Jian Fengchi didn’t know why he had such a thought himself. He could confirm that he had never seen Rong Xiu’s appearance before, but… The moment Rong Xiu spoke, his distinguished yet somewhat lazy appearance felt familiar to him.
Hence, that question escaped from his mouth.
A warm and distant smile appeared on Rong Xiu’s face. “Why would you say that, Young Master Jian? I have always been recuperating at Mingyue Tianshan and only returned to the Imperial City in these few months. However, I rarely go out of my house. In my memory, I don’t think I’ve seen you before, Young Master Jian.”
Upon hearing this, Jian Fengchi felt quite hesitant. Is it really just a wrong guess? However, I’ve never felt this way before.
No matter who it was, Jian Fengchi could always remember that person without fail and clearly recall all the details about that person. No, there was also another person who previously made him feel a similar way—Chu Liuyue!
But at least Chu Liuyue’s eyes look very similar to that person, so it’s normal for me to find her familiar. Doesn’t Mu Qinghe think the same way too? Even Hong Yao treats Chu Liuyue differently. However, Rong Xiu isn’t. This face is clearly foreign, but the aura…
“Haha! It seems like I remembered it wrongly, but we do have some fate, right Prince Li?” said Jian Fengchi as he secretly felt emotional. There’s such a legendary character in the Imperial City, yet I completely didn’t know about this before. It’s obvious that not only me but even the people in Country Yao Chen still think that Rong Xiu is a frail person who can’t even walk out of his residence. This Prince Li truly hid himself very well.
“I came here today, not for anything else. I just heard Mu Hongyu mention you unwittingly, so I got curious and came here to take a look. Also… I wanted to see what kind of person Chu Liuyue’s fiancé was.” Jian Fengchi’s words were too frank, and they even sounded a little challenging. However, saying this didn’t seem problematic with his status and identity.
After all, even Emperor Jiawen had to be polite to him.
When Rong Xiu heard him mention Chu Liuyue, his gaze faltered. “Yue’er went to Lieutenant Mu’s today. If you want to see me, you can just let Yue’er know, and I’ll invite you to come in as a guest. If you come here like this, I won’t be able to treat you in a hospitable manner.”
Jian Fengchi laughed. “I’ve never liked troubling people. I can do this small matter myself. Besides, she might not have the time today.”
Rong Xiu’s heart tingled. “Oh?”
Jian Fengchi suddenly realized something and looked at Rong Xiu with much focus. Then, he smiled with even deeper meaning and a little more sinisterly. “So this is what you wanted to hear from me.”
Rong Xiu’s expression didn’t change.
Jian Fengchi was a smart person, and some superficial acting couldn’t escape his eyes. Hence, there was no need to put up a pretense.
“Young Master Jian, may I know where Yue’er is now?”
Rong Jiu returned to the Imperial Study and passed the ink pearl to Emperor Jiawen.
Emperor Jiawen looked at the ink pearl for a while before furrowing his brows as he asked, “Do you know how to unlock this item?”
Rong Jiu paused for a while and said, “There’s generally two ways to unlock the ink pearl. However, I tried both of them earlier, and they didn’t work.”
One just had to think to know that the ink pearl contained the Empress’s shocking secret. Once they unlocked it, they could figure out what the Empress was planning to do.
However, Rong Jiu quickly discovered that this ink pearl was different from average ink pearls. Based on his own strength, it was impossible for him to unlock its contents. “There seems to be a special lock on this ink pearl. I’m useless, and I can’t recognize it.”
Emperor Jiawen stared closely at the ink pearl and fell into deep thought. “If even you don’t have a way… I’m afraid it will be rather troublesome…”
Not to mention others, but Rong Jiu had spent many years training in the military. Thus, he should be an expert in dealing with such things. However, even he couldn’t do anything about this, let alone others.
Looking at Emperor Jiawen’s worried expression, Rong Jiu thought for a while and said, “Tian Lu Academy’s Elder Ye is very experienced. Perhaps he can help?”
Emperor Jiawen paused for a while and shook his head. “This matter is of utmost importance, and we should treat it with much care. You must also be careful on your side and not let any news get out.”
“…Yes!” Suspicion flashed across Rong Jiu’s heart. It isn’t wrong for Father to be careful as this involves the Empress and the Crown Prince, but isn’t he too careful? What kind of person is Elder Ye? How can Father not even tell him? It’s as if… he’s afraid of something.
But Rong Jiu was a smart person. Since he could guess Emperor Jiawen’s intentions, he would just go with the flow.
“You are dismissed.” Emperor Jiawen kept the ink pearl, leaned against his chair, and waved his hand with exhaustion.
Rong Jiu had something to say but was hesitant. He wanted to bring the ink pearl back and investigate it, but he swallowed his words in the end. “I’ll get going first.”
After leaving the palace, Rong Jiu was still thinking about the ink pearl. Father seems to think that the item is very important, but won’t it be as useless if he can’t solve it? Perhaps… Father has another way?
The more Rong Jiu thought about it, the more uncomfortable he felt. Starting from Heptagon Alley, Father’s reactions have always been weird. He seems to know something, but he is very mysterious about it as he just keeps telling us to check on the Empress. With this ink pearl matter now exposed, it seems even more obvious.
Rong Jiu continued walking and suddenly felt someone walking toward him, so he instinctively looked up.
The incoming person was a woman with a thin figure, but a large part of her face was hidden by a white veil.
Rong Jiu secretly knitted his brows. It’s Chu Xianmin? She came to look for me?
As expected, Chu Xianmin stopped three steps away from him and bent her knees to greet him. “Greetings, Third Prince.”
“Chu Xianmin? What are you doing here?” Even though Rong Jiu wasn’t very familiar with Chu Xianmin, he had heard quite a bit of news about her when he came back to the Imperial City, especially because… she was still Rong Jin’s concubine.
“I have some things I want to discuss with you, Third Prince.”
What can Chu Xianmin talk to me about? Could it be… Rong Jiu knitted his brows. “If you’re here to put in a good word for the Crown Prince, you can go back now.”
Chu Xianmin gently shook her head. “Third Prince, you’ve misunderstood. Even though I’m the Crown Prince’s person, I also know the severity of the matter. The reason why I came here today is that I want to tell you about something I’ve been conflicted about for quite some time. After much thinking, I still think it’s better to tell you about it.”
Rong Jiu’s instincts became stronger.
“But I have a request—I hope you won’t tell anyone that I told you about this.” Chu Xianmin clutched the handkerchief tightly in a very nervous and worried manner.
Rong Jiu said, “Okay! Just say whatever you want to say!”
Chu Xianmin hesitated for a while and lowered her voice to say, “Previously, I heard the Crown Prince and Eldest Princess Situ talking. He said he wanted her to help him think of a way to go to the palace and see Her Majesty… I think it should be these few days…”
Rong Jiu felt a pang in his heart as he suddenly recalled the strange sound in the Empress’s bedroom.