Zong Hongjiu rushed all the way to the Zhang Palace aggressively.
The servants who came and went in the palace all avoided him when they saw him, lest they provoked this little highness. Some servants had offended this person before and they were directly registered as criminals and exiled for penal servitude to Xinzhe Library. This was not too grave, in serious cases, people were even dragged out and beaten to death with random sticks, and hastily thrown into the mass grave.
(Xinzhe Library-Xinzheku- some treatises describe Xinzheku as an organ specializing in the supervision of criminal slaves or an “extra-criminal law enforcement agency” that takes care of criminal slaves)
When the palace servant guarding the door saw him coming, the servant hurriedly greeted him. “What can this servant do for His Higness?”
He asked, crying inwardly.
Emperor Yuan never liked to be disturbed when dealing with government affairs. But the Ninth Prince was indeed favored, and if something really happened, the servant would not dare not go in and report.
“What’s the matter?”
After hearing the sound, an old servant with white beard and hair suddenly walked out from the side of the hall.
When Zong Hongjiu saw him, his arrogant and domineering appearance did not restrain even in the slightest. Instead, he couldn’t wait to say, “Yuan Jia, this Prince has something important to discuss with his father, you hurry in and notify him.”
The old servant didn’t say anything, but a little eunuch who listened, widened his eyes.
Yuan Jia was the old servant who accompanied Emperor Yuan when he was a child. He went through the turbulent changes of the previous generation with Emperor Yuan, and once watched with his own eyes how he led the army to launch a bloody coup outside the Zhang Palace.
After all the princes of the previous generation died tragically and Emperor Yuan took the throne, Yuan Jia’s identity naturally became more important.
What was rare was that Yuan Jia was not complacent because of this. Instead, he acted low-key and walked as if on thin ice every step. He can be regarded as a person who can speak well in front of Emperor Yuan.
To put it bluntly, high-ranking officials and ministers in the court, and even the young prime minister who had always been arrogant and self-controlled, had to yield three points of courtesy and called him Gong gong when they met him. Only the Ninth Prince, upon coming up, called him directly by his name and arrogantly ordered him around. He really deserved to be called favored.
(Gong gong-In ancient times, the title of elder eunuchs, has the higher status than eunuchs).
“Hey, do you hear me? Go quickly”
After Zong Hongjiu’s order, seeing that the old servant still didn’t move, he immediately became furious. “What? Is this prince can’t command you anymore?”
“How can it be?”
Yuan Gong gong lowered his eyebrows and smiled kindly. “The Prime Minister just went in and was discussing important matters with His Majesty. His Majesty forbade anyone to enter, although he did not specifically instruct to not let His Highness disturb him, But in the end, we believe that national affairs are the most important…”
(Lower eyebrows, pleasing to the eyes , a Chinese idiom , pronounced dī méi shùn yǎn, refers to lowered eyebrows, with a submissive look in both eyes . Describe the docile , obedient appearance, but also describe the humble attitude of the people at the bottom)
Zong Hong was angry now. How can he listen to this?
Zong Hingjiu said coldly. “Since Yuan Gong gong doesn’t want to inform His Majesty, then this Prince will have to go in himself. At least none of you servants would be daring to want to block this Prince’s way?”
“The Ninth Highness is serious, this old servant naturally dares not.”
Yuan Jia didn’t seem to be surprised by his answer and bluntly turned to his side, revealing the palace entry behind him.
In fact, after just saying this sentence, Zong Hongjiu, who was hot-headed, also recovered a little. (rejuvenated)
Strange. Emperor Yuan had always plainly responded to this Ninth Prince’s request, however Zong Hongjiu has seen the great power and the means of the ruler who holds life and death. Truthfully, Zong Hongjiu feared his emperor father from the bottom of his heart.
But since he said it so impulsively, it would be a bit embarrassing if he didn’t enter.
It doesn’t matter, my father loves me the most. He thought.
Last time, a courtier made him unhappy, and Emperor Yuan ordered to behead the person without saying a word. This time, His Majesty was just talking about state affairs with the Prime Minister, and he would just directly enter without prior notice from a palace servant.
What’s the harm of interrupting them?
After such a mental preparation, Zong Hongjiu pretended to straighten his clothes, and stepped straight in.
The decoration in the Zhang Palace was extremely cold and stiff, and even the incense was a cold fragrant, which was not very pleasant, but it was better to freshen the mind and clear the eyes and meditate.
Suddenly, a gust of wind passed through, blowing a little bit of the heavy curtain used to separate the front hall, revealing shadowy figures behind.
When Zong Hongjiu walked in, he heard a few intermittent voices.
“The Shaman Sacrificial Ceremony has been postponed for a long time. Now that Great Yuan has a strong military force, several countries have been conquered in a few years, and the unification of the Central Plains is imminent, it is the time where morale is high. If the Sheri Festival can be held together with the ceremony next year, it will surely stabilize the hearts of the people, to attract talents from other countries and prepare for the attack on Yu and Wei.”
(Sheri Festival-the oldest and the most prevailing festival in Chinese history, it became a sacrifice ritual to appease/in honour of Tudishen (God of the Soil and the Ground)
“It makes sense.”
