Chapter 99.3




But that’s not right either. The Lord Governor doesn’t act like a spy and has Meng Jiayue on his side. Meng Jiayue’s father, Mr. Meng, had died in the war with South Qin, and she hated war, so how could she allow her husband to serve South Qin? The couple’s love for each other didn’t look like they were faking it. Their eyes were full of affection as they looked into each other’s eyes. An Ruochen was sure of this. Then, perhaps Madam Governor knew that the Lord Governor was involved in this matter and was helping him hide it due to their love for each other. But if one thinks about it that way, that Qian Shixin is quite heavily used and is the son of Qian Pei, wouldn’t he also be a spy?




No way, no way. An Ruochen shook her head violently. She couldn’t be too far gone, so blind that she would look at everyone suspiciously, look at everyone as if they were a spy, as in the end, she wouldn’t be able to see anything at all. She wanted to meet the General. If the General was around, he would have guided her well. The General knew everything and would have a way to deal with this.




An Ruochen thought about how to write her letter. She returned to the Purple Cloud House and hurriedly wrote to Big Long. The letter was mushy and expressed her deepest thoughts. While writing, she kept rubbing her arms to press down the goosebumps, hoping the General could be stronger and withstand these cheesy words. With this degree of exaggeration, he should be able to guess that she desperately needed his guidance, right? The letter also wrote about Huo Mingshan’s suicide. She expressed her regret, especially after seeing Cao Yihan’s grief. It made her remember the loss of her mother and she was even more afraid of the pain of separation. She was worried about the General’s well-being and wanted to meet him.




An Ruochen hoped that Big Long would understand her hints. Even if he couldn’t return, he could send a letter ordering her to meet him. Then, she would have a reason to bring Cao Yihan there in passing or convey Cao Yihan’s oral message; if he was willing to tell her.




An Ruochen handed the letter to Mr. Zhou to arrange for a messenger to deliver it. At this time, she saw that Lu Daniang had returned.




Since she entered the Purple Cloud House, Lu Daniang stopped delivering vegetables to the various houses, and transferred this job to Qi Zheng. Qi Zheng was young, so Zhao Jiahua helped him organize and handle things. With food and shelter being sufficient, his life was stable. Lu Daniang went out every day to deal with various vegetable farmers and goods merchants, buying ingredients and groceries for the Purple Cloud House, using this to cover up the action of prying for information.




Lu Daniang busied herself with the chores in the Purple Cloud House and then found two things to report to An Ruochen. After arriving at An Ruochen’s place and dismissing her attendants, Lu Daniang excitedly reported to An Ruochen so and so.




An Ruochen froze and was also surprised: “Really?”




“Can’t be wrong. At that time, the day was still early, and Chen Kui was just ready to start doing farm work, fiddling with the hoe. Once he raised his eyes to see, he saw that person’s appearance. Medium height, round face, pointed long eyes, looks quite kind. It was early morning, but this person was coming down from Mount Xiu. The appearance seems in line, and the movements are suspicious. Chen Kui then got suspicious, and carrying a hoe, he pretended to go on the field and followed him for a while. Then, he saw that the person had tied a horse under Mount Xiu and thought he was on the mountain to do business. The person unhitched the horse and rode off, not toward the city, but to the east.” Lu Daniang was very excited. She never saw any trace of this person in the city, and it turned out that this person probably did not live in Zhonglan. This was unexpected, but after searching for a long time, contacting and spreading the net, and finally having eyes in the right place to get the news, Lu Daniang was full of accomplishment.




“To the east?” An Ruochen pondered, “That way, can we get to Fu’an County?” The range to the east was much larger, but there was Qian Pei in Fu’an County.




“It is possible to get there.” Lu Daniang said, and then stifled: “Unfortunately, he rode away, so we failed to explore his residence.” Her connections in other counties were not as good as in Zhonglan City.




“It’s fine. At least we’ve found him. That Mount Xiu is a clue. What’s on the mountain?”




“I asked around. There is a temple.”




An Ruochen was shocked. Her eyes widened in surprise, “How come I never knew there was a temple there.”




“I also heard about it for the first time. Chen Kui himself doesn’t know. I also went to inquire again. He said it was a small temple with only one nun inside. There are not many incentives. People go up to burn incense only during the New Year’s festivals, but it’s mostly the villagers living near the mountain. Even in these villages, this temple is not worth mentioning, not to mention people outside. They say that the nun doesn’t like to get close to people, grows her own vegetables, sometimes goes down the mountain to make money, and doesn’t like to talk.”




An Ruochen’s eyes brightened. Perhaps the ‘gray’ she saw that day was not an imagination. A small temple hid in the mountains, a nun who lives alone, a suspicious man who approached and sized her up, and Qian Pei in Fu’an County—




String these together, and it would be like pulling out the corner of a fishing net.




“I must go to Mount Xiu tomorrow to look at this temple.” An Ruochen said.




Lu Daniang hurriedly reminded, “If there is something related to the spies there, you have to be careful, Miss. After all, the mountains and forests are so remote that no one would know what has happened. You have to bring more people with you.”




“I know, but it cannot be a big fanfare. Suddenly running to a small temple without reason also causes suspicion. I can’t go for now. I have to think about it and find a proper excuse.” An Ruochen pondered and asked, “Is there any place that you must cross that mountain to get to?”




Lu Daniang didn’t know. She said, “I’ll make another trip, ask for details, and explore on the ground.”




“Don’t go up the mountain. Don’t let anyone see you. They know you are with me.”




“Don’t worry, Miss. I have plans in my heart.” Lu Daniang turned to leave. An Ruochen called her back again, “You have been out socializing with people for a while now, Daniang, so help me with one more thing.”




“Miss, please speak.”




“Daniang, approach those famous matchmakers in the city and say that I heard the Xue family has proposed marriage to the An family. Say that I was upset when I found out about this, and that I purposely looked for Mrs. Xue to have a chat. This marriage is not good. Although Mr. Xue is frail, he is a talented man. The Xue family is rich and respected and is not a place where the second girl of the An family can climb to.”




Lu Daniang was surprised, “Is Miss going to say that?”




“Right. Make it clear to the matchmakers that I am unhappy about this marriage. Add some more sour words. Who knows if the An family is playing tricks here? Do the eight characters really match? Even if they do, are others unsuitable? There are so many good girls in the city. I don’t believe there’s anyone else except my second sister. Tell them to help look for other girls with compatible birthdates and let me know if they find any. Say I’ll give them a big reward.”




Lu Daniang nodded and agreed, saying she would watch for opportunities to spread the word when she went out.




Lu Daniang left, while An Ruochen sat in the room and carefully calculated, what reason should she use to bring people to the mountain tomorrow? How to investigate? What kind of situation will they encounter?

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