It was unclear how much time had passed before Su Xi-er woke up to the feeling of someone touching her face. Opening her eyes, she was greeted by a familiar face.
Pei Qianhao leaned down and pressed his forehead against hers. Grasping her hand, he softly remarked, "The warm jade bed is pretty effective; your hand is now much warmer."
"Mmm, has it already been four hours?"
"Yes, you slept very well this time. Let me help you up." Pei Qianhao gently pulled her up.
"How are things going with the soldiers?"
“Xian Liang has already left the royal court and been escorted out of the capital. The remaining soldiers surrendered, and control is back in the hands of the court.”
Su Xi-er nodded. “That’s great to hear.”
Suddenly, a palace maid reported, “Imperial Princess, the Grand Empress Dowager calls for you to immediately go to her repose palace.”
The Grand Empress Dowager couldn’t bear to be apart from her granddaughter, already starting to miss Su Xi-er despite it having only been a few hours.
Su Xi-er replied, “I’ll be right there.”
Pei Qianhao fixed her hair and tidied her dress before taking her hand and heading towards the Grand Empress Dowager’s repose palace.
The Grand Empress Dowager was sitting at the upper seat with a table placed in the middle of the main hall when the two arrived. An array of traditional Western Region dishes covered the table, and almost all of them contained mutton or beef.
“Rulan, since you’re used to eating food from the Central Plains, this Dowager specifically instructed the Royal Kitchen to prepare some tasty Western Region dishes for you. Quickly, take a seat.” The Grand Empress Dowager stood up to receive Su Xi-er.
Sweeping her eyes across the table full of meaty dishes, Su Xi-er felt a little panicked with her dislike of oily foods.
“It’s normal to not be used to it on your first try, but it’ll slowly become better. As the only imperial princess of the Western Region, how can you not eat any of our nation’s dishes? Prince Hao has to eat them as well; as this Dowager’s grandson-in-law, you have to get used to the Western Region. Quick, dig in. Servants, bring some fruit wine over.”
Pei Qianhao immediately stopped the palace maid. “Xi-er and I don’t drink wine since it harms the body; plain water will do.”
The Grand Empress Dowager was stunned, but immediately understood when she glanced at Su Xi-er’s stomach. “Alright then, let’s just drink plain water.”
Once the three settled down, Pei Qianhao served both the Grand Empress Dowager and Su Xi-er before touching any food himself, earning a hum of approval from the former.
“Two hours ago, a guard came to report that Consort Xian is no longer seeking death, and they specifically wanted to share the news with the Imperial Princess. Rulan, did you go to Consort Xian’s palace?”
Su Xi-er smiled. “Nothing escapes your eyes, Royal Grandmother. I went to Consort Xian’s palace to comfort her. Once the soldiers have calmed down, Elder Brother must decide the fate of Consort Xian and her child. However, can Elder Brother really bear to execute his own offspring?”
“Rulan, you can’t be kind to everyone, and no matter what happens, the unformed fetus in Consort Xian’s belly cannot be spared. Let’s eat and not talk about all this.” The Grand Empress Dowager proceeded to pick out many chunks of meat for Su Xi-er.
After they finally finished their meal an hour later, Su Xi-er felt like she had eaten more meat today than in her past two lives combined. Fortunately, the superb skills of the chef’s ensured that the dishes weren’t too greasy.
The Grand Empress Dowager took her hand. “Come, take a stroll with this Dowager. After lying in bed for so long, my entire body feels sore. The imperial physicians couldn’t find a reason for it either, merely saying that my body demanded sleep for the period that I was unconscious.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter