Chapter 98.1: Return (Final)

Prince Zhou stood in a defensive position with a longsword in his hands. Behind him, the Crown Prince and Prince Han followed closely. The Crown Prince was carrying their sleeping father on their back. In their efforts to be filial to their father, the three brothers were finally united.

Prince Zhou could sense the movements around them and looked back. He saw Prince Han shove a snack in his mouth and could not help but laugh. “Prince Han, how can you still eat while you move?”

Prince Han spoke as he ate, “Why don’t you try eating half a bowl of porridge for every meal?” He suddenly stared at the Crown Prince’s back. He rushed over emotionally, “Imperial Father has awoken!”

The Crown Prince let the Emperor down and Prince Zhou walked back quickly.

The sight of the Xuanwu Gate, towering mightily, appeared in front of the Emperor. 

“Xuanwu Gate?” He struggled to say these few words.

Prince Zhou explained, “Chief Cao and Yu He has control of the imperial guards now. They are searching for us everywhere. This area has the weakest security. Imperial Father, rest assured. We will bring you out safely.”

Prince Han mumbled, “This Xuanwu Gate is too crazy. Back then--”

The Crown Prince cut him off, “Back then, Imperial Father, you ruined Crown Prince Yin’s scheme to harm you. This time, you will also be able to avert disaster.”

Prince Han quickly agreed, “Yes, yes. Heaven has chosen Imperial Father, Imperial Father will enjoy never-ending longevity.”

The Emperor looked at the Crown Prince and did something he hasn’t done in a long time. He smiled knowingly.

The Crown Prince carried the Emperor once again and ran towards the stone steps of the Xuanwu Gate. Prince Han ran forwards two steps but saw that Prince Zhou was not following them. He turned to rush him. 

Prince Zhou drew out his sword and said sternly, “They are about to catch up. You all should go ahead first.”

As soon as he finished speaking, imperial guards appeared on the other side of the square. Yu He and Chief Cao were behind them. 

Prince Han narrowed his eyes as he saw what Yu He was wearing. “Isn’t that the dragon robe from the Sui Dynasty? Prince Zhou, I don’t think they will spare you. You should run with us.”

Prince Zhou suddenly dashed towards the imperial guards and shouted, “Go first! I will follow behind. We have to protect Imperial Father!”

Prince Han saw how Prince Zhou quickly got rid of a few guards and was surprised, “Okay, then you can help to slow them down. When you can no longer hold them back, hurry and run.” He then turned and ran after the Crown Prince.

Yu He fumed, “Li Ge, you are asking for death, don’t blame me for being heartless. Imperial Guards, Prince Zhou, Prince Han and the Crown Prince are colluding to kill the Emperor. Concubine Yan has ordered to kill them for the greater good, there is no need to spare anyone.”

Even more imperial guards surged forwards and surrounded Prince Zhou.  

Chief Cao praised Yu He, “Your Highness has indeed inherited the decisiveness of the late Emperor. The Imperial Guards obey Concubine Yan. We cannot let them know of her death and affect their emotions.”

Yu He nodded.

Prince Zhou guarded while looking at how the situation was at the Crown Prince and Prince Han’s side. He saw that they were about to reach the stone steps of the Xuanwu Gate. He did not even have time to celebrate before he saw them running down. The imperial guards at the Xuanwu Gate were also their enemy.

Prince Zhou broke through the guards surrounding him and met up with the Crown Prince and Prince Han at the stone stairs. The Crown Prince let the Emperor down and instructed Prince Han, “Take care of Imperial Father.” He then ran down, intending to fight side by side with Prince Zhou even if he was unarmed.

Prince Zhou slashed out and managed to get a sword from one of the guards. The Crown Prince took it. “Thanks.”

“You are welcome.”

Prince Zhou’s sword slashed out again, helping the Crown Prince defend a sneak attack to his side. The Crown Prince collaborated well and moved to where Prince Zhou was, taking down another man.

