The body that she had previously seen was still dangling in the air, but everything beneath was gone!
There were signs of fighting in the courtyard, along with a number of imperial guard corpses.
The barrier in Heptagon Alley had been broken. Clearly, someone had forced their way in.
Chu Liuyue immediately looked around the courtyard, but she didn’t find any useful clues. The only thing she was sure of was that these people had been dead for less than a day.
No matter the ones outside or inside, the dead imperial guards didn’t have many wounds on them. They all died by a fatal blow to their throats.
This was clearly a one-sided massacre!
Chu Liuyue examined their bodies and frowned. It looks like the imperial guards didn’t even have the chance to fight back.
Even though they weren’t the best, they were trained. Being able to take care of so many people without giving them the chance to send any messages… Either they were overwhelmed in numbers, or… the other party was really strong!
Chu Liuyue was inclined to believe it was the latter.
The Imperial City had been under strict security recently. If that many people did arrive, the commotion of the fight would have attracted attention. There wouldn’t have been a floor full of corpses like now.
If I hadn’t rushed over today, I don’t know when someone would discover the situation here. Chu Liuyue pondered for a moment as she headed straight for the palace.
The palace was under strict security, but Chu Liuyue was immediately granted entrance since she was Prince Li’s future Princess Consort.
Chu Liuyue didn’t go to Emperor Jiawen. Instead, she headed straight for the Empress’s quarters. While walking, she shrewdly noticed that the atmosphere in the palace was eerily stiff.
Everyone was being extremely cautious. Clearly, the Empress’s and Rong Jin’s matters had terrified everyone.
Halfway there, Chu Liuyue met a troop of people.
At the front was Chu Ning!
She hadn’t seen him for days, but he looked rather haggard and tired. He had clearly been busy worrying.
“Father!” Chu Liuyue rushed forward.
Chu Ning immediately looked up when he heard the familiar voice. Surprise flashed across his eyes, but he then frowned. “Yue’er, why are you here?!”
Chu Liuyue walked over to him. “Father, I have an important matter to tell you.”
Upon looking at her expression, a sense of uneasiness welled up in Chu Ning’s heart. Yue’er has always been rather careful and understanding. If nothing urgent has cropped up, she never would’ve come looking for me in the palace at this juncture.
He turned and gave some instructions to the person behind him before he led Chu Liuyue aside. “What’s going on?”
Chu Liuyue pursed her lips. “Father, the imperial guards at Heptagon Alley have all been killed! Also, the cauldron has been stolen!”
“W-what?” Chu Ning was stunned. He had guessed that something bad had happened, but he did not expect that… “When did this happen?!”
Chu Liuyue recounted everything to him.
Chu Ning’s expression turned for the worse. “So… we don’t know who, and we don’t have any clues?”
Chu Liuyue nodded. “I know that His Majesty placed a lot of importance on the matter of Heptagon Alley and that you’re in charge of these things recently. Thus, I rushed over the instant I found out.”
Chu Ning’s expression was stiff; it was like it had frozen over.
He had been busy dealing with the Empress’s matter in the palace, so he passed the matter of Heptagon Alley to a subordinate. However, he didn’t expect something like this to happen!
Even if His Majesty ordered him to remain in the palace and solve the problems here first, he was still responsible!
“Okay, I understand. I’ll go report this to His Majesty now.” Chu Ning swiftly made a decision. It was only a matter of time before His Majesty found out. Even if he would be punished, he had to face it.
“Yue’er, you head back first.”
Chu Liuyue shook her head. “I’ll come with you. I’m the first person to find out about it. It doesn’t make sense for me not to go.”
But Chu Ning was a little hesitant. “This matter has important implications. I don’t want you to get involved.”
Based on his investigations over the last few days, he had sensed that the Empress was playing a huge game of chess. Even with her death, things were far from over, especially since… the bronze cauldron at Heptagon Alley had disappeared!
No matter how he looked at it, he hoped that his daughter would be able to stay out of the matter.
Chu Liuyue’s lips curved up slightly. “From the moment I went to Heptagon Alley, it became difficult for me to stay out of this. But don’t worry, Father. I know what I’m doing; I know what to do and what not to do.”
Chu Ning looked at her. How can I not know that these are all excuses? The real reason is that her appearance will help to decrease the punishment that I would receive from His Majesty.
Chu Ning was touched and finally nodded. “Okay, we’ll go and see His Majesty together.”
As Chu Ning walked next to Chu Liuyue, all the imperial guards wisely stayed a short distance from them.
Chu Liuyue wanted to inquire about the Empress’s matters but decided against it after some pondering.
After walking for about 15 minutes, they finally arrived at Zhaoyang Palance.
Strangely, the palace doors were shut tight even though it was the middle of the day. There were also twice as many guards as usual.
Chu Ning stopped walking.
Eunuch Min—who was standing guard outside the door—saw Chu Ning and knew that he was here to report the matter to His Majesty. But in the next second, he saw Chu Liuyue standing by her father.
His heart skipped a beat. What is she doing here at this time?!
He shuffled over hurriedly. “Lord Chu Ning, His Majesty is attending to important matters right now, so you’ll have to wait a little.”
He then turned to Chu Liuyue. “Ms. Liuyue, what brings you here today?”
Chu Liuyue’s reply was brief. “I have something to report to His Majesty with my father. Don’t worry, Eunuch Min; we’ll just wait here.”
Eunuch Min was shrewd, so he could tell that something was wrong from Chu Liuyue and Chu Ning’s expressions. He didn’t ask any further and stepped back into his position after that.
But just as he was walking back, the door was suddenly pulled open from inside!
A middle-aged man dressed in black walked out! His expression was gloomy, and a murderous aura emanated from him.
Eunuch Min respectfully stepped aside when he saw the man, but the man paid no heed and continued walking outward.
Looking at the face, Chu Liuyue narrowed her eyes. This face… looks a little familiar…
Suddenly, her eyes lit up. This man shares half of Situ Xingchen’s features!