Why Harem Intrigue When You Can Just Raise A Dog Instead? (Chp 82)
Chapter 82: Realization (觉悟)
Translation assistant: 247Reader
Translation Checkers: Tygris & Nyamachi
English proofreaders: 247Reader, Tygris & Nyamachi
Meng Sangyu stiffened beneath the man’s gaze, waiting for him to throttle her to death or issue an imperial edict banishing her to the Cold Palace.
Yet, he didn’t do any of these things – even at the height of his fury he still cared for her body and wrapped a warm quilt around her before departing.
Supporting her upper body, she watched the man’s dispirited figure gradually disappear into the distance. She wasn’t able to recover her spirits for a long time.
The group of servants were weak-limbed [from fear]. Each and every one had a look on their face as if they had survived a major calamity. Nurse Feng even pressed her palms together and prayed incessantly to Buddha.
Hearing the sound of her chanting sutras, Meng Sangyu’s anxious mood gradually became calm. Wiping away an ice-cold tear that had fallen, she calmly said, “Nurse, prepare a brush and ink. I want to write a letter to the Empress Dowager.”
Having already said so much to him, how could the Emperor continue to tolerate her?
Fortunately, she still had a way out. Once she was outside the palace, her child would surely be able to grow up happy, safe and sound.
Contrary to all expectations, she felt even more relaxed at the thought. Meng Sangyu couldn’t collapse here! For the child’s sake, she needed to quickly pull herself together! Even though she hadn’t expected to have a child, since it was here, then she would uphold her responsibilities as a mother.
Nurse Feng hurriedly brought out a brush, ink, paper, and inkstone.
Meng Sangyu’s brush travelled along the paper like a dragon. After she finished writing the letter, she put it aside to dry and then stroked her still-flat belly, revealing a relieved smile.
“I am tired. Return to the palace to sleep,” she unconcernedly ordered with a wave of her hand.
Since what happened already happened, it is of no use to think more. Currently, the most important task is to protect the fetus.
Remembering the words she had impulsively spoken, she smiled bitterly.
In the end, the man’s gentleness had still worn away the walls of her heart, and she had exposed her deeply hidden weakness. What a failure!
Outside the palace hall, seeing the Emperor’s hasty departure, Yu Ya’an, who was waiting in the corridor, rushed forward to pay her respects.
She hadn’t yet opened her mouth before she was intimidated into withdrawal by the man’s ashen complexion and blood-red eyes.
Yu Ya’an worriedly pondered: Those frantic eyes seemed as if they wanted to destroy everything. He was clearly smiling so care-freely just a moment ago – how could things have changed so much in the blink of an eye?
Not long after, the Imperial Noble Consort also came outside, looking the complete opposite of His Majesty.
Her expression was utterly serene, to the extent that it almost seemed like there was a hint of nonsecular indifference and happiness, as though she was aloof from the world.
Catching sight of Yu Ya’an, who was staring blankly, Meng Sangyu merely nodded slightly before departing.
Yu Ya’an sensed the Imperial Noble Consort’s unspoken desire, and didn’t want to interfere with the two at this juncture. She didn’t dare to select concubine candidates without permission, and moreso didn’t dare to dismiss them without permission – she was in a dilemma.
She had long known that it wasn’t easy to hold the position as the Head of the Four Consorts, but she hadn’t expected it to be this difficult right from the start! She could only hope that the two noble personages above her could quickly resolve their relationship troubles and return to normal.
She shook her head with a bitter smile and ordered two eunuchs to observe Bi’xiao Palace and Qian’qing Palace while she personally went to pacify the waiting Concubine Candidates.
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Inside Qian’qing Palace, Emperor Zhou’wu’s eyes were tightly shut as he dejectedly leaned back against his chair.
All of the servants had been ordered to withdraw, leaving only Chang’xi to stand by the wall in silence, occasionally stealing furtive glances at the monarch’s expression.
