Weichi Song didn’t expect that the matter Chu Liuyue wanted to talk to him about was this. His gaze turned complicated as he looked at the wooden box and shook his head. “Since you’ve bought it, it’s yours. You don’t have to return it to me.”
Chu Liuyue stubbornly pushed it toward him. “Like you said, it’s mine now. Thus, I can do whatever I want with it, isn’t that right?”
Weichi Song was surprised to hear this reply.
“Cabinet Master, take this as a small token of appreciation for the help Little Zhou and I have received from you! If you don’t accept it, we won’t be able to stay here with peace of mind and will have to find another place instead.”
She sighed and then added, “This mansion definitely costs much more than this seal. Strictly speaking, Little Zhou and I have profited from it! Besides… I saw how reluctant you were to part with this thing. It must be very important and meaningful to you, right? In that case, please just accept it!”
Weichi Song hesitated for a long time before he finally took the wooden box from her. She’s right. This seal might not be the most valuable thing I own, but it’s something that I treasure dearly. To think it came back to me in the end…
“Thank you, Liuyue,” he said solemnly to her.
Her eyes moved slightly as she flashed him a smile. “I’m a member of Chong Xu Cabinet now, so there’s no need to say ‘thank you’ to me. I still have to rely on you in the future!”
Knowing that she was deliberately teasing him, Weichi Song couldn’t resist laughing as he put the wooden box away. “Anyway, now that this matter has been resolved, when are you guys coming over to Chong Xu Cabinet?”
Chu Liuyue blinked. “Not so soon, I’m afraid. I still have something that I have to do.”
“What is it?” he asked curiously.
At that, she revealed a meaningful smile. “It’s a money matter, of course.”
In a private room on Chun Feng Restaurant’s second floor.
Jian Fengchi was reclining on a couch as usual—with one leg bent and an arm under his head—while gently fanning himself with the fan in his other hand from time to time. With his eyes lazily closed, he enjoyed this peaceful moment as he listened to the melodious music Shui Liu’er played on her pipa behind the screen.
Being in a particularly good mood today, Shui Liu’er finished playing an entire piece—which was rare for her—leaving the last note of the beautiful music lingering in the air for a long time.
She then stood up, emerged from behind the screen with her pipa, and curtsied at him. “The song has come to an end, Young Master Jian.”
Opening an eye, Jian Fengchi chuckled as he tossed a Cosmic Ring at her. “I’m a man of my words. Take it!”
Upon catching it, she checked the ring with her force before letting out a satisfied smile eventually. “You must’ve made quite a windfall this time for you to be so generous.”
Jian Fengchi laughed. “100,000 white crystals in exchange for one song of yours. You’re the only one who will enjoy such treatment in Xi Ling, Little Liu’er!”
Shui Liu’er cocked an eyebrow. “That’s because I’m worth the rate.”
He didn’t bother arguing with her and merely chuckled at her response.
She sat down next to him. “Let’s talk about serious business. We previously got interrupted as soon as we started talking about it. Now that we have time today, it’s time for you to tell me all about it.”
The man stretched his body. “I knew you were going to ask this! I’m tired after counting all my winnings. Can’t you let me have a good rest?”
Shui Liu’er beamed at him. “Haven’t you been resting since yesterday? Isn’t that enough?”
He immediately sat up straight. “Cough, cough. That was just a casual remark. Don’t take it to heart, Little Liu’er!”
She didn’t answer him, but a very gentle smile remained on her alluring face.
Jian Fengchi let out another cough. “I’ve found out some things about the matter you got me to investigate…”
Shui Liu’er’s expression turned serious.
“You were right. That person enters the palace every once in a while under the guise of a heavenly doctor who’s supposed to treat His Majesty, but his whereabouts are very secretive. His identity is even more so. After much investigation, I found out that his identity… is fake as we suspected.”
“I was right…” mumbled Shui Liu’er. “I knew there was something amiss about that person! Have you discovered his true identity?”
Jian Fengchi laughed bitterly at that. “My dear Little Liu’er, you’ve overestimated my capabilities. Do you think it’s easy to investigate an imperial heavenly doctor? It wasn’t easy for me to find out this much, especially since I can’t enter the palace every day. Besides, I’ve been helping Mu Qinghe out lately, so I don’t have much free time.”
She pouted her red lips. “It’s a well-known fact in Xi Ling City that you two are arch-enemies. Nobody will ever think that you’d actually help him do things on the sly. You used to be on equal footing with him, yet you’re now running errands for him. You sure are something!”
His face darkened for a moment. “You know that—”
“I know nothing.” Shui Liu’er’s expression eased a bit. “I believe you have your reasons, so I won’t stop you from interacting with him. But… just make sure that you can distinguish between what’s right and wrong.”
“Little Liu’er, actually—”
“I’m not listening!”
Jian Fengchi zipped his mouth right there and then. He knew that despite Shui Liu’er’s gentleness on the surface, she was actually really fierce and stubborn. He would just be wasting his saliva if he tried explaining things to her, so he decided to change the topic altogether. “Actually, my trip wasn’t exactly fruitless. Guess who I met?”
Shui Liu’er cast him a lazy look that said, ‘it’s up to you whether you want to say it or not.’
Jian Fengchi straightened up and leaned in closer to her while making the number ’13’ with his hands.
There was no reaction from Shui Liu’er at first, but after a moment, she covered her mouth in shock upon realizing something.
The room went silent for a moment.
After a while, she asked quietly, her voice trembling a little, “…For real?”
Jian Fengchi narrowed his eyes. “I didn’t see them myself, but that aura is really similar… It can’t be wrong. Based on my guess, it should be…”
He made another number with his hands—seven, this time.
He had always been particularly astute in this aspect.
Shui Liu’er fell silent for a while. “It looks like the rumors are real… They’ve all gone outside?”
“Of course. How else do you think they managed to stay hidden for so long?”
Jiang Yucheng has spent a lot of money just to capture those 13 people. If he didn’t do that, there’s no way he’d be able to track their locations. Shui Liu’er stood up. Her expression was grave as she hugged the pipa tightly in her arms and paced back and forth.
Jian Fengchi knew that this reaction would only appear when she was nervous. It seems like she’s still very much concerned about this matter even after so long.
“They can’t go on like this forever—” Shui Liu’er suddenly stopped and whipped her head to the back. She could hear light and quick footsteps from outside the locked room.
A clear female’s voice—which bore hints of amusement—floated over. “Are you in there, Young Master Jian?”
Jian Fengchi was shocked to hear this voice. That’s Chu Liuyue!