Chapter 1221: Emperor Li’s Maneuvers
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Emperor Li walked down the steps of the palace and came before Li Yao, looking in an emotionless manner at his son who was lying there quietly.
No one could tell by the expression on the emperor’s face what he was thinking. However, everyone sensed an extremely stifling aura. If the emperor unleashed his might, that aura alone would have prevented anyone from standing straight.
The royal palace was dead silent.
Such extreme silence spoke of extreme dread.
The imperial advisor looked at Emperor Li and bowed, saying, “Your majesty, it is my fault that his highness perished. Please see to my punishment.”
He lowered his head and did not defend himself. The evidence lay right before him, and any argument would have been pointless.
He had already decided in Qianye City of the Crimson Dragon Realm that he would shoulder the blame, taking whatever punishments were dealt.
The emperor continued to look at Li Yao, his head lowered as if he had not heard anything the imperial advisor said.
The wind blew, and everyone in the palace felt a chill as if the place were very cold.
Emperor Li finally moved. He lifted his head slowly, looked at the Prince Regent, and then at Li Zhen before he looked at the others. His eyes eventually rested on the imperial advisor.
“Imperial advisor, have I ever been unkind to you?” Emperor Li asked.
The Prince Regent knew what was going to happen upon hearing the emperor’s words.
The era that belonged to the imperial advisor was over.
The imperial advisor could have made many mistakes, but the one that he had just committed was one that no man who stood at the pinnacle of power would ever understand.
He had committed treason.
He may have needed only to kill Ye Futian or at least fought him in a frenzy for a while, and his majesty would have forgiven him regardless of the outcome of the fight.
However, he did nothing.
“I have indeed failed to meet your expectations despite all that you have done for me, your majesty,” continued the imperial advisor as he bowed.
“Why did you choose to betray Dali for a single person?” Emperor Li asked.
The emperor knew what had transpired, and he knew that the imperial advisor had done what he had done for one person—Ye Futian.
That young man had once infiltrated Dali as the Seventh Swordsman. He was unable to understand why the imperial advisor disregarded it and insisted on sending Ye Futian, a Sage at the time, away.
And now, Li Yao, a prince, had been killed, and he still refused to make a move against Ye Futian.
The emperor knew what it meant, and yet the imperial advisor made such a choice all the same.
He was unable to understand.
The emperor had sent the imperial advisor to the Crimson Dragon Realm hoping that the imperial advisor would have been able to make a choice.
And here was the outcome of the emperor’s efforts.
“I was aware of your expectations, your majesty. However, there were other matters that I was aware of, and yet unable to bring myself to do what you expected. I had no intention of betraying the Dali Dynasty, but that was the way things turned out to be, nonetheless. I have no intention of speaking for myself, but Yan Yuan even suffered severe damage to protect the ninth prince. I hope you would be able to forgive him and allow all of them to choose their own paths. I do hereby swear that they would not hold any grudges against Dali.”
The imperial advisor bowed and knelt saying, “I am willing to be sentenced to death to atone for my crimes.”
The entire royal palace was moved.
The most supreme figure under the emperor of the Dali Dynasty asked to be sentenced to death.
He intended to shoulder all crimes on his own.
He did not argue nor did he try to weasel out of his predicament.
Emperor Li then looked at the imperial advisor with intense disappointment in his eyes. He then said, “Imperial advisor, you should understand that this is not what I wish to see.”
The imperial advisor kept his hands flat on the ground and said nothing.
He knew what the emperor would have wanted and knew what he should have done to survive.
However, he did not do so because then he would no longer be who he was; he would have never spared Ye Futian in the Crimson Dragon Realm in the first place.
“Imperial advisor, shouldn’t you be asking for mercy, that I absolve you of your crimes instead?” The emperor saw that the imperial advisor was unmoved, and his eyes looked increasingly imposing and stern. An even more terrifying aura washed all over the heads of everyone.
The Prince Regent lay prostrated on the ground and felt extremely shaken. He was jealous of the imperial advisor.
He knew what the emperor meant between the lines.
The emperor remained reluctant to kill the imperial advisor. He wanted to give the imperial advisor a chance.
However, the imperial advisor did not want a chance.
The emperor was already dropping hints that if he was willing to ask for forgiveness, that the emperor would absolve him of his crimes. If he was willing to atone through his future merits, submit to and fight for Dali, and be willing to kill Ye Futian in revenge for Li Yao, there would be a chance for him still.
Emperor Li was willing to forgive and continue to use him.
However, the imperial advisor did not do any of that.
He had said that there were matters that he was aware of and yet was unable to bring himself to do them.
He deemed fighting for Dali and killing Ye Futian off-limits.
“Is he really making a death wish there?”
The Prince Regent was puzzled by what was going on in the imperial advisor’s mind and why he was so insistent.
He jealously grew. The prince perished, the imperial advisor had done nothing, and still, the emperor was willing to give him another chance.
The imperial advisor was perhaps the only person in all of Dali who would have been given such treatment.
There definitely would not have been another.
He knew that if their places had been switched and if he had done what the imperial advisor had done, the emperor might not have given him—even being the emperor’s nephew—another chance.
He knew that deep down.
Seeing that the imperial advisor remained unmoved, the emperor’s eyes showed intense disappointment yet again.
It was more than just his betrayal at the Crimson Dragon Realm; it was that the imperial advisor no longer intended to serve him.
“Prince Regent, take Li Yao and do what you have to with him,” Emperor Li said.
“Yes, your majesty,” the Prince Regent answered and nodded before taking Li Yao’s body away.
He knew that Emperor Li had made a decision.
