Naturally, Hua Zhu Yu wasn’t courteous and quickly received the roasted, greasy pheasant meat. She took a whiff of the fragrant aroma that she hadn’t smelt in a long time, making her reminiscent of the rains and winds(hardships) at the western border, its beacon fires, and the liberating days full of happiness. She really wasn’t fond of staying in this dark palace; everyday, each step was full of apprehension. This place was filled with swords ready to stab one in the back. She truly was unaware since when a mere rumor had the power to cease a person’s life. Though the western border was fraught with war, at least the slaying blade was direct and honest.
Without being courteous, she tore off a drumstick and opened her mouth to take a large bite. This fragrance, this taste, it nearly caused her to swallow her own tongue. It seems it was a habit of hers, though there was no one present to fight with her over the food, she still ate very quickly. In the past, whenever there was good food, they would use whatever means to snatch it, only the fastest one would have the opportunity to eat. Occasionally, Hua Zhu Yu would tell An Xiao Er to secretly make some dishes for her so she could eat by herself but she didn’t know how those noses discovered it every time.
This time there was no one present to fight over the food with her. She alone could enjoy it yet why wasn’t it enjoyable? Furthermore, even Xiao Er wasn’t snatching from her which greatly surprised her.
“Xiao Er, you’re not eating? Oh heavens, why are you staring at me with such emotional eyes? You’re crying?” Hua Zhu Yu was almost full before she remembered An Xiao Er. Seeing him seated beneath the moonlight, his figure appeared very lonesome. Seeing Xiao Er in such a state was very rare, moreover why were those pair of eyes so misty.
Hearing Hua Zhu Yu series of questions, An Yu An Xiao Er raised his eyes and coldy scoffed, “Which eyes of yours sees me crying? You just slowly eat, look at that greasy mouth of yours, your table manners sure are unsightly. For so long, being an eu……” The word eunuch had just reached the tips of his lips and was at once stuck there. “General, you’re not.. not really….that..”
So it was because of this that he was silent the whole time. Hua Zhu Yu secretly laughed; though An Xiao Er’s mouth was poisonous he was in fact soft at heart. But to punish him for those previous remarks of his she ignored An Xiao Er and continued to focus on stuffing her belly with pheasant meat, even licking her fingers full of grease. But she was too full and could not eat the fish so she picked a huge leaf and neatly wrapped the fish in it before stuffing it in her clothes.
Now that she was idle, she smilingly asked him, “Xiao Er, what did you ask just then? I was busy eating and did not hear clearly, say it once more.”
An Xiao Er glared at her. In truth, though he had a poisonous tongue, whenever it was met with this rogue of a general, it was completely of no use. He always tried to anger this general to death but this general was eternally immortal. He moved his lips yet the question did not come out.
“Xiao Er, how are things going with the matters I’ve asked you to investigate?” Hua Zhu Yu put an end to her mischievousness and lazily asked. When she discovered that An Yu was in fact An Xiao Er, she did not show reveal herself but still dispatched people to deliver him an assignment.
Hearing this, An Xiao Er immediately turned solemn and replied,” That letter of complaint was indeed written by someone from the western border but who specifically, this subordinate has yet to find out. If we can get a hold of that letter, perhaps it will reveal some clues but that letter is currently in the hands of the Emperor. How about this subordinate scout his study at night?”
Hua Zhu Yu shook her head and narrowed her eyes. “No need, that’s too dangerous. Moreover, that letter is unlikely to disclose any clues.” The case of the Marquis of Ping Xi, Hua Mu, originally was due to a secret letter written by someone in the western border that reported to the Emperor, angering him. The Emperor then dispatched the officials to investigate thoroughly and the outcome of the investigation was that everything turned out to be true. Therefore Hua Mu was at once guilty of a crime.
Father would absolutely never rebel, therefore the fact that the investigation’s outcome confirmed his rebellion just proves that father was definitely framed. And the person who wrote the letter was most likely incited by someone else. If that’s true then she’s afraid he’s most likely already silenced and to continue to investigate down this road would be in vain.
Hua Zhu Yu walked out from the cave and raised her head to look at the moon hovering above the green hills. With a solemn expression she stated, “Liu Mo has died, even I didn’t even know he was Houye’s former subordinate yet he was immediately eliminated by someone!”
At the banquet at Kang Wang’s Residence that night, Liu Mo had recited a poem that the soldiers frequently chanted on the battlefield in the western border. When she first heard it she was suspicious but she was not certain he was father’s former subordinate. And someone unexpectedly eliminated him that very night. Perhaps they too weren’t certain if he really was father’s former subordinate, otherwise, how could that white silk cloth containing father’s secret agents land in her hands. Perhaps they were unsure but still acted nevertheless.
In any case, Liu Mo was a high ranked general and he was murdered therefore the Emperor gave the order to investigate thoroughly. The outcome was that Liu Mo was found to have been murdered by a Jianghu assassin. But Hua Zhu Yu was skeptical of this because if someone was suspicious of Liu Mo that very night, there was no way for him to hire an assassin so quickly, causing one to not help but wonder. There were many experts by Ji Feng Li’s side, even that scholar Lan Bing was highly skill in martial arts, all of them were more skilled that the average assassin. As long as one made a move, he could’ve killed Liu Mo.
But that night, seeing Ji Feng Li come running over she can recognize that he was not the one behind the scene. But based on how crafty Ji Feng Li is, perhaps he’s trying to hide by being more conspicuous. That night she faced him as Ying Shu Xie and since he knew that she had returned to Yu City then his forces within Yu City must also be on the move since Ying Shu Xie was a general under Hua Mu.
“Within Yu City, will peace still exist?” An Xiao Er was the deputy commanding officer of the imperial guards so in regards to such matters, he naturally was more clear.