|Author: Zhou Nan Wood||Original Source: 8kana|
|Translator: CatatoPatch||English Source: Re:Library|
The sixteenth year of Emperor Mingde of Beili’s reign, in other words, the sixteenth year after the War of Eight Princes, Prince Langya suddenly revolted. The spark was Emperor Mingde’s announcement of the Twelve Clans Tax Law. That tax law was said to be the strictest ever enacted in the history of Beili. Prince Langya immediately objected to its implementation, getting into a heated argument with the emperor in court. That was also the first time any court officials saw the two brothers fight.
After that heated argument, Emperor Mingde announced a three day recess, while Prince Langya returned to his own estate.
On the third day, a giant blaze engulfed the city of Revelation.
Unknown of origins, a band of dissidents suddenly started setting fires throughout the city. The Forbidden Army rushed to the scene to stop these arsonists, yet there were rebels within their ranks as well. These rebellious troops began ransacking the city, truly throwing the city into chaos. It was when General Xie Lingyun of the Feathered Plume Legion, with his army of ten thousand, marched into the city that the chaos was finally suppressed. It was at that moment the western gate of the city quietly swung open, and a carriage stealthily left via the back gate of Prince Langya’s estate. When the carriage arrived at the gate, there were no heavy troops guarding the entrance, only one man atop the city wall.
It was a long haired man wielding a long staff -The Western Guardian of Revelation, the White Tiger.
The Western Guardian was a good friend of Prince Langya whom he met years ago in the martial world. Yet after sixteen years in Revelation, would he prioritise their old friendship, or would he choose to uphold his duty to the imperial family?
The White Tiger did nothing, merely sitting there on the city wall. Finally, Prince Langya got off the carriage, picked up his sword, and gave his horse a sharp thwack, sending the carriage rushing off. The White Tiger still did not jump off the city wall. Instead, he stowed his long staff, turned around, and left. As for Prince Langya, he threw down his sword, turned around, and silently stuck out his hands. Standing before him was the then Head of the Bureau of Interrogations, Xiao Changli.
In the end, Prince Langya was judged to have revolted -a person who had the least reason to revolt, actually revolted. Basically no one believed that this was true. However, Prince Langya stayed silent from the moment he entered the jail, neither admitting his guilt, nor disputing it. Even if there were people who were willing to defend him, there really wasn’t much they could do. Even with his good relations with other court members, no one dared to stand out. Of the seven judges who sentenced him that day, three dissented – they were found dead the next day in their homes.
Anyone with eyes could tell: it wasn’t that someone was trying to frame Prince Langya, it was the emperor of the day, Emperor Mingde, who wanted him dead.
Yet just when everyone was cowed into silence, someone finally stood out. However, it was a personage with a unique circumstance -the Sixth Prince, Xiao Chuhe. As Emperor Mingde’s favored prince, he excelled in both martial and scholarly pursuits at the tender age of just fifteen, earning himself the title of a genius and the most likely person to become crown prince. Yet this particular prince was often said to have the style of a younger Prince Langya, and the prince himself enjoyed a close relationship with Prince Langya. Prince Langya was even his teacher in the arts.
Xiao Chuhe barged into court alone. The guards outside tried to stop him but they were all knocked out in a single blow. The court of that time was in shock as he stood there upright, reciting a list of thirteen suspicious points he found in the case of Prince Langya’s revolt. His voice was impassioned and stirring. Even some of the older court officials were moved to tears by his speech. Yet that only earned him the ire of Emperor Mingde who had him demoted to a commoner and exiled.
By this time, no one dared to say a word more; even the prince was punished so severely. That meant there were now only four people who could stop this. By that time, Lei Mengsha had already died in a battlefield in the south. The only friends Prince Langya had in the city were the Four Guardians, of which the White Tiger had already made known his stance. The Red Phoenix had already left the city after the events of the War of Eight Princes, the Black Tortoise just so happened to be on a secret mission out of the city. That left the Blue Dragon as the greatest variable in this situation.
The Blue Dragon, the successor to the Sword Tomb, Li Xinyue.
