Seeing that Lu Yin wasn’t responding to his impassioned rant, Long Chu continued, “Your Majesty, do you know who controls the second ring’s army?”
Lu Yin stared back at the man, who continued to rage, “On the surface, that army is a reserve of the Thirteen Imperial Squadrons. In reality, it’s a war machine to monitor us. They’re the real guardians of the Capital Star, but they guard against its oldest allies!”
“So what do you want me to do?”
“Reassume military authority over the Zishan Family, become our commander. We are soldiers, not toys for nobles, and definitely not enemies of the Empire!”
Lu Yin smiled bitterly, “You place me on too high a pedestal, Commander Long. You’re a smart man and should understand my circumstances. Yes, I’m King Zishan, but only as a pawn of His Imperial Majesty used to show his kindness to my ancestors. Him giving me the title is his restitution to the Zishan Family; reassuming power will be difficult.”
“How will you know if you don’t try, Your Majesty? We soldiers support you!” Long Chu shouted.
Lu Yin gestured for him to lower his volume, “This isn’t an urgent matter. Do you have any other issues, Commander Long?”
Long Chu sighed and sat down, looking troubled, “There is one more thing I hope for your help with, Your Majesty.”
“General Sigmund Mathers was a supporter of the Zishan Family, but he has been arrested in the aftermath of Earth’s trial. The man was definitely framed, I hope you can try to save him.”
Lu Yin frowned, “Why are you so sure?”
Long Chu was gloomy, “His Imperial Majesty did not give General Mathers any opportunity to defend himself, and he sealed any news once he learned that Barudar had defected. Someone is evidently afraid of having new issues surfacing, and slandered General Mathers in front of him. They must mean harm towards the General, or His Imperial Majesty would not have convicted him so readily. Your Majesty, please save him.”
Lu Yin’s fingers drummed on the table as he fell deep into thought, while Long Chu stared at him with bloodshot eyes. It seemed like he hadn’t had a good night’s sleep in a long time. A long while later, Lu Yin looked back at the man, “Alright, I’ll go to His Imperial Majesty immediately and do what I can.”
Long Chu was pleasantly surprised, “Thank you, Your Majesty.”
Lu Yin nodded and had Xu San escort the man out. It was only once the commander was out that his gaze frosted over, “This is the second time they’ve dared to act against me, they really think I’m a pushover.”
Silver had passed him a note on the Perseverance that not only contained information about the old factions of the Zishan Family, but also certain defectors. This Long Chu was one of them, and was an underling of Sicar at that. The man’s aim was simple; it was to coerce him to try and rescue Sigmund, which would lead to no good end with his current power. Not only would he fail to save the General, but he would also invoke suspicion from the Emperor that he was trying to gather the old subordinates of the Zishan Family once more. Others would laugh at his ignorance, and his title would be useless if they thought of him as blind, arrogant, and ignorant.
But now, not helping would offend those who truly did consider themselves subordinate to the Zishan Family still. Although Lu Yin was unclear why Home had asked him to act out in this role, the title was definitely useful and the followers he gained from it would be future helpers. Offending them wouldn’t bode well in future moves. Thus, neither solution was a good one; this was a good play by Sicar.
Lu Yin squinted and muttered crossly to himself before leaving the Zishan Residence for the palace. News of King Zishan pleading for General Sigmund quickly spread across the Capital Star, lighting up countless faces with ridicule.
“27 Corpse Kings escaped, and this seems to be the Neohuman Alliance’s style. His Imperial Majesty obviously knows Sigmund is innocent or he wouldn’t return, but a scapegoat is required or the Great Yu Empire would face pressure from the Innerverse. The Neohuman Alliance is a universal enemy across domains, and poses a threat as great as any individual domain. His Imperial Majesty cannot bear it, but this King Zishan wants to act recklessly. He’s just courting death!” Sicar sneered.
Raas was elated, “This will just make His Imperial Majesty uneasy. As long as Sigmund is alive, His Imperial Majesty will have to bear a huge pressure. Lu Yin is unclear of the circumstances and really assumes that the former subordinates of the Zishans respect him. In reality, the family has long lost its power.”
