# 139. The next target "This servant was ordered to investigate the Sangpo case. After my investigation, I found out that the case was unexpectedly related to King Yu." Xu Qi'an emotionally said. Taking a look at him, King Yu shook his head, "I'm almost retired. I don't think you want to criticize or slander me. Tell me, what has happened?" Although he said that, disapproval and contempt still pooled in his eyes. Obviously, He didn't believe Xu Qi'an's words. “More than a year ago, A monk named Henghui in Qinglong Temple had an affair with a female pilgrim, and the two decided to elope together, fleeing the capital with a magic weapon from Qinglong Temple that could disguise qi. "They did it because the woman's identity was extraordinary. If they hadn't carried the magic weapon that could disguise qi, they couldn't have escaped the capital at all." King Yu, who had been calmly drinking tea, suddenly raised his head and stared at Xu Qi'an, his eyes fixed on him. Xu Qi'an said, "That monk is named Henghui. Maybe King Yu doesn't know him, but you should surely know the female pilgrim, as she is your daughter, Princess Pingyang." Bang! King Yu smashed the blue and white porcelain teacup. Then, with a ferocious expression mixed with agitation, he angrily said, "Nonsense, Nonsense. Pingyang was well behaved since her childhood. How could she elope with a wild monk... Come here, Drag this rascal out, and execute him!" Guards rushed in from outside the hall and surrounded Xu Qi'an. But, he didn't panic, not even a little. He looked at the old father who had fallen to anger after hearing the news. It was normal for him to react like this. Any father would lose his mind after hearing such news. But, this news was merely an appetizer for King Yu. After the guards had rushed in, King Yu lost his previous attitude. He waved his hands and had the guards back out. "Yes, I'm not surprised that this happened. Before Pingyang had disappeared, I had arranged a marriage for her. But, she had strongly opposed me, and said that she had a sweetheart of her own." A bitter laugh escaped King Yu's mouth. "How ridiculous! Marriage is a major event made by parents' orders and matchmaker's words. How could she, a woman, decide on her own marriage? How could she know that the other party isn't cheating on her or has other plans for her?" *Although I don't agree with words like "Parents' orders and Matchmaker's words," free love is indeed deadly in this era. After all, common sense isn't so widespread in this era, unlike my past life.* Xu Qi'an nodded. “After hearing that, I became furious and slapped her. She disappeared not long after. She must have been taken by that wild man... That's what I believed. "In the beginning, I gritted my teeth due to hatred. I hated her for her shamelessness. I hated her for embarrassing the royal clan. But, as time passed, I began to miss her. I just wish for her to come back, to come back and see me and call me father. I don't care about anything else." *...It's likely you'll never see her again.* *From the conversation between Henghui and Earl Pingyuan's son, it can be deduced that Henghui had died once. What else could have happened to Princess Pingyang, who had eloped with him?* *The female could have faced nothing beyond three outcomes. First: Death, Second: Rape.* *The third outcome, the combination of the first two.* "I'm not here to dig out King Yu's scar, nor to tell you the identity of the man who had eloped with Princess Pingyang." Xu Qi'an said. After being stunned for a moment, King Yu became excited. He jumped to Xu Qi'an taking wide strides, grabbed his wrist with his hands, and grabbed his neckline with the other, "Do you have any news about her? Where is she? Where is she?!" Xu Qi'an frowned. "...I lost my composure previously." King Yu let go of his wrist, and took a step back. Then, he straightened his back and suddenly bowed, after which he said, his voice deep. "If Sir Xu can help me find her I would owe you a huge favour. I will surely repay you in the future." "I have come here for this matter... Have you heard of the murder of Earl Pingyuan's House?" "Not yet." King Yu was a little surprised. "How is the relationship between the king and Earl Pingyuan?" Xu Qi'an asked. "We are both members of the Aristocrats, and we used to have frequent contact. However, Earl Pingyuan was ambitious and wished for greater power. So, he mingled with the Civil Officials and was ostracized by the aristocrats." King Yu said. Xu Qi'an nodded, and then continued, "I had heard that the King had almost entered the Cabinet." After being silent for a while, King Yu said, “His Majesty did have this idea last year. Currently, the Cabinet is dominated by Wang Zhenwen[^1]. Although other parties and Wei Yuan check and balance him, but the balance is very fragile. "I am supported by the Aristocrats and am from the royal clan. So, His Majesty wants me to enter the cabinet and stir up the muddy water." *Emperor Yuanjing knows his business. Although he has been ignoring the government all year round and burning money for his cultivation, he has still maintained his control over the government in these nearly twenty years. "When Sir is recuperating in your mansion, who would benefit the most from this?" "Chief Secretary Wang Zhenwen, and the Minister of War, Zhang Feng... heh, that was originally my position." King Yu helplessly smiled. King Yu was obviously fatigued after talking for such a long time. As Xu Qi’an got the information he wanted to know, he got up to leave. The horse's hooves hit the ground at a brisk pace. This young filly had been ridden by second uncle for several years and then ridden by his nephew. Although its rider had changed, the horse wasn't bothered at all and was still docile and cheerful. Xu Qi'an's mood, however, wasn't so brisk. According to the information he got from King Yu, Henghui and Princess Pingyang's elopement might have been some type of political move. *Even if we can't do anything for you. Can't we do something to your daughter?