Let Me Pursue You – Chapter 109
Yuan Ci Xian roughly deduced from the dream: for some reason, Shaohe went away to Dunhuang for self-exile. After many years of avoiding the worldly affair, she heard the news of Lu Shi Qing’s death and returned to Chang’an, and somehow learned the existence of Xu Mansion.
At that time, when all the dust settled, Xu Mansion had already become an abandoned place, and Lu Shi Qing already died, so naturally there would be no more defenses. Due to her special status, it was not surprising that she could go inside to investigate.
That was to say, although Shaohe had a rebirth, her knowledge was as limited as Yuan Ci Xian’s, and maybe even less. She didn’t know the most important thing, the political changes in Great Zhou and surrounding countries during the turbulent years. But since she was able to get the news of Lu Shi Qing’s death, it meant that she was not completely isolated from the world, but left an opening, only to receive information about him. Then, she might know a thing or two about some important events involving him.
The secret passage of Xu Mansion was exposed for no reason, and even Lu Shi Qing was unable to detect the flaws. After this dream and then connecting it, Yuan Ci Xian quickly thought of Shaohe who knew about this information. Knowing the location of Xu Mansion’s secret passage, but not knowing the specific entrance in Lu Mansion, this just echoed the dream. The news leaked from her mouth, so it should be correct.
But Yuan Ci Xian was not sure under what circumstances she revealed this secret. If she was completely willing, then it was understandable. No one knew what happened in the deep palace of Nanzhao. Enduring adversity for two lifetimes, and once it bottomed out due to some stimulus, even a calm water might cause huge waves.
If she was controlled by others, it was also conceivable. After all, from the accident on the night of her labor, Yuan Ci Xian deeply felt that Xi Ju had no bottom line in his actions. With this kind of person’s means, maybe Shaohe’s cooperation was not needed at all. As long as she knew, afraid that there were ten thousand ways to pry her mouth open.
Lu Shi Qing didn’t show any objection, just said that he knew, and then carried her to the bed to rest. He told her that it was not even Yinshi (3-5 am), let her sleep for a while, but he had to go to the palace immediately.
There was an urgent military situation, it demanded immediate action. At this moment, afraid Chang’an City was not peaceful everywhere. Not only Lu Shi Qing, but all the courtiers were rushing to Daming Palace. Yuan Ci Xian could not delay him, and nodded obediently. When he left, she couldn’t fall asleep, so she simply put on her clothes and got up, lit the lamps and candles in the room, and then pulled out the map of surrounding countries from outside the room.
Seeing her getting up at night, Shi Cui and Jian Zhi rushed to serve her, watching her staring at the map and frowning in thought. They didn’t dare to disturb her until she sighed softly and asked, “What excuse did Ping Prince use for raising his troops?”
Shi Cui just got the news from Cao An, and hurriedly replied: “Yesterday was the Buddha’s birthday on the eighth day of Fourth month, and Ping Prince raised his troops on the ground that he was guided by the gods and Buddhas at night and came to ‘’.”
Yuan Ci Xian smiled: ‘Clear the monarch’s side’? Who is this monarch’s side? Shi Qing?”
Shi Cui nodded: “The proclamation for the crusade was a long three hundred elegant characters that were very beautiful and powerful. It mentioned how the heavenly deities showed insight into his heart. It also detailed the numerous accusations against Master, describing how he misled the Sacred Heart, how he conspired with the Huihu and Nanzhao, how he colluded with the imperial princes, and remained loyal to two masters.”
She snorted coldly: “Nothing new. What he said is actually true.”
“Don’t worry Lady, His Majesty must know that this is an excuse. Even if he has doubts, he will not make things difficult for Master at this juncture. After all, Ping Prince is going to lead troops into the capital, and Master doesn’t have a single soldier under him.”
Yuan Ci Xian nodded: “I’m not worried about this. His Majesty said that he must deal with Ping Prince first. I was just thinking that the way His Majesty dealt with him might create a mess in Great Zhou.”
“Why Lady said that?”
Accompanied by the sound of the rain outside the window, she said calmly, “His Majesty neither has the mind to trust people he used, nor the ability to not use people he distrusted. Not only does he want to kill Ping Prince, but he is also afraid of Father. After dealing with Ping Prince, the next one is very likely be our Yuan family’s turn. You say, now with Huainan rebellion, if the court wishes to preserve its power and seek maximum benefits, who should they send to confront Ping Prince?”
Shi Cui was stunned: “His Majesty wants to use the military power in Diannan, and let Diannan Prince sending troops to aid the capital.”
“In order to get rid of the serious troubles in his heart, he uses distant water to dispel the near fire, His Majesty is simply unrestrained!” Jian Zhi frowned.
