Why Harem Intrigue When You Can Just Raise A Dog Instead? (Chp 27)

Chapter 27: Grounded (禁足)

Returning to Bi’xiao Palace, briefly eating a snack and freshening up, Meng Sangyu curled up with A’Bao on the soft bed and took a very comfortable afternoon nap.

When the master and pet pair woke up it was already 2 pm [1]In ancient China, time was divided into twelve two hour blocks based on astronomy, called 时辰 (shíchén). 未时 (wèishí) is from 1 pm to 3 pm so I took the average. Check out my post on Chinese Timekeeping, soon it would be time for dinner. With a companion by one’s side, the day flew by.

With her embroidered shoes dangling off her feet and her hair hanging loose, Meng Sangyu held A’Bao and walked over to sit down in front of her dressing table, allowing Bi’shui and Yin’cui to help her apply makeup. Taking a strand of ink black hair and winding it around her finger tip, she brushed the ends against A’Bao’s nose. Seeing him sneeze repeatedly, with his little paws raised trying to catch her hair but always being a step behind, she cracked up with laughter.

Emperor Zhou’wu dazedly looked at her radiant and beautiful smiling face, forgetting to move. His intention was to play with her, so long as she was happy, he also felt incomparably satisfied.

Seeing A’Bao not moving, Meng Sangyu thought he was angry and guiltily smiled, taking her hair and purposely stuffing it into his arms. A’Bao immediately caught the hair, his little nose twitching to sniff its sweet scent, his expression utterly focused and serious as if he were trying to carve his master’s scent into his bones.

Meng Sangyu smiled warmly, patting his head she instructed, “A’Bao, remember my scent. In the future if you and I get separated, just follow this scent and come find me.”

We [2]Royal We won’t let you separate from Us! We will be together forever, never to part from one another! Emperor Zhou’wu barked, but too bad nobody could understand what he was saying.

Nurse Feng, holding a cup of tea, entered the room with a dark expression. Placing the cup beside her master’s hands, she opened her mouth as if to speak but stopped herself.

“Nurse, did something happen?” Meng Sangyu, who was sipping her tea, moved the cup close to A’Bao’s mouth, letting him lick a few sips as she unhurriedly asked.

“Your Ladyship, outside the rumors have spread everywhere saying our Bi’xiao Palace is the source of misfortune causing the Ancient Pine to wither and die. They say that Your Ladyship has already been contaminated by the misfortune, becoming an inauspicious person. Not only is Your Ladyship seriously ill, Your Ladyship also almost caused the death of the Fifth Prince and Worthy Consort. So long as words come out of Your Ladyship’s mouth, the good things won’t be come true, but all the bad things will!” Nurse Feng’s tone of voice was heavy as she recounted the rumors outside.

“Forgetting those who helped her and blaming others with unfounded claims, as expected it’s the Worthy Consort’s usual style. In just one afternoon, the rumors have spread everywhere. The other concubines didn’t spare any effort either!” Meng Sangyu smiled mockingly.

Those death-deserving women! Emperor Zhou’wu narrowed his eyes, his gaze frosty.

“If we had known it would turn out like this earlier, Your Ladyship shouldn’t have bothered with the Fifth Prince’s affairs at that time! Let her lose her support, let’s see if she would still be so unrestrained!” Nurse Feng spat through her teeth.

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“That child is so young, how could I bring myself to watch him die before me. Since I have the ability, I should at least try to save those I can. I saved him, only wanting him to be alive and well and for myself to have a clear conscience. I do not expect others to feel gratitude or repay my kindness. If she wants to speak ill of me, just let her talk. It’s doing me a big favour anyways. Since I’m an inauspicious person, then of course it wouldn’t be good to casually appear before others. For the next few days, we should close the palace gates and relax. Let’s not bother with those annoying things outside and peacefully wait for Father’s news. Maybe when that time comes, the Emperor will have woken up.” Meng Sangyu’s face was completely relaxed and cheerful. She was thinking of a way to lie low and the Worthy Consort just sent her the perfect excuse. Her day couldn’t get any better.

