Zu An smiled in embarrassment. “You’ve misunderstood me, eunuch. I have utmost respect for the empress. Why would I do anything that offends her?”
Eunuch Lu smirked. “Heh.”
Zu An wasn’t keen to converse with this old creep. After exchanging a few more words, he bid him farewell.
He returned to the main chamber, where the crown prince was stuffing his face, his mouth and fingers covered in grease.
The crown princess was looking on with an icy expression. She clearly wanted to lecture the crown prince, but she was worried about how that would affect others’ perception of them, since they were in the Palace of Peace. She had no choice but to hold it all in, but the more she endured, the angrier she felt. Finally, she said with a sneer, “Crown prince, have you finished your meal? It is time for us to go back.”
The fatty shook his head. “They said that there’s still a lot of food coming! There’s steamed lamb, steamed bear paw, steamed deer tail, roast duck, roast chicken, roast goose, stewed pork, stewed duck, stewed chicken, spiced meat, air-dried meat, sausages, assorted vegetables, smoked chicken, pork soup, sticky rice duck…”
The crown princess’ eyelids twitched continuously as he rattled on. This fella couldn’t even remember more than three sentences from the ‘Three Character Classic’, yet he remembered the names of all these dishes. Were you a pig in your last life?
When Zu An arrived, he could almost see steam coming out of her head.
He hesitated. Would now be a bad time to talk to her?
However, matters were pressing, and he couldn’t be bothered with her mood right now. He braced himself and approached her. “Crown princess.”
“What is it?” The crown princess was extremely unhappy.
Zu An felt a flash of anger. This woman really was fickle. She was so nice when I was wearing that mask. Why is she completely different now?
He did his best to stay patient. “The empress bestowed many things on us, but I wasn’t even in the eastern palace yesterday. I feel guilty accepting all of this. Why don’t we pass them onto people who really need them?”
“Those who really need it?” The crown princess had to acknowledge that this guy at least had some self-awareness. “Forget it. Just take them. Those who deserve to be rewarded have already been rewarded. Keep what you were given.”
As a crown princess, she would never do something like confiscate the rewards of her subordinates. She would only make herself look cruel, and the empress look benevolent.
“Hm, wait…” Something came to mind. There was indeed someone who hadn’t received any rewards.
She suddenly felt excited and called over the big fatty. “Crown prince, we should express our thanks to Golden Token Lord Eleven. He saved us yesterday.”
The nervous Zu An sighed in relief when he heard her say this. Thank goodness the crown princess was smart.
Because he knew she was smart, Zu An had wanted to drag the crown princess over to deal with Cheng Xiong from the very start. However, he was afraid that she might find the situation fishy afterwards.
He couldn’t let anyone make the slightest connection between the crown prince’s secretary and Golden Token Eleven.
That was why he could only make tactful suggestions, and let the crown princess think of Golden Token Eleven herself. This would prevent any problems from cropping up.
The crown prince was completely engrossed in the food in front of him. When he heard this, he waved his hands and said, “I’m not going. I haven’t finished eating yet.”
“Eat, eat, eat, that’s all you know how to do!” The crown princess finally couldn’t hold it in anymore. The crown prince’s jiggling fats disgusted her to no end. “Don’t you even care about the one who saved your life? Once His Majesty and the lesser tutor find out about this, they’re going to scold you again!”
The crown prince protected the food in front of him as though he was afraid that she would throw all of it onto the floor. After all, it wouldn’t be the first time she’d done something like that.
Seeing that his food was safe, he sighed in relief and said, “Can’t we just order that imperial guard over and give him some reward? Why do we have to run all the way there to find him?”
Zu An panicked. The crown prince did have a point. All guards and officials were subjects of the royal family. Why did the master have to visit their subject personally?
Fortunately, the crown princess gave an angry huff and said, “We obviously need to express our sincerity towards those who saved our lives. Furthermore, as the royal family, we should be winning over our subjects with goodwill. We can reap great benefits with little effort.”
No matter how she tried to reason with him, though, the crown prince remained unmoved. “Go on your own then, if you really want to.”
