Chapter 42

Translator’s notes:

I’m going to be nice and not leave you hanging on the previous cliff. The sponsored chapter bar isn’t quite filled up all the way, but I will adjust the goal this time and release it early as appreciation to everyone who donated while the bar was full in the past. Also in appreciation of everyone’s kind comments. Although I limit replies to questions and suggestions regarding the translation, I read every one of your comments, and they (as the author likes to say) “make my heart blossom in happiness”. Thank you to Insomnia and Yannieee for sponsoring this chapter.

Also, trigger warning for this chapter. Please check the tags on Novel Updates for this book.

**********

The heavy curtains surrounded the bed in its own little space. Under these circumstances, Xiao Hua inexplicably felt very panicked in her heart.

Focusing on her worries made her hands stop moving.

A muffled and somewhat hoarse voice sounded, “Don’t stop.”

Only then did Xiao Hua realize the prince was actually still awake. She could only continue massaging the Jing Prince. Due to the chaos in her heart, her hands were no longer as focused.

The air was filled with an indescribable scent. It wasn’t incense, but Xiao Hua could small a rich fragrance. Under her hands was a firm back. The clothes were very thin, as though they weren’t there.

Badump badump badump badump…..

Whose heartbeat was this? Was it hers? Or was it the Jing Prince’s?

At this moment, her mind actually went completely blank.

Suddenly the heavens and earth overturned, and when Xiao Hua came back to her senses she was already lying on the bed.

Above her were the pair of long and slender apathetic eyes. A sudden misstep and one would be sucked into them as though falling into a whirlpool, unable to free oneself. When Xiao Hua came back to herself once again, a pair of hands were unbuttoning her clothes.

What should she do? What should she do? What should she do?

Although she had known in her heart Eunuch Fu’s intentions, after such a long time and seeing the Jing Prince’s apathy and disinterest in women, Xiao Hua had already forgotten the implications.

This sudden turn of events however instantly threw her mind into chaos.

To refuse, she definitely didn’t dare refuse, and didn’t dare think of the consequences of such a refusal. He was the master, and she was the servant. She was already scared of Eunuch Fu, let alone Eunuch Fu’s master his highness the Jing Prince.

The hands unbuttoning her clothes continued to do so.

She should reach out and grab his hands, preventing him from doing so. But she was shaking all over and didn’t dare resist.

In that instant Xiao Hua thought about many things. She thought about all the implications in Eunuch Fu’s actions, including his favorable treatment and his taking advantage of the situation. She also thought of Xiu Yun who was beaten to death, and thought of her past life.

So be it, so be it. She was a servant after all, no matter how she tried she couldn’t escape from her lot in life…a servant never had any so-called innocence to speak of, why still care about her body?

At this moment, Xiao Hua even remembered her initial suspicions regarding whether the Jing Prince was a man or not, and inexplicably found it to be rather amusing….

*******

The silhouettes of two evil spirits slowly retreated outside the inner hall’s doors.

A voice quiet as a mosquito sounded out, “Master, did we succeed?”

Eunuch Fu’s heart was almost happy to the point of blooming, but didn’t know how to express the joy in his heart. He could only rub his fingers vigorously while maintaining a profound appearance on the outside.

He didn’t know that this appearance was vulgar no matter how one looked. An Chen just didn’t dare to say so.

“You sure have a lot to say you brat.” Right after speaking, Eunuch Fu started laughing mischievously while suppressing his voice, and along with the pitch black night, he gave off an incomparably weird feeling.

“You keep watch over here, your master is going to go rest. Listen closely to the happenings inside, make sure you hear everything. Thoroughly report back to me tomorrow.” After speaking, Eunuch Fu smiled mysteriously, patted An Chen’s shoulder and walked away with large strides.

An Chen made a bitter face, shrunk his neck down and stood outside the door.

Master was really inhumane. Running off by himself and forcing him to remain and eavesdrop. He definitely planned to ask a bunch of vulgar questions afterwards as well. But as a subordinate, since his master had spoken he might as well stand obediently.

An Chen thought bitterly in his heart, but still perked up his ears and listened in on the movements inside. Although he complained, he didn’t dare ignore his master’s orders.

***

Xiao Hua carefully moved a little, looking at the Jing Prince who was next to her.

Seeing him fast asleep, she grabbed her clothes and carefully got off the bed. Unfortunately her legs didn’t have any strength left to stand and her body was sore all over, falling all at once to sit on the soft carpet.

