Zu An frowned.
His first reaction was if Cheng Xiong set up another trap for him.
But he quickly realized that Cheng Xiong went all out in front of the emperor.
There was no way he would launch another attack so quickly.
“Please lead the way, pretty sis.” He was curious, so he decided to just see where this went.
The palace maid blushed when she heard him call her pretty sis.
She had never been addressed this way before! This Embroidered Envoy didnt seem as scary as his colleagues and instead seemed a lot more friendly.
She quickly brought him to a secluded palace.
There were all types of beautiful flowers inside.
It was a delightful scene.
Zu An was quite shocked.
These flowers were clearly not native to this place.
There were some flowers around his own courtyard too, but they were far inferior to the flowers here.
These flowers had definitely been meticulously planted by someone.
Thus, he asked the maid with a smile, “This pretty sis has a delicate touch, you grew so many pretty flowers.”
That maids face blushed.
“These were planted by her highness.”
“Her highness” Zu An was alarmed.
This was definitely not the Palace of Peace, so which highness was this”
“Is Sir Eleven someone fond of flowers” A gentle voice sounded.
Zu An raised his head.
He saw a beautiful silhouette standing within some flower clusters nearby.
She held a pair of shears in hand and was currently trimming the branches and leaves.
The maid bowed before slowly withdrawing.
“Greetings, Concubine Bai.” Zu An immediately recognized her.
She showed him favor when he first entered the palace.
This gentle and graceful woman had left him with a deep impression then.
Back then, she wasnt even willing to speak too much to another man.
Why did she specially ask for him today then
Concubine Bai handed the shears to the maid beside her.
She wiped her hands on the moist towel that was brought over.
Then, she looked at Zu An and said, “Sir Eleven is too courteous.”
She was a gentle person to begin with, and she was even more finely spoken.
This made others who faced her feel a natural feeling of tenderness towards her.
That dumb crown prince really was quite lucky to have such a graceful flower of a concubine on top of his stunning wife, the crown princess.
“I heard Sir Eleven praise these flowers in the courtyard.
It looks like sir is someone who also appreciates flowers.” Concubine Bais expression became more and more gentle, as if she met a kindred spirit.
“I am indeed fond of flowers as well.” But inwardly, Zu An added, but the flowers I like are women like you.
He subconsciously looked around.
He didnt see any ambushes waiting.
It wasnt his fault for being overly suspicious.
He really was scared quite badly from all the events that popped up these past few days.
What if this woman was in cahoots with Cheng Xiong, and then he jumped out to frame him of harassing her
“I wonder what Concubine Bai has brought me here for today” Zu An asked carefully.
Pretty girls were pretty, but it would be really bad if he let it affect his decision.
Concubine Bai revealed a faint laugh.
“You saved the crown prince and princess earlier.
I havent had a chance to thank you for that yet, so I invited you here today.”
Zu An was stunned.
He didnt expect it to be this reason.
However, as the crown princes concubine, it was normal for her to want to thank him.
He cupped his hands.
“Thats my duty.
I do not dare claim credit for it.”
Concubine Bai said, “The crown princess has already awarded you today, if I do not do the same, others might feel that I do not care about the crown princes safety.
Could it be that Sir Eleven wants to place me in such a difficult spot”
Those eyes swirled like sparkling gems.
Zu An praised her for being formidable inside. This woman already gave birth to a child, yet look at how lovely she still looks.
He quickly replied, “This subordinate does not dare.”
Concubine Bai continued, “Could it be that Sir Eleven feels that my gifts cannot compare to the crown princess But that makes sense, as a concubine like me does not have much to offer.”
Zu An knew that she was only saying this on the surface, but he was still moved by her words.
He thought to himself, there were no women who were easy to deal with in the palace.
“Concubine Bai speaks too seriously.
This subordinate is extremely grateful.”
Concubine Bai nodded in satisfaction.
She had the maids and eunuchs who were holding pearls and jewels wait on the side first.
She slowly sat down on the gazebo nearby, and then she poured a cup of tea while gesturing for him to have a seat.
“Sir Eleven, please have a seat.”
Zu An was stunned. Sitting this close is not good, right
Concubine Bai continued, “I cant help but feel that some gifts alone make me seem too cold, that it wont be able to fully express my gratitude for saving the crown princes life.
