Yu Huang Rong left the matchmaking pavilion in a complicated mood. This woman … If she wasn’t just a matchmaker, she might actually be dangerous. No, maybe he should say that if she wasn’t a woman, then she would be dangerous. After all, it wasn’t like she’d be able to pick up any other occupation in the first place. If she could … things really would’ve been different.
Anyway, she was on his side in this case so it was good for him that she had a good grasp on the situation. The plan … Even though he didn’t like the fact that Zhang Shi Lan might be put into danger, this really was the only way to go about this. Everything else had a much too high chance to fail.
Going to the palace, he went straight to Luan Xin’s study. In front of the door, he couldn’t help but pause though. After the strange situation he had had to witness the last time, he didn’t know if he should really just walk into the room. He pondered and finally raised his hand, knocking on the door. “Ah Xin, it’s me. Do you have time?”
Some mumbled words sounded from the other side of the door that didn’t sound very nice.
Yu Huang Rong heaved a sigh of relief and opened the door, giving his childhood friend smile. “I’m really glad that I’m not bothering you.”
Luan Xin’s threw him a mocking glance. “As if you’d ever cared about that.”
Yu Huang Rong ignored the comment and just sat down with a smile. “I need your help.”
“Of course you do. Why else would you come here?”
“Naturally, I’ve also come to check how you’re doing. It wouldn’t do if the only one who was very happy was me.”
Luan Xin harrumphed and waved for him to stop. “Alright, alright. I already understand. I don’t want you to worry about me. So what do you need help with this time around?”
Yu Huang Rong nodded happily and then glanced at She Ning who was sitting next to them, sorting through some documents for Luan Xin. “I’ve been at the matchmaking pavilion just now. Madam Yan says that we are ready to launch the next big step. If this goes well, then Zhang Shi Lan and I can marry soon. I will need a bit of help from you though.”
Luan Xin raised his brows. “Is that what she said or is it that you are not able to do what she asked of you?”
“Well, she might’ve come up with that after I told her that I knew you well.”
Luan Xin shook his head and sighed. “Alright, what is this about?” He leaned back, waving at She Ning to go and pour him another cup of tea and listened to Yu Huang Rong recounting his latest encounter with Madam Yan. His brows couldn’t help but raise higher. “That woman is really daring.”
Yu Huang Rong nodded eagerly. “She sure is! Who would think she’d dare to say such things about the emperor?”
“The plan is good though. And she’s not wrong with what she said.”
Yu Huang Rong’s lips twitched. How come his best friend was actually complimenting that woman? Anyway … “Will you do it?”
“The edict … That’s not a problem. Do you want me to help you with the ambush as well?”
Yu Huang Rong glanced at She Ning again who had gone back to sorting through the documents even though it seemed that he had listened in on the conversation. “Well … Maybe I’d rather have the captain of your secret guards help me. I think he might be better suited for that.”
Luan Xin harrumphed. “Are you looking down on me? We learned martial arts together when we were young!”
Yu Huang Rong snorted. “Exactly. We learned together when we were young. But now, we’re not that young anymore. I’m about to get married. And you already have your harem.”
Luan Xin didn’t bother to say anything to that and just tried to stay on topic. “Even if I might not be able to take part in that ambush, I can still give you some valuable advice. Ah, well, at the very least, I can help you find and prepare a favorable situation to stage that ambush. After all, you’ll have to have an opportunity, don’t you think so? Or do you want to be attacked right in the middle of the day on the main street?”
Yu Huang Rong raised his brows. “Well, there are a lot of people on the main street in the middle of the day.”
“But they aren’t the right people. You need to have someone from your own class or it won’t be good enough. If the normal populace talks, then that might be interesting to them but it won’t reach the ears of the people that need to talk about it. No, you’ll need a better situation.”
“Since you’ve already thought of one, just tell me what it is.”
Luan Xin smirked, happy that he had finally managed to make Yu Huang Rong comply. Seriously, this guy was too casual about these things. He was still the emperor, alright? He deserved to be given some face! “The autumn hunt. It isn’t long until then anymore and all the important ministers and people of the military will be there. These are the people you want to be witnesses.”
