“Why” Concubine Bai asked curiously.
“Actually, if you just think about it…” Zu An wanted to sayI, but he immediately realized that he would be exposing himself.
As such, he changed his words.
“If you think about it, you can deduce a thing or two from the Embroidered Envoys actions.
If Xin Rui died, they would definitely start investigating her relationships in the palace, who she met before she died, and if anyone had the motive and opportunity to kill her.
Once this happened, even Concubine Bai would be a suspect.”
Concubine Bai smiled.
After all, Xin Rui is my personal maid, so I would become the number one suspect if she dies.
However, even if she left the imperial palace, I would still be a prime suspect.
After all, the two of us were just too close.”
Zu An continued from Concubine Bais statement.
“The mastermind is extremely smart.
They used the weakness of human nature and remained in the most suspicious place from the start; but others subconsciously felt that this was just too simple, that it was someone else who tried to frame her.
With this type of mentality, together with the clues that appeared afterward, people wouldnt be able to help but thinkno wonder afterward.
Then, they would investigate other suspects, even though the main mastermind was right under their noses.”
Concubine Bai frowned.
“Then, judging from what youre saying, it seems as if this mastermind youre speaking of is me”
Zu An didnt reply to her question and instead continued, “What we just talked about is what would have happened had Xin Rui died.
However, Xin Rui left the imperial palace alive, so the Embroidered Envoy would definitely investigate the palace gate first.
If there were no records, they would naturally suspect Xuanwu Gates Ou Wu.”
“Yet when the Embroidered Envoy was about to investigate Ou Wu, he suddenly disappeared with his wife and children, while the one in charge of the gate was the Murong clans young master.
Whether its Ou Wu or Murong Luo, everyone knows theyre a part of King Qis faction.
King Qi has the motive as well as the strength to target the crown princess, so everyone concluded that the mastermind was King Qi.
Even the subjects supporting King Qis faction probably believed that.
“That would mean the emperor would inevitably use this chance to deal King Qi a heavy blow.
King Qi would feel that the emperor was abusing his power, and that the emperor was the one framing him, so of course he would retaliate.
Once this happens, the tacit balance between the two powers would collapse, and the entire nation would be thrown into chaos.
The one stirring the waters in the shadows would then take advantage of this crisis for personal gain.”
Just then, the imperial grandson woke up and began to wail.
Concubine Bai quickly calmed him down while saying to Zu An, “I dont know what you mean by telling me all this.
Can it be that you feel that Im that mastermind Im an imperial concubine, as well as the mother of the imperial grandson.
What benefit would there be from throwing the entire empire into chaos”
The maid had already returned with some Hundred Flower Tea.
Furthermore, the wet nurses had also hurried over when they heard the imperial grandson cry.
As that was happening, Zu An and Concubine Bai remained silent.
Zu An calmly tasted the Hundred Flower Tea; its refreshing fragrance truly cleared the mind.
Concubine Bai had the maids and wet nurses bring the imperial grandson back.
When only the two of them were left, she remarked coldly, “It seems you arent scared of there being poison in the tea today.”
Zu An said with a smile, “I dont believe that Concubine Bai would be someone so contemptible.
Furthermore, the crown princess isnt here this time.
By rendering me unconscious, wouldnt it imply that your highness wishes to personally start a scandal with me”
Concubine Bais breathing quickened.
“Do you know that just these words alone are already enough for me to have you beaten to death by the rod”
Zu An lowered his teacup.
“Your highness is smart.
I dont believe you would do something so unwise.”
“Can it be that you really believe you have me completely in your grasp” Concubine Bai sat down on the swing again.
“Then I really am curious about your enlightening remarks.
Why did I become that mastermind, then”
Zu An replied, “It seems weve come full circle.
In this case, King Qi became the main offender.
Even though King Qi has more henchmen under him, the emperor is still the worlds number one.
His chances of taking down King Qi are still a bit higher.
That would mean that the crown prince would no longer have anyone competing with him.
At the same time, the crown princess purity would come into question, so you could succeed her position.
Youre also the mother of the imperial grandson.
How could any of the other concubines compare to you”
He sighed and said, “Actually, theres another principle when it comes to deciphering cases.
The one who has the strongest motives and obtains the greatest benefits is often the perpetrator.
Unfortunately, everyone was misled by you, and overlooked that you were the greatest beneficiary.”
Concubine Bai said indifferently, “Does Sir Zu know what the crime of slander is Everything you just said is baseless.
I only have one question for you, though.
If I really am the mastermind, why would I save the two of you from being seen naked together Wouldnt that help me with my objective”
Zu An spoke with a sigh of praise.
“Thats why your highness is brilliant.
If you allowed the crown princess to be discovered like that, the crown princess would be finished.
However, you, as the one receiving the most benefits, would rise too abruptly.
Everyone would suspect you.
On the contrary, by giving her a chance, the crown princess would draw all of the attention, while you would be safe behind the scenes.
“Of course, there is another reason.
Compared to King Qi, the crown princes faction was at a disadvantage to begin with.
If something were to happen to the crown princess, the leader of this faction from the very start, the crown princes faction might not be able to win against King Qis faction.
That would mean that everything would end up benefiting King Qi instead.”
Concubine Bai harrumphed.
“Then what about now Arent I just helping the crown princess Ive gotten rid of King Qi for her, and shell become the future empress.
What meaning would there be left in my doing all of this”
Zu An looked into her usually gentle eyes and said with a sigh.
“And thats precisely why I praised you as brilliant.
Its because of the things you said that no one will suspect you.
However, Ive already roughly guessed your plans.
You probably have proof of the crown princess beingdefiled, so you can still use her current power to deal with King Qi.
However, once the situation is already settled, you can have some people scatter the proof whenever you want.
That way, the crown princess naturally wouldnt have the dignity to remain the empress, and its hard to say if she could continue living.
“The crown princess is incredibly smart, but she would forever remain as one of your chess pieces.
After all, shes the one who has prepared the way for you,” Zu An concluded.
He couldnt help but respect Bi Linglongs foresight.
He had felt that she was too vicious when she told him to find a chance to silence Concubine Bai; to think that she would kill such a kind and gentle woman because of such a groundless reason.
Now, he realized that she was the truly wise one.
She might not have known that the mastermind was Concubine Bai, but her keen aptitude for politics had immediately made her realize that sooner or later, Concubine Bais existence itself would be a huge threat to her.
That was why she didnt hesitate to eliminate that threat.
Sigh, these two women look friendly on the surface, yet theyre both equally vicious.
Is it really just that the prettier the woman, the better they are at lying Those beautiful female friends of Zu Ans appeared in his mind one after another.
He was starting to become truly paranoid. Hmph, its only because the crown prince is too weak, so he cant control his women.
Im definitely different. In the end, Zu An consoled himself that way.
Just then, Concubine Bai gently clapped her hands.
“Youve made quite the excellent analysis.
Unfortunately, these are only your own speculations.
Theres no proof.”
“Its actually not so hard to get proof.
We just need to find Ou Wu,” Zu An said.
“Then lets wait until you find him first.” Concubine Bai chuckled.
Her delicate and pure face that had originally resembled a small white flower now seemed a bit dangerous.
Zu An sighed.
“From what your highness is saying, it seems like only disaster awaits Ou Wu.
Actually, I always wondered whether Ou Wu was running away on his own initiative, or if he wasforced to.
Your people can kill him, and then make it seem as if he escaped for fear of punishment for his crimes, framing King Qi that way.”
“These words might seem quite laughable in the eyes of others.” Concubine Bais slender fingers pointed at the surroundings.
“Everyone here knows that I dont have the influence or the background to do something like this.
Ive always remained deep in my own palace and rarely leave the palace gates.
How could I have the ability to kill an imperial palace gate supervisor, and even bring away his entire family”
“Even though youre weak on your own, you have allies, dont you” Zu An chuckled.
“For example, maybe King Wu”