Imperial Physician Zhao and Eunuch Zhang exchanged a glance before the latter went forward and disrupted Su Xi-er’s train of thought. “You should return to the Imperial Library. Since Prince Hao probably already knows who the murderer is, let’s leave this matter to him. Don’t worry, Prince Hao will definitely punish the culprit harshly since it concerns His Majesty’s wet nurse.”


Su Xi-er eased up, and her gaze became distant. “Eunuch Zhang, how long have you known Old Maidservant Liu?”


Despite not understanding her reason for asking, Eunuch Zhang still replied, “I can’t really remember very well; perhaps more than 40 years.”


“Old Maidservant Liu dedicated her entire life for her master, ensuring that her master could rest in peace.” Su Xi-er calmly remarked before leaving in the direction of the Imperial Library.


Eunuch Zhang watched her retreating figure in a daze. Old Maidservant Liu’s master was also my benefactor. If not for our benefactor, how could I have possibly lived until now?


Meanwhile, Imperial Physician Zhao turned to head back. “Eunuch Zhang, I’ll be going back to the Imperial Physician Institute. I’ll dispatch someone to send the handkerchief to the Compassionate Peace Palace later so that it’s more convenient for Commander Yuchi to carry out his job.”


Eunuch Zhang nodded. “You should make haste.”


Imperial Physician Zhao held his folded hands in front of him to bid goodbye, then walked towards the Imperial Physician Institute.




Meanwhile, Yuchi Mo had already arrived in the Compassionate Peace Palace with the group of Imperial Army guards, soon after Lian Qiao had finished making the philtre fragrance. 


Lian Qiao felt as if her heart was being squeezed and immediately looked towards the Empress Dowager. They traced things to the Compassionate Peace Palace so quickly?


Pei Yaran signalled for Lian Qiao to withdraw with her gaze, then sternly questioned, “Commander Yuchi, why did you bring so many subordinates here? Don’t tell me that you plan to arrest this Empress Dowager for some sort of crime?”


“This humble subject doesn’t dare. I have come today to arrest the sinful woman, Lian Qiao, under Prince Hao’s orders.” Yuchi Mo cast a meaningful look at his subordinates as he spoke, prompting one of them to walk up and seize Lian Qiao without another word.


Lian Qiao immediately turned towards the Empress Dowager in panic. The Empress Dowager is my only ray of hope. I have done so many things that were against my conscience because of the Empress Dowager, but it isn’t like I can expose her either. Otherwise, my demise will be assured.


Pei Yaran understood Lian Qiao’s thoughts. “Commandery Prince Xie recommended Lian Qiao to this Empress Dowager, saying that this lass was attentive and could serve this Empress Dowager well. She has been by this Empress Dowager’s side in the Compassionate Peace Palace for the past few days. May I know what crime she has committed?”


“Investigations have already confirmed that Lian Qiao killed Old Maidservant Liu, the current Emperor’s wet nurse. Is that not a serious crime? Empress Dowager, if you plan to be biased and protect her, His Majesty will be bitterly disappointed.”


Pei Yaran remained extremely composed. “If she really is the culprit, this Empress Dowager wouldn’t cover for her. However, where is the evidence? Could it be that you intend to arrest someone without any sort of proof?”


“Empress Dowager, you can ask Prince Hao about the evidence. This subordinate is only in charge of accepting orders and carrying them out. I am powerless to do anything else. Please don’t make things difficult for this subordinate.” Yuchi Mo paused and instructed the guards, “Take Lian Qiao away and interrogate her in the Imperial Prison.”


Lian Qiao’s legs nearly buckled when she heard the words ‘Imperial Prison’. People who enter the Imperial Prison will definitely not come back alive.


“Empress Dowager…” Lian Qiao softly called, her eyes filled with a desperate longing to live.


Pei Yaran stopped in front of her and comforted in a gentle voice. “One does not fear having a crooked shadow when they stand straight; as long as you are an upright person, there’s nothing to worry about.” To outsiders, this would only look like the Empress Dowager pacifying Lian Qiao and hinting for her to avoid saying anything more.


Lian Qiao was relieved after hearing her advice. She didn’t even struggle as the Imperial Army guards took her away.


After all the Imperial Army guards had left, Pei Yaran dismissed all the palace maids. She sat alone in the main hall for a very long time, a small bottle containing the newly made philtre fragrance hidden in her sleeve.

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translation: Rakumon

Edit: Lunarlark


Rakumon's Corner: 

To think that Pei Yaran is let off the hook while Lian Qiao... :((