Pei Yaran nodded and composed herself. She had already expected that he would come.


Before she could actually enter the main hall, however, she saw a tall figure. I was originally familiar with him, but he seems to grow further and further away. Even now, the frosty aura he gives off is pushing me away.


Pei Yaran first dismissed the palace maids, but before she could continue to greet him, Pei Qianhao turned around and spoke first.


“Hand it over.” His voice was cold and brooked no defiance.


The smile at the corner of Pei Yaran’s mouth stiffened, but she pretended to be perplexed. “Prince Hao, what are you talking about? This Empress Dowager doesn’t understand.”


“You don’t understand? This Prince is curious, were you the one who thought of this, or were you instructed by the Pei Residence?” Pei Qianhao continued, his large hand grabbing Pei Yaran’s arm.


With a few swings, a small bottle had landed in his hand.


“This Prince didn’t expect your methods to be so despicable, Empress Dowager.”


Pei Yaran purposely let out a chuckle. “Prince Hao, you’re still the one who understands this Empress Dowager. You know that I always hide important things in my sleeves. You must have known that this Empress Dowager had ordered someone to make this bottle of philtre fragrance for my own use.”


“Even if you smear it all over your body, it won’t have any use on this Prince.” Pei Qianhao’s gaze grew cold. The small bottle in his hand had already been stowed away in his sleeve.


Immediately after, he called for the people outside the main hall. “Guards.”


A few Imperial Army guards entered the main hall. “Prince Hao, what are your instructions?”


“From tonight until the Winter Solstice palace banquet, no one in the Compassionate Peace Palace is allowed to leave.”


He’s openly confining me! Pei Yaran’s eyes became harsh. “You dare?!”


Pei Qianhao glanced at her. “You completely disregarded what this Prince told you not long ago. This Prince is already being benevolent by not confining you for your whole life.” He then walked out of the main hall.


Watching his departing figure, Pei Yaran screeched in rage, “Pei Qianhao, you ungrateful person!”


However, she cackled to herself after he had left. Pei Qianhao, aren’t you very clever? Why didn’t you suspect that I still have philtre fragrance? The bottle to be used on Su Xi-er has been passed to Shi Mo to attract the Third Imperial Prince or Commandery Prince Xie. The remaining half-filled bottle is for my own use. I don’t believe that the concentrated fragrance has no effect on you!


Don’t be too full of yourself. Just because you have said something doesn’t mean that it must be true. We’ll only find out who the true victor is on the day of the Winter Solstice banquet.


Upon this thought, Pei Yaran’s laughter became more sinister.


That night, Su Xi-er stayed in the room and waited for a long time, but did not see any sign of the person she was staying up for. With a trace of confusion in her heart, she removed her outer clothes and went to bed when she heard the gong signalling the start of the night watch at 11pm.


The next morning, the news that Lian Qiao had killed Old Maidservant Liu and had been put to death with white silk in the Imperial Prison had spread throughout the palace.


Su Xi-er had long since assumed that Lian Qiao would die. However, she was only used to indirectly kill Old Maidservant Liu. The real culprit is the currently confined Empress Dowager.


“Su Xi-er, I wonder when Tan Ge will come back.” Chao Mu’s face was full of worry.


“I hope that she won’t come back,” Su Xi-er calmly replied.


Chao Mu didn’t understand. “The Tan Residence has already declined. If she doesn’t come back, she’ll surely have to leave the residence in order to eke out a living. With her pretty looks, what if she meets a bad guy? It’s better to stay in the Imperial Library and live out the rest of her life.”


In Chao Mu’s perspective, living was always better than dying. To put it more unpleasantly, she was afraid of death.


Su Xi-er laughed. “If she doesn’t come back before the Winter Solstice palace banquet, she won’t be coming back again. Come, let’s sweep the ground.”


Right after she said that, Grand Tutor Kong’s voice could be heard. “Su Xi-er, go to the Calligraphy Pavilion. Someone wishes to consult you on the Lan Script.”

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translation: Rakumon

Edit: Lunarlark


Rakumon's Corner: 

Woah, did Pei Yaran just outsmart Pei Qianhao?! :o