Everlasting Immortal Firmament

Chapter 11 Book 1: 10: Executing the Crown Heir
  • Prev Chapter
  • Background
    Font family
    Font size
    Line hieght
    Full frame
    No line breaks
  • Next Chapter

Chapter 11 Book 1: 10: Executing the Crown Heir

Book 1: Chapter 10: Executing the Crown Heir

A number of days later in the royal court, Song City:

The Song Emperor sat on an elevated throne, wearing a crown. He appeared ancient with several age spots on his face. Despite his age, his eyes looked exceptionally spirited as he stared at the people in the royal court.

Many civil and military officials lined the two sides of the royal court. The two old officials leading them looked at two people in the center.

One was Gao Xianzhi, who showed a cold expression and respectfully waited for a decree.

The other was the crown heir, Song Zhengxi, who caused trouble in the streets not long ago. However, he now seemed on edge, glaring at Gao Xianzhi.

“Your Majesty, this subordinate has already investigated. I have also reported to Your Majesty and the various officials. For now, there is no concrete evidence linking the crown heir to the fifteen soldiers’ missing families. However, Lin Chong’s family and entire village were killed by the crown heir and his group. There is iron-clad evidence for this. For the sake of maintaining the military’s confidence in us, I implore Your Majesty to issue a decree to uphold the law and punish the crown heir,” Gao Xianzhi repeated loudly.

The hall immediately fell silent as everyone looked at Gao Xianzhi. Some people looked at him with admiration, and some with envy and hatred. There were all sorts of expressions.

Song Zhengxi retorted angrily, “Gao Xianzhi, how bold of you! To think that you dare seek to execute me? Based on what? That was just a group of rebels trying to rebel. Despite their lowly status, they tried to trap me. I was just defending myself!”

Gao Xianzhi looked over aloofly. “Crown Heir, is there a point in arguing now? This matter impacts eight hundred thousand soldiers’ confidence in us. You should take responsibility for your wrongdoing!”

“You! You are seeking death!” Song Zhengxi wanted to attack Gao Xianzhi physically.

“How audacious!” the Song Emperor shouted coldly.

Song Zhengxi’s figure paused as he turned his head to look at the emperor.

“Imperial Grandfather, he, Gao Xianzhi, wants to kill me. I know that Imperial Grandfather has declared heavy punishment for the military. However, that is something that happened after this matter. Since Imperial Grandfather issued this decree, I had remained in my residence, not going out. Imperial Grandfather!” Song Zhengxi cried out anxiously.

At this moment, an official said, “Your Majesty, the crown heir is young and ignorant. He was incited by his subordinates and can only be considered an accomplice. We should publicly execute the ringleader and his other subordinates. As for the crown heir, we should revoke his nobility and throw him into prison as a warning to others.”

Song Zhengxi looked over and frowned. However, he knew that this was for the sake of protecting him, so he did not object.

“This subject agrees!”

“We all agree!”

A large number of officials pleaded for the crown heir immediately.

It seemed that this was already the best result.

The Song Emperor looked at Song Zhengxi from the throne. Some affection appeared in his eyes, along with a reluctance to do this.

The Song Emperor nodded gently, agreeing with the officials. In order to protect his grandson, all other punishments were acceptable.

Gao Xianzhi’s expression changed as he said, “Your Majesty, this subject will say one final thing. Our opponent is Gu Hai. When Chen Taiji defeated the seven nations back then and destroyed two nations, it was not due to his capability. Instead, it was Gu Hai who commanded the army from the shadows. This subject will do all I can for the Song Nation. However, only heaven knows the result.”

Right after Gao Xianzhi spoke, the Song Emperor’s pupils contracted. The expressions of the old officials among the two rows of officials also changed drastically.

One of the old officials suddenly said, “Your Majesty, a nation has its laws, and the military has its rules. If we save the crown heir today, who will save our Song Nation later? This old official suggests the immediate execution of the crown heir. We need to maintain the army’s confidence in us and uphold the nation’s laws!”

“Imperial Tutor Pang! You!” the crown heir shouted while glaring.

Another old official, whose expression had also changed dramatically, said, “Your Majesty, the crown heir’s death will be the result of his own actions. If you don’t kill him, you will appease the officials; however, you will also shake the nation’s foundations. We cannot let the past tragedy of the Song Nation happen again. For the sake of my Song Nation, I beg Your Majesty to uphold the law, for the sake of my nation’s prestige.”

“Prime Minister Liu! You!” the crown heir exclaimed in startlement.

When Imperial Tutor Pang and Prime Minister Liu spoke, the officials who wanted to protect the crown heir immediately held their tongues.

Plop!

