Su Xi-er didn’t know whether she should laugh or cry as she patted Situ Lin’s shoulder. “You’ve gotten a little more eloquent after studying diligently for these past few days.. Where did you hear this from?”


Although Su Xi-er was smiling, Situ Lin could discern that she was trying to sound him out. I can’t possibly admit that I heard it from the palace maids, right?


Situ Lin quickly made up his mind to fabricate a lie. “I thought of it by myself. I didn’t hear it from anyone.”


“Really? If you’re not going to tell the truth, I’ll tell your Imperial Uncle when he comes back.”


Situ Lin’s heart wildly thumped in fright. Just as he was about to beseech Su Xi-er, he heard a familiar male voice accompanied by a strong presence behind him. Oh no, it’s over for me. Imperial Uncle heard it!


“Tell this Prince about what?” Pei Qianhao asked as he looked at Su Xi-er.


Situ Lin desperately cast a meaningful and pleading look at Su Xi-er. Imperial Aunt, you mustn’t tell him!


Su Xi-er laughed. Of course I won’t tell him. Besides, it’s not appropriate to mention that sort of thing.


“What did you do today? Why did you come back so late?” She tried to act like she was fawning over him as she walked forward and took his hand.


Seeing their display of affection, Situ Lin rapidly left without waiting for his Imperial Uncle to speak.


Watching Situ Lin’s figure disappear, Pei Qianhao’s brows furrowed slightly before he turned to Su Xi-er who asked, “Did you send someone to retrieve the cloth bundle that I left in the Imperial Household Department after just entering the palace?”


Pei Qianhao nodded. “Yes, this Prince will help you safeguard it.”


“Shouldn’t you let me have a look at its contents?” Su Xi-er smilingly asked. I want to see the items that belong to the owner of this body.


“You said that you’ve left the past behind, and won’t care about your so-called relatives. How come you want those things again?” Pei Qianhao wrapped his arm around her waist, putting his forehead against hers.


“Can’t I just have a look? It’s been more than 10 years after all.”


Seeing how persistent she was, Pei Qianhao eventually gave in. “Wu Ling, come in.”


Wu Ling entered the hall. “Prince Hao, do you have any instructions?”


“Bring Princess Consort Hao’s things out.” Despite Pei Qianhao keeping his voice even, being able to use the name, ‘Princess Consort Hao’ made him inwardly delighted.


Wu Ling took out the folded cloth bundle from his sleeve, but the paper that contained Su Xi-er’s origins had been burnt to ashes.


Pei Qianhao hadn’t initially planned to destroy the evidence of Su Xi-er’s background, but after finding out she was actually Ning Rulan, he changed his mind.


Su Xi-er took the cloth bundle and placed it on the table, beginning to look through its contents.


The cloth bundle was very small, but contained a tiny and exquisite pouch among other things. When she opened it up, Su Xi-er was stunned by what she saw.


They were three small stones that had been polished until they were extremely round and smooth. Su Xi-er was reminded of the children from farmer families. Without enough money to buy their children toys, the most the kids could do was play with stones. The real Su Xi-er must have played with these stones from a young age, resulting in their current smooth appearance. She had carried them around and treated them like a treasure, even bringing them with her for safekeeping in the Imperial Household Department.


Currently, the colour of the three stones had faded after many years of neglect. Su Xi-er actually felt her heart aching in sorrow as she gazed at them for a long time.


Pei Qianhao came forward to see what she was looking at.


“Prince Hao, did you play with stones when you were young?” Su Xi-er couldn’t help but ask.


Hearing the melancholy in her voice, Pei Qianhao hugged her from behind before whispering in her ear. “It’s been too long. This Prince doesn’t remember.”

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translation: Rakumon

Edit: Lunarlark


Rakumon's Corner:

I guess Pei Qianhao's childhood wasn't all sunshine and rainbows too ><