Chapter 1026: Unexpected
Zu An became nervous, asking, “What’s wrong” If he couldn't get any more of these things, didn’t that mean that Daji couldn't break through any more
Yu Yanluo explained, “Wuyang Jade grows in the ki stone ore veins, and it must be nourished by Silverflame Flowertrees.
It only forms after a long time in that kind of environment.
The ki stone ore veins are one thing, since our Yu clan has them, but Silverflame Flowertrees can only be discovered and not sought after.”
“Silverflame Flowertrees” Zu An was stunned.
He had never heard of that name before.
“They’re plant creatures similar to wild beasts.
They’re similar to flowers, but also like trees.
Since they absorb all kinds of natural ki in the ore veins, they develop all kinds of mutations.
At the lowest, their strength is at the seventh rank.” Yu Yanluo explained.
“The most important part is that such things can only be found and not sought after.
In all our Yu clan’s years of operations of the ore veins, we haven’t encountered them many times.
Otherwise, we wouldn’t only have these few pieces of Wuyang Jade.
“How about this I’ll tell my people to pay more attention to this.
I’ll let you know if we find any Silverflame Flowertrees.”
“Thank you, madam.” Zu An thought to himself that a seventh ranked vicious beast didn’t pose much of a threat to his current self anymore.
It seemed the difficulty was more about how rare the creatures were.
“Ah Zu, you don’t need to be so formal.” Yu Yanluo smiled and sat back down.
“There’s something else I want to ask the madam about.” Zu An took the chance to ask, “Has madam heard about the Milk of Purple Frost before”
Mi Li’s soul was wounded and she needed that item to recover.
He had previously received news that Cloudcenter Duke had offered a portion to the emperor in the past.
As Cloudcenter Duke’s wife, she might know a few things.
But unfortunately, Yu Yanluo shook her head and said, “The Milk of Purple Frost was offered up to his majesty by the last generation Cloudcenter Duke.
I don’t know any details about it.
If Yanyou were still here, he might know some things, but…” She didn’t continue her sentence.
A hint of grief appeared on her face.
Zu An was confused.
Were these her sincere thoughts, or were they fake If they were fake, that was way too terrifying!
“Madam, please feel at ease.
We’ll find where the duke went,” Zu An said in consolation.
Yu Yanluo sighed.
“He’s already been gone for so long already; how can I not know that something has already happened to him You don’t need to console me like this.”
“Madam and the duke’s feelings for each other seem to be very good…” Zu An asked to test the waters.
Yu Yanluo shook her head.
“How can my relationship with him be considered good We were just a bit closer than normal people.
But we spent so many years as husband and wife after all, so I obviously wouldn’t want to see anything bad happen to him.”
Zu An was a bit confused.
He hadn’t expected her to be so frank about that! Normally speaking, shouldn’t she have tried to hide it and say their relationship was extremely good However, he threw these thoughts to the back of his mind and continued to ask, “Right, is Gong Pan someone loyal to the madam”
“They were all old acquaintances from the Duke Manor.
Now that something has happened, they have nowhere to go, so it was my duty to take them in as well.
If they ever want to leave, I won’t force them to stay either.
That’s why there isn’t much loyalty or dedication.
I’m not the type to strictly manage my subordinates.
How they think is up to them,” Yu Yanluo replied ambiguously.
Soon afterward, a look of suspicion appeared between her brows.
“Why did you suddenly ask about this Could it be that there’s something wrong with him”
Zu An didn’t want to alert her too much and said with a smile, “That’s not it.
I just feel that even though Cloudcenter Commandery looks calm and quiet, there are some things stirring in it.
I was worried that something might happen to the madam, which is why I asked about some more things.”
“You’re surprisingly considerate of me.” Yu Yanluo smiled sweetly.
Even the winter day seemed to have become warm.
The two of them chatted casually for a while longer.
Zu An still had his own task to take care of, so he got up and bid her farewell.
Yu Yanluo was a bit stunned.
Other men were always itching to meet with her even once, so every single one of them wanted to chat with her for a bit longer.
Yet this fellow was completely different.
He instead took the initiative to leave first whenever they were chatting happily with each other.
Is he loosening the reins on purpose so he can grasp them better Yu Yanluo frowned slightly.
But when she saw the other party’s pure expression, she couldn't help but chuckle.
It was probably she who had become a bit too sensitive from being bothered by men for so many years.
With her nature, though, she obviously wouldn’t keep him for idle chatter.
She had Maid Xing see him out.
When they left the room, Zu An cupped his hands toward Maid Xing and said, “Big Sister Maid Xing, I wish to meet with General Gong Pan.
Would it be convenient to do so”
Maid Xing’s body bent over from laughing.
She replied, “That little mouth of yours is quite sweet; no wonder the madam likes you so much.
Please wait here for a bit; this maid will invite General Gong over.”
The other party was a guest of Madam Yu, and Gong Pan wasn’t one of the womenfolk who weren’t supposed to mingle with outsider men too much.
