Xi’er had come looking for Xiao Hua two more times.
Once was unfortunately in the morning while the Jing Prince was inside her room. Xiao Qin Zi didn’t dare report it and had the door guarding eunuch send her away. The second time the door guarding eunuch went to report and was cursed at by Xiao Qin Zi, and directly drove her away.
Today Xi’er had come again.
That door guarding eunuch frowned the moment he saw her, “Why are you back again? The last time I announced your arrival I got scolded for it. Quickly leave, and don’t come back anymore.”
Xi’er’s face froze but she quickly forced a smile.
“This big bro, I really have some business with Miss Xiao Hua. Could you please help announce my arrival? My relationship with Miss Xiao Hua was pretty good in the past. If she knew I came to find her she would definitely come see me. Could I trouble you to help me out?”
The low-ranked eunuch’s face looked troubled, and seeing this Xi’er continued speaking: “At that time I will tell Miss Xiao Hua about it, and she will also be very grateful to you.”
This low ranked eunuch was someone from the Hall of Splendor. Although he was just the door guard, he still knew that Miss Xiao Hua was his highness’s newly favored. Even though she temporarily didn’t have any status, it seemed she would get one quite easily in the future. Furthermore, she was someone under Eunuch Fu’s wing. If it weren’t for these considerations, he wouldn’t have repeatedly announced Xi’er’s arrival for her previously.
Everyone had ambitions, and this eunuch was no different. Therefore, he hesitated when he heard the last part.
Xi’er saw that he was slightly convinced and put forth a little more effort. She stuffed something into his hands and said: “This big bro, I’ve really inconvenienced you. Don’t worry, I will definitely not let you lose out in helping me.”
The low-ranked eunuch hesitated half a second before saying: “You wait here, I’ll go ask.” He told another low ranked eunuch to keep watch.
After a while, the eunuch returned.
“Wait a moment. Miss Xiao Hua will be here shortly.”
Xiao Hua was also aware that Xi’er had come several times saying she wanted to see here. The last two times it hadn’t been announced, and she had only found out after the fact.
Today she was quite idle, and unexpectedly Xi’er had come again.
Could it be that she really had some business with her? They had been roommates in the past. Although there were some conflicts during that time, Xi’er hadn’t really done anything. Since she came so many times, Xiao Hua decided to meet her once to see if there really was something.
As she reached the doors of the Hall of Splendor, she saw Xi’er from afar dressed in her low-ranked palace maid’s outfit.
She looked thinner than before, and her temperament seemed to have changed as well. The innocent and unaffected spirit of the past seemed to have disappeared.
“Xi’er, why are you looking for me?”
Xi’er saw Xiao Hua who was walking over and her eyes flashed.
Today Xiao Hua was wearing a pale bluish white layered jacket embroidered with camellia flowers. Her satin skirt was orange yellow embroidered with bamboo green clouds. This new winter outfit was better quality than the previous ones Eunuch Fu had prepared by a lot. It was apparent just based on the material.
Recently Xiao Hua’s complexion was very good, and she had just come out of the heated hall. Her pale face contained a hint of reddish glow and her skin was well moisturized, as though water would come out if it were squeezed. She appeared joyful, and her figure was much fuller than in the past. Her chest bulged outwards, completely different from her past beansprout self.
“I, um, I haven’t seen you in a while and wanted to come see if you were doing well nowadays.”
In comparison, Xi’er was thinner than in the past. Her previously small and round face had thinned quite a bit, making her eyes appear even bigger. Her pale skin contained a hint of yellow pallor, making her seem without much energy.
Doing well? This question was a little too profound.
Xiao Hua didn’t think too much before replying in her old manner: “What is there to be well about, just the same as before.”
“I heard everyone else calling you Miss Xiao Hua.”
Xiao Hua paused, and said with the same attitude: “This is merely them not looking down on me. After all, I’m serving his highness in the hall. In the past, even the maids in rich households would be respected if they served by the master’s side.”
“You seem to have changed drastically. Did Eunuch Fu have you service his highness?”
Xiao Hua raised her eyes and glanced at Xi’er. She saw her inexplicably gloomy expression and flashing eyes, and felt fed up in her heart. She also felt a little regretful for deciding to come see her. Turns out Xi’er was just here to inquire about this.
She laughed and blinked her eyes innocently, “What do you mean? Haven’t I always been serving his highness inside the hall? My chores are indeed arranged by Eunuch Fu.”
Xi’er still wanted to speak further but was interrupted by Xiao Hua, “Did you come find me to talk about this? I had actually thought you might have some business with me.”
Xiao Hua’s tone was very cold, and was full of intent to see the visitor out. Xi’er could naturally tell.
“Nothing, nothing much. I just thought to check on you since we used to be roommates.”
“Oh, in that case, thanks for your concern. If there is nothing else, I’ll be going back in. As a low-ranked palace maid yourself, you also know that we don’t have much free time to chat. The weather outside is also cold, you should hurry and go back.”
“Yes, yes, then I’ll be leaving.”
Xiao Hua turned and went back inside, and Xi’er also left quickly.
Some distance away, someone dressed in palace maid attire was waiting for her.
That palace maid had been watching the doors from afar, and asked about her conversation. She then had Xi’er hurry and return to the needlework area and left quickly herself.
In the Changchun Pavilion.
Chun Xiang waited for the person to return, and after asking in detail she went to the main residence’s inner room.
She reported in detail everything that was told to her by the servant, and then stood quietly to the side.
Having gotten to this point, everything was extremely clear, and it was indeed as they had guessed.
Although they couldn’t see the situation on the inside, based the reactions from the servants on the side as well as what their subordinate witnessed they judged that the low-ranked palace maid called Xiao Hua had indeed serviced the Jing Prince.
