Title: Infinite Power Over The World
Original title: 权倾天下[重生]
Author: 叶默凉(Ye Moliang)
Translated by: ~PurpleLy~
Murong Heng gave Shen Ci a hug, then released him. He noticed that the person before him had somewhat stiffened, and he couldn’t resist teasing, “What’s wrong? Is it possible that you’re unwilling to acknowledge me, your Da Ge?”
“No!” Shen Ci hastily shook his head. He discreetly stepped back and the stiffness of his body gradually eased. After some time, he followed Murong Heng out to the courtyard to continue sunbathing.
As for Murong Heng, he felt that his entire person was refreshed after having departed the Shen residence. For some reason, his mood was extremely cheerful. Perhaps it was because Shen Ci had called him “Da Ge”, he felt that he’d found someone on whom could rely in this existence and that he didn’t have to journey through life alone.
Murong Heng turned back to look in the direction of Shen’s residence. The corners of his mouth curled slightly, and there was a faint smile. It seemed that he could still sense that person’s warmth in his arms. At that moment, he had an impulse telling him not to let go for some reason.
Perhaps he was too lonely in this life, he supposed.
A few more days passed imperceptibly. On this day, Emperor Chongde awoke from his slumber and felt extremely drained. Having lain on the bed for many days, his body was so weak that he had not even an ounce of strength. As such, he wanted to get out of bed and walk around.
He lifted up the quilt, and the nearby palace maids hurried over to assist him in putting on his clothes. Emperor Chongde stretched out his arms. Once he was dressed, he rose up from the bed and prepared to go outside to bask in the sun. No one expected that, as soon as his feet touched the ground, a white light flashed in his eyes, making him stop abruptly. He wanted to wait for the dizziness to pass before continuing to walk. All of a sudden, his head grew dizzier, his vision instantly went dark, and he dropped straight to the ground.
“Someone! Summon the imperial doctors!” The imperial maids around him had been startled out of their wits and shouted out in panic. The outside guards on duty heard the ruckus inside and rushed to the imperial physician’s compound to call the imperial doctors over.
The palace staff all hurriedly carried Emperor Chongde back to the bed. As they helped him tuck in the corners of the quilt, the imperial doctors showed up. Several imperial doctors hastened over and knelt down beside the bed. The head imperial doctor placed his fingers on Emperor Chongde’s pulse and began his meticulous assessment.
The internal energy of the pulse beneath the wrist was disorderly. Doctor Li couldn’t help furrowing his brow before placing his fingers atop it again. The condition he detected was exactly the same as before.
At this moment, Emperor Chongde awoke from his stupor. He struggled to open his heavy eyelids. At first, his vision was completely dark but it gradually grew clearer. His head was still spinning, and his body had no strength. He was indeed dumbfounded. His body didn’t feel so exhausted a couple of days ago. What on earth is going on?
Just as he was mulling it over, he caught sight of the imperial doctor who was examining him at his side and couldn’t resist asking about his condition. His voice was hoarse: “Doctor Li, how is This Emperor’s illness?”
Noticing that Emperor Chongde had regained consciousness, Doctor Li promptly knelt down by the bedside, lowered his head, and replied respectfully: “Replying Your Majesty, Your Majesty has been stricken with a cold for many days and would have fully recovered, reasonably speaking. We don’t know why it’s taking so long to get better—it’s really strange. Did Your Majesty sense anything out of the ordinary lately?”
After hearing what he said, Emperor Chongde frowned and contemplated carefully. He only began feeling lethargic a few days ago. He was sleeping that day and became like this after waking up. Suddenly, he detected a refined but cloying smell with his nostrils. He glanced over to the table at the incense that was lit as usual, and his gaze turned suspicious.
Doctor Li instantly understood what he implied, so he instructed the other doctors to fetch the incense, which they all examined on the spot. He blew out the incense, cautiously sniffed its scent, and then halved it, only then being able to discover the secret inside.
“Replying Your Majesty, there is a chronic poison in this incense called Fengdi. If inhaled too much, it can gradually make a person’s strength diminish, and even consume their minds, causing unconsciousness. In the later stages, physical pain will gradually increase and those who are unable to bear the pain descend into madness and perish.” After Doctor Li finished his explanation, he noticed Emperor Chongde’s eyes abruptly widen, with disbelief written all over his face.
