The moment she said that, the surroundings fell silent. Even Sun Zhongyan and the rest couldn’t help but look at Rong Xiu.
Actually, this was also what they were most curious about.
During the situation back then, even Wei Yun was stopped outside of Jiuyou Tower. However, Rong Xiu smoothly barged into the tower and had successfully made it to the sixth floor.
One needed to know that even Sun Zhongyan and the rest could only go to the fifth floor at best.
The Empress stared straight at Rong Xiu as many conjectures popped up in her heart. Ever since Rong Xiu came back, he has been staying in his residence. Other than nourishing his health, it seems like he has rarely participated in other tasks. It seems like he has no desires and is very docile, but I just feel that there is something amiss.
She couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong, but it was a gut feeling that told her that Rong Xiu wasn’t as simple and harmless as he seemed on the surface.
If he really was a sickly person, how did he enter Jiuyou Tower and go up to the sixth floor?
Countless eyes landed on Rong Xiu with a deep meaning of inspection.
Rong Xiu looked calm, and he smiled lightly. However, his smiling intent didn’t reach his eyes. “The reason why I can reach the sixth floor is that my mother had gone up there before.”
Emperor Jiawen was shocked. “What did you say?”
Rong Xiu took out something from his arms; it was an oval-shaped, palm-sized jade pendant. It was completely jade green in color like tree leaves that had just sprouted—crystal clear.
Some patterns were carved on the jade pendant.
Chu Liuyue used her peripheral vision to look at it, and she realized that a peach blossom pattern seemed to be carved on it.
It was clearly a jade pendant made from high-quality jade, but there was nothing special about it other than that.
But when Emperor Jiawen saw the jade pendant, his entire face changed. He quickly went forward as if he wanted to take a closer look at that jade pendant. However, he suddenly paused when he stretched out his hands halfway.
Chu Liuyue had never seen such an expression on Emperor Jiawen’s face before—complication, conflict, reminiscence, and regret…
Chu Liuyue scanned her surroundings and saw that the Empress—who was standing behind Emperor Jiawen—had a pale face as if she had seen something terrifying.
A thought popped up in her mind, and she had roughly guessed the jade pendant’s origins.
“W-where did you get this jade pendant from?” asked Emperor Jiawen with a shaky voice.
“The sixth floor,” answered Rong Xiu lightly. “When I saw that Jiuyou Tower was on fire, I remembered that this item was still on the sixth floor. I was worried about it, so I went up without a care. Even though I’m injured, I luckily still managed to get the item back in one piece.”
“This was the first present your mother personally gave me back then… When she left the palace, she took it with her. I-I tried finding this for many years, but I didn’t expect—” Emperor Jiawen’s heart seemed to be clogged, and he didn’t say anything else for a long time.
Chu Liuyue instantly understood the situation. It turned out that this jade pendant was the love token between Emperor Jiawen and Consort Wan. It was no wonder that Emperor Jiawen had such a strong reaction.
It seemed like he truly loved Consort Wan deeply.
Back then, rumors had it that Consort Wan was the most favored in the palace. But she later fell out with Emperor Jiawen for some reason and left the palace in a fit of anger. Then, she entered Tian Lu Academy and became a teacher.
She had never returned to the palace again, even after she died.
Nobody knew what happened back then, which even made Consort Wan take back the love token she gave out. It seemed like she didn’t want to leave any item for Emperor Jiawen to reminisce.
It now seemed like a large portion of why Emperor Jiawen thought highly of Rong Xiu was because of Consort Wan.
Rong Xiu looked at Emperor Jiawen’s moved appearance, and he still smiled warmly.
But in Chu Liuyue’s eyes, this smile had a clear distance to it. It was obvious that Rong Xiu didn’t care about Emperor Jiawen’s reaction at all.
“Before Mother passed on, she told me that she left this item on the sixth floor of Jiuyou Tower, and she instructed… Unless absolutely necessary, I wasn’t supposed to tell you about it. Thus, I hope you’ll forgive me, Father.”
Emperor Jiawen was stunned. “She really still hates… Never mind, you did it for her anyway. It’s right that you didn’t tell me. Since the item is with you, then you can keep it in the future.”
Emperor Jiawen then sighed, and he looked as if he had aged a century within that one moment. “I’m tired; I’ll head back to the palace first.”
Then, Emperor Jiawen turned around to leave, not waiting for anyone to say anything.
The Empress was dazed, and her heart was filled with confusion. He left? His Majesty just left? Wasn’t he asking Rong Xiu how he got up to the sixth floor? Rong Xiu only mentioned the jade pendant briefly, and he doesn’t want to ask anymore?
The Empress turned around to look at Emperor Jiawen—who had left—and her rationality told her that she should immediately follow him. However, too many things had happened today, and she couldn’t control the urge in her heart.
Hence, she still asked persistently, “Prince Li, this is Consort Wan’s belongings, and you’re filial to risk your life to get it back. Your actions are praiseworthy, but… you haven’t clearly explained how you got up to the sixth floor.”
Stifled laughter was suddenly heard from the side.
The Empress turned around and realized that it came from Ye Zhiting.
Ye Zhiting shook the fan in his hands and slowly asked, “Her Majesty, don’t you know that the jade pendant is a Yuan instrument?”
The Empress was dazed. “W-what?”
“That item was placed on the sixth floor, and Rong Xiu is Consort Wan’s descendant, so he naturally can go up.” Ye Zhiting was initially filled with suspicion. However, he immediately understood everything when he saw the jade pendant.
Looking at the Empress’s persistent questioning, he couldn’t help but feel irritated and lazily said, “It seems like you don’t know about this, Her Majesty. That’s true; it’s normal if you don’t know things between His Majesty and Consort Wan.”
The Empress was so angry that her face turned pale, but she didn’t dare to rebut Ye Zhiting in public. Even though she was the Empress, even Emperor Jiawen had to give Ye Zhiting face, let alone her.
There were so many pairs of eyes glued on her from the surroundings, which made her feel even more awkward.
It seemed like she couldn’t do anything about Rong Xiu and Chu Liuyue now, so she had to find another opportunity.
Thinking of this, the Empress forced a smile. “Thank you for solving my question, Elder Ye. Since His Majesty has left, I won’t stay here any longer.”
Then, she hurriedly turned around and followed Emperor Jiawen.
“Father, please stay.” Rong Xiu suddenly opened his mouth, and his clear and cold voice sounded like jades crashing against each other.
Emperor Jiawen—who had already walked a distance—turned his head in confusion when he heard this. “What’s the matter?”
Rong Xiu stepped forward. “I have a request to make.”
Rong Xiu stood there and looked very tall and handsome. His body was clearly stained with blood, but the composure and elegance in his face made one fear him unknowingly.
Emperor Jiawen asked, “What’s the matter?”
Rong Xiu’s lips strangely curved up. “This time, it’s false that I went into Jiuyou Tower to save Ms. Chu, but it’s true that I do like Ms. Chu.”
Chu Liuyue’s heart skipped a beat. She then saw the calm and composed man stretch out his arm, lift up his robe, and kneel down.
“I have no other requests in my entire life. I just want to do what my mother said—to hold one person’s hand and grow old with her for the rest of my life. Father, I hope you’ll grant this marriage.”