The Dog Riding on Its Owner
“Where have you been lately?” Murong Wan asked angrily as he ate his lunch.
“I went out of town on a mission,” Ming Qin replied, speaking with a mouthful of a large chicken leg.
As Murong Wan vented his frustration by flipping through the food in front of him with his chopsticks, Ming Qin asked, “Did someone bully you while I was away?”
Murong Wan shook his head.
During Ming Qin’s absence, she was replaced by a man named Cao Yun.
Cao Yun was a highly qualified shadow guard who could always eliminate any danger.
He not only scared off troublemakers like Zhang Yurong by imitating a wildcat’s call before they could cause trouble, but also threw small stones during martial arts sparring matches to help him strike their opponents.
Moreover, he was very respectful and never grabbed his share of meat or patted anyone’s shoulder rudely.
However, Murong Wan still missed Ming Qin a lot.
“Is it because Brother Yun is too quiet and doesn’t chat with you?” Ming Qin guessed, “Although Brother Yun doesn’t talk much, he is kind-hearted and doesn’t play tricks on others.
He’s a very good person.”
“I don’t need anyone to chat with me!” Murong Wan’s childish cheeks turned red as he tried to argue, “Cao Yun never speaks, which is perfect for me!”
Clearly, she wasn’t cut out to be a noble’s guard.
Perhaps only Murong Yan could tolerate her.
Ming Qin continued eating her chicken leg, lost in thought.
Murong Wan was afraid that the person in front of him would be upset, so he tried to explain, but his clumsy mouth couldn’t form a sentence.
Ming Qin didn’t mind and simply patted her stomach and let out a big yawn.
As they walked back to the classroom from the corridor, they ran into the Crown Prince and Xiao He.
Murong Wan’s face turned pale, and he couldn’t help but look up to see if his shadow guard was still protecting him.
He took a deep breath and clenched his fists tightly, hiding his small hands in his sleeves.
“Isn’t this the eleventh prince?” Murong Xiao’s face was as fake as a white snake, with a smile that didn’t reach his eyes.
He pretended to be surprised and said, “What a coincidence.”
“Brother Prince,” the boy bowed to him and swallowed before asking, “Why did Brother Prince come to Guozi Jian today?”
“Is Guozi Jian a place that I can’t come to?” Murong Xiao still smiled, but his tone was icy and sticky.
He put his right hand on the hilt of the sword at Xiao He’s waist and tapped it with his fingers.
The boy explained anxiously, “Brother Prince can go anywhere he wants.” He lowered his head and stared at the wooden planks on the corridor.
“Is that so.”
“I can go anywhere.” Murong Xiao’s tone was somewhat joyful, as if he was very satisfied with the boy’s answer.
“I can do anything I want to do!”
As soon as the words fell, the man drew his sword from his side with a swish, the silver light shimmering as he aimed it directly at the boy’s vulnerable neck.
Ming Qin swiftly intervened and blocked Murong Xiao’s attack with a dagger.
The clash of their weapons produced a shower of sparks.
Murong Xiao clicked his tongue impatiently and handed his weapon to his guard, sarcastically complaining, “See, I told you Father had assigned shadow guards to protect my little brother.
Why didn’t you listen?”
Xiao He sheathed his sword, bowed respectfully, and apologized for his rash actions, “I was overzealous in testing the safety of the Eleventh Prince.
I beg your pardon, Your Highness.
Please punish me as you see fit.”
“Good that you realize your mistake.
I’ll punish you with one hundred cane strikes.”
Murong Xiao clenched his hand into his sleeve and stared at his brother with a cold, snake-like gaze.
He spoke in a flat tone, “Eleventh brother, are you satisfied with the punishment I have given?”
Murong Wan, who was hiding behind Ming Qin, had not fully recovered from the flash of swords and knives.
He trembled as he replied, “Yes…yes, thank you, Prince Brother.”
Satisfied with his brother’s obedience, Murong Xiao turned to leave, but his attention was drawn to something dark red.
The strange smile on his face disappeared, replaced by an expressionless look with icy eyes.
Although he didn’t hold a sword, his aura was even more oppressive than before, like a snake eyeing its prey.
He pointed at the garnet on Ming Qin’s right ear and asked slowly, “How did you get that earring?”
Ming Qin’s heart sank.
She kept her face down and pretended to bow, forcing herself to count the patterns on the floor.
“I bought it at the market.”
“I find it hard to believe that such a sophisticated piece of jewelry can be easily found at the market,” Murong Xiao’s face grew darker.
