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Chapter 363: A Search

“Of course not! Nobody will make things difficult for you if you can prove your innocence,” Rong Jin said.

Chu Liuyue curled her lips slightly. “So, others slandered me and threw dirty water on me, so I have to find a way to prove my innocence in order to clear this wrongdoing? How am I supposed to prove something that I didn’t do?”

Rong Jin was dumbfounded. If he weren’t worried about his mother and his future, he wouldn’t have driven Chu Liuyue to the edge. After all, the matter of Rong Zhen’s disappearance had been exposed, so his father definitely knew about Si Meng’s existence as well.

He knew his father well. The Emperor would see Si Meng’s existence as a more pressing issue compared to his daughter’s disappearance.

The only way to salvage the situation now was to find Rong Zhen.

“Can I believe your side of the story? I can’t. If you’re not guilty, come back with me to the Imperial City now. We will seek an audience with Father and Mother and let them decide.” As he said that, he reached out and tried to pull Chu Liuyue with him.

Chu Liuyue stepped aside and avoided him easily.

Rong Jin was flabbergasted. His cultivation might be higher than Chu Liuyue, but she was clearly stronger than he was ability-wise.

Indescribable frustration welled inside him. When I was with Situ Xingchen, I didn’t feel like this.

At this thought, Rong Jin became impatient. “Why? Are you feeling guilty?”

Cheng Han chimed in before Chu Liuyue could reply. “Since you have already left the library, you might as well go with Rong Jin.”

The prince was surprised. Chu Liuyue only stayed here for such a short time. If that’s the case, it’s even better.

All eyes were on Chu Liuyue. Clearly, they wanted her to agree to the director’s proposal.

The look in Chu Liuyue’s eyes was cold. She hated it when she was forced to do things, especially when it was someone she loathed. “What if I refuse?”

The atmosphere instantly became tense.

At the Imperial Study in Country Yao Chen.

Rong Qi stood outside the door anxiously. “Eunuch Min, can you please go to my father again? I really have an urgent matter to report to him!”

The eunuch looked torn. “Your Highness, I wish I could, but… but there’s simply no way! His Majesty is still furious. If you go in now, you might make things worse for the Empress instead of helping her. Listen to me; please go back for the time being. You can come again when His Majesty is in a better mood. You can plead for his mercy then!”

Rong Qi’s brows were knitted tightly together. “Eunuch Min, why won’t you believe me? I really didn’t come to plead for mercy for my mother! I have something urgent to inform my father of. The consequences will be dire if we delay any further.”

The eunuch refused to relent no matter what the prince said.

With the Empress under house arrest, the disappearance of his sister, and the Crown Prince being far away in Country Xing Luo, only Rong Qi was left.

As the Fifth Prince and the Empress’s biological son, how could he not come for her?

Eunuch Min’s refusal sent Rong Qi into a state of panic. He threw all caution aside and yelled at the top of his lungs, “Father, I have an urgent matter to inform you of! Please, let me in!”

Eunuch Min was scared out of his wits, and he rushed forward to stop the prince. “My goodness! Your Highness, what are you doing? What should we do if you disturb His Majesty? Please, I beg you. Stop.”

Instead of listening, Rong Qi shouted even louder.

The eunuch was on the verge of a mental breakdown. The seemingly useless prince can really stir up waves of trouble if he sets his mind to it.

“What are you still standing there for? Help me persuade Prince Ping!” Eunuch Min hurriedly urged the palace staff around him to stop the prince.

It was one thing to offend Rong Qi, but they would be courting death if they antagonize their emperor.

Soon, Rong Qi was forcibly removed from the Imperial Study by the staff.

Panicked, he screamed with all his might, “Father! Father, I know where Rong Zhen is!”

The eunuch froze.

The next second, Emperor Jiawen’s voice could be heard from within the study. “Let him in!”

The staff quickly let Rong Qi go.

Rong Qi tidied his attire and glared at the staff before he entered the study.

As soon as he stepped in, he saw his father authoritatively staring at him as the latter sat in his chair.

The prince shuddered. His high and mighty aura from a minute ago dissipated. “F-father.”

“Where is Rong Zhen?” Emperor Jiawen cut to the chase.

Rong Qi quickly explained, “F-father, I’m not sure yet. Please don’t be upset with me. I-I know who hid her. As long as that person is arrested, we will definitely find her.”

He stammered, covered in a cold sweat. Fortunately, he said everything according to the Empress’s instructions.

Emperor Jiawen leaned forward. “Who is it?”

Rong Qi pursed his lips and replied without hesitation, “Chu Liuyue!”

Chu Ning had just finished settling the matter. He closed his eyes and massaged his forehead. He was exhausted, but he couldn’t help himself from smiling. Yue’er should be home any time now. I should head home soon.

“Lord Chu Ning, something happened!” A subordinate ran in as he shouted in a panic.

Chu Ning opened his eyes with furrowed brows. “What’s the matter?”

“His Majesty has ordered a search of your residence! They are arriving as we speak!”

Chu Ning jumped from his chair. “What?!”

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