Days later, within the Royal Court of the Song Capital!
Seated on the Royal Throne with a crown mounted on his head, was the King of the Great Song Kingdom, whose freckled pale face, despite the lack of youth, the Song King’s eyes seemed very spirited as they stared at the Royal Court Court!
The Royal Court Hearing was currently in attendance by civil and military officials, gathered parallel of each other. Positioned at the center, were two figures who were being gazed at blankly by two leading Officials along with the remainder of the court.
One of the figures in the center was Gao Xianzhi, whose expression was cold as he respectfully waited for a Decree.
The second figure, standing beside Gao Xianzhi was the Royal Grandson, Song Zhengxi, that was recently acting notoriously throughout the Capital! Except, his body was shivering while glaring at Gao Xianzhi.
“Your Royal Majesty, this subordinate has already investigated, I have also already submitted a report to His Majesty as well as the Royal Court, with the findings of fifteen families vanishing. Although the evidence of this does not specifically point towards the Royal Grandson. However, there are sufficient pieces of evidence showcasing that the Royal Grandson’s gang was responsible for the slaughter of General Lin Chong’s family and village. In order to maintain the morale of the army, I beseech your Royal Majesty to uphold justice through the punishment of the Royal Grandson!” Gao Xianzhi shouted clearly once again.
Silence reigned within the great hall of the Royal Palace as the Court Officials gazed at Gao Xianzhi, with a wave of different expressions; which included both admiration and resentment.
Song Zhengxi angrily reacted: “Gao Xianzhi, how dare you attempt to execute me? Based on your statements? Would you rather offend me for those lowly citizens? I only acted in self-defense!
“Your Royal Highness, is there any meaning behind this quibbling? Currently, the morale of Song Kingdoms 800 thousand soldiers depends on your life and death. It would be ‘Just’ for Your Royal Highness to take responsibility for crimes committed!”
“You! You are courting death!” Song Zhengxi was about to raise his hand against Gao Xianzhi.
“Imprudent!” The Song King shouted coldly.
Song Zhengxi halted and faced the King.
“Royal Grandfather, Gao Xianzhi wants to murder me, I am well aware that Royal Grandfather has established severe punishment to appease the army. However, it was way before Royal Grandfather had issued the decree. Also, after the decree issued by Royal Grandfather, I have never left the palace!” Song Zhengxi anxiously pleaded.
At this juncture, one of the officials spoke “Your Royal Majesty, his Royal Grandson must have been framed by his unruly subordinates due to his youth and ignorance. It is my belief that the chief instigator, along with the remainder of his Royal Grandsons subordinates be executed publicly. As for the Royal Grandson, to serve as an example for all, his title should be removed and he should be sentenced to the dungeons!
Song Zhengxi gazed while frowning, but didn’t reject their actions, as he was aware that this course of action protected his life.
“This Official votes in favor!”
“This Official also votes in favor!”
In a short period of time, many Officials began pleading mercy on behalf of the Royal Grandson.
This seemed like the best solution at hand.
On the throne, the Song King was gazing at Song Zhengxi with a trace of affection, which prevented him from Decreeing an execution.
The King seemed to be in agreement with the Officials over the proposed manners of punishment towards the Royal Grandson as his head inclined slightly in a nod.
Gao Xianzhi’s complexion changed and stated once again: “Your Royal Majesty, let me implore your majesty for the last time, our current opponent is Gu Hai. All those decades ago, the Chen Kingdom swept throughout the seven kingdoms and even managed to vanquish two was not because of Chen Taiji’s abilities; he simply didn’t have such intricate abilities. It was none other than Gu Hai who was manipulating everything from behind. This servant has already achieved everything my power for the Great Song, however, the results from now on will be decided, only the Heavens.
After Gao Xianzhi spoke, the Song King’s pupils constricted and faces of the two leaders of the opposing court factions became ashen.
A senior official promptly began talking “Your Royal Majesty, the Kingdom has its laws, while the Military has their rules, by exonerating the Royal Grandson, would the soldiers continue protecting the Kingdom? This servant requests that the Royal Grandson be executed! The quicker the better! Not only would the Kingdom’s laws be upheld, the morale of the army would be uplifted.
“Royal Tutor Pang! You…” the Royal Grandson immediately glared in anger.
Another senior official said as his complexion changed “Your Royal Majesty, the execution of the Royal Grandson could only be regarded as his own making, sparing this Royal life would only pacify the court however at the result of destabilizing the Kingdom. The calamity of the past isn’t cannot be allowed to recur to the Song Kingdom. I beseech your Royal Majesty to strengthen the national prestige, by carrying out punishment according to the Law, for the sake of Song Kingdom!