Nurse Feng thought about it and agreed, her dark expression returning to normal.

Emperor Zhou’wu licked the woman’s pale fingertips, admiring her open-mindedness and optimism. Her whole body exudes warmth and light, inspiring others with her strength. Any foul matter would not taint her in the least. By staying by her side, every minute, every second is always pure, enriched, and delightful. Being able to meet her again after his soul entered a dog’s body was undoubtedly heaven’s greatest gift.

After her makeup was done, Meng Sangyu lazily nestled on the soft divan [3]软榻 (ruǎntà) low bed or divan like the one below in the TL Notes section by the window. Picking up a small pair of shears, she pruned a miniature potted pine tree [4]松树盆栽 (sōngshù péngzāi) a pine tree bonsai. The pine tree looked lush, only having gone through human hands could it develop such a strong trunk. Emperor Zhou’wu sat beside her,  taking the discarded cut leaves in his mouth and tossing them into the tray on side.

The master and pet pair continued like this and one cut while the other tossed, their movements in harmony with each other. It was not long until the lush pine displayed its simple, upright, and magnificent side.

“How is it? Does it look nice?” Measuring up the plant for a time, Meng Sangyu turned towards A’Bao who was sitting by her side and asked for his opinion.

Wonderful! It has unique craftsmanship! Emperor Zhou’wu was not stingy with his praise and generously complimented her, but what came out of mouth was, as expected, barking sounds. But Meng Sangyu understood, smiling as she pet his head, “Thanks for the compliment.”

“Your Ladyship can understand dog speech?” Bi’shui’s mouth opened and closed. In the end, she couldn’t refrain from asking. In her heart,  her master was omnipotent. Being able to understand dog speech did not seem strange.

Puchi Puchi [5]扑哧 (pūqī) Chinese onomatopoeia for snorting (laughing) or popping. There are a lot of these in the chapter. I couldn’t find a better translation and left the sound as is.Meng Sangyu hugged the mumbling A’Bao and laughed until she collapsed on the divan. This girl is too cute! Yin’cui and Nurse Feng laughed along with her. Bi’xiao Palace filled with a joyful atmosphere, unaffected in the slightest by the rumors circulating outside.

But of course, there were people who wanted to disturb this happy atmosphere. Following the sound of the eunuch reporting from outside the palace, Eunuch Chang’xi arrived bringing rewards from the Emperor. The rewards included precious medicinal ingredients and pearl and jade accessories, but the most eye-catching one was a thick stack of Buddhist scripture. Eunuch Chang’xi personally handed the Buddhist scripture to the kneeling Virtuous Consort who was receiving the rewards, reminding her to properly copy the scriptures and expel the misfortune as soon as possible.

“Perfect, I’m grounded again!” Patting the stack of scripture, Meng Sangyu’s tone of voice, no matter how one heard it, sounded satisfied. Nurse Feng and everyone else smiled along cheekily in an overjoyed manner.

Looking at the unusual reactions of this group of master and servants, Emperor Zhou’wu could only helplessly shake his head, his pitch-black eyes overflowing with gentleness.

Since there was nothing to do, Meng Sangyu hugged A’Bao close, selecting a book of Buddhist scripture* [6]The specific scripture here is called 大藏经 (dàzàngjīng). Also known as Tripitaka Koreana, Buddhist scriptures carved on 81,340 wooden tablets and housed in Haeinsa Hǎiyìnsì [海印寺] in South Gyeongsang province of South Korea. I’m not familiar with the different scriptures so I went with a more general translation for easy reading. to slowly read aloud to him. The woman’s voice was light and soft, melodically matching the scriptures’ tone and cadence, sounding peaceful and poetic. It was more enchanting than the world’s most moving music. Emperor Zhou’wu placed his front paws on her wrist, raising his head to dumbly stare at this woman whose expressive facial profile was as beautiful as a painting, his pitch-black eyes glazed over with an infatuated expression.

