Chapter 8: Watching from the Side

Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations

The watchtower.

It stood in the northeast corner, three stories high, and overlooked the Sky Prison from above.

According to the rules set by the Imperial Court, the watchtower was to be guarded by prison guards day and night to prevent martial arts experts from sneaking in or escaping.

Now that the defenses were lax, most of the prison guards were slacking off. Naturally, no one else went to the watchtower.

Zhou Yi opened the iron door of the watchtower and walked up the narrow stairs to the top. There, he discovered a figure standing on top of it.

“Why are you here, Warden Lei?”

“Watch the show!”

Warden Lei inclined his head, looking toward the palace.

Torch lights connected into lines, extremely conspicuous in the dark night. Faint shouts echoed in the night sky.

Zhou Yi pretended to be shocked. “Someone is leading troops to attack the palace. Are they rebelling?”

“Don’t hide your abilities in front of me.”

Warden Lei said bluntly, “That’s Prime Minister Long leading troops to attack the west gate of the palace. The leader is the commander of the Five Cities Division, accompanied by the three major gangs in the capital and the ten martial arts schools.”

The Five Cities Division was responsible for guarding the inner city of the Divine Capital and patrolling the 108 market cities.

The three major gangs, the Green Wolf Gang, the Flying Eagle Gang, and the Golden Sand Gang, respectively controlled the brothels, gambling stalls, and horse carriages. Their subordinates numbered in the thousands.

The ten martial arts schools seemed to have the least number of people, but they were all martial arts experts. They were most suitable to lead the attack.

Zhou Yi muttered, “There are at least 30,000 to 50,000 people here, and the palace guards are only three to four thousand. Is the dynasty going to change today?”

Mr. Long had been the prime minister for thirty years. Almost all the officials in the Imperial Court were his people. There were also many trusted aides in the army. The local state capitals were filled with officials from the “Long Party”.

By breaching the palace tonight and seizing control of the capital and the surroundings, it would be possible to overthrow the government.

He could choose a young ruler to ascend the throne, and the Prime Minister Long would continue to control the government.

Those who were more radical would directly call themselves officials of the Long Party and carry out a stable transition in the kingdom.

“The Prime Minister may well have fallen into the emperor’s trap!”

Warden Lei shook his head. “A few days ago, the Prime Minister said that the emperor’s health was fine and that he could live at least another three or four years…”

“Did the emperor fake his death?”

Zhou Yi raised his eyebrows. This damned emperor no longer cared about his reputation. It was possible that he was pretending to be dead in order to trick Prime Minister Long.

“The emperor has not been to court for thirty-six years. Prime Minister Long has all the power in the court and his influence is spread throughout the palace. You really think something like that could get past him?”

Warden Lei pointed in the direction of the south gate of the palace. “The deputy commander of the Uniformed Guard tried to attack the south gate from the inside, but he fell into a trap and is fighting with his colleagues.”

The Uniformed Guard was the emperor’s personal army. The deputy commander was actually rebelling against Long!

Zhou Yi felt a little happy in his heart. The emperor had been abandoned by everyone. It must not be a very good feeling.

Warden Lei said, “This morning, Prime Minister Long confirmed that the emperor really was dead. He left an edict to pass on the throne to His Highness, the King of Qin. In a hurry, he summoned his troops to attack the palace.”

After the failed rebellion of the former crown prince, Emperor Chongming never appointed a crown prince. The King of Qin was the third son.

Zhou Yi clicked his tongue and said, “So, he didn’t select either of his sons as his heir to the throne. It would seem the emperor expected this day to come?”

Warden Lei took a moment to praise Zhou Yi. “You’re the only smart person in Sky Prison.”

“You’re too kind. I like to go to the brothel on a daily basis. I listen to the storytellers there about history, that’s all.”

The storyteller Zhou Yi was talking about was a woman named Niaoniao. She was the most popular courtesan in Spring Breeze Tower recently.

“When I was young, I also hung around. Every day, my mother scolded me for insulting my ancestors and embarrassing the Lei family. Later, I realized that a man should make contributions to society, so I joined Prime Minister Long. In less than ten years, I was in charge of the Sky Prison.”

