The Road to the Throne: How Liu Bang Founded China's Han Dynasty

By Hung Hing Ming | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 6: MEMBERS OF THE LU FAMILY CONSPIRE TO USURP THE
THRONE AND LIU HENG ASCENDS TO THE THRONE OF THE HAN
DYNASTY

84. TROUBLES IN THE PALACE AFTER LIU BANG’S DEATH

Liu Bang had tried several times to replace the Crown Prince Liu Ying with Liu Ru Yi, so the Empress hated Liu Ru Yi and his mother Qi Ji very much. She did not do anything to them when Liu Bang was alive. But as soon as Liu Bang died, and Liu Ying ascended the throne, Lü Zhi, now the Empress Dowager, took action. She ordered Qi Ji jailed. In jail, Qi Ji wore the clothes of a prisoner. She had to husk rice with a mortar and pestle. She would recite the following lines while she was husking rice, “My son is a king but I am a slave. My son is 3,000 miles away.”

The Empress Dowager intended to kill Liu Ru Yi. She first summoned Liu Ru Yi to Chang’an. But Zhou Chang, the premier of the State of Zhao, refused to let the young King of the State of Zhao go. He said to the envoys sent by the Empress Dowager, “Emperor Gaozu entrusted me to protect the King of the State of Zhao. The King of the State of Zhao is still young. He is only twelve years old. I hear that the Empress Dowager hates his mother and has thrown her into jail. She wants to get the King of the State of Zhao to Chang’an and kill him together with his mother. I do not dare to let the

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