Chapter 7 – An Underling Who Threaten Others by Relying on the Strength of Their Master

Ganlin Palace.

After having the midday meal, Zhu Yunxuan lean onto the lounge and closed his eyes to recuperate. During the state of being half-awake and half-unconscious, several whimpers of the stewards as well as Gao-An’s soft rebuke transmitted from outside the palace: “The mourning period of the grand emperor has not yet passed, thus his highness has not taken off the mourning garment and had been mentally and physically exhausted each day. You people are stirring up a ruckus over such trivial matters, do each of you still want to keep your lives anymore by disturbing his highness? Quickly retreat!”

Zhu Yunxuan furrows his brow, then opened his eyes and spoke up: “What’s the matter? All of you come in.”

Moments later, Gao-An led seven to eight stewards with their eyes red inside and got onto his knees to humbly apologize: “Please forgive me your highness, these useless scums don’t understand the rules and disturbed you. This servant will now send them away after they’ve received their punishment.

Zhu Yunxuan swept a glance at the people who were kneeling on the floor, all of them were low-ranked eunuchs who followed him here from Qixiang palace: “What exactly is the matter? Speak with detail.”

The eunuchs kneel onto the floor and complain tearfully. These folks of the Ganlin palace have truly gone too far! The ones who were initially from the Qixiang palace showed up here to serve the new emperor, while the old folk in the Ganlin palace were the ones who served the former emperor. So even if there is actual conflict between the two sides, it will still be tolerable.

It doesn’t matter how much these people rely on their seniority, they still would not have the guts to offend the individuals who are serving the new emperor. Yet Feng Sheng, who as the chief eunuch of the former emperor relied on his meritorious contribution in supporting the new heir to expel all dissidents within the Ganlin Palace while paying no heed to others. He doesn’t have the guts to provoke the personal eunuchs who served Zhu Yunxuan, so he could only take advantage of these low-ranked eunuchs instead.

Hence, all of the low-ranked eunuchs have suffered countless unspeakable grievances after staying in the Ganlin Palace no more than ten days.

Zhu Yunxuan has always given respect to the elders, so they wouldn’t dare mentioning this to him if it had been tolerable.

Gao-an awkwardly said: “It’s this servant’s negligence of duty to unforeseen this, which results in these underlings to trouble you with such trifling matters. This servant will once again ask for your highness’ forgiveness.

Zhu Yunxuan inquired in a deep tone: “Were all of their statements true? Is Feng Sheng truly that bold?”

Gao-An lowered his head: “……Eunuch Feng is regarded as an elder within the palace who has served the former emperor for numerous years, hence each person here must yield to him. After the demise of the emperor, everyone has received much more tasks to handle compared to the usual. These useless scums are merely unwilling to comply, and even has the guts to complain about it. There’s no need to listen to their nonsense your highness, perhaps the increasingly strict Eunuch Feng is grief-stricken by the recent demise of the emperor. This is human nature after all.”

Zhu Yunxuan swept another glance at the low-rank eunuchs who were still sobbing, his brows tighten once more as he dismissed all of them. His gaze dimed once again after Gao-An was the only one left within the palace: “Tell me, what exactly is going on?”

Gao-An was left with no choice and explained to him in a whisper: “Your highness, Eunuch Feng indeed has the intention of making things difficult for the individuals who were originally from the Qixiang Palace. He was especially enraged at the fact that you’ve chosen me to recite the imperial edict. The meaning of his actions is nothing more than to keep the rules in place and maintain his position as the head of the eunuchs. This servant believe that there’s no need for you to inquire further about it, since this is a conflict among the low ranks after all, so you really don’t have to bother. When it’s all said and done, Eunuch Feng is…… an underling of Zhao Wang’s.”

After hearing this, the gloom slowly surfaced from the bottom of Zhu Yunxuan’s gaze as he spoke with disregard: “Summon them here.”

“Your highness……”

“Go ahead.”

Feng Sheng soon arrives and paid his curtsies in an orderly manner. The look in eyes appears to be rather presumptuous because this the first time that Zhu Yunxuan has summoned him for inquiry ever since he moved to the Ganlin Palace.

