Pampered Into Being the Empress – Chapter 4
Translated by: Cozy Translations
Chapter 4 – Protecting Master
After receiving her command, Rong Xi slowly walked towards Mu Huai’s back. Seeing this Fourth Prince up close, his face was handsome but the aura surrounding him was terrifying.
Rong Xi slowly breathed in and out.
People naturally like to look at beautiful things, but this Fourth Prince cannot be looked at too often. Taking one look too many may cause the head to be chopped off.
Rong Xi lowered her eyes and greeted Mu Huai through the mirror, “This slave will help Your Highness style hair.”
Mu Huai kept his eyes closed and replied lightly, “En.”
Inside, he felt that this palace maid’s voice was quite charming, she spoke as if she was singing. He was unsure if she purposely made herself sound this way.
Rong Xi was unclear of Mu Huai’s likes and dislikes, but she guessed that a master with this type of personality hated people cowering in front of him the most. People acting weak would incur his anger instead.
With a little more courage, she asked in a soft voice, “What type of hair would Your Highness like me to make? Do you want the same as yesterday or do you want to change it?”
When Rong Xi said the last “change” word, her voice slightly rippled. This type of coquettish and soft tone caused Mu Huai’s heart to swell. This was a very odd type of feeling.
Lifting his eyes, he looked at Rong Xi with a somewhat unhappy gaze and asked in a cold voice, “The way you speak…is it always like this?”
Rong Xi sucked in her breath and hurried explained, “This slave…this slave…always speaks like this. If Your Highness doesn’t like it, then this slave will change…”
Mu Huai knitted his eyebrows and observed Rong Xi. This palace maid was quite interesting. She sounded like a sparrow, her chirping delicate and full of sweetness. Her looks were different from how he imagined though, it didn’t suit her voice.
But anyway, Mu Huai didn’t really care about the appearance of his servants as long as they looked decent. Rong Xi’s current appearance wasn’t beautiful, but it couldn’t be called ugly either. Her skin was pale and she had a long and slender neck. She wasn’t very tall and was instead quite small, but she carried a youthful gracefulness.
Rong Xi felt a little uneasy with Mu Huai’s probing gaze, but she understood that her current objective was to help style his hair. She purposefully made her voice sound hoarser, “Then this slave will help Your Highness have the same hairstyle as yesterday?”
Mu Huai’s gaze stopped at the freckles on Rong Xi’s face before meeting her panicked gaze, “Up to you.”
Rong Xi tightened her throat and obeyed.
Mu Huai heard how she purposefully made her voice more hoarse and felt it was quite funny.
At this time, the young girl’s chilled and soft fingers touched his neck.
Mu Huai’s breath hitched.
He originally thought that he would detest her being so close. When Shun Fu brought her up before, he felt that Rong Xi would not be able to stay long in Quyun Palace. He might just kick her out one day.
But when this palace maid was working with his hair, a weird feeling suddenly arose within his heart, but he was clear that it was not one of abhorrence.
As for what feeling it was, he was unsure.
Mu Huai hated how he was being entangled in these unclear feelings and he pressed his thin lips together, his brows knotting closer a few degrees.
Rong Xi was born with beautiful hands. Her fingertips were like jade petals, worthy of being compared to catkins1
At this moment, her eyes were lowered as she focused solely on creating Mu Huai’s hairstyle. Her movements were careful and gentle, but at the same time quick and deft.
A short while later, Rong Xi finished styling Mu Huai’s hair and seeing how he was wearing a light-colored, smoky green tunic, she searched in the wooden box for a small, pale jade crown to sit on top of his head.
Thankfully, Mu Huai usually wore light colors otherwise this person would really be too overbearing and cold. Rong Xi even felt that the strands of his hair carried the word “power” in them.
If he were to wear dark colors, her hands would definitely shake if she had to serve him.
It took less than fifteen minutes to style Mu Huai’s Hair. But a suspicion slowly arose within Rong Xi. If the rumors were true that Mu Huai lost the ability to walk when he was thirteen, this his body shouldn’t have developed anymore. But even though Mu Huai was sitting down, it was clear that they were long and slender.
