Yep, it’s a continuation…
Sandy dirt mixed with the sweat on the back of Affia’s hands as her knees felt like they were on pins and needles.
Damn! Why can’t they just hurry up and get into the carriage? Affia screamed internally while maintaining her position on all fours.
“I think that’s everything!”
As soon as Madame Chang said this with her annoyingly high-pitched voice, she put all of her weight into her left foot as she stepped on Affia’s back into the carriage. Before she had time to recover, Master Chang joined in as well.
The housekeeper immediately closed the door, “I wish you a safe trip.”
Hands were placed on Affia’s shoulders, pulling her upwards and out of the way of the wheels. Her back hurt so much and she was pulled back so fast, Affia felt like she was about to be bent in half.
A hand was placed on Affia’s forehead, slightly shading her eyes, “Are you ok?”
Affia shook her head and dryly coughed out a “No”.
Hauling Affia up, she said, “Come, I’ll take you to sleep.”
The housekeeper nodded at them, “The masters will be back late, be ready.”
As Affia climbed into bed, careful of her knees, she wondered, what is this inhumanity? After she had been found, Madame Chang immediately had them prepare a bath, dragging a large tub from the well in the backyard into the bedroom. Her poor sore arms didn’t even get a rest before she had to put in arm strength to help wash Madame’s back.
She nearly scrubbed her arms to death but the Madame kept chanting, “Harder.”
When the water got cold, she was released from this hell…nearly.
The Madame gave her a hard pinch on the arm, “Have we doted on you too much?”
Luckily, there were three other maidservants or else Affia felt she might have passed away due to exhaustion. After lugging the tub away was taking care of Madame’s hair. Just kill me. Right at that moment when Affia stopped caring and had taken a stance as if she was going to run and rip through a knot in the Madame’s hair, a hand covered hers.
Affia’s eyes rolled exhaustedly in their sockets towards the owner of the hand.
“My lifesaver” nearly spilled out of her mouth but she quickly held it in and handed the comb over.
*W/N: 忠玉 , loyal gem, Madame was praising herself for her good sense in choosing people
The girl with the comb paused.
“Make sure to help Duan get well soon. I like the way she does my hair.”
Oh God that my family worships regularly, why have you forsaken me? Affia sobs internally. Even at home, her hair was regularly a pigsty that she barely forced into a semi-flattened state and stuffed into a hat before heading out the door to class.
Zhongyu looked at over Affia, gesturing with her eyes. Remembering she was not in her own time, Affia hurried to bow her head, “Duan thanks Madame for her favour”. My *ss.
Zhongyu gave her a quick nod in approval before moving her hands again. Affia let out a small inaudible sigh. By the time they made it to bed, it was zi shi*.
*W/N: zi shi = 11 pm – 1 am
Affia collapsed on the first bed she saw. Zhongyu sighed as she looked at the sweaty girl that was dead to the world, half her body was still hanging off her bed. She blew out the candle. Gently, she placed her hands beneath Affia’s head and knees laying her down on the inner edge of the bed, closest to the wall.
Affia had just hit the pillow when she was being pulled out of bed, “W-what time is it?”
Affia yawned, her eyes sealed closed by eye boogies.
*W/N: mao shi = 5 am – 7 am
Affia audibly groaned, feeling aches and pains over her body from the hard bed. Seeing Affia move like she would take an entire stick of incense’s time to undress, Zhongyu came over to help. Affia covered herself with her hands but Zhongyu had already turned away to find a cloth and throw it to her.
“We have to hurry or the water will be cold.”
Why was I worried for nothing? Affia followed her.
Between the Madame’s personal servants’ rooms, there was a common bathroom space. Instead of a circular barrel, there was a square tub that was perfectly enough space for four people.
“Ah Zhong, you came late.” The two girls already in the tub looked towards the door.
So this Cao Duan I am playing did not get along with the other servants?
Affia stood outside the tub deliberating as Zhongyu climbed in.
“Does Lady Cao feel we are too lowly to share bath water with?”
Affia sighed. My character must be a horrible person. “No, I was just waiting for Zhongyu to settle in.”
The two girls exchanged questioning glances that Affia missed as she got in. The water was lukewarm but she did not feel she would improve any relationships by pointing it out.
Ignoring her again, one clamored, “Yu-yu, let me wash your back today.”
Zhongyu turned her back towards them, throwing her long black hair over one shoulder. Although her back was criss-crossed with short scars, it looked soft. Affia could not stop herself and reached out to stroke it. Beneath her hand, Zhongyu shivered under her touch.
“Hey, I’m washing her back!” Although she was dissatisfied, the servant girl remembered that Cao Duan could not be hurt and lightly smacked her hand away.
Affia held her hand, a silky feeling stuck on her fingertips. The other servant girl gave the girl who pushed Affia away a worried glance, “Yongyi*.”
*W/N: 勇 毅 – brave decisiveness, saved Madame without hesitation from being run over
“Fine, I’ll let you this time.” The girl quickly stood up, stepped over the edge of the tub, and left. The other girl quickly followed after.
Zhongyu turned towards Affia and patted her head, “If you want to help me wash, you can just say so.”
Affia blushed and stood up, “I-it was an accident.”
Flustered, she moved to climb out of the tub and tripped forward. Her knees slammed into the floor but she scrambled away, feeling unnerved by the gaze on her back.
Covering her face while lying on the bed, Affia wished she could forget what happened this morning, wondered how late late could be, wanted to take a better shower — and with these thoughts, drifted off to sleep.
While Affia peacefully slept, Zhongyu sat at the little meal table. There were no candles lit and she sat there, unmoving, her eyes locked on the figure on the bed. Her left hand clenched as it rested on the table. After a couple of hours, Affia mumbled something as she turned over. Zhongyu stood up and walked silently closer to the bed. Not knowing what was making her uncomfortable, Affia’s eyelashes fluttered.
Zhongyu turned away and left, closing the door behind her. Affia’s eyes opened soon after Zhongyu left. She looked around at the empty room.
“Ah, I’ve been so tired from yesterday and today, I forgot this was a horror game.”
Affia sat up on the bed and patted the sheet, “How do I see my task?”
A black scroll edged in gold appeared on the bed. She unrolled it.
[Task: Must be triggered :)]
I feel like I write like I’m translating lol.