If there was really no hope for his soul to return, nestling in her embrace for a lifetime was also not bad. From an Emperor’s perspective, this thought may seem preposterous and appear weak and incompetent, but just like that, the thought was formed, unable to be contained.

…………………

In Zhong’cui Palace, Shen Hui’ru let her hair hang loose, sitting pale-faced in front of her dressing table, frozen in place. Suddenly, she waved her hand and ruthlessly swept away the dressing cases and accessories off the dressing table. The loud crashing sound shocked Wan’qing who was beside her and she began to tremble.

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“Your Ladyship, it has already gotten to this point. Your Ladyship ought not to hesitate anymore. Think about the Shen family’s future, think about Your Ladyship’s supreme rank and honour in the days to come. Today’s sacrifices will all be worth it. When Your Ladyship’s plan succeeds in the future, of course you can erase everything that happened from existence.” Wan’qing comforted in a low voice.

Shen Hui’ru raised her head and buried her face in her hands. It was unclear whether she was crying or lost in thought. A long time afterwards, she removed her hands, revealing slightly red-rimmed eyes. With a heavy voice, she faced Wan’qing and said, “Help Us [7]Using the Royal We again to express status and keep it simple. Once one reaches a certain rank in the Imperial Harem, there are different ways to refer to oneself in third person and it changes depending on the rank. E.g. The Emperor uses 朕 (zhèn, literally “subtle”), Consorts use 本宫 (běngōng, literally “this palace”), the Empress Dowager uses 哀家 (áijiā, literally “this grieving one”) etc. prepare. It is almost time to welcome the Emperor.”

“Right away!” Wan’qing vigorously roused herself into action, quickly gathering the fallen accessories from the floor and carefully helping her master prepare an exquisitely extravagant look. The entire Palace had their eyes on them. Even if they know that that person is fake, they cannot do things halfheartedly for appearance’s sake.

…………………

– Passage omitted – [8]To prepare my website for Google Adsense, I’ve removed a section from this chapter. If you are interested, you can find the full version here!

Summary: Shen Hui’ru spends the night with the Fake Emperor to get a son. She feels guilty and sheds a tear as she betrays Emperor Zhou’wu. 

…………………

In Bi’xiao Palace, Meng Sangyu and A’Bao sat across the table facing each other to eat dinner. A’Bao, as usual, had rice congee, but he could already digest some spongy, soft foods. Meng Sangyu frequently added dried shrimp from the congee, tofu, barbecue pork, and other dishes that were easy to digest to his plate while A’Bao, following suit, used his paws to push dishes that she liked in front of her. The master and pet duo continued this game of back and forth, emitting a warm and sweet atmosphere.

“Your Ladyship, this one heard that the Gracious Consort finished performing nightly duties for the Emperor [9]Is there a better way to phrase this?? > ~ < It literally translates to “serving in bed”.” Nurse Feng entered, coming close, she reported in a low voice.

Emperor Zhou’wu stopped licking his congee, stiffly staring at the bowl before him. It was hard to know what he was thinking.

“She finally went all out and risked everything. It was much sooner than I expected. It seems like her so-called love for the Emperor wasn’t all that much after all. Winning favour, becoming pregnant, the position of Empress, and the position of Crown Prince. Within five years, once the Shen family has amassed enough power, the Emperor will conveniently pass away, the Crown Prince will properly and legitimately ascend the throne, Imperial Tutor Shen will act as Regent while the Queen Dowager will represent the child Emperor and hold court behind a screen. In another few years after that, once the Shen family’s power has taken root, perhaps even the puppet Emperor will not be needed. By that time, this Gu family’s empire will be surnamed Shen… What a good scheme! If only they would also have this kind of luck! [10]This seems to be meant as sarcasm. I wonder if it came through?” Meng Sangyu put down her bamboo chopsticks and leisurely sighed deeply.

What a good scheme! Emperor Zhou’wu also sighed deeply in his heart. He stiffly sat on the table, calmly waiting for the pain in his heart to subside. He initially thought, having gone through a series of blows, that his heart would be immune, but after all, it was a woman he had treasured for so many years, a woman who had accompanied him since his youth. There was no way that he could forget it all just like that.

