Chapter 655: Tailing
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
Rong Xiu’s eyelids twitched when he saw Mu Qinghe regarding him strangely. It took him some time before he commented, “It looks like Lieutenant Mu is quite concerned about Yue’er.”
“Well, it’s only right that I show some concern about her affairs since I brought her here.” Mu Qinghe felt that the conversation couldn’t go on anymore. Since Rong Xiu doesn’t know anything, it’s pointless for me to ask more. I might as well go investigate it on my own.
Hence, he stood up. “It’s getting late. I shan’t trouble you any longer.”
But just when he was about to take his leave, Rong Xiu suddenly said, “Just a second, Lieutenant Mu.”
Mu Qinghe stopped in his tracks and turned to give Rong Xiu a quizzical look, only to see the other smiling.
The latter’s face seemed to have regained its usual color. “I’d like to ask Lieutenant Mu for a favor.”
Imperial Palace, Huayang Palace.
As Chan Yi watched Chu Liuyue stroll along the lake from the side, she couldn’t help but find it puzzling why the other woman seemed to be particularly fond of the trees and flowers there. Chu Liuyue stared at the flowers for so long that a thin layer of snow had formed on her, yet she seemed unaware of it. In fact, it looked as if she had completely forgotten about everything else.
Are these flowers and trees… really that beautiful? wondered Chan Yi curiously. However, she could only put her suspicion away since that was all Chu Liuyue did.
A flurry of approaching footsteps was heard just then.
Chan Yi looked back and bowed immediately. “Third Princess.”
Shangguan Wan was walking over toward them with a maid holding an umbrella for her from behind. Her gaze fell on Chu Liuyue.
Amid the falling snow and blooming flowers was a slender woman in red, who was like a bright ball of fire. Despite wearing no makeup, her face was clear, stunning, and alluring, which seemed to blend in with this picturesque scene.
Shangguan Wan couldn’t help but clench her fists under her sleeves.
In this world, there was a type of person who would become the most beautiful scenery wherever they stood. All the lights and colors would seemingly gather around that person. Their appearance and presence were rare, otherworldly, and indescribable.
Although Shangguan Wan was considered a beauty herself, something seemed lacking in her. In her mind, the one person who possessed such a presence was Shangguan Yue. But despite Chu Liuyue’s humble background, she carried hints of such nobility as well.
That made Shangguan Wan even more uncomfortable.
Upon hearing the voices, Chu Liuyue turned and paid her respects to Shangguan Wan, who then laughingly asked, “Why are you viewing the flowers outside when it’s currently snowing, Ms. Chu?”
“I’ve never seen flowers blooming at this time of the year, so I’m quite intrigued by them. I believe such beautiful scenery can only be seen here,” answered Chu Liuyue, who looked somewhat envious.
Shangguan Wan thought nothing about her reply and revealed an apologetic look on her face. “Physician Zuo said that my father’s health has improved a little lately, so I’m going to pay him a visit now. I’m afraid that I can’t keep you here longer today.”
Chu Liuyue said understandingly, “It’s fine. You’re a busy person after all. I won’t impose on you any longer.”
Shangguang Wan nodded and lifted a hand. “I recently acquired several rare herbs, but I have no use for them since I’m not a heavenly doctor. I’d like to give them to you instead.”
A maid came forward and presented Chu Liuyue with three boxes.
Chu Liuyue hesitated for a moment before accepting the boxes. “Thank you, Third Princess.”
After chatting for a little longer, Shangguan Wan left, leaving Chan Yi behind to escort Chu Liuyue out of the palace.
After leaving the palace grounds, Chu Liuyue walked on the streets alone.
Earlier at Huayang Palace’s back garden, she was actually trying to figure out the drain’s location on the pretext of appreciating the flowers in the garden. It was very close to the ground surface, and one could actually hear the flowing water and figure out its course if they paid enough attention while standing there.
A mental image of the drainage system had already formed in her mind.
If I’m correct, the water came from Jade Spring Mountain and is flowing to… She stopped in her tracks all of a sudden as a streak of surprise surfaced on her face. It’s flowing to the palace’s ancestral hall?!
It should be known that the ancestral hall was the imperial palace’s most sacred and important place. Aside from the guards responsible for manning the ancestral hall, intricate Xuan formations were set up both inside and outside the hall.
That place was built when the ancestor was still alive. Every brick, stone, grass, and tree was specifically placed and mustn’t be destroyed, but Shangguan Wan actually dug a drain and led it to the ancestral hall? A frown settled on Chu Liuyue’s forehead. What on earth does she want to do?
All of a sudden, she heard urgent footsteps behind her, which pulled her out of her thoughts.
“Quick! Hurry up! We have to respond to the Eldest Young Master’s summon as fast as we can!”
She looked back and saw an anxious-looking man and four other men behind him. They looked like they were in their twenties, but all of them had haggard appearances.
One of the men at the back couldn’t resist saying, “We want to be fast too, but the Eldest Young Master summoned us so urgently that we didn’t even have the time—”
“Exactly! He hasn’t summoned us for over a year, so who would’ve thought that he’d summon us now? It’s too sudden!”
“Heh. Given our current conditions… we can’t move any faster either! We still have to take Xiao Si with us…”
Chu Liuyue scanned these men quickly, her eyes narrowing slightly when she noticed they all had some sort of disabilities.
Two of them only had one arm, while another only had a leg. The man named ‘Xiao Si’ seemed to be blind as both of his eyelids were deeply sunken. Even the man at the front was disfigured. He had two gruesome scars—marks left behind by knives—on his face.
The scar-faced man knitted his eyebrows together even tighter, making him look even fiercer. “If you guys don’t want to live anymore, you can continue dilly-dallying all you want!”
The rest of them quieted down and tried their best to speed up.
Chu Liuyue took a few steps back to make way for them as they hurried past her.
It was currently snowing, so there weren’t many people out on the streets. The distance between the group of men and Chu Liuyue gradually grew as they continued walking straight ahead.
She was just about to leave when she heard one of them saying, “…We’re no different from being dead. If I’d known that place was so dangerous, I wouldn’t have followed the Eldest Young Master there a year ago… I can no longer cultivate now that I’ve lost my arm… I’m just a cripple now!”
Although he said this softly, Chu Liuyue could still hear it clearly. The other men fell silent when they heard that as well.
Eldest Young Master… A year ago… Dangerous place… Chu Liuyue knitted her brows slightly. Could they be talking about Jiang Yucheng? Are they heading to the Jiang Residence now?
She quickly decided to follow them quietly.