“Eunuch Feng, you’ve been keeping yourself occupied with managing the funeral for the former emperor, it must’ve been tough for you.”

Zhu Yunxuan’s tone sounded rather gloomy, as Feng Sheng immediately put on an appearance and use his hands to slightly wipe off his non-existence tears: “This is part of my responsibility, there’s no need to mention the laborious work behind it. This servant has followed the former emperor for more than forty year, now that he has ascend to heaven, this servant merely despise the fact that I cannot follow after him in order to continue serving him.”

No matter how pleasant he made it sounds, Zhu Yunxuan believe none of it. Although there are no rules in the Dayan dynasty which states that they have to bury living being as a sacrificial offering, but if anyone were to actually have such an intention, nobody would stop them, wasn’t Imperial Consort Chen a great example?

Feng Sheng should’ve never been able to receive a high rank from Emperor Zhaoyang if it wasn’t for the fact that he assisted An-Li Estate in delivering a message a few years ago to Emperor Zhaoyang which informed him that his biological son is still alive. From then on, he has been acknowledged by the emperor, and if it wasn’t for Liang Zhen, he wouldn’t be able to have this position today.

Zhu Yunxuan apathetically spoke: “Eunuch Feng, you’re an elder within the Ganlin Palace who has made tons of contributions, so the emperor will forever remember you even though he is no longer in this world anymore. But now, you’ve advanced in age and should enjoy your retirement period, it was me who was not considerate enough to take this in account which caused you to run errands for the late emperor’s funeral even though you are in your declining years, resulting in an overwhelming amount of stress for you. Thus, why don’t you relieved all the tasks at hand for today and take some time off to recuperate?”

Feng Sheng fell onto his knees and lamented: “Your Highness! This is the only value remaining in this weary old body of mine! The late emperor specifically instructed this servant to follow the new emperor even at the risk of my well being when he created the imperial decree, so this servant dare not to disobey! This servant ask for your charity, please let me stay and serve you no matter the consequence! Otherwise, this servant will have no choice but to face death.”

Then why don’t you just go to hell. Zhu Yunxuan’s gaze increasingly chilled as his killing intent is now completely visible. But Feng Sheng, who is currently kneeling on the didn’t notice it at all. Despite him being in tears, there’s not an ounce of uneasiness within him. He purposely mentioned the imperial edict in order to remind Zhu Yunxuan of the replica.

Zhu Yunxuan was enraged to the core, even a mere eunuch has the guts to threaten him. Despite this, there’s no way to get rid of Feng Sheng, even if he successes in doing so, he wouldn’t be able to rashly predict how Liang Zhen respond to this. At least for now, he completely doesn’t have an upper hand when he’s up against Liang Zhen.

“Very well, very well…… so you’ve chosen to willingly stay behind huh? Then obediently remain here for me!”

Outside the palace, Liang Zhen advances up to the steps and encounter Feng Sheng prior entering the gate. The other party greeted him with extreme flattery, then lowered his voice and quickly convert to him all of those who Zhu Yunxuan has summoned in private for the last two days. Finally, he clenched his teeth and spoke with anguish, “His Highness intends for me to withdraw from my duties and live out the rest of my life in retirement. This is because he considers me as worthless, thus looking down upon me.”

Liang Zhen narrowed his eyes at him, then straddle into the palace without saying anything.

Gao-An is currently assisting Zhu Yunxuan in trying on the ceremonial robe which he would wear at the rite of enthronement tomorrow. The pitch-back brocade set him out to be particularly elegant and ethereal. Liang Zhen place both of his hand into his sleeves and glanced at him with a smile: “Your highness appears to be much more formal with the ceremonial robe adorn on you.”

Gao-An swept a glance at Zhu Yunxuan, then bowed down to withdraw after seeing that he has no objection.

Zhu Yunxuan’s gaze that is hidden behind a broad pendant was chilled to the brim: “It was said that Zhao Wang had quite a lengthy conversation with Feng Sheng prior entering?”

Liang Zhen slightly curl his lips: “The dirty words of a servant aren’t worthy to be spoken to His Highness.”