Prince Han did not notice the rapport between the Crown Prince and Prince Zhou. He was comforting the distressed Emperor, “Imperial Father, don’t be anxious, Heaven will help the worthy. Assistance will always come at the most critical point. When I was surrounded by Prince Zhao’s army, that scene was much scarier than this. I thought that I was sure to die…” Light flashed in the corner of his eye but he saw that the Crown Prince and Prince Zhou was at a disadvantageous position and they were forced to retreat slowly. It looked as if they were about to be taken down. Prince Han spoke quickly, “At the last critical moment, Chumu came…...Wah! Wah! Wah!”

Prince Han shot up in delight as he pointed to the sky. “He’s here! Chumu is here!”

Guards fell from the city gate’s tower. Ropes seemed to drop from the sky. Sheng Chumu was the first to rush down, followed quickly by the Hundred Army. They placed themselves between Prince Zhou and the Crown Prince and the Imperial Guards. They formed up neatly, like an iron wall. Very quickly, they inserted themselves within the imperial guards. The soldiers from the Hundred Army could each take on a hundred men by themselves. The imperial guards were no match for them and were quickly defeated. Sheng Chumu and Sheng Chuling were like a ray of hope as they quickly attacked Yu He and Chief Cao, capturing them in a flash.

Sheng Chuling glanced at Yu He and was curious. “A court attire from the Sui Dynasty? Which grave did you dig this up from?”

Yu He was fuming but did not say anything. He was shocked at how frightening Sheng Chumu and his Hundred Army was. They had so many imperial guards but could not do anything.

Sheng Chumu did not stop to rest as he rushed in front of the Emperor. He kneeled on one knee. “Your Majesty, please forgive me for arriving late!”

The Emperor opened his mouth. Prince Han spoke emotionally on his behalf, “You came just in time. Just in time!” He turned around and spoke to Prince Zhou, who was covered in scars and panting, “Chumu saved your life this time. If you still keep trying to steal his wife, you will have no conscience!”

Sheng Chumu was about to ask where Fu Rou was when Sheng Chuling ran over. “This is bad, Minister Fang and the rest of the ministers are still in the main hall. Fu Shui is about to kill them all!”

The Emperor grabbed Sheng Chumu’s wrist. “Sheng Chumu…” He was too weak to continue.

“Your Majesty, please rest assured, I will not let their conspiracy succeed. Zong Jianxiu, you are to stay behind to protect His Majesty. Sheng Chuling, Ye Qiulang, follow me to the main hall!” Sheng Chumu rushed on.

 

In the main hall, the countless number of blood streaks on the ground was frightening. However, the blood did not belong to the ministers. Instead, they belong to Fu Shui’s rebel army. Fu Shui stepped over the blood lines and gazed coldly, “Yan Zifang. You traitor!”

Yan Zifang’s eyes were even colder. “As pirates, we are always double-crossing and backstabbing. There is no master that lasts forever. However, we have enemies that last forever. Whoever that kills one of my brothers will become my enemy forever!”

Fu Shui had killed Ma Haihu. From the moment he found out that Ma Haihu had gone missing, he knew. However, what he did not know was how long Fu Shui and his side had planned for this. With just him alone, he would not be able to bring them down. Therefore he had silently remained in the background until this moment. It was time for him to take revenge.

Just now, when Fu Shui ordered for all the ministers to be killed, his sword, along with the swords of the imperial guards under him, pierced into the hearts of the rebel army. The situation had turned.

Fu Shui suddenly laughed, “Do you think that with so little people, you will be able to save them all? At this very moment, my father has killed Prince Zhou, the Crown Prince, Prince Han and Li Shimin. This world no longer belongs to the Li’s! All of you foolish ex-court ministers will not be able to survive.”

Yan Zifang looked back at the ministers, who had gone silent out of fear, before turning back. His gaze fell behind Fu Shui. A strange smile appeared on his solemn face.

“If I were you, I would not be so confident.”