To him, food was clearly a higher priority than the one who had saved his life.
The crown princess gritted her teeth. She decided that she wasn’t going to say anything else. With a wave of her hand, she said, “We’re going!”
Zu An followed behind her. He sighed when he heard the clinking of the jade pendants on her dress. She had to be in a horrible mood for them to be making this much of a racket.
High ranking officials always loved to wear jade ornaments on them. These served as a way to express their honesty and their moral character, since they made it impossible for these officials to sneak up on anyone, with all the noise they made. They were not only adornments—they also served as a reminder to the wearer to keep a noble bearing and a steady yet graceful gait. Only at the perfect walking speed would the jade pendants make the most pleasant-sounding noises.
The noises coming from the crown princess’ dress were rather discordant. It was clear that the crown prince had angered her severely.
By this time, Zu An had quietly left the group. He took his Golden Token Eleven uniform out from his Brilliant Glass Bead and quickly changed along the way, hurrying to his own residence within the palace.
I hope I can make it in time!
He prayed constantly in his heart. Cheng Xiong had made it clear that he was targeting him. He might make it look as though he was targeting the Embroidered Envoy as a whole, but he was surely on his way to Zu An.
Sure enough, Cheng Xiong had already surrounded his residence with a large group of imperial guards.
“Lord Eleven, we are carrying out a routine inspection. If you do not reply, I will lead my men inside,” demanded Cheng Xiong.
When there was no response, his lips curved upwards. “Since Lord Eleven is not here, force open the door,” he ordered his subordinates.
Zu An noticed that two of the people in the group were dressed differently. They didn’t look like imperial guards, but researchers. These were probably rune masters! They specialized in engraving runes, and were capable of creating many miraculous artefacts.
Since the runes of these residences were all made by them, they surely possessed the means to unlock them.
Zu An cleared his throat loudly when he saw that they were about to break open the formation. He strutted over. “What are you all doing?”
Cheng Xiong’s initial smirk was quickly replaced by an embarrassed smile. “Lord Eleven came back at just the right time. You saved us the effort of breaking down the door. We are conducting an investigation into the uniforms of the Embroidered Envoy. I must ask you to take yours out to be inspected.”
Zu An sneered. “Bastards, what right do you have to investigate the Embroidered Envoy? Am I supposed to do whatever you tell me to do? Who do you think you are?”
Cheng Xiong almost choked on his breath. He wasn’t expecting this guy to leave all pretenses aside right from the get go.
You have successfully trolled Cheng Xiong for 888 Rage points!
You brought this on yourself!
Cheng Xiong’s expression chilled immediately. “The imperial guards reported seeing someone dressed as an embroidered envoy who shouldn’t have been. That’s why we’re inspecting the uniforms of all the Embroidered Envoy.”
Zu An cut him off. “What a joke. If the palace guards noticed an assassin, why didn’t they arrest him on the spot, but insist on doing all of this only after the fact? I have enough reason to suspect that you are deliberately making false charges.”
Someone in Cheng Xiong’s position did not lack backbone. “The truth will come to light. If your conscience is clear, Lord Eleven, then why aren’t you cooperating with our investigation?” he retorted. “You could easily show us the truth, and we will be convinced.”
Zu An sneered. “What kind of logic is that? You’re throwing shit in my face and demanding I prove my innocence? What if I said that you ate two bowls of shit for breakfast? Should we order your stomach cut open for everyone to see? That way, we can prove your innocence by determining if there is shit inside or not!”
The surrounding imperial guards did their best to hold in their laughter. It was a monumental effort that strained the limits of their self-control.
“You bastard!” Cheng Xiong roared in anger.
You have successfully trolled Cheng Xiong for 999 Rage points!
“Arrest this man! Cut him down if he resists!” He was already filled with killing intent, and a sense of excitement was building within him. As the investigator of this case, he currently had the authority, and reasonable grounds for his suspicion. As long as this fellow resisted, he could claim that he was resisting because of a sense of guilt, and killing him would be a reasonable outcome. No one, not even Zhuxie Chixin, would be able to fault him.Previous Chapter Next Chapter