He then steps forward, raising his hands to gently stroke the pattern of the sun, moon as well as the dragon on the sides of the garment. Zhu Yunxuan stayed still, while staring at him with a frosty gaze: “You truly have quite the guts to spy on my private affairs within the Ganlin Palace.”

Liang Zhen retorted: “You’ve misunderstood me your highness, I am not the one who is intending to pry, it is that eunuch who is determined to tell me.”

Zhu Yunxuan coldly snarled: “That servant threatens others by fostering one’s personal influence, what if this one intends to execute him?”

Liang Zhen laughingly said: “They are merely a servant, if they’ve offended your highness in anyway, just execute them then so be it. As long as you are content your highness.”

“Why didn’t Zhao Wang blame me for being ungrateful to one’s benefactor this time around?”

Zhu Yunxuan was momentary speechless, Liang Zhen glanced at him as his line of sight wandered to the somewhat visible scar on his forehead, then narrowed his eyes: “Is there a reason why your highness still hasn’t gotten rid of that scar on your forehead?”

This scar has been there for several years, a very shallow trace of it could only be seen if you inspected closely. Supposed that you rub ointment on the it daily when the scar first appeared, it would be removed over a period of time. Yet obviously, Zhu Yunxuan haven’t done so.

Zhu Yunxuan said dismissively: “It’s not as if I’m a female, why would I care about my appearance so much? Is there a problem with me deciding to keep the scar?”

The smile in Liang Zhen’s eyes intensified: “Your Highness doesn’t take this to heart, but I do…… unfortunately.”

He nevertheless remember the day when he was brought into the palace for the first time and the scene of encountering Zhu Yunxuan on the imperial street. The tearful young prince rushed out and embrace the abolished royal who was sent to cold palace under the escort of the imperial guards, as he wept bitterly.

Inspecting from a distance, he inquired the imperial guard who was leading the way for him and came to realization that they are the two legitimate sons of Xie Clan.

The second time around was outside the study of Ganlin Palace, when Emperor Zhaoyang ordered the execution of the abolished crowned prince. Zhu Yunxuan show up to plea for mercy, yet he was obstructed outside and was not allowed to be summoned in. He can only kneel on the floor as he tearfully kowtows with desperation, fresh blood covering over the entirety of his face.

At that time, he only felt that the young prince was overly simple-minded, pitiful yet also pathetic. And he scoffed at the brotherly affection within the imperial court with contempt.

That blemish on his forehand was the result from the past, Zhu Yunxuan deliberately leave behind it for the purpose of reminding Emperor Zhaoyang that he personally executed his eldest son.

Zhu Yunxuan furrowed his brows, he couldn’t tolerate the ambiguous way that Liang Zhen has spoken these words. Yet Liang Zhen has always been like this, intentionally humiliating him with a calmly paced tone.

Liang Zhen lifted up the string of jade pendants in front of Zhu Yunxuan, intending to get a clearer view of him, then he suddenly smiled as if recalling something. Zhu Yunxuan’s brow tightly knitted further: “What’s so amusing?”

The gaze that Liang Zhen directed at him is full of mischief: “If I were to reveal it, your highness surely will get offended again…… Don’t you think this is covering over you?”

Zhu Yunxuan was momentarily stunned and his eyes turned crimson with anger: “Why must you humiliate me as such?”

Liang Zhen sighed: “My heart is full of affection towards your highness yet you nevertheless insist that I am humiliating you. I’ve been place in an utterly difficult position with the way that you are feeling your highness.”

Zhu Yunxuan don’t want to argue with him any longer: “You should take your leave if there’s nothing else.”

Liang Zhen squinted his eyes: “Every time I showed up, your highness will eagerly drive me away. Are you really that unwilling to encounter me and are intending on avoiding me?”

Zhu Yunxuan spoke indifferently: “It’s forbidden to enter the palace at will without an imperial edict. Yet not only does Zhaowang have the freedom of entering and exiting the palace, yet also Ganlin hall. How can I possibly avoid you? If I really have the intention to do so, a single imperial decree is enough for me to send you away, but will you leave?”

Liang Zhen could only stare at him calmly, after awhile, he deeply scoffed: “As long as your highness has the ability to do so.”

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