Meanwhile, in Liuhua Courtyard.


Hua Ziqing lay on the bed in his usual white robes, casually flipping through a book about ‘tea ceremony’.


The masked man entered and provided an update on the situation. “Your Highness, the entire set of Xiliu’s imperial secret scrolls has been found, but the half that was kept in the Prime Minister Residence seems to be lacking something.”


“Lacking something? What do you mean?” Hua Ziqing put down his book as he asked.


The masked man said, “Your Highness, it’s fortunate that I happen to know a little bit about scriptures, or else I might have been tricked too.”


“Scriptures? What do scriptures have to do with the Xiliu imperial secret scrolls?” Hua Ziqing asked in puzzlement.


“Your Highness, I found that there were tiny scripture writings inside every piece, but these writings weren’t present in that other half.” The masked man answered.


“So you’re saying that Hua Zirong doesn’t have a legitimate set even if he’s gotten his hands on these secret scrolls?” Hua Ziqing then smirked at this.


“That’s exactly right, Your Highness,” the masked man answered calmly.


“Good.” After a moment of contemplation, Hua Ziqing said, “It seems like Prime Minister Wen lied to him. Fine by me.”


“Your Highness, we’ve also retrieved some records from the Prime Minister Residence. As you suspected, he was involved in the fiasco over military payment.” The masked man then handed a thick book of accounts to Hua Ziqing.


Hua Ziqing took the account book and smirked as he flipped through it. “Prime Minister Wen has done many things. We can manipulate him with this.”


“Your Highness, what shall we do next?” asked the masked man.


“Let’s go get some answers from Prime Minister Wen,” Hua Ziqing said with a smile.


He then put on an outer robe before leaving the room with the masked man in tow. Under the cover of night, the two of them entered the Prime Minister Residence, barging into a sleeping Prime Minister Wen’s room.


The older man awoke at the disturbance, shocked and terrified to see the visitors.


“This old subject…” He was grabbed before he could say anything else.


“Prime Minister Wen, you’ve already chosen a side.” Hua Ziqing smiled, albeit threateningly.


A cunning glint flashed past his eyes as Prime Minister Wen looked down. “This old subject is simply doing what I’m told. I would never dare to act on my own.”


“Oh? I wonder if this can make you change your mind then.” Hua Ziqing then signalled to the masked man behind him to pass a note to Prime Minister Wen.


The latter’s heart sank when he saw the note. “How…”


“You want to know how I got this, right?” Hua Ziqing smirked.


Prime Minister Wen remained silent as he went into deep thought. How did he get his hands on something that’s supposed to be in the study?


He then said, “What do I have to do to have this back?”


“You know very well what I want. Need I say it again?” Hua Ziqing’s question sounded more like a warning.


Prime Minister Wen then said, “You should know that this alone won’t change anything; such a matter won’t convince that man to act against me.”


Hua Ziqing smirked as he said, “Well, good luck to you if you’re that confident.” He then stepped towards the door.


Prime Minister Wen knew immediately that this meant Hua Ziqing had something else he could use against him.


“Hold on. Let’s have a proper discussion.” Though the older man looked calm, there was a shadowy undercurrent in his eyes.

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translator: Hilda

Editor: Lunarlark

Proofreader: Rakumon