Chapter 2 : Chance Encounter With A Stranger

Title: Infinite Power Over The World

Original title: 权倾天下[重生]

Author: 叶默凉(Ye Moliang)

Translated by: ~PurpleLy~

Unbeknownst to him, Murong Heng arrived at a small bridge over a flowing stream. Once he was on the bridge, he stopped and listened to the burbling sound of the rushing water. As he closed his eyes and inhaled deeply, he recalled the people from his previous life.

Given that he has decided to take revenge, he must find some trustworthy confidants. The Iron Halberd Army were devoted and loyal beyond any doubt, but at this time in this life, he had not yet taken control of them. The only ones who could be trusted were a handful of imperial guards in the prince’s mansion—his residence—and that was all.

He could still recall that in his previous life, when he was dispatched to the border to fend against the enemy, several guards had followed on his heels without the least amount of hesitation. Upon arriving at the border, they went into battle with him to fight against the enemy. Ultimately, in order to shield him from the enemy’s ambush, they’d died tragically in the midst of the turmoil—their corpses were obliterated.

As he pondered up to this point, Murong Heng glanced up and looked around. He couldn’t detect a single person, but he knew that his bodyguards were spread around in places out of his sight, steadfastly protecting him.

Since he was able to relive this life, he absolutely cannot lead a pointless existence. He would doubly cherish those who’d protected him with their own lives. As for those two subordinates who’d betrayed him, neither of them would be allowed to live.

Murong Heng clenched his fists discreetly. He inadvertently glanced at the two people nearby, and the corners of his mouth gradually curled up to reveal a tenacious smile.

Just then, a guard hastened in from outside.

“Your Highness, someone from the palace is looking for you.” He led Murong Heng into the courtyard, where he noticed a palace attendant who was accompanied by several people. They were all standing there with smiles on their faces. When they took note of his arrival, they started to chatter amongst themselves.

Murong Heng eyed the palace attendant without revealing any expression. He knew this person. This was a person was favoured viewed by his imperial father; he possessed a skillful mouth and could articulate well—so well that he could rationalise black into white. Alas, he wasn’t any sort of good person, and there was no way to exploit him. With this in mind, he promptly altered his manner of conduct. He gave a hollow laugh and appeared extremely cowardly as he faced the attendant.

After hearing the palace attendant speak, Murong Heng gleaned that his imperial father had summoned him to enter the palace. He recalled that each time he went to see his imperial father in his previous life, there wasn’t anything good. This time is certainly no exception. In consideration that he was not his proper son, therefore, to Emperor Chongde, he, Murong Heng, is a redundant existence. When the emperor was in good spirits, he wouldn’t bother about the latter’s faults. If he was unhappy, he would definitely take his anger out on him; blasting him with streams of verbal abuse. Hadn’t he suffered these castigations all too frequently in his youth?

Murong Heng wasn’t Emperor Chongde’s beloved son because his mother wasn’t a concubine of noble birth but an obscure and insignificant palace maid. That one night of Emperor Chongde’s drunkenness had brought about his mother’s lifetime of misery.

Once the Emperor Chongde had sobered up, he conferred a title upon his mother. Those days were the most joyous times for his mother, and Emperor Chongde’s adoration made her jubilant. Later, when she became pregnant and gave birth to a son, Emperor Chongde was also elated and doted on his mother even more.

Following his marriage to the empress, everything changed. The empress appeared to be a role model for all women, but in fact, she was a jealous person. She whispered into Emperor Chongde’s ears, coaxing him into bestowing his favour upon her alone. As a consequence, Emperor Chongde ordered the deaths of many women in the imperial harem during that period.

Having been bewitched by the empress, Emperor Chongde began to loathe Murong Heng’s mother, viewing her as lowborn. Subsequently, the empress accused his mother, suspecting her of intending to kill Emperor Chongde. As a result, it elicited the idea in Emperor Chongde’s mind to have her killed. It wasn’t clear where his mother heard the news from, for she wailed inconsolably and chose to hang herself, thereupon severing all relations with Emperor Chongde.

