Title: Infinite Power Over The World
Original title: 权倾天下[重生]
Author: 叶默凉(Ye Moliang)
Translated by: ~PurpleLy~
Emperor Chongde lay crumpled on the ground. The inside of his chest was so painful that he almost couldn’t breathe. He widened his eyes to stare at the palace staff frenziedly scurrying about in front of him. He wanted to say something but couldn’t produce a sound. His eyesight gradually turned grey and hazy. Then sensed someone hoisting up his body and rushing away.
Once his limbs came into contact with the cushioned bed, Emperor Chongde clutched his chest through his clothes and drew in large mouthfuls of air. Several imperial doctors arrived posthaste. All kneeled by the bedside and placed their fingers upon his pulse with nervous looks.
Emperor Chongde observed the imperial doctors’ expression. His heart seemed to have risen into his throat and dangled there, unable to descend. He suddenly recalled the rumours he’d heard a few days ago regarding the crown prince’s intention to usurp the throne. Although they were merely unfounded statements, if one viewed them in relation to this moment’s poisoning, the presented rabbit meat belonged to the crown prince. Thus, Emperor Chongde couldn’t dissuade himself from questioning the crown prince’s malicious intentions.
Shortly after that, dozens of imperial kitchen staff were remanded. They were trembling and not daring to speak as they knelt neatly outside the hall. The palace staff paid off by Murong Heng was among them. He drooped his head and put on a terrified expression.
After some time, one of the imperial doctors withdrew his fingers from Emperor Chongde’s wrist and released a sigh of relief. Raising his sleeve to blot off the cold sweat on his forehead, he stood up and respectfully addressed: “Replying Your Majesty, Your Majesty has not been poisoned.”
Wen Lin, Emperor Chongde’s close eunuch, who was standing at the side, sternly shouted, “Imperial doctor, how dare you! You’ve got the audacity to diagnose as you please! If His Majesty hasn’t been poisoned, why would such symptoms arise?”
Upon hearing the words, the imperial doctor dropped to his knees with a plonk and trembled with fear: “Your Majesty, do understand! This poison is not a poison; it is merely a drug that increases the circulation of the nerves, bringing about pain in the nervous system and causing one to wrongly assume that they are poisoned. All that’s needed is a little more rest, and the drug’s effect will subside.”
As Emperor Chongde lay on the bed and clutched the clothes at his chest, he seemed to indeed sense that the pain in his body was slowly abating. Although it manifested rather slowly, each moment that passed did have noticeable improvements. He pushed himself to sit up and leaned against the edge of the bed to look askance at the several imperial doctors prostrating on the ground.
After a long silence, Emperor Chongde asked in a cold voice: “You said This Emperor wasn’t poisoned?”
One of the imperial doctors lowered his head and said, “Yes! If Your Majesty bears any doubts, you can have someone fetch the rabbit meat dish. I shall test it directly for Your Majesty to witness!” He was so tensed up that he almost stumbled over his words.
Having heard that, Emperor Chongde signalled Wen Lin with a look.
At this point, Crown Prince Murong Cheng strode in from outside the hall, his voice urgent, “Imperial Father, are you alright?” What happened earlier in the upper hall had scared him to death. He’d watched powerlessly as his father tumbled to the ground and couldn’t do anything to help.
When Emperor Chongde spotted his approach, he shook his head. The common folk rumour replayed in his mind, and his expression was tangled. After contemplating for a while, he allowed the imperial kitchen staff to enter from outside the hall before asking in a deep voice, “What’s the matter with the rabbit meat?”
“Replying Your Majesty, your humble slaves do not know!” One of them was shaking all over, his face covered with sweat, and was on the verge of passing out right there.
“Really?” After steadily observing everyone’s faces, Emperor Chongde’s keen eyes noticed that one of them had a very forceful reaction. His face was ashen, and his lips were livid. These were clearly symptoms of over-stress, so he pointed at that person and said: “You, tell me what’s going on. If you can’t give an explanation of what has happened, This Emperor will have all your heads chopped off!”
