A group of people entered the manor, led by King Wu and his wife.
The first order of business was to examine the prison facilities that King Wu offered.
Zu An was just too important, after all.
Even though King Liang and Liu Yao wanted to get drunk and enjoy themselves that night, this was the one thing they could not screw up.
There was an isolated courtyard in King Wus manor which had a clear view all around it.
It would be difficult for an enemy to approach it without being seen.
Several rooms were spread out inside, which made it easy for them to set up a defensive perimeter.
Most importantly, it wasnt far from the banquet hall.
If something happened, King Liang and Liu Yao could rush over immediately.
Huang Huihong nodded continuously as he examined this place.
He was quite satisfied with this temporary prison.
King Liang stroked his beard and said, “King Wu has really put in the effort to prepare such a suitable location for us in advance.”
King Wu smiled in return.
“It wasnt too inconvenient—we merely renovated one of the guest courtyards in the manor.
I am glad that this suits your needs.”
Commander Huang, well have to trouble you to settle the rest of it,” King Liang said to Huang Huihong.
Huang Huihong clasped his fist respectfully.
“Its no trouble at all.
It is my duty, after all.”
King Wu smiled.
“The manors guards will keep watch outside.
Please feel free to let them know about any needs the commander may have.”
Huang Huihong said, “Thank you, respected king.
However, please do not let them get too close to this courtyard.
We want to prevent any unnecessary misunderstandings.”
King Wu replied, “Of course.
Unless Commander Huang issues the order, none of them will approach this courtyard.”
“Thank you, respected king.” Huang Huihong said in gratitude.
What worried him most was that a spy could have infiltrated the manors guards.
Now that hed secured the other partys guarantee, he was free to cut down anyone who approached.
The Embroidered Envoy acted with the emperors authority anyway, so they were free to kill anyone who crossed them, whether they were servants of the manor, or even officials.
King Wu nodded, the warm smile on his face making him seem like a most agreeable person.
He turned his attention to someone else.
“King Liang, General Liu, this way! This humble king has prepared some of North Order Citys most special food, drink and entertainment for all of you to enjoy.”
Liu Yao laughed heartily.
We will enjoy what your North Order City has to offer!”
King Liang also stroked his beard with a smile.
The entertainment—especially the singing and dancing—was what he was most interested in to begin with.
He wondered what the girls of North Order City were like.
Suddenly, he noticed Madam Wu out of the corners of his eye, a smile resting on her immaculate face.
It was already evening.
The faint moonlight seemed to add a layer of sparkling radiance to her fair complexion, lending a holy and divine aspect to her beauty.
King Liang immediately put on a serious and reserved expression, afraid that his frivolous smile would ruin this sacred feeling.
What the hell is this Im a king who has always had my way with women over the years.
Why am I acting in such a reserved manner in front of someone a generation younger than me
As soon as these thoughts appeared, King Wu asked him a series of questions about the capital.
He replied to them one by one, and the strange thoughts from earlier slowly faded.
“Sigh, its been almost a decade since I left the capital.
The memories of my past have already grown blurry.” King Wu laughed at himself.
“By the way, has my father been well”
“His majestys cultivation is unmatched, and his constitution is naturally excellent as well! However, he is only growing older, and the battles against the foreign tribes have left behind some old scars.
He cannot be compared to his younger self,” replied King Liang.
It was common knowledge that the emperor already had one foot in the grave, and that he probably only had a few years left to live.
However, how could anyone dare say this out loud He had to rack his brain to find out a more suitable way of putting things.
King Wu immediately looked distressed.
“It truly is a pity that I cannot serve at fathers side.
This is one of my greatest regrets in life.”
King Liang hurriedly said, “I will definitely pass on your innermost feelings to His Majesty when I return to the capital.
I am sure the emperor will be happy to learn of King Wus filial piety.”
The Great Zhou Dynasty was governed by filial piety.
Everyone, from the high officials down to the commoners, would use various methods to express their filial piety towards their parents, and it was truly hard to distinguish whether they really meant what they said.
Regardless of their true intentions, however, no one would ever try to expose another, but would show their support instead, to avoid becoming targets of public criticism themselves.
Liu Yao was less than pleased by this comment.
“The Zhou Dynasty has its own laws.
Kings are to leave the capital and hold positions in vassal states.
The crown prince is in the capital supporting the emperor.
