Why Harem Intrigue When You Can Just Raise a Dog Instead (c17)

Chapter 17: Rehabilitation


With the emperor’s rage, the voices calling for determining an empress and heir faded away. The inner palace and the court quieted for a period of time.  Another month passed by and it was the late emperor’s death anniversary.  The concubines above fourth rank and the princes and princesses all have to wear plain and dull colored clothes to pay their respects at the imperial tomb. As usual, the empress dowager did not return, only sending a set of handmade winter clothes for the emperor to burn as an offering to the late emperor.

At the ceremony, the first prince behaved mediocrely as usual, but the second prince was unexpectedly very eye-catching.  Ever since the emperor’s scolding, he noticeably become more mature and responsible – his behavior polite and proper. He even gave a sincere and moving, elegant oration that made numerous retainers’ tears flow.

After the ceremony, many vassals complimented the second prince’s filiality and literary talent.  The emperor also, due to the occasion, said a few words of complement. Thus, the earlier turbulence of the second prince being scolded as cruel and unable to handle responsibility finally brushed past.

“In this palace,  even just a barely past ten year old child isn’t so simple! He can hold* such a large event so well, as expected of a product of the imperial family.  (The second prince’s nominal age is twelve, so he’s actually just ten) It seems that Noble Consort Li will act soon.”  Meng Sangyu sighed as he recollected the second prince’s behavior at the ceremony.

“How does Your Ladyship know that Noble Consort Li will act soon?” Bi Shui was already used to the strange words that come out of her master’s mouth every so often. She just picks out and asks about what she understands.

“Now that she knows about the dumb thing* between emperor and the Gracious Consort’s, if she doesn’t hurry up and plan for herself right now then when will she? When the Gracious Consort gets pregnant and gives birth?” Meng Sangyu said as she reached out her arms while walking towards Yin Cui, who was just carrying A’Bao into the hall, “Let me take a look at A’Bao, is he better today?”

What does she mean ‘the dumb thing?’ Sangyu’s little mouth really is loveable yet hateful at the same time.  Emperor Zhou’wu whimpered as he looked at the woman with his little pitiful watery puppy eyes, begging for love. Separated from Sangyu for just a few hours, his whole body just didn’t feel right and his heart beat up and down anxiously, unable to settle down.

Today A’Bao was wearing a bunny costume.  With his dog face wrapped in fluffy bunny fur with a pair of long bunny ears on top and a scar on his eyelid, he looked exactly like Usavich*. Meng Sangyu was dizzily overcome by his cuteness. She rubbed her hands and only carried over A’Bao when her cold hands were warm.

“He’s a lot better today.  Most of the small wounds have already closed up, but the larger wounds still need six or seven days. Your Ladyship fed him some congee before leaving, but he hasn’t had any food nor medicine since. He must be missing Your Ladyship. He started struggling since he heard Your Ladyship returning, trying to come out and welcome Your Ladyship.” Yin Cui laughed as she touched A’Bao’s paw that was wrapped like a Zongzi*.

Emperor Zhou’wu buried himself in Meng Sangyu’s arms, just quietly feeling the comfort of her scent and warmth.  The longer he is a dog, the more severe his reliance on his owner becomes.  Nowhere is as safe as in Meng Sangyu’s embrace.

“Then quickly bring the medicine.  First feed him the medicine, then food.” Meng Sangyu pinched A’Bao’s nose, and took a bib from Nurse Feng’s hands that she wrapped around A’Bao’s neck.

A bunny costume, a little bib, a shaved dog face… this scene was incredibly comedic.  All the servants in the hall lowered their heads, their shoulders shaking uncontrollably. Bi Shui and Yin Cui’s faces were red from holding in their laughter. For the sake of A’Bao’s pride, they could only quickly leave the hall.

The medicine was quickly brewed and brought before Meng Sangyu.  Meng Sangyu used her left hand to hold A’Bao on her arm and her right hand to hold a small spoon that she fed A’Bao with, one spoonful at a time.  A’Bao was very cooperative, eating one spoonful at a time without a struggle.  Nor did he spit the medicine out because it is bitter, even braver than most humans.

