Chapter 80.1: Losing Battle

Swords and shields clash, creating a cacophony of metal hitting sounds from all around the palace. As soon as anyone saw the Crown Prince’s guards, they politely gave way. It made the Crown Prince feel as if he owned the world and made him believe in this plan more. 

However, when he and Grand Prince Liang barged into Xinnan’s palace, wanting to retrieve his son, he saw Xinnan sitting calmly outside the palace. All her palace maids were lined up neatly. They did not seem at all flustered, making him feel out of place.

“Xinnan, hand over my son.” Xiang’er had been with Imperial Concubine Wang, but Grand Prince Liang had returned empty handed and said that Xinnan had taken away his child.

“Xiang’er is still young. Elder Brother, are you going to bring him down this path of no return?” Xinnan looked at the dense mass of cold metal rays opposite her and could not help but sigh. When did the elder brother that doted on her lose the fondness in his eyes?

“Bunch of nonsense. As Great Tang’s heir, I have received Heaven’s mandate to become the emperor. I will uphold righteousness and get rid of unlawful people. I am walking the right path. How can this be the path of no return?” Ever since he became the Crown Prince, he had been walking on the edge of the cliff. His life had always been in danger. Who cared about him?

“There is no need to talk with her any longer!” Grand Prince Liang instructed the guards, “Capture the Princess and grill her for the Imperial Grandson’s whereabouts!”

However, as soon as their guards made a move, Sheng Chuling appeared with a group of Secret Guards. They drew out their swords in confrontation.

“Sheng Chuling, how dare you draw your sword?” The Crown Prince spoke icily.

“I am part of Great Tang’s Secret Army. We are in charge of protecting Great Tang’s Royal Palace. My sword will point at whoever dares to barge into the Royal Palace.” Especially against those that think of rebelling.

“Impudent! Who dares to activate the army within the Royal Palace?” Linghu Deguan entered and saw both sides in position. He did not hold back and waved his arms. A huge mass of the Secret Army surrounded both sides. “What is going on?”

Sheng Chuling replied loudly, “General Linghu, the Crown Prince and Grand Prince Liang brought guards and barged into Princess Xinnan’s palace. I am doing my duty and protecting Her Highness.”

Grand Prince Liang twisted the truth. “Linghu Deguan, Secret Guard Sheng Chuling drew his sword at the Crown Prince. He is conspiring. Hurry and capture Sheng Chuling for the Crown Prince to deal with him!”

“Under His Majesty’s grace, I am in control of the Secret Guards to protect the Royal Palace. I have to ask Your Highness what are you planning to do by bringing guards and barging into the palace?” Linghu Deguan was not blind.

“The Crown Prince is Great Tang’s heir, the Royal Palace is his home. He can enter whenever he wants. What do you mean barging? Moreover, the Emperor has allowed the Crown Prince to manage the country. Now, whatever the Crown Prince says goes.” Grand Prince Liang stood very straight.

Linghu Deguan narrowed his eyes. “Just because he is in charge of the country, he can do whatever he wants?”

The Crown Prince spoke in an amicable manner to Linghu Deguan. “General Linghu, there is a reason for this. Prince Han is creating trouble and conspired to activate an army in Chang’an. I have sent men to kill him. Sheng Chuling is a henchman that Prince Han inserted in the palace. He colluded with a few guards to threaten me with Princess Xinnan and the Imperial Grandson. I chased after him in order to stop him from hurting anyone in the palace. In my hurry, I did not have time to notify you.”

Linghu Deguan did not want to offend either side and hesitated. 

Grand Prince Liang was impatient. “General Linghu, at this critical juncture, we cannot hesitate and make a huge mistake. Prince Han is creating trouble and will be killed. Do you want to die along with Prince Han?”

“Uncle, my head and body are still joined together, there is no need to accompany me to die.”

The Crown Prince and Grand Prince Liang turned back in shock, only to see Prince Han walk in confidently.

Xinnan was delighted. “Fourth Brother!”

“Prince Han, why are you…” The Crown Prince never would have imagined his plan to fail.

Prince Han helped him to finish his sentence. “Why am I still alive? Because I am lucky and managed to escape. Not only did you send people to kill me, you even barged into the Royal Palace and threatened the Royal Family. Imperial Father is still around, yet you are thinking of usurping the throne. How ambitious of you!”

Although the Crown Prince was flustered, he was obstinate. “Don’t accuse me! You were the one that was unhappy with me and secretly plotted to rebel when Imperial Father is not in the capital. How dare you enter the palace and talk nonsense in front of me?”

Prince Han chuckled coldly, “If I did not enter then should I be going to Hot Spring Palace to complain to Imperial Father?”

The Crown Prince looked sluggish. Grand Prince Liang was unreasonable. “Linghu Deguan, you are seeing for yourself how Prince Han is disrespectful to the Crown Prince. Hurry and take Prince Han down. Oh right, take Sheng Chuling down as well.”

Princess Xinnan learned how to talk like Grand Prince Liang. “Linghu Deguan, this is a critical moment. One mistake and you will regret for life. Imperial Father trusts you and entrusted the duty of protecting the Royal Palace to you. You have to distinguish between what is right and wrong. You can’t be bewitched by people with ulterior motives.”

Linghu Deguan summoned his courage. “Both Your Highnesses claim that the other is conspiring. May I know if you have evidence?”

The Crown Prince replied, “I am the witness.”

Grand Prince Liang added, “I am the witness as well.”

Prince Han snorted, “What kind of witnesses are you? Come, bring my witness!”

Prince Han’s guards pushed a man to the front. They pulled his hair to make him look up. It was Jisun Chenxin!

The Crown Prince and Grand Prince Liang’s expression changed completely.

Jisun Chenxin looked like he was in pain. “The Crown Prince was afraid that Prince Han was gaining the Emperor’s trust and ordered me to assassinate Prince Han.” However, he never thought that Prince Han was already prepared and he had killed a stand in. He thought that he had killed the right person and sent the signal. Now, everything was too late. 

The Crown Prince panicked. “What did you gain from Prince Han for you to dare to tell such lies?”

“The punishment for framing the heir is death!” Grand Prince Liang drew out his sword and attacked Jisun Chenxin. It was obvious that he wanted to silence him. 

Linghu Deguan blocked Grand Prince Liang. “Even if Jisun Chenxin has committed a crime, he is not for Your Highness to deal with…”

Jisun Chenxin was actually feeling slightly guilty. However, as he saw Grand Prince Liang moving aggressively to murder him, his gaze turned fierce. “You want to kill me? Hmph, then let us all die together! The Crown Prince and Grand Prince Liang have been plotting for a long time to get rid of Prince Han. They even said that they want to gain control of the Royal Palace after killing Prince Han. They were planning to scare the officials into submission before usurping the throne. When the Emperor returns, they…”

The Crown Prince could no longer hide the battered look in his eyes. “Shut up! Utter nonsense!”

“I am speaking nonsense? Li Chengqian, you are a despicable person who can’t even tolerate your own biological brother. I have already been on guard against you. I did not burn the letter that you sent me. It is hidden in a house in Chang’an. General Linghu, if you don’t believe me, you can search and you will know everything.” Jisun Chenxin managed to escape death so many times because he was selfish. He had never truly pledged loyalty to anyone.

Linghu Deguan waved his hands and the Secret Army surrounded the Crown Prince, Grand Prince Liang and their men.

The Crown Prince shouted to no avail, “Linghu Deguan, how dare you be disrespectful to me?”

Prince Han shook his head. “We have both witnesses and evidence. Crown Prince, you should just stop. There are people heading to Eastern Palace and we will find even more witnesses and evidence.”

The Crown Prince’s expression changed drastically. “Prince Han, how dare you send people to barge into the Eastern Palace?” How did things end up like this? Victory had been certain. 

“You dare to barge into the Royal Palace and attempt to kill me. I am doing this for self-defense. I am sure Imperial Father will not blame me.” Prince Han was the true victor.

The Crown Prince bellowed, “You! I knew you were planning to betray me! If I didn’t kill you, you would have killed me!”

Linghu Deguan finally saw clearly what was happening. “Your Highness, this situation is of high importance, I have no choice but to be rude. Men, arrest the Crown Prince and Grand Prince Liang.” 

The Secret Guards dragged the Crown Prince and his group away.

Prince Han breathed a sigh of relief. “Luckily I made it in time. Xinnan ah, this time heavens was helping us. If I were any slower, the Crown Prince would have taken over the Royal Palace…” He turned around to look, only to see the two lovebirds, Xinnan and Sheng Chuling staring lovingly into each other's eyes.

Xinnan acted cute in front of Sheng Chuling. “How lucky. Just now, my heart was pounding so hard, it was about to jump out from my throat.”

Sheng Chuling acted manly. “With me to protect you, what are you afraid of?”

Hearts appeared in Xinnan’s eyes as she jumped into Sheng Chuling’s embrace. “I was not scared. It was because I saw how amazing you were. I was happy.”

Prince Han placed a palm on his forehead. “Oi! The two of you! Palace rules!”

The palace rules had flown up into the sky.

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Coca's Thoughts

This scene was completely cut from the drama. For those drama watchers, I hope they read the novel! There were a lot of scenes missing from episode 46 and 47.