There is no need for King Wu to feel troubled.”
What if the emperor really did recall him to the capital in a moment of weakness King Qi was already enough of a headache! The situation facing the crown prince would become even more difficult if another king—King Wu—joined the fray!
King Wu apologized at once.
“This humble one has misspoke.
My affection for my father and mother has made me momentarily forget the rules of the court.
I hope the general does not take offense.”
King Liang quickly stepped in to resolve the dispute.
“We were just discussing family.
Why the need to get so serious all of a sudden Were here to have a good time! Lets not discuss other matters.”
King Wus humility led Liu Yao to feel somewhat embarrassed.
King Wu was the host after all.
He took the opportunity to say, “What King Liang says is correct.
I was the one who was too inflexible.”
Yun Yuqing gave her husband a worried look.
She was the only one who had seen the flash of resentment in his eyes.
Meanwhile, in the guest courtyard, Huang Huihong was conducting a personal examination of the courtyard with his subordinates.
Hed refrained from doing it earlier out of consideration for King Wu, but he had to inspect it now.
It would spell trouble if there were any secret mechanisms or hidden pathways lying around unnoticed.
Zu An and Zheng Dan were removed from their carriage and placed inside the courtyard, together with Sang Hong and Sang Qian.
They all sat together, eyeing each other awkwardly.
“Hey, Zu brat, did you do anything to Daner” Sang Qians eyes were about to pop out.
“Thats something you should ask Miss Zheng.” Zu An smiled.
“If you ask me, I will only say that I did everything that should and shouldnt have been done.
I really dont mind going into the details if you want to listen.”
“Fuck you!” Sang Qian was furious.
He was about to pounce on Zu An when an embroidered envoy pressed him back into a seat.
You have successfully trolled Sang Qian for 999 Rage points!
Zheng Dan looked at Zu An in annoyance.
“Can you not say such irresponsible things!”
She knew that Zu An wouldnt really tell Sang Qian, and was just using this chance to anger him.
However, this really left her in quite a tight spot!
Zu An shrugged.
Sang Hong coughed and said, “Zu An, Im impressed that you informed the world about the Phoenix Nirvana Sutra.
Even though it seems as though you brought more danger upon yourself, you actually managed to turn the inevitable death facing you into a situation of potential survival.”
He changed the topic on purpose to prevent his son from being led by the nose.
“Mister Sang is too kind with your praise.
I didnt think about it that much, I just did what I felt like.
Thats just the sort of person I am! If someone makes me feel bad, Ill make sure they dont have it easy either.” Zu An clasped his fist towards him.
“Speaking of which, I havent yet thanked you for your help previously.”
He had only made it out of the Sang clan that time because Sang Hong had stepped in to hold off King Liang.
Sang Hong gave the embroidered envoy guarding them a look, then said with a smile, “Thats definitely not something I will dare claim to have done.
My offenses are already severe enough.
I do not want to add more sins to my name.”
Zu An smiled as well.
“I fully understand, but Ill still keep this favor in mind.
I will return it if there is a chance.”
“If I had known that you were so capable, I would never have made an enemy of the Chu clan,” Sang Hong said with a sigh.
Zu Ans face darkened.
“You might have decided to eliminate me as quickly as possible instead.”
Sang Hong laughed.
“Indeed, indeed! This little brother really understands how I think.”
Sang Qian gave a derisive snort.
He didnt like seeing his father get along with Zu An at all.
“Theres one thing I am quite confused about, however.
From what I understand about you, you would never do anything to endanger yourself.
What do you plan to do now” Sang Hong couldnt help but ask.
Zu An yawned and said, “Mister Sang makes me sound like some slick old fox.
My mind isnt so complicated.”
Sang Hong wasnt surprised by his unwillingness to reply.
“In that case, this old one can only wait and see what kind of shocking plans this little brother has.”
“Stop chatting! Throw them into the rooms.” Huang Huihong had completed his inspection by this time.
He noticed how the prisoners were chatting pleasantly amongst themselves, and he was worried that they might end up hatching some sort of scheme.
Fortunately, there were many rooms available, so they were each escorted into their own room.
Meanwhile, King Wu continued to propose toasts with King Liang and Liu Yao, while he sent a voice transmission to his wife.
“From here on out, everything will depend on you.
You must complete the mission Ive entrusted you with.”