Chapter 733: Trap

Zu An couldn’t help but say, “Why does it have to be at night? I need to be outside of the palace after dusk.”

He already had PTSD after he and the crown princess had fallen into the same trap. He was worried that this might cause some kind of misunderstanding or trouble. Even though he had his status as an Embroidered Envoy, he couldn’t let the empress know about that.

“You’ll know exactly what it is then,” the empress said indifferently. “As for leaving the palace, you don’t need to worry.” She brought out a uniform from her drawers and said, “Leave the palace at dusk, and then change into this. Come back with this waist token. No one will know it’s you.”

Zu An’s expression was extremely strange when he looked at the familiar uniform in front of him. It was an Embroidered Envoy uniform. Of course, it belonged to the lowest-ranked bronze token envoy.

Even though he was still confused at first, he quickly calmed down. The resources at the empress’ disposal were definitely beyond his imagination. It wasn’t all that surprising for her to have obtained an Embroidered Envoy uniform.

Still, even with all her influence, she could only get a bronze token uniform. It seemed the Embroidered Envoy's secretive nature was still formidable.

“Okay, I’ll come back at night,” Zu An said. With his identity, entering at night wasn’t all that hard. Since he had a proper excuse this time, he obviously wouldn’t refuse. He was also curious what the empress needed his help with.

When Zu An left, Eunuch Lu’s gloomy figure appeared in the room. He asked, “Your highness, have you made your decision?”

The empress’ expression was indifferent. “Do I have a choice? If I had known this was the case from the start, I wouldn’t have done that. But instead, I ended up leaving behind some hidden dangers…”

Eunuch Lu hesitated. “It might not be as your highness thinks.”

The empress shook her head. “There would be nothing lost if I guessed incorrectly. However, if I guessed correctly…” Her eyes began to burn fiercely.

Euncuh Lu’s eyes also flickered with a strange radiance. “Then I wish your highness the best.”

The empress’ beautiful eyes stared blankly. “You damned servant, why do you look even more excited than I do?”

Eunuch Lu sneered. “This servant is merely happy for your highness. There is finally hope after your highness suffered for so many years.”

The empress raised her eyebrows, and her chest rose and fell rapidly. She clearly wasn’t calm at the moment. She asked, “How are the other matters going?”

Eunuch Lu said respectfully, “Your highness, please do not worry. Everything is already in order.”

The empress voiced her acknowledgment. She waved her hands, indicating for him to withdraw for now. Then, she walked up to the bronze mirror and stared at her reflection, gently caressing her own cheeks. Her little finger and ring finger had precious gems on them, making her skin look even more glamorous and beautiful.

After Zu An left the Palace of Peace, he took a detour. When he was sure that no one was following him, he changed into his Golden Token Eleven uniform and returned to the Embroidery House, where someone quickly came to inform him about the results of the investigation.

Xin Rui’s younger brother was named Hua Bao. He was a good-for-nothing who idled about and loved to go to the gambling den. He lost more than he won, and he would always ask his mother for more money. However, his mother didn’t make much money from repairing clothes, so it was almost always Xin Rui who gave him money.

It seemed that recently, Madam Hua had found him a wife, and she had even prepared many gifts. Everyone who knew Hua Bao had been jealous that he had such a great older sister. After all, the one who had made all of this possible was his older sister.

The neighbors had suddenly realized that Madam Hua doted on this son a lot, and yet she constantly criticized her daughter. At a certain point, that daughter really couldn’t take her younger brother’s gambling habits, and had said that she wasn’t willing to support him anymore. Madam Hua had wept endlessly that day and called her daughter unfilial, saying she wanted the Hua clan to be without a successor.

The neighbors had all sympathized with Madam Hua’s daughter. They had met her a few times and knew that she was pretty, and her temperament was also gentle. Many people had even tried to act as matchmakers for her.

But later on, they found out that she worked in the palace. Furthermore, they didn’t want to get involved with her gambling-addicted younger brother. Those neighbors thus gave up on the thought.