He held back the urge to grab her and growled, “Tell me! Which market did you go to? And when did you get it?”
“Your Highness…it was the East Market, and I bought it on New Year’s Eve,” Ming Qin replied in a calm tone.
Murong Xiao snorted coldly and stared at the person in front of him, speaking in a harsh tone, “All the markets in the capital were closed on New Year’s Eve.
How dare you lie to me?” His eyes were bloodshot, and it seemed like he was about to tear the woman apart.
“Your Highness, you are not aware of everything that happens in the palace.
Even on New Year’s Eve, some vendors at the East Market were still open,” Ming Qin replied confidently, gaining confidence as she spoke about something she was familiar with.
She looked directly at the gloomy Murong Xiao.
The man glared at Ming Qin as if warning her, then turned to his guard and ordered through gritted teeth, “Stay here and guard the Eleventh Prince.
Don’t let her take a single step away.”
Before the guard with the sword could respond, Murong Xiao flicked his sleeves and walked away, quickly leaving the Guozi Jian.
“Go to Hidden Moon Tower.” Murong Xiao shouted with bulging veins after getting on the carriage.
“Someone, go and check if that woman was telling the truth!”
Everything turned red before his eyes.
He absolutely would not allow his sister to escape his control.
When Murong Xiao burst into the room, the woman glanced at him with annoyance, as if unhappy to be disturbed while she was reading in peace.
Murong Xiao rushed forward in a panic, checked the woman’s ears and found no jewelry, then frantically searched through the boxes of accessories on the dressing table.
“It’s refreshing to see the Crown Prince take an interest in jade jewelry,” Murong Yan remarked mockingly as she set down her book.
“This can’t be happening.
It’s impossible,” Murong Xiao said, still unable to find what he was looking for.
He turned to Murong Yan with bloodshot eyes.
“Who is she, that wretched woman wearing my sister’s earring?”
When Murong Yan heard the accusation, her breathing momentarily stopped, and her limbs turned cold before returning to their normal state.
She pretended to be puzzled and asked, “Who is the Crown Prince referring to? What earrings?”
The man was furious, and he grabbed her slender neck with both hands and growled, “Don’t play dumb, sister.
The garnet earrings that you often wear.”
He unconsciously tightened his grip.
She was almost suffocating, but Murong Yan chuckled without any intention of begging for mercy, and then said intermittently, “The garnet earrings… have been lost for a long time…”
“Lost?” Murong Xiao seemed incredulous and loosened his grip.
“During the search of the tower by the Crown Prince’s men, they were already gone,” said the woman with a sneer, pausing before continuing, “In addition to the earrings, a few gold hairpins were also missing.”
“That’s impossible, impossible…” the man muttered in disbelief, then roared in anger, “How dare they steal my sister’s belongings!”
“Who would be afraid of a disabled, imprisoned woman?” Murong Yan sneered, then looked straight at Murong Xiao, “Why don’t you follow their wishes and just strangle me to death right here?”
The man seemed to realize that he was holding onto a burning hot iron, and quickly released his grip.
The thin woman fell onto the table like a broken bowstring, causing a loud thud.
Murong Xiao appeared oblivious to the situation as he knelt by the bed, desperately pleading with the person in front of him, “How could I ever dare to harm my own sister? I was mistaken to blame you, my dear sister.
Can you please find it in your heart to forgive me?”
Despite the pain she was feeling, Murong Yan remained stoic and unaffected by the man’s pitiful words.
She breathed heavily before responding with a hint of sarcasm, “…Does the esteemed Crown Prince really require forgiveness from a helpless woman like myself?”
The man’s expression suddenly shifted from one of sincere remorse to one of sinister anger as he spoke in a violent tone, “I will personally see to it that those audacious and reckless thugs are punished for their crimes.”
He turned and left the room with unusual haste, unlike his usual composed demeanor.
“Your Highness, the Crown Prince.”
One of the attendants waiting nearby stepped forward, panting slightly as he whispered into the ear of the visibly agitated man, “We haven’t yet identified which shop sold the princess’s stolen earrings, but we have confirmed that the Eastern Market was not completely closed on the night of the New Year.”
Murong Xiao’s temper flared even hotter at this news, but he managed to keep his composure as he issued a stern command, “Choose the most exquisite earrings and hairpins from our collection to be sent to the princess, and remember – they must be the most valuable ones.” He then added, “Go directly to the capital magistrate.”
“I will personally take care of the insolent dog that dared to ride on their master.”
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