Emperor Yuan bowed his head and said calmly. “Right. We, must also announce the candidate for the crown prince position at the Shaman Ceremony that had been vacant for years,”
“This is the reason why the minister came to persuade Us today.”
The cold voice of pine and bamboo hitting jade sounded from behind the veil.
“Your Majesty, a country cannot be without a ruler for a day, nor without a crown prince for a long time. Even if the sacrificial ceremony of the previous dynasty collapsed, the establishment of a crown prince is still what the people’s hearts desire. This minister hopes His Majesty to think twice.”
Zong Hongjiu was startled and he subconsciously stopped.
Crown Prince? The prime minister is actually discussing the establishment of a crown prince with the royal father?
Although most of the things he did on orinary days was to be ignorant and incompetent, when it comes to this kind of big thing, Zong Hongjiu can’t help but feel a little overwhelmed in his heart.
Even if he’s the emperor’s child, he dared not to say that he had no desire for that dragon chair, and it’s very impossible even just thinking about it. It’s just that he was too young and his mother concubine died early, Zong Hongjiu knew clearly that while he was in the palace all the year round and although favored by his father, but without his mother concubine’s support, he would not be able to develop his own power at all.
Furthermore, several of his imperial brothers were very powerful, whether by seniority or strength, placing himself in line to them was impossible. Unless Emperor Yuan was in a daze and transferred the inheritance rights of the eldest in line to the throne to the youngest son, Zong Hongjiu would have nothing to do with the crown prince position. Obviously, even though Emperor Yuan was a tyrant, he would never be confused in matters of national affairs, otherwise it would be impossible to create the grand and ambitious hegemony of Great Yuan for hundreds of years.
In this case, Zong Hongjiu can only find another way. For example, choosing a good team in advance—in this way you can find a good place for yourself after the Imperial brother takes the throne.
After a long time, Emperor Yuan said, “Then according to Minister Pei, which prince should We appoint as the heir?”
Zong Hongjiu’s heart suddenly tightened, and then subconsciously tried to relax by breathing in and out.
Pei Qianxue, the prime minister of the Great Yuan Dynasty, was an accomplished disciple from the Legalist School. At the Baijia Banquet that year, he once pressured the famous scholars who were good at music, calligraphy, and painting and easily won as the champion in the categories of calligraphy, music, and debate.
He was born a commoner, but due to his actual achievements, he reached the sky in one leap and became prime minister. He never interfered with the various forces in the court, and even more disdain to join forces with aristocratic families. Over the years, countless courtiers had used this advantage to make trouble for him, and have written many impeachments, but these had not affected Pei Qianxue at all. It can be seen that Emperor Yuan attaches great importance to him.
Now that the Prime Minister mentions the matter of the crown prince, doesn’t he intend to be an honest and upright official and only watch the fire from the shore? Did he already decide to support a prince?
Pei Qianxue cupped his hands without hesitation.
“This minister thinks that the Fourth Prince is calm and has a sophisticated style; the Fifth Prince has the ability to lead troops in battle, and he is brave and good at fighting; and the Sixth Prince has a high support rate in the Imperial Court, which must be outstanding. Your Majesty should probably choose one of these several princes, crowned a Crown Prince after the Shaman Ceremony, and the establishment of the Eastern Palace can also be put on the agenda as soon as possible. “
Not being able to hear his name made Zong Hongjiu feel uncomfortable.
As they continued to talk…….
He sensed that what they had said next was not within his scope of hearing…..Just as he was about to take the initiative to come out from behind the curtain, he suddenly heard the laughter of Emperor Yuan, which shocked him.
Emperor Yuan stood in front of a shelf where the sword Zhanlu was stored and stared at it. He then raised his head and laughed.
At the end, he said. “Minister Pei has also learned to speak nonsense with his eyes open.”
The emperor wearing a black dragon robe clasped one hand behind his back and said, “Then I might as well tell Minister Pei why We didn’t choose these princes.”
Zong Hongjiu, who was eavesdropping, jumped in his heart, but he couldn’t figure out the specific meaning of the phrase “why did not choose”, and listened to Emperor Yuan again.
“The Fourth child acts calmly? That is just hiding in the back while playing with power and scheming, and can’t stand on the top.”
Emperor Yuan sneered. “The Fifth led the troops twice, and he made frequent mistakes without saying anything. He actually left the lieutenant on the battlefield and ran back to the gate by himself. Afterwards, he ordered him to keep his mouth shut. If it wasn’t because the lieutenant was Our person. We would’ve been fooled.”
“As for the Sixth, doesn’t he only rely on the support of those aristocratic families? Without the family that supports him behind his back, he is nothing. Choosing one of them as the Crown Prince, can one even stabilize the great cause of my Yuan Dynasty?”
Pei Qianxue stood behind Emperor Yuan, with an indifferent attitude, and said nothing.
After a long time, he sighed. It was hard for his words to fade away from the coldness and acrimony of the past and add more human feelings. “Your Majesty, the Third Prince is a dragon and a phoenix among men, and it is hard to find a talent for hundreds of years. It would be too harsh to compare the other princes to him.”
Pei Qianxue remembered the scene in that dream, and his eyes lowered. “His Royal Highness sacrificed himself for the country and guarded the gate for the great cause of the Yuan Dynasty. His Highness has already passed away. His Majesty should still focus on the overall situation.”