Su Xi-er could sense the suppressed rage within Pei Yaran. Humans lose control of their emotions when they get agitated. Can someone who can’t even maintain their composure like Pei Yaran think that she can kill me just by locking me in this hut?


Not only was Su Xi-er unbothered, she even had a smile on her face. "Empress Dowager, this servant is a citizen of Beimin; why would this servant need to feel ashamed about returning to my home country? Shouldn’t this servant instead feel honoured for being allowed to travel to Nanzhao? After all, there are countless women in this nation, including those from the imperial palace, who have never stepped out of Beimin."


The last sentence was like a sharp knife, piercing through Pei Yaran's heart. Her expression became twisted as she reached for a whip on the rack and aimed it at Su Xi-er.


Besides needles, Su Xi-er had also been adept at handling whips in her previous life. She could tell where the lash would land just by the way that Pei Yaran swung it. She immediately hopped out of the way before swiftly closing the distance between herself and her attacker.


The fire in Pei Yaran started to burn more vigorously, when she saw Su Xi-er approaching her from behind. As she tried to bring the tail of the whip back, her amateur skills brought the weapon snapping against her own skin. She couldn’t help but yelp in pain.


The imperial guards guarding outside the hut had a puzzled expression on their faces when they heard Pei Yaran's cries. Did something go wrong? Should we go in and take a look?


The two guards were about ready to barge in when they saw the plump Old Maidservant Zhao making her way over.


The guards pushed the doors open as Old Maidservant Zhao walked in and closed the doors behind her.


Su Xi-er looked at Old Maidservant Zhao with the help of the glow from the candlelight. Both she and the old-maidservant-in-charge of the Palace Side Quarters shared the same last name; the only difference was that one was tall and thin, while this one was short and fat.


"This old servant pays her respects to the Empress Dowager." Old Maidservant Zhao bowed and greeted, her huge belly folding into several layers. Her tiny beady eyes made her seem crafty and sinister, giving her an appearance that was extremely uncomfortable to look at.


Pei Yaran threw the whip in her hand onto the ground and smacked her palms against each other before sitting down on the stool and ordering, "Old Maidservant Zhao, before you came to wait on this Empress Dowager, you were in charge of checking the virginity of the palace maids when they entered the place. Check hers."


Old Maidservant Zhao looked towards Su Xi-er. The young woman was very good-looking, the most beautiful palace maid she had ever seen. Having good looks is an invitation for trouble in the Imperial Harem, no matter who you are. This woman must have incurred the Empress Dowager’s wrath because of her looks.


The Empress Dowager's edict cannot be defied. Old Maidservant Zhao promptly acknowledged it and walked towards Su Xi-er. "Sit on that horizontal bench and let this old servant examine you. If you are clean and pure, the Empress Dowager will let you off. If you resist, you should be well aware of the consequences."


Old Maidservant Zhao didn't approach Su Xi-er by force, and instead tried to reason with her. After doing this for decades, she had picked up a knack for persuasion.


But this time around, Old Maidservant Zhao’s skills wasn’t enough.


"This servant knows best about my own body. You don’t need to be concerned, Empress Dowager. Old Maidservant Zhao, you can save yourself the trouble." Su Xi-er shuffled closer to the whip that was thrown onto the ground as she spoke.


Old Maidservant Zhao shook her head. This woman really doesn’t know what’s good for her at all. No wonder the Empress Dowager doesn't like her. "Many palace maids have said the same thing, but many have also lost their virginity despite declaring that they are still a virgin. If you continue to resist, don't blame this old servant for resorting to violence."


Old Maidservant Zhao was round, sturdy, and also had great strength; no palace maid could stand up against her.


At this moment, Pei Yaran snorted icily. "Cut the nonsense with her and do it now."

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translation: Cosy

TLC: Rakumon

Edit: Lunarlark


Rakumon's Corner: 

I guess Pei Yaran has become smarter, but not smart enough...