There Will Only Be Emperor Chengkong
The emperor couldn’t muster up any strength. He resentfully asked: “When… when did you poison us?”
“It’s not a poison. It’s Heavenly Cloud Palace’s secretly formulated numbing drug, Thorn Tears. Didn’t Xiang Batian inform you? But I can see why you’re puzzled. He must’ve told you I had Long Zaitian slip the drug into the kerosene, right?” The orange prince was in a great mood, so great that he was almost about to break out into a song. His long-time dream was right in front of his eyes. He explained: “How could I have told him the truth when I knew that he was a rat? Long Zaitian put the drug in all of the drinks in the flying fish pavilion, so you’ve all been drugged by it. Thorn Tears don’t affect those who don’t know martial arts. But if you train internal arts, you’ll suffer incomparable pain.”
“Long Zaitian… Long Zaitian!”
Long Zaitian and Tang Ye were currently far away on a ring. They had already stopped fighting, since they clearly knew something had happened. But since the emperor had been detained, they didn’t dare to rush over. Long Zaitian had his anxiety written all over his face. His heart was beating like it was going to explode when he heard his name.
“Father, you have lost miserably today. Now hand over the imperial jade seal.” The orange prince laughed with absolute satisfaction: “If you don’t do as I say, I’m afraid even I can’t control my men.”
Before he could finish, a daring member of the Black Winds Thirteen Wings had already silently snuck over the same way he did when approaching Xiang Batian before. It was just that he wore an odd smile like he was extremely ecstatic.
The leader of the Black Winds Thirteen Wings was the lean and tall guy. He couldn’t hide the satisfied feeling he wore between his eyebrows: “Your life is hanging in the balance now.” He was one of the contestants before. He wasn’t armed with a sabre, but he was grinding his hands against each other like they were knives.
Fu Xiang coldly asked: “Chen Yun, why are you so audacious when the current reigning emperor is here?”
“He is indeed the current reigning emperor. But in a moment, he’ll be… hehe.”
“You heard him, father.” The orange prince sported a cold look and added: “All of them are desperate people. If you don’t hand over the imperial jade seal, I’m afraid that not even I could spare you.”
While the emperor was detained, he still smiled proudly and without fear exclaimed: “Li Chengzhi, do you still remember what your surname is? Do you still remember the surname of the ruler of our dynasty?!”
The emperor didn’t wait for the orange prince’s response. He firmly exclaimed: “Is there anyone in our Li family that is a weakling who’s afraid of death?! My life is right here. If you really want to commit treason and have no consideration for me, then come and take it!”
What he said was resolute. There were no other ways this could go now. The orange prince’s face turned white as a sheet as he exclaimed: “Since you’re going to be so stubborn… hmph. Don’t blame me then… I will have you call me Master Cheng! Men!”
“Dream on!” Eunuch Nan shouted and then grabbed the emperor’s arm, “Your majesty! Come with me!”
Eunuch Nan waved his hand as he spoke which caused a red smoke to come out from his sleeve. However, since they were unsure if the faint red smoke was poisonous or not, no one dared to approach them.
They suddenly heard a clicking sound. The orange prince realised what it was and ordered: “The throne has a mechanism on it! Chase them!”
Fu Xiang froze up. He never expected Eunuch Nan to still have the energy to move around after being poisoned. He threw two flustered palm strikes which forcefully collected the faint-red smoke into one spot. However, by the time the smoke settled, the two of them had disappeared from sight. The throne now sat there alone without any visible traces.
The orange prince asked: “What’s this smoke? Is it harmful?”
Fu Xiang laughed and said: “Heh, it’s just some trick from that dick-less guy. It’s not poison. He just crushed up something red into powder and then used his saved up internal energy to turn it into a mist.”
“What red thing?”
Fu Xiang shrugged hopelessly and replied: “Tomatoes.”
“Tomatoes?” The orange prince looked at the empty seat. He nearly achieved his ambition, yet was stopped by a tomato. He was honestly mad. “I always said that the western regions don’t have anything worth our time and money. And look, a national matter went to shit because of a damned tomato!”
Fu Xiang said: “Your highness, the urgent matter at hand is to subdue all forces in the palace that could potentially put up a resistance and find the imperial jade seal. Once you have the imperial jade seal, we can write up an authentic edict. As long as it has been sealed with the imperial jade seal, we will be able to make our announcements to the world.”
“You’re right. The urgent matter at hand is to find the imperial jade seal.”
The orange prince turned around and looked at the relatives of the royal family members and major ministers who all wore pale expressions. They knew martial arts and were poisoned by Thorn Tears so they were all immobilised, while those who didn’t know martial arts couldn’t beat Fu Xiang or the Black Winds Thirteen Wings, so they didn’t provoke the orange prince.
The orange prince majestically said: “I won’t waste my time with unnecessary drivel. You all should know what to do. I shall ascend the throne. There may be those among you who don’t accept it, but not to worry. Lots of people didn’t accept my father succeeding the throne back then either, but the empress dowager killed them all off for him. I don’t have her help, so I’ll just have to kill them myself.”
All of the dukes, minsters and whatnot were now basically lying on a chopping-board helplessly. The orange prince was just making an illustration, but you couldn’t discredit the probability of the success of his plan. And by the looks of things, his chances were getting bigger and bigger.
