In the meantime, things seemed rather lively in the palace.


Du Ling looked rather unbothered by the situation. He could move around freely in the palace, but he was not allowed to leave the compound. After losing the guard who was supposed to be keeping track of him, he began his search for Yu Xiao.


According to Wu Ling, many of Li Zikang’s men were guarding a compound ten to twenty metre away from the Wutong Courtyard, and that was where Yu Xiao was being held.


Du Ling knew that the heavy security was nothing but a sham to make others think that it was him instead of Yu Xiao being held there.


Considering everything that had happened in the palace, the guards would probably have been removed by now. That, however, made his search all the more difficult since he had no clear target at the moment.


All he could do was duck in and out of cover as a patrol team passed while he surveyed the area. While waiting for them to leave, he heard three palace maids gossiping.


“Have you heard that the courtyard in front is haunted?”


“I’ve heard that you can hear weird cooing noises in the evening.”


“Stop, it’s too frightening to talk about. Let’s just hurry past.”


Du Ling smirked upon overhearing their conversation. What luck! I didn’t even have to try that hard!


The cooing noise was probably none other than the gray pigeon Pei Qianhao told him about.


Du Ling started walking in the direction of said courtyard, finding himself in the middle of the dilapidated compound before long. It was small and unkempt, and dust blew up from the floor as he looked at the peeling wallpaper.


When Du Ling looked around as he approached, he realised that the dust was actually placed there on purpose.


He thus pushed open the door and entered, finding various footprints that appeared to belong to different people. Du Ling was now certain that Yu Xiao was being held here.


A gray, featherless pigeon landed on Du Ling’s shoulder before he started searching the area, regarding him with beady black eyes.


“Hey little guy, take me to your master,” Du Ling said playfully to the pigeon.


The pigeon did not move at first, hopping around Du Ling and ruffling its feathers before it suddenly pulled at his clothes and flew off.


Du Ling followed closely behind and entered a room, but found nothing inside.


The pigeon knocked on an area on the wall with its beak, and a dark hidden pathway through the floorboards revealed itself.


Descending, Du Ling immediately spotted the pigeon landing on an injured Yu Xiao’s shoulder.


Du Ling regarded Yu Xiao with concern. “Who did this to you?”


“I’m fine.” Yu Xiao shook his head as he answered stubbornly.


“Let me help you out with that first.”


As he approached Yu Xiao, Du Ling realised that his injuries were more serious than they appeared.


The metal chains restraining Yu Xiao were digging deep into his shoulder blades. The damage was so severe that Yu Xiao might never be able to use the bow and arrow ever again.


“Bear with it for a bit.” After taking a deep breath, Du Ling broke the chains apart.


Yu Xiao’s forehead was drenched with sweat as his face paled in pain.

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translator: Hilda

Editor: Lunarlark

Proofreader: Rakumon