“No, that head is real. That really is the emperor’s head!” answered Ye Lang after inspecting it with his telescope. Unfortunately, it was a reality. 

Everyone was in shock at the turn of events. They finally understood that the eighth princess wanted to overthrow her father and have the throne to herself. No one expected her to be so cruel and unforgiving towards her father; no one could fathom the fact that she had murdered the emperor! 

To her, it was natural to kill the emperor if the intention was to overthrow him and secure the throne for herself. At least the eighth princess was straightforward with it. 

Everyone was evidently upset by it. It was too sudden! The emperor was just giving his speech not too long ago but now he was decapitated and paraded around on a tray! 

“Why did you kill him?! The emperor is your father! Even if you wanted the throne, you had absolutely no reason to kill him!” roared Ye Chengtian in absolute rage. He and the emperor had come a long way together, they weren’t just friends, they were practically brothers! 

Ye Chengtian had absolute trust in the emperor, therefore he hadn’t even thought of the emperor being the suspect earlier on. 

“He told me there was no way for me to become the emperor unless he died. Now, he’s dead! So that means the throne is mine,” explained Zhao Yarou, a smile pulling at the corner of her lips. It was freakishly ominous.

Could the emperor’s death be equal to an agreement? Could it really be interpreted that way?

Everyone felt like that wasn’t the case, it was merely a vehement rejection from the emperor! 

But there was an odd one out of the crowd who thought the girl had simply met the criteria and that person was none other than Ye Lang! 

“Is that so? If that’s the case then you’re really the new emperor. The emperor should’ve said he wouldn’t give you the throne even if he dies!” 

“...Wait, hold on, why would he say such a thing? Unless… you were trying to overthrow him and you pressured him into saying that?” Ye Lang belatedly realized. 

“...” another deafening silence from the crowd. Wow, Ye Lang really was slow! Wasn’t it blatantly obvious?! 

“Ye Lang, sometimes you’re smarter than everyone but sometimes you’re so damn slow. Even an idiot could figure it out… And you’ve only just realized it?!” mocked Zhao Yarou, sending a sharp glare at Ye Lang. 

“Ah, I understand now! You decided to poison us with the Seven Day Death to ensure compliance from us!” another belated realization from Ye Lang. 

“We… talked about this just a while ago, there’s no need for you to repeat it…” said Zhao Yarou. 

“Really? We’ve discussed this already? What was the conclusion?” 

“Well, the conclusion will be determined now. Give it a thought, everyone. Now, I’m in control of the entire capital and the palace and it’s all thanks to everyone. If I am to be confirmed as your emperor, you can choose to pledge your loyalty to me or succumb to death!” offered Zhao Yarou as she scanned the people beneath her, inspecting their reactions. 

“If we pledge our loyalty, we’ll survive? Is that what you meant by restoring our former glory?” asked Ye Lang. 

“Yes, absolutely. By obeying me, I shall guarantee that everything will remain the same for you under my reign!” nodded Zhao Yarou, still staring at the worried people beneath her. 

To pledge their loyalty to the new emperor and live? Or to maintain their loyalty to the late emperor but die? That was the dilemma plaguing their minds. 

It wouldn’t be weird for the majority to go with the former option, but everyone was waiting for someone to say something so they wouldn’t risk getting hate from the others. The former royal subjects and aristocrats were doing just that. However, they didn’t have to wait long for someone had decided to give their answer in a jiffy and that person was none other than Ye Lang! However… 

“I choose to pledge my loyalty to you!” 

His quick answer and straightforwardness had everyone’s jaw on the ground, especially Zhao Yarou’s. She wasn’t expecting him to even consider that option! 

Not that she felt that his loyalty was of no value, but there was no way the Ye Family especially the elders like Ye Yi and Ye Chengtian would agree to it so easily. 

“You bastard! How could you be so incompetent, pledging your loyalty to her so easily! Sorry, everyone, my son is not right in his mind today, he hadn’t thought this through! Please ignore him!” Long Anqi quickly smacked her son in the head in absolute horror. 

“Mother, I’m sure about my choice. If we don’t do that now, we’ll die!” defended Ye Lang sternly. 

“We have a lot of people on our side. Worse come to worse, we’ll just need to fight them!” said Long Anqi passionately. 

“No, we wouldn’t stand a chance, we’re poisoned… Hey, hold on. You said some of our family members weren’t poisoned, that means there’s still a chance!” something clicked in Ye Lang’s mind. Since he and Zhen Xiaoyan had caused a scene earlier, many of his family members hadn’t touched the poisoned dishes. 

Simply put, many of the Ye Family’s most skilful warriors were spared from the poison, including the patriarch, Ye Yi. The old man was always slow to dig in when it came to dining. 

“Hmm… maybe it won’t work for now. Since I ate this before, there’s definitely a way for me to formulate the antidote!” claimed Ye Lang after giving it some thought. 

“You know how to remove the poison? Didn’t you just mentioned that only the person who poisoned everyone would have the antidote?” questioned Ye Lanyu. 

“Well, the keyword was normally, there are still exceptions to the scenario,” answered Ye Lang with a shrug. 

“You know how to remove it?” asked Zhao Yarou, still standing proud on the tall palace walls. 

“Yeah, I have an idea, but I can’t do anything now because my space ring is inaccessible now. Usage of magic elements has been deactivated within the parameters by you and even if we weren’t poisoned, we can’t use our douqi and magical powers too!” concluded Ye Lang calmly all while staring at Zhao Yarou. 

“You’re absolutely correct. When you’re smart, you’re exceptionally intelligent. Of course, I wouldn’t just rely on poison alone without a backup plan. All the Deactivation Formations nearby have been activated. You’re now just regular citizens at my mercy!” spat Zhao Yarou icily. 

There were many skilful people at the venue. Even if Zhao Yarou’s people decided to surround them, they would be difficult opponents but now none of that mattered with the Deactivation Formation. Everyone was equally at risk! 

Ye Chengtian’s expression darkened upon hearing the situation. He was aware that these formations were made for the palace’s security to prevent break-ins, but that would also mean he knew its coverage and weaknesses!  

“Say, Ye Lang. How did you know?” a question from Zhao Yarou out of pure curiosity. 

“Oh, I wanted to shoot you to death with my bazooka while you weren’t paying attention!” answered Ye Lang honestly, his tone had a hint of disappointment. 

Upon hearing that, everyone fell silent. They turned to look at Ye Lang, suddenly fearing the boy. He definitely didn’t give any thoughts to surrounding innocent banquet attendees and would most definitely go with his plan if it was accessible at that time. 

“If it weren’t for the Deactivation Formations, would Zhao Yarou still be alive?” pondered everyone else. The thought sent chills down their spine.