Why Harem Intrigue When You Can Just Raise A Dog Instead? (Chp 81)
Chapter 81: Pregnancy (怀孕)
Translators: Tygris & Nyamachi
Translation assistant: 247Reader
Translation Checkers: Tygris & Nyamachi
English proofreaders: 247Reader, Tygris & Nyamachi
The Imperial Physician arrived very quickly with a thin layer of perspiration on his forehead. As he entered the side palace and was about to perform a salute, he was stopped by the Emperor’s cold voice. “Why are you wasting time saluting? Hurry up and examine the Imperial Noble Consort!”
The Imperial Physician agreed and hurriedly moved forward to check her pulse. However, he noticed that the Emperor, with a cautious, careful attitude, had already folded up the Imperial Noble Consort’s sleeves and placed a bright yellow silk handkerchief over her wrist.
At the sight, the Imperial Physician became even more careful. He didn’t dare to treat the situation lightly and focused his complete attention [on the examination].
Emperor Zhou’wu retreated to one side, standing with his hands clasped behind him. His pitch-black eyes were fixed unblinkingly on Sangyu’s pale face, fearful that she would disappear in the blink of an eye.
“Your Majesty, Your Majesty…” Gracious Consort called out several times, but seeing that the Emperor had no reaction, she boldly advanced forward to tug his sleeve, her eyes flashing.
“What are you doing?!” Emperor Zhou’wu brusquely flicked his sleeves and stared down at Gracious Consort, who had fallen to the ground. The anger surging in his pitch-black eyes made Gracious Consort’s heart tremble incessantly.
“Replying to Your Majesty, this concubine was merely wondering what should be done about the Grand Selection in the main hall?” Gracious Consort cut a sorry figure as she scrambled up, tears swirling in her eyes.
The Emperor was far too frightening right now. She hadn’t even touched his sleeve before he fixed her with a ferocious expression, as though he wanted to kill her on the spot. Could it be that she didn’t have the right to even touch him?
“Postpone the decision until the Imperial Noble Consort awakens. All of you withdraw first!” said Emperor Zhou’wu, in a low, exceedingly impatient voice.
Virtuous Consort took the lead in withdrawing first. While waiting outside the palace hall, she saw Worthy Consort’s group come out with pale faces. She eyed them with a mocking smile.
The three of them dared to anger the Emperor, but were too cowardly to speak of their dissatisfaction.
“If you want to live out your days in peace, I urge you all to not make an enemy of the Imperial Noble Consort.” The corners of her lips curved in a smirk as she quietly spoke.
The three people straightened their backs and hurriedly departed. It was unknown whether or not her words had sunk in. Virtuous Consort shook her head and sighed. She quietly stood under the roofed corridor and surveyed the majestic palace in the distance.
“Why did Your Ladyship bother to warn them? Wouldn’t it be better for them to court disaster?” [Virtuous Consort’s] trusted palace maid said angrily as she stepped forward.
“Bengong also doesn’t wish to warn them; however, We are afraid that their stupidity will cause them to make a mistake and implicate Bengong.” Virtuous Consort waved a hand.
The palace maid’s heart saddened. She nodded and asked again, “Your Ladyship, are we not leaving?”
“Let us wait until the Imperial Noble Consort awakens before leaving. We still haven’t made it through half of the Grand Selection. We ought to receive His Majesty and Her Highness the Imperial Noble Consort’s opinions first.”
She rubbed her temples with an expression of fatigue, reminiscing about the carefree and peaceful life she’d led in the past. However, it was precisely because she had been promoted that her concubine birth mother’s 姨娘 (yínniáng) is how you would refer to your father’s concubine. We assumed that she is talking about her birth mother here since she is not of direct, legitimate descent. days had greatly improved in the manor. This could be considered as having both losses and gains.
Right at this moment, the sound of bright laughter erupted from inside the palace hall. The deep and resounding voice was full of unmistakable elation, and the servants who heard it outside the palace hall were unable to suppress their own smiles.
Virtuous Consort and her maid glanced at each other and spoke at the same time. “It’s His Majesty!”
