“Uh, Prime Minister sir, is His Majesty… wise?” Cao was mortified, put on the spot by Zhuge Changfeng. Words came hard to him.
[Is that how a rebellion works nowadays, praising the emperor instead of cursing him?]
Zhuge Changfeng was particularly happy about his response though, “Yes, His Majesty is wise, or more precisely, shrewd. The sole reason I had a hard time even eating all these years is all due to His Majesty. When will my endless list of crimes fall on my head, when will he corner me? Come tomorrow, I can finally find peace.”
“Oh, then I would have to apologize, Prime Minister. I must’ve caused you quite the headache, ha-ha-ha…” The emperor laughed.
Zhuge Changfeng smiled in mockery, “Your Majesty, are you stalling for help? Ha-ha-ha, well, let’s not. You had yet to show all your hands in the second prince’s rebellion, but did you actually think I wouldn’t notice the fifty thousand imperial guards you’ve trained in secret?”
“It just so happens that I had our Quanrong Empire friends look after them. That army should be gone by now.”
“Quanrong? Ha-ha-ha, I should’ve known you were colluding with them for letting them come to my birthday. Once you were gone, the rebellion started and they’ve also gone missing from the garrison. Although, are you sure their five thousand can deal with my fifty thousand strong?” The emperor quirked an eyebrow.
Zhuge Changfeng grinned, “Five thousand? That’s just the delegation. I am the Prime Minister, tasked with interaction among the empires. It was a year ago when I had Tuoba Tieshan’s elite men slip in as merchants. To say nothing of the Minister of Rites being on my side. You and that rough Dugu Zhantian were none the wiser. There are in fact a hundred thousand Quanrong in the empire.”
“That was a good subterfuge!” The emperor nodded, “I seem to find my poor life at an untimely end.”
“Only Your Majesty is to blame for it, looking to quell the civil war of the houses. So much so that you left the court empty and opened the door for me. Though I do feel for Your Majesty’s rush, with your body close to the hereafter. That being said, Your Majesty can’t have a stalemate left for your heir. Paving a way for him is paramount if Your Majesty doesn’t want him to be overthrown.”
“Prime Minister Zhuge knows me so well, cough~” The emperor nodded.
Zhuge Changfeng sighed, “But the empty city tactic is a dangerous gamble. I almost believed it. Out of everyone in the world, only Your Majesty can have me play your tune.”
Zhuge Changfeng had some sympathy showing, gone soon after as he faced crown prince, “His Majesty will abdicate and the world will be in turmoil. It needs leadership to set it right. Are you willing to step up?”
All ministers looked dumbfounded. They all thought it’d be Prime Minister Zhuge going up there. But the old man gave it all up. [What’s the point of all this then?]
Crown Prince’s eye twitched, his heart booming in his chest. [Real or not, Zhuge Changfeng is after shaming the Yuwen clan.]
Only the emperor nodded with a smile, “Prime Minister Zhuge is thorough. Even if you win the throne, the people will hardly accept you, while also having Dugu Zhantian to face. It’s better to place a pawn you can control. You’ll have all the time in the world to take it later.”
Crown Prince paused, [Better to be a puppet than no emperor at all.]
Zhuge Changfeng patronized, “Your Majesty, you wound me. Granted it makes perfect sense, but I never wanted the throne from the start. All this rebellion is a chance to talk with Your Majesty. As for Dugu Zhantian, ha-ha-ha, I simply need to take Your Majesty’s jade seal and send word to Tuoba Tieshan at the border to invade. With Dugu Zhantian stalled, how long will you last I wonder?”
The emperor nodded, “Excellent move, flawless even. But Prime Minister, you have to consider that the perfect plan is easiest to err.”
The emperor shouted, “Begin!”
“Capture the rebels!” Princess Yongning was showing her valor storming here, with figures popping behind her and releasing eerie cries. Ten Radiant Stage experts and a hundred shadow guards were rushing Zhuge Changfeng.
Capturing Zhuge Changfeng would cut the rebellion short.
Zhuge Changfeng only had a cold smile for their attempt, “Your Majesty, you’ve already used this move in dealing with the second prince.”
He signaled his yin yang elders.
Black and white ripples passed, fusing and unleashing deadly power at the attackers.
The shadow guards and the Radiant Stage experts were flung back and spat blood.
They slammed the ground with ashen faces, weak and despondent.
Ten Radiant Stage experts and a hundred shadow guards fell in a single move.
Yongning shuddered from fear. [They’re Radiant Stage experts. Not Divine Dragons, but they can still hold their own, yet a look got them routed?]
[Who are these two?]
Yongning knew they were bad news, just not the full extent. One Radiant Stage guard got his feet under him and watched the elders appalled, “E-Ethereal Stage expert?”
To a Radiant Stage expert soul attacks were hardly effective, not when this was their strong point. This made such attacks obsolete in Radiant Stage experts’ fights.
No matter how much tougher Divine Dragons were than these experts, their souls were not so much. But these two…
The eyes of Radiant Stage experts filled with death, while the rest were overwhelmed. [Tianyu has never seen an Ethereal Stage expert yet two just appeared next to Prime Minister Zhuge?]
[That’s why he’s so confident!]
The ministers were praising again. How Prime Minister Zhuge was awesome, of immense talent to invite such men.
Zhuge Changfeng shook his head, “Ha-ha-ha, you’re wrong. With Ethereal Stage experts around, I’d have acted ages ago. They’re on the cusp at best. But their combined attack does make for an Ethereal Stage expert’s attack.”
The Radiant Stage experts sighed still.
[We can still beat them!]
Zhuge Changfeng took in their looks and said, “Your Majesty, if that’s the extent of your abilities, I would have to advise you to give up. As minister and ruler, I do not wish to force this.”
“Ha-ha-ha, Prime Minister, don’t be so quick to laugh. My order wasn’t for them, but for…” The emperor’s eyes glinted and his face grew smug, pointing at Zhuge Changfeng.
Zhuge Changfeng jerked, just as he felt pain in his shoulders from the iron grips.
Zhuge Changfeng looked back, to see his very own yin yang elders holding him back.
“They…” Zhuge Changfeng’s eyes went wide. Those ministers were panicking as well, scrambling backward.
[What… just happened?]
[Aren’t they on the Prime Minister’s side?]
“Just… why?” Zhuge Changfeng turned from the emperor to ‘his’ elders.
The elders sighed, “Forgive us, Prime Minister. We thank you for your care during all these years, but we are His Majesty’s Divine Dragons. We’re only following orders.”
Zhuge Changfeng was dumbstruck.
Everyone, be it the crown prince, or Yongning, sported the same dumb look.
[There’s actually five Divine Dragons!]
Two of which no one had ever seen…
Everyone stood there agape, forgetting that they were enemies and rebels.
Zhuge Changfeng finally resigned to reality, “Then you are not yin yang elders. I have looked into the roster of imperial family’s experts and there’s no one by that name in there.”
“Correct. They go by the name of Heaven and Earth Sages!” The emperor stroked his beard…