CR: Chapter 176
Xiao Yu’s words immediately made Yu Hanjiang tense and his expression became very serious. “You mean, the assassins of Yan have also gone to the capital to assassinate the emperor? Is this information reliable?”
Xiao Yu nodded with a calm face. “It should be reliable. Before I left, they had sent several assassins to the capital. It is said that the several beautiful women will be arranged to enter the palace in the capital.”
“Beautiful women?” Xiao Lou was slightly surprised and he glanced at Yu Hanjiang. “Has the emperor wanted to draft women into the harem lately?”
Yu Hanjiang frowned. “As far as I know, during the time when he was still a prince, the late emperor arranged for him to marry the general’s daughter as the princess. He also married two concubines. He hasn’t taken a concubine since becoming emperor and there are only three women in the harem.”
In ancient times, the emperor was often surrounded by 3,000 beauties yet this emperor only had one empress and two concubines. The imperial harem looked really thin. The emperor was still young so even if he didn’t want to choose a concubine, the minister of the Ministry of Rites would urge him to increase his harem.
According to Xiao Yu, there were also Yan state people in the capital who have been lurking for many years like Aunt Qing., They would take advantage of this opportunity to send the assassins into the palace as concubines.
The assassins they sent must be very beautiful and might stand out in the selection, allowing them to be selected by the emperor into the hrem. If the emperor favoured the new concubines and slept with them, the probability of an assassination was indeed very high.
Even if the emperor was far-sighted, how could he expect that a harem concubine would kill him?
Xiao Lou gently kneaded his forehead as he felt pained. “The Yan assassins really aren’t afraid of the world becoming disorderly!”
The Qi state had a mysterious rebel force. If the emperor was assassinated, those who wanted to rebel wouldn’t sit back and the entire QI state would certainly experience more turbulence. Moreover, there were people in Daqi’s capital who helped the assassins of Yan, indicating that the intelligence organization of Yan had been deeply entrenched in Qi. Some of the Qi state officials might’ve been bought.
Yu Hanjiang looked back at Xiao Yu and lowered his voice, “Xiao Yu, do you know the leader of the assassin organization in Yan?”
Xiao Yu replied, “It is the crown prince of Yan.”
Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou glanced at each other and they were clear about it in their hearts.
No wonder why this person could control the families of all the girls in the Fragrant Sky House. He was originally the crown prince of the Yan state. The intelligence and assassination organization created by the crown prince had lain dormant in the Qi state for many years.
Yu Hanjiang then asked, “Do you have any clues about the person who is arranging for the assassins to enter the palace?”
Xiao Yu shook his head. “I don’t know this but that person should be a powerful minister who can freely modify the identity background of the beautiful women and insert the assassins into the palace to perform the task.”
Yu Hanjiang touched his chin and speculated, “Perhaps it is a person from the Ministry of Rites, Other officials usually can’t intervene in the emperor’s concubine election. All this is arranged by the Ministry of Rites. If the Ministry of Rites has a traitor then it would be very easy to manipulate the information of the beautiful women.”
Xiao Yu thought it was reasonable. Then he fell silent and didn’t speak.
Yu Hanjiang wasn’t clear about the day when the emperor would officially select a concubine but it should be in the near future. In any case, it was important to ensure the safety of the emperor first. Yu Hanjiang thought this and immediately said softly, “We need to let the emperor know about this as soon as possible so he can prepare in advance.”
Xiao Lou asked, “Should we tell the prince first?”
“In order to avoid any unnecessary incidents, I will write a secret letter directly for the emperor.”
Before leaving the palace, the emperor had told him that if he encountered any difficulties to spur the secret horse at full speed and hand over the secret missive. The ordinary missives given by ministers to the emperor had to be sent up one by one but the secret missives some officials were authorized to use could be sent directly to the emperor. The emperor was obviously hinting that Yu Hanjiang could directly send him a letter in case of an emergency.
