“She’s the one trying to climb up by clinging to Prince Hao, but Prince Hao is ultimately going to marry Commandery Princess Xie. Look, now she’s here to do manual labour like the rest of us.”


“She keeps dreaming of elevating her status and becoming a phoenix, but she should look in the mirror first.”


The two gossiping weren’t very far from Su Xi-er, but she paid them no mind. Coincidentally, the sun was out today, but the wind blowing past still made it very cold.


Su Xi-er lifted up a bucket of well water, but didn’t immediately pour it into the large basin. Instead, she deliberately pretended to be careless and splashed the water on the two palace maids who were gossiping about her just now.


Immediately, the two palace maids were left in a sorry state, drenched from head to toe. They both immediately started to lash out, but began to shiver and sneeze because of the cold.


“I apologise, it’s my first time carrying such a massive bucket, and I couldn’t control it very well. You should quickly go and change into dry clothes so that you don’t catch a cold.”


The two palace maids continued to shiver as they fiercely glared at her.


Tan Ge then appeared while holding a bowl and pair of chopsticks. When she saw the two shivering palace maids rushing off, she couldn’t help but give Su Xi-er a puzzled look.


The corners of Su Xi-er’s mouth raised as she looked towards Tan Ge. “I’ll draw the well water, and you wash the dishes.”


Tan Ge nodded. She squatted down and rolled up her sleeves, stopping at her elbow to conceal where Xie Yun had poured the disfigurement powder on her arm.


With half a bucket of well water, the water basin became full, and Tan Ge began washing the dishes. As it was underground, the well water managed to remain the same temperature year-round, making it feel cool in the summer, and warm in the winter.


Su Xi-er crouched down. “There are many bowls and chopsticks. Let me help.” She began to wash before the offer had even completely left her mouth, not giving Tan Ge the chance to refuse her.


“Su Xi-er, when did you enter the palace?” Tan Ge asked.


“When I was very young; so young that I have forgotten specifically when.”


“Do you still remember your parents?”


Su Xi-er’s gaze became distant. Of course, I remember my parents. My days were filled with sweet memories when Empress Mother was still alive, but there is only pain after she passed away.


Tan Ge thought that she had reminded Su Xi-er of her sad memories, so she quickly changed the topic. “Don’t think about it anymore if you can’t remember.”


“Why did you suddenly ask me this? Do your parents not treat you well?” Su Xi-er tried to test her out.


Tan Ge laughed. “My parents naturally treat me very well, but I had no choice but to enter the palace after the Tan Residence declined. Everyone has a responsibility they can’t shirk.”


“Everybody indeed has their own responsibilities, but those who choose to think for themselves can cast aside those responsibilities, and lead their own lives.” Su Xi-er’s face was wreathed in smiles.


“Su Xi-er, how do you remain benign and free of cruelty despite having entered the palace for such a long time?”


Su Xi-er softly chuckled. “Everyone has their own bottom line. If someone provokes me and crosses that line, I will naturally retaliate. Those two palace maids who I taught a lesson just now are one such example.”


Tan Ge was stunned. How is this kind of lesson considered cruel? She stared at Su Xi-er, taking in her smiling countenance. Su Xi-er, I’m sorry. I have no choice; there’s no way out for me. I don’t wish to harm you.


“Everyone, wash faster! We’ll be able to watch the operas in the afternoon! In another four hours, many court ministers and nobles will arrive!” The announcement came from a palace maid clad in light brown clothes; she seemed to hold some amount of status.


“It’s said that the children of many court officials will be coming, including Commandery Princess Xie and the young masters of the ministers. I heard that some of them are quite handsome!”


“That’s wonderful! Let’s quickly do our work and go watch in the afternoon!”

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translation: Rakumon

Edit: Lunarlark


Rakumon's Corner: 

Oh nooooo, don't do anything you will regret, Tan Ge! ><