Yu Huang Rong furrowed his brows and nodded slowly. “That’s true. But … With so many people around and a lot of them being from the military, will we really be able to stage an ambush without being caught? That kind of thing is difficult to organize. If somebody wanted to really ambush someone, then they’d need to have people that would be willing to die for them. After all, you’ll also be there.”
“That’s true but it seems you have forgotten something.” He motioned at She Ning with his head and Yu Huang Rong also looked over, his expression lighting up.
Sure, ah! They had the emperor’s secret guards on their side. It couldn’t be too hard to make something like this happen.
She Ning looked up from the documents and furrowed his brows. “Let’s not talk about whether or not we can do it. Who’s going to protect Your Majesty if we leave? Somebody might use the opportunity to really attack you.”
Luan Xin just waved. “Don’t worry about that. Normally, your men can’t be seen anyway. So just have somebody remain close by. In case somebody checks whether or not I’m still being guarded, they’ll know that’s not a good opportunity. Actually, I could also remain at the base when you stage that ambush. That way, nobody can say that it had anything to do with me. In fact, since you want to pin that crime on my head, it might even be better if I’m not there. You could say that I was trying to make people not be suspicious of me.”
Yu Huang Rong’s lips twitched. “How is that any less suspicious?”
“Well, I’m an ambitious man and I also have my pride. If I wanted to take you down, I’d raise a bow myself and shoot you to death.”
“Could you not make jokes about that?”
“Who was the one who discussed me wanted to get rid of you with the matchmaker? It certainly wasn’t me.” He harrumphed and turned back to She Ning, reaching over and grabbing his hand. “Ah Ning, I’ll have to depend on you that day. Just organize everything for us.”
She Ning glanced at him but didn’t say anything, just going back to sorting the documents.
Yu Huang Rong wasn’t too sure what this meant but Luan Xin just patted his captain’s hand and smiled at him. “Great, so that’s been taken care of.”
Yu Huang Rong’s lips twitched once again but he didn’t say anything. Well, even though he found this matter of dealing with his partner quite strange, that might just be the effect of being the emperor. Who would dare to say no if Luan Xin told them to do something? And She Ning shouldn’t have a problem with organizing this. Yu Huang Rong turned to him, his gaze turning apologetic. “Thanks for your help then. If there’s anything I can do to help with …”
She Ning shook his head, not saying a word.
“Actually, I don’t mind anything regardless of how you organize it. I just don’t want Zhang Shi Lan to be injured. Can you make sure of that?”
She Ning glanced up at him and gave a short nod, still not saying anything. Well, that was probably all he would get.
Yu Huang Rong sighed, turning back to Luan Xin. “Is he always like this?”
Luan Xin glanced at him and shrugged his shoulders. “I really don’t know what you’re talking about. He just isn’t the type of person that will senselessly jabber on.”
Yu Huang Rong raised hands in defense. “Alright, alright. I see there’s nothing I can say about your lover. You’ll get all defensive about him. Now I see what you were complaining about before. Obviously, it’s really that some people will drop their friends immediately after love blossoms.”
Luan Xin snorted. “Immediately? I think you don’t know what immediately means. This has been going on for a while. And haven’t I helped you all the time since you came back? You better be grateful to me or I’ll tell Ah Ning not to help you with this nonsense. I also won’t invite that darling of yours to the autumn hunt. I’d like to see how you’ll stage that ambush then.”
Yu Huang Rong just grinned. “Oh? It has really been going on for a while. I wasn’t too sure. But it’s nice that you finally admitted it.”
Luan Xin picked up the heap of documents next to him and flung them at Yu Huang Rong. “You! Either make yourself useful or leave us alone!”
Yu Huang Rong chuckled and got to his feet, waving at the two of them. “I wouldn’t want to be in the way of the young couple. Love needs room to grow. Speaking of which, I’ll have to prepare for seeing my own sweetheart again.” He laughed again and then just walked out, leaving the fuming Luan Xin and a sighing She Ning who went back to once again sorting through the documents.