Thursday, April 9, 2015

Cold Sands (Beyond the Frore Dunes) - ch27

Translator: ayszhang
Proofreaders: Gwen, krabbykabbi, Luzo, Pau, Red


Cold Sands ch27
 Han Xin has everything under control...or does he? (fashion lesson #2)


XXVII Assassination





“Could you raise it a bit higher please, Your Majesty?”


Impatiently, I raise my arms so the attendants can dress me. They then comb my hair and put on the crown for me.


These guys are so annoying.


They start wailing like banshees outside the door every morning when the sun has just risen. Even if I hid myself in the blankets, I can still hear their sharp, screechy voices. Neither a man’s nor a woman’sit just sounds creepy as hell.


What’s the damn point in being the emperor if I can’t even get a good night’s rest?


I sigh as I grab the outermost layer and put it on myself. The attendants quickly step back with their backs bent but sneak glimpses from time to time.


I remember once in the front lines when we were chatting, we started talking about the palace. A soldier who came from a farming family said with a longing expression, ‘The emperor’s hoe must be made of gold too!’ The rest of us almost laughed our asses off. If you asked me, being the emperor sucks. Not only can you not sleep well, you have to change a billion different outfits a day.


The ceremonial apparel during ceremonies and court; the auspicious regalia during celebrations; the regular or casual wear at other occasions; travel attire during hunts. There are corresponding hats: the court crown, royal crown, casual crown, travel crown. Each outfit has five versions: leather, cotton, double, single and chiffon. A violent shudder ran through me when I heard this—I can’t handle all that even if I were a clothes hanger!


The custom is to pay respects to the empress dowager after washing and dressing but on the account that she is recuperating from trauma and shouldn’t be disturbed, I don’t bother wasting my time. After the visit comes the morning read, which includes the Holy Sayings and the Official Records of emperors of past dynasties. The Holy Sayings is just a collection of advice, warnings and sayings uttered by past emperors and the Official Records is a list of major events during their rule. I lose all desire to read these just from looking at them stacked, filling up the entire desk. They expect me to wake before daybreak, miss my meals, be lively during the day and sleep soundly at nightas if anyone could ever do that.


Anyhow, we’re in such a desperate situation that I just cancelled it altogether.


Just as my mind is wandering, Liu An comes forth, quietly urging. “Your Majesty, it is time for breakfast. You have court afterwards.”


If waking up is the most important thing of every day, then eating would definitely be the second most important. And the emperor needs to eat as much as anyone else! I shoot a glare at him before walking around the screen.


The officials have been waiting patiently in the hall. The golden silk drapes are raised and the palace maids bow down to the floor accordingly. I walk from the side hall to my throne, cautious to not lose my stern composure.


The officials kneel down and say their prayers for my longevity. The eunuch in charge of rites calls out, “Report if need be, otherwise you are dismissed!”


I rest my head on my right hand and watch them lazily. Yeah, Heng Ziyu isn’t here. Of course it was I who gave him the permission to. He’s been busy as a bee, strengthening the city’s defense, training the soldiers and organizing the rations. The officials look at each other.


Hmmph, it doesn’t take a genius to know what they’re thinking in their puny minds. The duchess and the Eldest fleeing to the south has undoubtedly given them an excuse to relocate again.


Unsurprisingly, one person steps forth and bows with his jade hu in hand. “In reply to Your Majesty, this humble servant has a few words.”


“Speak.”


“With the Yan army approaching the capital, I implore Your Majesty to allow part of the royal family and nobles to head to Jiangnan to ensure the safety of Great Rui’s roots.”


I have already sent the roots off,” I reply coolly.


“But, Your Majesty, I fear that the duchess and the Eldest.”


“What is there to fear? Why should they leave when I have not left? Are you saying that their lives are more valuable than mine?” I scoff.


“Your Majesty, the empress dowager…” He suddenly falls to his knees. “Her Graciousness experienced great trauma and needs to recuperate in peace away from the capital. May I humbly suggest that–.”


“The empress dowager is the mother figure of the nation and should share the good and the bad with Her people,” I interrupt with a smile. “I believe Her Graciousness would say the same, don’t you think so?”


Then I warn lowly, “Do not bring this issue up again.”


The officials all lower their heads. I summon the Minister of Revenue after some thought. “How much grain remains in the capital?”


He bows. “In reply to Your Majesty, there are five million nine hundred and three thousand seven hundred and thirty six pikuls left in the state reserves, out of which three thousand pikuls have been allotted to the aid and relief office. Also, eight locations have closed due to the war, so food is actually quite plentiful.”


The current numbers seem sufficient but if we are besieged for the long term then the calculations get complicated.


“How long can we last with the capital’s population in mind?”


“In reply to Your Majesty, half a year at the most, three months at the least. However, winter is approaching and keeping in mind the army and relief expenditures, it may not last long enough if the Yan laid siege for a long time.”


This is a challenging problem. The capital has a large population so in order to ensure food for everyone, a massive amount of food must be transported. Soldiers won’t be able to stand without enough food, let alone fight.


Song Ruoming briskly walks to the center of the hall. “Xingzhou, not far from the capital, has several million pikuls of rice in storage, Your Majesty. It could be transferred to the capital to aid the shortage.”


Before I even open my mouth, Assistant Administrator Xu Zong starts shaking his head. “In my opinion, the rice in Xingzhou would be better off burnt.”


I’m puzzled as to why he would say so. He explains calmly after stroking his beard. “The closest Yan forces have reached Lingzhou and are brandishing themselves in display of power. Anzhou is just past Lingzhou. If we arrange for labour workers to transport the grains, additional troops must be deployed for protection. This is very costly and the grains may very well become the Yan’s. With that in mind, it would be wiser to just burn it all.”


He shoots me a look of slight satisfaction. “If Your Majesty is really concerned about not having sufficient food, why don’t we move some people out of the capital? Less people means less consumption. It would kill two birds with one stone.”


I purse my lips and remain silent.


It’s not that I want to see people in a bad light but he is simply too wicked. I am not allowing the officials and nobles to escape and even imprisoned the empress dowager all so that I can calm and unite the people. Consequently, their selfish goals can’t be reached so they threaten me with the lives of everyone in the city and the several million pikuls of food in Xingzhou.


I see Song Ruoming’s face has already flushed red with anger and he is glaring at Xu Zong, while Xu Zong has his nose held high like he’s in the right. Since he made his speech, his fellow officials have started whispering amongst themselves, mostly words of agreement. I frown. Moving some people out of the capital? Give me a break. I’m not stupid. As if I don’t know who are actually going to be leaving when the time comes.


These swine may be slow when it comes to work but sure are quick to run for their lives.


I restrain my anger as a sense of powerlessness hits me. Every morning court, I leave pent up with anger. Even a young, healthy man like me would get driven mad by these old farts.


Easy, there. You can’t release your anger just yet, I warn myself and try the hardest to stay calm, to look unflustered and normal. What they want is for me to lose my temper.


I must find a solution for both problems. I clench my jaw as I watch those delighted officials and run through some ideas in my mind.


The grains, no matter who transports them, just need to arrive safely at the capital.


And when I reach this conclusion, I see the answer before me.


“Assistant Administrator Xu, you are over-thinking things.”


Heng Ziyu strides in from the open doors dressed in brightly polished armour.


He performs the rituals before turning to face Xu Zong with a thin smile. “It seems like you have forgotten about the twenty thousand men of mine on the road. They are all well-trained and fit for battle. I am sure they are qualified to escort the transportation of grains.”


Wow, we had the same thing in mind.


