Based on my previous prediction, the only remaining participants should be the ones with superior Dijing Yuan meridians. How did Chu Liuyue manage to last this long? Is there really something weird about her? Jiang Yucheng asked, “Where’s Mu Qinghe?”
“Eldest Young Master, didn’t you send Lieutenant Mu to deal with that matter? He should still be working on it now,” reminded his subordinate.
I must’ve overworked myself lately to the point that this matter slipped out of my mind. As he came back to his senses, Jiang Yucheng rubbed his glabella. “Get him to go over to Wanjin Garden.”
Wanjin Garden was a famous restaurant in Xi Ling City, known for its elegance and luxury. But very few people knew that it belonged to Jiang Yucheng.
“…Do you mean… right away?”
“Yes, right away.” Jiang Yucheng nodded lightly and glanced at the black marble board. Before turning around to leave, he added, “Guan Hao, continue to keep an eye on the situation here and inform me immediately if anything unusual happens.”
Guan Hao mulled over the given order for a moment. When he figured out what his master meant by ‘unusual,’ he answered, “Yes!”
By the time Jiang Yucheng arrived at Wanjin Garden, Mu Qinghe was already waiting there in a room. The Black Guard’s lieutenant—who had always been cold and aloof—paid his respects to the former as soon as he sensed his presence. “Greetings, Eldest Young Master.”
Jiang Yucheng took his seat before saying, “Sit.”
During his momentary hesitation, Mu Qinghe noticed that the other man had already poured two cups of tea, so he sat down as well.
Guan Hao then took his leave and closed the door behind him as he went out to guard the room.
Mu Qinghe looked down. “May I know why I have been summoned back on such short notice?”
Jiang Yucheng picked up the teacup and lightly blew at it, allowing the tea fragrance to waft into his nose. “It’s nothing important. I just have a few questions for you.”
“Feel free to ask anything you want. I won’t hide anything from you.”
Jiang Yucheng didn’t drink the tea. Instead, he stroked the teacup in his hand and raised his eyes to look at the lieutenant. “Were you the one… who brought Chu Liuyue over?”
Mu Qinghe’s hands—which were placed on his knees—curled up slightly, but his expression remained unchanged as he answered, “Yes.”
“However, word on the street is that she came here with Jian Fengchi. What happened there?”
It took Mu Qinghe a moment before he briefly recounted what happened back then to the other. “…So I came back first and got Jian Fengchi to help me bring her over. It seems that a slight misunderstanding has occurred during the competition’s registration process. That’s why his name was written instead.”
Despite the upward curling of his lips, Jiang Yucheng’s smile didn’t reach his eyes. “Liu Xingyi has always disliked Jian Fengchi, so he probably did it on purpose.”
That fool is exactly the same as his mistress, Shangguan Wan! Both Shangguan Wan and I will never make Jian Fengchi do such a thing, yet he tried to seize the opportunity to take revenge… Couldn’t he stop to think for a second who was capable enough to ask Jian Fengchi for help?
After pondering for a moment, Mu Qinghe said, “I think this rumor has been widely spread throughout Xi Ling. Do you need me to send someone—”
“No need; it doesn’t matter what those people think. What’s important now is Chu Liuyue. You didn’t tell me upon your return that she has many secrets on her.” Jiang Yucheng cut Mu Qinghe off as he placed the teacup back on the table.
The lieutenant knitted his brows slightly. “Please excuse my stupidity, but I don’t understand what you mean by that.”
Jiang Yucheng laughed. “Don’t tell me that you have no idea that she’s currently still in the Tianling God Realm? When I came here, only 13 out of the 200 participants who entered that place remained, and she’s one of them. She is only a stage-three warrior with an intermediate Dijing Yuan meridian, so how did she manage to survive this long inside?”
Mu Qinghe’s eyes narrowed slightly at that. I knew that Chu Liuyue was somewhat capable, but I didn’t expect her to last for so long!
“As expected of Country Yao Chen…” remarked Jiang Yucheng in a meaningful tone.
Mu Qinghe immediately rose to his feet, cupped his fist, and bowed. “Please exercise wise judgment on this matter, Eldest Young Master. It’s true that Chu Liuyue has some capabilities; otherwise, I wouldn’t have brought her here to participate in the Wan Zheng Competition. I-I’m also surprised that—”
“No need to be nervous.” With a relaxed smile on his face, Jiang Yucheng waved his hand. “After all, the Third Princess will be elated to hear this.”
There wasn’t a ripple in Mu Qinghe’s voice as he allowed his eyes to droop slightly. “Understood.”
“By the way, there’s another thing that I’m rather curious about.” Leaning forward slightly, Jiang Yucheng stared into Mu Qinghe’s eyes and asked, “Don’t you think that Chu Liuyue… bears some resemblance to a certain person?”
His calm voice—as well as the hints of amusement on his face—made it seem as though he was speaking about some trivial affair. However, it made Mu Qinghe lift his clothes’ hem and go on his knees.
“Please look into the bottom of this matter! This wasn’t my intention! It just so happens that she was the only one with the Dijing Yuan meridian in Country Yao Chen… I had no choice but to bring her back; otherwise, there’s no reason for me to continue staying there.”
As Jiang Yucheng stared at him with his gaze that was sharp as a knife, a thick blanket of silence fell over the room. It lasted for some time before he burst out chuckling. “It was just a casual remark; there’s no need for you to get so uptight over it. Strictly speaking, it’s not a striking resemblance. There are lots of people with similar appearances in this world, so there’s no big deal about this.”
Truth be told, he had already sent someone to secretly investigate Chu Liuyue’s background. From the news he received so far, there weren’t any problems with her identity. Most importantly, she was indeed only 14 years old.
Mu Qinghe secretly sighed in relief. “Thank you, Eldest Young Master.”
Smiling, Jiang Yucheng leaned back against his seat. “It’s just a coincidence anyway. You wouldn’t have chosen her if you had other choices. After all… your former mistress treated you pretty well.”
“From the past until now, you’ve been my only master!” Mu Qinghe slammed his head onto the cold and hard ground, the coldness of which seemed to have spread to his heart as well.
After a short but suffocating silence, Jiang Yucheng finally stood up and went to help him up. In a gentle voice, he said, “What are you doing? You’ve always been my most trusted subordinate.”
It was only then that Mu Qinghe climbed to his feet. “Thank you, Eldest Young Master.”
There was a large bruise patch on his forehead, which showed how hard he kowtowed earlier.
“You may go back and continue working on the task you were entrusted with. You don’t have to be concerned about anything else.”
It was a warning for him not to meddle in the competition any longer.
Jiang Yucheng then turned to leave.
It was only after a long while that Mu Qinghe slowly exhaled and turned to look at the two teacups on the table—Jiang Yucheng had left his tea untouched throughout.
He continued standing there for a long time and didn’t even know when Hong Yao landed on his shoulder. The fiend—which was usually lively—was silent and subdued at this moment.
Mu Qinghe closed his eyes.
When he opened them again, his eyes had returned to their usual calm state. He then made a move to leave.