Chapter 905: Cold Shoulder
Eunuch Wen greeted Zu An with a big smile as soon as he walked out.
“Sir Zu, Ive already prepared all of the relevant personnel by the palace entrance.
I wonder when you plan to investigate the case of King Qis concubine”
“Im going right now, of course.” Zu An cursed inwardly.
Can you stop with the act already You even prepared all of the relevant people already, and yet youre putting on this pretense and asking me when Im going
“Then I wish Sir Zu the best of luck.” There was a kind smile on Eunuch Wens chubby face.
Zu An cupped his hands, then headed toward the Eastern Palace to tell Bi Linglong about his new mission.
After all, she was probably worried, feeling that something might have happened to him.
Bi Linglong was also confused when she heard Zu Ans explanation.
“Youre going to investigate the case of King Qis concubine”
She couldnt be bothered with arousing suspicion at that point, even chasing out her personal maid.
Then, she said worriedly, “King Qis greatest plan was destroyed by your very hands.
The first thing on his mind right now will probably be to kill you.
Wont you just be throwing your life away if you investigate this case now”
“Sigh, but if I dont head over now, the emperor might just kill me on the spot!” Zu An exclaimed.
He said with a smile, “Dont worry, Im a proper subject assigned by the emperor himself, so King Qi wouldnt dare to become hostile in public.
Even though this assignment is full of dangers, it might also be an opportunity for me.
If I use it well, I might even be able to infiltrate King Qis side.”
“Infiltrate his side” Bi Linglong immediately became vigilant.
As a key figure from the crown princes faction, she had already opposed King Qis faction for many years.
Her first reaction when she heard that was rejection.
Zu An laughed involuntarily.
“Dont worry, its just to keep some of his majestys methods in check.
Of course Im not going to completely go over to his side.
With our relationship, of course Ill help you.”
Bi Linglongs caution eased up a bit when she heard his explanation.
But she wouldnt admit to it on the surface.
“Hmph, who wants to have any relationship with you”
When Zu An saw her arrogant appearance, he really wanted to give her a good spanking.
Unfortunately, they were in the imperial palace right now, so that idea could only remain a thought.
When he came out of the imperial palace, several guards and eunuchs were already waiting outside.
They immediately greeted him when they saw him.
“We pay our respects to Sir Zu! Eunuch Wen has asked us to serve you.”
Zu An was already famous in the capital.
All of the imperial guards knew who he was.
When he saw the guards fervently trying to curry favor, he responded courteously while sighing inwardly.
These guys were too low in status and didnt have access to any higher level information.
They all thought they were getting closer to a rising star, but in reality, Zu An was in an incredibly dangerous situation.
The group arrived at King Qi Manor.
Zu An had a pensive expression.
For some reason, compared to the last time he had come, King Qi Manor seemed a bit less extravagant… There were clearly not many changes on the surface, however.
He wondered if it was just a figment of his imagination.
King Qi Manors servant had been about to greet them politely when he saw that someone had come to visit.
But when he heard that the group was there to investigate the drowning of King Qis concubine, his expression immediately changed.
“All of you, wait here.
Ill send in a report first.” He slammed the door shut loudly without even waiting for their response, leaving Zu Ans party in dismay.
“King Qi Manors people are really rude.
Shouldnt they at least let us wait inside” the guards complained.
Zu An chuckled and said, “Well just wait here.” Then, he sat down by a nearby gazebo and closed his eyes, as if he had just come out for a small outing.
After Zu An said that, the others naturally couldnt say anything more.
They all waited patiently.
But an hour quickly passed and King Qi Manors servant still didnt come back out.
They clearly planned to refuse the group entrance.
“These King Qi Manor dogs are going too far!” The guards finally couldnt take it anymore.
They were all filled with indignation.
After all, they were part of the emperors forces, so they felt a natural enmity toward King Qi Manor.
Zu An frowned.
This investigation was just nitpicking to begin with, so it was natural that King Qi Manors people werent willing to meet with them.
But if they didnt open the door even after such a long time, his group still couldnt help but feel like fools for waiting outside.
As such, he had his subordinates knock again.
However, that subordinate came back angrily and said, “Sir Zu, they said that King Qi is busy with public affairs, and that the messenger who went to contact him hasnt been able to meet with him yet.
Hmph, theyre clearly playing with us!”
Zu An chuckled.
This was actually all within his expectations.
He had to perform his due diplomacy before resorting to violence, but he had now already done everything he could.
He started to give out orders.
The guards jumped in fright when they heard Zu Ans commands.
Their expressions changed.
“Thats… not too good, is it”
Zu An rolled his eyes.
