“If you are done running, leave your life behind.”

Wei Lian returned to Zhongling Palace fuming with unbearable anger. He sat on the imperial couch with a chilling expression. 

Seeing that he was in a bad mood, Chang Shou carefully offered a cup of tea. “Gongzi, something troubles you?”

Wei Lian lowered his eyes. “No.”

After so many years of peace of mind, he was repeatedly disturbed into a great mess by one person called Ji Yue.

This was not like him.

“You can turn in for the day.” Wei Lian massaged his temple, closed his eyes and added, “Call Chang Sheng here.”


Chang Shou went out to call for Chang Sheng. Wei Lian was now rubbing both of his temples with his fingers. He opened his eyes and entered his chamber.

The adorable rabbit lantern was hanging on the wall opposite of the headboard.

He stared at the lantern for a long time. 

“Gongzi.” Chang Sheng appeared beside him.

Wei Lian looked away from the lantern and murmured, “Go and check all the envoys’ whereabouts for today.”

Since Ji Yue outsmarted the culprit and took advantage of the situation to deal with the Chen Empire, it did not mean he would let the real killer roam freely. Wei Lian did not care if Ji Yue would take more action on his side because he himself was going to thoroughly investigate this. 

Wei Lian would not be someone else’s chess piece. 

During this critical moment, he could still use Chang Sheng. Not only was his servant’s martial arts skill excellent, his information gathering was top notch as well.

Chang Sheng accepted and executed the order.

Wei Lian raised his eyes to look at the rabbit lantern again, and Ji Yue’s face flashed into his mind. 

After a long hesitation, he went out.

Out of sight, out of mind.

After he’d waited in the palace for a while, Chang Shou came back again and said a female medical officer requested a meeting.

Wei Lian said, “Let her in.”

It was one of the female medical officers who examined Princess Chonghua’s body.

When she entered the palace, she first knelt down to perform a formal greeting. “This subject pays respects to Gongzi.”

“Stand.” Wei Lian had somewhat of an idea why she was here. Before the medical officer could say anything, he took the lead to dismiss the other palace workers. Once others were gone, he said, “Is what you want to report in relation to Princess Chonghua?”

The female medical officer was slightly surprised. What she wanted to report was indeed not suitable for others’ ears. She did not expect Gongzi to be sharp enough to correctly guess it.

“Gongzi is very wise.” She got up and respectfully lowered her head. “His Majesty ordered us to prepare the Princess’s body for the coffin, while cleaning up, this subject found that there were burned letters in the Princess’s chamber inside of her incense burner. Only two pieces remained legible.”

She presented the two fragments. “This subject dares not conceal evidence and came here to report as soon as I found them.”

Wei Lian took a closer look. A good piece of letter was almost burned. There were only two words, ‘joy’ and ‘meet’, which could not form a sentence. And a half burned component耳 Crash course in Chinese: The majority of the Chinese characters are components of smaller words, those components can be independent and become different when combined with other components. There will be a visual example in the next translator note. , ear, at the signature.

“I see.” Wei Lian looked at these words and said slowly, “You are dismissed. Do not mention this to others.”

The medical officer saluted again. “Understood.”

Wei Lian sat alone in his palace, looking at the three words left on the letter. After a long time, he whispered, “My heart sings in joy for you during our certain meeting…Yollıg Dan.”

What he said may not be accurate, but using those words, he could determine that this was a love letter. 

If it was an ordinary letter, there was no reason for Princess Chonghua to burn it.

The word ‘ear’ in the signature was very small, which was obviously a component. Going through the list, the only person with an ear component in this palace would be Yollıg Dan耶律丹 The prince’s name in Chinese is 耶律丹. The Chinese for ear is 耳. See how much smaller the word for ear by itself compared to being part of another word as a component (耳 vs 耶)? That’s what Wei Lian meant. Visual example provided by MDBG..

During his time thinking, Chang Sheng returned after finding the following news—

—Wei Yan had been laying in his room all day. He had not recovered from his injury and had been showing his face when necessary, enduring his unbearable pain. Otherwise, he was lying quietly on his couch. 

—Qiao Hongfei is considered half family for Wei Lian, so he could rule the man out at the moment. 

—The Crown Prince from the Xiao Empire had been staying indoors. Being the weakest empire, except for the capital where the royal family reside, everything belongs to the Qin Empire so he never dares to stir up trouble. Since the arrival of the Xia Empire’s Prince, he had not stepped out of the house except for necessary banquets.

—The other Xia Empire envoy members had no odd movement either. They all stayed in the house and kept quiet to protect their lives.

—Huyan Kemu went to the imperial kitchen at noon and asked the imperial chef to send a cup of horse milk wine to Ningyue Tower. As for the time before Wei Lian’s challenge to tame the horse, which was during the period where Princess Chonghua lost her virginity, Chang Sheng did not find any trace of Prince Huyan, he could only confirm that Huyan Kemu was not at Tanxiang Pavilion.

