“Commander Wu, what a coincidence to see you here. Shouldn’t you be busy arresting Pei Yong?” Pei Yaran’s expression was calm, as if she was just having a normal conversation with Wu Ling.


Wu Ling gave a deferential bow to her. “Prince Hao has passed down two orders which must be completed before he returns to Beimin, and this subordinate does not dare to disobey. Empress Dowager, you should be very clear about Prince Hao’s personality.” He deliberately added the last sentence to remind her that the one standing behind him was Pei Qianhao, and that she should reconsider her actions before defying him.


Despite discerning the overtone in Wu Ling’s words, Pei Yaran kept her gentle smile. “Your work has always been to Prince Hao’s satisfaction. You are certainly Prince Hao’s most capable assistant, carrying out his orders to completion, even if it means disregarding this Empress Dowager. Knowing this, I don’t dare to randomly comment about you.”


The sarcasm in her tone belied her smiling visage.


Wu Ling bowed in response. “This subordinate doesn’t dare to do such a thing, Empress Dowager. This subordinate simply hopes that you can understand that I am only following Prince Hao’s orders. This subordinate suggests that you return to your palace; Prince Hao will be leaving Nanzhao in two days.”


“Two days later...” Pei Yaran mumbled to herself before continuing, “This Empress Dowager has come here today to take Su Xi-er back. The Palace Side Quarters can’t do without her. Even though she has a petite stature, she’s very adept in her work. Old Maidservant Liu has brought this up numerous times.”


Wu Ling used Eunuch Sun’s words to prevent Pei Yaran from pushing further. “Since Su Xi-er has entered the Beauty Palace, her assignment will be decided by Prince Hao. Empress Dowager, you should return to your palace earlier.”


“The Beauty Palace has been dissolved today, meaning that Prince Hao has released all of the women inside of it. Despite that, this Empress Dowager hasn’t seen Su Xi-er at all; now you are telling me that I can’t even bring her back today?” Pei Yaran maintained her composed and gentle disposition.


“Prince Hao has other arrangements regarding Su Xi-er. Eunuch Sun is already taking care of that.” Despite not discussing beforehand with Ruo Yuan, their matching trains of thought ensured that Pei Yaran remained ignorant of Su Xi-er’s location.


“This Empress Dowager is curious, what kind of arrangements is he making? Could it be that every one of the 71 women in the Beauty Palace are being dismissed besides Su Xi-er?!” Pei Yaran’s voice became louder as a sour feeling emerged from the bottom of her heart. If I didn’t need to mind my status as the Empress Dowager, I would have long flown into a rage!


“Empress Dowager, Prince Hao’s word is final. There’s no point in you continuing to press this subordinate for answers. You should simply ask Prince Hao once he returns.”


Pei Yaran felt even worse when she heard the words ‘Prince Hao’. What on earth does he see me as? It has been so many years. He definitely knows that my feelings towards him aren’t that of a sibling’s. Not to mention, we aren’t even related by blood.


His treatment towards me can be summarised by one sentence  he doesn’t love me. I originally thought that the most miserable thing in the world was an unrequited love, but now I understand that it’s when the person I love only has eyes for another. Could it be that the person he loves is Su Xi-er? Is the woman at his side right now Su Xi-er?!


Pei Yaran laughed. “Commander Wu, this Empress Dowager doesn’t have to ask Prince Hao when I can just get the answers from you. If Su Xi-er isn’t in the Beauty Palace, then she must be by Pei Qianhao’s side, correct? You can just nod or shake your head.”


Wu Ling maintained his expressionless face, only stretching his hand out to make a gesture. “Empress Dowager, please return to your palace.”

This only served to confirm Pei Yaran’s conjecture, causing a cold glint to flicker across her eyes. I suppose those two maidservants are serving Su Xi-er.

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translation: Rakumon

Edit: Lunarlark


Rakumon's Corner:

Pei Yaran is definitely not a simple character to be fooled with ><