Chapter 128: Premeditated Ambush
Translator: OnGoingWhy Editor: Vermillion
Lian Fu unfurled the imperial edict and let out a light cough. The sound resounded within the Main Hall, causing everyone present to feel a sudden uneasiness. Everyone was looking at him and the expression on each of their faces was distinctive.
The crown prince's face was full of confidence and his eyes were flashing with an intense brightness, as if victory was in his grasp. On the other hand, King Yu's face was filled with indifference as if he was not interested in the posthumous edict in the slightest, while Ji Chengxue's head was lowered as he played with his own fingers.
Zhao Musheng was standing on the spot with his eyes narrowed, and his body was slightly swaying. The elderly Ouyang was pursing his lips and staring at Lian Fu...
Inside the imperial court, there was a difference in the expression of every single person. However, without any exception, their minds were focused on Lian Fu's every action and were attentively listening to the posthumous edict Lian Fu was about to read aloud.
Lian Fu's high-pitched voice resounded within the Main Hall. The content of the posthumous edict was not long. The beginning of the edict was a recount of Emperor Changfeng's military accomplishments and everyone present knew about them well enough. Their attention was not focused on them but rather on the end of the edict: the successor chosen by the late emperor and the eventual ownership of the throne.
Was it the crown prince? Or was it King Yu?
"The third prince, Chengxue, has an upright moral character and greatly resembles me. He is certainly capable of inheriting my empire. He shall succeed my throne and become the next emperor."
However, when Lian Fu read out the end of the edict, the entire imperial court was so quiet that they would hear a pin dropping. Everyone was stupefied.
In His Majesty's edict... the successor chosen was... the third prince?
This was as if a bolt out of the blue had suddenly struck the Main Hall, causing everyone present to be somewhat dumbfounded.
The expression on the crown prince's face completely froze and his eyes were wide from shock. His face was filled with incredulity and his mouth was slightly opened, seemingly suspecting whether he had heard wrongly.
King Yu was bewildered as well. He turned his head and looked toward Ji Chengxue, who was standing beside him. Incredulity was swirling deep inside his eyes.
Zhao Musheng's squinted eyes were opened. The elderly Ouyang almost pulled his beard off. The fawning smile on the Minister of Finance's face stiffened and he almost bit his own tongue...
This was a result that no one had expected. No one could imagine that a prince who had always been sent on expeditions outside of the border by the late emperor and had always been disregarded and even disliked would actually be chosen as the successor.
Just when the Main Hall was silent as a grave, a burst of laughter suddenly rang out. The man with a full beard standing next to Ji Chengxue could not help but burst out with laughter.
"What happened to your arrogance from before? Now, all of you know who has the last laugh. Look at that stupefied expression on King Yu's face... Where did his cockiness from before go?" the man with a full beard thought.
He was really delighted as he looked at the constipated expressions on the faces of the crown prince and King Yu. He could not help but burst out with laughter. Previously, while they were outside of the Gate of Heavenly Mystery, he was really irritated by King Yu's disdainful gaze.
Ji Chengxue was slightly astonished as well. Thereafter, the corners of his mouth curled up as he patted the shoulder of the man with a full beard and softly said, "Stop that, we're still in the Main Hall."
The man with a full beard stopped laughing but the smile on his face could not be wiped away no matter what he did.
Even though Lian Fu was the one who read the posthumous edict aloud, he did not know the contents beforehand. It was only truly made known at that moment, and even he was extremely bewildered. He thought, "I didn't expect... His Majesty to choose the third prince in the end."
Next, Ji Chengxue adjusted his clothes and solemnly went forward to accept the posthumous edict with a respectful expression.
The crown prince furiously snorted and left in a huff with an ashen face.
King Yu gave Ji Chengxue a meaningful glance as well and expressionlessly left.
It was an outcome that nobody expected, causing everyone to be still unable to recover from their surprise. On the imperial court, all of the high-ranking officials were in a somewhat melancholic mood. They had already chosen a side but the chosen successor was not who they chose.
Zhao Musheng had already left. Before leaving, he gave Ji Chengxue a long and hard look. That look was filled with deep meaning.
After walking out of the Main Hall and passing through the Gate of Heavenly Mystery, the same two figures were walking within the swirling snow. Ji Chengxue was somewhat silent for a moment. His mood was already completely different from when they came.
The man with a full beard was laughing with a wide grin on his face and was in high spirits. He was feeling happy for the third prince.
There were very little pedestrians on the entire Long Street. The swirling snow whizzed by and the cold wind rustled.
Clink, clink, clink. Clink, clink, clink.