Using the retreating forces to escort the transportation wouldn’t delay the retreat, the fees for hiring workers would be saved and the safety of the grains would also be guaranteed. I guess you can call it killing three birds with one stone.


Smiling, I tell the Minister of Revenue, “Ask the Governor of Xingzhou to open the reserves for Marshal Heng’s men to collect and ship to the capital.”


He bows in obedience. Heng Ziyu looks at me with an impressed expression.


“Assistant Administrator Xu is worried for the state and its people and suggested evacuating the commoners to relieve them of the hardships of war. You must find proper places for them.”


The Minister of Revenue bows down to the ground. “This subject thanks Your benevolence on behalf of the people!”


I stand up and shake out my sleeves to leave. “That is enough for today. Marshal Heng, come with me.”


The early sunlight coats the palace buildings in vivid colours, making them all the more elegant and dignified. However, it is already approaching the end of autumn so the rays have become weaker and are only scattering loosely in between the wutong leaves onto the ground.


“You are still in armour, Marshal.”


He chuckles. “A long time habit, is all.”


We share a smile before looking away. We know very well.


Ever since the moment I gave the orders, we have passed the point of no return. We are going to have to put in our all, whether it be life or death.


“I just took a walk around our city walls and I found quite a few problems.” He sighs, seemingly tired. “Emperor Shun constructed the capital when he founded the country. The walls were all made with solid boulder, eight zhang and six chi tall, one zhang thick with double layers. The gates were made from steel and the barbicans have contraptions for fire and water attacks, but over a century has passed without any renovation nor improvement. The weather erosion is fairly serious.”


“Do we have enough time?” I inquire quietly.


He scoffs. “According to scouts, the Yan will arrive at the capital in eight days at the least, ten days at the most. I am afraid it is too late even if we put our lives into repairing it.”


“It does not matter how long, we have to try. Just tell me what it is You need.”


His lips press tightly into a line and his expression is extremely heavy. “What if I need time?”


My heart seems to skip a beat and I can’t make a sound.


Even if the Ministry of Works worked day and night, no matter for eight or ten days, it is going to be impossible to restore the walls to its original glory. Heng Ziyu wouldn’t say such a thing if this wasn’t the case.


I can give him manpower. I can give him food. I can give him horses. I can give him weapons. But I can’t give him time.


“How many days can we last under current circumstances?”


He takes a moment before answering. “The Yan cavalry may be fearsome but they cannot just fly over the walls like birds. If my calculations are correct, we can still face our enemies if they attack and we can still last ten to fifteen days. But…after that….”


“It is already October, late autumn. We must hold strong until December. By then it would be winter and the world would be frozen over. Their one hundred sixty thousand men army is going to have a much harder time with supplies than us.”


“You are absolutely right, Your Majesty. But in my experience of many years’ of battle, the Rui army consists mostly of infantry and will not be able to evenly match cavalry. Additionally, with the outer area lost, cavalry will be restricted so it will not be of help to the defense of the city.”


“I have seen Yuwen Yuan, the general of the Blood Mounts. This battle is definitely going to be a tough one if he is involved.”


“Yuwen Yuan has a cruel personality, never giving a care about what he cuts down with his sword. I am worried that he will not only make direct attacks with all he has got but also employ low, dirty measures.”


He looks at me with a frown, looking quite concerned. I take a deep breath to ease the constricting feeling.


The landscape around the capital is flat and vast so cavalry definitely takes the upper hand. Once the Yan completely surround us, the capital will become a deserted island. If so, more horrors are bound to ensue.


With one glance, we understand it all.


It appears that he still has more to say when Liu An comes rushing to tell me quietly that Master Liao is waiting for me. I start and leave right away.


The inner hall is as gloomy as night and not a trace of sound is present. The maids and attendants have been dismissed and only one small candle has been lit. Master Liao personally brings the person to me. He has been tied up like a mummy and his mouth has been stuffed with cloth. His eyes dart restlessly around.


Master Liao says, “Please be cautious, Your Majesty,” and leaves without another word, closing the doors behind him.


I am the emperor of Rui,” I announce as I keep my eyes on him.


He glares at me and I feel the aura of death. I walk up to him and pull the cloth out from his mouth. “I hear you have been searching for someone.”


He doesn’t answer me but starts laughing instead. “Emperor? You’re gonna cry for mommy, too, when His Highness arrives with His army!” He spits at me. “Fucking effeminate piece of shit! Faggot!”


I smile, not losing my temper. “I fully understand why you would say so given our countries’ current warring situation. However, it only proves immature to think you could make me end your life by upsetting me with words.”


He shuts up and his eyes start shifting again.


I’ve heard much worse. His insults are only elementary.


I sit back down calmly, straightening my sleeves. “I hear you have been staying in the capital looking for someone. Is this true?”


He turns his head away as if he couldn’t bother.


I chuckle, “Could not find anything on Minister Han’s nephew, could you?”


I am Minister Han’s nephew,” I enunciate, “Xin is my name.”


His eyes goes on stalks and he stares at me with an odd expression.


“You could say Prince Lie and I are old acquaintances.” My smile fades. “If you really are His Highness’ man and are searching for me, say whatever it is you have to say. You would not be disobeying orders doing so.”


He keeps his head down for some time before taking a big breath and nodding.


“Indeed, we came to find him. His Highness had given orders to take him out of the city as soon as we find him.”


I let my eyelids drop and move my gaze away from him as my heart seems to be squeezed furiously by an invisible hand. Its grip gets tighter and tighter, so tight I can’t even breathe.


Of course I understand what this order means. It means the destruction of the capital. It means massacre and bloodshed. It means bare, burnt lands. It also means that he doesn’t want me to be in the middle of all that.


I scrutinize the man. “Do you still remember the details of the city’s defense?”


He determinedly shakes his head but his eyes show wariness.


Suddenly, I feel fatigue looking at his facehis young face.


I will take good care of Prince Lie’s man and not let you feel one bit of pain.”


I walk out in large strides and Master Liao follows me with his head lowered in anticipation of my directions. After some debate, I spit out two coldblooded words.


“Kill him!”


I’ve never felt so cold, so scared, in the autumn winds of the capital.


To kill or to set free?


Set him free and let him take news of me to him; or kill him to ensure the secrecy of our defenses.


Which is right? And which is wrong?


He would not have sent his people into the city simply to look for me. He’s not that kind of person.


If the city had a dozen Yan spies, then it would be vulnerable and its destruction would be imminent no matter how sturdy our walls are or how able our people are.


One side is my country while the other is love. Everything and anything has come down to one point and I finally am forced to make my ultimate choice.


Is love really worthless compared to my responsibility to my country?


Since I’ve made that decision, he and I can never go back.


I hide my face in my hands and lower my head against the wall, attempting to hide my unkempt and helpless self.


Do you regret it?


♚♔


The evacuation is currently underway with the help of officials at all levels. The Ministry of Revenue and the Ministry of Defense worked together, not only using the allotted five hundred carts to transport the grains day and night but also urging commoners and the family and friends of the soldiers to head to Xingzhou with their own carts. It was also announced that those who bring back more than twenty pikuls will receive one tael of silver in addition to shipping fees as an incentive.


There are always takers when the stakes are high. The flow of shipments was endless and continued through day and night. In only a few days, several millions of the grains have been shipped to and stored in the capital. Additionally, all soldiers were given half a year’s salary in advance. Everyone rejoiced.


