Chapter 94.1: Powerplay

Fu Rou has never been to the Imperial Guards Office. Although she did not know how it was like in the past, the place now felt dark. There were groups of imperial guards donned in armor and their weapons, looking ready to kill. Yan Zifang walked out. He was also wearing soft armour as well as boots. His aura felt different from the past. In the past, he seemed to be striving for justice, now his entire person appeared gloomy.

“Court Lady Fu, what do you want?” The warm and kind elder brother, justified pirate, and her only drinking buddy was gone. 

“I am here on Concubine Yan’s personal order to observe Sheng Chuling’s trial.” Everyone had their own ambitions, she would not force him. 

“Sheng Chuling injured his guard and escaped.” Yan Zifang’s expression was cold. 

“I don’t believe it.” Fu Rou’s reaction was fast. This place is guarded so heavily, how could he escape?

“He escaped. The Imperial Guard Office does not need to explain to the Six Offices.” Yan Zifang walked by Fu Rou, “Excuse me for not keeping you company. I have to go and catch the escapee. I am not as free as you.”

“Yan Zifang!” Fu Rou could not help but shout. Yan Zifang turned back, “If you have something to say, hurry and say it.”

“Even until today, when people in Guangzhi County speak about your father, Yan Xianwei, they would compliment him and admire him for being justified and selfless. He never bent over for power and riches. You will only disappoint Uncle Yan’s spirit in heaven.” Fu Rou did not force him but will still say this. 

“Disappoint?” Yan Zifang wanted to laugh. “Father threw his own life away. Do you know the real reason why my family was torn apart?”

“Power.” Yan Zifang’s mouth twitched. “Being upright without power is just stupid. I don’t want to walk the same road as my father. I advise you to be open minded. Concubine Yan needs capable people.” 

Fu Rou stared at him for a moment before chuckling. “No wonder Yingying left. Yan Zifang, you are not worthy of her.”

Yan Zifang froze before a sinister look appeared on his face. “Do you know where she is?”

Fu Rou raised her brows. “I don’t know.”

Yan Zifang’s gaze was frightening. “You must have met her.”

Fu Rou did not comment. “I will take my leave, you don’t have to send me off, General Yan.” It was her turn to walk past Yan Zifang.

Yan Zifang grabbed Fu Rou’s elbow. He asked urgently, “Tell me where she is!”

“Let Sheng Chuling go or you can forget about it!” Fu Rou pulled with all her might and managed to get rid of his hold.

Yan Zifang’s anxious expression slowly turned cold. “I don’t know what you are saying. How can I release a criminal that has already escaped?” He knocked into Fu Rou’s shoulder and walked off.

In Fu Rou’s eyes, Yan Zifang had made a choice between love and power. She had only one choice left. She was going to find Sheng Chumu and not fight alone anymore.

As soon as Yan Zifang walked out of the palace gates, his proud expression disappeared.

He used to have comrades in arms, good friends and comparable but respectful opponents. Now, there was no one. Suddenly, a huge gust of wind blew and a paper flew towards him. He reacted quickly and caught it. It was a picture of Haihu. He narrowed his eyes. He folded the paper and kept it. All of a sudden, a shadow shot out from a side alley and knocked him off his horse.

Yan Zifang rolled on the floor. When he lifted his head, his eyes flashed with a cold glare. “Sheng Chumu!”

Sheng Chumu growled, “Hand Chuling over!”

Yan Zifang let out a short laugh, “Those kites really had a problem.”

When he was on duty today, he saw many kites in the sky. He had been suspicious and ordered the imperial guards to strengthen their patrol but they did not find anything amiss. Because of his experience as a pirate, he even took one of the kites to check and saw that there were uncommon thread marks. However, he could not understand what they meant. So this was how Fu Rou sent messages to Sheng Chumu!

Sheng Chumu did not say a second word as he drew his sword and attacked Yan Zifang. Yan Zifang pulled out his sword and blocked his attack.

“Yan Zifang, you should just go back to being a pirate. At least then your evil side is outrightly displayed.” Sheng Chumu flicked his wrist. With all kinds of sword techniques, he trapped Yan Zifang. 

