The fire burned on for quite some time and by the time it was extinguished, the other courtyards had blackened walls due to the smoke. The bedroom where the blaze started was charred black and ashes filled the room.
“Young Master Lu, I am truly sorry. I failed to notice the fire hazard in the courtyard and everything is this old servant’s fault. I hope for Young Master Lu’s forgiveness.” De Quan felt rather terrified when he saw that the nice house was now unusable. After all, he was the one who brought Lu Wenshu to this residence. Now that something bad had happened, all the blame would fall onto him. He might be favored by the emperor, but he was still just a court eunuch at the end of the day and his status was incomparable to Lu Wenshu. This was something that De Quan understood clearly, otherwise, he wouldn’t have been able to survive for such a long time while serving the old emperor.
Lu Wenshu reverted back to his refined and cultured expression after hearing what was said and spoke to De Quan in a graceful manner, “How can Eunuch De Quan say something like this? This matter should be my fault. I invited Eunuch over with a last minute invitation card during the day and Eunuch even took some time off in order to attend. I never expected for such a mishap to happen. I am the one who should apologise.”
De Quan felt relieved after he realized that Lu Wenshu didn’t intend to blame him. De Quan wasn’t as nervous as before and he quickly replied, “Now that this residence is ruined and the night is still young, there should be plenty of rooms in the capital city. However, this old servant cannot possibly allow Young Master Lu to live in those crude places. Does Young Master Lu want to look for another residence? Do you want to enter the palace to report the matter to His Majesty?”
Lu Wenshu maintained the same expression and immediately replied to De Quan, “The night might still be young, but it is almost time for the palace gates to be locked up. If Eunuch is to help me look for a residence, you might not have enough time to hurry back to the palace. If His Majesty doesn’t see you tomorrow morning, he will surely put the blame on you. As for reporting to His Majesty... It isn’t appropriate. I am an outsider and if I enter and leave the palace at this time, tongues might wag. Let us forget about it.
“If Eunuch is really worried that I won’t be able to sleep well, why don’t you bring me to the First Prince? The First Prince has a huge residence and he doesn’t have any concubines. Among all the princes, only the First Prince has a better relationship with me. It should be fine for me to impose on him. However, I will need Eunuch De Quan to go along with me to act as my witness and verify that I do not have other ulterior motives to reside in the First Prince’s residence.” Lu Wenshu gave an embarrassed laugh after speaking and looked at the courtyard with a helpless look in his eyes.
De Quan was already in a dilemma, but now that Lu Wenshu had given such a brilliant solution, there was no reason for De Quan to refuse. He immediately responded, “Young Master Lu is too polite. This old servant will bring you to the First Prince’s residence immediately. This old servant has watched over that child as he grew up and he should be able to do it for the sake of this old servant.”
De Quan bowed after speaking and led Lu Wenshu to the First Prince’s residence. Lu Wenshu was satisfied as he followed behind De Quan since he had achieved his objective.
“Knock knock knock.” The doors of the First Prince’s residence echoed. Pei Rumo would usually be attending political affairs and he wasn’t a person who would go out and seek entertainment. When he didn’t need to attend to any guests, the First Prince’s residence would be locked early in the evening. As the residence had plenty of secret guards, there was nothing to worry about. There was no one at the entrance other than two stone lions. De Quan had no choice but to personally knock on the door.
“Who is it? Why are you knocking so late into the night?” The person who came out was a manservant and he was obviously goofing off earlier. He didn’t look at the visitor clearly and a scolding came out of his mouth.
De Quan wasn’t enraged in the slightest. A person of his status was much higher in rank than this unknown manservant. He was also someone who was adept at hiding his emotions, hence, he spoke with a rather friendly tone, “Can I trouble this brother to inform that the palace’s Eunuch De Quan has brought someone here to look for His First Highness? It is for an urgent matter and I need to get back before the palace gates are locked.”
When that manservant heard that the visitor was Eunuch De Quan, he snapped back to attention. “Oh, it is Eunuch De Quan. This one has failed to recognize you. I will report your presence immediately and hope that Eunuch can wait here for a short moment.”
The manservant immediately ran inside after speaking. De Quan didn’t reprimand the manservant and simply turned around to speak with Lu Wenshu, “His First Highness is the Emperor’s eldest son. He is rather strict with himself during the recent years and the rules in his residence are rather complicated. It won’t be long before we will be able to enter the residence. It is this old servant’s fault for not sending someone to deliver a message in advance. I am truly sorry that Young Master Lu has to accompany this old servant in the cold.”
“It doesn’t matter. Wenshu is already extremely grateful for Eunuch De Quan’s assistance.” Lu Wenshu replied very politely.
A moment later, the manservant ran back and spoke to the duo, “Eunuch De Quan, Master said that he will be waiting for you in the reception pavilion. Please enter and someone will guide you into the residence.”
Just like that, De Quan and Lu Wenshu entered the First Prince’s residence with their heads held high.
“What wind blew our Eunuch De Quan to my humble abode? You are always busy normally, how can you find the time to visit me? Doesn’t Emperor Father need you to serve him?” Pei Rumo might not like De Quan who was just a court eunuch as he loved to interfere with imperial matters. However, he was still the Emperor’s favorite Eunuch and Pei Rumo still had to show him some respect.
“To be honest, this old servant has an important matter that requires a favor from Your First Highness.” De Quan explained all the details of the incident to Pei Rumo before lifting his head carefully to observe Pei Rumo’s expression. He then spoke in a miserable tone, “Your First Highness, you have to help this old servant. If His Majesty knows that this old servant has failed in his duties and allowed Young Master Lu to spend the night outside, I will probably have to suffer a beating. This old servant is only left with a set of old bones, how can I endure such suffering?”
Pei Rumo understood that Lu Wenshu was going to stay here tonight regardless of whether he agreed or not.Previous Chapter Next Chapter