On the next day, the Imperial Court was filled with disputes from various groups. The scene was no different than a bunch of merchants and farmers arguing at the marketplace.
After the ritualistic greeting towards His Majesty, the atmosphere turned silent. Just like the calm before the storm…
Before His Majesty was a pile of petitions calling for the impeachment of Jun Zhantian. His Majesty observed the Imperial Court and was surprised to see the numerous number of vacant positions. Even though he had already expected it, this result had greatly exceeded his expectations: This, isn’t this a little too much?
Even though he had already received the report last night, whereupon he had become enraged, that was simply a report with the names written on it. However, His Majesty was now looking at the results with his own eyes. A good chunk of the Imperial Court members had disappeared … His Majesty was unable to get accustomed to it!
If one were to compare, this would be like a classroom with a hundred students. If someone were to receive the news in the middle of the night that thirty of those students had either transferred or dropped out, that person would not feel much. However, when that person sees the empty space within the classroom… This comparison was probably not a bad way of describing what had happened to Tianxiang Kingdom’s Imperial Court.
Yesterday night, after the Imperial Princess suffered from an assassination attempt, Grandpa Jun took action, issuing a declaration that a calamity had occurred. Within Tianxiang City, flames started rising rampantly and people were murdered everywhere. More than ten high-ranking members of the Imperial Court ended up being decapitated. In addition, many among these people were once bitter enemies with the Jun Family…
Besides that, all those men also shared one other common aspect. These men had all chosen to side with one of the Imperial Princes. However, this common aspect was something that everyone had chosen to keep within their hearts. At this point in time, blurting that out would be no different than courting death!
Among the victims of last night’s incident, there were twelve who had the qualifications to stand here today. Coincidentally, they were separated into fours divided equally amongst the three Princes. Amongst them was an Assistant Minister of Justice, two Assistant Minister of Personnel, three from the Minister of Rites, one from the Minister of State Revenue, three Imperial Censors and two scholars. This was only those that could be seen here. As for those who could not appear today, how many was there?
These people who had come together were those who had constantly opposed the ‘rough’ members of the Imperial Court and had been badly hurt during the kingdom’s present crisis. However, within the mind of a certain highly positioned individual, this was simply part of his plans. Even though last night, he himself had been angered to the point of having his eyes turn blue…
As for those ministers with sharp eyes and powerful retentive memory, they realized something. Today, there was an increase in new faces within the Imperial Palace. As for those familiar faces, most of them had disappeared. One such example was the Captain of the Armed Guards, Murong Qianjun. He was a talent whose promotion speed was considered ‘rare’, at times getting promoted three times in a day. However, this rising star of the Murong Family had at this point in time disappeared to who knows where…
It would appear that the carnage within the Imperial Palace was no less bloody compared to the outside. A high number of people became nervous.
“What happened last night? Why did the number of people become so little today? Who can tell me?” His Majesty was indeed a master amongst masters in ‘political affairs’. Blinking his eyes, he used the peripheral side of his eyes to stare at Jun Zhantian who was dozing off. Senior Duke Jun was truly feeling sleepy thanks to yesterday’s events. This was obvious just by looking at his face. Otherwise, he would not have dozed off in the Imperial Court; he had even nearly started snoring…
His Majesty’s act of pretending to not know what had happened was the opening act for the Imperial Court members to begin their barrage of accusations! Within the Imperial Hall, a large number of people went down on their knees.
“Your Majesty, we beg you to administer justice for us,” A huge number of ministers spoke out with tears flowing down their eyes, their faces showing grief stricken expressions as they kowtowed vigorously.
“Dear Ministers, if you have anything to say, just say it out in detail. Rise up and tell me all about it,” The Emperor frowned, a puzzled look was etched on his face.
Once His Majesty finished his sentence, tens of ministers all turned on Senior Duke Jun, Jun Zhantian. They started their barrage of accusations: Even though he is someone who had accomplished great merit for the kingdom, he disregarded military laws of the kingdom. He mobilized the kingdom’s military forces for personal reasons. He disdained the laws of the kingdom. He viewed the powers of the Imperial Family with contempt. He had acted with wanton abandon. He trespassed the residences of ministers. He allowed his subordinates to wreak havoc and act lawlessly. There were even some heavyweight accusations: He had amassed his own personal army. He has the intention of rebelling… In short, there were innumerable accusations aimed at him, all supposedly backed with conclusive evidence!
