"There's no need to be so careful in front of me," the Emperor said as he used his finger to wipe away the tears on An Jin's face. "You can't cry anymore. How many tears can a person shed?"
An Jinxiu brushed up the half dried hair of Emperor Shizong. How many tears could a person shed? Many people could shed tears, but some were real and some were fake. An Jinxiu believed that her acting skills would not allow the Emperor to differentiate between real and fake.
Unlike the other cities, the capital was a place where no one was allowed to cause any trouble. If the Emperor did not see them after a long time, how were they supposed to deal with the fire in the old alleyway in the south of the city?
"Eunuch Xie," Lord Wei asked. "When will His Majesty be able to find time to come over?"
Eunuch Xie replied, "Lord Wei, please wait a moment. His Majesty will arrive soon."
Jiang Xiao Ting snorted from the side. "How could His Majesty spend the night in a place like this?"
"Do I need permission from Jiang Xiao Ting to stay the entire night?" The Emperor Shizong walked in as he spoke.
"My apologies, Your Majesty."
"This subject is called Wei Xi Sheng."
"Jiang Xiao Ting."
When the other officials including the Crown Prince saw the Emperor enter, they announced their names one after the other and said in unison, "Greetings, Your Majesty. Long live our emperor."
"Tell me about the fire in the south of the city."
Wei Xi Sheng told the Emperor about the fire in Old Lane, in the south of the city. A total of seventy-nine mansions were burned, and the number of people who died was still being counted in the justice courts.
The crown prince said, "The Shangguan family is dead? "Who was there when the Shangguan family was on fire?"
"According to this official's knowledge, the Shangguan Family consists of Madam Shangguan, the little gongzi and General Shangguan sister and brother. Oh, right, there is also a wet nurse."
"Are you sure all five of them are dead?" Emperor Shizong asked.
"No one from Shangguan's family escaped, so this official guessed that General Shangguan's family members were all dead."
"Have you found the bodies of these five people?"
Wei Xi Sheng shook his head. "To reply Your Majesty, this fire is too big. The corpses this subject found are no longer recognizable."
Emperor Shizong looked at Jiang Xiao Ting, "How did this fire start?"
Jiang Xiao Ting said blankly, "Your Majesty, this subject believes that someone set the fire on purpose."
"Oh?" The Emperor frowned, "This is a murder case?"
Jiang Xiao Ting said, "The corpses that this subject and Lord Wei found were not burned to death. They were killed by sharp weapons and the throats of most of the dead were cut off. "Your Majesty, there must be more than one culprit tonight, and the fire started from Shangguan Yong's house. It's obvious that the culprit is targeting Shangguan Yong. Your Majesty, this subject believes …"
"Ahem." At this point, Wei Xi Sheng coughed.
Jiang Xiao Ting shut his mouth after the words left his mouth.
Emperor Shizong said, "What do you think? Go on. "
Jiang Xiao Ting had no choice but to say, "This subject doesn't know who Shangguan Yong offended to invite the annihilation of his family."
The Emperor Shizong glanced at Eunuch Xie who was standing beside him before turning to Sir Wei Xi. "How about Sir Wei?" What do you have to say? "
The Emperor looked at him in a gloomy and thoughtful manner. Eunuch Xie immediately thought that this time, An Jinyan had overdone it. The Crown Prince and his wife might not only be unable to please the Emperor, they might even bring them big trouble. Eunuch Xie felt he had to think about how to keep himself out of this.
Wei Xi Sheng was much more tactful and careful than a general like Jiang Xiao Ting. After hearing this question, he only said, "This subject believes that this matter still needs to be investigated."
"If you want to reply to this in such a manner, you might as well scram!" "If you have something to say, just say it. You don't need hide anything to me!"
Even though the Emperor had said so, Wei Xi Sheng still refused to speak.
At the side, Jiang Xiao Ting couldn't help but speak up, "Your Majesty, we should first investigate who Shangguan Yong has offended. "Murder is nothing more than three types: for money, for revenge, for love."
The last word "love killing" made Emperor Shizong's eyelids jump, he said, "Shangguan Yong still get into trouble?"
Wei Xi Sheng quickly said: "This subject believes that the probability of revenge is the highest."
"Go investigate," the Emperor Shizong said. "Inform the Ministry of Revenue that the people who live in the old alleyway in the south of the city must be properly arranged. We do not wish to see a person living in the old alleyway in the south of the city being left behind."
"This subject obeys the decree," both the court and the Vessie Saint hurriedly replied.
After the two officials had left, the Emperor Shizong turned to look at Eunuch Xie and hit his head.
"Your Majesty, this servant doesn't understand."
"Don't you understand," Emperor Shizong said. "Do you think I'm a fool? How much did the crown prince give you? "
The wound on Eunuch Xie forehead had yet to be treated, and now, he was desperately kowtowing to Shizong. Soon, his face was covered in blood. "Your Majesty. This servant already knew that His Majesty was feeling terrible discomfort. This servant only thought that His Majesty had always been worried about that An girl, so this servant helped His Majesty over. Besides that, this servant hasn't done anything, Your Majesty. "
"Why does this Emperor feel uncomfortable that night?" The Emperor Shizong had the time to think through the whole situation. With his wisdom, he quickly came to the conclusion that both he and An Jinxiu had been designed by someone, and that the person who had designed him was actually his chosen successor!
