Your Majesty, Yuan Shikai has caused us problems! What do you mean? Ronglu returned from Tianjin and met Yuan Shikai. Since then, Yuan Shikai has closed his residence, refusing to receive anyone. I think that… he has betrayed you! Your Majesty! Your Majesty! Tell Tan Shitong and Kang Youwei that I thank them so much. Our plan can no longer be executed. And… I don’t want to see anyone crying. Tell them to flee at once. And you… I don’t want you to go. But… you can’t stay here anymore. Your Majesty! We’ve come this far. There’s still a chessman for us to move! What’s that piece? On the Moon Fest night, you shall visit the Summer Palace and view the moon together with the empress dowager. Her deputy chief guard, Cha Ertai, is loyal to you. That night, he will replace her guards with his men. Once you throw a cup as a signal, everything will… No way! – No way!
– Your Majesty! There’s no way I can do so! Ordering Yuan Shikai to storm the Summer Palace is already akin to a coup! Now, if we again resort to the use of arms, it will be nothing but homicide! Homicide… How could I inflict such a thing upon my mother? How could I?! Your Majesty! Your Majesty, I risk my life telling you. A critical time has now come. There’s no other way. At present, your court is full of the empress dowager’s men. Without any decisive action, she’ll never give in. If she still exists, the national reform won’t happen. If the reform won’t happen, the Great Qing Empire won’t move forwards! Your Majesty, there can be no delay. Your Majesty, many problems are besetting the Great Qing Empire. Without any prompt reform, our Geat Qing will go to wrack and ruin! Your Majesty… If that time comes, how will you face your ancestors in your afterlife? Between nation and parent, the nation must come first. A public officer must be loyal to his emperor. The emperor must be loyal to his nation and its people! One more thing… The love for a parent is of various aspects. Being grateful to the ten previous emperors of Great Qing is better than being grateful to the empress dowager! My Lord, this is deemed the greatest gratefulness! Step back, step back! Step back, step back! Step back! Those in the front, step back! Step back, step back! Greetings, Commander Cha. Lord Cha, what are you doing here? It’s the Moon Fest. Lord Zaiyi told me to guard Her Majesty, replacing your men in advance. But… But what? You’re defying my order?! I daren’t do so. Then please work hard. We’ll leave. Retreat! – Invite Lord Liang here.
– Sir! Commander Cha, I’m here now. Lord Liang. We have an hour at most. I know. I, Liang Wenxiu, hereby pay respect to my empress dowager and my emperor. Liang Wenxiu. It’s the Moon Fest. Why do you come here, instead of staying with your family? Ma’am, I’m waiting for His Majesty to return to his palace with me. Be relieved. After our Moon Fest banquet, I’ll give His Majesty Your Emperor back to you. Don’t you see? The moon has risen. What a strange atmosphere. They aren’t here to protect me. But their target is me. It seems as if they’re to execute their enterprise tonight. My my, Liang Wenxiu. I never thought you’d be this bold. Surely, I’ve belittled a student like you. Emperor. Why’s your hand so cold? Let’s go inside and pick up a cloak. Empress Consort. Here, Ma’am. No need to follow me. Enjoy the opera here. Ma’am. Lord Liang, we have no more time. – I’ll go and see.
– This… I, Liang Wenxiu, should like to inform the emperor. Allow me to inform the emperor. The moon has risen. Please go out to view it. Liang Wenxiu. You go out first. I’ll think about it later. Your Majesty! A great view can’t be seen so often.
A delay will ruin this good chance. I humbly beg you to go out and see the moon. Silence! Do I need to obey you even in moon viewing? Get out! Lord Liang, how’s it going? Our great enterprise tonight comes to naught. Lord Liang, you should flee now. Wide is the land. But I have no place to go. Lord Liang, it wouldn’t be so. As for tonight’s matter, His Majesty may survive. But you… Lord Liang… What are you… I’ll go nowhere. Alas! Lord Cha! Lord Cha! Lord Zaiyi is coming with his men! Lord Liang, you must flee right now! Lord Liang! Lord Liang, His Majesty grant you this private seal of Tong Dao Tang. He said he can’t see you again. In any case, you must flee. The farther you go, the safer you’ll be. This is His Majesty’s will. And it is his last command for you. My Lord. As we’ve gone this far, you should leave without delay. I’ll sacrifice my life. And I’m here bidding you farewell. Lord Liang, please go. As long as you’re alive, the national reform is hopeful. I’ll be here to protect His Majesty. You must go now! – Please go now!
– Please go now, Lord Liang! No, Zaiyi is coming that way. You should go this way. Go! Insolent traitors, be arrested! My Ancient Buddha, I, Zaiyi, come to save you too late! Your Majesty! Your Majesty! Your Majesty! I’m here! Your Majesty, please help me! What Majesty? Now he can’t even help himself. How can he help you? Your Majesty! Your Majesty! Let me go! Your Majesty! – Your Majesty!
