The smile on Consort Dowager Guo’s face only grew after that, and a trace of envy could be seen in her eyes. Regardless of age, any woman would be envious of such fortune. She couldn’t help but think of her own love story and marriage.


She had been born to a family of merchants, and already had someone who she was interested in. However, the late Emperor took a liking to her when he saw her during an outing, and forcefully snatched her away. Unable to defy the imperial power, she couldn’t escape from the wedding arrangement, and her entire clan had been forced to abandon their merchant life to pander to the late emperor.


She had been greatly favoured by the late emperor after she entered the palace, and she gave birth to a son very quickly. Unfortunately, the affection didn’t last long, and the number of visits to her repose palace gradually decreased. During this period, the reverie of living as a young girl was obliterated, and the imperial palace became the equivalent of an icy prison.


In the end, she decided to set up a Buddha hall in her repose palace and peacefully pray, staying aloof of worldly affairs. When the late Emperor passed away, she was originally supposed to follow him in death, but Pei Qianhao had saved her life. Now, her biggest wish was to watch her son get married, and to see her grandchildren surrounding her.


Noticing Consort Dowager Guo’s distant gaze, Su Xi-er avoided disturbing her, understanding that the former was lost in her own thoughts. It was only after the dreamy look disappeared from her eyes did Su Xi-er speak. “Consort Dowager, Prince Hao has already sent people to search for the Second Imperial Prince. He should be coming back soon.”


The words ‘Second Imperial Prince’ immediately pulled Consort Dowager Guo out of her thoughts. Her eyes shone, and she looked at Pei Qianhao with a face full of hope. “Prince Hao, this Empress Dowager wishes to see the Second Imperial Prince as soon as possible. He has been wandering around on his own for many years, and I don’t even know how he’s doing.”


Pei Qianhao understood Consort Dowager Guo’s concern, and moved to comfort her. “Consort Dowager, don’t worry. The Second Imperial Prince has been living very well outside; in fact, this Prince already knows where he is. He has travelled far and wide for the past three years, visiting numerous rural counties and observing the hardships of the commoners. He even made his way to the western region, and after staying there for a few months, made his way back to the suburbs of Beimin where he was recently found.”


Consort Dowager Guo felt grief swallowing her heart upon hearing how her son had been roaming about. To think that he even went to the western region. The area is surrounded by deserts and cliffs, with only an oasis from time to time. Those people rear livestock for a living, and are also known to be bold and unrestrained. However, they also tend to be more irritable, and may resort to violence at the slightest provocation.


Su Xi-er could discern the worry in Consort Dowager Guo’s eyes, so she went forward and bent down to grasp her hand. “Consort Dowager, with how many places the Second Imperial Prince has been to, he must be very knowledgeable and experienced. He will surely be a great and loyal asset to Beimin when he returns. Besides, perhaps the reason he is currently in the suburbs is because he already intended to return.”


Consort Dowager Guo was stunned for a moment before delight shone in her eyes. “This Consort Dowager can rest assured if he’s really planning to come back.” She raised her head to look at Pei Qianhao. “Prince Hao, it’s all thanks to you. If it weren’t for you supporting the Situ Imperial Family, the imperial power would have been seized by someone else long ago.”


Despite being devoted to Buddha and staying aloof from worldly affairs, staying in the palace for so long had naturally allowed her to see things clearly from a perspective that many others couldn’t.


Every major clan sees that His Majesty is still young, and has tried to use this opportunity to seize the imperial power. It was only through the efforts of Prince Hao and his domination over the other court officials that the Situ Imperial Family has remained safe. Yet, many looking on from the outside can only gossip that Prince Hao is ambitious, and is seizing control of the court for himself.


Su Xi-er looked at Pei Qianhao. He doesn’t mind that at all, and only a pure intent exists in his eyes.

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translation: Rakumon

Edit: Lunarlark


Rakumon's Corner:

I feel so sad for Pei Qianhao. Such a misunderstood guy :((( All along, he was simply helping his nephew and lead Beimin to prosperity, but what he got in return... T^T

What do you guys think of him? ><