Chapter 637: Push and Pull

All of them hurried to the Palace of Peace. It was often troublesome for ordinary subjects to enter the palace, but with the crown prince and princess in the lead, as well as the empress’ own personal eunuchs accompanying them, it was smooth sailing.

Along the way, Little Gui snuck Zu An a secretive look, confirming their friendship. As he passed by Zu An, he spoke in a quiet voice, “Thank you, My Lord, for saving my life.”

Those who worked in the palace were usually sharp individuals. He obviously knew that he had almost been silenced yesterday, and was only alive because of Zu An. Not only that, he was even promoted to the station of the empress’ personal eunuch.

Zu An smiled.  “You’re too kind,” he replied. “We were merely helping each other out.”

This was exactly what Little Gui wanted to hear. He was further elated by the lack of arrogance in the other party’s bearing. “We should find the opportunity to grow even closer in the future.”

He didn’t dare speak for too long, especially with so many people around them. With these final words, he moved to the front of the party to lead the way.

Zu An smiled as well. He knew how formidable eunuchs could be, after all the dramas he had watched in his previous world. It was best not to offend these fellows if possible, and it would be even better if he could get along with them.

Of course, he had to make sure all of this was done in secret. He’d surely be looked down on by most of the court if he was always seen hanging around them.

Even though the two of them had only spoken briefly, their conversation hadn’t escaped the crown princess’ ears. She moved next to Zu An. “Are you familiar with the eunuchs in the Palace of Peace?” she asked with a frown.

Zu An could smell her sweet fragrance. “It was this eunuch who led the way the  previous time the empress invited me for an audience,” he replied.

“The two of you are this close after just a single meeting?” The crown princess frowned, alarm bells ringing in her mind. Was the empress trying to insert her spies into the eastern palace?

“Maybe I’m just a naturally friendly person,” replied Zu An with a chuckle. At the same time, he couldn’t miss the crown princess’ wariness. Sure enough, it seemed daughter-in-laws had a natural animosity towards their mother-in-laws, no matter what world they were in. Furthermore, the empress wasn’t the crown prince’s biological mother, which was yet another thing that fueled the crown princess’ suspicions.

The crown princess was momentarily speechless.

This guy considers himself a naturally friendly person? Where the heck does his confidence come from?

His cheeky expression really ticked her off. Golden Token Lord Eleven’s emotionless, steadfast visage appeared in her mind. That was what a man should be like!

When she remembered how he had held her yesterday, she suddenly felt the side of her waist grow warm. This is where he had placed his hand yesterday…

The crown princess felt her cheeks start to burn. She hurriedly dispelled these random thoughts. “Why did the empress seek you out yesterday?” she asked.

“Nothing much. She was merely concerned with the reliability of the crown prince’s new secretary. She was also interested in the details of what happened to Shi Kun,” replied Zu An.

The crown princess stared at him. “And how did you reply?”

The empress was the mistress of her own palace, and it was natural for her to ask about all these things. For some reason, though, the crown princess felt unsettled. It was as if the empress was reaching a meddling hand into her own domain.

“Of course I replied that I’m a reliable man. As for the matter concerning Shi Kun, I only told her everything you instructed us to say.” Zu An wasn’t satisfied with being the only one having to answer questions, so he changed the topic. “Huh? Why don’t I see Granny Mo anywhere… Ahem, I meant to say, your personal maid?”

The crown princess’ voice took on a slightly worried edge. “She was seriously injured in the bitter battle yesterday, and her soul was wounded. It’s a pity there was no appropriate medicine to treat her. All she can do is rest.”

Zu An was stunned by this revelation. So the crown princess had gone to the hospital looking for medicine for her maid! But why did she suddenly give the medicine to me?

Rong Mo might just faint if she knew about this.

He remembered how infatuated the crown princess was with his other identity, and a sudden thought occurred to him. He examined this beauty up close. She had beautiful eyes and an oval face, and her lips were moist and red. He had to admit that she really was a gorgeous specimen. She was good enough to be considered a good match for him.

His eyes landed on the red beauty mark between her eyebrows. How is this thing made? It looks like a plum blossom sometimes, and at other times, a clover. It looks pretty classy.

The crown princess was about to say something else, but she noticed that he was staring at her as soon as she looked up at him. She frowned. “Lord  Zu, please remember your status.”

Why is he staring at me like this? Is this guy tired of living?

If it had been anyone else, she might’ve exploded on the spot, but she knew that he was only a commoner from Brightmoon City, and had only made it to his station through a series of coincidental opportunities. It was only natural that he didn’t understand some of the rules.

If she stirred something up, rumors might surface. Her social standing was rather precarious right now, and countless eyes were watching her. The fewer complications, the better.

