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Chapter 382: Probe

“Your Highness, you played really well this time.” Chu Liuyue looked at the chessboard in front of her and didn’t put down her black piece for a long time. “My black pieces are almost all blocked.”

Rong Xiu quietly sat opposite her. Upon hearing this, his thin lips gently curved up. “You clearly have a way to go, right?”

Chu Liuyue could obviously see it, but…

“Even if I walk this step and forcefully escape the current situation, didn’t you already prepare a trap for me? Since I’m going to lose anyway, it’s meaningless to make the extra move.”

Chu Liuyue threw the chess piece into its container and raised both her hands. “I concede.”

Looking at her obedient appearance, Rong Xiu raised his brows and asked a question as he put away the chess pieces. “You weren’t focused when playing. What are you thinking about?”

Seeing his slow actions, Chu Liuyue couldn’t help but wrinkle her nose. Even if I were focused, I would only forcefully draw to a tie when I play with Rong Xiu. If we really are to compare, Rong Xiu is the top player in chess.

However, Rong Xiu slowly said, “Even though this step seems meaningless, someone will still walk it.”

Chu Liuyue lightly grunted. “They’re just wasting their efforts.”

“Not only did Situ Yan not cancel the marriage agreement for Rong Jin and Situ Xingchen, but he even willingly put in a good word for Rong Jin. Even if His Majesty is enraged and wants to punish the Empress and the Crown Prince immediately, he must do Situ Yan a favor.”

Chu Liuyue had long expected that Situ Yan wouldn’t cancel the marriage agreement so easily, but she did not expect him to render help so swiftly.

This proved that Situ Yan thought more than highly of Rong Jin…

Rong Xiu smiled nonchalantly. “If the problem could be solved so easily, we wouldn’t have to drag until today.”

Chu Liuyue suddenly leaned forward, and her hands held the chessboard. Staring at Rong Xiu, she asked, “Your Highness, did you know long ago that Situ Yan would help?”

Rong Xiu looked up, and his deep gaze swept past Chu Liuyue’s face in a seemingly smiling manner. “Yue’er, didn’t you know about this too?”

There seemed to be an ambiguous aura between the two of them.

Chu Liuyue looked at Rong Xiu in deep thought. Of course, I knew, but the only reason why I would guess that is that I knew something. However… What about Rong Xiu? Does he know too?

Chu Liuyue paused and said, “As Situ Yan has helped Rong Jin, His Majesty won’t officially remove the Crown Prince—and even the Empress—from their positions for now, but many people have already noticed that something is amiss. Everyone is now making guesses and conjectures, and people are faltering. On the other hand, His Majesty commanded people to investigate Heptagon Alley thoroughly, but there hasn’t been much progress… Your Highness, what’s your plan?”

Rong Xiu put away the chess pieces and couldn’t help but look down and kiss Chu Liuyue’s forehead when he saw her look of curiosity. “Even though you won’t win by making an extra step, it could still be more exciting. Besides… I can then win more heartily.”

At Crown Prince mansion…

As Rong Jin was grounded once again, the entire Crown Prince Mansion’s atmosphere became very solemn.

Everyone was defeated and grave, which replaced their arrogant looks when the Crown Prince was in favor.

Who would’ve imagined that the enviable Crown Prince would end up like this?

Even though His Majesty hadn’t given his order, rumors had spread everywhere in the Imperial City. They said that even the Empress had been grounded this time, so removing the Crown Prince from his position was just a matter of time.

Chu Xianmin sat in her own room.

It was already late autumn, so the weather was gradually turning cold.

Her residence was very cold and quiet, and it was more like a wintry hell.

Her hand slowly caressed the face veil she was wearing. Even though she was the only one here, she didn’t dare to show her face. This was because even she herself was afraid of her own face.

At the start, she never thought that she would end up in this state. After some deep thoughts, she finally stood up.

Chu Xianmin heard that Situ Xingchen was going to visit Crown Prince Mansion today, so she had to go out and greet her.

When she walked to the outside, the road was eerily quiet and wasn’t much better than her place.

She walked all the way to the living room.

After walking quite a far distance, she finally saw some figures on the road. Most of them were subordinates, but they didn’t even messily bow to her when they saw her. Instead, they left in a hurry.

Chu Xianmin couldn’t help but give a self-deprecating smile.

In the past, these people would think of ways to make her smile when they saw her. Now, they were too lazy to even do that.

She could vaguely hear those people whispering.

“I really don’t know what that Eldest Princess Situ wants! The Crown Prince and Her Majesty have now been grounded, and they will be removed from their position sooner or later. This person still hasn’t dissolved her marriage agreement with the Crown Prince? Isn’t this causing trouble for herself?”

“Who knows? Perhaps she’s devoted and is willing to accompany him through life and death?”

“I think not! You didn’t see how that eldest princess treated the Crown Prince! When I went in to serve tea, I didn’t even see half a smile on her face. She said she came to visit the Crown Prince, but everyone can tell that she was forced to come.”

“Who can force her? She’s the apple of Country Xing Luo’s Emperor Xiankang’s eye!”

“Anyway, with her around, His Majesty won’t do anything to the Crown Prince for now. However, I still think we should find another way out! Everything in this Crown Prince Mansion will thoroughly change at some point!”

“I heard that His Majesty thinks quite highly of the Third Prince and that he even wants to confer him—”

Chu Xianmin clenched her teeth and walked in.

Inside the living room, Rong Jin and Situ Xingchen sat opposite each other.

After what happened these few days, Rong Jin’s entire person slimmed down by quite a bit, and he looked very frail. Even his last bit of energy was about to be used up.

He was worried about the Empress and anxious about himself. He also couldn’t sleep properly for a few nights, which naturally caused him to end up in this state. Luckily, he still managed to save his position as the Crown Prince!

“Xingchen, I really don’t know how to thank you…” Rong Jin looked at Situ Xingchen in front of him and was filled with gratitude. “I knew you wouldn’t stand still and not do anything!”

To Rong Jin, the reason why Situ Yan was willing to help was definitely due to Situ Xingchen begging him. Thus, he treasured Situ Xingchen even more in his heart.

However, Situ Xingchen did not think so. She felt all her hair stand on end, and her entire person was very restless as Rong Jin stared at her with that gaze. If it weren’t for Father’s command, I would never come!

“Your Highness, you don’t have to be so polite. It’s what I have to do.” Situ Xingchen literally clenched on her teeth and spat that sentence out.

But Rong Jin didn’t even realize her intentions as he sighed emotionally and deeply. “Sigh, it’s a pity that Father has already convicted Mother of her crime, and he refuses to let me see her. I’m also not sure what her situation is like now…”

Situ Xingchen was frustrated to hear this. Thinking of what her father told her, she asked in a seemingly casual manner, “Your Highness, the reason why His Majesty is acting this way is due to Heptagon Alley. Do you know what exactly is going on inside…?”

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