Central Continent City’s midsummer was just like before, rather cool. Religion Heaven Hall’s discussion hall’s floor was paved with flat green jade, this even more so making the dozens of officials inside feel extremely cold.
It was currently afternoon, not a time for the royal court to discuss matters. Religion Heaven Hall was where Religion Sector normally supervised the heaven offerings, priest matters and the amendment of religious laws.
However, if they were going to modify some religious laws inside the palace or outside, the officials that were summoned here didn’t seem to match the occasion either.
Of the dozens or so officials, there were only four people from Religion Sector, the others were mostly from the military, Government Sector and Trade Sector.
What was more crucial was that among these officials, most of them normally didn’t have the chance to attend the court, didn’t have a chance to meet the emperor at all.
There were suddenly footsteps that sounded under the suffocating silence,.
An elder dressed in golden bordered purple clothes walked into this hall with his hands behind him.
Among the dozens of officials, a larger half of them were immediately alarmed, all of them bowing and greeting him respectfully. As for the other officials who originally didn’t understand this elder’s identity, when they heard this address, and then saw the reactions of those officials with ranks much higher than their own, their minds immediately trembled, now knowing this elder’s identity. They also immediately bowed respectfully in alarm.
The elder nodded his head slightly in return, his two snow-white brows instead furrowing deeply. He looked at that large black metal chair covered in a soft golden cushion that was prepared for him, seemingly considering whether he should sit down or leave.
Some of the officials sneaked some looks at this elder from the corners of their eyes, inwardly wondering with greater and greater alarm why even this elder from Chen Family who normally sat behind layers of curtains would come here… Just what did his majesty wish to discuss in this place? Since this type of black gold large seat was prepared for him, then which elder was that other great seat prepared for?
In this hall, above these officials’ redwood seats, were two black gold large seats with soft golden padding.
These officials’ question quickly received an answer.
More footsteps sounded. An elder similarly dressed in golden bordered purple clothes walked in. The instant he saw Chen Family’s Chen Zhaoli, the brows of the dignified elder who entered afterwards immediately furrowed.
All of the officials in this hall immediately greeted respectfully in shock again.
This was Hu Chenfu.
This was once again outside the predictions of these officials.
These two were individuals who both sat behind layers of curtains, people who were bestowed great authority by the late emperor to assist in the empire’s governing. Moreover, all of the various powers in Central Continent City were well aware that regardless of whether it was Chen Zhaoli who closely served the late emperor, helped the current emperor establish Thunder Academy, or Hu Chenfu who served as a valiant general under the late emperor, just like Jiang Yanzhi, they were all extremely powerful cultivators.
However, what all of these officials also understood extremely clearly was that Chen Zhaoli and Hu Chenfu didn’t get along at all. As for the reason, during the late emperor’s reign, Hu Chenfu who was a military officer always looked down on Chen Zhaoli, feeling like Chen Zhaoli was someone who only knew how to curry favor to whatever the emperor liked. The reason why he could serve as a close attendant of the late emperor in the beginning was only because his mouth was sweet, saying many things that the emperor liked.
There was one popular story that was circulated among the people. In Yunqin, the solar eclipse was viewed as something inauspicious. During a partial eclipse, Chen Zhaoli was currently at the late emperor’s side, saying some lucky words, roughly saying some things praising the emperor for being auspicious, that the eclipse was just missing a corner, so it was like nothing happened, that it was still very auspicious. Later on, when this matter entered Hu Chenfu’s ears, he who originally wasn’t very fond of Chen Zhaoli produced a sneer, saying that if you only eat a bite of shit, would it be the same as not eating any?
When these words of mockery were heard by Chen Zhaoli, Chen Zhaoli was naturally enraged, immediately wishing to fight against Hu Chenfu. Even though in the end, the late emperor reconciled them, the two of them remained hostile towards each other since, finding each other unsightly. Their ranks also climbed higher and higher, and under decades of royal court maneuvers, both open and covert, there was naturally even more filth produced. That was why when speaking about these nine elders behind the layers of curtains, in the outside world, many people said that the first reason for the layers of curtains was because the things that happened between them was too many, they would easily recall many unhappy things when they looked at each others’ faces, the second was that they loathed each other. Their statuses were extremely high, they didn’t want to hide their disgust, and they didn’t want to look at the other party’s loathsome faces.
That was why according to normal reasoning, if there were some matters being negotiated, or if two senators were summoned, if Chen Zhaoli appeared, the other person naturally wouldn’t be Hu Chenfu.
The air in the hall suddenly became filled with a suffocating pressure.
When Hu Chenfu saw Chen Zhaoli was in this court, moreover saw that there were only two positions prepared, one for him and one for Chen Zhaoli, he stopped, giving Chen Zhaoli a look.
Chen Zhaoli also gave him a look.
The two of them didn’t have any particular expressions of hatred, nor was it known just how many emotions were exchanged between their eyes in that instant. Hu Chenfu began to slowly walk into the hall.
After just a dozen or so breaths of time, when Hu Chenfu and Chen Zhaoli had just sat down on their seats, a golden figure stepped into this hall.
The dozens of officials were stunned. Then, they all bowed down, all of them praising ‘long live’.
Several officials who had to attend the morning imperial court session each day, when kneeling down, felt their breathing become increasingly difficult. They reacted with shock, realizing that Hu Chenfu and Chen Zhaoji might have already sensed the emperor’s arrival, which was why they sat down… Meanwhile, they couldn’t anticipate the emperor’s arrival ahead of time because the emperor didn’t produce much footstep sounds when he entered.