Yuan Ci Xian thought that he was far more than unrestrained, nodded, looked down at their territories map, pointed to the top and said: “Our Diannan’s soldiers and war horses can easily keep up with those that raised in Huainan. It stands to reason that Father has a chance of winning. However, he led a rapid march all the way north, which is bound to be very consuming, and confronting Ping Prince who has a geographical advantage will be a tough battle, it may not be easy to win in a short time. When the two armies faced each other, the greater the loss, the happier His Majesty will be.”
Jian Zhi replied: “But His Majesty may not be able to laugh soon. The eldest son of Nanzhao King in Chang’an is fake, and the new Nanzhao King is a person who is willing to risk condemnation of the world. How can he not be moved when he see that Diannan is empty? Once Nanzhao makes a move, Great Zhou will be distracted to take care of them… How is this good?”
Yuan Ci Xian nodded to confirm her judgment, and said: “At that time, it will be Huihu’s turn to appear. His Majesty did not expect this link of Nanzhao, but Shi Qing and His Sixth Highness must have foreseen it. In order to avoid harming the people in the border, they must have made preparations early and won over the friendly army of Huihu.
“It’s just no matter what, the Huihu’s spears must never be aimed at the hearts of our Great Zhou soldiers. Even if these soldiers were engaged in the destruction of Great Zhou, using the Huihu soldiers to obstruct them would be tantamount to treason. If that were the case, it would be no different from the treacherous Ping Prince and Second Prince. So, Shi Qing will ask the Huihu reinforcements to avoid the Great Zhou civil war, and go directly to the southwest to fight against Nanzhao.”
Jian Zhi thought for a while and asked: “But Huihu has just experienced half a year of war, their footing is not stable yet. The Turks is the predecessor of Huihu. It has withdrawn from the stage of history for several years, but always thinking of making a comeback. Now it’s very likely that they’re also ready to take advantage of the void and choose this opportunity to attack Huihu again. If the backyard catches fire, how can those soldiers who come to our aid fight Nanzhao with peace of mind?”
When Shi Cui heard this, she was puzzled: “The Turks were repelled not long ago, how can they regroup so quickly?”
“What if the army that was previously repelled was just a decoy?” Yuan Ci Xian retorted, “At the beginning, Second Prince escaped halfway and led the Turks to attack Huihu. It was strange in itself. It’s not difficult for him to be rescued by Ping Prince, but why was he able to order the Turks? After all he was the enemy of the Turks in the past. Besides, the Turks chose a time of stability to make a comeback, destined to be attacked jointly by our Great Zhou and Huihu. There’s no logic in their success. Isn’t that just blindly following Second Prince’s futile efforts?”
“So, Second Prince is a pawn from the beginning to end, and the one who really cooperates with the Turks is Ping Prince.” Jian Zhi deduced, “Ping Prince hopes that the Turks can inflict damage on a portion of the forces and play this half-year-long cat-and-mouse game, completely cutting off Second Prince’s escape route, and also depleting the court’s military strength. The condition for the exchange is to give them a real chance to regain their momentum, exactly like the chaotic situation we have now with both Great Zhou and Huihu in disarray?”
Yuan Ci Xian nodded: “Ping Prince accurately calculated that His Majesty’s failing eyesight would prevent him from seeing the situation clearly, He want to let His Majesty and Father consume each other. At the beginning, he reserved enough military strength in the capital region and wouldn’t bring Father down in one fell swoop. As long as he can hold out Father’s hands until the Turks attack, there is a possibility of a reversal. At that time, even if His Majesty regret it, Great Zhou will be in a dire situation, and it won’t be possible to allocate enough forces from the capital region to deal with him.”
Shi Cui shuddered when she heard this.
This battle was intricately connected, starting with Ping Prince and involving the collusion of the court, the gradual entry of Diannan, Nanzhao, Huihu, and the Turks, and ultimately circling back to Ping Prince.
If the trend of the world truly unfolded like this, it would push Great Zhou to the road of national subjugation.
She asked: “Since we know what the future might be like, is there no way to stop it?”
“Yes.” Yuan Ci Xian fell silent after saying that, looked out the window at the still lingering wind and rain, and spoke again after a while, “First, Father must fight to the death while the capital region army retains its strength, chop off Ping Prince’s head, and then strive to unite the Huainan generals who were instigated to rebel, unite against the foreigners. Second, when necessary…”
She stretched out one hand, curled her five fingers towards her palm, making a clutching movement: “There must be someone who can firmly control His Majesty.”
The next step was as Yuan Ci Xian expected.
Emperor Huining ordered Yuan Yi Zhi to set off immediately and lead the army to aid the capital. At the same time, he sent the capital and Jiangnan garrisons, one south and one north to attack the enemy, trying to keep Ping Prince out of Shannan East Province, delaying time to wait for assistance from Diannan.
