I don't remember why but she was still at the palace later because she gets hired by Jishin. Okay so I'm up to ch.136 so as for romance : Jishin brings his body really close to Maomao (don't remember why) which resulted in her hands landing on his lower half so she realizes he was not a eunuch. He brings his face really close to her to the point where their nose almost touches but she doesn't seem to show much reaction. He often corners her to the wall, literally. Maomao once had an allergic reaction to soba(?) at a banquet. She fainted and broke out a ugly rash all over her face and arms.This caused both him and her father to rush over to help her. He blames himself for what had happen to her because he got her involved with a investigation(?) which involves poison but it caused this as a result of her involvement. At one point, she got kidnap, nearly assaulted, and got cut on her ear, this made him very unhappy. He grabs her collar to check more of her skin to see where she was cut. Not only did he find a cut around her neck, but he also saw teeth imprints. Another thing is he licked the cut on her ear. His excuse was that he heard saliva would make it heal better. At one point, he actually corners her, holds her hair, then kisses her. He turns to take his leaves without looking back. She couldn't tell what kind of expression he was making because he was wearing a mask. Maomao calls out to him to not forget his ointment (his face got damaged). He gets upset how she had no response towards his kiss. He confronts her later about it but she totally disregards it and talks about other things. He has her come over so he can hug her afterwards. For Maomao, there was someone she had saved and he draws portraits very well. He asked Maomao what kind of man she likes. So as she describes a man, apparently it looked very similar to Jishin. She just tells the him that the person is a eunuch. Once, Jishin looked like he really need some sleep. As a result? Maomao let him use her legs as a lap pillow. He fell asleep and she worked on her own things while her legs were numb. Well, he called her his daughter and kept trying to approach her. I might be remembering this wrong but I think he really did fell in love with her mother? He actually went back to find her but by the time he did, she had already died. When he came home, he cried. He plays chess(?) with her as well as time to time come visits her. He wonders if she ever plans to marry or having children, she tells him she's interested in having children-- as in the birth process itself, not actually having them. She mentions that if she were to ever have children, she must get rid of the poison in her body first. As mention before, after Maomao collapsed from having a allergic reaction, he went to her as soon as he saw her fall over. After she was kidnapped, he was the first to find out. He went to go find her but realize someone was pretending to be her in her room while claiming to be "sick". After the person attempted to suicide, he went to one of the princess(?) quarters and demanded answers where his daughter was. He finds out someone was pretending to be the princess too and got the information he needed. He and a group of people went to go find her. So if it comes to whether he likes her or not, I believe so. For acknowledgement, in someways, yes. When he went to go find her, he told the guards that he was looking for his daughter. Ah, this is just a extra point but for Maomao's mother, she harmed Maomao when she was a child. She literally slit Maomao's wrist. Maomao still has nightmares about it.