“You were, well, quite energetic for a food taster.”
She had finished rinsing her mouth and was in the middle of zoning out when the leisurely eunuch – who tended to appear at unexpected times – appeared.
He was often found in places considerably far from the banquet.
“Pleasant day to you, Jinshi-sama.” She was going to reply with her usual expressionless face, but she was languid from the lingering effects of the poison.
It was slightly irritating that she replied with a smile.
“Rather, aren’t you the one having a pleasant day?” He suddenly grabbed her arm.
“What are you doing?” she said.
“I’m obviously taking you to the medical office. You’ll become a joke to be so lively after ingesting poison.”
In actual fact, she was energetic.
She wondered what it would be like if she swallowed it without spitting it out.
She was curious about what will happen to her body.
Right now, her body should be numbing.
(I shouldn’t have spat it out.)
She should have at least finished the remaining soup.
She looked at Jinshi inquiringly.
“You are, an idiot,” he told her.
“I’d rather you say my aspirations to my work is high.” Well, normally, she would withdraw such aspirations.
Somehow, Jinshi, who was usually pointlessly sparkly, had a different air about him right now.
Although there’s a new kanzashi on his head, the clothes he wore were the same high-class outfit from before.
No, his collar was slightly dishevelled. Was it because of that? Indeed, so it was that huh. This damned dog.
His saccharine voice was somewhat subdued, and his gentle smile wasn’t there either.
(He can adjust his sparkle?)
Or was it that he was exhausted after a love affair?
The reason he wasn’t at the banquet, could be because he brought or was brought by a palace lady or a civil official or a military official or a eunuch?
Let’s stick with that.
What a truly vigorous matter.
(This way is still fine.)
Though he is certainly beautiful, he didn’t look like a young man befitting his age like this. No, rather he looked several times younger.
Before he came here, did Gaoshun request him to postpone the suspicious act?
Leaving whether he’ll listen aside.
“Because of how you looked so healthy when you left, there was a guy who questioned if it was really poison and ate it.” Jinshi said.
“Who is that fool?” Maomao said.
The poison used was fugu poison.
The effects of the poison took some time to show up after eating.
“The cabinet minister has gone numb. There is a large commotion over there.” Jinshi answered.
No doubt, with this, the future of this country was also in danger.
“Since we are already in this situation, I suggest you let him use this.” She rummaged through her bosom and took out a purse. It was a vomit-inducing drug she put in the false bottom of her breasts. “I made it so it’ll make you vomit to the point of turning your stomach.”
“Hey, that’ll make it a poison then?” Jinshi said in an amazed tone.
“There’s also a court physician here. There’s no problem to leave it to him.” Maomao stopped her steps, suddenly remembering.
“What’s wrong?” Jinshi asked.
“I have something to ask you. Someone I want to bring along with us.”
“Who could that be?” He frowned, head tilted.
“Can you call for Riishu-sama, the Virtuous Consort?” Maomao said in a dignified voice.
The summoned Consort Riishu, who smiled happily at Jinshi with a look of springtime, looked at Maomao with an unamused ‘oh it’s you’ expression. Perhaps she couldn’t calm down, she was rubbing her left hand with her right hand.
A childish woman.
They had planned to go to the medical office, but because of the crowd there due to the stupid big shot, they had no choice but to use an unused office.
Comparing them like this, there was a difference in the building structure to the inner palace and the medical office. Consort Riishu made a slightly sulky face at the plain, unrefined large room.
The one who came in after them in succession, was the only person they had requested Gaoshun to get.
Maomao drank the lukewarm antidote. She would be fine even if she didn’t drink it. She drank it, so to speak, for caution’s sake, and so the medicine wasn’t compounded by the other person in vain.
Different to the quack doctor, this court physician seemed superior.
If he knew about fugu poison, he should have understood that an antidote was pointless.
Setting down the lukewarm liquid, she bowed once to Consort Riishu. “Excuse me.”
She took hold of the consort’s left hand and pulled up her long sleeves, revealing a white graceful arm. “As I suspected.”
