Su Xi-er looked at the children passing by and proposed to Situ Lin. “We have too many things to carry back. How about you pick out your favourite item, and we can give the rest to the other children?”


Situ Lin wasn’t willing, but became soft-hearted when he saw the children passing by. I can have whatever I want in the palace, but these people just want a small toy.


After this thought ran through his mind, Situ Lin quickly picked out a small rag doll and began to distribute the items to the other children.


All the children on the street squeezed forward, and soon, all the items that the imperial guard and Tan Ge were carrying were all been given out.


Situ Lin touched the rag doll in his hand without saying anything.


Su Xi-er walked next to him. “The rag doll you are holding is a girl.”


Situ Lin sniffled and said softly. “Empress Mother used to make rag dolls often. The female rag dolls she made were the most beautiful.”


Su Xi-er stopped talking when she saw his wistful countenance, choosing instead to pat his shoulder.


Shortly after, Situ Lin put the rag doll in his sleeve and shouted to the guard. “Let’s go and sight-see the lake!” 


The four walked to the lake and saw a large assortment of boats floating in the lake. Some were fishing boats, and some were merchant boats, while others were flower boats[1].


Rays of light burst forth from Situ Lin’s eyes. When the owner of one of the boats looking for customers noticed his bright gaze, he immediately began to paddle his boat over. Situ Lin ignored the others’ protests and quickly boarded the boat.


It was soon nightfall, and Su Xi-er reminded Situ Lin that they had to return to the palace after playing for the whole day. As he was having so much fun though, he couldn’t find it in himself to care.


As the moon started to rise, Tan Ge’s hands tightly held onto her sleeves.


Hearing Su Xi-er’s constant reminders to go back, he couldn’t help but relent. “I want to eat those Chinese candied hawthorns[2] over there. Buy them for me, and I will go back after I eat them.”


Su Xi-er shook her head before walking over to the other side of the lake; she didn’t know that she was already being locked on as a target.


Tan Ge watched as she walked forward and remembered what Xie Yun said. She started to feel conflicted. I don’t want to do anything to Su Xi-er. I can’t, but...


“What’s the matter? I made her go away on purpose. Let’s go, you can play with me!” Situ Lin pulled on Tan Ge’s sleeves and dragged her forward.


Shortly after, a loud splash could be heard. Many civilians around the lake started shouting, “A woman has fallen into the water; quickly save her!”


Tan Ge was shocked and quickly turned back; Situ Lin was in a similar state. How did someone fall into the water?


The civilians who knew how to swim started jumping into the water. However, the woman who fell into the water continued to struggle until she sank to the bottom of the lake and disappeared. The crowd of civilians couldn’t find her no matter how hard they tried.


Tan Ge was in a panic. “What did the woman who fell into the water look like?”


The woman who saw her replied, “She looked about 15 or 16, and was quite beautiful. Her clothes…”


The woman didn’t know how to describe it, but when she saw Tan Ge’s clothes, she pointed at them and said, “They were similar to yours.”


That one sentence made Tan Ge feel as if her heart had sunk into an endless abyss. How can it be! I haven’t done anything yet, so how could something have happened to Su Xi-er? Could it be because Commandery Prince Xie had reserved another trick up his sleeve?


Before I left the Imperial Library, the order Commandery Prince gave me has been like a thorn in my heart. “Find the right opportunity and make the move.”


He had also given her a bag of medicinal powder that had no colour or scent, leaving Tan Ge with no clue of what kind of medicinal powder it was.


Tan Ge clenched her fists together tightly before taking out the bag of medicinal powder from her sleeve and throwing it into the lake. I don’t want to harm anyone, and I really don’t want to harm Su Xi-er. I wasn’t the one who pushed Su Xi-er into the water, so it could only be Commandery Prince Xie who made a move.


Unbeknownst to others, a man dressed in black was hiding nearby. After observing the situation, he quickly escaped. Su Xi-er has already fallen into the water. After being in there for so long, she must have already died.


“Tan Ge, what’s wrong?” Situ Lin didn’t understand her pained expression.


Tan Ge looked at Situ Lin. “Su Xi-er might have been the one who fell into the water.”

1. They are usually decorated boats that look something like this.

2. Traditional Chinese snacks that look something like this. You probably would have seen them in dramas as it is common on the streets.

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translation: Sangria

TLC: Rakumon

Edit: Lunarlark


Sangria: Is the man in black Commandery Prince Xie?

Rakumon: Hmm, anyone thinks that Situ Lin has the potential to become a good emperor? 

And oh no, Tan Ge was like hesitating the whole day and now...