“We bow at the emperor’s coronation!”
It was early morning and the Imperial Palace echoed with an announcement. Fatty in his golden dragon robes climbed onto the highest chair in the lands, with the officials bowing behind him.
Ever since Quanrong army showed up, the imperial capital had been sealed and the Imperial Palace was silent. The officials had long since missed court, waiting in fear for the dire news that the empire was finished.
This all became possible at the hands of Zhuge Changfeng, colluding with the Quanrong and imprisoning the imperial family.
The situation was so that besides Zhuge Changfeng and his traitorous officials entering the Imperial Palace, the entire imperial capital was in the dark to the truth. And those traitorous officials had already been dealt with.
After months of silence, the first court attendance became possible after Zhuo Fan strutted in like a winner just as the emperor died of poisoning.
The reason was quite justified. Zhuo Fan hailed the banner to save his lord. This brave, loyal and daring official forwent the danger of death and marched in and saved the imperial family. Alas, no amount of bravery could save the emperor and Crown Prince from an unfortunate fate as Quanrong’s victims…
Once the late emperor’s funeral came to a close, fatty prepared for his ascension. Among the entire imperial family, he was the only candidate.
Resting on the large dragon chair, fatty’s beady eyes glinted as he took on a royal air.
Grandmother, Long Yifey and Xie Xiaofeng were among the bowing officials, shouting, “May Your Majesty live a long and prosperous life!”
Fatty spoke with dignity, “My fortune of coming out alive is all due to the protector of our nation, the greatest steward in Tianyu, Zhuo Fan, who through cooperation with the Luo clan, drove off the barbarians in a valiant effort to save his lord. Today I present Zhuo Fan and Luo clan with the awards for their bravery!”
The herald shouted in a sharp voice, “May Zhuo Fan and Luo clan step forth for their awards!”
The high voice echoed everywhere and Zhuo Fan with Luo clan walked to the center.
Fatty looked on heavily, his heart sinking.
[Zhuo Fan by himself is bad enough, but now…]
Fatty had accepted his role as a puppet emperor, but still held some hope. From what he heard from Yun Shuang and Yongning’s chats, Zhuo Fan was going to leave soon.
This news brought him great joy. [With the most annoying pest out of the way, Luo clan will fall into chaos. No elder of theirs will simply bow to another. No one can keep them in line, except Zhuo Fan.]
He would then swoop in to mediate and might even wrest Tianyu’s power for himself.
But the current display had his hopes crushed and flushed down the gutter.
Zhuo Fan walked in front of Luo clan. Among them were three people known to Tianyu as the greatest minds, Zhuge Changfeng, Leng Wuchang and Insidious Demon’s pupil, You Ming.
You Ming didn’t get that much attention, but fatty was certain, [The kid isn’t a pushover.]
With these three weasels and goddamned elites, Luo clan had robbed the new emperor of any chance.
Plus, looking further back one would see the peak of Tianyu’s power. Li Jingtian, Qiu Yanhai and other Luo clan members and even the yin yang elders.
Judging from their auras, they were even stronger than before!
Fatty muttered, “Brother, did you have to take everyone and leave me hanging? What am I supposed to do now that I’ve got no one to help me?”
“Can it be that Your Majesty has other thoughts?” Zhuo Fan mocked.
Fatty sighed, “Some, but now they are gone. Becoming emperor is enough.”
“Cheer up and be happy with what you have, ha-ha-ha…” Zhuo Fan spoke like a true winner.
His attitude had no ounce of respect, with the whole court looking at him speechless.
Some loyalists even jumped in, criticizing Zhuo Fan, “How dare you speak to His Majesty with such gross disrespect! You should be hanged! Not even the nation’s defender has the right to be so crass with His Majesty!”
“And who the hell are you to blame me?” Zhuo Fan mocked, “Fatty, what do you say I should do?”
“Such insolence to call His Majesty… uh, I am ashamed to say it. Off with your head…
“Shut your yap!
The fatty barked, holding his head helplessly, “Guards, take him away and execute him.”
