180 Chapter 180 We Are Your Family As Well
Inside the imperial study, the atmosphere is solemn. The sixth prince and interim emperor, Feng Jun Ying, the third prince Feng Jun Yan, fourth prince Feng Jun Yao and Advisor Xu Yichen sat silently with grave expressions. The teacup in front of them remain full even after a long time. The servants couldn't count how many time they changed the cooled down tea with a newly boiled one, only to be ignored by their masters.
"It was Right Prime Minister Han who spread those rumors, right?" Feng Jun Yao voice laced with hostility broke the silence of the room.
But Feng Jun Ying dispelled the possibility. "I doubt it. Although he is suspicious of me, he wouldn't want to cause a commotion that could threaten the peace of Gonglu. After all, he isn't loyal to emperor brother but towards the country. He cared about emperor brother only because he acknowledges him as the rightful emperor." He explained.
"The servants and imperial doctors were already interrogated. And one of the servants admitted that it slipped out of her tongue and gossiped. Then it spread like a wildfire." Xu Yichen informed. "She's already punished by flogging to death and her family were thrown out of the capital. But as for the rumors, I'm afraid it was too late to conceal it.""The pressing matter right now is the dissatisfaction of the citizens and those opportunist ministers. But no matter what action we do, sixth brother will still gain a bad reputation. And although it is hard to admit, the possibility of rebellion is apparent." Third prince, Feng Jun Yan said in a troubled tone. Right at this moment, a eunuch stepped inside the imperial study to make an announcement. "Your majesty, his highness the fifth prince requests audience." With this announcement, the people in the room had a bad premonition.
The fifth prince was awfully quiet even after the death of his mother and their second brother. He was even obedient and diligent in every task that their emperor brother gave him. But despite these facts, they are still guarded around him. So with the current problem about the throne that the imperial family is facing, they can't help but raise suspicions.Entering the imperial study, the fifth prince Feng Jun Yun's expression is serious. No one could tell what he is thinking. Whether he has good or bad intentions, they have to wait and listen to whatever he wants to say to figure out. "Greetings your majesty, brothers." He greeted with a small bow while cupping his fist. Being also a part of the imperial family, this gesture is acceptable as greetings.
"Fifth brother, what brought you here?" Feng Jun Ying asked respectfully. Then he gestured the servant to serve him some tea.
Feng Jun Yun received the tea and lightly sipped. His face remained serious with a slight troubled look. After quite some time, he finally started. "I want to offer a proposition." He said looking straight into Feng Jun Ying's eyes. "Let me sit on the throne as the interim emperor." He followed in a straightforward manner.
The men's eyes in the room widened with Feng Jun Yun's words. Obviously startled and unwilling. And being the most straightforward among them, the fourth prince Feng Jun Yao darkly spoke unbridled. "Turns out fifth brother cannot wait to take advantage of the current situation to finally grab the throne. Where in the hands of heavens did you find the thought that you can casually ask for the throne and get it?!"
The others remain silent but gave Feng Jun Yun a disapproving and hostile gaze showing that they have the same thought as the fourth prince.
Seeing this, Feng Jun Yun isn't offended. And with a humble and benevolent air, he reasoned. "You misunderstood me brothers. As you can see, the ministers who were adamant to kick sixth brother out of the throne are second brother's people. Now that he is gone, they pass the torch on this prince instead. Why not give them what they want?"
The men didn't find Feng Jun Yun's words reasonable. "Your highness, this subject cannot see your point. Is your highness saying that since the ministers asked, his majesty should yield? His majesty is the emperor! His majesty is above all others. His word is the law." Xu Yichen sternly said.
"But the real and rightful emperor is still alive." Feng Jun Yun righteously refuted rendering the men speechless. "Emperor brother's decree stated that sixth brother will succeed him when he is no longer fit for the throne. But right now, although he is immobile, emperor brother still has a chance to recover and take back the throne.
So no matter who is the emperor now, it will eventually return to its rightful owner once emperor brother wakes up. But with the current scandals and rumors, the throne is in danger. We cannot assure that the other noble families wouldn't rebel and try to take the power from our Feng family due to dissatisfaction.
With this prince sitting on the throne, it will appease the citizen's call for justice and make a pretense of harmony in the court. And since sixth brother is innocent, even when we stage a show of investigating the emperor's assassination attempt, sixth brother won't be harmed. Then once emperor brother wakes up, he can clear sixth brother's name." Feng Jun Yun systematically laid his plan.
Hearing this, the room descended to another period of silence. The men are obviously trying to consider Feng Jun Yun's proposition. Even the fourth prince cannot find fault to their fifth brother's plan. Just the thought of yielding to the opposition's ministers left a bitter taste in their pride. "How can we be assured that fifth brother has a righteous intention? Once you are in the throne, what if you kill emperor brother and sixth brother then take the throne? No offense but, you are your mother's son and second brother's full blood brother. An apple won't bear a plum fruit after all. And everyone could see how much you worked hard to be on par of emperor brother in terms of intelligence and martial arts." Third prince Feng Jun Yan calmly said but his words are heavy and accusing.
Feng Jun Yun's expression slightly faltered and showed a rare sadness. His brothers were surprise to see their fifth brother like this. Most of the time, he was nonchalant and acts as if nothing in this world concerns him. And even though he openly shows his brilliance and competence, he never showed interest in power.
"I never wanted to compete against emperor brother. I also admit that I could never surpass him, be it natural talent and luck. I was working hard to prove myself in my mother eyes. I cannot accept that they are giving their support and expectations on that stupid and incompetent second brother.
They never once acknowledge me even though I am much better that him in every way. He got everything just because he was first born and was made intentionally. Unlike me who is just a result of my mother's jealousy and father's appeasing. If fourth brother wasn't conceived, I would never exist." Feng Jun Yun gave himself a mocking smile.
Feng Jun Yun then looked at his brothers. "Since my mother and brother are gone, I no longer have a desire to compete and prove myself. And since I have no family left, I decided to devote myself for the country instead. So I hope you all will trust me just this once."
Feng Jun Yun's confession stirred the heart of his brothers and Xu Yichen. Even the servants who were pretending not to listen cannot hold back their tears. They can't help but find the fifth prince pitiful. He clearly exists and shines brightly. But the people closest to him neglected his existence.
Feng Jun Ying also let his guard down and poured a new cup of tea towards his fifth brother. "Then, I will have to trouble fifth brother. With your intelligence second only to emperor brother, I hope we can keep this country together until emperor brother returns. Also, we are your family as well."
Gaining his brothers' trust, Feng Jun Yun showed a determined yet gentle expression. No one noticed the crafty glint flashing in his eyes that disappeared in an instant.