Chapter 59.2: Undercurrent

Prince Han left the court. He described the events of today’s court session to Consort Han lively and realistically. 

“...the entire court was chaotic. Prince Zhou persisted in leading the troops himself to avenge Qian Wenjing. The Crown Prince insisted on not allowing Prince Zhou to go. He said that it was too dangerous for Prince Zhou to go to battle. He was worried about his younger brother. As soon as Prince Zhou saw that there was no hope, he turned and requested for Sheng Chumu to be the one to lead the troops. However, the Crown Prince said that Lu Qi was the most ideal person…”

Consort Han cut him off, “Speak simply. Don’t tell me about the Crown Prince and Prince Zhou. What is Imperial Father’s stand? Does our Chumu need to go to battle?”

Prince Han nodded sharply. “Yes.”

Consort Han waited for him to continue. Prince Han looked at her and grinned. 

Consort Han was impatient. “That’s it?”

“Didn’t you want me to speak simply?” To abide by her intentions is the greatest form of respect. 

Consort Han made a gesture that she was going to twist his ear. “Are you going to hurry and say it?”

Prince Han quickly continued, “The Crown Prince and Prince Zhou fought head to head, neither wanting to take a step back. Even Imperial Father started to have a headache. In the end, Imperial Father decided that both Lu Qi and Sheng Chumu were to lead the troops against Prince Zhao.”

Consort Han froze. “Both of them? Then who is the main command?”

“One will take the eastern route, one will take the western route.” Prince Han knew what she was worried about. “Consort, rest assured. Lu Qi has no control over Sheng Chumu. However, Sheng Chumu also has no control over Lu Qi. They are on equal footing.”

Consort Han still could not understand. “So is there a main commander?”

“How can there not be a main commander in battle? Imperial Father said that he was sending two generals, Sheng Chumu and Lu Qi, who are good at fighting. He will then send a person who is moral and upright to be the main commander to manage both the eastern and western route and to oversee the entire situation.”

“Why did you take so long to say the most important thing?” Consort Han rushed him. “So who did Imperial Father send to oversee the entire thing?”

Prince Han laughed until his face felt stiff. “The Crown Prince recommended me. Imperial Father has already released the Imperial Decree.”

Consort Han was in disbelief. “Didn’t you say that the Crown Prince did not allow Prince Zhou to go to battle because it would be too dangerous for Prince Zhou? Wasn’t the Crown Prince worried for his younger brother?”

Prince Han did not think deeply. “Yes.”

Consort Han was furious. “You are his biological younger brother. Why isn’t he worried about you? If you lose even a strand of hair, I am going to pit myself against the Eastern Palace!”

Initially, it was just her and the Crown Princess that did not get along. Recently, even the Crown Prince was getting distant from Prince Han. She had thought that having some distance was good. After all, the Eastern Palace was like a hornet’s nest, trouble would come at any time. Who would have known that the Crown Prince had no limit? He said that he wanted to protect his younger brother who was from a different mother yet he sent his own biological brother to battle? Was he mistaken?

 

Fu Rou responded to Consort Han’s summon to visit Han Mansion. Prince Han had just set off and Consort Han was in low-spirits. Her eyes were slightly red as if she had just cried. 

When Fu Rou was in Han Mansion, she knew how much Prince Han loved Consort Han. Although Consort Han could appear fierce, she was actually very meticulous and loved and protected Prince Han wholly. She admired their love and relationship. 

She greeted, “Your Highness, you have summoned me. Do you have instructions for me?”

Consort Han walked down from her main seat and took Fu Rou’s hand. “Don’t behave so distant. I have not seen you for a while. You have grown skinnier. It is all because Chumu is immature and has caused you to be sad.”

“Your Highness, things are different now. Please do not link General Sheng Chumu and me together.”

“You don’t mean what you say. If you do not want to be linked to him, then why did you ask Prince Zhou to recommend Sheng Chumu to the Emperor?” Consort Han’s eyes were clear. 

Fu Rou was startled. “Your Highness, how did you know it was me?”

“Prince Zhou has never got along with Sheng Chumu yet he recommended Sheng Chumu to lead the troops. There must be a reason. Other than you, I cannot think of anyone else.”

Fu Rou wanted to speak.

Consort Han raised her hand. “Take it as me owing you a favour. With Prince Zhao’s revolt, it initially had nothing to do with us but now it allowed us to see someone clearly.”

Fu Rou understood. “Is it the Crown Prince?”

As soon as she thought about the Crown Prince, Consort Han’s anger surged and it was hard to control it. “Prince Han is good at literature studies but not at fighting. Everyone in court knows that he is a bookworm and pours all his attention into books. Composing some geography books is what he is good at. Just so that he can gain power, he sent Prince Han, someone who doesn’t even know anything about battles, to be the main commander to suppress the rebel army. I don’t know whether he has any conscience left. What if something bad happens? Prince Han is his biological brother! I want to see how the Crown Prince is going to face Imperial Mother after doing something like this!”

Fu Rou tried to convince her. “Your Highness must not go and see Her Majesty. Ever since the Cangshan Mountain incident, Her Majesty’s illness has been recurring. The Imperial Physician has instructed that she cannot be agitated.”

Consort Han sighed, “This is such a big matter. Even if I don’t say it, do you think Imperial Mother will not find out?”

Empress Zhangsun cared about the Crown Prince more than anyone else. Because of this, she believed that the Crown Prince could rely most on his biological brothers. Prince Qin was still young whereas Prince Han was similar in age to the Crown Prince. Prince Han should be the Crown Prince’s support. Who would have known that the two brothers would slowly become distant from each other. 

Fu Rou seemed to hesitate. “Perhaps the Crown Prince has lingering fears. After all, the situation with Hong Yide had just passed…”

Consort Han raised her brows. “So what? Just because he suffered a little, he is going to fear his own brother while allowing Lu Yunji and his son to prance around in front of him?”

Fu Rou opened her mouth but did not say anything. It did not matter if it was the Crown Prince or Prince Han, she should not interfere. She could sense a violent undercurrent starting in the palace, and to protect herself, she must try not to get involved. 

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Coca's Thoughts

Prince Han is going to be the person overseeing Chumu and Lu Qi... haha. What do you think will happen?