Volume 1, Chapter 8: Medicine Shelves

What’s the deal with this?

He crossed his arms, willowy brows knitted in gloominess.
It was said that Jinshi could cause the downfall of countries if he was a different gender, but if the person himself want to do it, the question of gender wouldn’t even matter.

Today as well, he had been consecutively called out by a middle-ranking consort and two low-ranking consorts from the inner palace, and a military official and a civil official from the Palace. As the military official had gone as far as giving him a dim sum spiked with a tonic, Jinshi will return to his own room in the palace and won’t be attending his night shift today. It was for the sake of self-defence; he was not skipping out on work.

He wrote the names on the scroll on the desk.
The names were the consorts who called him out today. Their cases were severe, like seducing another man into their room and saying that it was because the emperor didn’t visit. Although there was no formal report, their sentence will be handed down hereafter.

Was his own beauty being the touchstone for the palace ladies noticed by several small caged birds?

A consort’s rank is chosen, while taking her parent’s pedigree in consideration first, according to standards of intelligence and beauty. Intelligence is harder to determine compared to looks and pedigree. They are required to possess the appropriate culture to become an empress. Additionally, they must also have a sense of virtue.

His unkind emperor decided to use Jinshi for the selection criteria.

It was also Jinshi who had recommended Consort Gyokuyou and Consort Rifa. Consort Gyokuyou was prudent and deeply modest. Consort Rifa may have an emotional personality, but she also possessed the appropriate spirit of one who bowed down to no one.
Both were loyal to the emperor and held no wicked sentiment towards him.
Consort Rifa, in particular, adored him with her whole heart.

Jinshi’s master is a cruel person.

The emperor arranged for consorts convenient to the country to produce children for him, and if they didn’t have that ability, he cast them away.

From now on, it will be Consort Gyokuyou who will continue to receive his favour.
The last time he visited Consort Rifa, who is now emaciated like a ghost, was when the crown prince had passed away.

Aside from Consort Rifa, there were also several other consorts who had become unnecessary. Those, he returned to their family when he saw the chance and had them bestowed.

Jinshi extracted one sheet from the pile of documents.
Her name was Fuyou. She had a rank of Primary Fourth Class, which is equivalent to a middle-ranking consort.
The other day, this consort had been bestowed to a military official who was merited with the repelling of a foreign tribe.

“Well then, would it turn out smoothly?” There shouldn’t be any problems if it was carried out according to the plan in his head. For that, maybe he could get some corporation from that unsociable doctor.

Though there were no shared feelings between them, it was the first time someone looked at him as though he was a pest.

The person had probably planned to conceal it, but she wasn’t able to completely mask that faint contempt in her eyes.

He burst out laughing. Like nectar that fell from the heaven, his laughter also contained a hint of evil.

It wasn’t like he’s a masochist, but it’s strangely amusing. It felt like he got a new toy.

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“What shall I do after this?” Jinshi, after leaving the documents under the ink stone, decided to sleep.

He firmly locked the door so there will be no issues about visitors coming in at the dead of the night.


Though the expression for panacea exists, there really isn’t such an omnipotent medicine.
Those were the words her dad also told to Maomao when he was against her actions.

She wanted to make medicine that was effective for any illness and any person. For that reason, she made wounds that turned people’s eyes away. And though she had developed new medicine, it wasn’t her aim to perfect an omnipotent medicine at the moment.

The topic Jinshi brought up was interesting enough to Maomao, though she couldn’t stomach it.
Since coming into the inner palace, the only thing she could make was hydrangea tea. She had been surprised that medicinal herbs that could be used as ingredient were growing inside the inner palace. But she had endured it, seeing as she had no tools, and she wanted to avoid doing questionable things in a large room.
The best thing about moving into the small room was for that reason.

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Maomao went out to gather ingredient supplies, bringing the laundry basket along to mask her intent. This was something she can now do, seeing as Honnyan had put her in charge of laundry duty.

She entered the medical office she had been told about before while pretending to come in to deliver laundry. Inside was that flustered doctor from before and the eunuch who usually accompanied Jinshi.

The doctor appraised Maomao with his eyes, touching his thin loach moustache.
It was as though he was saying – Why is this little girl invading my territory?

(Please refrain from staring at this ugly woman.)

Compared to the doctor, the eunuch courteously guided Maomao as if he was receiving a master.

Maomao let out the widest smile since coming to the inner palace when she walked into the room, which was enclosed by three walls of medicine shelves. Her face flushed, her eyes glistened, and her normally pursed lips drew a soft arc.
She didn’t care that the eunuch was looking at her in surprise.

She surveyed the labels on the drawers, making a weird dance whenever she found rare drugs. She was overflowing with joy. Her mind couldn’t be completely satisfied.

“Is it a curse or what?”

She had been repeating this for nearly one hour.
Jinshi, who appeared without her noticing, looked at Maomao strangely.



Maomao assembled the ingredients, which are managed in drawers ordered from the edge. She bundled them into their separate medicine bags and wrote down their names with a brush. It’s extravagant to use paper so luxuriantly when wooden slips are still being used.
As the loach moustache doctor came to have a look at what she was doing, the eunuch closed the door. The eunuch’s name was Gaoshun(高順, Gao Shun).

Gaoshun was the one who fetched the things from the high drawers for her. His boss did nothing. Go somewhere else if you’re not going to do anything, Maomao thought expressionlessly.

When she recognised a name on the highest drawer, Maomao leaned up towards it. Gaoshun made a wordless expression when he saw what he handed over.

Some kind of seed laid on her palm.

“This amount isn’t enough,” she said.

“In that case, the only thing we can do is to prepare more.” The good-looking man, who did nothing but smile and watch on uselessly, told her simply. “This is something from the west, in particular, the southern regions of the west.”

“You might find it if you search the imported goods.”

Jinshi pinched the seed. It looked like an apricot seed and emitted a peculiar aroma. “What is this called?”

Maomao answered the young man’s question. “It’s cacao,” she said.

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