Our protagonist, Maomao is a dry pharmacist who was kidnapped and sold into the imperial harem. When she deduced the cause for the imperial baby's death, she attempted to warn the consorts discreetly, only to be discovered by Jinshi. Now at his beck and call, Maomao is often consulted on mysterious deaths in the palace and various medicines. She gradually builds notoriety, despite her wish for anything but.
- Acquired Poison Immunity: Due to her numerous experiments as a child, Maomao developed a strong resistance to poison. Whether it be snake bites, aphrodisiacs or hallucinogenic mushrooms, she's immune. It's specifically because of this that she was assigned as a food taster. She seems to enjoy it a little too much, though...
- Animal Motif: A cat. Even the kanji for her name is "cat".
- A-Cup Angst: Downplayed. While Maomao doesn't angst over it per say, she is awfully aware of her lacking size and does notice those...with a more generous size. She considers Rifa's generous bosom a blessing.
- Badass Normal: Maomao is fairly plain in appearance and status, but she makes up for it in moments of absolute badassery.
- Brilliant, but Lazy: Despite high expectations from Jinshi and Gaoshun, Maomao fails the court lady exams. Not because of intellectual incapability, but rather a complete disinterest in the test criteria. Why learn about history when its so boring?
- The Chessmaster: Maomao is good at manipulation, as seen when she beats Rakan in a match through intoxicating him. Like Father Like Daughter, eh?
- Commitment Issues: Maomao really has no interest in romance or marriage. Sorry Jinshi.
- Conditioned to Accept Horror: Due to her upbringing in the red-light district, Maomao is well-informed on the cruelties of the world, whether it be rape or murder. That's why when Jinshi comes on to her, she surmises that she'll be raped and decides to submissive rather than fight back. He, of course, does not.
- Daddy's Girl: Ruomen is arguably the only person Maomao displays affection to.
- Deadpan Snarker: Her inner monologues are full of snark.
- Experienced Protagonist: If it's anything to do with medicine or poisons, ask Maomao.
- Happily Adopted: By Ruomen, her great-uncle.
- I Have No Son!: Inverted. She refuses to acknowledge Rakan as her father, as it was Ruomen who raised her.
- Like Father, Like Daughter: She's a pharmacist like her father. And despite the fact she disregards Rakan, personality-wise, they're more alike than she would ever admit as they're both considered eccentric but talented.
- Mad Scientist: As a child, Maomao joyfully administered various poisons and relished in the sensations created.
- Only Sane Man: A pure rationalist, Maomao is usually the sanest person in the room. When she is around poison, however, she does lose it a little.
- Rags to Royalty: When it is revealed that her father is Rakan of the prestigious Ra clan, making her nobility by blood. It is subverted, however, as Maomao knew of her heritage and doesn't want to improve her social status.When Jinshi proposes to her, she gains even more of a headache.
- Selective Obliviousness: Despite Jinshis numerous passes and love confessions, Maomao turns a blind eye. Mainly because she cant be bothered to deal with it.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: Ordinarily, she wears plain and frumpy clothing, paired with her makeup freckles. Once she's dressed in more elegant and feminine clothes and the freckles come off, she's a head turner.
- Sprouting Ears: Whenever she feels threatened, especially by Jinshi.
- Street Smart: As she was brought up in the red-light district, Maomao knows how to blend in and avoid trouble.
- Suddenly Suitable Suitor: Jinshi does eventually come to love her, but they can't be together on account of their different stations in life, not counting for her personal feelings on the matter. It's a good thing for Jinshi she turns out to be Rakan's biological kid, making her eligible even if she refuses to acknowledge the latter being related to her.
- Sugar-and-Ice Personality
- Tranquil Fury: Whenever Maomao gets angry, it's not hot-headed ranting or throwing of chairs. Rather, it's a chilly glare and eerie calm.
- Weak, but Skilled: Maomao can't fight to save to her life, but never underestimate her sharp perception or knowledge of medicine.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Despite being only seventeen at the start of the series, Maomao displays a certain maturity and perceptiveness beyond her age.
- When She Smiles: It's rare, but when it happens, she's captivating.
- Youthful Freckles: Subverted on account of them actually being fake. She applies them to herself to make herself seem less attractive.
- Beneath the Mask: While Jinshi appears to be a serene and beautiful eunuch, he is actually deeply insecure. His insecurities stem from his lack of self-confidence, as his only merit appears to be his looks. He is neither a great scholar or brilliant general, and pales to the large shadow that is his brother. He is also more childish and lazy than he lets on, which only a select few know of.
- Bishounen: A classic example.
