Fu Shui walked out from behind the screen and reprimanded, “Princess Xinnan, you faked your death and caused unrest in the palace. Now you are spouting nonsense and defaming the new Emperor. What ulterior motive do you have?”
Xinnan was fearless. “You all took the opportunity when Imperial Father was unconscious to get rid of the Duke Lu Residence and framed and hurt Sheng Chuling. You forced me to fake my death to escape. What are your ulterior motives? You are an Imperial Physician, yet you are in the main court and listening to such a big event of handing over the throne. I would like to ask you, who exactly are you?!”
Fu Shui was speechless and knew that with Xinnan’s personality, it was not possible for her to say such well thought out words.
Prince Zhou was surprised and suspicious. He glanced at Fu Shui but asked Xinnan, “On what basis do you say that the Imperial Decree of Succession was forged?”
“Based on facts! Based on how you all did anything you could to get the Emperor’s Seal for the fake Imperial Decree of Succession! Based on how you all do not dare to invite Chancellor Yu Minchen out for a confrontation!” That’s right, Fu Rou was the one that taught her what to say!
“Where is Yu Minchen?” Prince Zhou called out, “Wasn’t this Imperial Decree of Succession stamped with the Emperor’s Seal by Yu Minchen? Summon him immediately!”
Chief Cao and Fu Shui did not dare to say anything.
Prince Zhou suddenly understood. He bitterly laughed as he mocked himself. He had been lied to again! From his Imperial Father’s illness, to the Imperial Decree of Succession. They were all lies. It was a pity that he had wished for his father’s recognition so much that he was willing to be lied to, time and again. Deep in his heart, although he knew this was a dream, he wished that the dream would become real.
Fang Xuanling threw a look at several old ministers and they slowly made their way to the door.
Yan Zifang caught Fu Shui’s eye. “Guards!” A huge group of imperial guards appeared and closed the palace doors. They pushed Xinnan and Fang Xuanling to the side.
As Prince Zhou saw all these, he turned to look coldly at Fu Shui. “If you all are intending to rebel, don’t count me in.” He was about to walk down the stairs when he felt something cold on his neck.
Fu Shui held a dagger to his neck and spoke calmly, “Your Highness, you should think twice for Her Highness.”
Prince Zhou gritted his teeth. “Are you using my mother to threaten me?”
Fu Shui wanted to laugh but did not. “How can that be? Let Auntie tell it to you herself.”
Fu Shui locked Prince Zhou in the study room behind the main hall. He arranged for guards to remain outside before he left.
Prince Zhou paced around like a trapped animal. His Imperial Father did not hand the throne over to him, Fu Shui was controlling the ministers, and the forging of the Imperial Decree of Succession had been exposed. There is only one thing that Fu Shui can do now. He was going to kill everyone that knew and forcefully change the entire court. Blood was going to flow.
“Ge’er.” Concubine Yan walked in.
Prince Zhou halted and looked at his mother. He had known that he was merely a chess piece yet he willingly allowed himself to be used all because he believed that his mother truly wanted to protect him. However, him becoming Great Tang’s Emperor was one thing. Changing the entire Great Tang to rebuild Great Sui was another thing.
“Ask whatever you want.” Concubine Yan sighed lightly.
“What happened with the Imperial Decree of Succession?” He had to ask.
“We found the best forger in the world.”.
“Did Imperial Father’s old illness act up again?”
“He was given poison. If not, I would have died.”
Prince Zhou’s entire body froze as his eyes were filled with hatred. “Why? Why did you have to go to this point? Mother, I did not want anything. I just wanted you to be healthy and live a long life.”
“If the Empress’ sons take the throne, both you and I will have a short life.” Concubine Yan felt like she had no choice. “I know that you hate me. It is no use even if the hatred in your heart can reach the ends of the earth. We have done a thousand mistakes to get to this point. Now, you only have one road left. Regardless of whether you still acknowledge me as a mother in the future, I just hope that you will listen to me one last time.”
“Stop talking! You turned me into a bastard that killed his own father! I am a traitor that forged the Imperial Decree of Succession! A criminal that will be cursed by people for eternity! I thought that it was because you suffered too much and that is why you would do anything to protect yourself. I thought that no matter how greedy you were for power, you would have kinship in your heart. But you don’t! You don’t! What you cannot forget, is your previous status as a Princess! The Great Sui that has already been destroyed! You even made a move on Imperial Father, whom you have loved for tens of years…” He was not going to listen to anyone anymore.
Concubine Yan suddenly turned to the door of the study room. She pretended to shout as if she wanted someone on the outside to hear, “You can’t die, I only have you as a son. You have to continue living. You have to rebuild Great Sui and become the Emperor. You have to live gloriously!” She then lowered her voice and grabbed his hand. She was trembling. “No matter what you decide, they will still kill your Imperial Father.”
Just now, Yu He and Fu Shui said that they were going to kill all the court ministers and change the entire court. This means that the Emperor had to die as well. Both the father and son no longer listened to her. She realised that all they cared about was reestablishing Great Sui, they did not care about her nor her son.
Prince Zhou froze. “Mother…”
“If you promise them, you will become a puppet Emperor that they can manipulate. They will have power and you will have to bear all the infamy.” Concubine Yan took out a pill and placed it in his hands. “Cao Yangde is the one who poisoned your father. I snuck into his room to find the antidote. Go and save your Imperial Father. Mend your ways and accomplish a meritorious deed. This is your last chance.”
