Fu Rou tossed and turned in bed. She could not fall asleep. She looked at the hazy light that shone in her pitch black room. Sighing, she sat up.
After begging Prince Zhou yesterday, she went to look for Linghu Deguan. Unexpectedly, Linghu Deguan coughed out blood in front of her. Although Chumu was around, it was still chaotic and they were all busy trying to rescue Linghu Deguan. There was no chance for her to speak and she returned without achieving anything.
Later on, the bad news arrived. Linghu Deguan was dead. He had gotten injured during the journey with Prince Qin. In order to fulfil his duties, he had delayed getting treatment and his injury had worsened. In addition, his chef at home added herbal medicine to his food. Although the medicine was not poisonous, it clashed with the prescription given to him by the imperial physician, causing him to cough out blood and die.
It is obvious who instructed the chef. However, now that the general in charge of the imperial guards was gone, Fu Rou understood that she could only count on herself. Although she was already used to bearing the burden, she had never felt so helpless and indecisive.
There were voices outsider her door. In the beginning, Fu Rou did not bother about it. However, as soon as she recognised the voice, she stood up and walked out.
Yu He was in the courtyard.
The light from daybreak shone on his features. His dark palace robe was blown by the wind, like a whirlpool. It was scary and dark.
This internal attendant was always smiling superficially, polite and soft-spoken. When he obtained power, he was extremely wild and malicious. He would root out any outsiders and not care about taking the lives of innocents.
“Chief Yu, what do you want?” With both of them taking standpoints, she could not be bothered to be polite.
Yu He placed the tiered box that he was carrying down. He slowly opened each layer. There were items like a rattle-drum and handkerchief. They were items belonging to her family.
She was extremely frightened internally but maintained a strong exterior. “You can’t prove that my family is in your hands just with these items.”
“Court Lady Fu, what do you want as proof? Your father’s finger? Your mother’s tongue? Or an eyeball from that child of your sister? But even if I bring it over, it will be drenched in blood. Would you be able to recognise it?” Power could make someone turn ugly.
“If Concubine Yan dares to touch even a strand of their hair, I will report you to the Justice Office!” Her words were empty but she did not want to relent.
“Court Lady Fu, you must be joking. Her Highness is kind and would never hurt anyone. Her Highness sent people to visit your second uncle’s house only because Her Highness looks highly upon you. Who would have known that your entire family would be missing. Apparently they went back to their hometown to visit relatives. Hopefully, they will not get attacked by robbers on the way and be locked in some unknown place, waiting to be slaughtered like pigs and dogs.” Yu He could hide for so many years because he was good at playing with people’s emotions. “If you understand things clearly now, tell me where Prince Qin is. Maybe Her Highness will help you find them and ensure their safety.”
Fu Rou fell silent for a long while. “I don’t know where Prince Qin is.” She was not going to exchange a life for a life.
Yu He laughed, “You don’t know?”
Fu Rou became anxious. “I swear on my life, I really don’t know!”
“Then prove it for Her Highness.” Yu He took out a bottle and threw it on the handkerchief lying in one of the boxes. “Aren’t you swearing with your life? If you can do it, perhaps heaven will pity your family.” Even if they found out Prince Qin’s location, they did not want Fu Rou to continue living and becoming a stumbling block.
“If you are still alive past midday, Her Highness will believe that all the things you said were true.” Yu He turned and left.
Fu Rou stood in the wind for a long time. She bent down to pick up the bottle. She had to think! She had to think properly!
Prince Zhou came to the Emperor’s palace to meet his mother. However, he was still thinking about how Fu Rou looked when she suspected him. Although he had spoken confidently, he could not help but be suspicious of whether his mother had hid something from him and whether she was truly the main culprit of why his Imperial Father was still unconscious.
At this moment, he stopped the palace servants from reporting his arrival as he walked silently to the door. He saw his mother delicately feeding his Imperial Father medicine. His Imperial Father was unconscious and the majority of the medicine flowed out of his mouth. His mother was patient as she wiped him clean gently and continued to feed him. Although his mother was always gentle to him, he hardly saw the way his parents interacted. He could feel that his mother truly loved and cared for his Imperial Father.
He silently let out a breath and walked towards her. “Mother.
Concubine Yan turned and smiled. “You came just in time, come and talk to your Imperial Father.”
Prince Zhou sat by the bed. “Imperial Father looks better all thanks to you. But please do not tire yourself out, Mother.”
Concubine Yan looked extremely sympathetically towards the Emperor. “It is my duty. He only has me by his side.” Finally.
Prince Zhou passed two personal orders to Yu He. “As you instructed, Zhong Yutang will be taking over Linghu Deguan. Yan Zifang will be his assistant. The two of them will control the imperial guards.”
Concubine Yan’s expression was gentle. “Isn’t this good? We can only be relieved when it is our people guarding us inside and outside the palace. As for Fang Xuanling…”
Prince Zhou cut her off. “Fang Xuanling is an important minister for the country, we cannot touch him.” Prince Zhou noticed his mother’s expression turned bad, and softened his tone. “It is not that I intentionally want to go against you. I am thinking about the future. As literature ministers, they don’t have much power. Even if they are unhappy, they can’t create much trouble. We should leave them to settle the citizens.”
Concubine Yan did not want to make Prince Zhou rebel and nodded. She would not fight with him.
Yu He cut in, “Sheng Chumu’s hundred men army are all outstanding. Your Highness, what do you have planned for them?”
Concubine Yan added, “Sheng Chumu has achieved outstanding military service time and again. He is capable. But since you can’t use him, he is just trouble if we leave him.”
“Everything is ready and we are only lacking a little bit. Mother, please rest assured.” Prince Zhou’s tone changed, “Court Lady Fu’s parents…”
Concubine Yan’s expression remained the same. “Although she has always gone against me, I know that you care about her. No matter what, I will let her live. When the masses have been settled, you can do whatever you want as long as you do not name her your Empress. As for her parents, I will definitely not make her your enemy.”
Prince Zhou believed her completely. “Thank you, Mother.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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