OMF V1C101 Someone From His Own Palace?

Shun Tao frowned. “You want to say it could be someone from my own palace? Or rather … several of my scribes?”
Leng Jin Yu lowered the cup. “Wouldn’t that be more likely than it being one of the idle gods? The scribes have the required knowledge and some of them should be experienced enough to pull something like this off. Could it also be that they had access to His Highness’ scroll of fate? In that case —”
“No.” Shun Tao shook his head. “If I leave the room, I always take it with me. His Highness’ trial is too important to be treated with any less caution. Furthermore …” He looked out the window and sighed. “If somebody saw, I would be in trouble. I certainly didn’t leave any opportunities on that front.”
“But the scribes should still be able to manage even without taking a look. If they teamed up …”
“I can’t imagine that.”
“Is there nobody ambitious enough around?” Leng Jin Yu put the cup down and leaned forward. “I know this is hard but this concerns the crown prince’s life and maybe even your own. Think about it. Is there nobody that would try something like this if they felt it could gain them a higher position? Maybe someone who has waited for a chance for a long time?”
Shun Tao furrowed his brow. What Leng Jin Yu said wasn’t without reason. Even if he wanted to think that all his scribes had become part of his palace simply because they enjoyed the work and that it would continue to be like that, he couldn’t take it for granted.
People had aspirations. And hadn’t he thought of searching for a successor only today when he felt like there was no way for him to continue being the Fate’s Scribe? Maybe that had given his scribes the feeling that they couldn’t progress if they didn’t do something drastic?
Shun Tao walked back to the table and sat down, looking at Leng Jin Yu with a wry smile. “You certainly don’t need to blackmail me to get a position in the God of War’s Palace. You know less about the situation than me but still managed to grasp onto these things.”
Leng Jin Yu shook his head. “It’s naturally easier to see these things if one isn’t concerned directly with them. And I’m sure the Fate’s Scribe wouldn’t want to suspect any of his people.”
“No, I certainly don’t want to.”
Shun Tao still gave it a thought. Unfortunately, he couldn’t think of anyone who might do something like this. Most scribes in higher positions were already of the same generation as him and had started out under the former Fate’s Scribe. If they were dissatisfied with their situation, they certainly would have moved against him much sooner.
As for the people he himself had chosen … Well, he had given them a few opportunities, right? He might not have chosen a successor or even looked for one but it wasn’t like there weren’t other positions in his palace. Those he trusted had moved there sooner or later so they shouldn’t be discontent either.
“I can’t think of anyone.”
Leng Jin Yu narrowed his eyes. “Well, it was just a thought. It might not be one of them anyway.”
“But you’re right that it is likely. Maybe I should check on them?”
“It wouldn’t hurt to do that but the question is whom to trust in this situation. You can’t do everything on your own and you’ve seen what happened with Hong Bao.”
“Mn.” Shun Tao closed his eyes and rubbed his brow. “Don’t remind me. She asked me to wait until tomorrow morning before I go and report to the Heavenly Emperor. She said she would come up with some way to help me. I’m a little afraid she might actually succeed. Who knows what kind of disaster would happen then?”
Leng Jin Yu refrained from responding to that. “It might be a good idea to get some help. How about asking the God of War? He could lend some people to investigate.”
Shun Tao looked at Leng Jin Yu, not knowing whether he should say something to this or not. “You do know that the God of War is the Heavenly Emperor’s brother-in-law, don’t you? If I tell him that something is up with his nephew’s fate, then that’s almost as good as telling the Heavenly Emperor himself.”
Leng Jin Yu looked back at him, his gaze flickering. Right, if they didn’t want the Heavenly Emperor to know … But what else could they do? They wouldn’t be able to solve this alone. “All of these are mere conjectures. If we don’t verify them, we won’t be able to know for sure.”
“Well, after what you and Hong Bao found out, it’s obvious it can’t be any of the idle gods. That only leaves my palace, doesn’t it?”
“There would be other possibilities, even though they aren’t as likely. What about former scribes? Was there anyone thrown out of the palace for whatever reason? Someone that might want to prove that you misjudged them and that they are a worthy scribe? Maybe even a worthy Fate’s Scribe?”
“Not that I could remember. It hardly gets to a point where someone would be thrown out of a palace. Normally, if somebody does wrong, there would be other methods to deal with them first. One of the worst things that could happen would be to suspend their position for a while. But even that is rare.”
Leng Jin Yu’s brows drew together. “Then … is there somebody else who could have a grudge against you? Someone not related to your palace but with enough power to make a lot of your scribes submit to them? Or, well, someone who could tempt them with some kind of benefit if they helped him?”
Shun Tao furrowed his brow. Someone powerful who had something against him? Not to praise himself but he was pretty sure that he had a good relationship with most of the other gods. They might not be close but somebody who hated him to this extent …
His lips twitched. Actually, there was one. But he really couldn’t imagine that she had that kind of power.

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