Why Harem Intrigue When You Can Just Raise A Dog Instead? (Chp 69)
Chapter 69: Misunderstanding (误解)
Translation assistant: 247Reader
English proofreaders: 247Reader & JimmyfromIT
During the day, Meng Sangyu worked together with Emperor Zhou’wu in the Imperial Study, handling palace affairs. Midday, they napped, wrapped in each other’s arms. Once afternoon came around, they would return hand-in-hand to Bi’xiao Palace to have dinner, and afterwards they would be tightly entangled together until midnight. There was no obvious subject in this sentence but since the raw said “处理宫务”, we translated this from MSY’s pov.
Five or six days passed like this, with the two practically joined at the hip. Who knew how many times the imperial concubines gnashed their teeth with envy. This also made Meng Sangyu feel even more bewildered. 感 and 惑 look so similar…
She wasn’t the only imperial concubine who had managed to protect her chastity. There were plenty of people who possessed unique beauty and brimmed with talent, yet recently there seemed to be a new scent in the air, as everyone racked their brains trying to think of ways to invite favour.
There was actually no need for the Emperor to put up with her. If it was about appeasing her father, then this was just far too excessive.
Meng Sangyu was deep in contemplation, head bent over as she combed her glossy hair. Her ink-black hair was just like a stream as it cascaded down her back. Her delicate eyebrows were faintly knotted, making her appear very vexed.
“Your Ladyship, is your honoured self troubled about something?” Bi’shui inquired worriedly as she took the comb and helped her straighten her hair.
“It’s nothing. I just feel that His Majesty dotes on me excessively and I don’t know if he’s planning something yet again.” She waved her hand, picked up a bottle of snow skin cream, and applied a thin layer on her face.
Nurse Feng, who was making up the bed, heard what was said and became distracted, stammering, “Your Ladyship, could it be that your honoured self is reading too much into it? The care with which His Majesty treats your honoured self does not seem like an act.”
Maybe it was because Her Ladyship lived in the palace that she hadn’t realized; where was there the least bit of scheming or coldness in the way His Majesty looked at her? It was clearly the look of someone deeply in love. Moreover, everything that Her Ladyship ate, used, and wore was carefully chosen in accordance with Her Ladyship’s preferences. She couldn’t find even one fault with this degree of tender consideration – it was simply meticulous in every possible way. Ignoring the fact that the other party was His Majesty, even an ordinary man wouldn’t go to these lengths.
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Meng Sangyu picked up the bowl of herbal medicine sent by the female doctor and drained it in one gulp. She spoke indifferently, “If he treated me well, then would he still actively scheme and make me drink this abortion soup? If that was the case, then his care would truly be special.”
Saying this, she sneered and handed the bowl to Yin’cui. Her tone was ice cold as she ordered, “Carry the bowl outside. Someone is watching, after all. If I don’t drink it all, she won’t be able to return and make her report.”
Yin’cui agreed. She carried the bowl outside and handed it over to the female doctor, who was waiting in the corridor with her neck outstretched in expectation.
This female doctor always kept a close eye on them. They had tried to spill several bowls of medicine, but she always managed to persevere and refill the bowl. It truly made one feel helpless.
Recently, Her Ladyship had started to attend to the Emperor at night. Since Meng Sangyu herself did not want children, they had decided not to play games with her anymore.
The female doctor took the empty bowl and returned to give her report. Nurse Feng examined her master’s sneering expression and couldn’t say anything more. She always felt that this medicine didn’t seem like abortion soup. Maybe it was really as His Majesty said, that it was a nourishing concoction.
Hadn’t Her Ladyship’s complexion become rosier recently? Her thinning cheeks had also become a bit more plump, making her appear even more gorgeous than in the past. Her fair and tender skin seemed moist and supple, as though water would leak if you pinched it. She had never seen women who had consumed that fearsome abortion soup become more and more beautiful the more they drank it.
In the short span of time that Nurse Feng was lost in thought, Meng Sangyu had already finished getting ready. She donned her cloak and headed out towards Qian’qing Palace to accompany the Emperor. Nurse Feng hurried her footsteps to catch up.
The Emperor allowed her mistress to sleep in until the sun rose high and even waited for her mistress to wake up before she went to accompany him. This level of tolerance didn’t seem to be fake. Yet, even if this were the case, since her Ladyship didn’t want to hear any of it, she would just remain silent.
The master and servant pair hadn’t wandered too far from Bi’xiao Palace when they were stopped by Worthy Consort, Beautiful Consort, and the rest. Although they were splendidly dressed, even a thick layer of makeup couldn’t hide their haggard complexions. Moreover, their eyes were bloodshot, making them appear somewhat scary at first glance.
“This concubine greets Your Ladyship Virtuous Consort.” All the imperial concubines curtsied and saluted, but their manner of speaking was not at all as deferential as their etiquette.
