Liang Zhen mumbled softly with a tone which seemed to contain some unobvious implications. Emperor Zhaoyang who has been sighing incessantly while engrossed in his own emotions was taken aback for a moment when look towards him once again.
Liang Zhen has always been respectful towards him but unwilling to be on good terms with him due to the grievances in his heart. Yet he has always obeyed his words and has always done everything according to his likings. But he’s never been like today, both modesty and respect were no longer visible in his eyes, apart from distantness there’s only contempt and repulsion.
“Your majesty should stop addressing this one as such,” Liang Zhen got up and crossed his arms within his wide sleeves. Arrogantly gazed down on Emperor Zhaoyang from above, while the look in his eyes gradually got colder: “This one is afraid that this will only upset your majesty.”
Emperor Zhaoyang froze for a moment and asked him with a sorrowful expression on his face: “Do you truly loathe this humble one so much? It’s my humble self who has wronged your father, but in consideration of you, this humble one has executed the crowned prince whom myself raised with my own hands. What else do have you ask from this humble one……”
“Your majesty, please do not say it as such,” Liang Zhen’s mouth twitched, and he said in disdain, “How is it any my concern that your majesty decides to get rid of the abolished prince? And what benefits will I obtain from it? My initials has never been Zhu, so I won’t dare to cast my greedy eyes on the things that doesn’t belong to me in the first place.”
Emperor Zhaoyang’s face reddens as he leans downwards and starts coughing violently. Unlike in the past, Liang Zhen didn’t take the initiative to support him up to give a pat on his back, he merely stood to the side and coldly observed. It wasn’t until he finished coughing did he continued: “Is your majesty truly aware of how you’ve wronged my father?”
Emperor Zhaoyang distressingly said: “For the sake of claiming the throne, this humble one has given up your father to marry the daughters of the Xie and the He clan. But this humble one is actually forced to act out of my own will, at the time, this humble one will face death even if I wasn’t able to claim the throne, so this humble one is unable to prevent the Xie clan from executing him. However, Xie Chongming pass away during the execution, and this humble one has already bestowed death upon the son born from the daughter of the Xie clan, my humble self……”
“You are still oblivious of it,” Liang Zhen coldly interrupted him, “No, it’s not that you are oblivious, it’s just that you are refusing to accept it. My father has never been abandoned by you, he simply pays no mind to you, yet you were actually the one who has been coercing him all along!”
“Don’t you sprout nonsense!” Emperor Zhaoyang dropped his façade as a benevolent father once his sore spot has been hit. And in that instant, his expression morphed into a ferocious one.
“I am sprouting nonsense?” Liang Zhen coldly sneered as the hostility gradually becomes more visible in his eyes, “My father and his cousin are childhood sweethearts, and were originally a match made in heaven, yet you just have to interfere into their love affair. Not only did you deliver my father’s cousin to fill the pirates’ stomach-aches5 then told him that he had little chance of returning back unscathed, but also imprison my father in your palace forcefully and urge him to feed on those so-called hallucination drugs. You think that you are so courageous just because you took the initiative to put your life on the line while use your identity as the emperor and took the pregnancy drug because you assumed that he will definitely be swayed by your actions. Yet it’s such a pity he still resents you in his last moments, you’ve always known by heart but never dare to mention it. You disguise yourself as some kind of affectionate saint, but in fact, you are the filthiest one of all!”
: This is not an idiom since I’ve checked on the internet… (but this is truly in the raws)
“You shut up! Shut up! Cough……” Unsightly scars were completely unconcealed. Emperor Zhaoyang is both enraged and offended, as he unexpectedly coughed out blood due to his extreme agitation and rebuked him in a hoarse tone, “you can’t change the fact that it’s this humble one whom has given birth to you no matter what this humble one has done in the past! You are the son of mine! So you aren’t allowed to speak of this humble one like this!”
Seeing him completely exposing his unsightly behaviors, Liang Zhen cast his eyes downwards, and a long moment later, he was enraged into smirking. His smiling expression appears to be rather ghastly behind the candlelight. After a pause, he uttered three words softly: “I, am, not.”
Emperor Zhaoyang was seized with terror and was immediately enraged: “How dare you say such absurdity before me! You only were born through the ten months of my arduous pregnancy! So how could you deliberately infuriate this humble one with such impoliteness…… You moron!
Liang Zhen took a step forward, and allowed Emperor Zhaoyang to get a clear view of himself as he enunciated each word with sarcasm: “Your majesty can have a good look at me, is there any similarity between your majesty and this face of mine?
