Li Shimin’s situation
After Li Yuan became emperor (known as emperor Gaozu of Tang Dynasty in History), he made Li Jiancheng crown prince, Li Shimin as king of Qin, and Li Yuanji as king of Qi.
Among the three, Li Shimin made the greatest contribution to the establishment of the Tang Dynasty.
Li Jiancheng’s military exploits are not as good as Li Shimin. Only because he was Li Yuan’s eldest son, did he become the crown prince.
Li Shimin not only went forward bravely, but also had a group of talents to help him.
Among his talents, civil servants include Fang Xuanling and Du Ruhui, while military generals include Yuchi Jingde, Qin Shubao and Cheng Yaojin.
Knowing that his prestige was not comparable to Li Shimin, Li Jiancheng was jealous, so he united with his younger brother Li Yuanji to exclude Li Shimin.
Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji know that Li Yuan dotes on some concubines, So they often give presents to please them.
In contrast, Li Shimin took a completely different approach from them.
After Li Shimin pacified Luoyang, some concubines secretly asked Li Shimin for the treasures of the palace and wanted their relatives to become officials.
However, Li Shimin refused their request.
Therefore, the concubines often speak ill of Li Shimin in front of Li Yuan.
Li Yuan listened to his concubines and gradually alienated him from Li Shimin.
Hearing the news that Li Shimin has made a lot of contributions, Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji want to kill Li Shimin more and more.
Once, Li Jiancheng invited Li Shimin to his residence for a drink.
After drinking a few cups, Li Shimin suddenly felt a stomachache.
After his entourage took him home, he felt pain and vomited blood.
At this time, Li Shimin knew that Li Jiancheng must have poisoned the wine.
For Li Jiancheng, what he fears most is the brave general under Li Shimin.
Li Jiancheng’s plot
Therefore, he plans to buy them over and then kill Li Shimin.
Li Jiancheng privately sent a letter to Yuchi Jingde, a brave general under Li Shimin, saying that he wanted to make friends with Yuchi Jingde and sent a cart of gold and silver to Yuchi Jingde.
Yuchi Jingde said to Li Jiancheng’s emissary, “I’m under Li Shimin. If I deal with the crown prince in private, I’ll become a selfish villain.” With that, he returned the load of gold and silver intact.
Li Jiancheng was rejected by Yuchi Jingde and was extremely angry.
That night, an assassin went to Yuchi Jingde’s house to assassinate.
Yuchi Jingde had long expected that Li Jiancheng wanted to kill him, so he deliberately opened the door at night.
The assassin sneaks into the courtyard and peeks through the window.
Yuchi Jingde is leaning on the bed with a spear beside him.
The assassin knew he was on guard, so he slipped back.
Soon after, Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji came up with another plan.
when Tujue invaded the Central Plains, Li Jiancheng suggested to Li Yuan that Li Yuanji should take the place of Li Shimin to lead the northern expedition.
After Li Yuan appointed Li Yuanji as commander-in-chief, Li Yuanji asked that Yuchi Jingde, Qin Shubao and Cheng Yaojin, as well as the elite soldiers of Li Shimin’s residence, be put under his command.
Li shimin knew the news, and hurriedly to find Zhangsun Wuji and Yuchi Jingde to discuss.
Both of them advised him to kill Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji first. Li Shimin said, “it is not a decent thing for brothers to kill each other. “
Zhangsun Wuji and Yuchi Jingde all got anxious and said that if you don’t, we won’t stay.
Seeing that his subordinates were very resolute, Li Shimin made up his mind.
Li Shimin’s plan
That night, Li Shimin went into the palace and told Li Yuan how Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji had conspired against him.
Li Yuan promised to wait for the next morning and ask the three brothers to enter the palace together, and he would ask them personally.
The next morning, Li Shimin asked Zhangsun Wuji and Yuchi Jingde to take a group of elite soldiers and ambush at the Xuanwu Gate North of the palace, waiting for Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji to enter the palace.
After a while, they came to the Xuanwu Gate on horseback.
When they arrived at Xuanwu Gate, they felt that the atmosphere around them was very abnormal.
They were suspicious and ready to go back.
Li Shimin rode out from the Xuanwu Gate and yelled, “Your Highness, don’t go!”
Li Yuanji turned around and picked up the bow and arrow around him. He wanted to shoot Li Shimin, but he was so flustered that he couldn’t even pull the bowstring.
At the same time, Li Shimin successfully shot Li Jiancheng.
Then, Yuchi Jingde rushed out with 70 cavalry and shot Li Yuanji off his horse.
Then, their soldiers and Li Shimin’s soldiers fought.
While commanding the resistance of the soldiers, Li Shimin sent Yuchi Jingde into the palace.
Li Yuan was waiting for the three men to come to the palace. Yuchi Jingde rushed into the palace with a spear in his hand and said, “the Prince (Li Jiancheng) and the king of Qi (Li Yuanji) have launched a rebellion, and the king of Qin (Li Shimin) has killed them. The king of Qin was afraid to disturb you and sent me to protect you. “
Li Yuan knew that something had happened, but he didn’t know what to do.
Prime Minister Xiao Yu said, “Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji did not have much credit. They envied the king of Qin and used treacherous tactics. Now that the king of Qin has eliminated them, this is a good thing. If your majesty hands over the affairs of the state to the king of Qin, it will be all right. “
At this time, Li Yuan knew that it was useless to oppose. He could only listen to the words of the ministers around him, declare Li Jiancheng and Li Yuanji guilty, and order their officers and men to be under the command of Li Shimin.
Two months later, Li Yuan abdicated his throne to Li Shimin. (He was known as Emperor Taizong of Tang Dynasty in history)