508 Grow Up Quickly
Lu Tianbi peered down at the foreign seal on the letter. Shortly after she had set foot in the palace, Lu Tianbi had noticed a familiar figure walking down the hallway.
It was the messenger who always traveled from Hanjian to Wuyi, and vice versa. She had intercepted him, and the messenger was initially hesitant about handing over the letter.
However, he was familiar with her face and position, thus, presented it to her in hopes that it would be safely delivered to the Crown Prince.
"This is the second urgent letter in a month," Lu Tianbi muttered. She examined the Imperial Seal of Wuyi. Her mouth ran dry.
Lu Tianbi was well aware that this was another warning letter. The first time such a letter was sent out, it was a rebuke to the Crown Prince for his failure to protect Li Xueyue from those who maliciously caused her miscarriage and a warning to protect her better.
"There is a spy in the palace." Lu Tianbi could not figure out who the mole was. It was quite a miracle that Wuyi had managed to plant a spy in a position high enough to hear about the miscarriage and all of the unfortuante events.
"Who could it be?" Lu Tianbi pressed her lips together. Neither the Crown Prince or Hu Dengxiao could pinpoint a specific person, but they had a speculation.
Whether or not there was a spy, Lu Tianbi knew the Crown Prince did not mind. Though, he was infuriated by the letters.
Lu Tianbi let out a sigh. She recalled the first letter that was sent to Hanjian, shortly after the Crown Princess's miscarriage.
The letter had read,
"Failing your duties as a husband this early in the marriage? Have you no shame? If you continue not to protect our precious flower, then perhaps it is time for her to move back to a safer garden."
The Crown Prince had been furious at the news, but he was able to withhold it from the Crown Princess. No one except Lu Tianbi, Hu Dengxiao, and the Crown Prince had read the letter. It would be disastrous if word gets out of Wuyi's threat.
Taking back the Crown Princess was one thing, but then, what shall happen to the alliance? What shall happen to the Crown Prince? The Commander would not hesitate to go to war just to bring back his Wangfei.
"How troublesome…" Lu Tianbi knew the second letter would deliver a far, worse threat. Her lips thinned as she peered down at it.
What shall the Imperial Family of Wuyi say now? Surely, they had received word of the poisoning.
"Well… Only one way to find out." Lu Tianbi headed towards the Crown Prince's private study.
Lu Tianbi wondered if he was inside, or still dealing with the Empress. But the whole situation with Lady Ge had finished—or so she had been told by the servants. Prior to her entrance to the Imperial Palace, Hu Dengxiao had filled her in about what happened early in the morning.
"They must've argued." Lu Tianbi tightened her grip on the letter. She was apologetic about delivering those letters to the Crown Prince so quickly.
To Lu Tianbi's surprise, those letters were found in Lady Xu's estate. However, it did not make sense to her. Xu Jiaqi was too poor and low in position to have a "loyal friend." Lu Tianbi had voiced those concerns to the Crown Prince prior to the delivery of the questionable letters.
They had come to a conclusion that either Lady Xu was just the middleman to help exchange those letters or, someone had placed those letters there to frame Lady Xu. Either way, Lu Tianbi found out the Crown Princess had read it and misunderstood.
"I suppose arguing once in a while keeps the relationship healthy." Lu Tianbi had seen her parents' playful banter. They teased each other, but in the end, had one of the greatest love stories in the entire palace.
"Greetings to Lady Lu," the guards instantly addressed.
Lu Tianbi nodded her head in greeting. "Is the Crown Prince inside?" she asked.
The guards softly shook their heads. "We're afraid not, Lady Lu. The Crown Prince had departed from his private study a while ago."
Lu Tianbi was puzzled. Does that mean the Commander was still dealing with the Empress? But that did not make sense. She heard the Empress had directly sent Lady Ge to the terrifying Cold Palace. Hmm…what happened?
