“We left in a hurry just now and I didn’t pay attention. Let’s go back and search.” Su Xi-er suggested as they retraced their steps.


Only once they were about to reach the Imperial Garden did they see Tan Ge walking over. Su Xi-er used the chance to take a glimpse of the interior of the Imperial Garden, but she was shocked to see that no one was looking at the high stage, even as the dancers performed.


Tan Ge looked at Su Xi-er and tugged at her sleeve. “Let’s quickly leave. We’ll get punished if people find us staying here.” She then swiftly walked forward.


Watching her departing figure, Su Xi-er felt like she was watching someone who was frantically fleeing. Chao Mu also found her behaviour strange. If she's afraid of getting punished, why did she choose to wait until now before leaving?


Su Xi-er didn’t comment, and simply pulled Chao Mu in the direction of the Imperial Library.




In the Imperial Garden, the atmosphere had congealed after the matter of the marriage alliance between the Pei and Xie families had gone up in smoke. Perhaps the most surprising thing was that Xie Liuli had walked down from her seat in front of everyone, bowed to Pei Qianhao, then refused to marry him in front of everyone.


Besides the trace of smugness in her eyes when she looked at her father, Pei Yaran was completely unperturbed. Even if I don’t interfere, the matter that you meticulously planned still won’t be successful. Pei Qianhao is not the kind of person who allows himself to be controlled. Hard tactics won’t work on him.


Despite having maintained his gentle and genial expression in front of everyone, Xie Yun’s face involuntarily darkened when he was caught off guard by his younger sister’s surprising gesture. She had promised me three times in her boudoir yesterday, yet this is today’s result!


A moment later, Pei Qianhao stood up and held his wine cup towards Pei Zheng and Xie Yun. “As Commandery Princess Xie is not interested in this Prince, I can’t force her to marry me. Although it’s true that the two families have an engagement, this Prince doesn’t want to short-change the Commandery Princess Xie. Please treat this toast as this Prince’s apology.”


He raised the cup and downed its contents.


Xie Liuli faintly smiled. “I am very happy that Prince Hao doesn’t hold on to me. Liuli is extremely grateful.” She then turned to look at Xie Yun. “Elder Brother, don’t be angry. Although the engagement no longer exists, Liuli hopes that the Pei and Xie families can restore our former good relations.”


Pei Zheng wore a foul expression, a trace of reproach in his gaze as he looked at Xie Yun. How is it possible to restore good relations when there’s no marriage alliance?


Pei Qianhao chose this moment to add on, “The two families have been at odds with one another for many years. If we don’t improve our relationship, it will be detrimental to Beimin.” He then made sure to look towards the Emperor.


After receiving such a look from Pei Qianhao, Situ Lin instantly became nervous, but quickly responded, “What Imperial Uncle said makes sense, and this Emperor hopes that the Pei and Xie families can mend their relationship. In this Emperor’s opinion, the relationship between Lord Pei and Commandery Prince Xie should already have improved. Commandery Prince Xie, why not offer a toast to Imperial Uncle since he has already expressed his stance?”


With the situation deviating further away from his plans, Xie Yun had no choice but to give face to the Emperor in front of anyone.


Hence, he smiled as he stood up, and the palace maid beside him immediately filled his cup. “This Prince offers a toast to Prince Hao.”


The palace maid behind Pei Qianhao also came forward to pour wine for him.


Afterwards, Pei Qianhao and Xie Yun downed their cups together.


Everyone thought that the matter had concluded, but contrary to expectations, Pei Qianhao continued to stand. “Seven days after the Winter Solstice palace banquet is an auspicious date for marriage.”


Pei Qianhao swept his gaze across everyone present, causing them to be taken aback. Pei Zheng’s expression remained foul, while a glint flickered past Xie Yun’s eyes. Su Xi-er won’t live past today.


Only Situ Lin’s eyes were glimmering with delight. “Imperial Uncle, which young lady is so fortunate to become this Emperor’s Imperial Aunt?”


When Pei Yaran saw Pei Qianhao parting his lips, she immediately cut in. “Which young miss has a higher status than Commandery Princess Xie?”

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translation: Rakumon

Edit: Lunarlark


Rakumon's Corner: 

Sometimes, I really wonder about the effectiveness of marriage alliances 🤔

What else do you think they could have done?