Yu Hanjiang spoke decisively, “I’ll go back tonight and write a secret later. It will be sent quickly to the capital. The emperor should receive it by tomorrow night at the latest. The selection shouldn’t have started yet and it isn’t too late to send the latter. As long as His Majesty is prepared, the assassins shouldn’t easily succeed even if they are mixed in with the selection team.”
Xiao Lou agreed. “His Majesty’s safety is important and we should inform him first about this matter, letting him take precautions. The internal agents on the capital’s side can be investigated slowly. The officials of the Ministry of Rites are very suspicious and His Majesty should also be able to think of this.”
The two of them looked at each other and nodded to confirm the next plan.
Xiao Yu saw their ‘tacit look at each other’ and his heart twisted. He couldn’t help coughing and saying coolly, “Brother, I remember how much you hated officials previously. How come you suddenly became concerned about the imperial court after following Yu daren?”
Xiao Lou explained. “Since I am married to Hanjiang, couples should share the same heart.”
Xiao Yu snorted coldly and raised his eyebrows at Yu Hanjiang. “The situation of an official is complex. Perhaps he will die one day and you will suffer with him. It is too dangerous for you to stay with him. Brother, why don’t you come with me…”
Yu Hanjiang immediately interrupted him. “Nonsense. Your brother is in danger with me but is he safe with you? Don’t forget, you are still lurking in the Yan state and have the identity of an assassin. You can’t protect yourself so how can you protect Xiao Lou?”
Wanting to take Xiao Lou away from him? Younger brother, do you dare to dream?
Xiao Yu was speechless after being blocked and couldn’t help frowning.
Seeing that his younger brother was upset and going to argue with Yu Hanjiang, Xiao Yu smiled slightly and quickly changed the subject. “Xiao Yu, you have been missing for many years. What happened? Who arranged for you to go to Yan as a spy?”
Xiao Yu recalled what happened and spoke carefully, “The year when I arrived at the front lines, my martial arts strength was high and I was outstanding in the army, attracting the general’s attention. After inspecting me, he thought my face was very suitable for special tasks and he assigned this to me. I faked the identity of a Yan person. My parents were killed by Daqi soldiers and I was seriously injured. Later, I really hated the Qi state.”
“The general had me play a bitter trick. He covered me with injuries and had me lie in a pile of dead on the front lines of the war. The Yan state found me ‘dying’ when checking the war damage and saved me, bringing me back. My ‘tragic experience’ soon gained their sympathy.”
“Later, I made a few great efforts in the Yan army. Combined with my martial arts, I attracted the attention of the crown prince’s eyes inserted at the front line and he recommended me to the prince.”
“The prince appreciated me a lot and recruited me to join the intelligence organization. I was responsible for gathering information and assassination missions.”
“This time, I have a special mission apart from supervising the action of Aunt Qin. If Aunt Qing fails then I will be responsible for cleaning up the mess. I will take the prince and prefectural magistrate’s heads myself.” Xiao Yu spoke up to her and glanced coldly at Yu Hanjiang. His eyes seemed to be saying, ‘My martial arts can kill you!’
Yu Hanjiang calmly looked back. “So should I thank you for your grace in not killing me?”
Xiao Yu snorted. “I would’ve stabbed you a few times if I wasn’t afraid of hurting my brother. You must’ve used some unscrupulous means to force me brother! Otherwise, why would my brother pretend to be a woman and marry you?”
This younger brother was particularly stubborn and resentful. He always felt that Xiao Lou would suffer because of Yu Hanjiang so his attitude toward Yu Hanjiang was full of hostility. Yu Hanjiang thought about how this person was Xiao Lou’s brother and was too lazy to care about him.
Xiao Lou couldn’t laugh or cry. “What are you talking about? My marriage to Hanjiang was voluntary. He didn’t use any means to force me. Besides, do you think I’m the type of person who can be forced into marriage?”
Xiao Yu muttered, “That shouldn’t be…”
“So isn’t it fine? Your brother married a man and it is normal to find it difficult to accept. However, Hanjiang is very good to me. You should let go of your prejudices and also treat him as a brother.”
“I can’t do it.” Xiao Yu frowned.
