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Chapter 89: What Is It If Not Usurping The Throne?
The old man known as Senior Sun took a sip of wine and shook his head with a smile. “How could I be mistaken? I’ve had my fair share of women in my life, and I can tell that Miss Rushuang is clearly suffering from lovesickness and is pining for her lover.”
The Eldest Prince was hit hard by this revelation. The person he couldn’t stop thinking about already had a lover! Rushuang already had someone else, and it wasn’t him!
He asked urgently, “Who is this person?”
After some thought, he asked again, “Is it her junior Guo Shaoshuai?”
Senior Sun shook his head. “I don’t know for sure, but I can tell it’s none of us here. Otherwise, Miss Ruo Shuang wouldn’t be suffering from lovesickness. After all, one longs for what is missing, isn’t that right?”
“Who is this person?”
“If he dares to steal the Eldest Prince’s woman, he must have a death wish!”
“We must find out who he is and teach him a lesson!”
The crowd cheered, wanting to support the Eldest Prince. But he couldn’t hear them anymore.
“Esteemed heroes, I’m feeling unwell. I’ll retire to my room. Feel free to enjoy the feast.”
After saying his farewell, he left in a daze.
Meanwhile, a detailed report on Lin Beifan was delivered to the Prince’s hands.
Lin Beifan, 18 years old, the recent top scorer in the national college entrance examination.
He is the first honoree in the Great Wu Empire to achieve three consecutive top scores in the imperial exams. He has gained the favor of the Empress, who has rapidly promoted him to a fifth-rank official and appointed him as an official in the Imperial Academy.
He is permitted to attend court meetings daily and has received many rewards from the Empress.
Although he frequently quarrels with his colleagues and officials, he always manages to come out on top. He is an unscrupulous official who is known to be very corrupt, having embezzled five to six hundred thousand taels of silver since his appointment, which has caused discontent among the officials and anger among the people.
After reading this report, the Prince sighed. “He’s truly an outstanding young man! He’s only a teenager, yet he’s already achieved so much. Not only talented, he’s also a rising star in the court…I can’t compare!”
“Your Highness, Lin Beifan is indeed extraordinary! He’s not only capable, but he’s also highly regarded by the Empress! If we could take him into our fold, you would undoubtedly gain a valuable ally. This would be a huge boon for your ambitions!” An elegant middle-aged man, dressed in a feathered fan and a soft hat, bowed respectfully and spoke.
This man was the Prince’s military adviser, who admired the great strategist Kong Ming and often imitated him in his dress and even referred to himself as Mr. Kong.
Having worked for the Prince for over twenty years, he was known for providing sage advice and being trusted deeply by the Prince.
The Prince was intrigued and said, “Mr. Kong, you’re right! Our court is lacking skills and influence. If we could bring him under our wing, it would be good for our ambitions. But a clever young man like him is unlikely to want to serve me. How do we convince him?”
“Your Highness, as you say, he’s a smart man. He must have realized that the dynasty is in trouble and that chaotic times are upon us. He must choose a wise ruler to follow if he wishes to be safe and successful in these troubled times. Your Highness, you are just such a wise ruler. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I’m confident that with your wit and wisdom, you can persuade him to serve us!” Mr. Kong stroked his beard and smiled confidently.
“That’s excellent! Well said, Mr. Kong!” The Prince was beaming as he spoke.
“Send Mo Rushuang and her companion to contact him. They have a close relationship with Lin Beifan. When the time is right, we can bring him into the fold and have him serve us!”
“Good! We shall follow your words!” The Prince exclaimed.
As a result, Mo Ruoshuang, who had just returned less than two days ago, was summoned by Prince.
“Your humble servants pay respects to the Prince, may Prince live for a thousand years!”
“Hahaha! The two young heroes, no need to be so polite, please sit down!”
Prince laughed heartily and continued, “You both have just rushed back from the capital and should rest for a few days. But there is an urgent matter at hand that only you both can help with. So, I have to trouble you both again!”
“Please speak, Your Highness, we will die for the cause.” Mo Rushuang and Guo Shaoshuai became serious.
Prince solemnly said, “Previously, you both mentioned the new top scholar, Lin Beifan. Through investigation, I have found that he is truly a rare talent! With such a skilled person to assist me, my great accomplishments would not be far! Therefore, I want to ask you both to persuade Lin Beifan and make known my appreciation of his talents. Will you both be willing to go?”
“Your Highness, we will not fail in our duty!” Mo Rushuang and her companion joyfully replied.
Upon returning home, they packed their bags and set off. At this time, a small tail followed them secretly.
“Mo Rushuang became like this because of her trip to the capital. It shows that the person she desires is likely in the capital. I have to follow her and see who that person is.” (Eldest Prince)
Day and night, they traveled tirelessly and finally arrived in the capital after a few days.
Then, they met Lin Beifan again.
Lin Beifan was puzzled when he saw them, “Weren’t you both supposed to return to Northen Hebei? How did you come back?”
“Mr. Lin, we did go back! But we encountered some things that needed to be dealt with in the capital, so we had to rush back!” Mo Rushuang saw the person she longed for and became very excited.
