White Tiger Bureau.
Di Yiqiu followed Li Lu into the dungeon and saw the spy locked on the wall.
In previous years, the Yuhu Immortal Sect didn’t hold the Celestial Court or even the entire Imperial Court in high regard. Their disciples sent to the inner city, sometimes even appearing as immortal masters, were welcomed by the people with great fanfare.
Thirty years ago, Emperor Shiwu personally issued a decree stating that disciples from the immortal sects who entered the capital must carry a road pass issued by the court. Otherwise, they would be captured and detained.
However, implementing this rule was quite challenging in practice. To apprehend these individuals from the immortal sects, one would need to be stronger than them. Therefore, this regulation was never effectively enforced.
Approaching the spy, Di Yiqiu confronted the Chief of the White Tiger Bureau, Tan Qi, who greeted him and said, “Master, this dog is stubborn and refuses to say anything.”
The spy on the wall had been stripped down to his underclothes and appeared to have endured several lashes. However, he clearly remained unyielding and said, “I have not committed any crimes. What grounds do you have to arrest me?”
With his hands behind his back, Di Yiqiu walked up to the spy and asked, “Do members of the immortal sects have road passes when entering the inner city?”
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“Let Xie Hongchen come in person and see if I can defend the capital!” he declared.
He spoke those words casually, but they carried a weighty significance.
However, both Tan Qi and Li Lu realized that he was truly about to sever ties with the Yuhu Immortal Sect.
“Master,” Li Lu still intended to ease the situation and said, “This person hasn’t confessed yet. Should we wait for him…”
Before Li Lu could finish speaking, the spy angrily interrupted, “You despicable person! If you truly had the ability, our sect’s mistress would not have rejected you and married into the Yuhu Immortal Sect! Are you, a nobody, worthy of meeting our sect’s master?”
Li Lu immediately closed his mouth and refrained from further persuasion.
The fact that Huang Ran had rejected Di Yiqiu and married into the Yuhu Immortal Sect was a thorn in the side of the Celestial Court.
For a hundred years, the Celestial Court had been choked by this thorn, unable to swallow it or spit it out. It seemed to be proof that the Celestial Court was inferior to the Yuhu Immortal Sect.
It was also proof that Di Yiqiu was always inferior to Xie Hongchen.
Now, this insignificant spy had once again stirred up this sensitive issue.
Approaching him with measured steps, Di Yiqiu stared at the spy for a moment and said, “Challenging me, disrespecting the court, one hundred lashes.”
Li Lu thought the spy was surely going to die, but upon hearing the punishment, he breathed a sigh of relief. If it were only one hundred lashes, it wouldn’t be a big problem. He quickly responded, “Yes.”
However, Li Lu’s relief was short-lived when Di Yiqiu added, “Tomorrow at noon, bring him to the vegetable market and strip him naked for the flogging.”
Li Lu immediately felt bitterness in his heart. This wasn’t just about spanking the spy’s buttocks; it was a direct slap in the face to the Yuhu Immortal Sect!
“You… How dare you!” This time, the spy on the wall was genuinely furious. Exposed and punished in front of everyone, the humiliation for a member of the immortal sect was worse than death. He roared, “Di Yiqiu! If you dare to treat me like this, I will slaughter all of you, the henchmen and lapdogs of the Imperial court…”
The shouts in the dungeon gradually became hoarse, but Di Yiqiu paid no further attention.
After leaving the prison cell, there was a red sandalwood tree outside. This tree was originally unsuited for the harsh cold of the capital, but a hundred years ago, a woman cultivated a variant that allowed it to survive in this climate.
Now, it has grown for over a century with excellent wood quality.
Standing beneath the tree, Di Yiqiu looked up and pondered. Li Lu followed along, afraid that Di Yiqiu’s earlier anger was just a momentary outburst and that now he might regret it without a way to retreat.
So, Li Lu asked considerately and dutifully, “If the master wishes to further interrogate the spy, shall I make the preparations?”
Unexpectedly, Di Yiqiu suddenly pointed to the red sandalwood tree and said, “Cut it down.”
“What?” Li Lu was stunned.
Di Yiqiu added, “Send the wood to the Vermilion Phoenix Bureau.”
Having said that, Di Yiqiu left in long strides.
Li Lu stared at the tree, feeling that even if he had a perceptive heart, he couldn’t fathom the thoughts of his immediate superior.
What did this red sandalwood tree do to him?
Forget it. He turned and called his subordinates, ordering them to cut down the tree while pondering his superior’s thoughts.
Black Tortoise Bureau
Huang Ran was still sitting, leaning on the giant rock. The people who came to visit had changed several times, but Di Yiqiu had not returned. It was now time for school to end, and students passing by the flower field would stop and linger. More and more people began to gather around her.
Most of them believed that the master had integrated some new treasure. The reason was the clothes she was wearing, hastily made by the Vermilion Phoenix Buraeu today. Everyone discussed and debated, with some poets even taking out brushes and inkstones to paint on the spot.
Fortunately, no one approached. Huang Ran stood there, expressionless, publicly subjected to punishment.
—Forget it; just treat me as a mannequin.
Given her current situation, there was nothing to complain about.
—It wouldn’t be worse than the secret chamber in the Yuhu Immortal Sect. At least here, she didn’t have to worry about rats gnawing on her face.
She observed the orchids in front of her. Even in this cold weather, she could sometimes see ants scurrying by, as if in a hurry to go home.