Yet Li Xinyue stayed silent as well, because her entire estate had remained under surveillance by dozens of experts since the day Prince Langya was sent to prison. For seven days straight, she never left her estate. It was only on the seventh day, when Prince Langya was about to be executed, that all that changed. According to the law, ordinary criminals, upon committing a capital offence, would be executed only after autumn. Those of royalty enjoyed an even longer trial period. However, according to the divinations of the Ministry of Astrologians for Heavenly Affairs, the heavens commanded as such: the execution of Prince Langya must not be delayed.
That fateful day, the sun hung high in the skies as Prince Langya, in his white clothes and shackled hands, slowly walked up to the execution stage. Though he was about to die, he still maintained that suave posture, as if he was still that aloof Prince who wandered the martial world. The officials who saw him that day couldn’t help but sigh. Only the monarch maintained a gloomy, silent demeanor from behind the blinds.
It was then that Li Xinyue finally stepped out from her estate. Having prepared her sword for seven days, there was no stopping her as she defeated every expert surrounding her estate, finally making her way to the execution stage. Back then, the prince stood there, robes billowing in wind, while she stood there, eyes as cold as the steel of her sword.
From behind his blinds, the emperor asked, “Li Xinyue, are you trying to revolt as well?”
Yet Li Xinyue answered, “I never intended as such, but Your Majesty has forced my hands.”
The emperor said no more, merely waving his hands.
The Five Grand Eunuchs, the seven astrologians from the ministry, and that last remaining guardian, the owner of the Wuji staff, all revealed their hostility in an instant.
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Other than Jinxuan, the four remaining Grand Eunuchs all rushed forward to a smiling Li Xinyue. “In my hands, the sword of Kunwu, rushing towards the teacher’s court. In times extraordinary, it slices jade. In times auspicious, it blots out the stars. On its blade, a hibiscus dances. In its sheath, an edge shines through. With heaven’s blessing, I serve my kingdom. With the earth as my canvas, I mark my name.” As she drew out her sword, everyone within the vicinity of the execution platform was pushed back by her sword qi. Yet even with her days of preparations, she still wasn’t a match for the combined might of those Four Grand Eunuchs. 1
Suddenly, the head of the astrologians, Qi Tianchen, who had his head trained at the skies all this while, yelled out. “A sword approaches from the west, one that threatens the son of heaven!”
Emperor Mingde looked down at the bloodied Li Xinyue and raised an eyebrow. “Her? She’s almost dead.”
Qi Tianchen, as the head of the Ministry of Astrologians for Heavenly Affairs, and the head of the Seven Grand Astrologians, rarely stepped out of the ministry. He maintained an almost immortal-like figure amongst the rest of the court officials. Yet such a man now had a grave expression on his face. “Not her. Your Majesty, please leave at once! This sword, it has the power to destroy cities!”
Yet the emperor was not cowed. “What kind of sword is able to destroy cities?”
“The sword of a Sword Immortal.” The owner of the Wuji Staff stepped forward. “She’s here.”
As those words left his mouth, a white silhouette dashed in from the distance. And like a lightning bolt from the heavens, parted the clouds as it descended like a deity.
“Draw your bows!” The general, Xie Lingyun yelled at the top of his lungs, blade raised high. The troops immediately drew their bows to the fullest.
The white silhouette had already made it to the outskirts of the execution platform.
“Fire!” Xie Lingyun swung his blade down. Arrows rained from the sky, blocking out the skies like a sudden storm!
Yet the figure had already made it past the execution platform and was standing below the platform where the emperor was.
It was then that the owner of the Wuji Staff struck. A staff strike -one that was boundless, limitless, and endless. Qi Tianchen made his move as well, swinging his whisk out at the same instant. Its white threads flew out like a million feathers, yet these feathers were all sharp and deadly. The Head Eunuch, Eunuch Jinxuan, sent forth his palm strike as well.
Yet the white robed swordsman wasn’t scared. She merely charged forward fearlessly. If those three men did not withdraw their strikes, she would definitely die. Yet at the same time, so would someone else!
The Emperor Mingde, Xiao Ruojin!