Home Post 181-chapter-90



[Sigh, why do I feel like there’s a story between Ruan Qiu and Bai Jinyao?]

[From what I’ve observed, Bai Jinyao is really the kind of girl who’s easily influenced. How should I put it, she and Qin Yingying are both quite innocent, but Qin Yingying comes from a wealthy family, she’s proud and can judge people, but Bai Jinyao… sigh, you know what I mean by “silly sweet”, right? She’s naive, morally upright, easily swayed, and easily deceived.]

[I suspect the commenter above is implying something about Cheng Tianya, but what you said is right.]

[Protect Yao Yao!]

In the end, Ruan Qiu still brought Qin Yingying into the main hall. On the other side, Xue Wu also arrived at the Empress Dowager’s sleeping quarters.

Upon hearing that Xue Wu had come, Qin Shuangyu thought Ruan Qiu had also come along and was ready to happily come out to ship the CP, only to see Xue Wu alone in the room.

Putting away her own disappointment, Qin Shuangyu said to Xue Wu, “It’s so late, why has the Emperor come?”

“Mother, your child has important matters to report.” Xue Wu said to Qin Shuangyu, “Your son has learned that the Fourth Prince intends to take the throne. He has found the Crown Prince and intends to push him to the throne while controlling power behind the scenes. He has already【killed】the Prime Minister, perhaps having obtained a decree from the late Emperor. The situation is urgent. And this Crown Prince is none other than Jiang Yan, who has recently entered the palace and works at the Imperial Hospital.”

Qin Shuangyu felt a sense of satisfaction that her ‘mom fan’ identity was recognized when Xue Wu addressed her as “Mother”, although she really wanted to reply with “Mom’s big baby”, but her actor’s professionalism kept her maintaining her persona. She said in surprise, “Jiang Yan, it’s him?!”

Qin Shuangyu paced around the room, her face grave. “The Fourth Prince, what a crafty fellow, daring to do such a thing!”

She owed her current power and status to controlling the puppet Emperor in front of her. If the Fourth Prince supported Jiang Yan, then more than half of the ministers who secretly supported her would likely turn against her, which would be very unfavorable for her.

Moreover… who knew if the Fourth Prince, once in power, would kill her or not?

The Empress Dowager Qin Shuangyu didn’t hesitate for long. She immediately said to Xue Wu, “The Fourth Prince intends to seize power and take the throne. Naturally, I cannot sit idly by. Your Majesty, let’s go.”

As palace maids draped her in a robe of alternating red and black, Qin Shuangyu’s aura of dominance intensified. Amidst the clamor of the audience, she strode out of the palace chamber with a dozen Imperial Guards who had been guarding the chamber, heading towards the main hall to confront the Fourth Prince.

Meanwhile, inside the main hall before their departure, the Fourth Prince announced Jiang Yan’s identity and glanced at the shocked courtiers with a smug smile. He then had a servant bring the forged Imperial Decree  and hypocritically said to the crowd, “This is the Imperial Decree left to me by the late Emperor. Please have a look, everyone!”

The courtiers crowded around, disregarding decorum, eagerly inspecting the edict and comparing it with the late Emperor’s handwriting, their hands trembling with excitement. An elderly courtier with graying beard exclaimed, “It’s authentic! This is the late Emperor’s own handwriting!”

“Please, sir, take another careful look,” suddenly interjected Ruan Qiu, standing on the side, interrupting the crowd’s excitement. “Is there anything wrong with the late Emperor’s seal?”

Upon hearing Ruan Qiu’s words, the Fourth Prince chuckled. Without the Prime Minister, who would know if the edict was genuine? The late Emperor’s handwriting could easily be forged, and the seal could be replicated. These people wouldn’t be able to tell.

Furthermore, with the revelation of the Crown Prince’s identity, those courtiers couldn’t oppose it by law or reason. After eliminating Jiang Yan, the only usable heir left would be himself. Those literati would have nothing to say. He would effortlessly ascend to the throne and be remembered for generations.

The Fourth Prince’s smile grew deeper. He raised his arms high and said to the crowd, who had already confirmed the authenticity of the edict, “Welcome the new Emperor!”

The courtiers were also filled with excitement. They adjusted their official hats and robes, bowing towards the throne, and said, “Welcome…”

“Welcome who?”

Qin Shuangyu’s cold laughter echoed as she walked into the main hall. With Xue Wu by her side, she immediately found Ruan Qiu at the edge of the crowd and curved her lips in a subtle smile.

They hadn’t arrived too late.

[Oh, oh, oh, what an entrance, amazing!]

[There should be background music here. Hopefully the editing Gods can add it in.]

[As soon as Xue Wu entered, he looked at Ruan Qiu, they exchanged glances, and even smiled! Xue and Ruan are the real deal!]

The courtiers in the hall fell silent.

Ye Xingyu noticed the Empress Dowager and subtly shifted his body, not wanting to be recognized. Bai Jinyao also lowered her head, afraid to look at Xue Wu approaching. Only Jiang Yan calmly locked eyes with Xue Wu. He saw Xue Wu’s smile towards Ruan Qiu and Ruan Qiu’s response. The small flame of defiance in his heart instantly grew. He raised his head defiantly and answered, “Welcome me.”

All eyes turned to him.

“I am the Crown Prince, the true heir of Great Zhou.” Jiang Yan’s voice trembled slightly, but his expression remained firm. He stared directly at Xue Wu approaching him and formally issued a challenge, “It should be me, I should ascend to this throne.”

