Chapter 2.1 – Mortals Will Inevitably Face Death

*Note: There are two parts to this Chinese idiom above 👆 人之将死 is the first part and 其言也善 is the second part, but the title only contains the first part. So basically, with the whole idiom group together, it means: Morals will speak truthfully in the presence of death.

Ganlin Palace, the emperor’s chamber.

Before entering, Liang Zhen slip off his outer garment and toss it to the steward behind him. Eunuch Feng Sheng stood respectfully to side in attendance while speaking to him in a whisper: “His majesty is not feeling well today, he even lose his consciousness just a moment ago. Both Imperial Consort Chen and the ninth prince are also present.”

Liang Zhen nodded his head slightly, then he entered.

All the imperial physicians in the chamber gathered in a group to exchange views on the method of treatment in a whisper, a frown showcased on each one of their faces. On the sickbed, Emperor Zhaoyang tightly closed his eyelids, with an ill expression displayed on his face, as well as sunken cheeks. He is evidently in his early forties, yet he is already in his declining year with one foot in the grave.

Imperial consort Chen is leaning beside lounge with a medicine bowl in hand, she attentively brought the medicine closer to Emperor Zhaoyang’s mouth and wipes the corner of his lips using the napkin in her hand continuously.

Although her eyes are vividly red with display of weariness, her natural beauty is still unparallel in her early twenties, compared to the decrepit and diseased emperor, she looks much better off. The ninth prince Zhu Yunqiong who has merely turn a bit over three is obediently couching on the floor, staring at his parents ignorantly, not daring to say a word.

Liang Zhen walk to the side of the lounge in a slow pace. Imperial consort Chen straightens up her back and exchanged a nod with him: “Zhaowang.”

Liang Zhen lay his eyes on Emperor Zhaoyang who is lying on his deathbed without any change in his expression. Yet as soon as the emperor who has been unconscious all long overheard Imperial consort Chen addressing him, his fingers show some movement, as he slowly blinked open his eyes, and muffled: “Zhen’er1…… cough…… has Zhen’er arrived…… cough……cough……”

[1]: An affectionate way to call someone who is either a family member of yours or someone who you are closed with

Imperial consort Chen got up and offer her seat to Liang Zhen. Liang Zhen sat down beside the lounge and gave a light pat on the back of Emperor Zhaoyang’s hand: “Your Majesty, this one2 is here.”

[2]: 臣 means official or someone who’s in a lower rank then the emperor. 臣is a respectful and polite way to refer oneself during the ancient Chinese era. In sort terms, 臣 is similar to 我, the same goes for 孤 (Monarchies) and 朕 (Emperors)

Emperor Zhaoyang turn around with great difficulty, and as he stares toward Liang Zhen with a pair of turbid eyes, a glimmer of light is finally visible within: “Order all of them to…… cough……to leave, my humble self would like to……have a word with you.”

All the imperial physicians waited in side-palace on a standby, as Feng Sheng guide all the maids within the palace to withdraw one by one in sequence. Imperial consort Chen is the last one to depart while leading Zhu Yunqiong along. Before departing, she directed a complicated glance towards Liang Zheng, yet Liang Zhen seems to be unaware of it and simply ignored her.

There are no more bystanders within the main palace at the moment. Emperor Zhaoyang gesture for Liang Zhen to prop him up. While leaning against the bedside cupboard, he stares attentively at the delicate features of Liang Zhen’s before him as his eyes gradually redden: “My humble self knows that my days are numbered, Zhen’er, could you perhaps, address me as …… your father for once?”

Liang Zhen indifferently replied: “Perhaps it’s your majesty who is confused, this one is the prince of An Le, so how can I refer to your majesty as my father.”

“You evidently knows that …… cough …… knows that you’re my descendant, it’s my humble self who has given birth to you ah!”

Liang Zhen said: “This one can’t make sense of your majesty’s words. My parents are still alive, so how can this one be given birth to by your majesty?”

Emperor Zhaoyang distressingly closed his eyelids: “My humble self has only met you once before you were taken away by your father3 when you were born. For all those years, my humble self has always had the assumption that you were long gone, yet never had this humble one expects that you will eventually return to my side one day. This humble one will designate you as a royalty and bestow the title of emperor upon you, so how can you not realize……

This humble one understands that you refuse to acknowledge me, and it’s my humble self who has wronged both you and your father. But this humble one only wishes to recompose you with best of things. This status of mine is also offered for you, if you wish to have it, then my humble self is able restore your identity and modify the imperial edict.

[3]: A occurrence of male pregnancy (Liang Zhen has two biological fathers)

“But this one only fears that,” Liang Zhen’s expression chilled, he is not at all swayed by the absolute authority presented in front of him, “perhap your majesty have the intention to get rid of this one and have myself to become the target of the public.”

“You truly…… don’t desire of obtaining it for even one bit?”

Liang Zhen coldly sneered: “Your majesty is simply over-analysing it, it’s myself who cannot afford to do so.”

A long period of silence later, Emperor Zhaoyang heave out a deep sigh: “Neverminded then, this humble one won’t force you.”

He reach into his hidden compartment located at bedside cupboard and pull-out an imperial decree scroll which he has already written in advance. He then hand it over to Liang Zhen: “This is a scroll containing some confidential information, you can keep it. This humble one has already placed an imperial order among the elders to reassign the position to your ninth brother. He is born from your blood-related cousin, and my humble self has already planned for you in advance. Although you’ve decided that you don’t want my position, in that case, you are still able to be the prince regent instead. If one day you regret your decision, you can pull out this confidential edict and claim back the throne.”

Liang Zhen open up the confidential edict on the spot. This edict not only could help him to restore his title as emperor, but it could also allow him to depose the new emperor and succeed over the throne at will.

Liang Zhen raised his eyebrows slightly, then he unhurriedly put the imperial decree into his sleeves and softly smiled: “Your majesty, aren’t you afraid that you will brough disorder upon the land and unable to guarantee the safety of Dayan’s territory if you do as such?

Emperor Zhaoyang said in a stammer: “This humble one has done a great deal of wrong deeds during the prime of my life in pursuance of the throne, thus unable to even protect my most beloved ones. As for the remainder part of my life, my humble self has always been carrying the burdens of Dayan. But when my time finally came, this humble one only wishes to make up for past regrets, so how can this humble one take that much into consideration……”

“Is that so?”

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Piggybank 🐽

Part-time CN translator, full time procrastinator O_o

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