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173-chapter-82

“Done.” Xue Wu straightened the edges of the robe and smiled at Ruan Qiu, saying, “Thank you, Eunuch Ruan, for risking your life to save me tonight.”

Meeting Xue Wu’s gaze, Ruan Qiu blinked in confusion.

Was this really necessary for the show?

[Yes, Eunuch Ruan risked her life to save the Emperor, and Emperor Xue has no way to repay her, so he can only offer himself, hehehe.]

[That’s such a cheesy line, but their relationship is so sweet, woo.]

[Guys, you know what happens if you reverse the roles, right? (Blushes)]

[My CP also has a relationship where they’ve helped each other dress, hehehe.]

[So sweet! Ruan Qiu, open your eyes! He helped you dress, so you better help him undress, and then… well, you know! (Wink)]

Once she was dressed, Ruan Qiu felt a bit uneasy. She tugged at the sleeve, quickly composed herself, ignored her irregular heartbeat, and said to Xue Wu, “Your Majesty, I have a theory.”

The topic changed rather abruptly, but Xue Wu was used to it. He sat back down with Ruan Qiu, nodding. “Yes, go on.”

Ruan Qiu had already figured out the current situation. Dealing with the Empress Dowager wasn’t the most pressing matter; there was someone pulling the strings behind the scenes. So, the issue with the Empress Dowager could be set aside for now, and they could focus on the imminent danger.

Their goals aligned—since she had decided not to kill Xue Wu, her life was tied to his, and they could only cooperate.

With her mind made up, Ruan Qiu analyzed, “I think the Fourth Prince is suspicious.”

“He must have a necessary reason to act tonight,” Ruan Qiu said. “The eunuch earlier was probably sent by the Fourth Prince as an assassin. I asked the head physician just now, and he said this poison doesn’t immediately kill; it first clouds the mind, then causes a slow death.”

“If the Fourth Prince wants to get the throne, he’s likely to take advantage of Your Majesty’s confusion to issue an abdication decree and seize the throne.”

“But I don’t know why they chose tonight…” Ruan Qiu thought for a moment, then her eyes suddenly lit up. She turned to Xue Wu, who was lost in thought, and said, “Your Majesty, do you have any guards or armed escorts with you?”

“Yes,” Xue Wu nodded and got up, opening the door to let the commander of the Imperial Guards stationed outside come in.

Ruan Qiu stood up, addressing the Imperial Guards commander in front of her, sensing something was off about him from the start. “Has anything unusual happened in the palace recently? Why are there so few of your men?”

It couldn’t be because of insufficient funds, could it? The director couldn’t afford so many extras, right?

The Imperial Guards commander pondered for a moment before replying, “Due to recent disasters, some of the guards in the palace were sent outside the city to help maintain order and escort relief funds and food. So, there are fewer guards inside the palace.”

Ruan Qiu and Xue Wu exchanged a glance.

With fewer guards inside the palace, the enemy chose this moment to strike.

[Oh my, this matches with the previous clues.]

[Huh? What clues? My brain capacity isn’t enough, please, someone kind, tell me.]

[Do you remember when Ping’er first came to find Xue Wu and Ruan Qiu to meet with the Empress Dowager? She mentioned that the treasury was empty, and all the silver had gone to disaster relief, so there were fewer people in the palace. I was wondering what use this background clue could have, but now it’s being used here.]

[Ruan Qiu is amazing.]

After listening to the commander of the Imperial Guards, Xue Wu spoke up, saying, “Go outside the palace now and bring back all the available forces in the Imperial City.”

The commander of the Imperial Guards was startled, realizing what was happening. He couldn’t help but glance at Ruan Qiu, who had bought him over. He wondered if Ruan Qiu had bewitched the Emperor, and if that night would be the night of a coup.

But the promise of a position as Grand General from the other side made the commander of the Imperial Guards conceal his shock. With a sense of impending success, he obeyed the order and left the palace with his men to gather the extras outside.

The director backstage breathed a sigh of relief. Thankfully, the extras outside hadn’t finished work yet, so it was easy to find a bunch of them.

He found himself gradually getting used to the trouble caused by Xue Wu and Ruan Qiu.

The director couldn’t help but wonder if he was being manipulated by both of them.

However, Ruan Qiu didn’t let her guard down.

She thought that if the commander of the Imperial Guards could be bought over by her, then the leader of the armed escorts might also be bought over by someone else. So, Bai Jinyao might not necessarily be on the Emperor’s side.

Ruan Qiu hesitated for a moment, looking at Xue Wu. She wasn’t sure whether to confess now. She had originally planned to discreetly look away, but she was caught in the act by Xue Wu, who asked softly, “What’s wrong?”

“I…” Ruan Qiu paused, lowering her eyes. “I poisoned you.”

[What? I haven’t had enough sweetness yet! Please, no drama!]

[Is it getting this intense? Are they going to turn against each other?]

[I can only handle sugar, not knives, okay?]

[Why confess so suddenly?! Wouldn’t it be better to keep it hidden? Woo]

[I still think it’s better to be honest. If there’s always a thorn in your heart, it will affect your future relationship.]

Under the tense yet hopeful gaze of the audience, Xue Wu remained expressionless, still gentle as ever as he said, “Yes, I know.”

Ruan Qiu suddenly lifted her head, a mix of surprise and confusion in her eyes as she looked at Xue Wu, not understanding why he was so tolerant. Unable to resist, she tentatively spoke again, “And the maid who attempted to assassinate you tonight may also have been sent by me.”

“I have a connection with the Empress Dowager, and this maid is most likely my tool to gain your trust,” Ruan Qiu confessed openly. “Ping’er even gave me poison earlier, asking me to poison you. Tonight or tomorrow, she’ll attempt to… end your life.”

Ruan Qiu continued nervously, “The reason I didn’t act is because I also want to be the Emperor. The Imperial Guards are under my control, and I was hesitating whether to deceive you while dealing with the Empress Dowager. I wanted to control you, and then retract my hand once I felt completely safe.”

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