The crown heir fell to his knees and said, “Imperial Grandfather, save me! Your grandson does not deserve death! I did not do it! I did not do it! Instead of commanding the army, Gao Xianzhi came here to interfere in politics. Imperial Grandfather…!”

As the Song Emperor watched the crown heir from the throne, he tightly clenched his fist. His initial look of affection faded. Not everyone knew how terrifying Gu Hai was. However, the Song Emperor had experienced it back then. That momentum had been unblockable; the nation itself had been at risk. Had he not begged the immortal sects for help at that time, the Song Nation would have fallen. The immortal sects’ intervention had resulted in an end to the wars of the mundane nations.

The Song Emperor had dozens of grandsons. However, he had only one Song Nation.

“Execute him!” the Song Emperor declared coldly.

“Imperial Grandfather! Imperial Grandfather…!”

No matter how the crown heir shouted or cried, the guards mercilessly dragged him out.

——

At the entrance of the largest market of Song City:

Many people already filled this place. Executing the crown heir? This would be impossible in the past. However, it was going to happen on this day.

“Commander Gao! Look, it’s Commander Gao!”

“This is all thanks to Commander Gao. This Song Zhengxi has already brought harm to who knows how many women. He deserves to be executed. This is great!”

“Look, he is here! It really is Song Zhengxi and his group of lackeys! Hahahaha! This is great!”

Ordinary citizens thronged the market entrance. Many of them cheered and danced, happily clapping their hands.

The presiding official sat at the northern position. A huge wooden platform stood before him, with thirty executioners in position waiting for the execution to start.

A sea of ordinary citizens stood to the south of the execution platform. However, Gao Xianzhi and some soldiers stood at the very front of the ordinary citizens.

The bound Song Zhengxi and his group stood to the east of the execution platform. All of them looked extremely horrified, with messy and scattered hair.

“Don’t kill me! Imperial Grandfather! Imperial Grandfather, don’t kill me!” Song Zhengxi cried repeatedly. However, the surroundings were too noisy; his words could not travel far.

“Father! Father! Where are you? Your child is about to be killed! Father! Father!” Song Zhengxi cried in fear.

“Crown Heir, what should we do? What should we do?! Sob! Sob! Sob! I don’t want to die!” The crown heir’s lackeys cried out.

“You cannot kill me. I am the crown heir. My father is the crown prince. I am the next crown prince. Sob! Sob! Sob!” Song Zhengxi bellowed in horror.

“Gag them!” the presiding official ordered coldly.

“Yes!” the group of executioners replied.

The executioners immediately stuffed rags into the mouths of Song Zhengxi and his lackeys.

“Mmmh! Mmmh! Mmmh! Mmmh! Mmmh! Mmmh! Mmmh!” Song Zhengxi and the others could no longer speak, only letting out grunting sounds.

After that, the executioners placed black bags over the heads of Song Zhengxi and his lackeys.

“Mmmh! Mmmh! Mmmh! Mmmh! Mmmh!” The group of condemned prisoners could only grunt anxiously, unable to speak inside the black bag.

“Bring them to the execution platform!” the presiding official shouted.

“Yes!”

The executioners immediately brought the bound, gagged, and black-bag-covered condemned prisoners around the execution platform to enter from the north. The condemned prisoners formed a long line, with the view of some of the prisoners blocked by the execution platform. However, everyone could see most of the condemned prisoners.

After going around the execution platform, the executioners slowly pushed the thirty condemned prisoners up the steps.

Plop!

The executioners kicked the backs of the condemned prisoners’ knees, making all thirty condemned prisoners fall to their knees.

Lin Chong stared straight at Song Zhengxi’s figure. His eyes appeared bloodshot as he tightly clenched his fists.

Then, the presiding official looked at the sky.

“It is now 11:45 AM. Execute!” The presiding official tossed out a wooden token decreeing an execution.

[TL Note: The novel is set in a place similar to ancient China, which did not have the twenty-four-hour system that we have now. Ancient China followed a twelve-period system, with each two-hour period having a name instead of numbers. The actual raw goes “the Noon Period with three fifteen-minute intervals.” The Noon Period refers to 11 AM to 1 PM, hence 11:45 AM. Executions for different degrees of crimes are held at different times. This time is said to have the strongest Yang Energy and the weakest Yin Energy, which means that anyone who died at this time could not become a ghost. An execution at this timing is the harshest; it basically means that after you die, you are not even allowed to become a ghost, a complete eradication of the person’s entire being.]

Splash!

The executioners spat a mouthful of distilled spirits on their execution blades.

“Ha!”

The executioners let out a roar as they raised their blades and swung down. Thirty heads immediately flew off.

Thud!

The blood that spurted out from the necks flew a meter high, spraying blood all over the place.

Countless ordinary citizens erupted in a noisy commotion.

