Published at 4th of July 2019 02:37:53 PM
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Chapter 52

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Only after His Majesty had left The Heavenly Hall, did the other members of the Imperial clan talked to each other .

One of the younger prince's piped up, "His Majesty, didn't give any response about The Devil Snare Army . Does that mean it will be their necks on the chopping board as soon as they enter the Capital in a few days?"

"His Majesty, might not do away with them completely or even take anyone's life . He has just started governance so he may just retrieve the military tally from Unit Commander and integrate The Devil Snare Army into The Imperial Army, " another Imperial relative replied .

"What is your opinion on this, Prince Xi?" asked the same person .

At his question, everyone turned towards Prince Xi, the First Prince .

When the Late Emperor was still alive, everyone had been of the mind that the First Prince would be the next monarch . Though Prince Xi wasn't the blood and flesh of the empress and hadn't crawled out of her womb, he was the firstborn child of the late emperor and had been the apple of his father's eye since childhood .

The First Prince, Prince Xi smiled coldly at everyone present at being put on the spot .

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It was just dogs biting each other and he didn't want to be a part of it . Rather he much preferred to sit on a hill and watch them fight .

Thinking up to here, Prince Xi gave everyone another beguiling smile and replied, "I don't dare fathom His Majesty's thoughts . Pardon me, everyone, it's getting late . I need to leave . "

Finishing his words, Prince Xi didn't wait for anyone's response and separated from them .

Moreover, the current emperor was the one and only child of the empress, now empress dowager . The monarch was then addressed as The Second Prince since he had been born after Prince Xi .

When The Second Prince, Prince Xing had been sent as a hostage, Prince Xi, had felt that his path to the throne was clear . After all, how many hostages returned to conquer the throne?

Only during the last sprint towards his goal had Prince Xi stumbled upon the roadblock his father emperor had placed down in his path . Father Emperor had written and passed down the decree in the full assembly court that the next heir to the throne would be the then Second Prince whom no one had heard about or from in a decade .

No one - neither the imperial clan members nor the harem members from the four Noble Consorts to the lowest rung Cairens had expected such a decree .

Even the foxy ministers who had spent their entire lives in the murky waters of court politics hadn't thought that the prince sent far away as hostage could be a viable option as the next heir to the throne .

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Prince Xi had then realised that though he was the First Prince, he wasn't the legal son .

He had also realised that though he was the apple of his father emperor's eye, he wasn't his choice for the next monarch .

The shockwaves of that abrupt and final decision by the then monarch had sent tremors throughout the country . Moreover, as the edict had been made and read out in front of a large assembly of court ministers, it didn't leave Prince Xi any leeway to turn things around in his favour .

His Consort Mother had suggested sending shadow assassins so as not to let that person cross the border in one piece . But all their planning and plotting had turned to ashes when Prince Xing had arrived at the Imperial Palace gates on the eve of father emperor's death .

Even if someone had wanted to make a show out of proving or doubting his identity, it had been rendered mute since the first thing Prince Xing showed everyone was his jade thumb ring and the accompanying Yaopei (waist ornament) .

It was only at that point, Prince Xi came to a horrible realisation .

He realised the difference between himself and Prince Xing .

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He was the heir presumptive but Prince Xing was the heir apparent .

As an heir presumptive, though he was entitled to the throne, his position could be displaced by the heir apparent who had a better claim to that seat of power .

As an heir apparent, Prince Xing was first in the line of succession and couldn't be displaced from inheriting his birthright, except by death or an Imperial edict .

At present, it seemed almost impossible for Prince Xi to ascend to the throne . Since if anything happened to His Majesty after he had taken control over the country, the foremost person under suspicion would be The First Prince .

Even if his hands were clean, he wouldn't be able to rid himself of the tag of kin slayer all his life and Prince Xi didn't want such a title attached to his name .

Prince Xi really felt that he had been born under a cursed star .

His fate was really wretched .

But then there was someone else who was even more ill-fated and miserable than him .

At least, he had his riches and position as well as his life until he took overt steps to confront his sovereign .

The other person might not even be alive until next year to lament at his hard luck .

It was none other than The Unit Commander of The Devil Snare Army .

The one and only Ning Fu .

Prince Xi could very well imagine how everyone was anticipating an interesting and spectacular show between His Majesty and The Unit Commander .

Thinking up to here, Prince Xi flicked his sleeves and left The Imperial Palace .

Meanwhile, what were the two individuals whom Prince Xi was obsessively pondering about up to at the moment?

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