The Records Of The Human Emperor Chapter 1315
Chapter 1315: Internal Struggle
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Deep within Wang Chong's mind, he could see nothing and hear nothing. There was only endless ice and fire, along with the dark and frigid ocean.
"…You won't lose!"
"No matter what, you will never concede!"
As Wang Chong alternated between ice and fire, he suddenly heard a warm and gentle voice resounding in his mind again and again. As if he had suddenly found dry land amidst that dark ocean, Wang Chong's mind calmed down.
After saying this name, Wang Chong knew nothing else.
After what seemed like one second and like countless years, Wang Chong finally emerged from the darkness, softly coughing as he awoke.
"Chong-er, you're finally awake!"
As Wang Chong slowly opened his eyes, his mother embraced him and began to weep without restraint.
"Mother! Big Uncle!"
The sight of those two familiar figures made a surge of warmth travel through Wang Chong's heart.
"Chong-er, you're finally awake!"
Wang Gen stepped forward and helped Wang Chong up, deep concern in his eyes.
As Wang Chong sat up, he scanned the room and immediately spotted several more familiar figures. Su Shixuan, Xu Keyi, and Zhang Que were present, all of them delighted to see Wang Chong wake up, but also uneasy and ashamed.
"Milord, you're finally awake!"
Wang Chong's complexion was still very poor and his body seemed rather weak, but at least he had awoken from his coma. This was the best news they had heard in some time, and everyone rejoiced.
"You're all here."
Wang Chong nodded at the people gathered in the room.
"Your Highness, we're sorry!"
Everyone felt remorseful upon seeing Wang Chong's weak condition.
"If not for us, things wouldn't have turned out like this!"
"Heh, it has nothing to do with you. From start to finish, it was all because of me."
Wang Chong shook his head, his expression surprisingly calm.
But Wang Chong's calm expression only made his mother, his big uncle, Xu Keyi, Su Shixuan, Xue Qianjun, and the others even more concerned. He was simply being far too calm.
However, Wang Chong did not give them an opportunity to keep asking questions.
"Honored Mother, who came over while I was unconscious?"
"King Song, Lord Zhangchou, and also Elder Ye and Elder Zhao," Wang Chong's mother said as she squeezed out a smile.
Wang Chong was taken aback, but he quickly gathered his senses and returned a smile to his mother.
"Mother, I know what you're worried about, but relax; I'm fine."
As he was speaking, a loud din suddenly came from outside the estate. Everyone tensed up at this noise, but Wang Chong only blinked.
"Kah, Chong-er, you just woke up and your body is still very weak. You should rest for now. Sister-in-law, we will take our leave first. Give Chong-er some peace and quiet," Wang Gen said to Wang Chong's mother, then shot a glance at Xu Keyi and the others.
Wang Chong had just awoken from his coma and was still depressed. No one knew what would happen if he once more heard the protesting crowds outside.
"Your Highness, we will take our leave now!"
Su Shixuan and the others all had fearful and worried looks on their faces as they hurried out.
Wang Chong only gave a slight nod and said nothing more.
A few moments later, the room was cleared of people, and soon after that, the ruckus outside also died away.
Wang Chong sat on his bed in a daze. After some time, Wang Chong moved to the side of the bed and finally stood up.
Through the window, he could see that the skies were dark and covered in thick clouds.
Wang Chong vacantly stared at the sky.
He failed to notice that a figure on the roof of a building near the Wang Family Residence was peering over the wall and silently observing him through a window.
A moment later, that person had come down from the roof and blinked away.
This person traveled through streets, circling back and forth to ensure that no one had followed them. Finally, that black-clothed person entered an opulent and grandiose estate through an inconspicuous rear gate.
The figure traveled along a hidden passage into a dark hall. Inside, a single person was silently waiting, their features obscured in the shadows. But it was still possible to see what this person was wearing.
This person was dressed in civilian clothes and wearing a scarf hat. Merely by standing there, they exuded an aura of boundless authority.
The black-clothed man kneeled on the ground and respectfully said, "Milord, we've just learned that the boy of the Wang Clan finally woke up a few moments ago!"
The atmosphere in the hall suddenly shifted, becoming tense and brimming with danger.
"That boy still isn't dead?"
The man with the scarf hat narrowed his eyes, his voice thick with killing intent.
"But I noticed that though he has awoken, it's like he's just recovered from a major illness, and his complexion is rather poor. In addition, we probed that imperial physician who was treating him. The physician said that the Stellar Energy in his body is in disarray, and there are at least one hundred different kinds of Stellar Energy inside that might erupt at any time," the kneeling man reported.
