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113-chapter-74

Xue Wu then shared his findings with Ruan Qiu. After a moment of contemplation, Ruan Qiu looked at the palace maids and eunuchs behind Xue Wu and said, “I didn’t find anything special. There was a small booklet in my room, roughly mentioning that the Empress Dowager intends to win me over. I’ve already burned the booklet.”

[I’m so anxious. Why didn’t Ruan Qiu tell Xue Wu the truth?]

[Is she really planning to “kill” Xue Wu? Ruan Qiu, stop it! It’s not too late, don’t be like this!]

[Maybe Ruan Qiu is afraid that Xue Wu would be angry and unforgiving if he knew the truth?]

[Everyone is getting too immersed in the story. Ruan Qiu didn’t do these things!]

[But considering their current roles, if Xue Wu finds out that his most trusted person betrayed him, he would definitely be angry. He might even “kill” Ruan Qiu, or else it would ruin the character.]

[…Ah, director, I’ll kill you!!]

Watching Ruan Qiu’s lowered eyes, Xue Wu knew she was hiding something from him. However, he smiled gently and said, “Well, I understand. I believe Ruan… The Grand Tutor will stand on my side, right?”

His expression was tender, and as he looked down at Ruan Qiu, it seemed like his previous words weren’t just addressed to “Grand Tutor”, but to Ruan Qiu holding the position of Grand Tutor. He sought a promise from Ruan Qiu, and as long as she gave it, no matter how much she concealed from him, he would stand by her side, firm in his support.

“Yes,” Ruan Qiu raised her eyes. “I will always be on Your Majesty’s side.”

Xue Wu’s smile deepened.

“If,” Ruan Qiu’s voice suddenly softened, and she asked hesitantly, “if I did something wrong, displeasing Your Majesty, would you forgive me?”

“I will,” Xue Wu replied without hesitation. “No matter what you do, I believe in you.”

[I’m dead. I’m totally hooked.]

[“I will always be on the Emperor’s side” and “I believe in you”.The sacred scriptures of Xue Ruan CP, adding two more lines.]

[Sob, even if Ruan Qiu’s words are fake, even if she’s an emotional deceiver, I’ll accept it. This is too good to resist. Sob]

[Whispering: Actually, a Eunuch who pretends to love for power, secretly cruel × a devoted Emperor who loves only one person, is also very addictive. Later, if there’s a chasing-husband plot, it will be even more exciting.]

[Whispering again: A ruthless Eunuch × a cunning Emperor with a black heart, both mutually aware of each other’s fake love but never revealing it, sweet words exchanged while mutually using each other. This kind is also super appealing!!]

[Haha, teachers above, please elaborate! I love this kind of story!]

Having finished their conversation, Xue Wu and Ruan Qiu tacitly changed the subject and walked side by side towards the main hall.

The shooting started in the afternoon, and now it was approaching dusk. Qi Yingying, among the palace maids, was busily arranging the scene. After coordinating the sequence for the dancers, she was called away to set up other things.

With the shift change, Bai Jinyao and the Forbidden Army had switched positions. Bai Jinyao calculated that with the current rotation schedule, she could manage to guard this evening’s banquet with her armed guards if it didn’t exceed an hour and a half.

Having made up her mind, Bai Jinyao first went to the Imperial Kitchen to eat something. Based on her experience, events like these grand banquets were prone to assassination attempts or poisonings in the food. Perhaps she could catch the culprit in the Imperial Kitchen.

On the other side, Xue Wu and Ruan Qiu, upon reaching the main hall, found everything arranged. The palace lanterns illuminated the long tables on both sides. These tables were designated for ministers and foreign envoys, with the Emperor’s table at the highest point and the Empress Dowager’s seat beside the Emperor. There were two additional tables below, and Ruan Qiu speculated that one was for Ye Xingyu, but the occupant of the other was unknown.

Moving towards the main hall, Xue Wu and Ruan Qiu observed the scene. The palace lanterns flickered, creating a warm ambiance. The tables were adorned with delicacies, and the palace maids were busy setting the plates. The young eunuch who had approached earlier asked Xue Wu, “Your Majesty, the ministers have arrived. The foreign envoys are waiting outside the palace gates. Shall I let them in now?”

Xue Wu nodded, and the young eunuch hurriedly left. The director, seeing that the timing was right, instructed the extras to enter one by one.

A palace maid reminded Xue Wu that the Emperor should make his entrance last. So, Ruan Qiu and Xue Wu stood by the window on the side of the main hall, discreetly observing the ministers entering.

The ministers attending this banquet were all high-ranking officials, no more than ten of them. They appeared refined, despite their age being over forty-five. Adorned in crimson official robes with black official hats, their age didn’t diminish their scholarly demeanor. They exuded an air of elegance, with each movement reflecting the grace of a literati.

[Did I just see the gardener?]

[Yes! It’s the gardener, the killer from the previous storyline. He’s actually leading the group!]

[Was his limp in the previous storyline an act? So professional, and looking at him now, the gardener is indeed a handsome old man. (covering my face)]

The gardener’s table was conveniently in front of the window. When he turned to sit down, he momentarily stared at Xue Wu and Ruan Qiu. He hesitated for a moment, then bowed to Xue Wu, saying, “Greetings, Your Majesty.”

Upon standing up, the gardener shot a fierce glare at Ruan Qiu, not hiding his disdain. With a cold snort, he openly accused her, “Vile person! Deceiving the Emperor!”

Ruan Qiu: …

The nearby young eunuch whispered to Ruan Qiu, “Godfather, you don’t need to pay attention to Yuan Xiang’s words. That’s just how he is, relying on his prime minister status to look down on us eunuchs. He’s narrow-minded, doesn’t understand flexibility, and often criticizes the Emperor, whom he dislikes.”

[Yuan Xiang is right. Emperor Xue has already been enchanted by her.]

[Haha, how can we even resist this?!]

[I didn’t expect the killer gardener to be a loyal minister this time.]

Once the ministers were seated, Ye Xingyu was escorted into the hall by palace maids. He took his place at the table below the Empress Dowager’s. Following him, a portly middle-aged man entered, escorted by eunuchs. Dressed extravagantly, he took a seat next to Ye Xingyu.

The young eunuch timely shared information with Ruan Qiu and Xue Wu, “Godfather, this is Fourth Prince, the biological father of Princess Xingyu.”

 

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