That was why there was no need for her to reject his proposal.
She brought Zu An over to a lounge to relax.
Then, she called over a maid to bring Gong Pan.
Afterward, she sat down across from Zu An to chat with him.
She asked, “How did the young master meet the madam I have never seen the young master before.”
“We happened to meet each other in Brightmoon City,” Zu An replied, a bit surprised.
This maid was quite bold! Maid Xing’s fiery eyes looked him up and down, as if she were examining a gigolo or something.
“Brightmoon City… The Madam seemed to have encountered some danger and was saved by a young man.
So that was you!” Maid Xing patted her large chest.
“No wonder the madam appreciates you so much.
After all, she has basically refused all guests over these past few years.”
Zu An smiled and asked, “How many years has Big Sister Maid Xing been at the madam’s side already”
“Oh my, I really cannot accept your address of ‘big sister’,” Maid Xing said.
Despite those words, she was still all smiles and enjoying herself greatly.
“This servant has followed the madam ever since I was young.
It has been so long that I do not even remember too clearly anymore.”
Zu An thought to himself, Then she really is someone Yu Yanluo absolutely trusts.
Maid Xing then asked him all sorts of questions.
“Has the young master gotten married yet”
“Do you have anyone in mind…”
Zu An’s expression became strange.
He replied, “Why, don’t tell me you plan to introduce someone to me”
Maid Xing shook her head with a smile, saying, “My goodness, I should forget about that.
With the kind of a person the young master is, you are not someone a normal girl can be a match for.
If the madam had not gotten married, I could introduce her to you, but there is no chance now.”
Zu An was a bit surprised. Isn’t this maid way too bold She actually put her own master out just like that! But judging from their interaction, he could tell that Yu Yanluo must treat her subordinates extremely well, which was why they were like this.
As the two of them chatted with each other, Gong Pan came over.
Maid Xing bowed and said, “I won’t disturb the two of you then.” She withdrew after speaking.
“So it was young master Zu! May I ask what you sought me out for today” Gong Pan cupped his hands.
Zu An returned the greeting and asked, “Didn’t I ask you about where Cloudcenter Duke’s personal guards were I looked into them and found that many of them died in their line of duty.
That’s why I wanted to ask you what kind of cases they were investigating back then, as well as take a look at the things they left behind.”
He didn’t want to let the other party know about his true suspicions, so he didn’t ask about Chen Zhou alone, but rather asked about him together with the six other people.
The mastermind had gone through such great efforts to make a fake corpse, so they definitely didn’t want him to find out the truth so quickly.
“Oh Could it be that there were some issues with their causes of death” Gong Pan asked out of curiosity.
“It’s just routine business I need to go through,” Zu An said without any changes in his expression.
“I believe you know that we came to Cloudcenter Duke to appoint a new duke.
Before that can happen, we need to properly investigate all things related to the previous duke.”
“So that was it.” Gong Pan felt at ease.
He said, “Sigh, those brothers really passed away tragically…” Then, he gave Zu An a rough summary of the investigations regarding the six individuals.
Zu An paid the most attention to Chen Zhou’s case.
It was initially rumored that he had been investigating a smuggling case involving the Zhenyuan Merchant Group, but he had later discovered that it was just a misunderstanding.
It was another group of smugglers who had bribed one of Zhengyuan Merchant Group’s warehouse managers…
Zhenyuan Merchant Group was one of Cloudcenter Commandery’s largest merchant groups.
They brought goods from all over the country to Cloudcenter Commandery for sale, and they also brought various specialty products from the northwest through Cloudcenter Commandery to all other parts of the empire.
Zu An thought to himself, Chen Zhou was probably already on his way to deliver the message to the capital back then.
Investigating Zhenyuan Merchant Group or whatever should just be a pretense. What he cared more about was what Chen Zhou had left behind.
“What about those soldiers’ belongings I heard that Sir Gong brought them back,” Zu An took the chance to ask Gong Pan with a smile.
Gong Pan’s expression changed slightly, but he quickly replied, “According to normal regulations, those who die in the line of duty have their belongings stored up.
After all, their cases have not been resolved yet.”
Zu An frowned and asked, “Are those items still in the Military Affairs Manor”
“That is not the case; they are currently in Yu Manor.
I have not had the time to hand them over to the authorities yet,” Gong Pan replied.
“If Sir Zu wishes to examine them, then please follow me.”
When he saw the other party’s skeptical expression, he explained, “I will not hide this from Sir Zu.
Actually, I wanted to see if I could find any clues from their belongings, to see if I could get revenge for these fallen brothers.
You should also know that all of us were personal guards of the duke in the past.
After something happened to the duke, we were dispatched to other departments to do these tasks.
“Everyone knows they were leading figures of the last generation, and would not receive the favor of the new authorities.
That is why no one would really earnestly examine their cases, and also why I wanted to investigate their cases myself.”
“Oh” Zu An was a bit surprised.
He continued, “Then I wonder if General Gong has found out any important information”