Skin that was supposed to be smooth to touch had broken out in red rashes.
“There are things you can’t eat, right? Among seafood.”
Consort Riishu cast her eyes down.
“What does that mean?” Jinshi asked her with his arms crossed.
Before she noticed, that celestial maiden’s gracefulness was radiating from him again.
However, that usual smile wasn’t there.
“Depending on the person, there are those who respectively have things they can’t eat. Aside from seafood, there are also things like egg, wheat and dairy products. Along the same lines, I can’t eat buckwheat,” Maomao explained.
Jinshi and Gaoshun showed blatantly surprised faces. It was as if they were saying, ‘even though you can eat poison with no issues’.
(Leave me alone.)
There was a time she made an effort to make herself able to eat it once but her bronchial tube constricted, giving her dyspnoea. She got rashes from eating and absorbing it in her stomach to begin with. It was difficult to regulate the quantity, and her recovery was also slow. That’s why she gave up on accustoming herself to it.
She thought of challenging it again sooner or later, but she couldn’t try it in the inner palace that only had the quack doctor.
“How did you know about that?” The consort timidly asked.
“Before that, is your stomach okay? It doesn’t look like you have nausea or cramps though,” Maomao asked.
At the words, “If you like, I’ll dispense you a laxative,” the consort shook her head vigorously.
Saying that in front of the heavenly person she admired was considerably mean. That was a bit of revenge.
“Well then, please sit down and listen.”
Gaoshun, a diligent man despite his appearance, pulled out a chair for her. And then, Consort Riishu sat.
“It’s because your meals were switched with Gyokuyou-sama’s meals. As Gyokuyou-sama has no preferences, she usually partakes the same dishes as the emperor.”
And despite this, there were one or two ingredients that were different.
“What you can’t eat, is it mackerel and abalone?”
The consort nodded.
Maomao didn’t miss the agitation of the maid at the back. “This is something only people who have things they can’t eat know. It is an issue before pickiness. You only got hives this time, but it can cause dyspnoea and even heart failure sometimes. So to speak, in a way you can understand, it is the same as serving poison.”
The talk of poison elicited a nervous response.
“Riishu-sama, it may have been something you couldn’t speak out with the atmosphere of the place, but what you did was extremely dangerous.” Maomao established that among the consort and the maid who had a dazed look.
“Please never ever forget that.” She advised that to both parties equally.
After some time passed,
“Please relay that to the ones in charge of setting your meals as well,” she said, but it didn’t seem to have went through the heads of the consort and the maid.
To the accompanying maid, Maomao explained to her the dangers in detail, and passed over the methods she wrote down to deal with the case of it happening.
The maid was pale-faced, shaking her head feebly.
(This is what a threat is like, huh.)
The maid was the food taster woman.
That woman who smiled.
After Consort Riishuu withdrew from the room, she noticed the clingy atmosphere behind her and the hand that came to touch her shoulder.
She looked at him coldly as if looking at a dried-up earthworm was preferable. “I am of humble birth, so can you please not touch me with your hands?”
Stop the clinginess, she told this rascal in a roundabout way.
“Only you would say such things,” Jinshi said.
“Well then, everyone is paying attention.” She briskly pulled away.
With a heartrending sigh, she sought for the refreshing Gaoshun, but the attendant who was loyal to his master appealed to her with his eyes to “Please bear with it for me.”
“Well then, I’ll go report this to Gyokuyou-sama.” She said.
“Why did you specially have the food taster maid come in the same room?” He just suddenly got to the core of things, that’s why it was hard for her to escape.
“What are you talking about? I am unable to understand though,” she replied expressionlessly.
“Then, was it a mistake in the table setting?”
“I don’t know that either.” She played ignorance to the end.
“Answer this for me at least. The one they were aiming for was the Virtuous Consort, isn’t it?” he asked.
“If there was no poison in the other plates.”
That would be the case.
Seeing Jinshi deep in thought, Maomao withdrew from the room and sighed deeply as she leaned against the wall.