Housekeeper of the Hundred Blossom Palace - Chapter 18
Yui Mei always wore her hood and mask after Libin pointed it out. She only removed them at mealtimes. Libin told her that her hair was conspicuous, but was she the only one who thought this getup was way more suspicious? It was the equivalent of pulling the hat over the eyes and wearing a mask; just add glasses and it would be the perfect image of a pervert.
‘But then, it’s really dangerous if my blue hair stood out.’
It was just as Libin said. Her mother drew the attention of the emperor because of this hair, too. It was truly eye-catching. People were starting to know her as the ‘girl with the bluish hair’ in the residences she cleaned.
Yui Mei’s mother was in the Inner Palace sixteen years ago. The young court ladies in the lodging house may not know her, but older concubines and maids might have some memory of her. Though she did not go to the places of the high-ranking consorts, it would not hurt to be more careful from now on.
Nevertheless, she did not think hiding her hair would be Libin’s personal idea. First of all, she did not have any recollection of getting along with Libin.
What was the crown prince’s purpose for sending Libin to warn her? Perhaps, the crown prince knew her mother?
‘Well, I shouldn’t have any unnecessary expectations.’
Yui Mei did not possess anything that would prove her lineage. After all, it was only a story told by the nuns. There was also a possibility that her parents had been a travelling couple who had passed by the borderland, and they might have died from disease or met an accident, so the nunnery took her in.
Perhaps, the heroine’s tragic tale was made up in order to cheer the orphaned child. Those nuns loved to gossip, after all.
She also had a faint desire to know whether her family members were here. However, it was not her priority. She did not come here to be acknowledged by the emperor. Her motive was still watching the inner harem.
In this way, Yui Mei found a clear explanation regarding her birth. She spent her days as usual, despite being treated as a dubious person.
On the other hand, influenza’s menace had not abated yet.
Yui Mei wanted to avoid being infected by the flu, so she religiously cleaned-up, washed her hands, gargled, and thoroughly disinfected herself using alcohol sanitizers.
Their lodging was previously messy since a lot of people entered and exited, but thanks to her, it gained the reputation of being tidy. However, despite the sleeping quarters being clean, the court ladies still perceived gargling and use of alcohol disinfectant as queer. She was branded as a suspicious person, since she only showed her eyes. They all distanced themselves from her.
However, Yui Mei just ignored them.
“Xiao Mei, won’t you do something about that appearance of yours?”
At last, Aunty Yang asked as she ate her breakfast one day.
“Is it not allowed?”
“Well, rather than saying it’s not allowed…”
Yui Mei was not affected despite being told off, so Aunty Yang had a troubled expression.
“Part of the girls complained and said that they do not want to stay in the same room as you.”
‘Well, I certainly look suspicious.’
She also acknowledged it, so she did not intend to complain that she was being excluded. However, she planned to stop wearing her mask when the flu season was over, so she thought their suspicions would be reduced by then.
“It is a protection against colds, so I’ll remove it when the flu season is over.”
“Hmm, about that…”
Apparently, the complainant couldn’t wait for that long.
However, the lodging room was only for the low ranking court ladies. They only returned to the room to sleep. Whether they like it or not, it was not a personal space they could be picky about. At most, they can only move their wooden beds to a further location. That’s why even if she was told that someone did not want to be in the same room as her, she could only respond with ‘so what?’.
“What would they like me to do?”
There was no room under that floor.
“They proposed that we either assign them their own personal rooms, or to toss you out to the shed. Well, the majority of the girls are fine closing their eyes, though; since you’ve been cleaning the room for them.”
Yui Mei became alert due to Aunty Yang’s words.
‘Mei’s faction is behind this ruckus.’
There were a few capital-born girls among the court ladies staying at the lodging house, so those girls must have complained to her.
Since the court ladies were short-handed, there were vacant rooms available; however, only the high-ranking court ladies were allowed that privilege. It was impossible to give preferential treatment to the low ranking court ladies staying at the lodging house. Moreover, the girls involved with Mei did not have a hardworking personality.
From Aunty Yang’s expression, it seemed that the status of the people making a fuss was still far from being promoted.
If Yui Mie was transferred to the shed, then they would feel at ease.
However, if that was not the case, then they would be able to get their own rooms.
Either way, it would be a favorable outcome for them.
‘Hmm, how sinister.’
“They were clamoring for it, and some of the girls were also beginning to be influenced. So I was wondering what to do.”
Aunty Yang griped.
If she gave way to the bunch kicking up a fuss, then the hard-working court ladies won’t stay still. If she let them get their way, then it would be a precedent for the others, since they would think that making a racket would get them what they want. If that happened, Aunty Yang would have to go with their flow.
However, Yui Mei would not bow down, either.
She would continue advertising the importance of prevention regarding diseases. In fact, some girls also started wearing their mask to work secretly when there was no one around. Actually, masks were created for populous places, but it would also aid in preventing dryness of the respiratory tract.
Unless Yui Mei stopped wearing her suspicious get-up, she had no choice but to leave the lodging house. However, she did not want to go to the shed, either.
However, she had set her heart on a relatively nice place.
“I am fine leaving the lodging room.”
“…Are you really okay with living in the shed?”
Aunty Yang widened her eyes, but Yui Mei shook her head.
“There is an extra storage room beside the lodging room, isn’t it?”
If the number of people decreased, then the number of things would also decrease. Presently, there were several unoccupied storage rooms everywhere. If the items inside were transferred to another storage room, then it would become an empty room. Besides, even if it was called storage, it was still bigger than the modern business hotel rooms.
“There is a window for ventilation, and if I clean it and put my bed in it, then I think it would become a fine room.”
With this, Yui Mei would not concede to those who denounced her, and she would also get her own room; thereby killing two birds with one stone.
“Xiao Mei, are you really okay with that? That’s a storeroom, you know?”
Yui Mei smiled at the bewildered expression of Aunty Yang.
“The storage room got its name because of the things stored in it, but if people will live in it, then it can become a chamber, isn’t it?”
“…Well, that may be so…”
Aunty Wang was still doubtful, but eventually, she decided to let Yui Mei use the storage room.
‘Hurray, it’s a private room!’
The other court ladies pityingly stared at Yui Mei as she prepared to move, but Yui Mei was ecstatic.
That was when she suddenly realized that it would not be odd if Aunty Yang was one of the people who might remember Yui Mei’s mother.
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. 🙂
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