The Crown Prince was extremely angry after the court session. When he returned to the Eastern Palace, he was nagged at by Zhan Xuanzhi. Zhan Xuanzhi said that he should not be close to certain officials. Moreover, Zhan Xuanzhi claimed that he should not be biased to anyone before the truth is out and that he is unable to determine what is right and wrong.
The Crown Prince no longer wanted to put up with this person that always angled for compliments. He drove Zhan Xuanzhi away in a fury. However, he still felt depressed. Out of habit, he went to Chen Ji’s tomb, wanting to talk about his worries. However, he caught sight of Sun Lingshu and quickly hid behind a tree.
“Chen Ji, I really regret what I have done. When you were alive, I despised you for getting in my way. Now that you are dead, I keep wishing that you would come back alive. Not for me, but for the Crown Prince. Ever since you died, I have never seen him laugh happily.” Sun Lingshu’s expression was sullen as she lit a joss stick and poured a cup of wine.
“Everyone thinks that it is glamorous being the Crown Princess. No one knows how I bear through each day. I only wish for a chance to tell the Crown Prince that I know my mistakes. I did not intend for Imperial Father to force the Crown Prince to take your life in Ganlou Palace. I only found out about it after. But I know that the Crown Prince will never believe me. Why? Why is my fate like this? Can I never make amends for the unintentional mistake I made? I really want to be the Crown Prince’s wife and spend my life with him. I want to help him bear children. Even if I have to go through suffering and go to the ends of the world, I want to follow him. Why can’t he give me a chance?”
The Crown Prince was moved. He suddenly saw Sun Lingshu hold onto her belly and fall to the ground. He was startled and rushed to support her.
Although Sun Lingshu was surprised to see the Crown Prince, she pulled his sleeve. “Your Highness, my stomach hurts...my child…”
The Crown Prince shouted, “Men!” He had an ominous feeling and carried Sun Lingshu. “Don’t be afraid, I am with you!”
Sun Lingshu relaxed and smiled as she held tightly onto the Crown Prince’s neck. However, her expression changed from the sharp pain in her stomach.
The Crown Princess’ sudden labour shocked Empress Zhangsun as she rushed over with Fu Rou. Unfortunately, the Crown Princess’ midwife said that it was going to be difficult labour and she was torn on whether to save the mother or the child.
Empress Zhangsun did not hesitate. “The Imperial Grandson is more important.”
The Crown Prince froze and rushed to say, “Imperial Mother…”
Empress Zhangsun waved. “Of course I wish for the Crown Princess to be safe. But when it comes to importance, Crown Prince, you must not be confused. The Eastern Palace needs your bloodline.”
Shuangxi rushed out of the room and hugged the Crown Prince’s leg, wailing. “Your Highness! We can’t do that. If we want to protect the child and force the Crown Princess to give birth, she will die from blood loss! Your Highness, please be kind and save the Crown Princess! With every day you are a couple, you will have a hundred days of blessing! Your Highness! Please don’t abandon the Crown Princess!”
Empress Zhangsun fumed, “Impudent servant! How dare you interrupt!”
“Midwife, is there no way to protect both mother and child? She is my wife!”
Fu Rou suddenly interrupted, “Your Majesty, there is a way. Maybe we can try it.”
Sun Lingshu was oblivious to whatever was happening outside. She only felt as if she was drowning. Her body was clearly in pain but she did not even seem to have the strength to breathe. She did not know that giving birth was so scary and she had to fight for her life.
“Crown Princess...Crown Princess…”
The Crown Prince’s shout caused her to open her eyes as she finally saw him standing outside the window. He sounded so anxious when he called her. Does that mean that he still cared for her a little?
“Your Highness...” Sun Lingshu’s tears rolled down her face and into her hair. “I am afraid I am going to let you down…”
The Crown Prince looked anxious. “Don’t say such unlucky words. You are my wife. You have to accompany me till I am old.”
“To be able to hear Your Highness say this, I can die in contentment…” Sun Lingshu really wanted to live. She wanted to give birth to her child and live together with them.
“You are not allowed to die! I will accompany you. You are not allowed to die! You and my child will be safe!” The Crown Prince cried out emotionally.
Sun Lingshu’s vision became blurry as she saw a suspicious black figure behind the Crown Prince. She struggled to open her eyes and finally saw a masked man raising a dagger behind the Crown Prince, about to pierce it into the back of the Crown Prince’s heart.
“Careful!” She was so shocked that her soul seemed to disappear. “Behind you…”
The Crown Prince shouted and disappeared from the window.
