However, competence, talent and reputation led Prince Lanling to his death. When his cousin Gao Wei ascended the throne, Prince Lanling's existence upset him a lot. After he listened to the "Prince Lanling in Battle", he said to Prince Lanling, "it is too dangerous for you to get into the enemy's battle array. In case you lose, you will have no chance to regret." Without realizing it was a test, Prince Lanling answered, "I don't think so, it is for the family business." This raised the emperor's suspicions about a possible coup. To protect himself, Prince Lanling often pretended to be sick, stayed away from wars and politics. However, his low profile didn't save him. Finally in 573 A.D, the emperor sent him a cup of poisonous wine, Prince Lanling drank it and died in his early 30's.
Han Zigao (韩子高)
Han Zigao, born in the southern and northern dynasties, was not only known for his beauty but also as a homosexual lover of an emperor. It was said that Han was good-looking like a beautiful girl. Living during war, he experienced many dangerous situations. But on many occassions, when soldiers approached him, they saw his beauty and could not bring themselves to hurt him. When Han was 16 years old, he met a military general, Chen Qian, his future lover. Chen was deeply attracted to Han's breath-taking beauty, and said to him, "If you come along with me, I promise you will live a really rich life." Han agreed.
Chen was a short-tempered person, but every time he became angry, he would look at Han and calm down. Han learnt military skills quickly and became Chen's right-hand man. One day, Chen said to Han, "People say I am destined to be an emperor, if it comes true, you will become my queen. "
Later, Chen founded Chen Dynasty and became an emperor, but he was unable to keep his promise. Han spent all his time with Chen until Chen died. Not long after Chen's death, Han was persecuted to death at the age of 30. Outside the tomb of Chen, there were two statues of Kylins, different from the usual male and female design, both of them were male.
Murong Chong (慕容冲)
In China's long history, there have been more than 400 emperors. Some started as farmers, soldiers, and even beggars. But compared with them, Murong Chong, the emperor of West Yan Kingdom in Sixteen Kingdoms Period, was perhaps the most handsome emperor and definitely had the most unusual fate: he was born as a prince, became a toy-boy and then finally took revenge and claimed the throne.
Born as a prince of Former Yan, Murong had a stunningly pretty face, much like his entire family. In the year of 370A.D, when Murong was only 12 years old, his country was broken by Fu Jian, emperor of Former Qin, and Murong was captured along with his beautiful sister. Fu Jian was fascinated with Murong and his sister that he didn't kill people from Murong's clan. Children sang that "A female and a male phoenix, flew into the palace". Phoenix was just Murong's nickname. It was humiliation, but Murong swallowed all of it.
Years later, Fu Jian let Murong leave the city. For Murong, it was an opportunity for a new life. Murong reunited with his brother and uncle, who later started a rebellion. Fu Jian was decisively defeated by the numerically inferior Jin. Murong then took action. After a series of victories, Murong went back to Changan with his revenge army.
In hopes of softening Murong, Fu Jian sent him a coat and said, "Since you came from far away, you must be in short supplies. This coat represents my heart. I treated you well in the past, why have you become so heartless?" However, this coat just added wood to the fire of hatred. The city was besieged by Murong's army and famine burst out with many people starving to death. Fu Jian killed Murong's other brother who was in the city as captive. In the end, Murong broke into the city and Fu Jian fled. But Murong could not forgive this city. His revenge turned against everyone in the city. "The deaths were countless".
Next year, because Murong refused to take his clan back home, he was murdered by his subordinates. His legendary life ended at the age of only 28.
Mastery Image comes from TV play Legend of Chu Liuxiang,courtesy of topit.me.
Article by: Sun Jiahui (孙佳慧)