"Your Majesty, perhaps that bowl of deer blood?"
"Do you think this is my first time drinking deer blood?"
"Your Majesty, this servant really doesn't know. Even if Your Majesty killed this servant, this servant still won't be able to explain himself," Eunuch Xie kneeled at the foot of the Emperor. "This servant is also feel very strange, His Highness the Crown Prince used deer blood like His Majesty did, but His Highness the Crown Prince is completely fine. Your Majesty" Eunuch Xie slapped himself," This servant doesn't dare to guess the affairs of His Highness, the crown prince.
Emperor Shizong drummed his fingers on the arm of his chair and didn't say anything for a long time.
Eunuch Xie had no choice but to kowtow and beg for mercy. At this time, he had to get himself out of this, or else his little life would be over." "This servant is the dog that His Majesty keeps. Other than His Majesty, this servant never says a single extra word to anyone else. This servant asks that Your Majesty be enlightened."
He knew very well that this was not the only person who knew he was interested in An Jin. But this servant, seeing how he was kowtowing and bleeding right in front of him, could it be that this servant was the same as the ministers in the imperial court, noticing that the princes had grown up and was trying to find a way out for him?
Shizong has been silent for a long time, making Eunuch Xie even more flustered. He was able to stay by Emperor Shizong's side for so long because of his loyalty. If Shizong doubts his loyalty, then he will immediately lose everything that he has now. "Your Majesty, this servant has really never come into contact with His Highness the crown prince in private. "
"Why should I believe you?" the Emperor Shizong asked Eunuch Xie.
Eunuch Xie didn't dare to speak anymore. His head was kowtowing too hard, and now his head was spinning. If the Emperor Shizong didn't call for him, he would die here.
"Take two people to the Residence of An," Shizong said, kicking Eunuch Xie away with a kick. "Report to the Grand Perceptor manor about the death of An Jin and told them not to be sad."
Eunuch Xie hurriedly said, "This servant understands. This servant obeys the decree, and this servant will go to the Residence of An right now."
After Eunuch Xie left, Emperor Shizong looked at the chamber in which he had sat in the afternoon. On the wall of the meditation room hung a picture of the Buddha, the furniture was of a mahogany texture, there were a few pots of scenery, artificial mountains and flowers, but none of them were interested in these things, so his gaze finally landed on the incense burner of the bronze censer.
Emperor Shizong walked up to the incense burner. After he drank the blood of the deer, who had exchanged incense in this incense burner? The Emperor Shizong recalled what happened in this quiet room in the afternoon. In the end, he was sure that the person changing the incense in the burner was the crown prince. Emperor Shizong opened the lid of the incense burner, looked at the ashes inside, and said to the outside, "Come in."
A young eunuch trotted in.
"Pack the ashes and take them away," Emperor Shizong said. "You're the only one who knows."
"This servant obeys the decree," the young eunuch said hurriedly.
When the Emperor Shizong walked out of the quiet room, the guards outside saw him coming out and immediately knelt down to pay their respects. These were the guards he had brought with him and had followed him for at least ten years. The Emperor had never doubted the loyalty of these guards, but after today's incident, the Emperor looked at its own bodyguards. How could he still trust them?
The guards were terrified by the Emperor's actions. Eunuch Xie walked out of the quiet room with a face full of blood. They had all seen it. This was the first time they had seen Eunuch Xie in such a sorry state, like a stray dog. Although they didn't know if they had done anything wrong, everyone who saw the Emperor lowered their heads without exception.
Emperor Shizong snorted coldly, things had to be done one by one. There was still a little girl in the guest room who did not know that she had lost her son, waiting for him to comfort her. Thinking of this, he turned around and walked towards the backyard.
A guard at the back door of the mortuary hurried in.
"What's the matter?" The Emperor Shizong asked as he saw the guard kneeling in the rain.
"Reporting to Your Majesty," the guard reported, "A concubine and a servant of the Residence of An came down from the mountains. They were ordered by the Grand Preceptor's wife to fetch spring water from the mountainside.
"Aunt?" "Does she have a name?"
"She claims to be the Aunt Xiu of the Residence of An. That servant said she was called Zi Yuan."
"Take that Aunt Xiu back to the Residence of An after she rested and keep the servant here," ordered the guard.
No one knew what the Emperor wanted a servant of the Residence of An to do, but no one dared to ask. After receiving the order, the guard that came to report the news turned around and ran away.
When Emperor Shizong returned to the waterfalls outside the guest room, four eunuchs were standing guard on either side of the door like wooden stakes.
"How is she?" Emperor Shizong asked in a low voice, not even looking at the four young eunuchs kneeling at his feet.
A young eunuch replied, "To reply Your Majesty, there's been no movement from inside the guest room at all."
No movement? Emperor Shizong knew things were not going well, so he pushed the closed door with all his might and quickly entered the guest room.