Kusuriya no Hitorigoto - novelonlinefree.com
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The treatment gets better for maids with rooms, moreover for the maids of the Emperor's Beloved Consort.
Her rank had rose up from the bottom of the pyramid structure to somewhere in the middle. According to what she was told, her wages also increased exponentially. Twenty percent of that wage goes to her family, or rather, the merchants who sold her.
She was provided a narrow room, not a worker's room she had up until recently.
Her sleeping quarters had upgraded from a straw woven mat and a sheet to a bed. The room was wide enough to fit two beds. She was happy that she no longer had to avoid stepping on her room mates when she wakes up in the morning.
The Jade Palace where Consort Gyokuyou resided, had four attendants aside from Maomao. As the princess was beginning to eat baby food, there hadn't been a need to employ a new wet nurse.
Compared to Consort Rifa who had more than 10 people with her, it was quite a small retinue.
Seeing as though she suddenly moved up the ranks from being the lowest maids to work as an attendant, while she saw looks of disapproval, there weren’t any harassment she had honestly expected.
Rather, what she saw were looks of sympathy.
(Why is that?)
She soon knew the reason.
Before her eyes was imperial court dishes made with lots of medicinal herbs.
One by one, Consort Gyokuyou's head maid, Honnyan, placed small plates with portions of the side dishes before Maomao.
Consort Gyokuyou looked on apologetically but made no sign of stopping it.
The remaining three maids looked at her piteously.
A poison taster.
Everyone became nervous because of the incident with the crown prince.
It was because of the circling rumours about the princess' illness and where the poison was slipped in. No doubt the maids, not knowing where the poison came from, were fearful.
From that, it wasn't strange that they would send in maids with a specialty in poison tasting as disposable pieces.
It wasn't just Consort Gyokuyou. It also included the princess's food and the emperor's nourishment dishes when he visits.
It appears that poison has been served twice when Consort Gyokuyou's pregnancy was known. One had been light, the other had stiffened up the limbs and damaged the nerves.
The maids, who had been timidly acting as poison tasters up until now, were honestly thankful towards her.
Maomao frowned as she looked at the served plates. They were made of clay.
(If you're worried about poisons, using silver is a given.)
Maomao picked up the garnish of the namasu and looked at it carefully.
She sniffed it.
She placed it on her tongue, making sure that there were no feelings of numbness, and swallowed it slowly.
(I'm honestly not suited to be a poison taster.)
It should be immediate onset poison. There was no meaning to entrust the poison tasting to Maomao if it was a delayed onset poison.
Maomao, who gradually made herself accustomed to poisons as an experiment, has perhaps become resistant to a large amount of poisons.
This wasn't the job of a pharmacist. It was for the sake of fulfilling Maomao's intellectual desire.
In a different place and era, she would surely be called a 'Mad Scientist'.
Even her dad, who taught her the skills of a doctor, was shocked about it.
When there was no changes to Maomao's body and she affirmed that there was no poison with her own knowledge, Consort Gyokuyou finally started to eat.
Next up was the flavourless baby food.
"I believe it would be better to replace the plates to those that are made of silver."
Without any feeling, she told that to her Boss, Honnyan.
She was summoned to Honnyan's room to report on today's actions. It was a spacious room, lacking in gorgeous ornaments that bespoke of a practical personality.
The beautiful, black haired head maid who was under the age of 30 sighed.
"It's really just as Jishin-sama said."
She confessed with an amazed face that they did not use silver tableware on purpose.
Because Jishin instructed so.
Likely, he was also the one who ordered her to be a poison taster.
Maomao listened to Honnyan with a cold expression, fighting back her bad mood.
"I don't know for what reason did you hid your knowledge and your ability on poison and medicine. Even if you just said you could write, you would have been paid more."
"It's because I lived as imitation of a pharmacist. Even though I have been kidnapped and taken away, when I think that the kidnappers are still receiving a fair share of money, I get seriously pissed."
She let out a few rough words in her heightened emotions. But the head maid didn't blame her.
"So, it is that even if your wages decrease, the money goes into those guys' alcohol expenses."
It seemed that the smart maid deduced Maomao's intentions.
"As much as you like, if you are incompetent, you will be replaced after two years of service."
She sympathised, while it was something she didn't need to understand.
Honnyan picked up the jug from the table and handed it to Maomao.
Just as Maomao was about to ask, a pain ran through her wrist. In shock, she dropped the jug onto the bed. Large cracks ran through the pottery.
"Oh my, this is quite expensive. You won't be able to pay it back with the amount you earn as a maid. The money that is sent to your family won't be enough either. Rather, you will have to be billed."
The cold faced Maomao, understanding what Honnyan said, let out a cynical smile.
"My apologies. Deduct that from the pay that is sent home every month. If that is not enough, please take what I have on hand as well."
"Yes. I'll send the formalities to the Chief Palace Official's place. Well then."
Honnyan picked up the fallen jug and placed it on the table. She then took out a wooden slip from the drawer. Her brush glided smoothly.
"This is the statement for the additional funds you get from poison tasting. View this as insurance. If there are any points you are interested in, please ask."
The amount of money was roughly the same as what Maomao currently earned. Excluding the portion that has been taken away as commission, it has been decided that Maomao made a profit.
(She is good with deals.) [T/N: I think that’s what she means; literally it was ‘the way she uses sweets is good’…]
Maomao left the room with her head bowed deeply.
T/N: Poison Taster or Poison Tester? What do you guys prefer?