Li Baolin was in the Imperial Garden’s pavilion, enjoying the snowy scenery as she drank hot tea. She was extremely content. Recently, there had been a wave in the Lizheng Palace and the brothers from the Eastern Palace and Han Mansion had been fighting more and more fiercely. It was not as if she did not know this. She was celebrating that she was transparent and would not be sweeped up in the fight.
From afar, she saw a few internal attendants looking for something. She remained in silence as she drank her tea peacefully. All of a sudden, she heard movement from behind a fake mountain. Soon, someone stepped out.
Li Baolin also shrieked but quickly covered her mouth as soon as she recognised who that was. She spoke lowly, “Fu Rou, what trouble have you gotten yourself into this time?”
Fu Rou looked anxious. “It is hard to explain. I am rushing to Lingxiao Palace now to do something important.”
“All the internal attendants are looking for you. Do you think you can reach Lingxiao Palace with what you are wearing?” Li Baolin glanced at the internal attendants in the distance. She instructed her palace maid. “Guihua, take off your clothes and give them to Fu Siyan.”
Li Baolin then said to Fu Rou. “They are looking for a female official and will not notice a palace maid. Those internal attendants are not flexible and are extremely stupid.”
Fu Rou smiled gratefully at her as she wore Guihua’s clothes. “I am leaving now, I will thank you another day.”
Li Baolin looked on as Fu Rou moved through the Imperial Garden and murmured to herself, “I hope you still have a chance to thank me.”
When Fu Rou reached Lingxiao Palace, she saw that the door was wide open. She spoke as she walked in. “Your Highness, please hurry and send a letter to Sheng Chumu and Prince Han…” When she saw who was in the study room, she was startled and immediately greeted. “Greetings, Concubine Yan.”
It seemed as if Concubine Yan had been waiting for her. Her expression was calm. “Fu Siyan, is there a need to ask another prince to send Prince Han a letter?”
Fu Rou could not be bothered to care about anything else. “The Empress wants to kill Consort Han. It is very urgent. Your Highness, please help to send someone out of the palace to inform Prince Han and Sheng Chumu. If not, it will be too late.”
Concubine Yan did not make a sound. Fu Rou was anxious. “Your Highness, if you help the Han Mansion this time, you will be a huge benefactor to the Han Mansion and the Duke Lu Residence. The situation in the palace can change anytime. Who does not need more friends to help? This will not only help Your Highness, but it can also help Prince Zhou’s future.” She has never wanted to use anybody. But if she did not put it this way, Consort Han will have no chance.
Concubine Yan finally nodded. “You make sense.”
Fu Rou relaxed slightly. “Then please hurry, Your Highness.”
Concubine Yan called for two internal attendants. Just when Fu Rou thought she had succeeded, the two internal attendants grabbed ahold of her.
“Take her away.” Concubine Yan smiled.
Fu Rou was shocked. “Your Highness?”
“Fu Siyan, you are a very reasonable person. However, in this palace, reason is not what matters. It is power. The Empress is the master of the rear palace, she can make any decision and we all have to listen to her. Since she has instructed the internal attendants to capture you, I have to obey.” She was more than happy to cooperate this time.
“Your Highness, if you do this, you are helping the Eastern Palace kill Consort Han! You will be colluding with them!” Fu Rou criticised her openly, not knowing that she had succeeded by a lucky stroke.
Concubine Yan refused to accept. “Her mother-in-law is the one that wants to kill her. I did not do anything. I am innocent.”
“You can’t do this!” Fu Rou did not give up her last bit of hope. “Where is Prince Zhou? I want to see Prince Zhou!”
Concubine Yan wanted to laugh. “I am not interfering, much less Prince Zhou.” She waved her hand and ordered Fu Rou to be dragged out.
Soon, Prince Zhou entered.
“Mother, why are you here?” He looked left and right. “I think I heard…” Fu Rou’s voice?
Concubine Yan stood up. “Of course I am waiting for you. Did you forget what day it is today?”
