Why Harem Intrigue When You Can Just Raise a Dog Instead (c25)

Chapter 25: The Worthy Consort


The crowd of concubines all got up to greet the Virtuous Consort.  The Worthy consort lightly nodded her head, smiling as she invited her to sit beside her.

Meng Sangyu lifted the fifth prince who was greeting her and rubbed the soft hair on his head.  The fifth prince was just four this year, on his head his hair was curled into a little ball, bound up by gold threads.  His face was puffy with baby fat, he was like a little ball. His pair of eyes were like Emperor Zhou’wu’s, black and bright, the corner of his eyes were slightly lifted, very lovably. Meng Sangyu’s heart trembled looking at him.

“The fifth prince is really becoming more and more adorable.” Meng Sangyu complimented sincerely.

Emperor Zhou’wu looked intently at the child before him, his eyes filled with nostalgia. The fifth prince was adorable, intelligent and obedient.  He was one of his most favored children. It’s his first time seeing him in three months, his heart was rather excited.

A thread of pride flowed in the Worthy Consorts eyes.  Before she opened her mouth, the fifth prince already properly made bow, saying in his baby voice, “Thank you, Your Ladyship the Virtuous Consort for your compliment.”

A three, four year old child, in the modern day would likely still be rolling around on the ground – a little dazed and naïve age. But in this Imperial Palace he was already trained strictly and properly. Meng Sangyu immediately lost interest, but she still kept a smile on her face saying, “Good boy.”

The crowd of concubines immediately voiced out in support, but who knew if they were bootlicking toward the Virtuous Consort or the Worthy Consort.

The Worthy Consort was all smiles, she was very satisfied with her son’s display and purposely gloated, “Last night His Majesty quizzed our son on his studies, our son responded smoothly and His Majesty was very satisfied.” After she said this, she patted the fifth prince’s shoulder, asking him to recite Three Character Classic for all the concubines.

Listening to the Worthy Consort’s gloating, Emperor Zhou’wu’s mood became very frustrated. Not only could she not recognize the person sleeping beside her, she even had our son call the enemy father, she really has no eyes!

Because of the anger in his heart, Emperor Zhou’wu’s happiness at meeting his son became bland, he no longer was in the mood to listen to his son recite from memory.  He curled himself into Meng Sangyu’s arms so he didn’t have to look at them. Meng Sangyu on the other hand was listening seriously. The child’s baby voice was like a feather blown into your heart, making one unable to not be happy.

When the fifth prince finished reciting, all the concubines opened their mouths to compliment.  Although the Worthy Consort did not show it on the surface, but her pair of eyes were full of pleasure and pride.  Noble Consort Li had a son, she also had a son, why should the best candidate for empress and grand prince be Noble Li? Considering qualifications, she wasn’t lacking much compared to Noble Consort Li. Not to mention, His Majesty noticeably likes herself and their son better than Noble Consort Li and her son.

Thinking of this, she felt the numerous love marks on her nape, and the corners of her mouth slightly curled up.

In the palace, His Majesty’s favor was the capital most worth showing off. The Worthy Consort not only didn’t think to hide it, but intends to tell the world.  Some concubines with sharp eyes saw the red marks all over her nape, their eyes flashed for a moment, they tested, “His Majesty has not been in the Inner Palace for three months, inside and outside the palace they’re all spreading around that His Majesty has damaged his roots, today this rumor can finally be broken.”

“We really don’t know who would pass around that kind of rumor! His Majesty is in his prime, strong and vigorous, how could his body be damaged by such a small wound?” the Worthy Consort lazily tilted towards her elbow on the armrest of her chair.  She lifted a cup of hot tea and slowly blew, showing a section of her snowy white nape in her action. The numerous red marks were very noticeable, adding three parts allure to her dainty beauty. 

Meng Sangyu furrowed her brow, slightly turning away her head.

The crowd of concubines eyes’ slightly reddened.

