Li Chengjun’s arguments sounded reasonable, so the Senior Grand Secretary looked at Li Chengjing and asked again, “Your Highness, how do you explain this?”
Li Chengjing only said, “I have no explanation. When I arrived, His Majesty was already gone.”
“Heh, you were caught by us. You can’t justify it.” Li Chengjun was getting more and more aggressive. “Father Emperor was fine when he passed the order to summon you, but he was killed after you arrived. You were the only one in the chamber when he passed away, and when we came in, you were kneeling down to Father Emperor, confessing that you were unfilial. The evidence is plenty and solid; what else do you have to argue?”
Cheng Yujin frowned. Over the years, she had never suffered a loss when it came to verbal arguments. She had always been the one who framed a case against others, but now the Second Prince wanted to throw dirty water on them?
How could her pride allow it? Cheng Yujin raised her head and said softly, “Shou Wang, This Palace really doesn’t understand what you mean. His Highness has indeed asked His Majesty’s forgiveness for being unfilial, but that’s because he, as a son, didn’t have time to repay the kindness of nurturing and upbringing before His Majesty passed away. As for kneeling down and kowtowing… the Emperor passed away, so of course his subjects had to kneel and kowtow to his body. Didn’t you also do the same?”
Li Chengjun was stunned for a moment, “After Father Emperor summoned the Crown Prince, he passed away. Isn’t it obvious enough?”
“How does Shou Wang know that the Emperor really made the summon?” Cheng Yujin looked at Li Chengjun and said, “What if someone deliberately falsified it?”
Li Chengjun couldn’t respond for a while, and it was Taoist Chongxu who came to the rescue, “Crown Princess really have deep feelings for the Crown Prince, seeing how ardent you are in defending him. However, this humble Taoist can testify that His Highness has long been holding grudges against His Majesty, which was why he frequently targeted this humble Taoist and his disciples. His Majesty talked about this matter shortly before he passed away and felt very sorry for Crown Prince’s conduct.”
With Taoist Chongxu bringing up the Emperor, it wasn’t easy for Cheng Yujin to speak up. The suspicion from the monarch was a fatal problem for the Eastern Palace. No matter how they reacted, they were in the wrong.
Guided by Taoist Chongxu, Li Chengjun regained his momentum, “So it turns out that you have a grudge against Father Emperor! Father Emperor grounded you and relieved you of your powers, so you held grudges, which caused you to commit regicide and patricide in order to replace him. How can such a traitorous person like you be the crown prince? Someone come, quickly take this criminal away!”
With Li Chengjun’s order, several Taoist priests that came with Taoist Chongxu rushed toward Li Chengjing and Cheng Yujin. Cheng Yujin took a step back and was about to refute when Li Chengjing grabbed her shoulder and put her behind him in a protective manner.
Before the Taoist priests could get close to Li Chengjing and Cheng Yujin, the eunuchs of the Eastern Palace came forward to stop and kick them to the ground. Seeing this, Li Chengjun raised his eyebrows and shouted, “You are crazy! You dare to use violence in front of the Emperor’s body? It’s clear now how much evil ambitions you harbored in your heart! Crown Prince, you cannot hide your rebellious nature any longer!”
Li Chengjun then turned around and shouted at the group of cabinet ministers, “The Crown Prince committed regicide and patricide with the intention to rebel. When exposed, he became crazy and used violence to silence the witnesses. Everyone, we must quickly suppress these rebels!”
For any Crown Prince, the accusation of treason was always fatal. Li Chengjun originally expected that his rhetoric would push everyone present against Li Chengjing, cornering him completely and sealing his fate. To Li Chengjun’s surprise, however, even after his words fell for a long time, only silence fell in the chamber, and no one responded to him.
Full of disbelief, Li Chengjun’s eyes swept over the Senior Grand Secretary, other cabinet ministers, the eunuchs, and the guards, one by one: “Why are you covering the rebels? Do you want to rebel too?”
Those who met Li Chengjun’s eyes either lowered their heads or looked away, but apart from the Taoist priests who were still struggling on the floor, no one moved.
