The men were separated into three groups, one to continue searching the mountain itself, another to keep an eye around its base, and the final group was to sweep through the nearby villages.


After they descended from the mountain, one of the men gave a report to Xie Yun. “Commandery Prince, we didn’t find any hint of the Princess Consort’s body, and it is likely that she is alive!”


Xie Yun heaved a sigh of relief and smiled at the news. “This Prince understands. Go on and assist Prince Hao.”


“This subordinate understands!” The man then ran back up the mountain to carry out his duties.


Xie Yun drew the curtains and watched the men who were tasked to look for Su Xi-er at the foot of the mountain. It’s fortunate that Su Xi-er is fine. Pei Qianhao would probably collapse without her, and Beimin cannot afford that at the moment.


Yuchi Mo arrived on horseback and alighted to give a quick report to Xie Yun. “This subordinate pays his respects to Commandery Prince Xie. The body of the Third Imperial Prince has already been sent back to the palace secretly. The Second Imperial Prince is assisting the Emperor in this matter, but when should we announce the death of the Third Imperial Prince?”


Xie Yun pondered for a moment before saying, “There’s no need to publicise the news of his death. Bury the Third Imperial Prince secretly in the Imperial Mausoleum.”


Announcing the news of the death of someone from the imperial family would only cause fear and distrust among the commoners during a time when Beimin was undergoing great change.


Yuchi Mo nodded and looked towards the men who were patrolling the area. “Commandery Prince, both you and Prince Hao did not return last night. Is it because...” something happened to the Princess Consort? He finished the question in his head instead.


“It’s fine; don’t worry about it. However, I will need to ask you to inform Liuli that I’m fine so that she won’t worry. Make sure to guard the city gates and keep an eye on the situation in the capital as well.”


Yuchi Mo nodded once more and hopped onto his horse to leave.


While the rest of the men were on a frantic search for Su Xi-er, the person in question was currently inside the house of a farmer from a nearby village. It was an old woodcutter who saved her. He was a widower who lived with his son, and because they were poor, no one was willing to let their daughters marry his son.


When he spotted Su Xi-er by the roadside in the morning, he estimated that she was probably around sixteen years old. My son is twenty, their ages are suitable.


The old uncle had the surname ‘Li’, and his son was named Li Zhuang. Though ‘zhuang’ meant strong, his son had a rather slim build, and looked quite feeble.


“Dad, where did this lady come from?” Li Zhuang swallowed his saliva as he observed Su Xi-er, who was currently laid on the bed. She looks so pretty, even prettier than most of the girls in the village!


Li Zhuang had peeped at a girl taking a bath previously, and all he could think about now was getting into bed with Su Xi-er as he looked at her.


“ I don’t have the money to buy a girl from the market, so it’s good that her background is definitely clean. That will land me in jail if I get caught anyway!”


Li Zhuang kept staring at Su Xi-er as he marvelled inwardly at her beauty. She looks quite fragile now. I’ll treat her well since she’s going to be my wife.


“Dad, I’ll go get the village physician and get him to take a look!” He then turned to leave, but the old man stopped him.


“Are you insane? Her background is clean but she’s still someone I picked up from the roadside. We can’t let the physician know that there’s a pretty woman at our place. The richer families in the village might want to snatch her away if they find out!”


Li Zhuang nodded at this. “Dad, you’re right! Your son almost made a mistake!”

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translator: Hilda

Editor: Lunarlark

Proofreader: Rakumon