Housekeeper of the Hundred Blossom Palace - Chapter 48
The conversation between the crown prince and the emperor was cut off here, and there was only silence for a while.
‘Eh? They’re done talking?’
The emperor didn’t say ‘Hand over that court lady’ after that, either.
What an anticlimax.
Yui Mei had been on guard, so it was quite a letdown. She’s satisfied though that she was able to listen to their conversation.
She tried to urge Libin quietly so they could return quickly without being noticed.
Maybe it was because Yui Mei relaxed, but she ended up touching the leaves of the thicket, making a fairly loud noise.
The emperor glanced towards their spot.
Libin stared at the flustered Yui Mei, his eyes implying ‘Are you an idiot?’ to her.
She couldn’t refute it since she also thought so.
Anyhow, she tried her best to erase her presence even if the emperor were yet to notice their existence.
It would not end well if it was discovered that they were eavesdropping here.
‘I’m the wind, I’m the air!’
Yui Mei held her breath while chanting inwardly.
“It’s just a stray cat, Father. I frequently see them these days.”
The crown prince helped them just in time.
It would have been perfect if Yui Mei could imitate a cat’s cry, but it seemed like it’d be cat’ gargle instead, so she gave up on that.
‘Only a cat is here, so hurry up and go!’
Yui Mei fervently hoped that would happen.
“Oh right, Father.”
The crown prince continued the conversation as it was.
Yui Mei wished that they would go to a room elsewhere and have tea if they wanted to talk.
“That Yui Mei said something, though. She was grumbling that her late parents didn’t give it a thought and just gave her that name ‘because she was born on a rainy day’.”
The crown prince cheerfully said that out of the blue.
‘What? Why are you saying that so suddenly?’
Yui Mei almost stood up in her surprise, but Libin pushed her head down.
“Didn’t give a thought, that’s not….!”
The emperor raised his voice, but he fell silent mid sentence.
“If it’s Father, what do you think were the feelings of her late parents when they named her as such?”
When Yui Mei heard those words, she felt her heart pounding in her chest as if horses were galloping, ready to burst.
‘What, what’s happening?’
Yui Mei’s mind was in total chaos.
Libin was pushing her head down, so she couldn’t peek at the emperor.
Yui Mei had never felt her parents were real. Frankly speaking, she couldn’t care less.
She had guarded herself. She’d rather believe that she was the daughter of a traveling couple, than accepting the improbable story of being a child of the emperor.
Recently, she thought that maybe it would be better off not knowing the things she had longed to ask before but couldn’t. However, the clues about the truth that she didn’t want to know were now within her grasp.
‘Don’t tell me, His Highness the Crown Prince knows…?’
That Yui Mei was the daughter of the court lady who was driven off from the Inner Palace – Lady Zhang.
The emperor was silent for only a few seconds, but to Yui Mei, it seemed to last for hours. She was drenched in cold sweat, and her heart was racing.
The emperor opened his mouth.
“That girl was probably born in the year of the tremendously severe drought. Rain didn’t fall for days on end. Food was distributed in order to alleviate the hunger of the people, but many people did not make it.”
Yui Mei did not have an inkling about the event the emperor was speaking about.
It was the first time she heard that she had been born in a harshly difficult year.
She didn’t hear about it from the nuns, either.
Perhaps, the borderland was not affected by the drought.
“The rain that fell for the first time in the midst of that was truly a rain of blessings. The name ‘Yui Mei’ was given with the hope that she would grow into a caring, kind maiden, just like the rain that enriches and heals this great earth. That is what I think.”
The emperor’s words silently seeped through Yui Mei’s heart.
And before she knew it, tears were running down her cheeks.
“Yui Mei, you…”
Libin was stupefied to see Yui Mei crying, but she couldn’t stop her tears no matter what.
Even if Yui Mei had the memories of her previous life, it was not enough to make-up for her feelings of ‘loneliness’.
It was precisely because she remembered the love of her family in her previous life that she yearned for that same love.
However, she tried to become an adult and give up on the love of her parents.
Perhaps, somewhere in her heart, there was still the young Yui Mei who cried as she craved for love.
She had been trying to suppress it, saying that ‘it couldn’t be helped’.
‘So the name ‘Yui Mei’ was filled with so much hope, huh.’
Now that she knew she was loved before, the young Yui Mei in heart basked in happiness with that ‘name’ as her proof of love.
The crown prince left together with the emperor. Yui Mei couldn’t move from her spot as she curled in on herself and silently wept.
Libin called out to her after the corridor had been deserted for a while.
“Give me a moment, please.”
‘Thank you, Dad.’
Actually, Yui Mei wanted to run after the emperor and scream that.
However, if she put it in words, it would definitely leak out somewhere.
If that happens, Yui Mei could no longer remain at the Inner Palace.
The emperor’s children who became of age had to leave the Inner Palace, after all.
‘It’s alright, this is enough for me.’
It was enough that she knew she had been loved when she was born into this world.
She could indulge in that deep emotion anytime, but now, she had something else she must do.
“Alright, let’s go back while we’re not yet discovered!”
Yui Mei wiped the traces of tears and stood up. She beamed at Libin as she said those words.
The crown prince probably already knew that the two of them were here, but pretending not to know that was the adult thing to do.
Besides, there’s still some mushipan remaining back in the room.
‘I got hungry after crying, so let’s hurry up and return!’
Her rumbling stomach pulled her back to reality.
Indeed, Yui Mei did not come here to be acknowledged as the daughter of the emperor.
After all, she’s an Inner Palace spectator.
T/L Thoughts: Onion ninja was beside me while I tled it, sniff, sniff. So, does this chapter imply that Daddy Emperor KNEW her identity!? Our crown prince is so mischievous, prying like that on purpose ;D But super glad for Yui Mei now that she knew the truth behind her birth, and it was so sweet that the emperor put so much thought and hope in naming her.
And this marks the end of volume 4!! 😀 Start of new arc next chap 😀
Double chapter for today! Thank you so much for I.M. Gibbon for the very generous ko-fi, we completed our ko-fi goal again thanks to all the ko-fi supporters!! So much grateful to you, guys 🙂 Patreons also received a double release, btw 🙂 Thanks too for all the readers for taking the time to read this novel! Thank you, thank you, thank you! 😀
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