Why Harem Intrigue When You Can Just Raise a Dog Instead (c23)

Chapter 23: Perceived 2


Seeing clearly the current situation, knowing that she was in imminent danger, Meng Sangyu no longer held the “just let the days go by” attitude to live her life as she did before.  She carried A’Bao and paced back and forth in the hall, she thought to herself for a moment, then put A’Bao in the basket on the couch. She called Nurse Feng to put out paper and brush to write to her father, far away at the border.

Just as she wrote down the first few words, a little eunuch in charge of gathering information knelt outside the hall asking for an audience.  Bi’Shui furrowed her brows and walked out. Moments later, she came back in with a dark face, her voice unbelievably strained, “Your Ladyship, we have just received information that His Majesty returned to Qian’qing Palace after he left Bi’xiao Palace.  He stayed for not even fifteen minutes before he flipped Her Ladyship the Worthy Consort’s card. He is now on the way to Jian’Zi Palace.”

To be taken by a man of unknown origins, when His Majesty wakes, the Worthy Consort undoubtedly must die! If her master had not taken the medicine to avoid His Majesty, she would have the same fate as the Worthy Consort!  Thinking of this, Bi’Shui’s became drenched in cold sweat. Yin’Cui and Nurse Feng also realized the same thing, fearing what could have happened while gritting their teeth in hatred for the Gracious Consort!

Emperor Zhou’wu’s dog face was already twisted to the point it was unrecognizable. His chest was stuffed with anger, about to explode.  Six years of treasuring, six years of protecting, in exchange for such a result? Telling a fake to make a mess in the inner palace? What could he say? He was already speechless!

Meng Sangyu froze, shocked at the news.  She stood before the table, holding a brush, unmoving for a long moment.

“Your Ladyship, should we go and save the Worthy Consort?” Nurse Feng asked hesitantly.

“How do we save her? Tell her His Majesty is a fake? Would she believe it? What if she then comes back and sticks a “manipulating the masses” label on us and ruin us! She first sided with the Empress, using the Empress to safely give birth to a prince, then back stabbed and schemed the death of the Empress, the Worthy Consort is not a kind and docile one! Furthermore, if she can’t even recognize the person who sleeps beside her, how can I enlighten her? Nurse, unless the situation becomes unresolvable, we must let this sit and rot in our stomachs.  We can’t tell anyone. Otherwise, we would let His Majesty fall into danger, and we would bring death upon ourselves!” Meng Sangyu put down her brush, slowly rubbing her temples. Her bright face darkened, deeply worn and exhausted.

Nurse Feng heeded, not bringing up saving the Worthy Consort again.

Hearing about the Worthy Consort’s real image, Emperor Zhou’wu’s collapsing heart was already completely numb.  As Sangyu said, if she couldn’t even recognize the person sleeping beside her, then if the Worthy Consort was dirtied she could only blame herself.  It wouldn’t be anyone’s fault, much less Sangyu.

Yin’Cui came up to help her master massage her temples.  Bi’Shui put down the inkstick* in her hand, hesitantly asking, “Your Ladyship, are you still going to write this letter?”

Meng Sangyu sighed, speaking in a low voice, “I’m thinking, with such a large green hat*, if His Majesty wakes up and comes to know we know as well, would he kill us to keep us silent? If this letter were to be sent into the hands of Father, then we wouldn’t be able to get out of this later.  Every time His Majesty sees us he would remember the humiliation of today, he would only wish to get rid of us as soon as possible.”

Nurse Feng’s body wobbled, her voice trembled, “How could it be? We are doing this to save His Majesty!”

Meng Sangyu’s face had a mocking smile, “The ugliness of the family cannot be let out for others to know*, do not underestimate a man’s pride!”

Emperor Zhou’wu didn’t have the time nor the heart  to bother with the green hat on his head now, a bitter taste was swelling in his heart from Meng Sangyu’s suspicions. Do we still have any pride to speak of before you? Letting you order around and play with, even pretending to be cute and acting dumb to make you laugh after, we are already trying hard to make up for our mistakes before. Why do you keep thinking of us so badly? Is this reaping what I sowed? His nose felt sore, he uncontrollably let out sad whimpers.

