Real Empress from a Noble Family - Chapter 308
Chapter 308 If I Have to Die, No One Will Live!
It was still in the first lunar month that all the officials were on leave.
However, the matter was very serious, and the two empresses both agreed. Therefore, the great court was held as scheduled.
The problem was that although the two empresses were not professional criminal investigators, they were above the ordinary level after all these years of experience in the former emperor’s reign and Imperial Harem. What was more, the palace was their home. But they even found nothing till now. How could the courtiers dare to take over easily?
Now all the palace servants who served the emperor that night were beaten to death! Even if there was any clue, it would be broken. If this was an ordinary case, the ministers would like to help the two empresses. After all, they presided over it at the first place. They couldn’t make any progress, so the ministers would not be blamed for their lack of progress.
But this was a search for regicides. If the ministers had made any mistake, they would be the scapegoat for the two empresses’ futility!
Therefore, Empress Dowager Gu and Empress Jiang used the unique euphemism owned by the royals. They said, “The Empress and I now have tried everything we can think of, and we got nothing. However, this daredevil and d*mned regicide must be found out! Now we are counting on you.” After this, there was nothing but silence in the court.
Liao Shuyu, Minister of the Ministry of Justice, had an expression that he would like to be killed by the red steps in front of the Hall. At the moment, he regretted that he didn’t learn from Yuan Wenhong, the Minister of Dalisi, to take a sick leave. No, more exactly, if he had known that this issue was so hard, he would rather resign like some of his colleagues.
But now it was too late to regret. When the two empresses saw that all the ministers were silent, they all turned their eyes on him and asked, “What do you think, Minister Liao?”
“I’m here!” Liao Shuyu had no choice but to step out, hold his Yuhu (jade tablet held by a high official to attend the imperial early-morning court session), and reply.
“How long will you find out the murder if I hand over this to you?” Empress Dowager Gu asked. It was easy for her to ask, but Liao Shuyu was frightened and kneeled down immediately. He said, “I’m incompetent! I really dare not to undertake such a heavy task alone.”
At this moment, all the officials thought that this guy was the Minister of the Ministry of Justice, and he had to get involved. Therefore, he wanted everyone here to be involved so that he wouldn’t be the only one who might die of this.
Unfortunately, Empress Dowager Gu asked, “Who do you think is going to share the responsibility with you?”
“I think…” Liao Shuyu’s general position should belong to the neutral party, but in fact, he was not very close to Xue Chang, the leader of the neutral party. To put it another way, this guy was lucky. He hadn’t been forced to make a clear choice by any party since he took office, and he hadn’t joined any party. So, he could do his job safely until now. He thought he had a lot of good fortune, so he could stay out of trouble until the day of retirement. But he overestimated his fortune and now he had to make a choice.
Up to now, he didn’t think much about it and made a choice. He said, “This matter is of great importance and involves the future of the country. It should be presided over by the ministers of all ministries. I am only the Minister of the Ministry of Justice. I do not dare to handle it by myself.”
Well, what he said involved Xue Chang, Tang Zimo, and Jiang Tianao.
Although he didn’t get much credit in case of finding out the truth, in case he couldn’t find out, at least these three people were of higher status. Empress Dowager Gu and Empress Jiang couldn’t kill them all. In this case, he would be safe.
Liao Shuyu thought in case the three could not find out and put him as a scapegoat, so he continued, “All staff of the Ministry of Justice should partic.i.p.ate, and so do the staff of Dalisi, the Imperial Academy of Medicine, and the Ministry of War…”
After the last Minister of the Ministry of War retired, a new one had not been chosen because of the battle between the two empresses. Now the Ministry of War was in the charge of two a.s.sistant ministers. Jiang Tianqi, one of the a.s.sistant ministers, was annoyed and said, “Dalisi is responsible for the case because the emperor was poisoned. It is acceptable that you recommend Dalisi and the Imperial Academy of Medicine, but does this case have anything to do with the Ministry of War?”
