Consort of a Thousand Faces

CHAPTER 6: MERELY A BITCH
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CHAPTER 6: MERELY A BITCH

Su Xi-er walked in the direction of the voice, coming upon the scene of the other maids lined up on two sides while Old Maidservant Zhao bowed to a young woman smilingly.

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Taking a few steps forward, she was finally able to clearly see the young woman’s visage. She had a petite and fair face, dressing herself in a pink muslin dress that reached her ankles. She wore an exquisite golden pearl hairpin, and a jade pendant earring hung from each of her earlobes. Her every movement was gentle, refined, and elegant.

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“Old Maidservant Zhao, you’re too courteous. I am not someone who forgets my own roots. Although I am now following Prince Hao and I am rather doted on, I won’t forget the sisters in the Palace Side Quarters.” There was a faint smiling expression on He Xiangyu’s face. When she spoke, her gaze constantly drifted around as if she was searching for someone.

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“This is your good fortune. I am also delighted in my heart.” Old Maidservant Zhao had been in the palace for a few decades and was an astute person with extensive experience. She understood well that He Xiangyu didn't come back to the Palace Side Quarters for their sisterhood, but was instead here to display her awe-inspiring might.

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“Old Maidservant, I have prepared a few unpresentable small gifts for all the sisters. I hope that my sisters won’t find them distasteful.” He Xiangyu swept her gaze over the face of each of the palace maids standing submissively at the sides.

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When she saw a certain someone, the corners of her mouth raised slightly, a glint flickering across her eyes.

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Su Xi-er had naturally detected that trace of satisfaction in her eyes. She looked at the joyous looks of all the palace maids in her surroundings and couldn’t help but sneer inwardly.

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“He Xiangyu is so nice. She even brought gifts for us.”

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“That’s right. I even thought that she wouldn’t return to the Palace Side Quarters again after getting favoured.”

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The palace maids lowered their heads one after another and discussed in hushed voices. While they were discussing, He Xiangyu clapped her hands and the palace maids carrying trays came in one by one.

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The red cloth covering the trays were sewn with golden thread. The palace maids’ eyes lit up at the sight of the extravagant trays. How exquisite would the gifts covered by the red cloth be!

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“Give the gifts to all the sisters.” He Xiangyu smilingly instructed.

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The red cloth was lifted up, revealing many gilded and dazzling ornaments. There were even jade ornaments. These things were unpresentable in He Xiangyu’s eyes, but to these palace maids in the Palace Side Quarters, they were things they couldn’t even dream of!

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The gifts in the tray were distributed one by one. When it reached Su Xi-er, the tray was already empty.

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All the palace maids immediately shifted their attention, their eyes constantly moving back and forth between He Xiangyu and Su Xi-er.

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There’s going to be a good show to watch now! Old Maidservant Zhao’s eyes flashed brightly. Before Su Xi-er could say anything, Old Maidservant Zhao immediately pointed out, “What should we do? Only Su Xi-er doesn’t have something. Come to think of it, she’s even…” Old Maidservant Zhao deliberately stopped. Observant people naturally understood the overtone in her words.

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Su Xi-er coldly snorted in her heart. Old Maidservant Zhao appears to be an Old-Maidservant-In-Charge who keeps to her duty but she’s actually someone who’s eager to see everything in havoc. For her, the more mayhem there is, the better.

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“Su Xi-er is my best sister. Naturally, I have other arrangements for her.” He Xiangyu walked towards Su Xi-er step by step. She appeared to be smiling but it was only on the surface.

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“This is for you. Accept it.” He Xiangyu took out a small fragrance pouch1 from her sleeve. The red cloth was embroidered with a tiny white wild flower.

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Su Xi-er raised her head to look at her and suddenly smiled. This smile seemed to have some profound meaning to it, but also seemed very ordinary.

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“It has been tough on you to still remember the friendship between us sisters. However, I can’t accept this fragrance pouch.” As Su Xi-er declined, she pushed away He Xiangyu’s hand.

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All the palace maids widened their eyes. She actually rejected He Xiangyu’s present! Although the fragrance pouch is not as expensive as the jewellery, it was after all He Xiangyu who offered it to her. As Prince Hao’s favoured concubine it’s too easy for her to kill a lowly and insignificant Palace Side Quarters’ palace maid!