A’Bao had already fiercely turned his head to look at the Worthy Consort when she had said the phrase “strong and vigorous.” Seeing the allure in her brows and the marks on her nape, two flames were already lit in his pair of pitch black eyes.  It seems that the Worthy Consort had a really good night last night!? He squinted his eyes and thought, the fury in his heart and frustration was wrapping together, making the newly grown out fur on his back stick up.

As a woman, not even being able to recognize her own husband, what hope and anticipation could he have for them? It may be that in their eyes, he’s probably just a mark, a mark of power and position.  As long as they had an imperial robe on, they probably won’t even care who it is beneath the imperial robe. Other than Sangyu, who had ever tried to understand him? Probably there is no other!

Coldness filled his heart.  Emperor Zhou’wu pawed at Meng Sangyu’s outer garment, trying to curl into his arms more for even a thread of warmth.  This was the place he was most attached to.

Meng Sangyu lightly pinched A’Bao’s little nose, pulled open her outer garments and curled him up in her arms, only letting out a dog head.  On the dog head was a little hat, the little hat had two wings sewn on, appearing fresh and cute.

The fifth prince’s round eyes became even brighter, he didn’t take a blink as he stared intently at A’Bao.

“Your Ladyship the Virtuous Consort, he has two little wings growing on his head.” the fifth prince pointed at A’Bao, with an eager voice, “Can I hug him?”

“Not right now, he just got injured, it’s easy to hurt him right now. When his injury is better, we will take him out to play with the fifth prince.” Meng Sangyu hardened her heart and rejected the fifth prince’s request.  Children at this age don’t know how to control their strength. If A’Bao were to get in his arms he may be hurt more on top of his injury.

The fifth prince looked as if he was going to cry, but he already started having the manner of a prince and did not cry or throw a tantrum.  He just pitifully went into the Worthy Consort’s arms. The Worthy Consort was a little upset, her eyes dark as she took a glance at the Virtuous Consort.  She picked up a fruit plate by her side and cooed, “The little dog got hurt, if you were to accidentally hurt him he would bite you. Let’s wait until his injury is better.  Come, let’s eat longan. Your imperial father rewarded this to you this morning. This year Lingnan only gave this basket in tribute, it’s all here.”

The Worthy Consort consoled her child as she didn’t forget to gloat about her favor to build up her support.

Meng Sangyu sighed in her heart.  She lifted her hand to stop the Worthy Consort from feeding the fifth consort the longan, she opened her mouth and said seriously, “Longans have little flesh to them and a large pit, and they’re very slippery. They’re not suitable for children like the fifth prince to eat.  If the pit were to get caught in his throat, I’m afraid it would endanger his life. It’s better to take off the flesh on the fruit and then feed it to him. Also he shouldn’t eat too much, longans have heat*, even adults can’t eat too much.”

Because longans are rare tributes, even high standing concubines may not get a chance to eat them in a year.  Most of them are sent by His Majesty to Thousand Buddha Mountain to the Empress Dowager. The Worthy Consort had never had longan before, naturally she didn’t know of such things. She became a little upset. But for the sake of her child, she still didn’t feed the fifth prince the longan.

The fifth prince had already been rejected once.  Now the delicious fruit that was just by his mouth is gone too.  He blinked his eyes and tears began strolling down. He pulled on the Worthy Consort’s sleeves and begged, “Mother Consort, I want to eat longan! I want to eat longan!”

The Worthy Consort loved her child very much, what she couldn’t resist the most are her son’s tears.  She immediately tossed the Virtuous Consort’s warning to the side and quickly peeled a longan and put it in his mouth.  She gently reminded, “Remember to spit the pit out, okay?”

The fifth prince started smiling again with the longan in his mouth.  He used his tongue to clean the longan flesh off of the pit and spat the pit out into the hands of a palace maid. Seeing that he was fine, the Worthy Consort became at ease.  She gestured for the palace maid to continue peeling for her son, and continued to disregard the Virtuous Consort’s words.

