Chapter 74.2: Test

“Liars! Prince Han is not insane!” She did not believe him and was thinking clearly. “If it was really Prince Han that sent you all, then he would have lost all reason. What you all should be doing is to persuade him, not help him commit such audacities.”

“Consort Han was killed by Eastern Palace. It is only normal that Prince Han wants to take revenge. Ultimately, we are just standing up for justice. The people at Eastern Palace are not good either. Didn’t they harm you as well? If we bring down the Eastern Palace, Prince Han will definitely become the new Crown Prince and you will also have achievements at that time. Not to mention becoming a Siyan again, it would also be possible for you to become a court lady. Qingzui Palace is desolated and this opportunity was given by heaven. You just need to end that child’s life and you will gain all the riches in the world.”

“Sacrificing the lives of innocents just to achieve your goal, what justice…”

Fu Rou had yet to finish her sentence when the door was pushed open. She fell to the ground from the force. However, she still put herself in front of the Imperial Grandson and protected him. She closed her eyes and shouted, “You bunch of scoundrels! You will die a horrible death!”

She clearly heard footsteps but no one spoke. Fu Rou found it strange and turned out carefully to look. She saw Wei Song smile.

“Wei Song? Are you...even you…” Even you could not withstand the lure of power?

Wei Song took out a silk scroll from his sleeve and spoke. “Phoenix decree for Fu Rou.”

Fu Rou hurried to kneel.

Wei Song unrolled the phoenix decree. “Fu Rou shall be granted the title of Court Lady of the Six Offices. She shall manage the six offices and twenty-four departments.”

Fu Rou was stunned. She did not know what was going on.

“Court Lady Fu, accept the decree.” Wei Song delivered it to Fu Rou. Fu Rou had a bewildered look as she took the phoenix decree. She automatically kowtowed. However, she saw the two internal attendants walk over and came closer to the Imperial Grandson. She subconsciously picked the child up and adopted a protective stance. 

Wei Song spoke, “Court Lady Fu. Relax, they won’t hurt the Imperial Grandson. Even if you don’t trust me, you should trust the phoenix stamp on the decree right?”

Fu Rou seemed to understand. “Was everything that happened just now a test?”

“Yes it was a test. On the day before the late Empress passed away, she was energetic and went to the Imperial Garden with Prince Qin. After she returned to Lizheng Palace, Her Majesty personally wrote down this phoenix decree. However, she did not release it immediately but left it with me. Her Majesty knew that you spoke for Consort Han out of justice and not because of your personal relationship with Han Mansion. She also knew that you have had numerous contradictions with the Eastern Palace. In the future, when the rumours and hardship occur, she wondered if you would be able to put aside all personal grudges and keep the bowl of water calm. Be it the Crown Prince, Prince Han or Prince Qin, they are all Her Majesty’s flesh and blood. The chief of the Court Lady Department has numerous female officials to manage and will be in contact with various princes and nobles. Court Lady Zhong is old and Her Majesty had to select a new chief that would not have any selfish motives. Court Lady Fu, what do you think?”

“I have no thoughts.” She only wanted to do whatever duty was given to her and try whatever she could. She would not follow the crowd blindly and allow the national laws to be trampled on by those with selfish motives. They could not sacrifice lives just because they were not deemed important. “The six offices and twenty-four departments also do not have an opinion. The palace rules have long been established and no one’s opinions can change them. The six offices just have to continue to function impartially without any opinions.”

Wei Song was comforted as he bowed towards Fu Rou.

 

The Sheng Country was once again showing signs of betrayal. The Crown Prince and Prince Han competed with each other and eventually the Emperor chose Lu Yunji to lead the troops. He rejected Prince Han’s recommendation of Sheng Chumu and also rejected the idea of Lu Yunji bringing his son along. Surprisingly, he suggested Du Ning to accompany the troops. Although his responsibilities were not much, he could directly write a memorial to the Emperor and inform the Emperor what was going on.

When Lu Yunji and Lu Qi returned home, they immediately started discussing. 

“This Du person was clearly sent to keep an eye on you!” Lu Qi was fuming.

“Back then, I put my life on the line numerous times for the Emperor. I have no complaints nor regrets. Now, I am filled with old injuries and not worth much. I can even be thrown randomly into the imperial prison. When I am leading troops out, he even sent an accompanying troop to watch me. I have served him for my entire life. Does he think I am going to rebel at my old age?” Lu Yunji was regretful.

