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"Xie Yu, really," the Crown Prince said. "I hear the Su residence has constructed a moat, but does that seriously stop your assassins from getting through? I've heard it's only about two feet wide."

"The moat isn't the problem, your highness. With the pugilists Mei Changsu has protecting him, no other protection is needed."

The Crown Prince frowned. "...then, what is the point of the moat?"

"I believe it is mostly for the boy Fei Liu's amusement. They say he floats paper boats in it, and feeds the ducks and geese it has attracted."

"Huh. Well, maybe it will distract him enough that someone will be able to get through eventually."


Nobody noticed that the moat was a lot more shallow at the back of the residence, or that the construction workers had spent more time quietly building a tunnel than actually digging the very shallow moat.

"People aren't very impressed by the moat, though," Li Gang said. "Are you sure it's a good enough cover? There are other renovations we could have gotten."

Mei Changsu said, "It's a bit late to worry about that now. And I don't mind people in the capital thinking I'm eccentric. Keep them wondering. Besides, Fei Liu likes it."

Li Gang was beginning to think that Mei Changsu prioritized Fei Liu's amusement over their actual plans. Oh well.

At any rate, if enough geese showed up, maybe that would be an extra line to their defenses, even if the moat wasn't.