If it was as the two of them speculated and the emperor cloned many copies of Xiao Lou, how many clones were there in the palace?
The Xiao Lou that Yu Hanjiang saw next to the emperor on that day looked very obedient and his eyes were a bit dull. Yu Hanjiang recognized instantly that he wasn’t Xiao Lou. Meanwhile, the Xiao Lou attending the birthday banquet tonight was calm and polite. His words, deeds and demeanor were indeed like a noble crown prince. Were they different people?
Xiao Lou noticed Yu Hanjiang’s thoughts. “The appearance and voice of the clones won’t be different but the eyes and temperament are all formed after birth. It is impossible for it to be exactly the same. So the Xiao Lou you saw that day and the Xiao Lou you saw tonight are probably two people.”
Yu Hanjiang frowned. “This means that there are already three Xiao Lous in the palace, including you?”
Xiao Lou was also very puzzled. The emperor was worried about experiencing the pain of ‘losing a son’ again and cloned many versions of Xiao Lou with the same genes. This was logically understandable. However, the relationship between father and son needed to be cultivated. Only the child raised by his side would have a bond with the emperor.
If the successfully copied cells were placed in a petri dish until they reached adulthood, such a person wouldn’t be close to the emperor and wouldn’t understand all types of knowledge. Wouldn’t it be dangerous for him to inherit the throne?
Nevertheless, if all the clones were kept by the emperor’s side then wouldn’t it be a mess?
Xiao Lou thought about it and came up with a speculation. “Suppose there are three Xiao Lous in the palace. I grew up living in the Twin Palaces and on the surface, I am the ‘crown prince’. The second is the obedient Xiao Lou you saw that day. He can be pushed out to block danger in an emergency. The third is the true crown prince hidden by the emperor?”
Yu Hanjiang wondered, “In other words, on important occasions like the engagement dinner and birthday banquet, the emperor will invite the true crown prince out. Then what if the emperor is careless and the true crown prince is killed?”
“So let me become the real one?”
In Xiao Lou’s memory, he received a good education from a young age. The emperor personally selected teachers for him and the courses he studied included astronomy, geography, history, politics, economics, trade, military command, mecha control, etc. It covered all aspects and laid a solid foundation for succeeding the throne. There was no need to do this if one was just raising a clone.
Yu Hanjiang agreed. “The emperor put so much effort into you and always made you think of yourself as the real crown prince. This way, if the crown prince is killed, you can replace him at any time? Of course, if you are killed then the other son he raised is just as good.”
Xiao Lou nodded. “This is double insurance. The emperor made me think of myself as the crown prince while also letting the other Xiao Lou think of himself as the crown prince. We all feel that we are the real one. This way, there is no need to pretend and we won’t betray the emperor. If one of us has an accident, there is still the other one left. In any case, to the emperor, we are all genetically his offspring.”
Then which one was the real crown prince? Or were all three Xiao Lous in the palace clones? How did the emperor distinguish it?
The more he thought about it, the more confused Xiao Lou became and the more his head started to ache. It was as if there was some dusty memory about to break out but it was blocked by something. Yu Hanjiang lightly held his hand. “If you can’t think of it then don’t force yourself. Let’s wait and see the result of Chief Shao and Teacher Qu’s investigation.”
Xiao Lou stopped thinking about it and took a deep breath to ease the sharp pain in his mind. He glanced at Yu Hanjiang and spoke. “There is another problem I don’t understand.”
“Is it about the guards at the door of the Twin Palaces?”
Xiao Lou nodded in a puzzled manner. “Teacher Qu said she saw someone sneak into the Twin Palaces but just now when you returned, the two guards firmly declared that no one entered. Obviously, they were knocked out and didn’t know what happened at the time. The guards thought I never left the Twin Palaces. So how did the emperor know that someone entered the Twin Palaces to assassinate me?”
Apart from his teammates, those who knew that Xiao Lou wasn’t in the Twin Palaces could only be… the invisible person who infiltrated the Twin Palaces.
Thinking of this, Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou exchanged looks and Xiao Lou lowered his voice. “There is no need for the emperor to go to such trouble to send someone to kill me. He could just kill me directly. Moreover, he put so much effort into me. There is no reason to suddenly get rid of me.”
Yu Hanjiang suggested, “There is another possibility. He has placed surveillance in the Twin Palaces.”
At this point, Yu Hanjiang suddenly raised his hand.
There was an exquisite silver-white ring on his thumb that had been given to him by the emperor. The emperor had said it was a fragment of Spirit Fox that activated the S-grade smart mecha. Xiao Lou saw it and asked softly, “Spirit Fox? Does this S-grade smart mecha have the ability to monitor the entire Twin Palaces?”
He gently pressed against a knob on the ring and called the intelligent robot, Spirit Fox.
