Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The gray-robed servant was none other than Wang Chong.
Everything seems peaceful. There hasn't been too much change, Wang Chong thought to himself as he looked around.
After disguising himself as a servant, Wang Chong had immediately gone to see if his family was safe. Heaven regarded himself highly, as the master of all gods, so would he disdain to lower himself to that level, or would he have some other scheme? But Wang Chong had discovered that his parents, sister, and brothers were all present.
It was like nothing had changed since he had left.
But just like with the King of Foreign Lands Residence, all memories concerning him had been wiped away.
Perhaps it was better to say that they still remembered 'Wang Chong', but that man wasn't him.
Red lanterns illuminated his face and laughter rang out in his ears. Wang Chong was the only one who noticed anything strange.
As Wang Chong was thinking, a messenger pigeon with a golden thread tied around its leg descended from the sky toward Wang Chong. Wang Chong reached out and received the pigeon.
He quickly removed its letter and began to read through it.
The letter was from Old Eagle, the report Wang Chong had been waiting for since daytime.
Once he was done with the letter, his heart sank, a dark cloud of worry flitting across his brow.
Something huge had happened in the capital. Wang Chong had just returned and wasn't clear on the situation, so he had had Old Eagle investigate. But the situation was worse than he had imagined.
Wang Chong had told Old Eagle to get in touch with the Demonic Emperor Old Man and the Wushang Village Chief. At the time of his departure, the two of them had been cultivating in the capital, and there was no way they would not have noticed such a momentous shift.
Wang Chong was extremely confident in the abilities of his seniors. So long as he could find them, he would be able to find out what was going on and save time.
But the result of Old Eagle's investigation left his heart heavy.
The Demonic Emperor Old Man and Wushang Village Chief had not had their memories wiped, nor were they heavily injured and recovering. Rather, it was something Wang Chong had never imagined.
Just like Wang Chong, the existence of the Demonic Emperor Old Man and Wushang Village Chief had been completely wiped out.
Old Eagle had asked everyone, sent people to the Demonic Emperor Old Man's home on the spirit vein, and visited every place in the capital the Demonic Emperor Old Man might be, but he had failed to find any trace of them. No one knew who the Demonic Emperor Old Man was, and even the Wushang Cavalry had no memory of the Village Chief.
Li Siye had carried out the investigation in that area.
All of this made one tremble in fear!
Their existences had not been simply forgotten. They had been wiped out from their memories.
Quite a few people had known about the Demonic Emperor Old Man and the Wushang Village Chief: the sovereigns, the children at the spirit vein, Wang Chong's little sister, the tea house that the Demonic Emperor Old Man often frequented, the people of Wushang Village, Wang Chong's subordinates… Besides Old Eagle, Li Siye, and Young Master Qingyang, who had followed Wang Chong to Sindhu, everyone had cleanly forgotten the existence of the Demonic Emperor Old Man and Wushang Village Chief.
Wang Chong scowled as he looked at the letter.
He had never imagined a development like this.
His master and the Wushang Village Chief were not weaklings. Perhaps they had realized the abnormality in the capital and chosen to leave, unable to deal with the situation, or else… Wang Chong didn't dare to continue on this line of thought.
This situation was growing more and more mystifying.
What had happened in the capital while he was gone?!
Even so, Wang Chong didn't panic. Everything was still a possibility. Even if his master and the Wushang Village Chief encountered some powerful foe, they would have the strength to protect themselves.
Things were perhaps not as bad as he imagined.
As he was pondering, he heard a familiar voice. Coming to his senses, he spotted a familiar figure skipping past him like a rabbit and into the inner residence.
She passed by Wang Chong without a glance, completely ignoring him.
Little Sister! Wang Chong silently cried out.
This was truly his little sister, as simple-minded as ever.
Wang Chong didn't alarm anyone. After a moment of thought, he also made his way into the inner residence.
Wang Chong first went to his own study.
The study had a simple and ancient decor, and everything was arranged in the same way he had left it.
A sparrow occupying the turtledove's nest!
This was Wang Chong's current situation.
No one in the capital recognized Wang Chong, but the memory of the King of Foreign Lands still existed in their minds. It was just that this person wasn't him.
Most bizarrely, although the capital was in the middle of preparing for the wedding between 'Wang Chong' and Xu Qiqin, implying that the King of Foreign Lands was in the capital, whether it was through conversation or memory searching, Wang Chong was unable to find anyone who knew where the King of Foreign Lands actually was.