“Did you need Bengong for something? Say it quickly, and don’t waste Bengong’s time.” Meng Sangyu fiddled with her nail guards. With her luxurious apricot yellow palace dress embroidered with silver thread, half covered within her jet black, glossy mink fur cloak, and a peony in full bloom tucked behind her ear, her domineering, noble aura assaulted them head on.
She lifted up her refined chin and looked askance at them with narrowed eyes. Her overbearing appearance made the imperial concubines’ hearts tremble. It didn’t seem like it was a good idea to butt heads with Virtuous Consort! This was a master who even dared to kill the imperial guards as she pleased!
Sensing that the others intended to cower, Beautiful Consort stepped forward and said gently, “Elder Sister Virtuous Consort, right now, the Sixth Prince’s health has weakened and he hasn’t seen His Majesty for several days now. He spends all day sick in bed crying. How could this concubine not feel sad for him?
“Elder Sister, now that you wield the Phoenix Seal, surely in the future you will be the one and only candidate to rise to the Empress’ seat. Shouldn’t you be concerned about imperial offspring as part of your duty? This concubine humbly asks Elder Sister Virtuous Consort and His Majesty to come and visit this concubine’s palace together to take a look at the prince. Now that there are so few Imperial offspring in the palace, if Elder Sister cares, then Sister ought to advise His Majesty to share his favour and increase the imperial bloodline instead of monopolising His Majesty. Her Venerable Self, the Empress Dowager is also in the palace observing. Your honoured self must not betray her expectations.”
Imperial Consort had already been beaten with a plank several times now due to the Eighth Prince’s illness. Nowadays, she didn’t dare to leave the Eighth Prince’s side by half a step and hated that she couldn’t keep her eye on the Eighth Prince at all times. With her treatment as a warning, none of the imperial concubines would dare to use their princes’ sickness as an excuse to solicit favour. They could only exploit Virtuous Consort. 钻空子 (zuānkòngzi) Lit. To drill a hole. It means to exploit an advantage or seize an opportunity, especially to do something bad.
Virtuous Consort had surely been targeting the position of Empress for a long time. In order to obtain the Empress Dowager’s support, she should have to properly take these words into consideration and not ruin her future in exchange for temporarily monopolizing favour.
The Empress Dowager was already rich in her years. What did she want the most? It must be to see thriving imperial offspring! Beautiful Consort’s words were indeed spot-on. However, it was unfortunate that she wasn’t aware of the truth behind the events and didn’t understand that Meng Sangyu’s way of thinking was totally different from an ordinary person’s. Therefore, she was fated to fail.
Meng Sangyu lifted her chin and looked disparagingly at the hateful, jealous eyes of the imperial concubines, who all wore smiling expressions.
All of a sudden, Meng Sangyu came to a realization. She had been wondering why that man recently solely favoured her in such a high-profile way. So it was because of this!
She had been made to be a shield again. It was just that this time, what she was blocking was a group of lustful, dissatisfied women. It was impossible for him to touch these women again, but he also didn’t have a suitable excuse. Therefore, it was time for her, who was once the most favoured consort, to be tossed back into the fray!
Damn it! She had been used again!
As the little person in Meng Sangyu’s heart gracefully gave the middle finger, she squeezed out a smile and ground her teeth as she said, “It’s of no concern to Bengong whether or not there are imperial offspring. They are your children. How is this Bengong’s concern? If you’re truly worried about it, then you need to wait until Bengong rightfully becomes Empress first.
“Beautiful Consort, your words are asking for Bengong to overstep Our bounds and meddle in His Majesty’s affairs! 越庖代俎 (yuèpáo dàizǔ) Lit. To exceed one’s limits as the cook to stand in for the officer of prayer who presides over the sacrifice. It means going beyond the scope of one’s own duties to take over someone else’s job or meddle in their affairs. What’s more, sharing His Majesty’s favour and increasing the imperial bloodline… Those words sound pleasant to hear, but if you were the one who His Majesty solely favoured, would you willingly give His Majesty up? We haven’t had Our fill of him yet you still want Us to share him with others? Do you truly take Bengong for a fool? If you have what it takes, then snatch His Majesty away from Bengong! Don’t waste your breath chirping like insects in front of Us!”
Fixing the peony by her temples, Meng Sangyu passed by the dumbfounded imperial concubines and in this manner walked towards Qian’qing Palace.
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Father has still not retired, and Elder Brother is in the palm of that man’s hand. Even if she didn’t want to be this shield, she still had to do it. How aggravating!
Only once Virtuous Consort had walked a fair distance away did the imperial concubines come to their senses. Their complexions fluctuated between green and white, not looking beautiful in the least.