The next moment, the teenager-like robot came to them. Then a long silver-white tail appeared behind him that rose more than three meters high. Fortunately, the ceiling height of the Twin Palaces exceeded three meters or the tail of Spirit Fox would definitely pierce the roof.
The tail rose and split into two halves instantly, one to the left and one to the right. These formed the sharp wings of the smart mecha. The body also started to transform quickly. In the blink of an eye, a combat mecha that was five meters tall and three meters wide appeared in front of the two of them.
The entire body of the mecha was covered with silver-white high-tech synthetic metal that was shiny and smooth. It had smooth lines and the two eyes emitted a dazzling white light. A clear, juvenile voice entered their ears. “Master, the Spirit Fox intelligent body has been activated.”
The smart mecha that could transform instantly made Xiao Lou and Yu Hanjiang widen their eyes.
Xiao Lou stepped forward and reached out to touch the beautiful metal wings of the mecha while asking softly, “Spirit Fox, are you monitoring the Twin Palaces?”
Spirit Fox was very honest. “Yes, Master. The entire Twin Palaces has an electronic defense network and invisible surveillance cameras which I have set up to ensure your safety at any time.”
Yu Hanjiang heard this and immediately said, “Call up the video from 9 to 10 o’clock this evening.”
A holographic screen appeared in front of Spirit Fox and showed a 360 degrees monitoring of the entire palace. There were no dead ends. The two of them saw that around 9:10 p.m. tonight, someone did knock out the guards at the door. The dark figure flashed into the Twin Palaces and all the way to Xiao Lou’s bedroom. He opened the door and found no one inside, so he jumped out the window and escaped.
The entire process was recorded but unfortunately, only the shadow of the assassin was captured on the screen. Judging by the shadow, this person should be a male with a height of 180 cm. Why was the other party invisible? Did he have an invisibility card?
Xiao Lou watched the surveillance thoughtfully. The two guards at the door woke up at around 9:30 and looked at each other. “Why did you fall asleep?”
“I don’t know…”
Looking at the door of the Twin Palaces, they found that the door was closed tightly and there didn’t seem to be anything unusual. The two of them were worried about being held accountable so they insisted that nothing happened when Yu Hanjiang questioned them.
Yu Hanjiang wondered in a low voice, “Spirit Fox, did His Majesty ask you to transmit the surveillance data to him?”
Spirit Fox replied, “Yes, His Majesty can control me remotely.”
Xiao Lou speculated, “It seems he knew that someone sneaked into the Twin Palaces because he can have Spirit Fox monitor the movements in the Twin Palaces at any time. Then…” Xiao Lou thought about his affection with Yu Hanjiang on the bed the night before and his ears turned red. He asked Spirit Fox, “Did you send the video of the night before yesterday?”
Spirit Fox’s voice was filled with a trace of confusion. “The night before yesterday, I was dormant and nothing was recorded.”
Yu Hanjiang raised an eyebrow. “You don’t record in your dormant state? What if someone sneaks into the Twin Palaces while you are asleep?”
Spirit Fox explained, “Once an outsider approaches the Twin Palaces, my infrared detector will automatically sense it and immediately turn on the hidden surveillance network. If this person is someone unfavorable to His Highness, I will immediately sound the alarm.”
Yu Hanjiang glanced at Xiao Lou. “It is like a dash cam. The recorder will automatically turn on when someone passes near the vehicle. However, Spirit Fox is much more advanced than that.”
“After all, it is an S-grade smart mecha that can transform. Perhaps it can take us on interstellar flights?”
Spirit Fox was very confused. “Master, what are you talking about?”
“Nothing. You go to sleep.” Yu Hanjiang pressed the ring and the mecha in front of him quickly changed back to the appearance of an ordinary intelligent robot, obediently retreating back.
Yu Hanjiang and Xiao Lou were ready to wash up and go to sleep.
Xiao Lou let Yu Hanjiang wash first. Yu Hanjiang went into the bathroom and turned on the shower. Xiao Lou turned to sit on the sofa. He just wanted to turn on his communicator to read the news when he noticed a cold wind blowing behind him. Xiao Lou looked back alertly. The next moment, a cold hand grabbed his neck and a low voice entered his ears, “Don’t move.”
A gun was placed against his back and Xiao Lou slightly stiffened.
He told Yu Hanjiang about his current situation through Heart has a Tacit Exchange of Romantic Feelings. “Someone is attacking me. I can’t see him. There is no image in the mirror so he should be invisible.”
In the bathroom, Yu Hanjiang turned the shower on high and pretended to be washing. In actual fact, he quickly put his clothes back on and hid behind the door, asking Xiao Lou in his mind, “Is it the assassin? Did he stay in the Twin Palaces instead of running away?”
No matter whether it was Qu Wanyue or Spirit Fox’s surveillance, all they saw was that the window opened and a dark shadow went out the window…
They didn’t see anyone go out. So this man had been hiding in Xiao Lou’s bedroom all the time?
Semi proofread by Paranoid Kitten