Prince Zhou held onto the antidote tightly. Concubine Yan shouted once more, “Son, you finally understand me. Everything I have done is for you!”
Yu He pushed open the door and entered, “Elder Sister.”
Concubine Yan turned back and smiled, her tears had yet to dry. “Great, Ge’er has finally thought it through.”
Prince Zhou cooperated, “If I cannot be Great Tang’s Emperor, I will be Great Sui’s Emperor. There will be no tomorrow and the citizens don’t have a second ruler. However, he is still my biological father. If I really have to send him off, I want to send him off personally.”
Yu He smiled as well and called four guards to step forward. “His Highness will be heading to Ganlou Palace to pay his filial piety. The four of you shall follow him. Don’t lose him.”
Prince Zhou walked out and the guards followed him closely. Concubine Yan was in a daze as she sent him off.
Yu He looked at Concubine Yan as his eyes turned cold. He had followed her for so many years. How could he not know whether she truly loved the Emperor? Therefore, the fact that she suddenly changed her mind and agreed to kill the Emperor made him all the more suspicious.
Concubine Yan was fidgety. She held a book of scriptures in her hand but was not absorbing anything. Her son had gone for a long time but there was no news from him. She did not know if the antidote had been useful or if the Emperor had awakened. If the Emperor had awakened, she wondered if he would forgive Ge’er.
She was feeling flustered. As she moved to place down the book of scriptures, it fell onto the floor. She bent over to pick it up when she suddenly heard a bam sound from the door.
“Your Highness, things have gone bad!” Jin’er ran in. “The imperial guards said that Prince Zhou fed the Emperor some kind of antidote and they made a move on Prince Zhou. They...they...killed Prince Zhou!”
Concubine Yan stood up in a panic. Her vision blurred.
Jin’er rushed to help her sit. Concubine Yan cried, “Ge’er, this is all my fault. I should not have given you the antidote! I should not have asked you to save the Emperor!”
Chief Cao and Yu He walked in. Jin’er looked guilty as she took her leave.
Concubine Yan shuddered as she wiped her tears. “What is going on?”
Chief Cao ignored Concubine Yan. He ordered the imperial guards at the door, “Lock up Ganlou Palace. Tell General Zhong that Prince Zhou is now our enemy. There is no need to keep him alive.”
Concubine Yan was furious. “How dare you!”
Yu He walked towards Concubine Yan. “Why won’t we dare? You were the one that betrayed Great Sui first. You betrayed our lifetime ambition!”
Concubine Yan shook her head. “I have already said that for the Yang family and for Great Sui, I would do anything. Except to harm the Emperor! I have been married to him for so many years, I cannot kill him!”
Chief Cao cut in coldly, “I have said before that you are too soft. You only remember her as your biological sister but you forgot that she belongs to Li Shimin.”
Yu He gritted his teeth and his temples bulged out. “I will not be soft anymore. Everyone from the Li royal family must die. Including Prince Zhou. I will get rid of all the roots to prevent any future disasters.”
Concubine Yan slapped Yu He hard. “I won’t allow this!”
Yu He suddenly reached out to strangle her. “Won’t allow? Who are you to allow or not? I crippled  myself, put up with humiliation, willingly let myself become a despicable rock for you to step and trample on so that you could climb higher. But what did I get in return? Your betrayal!”
Concubine Yan was stunned as she flared at Yu He. Both her hands grabbed onto his as she tried her best to pry his off her neck. She was extremely regretful. She should not have fought. Because of her ambition, she grew Yu He’s excessive greed and it eventually ruined her.
“What is Prince Zhou? He is just the grandson of the Great Sui’s Emperor. He even has our enemy’s blood flowing through him! I am a prince of Great Sui! My Fu Shui is a blood descendant of our Great Sui’s Emperor! His blood is more precious than Prince Zhou’s. He should rightfully be the new emperor of Great Sui! We don’t need you or Li Shimin’s son!” Yu He’s eyes were red as he bellowed, strangling Concubine Yan.
Concubine Yan’s struggles slowly weakened as her face turned from red to white. Her veins burst as her shoulders sagged.
Yu He did not notice that Concubine Yan had stopped breathing and continued to shake her. “I am the true prince of Great Sui! My son has the true royal blood of Great Sui!”
Chief Cao notified him, “She is dead.”
Yu He’s consciousness returned as he saw Concubine Yan’s pale face. He released his hand and Concubine Yan fell to the ground lifelessly. His breath was urgent as he looked annoyed. He bent down and reached out to touch Concubine Yan’s face.
Chief Cao suddenly kneeled in greeting, “Congratulations, Your Highness. You have overcome the last obstacle to help Fu Shui obtain the throne. Fu Shui is brilliant in many ways, brave and firm. He will become a mighty ruler and bring back Great Sui’s glorious days.”
Yu He’s movements paused as his eyes filled with greed once more. “Yes, Fu Shui will become a mighty ruler. This kingdom does not belong to her son but my son. It should have been this way. It should have been!”
It was his sister’s fault. She was too selfish and only thought of her own son. She had never cared about Great Sui’s future! The married woman has returned home. He did not need to feel guilty! Great Sui belongs to the Yang, not the Li!
Previous Chapter Next Chapter
I did not expect this either...