Chapter 2 explains Siyuan’s climb to the throne, from his value to his adoptive father and brother to the events that lead to the military coup that put him on the throne. Siyuan’s military might won him Li Keyong’s esteem and his role in the war against Yan and the acquisition of Weizhou made him indispensable to Zhuangzong. Zhuangzong launched his reign with high expectations, but his misgovernment soon lead to mutiny. Siyuan was deployed to Weizhou in 926 to suppress the insurgent, but as professional soldiers begun to empathize with their targets, and military aid and support flowed to Siyuan, he was pressured to overthrow his brother and become emperor. The overtaking of Kaifeng was pivotal to Siyuan’s success, and in April of 926, he claimed the throne as the second emperor of Later Tang with the temple name of Mingzong.
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