Housekeeper of the Hundred Blossom Palace - Chapter 16
It was the day after Yui Mei’s visit to Yu Xiu.
‘Alright, back to work again today.’
Yui Mei felt motivated. She went to the dining hall early, and had gobbled her food with great gusto.
Surprisingly, she did not contract the flu.
Influenza’s incubation period was one to two days. It was relatively short, so she should already exhibit symptoms had she contracted it.
‘My immune system really did a good job, if I say so myself.’
Come to think of it, she did not contract the disease in her previous world, too. All her colleagues were infected, and had to leave their workplace. She felt she struggled hard that time, being the only one who was not infected.
However, she should not let her guard down. Influenza was most prevalent during the changing of season from winter to spring.
And so, she started to teach the importance of disease prevention to all those around her. She did it on the pretext that it was an instruction that came from the clinic physicians. Unfortunately, her efforts were in vain. Half of those who heard her were firm in their belief that it was not a disease, but a curse.
‘Hmmm, that curse nonsense is unexpectedly deeply rooted. Seems the empress dowager support’s behind all these.’
Another problem arose.
“Hey, isn’t it that girl over there?”
“You’ll be cursed if you come near her…”
The other girls who were in the dining hall kept on whispering about her.
‘I can hear you, though.’
Yui Mei retorted inwardly, but she tried her best not to show it on her face.
She hated how they deliberately raised their voices just enough to let her hear as they whispered in that exquisite tone.
‘Yui Mei is the source of the curse’ – that story was being spread around as a plausible truth.
They thought the CPR that Yui Mei did to Yu Xiu was peculiar, and the spectators at the scene spread those rumors. The eunuchs were the most aggressive among them. They were an incompetent bunch, but they were quick at this kind of jobs.
‘They must have wanted to make me the bad guy, and erase all traces of their uselessness.’
According to the entirety of the rumor, the eunuchs who fearlessly wanted to save Yu Xiu despite the curse, were all pushed away by Yui Mei, saying that they were in the way, and then she casted the curse.
That rumor perfectly suited the circumstances of those useless eunuchs. But it would have been good if it was only this rumor. The mayhem was further fanned by the jealousy of her colleagues.
Yui Mei nursed the favored concubine of the crown prince, so she was branded as a disgusting, promotion-seeking, scheming woman. Those rumors spread while she was fast asleep. Apparently, gossips of this kind spread in the blink of an eye.
The jealousy of a woman was deeper than the sea.
Yui Mei already knew that about this since she had many female coworkers in her previous world, but she had underestimated the inner harem.
Yui Mei was busy since the first day she entered the Inner Palace, so building rapport with her colleagues had been delayed. She was aware how solitary she was in the midst of the court ladies, and now, this situation occurred. Due to that, no one wanted to be with her; so be it meals, or work, she was left all alone.
To say she was lonely was an understatement. Mei Na was the only one who cared about her.
“I’ll sit here.”
Mei Na brought her tray of food to the table where Yui Mei was, and she sat down with a thud. It was her rest day, so she was wearing comfortable clothes, instead of her court lady uniform.
“Good morning, Mei Na. Noble Concubine Jiang was very pleased with the mushipan you sent her.”
Mei Na seemed to be very busy yesterday after Yui Mei got the mushipan, so she immediately told her about the news today.
“Really!? Wow, I’m glad.”
Yu Xiu’s meals were prepared in the court ladies’ kitchen since her first day at the clinic, probably due to its proximity. However, Ziliang also mentioned that it was the crown prince who gave the order, so he probably did not trust the kitchen staff of the crown prince’s palace.
The crown prince must have arrived at the conclusion that the court ladies’ kitchen would be less dangerous than the one in his residence.
‘The crown prince must be doing his best reorganizing the palace while Noble Concubine Jiang is away.’
Yui Mei bolted down her food as she contemplated.
A group of three court ladies entered the dining hall. They saw Mei among them. She was Yui Mei’s supervisor, but it was the first time she saw her since that first day.
“She often brings those gals with her.”
Mei was leading a few court ladies, but they seem to be from the capital, as well. Aside from the court lady uniform, they were dressed up with fashionable hair ornaments and scarves, and they were wearing beautiful cosmetics.
When seen through with the filter of a provincial person’s inferiority complex, their appearance was exuding an aura of being ‘capital-born’. They came from affluent families who could afford to send allowances to them.
“Those good-for-nothings are the ones saying that Ah Mei is a scheming, ambitious woman.”
Mei Na whispered to Yui Mei.
‘Well, I already thought they were the ones, though.’
The people who spread the rumors were strangers who did not have anything to do with her. However, the catalyst who conceived those malicious rumors must have a person with a deep grudge against her.
An indifferent person would be the same as air; rumors were impossible to come from such a person. The only person who had a direct relation with the loner Yui Mei was none other than Mei, who had already expressed animosity right off the bat the first day Yui Mei came to the Inner Palace.
Some of the court ladies were sold to the Inner Palace as collateral for loans, while maidens like Mei were sent to the palace to catch the emperor or the crown prince’s fancy.
No matter how ostentatious they were, it would mean nothing if they did not become concubines. And as the years passed, their youthfulness also faded. They were also in a perilous position, so to speak. These women couldn’t help but be envious of Yui Mei, who managed to become closer to the crown prince’s favored concubine despite being a novice.
“They must be aggravated, since Ah Mei was favored by the higher-ups because you’re doing your work properly.”
Mei Na said that they should just stop slacking and work, while laughing sarcastically.
“They had no intention of working right from the start, though.’
If their aim was to be a concubine, then they must have come from well-to-do families. In that case, they would be the type who left all the work to their servants. Being raised and pampered in such a way, they must have been told that they need to catch the eye of the emperor or the crown prince once they enter the palace, and they themselves must have planned to do so.
In other words, they must have thought inwardly that cleaning, laundry, and cooking were things beneath them. That was the reason why they did not work, and as a result, they were not promoted to maid status, either.
Mei was a high ranking court lady due to the years she spent in the Inner Palace; however, in order to be promoted to a maid, an exam was necessary, as well as the recommendation from the higher-ups. Obviously, no boss would dare recommend a court lady who was an idler.
In short, she was only paving the way to her own destruction.
T/L Thoughts: Merry Christmas, everyone! We have a triple release for today! Bonus chapter for Kof-fi, and another as my gift to you guys. I also released them earlier than the scheduled time, while I’m still free. Hope you enjoy reading them. Please leave a rating in NU, if you do. Thanks, and happy holidays!
Hi everyone, Hanazakura here, thanks for reading, I’m grateful to you guys! Hope you enjoyed this chapter. We reached our 10th chapter milestone, hurray! Housekeeper of the Hundred Blossom Palace will now have a set schedule! 🙂 We will be releasing a chapter three times a week from now on. It will be every Mon, Wed and Fri, at 8:00 GMT. 🙂
Please feel free to join us at our discord channel for release updates and more! Hope to see you there! We also have our Novel Updates page, if you enjoy what you are reading, feel free to leave a star rating and review, we appreciate it. I’ll be releasing an extra chapter for every 25 reviews we receive, as my token of appreciation.
I also launched my Ko-Fi page! Please do check it out if you would like to support me as I strive to provide high quality, manually translated chapters. Extra chapters will be released when Ko-fi goal is met! Thank you very much (deep bow)! I’ll continue doing my best!-