That is why I wanted to invite sir for a cup of flower tea.
Even though it isnt anything precious, it is a rare experience.”
Zu An replied, “Concubine Bai is too polite.
If this kind of tea isnt precious, then what is precious in this world”
He sat down across from her under the gazebo as well.
This was a place with an open view all around them, and there were maids and eunuchs standing around them as well, so there shouldnt be any misunderstandings.
From how she invited him to some tea, he could tell that this was most likely to express her good faith.
A gentle smile flashed past Concubine Bais eyes, one that made one unknowingly calm down.
“Sir Eleven, please.”
While she was pouring tea, she brought out a white bowl.
It was an exquisite white like that of milk.
Perhaps it was because it hadnt been long since she had a child, but her movements made her chest look even a bit larger.
Zu An didnt dare look in that direction.
He stared at the tea in front of him.
Unlike the green or brown colored teas he was used to, the tea in his cup had a rose tinge.
When paired with this emerald green porcelain cup, it really was a pleasing sight.
He released a sincere sigh.
“This tea is just like Concubine Bai, even the white jade and pearls pale in comparison.
Not even the first budding of roses is as beautiful.”
But Zu An felt regret the moment these words came out of his mouth.
He was so used to flirting with girls that he forgot this was the imperial palace! Her status was special, and these words really were inappropriate.
Sure enough, Concubine Bais expression changed slightly and she adjusted her seating a bit when she heard this, as if she was trying to widen the distance.
However, she noticed the clear expression in the other partys eyes, that he wasnt the lecher she imagined.
She sighed in relief and knew that this was heartfelt praise.
A light blush flashed past Concubine Bais face, just like the tea in the cup.
“Sir Eleven is too kind with your praise.”
Zu An chuckled awkwardly.
Now wasnt a good time for him to say anything else, so he could only sip on the tea.
When he picked up the teacup, he immediately smelled a special fragrance.
It was different from the smell of any cosmetics, but rather a fresh and clean aroma.
“What an incredible aroma!”
Concubine Bai smiled and said, “This tea combines the fragrance of many flowers, so it carries their aromas.
Ive spent a long time researching how to prevent the fragrance from being too strong.”
“Concubine Bai is elegant and refined as expected.” Zu An said in praise.
He was worried at first, thinking that the tea might be poisonous, but he could feel the aroma filling his mouth with just a small sip.
He couldnt help but drink a bit more.
Either way, Concubine Bai wouldnt dare to publicly assassinate a golden token envoy, right If its an aphrodisiac… Um… I guess I have the most powerful aphrodisiacs on me.
This tea doesnt taste anything like that familiar feeling.
Concubine Bai looked pleased when she saw him take a few more sips.
After all, everyone loved to receive the acknowledgement of others.
However, she suddenly remembered that the other party compared the tea to her.
If he keeps drinking it, doesnt that mean…
Her heartbeat quickened.
She quickly changed the topic.
“I heard that there was a grandmaster among the assassins this time”
Zu An lowered his teacup.
“Indeed, and it was even a woman.”
This was public knowledge, so there was no need to hide it.
A hint of admiration flashed past Concubine Bais eyes.
“It is quite admirable that Sir Eleven was able to protect the crown prince despite facing a grandmaster.”
Zu Ans face heated up.
“To be honest, I wouldnt even be able to take a single one of her blows.
The one who defeated her was his majesty.”
Concubine Bai smiled.
“Sir Eleven is too humble.
Surviving a grandmasters sword unscathed is still something worth being proud of.
Furthermore, I heard from the maids that it was because Sir Eleven fought valiantly that you were able to fend the enemies off unil his majesty arrived.
That is why you are still the official with the most outstanding service.”
“Concubine Bai overpraises.” Zu An was even starting to become swept along a bit.
This woman was pretty, her voice was soothing, and everything she said made him feel good.
It really was hard for his mind to not wander.
“By the way, I heard that the female assassin was wounded, but she escaped.
Have you captured her yet What if she is hiding somewhere inside the palace I fear that people like us will be in danger.” Concubine Bai said with worry.
“Im not too important, but I cannot continue living if something happens to the imperial grandchild.”