Emblem of the Phoenix

Emblem of the Phoenix

Chapter 8 - The Incident Exposed

The old imperial physician followed the Qianwan Emperor out of the palace gate. The yellow imperial procession had not yet started, and the Qianwan Emperor waved his hand, saying, "Please ride with me, imperial physician."

The old physician bowed and said, "This old subject does not dare."

The Qianwan Emperor laughed, "What is there to not dare? When I was still the crown prince, I had long heard of the imperial physician's great reputation. Now that I've met you, your medical skills are indeed remarkable."

The old physician sighed and said, "This old subject is ashamed. Speaking of when Your Majesty was the crown prince, do you remember the life of Empress Mingrui's second son? This old subject failed to..."

The Qianwan Emperor's expression suddenly became a bit strange, not only strange but also vaguely a bit angry and indescribably embarrassed. The old physician observed his expression and abruptly stopped speaking.

Empress Mingrui was the Qianwan Emperor's first empress. Back then, she rose from crown princess to give birth to the Qianwan Emperor's eldest son, who is today's crown prince. When she gave birth to the second son, it was right when the Emperor had just ascended the throne. That night, Empress Mingrui suddenly had a difficult labor. The old physician hurriedly entered the palace and after a flurry of activity, managed to save both lives.

However, after the newborn landed, shocking news came like a bolt from the blue, saying that the newborn prince had suffocated on phlegm and died.

The old physician was very puzzled at the time. Although it was a difficult birth, the child was very healthy when born, weighing a full six and a half pounds, so how could he suddenly suffocate on phlegm? He urgently wanted to enter the palace to resuscitate the child, but the guards resolutely refused to let him pass.

The Qianwan Emperor came out and only said one sentence: the child is already dead, and the Empress died of postpartum complications.

The old physician was completely baffled, thinking that he must have done something wrong to cause the newborn to develop some acute condition. Later, the then Imperial Noble Consort, Empress Mingrui's sister-in-law, was made the new empress, and the then one-year-old little crown prince was also handed over to the new empress to raise.

The Qianwan Emperor sat at the huge rosewood tea table in the imperial carriage, reading a memorial. Before long, there was a commotion outside. The leader of the imperial guards shouted, "Assassin! Protect His Majesty!"

The old physician was startled and hurriedly shielded the Emperor. Then he heard the sound of blades and arrows outside. The leader of the imperial guards knelt by the carriage and said through the curtain, "Reporting to Your Majesty, the assassin was not coming towards us. He has flown out of the palace. Shall we dispatch guards to pursue him?"

Before he finished speaking, Rong Shiba's voice came from the other side of the carriage door, "Your Majesty, the secret guards have caught up with that person on the roof of the Cold Palace. This subject has sent people to protect the Noble Consort. Please leave this place quickly!"

Then it seemed someone urgently said something to Rong Shiba outside. Rong Shiba's voice suddenly changed, "Your Majesty! This subject deserves death! The Noble Consort has been murdered!"

The old physician suddenly felt like he was transported back eighteen years. Also at that time, he had clearly cured the Empress and prince, but in the time it took to drink a cup of tea after he left, they still died. Inexplicably, their lives were gone.

He looked urgently at the Qianwan Emperor. The Emperor sat behind the tea table, his face expressionless amidst the splendor and honor.

Rong Shiba's voice rose, "Your Majesty! Please leave this place quickly! Your Majesty!--"

The Qianwan Emperor stood up and swept aside the carriage curtain. He leapt down from the tall carriage and strode towards the Cold Palace.

Rong Shiba could no longer care about the secret guards needing to hide their identities. He ran out from the shadows and knelt in front of the Qianwan Emperor, shouting, "Your Majesty, this place is dangerous!"

The other guards were stunned for a moment seeing a black-clothed, silver-masked man suddenly throw himself down in front of the Emperor. The Qianwan Emperor did not even look at him and walked straight ahead, "Stand aside."

Rong Shiba was covered in sweat, "Your Majesty--"

"Stand aside!"

The Qianwan Emperor directly kicked Rong Shiba aside and strode through the palace gate.

The light had completely dimmed. In the darkness, the Noble Consort lay on the bed, eyes wide open. The old physician's hands trembled as he lit a palace lantern. The blood-red color shone on her face, and the black strangulation marks on her neck were clearly visible.

With such a ruthless hand, she was not strangled to death from suffocation. She died from a broken neck, the bones completely shattered with not a single one left intact.

The Qianwan Emperor stared at the woman's eyes that could not close in death for a long time. In his heart, there was a vague, terrible prediction, but he said nothing, standing there rigidly, not daring to speak or ask.

Afraid that if he asked, that terrible guess would become reality.

"Your Majesty, look," the old physician had discovered something by the Noble Consort's pillow. He reached out to carefully pick up something. In the dim light of the palace lantern, a strand of hair could be seen.

Medium-length, jet-black, hanging down very smoothly. The Qianwan Emperor measured the length and his face suddenly looked exceptionally ugly.

The old physician and Rong Shiba both stood to the side with hands lowered. The Cold Palace was quiet, as if the sound of wind leaked in through the cracks in the walls and window sills, like the sound of the tides rising and falling in the distance.

