“How mysterious… I heard that you couldn’t read though,” Jinshi said.
“Yes, I am of humble birth. Maybe they made some mistake?” Maomao replied.
(As if I would tell anyone.)
…was what she wanted to exclaim but didn’t.
She was completely playing dumb.
There was a difference in the treatment of maidservants who could read and maidservants who couldn’t. Though each was useful in their different ways, it was easier to go about pretending to be ignorant.
The beautiful eunuch is called Jinshi.
Even though he had an elegant smile that was an innocent as a lamb, she felt like it was something squirming for some reason. If it wasn’t for that, Maomao wouldn’t be standing here with this dilemma like so.
Jinshi told her to be quiet and follow him.
The lowly disposable maidservant whose head can easily roll if she were to shake her head had no other choice than to go along with him. Her mind spun. What will happen after this? How would she properly deal with it?
Though it wasn’t that she could think up the reason as to why Jinshi was leading her like this, why he exposed that was a mystery.
About the messages she had sent to the consorts.
She studied the piece of cloth in Jinshi’s hand. There was messy and awkwardly written text on it.
She did not tell anyone that she could write. She had also been silent about her pharmaceutical knowledge of poisons. Needless to say, there was no way people would recognise her handwriting.
Although she confirmed her surroundings when she placed it down, she was probably seen by someone.
He had been looking for a short maid with freckles.
For starters, no doubt he had gathered the ones who could write first and gathered their handwriting. Altered handwriting would still leave behind distinguishing traces.
If there was no person among the group that matched his criteria, he would then gather those who couldn’t write.
The judgement on whether they could read or not was as before.
(What a sceptical person. Rather, he has too much free time.)
They arrived at their destination as she mentally slandered him.
As she thought, it was the palace where Consort Gyokuyou resided.
When Jinshi knocked on the door, a dignified voice answered with a curt “Come in.”
When they walked inside, there was a red-haired beauty lovingly holding a baby wrapped in a soft blanket.
The baby had a rosy face. She had her mother’s pale skin.
They heard the cute sounds of her sleeping, her lips slightly parted. She was the very picture of health.
“I have arrived with the person.” Jinshi said.
“Thank you for the hard work you have done.”
It wasn’t the same broken-down voice from before.
Her speech was of one who knew her place.
Consort Gyokuyou gave her yet a different warm smile to the one she gave Jinshi and lowered her head at her.
Maomao widened her eyes in surprise. “I can’t receive this type of treatment from someone who outranks me,” she stated, choosing polite words.
“No. My gratitude goes beyond that. You are this baby’s benefactor.”
“This must be some kind of mistake. Surely you got the wrong person.” Maomao broke out in cold sweat.
Even if she said it politely, there was no difference in the fact that she denied it.
She didn’t want to be decapitated, but she also didn’t want to be involved in this. She didn’t want to get entangled in a long incident.
Jinshi, who noticed that Consort Gyokuyou was making a slightly troubled face, shook the piece of cloth to her. “Did you know that this is the cloth used for the work clothes of maids?”
“Now that you mention it, it looks similar.” Maomao played dumb to the very end. Even though she knew it was futile.
“Indeed. These are used by maidservants that work for clothes duty.”
Palace officials are separated into six duties. Those in charge of clothes wore working clothes – Maomao, who oversaw washing duty, was placed into there.
The unbleached skirt was the same colour as the cloth Jinshi was holding.
The interior of her skirt had a section that was hidden by pleats. If you examine it, you would find a strange seam.
In short, the evidence was there.
She didn’t think that Jinshi would act rudely before Consort Gyokuyou, but she was left with nothing else she could do.
She had no choice but to prepare herself for the worst. “What would you suppose I do?”
She got a positive feeling when the two looked at each other.
They both smiled warmly, eyes crinkling.
Amid the sounds of the sleeping breath of the restful baby, Maomao, who wanted to disappear, gave a small sigh.
The next day, Maomao packed her meagre belongings.
All her room mates and Shaoran were jealous.
They chased her down with questions on how it happened.
Maomao, with a dry smile, had no choice but to evade it.
Maomao became a maid of the Emperor’s Favoured Consort.
Well, this was the so-called promotion.