He recalled that day when he was lethargic and heard someone come to see him. From the voice, it sounded like the crown prince, but he wasn’t too sure. When the person saw that he’d fallen asleep, he lingered for a while before leaving. Could it be……the crown prince again?
As a result, he had someone summon the crown prince over right away. When Murong Cheng arrived, he heard that the incense he’d brought that day had the Fengdi poison embedded inside. He unwittingly retreated a few steps and shouted, “Imperial Father, Er Chen is wronged! Imperial Father is ill, how could Er Chen possibly use poison to harm Imperial Father? You have to believe Er Chen!”
Emperor Chongde leaned on the bed. In view of the fact that it was truly Murong Cheng who’d come that day, and seeing him lose his composure, he couldn’t help frowning in contempt. His voice became chilly: “It’s not up to you to argue on this matter. This Emperor will thoroughly investigate it.” Although the crown prince had indeed brought the incense, the poison might not necessarily have been administered by him. He had to maintain his doubts, but he couldn’t condemn indiscriminately.
Murong Cheng gasped desperately for air. He eyed the incense stick that had been split in two on the ground, his gaze brimming with rage. Before he wasn’t able to utter anything else, he was expelled by Emperor Chongde.
All the palace staff present lowered their heads and said nothing. Self-preservation was the most important thing when one lived in the palace. If the emperor didn’t say anything, they naturally wouldn’t dare be loose-lipped, lest they lose their lives.
After the detoxifying Emperor Chongde, the imperial doctors silently withdrew. They cast each other knowing looks. It was perfectly clear what should and shouldn’t be said.
It wasn’t long before Murong Heng also caught wind of the talk that, even though Emperor Chongde suspected the crown prince of having evil intentions, he still opted to keep quiet since there was no concrete evidence to prove that the poison in the incense was added by the crown prince. Even all the palace staff who were aware of this matter had been secretly killed off, leaving no witnesses.
Murong Heng released a cold smile. Emperor Chongde’s intention was clear. He wanted to discreetly investigate who was responsible for adding the poison. At that time, if it was discovered to be the crown prince, he wouldn’t publicly do anything to him. When all was said and done, Murong Cheng was the crown prince, and he had to uphold his status. But how could it be so simple to just dismiss this matter like this?
With this thought, he instructed his bodyguards to spread the word among the commoners, saying that the crown prince put poison in the incense in an attempt to kill Emperor Chongde. However, upon learning about it, not only did Emperor Chongde not expose him, he even hushed it up for him instead.
In no time, the rumour spread all over. The gossip of the common folk quickly reached Emperor Chongde’s ears. On one hand, he was confounded that the public had found out about this matter in such a way. On the other hand, he was heartbroken over the crown prince’s actions. Because many days had passed since then, and there were too many people going in and out of the palace, he was unable to find out who was responsible for the poison. Of course, the one with the greatest suspicion was still the crown prince.
In other words, the crown prince was the one who added the poison because there wasn’t anyone else.
Murong Heng laughed mockingly three times right there in the palace. Each time he bribed a palace staff, he would have them killed once the deed was done to get rid of any evidence. Wouldn’t it be too late to have them killed once Emperor Chongde began investigations?
Although the exterminated palace staff were innocent, for the sake of triumphing in great matters, the road must be paved with blood in order to succeed. If he maintained compassion in his heart, one day he will die due to his own kindness! Therefore, he cannot afford to be soft-hearted!
Meanwhile, after Murong Cheng returned to his official residence that day, the rage went to his head, and he once again smashed everything in the palace. He paced back and forth in the palace, unable to dispel the fury in his heart.
Previously, during the hunt, he was accused of having used poison to harm Imperial Father. This time, the same trick was used, adding poison to the incense in an attempt to harm him. That person must have known that he’d gifted incense to his father, so they tampered with the incense when no one was paying attention. What a thoroughly astute person!