The Ministry of Works have assembled artisans of all specialtieswood, soil, tiles, stoneinto an engineering team and given training. They have also prepared large amounts of brick, rock, wood, cement and tools for future emergencies. The Minister also arranged for the renovation of the outer walls, strengthening the city gates, especially the An Shun and An Ding Gates to the north, the Yong Yang and Bei Zhi Gates to the east, changing the material on the inside from soil to brick. The moats have been deepened and the defense patrol has been increased. He also gave orders for windows to be added to the embrasures and wooden spikes to the eastern, western and southern walls to fortify defense even more.


Heng Ziyu is now wholly in charge of the military and has become even busier with training the soldiers and inspecting their living quarters. Meanwhile, I have been consoling the nobles, directing the officials to strengthen our defense. It’s been one trivial matter after another. We each have our own work so we haven’t been able to discuss the Yan’s possible methods of attack.


The Yan spies had sneaked their way into the capital and made an impact on us. I had thought about sending some of our own undercover into the Yan capital. However, when I asked Master Liao if the Eidolons were fit for the job, he shook his head and asked for forgiveness. He said when my father was still present, the Eidolons were as potent as the sun during midday and had quite a few people undercover, but the Eidolons suffered greatly ever since Father’s death and those undercover in Yan could not be reached anymore.


With nowhere else to turn to, I decide to try my luck with Uncle’s Wraiths. Uncle has been absent from court in the name of illness ever since I split from the empress dowager, and has not bothered with politics at all. In the few times he did come to court, he didn’t say anything. I have to think of some way to get his permission.


Dinner has been served for nearly two hours. I move my gaze from the memorial to the gourmet food but for some reason I don’t have any appetite.


Liu An is kneeling before me, quietly begging me to eat even a little. I shoo him away after a short lapse. “Heat the ones that have cooled. Also, fetch Marshal Heng.”


After he leaves with my orders, the hall becomes deserted. I return to the memorial. Most of the officials who are still submitting memorials are the ones still clinging on to the relocation, using the empress dowager as their excuse. They write such pretty words that I suspect they are flowers, all being excuses that the empress dowager must leave the capital.


The candlelight shines gently onto the memorial but I am aggravated.


The empress dowager isn’t your old lady. Have you people got nothing better to do with your goddamn lives than worrying about her?


Suddenly, the aroma of wine wafts in my nose. I look up to see a beautiful court lady walking towards me holding a jade pot and luminous jade glass. She kneels down, pours a glass and holds it out to me.


“Your Majesty, some wine to relieve the stress.”


Her voice is crisp and nice to the ears like the black-naped oriole. A lot of the frustration that has built up goes away in an instant. I smile and take the glass.


Liu An might not be that great with his job but sure knows how to please.


I pick up another memorial and just as my lips touch the glass, I unknowingly steal a glance at the lady. She has a delightful smile on her slightly lowered face, looking bashful. What an alluring beauty.


I look back to the memorial. These damn old farts…trying to annoy me to death…


“Better drink it before it gets cold, Your Majesty,” she says in her captivating voice and edges closer to the desk. I chuckle and take a few sips. I take another glance at her. She looks kind of familiar from the side, kind of like someone…


Something resurfaces from the old memories…


I throw the glass away. “Who are you?!” I demand.


Before I finish, I see a cold flash before my eyes. The lady breaks out like a loaded spring, drawing a red iron dagger. Well acquainted with the aura of death, I immediately jump up and kick the desk, hitting her in the waist. She grunts but leaps for me nonetheless.


Briskly, I back up. The layered dress slows my steps. Suddenly, my vision blurs and I feel light on my feet as if I am going to fall down.


“You foolish ruler! I’m gonna avenge my family!”


The gleaming blade rushes towards me along with her furious shouts. I feel limp and when I see the snowy white metal flashing dangerously close, I pivot and it scrapes by me. I grab onto her arm and twist. She yelps out in pain but lunges forth with all her might. I feel a cold breeze by my ear; I think the blade almost touched it.


I put more force into my grip and as she screams in pain, I too feel an acute pain in my arms. I can’t move anymore as though I’ve been drained of energy.


The wine…it must be the wine.


She crawls up painstakingly, bloody all over, and comes towards me.


“One hundred fifty-something people. They owed you nothing but you were coldblooded enough to kill and exile them. You devil!”


I pant while propping myself up. “No wonder you looked familiar. You…Xie…”


She snickers. “Say what you have to say in hell!”


Then she raises her dagger and brings it down towards me.


Fucking hell. I’ve made it through the roughest seas only to have my ship sink in a tiny, little gutter.


I’m limp and powerless. All I can do is lie on the ground, waiting for death. I close my eyes and in that final moment, Murong Yu’s figure flits in front of my mind’s eye.


His dark, enigmatic gaze remains as though melted into my flesh.


Everything becomes still.


Then an ear-splitting crack, not unlike that of breaking bones.


I open my eyes to see blood welling out of the lady’s mouth and her pale, almost transparent face. Her body falls limply on to the ground.


There is a person moving. “Guards! There’s an assassin!”


The next moment, I’m in that person’s arms. Heng Ziyu rips open my sleeve to reveal a long wound from my elbow to wrist. Blood is dripping out, soaking the sleeve red.


I feel my consciousness slipping. I want to sleep.


“Your Majesty?!” He squeezes my hand forcefully and barks in the other direction, “What’re you waiting for? Go get the doctor!”


I clench my teeth to keep myself awake. “Summon Pei Yuan to increase the number of Guardians guarding the palace and to close the palace gates. Summon the Dalisi Minister to search for any accomplices. Do not spare any!”


Heng Ziyu helps me to my throne as the court doctor comes running in. When the attendants take off my outer robes, the wound gets tugged too and an unbearable pain shoots through me. After the emergency care, my head starts to clear up. The doctor kneels down and explains cautiously, “Reporting to Your Majesty, there was a numbing poison in the wine that takes effect immediately after consumption. That was why You had felt limp and dizzy.”


I take the tea and sip some to calm my nerves. I take a glimpse at the lady. “Is she dead?”


“The injuries are critical. Broken wrist. Probably will not last much longer.”


“As long as she is not dead now.”


I dismiss the attendants and the doctor, giving strict orders for secrecy. At once, the huge hall is empty save for me, Heng Ziyu, Liu An and the unconscious woman.


Shakily, Liu An flattens himself on the ground and explains the situation in the inner palace.


In Great Rui, most of the women chosen to serve in the palace come from high-class families. This court lady is a child born to one of the concubines of the Xie household and has been with the empress dowager for a very long time. The empress dowager experienced trauma and has been away recuperating and the Xie household’s punishment didn’t include her; she only got sent to the needlework department. They didn’t think things would become like this.


My head starts aching so I rub my temples as I think.


Xie’s daughter is only the tip of the iceberg of the various forces in the palace. In this unimaginably huge royal palace, there is no way she could have done this without any outside help. I’ve imprisoned the empress dowager, impeached high-ranking officials, chosen to face the Yan and promoted many martial officials and jinshi. This has been the complaint of many officials and nobles but they are too scared to say no to my face and instead have done much more in the dark.


There are many women like her who remain loyal to officials or nobles while living in the inner palace. That day, I had taken back the apparent power but I haven’t yet cleansed through the inner palace. And this is what led to the incident today.


The woman lets out a moan as she comes to. When she spots me, her eyes fill with hatred.


“Foolish king, you were lucky today but don’t you forget, you’re going to die a pathetic death!”


Heng Ziyu’s face darkens and he barks, “Watch your mouth!”


She laughs with a mouthful of bloody foam. “Am I wrong to say so? Once the Yan break through the city, you’re all going to die!” Then she glares at Heng Ziyu. “You’re just a petty commoner, yet you dare hold yourself so highly.”


