Seeing that I wasn’t speaking, the emperor chuckled again.
“Qinghui don’t be nervous. I love you as a brother, how can I bear to punish you?”
He slowly walked back to the desk, tilted his robes and sat down.
“Today I let Qinghui enter the palace just to tell you one thing.”
The emperor picked up the brush and took a new piece of paper. While writing, he said: “I don’t know if Wei country will send a decree declaring war. If that it’s so I’m afraid that Qinghui will need to go and battle against them. This war can only be won, it can’t be lost. Otherwise, you and I will only have one ending.”
He handed me the written paper. On top of it was just the word “death” written in red ink. My mouth twitched. This emperor, when he needs to be straightforward, he really is too straightforward. Before leaving the royal study, the emperor said faintly to me: “Qinghui, the war is just around the corner. Protect the military seal well.”
My heart tightened. I felt cold sweat sliding down. Military seal……where would I go find the military seal for you? Do you want me, this general, to go ask Chu Yi? Where did I put the military seal before? This is really not reliable!
Back at the general’s mansion, I didn’t bother with other things and went straight to Chu Kong’s room. This time he was eating porridge with a look of enjoyment.
The cold sweats sticking on my back made me feel cold. I grabbed the bowl from the maid and said: “I’ll do it.”
The maid looked at Chu Kong. Chu Kong said: “You can retreat.”
The moment the door shut, I sat on Chu Kong’s bed with a heavy look.
“Big bad news.”
This time Chu Kong learned to behave. He took the bowl form me. While sipping, he said: “You already said that before you entered the palace.”
I am anxious and shouted: “This time it’s really bad!”
I told Chu Kong everything that happened in the palace and then asked him: “You say, what does the emperor mean? And then there’s the military seal. I don’t know the former general, how will I know where he’ll put the military seal? By the time I need to go to battle; a general who can’t take out the military seal; I’m afraid that I haven’t even set foot on the battlefield, I’ll be beheaded by the emperor.”
Chu Kong continued to calmly drink porridge. He set the bowl aside, rubbed his mouth and said very calmly: “Well, you say, is the military seal this toy?”
He took a tiger shaped white jade out of his sleeves. There is a fine tiger inscription on it. I was shocked: “From where did you steal it?”
“From the moment we two begin this lifetime, it was always with me. I didn’t know what this thing was before, but from its appearance I tell that I can sell it for a high price. So I took it everywhere with me. I was thinking that after we went into seclusion in the mountain, I’ll pawn it. Well, I didn’t expect that this is indeed a treasure.”
I was completely confused.
“Wait, how come the general’s military seal is with you? What the emperor told me today, I can tell that the emperor and the princess obviously stood on the opposite side of each other. They’re enemies, ah.”
Chu Kong laughed: “I already know all the causes and consequences. Do you want to know? If you want to know then call me daye1 and let me hear you admit your mistake.”
“Daye, I was wrong,” I said. “Quick, tell me what happened.”
I excitedly stared at Chu Kong. Chu Kong gritted his teeth and for a long time, he couldn’t utter a word. The more I think about it, the more I felt that this arrogant boy is stranger as the days pass by.
Meeting his demand is not right.
Not meeting his demand is also not right.
Really making it difficult for people, ah.
Chu Kong was silent for a very long time before he slowly said: “Do you know that the throne of the current emperor is not safe?”
“How would I know?”
“I didn’t say you should answer!”
The veins on Chu Kong’s forehead are visible. He sighed heavily before he said: “The current empress dowager isn’t the biological mother of the emperor. She only took care of him and watched him grow. The former emperor died early. The empress dowager took care of the affairs of the court behind a curtain and controlled the state. The emperor grew by day and became more difficult to control. The empress dowager wants to get rid of the emperor and put a new emperor on the throne. The emperor is childless, so there’s no candidate. At this time the biological daughter of the empress dowager, princess Qingling got pregnant. The empress dowager wanted to make the princess’ child the new emperor.”
“But how does the empress dowager know that the child in the princess’ belly will be a male?”
“Is or isn’t, is not important. Even if the princess gives birth to a monster as long as the empress dowager wants, eventually it’ll become a boy.”
I understood: “They want to switch the child!”
Chu Kong nodded: “This way the emperor will be ridden off; the empress dowager will choose a new emperor; she’ll have more control of the state. I’m afraid that this time the princess didn’t take the poison herself, but has been murdered by the spies of Wei country. You see, getting rid of the princess and the child; the emperor and the empress dowager will continue their battle. The internal affairs are unstable; the one that’ll benefit the most is Wei country. They’ll take advantage of the situation and declare war. That’s why when you went into the palace today, the emperor told you that he was both pleased and worried. So he gives you a bright red “death” word to tell you to go to war with Wei country. You can only win, you can’t lose. If you lose, even without the empress dowager’s conspiracy, he’ll need to end his days as emperor.”
“In order to protect the emperor do I need to go to war?”
I didn’t understand: “But the army has never declared war to protect someone.”
Chu Kong’s eyebrow raised a little: “You’re right, but if you don’t protect him now, the emperor will kill you.”
I sighed: “The mortals have complicated minds.”
I turned, thought for a while and then asked Chu Kong: “How come you suddenly understand this situation so clearly?”
Chu Kong smiled: “After you entered the palace, the empress dowager also sent someone to me. From that man’s mouth, I got all the information I want. I’m not like someone, only letting other reprimand her.”
Although his words are really provoking, but now I cannot not think seriously about this matter……There’s really a gap between my and Chu Kong’s intelligence.
Chu Kong lay in bed and said happily: “Now we’ve figured out everything. We can also not escape the capital. We can only wait for Wei country and Qi country to start war. In the midst of tumult losing one or two people is really common.”
This guy……Even our escape during the war can he say in such a righteous way.
I expressed my contempt by pouting. Suddenly a question flashed in my mind: “Chu Kong, how did the general die?”
Who stabbed him with a dagger? This general looks like he really can fight. But why does it look like that they he didn’t seem to have struggled?
Chu Kong closed his eyes and said lazily: “Is this still important? In front of the big situation, who will still bother about their trivial love?”
- 大 爷 (dàyé): it means uncle. When you call someone that, it means that you’re below that person and are willing to follow him. But this word also can be used to curse someone.