Su Miao also didn’t understand his intentions, while He Xiuxiu was a little frantic. He’s an important figure after all.
On the other hand, Su Zhuang appeared to be much more composed as he pacified his wife and daughter before following after Pei Qianhao.
Standing in the courtyard, Pei Qianhao took in the sight of the endless green mountains in the distance, only tearing his gaze away when Su Zhuang stood beside him.
Su Zhuang felt a little unsettled, but didn’t show it on his face. “Prince Hao, you can just get to the point. This peasant will definitely tell you everything I know.”
“How are Xi-er’s parents?” I have already sent people to investigate Xi-er’s background, but there are still some undiscovered points of interest. I might as well personally ask Su Zhuang since I came here mainly to resolve this mystery.
Su Zhuang didn’t expect that Pei Qianhao would ask about his younger brother and sister-in-law. It’s such an unglamorous matter; how should I put it?
However, when he saw Pei Qianhao’s earnest expression, he had no choice but to tell the truth. “Younger Sister-in-law looked quite pretty, while Younger Brother had decent combat skills. He saved Younger Sister-in-law from the bandits, and that was how they met. Finding her pitiful, Younger Brother took her back and let her stay in his house until they eventually married. After giving birth to Xi-er, they led a rather loving life. When Xi-er almost turned five, someone Younger Sister-in-law previously knew found Willow Village, and wanted to take her back…”
Su Zhuang paused. That person was a man, and everyone said that she had had an affair with him.
“When was Xi-er born?”
“The eighth day of the second month at midnight.”
Pei Qianhao continued to ask, “Was there any unexpected incident that occurred at the place she was born?”
Su Zhuang was astonished. I’m surprised that Prince Hao is asking such a specific question, but something really did happen! Something major almost happened; Younger Sister-in-law almost died from a difficult birth.
Thus, he truthfully replied, “At that time, Younger Sister-in-law had followed Younger Brother to a neighbouring village 10 kilometres away where he worked as a casual labourer. She ended up giving birth in the middle of the night, and went into labour while they were in the fields. The rain that night forced them to find a Land Deity Temple, where another woman was also coincidentally giving birth. The midwife attending to her assisted Young Sister-in-law as well, but due to a difficult labour, Xi-er was only born at midnight.”
Hearing that there was another woman giving birth at the same time, all the puzzle pieces suddenly came together in Pei Qianhao’s head. If my conjectures aren’t wrong, the other woman in the Land Deity Temple was someone from the western region; and she was someone with a high status as well. After carefully consulting the solar calendar of the western region that year, it was recorded that their court was embroiled in internal turmoil. The king died in the disorder, while his consort fled to parts unknown.
“There were only five people in the Land Deity Temple then: Xi-er’s parents, another woman, and a midwife. Am I right?”
Su Zhuang nodded. “Yes, there was no one else apart from those five.”
Pei Qianhao nodded. Even if my theory is accurate, it’s not easy to prove her identity. 15 years have passed, and the western region’s Country Consort has also died by the hands of traitors. Besides, this is the original Su Xi-er’s background, and has nothing to do with Ning Rulan.
Seeing that Pei Qianhao was lost in thought, Su Zhuang couldn’t help but feel nervous. Why did he ask for so many details? Is there a problem?
A moment later, Pei Qianhao waved his hand. “Let’s go back in.” I have to consider this matter at length and plan ahead. The western region is faraway, and I am tied down by numerous state affairs in Beimin; I don’t have any time to go there now.
Watching Pei Qianhao’s departing figure, Su Zhuang became even more puzzled. Why did he ask me about those questions? Was he simply trying to understand Xi-er better?
When Pei Qianhao returned to the house, he found He Xiuxiu holding Su Xi-er’s hand as they conversed.
Noticing Pei Qianhao, Su Xi-er turned around to smile at him. “What did you talk about with Eldest Uncle? So mysterious.”
“It was naturally about matters that concern you. I will tell you when we get back to the residence.” Pei Qianhao moved forward and sat down beside Su Xi-er.
He Xiuxiu immediately stood up. “The dishes in the kitchen are still warmed. I’ll go and bring them here so that we can start eating.” She meaningfully glanced at her daughter, signalling for her to go to the kitchen together.
Soon, only Pei Qianhao and Su Xi-er were left in the outer chamber.
Su Xi-er lowered her voice. “A-Jing, what exactly did you ask?”
“The details surrounding your birth.”
Su Xi-er furrowed her brows. Asking about my birth again; could there be something wrong?
“This is a long story; I’ll tell you the details when we return to the residence.” Pei Qianhao affectionately said as he caressed her hair.
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Okay, I feel like it's gotten really obvious LOL