“Your Ladyship, don’t you think A’Bao’s incredibly smart? As if he can understand what we are saying?” Yin Cui asked in a low voice.

A’Bao spat out the spoonful of medicine he just drank, wetting his little bib.

Meng Sangyu smiled as she wiped the mess clean, unworriedly asking, “Is it not good to be smart?”

“There’s nothing bad about it.” Just sometimes it seems eerie. Except Yin Cui didn’t dare say the last half of that sentence.

“No matter how smart he is, he is still my A’Bao. I hope for him to be even smarter.” Meng Sangyu pinched A’Bao’s little moist nose, her voice full of pampering love for A’Bao.

Emperor Zhou’wu let out a sigh of relief, sticking out his tongue to lick the woman’s finger.  If his tail wasn’t broken, it would be happily wagging at this moment.

“This servant greets the Virtuous Consort. Please drink the medicine Your Ladyship.” The doctress that visits on time, three times a month, gave her greetings at the palace doors with a bowl of steaming hot medicine in her hands.

In the past, Nurse Feng had been all smiles seeing her, but at this moment she was gritting her teeth in the dark, wishing she could go up and slap the bowl of medicine away.

“Put it down, we will drink it later.” Meng Sangyu ordered as the smile on at her lips dampened.

The  doctress heeded and put the medicine on an end table next to A’Bao’s crib, then retreating to wait in a corner.  She had received orders from above. She must watch the Virtuous Consort finish the medicine before she can return.

After Meng Sangyu finished feeding A’Bao his medicine, she put him back into his crib.  Just as she was about to pick up the bowl to drink the medicine, A’Bao unexpectedly pounced out and knocked over the medicine.

“Be careful Your Ladyship!” Bi Shui and Yin Cui immediately came up, one pulled away the Virtuous Consort, the other caught the bowl.

Good Job A’Bao! Nurse Feng’s eyes lit up. She even moved A’Bao and his crib to the other side of the couch so he wouldn’t get wet.  She then made a troubled expression towards the doctress, “As you see, the medicine poured…”

“No matter, this servant will return and brew another bowl for Your Ladyship and bring it over later.” The doctress quickly responded.

“Then we must trouble the lady to.” Nurse Feng’s smile was a little fake.

In his crib, A’Bao shifted his paws, his eyes dark.

After the doctress left, Nurse Feng moved next to Meng Sanyu, whispering to her ear, “Your Ladyship, although you do not wish to have a child, but you still can’t treat yourself so poorly like this. Every medicine is a third poison*, you’ve already drank it for three years, you can’t drink it anymore.”

“I know nurse, I won’t drink this medicine anymore.” Meng Sangyu nodded, thinking to herself: I’ve lost all favor already anyways, the emperor probably won’t remember me for a couple of years so it shouldn’t be a big deal if I don’t drink it.

She had only been a fourteen-year-old little girl at the time (TN: when she got married.. I think), even if the emperor had not treated her like this, she would’ve looked for some birth control medicine to take on her own.  The emperor doing this had actually saved her quite a bit of work.

In his crib, A’Bao was relieved hearing the conservation between the master and servant pair. His dissatisfaction with Nurse Feng from before disappeared. Although this servant is a bit slow, but she’s loyal. We’ll continue to let her stay at Sangyu’s side.

When the doctress came again, Meng Sanyu already changed into a darker and loose robe.  Using her sleeves to block her face as she drank, she could pour the medicine into her sleeves without it leaking out.  The doctress did not notice and returned with the empty bowl.


At night, Meng Sangyu slept on the bed while A’Bao slept below it.  The one human and one dog both had peaceful expressions, even their breathing was at the same rate. Thin threads of rain fell outside the window. A chilling breath slipped inside from the slightly open window, transforming into condensation on the ground near the window.

Suddenly, a flash of white lightning split the pitch black sky. Then moments after, a deafening rumble rolled from the edges of the sky, as if thousands of soldiers and horses were battling on the rooftop.

