The guard paused and looked in Hua Ziqing’s direction, only moving once he saw the latter nod.


Li Zikang appeared shortly after, with the guard who was supposed to escort him now following behind him.


Those who were present started looking at one another, confused by the turn of events. However, they all suddenly passed out in their seats, leaving the conspicuous trio of Pei Qianhao, Du Ling, and Su Xi-er as the only ones awake.


“Why are you all fine? Everyone ate the food.” Li Zikang looked at the trio in disbelief. They clearly ate it, so why are they fine? I was keeping tabs on everything, so how could this happen?


Pei Qianhao gave a silent smirk.


Contempt was apparent in Du Ling’s eyes as he said, “Maybe you should think of a better method than drugging others next time. Also, you can stop pretending now, Prime Minister Wen. Get up.”


Su Xi-er said, “You laced the drug at the sides of the plates so that anyone who picked up the food would be drugged. That’s a clever move, but it’s too bad that you were impeded by your own ingenuity.”


Hua Zirong was trying his best to hold on although his vision was already fuzzy.


A myriad of emotions seemed to pass in Hua Ziqing’s eyes, but he was definitely not happy about this turn of events.


Yun Ruofeng chided inwardly, What a fool. Our plans are now disrupted.


He then glanced over at Hua Ziqing.


Li Zikang had done this on his own, as he had thought he would be able to take credit if the ploy succeeded. However, Hua Ziqing’s reaction made him anxious.


“General Li, what is the meaning of this?” Hua Ziqing was quick to point the blame and relegate all responsibility.


Frustration appeared on Li Zikang’s countenance. Am I going to die just like this? How could you be so cruel, Master?


Just a few words were enough to make Li Zikang distrust Hua Ziqing.


Pei Qianhao looked at the two of them and laughed. “Sacrificing a useless chess piece. As expected from Prince Qing.”


“Prince Qing, you should look for a more intelligent partner if you're eyeing Xiliu’s throne,” Du Ling mocked.


Su Xi-er asked, “Prince Qing, do you really think that the officials here would believe you have absolutely nothing to do with this?”


Everyone who was supposed to be passed out suddenly got up after Su Xi-er spoke, giving a rude shock to the three opposing men.


“Prince Hao, Western Region King, what is the meaning of this? This Prince doesn’t quite understand.” Hua Ziqing remained rather calm.


The officials who were present were genuinely confused at what was happening. They had all suddenly passed out, and just as quickly woken up. It was like they were in the middle of a fever dream.


“The heavens are fair and just. I’ve already investigated the death of Prime Minister Wen’s daughter, so since you refuse to admit your sins, we can argue the facts face to face!” Du Ling scoffed. He decided that it was time to get to the point.


Yun Ruofeng felt rather defeated. We were supposed to invite them into a trap, but looking at things now, I’m the one who’s being trapped.


“Sure. This Prince doesn’t have anything to hide, so why would I be afraid?” Hua Ziqing answered with confidence.


At this, Pei Qianhao snapped his fingers.


The man in the black robes with python motifs stood up and disappeared all of a sudden. The others who were present were confused at this turn of events, since they thought that the man was an enemy of Pei Qianhao and Su Xi-er at first. However, it now seemed like the three of them were actually working together.


Many of them couldn’t help but wonder what Pei Qianhao was planning.


Su Xi-er looked at Pei Qianhao with a gentle gaze as if saying, A-Jing, you duped everyone here!


Pei Qianhao returned her gaze with equal gentleness. Xi-er, I can dupe everyone else, but I would never lie to you.

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translator: Hilda

Editor: Lunarlark

Proofreader: Rakumon