The Human Emperor - Chapter 103: Yuzhen Palace!
The exterior of the Golden Lion Den was grand and imposing, but the interior told a completely different story. Some of the customers were smoking their pipes, some were drinking their alcohol, some were spouting drunken babble and vulgarities, and some were wailing in agony after losing their family fortune.
Every day, a handful of people would faint in shock after losing all their money, and the personnel of the gambling den would carry them out. Even so, a steady wave of crowd would still enter each day.
At the entrance of the Golden Lion Den, an unkempt middle-aged man with a stubble was lying on the floor. He has already lost his clothes, and all that remained on him was his underwear.
Those who caught sight of him would glance at him in contempt, ridicule him ‘Look! That’s the Imperial Brother’, or simply spit on him.
But the unkempt middle-aged man seemed completely oblivious to them, and a conceited smile hung by the edge of his lips. He seemed to be mocking those mocking him.
If one were to approach, one could even hear his babble ‘I am the Imperial Uncle’, ‘That’s right, I am the Imperial Uncle…’, ‘I will show you who’s boss then’.
Thugs, gamblers, prostitutes, drunkards… To the Golden Lion Den, this day seemed no different from the others.
That was until a deafening sound echoed.
Hong long long.
No one could have foreseen the sudden tremor. It seemed as though the Golden Lion Den was forcefully shaken by a pair of gigantic hands.
This situation happened too abruptly that the prostitutes and sing-song girls screamed in shock. The pale faces of the gamblers hurriedly turned around in panic to see what was happening.
Unknowingly, two mountain-like sturdy figures appeared at the entrance of the Golden Lion Den. The both of them stood side by side, blocking the rays of the sun. The entire Golden Lion Den seemed to have turned dark all of the sudden, as though their presence has turned day into night.
Everyone was shocked by the sudden turn of events. As though rabbits stared down by ferocious lions, they trembled fearfully.
“Imperial Army! It’s the Imperial Army!”
“No, that’s not it! It’s the Chamberlain of Imperial Insignia! It’s the Chamberlain of Imperial Insignia!”
Many people immediately recognized the two mountain-like figures reminiscent of golden-armored deities from the heavens at the entrance. They weren’t just ordinary Imperial Army members, but the Chamberlains of Imperial Insignia of the royal court. As the personal guards of the emperor, they were in charge of guarding the emperor’s sleeping chamber, making them the closest guards to the emperor.
Even though they knew that they weren’t demons of any sorts, they couldn’t help but tremble in fear before the gaze of those two pairs of bell-like eyes.
“Yang Zhao? Who is Yang Zhao?”
One of the two suddenly spoke up. As though the roar of the lion, his loud voice caused the entire Golden Lion Den to tremble. Some of the timid ones immediately shuddered in fear, and urine dampened their pants.
The ladies were also screaming uncontrollably.
“Who is Yang Zhao?”
That mountain-like figure roared once more. This time, a tinge of anger appeared in his bell-like eyes.
“He is! He is!”
A gambler suddenly pointed to the snoring middle-aged man lying by the entrance, beside the two Chamberlains of Imperial Insignia. His hands were trembling violently.
In an instant, everyone’s eyes were gathered onto the snoring middle-aged man by the entrance, including the two mountain-like chamberlains.
Being stared at by so many people, the sleeping Yang Zhao also realized that something was amiss and he slowly opened his drowsy eyes.
“Who is it?”
Upon seeing a giant face before him, Yang Zhao subconsciously asked.
“You are Yang Zhao?”
One of the two powerfully built Chamberlain of Imperial Insignia bent down to examine Yang Zhao’s face, but this time, his voice was much gentler than before.
Lying on the floor, Yang Zhao was taken aback. A tinge of doubt flickered across by his eyes, but as his eyes slowly fell upon the seemingly indestructible armor the person before him was wearing, realization struck him.
“Chamberlain of Imperial Insignia! You’re a Chamberlain of Imperial Insignia!”
Yang Zhao was stunned, and in an instant, he seemed to have realized something as he yelled. Peng, Yang Zhao immediately scrambled to his feet.
An intense joy surged through his heart. He knew that his time has come.
“Hahaha, Chamberlain of Imperial Insignia! Chamberlain of Imperial Insignia! Have you disdainful bastards seen it yet? I am the Imperial Uncle, I am the Imperial Uncle! I, Yang Zhao, has finally struck it big! ——”
Yang Zhao abruptly leaped from the floor and danced about. Everyone in the Golden Lion Den was astonished by the sight!
But Yang Zhao paid them no heed at all. He frenziedly vented the overwhelming joy in his heart like a madman!
You blind fellows, how dare you say that I am lying! Have you seen it yet? The Chamberlains of Imperial Insignia! My sister is fetching me!
I am the Imperial Brother! I am the Imperial Brother! ——
Staring at those shocked and terrified gazes, Yang Zhao felt nothing but exhilaration! All of the unhappiness he felt from the ridicule, contempt, and mockery of others disappeared without a trace…
Before Yang Zhao could fully enjoy this moment, a gigantic hand grabbed him at his waist, and as though carrying a chicken, he toiled him out.
All of Yang Zhao’s words came to an abrupt halt. The two Chamberlains of Imperial Insignia carried him onto the carriage, and hong long long, it disappeared into the distance.
There wasn’t a single person in the Golden Lion Den who wasn’t dumbfounded by the sight. For a very long time, no one spoke a single word. Someone’s smoking pipe fell to the ground, searing his feet, but the person couldn’t feel a thing at all.
Water splashed around. Another bucket of cold water struck Yang Zhao. The life of affluence and prestige that he expected didn’t appear.
