Why Harem Intrigue When You Can Just Raise A Dog Instead? (Chp 47)
Chapter 47: Nursing the Sick 3 (侍疾3)
Translation assistant: [redacted]
English proofreader: JimmyfromIT
✧･ﾟ *✧･ﾟ:* Celebrating Nyanovels’ first Christmas and Nyamachi’s first year translating~ *･ﾟ✧*:･ﾟ✧
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It wasn’t until her cheeks started hurting from blowing [on the wound] that the man said in a low voice, “That’s enough.” Relieved, Meng Sangyu gently and cautiously removed the cloth staunching the man’s wound. The bleeding had already stopped. The open wound looked very hideous. She picked up the medicine for an incised wound and spread the medicinal powder evenly onto it. Finally, she deftly wrapped it with clean bandages.
Finishing everything, she inwardly let out a sigh of relief.
It was at this moment that Chang’xi carried a bowl of steaming hot herbal medicine inside. He half-knelt and presented the bowl of medicine before his master.
Meng Sangyu raised her eyes, her line of sight shifted to his Adam’s apple, which was half covered by his lapel but could still be seen slightly. Her eyes showed understanding. Since Chang’xi was fake, then this Emperor was sure to be the real one. As for why he repeatedly acted crazy, she already had no energy to investigate. She only thought about quickly concluding today’s nursing duties.
Emperor Zhou’wu dismissed him to the side and removed his outer garment and half-reclined on the Imperial bed. He waved the woman over and said, “Zhen is tired. Beloved Consort should feed Zhen the medicine.”
Tired my foot! The tiny person in Meng Sangyu’s heart held up her middle finger. She leisurely walked over to the side of the imperial bed and picked up the bowl of herbal medicine.
“Your Majesty, the medicine is very hot. This concubine will help your honoured self blow on it.” She gently smiled, her soft and tender little mouth curved into a circle as she blew gracefully on the soup spoon. The man’s burning gaze fixated on her rounded lips. She lowered her eyes and a light flashed for a moment in her eyes. Meanwhile, her fingers trembled and the entire bowl of medicine simply and naturally spilled onto her heavily brocaded robe.
“Sangyu, did you burn yourself?” Emperor Zhou’wu swiftly pulled her to one side and pulled her sleeve to take a look. On her luminous white wrist, there was already a bright red blot that had a gruesome appearance. If Chang’xi wasn’t standing off to the side, he would have lifted up her robe and done a thorough check.
“This concubine’s hands slipped, this concubine didn’t do it deliberately. Requesting Your Majesty to allow this concubine to make amends!” Her beautiful eyebrows pressed together and her face paled as she knelt at Emperor Zhou’wu’s bedside and bowed deeply. Her small face showed an anxious and panicked expression. But in her heart, she was surprised at hearing the words, ‘Sangyu’, being called out. When did she and this person become so close as to refer to each other by their given name? In Asian culture, it’s common to refer to people by their surnames or titles rather than their given name. Referring to someone by their given name is a sign of being close. How come she didn’t remember?
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“You……” Why would you intentionally injure yourself?! Emperor Zhou’wu’s thick eyebrows knitted together, his voice was cold and heavy. After he spat out one word, seeing her drenched skirt hem and bright red wrist, he swallowed his unfinished words.
“You should return. Quickly change into your clothes and be careful not to catch a cold. Zhen will send Imperial Physician Du to take a look.” He exerted himself to pull the woman up and watched as the woman immediately retreated back two steps, increasing the distance between them. His pitch-black eyes dimmed even more.
“Thank you, Your Majesty.” Meng Sangyu bent her knees in a curtsey and dragged her damp skirt as she departed. Catching sight of Yin’cui and Bi’shui, who were waiting outside the palace, she suddenly felt like she had survived a disaster. The crazy emperor was ten thousand times harder to deal with compared to the cold-hearted emperor!
