Volume 3, Chapter 4: Essential Oil

The caravans stayed for around three days. During that period of time, the palace ladies enjoyed the shopping they normally couldn’t do.

High-rank consorts weren’t required to step out, so the ones who first went around the tents, purchasing what they liked, were the middle-ranked consorts, low-ranked consorts, their maids, and then the palace ladies who held posts.

Palace ladies with low positions could only look at the unsold items on the last day, but they seemed to be enjoying themselves, so she understood how little amusement was at this place.

The caravans that turned up this time had come by crossing over the desert route, so they had many curious goods from the foreign countries. It seemed they also passed through Consort Gyokuyou’s hometown; the maids of the Jade Palaces saw her touch the crafts nostalgically.

More than those things, Maomao wanted to see the kinds of medicines. But of course, those things cannot be brought into the inner palace, so they could only sell tea leaves and spices as freebies.
Since she received some spending money from Consort Gyokuyou, Maomao went together with Shaoran on the third day.

Shaoran was only going to look without getting anything, but her eyes shone as she gazed at the glasswork from the West.
Maomao bought a hair cord of a pretty colour, and stealthily tied it onto Shaoran’s hair.
Shaoran, who had noticed it when she looked in the mirror by chance, suddenly hugged her until she felt like they were going to fall.

Maomao bought tea leaves and spices. The maids of the Jade Palace went on the second day in alternation, but she held back till the third day.

This was the reason.

(They should be selling it for cheaper on the third day.)

What Maomao wanted wasn’t fashionable clothes nor gemstones. It wasn’t like everyone would buy all the tea leaves and spices that came as a freebie with the clothes. From the start, this was the unique place called the inner palace, it is unlikely that the goods would be sold at reasonable prices.

(Don’t think you can easily rip people off.)

This was the being known as Maomao.

It was for this exact reason that Maomao obtained a discount for the unusual tea leaves and spices.

The tea leaves were jasmine tea – a craft tea where flower buds are submerged in the tea. Perhaps it was because it remained unsold, they sold it to her for a very cheap price.

I profited huh, Maomao thought, but afterwards, she noticed a certain thing. I can’t get excited, she decided to reconsider it after.

 

 

 

Perfume oil was the fad of the inner palace after the caravans left.

The smell of various flowers wafted over wherever she passed through. A single perfume product smelt very nice, but when you have so many people wearing different kinds of perfumes altogether, it was slightly wearisome for Maomao who had a good sense of smell.

The perfumes were not faint like incense. It was characteristic of perfumes imported from the West to be so strong.

It didn’t seem like Maomao was the only one affected. When she went to the washing area, the oil coated clothes had piled up, and the washing duty eunuch was filling up the tub with water with his face scrunched up.

Fads always come in waves.
Since the manicure fad had died down considerably, everyone had jumped onto the new thing.

And there are also a lot of people who are only trying it out for the heck of it, without knowing whether it was a good thing or not.
It was okay it that was fun, but Maomao, who never jumped into the craze till the end, settled by saying that it really wasn’t her sort of thing.

Maomao set down the laundry basket wearily. She felt she was going to get dizzy from the smell just by being here.

The moment she stood up listlessly, a maidservant who was carrying a basket of laundry bumped into her like she was in the way. The laundry fell atop Maomao’s head.

“I’m so sorry!” The shrill-voiced maidservant gathered up the clothes.

The owner of these clothes seemed well attuned to fads as well – a heavy smell of roses were ingrained into it.

(Roses huh.)

Maomao, who thought that she might be able to make a profit if she widely sold the rose water she made the other day, wouldn’t be good.

In truth, she only made the rose water the other day because she could. She was going to preserve it without using it since she heard that rose oil had a bad effect on pregnant women.

She thought it wouldn’t be a problem if Consort Gyokuyou doesn’t use a large amount, but since she didn’t know what could happen, she had to be careful.

For that reason, before it goes off, she had intended for the chance to sell it at the pleasure district.

Mmm, Maomao grabbed hold of the laundry, blinking incessantly.
She brought it closer to her nose. And sniffed it.

Upon seeing that, the maidservant fell into a fluster.

Maomao ignored the maidservant who was acting up and tossed the laundry into the overflowing basket. It wasn’t like she buried her face in the washing.


This time, it wasn’t just the maidservant. The eunuch who was close by and the other maidservant also widened their eyes. But that had nothing to do with her.

Maomao repeatedly went bury her face into each of the laundry baskets, and then headed for the next basket.

And once she was mostly done with sniffing, she headed to a certain place, forgetting to bring back her washing basket.

The place where fads can get even more overboard. Maomao knew very well.

 

 

That day at the Crystal Palace, the screams of the maids resounded throughout the inner palace.

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When she thought that he will probably come, in the evening of that day, the beautiful eunuch turned up at the Jade Palace just as she thought.
There was a written protest that seemed to be an anonymous letter in his hand.

“I thought you were a person with a little more restraint.” Jinshi’s amazed expression was tinged with a hint of anger.

Behind him was Gaoshun who was oozing hardship in his amazed expression, a troubled Consort Gyokuyou who couldn’t be still in her excitement, and Honnyan who somehow veiled her expression of carnage behind a thin mask. The other maids were sleeping together for Imperial Princess Rinrii’s bedtime.

(Mhm, that’s right.)

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Maomao thought. But she was too late.
In order to change assumption into conviction, she required a lot of proof. For that, the Crystal Palace had just what she needed – you could say that Maomao had simply lost to her curiosity.

“Pardon me. I got so excited that I forgot about asking for their consent,” she said.

“What’s with that perverted old man excuse?” Jinshi said.

I’d rather you don’t call me an actual pervert, Maomao thought while she reflected for now with her head bowed.

“I properly get their consent next time I sniff,” she reflected.

“Why the hell were you sniffing!” Jinshi cried.

Your speech is rough. “Oh my,” Consort Gyokuyou blinked incessantly.

Not good. Jinshi seemed to think, returning his slightly raised eyes back to their usual tender expression.

Maomao reflected for now.
She reflected on forcibly sniffing without getting the other party’s agreement. She also had to reflect on the point where she got a little excited and nearly half-stripped them. Also that she picked the maids of the Crystal Palace for being the other party.

Due to that, she had a feeling that she had ranked up to being treated as something even worse, from being the demon or monster she was until now.

I still needed to check, Maomao thought.

(I’ll reflect on this much huh.)

Maomao looked up and stared at Jinshi. She had to think that his coming over immediately due to the protest was good news.
Maomao thought she needed to make a quick decision.

“There’s a reason for that, regardless,” she said.

Several seconds passed with Jinshi just staring at her.

Still expressionless, he then moved his mouth. “The reason for the reflection?”

“That goes without saying,” Maomao declared simply.


T/N: The poor maids haha

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