These intentionally mean words coming from Young Master, can cause anyone to go red in the face and clench their teeth, but what have I been saying since the very start? I said I have a fair temperament, I don’t like to make a fuss.
……well isn’t that right though?
I continue to gently help Young Master buckle the buttons on the lapel of his clothes, ignoring that handsome smile that carries satire, I slowly say: “Young Master.”
Young Master slight raises his brows, “En?”
I continue to speak slowly, “Ah-Lan is Young Master’s maid.”
Young Master seems interested, “En.”
I dully state, “Ah-Lan is no pig.”
“Oh?” Young Master strokes his chin with his long and slender fingers, “But……Young Master – I – still think you’re a pig.”
……you’re the pig here, you’re even more so that talented pig in the saying ‘if men can be trusted, a female pig can climb trees’.
“Ah-Lan is Young Master’s maid.”
“Ah-Lan is no pig.”
Young Master, “……”
I’m unafraid of entanglements, unafraid of provocation, I lack many things, just not lacking in patience.
Inside the room, Young Master and I are currently in the midst of dull eyes meeting phoenix eyes, when that unsettling door once again sounds. “Young Master, have you awakened?”
Tut tut, this pleasantly crisp voice, other than comrade San-er, who else can it be?
Young Master very masterly takes a seat by the table, and I, very servantly go to rinse his hand towel.
“Come on in.” He cleanses his hands in a refined manner, actions elegant and charming.
I really want to claw the walls like Garfield, holy mother, Young Master takes the idol route even when cleaning his face!
Outside, San-er lightly pushes open the doors, her line of sight stopping on me for a few seconds before quickly looking away, both her hands carrying a tray as she approaches Young Master, revealing her cute canine teeth as she says: “Good morning Young Master.”
My face remains expressionless, it is clearly afternoon already.
Young Master on the other hand, seems to be very accepting of it, a slight twitch of his phoenix eyes revealing a flash of a smile, “What has San-er come so early in the morning for?”
I feel my stomach twist. So early in the morning, so early in the morning he says.
San-er sweetly smiles, placing the tray onto the table, “Young Lady had specially made Young Master’s favourite hibiscus cake this morning, this servant has brought it over whilst it’s still freshly made.”
Young Master faintly curls up his thin lips, “Perfect, I have yet to eat this morning.”
San-er charmingly blinks her big eyes, saying: “Do give it a taste, Young Master.”
I look at that hibiscus cake, then look at the two of them, thinking to myself, this late into the ‘morning’ and you two are bringing in the sweet desserts, so this is how the greasiness in the two of you came about.
Young Master rinses his mouth, and was just about to pick up a piece of the cake when he was interrupted.
“Young Master.” A woman in lilac delicately calls out from the doors.
Young Master immediately forgets what he was about to do, smiling at her, “Zi Ling? Are you not feeling unwell, why have you gotten up now?”
I glance over at that fragile looking Zi Ling, not missing that flash of sharp light in her eyes the moment she spots San-er.
Zi Ling lightly paces in, that faint lilac skirt slightly swaying, “I have troubled Young Master, I had only felt a little lightheaded when I got up this morning, this servant knows Young Master is used to eating the bamboo leaves cake I make in the morning, hence why I busied myself making it.”
She glances at the untouched hibiscus cake on the table, gently smiling as she says: “Hopefully I have come in time.”
Ever since Zi Ling came in, San-er’s face had turned colder by a great amount, hearing these words even more so caused her to furrow her brows, clearly not happy.
Meanwhile, here I am watching with great interest, how capable this lass — San-er is ah, to know she must put on an annoyed expression in attempt to pull points of sympathy, Zi Ling appears to have the upper hand, but she is being too direct, San-er is the guest right now, she should be giving way, but she only cares for exerting her power.
I then look at Young Master, he is still smiling, looking as leisurely as ever, I believe this man really is a master surrounded by many disputes.
The two of them, one with girlishly shy eyes, one with hopeful dark orbs, and then there’s Young Master being stared at, who instead, suddenly turns his handsome face to ask me with unusual tenderness, “Ah-Lan, which one would you like to eat this morning?”
Four eyes shooting cold beams, instantly sweeps over to me, as a maid, must I also be a part-time cannon fodder, am I easy now?
Just as I was about to open my mouth, Ying Lu’s voice could be heard, followed by the immediate appearance of her figure within the room, she excitedly grabs my hand and pulls me out, “Brother, let me borrow Ah-Lan for a bit!”
Young Master sounds a low and deep laughter, “Remember to return her to me then.”
“Alright!” Ying Lu cheerfully answers.
Eh, could this be the common saying of ‘to borrow and make a timely return, makes it easier to borrow the second time’?
Ying Lu excitedly drags me to Xiao Hei’s room, Xiao Hei was originally enjoying its sweet sleep buried within the blankets, but was helplessly thrown into my arms with one casual grab from Ying Lu’s hands. She reveals her teeth at me as she smiles, “Ah-Lan, let’s go!” Saying that, she does not wait for a response before turning to dash off.