Yan Zifang was disadvantaged. “If you kill me, Sheng Chuling will die with me!”

Sheng Chumu’s sword brushed Yan Zifang’s ear and pierced the wall. Yan Zifang did not blink. “If you want to see your younger brother, you better listen to me.”

Sheng Chumu snorted, “What are you trying to do?”

“Doing what you said. Outrightly being bad.” Yan Zifang raised his brows.

 

Not far away, lamps were lit in the corridor. The beautiful courtyard in the day was not drenched in darkness. Fu Rou silently stood behind a fake mountain. When she heard footsteps, she slowly peeped out. She was in no rush to move.

The person that came looked left and right, acting slightly suspicious. It was only when they reached the front of the fake mountain did they mumble, “Where is she?” It was then that Fu Rou stretched out her hand and tapped the person’s shoulder. 

That person turned back in shock, ready to shout. Fu Rou lowered her voice, “It’s me.” At the same time, she pulled the person behind the fake mountain.

“Woman, this entire place is on high alert. Why did you still ask to meet me?” The person that came was Fu Rou’s only good friend, Li Baolin.

“Are you sure no one followed you?” Fu Rou asked.

“How can that be! I was extremely careful.” Li Baolin was quite proud. “You are not afraid of anything and have offended Concubine Yan. If she knows that I am close to you and met you in the middle of the night, I won’t live to see the sun.”

Fu Rou was really worried. “You also came from the Six Offices and Twenty-four Departments. Does Concubine Yan suspect our relationship?” The entire Six Offices had become a thorn in Concubine Yan’s eyes.

Li Baolin was proud. “I am not a bookworm like you. I am a little smart and best at surviving in the cracks. Ever since the Empress passed away, I sensed that something was not right between you and Concubine Yan and I made sure to occasionally complain about you. Don’t you realise that I haven’t invited you for tea recently?”

Fu Rou shook her head and Li Baolin wanted to laugh. “You are so slow.”

Fu Rou laughed as well. “It is not too late to realise. Tell me, what do you complain about?”

Li Baolin rolled her eyes. “Sigh, you have forgotten everything. Back then, when you first entered the Seamstress Department, you were always stepping over me. You even stole the Head Seamstress position that would have been mine. How can you do that to me?”

Fu Rou pretended to be guilty. “That’s right, that’s right. But after you became a Baolin, we still continued to interact.”

Li Baolin felt like she did not understand. “Even since you were a Siyan, the late Empress was behind you. Who would dare to offend you? Moreover, in the palace, everyone smiles towards each other but as soon as they turn their backs, the curses and complaints will come out.”

Fu Rou laughed, “Okay, smart person. It is good that you were prepared. I was afraid that I would implicate you when I went against Concubine Yan. Now that she holds the most power, you have to take care.”

“You…” Li Baolin’s voice hitched as she was moved, “Rest assured, I am very scared of dying. Hurry and tell me. Why did you ask me out tonight?”

Fu Rou became serious. “How is your relationship with Concubine Qiao?”

“It is okay, we hang out occasionally.” Li Baolin realised, “Why? Are you trying to get Concubine Qiao to plead for Princess Xinnan?”

“You guessed half of it. Princess Xinnan has been locked up by Official Zhuang. Concubine Yan is in power, but I have a way to help her escape. If we are lucky, it will set Concubine Yan back. However, I need others to help me.”

Li Baolin muttered, “Concubine Qiao has Princess Yueyang and her position is closer to Concubine Yan. Will she dare to go against Concubine Yan? Concubine Yan’s powers now surpass that of the Empress. Even the imperial guards listen to her.”

“If Concubine Qiao is alone, she would definitely not dare. But with her position, she can convince the other concubines to meet Concubine Yan together. She has to choose the right time as well. Two days later.” Fu Rou was confident.

“Why is there a need to choose a time?” Li Baolin wondered. Auspicious?

Fu Rou leaned in to Li Baolin’s ear and whispered.

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Coca's Thoughts

There will be a mass release!!