Under the flickering candlelight, Liang Zhen’s facial features have been distinctively imprinted into Emperor Zhaoyang’s eyes. This is indeed a formidable face of a young man, which is at least seventy percent similar to the second son of the Liang clan during the formal years. The reason that Emperor Zhaoyang never harbored suspicion was because there’s only Liang Zhen and his father who look alike within the entire Liang clan. Furthermore, the scarlet birthmark under Liang Zhen’s soles looks the exact same as his own child whom he had the pleasure of only meeting once in the past.
But it’s just that Liang Zhen looks overly confident at this moment without a single doubt displayed on his expression. Emperor Zhaoyang’s limbs went numb, and started to suddenly doubt himself. What if this person truly wasn’t his own son……
“Do your majesty regret your decision of mercilessly bestow death upon the abolished crowned prince at this moment?” Liang Zhen smirked viciously as if he is currently listening to some amusing matter.
Emperor Zhaoyang’s clenched fists trembled uncontrollably. In the past…… he never suspected that the former crowned prince would conspire to commit an offense. That child was brought up in his own hands, so he clearly understands what nature he had.
Although the crowned prince is both credulous and stubborn, he is still the most obedient one of all. Even if the civilians and military officers in court all wanted the crowned prince to be exiled for an offense he committed, he still wanted to do all he is able to in order to keep the prince. It wasn’t until later that cases of witchcraft6 started appearing which just so happens to coincide with Liang Zhen’s arrival.
When he is most disappointed with the crowned prince, the son who he yearn for most has appeared once again. Then, he also discovered that it was the Xie clan who executed his most beloved one back then, causing them both father and son to be separated for ten years. And so, there is no reason for him to not be resentful. Thus, he decided to push the boat along the current and bestow death upon the crowned prince due to both resentment and the fact that he desired to grant the throne to Liang Zhen. Yet right now, Liang Zhen said that he simply was not his son.
: The literal translation of 巫蛊 is witchcraft, but there’s a whole ass long story behind it: https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%B7%AB%E8%9B%8A%E4%B9%8B%E7%A5%B8
“You moron….. you are deceiving this humble one, you’re deliberately saying this so you could mislead me, and to infuriate me……” Emperor Zhaoyang once again coughed out a mouth full of fresh blood, while speaking incoherently.
Liang Zhen let out a “tsk”: “There’s no need for your majesty to be so infuriated, although we don’t have a father son relationship, I still pick up quite a lot of your majesty’s despicable ways. So my relationship with your majesty is not entirely in vain.”
“You…… What’s your implication behind this?!”
Liang Zhen squinted his eyes while the corners of his lips curled up into a tender smile: “The fifth prince is clever and well-behaved…… a dutiful son is obliged to pay his father’s debts. Furthermore, he still has the blood of the Xie clan flowing in his veins.”
Emperor Zhaoyang stretched out his hands with the intention of grabbing onto Liang Zhen garment, yet with only one shove from Liang Zhen, he easily clasped backwards without any strength to resist. While coughing out blood constantly, he shouted for help. Yet no one responded as his hoarse cry constantly reverberated within the inner palace.
Liang Zhen stood beside the lounge, coldly glaring at him: “Why does your majesty have to be so agitated? There’s no blood relation between me and the fifth prince in the first place, so what’s the matter?”
Emperor Zhaoyang’s eyes redden, as he spoke through his clenched teeth: “Who…… exactly are you……”
Liang Zhen indifferently said: “I am naturally the descendant of my father, otherwise where did your majesty expect the birthmark on me originated from? That is because I am also my father’s son.”
“This humble one isn’t convinced!” Emperor Zhaoyang is provoked once again, “How could he have another offspring! That is impossible! He’s never been engaged, so there’s no way that he would commit such an adultery deed with others considering this personality of his.”
Liang Zhen closed his eyes: “It’s not possible in the first place, but it’s all due to your majesty’s threats ah. Since your majesty wish to send my father to hell, my father only wish to leave a blood lineage for another father of mine.”
T/N: I am having a god damn headache translating this sentence: 我爹只是想给父亲留下一点血脉而已.
Astonishment is written all over Emperor Zhaoyang’s expression as he spoke in a quivering tone: “You are the offspring whom he gave birth to for Xiao Junpo, he could even go so far as to bear an infant with that person, how could he dare to…… Then what about my own son…… Where is my son then……”
Liang Zhen glared towards Emperor Zhaoyang with a frigid gaze as he uttered two words with indifference: “Already, dead.”