The clear and melodious sound of bells rang out, echoing within the Long Street. Ji Chengxue and the man with a full beard stopped walking and stood on the spot.
In front of them, five beautiful women whose voluptuous bodies were wrapped in a transparent gauze attire leisurely walked in their direction. Bells were worn around their fair and delicate ankles. As they walked, the bells would produce tinkling sounds. The sound seemed to possess some sort of magical power that aroused the hearts of its listeners.
The man with a full beard stepped forward and stood in front of Ji Chengxue while angrily glaring at them. He took a deep breath and then angrily shouted, "You demonesses from the Joyous Union Sect, get out of our way!"
His voice was like the sound of thunder. It seemed to have turned into an invisible sound wave that crushed the snow that was swirling around them and even overshadowed the sound of the tinkling bells.
Wei Xiangsi and her four companions behind her all stopped walking. As their bodies swayed, pink true energy gushed out from their bodies and turned into a stream of true energy ribbon that floated around them.
"King Yu, that dog! How dare he conspire with the sects to assassinate the successor chosen by the late emperor! Is he planning to revolt!" the man with a full beard angrily roared.
Behind Ji Chengxue and the man with a full beard, the sound of footsteps lightly rang out. Hun Qianyun appeared in a black robe with spirit fire pulsating in his eye sockets.
"If Your Highness had not become the successor, King Yu might really not have dispatched us. If you have to blame something, blame your identity as the successor." Hun Qianyun's hoarse voice rang out and then a surging wave of true energy gushed out of his body and rushed toward Ji Chengxue.
"Kekeke! We're finally going to do something! I've been bored to death!" The Bone King's laughter rang out as he climbed out, appearing on the wall of a building nearby like a gecko.
This was a desperate situation for Ji Chengxue. From the fact that experts from the three great sects of the Heterodox Path that were conspiring with King Yu had brazenly set up an ambush in the middle of the imperial city's Long Street, King Yu was already planning to go out on a limb...
These three parties were not there to chat with Ji Chengxue and were truly intending to kill him. The sharp killing intent swept along with the cold wind was causing goosebumps to rise all over Ji Chengxue's body.
This was a premeditated ambush that targeted him.
The man with a full beard started laughing as his eye became as large as bells and the terrifying aura of a sixth grade Battle-Emperor burst forth from his body.
"You bunch of reckless fools, since you're seeking your own death, I will fulfill all of your wishes! Your Highness, hurry up and go!"
With a shout, his flaxen shirt was suddenly torn into pieces and his muscles rapidly expanded. His entire body suddenly grew taller and he turned into a giant. The true energy circulating within him was boiling hot and any snowflakes that landed on his skin instantly melted.
His foot suddenly stamped the ground. The accumulated snow on the ground broke into pieces and the tiles fractured and caved in as well. The man with a full beard turned into a blurry figure as he vigorously charged toward Wei Xiangsi and her companions who were blocking the way.
Ji Chengxue's expression was solemn as the tip of his toes brushed against the ground and he swiftly followed behind the man with a full beard.
A punch like the angry bellow of a bull was thrown out, creating a terrifying gale that carried true energy. It directly crushed the stream of true energy that surrounded Wei Xiangsi and her companions and a tremendous force immediately smashed into the five women, triggering girlish squeals.
Thereafter, the man with a full beard turned around with veins bulging all over his body and said, "Your Highness, I'll cover you! Hurry up and go!"
Ji Chengxue begin to frown as he gave the man with a full beard a glance and made up his mind in the end. He clenched his teeth before turning around and dashing away.
Hun Qianyun and the others hurriedly dashed forward, wanting to deal with Ji Chengxue. However, the man with a full beard took a step sideways and heavily stamped the ground, seemingly causing the entire ground to shake. He smashed his fists together and overbearingly roared, "Damn, you bunch of good for nothings! If you want to kill His Highness, you'll have to step over my body first!"
Hun Qianyun and the others were furious and immediately attacked him. Surging waves of true energy immediately flew toward the man with a full beard. Within an instant, he was completely drowned by waves of terrifying true energy.
Ji Chengxue's running strides slowed down. In the end, he completely stopped and stood still on the spot. It was not because he did not want to go forward but because a figure was standing there with his hands behind his back, not far away from him.
King Yu slowly turned around and serenely looked toward Ji Chengxue.
"I really didn't anticipate that... father would actually choose you in the end," Ji Chengyu mildy said. His voice was very serene. However, it was this serenity that caused all of the pores on Ji Chengxue's body to shrink and made him feel an unprecedented danger.