Chapter 11: Empress Yang Xue
Translator: DavidT Editor: celllll
“Elder Ling!” At the side, the emperor finally could not bear to continue sitting on the sidelines, lest this hot-tempered Duke Ling really gets rid of the three grandsons of the Yang family. When that happens, the matter would be irreparable and even his Sky Bearing Empire would follow both their family clans and disappear from the face of this earth. “No matter what, it was the empress’s fault today. Elder Ling can be assured that I would give Senior an appropriate answer!”
The emperor had no other alternatives. He was the monarch of a nation, but he just can’t afford to provoke these two old men! He had no choice but to put down his pride and hold his grievances inside his heart. He thought to himself: In all the generations of emperors, I am probably considered the most cowardly and spineless one. Now, there are two people in the court whom I do not dare to provoke! If it wasn’t to maintain the stability of this country, why would I bother to suffer such anger?
Since the emperor had spoken, even if Ling Zhan was unwilling, he still had to give face to the emperor and back down. After all, he was the emperor. Besides, with all the civil and military officials present, if he were to slap the emperor’s face in front of so many people, it would be the end of the line for his family even if the time has not come. It seemed like Ling Zhan still had to bide his time for the matters of the empress.
Furthermore, after the momentary rush of anger, Ling Zhan’s head also gradually cleared. He began to find the matters a little too outrageous to believe; knowing how devious Yang KongQun was, how could he resort to carrying out such a joke of a plan? They had competed their whole lives, and Ling Zhan was very clear that this was completely not his style. Thus, he could only shake his head with a face full of depression.
The empress YangXue was then escorted by Yang KongQun himself back to her palace since Yang KongQun himself was unassured of her safety. As the head of the Yang family, Yang KongQun was naturally extremely familiar of the ways his opponent Ling Zhan worked! This guy was naturally lawless and fearless; even though his daughter might have been crowned Empress, in that old fogey’s eyes, the title had no meaning. And if it went from push to shove, Ling Zhan would not have any second thoughts. If no one was able to give a satisfactory explanation to the latter for today’s incident, with a suitable compensation, it didn’t matter that his daughter had the title of Empress – her head would still roll!
Before they left, Yang KongQun unexpectedly turned his head back to stare directly at Ling Zhan. He spoke in a heavy tone, “Ling Zhan, we have fought with each other for our whole lives; you know me as well as I know you! If I really wanted your grandson’s life, how would there be such a situation as today’s taking place? While I may not be able to take care of your entire Ling family, do you think the life of this little thing would faze me, Yang KongQun?”
Yang KongQun was extremely direct and serious in his manner of speech, showing how unbridled he was! As he spoke, all civil and military officials including the emperor were at the scene. Such lawlessness! However, Yang KongQun knew that only by doing so could he even have the chance to protect his daughter’s life. Only by doing so could he restrain the raging flames of Ling Zhan’s anger.
Furthermore, although such words seemed to be filled with a bold spirit, this undoubtedly served as a form of explanation to Ling Zhan, and Yang KongQun was undoubtedly admitting his weakness. Following this line of thought, this showed that he was admitting his inferiority in his heart. To such a prideful person like Yang KongQun, this was worse than death. However, Yang KongQun had to do such a thing, because no matter how brash he was, he could not be compared to Ling Zhan who did not even recognize the heavens if he were to be riled up! This old fogey could literally do anything and everything!
Hearing this proclamation from Yang KongQun, the emperor’s face twitched slightly. However nasty-sounding the words were, it was actually the best method for the imperial family. At the very least, both families would not cause any trouble in the near future.
However, deep in his heart, the emperor Long Xiang was feeling terrible. In his life, he had never wanted to exterminate the two unbearably domineering great families as much as today! He was clear that as long as both of them continued thriving, the imperial family’s standing would forever not be rock solid and stable. And yet, if one of them were to fall, then the entire Sky Bearing Empire would follow suit and collapse!