The sky outside was getting darker. Someone asked, “Shouldn’t we collect… this artifact for the master? Frost will come soon.”
They said so, but no one stepped forward.
Fortunately, before long, these people dispersed like birds and beasts. Di Yiqiu’s footsteps grew closer as he walked into the flower field, picked up Huang Ran, and returned to his own bedroom.
Huang Ran noticed that, as someone of equal status to Xie Hongchen, his living arrangements were pitifully simple.
He didn’t even have his own separate courtyard; his bedroom was just a room in the Black Tortoise Bureau.
As a result, he would encounter students as soon as he stepped out, leaving him with no privacy at all.
Huang Ran allowed him to carry her back to the room, and she silently thought—perhaps, when in court, one had to maintain the appearance of integrity and dedication to gain a good reputation.
Di Yiqiu placed Huang Ran on the bed, and after helping her change clothes, he tucked her into the blanket.
Then he said, “Sleep first.”
After he finished speaking, he closed the door and left. Once he was gone, Huang Ran’s world became silent again. Everything remained still, as if time had stopped.
Vermilion Phoenix Bureau.
Assistant chief Zhu Xiang was about to leave when she suddenly saw Di Yiqiu enter. She hurriedly approached and greeted, “Master.”
Di Yiqiu made a sound of acknowledgment and walked straight into the courtyard. Zhu Xiang hesitated—should I leave when my immediate superior has arrived?
She pondered for a moment and decided to quickly catch up with him.
Fortunately, shortly afterward, the other colleagues arrived as well—Li Lu, Tan Qi, and others brought the variant red sandalwood tree with them. At this moment, Di Yiqiu was drawing on a piece of paper.
Li Lu, Tan Qi, and Zhu Xiang exchanged glances, both puzzled and afraid to ask.
—What could be so important that it had to be rushed at this time?
Is the Celestial Court finally going to war with the Yuhu Immortal Sect?
After a quarter of an hour, Di Yiqiu finished his drawing. He glanced at the three of them and calmly said, “If you have nothing to do, you may leave first.”
But how could the three of them just leave like that? They weren’t brainless warriors like Bao Wu.
Li Lu said, “If it’s something that requires the master to personally make, then it must be of utmost importance. We are willing to stay and assist.”
Di Yiqiu was slightly stunned. Actually, this thing wasn’t important to such an extent. But he still said, “Step forward.”
The three of them approached and found that the drawing… it seemed to be of a wheelchair.
Vermilion Phoenix Bureau.
The master and deputy Lu, along with two deputy chiefs, worked until midnight to create an exquisite wheelchair.
The wheelchair was intricately carved and adorned with jade; it was very luxurious. Um, it also seemed a bit feminine—definitely not something a tough guy would use.
Zhu Xiang nibbled on a toothflower seed and felt that her superior’s behavior today was quite unusual.
Tan Qi stared at the wheelchair, equally perplexed. Only Li Lu raised an eyebrow and quietly exclaimed, “Ah!” in his mind.
At four in the morning, the master pushed the wheelchair and left satisfied.
Zhu Xiang and Tan Qi gathered around Li Lu. Tan Qi couldn’t help but ask, “Boss, what’s the master doing with this?”
Li Lu could speak, but he lovingly patted Tan Qi’s head—good boy, figure it out yourself. It was Zhu Xiang who murmured, “The master also made a set of women’s clothes today.”
Facing the gaze of Li Lu and Tan Qi, she had a dazed expression as she gestured to her own chest. “From top to bottom, inside and out… even stockings.”
“Women’s clothes?” Tan Qi widened his eyes. “Who, who is it?”
Zhu Xiang weakly said, “I don’t know, but the figure…” She compared it to her own chest and then drew circles in a frenzy, saying, “It’s incredibly hot!”
Li Lu felt that he should leave. Digging up dirt on his superior was too dangerous.
But he didn’t leave; he wanted to hear!
Sure enough, Tan Qi asked, “Do you know what ‘hot’ means?”
Zhu Xiang became anxious and scolded, “You fool! Although this lady doesn’t possess it, the master’s measurements were clearly marked. Can’t I see?!”
The three of them formed a group, covertly sneaking in and finding the drawing that the master had personally made today. Even someone as meticulous as Li Lu couldn’t help but take a few glances.
It must be said that if the measurements were accurate, then this woman’s figure was truly…
Tsk tsk tsk.
Li Lu, digging up dirt on his superior, suddenly had a flash of insight in his mind. A person appeared in his thoughts—the wife of the Yuhu Immortal Sect’s Sect Master, Huang Ran!
If one were to talk about the connection between this person and the Celestial Court, it would be a long story.
Li Lu could guarantee that the entire Celestial Court had heard this woman’s name.
—The woman who abandoned Di Yiqiu and married Xie Hongchen! Although no one had the chance to see her, she made the Celestial Court unable to lift its head for a hundred years. The woman seen during the day, silent and motionless, appeared exquisitely beautiful, almost unreal.
Could it be that the master himself couldn’t get over this hurdle and became infatuated? So he imitated Madam Xie… and made a fake one?! The more he thought about it, the more it made sense. Real people didn’t have such measurements. Just how hot did it have to be?
Only straight men would imagine it so perfectly.
Had he discovered some incredible secret? Could he be silenced?
Deputy Chief Li: Danger!!!!!