Xiao Lou didn’t want to embarrass this person. His mind was filled with memories of getting along with his brother in his world. As a child, Xiao Yu liked to be his brother’s assistant. Their father was busy dealing with various cases and their mother was always treating people. Xiao Yu was almost completely brought up by Xiao Lou and became dependent on Xiao Lou. It was natural to be unhappy when Xiao Lou married a man.
Thinking of this, Xiao Lou couldn’t help being soft-hearted and he asked, “Have you suffered during all those years in Yan?”
Xiao Yu received his brother’s care and immediately turned his head to suppress the tears in his ears. He calmly replied, “Compared to the brothers who died on the front lines, this bitterness is nothing. A man should always do something. I was born in Qi and will die as a Qi person. I will do anything for the sake of Qi.”
The hot-blooded young man was very upright. Xiao Lou stepped forward and gently patted him on the shoulder. “You are doing very well. Mother and Father in heaven must be proud of you.”
Xiao Yu was praised and his expression quickly improved, his ears turning slightly red. “I didn‘t do anything…”
Xiao Lou praised him. “You went back to the Qi state in time and risked your life to inform His Majesty about the assassination. This is a big event for all of Qi. His Majesty is a good king and nothing should happen to him.”
Yu Hanjiang followed Xiao Lou’s example, “Your brother is right. It really wasn’t easy to be in the Yan state for all those years. Once things are over, I will definitely tell His Majesty and discuss merits and rewards.”
Xiao Yu felt like he was floating after being praised by two men and his hostility to Yu Hanjiang weakened a lot. He glanced at Yu Hanjiang. “Cough, I still know many things. I wanted to report to the Eighth Prince but as a result, there have been murders in the prince’s mansion. There are guards all around it and I haven’t been able to get close at all. I’m asking Yu daren to pass it onto the prince.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “I’ll listen to you.”
Xiao Yu cleared his throat. “In fact, the interior of Yan is also chaotic. I have infiltrated Yan for four years. After investigating, it was found that the Yan state is divided into two parts. The crown prince with the queen and the third prince with Concubine Qin. The emperor of Yan is over 6o years old and his body isn’t very well. It is possible for him to die at any time. The two princes are in their prime and the power behind them is relatively balanced. The moment the old emperor of Yan dies, the third prince definitely won’t wait for the crown prince to ascend the throne. A civil war will definitely break out in Yan!”
Yu Hanjiang glanced over at Xiao Lou and met his clear eyes. The clues provided by Xiao Yu were very crucial!
On the Yan side, the crown prince controlled the assassination and intelligence organization. As long as the crown prince was handled, the organization would naturally fall apart. If the third prince was willing to have a good relationship with Qi, it might be possible to persuade His Majesty to assist the third prince in seizing power to kill the crown prince’s faction, helping the third prince ascend to the throne on the premise that he didn’t invade Daqi’s border.
In this way, not only would the assassin organization be resolved but the relationship between QI and Yan could be eased. The suffering caused to the people by successive years of war could be avoided.
Yu Hanjiang watched Xiao Lou and spoke in their heart channel. “In other words, there isn’t only the prince’s mansion investigation and the assassins. Perhaps in order to complete the instance clearance, we have to assist the emperor of Daqi to calm the current chaos?”
Xiao Lou’s eyes lit up and he nodded in agreement. “Yes, it isn’t just finding out the origin of the assassins and the identity of the murderer. We also have to calm down the troubled times or it will be difficult for A of Hearts to give us an S-grade evaluation.”
Yu Hanjiang continued, “The news of Yan’s internal struggle brought by Xiao Yu is definitely useful. I think it can be attempted. I will also mention this matter in my secret letter tonight to see if the emperor will help the third prince seize power and form an alliance with the third prince.”
Xiao Yu saw the two people were staring at each other silently and instantly became sullen. “Brother, you’re always staring at him. How is he that good-looking?”
Yu Hanjiang, “…”
Xiao Lou’s ears were red and he turned to look at his brother. “Xiao Yu, we have a very risky task for you. I don’t know if you are willing to accept it?”