The young monarch’s complexion was sullen. His strong, thick eyebrows were tightened in a wrinkle, and his unceasingly trembling lips conveyed his inner sorrow.
Chang’xi’s breath hitched. He couldn’t bear to continue watching.
One of the Imperial Noble Consort’s smiles, or even one of her angry glares, could make the Emperor as happy as a child. Even his emotions were controlled by the other party – how could this kind of affection be false? The Imperial Noble Consort’s questions and doubts were tantamount to digging out the Emperor’s heart and cutting it into a thousand pieces.
Although he had never been in love, Chang’xi was able to imagine that kind of piercing pain in one’s heart.
Right now, at this moment, the one sitting atop the throne was not the honourable and supreme monarch, but rather an ordinary man who was hurting.
Time slowed to a crawl.
After a long period of silence, Emperor Zhou’wu finally opened his bloodshot eyes and gave a muffled sigh, saying, “Zhen was wrong again!”
He hadn’t known that Sangyu’s innermost thoughts were actually so insecure. He thought that he had already gone to extremes for her and done everything he could. If not for this recent outburst, he would never have been able to even become aware of Sangyu’s truest thoughts, and would only have been left with a remorseful weight on his conscience.
Selecting Concubine Candidates and becoming pregnant had both triggered Sangyu’s most deeply concealed fears and anxieties and brought them into the open.
Thinking about the situation as if he were in her shoes, if a third or fourth person were to come in between him and Sangyu, how would he feel? Perhaps he would kill everyone!
Emperor Zhou’wu clenched his fist, bringing his sudden surge of ruthlessness under control.
During the five months that he had spent as A’Bao, he had long since become accustomed to a world consisting of only himself and Sangyu. His body and soul had already been branded by Sangyu and could no longer contain anyone else.
However, Sangyu wasn’t aware of any of this.
Even if he didn’t touch any of the selected Concubine Candidates, they would still turn into thorns that pierced Sangyu’s heart. He feared it would be impossible for him to make Sangyu’s heart truly open up and accept him!
His heart seized with pain. Emperor Zhou’wu was horrified by this train of thought.
Just at this moment, a secret guard entered the hall. He muttered a few words in Chang’xi’s ear, and then quickly vanished.
Chang’xi’s bitter expression became even more bitter. 苦瓜脸 (kǔguā liǎn) Literally: bitter melon face.
Trembling with trepidation, he advanced forward and said, “Reporting to Your Majesty, just now, the secret guard reported that Her Highness the Imperial Noble Consort sent a letter to the Empress Dowager.” There was no need to explain the letter’s contents. 不言而喻 (bùyánéryù) It goes without saying.
The armrest of the chair splintered with a clatter – Emperor Zhou’wu couldn’t sit still any longer and departed in a whirlwind.
Chang’xi hurriedly brandished his horsetail whisk 佛尘 (fóchén) Horsetail whisk that eunuchs hold in dramas, similar to a feather duster. See our glossary page for more. and shouted for the group of servants to follow the Emperor.
Seeing the Emperor come outside, the eunuchs on guard outside of Qian’qing Palace immediately ran to notify Her Ladyship Virtuous Consort in Chu’xiu Palace.
Yu Ya’an urgently rushed over upon hearing the news and finally managed to cut off the Emperor just as he was about to step into Bi’xiao Palace.
She slammed her head onto the ground and, in a rush, pleaded, “Your Majesty, the Concubine Candidates in Chu’xiu Palace are still awaiting selection. Please give your instruction.”
Upon hearing the words “Concubine Candidates,” Emperor Zhou’wu’s footsteps came to a halt.
He barked, “Cancel the Selection. Send all of the Concubine Candidates out of the palace!”
“Ah?” Yu Ya’an raised her head in bewilderment. Had she heard wrong?
“Zhen said to cancel the Selection! Did you not hear Us?!” Emperor Zhou’wu glared down at her with exceeding impatience before hurrying into Bi’xiao Palace.