Prince Zhou suddenly looked slightly uncomfortable. “I did not forget. It is Grandfather’s death anniversary.”
Concubine Yan walked past Prince Zhou. “Let’s go. Accompany me to offer incense to your grandfather.”
Prince Zhou hesitated before turning to follow. There were some things that he could not say. He read history books and knew that his grandfather was cruel and extravagant. His grandfather had brought the flourishing country built by his great-grandfather to ruins. In the end, he suffered the consequence of his own actions. His grandfather’s death anniversary was the citizens’ holiday. How tragic. However, his mother was filial. On the surface, she built a temple but it was actually for her to offer joss sticks to his grandfather. On this day every year, he had to go to offer incense. He could not escape.
The snow had yet to melt completely. With a frosty look, Prince Han appeared in front of his residence. His robe was covered in mud as he rushed to get off his horse. He almost tripped over a step. The door men came to help him but was pushed away by him and they fell to the ground.
He looked up only to see a pale mourning lamp hung in front of the door. He roared, “What nonsense is this! Take them all down!”
Prince Han ran in as he passed the front hall. However, he saw the white silk hung all over the place. His eyes were red as he ran forward and pulled at it. He could not move it and he shouted. The housekeepers were stunned.
He bellowed, “Tear them down! Tear them all down! After I speak with my consort, if I still see these unlucky things, you all can get lost!” His eyes were like dried up cavities. No one dared to say anything.
Prince Han then stepped over the doorstep and walked into the main hall. In an instant, the black and white flowers as well as the black coffin filled his eyes. The sight was so piercing that he felt giddy. He could barely stand. His consort was lying in the coffin.
“Consort...consort.. don’t play around.” He stumbled in front of the coffin as he stared at her lifeless face.
He suddenly carried her out of the coffin and placed her sitting on the ground. He held her hand. “I have only gone for two days. Why didn’t you take care of your body? You are cold. Even your hands are cold. Xiu’er, go and take a hand warmer to warm on her hands.”
Xiu’er was crying. “Your Highness. Her Highness has...has passed away.”
"Don’t talk nonsense! I am back. Where can she go? Where are the beauty vitamins? Bring them over. I will personally feed them to consort. Look at my consort’s face. Not eating vitamins for a single day makes her so pale.”
Xiu’er cried out loud, “Your Highness, before Her Highness passed away, she said that being able to serve you was her greatest blessing. She wanted you to take care of yourself and live a happy and long life. She hopes that you will have many children and grandchildren.”
Prince Han fell silent for a while before tears flowed out. He shouted at Xiu’er, “Stop talking nonsense. Go and get it!”
At this moment, another person rushed in. Sheng Chumu, who had taken a hundred troops to Cangshan Mountain for training, had yet to take off his armour. Like Prince Han, his face still showed the hardships of travelling.
Prince Han’s eyes lit up. “Chumu, you came in time. Your sister is angry and is ignoring me. Help me to persuade her. I swear that I did not fool around with any other women on my trip. I didn’t even look at them. Tell your sister not to be angry at me, I will apologise to her…”
Sheng Chumu pretended not to hear as his gaze was fixed on Consort Han for a long time. He took big strides forward before falling to his knees.
Although his sister had a fiery temper, she was very kind and took care of her three younger brothers. When he was being beaten by his father, she would always rush back home from the Han Mansion to plead on his behalf. When he suffered, his sister would cry for him. When he was at the borders, his sister would always send him big and small packs of food and clothes. Compared to his parents, he was more willing to share secrets with his elder sister. His elder sister would always support him unconditionally.
But such a good elder sister had actually been given poison wine by her mother-in-law! What a joke! She did not abide by Tang Laws nor National Laws. Nothing had been investigated. Just to maintain the relationship between the Crown Prince and Prince Han, she had killed his innocent sister!
If it were a normal family, they could send her to court and deal with her for murder. But because this happened in the Royal family, his sister’s death was silent. Her death would not even cause a ripple. Their family could only cry silently and bear with it. They could only suffer this grievance and not complain a single word.