Holding back the fury, I speak calmly, “Do you have any accomplices? If you tell me, I can spare your life.”


She struggles to sit up a little taller and lies on the ground laughing. “I take the responsibility of my own deeds. I’ll take whatever it is you have waiting for me!”


Heng Ziyu scoffs and looks to me. Our eyes meet and I begin to hatch an idea.


Normally, these people conceal themselves extremely well, but since this happened already, why don’t I make it look bigger than it is and use this assassination as an opportunity to cleanse the inner palace? I could also get rid of the nobles and even the empress dowager…as long as I want to.


I stop smiling and tell her coldly, “Then I hope you are certain you can bear the Dalisi’s interrogation.”


She looks up with a shocked expression and the colour drains from her face.


The Dalisi is in charge of judicial matters in the palace and are known for their cruel and unforgiving methods. Whoever enters their care would lead a life worse than death.


Her figure suddenly springs up right before my eyes. She runs towards the nearest pillar and rams her head on it. Her skull cracks and she falls to the floor.


The two of us gasp in surprise. Heng Ziyu quickly lunges forth and pulls her up by the shoulder.


Blood snakes down slowly from her forehead. She gazes at me with a wide grin. “The dead won’t say a thing.”


I snicker and step down from my throne, stopping beside her. Her pupils are already enlarging; she’s on her last breath.


I lift her head up by the chin and flash a cold smile. “The dead won’t say a thing. But they could also say anything.”


____________________

For an explanation on the basic government structure, see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Departments_and_Six_Ministries

Luminous jade cup



Fashion lesson #2!

Ceremonial

Auspicious

Casual

Travel

 _____________________
ayszhang says: OAO Han Xin got injured again! But this time it's Heng Ziyu who comes to his rescue. (BTW I added a picture of a pavilion to the previous chapter^^) Let us know who you like better, Heng or Murong, in the poll on the sidebar (bottom of page for mobile users). The poll will be opened until the last release of this story!
dairytea says: Han Xin! QAQ Uwaah~ Wh-where is Murong when you need him?!

Chapter 26
Creative Commons Licence
Cold Sands - English Translation by ayszhang is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

132 comments:

  1. First! *O*
    *puts life on-hold and reads new chapter* :3

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was almost first! :O I have to come back a LOT later, though, to read this chapter :/ I'm looking forward to when I come back home! XD

    ~Michaela

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh my gosh,I just saw the poll! How can I possibly decide?!!! I'm kind of liking Heng Xin, but then I'd be betraying Dr. Murong....can I pick both? Hahaha XD

    ~Michaela

    ReplyDelete
  4. Congratz!

    (//o\\) *waits for comment*

    ReplyDelete
  5. Okayyy ~~~ *waits for Michaela*

    XD no, only one mwahaha

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thank you ^^....The Empress Dowager's camp has nothing better to do other than cook up a huge deal of pain in the ass messes for Han Xin to deal with....Harummmphhh...That poll is sooooo not fair....

    ReplyDelete
  7. Welcome :))

    I knoooow. Han Xin has more work to do before he has full control of the court!

    >:) who did you vote for?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Didnt vote...still torn between Heng Xing and Dr. Murong..God I feel like im two timing Murong or something...uuugghh...may be we should have an option for choosing both of them and turn it into...uhh well... a threesome

    ReplyDelete
  9. D: problem is once someone has voted I cant change the poll! :(

    OMG >u> It seems I have some perverted readers ;DDDD (but rly I would like a threesome too >///<)

    ReplyDelete
  10. at first i don't really regard this story because i was captivated by love late and irked why that story so slow to be translated. but this cold sands hooked my interest right after chapter 18 and forth, when han xin proofed to be the next emperor of his country. i love to see his struggling as number one man and seeing him grew colder and fiercer handling crisis in his nation. he is fiercer but often cries in solitude, i find that very moe :))
    now i am looking forward for next translated chapter :))
    [i am rooting for heng ziyu x han xin, i hope i can see more tragedies regarding those pair hehehe
    because i kind of sure eventually this story would be about murong yu x han xin as final pair, so i'd like to see more screening time of heng ziyu]

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh wow! Are you one of those who likes angst! :ooo

    And thank youuu <3 but Love Late's progress isnt related to Cold Sands' ; u ;

    I find the irony quite unbearable :/ Han Xin had wanted to be free but he has to shoulder the responsibility of securing the entire country.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm back! And omigosh, I agree with another commentor about how there should be a threesome XD That way, Heng Ziyu can love Han Xin, Han Xin can love Murong Yu....everybody's happy!

    I spelled Heng Ziyu's name wrong in my earlier comment. I am so ashamed! :O

    And, I need more!!!! Hahaha, the next chapter needs to be posted now....as in right this second X3

    So, I still haven't voted on the poll yet, but I m-might vote...for...H-Heng Ziyu

    But hear me out! Hear my reasoning!!! XD He saved Han Xin, and I want to hug him amd kiss him for that. I mean, Dr. Murong has saved Han Xin many, many times (exactly how many times, I can't even remember hahaha)....but Dr. Murong has been away for so long *sniffle*

    Again, if there was a threesome, then I wouldn't feel like I was betraying Murong Yu. I'm sorry Dr. Murong! Forgive me for my weakness!!!

    Thank you! :D

    ~Michaela

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  13. ;D did u know you could edit comments on disqus?

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  14. Oh oh!!!! What do we have to do so that you'll do a double release? :O This needs to happen. Oh, please oh please? Pretty please? XD I am on my knees!

    I think it's safe to say that we'd all do whatever it was that you commanded (I think), hahaha

    B-but I said I "might"! XD I still haven't voted yet. Please, don't kill meeee X3

    ~Michaela

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  15. OH my God, you feel me, i was actually thinking they could become a threesome !!!
    and yeahh, Murong has been away for wayyy too loooooong, we're not that faithful !!!


    and....


    SHAME ON YOU !!!!!!!!! how could you mis-spell Heng Ziyu's name????????? Heng Xin... reminds me of something.. oh yeahhhhhh, the baseball game, more like choosing Xin's name ^^ , guess you chosed Heng :)

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  16. Poor Han Xin, although I have to admit I love it everytime he gets injured >w> and the words he last spoke it seems as though he's changed so much and yet showing glimpses of his true personality (minus the killing he obviously doesn't like having to do it). And I'm stupid... I read the spoiler in the story summary TAT

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  17. XDDDD *smooches* youre so adorable hahahaha

    What Han Xin said at the end..hmmm. The woman killed herself so that he couldnt torture her and make her tell her secrets (like who helped her) but this also means Han Xin could say whatever he wanted about her and she would be too dead(?) to object! Thats what he meant by "the dead can say anything". ;)

    Youre very welcome :D <3

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  18. >u> I do too...hehe...I do tooo

    =A= I hope you will continue to read this despite the spoiler ; u ;

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  19. I can do meaningful comments! :O What's the deadline for these 100 comments? X3

    How am I going to spread the word? Hmmm

    ~Michaela

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  20. Umm i guess by next wednesday? Cuz thats when I prepare the posts for thursday ^^

    I'll feature the comment :)

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  21. *grumble* I really don't like him.... How convenient that he was here... I don't like him one bit!!!!!!

    And where the f*** is Murong when Han Xin need him so much... I miss him... I want them to be together.

    And even if I understand why he don't want to kill the bitch.... I don't know why maybe because she acted like shit to him but I want my pound of blood from her!!!

    Arfff Han Xin is alone.... it's sad to see him like this, to see him dead little by little in the inside. He surrounded by enemy and in danger where he should have be safe.