Meng Sangyu’s attention was immediately drawn to A’Bao. She quickly walked to the couch and stroked his back, gently consoling him. In exchange, A’Bao tightly grasped her with four paws.  This little one is getting more and more attached! She thought with a laugh as she took A’Bao, whose eyes were filled with the words ‘please hug me,’ into her arms.

“Then what should we do? Pretend we don’t know?” Nurse Feng followed her to the couch and asked in a lowered voice.

Pretending to not know is the best option, it’s best for Sangyu to not get involved in these dangers.  Before this, we need to find Junwei as quickly as possible and have him protect Sangyu. If we can’t wake up, then we’ll have him take Sangyu out of the palace and sent to Duke Meng. With Duke Meng’s protection, even if the empire of Zhou were to fall into war, Sangyu could still live will, Emperor Zhou’wu silently thought to himself. 

“If we don’t do anything then we can only wait to die! Whatever, I’ll take the risk.  At the worst, when His Majesty wakes up we can beg him to let me go with father’s merits of protecting him.  His Majesty would probably at most give me a reward and give me a higher position, then throw me far to the side, best to be unseen.   This would be good as well, I would have power and free time and also wouldn’t have to serve a player. I’d be happy to be so relaxed and free.” Also, whether or not the emperor will be able to wake up is still debatable.  The last line was left unsaid by Meng Sangyu. She picked A’Bao up using her left hand, and using her right she again began to flick the brush. 

How could we bear throwing you far to the side? That’s digging at our heart! Sangyu, we were wrong! We will definitely treat you well in the later days! Emperor Zhou’wu whimpered in her arms, but it was too bad that his confession was not understood by anyone. 

“Right now the weather is so cold, this letter will take a month until it can reach father’s hands.  We have to bear through a period of time! Usurping the throne doesn’t happen in a day anyways: it will have to wait at least until Shen Huiru has a prince, at least until she takes the seat of the empress, the prince also has to be crowned the crown prince, Grand Preceptor Shen has to completely take over all of His Majesty’s power and raise his own power network.  This series of activities cannot be completed without at least five, six years. We still have time to act.” Meng Sangyu wrote the letter as she comforted the solemn-faced Nurse Feng and the others.

Writing the last words, she put down the brush, picked up the letter and revised it.  As if she didn’t seem satisfied with it, she again picked up the brush and added a few lines.  She said in a low voice, “It’s messy out at the border, I need to remind father to be careful. The barbarian army is already showing signs of losing and retreating.  At this time what we need to be worried of is not the outside enemy but the enemies within. Since Grand Preceptor Shen intends to steal the throne, he must attack his two biggest enemies.  One is the leader of the scholars, Minister Li, the other is the leader of the soldiers, father. Although it’s not likely that he has reached his hands into the army in such little time, but to buy out the people in charge of the provisions, intelligence, reinforcements and the like to trip up father is very likely. If father falls into his schemes, he would be put into danger.  Hopefully His Majesty’s aide Han Cangping is reliable and can help father.”

Nurse Feng quickly comforted her in a low voice, “Don’t worry Your Ladyship, the Duke has fought through many battles all his life, he won’t fall into someone’s schemes that easily. I have heard that that Han Cangping is also quite a talented one.”

Meng Sangyu nodded in agreement, “Hopefully everything will be as you say nurse.  Okay, let’s just wait in the palace for the news. With the hidden guards and father assisting him, His Majesty will surely become free of danger.”  No one detected the ambiguity in her words. 

Emperor Zhou’wu whimpered, moved.  He attachedly licked the woman’s pale wrist.

Nurse Feng picked up and blew dry the ink on the letter.  She took a look and called out in surprise, “This… Your Ladyship, this is just a common letter to home! How did the contents you just wrote disappear? What is this long chain of characters in the back mean?”

Meng Sangyu let out a light laugh, “This is a secret letter, as long as Father has a copy of Law of the Zhou Empire in his hands, he can match these characters to the book and naturally will understand.  This is to prevent the letter from being stolen enroute. Nurse, early morning tomorrow, send this letter to mother, she will send this letter out for me.  There is no need to hide your traces, people won’t be interested if it’s in open light instead. Oh right, don’t tell mother about this so she doesn’t worry.”

Nurse Feng quickly heeded, seeing her master calm and collected, the panic in her heart also unknowingly calmed.  Bi’Shui and Yin’Cui recovered even faster than she did. Their faces have already recovered their natural hue and their lips were also smiling. 

