Xiao Hua told herself many times, and made up all sorts of explanations, but in the end still decided to pretend nothing ever happened.
Perhaps the Jing Prince was just curious about the differences between male and female hands.
This explanation wouldn’t fool a three year old, but Xiao Hua decided to fool herself with it.
Putting it this way, nothing had truly happened.
Of course Xiao Hua was on edge for several days. Only after seeing that nothing was different from the past did she feel relieved.
Nothing had truly happened, and the Jing Prince hadn’t asked her to massage him for many days. He seemed to be very busy recently. However, this wasn’t all that different from the past, and Xiao Hua didn’t think too much about it.
During this time, Eunuch Fu had once again said some encouraging words to her. It wasn’t really said in private, but he had taken advantage of the prince’s absence to praise her steady and experienced attitude, and also added a few variations of “hmm, very good, you definitely have a promising future”.
Xiao Hua already felt very speechless when facing this old eunuch, but since this high ranking general manager kept talking to her, she couldn’t just ignore him. She could only lower her head and smile, lower her eyes and smile, showing all sorts of respectful modesty.
Everyone knew how to smile superficially, Xiao Hua knew it as well. Only the heavens knew how Xiao Hua cursed Eunuch Fu in her heart.
After the Jing Consort fell ill on that day, she lay on the couch for over ten days without seeming to get better.
She really wasn’t seriously ill. She was just frail, and would often catch little illnesses such as a cold or a cough. Although the prince didn’t really favor her, she was still his consort and everyone within the estate had to keep her in mind. Therefore, not only were the servants in the Changchun Pavilion too nervous to say anything, even the estate’s medical center was terribly vexed.
Within the Grand Xi Dynasty, all the vassal princes’ estates had a medical center that was in charge of medical treatment and prescribing medicine. The medical center was divided into the main medical task force as well as the reserve force. There were also several untitled doctors.
Doctor Hu was originally an imperial physician of the royal palace. He moved to the Jing Province along with the Jing Prince.
Throughout history there were very few imperial physicians who could die of old age. Treating the royal family, they would inevitably get mixed up in some shameful secrets. If a regular doctor couldn’t treat someone, they could only blame the heavens. An imperial physician treating the emperor would often get dragged out and executed at the drop of a hat.
Imperial physician Hu had muddled along in the palace for several decades, and was naturally clear about the writing on the wall. As he got older, he didn’t want to live out his days in fear any longer. Knowing that the prince would take some doctors with him to his vassal state, he went and offered his services.
After coming here, his days became as comfortable as expected. The Jing Prince had always empathized with his servants and had treated him with reverence. Not only was he given a pavilion, they even brought his family over.
The days passed joyfully and harmoniously. Although it wasn’t as glamorous as his days in the imperial palace, it was much more peaceful and free of strife.
As of today, Imperial Physician Hu’s son was also working in the estate’s medical center. He was appointed as a doctor on the backup force. He was known as Little Doctor Hu, and could be said to have inherited his father’s skills.
Doctor Hu treated the Jing Consort a few times, and knew she didn’t have any serious problems. Therefore he left future treatments to Little Doctor Hu.
Little Doctor Hu’s title included the word “Little”, but he was actually many years over thirty already. During this period of the consort’s sickness, he had already been frustrated to the point of hopping about.
According to Little Doctor Hu’s observations, the Jing Consort was not seriously ill. She just had some pent up frustration in her heart, lack of energy and a minor cough. A poor family would have just left it at that. A little rest and relaxation was all that was needed. A rich family would make it out to be a big deal, and especially when it was the Jing Consort, then it became the biggest deal of all.
The Nana in charge beside the consort always made him diagnose her properly and asked him to tell her what precious medications where needed. Little Doctor Hu had no idea how to respond anymore. However, it wasn’t as if he hadn’t encountered this situation before. Every time the consort fell ill, he would experience the same situation.
After encountering it several times, he became calm and composed while dealing with it. But this time it wasn’t just that. The consort’s side seemed to be doubting his medical abilities, even saying that ever since he had started treating her, her body had gotten worse every day. Little Doctor Hu really wanted to cry out about the injustice.
The shortness of breath and the coughing can be treated, but how was he supposed to treat an innately weak constitution and a frustrated heart?