The crowd of concubines all looked mockingly at the Virtuous Consort, thinking that her behavior just then was out of jealousy for the Worthy Consort, purposely causing trouble for the Worthy Consort.

Meng Sangyu paid it no mind. She lowered head and began playing with A’Bao’s ears. A’Bao whimpered to comfort her in response.  At least she said what she should, they just have to be careful themselves.

But they relaxed to early. Longan flesh was cool and slippery, sweet and watery, a texture that makes people addicted to it.  The fifth prince at two, three longans and became a little hasty in eating. When he was at the fifth, he twirled his tongue and swallowed the entire longan.

A three or four year old child’s esophagus is very narrow, it was impossible for a longan to pass through successfully.  As such, the longan got caught between his throat and trachea unable to move. The fifth prince couldn’t talk, his face immediately became a purple red.

“Oh no! Your Ladyship, the fifth prince is choking!” the palace maid knocked over the fruit plate in fear, she pat on the fifth prince’s back as she shouted, terrified.

The Worthy Consort who was conversing with the other concubines first froze, then she immediately stood up and grabbed over the fifth prince and started heavily hitting on his back.  The fifth prince’s face was already turning blue and white.  The whites of his eyes were showing and air was only coming out and no longer going in.

The crowd of concubines all stood up from their seats, shocked.  They all took a few steps back in fear of getting in trouble. Although their faces all showed expressions of worry and anxiety, but in more than a few people’s eyes were flashes of joy at this misfortune.

A despair emerged from the Worthy Consort’s heart as she watched her son slowly fall into her arms, tears and sweat mixed on her face and completely messed up her makeup.  She hollered in a sore voice, “Go, go call the imperial physician! Quickly!”

“Move, let us try.” Meng Sangyu couldn’t watch any longer, she put the barking A’Bao into Nurse Feng’s arms and dragged the Worthy Consort away.  She put the fifth prince who has almost loss consciousness on her knees, head down, feet up. She pat on his shoulder blades with force, at least five times, yet the longan still didn’t come out.  She then put him flat on the ground, and used her pointer finger and middle finger to press on his chest. After repeating this ten times, the longan in the fifth prince’s throat finally got spat back out.

Seeing that although her son was unconscious, but his blue and purple face had already recovered redness and his breaths were gradually becoming even, the Worthy Consort’s legs softened and she almost fell to the ground.  The palace maids on the side all immediately called out to her and hurriedly carried her to sit on a chair. 

Meng Sangyu held the fifth prince in her arms as she squatted on the ground, taking deep breaths.  Yin’Cui and Bi’Shui walked up, not wanting her to be so tired. They carried over the fifth prince from her arms and brought her to a chair to sit. 

Emperor Zhou’wu stopped his barking, and gave a deep sigh of relief.  At the most dire time, it’s still Sangyu that’s the most reliable. The Worthy Consort can’t even take care of herself, how could she take good care of the child!?

The imperial physician finally arrived.  He ordered the palace maids to first send the unconscious fifth prince and almost breathless Worthy Consort back to Jiang’zi Palace to provide treatment.  Meng Sangyu was still worried, so she hurriedly brought A’Bao and followed after. The crowd of consorts couldn’t just leave first either, so the large group all went to Jiang’zi Palace.

In Zong’cui Palace, Shen Huiru heard the news and just gave a cold laugh.  She had no intentions of going to visit. The entire palace of concubines, princes, princesses, she now had none of them in her eyes.  Whether they be dead or alive, they all had nothing to do with her. They all are just toys that she could do anything with in her hands anyways.  Even Meng Sangyu who she had hated the most could not cause a thread of movement in her heart, because she was already standing at a place that the other person could not reach.

