Still, there shouldn’t be a need to kill you.”
Nan Yan looked up and replied, “There shouldn’t be, but she now has a knife pointing at herself.”
Ran Xiaoyu was astonished. “What knife?”
“That would be the missing red coral bracelet,” Nan Yan finally revealed.
Ran Xiaoyu frowned, then started pondering Nan Yan’s words when she suddenly grasped their meaning.
“Are you referring to Xia Yunting’s red coral bracelet that was stolen?”
Nan Yan nodded and continued, “Xia Zhaoyi’s bracelet has truly disappeared. While mine was found in its box during the search, hers is still missing. Therefore, I suspect Xia Zhaoyi’s coral bracelet is currently in Imperial Concubine An’s hands.”
“It’s a bestowment from His Highness, so whoever dared to steal it won’t come to a good end. In addition, it would not be easy to dispose of it quietly. Thus, if the bracelet is truly in her possession, she probably has a headache, because a thorough investigation would reveal the truth.”
“So, she sent the eunuchs——”
“In order to silence me,” Nan Yan murmured.
“Afterwards, she would have passed off my death as a suicide, so that everyone would think that I was guilty. Thus, the matter would no longer be pursued, because everyone would believe I was the thief. And then, where my coral bracelet comes from would no longer be an issue either for her.”
“I see.” Ran Xiaoyu nodded her head, yet she looked dubious. Eventually, she said, “However, I don’t see why she just couldn’t have dropped Xia Yunting’s bracelet somewhere and later feign ignorance.”
“You’re right,” Nan Yan agreed. “That would have solved the issue, but now it is no longer an option.”
“Because she sent people to assassinate me, but they failed to do so. Moreover, one of them was wounded…”
“If I were to reveal the origins of my bracelet and the fact that Imperial Concubine An tried to secretly have me killed, the injury on that eunuch would lend credibility to my story. The Empress would probably investigate the matter, and as a result, Imperial Concubine An would be hard-pressed to explain herself.”
“She’s the one who decided to ride a tiger, and now…”
Both Nan Yan and Ran Xiaoyu quietly reflected on everything that came to light throughout the discussion.
“Not good!” Ran Xiaoyu suddenly broke the silence.
Nan Yan turned her attention to her and asked, “What’s the matter?”
“Today, when I went to Zhong Hua Palace today to look for clues, I ended up snooping around Shu Fang Hall. However, I was discovered by Xiu’er.”
“You mean, the palace maid who serves Imperial Concubine An?”
“Yes! I said something about picking up an handkerchief, but I definitely looked suspicious…”
Nan Yan lowered her head and mulled over Ran Xiaoyu’s admission. She finally said, “I’m afraid Imperial Concubine An is now aware that we know something.”
Ran Xiaoyu bore a grave expression. “What then? Will she——do you think she’s going to go after you again?”
Nan Yan’s facial expression also became heavy.
“She might. She can’t allow me to speak to the Empress.”
“However, there is another possibility.”
“She’s worried about where I got my coral bracelet from…Maybe, she’ll come and make a deal with me.”
Ran Xiaoyu mused on the idea and said, “Obviously, she would want for you to keep quiet about her role in everything…but what could she tempt you with?”
“I don’t want people to know about my bracelet,” Nan Yan admitted with a subdued voice.
Ran Xiaoyu gave her a knowing look.
Nan Yan murmured, “First, let’s see if she will try again to kill me or to persuade me.”
Ran Xiaoyu was silent for a long time and suddenly asked, “Nan Yan, why don’t you go to the Emperor?”
Nan Yan, who was originally deep in thoughts, was abruptly interrupted when she heard her question.
“You were framed and almost killed… Why not ask help from His Highness?”
“Just say the word, and I—I will go appeal to His Highness.”
Nan Yan contemplated her quietly. After some time, her expression softened and a small smile graced her features.
“Thank you, Xiaoyu. I have never done anything for you, yet you have been so kind to me.”
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End of Chapter
Edited by Anon & SageKage
Proofread by Michelicious11