Just as the conversation between Su Xi-er and Hong Li stopped, Lian Qiao could be seen rounding the corner while carrying a wooden basin. She was stunned when she saw Su Xi-er, but before she could break from her stupor and continue on, another palace maid had already laughed and called out to her. “Lian Qiao, why don’t you come over and greet Su Xi-er? You used to sweep the palace paths while she washed the chamber pots, but now your positions have switched.”
The palace maid laughed again after she finished talking, her tone full of mocking intent. Her behaviour was the norm for palace maids; trampling on those who were weaker while bowing down to those who were stronger. If they saw that you have fallen from your position, they would gloat over your misfortune and hurl verbal abuses at you, doing everything they could to push you down even further while encouraging others to do so.
Lian Qiao’s body stiffened. Her expression was extremely awkward as she glanced at Su Xi-er and called out, “Su Xi-er.”
Ignoring the others, Su Xi-er walked up to Lian Qiao and patted her on the shoulder before smiling. “Relax, don’t mind what others say. You should know that with how many palace maids have come in and out of the Palace Side Quarters, you won’t be washing the chamber pots for very long.”
When Su Xi-er got close enough, she noticed that Lian Qiao’s hands were full of blisters. Some of them were even openly bleeding right now.
“Go and report to Old Maidservant Liu; beg her to give you some medicine.” Su Xi-er advised as she looked at her hands.
However, Lian Qiao immediately hid her hand under the wooden basin, her expression full of uneasiness. Although Su Xi-er is caring towards me, I don’t like hearing those words. It feels like she is mocking me by saying that I should know my place, and prepare for the worst. Once winter arrives, the blisters on my hands will only get worse, so I should ask Old Maidservant Liu for some ointment now.”
Su Xi-er didn’t say anything else, smiling again before turning on her heel. However, she suddenly felt Lian Qiao’s hand pulling on her sleeve. “Su Xi-er, you previously asked me to make some itching powder; it’s now done.”
“If you can make the itching powder, you can follow me.” I remember that Su Xi-er once told me that.
Su Xi-er had helped Lian Qiao just now because she could see that the latter was having a hard time. Letting her follow her, however, was something she still had to contemplate.
When Lian Qiao saw that Su Xi-er didn’t reply for a long time, she properly gripped the wooden basin again. “Thank you for helping me out just now. Although it didn’t eased the feelings in my heart, I should still thank you.” Lian Qiao candidly said before walking away.
Watching Lian Qiao’s departing figure, a thought came to Su Xi-er. She understands medicine, and Yu Xiao specialises in making strange medicine. If I can use Lian Qiao...
Just as she was starting to get lost in her thoughts, the other palace maids called out in unison, “This servant pays her respects to Commandery Prince Xie.”
Only when Su Xi-er heard the words ‘Commandery Prince Xie’ did she turn around. It wasn’t until Hong Li pulled on her sleeve that Su Xi-er lowered her body slightly and bowed. “This servant pays her respects to Commandery Prince Xie.”
Xie Yun waved his hand and signalled for the palace maids to get up. “Although you are all palace mads from the Palace Side Quarters, and are considered to be of low status in the palace, without all of you, the whole palace would be in disorder. This Prince will thank you on behalf of His Majesty. I have specially sent someone to bring some fruits here; you may stop working and head to the kitchen to take some.”
Everyone grew excited when they heard this, but didn’t dare to move until Commandery Prince Xie’s voice sounded again. “This Prince has already spoken with Old Maidservant Liu. She won’t punish you.”
After that, the guard from Commandery Prince Xie’s residence stretched his hand out and led the group of palace maids away.
Despite having just been bad-mouthing Xie Yun, Hong Li was full of smiles as she dragged Su Xi-er towards the kitchen.
However, before they could get far, she was stopped by Xie Yun. “Su Xi-er is to stay.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Ever since SXE heard about him after she was reborn, this is the first time she's meeting him in person :o