Su Xi-er asked Liu Yinyin, “What if His Majesty was being serious about making you his Empress?”
“No, I want to go back to Nanzhao. I’ve promised Elder Brother Lianchen, and I can’t go back on my word.” Liu Yinyin looked up as she spoke, determination flashing in her eyes.
“I won’t let you go back before you come of age. You have to keep your promise to Lianchen.” While she didn’t say anything about Yinyin’s determination to return, Su Xi-er did not think it was appropriate for it to happen too early either.
She had heard from Grand Tutor Kong that there had been some difficulties in the implementation of new policies, but this time, she would let Lianchen handle it on his own.
Liu Yinyin nodded. “I’m not saying that I want to go back now. I just miss him and I want to write him a letter. Also, if it’s possible, I’d like to stay in the Prince Hao Residence instead of the imperial palace.”
If I continue to stay in the imperial palace, how do I face Situ Lin? She treated Situ Lin as a friend, and she enjoyed spending time with him. She couldn’t bear to see him sad, but she did not want to become his empress. She knew very well that it meant becoming Situ Lin’s empress. That would mean becoming his wife and staying with him forever.
If that really happened, what would Elder Brother Lianchen think? Does he want to marry me? Wait, why am I even thinking about this?! I’m still young!
Su Xi-er patted Liu Yinyin on the head as her ears flushed red. “Yinyin, there’s no need for you to worry so much. While living here, you can learn about anything you’d like. Music, chess, reading, painting, archery… whatever catches your attention, just let me know. If you don’t want to learn any of those, that’s fine too. You will still have a comfortable and happy life.”
This was Su Xi-er’s promise to Grand Tutor Liu, who had sacrificed himself for the Ning Imperial Family.I must make sure that his daughter leads a good life.
“Fairy Elder Sister, I remember my mum teaching me music and painting, while my father taught me chess and reading. What I want to learn now though, is needlework.”
Su Xi-er smiled at her, surprised that she would be interested in needlework. “Why are you interested in that, Yinyin?”
“Some of Elder Brother Lianchen’s older clothing have torn patches and need to be mended. Even though he doesn’t wear them anymore, he still cherishes them and store them in his cabinet, so I want to help him patch them up.”
When war broke out in Nanzhao, their Imperial Household Department didn’t have time to mend clothes, nor were any new fabrics being sent to the palace. As such, Su Xi-er was the one to perform some makeshift repairs to Ning Lianchen’s clothing before she left for the battlefield. She still remembered her brother watching her sew up the holes.
He still has them even though he’s now the one donning the dragon robes and controlling everything in Nanzhao.
As Su Xi-er was reminiscing about the past, Liu Yinyin said, “Fairy Elder Sister, those clothes must hold some important memories for him. If I had to guess, it was his elder sister, the previous Eldest Imperial Princess of Nanzhao, who helped him sew them up. Since she’s no longer around, I’d like to be the one to help him fix them, but I don’t know how to do needlework.”