The investigation was still ongoing so there wasn’t really much more that they could find out. Thus, the four of them soon left and instead started to stroll through the city.
Hua Lin Yu was having a great time but he also couldn’t help and think about that fire and the circumstances surrounding it every now and then. It really was such a strange thing to happen. But anyway, he didn’t even know the people involved so he pushed the thought away, feeling that it had nothing to do with him.
A few days went by, in which they strolled through the streets of the Long kingdom’s capital, visiting some of the shops that Hua Lin Yu didn’t know yet and talking with the servants or even the owners to get a better picture of it.
Huo Cheng and Huo Hai were happy that they hadn’t left for the Hua family’s estate yet which might make Hua Lin Yu’s wedding into a reality but they also felt strange that their junior wasn’t willing to leave yet and they were especially unhappy that Xin Lan was hanging around him all the time.
One of these days, just when they left yet another store, they saw a painting being posted to a wall on the other side. Hua Lin Yu looked up at Xin Lan, quietly asking him to go and take a look.
Xin Lan rubbed his back and brushed through Hua Lin Yu’s hair to show his affection before taking him over there.
When they stood in front of it, they saw that it was actually a painting of a person. Hua Lin Yu’s eyes widened slightly when he saw it and he couldn’t help but turn to the yamen runner that had just posted it. “Excuse me but … what is this about?”
The yamen runner didn’t really have much time but when he turned around and saw Hua Lin Yu, he also didn’t feel right to just not answer. The person opposite him was obviously very young. Thus, he at least gave a bare-bones explanation. “There was a murder in the city recently and this person is the most likely suspect. I’m afraid I can’t answer more questions since I still need to go and hang up the other paintings bu there’s some more information in the accompanying text.”
Hua Lin Yu nodded and thanked him and turned to the information when the yamen runner had left. The text did indeed give a few more details: Apparently, the person in the picture was called Ma Tao and was a servant of the Zhong family. He was suspected to have killed the son-in-law of the family and then broken into the yamen and set fire to a building to escape responsibility. Afterward, he had either fled or was hiding somewhere in the capital city. The yamen was asking people to report if they saw him somewhere.
Xin Lan was reading the text as well and slightly raised his brows. “It seems this has to do with that case we heard about a few days ago.”
Hua Lin Yu nodded. “So it was their servant?” He slightly furrowed his brows, wondering how all of this had to do with each other. He remembered that face. But the person he had seen hadn’t actually been that Ma Tao. Instead, that face had only been a projection made with spiritual energy. The real person below that had been a handsome young man and the clothes he had worn had suggested that he actually wasn’t a servant either.
But why would he take on that appearance? And that had even been the day before the fire. Hua Lin Yu didn’t think that it was a coincidence but he just didn’t understand what it meant. He pondered for a while longer and then turned to Xin Lan. “Didn’t you say you were acquainted with that family?”
Xin Lan nodded faintly. “A little. Why?”
“Well, I was just wondering. Have you ever seen that son-in-law?”
Xin Lan pondered. He hadn’t really hung around the Zhong family that often since he was only concerned with Qiu Ling if it had to do with Jinde. Thus, he wasn’t really sure who their son-in-law was. But … if he had to guess, then it would likely be the guy that the two dragons had dragged over there the other day. “I think I did.”
“Then how does he look?”
Xin Lan was stunned at that question and looked at Hua Lin Yu, trying to figure out why he would be asking something like this.
Hua Lin Yu tensed and then reached out, grabbing onto his robe and brushing the seam of the lapel with his fingers. “I … I’m just wondering. This all seems very mysterious.”
Xin Lan raised his brows. “Oh? So my little beauty is chasing adventures?” He leaned closer, his lips curving up into a smile. “You just have to say so. I’m not against taking you somewhere you can have that.”
Xin Lan’s breath brushed his cheek and ear, making Hua Lin Yu flush red. His fingers curled around the rim of the lapel and he lowered his head, not sure how to answer. He also didn’t understand why he was so interested in this. It was just that somehow, he couldn’t forget that moment when he had collided with that man, and now, this story surrounding him came up over and over again. He just couldn’t help but wonder.
Xin Lan chuckled and then kissed his cheek before straightening up again. He had probably teased him enough. “It’s alright. If you’re that curious, how about we go over and see what’s going on?”
Hua Lin Yu felt a little conflicted at that. “Are you sure? That … that seems a little too much?”
“While I don’t know the family itself very well, I’m somewhat better acquainted with their other son-in-law. It wouldn’t be over the top to go and speak with him and his lover. We can just say we’re there to support them.”
Hua Lin Yu still hesitated for a moment but, finally, his curiosity won. “Alright, then let’s do that.”
“Mn.” Xin Lan smiled, satisfied that there was something he could do for Hua Lin Yu. He turned around to take him over, only to stop at the sight of the Huo brothers. Those … might be a bit too much to take along.