However, this is the last time Our heart will hurt because of you! Shen Hui’ru, from this moment onward, we will go our separate ways. If we encounter each other again, now that weapons have been drawn, don’t blame Us! Quietly cutting off his affection toward Shen Hui’ru, Emperor Zhou’wu took a piece of meat that Meng Sangyu had put in his bowl into his mouth as if nothing had happened, chewing carefully. Nobody discovered his odd reaction a moment ago.


TL Notes:

An ancient divan or low bed.
An ancient divan or low bed/couch

TL Thoughts:

Phew! That took a while! I hope I didn’t keep you waiting too long. This is my first time translating. I really struggled with the punctuation in this chapter. Sometimes descriptions would run on with multiple commas and I wasn’t sure whether to somehow write in that style or break the sentence apart as I saw fit.

I would love any feedback you might have about the translation quality, any mistakes, better phrasing etc. <3

Until next time,

Nyamachi

 

Edit: To prepare my website for Google Adsense, I’ve removed a section from this chapter. If you are interested, you can find the full version here! 

 

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Translator Notes   [ + ]

1. In ancient China, time was divided into twelve two hour blocks based on astronomy, called 时辰 (shíchén). 未时 (wèishí) is from 1 pm to 3 pm so I took the average. Check out my post on Chinese Timekeeping
2. Royal We
3. 软榻 (ruǎntà) low bed or divan like the one below in the TL Notes section
4. 松树盆栽 (sōngshù péngzāi) a pine tree bonsai
5. 扑哧 (pūqī) Chinese onomatopoeia for snorting (laughing) or popping. There are a lot of these in the chapter. I couldn’t find a better translation and left the sound as is.
6. The specific scripture here is called 大藏经 (dàzàngjīng). Also known as Tripitaka Koreana, Buddhist scriptures carved on 81,340 wooden tablets and housed in Haeinsa Hǎiyìnsì [海印寺] in South Gyeongsang province of South Korea. I’m not familiar with the different scriptures so I went with a more general translation for easy reading.
7. Using the Royal We again to express status and keep it simple. Once one reaches a certain rank in the Imperial Harem, there are different ways to refer to oneself in third person and it changes depending on the rank. E.g. The Emperor uses 朕 (zhèn, literally “subtle”), Consorts use 本宫 (běngōng, literally “this palace”), the Empress Dowager uses 哀家 (áijiā, literally “this grieving one”) etc.
8. To prepare my website for Google Adsense, I’ve removed a section from this chapter. If you are interested, you can find the full version here!
9. Is there a better way to phrase this?? > ~ < It literally translates to “serving in bed”
10. This seems to be meant as sarcasm. I wonder if it came through?

42 Comments

  • thank you for your work, very much appreciated!

    • Thank you for stopping by!

  • That was awesome, I thought you were a veteran translator!!! Thanks so much for picking this up!!!

    • Thank you! That means a lot <3 I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  • Wooow~! I’m so happy this has been picked up again!! Thank you very much for your hard work in translating this. It was an easy & pleasant read, with little to fault (in terms of grammar and sentence structure). Thank you also for the helpful references at the end of the chapter.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Thank you so much! I’m glad the notes were helpful 🙂

  • Thank you very much for picking up this gem of a novel! (≧▽≦)
    You did a wonderful job in translating it and it was a joy to read. I look forward to the following chapters. (✪ω✪)

  • Thanks for picking this up. I tried MTL but my English was beyond saving for a while

  • Thanks for picking this up. I tried MTL but my English was beyond saving for a while

  • Thank you so much for picking this up! Greatly appreciated your work! So happy!

    • Thank you for reading! I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  • I’m so happy you picked this up to translate! Your translation is really nice and fluid, no hiccups at all. I was also amazed that you didn’t split the chapters. Thank you for putting in the hard work. Normally, I would just lurk around after reading the translation but with the quality of work you did I can’t help but leave a comment. Keep up the good work. I’m looking forward to visiting your site more.

