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The little Emperor
Translated by: Niladri
He asked: "Does daren want me to service him tonight?"His tone was still very dry and flat. There was absolutely no emotion in it. It sounded neither enticing, not teasing. The mechanical manner with which he spoke was similar to a restaurant waiter asking:"Would you like a receipt?" However, since it was him, it was likely that he did meant what he said.
Although, thanks to my brain perfectly functioning, listening to this, I was able to stop myself from jumping up. But my face felt as if it was on fire- I was wondering if it had reddened. I suppress the palpitation in my heart and try my best to conceal my panic.
"No… well, it's not necessary. This one is a bit tired today. Go back earlier and get used to your new home as soon as you can…" Not only did these words failed to convey what I wanted, but it even sounded a bit insincere. But my beautiful boy unexpectedly did not display any sign of loathing, and instead, spoke in a business-like manner:"Whom does Daren want to call over then? Want me to call them for you?" My breath caught in my throat, please don't tell me I have other male pets. However that Yao Jinzi was too… Hmph!
"No need, I want to sleep early today!",I obstinately replied. The beautiful buy shot me a look:"Daren's body cannot stand the cold, so is never alone in bed. Do you really not need?" You don't need to remind me how old I was! You go home and coax your dear baby brother! I glanced maliciously at this block of wood. [C/N: But he isn't talking about your age -_- Basically old people's bodies are cold since they have yin energy]
"Darling," I deliberately held his sleeve in an intimate manner, and spoke in a sweet voice. Looks like when I take the initiative, he immediately flees. I wonder if I could use Zhang Qinglian's body effectively, "You worked hard today, rest well, or this one will be reluctant to sleep! If you rest enough and sufficiently practice your breathing techniques, it might be possible to restore your Wugong as soon as possible and help out others…" I clearly saw my beautiful boy s.h.i.+ver and jerked his sleeve loose from my hand, and vigilantly took a step back.
"Pfft" I laughed out loudly.
Yao Jinzi looked at my eyes pensively and finally said: "I shall retire then, Daren"
I smiled and nodded.
A man came in and helped comb my hair, wash my face. Then I lay down on the big bed.
Finally, the day was over! It wasn't really an easy day! This s.p.a.ce and time has already subtracted a day from my life. This play will definitely be a good one. Fortunately, my parents have pa.s.sed away. My boss will definitely regret losing my expertise, but will quickly find someone to fill my shoes. There were people who liked me, loved me, appreciated me, resented me and people on whose heart I have been able to leave a mark; they were probably in low-spirits when they found out that a person like me, an outstanding woman, so young and competent unexpectedly died on such a plane crash. Life is sure unpredictable…. In the end, it was just that…
However, one should not wallow in depression. The heavens must love me, for they have given me a second chance, although the situation is very strange… Isn't it my specialty to clean up the aftermath, and try to reverse the existing situation as much as I can?
I won't be afraid. Even if a person has only one day to live, they must bravely face it and try their utmost. Perhaps tomorrow they may encounter an event worth remembering, a memory worth treasuring or a person worth cheris.h.i.+ng… As I woke up after sleeping, my blurry vision focused and Hong Feng's face came into my view. "Daren, get up quickly, else you will miss morning court!"
I get up like a zombie, and let people help me get dressed, wash my face and wipe it, took a wicker brush with lake salt… Hey, hey, so salty! Now I am more sober, oh d.a.m.n these ancient times, did not treat us like human beings!
Chamber pot? Where will I use that kind of thing? The toilet is also smelly. Moreover I discreetly examined my newly added 'accessories' . Quite frankly, it was disgusting. The genitals of men are really ugly. Of course, those of women are not really beautiful either. The size of mine is nothing to be proud of either. I have heard that such a thing is a big blow to a man's pride. I wonder if Zhang Qinglian is so perverted because of this stimulus. I combed my hair, wash my face and went out to have an audience with the emperor. The sky was still dark, and studded with stars. It's not easy to be an official and get up so early. Fortunately, there was no traffic jam, otherwise I would have no time for sleep.
Today's ride was a four-person official sedan chair, blue, somehow reminding me of Zeng guofan.[C/N: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeng_Guofan] Compared to the carriage, of course, the chair is more comfortable but the speed is incomparable. Once again, like previous day, the sedan entered through the east gate in order to have an audience with the emperor.
I was incredibly tempted to doze off.
[C/N: The following two paragraphs contain multiple references to a certain emperor and the sui dynasty. I am simply translating to know the plot and not because I am interested in historical trivia. Although, the emperor yang one was kinda funny (no disrespect). If you are interested, here:
It was destined to be an uneventful day in court. I only mentioned the daily words and deeds of the previous emperor and it was being recorded by the imperial academy graduate word to word. I am completely uninterested, he is not Li s.h.i.+min. What words and deeds are worth recording? How good an emperor can be, who entrusts important responsibilities to this treacherous minister?