Even though the servants of the Wang Family were constantly chattering about 'Wang Chong', when Wang Chong disguised himself and asked the servants about that man's appearance, they all became clueless, incapable of describing him.
It was like everyone was remembering a fictional character.
But the wedding between the 'King of Foreign Lands' and the lady of the Xu Clan was taking place in ten days. When the time came, that 'King of Foreign Lands' would have to show himself.
The one who untied the bell would have to tie the bell back. Wang Chong was confident that this place, as the heart of everything, was where he could find the answer.
There was no one around, and as Wang Chong investigated, he found that though the study had not changed in general, some of the small details had changed.
"It shouldn't just be a simply made-up person!"
Wang Chong quickly took a weasel bristle brush from the brush stand.
Wang Chong's calligraphy had never been very pretty; the Song of Purity and Peace he had gifted to Consort Taizhen all the way at the beginning had been twisted and crooked, repulsive to behold. Thus, Wang Chong had constantly been practicing his calligraphy.
Wang Chong favored the weasel bristle brush, but not this one.
Wang Chong's brush had been about as thick as a pinkie finger, and Li Heng had specifically chosen it from the palace collection as a gift for him. The surface of the brush had been cinnabar red, so Wang Chong had called it the 'cinnabar brush'. But the weasel bristle brush on the stand was a grayish brown.
"The inkstone has also been used. At least three inches have been shaved off. They must have written some calligraphy here."
Wang Chong's eyes closed as he began to reconstruct what had happened here.
While he was away in Sindhu, some 'guest' had undoubtedly paid a visit to his study. They had not merely observed, but had even used his inkstone. And also…
Wang Chong suddenly sat himself in the armchair behind his desk, his arms resting themselves on the armrests. He slightly leaned back and began to reexamine the study.
At that moment, Wang Chong's expression and demeanor transformed into those of someone else entirely.
A few moments later, Wang Chong opened his eyes.
At this time, he was Wang Chong once more!
At this moment, he was certain that someone had come here with the relaxed demeanor of an owner. He had carefully examined this place, attempting to understand him through the study.
Wang Chong's eyes turned sharp and vicious.
He couldn't confirm it, but he was certain that this was all linked to the Celestial God Organization.
At this moment, the door was pushed open. Wang Chong's heart thumped as he turned to look, at the same time hearing the shaking of a pearl hairpin and sensing a familiar energy.
A middle-aged beauty in a silk gown, her face elegant and refined, walked in from outside.
Wang Chong's eyebrows rose as his mouth opened. The word 'mother' was about to leave his mouth when he suddenly stopped. Wang Chong understood that he had changed his appearance and made himself into a servant of the estate, that he was not 'Wang Chong'.
In truth, even if he had his original face, his mother was not guaranteed to recognize him.
As Madam Wang walked in and saw someone in the chair, her face froze. She had clearly not expected anyone to be inside.
Wang Chong hastily stood up and bowed.
"This one is a new servant of the estate who was ordered to come here and tidy His Highness's study!"
"So that's how it was."
Madam Wang smiled and did not question him.
The households of great clans had strict hierarchies, but the Wang Family Residence was not as strict. In many aspects, it was very accommodating. This was why many maids and servants liked the Wang Clan.
"Madam, please sit."
Wang Chong quickly stepped aside. Though he wanted to talk with his mother, he knew that this wasn't the time.
Madam Wang didn't notice anything suspicious. She sat herself in the armchair, an arm propping on the armrest as her brow furrowed.
"Is there something on Madam's mind?" Wang Chong suddenly said.
This was the first time he had seen his mother so worried.
Madam Wang smiled and waved her hand, clearly unwilling to speak about it.
"If you have some difficulty, perhaps this lowly one could help you take care of it," Wang Chong softly said.
He had rarely seen his mother so worried, and her reluctance only made him want to know even more.
"It's nothing. It's going to be the wedding between Chong-er and Lady Xu soon, but for some reason, I feel like something's wrong."
As Madam Wang spoke, her gaze dropped. Rather than to this servant, she was more speaking to herself.
Madam Wang was just making an offhand comment, but Wang Chong felt his heart shudder.
It felt like he had been completely forgotten upon his return to the capital. This was the first time someone had noticed anything strange.