    • Wow! Thank you so much for your kind words <3 Hahaha yeah, it was so long (= o =) I personally prefer reading complete chapters, even if I have to wait longer. Thanks for leaving a comment!

  • Thank you so much for picking up this novel. Your translation was really good. It was easy to read and there were no noticeable grammatical errors.

    • Thank you <3 I appreciate the feedback!

  • Wow didn’t even notice this was your first time translating, you’ve done such a good job!

    Thanks for picking up this novel! 💕

    • Thank you! Also thanks for the follow 🙂 I hope you continue to enjoy reading.

  • Thanks so much for picking up this novel! I really appreciate your hard work! 🙂

    • No problem! I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  • Awesome work!! Thank you for the time and effort your put into this along with the excellent translation!

    • Thank you so much! I’m happy you enjoyed it 🙂

  • Thank you for your hard work! You did really great ♡♡♡

  • Thank you so much for this chapter and for picking up this novel! 💕💕💕💕💕👍👍👍👍

  • Thank you for translating! ʕ•ᴥ•ʔノ♡♡♡

  • It’s me from NU forum! :3 You did a great job with this chapter, it was a pleasure to read. I hope you keep going, congrats on taking the translator step!

    • Hey, thanks again for your help! :3 I’m so glad you like it ☺️

  • Ty for picking this up. You know she could’ve just pretended to be pregnant and got a child out of somewhere to act as her baby.After all she’s so powerful as to have a guard pretend to be the emperor and her dad holds rein to all matters. But I guess the author is really hell bent on ruining her.

    • Haha the same thing ran through my head when I read that part. I’m pretty sure they could’ve made a moon bump or used some kind of padding to fake the pregnancy.

  • Thank you for picking this up!

  • Thank so very much for picking this up

  • Thanks for picking this up, Nyamachi. It was a great pleasure reading the translation as it shows that you’re effectively bilingual. Looking forward to more chapters!

    • Thanks for your kind words ❤️ ahah don’t think I’m quite there yet but appreciate it all the same. Thanks for reading!

  • Firstly, I would like to tell you that it is currently midnight, and in my plight of being unable to fall asleep and having read all my ongoing-addict-novels (this one is placed in the “okay” one I created to stop myself from my impatience xD hence accumulating ~hopefully~ as many chapters as I can when I stumble upon it. However, the previous tl-er stopped tl-ing this.
    My point being : midnight + unexpected surprise = high pitched scream. Consequences? Angry neighbors xD

    Thank you so much for taking this up, I know how hard ancient setting Chinese novels are to translate, and here comes my second point …..

    HOLY SHIIIIEZZZ. First translation? Brrrruuuuuuuuu…. Are you a genius? This fluidity despite some grammatical errors, it’s so enjoyable!! And the NSFW ❤️❤️❤️❤️ Uggggh

    Although I think I’d love the pinyins such as Zhen or Bengong ? I dunno, it feels stylish xD

    But, your translation is amazing. If I weren’t so broke, I’d literally fund you all the coffee, sugar, energy necessary! Lmao

    So! Thanks for taking this on!!! And it’s really amazing to the point that it made my neighbors angry! (*Shameless* compensation with another chapter? xD JK)

    Xoxo

    • Hello Gumi! This is a very late reply but thank you so much for your kind words! I like your idea of using Zhen or Bengong. Maybe I’ll try it in a future chapter 🙂 Thank you again for the encouragement! <3

      • No problem; I really love and admire your work ! You just got yourself another faithful follower 😉

  • Thanks for picking up this novel!

  • I was so excited when I saw that this novel had been picked up. You’ve done a great job with the grammar and punctuation (I’m actually an English teacher) and I love your descriptions. Thank you! 😀

    • Thank you! I’m glad the descriptions are helpful. ^ ^

  • I love you for picking up this novel! One of my top favorite novels! Hope you’ll be able to translate it til the end! I even let my brain overheat when I MTL-read this for more than 7 times already 😀

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