The Empress' Livestream - BestLightNovel.com
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Jiang Pengji thought for a bit and decided to hide Huijun for now by having her fake her own death so that others couldn't find her.
She eyed Huijun's face, wiped the wound on her arm, and smeared Huijun's face with the blood.
“Just try to put up with the situation for a little while. After the dust settles, I guarantee that your life will be free of worry.”
Huijun took in the feeling of Jiang Pengji's hand on her face with grat.i.tude. After a brief silence, she lowered her voice and said, “I owe Langjun more than I owe my parents. If needed, I would die for you. I have nothing to complain about. To repay your kindness, I would love to be yours for the rest of my life…”
Jiang Pengji lightly tapped the s.p.a.ce between Huijun's eyebrows with her index finger. She smiled and declined the offer as Huijun looked up at her with surprise.
“No. Someday, someone will deserve to take good care of you. As long as you are alive, there will be hope. Why are you so pessimistic? Your whole life is in front of you.”
Huijun squeezed her own hand, hidden in the sleeve. “Sure.”
Jiang Pengji sent one of her men to take some clothes off the dead body of an imperial guard for Huijun to put on.
No matter what, they needed to get over what was in front of them first. Later, she could figure out a way to get a new ident.i.ty for Huijun.
Afterwards, she ordered them to do something else.
She had one of her personal guards go find a female corpse similar in size to Huijun. It was the body of a woman from one of the imperial officials' families. She had been killed during the mess of the battle. The guard made the body's face unrecognizable and put Huijun's clothes on her. The body then served as a subst.i.tute for Huijun.
What if someone suspected?
Well, at that point, whoever had more power would have the louder voice. Those officials who only had defeated imperial guards left didn't have much stake to complain.
“My lord, the emperor has pa.s.sed away.”
Yan Lin glanced at the b.l.o.o.d.y and messy battlefield with his cold eyes before whispering to Yang Jian.
Yang Jian, who still felt residual excitement from the battle, was shocked and frozen upon hearing the news.
“Pa.s.sed away?” Yang Jian could barely talk. It took him a while to swallow the news. “If the emperor has died… Shaoyang, what should we do?”
Yan Lin's voice was as cold as ice, and there was determination in his tone. “We need to stay calm first and not mess ourselves up. We will simply work with the alliance and surviving imperial officials to support the new emperor.”
It didn't matter much if the emperor was dead. The royal family had quite a few backup options.
As long as the new emperor was not Prince Changshou, there wasn't much to worry about.
Yan Lin only took a limited number of people and things seriously. The so-called emperor was not included.
The way Yan Lin saw it, the credit they could get by supporting the new emperor and helping him take the throne was no less than protecting the old one. The former even sounded easier.
Yang Jian didn't take it so well. On the other hand, the emperor was dead and cold. He couldn't do anything to change that fact.
Both Yang Jian and Jiang Pengji's forces were well-trained. Even without the previous experience of fighting together, they didn't drag each other down.
Together they defeated the enemy. Afterwards, n.o.body involved themselves too much in chasing those who had been beaten. They chose to comfort the surviving officials and their families.
Feng Zhen, Yang Si, and Yan Lin took up the responsibility of dealing with the imperial officials and ministers.
Scholars and advisers, of course, should be in charge of all the brain-challenging tasks.
“Shaoyang, I took a peek at the emperor's body… It was such a cruel death. It didn't look like the enemy killed him…”
Yang Tao had just taken advantage of the post-battle chaos and stolen a glance at the body.
The fatal wound in the emperor's chest had been caused by a blade, which had left a long and deep slash. Even his heart was ripped out.
Yan Lin remained calm. “It didn't look like the enemy?”
Yang Tao nodded quickly over and over again. “It really didn't! It looked more like someone took the opportunity and did it in the middle of the mess. The heart was ripped and cut.”
Jiang Pengji had gone so quickly, and everything had been a mess. No one had found out what had really happened?
The only one who knew Jiang Pengji had taken Huijun was a general from the enemy forces.
When Jiang Pengji had come back with Huijun in her arms, everyone thought she was some abducted beauty Jiang Pengji had saved.
Based on what a eunuch who had closely served the emperor said, the emperor had not been killed by the enemy, but by the empress.
Yang Tao murmured in a frightened voice.
“The empress killed the emperor? Like husband, like wife. This empress of his turned out to be a fierce one!”
“You'd better stay out of the royal gossips and privacy. Your eyes won't be able to take what you might see.”
Yan Lin kept his cool, his face expressionless.
Yang Tao immediately said, “Yes. I got it. Least said, soonest mended. I will keep my mouth shut.”
Jiang Pengji only did the minimum to deal with her wound. She wrapped it with two layers of clean cloth tightly to get by.
The battlefield had been partially cleaned up, but dead bodies were still everywhere.
Blood dyed the ground. Even the air felt heavy with it.
Jiang Pengji saw several middle-aged and older men dressed like imperial officials standing around Yang Si and other advisers. Their faces were all filled with self-righteous indignation.
“…We must execute the evil empress! Murdering the emperor is a heinous crime that could cost the killer and her family their lives. How can we let her get away with this?”
“Without killing the evil empress, we can't comfort the furious people! You'd better send out soldiers as soon as possible to catch her so the late emperor's soul may be soothed.”
Jiang Pengji walked over to them, noticing that they all directed unpleasant looks at her.
They were discussing something important, yet this young officer dared to bother them?
They were just about to yell at her that lower-ranked common people were not allowed to get close when they saw that Yang Si and Feng Zhen both bowed to Jiang Pengji.
“Who are we gonna kill? I heard you from a distance.”
Watching the officials look embarra.s.sed and deeply annoyed, Jiang Pengji felt satisfied.
“The emperor has pa.s.sed away, and you all said that the empress was the murderer. But this is still wartime, so it's really not a good time to find the whereabouts of the killer.”
Yang Si and Feng Zhen were a bit fed up with the imperial officials. They couldn't do anything, yet they were very willing to give orders.
The point was that their orders didn't make any sense.
Combined, Jiang Pengji and Yang Jian's forces were only about 25,000. During the battle, they had lost some men, so it was not easy for them to protect the officials and their families. Meanwhile, they had to send the emperor's body back to the imperial city in Chenzhou and kick out what was left of the enemy.
They were shorthanded!
Those officials somehow thought they were qualified to give orders to other people's forces to find the empress, the accused killer.
That was no better than simply telling Prince Changshou, “Hurry up and come over! We don't have enough people here. Please strike us!”
Yang Si and the others were completely speechless.
But considering those officials were all highly respected and experienced imperial figures, they didn't want to provoke them, so they were simply acting in a perfunctory way.
Jiang Pengji eyed the imperial officials one by one.
She remained calm, yet the bloodstains on her clothes and the residual fierceness from fighting and killing were more than intimidating. They instantly lost their cool.
Gazing at them, Jiang Pengji said, “What you all just said was fair and reasonable. The funeral for the emperor is of national significance. And we can't let the killer get away with it, indeed! But speaking of the empress, there seems to be a dead body here that might be hers. The only thing is, the body was trampled by running warhorses and is barely recognizable. But it's still worth a shot, isn't it? Please come take a look.”
The officials glanced at each other.
As experienced as they were, of course they knew Yang Si and the other men were not really willing to help.
But they still had long-term plans to keep asking them. Unexpectedly, the lord had turned out to be so much easier to talk to.
“Thank you so much!”
They all bowed with grat.i.tude.
“No worries. We all serve the empire. This is not a big deal at all. Guards, bring the dead body they just found!”