    It's ironic how in Murong camps (an "enemy" camps, a Yan camps) he was more secure. When you really thinks of it at first yes he was tortured by the yan but after all the time when he was wounded it was at the hand of his country men.

    Arf so did we see Murong again??? :p


    Anyways thanks again for your hard work!!!! I really love reading what you trad you have great taste hon! ^^

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  22. Oh yay! :D Ok ok, so my meaningful comment:

    I want to thank you for the little fashion lessons that you include in some of the chapters. They really help visualize what Han Xin looks like as the emperor. And not must the fashion lessons, but the other little extra things/pictures that you include. Again, they really help with visualizing things. Especially because of this story's setting. Plus, the guy wearing the clothes is so cuteeee

    I also ended up reading that Wikipedia article on the government structure.

    I sometimes wish we could wear historical clothing in today's world without being looked at like weirdos by other people XD I am sooo jealous

    And, I'll have you know that I still haven't voted on the poll X3

    ~Michaela

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  23. But did you notice Han Xin asked him to join him for dinner! :O
    :( I knoow Where is heeee!!!
    Yea! It's so ironic. Murong protected his darling well <3 I don't think any harm would've come to Han Xin if he was brought back to Yan as a prisoner of war/slave but :( what can we do now T_T
    Welcome <3 and thank you for the support!

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  24. <3 You're welcome :D I do spend lots of time looking for those things in case anyone's interested. And of course, I'd be happy to explain things in more detail if needed :)))
    Hahahha! We could! It's called cosplay! XDDDD
    >_< It's okay~ it's opened until the end so...maybe you'll have a change of hearts some time from now until then :O

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  25. True, there is cosplay. But I meant wearing them as a normal outfit. Imagine going grocery shopping in clothes like that, hahaha.

    Make a fashion statement ;D

    What if one day, these clothes just appeared on the runway?

    Oh, but what do they wear when it's colder out? :O Any furs?

    ~Michaela

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  26. Hahahha XDD It'd get dirty so fast though! Especially the female dresses.
    Well, I've seen some on the red carpet that incorporated elements of traditional clothing :O
    Lots of fur!!! Rich people could afford robes/capes made entirely out of fur. Fox, tiger, lamb/sheep/goat (there's no diff between these in chinese so idk XD) were commonly used but marten is definitely the most popular and expensive!

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  27. Asking meaningful comments for extra chapters? Ahahaha. I can almost see long posts ahead!
    When Hanxin got attacked I was like yay~! An oppurtunity for Heng to see the jade token! But noooo~ he only took the outer robe off! And hey i've never pegged Heng to be that forward like Wangshu did. Stripping Hanxin. So I was hoping for this kind of moment to appear. But nooooo...
    When Heng said he needed time most... And hanxin going about how he'd become cold. Does that kind of feel like a foreshadowingto you? Coz it does to me. Or maybe im just hoping it is. Ergh. I really kinda want to see hanxin going for underhanded methods in order to gain time! Like taking advantage of the token and Murong's affection!
    And that Yuwen Yuan! He popped up again! I hope the next time he does is when he gets hacked to pieces! Preferrably by Marshall Hang!
    Argh! I need to chill. So imma go dash to the poll section.
    I've prayed. You've heard. And granted! You certainly are the greatest!

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  28. Omigosh, those dresses are so pretty! I would die for one of those!!! XD

    Hahaha, I guess the clothes would get dirty. If they made them machine washable, though, all things would be good, right? It would be a lot easier to keep clean.

    All that fur, so lucky! I know that fur can still be worn today in colder weather, but I live in Arizona. The winters here don't get cold enough to wear fancy winter clothing. I would totally wear a fur coat (well, I guess not one made out of real fur, but fake fur) but it's just so unnecessary :P Like this year, I couldn't wear most of my winter wardrobe! It hardly got cold enough for things like trench coats and fur boots.

    ~Michaela

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  29. >_< Why do so many people like seeing Han Xin get hurt? (I do, too, don't get me wrong!)
    D: I didn't see the stripping part as a sexual thing at all! Maybe my fu-level isn't high enough yet?!?! :O
    Maybe it is foreshadowing, maybe it isnt Ouo only time will tell hehe. But really, I don't think Han Xin wants to see Murong right now >_< Remember he had that vision where Murong Yu was accusing him (with his eyes) of betrayal :( I don't think Han Xin is ready to face that (possible) accusal. Or should I say he feels too guilty to.
    XDDDD There's no love for Yuwen Yuan! Bahaha.
    <3 You're awesome too~

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  30. Hehe women's clothing has so much more variety than men's! It's crazy hahaha.
    Lol, imagine how much labour was put into cleaning each noblelady's dresses everyday XDDD they often changed many outfits in one day too! Poor servants XD
    Yeah, back then there were still animals running around for people to hunt! D; Plus only rich people could afford it (rich people<1% of population)
    Oh wow it must be super warm! I'm in Canada and we barely got snow this year QAQ global warming is getting more and more serious!!!

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  31. Those servants must have been real experts with clothing, though :O They had to know how to style everything, right? To make sure the complete ensemble of the outfit looked good.

    Did the ladies have all sorts of things that they wore in their hair?

    Oh wow! I've been thinking the same thing about global warming. Not only was the winter in Arizona not really cold, but it was also short. It's already getting really hot here, which isn't a good sign. It means that when summer actually comes around, it's going to be REALLY hot. Not good. It usually starts warming up in May, but I was already wearing shorts back in March

    We're all going to have to walk around naked to stay cool (just kidding, just kidding).

    What is this snow you speak of?!!!! XD Hahaha, only joking.

    Barely any snow? :O That's really surprising

    ~Michaela

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  32. >_< Yeahhh so servants that had better style or whatever often were more preferred by their masters. As for the ones in the palace, all of the outfits are practically set (like uniforms) so they can only change small things like jewelry, perfume, make up, shoes, etc, so they had to be really smart and please those royalty and nobles. Like this lady in this chapter, many were used as chess pieces by the royalty/officials/etc to achieve certain goals. (more about this next chapter!)
    Oh my, sounds tropical almost! Yeah I live in Vancouver which is the warmest city in Canada in the winter to begin with v___v We used to get two-three feet of snow at least when I was young. This year it only snowed for like one morning. T___T and I wasn't even in town to see it!!!
    Oh hair stuff >A< That's a whooole other story. I'll add some typical ones. There are the kind that actually do something (hold hair in place) and ones for decoration purposes only. Then there are generally two types: one that is basically a stick/pin and it might be made of diff material and have diff jewels/stones mounted on it; one that is basically the previous one + something dangling from the end. (see pics)

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  33. I've always wondered how it was even possible that those stick looking hair accessories could hold the hair in place like that. What if you had a lot of hair, or it was really thick? XD

    Oh gosh, I wonder what washing your hair back then was like.

    And oh noooo, you weren't even there to see the snow? ): So for you, it's like it hasn't snowed at all. I've only seen snow on T.V. and I think in Flagstaff when I was little (Flagstaff can get so cold, like holy crap X3 Not as cold as other places, though. But to me, it's pretty cold)

    ~Michaela

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  34. Senpai ur rambling.. Aren't you adoorable~
    And hey. Sadistic people usually goes for the pure and sensitive types coz teasing them is what makes it fun! And I believe senpai has exhibited these 2 characteristic already... Hmm...
    I'll be on the lookout for any more masochistic tendencies. Cos you might not be an M. Yet.