Jiang Yan looked away and gazed at Ruan Qiu. “Those who support my accession now, as long as you remain loyal to me in the future, regardless of whom you previously served, I will not hold it against you. But those who oppose my ascension, once I ascend to the throne, will be expelled from Great Zhou.”

He seemed to be addressing everyone, but in reality, he was speaking to only one person. He wanted Ruan Qiu to stand by his side, even if it meant resorting to coercion and temptation.

The Fourth Prince looked at Jiang Yan with an unclear expression.

“You’re quite audacious,” Xue Wu spoke up. “How will you prove that you are the true Crown Prince?”

The Fourth Prince replied with a smile, “That’s easy, a blood test.”

“Whose blood?” Xue Wu asked with a sly smile. “Where will you find the late Crown Prince’s blood for the test?”

Both the Fourth Prince and the backstage director froze.

The director thought, when he scripted this, there was no provision for them to confront each other in the main hall. And who would doubt the identities assigned to the guests according to the background of the plot? Was Xue Wu intentionally causing trouble?!

The hall fell into an unprecedented silence.

Qi Yingying glanced at the somewhat uneasy Jiang Yan, then at the calm Ruan Qiu in front, and finally at the slightly stern-faced Xue Wu. She quietly grabbed Ruan Qiu’s arm and flashed a provocative smile at the other two men.

[Hahaha, Qi Yingying ignites the fire first!]

[The showdown is awesome! Can’t this be considered a top scene?]

[Let’s see who Ruan Qiu will ultimately choose!]

The situation had reached a stalemate. The forged Imperial Decree could not be proven false, nor could it be proven genuine. Jiang Yan’s identity also couldn’t be confirmed.

Ruan Qiu’s gaze, which had been fixed on Xue Wu and Jiang Yan, had been lingering on Bai Jinyao.

Bai Jinyao sensed her gaze and tried to avoid it, but Ruan Qiu’s presence was too strong. No matter how she tried to hide, she felt uncomfortable as if a needle was pricking her conscience.

Ruan Qiu didn’t have any ulterior motive. She was only thinking about how, in the original story, Bai Jinyao should have gained everyone’s favor in the second episode by patrolling the palace, encountering other guests, and helping them.

If Bai Jinyao’s elimination in the previous episode was an accident and she wasn’t eliminated early this time and drew the same identity, why wasn’t she as popular as in the original plot?

Had the timeline changed?

Ruan Qiu’s original wish was simply not to die. She carefully avoided the conditions of death but didn’t intend to change the protagonist’s storyline. However, the timeline centered around the protagonist had changed. Why?

Before Ruan Qiu could come up with an answer, Bai Jinyao couldn’t bear the torment of her conscience any longer and spoke abruptly in the quiet hall, “The Imperial Decree is fake.”

All eyes turned to her once again.

Summoning her courage, Bai Jinyao looked at Ruan Qiu and said, “The Imperial Decree was forged by the Fourth Prince! Initially, he wanted Prime Minister Yuan to testify and tell everyone that the edict was genuine, but Prime Minister Yuan refused and chose to die. It was the Fourth Prince who forced Prime Minister Yuan to death!”

Meeting Bai Jinyao’s eager gaze, Ruan Qiu was momentarily stunned.

Bai Jinyao’s words stirred up a storm in the hall, which instantly became noisy.

The courtiers clamored for the Fourth Prince to provide an explanation. Prime Minister Yuan was their backbone, the unyielding pillar in the court. If it was true that the Fourth Prince forced Prime Minister Yuan to death, they would make the Fourth Prince pay with his life!

“Irrespective of whether the Imperial Decree is fake!” The Fourth Prince suddenly shouted, “The Crown Prince should ascend the throne!”

He glanced deeply at Bai Jinyao and ordered the armed guards, “Seal off the hall, cleanse the palace!”

[I’m dumbfounded. Bai Jinyao is turning the tables on the spot?!]

[I can’t believe it, why is the plot getting more and more thrilling?]

[Has anyone noticed that Bai Jinyao has been looking at Ruan Qiu all along? Considering Ruan Qiu’s previous words about Bai Jinyao making the right choice, there must have been something between them before.]

[This is the Chief Eunuch Strategist vs. the Soft-hearted Chief Guard?!”

[This is seriously addictive.]

“Since persuasion with decrees won’t work, we’ll have to resort to force. After all, history is written by the victors. If we kill everyone, no one will know about this,” the Fourth Prince said, a strong sense of killing intent filling his eyes. Hearing his words, everyone present knew he intended to slaughter the palace and eliminate all witnesses.

Bai Jinyao exclaimed in shock, “No! Stop this!”

But the armed guards paid no heed to the defected Bai Jinyao’s words. They quickly subdued the dozen or so Imperial Guards brought by the Empress Dowager, then sealed off the palace doors, turning their gaze towards those inside.

Seconds later, Xue Wu, Qin Shuangyu, Ruan Qiu, Qi Yingying, and Bai Jinyao were all surrounded by the armed guards, with Ruan Qiu attracting a particularly large number of them.

Finally, they had reached this point, the director was  almost teary-eyed.

His script could still be salvaged! He could finally eliminate the contestants!

The director wasted no time in directing the Fourth Prince, “Take out Ruan Qiu first!”

She had the highest combat strength among them. As long as they eliminated her first, the others would be easy targets.

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