Volume 1, Chapter 17: Garden Party Preparations

Maomao was disheartened from hearing the course of the events of the Garden Party from Honnyan.

The woman attended last year’s Spring Garden Party,

“Even though I was relieved there wouldn’t be one this year.” Honnyan said with an affected sigh.

There was nothing they could do there. It was fine to just stand there.
In the end, all a consort had to do from a guest’s perspective was to accompany the emperor. Their maids would do the same.

It was good to just view programs from military exercises to dance performances, and poetry recitals to erhu performances, eat served meals, and turn around smiling at officials who greet them at appropriate times.

In the outdoors with the freezing, drying winds.

The garden was, well, pointlessly wide as if it was proportionate to the emperor’s power.
It will require a quarter-dual-hour(thirty minutes) if you want to go out to wash your hands for a bit.

If the emperor, the guest of honour, decides to remain in his seat, the consorts would have no choice but to follow suit.

(You’ll need bladders of steel.)

Instead of going to the Garden Party that was at the beginning of Spring, she wondered what Winter would be like.

Therefore, Maomao got underwear with many pockets so she could fit heated stones(hand-warmers) in them. Also, she made a candy from boiling fruit juice, sugar and finely shaved ginger and mandarin peel.

When she showed Honnyan the underwear and the candy, the woman requested her with teary eyes to make a share for everyone.

While she was in the middle of making them, the leisurely eunuch came by and told her to make some for him too.
His attendant looked like he wanted to say something, so she reluctantly made another one for him as well.

Again, it seemed that Consort Gyokuyou told the emperor during his nightly visit, and the next day, the emperor’s personal seamstress and the one in charge of his meals came by to learn how to make it.

Indeed, it was quite a penance.

Thanks to that, it wasn’t until the Garden Party when she finished her side job.
As it was last night when she was finally freed up from work, she decided to make medicine from the medicinal herbs she had on hand.

 

 

“You look beautiful, Gyokuyou-sama.”

What Infa and them said wasn’t flattery.

(As expected, only the one called the Favoured Consort can pull this off.)

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The consort, who emanated a foreign air, was wearing a red skirt and a light crimson outfit. The large sleeves she wore on top were the same red with golden embroidery. Her hair was tied up into two large rings, with two flower kanzashi hairpins and a crown placed right on the centre. The flower kanzashi was a long silver hairpin with a decorative red silk tassel and jade gem dangling at the end of it.

The reason these clothes have never been worn despite the showy design, was because of Consort Gyokuyou.
The consort, with her burning red hair, was said to be the person who was most suited for red. Also, her glittering jade coloured eyes within her redness also harboured a mysterious air about her.

Maomao and others wore red outfits to signify that they follow her.

They wore matching sets and tied up their hair.

Consort Gyokuyou took the trouble of bringing along a jewellery box from her own dresser.
There was a necklace and earrings set with jade, and a kanzashi inside.

“It’s because you are my maids. So you are free from strange bugs, I will have you wear these to let people know that you belong to me.”

After saying that, she respectively decorated their hair, ears, and neck.
Maomao was given the jade necklace to wear. “Thank you very m—-“

(Eek!)

Before she could finish saying her thanks, her arms were pinned behind her back.
Infa firmly twisted her arms. “Well then, it’s time for make-up.”

Honnyan was grinning with a paintbrush in hand. The other two maids were each holding onto a clam with rouge inside and a drawing brush respectively.

It was here when she forgot to put up a storm about getting her face made up by her senior maids.

“Ufufu, make her cute.” Consort Gyokuyou laughed, her voice pleasant like a bell. It turns out there was another accomplice here.

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Maomao, who couldn’t conceal her trembling, was under the mercy of the four maids.

“First, we should wipe her face and paint the perfumed oil.”

They roughly wiped Maomao’s face with a damp cloth.

““Huh?””

(Uhhh…)

The maids collectively made a sound of surprise as they compared her face to the damp cloth.

(I’ve been exposed.)

She will say one thing here.
The reason that Maomao hated make-up wasn’t because she hated make-up. It wasn’t that she was bad at it.
Rather, between a strength and a weakness, it was more along the lines of it being her strength.

If that’s the case, then it could be assuredly said that her face was already made up.

There were light brown stains on the damp cloth.

The face that everyone thought was clear of make-up, was actually a face after make-up.

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