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GNU Ch.52 Part 2 – Implicated (II)

GNU sponsored chapters (2/5) by Sessidefiant, Amy, Nyurr, Carthun, Leier, GNU, and several anonymous sponsors at ko-fi. Thank you for your support!

The first part of today’s sponsored chapters is Ch 52 Part 1.

Many people in the court began to have another thought, and a certain restless opinion was getting louder and louder.

Liu Yi and his colleagues were so angry when they heard about this. They cursed those people as treacherous ministers. It was clear what Yang family’s intention was.

In the eighth year of Jianwu, the crown prince was seriously ill and was sent to Qingxuan Temple to recuperate. Later, Qingxuan Temple was washed down by a sudden mountain flood, and the young crown prince disappeared without a trace. Because the incident happened under Senior Grand Secretary Yang, he took the blame and resigned voluntarily to introspect at home. Later, Empress Dowager Yang used the excuse of ‘making up of his mistake’ and ordered Senior Grand Secretary Yang to investigate the incident. Later, Senior Grand Secretary Yang dismissed several local officials and reprimanded them for poor later management before closing the case.

From the beginning to the end, it was utterly ridiculous. Although Qingxuan Temple was located near a mountain river, it was a famous Taoist monastery and was very prosperous in donation and pilgrims. Many people traveled thousands of miles all year round to ask for a blessing. Qingxuan Temple was originally selected to be the place for the crown prince’s recuperation for its Fengshui, but it has existed for fifty to sixty years. Pilgrims had come and gone for so many years. How could it be the moment His Highness came to the temple, he was washed down by mountain torrents and never been found again?

Many people didn’t believe this story. But what could be done? Senior Grand Secretary Yang personally presided over the case. Under the excuse of ‘seeing the object made one missed its owner,’ Empress Dowager Yang took all the relevant documents into Cining Palace. Even if others didn’t want to believe, who would dare to investigate? What’s more, since the crown prince’s disappearance, the Emperor has spent countless manpower and resources to look for his son year after year, but there was no result. Gradually, the courtiers began to believe that the crown prince Li Chengjing has been dead.

Because of excessive grief, the Emperor was unable to accept reality. It was okay to keep the crown prince’s position for a dead person for several years, but it couldn’t be delayed indefinitely. The country couldn’t be without a ruler for a day. In this way, the crown prince should be appointed early.

People at the court acquiesced that the crown prince has died, so the second prince was both a di son and the eldest one. He was the rightful candidate for the crown prince. Empress Dowager Yang clearly meant this. Over the past few years, she has reminded the Emperor several times not to dwell on the past and to establish a new crown prince as soon as possible.

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Yang Fucheng, the Senior Grand Secretary Yang, has controlled the government for more than 20 years. A memorial would never be handed to the Emperor without Yang Fucheng’s consent. It could be seen that Yang Fucheng didn’t have much patience left.

All of Cheng Yuanjing’s subordinates were angry and helpless about this situation. After they finished the report, they all waited for their master’s instruction: “Your Highness, what should we do?”

Cheng Yuanjing raised his eyebrows. Although his expression was calm as usual, when he was deep in silence, no one in the room dared to look up. Cheng Yuanjing didn’t speak up yet. His mind slowly reminisced about the past.

He was born in the imperial palace and was not very healthy when he was a child. He knew from a very young age that although the Li clan sat on the throne, it was the Yang family who was in control.

His father, the current Emperor Li Huan, was not a legitimate heir to the throne, not even a favored prince of the previous Emperor. After he became an adult, Li Huan went to the fief to get married and establish a separate household early. Li Huan’s title was Kang Wang1, a title without any expectations or ambitions. Li Huan himself had no desire to fight and was contended to be an honorable and idle prince in his fief.

In the twentieth year of Yonghe, the crown prince had a fierce fight with his half-brother Rong Wang and was assassinated. The late Emperor Renzong was so angry that he demoted Rong Wang as a commoner, and after imprisoning his son’s family, he immediately became seriously ill. At that time, Empress Dowager Yang was still the Empress. After discussing with her younger brother Yang Fucheng, she summoned Kang Wang from his fief to the capital overnight. Before Kang Wang arrived, Emperor Renzhong died of illness.

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It could be said that Kang Wang Li Huan ascended to the throne with the support of Empress Dowager Yang and Yang Fucheng. For many years afterward, the siblings controlled both the inner palace and governmental affairs.

After that, Kang Wangfei Zhong-shi lived in hardship. She had a difficult time to be named Empress, she had a difficult time to give birth to the eldest prince, and finally, she died within two years. After Empress Zhong’s death, Yang Miao, the daughter of Yang Fucheng, entered the palace and was named Empress. At that time, Cheng Yuanjing was still in the palace, and Yang Miao proposed to adopt Cheng Yuanjing, but the Emperor refused. The Emperor’s vigilance probably annoyed the Yang family, because not long after, Cheng Yuanjing suffered a sudden illness and was sent to Qingxuan Temple to recuperate. Then the temple was washed away in a mountain flood, taking along the crown prince and hundreds of people.

At the age of five, Cheng Yuanjing had a narrow escape from death. At that time, his guards desperately took him to escape from Qingxuan Temple. He watched his guards die one by one, and finally, he was overwhelmed and fell into the river. Yang Fucheng destroyed the dams upstream. After a few days of heavy rain, the mountain flood was too large and was out of control. Because of this, after Cheng Yuanjing fell into the river, Yang Fucheng also quickly lost track of Cheng Yuanjing, which allowed Cheng Yuanjing to escape alive. After that, he hid his name and first took refuge under the exiled little Xue-shi. Later, he returned to the capital under the name of an illegitimate son of Cheng family. Nevertheless, amidst all the turnback, he fiercely kept on surviving with perseverance.

Cheng Yuanjing always knew what kind of situation he was facing. His father, Li Huan, was weak and softhearted. For many years, Li Huan maintained the illusion in order to deceive himself. When Zhong-shi was still the Empress, he couldn’t protect his wife. When Cheng Yuanjing was still the crown prince, he couldn’t protect his son. Now that Cheng Yuanjing lost even his crown prince status, it surely was not easy for him to fight with the powerful Yang family.

The Yang family has controlled the court for more than twenty years. Their root was far deeper than outsiders could imagine. Without Yang Fucheng’s approval, not a single matter outside the palace could reach Emperor Li Huan. If Cheng Yuanjing stayed in the palace, his life would be completely under their control. He could only see what the Yang family wanted him to see. In this case, Cheng Yuanjing decided to take the risk, slowly gained experience as the grassroots official to see people’s livelihood and the real officialdom.

He initially thought that he still needed another two to three years to fully grasp the extent of Yang family’s power.

Unfortunately, it now seemed that he didn’t even have the luxury to wait.


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  1. Kang means ‘healthy’

3 thoughts on “GNU Ch.52 Part 2 – Implicated (II)”

  1. Looks like there’re similarities between the late Marquis and the incumbent emperor…
    Thank you for the translation <3

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