“The empress?” Zu An responded, startled. He’d actually had some things he needed to talk to the empress about himself. He headed straight to the Palace of Peace, and ran into Eunuch Lu just outside the palace.
Eunuch Lu gave him a look, and then revealed a smile that seemed even more bitter than if he had been crying. “You should head inside; the empress is waiting for you.”
Zu An felt a chill run down his back. Why does this fella look at me so strangely? Please tell me he doesn’t like me… As he went inside, fragrances swirled about him. Their unique scent naturally calmed his mood.
“I greet the empress,” he said respectfully. There were still maids and eunuchs nearby, so he needed to show proper etiquette.
The empress was seated on her phoenix throne. Her splendid attire seemed more and more impressive the longer Zu An looked. When he saw her, it was as if he were seeing the crown princess’ future. Even though the two of them had no blood relation, they still carried some similarities in terms of poise and grace.
Wait, no, there is at least one huge difference. I can vaguely make out the empress’ ridiculous ass from here. That isn’t something the crown princess can compare with, Zu An thought. Of course, the crown princess wasn’t bad either. He still remembered the elastic feeling he’d experienced that day. It had carried a youthful feeling that was entirely different from the empress.
The empress waved her hands, indicating for everyone else to back down for now. Only Little Gui and Little Zhuo remained behind to wait upon them. Even though she was the respected empress, there were still many taboos involved in meeting with outside subjects. She needed to keep some people here.
When the other maids and eunuchs left, she gestured for Little Gui and Little Zhuo to wait outside the doors. The two withdrew respectfully. When they passed by Zu An, they gave him a friendly smile. They clearly remembered the kindness he had shown them.
There were only two people left soon afterward. The empress said indifferently, “If anyone else had stared at this empress like this, I would’ve already had their eyes gouged out.”
Zu An released a long sigh. “The empress is so beautiful, yet you can only spend your time alone in this vacant palace. The other servants have misgivings towards your highness’ status and prestige and don’t dare to look at you. This beauty really is being wasted, so I naturally need to stare a bit longer to help compensate for that.”
The empress’ cheeks blushed. Her somewhat fierce, but beautiful eyes softened. “Your mouth is as sweet as always. However, I fear that these words would be enough to end your life if they reached his majesty’s ears. His majesty doesn’t want others to do the things he should be doing.”
Zu An was surprised. This was a mature and sophisticated woman after all! She was just as good at teasing back. If he didn’t take care, he might instead lose himself and go too far.
He replied with a smile, “As long as your highness doesn’t talk about it, how could his majesty know?” That emperor always used force to threaten him, constantly using fear, so he was naturally incredibly upset. His words no longer sounded as respectful.
The empress’ expression sank. “Audacious! You dare to say something so disrespectful?!”
If it had been anyone else, they might really have been scared by her, but Zu An wasn’t shaken in the slightest. “Your highness has asked everyone else to leave. Should I take this as an implied message?”
The empress stared straight at him. A while later, she burst out laughing. “You really aren’t like the other servants after all! I suddenly feel like having a partner like you makes things more interesting.”
“Is that so?” Zu An declined to comment. “Your highness, why did you seek me out today?”
“What, I can’t ask you to come if I don’t need you for anything?” The empress stood up. As she moved, a refreshing fragrance filled Zu An’s senses.
Zu An gave her radiant and beautiful face a look. “Perhaps your highness has been alone for so long that you desire a man?”
The empress chuckled. Her eyes flickered with a strange light. “Can I not?”
It was now Zu An’s turn to be completely stunned. When she saw his blank expression, the empress harrumphed. “You damn servant, you really were going after me. I really don’t know if you’re ignorant or just extremely daring.”
Zu An said, “I’m not daring at all; I’ve always behaved properly in the court. I don’t dare to cross any lines.”
“Heh…” The empress sneered. If you really want to follow the rules, all of the men in this palace must be eunuchs. “Would someone cowardly dare to touch even the crown princess?”
