Su Xi-er hugged herself tightly in the freezing cold. She walked towards the stone bed and looked at Chao Mu, whose cheeks looked plump and rosy with the pink rouge. Chu Xian has definitely spent great effort to get a type of rouge that could bring colour back to a corpse’s face.


Her gaze moved to Chao Mu’s hairpin, she realized that the golden hairpin was a phoenix buyao, a hairpin worn only by the empress. Its importance was akin to the phoenix seal - something that only the empress could use.


There was an imperceptible change in Su Xi-er’s eyes. The civil unrest in Dongling has just  calmed, and Chu Xian is about to come of age. The officials would definitely push for a royal marriage to use as leverage for their families to climb up the ranks. However, Chao Mu is the only one worthy of being empress in Chu Xian’s eyes.


Tears welled up in her eyes as she addressed Chao Mu’s lifeless body. “Chao Mu, you might not have been aware that Shu Xian had feelings for you, but he still remembers you after becoming the Emperor of Dongling. He’s now called Chu Xian, and it is his biggest fortune to have met you.”


But it is also the greatest tragedy; a tragedy in which I had a hand in.


The ice and luminous pearls at the bedside made the entire room feel rather ominous.


Su Xi-er was still hugging herself as she watched Chao Mu. She had initially wanted to watch over her body throughout the night, but was unable to withstand the biting chill. Thus, she backed away several steps and curled up at a corner as she squatted down to conserve heat, lifting her head to keep her eyes on Chao Mu. Despite this, it wasn’t long before she felt like a block of ice.


Suddenly, the door was opened, and in walked Chu Xian in his dragon robes.


Realising that Su Xi-er was squatting in a corner, he said, “Is this how Prince Hao takes care of you? You’re so weak.” He walked over to the stone bed and sat beside it, unfazed by the chill.


Su Xi-er looked at him. “It’s not good for you to stay inside such a chilly room for extended periods of time, much less for days and years on end. No matter how strong you are now, it will weaken you. Chao Mu is already dead. You shouldn’t be keeping her here like this.”


Chu Xian’s gentle hands on Chao Mu stopped as he smirked. “What’s wrong with this? I just want to watch her. It doesn’t matter if she doesn’t speak.”


“Chu Xian, you need to wake up. Chao Mu won’t be able to rest in peace, and you are Dongling’s new emperor. You are responsible for the lives of the civilians in this nation.”


Chu Xian stood up and walked towards her. “Chao Mu is dead, and all you can say is sorry. You should’ve been the one who died. Why did Chao Mu have to be the scapegoat? Why did Tan Ge put poison in your water? All of this happened because people were hungry for power. And everything...”


He paused and glanced at Chao Mu’s body, speaking softly as he continued, “If Prince Hao did not send you to the Imperial Library, and Chao Mu hadn’t gotten to know you, perhaps none of this would have happened.”


“There’s no use thinking about ‘what ifs’. What’s happened has happened, and we have to face it. If Chao Mu could wake up, you’d be the first one she reprimands.” Su Xi-er’s voice grew louder, and each word was akin to a knife stabbing into Chu Xian.


“I really hope that she can. Su Xi-er, does Prince Hao know that you’re afraid of the cold?”


Su Xi-er nodded at this. “Of course.”

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translator: Hilda

Editor: Lunarlark

Proofreader: Rakumon