Chapter 54.2: Mayfly

On this day, Sun Lingwei arrived at Fuan Temple to repay her wish. The previous time she came, although she did not manage to get a charm, she got a very auspicious item and it worked pretty well. Today, her elder sister had given birth to an Imperial Grandson and her relationship with the Crown Prince had been mended. Sun Lingwei’s relationship with Sun Lingshu was also better now and Sun Lingwei could enter the palace frequently.

She sent her maid, Guiyuan, away to buy some incense while she walked and looked around the temple. She slowly walked to the tree which she had cried under after she did not manage to buy a charm the previous time. 

“Are you looking for me?” Someone jumped out from the tree with a mischievous smile on his face. He was charming and made people like him. He was the Sheng family’s third son, Sheng Chujun.

Sun Lingwei’s eyes lit up but her words went against her heart. “Who is looking for you? But you came at the right time.”

Sheng Chujun’s lips were about to tear open from how wide his smile was. “I know. The wish that you made…”

“Mmhm, it came true.” She was still thankful to him. “That unique peace knot was very useful. My elder sister gave birth to a son and now my brother-in-law is very gentle and caring towards her. She is no longer angry with me and treats me very well...oh right. Let me return this peace knot to you.”

“Since I gave it to you, it is yours. Why are you returning it to me?” How can someone take back a love token? “Is your surname Sun?”

Sun Lingwei found it strange. “How did you know?”

“What kind of person am I? To find out the name of a pretty lady in Chang’an…” He kept himself in check. He did not want to scare her away. “Mmhm, it is rare to have a lady from a wealthy family. I know you are called Sun Lingwei. You are the daughter of Minister Sun Tan. Your sister is the Crown Princess.”

“You are amazing. You know everything.” She gasped.

“I also know that in five days, you will come back to Fuan Temple to pray for your parents.” The most important thing is to set up their next meeting. 

“I do not intend to come back in five days.” She did not react.

“You will definitely come. Because in five days, I will wait here for you.”

She answered seriously, “No.”

“Why not?” He guided patiently.

“It is not proper etiquette.” She was a very filial daughter.

“You are a daughter. Why is it not proper etiquette to pray for your parents? It is filial piety. As for me, I am also praying for my parents. It is very proper.” He was also a filial son.

“You make sense…” But something did not seem right.

He continued to push. “You are a filial daughter, I am a filial son. We bump into each other here and pray for our parents together. We talk to each other and hold hands. It is alright. As the saying goes, the environment and nurture determines a person’s character. We are all good and filial people. We should become closer and become good friends so we can influence each other to become better people. Don't you think?”

She nodded, not finding anything wrong with what he said.

“Moreover, aren’t I your benefactor? I even gave you the most valuable peace knot made by the Sheng family. Listening to me is a way of paying back my kindness. Your parents should have taught you that people need to repay other people’s kindness, right?”

“Mmhm.” She nodded heavily. 

“You are too obedient.” He was so lucky.

His elder brother had gotten a female tigress. His second brother got a stubborn princess. Only he managed to find an obedient little cat. His lifetime of happiness was about to start.

 

Grand Prince Liang was full of expectations as he rushed into the Eastern Palace to look for the Crown Prince. Initially, he had just planned on going to the Imperial Prison to find the Lu father and son. After all, he had promised Lu Yingying. Although he had no way of turning the case over, he could at least bring them a good meal and some drinks. Who would have known that he would obtain a vital piece of information on his trip. 

Grand Prince Liang was bashing his way through and almost knocked Fu Rou over. She hurried and moved to the side. Although Master Yuan had helped her to cut off her ill-fate with this prince, he was not a life-saving talisman.

“Wait!” Grand Prince Liang shouted at her. 

Her gaze became guarded. “What instructions does Your Highness have?”

“That day where I was poisoned in the Death Maze, I heard that you used a medicinal pill from Priest Sun to save me?” Was she guarding against him? What a pity that he had changed his target.

“It was convenient. Your Highness does not have to be concerned.” Could it be that he wanted to thank her?