Waiting until the woman’s receding figure disappeared from view, Emperor Zhou’wu slowly withdrew his gaze. His face revealed a most bitter smile.
“What did Zhen do wrong? She wanted to intentionally hurt herself for the sake of freeing herself from Zhen earlier?” He looked over at Chang’xi, who had been standing quietly for a long while.
Although Chang’xi wasn’t a eunuch, he was a secret guard who was unable to resist womanly charms. He stared blankly before making a cupped-hand salute and saying. “Your Majesty has done well……” At this point, he choked on his words, unsure how to continue.
“Did well?” Emperor Zhou’wu leaned back on the Imperial bed and muttered to himself. After a while, he resolutely slammed the bed as he suddenly realized what had happened and said, “Zhen’s got it. It was simply because Zhen treated her too well that she was free herself from Zhen. She must think that Zhen is the Fake Emperor!” He showed an expression that was between laughter and tears. The taste of bitterness in his heart was even stronger.
Her Ladyship Virtuous Consort will think you’re the Fake Emperor if you treat her too well? How horribly did your honoured self treat her before? Chang’xi withdrew to a corner and secretly pondered.
At Bi’xiao Palace, no sooner had Meng Sangyu entered the palace gates did Imperial Physician Du arrive close behind. Seeing the wound was only slightly red and not at all serious, he gave her a vial of ointment for burns and explained many important points of management before leaving in a rush. The Emperor was still in Qian’qing Palace waiting for his report.
“Your Ladyship, this servant will help your honoured self apply the medicine.” Nurse Feng’s whole face showed distress as she held her master’s hand. She scooped up a bit of ointment and carefully applied it.
“Your Ladyship, the Emperor is fake, right? Your honoured self purposely injured herself to break away from him?” Yin’cui’s eyes constantly darted around as she guessed in a low voice.
“No, it’s the real one. Presumably, he was in a coma for too long and his memories are somewhat scattered. After some time, he’ll recover.” Meng Sangyu rubbed her forehead. She could only use this kind of reason to explain Emperor Zhou’wu’s erratic behaviours today.
“He’s the real one? That’s good, that’s good!” Nurse Feng faced the heavens and saluted vigorously. Tugging the hem of her master’s gown, she anxiously asked, “Your Ladyship, your honoured self should go and beg His Majesty to dispatch more people to search for His Grace, the Imperial Duke. It’s already been seven or eight days, and it’s still unknown whether His Grace is dead or alive.”
“I’ll go in the afternoon.” Meng Sangyu nodded and her face revealed a solemn expression. There was still no news from Father, so he must be alive. After all, the Emperor is a monarch, even if he was almost usurped, but the power he could wield after returning for a very short time was still terrifying. If the secret guards under his command were to lend a hand to find Father, the chances [of finding him] will be even higher. Therefore, it was unavoidable to offer some more sexual favours this afternoon.
Thinking until here, she gradually wiped the rouge and powder from her face. She casually washed her face, rinsed her mouth and prepared to get some beauty sleep, resting so that she had enough energy to deal with the crazy emperor later.
Just at that moment, a female physician walked inside carrying a bowl of herbal medicine emitting a white mist.
“Why, why must Your Ladyship still drink medicine?” Nurse Feng’s face paled. There was no need to ask, this was definitely the Real Emperor!
That female physician merely smiled, knelt in front of Meng Sangyu, and deferentially held up the bowl of medicine saying, “May Your Ladyship please drink the medicine.”
“Your Ladyship, don’t……” Nurse Feng stretched out her hand to stop her, but Meng Sangyu had already gone ahead and picked up the bowl of medicine. She raised her head and drank it in one shot. At this moment, Nurse Feng especially missed A’Bao. That dog was clever and would definitely have a way to spill the bowl of medicine. It was too bad that Her Ladyship had seriously forbidden them from searching for him again.
