Su Xi-er’s expression became nervous for but a moment before it returned to normal. “Where were the imperial guards from?”


The thin palace maid shrugged her shoulders. “I only know that they were imperial guards. Why would I ask, ‘Elder Brother Imperial Guard, which palace are you from’?” Contempt appeared in the palace maid’s eyes as she looked like she was watching a good show.


Su Xi-er saw the axe thrown on the ground. Who would have taken Ruo Yuan away? She’s just someone carrying out manual labour in the Palace Side Quarters. Why would she be taken away? Don’t tell me that it’s because of last night…”


Her thoughts suddenly stopped as her gaze turned cold. Prince Hao?


But I’m in the Palace Side Quarters. How can I go out to look for Pei Qianhao?!


“Su Xi-er, why did you suddenly run here?” Lian Qiao asked smilingly.


“I ran over here to check that the chamber pots that have been scrubbed were properly collected,” Su Xi-er replied indifferently.


Lian Qiao laughed. “They have long been collected by people. You scrub so many chamber pots every day. It’ll be cold when winter arrives. You had better report to Old Maidservant Liu and prepare by bringing some frostbite ointment.”


“Mhm.” Su Xi-er then turned around and walked towards the Palace Side Quarters’ backyard.

When the thin palace maid saw Lian Qiao losing out, she sneered. “She doesn’t pay attention to you. Why do you have to be snubbed when you fawn over her ardently?”


Su Xi-er arrived at the front of her room door very quickly, subconsciously inspecting the white ash on the ground. There are imprints on the ash.


If it was really Pei Qianhao who instructed the imperial guards to take Ruo Yuan away, then he should appear in my room right now.


However, the white ash hasn’t been stepped on. Did he not come, or has he found out about the function of the white ash?


Su Xi-er immediately became cautious. She softly pushed the door open and gingerly surveyed the surroundings.


There’s no one at all. He didn’t come.


Su Xi-er instantly felt that it was very strange. Could it be that Ruo Yuan wasn’t taken away by his subordinates?


Don’t tell me that it was Situ Li? The thought was rejected almost as soon as it flashed across her mind. The Third Imperial Prince would only do this if he is idle with nothing to do.


After pondering for a while, Su Xi-er was certain that the culprit was Pei Qianhao. As to why he had done it, she would have to ask him.


“Su Xi-er,” Hong Li pushed the room door open and called out to her.


“In the future, knock before you come in. What if I’m changing my clothes?”


Hong Li instantly felt awkward. After coughing lightly, she adjusted her expression. “Just now, I pretended that I was passing by Old Maidservant Liu’s house and saw Miss He walking out with a face full of rage.”


The pitch of Su Xi-er’s voice was higher as she replied, “Mhm.” It looks like Old Maidservant Liu didn’t listen to He Ying and directly refused to collaborate with her. Refusing He Ying is tantamount to refusing the Empress Dowager. Old Maidservant Liu has some guts.


“Furthermore, that expression of Miss He was just like she had a mouthful of air stifled in her stomach that couldn’t be vented. Say, what would she have talked to Old Maidservant Liu about?”


Su Xi-er chuckled. “Hong Li, whatever Miss He had told Old Maidservant Zhao, she definitely said the same thing to Old Maidservant Liu.”


“Ah? Miss He is with the Empress Dowager. Why does the Empress Dowager want to kill you so badly?” Hong Li’s voice gradually became softer. She couldn’t understand why she wanted to do that.


“How would there be so many ’whys’ in the imperial palace? In the future, don’t be so flustered and wear your heart on your sleeve. That isn’t good.”


Hong Li nodded her head carefully. “Mhm, I will take note in the future and learn after you in not letting my emotions show.”


“Go and do your work. Don’t stay in my room for too long. Observe the movements in the Palace Side Quarters and, if you see imperial guards, inform me immediately,” Su Xi-er instructed her expeditiously.


“Why would imperial guards come? Nothing big transpired in the Palace Side Quarters.” Hong Li was perplexed.


“You just have to follow what I said. Don’t ask so many questions.”


Hong Li grunted an “oh” before she swiftly exited the room.


Su Xi-er looked at the closed room door. Hong Li is very clever but she still needs more guidance. In some aspects, she isn’t as good as Lü Liu. Right now, her standard in selecting people was based on Lü Liu. As for Ruo Yuan, she made Su Xi-er feel as if Lü Liu was still around.


However, she didn’t even know where Ruo Yuan was taken to. Pei Qianhao still hadn’t come, and she couldn’t leave the Palace Side Quarters.


One day passed very quickly, with no imperial guards coming to the Palace Side Quarters at all. The matter of Ruo Yuan being taken away by the imperial guards was also spread around. Old Maidservant Liu didn’t mention anything, and only instructed another palace maid to chop the firewood.


When night fell, Su Xi-er walked towards the woodhouse at the southwest side as usual.


However, she didn’t expect that he would be waiting there for her.


He was donned in purple clothes that fluttered with the wind, while the contours of his face were extremely handsome and defined.


It’s Pei Qianhao. He’s waiting for me in front of the woodhouse at the southwest side, at the area where the chamber pots are placed.

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Hmm, what's PQH doing there