Xie Yun sighed. “Your Majesty, it’s not wise to be too merciful. You have to be cruel, especially when you’re in such a high position. The Third Imperial Prince is no angel either.”


Situ Lin sucked in a tiny breath upon hearing what Xie Yun said. Third Imperial Brother has to die for the good of Beimin.


Su Xi-er could tell that Situ Lin couldn’t bear to kill his brother, and for someone so young, the feeling was only natural.


She walked up to Situ Lin and said, “Your Majesty, killing the Third Imperial Prince is not the only option we have, but anyone who deliberately aims to shake the foundation of Beimin is a criminal. They can be pardoned from death, but punishment is inevitable. Do you understand that?”


“Can we capture Third Imperial Brother and just lock him up without taking his life?” Situ Lin looked at Pei Qianhao as he asked.


Seeing Pei Qianhao nod, Situ Lin sighed in relief. “That’s great.”


Su Xi-er patted Situ Lin on his back in an attempt to comfort him.


To Situ Li, being captured is a fate worse than death. He is someone who plans things out to the last step, even more than Shi Mo, and although he acted like he didn’t have a care in the world, he had even secretly raised sishi.


Words alone would be insufficient to break through to someone like that. We have to crush his whole mental being. 


She distinctly remembered their first meeting at the now decrepit palace of the deposed Empress. At the time, Situ Li had actually protected her and said that they were the same type of people.


She had angered Pei Qianhao at the time, and her life as a lowly maidservant was hanging on tenterhooks. Situ Li was ironically the person who found similarities between them.


Recalling his reaction when she had picked up the hairpin of the deceased empress, Su Xi-er knew that she must be the reason why Situ Li had tried to seize power. Something is definitely fishy about the deposed Empress’ death!


Su Xi-er looked at Pei Qianhao and Xie Yun with a glint in her eye. “How did the Third Imperial Prince’s mother, the deposed empress, die?”


There was a visible change in their expressions, and Pei Qianhao only answered after a while. “It was because of Dowager Consort Guo. She has been doing her prayers to Buddha regularly since then.”


Su Xi-er pondered over this. Dowager Consort Guo has spoken up for Situ Li quite a few times, and she even invited him to her palace. I thought it was because she missed her own son and saw Situ Li as a substitute, but was she actually trying to make it up to him?


Xie Yun sighed as he began explaining, “Who can truly be free of faults in the imperial harem? It’s a complicated story, but the most crucial points are Dowager Consort Guo’s children. The deposed Empress caused Dowager Consort Guo to lose her first child at a young age, and even the Second Imperial Prince was the result of a difficult pregnancy. Even after all that, the late Emperor ordered for the child to be sent to the suburbs, but Pei Zheng later revealed that the deposed Empress had a hand in it. As a result, Dowager Consort Guo had treated the deposed Empress coldly during the latter’s time in the Cold Palace.”


Having been unaware of the undercurrents in the imperial harem, Situ Lin shivered at this. “I’ve heard Old Maidservant Liu mention by accident that my empress mother...”


Pei Qianhao cut him off before he could say anything else. “There’s no need to bring up matters of the past. Your Majesty just needs to focus on governing the nation. That would be enough for your empress mother.”


Biting his lips, Situ Lin nodded.


Su Xi-er then said, “The most important person to the Third Imperial Prince is his mother empress. Let’s look at how we can break his defences from there. We won’t have to sacrifice anybody that way, and we won’t have to worry about the sishi.”

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translator: Hilda

Editor: Lunarlark

Proofreader: Rakumon