Rong Zhen paused in her sentence upon seeing that the person in front was Emperor Jiawen, and anxiety flashed across her eyes. “Father?!”
When Emperor Jiawen saw Rong Zhen, he first heaved a sigh of relief before his blood boiled. He suppressed the anger in his heart and boomed, “Zhen Zhen, what are you doing here?”
“I-I…” Facing Emperor Jiawen’s interrogation, Rong Zhen stuttered for quite some time and couldn’t say anything.
Chu Liuyue squinted her eyes and turned around to look at the Empress, whom Situ Xingchen and Rong Jin had just helped down from the horse carriage. “Her Majesty, Your Highness, isn’t the Fourth Princess here?”
Rong Jin looked up and saw Rong Zhen standing at the entrance. The words in his throat were suddenly stuck, and his face flushed green and white.
Situ Xingchen’s expression also changed. Why is Rong Zhen here? Didn’t Elder Lian Ning say that he personally witnessed Si Meng bringing Chu Liuyue out of the Imperial City and into the forest? Since Si Meng died in Chu Liuyue’s hands, Rong Zhen should also be hidden by her! What is this situation?
Rong Jin instinctively looked at the Empress. “Mother, this—”
“Impossible!” Upon seeing Rong Zhen, the Empress’s reaction was much more intense than that of anyone else. She actually pushed Rong Jin away and staggered forward toward Rong Zhen. “Impossible! Zhen Zhen isn’t here; you must be fake!”
Her voice was shrill and hoarse, which made people uncomfortable. Coupled with her face that had contorted due to shock and panic, she looked even worse.
Emperor Jiawen’s eyes were filled with unconcealable disgust. “Empress, not only are you filled with lies toward me, but you don’t even want to acknowledge your own daughter now! You have utterly disappointed me!”
No matter what, he also doted on Rong Zhen for more than a decade. Thus, he was certain that the person in front was Rong Zhen. In order to prove her innocence, the Empress lied with her eyes wide open. She’s heartless!
Rong Zhen seemed to be shocked by the Empress and nervously moved back. “Mother, what do you mean? I am Zhen Zhen!”
“You’re not Zhen Zhen! You’re not…” The Empress stared straight at Rong Zhen. Even though she denied it on the surface, her voice became softer and softer. This person is indeed Rong Zhen!
Hopelessness filled her heart. “Quickly, speak! Did Chu Liuyue send you here? It must be her, right?”
At this point, the Empress was on the brink of breaking down as her entire person looked insane.
Emperor Jiawen glared at her coldly. “Rong Zhen, explain yourself! What exactly is going on?”
Rong Zhen was frightened by the commotion and recovered her senses after some time. “I-I… It was Chu Liuyue that brought me over!”
Emperor Jiawen continued questioning her. “When?”
Rong Zhen quickly glanced at the Empress, and she guiltily looked down. “B-before Chu Liuyue went to Tai Yan Academy…”
“Fourth Princess, you must be joking. Why don’t I know about this? Besides, why would I choose this place if I really wanted to lock you up?” Chu Liuyue scanned her surroundings. “Honestly, this is my first time here. However, Her Majesty… I heard from the Third Prince that he comes here frequently, right? Why would I be so stupid to hide the Fourth Princess here?”
Rong Zhen immediately became anxious. “It’s you! Y-you hate me, so—”
“Fourth Princess, I think you’re the one that hates me, right? After all… Honestly, I’ve never been bullied by you, so why would I hate you?” Chu Liuyue said nonchalantly.
Even though her words sounded terrible, everyone knew that this was the truth. Previously, Rong Zhen had tried to make life difficult for Chu Liuyue at the banquet, but she landed herself in an embarrassing state.
When Rong Zhen’s pearl of essence broke, and she became a good-for-nothing, Chu Liuyue turned her life around and became an enviable genius in the end. She was even chosen by Mu Qinghe and had a chance to go to the Tianling Dynasty.
Speaking of jealousy, it should be Rong Zhen who hated Chu Liuyue.
Rong Zhen was even more embarrassed.
Rong Jiu lightly said, “Father, you can now believe what I said, right?”
“Rong Zhen, move aside. I want to see what other secrets are hidden inside!” Emperor Jiawen’s face was terribly dark. If the Empress truly comes here frequently in secret, I might be able to find something!
Rong Zhen bit her lips and refused to move after she felt conflicted for a while. “Father, there’s nothing here. You shouldn’t come in.”
“I said move aside!” hollered Emperor Jiawen, which made Rong Zhen shudder in fear and her face turn pale.
Eunuch Min said nicely, “Fourth Princess, you should just make way. Do you really think you can single-handedly stop His Majesty?”
Things have already reached this stage, yet Rong Zhen is still acting like this. Isn’t she just causing trouble for herself?
Rong Zhen’s eyes turned red, and she looked at the Empress fearfully.
Emperor Jiawen sneered. “Why are you looking at her? Do my words not count as much as the Empress’s?”
Rong Jin immediately went forward and anxiously said, “Father, don’t misunderstand! Rong Zhen didn’t mean it that way!”
Emperor Jiawen couldn’t be bothered to deal with him as he gazed at the Empress meaningfully. “Empress, things have ended up in this state. Are you going with me, or are you going to act ignorant here?”
The Empress whined, and her tears kept falling, looking very pitiful.
But when Emperor Jiawen saw it, he felt even more disgusted.
He raised his leg and walked in front.
Chu Ning immediately followed and said, “Your Majesty, this barrier is quite special. It’s not good if we just barge in. Why don’t I solve this barrier first?”
Emperor Jiawen stood still. “That’s true.”
Force gathered in Chu Ning’s palms as a formidable aura gradually spread. He then raised his hand, and a thick force hurled out.
That transparent barrier was hit by the strong force, and it caused a ripple.
A horrifying wave started spreading in all directions.
Rong Zhen—who was standing within the barrier—was careless and was hit by this force, causing her to stumble backward and almost fall to the ground.
Finding her balance with much difficulty, she anxiously turned around as if she were scared of something.
Just when Chu Ning was about to strike again, Rong Zhen finally said, “Don’t strike! I’ll just open the barrier!”
“Rong Zhen!” When the Empress heard this, she immediately screamed as if she had been impacted by something.
Rong Zhen was frightened and cowered in fear. “Mother, Father is already here, and he’ll know about it sooner or later…”
As she spoke, her hand trembled as it touched the barrier.
Chu Liuyue’s gaze darkened. Something seems to be hidden in Rong Zhen’s hands.
A buzzing sound was heard, and the barrier was suddenly opened from the middle.
Emperor Jiawen walked forward first.
“Mother!” shouted Rong Jin in shock.
The crowd turned around and saw that the Empress had suddenly fainted.
Chu Liuyue sneered at her. Isn’t it too late to pretend to faint now?
Emperor Jiawen seemed to ignore her as he walked straight in.
Chu Liuyue and Chu Ning followed closely behind.
When they saw the courtyard’s scene, even Chu Liuyue couldn’t help gasping in shock.