Half a month later, Yuan Yi Zhi and Ping Wang officially confronted each other. Seeing that the reinforcements had arrived, the soldiers and horses in the capital and Jiangnan were ordered to withdraw from Shannan East Province in order to preserve their combat power.
But below, something beyond Yuan Ci Xian’s expectation happened.
Yuan Yi Zhi’s army had been irresistible force since the moment they confronted Ping Prince, and won the first battle easily, blocking the enemy outside Fangzhou, the hinterland of Shannan East Province.
Three days later, they fought again, making the enemy retreated for another hundred miles and forced the Huainan army to Fuzhou, a border area in the Shannan East Province, where they were forced to lie dormant.
Next, they sneaked around the enemy’s back, intercepted the military supply, and burned the food and grass. Each step was methodical, so that Ping Prince had to retreat to the same place, with no room to advance or retreat.
Yuan Ci Xian felt incredible. She knew that her father had marched for many years, and in terms of experience and tactics, he was the number one in Great Zhou. But she was also very clear how much garrison military strength the imperial court had arranged in Diannan. Even if Father emptied the entire Diannan, it was impossible to have such a victorious momentum.
The army from Diannan that fought against Ping Prince, was like the elite of the elite, each of them could resist a hundred soldiers.
Did it fall from the sky?
Yuan Ci Xian had nowhere to confirm the doubts in her heart. Because since the beginning of the war, Lu Shi Qing seldom returned home, staying in Zichen Hall or Xuanzheng Hall during the day, and staying at the office of Central Secretariat at night.
Two days later, the fighting became more urgent, and the soldiers in Huainan could no longer bear it any longer, and desperately broke out.
Yuan Yi Zhi sat and waited for the net to be collected. Under the cover of several confidant, he took the lead, passed many obstacles, went straight to the tiger’s den, and cut off Ping Prince’s head with one slash.
In the blink of an eye, the Huainan rebels scattered like birds and beasts.
When Prince Ping’s head was rushed back to Chang’an, Nanzhao didn’t even have time to make a move against Great Zhou.
When the news reached the capital, the whole court was shocked.
Before they could rejoice, everyone was subconsciously shocked.
It’s terrifying. When the imperial court dodged from left to right because they didn’t want to get that Clear the Monarch’s side’s accusation, and calculated how to leverage the power against the power, the military strength of Diannan had reached such a frightening level!
From this point of view, as long as Yuan Yi Zhi wanted to turn against them, he could become the second Ping Prince!
All of a sudden, there were rumors in the capital, saying that the force Yuan Yi Zhi had brought was not the garrison at the southwest border, but the private army he raised.
Yuan Ci Xian was not angry with the rumors, because she felt that they were right.
If Father hadn’t raised a private army over the years, relying on those local soldiers alone would definitely not have this strength.
In order to buy time for Great Zhou to breathe, he killed Ping Prince before Nanzhao took action. But Father fought to death without saying anything, and he did not hesitate to show his hidden card. And this matter must have been discussed with Lu Shi Qing.
Because of this, Lu Shi Qing had not returned to the mansion these days, and always on standby at Daming Palace.
If the emperor willing to trust Father and order him to return to defend the Southwest after the crisis on this side was resolved, then everything was fine and nothing would happen. But once he was deterred by Diannan’s power and decide to take this opportunity to eradicate the Yuan family and kill the donkey after the grinding is done, Lu Shi Qing would control him immediately.
Manpower, excuses, retreat, Yuan Ci Xian knew that he was ready, but he never wanted the old emperor to really force him and the Yuan family to come to this point.
Unfortunately, Heaven failed to fulfil man’s wish. That night, news came out from Daming Palace that Emperor Huining had fainted due to days of hard work and didn’t wake up all night. At dawn, he said that he would temporarily hand over the follow-up of the war to Assistant Minister Lu.
This news means that the emperor had made up his mind to boil the hound once it caught the rabbit, and destroy the bridge after crossing the river.
The emperor, who had always been healthy, fell ill overnight. Everyone was surprised and suspicious. Courtiers, princes and grandchildren asked to see him one after another, but were all rejected. In front of the Zichen Hall, there was a group of people who asked to face the emperor, and they confronted the Jinwu Guard who had been placed earlier by Lu Shi Qing’s side for a whole morning.
At noon, a remnant party of Prince Ping couldn’t stand it anymore, and rebuked that the emperor was not ill, but Lu Shi Qing had taken the Son of Heaven hostage.
Before he could finish speaking, Lu Shi Qing made a signal, and a Jinwu guard stepped forward and cut his throat with a sword.
The blood splashed on the palace steps. Yuan Ci Xian knew that from this sword, the Yuan family had rebelled, and Lu Shi Qing and the Yuan family rebelled together.
Everything was back to the way it was in the previous life.
Next, it was Zheng Zhuo’s turn to go on stage.