Translator’s notes: I think the site hosting the Author’s raws forced her to go back and remove some of the more explicit parts at some point. A couple of chapters ago, round 2 inside the bath had actually been removed and replaced by asterisks, but I cross referenced the pirated version to provide the full chapter. Part of this chapter had been removed as well without asterisks to indicate it, and it was to the extent that I wasn’t even sure how far they ended up going this time, which affected parts of the translation surrounding it. Checked the pirated version, lo and behold. I’m not a fan of pointless censorship, and in the past would also be frustrated if I found it was happening in the translated novels I was reading. I’m going to add the censored stuff back in without making any special notation in the future. Hopefully I’m not polluting your minds….
The next day, Xiao Hua hesitated a long time but still toughened up her skin and went to work.
Based on recent events, she didn’t know what the best thing to do was. Although she wanted to remain as a low-ranked palace maid, she had already done things beyond the scope of her job. Furthermore, by this point it wasn’t a question of whether she was willing or not, but rather that she had no way to resist.
After thinking about it for so long, she might as well just forget it and not think about it at all. After all, she never had hopes to become favored, so there was no need to consider losing favor. The worst case scenario would be a lifetime of loneliness, but since she had already made preparations to be a “widow” when she gets released, what was there to be afraid of?
Was this what was meant by fearlessness?
Actually since things had developed to this extent, Xiao Hua had also thought things through a little. She couldn’t figure out why the Jing Prince had called for her once again. The first time could attributed to the alcohol. The second time could only be attributed to the novelty.
Fine, a newly dug latrine would still smell good for the first three days1. She could only self-mockingly think like this.
The Jing Prince’s face still remained the same as before, not even looking directly at her. Every time she saw the prince’s unperturbed expression Xiao Hua would feel distress bottled up in her heart.
Eunuch Fu on the other hand piled up smiles on his face as he saw her. Although he would restrain his smiles when in front of the prince, Xiao Hua could clearly tell his face was silently radiating happiness.
Xiao Hua definitely couldn’t give Eunuch Fu any attitude, even though she knew that a large part of her current awkward situation was due to this bastard fanning the flames.
But she remembered that this old bastard wasn’t just any simple bastard. Not only was he the estate’s general manager, he was also an old man from the palace who had watched the Jing Prince grow up.
Although his face smiled and his mouth was sweet, he was never lenient when needing to teach his subordinates a lesson.
Just based on this, Xiao Hua didn’t dare offend him in the slightest.
How could Eunuch Fu not realize that under Xiao Hua’s calm expression, she was actually angry? But he was a little perplexed. Normally if a low-ranked palace maid could climb into his highness’s bed they would be extremely ecstatic and praise their ancestors for their blessings. What was this low-ranked palace maid called Xiao Hua angry about?
He wasn’t in the mood to analyze a low-ranked palace maid’s attitude, and wasn’t willing to spare any thought for it. Because to him, those were all beside the point. The point was his highness’s intimate affairs. As for this palace maid, she couldn’t possibly be unwilling, or rather, her willingness wasn’t important to Eunuch Fu.
Furthermore, based on Eunuch Fu’s observations, although this Xiao Hua’s reaction was different from normal people, she was overall still a very steady and practical person.
She was a little too practical!
If anyone else received this favor, they would all without fail be eager for more, using all sorts of means to invite further pampering. There would also be no lack of bragging in front of the other servants to make themselves seem different. Only Xiao Hua acted as if nothing happened, and didn’t reveal anything.
Eunuch Fu glanced at Xiao Hua who stood there as a well behaved pillar, and then glanced at the Jing Prince behind the desk whose face was calm and unperturbed. His heart was filled with roaring waves.
Perhaps…..this was his highness’s type?
Eunuch Fu didn’t dare to make assumptions on things he didn’t have a grasp on. He could only wait and see how things developed without doing anything else.
Thus, Xiao Hua stayed by the prince’s side under such strange circumstances.
She could be called a servant, who stood stiffly on a daily basis, steeped tea, served meals and didn’t have anything else to do. She could also be called not just a servant, since the weird Jing Prince would call her over for “special service” once in a while.
It wasn’t that frequent, a total of three times in over a month.
Even with a mere three times, Eunuch Fu’s old face almost bloomed from smiling. When his back was to the prince, his eyes would always be roaming around Xiao Hua’s belly, eager for a little royal grandson to burst forth.
His gaze made Xiao Hua’s hairs stand on end, but she didn’t get angry or say anything about it.
She had always been an adaptable person. She wouldn’t try to resist things that couldn’t be resisted. Since she couldn’t do anything about Eunuch Fu’s behavior, she decided to ignore it and pretend he didn’t exist.