He thought about these so-called brothers of his. Fourth Younger Imperial Brother, Murong Yu, was so cowardly that when he usually encountered him, he didn’t even dare to speak loudly. He doesn’t look like he would dare to do such a thing as frame him. Then that leaves Third Younger Imperial Brother and Fifth Younger Imperial Brother. Fifth Younger Imperial Brother was always showing off. During their youth, he regularly competed with him for first place. Third Younger Imperial Brother wasn’t ambitious and lacked any sense of existence. The way he saw it, the only one capable of doing such things was him, Fifth Younger Imperial Brother.
Just then, Murong Cheng’s imperial staff and confidant, Jin Yuan, walked in from the outside. He noticed the crown prince’s downcast expression and began to analyse calmly: “From this subordinate’s point of view, although the fifth prince is a show-off and is seen as competing with Your Highness, he lacks wit. He isn’t very sharp, and naturally, he wouldn’t be able to pull off something so flawless.”
Jin Yuan’s words made Murong Cheng calm down. What he said was also true. Although Murong Chong appeared courageous, he was actually lacking in talent and virtue. It was outwardly visible. Then…… could it be Third Younger Imperial Brother, Murong Heng? Or perhaps it’s the “cowardly-looking but with a different character” Fourth Younger Imperial Brother, Murong Yu?
At the same time, Fifth Prince, Murong Chong, was in his mansion. He sat on a chair, leisurely enjoying some tea. He pondered as he sipped the tea.
He was confident that he was not connected to the matter of the poisoned incense. He wasn’t even aware that the crown prince had sent incense to Imperial Father, not to mention poisoning it. Then, the likely ones were the crown prince Murong Cheng himself, Third Elder Imperial Brother Murong Heng, as well as Fourth Elder Imperial Brother Murong Yu.
It wasn’t inconceivable for Crown Prince Murong Cheng to have added the poison. Murong Chong knew that the crown prince had been coveting the throne for a long time, but Emperor Chongde was vigorous despite his age and not inclined towards death at all, so his impatience was inevitable. Power has always provoked conflict. This has been the never-changing truth throughout the ages. For the sake of power, it wasn’t inconceivable for Murong Cheng to poison Emperor Chongde to death in his attempt to usurp the throne. Therefore, Murong Cheng had a motive for poisoning.
The second was Murong Heng. Although from the outside, it seemed like he has no care for ambition and lacked any good qualities, Murong Chong knows deep down that you can’t judge a book by its cover. No one knows what kind of intentions lie beneath the good-for-nothing character of Murong Heng, nor his heart. Therefore, he is also suspicious.
Lastly was Fourth Elder Imperial Brother Murong Yu, whom he could rule out directly. Even if Murong Chong was beaten to death, he wouldn’t believe that this coward, who was even worse than a woman, would have the guts to poison Imperial Father. As such, it was impossible for it to be Murong Yu.
Then the most suspicious ones were the crown prince and the third prince. Murong Chong thought of it as such and continued to analyse. Although the crown prince was the most suspicious, there had been a poisoning incident prior, and the intervals between the events weren’t long before he employed the same trick again. Of course, the most suspicious one is him—the noble crown prince of the country. Was he actually so stupid? But all the evidence points to him, and it was possible that he did it.
If it wasn’t his doing, then it was most likely Murong Heng’s. The only way to explain it was that Murong Heng possessed a profound mind and wasn’t as hopelessly stupid as he appeared on the surface. This thought caused Murong Chong to narrow his eyes.
It looks like he has to thoroughly investigate this Third Elder Imperial Brother of his. Regardless of whether he did it or not, he must be dealt with to avoid future troubles, lest he hinder his road to success!
Just then in the Shen residence, Murong Heng was in high spirits. He was reciting and composing poems with Shen Ci in the courtyard. Both took turns, one delivered a verse and the other responded in kind, neither willing to yield.
A short while later, the two concluded their poetry dialogue. Shen Ci noticed Murong Heng wasn’t speaking, so he said, “I’m guessing, after this incident, many would start to cause trouble.”
“Such as…… Murong Chong?” Murong Heng replied enthusiastically.
Upon hearing that, Shen Ci raised his eyebrows but didn’t comment.
“Confront soldiers with generals and stem water with earth*. What is there to fear?” The corners of Murong Heng’s lips curled a little, and he smiled. He had already made preparations early on. No matter who, all would die!
(*TN: An idiom meaning to take whatever measures are necessary.)