The old man was dumbstruck, [Your Majesty, I am protecting your honor. Why am I the one sacked?]
“Your Majesty, the laws of the court must be upheld. Don’t encourage such arrogant display…” The old official raved, showing his loyalty, as he was dragged away.
The fatty sighed.
[Truly the worst allies one can have.]
[Are you blind? Do you not see me here yet still toot your horn? Guys like you would one day have me killed.]
[I can do perfectly well without die-hard loyalists like you, thank you very much. All you know is to show off and act blindly!]
“Listen up, Zhuo Fan and Luo clan’s bravery is laudable, saving myself from certain death. They are the saviors of the world. I treat them with the same respect as heaven and earth. You all must learn restraint before Luo clan, understand?” The fatty shouted.
The audience was chilled on the spot with many of them bug eyed.
The emperor’s words carried a heavy weight. The Savior had more esteem than one’s own parents. Such respect couldn’t be violated.
The emperor said it to honor Zhuo Fan, to make him the Retired Emperor, [B-but how?](StarReader: the literal meaning for Retired Emperor is beyond emperor. While it can also mean father of the emperor and puppet master(figuratively))
[A lord can revere the heaven and earth but nothing else. No matter how strong this guy is, he’s still an official and can never be above the lord.]
Yet the emperor treated Zhuo Fan above his own kin, above heaven and earth. It left them all in shock.
At Zhuo Fan’s gaze, all bowed their heads. [Regardless of what the emperor says, there must be something else lurking beneath the surface. But it’s not our place to speak.]
[Wasn’t one of us just dragged out moments ago? One peep and your whole clan will follow.]
[Better zip it and play oblivious.]
The officials sighed.
Zhuo Fan sneered. The whole court had come to know of his current position, that his power would go even higher than the emperor’s. It was the first step in making the emperor a figurine.
Zhuo Fan signaled fatty to continue.
Though not without some hesitation, “Luo clan’s example of bravery for their lord and nation is a reflection of heaven and earth. They were first in the fight against barbarians, saving their lord and helping the people. I proclaim the Luo clan as the Best House Under Heaven, holding key positions in Tianyu, managing the army, managing resources, to defend the nation and help me in guiding the people. Where they go, they carry my name!”
The fatty slumped in his throne, spent after that little speech.
The court was boiling, [Military and resources, all under Luo clan’s control? How is that Yuwen dynasty then?]
[And he even said they’ll manage the people and lands together.]
[That’s like giving someone half your home! Luo clan might be the greatest in its merits, but no way equal to the emperor. That’s digging your own grave.]
Some of the officials were lost, [What the hell is wrong with the new emperor? He just sold his fatherland! Even a fool knows to keep his stuff, not give it away.]
Many were bowing and ready to admonish.
Zhuge Changfeng’s interjection was perfect though, “In management, what matters most is reading the signs. His Majesty is more astute than any of you, so don’t get carried away and butt in!”
The officials glared at him but his hint worked like a charm. [Zhuge Changfeng has been Prime Minister for ages, so why jump ship over to Luo clan’s side?]
Looking at the emperor’s defeated face, they all hesitated and fell back.
[Something reeks of a mystery here. Let’s gloss over. But that’ll make Luo clan the sole holder of Tianyu’s power. A shift in dynasty will only be a matter of time.]
Not that it was any of their problems. If the Yuwen clan didn’t care, why should they?
The officials calmed, their minds dumbing down.
Zhuge Changfeng flicked a pleased look Zhuo Fan’s way. The more desolate they felt about the emperor the more estranged they’d be and the emperor would accomplish nothing.
Zhuo Fan turned to the fatty, shouting, “We’ll be going now.”
As they left, there was no one blocking or berating Zhuo Fan’s uncouth manner. It was out in the open now, that the emperor couldn’t mess with him…
“Hold on a minute!”
Fatty’s eyes shone, “We, brothers, haven’t seen each other in ages. I ask that you stay and have a talk with me.”
Zhuo Fan raised an eyebrow.
[What’s he thinking?]