Zu An sighed inside when he heard the results. He hadn’t expected this world to have spoiled sons too. He then asked, “By the way, did you get a picture of the carriage?”

That subordinate replied, “Yes, but those people don’t know much, so they immediately get confused when they see something even slightly intricate,  even if it’s just an ordinary carriage in the capital.”

Zu An took the image and gave it a look. It seemed there was no valuable information he could get from this after all. Still, that made sense. After all, why would the other party use any carriages that would give their identity away?

A silver token envoy who was in charge of the palace’s internal affairs came over to report, “Sir Eleven, we investigated all of the imperial palace’s wells, ponds, lakes, and other hiding spots. We found a few sets of skeletal remains, but they all belonged to old cases. Furthermore, we’ve confirmed that none of them are Xin Rui.”

Zu An was stupefied when he heard this. No wonder there had been so many supernatural rumors about his former world’s imperial palace. Who knew how many tragic deaths and vengeful souls there were in these types of places?! The imperial palace was a monstrous place after all.

“But that shouldn’t be…” Zu An was getting annoyed. “We couldn’t find any records of her leaving the palace, yet we can’t find her inside the palace. How could a living person vanish into thin air?”

The silver token envoy said, “There were no records of her leaving alive. What if she was killed, and then brought outside?”

Zu An was startled. That made sense; there were spatial rings in this world! But still, other people’s spatial storages weren’t as ridiculous as his Brilliant Glass Bead. Such a thing didn’t seem too likely.

He immediately ordered, “All of you should investigate the records for entry and exit from the palace gates. This time, don’t look for Xin Rui; instead, see if anyone left carrying a spatial storage.”

The silver token envoy shook his head. “Sir Eleven, there is something you don’t know. No spatial storages are allowed to enter or exit the palace. This is for the sake of preventing those with ulterior motives from bringing in hazardous materials to harm distinguished individuals. There are specialized personnel by every gate in charge of this task.”

Zu An was stunned. He hadn’t expected the palace’s security to be so strict! They had managed to think of even this. Fortunately, he had already refined the Brilliant Glass Bead in his body, so others couldn’t investigate it at all.

Wait… if the imperial palace’s security is so strict, then how did Yun Jianyue and the others get in? Zu An thought. Even though that case had been concluded, he knew that Cheng Xiong was but a scapegoat. He hadn’t ended up finding the real perpetrator behind Yun Jianyue’s case.

He shook his head to clear his mind of such disorganized thoughts. Investigating those things wasn’t top priority right now, so he focused on his current case. “Then you should all head out and investigate to see if anyone had large packages on them. I’ve already observed that there are strict security checks upon entering the palace, but leaving the palace with goods is much easier.”

He suspected that Xin Rui might have been brought out as a corpse. Of course, if the other party had things like the corpse decomposition powder found in those tv dramas, he could only admit defeat.

The silver token envoy’s expression changed. He was just about to say something, but Zu An had already flung over a stack of silver notes. “I’ve really troubled you all this time. Take this and split it with everyone. Once you complete this task, there will be more rewards from his majesty as well.”

If Zu An wanted people to work like slaves for him, he couldn’t copy those entrepreneurs who only knew how to prattle about ideals in his past world, right? He had more than enough money now, anyway, and the crown princess had rewarded him quite a bit not too long ago.

The silver token envoy’s eyes lit up when he saw the notes. He didn’t trouble Zu An further, as expected, and happily left to pass on the orders.

After Zu An made himself busy for a few more hours, night gradually descended. He left using his normal identity to leave behind a record. That was an opening he had left during the matter with the crown princess last time. He didn’t want to repeat that mistake.

Once outside, he changed into the bronze token envoy uniform the empress had given him. After reentering the palace, he headed toward the Palace of Peace.

The Palace of Peace was the empress’ private palace. Under normal circumstances, there would be many maids and eunuchs around. However, the palace seemed exceptionally quiet today. Only a few individuals passed by on occasion.

Zu An became vigilant. The empress didn’t set a trap for me, did she?

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