Zu An was speechless when he saw the crown princess turn her head away, as though avoiding a pervert’s gaze. Do you have to go that far? I was just looking at your beauty mark. I wasn’t lusting after you or anything.

Their party soon reached the Palace of Peace. The crown princess and crown prince entered to pay their respects, and the empress smiled in return. She didn’t give Zu An a single look. The empress and the crown princess chatted amiably.

Zu An snorted in disdain. Look at this loving mother-and-child act. The crown princess clearly mistrusts the empress, and the empress revealed her dissatisfaction with the crown princess just yesterday. Yet when they meet face-to-face, they look like besties!

Tsk, women are truly terrifying.

After exchanging some small talk, the empress bestowed rewards upon the others within the eastern palace, awarding them for their service in protecting the crown prince and princess.

The crown princess gave Zu An a sidelong glance. Rewarding the others was one thing, but this fellow had left early yesterday. What bullshit contributions did he make?

Calm down, calm down. You’re a wise and virtuous lady. How can you use such crude words?

An impulse came over the fat crown prince, and he began to throw a tantrum, demanding food. The empress was just about to send them away, but when she saw this, she smiled. She ordered the maids to take them aside for some refreshments.

The crown princess had no choice but to go along. She didn’t have to worry about the food being poisoned, because the crown prince was the child of the empress’ older sister. They were on the same side, united against King Qi.

The way her husband—in name only—inhaled the food was utterly embarrassing. Unfortunately, she couldn’t reveal her true feelings, and forced herself to stare blankly to one side. Lord Eleven, who had saved her from the dangerous crisis, unwittingly appeared in her mind again, and she let out an internal sigh.

The others from the eastern palace were also brought to a different part of the palace for refreshments. All of them were extremely moved by the empress’ show of appreciation.

Zu An was secretly taken to another palace by Little Gui. There, the empress was sitting comfortably on a recliner, her dress outlining her voluptuous curves.

Her ass is wider than her shoulders, her thighs thicker than a goddess’…

Zu An silently evaluated her. He had no idea what the emperor was thinking either, ignoring such a stunning woman. She’s experiencing a drought, man!

The empress casually waved Little Gui away. Eunuch Lu seemed to have been given instructions beforehand. He too withdrew outside.

Zu An couldn’t help but chuckle. “The empress had everyone else withdraw, and only kept the two of them here. Don’t tell me you’re lusting after my body?”

The empress’ expression  grew as cold and dark as a winter storm. “Filthy servant, you’re growing more daring by the day! Believe me when I say that I can have you dragged out and beaten to death by the rod on the spot!”

Zu An lost his smile as well. “Empress, I’ve shown you the necessary respect in front of others, yet you bring me to such a private place only to threaten me. Could it be that you’ve gotten something wrong?”

The empress’ heart skipped a beat when she noticed his invasive gaze. For some reason, her heart, which had been dry for far too long, felt as though it had been watered by a youthful spring rain.

She straightened rather unnaturally, and her voice lost some of its edge. “This empress… I brought you here to ask you what happened to that assassin.”

Her sudden change in attitude and the more informal way she was speaking to him, left Zu An slightly shocked. Do I have to be fierce to you before you act civilly? Could you somehow be a masochist?

“Don’t worry,” he replied quietly. “That assassin is already under my control. He won’t cause any more trouble.”

The empress’ expression flickered. “You didn’t kill him?”

Zu An smiled. “What if the empress secretly kills me after I kill him?”

The empress’ expression fluctuated several times. This thought had crossed her mind before. She had indeed planned to have Eunuch Lu find an opportunity to silence him. Even though killing a crown prince’s secretary was rather troublesome, it was a risk worth taking, for the sake of her reputation. She didn’t want anyone to have any leverage against her.

“Relax,” Zu An said. “As long as I’m safe and sound, that person will always be under my control. But if something happens to me, I can’t promise that rumors won’t spring up all over the place.”

You have successfully trolled Liu Ning for 444 Rage points!

The empress ground her teeth in anger. She obviously knew that he was threatening her, but worst of all, she couldn’t do a thing about it.

“Do you know that both of us will be finished if that assassin escapes?” she said grimly.

“I’ve made the appropriate arrangements. There won’t be any complications,” said Zu An with great confidence.

“I hope you don’t disappoint me. Get lost.” The empress rubbed her temples. She felt extremely vexed.

Zu An’s face turned cold. He took a step forward and pinched her cheek. “Woman, don’t talk to me like that.”

He knew that, in this strange sort of relationship, the weaker he appeared, the easier it would be for her to step all over him. He had to take the initiative to control the situation.

The empress was stunned. She never thought that this fellow would dare to be so rude to her!

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