Translator: Blushy
Editor: delishnoodles


Eight consorts wearing gold masks formed a group and spread their hands on the platform set up in the hall. The sounds of erhu (Chinese flute) and biwa (Japanese lute) began to play, and the girls turned their backs and tilted their heads. The dance began with the eight consorts spinning in unison as their outfits fluttered softly in the air. Riri realised that she had made the right decision as she watched them from the corner of the hall.

“Everyone’s really good…! I would have definitely been unable to keep up with everyone’s movements if I had been there and would have ruined the dance.”

She reaffirmed that she had made the right decision. Then, she placed the incense burner on a small table by the wall and turned her attention back to the stage. The golden stage was illuminated by softly glowing torches. 

The consorts danced nimbly on the stage. It was a fantastic sight and made Riri feel as if she was dreaming. 

She could see Ryouka and Nene waiting in the corner of the hall when she looked around.

The hall was quite large, filled with people and the aroma of alcohol and food. She didn’t believe that one incense burner would be enough, so she asked Ryouka and Nene to burn the same incense pastille in different places. 

She nodded to signal them, and they each lit their incense burners. 

After watching them, she took the torch on the wall and burnt the pastille in the burner. 

The pastille was lit, and white smoke slowly rose from it. At the same time, an emotionally uplifting and refreshing aroma hit her nose. She breathed in the aroma and the image of a brave general with a gold mask on his face flashed through her mind. 

He must have been happy to have won the battle, but he looked sad when he took off his mask for some reason. 

She was surprised to see that his face looked just like Kousho’s. 

(I see. Just because he won the war doesn’t mean that everything will go well. There would have been casualties and he would have had to choke back his tears and give painful orders… I’m sure Kousho-sama would feel the same way Ranryou did if he had to fight a war.)

Riri knew very well that Kousho wanted to protect the peace that Emperor Ju Reibun had created. 

She also wanted to do what she could to help him achieve this. 

Kousho would surely become a handsome and brave emperor like Ranryou. 

However, if war broke out, then he would hide his sad expression from thinking of the victims under his mask. 

She didn’t want him to make a sad expression. She felt this strongly from the bottom of her heart. 

She didn’t know why she felt so strongly towards someone who she had only known for a short amount of time. 




The sound of the gong startled her. It was time for the main dancer, Hisui, to appear. 

A gasp escaped from the audience as Hisui, who was dressed in a fiery red outfit, appeared on the stage. 

The consorts lined up behind Hisui and they danced to the music. 

“It smells so good. I don’t know why I’m feeling so nervous. It’s a beautiful dance…”

Riri heard a whisper from a nearby guest. 

She looked towards the person who had whispered and saw that the man had forgotten about his drink and his eyes were glued to the stage. 

The man next to him and the other guests who she could see were all flushed. 

(The incenses seem to be working well. Everyone’s excited. If this continues…,)

She was happy that she was able to use the incense she had created to assist the other consorts. 

She entered the Beautiful Flower Palace because she wanted to be a perfumer. 

She wanted to help the raise the rating of the dance with her incense rather than dance. 

I should be myself and devote myself more than ever down the path of incenses, she thought as she watched the consorts dance.



The Ranryou dance was a great success. The banquet was a huge success and there were shouts of praises from nobles everywhere even after the dance was over. 

Riri recalled the banquet from yesterday and was relieved that it had been a success.

Finally, it was time to announce the results for the beauty pageant, and all the consorts gathered in the hall where the banquet had been held yesterday. Riri sat at the very back and looked around. 

(I withdrew, but I still want to see who will become the Four Consorts.)

After a while, the head of the Ministry of Palace Affairs, Mei Kourin and Kousho entered the hall. Over a hundred consorts bowed their heads in unison and Kourin turned his face towards them. 

“Consorts. Thank you for your hard work yesterday. Seirai-sama enjoyed the banquet very much thanks to the consorts’ beautiful dance. We enjoyed the dance while selecting those who are worthy of becoming the Four Consorts.”

Kousho, who was standing next to Kourin, looked the same as usual. 

Riri couldn’t directly look at him. 

(Kousho-sama asked me to become one of the Four Consorts but I withdrew. I didn’t live up to his expectations even though he had asked me to buy him time so he can meet his first love.)

She was apologetic. She wanted to apologise to him in person, but she hadn’t had the chance to talk to him after the banquet ended, and there was another problem. 

(I could have had my own palace if I became one of the Four Consorts, but there’s no hope for that now since I withdrew. I wanted a place where I could concentrate on making the treasured incense…)

It was a shame, but she didn’t regret withdrawing. Even if she did dance with the others, she would have done nothing but ruin the dance. Kourin continued while she was thinking. 

“The Four Consorts will be in charge of the Beautiful Flower Palace. The Beautiful Flower Palace has only just been built. The inner palaces of the imperial family are often talked about in other kingdoms. I hope that you not only support Kousho-sama, but also aim to create an inner palace that the other kingdoms can be proud of when you become one of the Four Consorts. I will now call the names of the consorts who will become the Four Consorts.”

Kourin said and tension ran through the consorts. 

“First, the Noble Consort, Jin Hisui.”


Hisui replied and politely lowered her head. The highest position among the Four Consorts was occupied by Hisui. All the consorts here agreed. Kourin spoke again.

“Pure Consort, Kan Ranran.”


Ranran was the next to be chosen and she raised her voice happily. Her father had a high status, and she was quite good looking, though not as beautiful as Hisui. She smiled widely and straightened her posture. 

“Virtuous Consort, Ei Juka.”