I reach out to poke at Xiao Hei’s pig snout, “Go where? Do what?”
Xiao Hei blinks its hazy black eyes, looking rather wronged, as though saying: “Go where ah? You ask me, but how am I supposed to know?!
I happily pinch its ears and joyfully pace forward, who cares where she needs to go, the master’s words are imperial orders, I must absolutely obey unconditionally.
Approximately a quarter of an hour — that would fifteen minutes in contemporary times — later, I carry Xiao Hei as I sit on the little stool, one second looking at the expensive flowers not far in front, next second looking at the little bucket beside my feet, stunned.
I believe that asking when one doesn’t understand is what makes a good fool, and so I blankly turn to Ying Lu’s cheerful little face, “Eh……Young Lady?”
Ying Lu reaches out to pull up her sleeves, revealing her snow-white arms, showing no intention to fix it, “En? What’s up?”
“This, Young Lady is wanting to……?” I say very, very blankly.
Ying Lu answers in a very matter of fact tone, “Bathing ah.”
“Of course, bathing him.” Ying Lu points at Xiao Hei held in my arms, “If not him then you expect it to be you?”
My face falls as I look at her, “Young Lady, you scared me to death, I thought you meant you……”
Ying Lu chokes upon hearing this, blush coating her fair cheeks, as she reprimands, “Reckless lass, aren’t you going to hurry and throw Xiao Hei in.”
I slowly raise Xiao Hei and take a careful look, turning to very sternly say: “Young Lady.”
“En?” Ying Lu was just testing the water temperature.
“Can I ask a question?” I am being very serious.
Ying Lu shakes off the water from her hand, “What question?”
“Eh,” I ponder, “Would bathing a pig in front of the pretty flowers make the pig turn beautiful?”
The corners of Ying Lu’s lips twitches a few times.
“Or……” I make another guess, “Would it make it smile as beautifully as a flower?”
Ying Lu’s face stiffens, helplessly covering her eyes, “Oh heavens, how did I get involved with a ridiculous person like you?”
I grab the back of Xiao Hei’s neck, using a force that doesn’t allow for resistant to put it into the water, ignoring its struggling and uncooperative short limbs and mournful pig cries, “Ah?”
“Nothing, I’m happy to perform such task in broad daylight.” Ying Lu quickly puts on a smile, enthusiastically starting to bath Xiao Hei.
I give Xiao Hei one glare, and sense that its struggle has weakened a lot.
Hei child, this matter of her telling you to bare your naked body in broad daylight, you need not say anything, as you really have no choice, and can only obediently go along with it. Sigh, who told us to be servants to this master, -about that-, don’t shake your legs, it really is humiliating to death.
In the end, Xiao Hei is able to cooperatively let us finish bathing it, its four limbs standing straight, pig head held high, strongly shaking off all the water from its body, giving off a different sense of beauty under the golden sunrays. I feel insanely pleased at heart, Xiao Hei is clearly a knock-off wild wolf, just that it’s actions are tender and cute, whereas wild wolves have an air of chicness. Overall in one phrase, knock-offs really are found everywhere.
“Ah-Lan.” Ying Lu suddenly calls out to me.
I look at her, she’s currently holding a clean towel and wraps Xiao Hei in it, her actions soft and gentle as she wipes it. I blink my eyes, “Young Lady?”
Ying Lu appears hesitant to speak, then points at several pots of beautiful flowers, asking me, “These, these are pretty, right?”
I look at those flowers I don’t know the names of, dully saying: “Ah? Are they not all the same?”
Ying Lu’s eyes instantly lights up, “You’re saying they’re very common, very average? There’s nothing so great about them, right? To be honest, they’re not much different from the crested dogstail grass at the roadsides, is that not right?”
I fall silent, I just knew the underlying meaning to her words just now were ‘these are not pretty are they?’. I pat the water off my hands, very unlovingly passing by those glamorous flowers and point to an ordinary grass, saying: “Young Lady, I like this one.”
How great grass is ah, weeds are even better ah, it doesn’t just bloom amongst the spring wind, doesn’t burn in wildfire, how strong of a vitality it has ah, doesn’t even die when stomped on.
I scratch my head, eh, wait wait wait wait, something’s not right here, exactly what isn’t right ah? I ponder, I ponder some more, I continue to ponder!
“Ah-Lan,” Ying Lu is unable to wait, eyes turning faintly green, strangely scary if I must say. She grabs my wrist saying: “Ah-Lan, good Ah-Lan, I just knew you’re truly the most tasteful one, I just knew it, just knew it!”
I am immediately dumbstruck, what exactly is going on here ah? How did I become the truly most tasteful one?
Only seeing Ying Lu toss Xiao Hei into my arms, dashing over to the weeds I had pointed at, holding the pot and returning. Her eyes shining and glittering from within, “Ah-Lan, let me tell you a secret, to tell the truth, this was tended by me.”