These guys had been shooting their mouths off as if they were going to tear the manor apart, but now that he was telling them to be a bit more aggressive, they were suddenly scared He said, “Dont worry, Ill take responsibility if something happens.”
When they heard that, together with the fact that they had been enraged to begin with, the guards finally made their decision and picked up their equipment.
They ran up to King Qi Manors gate, and inserted two long strips of yellow paper between the two doors.
There was a largeseal character on them that was especially eye-grabbing.
Their activity quickly drew the attention of nearby people.
The residences near King Qi Manor were obviously not owned by ordinary civilians.
They were practically all owned by court officials.
The residences servants, and even the officials themselves, came to watch.
They whispered among themselves.
“What is going on”
“Why has King Qi Manor been sealed up”
“Heavens, has his majesty finally decided to act against King Qi”
The onlookers became more and more worked up as they discussed the situation among themselves.
After all, many of them were aware of the emperors conflict with King Qi.
King Qi Manors people finally couldnt sit still.
The door slammed open, and a group of guards came out in single file.
The one in front tore off the paper.
He was furious when he saw the character written on it.
“You damn slaves are impudent! You actually dare to cause trouble at our King Qi Manor!”
He slammed the paper toward the faces of the two nearest guards as he spoke.
The guards wanted to move out of the way, but their bodies seemed to have frozen up in front of his tremendous power.
They couldnt move in the slightest.
The people watching could feel the threatening energy even from far away.
Those with sharp eyes already recognized the person to be one of King Qis guardians, the ninth ranked Han Fengqiu.
If one were slapped by someone like him, even if ones head didnt explode like a melon somehow, ones mouth would definitely be permanently damaged.
But they all felt that these visitors deserved it.
They were the ones who had foolishly decided to cause trouble outside King Qi Manor.
However, the terrible situation they imagined didnt happen.
A hand blocked the attack heading toward the two guards, grabbing Han Fengqius hand.
It couldnt continue forward at all.
“Hm” Han Fengqiu was confused.
His other hand moved as well.
Both sides exchanged two palms, then separated.
Afterward, the onlookers finally recognized the owner of that other hand.
“Isnt that the newly risen Green Hat Viscount Zu An”
“I heard that he fought on equal footing with Han Fengqiu before, but I just thought of it as some crazy rumor.
But today, Ive seen it for myself!”
“Did Han Fengqiu cultivate all those years for ** That young kid has already caught up to him!”
Han Fengqius face twitched.
The comments of the surrounding people cut into him like blades.
At the same time, he was confused.
Zu An had clearly been far inferior to him last time, so why did they suddenly seem to be on the same level now
Zu Ans eyes twitched as well.
The way the surrounding people had addressed him stabbed straight at a nerve.
Han Fengqiu finally snapped out of his gaze and said with an unkind expression, “I was wondering who it was.
So it was Sir Zu! Even though Sir Zu has brought back tremendous contributions and has become a popular figure in the Eastern Palace, coming all the way here to our King Manor and starting trouble bears the crime of rudeness, no”
This was a kind of offense that could be major or minor.
If it were a situation that didnt matter, it could just be easily brushed off.
But if they wanted to, they could make a huge deal out of it.
The guards who had come with Zu An immediately felt gloomy and dismayed.
If King Qi wanted to pursue the matter, according to the rules, they might just be banished as punishment.
Zu An chuckled and replied, “What is Sir Han saying Were carrying out an investigation on his majestys orders right now.
How is this starting trouble”
Han Fengqiu threw the seal paper to the ground.
“You already sealed up the entirety of King Qi Manor, and yet youre saying you didnt start trouble Where in the world do you get your courage from I dont think his majesty would give you this kind of order.”
Zu Ans expression became serious.
He replied in a clear voice, “This official came on his majestys orders to investigate the case of King Qis concubine.
Unfortunately, even after we attempted to communicate several times, King Qi Manor has shirked responsibility and refused to even open the gate.
This official suspects that there might be some bad people involved, people who privately wish to obstruct this case.
As such, we continued the case according to the law.
Since King Qi Manor is where the crime happened, according to the rules, it should be temporarily sealed up, and casual entrance and exit must be prohibited to prevent tampering with evidence.”
Han Fengqiu was speechless.
He had wanted to give them the cold shoulder then back off when things looked hairy, but he hadnt expected Zu An to be so vicious! Furthermore, every single action was in accordance with the law, so they couldnt even say anything in return.
And yet, if he really let Zu An seal up King Qi Manor, King Qi would really lose all dignity.
As such, he quickly squeezed out a smile and said, “Sir Zu has misunderstood.
King Qi was just busy dealing with public affairs.
King Qi has just received news of Sir Zus arrival, so he sent me over to bring you over to the pond where his concubine perished.
That is the real scene of the crime.”
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