“Kyaaa…! I, I’m sorry. Yes.”

Juka shrieked, then she quickly straightened her posture and replied. 

The three of them had entered the Beautiful Flower Palace early and were superior to the others in terms of their beauty and family background.

Even with dancing, the three of them danced so well that it made people gasp, so it was natural they would be selected.

“Lastly, the Worthy Consort… Tei Shoei.”


A petite girl in the front answered. She was Tei Shoei. She didn’t look that much older or younger than Riri. Her face was quite defined, though not as much as Hisui’s, and she looked more cute than pretty. She was probably one of the consorts who had recently joined the Beautiful Flower Place. Riri had seen her before, but she had never spoken to her. 

“These consorts have been given the honour of becoming the Four Consorts. Please continue to work on your beauty and intellect for Kousho-sama.”


Riri couldn’t help but sigh as she listened to the consorts’ replies. 

(The announcement is over. What should I do now? First, I have to apologise to Kousho-sama for not meeting his expectations, then I have to somehow find a place where I can make incenses…)

She felt a hint of panic coming from Kourin while she was thinking and looking down.



She raised her head when she heard his surprised voice, and saw that the Emperor, Ju Reibun, had entered the hall with his attendants. 

“Your Majesty…! How may I help you?”

He hadn’t expected the Emperor to come. Kourin quickly bowed his head. 

He quickly presented the Emperor with a chair. The Emperor sat down on it and looked at the consorts. 

“I’m sorry to have disturbed you all. Consorts, yesterday’s dance was wonderful. I’ve come to tell you that in person.”

Kourin quickly glanced at Hisui. Hisui, who was sitting at the front, looked up. 

“I have received the title of Noble Consort of the Beautiful Flower Palace. My name is Hisui. I am extremely delighted due to your compliments.”

“Oh, Noble Consort Hisui? So, you’re in charge of the Beautiful Flower Palace now. I’ll remember you. Everyone should get along with Noble Consort Hisui.”

It was the duty of the Four Consorts to accompany the royal family when they came. The Emperor looked around at the other consorts. 

“Yesterday’s dance was beautiful and powerful, but the incense that accompanied the dance was also wonderful. My heart filled with excitement when I smelled the aroma. It was as if I was experiencing being on the battlefield. Seirai-dono also agreed with me and was very pleased with the performance.”

Riri smiled when she heard that. 

(I’m glad to hear that the incense I made was useful.)

“Consort Riri, I heard that you prepared the incense.”

The Emperor’s eyes turned to Riri. She was surprised, but she bowed.

“Yes. I burnt the incense during the dance with everyone’s consent.”

“Hmm. It was a nice fragrance, and well suited for the dance. Aside from Seirai-dono, there were also many noted nobles at the banquet. They complimented the dance as well as the fragrance.”

Even though she couldn’t become one of the Four Consorts, she was proud that the Emperor had approved of her incense. 

“Thank you very much.”

“Consort Riri, you ranked quite high in the preliminary screening for your knowledge and mannerism, and you also acted as a guide for our state guest, Seirai-dono. The fact that you were able to guide and satisfy Seirai-dono, Koran’s Crown Prince, means that you played a role in diplomacy with Koran.”

She hadn’t expected to hear that. The Emperor continued. 

“I appreciate that. I want the other kingdoms to know that there is a consort named Riri in the Beautiful Flower Palace who can manipulate incenses. If the other kingdoms find out that we built an inner palace that can produce incenses, which is unique to our kingdom, then the fame of the Beautiful Flower Palace and its owner, Kousho will rise. So…”

The Emperor leaned forward slightly. 

“I would like to give Consort Riri a palace where she can devote herself to mixing as a reward.”

Riri widened her eyes. The other consorts started talking among themselves, but Hisui spoke up quietly. 

“Everyone, please be quiet. You’re in the presence of His Majesty.”

She warned them quietly and they stopped talking. Kourin remained on his knees as he spoke. 

“Your Majesty. I haven’t heard about this…”

“Yeah, I made my decision when I saw the dance yesterday. I can’t give her a palace, Kourin?”

Kourin glanced at Riri. He looked down slightly, then he looked back up again. 

“If that is your wish, Your Majesty.”

The Emperor nodded in satisfaction when Kourin said this, then looked around at the consorts in front of him. 

“The Beautiful Flower Palace has only just been built. You must have a lot of concerns since you’re not familiar with the Beautiful Flower Palace, but Consort Riri’s incenses has the power to eliminate physical and mental afflictions. I would like you all to take care of your health with her incenses. What do you think about this, Consort Riri?”

Her heart and body trembled as he spoke to her. She felt a mixture of happiness, fear and many other feelings.

“I’m very honoured to receive your words. I’d like to help everyone if it’s alright with you.”

She wanted to become a perfumer who healed people. She was more than happy to take on this role at the Beautiful Flower Palace. 

“Then, I’ll give Consort Riri a palace so that you can work hard on mixing incenses without any worries. You can continue to use your incenses to help Kousho and the consorts of Beautiful Flower Palace.”

She gasped since she couldn’t believe what the Emperor had just said. 

“Yes. Thank you very much!”

She bowed her head and thanked him. She was so happy that a big smile appeared on her face. Her eyes met with Kousho’s for a second when she lifted her face. He didn’t seem surprised, probably because he had already known about this. The Emperor knew that she was trying to make the treasured incense, so maybe that was why he came up with an excuse so that she could have a place where she could concentrate on mixing. 

She sincerely wanted to respond to their feelings of support.