“You’re dismissed.” Meng Sangyu waved her hand after returning the bowl of medicine.
Don’t think that she hadn’t seen the female physician’s stare. If she hadn’t obediently drank the medicine, in the future perhaps there would be even more bowls awaiting her. This way wasn’t bad either. She definitely didn’t want to have that man’s child. Without children, she only needed to think of herself when scheming for the first half of her life. The latter half of her life would be leisurely and carefree and she could watch others compete. However, if she had children, then for the second half of her life she would have to throw herself into the fray and accompany her child to compete [for the throne]. When would these kinds of days come to an end? She was already exhausted!
“Your Ladyship……” Nurse Feng’s eyes filled with tears as she circled around her master. Her health had already mostly recovered, but now she had to ruin it again. How could the Emperor be so heartless?
“It’s fine, I’m more comfortable alone.” Meng Sangyu gently smiled, allowing the solemn-faced Ying’cui and Bi’shui to help her arrange her black hair. Afterwards, she lazily nestled into the warmth of the bedding. Once her head hit the pillow, her breathing quickly calmed. If she was worried and confused about everything, she wouldn’t last a day in the palace. She wouldn’t let herself become a fool who was depressed and painfully suffering all day. When one couldn’t fight back, the only thing one could do was to conform, so that one could live and try one’s best to make their life just a little better.
After sleeping for an hour, Bi’shui woke her up on time. It was time to go to Qian’qing Palace again for nursing duties.
Drawing her hair into a loose ponytail bun, 坠马髻 (zuì má jì) A ponytail bun (literally a falling-horse bun) was a type of women’s hairstyle in ancient times. It was one of the most distinctive and important hairstyles in history. Here is an image. It’s a type of bun that hangs on one side. she inserted a gold-plated jadeite dangling hair ornament where the hair of her temples hung to the side. Opening the collection of bottles and jars in front of her, Meng Sangyu stroked the corner of her mouth before covering them all one by one. Since the Emperor liked it, she wouldn’t apply makeup. These days, out of the high-ranking Imperial Concubines in the palace, she was the only untainted one. She could understand why the Emperor was a bit warmer towards her. She would conveniently use this chance to rescue her father. What’s more, in the coming year, new concubine candidates would enter the palace. She didn’t know who she would cross paths with, or who would become her enemy. The sentence here references an idiom, 过河拆桥 (guò hé chà qiáo) which means being ungrateful – burning one’s bridges. I translated more literally here.
Her lips curved into a smile and she only applied a little scented cream to her face and a drop of lip balm. 凝露 (níng lù) This literally means congealed dew or syrup, likely from some kind of flower. I did some research and found this article on the history and production method of Chinese lip balm. Take a look if you’re interested~ With this simple look, she departed for Qian’qing Palace. The bone-chilling wind immediately scraped against her fair and clear little face until it was slightly red.
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The 17-year-old resembled a flower. The girl swayed as she fought against the wind, competing against the frost and snow. Her bright eyes and white teeth resembled the trunk of a tree containing white plum blossoms. I’m sorry this sentence sounds weird. It literally says that. Plum blossoms symbolize perseverance and hope as well as purity and beauty. Emperor Zhou’wu stood at the palace gates. With his hands clasped behind his back. Catching sight of the gradually approaching beautiful woman, his pitch-black eyes shone slightly.
Returning to the main hall, he unfurled a silk scroll and solemnly gave an order to Chang’xi, who had been standing by the desk. “Help Zhen grind ink.” 磨墨 (mó mò) means to rub an ink stick on an ink stone with some water to make ink. Here is a visual of the steps.
“Your Majesty, your honoured self’s shoulder has not yet healed. Your honoured self should wait until it has recovered to practice calligraphy.” Chang’xi quickly and respectfully advised.
“It’s fine, it’s just writing a few words.” He waved a hand and quietly stood [at the desk] for a while. Hearing the woman’s light and slow footsteps coming closer and closer, he picked up the weasel hair calligraphy brush and made large strokes on the scroll.