Guo Shaoshuai was also very excited to finally taste the food in this place.
Even if it was rotten food, he was willing to eat it.
“Oh, so that’s it!” Lin Beifan smiled, “I thought I wouldn’t see you both for a long time! But since you’re here, you have to stay and have a drink with me tonight, or else it would be disrespectful!”
“We humbly obey!” Mo Rushuang and her companion smiled.
After they had the long-awaited meal, night had fallen.
They accompanied Lin Beifan to his study, closed the door, and said mysteriously, “Mr. Lin, we have come for you!”
“For me?” Lin Beifan was confused.
Mo Rushuang became serious, “Mr. Lin, we are not only disciples of the Iron Sword Sect, but also followers of Prince of Northern Hebei! The empire is in chaos and Prince is kind-hearted and concerned for the people. He wants to end this chaos and let the people live in peace and have enough food to eat! We see hope in him, so we have pledged our allegiance to him!”
“After we returned, we recommended you to Prince, and he was very pleased! He recognized that you are not only a rare talent, but also a person with the same ideals as him. So he wants to invite you to join him and work towards a great cause together!”
Guo Shaoshuai vigorously nodded his head.
Lin Beifan’s eyes became strange as he looked at them both. He scanned them both peculiarly and Mo Rushuang and Guo Shaoshuai felt uneasy.
“Why are you looking at us like that, Mr. Lin?”
Lin Beifan laughed and said, “Ah, I see now. You are men of Prince Northern Hebei here to persuade me to betray the court and join the rebellion to usurp the throne, am I correct?”
As soon as the characters of ‘to usurp the throne’ were mentioned, the expressions of Guo Shaoshuai and Mo Rushuang changed slightly.
It must be known that those four characters were an extremely serious crime, and saying them out loud could result in losing one’s head!
Anyone would avoid mentioning these characters. Guo Shaoshuai argued, “Lin Beifan, how can you say this is a case of usurping the throne?”
“Then what is it?” Lin Beifan asked in confusion. “You all say that the empire is crumbling, and chaos is emerging… How did this chaos come about? It must be because the court is no longer capable and poorly managed, which led to this chaos!”
“You also said that the Prince has a benevolent heart and intends to put an end to this chaos so that the people can live and work in peace… How can we put an end to this chaos? We must certainly overthrow the court and the rule of the current emperor, and establish a new order!”
“After overthrowing the court, we must become the emperor ourselves, otherwise, how can we implement our own policies? Would we just sit back and let others rule us? I don’t believe that the Prince does not have this ambition!”
“Tell me, if this is not usurping the throne, what is it?”
The two were left speechless by this argument. “Regardless of how you understand it, everything we do is for the sake of the people of the world! It doesn’t matter who becomes the emperor, as long as he can allow the people to live a good life, he will be a good emperor, and we will support him! And the Prince of Northern Hebei is the enlightened ruler we are seeking!”
Guo Shaoshuai said seriously.
Mo Ruoshuang advised, “Lin Beifan, the current Empress is ignorant and her wicked officials are in power. The people are in distress! You may not see it in the capital, but outside the capital, people are already full of grievances! Various feudal princes have already recruited soldiers and horses, and are ready to act! There is no shortage of ambitious people in the world, and chaos is about to erupt!”
“You are in a dangerous position, facing wicked officials and corrupt officials. Not only are you in danger of losing your head at any time, but you also have aspirations and talents that are nowhere to be used. Are you willing to stay there? It’s better to join an enlightened ruler in time and seek a way out for yourself! And the Prince is such an enlightened ruler, he cares for the people and cherishes talents, with countless supporters throughout the world!”
“So, Lin Beifan, join us! I believe that with your talent, you will be highly valued by the Prince! Great achievements are right in front of you!”
Lin Beifan waved his sleeves, displeased, “Don’t say any more, follow me!” Lin Beifan led the two to a room. As soon as the door was pushed open, Mo Rushuang and the Guo Shaoshuai were dazzled by the room filled with gold and silver treasures.
“Let me tell you, these gold and silver treasures were all bestowed upon me by the Empress!” Lin Beifan said proudly, “Among them are ten thousand taels of gold, one hundred thousand taels of silver, one hundred dragon-eye pearls, one hundred grams of fine agate, 36 pieces of fine jade… and there are countless other jewelry and ornaments!”
“I ask you, if I join the Prince of Northern Hebei, can he give me these things?”
“Well, no!” the two replied with a bitter smile.
“Follow me again!” Lin Beifan opened another room. Mo Rushuang and Guo Shaoshuai were dazzled again by the room filled with silk and satin.
“These were also bestowed upon me by the Empress!” Lin Beifan said again proudly, “There are already over a hundred pieces of silk and satin here, and there are all kinds of rare fabrics. If I made them into clothes and changed them every day, I wouldn’t finish wearing them even after ten years!”
“I ask you again, if I join the Prince of Hebei, can he give me these things?”
“Well, no!” the two replied with an even more bitter smile.
“Follow me again!”