Situ Rong interrupted her, “Imperial Mother, your imperial child loves the food you cook best.”


It was at this moment that a senior old maidservant came in and announced, “Consort Dowager, Prince Hao and Princess Consort Hao have arrived.”


Consort Dowager Guo’s eyes shone as she stood up from her chair. “This Consort Dowager will go and receive them.” Right after the words left her mouth, Su Xi-er’s voice sounded.


“Consort Dowager, you don’t have to be so polite.” Su Xi-er smiled. She swept her gaze across the room, finally landing on a man wearing... garish clothes.


It looks like I wasn’t mistaken. This man looks similar to Situ Li, but is such garish clothing suitable for men to wear?


Situ Rong stood up and nodded to Pei Qianhao. When he turned to Su Xi-er, however, his solemn expression was replaced with one of rumination. “Princess Consort Hao, if you like this piece of clothing, this Prince can take it off and give it to you.”


“This child! He’s been away for many years, and he’s only become more impolite.” Although Consort Dowager Guo was reproaching him, but her tone was one of affection.


Su Xi-er was aware that Situ Rong was already at the age where a man should be independent. Now that I look at him, he doesn’t seem like someone who’s 30. His clothing and disposition don’t match at all. He seems childlike at times, and even jocular at others.


“Imperial Mother, didn’t you see that Princess Consort Hao was staring at your imperial child’s clothing so much that her eyes looked blank?” Situ Rong continued joking.


Consort Dowager Guo ignored him and waved to Su Xi-er. “Do sit; you may dispense with formalities today. Let’s be like ordinary commoners; you’re not allowed to stick to all those rules in the imperial palace.”


Su Xi-er sat down while Pei Qianhao served her a bowl of fish soup. “It’s good for the body to drink soup before eating, and it’s even better if it’s fish soup.”


“Now that this Prince has returned, I didn’t expect Prince Hao to have undergone a complete change in character. He was the coldest person ever in the past, yet his face is full of tenderness now. Tsk tsk.” Situ Rong’s eyes narrowed slightly as a glint seemed to flash through them.


Su Xi-er raised the teacup and told Situ Rong. “Second Imperial Prince, even after just meeting you for the first time today, I can tell that you have an exceptional aura that can’t help but leave an impression on others. Let me offer you a toast with tea in place of wine.” She then sipped some tea from her cup.


“After witnessing many customs from the outside, it wouldn’t do to toast with wine; it would be considered disrespectful in the western region.” Situ Rong’s face lit up with yearning as soon as he mentioned the western region.


The azure sky and lush grass; galloping on the horses; eking out a living by rearing livestock; gathering around the bonfire; immersing in both singing and dancing during the festive celebrations; how carefree it was!


Consort Dowager Guo softly coughed. She could discern the longing on her son’s visage with a single glance, but the more intense his yearning was, the more panicked she became.


Pei Qianhao said, “Second Imperial Prince, this Prince is afraid that you can’t leave after returning this time around.”


Situ Rong’s expression instantly changed. “Beimin has you supporting His Majesty, and there’s also Commandery Prince Xie; this Prince is not needed.” 


Even if Prince Hao hadn’t looked for me, I would still have returned. It’s been three years, so it’s about time that I visited my Imperial Mother. 


But this doesn’t mean that he can inhibit my freedom!


Su Xi-er saw Consort Dowager Guo’s sinking expression and immediately tried to mediate with a smile. “Second Imperial Prince, who said that Prince Hao will always be around? If you’re not familiar with the intricacies of the court, who’s going to support His Majesty in the future?”


“What? Prince Hao is leaving soon?” Shock was plastered all across Situ Rong’s face.


Su Xi-er gravely nodded. “Prince Hao will be taking me to tour the other countries soon. Second Imperial Prince, you have to oversee the court first.”


The solemn manner she spoke in caused Situ Rong’s face to change colour many times. 


If Prince Hao leaves, then only Commandery Prince Xie would be left.


Pei Qianhao shifted his gaze towards Su Xi-er with a meaningful look. Her face doesn’t become red, and her breathing doesn’t become unsteady when she lies. In fact, she’s completely taken the Second Imperial Prince for a ride! Once he takes over an official position, he won’t be able to leave with the responsibilities that he will have to shoulder.


Consort Dowager Guo’s smiling expression was replaced with a solemn one as she advised Situ Rong, “Your surname is ‘Situ’; you must devote yourself to Beimin and make contributions. You’re not allowed to rove around outside anymore.”


“With a beautiful wife at his side, Prince Hao is already planning to set aside court affairs and travel to other countries with just a single word. This Prince is really envious.” Believing Su Xi-er’s words, Situ Rong inwardly lamented.

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Translation: Rakumon

Edit: Lunarlark


Rakumon's Corner:

What are your first impressions of Situ Rong? :3