“Empress Dowager, the Beauty Palace belongs to Prince Hao. Prince Hao has the final say as to who can enter. If by any chance you cause Prince Hao to be displeased...”


Pei Yaran shot her a cold glance. “How can this Empress Dowager be afraid of Prince Hao! Do not hesitate in going there. Return to the Laundry Service Bureau to pack your things immediately.” She then flung her sleeves and swiftly left.


Su Xi-er narrowed her eyes slightly. She’s the Empress Dowager after all. With Prince Hao gone, Pei Yaran has the highest status in the imperial palace. However, the Beauty Palace won’t keep me for long; I’ll just have to sneak out to the teahouse to inquire about some news.


However, I can’t leave Beimin’s imperial palace. I must maintain a distance with Pei Qianhao before approaching Beimin’s little emperor. Only by coming into contact with Beimin’s imperial palace and imperial household can I come into contact with Nanzhao’s imperial palace.




When Su Xi-er returned to the Laundry Service Bureau, Old Maidservant Liu happened to be talking to Old Maidservant Li.


After Old Maidservant Li spotted her, she immediately pointed. “Look, the palace maid under you has returned safely.”


“This servant pays her respects to Old Maidservant Liu and Old Maidservant Li.”


Old Maidservant Li immediately waved her hand. “Rise quickly. I can’t accept such an elaborate greeting from you. Old Maidservant Liu, you entered the Laundry Service Bureau because you wanted to check on how she’s doing. You can see that she’s perfectly fine now.”


Old Maidservant Liu’s face was wreathed in smiles. “Old Maidservant Li, you have a sharp tongue but are actually kind on the inside. You treat the palace maids under you very well. I feel assured knowing that she’s with you. However, the Palace Side Quarters lacks manpower and the Imperial Household Department is unable to send sufficient people over. I heard the palace maids say that Su Xi-er has nothing to do in the Laundry Service Bureau. It would be better if she returns to the Palace Side Quarters and helps out.”


Old Maidservant Li felt that she was extremely fortunate as soon as she heard those words. Go back to the Palace Side Quarters quickly! She immediately agreed. “What are you saying? Since the Palace Side Quarters lacks manpower, Su Xi-er, quickly go back.”


Yet, before anyone could respond, two palace maids from the Compassionate Peace palace walked into the Laundry Service Bureau.


“This servant is obeying the Empress Dowager’s instructions. Miss Su, quickly pack your luggage and prepare to enter the Beauty Palace.”


She was no longer addressed as ‘Su Xi-er,’ but ‘Miss Su’. It’s the Beauty Palace again. These few words shocked Old Maidservant Li.


Old Maidservant Liu on the other hand, was bewildered. “Prince Hao is the one in charge of the Beauty Palace. Why is the Empress Dowager interfering? If Prince Hao finds out, he will definitely be displeased after he comes back from Nanzhao.”


The two palace maids bowed at Old Maidservant Liu. “Old Maidservant, this servant is only listening to instructions. The horse carriage is waiting right outside the side gate of the imperial palace.” 


Old Maidservant Liu still wanted to say something, but Su Xi-er immediately cast a meaningful glance at her in secret. “The Empress Dowager has already given the order, so this servant can only go. However, don’t call this servant ‘Miss Su’. I am unable to bear it.” 


Su Xi-er then entered her room for a short period before returning with her belongings packed in a cloth bundle. She had brought some clothing, the bottle of medicinal powder, and the red Chinese bodice with the pearl inside of it. 


She originally hadn’t wanted to bring the red Chinese bodice and pearl. However, if someone enters the room and came upon the two items, she wouldn’t be able to explain it clearly and absolve herself.


Upon leaving the room, Su Xi-er realised that only Old Maidservant Liu had remained. Only after the latter spoke did Su Xi-er find out that she had sent the two palace maids back to the Compassionate Peace Palace. 


“Let Hong Li and Ruo Yuan accompany you there. The Empress Dowager only wants you to go, so the need for two palace maids to serve you can be considered an excuse. As for the Empress Dowager’s side, I naturally have a way to deal with it.”


Su Xi-er nodded, then asked, “How are Ruo Yuan’s injuries?”


“This lass has coarse skin, thick flesh, and a robust body. Even if she runs a fever, she will recover after drinking medicine for a few days. If Ruo Yuan hadn’t informed me that the Empress Dowager had taken you away, I still wouldn’t have known about this matter.”


Hm? Even Old Maidservant Liu didn’t know, so how did Ruo Yuan know? Did she secretly slip into the Laundry Service Bureau to visit me that night?


“Come with me. I will send you to the side gate of the imperial palace after we have gone to the Palace Side Quarters first. The Empress Dowager is mad with Prince Hao and acting out of spite. Your stay in the Beauty Palace is only temporary. Since you have never had the chance to leave the palace since you were young, why don’t you take advantage of this opportunity to go out to play and have some breaths of fresh air?”


Su Xi-er understood what Old Maidservant Liu was implying. She wants me to secretly sneak out of the Beauty Palace and stroll around the streets. However, I am not going to simply stroll, but inquire about news instead.


Many merchants travel in and out of teahouses and restaurants. They have the quickest access to information if I want to obtain news about Nanzhao’s recent developments.

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Aww, I'm touched by Ruo Yuan