Qu Wanyue was at the princess’ mansion when she came into this world. Her identity was a dancer. Her parents died and she survived by dancing. A few years old, the Ninth Princess was passing by in the capital when Qu Wanyue was being bullied. Taking pity on her, the princess bought her as a maid.
That day, the princess suddenly wanted to go out and Qu Wanyue accompanied her. The result was that when they were buying clothes, the princess happened to meet Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou. The princess was mocked by Yu Hanjiang and came back.
Qu Wanyue happened to be buying cookies for the princess at that time and wasn’t with her. When she came back, she saw the Ninth Princess’s angry face as the princess exclaimed, “I want to go to Jiangzhou!”
Qu Wanyue didn’t know why but as the princess’ maid, she could only follow the princess.
On the way, she heard the Ninth Princess scold Yu daren for being blind and ignorant and realized that Group Leader Yu was also going to Jiangzhou.
It seemed the location of the incident was in Jiangzhou and Qu Wanyue followed the princess to Jiangzhou at ease. It wasn’t until she saw Long Sen at the gate of the prince’s mansion that she confirmed her speculation.
Yu Hanjiang, Xiao Lou and Mo Xuemin entered the palace and had someone inform the Eighth Prince that Jiangzhou’s prefectural magistrate was visiting.
The steward in charge of the prince’s mansion heard that he was the new prefectural magistrate and immediately respectfully brought the three people to a side hall, settling them down and pouring them tea before turning around to report to the prince.
Moments later, a middle-aged man strode into the hall.
For the first time, the trio met the legendary Eighth Prince. They saw a middle-aged man in his 40s, tall and sturdy and wearing a brocade jade robe. He looked handsome.
Yu Hanjiang’s group of three immediately bowed. “I greet the prince.”
The prince smiled. “There is no need to be polite.” He gazed at Yu Hanjiang with admiration in his eyes. “Is this Yu daren? His Majesty often mentions you in letters and I’ve heard some stories about you. A 19 year old palace examination champion has been promoted to the prefectural magistrate of Jiangzhou within a few years. Yu daren is really young and promising!”
“You are praising me too much.” Yu Hanjiang brought Xiao Lou and Mo Xuemin forward and introduced them. “This is Xiao Lou, my wife. This is Mr Mo, a master scholar. I brought them here to congratulate you on your birthday.”
As he spoke, he handed over the prepared presents to the prince. It was a famous calligraphy painting from the capital. As an honest official, it wasn’t good for him to buy things that were too expensive. He heard the prince liked calligraphy and painting so he brought a calligraphy painting from his family’s collection.
The prince had his entourage accept the present and smiled. “Yu daren is very kind. You had a hard journey here and I should’ve set up a banquet to entertain you. Unfortunately, the prince’s mansion is busy these days and it is hard for me to get away. In a few days, please come back again.”
The Eighth Prince didn’t have the arrogance of royalty and was very kind to Yu Hanjiang. His smile also looked kind.
This smile reminded Yu Hanjiang of the emperor sitting in the dragon chair in the capital and also smiling, his mood unknown. Sure enough, all those who survived the royal struggle were human.
Yu Hanjiang lowered his voice and spoke about the important matter, “His Majesty has a few words he asked this small official to pass on to you.”
The Eighth Prince understood the meaning. “Yu daren, please follow me to my office. As for the madam and master…” He turned to look at the maid next to him. “Caiyue, take the madam and master to the garden and entertain the two noble guests.”
Caiyue responded positively and led Xiao Lou and Mo Xuemin away.
Yu Hanjiang followed the prince to the study and pulled out a sealed letter, respectfully handing it over. “This secret letter was passed on to you from His Majesty.”
“Oh? A secret letter?” The Eighth Prince received the letter from Yu Hanjiang. After opening it, he frowned slightly. It was unknown what was mentioned in the secret letter but his face became a bit serious.
His eyes quickly swept over the letter before he put it away and smiled. “Yu daren, it was hard for you. I haven’t returned to the capital for four years and I think it is time for me to return.”
Next, he politely asked about the emperor’s situation and expressed his love as the emperor’s uncle. It was unknown if he really cared about the emperor or was just putting on a show for Yu Hanjiang. Regarding the court’s government affairs or some important decisions, he said nothing. It was said he was an idle prince who didn’t care about political affairs and it seemed the rumours were true.
At the same time, Xiao Lou and Mo Xuemin were following the maid to enjoy the flowers in the palace.