He died? That was the crown heir! The crown heir!

“Xiaodie, your husband has taken revenge. Your husband had let you down.” Lin Chong suddenly fell limp on the ground, sobbing soundlessly.

“Sir!” The soldiers supported Lin Chong.

Gao Xianzhi looked at the soldiers and said, “You saw it clearly yourselves. You probably also understand by now that except for Lin Chong’s family, which was harmed by Song Zhengxi, your missing families are just the doing of Gu Hai to frame Song Zhengxi. Not long ago, we searched the crown prince’s residence, but we did not find your families. Do you believe me now?”

The group of soldiers nodded with bloodshot eyes.

“Commander, we believe in you!”

“Commander, it is Gu Hai. It is all Gu Hai’s doing, aside from Sir Lin’s family!”

“Commander, this subordinate will definitely bravely kill the enemies on the frontline. I definitely will!”

The group of soldiers immediately made promises.

“Good. Rest this afternoon. We will depart in the evening. We will return to the others and explain to them that it was all Gu Hai’s schemes. We will take Hulao Pass in one fell sweep to repay His Majesty’s patronage!” Gao Xianzhi said with certainty.

“Yes!” everyone answered.

“Many thanks, Commander! Many thanks, Commander!” Lin Chong repeatedly kowtowed to Gao Xianzhi.

“Lin Chong, rest for a while and follow me back!” Gao Xianzhi said.

“Yes. Commander took revenge for me. Now, Lin Chong’s life is the commander’s. Even if I die, I will die on the battlefield,” Lin Chong said gratefully, with bloodshot eyes.

Gao Xianzhi nodded.

Gao Xianzhi had executed the crown heir for Lin Chong. Lin Chong needed to return to the army to provide a boost of morale. The army needed to know that the military law was iron-clad. Nobody could harm their families.

Gao Xianzhi believed that executing the crown heir was the best way to persuade them. All the soldiers would understand that since the crown heir could be executed, who else would dare to bully their families? At that time, no matter how many lies Gu Hai spewed, it would be useless.

Right now, Gao Xianzhi felt very confident, certain that the military would be united when he returned. Killing the crown heir united the entire army. They would definitely be able to take Hulao Pass.

Right now, Gao Xianzhi needed to be quick.

——

When evening arrived, Gao Xianzhi let his soldiers away, heading for Hulao Pass.

The execution platform at the market’s entrance appeared extremely quiet under the dark sky. During the day, this was the noisiest and most bustling place. At night, this became the quietest place.

So many people had died here; who would come here during the night?

However, someone did come that night.

It was the official who had presided over the execution that day. A black-robed person stood beside the presiding official. This was Gu Hai, the person who caused Gao Xianzhi many headaches. A horse carriage waited beside Gu Hai.

“You are…?” the presiding official asked with the intent of currying favor.

“I am the crown prince’s man. It’s not good for you to know too much!” Gu Hai replied indifferently.

“Yes, yes! I won’t ask. I won’t ask. After you showed me that letter, I already believed you. After all, the crown heir is the favorite of the crown prince and the emperor. How could they decide to execute him within a day?” the presiding official replied with a smile.

“Tell your subordinates to keep their mouths shut about today’s matter. If anyone leaks it, they will be punished for the crime of betraying the nation,” Gu Hai said seriously.

The presiding official trembled as he nodded vigorously. “I understand! I understand! They are all people I trust. Rest assured!”

At this moment, Gu Hai rapped gently on the execution platform.

Suddenly, a small door on the north side of the platform opened.

Muffled sobbing came from behind the small door.

Then, someone inside brought out one of the condemned prisoners from the day.

“Milord, we have followed your instructions. When the crown heir approached, we swapped him out for another condemned prisoner. The one who got executed was that condemned prisoner; the crown heir is fine!” that person said with a smile.

Gu Hai lowered his head and looked. He saw urine dripping from Song Zhengxi’s pants. Clearly, Song Zhengxi had had the scare of his life.

“Whoosh!”

That person pulled off the black bag on Song Zhengxi’s head.

Song Zhengxi stared at Gu Hai in horror.

After Gu Hai removed the rag stuffed in Song Zhengxi’s mouth, the crown heir immediately said in alarm, “I’m not dead? I’m not dead? I actually survived?”

Gu Hai smiled faintly and said, “How could Lord Gao dare to kill you? You are the future crown prince. He only did this to fool the others. When the Chen Nation is destroyed, everything will be fine!”

“Ah? Lord Gao saved me? Which Lord Gao?” Song Zhengxi asked, feeling stunned and distracted.

“The commander-in-chief, Gao Xianzhi!” Gu Hai answered with a faint smile.

Report chapter

Use arrow keys (or A / D) to PREV/NEXT chapter