“I know nothing about such things,” Maomao replied, not wanting to over-guess herself.
It wasn’t that she was being modest. She knew what kind of illness it was, and she had also seen patients with it. That was why she had said that. “It’s not a disease you can cure with medicine.”
It was a neurosis.
When the brothel’s courtesans were inflicted with this disease, her dad didn’t prescribe them any medicine.
It wasn’t something that can be cured with medicine after all.
“When you say that it can’t be cured by medicine…”
What can cure it then? he asked.
“My expertise is drugs.” Though she meant to declare it, from a fleeting glance in her peripheral, she saw the gloominess that suffused in his heavenly face.
(We mustn’t make eye contact.)
She averted from the young man’s gaze as if she were handling a wild animal. She was unable to avert the avert. He came around towards Maomao.
He’s quite persistent. He’s quite annoying.
“…I’ll make an effort,” she replied, extremely reluctantly.
The one who came around at midnight was the eunuch Gaoshun.
Though she thought he was hard to get along with his quietness and his lack of expression, Maomao actually felt a wave of affinity towards him.
(He really doesn’t feel like a eunuch.)
It was common for eunuchs, having their physical yang parts removed to become more feminine.
Their body hair thins, their personalities become calm, and in exchange for libido, they gain appetites for food and it becomes easy for them to put on weight.
The easiest to understand as an example was the quack doctor.
In the case of Gaoshun, while his hair wasn’t dense, he was fearless. If he was not in a place like the inner palace, he could be mistaken as a military official.
(Why did he choose this path?)
She knew that this wasn’t something she should ask even if she was curious. She clammed her mouth shut and shook her head.
Gaoshun led the way with a lantern in one hand.
It was a half moon, but it was bright with no clouds.
The inside of the palace she had only seen at noon was like a different place.
Sometimes, there were rustling sounds. She heard sounds of heavy breathing from the shade of the tree somehow, but she decided to ignore it.
Well, as the imperial court had no actual men aside from the emperor, it was inevitable that the shape of love was warped.
“Maomao-sama,” Gaoshun spoke to her.
“I don’t need a title. Gaoshun-sama’s rank is higher,” Maomao said.
“Then, Shaomao(小猫, Xiao Mao. Little Cat/Mao. Cat/Mao-chan.).”
(Why are you suddenly adding shao(小, shao. In this case, same as ‘chan’ in Japanese, an expression of endearment.)?)
This old man is unexpectantly casual, Maomao thought as she nodded.
“Would it be okay if you don’t look at Jinshi-sama like you would look at a pest?” Gaoshun asked.
(It turns out, I’m exposed?)
Her facial expressions had been conspicuous recently – it seemed she couldn’t completely hide her impudence.
Though she thought her head wasn’t going to fly at present, she must have self-restraint. For the Mr Big shot, it should be Maomao who’s the insect.
“Today as well, I go back, and he reports to me that ‘I’ve been looked at like a slug’,” he said.
(Certainly, he is clingy, and I find his clinginess gross.)
Reporting everything is also clingy.
“He shudders as he smiles with hazy eyes. That would be what you call self-satisfaction, isn’t it?”
At the words born from a misunderstanding, he replied extremely seriously.
Rather, it was might that brought an insect down to garbage.
“…, I’ll pay attention from now on,” she replied.
“Indeed, because people without immunity can’t help but swoon with one glance. It is troublesome to deal with.” His troubles blurred with the deep sigh.
They arrived at the eastern gate as he was talking about his terrible troubles.
The castle walls are around the same height as Maomao’s four walls. Outside, there is the deep moat and the bridge, which is lowered for the transport of food supplies and materials, and sometimes, when maidservants are replaced.
Escaping from the inner palace has the meaning of capital punishment.
The gates are always stationed with palace guards. The interior has two eunuchs, while the exterior has two military officials. The gates were double; the guardroom could be entered from both the interior and exterior sides.
Two oxen are bred to raise and lower the drawbridge as human power is inadequate.
Maomao was driven with the urge to go look for things in the expansive pine forest, but with Gaoshun here, there was no way of that coming true, so she sat down in the gazebo in the garden.
It appeared there with the half-moon in the background.
The silhouette of a woman in white dancing in mid-air.
She was clad in a long gown and a shawl, standing on the top of the castle walls, dancing.
Her gown swayed, her shawl undulating like it was alive. Her long black hair shone amid the darkness. The faint outlines of her figure stood out.
An unreal beauty.
As if she went astray from paradise, a wondrous spectacle.
“Moonlight Fuyou(芙蓉, Fu Rong. Fuyou is cotton rose-mallow or lotus flower, but it is also the name of a character, mentioned below).”
Suddenly, those words passed through her head.
For an instant, Gaoshun looked surprised. Then he muttered to himself. “She has good intuition.”
The woman’s name was “Fuyou”, a middle-ranking consort.
The princess to be bestowed for merit next month.