The Qianwan Emperor asked in a low voice, "Rong Shiba."

"This subject is here."

"The secret guards captured that assassin?"


"Let him go."

For a moment, Rong Shiba felt like he must have heard wrong. He raised his head and only saw the lofty Son of Heaven's cold and majestic face.

"Your Majesty, you... said what?"

The Qianwan Emperor repeated, "Let him go."

The Emperor sat down silently by the bed. After a very, very long time, so long that it seemed the bleak time in this Cold Palace had already frozen, the old physician finally heard him speak indifferently, his voice low as if a beast tensing all its muscles before hunting.

He pointed to the Noble Consort's body that had already gone completely cold and said, "...Prepare the coffin."

Zhang Kuo cautiously asked, "What should we say?"

"Just say it was a sudden illness."

Empress Mingrui died of sudden illness, the little prince who never appeared died of sudden illness, Consort Xia died of sudden illness, and the Noble Consort also died of sudden illness.

It's just that those who should have died did not die, so those who should not have died ended up dead.

When the Qianwan Emperor returned to the suburban palace, it was already dinner time. As soon as he entered, the palace servants came to ask Zhang Kuo if he wanted to serve the meal. Zhang Kuo looked at the emperor's expression and silently shook his head at the servants.

The servants were about to withdraw when they suddenly heard the Qianwan Emperor ask, "Where is he?"

The young eunuch was stunned for a moment before realizing who he was referring to. He quickly knelt down and said, "Your Majesty, the young noble has been in his room all afternoon. This servant does not know his current whereabouts."

Mingde's identity in the palace was ambiguous, and the secret guards did not have any actual official positions. Most of the people serving the Qianwan Emperor referred to Mingde as the young noble. Although this title was used in private, everyone close to the emperor was clear about the nobility of this young master.

Not everyone had the emperor's exclusive favor for two years. Perhaps Shangguan Mingde could not be considered the most beautiful in the world, but he truly made this supreme ruler of the land feel that he had found his number one, and could never let go again.

Unexpectedly, the Qianwan Emperor flew into a rage, "You don't even know where he is. Are there so many people in the palace just eating for free? If you can't even keep an eye on one person, what value is there in keeping them! Zhang Kuo!"

Zhang Kuo quickly bowed his head, "This servant is here."

"Give them all thirty strokes of the board and expel them from the palace, never to be employed again!"

That palace servant was inexplicably dragged out, followed by a series of miserable screams and wails. Soon, the heavy sound of beating with wooden boards and the agonized cries of the servants echoed throughout the courtyard.

The Qianwan Emperor strode through the long, luxurious corridor and kicked open the door of the bedchamber with one foot. Mingde sat by the window on a maroon couch, wrapped in a brocade quilt. The long, elegant branches and leaves of the orchid grass cast a faint shadow on the side of his face.

Shangguan Mingde lifted his eyelids and glanced at the Qianwan Emperor's terrifying expression due to anger. He said indifferently, "Why did you order to beat these people? The sound makes me feel uncomfortable."

The Qianwan Emperor waved his hand, and Zhang Kuo quietly withdrew. After a while, someone in the courtyard ordered to cover the mouths of those being punished, and even the screams could no longer be heard.

Mingde tilted his head to listen and actually smiled, "...Your Majesty, why bother?"

His body was suddenly lifted up. The Qianwan Emperor grabbed his neck and pulled him up, pinching his chin and gritting his teeth, "...Shangguan Mingde! How can you be so cruel?"

"This servant doesn't understand what Your Majesty is saying at all."

"One corpse, two lives. How could you do such a thing?!"

Mingde smiled nonchalantly, "This servant did nothing."

The Qianwan Emperor threw him onto the bed. Mingde's rib injury had not healed, and he let out a muffled groan. He was immediately pressed down by the Qianwan Emperor. A hand with distinct joints reached under his long robe and mercilessly grabbed his lower back, while the other hand fiercely slapped him across the face.

This slap held nothing back. The Qianwan Emperor had fought for the position of crown prince on horseback and had also fought for the world on horseback. From a young age, he had trained in martial arts with the palace's top experts. Later, Mingde's martial arts were also personally taught by him. After all, Mingde was young and weak. With one slap, his entire body went limp in the Qianwan Emperor's arms.

The Qianwan Emperor pinched his chin, almost crushing his bones, "Shangguan Mingde, do your hands ever hesitate even slightly when you kill someone? Do you have even a shred of humanity in you!"

Mingde suddenly raised his hand and tightly grasped the Qianwan Emperor's wrist, his face contorted as he gritted his teeth, "What about you? Did your hands hesitate even a little when you strangled Empress Mingrui to death? Did you waver even slightly when you destroyed me? You demand that I show mercy to others, but who has ever shown me even the slightest bit of mercy!"


Heya! I'm Leafy. My passion for stories is matched only by my love for the outdoors. As I translate, I draw inspiration from the tranquility of nature. Whether I'm translating or tending to my garden, I'm always finding new stories to share with you.

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