* What couldn't those playing politics do? This possibility was very high. Henghui's revenge also supported the point. *Who could it be? Is it Chief Secretary Wang? Is it Minister Zhang? Could it be both... I still have a question, what relation could the struggle between the Aristocrat Bloc and the Civil Official Bloc have with the Sangpo case and the Yao race?* *Who knows about something being sealed below Sangpo besides Emperor Yuanjing?* *Oh no, Henghui's next target for revenge is either the Chief Secretary or the Minister of War.* As his heart sank, Xu Qi'an clamped his horse's belly and rode towards the forbidden city at the fastest he could go. But, he had to turn back at the entrance of the Forbidden City. "Is Duke Wei still in the palace?" "It's been half an hour since he left." The Yulin Guard that had been guarding the castle replied. Xu Qi'an immediately turned his horse, left the imperial city, and galloped for a long time in the inner city before he met Wei Yuan's carriage. Hearing the sounds of horseshoes approaching the Wei Yuan's guards turned their heads vigilantly, and grasped the handles of their sabres tightly. They relaxed their vigilance after seeing that it was Xu Qi'an. "Duke Wei, Duke Wei... Your subordinate has something to report." Xu Qi'an shouted. Jiang Lyuzhong heard Wei Yuan's voice coming from inside the carriage, "Stop." He immediately reined the horse and stopped the carriage. Xu Qi'an rode his horse to the side of the carriage, where he said in a small voice, "Duke Wei, I have an important thing to report." The curtain at the side opened and the handsome old man with a profound countenance frowned, "How did you encounter a matter that needs to be reported without delay?" After he complained, he asked, "What's the matter?" "Henghui's next target is likely to be the Minister of War or the Chief Secretary. You will be in deep water if one of those two gets into trouble, Duke Wei." Xu Qi'an said in a deep voice. ... Zhang Mansion, Zhang Feng, the Minister of War, returned to his mansion in a carriage, and asked the old housekeeper who came to meet him, "Where's Yi'er?" The housekeeper replied, "He hasn't woken up yet." Carrying a gloomy expression, the Minister of War said, "Have him get dressed and meet me in the study within a quarter hour." After he cautiously looked at Minister Zhang's expression, the old housekeeper received his orders. Zhang Feng returned to his study, took off his robe, and gave it to his attendant. He sat on the big chair and rested with his eyes closed. Just as a quarter-hour was about to pass, Zhang Yi, Zhang Feng's eldest son arrived in time.[^2] "What were you calling me for, Father?" Zhang Yi's face was slightly pale, his swollen eye bags and deep dark circles indicating his identity as a master of time management. "Pack up and leave the capital immediately." Minister Zhang said these words after careful consideration. "What?" "Leave right now!" Zhang Feng gave him a stern look. "... yes, okay." Zhang Feng had always feared his father, and he always did whatever he said. With the help of the servants in the mansion, Zhang Yi packed his clothes, dry food, gold and silver, and other portable items. Then, he rushed towards the outer city with more than a dozen subordinates from the mansion. But, Just as the carriage arrived at the inner city gate, the soldiers guarding the gate stopped him after inquiring about his identity. "His Majesty has decreed that officials above rank six, even their family members, aren't allowed to leave the capital." ... Evening, After spending the day in the eldest princess's mansion, Chu Caiwei came to the Xu mansion on horseback and knocked on the door of the small courtyard. "Caiwei." Xu Qi'an had already taken off his uniform and changed to his normal clothes, those that had been sewn up stitch by stitch by his sister Lingyue. The younger sister's threads lined the elder brother's robes. Chu Caiwei took out two porcelain vases from the deerskin pouch on her waist, "Sparingly eat them. Great might pills are quite expensive. One pill costs about two taels of silver." *One pill costs half my monthly salary... Chu Caiwei is indeed a rich woman, one who owns an airport at such a young age... It doesn't matter if she is a disciple of the Jianzheng. I just wish to be raised by her... Xu Qi'an envied this "Fuerdai". Although he did have more than 900 taels of gold, that was to be used to buy a house. "Come in and have a cup of tea, Miss Caiwei." Xu Qi'an held a charming smile on his face. Chu Caiwei blushed, and let out a "bah", saying angrily, "The sun is about to set. You have other motives in inviting me for tea at this time, don't you?" After speaking, she glanced at him and held the reins of her horse as she rode away. *The top isn't convex and the bottom isn't curved... This little flatty is ridiculous...* Xu Qi'an also blankly looked at her and closed the yard. *When this Sangpo case is over, I'll make some chicken bullion and reward her.* After he had dinner in the main house, and chatted with his elegant younger sister for some time, Xu Qi'an returned to his small courtyard, sitting there for half an hour. "Meow~" Suddenly, he heard the clear and melodious cry of a cat. "The door is unlocked." Xu Qi'an said. The door was pushed open, and an orange cat walked in. Its steps were graceful, its tail raised high. It stared at him with its yellow-orange cat eyes, and a voice came out of its mouth, "What did Luo Yuheng say?" *... Did Daoist Jinlian open the door to a new world? Is this a special hobby of his?* Xu Qi'an looked at the orange cat, and said, "I have obtained the Juyuan Pill." --- Author Note: This case has been written for a while. That's because it is very important. It can be said to be the cornerstone of the book, and it will affect the events in the second, third, and fourth volumes later. So, I had to extend the length of the case to leave space for all the foreshadowing. Well, It's about to end. Not many chapters of the case are remaining. [^1]: 王贞文 [^2]: In case I hadn’t written the Chinese before, Zhang Feng is 张奉 and Zhang Yi is 张易