“Mmm, I went out to take a short walk.” Su Xi-er smilingly replied, and began to partake her meal.


The palace maids finished their meals in about five minutes, with everyone proceeding to place their utensils into a bucker for the palace maids in charge to wash.


The female cook then had Su Xi-er go and rest again before entrusting someone to take her to the Imperial Garden in four hours.


As for Chao Mu and Tan Ge, they both tagged along with Su Xi-er since they came from the Imperial Library. Soon, it was just the three of them resting in the small hut.


Tan Ge kept silent, Su Xi-er was deep in thought, and Chao Mu kept yelling that it was boring. Just like that, the four hours passed, and the three followed an older palace maid to the Imperial Garden.


Before they entered, Su Xi-er could already hear the mellifluous sound of silk bamboo music. It was immediately followed by the sonorous voice of a man singing opera, then switched over to the melodious sound of a woman’s voice.


The palace maids could only stand near the entrance of the Imperial Garden and watch from afar. Currently, a play of a hero saving a damsel in distress was performed on the high opera stage, rousing the excitement of the palace maids and eunuchs.


Su Xi-er’s gaze landed on the opera stage for a moment before shifting to search for a familiar figure dressed in light purple.


Perhaps Pei Qianhao was too dazzling, or Su Xi-er was very familiar with him, but she managed to find him very quickly. She saw that he was nonchalantly swaying a wine cup in his hand. Looking opposite of him, she saw that it was Xie Liuli who was seated across from him.


Xie Liuli had attended the banquet in lavish clothes. Clad in a pink cherry blossom dress, she wore silver hairpins and sparkling pandora glass beads, looking as breathtaking as a proudly blooming flower in the winter.


The opera performance on stage was approaching its climax, causing the palace maids and eunuchs to begin fervently chatting.


“That man’s fighting ability is too awesome. He managed to knock the tiger onto the ground!”


“The woman can dedicate her life as gratitude right?”


“How can that be possible? The woman is born to a wealthy and rich family, while the man is an ordinary woodcutter. Their statuses don’t match, so I bet that those two can’t be together.”


“Sigh, regardless of how much they like one another, it’s still impossible to overcome the disparity in status.”


Su Xi-er looked towards the high stage. This opera was deliberately arranged for someone to see.


In less than an hour, the opera had reached its ending. The woman married someone with a similar status, while the man married an ordinary woman. The two were clearly in love, but they weren’t able to stay together because of the difference in their social standing.


A palace maid who had guessed correctly was proud and pleased with herself. She casually glanced towards Su Xi-er and remarked, “See, it’s like what I said. Someone with a lowly status can’t match up to a noble.”


Chao Mu could hear the overtone in her words, and was about to retort when Su Xi-er signalled for her to keep quiet.


“Su Xi-er, people are already stepping over your head, yet you still want to endure?” Chao Mu lowered her voice and indignantly pouted.


“Today is the Winter Solstice palace banquet. Should we cause trouble, our lives will be forfeit.” The subtle threat in Su Xi-er’s voice was clear as she swept her gaze across the palace maid who spoke just now.


Having been frightened, the palace maid no longer said anything. I can’t purposely find trouble just for a moment of satisfaction.


Chao Mu coldly snorted. Su Xi-er is clever after all. She managed to deflate the palace maid’s ego with just a simple sentence.


After the opera ended, the opera troupe members bowed and withdrew. The Imperial Music Department then stepped onto the stage, and it wasn’t long before the pleasant melodies of their instruments flowed into everyone’s ears.


Su Xi-er saw Xie Liuli slowly get up with a pot of wine. She then walked to Pei Qianhao’s side, bowed, and said something to him which Su Xi-er couldn’t hear from her distance.


After that, she saw the elated expressions of many ministers as they nodded.


Chao Mu was puzzled. “What are they doing? Did that woman pour wine for Prince Hao?”

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translation: Rakumon

Edit: Lunarlark


Rakumon's Corner:

Hehe how is this banquet gonna play out XD