With this shock, Sun Lingshu suddenly has newfound energy as she took in big gulps of air and supported herself on her elbows, wanting to get up. She shouted, “Assassin!” In the moment, the pain that seemed to be taking her life disappear.
The midwife happily carried the newborn child. “The child is born! The child is born! Crown Princess, with your sudden strength, everything has succeeded!” She hit the child’s buttock and the child started crying.
The midwife exclaimed, “Congratulations, Crown Princess. Both you and your child are safe.”
Sun Lingshu was anxious. “The Crown Prince? How is the Crown Prince?”
“Crown Princess, you must have been startled, I am okay.” The Crown Prince walked in and sat by the bed. “That was to protect you and the child. We had no choice.”
Sun Lingshu sighed in relief and fell into the Crown Prince’s embrace as she took her son. “Your Highness, look. Doesn’t he look like you?”
The Crown Prince lightly held his son’s face. His voice was filled with warmth. “Yes he does. You have worked hard. From now on, I will not neglect you. The three of us will spend our future together.”
The Emperor was delighted to have a grandchild and hosted a family banquet. Everyone from the harem participated. During the banquet, the Empress said the child looked like the Emperor whereas the Emperor thought that the child looked like the Empress. Everyone said that the Imperial Grandchild looked smart and the entire atmosphere was joyful.
“Imperial Father, the Eastern Palace has such joyful news for the entire nation. Today is just the family banquet, the Imperial Grandson’s celebration must definitely be grander. I wonder if you have someone in mind to be in charge of this?” Prince Zhou suddenly brought up.
Empress Zhangsun was always on guard. “Prince Zhou is very thoughtful. But now you are busy with the monastery case, how will you afford time to handle the celebration?”
“This event will be huge. I am not talented but I wanted to suggest Prince Han.” Prince Zhou had already guessed that this would happen and did not intend to inconvenience himself.
Prince Han was currently eating happily and he replied reasonably, “Imperial Father, my literature school is currently extremely busy. If I have to take out time to manage the celebration, I am afraid…”
The Crown Prince immediately became unhappy. How can his own brother be so arrogant?
Empress Zhangsun coughed. Prince Han did not notice the Crown Prince’s expression but quickly understood his Imperial Mother’s expression and immediately stopped talking.
Concubine Yan said, “Prince Han is brilliant and always interacts with scholars. With regard to the celebration, he would easily be able to find out the ancient traditions. He is a good choice.”
The Emperor agreed with her logic. “Prince Han. This matter shall be assigned to you.”
“Ah?” Prince Han was unwilling. “Mmhm, I accept your decree.”
Empress Zhangsun continued, “Your Majesty, there is one more person that deserves merit for the successful birth of the Imperial Grandson, other than the Crown Princess. During the crisis, Fu Siyan suggested the method of fright to ensure the safety of both mother and child.”
“Oh? Fu Siyan, you did well.” The Emperor has heard of Fu Rou’s numerous contributions. “Before this, you bravely charged through Cangshan Mountain and used a cloth to map out the position of the stone room. You saved the Grand Emperor and Empress. This time, you saved the Crown Princess and my Imperial Grandson. How should I reward you?”
Fu Rou stepped forward and spoke, “It is my duty to share your worries.”
“Your words remind me of Zhan Xuanzhi. You are a palace lady yet you know how to help me share my worries. Very good, you have the spirit of a man. However, I have to reward you for your contribution. Tell me, what would you like?”
Fu Rou fell silent for a while. “If Your Majesty really wishes to reward me, then I do have something. In Guangxi’s Lion Mountain, there are bandits running wild and robbing citizens. They have caused families to be torn apart and become miserable. I wish that Your Majesty will dispatch troops to suppress the bandits so that the poor citizens can return to the homes and be reunited.”
“I understand.” The Emperor found it strange. “How do you know about bandits in Guangxi’s Lion Mountain?”
“I met a grandfather and his granddaughter on my way and heard from them.”
Empress Zhangsun added, “Your Majesty, Fu Siyan saw and heard many things when she was out of the palace.”
The Emperor continued, “Fu Siyan, why have you never mentioned this before?”
Fu Rou replied calmly, “In front of the Emperor, I should not speak without a decree.”
Li Shimin suddenly laughed, “I know what to reward you with now. Since you are a Siyan, I shall reward you with the power to speak. In the future, you are allowed to speak in front of me.”
Seeing how Fu Rou was frozen, Empress Zhangsun smiled. “His Majesty is treating you favourably, aren’t you going to thank him?”
Fu Rou kneeled to thank him. “Thank you for your grace, Your Majesty.”
Speaking in front of the Emperor? This reward is huge!
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