Officials knelt in the Imperial Audience Hall as they requested for the Emperor to issue an edict for Pei Qianhao to hand Su Xi-er over to the court. Since the prince himself hadn’t appeared in court for several days, the whereabouts of both himself and his wife were unknown.
In addition, the chaos hadn’t been limited to just Beimin either; even Dongling and Xiliu had sent letters asking Beimin to resolve the issue as soon as possible. Along with the merchants that carried news with them as they travelled to and fro, practically everyone in the four nations was aware of Beimin’s situation.
The officials implored the Emperor, “Your Majesty, we hope that you can issue an edict. This is not to go against Prince Hao, but instead a method to stall the situation.”
Situ Lin clenched his fists under his dragon robes. He then slammed the throne’s armrest and stood up, looking down at the officials who were kneeling on the floor. “Prince Hao has done so much for Beimin, and yet as court officials, you’ve immediately turned on him as soon as some malicious rumours are spread? Instead of being led around by the nose by someone trying to cause trouble, perhaps you should look into it yourselves! If I hear anything like that again, you’ll be removed from your positions!”
Situ Lin spoke loudly, and the officials trembled at his imposing tone; they couldn’t help but be reminded of Pei Qianhao’s cold demeanour!
The Second Imperial Prince, Situ Rong, then said, “Your Majesty is right. Everyone should be working together to fight the ones who are spreading these rumours instead of going against Beimin’s best interests. From this, we can clearly see that it’s not only the regulations affecting commoners that need to be reviewed, but the ones that affect the court and imperial examinations as well.”
The officials shivered, but the Court of Judicial Review Minister stood up and bowed towards Situ Rong. “Second Imperial Prince, you might have misunderstood our intentions. Us humble subjects have not been misled. We are asking Princess Consort Hao to temporarily hand herself over as a way to tide the commoners over as we resolve the situation, and don’t plan to do anything to her. This humble subject thinks that the Princess Consort will be willing to make a small sacrifice for Beimin.”
Before Situ Lin could say anything, a guard outside the hall reported, “Commandery Prince Xie has arrived!”
Though Situ Lin had given Xie Yun permission to rest at home since he had been swamped with work recently, the latter still attended court with Xie Liuli pushing him in on his wheelchair.
Xie Yun looked at the officials before saying, “Princess Consort Hao is generous, and wouldn’t punish any of you even if she had heard what you said. However, going forward with such a plan would only cause further disruption in Beimin. This Prince is appalled at how foolishly our court officials are handling things.”
Before anyone could retort, Xie Yun looked towards the Court of Judicial Review Minister, Lord Mu, and asked, “I believe the date for Young Miss Mu and the Second Imperial Prince’s marriage is going to be set soon?”
Lord Mu bowed and answered, “With the current situation in Beimin, the Second Imperial Prince should focus on his duties. His marriage can wait.”
“The wedding is already set in stone, and should be lined up for after this matter is settled; shouldn’t you be the first one to endorse this as the future father-in-law? Or are you all trying to commit treason now that Prince Hao is busy with other matters?” Xie Yun spoke coldly, terrifying the court officials.
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