Chapter 1548: Danger Approaches
Chapter 1548: Danger Approaches
When he turned around, Zu An saw a beautifully dressed woman slowly walking over. There was a red beauty decoration in the center of her forehead, and she wore her hair in an exquisite flower braid with all sorts of delicate ornaments. The tassels on her clothes slowly shook as she walked, practically tugging on the hearts of those nearby. Despite her extravagant outfit, however, she still looked incredibly elegant and refined. Only Bi Linglong could combine both of those looks together so perfectly.
“I greet the Crown Princess!” Zu An greeted her, bowing. They were in front of many eunuchs and maids, so he had to show her the proper etiquette she was due.
“I don’t deserve such respect.” Bi Linglong replied, looking away. “Right, you’re not Sir Zu anymore. I should call you Marquis Shen now, right?”
You have successfully trolled Bi Linglong for +55 +55 +55…
Zu An was a bit confused. Just how did I end up offending her?
If you keep causing me trouble, I’m going to teach you what ‘Deep Throat’ really means!
“The Crown Princess must be joking around. Forget about ‘Marquis Shen’, even if I became a duke or king, I would still belong to the Crown Princess… and Crown Prince,” Zu An said with a smile.
“Hmph, Sir Zu is quite ambitious,” Bi Linglong said. Even though her tone was harsh, her anger still subsided quite a bit. Her face also turned a bit red. He says he belongs to me, but why does he keep staring at my dress?
She was a bit unsatisfied, continuing, “You still haven’t paid the Eastern Palace a visit so long after the morning court session finished. Could it be that you don’t view me… and the Crown Prince as important anymore?”
“His majesty wanted me to go to the Imperial Study after the court session ended, and I just got out. That was why I didn’t have time yet. I hope the Crown Princess can forgive me,” Zu An replied. He didn’t get upset when he saw that Bi Linglong was acting like a pampered little girl. He actually found her quite adorable. Sigh… Damn this world that treats beauties better.
Bi Linglong also knew the reason for that, which was why she was so close.
“So his majesty invited you…” Bi Linglong casually talked to Zu An about official matters while gesturing for her subordinates to not follow them. Soon after, the two arrived at a distant pavilion. It was a place where others could still see her so there wouldn’t be any suspicions, but they wouldn’t have to worry about other people eavesdropping on them.
“What did his majesty ask you about just now?” Bi Linglong asked through ki while keeping up the superficial conversation.
“How the Fiend Emperor died, and also some other details about the Unknown Region,” Zu An replied. There was no need for him to hide any of that.
The source of this content is n/0v//elbin[.//]net’
“He didn’t make things difficult for you at all, did he?” Bi Linglong asked nervously. After all, the two of them had faced Zhao Han’s split soul in Westhound Tomb in the past, which was why she instinctively felt worried for Zu An.
When he saw the look of worry in her eyes, Zu An felt warm inside. He replied, “Don’t worry. Am I not still fine right now?”
Bi Linglong sighed in relief. Then, she asked doubtfully, “Does the Fiend Emperor’s death have something to do with you?”
“Do you think I have that kind of skill?” Zu An replied. He didn’t plan to let anyone else know about what happened in the secret dungeon. There was no way of recreating the conditions in the dungeon, so there was almost no chance of him killing an earth immortal again. As such, saying it out loud was meaningless and would only make his companions overly optimistic. Furthermore, if he wasn’t careful and Zhao Han found out, he would really have shot himself in the foot then.
“It’s naturally impossible for other people, but that’s hard to say for you,” Bi Linglong said, an almost reverent look in her eyes as she looked at Zu An. After all, she had personally witnessed him defeating Zhao Han’s split soul. Before that, she had thought that Zhao Han was invincible, to the point that she couldn't even muster the slightest thought of going against him. However, after the secret dungeon, she had discovered that Zhao Han was also just a person, and he could be defeated.
