Senior monks were usually respected in Beimin, and many thought that the guard was being extremely rude for so blatantly ignoring them!


“You must have also heard the rumours; we simply want to meet with Prince Hao and uncover the truth concerning the Princess Consort.” A daozhang among the group spoke.


The guard glanced at him coldly and said, “Prince Hao is not in, so the Princess Consort is naturally not in the compound either. None of you can enter without his permission. Everyone, please leave!” The guard then fell silent.


Prince Hao isn’t inside? Where did they go then?


The situation seemed to come to a stalemate until a horse carriage with green tassels stopped nearby. Sweeping aside the curtains with a pale hand, the person inside revealed himself to be Commandery Prince Xie. After Xie Liuli and another guard assisted him into his wheelchair, he took a look at the surrounding commoners.


“Prince Hao isn’t in the capital currently, but how could you all believe in unfounded rumours so easily? To take things into your own hands before His Majesty has even made a decision, could it be that you’re plotting something with outsiders?”


The monks and daoshi were cowed by Xie Yun’s not-so-subtle accusation of treason. It was only after some time had passed that the senior monk who spoke earlier bowed. “Commandery Prince, that’s not our intention. To determine if the rumour is false, we just need to see Princess Consort Hao and perform some quick rites. There will be no harm done if the rumours are untrue, and it will only serve to assuage the public opinion. Conversely, avoiding it will only lead to the rumours spreading further. By that time, even the King of the Western Region and Nanzhao’s Emperor may come to pay a visit.”


What the monk said seemed to make sense, and the rest of the group seemed to murmur in agreement.


“This is not your concern; this Prince will discuss the matter with His Majesty and Prince Hao when he returns. Instead, this Prince will arrange for accomodations for all of you so that you can await Prince Hao’s return. How about that?”


Anxiety filled Xie Liuli when she heard Xie Yun’s words. Why is he letting them stay? We shouldn’t be doing this at all. They are treating the Princess Consort like an object, and they even want to perform exorcism rites on her!


The monks and priests looked at one another and decided to agree with Xie Yun’s suggestion.


Xie Yun nodded and instructed his guard to take the commoners to a separate compound belonging to the Commandery Prince Residence located at the edges of the suburb.


The guard at the Prince Hao Residence then bowed to Xie Yun. “Commandery Prince, Prince Hao is not inside. Would you happen to have a plan?”


“I’ll write a letter to inform Prince Hao, and we’ll await his return before discussing how we should proceed. In the meantime, make sure to tighten security, and allow nobody into the Prince Hao Residence.”


The guard nodded at this before helping Xie Liuli support Xie Yun to board the horse carriage, returning to his post as they departed.


The news of the group of monks and daoshi staying in one of the Commandery Prince’s houses had made its way to the public, and everyone was waiting with bated breath for Prince Hao’s return with one burning question on their mind. Who exactly is Princess Consort Hao?


Though things seemed to have calmed down a little, there was a restless undercurrent that could be felt among the people as they waited. 


It would be ten days before Pei Qianhao returned to Beimin, but the rumour had reached the Western Region by the fifth day. After a quick discussion with the Empress Dowager, he immediately departed for Beimin.

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translator: Hilda

Editor: Lunarlark

Proofreader: Rakumon