On her first day working as a Siyan, Prince Zhou called Fu Rou to Lingxiao Palace. She finally understood that no matter what position she held, she would always just be a ‘palace lady’ in Prince Zhou’s eyes and had to run errands for him.
As Fu Rou stepped through the door, a shirt came flying towards her. She quickly caught it only to see the sleeves of the shirt torn and a hole in the chest area. The shirt was torn beyond belief. Looking up, she saw how tragic Prince Zhou’s face looked and wanted to laugh but did not dare to.
Prince Zhou blamed her. “This is all your fault. Hurry up and mend it. If not, you have to compensate me with another one. No, it should be two more shirts personally made by you.”
“What does Your Highness fighting with others have to do with me?” Although she said this, Fu Rou already knew the answer and took the shirt, getting ready to leave. “I still have things to do for Her Majesty.”
“Just mend it here.” Prince Zhou threw a sewing kit at her. “This is your first day at your new position. According to the rules, you don’t have to be at Lizheng Palace. You are very free.” He had already asked around.
Fu Rou did not say anything more as she sat on the swing and mended his shirt. Prince Zhou read while sneaking looks at her.
“Tutor Qian is about to return to Chang’an.” His voice was light.
“Really?” She was extremely surprised.
“He came from the Qi State to Chang’an to have an audience with Imperial Father. I will ask Imperial Father to allow him to return to my side once again.”
He was surprised by her delighted reaction. “Why are you happier than me? I don’t think you know Tutor Qian.”
“But I read with you and heard you say many things about Tutor Qian. If Your Highness has someone that cares for you by your side, you will be a lot happier.” She was happy for him.
“You are concerned whether I am happy or not?” Her sentence made him excited.
“Yes, however-” She had a condition. “You can’t build your happiness from my suffering. You are best at catching other people’s weak points and using it as a threat.”
“A threat is a threat.” He neither admitted nor denied. “But I have never harmed you.”
“Who said so? When you fed me medicine…” It greatly harmed her mental state!
“What about it?” His tone was not at all vague.
“Never mind.” She became alert and immediately shut her mouth. She handed over the mended shirt to Prince Zhou. “I have done what you asked me to do. I shall take my leave now.”
Fu Rou turned to leave. Prince Zhou grabbed her wrist and turned her around. He stared at her. “When I fed you medicine that time, I...was very happy.”
“Your Highness, you were happy but I wasn’t.”
She took back her hand. Feelings could not be forced and she could not let him have any hope.
Fu Yin took the feather duster as she swiped here and there. Occasionally, she would glance out of the window.
The garden outside was huge and there were many flowers and plants she had never seen before. Even the fake mountain stone that seemed casual, looked peculiar. In the past, she had always thought that their house in Guangzhou was considered wealthy. It was only when she came here that she realised she was like a frog in a well and had yet to see the world. However, she was not jealous. She was grateful.
If her mother were still around, she would never have imagined that Fu Yin would have so much courage as to sell herself to the Lu family as a servant. Du Ning must have gone to her house. She wondered if he realised that she had left home for good and whether he thought that she was heartless.
The housekeeper had arranged for her to work in Lu Qi’s study room. She would be able to see the son of her enemy very soon. Fu Yin’s imagination ran wild and she became nervous.
A man wearing male robe entered. He was handsome and had a strong frame, looking grand and imposing.
The servant that was working in the study with her, Ling Long, had previously left Fu Yin in the study room and ordered her to finish the tasks. She suddenly appeared from nowhere and her makeup looked as if it had been touched up. She even changed into an eye-catching set of clothes. She moved in an alluring manner as she got closer to the man.
“Young Master, you have returned.” Ling Long’s voice became much gentler.
Fu Yin silently assessed Lu Qi. He did not look like a bad guy. One really could not judge a person from their appearance.
Lu Qi ordered, “Bring me a cup of tea.”
“Yes.” Ling Long replied quickly as she turned and rolled her eyes at Fu Yin who was standing awkwardly. “Didn’t you hear? Young Master wants a cup of tea.”
Fu Yin placed down whatever she was doing and poured a cup of tea before walking towards Lu Qi. Ling Long stopped her and nimbly took the tray. She bent over and delivered the tea to Lu Qi.
Lu Qi took a sip and scalded his mouth. “Are you trying to scald me?”
Ling Long raised her brows and glared at Fu Yin. “What is going on? Didn’t I remind you that you must test the temperature of the tea before delivering it? You can’t even do something as simple as this? So stupid.”
Fu ying froze before replying slowly, “You never mentioned that before.”
