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    Back on the passenger boat, he had also asked her if she knew someone named "Feng Lady."

    Could it be that he came for this?

    She had indeed asked Uncle Shi Yi to look into the matter. However, with her recent preoccupation in investigating the Shen family's past, she hadn't had time to visit Ciying Alley.

    Upon this thought, she said to Luo Yan, "Stay here and wait for me. I'll be back soon."

    Chapter 47

    The setting sun cast its golden glow upon the water, illuminating the golden threads on her skirt with a dazzling radiance.

    Gu Changjin gazed at the maiden walking in the dusk, his heart beating rapidly, but not with the same frenzied pace as before, like a heart ailment.

    Oddly enough, as he dreamed more and more, the intense longing that had once felt like it would burst from his chest gradually subsided. Or perhaps, as his affection for her grew, his heart found increasing peace.

    It was as if his heart eagerly urged him to love her.

    Gu Changjin slowly removed his hand from his chest and personally opened the door for her.

    Rong Shu climbed into the carriage and immediately went straight to the point. "I wonder what brings you to seek me out, Your Excellency?"

    Gu Changjin's gaze lingered on her slightly bruised lower eyelids for a moment. "There's something I wish to ask Miss Rong's assistance with."

    Unconsciously, Rong Shu responded, "Is it about 'Madam Phoenix'?"

    "Madam Phoenix's matter is not urgent," Gu Changjin said warmly. "In Yangzhou, there's a man known as Lu Shiyi who knows everything. I would like to ask him to act as an intermediary and guide me to the Spring Moon Building. For that, I need Miss Rong's help to make the connection."

    Rong Shu understood now. Gu Changjin had come to her because he wanted to meet Uncle Shiyi.

    Upon reflection, she could see why. He was secretly investigating Pan Xueliang's case, and Uncle Shiyi had extensive connections in Yangzhou. If he could get Uncle Shiyi's help, it would indeed be much more efficient.

    "How did you know I'm acquainted with Uncle Shiyi?"

    "On the day I first arrived in Yangzhou, I intended to visit Lu Shiyi in Ciying Alley," Gu Changjin replied, looking at her with a smile. "But I didn't expect Miss Rong to have beaten me to it. After that, I went to the Spring Moon Building to investigate the case."

    Rong Shu was somewhat surprised. So that was why they had bumped into each other again at Ciying Alley after parting ways at the ferry that day?

    This was truly too coincidental.

    Uncle Shi Yi is a man of integrity and loyalty; he would likely be willing to assist Gu Changjin.

    Without hesitation, she replied, "Alright, I'll take you to Ciying Lane."

    After briefly instructing Luo Yan, Rong Shu hopped onto Gu Changjin's carriage and headed for Ciying Lane.

    The twilight's rays filtered through the carriage windows, casting a serene ambiance.

    The sound of wheels rolling over mud emphasized the tranquility within the carriage.

    Rong Shu's thoughts were still preoccupied with Shen Zhi, her delicate brows knitted together.

    Although Gu Changjin appeared to be gazing out the window, his peripheral vision was entirely focused on her.

    After a stretch of silence, he finally inquired, "Miss Rong, is there something troubling you?"

    Upon hearing this, Rong Shu's wandering gaze lifted slightly, meeting Gu Changjin's deep, dark eyes.

    In the past, when this man asked her questions, she could sense the intensity in his gaze. Yet, strangely, at this moment, she felt no such oppressive pressure.

    Free from such tension, she found herself relaxing under his gaze, her nerves that had been on edge for days finally releasing.

    This man was skilled at uncovering clues in the smallest details. For an instant, Rong Shu almost mentioned Shen Zhi's situation to him. But as the words reached her lips, she realized it wasn't appropriate. After a moment of hesitation, she shook her head and said, "It's nothing."

    Gu Changjin watched her silently, then lowered his eyelids after a while.

    The rest of the journey was spent in silence.

    Upon arriving at Ciying Alley, Lu Shiyi happened to return from outside. Seeing Rong Shu leading a tall and elegant man out of the carriage, he nearly choked on his breath.

    Consciously suppressing his usual roguish demeanor, he straightened his face and spoke with a serious tone, "Zhaozhao, who is this?"

    Rong Shu knew from Lu Shiyi's expression that he had jumped to the wrong conclusion. She quickly replied, "Uncle Shiyi, let's talk inside."

    Lu Shiyi glanced at Gu Changjin and snorted through his nose. "Come in."

    Worried that Lu Shiyi might say something impolite to Gu Changjin, Rong Shu explained as soon as they entered the house, "Uncle Shiyi, this is Lord Gu Changjin, the Right Assistant Examiner of the Board of Censors. He has come to Ciying Alley with a request for your assistance."

    Upon hearing this, Lu Shiyi's unusually stern expression froze for a moment. Then, seemingly recalling something, he said to Rong Shu, "Come here."

    Rong Shu moved closer to the window and whispered, "Is this the very same top scholar, Gu Changjin, whom you insisted on marrying before?"

    She nodded slightly, her voice barely audible, "But we've already divorced, and I no longer have feelings for him."

    Lu Shiyi nodded thoughtfully, momentarily unsure whether he should present a friendly or stern demeanor.

    This was an excellent official.

    Even from afar in Yang State Prefecture, Lu Shiyi had heard about the cases and deeds Gu Changjin had handled in the capital. He genuinely admired such a person, thus deserving a warm reception. However, if the wonderful Zhaozhao was driven to initiate their divorce, it must mean that Gu Changjin had made some mistakes, calling for a more critical approach.

    After a moment of deliberation, justice prevailed over personal feelings. Lu Shiyi straightened his face and greeted with a bow, "May I ask what brings Inspector Gu to seek me?"

    Gu Changjin replied, "I am here in Yang State Prefecture by the Emperor's order to investigate Liao Rao. I've heard that the Spring Moon Building's courtesan, Lv Yi, is Liao Rao's companion. I wish to inquire with her about certain matters. Unfortunately, despite several visits to the Spring Moon Building, I have yet to meet her. I hope Inspector Lu could facilitate a meeting between us."

    Lu Shiyi was stunned as if struck by a bolt of spring thunder upon hearing Gu Changjin's words.

    His eyes narrowed, and he asked, "Is Lord Gu's visit to Yang State Prefecture related to investigating Liao Rao's connections with those pirates?"

    Gu Changjin did not respond immediately, but spoke softly, "Does Inspector Lu have any insight into this matter? Liao Rao is indeed one of the targets of my journey."

    "Frankly speaking, I too am uncertain about Liao Rao's true nature," Lu Shiyi admitted. "He has been the Governor-General of Jiangzhe for about a decade now. In the early years, he led several victorious battles. However, in the past five years, although Liao Rao has won many battles, the number of pirates killed has decreased annually, while the damages suffered by the coastal cities have grown increasingly severe."


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