The more the Emperor hung around with Suo Jia, the more he became aware of Suo Jia’s charisma. Although they had only been around each other for a week, the Emperor had discovered that he had grown to like the candid little guy. The Emperor could see pureness and genuinity from Suo Jia, something that couldn’t be found in the palace.
He couldn’t deny the fact that Suo Jia was extremely greedy. Even Suo Jia himself admitted to this fact. In addition, he never bothered to conceal it. However….his greed had class and style. Not everyone could bring his greediness out; the only things that could were definitely matters worth celebrating for, since everything Suo Jia gained was always much more than the price the other party paid.
Suo Jia and the Emperor were currently sitting across from each other in a small pavilion. The best china was on the table in front of them, and a fragrant scent wafted through the air, one that would easily calm the spirit of anyone that smelled it.
Lightly taking a sip of green tea, Suo Jia sighed in satisfaction with shut eyes, completely enjoying the taste. After a while…Suo Jia said, “Your Majesty, from my knowledge, Holy Light Empire’s great catastrophe will start soon. Have you finished preparing for it?”
“Catastrophe?” The Emperor put down his teacup in confusion as he stared at Suo Jia.
Slowly opening his eyes, Suo Jia said in a profound voice, “Your Majesty should be around 55 years old this year. According to the empire’s political system, you’ll retire in 4-5 years. In other words, you have to confirm who the crown prince is, and decide who will seize this country!”
“Mm…” The Emperor nodded and indifferently replied, “I know all this already. But I don’t think any disorder will occur; the crown prince is decided by me, and nobody can interfere.”
“Tch…” With a sneer, Suo Jia said in disdain, “Isn’t that a given? Of course I know that the crown prince is chosen by you. But can’t your decision be influenced by others? Besides…have you ever considered what would happen if you didn’t have the ability to decide?”
Hearing Suo Jia’s words, the Emperor couldn’t help but furrow his brows as he gazed intensely at Suo Jia. “I understand, just say it straight out. Which prince are you speaking for?”
Stunned, Suo Jia froze and stared blankly at the Emperor. He then bitterly laughed and shook his head, “Your Majesty, don’t always be so suspicious. Why do I have to be speaking for a prince? Can’t I just consider the problem from your point of view?”
The Emperor didn’t shift his gaze at Suo Jia as he said in a heavy voice, “I really cannot believe that. With your age, I believe that….you should be currying favor with a prince, not the old man like me who’s about to lose his position. Moreover, I set up appropriate arrangements for the matter of the princes ages ago. Even if they jump to the skies, they will never be able to flip out of my palms. There definitely won’t be any commotion.”
Suo Jia rolled his eyes in exasperation and said angrily, “I really think you’re beyond saving. Let me just tell you straight out; I’m not speaking for any prince. I really am just thinking for your sake. Haven’t you ever considered the fact that with my help, you can forever be 30 years old? In that case, why give up your Emperor position? If you really give away the position, then how will the you that’s accustomed with power survive the next 100-200 years?”
“That…” Hearing Suo Jia’s words, the Emperor was abruptly stunned. That’s right….with the current state of his body and spirit, why did he have to hand over his Emperor position? Power was something that nobody would be willing to let go of, unless their body and spirit couldn’t bear it anymore.
Overwhelmed by shock, the Emperor continued to stare at Suo Jia blankly. Only now did the Emperor suddenly realize that Suo Jia really did want to help him, and had actually been thinking of him. It was just as Suo Jia had said: with his energy, how was he supposed to use it if he wasn’t the Emperor?
The Emperor knit his brows and said, “But, according to the ancestor’s traditions, I cannot do that. As long as I am 60 years old, I must hand over the position. Even the Emperor cannot change such matters.”
“Hehe…” Darkly chuckling, Suo Jia said in a low voice, “Your Majesty, I didn’t ask you to change the system. My meaning is simple; as long as you create a conflict between the princes, they’ll mutually destroy each other. Once they’ve committed enough crimes, they’ll lose their qualifications of inheritance one after another. By then, even if you wanted to hand the position over, who could you possibly give it to?”