As Rong Xi was thinking about this, Shun Fu saw that Mu Huai’s hair was done and entered the room to shower praise, “As expected, the skills of women are more outstanding. Your Highness, you look even more handsome today with your hairstyle.”
Hearing this, Rong Xi lowered her head in modest.
Mu Huai had his usual cold expression on as he spoke to Shun Fu, “Talkative.”
Shun Fu shut his mouth, but he was very clear in his heart. Although Mu Huai never spared anyone with his mouth, Shun Fu was someone who had followed his young master for so many years and knew him the best. He (Mu Huai) was currently satisfied with Rong Xi.
But just knowing how to style hair was not enough. Whether Rong Xi could be kept and used, he must still observe some more.
Earlier this morning, Shun Fu had asked Rong Xi whether she was familiar with key duties in the study such as grinding ink and laying paper. Before Rong Xi had entered the palace, her master was a young miss from a family of scholars, so she was very familiar with such things. With Mu Huai’s precious status as a royal prince, he would naturally have his steward’s son be his study companion.
But Mu Huai’s previous study companion was so frightened of him that he fell ill and no longer dared to enter the palace to learn with him.
Shun Fu recalled that the Minister of Rites’ third son was also a noble young man, but a few years ago, Mu Huai was more ill-tempered. That son of the Minister of Rite’s wasn’t very intelligent either and was always lagging behind others in his studies.
Mu Huai was talented and smart and adding on his somewhat proud personality, he detested how dumb his study companion was. While he didn’t insult the third son, he would always coldly glare at him. The minister’s third son saw how the other princes would get along with their study companions harmoniously, but the Fourth Prince always stared at him with his cold eyes every day. Just like he was staring at a dumb bag of grass.
He felt more and more uneasy, and at nighttime, he would always dream of Mu Huai’s eyes and feel terrible when he woke up. He was fifteen years old but was looked down upon by Mu Huai as if he was a child. The Minister of Rites saw this and begged the Emperor to allow his third son to return home to recuperate, no longer being Mu Huai’s study companion.
As emperor, Mu Zhen was always generous and kind towards his subjects and gave his consent to the Minister of Rites’ request, preparing to find another study companion for Mu Huai. But even after switching study companions, those youngsters would always feel that Mu Huai was ill-tempered and difficult to get along with.
In the end, all the young masters in the capital did not dare to be Mu Huai’s study compaion.
Shun Fu couldn’t help but sigh recalling this and spoke to Rong Xi again, “Perhaps I’m just being too greedy. If you had read some books or were able to read some words, that would be even better. I see that His Highness looks highly upon you. If you could privately accompany him as he studies, maybe he would no longer be so averse.”
Rong Xi smiled at Shun Fu’s words but did not speak.
She did recognize words. Before her family fell into ruin, she was also a well-educated big missy. But with Mu Huai’s perverted4 and ill-temper, she did not dare to show off her meager level of education in front of him.
When the skies became brighter, Rong Xi followed Mu Huai to accompany him to Hanlin Academy. On the way to Hanlin Academy, Mu Huai only brought along her and a few bodyguards.
His wheelchair was custom-made. Usually, he would just push it himself, but if the road was a little longer or if there was an incline, then the servant would need to help.
Rong Xi originally wanted to push Mu Huai from Quyun Palace to Hanlin Academy, but just as she walked behind Mu Huai’s wheelchair, Mu Huai stopped her before she could grasp the handles.
Mu Huai glanced at Rong Xi’s slim arms, seeing how they would probably break at the slightest pinch.
He lowered his eyes, secretly complaining about how it was bothersome for a woman to serve him.
Not only was this palace maid’s voice thin and breathy, her arms were also thin.
As soon as he pictured Rong Xi gasping and exhausting her strength to push the wheelchair, Mu Huai felt his whole body become uncomfortable.
