Nan Yan’s hands were still shaking. She reached to feel her neck and softly spoke. “It seems that you are alright.”
Ran Xiaoyu helped her up, but Nan Yan’s legs did not have enough strength to stand and even her voice was weak. “I…I can’t really stand up.”
“Then, you sit here.”
Ran Xiaoyu rubbed Nan Yan’s back to help her relax, then asked, “What is going on? Why did that old mama come into our room and take the money you kept under your bed?”
“So you saw her earlier?”
“Where is she now?”
“When I followed her, she seemed to be heading to the imperial kitchen to get a steamed bun.”
“Oh, she might take a long time then.”
Nan Yan nodded gently. She was calmer now. “I, I might be in trouble.” she told Ran Xiaoyu.
“What happened? Didn’t you only stay at Shou An Palace to recuperate?”
Nan Yan fought for breath before proceeding to give Ran Xiaoyu a detailed account of today’s events. The frown on Ran Xiaoyu’s face deepened as she listened. At last, she said, “So, the red coral bracelet found in your room belonged to Xia Zhaoyi?”
“No.” Nan Yan shook her head.
“No? Then, to whom does it belong to?”
Ran Xiaoyu couldn’t believe what she heard and bewildered, asked, “Why would you be in possession of something meant only for the women of the Imperial Harem?”
“It’s complicated and I cannot explain for the time being. Xiaoyu, I had two purposes when I told the mama about the money under my bed. First, it was to bribe her into giving me some food. Secondly, I was deliberately sending her to our room in hopes she’d find you there and lead you to me. I’m truly grateful you helped me out.”
“You were already convinced that I would.” Ran Xiaoyu coldly said.
Nan Yan smiled awkwardly.
Ran Xiaoyu grumpily said, “Forget about it. It’s already done so there’s no point talking about it anymore. Tell me now what else you have planned.”
Nan Yan barely had enough strength to stand up. Ran Xiaoyu quickly took her arm to help her get up.
After a deep breath Nan Yan said, “I need you to find out something for me.”
“Find out what?”
“Someone entered Chun Xi Palace today around noon and went through my dressing table. Please help me figure out who it was.”
“This…” Ran Xiaoyu’s eyebrows twisted into a knot. “Isn’t this too difficult? I don’t have eyes like Heaven.”
“I know it won’t be easy.”
“Then why do you still—”
“But now, there’s a clue.”
Nan Yan slowly lifted her hand. Ran Xiaoyu saw that she was holding a sharp piece of ceramic. It was stained with blood.
Her eyes widened. “This is…”
“I was suffocating and could hardly see so I can’t be sure,” Nan Yan explained, “but I slashed at one of the men with this and wounded him.”
“When you walk around the palace, look for an eunuch with a fresh injury on his forehead.”
After she finished speaking, Ran Xiaoyu contemplately stared at Nan Yan whose eyes were unperturbed as she stared back. After a long time, she admitted quietly, “I used to think you were rather naive, but now it would seem that you are cunning instead.”
Nan Yan bitterly smiled. “I’m not cunning. If it wasn’t for you, right now I would be hanging on the beam and people would see it as proof of my guilt, believing that I’d have committed suicide to escape punishment.”
End of Chapter
Thank you readers!
Like This?Click here
Edited by Anon