Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Editor: Kiramekineko, SpringBreeze
“Did you know I was around all this time?” Under the long cloak were simple, long clothes and pants, which was not the outfit Xie Quan was familiar with. The old Anna always liked to wear clothes that showed off her personality, and never loved plain outfits.
Anna looked at Xie Quan in front of him, his face did not have any anger of betrayal, nor the smugness of catching her, just calmly looking at her.
It was like every time they met, a total of ten times.
Xie Quan shook his head very frankly and replied, “I didn’t know, but I guessed someone was around.” His voice was not heavy, but he said in a very certain tone, “I must have been under your surveillance since I entered the Imperial Capital.”
Anna was slightly stunned, but she wasn’t surprised. She knew very well how smart Xie Quan was. So, she related Xie Quan’s inexplicable actions and deduced, “So you deliberately put yourself in this dangerous situation and then lured the people who were watching you out.”
No wonder, Xie Quan would enter this slum area alone, and also uncharacteristically take the initiative to provoke trouble. She frowned, but her voice was still customary with some anxious concern and unease. “You were not afraid that no one would come out?”
If she had shot a few minutes later, the three men’s weapons would have been right next to Xie Quan’s face!
How dangerous was this?!
However, Xie Quan was confident. “Well… I don’t think so, I’m pretty important to you guys, aren’t I?”
Anna was speechless.
Xie Quan was in no hurry to get an answer to this question from Anna, after all, Anna’s presence had already confirmed his suspicions were correct. He just asked another thing, “Since you are in the Imperial Capital, is Tang Wenshao also there?”
Before, Tang Wenshao had sworn to him that he would be waiting for him in the Imperial Capital.
Anna was silent for a moment, and finally she said, “…Yes.”
Xie Quan looked down and pondered for a few seconds, he raised his eyes again and asked, “All of you are gathered in the Imperial Capital, aren’t you?”
Anna felt a headache, Xie Quan asked more and more difficult questions to answer, and finally she replied irritably and with difficulty, “Do not ask me again, I will not answer you.”
Xie Quan lightly raised his eyebrows, like the wind blowing bamboo leaves. “Weren’t you waiting for me to come to the Imperial Capital? How come I’m here and you guys aren’t ready to communicate with me?”
Xie Quan’s step-by-step approach caused Anna’s brow to furrow, she still shook her head. “… I… I’m not supposed to say this.”
Xie Quan asked slowly, “If it’s not you, then who is it? Your organizer? Who is that person?”
Anna instantly regretted that she had let herself follow Xie Quan. She replied, “I don’t know, I don’t know anything, don’t ask me.”
Xie Quan sighed slightly, as if his heart had softened, he stepped back and said, “Okay, I won’t ask you that.”
Anna was about to breathe a sigh of relief, but Xie Quan changed topics and threw words laced with steel into her heart, “How long had you known my identity? How did you recognize me?”
Xie Quan was in the Epsilon District until he was fifteen years old, and only at fifteen did he rely on his own power to smuggle himself out and go to West Leaf City, the closest to the Epsilon District. And in West Leaf City, he met Anna, and with Anna’s help, he gained a new identity.
After that, he became active in the black market as Yan Bai with the help of Anna. Of course, his original intention was only to earn some living expenses and materials. He also always thought that Anna also just wanted to get some profit from it. But now, it seemed that if Anna knew his identity from the beginning and had been with the “organization”, and even the existence of “Yan Bai” was something that they deliberately set up.
Anna’s pupils tightened up in that instant, and she pursed her lips. Her lips looked a little pale, and she was looking away, avoiding Xie Quan’s bright eyes. She was not prepared to avoid Xie Quan’s question again because she knew that there was no point in avoiding it.
So, she took deep breaths, and after preparing in her mind, she looked at Xie Quan again.
Piles of garbage in the alley wafted an unpleasant smell, and black birds were squatting high on the roof looking at the garbage in the alley, watching intently, just waiting for the two humans to go away, then swoop down to feed.
