14 Yang Rufen
Yang Rufen was a fierce and stubborn girl. Even after being educated on being the proper maidservant since birth, she still had an outgoing and bold demeanor.
With her head held high and dignified, Rufen followed Chunan down the halls of the Chen Manor. Growing up in the Chen Manor, she was already well acquainted with the hallways, but she had never came to this particular wing of the Manor.
On the first day of Chen Yuxi's arrival, the Commander had prepared Yuxi an entire wing of the Manor.
"Grandmother, what type of girl is Lady Yuxi?" Rufen wanted to prepare herself in hopes of adjusting her temperament based on her master.
Even though Rufen was extremely hard-headed, she still knew her rank was far below the daughter of two prestigious families.
"Little Lady Yuxi is a gentle and kind child. She's not the type to throw tantrums. There's no need to worry, Rufen." Chunan said with a reassuring smile.
"We're here." Chunan said once she stopped in front of the familiar door. The door was made with a light colored wood, with etchings of a peach blossom tree.
"Take a deep breath and remember to properly greet Lady Yuxi." Chunan chided. She raised her hand and softly knocked on the door.
"Lady Yuxi is a heavy sleeper, it'll be harder to wake her up." Chunan said, pushing open the door.
Yuxi's enormous room was separated into three sections with a sliding door that lead to each part of it.
"The left side of the room is where Lady Yuxi sleeps. The center is for the living room to greet or entertain guests, and the room to the far right is the bathroom." Chunan informed Rufen whose curious eyes took in everything.
"Now, start the first step of a maidservant." Chunan instructed Rufen.
Sliding the door open, Rufen was greeted with an enormous bed.
If it wasn't for the tiny head that was sticking out from the blanket, Rufen would've thought the bed was empty. There was a mountain of decorative pillows thrown onto the floor, whereas Yuxi was hidden under a thick comforter.
A feeling of dread settled to Rufen which made her legs feel heavy. It was like a mountain was weighing her down. She was already rejected once by the Crown Princess, and she felt fearful of facing another rejection.
"Go on, Lady Yuxi doesn't bite." Chunan teased. It was enjoying to see her perfect, confident, and stubborn granddaughter struggle towards a task.
Taking in a deep breath, Rufen collected herself.
"Lady Yuxi, it's time to wake up." She softly whispered to Yuxi.
When Yuxi groaned and shifted her body in the opposite direction of Rufen, she felt her heart drop.
Eyes wide, she glanced back at her grandmother who glared back. Using her hand, she urged Rufen to continue the process.
"Lady Yuxi, it's already well past eight. Master Chen wants you to join him for breakfast." Rufen softly said.
Yuxi groaned and swatted at the hand shaking her.
"Five more minutes..." Yuxi tiredly mumbled, burying herself into her blankets.
"Please excuse me..." Rufen whispered. Her hands reached for the edge of the blanket and with one heavy tug, the blanket was flung from Yuxi's shivering body.
Instead of throwing a tantrum, Yuxi's immediate response was curling her body into a ball.
"Chunan...!" Yuxi groaned, burying her head into her pillow.
"It's time to wash up, Lady Yuxi."
At the sound of a different voice, Yuxi turned her head in confusion. In the blurriness from just waking up, she was able to see a girl her age.
At the sight of a stranger and not her usual maidservant, Yuxi immediately sprang out of bed. A deep blush rises to her cheeks. She didn't expect to greet guests so early in the morning.
To Yuxi, Rufen was absolutely gorgeous. Bright hazel eyes rimmed with long lashes, tiny but perky nose, and full lips, she was a beauty. But what caught Yuxi's attention was the maidservant outfit. The child had the face of royalty, but was born in the unfortunate situation as a maidservant.
Placing her right hand over her left, Rufen bent her forehead to meet her hands in a low bow.
"This lowly servant greets Lady Yuxi." She softly uttered, making sure to keep her head tucked low.
A startled yelp passed Rufen's lips when Yuxi suddenly grabbed her hands.
"What's your name? Don't keep your head bowed." Yuxi's soft, gentle voice surprised Rufen. She knew to trust her grandmother, but didn't expect the truth to be so...honest.
Now that Rufen had finally raised her head to catch a glimpse of Yuxi, she felt the wind knocked out of her.
The girl in front of Rufen had soft, gentle features that resembled a porcelain doll. Yuxi's sweet demeanor made her seem like a pushover, but the fierceness of her eyes said otherwise.
"A-answering your question, this lowly servant is called Yang Rufen..."
"That's a lovely name. From now on, please just say your name. There's no need to refer to yourself as a servant." Yuxi said, slipping out of bed.
Rufen had been so busy admiring the small child with the grace and elegance of a princess, she forgot to grab the morning water.
Her eyes grew wide in realization.
"Please wait, this servant grab the water bowl right now!" And before Chunan or Yuxi could say anything, Rufen had already sprinted out of the room.
With her lips slightly parted in shock, Yuxi turned towards Chunan.
"Please excuse her, this is the first time that child has served a master." Chunan said, as she came forward to dress Yuxi.
"A master...?" Yuxi's voice was thick with confusion. She never understood the relation between servant and master. Did the title of a "master" need to have such a heavy weight?
"We can't be friends...?"
Chunan was taken back by the question. But one look at the confusion of Yuxi's face was enough to reveal the sincerity behind her words. This child was honestly too pure and sweet.