Volume 8, Chapter 24: Arrival (Volume End)

Maomao looked out the window. More ships had appeared from behind the narrow window. Those were the merchant ships that had increased in number every time they stopped at a port along the journey. Seeing as they were heading to the western capital along the same route, were they a countermeasure against pirates?

“And so, at what seemed like a long journey, I can see that we have arrived at our destination.”

“Chue-san, what are you on about?” the quack doctor asked Chue who was relaxing in the medical office like it was natural.

“No, it seemed like I could come in at around this point, so I tried.”

“I don’t understand you.” The quack tilted his head. Chue says truly inexplicable stuff, but people like that are a fixed number in this world.

Maomao moved away from the window and decided to check the remaining stockpile of medicine. As Chue said, they will be reaching their destination, the western capital, soon. They had to consider replenishing the medicine stock, but where the essential quack was concerned, he was chattering away nonstop like always.

Along with Rihaku, Chue had also gathered in the medical office. The person herself had said, “It’s work”.

“Court Physician-sama, please record the number of medicines.” Maomao passed him the account book and stationery. It didn’t take that much work, and Maomao could have done it herself, but she thought that she shouldn’t spoil the quack doctor.

“Shall I help?” Chue asked.

“No, we’ll get told off later if someone unrelated to medical staff gets involved in it.”

“Too bad. Chue-san is also well versed in poisons.”

Chue was the type who sells herself.

“Since you food taste.” Maomao recalled what happened in the country of Anan. Maomao was Jinshi’s food taster, and Chue was the weirdo tacticians’.

Let’s leave what happened to your imagination.

While there was no incident, let’s just say that it was only a disturbance. It can be said that it was fortuitous that it didn’t become a diplomatic issue.

It was really tiring.

“Ahhh, I had fun at Anan. I’m looking forward to the western capital—” Chue’s small eyes sparkled. From her fingers, came a small flower, a flag, and for some reason, a dove–the quack and Rihaku ended up retorting as the straight man. Maomao didn’t need to butt in now, but she was interested about–

“How do you do that?” Maomao asked.

“Hohoh. Are you interested in Chue-san’s magic?” Chue raised her small dango nose triumphantly.

“Yes. Your magic seems like it takes skill.” Maomao had gone to Lady Pai’s show before, but that was more a trick derived from knowledge rather than skill.

“What do you plan to do with it?” 

“It’ll be the perfect show when the higher-ups tell me to do something to kill time.”

Maomao always bombed the stock phrases of the brothel, so she wanted to know a small trick.

“Unfortunately, I had displayed it while the Prince of the Moon was on ship, and as for his majesty, when I first showed him, we had a discussion about the course of action afterwards,” Chue answered.

(No, what course of action afterwards!)

Maomao found herself on the verge of retorting; she bore with it.

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What an unreservedly impolite woman.

As Maomao lined up the bags of medicine in the box and made the quack write on it, she returned it to the box and repeated the steps. 

“That reminds me, I haven’t told you about the itinerary from now on,” Chue said.

“So you did have a proper job.”

“Yes. Chue-san works so that her mother-in-law doesn’t pick on her.” Chue sat up straight and took out a wooden slip from her bosom pocket.

“Oh, how old fashioned, Chue-san. You should use paper. It’s easier to use.” The quack waggled his finger. He was acting haughty because his family manufactured paper.

“Noo. I am a refined person who loves the antique. I love touching wood, and I love its fragrance.”

Paper is convenient, but there are also a lot of dilettantes like this. Honestly, Maomao had no idea, but she had no reasons to stop the other woman. It’s just that, she had a question about how Chue had fit that long wooden slip in her bosom pocket.

“As soon as we reach port, take your belongings and board the carriage. It will take about a quarter of a dual hour to reach the western capital, but please be careful of scorpions.”

Maomao replied as she wondered, Will scorpions come out?

“Quack, I mean, Court Physician-sama, when you reach the western capital, please join up with the other court physicians. Maomao-san too. You will be guided to the room you will be using as your base. It will be located at Gyoku’en-sama’s villa, and you will be divided into three groups since it cannot fit all of you. Also, the upper-division will form one group, so please be understanding.” 

(She said quack, didn’t she?)

It was a terribly lousy cover-up, but the quack didn’t seem to have noticed as he was writing with one hand.

“Maomao-san is supposed to move with the other court physicians. You’ll be called for food tasting, a special scene. I think Rihaku-san and I will be mobilised often together.”

Rihaku was the quack’s bodyguard, but was Chue in charge of communication? It did seem like she was slacking away from the eyes of her mother-in-law and big aunt, but let’s pretend to know nothing. It’ll be scary if Suiren came instead.

“Also, night is my free time, so please don’t call for me then,” Chue said.

“Ehh, even for emergencies?” the quack said as he rolled the brush with his fat fingers.

“Yes. My mother-in-law has been pestering me for a second one, so I’ll have to use transcendent skills,” Chue said with a smart expression.

The quack tilted his head at first, but when Maomao said, “She’s a married woman, “ he seemed to guess, his face flushing beet red and dropping his brush. The inner palace court physician is often employed for this.

However, the husband seemed to be the one behind the curtain. Is he usable? 

“Huuuuuuu. Concentrate power in my dantian~.”

“Chue-san, stop it with the weird gymnastics. Please continue.” Maomao chopped at Chue who was bending down with her hands moving weirdly. The woman wasn’t going to stop, so there was no helping it.

“I believe your lifestyle at the western capital will be the same as on the ship. However, the one taking charge will be high ranking court physician, Court Physician You(楊, yang. Fyi, it is pronounced as Yoh in Japanese),Chue fixed her posture, continuing with an innocent look.

Apparently, that tanned high ranking court physician is called You. It’s a pretty common surname in the west. Maomao had to memorise it.

“And well, I think we’ll be mostly together, so it doesn’t matter whether you ask Chue-san at any time or ask Court Physician You, whoever you prefer. However, not at night, please. I don’t know if the second son of the Ma clan can make kids, so I’m getting pressured. If the Ma Clan dies out, no, there are branch families, but mother-in-law will…”

Chue had a serious look in her eyes. It seems the woman had things she feared.

(It’s rough being the wife of the eldest son.)

As Maomao thought about other people, she arranged the last of the medicine. When she packed it away, Chue stood up as well.

“We are going to arrive soon, so I’ll be heading back.”

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“See ya, Chue-san,” the quack doctor said as if he was telling her to come back to play.

Chue waved as she was going to leave the room, then turned around again. “Maomao-san.”

“What is it?”

Does she have some other business?

“People lie, no matter at the pleasure district or in the palace. There are a lot of liars in the western capital as well, so please be careful.” Chue grinned. Her tanned face looked darker in the dim interior of the ship.

“Well then.”

The ship lurched with the sound of the door closing.

Jinshi 2 END

- my thoughts:
One more chapter to go. Who's excited? And yes, Chue is totally speaking in third person, sometimes.
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