In Feng’luan palace, Noble Consort Li waved off the palace maid that came to report the news, she sighed, “Couldn’t have thought that the Virtuous Consort would act and save the child, what a pity! How nice it would have been if he died!”

“Perhaps it’s precisely because she can’t have her own child that she’s so soft-hearted to other people’s children.  The Virtuous Consort is also pitiful.” Noble Consort Li’s trusted nurse contemplated. This type of thing, if it were someone else they definitely won’t bother with it.  No one would’ve thought that the Virtuous Consort, known for her viciousness would reach out and help.

“Yup, the Virtuous Consort never touches children. This point, we are also respectful of her for.  Let’s go, we should go take a look at the fifth prince.” Noble Consort Li picked out a few presents and brought a crowd of palace servants.  The large group headed off toward Jiang’zi Palace.

 

*heat
Original: 热气 [Re Qi]
Explanation: In traditional chinese medicine (TCM) there is a concept of cold foods and hot foods. I don’t really get it either nor can I explain it well.  But basically if you eat too many “hot” foods (in this case fruits like longan, lychee, etc.) your throat will feel kind of inflamed.

 

Clam Spam:
“It may be that in their eyes, he’s probably just a mark, a mark of power and position.  As long as they had an imperial robe on, they probably won’t even care who it was beneath the imperial robe.”
Clam: …. You just found out? AND…

“He used his tongue to clean the longan flesh off of the pit and spat the pit out into the hands of a palace maid.”
Clam: Ewwwwwwwwwww!

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8 thoughts on “Why Harem Intrigue When You Can Just Raise a Dog Instead (c25)

  1. OK face changing medicine is not common. And when someone is acting differently from themselves for a bit , one usually says they’re having a good/bad day/been sick etc.. besides the shen family trained him in what to say and how to act. Also he visits those consorts like once a month, and this time it’s the first time in three months. So come one ! give the woman a break author.Thanks for the translations

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Yeah…the most conspicuous symbol of Emperor was his yellow robe, wasn’t it?

    Like

  3. Hi! Thank you so much for your hard work in translating! I just noticed these while reading.:)

    I think this should be fifth “prince” instead of “consort.”
    – When the fifth consort finished reciting, all the concubines opened their mouths to compliment.

    “Worthy” consort instead of “Virtuous” – – The Virtuous Consort consoled her child as she didn’t forget to gloat about her favor to build up her support.

    Thank you again! Really enjoying this novel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! You’re totally right! Thank you~~

      Like

  4. Silver_Moon789 June 27, 2020 — 6:47 am

    I’m snickering the Emperor got a little kick in the head but it obviously wasn’t hard enough because he still doesn’t quite get it. Like yeah he’s staying with the MC who’s hella observant and all but that doesn’t automatically mean that the other concubines are trash. Can’t fault the Worthy Consort for not recognizing the Emperor on sight, she actually wants his favor so it’s not like she’s gonna look too hard to make sure he’s the real deal.

    Also can’t blame her for being ignorant about longans or for spoiling her child a little. If longans are that rare to obtain in that time period than how would she know. On the other hand longans are like everywhere in the modern world (literally any asian supermarket sells them) so it’d only make sense for the MC to be knowledgeable about it. Plus he’s only 4, and yet he’s still pretty trained that he can recite long passages w no sweat and in comparison w 4 yr olds now a days he’s much better at emotion regulation; I’d say that he should be allowed a little spoiling, the Worthy Consort doesn’t seem like that bad of a mother honestly, I wouldn’t really be too trusting of someone I considered an enemy either so again can’t really fault her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely agree. I don’t think there’s actually much “love” in these “marriages” in the first place. I mean I don’t think the emperor would honestly recognize it if any his consorts were replaced by someone else. -.-;;; So I have no idea what right he has to be angry…

      Longans are actually tropical fruits, so they are only available in the south! So definitely hard to obtain because they would be hard to transport to the capital, which I assume to be much farther north just speaking historically.

      Liked by 1 person

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