Lingyang Wang?

Tao Mo was greatly surprised. The late emperor and Lingyang Wang were brothers of the same blood, and it was rumored that Lingyang Wang, dissatisfied with the current emperor’s reign, had been secretly planning to head north from Guangxi, intending to overthrow the emperor. The relationship between the two was extremely tense.

Recently, officials affiliated with Guangxi had been frequently dismissed, and many people secretly discussed that it was a sign of the emperor’s southern expedition. Regardless, it was inevitable that a battle between the emperor and Lingyang Wang would happen sooner or later in the court. If Huang Guangde’s jade horse truly came from Lingyang Wang, it would explain his urgency.

Tao Mo was dumbfounded. “Huang Guangde is connected to Lingyang Wang?” Before he became an official, Old Tao had briefly mentioned the situation in the court one night, and Lingyang Wang of Guangxi had occupied half of their conversation. It was still fresh in his memory.

Gu She said, “Perhaps he is, perhaps he isn’t.”

Tao Mo hesitated. “Should we report the evidence to the court?”

Gu She replied, “Where is the evidence?”

Tao Mo raised the box. “This.”

“How can the box in your hands prove Huang Guangde’s guilt?” Gu She calmly asked.

Tao Mo froze, and after a while, he was about to speak when he heard Gu She say, “How can Yi Yu prove that he really took it from Huang’s residence?”

Tao Mo’s open mouth silently closed again.

Gu She suddenly reached out and closed the box with the jade horse, carefully wrapping it back in the cloth. “You don’t have to sit to contemplate. You can think even when you’re asleep.”

Tao Mo obediently lay down.

Gu She picked up the package and left.

“Gu… Xianzhi.” Tao Mo subconsciously called out.

Gu She paused his steps, turned his head, and smiled ambiguously. “Afraid that I’ll run away with the horse?”

Tao Mo propped up his upper body with his elbow and worriedly said, “Be careful.” Now that he understood the significance of the red horse, he naturally knew that it was a hot potato in anyone’s hands.

Gu She raised an eyebrow. “Do you want Huang Guangde dead?”

Tao Mo was stunned. If this conversation had happened before his appointment as an official, he would have nodded without hesitation. But now that he held a position, conducted trials, and understood the law, he knew that dealing with lawbreakers according to the law was the true way of upholding justice.

“I want to bring him to justice.”

After Gu She left, Tao Mo slept for the entire afternoon and woke up in the evening.

Hao Guozi sat in the outer room and hurried over when he saw Tao Mo wake up, holding a tray.

Upon seeing it, Tao Mo was surprised. It was a snack platter that he used to enjoy the most. He couldn’t help but ask, “How did you get this?”

Hao Guozi replied, “What’s difficult about it? Tan Yang County is so small. Just visit a few more places, and you can find everything. I got this box from Ming Cui Ju. He knew it was for the County Lord, so he refused to charge for the box.”

Tao Mo frowned. “This, this…”

“I knew the Young Lord wouldn’t agree, so I put the money on the counter and pointed at his nose, saying, ‘Whether you want to take it or not, you have to take it. Otherwise, I’ll have my Young Lord lock you up in the prison!’” Hao Guozi said proudly, “So he took it.”

Tao Mo: “…”

Hao Guozi looked smug. “Then he took it.”

Tao Mo picked up a piece of almond pastry and put it in his mouth.

Hao Guozi held the tray and sat down on the chair by the bed, asking, “Why did Yi Yu and Gu She come here today?”

“Cough.” Tao Mo choked on his words.

Hao Guozi quickly put down the tray and went to pour water.

After taking a sip of water, Tao Mo recovered. “How did you know they came?”

“The gate officer told me.” Hao Guozi had been stationed in the county office for a while and had already received Old Tao’s instructions, taking care of everything that needed to be done.

Tao Mo sipped the water slowly. He didn’t want to hide this matter, but it was of great importance and would take a long time to explain. He said, “Go and invite Old Tao over.”

Seeing his serious expression, Hao Guozi didn’t dare to delay and quickly got up to find Old Tao.

Tao Mo leaned against the head of the bed and silently contemplated the events of the past few days.

To be honest, he harbored both hatred and fear for Huang Guangde. The suffocating feeling of having the sky covered with one hand still lingered in his heart. But he didn’t expect to encounter him again so soon.

He wondered who would ultimately escape this calamity between him and Huang Guangde.

Thinking of his father’s earnest exhortations before his death, urging him to be a good official and to submit a petition to the emperor one day, he understood that his father’s demanding request was only to prevent him from dying in vain. At that time, he realized that it would be impossible for him alone to bring down Huang Guangde, no matter what.

But now, he was not alone.

He had Gu She by his side.

Rain suddenly began to fall from the eaves.

The footsteps of Old Tao and Hao Guozi, rushing through the rain, hurriedly arrived.

“Young Lord.” After Hao Guozi entered the room, Old Tao closed the door cautiously. “I heard from the servants that Yi Yu brought a parcel?”

Tao Mo nodded. “It was taken away by Gu She.”

Hao Guozi furrowed his brow. “Why did Gu She take the thing brought by Yi Yu?”

Old Tao seemed to have known the whereabouts of the item for a long time, and he looked at Tao Mo with sharp eyes.

Tao Mo explained Yi Yu’s situation and Gu She’s speculations together.

Hao Guozi was shocked. “Huang Guangde is truly audacious! He even dares to touch something from Lingyang Wang.”

Old Tao pondered. “In that case, there are two possibilities. One is as Young Master guessed, this item was a gift from Lingyang Wang. But if that’s the case, Huang Guangde must be an insider and trusted confidant of Lingyang Wang. The other possibility is that he obtained this item through some illicit means. If that’s the case, Lingyang Wang will definitely not let it go easily. Regardless of which possibility, Huang Guangde won’t get away with it this time.”

Hao Guozi said, “But Gu She said it would be difficult to convict Huang Guangde since the item is in our hands, right?”

Old Tao said, “Since Huang Guangde is so concerned about this item, we’ll use a strategy and send it back. That way, won’t the item end up back in Huang Guangde’s hands?”

Hao Guozi slapped his hand. “Great idea!”

Tao Mo said, “But if the item returns to Huang Guangde’s hands, he will definitely hide it. It will be extremely difficult to find it again.”

Old Tao smiled. “It may be difficult, but not necessarily impossible.”

Tao Mo thought of Old Tao’s background and knew that he must have a way, so he remained silent.

Hao Guozi said, “Wait a minute. Now that the item is in Gu She’s hands, how can we return it?”

Old Tao thought for a moment and said, “Gu She must have his reasons for taking it back.”

Hao Guozi asked, “Since the jade horse is a tribute, it must be extremely valuable. Do you think Gu She will…”

“Master!” The gatekeeper shouted from outside.

Hao Guozi was startled and clutched his chest. “What’s the matter?!”

“Gu She is here to see Master Gu.”