Yu Ya’an gazed at the man’s gradually disappearing figure, feeling terrified. She was only able to snap out of it after a good while had passed, and gave a low sigh.
Since time immemorial, the Imperial Noble Consort was the only one who could cause the Emperor to go this far for a woman. Us cats are proud! This sentence was very hard to translate into English. Adding the original CN here: 身为帝王，能够为一个女人做到这等地步，古往今来，唯皇贵妃一人而已. Recalling that woman’s flamboyant and willful expression and that bright and beautiful smile which could burn itself into a person’s memory, Yu Ya’an felt envious from the bottom of her heart. To readers who have read the raws, we were unsure if “女子” here referred to Sangyu or another woman. We inferred that Yu Ya’an was thinking of Sangyu from context. Please let us know your interpretation in the comments!
“Let’s go. There are still many things awaiting Bengong’s management.” She shook her head and gave a bitter smile.
They both had held the title of Virtuous Consort. Why did she have such bad luck when it was her turn?
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Catching sight of the Emperor, who had arrived in a hurry, the servants of Bi’xiao Palace were alarmed, and rushed outside of the palace hall to kowtow in welcome.
Emperor Zhou’wu ignored them and directly passed them by to head into the bedchamber. Seeing the woman’s peaceful expression as she lay asleep on the couch, he gave a helpless smile.
This little minx is truly heartless! 没心没肺 (méixīnméifèi) Literally: No heart, no lungs. Describes someone thoughtless, heartless or simple-minded.
However, this was fine. He had feared that she would be anxious to the point of harming her body.
“Your Majesty, Her Highness has just fallen asleep.” Nurse Feng led Bi’shui and Yin’cui forward to pay their respects. Their expressions were extremely anxious, sorely afraid that His Majesty had come to settle the scores 秋后算账 (qiūhòu suànzhàng) An idiom meaning to settle scores an an opportune time. after their last argument.
“Mm. You can withdraw.” Emperor Zhou’wu nodded. He walked over to her bedside and sat down.
Using his fingertips, he traced the silhouette of Sangyu’s sleeping face in the air between them. The expression on his face was as gentle and soft as water.
Observing his attitude, Nurse Feng’s group felt relieved and quietly withdrew from the room.
Gently placing his hand on the woman’s flat lower abdomen and lightly caressing it, the man finally couldn’t help but stoop over to capture her elegant lips.
This development ought to have been a joyous occasion. He had never thought that it would turn into a quarrel between them. He urgently needed a tangible kiss to confirm that Sangyu was still properly by his side.
Feeling that it had become somewhat difficult to breathe, Meng Sangyu opened her eyes to see the man’s handsome face looming close to her. She couldn’t believe the sight and cried out in disbelief, “Your Majesty?!”
The man took advantage of the situation to insert his tongue, wrapping it around her fragrant and slippery tongue in a dance. He enthusiastically demanded her saliva and greedily swallowed it.
Meng Sangyu was forced to receive his attention. Her mind was a sticky paste of confusion.
This kind of response is abnormal! Shouldn’t he completely reject me? Why is he sticking to me again?
“Don’t have foolish thoughts!” 胡思乱想 (húsīluànxiǎng) To indulge in flights of fancy or let one’s imagination run wild.
The woman hadn’t finished her thought before he released her lips. The man’s voice sounded hoarse as he spoke, his tone entreating, “From now on, there will be no one else. There will only be you and I.” FYI He uses ‘I’ here throughout, not ‘Zhen’!
After a pause, he softly added, “Of course, there will also be the children. This child is the culmination of all of my hopes, and his existence is not due to any plots or schemes. I will spare no effort in educating him so that he can grow into the most outstanding monarch. He will be my sole heir, not someone else’s whetstone. Just now, I was too elated and was lacking a bit in consideration. I will wait until he has grown up before bestowing him the position of Crown Prince. However, the position of Empress cannot remain unfilled. I want you to be my proper and legitimate wife. Will you?”
