Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Rong Zhi let out a sigh as he watched Chu Yu walk out of the door. He then turned and headed towards the loft. He saw both Huan Yuan and Jiang Yan sitting behind the desk as soon as he opened the door. However, he realized the bamboo slips on the desk were facing down when he walked closer.
Huan Yuan and Jiang Yan stood up as soon as they noticed Rong Zhi's return. They bowed and said, "Thank you, Young Master Rong, for watching out for us." Although Chu Yu's speculation earlier was slightly inaccurate, it was not far from what she expected. Huan Yuan and Jiang Yan were discussing ways to overthrow the princess to regain their freedom at Rong Zhi's residence.
Rong Zhi's residence was remote. Since he was fond of peace, Princess Shanyin had dismissed all the guards around and ordered them not to disturb him. Meanwhile, Huan Yuan and Jiang Yan were scholars. Initially, they came to Rong Zhi's residence just to read, but as they spent more time together, they began to realize the sourness and misery each of them bore. They had so much in common, so they clicked right away. They then began to plot against the princess.
Although they had good looks, they were unwilling to please the princess. Furthermore, due to their special identities, their freedom was restricted at the Princess's Imperial Residence. Getting out of the residence aside, they would have to inform the guards ahead of time no matter where they were going. To them, Rong Zhi's residence was the safest place.
Initially, they were hiding their plot from Rong Zhi whereby they merely spoke minimally whenever they exchanged opinions. They even hinted to each other to get the message across. However, Jiang Yan then realized that Rong Zhi had found out about their plot. Fearing Rong Zhi would expose their plot to the princess, they decided to invite him to participate in their revolting plan instead to make sure nothing happened to them and their plan.
At that time, Rong Zhi was calm and responded, "Whatever the both of you want to do is none of my business. Neither will I tell the Princess, nor will I help you. No matter whether your plan will fly or fail, you'll have to bear the consequences yourself. You'd better behave."
Since then, Rong Zhi would take the initiative to leave and sit in the forest to read whenever both of them were talking. He showed his disinterest in participating in their plot but allowed them to do whatever they wanted to. However, he set up a crude alert system under the limestone in the forest where it would send a secret signal when he stood up as soon as he realized people were coming into his residence.
Huan Yuan thought Rong Zhi was biased for doing that.
Rong Zhi responded evenly, "I've said this a few days before. The Princess seems to be a little different now. She didn't see you at the banquet today and she even came here to look for you. I wonder what she's going to do about it. I've said this before and I'm standing my ground."
He turned and left after that. However, Huan Yuan caught up with him and blocked his way as he begged, "Young Master, please don't go. I've got something to talk to you about."
Rong Zhi stopped walking and narrowed his eyes. "Do speak."
Huan Yuan hesitated and made up his mind to speak after a moment, "We'll remember your kindness for not telling anyone about the plot Brother Jiang and I came up with. But, Young Master, have you ever thought about this? Even if you don't participate in this, no matter whether the plan flies or fails, I'm afraid you won't be able to escape being a suspect." He revealed a faint smile at the edge of his lips. "Although the Princess is fond of you, I suppose she wouldn't tolerate anyone who assists this plot secretly."
Although this was like repaying kindness with ingratitude, he put his guilt aside in order to obtain Rong Zhi's support. Rong Zhi held great power in the Princess's Imperial Residence's inner court and he held a respectable position too. He could have easily interfered, no matter how big or small the issue was, as long as he was willing to. It would not be an exaggeration for one to say that he would even be able to shut the heavens with his hand. With his help, their plan would be more convenient.
Huan Yuan was mentally prepared to take on the heat coming from Rong Zhi. However, Rong Zhi smiled casually after a while.
His expression was always gentle and calm. However, his smile was rather incisive this time. "Are you threatening me?" His tone was soft and indirect, but there was a faint power within that scared Huan Yuan a little.
Huan Yuan suppressed the insecurity that surfaced in him and said gently with his hands cupped, "I came up with such a plan in desperation. Please forgive me, Young Master."
Rong Zhi replied while smiling lightly, "I stand my ground as usual. I'll be honest with you, Huan Yuan. The reason why I'm not telling the Princess about the plot you and Jiang Yan have is that I don't think you could shake her the tiniest bit. When you fail, please do blame everything on me. I'd like to see if I would be punished for it."
He revealed a smile that did not appear like a smile while his expression was calm, but there was dignity in his tone. "I'm just lazy to do anything about your plot. I'm not protecting the both of you. Please don't think so highly of yourself."
What he said crushed Huan Yuan again and again. It may not have contained any foul language, but it was gravely cynical. Huan Yuan was so speechless that his fair face flushed from his rage. However, he could not do anything about it. All he could do was take it in and suppress his fury.
Huan Yuan flung his sleeve and said while clenching his teeth, "Brother Jiang, let's go."
Both of them passed through the bamboo forest with parasol trees and left the Snow Garden in single file. However, they did not notice the two pairs of eyes watching them on the cornice above the loft.
Chu Yu only looked away and gazed down at the ground that was seven to eight meters below her feet after Huan Yuan and Jiang Yan disappeared into the shelter of the forest. "Alright, they're gone now. Yue Jiefei, bring me down."
She pretended to have left earlier in hopes to lure them into spilling information. She got Yue Jiefei to bring her back secretly and managed to eavesdrop on the conversation between Huan Yuan and Rong Zhi. That was the truth that she wanted to hear. In order to avoid bumping into Huan Yuan and Jiang Yan who were coming out of the loft, she told Yue Jiefei to bring her up there. The short lift that seemed like a ride into the clouds gave her an experience of the Lightness Skill which existed in this world. Now, she was eager to fly again.
Yue Jiefei held Chu Yu's waist and flew down from the cornice slowly like a large bird without doing much. He deviated his route mid-air and traversed into the bamboo forest. He let go of her as soon as they landed, behaving himself through the whole thing like as if nothing had happened. Chu Yu figured the reason for his caution was because of his fear of her unleashing her wild side and harassing him.
Although she was misunderstood over and over again, Chu Yu did not plan to explain herself. Time would reveal a person, and no doubt, he would notice the changes in the princess as time went by.
After Huan Yuan and Jiang Yan left, Rong Zhi put away the books that they were reading. He frowned a little when he heard a faint air-piercing sound. He then walked quickly to the window and happened to see Yue Jiefei land in the bamboo forest with Chu Yu.
Chu Yu stood properly and as she turned around, she locked eyes with Rong Zhi for a brief moment. She was not surprised or panicked. Instead, she smiled charmingly at him like everything was normal. She then turned and headed out of the garden.
Rong Zhi nodded lightly and thought to himself that Huan Yuan and Jiang Yan had no idea that their plan had already failed before it even began. The plan they came up with such great effort was just a tiny rebellious game to the princess. Nevertheless, he felt a little troubled as what Chu Yu had been doing lately went beyond his expectations.
It did not trouble him a lot, maybe just a tiny bit.
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