The calls of the commoners suddenly stopped, and two columns of soldiers imposingly marched towards the Prince Hao Residence in orderly steps.


Amongst them was a tall man wearing black, snake-patterned robes as he rode atop a black steed. His steely eyes remained locked on the road ahead until he noticed the group of bailiff runners looking for something in the lake.


This lake is a part of an important river for merchant boats to travel to and fro from Beimin. There are official orders that forbid anyone from jumping in. Yet it looks like the bailiff runners are trying to fish out a body.


His brows knitted together, and a cold aura surrounded him as he raised his hand to halt the soldiers. The surrounding civilians immediately knelt, not daring to look up.


When the commoners had finally built up the courage to take a glance, they noticed that the man was already heading towards the lakeside with four soldiers accompanying him.


Situ Lin was looking at the lake, but started to shake when he heard the sound of footsteps from behind him. Before he could turn around, he heard the County Magistrate paying his respects to someone behind him. “This humble official pays his respects to Prince Hao.”


Prince Hao... Imperial Uncle! Situ Lin was on tenterhooks. He slowly turned around and lowered his head. “Imperial Uncle.”


Tan Ge followed along. “This servant pays her respects to Prince Hao.”


Pei Qianhao’s cold gaze swept over Tan Ge and landed on Situ Lin, asking in a frosty tone. “Your Majesty, by taking a palace maids from the Imperial Library out of the Imperial Palace to play, which palace rule did you break? How should you be punished?”


Situ Lin knew that he was in the wrong. Right as he was going to open his mouth to admit his wrongs, the bailiff runners started yelling. “Your Excellency, the body has been found!”


Tan Ge became flustered and immediately turned around to look at the ground in front of her.


“Imperial Uncle, this Emperor will accept the punishment after I return to the palace. Right now, I have to go and see if that body is Su Xi-er’s.” Situ Lin turned on his heel and walked forward, now knowing that Pei Qianhao’s expression had abruptly changed.


Situ Lin and Tan Ge both rushed towards the riverside, but before they could see the body of the woman, a black-robed figure blocked their gazes. Prince Hao was clearly behind us, but he’s now rushed ahead!


Pei Qianhao’s gaze was like a torch, only relaxing once he saw that the woman on the ground wasn’t Su Xi-er. However, his eyes became gloomy once again once he came back to the other matter at hand. 


Su Xi-er had left the palace together with His Majesty. But where exactly did she go?


Situ Lin heaved a sigh of relief. Thank goodness that it isn’t Su Xi-er; otherwise, if a court lady left the palace and died, not only would things be difficult to account for the Imperial Library, but also the Imperial Household Department. Even as the Emperor, I am required to abide by the palace rules.


“Take the body away and handle it properly,” Pei Qianhao ordered.


After that, he turned to the soldiers behind him. “Send His Majesty back to the palace and punish him for disobeying the palace rules. He will receive fifteen strikes of the plank and face the wall to reflect upon his misdeeds. He will also write lines of the ‘Palace Rule Commandments’ five times.” He then surveyed his surroundings and walked forward.


Situ Lin watched Pei Qianhao leave and sighed. It’s a small matter to be struck by the plank a few times, but it is a headache to write lines from the ‘Palace Rule Commandments’.


“Your Majesty, please return to the palace.” A soldier stretched out his hand and deferentially signalled.


Situ Lin didn’t have a choice. My short playtime ends here.


When I came out, I was with Su Xi-er, Tan Ge, and an imperial guard, but now we’re missing someone.


Pei Qianhao’s gaze was dark as he instructed the soldiers. “Close the city gates and have the soldiers guarding them be on the lookout. Everyone else is to start searching every house.”


Did Su Xi-er leave by herself, or was she abducted? Pei Qianhao’s brows furrowed. I must find her by tonight.


I only went to the army barracks, and something has already happened to her. This woman causes me so many worries.


The soldiers immediately bowed. “This subordinate obeys the order.”


Shortly after, all gates of the city were closed. The imperial guards from the Prince Hao Residence, as well as the two columns of soldiers that Prince Hao had been leading, all began to search for a young woman clad in the Imperial Library’s uniform.

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translation: Sangria

TLC: Rakumon

Edit: Lunarlark


Sangria: Where is Su Xi-er?

Rakumon: Oh no, what do you think happened to SXE? Any conspiracy theories? O_O