Meng Sangyu first scrunched her brows, then soon got woken by the clamor. She tightly wrapped herself in the blankets, screaming for Nurse Feng. Her whole body shook, her face pale, her eyes opened to their widest, appearing extremely fearful and anxious.

Yes, she is afraid of thunder and lightning.  In her last life, her parents had locked her in the house by herself at four.  There also a thunderstorm that day.  Lightning had struck a corner of her house, and the appliances inside sparked a fire, almost burning her to death.  It was all thanks to her nanny getting to her in time, saving her from the sea of fire, that she survived.  Since then, thunder and lightning had become the nightmare of two lifetimes for her.

Emperor Zhou’wu was woken by Meng Sangyu’s screams. He flailed his paws, trying to climb up onto the bed.  It was his first time seeing the woman so frightened and flustered, and his chest felt heavy.  But he was covered in wounds was wrapped like a mummy with a thick vest on top, unable to do anything despite his worry.

“Woof woof woof!” Sangyu don’t be scared, we’re here!

“A’Bao?” Hearing the soft calls of the little pup, Meng Sangyu paused in surprise. She flipped her blanket to the side, pounced to the side of the bed and pulled A’Bao into her arms.

“A’Bao don’t be scared, I’m here! I will protect you!” Thinking that A’Bao was barking because he was also scared, Meng Sangyu suddenly calmed. She softly patted A’Bao’s back as she wrapped the blanket around him and herself.

There was a little space formed by the blanket that was warm and fragrant. Emperor Zhou’wu took a deep breath and felt a little dizzy. He wrapped his paws around the woman’s wrist and licked the back of her hand and fingers, addicted to the smooth texture. Meng Sangyu forgot her fear and began laughing.

“Your Ladyship, are you okay?” Nurse Feng and Bi Shui came in drenched, with water still dropping from their hair.

“I’m okay, where did you guys go?” Meng Sangyu flipped away her blanket.  Emperor Zhou’wu was disrupted and slapped the blanket below him angrily with his paws.

“Your Ladyship, it suddenly started raining in the middle of the night, so this servant and Bi Shui remembered that the window in the study was not closed.  We ran to close the window, but suddenly it started thundering and hailing.  Bi Shui and I were hit by the hail!”

Hearing this, Meng Sangyu finally dared to listen closely to the sound outside, there were indeed sounds of hail bouncing around outside.

“Your Ladyship, it’s already winter and it’s still thundering.  They all say winter thunders, summer snows* are unnatural occurrences. This isn’t a good omen! Tomorrow this servant will go to wish for a peace charm to remove some bad fortune for Your Ladyship.” Nurse Feng walked up and tucked her master in.  Seeing A’Bao in the blanket, she reached over to carry him down.

Emperor Zhou’wu scrunched his brows, hurriedly grabbing on to Meng Sangyu’s arm with his paws. Everything else about this servant is fine, It’s just that she doesn’t really have any tact, too slow!

“Don’t, just let A’Bao sleep with me.  Tonight nurse doesn’t need make a bed on the ground next to me, that way you won’t be cold. I’ll have to trouble nurse for the peace charm. You should quickly go take care of yourselves, take a hot bath and drink some ginger tea.  Be careful not to get sick.” Meng Sangyu quickly waved her hands for Nurse Feng to leave.  She then carefully hugged A’Bao in her arms.

Resting on the woman’s chest, with his face facing her cleavage, Emperor Zhou’wu’s nose was a little itchy. His tongue uncontrollably reached out and licked.

“Ah! A’Bao you perverted dog!” Meng Sangyu scolded, then laughed.

Seeing her master playing with A’Bao, completely forgetting the rumbling winter thunder outside, Nurse Feng smiled in relief.  She quietly left the bedchamber with Bi Shui.