Xiao Yu asked, “What task?”
Xiao Lou glanced at Yu Hanjiang, saw him nod and then spoke. “T crown prince has personally formed an intelligence and assassination organization to target Qi and also sent people to assassinate the prefectural magistrate, the prince and even the emperor. Since the crown prince is so hostile to Qi, he will definitely go to war with Qi, right?”
Xiao Yu nodded and spoke coldly, “Yes, the crown prince of Yan is cruel and ambitious. In the past, his favourite concubine got up in the middle of the night to see him meet a minister and was stabbed to death by his sword. He showed no mercy… Later, I stayed beside him for a few years. In his study, a map of the four kingdoms is often hung. In my opinion, he not only wants to annex Qi but also wants to unify the four kingdoms and be the master of this world.”
“Therefore, we must not let him become Yan’s next ruler.”
Xiao Yu heard this and finally reacted. “You mean, help with the internal chaos of Yan and help the third prince kill the crown prince/”
Xiao Lou told him, “We’re currently not sure about the attitude of the third prince toward Qi. That’s why I want to ask you to go on this trip. You are most familiar with Yan. Can you find a way to contact the third prince and test if he is willing to have an alliance with Qi. If Qi helps him ascend the throne, is he willing to enter an alliance with QI and sign an armistice?
There were many examples where two countries signed an armistice. Xiao Lou observed that during the time when there was no war at the border between Daqi and Yan, the people lived rich lives. There was an endless flow of businessmen and all of Jiangzhou was very prosperous.
It could be imagined how the people of the border lived when there was war between QI and Yan.
War only kept the ordinary people from living. If a truce was achieved then it would undoubtedly be a good thing for the ordinary people of this world.
If they could influence the pattern of the four kingdoms and make Daqi and Yan harmonious, there would be no war in the world. Perhaps this was the real perfect method to clear the troubles in this world.
Xiao Yu heard this and nodded in agreement. “Brother, your words make sense. I will return to Yan.”
Yu Hanjiang was concerned. “How will you explain about your task? The assassination of the prefectural magistrate and governor all failed. Will the crown prince let you go?”
Xiao Yu smiled. “I have a way. Tomorrow, I will let Aunt Qing and the others to the outskirts of Jiangzhou. Yu daren should catch all the other assassins, including me, and pretend to kill me on the spot. I will secretly return to Yan using another identity.”
Yu Hanjiang nodded. “Okay, I’ll arrange it for you.”
Xiao Yu muttered, “Brother, I should go back…” He held out a fist toward Xiao Yu, eyes full of reluctance. “Take care of yourself.”
Xiao Lou bumped his fist. “You too. Be careful.”
Xiao Yu rushed out of the cave and disappeared into the night. The teammates hiding in the area showed themselves and entered the cave. Xiao Yu repeated the clues brought by his brother to everyone and Old Mo couldn’t help sighing. “It seems that in this secret room, we not only need to solve the case but also help His Majesty calm the rebellion. This is indeed an A level. difficulty. You can’t miss a single clue.”
Yu Hanjiang told them seriously, “I will go back and write a secret letter to the emperor. Long Sen, ensure that this secret letter is sent to the emperor. Quickly spur a horse on at full speed and send this letter to the capital.”
Long Sen nodded firmly. “Yes!”
Back at the prefectural magistrate’s office, Yu Hanjiang thought carefully as he wrote a letter to the emperor.
The letter told of two things. One was that an assassin was mixed in with the girls for this selection period. They wanted to assassinate the emperor and he should take precautions. Either postpone the selection or secretly investigate, pulling out the traitor in the capital. Secondly, there was the matter of the crown prince of Yan and the third prince who wanted to seize the throne. The Qi state might be able to help the third prince to the throne.
He wrote two pages, sealed the letter and gave it to Long Sen.
The origin of the assassins had become clear. Next was the murder case.
Everything was back to square one.
Who was the killer behind the eldest young lady and Young Master Lin’s deaths?