Su Xi-er signalled for her ex-subordinate to speak only after she had made her way out of the room.
The man spoke very softly, “Princess Consort, we’ve found the bodies of a few villagers in the suburbs. They looked very pale, and although we’ve already brought them back to the yamen, the news has spread amongst the commoners, causing them to be anxious.”
Su Xi-er nodded and looked up to see Pei Qianhao approaching. He should have already heard about this.
“Princess Consort, those villagers were definitely murdered, but because of everything that’s happened, the commoners...” The man turned angry all of a sudden. “ They’re saying that you bring calamity to the innocent, and that this is heaven’s punishment for harbouring an evil spirit.”
Su Xi-er simply responded, “Stay calm. The rumour will be proven wrong very soon.”
“The Eldest Imperial Princess is right; this subordinate will keep that in mind.” The man bowed as he spoke.
Pei Qianhao then spoke to Su Xi-er as he turned away. “Come with this Prince to the county office.” Su Xi-er nodded, and the two left in a carriage shortly after.
As the carriage made its way through the streets, there were many commoners whispering amongst themselves outside. They talked about how the villagers who died had made honest lives, and how they would not have had any enemies. They felt that the only possibility was that something had angered the heavens, causing them to mete out punishment.
When the carriage finally stopped, the surrounding commoners were herded to the side by the guards with halberds in their hands. From the distance, many of them were able to see a pair of people dressed in black and pink alight the carriage.
They also heard the guard at the door greet the visitors, “Paying respects to Prince Hao, Princess Consort.”
It’s Prince Hao and the Princess Consort Hao! The rumors about the Princess Consort are spreading like wildfire, so why is she outside? What does this mean? Is she going to explain the rumour?
What answered them was a firm but gentle voice. “The civilians have all heard about the rumours spreading in the capital. What we have to do now is to ensure that the people of Beimin stay calm and united even though someone with ill intent is trying to sow dissent.”
The lady who spoke then turned to smile at the commoners. Though she was rather far away, they could tell that she was beautiful.
Princess Consort Hao is kind and generous; she’s a lady who has both looks and skills. How could such a lady be an evil spirit? Besides, even if she’s really an evil spirit, it doesn’t seem proper to say that the previous Eldest Imperial Princess of Nanzhao is one too.
The commoners resumed their discussion after Pei Qianhao and Su Xi-er entered the county office, but the previous gloomy atmosphere had disappeared, and they quickly dispersed.
A guard entered to report on the situation. “This subordinate pays my respects to Prince Hao and the Princess Consort. The commoners are no longer discussing the rumours.”
Su Xi-er nodded. “Good. Patrol the streets, and make sure to capture anyone who continues to discuss them. We’ll have to use persuasion and force together.”
The guard could not help but be impressed with Su Xi-er’s aura. He then glanced at Pei Qianhao and realised that he had a rather gentle expression on his face, something that he had never seen before!
After Pei Qianhao nodded, the guard bowed and sent men to patrol the streets to control the spread of the rumours.
“County Magistrate, where are the bodies of the commoners? Are the imperial physicians still around?” Su Xi-er asked seriously.Previous Chapter Next Chapter