“Of course I am concerned. It is rare that you have a pill that can revive a person. Since you have another, hurry and hand it over to me!” Seeing how her eyes widened and stared at him, he continued, “What are you doing? Do you understand the difference between ranks? Anything good should be given to the person of higher rank. You are a despicable person, unworthy of it!”

Fu Rou bit her lip. Sheng Chumu had requested to be sent to the borders, she was thinking of giving it to him. 

“Speaking of which, I still miss your scent, if you don’t hand it over to me obediently…” He laughed devilishly and made a move beside her. Suddenly, a bottle appeared in front of him.

“Take it.” Her voice was icy. “I saved you out of kindness, yet you came back to bite me.”

He could hear the ridicule in her words but did not care. Besides, he had already gotten what he wanted. He was very busy and had no time to deal with a palace lady.

Initially, the Crown Prince was not happy to see Grand Prince Liang. It was only until Grand Prince Liang told him that Hong Yide had only been willing to confess to the Crown Prince but Prince Zhou had hid this news. 

Grand Prince Liang was arrogant. “I spent quite a lot of effort to obtain this news. Prince Zhou is watching Hong Yide tightly and is interrogating him day and night. However, Hong Yide is not willing to confess. He said that other than the Crown Prince, he does not trust anyone. Crown Prince, if you do not interfere in this huge case, all the credit will go to Prince Zhou. Moreover, Prince Zhou is currently dominating the situation. Who knows if whatever he finds is the truth or not? Lu Yunji has always been close to Your Highness. If Prince Zhou takes this chance to set Lu Yunji up and pull you under water as well…”

The Crown Prince froze. “I will not give him the opportunity.”

Grand Prince Liang took the chance to get closer. “Your Highness is brilliant.”

“You cannot underestimate Prince Zhou. He used this Cangshan case to get rid of Caoyuan and Fan Zhang. He just wants to promote Zhong Yutang and obtain control of the Imperial Guards. Thankfully, I saw through his plan and impeached Zhong Yutang in time. I have just managed to gain control of the Imperial Guards.” 

The Crown Prince fell silent. “I have to meet Hong Yide but I cannot let Prince Zhou find out.”

“Crown Prince, please go ahead. I have established a critical relationship and will follow you from now on.” Grand Prince Liang had made up his mind.

Very soon, the Crown Prince reached the prison where Hong Yide was captured. As he smelt the scent of the prison, he could not help but cover his nose. He did not notice a fierce look cross Hong Yide’s face.

“Your Highness, you are finally here.” Li Shimin’s Crown Prince was too stupid. 

“You are only willing to confess to me. How can I not come? You should be very satisfied that I am here.”

“But do you know why I want you to come?”

Because after the failure on Cangshan Mountain, Hong Yide understood that just based on his power alone he could never hurt Great Tang’s Emperor. But he could join the overflowing water that was spreading before the huge storm. With his life, he was going to use it like how mayflies can shake a huge tree. He was going to use the might of others to achieve his goals. Moreover, he still had a grandson, the remaining bloodline of the Hong family. He had to sacrifice all to protect him.

“I am more powerful than Prince Zhou, so you can trust me. If you tell me the truth, I can speak up for you in front of Imperial Father. Perhaps you will have a chance to live.” Whatever the Crown Prince guessed was completely off. 

“A chance to live?” No no, he was definitely going to die. But he could not let his death go to waste. “I have an absolutely irreconcilable animosity with Li Shimin. Unfortunately, I am incapable and cannot kill Li Shimin. I was also unable to kill Li Shimin’s father and wife. However, if I am able to hurt his Crown Prince, my trip to the Justice Office will not be a waste.”

“What are you saying?” The Crown Prince was startled as he took a step back. However, since Hong Yide was tightly bound by chains, he believed that he was just trying to scare him. “Your hands are bound and you can’t even scratch your own head. How dare you think of hurting me?”

“Hurting you is easier than scratching my head.” Hong Yide suddenly bit down sharply on his tongue and black-coloured blood sputtered out from his mouth. With his last bit of energy, he shouted, “Guards, guards. Hurry---”

The guards outside ran in. As they saw Hong Yide, they were shocked and rushed forward to check whether he was still breathing. Hong Yide was already dead.

The Crown Prince was a fool.

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