The man lowered his head, his pitch-black eyes full of hope as well as a thread of caution.
Under this kind of frail gaze, Meng Sangyu drew a blank. Unexpectedly, she didn’t know how she ought to react.
What did he mean by “there will be no one else, only you and I and the children”? There was too much information, and she needed time to digest it all.
Seeing that she did not reply after a very long time, Emperor Zhou’wu’s eyes darkened in a flash. “If you become Empress, you’ll be in a stronger position to protect our child. My proposal is greatly advantageous to you. You should agree.”
Forcibly suppressing the bitter pain rising inside him, he did his utmost to speak in a strictly businesslike manner.
Meng Sangyu finally snapped back to herself. Facing his sincere gaze, she couldn’t help but nod and say, “Everything will be according to Your Majesty’s arrangements.”
There was indeed not much of a difference between the children of the Imperial Noble Consort compared to those of the Empress. They were both existences that provoked ire in others’ eyes. This being the case, why not become Empress herself to avoid being suppressed by another in the future?
Emperor Zhou’wu brought her into a strong embrace, kissing her forehead while seriously commanding her, “Don’t call me ‘Your Majesty’, and don’t use ‘your concubine’ to address yourself. Call me Shao’ze. In the future, you will be my wife!”
Silently accepting the man’s powerful kiss, Meng Sangyu buried her face in his neck, gently nuzzling him. Her sharply-contrasting phoenix eyes were filled with bewilderment, which, after a while, was replaced with steady resolve.
Since she couldn’t escape, then she would do her utmost to hold onto this man’s heart. Thinking too far ahead in the future would only increase her worries. It was better to firmly grasp the reality right before her eyes.
“Call my name, I want to hear it.” Emperor Zhou’wu implored in a hoarse voice as he patted her back.
He truly resembled a child begging for candy, and it was impossible to refuse. Meng Sangyu’s tense heartstrings slowly relaxed as she unconsciously called out “Shao’ze.”
She inwardly regretted it once she realized what had happened.
The corners of Emperor Zhou’wu’s mouth widened into a foolish smile. “Call my name again.”
When she raised her head to look at him, she was bewitched by his extremely brilliant smile. Meng Sangyu opened her mouth to call out again, “Shao’ze.”
Emperor Zhou’wu’s heart boiled. He nibbled her blushing ears while softly begging her, “Call my name again.”
They weren’t a monarch and his pampered consort; rather, they were a husband and his wife. This was the relationship with her that he longed for even in his dreams.
“Are you done yet?” In reply came Meng Sangyu’s teasing glare as well as her thin pink fist.
Heavy breaths escaped them as a loving, tender warmth encircled the two of them and the man’s foolish laughter rang out.
Chang’xi’s hearing was exceptionally good. Standing by the doorway of the palace hall, he could hear the sound of the couple’s interactions with complete clarity.
He lowered his head and muttered, “This fool isn’t His Majesty. This fool isn’t His Majesty. I am definitely having auditory hallucinations!”
Just like the saying, without destruction, there could be no construction; 不破不立，破而后立 (bùpòbùlì, poérhòulì) More literally: Without breaking, one cannot build. Break and then build. It speaks to the resilience of Chinese people and the constant change one undergoes, with each new iteration being stronger than the last. this outburst [of anger] had allowed the couple’s hearts to become even closer.
TL Team Thoughts:
Hello dear readers,
There was so much development in this chapter! What do you think about the Emperor’s proposal to our girl, Sangyu? Translating this, we loved seeing the different perspectives of various characters. As always, we feel so bad for Chang’xi… Poor guy.
1) We have two new members who have joined us in March~ CelestialDumpling is our new editor and Kyeopchi is helping us with site admin <3 Please give them a big welcome!!
2) We may be picking up another project soon, led by Tygris~
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Only 3 more chapters left of the main story ~ We’re nearly there!
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Until next time,
The Nyanovels Translation Team