A palace maid who happened to walk in stiffened as she heard what Liu Yinyin said.
Sensing the subtle change in the palace maid’s behaviour, Su Xi-er waved a hand to signal for the palace maid to leave and pulled Liu Yinyin towards the table. “There are so many dishes here. Let’s eat together.”
Liu Yinyin agreed and said to the palace maid who was almost gone from sight, “Get one more set of cutlery.”
The palace maid bowed and said, “This servant obeys.” before returning with a second set of cutlery shortly after.
Su Xi-er gave a purposeful look at the palace maid, causing the latter to tremble in fear. This reaction made Su Xi-er sure that the palace maid was hiding something.
“Fairy Elder Sister, have some food. I’ve fallen in love with mushrooms lately; you should try some.” Liu Yinyin put some food onto Su Xi-er’s plate as she spoke.
Su Xi-er smiled and ate a few mouthfuls. “It’s really good.”
Liu Yinyin felt cheerful, thinking that she would be able to leave the palace soon. She chatted freely with Su Xi-er about some of the jokes that she had heard, with most of them being from plays that were popular among the commoners.
“Yinyin, you’ve been in the palace all this while, so how were you able to learn about the jokes from these plays?”
Liu Yinyin replied, “His Majesty has been pretty busy recently, and being afraid that I’d be bored, he asked some people to get playscripts for me. I read them in my free time, and some of them are pretty interesting.”
Su Xi-er nodded at this. Children from the imperial family have to grow up fast. Situ Lin is already beginning to take care of court affairs, and A-Jing is already transferring his authority to him. In one more year, Situ Lin will be able to take care of most affairs by himself.
It was obvious that Situ Lin did not see Liu Yinyin purely as a friend. However, Liu Yinyin was still an immature child at this point, only seeing her relationship with Situ Lin as a crutch for the absent Ning Lianchen.
“What’s wrong, Fairy Elder Sister? Should I not have looked at those playscripts? I won’t do that anymore if you don’t like it.” Liu Yinyin put down her chopsticks and asked with a pout.
Su Xi-er smiled. “Why would I not like you doing something interesting? But besides that, Yinyin, does His Majesty come to visit you a lot?”
Liu Yinyin thought about it for a while and said, “He visited daily in the past, but hasn’t been able to do so recently because he’s been busy. He only comes every couple of days or so, and he’d leave after staying for a short while.”
“Yinyin, stay in the palace for a while longer. I’ll take you to the Prince Hao Residence after some time.”
“Fairy Elder Sister, is there anything wrong?” Liu Yinyin asked with concern.
Su Xi-er shook her head. “No, it’s just that Prince Hao and I have been a little busy recently.”
“I’ll go back after you’ve settled everything then. Fairy Elder Sister, you wouldn’t have me stay in the palace forever, would you?”
“I won’t.” Su Xi-er looked out the door as she spoke, not expecting to see Pei Qianhao and Situ Lin approaching.
Though Situ Lin’s expression soured as he heard Liu Yinyin’s words, he was able to adjust his expression quickly.
Su Xi-er realised that Situ Lin had grown. He used to be shorter than her, but now he was half a head taller.
This reminded Su Xi-er of the first time she had met Situ Lin. He had possessed a child-like voice at the time, and he had tugged at her clothes innocently as he asked, “Beauty, which palace are you from?”
“Imperial Aunt.” Situ Lin greeted her as he entered, the air of an Emperor reflected in his mannerisms. The little boy had grown up, and there was no longer a need for people to remind him how a ruler should behave.Previous Chapter Next Chapter