The imperial kitchen staff, including the staff that Emperor Chongde had pointed at, were startled when they heard the words. That staff was the one that had been bribed by Murong Heng. He heeded the instructions Murong Heng had given him. He first tensed his whole body, then reluctantly raised his head to glance in the direction of the crown prince before hastily lowering it and remaining silent. The implication was self-evident.
Emperor Chongde was no fool. Having witnessed these behaviours, he naturally understood what he meant. Crown Prince Murong Cheng’s eyes widened. He leapt up from where he was standing at the side, walked over, and kicked the imperial staff, roaring, “You’ve quite the gall daring to frame This Prince! Speak! Who instructed you to do this?”
The staff was kicked to the ground. He shook all over and didn’t have the nerve to utter a single word, merely casting the crown prince a terrified look. The inference contained in that look was enough to make Emperor Chongde misunderstand.
As expected, a change arose in Emperor Chongde’s complexion. But before he could say anything, Wen Lin returned with the dish of rabbit meat and placed it before the imperial doctors.
Soon after, everyone turned to focus on the imperial doctors. They observed them retrieve their needle bags, draw out a few silver needles, and slowly stick them into the rabbit meat. In a moment, they pulled them out and examined them carefully. The silver needles didn’t turn black. One by one, the imperial doctors released a sigh of relief.
“Since it is so, what type of drug was it that caused This Emperor to suffer this much?” Emperor Chongde had to believe what he’d just witnessed, but he still had misgivings in his heart. “Slice open the rabbit meat. This Emperor wishes to take a look at what it is!”
“Yes.” The imperial doctors didn’t dare delay. They fished out a delicate little knife and slowly cut open the rabbit meat. All of a sudden, everyone caught sight of a strip of paper. One of them extracted it and had it delivered into Emperor Chongde’s hands via Wen Lin.
Emperor Chongde unfolded the note, and his expression changed significantly! His whole body shuddered, his eyes became as huge as copper bells, and then his face grew distorted. He violently flung the note before Murong Cheng and shouted, “Murong Cheng, see what this is!”
Murong Cheng was horror-struck. He surmised that what was written on the note was detrimental to him. Sure enough, once the note was unfolded, a few large characters written in bright red blood could be read:
Chongde dies, the crown prince is elated!
Dropping to the ground on his knees with a ‘plonk’, Murong Cheng tossed the note aside with a trace of alarm in his voice, “Imperial Father! Er Chen has been wronged! Er Chen never had that intention! You have to believe Er Chen!”
Emperor Chongde stared at his terrified appearance and thought back to the common folk rumour as well as the unknown drug. Deep down, he felt endless resentment; a surge of outrage emerged inside. He pointed to Murong Cheng, who was on the ground, and bellowed: “Guards! Send the crown prince back to the mansion for self-reflection! House-arrest for half a month! As for these palace staff, kill them all!” Once he’d spoken, he turned a deaf ear to the crown prince’s hollering and the palace staff’s wails, lying down with his back to them.
After everyone had left, the peace in the palace was restored. Emperor Chongde lay on his side atop the bed, his eyes wide open and not feeling the least bit sleepy. The pain in his body had completely faded, but he vividly recalled the ripping sensation in his body, constantly reminding him that he’d truly experienced it.
He grew more frightened the more he thought about it. Emperor Chongde sat upright with a start, his entire body drenched in cold sweat. He utterly couldn’t figure it out. He’d been thus doting on the crown prince. When he departs this world, the throne would then be handed over to the crown prince. In that case, why the momentary impatience to attempt seizing the throne?
After sitting silently for a while, Emperor Chongde flopped onto the bed in exhaustion. His thoughts were complicated as he stared straight at the ceiling of the bed.
As for Murong Cheng, he’d left after his outburst. Upon his return to his official residence, he stormed into the palace and smashed everything in sight to the ground. It was obvious from that glance of Imperial Father’s today that he still doubted him. True, he indeed wished to usurp the throne, but now wasn’t the time. If Emperor Chongde were to realise this beforehand, it would bring about a range of problems and hamper the progress of his success.
Exactly who was it? Someone definitely wants to ruin him and has therefore devised this plot! Murong Cheng kicked away the shattered vase at his feet, aggressively clenched his fists, and threw a punch at a folding screen.
Regardless of who it was, don’t even think of hindering him! Anyone who stands in the way must die!