Finishing up everything she needed to o, Meng Sangyu’s tightly bolted heart finally relaxed.  She picked up the writing the fake emperor left from the table to examine. She opened her mouth, amused, “Yin’Cui, tomorrow take this writing to the imperial craftsmen, tell them to make a dog tag for A’Bao based on this writing.  The tag has to use the best rosewood, oval shaped, about the size of a jade amulet, the characters must use gold gilding, the more luxurious the more eye-catching the better.”

“But Your Ladyship, this is fake.” Yin’Cui hesitantly replied.

Meng Sangyu rubbed A’Bao’s little stomach, “As long as I don’t say anything, who would know? Also, if I asked for the writing but didn’t go make the dog tag, then the fake emperor and Shen Huiru would become suspicious.”

Yin’Cui nodded, she took the writing, folded it carefully, and put it into her sleeve.

Meng Sangyu picked up A’Bao, kissed his little mouth, “Tomorrow I’ll make another little yellow vest for A’Bao. With a little yellow vest and an imperially bestowed dog tag, let’s see who dares to bully my A’Bao.” Picturing A’Bao wearing a yellow vest and an imperially bestowed dog tag and showing off everywhere, she started cracking up laughing. 

Although Nurse Feng and the others didn’t understand what their master was laughing about, but seeing her happy, they started smiling as well. 

She was clearly so depressed just moments ago, but in just a moment she began laughing like no other, what a careless woman! Emperor Zhou’wu squinted his eyes as he thought to himself.  He carefully licked the woman’s soft lips, feeling satisfied and relaxed.

In Qian’qing Palace, Shen Huiru was still reading and responding to reports under the light.  After she sent the fake emperor off to the Worthy Consort’s Jian’zi Palace, she looked towards Changxi, who was kneeling below the imperial desk.  She asked in a deep tone, “What did Head Physician Lin say?”

“Your Ladyship, Head Physician Lin said the Virtuous Consort is indeed on her period.  In the past three years she has used too much medicine, damaging her body. This time her irregular period is a sign of her body’s damage.  I’m afraid her period will continue for several months long stop.” Changxi’s voice had a thread of joy over another’s misery.

“Her bleeding won’t stop for months?” Shen Huiru scrunched her brows, thinking deeply, “Then I can’t use the Virtuous Consort as a knife anymore, it’s good that the Worthy Consort, the Beautiful Consort and the Imperial Consort all aren’t simple ones either.  Together they would also be able to cause quite a bit of trouble for Li Shu’jing. During this period of time you should bring that substitute to the Worthy Consort’s Palace more often.”

Chang Xi Heeded.  He thought for a bit and added, “Your Ladyship, just now the Virtuous Consort wanted His Majesty to grant a marriage to her brother. The woman is the eldest daughter born to the formal wife of Fu Gaung’da, the vice minister of the Ministry of Ceremonies. What should we…”

“Leave this matter aside for now.  We will naturally find a better one for Meng Yan’zhou!” Shen Huiru had a smile on her face, but her eyes were incomparably dark and cold.

“Your Ladyship, it’s time to take the medicine.” The head maid Wan’qing brought a bowl of medicine in, kneeling by her feet. 

Shen Huiru also had the disorder of a cold uterus, but the medicine that she was drinking was actually medicine for her condition, unlike that bowl of medicine for Meng Sangyu.  Although all the ingredients used were still exactly the same, but with just a slight change in the amounts and proportions, the effects are entirely the opposite. This secret was told to her by His Majesty back then to ease her worries. 

Looking at the steaming hot bowl of medicine, Shen Huiru’s eyes expressed a thread of gentleness.

“Your Ladyship, you have already rehabilitated for three years, you can already conceive a child now.” Having been requested by the Grand Preceptor, some things Wan’qing had no choice but to say.

Shen Hui’ru’s line of sight stabbed like a knife on Wan’qing’s body, Wan’qing immediately knelt down in fear begging for forgiveness.

“We have our own thoughts on this, you speak too much.” She lifted her chin and finished off the medicine.  Shen Huiru raised her hand and waved off Wan’qing and Chang’xi, lifting the brush to continue responding to reports. 

In Feng’luan Palace, Noble Consort Li also received the news and was currently furrowing her brows in careful consideration.

“You didn’t hear wrong? The Virtuous Consort really used too much medicine and can no longer bear an offspring?” She interrogated a doctress kneeling at her feet.  This was a doctress that Head Physician Li was currently pampering the most. 

“This servant definitely did not hear wrong.  The Virutous Consort’s menstrual cycle has become very irregular, her menstrual period unable to stop and may not stop for several months.” The doctress’s voice was very certain.

“Three years of pampering, three years of medicine, only to be left with the ending of never being able to have a child, Meng Sangyu is also a pitiful one! …” Noble Consort Li sighed, now completely believing the words the Virtuous Consort had told her a few days ago. 

“And His Majesty still wants to use her to protect that bitch Shen Huiru.  Now seeing that her body has been ruined he switched to the Worthy Consort.  Hmph! He really put much heart into this! Let’s see how far His Majesty can go for that bitch!”  Her eyes uncontrollably let out a thread of hatred. Taking a few breaths to calm the twisted expression on her face, she rewarded the doctress a large amount of silver and sent her away.

In a secret passage in the palace, the haggard Yan Junwei was currently meeting up with one of his subordinates.

“Leader, the meeting points that number nine of the character Di [ *] section knew about have been taken out by Grand Preceptor Shen’s people, as we had expected. It’s good that we had moved out early and did not take any damage.” The subordinate reported as he knelt on the ground.

Number nine of the character Di [地*] section was the codename for the fake emperor when he was still a hidden guard.

“He’s but just an insignificant underling, what could he actually know? Grand Preceptor Shen thinking that he can make use of him is really just ridiculously wrong.” Yan Junwei coldly laughed, he gestured for the subordinate to follow him into the secret room they have left Emperor Zhou’wu. 

“The Shen father and daughter have already completely betrayed the country.  We will take His Majesty out tonight. This palace can be a gift for them to mess around with.  They better pray His Majesty can wake up, then they can at least keep a complete corpse later on!” Yan Junwei said as he gestured with his hands for the subordinates hidden away in the dark to immediately split up and take action.  Swishing noises of wind continuously sounded.

“That substitute went to the Virtuous Consort’s place earlier tonight.  The Virtuous Consort’s menstrual period suddenly came and he went to the Worthy Consort’s place.  Leader, as for the Worthy Consort…” the subordinate was a little hesitant, should they deal with this matter with His Majesty’s woman?

“That Virtuous Consort has quite good luck, not being dirtied by that substitute.  You don’t have to bother with the Worthy Consort. That substitute can go look for any woman he wants, when His Majesty awakens later, he naturally will deal with these women.  All we have to do is be responsible for His Majesty’s safety. Let’s go, there’s no time left!” Yan Junwei coldly rushed.

That subordinate heeded, killing all the servants serving in the hidden chamber.  He carried Emperor Zhou’wu’s body on his back, secretly leaving the palace from the secret passageway under the protection of Yan Junwei.  Their figures faded into the endless darkness of the night.

 

*inkstick
Original: 墨条 [Mo Tiao]
Explanation: The four treasures of the study are [Zhi] [Mo] [Bi] [Yan], which are respectively paper, ink, brush, and inkstone. The inkstone ( yan) is a container for water, which then you grind the inkstick in – this creates liquid ink ( mo) which you then dip the brush ( bi) in to write on the paper ( zhi) with.

*green hat
Original: 绿帽 [Lv Mao]
Explanation: When people say a man is wearing a “green hat” it means they’re being cheated on. This no longer just applies to just “green hat” alone. Now whenever someone hints that anything on/above a man’s head is green, it means the man is being cheated on. 

*The ugliness of the family cannot be let out for others to know
Original: 家丑不可外扬 [Jiao Chou Bu Ke Wai Yang]
Explanation: The belief that the embarrassing things and not so good things of the family should not be told to others outside the family, which is a central theme to many Chinese families in the modern day still.

*Character Di
Original:
Explanation: Translated this to pinyin because there doesn’t seem to be a deeper meaning behind the naming of this section – other than that this suggests there are other sections that are named with other characters as subgroups of the hidden guards.

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5 thoughts on “Why Harem Intrigue When You Can Just Raise a Dog Instead (c23)

  1. Luckily the emperor has the most loyal guard to protected him.

    Like

  2. Ha! It’s quite sad how they treat them concubines like toys.. and dispose of them once something goes wrong

    Like

    1. Yeah… unfortunately it seems that tends to be the case…

      Like

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