Hong Li and Ruo Yuan thought that Su Xi-er would turn this visitor away, but to their surprise, she instead smiled and said, “Invite him inside quickly. I’ll greet him in the hall.” She then exited the kitchen, leaving the other two ladies confused.
Su Xi-er was waiting in the main hall as Daozhang Zixu walked in carrying his horsetail whisk. He bowed and greeted, “This humble priest pays my respects to Princess Consort Hao.”
He had referred to himself as ‘this priest’ before Situ Li , but swapped to ‘this humble priest’ with Su Xi-er.
Su Xi-er waved a hand. “Daozhang Zixu, please rise and take a seat.”
Seeing how polite the interaction between the two was, the guard realised that the two of them must have been acquainted. He thus bowed and instructed the guards standing outside the main hall to retreat as well.
Seeing the guards leave, Daozhang Zixu said, “Princess Consort, do you have any ideas on how to deal with those monks and daoshi?”
“They’ve been misled, so I won’t pursue this matter any further after everything blows over. However, they must learn that no matter who it is, a citizen of Beimin should stand with Beimin. Sowing dissent is not only disrespectful to the Prince Hao Residence, but also dangerous for the nation when the Emperor still depends on Prince Hao for many decisions. If they continue to act foolishly without any regard for Beimin’s future, I can promise nothing except for escaping death.” Su Xi-er was no pushover. She would deal with Yun Ruofeng and punish the rumour-mongers at the same time.
Daozhang Zixu nodded and said, “Princess Consort, this humble priest had looked into the backgrounds of these people. They are from small temples with groups of less than fifty. Many of the higher ranking monks haven’t even been in their positions for five years, while others are even less experienced.”
Beimin was different from Nanzhao in that the former did not regulate the many temples in the nation, causing a lack of order over time.
Daozhang Zixu’s intent was obvious. He would help to appease those monks and daoshi, but he would also like the court to come up with some sort of regulation and enforcement guidelines for the many temples in the nation.
“Daozhang, the court should have regulated this long ago. I thank you on behalf of Prince Hao for the advice.”
“Princess Consort, you might want to consider agreeing to their request of performing rites on you in order to prove your innocence. Of course, that’s not to say that you really let them do it. You can consider inviting them over to the Prince Hao Residence, and I’ll take over when they’re done with their preparations.” Daozhang Zixu spoke with sincerity, bowing once more after he finished.
“You’re right, Daozhang. But we’ll have to postpone that first and do it after the Western Region King arrives. We’ll invite the monks and daoshi over shortly after that.”
Daozhang Zixu had also heard the news of the Western Region King making a trip to Beimin. “Princess Consort, are you planning to keep this from the King of the Western Region?”
“Do you think I’ll keep it from him?” Su Xi-er asked with a smile.
“The Princess Consort is someone who values relationships. If the Western Region King treats the Princess Consort well, this humble priest guesses that you would tell him the truth.”
Su Xi-er clapped. “You really can read my mind. You would be well served as a wise court official instead of a daozhang.”
Beimin’s court indeed lacked someone like Daozhang Zixu. It was filled with too many officials who were at each other's throats.
“You flatter me, Princess Consort. Divination is the only thing this humble priest can do.” What Su Xi-er said reminded Daozhang Zixu of a similar comment made by one of his good friends when he was younger.
That particular friend of his was extremely skilled. The last time they met, that friend told him, “Zixu, I’m going to stay in Nanzhao for a while.”
However, that friend never reappeared. Daozhang Zixu had no idea how his friend was doing either.Previous Chapter Next Chapter