#13 The two faced coin
Lao Zhung's wife Empress Xuan, mother of Hong Zhung was not such a bright lady. Yet, when Lao Zhung took over the throne a decade ago, after the defeat of the Mongols, Xuan came to assume the throne as the Empress, by her husband's side.She adorned the throne as beautifully as a broach on the lapel but her contribution to the court's ongoings was close to zilch.
Contrasting to that was Wu's personality. She gained recognition for her ready wit, intelligence and flawless beauty as soon as she'd been included in the harem and recruited to the court.
Within 5 years, Wu had picked up the ways of the court. With LuiFei's experienced guidance from behind the scene, she had also successfully become the Emperor's favourite concubine. In the next 5 years, Wu Zhung had given birth to the sons Emperor Lao Zhung wanted. As mother of two handsomly turned out and intelligent sons, she dreamed of one of them being the successor to the Emperor's throne. Wu Zhung had strengthened her position by birthing the Emperor's sons and thus slowly and steadily rose in power. Wu took over the administrative duties of the court and assumed a self-appointed position equal to the Empress.
LuiFei was tracking her progress. Though she had been excessively ambitious about Wu herself, she didn't approve of some of Wu's strategies.
" Don't you think you are taking some hasty and over ambitious steps, my dear girl?" she'd inquired out of anxiety for Wu's safety.
There had been a marked change in Wu's demeanour over the past year.
And Wu replied, as expected in a very cold and resolute tone. " They are called calculated risks!"
LuiFei felt her heart freeze over for Wu Zhung. She began to blame herself for triggering Wu on this path. She was sad that her teachings had been misinterpreted and were being misemployed.
Wu Zhung was rewriting her plan and chalking out a very different destiny for herself than what LuiFei had imagined.
"The girl has much more on her mind than I believed she would ever have. Much more than what I'd wanted for myself too." said Luifei to herself, resignedly.
Wu Zhung compelled YinHe to create a secret police force to spy on her opposition. Though YinHe wasn;t agreeable with how things were progressing too, he had given in because of the emotional bonding that they'd shared . There was a far shrewd and manipulative side to the beautiful, emotional and artistic WuZhung.
There lay a lot beneath the apparent layers to her nature and the Empire was to see the other face of the coin soon.