Chapter 294 - Slander! Sabotage!
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Jing Yi walked in confidently, dressed in his official robes. He passed by the kneeling Jing Hua and made his way to stand before Qi Zhen Emperor, raising his hands into a fist and bowing his head, “This son was late to save His Majesty, may Imperial Father forgive this son.”
Qi Zhen Emperor had one hand on his chest as he panted, staring only at Jing Hua. He raised a feeble hand and slammed it down on his desk in anger, “Imbecile! This Emperor was considering to spare you if you even had a hint of remorse, but you have sorely disappointed this Emperor,” his voice trailed off feebly.
Jing Yi hurriedly ordered the eunuch standing guard at the doors, “Quick, summon the imperial physician.”
“Understood,” the eunuch scurried off.
Jing Hua was still confused, his face pale from the shock, gaze filled with disbelief and fear. He raised his head and asked Jing Yi, “Why?” Why did this happen? His plan was impeccable - who would have expected that as the protagonist of the Crown Prince’s wedding, he would bring an army to murder his own father?
Jing Yi replied coldly, “Jing Hua, you were in cahoots with Yan Weiyi to murder Imperial Father, secretly deploying your East Palace guards into the palace. Even though you had the rights to do so on your wedding day, don’t forget that General An, who guards the palace gates, is no fool - he informed me of your actions beforehand.”
“Even so, how could you…”
“How could I swap your guards before you even surrounded the palace?” Jing Yi completed his sentence.
“Because Yan Weiyi has already confessed. He is being held in the Ministry of Justice’s prison; if you want to confront him yourself, I can bring him here.”
“Yan Weiyi?” Jing Hua shook his head, “I don’t even know this man.”
“Is that so?” Jing Yi pointed accusingly at the overturned bowl on the ground, “Yan Weiyi confessed that shiban poison has been mixed in with this bowl of medicine. This poison was created by Yan Weiyi, so the two of you must already have been working together!”
Jing Yi then turned to Qi Zhen Emperor, “Imperial Father, this son also found out that while Jing Rong was investigating the ‘Lin Capital Case’ outside of the Capital, Jing Hua had secretly ordered Yan Weiyi to assassinate him countless times using this exact same stone venom. If Imperial Father has any doubts, we can summon Jing Rong and that Teacher Ji; Teacher Ji knows of this poison, as well as the fact that it is Yan Weiyi’s original creation, but had no means then to report this to Imperial Father due to the lack of evidence.” Sabotage! Pure sabotage!
Jing Hua immediately rebutted, “Nonsense, I have never sent an assassin after Jing Rong. This is a crime I have never committed, and one that I will never admit to!” He struggled, but could not free himself from the grip of the two guards at his sides who kept him firmly on the ground.
Jing Yi scoffed, since I can incriminate you with one crime, I have no qualms pushing another one onto you! He recounted to Qi Zhen Emperor once more, “That’s not all. The fire at Chengqing Hall was also the Crown Prince’s doing.”
Huh? Jing Hua doubted his own ears - what did the Chengqing Hall fire have to do with him? He struggled while kneeling on the ground, shouting, “This Crown Prince is no coward - I will admit to what I did, but Yan Weiyi, the Chengqing Hall fire - these are all lies! You’re obviously trying to push the blame onto me, Jing Yi, oh Jing Yi, you despicable man. If this Crown Prince can make a comeback, you would be the first one to die!”
Still referring to himself as ‘Crown Prince’, the audacity.
Qi Zhen Emperor had heard every word Jing Yi said, visibly calmer after digesting all the information presented. He asked Jing Yi, “Is there any evidence of the matter at Chengqing Hall?”
“Yes, of course!” He had heaps! Jing Yi eyed the guards at the door, who pulled someone into the hall. That man was none other than Zhang Bo from the Dispatch Bureau.
Zhang Bo knelt and kowtowed, trembling, “This… this servant pays his respects to His Majesty.”
Qi Zhen Emperor eyed Zhang Bo, “Do you know anything about Chengqing Hall?”
“Yes, this servant… knows!”
The Crown Prince, on his knees beside him, stared at him, eyes full of fear and anger. Jing Hua pounced on Zhang Bo, shouting, “Zhang Bo, the fire at Chengqing Hall had nothing to do with this Crown Prince. If you dare falsify anything, that would be perjury!” His voice echoed throughout the hall. Zhang Bo avoided him, carefully eyeing Jing Yi who stood beside him.
Jing Yi warned, “Lord Zhang, just recount everything you know. His Majesty will spare your life if you speak the truth.”
Zhang Bo gulped. The lives of his entire family were in Jing Yi’s hands; should he not follow Jing Yi’s instructions, he would not leave this Fuyang Hall, let alone would his family survive! He could only bow once more, addressing Qi Zhen Emperor, “Your Majesty, this servant only knows that those lanterns from Fangshui were swapped out by the Crown Prince when they were imported into the Capital. Thereafter, the Crown Prince ordered this servant to keep quiet if I wished to see old age. This mere servant had no idea that the Crown Prince wanted to harm Your Majesty. Prince Rong somehow got the news and came to the Dispatch Bureau, changing the Crown Prince’s lanterns once more. However, no-one discovered that the problem was with the metal wires, and so the fire at Chengqing Hall broke out.” He continued, “This is the truth. Please have mercy, Your Majesty, and spare this poor servant.”
Hearing all this, Qi Zhen only asked, “Are you saying that Jing Rong knew that those lanterns were problematic a long time ago and swapped them out secretly, then covering up for the Crown Prince and even taking his place in prison willingly?”
“Yes, Prince Rong ordered to change the lanterns, ensuring that this servant did not reveal anything. Who could have known that the wires, but not the lanterns, were at fault!” Zhang Bo was extremely sincere; Jing Yi was pleased but Qi Zhen Emperor was increasingly disappointed.
Jing Hua, on the other hand, was shocked and furious, “Zhang Bo, you’re spouting nonsense, that’s not true! This Crown Prince has done no such thing.” He shouted, “Speak, was it Jing Yi who had you say this? To have you wrong this Crown Prince because he has threatened you? Is that true?”
“Crown Prince, why would this servant lie now? The lanterns from Fangshui were swapped out by you and you had this servant keep this secret, have you forgotten it all?”
He scoffed, “This Crown Prince has done no such thing.” He stared bitterly at Qi Zhen Emperor, “Imperial Father, you must trust your son!”
“Trust?” Qi Zhen Emperor pushed himself up off the mattress disappointedly, walking step by step towards Jing Hua with the help of Zhang Quan.
“Tonight, you ambushed the palace to force my abdication. If not for Jing Yi’s timely discovery, we would have been killed at your hands. How could we believe you?” Qi Zhen Emperor raised a hand, commanding, “Bring me my sword.”
The sword the Crown Prince had placed outside was brought in and handed over, “This sword was the one we gifted to you back then. Tonight, we will use this sword and make sure to end the life of an unfilial imbecile like you!”
Grenn's Rants Corner
It is truly the end of Jing Hua? What about Jing Rong?
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