The entire time that Madame Wen had been executing her plans, the man with the douli had been observing with watchful eyes. After seeing the deed was done, he returned to the Guihua Courtyard where Hua Ziqing awaited.


The prince sat on a rocking chair in his usual white robes, holding a book titled ‘Tea Ceremony’.


He made notes in the book as he read, even going so far as to circle items which interested him in red. It seemed like he was genuinely interested in the way of making tea.


Sensing someone approaching, he looked up before continuing to pore through his book.


“How did it go?” Hua Ziqing asked.


The man with the douli bowed and answered, “Wen Wanzhi is dead, and the Second Concubine is unconscious.”


“Oh? Seems like Madame Wen really hates her.” His expression was calm, as if he was talking about the weather instead of taking someone’s life.


The man with the douli nodded. “It is as you say. Wen Wanzhi wanted to make use of the Western Region King to get out of the situation, but she did not expect that we would be controlling things from the shadows.”


“Her plan would be a good one if the Western Region King were Hua Zirong. It’s too bad that she’s unable to see the big picture. She’s nothing but a disposable pawn in the end.” Hua Ziqing turned the page in his book as he spoke.


The man with the douli nodded again. “Master, what do we do next?”


“We wait. Trying to get Princess Consort Hao without my help is nothing but a pipe dream, so Yun Ruofeng is probably getting antsy right about now.” Hua Ziqing then closed his book carefully.


The man with the douli looked rather apprehensive. “Your Highness, I’m afraid that Yun Ruofeng might try to come back and bite you in the neck.”


“We’ve gone against each other twice now, and neither of us have won decisively. The third round is anyone’s game.” Hua Ziqing chuckled as he tapped his fingers on the armrest.


The man with the douli then suggested in a respectful tone, “Your Highness, Hua Zirong isn’t going to give up that easily. How about we get that person to replace him?!”


“Though that person and Hua Zirong are twins, those attending the banquet are all high-ranking officials familiar with Hua Zirong. Apart from those officials, it’s not that easy to fool Prince Hao and the Western Region King either.” Hua Ziqing’s brows creased as he answered.


“Moreover, Prince Hao and the Western Region King are already aware that Hua Zirong has been captured. Presenting a fake would only give them an opportunity. We’ll do things according to our current plan to keep them guessing.”


“What if Hua Zirong tries to reveal that we’ve captured him, and all the officials there…” The man with the douli sounded very worried.


Hua Ziqing laughed at this. “In that case, we’ll have to depend on Li Zikang.”


“What can he do? He’s always failing in his duties.” The man with the douli was obviously unimpressed.


Hua Ziqing shot a cold glance at him as he said, “Don’t belittle him. The fact that he is a general is already testament to his abilities.”


“Would he have been able to become a general without Your Highness’ help?” The man with the douli was skeptical.


Hua Ziqing then said, “Does this Prince need your approval on things?”

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translator: Hilda

Editor: Lunarlark

Proofreader: Rakumon