T/N: no update yesterday because we were preparing for mass release today!
Chapter 47 – Doubts (1)
The extravagant Imperial Palace was made grander by the addition of red heavy draperies of which fell to the floor like supple ripples. People carrying varied colors of peonies and decorative lanterns scurried to and fro, while shadow guards stood guard, tall and imposing, in every corner.
A tense Mo Rongzhan was staying in the imperial study. His hands gripped the wooden box he had found from the dry well as he grimly stared at the pieces of cloth inside–torn no doubt. His face was dark and indifferent. Even he himself couldn’t decide what he should feel about this.
Should he rejoice?
Or should he be livid?
To find the wooden box with the cloth bearing the word Yao could only mean one thing–Lu Wushuang could be an impostor. His hands tightened more around the box at the thought of this deception.
“Emperor, Shen Yi asked for an audience,” his servant Ford said with his head bowed.
The anger in Mo Rongzhan’s eyes slightly dwindled. “Let him in,” he acquiesced.
Shen Yi’s brooding presence cloaked in a black suit came from outside, walking with determined steps. He was the shadow guard under Mo Rongzhan’s command who remained in secret until the emperor’s reign.
Tasks that should be done in secrecy were handed to exclusive shadow guards like him.
“Your majesty,” Shen Yi knelt down on one knee in front of Mo Rongzhan’s firm, icy face, devoid of any superfluous expression.
Mo Rongzhan looked down at him and with a flip of his finger, the guard stood up. “Did you find anything of substance?”
Shen Yi handed the piece of cloth to Mo Rongzhan and answered, “The emperor’s subordinates have found out that this is one of the brocades bestowed to the friends of the previous emperor during his twenty-five years of reign. Except for several palace concubines, daughters of noble families had been given the same brocade as a reward for allegiance.”
“Which families of nobility received the brocades?”
Despite the information, Mo Rongzhan’s voice didn’t change one bit. It was still heavily cold and insipid.
“Aside from Princess Chang who is too old to be the person his highness is seeking…” Shen Yi swallowed a lump in his throat before saying, “The Ye family was also given one as a token of their loyalty…”
The Ye Family? Mo Rongzhan’s eyes flashed with a different light. He looked at the piece of rag with his brows crossed.
Wasn’t Ye Zhen, the girl he married nicknamed as Yao Yao? Then…could it be possible that she was the same Yao Yao who saved him before?
What if this rag was all she had left behind?
But Ye Zhen is dead! For the first time, Mo Rongzhan felt despair at this possibility.
But he thought once more, Lu Wushuang is unlikely to own this brocade. Is she really the little girl who saved him?
Mo Rongzhan’s heart was filled with doubts once more.
“Has anyone been to that forest beside me?” Mo Rongzhan asked in a low voice.
Shen Yi answered, “I’ve seen another path in the woods aside from the main road the emperor has walked on…onlookers did say that someone passed through that road at that time, but I still haven’t found out who it was.”
Mo Rongzhan nodded, satisfied that this investigation was getting to something.
“In any case, we have to find out who has been to the woods.” Mo Rongzhan’s voice suddenly stopped.
If his suspicion that Lu Wushuang was not the person she pretended to be, then perhaps the person who dug up the box was Yao Yao herself!
But why? Why didn’t she come to him?
If Ye Zhen was the little girl who saved him, how could Lu Wushuang have the jade pendant? How did she know of it?
It never crossed his mind that the person who saved him in those days would be related to the Ye family,the family who’d wished his immediate death before.
When he knew that the Ye family also had this cloud brocade, he had automatically excluded the possibility of his savior coming from them.
Who knows, it might have been them who’d dug the dry well he fell into to be his early grave!
Therefore, how could he possibly think that someone from this family could save him?
Shen Yi left the royal study leaving Mo Rongzhan to sit alone behind a bookcase, meditating in the solemn silence.
But soon after, the voice of the Wang Fei requesting entrance outside his study was heard.
Mo Rongzhan collected the pieces of cloth, stuffing them back into the wooden box and placed the item away from his tabletop into an inconspicuous area. Lu Wushuang then came strutting in, with a bright smile like the sun.
This kind of smile gave him peace of mind before.
Surprisingly, he didn’t feel the same this time