Zu An’s expression grew serious. “Both the crown princess and I are innocent. Your highness, please don’ say nonsensical things.”
The empress sneered. “Others might really think you weren’t so bold if they saw you, but you dared to even treat me… Hmph, what does a crown princess count for?”
Zu An didn’t let her words affect him. “If I weren’t innocent, why would his majesty let me go?”
The empress’ brows furrowed tightly. “That’s what I’m the most confused about. With Zhao Han’s nature, even if you were innocent, there would be no reason to keep you alive after a scandal broke out between you and the crown princess.”
“Maybe I’m just lucky.” Zu An sighed. They really were husband and wife after all… This woman understood the emperor too well.
It was just that the emperor still needed him to deal with King Qi and didn’t really plan to let him go. Once King Qi was dealt with, the emperor would immediately get rid of him. Furthermore, he was in charge of finding out who framed the crown princess. If he didn’t produce any results, that would be a GG for Zu An.
Motherfucker… He clearly needs me to work for him, yet he still constantly threatens to kill me. Zu An was becoming more and more nervous, because the deadline was getting closer and closer.
“Right, you sent Chu First Miss last time to have me investigate those maids and eunuchs…” the empress suddenly said.
Before she even finished her sentence, Zu An asked, shocked, “Did you find out anything?!” Shi Jun had been brought away, so his trail was cut short. He was extremely vexed about the situation.
The empress was confused. “It’s not as if you’re investigating this case, so why are you so worried?”
Zu An didn’t reveal his true intentions. “I need to at least find out who framed me, right?”
“I’m not so incredible that I can find that out,” the empress said, “I only managed to eliminate some suspects. They knew nothing about this matter and were swept along by their companions. After looking around, I discovered that those people had been called together by seven individuals for various reasons.”
“Which seven people?” Zu An asked.
The empress walked to the side with a graceful demeanor. She removed a booklet from the cupboard and said, “The names are right here.”
Zu An moved to grab it, but the empress instead retracted her hand, hiding the booklet behind her. “What benefit will there be for me if I hand you this?”
Zu An frowned. “What kind of benefit do you want? As long as I can take care of it, I’ll definitely do it.” At the same time, he was curious. This was the glorious empress! What didn’t she have? Why would she need something from him?
The empress smiled and replied, “You can definitely do it.”
When he saw her mysterious smile, Zu An felt that something was wrong. “What is it exactly?”
The empress didn’t reply and instead changed the topic. “When you were sent to prison, Chu First Miss sought me out. I have to admit, you’re quite a lucky fellow. Chu First Miss is incredibly beautiful, and she cares so much about you.”
Zu An revealed a soft smile. “She is indeed amazing.”
The empress chatted with him about Chu Chuyan’s matters a bit more, and then she said, “Later on, Chu First Miss visited me a few more times. I heard that back then, all of her meridians were destroyed in the secret dungeon, but it was because you heroically stepped up that the two of you gradually grew closer.”
“That was probably just fate, haha.” Zu An smiled while thinking to himself, Why did that foolish girl tell her all of this?
But he soon realized that Chu Chuyan had probably been anxious to save him back then, and the empress was one of the people who would have had the highest chance of saving him. That was probably why she had told the empress so much.
The empress then asked in a carefree manner, “Right, how did you heal her?”
Zu An replied, “I managed to find an Evanescent Lotus at an opportune time. That was why I was able to save her.” He couldn’t tell the empress that it was because he had worked diligently on Chu Chuyan body, that his yang force had saved her, right? If he said this, the empress wouldn’t suspect him of anything either.
“Is that so?” the empress remarked indifferently.
Zu An said, “I’ve already answered everything. It’s time for you to give me that booklet, right?”
The empress still shook her head. “Come back at night. I’ll give it to you then.”
Zu An was shocked. “Why does it have to wait until nighttime?”
The empress replied, “Because I’ll need you to help me with something then.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter