Chapter 414: Ancient Family
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
Is this Lu Ziming?
As soon as Lu Ziming arrived in the capital, he went straight to look for Madam Xin, and now he was visiting her again.
In the room, Madam Xin seduced him. Lu Ziming couldn’t resist it and quickly surrendered.
Afterwards, Lu Ziming, holding Madam Xin, could no longer restrain his desire for the map. “When do you plan to give me the item?”
Madam Xin lay beside Lu Ziming, her fingers slowly tracing over his chest. “I can give you the item, but you need to tell me what you will do with it.”
Since it had already come to this, she needed to understand why.
A glint of dark light flashed in Lu Ziming’s eyes. People really do change over the years. “Knowing will bring you no good. Are you sure you want to hear it?”
Madam Xin felt a chill in her heart, but kept a nonchalant facade. “What’s the harm in knowing the truth?”
Lu Ziming was silent for a moment, then grasping Madam Xin’s hand, his tone grew serious. “Since you want to know, I’ll tell you, but you must bear the consequences.”
Madam Xin stiffened but remained calm on the surface. “Oh, just say it. Why hesitate?”
Lu Ziming turned to face Madam Xin and slowly began, “I need to enter the imperial palace to find something.”
Lady Xin met Lu Ziming’s gaze, her heart racing. “What is it you want to find?”
Lu Ziming averted his gaze, staring into the void. “In the palace’s library, there’s a book called ‘The Record of Wonders’, which conceals a great secret…” He paused. “Over three hundred years ago, an ancient family in the eastern border was destroyed overnight due to a land movement.”
“This ancient family had a heritage of over seven hundred years, with countless treasures. It’s said that ‘The Record of Wonders’ details the exact location of this family.”
Madam Xin’s mouth fell open in disbelief. “Where did you hear this news?”
Lu Ziming’s eyes were filled with suppressed madness and greed. “I obtained the other half of ‘The Record of Wonders’. It is this book that guides me.”
Madam Xin was greedy but also skeptical. “An event from over three hundred years ago could be false, right?”
“You may believe it or not,” Lu Ziming replied, indifferent to Madam Xin’s skepticism. He was only interested in obtaining the map to enter the palace. “Can you give me the map now?”
After a moment of thought, knowing the secret, Madam Xin decided to give Lu Ziming the map. “Wait here. I’ll fetch it for you.”
As she said this, she put on her clothes, got out of bed, and handed Lu Ziming the map. “Here you go.”
Taking the map, Lu Ziming trembled with excitement. He unfolded the map, his hands shaking. “Finally, I have the map… finally…”
In his excitement, he pulled Madam Xin to him, forcibly taking her on the bed, and then… he strangled her to death.
Madam Xin’s life ended painfully in the midst of pleasure.
Qu Xinwei just listened to the commotion without looking at the scene in the room, but when Madam Xin was killed, she still knew it immediately.”
Madam Xin, being a concubine of Prince Rui, engaged in extramarital affairs at night. She wasn’t a good person, and there’s no need to save her.
As for Lu Ziming, Qu Xinwei decided to ignore him for now, as he wasn’t in her way yet.
Honestly, Qu Xinwei was quite interested in the ancient family. Since Lu Ziming was actively searching, she let him continue, hoping he would uncover more clues, which would ultimately save her the trouble.
Thus, Qu Xinwei decided to turn a blind eye to the whole affair.
Lu Ziming disguised Madam Xin’s death as a suicide, cleaned the scene, and left the way he came.
Soon after, Tang Jinghong arrived at Qu Xinwei’s room.
Tang Jinghong spoke with concern, “Qingzhi, have you eaten the meal I brought you?”
As soon as Tang Jinghong arrived, Chu Qingzhi reverted to her own appearance, “I’ve eaten it, finished it all. It was particularly delicious, thank you Jinghong.”
Tang Jinghong gently patted Chu Qingzhi’s head, his voice tender, “From now on, I’ll bring your meals to you.”
Chu Qingzhi smiled. “Okay.”
“Do you have any plans for tonight? I’ve arranged everything on my end, so I can join you for whatever you have planned this evening.”
“Going to the black market…” Chu Qingzhi informed Tang Jinghong about her encounter with the Western envoy and what she had heard about the ancient family.
It took Tang Jinghong five seconds to digest Chu Qingzhi’s words. He stored the information about the ancient family at the back of his mind, considering it too elusive to address immediately. Instead, he focused on the Western envoy. “I’m impressed that you could gather so much information just by accompanying the young prince for a day. I feel quite inadequate compared to you.”
Chu Qingzhi reassured him, “You don’t need to compare yourself to me.”
Tang Jinghong still admired her, “Then let’s go.”
Chu Qingzhi nodded. “Okay.”
The Ministry of Revenue in the capital had ten storehouses, where most of the cloth, money, and grain of the Daling Dynasty were stored.
Among these ten storehouses, three held gold and silver treasures: the Inner Treasury for the imperial palace’s financial needs, the Household Department’s Treasury, and the National Treasury of the Ministry of Revenue.
The National Treasury was the financial heart of the Daling Dynasty, handling all major expenditures. All the wealth and treasures contributed as tributes to the imperial court were also stored here. It was of utmost importance, guarded strictly by appointed officials and regularly audited to ensure its integrity.
Cao Changsheng had emptied the National Treasury of the Ministry of Revenue.
His position in the Ministry allowed him to orchestrate the emptying of the National Treasury, which inevitably involved collusion at various levels. Nevertheless, the fact remained: the treasury had been emptied.
At this moment, the Emperor, accompanied by senior ministers from the Ministry of Revenue, prepared to secretly open the National Treasury. He wanted to see if Cao Changsheng was audacious enough to tamper with the foundation of the Daling Dynasty.
The Emperor had not disclosed the emptying of the treasury. He simply stated his desire to see if the amount of silver had increased during his three-year reign.
When the late Emperor passed away, he left seven million taels of silver. The National Treasury was not depleted, but it was not particularly abundant either.
The National Treasury was underground, resembling a secret chamber, secured with multiple locks.
Seeing those locks, the Emperor did not want to believe that there had been any issue with the treasury. After all, if the foundation was undermined, he couldn’t escape responsibility.
As each door was opened, the Emperor entered the innermost chamber where the silver was stored.
Here, large boxes were stacked neatly, giving the appearance of being undisturbed. However, a closer inspection revealed the problem.
The dust on the boxes, which should have been thick due to the long-term sealing of the storehouse, was sparse. Moreover, there were distinct traces of them being moved..