Pei Qianhao didn’t ask for the reason, simply nodding. “Alright, I’ll go with you.”


Zi Sha stood respectfully outside the bamboo hut, waiting for them to emerge before leading them out of the bamboo forest. She then bowed as she bade farewell to Su Xi-er, saying, “Even if you don’t go back, I’ll still acknowledge you as my master. Your consort mother saved my entire family’s lives back then.”


In turn, Su Xi-er left her four words before leaving. “I will go back.”


Zi Sha’s rapidly beating heart finally settled down with the assurance. Not only does the Yi tribe need her, master’s destiny also needs to be looked into.


It took three hours for them to arrive at Xiliu’s capital by carriage.


The civilians in the city had been pacified, and the Imperial Army guards and soldiers were on patrol after eradicating Hua Ziqing’s and Lanshan’s people.


A few minutes later, the horse carriage drove into the posthouse, and a guard reported, “Prince Hao, Xiliu’s Emperor is inside and has been waiting for quite some time.”


Pei Qianhao nodded and took Su Xi-er’s hand as they walked in, having long anticipated Hua Zirong’s arrival.


Hua Zirong was standing ramrod straight in the main hall. Upon seeing Su Xi-er, he could finally relax. 


I am also responsible for her safety while she's in Xiliu.


"Princess Consort Hao, how are you feeling recently?" Hua Ziqing spoke in a non-committal fashion.


"Your Majesty, you don't have to beat about the bush."


Having long gotten used to her directness, Hua Zirong chuckled. "This Emperor shall get to the point then. Hua Ziqing is no longer to be feared, although Lanshan has a complex network. Even if she's banished from the capital, that won't stop her ceaseless faction members. I hope you can lend me a hand, Prince Hao."


Pei Qianhao replied without a change in his expression. "This Prince is only a passing guest in Xiliu. Moreover, your subordinate has hurt the Princess Consort before. Your Majesty, how are you planning to show your sincerity? I never do unprofitable business."


Having already prepared himself, Hua Zirong only gave Su Xi-er a brief look before solemnly answering, "Should Princess Consort Hao require any assistance in the future, Xiliu will definitely stand on her side!"


His words were sufficient for Su Xi-er to understand what he was referring to.


Back when Yun Ruofeng released those rumours, Hua Zirong likely believed them.


"What help could my Princess Consort possibly need? What are you talking about, Your Majesty?" Pei Qianhao smirked as he tried to sound him out.


"Prince Hao, you understand what this Emperor means; let's not talk in riddles. Why did Prince Yun pester Princess Consort Hao? A part of his forces in Xiliu have already been controlled by me. If you help me now, there will definitely be an occasion where I can come in handy."


Su Xi-er smiled faintly. "Your Majesty, you have already said so much that I'll seem like the bad person for not helping you. However, there's one thing I would hope of Your Majesty – to remain as you were in the past, and maintain your kindness."


Hua Zirong pondered for a while before replying, "This Majesty has taken your words to heart."


"A-Jing." Su Xi-er softly called.


"Since the Princess Consort has already agreed, this Prince won't dig any further. Your Majesty, Lanshan is adept at scheming and understanding the human heart. Other than that, there is little to fear. What you need most then, is a stable army. My vanguard has already been dispatched to round up the remaining deserters, but the question remains, how do you plan to deal with these people?"


Hua Zirong furrowed his brow as he slowly said, "The obstinate ones will be killed, but if they are sincere, this Emperor hopes to reclaim them. Humans are made of flesh after all, and they are also people with family."


"Your Majesty, you should return to the palace to stabilise the court and make use of those who are loyal. As for those with malicious intent, they should be detained in the dungeons, so that they can be sentenced later." Su Xi-er suggested.


Admiration flashed in Hua Zirong's eyes. "Princess Consort Hao is astute. This Emperor is impressed! I will head back to the palace first. Many thanks, Prince and Princess Consort Hao!" He put his hands together and expressed his gratitude respectfully before leaving the posthouse.


Su Xi-er became wrapped in her thoughts until a hand on her waist pulled her back.


"Xi-er, you have to tell Ning Lianchen about returning to the Yi Tribe, for he also has the same blood flowing in his body."


She understood what Pei Qianhao was implying. 


This matter affects his position. Perhaps the citizens of Nanzhao have already forgotten, but once my identity is revealed, the citizens will be reminded of our bloodline.


"Believe in Lianchen. He will handle this matter well." Pei Qianhao softly reassured. 


Although the situation in Lianchen is being bogged down by a plethora of matters, he at the very least, has the main situation under control.

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