In a cold voice, Mu Huai ordered his bodyguard to push the wheelchair, and spoke in an unkind voice towards Rong Xi, “You push the wheelchair? Just with your arms…”
He paused and looked up and down at Rong Xi before continuing, “If you break yourself, then don’t serve me anymore.”
Seeing Mu Huai’s cruel attitude, she didn’t feel too beat up about it and obeyed in a low voice, “This slave understands, will not push Your Highness’ chair.”
Seeing Rong Xi’s obedient demeanor, even though Mu Huai’s face was as dark as always, he did not make things difficult for her during the rest of the journey.
The clouds in the fall season were sparse. The sky was clear and blue like water.
When everyone arrived at Hanlin Academy, two or three classrooms were already full.
Since the teacher had not yet arrived, Mu Huai could be considered to have arrived early.
Rong Xi heard from Shun Fu that on cloudy days, Mu Huai’s legs would flare up in pain. But even so, he never skipped class, and even when the pain was so overwhelming that his lips turned white, he never uttered a sound. Even if it was raining and it was difficult to make the journey, he would still come to Hanlin Academy to listen to the teacher’s lessons.
Hanlin Academy’s teachers taught in a very way. The princes would sit on the ground and in front of them would be short desks made from sandalwood.
Mu Huai was a special case, however. Because of his legs, it was inconvenient for him to sit on the ground, so he sat in his wheelchair when the teacher was teaching. In front of him were people of various heights.
Rong Xi felt that her current master was clearly someone who was so intelligent he could just pass his days by idly, but just because he was crippled, he was considered a black sheep of the royal family. There was a reason behind his foul temper as well.
She felt sympathetic and regretful in her heart. Since she followed the Fourth Prince Mu Huai, then she must carefully and devotedly serve him. If Mu Huai’s could pass his day-to-day life more comfortably, then she would have fulfilled her duty as a servant, and she’d feel more at easy receiving her double salary.
To give Mu Huai’s wheelchair more accessibility, Hanlin Academy specially installed a little ramp in front of their door. Rong Xi stepped through the threshold next door and then returned back to Mu Huai’s side5
The classroom was full of royal descendants6 and young masters along with their study companions; the royal princes and princesses have yet to arrive.
Seeing Mu Huai arrive, everyone bowed towards Mu Huai. After Mu Huai received their greetings, he saw Rong Xi stopped walking and was currently looking up at the ceiling.
Just as Mu Huai was opening his mouth to question her, he suddenly saw Rong Xi walk in front of him with panicked steps. Her soft voice was at a much higher pitch than normal–
“Your Highness, be careful!”
Before Mu Huai could blink, his wheelchair was already pushed a distance away by Rong Xi.
In an instant, large waves of water poured down from the ceiling, drenching Rong Xi’s small thin figure.
The cold water was bone-chilling, there was even ice in it.
Fall mornings were cold. Rong Xi was drenched from head to toe and couldn’t help but shiver.
Seeing this situation, Mu Huai’s countenance became gloomy.
The bodyguards next to him surrounded him to protect him, and there was another bodyguard that immediately went outside the classroom to climb up the roof to observe the situation.
Mu Huai looked up and saw that there was a hole in the ceiling left from the autumn rain from a few days ago. The Bureau of Internal Affairs had not yet had someone come out to fix it.
His smile was extremely cold.
Someone wanted to prank him, making this hole.
Thankfully Rong Xi discovered it and blocked it for him.
Translator’s comment: Surprise! I had time so double update for today 🙂
- It’s a metaphor for how soft a woman’s fingers are.
- I swear this is not a translation mistake. The raw said 八尺 which converts to 2.66 meters.
- This…maybe ancient people were eating some kind of superfood to explain their ridiculous heights.
- This doesn’t mean that he’s an actual pervert, just that he’s weird
- In the old days, servants and masters were not allowed to use the same doors. Masters used the main door/gate while servants had to use the side entrance.
- Royal descendants as in people who are royalty, but not of the main bloodline (aka the children of the current emperor)
- Sound effect