After speaking to Prince Hao, Su Xi-er walked to the boiler room to find a wooden basin before heading to the backyard. She happened to see Shui Yinglian biting her lips while straining to hold up the water-filled wooden basin.


When she didn’t hold it steadily, the water in the wooden basin spilt and trickled down her cheeks, resulting in a pool of water stains beside her legs.


Shui Yinglian avoided speaking to Su Xi-er when she caught sight of her, choosing instead to shift her gaze away, still holding the wooden basin up.


Su Xi-er walked to her side, placing the empty wooden basin on the ground and snatching the one in Shui Yinglian’s hands away.


“What are you doing? If Prince Hao finds out, I will die.” Shui Yinglian’s voice was now quivering slightly. She didn’t wish to experience the scene in the room a second time. 


Su Xi-er poured out the water in the wooden basin before passing it to Shui Yinglian. “If you’re going to spill it anyways, you may as well pour the water out first. In any case, do you finally understand how frightening Prince Hao is? Weren’t you very confident when you said you wanted to be bold in the boiler room?


“You did that on purpose, didn’t you?” Shui Yinglian raised her head and watched Su Xi-er fixedly.


Su Xi-er knelt down while holding up the empty wooden basin on her head. “I’m just letting you know how frightening Prince Hao is. Did you think that just anyone can get close to him? Did you think that it is very easy to serve him?”


Shui Yinglian was pensive before she whispered, “I am unable to be as ‘bold’ as you spoke of. I thought I could in the beginning, but when I was really facing him alone, I…”


Bewilderment appeared in her eyes. “How do you serve Prince Hao? Aren’t you scared of being near him?”


Su Xi-er smiled. “When I first entered the Shui Residence, I saw His Excellency County Magistrate kneeling in front of Prince Hao, imploring him to let you off. Seeing how you had already provoked Prince Hao, I was under the impression that you weren’t afraid of him at all.”


Su Xi-er was purposely dancing around the subject to prompt Shui Yinglian to divulge some information. 


“I was indeed not afraid of him at that time, although that was only because I didn’t truly know who he was. Even after Dad told me, I was still under the impression that there was still hope for me since he hadn’t punished me. When all is said and done, I have never truly interacted with him, so I never had the chance to understand how he’s like.” 


“Women like you are plentiful in the Beauty Palace,” Su Xi-er slowly remarked.


Shui Yinglian instantly looked at her. “Is every single woman in the Beauty Palace more beautiful than you? Actually, if you really have the courage to be by Prince Hao’s side, being his servant girl is better than staying in the Beauty Palace.”


Su Xi-er replied, “There are manifold beauties, and each of them is unique and has their respective beautiful charm. Right now, we are fellow victims commiserating with one another.”


Her words made Shui Yinglian put down the vigilance in her heart. That’s right. We’re fellow victims commiserating with one another. Both of us will be kneeling here with a wooden basin until tomorrow.


“Let me ask you, among the flowers in the parterre in the Shui Residence’s rear garden, which ones are more special?”


The sudden question stunned Shui Yinglian. After musing over it for a while, she answered, “There are only ordinary flowers. There was a very special flower that my mother liked before she passed away. Now that she is gone however, nobody has tended to it, and I can only presume that it has long died.”


Su Xi-er hastily put down the wooden basin in her hands before doing the same with Shui Yinglian’s. She asked earnestly, “What special flower was it?”


“Yellow and star-shaped. Mother called this flower...Lingrui. Yes, that’s it..”


It is indeed Lingrui! If that’s the case, Shui Yinglian’s mother is a Nanzhao citizen who had transplanted Lingrui over. 

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Ooh so there's really Lingrui here?!! :o