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  35. Murong Yu where are you?!? Despite everything they still think of each other :*( There better be a reunion soon! I want to see how Murong reacts when he finds out Xin became emperor. Would he really feel betrayed or would he be able to understand Xin's situation and sense of duty to his country? It was interesting to see the story from Murong's POV in the extra chapter.

    Marshal Heng might be there for Xin right now but I think Murong would do so much more to protect Xin if he were beside him.

    Thanks for the release!

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  36. Cos everyone loves heartbreaking scenes that why!
    I've been seeing Heng to be the type to knock on your door and when you open it, he slams it at your face! Cos even if you opened it you really don't want him in. He'll push Hanxin but I don't think he'll really cross the line.
    Yeah... Hanxin really doesn't want to but the recent chapters centers around wants and necessity.
    I remember you saying that Hanxin thought that Murong might not be a good person. So something might have to happen for him to think that. So if he thinks that eventually he will be forced to 'betray' him because its necessary and it leaves him no choice. Yep. I really am going for that to happen. Cos its gonna be heartbreakinnnggg~

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  37. XD There are tutorials on youtube if you're curious! hahaha. it's pretty mind-blowing tho I gotta admit. Being a dude, I cant imagine either!
    Ok, I might be wrong but I think they had soap and stuff to wash their hair. Both women and men had long hair so everyone took good care of their hair XD They didnt have any mass-produced, chemical-ridden stuff back then so I assume it's just soap and oils? Rich people had bath tubs to bathe in but poor people had to wash out of a bucket (crouch beside the bucket and use their hand to spoon the water out). It took hours to get a bath ready unless the household had multiple stoves to heat water at the same time. Some people even have servants to help bathe (Am I going off topic? XD)
    Yeah :( I just saw my friends' statuses on fb. Flagstaff gets pretty cold D: The lowest we get in Vancouver is like -5 XD and when it does get that low everyone freaks out like the world's gonna end. We freak out when it snows too :3 it's so funny cuz in Toronto they would have like 5 feet of snow and people would still go to school and work XDDD

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  38. ayszhang: TAT Muronggggggg everyone's asking for youuuuu. When are you going to come see Han Xin?
    Murong: I had sent scouts to the Rui capital to find Han Xin and kidnap *ahem* fetch him but I have not heard anything from them. I fear they have been exposed and eliminated by Rui forces.
    ayszhang: So does that mean you're going to go yourself?
    Murong: I am afraid so. With my duties as Prince Royal, I must conquer Rui for my father. I only pray he is not in the capital but somewhere far and safe.
    ayszhang: So could you tell me when this will happen? The readers are becoming more impatient.
    Murong: Yuwen Yuan is on his way leading the Lupine Blood Mounts southward. The rest of my army will arrive in about eight days time.
    ayszhang: And-
    Murong: Just because you are the translator does not mean I will tolerate you. Now begone!
    ayszhang catapults into the air *wheeeee*

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  39. Omg hahahahha Yeah I could totally see that happening. Hmmm >u> you are pretty good with predictions...
    That's true! He doesnt want to but circumstances may force him to do so nonetheless.
    Yeah, it's this chapter I think. "He wouldn't just send his people to look for me." I bet in Han Xin's mind, he was looking forward to Murong searching for him and was even happy or excited, but when he thought about it and asked the spy about the city's defense, he realised Murong couldn't have done it just for him...>_< This doesn't make Murong a bad person per se but it shows Murong isn't just a love-crazed prince.

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  40. If it took that long to bathe myself, I think I would get impatient and would skip bath time XD Like "Screw that!" Ahaha, then be all smelly.

    Speaking of smelly, I guess they didn't really have deodorant. They would've had to use perfumes then, but what about the guys? Did they use perfumes? I feel like perfume is only a girl thing

    No snow-in days for you guys? :O

    ~Michaela

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  41. Really liked that line. It says so much about what kind of person Murong is.
    I was trying to figure out why Murong couldn't understand Hanxin. Well, other than Hanxin is a lot more clever than he is. This chapter got me thinking that its because murong is led by his wants. Ang hanxin is by necessity. The same with heng. So heng and xin are more alike. And although murong' not essentially bad he is a bit because it was never necessary for him to invade Rui. So question is... Will he back down? If he finds out that hanxin will opt for dying along the capital. But can't imagine him doing that. More like he's still gonna go through i while trying to keep hanxin alive as well. He does have that noncompromising air about him. Not willing to give up on either things. Oh wait... Maybe thats why hanxin thinks he's bad... Hmmnnn... Damn. I said i wouldn't do this anymore! Argh.... So frustrating! And sort of fun. Arggghhh..

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  42. Yeah, same. That's why I kinda gave it away in a previous chapter XDD
    Woooow! OuOb that's a really good analysis!!! I never thought about it in that way >///< You readers are so awesommmmmme!!! <3~~~
    I agree. Judging from his personality, he probably won't back down easily. But ofc when love is brought into the equation it's a different story! ;)
    It's so fun! 8DDD I welcome more of these analysis <3

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  43. Smelly Michaela hehehe.
    Um, actually, I don't think East Asians use deodorant/antiperspirant to begin with. We just don't sweat as much as Caucasians >< so it was never invented? Deodorant/antiperspirant was introduced quite recently and even then, it's always hiding in the back of the bottom shelf at shops XD
    Perfumes, I think, was a girl thing and more specifically a girl who wanted to seduce a man. Lol. So normally married woman wouldn't use any or only use light fragrances. Strong perfumes are associated with prostitutes ><
    Nope! And by the looks of it, we won't be getting enough snow to build snowmans soon T^T

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  44. I really like Ancient clothings,that's why I am interested in this chap. too. :) But to think Xin will be hurt again and by a girl, that surprised me the moat. Because in previous chapters it is obviously men and I don't know if I would laugh or not but the author really loves to hurt Xin in a very brutal manner. :p He's the emperor already and truth be told, Xin was right that there are still so many factions who hates his ruling because of course their previous benefits and schemes would be put on hold,and their heads and families is also in danger as well. I believe in the next chap. the girl will totally reveal who the perpetrator and other accomplices too, I'm sensing a torture scene on her because Xin somehow did say so. I actually didn't see Heng removing the clothing in a sexual way, he just got there at the righ time to see his wounds,just that. I think he likes to tease but if Xin is already in danger he won't fool around and fulfill his duty as a Gen., he is very serious in his ways as a military man. I just kind of loving the melancholy Xin having for Murong. Despite he circumstances, he is still longing for him I feel Yu, will be very heartbroken about the truth because he sees Xin as a carefree man and if ever they meet in the next chap. he'll be reaally shock about Xin becoming emperor. But he has also a high sense of honor and duty so the watr will continue no matter what. I think he'll take back Xin but I don't know what kind of plqn he'll do.. and Yuwen Yuan will do the brainwashing on the side as well. saying they should have killed or shackled Xin as a prisoner before it has come this mess. like that. :p

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  45. So conflicted... (」゜ロ゜)」 I voted Murong, but I don't dislike Heng. Only time will tell I guess.



    Also, my heart feels slightly sad with every chapter because Xin is changing into this different (cold) person. I know he has to steel himself because of reasons but still~ >_<


    Thanks so much for your weekly dedication with this project!!!

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  46. I've noticed you kept saying that murong might change cos he loves hanxin. Hmmm... I could certainly go with that. The author see.ms to like doing a 180 on the characters. Like initially Hengziyu was a bit of a prick then he became a nice guy. Then the empress was totally hateful but you said that if her backstory comes out she will be seen as pitiful. Hanxin was sort of a lackadaisythen he became cold and serious. So... Base on this pattern murong might reconsider after being so singleminded... Oh damn. Anther very unpleasant thought comes to mind. Yuwen yuan's an ass does that mean he might become bearable. Urgh! Banish that thought! And banish that man as well!