“Prime Minister Liu! You…” The Royal Grandson reacted in shock.
After Royal Tutor Pang and Prime Minister Liu statements, the Court Officials that were voted in favor of protecting the Royal Grandson suppressed their opinions.
Song Zengxi directly knelt down “Royal Grandfather, I am begging it wasn’t my doing, these crimes don’t deserve execution, please save me, it wasn’t my doing. Royal Grandfather, this Gao Xianzhi instead of leading the army at the front lines, he returned to the Capital to meddle in politics…!”
As the Song King sat on the Royal Throne gazing at the Royal Grandson, his fist clenched and the look of affection slowly disappeared, unfortunately not many were aware of terror called Gu Hai. Recollecting, the events from the past, about the time when the Song Kingdom was nearly eradicated and his Royal self-had to beg the Immortal Sects, which concluded the Secular World’s wars. Those times were relentless and impossible to defend.
He didn’t lack descendants, however, there was only one Song Kingdom.
“Execute!” The Song King coldly shouted.
“Royal Grandfather! Royal Grandfather…!”
Despite the Royal Grandson’s frightening howls, the dragging of expressionless guards was all that awaited him.
Song Capital, the entrance of the largest market.
At this instance, the entranceway was surrounded by countless citizens. As an event that would have been impossible was about to occur. The Royal Grandson was going to be executed.
“General Gao! Look, that’s General Gao!”
“Very good! All thanks to the General this villain Song Zhengxi who has harmed countless civilian women is going to die, he deserves to die!”
“Look, its villain Song Zhengxi, it’s really himself, as well as his gang, this is tremendous! hahahaha!”
Very soon, the entrance of the market was filled with people, of which most were dancing with joy while the remainder applauding.
The Chief Magistrate of the court, seated on the northern side of an execution platform. Which was occupied by thirty executioners, awaiting the execution.
Towards the southern direction of the platform stood Gao Xianzhi accompanied by Lin Chong and a group of soldiers, followed by countless civilians.
At the eastern side of the platform was a group of guards, that were responsible for the escorting of the Royal Grandson Song Zhenxi and his group of followers.
All of them were frightened beyond belief, showcased by their disheveled hair.
“Royal Grandfather, please spare me! Royal Grandfather, don’t kill me!” Song Zhengxi kept crying, however, due to the noisy surroundings, his cries did not reach far.
“Royal Father! Where are you? Royal Father! Your son is going to be executed! Royal Father! Royal Father!” Song Zhengxi was quaking in fear as he cried.
“Your Royal Highness, what are we going to do? What should we do? Boohoo….! We don’t want to die!” The gang members cried aloud.
“You can’t kill me, I am the Royal Grandson, my Royal Father is the future King, in the future, I will become the Crown Prince, boohoo…!” Song Zhengxi howled in fright.
“Gag their mouths!” the Chief Magistrate coldly ordered.
“Yes, sir!” the guards replied.
Following that, Song Zhengxi and his gang were quickly gagged.
“Wu! Wu! Wu! Wu! Wu!” With their mouths gagged, they could only produce muffled noises.
Soon afterward, a black cloth bag covered their heads.
“Wu! Wu! Wu! Wu! Wu!”. Along with having cloth bags over their heads, they could only anxiously whimper.
“Bring them onto the execution platform!” the Chief Magistrate ordered loudly.
The guards escorted the group of criminals in a single line, towards the northern side of the execution platform. The crowd gazed at this extensive line of criminals, mostly hidden along from view, with few exceptions.
The thirty criminal slowly made their way onto the platform.
Each of the criminals received a kick towards the back of their knees from the guards, causing all of them to kneel.
Lin Chong’s eyes were crimson and his fists were tightly clenched as he gazed at the figure of the Royal Grandson Song Zengxi.
The Chief Magistrate looked towards the skies.
“It is 45 minutes past noon, begin the execution!” the Chief Magistrate threw out the command tablet with the execution character engraved upon it.
The executioners all spat mouthfuls of wine onto the execution blades.
Each blade loudly whizzed down, followed by thirty heads flying off from thirty bodies.
Fresh blood erupted about a meter height, splashing the entire platform in blood.
“Hua!” the countless citizens were in an uproar.
That was the Royal Grandson! And just like that, he was executed?
“Xiao Die, vengeance has been served, however, your husband has let you down!” Lin Chong suddenly went limp and kept sobbing.
“My lord!” a soldier supported Lin Chong.
