As Ye Lang was leaving the Li family’s home, someone saw him when he was turning a corner. He could hide from the Soaring Sky officials but could not hide from the common people- they were everywhere!
“Thirteenth master…” The group of people were stunned for a moment when they saw Ye Lang pass right in front of them carrying Li Yue. They hadn’t expected Ye Lang to appear before them. They thought they were very lucky to witness this but also found it very odd that Li Yue was there.
Why was the thirteenth master running with Li Yue in his arms? What was he doing? Before they could figure it out, a group of riders wearing black armour appeared. They were Zhao Yarou’s men, everyone in the empire recognised these riders.
One of the riders asked, “Did you see Ye Lang?”
“No, is the thirteenth master here?” the group of people shook their heads immediately, even pretending to look very excited as if they wanted to look for Ye Lang too. Eh, everyone knows the empress and Ye Lang are enemies- if we tell you, wouldn’t that be killing him? Would I do that? If I did, I’ll be shunned by everyone else!
And because of this, even if Ye Lang walked in the busiest street in the Soaring Sky Empire, as long as he wasn’t seen by Zhao Yarou’s men, everyone else would pretend they didn’t see him. They would never snitch on Ye Lang, perhaps even misguiding the people who want to catch him.
Ye Lang was oblivious to this situation. He carefully carried Li Yue to escape and left the Imperial City. With his capabilities, he was able to leave the city without alerting the city guards.
“It’s been a long time, he must have left already! Perhaps we should report to the empress.” Three hours later, the search parties gave up. A few remained to pretend to look busy while the rest had already gone back.
“It’s been three hours, he must’ve left a long time ago! You don’t have to search anymore!” when Zhao Yarou received news, she immediately halted the search because she understood Ye Lang’s abilities better than anyone else. She knew it was already impossible to find him, anymore effort would be futile. Might as well retract all her men.
“We deeply apologise, Your Majesty! We will accept punishment!” the search party knelt before Zhao Yarou, waiting for her punishment in terror. They were prepared for this. Awareness of when you should receive punishment was important being one of Zhao Yarou’s subordinates when you made a mistake or could not complete a task. If you did well, you would be rewarded. Zhao Yarou was a person who clearly distinguished between reward and punishment. Both her rewards and punishments were often heavy- especially punishments!
This time, there were so many people present and yet they could not catch Ye Lang- not even a single person touched Ye Lang. They felt like they would be heavily punished.
However, what happened next was unexpected. “You may all excuse yourselves, this matter does not involve you. I knew this might happen but I hope you all will not fail me again the next time you’re given a task!” Zhao Yarou waved gently with a small smile.
The crowd did not understand what she meant by this but they still had to obey her instructions. They excused themselves because staying would never bring any good. Once everyone left, only Zhao Yarou was left in the royal study. She stood up slowly, then spaced out staring at the seat where Ye Lang had sat to eat a meal here. “I really hadn’t expected you to be this good… I planted so many of my men there, and yet you took Li Yue so easily…”
Zhao Yarou thought about how easily Ye Lang escaped from all her traps. She was very surprised. Although she knew Ye Lang was a difficult person to catch, she didn’t think the process would be this easy.
His plan was so simple yet so effective. He had intended to disarm the entire Li family but because she’d put her men there, they were all incapacitated for no reason. And that was why it was so easy for him to escape.
What was all this? Perhaps it was luck. He was Lady Luck’s favourite son, she smiled upon him. Let’s hope his luck will last…
“What do you want with Li Yue, what do you want the Tianji Armour for? Are you going back to Ye City now? It’s about time you went too, so many things happened in Ye City after you left…” Zhao Yarou didn’t know what Ye Lang wanted to do, she guessed he would be returning to Ye City.
Zhao Yarou had always been keeping an eye on Ye City. This place was undergoing massive development, its importance rapidly rising amongst the other kingdoms on the mainland. Most of it wasn’t related to Ye Lang but there were a few recent incidents that involved him. If he returned now, he would have been very surprised.
“Ye Lang, you jerk! Don’t let me catch you again or you’ll never be able to get away from me for the rest of your life!”
In the end, Zhao Yarou lifted a tightly clenched fist with a determined expression. However, it seemed like she heaved a sigh of relief too. She didn’t actually know what to do with him after catching Ye Lang because Ye Lang was a complex problem. It would be like trying to hold on to a hot piece of yam.
Perhaps him escaping was the best outcome for now.
Of course, she still wanted to eventually catch him…
“Hey hey, do you all know…”
“The thirteenth prince and the empress? I do know, and I think there’s something odd going on between them.”
“No, that’s old news. The latest gossip is that he left with Miss Li Yue… Or a better word would be ‘kidnap’...”
“What?! That idiot, how could he just decide to kidnap the girl?!” Coldblood Seven was stunned for a moment upon receiving the news. “But I guess it’s not really a bad idea, it’s very straightforward. Why didn’t he do this earlier?”
“He wanted to but you were all against this, saying he should try to make Li Yue fall for him instead,” said Coldblood Five.
“Not bad…. Although kidnapping is unethical, it is a very straightforward plan. It’s the equivalent of getting the Tianji Armour already. As long as the armour is still on Li Yue, there’ll always be a way to get it…” Athena also stood in shock when she first heard, though blaming herself for not thinking about this. If they used this method, it would’ve been less trouble and Ye Lang wouldn’t have had to risk his life several times.
To be fair, with her intelligence, kidnapping was a simple idea. She just wasn’t evil enough.