This area of the Zhenjiang prince’s mansion was amazingly large. The entire royal mansion had a quiet environment, with pavilions, greenery and flower beds. The arrangement of the flower beds was extremely elaborate and some feng shui layouts were hidden in, making it obvious that it was specifically designed.
Mo Xuemin had learned design and he couldn’t help whispering to Xiao Lou, “The planning and design of this yard is very reasonable. It should’ve been costly to build and is almost comparable to our People’s Park.
Xiao Lou also felt that everywhere in the yard was scenery to let people relax.
There was a huge lotus pond in the middle of the courtyard. It was currently early autumn and the pond was full of lotuses. If they walked on the cobblestone path beside the pond, they could smell the fragrance of lotuses. There were stone benches and tables beside the lotus pond and the wind blew in a refreshing manner. Xiao Lou and Mo Xuemin simply sat down to appreciate the flowers while the maid brought them a few plates of washed fruit.
Just then, a thin woman wearing a white veil passed by the lotus pond, followed by Liu Qiao in a ponytail. Liu Qiao was carrying a medicine basket in her hand.
Xiao Lou and Liu Qiao glanced at each other and spoke to each other in their hearts. It seemed the person next to Liu Qiao was the fourth young lady, Qi Yiwei.
Since it was the prince’s mansion, she was dressed in an elegant white dress with only simple silver embellishments. There were no ornate beads in her hair, only a wooden pin inserted.
The white cloth covered most of her face, revealing only her eyes and eyebrows.
She glanced in Xiao Lou’s direction, her eyes clear and dynamic with curved willow leaf eyebrows. She had a clear temperament and was a small beauty. He wondered why she kept covering her face with a veil.
Liu Qiao quickly followed the fourth young lady. Since Liu Qiao was by the fourth lady’s side, there was no need to worry about missing clues. Xiao Lou was very confident in Liu Qiao.
The prince’s mansion was so big that they had to figure out the terrain first. Xiao Lou had a plan and suddenly said,” I want to go to the toilet. Caiyue, can you show me the way?”
“Okay. Madam, this way.,” The girl immediately took Xiao Lou to the backyard.
The toilet of the prince’s mansion was built in a very hidden place. The maid couldn’t follow Xiao Lou so after pointing to the place, she waited outside. Xiao Lou used the stealth cloak once he was around the corner and put on the acceleration shoes. He used this time to quickly tour around the prince’s mansion.
The Zhenjiang prince’s mansion was too big. He had a limited amount of time and could only figure out the backyard.
The backyard had one courtyard in the east, west, south and north directions and their names were all literary. They were the residences of the wives and the young ladies. There was a small Buddhist temple in the most secluded corner. Xiao Lou saw a dignified girl knocking a wooden fish while chanting in the Buddhist temple. This was obviously the eldest daughter, Qi Yiyao,
Long Sen once mentioned that the young lady loved reading Buddhist scriptures. She usually went to the Buddhist temple to read and study Buddhist scriptures. Xiao Lou found that the girl had her eyes closed and the expression on her face was extremely calm. It was as if the world had nothing to do with her.
She had a marriage agreement with the young master of the Lin family. The Lin’s eldest son was arrogant and mixed in with female entertainers every day. Was she so secluded that she didn’t hear about it or did she just not care about her fiance?
Xiao Lou was feeling very puzzled. The eldest daughter was only 20 years old. At a young ago, she actually hid in a Buddhist temple every day to read Buddhist scriptures. It was very strange.
Just then, a beautiful woman suddenly came over. “Ah Yao, today is your father’s birthday. Why are you still reading scriptures here? Go back and change your clothes.”
Qi Yiyao lightly knocked the wooden fish and said, “Father’s birthday has many guests every day. It is lively enough and it doesn’t matter if I participate or not.”
The woman’s face changed after hearing. “What are these words? You are the eldest daughter of the prince. How can you not go to your father’s birthday? Your three younger sisters will attend the banquet tonight and Master Lin will also be there. Listen to your mother and change your clothes. Don’t let yourself be compared to your sisters.”
She then grabbed the other person by the wrist and forcibly dragged her away. Qi Yiyao followed her mother with no expression. Not far away, the fourth lady and Liu Qiao were passing the Buddha hall together and also witnessed this scene.
Liu Qiao wondered, “The eldest young lady doesn’t like the excitement?”