Jiang Tianqi complained about Liao Shuyu in his heart, “You know nothing about the murderer. Why do you want the Ministry of War involved? Do you even know under what circ.u.mstance the Ministry of War can be used? It is the duty of the Ministry of Justice to arrest the murderer!”
However, Liao Shuyu said confidently, “If the murderer is from another nation, don’t you have to use the Ministry of War?”
Jiang Tianqi thought he knew that he was talking nonsense. What if the murderer was really related to the alien nation in the end? He was defeated by his broad thinking and held back his anger.
Then Liao Shuyu gave full play to his unconstrained ideas and recommended all the people who might have something to do with this case. Then he stopped contentedly.
Empress Dowager Gu and Empress Jiang looked at each other. They clearly knew what Liao Shuyu thought of. Actually, although Empress Dowager Gu just asked him, she didn’t expect him to solve this case by himself. If the two empresses thought he was useful to them, they wouldn’t allow him to be neutral till now.
Now Liao Shuyu mentioned these people, and it settled to their mutual satisfaction to some extent.
But he got too many people involved. Sometimes too many people might not be efficient because there must be too many opinions.
Now that the emperor survived, it might spread bad rumors if the investigation was too public.
So the two empresses discussed in a low voice and decided to listen to Liao Shuyu’s advice selectively. They said, “In this case, the matter will be handed over to the three Premiers, and we will listen to the specific needs of the Premiers.”
The other two Premiers and Xue Chang didn’t feel that they were forced to get involved like Jiang Tianqi because it was impossible for them, as prime ministers, to stay out of such a big matter. Their depressed mood now actually came from the fact that Empress Dowager Gu and Empress Jiang had no way so that they asked them for help. Why didn’t they seek help earlier? They should have handed over this to them after the first day of the first lunar month.
The reason why Empress Dowager Gu and Empress Jiang did this was that they were forced by the unworthy younger generation. Gu Yan, the grandson of the Empress Dowager, and Jiang Yadan, the nephew of the Empress, both had done shameful things in the Imperial Harem that couldn’t be known by others. Although the two empresses had dealt with these things, these were only what had been discovered. What about those that hadn’t been discovered? Would there be anything more serious?
What if these things were found out by accident in this matter? What should the two empresses do? They couldn’t kill their relatives. If not, they would violate the law.
So they could only excuse that the case happened in the palace, and it was inconvenient for the officials to handle this. It would be better if they could investigate by themselves.
If it wasn’t for the fact that the two empresses couldn’t find out the murderer and that there might be a mysterious third party, they would never hand over this to the officials.
Now they had made a decision to let the three Premiers handle this, and they would have another secret meeting with the three Premiers after the court to transfer the records of their investigation to the Premiers and to hint them implicitly that they should ignore those irrelated things and only focus on this case.
Empress Dowager Gu and Empress Jiang warned each other’s Deputy Premier in particular. There were a lot of secrets in the palace. Didn’t ever think you were the only one who knew something about the others. If you did not want to waste your time, you just focused on the murderer and ignored the other things.
However, things didn’t go very smoothly even the three Premiers investigated together.
This afternoon, Qiu Yelan put her head on her husband’s knees in the sunshine after snow. She suddenly remembered this thing and asked, “What are you talking about when your grandfather calls you to the study these two days? How’s the emperor poisoning going? I didn’t hear servants talk about this.”
Jiang Yashuang was reading a book. Hearing this, he put the book aside, smiled, and touched her head. He said, “They haven’t found the murder yet. There’s nothing to talk about.”
Qiu Yelan was surprised and got up. She asked, “Haven’t found the result yet? It’s nearly the Lantern Festival. How come? It was a big matter that the emperor was poisoned. It has been half a month, and the murderer hasn’t been found yet? Are they waiting for the day the court re-opens?”
