Book One, Chapter 60: Shackles

“There’re so many things coming up with spring around the corner, and we haven’t figured out a game plan yet. If you run off now, who knows when we’ll be able to meet up next?” Xiao Chi’ye said. “Why don’t you stay for the night.”

Shen Zechuan broke into a smile. He said, “Don’t misbehave.”

Continue reading “Book One, Chapter 60: Shackles”

Book One, Chapter 59: Nocturne

Yuan Liu met a brusque end in prison, and Chen Yang oversaw his final affairs. On Xiao Chi’ye’s instructions, he set up a new house for Yuan Liu’s wife in Dan city, and hired a good teacher for his son.

Xiao Chi’ye’s illness lingered until the season of snowmelt was upon Qu Capital. When he was able to attend Morning Court again, Xi Hongxuan had been promoted to Vice Director of the Bureau of Evaluations within the Ministry of Personnel.

Continue reading “Book One, Chapter 59: Nocturne”

Book One, Chapter 58: Heavy Snow

Snow fell for days on end. The assassination inquest was hastily wrapped up, and all its strife and tumult vanished beneath a flurry of wind and snow, turning into a vast, glittering whiteness that stretched as far as the eye could see. It was at this time that Li Jianheng heard the news: Xiao Chi’ye had taken ill.

Continue reading “Book One, Chapter 58: Heavy Snow”

Book One, Chapter 57: Case Closed

“It was a cold day, heavily overcast, and very windy too. I was out delivering sweets for good fortune to the mistresses and masters of every palace. When I came out of Caiwei Palace, Lady Mu was just leaving with her entourage, so I stepped into a corner to keep out of the way. It was then that I heard someone speaking sharply, and when I poked my head around, I saw that the Head Eunuch of Caiwai Palace was arguing with Madam Fu Ling.”

Continue reading “Book One, Chapter 57: Case Closed”

Book One, Chapter 56: Fanning the Flames

The lamps in the Imperial Guard’s operational headquarters remained lit until daybreak. Heads spinning from the figures, the accountants from the Ministry of Revenue finally collected every questionable record into a booklet, and handed this in to Fu Linye.

Shen Zechuan read through them all. Fu Linye briskly appended his own report, and sent the lot to Li Jianheng’s desk along with a progress update on the assassination investigation.

Continue reading “Book One, Chapter 56: Fanning the Flames”

Book One, Chapter 54: Onslaught

The accompanying censor’s name was Yu Xiaozai. He was of no high station, simply an Investigative Censor of the upper seventh grade. His position, like the Chief Supervising Secretaries of the Six Offices of Scrutiny, was one of low rank, but very high authority, as it gave him the power to regulate and supervise. Therefore, no one was in a better position to mediate between these two men.

Continue reading “Book One, Chapter 54: Onslaught”

Book One, Chapter 53: Inspection

There was grave silence in the hall. One could have heard a pin drop.

As the light in Xiao Chi’ye’s eyes slowly dimmed, he removed his own waist-badge.

Li Jianheng’s chest heaved forcefully as he said, “Governor-General of the Imperial Guard, Xiao Chi’ye, has been suspended from duty pending investigation, and is confined to his family estate! In the meantime, Qu Capital’s defence and patrol duties will be taken over by the Brocade Guard and the Eight Battalions.”

Continue reading “Book One, Chapter 53: Inspection”