But, he hated it!
Fu Rou hugged her knees as she sat in the corner. She looked at the sky through the steel bars. Suddenly, she felt as if someone had stopped outside her prison cell. She glanced over. It was Prince Zhou.
“Is Consort Han dead?” She asked even though she already knew the answer.
“Yes.” Prince Zhou said blandly.
Tears flowed down her cheeks. “When I first came to Chang’an, she did not allow me to be together with Sheng Chumu. She forced me to be a seamstress in the Han Mansion. I once...hated her.”
“You tried your best.” Prince Zhou did not put in much effort to comfort her.
“If I had tried my best, she would still be alive. I did not try my best. I should have done better. I should have been smarter. It is because of this I failed to stop Her Majesty from making the wrong decision. In the end, I used my last chance on you and foolishly begged Concubine Yan to help.” She made a mistake.
“In that kind of situation, even if my mother and I were to help you, what will it change?” Prince Zhou was telling the truth. “Even if Prince Han rushed back in time, do you think he would be able to change the Empress’ mind? In order to protect her own son, the Empress is willing to sacrifice anyone. Even Consort Han.”
“I was ignorant. I actually hoped that Concubine Yan would save Consort Han.” Fu Rou did not listen. “Why didn’t I turn and run? Maybe I could have ran away and find someone else that would help me.”
“The Empress was the one that wanted to kill Consort Han. Don’t push the blame on my mother.” He understood that she was hurting but Concubine Yan was his mother.
She laughed bitterly. “Just like this. All mothers want to protect their own children. As children, you will be biased to your mother. It is understandable in a normal household. But what about the Royal family? What about right and wrong? What about black and white? What about justice? What is more important for Great Tang’s benefit?”
His expression turned cold. “You are just a Siyan, you cannot manage the six higher ranks. Moreover, you serve the harem. In the main court, there are a lot of ministers and officials that will lead the country. Who are you to worry about Great Tang’s benefit?”
“I am a citizen of Great Tang. The nation’s ground was what raised me. It is my responsibility to worry. Don’t you remember? I learned this from your teacher.”
“Don’t think too highly of yourself.” He could only sigh. Not everything that is learned can be applied.
“I am not important. I am just an ant.” Ever since she entered the palace, she had been reminded time and time again. “But an ant also has its value and pride. This vast and magnificent Great Tang was also built by all you high and noble ants of Great Tang.”
He could not say anything else and chose to change the topic. “I will find a way to rescue you.”
She hugged her knees. “There is no need. Consort Han is dead, Sheng Chumu must be depressed. Let me suffer in here as a way of accompanying him.”
At this moment, she hated Lizheng Palace and did not want to go back.
Sun Lingshu looked at the table full of sumptuous dishes without moving. The Crown Prince entered and saw that she was not eating. He personally took a spoon, scooped some soup and brought it to her lips. Her listless eyes suddenly lit up again. She opened her mouth and allowed him to feed her.
“I only have a few people left by my side. For my sake, you have to take care of your health.”
Her heart was extremely forlorn, absent of joy. “Mmhm.” She would take care of herself.
“It was a pity your sister…” He had seen their relationship before. “I know that you are upset but you have to get through this. You have to bear with it until the day I ascend the throne.”
“Crown Prince.” She paused and looked at him silently. “Tell me. Do you think Lingwei’s death was worth it?”
“Consort Han took her own life and it severely affected Prince Han and the Duke Lu Residence. Moreover, Imperial Mother is finally standing on my side. Although this may sound heartless, your sister’s death really helped me.” He was grateful.
She smiled, “As long as I can help you, my sister’s death is worth it…”
He froze, and a look of contemplation flashed through his eyes. He reached out and held her pale face, silently staring deep into her eyes.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
This chapter broke my heart. I was in so much emotional pain. Prince Han's reaction brought tears to my eyes.
It is so sad...
Btw, the novel only has 98 chapters. Please hang in there, readers! Don't drop the novel! You have to find out what happens at the end!!!