Jun Feili’s fingers trembled, and the battle report in his hand fell to the floor. He raised his eyes, looked at Wei Zhao coldly, and suddenly asked, “Ah Zhao, did you know about it a long time ago?”
As early as at the beginning of Wei Ming’s ascension to the throne, Wei Lan began to make arrangements. It was just that he was cautious and moved carefully, so he hadn’t been noticed for many years. But Wei Zhao was still able to get this evidence, it was obviously not a matter of a few days. However, he kept it secret.
Wei Zhao nodded silently, not denying Jun Feili’s words. He had indeed suspected Wei Lan for a long time but had been suffering from the lack of evidence. It wasn’t until Tuoba Xianhan took Yisha City that he had real evidence to prove that Wei Lan had indeed done those unforgivable things.
“But you never said…” Until this moment, Jun Feili was still in an extreme state of shock and disbelief.
In his eyes, his and Wei Ming’s children, three brothers and a sister, grew up loving and respecting each other. At first, when Wei Zhao found out that Wei Xuan’s assassination was related to Wei Mao, it was the last thing Jun Feili wanted to believe. How could this be possible, how could his Mao’er do such a thing?
But Wei Ming believed the results of Wei Zhao’s investigation and had Wei Mao imprisoned. It was hard for Jun Feili to accept the result, but Wei Mao’s life was spared after all, and there was still room for recovery; he couldn’t argue any further.
Wei Ming was seriously ill, and during his illness, he revealed that he wanted to appoint a Taisun, although at that time, Xie Xiang’s child had not yet been born.
Among his children, Jun Feili loved Wei Mao the most and valued Wei Xuan the most. However, Wei Xuan was gone. Jun Feili would always take care of his three granddaughters, but for a newborn baby to become the emperor of the Great Yan… Jun Feili instinctively felt there was something wrong about it.
At that time, Wei Ming’s condition was already very serious, and it would be a great achievement for the Imperial Hospital if he managed to hold on till the birth of his little grandson. However, with such a young emperor to succeed to the throne, who would get the regency of the country? This was a big question.
Wei Lan was obviously not an option, although he was the most legitimate prince. If Wei Ming intended to let him take the regency, he might as well pass the throne directly to him. Wei Lan was certainly more qualified than the little emperor.
The remaining option was Wei Zhao. He would be the younger brother of the previous emperor and the great uncle of the little emperor, so it was not impossible for him to step in. Moreover, the little emperor was also the grandson of Princess Yuankang. Princess Yuankang and Wei Zhao had always been good friends, and it was estimated that her family would also be happy to see it happen.
It was at that time that Wei Lan hinted to Jun Feili that he believed that Wei Zhao confused Wei Ming and wanted to control the dynasty in the future. The little Taisun’s mother’s family was the Xie family of Gong Song. Among the Xie’s three siblings, which one was not friends with Wei Zhao? It was clear that they had ulterior motives.
Jun Feili’s feelings for Wei Zhao had always been very complicated. He did love him as much as he loved Jun Qing, but he also had a strong fear of Wei Zhao.
Wei Lan’s words touched the deepest string in Jun Feili’s heart. He thought for a long time, but after all, he gave Xie Xiang the medicine that expedited the childbirth.
Later, seeing Wei Zhun who was drinking medicine like eating, Jun Feili couldn’t help feeling distressed, but he repeatedly convinced himself that he had done it for the greater good.
But today, Wei Zhao’s words broke all the constructions he had built in his heart. Wei Lan’s crazy behaviour wasn’t something he could have imagined.
Wei Zhao looked at Jun Feili calmly and said quietly: “So what if I knew, would you have believed me before there was substantial evidence?” If someone told him that Wei Chongrong had done things that Heaven couldn’t bear, his first reaction would be to cut down that person.
Didn’t he know his own son? How could he let others speak ill of him? If he was like that, why would Jun Feili be different?
Hearing this, Jun Feili was silent. Indeed, Wei Ming once had warned him, but he never really understood his words.
Now, he finally understood Wei Ming’s intention, but it was too late.
Wei Xuan was dead, Wei Zhun was sickly, Wei Kou and her husband were dead, and Wei Mao was imprisoned for three full years…
And all this, even if Jun Feili didn’t do it himself, was also caused by his impetus. What face would he have to see the late emperor in the future?…
Seeing that Jun Feili was silent for a long time, Wei Zhao suddenly said, “Don’t you suspect that I forged the evidence?”
Jun Feili glanced at him and shook his head gently: “Although I don’t want to admit it, I still have to say that the person I know better than Ah Lan is you.”
After the death of his elder brother, Jun Lin, there were only three people in the entire Yujing that Jun Feili held close to his heart. One was Wei Ming, and then there was Wei Zhao and Jun Qing.
It was true that Wei Lan was neither the eldest son who inherited the family business, nor the sickly young son who was doted on, let alone the only daughter, the pearl in their palm. Wei Lan had been neglected by Jun Feili and Wei Ming since he was a child and had grown up with his nanny most of the time.
In fact, Jun Feili really got to know Wei Lan only after he ascended the throne. After all, by this time, he already had only this son by his side.
In the position of the supreme ruler, Wei Lan would no longer deliberately conceal anything or pretend, and Jun Feili would naturally discover what his true character was like. The evidence given by Wei Zhao was too clear and explicit, and those things were precisely in line with Wei Lan’s behaviour and demeanour.
“In that case, I won’t say more nonsense. I will ask the Empress Dowager to issue the edict.” The right to depose the emperor belonged only to the Empress Dowager.
Jun Feili didn’t start writing, but asked, “What are you going to do with Ah Lan?”