A minister dressed in a civil official’s robe angrily said: “Your highness, you are the empress’s son, the eldest son of our empress, with an incomparably noble blood-lineage. You were crowned imperial prince before you came of age, and yet you are still dissatisfied? Plotting to overthrow a higher power, detaining a ruler, and trying to force the abdication of the throne, your rule would not be genuine. The people now and in future will only see you as a traitorous tyrant.”
The leader of the Black Winds Thirteen Wings, Chen Yun chuckled coldly: “Old man, you talk too much. Do you think you’re qualified to be criticising my prince?” He formed an eagle claw with his hand. If he just grabbed him, he would kill him instantly.
“Scum! I’m not scared of you! Kill me if you have what it takes!”
“Alright, old man. You’re not afraid, huh?!”
“Stop!” The orange prince had Chen Yun who was about to kill him stop. The orange prince took a few steps forward, looked at the minster who spoke out, nodded and said: “So it was you, Grand Tutor Zhao.”
Grant Tutor Zhao had taught him literacy in the past. The orange prince loved learning about war tactics, but the emperor didn’t allow him to learn about them. It was Grand Tutor Zhao who always risked punishment to find a few military books to teach him.
“You treated me very well back then, so I shall not take what you said before to heart. As for the contents of what you said……”
The orange prince chuckled and indifferently said: “If I’m not a tyrant, people would just see me as a good-for-nothing piece of trash anyway. So why not be a terrifying tyrant that the people shall always remember?”
Seeing how his former pupil turned out, Grand Tutor Zhao shook his head and shed tears.
The orange prince sighed and looked up at the snowy sky. He only felt that the cold winds were a unique characteristic just like the decisive battle with his father today.
“You and I are the most alike. When I was young, I had the same personality as you.”
If only… if only you said that to me when I was young. But your only ending now is that of a loser and calling me Master Cheng.
The orange prince then steeled himself and looked at Shen Yiren who was seated to one side.
“Shen Yiren, my father dotes on you more than us princes. Tell me where he went, or else I’ll have to make you suffer physical pain.”
“What a joke. His majesty throne having mechanism is a secret of the royal family. My surname isn’t ‘Li’, how am I supposed to know?”
Shen Yiren was glad that the emperor was able to escape, so her nonchalant attitude returned to her.
“Your highness, do you actually think that you will be able to take over the Forbidden City and obtain the imperial jade seal with these few helpers you found from the pugilistic world?”
“Why not? The leaders of the four imperial guard units are here and all of them have been poisoned by Thorn Tears. The lives of the leader of the three offices is in my hands too. What can you people do?”
Shen Yiren seemingly refused to speak to him, since she viewed him as a retard.
“Li Chengzhi, you should change your name to Li Ruozhi. Even though the leaders of the imperial guard units may be here, that doesn’t mean that you now run the Forbidden City. At best, you’re just a thug who detained a hostage, but the imperial guards will realise that something is wrong soon enough.
His majesty has escaped danger, while the imperial palace is massive. Do you think you could find him if you had one day? If you can’t find him within half-an-hour, his majesty will use his exclusive summoning method to summon either the seven white champion princes or the ultimate three to come and assist. Do you think these stinky-fish-looking-washed-up turds can protect you?”
The orange prince had no comeback causing Fu Xiang to burst out in laughter.
“Vice-captain Shen, you sure like to make theories out of strategies merely on paper, huh? Alright, let me tell you this, we already had plans in place to search the imperial city, so you don’t need to worry about it. As for the seven white champion princes and the ultimate three, they certainly are a concern. However, being the cautious person that I am, I have already looked into their whereabouts and plans. It would take them an entire night to rush here if they were lucky, so they wouldn’t make it in time for this event. Moreover, even if one of them does arrive……”
Fu Xiang raised his palm up and slammed it down. He created a deeply-etched palm mark on the ground without even touching it. Shen Yiren knew that the ground in the seating area here was the same material used for the rings, premium phoebe. Even she couldn’t create a dent that deep if she were to make direct contact with the ground, yet Fu Xiang could create so much damage without even touching the ground, thus displaying the power behind Fu Xiang’s palm strikes.
Shen Yiren was well aware that Fu Xiang was highly skilled, but she never imagined it be to this incredible degree.
Fu Xiang smiled and said: “Heh, when I fought with you and Nan Junfei, I wasn’t at full power since I just fought a strong opponent. But I’ve now recovered seventy-percent of my power. This isn’t how this palm style is meant to be. I am just a novice making a fool of himself. How shameful.”
Shen Yiren was shook by what she heard: Th-… this is only seventy-percent of his power? He is so skilled, that… that he may not be intimidated by the ultimate three.
The orange prince couldn’t help himself from smiling indifferently when he saw Shen Yiren’s reaction.
He then suddenly heard from the people examining the throne: “Your highness, we have found the mechanism.”
The orange prince immediately commanded: “Two of you go and call our secret-ops team. You must capture them. Once I get my hands on the imperial jade seal, I shall become emperor.”
“Emperor Yuansheng is no more from today.”
The orange prince wore a cold look, stretched his arm out like he was a ruler passing down a decree and announced: “There will only be Emperor Chengkong!”
*Shen Yiren’s suggested name “Li Ruozhi” means “Retard Li”. I couldn’t capture it since it’s just a rhyme in Chinese, and Chengzhi and Ruozhi mean two vastly different things, so it’s a little hard to go from Chengzhi which can be interpreted as “the bright Li” to “retard Li” while ensuring you understand where the concept comes from. It would sound autistic for SYR to have to explain it to him and for the orange prince to not get the insult without an explanation so I didn’t incorporate it into the original text.