Chapter 73: Deep Into His Bones (2)
Gong Che kneeled low in the Zhaoyang Palace. Recently, he had to face one tragedy after another; first was his grandfather’s death, and now it was his Queen Mother.
The emperor looked down from his dragon chair and sneered, “What else is there for you to possibly say?”
Gong Che kowtowed deeply, “Father Emperor, your child knows the Queen Mother’s act in harming other pregnant imperial concubines is a sin in itself, but in this harem, who among those women are not guilty of doing so? Father, the Queen Mother has been married to you for many years through your successes and hardships. This prince pleads to Father to show her mercy… Please do not dethrone her!”
Emperor Gong Sheng looked down icily and threw the evidence that was presented to him down to Gong Che.
“Why should I listen to your request? Not only did she harm an emperor’s son, she also did not spare a pregnant mother. This proves that the Empress has failed to live up to a woman’s virtues, and has instead become a woman as vicious as a snake. How can such a person become the nation’s mother? You still have objections?”
Gong Che’s was clearly aware that her mother had personally made a mistake this time. With the enemy’s close cooperation, there was no possibility of sparing her from punishment. But as her son, how can he stand by idly and do nothing?
He straightened his posture and faced the emperor with the expression of a martyr.
“Father, in truth, the Empress only did so as a mother to secure the position of Crown Prince for her son…”
Afterwards, Gong Che smiled in self-deprecation and solemnly petitioned to the emperor, saying, “Recently, there has been a great deal of confusion in the court. It was the same issue a dozen years ago when a concubine had committed sin for the sake of placing her son on the throne. Instead, this Prince asks that the emperor choose another to replace my position as Crown Prince, and to please show mercy to the Empress!”
Upon hearing his appeal, Emperor Gong Sheng suddenly broke out in laughter.
What Gong Che said was certainly true; all of the recent tragedies were because of the Crown Prince’s position… And at this point, the emperor was already fed up with this issue!
For those people had the energy to scheme all day long, if they just used their energy and efforts on building the nation and the people instead, why would they need worry about prosperity?
“Enough, don’t say anymore!” Emperor Gong Sheng glowered at him and finally made up his mind. “The Empress has lost her virtues and is forbidden to leave the Fengqiu Palace as she awaits her punishment! As for you…”
The Emperor rubbed his chin and suddenly smiled.
“So what if you’re the Crown Prince? Do you think you’ll definitely inherit my position just because you’re the Crown Prince?”
No one dared to answer his question, but everyone listened in tension.
Emperor Gong Shen laughed loudly once again. “I want an heir who can lead this kingdom to the peak, not some Crown Prince!”
Gong Che paled at his words. It was as if all of his efforts in the past had become a joke; he almost faltered as a deep sense of humiliation overwhelmed him. If the Crown Prince’s position meant nothing to the emperor, then what about his mother’s many years of suffering? Has the Liu Family’s many years of dedication become nothing but a joke?
Only the eunuch Chang Xi dared to open his mouth at the moment. He frowned slightly and said, “Your Majesty, this is not the proper way. It is an ancient rule for the main wife’s son to receive the inheritance. If the royal family does not follow customs, then in the same sense, there would be no rules between those who are old and young and the standings of a main wife and a concubine would be unclear. If one does not follow custom, would there not be chaos?”
Emperor Gong Sheng snorted in irritation.
“When a son of an ordinary household makes a mistake, he has only harmed a single family. But for the Crown Prince, once he makes a mistake, he has harmed entire kingdom!”
Emperor Gong Shen seemed to have had this idea for a very long, but it was only now that he had spoken of it. At this time, he furrowed his brows and said solemnly,
“This is what I want those people to know! Instead of playing tricks and killing each other, it is better to accomplish something for the world to recognize you! I am not one to adhere to pedantic rules. Everyone will be given an opportunity to prove himself! If a son of mine can accomplish greater things than I, that would be the greatest blessing of my life!”
The emperor looked at the pale-faced Gong Che. “It is the same for you. If you desire the throne, prove your ability!”