Du Ling expounded, “Prince Hao is right, even before it came to light, I already suspected that Xian Yue and his men may stage a coup. We can’t leave a single one of them alive, not even the pregnant Consort Xian.”


This triggered the Grand Empress Dowager. “She’s courting death for daring to attack Rulan with a dagger earlier!”


“Attack with a dagger?” Pei Qianhao’s voice rose. He looked at Su Xi-er and shifted his gaze to the dagger that was now on the floor. There were no bloodstains on it, but he spotted white powder on the tip.


“I’m fine, A-Jing. However, if all of you disagree, then how about this? Give me two days. If not all of them are on our side by then, I won’t object to their execution.” Su Xi-er then turned to Du Ling and said, “Elder Brother, you have to be prepared for large-scale civil unrest if you plan to continue on this path. Snuffing out tens of thousands of lives is no small matter.”


Having witnessed his own father execute ten thousand soldiers when he was younger, Du Ling naturally understood this. The matter had led to major civil unrest that had taken nearly half a month to quiet down.


The Western Region hadn’t initially possessed a royal court, but the fight amongst the growing nomadic tribes escalated to the point where there was no choice. Eventually, all the tribes were consolidated under a monarchy in which three military families held power. As time passed on, this distribution of power would become what it was today.


The left and right factions, the King, and the Imperial Princess were the three groups that would serve to check and balance each other in the court, and while this was theoretically a good solution, it was also what led to the current power struggle.


Pei Qianhao said, “You’ll need to consolidate the military power instead of separating it among four different groups. There’s no point for Xi-er to hold such power since she’ll be returning to Beimin with me.”


Su Xi-er nodded. She had never been interested in holding military power, but it had been a necessity in her past life.


“No. I don’t care for the left and right factions, but Rulan has to hold power. I’m already over fifty, and can’t be with her all the time.” The Grand Empress Dowager’s insistence left no room for discussion. “Prince Hao treats her well now, but who knows what might happen in future, especially after she’s already been through so much? The Western Region won’t let anybody off the hook if anyone lays a finger on her; if anybody says anything, then just consider it her dowry!”


Su Xi-er was probably the only female with a dowry like that.


The Grand Empress Dowager held her hand. “Both Western Regioners and the people from the Central Plains have to know that you hold military power. We have to let them know that you’re no lowly palace maid.”


Warmth filled her chest as Su Xi-er hugged her. “Royal Grandmother.”


“Good girl.” She patted Su Xi-er lightly on the back as if coaxing a little girl.


It was no surprise that the Grand Empress Dowager would pamper her like that. She had treated Tan Ge very well, and now that she knew that her real granddaughter was before her, it was only natural that the Grand Empress Dowager wanted to spoil her.


“In this case, this King shall give you two days to get the soldiers on our side. They’ll be executed otherwise. We’ll have to postpone the announcement about your identity as the real imperial princess.”


Su Xi-er agreed. “Understood.”


She then tugged at Pei Qianhao. “A-Jing, I need your help.”

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Translator: Hilda

Editor: Lunarlark

Proofreader: Rakumon