Turning back towards the Crown Prince, fatty smiled, “For this very reason I never crossed swords with Zhuo Fan and Luo clan; in fear of providence’s retribution. My position bears, in fact, heaven’s stamp of approval!”
“To hell with your approval, you’re just a puppet! Is that something to take pride in?” Crown Prince snorted.
Fatty merely chuckled, “Yet I am an emperor. Father’s last words were, whatever you can grasp, it’s yours. At least I have grasped the throne while dear brother of mine laments even failing to be a puppet.”
“Why you…” Crown Prince gnashed his teeth.
With a sadistic smile, fatty clapped, “Bring the medicine!”
“Rotten ball of fat, what are you planning?” Crown Prince cried.
Fatty beamed, “You used medicine to kill father, a scandal I had to cover up. But for father’s revenge, I’ll have you go down the same way.”
A servant approached with a reeking bowl. The awful stench was to die over.
Yongning struggled to go there but Zhuo Fan held her back, repeating over and over to stay calm.
Crown Prince shuddered at every step of the incoming bowl of death, “Damn fatass, stop justifying killing me with your petty excuse. If it weren’t for me acting first, you’d have stepped in as well that day. You dare come at me playing the timeless virtue, a damn hypocrite? “
“You’re right about one thing. We’re both cruel and sinister.”
Fatty raised an eyebrow, “Easing my conscience by taking revenge the same way you killed father is one reason. While I’m more unsettled about letting you live. We have lost the trust of the guardian sects and Zhuo Fan limits my actions. If by some miracle you manage to escape, and use your name as Crown Prince to fight me, those sects will squash Yuwen clan. For the safety of our clan, big brother, have an early hereafter.”
Fatty took the bowl to Crown Prince.
Crown Prince couldn’t even move, only snapping back, “Rotten piece of fat, you’re gonna regret this!”
“I never regret my actions, or I’d have never made it to the throne.” Fatty snickered, his eyes shining with cruelty, as he pried Crown Prince’s mouth open and force fed the slimy medicine.
Crown Prince put up a feeble fight. With his cultivation sealed, all he could do was seethe with hatred as the disgusting slime poured down his throat.
Yongning was wrecked with tears, shaking like a leaf. Only keeping quiet thanks to Zhuo Fan holding her mouth.
Fatty threw the empty bowl away and cackled, “Ha-ha-ha, I can rest easy now!”
“Ha-ha-ha, fatty, joke’s on you. You won’t have a carefree reign even as a puppet!” Crown Prince was bleeding from everywhere, his eyes bloodshot, yet laughed as he cursed.
Fatty mocked, “That’s not for you to decide. What can a dead man do anyway?”
“Oh really? Humph, you may kill me, damn fatty, but don’t think for a darn second you’ll be at ease. There’s someone else who wants your seat just as much!”
“Second brother?” Fatty snickered, “Thanks for reminding me. That brick head will cause a mess sooner or later. But you can rest easy now, knowing I’ll make sure he follows you soon enough.”
Crown Prince cackled, “Ha-ha-ha, follow me? You’ll have to find him first!”
“What did you say?”
Fatty frowned and shouted, “Didn’t father imprison him? W-what did you do?”
Crown Prince’s face was covered in black blood, life ebbing out of his every pore, yet only his smile remained, “I don’t mind telling you. To make sure father’s anniversary went as I planned and old second wouldn’t flee in the chaos at Imperial Palace, I had set up some contingencies. First was poisoning the father and then killing your lardass in passing. The other was to have someone take old second away.
“If I succeeded, old second would die. If I failed, he’ll be my avenger, turning Tianyu upside down.”
“Why did you do that?” Fatty squinted, “If father’s plan had worked, Tianyu would’ve been Yuwen clan’s. You are destroying our lands!”
Crown Prince mocked, “My dear rotten fatass, have you forgotten father’s teachings already that you just now preached? If I can’t have these lands, I’d rather destroy them. Even if they’re my brothers, ha-ha-ha… “
Crown Prince cackled and fatty turned grim, “How can old second do it? He isn’t capable of that.”
“Yes, he alone has no hope and that is why I had prepared some things for him. One of those things is the same gift I had obtained for father, Lands of Our Nation!”