As for the weird Jing Prince, Xiao Hua hadn’t been able to see through him.
He spoke very little and his thoughts were always a mystery. After “serving” him these few times, he still barely spoke with her. However, Xiao Hua could tell that the Jing Prince in bed was a little different from before. Although his face was still expressionless, she could feel that during this time he would reveal hints of passion.
Sometimes Xiao Hua would also feel dejected, feeling like she was just a tool for him to vent his desires. But she would soon stop thinking about it. Why think about it if it only makes her heart feel uncomfortable?
During this time, Doctor Hu had suddenly stopped by to take Xiao Hua’s pulse.
He said it was to check on the recovery progress of last time’s poisoning. At that time, both the Jing Prince and Eunuch Fu were absent, and it was Xiao Xia Zi who brought him in.
Seeing this, Xiao Hua naturally wouldn’t refuse.
After Doctor Hu took her pulse, he said everything was fine and left.
Xiao Hua assumed this was the norm for a health checkup, and didn’t take it to heart.
It grew colder day by day. Snow had started to fall the day before, and lasted for several days without stopping. The weather was extremely cold, but the Hall of Splendor had heated vents 2 so it didn’t feel too frigid.
The sky had already turned dark. The Jing Prince finished his dinner and went to read in the study. He held a book in his hand to read behind the desk while Eunuch Fu stood beside him and Xiao Hua stood in the corner with her head half lowered.
With the faint sound of pages turning, the book was gradually nearing its end. Eunuch Fu had extremely sharp insight, and right before the prince finished the book he had grabbed a new volume from the shelf and placed it on the desk.
The Jing Prince didn’t think too much about it. He was just leisure reading tonight, and was ok with reading anything. Normally Eunuch Fu would randomly pick and he would randomly read.
After Eunuch Fu placed the book down he returned to his original spot. Although he was standing, his pair of old eyes were fixed on the book he had picked out. He kept looking until the Jing Prince placed the finished book down and picked the new book up.
After opening it and casually flipping through a couple pages, he noticed there were actually no words and only pictures. He flipped through a few more pages and suddenly put the book down. He raised his eyes filled with deep meaning and happened to meet Eunuch Fu’s own sparkling pair of eyes.
“Does your highness want some tea?” Eunuch Fu forced a smile and asked.
Hearing this, Xiao Hua hurried off to the tea room.
The Jing Prince’s gaze made it a little hard for Eunuch Fu to remain standing there, but his skin had always been thick so he hardened his scalp and stood there for a while. He awkwardly opened his mouth and said: “Xiao Hua that lass is a little too slow. This old servant will go hurry her up a little.” Thus he fled.
Xiao Hua returned right after Eunuch Fu left. She didn’t think too much about Eunuch Fu’s absence, and carefully placed the teacup down below the table’s upper right corner. It was placed in a spot convenient for the prince to grab, but not where it would easily be knocked over.
Her gaze casually swept over the book on the table and she froze. She looked once again and her face instantly flushed red.
“Ah?” Only after her surprised exclamation did she snap out of it and hurriedly lower her eyes. Right as she was about to step back, an additional hand appeared on her slender waist.
The current Xiao Hua’s delicate little face was flushed, and she didn’t know where to look. She didn’t dare look at the prince, and also didn’t dare look at the desk, her gaze flickering wildly.
Her heart was beating hard. She wasn’t unfamiliar with that sort of book.
In her past life the 4th young master had become frivolous in nature and like those useless young masters, he would collect several volumes of flame-warding paintings3, and claimed they were valuable collector’s items within the scholar circles.
Who would have thought despite the prince’s upright appearance, he would also look at this stuff!
She didn’t have time to think further before she was pulled into his embrace. A large hand slipped into her blouse and the underwear under her skirt was also clumsily removed.
Xiao Hua was completely stunned, and she looked upwards. Her eyes met the Jing Prince’s calm and unperturbed expression, as well as his apathetic look.
How could he do this!?
By the time she reacted, she was already pulled onto his lap.
“Your highness, we can’t do it here, ah….”
Before she could finish her words they were jolted back inside.
The Jing Prince was actually not that easily aroused. When he saw the book, he had thought Eunuch Fu that old thing really had nothing better to do. But the bashful appearance of the low-ranked palace maid when she had accidentally caught a glimpse made him unwittingly think of the taste from a few days ago. Recalling that the painting was of scenes that took place inside a study, he couldn’t help but become agitated and wanted to try it out.
Who knew that after trying it he would get addicted?
He looked at the tender and alluring low-ranked palace maid on top of him, those eyes that he loved were glistening as though drops of water would spill out.
In his two lifetimes he had always been very indifferent towards such things. Especially in his later years where he converted to Buddhism and became even more apathetic.