The fall made the grievance in her heart spill out, and she couldn’t stop herself from hugging her clothes and crying.

She had already tried her best to control her movements, but underestimated the alertness of the man on the bed.

Actually the Jing Prince had awoken when Xiao Hua got off the bed. Just as he was wondering what she was up to, he saw her fall clumsily onto the floor and, perhaps due to the pain of the fall, actually started crying while hugging her clothes.

He half-squinted his eyes and lay on the bed, looking at the delicate silhouette on the floor. Compared to his normal appearance, the alcohol gave him a hint of unbridled demonic charm.

Xiao Hua’s heart was in disorder and she cried for a spell on the floor. When she was finally done crying, she planned on putting on her clothes and leaving, but the moment she raised her head she met the pitch-black apathetic eyes and tranquil expression of the Jing Prince.

At this moment she was a mess of tears, her eyes and nose were both red, her eyes damp. In contrast, the Jing Prince lying on the bed somehow looked a little reprehensible.

Xiao Hua dared to be angry but didn’t dare speak.

The surroundings were extremely quiet and she didn’t know what to say. She wanted to put on her clothes, but since there was someone else present she could only blankly sit there hugging her clothes, her face extremely red.

It was the Jing Prince’s voice that broke the silence.

“Why cry?”

 Xiao Hua gave him a look of disbelief. The prince’s expression was as calm and unmoved as ever, and there were no fluctuations in his gaze.

He actually asked what she was crying about. She had just lost her innocence in such a baffling manner, how could she not be crying?

But on second thoughts, when masters slept with their servants that’s how it usually happens. Thinking further about the Jing Prince’s status, Xiao Hua became silent.

“It, it hurts.” She could only put it this way.

He saw the marks on the low-ranked palace maid’s shoulders. Were those made by him? Unlike his usual self, the prince knitted his brows. After some thought, he spoke: “Prepare water.”

His voice wasn’t loud, but a voice sounded quickly from outside the curtains.

“Yes.”

Xiao Hua was afraid someone would come in and see her sorry appearance, and wanted to drape the clothes over herself, but they ended up falling off again due to her trembling. She felt very pitiful, there simply wasn’t anyone more tragic than her.

Luckily the person outside didn’t enter. She only heard footsteps outside the curtain and after a moment heard the voice once more: “Your highness, the water is prepared. Is this servant’s service needed?”

“No need.”

Hearing the footsteps leave, Xiao Hua turned her back and swiftly put on her blouse. Unfortunately it was too short to cover her lower half. She struggled to put on her skirt without revealing anything. Her body was curled up like a meatball, and would occasionally roll over here and there. The Jing Prince watched with a sort of very incredulous feeling. He didn’t understand what this low-ranked palace maid was doing.

Could it be that she was shy? But, what was there to be shy about?

The Jing Prince put on his underwear and got off the bed, walking barefoot towards the bathroom.

“Follow.”

Xiao Hua had a face full of astonishment. Was this person even human? She was hurting all over and he still wanted her to bathe him?

Despite thinking this, she still stood up silently, randomly tying her dress on her body and followed him with shaking legs.

After entering the bathroom, Xiao Hua saw that it was lavishly arranged. There wasn’t a bathtub like those she had seen in the past. Instead there was a pool made of white marble.

The pool was around two square zhang, with steps on either side leading into the water. There was a copper beast-head fountain in the middle where warm water flowed out slowly. Streams of steam filled the room, making it seem like the island of immortals.

The Jing Prince entered the pool and sat down against the side. Xiao Hua held the rest of her clothes in hand and stood there foolishly.

The Jing Prince glanced at her expressionlessly, “Bathe.”

Xiao Hua hesitantly looked at the water in the pool, and then at herself. After thinking for a while, she still put her clothes to the side and entered the pool.

The water temperature was just right, not too cold and not too warm. Xiao Hua had felt numb, stiff and a little cold, and immediately felt many times more comfortable and warm. But she didn’t dare delay and hurriedly walked over.

She had never served a man in the bath before. Her only experience was when serving the 4th young master in her past life, so she did her best to remember what she had done then. She saw a tray by the pool containing soap and towel, and quickly grabbed it over to help the prince scrub his back.

The Jing Prince lay spread out against the side, watching the busy low-ranked palace maid next to him.

What was her name again? Xiao Hua.

This was what Eunuch Fu had told him last time. The name was really unsophisticated.