Gao Xianzhi just looked at the soldiers and said: “you have clearly seen for yourselves and understood, aside from Lin Chong, you’re missing families had nothing to do with his Royal Highness Song Zhengxi, it was all a ruse by Gu Hai! We have inspected the Royal Grandson’s manor, and there was no sign of any of your families, do you believe me now?”
The crimson eyed group of soldiers nodded their heads.
“General, we believe you!”
“It is Gu Hai. General, aside from Sir Lin’s family it’s all that Gu Hai’s doing. ”
“General, this subordinate will bravely march forth on the front lines, for sure!”
The group of soldiers immediately answered with promises.
“Good, rest for the remainder of the afternoon, we shall depart for the front lines in the evening. Let’s make it clear to all of our fellow brothers, that it was Gu Hai plotting! In Order to repay his Royal Majesty we need to summon all of our energies and conquer the Tiger Cage Pass.” Gao Xianzhi said confidently.
“Yes, sir! Everyone replied.
“Many thanks, General! Many thanks, General!” Lin Chong kept knocking his head against the ground towards Gao Xianzhi.
“Lin Chong, get some rest afterward let us return!!” Gao Xianzhi said in a low voice.
“Yes sir, General has helped me gain vengeance, this life of mine belongs to the General, even if I were to die, it will be on the battlefield!” Lin Chong’s eyes were red as he thanked Gao Xianzhi.
Gao Xianzhi nodded his head.
In order to create a boost of morale, Lin Chong needed to return and let everyone be aware that Military Rules are immovable as a mountain, and all that was required was for himself to execute the Royal Grandson. From now on, regardless of their identity, no one would dare and try to harm the families of the soldiers.
It was within Gao Xianzhi’s belief that, the death of the Royal Grandson was the simplest manner of convincing the soldiers, at least this way, all of them would understand even the Royal family would be punished if they dared to harm their families. Regardless of the number of lies Gu Hai had fabricated, all of it would be pointless.
Gao Xianzhi was at peak of his state, it was all due, to the fact that when he returned, his soldiers would be united. The execution of the Royal Grandson could cause the army morale and unity to heighten, which would gain them a burst energy that would bring down Tiger Cage Pass.
What he needed now, was to be fast! Fast!
In the evening, Gao Xianzhi brought his group of soldiers and headed towards Tiger Cage Pass.
The execution platform at the market entrance was very quiet at night. Although it was very lively during the day, it was dead silent at night.
After all, there were many people who died here, who would dare to come at night?
However, at this instance, someone approached.
It was the Chief Magistrate from the execution during the day, beside him was a man dressed in black, it was Gu Hai, the man that caused Gao Xianzhi’s headaches. Beside them was a horse carriage.
“You are…!” the Chief Magistrate stammered as he asked.
“The Crown Prince sent me, it’s never good to know too much!” Gu Hai said casually.
“Indeed! I won’t asking anything, I’m not going to ask, after seeing that letter you showed me, I believe you. After all, the Royal grandson is the apple of the King and Crown Prince’s eyes, how could they just decided to execute him after a mere day?” The Chief Magistrate laughed immediately.
“Get your subordinates to shut up about this matter, if anyone dares to cause any leaks, they would be charged with treason!” Gu Hai said solemnly.
The chief magistrate quivered and immediately nodded his head with all his might: “I understand, I understand, these are my trusted aides, there is no need to worry!”
At this moment, Gu Hai lightly tapped on the execution platform.
Suddenly, a small door, at the northern side of the execution platform opened.
“Wu! Wu! Wu! Wu!” There were muffled cries coming from the inside.
Surprisingly, there a person inside who was bringing a criminal out.
“My Lord, per your orders, when the Royal Grandson approached, we exchanged him with a death row inmate. The one executed was the inmate, while the Royal Grandson lives!” smiled the man.
When Gu Hai lowered his head, he noticed that Song Zhengxi’s trousers were dripping with urine, which indicated his fright.
The man removed the black cloth bag from Song Zhengxi’s head.
“Wu! Wu! Wu!” Song Zhengxi gazed at Gu Hai in shock.
After he was ungagged, Song Zhengxi immediately asked in fright: “I didn’t die? I’m still alive? I actually didn’t die?”
Gu Hai just smiled and said, “Wow would Lord Gao dare to execute your Royal Highness, the future Monarch. This was just a ruse, which would be sorted out, once the Chen Kingdom was vanquished.
“Ah? Lord Gao saved me? Which Lord Gao?” Song Zhengxi asked in confusion.
“General Gao Xianzhi!” Gu Hai smiled.