Li Chengjing glanced coldly before turning his gaze at the old Abess, who was trying to erase her sense of presence. “This Abess, who did you claim to be ominous just now and need to move outside the palace? Say it again in front of Gu.”
How dare she? The Abess folded her hands together and said “Amitabha,” but her eyes were still fixed on the ground, not daring to utter a single word. Li Chengjing took a step forward and slowly swept his eyes across the imperial clan members standing inside the inner hall, “Do you believe her words?”
Everyone hurriedly said that they didn’t dare, and some even stepped back in fear, with a very embarrassed expression on their faces. Seeing no one answer, Li Chengjing nodded lightly and looked at Empress Yang again: “What about Empress?”
Empress Yang was silent. When the people around her stepped back, she kept standing in place, neither advancing nor retreating. Facing Li Chengjing’s question, she forced a smile and replied, “Crown Prince returned home in such a hurry, and the first thing you do after arriving is to come forward for Crown Princess’ sake. It seems you are too anxious. However, the Crown Princess’ matter has nothing to do with This Palace.”
“If Gu is not in a hurry or returns even two days late, Gu probably would never see the Crown Princess and our unborn child again.” Li Chengjing sneered, not bothering to conceal the thorns in his words. “Empress seems to have a bad memory, so allow Gu to remind you a bit. Right after Gu was born, Gu was branded with the name of being ominous, and the same reason was used to remove Gu from the palace when Gu was barely five years old. Then in the same year, a flash flood very coincidentally swept away the Qingxuan Temple where Gu was recuperating, almost taking Gu’s life. Now, Empress insists on letting the Crown Princess move out of the palace again. Could it be another ‘natural disaster’ awaiting her outside?”
Empress Yang was forced to step back repeatedly without a chance to speak back. She was a stepmother, so her position was naturally weak against the eldest son born from the original wife. Instead, it was Empress Dowager Yang who couldn’t listen anymore and sat on her sickbed to say, “Crown Prince, the Empress is your stepmother. Do you think this is proper to talk so rudely to an elder? Where is your education as the crown prince?”
“Gu traveled to the area affected with plague to serve the Emperor and the country. Yet, during Gu’s absence, Empress Dowager easily believed an untrustworthy rumor and ordered a palace Mama who specializes in aborting palace maids to touch the Crown Princess’ belly. And today, the Empress hired a nun from Faling Temple who claims that the fetus in the Crown Princess’ belly is ominous and harming the elders, all in order to drive the Crown Princess outside the palace. Empress Dowager and Empress put on such an air, but is this the behavior of an elder?”
Li Chengjing’s voice was clear and sharp, with a hint of inviolable majesty which stunned everyone present. Under the pressure emitted by Li Chengjing, even Empress Dowager Yang was suppressed to the point of being speechless. Li Chengjing’s cold eyes swept across the crowd, but his other hand was still holding Cheng Yujin’s hand tightly, giving her warmth and strength. “Gu was born ominous and ill-fated. The fifth month is the month of evil, and the fifth of the fifth month is the peak of evil. Gu was born right on such a day, making Gu’s birth ominous beyond anything. Even if the fetus in the Crown Princess’ womb is really ominous, Gu as the father is willing to bear the fate. If Empress Dowager insists on eradicating ominous signs from the palace, the first one you should dispose of is Gu.”
The Crown Prince’s words were very heavy, directly tearing apart the layer of hypocrisy. At present, no one ever mentioned the matter of his birth again, but back in the days, the harm caused by such a reputation was clear and real. Li Chengjing spent years stranded among the common people, deprived of his status and neglected of his birthright, all because of this one word of ‘ominous.’
Since Li Chengjing’s return, everyone had deliberately avoided mentioning the past, but he was now ruthlessly tearing the veil open, forcing them to face it.
One of the old wangye finally opened his mouth. Among the clan elders, this person was known for his amiability, making him popular in the clan. In response to Li Chengjing’s heavy words, this wangye smiled softly and cupped his hands, “Crown Prince, I think you are wrong. Although you were indeed born on the fifth of the fifth month, how come a mere birthday determines a person’s fate in life? The so-called auspicious and ominous births are just beliefs. Each region, place, and even individual family has its own take on such beliefs, so how can we believe each and every one of them? Besides, gods and evils can also be moved by people. Your Highness can even eradicate the plague from the land and save many common people. It can be seen that your dragon spirit is very pure and powerful, so that even heaven itself gives you its blessing. With Crown Prince here, even the evil spirits would run in fright, too afraid to do malice.”
With this old wangye taking the initiative, others also followed one by one. When internal strives happen, one must not expect those at the top to be willing to concede on their own. The Emperor, Empress Dowager, the Empress, and the Crown Prince — none of the imperial clansmen present could afford to offend any single one of them, so they took it upon themselves to smooth things out, providing a reason for all sides to step back gracefully.
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