Murong Heng was filled with hatred. Hatred for the empress and also hatred for his father. He hates him for not cherishing his mother and for casually heeding the empress’ words, which wounded his mother’s heart. Therefore, in this life, he not only wants to seek revenge on behalf of his comrades who’d died, but more so to avenge his mother!

Needless to say, Murong Heng wouldn’t reveal his inner thoughts and show them on his face. After all, he is not the same as he was in his previous life. He wouldn’t simply display the entire gamut of his emotions to others. In the end, he would not know who was responsible for betraying him.

“I have troubled this eunuch. This Prince shall be leaving in a moment.” After seeing off the palace attendant, Murong Heng carried out some preparations, got into the carriage, and made his way to the palace. He resolved to figure out what Emperor Chongde had in store for him.

The carriage travelled smoothly on the road. Murong Heng leaned against the side of the carriage. When he closed his eyes for a short rest, his mother’s gentle face flashed before his eyes. Under his sleeves, his hands lightly were clenched into fists.

Right at that instant, the carriage stopped. Murong Heng opened his eyes but did not get out. Instead, he sat in the carriage and strained to hear the voices outside. For some reason, he felt that the voice sounded somewhat familiar.

After waiting a while, Murong Heng asked aloud, “What happened?”

“Replying Your Highness, there is someone blocking the way in front of the carriage.” The guard outside responded accordingly.

When he heard this, Murong Heng pushed open the carriage door and went outside. At a glance, he saw a man standing in front of his carriage. When he turned sideways, his facial features were revealed to be as fine and smooth as jade. What an elegant-looking young man! Murong Heng saw the man turn to face him but didn’t meet his gaze.

When Shen Ci heard a voice on the road in front of him, he cupped his hands and bowed politely. “This brother, I’m really sorry. I’ve been separated from my attendant, so I’m standing here awaiting his return. I fear that if I go elsewhere, he won’t be able to locate me.”

Ignoring his apology, Murong Heng returned to the carriage, closed the door, and said in a low voice, “Let’s go; just take a detour.” He didn’t have any time to waste here.

The guard heard the words and manoeuvred the carriage to move around the man.

After waiting for them to depart, Shen Ci still remained standing in the same place and did not leave. Today, he’d ventured out with his attendant. They were unexpectedly separated when they reached the local market. He had to wait in place until his attendant was able to find him.

It wasn’t long before Murong Heng arrived at the palace. He got out of the carriage and walked inside. Along the way, he noticed many peculiar gazes. Although they didn’t blatantly look at him that way, he was still able to sense it.

Murong Heng showed up outside the imperial study room, but he was not summoned inside immediately. As he stood there motionless, his back gradually began to swelter with hot sweat. After having stood for about two hours, the staff member inside called for him to enter.

Upon walking inside, Murong Heng lowered his body to kneel down. As anticipated, Emperor Chongde began to blast him as soon as he set his eyes on him. It was nothing more than criticising his lack of ambition, lack of skills, and lack of virtue.

Murong Heng secretly sneered, but he didn’t answer back.

“You’re just like your mother—no prospects whatsoever. What’s the point of This Emperor having a son like you? It would’ve been better if you hadn’t been born in the first place!” After a long time, Emperor Chongde finally paused for a moment. Murong Heng knew that he must have experienced something upsetting again, so he swiftly summoned him into the palace in order to vent all his frustrations onto him. He was no longer surprised.

Murong Heng acted as if he didn’t hear anything. Even if he berated his mother, he merely clenched his fists discreetly and didn’t reply. He knew that if he responded now, it would only make Emperor Chongde even more furious. Besides, from the emperor’s viewpoint, wasn’t he just a good-for-nothing? Perhaps it would be prudent to continue maintaining this persona. It would be more convenient for him when he carried out some matters.

It wasn’t easy to endure until the emperor was done chastising. Murong Heng patted the dust off his legs, got up, and walked out as if nothing had happened. When he arrived outside the palace, he got into the carriage, leaned against the side panel, and dozed off.

As the carriage continued to advance, another flurry of noises sounded in his ears. It was obvious that they had returned to the market. All of a sudden, the carriage stopped. The guard’s surprised voice sounded from outside the door: “Why are you still here?”

Once he’d heard the words, Murong Heng raised his eyebrows and tuned in to the activity outside.

