The seven people met in the cave and Xiao Lou put the unconscious Yu Hanjiang beside him, carefully covering him with a coat. Then Xiao Lou turned to his teammates and said carefully. “Take out the clues you know. Old Mo, speak first.”
Mo Xuemin said, “The cause of the death of the former prefectural magistrate of Jiangzhou was illness. I have checked the records and found no obvious suspicious points. In addition, in recent years, several young women have disappeared for no reason in Jiangzhou and this has become a pending case. Also, the relationship between the three wives and four young ladies of the prince’s mansion is complicated. Group Leader Yu drew a figure diagram and I made a copy of it. You can take a look.”
He gave the relationship diagram to everyone and they all felt big when they looked at the lines. Group Leader Yu was worthy of being a professional. This character diagram was quickly drawn as a spider web.
Shao Qingge touched his chin. “I know something about the Lin family. The two richest families in the Qi State are the Lin family of salt merchants and the Shao family of silk merchants. In fact, the mother of the eldest son is a servant girl. He was born of a bad family and has been rejected by his father since he was a child. The second son is an official in the capital and the third son is the heir. The third son is from the legal wife and her family is more influential.”
Long Sen told them, “I have been at the prince’s mansion for two days and found that the relationship between the young ladies is very delicate. The second young lady might be the legitimate daughter but she is isolated by her other three sisters and they don’t speak to her. The relationship between the third and fourth young ladies is very good. The eldest daughter fasts all day and recites Buddhist chants. She has a clean mind and few desires. She has also set up a Buddhist temple at home.”
Ye Qi was in the Fragrant Sky House and hadn’t got any useful clues, so he complained, “I have been forced to practice the guqin for the past two days by the boss!”
Then it was Liu Qiao’s turn. “I know the fourth young lady. She often comes outside the city to find me and learn medicine. Whenever she goes out, she likes to cover her face. I have only seen a pair of eyes and never her true face.”
Xiao Lou told them about his father’s murder in the capital. The group frowned and fell into contemplation.
These clues were very messy and were like scattered sugar-coated Chinese hawthorn on a stick but there was no bamboo stick to string them together. They couldn’t judge what would happen in Jiangzhou. Moreover, some clues might be interference items.
It was just necessary to summarize the clues carefully. Xiao Lou wrote down the words of his teammates and glanced at Liu Qiao. “I can’t tell anything about this group of assassins. If they fail, they will directly commit suicide. They are more loyal than the Hunter’s League.”
Liu Qiao nodded. “I checked just now and they don’t have the totem mark of the Hunter’s League. They shouldn’t be hunters and are instead plot characters of 8 of Hearts who were sent to assassinate the prefectural magistrate of Jiangzhou.”
Shao Qingge raised his eyebrows. “A group of assassins risking their lives to kill Yu daren. Do they have a vendetta with Yu daren?”
Xiao Lou shook his head. “As far as I know, Yu daren accompanied the emperor as a child. When he was 10 years old, he followed his grandfather back to Jiangzhou and studied at home. Then when he was 20 years old, he came to Beijing and became the number one scholar. His life was smooth. There might be many people in the imperial court who envy him but he didn’t offend anyone and has no enemies who would want to kill him.”
Old Mo speculated, “It seems these people tried to assassinate him not because he is Yu Hanjiang but because of his ‘prefectural magistrate’ identity?”
Xiao Lou agreed. “Yu daren is a clean official and if there are some rats in Jiangzhou who are doing bad things behind the emperor’s back then they naturally won’t want him to take office and kick them out.”
Ye Qi suddenly interjected. “It shouldn’t be something the prince did? He is afraid of Daren finding out so he attempted to kill early?”
Long Sen replied, “His Majesty has me secretly monitoring the movements of the Eighth Prince. I also think he is suspicious.”
Just then, everyone heard a cough from behind them. Xiao Lou turned around and found that Yu Hanjiang had woken up. The serious expression on his face instantly became tender and he walked over to support Yu Hanjiang, asking softly, “You’re awake. Are you feeling better?”
The team members, “……”
Seeing Xiao Lou gently take care of Yu Hanjiang, they all felt that Professor Xiao was really into the act. They were exactly like a real couple.
Yu Hanjiang sat up and spoke in a hoarse voice, “I’m much better. At the very least, I won’t faint.”
He glanced at the group and was surprised. “Why is everyone here?”
Xiao Lou whispered, “I was worried that there would be a sneak attack during the process of detoxifying you so I called them with the flying pigeon. I still don’t feel assured about the guards arranged for you by the emperor.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded with appreciation. “It is always right to be cautious.”
He gritted his teeth and stood up, walking to everyone. Then he found the relationship diagram of the prince’s mansion and asked, “Are you analyzing the clues?”
Ye Qi spoke positively, “Yes, Professor Xiao gathered everyone to summarize the clues. There are no clues at present.”
Yu Hanjiang told them, “It is normal. Don’t forget, Qu Wanyue hasn’t appeared yet.”
Long Sen had always wanted to ask about Qu Wanyue’s location but the situation just now was critical and Group Leader Yu almost died. It would be out of place to ask this question. Later, they were surrounded and he was busy running for his life. At this time, Yu Hanjiang took the initiative to mention it and he was immediately worried. “Why isn’t Wanyue here? Has anyone seen her?”
Xiao Lou speculated, “We didn’t see her at all. My guess is that she isn’t in Jiangzhou but she’ll be there for the birthday banquet.”