“If His Majesty is this happy, then it must be that Her Ladyship the Imperial Noble Consort is pregnant!” guessed Virtuous Consort. However, her tone was utterly certain.
This wasn’t the Emperor’s first child, yet His Majesty was this wild with joy. It could be seen how much the Emperor favoured the Imperial Noble Consort and how much importance he placed on her.
This outcome was fine too. From the beginning, she’d had no thoughts of aiming for power. She only wanted to have a stable life.
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In the main palace hall of Chu’xiu Palace, Meng Rui’zhu was leisurely taking a stroll. Standing together with the other Concubine Candidates who had been selected, she wore a tranquil expression on her face, but inside she was overwhelmed with emotion.
Having seen that she didn’t show the slightest hint of concern when the Imperial Noble Consort fainted, all of the Concubine Candidates secretly exchanged scornful glances with each other.
Worthy Consort’s group had just turned the corner in the corridor. Catching sight of Meng Rui’zhu, they finally found a way to vent the sinister flames of rage in their chests. 邪火 (xiéhuǒ), a shortened form of 邪恶的怒火 (xié’è de nùhuǒ), which can be translated directly as sinister flames of rage.
Worthy Consort waved a hand to call over a eunuch and muttered a few words to him. Afterwards, she shot Meng Rui’zhu a distant smile before stepping into the main hall.
Since they were too far away from each other, Meng Rui’zhu didn’t see her ice-cold gaze, and still believed that they were firmly in an alliance as before. She also gave a slight nod in greeting.
A eunuch walked over. In a sharp, shrill voice, he yelled, “Transmitting His Majesty’s verbal decree: Meng Rui’zhu’s virtuous words, appearance, and accomplishments were slightly flawed, and her name will be crossed out from the list of selected Concubine Candidates!”
“How– how could this be!” Meng Rui’zhu murmured, tottering on the verge of collapse. She grabbed ahold of the eunuch and sharply inquired, “Gonggong, 公公 (gōnggong) The respectful form of address for a eunuch. Learn more about Ancient Chinese Ranks and Titles! did you hear wrong?”
“His Majesty is in the side hall, attending to Her Ladyship the Imperial Noble Consort. Who would dare to pass on a fake imperial edict right under his nose? If you don’t believe it, then you can go and personally inquire yourself!”
Although he knew that this person before him was the Imperial Noble Consort’s younger sister, it was obvious that she and the Imperial Noble Consort did not have a harmonious relationship. Thus, the eunuch dared to receive benefits from the Worthy Consort and came over to pass on the message.
Transmitting a fake imperial edict was a capital offense. How could a little eunuch dare to do so? Meng Rui’zhu didn’t need to ask. In a flash, her body became paralyzed, and she collapsed to the ground.
She ought to have known – how could someone like her win against Meng Sangyu? Even if she passed the Grand Selection, wouldn’t Meng Sangyu have been able to change the outcome with ease?
In the end, she had still earned a bad reputation as someone whose “virtuous words, appearance, and accomplishments were slightly flawed.” After she left the palace, it would be difficult for her to marry into a good family!
She thought of how she had originally mocked Yu Ya’ge’s stupidity. But when the tables turned, she had followed in her footsteps. Meng Rui’zhu covered her face, her heart filled with endless remorse and regret.
“Second Miss Meng, quickly get up. Go back and wash your face, then clean and pack your belongings and you can go home.” Chang’gui had long since received the Imperial Noble Consort’s instructions to not let Meng Rui’zhu lose the Meng family’s face. Seeing that she was in distress and was being made fun of by the other prospective concubines, he hurriedly came forward in support.
Only once Chang’gui appeared did the prospective concubines remember that Meng Rui’zhu still had a legitimate elder sister who dominated the entire harem. They hurriedly concealed the schadenfreude on their faces.
Meng Rui’zhu came back to herself. She roughly wiped the tears from her face, straightened up, and left. Only once she retreated from the crowd’s vision did she stagger a bit, her heart full of panic, not knowing how to face her father once she returned home.