Wei Zhao said without thinking: “You are Brother Emperor’s Lord Consort. This is a fact that will never change. Your son is naturally yours to discipline.” Wei Xuan and Wei Kou both died because of Wei Lan, and Wei Mao suffered years of injustice because of him. It was impossible for Jun Feili to forgive Wei Lan.
Jun Feili still didn’t pick up the brush. He looked at Wei Zhao deeply and suddenly said, “Ah Zhao, do you know why you were the one who was sent to the palace back then?”
As soon as he heard these words, Wei Zhao froze. He had never thought that Jun Feili knew about his origin.
Without waiting for Wei Zhao to speak, Jun Feili continued: “Because when you were born, my father saw the Emperor Star(1) appear in the sky. He said that as long as you can survive the tribulation of life and death, you will reach the position of the supreme ruler in the future.”
Wei Zhao was taken aback, and suddenly laughed: “This joke is not funny. In that case, you shouldn’t have had a chance to hear it.” He never knew that the old gentleman of the Jun family who was rumoured to know “everything on the earth and half of everything in the sky” had the potential to be a magician.
“Children are naughty, and it is not unusual to eavesdrop on the conversation between their father and elder brother.” Jun Feili didn’t intend to tell Wei Zhao that the reason why he could hear the conversation between Jun Ya and Jun Lin was because he made Wei Zhao, who was in his infancy, cry and was hiding under the bed for fear of being discovered.
Wei Zhao was noncommittal, and said calmly: “That’s not a reason either. Aren’t our horoscopes the same?” He and Jun Qing had exactly the same eight characters; they were obviously born one right after the other. Even if there was really a so-called “Emperor Star”, who could tell who it referred to.
Jun Feili smiled inexplicably and said coldly: “That’s Ah Qing’s horoscope, not yours. You are two shichen younger than him.” Wei Zhao’s eight characters were too special, it was impossible for them not to attract the attention of the imperial astrologer, so his horoscope was borrowed from Jun Qing.
Wei Su showed his favour for Wei Zhao from the beginning. Jun Feili initially didn’t care about it. Wei Zhao was his elder brother’s son, and of course he was qualified to get the best things in the world. But with the development of his relationship with Wei Ming, and then thinking of Jun Ya’s prediction for Wei Zhao, Jun Feili’s mood became complicated, especially after Wei Zhao returned from Fuyu. If Jun Feili guessed it correctly, it was the tribulation of life and death that Jun Ya had originally mentioned. Sure enough, Wei Zhao later restored Youzhou, established Lingzhou, and made immortal achievements. Wei Su’s eyes were so bright when he looked at him that it was frightening.
Fortunately, Wei Ming finally ascended the throne smoothly, and Wei Zhao didn’t show any attempt to claim the throne. Jun Feili was able to breathe a sigh of relief. This was the situation he had hoped to see.
If Wei Xuan didn’t die, or even if Wei Zhun could be born at full term, this balance could have been maintained.
But Wei Xuan died in the hands of his own brother, and his death also involved the innocent Wei Kou and Wei Mao.
Even more innocent was Wei Zhun. He could have been born healthy and strong, and then ascend the throne naturally, but now…
When he thought of that thin and pale child, Jun Feili’s hand couldn’t help trembling a little. It was his fault.
“Empress Dowager, please issue the edict. I can assure you that in my lifetime, I will never harm the descendents of Brother Emperor.” Wei Zhao didn’t believe in the so-called astrology, but it still surprised him to know that he and Jun Qing were born two shichen apart.
The world was impermanent, and fate had taken a turn and circled back to the path it had been predicted to take.
Jun Feili didn’t hesitate anymore, and personally wrote down the edict of deposing the emperor. He knew very well in his heart that even if he didn’t write it, Wei Zhao had the late emperor’s will in his hand, and he could depose Wei Lan, and in that case, he wouldn’t even have a chance to handle Wei Lan.
Wei Zhao took the edict and said nothing. He glanced at Jun Feili in silence, then turned and left.
When Wei Zhao’s figure completely disappeared from his sight, Jun Feili’s expression was no longer as calm as before, and he knelt down on both knees with a forlorn look on his face.
Thousands of li away on the southern border, Wei Chongrong’s head was about to explode as he looked at one chore after another piling up in front of him.
He originally thought that as long as he dealt with Tuduo, he would be done, but when he took over Jing’an City, he realised that this wasn’t the end, but a new beginning.
It was easy for the eight counties of Yizhou to be directly incorporated into the territory of the Great Yan and dealt with in accordance with the precedents of Youzhou and Lingzhou. The four counties of Qiongzhou were a problem. The people there helped drive away the Zhuxia people and turned around to take the land for themselves. It was really unreasonable and too ugly just to grab that land.
Of course, it would be impossible to return the land intact, even if the young prince who would soon succeed to the throne of Nanyue was Ruan Ning.
Wei Chongrong, who was good at war but not at trivial matters, was in distress and wrote to Wei Zhao for help. Moreover, Ruan Ning was taken to Yujing by Jun Qing and Jun Hua, while Ruan Meng had been sent to the capital even earlier. Ruan Ning needed to be sent back quickly, as the country couldn’t stay without a monarch for a day.
In reply to Wei Chongrong’s eager anticipation, Wei Zhao sent him saviours in the form of Gu Chuan, who was responsible for handling government affairs, and Wei Hao, who took over military power.
Wei Chongrong, on the other hand, had to return to the capital as soon as possible to complete the ceremony of being appointed the Crown Prince. This was something Wei Chongrong had never dreamed of.
- The North Star