Chapter 79.1: Shoot

Sun Lingshu turned around abruptly. She saw that Fu Rou did not seem to be affected by the shriek as she left without turning back. Sun Lingshu thought it was slightly strange.

At this moment, a palace maid ran out from the side door. She stumbled and crawled up the stairs, shouting, “A dead person! Your Highness, there is a dead person!”

Sun Lingshu was startled. “What dead person? Don’t talk nonsense.” She glanced at Fu Rou’s direction. At this distance and with the palace maid shouting, it was impossible for Fu Rou not to hear.

The palace maid shouted in fright, “It is true! In the box, it is Third Young Master Sheng...he...he’s dead!”

Fu Rou halted but did not turn back. She then started walking again, increasing her pace slightly.

Sun Lingshu, who was watching Fu Rou, immediately stared sharply at her. She commanded loudly, “Court Lady Fu, please hold up!”

Fu Rou pretended not to hear. She was about to reach the main door. Sun Lingshu ordered, “Guards, hold her back!”

A group of guards dashed up and stood in front of Fu Rou and her accompanying palace maid. They pointed their swords at her. 

Fu Rou finally turned and looked at Sun Lingshu from afar. Sun Lingshu walked over to her. 

Sun Lingshu looked down at her from above, as if wanting to poison her. “Court Lady Fu, did something scare you? Why are you in such a rush that I can’t even call you to stay?”

Fu Rou did not reply and did not look at Sun Lingshu. As she lowered her head, she saw her palace maid, who was in a frightened state. “You said that Third Young Master Sheng is dead inside a box. Which Third Young Master Sheng?”

 

Study room in the Secretariat Department.

Grand Prince Liang entered, and was puzzled. “Why is there nothing going on at Prince Han’s side? Did he return to his mansion already?”

The Crown Prince sat by the window and gazed out into the garden. “Every day, at this time, he will return to his mansion to eat. It is a habit that he adopted after he got married. Now, although Consort Han is no longer around, old habits are hard to change.”

Grand Prince Liang smirked, “It serves him right for staying together with Consort Han.”

A breeze blew past a red plum flower tree. A flower dropped in front of the Crown Prince as he suddenly seemed to fall in a trance. “Consort Han did not poison the jujube cakes.”

Grand Prince Liang was startled. “What? Consort Han did not place the poison? She did not kill Sun Lingwei? Then Prince Han lost his consort for nothing and became enemies with the Eastern Palace? Crown Prince, we are at a critical juncture. What do you mean when you say something like this?”

The Crown Prince did not know how to reply.

Grand Prince Liang glared at him for a long while before waving his hands impatiently. “Forget it, forget it. Regardless of whether Consort Han placed the poison, she is already dead. Your relationship with Prince Han is already ruined. Let’s just do this! Once you shoot, you can’t take back your arrow. Prince Han has to die today!”

“Once you shoot, you can’t take back your arrow…” The Crown Prince muttered these words as he laughed bitterly, “It’s too late to turn back.”

At this moment, Prince Han and Sheng Chumu walked past the garden. The Crown Prince stood up and walked towards the window. He coincidentally exchanged glances with Prince Han.

Prince Han froze and hesitated for a while before nodding in acknowledgement. “Your Highness.”

“Are you leaving?” The Crown Prince suddenly recalled the times when the two of them drank and hunted together. They would discuss ancient and modern analects. How did the brother that he once felt completely comfortable with end up so estranged?

Prince Han laughed foolishly, “Your Highness knows me. I don’t like the food from the Imperial Kitchen and I cannot bear being hungry. It is already so late, I have to go back and eat.”

The Crown Prince smiled as well. “You have always been this way since young. You don’t care about anything other than food. I remember when you were about eight years old, you ate three roasted chickens in one sitting. You were so full you could not even sit and Imperial Mother was so anxious.” His Imperial Mother was no longer around. 

Prince Han scratched his head. “When I was young, I had a huge appetite. I can’t do it anymore. Now, don’t talk about three chickens, even two is too much. Sigh, if only people can remain at eight years old. How great would it be to be carefree without worries? I am starving and will not carry on talking. Your Highness, I will be leaving first.” His Imperial Mother was no longer around. 

Nobody could make them hold hands ever again…

The Crown Prince’s eyes turned icy as he looked unreadable. “Go ahead, Fourth Brother.”

Prince Han did not say more and left without hesitation. Only when he walked out of the palace gates and got onto the horse did he get distracted for a moment. Prince Han only refocused when Sheng Chumu called out, “Brother-in-law.”

“The Crown Prince called me Fourth Brother just now…” He laughed bitterly. “It has been long since he called me that.”

Sheng Chumu’s expression did not change. “No matter how affectionately he calls you, he has still decided to murder you. The Crown Prince called you Fourth Brother to send you off. There is still one word after Fourth Brother -- go [1].” He heard it clearly, not missing out a single word. That includes the evil intentions he harboured. “The arrow has already been mounted, he will definitely shoot.”