Moreover, according to the limited information I managed to collect, this guy is very much like emperor Yang of Sui dyanasty, craving fame and success very much, happy-go-lucky nature, destroying the foundation that his father left behind, that's almost it, Go! Go! Go! (1) The only thing better than emperor Yang of Sui is that he did not leave behind a peris.h.i.+ng country. Also, to ruin a dynasty requires talent. To be truly like Emperor Yang of Sui, not anyone can do it. It requires excellent physical strength, pa.s.sion and artistic impulse.[C/N: dayumn! that sarcasm]
However, in his private life, Emperor Yang of Sui and his orientation are different. Only by looking at this fellow, and the fact that he left behind only one son can we see that he is definitely a comrade(2) .
Kanxi emperor already had double-digit children in this age!
There are not many folded booklets. It really was a peaceful autumn, and I have gradually become accustomed to my environment. The six-part folded booklets could be handled by the high level ministers and Secretariat (3) . Hha, geniuses are indeed geniuses!
Liu Chunxi of the Ministry of Works (4) wrote a folded booklet to me. Not only did he mention the detailed arrangement of Food and fodder in Southwest China, he also explained many of his views on the current administrative affairs and insights to corruption in Ministry of personnel (4) and suggested policies as solutions. He also mentioned a lot of other things regarding contemporary politics that I did not understand, and therefore refrained from approving those policies. He had no choice but to stay put. I planned to go back and ask Yao Jinzi about the specific circ.u.mstances.
This guy's nose is sharp, and has already caught my scent and wanted to take on heavy responsibilities to gain fame. Hha this type of sly and eager for quick success person is no stranger to me! Tonight he will probably be unable to fall asleep and repeatedly think over what I said. But looking at the length of this folded booklet, I guess he did not sleep last night.
After the court was adjourned, the other ministers left first. I stayed behind to read some doc.u.ments such as the list of officials. At present, I knew the fact that I had quite a bit of superiority.
It was noontime and almost n.o.body was left. I stretched my back and walked out of the palace, Suddenly I head a strange sound, like a mallet hitting a gong. I noticed that a long, bright yellow procession came in this direction. It seems like this strange percussion was used to clear the way for the emperor.
I quickly knelt down on the road, waiting for the emperor to pa.s.s. Although I could choose to forego paying obeisance to the emperor, I would not. In the end, such a privilege, which is equivalent to courting death, should rarely be used.
It probably stopped. I lifted my eyelids, while facing downwards according to the custom and sneaked a peek.
*Gulp* the little emperor is standing right before me!
The actual age of the little emperor this year is seven years old. His stature is relatively tall, and was towering above my kneeling self. He is looking down at me carefully, his dark eyes flashed.
I quickly lowered my head.
"Zhang Aiqing (5) you may rise." The sound of the infantile voice was very lovable, and this was my first time hearing the emperor speak.
I rise; he continues to look carefully at my face. I also seize the opportunity to observe him. Although his five features(6) are peaceful and delicate, the small face is a little upright. It may not be very attractive now, but he will definitely grow up to be an attractive man. He had a high forehead, strong jaw ,with eyes big, long and sharp. The dragon bearing and phoenix's face described in history books must refer to this.
"Muhou(7) said it well, Zhang Aiqing really looks beautiful."
I was slightly upset.
"Zhang Aiqing, why did you not come to the palace after Imperial father went to eternal slumber?"After all, it was an innocent kid.
Looking at him, I felt a little pity on the child who was standing on top of a world. Such a little child has no mother or father to lean on and spent his childhood gloomily in the most squalid place, full of conspiracy. I worry, that in the future, this child would have to bear in his shoulders the responsibility of common people's happiness. He cannot cry, smile or say "I love you to the woman he loves", a single misstep may cost hundreds of lives and an eternity of infamy…
I want him to be to be a cheerful child now, and a good emperor in the future.
"Bixia(8)", I said gently, "This official is an outsider. Bixia did not decree, so how can this one enter the palace chambers lightly? If Bixia wants to see this official, as long as you issue an imperial decree, it shall be done."
The little emperor was calm and nodded.
My heart was pained and I gave him a gentle look: "Have Bixia been eating well lately, do you sleep well? You must wake up early for court so do you go to bed early in the evening?"
"Wet nurse and He momo takes turns from the first watch of the night and helps me sleep." The little emperor replied to me very cleverly.
"What is the emperor studying now? Who is the teacher?"
"Four Books (9). Now the Secretariat, Gu daren teaches."
Hm? Isn't it great that the emperor has them by his side? He is the emperor after all, in the future, one day he must personally usher a new era of governance! Unless I want to depose and replace him, he holds the power over my life and death, and whether I am honored or disgraced!
