As Sir Zheng contemplated what to do next, a coarse yell sounded from outside. “Announcing Grand Supervisor Li!”
The newest arrival cause hearts to skip a beat, and the crowd headed out the door in welcome with strange looks on their faces.
Head eunuch Li Guanwen was garbed in the usual silvery-gray robes of a eunuch’s casual uniform. He wielded a horsetail whisk with an ivory handle, and gave it a strong flourish when those inside came out.
Using the shrill tones unique to eunuchs, he declared loudly, “His Majesty has instructed this servant to ask Minister Cheng a few questions. We would request that the minister respond truthfully.”
Minister Cheng hastily bobbed his head. “We will speak all that we know of without reserve.”
The eunuch inclined his head and suddenly shifted his expression dramatically with another brandish of the whisk.
“Minister Cheng, do you intend on rebelling with this private deployment of troops!?” demanded the eunuch.
Cold sweat dripped down the minister’s forehead as soon as he heard this.
“This subject wouldn’t dare, this subject is fearful.” He quickly pressed his forehead to the ground, while the noble scions behind him raised a panicked din of how they would never.
Li Guanwen continued shrilly, “We already know of the matter of the publicly charging horses. Severe punishment will be doled out, but not a single innocent will be wronged, nor a single villain go unpunished. Is the minister satisfied with Our promise?”
“Y-yes, of course I am satisfied. Many thanks to Your Majesty for thinking of his subjects. Many thanks.” Minister Cheng quickly kowtowed.
The eunuch’s expression morphed again, shifting from harsh severity back to his usual mild-mannered respect.
He walked forward to hep the minister up and commented gently, “Please don’t be this way, Your Lordship. The emperor means for this servant to ask you if you’ve come back to your senses and see reason again. If so, please enter the palace with this servant to clearly explain the matter. All will be taken care of once it is clarified.
“You are an important official and the emperor has high hopes for you. He knows that you only undertook such brash actions because of worry over your son. This is why, before I arrived, specific orders were given to the imperial hospital for the best doctors to be sent to your son.”
“This subject is ashamed and deeply thanks His Majesty.” Minister Cheng’s entire head was covered in sweat by now. The eunuch’s words had been uncompromisingly clear.
If he hadn’t ‘come back to his senses’ or ‘see reason again’ and continued to barge about in this manner, then he might very well be faced with suppression from the emperor’s troops. They were within the hallowed walls of the capital city, at the foot of the Son of Heaven himself! Which emperor would tolerate personal deployment of troops in his own city?
Terror struck the minister, and his rampaging heart set off by his son’s injury final settled down. But when his thoughts turned to how his precious baby, the sole heir to the Chengs, was now unconscious after hitting his head, the minister’s anger flared anew.
“Grand Supervisor Li.” He pointed at Qin Yining. “This matter has much to do with the Qin daughter. When I enter the palace to clarify the situation, I request that she and her guard be brought in as well.”
Li Guanwen snuck a look at Qin Yining, noting that the Qin fourth miss displayed no signs of anger and just stood there quietly. He sighed in relief.
Thank goodness this one is a mature and calm one.
If she also raised a fuss at this time, things would become incredibly difficult for him caught in the middle. She was the apple of Qin Huaiyuan’s eye, after all.
“Miss Qin, today’s matter has to do with your guard, correct? His Majesty means that all involved in this need to enter the palace for an audience. Which of your guards did it? Please have him come with me.”
A ferocious frown tightly knitted Qin Yining’s forehead together as she stared holes into Minister Cheng’s face. If it wasn’t for this man going about things this way, why would they have attracted the emperor’s attention?
She didn’t want to hand over her guard. Their lowly identities meant that they would easily be turned into a scapegoat.
“My men acted to protect me. Why don’t I got with you, gonggong?”
“That… wouldn’t be appropriate.”
“Why not? I’m one of the parties involved and witnessed everything. I’ll be able to add to the explanations if His Majesty has any questions.”
“But His Majesty didn’t invite you to enter the palace, just the culprit. Miss Qin, listen to me. This isn’t a good matter for you to show your face in.”
Gratitude flooded the hearts of Jingzhe and the others to hear Qin Yining haggle with Li Guanwen, all in the name of refusing to hand them over and wanting to enter the palace herself.
They could tell the Qin fourth miss giving them utmost respect by viewing them as real flesh and blood. She’d never treated them like their old master, as tools that could be done with or without.
All of them were hot-blooded men and immensely touched.
Since they served Qin Yining, how would they possibly allow her to be caught in the middle like this? She was yet an unmarried girl!
Jingzhe took a step forward when his thoughts travelled here. “I’m the one who killed the horse. I didn’t raise a hand against young master Cheng. He knocked himself out after falling off of the horse. If you don’t mind, sir grand overseer, I’ll head into the palace with you.”
“Jingzhe!” exhorted Qin Yining, but it was too late for anything other than glaring at him. “Who permitted you to take action on your own??”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
There was quite an epic discussion on the volare Discord last week on how ROS doesn't seem to have an overarching purpose like many novels do. What do you guys think?