Fatty blurted, “Western lands’s greatest man, Danqing Shen?”
“Rumor has it that whoever holds Lands of Our Nation, Danqing Shen will fulfill their wish. What, pray tell, do you think old second’s wish will be?” Crown Prince’s eyes were mad.
Fatty stared at him coldly, “Danqing Shen has been missing for a thousand years with no one catching any sign of him. He may even be dead. This hope is a pipe dream.”
“No matter how abysmal, as long as old second lingers on, Danqing Shen will one day come to Tianyu. Your days as an emperor are numbered. Have a taste of constant dread looming over your shoulder, fatass, ha-ha-ha… “
Crown Prince cackled as the light in his eyes faded. The proud smile remained even as he bled from every orifice.
Fatty squinted and snorted as he stormed out of the jail.
“Put out a wanted notice for second prince Yuwen Yong. Anyone catching him dead or alive will be greatly rewarded!”
The jail guard’s shout echoed out…
With everyone gone, Zhuo Fan turned towards the prideful but dead Crown Prince. With a flash of golden, he brought the girls out of there.
The trio returned to the same spot they had left from and Zhuo Fan let the girls go.
Princess Yongning fell to her knees, sobbing, “Big brother… how could you do this to your third brother?”
“It’s simple. If he won, fatty would’ve been the one lying in there instead.” Zhuo Fan’s flat tone came, masking the chaos within.
Witnessing fatty killing Crown Prince with such cruelty let him understand why fatty was so at peace with his role.
Perhaps it was Yun Xuanji’s prophecy at work, that heaven could not be denied. Perhaps because of the three sects’ ever watchful eyes, ready to snuff him out the instant he strayed like the old emperor.
[That’s why he wants to end the princes, to safeguard his future.]
[It will stabilize his position in the short term. While the rest would be left for the future.]
By that time, Luo clan would be a behemoth not even the sects could shake and all of fatty’s machinations would not achieve anything.
[Not while the greatest minds of Tianyu steer it!]
He could leave with an easy heart.
Breathing in and out, [After so many years, my heart has found peace at last…]
“Demons, all of them!” Princess Yongning sobbed louder.
She was oblivious to the deep-rooted hatred and hostilities between her dear brothers, a matter of life and death. [All of it, just for the throne?]
[You’re brothers, of the same flesh and blood! You can’t even let each other live?]
Zhuo Fan scratched his nose at her crying, “Uhm, to be honest, I’m a demonic cultivator, practically a demon as well.”
“Steward Zhuo, you don’t count.” Yun Shuang looked him in the eye with rosy cheeks, “At least you want the best for Luo clan and the elders. If you’re a demon as well, what will that make everyone else, devils?”
A chord moved in Zhuo Fan’s heart and he frowned.
[I, a great and grand Demonic Emperor, true believer of the demonic path, is not a demon?]
[Either everyone else is a demon or I’m straying farther from the demonic path.]
Zhuo Fan was perplexed. His heart was at peace yet his mind couldn’t pierce the ever thickening fog. [Is this my demonic path?]
He used to be so clear-headed but it has kept getting clouded as of late.
[Am I to tread ahead or take a step back?]
Yun Xuanji’s words came back to him. [This life might be just another way of cultivating.] And he regained calm.
[Regardless, the demonic path isn’t definite. Just follow your heart.]
“Shuang’er, tomorrow we’re returning to Windgaze City. Fatty’s actions have put me at ease.” Zhuo Fan spoke.
Yun Shuang nodded.
Yongning looked up at him and pleaded, “Zhuo Fan, I beg of you to take me with you. I do not want to stay in such a painful place.”
Yun Shuang nodded before he could refuse, “Of course. You’ll come with me to Luo clan and live in the Yun clan.”
“Uh, it’s improper to take the great Princess away.”
Zhuo Fan’s dissuasion felt flat and Yun Shuang said, “We’re the biggest clan there is. What’s improper about that? Come on.”
She pulled Yongning away, leaving Zhuo Fan speechless.
[How come even Shuang’er has turned feisty, so out of her character. Am I a bad influence?]
[Sigh, I’m such a bad uncle.]
Zhuo Fan shook his head…