According to the unspoken rules, the speed of solving such major and vicious political a.s.sa.s.sination cases must be as quick as possible. Even if the case couldn’t be solved for a while, they should find a scapegoat to announce the end of the case so as to show that the royal guard was confident and capable of protecting the leadership of Darui. They should announce that the a.s.sa.s.sination of His Majesty was only an accident, and there would never be another one. Then they kept on the investigation secretly.
Even if the king of a country was a.s.sa.s.sinated, no murderer could be found for a half months, let alone ordinary people. How could the people rest a.s.sured that such a group of incompetents were in charge of the country?
Jiang Yashuang said, “How can it be so easy to close a case? All the people around Your Majesty were killed. The rest were related to either my aunt or the Empress Dowager Gu. How can they get them to take the blame?”
Even if it was agreed that the servant did it by himself and it had nothing to do with the master behind, the Empress Dowager’s party and the Empress’ party would worry that the other party may refuse to admit the result and make this a weakness of the other party.
Jiang Yashuang sighed and said, “Liao Shuyu raised in the court that it might have been done by an alien nation. If they made a final decision according to his conjecture, it would have relieved the doubts between my aunt and Empress Dowager Gu. The problem is that it’s easy to frame an alien race, but it’s hard to win a war.”
War was not a joke. Although Kuang Shihan started the war with the western savages last winter because of selfish and political considerations, he did his preparations ahead of time and he also managed to control the scale of the war.
But if they framed the western savages or Beihu for a.s.sa.s.sinating the emperor of Darui, the revenge must be an all-out war.
It was not that Darui couldn’t fight a full-scale war now. The problem was that it would be hard to say how things would go on after a full-scale war.
From a political point of view, should they frame the western savages or Beihu? Darui had already in war with the western savages, and Qiu Jinglan was planning to begin the war with Kuang Shihan. Now the scale of the war was under control. If the war was expanded, Kuang Shihan must make his full effort. What if Qiu Jinglan began the war at that time? Kuang Shihan stole the military power of the Western Army in those years. He took advantage of the fact that after the defeat of General Ruan, the western savages pressed really hard and the army of Ruan and Qiu had no time to fight with him.
If they framed Beihu, it meant that Darui would have war with two alien nations at the same in two different places. Even if Darui was rich now, it would be too risky.
Once they claimed war to Beihu, the status of the Northern Army would be higher. Then the Jiang Family would have more discourse power. How could Empress Dowager Gu agree that?
Empress Dowager’s party didn’t want the alien nation to get involved, neither did the Empress’ party.
Empress Dowager’s party was afraid that if the war with the western savages was expanded, this would give Qiu Jinglan more opportunities. And the Empress’ party was afraid that it would be hard to kill Kuang Shihan if the war with the western savages became hard. After all, Qiu Jinglan was too young and had never been in the army. They didn’t expect him to continue to bear the responsibility of Kuang Shihan after he trapped him. The Empress’ party hadn’t planned this far yet.
If Qiu Jinglan killed Kuang Shihan, he was a great help.
But would the Empress’ party be happy this way? No. At present, except for Jiang Yashuang’s plan to hand over the Western Army to his elder brother-in-law to ensure that his own house would occupy the majority of interests, the general view of the Jiang Family was that the Northern Army was theirs and the Western Army should also be theirs.
As for claiming war to Beihu, the Jiang Family wouldn’t agree. It was easy to say began a war in the court. If the war began, the Northern Army must be the main force. Such a sudden war was the revenge for the monarch, but they didn’t have time to prepare for this. Beihu’s army was quick and fierce. If Darui began the war in a hurry, it would be so hard to win, which meant the power of the Jiang Family would be weakened.
Qiu Yelan sighed after heard Jiang Yashuang’s explanation. She said, “No wonder things go like this. But it can’t be delayed all the time. If there is no explanation after the Lantern Festival, how can they explain it to people?”