Situ Lin sat back down on his imperial throne and said, “Enough, Commandery Prince Xie is right. I do not wish to hear things like that anymore. Lord Mu, I won’t pursue this any further since you’re going to be the father-in-law of the Second Imperial Prince, but you’ll still have to be punished for this as an example to the rest. Stay at home until this matter blows over. The Second Imperial Prince will take over all your duties in the meantime. There’s no need for any further discussion. Adjourn!” He then waved a hand and stood up to leave.


The eunuch nearby raised his horsetail whisk and announced loudly with his sharp voice. “Adjourn!”


The officials looked at one another, but were ushered out of the hall by the eunuchs shortly after. Lord Mu bowed as he passed Xie Yun before leaving the hall.


Xie Yun glanced at Xie Liuli, signalling for her to push him out.


Situ Lin made his way to the Imperial Study after everyone had left, looking at the huge pile of documents and memorandums that had been submitted. He had only just begun going through them when a eunuch entered. Situ Lin recognised him as the one stationed at Liu Yinyin’s repose palace.


The eunuch walked up and spoke urgently, “Your Majesty, there’s bad news. Miss Yinyin has disappeared!”


Situ Lin asked coldly, “When did she disappear?”


“We’re not sure of the exact timing, but this servant was unable to locate Miss Yinyin in the morning. This servant thought that she had gone out to play, but she was not in the Imperial Garden either. Miss Yinyin is not a mischievous girl, so this servant waited in the repose palace, until...” Before the eunuch could finish, Situ Lin had already exited the study to make his way to Liu Yinyin’s repose palace.


The eunuch followed along until he heard a disturbance from behind him. Turning around, he found Xie Yun.


“This servant pays my respects to Commandery Prince Xie.”


Xie Yun waved a hand to signal for him to get up and asked, “What’s going on?”


“Commandery Prince Xie, Miss Yinyin has disappeared. Might she have been kidnapped by someone?” The eunuch was getting more and more anxious as he spoke. Considering everything that was happening in the city, this was actually rather possible.


Xie Yun frowned at this, and waved a hand to signal Xie Liuli to push him towards Liu Yinyin’s repose palace.


Situ Lin was already there when they arrived, having found a note in the repose palace written in the girl’s handwriting.


Situ Lin turned when he heard Xie Yun arrive, handing the note to the latter as he entered.


Xie Liuli was able to see the note while Xie Yun read it, his brows knitting together as he went through its contents.


How could this be possible? Liu Yinyin heard about the rumors and left the palace on her own? She wasn’t kidnapped?


“Your Majesty, is this Liu Yinyin’s handwriting?”


“Yes, it is.”


Xie Yun then said, “It’s a very bad time. Yun Ruofeng is lurking in Beimin’s capital city right now. Send someone to the Prince Hao Residence and inform Princess Consort Hao about this.”


Situ Lin said, “I’ll send men to look for her.”


An Imperial Army guard left for the Prince Hao Residence to report the matter to Su Xi-er, but was told that she wasn’t in. Having no choice but to return to the palace, the guard heard some commoners gossipping as he passed by.


“Princess Consort Hao is personally looking at the man who suddenly died while foaming at the mouth! She’s right there!”


“The man died after saying ‘Princess Consort Hao’. Is she here to prove her innocence?”


“Let’s go take a look!” The commoners made their way towards the site as they spoke.


The Imperial Army guard alighted from his horse and followed them, trying his best to spot Su Xi-er among the crowd. Before he could even get close enough, however, he heard a bright female voice. “This man died due to the effects of an herb; this is no sudden unexplained death.”

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translator: Hilda

Editor: Lunarlark

Proofreader: Rakumon