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Chapter 366: Personally Witness

“Your Majesty, the Third Prince requests to see you!” The announcement suddenly sounded.

Everyone in the palace was shocked.

Emperor Jiawen knitted his brows. “Tell him that I’m busy and get him to wait in the Imperial Study.”

Eunuch Min wiped the sweat from his forehead. “Your Majesty, the Third Prince said that the matter was urgent and that he must immediately see you!”

Emperor Jiawen looked even worse, and he suddenly slammed the table. “He’s becoming so outrageous!”

The matters in the past two days had already frustrated him, and he didn’t expect Rong Jiu to join in the commotion. During the period when he was in the Imperial City, he has always stayed in his place. Why did he suddenly become like this?

Eunuch Min shuddered and was on the brink of tears. “Your Majesty, the Third Prince said that he’s here today because… because of the Fourth Princess…”

“Oh?” Emperor Jiawen was surprised, and he knitted his brows. “He never interacted much with Zhen Zhen before… What’s with him today?”

However, the Empress’s heart skipped a beat, and she looked uneasy. Rong Jin was previously grounded because Rong Jiu complained about him in front of His Majesty. I don’t know what he’s up to this time!

She advised worriedly, “Your Majesty, we shouldn’t air out our dirty linen in public. Let’s not blow up the matter of Zhen Zhen going missing, alright? No matter if it’s for the royal family or for Zhen Zhen, we should handle this discreetly… If we drag in the Third Prince, it might not be easy to handle…”

Emperor Jiawen thought for a while and shook his head. “Rong Jiu has always been mature. Since he dared to come, he must really know something.”

As he spoke, he raised his hand toward Eunuch Min. “Let him in.”

“Yes!” Eunuch Min hurriedly went out of the palace to invite Rong Jiu in.

The Empress secretly bit her lip, and she became even more nervous for some reason.

Very quickly, Rong Jiu strode in. He had been in war for many years, so even though he was only 20 this year and younger than Rong Jin, he was very fit. His surrounding aura was also formidable.

Even though he was wearing a cotton robe, he couldn’t hide his warrior aggression. This was an aura that one would only have if they had undergone intense battles on the battlefield.

Rong Jiu’s gaze quickly swept across the palace and stopped at the Empress for a while longer.

The Empress’s heart started beating wildly under his gaze, and she hurriedly averted her eyes.

“Greetings, Father, Mother.” Rong Jiu stood still in the palace with his fists cupped together as he greeted Emperor Jiawen and the Empress.

Emperor Jiawen didn’t beat around the bush and openly asked, “Let’s not focus on these greetings. Do you really know something about Rong Zhen?”

Rong Jiu nodded. “I came here to talk to you about this today, Father.”

Emperor Jiawen sat up straight. “Quickly, speak!”

Rong Jiu’s gaze landed on Chu Ning. “When I was outside, I heard that you wanted to lock Lord Chu Ning up?”

Emperor Jiawen was confused, but he didn’t deny it. “That’s right.”

Rong Jiu shook his head. “Father, you mustn’t do it! If you do, you would’ve wronged Lord Chu Ning! I can confirm that Lord Chu Ning has nothing to do with this!”

Once he said this, even Chu Ning was shocked, let alone Emperor Jiawen and the Empress.

This… Rong Jiu came to put in a good word for me? Chu Ning quickly thought about it in his mind, and he didn’t recall interacting with this Third Prince much.

In this type of perilous situation, anyone would get into trouble if they came in. Therefore, others would definitely shun me. So why would he—

“Rong Jiu, do you know what you’re saying?” Emperor Jiawen’s gaze instantly turned serious, and his voice was grave.

Rong Jiu’s expression did not change. “I know. In actual fact, not only Lord Chu Ning, but even Chu Liuyue has nothing to do with this.”

The Empress finally couldn’t hold it in. “Third Prince, do you know that Lu Yun has already found Zhen Zhen’s hairpin in Chu Ning’s house? The evidence is concrete! Why are you speaking up for that father-daughter duo?”

Rong Jiu revealed a smile with deep meaning as he looked at the Empress and slowly said, “Her Majesty, did Rong Zhen really drop that hairpin in Lord Chu Ning’s house?”

The Empress’s heart instantly skipped a beat. “W-what are you saying?”

“I heard that Lord Lu Yun was the one who brought people over to search Lord Chu Ning’s house… Everyone knows that Lord Chu Ning and Chu Liuyue have been living in the new mansion after they cut ties with the Chu family and that they didn’t even hire servants. When they were searching the house, only Lord Chu Ning was there. Who would know if someone purposely brought the hairpin over and lied about finding it there? Even if Lord Chu Ning has multiple limbs, he can’t supervise every single one of them, right?”

Emperor Jiawen’s expression changed. Rong Jiu makes sense.

The Empress secretly held the chair’s handle tightly. “Third Prince, this hairpin was found in the backyard. Back then, all the guards were witnesses. Did all of them lie about this?”

Rong Jiu paused for a while and suddenly asked, “Her Majesty, may I know if the hairpin beside your hand is the one they found at Lord Chu Ning’s house?”

The Empress was anxious because of his words. Once she heard him ask this, she couldn’t help but nod. “That’s right; it is this one.”

“That’s it then.” Rong Jiu’s expression became interesting. “This hairpin is intricate and very eye-catching. Just by standing here, I can still see it with one glance at such a great distance away. I wonder if Lord Chu Ning and Chu Liuyue are blind. Maybe that’s why they can’t see the hairpin and why they purposely left it in the backyard.”

The Empress retorted anxiously, “P-perhaps Chu Liuyue was too nervous then, so she didn’t notice it? Besides, the backyard is very big. It’s impossible for her to check every nook and cranny—”

“Her Majesty, didn’t you say that this hairpin was found in the backyard and that many guards saw it personally? Why did it suddenly become hidden in a nook and cranny?”

Rong Jiu’s simple sentence stumped the Empress.

The entire palace fell into dead silence.

Chu Ning looked serious. “Your Majesty, I was at the front yard at that time, and the guards were in the backyard, so I indeed didn’t see them finding the hairpin.”

Emperor Jiawen stared at the Empress, and his gaze turned cold. “Empress, is there anything else you want to say?”

“I-I just made a mistake when I was talking!” The Empress hurriedly knelt down. “Your Majesty, I’ve always been in the palace, and I didn’t go out or see the scene then. So naturally, I don’t know what happened. I-I just made a mistake with my words just now!”

Rong Jiu nonchalantly glanced at her in a seemingly smiling manner. “Her Majesty, it seems like this matter really has nothing to do with you at all?”

“Of course not! Zhen Zhen is my daughter. Now that she’s missing, I’m the most anxious one!” Vengeance flashed across the Empress’s eyes. Now, she had finally realized that Rong Jiu came over today to drag her down.

She looked up and anxiously looked at Emperor Jiawen. “Your Majesty, everything I said is true! Situ Xingchen personally saw Zhen Zhen with Chu Liuyue before Zhen Zhen went missing! She can prove it!”

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