Shen Ci cupped his hands again and replied patiently. “I’m truly sorry; I haven’t located my attendant yet, therefore I have to keep waiting here.”

When Murong Heng heard what he’d said, he automatically sat up straight within the carriage. If he was separated from his attendant, he could always go back on his own, and once the attendant returned to the residence, everything would be alright, wouldn’t it? Or maybe this person does not know the way home?

“Ying, ask him where he lives and show him the way.” Murong Heng said it in a deep voice. He listened as the guard outside enquired and gave him directions, but—

“My thanks to this brother.” Shen Ci said gratefully. It’s not that he didn’t want to go, but he couldn’t.

“Your Highness, he still won’t leave.” The guard didn’t know what to say. When they’d come earlier, they were still able to manoeuvre around him. However, right now, there were stalls all set up beside him. They wanted to pass but couldn’t unless this person moved aside.

When Murong Heng got out of the carriage, he saw the pleasing, upright figure of a man wearing a tunic. His eyes fell upon his face. It was then that he realised that the man had never met his gaze. Only after carefully observing did he note that there seemed to be something amiss with the man’s eyes.

He couldn’t help harbouring suspicions about this person. From the time he’d entered the palace, this person had been standing here. Now that he’d left the palace, the man was still here, not moving. Was it possible that someone had sent him here on purpose to test him?

That shouldn’t be the case. Aside from himself, who would know that he, Murong Heng, had been reborn?

“Young Master!” Just as he was immersed in his doubts, he heard another voice call out. Murong Heng raised his eyes and spotted a man racing from a distance over to the front of the carriage.

“Feng Nan, you’ve made me wait.” Shen Ci released a breath upon hearing his voice. Fortunately, he was able to meet with him after waiting for so long; if not, he would have had to sleep on the streets today.

“Let’s go, Young Master.” Feng Nan said as he gasped for breath. He reached out to place his hand atop his master’s arm and was about to bring him back, but when he spied the face of the person in the carriage, he was dumbfounded for a moment.

“Wait a bit.” Shen Ci pushed away his hand, turned, and cupped his fists, saying, “Thank you to these two gentlemen for your assistance. Shen Ci cannot express my gratitude enough. If we come across each other again in the future, I shall surely repay you.” He turned back around and left after he’d finished speaking.

On the way back to the mansion, Feng Nan kept wavering between saying something and hesitating. He glanced at the composed face of the person beside him and suppressed the words he’d intended to say.

“Feng Nan, if you want to ask something, just ask.” Shen Ci spoke gently, sensing the hesitation of the person next to him.

After a lengthy silence, Feng Nan asked in a low voice, “Young Master, that person from earlier… are you aware who he is?”

“Who is he?” Shen Ci asked as he raised his eyebrows and gave a sort-of smile.

Feng Nan paused in his step and moved closer to his master’s side to whisper a few words in his ear. When he noticed that his master’s expression remained unchanged, he abruptly realised that his own reaction might have been overblown.

“Regardless of who he is, he did help you after all, Young Master. We must thank him.” After hearing what Feng Nan had said, Shen Ci was also taken aback for an instant—but it was merely for an instant.

Although he is the present dynasty’s Prince Heng, very few people in the capital knew of him because the emperor didn’t attach much importance to him. As a result, the general public only heard that His Royal Highness Prince Heng had no dreams for ambition, no skills, no virtues, and in all respects bore no resemblance to a member of the imperial family.

But there was no way to determine how valid these rumours were. Shen Ci regarded himself as someone whose intuition was incredibly accurate. The initial impression he got from Murong Heng was quite contrary to the so-called cowardice he’d heard about. As for those details, perhaps only he himself would know.

A few days later, Murong Heng was idling in his residence. Thence, he might as well head over to drink the delicious tea at a fairly unknown teahouse. Within the capital, there were many people who knew him, but not many who could recognise him, so he bore no scruples.

However, not long after sitting down, he saw the owner of the teahouse hurrying over to stop at his side and say respectfully, “Sir, there is a gentleman in the private room who wants to meet you. Is it convenient for you?”

“Oh?” Murong Heng’s eyebrows rose upon hearing the words; his curiosity was piqued.


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