It was either that both of them would survive, or if not, both of them would fall. There was no third option! Thus, he could only endure.
Having finished what he wanted to say, Yang KongQun turned around to leave. Ling Zhan stood with furrowed brows, deep in thought for what seemed like half a day before he suddenly smiled. As though nothing had happened, he exclaimed, “For all of you great lords for making the effort to attend this ceremony today, this old man expresses his utmost gratitude! Especially the emperor, who specially took time off his busy schedule to grace my humble home. This truly makes this little old man’s face glow in happiness. At this point, this old man first thanks the emperor for his generosity.” As he finished, he sank into a deep bow, bending deeply from above his waist.
Long Xiang hurriedly helped him up, saying in a pleasant tone, “Elder is too polite, today’s matters leave us in deep embarrassment.”
Ling Zhan laughed heartily while replying, “You are exaggerating too much, Emperor!” At this point, his eyes sparkled as he ordered, “Men, bring up the items! this old man wants to see what kind of interesting item his grandson would pick up, hahaha!”
The crowd couldn’t help but prostrate in admiration of Ling Zhan! Facing such a matter, a normal person would be angered beyond reason. To have one’s children suffering from such a shock, most would have already carried their darlings into the inner chambers. However, this Duke Ling here was all frowns and glares one moment, yet as happy as a lark the next moment! This kind of face-changing technique had already reached the point of perfection! He carried on as though nothing had ever happened and even insisted that his grandson carry on with the item-choosing. This, coupled with the fact that it seemed like for him to be able to dominate all under the heavens from a young age, as well as to stand strong for forty over years, he definitely had a thing or two up his sleeves!
Some of the officials who had long held disagreements deep in their hearts now silently heaved a sigh of relief. As it turned out, this distracted old man was actually playing a pig to eat the tiger. Thankfully, no one in their class ever dared to step out to challenge him. This was truly wise of them. Judging by this old fox’s standard, he would be like those who would make his helpers count the silver he was about to get for selling them… one had to again reassess the abilities of the Ling family.
In his heart, Ling Tian felt that his grandfather should have gone to his world to act in an opera theatre!
However, in actuality, those people had actually overestimated Ling Zhan. Ling Zhan had already held some suspicions that this matter was not carried out by Yang KongQun. If one wanted to insist that this was absolutely not a coincidence, then they could only point fingers at his empress’s daughter for trying to act smart! If that was the case, he would definitely not take such a short-sighted woman as a matter to be worried about.
At this juncture, Yang KongQun was sitting with his daughter, Empress Yang Xue, in the carriage, wearing a grave expression: “What exactly happened back there? You would normally be more capable of controlling yourself.”
Yang Xue wanted to cry, but no tears came out; even her own father was also suspecting her! “Father, today’s incident was really an accident!”
Yang KongQun scrutinized her face, as though he was scanning her face with some profound method, before speaking, “Continue.”
Yang Xue finally gained some semblance of calmness, and narrated the incident that happened just now, tearfully saying: “I was suddenly in pain from both my head and chest. How could I not let go?”
This caused Yang KongQun to furrow his brows and remain silent. At this point, both parent and daughter had the same doubtful thought in their hearts: Who was the exact mastermind behind this? Could it be that there is a hidden fourth powerhouse in Sky Bearing Empire?
Both of them never thought of the baby that caused this fiasco; after all, that was just an infant who would even stutter when calling for his parents.
Yang KongQun thought for a long while, before saying, “Even if it wasn’t you, and even if this whole thing was an accident, this tactic has definitely crossed your mind before, hasn’t it?”
Yang Xue could only lower her head to signify her agreement.
Letting out a deep sigh, Yang KongQun remarked bleakly, “A woman that has been married out is just like water that has been thrown out. Dad is not blaming you. Instead it would be stranger if you did not think that way.” Letting out another sigh, he seemed to have aged all of a sudden.
