In the posthouse


Sitting on a chair, Du Ling looked at the urgent letter from the Western Region coldly. His expression morphed into a sneer when he read its contents.


The monkey is proclaiming itself king when the tiger is not at home. It looks like I’ve made the correct decision to leave, otherwise, how could I have caught this fox’s tail?


While he was occupied with his thoughts, a guard from the Western Region walked in.


“King, it’s just as you suspected, the people trying to kill us previously were not sent by Hua Ziqing.” The guard reported his findings respectfully.


Du Ling laughed coldly. “Have you found out who they belong to?”


“A-da is useless, I wasn’t able to find out. Please mete out punishment, Your Majesty.” A-da’s boorish face was covered in shame.


“Is there any progress with the investigation of Xiliu’s imperial secret scrolls?” Du Ling asked.


A-da showed a respectful and honest expression. “When this subordinate snuck into the Prime Minister Residence, the scrolls had already been swapped out by Prime Minister Wen.”


A layer of ice instantly covered Du Ling’s eyes. “Swapped out? What do you mean?”


A-da restructured his phrasing, explaining the happenings of the Prime Minister Residence again.


After listening to what A-da had to say, Du Ling sank into his thoughts. Fishy, it seems like I’ll have to discuss this with Prince Hao and Xi-er.


“You may withdraw. Keep up with the surveillance, and ferret out the culprit behind the assassination attempt as soon as possible.” Du Ling instructed imposingly.


Right after A-da left, Du Ling headed for Pei Qianhao and Su Xi-er’s bedroom. He found the latter leisurely eating oranges that the prince had peeled for her as she sat in bed.


“Child, look at how well A-Jing treats you. You have to be filial to him when you come to us.” She gently caressed her stomach and smiled.


Pei Qianhao looked at her, his gaze full of deep affection.


Du Ling’s lips formed a teasing smile as he chanced upon this scene. “Xi-er, seeing you and Prince Hao being so affectionate with each other makes guaren, this lonely king[1] envious.”


“Elder Brother, you’re teasing me again. If you keep doing this, I’ll be the one returning the favour when you have a child.” Su Xi-er’s mischievous threat only served to widen Du Ling’s smile.


“Alright, this King won’t joke with you two anymore. I have something important to discuss with you.” Du Ling’s gaze turned solemn.


“Please, shoot.” Su Xi-er smiled gently with the glow of a motherly figure.


Pei Qianhao’s eyes grew cold as he listened to Du Ling relay the report he had gotten from A-da. “Looks like she does have another motive.”


“A-Jing, could she also have been purposely sent to our side by someone?”


The seemingly simple question made them think, but Wu Ling suddenly interrupted by briskly walking in. “Your Highnesses, that woman has gone missing.“


Du Ling scoffed. “The people in Xiliu really don’t stick to their place. Do they really think we are pushovers?”


“Elder Brother, don’t get worked up. She hasn’t gone far.” Su Xi-er gave a confident reassurance before turning to Pei Qianhao with an affectionate smile..


“What games are you playing with me? What on earth is going on?” By now, Du Ling already knew that there was more to this than meets the eye.

1. Emperors and kings typically refer to themselves as ‘zhen’ or ‘guaren’. The pun here is that ‘guaren’ also translates directly to ‘lonely person’.

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translator: Rakumon

Editor: Lunarlark