—However, Huyan Kemu was not idle. He usually went out and about every day and never stayed much at Tanxiang Pavilion.

—Myrna slept on one of the trees in the Yimei Garden since morning and had little time to commit a crime. The Liang Empire’s Saintess never liked to sleep on a bed. The palace maids could find the Saintess on any tree in the palace every day.

—Aslan spent a great deal of his time looking for her, probably had no time for anything else.

—Yollıg Dan…his whereabouts were unknown.

Wei Lian asked, “Why so?”

Chang Sheng replied, “Prince Yollıg was not in Yulong Pavilion today, and his subordinates did not keep track of their Prince, however…”

“However, what?”
“However, when Prince Yollıg returned to Yulong Pavilion at noon, he requested hot water to be prepared. For bathing, maybe.”

Bathing in the middle of the afternoon?

Noon was also the time when…Princess Chonghua lost her innocence.

The time matched.

Wei Lian recalled Yollıg Dan’s look when the Yan Empire maid reported the Princess’s death.

It was with surprise and regret.

Very normal reactions.

But that did not mean anything. Those who could be among the envoys, other than the good-for-nothing Wei Yan and useless Huyan Kemu, should be someone with decent diplomatic skill, and acting ability.

Wei Lian slowly sorted out the clues,

At present, Yollıg Dan was the biggest suspect. 

Using the chi yan poison, he brought the Liang Empire into the mess, and turned the incident around using horse milk wine, nailing the Chen Empire as the killer.

No one was aware of the oriole behind, so focused on the mantis stalking the cicada螳螂捕蟬,黃雀在後 This Chinese proverb refers to and warns about being so focused on a narrow goal that one neglects the potentially greater danger., which made the real murderer hide deeper…

“Gongzi.” Chang Shou was back.

Wei Lian, whose thoughts were suddenly interrupted. “...What now?”

“Imperial Chef Wang requests a visit with you.”

Wei Lian remembered Wang Shou.

The man taught him how to cook an entire afternoon after all.

Although, the teaching was not successful.

“Let him in.”

Wang Shou pulled a seven to eight year old boy in. As soon as he saw Wei Lian, he knelt down and said, “This servant pays respects to Gongzi.”

The little boy stood in place and was pulled down by Wang Shou to kneel with him.

“Paying respects to Gongzi.” The child spoke in a low muffled voice.

Wei Lian raised his eyebrows. “And this is?”

Wang Shou immediately retold the matter.

* * *

It turned out that the little boy is the son of a cook in the imperial kitchen. He would usually assist in the kitchen. The cooks thought he was cute and would sometimes give him samples of good dishes to eat.

When the kid saw the remaining horse milk wine that was sent back after the Princess took a sip, the kid was curious because he never had horse milk wine before, thinking that it was going to be poured out anyway, he secretly tried it to satisfy his curiosity. 

He did not find it tasty, so after one sip, he put it back. 

When Wang Shou was back from his summons to Ningyue Tower, the little boy complained to Wang Shou, “Wang-bobo伯伯 Uncle, that horse milk wine doesn’t taste good at all.”

Wang Shou was scared to death. “How do you know it doesn’t taste good?!”

The child naively replied, “Because I took a sip in secret!” 

* * *

“...That’s what happened.” Wang Shou was distressed. “This servant was negligent in his duty and did not properly watch Yang Yan. But Yang Yan is only eight years old. He can’t die now! This servant heard the wine was poisoned, but it would not kill him immediately, but death is inevitable! Gongzi, please show kindness and save Yang Yang!”

He also took a big risk. Ordinary nobles don’t care about the life of a servant’s child, but he believes that Gongzi is different.

Gongzi has always been a kindhearted individual.

The light in Wei Lian’s eyes flickered as he said, “Yang Yan, come here.”

Yang Yan is young and grew up in the marketplace, he did not know that noble ones in the palace were not to be offended. Seeing that this beautiful immortal gege called him over, regardless of the other’s interest or social ranking, he rushed and buried himself into the other’s arms with his dirty clothes. 

Wang Shou was even more frightened.

How could he allow Yang Yan to act this presumptuous to Gongzi who was this clean!

Wei Lian did not care at all. He brought the child on his knee, quietly grabbed Yang Yan’s wrist and checked his pulse.

…The child was not poisoned.

Now that was interesting.

Princess Chonghua died from chi yan, but not from the one in the horse milk wine.

Yang Yan drank the leftovers from Ningyue Tower after they were sent back to the imperial kitchen. At that time, the horse milk wine was not poisoned. When Princess Chonghua drank it, it was even less likely to be poisoned. 

The suspicions with regard to the Chen Empire were completely ruled out.

“You really helped me a great deal.” Wei Lian put the child down and spoke very gently to Wang Shou.

Wang Shou uttered, “Eh?”

Wasn’t it supposed to be the opposite since he brought this child to request Gongzi to send an imperial physician to treat Yang Yan?

