Chapter 667: Suspicions Aroused

At this moment, a delicate voice floated over. “Lord Zu, it’s been such a long time. Why are you still here?”

King Qi frowned when he heard this voice.

Zu An was immediately overjoyed when he heard this voice. He turned to see a beauty in an imperial dress, tailed by a group of imperial guards led by Piao Duandiao and Jiao Sigun.

He quickly greeted them. “I greet the crown princess.”

Everyone from the Devil Sect lowered their heads as well. Gu Yueyi snuck a look at her, and his eyes went wide.

The girls he’d spent his life around were all flirty and seductive. They were incredibly charming, and lovely to be around. However, none of them could compare to the woman in front of him in terms of class and elegance.

He felt his throat go dry when he saw the graceful palace outfit and its lavish decorations. His heart began to pound. Holy shit, holy shit, how can someone be this beautiful? Junior sister, I’m not being disloyal to you. This crown princess is just too ravishing!

Qiu Honglei wasn’t inferior to the crown princess in terms of looks. In fact, when it came to beauty, it was the crown princess who lost out. However, Gu Yueyi had lived his entire life on the bottom rung of society, and he spent his days among those of the Devil Sect. Someone so noble and high-class was fatally attractive to him.

To someone like him, princesses and other noble women would always seem more attractive than the women in the world of martial arts, even if they were similar in terms of appearance.

The crown princess slowly walked over. There seemed to be a slight fragrance lingering in the air. It was different from the perfumes that were used liberally in brothels, and had a much more sophisticated aroma. He couldn’t describe it in detail, but it smelled like burning silver.

King Qi’s attention was drawn to her as well. “Linglong, I didn’t think you’d be so free that you could wander to such a place.”

The crown princess was annoyed when she heard him address her by her name and not her title. He was clearly trying to use his status as her elder to pressure her. However, she didn’t make a fuss about it, and only replied, “I asked Lord Zu to take care of some matters for me, but he hadn’t returned after such a long time. The palace has been a rather restless place after the assassins’ attack, and I was worried that he might have been attacked by someone with ill intent. I decided to come here to have a look for myself.”

Zu An felt a warmth rising within him. This woman acts fiercely on the outside, but I suppose she’s got a good heart after all.

He took note of Piao Duandiao and Jiao Sigun as well, standing behind the crown princess. These fellows had probably warned her about this. I’ll take them to the government brothel once things calm down.

The Devil Sect members were all astonished. They didn’t expect this young master Zu to have risen in status so quickly. He had only been in the palace a handful of days, yet the Right Guard General was already calling him brother, and even the crown princess seemed to be extremely concerned for him.

Gu Yueyi was incredibly jealous. Zu An is only a smidge more handsome than me. Why do all these pretty girls fawn over him?

My junior sister acts that way, and now it seems the crown princess does as well. How are the rest of us supposed to carry on with our lives?

King Qi remained expressionless, but he could take her hint. “It seems Lord Zu gains the favor of others rather easily. He’s only been here a few days, yet Linglong is already taking such good care of him.”

The crown princess knew he was implying that she was only doing this because he was handsome. Furious, she replied coldly, “I will take care of everyone who works earnestly for the crown prince’s sake.”

King Qi chuckled, but did not engage her on the topic any further. “This king merely wanted to invite Zu An for a chat. I don’t think you’d mind, would you, Linglong?”

The crown princess chuckled. “King Qi, be at ease. I’ll just wait right here.”

She made it clear that she was watching, and so he’d better not try anything.

King Qi laughed, then said to Zu An, “Follow me, Lord Zu.”

Zu An bowed. “Please, King Qi.”

King Qi nodded, and began to walk off to the side.

Zu An gestured for Sun Luzhen and the others to leave immediately.

Sun Luzhen and the others weren’t stupid. They took this chance to withdraw quietly. Only Gu Yueyi hesitated, giving the crown princess one last reluctant look.

King Qi had already moved off, and the crown princess’ entourage was watching Zu An, so no one was looking at them.

After walking for a few dozen meters, King Qi stopped at a rock garden. “Let’s talk here. Any further and Linglong will worry, since she won’t be able to see you.”

Zu An offered a standard response. “The crown princess empathizes with us subjects.”

