Housekeeper of the Hundred Blossom Palace - Chapter 24
“What is it?”
Yui Mei put her water container on top of the boulder, and she went to Libin. Suddenly, her head was grabbed.
“Are you involved in another weird matter?”
Libin whispered while staring at the prince.
“We met by chance, but isn’t that His Highness the Imperial Prince?”
Libin sighed deeply at Yui Mei’s statement.
“Indeed, he is the imperial prince born by the Consort Hu – the Lady of Bright Deportment of the empress dowager’s faction.”
After hearing his explanation, Yui Mei pondered about it.
This was the first time she heard about Consort Hu, but wasn’t the empress dowager the one who aggravated the influenza turmoil? Incidentally, she was also the one who drove out Yui Mei’s mother, according to the gossip of the nuns.
At that time, even if she was involved in a dispute with her fellow concubines, they should not be able to chase her out of the Inner Palace.
The one who made the decision was no other than the master of the inner harem — the empress dowager.
Though Yui Mei harbored complex emotions against her, it did not change the fact that she was the leader of the largest political faction.
If it was a prince that belonged to that faction, then he should have received great treatment.
‘And yet he’s so thin, isn’t it weird? Why would a blessed child like him become malnourished?’
Just as Yui Mei ruminated —
“…Your Highness, Your Highness Youren!”
A woman’s shrill voice was heard from the corridor.
The imperial prince started to quiver the instant he heard that voice.
Apparently, ‘His Highness Youren’ referred to him.
Perhaps, the reason why he passed through a strange place was because he was running away from that voice.
‘Somehow, he is trembling pitifully, though.’
Yui Mei felt she couldn’t leave him alone, and she wanted to hide him somewhere else.
However, she did not know the reason why the imperial prince ran away, so she couldn’t act carelessly.
“How should we handle this?”
“Nothing. Really, it would be good if this doesn’t turn into something troublesome.”
Libin furrowed his brows at Yui Mei’s question.
She could see right through him that he didn’t want to get involved.
‘Well, that’s understandable.’
According to the rumors of the court ladies, the crown prince was not on good terms with the empress dowager.
Rather than that, they were at odds with each other, apparently.
The crown prince was not the child of the empress dowager’s niece, so she probably thought that rather than cute, he was an enemy who would eventually drive her away.
Unnecessary suspicions could arise if it was known that the crown prince’s attending eunuch happened to meet the imperial prince, who was part of the empress dowager’s faction, in the place where he ran away.
Yui Mei, who was together with the crown prince’s attending eunuch, would also be at the receiving end of those unnecessary rumors, as well.
“Ahm, then I…”
Yui Mei thought for a second about what she should do, then she tried to hide in Libin’s shadow.
Libin had a sour face for being treated as a wall substitute.
“Your Highness, so you were there!”
A gaudy looking maid briskly walked towards them at that time.
She was wearing high-quality clothes, and she was resplendently decked with jewels. She was obviously either someone with a high status or a person who came from an affluent family; perhaps, it could also be both.
Of course, when she discovered the imperial prince, it was only natural that Yui Mei and Libin’s figures also entered her field of vision.
The maid glared at Libin.
She was extremely impudent, even daring to address the eunuch attendant of the crown prince disrespectfully.
Yui Mei closely stuck to Libin’s back in order not to catch that person’s eye.
‘I am a shadow, I am the air!’
Yui Mei inwardly chanted, but the maid ignored her, and went past Libin, acting as if she did not have the time to spare on them, and briskly strode towards the imperial prince.
“Your Highness Youren, what do you mean by running away!”
The imperial prince who was fiercely scolded trembled.
“You do know the consequences of this, right?”
She carelessly grabbed the arm of the imperial prince who was not able to utter a single word.
The imperial prince staggered at her force, but she did not even bat an eye.
Keeping hold of his arm, she walked in large strides, and the imperial prince could only desperately trot to keep up with her as she pulled him.
“You’ll know what will happen if you say something unnecessary, right?”
She scathingly remarked, yet Libin just wordlessly gave her a slight bow.
She was annoyed at his attitude, so she pulled the imperial prince and strode away.
When they could no longer see their figures —
Libin called out to Yui Mei.
Yui Mei took a deep breath. She had been holding her breath with utmost effort.
The complaint was directed to Libin only, so it seemed she had successfully hid herself.
Thank goodness this eunuch had such a great physique.
“Somehow, she’s amazing on so many levels.”
Libin pinched and rubbed between his brows when Yui Mei said that about the maid.
“We were interrupted because of that woman, but why were you together with the imperial prince?”
“As I said, I met him by chance. I finished cleaning, so I was about to eat my snack on that stone, when he suddenly came out from the thicket.”
At Yui Mei’s explanation, Libin looked like he was enduring a headache.
“This time you met the imperial prince. Really, do you like looking for trouble?”
Yui Mei was also bothered after being told off.
“You’re making me look bad. It was accidental, accidental, I said.”
Who could have predicted an imperial prince would emerge from a thicket just as she was about to eat her snack.
This was definitely force majeure.
That maid was truly audacious. Why does she get away with that treatment? Poor younger brother 🙁
* The actual Japanese term used was 昭儀 (Syōgi in Japanese, and Zhao Yi in Chinese). Both positions were one step below the Empress. Just like how the Mei Ren position was called Beauty, Zhao Yi’s position was called Lady of Bright Deportment. Since the ranking of Zhao Yi differed in the various dynasties, I opted to just call her Consort Hu.
Fuu, since this is a Japanese novel with Chinese setting, my buddies now are Sir Wiki and Mr. Google, for consistency of names and terms. 😀
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