“That…” The Emperor stood up and paced the room in deep thought. After a while, the Emperor said with difficulty, “Your idea won’t do. They’re still my own flesh and blood after all; I can’t possibly commit such a deed to them. In addition…if I really did kill all of them, wouldn’t I be lacking a successor?”
“My god…” Hearing the Emperor’s words, Suo Jia couldn’t help but feel his voice go hoarse, “I say, Your Majesty, what in the world are you thinking? You’re the old Emperor. Don’t you only need to say a single sentence to determine whether they die or not? If you don’t let them die, how can they die? You just need to make them lose their qualifications to inherit the throne. Why must you kill them?”
“Eh!” Hearing Suo Jia’s words, the Emperor was first stunned for a moment, before he suddenly laughed out loud. That’s right…how could he have not thought of such a simple matter? His sons were his sons; as long as they lost their qualifications to inherit his power, with his life span, even his grandsons wouldn’t have the chance to take the throne. His great-grandsons wouldn’t be able to either. Most likely, only his great-great-grandsons would be able to inherit it.
After thinking about it some more, the Emperor looked over at Suo Jia, and earnestly said, “You’re such an amazing little guy. I really want to know now, why are you thinking for my sake? I cannot imagine a reason behind it. In my opinion, it would make more sense for you to choose a prince to vow loyalty and devotion to!”
Rolling his eyes, Suo Jia patiently replied, “First of all, you’ve already paid a price sufficient enough to become my customer. I naturally have to think more on your behalf. I do this for anyone, including Her Highness and Your Majesty.”
Suo Jia paused for a moment, then laughed, “Don’t think that becoming my customer is a simple matter. Currently, including you and Her Highness, there are only four of you that are my customers. The other two you also recognize: Emma and Wen Ya.”
Seeing the doubtful expression on the Emperor’s face, Suo Jia continued, “Think about it for a bit; with our relationship, wouldn’t doing anything be a piece of cake? I believe….that in the future, you won’t treat me any worse than Her Highness. Would you say otherwise?”
“That…” Faced with Suo Jia’s words, the Emperor suddenly realized that he really didn’t have any way of retorting. If Suo Jia didn’t help him, he’d quickly age. In other words, he probably had to treat Suo Jia even better than he did to the Empress. This was pretty much a destined result.
Suo Jia continued, “To me, although you’re already 55 years old, there isn’t that big of a difference between us. You can at least live another 200 years, and as long as you live, I can maintain your current state. That’s why, 55 years old is not only no longer an inconvenience to you anymore, but it provides you the maximum capital you can obtain.”
Every time a prince inherited the throne, the entire country would always go through turmoil. Since every emperor had a personally chosen cabinet, great commotions in both the imperial court and the commoners would arise. In addition, the crown prince was still young after all, and was thus lacking in experience and capability. How could he compare to the current Emperor, who had already become an old fox? As long as the old Emperor was there, nobody would dare to even dream of bullying Holy Light!
Hearing Suo Jia’s praise, the Emperor couldn’t help but smile with satisfaction. This was because he knew that Suo Jia wasn’t merely flattering him, but was actually saying the truth. Suo Jia was a fellow that could be described with the word ‘genuine’. He wouldn’t go around flattering others for no reason. If they were able, then they were able; if they weren’t able, then they weren’t. It was straightforward and simple.
Just as the Emperor was about to laugh in satisfaction, Suo Jia patted the Emperor’s shoulders without restraint and said, “Old man Emperor, my personal decision is that, being able have a relationship with you is definitely better and more comfortable than having one with any prince. You have experience, capability, and our relationship is so close. I’m not afraid of you hurting me, and just for the sake of the Empress, I can’t watch you age away until your death. To me, you and the Empress are like a linked magic equipment; helping one means that I must help the other as well!”
The Emperor looked at Suo Jia in understanding, clearly realizing his intention. On behalf of the Emperor’s love for the Empress, Suo Jia had to help him. On behalf of the Emperor’s face, Suo Jia had to help the Empress. Regardless of what either of them did, the matter would simultaneously possess two reasons behind it.