When Meng Sangyu entered, she saw that Emperor Zhou’wu was standing behind the imperial desk, focused on his calligraphy. The man’s thick brows were slightly raised, his thin, cool lips were pressed into a line, and his focused expression made his already peerlessly handsome face even more attractive. Without a doubt, this was a highly attractive man who wielded the most supreme power in this world. It was no wonder so many women in the palace were madly infatuated with him.
Her eyes were calm and her face showed a standard smile as she leisurely walked over. Standing quietly by the man’s side, her gaze trailed towards the scroll on the desk. The brush swept across the paper like a dragon in flight. Each and every powerful, vivid [stroke in] cursive script was clearly discernible on the paper. It exuded a monarch’s piercing cold spirit which could bring others to submission. This handwriting was exclusive to Emperor Zhou’wu. Ordinary people could only imitate its form, unable to completely replicate its spirit.
Sure enough, this was the real one! Meng Sangyu’s pupils flashed as she took the ink stick from Chang’xi and personally helped the man grind ink.
Sensing her movement, Emperor Zhou’wu seemed to just notice her presence. He promptly laid down his weasel hair brush and very naturally lifted her sleeve to examine her scalded wrist. Seeing that the redness had already faded, his cold and harsh demeanour immediately softened. As expected, Sangyu knew when to stop and would never hurt herself for others. This trait of hers was very good.
“Sangyu, you’re here. What do you think about these words Zhen wrote?” Emperor Zhou’wu pointed at the scroll as he pinched her [pale] fingertips I think there is a typo here – Author wrote 葱白 (cōng bái) instead of 苍白 (cāng bái). It wouldn’t make sense if her fingertips were white (like a green onion)…? and thought to himself: If she doesn’t recognize me in human form, she should at least recognize my handwriting.
“This concubine greets Your Majesty.” Meng Sangyu wanted to curtsy and pay her respects but she was very naturally pulled up by the man’s strong arms into his embrace. A burning, passionate male scent assailed her nostrils.
Disinterested in asking about the man’s sudden change in address, she gracefully smiled and said in a soft voice, “Your Majesty’s writing is the best, of course.”
“Don’t give Zhen a perfunctory answer.” The man’s thin, warm lips nestled by her ear as his deep voice enveloped her, sending shivers down her body. A thick, ambiguous atmosphere wrapped around the two people’s bodies, bringing them closer together,
The corners of Meng Sangyu’s ears moved slightly and her fake smile became even more dazzling, “Your Majesty is aware that this concubine is not versed in calligraphy. If Your Majesty really wants this concubine to give a more substantive reply, isn’t Your Majesty only making things difficult for this concubine?”
“Not versed in calligraphy?” Emperor Zhou’wu stroked her tender cheek while murmuring to himself. His pitch-black eyes twinkled mysteriously.
Meng Sangyu felt like half her face was almost numb.
“If you don’t know, that’s fine. Zhen will teach you.” He suddenly gave a low, mischievous chuckle. Lowering his head, he planted a kiss on the woman’s unpowdered cheek. Finally, he even used the tip of his tongue to softly give it a lick, seeming as if he thought that it tasted absolutely delicious.
TL Team’s Thoughts:
Nyamachi: Ahaha if only the fake Chang’xi knew how badly he treated her before, maybe he’d help her run away~
JimmyfromIT: They’re dragons that shoot laser beams out of their eyes!
“The man’s burning gaze fixated on her rounded lips. She lowered her eyes and a light flashed for a moment in her eyes. Meanwhile, her fingers trembled and the entire bowl of medicine simply and naturally spilled onto her heavily brocaded robe.”
If anyone is curious about calligraphy brushes, here is a great article that explains the differences between the different kinds of brush hairs and their uses/effects.
Until next time,
The Nyanovels TL Team