I glance at the weeds that appears to be lacking nutrition, suddenly hit with the realisation of what the trouble is. Could it be, I had unintentionally given her a proud pat on the back……?
“But Ah-Lan, I just find it a little strange.” Ying Lu gulps, “These were originally the same as those purple flowers, but why are mine like this whereas those ones are like that?”
I take a look at the purple flowers she speaks of, then look at the weeds in her arms, suddenly feeling like I’m seeing the ‘plant version’ of ‘Imperial Sister and I’. So embarrassing, truly so embarrassing……
I reach out to hold up a yellowing leaf, “Young Lady, how long has it been since you watered it?”
Ying Lu sounds an “ah”, casually grabbing the clean hot water on the side, and pours it down.
== I @/#@# (cursing)……it truly is a miracle the plant didn’t die. I try hard to control the twitching of my mouth, attempting to speak in a calm tone: “Young Lady.”
“Ah?” Ying Lu very innocently responds.
“Do you usually water it with hot water?”
“No, I usually use cold water, it’s not hot water today either ah, only warm.”
My #, the plant isn’t Xiao Hei, it doesn’t need warm water to bath in! I very gently speak: “Young Lady, I can tell you why it is unable to bloom.”
Ying Lu is very willing to learn as she stares at me, face filled with eagerness.
“Number one, its lacking too much.” I hold up a piece of dry leaf that did not get a touch of water, saying: “Young Lady didn’t take care of it when it needed you.”
Ying Lu’s eyes darts around, *cough cough*, “You know, Young Lady – I – am very busy ah, yes, extremely busy.”
I ignore her, continuing to speak: “Number two, Young Lady, its overfed.”
“Ah? What’s that supposed to mean?” Ying Lu widens her beautiful eyes.
I point at the soaked leaves, “Young Lady must know, giving too much in one go, would instead cause it to not be able to absorb the nutrients. For example, when I’m eating, just as I’ve eaten enough to feel full, too much would cause the stomach to panic, making me want to vomit.”
Ying Lu starts to turn serious, frowning a little, “Mm, that sounds about right.”
“Number three……” I point at the warm water saying: “You don’t know what it needs and hence randomly give it anything, but to a large extent, you are forcing it, it cannot accept it, and can only fall defeated.”
This time, Ying Lu is already feeling very guilty, her eyes slightly reddening, “Ah-Lan, this flower was gifted by Little Uncle, I also wish to take good care of it, look, Liu Ru Xu’s ones have all bloomed so beautifully, yet mine has become weed. I don’t dare to tell others that this is mine, and can only discard it to the side, taking another one to say it’s mine. Ah-Lan, I like it, I really like it, but why does it not like me, it only likes Liu Ru Xu, just like the rest of them.”
I foolishly smile at her, meaningfully saying: “Young Lady, how do you know it doesn’t like you? I’d say, it likes you, likes you more than anyone else.”
Ying Lu’s tear coated lashes flutters, “Why do you say that?”
I slowly speak: “Because……it didn’t even die after all the torture you put it through, the evidence is clear.”
Ying Lu freezes, instantly bursting into laughter, “You fool, reckless lass, you dare to make a joke out of me, watch how I punish you!”
I giggle, but before I could say anything, we were interrupted.
“Young Lady is here too, what a coincidence.” San-er’s figure appears within our sight, standing beside her is the cold and charming Liu Ru Xu.
Ying Lu’s face darkens, “What, as if I need your permission to be here?”
San-er lower her eyes and laughs, “What is Young Lady saying? This servant is just causally asking. Eh, what’s that in Young Lady’s hand? Weed? Why does it look so ugly?”
I think to myself, hearing you say such words, may I ask, have ever seen weed that looks pretty like flower and jade? Ying Lu’s face instantly turns cold, but under San-er innocent look and Liu Ru Xu’s cold watch from the side, she does not say anything, her ears slowly turning red.
Deep down, I truly find it funny, bluntly pointing at the purple flowers, then pointing at Liu Ru Xu, asking: “Those, the purple ones, are tended by you?”
Liu Ru Xu’s eyes slightly narrows, unable to make out her emotions from her expression, whereas San-er glares over with her big eyes, angrily reprimanding: “What’s your status to be speaking to my young lady like that?”
I dully look at them, pointing at myself, “Me? I’m Young Lady’s maid.”
“Just a maid, yet you dare to point at my young lady, how rude! Does no one ever teach you right from wrong now?!” These words of San-er’s is what one considers a lesson of righteousness.
I indifferently glance at Liu Ru Xu, ignorantly asking: “What is Sister San-er’s status then?”
“I’m of course my young lady’s……” San-er’s voice comes to a sudden stop.
I softly stroke Xiao Hei’s back, deliberately slowing down my speech: “Oh, so Sister San-er is also just……a, maid.”
A maid of the Young Lady Ru Xu’s, from where does she get the audacity to be pointing fingers and satirising Ying Lu?!