Helpless in the end, Imperial Physician Hu ended up personally arriving on the battlefield before managing to suppress the complaints in the Changchun Pavilion.
Doctor Hu also didn’t say much, taking his son Little Doctor Hu to diagnose a couple of times. The consort’s side immediately had no more complaints. Little did they know that the medicine Doctor Hu prescribed was exactly the same as what Little Doctor Hu prescribed.
This can be explained in one phrase: the placebo effect!
After the check-up today, Doctor Hu took Little Doctor Hu back to the medical center.
“Dad, don’t you think it’s strange? The Jing Consort actually doesn’t have any major problems, but why does she get sick so easily?”
Doctor Hu held his teacup and smiled mysteriously, “Well, this person just loves abusing herself. Sometimes she’s able to create illness where there was none. Even more so considering—”
The rest of his sentence he left unsaid.
Little Doctor Hu inherited his father’s profession, and his skills were actually pretty good. However, during their time in the imperial palace, Imperial Physician Hu had never suggested taking him to become part of the imperial palace’s physicians. Only after coming to the Jing Prince Estate, and seeing there wasn’t any strife did he allow his son to study under him.
Little Doctor Hu understood his father’s intentions. No one was more worried about an imperial physician than his own family. When he was younger, every time his father went to the palace to work his mother would have a face full of anxiety. Once he grew older, even he got to understand the feeling that his father might leave for work one day and never return. Therefore, although he had finished his training when he was a little over twenty, he said nothing when his father didn’t allow him to enter the imperial hospital.
He knew his father’s personality. He only said what he wanted to say, no matter how much you asked. Therefore he didn’t ask any follow up questions, let alone ask him to finish his sentence.
Doctor Hu put down the tea in his hand, “Continue treating the consort in the future. Whatever medication you prescribe, let me take a look before bringing it over. If they still make a fuss, your father will make an appearance. Although things might be tough, it isn’t a big deal. After all, such a respected person naturally needs to be carefully treated.”
Little Doctor Hu nodded his head and didn’t speak any further.
Over at the Changchun Pavilion.
Nana Li carried a bowl of medicine for the Jing Prince Consort to drink, and wiped her mouth with a handkerchief afterward.
“This old servant said it before, those without hair on their lip won’t be as capable. Even though he’s the son, how could he be compared to his father who had worked in the palace for so many years?” Seeing the consort’s complexion improve significantly, Nana Li’s face filled with smiles.
The consort’s sickly face revealed a smile, “Really, Nana. Little Doctor Hu’s skills are actually pretty good. I can only blame my own health for being poor.”
Nana Li also understood, but was just a little muddled from worrying.
“Ai–” she sighed again and said: “Back in the capital, consort’s health was pretty good. I don’t know what’s going on these last few years. There hasn’t been any major illnesses but the small ones never end.”
The Jing Consort said: “I’m probably just not acclimatized to this place. What Imperial Physician Hu said was right, there is also some pent up frustration in my heart.”
Nana Li didn’t dare carry on with the topic of her frustrations, afraid of upsetting the consort. She could only interrupt and say: “That’s true, this Jing Province cannot be compared to the capital. The weather is a little too cold.”
“That’s not it. The summer here is very comfortable. Not too hot and not too cold. It’s just the winters are a little too long.” Chun Xiang1 interrupted from the side, and continued speaking while smiling: “Consort, today’s weather is nice. The recliner by the window is bathed in sunlight. How about sitting over there for a bit?”
The Jing Consort hadn’t left her bed in around ten days since she had gotten ill again. She felt at this time that bathing in the sun would feel pretty comfortable, and had Nana Li and Chun Xiang support her over to the window.
After sitting in the sun for a while, and drinking a bowl of nourishing soup carried over by Nana Li, she opened her mouth and said: “Chun Xiang, have someone keep an eye over there.”
Chun Xiang heard her words and realized that the consort’s heart was still fixed on that issue, but still complied with a crisp voice.
During the last couple of days, Xiao Hua noticed something. She noticed that her breasts were growing at a rate visible to the naked eye.
Naturally they were painfully swollen, and would still hurt when gently touched while she was bathing.
