He then looked at Su Xi-er and said, “Wait for me in the residence. This Prince will return tonight and have dinner with you.”


“I’ll go with you. You discuss whatever you have to while I visit Yinyin.” Su Xi-er took his hand and shook it in a coquettish manner.


No man would be able to say no when women behaved in a coquettish manner, especially if she was the object of his affections.


The guard lowered his gaze to the floor, thinking to himself, Why does the Princess Consort seem different after returning? Prince Hao won’t be able to stand his ground like that!


Pei Qianhao’s heart melted at Su Xi-er’s smile. He agreed and said, “Come with me then.”


They arrived at the side gate of the palace within an hour, and Pei Qianhao helped Su Xi-er alight the carriage before they walked into the palace side by side.


The palace maids and eunuchs who passed them bowed as they walked by, with one of them being unable to hold herself back as the pair rounded the next corner. “ How can Prince Hao and the Princess Consort both act like nothing is happening with all the rumours flying around the capital?”


A younger maidservant then said, “To Prince Hao, the Princess Consort is the woman he loves. Prince Hao isn’t someone who would distrust his wife just because of rumours like that.”


“You’re right, but Prince Hao hasn’t made any sort of statement either. It’s been so long, and the rumours have already reached Nanzhao and the Western Region.”


“It’s been turbulent in Beimin recently, and we should be more careful about discussing such hearsay in the palace.” An older maidservant reminded sternly.


The others answered in acknowledgement before leaving for their duties.


Su Xi-er and Pei Qianhao separated along the way, one of them heading for the Imperial Study while the other headed for Liu Yinyin’s repose palace.


Su Xi-er saw Consort Dowager Guo’s old maidservant approach as she turned the corner.


“Princess Consort, the Consort Dowager expected that you would enter the palace today, so she had asked me to invite you to the Consort Dowager Palace.”


Su Xi-er smiled and said, “Let us go then.”


She then followed the old maidservant and wondered why Consort Dowager Guo wanted to see her. The latter usually spent her days studying Buddhist scriptures and staying out of court affairs. If she had gone out of her way to have someone invite Su Xi-er, she must have something important to say.


The DowagerConsort Palace was filled with the pleasant fragrance of sandalwood incense, and Consort Dowager Guo was sitting at a table as Su Xi-er entered.


“Xi-er, come over and take a seat. Momo, brew a pot of tea.”


“This subordinate obeys the order.” The old maidservant bowed and left.


Consort Dowager Guo grabbed Su Xi-er’s hand as she approached. “Miss Qingzhu has been sent out of the palace, so there’s no one who knows how to properly brew tea around me now. Though the old maidservant is skilled in making desserts, her skills at brewing tea cannot be compared to Qingzhu’s. You’ll have to make do with the tea later.”


Su Xi-er smiled as she took a seat. “Thank you, Consort Dowager, but how did you know that I would be entering the palace today?”


“Even though this dowager has always been inside the palace, I’d still hear about things that are going on outside. The rumours about you have spread all over the place. I asked you to come over to tell you not to be too worried over this. Those with bad intentions just want to see you fall apart.”


Su Xi-er nodded. “You are right, Consort Dowager. Xi-er will remember this.”


“The Second Imperial Prince is a lot more obedient now. I just met the Minister of Justice a few days ago, and the Second Imperial Prince is no longer against the idea of marriage with the Mu Family. This is all thanks to you and Prince Hao, so I’m not about to believe in some rumours. There’s no such thing as evil spirits!”

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translator: Hilda

Editor: Lunarlark

Proofreader: Rakumon