“I believe that you already understand my sincerity with your astuteness, Prince Qing.” Prime Minister Wen answered in a roundabout manner.


Hua Ziqing could only sneer at this. Still playing these little tricks with me? How ridiculous.


“Prime Minister Wen, this Prince isn’t a kid you think you can fool. If you can’t give me a concrete answer, this conversation shall come to an end.” Hua Ziqing tried to goad him on.


Anxiety swelled in Prime Minister Wen’s heart. Despite seeing through Hua Ziqing’s obvious tactic, he had no other choice but to submit to it.


“Prince Qing, you don’t have to force me in such a way. I will promise you.”


Hua Ziqing couldn’t help but inwardly exclaim at his luck. Had it not been for the disaster, the price he would have had to pay for Prime Minister Wen’s assistance would be immeasurable. 


“Since that’s the case, shouldn’t you hand that thing to this Prince first?” Hua Ziqing remarked calmly.


Contemplation clouded Prime Minister Wen’s eyes for a moment as he weighed the situation.


“What a spectacular sight! I wonder what Prime Minister Wen wants to give Prince Qing. Can this Emperor have a look?”


Prime Minister Wen’s and Hua Ziqing’s shot towards one another.


Prime Minister Wen couldn’t keep the dread from rising in his heart. How could it be? Since when was I being spied on?


Hua Ziqing sneered. Looks like this was a trap right from the start.


Taking in their expressions, Hua Zirong’s smile deepened. “Why aren’t you speaking? Prince Qing, if this Emperor’s memory serves me right, you should be recovering in Liuhua Courtyard right now.”


“This humble subject knows my wrongs. Please mete out punishment, Your Majesty.” Hua Ziqing didn’t attempt any explanation.


The corners of Hua Zirong’s mouth stretched further upwards. “Prime Minister Wen, shouldn’t you also explain to this Emperor why you are here with the supposedly captive Prince Qing?”


“This old subject knows my wrongs. Please mete out punishment, Your Majesty.” Prime Minister Wen understood that the best countermeasure at the moment was to admit to his mistakes for now. He could worry about how to escape later.


Hua Zirong’s gaze as he watched the two resort to the same strategy. “Know your wrongs? Prime Minister Wen, shouldn’t you let this Emperor take a look at the item you wanted to give Prince Qing?”


“Replying to Your Majesty, it is simply a letter.” Prime Minister Wen spun a lie confidently.


Similarly, Hua Ziqing suppressed the nervousness in his heart with his composed facade.


“If that is so, the two of you shall enter the palace and explain it clearly to this Emperor.” Hua Zirong smirked. 


You think you can escape showing me your true colours when I’ve already grabbed ahold of your tail?


Hua Ziqing and Prime Minister Wen could accept and follow Hua Zirong back to Xiliu’s imperial palace.


As soon as they arrived in the palace hall, Prime Minister Wen went down on his knees. “This old subject knows my wrongs. It’s all because Prince Qing threatened me.”


Hua Ziqing’s heart turned cold as he sneered.


Finding them not much different from two dogs biting one another, Hua Zirong’s gaze was largely indifferent. “Threaten you? What did Prince Qing threaten you with?”


“Your Majesty, this old subject can’t say it when Prince Qing is around.” A sly look flickered past Prime Minister Wen’s eyes. 


Since I can’t extricate myself from this quagmire, then let us sink together.


Hua Ziqing had already reached a conclusion in his heart, and knew that Prime Minister Wen was going to bite him back. But, even if he wants to bite me, let’s see if he has the teeth to do so.


Hua Zirong’s hawk-like gaze turned towards Hua Ziqing. “What about you, Prince Qing?”


“This humble subject obeys Your Majesty’s decree.” Hua Ziqing smiled calmly.


Noticing his unperturbed manner, Hua Zirong understood his intentions, leaving Prime Minister Wen to anxiously ponder Hua Zirong’s plans.

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translator: Rakumon

Editor: Lunarlark