The fourth young lady’s soft voice was heard. “Yes, my sister isn’t well. She was born with a serious illness and almost died. At that time, my father went out of Jiangzhou to seek an amulet and asked the senior teacher to raise her until she was 10 years old, when she was taken back home. She has grown up in a temple since she was a child so when she came back to the palace, she asked Father to build a Buddhist temple. Whenever she is read, she will go to the Buddhist temple to copy scriptures. She doesn’t talk to us very much.”
Liu Qiao was curious. “Then how did she make a marriage contract with Eldest Son Lin?”
The fourth lady could only shake her head. “It is the lives of our parents and us children can only obey.”
Liu Qiao tried her best to gain information. Xiao Lou was worried his disappearance would be found and quickly left the Buddhist temple.
The maid was waiting a long time but didn’t see Madam Yu come out. She couldn’t help worrying. “Madam, why were you gone so long?”
Xiao Lou smiled. “Perhaps it ate something bad this morning. My stomach isn’t very comfortable.”
He followed the maid back to the lotus pond. Old Mo had just come back from investigating the front yard and the two of them exchanged a look.
The clues available before the case actually occurred were limited. Xiao Lou had only seen the fourth young lady, the eldest young lady. The second young lady and the third young lady, who loved martial arts, hadn’t been seen at all.
Old Mo whispered, “I see that the Lin family has come, including the Lin family’s master.”
At this time, Yu Hanjiang and the prince came out of the study and Xiao Lou and Mo Xuemin greeted them.
The prince was very busy today and had many guests to greet. He took the initiative to say, “I have something to do,” and had his entourage take them to the hall to settle down first. The trio said their goodbyes and sat in the side hall, waiting for the dinner to begin.
Soon, Shao Qingge came in and delivered several boxes of gifts. The Shao family was one of the richest families in Daqi and naturally had the best gifts among all the guests.
Today, Shao Qingge was dressed in a gorgeous silk robe and looked very noble. After he entered the side hall, he saw Yu Hanjiang, Xiao Lou and Old Mo and immediately came over to put on a performance. “Yu daren, what a coincidence that we meet again.”
Yu Hanjiang had to cooperate with him. “Shao gongzi, it is indeed a coincidence.”
Shao Qingge sat down next to Yu Hanjiang and covered his face with his fan. He pretended to be reminiscing but he actually whispered, “I just saw someone at the gate.”
Yu Hanjiang asked, “Who?”
Yu Hanjiang was startled before feeling relieved. In their team, Qu Wanyue hadn’t appeared for a long time but now she had come to the Zhenjiang prince’s mansion. All the members had gathered together and the case should start soon.
Yu Hanjiang lowered his voice and asked, “What is her identity?”
Shao Qingge gloated, “A woman dressed as a man and turned into a handsome gongzi. Long Sen saw his wife wearing men’s clothing and his chin almost fell off. His mouth was so big that he could swallow a duck egg.”
Yu Hanjiang, “……”
When would Chief Shao’s problem of gloating be changed?
Yu Hanjiang seriously asked, “Is she disguised in men’s clothing or has she become a man?”
“She should be faking. She is still a woman in this world but it is more convenient to act as a man. She also came with another woman dressed as a man who is thin and with soft skin. I don’t know who it is.”
They were talking when they saw Qu Wanyue dressed as a man and walking beside a handsome ‘boy.’ The two men found vacant seats to sit down on and drank tea.
Qu Wanyue’s eyes fell on Yu Hanjiang and she gently nodded. Xiao Lou also found Qu Wanyue and then the person sitting next to her. This person looked familiar, as if Xiao Lou had seen her before… Xiao Lou thought carefully. Wasn’t this the princess he and Yu Hanjiang saw while shopping in the capital?
Xiao Lou gently smiled and whispered in Yu Hanjiang’s ear, “It is the Ninth Princess, did she come because of you?”
It was rumoured that Yu Hanjiang initially rejected the emperor’s marriage setup and the Ninth Princess hated this. However, he and Xiao Lou had been married for four years and she was a princess. There must be many young men who wanted her. She still hadn’t let go of it in the present?
Had the princess come all the way to Jiangzhou just to find fault? If this was the case, the princess wasn’t just headstrong but had a problem with her mind. Xiao Lou felt that things wouldn’t be so simple.
Yu Hanjiang worried about what Xiao Lou was thinking and immediately explained, “I’m really not familiar with her. I have never exchanged more than five sentences with her. Don’t think about it. She is probably here because of the plot.”
Xiao Lou smiled. “I naturally believe in you. I also don’t think the princess came to Jiangzhou simply to find fault with us. A good show will soon appear. Let’s wait and see.”