The next day, the ill omen of the winter thunder left a slight wave of unrest in court.  The emperor immediately passed a decree, ordering retainers at different locations to take preventative measures for the cold, to not let disaster befall the people. A few days later, the unrest from the winter thunders were not yet quelled and new unrest arose in court.  The thousand year pine tree behind Tai’he Palace suddenly died.

This ancient pine had died once before one hundred years ago.  Not long after that, the previous dynasty collapsed and the ancestors of the Gu family took over the royal palace.  Since, the family had worn the dragon robe and sat on the throne, changing the empire’s name to Zhou.  The day the founder of Zhou was enthroned, the already dead ancient pine had suddenly budded again.  When the founder of Zhou found out he was thrilled, calling this a gift from the heavens – an indication that the creation of Zhou was following the will of the heavens and thus would be prosperous for tens of thousands of lifetimes.

But now, the ancient pine that has such symbolic meaning to Zhou has suddenly died. Not only so, but the tree died from a split at its roots. Could this be a warning for danger to the people of Zhou by the heavens? Dying at the roots… in combination with the previous rumors, wouldn’t this have manifested on the emperor?

In Feng’luan palace, Noble Consort Li laughed; in Zhong’cui palace, Shen Huiru snapped a brush in half.

 


Translation Note:

*hold
Original: hold (English)
Usage: In China, hold is a modern slang(?) for being able to handle something.  A common usage I’ve heard/seen is whether a man can handle a girl as a girlfriend (… <_<) and whether someone can hold themselves up and tactfully handle a large situation/event as someone in control of the situation.

*the dumb thing
Original: 那点子破事 (Na Dian Zi Po Shi)
Usage: Slang to describe a situation or relationship not looked upon favorably by the speaker, in a somewhat belittling way.

*Usavich (No joke, literally)
Original: 越狱兔 (Yue Yu Tu)

*Zongzi
Original: 粽子
Sticky rice with various types of filling, savory and sweet, that is wrapped by leaves.  The rice is uncooked when it is made, so the leaves don’t stick and hold everything together. Therefore, the leaves are wrapped even more by string to hold everything together when you boil it. In conclusion: it’s really well wrapped.

Note: The RICE is edible, the LEAVES are not. Didn’t realize this was a problem before, but you learn new things going out to eat with friends. DON’T EAT THE LEAVES.

*Every medicine is a third poison
Original: 是药三分毒 (Shi Yao San Fen Du)
Usage: A common saying in Chinese to describe that every medicine has negative effects as well as positive effects.  It speaks to how medicines can also be toxic (this is why we need to take appropriate dosages), and how toxic species and substances can give rise to medicines (ex. Brazilian viper, Gila monster, Foxglove, Flame Lily, etc.).

*Winter thunders, summer snows
Original: 冬雷滚滚夏雨雪 (Dong Lei Gun Gun Xia Yu Xue)
Usage: Descriptions of unnatural weathers.  This line is in a lyric (poetry, not song) from the Han dynasty called《上邪》(Shang Ye [Note: the second character is not a common reading]) where the female protagonist sings of impossible things to display her determination and  undying love. The other impossible things described are mountains without valleys, dried rivers, the earth and sky becoming one. Only when these impossible things happen, will the female protagonist ever leave her loved one.

It reads:
上邪!(Heavens)
我欲与君相知,(I wish to become your companion)
长命无绝衰。(Our relationship lasting forever)
山无陵,(When the mountains have no valleys)
江水为竭,(When the rivers are dry)
冬雷震震,(When winter thunders rumble)
夏雨雪,(When there are summer snows)
天地合,(When the sky and earth unites)
乃敢与君绝! (Dare I leave your side)

Note: I added “when” in lines 7-8 to make the translation flow better.

Clam Spam:

Now I see the truth to why dogs lick… they must be “addicted to the smooth texture” of human fingers. How do I even translate this novel with a straight face? Oh right, I don’t.

Also: Sorry for the long hiatus. Half of this chapter was written in July and half was written today, so there may be inconsistencies in style.  Please do tell me if I’ve made a mistake anywhere!