- Bishie Sparkle: Every time he smiles. Maomao finds it disgruntling.
- Casual Kink: He seems to be a bit of a masochist, getting excited whenever Maomao becomes aggressive and cruel.
- Distracted by the Sexy: All those in the imperial harem are victim to Jinshi's looks, to his discontent. Maomao comments that's probably why he only has Suiren, Gaoshun and later her as his personal staff. He also hires En'en for an extended period of time because she's only attracted to Yao.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Look at those luscious long locks. Justified, as he's a eunuch, who look feminine due to a lack of testosterone. Or so you thought, as Jinshi isn't actually a eunuch. He's just been taking drugs to emphasize his feminine features. Still, justified.
- Even the Guys Want Him: Even more so since he's a eunuch. Not.
- Fool for Love: Later on in the series. He basically reduced to a rare medicines supplier for Maomao.
- Given Name Reveal: His real name is Yue.
- Informed Attractiveness: Every time he appears in the novel, theres at least some reference to his voice of honey and smile of a celestial maiden.
- King Incognito: Jinshi's Secret Identity is in fact the imperial brother. He entered the harem due to a bet with the Emperor, though its exact nature is unknown.
- So Beautiful, It's a Curse: Jinshi laments that his beauty is his only merit. He doesn't feel like he has any talents, and although he uses his beauty to his benefit, it ultimately serves as a barrier between him and others. Not to mention having people constantly swooning over him is both annoying and inconvenient. That's why he falls for Maomao, who's unaffected by his beauty and cares little even when his Secret Identity is revealed.
- Stronger Than They Look: Maomao noted his musculature to be better than expected for a eunuch. As she would find out, its because hes not a eunuch.
- Two Aliases, One Character: Jinshi the Eunuch and Yue the Imperial Brother.
- The Tease: Jinshi loves teasing Maomao. Remember the honey incident?
- Hot Consort: Gyokuyou is known for her beauty and exotic features, as well as being the emperor's favourite concubine.
- Hot Consort: Rifa is very attractive, possessing both beauty and body.
- Hysterical Woman: When Rifa is first introduced, she is shown screaming at the top of her lungs and giving Gyokuyou a bitch slap. Justified, as her baby was dying and she herself was suffering from the same mercury poisoning.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Rifa has pale skin and stark hair, while being one of the most beautiful women in the setting.
RiishuThe Virtuous Consort.
- Lonely Rich Kid: Being shipped off to the royal harem at age eight does not create a convenient environment to make friends, especially since the other consorts are much older and the maids, being your maids, can never be your equal.
- Rose-Haired Sweetie: Downplayed and manga only. While Riishu does have pink hair and has a sweet side, she isn't nice to everybody.
AhduoThe Pure Consort and the current Emperor's first consort.
- Bifauxnen: While Ahduo is evidently female, she does possess a masculine disposition which causes many of her maidservants to fawn over her.
- Mama Bear: Why she swapped Yue with the real imperial brother at birth was because of knowing the latter would get better care and have better odds to survive.
- Parental Substitute: Riishu sees her somewhat as a mother figure, due to talking to her and playing with her when she was younger. When Riishu comes to see her off, Maomao notes that Ahduo looks "like a mother" when she greets the young girl.
- StrongFamilyResemblance: With Jinshi, her biological son.
- Arranged Marriage: Gaoshun was engaged to his wife at age sixteen.
- Beleaguered Assistant: Gaoshun is this to Jinshi, who tends to slack off to tease Maomao.
- Family Man: Gaoshun is noted to be a good and devoted father, feeling sad for Rakan as Maomao said she didn't like him. 'No father wants to be hated by their own child', as he said.
RakanA brilliant but eccentric military tactician and head of the Ra clan. Who is in fact Maomao's biological father.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Rakan is as infamous for his eccentric nature as he is for his intelligence and keen insight.
- Doting Parent: To Maomao. Who doesn't return the affections due to considering her Parental Substitute as her real father and because he's tried to take her away from Ruomen in the past. This doesn't deter him though. Maomao exploits this at one point to get him to give initiative to uncover the Shi clan's plot by pretending to have been poisoned while food tasting for the Emperor's brother.
- Not Distracted by the Sexy: One of the few people not charmed by Jinshi (in fact, he doesn't like him at all). Justified, due to his prosopagnosia.
- No Social Skills: Despite being from a prestigious noble family, he lacks etiquette.
- Parent Marriage Veto: When Jinshi announced his interest in marrying the Ra daughter (aka Maomao) while Maomao was away, Rakan ended up causing a fuss yelling about how he would never give away his daughter.