Her father had long ago told her the truth, that he wanted to marry her to a well-off family to smoothly live out her days. It was she who was unsatisfied and wanted to be clever, leading to her total defeat. 弄巧成拙 (nòngqiǎo chéngzhuō) meaning to want to be smart and get some benefits or to do a task better, but ending up doing something stupid or completely messing up the task at hand; to overreach oneself.
Once Father clearly understands the situation, he will no longer plan for me. And with respect to Mother…
Because she had been supported by her grandmother since she was young, there were many times she had been disrespectful towards her legal mother. 嫡母 (dímǔ) Refers to her father’s first wife or her legal mother. Remember that Meng Rui’zhu is concubine-born and her birth mother is not listed on the official family register. Read more about polygamy in Ancient China. Their relationship could be described as terrible, so how could Mother consider helping with her marriage matters?
Meng Rui’zhu felt more and more hopeless as she thought. Once she returned to the bedchamber, she directly collapsed on the bed, her hands and feet shivering from fear.
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In the main hall of Chu’xiu Palace, Meng Sangyu slowly woke up. She saw that Emperor Zhou’wu’s head was closely attached to her stomach, as though listening to something, and felt the tingly and itchy sensation of one of his big hands caressing her lower abdomen beneath her inner clothes.
“What is Your Majesty doing?” Meng Sangyu giggled, 扑哧 (pūchī) is an onomatopoeia signifying laughter. hurriedly grabbing his trespassing hand.
This man always likes doing these strange actions, and also likes to be sticky and clingy. It’s as though I’m raising a large dog.
“Sangyu, you’re awake!” The man raised his head in pleasant surprise.
His previously dark and unfathomable eyes were now shining like stars in the sky. In one move, he gathered her into his embrace, carefully and abundantly showering kisses upon the top of her hair and her cheeks.
He murmured, “Did you know that you’re pregnant? It has already been a month and a half! We are going to have a child!”
Pregnant? How can that be?!
It was as though a bomb had gone off in her mind. Meng Sangyu was immediately dumbfounded.
There was no need to ask; this child’s arrival was not welcome! She had already planned out her life long ago: even alone, a person could live simply and happily. But if there was a child…
A child wasn’t like a cat or dog, only knowing how to follow the lifestyle of the owner. Once they matured they would always have their own thoughts, and upon seeing that supreme ruler’s throne, seeing the empire’s vast territory 河山 (héshān) rivers and mountains, refers to the land that the emperor rules over. and majestic palaces, who could guarantee that they wouldn’t be seduced by power and participate in that endless fight?
The winner would stand at the lonely peak; the loser would be cast into the deep dark abyss; no matter which road was taken, there would be thorns and traps! Could she really use herself, use the Meng family, as collateral for this gamble? Maybe she was thinking too far ahead – maybe before that day could come the child would already be dead, having fallen under the schemes of others. Did she really have the ability to let them peacefully grow up?
And then there was the man in front of her. Did he really have no thoughts about the fact that the estimated conception day was during the middle of her visit to the Meng family? No wait – wasn’t she always drinking that medicine? How could she be with child? Could it be that the medicine was indeed to recuperate her body, and the birth of this child was within the man’s expectations?
What does he want to do?!
As she thought this, overwhelming fear and panic filled Meng Sangyu’s heart, but the man’s following words made her feel even more like she was falling into a cave of ice. 如坠冰窟 (rú zhuì bīng kū) meaning hopeless and desperate.
“Sangyu, Zhen wants to confer you as Empress, to confer our child as the Crown Prince!” His words were extremely emotional, and as he spoke, he unceasingly kissed her cheeks and lips.
In a flash, she remembered what had happened to the Dowager Empress; remembered the Fight of the Nine Dragons of the Qing Dynasty; 九龙夺嫡 (jiǔlóng duódí) Refers to the succession battle between Emperor Kang’xi’s nine sons for the throne. remembered the tragic fate of every Crown Prince in history.
Meng Sangyu began to uncontrollably tremble. She pushed the man away, rolled off the bed to kneel on the ground, and forcefully kowtowed. “Begging Your Majesty to take back the decree!” Her voice was full of fear and her face was as pale as paper.
