Su Xi-er turned her head to look at him. “My hands are warm; I don’t need you to warm them for me.”
Pei Qianhao raised his eyebrow. “Then this Prince is feeling cold; warm my hands for me, and put up with it for a while.”
“Ah? You’re a big man; doesn’t it mean that you have a kidney deficiency if your hands are cold? Instruct Imperial Physician Zhao to prepare some velvet antler or some herbal soup to nourish them.”
Pei Qianhao’s eyes became cold. “Xi-er, aren’t you clear about the condition of this Prince’s kidneys? If you aren’t sure, I’ll let you see it for yourself tonight. If you’re still not satisfied after that, this Prince will drink the medicinal soup.” He tightly embraced her, their bodies snugly fit together.
Su Xi-er’s eyelid twitched. I dug a huge hole for myself! Saying to a man that he has kidney deficiency...doesn’t that mean that I look down on that aspect of him? Besides, I’m talking to the egotistical Prince Hao! She could sense that she was going to be punished very severely tonight. I wonder if I’ll be able to get out of bed tomorrow.
No, this won’t do! I can’t be suppressed by him! He’ll never stop once he gets used to ‘punishing’ me!
The two continued to harbour their own thoughts as they walked to the Dragon Heaven Palace. One couldn’t wait to return to their residence earlier and climb into bed, while the other was thinking how to stop exactly that.
Upon entering the palace hall, they realised that Situ Lin and Liu Yinyin were nowhere to be found, causing Pei Qianhao’s eyes to darken.
A guard immediately came forth. “Prince Hao, His Majesty and the little girl left the Dragon Heaven Palace. They forbade anyone from following them, and we don’t know where they’ve gone.”
Pei Qianhao’s expression was stormy as his voice turned icy. “They’re really fooling around!” He walked out of the Dragon Heaven Palace before turning onto an abandoned palace path.
When Situ Lin was itching to play in the past, he would often go to a place without many people around.
However, he had only walked for a short while when he heard a few palace maids whispering to each other.
“I just saw His Majesty and a little girl having lots of fun while playing in the Imperial Garden. They were even climbing trees!”
“Me too! But wouldn’t His Majesty be harshly punished if Prince Hao finds out?”
“Who’s that little lass? Could she have been summoned into the imperial palace to be raised as His Majesty’s child bride?”
The palace maids continued to ardently gossip with one another until they suddenly heard some footsteps from behind them. Raising their heads, they were shocked to see that it was Pei Qianhao. They immediately bowed and greeted him with quivering voices. “This servant pays her respects to Prince Hao.”
Pei Qianhao kept silent as he turned to head for the Imperial Garden. Following behind him was Su Xi-er, who waved at the palace maids. “You may rise. Get to your own work; don’t gossip anymore.”
“This servant obeys the order.” The palace maids immediately dispersed and no longer dared to say another word.
Su Xi-er continued to follow Pei Qianhao, but his strides were larger and faster, so she could only run to keep up with him.
When Pei Qianhao realised this, he immediately stopped and waited for her to catch up before continuing at a slower pace. However, his expression was still unpleasant, and he remained quiet.
“A-Jing, let’s bring Yinyin back. Don’t let her affect His Majesty and delay his work.”
“No way, bringing her back would only distract this Prince.”
Su Xi-er was baffled. How are these two matters related?
However, she stowed away her questions and said, “Distracting you is better than distracting His Majesty. His Majesty is Beimin’s future; he bears the heavy responsibility to the nation and its society.”
Pei Qianhao harrumphed. “This Prince is the aide minister; all the more reason I can’t be distracted. Don’t say anything more; I have already made up my mind ー I will definitely not bring her back.” He quickened his pace, and Su Xi-er had to hastily match his pace as he was holding her hand.
By the time they arrived at the Imperial Garden, they happened upon Situ Lin standing atop a withered willow tree, while Liu Yinyin cheered at its base.