Anna’s voice was no longer eager, but with some of the calmness that did not match. She still spoke slightly faster than normal. “Yes, I knew you were Caesar Ansel from the beginning. As for how I know, my surname is Vichia, the daughter of the director of Imperial Institute who was exiled at first, but ended up dying on the way. You may not remember, but I met you when I was a child…”
“Father, where are we going? It’s so beautiful here.” The little girl looked at the blue and purple flowers outside the alabaster corridor and stood transfixed in place.
“Anna, come and follow.” The man in the decent suit stood a few steps away and urged.
The little girl came back to her senses and took a few steps to follow. Then she asked again, “Father, where exactly are we going?”
The man lowered his head and said to her in a warm voice, “Anna, we are going to see His Highness the Third Prince, and His Highness the Imperial Grandson.”
“Who are they?”
“You’ll know when you see them, but remember, don’t be rude later.”
The long corridor seemed to have no end, and the little girl finally got sore feet, and then she was picked up by the man. Wrapped around her father’s neck, they entered the huge white doors, and behind the doors, in the great hall, the breeze carried a faint fragrance. A long-haired man in a gorgeous gown stood under the golden sunlight next to a little boy of four or five years old. With narrow, beautiful eyes, he quietly watched the equally beautiful little boy finish his homework.
Holding the little girl, the man bowed respectfully. “Your Third Highness, Your Imperial Highness, greetings.”
The father and son turned their heads and looked at them, and in those moments, the little girl was smitten. She thought to herself, she had never seen a more beautiful father-son pair.
They were like angels…
Xie Quan shook his head gently, not feeling convinced. “Even if you had seen me as a child, it would be impossible to recognize me after so many years.”
Anna nodded. “Indeed, but Xie Quan, you and your father really look alike. I saw you at a glance, I thought you were very familiar, plus…” she sighed, and said, “Plus, I knew you were not dead.” She continued, “The ‘accident’ that year was announced to the public as your father dying at the same time as you, but I knew you were still alive and were sent to Epsilon District.”
Xie Quan’s brow furrowed.
Anna said, “At the time, the third prince had expected that someone would strike at him, and had always taken precautions; he used a thousand precautions, but still stepped into the enemy’s trap. The third prince’s people quickly reacted to the scene of the incident, but had gone too late, your father had died… But you were still alive.
The third prince’s forces were liquidated, let alone you, so those people then made a prompt decision to take you out of the Imperial Capital, and quickly found a corpse similar in size to you to impersonate you. They had arranged a safe place for you to go, only they hadn’t thought that the liquidation from the enemy would be so quick, leaving them no time to settle you down. So in order to avoid tracing, they took advantage of the exile team to bring you, who was still in a fake death state, out of the Imperial Capital…
At that time, the person in charge of this task was my father, but my father actually did not escape the hands of those people, and was poisoned on the way. Before dying, he took the opportunity to see his last relative and told me about this, but at that time I was still young, and could not do anything. You also went with the exile team, and finally went to the Epsilon District.”
These things long held in her heart were spit out. Anna also felt much lighter and she smiled faintly, “In fact, we have been in the Epsilon District to find your trace, but the Epsilon District news is too difficult to obtain. We have been secretly investigating, but heard no news. The reason why I was in West Leaf City was because it was the closest to the Epsilon District, where I had been waiting for news of my partner who had infiltrated the Epsilon District, but I didn’t expect that you would actually come out of the Epsilon District by yourself.”
What Anna said, Xie Quan was not half-impressed. He remembered that after the accident, he had long periods of unconsciousness. He occasionally woke up a few times, and the man with gray hair would coax him, “Your Highness, it’s okay, sleep again.”
Then, he was fed pills and he lost consciousness again.
When he finally regained consciousness, he was already in the Epsilon District on top of a ruined garbage pile. The man with white hair was Anna’s father.
Xie Quan’s heart was mixed, those long-ago memories came to mind, the palace, that man… He closed his eyes slightly, suppressing those memories as well as his thoughts, and his voice had no fluctuation. “Anna, I’ll ask you again, what do you want to do? Restart the beta experiments from back then? Revenge? What do you want in the end, after all those years of planning?”