“Once we have a chance, tell me about everything that happened in the dungeon in detail,” Bi Linglong continued excitedly. Such a secret was something only Zhao Han normally had the right to ask, but because of her relationship with Zu An, she could naturally ask about it too.
“Sure,” Zu An said with a nod. When will there be a chance for us to be alone in the future?
The secret tunnel that led to her chambers could definitely be used, but Zhao Han was no longer in seclusion. Trying to steal his daughter-in-law right under his nose… if Zu An did that, wouldn’t he be treating an earth immortal as a joke?
“Right, why did Eunuch Lu look for you?” Bi Linglong asked, looking in the direction Eunuch Lu had left in. She clearly saw them together.
“It’s nothing. He just told me to pay the empress a visit if I have the time. She probably wants to know about what happened in the Unknown Region too,” Zu An said. He naturally couldn't tell her the real reason.
Bi Linglong nodded and replied, “She is the empress, so you have no choice but to go if she summons you. Still, I think it's best if you stay a bit further away from that woman.”
“That woman?” Zu An repeated, keenly noticing how she addressed the empress. “Why is that?”
“No particular reason. She doesn’t like me, so I don’t like her either. I don’t want you to associate with her. Can I not feel that way?” Bi Linglong replied with a pout.
“Of course, of course you can!” Zu An replied hurriedly. He hadn’t expected the battles between mother-in-law and daughter-in-law to exist even in this world of cultivation. After all, the empress wasn’t the crown prince’s birth mother; she was only his aunt.
“You’d better not be lying to me. That woman always acts flirtatiously, so you have to be careful not to become infatuated with her,” Bi Linglong said, staring at him.
Zu An laughed in embarrassment, replying, “Come on, there’s no way I’d do that. Do I seem as if I’m tired of living?”
Help me, someone! How am I supposed to reply to something like that? Should I just confess that I already slept with the empress?
“You even dared to touch me, so who knows whether you will or not…” Bi Linglong muttered to herself. Her face heated up a bit. But when she heard him agree, she was still delighted. “If I find out that you lied to me, you’ll definitely regret it.”
When Zu An saw her dangerous smile, the faces of several famous actresses from his previous world appeared in his mind. He shivered. Still, he had no choice but to get through this situation somehow.
Sigh, when I was a shut-in keyboard warrior on the forums in the past, all I dreamed about was having girls in both arms. But now that I have that, I’ve realized that the life of a playboy isn’t so easily enjoyed…
Fortunately, Bi Linglong couldn't stay together with him for too long, as they were still in the palace. After exchanging a few more words, she left, escorted by several eunuchs and maids.
Zu An found a hidden place to change his outfit. Then, he headed to the Embroidery House.
Previously, Zu An had asked the emperor about Sang Hong’s situation. Unfortunately, the emperor had been more interested in the Fiend Emperor’s death and only gave a vague reply. Thus, Zu An had to look into it alone.
When he arrived at the Embroidery House, he headed to his own workspace. Every Golden Token Envoy had their own specialized ‘office’. If he just barged into another Golden Token Envoy’s office, their subordinates likely wouldn’t show him the same amount of respect.
He saw two men, one balding on top and one in front, playing cards as soon as he entered. Zu An glowered. Even though he wasn’t here that often, weren’t these guys slacking off a bit too much?
“Boss!” Dai Seventh and Chen Eighth exclaimed, quickly throwing the cards aside when they saw him. They had obsequious smiles on their faces as they brought him some tea. “You’re finally back!”
Even Xiao Jianren rushed over when he heard the news. He only saw that it was Zu An when he moved closer. Comparatively, he was much more reserved than the other two as he called out, “Sir Eleven!”
Their department had clearly become an idle branch without their leader.
Zu An didn’t waste any time and cut straight to the chase. “Why didn’t you follow Sir Sang?”
Xiao Jianren said with a bitter expression, “We wanted to be at Sir Sang’s side too, but Sir Sang kept stalling for time. The court sent people to ask about that several times, and we received reports from the Embroidery House to come back and explain the situation. We couldn't contact Sir Eleventh and had no choice but to return to the capital.”
