(translated by xia0xiao1mei)
I Am Maid A
He Qing Lu is a very fascinating person.
His estate is just as huge as his dignified character, his home is just as deep as his ‘difficult to get along with’ personality.
“Your family sure is really rich!” Taking advantage of the moment the maid applies medicine on her, Pang Wan finally closes her mouth, her jaw practically about to dislocate.
It is not that she has never experienced much of the world, as the dignified Bai Yue Sheng Gu, and having also personally served the Supreme Chief of Wu Lin for several months, logically speaking, she has already seen a lot of rare treasures, but she really is seeing such ingenious architecture for the first time ever —— an ordinary couch, with a row of six buttons on the desk, each in charge of different purposes, switches for opening and closing the door, raising and lowering the footrest, igniting and extinguishing the candle flame, the rising and falling of the mosquito curtains, calling for the servants, access to storage containers, featuring six great functions!
——all of remote control! Mother! There’s actually remote control in a martial arts story! Not to mention the mattress also has massage functions!
Pang Wan is indeed thunderstruck.
He Qing Lu sits at the side drinking tea, as he listens to her praises, he does not even sound a harrumph.
Seeing that he has been unwilling to bother with her the entire time, Pang Wan could not help grow a little gloomy.
This well dressed Gentleman He ah, is good in all aspects, just too shy! When peeking at her in the main streets he was clearly passionate like raging flames, just before, he had even disregarded his own safety (?) and sent for someone to save her from the hands of those scoundrels, so why is it that in the presence of outsiders, he puts on such a “you have nothing to do with me” ice-cold look?
After careful considerations, she decides that, for the sake of Gentleman He’s handsome face, she shall temporarily forgive him.
Ai-yo, that’s because he really is so handsome ah.
“May I trouble lady to undress?” All ten of the maid’s fair and soft slender fingers stretches towards her, clinging to Pang Wan’s collar.
“What do you want?” Pang Wan shrinks back on alert, guarding her collar.
“Lady’s body has also been wounded, this maid shall help lady apply the medicine.” The maid urges her in a good-tempered manner, her voice tender and sweet, “As a young maiden, the skin condition is always important.”
Pang Wan touches the soft armour she’s wearing, and shakes her head in refusal: “No need, leave the medicine behind, I’ll do it myself.”
The maid glances back at He Qing Lu, seeing him looking as usual, she slowly responds with a smile, “Then I shall not bother you, here’s the medicine, this maid shall go and prepare a new set of clothes for lady to change into later.” Having said that, she turns and leaves in a delicately graceful manner.
Watching her swaying posture, Pang Wan thinks to herself, afraid that such maid is the “refined type” that Gu Xi Ju truly likes, unable to help the darkening of her face, something within her chest starts to stir.
“What else are you hiding on you?”
In the empty room, He Qing Lu’s voice suddenly sounds, exceptionally clear and cold.
“What do you mean what I’m hiding?!” Pang Wan is not in the mood to spare him a look, in the next moment, her expression makes a huge change, “What do mean by ‘what else’?” Could it be that this rascal has found something on her?
He Qing Lu watches her, extending towards her his right hand, half curled into a fist.
“Miscalculation in the rural area and all wild land lost, where is the spring breeze to plant the cymbidium (boat orchids)?”
His right hand slowly opens up, revealing a little silver orchid flower.
“Didn’t think, you are actually one of Bai Yue Sect’s people.”
He Qing Lu slowly says this word by word, the corners of his lips pressed into an extremely contemptuous smile.
Pang Wan widens her eyes.
She takes a deep deep breath.
“Ai-ya! Such a pretty little orchid flower! Where did you buy this from gentleman?”
In the next moment, she had already tilted her head to look at the orchid flower whilst putting on a pleasantly surprised act, her voice bright and clear, her smile sweet and pretty, ten out of ten pure innocence.
He Qing Lu did not think she would actually play dumb, and was slightly stunned.
“Did you get a good look at it? This is what you gifted someone at a restaurant.” That pair of attractively sharp sword-like brows knits together, “An orchid with nine petals made from western silver iron, such unique item, is but Persia’s tribute to the Bai Yue Sect’s little master, say! Exactly what is your role in the unorthodox sect?!”
With one overturning of his big hand, it locks onto Pang Wan’s throat, at the same time, one sound of kuang-dang, and dark steel shackles are pulled out from the wall behind the couch, tying up both her hands.
He does not give her any chance to react nor resist.
“How do you know this orchid flower is given to Bai Yue Sect?”
Pang Wan silently moves her wrist, to find that the shackles are extremely firm, impossible to break free from.
“Because this nine petal orchid, is created from the mould I made.”
Only seeing one wave of He Qing Lu’s finger, and under the candlelight, an extremely small “He” (贺) character vaguely emerges on the calyx of the flower.
“So what if you family name is carved onto it?” Pang Wan still keeps a firm stance, “This little orchid flower can be found anywhere, who knows, a different one may have another character carved onto it, put together, it happens to form the auspicious message of ‘Happy New Year’ (恭贺新年), how does it become your creation?”
He Qing Lu narrows his eyes, a trace of smile slowly washes onto his handsome face.
“You really don’t know anything?” He inspects her meaningfully, “Looks like you don’t have much of a formidable role, could it be this nine petal silver orchid was stolen by you?”
Pang Wan’s face turns cold, not saying a word.
“Silver orchid flowers can be found anywhere, but this one just happens to be different.”
Only seeing He Qing Lu pick up a cup of tea, sprinkling some sort of powder into it, then places that nine petal silver flower inside.
