Situ Li’s weakness is none other than his deceased mother empress, but the sishi and soldiers who have sworn loyalty to him are another problem. Even Chu Linglong fell to Dongling’s new emperor due to the latter’s sishi.
Noticing that Xie Yun looked rather apprehensive, Su Xi-er continued. “The sishi are still human; we don’t have to be afraid of them.”
Situ Lin nodded. “Imperial Aunt is right. Go ahead and discuss the specifics without me for now; I have to go visit Yinyin.”
Su Xi-er then turned to leave, but Situ Lin called out to her, “Imperial Aunt, Yinyin isn’t in a good mood lately. Now that you’re back, could you help cheer her up for me?”
Su Xi-er turned and gave Situ Lin a strange look. Taking care of Liu Yinyin is my responsibility in the first place, but now he’s acting like he’s the one who should be doing it.
“Imperial Aunt, what’s the matter?” Situ Lin was confused by her reaction. Did I say something wrong?
Su Xi-er smiled and replied, “It’s nothing.” before setting off down the hallway and heading towards Liu Yinyin’s repose palace, leaving the three men to continue their discussion.
However, before Su Xi-er could enter Liu Yinyin’s room, she found a palace maid rushing out.
“What’s going on? What’s wrong with Yinyin?”
The palace maid bowed respectfully upon seeing Su Xi-er and answered, “We don’t know either. Miss Yinyin hasn’t been feeling well since morning, and has been vomiting out everything she eats. This servant worries that she may have caught a cold, and is on the way to get an imperial physician.”
Su Xi-er nodded. “Go quickly.”
When Su Xi-er arrived at the entrance of the compound, she saw a lonely looking Liu Yinyin leaning on the table with her back towards the door.
She walked in and softly called out to her, “Yinyin.”
Surprised at the voice, Liu Yinyin sat up and turned around, her eyes widening in disbelief when she realised it was Su Xi-er. She ran up to the latter and hugged her tight. “Fairy Elder Sister, I thought you abandoned me. You haven’t visited in so long.”
“Is it because Prince Hao thinks I’m too noisy and he doesn’t like it when I stay at the Prince Hao Residence? Is that why I was sent to the imperial palace?”
Su Xi-er patted her on the head. “Prince Hao thinks you’re adorable, so why would he chase you out? It’s just that I only returned to Beimin a few days ago. Are you not happy in the palace?”
Yinyin began to nod, but then shook her head. “I’m happy. The palace maids and guards play with me all the time, I’m able to get everything I ask for, nobody talks bad about me here, and there are no xiunü training to be consorts here.”
Elder Brother Lianchen has probably already taken a consort by now. There were so many xiunü who entered the palace for that very purpose, and all of them wanted to get into his good books.
Yinyin had heard the Beimin palace maids chatting about how males here started thinking about taking a wife when they were fifteen. Ning Lianchen himself was almost eighteen, and it was only natural that he would have already taken a consort in Yinyin’s mind.
I’m still too young, and would have to wait another four or five years before I come of age.
“Yinyin, tell me if you’re unhappy about anything. Since you call me your Fairy Elder Sister, I’ll surely be able to magically resolve your problems for you.” Su Xi-er took her hand and led her into the main hall. Sitting down, she poured a cup of hot tea for Yinyin.
1. Females who are selected to enter the palace to become imperial consorts, though some may also become palace maids.