The Crown Prince was summoned. He looked haggard as he limped into the hall. He no longer had any of the high-spirit that he had before. His eyes were expressionless as he brushed over the people in the palace. He only paused when he caught sight of Fu Shui.
The Emperor’s eyes were filled with disappointment. “Crown Prince, Grand Prince Liang and Consort Du both testified against Fu Shui and said that your rebellious actions were largely instigated by him. Is this true?”
“Crown Prince, if it were not for Fu Shui bewitching you, would you have ended up like this? Everything started because of him. In the end, he bewitched you on one hand but secretly colluded with Yan Zifang to write a secret message to sell you out on the other hand!” Du He shouted.
The Crown Prince turned to loop at Fu Shui sharply, he was shocked. “Secret message?”
Fu Shui spoke coldly, “Yes, I knew long ago about Yan Zifang sending a secret letter to the Hot Spring Palace. It was that night when you were playing chess with me in the study room.”
The Crown Prince was momentarily stunned as his mind went blank. Chief Cao urged him, “Crown Prince, His Majesty is waiting for your reply.”
The Crown Prince trembled before refocusing. “Imperial Father, they are speaking the truth. If not for Fu Shui, I would not have walked down this path. Everything was instigated by Fu Shui! Imperial Father, please kill Fu Shui and take revenge for me!”
The Emperor could sense his fury and only half believed him. “What did he instigate you to do? Tell me.”
“He instigated me to kill Prince Han, to steal the throne and...and...oh right! He was the one that influenced me to abandon my duties and pamper the actor! If not for him, I would not have fallen out with you! Everything is his fault! He deserves to die!”
The Crown Prince kowtowed. “Imperial Father, please forgive me.”
Yan Zifang immediately spoke, “Your Majesty, His Highness resents Fu Shui for betraying him, that is why he said that. It was clear from his words. He wants Your Majesty to execute Fu Shui to help him take revenge.”
Chief Cao spoke quietly to the Emperor, “Your Majesty, Fu Shui only entered the Eastern Palace after the Crown Prince fell down the horse and injured his leg. However, at that time, the actor that the Crown Prince favoured, Chen Ji, was already dead. No matter how much Fu Shui tries to instigate him, he wouldn’t have been able to on this matter.”
The Emperor was well aware and directed his fury towards the Crown Prince, “How dare you lie to me and use this botched way of using me to kill someone else? Do you think I will fall for it? You are evil yet you are not repentant and are trying to frame someone good. It seems like I have been too kind towards you.”
The Emperor then instructed for the Crown Prince to be locked up in the internal attendants prison. He was to sleep on dried hay like the attendants that had committed crimes and eat the same food as them.
The Crown Prince was being dragged out as he turned back to shout, “Imperial Father, it is all Fu Shui’s fault! Imperial Father, you have to split Fu Shui up into a thousand pieces! He was the one that caused me to become like this. If he did not expose me, I would have become the Emperor!” He suddenly burst out in hysterical laughter, “Hahaha! He was the one that caused me to lose everything! He is the traitor! The traitor should die!”
His Imperial Father did not understand him but he understood his Imperial Father very well. His Imperial Father was generous towards others but strict towards him and could not stand a single grain of sand. The more he wanted to clear his name, the more his Imperial Father would push him to the edge. Too many have already died for him. He promised before that he would protect Fu Shui. He would not let Fu Shui end up like Chen Ji.
Fu Shui silently looked at the Crown Prince’s hobbling figure. His cold eyes flickered with a slight emotion.
Fu Rou, Lu Yingying and Fu Yin stared at each other in dismay.
In the beginning, Lu Yingying had secretly followed Fu Rou and Fu Rou had caught her. Lu Yingying wanted to find out about Grand Prince Liang and was intending to surrender herself to the authorities. Although Fu Rou admired Lu Yingying for her kindness, she did not think surrendering was the best way. Grand Prince Liang had helped the Crown Prince to rebel and the crime was on him. It had nothing to do with Lu Yingying. It was extremely lucky that Lu Yingying could escape unharmed. It was proof that good people would have a good ending. It didn’t seem worth it if she were to die with her husband and give up her life for no reason. Hence, Lu Yingying was persuaded by Fu Rou and agreed to stay at the Fu Residence temporarily. They were going to assess the situation first.
As fate would have it, Fu Yin returned home too. Fu Tao also managed to snatch Shan’er from the housekeeper’s hands. He told the rest of the family that it was an abandoned baby and brought him home to raise.
Fu Rou did not manage to ask Fu Yin anything before Lu Yingying and Fu Yin saw each other. They were both shocked. Fu Rou sensed that something was wrong and made an excuse to bring Lu Yingying and Fu Yin into a side room.
Seeing how the both of them were not speaking, she took the initiative. “Between the both of you, one of you has to speak first.”
Lu Yingying broke the silence, “Both your parents are dead? Your aunt sold you to a trafficker?”
Fu Yin chuckled bitterly, “They are lies.”
Lu Yingying asked, “Why?”
Fu Yin replied, “Lu Qi ordered Lu Hanxing to set fire to the Fu Residence just because my Second Sister witnessed your family transporting ill-gotten wealth. In the end, my mother was burned to death in that fire.”
Fu Rou was shocked. “How did you know?”
Fu Yin’s expression did not change. “Lu Hanxing said it himself.”
Lu Yingying finally understood. “So that’s why you killed Lu Hanxing. Not because he took liberties with you, but for revenge. You became my brother’s concubine and gave birth to Shan’er, all for revenge.”
In that few short sentences, Fu Rou’s astonishment grew a few folds. She also felt her heart ache. She never thought that the reason Fu Yin left would be to take revenge and she would never have imagined that Fu Yin would give away her body to Lu Qi for that.
Lu Yingying asked, “You caused a man who loves you deeply to be heartbroken and now he lives a life no better than death. How does it feel to have taken revenge? Does it feel as good as you had imagined it to be?”
Fu Yin did not answer her question. “If you want to take revenge for Lu Qi, you can do it now.”
Lu Yingying shook her head. “You are not the only one I know that had ruined yourself just to take revenge on others. You think you are able to distinguish between gratitude and resentment but you're actually the most foolish person on earth. By doing anything to take revenge, how would there be any place for kindness and justice? If the hatred continues from generation to generation, what will Shan’er’s future be like?”
She understood the pain of losing a mother but was revenge the only way to obtain peace? There were clearly other ways like living a happy life.
Shan’er suddenly started crying.
Lu Yingying sighed, “When Shan’er grows up, should he kill his own father to take revenge for his grandmother? Or should he kill you to take revenge for his father? Maybe he should kill himself. After all, he stemmed from the seed of hatred!”
Fu Yin hugged Shan’er tightly, pressing her face on his cheek. She regretted it, but it was too late for regrets.
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Sigh. I can't believe the Crown Prince would still protect Fu Shui after knowing that he had betrayed him. This guy is so stupid.