Su Xi-er laughed. “Why are you so distant? I still remember you tugging at my clothes the first time we met.”


This made Situ Lin slightly embarrassed. “Imperial Aunt, there’s no need to beat around the bush. Is it because of Yinyin?”


“That’s right, and it makes things simple if you can already see for yourself. I hope that the both of you will remain the best of friends, and nothing more than that.”


Situ Lin’s heart sank. Nothing more than that?


After a while, he said, “Imperial Aunt, I know that she misses the Emperor of Nanzhao, but according to the scout, he has already taken a concubine when he has yet to turn eighteen. He’ll have an entire harem of consorts and concubines in future. Yinyin wouldn’t be happy, even if she returns.”


“Scout? Did Your Majesty send someone to look into Nanzhao’s imperial palace?”


It was highly frowned upon to secretly investigate another nation they were supposed to be on friendly terms with.


Situ Lin then said, “Imperial Aunt, I did it for Yinyin, and I’m not planning anything else. Ning Lianchen has already taken three concubines. One of them is a maidservant, while the other two are daughters of high-ranking officials. I predict that he will promote the officials’ daughters in future, and the situation in Nanzhao’s imperial harem is bound to be a lot more complicated than Beimin’s. If Yinyin won’t be happy back there, I’d rather be a villain and force her to stay.”


Situ Lin sounded like Pei Qianhao when he spoke, confident and imposing.


“Your Majesty, I’ll be taking her back to the Prince Hao Residence in a few days. You’ll have to come to the residence if you want to visit her in future.” She then smiled at Situ Lin and said, “Everything in moderation.”


Situ Lin stood in place as he watched Su Xi-er’s figure disappear, her words echoing in his mind Everything in moderation.


I’ve used the wrong methods and caused Yinyin to feel uncomfortable. It’s no wonder she’s been requesting to leave the palace. Imperial Aunt is reminding me to let things take their natural course.


Meanwhile, Su Xi-er heard a few palace maids gossiping as she made her way to the Imperial Garden.


“Why is Prince Hao alone in the Imperial Garden?”


“He’s not alone. Isn’t there a lady in green beside him? I only saw her from behind, but it looks like she’s the daughter of an official.”


“You mean she isn’t Princess Consort Hao?”


“That can’t be. I saw the Princess Consort today, and she was wearing pink.”


Their voices were getting louder and louder until they saw Su Xi-er approaching. They bowed and greeted, “This servant pays respects to Princess Consort Hao.”


Su Xi-er waved a hand and entered the Imperial Garden.


The palace maids heaved a sigh of relief. “That scared me! Princess Consort Hao appeared so suddenly without a sound!”


“Oh no, she would have heard everything we were saying about Prince Hao being in the Imperial Garden with another woman!”


The palace maids looked at one another with wide eyes. Will Prince Hao believe in those rumours that have been flying around recently? Everyone knows that men don’t like women who are too strong. Is Prince Hao looking for someone else because of that?


“Let’s go. We might get into trouble if anything happens in the Imperial Garden later,” one of the older palace maids said. The others then agreed and left quickly.


From afar, one would be able to see a pleasant smile on the face of the woman standing next to Pei Qianhao. The latter simply stood with both hands behind his back.


The woman in green turned as she heard footsteps behind her. Seeing Su Xi-er approach, she bowed and greeted her, “This subject’s daughter pays my respects to Princess Consort Hao.”


Su Xi-er waved a hand to signal that she could rise.


The lady was Mu Qingyu, the young miss of the Mu Family who was about to become the princess consort of the Second Imperial Prince.


“Princess Consort Hao, I entered the palace with the Second Imperial Prince earlier. He’s discussing court affairs, so I’m waiting for him here.”

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translator: Hilda

Editor: Lunarlark

Proofreader: Rakumon