Nana He said this was a normal occurrence, and if it was really uncomfortable she should apply some hot water to it. She even taught her a set of massage techniques, saying that it could alleviate the pain and reduce the amount of time they were uncomfortable.
Xiao Hua secretly tried out the massage technique, and it hurt so much that she had to grit her teeth. However, after massaging, the pain truly was postponed, though within two days she needed to do it again. Xiao Hua understood massage techniques, and also understood Nana He’s reasoning. Only after massaging thoroughly can it disperse the impurities inside. Appropriate massages weren’t supposed to feel comfortable.
Seeing her own breasts grow day by day, Xiao Hua even started having the thought that maybe they would surpass those of her previous life2. She couldn’t avoid feeling slightly happy in her heart, but the awkward thing was that her clothes were started to get a little tight.
This morning, Xiao Hua got up for work and tried on all her clothes, but felt they were all a little tight.
Of course, one reason was that she had gained weight from the food. She could clearly feel that she had more meat on her body recently, but she hadn’t gotten fat to this extent. After all, one couldn’t get fat that fast over such a short period of time. The other places on her clothes were fine, it was only her chest area that was a little tight. She could clearly see it being stretched.
Xiao Hua was a little unused to this, but didn’t have any other clothes to change into. She could only say that Eunuch Fu had made their clothes too “fitting”. She pulled at her clothing a little as she went to work, and also loosened her belt before feeling a little better.
This day was no different from any other. The Jing Prince still made no sound. Xiao Hua stood to the side and helped where she was supposed to help, and otherwise stood honestly to the side.
In a rare display, the prince spoke a word in the afternoon: “back”, before lying prone in his old spot and assuming the position.
Xiao Hua also didn’t think about anything else. After spending more time with this master, she was able to follow along with his words.
She walked over and sat on her stool, rubbing her hands together with all her strength to warm them up, and started to slowly massage.
Whenever she started massage the prince, Xiao Hua realized she needed to use a lot of force because his muscles would be very tense. It was clearly a result of being tensed up over long periods of time. She needed to first rub his tense muscles loose before being able to slowly knead the acupuncture points.
This time wasn’t any different from the past. Xiao Hua immersed herself and massaged vigorously.
After massaging for half an hour, she felt that it was about time and started to slack off. She no longer massaged the acupuncture points, and also stopped using acupressure on the muscles and bones. She softened her touch by a lot and started rubbing the muscles under her hands.
Xiao Hua was just about to soften her touch even more when the Jing Prince suddenly half raised himself off the couch with his arm. Because she wasn’t expecting this action, Xiao Hua lost her balance and fell over in shock.
Although she wasn’t hurt in the fall, a “riiip” sound was heard. Xiao Hua’s tight blouse could not endure her large movement and ripped.
Xiao Hua hurriedly lowered her head to look at herself. Luckily, luckily it was only a single tear and nothing was revealed. If one didn’t look closely it wouldn’t be noticed. She raised her head and looked at the Jing Prince only to see his eyes faintly staring at her.
Xiao Hua thought that he had heard the tearing sound of her clothes so she covered her chest and her face flushed.
“Umm, this servant has eaten too much recently. The clothes, the clothes were a little too small…” she wasn’t able to finish speaking before she covered her face in embarrassment, hating that she couldn’t find a crack in the ground to burrow in.
Eunuch Fu had been standing at the side this whole time, unprepared for so many things to happen in this brief instant, and also extremely dumbfounded at this sight. He had thought the prince had gotten angry, but from the looks of it that wasn’t the case.
However he reacted quickly, immediately stepping forward and pulling Xiao Hua up, giving her a little push.
“Hurry and go change your clothes.”
Xiao Hua stood up, bending her waist and covering her chest. She curtseyed and rushed outside with her head lowered, completely forgetting how she was supposed to walk within the estate.
Eunuch Fu was a little scared that the Jing Prince would be angry, and interrupted with a laugh: “Hee, looks like life in our estate is a little too good. This lass was as skinny as a bean sprout when she was first sent over. Seems like she gained some meat over these past few days.”
The Jing Prince sat up, and allowed Eunuch Fu to help him put on his shoes. He didn’t say anything.
She did gain some meat.
He silently glanced at Eunuch Fu, and silently walked to the front hall.