Chapter 144: They Could Not Take The Torment
Hong Xiu was shocked and frightened.
She had followed Lu Yunshuang back to the Grand Duke Mansion today and was naturally aware of what had transpired.
It looked as if the Crown Princess had been thoroughly infuriated by Second Miss Lu. Together with a message like that from the Crown Prince, everything had piled up and ignited an explosive fury within her mistress.
Hong Xiu felt deeply aggrieved at suffering a slap for no reason, but she continued dutifully, “Crown Princess, since the Crown Prince is busy with work and is unable to come by, there is no reason you can’t go over to see him instead. It would be best if you personally made some nutritious soup to bring along with you. The Crown Prince is sure to be very happy.”
The displeasure on Lu Yunshuang’s face finally eased slightly when she heard this. She reached out to caress Hong Xiu’s face, looking concerned and full of regret. “Does your face hurt? I didn’t actually want to hit you, but I was greatly angered by this unworthy servant girl.”
Hong Xiu’s eyes turned slightly red-rimmed as she shook her head. “Your humble servant doesn’t feel the pain at all.”
When she saw Lu Yunshuang was no longer as angry as before, she plucked up her courage and advised, “However, Miss, you must try to rein in your temper.”
Half of Lu Yunshuang’s anger had been appeased after she had vented it, and she was finally able to calm down.
Her gaze turned toward the trembling palace maid kneeling on the ground. The sinister look on her face had now been transformed into a gentle smile. She approached the maid to personally help her up as she said pleasantly, “I apologize for accidentally hitting you earlier. Go on and follow Hong Xiu out. She will help you see to your wound.”
When the palace maid met the Crown Princess’s smiling gaze, she could not help inwardly feeling afraid, but she maintained a respectful demeanor. “Thank you, Crown Princess. Your humble servant has coarse skin and thick flesh. There is no need for Big Sister Hong Xiu to help me with my wound.”
Lu Yunshuang ignored her, glancing directly at Hong Xiu and giving her a meaningful look.
Hong Xiu understood; she knew that this palace maid could no longer remain in the Eastern Palace.
Hong Xiu stepped forward to help the palace maid up by taking her arm, noticing that despite the girl’s blood-smeared countenance, it was still possible to make out traces of a pretty face. Hong Xiu did not give the palace maid any chance to turn her down. “The Crown Princess is kind and empathizes with the servants. Don’t reject her offer; come with me quickly now.”
The palace maid felt uneasy.
She was not stupid. The Crown Princess’s attitude before and after were polar opposites, which put her on the alert. However, she was merely a lowly palace maid—how could she even defy the Crown Princess?
The palace maid was still alarmed and anxious when Hong Xiu half-supported, half-pulled her out of the room.
Not long after, Hong Xiu returned.
Lu Yunshuang sat on the soft bed in the room. She lifted her eyes to glance at Hong Xiu, asking pointedly, “Is it done?”
Hong Xiu nodded. “Everything has been arranged.”
Something occurred to her, and she lowered her voice, murmuring, “News has come from there. Because quite a lot of customers have special requirements, they have worn out more than a few young ladies.”
Lu Yunshuang frowned when she heard this. “If they’ve been worn out, so be it. Just go out and get more girls to fill up the vacancies.”
Hong Xiu replied somewhat awkwardly, “There are plenty of young girls, Miss, but it’s hard to find girls who are pretty.”
The customers at the brothel were all quite brutal and rough in their methods. Young girls like these obviously could not take such torment, and many of them had been exhausted to the point of being irreparably worn out.
Furthermore, the imperial capital was the ruling seat of the Emperor. They would need to be more careful when executing their plans; they certainly could not abduct and swindle all those young, beautiful girls so openly.
Lu Yunshuang was rather frustrated. She had secretly set up those brothels, not only to win influential officials over to the Crown Prince’s side, but also to earn revenue for future plans. After all, there was much to arrange within the imperial court, all of which required a substantial amount of wealth.
“In that case, do you have any good ideas?”
Hong Xiu was prepared for this question. Upon hearing this, she immediately replied, “Since the imperial capital is under the Emperor’s watchful eye, we must be extremely careful whatever we do. Elsewhere, however, it will be much easier for us to execute our plans.”