The figure in the darkness appeared to be much relieved by this news.
"At least one hundred? Great! Inform those people for me that they should strike now!"
His voice was ice-cold and as sharp as a sword.
"Boy, you're truly got some luck! At such a young age, you've already become King of Foreign Lands and thrown the entire realm into chaos, even forcing out Master Zhu. You can't be allowed to go on any longer. Since you won't be reasonable, I'll just have to send you on your way!"
The voice was so sinister that even the kneeling black-clothed man couldn't help but shiver.
A few moments later, the man with the scarf hat vanished from the hall, as did the black-clothed man.
The gate of the Wang Family Residence remained tightly shut. With Wang Chong stripped of his official posts and criticized by Master Zhu, the officials of court had almost all chosen to keep far away from the estate. Meanwhile, one crowd of marchers after another assailed the Wang Family Residence, and even though Su Shixuan and the others had used the City Guard to prevent Wang Chong from realizing this, it was simply impossible to keep them all out.
Within the residence, however, Wang Chong appeared to have forgotten about everything. He began to live a peaceful life, putting aside all the matters regarding the Imperial Court, the border, and the Confucian Sect. Wang Chong would spend every day eating meals, drinking tea, and sleeping in an extremely orderly routine. He would even chat and joke with the servants, appearing to be extremely normal.
Wang Chong would also not discuss anything regarding the Imperial Court. But all this only made the people around him even more worried.
"Doctor, just what's the situation with my son?"
In another room of the estate, Wang Chong's mother, his big uncle, and his subordinates had convened a meeting, deep concern in their eyes.
"Ah! His Highness appears to be normal and his pulse is steady, but until this matter is resolved, he will never recover. Given His Highness's deep depression, the Stellar Energy within his body might present an even greater danger now!"
The white-bearded imperial physician sighed.
The Imperial Palace was home to many experts, and this doctor did not just treat the ordinary maids, consorts, and concubines. He also treated those of formidable martial arts—the princes, servitors, Imperial Guards, and Kings. Such imperial physicians had a deep understanding of the martial path.
The words of the doctor caused everyone in the room to deeply furrow their brows in worry. The conflict between militarists and Confucians was far-reaching, and there was no way they could resolve it.
Everyone fell into silent thought.
As everyone else worried over what to do, within his study, Wang Chong was dressed in casual clothes, a belt carelessly tied around his waist. He appeared very carefree and natural.
A piece of paper had been laid out in front of him. Wang Chong was holding his brush and casually writing.
His expression was relaxed and completely unaffected by the outside world.
'As for in the spring, when the weather is gentle and the sun is bright, the lake is calm and placid, reflecting the sunlight, a vast sheet of dark green spanning vast distances. The gulls flock together on the ground and then take to the skies once more while silver-scaled fish swim through the waters1…'
This was an ode to spring, and Wang Chong had forgotten where he had read it. He was only writing whatever interested him at the moment.
Perhaps because he had experienced so many things, Wang Chong's mind had slowly settled, and his calligraphy was no longer as clumsy and childish as it had been during the Consort Taizhen Incident. There was now an imposing, steady, and dignified flavor to it, one honed through many hardships, and he seemed to wield his brush like it was a blade.
During his house arrest, Wang Chong used calligraphy to while away the time and alleviate his emotions.
'The shores are lush with grass and orchids. And when the mist completely disperses, the bright moon shines across one thousand li. When the waves are restless, the water ripples with gold, and when the lake is placid, it is as if a coin has been immersed in the waters…'
Wang Chong continued writing, apparently completely immersed in his calligraphy.
'…if they worry both within the court and after withdrawing from it, when can they ever be happy? It must be said, 'Be the first to worry about the country's worries and the last to rejoice in its joys2!''
As he wrote these final two lines, it was like he had been stabbed. Clack! The brush dropped from his hand. At this moment, Wang Chong suddenly realized that he was not writing any poem from this era, but something from deep within his memories, an essay written by a man from another world.
1. The line comes from a prose essay – 'Memorial to Yueyang Tower' written by Fan Zhongyan, an official of the Northern Song Dynasty, who lived from 989 to 1052. Yueyang Tower is a tower on the shores of Dongting Lake, the lake referred to in the passage.
2. This is the penultimate line of 'Memorial to Yueyang Tower' and apparently the most famous.