Why would it become a great help?

“This is the antidote his Majesty gave me. It can treat many poisons.” Wei Lian put a pill into Yang Yan’s mouth. “He will be fine. Take him back. Chang Shou, go to the storage room and give the child two silver pieces for him to buy new clothes.”

Wang Shou was stunned. Seeing that Wei Lian took out the antidote pill given by his Majesty and also got out money for the child’s clothes. He was immediately moved to tears and now thought of Wei Lian as a very good man. 

“Gongzi, thank you so much!” Wang Shou kowtowed in excitement. “Gongzi, you are really a very kind hearted man!”

Wei Lian murmured, “...Sure.”

The so-called antidote was just an ordinary round candy, which he would not tell the other.

Wang Shou and Yang Yan left happily. Wei Lian remained seated and suddenly asked Chang Sheng, “Are the night clothes still in the box?”

Chang Sheng was caught off guard by the question. “Yes.”

Wei Lian nodded.

Thankfully, when the Chu Emperor asked him to assassinate the Qin Emperor, he very considerately prepared a set of night travelling clothes.

There were certain things he had to look into himself.

* * *

At nightfall

A figure quietly sneaked into Ningyue Tower.

Wei Lian stood beside the coffin, he focused his internal energy on his palm and with a slight touch, the heavy coffin cover was pushed open, revealing Princess Chonghua’s stiff, pale face.

A very horrifying sight during a dark night.

Wei Lian’s face remained unchanged, however. He gently lit a candle with a flame stick火折子 The olden days equivalent of the cigarette lighter or flashlight, a convenient, portable, easy to use source of quick light and a means to start other fires (such as lighting a lamp). Rather than carrying big unwieldy torches around (though you do see that from time to time too), characters will often just pull out a flame stick. It’s one of those items they always seem to have on them. .

Holding the candlestick in one hand, he inspected the Princess’s body and closely checked her eyes.

Her eyes

His face covered, with a black scarf, was still expressionless, only revealing his restrained, dark eyes.

“Wait? Why is there light here?” The royal palace’s patrol team suddenly saw the yellow candle light in Ningyue Tower and posed the question. 

“Let’s go and have a look.”

Wei Lian reacted very quickly. He blew out the candle, put it back to its original spot, quickly closed the coffin, jumped out of the window from the other side and glided to the roof.

When the patrol came, the leader said, “There is nothing here. You sure you weren’t seeing things?”

The person who first saw it was uncertain, “Er…maybe.”

“Then move, let’s continue the patrol.”

The patrol went in the other direction.

Just above their heads, Wei Lian squatted on the roof tiles and quietly put away the sword in his hand.

He stood up, looked into the distance and blended into the dim light of night instantly.

He had to hurry back to Zhongling Palace.

Otherwise, it would be hard to explain himself in this outfit if he was to be found.

On the other side…

Ji Yue was holding the porcelain bottle with blue flower patterns. He thought about what he should say when giving the antidote to Wei Lian.

He was being unfair to Wei Lian on this, but he did not know he would fall in love with Wei Lian as well.

He was feeling nervous, like what he did was not good.

As he was walking, he suddenly heard a slight sound from the roof.

The sound was very quiet. Ordinary people or incompetent martial arts practitioners would not detect it.

But Ji Yue was neither.

He heard it loud and clear. It was the sound of footsteps passing over the roof.

Who dared to run on this Emperor’s roof at night?

His first thought was an assassin.

And the direction the assassin was heading was…Zhongling Palace.

They were heading to Wei Lain?!

He would never let anyone get near Wei Lian.

Panic and anger instantly filled his heart as Ji Yue immediately stored the porcelain bottle and ordered someone to bring his bow and arrow. 

Wei Lian was in a hurry to return to Zhongling Palace when suddenly a sharp arrow flew behind him.

He dodged it with great agility, and drew out his short sword to cut off the second arrow.

Turning towards the direction of the arrows, he saw the Emperor in black standing on the ground with a cold expression.

Ji Yue had found him.

Wei Lian furrowed his brows in determination and ran in another direction. He was so fast that he left behind only his residual shadow.

When Ji Yue saw the other escaping, he immediately used his light movement skill to leap up to the roof and caught up with the assassin in front of him.

They ran and chased each other on the palace roof, shuttling between the eaves and tiles. Both were masters of their own unique light movement skills.

Wei Lian was no match with Ji Yue’s familiarity with the terrain as the distance between them was getting closer. 

Once he ran to a remote building, Wei Lian saw that he had lost his pursuer behind him. He was still on guard when a sharp longsword was placed against his neck.

Wei Lian tightened his hand that was holding his sword.

Ji Yue’s tone was cold and ruthless.

“If you are done running, leave your life behind.”


1 Comment

  1. withthirds

    ahhh i want ji yue to know wei lian real skill.

    thank you for your time and hardwork translator and editor.

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