Virtuous Consort was indeed uncultured. She was extremely vulgar when cursing at people, and made others unable to retort because she used the plainest words to expose the most brutal truths. How could they deal with this kind of person, who was unmoved by force or persuasion? 软硬不吃 (ruǎnyìng bùchī) Not listening to reason nor bowing to force when negotiating. Neither a ‘hard’ approach nor a ‘soft’ approach will work.
The imperial concubines shook their heads and angrily dispersed. Forget about it! They weren’t a match for Virtuous Consort, that poisonous woman. It was better for them to think of a method focusing on Empress Dowager and the Emperor instead.
In Qian’qing Palace, after waiting a long time and seeing that Sangyu had yet to arrive, Emperor Zhou’wu waved a hand and sent Chang’xi to inquire about the situation.
Chang’xi summoned the secret guards and entered the Imperial Study after making his inquiries. Leaning close to the Emperor’s ear, he reported Her Ladyship Virtuous Consort’s bold words to the letter.
“’Haven’t had Our fill’?” Emperor Zhou’wu pondered over these words repeatedly and slapped the imperial desk with a bright chuckle, rocking back and forth with laughter. His Sangyu truly had a big appetite! Yet after hearing this, why did he feel so relaxed and free from worry?
Chang’xi wiped the cold sweat on his forehead and gave a thumbs up in his heart. Her Ladyship Virtuous Consort is truly formidable, just like her father!
When Meng Sangyu entered the main hall, her expression was solemn as she faced the man’s eyes that were brimming with happiness. Seeing him in high spirits, the flaming malice that had just subsided in her heart suddenly reignited. This person was clearly building up his own happiness at her expense!
The more she thought about it, the harder it was for her to remain calm. She half-heartedly paid her respects and directly walked over to her own desk to review account books.
“Sangyu, what’s wrong? You could hang bottles from the sides of that frown.” Emperor Zhou’wu sat down and pressed close to her. One hand wrapped around her shoulder while the other pinched her slightly pouting rosy lips. His tone was filled with pampering and indulgence.
“Go away, don’t bother me!” Unable to endure the heat from the man’s breath in her ear and unable to stand his teasing attitude even more, Meng Sangyu burned with anger and struggled free from his embrace with effort. She waved the account book in her hand and hit the man’s cheek with a “pow” sound.
Even though this was an accident, she still used about seventy to eighty percent of her strength. The man’s handsome cheek quickly turned red.
Meng Sangyu was shocked and stared fixedly at the man, trying to measure his expression, feeling unsure how to react.
Chang’xi shrunk his shoulders and bowed, standing motionless in the corner. Her Ladyship Virtuous Consort was even more formidable than he had imagined! She actually struck His Majesty’s face?! This was the most powerful person in Great Zhou!
Emperor Zhou’wu stroked his slightly numb cheek. In one swift motion, he captured Sangyu’s chin and stared into her phoenix eyes. His tone was extremely sincere as he asked, “Are you angry at Zhen?”
Meng Sangyu’s mouth moved, but no sound came out. She was intimidated by the surging undercurrent in the man’s pitch-black eyes.
“You are angry at Zhen.” The man spoke once more. This time, he used an affirmative sentence. He lowered his gaze in thought. How long had it been? How long had Sangyu been hiding her true feelings in front of him? He could only recall that valiant woman who freely showed her emotions as she pleased in his dreams.
However, today Sangyu no longer hid her feelings behind a mask and no longer pretended to be gentle and submissive. Did that mean that he had already pried open her heavily guarded heart by a crack? Did her anger mean that she cared about him?
As he thought about it, the man held his forehead and was unable to constrain a low chuckle.
Seeing that the man did not say anything for a while, Meng Sangyu felt extremely nervous. Just as she was about to kneel down and beg for forgiveness, unexpectedly, the man suddenly started to laugh. After that, he brought her close and sweetly and attentively kissed her lips. There was only satisfaction and delight in his eyes – why couldn’t she see the slightest hint of anger in his expression?
“Sangyu, you’re angry at Zhen, that’s great!” The man hugged her tightly and lightly licked and kissed her earlobe, but his words were nonsensical, causing Sangyu to purse her lips in a straight line.
Goodness~ The crazy emperor is even crazier this time! Could it be that he’s a masochist? Does he like people to abuse him? As she thought this, Meng Sangyu trembled and stared at the foolishly laughing man with strange eyes. Everything aside, it indeed seemed more and more likely to be the case!
Hello dear readers,
Here is our last chapter of WHI for December~ Just in time for NYE!
I decided to split paragraphs into smaller sections for easier reading. Please let me know if you’d like me to continue doing this! Thanks for your feedback <3
I hope everyone enjoys the rest of the holiday season and happy early new year!!
Until next time,
P.S. I’m posting this while feeling slightly brain-foggy. If there are any mistakes (grammar, spelling, formatting), please leave a comment and I’ll fix them asap!