“If he forces us like this, we will be forced to rebel sooner or later.” Lu Qi spoke casually.

Lu Yunji reprimanded him. “You can’t say things like that!”

At this moment, Du Ning came to visit and asked someone for an invitation.

Lu Qi snorted, “He came really fast!”

“Du Ning is personally appointed by the Emperor. Although his rank isn’t high, we cannot offend him.” Lu Yunji knew his son’s temper and quickly shooed him away. “Go and do your thing. Don’t fume and glare here and make trouble for me.”

Du Ning followed behind Housekeeper Wu and walked into the garden. All of a sudden, he saw a beautiful image of a lady amongst the plum flower trees. She was carrying a child. However, her back view was extremely familiar. He halted in his steps, wanting to take a better look.

Housekeeper Wu turned back. “Official Lu?”

Du Ning replied, “The woman amongst the plum flower trees looks like...looks like my friend’s younger sister.”

Housekeeper Wu replied, “That lady is my Young Master’s concubine.”

Du Ning felt awkward. “I must have mistaken.” Fu Yin would never be Lu Qi’s concubine.

When Du Ning disappeared, Fu Yin walked out from within the plum flower trees. She looked depressed and guilty. She recognised Du Ning immediately but had no courage to face him. She had hurt him by shamelessly leaving without a word. She hoped that she would never see him again and he would eventually forget about her. She wished that he would find a wife that was a thousand times better than her and live a happy life. 

“Why are you daydreaming about? What is there to see over there?” Lu Qi suddenly hugged her from behind. “Let me take a look too.”

“Ah! You scared me!” Fu Yin turned around and was jittery because of her guilt. She stood in front of Lu Qi, blocking him from the view even though she knew Du Ning was not there anymore.

Lu Qi truly did not see anything as he took his child from her arms. “Good son, let your father hug you.” Meanwhile, he noticed that her expression was not good. “Are you okay?”

Fu Yin forced a smile. “I’m fine.”

“You look so pale” Lu Qi touched Fu Yin’s face affectionately as he grumbled at the child in his other arm. “It is all because of you. You are becoming heavier and making your mother tired.”

Fu Yin laughed, “What has that got to do with the child? Are you going to blame him for having a head?” Her tone changed. “Oh right, I heard that you have to go into battle again?”

Lu Qi returned to his arrogant tone. “So you are worried about this. Why? You can’t bear to be apart from me for a few days? You only know how to miss me when I am going into battle?”

“Who misses you? Go all you want. It won’t matter even if you go for one year.”

Lu Qi cried out, “An entire year? You wish. I won’t even leave for a single day. His Majesty said that since I have just become a father, I don’t have to go along with the army this time and can stay in Chang’an. On the other hand, Father has to lead the troops. He is extremely unlucky.”

Fu Yin did not know why she suddenly thought of Du Ning’s appearance. “Isn’t it a good thing to be the main commander? Why is it unlucky?”

“The Emperor assigned someone to accompany Father but the man is actually there to keep an eye on him.” Lu Qi’s tone suggested that he did not think anything of it. “However, Father has no need to be afraid of Du Ning.”

When Fu Yin heard Du Ning’s name, she was shocked. 

Lu Qi did not notice anything amiss. “If he is honest, then that is okay. But if he dares to hide anything, hngh! Out in camp, if the main commander wants you to die, all it takes is a single sentence.”

“No!” Fu Yin shouted. However, as she saw Lu Qi assess her, she rushed to cover up. “You promised me that for Shan’er, you will do less evil deeds in future. Did you forget?”

“I remember. I was just kidding and you are already so scared. After all, he was appointed by the Emperor, why would we deal with him for no reason? He only has to worry if he is dishonest and forces us into the corner.”

Fu Ying frowned. “But still…”

Their child suddenly started bawling and cut Fu Yin off.

Lu Qi coaxed their child while speaking, “I understand. I should not accumulate bad karma but instead collect good fortune for our son. Anyway, I am not leaving and will be accompanying you the whole time. That’s enough, right?”

Lu Qi handed the crying child back to Fu Yin and saw that he immediately stopped crying. He mumbled to himself, “Little brat, you are still so young and you are already fighting against me for your mother…”

Fu Yin was distracted and wore a worried frown. She silently prayed to heaven to protect Du Ning. 

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