Prince Han suppressed the pain he felt. “That’s right, he thought I would not have noticed. Go, go-” His tone turned icy as well. “It is time to take revenge for my wife, haiya!”

His fine horse ran on all fours. In front of them was the tiger’s den. How would you catch the tiger without entering the tiger’s den? Nothing ventured, nothing gained. 

 

The guards dragged Fu Rou into a side room and pushed her in roughly.

Sun Lingshu stood outside the door, her eyes were icy. “Didn’t you want to know which Third Young Master Sheng died? I will be kind and let you see.”

Fu Rou’s eyes were already fixed on the box by the corner. 

Sun Lingshu mocked, “Why? Are you scared? I never thought that there would be times when Court Lady Fu is afraid.”

Fu Rou crawled up from the ground and slowly walked to the front of the box. As soon as she saw the corpse, she closed her eyes in pain. She recalled the first time they met and how this young man had called her “Sister-in-law”. Although he had a glib tongue, his eyes were always clear. Now, those eyes had lost their light.

She closed her eyes for this and turned to the woman standing by the door. Her voice was filled with sorrow and anger. “Did you kill him?”

Sun Lingshu’s mouth pulled up at one side. “Yes.” 

Fu Rou asked, “Why?”

Sun Lingshu snorted, “Why again? Before Sheng Chujun passed away, he was like you, he kept asking why.” Her gaze suddenly became dark. “Maybe everyone in the mortal world struggles to reach the end just to ask why.”

Fu Rou blurted, “Why did you kill him?”

Sun Lingshu was so calm it was frightening. “Because he seduced Lingwei and bewitched her wisdom. He made the sister I trusted most in this world, betray me. I had no choice but to clear up my own family. My sister is dead, how can he live freely in this world?”

Fu Rou was shocked. “Clear up your own family? Were you the one that poisoned Sun Lingwei’s jujube cakes?”

“Yes.” There was nothing Sun Lingshu could not admit to. The Eastern Palace was about to rule the world, she would be the mother of this country. 

“Then...then Consort Han...you clearly did it yet you framed Consort Han in front of the late Empress and made the Empress kill her wrongly!” This was too frightening! She knew that Consort Han had been framed but she never thought that Sun Lingwei would have been murdered by her own sister!

“Wrongly? She deserved it!” There was no change in Sun Lingshu’s eyes. “Ever since I entered the Eastern Palace, she always went against me. She kept on humiliating me. If she did not go so far, this wouldn’t have happened. I paid with my sister’s life to make Imperial Mother grant her poisoned wine. A life for a life, she is not wronged at all.”

“You are crazy.” Fu Rou shivered even though she was not cold.

“It is okay if I am crazy, as long as I win in the end. I will get back whatever I lost. No matter how difficult it is, I will be the last one laughing. Consort Han was extremely arrogant in the past but isn’t she dead now? Not only does she have to die, the people around her have to die as well. Sheng Chujun is dead. Soon it will be Prince Han and Sheng Chumu.”

“No! I will not let you hurt Sheng Chumu!” Fu Rou lost control and shouted.

“Court Lady Fu, it is too late. It seems like you can’t even save yourself now.” Sun Lingshu smiled as she walked out. She coldly ordered. “Lock the door and guard her properly.”

Fu Rou sat down slowly. She looked through the windows into the sky. All of a sudden, she saw a light ray shoot up into the sky.

In the Secretariat Department, the Crown Prince and Grand Prince Liang saw it too. Grand Prince Liang cried out in joy. “Success! Prince Han is dead! Your Highness, it is our turn now.”

The Crown Prince slammed the table and stood up with determined eyes. He shouted as he walked out of the study room. The guards that he had secretly placed in every corner came out and formed neat rows. 

The Crown Prince spoke, “There are despicable people creating trouble in Chang’an. You all shall follow me and enter the palace to protect Great Tang’s Royal Family! After this is over, you will be rewarded for your efforts!”

This was not just a plan to get rid of Prince Han. How could his Imperial Father forgive him if he killed Prince Han? He was sick of always having to fear for his Crown Prince status. Any tiny mistake would get him wronged. His Imperial Mother was no longer around and his Imperial Father had always been strict. If he still doesn't take action, sooner or later, he would lose everything. He just needed to take the first step and obtain the throne. When that happens, who would be able to make him worry about how much he stands to gain and lose? He will no longer have to live everyday in fear.

Moreover, there was nothing he could not do. After all, his Imperial Father had done it first. Back then, his Imperial Father had gotten rid of his own two older brothers and forced the Grand Emperor to give up the throne. That was how his Imperial Father had gotten the world. Besides, he was the Crown Prince and the world should belong to him anyway. He had more right than his Imperial Father back then. 

From today onwards, he, Li Chengqian, would be the ruler!


1. go implies to leave/die, depending on context

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Coca's Thoughts

Poor Chujun. T_T

It's not over until it's over. Remember that, readers!

We still have a lot more drama coming up, and A LOT more twists.