Liu Qiao analyzed, “Since Teacher Qu is part of our team, she is almost certainly assigned to an important role. She is alone so she shouldn’t be attacked. Perhaps she has another task.”
Long Sen nodded. “Hopefully she’ll be okay.”
Xiao Lou glanced at him and comforted him. “Rest assured, Teacher Qu’s chameleon cards and long jump cards can be used like you. If she encounters trouble then escaping shouldn’t be a problem.”
Long Sen heard Professor Xiao’s words and felt more settled.
Yu Hanjiang frowned and coughed a few times before saying, “It’s getting later and you should all go back so as to not arouse suspicious after dawn.” He glanced at Long Sen and Ye Qi. “Long Sen, return to the prince’s mansion and pay attention to their movements. Ye Qi, you should get some clues at the Fragrant Sky House. Pay attention to the children of rich families and don’t pay too much attention to your identity as the first performer.”
Ye Qi, “……”
Everyone had forgotten this matter until Group Leader Yu solemnly said ‘the first performer of a brothel’. Then everyone turned their heads and suppressed a smile. Ye Qi’s ears were red. “I know.”
Old Mo wasn’t very assured. “If we are all gone, what will you do if there are repeated attacks?”
Yu Hanjiang whispered, “I will hide with Xiao Lou in the cave for a day. This place is very hidden and no one will find it.”
The group looked around and had to agree with Group Leader Yu’s arrangement.
The sky was about to become bright. It would be really difficult to explain if Ye Qi disappeared out of thin air so Shao Qingge took him and Old Mo back first. Long Sen returned to the prince’s mansion while Liu Qiao went to clean up the charred medicine house, leaving Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou in the cave.
Yu Hanjiang’s face improved a lot and Xiao Lou undid his clothes to see the wound on his back.
The wound had started to scab. It still looked swollen but the surrounding blackness had faded away. The toxin was obviously cleared and the remaining flesh wounds had started to heal.
Xiao Lou helped him re-bandage the wound while asking softly, “Does it hurt?”
Yu Hanjiang looked calm. “There is no pain.”
He had been shot in the chest with bullets and climbed mountains while in severe pain. Now Xiao Lou was personally taking care of him and bandaging his wounds. His heart was warm with Xiao Lou beside him.
As Xiao Lou dealt with the wound, Liu Qiao returned and gave Yu Hanjiang another pill.
Originally, Yu Hanjiang planned to go to the prince’s mansion today to bring the secret letter the emperor gave him to the Eighth Prince but he was suddenly attacked late last night and his injuries weren’t good. This plan could only be put on hold. He pulled out the secret letter and wanted to open it. As a result, the secret room reminded him: [This is a sacred letter and it is a crime to open it without permission.]
Xiao Lou and Liu Qiao glanced at each other.
Yu Hanjiang had to put away the secret letter. “I can’t open it. It seems it can only be handed over to the prince.”
A day passed quickly. Liu Qiao was a proficient toxicologist and under Xiao Lou’s care, Yu Hanjiang’s body was completely cleared of all toxins and his spirit improved a lot.
In the early hours of the morning, Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou returned to the prefectural magistrate’s office to change their clothes.
Today was the birthday of the Eighth Prince. Every year on his birthday, many people came to wish him a good birthday. Even if he wasn’t old, the number of officials and wealthy businessmen who wanted to climb up using a relationship with him was endless. After all, the person the emperor respected most today was the Eighth Prince.
Shao Qingge carried a large box of gifts to the palace.
Yu Hanjiang changed into clean and tidy official clothes and headed to the prince’s mansion with Xiao Lou and Master Mo.
Ye Qi was one of the top acts of the Fragrant Sky House and would be performing at the prince’s mansion.
Liu Qiao was invited by the fourth young lady to visit the prince’s mansion.
Long Sen changed into a guard’s uniform and was stationed at the door. He watched his teammates enter the palace one by one but Wanyue didn’t appear. Long Sen was anxious then the next moment, he saw two men approaching the prince’s mansion.
Walking in front was a bright looking young man less than 20 year old. His skin maintenance was really good and he kept blowing bubbles and breaking them. This teenager had red lips and white teeth. At first glance, he was like a girl dressing up as a man.
Behind him was a young man in his 20s, with a fair-skinned face and long hair tied up in a ponytail. There was a folding fan in his hand and he looked handsome and elegant.
Wasn’t this Qu Wanyue who had been with him for four years and who he got a certificate with at the Civil Affairs Bureau?
Long Sen, “……”
Honey, how did you become a man?
Qu Wanyue also recognized him. She raised her eyebrows and gave him a ‘don’t speak’ look.
Long Sen’s desire to survive burst out and he immediately pretended not to know her. As a guard of the prince’s mansion, he should stop strangers but before he could, the guard next to him stepped forward. “Who are you? How dare you enter the prince’s mansion without permission?”
The teenager laughed. “This young master has an invitation card!”
He took an invitation out of his pocket and it was indeed an invitation to the prince’s birthday banquet. The guard at the gate immediately stepped aside.
Long Sen watched ‘Qu gongzi’ pass by in front of him and his mind was full of question marks. He wanted to know what the situation was. As a result, a paper ball suddenly appeared in his hand from Qu Wanyue.
Long Sen waited until there was no one around before secretly turning around and opening it. He saw the paper had the words ‘Ninth Princess’ on them. Originally, Qu Wanyue was accompanying the wayward Ninth Princess and only arrived in Jiangzhou today.