Li Chengjing let out a low chuckle and walked slowly towards Li Chengjun: “Second brother has worked hard. It’s truly not easy for you to set up such a stage, even bringing over the whole cabinet to frame me. Unfortunately, you forgot one thing — water can carry a boat, but it can also overturn it. Those who win people’s hearts will gain the world, and those who lose people’s hearts will eventually lose the world. What you are seeing right now is the situation where people are turning their backs on you.”
Li Chengjun frowned, unconvinced, and was about to say something to refute. But Li Chengjing had lost his patience and didn’t want to listen to Li Chengjun’s nonsense anymore. He suddenly raised his voice and ordered, “Someone come, take down this criminal Taoist and Shou Wang.”
Li Chengjing was cautious when protecting Cheng Yujin and rational and calm when talking to Li Chengjun. Until he suddenly lowered the tone of his voice. His expression did not change much, but the murderous aura he emitted caught everyone off guard.
As soon as Li Chengjing’s voice fell, the Yulin Army, which was the Emperor’s personal guards, came in a drive. The captain knelt to Li Chengjing, clasped his fists, and said, “Greetings to Your Highness the Crown Prince.”
“The criminal Taoist Chongxu presented a poisonous pill to the Emperor, which killed His Majesty, while Shou Wang acted as his co-conspirator. Put these two in the imperial prison together to wait for judgment.”
Li Chengjun was taken aback and shouted angrily at the row of fully armored guards, “Absurd! You are Father Emperor’s guards; how dare you take the side of this rebel? It’s clear that he is the real murderer to kill Father Emperor!”
Li Chengjing’s expression remained unchanged: “Second brother, why did you insist it was me? When you entered the chamber and opened the bed curtain, you didn’t even come close, so why do you dare to declare that His Majesty has passed away? Besides, how do you know that His Majesty did not pass away naturally and was poisoned to death?”
Li Chengjun was stunned, obviously unable to answer. A few cabinet ministers beside him also nodded slightly. Right, after the Second Prince entered His Majesty’s bedchamber, he just opened the outermost curtain before he knelt down and began to cry loudly. Even the Senior Grand Secretary only dared to declare His Majesty’s passing after trying his breath under the risk of committing lesse majeste. Compared to Senior Grand Secretary’s cautiousness, the Second Prince was too hasty, even impatient.
“I… I was concerned about Father Emperor and lost my mind in panic.” Li Chengjun argued.
“You are still refusing to admit your crime?” Li Chengjun waved his hand and said loudly, “Bring up the immortality pills that Taoist Chongxu and Shou Wang presented to His Majesty.”
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7 thoughts on “GNU Ch 144 Part 3 – Finale (III)”
Thank you for updating!!!!
Hmmm, so Ninth Uncle was prepared for this moment and Yujin’s defense of him, while unnecessary, does provide him with more assurance regarding her feelings towards him.
I am really disappointed in the second prince, I thought he was an innocent but greed corrupted him
He was never innocent. He wanted that crown prince position from the beginning, just like his cousin/wife wanted that empress position.
Completely innocent is he not, but he is not treacherous by nature. The fact that he wants to be crown prince is jsut normal. He was raised as the only son, his mom is tbe empress and CP was missing. He didn’t really scheme against CP before, so it made him not so bad. His wife was the evil one.
He also humbly asked for forgiveness before, CP is not obligated to forgive but it was natural for Chengjun to ask for mercy for his mom. It was still his mom afterall. He can’t just be quiet and turn a blind eye.
The rejection hurt him was also normal, so he was then angry and the relationship broken completely.
I am not so sure that he was planning regicide on purpose. He was just using the circumstances that his father going crazy.
I think he just throw the blame on CP because he accidentally killed his father.
The Taoist is the culprit.
But he was also to blame for introducing him to the emperor.
He had no choice than framing CP because the other option is turning himself in as a criminal.
But he is indeed just as naive as his mother.
He doesn’t have Yang clan and Empress Dowager as support anymore.
Even the emperor had already lost the trust from his courtiers, so how could he believe that they will support him instead of the CP who has been known as a capable one and had been wronged even after so much workload transferred over to him.
All he does is to curry favor and bootlicking the emperor.
Without a testament, there is no way the courtiers would support him.
CP had support from the courtiers.
Make them take their own pills!
Thank you for the chapter!