So, I just decided to just go ahead and watch the drama, even without eng subs. I understand most of the parts so it’s no big problem. I’m doing to do a rough recap (without screencaps bcoz it’s too troublesome for that), with the main points in the drama.
Episode 23 started with Rouxi plucking flowers at the garden, when the Emperor calls for her. The Emperor tells Rouxi that she spent more time with him compared to his daughter. Rouxi replies that she’ll willing to stay by his side to serve him. The Emperor says that it’s impossible as she has to marry one day. He mentions that she would like her to marry 14th prince. Rouxi hesitates.
Rouxi tells the Emperor that she’s unwilling to marry 14th prince. The Emperor is silent. Eunuch Li tells her that disobeying the Emperor’s order will get her whole family killed. Rouxi speaks out that the Emperor is a wise ruler and won’t abonded a loyal subject just because of a mistake she make. The Emperor is furious. He hands down the punishment that Rouxi gets 20 strokes of the cane and be demoted to the laundry department.
10th and 14th prince hears about Rouxi’s punishment but cannot go and plead on her behalf as the punishments handed down was heavy, thus she must have made a very big mistake. They wonder what it is.
4th Prince stands outside her room quietly, and walks away when Yutan returns. Rouxi finds out that 4th prince was standing outside. 14th prince arrives in the room and try to find out what happen. He thought that Rouxi had pleaded for 8th prince, but she mentions that she’s not that noble. She asks Yutan to help her pack her stuff.
4th prince meets the Emperor and has a talk to him. As he is leaving, Eunuch Li asks him to help say a few words to the Emperor about Rouxi. He refuses and says that he can’t help. He walks away, tightening his grip.
Rouxi transfers to the laundry apartment. The people there bullies her but she just keeps quiet. The Eunuch there tries to get fresh with her but she warns him that as a servant she still belongs to the Emperor. He chases her out of the room.
4th prince visits her. He is sad looking at her hands. He tells her that now that the Emperor is on better terms with him, he may ask about the marriage. Rouxi tells him that the emperor won’t agree, telling him that she got punished because she refused to marry 14th prince. 4th prince is surprise to hear that the Emperor want to marry her off with 14th prince. He asks her why she didn’t agree? She says that her heart doesn’t want to. 4th prince thanks her.
Rouxi goes back inside her room and finds out that the laundry servant has taken her jewelry, including the hairpin and bottle 4th prince gave her. She is angry and tells them to return them. They refuse arguing that they have jewelry too. She tells them to take everything but return those two items to her. One of the servant throws the hairpin on the floor and it breaks.
4th prince seems cold-hearted to others, but is really thinking of the people he cares for. He is sad that he can’t help Rouxi but he too knows that only when he become Emperor can he help both 13th prince and Rouxi. Rouxi is aware of this too.