Chapter 26: Trust (Part 2)
“Move faster! Do you not want to eat with these dilly-dallying?”
Under the hot sun in the open courtyard, there were piles and piles of baskets full of clothes, draperies and curtains. Beside the well, there were three large stone pools that were soaked with different types of clothes. Ten over palace maids were under the scorching sun washing the clothes without daring to lift up their heads. Many of them have bloated white fingers that was due to long soaking hours. Even so, the old mama was still in the courtyard nagging continuously. The female in the Laundry Bureau are all low ranked palace maids and could only endure such punishments and scoldings silently.
Holding a newly brewed tea, Lan Fang pleasing said, “Mama do cool down. The sun is too fierce, do sit down and drink this tea. Let this servant watch over these people.”
She was actually a lower ranked mama and for the palace maids to flatter and serve her like that, the old mama felt rejuvenated and her expression became better. After receiving the tea from Lan Fang, the old mama spoke, “Well, you watch closely then. Don’t let them get lazy. There will be another batch of clothes coming in later.”
“Yes.” Lan Fang crisply answered with a look of undisguised pride. Coughing lightly, Lan Fang exploited her power and lightly shouted, “All of you listen up, your hands better be agile. If these are not done today, no one will be able to eat!”
Fu Ling gently shook her head, they were all lower-ranked palace maid. No one was noble than the other, with only a little bit of power, why is there a need to suppress and trample on others? Fu Ling gave a self-deprecating smile, it would seems that she is confused. Why would it be different in here? Aren’t all the female in the Inner Palace like this?
Over these ten over days, every day was spent washing and starching clothes till both hands were red and swollen. Each time when wringing the clothes, there will be an unbearable tingling sensation. Fu Ling picked up the washed curtains and her trembling hands almost made the curtain fall onto the ground. Lan Fang look at her and took the curtains from her hands to the palace maid beside her and a tough pretence scolded, “Seeing you this clumsy, go there to bring the dry clothes back.”
Drying clothes is much easier than washing and starching. Lan Fang gave Fu Ling a wink, Fu Ling hesitated for a moment but did not say anything before she got up and walk towards the drying field. The palace maids beside Fu Long was unhappy but under Lan Fang’s stare, they all silently resented but did not complain.
Lan Fang recovered her line of sight delightfully, its not that she pity Fu Ling but it was that Fu Ling is a female medical attendant and knows some medicine. They are low ranked maids that the physicians will not bother to diagnose them and those medical attendants abilities are not has high as Fu Ling. If she were to take care of her often, then when she is not feeling well she will be taken care of.
There were two person who walked into the yard. One was Wu Mama, who was responsible for the entire Laundry Bureau, and the other was a not young or old eunuch. After seeing who has came in, the arrogant old mama immediately hid her arrogance and respectfully walk up and flattered, “Wu Mama, how come you are here.”
Wu Mama eyes swept the yard one round, ignored the old mama attentiveness and with an urgent voice called out, “Call out the palace maid by the name of Fu Ling here.”
“Yes yes.” The old mama agreed readily but for a moment she could not remember who in the Laundry Bureau was called Fu Ling. It was Lan Fang who was quick witted and immediately said, “This servant will go and get her.”
Fu Ling did not go far before hearing Zhi Lan’s shouts. When she turned her head, she saw that in the Qing Courtyard stood Qu Mama and an eunuch. She felt a dread but nevertheless Fu Ling still walked towards them.
Wu Mama secretly sized her up before asking, “You are Fu Ling?”
A simple and neat face that was quite pretty and her quiet temperament was indeed more special than the average palace maid. Wu Mama waived her hands and said, “Pack up and leave with Gonggong.”
Go where? She has doubts but Fu Ling did not ask them. She was only here for half a month and there was nothing much to pack. Rolling her sleeves down, Fu Ling followed the eunuch out quietly. Wu Mama looked at the leaving figure of Fu Ling, and could not help but to raise her mouth. She actually left with the eunuch without batting an eye. This female really go with the flow or was it that her thoughts run too deeply?
Lan Fang walk to Wu Mama’s side and softly asked, “Wu Mama, where is Fu Ling going?” Usually when palace maids leave, they would pack up their own stuff but there was even a Gonggong coming over to lead her out. This made Lan Fang curious.
Wu Mama laughingly said with a bit of sarcasm, “The Emperor newly conferred Concubine Qing specially requested for her to wait upon. She will no longer be a lowly palace maid.”
The title of Concubine is of high rank, following by the side of such mistress, the identity would be higher than that of others. Lan Fang was silently cursing, Fu Ling always put on an aloof and indifferent appearance but she was the same like others, clinging onto the powerful. As she did not know which mistress she was serving, Lan Fang gave a sweet smile and pretended to be casual as she asked, “Which beauty is Concubine Qing?”
“It is that Miss of the Qing family that was sent from Hao Yue.”
That — Ugly monster?? Lan Fang’s almond eyes widen. That scary and terrifying face, the Emperor actually like that? Just a few days ago she heard that she was thrown into the Imperial Prisons. Only ten over days has pass and the pheasant has became a phoenix?!
Lan Fang shocked look made Wu Mama jump up in fright, and she shouted lowly, “Find out so much for what. Go and work.”
There were baskets of unwashed laundry at her feet and there was a pool of dirty water behind her. Lan Fang felt resigned. Back then both of them went together to serve the Qing family Miss. But today only Fu Ling landed in such a good job. She has only herself to blame, if she was not in the hurry to flee, the person that would leave here today is her instead!