Not even a moment had past, when the nine petal silver orchid had already turned black and curled up into a ball, as though it had its vitality sucked out of it within a moment, thus withered away.
“Just now what I added was dichromate (highly toxic).” He Qing Lu picks up that cup and shakes it in front of her nose and eyes, “Now do you understand?”
Turns out this little orchid is used to test for poison! Pang Wan was alarmed at heart.
Ai-yo, that silver orchid flower was always brought back by Rong Gu-Gu from heavens know where, every year there will be one big bag of them, Rong Gu-Gu always casually uses it and leaves it around everywhere with very little care, causing her to believe it’s some sort of material benefits in the sect. Didn’t think that, didn’t think that this is actually a gift someone had given Nan Yi! Rong Gu-Gu ah, your sloppy adherence to trivial matters is going to get Wan Wan killed la!
“I actually been using it as spare pieces of silver all this time……” Pang Wan’s expression looks a little upset, this item is classified as personalised products, it can clearly sell for high prices.
He Qing Lu sounds a mocking laugh, again, raising his hand to clamp onto her chin.
“Who exactly are you?” His voice gentle and warm, but also carries coercion that disallows any resistance.
“……you want to know the truth?” Both hands seized, with no hope of escape, Pang Wan could only strongly keep her spirits up as she looks at him.
“You’re willing to tell the truth?” Another ice cold hand comes in contact, pinching Pang Wan’s cheek, “Careful, should I not believe you, I’ll use nails to jab your mouth into a bloody mess.” The expression on He Qing Lu’s face was sincere to the point it was eerie.
“I tell, I tell, I tell——” Her mouth looking askew due to her cheek being pulled, Pang Wan exhausts all efforts into speaking without any air leakage, “In fwat——I em——Bai Yue Sect’s Sheng Gu——”
Having said that, she resigns to the heavens and closes her eyes.
——today, should she suffer the misfortune of dying here today, praying that she is able to reincarnate in a matriarch country in her next life, long live Mary Sue!
She has yet to consider, having waiting a good few seconds already, the big hand on her throat is showing no signs of movement, the one in front of her has not “gasped in horror” as she was expecting, his breathing steady as though he is still waiting for her to finish.
Pang Wan quietly lifts one eyelid.
To find He Qing Lu staring at her with furrowed brows.
And so gaining the courage, she lifts the other eyelid.
“Don’t even harbour the wishful thinking of deceiving me!”
Seeing her open her eyes, He Qing Lu’s face gives rise to a dismissive sneer, the coldness in his eyes dense.
“The cowardly three legged cat likes of you, actually want to impersonate that deadly demoness who kills without batting an eye?!” He mockingly says, “Should you be the Sheng Gu of the unorthodox sect, then I am the great Jade Emperor!” (Ruler of the heavens in Chinese culture and Taoist mythology)
Thoughts making a turn, didn’t think that the opposition would actually look down on her so much, Pang Wan does not know whether she should be sad or happy, and could only gulp down the saliva and dully add: “……’s maid.”
“Indeed so.” He Qing Lu releases the hand tugging at her cheek, raising the corners of his lips in satisfaction, “You really are one of Bai Yue Sect’s.”
To have withheld the mystery in her identity, Pang Wan heart is met with mixed feelings, bitterly sounding an “en” ——am I that weak? Do I really look that weak? I mean you don’t look like the great Jade Emperor either!
“Since you are able to serve that demoness, looks like your identity can’t be considered too low —— I heard your Bai Yue Sect has many interesting little gadgets?”
He Qing Lu’s following sentence, left Pang Wan muddleheaded.
“Interesting little gadgets?” Pang Wan repeats his words.
He Qing Lu narrows his eyes, one hand sliding into her sleeve: “Take this for example.”
He pulls out a crimson red Blazing Needle.
“How did you know?!” Pang Wan was greatly startled, subconsciously raising her foot, ready to stomp at him.
Both her legs were seized halfway, He Qing Lu’s eyes sparklingly looks at her, amber pupils gradually deepening: “What other strange weapons do you have, throw them out at me to see, the more vicious the better.”
Pang Wan shivers upon hearing this, could it be this Gentleman He is a masochist?
After a long moment of thinking, she hesitantly bites down on her lower lip, reluctantly, unclearly saying: “Should gentleman not mind, by my waist side there is a golden whip, this whip is firm and tenacious, also light and soft, and greatly powerful, should gentleman really like it, I, I……” Her face burns crimson red, voice like a mosquito, unable to speak any further.
He Qing Lu does not even spare her a word and goes reaching for Pang Wan’s waist.
It cannot be helped that the golden whip is wrapped very tightly, the connector is also very well concealed, so he has no choice but to fumble around in exploration for a while, causing Pang Wan to constantly giggle like a trembling flower branch: “Ai-ya, it tickles! It tickles! Stop touching la!”
“Kuang-dang”, something smashes inside the room.
The two people on top of the couch halts their actions and simultaneously follows the sound, only seeing the maid from before, her left hand still maintaining the posture of holding a bowl, right hand still maintaining the posture of holding the clothes, as she stiffly stands at the doorway.
The medicine bowl, the clothes, as well as her jaw, had all dropped to the ground.
Perhaps what was smashed with them, is also the hopes of climbing up the branches to become a phoenix, a fair maiden’s heart.
 Poem mentioned here is Yǔ Yú Zhōng Chéng / 与于中丞 by Tang Dynasty poet Liú Shāng / 刘商
 Three legged cat or sān jiǎo māo / 三脚猫 actually has the meaning of being capable of all sorts, but a master of none, thus essentially rendering the person a good for nothing. I guess one way to think of it is, someone who is missing that one thing that they need to truly be good at something.