Yang Xue was naturally intelligent and quickly grasped what her father meant by such a sentence. Although it seemed like both the Ling and Yang families were at loggerheads with each other, their lives were actually intertwined. If the Yangs were to destroy the Ling family, then that would also be the end of the road for the Yangs. Only because both families had misgivings over each other and were curbing the other, could the present scene in Sky Bearing Empire remain. If one family ceased to exist, the uncontrollable rise of the other surviving family would definitely catch the attention of the royal family which would eliminate them to prevent this force from rising up any further.
Thus, from another angle, to extinguish the Lings was to destroy his own family bloodline! The thought of this led to Yang KongQun’s current mood.
However, Ling Xue had her own reasons for thinking so. Her own son, the current crown prince of this dynasty, was already three years old, and she had to start planning for her son’s future. The power held by the Ling family was too immense, whether it was in the government or military, they were both equally and unreasonably powerful. In the past, the Ling family had no descendants and thus even if they had the ambition, this would only lead to their own downfall due to the lack of heirs. However, times have changed. With the addition of this little thing, this could be said to be the tipping point.
The Ling family was simply too large and too powerful, to the point that even the royal family was unable to rest easy any longer. If they were to have any ambitions, then the empress’s son would definitely not be safe. Yang Xue was naturally unwilling to see such a scene. Thus she put in the effort to set up countermeasures, planning to let both her family and the Ling family drag each other down. Once her son steps up to become the emperor, he would still be able to provide some form of leeway for her family. As long as her son managed to sit on the throne, even if the Yangs were to be on the decline, they would have the chance to rise again from the ashes. However, if she were to let the Ling family snatch the advantage, then this would not just be a problem for the Yang family, but even the royal family would become like scattered ashes and dispersed smoke!
Before she entered a marriage, she was just a pure and innocent girl from the Yang family! However, she was now first a mother and thus had to look out for her son. Secondly, she was the empress of this current dynasty and would of course have to protect the foundation of the royal family! Lastly, she was considered a female of the Yang family. Thus, although she felt guilty towards her father, she did not think that she had done anything wrong.
Yang KongQun let out a long sigh, seemingly aging a few years in a short time. Only after a long while did he finally speak, “The Lings shouldn’t be finding you for trouble but will definitely pay closer attention to you. I will not stop you from doing your thing, but at least within the next few years, you are not allowed to carry out any plans.” He sighed before he continued in a tone of melancholy, “Take care of yourself, only then will you be able to defeat the enemy. Ok, we’re almost at the palace. I’ll head back first.” As he finished, he did not wait for Yang Xue to reply and left the palanquin directly.
Yang Xue stared at her father’s silhouette as the rims of her eyes reddened. However, she did not say anything in the end.
After getting down, Yang KongQun stood for a while, as though awaiting some form of reply from her. However, sensing that YangXue was not going to talk, he gave another deep sigh before putting his hands behind his back and walking away. Two steps later, he suddenly stopped and slowly spoke, “He is but an infant. Even if he is a genius, you still have time before he becomes an adult. Why not take a few years to observe? For all you know, he might not even be worth your attention. Don’t give in to groundless fears. At most… if the worse comes the worst, it is still not too late to carry it out!” Hearing this, Yang Xue’s eyes suddenly gleamed.
As he finished speaking, Yang KongQun strode away briskly, never turning his head back once. His daughter was, after all, not merely his daughter anymore. At the same time, she was the mother of the current Crown Prince, and the emperor’s wife! Being her father, he had already made her life difficult for her past eighteen years. There was no need to continue making her life difficult. This matter would be left for her to do as she deemed fit.
Watching her father’s shadow slowly disappear, she noticed that it was more slouched than before, which left her in a daze and unable to speak. Her eyes started to brim with unshed tears. It was a good while after that before she finally regained the clear and cold look in her pupils, with her gaze slowly turning back to a frosty look. Lazily stretching out on the seat, she coldly ordered, “Proceed on to the palace.”