Si Ye walked outside and coincidentally saw Si Ting coming back.
“Hello, Master.” Si Ting cupped his fists, and his intricate face looked rather tense.
Si Ye looked at his appearance and was curious. “Si Ting, shouldn’t you be at school today? Why did you come back?”
Si Ting hesitated for a while and said, “I heard something happened in the palace.”
“What happened? Why don’t I know?” Si Ye was even more confused. I have been staying in close contact with the people inside the palace, so I should be the first to know if anything happened. Si Ting was at Tian Lu Academy, so how did he know? Besides, it seems like something is wrong…
Si Ting looked at him and tightly cupped his fists. “Chu Liuyue didn’t go to the academy today and was summoned to the palace.”
“What has this—” Si Ye realized something the moment he said this, and his expression changed. “You’re saying that… It has something to do with the Fourth Princess?”
Si Ting nodded. “I just felt that something was wrong, so I came back earlier to take a look and saw Eunuch Min standing at the door.”
Si Ting pressed his lips against each other. Eunuch Min’s expression didn’t look very good… At the very least, I have never seen Eunuch Min reveal such an expression in the many times I have seen him. Moreover, he clearly came for the Si family.
Si Ye’s heart sank. If it is related to the Fourth Princess, and His Majesty has urgently summoned us, he must’ve found out about us secretly investigating Rong Zhen’s matter beforehand. To make matters worse, maybe even Si Meng was exposed.
He hurriedly patted Si Ting’s shoulders. “I’ll go to the palace and take a look first. You can stay at home. If anything happens… You can take charge of anything that happens in the Si family.”
As he spoke, he took out a badge from his arms and shoved it to Si Ting.
Si Ting knitted his brows. What exactly happened that caused Master to be so uptight? He even directly gave me the badge that represents his status as the Si family’s head.
“Master, I can’t take this. You—”
“Take it!” Si Ye looked stern and didn’t allow for any rejection.
Si Ting met with his eyes and suddenly realized that the current situation might be even more troublesome and dangerous than he had imagined.
He finally held the badge tightly and nodded. “Master, don’t worry. I’ll definitely take good care of the Si family!”
Si Ye was then reassured as he gave Si Ting a look of deep meaning before turning around to leave.
Si Ting looked at his back view and started becoming uneasy for some reason.
On the other hand, Si Ye followed Eunuch Min all the way into the palace.
On the way, he had tried to find out what was going on a few times. However, Eunuch Min’s lips were very tight, and he didn’t reveal anything at all.
This further confirmed Si Ye’s conjecture—Something must have happened to the Empress! If not, Eunuch Min wouldn’t have such an attitude.
The two of them walked the entire way without talking. When they reached the Imperial Study, countless thoughts had already flashed across Si Ye’s mind.
Si Ye silently surveyed the surroundings. He immediately realized that the guards in the Imperial Study were stricter than before and that the entire atmosphere was much more solemn.
His heart seemed to be hanging in mid-air, and he was very uncomfortable.
Eunuch Min went up himself and respectfully said, “Your Majesty, the Si family head is already here.”
Emperor Jiawen’s cold and low voice boomed from within the Imperial Study. “Let him in!”
Eunuch Min looked at Si Ye and took a step back. “Si Family Head, please go ahead—”
Si Ye took a deep breath in, tidied his clothes, pushed open the door, and walked in.
The moment he stepped in, Si Ye’s heart immediately started beating rapidly when he saw the scene inside.
He saw Emperor Jiawen sitting behind the desk in the spacious and quiet Imperial Study as the booklets, ink, and brushes were thrown all over the floor messily.
Meanwhile, the Empress—Si Huijing—was kneeling in front of him.
Her entire glamorous palace outfit was filled with dirt, and her usually tidy hair was very messy. Her face had tear stains, and her eyes were swollen.
She knelt there as her entire body was filled with a hopeless and painful aura.
Si Ye had never seen her in such an unkempt state before.
“Empress?!” He couldn’t help but yell as he hurriedly walked forward.
Very quickly, he realized that Emperor Jiawen was still in the study.
Si Ye hurriedly stopped in his tracks, turned around to look at Emperor Jiawen, and suppressed the ripple in his heart. He bowed and greeted, “Greetings, Your Majesty.”
Upon seeing his arrival, the Empress’s eyes turned, and her expression was very strange. It appeared as though she wanted to cry, but she could no longer do so.
Today, she had used up more than half of the tears in her life. However, this couldn’t make Emperor Jiawen soften his heart a single bit.
Emperor Jiawen looked at Si Ye with a deep gaze. “Si Ye, do you know why I called you over?”
Si Ye felt a strong suppression overwhelming him as he knelt down without hesitation. “I don’t know. Your Majesty, please enlighten me!”
“You don’t know? Don’t you know that the Si family was secretly tracking Rong Zhen’s whereabouts?” Emperor Jiawen’s words were like a strong hammer that smashed down harshly.
Si Ye cupped his fists. As expected! His Majesty already knows!
He immediately put his hands on the ground and kowtowed with much force. “I know my mistake! Your Majesty, please punish me!”
“You know your mistake? To think that I thought you were very loyal to me. I didn’t expect you to collaborate with the Empress behind my back and lie to me for so many years! You long knew about Si Meng’s incident, right? Si Ye, you have a lot of guts!”
The more Emperor Jiawen said, the angrier he got. He picked up the teacup beside him and suddenly threw it toward Si Ye.
The teacup harshly landed in front of Si Ye.
The shattered pieces flew everywhere; two of them even flew over and cut Si Ye’s face.
But Si Ye didn’t dare to move at all as he bowed even more respectfully. “Your Majesty, I know that I’m wrong, but this has nothing to do with Her Majesty! Back then, I was worried that the Empress couldn’t protect herself in the palace, so I specifically arranged for Si Meng to be with her. Also, as for the Fourth Princess going missing… the Empress was afraid that you’d be too worried, so she wanted me to help. She didn’t hide it from you on purpose! No matter what, I’m willing to bear all of the consequences!”
Upon hearing this, Emperor Jiawen laughed coldly. “Bear all the consequences? Do you have the right to? Si Ye, you don’t have to act in front of me. Rong Zhen didn’t even go missing! She was simply hidden by the Empress since the start!”
Si Ye was shocked as he suddenly turned around. “What?”
Upon seeing his reaction, Emperor Jiawen squinted his eyes. “What, didn’t your good sister tell you about this?”
Si Ye’s heart was in turmoil as he instinctively glanced at the Empress beside him. “Her Majesty, w-what’s going on?”
The Empress hung her head low. She knew that there was no point in saying anything.
When Rong Zhen coincidentally appeared at Heptagon Alley and with the words she said herself, Emperor Jiawen had already confirmed everything!
She said with a hoarse voice, “Your Majesty, my brother truly doesn’t know anything! Please, let the Si family off!”