He was brought here as soon as he arrived at the palace.
The buckets of icy water felt like axes hacking at his body, leaving him cold and pained. It felt as though his skin were tearing off his surface.
Just as Yang Zhao was about to speak, yet another bucket of water splashed at him, flooding his open mouth. Before him, two cold-faced old nannies with eyes so sharp that it felt as though it could skin him held onto two wooden buckets.
“Her Highness is of noble standing. Given how dirty and smelly you are, how can you meet her in such a state? Just stand here obediently to spare yourself from pain!”
Even though the two old nannies were already advanced in age, they seemed to wield limitless strength in their bodies. Yang Zhao felt as though the two of them would be able to easily defeat a dozen of him.
Under the threatening glare of the two old nannies, Yang Zhao finally gave up and stood obediently.
Hua hua hua!
Bucket after bucket of cold water from the well was splashed at him. Only when Yang Zhao’s skin turned red, as if burned with fire, did the two old nannies let him go.
After which, a few palace maids came and rid Yang Zhao of his stubble using a shaving knife, combed his hair, put on a small hat which held his hair in place, and helped him change into a white loose silk robe…
Overall, it took four entire hours.
“Lords, he’s ready. You can bring him to Your Highness now!”
Looking at the neatly dressed Yang Zhao, the two nannies turned around and informed the two Chamberlains of Imperial Insignia, who watched the entire process indifferently.
The two powerfully built Chamberlains of Imperial Insignia examined Yang Zhao from head to toe. Even though they weren’t particular about aesthetics, they nodded their head in approval within.
The current Yang Zhao was completely different from that Yang Zhao they met at the Golden Lion Den. When they first met, his shabby stubble and messy hair made him seem no different from a lowly thug.
However, he was completely different now.
A silver crown, white loose robe, cleanly-shaven lower jaw, highly arched eyebrows, clear and spirited eyes… Even if he were to claim that he was an official who was just dismissed from the royal court, no one would doubt a thing.
“As expected of Her Highness’s brother, the both of them do share the same bloodline!”
The two Chamberlains of Imperial Insignia nodded in approval.
Since the former was able to win the favor of the Sage Emperor, how could the brother be an ordinary person?
The two Chamberlains of Imperial Insignia turned around and led Yang Zhao away.
In the depths of the royal palace, far away from the residences of the other consorts, the ‘Yuzhen Palace’ stood. This was a newly built palace.
In this palace, Yang Zhao finally saw his younger sister.
A red-colored tent several dozens wide stood in the depths of Yuzhen Palace. At the four corners of the tent, four even muscular Chamberlains of Imperial Insignia wielding halberds stood on attention.
Fully armored, even their faces were concealed. They stood motionlessly on the spot, as though guardian deities.
In the tent, a slender figure could be vaguely seen. Even though she was simply seated casually, she exuded an aura of unparalleled beauty and elegance.
With a glance, Yang Zhao could immediately recognize that it was his cousin.
“Hold it right there!”
Yang Zhao had barely taken a few steps forward before the clanging of metal halberds sounded around the tent. A slightly chill could be felt from the atmosphere. The Chamberlains of Imperial Insignia stepped forward, and faint killing intent could be felt from the slight slit in their helmet.
“His Majesty has ordered that no one is to approach Consort Taizhen! Anyone who disobeys the order will be beheaded!”
One of them spoke forcefully!
“Cousin, don’t come over!”
A fearful and anxious voice echoed from the tent. The voice was crisp and pleasant, yet gentle and soft. One’s heart couldn’t help but ripple and generate fondness upon hearing it.
Yang Zhao hurriedly lowered his head, suppressing the ripples in his heart. This cousin of his has always been beautiful and elegant. In fact, when she was just seven, a physiognomist had come knocking and said that she had ‘the life of a phoenix, the disposition of a consort’.
Yang Zhao was by no means a gentleman, but he had never harbored any lustful thoughts toward this cousin of his. Furthermore, at this moment, she was a person favored by the Sage Emperor.
If he wanted to make it big, he had to rely on the help of this cousin of his!
If anyone were to harbor any malicious intentions toward her now, Yang Zhao would be the first one to stand up in objection.
“Little sister, why is that so?”
Yang Zhao calmed his heart down and asked doubtfully. He is the cousin of Consort Taizhen, so logically speaking, the emperor shouldn’t forbid him from coming into contact with her as well!
“This is His Majesty’s intention. Last month, a seer has taken a look at my fate and said that I would bring bloodshed to the royal palace. If I wanted to be with His Majesty, I’ll have to meditate in the palace for forty-nine days. During this period of time, no one is to approach me. Because of this, more than a dozen palace maids have already been killed.”
Within the red-colored tent, Consort Taizhen spoke.
Yang Zhao took in a deep breath, and only then did he catch the faint scent of bloodshed in the air. Shocked, he hurriedly retreated in fear.
“Little sister, is there anything you need me for? I’ve waited very long for your summons!”
After retreating, Yang Zhao stabilized his mental state before speaking with slight resentment in his tone.
“Brother, I do have something I need to ask of you. I am currently in a precarious situation, and the junction between life and death is right before me. Only brother can help me now!”
Consort Taizhen’s anxious voice sounded from the tent.
Upon hearing her words, Yang Zhao’s face immediately changed.
Imperial Consort Taizhen’s original name is Yang Yuhuan, and Yang Zhao, officially known as Yang Guozhong, is her older cousin. I left a note explaining Yang Guozhong in Chapter 85, and if you’re interested, he has a Wikipedia page as well.
The Chamberlain of Imperial Insignia is a rank of the Imperial Army member. They are close guards of the emperor, making them much more prestigious than the typical Imperial Army member.