The steam brought out the delicate colors under her fair skin. Her clothes were already soaked by the water, and like a lotus flower blooming on the water surface, she seemed even more tender and beautiful.

Eunuch Fu really knew how to pick people, the Jing Prince thought silently.

Because Xiao Hua was inexperienced, the bath naturally took a long time. However, the Jing Prince didn’t hurry her so she took it slowly. There was to some extent some resentment in her heart. She even thought that it would be best if he got angry and threw her far away. That way, there wouldn’t be anything else in the future.

But unexpectedly the Jing Prince didn’t say anything, only sweeping his gaze over her body, making the hairs on her body inexplicably stand up.

Looking at the slender waist beneath the surface of the water, the limbs and the faintly discernible scene, the Jing Prince started to heat up again.

He felt a little jittery in his heart since he never felt this way before. He was never someone who focused on such things. But thinking of this low palace maid who was crying and begging underneath him earlier, his body actually started to have a reaction again.

The Jing Prince was a simple person. Although he was now sober, the alcohol still stimulated his brain, making his actions rather unbridled. Therefore he listened to his desires, and with a grab of his large hands, pulled her over. Although she pleaded for mercy with her red rimmed eyes, he still went for another round.

Afterwards, perhaps because the Jing Prince was feeling comfortable, he opened his mouth in a rare occasion and spoke quite a few words.

“This humble prince shall have Eunuch Fu arrange a pavilion in the back for you to live in.” The western three pavilions1 were located behind the Hall of Splendor, and this was what he meant by “in the back”.

This was Xiao Hua’s first time hearing the prince say so many words, but he ended up saying this.

“No, no need,” She reflexively shook her hand, saying quietly: “This servant is doing quite well working here.”

Xiao Hua had an extremely bad impression towards the words “rear court”. The places that held harems made her think of some experiences in her past life.

The Jing Prince’s expression didn’t change. He stood up and walked out of the pool.

Xiao Hua thought her words had angered him so she shrunk her neck and didn’t dare raise her head though her heart was extremely disordered.

After an unknown amount of time passed, a voice suddenly rang out by her ear.

“Big sis Xiao Hua.”

Xiao Hua raised her head and saw Chun Cao standing by the pool. She hurriedly wiped away her tears and asked: “Chun Cao, why are you here?”

“Eunuch An had me come bathe you.” After speaking, Chun Cao crouched down and slowly helped Xiao Hua scrub her body. As though not noticing the irregularities on her body, her face didn’t show any strange expressions.

This made Xiao Hua feel a lot better in her heart, though she knew it was just an act.

Chun Cao had even brought over a set of Xiao Hua’s clothing. After finishing up, she carefully helped the shaky Xiao Hua put them on, and supported her out of the hall.

On the way back to the palace maids’ room, Xiao Hua felt uncomfortably stuffy in her heart, wanting to cry but unable to do so.

Back at the room, she lay in bed and covered herself with her blankets. It was already very late at night.

The lights were blown out and the room was plunged into darkness.

Xiao Hua wanted to have a good cry but was afraid Chun Cao would hear and think she was unreasonable.

She knew many palace maids would think this way. The moment one ascended to the skies, there was no need to worry about riches and status anymore. But she truly had never wanted this.

She had wanted to be released at twenty-five, but this seems to be a little difficult now. It wasn’t known if a palace maid who had served the Jing Prince without any status would still be released once they reached the age.

She didn’t regret refusing a pavilion in the western three pavilions. She knew her vision wasn’t broad enough. She wasn’t even able to win against the bunch of girls in the Jingyang Marquis Estate. If she went to the Jing Prince’s rear court, there most likely wouldn’t be anything left of her.

Most importantly, she hated that sort of life. The life of having to struggle against others every waking moment.

She spent the night wide awake, her mind full of various thoughts. Only when the sky started getting bright did she fall deeply asleep.

Translator’s notes part 2:

This wasn’t quite the order of progression I had expected and seemed a little out of character for the prince. I hope you guys aren’t too disappointed. However, considering the difference in their status, his inexperience in interacting with women, his unfortunate ending in his past life, and what was common in ancient times, perhaps this was the fastest and most realistic way for things to progress. I viewed bed scenes as the final goal of their relationship, but it seems that it’s actually just a means for their relationship to begin. I think this novel will be focusing on the blockhead prince’s transformation into someone caring.