Fu Shui followed Yan Zifang’s gaze and looked out. He was shocked. He quickly walked out of the hall. There was a long line of swift shadows heading towards them. It was like a black dragon. Leading them was Sheng Chumu!

Yan Zifang took advantage of the situation and led people to block the entrance of the hall. Xinnan’s courage grew as she poked her head out beside Yan Zifang, she waved her hands excitedly. “Chuling! Chuling! I am here!”

Sheng Chuling immediately ran to the front and was faster than Sheng Chumu. He shouted at Xinnan, “Xinnan, I am here! I will marry you today!”

Xinnan looked like a flower when she laughed. Yan Zifang sighed. Could this couple look at the situation around them? They were holding real weapons and people were about to die all around them!

Sheng Chumu had the same thoughts as he pushed Chuling, who was standing at the top of the stone stairs and blocking the way. “Fu Shui, you are surrounded. You have lost, surrender now!”

Yan Zifang mocked, “Oi, can you come later? Are you trying to claim all the glory to yourself after using me?”

Fu Shui came to a realisation. “Both of you were working together?” No wonder this plan had so many hiccups!

Sheng Chumu winked, “My apologies, you were just promoted by someone to become the assistant commander and now I am offering him amnesty.” His strength was in speaking persuasively. Be it women or pirates, he won them all.

Fu Shui guffawed, “Good! Very good! You all have skills! But did you think that I only had the imperial guards to count on in my entire chess game? The number of loyal soldiers that have not forgotten Great Sui are more than you can imagine!”

He suddenly whistled. Groups of men appeared at every entrance to the main hall. They all wore Great Sui’s armour. 

Yan Zifang and Sheng Chumu waved and their main forces attacked. Both of them focused on surrounding Fu Shui.

Fu Shui spoke with disdain, “The two of you are fighting just one of me. How can you call yourself a hero?”

As soon as Sheng Chumu heard this, he kicked away Yan Zifang’s sword. At the same time, he attacked, “I am here to challenge you. I will let you die contently!”

Yan Zifang did not argue. “Sheng Chumu, if you lose you better not cry!” He walked down the stairs and looked at the enemies in front of them.

Sheng Chumu did not respond as he focused on Fu Shui. Very soon, Fu Shui understood that Sheng Chumu was a lot stronger than he had imagined.

“You appeared and disappeared unexpectedly and you are powerful in all aspects. Yet, you are a loser that can’t even protect the woman you love!” Since he was not as skilled, he had to use underhanded means.

Sheng Chumu’s actions truly halted and his thigh suffered a blow from Fu Shui. He kneeled on the ground in pain. However, he tilted his head up. “What did you do to Rou’er?”

Fu Shui moved behind Sheng Chumu, ready to pierce his heart. “Don’t ask, I will send you on your way to meet--” A sword pierced through.

Unexpectedly, his sword pierced through Sheng Chumu’s soft armour and stopped there. A gold thread appeared. At this very moment, Sheng Chumu jumped up and pierced Fu Shui’s heart.

Fu Shui stared as fresh blood spurted from his mouth. “Golden-thread Heavenly Armour? How can that--'' He did not complete his sentence as his head tilted to the side and he died.

Sheng Chumu stared blankly at the battle happening in front of him. The Hundred Army was at an advantage and victory was certain. He subconsciously touched his collar, touching the Golden-thread Heavenly Armour. Fu Rou had given this to him after they got attacked on their trip with Prince Qin. She took it off herself and insisted that he took it. She said that the Golden-thread Heavenly Armour could not defend against the poison in the palace but it could help him on the battlefield. Her only wish was for him to return in triumph. Therefore, he had accepted it. For her.

He suddenly trembled as he stood and ran into Concubine Yan’s palace. His Rou’er was smart and kind. She is blessed with good fortune and heaven will protect her. Nothing will happen to her!

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Coca's Thoughts

lol Fu Shui died just like that...uhh ok. 

And yay, Yan Zifang decided to turn "good"! People keep changing sides in this novel. Who would've thought the three brothers would end up working together!?!?!!