Imperial Chinese Conspiracy

"Shi Huangdi died [in 210 BC] while on a journey to seek the elixir of life. Two of his confidants, Zhao Gao and Li Si, feared that the crown prince, who objected to his father's harsh regime, would dismiss and perhaps even execute them if he became emperor. They therefore hatched a plan to place another of Shi Huangdi's sons on the throne. The first part of this plan involved concealing the old emperor's death from the world. Enclosing the body in his traveling carriage, they gave orders to return to the capital. The weather was warm and the corpse soon began to putrefy. Zhao Gao and Li Si therefore arranged for the imperial carriage to be closely followed by a cart laden with rotting fish. The stench of fish was so overpowering that not even the emperor's bodyguard detected the smell of the putrefying body, and the conspirators succeeded in reaching the capital without the emperor's death being discovered. There they used the emperor's seal to sign a decree commanding the crown prince to commit suicide, whereupon they established their own candidate on the throne of China."

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