“What are you doing this for?!” Emperor Zhou’wu, having been pushed away, was a bit dazed for a moment. Once he recovered, he rushed to pull the woman up, but she stubbornly pulled free with shocking strength.
“Begging Your Majesty to take back the decree!” She once again kowtowed, her hair a mess, looking unbearably desperate.
“Sangyu, are you crazy?” Emperor Zhou’wu gritted his teeth. He forcefully pulled on her arm and brought her into his embrace, hugging her close as he knelt.
His heart was a mess. Sangyu’s reaction was completely out of his expectations.
“I’m not crazy!” she yelled. She felt as though all her blood had frozen, but her heart was a ball of fire, burning her sanity away.
“He’s so small! When you push him to a position where there is one above and tens of thousands below, 一人之下万人之上 (yī rén zhī xià wàn rén zhī shàng) refers to the person or position that has the second-most power, generally the Crown Prince, as he is the heir to the Emperor, who has the most power. what exactly do you want to do? Do you know how much hardship and how many schemes he’ll have to suffer growing up where the wind blows the fiercest? 风口浪尖 (fēng kǒu làng jiān) Means where the societal struggle is most fierce, or in this case, a dangerous position to survive in. If he becomes greedy for your position after maturing, will you emotionlessly eliminate him? If his talents are just mediocre, will he become your ideal heir’s whetstone? I can be your shield, manage palace affairs for you, select concubines – I can do anything for you! Can you just please let this child go? Can you?” As she spoke, her voice went from loud and clear to quiet and muted, becoming more and more helpless.
She had the confidence to live her own life but completely lacked the confidence to shoulder a child’s future, to let him grow up happily and healthily.
She had never been a mother and had never thought about becoming a mother in either of her lives. She felt unable to handle this great pressure. What’s more, the man’s hidden schemes were behind this pregnancy, making her feel like she was on the verge of collapse.
Emperor Zhou’wu had a ferocious expression and his hands gripping her shoulders continued to exert force.
Through gritted teeth, he spoke, “How could we He uses 我们 here – he’s so upset that he forgot to use the Royal We. bear to harm your child! I did so much, but this is how you view me? Ah?! Can you really not even feel a shred of my sincerity? I really want to dig out your heart and see if it’s made of stone!”
“Sincerity? Three thousand beauties fill the Imperial Harem, Not literally, it just means that there are many beauties in the harem. and every three years there is yet another Grand Selection – how many hearts of sincerity do you have?! Today, I am the most beautiful rose in your heart, but that doesn’t mean that tomorrow I will not become a thorn. To pin all my hopes on you and become a dodder flower 菟丝花 (tú sī huā) Cuscuta sinensis. A flower/herb used in Traditional Chinese Medicine that survives and grows by relying on its host plant. that depends on you for everything, just waiting for the inevitable day on which you tire of me – I’m not that stupid!”
Raising her voice, without a care for the consequences, Meng Sangyu vented out her truest, innermost thoughts.
Nurse Feng and the other servants were in shock. Chang’xi tried to plaster himself as close to the wall as possible, hoping to reduce his sense of existence. The group of servants trembled at the Imperial Noble Consort’s rebellious words.
In the deathly silence, the only sound that remained was the Emperor’s heavy breathing.
Once the words left her mouth, Meng Sangyu began to feel regretful. Seeing the man’s expression becoming more and more ferocious and feeling that her shoulders were going to be shattered by his strength, she was unable to resist crying out in pain as a teardrop fell from the corner of her eye.
Seeing this teardrop, Emperor Zhou’wu woke up from the height of his rage, and immediately decreased the pressure of his grip on her shoulders. Staring deeply at the woman’s pale face with his blood-red eyes, he smiled miserably upon seeing a trace of fear in her eyes and placed her on the bed. He tucked her quilt and strode away with large steps.
Even if his heart was filled with anger that could flood even the skies, even if he wanted to destroy the entire palace, in front of Sangyu, he was still reluctant to harm even one hair on her head. He could only escape.
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