The Jing Consort wasn’t sure how things would develop from this point on. After all, the Hall of Splendor hadn’t revealed any plans to add anyone to the rear court. The Jing Consort estimated the timing, and was fidgety in her heart. Because she didn’t know the actual situation on the inside, she was even more bottled up with anger.
The teacup was shattered on the floor. These days the frequency of broken teacups in the Changchun Pavilion had sharply increased. The sets had been replaced over and over, but it still wasn’t able to keep up with the Jing Consort’s smashing.
“This won’t do. We must think of something regarding this situation. We must think of something.” The Jing Consort stood up and walked back and forth neurotically. She suddenly spoke again, “Nana, we cannot let her give birth to a child first. We definitely cannot.”
“Alright, alright. Nana will think of something. We have so many people. If we put our minds together we can definitely think of something.”
Xiao Hua was about to enter the hall when she stopped to think and turned back around.
She found the low-ranked eunuch that was guarding the door earlier, “Greetings to this eunuch.”
“Greetings Miss Xiao Hua.” The eunuch who helped announce Xi’er was full of smiles, with the air of being overwhelmed by favor from a superior.
Could it be that Miss Xiao Hua was about to promote him?
“I would like your help.”
“Miss Xiao Hua, please speak. If there’s something I can help with I will do it without hesitation.”
“It’s like this. If that low-ranked palace maid who came earlier comes back in the future, could you help reject her for me?” Xiao Hua’s expression had some hesitation.
The low-ranked eunuch was quick witted, and realized right away that Xi’er and Miss Xiao Hua didn’t have such a good relationship. After being enlightened, he scolded himself for his foolishness.
It should have been obvious. One was expelled while the other remained serving his highness. How could their relationship be good?
“It’s this lowly one’s fault for listening to her nonsense. I only announced her because she kept saying how good her relationship was with you and that she had some business with you. If I had known earlier, this lowly one definitely wouldn’t have allowed her this convenience.”
Xiao Hua tried to figure out Xi’er’s intentions but couldn’t think of anything. Seeing the low ranked eunuch’s nervous appearance, she said comfortingly: “It’s fine, she was just my roommate in the past. If she comes again, just help me reject her. No need to come report it.”
“Yes yes yes.”
Seeing Xiao Hua’s departing back, the eunuch wiped the cold sweat off his brow while cursing that cheat Xi’er. He decided that if she came again he would not only drive her away, but give her a good scolding as well.
Eunuch Fu did not leave with the Jing Prince this time.
The weather was cold and snowing outside, and Eunuch Fu was old. The Jing Prince left him within the Jing Prince Estate.
After the prince departed the estate, Eunuch Fu became quite idle. He grew bored during his idleness, and thus started fussing over things that didn’t concern him.
“The number of times isn’t low anymore, why hasn’t anything happened with the lass?”
This Eunuch Fu stuck himself in the small kitchen since the morning discussing this with Nana He. Because he felt this topic was classified, he had cleared everyone else out.
Nana He’s face turned rigid, “You know his highness is apathetic in nature, how can it be that quick?”
“I feel it’s abnormal. I’ve counted you know? In October it happened seven or eight times. There had also been once in November already.”
Nana He sighed in her heart and spoke with a normal expression: “That lass is still young, and her period had only recently started. It wouldn’t be that fast.”
“There’s such a thing?”
This question was answered by Nana He rolling her eyes, “Do you understand this topic better than I do?”
Eunuch Fu scratched his chin and forced a smile, “Of course Nana understands it better.” This old woman had served the palace’s imperial concubines in the past, she was naturally very clear on the affairs of women.
“Enough, that little lass Xiao Hua’s period was a little irregular so I’m helping her adjust her body. You don’t have to be impatient, there will be good news soon. This matter can’t be rushed.”
Nana He downplayed the situation but still revealed a few things. However, she didn’t tell Eunuch Fu the truth.
Xiao Hua’s period was more than just a little irregular. It was extremely unsmooth. Even though Nana He couldn’t be counted as a doctor, just based on what she knew from their conversations about Xiao Hua’s past she was aware that Xiao Hua must have suffered a lot in her childhood, resulting in her womb being slightly cold.
As for this issue she did have the means to cure it, but it would require some time.
She was also aware of Eunuch Fu’s thoughts, which was why she didn’t tell him the truth but merely talked around it vaguely.
Having spent some time with that lass, she had gotten to like her quite a bit, and would inevitably want to protect her a little. She was afraid that if the truth was known, Eunuch Fu would feel Xiao Hua wasn’t of use anymore or that he wouldn’t be able to wait and abandon her. After all, his highness hadn’t shown any indication of conferring her a status.
During her time in the palace, she had seen too many women get abandoned for all sorts of reasons. She really didn’t want to see that lass end up the same way.
However, Eunuch Fu was a smart man. Nana He knew this as well.
Therefore, she didn’t dare tell him the truth, but also didn’t dare conceal everything, and could only vaguely describe the problem on the surface. This way, even if he found it in the future, he could only assume she had underestimated the problem. After all, Nana He was just a palace maid and not a doctor.
It would be best if he never found out. That way she could be said to have bought Xiao Hua some time.
This Nana He was really considerate.
“Then you have to adjust her condition properly. It’s true that the lass is only fourteen, it shouldn’t happen so quickly. If you need medical ingredients or anything like that, tell Eunuch Chang directly. We aren’t lacking for any of those.”
Nana He smiled and mocked, “Do I need you to tell me that?”
“I don’t have any other requests, I just want to see his highness have an heir. Ai, who knows what his highness is thinking.” Eunuch Fu sighed, his face full of lament, and mocked himself: “This is truly a case where his highness isn’t desperate but his eunuch is.”
Nana He didn’t speak, but her gaze was slightly complicated.