It wasn’t that he didn’t think about it, but he always felt it wasn’t convenient at the time. Making his way over to the rear court was too much hassle, and along with the rejection in his heart towards the place, he had put these thoughts to rest.
The situation with this low-ranked palace maid was a complete coincidence. That day he had been drunk and his thoughts had been stirred by her massage. He only wanted her because he didn’t want to endure any longer. The few times after that was because she had been close by when he had the inkling. Since he wanted it, the prince didn’t plan on restricting himself.
The Jing Prince felt he restricted himself quite well, but still always ended up unleashing himself upon her. Especially at this moment, having seen the painting and having never done it in this location before, he was unusually aroused.
It wasn’t clear if the Jing Prince had done it on purpose, but Xiao Hua’s position was switched so that that open book was right in front of her eyes. Looking at the paintings in the book, thinking of her own position and feeling the movements from behind, Xiao Hua’s mind directly blanked out.
In the end, Xiao Hua wasn’t sure how she left the study. She only knew that she gathered her clothes, pushed him away and ran off.
She completely didn’t stop to think who it was that she dared to push. The Jing Prince seeing her run off didn’t say anything, and just silently tidied up his clothing.
After Xiao Hua left, Eunuch Fu appeared after a while from who knows where.
“Xiao Hua that lass must have ran off somewhere. This old servant looked all over but didn’t see her, how undisciplined…..” Eunuch Fu had his head lowered and muttered with his mouth.
He didn’t feel his explanation was laughable in the slightest. Disappearing for over half an hour to find a palace maid, who are you trying to fool?
The Jing Prince gave him a glance, his jade white face still containing a hint of pleasant flush, though it was expressionless as always. “Stop pretending.”
Eunuch Fu laughed foolishly, blinking innocently, muttering about the pleasant weather a couple times, and idly mentioned how bright the moon was outside. He spoke a bunch of nonsense before getting to the main topic.
He coughed a couple times and cleared his throat, “This old servant feels that palace maid Xiao Hua is pretty good and also dutiful. Since your highness isn’t planning on putting her in the rear court, how about arranging a room for her inside our hall? Ai, the weather is getting colder and colder outside. There isn’t a heated vent in the palace maids’ room. Let’s not freeze this low-ranked palace maid. It’s fine if she doesn’t get conferred a status, but if we let her remain in the crude and simple palace maids’ room others would say our Jing Prince wasn’t taking responsibility….”
The Jing Prince didn’t listen any further, giving Eunuch Fu a rarely seen glare. He directly stood up and walked out.
After a while, a voice came from afar.
“Up to you.”
Eunuch Fu who was left behind let out an evil laugh.
The rest was indeed left up to Eunuch Fu. He arranged Xiao Hua’s room to be a small one within the hall close by to the inner hall where the prince slept. It was practically adjacent, in fact just around the corner.
The room wasn’t large, but was exquisitely decorated. Everything was laid out extremely ornately.
When she heard Eunuch Fu had arranged a room for her inside the hall, Xiao Hua was still a little at a loss. At first she wanted to refuse, but who knew Eunuch Fu would give her a look with his old face and ignore her after telling her about his arrangements.
Xiao Hua could only gather up her things and move in.
After Xiao Hua moved out, only Chun Cao was left in their room.
Unexpectedly, Chun Cao had an extremely overjoyed appearance. She didn’t say anything, but her eyes were filled with encouragement. All that was missing was for her to directly tell Xiao Hua “big sis Xiao Hua, do your best. I believe in you”.
Xiao Hua thus moved into the Hall of Splendor. At first she wasn’t quite used to it, but after realizing that apart from relocating nothing else had changed, she gradually got accustomed.
During the day she worked when she was supposed to work, and left when she was supposed to leave. All that changed was her sleeping spot.
But there were still a few differences. Because sometimes at night as she prepared for bed, there would suddenly be an extra person in the room. That person never seemed to feel like this was her room, and would casually enter. Of course it wasn’t every day, perhaps once every seven or eight days. Whenever he showed up, he would spend the night there and wouldn’t leave.
Sometimes Xiao Hua couldn’t help but wonder what she currently counted as. She felt there was only one way to put it: chambermaid.
Unexpectedly having been a chambermaid in her past life, after muddling about here and there, she became one in this life as well. The only thing better by a bit was that the Hall of Splendor was very quiet. There were no struggles, and no people to struggle against her.
- New things could remain interesting for a little while.
- Earth dragon in Chinese, something like this.
- Apparently the fire goddess is a maiden who would cause fires when angered. The tradition was to put racy pictures within their book collections so she would avoid getting close due to shyness, and thus help prevent the books from catching fire. Examples (slightly NSFW) here.