Situ Xingchen knitted her brows.
“Yeah! I think Tian Lu Academy’s Director Elder Ye personally sent her over. She should be at the library by now, right?”
“Wasn’t she already chosen by the Tianling Dynasty envoy? Why is she still here?”
“Who knows? But since she’s here, she probably asked for permission, right? Did you hear? She lacked a Yuan meridian since a young age and was born as a good-for-nothing, but she suddenly turned into a genius a few months ago! I really wonder what kind of person that Chu Liuyue is…”
“A genius is a genius, but it’s a pity that she has a marriage agreement with Country Yao Chen’s Prince Li, who is a sickly prince…”
“I heard that Prince Li is very handsome. Perhaps some people like him for that? Haha!”
The few figures gradually disappeared, and their voices drifted off.
Situ Xingchen quietly stood at her original spot for a long while until her legs turned numb. She realized that she still couldn’t accept everything that had happened, no matter if it were the Qing Jiao Competition or Rong Xiu and Chu Liuyue’s marriage agreement.
She pondered for a long while before turning around to return to the medicinal mountain.
There were a few wooden houses halfway up the mountain—Situ Xingchen used one of them to rest.
She entered it, locked the door, and sat in front of the study table.
The strong herbal fragrance permeated her nose.
In the past, this smell could always calm her down, but now, it just reminded her of that humiliating day.
She quietly sat down for a while and took out a letter—it was from Rong Jin.
Before she left the Imperial City, Rong Jin secretly sent someone to pass her this letter. But at that point in time, all her thoughts were gathered on Rong Xiu, so she didn’t open it up to read it.
Situ Xingchen stared at that letter for a while before opening it without hesitation.
The light from the setting sun shone in, elongating Situ Xingchen’s shadow.
A ripple appeared in the middle of nowhere. A figure walked out from it, and it was Elder Lian Ning.
“Eldest Princess.” His deep and hoarse voice sounded in the room.
Situ Xingchen then recovered her senses, looked away from the letter, and subconsciously kept it before looking at Elder Lian Ning.
Seeing that it was him, Situ Xingchen heaved a sigh of relief. However, her pair of eyes still had some tinge of shock.
Elder Lian Ning noticed that something wasn’t quite right with her, and he could not help but ask, “Eldest Princess, what happened?”
His gaze swept past the letter in Situ Xingchen’s hands, and he looked serious. “This is…”
“I asked you to check on Chu Liuyue earlier. What did you find out?” interrupted Situ Xingchen.
Elder Lian Ning didn’t continue asking about the letter as he bowed slightly. “I found out two things: One, on the tenth of July, Chu Xianmin sent someone to kill Chu Liuyue secretly. Those people brought Chu Liuyue out of the Imperial City to kill her in the woods, but Chu Liuyue didn’t die that day and had even returned to the Chu family safe and sound.”
Situ Xingchen knitted her brows even more. She had also heard about Chu Xianmin’s incident and felt that it was normal for her to kill Chu Liuyue secretly to become the Crown Princess. “You think there’s something wrong with that?”
“Of course. Your Highness, don’t forget that Chu Liuyue was still a good-for-nothing that didn’t have a Yuan meridian back then. The few people that Chu Xianmin sent… According to what I’ve found out, one of them was even a stage-three warrior.”
Situ Xingchen looked stunned.
Even though a stage-three warrior wasn’t very strong, a young girl with no cultivation would definitely be unable to live.
“Chu Liuyue returned alive; then… what about the three people?”
“They died.” A strange smile appeared on Elder Lian Ning’s face. “Moreover, it’s the type of death where you can’t see their corpse—dead or alive. As the three of them had special identities and Chu Xianmin was afraid of being exposed, she purposely suppressed the matter. Thus, nobody knew that they had disappeared into thin air.”
“Coincidentally, Chu Liuyue started her revolutionary change from that day on. After returning to the Chu family, she bought many herbs from Zhen Bao Pavilion. Not long later, she entered Tian Lu Academy. Everyone knows what happened after that.”
Many thoughts flashed across Situ Xingchen’s mind, and she hurriedly asked, “What about the second thing?”
“The second thing is also, coincidentally, related to that forest. You probably don’t know, but Country Yao Chen’s Fourth Princess—Rong Zhen—has disappeared.”
Situ Xingchen knew who Rong Zhen was, but they didn’t interact much. Hence, she didn’t have a deep impression of her. “Isn’t her pearl of essence destroyed, and hasn’t she been recuperating in the palace ever since? Why did she suddenly go missing? Besides, I didn’t hear anything about this.”
Even though she had already returned to Tai Yan Academy, she didn’t cut off all connections with the outside world. If Rong Zhen really disappeared, this news would definitely be spread everywhere since it was such a big incident.
“Because Rong Zhen ran out herself.” Elder Lian Ning had been secretly investigating Chu Liuyue the whole while, and he really discovered something. “That day, Chu Liuyue was forcefully brought out of Tian Lu Academy by a stage-five warrior. I hid my aura, and I followed them all the way. In the end, I realized that they went to the forest, so I didn’t follow them. But not long later, Chu Liuyue came out. Afterward, people started looking for Rong Zhen’s whereabouts secretly.”
As long as one connected the dots, it wasn’t hard to imagine what had happened that day.
Shock filled Situ Xingchen’s heart, and she said after a while, “Does this mean that Chu Liuyue killed Rong Zhen?”
Elder Lian Ning kept quiet for a while. “Not really, but I tried to look around the forest after she left. However, I didn’t find any clues. The Empress also didn’t dare to be too open about it.”
Situ Xingchen’s eyes sparkled, and she muttered, “This means that Chu Liuyue is really acting very secretly… However, there are no secrets in this world. I bet she doesn’t know that someone has already found out about what she did…”
How ridiculous! She is both rich and famous now, and she has come to our academy’s library.
“Eldest Princess, what’s your plan?” asked Elder Lian Ning. “There must be another reason for Rong Zhen to target Chu Liuyue. You…”
“Rong Zhen used to be spoiled. Even if her pearl of essence was ruined, and she became a good-for-nothing, she’s still the distinguished Fourth Princess. Who can determine her fate? Since there’s no news from Country Yao Chen’s side, Emperor Jiawen clearly doesn’t know about this. That’s his favorite daughter. If he really finds out about it, he would be devastated…” said Situ Xingchen slowly as her face showed pity. However, her eyes were sparkling harshly and coldly.
“Elder Lian Ning, you’ve worked hard. Leave the rest to me.” Situ Xingchen picked up a brush and paper. “I’ll tell this to someone who needs to know.”