At the same time, he mocked him secretly. Do you really have no self-awareness? She’s only acting like this because you’ve killed others within the eastern palace without a second thought before.

King Qi sized him up curiously. “Linglong has never cared so much about someone before. You’re the first.”

Zu An remained silent. He suspected he’d said such a thing to stir in him unnecessary delusions about the crown princess. If the crown princess actually fell in love with him, it would be just too perfect.

King Qi continued, “I heard that First Miss Chu took you in as a drafted son-in-law. I am rather surprised, since I’ve met that girl before. It wouldn’t be wrong to call her a stunning talent. Everyone in the capital had been curious as to who this outstanding girl was going to marry. When they learned that she was going to marry you, their eyes almost fell out of their sockets. Even I found it quite surprising myself. Now, though, even the crown princess is taking such good care of you. It seems there really is something special about you.”

Zu An looked embarrassed. “I’m really not as great as you’re making me out to be, King Qi. I’m a little handsome, and I’m pretty cool too I guess. And I’m loyal, upstanding… It’s not worth going on, though, since I can’t compare to King Qi at all.”

King Qi’s eyelids twitched. For some reason, speaking with this brat always made him want to give him a good spanking.

You have successfully trolled King Qi for 213… 213… 213…

He took a deep breath and suppressed his inner urge, wisely choosing to change the topic. “What does Lord Zu think about Cheng Xiong’s case?”

Zu An feigned naivete. “I haven’t been in the capital long, and I’m merely a minor, almost trivial, official. The amount of information I have access to is very limited. I really don’t know much detail regarding Lord Cheng’s case.”

King Qi couldn’t help but give him another look. How could someone so shameless exist in this world?

If the crown princess hadn’t been watching them from close by, he might have just beaten this brat to death.

You have successfully trolled King Qi for 300… 300… 300…

Even though he was usually shrewd and careful, coming up against such obstacles one after another had left him rather annoyed. “From what I know, the assassins only began to implicate General Cheng after they met with you, Lord Zu,” he said coldly.

Zu An was alarmed. This man had such an extensive intelligence network. He even had eyes within the imperial prison.

Zu An replied without batting an eyelid. “King Qi, I’m pretty sure you know who it was that truly wished to bring down General Cheng. I am but a pawn. How could I affect the greater situation on my own?”

King Qi seemed surprised. “You’re rather daring. I’m amazed you dare to say something like that.”

Zu An gave his most innocent look. “I wouldn’t dare to hide anything in front of you, King Qi.”

King Qi smiled ambiguously. “Is that really true?”

Zu An slapped his own chest in assurance. “Of course it is! Heaven and earth can serve as witnesses.”

“Fine then. I just happen to have something I want to ask you about.” King Qi stared into his eyes. “Can the Phoenix Nirvana Sutra truly grant eternal life?”

Zu An revealed a forced smile. “His majesty has already informed the world about this. There is no need for King Qi to ask me.”

King Qi said coldly. “I am asking you right now.”

Zu An immediately replied. “This technique clearly cannot grant His Majesty eternal life.”

I never said anything about whether or not I can attain immortality, though.

King Qi was surprised by the honest conviction in his voice. “Do you know that, if these words reach His Majesty’s ears, he might deem you to have committed a capital offence?”

Zu An smiled bitterly and said, “King Qi is a renowned and wise sage. I don’t think you’d cause me trouble over such matters.”

King Qi chuckled and gently patted his shoulder. “You have some prospects, kid. I am optimistic about you.”

Zu An’s expression flickered, his eyes flicking to his shoulder. Don’t tell me this is some bone-melting palm technique or something like that. I doubt I’d even know what killed me if a grandmaster was after my life.

“Hurry back. Linglong is already starting to panic,” King Qi said with a smile.

“Thank you, King Qi.” Zu An hurried away. The pressure he faced when being around such a person was just too great.

When Zu An was a distance away, a figure appeared about a zhang behind King Qi. King Qi’s smile instantly vanished. “Help me look into two matters. The first is why the emperor would ask for Liu Chenyu, and the second is to help me keep an eye on Golden Token Eleven. For some reason, I feel as though he and Zu An are the same person. The timing in which the both of them have appeared seems too coincidental.”

“Understood!” replied the shadowy figure.

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