Normally, when the emperor roamed the throne room, the emperor’s footsteps would be exceptionally clear and powerful like thunder.
Just what kind of thing happened? Why was it that the emperor’s body today actually became light to the point where it seemed like he lost all weight? Moreover, his face also seemed to be a bit paler than normal.
Hu Chenfu and Chen Zhaoli didn’t need to be alarmed like these officials, not daring to look at Changsun Jinse. Moreover, the number of times they met the emperor was also many, many times greater than these officials.
That was why in their eyes, the emperor seemed even more different from normal.
Apart from his complexion being a bit more pale, the emperor seemed similarly dignified as before, but the feeling was as if they were looking at two different people. Right now, it was as if the emperor’s entire existence was empty, the pores on his body as if releasing endless ice-cold killing intent.
This type of aura only indicated one thing: he wanted to kill.
“Zhong Family has rebelled.”
As if there was a layer of faint fiery light that was ignited within the emperor’s pupils, he looked at Hu Chenfu and Chen Zhaoli, not wasting any time, directly saying this.
This voice that wasn’t all that loud immediately made the air in this room seem to suddenly become sucked empty, and then filled with countless invisible ice fragments.
The expressions of all of the officials kneeling on the ground instantly became snow-white, their bodies even starting to tremble.
Hu Chenfu’s face was cold like water. When he heard these words, his hands landed on the armrests of his seat, standing up. He looked straight at the emperor, saying coldly, “I do not understand the meaning behind your majesty’s words!”
The emperor looked coldly at Hu Chenfu, using a gentle, but especially strange voice to slowly say, “Zhong Family incited Zhong Tiankuo to seduce this emperor’s imperial concubine, moreover secretly left behind a lowly seed, trying to achieve their aim through underhanded means. The events have already been uncovered today, Zhong Tiankuo and the lowly concubine have both made full confessions, there is conclusive evidence.”
When these words sounded, Hu Chenfu’s heart fell fiercely, a wave of cold energy rushing from the bottom of his feet to his head. Even the face of Chen Zhaoli who was originally still seated immediately turned snow-white, fiercely standing up, saying with a trembling voice, “Yun Fei?...”
The hearts of all of the kneeling officials began to pound, their bodies crouching even lower, as if they wanted a hole to open up in the ground right now so they could just fall in, make them disappear from the emperor’s presence, let them disappear from this Central Continent City that felt even colder than winter right now.
The emperor gave Chen Zhaoli who was in disbelief a look, nodding.
Hu Chenfu took a deep breath, and then slowly exhaled.
He had experienced countless battles in his life, but the events he experienced today still prevented him from remaining completely calm.
“There is no way Zhong Family would do this type of thing.” He looked at the emperor coldly. “There is no way Zhong Family will rebel.”
When they heard this, some officials who were already feeling so cold they couldn’t breathe felt as if they now grasped a life saving straw, all of them crying out, “Your majesty is wise and capable, please understand that there is no way Zhong Family will rebel!”
“It isn’t an issue of whether you all believe they will rebel or not, but rather that things have already happened.”
The emperor didn’t look at the kneeling officials at all, only looking at Hu Chenfu and Chen Zhaoli, coldly saying, “This emperor has already issued the imperial decree. Zhong Family’s rebellious deeds have already been declared to the world. This emperor’s army has already set out to arrest Zhong Family’s rebelling traitors!”
Countless spider web like cracks suddenly appeared on the calm green jade floor.
Hu Chenfu didn’t make any movements, but these countless fine spiderwebs instead extended from underneath his feet, extending to every corner of this entire hall.
His expression instead became completely calm.
“You have gone too far!”
He didn’t call the emperor your majesty anymore. He stared into the emperor’s cold and vacant eyes, saying this one word after another.
“This decision has always been extremely difficult for me, just as if there is always a great mountain weighing down on my chest.” The emperor said like he was talking to himself. With an expressionless face, he slowly said, “However, when I really did it… I discovered that it wasn’t much at all. This emperor’s heart instead now feels at ease.”
Hu Chenfu shook his head, his eyes narrowing, a laugh of ridicule sounding. “You’ve truly gone mad. In that case, did you summon me here because you wanted to kill me here?”
“No.” The emperor shook his head. “I only wish to ask you and Principal Chen to stay here for a day.”
Hu Chenfu raised his hand, pointing at the officials kneeling on the ground, saying with cold mockery, “After you have wiped out Zhong Family, just like how you are settling things with these Zhong Family’s trusted aides, you’ll come to clean up our Hu Family?”
“This is but a matter that cannot be helped.”
The emperor laughed, shaking his head and saying in self-mockery. “In this Central Continent City, as Yunqin’s emperor, this emperor actually still has so many helpless matters… However, things are precisely this helpless and laughable. There are many people in this Central Continent City’s military who belong to your Hu Family. There are many Thunder Academy disciples who, after encountering these developments, will either remain loyal to me, or loyal to their Principal Chen. This emperor doesn’t know what kind of reaction you two will have… but what this emperor is sure of is that if this emperor cannot keep you two here, you two most likely won’t just watch as this emperor wipes out Zhong Family. At that time, this emperor definitely won’t be able to wipe out Zhong Family. If you two interfere, who knows how many variables will appear in this Central Continent City.”
“For the sake of preserving your strength and status, you two will do many daring and terrifying things.” The emperor shook his head again, saying quietly and expressionlessly, “This emperor only wishes to wipe out Zhong Family, only wishes for you two to not interfere in this matter.”