CHAPTER 24 (2): VERY INTERESTED
Su Xi-er looked at her. She didn’t speak and simply nodded.
“At fifteen years old, this figure of yours is too skinny and weak. Has your period come?” Old Maidservant Liu continued to ask.
Her question was very bizarre. She was asking Su Xi-er about her period in front of everyone.
Hong Li realised that Su Xi-er felt awkward and immediately helped her out of her predicament. “Her body is delicate, but her period is still very regular. There was one time when her period came, yet she was still whipped.”
Old Maidservant Liu put her hand down and looked at Su Xi-er before speaking, enunciating every single word, “A beautiful woman encounters many disputes.”
Su Xi-er felt that Old Maidservant Liu appeared to be benevolent on the surface, but kept many thoughts securely hidden under her facade.
“You should still scrub the chamber pots,” Old Maidservant Liu slowly told her.
Su Xi-er bowed and asked, “This servant always scrubs the chamber pots at night. Would that be the case in the future as well?”
“Mhm, at night. Just stay in your room in the day. In the future, you will be living alone in this room. The other palace maids are to move to another empty room.” With that, Su Xi-er now had an exclusive room to herself in the Palace Side Quarters.
Su Xi-er suddenly remembered Prince Hao’s words. “It’s too cramped for four people. It’s still acceptable if you’re staying in it alone.” Old Maidservant Liu is Prince Hao’s subordinate?
Some of the palace maids felt indignant. Why is the new old maidservant so biased towards Su Xi-er? She asked her so many questions, and even let her enjoy a whole room to herself!
It’s too unfair! The palace maid who scrubs the chamber pots has the lowest status!
Despite the complaints in their hearts, they didn’t dare to voice them out.
“Everyone may be dismissed. Carry out your respective work. You will be doing the same work that you always have. I won’t care about these small matters, but if you don’t do your work well, my punishment will be more severe than Old Maidservant Zhao’s. Mull over this on your own.” Old Maidservant Liu had addressed them cordially, but the effect was already better than Old Maidservant Zhao’s stern voice and punishment.
All the palace maids scattered and immediately went to work.
It was currently daytime and thus, Su Xi-er’s resting time. Just as she was about to walk towards her room, Old Maidservant Liu called her, “Su Xi-er, take me to the place Old Maidservant Zhao previously stayed at.”
Su Xi-er turned around and responded respectfully, “This servant will take you there now, Old Maidservant.”
“You don’t have to be so courteous to me. As long as you haven’t done anything wrong, I won’t reprimand you.” Old Maidservant Liu replied with a benevolent expression.
Su Xi-er nodded but didn’t speak any further. She directly walked in the direction of Old Maidservant Zhao’s room.
When the door was opened, they realised that the room had been tidied up orderly and was suffused with the scent of medicinal herbs.
There was a restriction to the amount of medicinal herbs every old maidservant could possess, but Old Maidservant Zhao’s room was saturated with the smell of medicinal herbs.
“It looks like Old Maidservant Zhao had coveted and obtained many medicinal herbs. Su Xi-er, look through and check if there’s any medicinal herb that you can use,” Old Maidservant Liu sat down on a wooden stool and spoke indifferently.
Su Xi-er felt that Old Maidservant Liu was very strange. From an outsiders’ perspective, they would definitely think that Old Maidservant Liu treats me very well.
When Old Maidservant Liu saw Su Xi-er’s cautious look, she couldn’t help but smile. “You find it strange that I’m nice to you?”
“After suffering from so many whips, this servant has understood a principle. In this world, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.”
Old Maidservant Liu’s eyes were filled with appreciation. No wonder Prince Hao pesters her and doesn’t let go.
However, he is taking a long time in accepting her into the Beauty Palace. This causes people to be suspicious instead.
“You don’t have to think too much. When I look at you, I am reminded of my master in the past.”
Su Xi-er looked at her. Isn’t Old Maidservant Liu’s master His Majesty’s biological mum?
“She was very beautiful, but her position was only that of a Lady of Talent. It was an accident that she became pregnant with an imperial child. On the day she gave birth to His Majesty, she passed away. Although I am the wet nurse, I only looked after His Majesty and didn’t feed him with milk.” Old Maidservant Liu recounted faintly. In the end, she waved her hand. “They’re all matters in the past. I shall not mention them anymore.”
Old Maidservant Liu’s gaze landed on Su Xi-er. Her tone was mild, but probing. “Prince Hao is very interested in you.”
1. One of the lowest ranks of an imperial consort.
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