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“Why are you not accepting it? I sewed this fragrance pouch for you. Don’t you like nameless little wild flowers the most?” He Xiangyu feigned a bewildered expression. Then, she shook her head puzzledly, “I know that you have to scrub the chamber pots every day. The chamber pots are very smelly, thus I purposely sewed a fragrance pouch for you so that your body can be more fragrant.”

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While she appeared to be concerned for Su Xi-er’s well-being, she was actually beating her down.

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The other palace maids could tell He Xiangyu’s original intentions and jeered continuously. “That’s right, you smell absolutely terrible after coming back from scrubbing the chamber pots,. Her whole body is so stinky that no one gets close to her.”

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“He Xiangyu purposely sewed a fragrance pouch for her, yet Su Xi-er still showed an unhappy expression and refused it! In my opinion, she’s just jealous of He Xiangyu’s noble status.”

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These words entered He Xiangyu’s ears and greatly satisfied her vanity, causing the smile on her face to deepen. Before long, however, it changed to a cold expression.

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Su Xi-er stood on tiptoe and lowered her voice, “Don’t you know that when fragrance and smelliness combine, it becomes even more smelly?”

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“You!” He Xiangyu looked incensed at her as rage rushed forth in her heart; but due to everyone’s presence, she couldn’t let it totally flare up.

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Su Xi-er raised her eyebrow. Under the illumination from the sunlight, the faint smile on her visage was so beautiful that it stirred the soul. Any man who faced such a wonderful person would feel his heartbeat quicken.

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This knowledge caused He Xiangyu’s heart to become panicky. If a puissant man sees her, they would definitely take a fancy to Su Xi-er.

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“You stepped on me to ascend to this position of a favoured concubine. If you want to maintain this current position of yours, is it possible to hear me say something?” Su Xi-er alternated between speaking light-heartedly and speaking seriously. Her chilly aura and imposing manner made He Xiangyu frightened.

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“Say it.” He Xiangyu blinked nervously.

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“Hehe, remember your identity. You’re merely a bitch. A concubine is ultimately a concubine. You can’t climb to the sky.” Su Xi-er then rapidly moved aside and looked at He Xiangyu coldly.

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“You. Bitch!” He Xiangyu could not contain her anger. While berating her, He Xiangyu raised her hand to slap Su Xi-er.

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Su Xi-er moved to the side and dodged that slap. She feigned innocence as she said, “Just because I don’t want that fragrance pouch, you wanted to hit me? As someone who scrubs the chamber pots, what use do I have for the fragrance pouch? I’d rather be just smelly than both fragrant and smelly combined.”

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He Xiangyu was so incensed that her eyes turned red. She pointed at Old Maidservant Zhao and commanded, “Old Maidservant Zhao, punish her ruthlessly. She’s too much. She offended a superior!”

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“About that, it’s not easy for me to handle this either. How did Su Xi-er offend a superior?” Old Maidservant Zhao deliberately didn’t go along with He Xiangyu’s words. Firstly, she looked forward to an even more lively show in the future. Secondly, there were also rules in the Palace Side Quarters that prevented her from punishing maids who had not done anything wrong.

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He Xiangyu didn’t expect that Old Maidservant Zhao wouldn’t give her face, but she was unable to take this lying down. I definitely can’t let Su Xi-er off easily.

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“Since Old Maidservant is unwilling to punish her, then I can only punish her on your behalf. With how much Prince Hao dotes on me, I presume that he won’t say anything even if I take her life today.” He Xiangyu’s countenance was full of anger. She pulled out a golden hairpin in her hair bun and directly walked towards Su Xi-er.

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Old Maidservant Zhao watched on the sidelines. Let’s see how they’re going to fight it out. Will He Xiangyu or Su Xi-er win?

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Opposed to Old Maidservant Zhao’s collected behaviour, the other palace maids were simply flabbergasted and clamorous voices arose.

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“Su Xi-er is going to get unlucky. Will her face be slashed all over until she’s disfigured?”

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“It’s very likely. I have long found her seductive looks displeasing.”

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Just as everyone was discussing ardently, a blood-curdling scream sounded. Everyone stared at the scene, with their jaws almost dropping.

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What! How come the person whose face is slashed is not Su Xi-er, but He Xiangyu?!

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1. You may have seen it in period dramas and here are a few examples but they really come in multifarious designs.

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