Warden Lei muttered, “If I can spend my days eating, drinking, and gambling as the head of Sky Prison, perhaps… I can avoid having my family killed!”

When Zhou Yi heard the first half of the sentence, he took a few steps back imperceptibly and pressed his palm against the cloth bag at his waist.

The cloth bag was filled with lime powder mixed with poison, the recipe for which he had picked up from a certain death row prisoner. If any top martial arts expert smelled it, most of their strength would be lost.

“Kid, you’re too sneaky. I’ve been honest with you, but you’re always on guard!”

Warden Lei went on, “With such a cautious personality, no wonder he refused to be promoted no matter what.”

“We’re stupid by nature. We don’t understand the calculations of powerful people. We might as well stay working as prison guards.”

Zhou Yi smiled and said, “When we’re old, we’ll pass the position to our sons, and our sons to our grandsons. Our children and grandchildren will all have a cradle-to-grave job. No matter who’s in charge of the palace, they won’t starve!”

“Now that’s smart thinking!”

Warden Lei said slowly, “It wasn’t a message from the palace this morning, but from the butler of the Prime Minister Long. He ordered me to fake an order and lead the Sky Prison Forbidden Army to attack the Imperial City. At the same time, we were to open the cell doors and release all the prisoners to wreak havoc in the Divine Capital!”

“Sir, how did—”

Zhou Yi looked puzzled. Why had Warden Lei disobeyed Prime Minister Long’s orders?

On the surface, it seemed that Prime Minister Long had already gotten what he wanted. The change of dynasty was right in front of him. It would be easy to ride his coattails.

Moreover, Warden Lei had already relied on the power of Prime Minister Long to rise to power. Over the years, he had taken care of many of Long’s cronies.

The problem was, if Prime Minister Long fell, the new emperor would definitely not let Warden Lei off when he cleaned up the imperial court in the future.

Warden Lei looked in the direction of the capital. The light of the torches climbed up the city wall and quickly fell. The battle was visibly intense.

“I have a feeling that Prime Minister Long will lose to the emperor, so I disobeyed orders at the last minute and guarded the Sky Prison. As long as nothing goes awry in the prison, I can avoid having my entire family beheaded. We will simply be exiled instead.”

Zhou Yi said, “Master Lei, perhaps you can make a contribution by mobilizing the Imperial Guard and ambushing the Prime Minister from behind?”

“What if my premonition is wrong? Prime Minister Long has been operating for thirty years. He might not be inferior to the emperor after all!”

Warden Lei sighed. “When I was young, I would have fought for it. Now that I’m old, I can’t enjoy it even if I make great contributions.”

Zhou Yi secretly cursed this cunning old fox. As long as Warden Lei stabilized the Sky Prison, no matter who won, he would be able to escape unscathed.

He was about to continue speaking.

Just then⁠—

There was a distant rumble of hooves.

The ground of the Divine Capital trembled as countless black-armored cavalry emerged from various markets. They gathered together in an orderly manner and rushed towards the rebels who were attacking the palace.


A long whistle like a clap of thunder muffled even the sound of hooves.

Warden Lei said in surprise, “When did a martial arts grandmaster appear in the army? The emperor hid himself well. Prime Minister Long will definitely lose!”

“A martial arts grandmaster!”

Zhou Yi’s eyes lit up as he looked in the direction of the sound.

Unfortunately, they were too far away from the palace. There seemed to be a silver-armored general leading the charge through the formation.

The torches that were making their way into the palace stopped. There were imperial guards shooting arrows in front and martial arts grandmasters leading troops in the rear. It could be said that they were being attacked from both sides.

After a few charges back and forth, the cavalry had cut the rebels, who had been forced together by the three different forces, into several separate pieces.

The silver-armored general roared again. “Long has been executed. Those who surrender will not be killed!”

The rebels were leaderless and immediately broke apart.

Back on the watchtower.

When Zhou Yi heard this, he immediately smiled.

“Tomorrow, guests will come to the Sky Prison. Those who are wronged will take their revenge!!”

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