  1. Not eastern three, where the consort and concubines are, but the empty ones in the west.

16 thoughts on “Chapter 42

  1. i read all the translator’s notes too, and i find them very cute and interesting.
    i was kind of shocked that things ended up like this, but i think you’re right that “this is just how their relationship starts.” i feel my heart hurt whenever xiao hua thinks about her last life’s death, and especially when she reminds herself to not aim too high, because she doesn’t have the skills to live such a life. even though i don’t think she’s exactly innocent, because it’s clear she also schemed and plotted, there’s a hopeful freshness to her – her small dream of being released and setting up a shop… but as they say: the best laid plans.
    i hope going forward they can come to understand and trust in each other. i think that would be a big relief to both of them.
    such a long comment!! but it was really a big shock…

  2. Thank you for generously supplying us with two chapters today! Really made me smile when I saw the update was out.
    Now I am curious how their relationship will progress… Good luck, Xiao Hua!

  3. Usually I don’t approve of “forced intimacy plot” because I think it trivialize bad behavior toward women. However for this novel, somehow I had a hunch that without a “strong” push, their relationship will likely never change. How an unsensitive prince can come closer to a very carefull maid? In ancient China where men could do anything to their maid, I somehow saw this coming… But it did not made me mad ’cause I can understand the male lead is not this kind af man usually. At least I hope. I can’t believe I wrote this ! Thanks for your hard work !

  4. Thanks for the chapter ?
    I am EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED in the prince. I feel really bad for Xaoi Hua ??

  5. I sincerely hope that someday she can express her anger at this event, and that he can have a chance to apologize. He did something impulsive when he was drunk to someone who never had the option to tell him no. If he comes to love her in the future, the fact that he treated her crudely and carelessly should cause him sorrow.

    Right now he’s not thinking like a man in love. Just like a man who carelessly had a one night stand, thinking the other person should be grateful for the expert, and nothing more.

    Well, like I said before, no one in his palace viewed her as a person from the start. Just a baby making machine. ???

    1. I agree with you. I really hope the plot includes a place where he apologizes. I don’t like when hurtful actions are never addressed in stories and they move on to being loving.
      I really feel sad for Xiao Hua. Not even having a choice. At least in her first lifetime before her death, a lot of things she did where of her own volition. Circumstances might have influenced her but she ultimately decided to be a chambermaid. Also, the ‘why cry’ from the prince got my blood boiling. I get it, he expects she should grateful or something but girl just wanted to have a business and her money.
      I look forward to their character development. I want Xiao Hua to be happy. Poor girl has had a stressful life.

  6. I always tell myself to be more open-minded in reading novels set in ancient times, especially since women in that period have little power. To start, Prince Jing never had any sort of tender affections for XH, other than the fact that her massages felt good. They both very well knew the implications of her being there. However, I also feel really bad for XH for not escaping the very thing she’d been avoiding since her rebirth.

    Anyway, I trust this author. I’ve read many of her works and the characterization in her works is usually really well-written… This is still the start of their relationship after all.

  7. Yup. I had some doubts earlier. But he certainly was a bit autistic. Not to the point he didn’t care about his surrounding, really. But certainly a bit. I was a bit skeptical when he forgave his wife in the last life with “after all, she’s my wife” as the reason but brushed it off as him being too kind. But it’s obvious he’s really helpless in this case.

  8. Not bad..The Novel is very realistic…like much relatable to what happens in the real world…i love it real no pretense…

  9. I was laughing my a— off at Eunuch Fu’s “vulgar” look of rubbing his fingers then I read what happened…I’m not even mad coz I “understand” the norms in their era but I‘m really stumped right now… Author did say something would happen from last chapter but I was imagining fluff/cute stuff! My glass heart was not prepared for this ah!

    F—! The prince made my heart cold with his pov…he could barely even remember her name!!! Our poor xiao hua hua 🥺 but…I honestly look forward to her reactions on the day after. It’s like a very very juicy celebrity gossip 🙈🤣

  10. This was rape, F* the era, we and the author are modern people, and modern people can’t romanticize this kinda thing anymore. I can’t believe this novel didn’t have a rape tag on nu, i wasted my time on this, so sad. The author even used as a start for the relationship, but what many of the people here don’t seem to understand, is that from the moment she was raped, she can’t never be a girlfriend, or a wife, or a romantic partner, she will always be his victim. Ancient people may not understand this, but we can, as so we shouldn’t read this and expect good things for the couple, this “was acceptable then, so i don’t mind reading” is a shallow excuse.

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