But this little woman does not have such lofty ambitions so please excuse me for not caring.
Therefore, one must maintain a good rapport with the emperor. Also, I might as well instill into him some historically proven ways of ruling the country and concept of modern corporate governance, which will certainly be beneficial to him in the future.
"Bixia, if you later have time, will you let me accompany you to study? This official was once bixia's grand guardian [Taibao] when bixia was Crown prince.
The emperor appeared happy: "Good, Zhang Anqing, you must teach me the horseback firing Wugong!"
Horseback firing Wugong? I blankly stared for a while. Hey, no need to fear, there is still Yao Jinzi.
I smiled and nodded, complying.
At this time, a woman wearing the light yellow public uniform of a court lady saluted the little emperor and said: "Bixia, the time for studying has arrived. Troubling you to visit the Southern Study."
I narrow my eyes, is this woman the emperor's wet nurse? Court lady? Does she deliberately not let the emperor come into contact with me? Or is she just dedicated to her job?
The emperor agreed. A court eunuch squawked :"Ready the carriage," and the bright yellow procession set out grandly.
I kneeled there gazing, and pondered: It is impossible for Zhang Qinglian to not plant one of his people beside the emperor, who is it? This matter, even if I asked my beautiful boy, it's impossible to know.
As I walked out of the east gate, I saw that there were people still waiting for me.
"Fuqin-Daren!(10)" Gao Yushu greeted me very intimately.
I examined my foster-son who was also an official, laughed and asked, "Why hasn't my dear son returned home yet?"
"I was waiting especially for Fuqin-daren."
"Is there any matter my dear son wishes to discuss?"
"Hehe, fuqin-daren, your child has recently found a very private place, and thought that fuqin-daren would like it surely. Would invite Fuqin-daren to visit and display this child's filial piety!"
"Oh?" I'm also a bit curious. "Where is it located?"
"There are quite a few exquisite buildings in the western part of the city, it's a small pavilion there. The furnis.h.i.+ngs are neat and tidy. What is rare is that the owner of the pavilion has some gotten a group of exquisite beauties from Yangzhou.(11) He has several young high quality goods who have never taken any clients before. The owner asked this child to welcome Fuqin-daren and appraise one or two for father.
I was lost for a while, and then understood that he was talking about prost.i.tutes and was somewhat hesitant.
However, I am still curious about that kind of place, and there is no hurry to go home anyways.
"Very good , then I would ask dear child to guide me!"
(Translated by Niladri)
(1): it says 7788 i.e. qu-bqu-ba or GoGoGo. It actually means "about so" , "that's almost it" or "nearly done". If you didn't bother with the links, basically emperor Yang wanted a lot of glory so he:
i.Ordered reconstruction of great wall of china which lead to a lot of deaths.
ii. Did widespread conscription and sent troops to faraway Vietnam which also lead to many deaths due to malaria.
iii. A few other stuff like that
Thus, his efforts backfired, people revolted, and Sui dynasty was pretty much over.
(2):" "comrade" is now a common greeting among gay people"
(3): it says "shàngshū" which wikitionary says means:" (archaic) position t.i.tle: secretary; chief of staff" And here is the detailed system of government https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Departments_and_Six_Ministries
(4): the Ministry of Personnel was in charge of civil appointments, merit ratings, promotions, and demotions of officials, as well as granting of honorific t.i.tles.Military appointments, promotions, and demotions fell under the purview of the Ministry of War
(5): It literally translates to "my dear courtier".
(6): the five sense organs (ears, eyes, mouth, nose and tongue)
(7): Mother Empress.
(8): Your majesty. I kept this to show that (s)he is properly following established norms and addressing the emperor as (s)he should instead of Xiao huangdi [little emperor] or other disrespectful stuff.
(9): Chinese cla.s.sic texts ill.u.s.trating the core value and belief systems in Confucianism
(10): Fuqin Daren: Yeah, exactly what it sounds like. Father Mister. Or Mister Dad. Or Sir father. -_- Sounds very awkward in English. So I decided to hyphenate them. Do tell if you disagree.
(11): Not sure if the sentence means his "products" or himself as "beauty from yangzhou". I read the next chapter lightly and still no clue. This is subject to change but is probably not that important.
Sorry I was late… My exams are still going on, but more importantly, I decided to translate more accurately. So sometimes, instead of a.s.suming meanings, I have to comb through each and every word in a sentence. I thought I would stop using pinyin terms but the chapter demands otherwise. There were plenty of references and hard descriptions so expect me to be late when facing such stuff. I will try my best to churn out at least 2 or 3 complete chapters per week. And I won't do it in part because first half of most chapters contain many boring monologues and juicy stuff comes in second half.
Hope you liked it. Do tell me how you feel. And yay I just added the hyperlinks ?