Lu Qi glanced at Fu Yin as his feelings stirred. The maid’s features were delicate and her skin was soft and tender like bamboo shoots after a rain.
“Forget it.” He was moved and his tone warmed up. “Is she a new servant?”
“Yes, her name is Yin’er. Don’t look at her seemingly smart appearance, she is quite clumsy when it comes to working.” Ling Long quickly put her down.
Lu Qi assessed Fu Yin as his eyebrows raised. It was obvious that he was interested in her. “She is new and will need some time to adjust.”
Fu Yin avoided Lu Qi’s gaze. It made him excited, she was like an adorable rabbit. There would be a lot of time in the future. As he thought of this, he spread a piece of paper over the table and took off the lid on the ink slab. He had to complete the task his father gave him.
Ling Long came up enthusiastically. “Let me help you prepare the ink.”
Lu Qi frowned. “Ling Long, your perfume powder…” It had assaulted his nose earlier. It was too strong.
“Ah, Young Master, you have such a sharp nose. I purposely asked someone to buy it for me from Hexiang Store.” Ling Long smiled flirtatiously and leaned against Lu Qi. “Doesn’t it smell nice?”
Lu Qi used the end of his brush to push Ling Long away. “It smells nice. But it is so strong that I feel like choking. You are like a fireworks tube, leave.”
Ling Long did not want to leave but Lu Qi threw her a sharp look and she did not dare to stay. She walked past Fu Yin, who was in a daze, and suddenly thought of something. She pulled Fu Yin along with her.
“Eh, don’t be delusional!” Ling Long dragged Fu Yin all the way to the back garden before flinging her hand away.
Fu Yin was not looking at Lu Qi but was focused on the small decorative dagger on the cupboard. She thought that if she could get near to Lu Qi, she would have a chance to stab him.
“Go and wash all these clothes.” Ling Long placed a huge bucket of clothes into Fu Yin’s hands.
Fu Yin could not help but say, “These are female clothes. However, the housekeeper said that I only need to wash the clothes Young Master takes off in the study room.”
“Just now when we were in front of Young Master, you pretended to be cold but now you dare to argue back!”
Ling Long came over to pinch her but Fu Yin dodged. Ling Long became furious and raised her hand to slap her. However, someone caught her hand.
“If the new maid does not know the rules, Ling Long, you can just say it nicely. Why do you need to slap her? If it leaves a mark, Brother Lu will lose face when there are guests to the study room. He will then look for you.” It was Lu Hanxing.
Fu Yin glanced at him. He gave off an unsettling aura.
“You are lucky. Get lost.” Ling Long was extremely irritated. This stupid maid has only been here for a day and she managed to seduce Lu Qi and Lu Hanxing. What is this!
Fu Yin did not like the look Lu Hanxing was giving her and could not wait to leave. Lu Hanxing’s gaze remained on Fu Yin. “The housekeeper’s eyes are not bad this time, he chose a beautiful maid.” However, as he saw Ling Long raised her eyebrows. He immediately lifted her chin and placed his lips extremely close to her mouth. “However, she is not as pretty as you.”
Ling Long allowed Lu Hanxing to kiss her for a while before pushing him away. “Then why are you helping her?”
“I am clearly helping you.” Lu Hanxing squeezed Ling Long’s cheeks. “You look so angry. Has Lu Qi been ignoring you?”
Ling Long was unhappy. “Other than serving tea, I have been serving more tea. He even said that I put on too much perfume. I served him for so many years and only managed to seduce him once. He has no conscience. He took my innocence and merely let me be a servant in his room and doubled by pay. He then treats me like nothing.”
Lu Hanxing was not surprised. “He wants a concubine, why didn’t you go for it?”
“I don’t go for it? I try so much, my head is about to explode yet he pretends not to notice. He even asked people to send in pictures, choosing here and there. In the end, he chose the lady from the Fu family. She has been married before, is infamous and is really unlucky. Because of her, he then had the Imperial Competition with Sheng Chumu and ended up getting beaten. He had to give up his bride on top of losing his army.”
Lu Hanxing suddenly gave a stone face. “You keep on talking about Lu Qi, are you treating me as if I am dead?”
“You are the one that brought it up first. Moreover, if I am doing well, it is good for you too.” Ling Long snuggled into Lu Hanxing’s embrace. “Did you find me for something?”
Lu Hanxing appeared aroused. “Come into my room to help me mend my clothes. If you do it well, I have something for you.”
Ling Long pretended to hit Lu Hanxing but still tried all ways to flatter and pamper him. The two of them secretly sang the same tune and both gained from fooling around with each other. Together, they plotted against Lu Qi. However, Lu Qi was unaware of all this.
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