“There are many things in the Western Region. The court, the civilians, the oases, the Gobi Desert, shepherding, singing and dancing... It’s not my first time in Beimin, but it’s the first time I’m stepping into the Prince Hao Residence. Would you be kind enough to accompany me on a tour, Princess Consort? We can chat along the way.” Du Rin smiled as she stood up, looking out of the main hall.
Her purpose in visiting the Prince Hao residence was to verify what her personal guard had told her. Xie Yun did not return to his residence yesterday, and she heard the commoners saying that he had taken a leave of absence from the court because he was recuperating at home. The commoners also said that Commandery Prince Xie and Prince Hao had worked together to look for a woman called Zhen Yu not too long ago.
Pei Qianhao has already shown how much he doted on Su Xi-er, so it is impossible for him to like Zhen Yu. This means that the one who likes her is Xie Yun.
Du Rin sneered to herself. What a joke. Xie Yun, you’ve fallen in love? And you’re actually willing to go to such lengths for a girl? That doesn’t fit your image at all.
Du Rin first wanted to confirm that Xie Yun was in the Prince Hao residence, but she also wanted to find out more about Zhen Yu.
Su Xi-er knew what Du Rin was thinking, and she knew that Du Rin would only get suspicious if she rejected the request. Thus, she agreed. “Since Your Highness would like to have a look around, let’s go take a walk.”
She left the main hall with Du Rin following closely behind her.
They headed for the garden, while Su Xi-er stayed away from the side yard on purpose.
“The garden in the Prince Hao Residence is huge. It’s like a forest of plum blossom trees. Princess Consort, do you like plum blossoms?”
Su Xi-er nodded as she looked at the unmelted snow glistening on top of the blossoms. “Plum blossoms are not only pretty, they are also resilient. They can bloom everywhere, even in the bitter cold, never forgetting what they set out to do.”
The words ‘never forgetting what they set out to do’ were akin to a dagger stabbing Du Rin’s heart. Su Xi-er is giving me a reminder, or rather, a warning.
“Princess Consort, this Princess heard that you used to be a palace maid who scrubbed the chamber pots before you married Prince Hao. Have you forgotten what you set out to do now that you’re in a position of power and everyone addresses you as Princess Consort Hao?”
Su Xi-er looked straight at her. “I haven’t. I’ve done dirty and tiring jobs in the Palace Side Quarters, and I’ve been beaten and scolded, but I’ve not punished those who did me wrong.” Among all of the people who had tried to make things hard on Su Xi-er, Pei Yaran was the only one she had taken revenge on.
“You’re really kind, Princess Consort. We from the Western Region are known to be straightforward and passionate, and of course, that goes for grudges too. For those who hurt me, this Princess is sure to pay them back with interest!” Du Rin scoffed as she looked at the plum blossoms in ridicule.
I’m not going to be some pretty and unsullied plum blossom. Everyone has a selfish side, and there’s nothing wrong with me staying alive to take my revenge! It’s laughable that Su Xi-er is trying to use plum blossoms as an example to mock me!
“Your Highness is right, people from the Western Regione do hold grudges. Aren’t you afraid of the Western Region King?” You’re not afraid that he’d torture you to death after he finds out who you truly are?
Du Rin’s heart dropped. Du Ling was practically a demon from hell! I was extremely terrified of the man before I learned how to deal with him. There is a lack of royal heirs, and Du Ling places high importance on family ties. As a result, he is very filial to the Grand Empress Dowager, and he will let her make the decisions as long as they aren’t too major. For example, the queen consort and imperial consorts had all been selected by her.
“Princess Consort, the King of the Western Region is my older brother, and he treats me very well. Why would I be afraid of him when he would stop at nothing to help me get what I want? Isn’t your question rather funny?”
Du Rin smiled at Su Xi-er as she spoke, her gentle voice carrying a trace of an imperial dignity.
“You look like a princess indeed.” Su Xi-er said in a meaningful manner before continuing in the direction of the grove of plum blossom trees.Previous Chapter Next Chapter