If the imperial advisor was making a death wish and was unwilling to save himself, no one could save him.
Emperor Li was willing to give him a chance, and yet he simply threw that chance away.
The emperor then turned around and walked up the steps. Standing on top, he gazed at the people below. His eyes eventually rested on the imperial advisor.
“Imperial advisor, I would be willing to forgive you for any mistakes, but you shouldn’t have let me down in such a manner.” The emperor kept looking at the imperial advisor as he slowly said, “The imperial advisor has betrayed the Dali Dynasty. I shall spare his life because of all he has done for Dali throughout the years, allowing him to be rid of his training by his own hands and be incarcerated.”
The emperor was not speaking loudly, but his will shrouded the entire Dali Imperial City nonetheless. His voice was heard throughout the city.
In that instant, countless people in Dali Imperial City felt a shock within and were extremely overwhelmed.
Everyone had been paying attention to this case of the imperial advisor betraying his nation.
Then Emperor Li declared that the imperial advisor had committed treason. Those who were reluctant to believe that felt as if something in them died.
“The imperial advisor had indeed betrayed Dali?” they wondered.
They felt their hearts bleeding and a sense of dread deep down, especially those who had practically worshipped the imperial advisor.
Countless members of the younger generations looked up to the imperial advisor, seeing him as a role model, success like his was a goal they trained diligently for throughout the years.
The emperor’s voice felt like the sky crashing onto their heads.
The sky that lived vividly in their minds was no more.
The imperial advisor helped build the Dali Dynasty to what it was on that day, but now he was sentenced to give up his training and be imprisoned.
At that moment, many in the Dali Academy looked up to the sky, and some knelt on the ground, saying, “Please pardon the imperial advisor, your majesty.”
The sounds of so many people kowtowing on the ground emanated ceaselessly from the Dali Academy. They were heard saying loudly,” Please pardon the imperial advisor, your majesty.”
That was not all. As they pleaded on behalf of the imperial advisor, the space right outside the royal palace turned black from the massive crowd kneeling.
Many were astonished by what was happening. The imperial advisor was probably the only person in Dali who commanded such prestige.
None of them could see Emperor Li, but they all knew that because the emperor’s will had shrouded the entire city, he could hear their pleas.
Yan Yuan, Feixue and the others heard the emperor’s voice in the Imperial Advisor’s Residence, and they, too, felt as if the sky had come down on them.
No doubt, it was a shock like no other for everyone in the Imperial Advisor’s Residence.
Feixue’s face was ashen in an instant, devoid of any color. Her steps became erratic as she struggled to stand still. Yan Yuan held her still.
Tears flowed from those blind eyes of hers. She bit her lip, keeping herself from crying.
“Father sentenced him to end his training and be imprisoned?”
Yan Yuan looked up, his eyes were red even though he had speculated that things would end up this way once his teacher had decided to take the blame for everything.
The students of the Imperial Advisor’s Residence did not kneel nor plead. The emperor’s voice was heard throughout the entire city, and they figured that pleading would be pointless.
The emperor had made his decision, and there was no changing his mind. No one could easily change the mind of a Renhuang.
“The imperial advisor confessed voluntarily to his crimes and asked for a death sentence. I did not want to pardon him. However, given his contributions to the Dali Dynasty, throughout the years, I have decided to appoint Li Zhen, the third prince, as King Zhen, and the daughter of the imperial advisor as Queen Zhen. The Imperial Advisor’s Residence shall remain as it is. The eldest student of the imperial advisor, Yan Yuan, shall be a candidate for imperial advisor, and he shall be appointed as the next chief of Dali Academy, to continue to foster capable people for Dali. He shall take the position of imperial advisor when he becomes a Holiness of Nirvana.”
At that moment in Dali Imperial City, the minds of the people were shaken by the emperor’s words.
While the imperial advisor had betrayed Dali and was subsequently tried and imprisoned, his daughter became the queen. She was married to Li Zhen, the third prince who was the most extraordinary of the princes. If he succeeds his father in the future and rules over the nation, the imperial advisor’s daughter shall reign over the nation with him. It was glory of the highest order.
The imperial advisor’s crimes did not harm those close to him. Instead, they had been rewarded.
Even Yan Yuan, one of the imperial advisor’s students, would be able to become the imperial advisor in the future. Such was the breadth of the emperor’s grace.
Is this the bearing of a Renhuang?
In the royal palace, the Prince Regent’s mind was extremely shaken, as well, impressed by what the emperor had done. It was not something that the Prince Regent would be capable of doing.
He had speculated about what the emperor might do with the Imperial Advisor’s Residence, but he never expected something like this.
Feixue was married to Li Zhen and would be given the title of queen. Li Zhen was the most highly regarded prince, and no one doubted the emperor’s decision. People were impressed by the grace that he had shown.
Furthermore, the students of the imperial advisor were all extraordinary people, and the emperor had chosen to continue valuing them instead of acting against them. He had even prepared Yan Yuan to take the imperial advisor’s position in the future.
With Feixue entering the palace as queen, Yan Yuan and the others would never act against the royal family. Furthermore, Yan Yuan would have the chance to keep the royal family members in check once he became a Holiness of Nirvana.
Everyone was astonished by how the game was played. Their emperor was their emperor for good reasons.
The imperial advisor looked up at the emperor. He knew that if he shouldered the blame, the emperor would not have vented frustration at the Imperial Advisor’s Residence for the time being. The emperor may have wanted to harm them, but the timing was inconvenient.
Furthermore, all of his students had vibrant luck and destinies, unlike him. What happened was not something that he could have ever predicted, so he simply went with the flow.
He never anticipated that things would turn out as such!