Consort of a Thousand Faces

CHAPTER 15 (1): PROTECTED BY HIM
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CHAPTER 15 (1): PROTECTED BY HIM

Su Xi-er sat in the room, moving to prop her chin up on her hand before the sharp pain reminded her of the injury on her wrist. She lowered her head to check and noticed that it was already very red. Since she hadn’t been very diligent in applying the medicinal herb after they were forcefully broken, her dislocated wrist was going to take a few more days to recover even though the bones had already returned to their original position.

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She needed to gather some medicinal herbs from the spot beside the well to apply every day.

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Before she could move, however, the sound of the door being kicked open came along with the sharp voice of a woman. “Su Xi-er, Old Maidservant Zhao treats you so nicely. She even instructed someone to boil red bean congee1 for you; not to mention all the small side dishes have meat added to them.”

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A palace maid slammed the tray she was carrying onto the table.

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It comprised a bowl of steaming hot red bean congee and two small side dishes: luffa scrambled eggs2 and stir-fried vegetarian beans3. In the eyes of the palace maids from the Palace Side Quarters, eggs were considered to be under the meat category.

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“Did you give some benefits to Old Maidservant Zhao? Your breakfast is so sumptuous. Hmph!” The palace maid snorted coldly, but that her eyes were filled with a craving for food.

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“There are so many dishes. I probably can’t finish all of them. Why don’t the two of us eat together?” Su Xi-er took a spoon and passed it to the palace maid.

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“How can I do that? These are for you to eat.” Although the palace maid rejected her, she couldn’t hide her eyes that darted towards the red bean congee from time to time.

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“As palace maids of the Palace Side Quarters, we should naturally take care of one another. Previously, it was due to a misunderstanding that you all drifted apart from me. I also feel lonely at times.” Su Xi-er’s appeared miserable when she spoke, her face wreathed in loneliness.

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The palace maid snatched the spoon from Su Xi-er. “Alright, alright! I’ll just eat it. Don’t feel lonely. Who asked you to look so pretty? Of course everyone would make things difficult for you!”

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Without another word, she proceeded to use the spoon to start wolfing the food down in large mouthfuls.

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Su Xi-er smiled as she asked, “What’s your name?”

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“I’m Hong Li.” By the time she replied, three spoonfuls had already entered her mouth.

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“A pretty good name. Hong Li, if Old Maidservant Zhao gives me benefits in the future, I’ll share them with you.”

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Hong Li placed her bowl down and stared at Su Xi-er. “Strange. Why is Old Maidservant Zhao suddenly treating you so nicely? I even just heard that she personally simmered chicken soup for you yesterday.”

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“Naturally she is treating me well due to some reasons.” Seeing that Hong Li was finished after drinking half a bowl of red bean congee, Su Xi-er picked up her chopsticks to take some vegetables and placed them near her nose to have a sniff.

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There’s no problem with today’s vegetables. I can rest assured and eat them.

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“For some reasons?” Hong Li contemplated for a while, associating it with Mu Tao’s death and Su Xi-er returning safely. She has just returned but Old Maidservant Zhao is already fawning over her in multifarious ways.

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“Su Xi-er, you have someone backing you up. Who exactly is it?”

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“Why should I tell you? You are clear about my purpose in informing you so much.” Su Xi-er smiled mysteriously, eliciting Hong Li’s suspicions once again.

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1. Another name is Patjuk.

2. The version I found is a little wet but there are dry versions too.

3. I’m guessing that it’s plain so probably something like this.

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