For a moment, Song Bai Ye thought he misheard.
Prince Jing was always busy. When would he have time to care about his family's engagement with Duke Ying's? Why would he disapprove? After thinking for long time, Song Bai Ye still didn't understand. He thought that he had offended Prince Jing somehow and sat in his chair as if he was sitting on pins and needles. He cautiously asked, "May I ask why Your Highness Prince Jing said those words?"
Seeing the terror and worry in his eyes, Zhao Jie's sword-like eyebrows went up and he gestured at Zhu Geng. "Take the item out. Let him look at it."
Zhu Geng had been waiting at the doorway for a long time. Hearing Zhao Jie's words, he took out a transcribed book from his sleeve and delivered it to Song Bai Ye. Without saying a word, he walked back to his original place.
Not knowing what was written inside the blue book, Song Bai Ye took the offered book. He flipped opened the book and his face immediately became whiter than the paper!
His hands shook and he seemed to be unable to steadily hold the book. Trembling with fear, he hastily closed the book, looked at Zhao, and was almost unable to clearly say, "Your Highness... This..."
Zhao Jie's mood was very joyful. He was holding in his smile and calmly asked, "Did you find your name?"
Song Bai Ye's mind was panicking. Even racking his brains, he couldn't understand his meaning.
This was Zhao Zhang's book. Not only had he recorded down all of the officials he had secret dealings with, he had also recorded down what they had plotted together. Each affair was clearly written down and they ranged from major crimes of secretly stashing weaponry to minor offenses like accepting bribes and bending the law. Even if a person wanted to overlook this book, he couldn't. Originally, Zhao Zhang had written down these things for convenience, just in case he forgot. However, as he wrote down more and more things, it became his Achilles' heel. If it fell into someone else’s hands, not only would he suffer, but also the officials under his control.
Zhao Zhang had hidden this book very well and he was the only person that knew about the existence of this book.
But now this book had unexpectedly appeared in Zhao Jie's hands! How was he able to obtain this book? Did they still have a way to survive?
Song Bai Ye quickly went through his memories of what he had done as Zhao Zhang's follower during the past several years. Would those things have been recorded in this book? When he thought about this, his body became covered in sweat. As he looked Zhao Jie, who was unperturbedly sitting in front of him, he almost couldn't breath. "Prince..."
During the past several years, he had done many things to in order to preserve Count Zhong Yi's family. Most of the things were innocuous, but there were a few things that would be enough to sentence his entire family to death. He could only pray that Zhao Jie didn't know yet.
Unfortunately, Buddha didn't hear his prayers. Zhao Jie still had that leisurely and calm posture. Zhao Jie's tone was light and understated tone as he said the words that would control whether or not his entire family would live or die, "If I remember correctly, the matter of secretly storing weaponry is definitely related to you. Where are the weapons hidden? Is it southern Xunzhou? That area is surrounded by mountains and there's only one way out. It's a good place. Unfortunately, it's rather far. If there really was a battle, it would take too much time to transport the weapons."
At this time, Song Bai Ye already didn't have any words to say. Zhao Jie actually clearly knew everything they had done and planned! He was even leisurely helping them analyze the situation. How much information did he have against them?
This was the first time Song Bai Ye experienced Zhao Jie's power. No wonder people said he was a profound schemer with ruthless methods and that it would better to offend anyone else, but Prince Jing Zhao Jie. He seemed taciturn, but in actually, he had already surveyed the entire situation and was only toying around with people for entertainment.
Song Bai Ye didn't have time to wipe the sweat on his forehead. Panic-stricken, he kneeled in front of Zhao Jie and incoherently said, "Prince, spare me. I don't have anything to do with weaponry in the southern mountains... I only went there once..."
This didn’t move Zhao Jie. He smiled while asking, "Since this wasn’t related to you, why did you go there?"
Song Bai Ye was speechless. He wanted to present a better excuse. However, after saying "I" for a long time, he still couldn't provide a single word to excuse himself. After all, the weaponry really was related to him. Although he wasn't the mastermind, he was still an accomplice. During the past several years, when Zhao Zhang was having people make these weapons, it was him who directly dealt with these people. Every month, he was able to take some of the money he was given and use it to support Count Zhong Yi's residence’s expenses. Now, Zhao Jie knew this matter. If Zhao Jie told this to the emperor, he wasn't sure if he would have an escape path…
Thinking of this, his dread increased.
Zhao Jie turned the ring on his thumb and unhurriedly said, "If you want to save your life and your family's, listen to this prince's words. Cancel the engagement with Duke Ying's family."
Song Bai Ye didn't understand. How were these two things related? Why would he have an escape path if he canceled the engagement with Duke Ying's family? He held the book as if it was hot potato. "Why is Your Highness Prince Jing forbidding Count Zhong Yi's family from being related to Duke Ying's family by marriage?"
Zhao Jie glanced at him. His dark eyes were luminescence and quiet. He warned him, "This is the prince's business. It's not your place to ask."
After that one glance, Song Bai Ye felt as if there was an icy draft behind his back. He repeatedly nodded and said, "Yes... this one has overstepped his authority."
What had to be said had been said. He assessed the trade-off. This engagement couldn't be kept. Prince Jing Zhao Jie had personally spoken. Even if he was reluctant, he still had to be cold-blooded and end this relationship. After all, the hundreds of lives in Count Zhong Yi's residence were still more important than Wei Luo. If the daughter-in-law was gone, he could find another one. If life were gone, then there would be no return. While feeling fearful and trepidation, he agreed. Before saying his good-bye, he said, "This book..."
Zhao Jie disapprovingly said, "If you want it, take it. Since this prince can have one copy transcribed, then I can have a second and third copy transcribed.”
How could he dare to take it? Sweat dropped from his forehead as he hurriedly said, "I wouldn't dare... If there's nothing else, I'll immediately leave."
Zhao Jie declined to comment. While he was on the way out, Zhao Jie reminded him, "You have to cancel this engagement within one month."
Next month would be Wei Luo's fourteenth birthday. Once Wei Luo was fourteen, he would go to Duke Ying's residence to propose marriage. As long as he resolved the problem of House Song, he would naturally be able to resolve any other problem.
Song Bai Ye repeatedly agreed. He waited until he left Prince Jing's residence, then he heavily breathed in and out. He felt as if he had died and was alive again. It had been too frightening. He never wanted to come back to Prince Jing's residence again!