In the palace.
Rong Jiu quickly walked to the Imperial Study with big strides.
The palace maids he met on the way all greeted him respectfully.
Now that the Crown Prince and the Empress were grounded, His Majesty handed over many things to the Third Prince. Everybody could tell that the Imperial City’s sky was about to change. However, the palace maids didn’t dare to say much since Rong Jiu looked tense as if something urgent had happened.
Rong Jiu left in a hurry, and his heart was filled with regret.
He had calculated everything, but he actually didn’t realize that Situ Xingchen was also in the Empress’s residence. If he had paid more attention then, he definitely would’ve noticed something was wrong. If he had taken another step forward and pulled open the screen, he would’ve discovered Situ Xingchen!
But… he did not!
Things had recently been progressing too smoothly, so he was actually careless and forgot about that person’s existence.
At first, he still didn’t notice, but upon thinking back about it now, he felt that there were many dubious points everywhere. Situ Xingchen and Rong Jin have a marriage agreement, but even after Rong Jin got into trouble, she never requested to dissolve the marriage agreement. What else could it be if she didn’t have any motives? Situ Xingchen must’ve known something, and that’s why she’s willing to help the Empress and Rong Jin! However, I never thought of investigating Situ Xingchen!
Before he reached the Imperial Study, Rong Jiu heard hurried footsteps coming from in front. He looked up and saw Emperor Jiawen—who was at the frontmost—in one glance.
Emperor Jiawen wore a never-before-seen sinister and harsh expression with an intense murderous aura.
Rong Jiu was shocked. What happened again?!
“Greetings, Father!” Rong Jiu hurriedly went forward and bowed to greet him.
When Emperor Jiawen saw Rong Jiu, he furrowed his brows tightly. “Why are you still in the palace?”
At this time, Rong Jiu should’ve long left the palace.
Rong Jiu immediately said, “Father, I have an urgent matter to report to you immediately, so I came back after I left.”
Emperor Jiawen didn’t stop in his tracks and continued walking forward. “Tell me when I come back.”
While talking, he had already gone past Rong Jiu.
W-what’s going on?! Rong Jiu was dazed.”Father, I really have something urgent—”
“Aiyo! Third Highness, you should just wait first!” advised Eunuch Min kindly as he waved his hands. “Didn’t you see how anxious His Majesty is? Anyway, His Majesty definitely has no mood to listen to what you have to say. You should just wait patiently first!”
Rong Jiu asked curiously, “Eunuch Min, please advise me. This… Where is Father going so anxiously?”
“You still don’t know?!” Eunuch Min shockingly spat these words out before he hurriedly looked at his surroundings and pointed at the sky. He then lowered his voice and said, “Did you not see what happened just now?”
Rong Jiu was dazed and then understood what had happened. “That signal is…”
“That signal came from the imperial mausoleum! How can His Majesty not be anxious?” Eunuch Min slapped his thighs. “I have to go first. Third Prince, you should decide what to do now yourself!”
Then, Eunuch Min immediately chased after Emperor Jiawen.
Rong Jiu stood rooted to the ground, and his heart was in turmoil.
After talking to Chu Xianmin earlier, he was filled with shock and regret, so he came back to the palace without much thinking.
On the way over, he also noticed the gigantic fireworks.
Of course, he knew that it was used to send news, but as all his focus was on Situ Xingchen, he didn’t realize that it was a signal sent from the imperial mausoleum’s direction.
This meant that something happened to the imperial mausoleum!
Even though Rong Jiu wasn’t in the Imperial City for most years, he also knew that the Imperial City’s Golden Inheritance Peak was heavily guarded.
Now that they suddenly sent this signal, they must’ve met with a lot of trouble. It would be weird if Emperor Jiawen wasn’t anxious.
Just as Rong Jiu was thinking if he should go back to the Empress’s residence and confirm if Situ Xingchen had gone there before, Emperor Jiawen—who had just left not long ago—was intercepted again.
This time, the incoming person was a guard in armor. He hurried over in a panic, and he actually directly lunged forward and knelt down in front of Emperor Jiawen as he miserably yelled, “His Majesty! Not good!”
Emperor Jiawen felt that his head was hit by a heavy hammer, and his brain hurt. Not good?! Something has happened to the imperial mausoleum. What could be even worse than that?
Emperor Jiawen was forced to stand on the spot, and he hollered, “Speak!”
The guard knelt on the ground as his entire body trembled. “Your Majesty, the Empress… Her Majesty has passed away!”
The surroundings fell into dead silence.
Emperor Jiawen’s expression tensed up.
Upon hearing this, Rong Jiu looked up and saw that the guard was indeed the one in charge of the Empress’s residence.
Did he say… that the Empress passed away?! A bad feeling arose in Rong Jiu’s heart. He rushed over to the guard. “What did you say just now?! Say it again!”
The guard was frightened by the sudden interrogation, and he said with a shaky voice, “H-her Majesty… committed suicide!”
“Useless!” Emperor Jiawen finally reacted and kicked the guard’s heart harshly. “Didn’t I say that you must watch over the Empress no matter what?”
Even if the Empress died a thousand times to repay her sins, it wouldn’t suffice. Also, he still had many matters he had yet to clear up. If she just died so suddenly, what should they do next?!
“You! How do you do your job?”
That guard tolerated his pain and said gingerly, “Your Majesty, I’ve always been watching her from outside, and I would go in to check on her every hour. However, Her Majesty actually slammed herself against the wall… When we heard the commotion, Her Majesty was already—”
Actually, they were very wronged too!
The Empress had maintained the same status for the past few days. Even if she experienced excruciating torture, she still pushed through it forcefully.
Who would’ve expected her to commit suicide suddenly?
Si Huijing was very determined. She slammed herself very harshly, and her head was filled with blood while her skull almost broke apart.
How could they predict that?
Originally, Emperor Jiawen was already very anxious because of the imperial mausoleum’s incident. When he heard this now, he felt that the blood in his chest had turned upside down and—
Emperor Jiawen spat out blood!
Eunuch Min and Rong Jiu immediately gasped.
Eunuch Min was standing beside Emperor Jiawen, and he hurriedly supported the Emperor’s falling body. “Your Majesty, you must take care of your precious body!”
With the comparison of his bloodstained lips, Emperor Jiawen’s face looked even paler.
He shot a deadly stare at that guard and said every word precisely. “Who went to see the Empress today?”
He was certain that the Empress didn’t suddenly commit suicide. There had to be a more profound reason for this incident!
An idea popped up in Rong Jiu’s mind. Could it be… Situ Xingchen—
That guard’s voice trembled. “Your Majesty, only the Third Prince went to the Empress’s side today.”
Rong Jiu was stunned as he instantly looked at that guard.