Later on, the accusations escalated to an even greater level, where it was recommended that Jun Zhantian be dismissed and his entire family decapitated, going so far as exterminating his nine kindred… In just a brief moment, the atmosphere of the Imperial Court had become intense.
Everyone’s face were flushed red, each and every one of them were filled with indignation. In the end they all chorused out. “Not killing Jun Zhantian equals endangering the Imperial Family’s powers! Not killing Jun Zhantian, the people would not be appeased!”
Jun Zhantian turned his gaze up, his eyes slightly closed. Watching the performance by all the ministers in the Imperial Court, he could only think of his grievously injured grandson. He was contemplating on how to ask His Majesty to loan him the best Imperial Doctor…
“Jun Zhantian! You old thing, you actually dare to act in such a brazen manner! What do you have to say for yourself?” His Majesty questioned him in a very harsh tone, seemingly furious!
“Your Majesty, yesterday, this minister received news that the Princess had suffered from an assassination attempt just outside the Imperial Palace. Thankfully, the Princess’ luck was good and she managed to escape unscathed. However, hearing that those criminals dared to act so wild; going so far as to profane the dignity of the Imperial Family, this old minister felt a bottomless anger spout out from within my heart. This minister then received further news that the assassins may harbour the intention of following up by trying to assassinate the members of the Imperial Family and high-ranking officials of the Imperial Court. This old minister fears that any delay would bring about irreparable disaster. Thus, this old minister had mobilized the army before reporting to Your Majesty, all for the sake of capturing the assassins. In this regard, this old minister had indeed committed a mistake. This old minister begs for Your Majesty’s careful inquiry and just punishment!”
The Emperor’s mouth was about to lash out, but had forcibly held himself back: You old brat! You have already said everything in detail, what else do I have to inquire? Inquire my ass! You portrayed yourself in such a righteous light, punishing you would make me a muddle-headed ruler! How am I supposed to continue this act?
“Continue speaking,” His Majesty, the Emperor frowned, seemingly unpleased. His Majesty was truly at a loss on how to continue from there.
“Yes! This old minister felt worried about this matter and did not have the time to inform Your Majesty. This old minister got up in the middle of the night and rushed to the military field without having the time to finish dressing. However, even though the mobilization of soldiers was executed quickly, we were helpless to stop the assassins. Those assassins had come prepared and had instantly turned the city upside down. This old minister exerted every last drop of effort without reserve and served as vanguard to wage a bloody battle against the many insidious assassins. After a long time, we finally managed to curb this disaster and finished off those assassins! The total number of these assassins amount to a whopping hundreds; their bodies were then hanged for public display before the city gates. However, this old minister dared not claim credit for these actions because there were some regrettable events. Even though this old minister had tried my best, there were tens of officials whom this minister failed to reach in time resulting in them being brutally murdered by the assassins! Their horrible deaths were all due to this old minister’s carelessness and slow response to this situation! This old minister is willing to accept the punishment for my crime of carelessness in executing my duties!”
Grandpa Jun sighed, his voice mournful. “All those lives are the pillars of our Tianxiang Kingdom…” He rubbed his eyes, appearing to be on the verge of crying. In truth, he was feeling sleepy…
All the ministers within the Imperial Court heard Senior Duke Jun’s words and turned to face one another: What? You are willing to accept punishment for your crime? Accept your mother’s head! Listening to you, you are simply the great hero that has single-handedly saved all of Tianxiang Kingdom! Acting decisively, turning the situation around in a matter of moments, the one who carried a heavy burden to save the common people, the loyal minister who placed the importance of protecting the dignity of the Imperial Family before all else! Since you have put it that way, not giving you a great amount of reward would be tantamount to a huge loss of reputation, and yet you say you are willing to accept punishment?
Besides, is there anyone here who does not know that those men in black are part of the Jun Family? Assassins? What a joke? How does one describe the act of reversing black and white? This is how! We have seen shameless, but we have never seen such a high level of shamelessness before! Turning the act of raiding other people’s residence into a meritorious deed, this level of bullshitting expertise had reached a completely new realm!
A mountain worth revering*!
As for those dead men that were left hanging for display to the public, if the Prison Chief of the Minister of Justice were to go check it out, he would certainly find that their faces were very familiar: Because those people were simply a bunch of death row prisoners. However, their execution date was bumped up by you, Grand Marshall Jun!
[TL: … ::yousayuntillikethatyouwinliaolor::]
[*TL: Almost forgot, “高山仰止” = “A mountain worth revering”. A praise meant to celebrate a person’s ‘professional’ manner and conduct. It also leaves one with the desire to model themselves after said person… ]