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  47. Where is the threesome option for the poll?

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  48. yeah, I really don't dislike the guy but I already voted though. :))

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  49. TUT You must choose between the two...
    (Would someone like to write a fic for the threesome???? :OOO)

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  50. I know it's conflicting >:) which is why I asked hehehehe
    Yes :( Han Xin must act accordingly or else he would stay a puppet emperor
    You're welcome <3~

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  51. Was kinda tired and not very excited when I clicked on this chapter, but the story pulled me right in again without thinking about my dry eyes orz
    I can't help but feel that Murong would kill Heng Ziyu since he is the enemy and sort of a love rival too, but I also think that there's a possibility that Murong would slaughter Xin if he thinks that it was all a lie. Before, I was quite eager to have them meet once more. Not too sure about that now though. I can't see them having a fyjt ending('marriage' between the kings) and the other options are pretty sad so I would rather not go to that part yet.

    Thanks for the translations! You make me regret not having read much Chinese books when I was younger.. My Chinese would have probably been loads better if I did. But naggy patents only made me hate the culture and language than encouraged me on getting my A's. Orz

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  52. ooooh first of all thanks for the long, thought-out comment <3
    >_< This author likes to torture everyone, especially the readers! (And me, the translator, who must live and breathe every word she wrote!!)
    Yeah, I agree Heng is a serious, proper soldier haha buuuut he might have looked back at this and thought "Well shit, I should've taken the opportunity to take more off" ;DDDD jkjk
    I remember I read somewhere that pain is beautiful, and I guess you don't need to be into S&M to appreciate the beauty. Han Xin really fell in love (but he realised it a bit too late! :( ) with Murong Yu. Theres a huge conflict going on within him too. He knows Murong is his enemy but he is the emperor. What is he going to do? Fight his love? :( it appears there's no other way....T_T
    Hahahhaa, everyone is saying Yuwen Yuan is the antagonist XDDDD
    BUT you do have a point. It wouldn't have happened if Han Xin was taken as prisoner :P

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  53. Awww <3 Thank you for bearing with the dry eyes <3 *smooches*
    Yeah, if Murong had a chance, I think so too. (especially if he found out how Heng Ziyu has been teasing Han Xin XD)
    D: Do you really think so? /_; I would like to think he wouldnt do that but...who knows! D:
    Well, there is marriage at the end...but it's not between Murong and Han D:
    You're welcome :D I totally get your pain. I actually was in the same position (I was at a point where I spoke English to my parents and they spoke Chinese to me) but my mom sent me back to China for middle school sooo yeaaaa. Now I'm here XD

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  54. Yeaaa it's what I want to believe in (these were my thoughts when I read this book for the first time...cuz u know I already know the ending and stuff >.<)
    Oh my so much hate for Yuwen rofl!
    You're right omg o_o so many 180s.......
    The author just likes playing with us, doesn't she ._____.

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  55. You are soooo badddd... I've known that you've read it and its making me sooo envious!
    Yuwen yuan didn't exactly make it hard to hate him... He did went physical with hanxin. And that was his official intoduction in the novel.
    I'm kinda hearing talk about death, henziyu and endings.... I better check it out.

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  56. Thank you for the constant update!!!
    I dont know what to say*_*
    The story makes me wanna go study chinese right now and finish the whole storyyyy!but d*mn it would take alot of time,so I'll just wait for ur updates and send u my heartwarming thanks:)

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  57. Thank you *mwah*
    Yeahhh...especially if you study modern chinese...it won't help too much with this story >_<
    <3 You're welcome! I will try to finish asap~

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  58. Ayszhang mentioned before that there will be an extra chapter about Hengziyu, one that might let you see how much he cares about hanxin. Initially I thought that to make it that kinda chapter Hengziyu will have to die or Hanxin will, leaving Hengziyu to take care of the last royals sent away.
    But i don't really know what to think now...
    Hello there! I hope you don't mind my butting in the convo... ^ ^

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  59. Oh yeahh...that's true OuO But Han Xin beat him so I didn't see him as much of a threat u know what i mean XD
    OAO death?!

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  60. Hmm, that poll... I voted for Murong, but I did so with lukewarm feelings. I like stubborn characters like Heng, and his interactions with Han Xin are pretty interesting. The only problem is, as a reader, I've already experienced the intense dynamic Murong and Han Xin have ( though I liked it better when Han was still treated as a prisoner.) It's hard to abandon their odd chemistry. I do think that if, say, the story had started at the point where Han Xin became the emperor- or if the story was narrated by Heng instead- I would definitely be more drawn to the other couple. Heng seems like he could easily get under Han Xin's skin, and I don't exactly want that to be wasted potential.

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  61. :o you guys pay attention to everything I say, don't you! Note to self: I better watch my mouth(fingers) from now on...
    No, no, we don't mind <3

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  62. It's okay :3 there'll be chances to change the vote if you ever feel like Heng deserves it.
    Yeah, I totally get you. I didn't like, actually almost hated, Heng when I read this the first time. I was like, why are you annoying Han XIn, can't you see he has someone else in his heart?!?!?! Keep your hands to yourself D:< (starts spazzing about how Murong and Han are meant to be, etc). But this time around, as a translator, I feel Han Xin might feel a lot more towards him than meets the eye >u> but maybe you won't feel that until Heng's extra comes along...

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  63. Still, I wonder if the perfumes even smelled that good XD Where plants/flowers/fruits used to make perfumes back in those times? All natural I suppose ;3

    Ok, here's another question that popped in my mind: Did the ladies have some form of nail polish back then? I'm assuming they had makeup too, but I wasn't sure if nail polish would have been a thing at the time

    No snowman building? That's just not fair :O Noooo

    ~Michaela

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  64. Poor Han Xin...just curses at everything in the palace.
    So much displeasure but it's funny.


    Thank you!

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  65. ...ahh...I can only see this ending in pain and regret.

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  66. wnet physical with Han Xin !!!!!!
    ohhhhh, you'll totally kill me my kohai if you know what i imagined when i read 'physical' !
    *hits table* UNACCEPTABLE ! i will not accept a third party here, it's enoght being hard to choose, i mean if he turns to be the sadistic one here i woon't be able to hate him....
    *stops typing, opens head, gets mind out throws it in the trash*
    nooo worries guys, i already got rid of myself.. *seddenly fals dead*


    -END OF COMMENT-






    noooooo wait wait wait, *comes back to life*, i haven't finished yet, i already got a heart attack from that spoiler and now you're telling me death ?!!
    who's gonna die?? Heng Ziyu? Murong Yu?? HAN XIN ????????????????
    *dies for real*

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  67. ahhhh, stop it you guys, you're making me blushh (*≧∀≦*)
    guess i have to be more cautious thennn, *looks right then left* Pheww~ nobody is here, time to run away..
    Suddenly the whole world turns into sadistic people!!!!