Sicar shook his head and smiled, “It’s not that he’s unclear of the situation, but he simply cannot understand it. King Zishan? Who would recognise him? Even the crown prince showed him some face to act benevolent, but he will soon realise his own downfall due to this arrogance,” Sicar looked at Raas and his face sank, “I heard you lost to Wukai in last night’s race?”
Raas was stunned and nodded in embarrassment, “There won’t be a next time.”
Sicar snorted, “What did you promise him?”
Raas was in a difficult position.
Raas hesitated, “For you to plead for Sigmund in the royal court.”
THWACK! The Vice-Treasurer slapped his son back a few meters, “You useless son, daring to make such gambles. The court is for the Empire to discuss national affairs, and every resolution concerns countless planets. How did you turn it into child’s play, do you think you can explain this to His Imperial Majesty if he finds out? Go kneel in the courtyard, you’re not to move for three days.”
Raas covered his mouth and ran off with an ugly expression. Meanwhile, Sicar massaged his throbbing temples. He wasn’t the only one taunting Lu Yin’s ignorance that night.
In a pink room, the little girl Peach was staring at a screen with bright eyes. There were countless snacks all around, and she was almost drooling.
A soft knock at the door was followed by a sweet voice, “Captain, there’s news that King Zishan Lu Yin is going to plead for a pardon for General Sigmund.”
Peach blinked, “Good man.”
There was a brief silence, “What did you say?”
“I said he’s a good man,” she stated, “Sigmund was obviously wronged here, and no one else dared to plead on his behalf. Lu Yin is a good man, and I wasn’t very nice to him in court. I should find a chance to apologize to him.”
The person outside the door remained speechless.
Within the palace, The Undying Yushan closed his eyes. He had already been standing for two hours. No one dared to interrupt, but he suddenly opened his eyes on his own, “What’s the matter?”
The palace maid that had just arrived bowed down, “King Zishan requests an audience.”
“Let him in.”
Lu Yin followed the maid while Bronsen had to wait outside. Prince Dorren and Prince Duque had just arrived as he walked in, and the former smiled at the latter as they saw Lu Yin’s figure, “Why are you here, too, Royal Brother?”
“To see Royal Father. You?” Duque replied lazily.
“Then why aren’t you going in?”
“What about you, Royal Brother? Why aren’t you entering?”
Duque’s lips curled, “Don’t smile that much, it’s disgusting.”
Dorren sighed, “What good will that do? Don’t strain yourself so much, Royal Brother, it’s difficult.”
The Second Prince’s ears perked up, “You should tell that to yourself, but with me right behind, things will be tiring even if you don’t want them to be.”
“Is the throne really that important to you? Even as your elder brother, I can’t tell,” Dorren said softly.
Duque ignored him and stepped in, “Let’s go, any slower and Royal Father will be infuriated to death by that King Zishan. It wouldn’t be good for him to collapse before I become the crown prince.”
Dorren sighed and followed, while the watching Bronsen remained calm. The fight for any throne was always a bloodbath, but the Great Yu Empire was an exception. The Undying Yushan had five children. The third and fourth had died in the Innerverse, leaving the Crown Prince Dorren, Second Prince Duque, and Fifth Princess Wendy. The position had to be given to one of the three, but the Fifth Princess had no interest in it at all. The Crown and Second Princes had always been fighting for it, but they seemed too open and even talked about things in public without doing anything threatening. He had grown used to it long ago.
“Lu Yin pays his respects to Royal Uncle.”
“Come, look. This plant is from a strange planet, and does not have a name yet.” The Emperor was looking at a shining purple plant. Lu Yin drew closer upon his beckoning and observed; finding it strange. The bulbous, segmented organism was emitting an unclear aura, leaving him unable to tell if it was weak or strong.
“Don’t get too close,” the Emperor said with a smile, “It’s too powerful for the current you.”
Lu Yin was lost, “Too powerful?”
“It can strangle Explorers.”
Lu Yin’s gaze changed in an instant, and he retreated immediately while staring in awe, “That strong?”
The Undying Yushan laughed and looked on at the purple plant, approaching it step by step. He then touched it under Lu Yin’s amazed gaze and turned around, “Do you want to try? It feels very soft.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Translated By: Choco
Edited By: Theo
TLC'ed By: OMA