RSH Stratagem 8: … Don’t Take Chances with Your Rivals (4)

Qiang Yan looked up when the door to the study opened. “Mu Kun? Did something happen with Jing He?”

Mu Kun Shook his head and cupped his fists. “His Highness asked whether you might be free to receive him.”

Qiang Yan raised his brows. It wasn’t strange for his nephew to send somebody over before he came by himself but ever since that incident last year he couldn’t help but worry whenever one of Jing He’s guards came running over. “It couldn’t be that the dragon king made trouble again, could it?”

Mu Kun hesitated to speak up. It had been rather obvious that something had happened last night but the crown prince liked to keep to himself and not bother others even if there was a problem. Furthermore, they didn’t know what exactly that ‘something’ was anyway. Could he really say something just based on a guess?

Qiang Yan’s brows drew together. Obviously, there was something up but Mu Kun didn’t know how to say it. The likelihood of this having something to do with the dragon king was especially high. Who knew what crazy things that guy had come up with now?

Qiang Yan sighed and leaned back, his fingers tapping the surface of his table. “There’s no need for speculation. Just tell me what you saw or heard for sure.”

Mu Kun nodded gravely.”Yesterday, His Highness stayed up late. He had closed the doors inside the palace so there wasn’t much to see from outside. We only rushed in when we heard a sound. It seemed like something had fallen to the ground.”

Qiang Yan furrowed his brows further. “Did you see …?”

Mu Kun’s brows also furrowed. “His Highness … He was sitting on the ground with a pale face.” He didn’t say more than that. He couldn’t be sure that the dragon king had been there, nor did he know for sure that His Highness had fallen down there. It was also possible that the crown prince had sat down because of some reason and they just failed to notice what had fallen. It was unlikely but the possibility was there.

Qiang Yan’s thoughts went in a similar direction. His nephew was too proper to just sit on the ground. And considering his pale complexion something had likely happened. “Did you see anything suspicious when you searched the rooms?”

Mu Kun shook his head. “No, nothing. Everything seemed to be as usual.” He thought back to last night and pondered. “One of the windows seemed to have been open but His Highness often does that so I wouldn’t call it suspicious.”

Qiang Yan nodded and the tapping intensified. His nephew indeed liked to have one or two of the windows open. But a certain someone also liked to sneak into his nephew’s palace. Weren’t the windows the easiest way for him to enter and exit? Most likely, that man had once again sneaked in and then something had happened, prompting that man to leave and his nephew to be in a bad state when the guards rushed in. Considering the incident with the heart last year it would be better if he talked to his nephew immediately. After all, Jing He was too important to their race to leave his matters up to fate. Qiang Yan sighed and got up, not bothering to tidy up the documents on his table. Everything could wait until he returned from his nephew’s palace. “Let’s go over then and see what happened.”

Mu Kun nodded and waited for the God of War to leave the study, before following behind him. The crown prince had originally intended to go and visit the God of War’s palace but that didn’t mean that he would mind if his uncle came over to take care of things. Even if he did, with his gentle temper there was no way he would utter his dissatisfaction about his behavior.

Thus the two men left the God of War’s palace, both with their own thoughts in mind.

On the other side of the capital, Fu Min lay on the roof of Jing He’s palace and yawned. He had kept an eye on the crown prince for the whole night and morning but nothing could be seen of any other man. The only one His Highness had approached was one of the guards standing in front of the gate and he even sent him away. Maybe … His Majesty had only imagined that something was going on? Unfortunately, he wouldn’t be able to leave until he had something to report. And with how unreasonable their King was ‘nothing happened’ wasn’t an acceptable report.

Fu Min sighed and rolled onto his back, looking up at the clouds drifting by above his head. Ah, if only something would happen. He could run back to His Majesty and overdramatize things a bit. Then His Majesty would certainly hurry over himself while he could go and snuggle in bed. Ah, but it wasn’t like he could magically let a man appear outside of the crown prince’s palace.

Just when Fu Min bemoaned his tragic fate steady footsteps sounded from the path leading up to the palace gates. The dragon blinked and sat up disbelieving. Who would have thought that Heaven would listen to his prayers this fast? With a grin, he peered over the edge of the roof and looked at the person that had arrived. He couldn’t say that he was surprised when he saw who it was. This person … Could he really pretend that he had no idea who he was?

Fu Min grumbled and scratched at the tiles. In the end, he still got up as soon as the door closed behind the God of War and left for the dragon realm. Whatever. He had only been tasked with finding out about the mysterious visitor of the Son of Heaven. Since there was nothing to be seen of some ‘Huang Lan’ he might as well go and tell His Majesty that another strange man had entered his beloved’s palace.

Inside the palace, Jing He turned to the door in surprise. “Uncle?”

Qiang Yan nodded and hurried over to his nephew’s side. “Are you alright? Mu Kun said you wanted to see me.” He peered into his nephew’s face and nodded to himself. Sure enough, Jing He indeed looked a little pale. Even if the dragon king hadn’t done anything overboard, his nephew had likely overthought things again and scared himself.

Jing He didn’t know how to react for a moment. He had wanted to go and see his uncle about the matter with the dragon king but he hadn’t expected him to suddenly turn up in his palace just after he sent Mu Kun over. “Uncle, you didn’t need to come over here immediately. I didn’t want to bother you.” He lowered his gaze, chastising himself. What had he been thinking, sending Mu Kun over first thing in the morning? As the God of War, his uncle was a busy man. He certainly didn’t have the time to advise him on such matters.

Seeing his nephew not daring to look at him Qiang Yan sighed and went over to the table, sitting down even before Jing He had time to offer him a cup of tea. “Don’t worry about it. I was just taking a break anyway and considered to head out. You just gave me the perfect excuse.” He smiled and motioned to the tea set standing on the cupboard to the side. “The tea you have here is usually much more refined than the one in my palace. How about pouring a cup for me?”

Jing He nodded gratefully. He hadn’t known how to approach the subject but it seemed his uncle was trying to make things easier for him. He went to get the tea set and carried it over to the table, slowly preparing the tea.

Qiang Yan silently watched him handle the task with practiced moves. He had seen this child grow up and even though Jing He might be able to fool most people, he wasn’t one of them. He could see that the elegance Jing He exuded today was merely trying to hide his agitated emotions. It seemed whatever had happened, had hit him hard. Now the question was whether that was a good thing or a bad thing.

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