The Human Emperor Chapter 690
Chapter 690: Victory And Defeat I
Chapter 690: Victory and Defeat! (I)
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
It was clear that the Third Prince was only so pale because he had also understood the implications of the forgery.
The Sage Emperor's voice echoed through the hall.
Xu Shao lowered his head and earnestly said, "Yes, Your Majesty, this lowly subject truly did bring up the Directors of the Palace Library with the Fifth Prince several days ago."
Grand Tutor Chen Yong thought for a few moments before earnestly replying, "Indeed, Your Majesty, of the twenty-four Directors of the Palace Library, there truly is no one called Chen Wenxiao."
In terms of erudition, no one could surpass the Grand Tutor, and in terms of understanding of the court officials and the bureaucracy, still no one could surpass the Grand Tutor. If even he said that there was no one called Chen Wenxiao among the Directors of the Palace Library, then there truly wasn't.
It was precisely because he understood this that Third Prince Li Ju's complexion turned even paler.
First Prince Li Ying and Second Prince Li Yao both turned to Li Ju and grimaced.
The Grand Tutor's words were fatal to Li Ju.
"Imperial Father, if even a name of an official on an important list like this was fake, with the person in question not even existing, how could one believe that this list was real? And if this really was written by your son, how could such a mistake be made?"
Li Heng got up, his eyes blazing and his expression relaxed.
"So, Heng-er, your meaning is that all of this was forged?"
The Sage Emperor's voice had clearly grown much warmer.
"Yes! Although this handwriting truly is very similar to your son's, with the forger truly being diligent, there is still a noticeable difference in the writing. In this aspect, one only needs to look at any of your son's calligraphy copybooks. Both Master Xu and Grand Tutor should have them," Li Heng sternly said.
The hall was quiet, and people began to turn toward Li Heng's teacher.
"Yes, Your Majesty, this lowly subject truly does have a significant number of copybooks from the Fifth Prince. These can be taken from my study. Whether the statement is true or false can naturally be easily determined."
Xu Shao lowered his head and gave a deferential bow.
Golden-armored guards were quickly dispatched, and only five minutes later, a thick stack of copybooks was brought into the hall.
The teachers gathered and began to compare the copybooks to the writing on the list of names.
After a long time, Grand Tutor Chen Yong finally raised his head from the stack of copybooks and gave his judgment. "Your Majesty, this writing truly is very similar to the Fifth Prince's, but there's still a rather large difference in style. In other words, these letters and list truly are fake."
"Your Majesty, this subject agrees! This really is not His Fifth Highness's writing," Grand Preceptor Pei Guangting added.
"That means that the letter to the general and Heng-er's reply were both fake as well?"
The Sage Emperor's dignified voice rang out through the hall.
Grand Tutor Chen Yong and Grand Preceptor Pei Guangting answered as one.
In an instant, everyone in the hall turned to Third Prince Li Ju. And when those divine and dignified eyes looked toward Li Ju, the ashen-faced Li Ju went limp. Trembling in fear, he got down on both knees and bowed.
"Your Highness, how did it go?"
The moment Fifth Prince Li Heng left Yongfu Palace, Li Jingzhong immediately strode over in worry. He had been waiting outside for a very long time. Alas, even though he had been the Fifth Prince's attending eunuch for ten-some years, he was still not qualified to enter the hall.
So he could only wait outside with his anxieties.
While Li Heng had been inside Yongfu Palace, Li Jingzhong had made several hundred rounds of the hall's perimeter, almost wearing away the bottoms of his boots.
"What do you think?"
Li Heng did not directly answer the question, only grinned at Li Jingzhong.
Li Jingzhong froze for a few moments before breaking into a toothy grin.
For the Fifth Prince to be so confident and relaxed was enough to show that there was no problem.
"Third Brother truly ended up being too clever for his own good. He thought he could frame me, but little did he know that while the mantis stalks the cicada, the oriole is close behind. In the end, he only ended up hurting himself."
Li Heng ruffled his robe, his young face containing a maturity and composure well beyond his years.
When he thought about Li Ju's ashen complexion when his imperial father looked over, Li Heng felt an indescribable glee.
"Third Prince Li Ju, for framing your brother, harboring treacherous thoughts, and violating your fraternal duties, you are stripped of your status as prince and handed over to the Imperial Clan Court for punishment. Yao Zongping, for the poor guidance you have given your students, you are fined one year of your official salary, stripped of your rank, and banned from taking a single step into the Imperial Palace!"
In the past, if Li Heng had ever encountered something like this, he would have intentionally avoided the entire matter and just bowed his head in concession. But Li Ju had gone overboard this time.
He had actually wanted to frame Li Heng for the crime of forming factions and colluding with ministers, utterly robbing him of his status as prince and his right to vie for the throne of the true dragon. Since this was the case, Li Heng couldn't be blamed for being rude.
"Your Highness, regardless of what happened, this matter has finally been settled."
Li Jingzhong gave a long sigh of relief. Fifth Prince Li Heng had not only emerged unscathed, the arch-schemer Li Ju had been remanded to the Imperial Clan Court. This was already the best result.
"No! This matter is far from over!"
To Li Jingzhong's surprise, Li Heng shook his head, his eyes flashing as he turned in another direction. He had won his battle with Li Ju and gained his imperial father's favor. To avoid arousing suspicion, probably no one would try to scheme against him for quite some time.
But even so, Li Heng's face showed excitement, and his eyes seemed a little dim.
After a momentary daze, Li Jingzhong quickly realized.
Yes, the matter with the Third Prince had been resolved, but there was still 'her'. 'She' needed to be dealt with as well.
But this time, Li Jingzhong had no advice or anything else to say. He only respectfully retreated to the side, yielding the path for Li Heng.
Li Jingzhong gave a long sigh. If possible, he would have wanted to do things another way, but in order to gain the true dragon's throne, in order to contend against the other princes, Li Heng had to handle this matter personally.
With a wave of his sleeve, Li Heng set off, but not for his residence.
He had just received news that 'she' was about to succeed.
Unfortunately, only Li Heng knew that she would never be able to succeed.
The carriage rolled forward. It did not appear very ornate as it slowly traveled through the narrow golden avenues of the palace. It slowly made its way through each of the palace gates, attracting the notice of no guards.
Only when the carriage went right by them would the guards notice that inside the carriage was a gentle, dignified, and enchanting young woman, currently looking out the window in a daze.
Two palace gates, only two more palace gates before I can leave this place!
A gust of wind blew past the window, ruffling the woman's hair. Her gaze flitted for a moment to the many guards outside, showing a faint hint of that well-concealed worry.
She had been counting and knew that she had already gone through forty-eight palace gates. With just two more gates, she would be completely free.