– My dearest boy! My dearest boy! Your Majesty! Your Majesty! You’ll never leave me, right? You’re here to help me, right? Please bring me back home. I haven’t fed my goldfish yet, you know? My dearest boy… We won’t be able to go back home for a while. But don’t worry. I’ll later ask the empress dowager to forgive us. I don’t mind. As long as I’m with you, I can endure everything. I don’t want anything more. During this time… we won’t be able to be together. But just for a while. My, what a sad moment! Who could ever bear with this scene? – Men, take her away.
– Sir! I don’t go! Leave me alone! Leave me! I don’t go! I don’t go! You’re emperor! You’re emperor! Why don’t you order them? Why don’t you?! Tell them not to set us apart! Don’t you hear me? Don’t you? My Lord! Order them right now! – Your Majesty! Your Majesty!
– My dearest boy! My dearest boy! My, what a sad moment! Who could ever bear with this scene? – Men, take her away.
– Sir. Leave me alone! Leave me! I don’t go! I don’t go! You’re emperor! You’re emperor! Why don’t you order them? Why don’t you?! My Lord! Order them right now! Don’t call me emperor. Don’t call me emperor. I’m not an emperor. I’m nothing at all. – You’re emperor!
– Remove her at once!
– Sir! – No, don’t drag me away!
– My dearest boy… You’re emperor! Order them right now! You’re emperor! Don’t drag me! Don’t drag me! Order them now! Your Highness, be calm. All those he said are true. Let me die! Anyone please kill me! Let me die! Emperor! Give me death! My beloved sister, I won’t let you die. Go and enjoy your blissful life at the Cold Mansion. Your Majesty. Ah, no, you love calling me sister. Today, I’ll just address you as brother. In my life, it seems I’m only able to call you brother. How unlucky am I to have married a useless emperor like you. That girl just gave you a few praises, and you thought you’re a great ruler. But you’re a good-for-nothing troublemaker. The empress dowager can deal with you as easily as crushing an ant to death. This year’s Moon Fest is just like tonight’s moon: completely dazzling. Completely dazzling! Goodbye, my brother. Your Majesty. Your Majesty. Please go. My Ancient Buddha, don’t you feel sorrowful. If you fall ill, who could then be the pillar of the Great Qing Empire? I’ve taught a distraught emperor. I’ve parented an ungrateful descendant of Aixin Jueluo. Why can’t I feel guilty for having disappointed the ancestors of Great Qing? Your Majesty, please don’t worry. The situation is not that serious. Not that serious? Are you serious?! The reform has resulted in the public dismay and a general hue and cry. Appointing a Japanese as a national advisor? Isn’t it the act of leading a wolf into the house, inviting a ghost to prescribe medication? This is not just idiocy, but also the ruination of our clan! Your Majesty, don’t be angry. I was wrong. I was wrong. I was wrong. I think Principal Prince Li just meant that it’s still lucky enough as you took action promptly. So the faction of Kang and Liang was unable to mislead the emperor, and the situation was not much worse. Thanks to your timely counteraction, Great Qing didn’t lose its luck. That’s right! I did mean so. My Ancient Buddha, you better sit down. Emperor. For over a half year, your health has been declining and your wisdom has been reducing. That’s why you’ve become careless and unable to undertake any public duty. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have allowed the reformers to behave so insolently. Do you think so, Emperor? Yes. His Majesty is of ill health. He needs to rest. We thus beg Your Majesty to once again rule the empire from behind the curtain for public consolation. Emperor, how do you think? Your son begs you to once again rule the land from behind the curtain for public consolation. The royal court is in trouble. There must be someone to take the lead in solving these problems. Unfortunately… the emperor needs to take a rest. All right. I thus have to devote my life to serve this empire till my last days. On behalf of your subjects, I hereby express my gratitude for your mercy! We hereby express our gratitude for your mercy! – Lianying.
– Here, Ma’am. Send men to escort the emperor to the Ocean Platform. Tell the royal physicians to alternately examine him there and to take the best care of him. No one may disturb him whilst he is resting there. Yes. Your son is thankful for your mercy. There already exist the customs governing the behind-curtain rule. Then, what’s the most urgent matter at the moment? Answer me, Chief Grand Councillor. In my opinion, the emperor should denounce himself and invite you to annul the reform, before arresting the ringleaders thereof. Let this be done. But remember that the most important thing is public consolation. Then, only the masterminds are to be arrested. Their families shall be kept intact. We hereby receive your command. God save the people! God save the emperor! Stop! Stop performing at once!