“What exactly happened at Silkworm City?” Zu An asked. He knew that they couldn't really act independently in that kind of situation. He didn’t have any intention of blaming them. However, all of the information regarding Silkworm City had been sealed off, and the evidence had been brought to the capital by the Embroidered Envoy. He hadn’t been able to find out anything.
Dai Seventh and Chen Eighth looked at each other in dismay. They were too low in rank and didn’t know anything.
Fortunately, Xiao Jianren was always reliable and said, “I suspected that sir would be concerned about this, which is why I’ve been secretly paying attention and investigating. According to what I know, that night when Sir Sang encountered that huge fire in the relay station, many assassins suddenly rushed forth and slaughtered everyone else in the Imperial Envoy fleet. Of course, currently, Silkworm City has only informed the public about the casualties caused by the fire…”
After Zu An listened to the explanation, he said seriously, “Apart from the one in charge of the relay station, there is likely something wrong with Silkworm City’s Defense Captain too. It was he who separated Sir Sang from the Armed Escort Division.”
“Sir Eleven is wise and all-seeing after all.” Xiao Jianren discreetly praised him before saying, “Silkworm City’s Defense Captain has been captured, but he died before he could be questioned.”
Zu An remarked with a frown, “A bizarre death is a trail in itself.”
“Indeed,” Xiao Jianren said with a nod. “Our Embroidery House followed the trail. There is a very high chance of Shadow Group’s participation.”
“Shadow Group?” Zu An asked with a frown. He had interacted with Shadow Group’s assassins before. There were quite a few Dark Elves among them. He had thought it was a structure established by the Fiend races, but after his dealings with the Fiend races, it didn’t seem to have anything to do with them.
“My colleagues have already looked at the evidence, and they did find some unfavorable evidence in Sir Sang’s room. However, there is a high chance that it was planted by a villain. They already reported this to their superiors, but there were no other instructions,” Xiao Jianren said in confusion.
Zu An figured that the emperor definitely knew that Sang Hong had been wrongly blamed, but why hadn’t he spoken up and instead let King Qi slander Sang Hong? Even the Sang clan’s women had ended up being humiliated.
“Is Sir Sang dead or not?” Zu An asked.
“I don’t know,” Xiao Jianren said, shaking his head. “From what I know, Sir Sang likely escaped from the relay station. However, the situation at the time was too dangerous. Even though we didn’t find a corpse, things don’t look very good for him.”
Zu An’s expression darkened when he heard that. Even though he and Sang Hong had been enemies in the beginning, eventually, for various reasons, they had ended up on the same side. Sang Hong was one of the few allies he could rely on. Sang Hong was like a senior, but also a friend. Whether it was for public or private reasons, Zu An didn’t want anything to happen to him.
However, Shadow Group assassins had been everywhere that night, and even Silkworm City’s people had been bribed. The situation really didn’t look too good.
Just then, however, Xiao Jianren said, “But personally, I feel that Sir Sang had a high chance of surviving.”
“Oh? Why do you say that?” Zu An quickly asked.
Xiao Jianren then said, “Our Embroidered Envoy mobilized all of our men to investigate this affair, but even after we searched as much as we could, we didn’t find Sir Sang’s whereabouts at all. If he really had died, we would have found his corpse. There’s a high chance that he was captured by Shadow Group’s people. Of course, there’s also a chance that he was rescued by someone else.” However, his voice became much softer when he voiced the second possibility, because the odds were just too low.
Zu An was actually overjoyed at the potential turn of events. As long as Sang Hong wasn’t dead, there was still a chance!
Meanwhile, on the emperor’s side, Eunuch Wen bowed respectfully and asked, “What orders does your majesty have for this servant?”
“Go and investigate Zu An and the Crown Princess’ relationship,” Zhao Han said. The expression of concern Bi Linglong had shown when she heard that Zu An was in trouble appeared in his mind. He felt an inexplicable sense of annoyance.