"Very well," Lu Tianbi said to them. She turned on her heels and decided to search for Hu Dengxiao. Surely, the Advisor would know where his closest friend was?
Lu Tianbi was surprised when she suddenly ran into the Crown Princess. "Princess," she breathed out in astonishment.
Lu Tianbi lowered her head into a bow, and heard a faint "Please rise."
Lu Tianbi lifted her head. She was puzzled by the sight of the Crown Princess, all alone, except for her usual servants, and guards. If the Crown Prince was not inside of his private study, then he was with his Wangfei.
However, his Wangfei was here, all alone. In that case, where was the Crown Prince? Was he training? But it was already late in the afternoon!
"Lady Lu, is Yu Zhen in there?" Li Xueyue instantly asked. She had gone back to her estate earlier, wondering if Yu Zhen was in there. But he was nowhere to be found.
Thus, Li Xueyue concluded that he was either in his private study, or occupied by a meeting.
Lu Tianbi adjusted her hands behind her, hiding the letter. "No, Princess. The Crown Prince is not inside the private study. I also thought he was in there, but it seems not."
Lu Tianbi thought it was strange that the Crown Prince was not with his wife. She knew his schedule very well, and today, he did not have any meetings with the ministers, or court hearings. Where exactly could the Crown Prince be?
"Then, are you aware of his current location, Lady Lu?"
"My deepest apologies, Princess. Unfortunately, I also don't know."
Li Xueyue thought that was odd. She had expected Yu Zhen's right-hand woman to be aware of his whereabouts.
Suddenly, Li Xueyue regretted leaving the Empress without asking her about Yu Zhen. The Empress was the last person to see Yu Zhen. She would've known where he was, or was heading towards.
"I see," Li Xueyue curtly said. Her attention drifted to Lu Tianbi's arms that were tucked behind her. She thought she saw Lu Tianbi with something in her hand.
"Is that a letter for Yu Zhen?" Li Xueyue asked. She could not understand why Lu Tianbi seemed to be so secretive about it.
"Ah—uhm…" Lu Tianbi trailed off. Her voice was laced with hesitation. Uncertainty reflected off of her eyes and her forced smile.
"I'm afraid I can't say much, Princess," Lu Tianbi stated.
It would be for the Crown Princess's best interest if she was not aware of the threats. At least, that was what the Crown Prince had strictly ordered. It seemed he did not want to upset or worry her with the news of the threats.
Lu Tianbi could not figure out why. Wouldn't it have been better for the Crown Princess to personally write a reply? The Emperor and Empress of Wuyi would feel much more reassured if their daughter had sent them a response of her wellbeing.
"I see," the Crown Princess said. Her expression remained calm.
Lu Tianbi did not know if the Crown Princess was offended or not. Lately, it has been more and more difficult to read the Crown Princess. Lu Tianbi knew it was for the best.
"In that case, I will not keep you away from your duties any longer, Lady Lu."
Lu Tianbi was astonished by the Crown Princess's growth in maturity. She faintly nodded and bowed as the Crown Princess brushed past her.
"Please enjoy the rest of your day, Princess," Lu Tianbi instantly said.
The Crown Princess paused. Slowly, she turned her head and gently nodded. Without another word, the Crown Princess sauntered down the hallways.
"It has been less than a year, yet she has changed so much." Lu Tianbi wondered if the maturity was forced upon the Crown Princess. It seemed the innocent and wide-eyed Princess of Wuyi was a thing of the past. Her naivety was gone with the wind.
"She's so young…" Lu Tianbi softly sighed.
Thinking back to the Crown Princess's age, Lu Tianbi was reminded of Princess Yu Lingluo. Both of them were young and resided in the palace, yet their personalities were worlds apart.
"I wonder how Princess Yu Lingluo was able to maintain her happy-go-lucky personality. Even now, she is ignorant of the dangers in the palace. It would've been nice if the Crown Princess was not forced to grow up so quickly."