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27 thoughts on “Why Harem Intrigue When You Can Just Raise a Dog Instead (c17)

  1. Welcome back!! I’ve been looking forward to this update 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. awesome!! thank you for translating!!! I cant wait for more!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just happen to scroll the NU and found out it was finally updated!! Omg so happy you’re back updating thisssss!! Please don’t stop i beg of you.

    Liked by 9 people

  4. bookwyrmfangirl May 1, 2019 — 4:22 am

    YAAAASSSS!!! I’m super excited OMG thank you for updating!!! I love this so much, I’m so glad someone’s translating this again ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Thank you thank you thank you Translator-sama~!!! ╰(*´︶`*)╯♡╰(*´︶`*)╯♡╰(*´︶`*)╯♡╰(*´︶`*)╯♡╰(*´︶`*)╯♡

    Like

  5. Aaaa you’re backkk!! Welcome back and thanks for the update!
    I didn’t see that coming, so I was literally excited when I saw this series updating again! ^^
    Thanks for your hard work~!

    Liked by 7 people

  6. OMG!!! Finally an update 😀
    Thank you soo much, hope you don’t give up on this story. 🙏 😀

    Like

  7. Thank you for your hard work! Love the story, such an adorable story.

    Like

  8. I found this not long ago and caught up and now you’ve updated again, welcome back and thank you! 💕

    Like

  9. Yay!!! Thanks for that! Love this novel!

    Like

  10. So happy that you are finally back!! THanks for the chapter =D i actually was too impatient and MTLed the whole novel, but i will still stick to your translations ^^so thanks for all the effort it takes

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Well you’re brave! I can’t stand MTLs and was prepared to petition & offer this project up as a possible project to other translation groups because I could no longer wait!! So I’m likewise glad that you’re back because your work is of high quality and I don’t think anyone else would have done a better job!!

      I’m actually conflicted in that I want the emperor to regain his body sooner but I also absolutely love reading the interactions between the pupper and Meng Sangyu.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Thanks for the chapter ^_^

    Like

  12. Welcome back and thanks for the chapter!

    Like

  13. Thank you for the update!!! 💕💕💕💕💕

    Like

  14. Thank you so much for the chapter!! I’m so glad you’re back. 😀

    Like

  15. AddictedReader May 2, 2019 — 4:32 pm

    Thank you so much for updating. I thought you had dropped this because of RL. I am very glad that you’re back.

    Your translations are top-notch. I tried MTL but it didn’t make sense now did I understand much of it.

    Once again welcome back and thanks for updating.

    P.S. I wouldn’t mind to donate for your full translation of the chapters if you are ever in need of resources.

    Like

  16. Scrolling my reading list on NU, I couldn’t believe my eyes!
    So happy you are able to resume this novel! ^^

    Like

  17. Thanks for the chapter! I really enjoyed the update! We know how busy life gets, so thx for your time!

    Like

  18. Occasionally I checked this site or novelupdates to see if there’s an update, and I almost scream when I saw the new chapter. Thank you for continuing this amazing novel.

    Like

  19. I was so surprised to see this update pop up on my reading list! Thanks for continuing to translate this novel – the story is quite funny and the translation very clear.

    Like

  20. Thanks for the translation!

    Like

  21. I just started reading this and now i caught up! I love this novel so much, both FL and ML are adorable. I look forward for every updates. Thank you so much for translating! 💕

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  22. Ahhhh, I missed you!

    Great chapter, just wanted to mention one thing:
    “The medicine was quickly brewed and brought before Meng Sangyu. Meng Sangyu used her left hand to hold A’Bao on her arm and her LEFT hand to hold a small spoon that she fed A’Bao with, one spoonful at a time.”

    Should be RIGHT hand to hold the feeding spoon, yes? Well, if Sangyu is doing everything with her left hand, that would be impressive, but she’s a talented lady, so it would still be believable, lol.

    Like

    1. Haha yes, you’re right! Thank you!

      Like

  23. oh wow, I just found out this has continued after a long time. Thanks for the hard work! 🙂

    Like

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