu, the Master is out, you should go back first. When the Master returns, I will tell him you dropped by."
Frequent blinking, rapid heartbeat and dodging eyes. You Shu, who had studied micro-expressions, naturally knew that Ah Da is lying. The person was obviously inside, but he avoided meeting him. Sure enough, he was angry. He nodded and spoke in low spirits, "Then, I will come back tomorrow."
Ah Da suddenly stopped him, "You Shu, listen to my words, don't come again. You are no longer fit to stay with the Master. You know that after the Master ascends the throne, he will have to marry and the Empress will be the Di daughter of Duke Wei. At the same time, he must accept the Di daughters of Duke Ding and Marquis Anyang as imperial concubines. In the future, women will be drafted to fill the harem and continue the blood of the imperial family. Rather than being heartbroken, it is better to give up early. Besides, besides..." The remaining words would sound like he was biting the hand that fed him, and Ah Da did not continue in the end.
However, You Shu understood his unfinished words very clearly. He fixedly stared at this former companion of his and added, "Besides, I have a strange ability. If I were to stay by Master’s side, I would be a hidden snake in the grass that you have no choice but to guard against." He tightened his grip on the candied haws in his hand and nodded heavily, "I'm leaving. Goodbye."
Just like how the mind readers were wantonly killed and exterminated by other ability users, the people here can't tolerate a stranger that can control ghosts. Although he knew it would be so, You Shu still felt very sad. But he knew in his life that tears were the most useless things. Even if they came pouring down, it can't move people who can't be moved. They may feel guilty, but that was only for a while. Once it involves their own safety, everyone will choose to be hard-hearted.
He didn't cry. Naturally, he also wouldn't cry or beg for mercy. He just silently bit off a candied haw, then turned and left. As for the ‘heartbreak’ Ah Da spoke about, he did not understand it. His feelings for the Master were not to the extent they imagined. Perhaps there was fondness, respect, dependence, and gratitude, but there was no deep love. As a child who grew up in the apocalypse, he never knew what it was like to love and to be loved.
Ah Da watched his thin and frail figure getting smaller in the distance, and couldn’t bear the sight anymore. He stepped forward and consoled, "You Shu, you are different from us. You are free, other than staying with the Master, you actually have more choices. You are so smart, what wouldn’t you be good at? Go home and think about it. What you want to do and what you like to do, one day you will find: In this world, you can live without the other."
Blu: To explain, he’s saying that you can live on even though you’ve broken up. He thinks You Shu is very deep in love with Ji Changye.
Although he said this, his fear of the youth has not diminished in the slightest. Driving him away from the Master is the first step, and then he will send people to monitor him every day, and the moment he makes an unusual move, he will directly kill him. What happened these days was enough to make him realize the unpredictability and power of ghosts. And the young man who can control ghosts was undoubtedly a more dangerous person.
You Shu didn't turn his head or answer, and just casually waved his hand.
After fighting with the debt-collecting ghost for more than ten years, he was naturally very sensitive to the surrounding environment and soon noticed that someone was watching him. He felt disappointed at first, and then he felt that it was natural. If they want to monitor him, then just go on ahead. Anyway, he would not harm the Master. Thinking about this, he walked into a restaurant, planning to eat a big meal to relieve the sadness in his heart.
He came from the apocalypse and living a day was to earn a day. Except thinking about how to eat enough, he never had time to think about the philosophy of life, let alone lamenting over the passing of spring and the arrival of fall, and feeling sorry for himself. In his opinion, this was a good thing because the hardship will make him sufficiently strong, but it is also a bad thing, because the precarious life made him forever unable to grow up.
Appropriate hardships can grow the mind, but when there are too many tribulations, so much so that except for working hard to live in the present and even having no qualifications to hope for the future, how can the mind mature? You Shu lived to 15 in his previous life, and now he has grown to 16. Adding it all up, he was 31 years old, but he only has a huge and complicated knowledge system and various survival skills in his head, and he has no mature thoughts.
His way of life was very simple and pure, except for protecting his life and filling his stomach, he never thought about what to do in the future, because people in the end of the world are not qualified to mention about the future. But now, sitting alone by the window watching the crowds below, He suddenly realized that after changing worlds, maybe he should think about it seriously.
Entrusting your life to a certain person will only result in disappointment in the end. You Shu once again verified this phrase that was widely circulated in the apocalypse. He clenched a fist with his left hand, beat the palm of his right hand, and murmured, "Fortunately, it is not too late to correct this mistake. I have to leave the Master to live a new life. I have already paid off what I owe him."
He nodded his head heavily then took a big mouthful of food, and the gloom on his face disappeared.
Just at this time, someone at the next table sighed, "This sliced fish boiled in chilli oil is not authentic enough, it is much worse than what I had eaten in Shuzhou!"
"Have you been to Shuzhou? I heard that the roads there are very difficult and dangerous." Someone nearby striked up a conversation.
"I’m a travelling merchant, so where have I not gone? Not only Shuzhou, but also the mountain path to Yunnan and Guizhou are also dangerous. Every time I pass by, I have to fight with all I have. Fortunately, I can taste the unique delicacies there, so it's a consolation to some extent."
All foodies are connected with each other. After hearing the last words of this travelling merchant, You Shu was deeply moved. In fact, he didn't want to participate in the imperial examination, nor did he want to be an official, especially now in order to stay away from the Master. So that he can rest assured, he must not even flash past his eyes, so leaving the Capital is the only choice.
But where will he go after leaving? What should he do? This has become You Shu’s biggest worry. Awakening from his dreams, he immediately clapped his hands, "Only life and food will not disappoint you. Well, I also want to travel the world and eat good food." After those words fell, he swept up the dishes on the table clean and returned home to pack his things.
Hearing that her son was leaving the Capital, Song Shi couldn't accept it for a while. However, she is a woman and it is inconvenient to travel. Naturally, it is difficult for her to adapt to the life of a wanderer, so she could only compromise. It wasn’t necessarily a bad thing to stay away from the new Emperor. In the imperial court, surging undercurrents and deception are abundant, and with You Shu’s stubborn temperament, something will happen sooner or later. She hopes that her son will be safe and healthy. As for glory and wealth, brocade garments and jade meals, they were all just as transient as a fleeting cloud.
"Wherever you go, write a letter to mother that you’re safe. If you are tired, come back. If you don't want to come back, then pick up your mother and we’ll travel together." Song Shi repeatedly waved at the gate of the city.
You Shu nodded and agreed while driving the bullock cart forward. Seeing that there was no one in sight after leaving the rest stop at 10 li, he went into the shed and slept, and the water ghost came to drive the cart. On the narrow mountain road, a ragged, scrawny old man blocked the road ahead and begged, "This kind-hearted man in the cart, the monkey snatched this old man’s bag and hung it on the tree. Could you please help me take it down?"
You Shu looked over and saw him take out a hardened bread from his arms and continued, "This old man doesn’t have anything good and only has this ration to give your kind soul as a reward."
With such a shabby reward, any ordinary person would definitely spit at his face, but You Shu, who had seen the end of mankind, would not reject any sort of food. He immediately jumped from the cart, and while rolling up his sleeves and securing them into his clothes, he straightforwardly said, “Which tree is the package hanging on?”