While Lian Qiao was busy with her own worries, she didn’t realise that she had become an object of envy amongst the other palace maids of the Palace Side Quarters. The Emperor was still years away from being of age, and besides the Empress Dowager and Consort Dowager Guo, there were no consorts in the Imperial Harem. That being said, Consort Dowager Guo’s power was no match for the Empress Dowager, thus the latter was the most influential figure in the Imperial Harem.


Cosying up to the Empress Dowager meant that Lian Qiao might have the chance to take He Ying's previous post.


All of this meant that the Palace Side Quarters was alive with conversation. In fact, rumours comparing Lian Qiao and herself were all Su Xi-er could hear at this point.


"Su Xi-er was transferred to the Beauty Palace, but is now back at the Palace Side Quarters. If Prince Hao really fancied her, why would she be back here?"


"She must have fallen out of favour with him. Remember He Xiangyu? I heard that she died after the Beauty Palace was dissolved; they say it was a suicide."


Hearing this piece of news, many of the palace maids almost stomped their feet. "She actually died?! I remember she visited the Palace Quarters after she entered the Beauty Palace, bestowing so many gifts upon us and strutting around to show off her glory. To think that she actually died!"


"Exactly, fortune lays in the east bank thirty years, but has now come to the west; life is full of ups and downs, you never know what will happen next. Moreover, it hasn't even been 30 years, but a mere few months. That’s why I said that Su Xi-er has definitely fallen out of favour. It's hard to sustain Prince Hao's interest. Among all the men, his thoughts are buried the deepest!" The palace maid lamented but felt somewhat pleased in her heart. 


Those who were once admired by all have now fallen to rock bottom. They must be more miserable than anyone! Rather than that, it’s better to stay in the Palace Side Quarters and keep our place after all!


Just then, a palace maid finally realised that Su Xi-er was passing by. "Stop talking, Su Xi-er just walked past and heard everything."


As if in response, Su Xi-er suddenly turned around and smiled. "You all are right. Fortune lays in the east bank thirty years, but has now come to the west. Who knows what the future holds?"


Although Su Xi-er was clearly smiling, her expression sent a chill down everyone’s back. All chatter almost immediately ceased as everyone got on with their work.


Su Xi-er let out a soft chuckle as she continued on the palace path, only taking a few steps before she heard a eunuch’s voice from behind her.


"Where is Old Maidservant Liu?"


Everyone looked towards that eunuch and saw that his clothes seemed to be of good material.


"In her room; this servant will call for her." A palace maid stopped her work and ran to call Old Maidservant Liu.


Old Maidservant Liu thought that some important personage had sent his or her servant, but recognised the eunuch’s clothes as the uniform of the Imperial Library.


The Imperial Library and Palace Side Quarters have never had any contact. Why would a servant from the Imperial Library suddenly appear here?


Old Maidservant Liu didn't let down her guard and asked the eunuch, "Why has Grand Tutor Kong suddenly taken an interest in the Palace Side Quarters today?"


The eunuch bowed. "Old Maidservant Liu, this servant is here on Grand Tutor Kong's orders to invite Su Xi-er to the Imperial Library."


As soon as his words fell, everyone was suddenly envious of Su Xi-er again. To actually be asked to go to the Imperial Library… is she going to be offered a post there?! This was a huge deal. Lian Qiao transferred to the Compassionate Peace Palace, but her position was still that of a servant in the end!


However, the Imperial Library is different! Every palace maid in the Imperial Library has a higher salary, but more importantly, they hold a rank as a court lady!


Old Maidservant Liu nodded and gestured Su Xi-er over.

Su Xi-er, having already heard about this from Eunuch Zhang, was unsurprised. But with Commandery Prince Xie's interference, entering the Imperial Library will not be a smooth journey.

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translation: Cosy

TLC: Rakumon

Edit: Lunarlark

Rakumon's Corner: 

Yeah man, I guess they run the risk of not getting better lives after leaving the Palace Side Quarters :/