The man with the douli pushed her away. “What a crazy woman. What is the meaning of this, Western Region King? Are you trying to implicate us with this?”


A silver needle had already slipped between his fingers as he readied himself to strike. However, his plan was quickly foiled when Pei Qianhao signalled to Wu Ling, who then swiftly moved to disarm the man with the douli.


The silver needle dropped to the floor with a light clang  as Du Ling scoffed. “Is Prince Qing turning to murder now?”


Hua Ziqing was not happy about this turn of events. What a useless chess piece. There’s no need to keep him by my side any longer.


“Western Region King, you’ve misunderstood. The silver needle is harmless. It’s simply a toy this lowly subordinate likes carrying around for fun.” The man with the douli tried his best to salvage the situation. He knew that he had failed multiple times now, and he could not afford to make another mistake.


Pei Qianhao simply watched as everything unfolded. There was no need for him to busy himself with the likes of these fools.


“Prince Qing, if you’d like to do a thorough investigation, let us meet the Monarch of Xiliu together then. I’d love to see what Xiliu does next!” Du Ling gave a confident challenge before walking out of the room, not waiting for a reply.


Immediately after, Pei Qianhao took Su Xi-er’s hand and led her out of the room with Wu Ling following closely behind.


Frustration bubbled up in Hua Ziqing as he watched them leave.


“You’d better reflect on your actions when we get back.”


He then followed the trio shortly after.


A wrench had been thrown in all of Hua Ziqing’s plans. Now that he no longer had the upper hand, he had no choice but to wait for the next opportune moment.


When they arrived at the Xiliu imperial palace, the trio of Du Ling, Pei Qianhao, and Su Xi-er paid no attention to the brightly decorated paths. Instead, they headed straight for the Monarch’s quarters. As expected, however, they were stopped by the guards at the entrance.


“Prince Hao, our Monarch will be attending tonight’s banquet. How about waiting until the banquet starts?” Hua Ziqing quickly suggested.


Du Ling was having none of that. “I want to see your Monarch and set things straight. There’s no way I’m going to take the blame for something I didn’t do.”


“Western Region King, I’ve already instructed General Li to investigate it. We’ll know the truth when he’s finished.” Hua Ziqing said calmly.


Pei Qianhao glanced at him coldly. “Prince Qing has been trying to stop us multiple times. Could it be that the Monarch of Xiliu isn’t even here at all?”


Though Hua Ziqing was slightly shaken, he pretended that everything was fine. “What do you mean, Prince Hao? Where would the Monarch be if he wasn't here?”


At this moment, Hua Zirong walked out in his imperial robes as the main entrance was opened.


“Prince Hao, Princess Consort Hao, Western Region King, apologies for being impolite. I’ve been ill recently, so I hope you can forgive me for the delay.” Though he looked rather tired, there were no visible injuries on him.


Su Xi-er could tell that he did not have a lot of strength in him, and it was rather obvious that such symptoms had been caused by long-term drug use. She then tugged at Pei Qianhao’s sleeve.


“Hua Zirong, Xiliu has been keeping tabs on this King, and my guard was captured and tortured. Now I’m being framed for a crime that I didn’t commit. Now that you’re before me, I must pose the question: do you really wish to go to war with the Western Region?” Du Ling asked in a serious tone.


Although it sounded like he was threatening Hua Zirong, he was in fact letting the latter know of everything that had happened thus far.


Hua Zirong understood what Du Ling was trying to do immediately. “What do you mean, Western Region King? I’ve never given such orders.”


With those few words, the truth was plain for all to see. Hua Zirong hadn’t given any orders; it had been Li Zikang and Hua Ziqing who were pulling the strings all this time, and they would now face the music.

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translator: Hilda

Editor: Lunarlark

Proofreader: Rakumon