    Nii_san surounded by scary people !!
    NOOOOOOOOOOOOO, HEEEEEEEELPP
    *faints*




    ohh good news, i'm not an M yet, according to my kohai, thanks Dr.azir, i'll be more careful from now on

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  68. there's a marriage?? *eyes wide open*
    noo, i can't believe you.. you really want me to die don't you???
    My oh Myyyyy, could it be Murong and his dutches(what's hername again?? i forgot it)
    or is it ..? og no my worst nightmare !!! Han with some women !!! could it be that lady who loves him???
    ohh noooooo TTTTT_TTTTT i can't belive it, i don't women to butt innnnnnnnnnnnnn *waterfall of tears*
    Ok, i'm just thinking it too much but that's the first thing which came in my mind, Murong and Han.. (i didn't think of Heng) sooooooooo i'm still loyal *standing proudly* , guess even though he has been gone for a looong time he's still top 1 after an ofc (maybe i'm just putting Heng as a substittude until he's back.. *gets hit by a trash can* !! what the ..?? OH GOD, Heng's fans are running behind me, ohh why does this always happen to me??? when was this fan club formed?? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH *screaming* they are worse then Xiaoooooooooooo *suddenly a stick hit me and i fall*
    "worse then me, ha??" tuens out to be Xiao ! :"alright, i'll show you who is worst"
    the fan club attacks nii_san and she starts screaming:"nooooooooooo, please Xiao help meeeee, you're the worst !!"
    Xiao super maddened by my words:"i'm the worst?! alright then have fun with them !"
    "but you wanted to be the wrost" unfortuantly he already left! he loft poor nii_san with the angry fans to beat her to death..
    and she dies ... -THE END- )
    woah, writing this made me forget how the mariage problen.. *heart throbbing painfully*


    oh maaan why did i remind myself, it hurts so badd.. *grabs a gun shoots herself and dies*
    THE REAL END-

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  69. I just thought of another questions! :O Hehehe, I have lots of questions.

    So I was wondering, are there people who entertain the emperor? Especially musicians

    This question popped in my head because I was wondering what kind of instruments were played by these musicians X3

    ~Michaela

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  70. i actually had this sudden inspiration of a threesome fanfic when i was at school last week (already thought of before everyone^^) well, if i have time i'll write something about the three, i already have the idea set :)

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  71. Hahaha XD it is so funnyyyy just ranting about everything in his head hahaha

    Welcome :)

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  72. D: so pessimistic

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  73. D: nuuuuhhhh
    I was smiling the whole time until the real end :((((

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  74. >_< you guys are so perverted >///<

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  75. Oh no did I forget to reply to your comment! D: I missed it!

    I wanna see more of the story written from Murong's angle too!!! He's my fave character >///<

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  76. I'm curious as to how many lives nii_san has O_o

    They all die.....






    Because they're human! Duh XDDD but really all three of them die in the end *serious face*

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  77. i am using a new mobile and i find it difficult to use i want to write and comment about this chapter but i will just tq
    xena nais

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  78. That I don't know too much about. They probably made some sort of essense oil-like thing or extract-like thing from flowers! Actually now that I think about it, I think I've seen more scented products than just straight out perfume. I mean, they would have scented lotion, oils, blush, cream, etc and the girls would just slap that stuff on? Im not entirely sure tho.

    Nail polish. They used this plant that had a reddish colour (i believe its a bean of some kind; the chinese name is 豆蔻 which i translated as lacquer) which they used to produce something that functioned as nail polish. There werent many colours to choose from tho hahaha. Other than that, women in the inner palace, the consorts, empress and empress dowager, often wore a sort of ring on their pinky finger that extended out to cover the nail (so it looked like they had a long claw or smthing). This was a symbol of high status because they couldnt do manual work with their pinky like that.

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  79. Normally, outsiders were not allowed in the palace without the emperor's summon. Most concubines/servants were chosen because of connections, appearance and artistic ability. This means there are usually many girls talented in arts, whether visual or performance, to entertain the emperor. If the emperor wants something else, he could summon for example troupes or circuses or bands from outside the palace. There were court musicians but they usually only played during ceremonies and not for casual entertainment. Instruments...oh dear. I think we need an entire post on that. Indeed, traditional chinese han (the most populous ethnicity in china) instruments are quite diff from the western kind. Instruments are usually made of wood or jade. Flutes are the most popular wind instrument; pipa, guzhen and erhu are common strings; percussion are fairly similar: drums and gongs etc. i dont wanna go into tooo much detail D: but you could google those I mentioned and see for yourself. This story doesnt mention too many asides from the flute (xiao) that Han Xin uses.

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  80. Oh no D: is disqus taking too long to load? Sorry :( plz bear with it! Thank you for the commetn! <3

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  81. I've been playing flute for about 6 years and own a dizi :3 I've yet to get myself a xiao. The reed paper I have to put over the mo kong hole of the dizi never sticks!!! Dx I feel like I am wasting precious reed paper

    I'm familar with the erhu and pipa as well (obviously, I cannot play those two XD). I saw Shen Yun back in February, and the erhu and pipa were featured in the orchestra, as well as the suana. It was so cool how western instruments were mixed with Chinese instruments. Being a band nerd, I actually teared up! Especially at hearing the erhu being played live, which was something I was really excited for. The signing was also very beautiful *gets all sparkly eyed*

    Aaaaand, here's another question! X3 I feel like this one could be an entire post as well, hahaha. What kind of food does the emperor eat? :O It'd be fun to visualize what Han Xin's meals look like.

    ~Michaela

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  82. I believe Gong Li wore "claws" like those in Curse of the Golden Flower. I loved her customes for that movie *O* I remember the claws quite clearly in one of the scenes where she has to drink her medicine. She ended up having to hold the cup kind of weird.

    ~Michaela

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  83. Oh woow thats so cool! I was never an instrument person >///< *admires michaela*

    So perhaps you know more about chinese instruments than i do D:

    Oh dear D: food. There used to be certain dishes that only the emperor could eat. I cant think of any off the top of my head but nowadays anyone can eat them obviously. Usually, they could eat whatever they want that wasnt considered "junk food" i guess. There were certain foods that was associated with the commoners so the elite werent supposed to have them. Like smelly tofu or hawthorne kabobs(?) or noodle man (imagine gingerbread man but made like a pancake). They didnt make these foods in the palace so royalty often snuck out to eat them ;D

    Ummm. Asides from eating all sorts of rare, expensive and exotic foods, the emperor could really eat whatever he wanted. He just had to tell the cooking department (yes theres a dept for that especially) what he wants and how he wants it done :3 i could include some pics at a later time >__< im out right now and i dont have anything on my phone

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  84. Omg that movie XD everything was so exaggerated in that movie that i cpuldnt really take the story seriously. I watched it for Jay Chou (my idol *u*)

    But yess those claw thingys haha. Actually the "weird" way of holding it is seen as beautiful @_@ if u watch traditional chinese dance you will notice the women all have their pinkies raised. We call it 蘭花指 literally orchid finger(s) XD

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  85. I guess it was over the top, but I still really liked that movie X3 It's not my favorite, though. My favorite would have to be House of Flying Daggers.

    It was seen as beautiful? :O I must've not payed close enough attention to the dancers in Shen Yun, because I don't think I noticed the pinky thing. I plan on seeing the performance again, so I'll watch closely for those next time.

    I must have been too busy watching the water sleeve dances. Those were the ones I was most excited for, and cried a little for XD

    ~Michaela

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  86. Most of my family is very musical, so I guess it was just passed over to me naturally. I can only play flute, though, and other types of flutes since a lot of the basics are the same. That is, I can only play these different flutes if they are in the key of C and are in treble cleff. There are some flutes in bass cleff and I'm just like "WAT 0_o"

    Chinese instruments are certainly something I can understand a lot more than everything else, hahaha. Though, I still don't think I'm an expert

    Ahh, to be able to ask for anything when you are hungry. So lucky XD I would constantly be asking for a bag of Funyuns

    ~Michaela

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  87. Yes, "femininity" is a word :O :3 I am very familiar with that word because of having to close read and go super in depth with English works in my honors English classes XD

    It's kind of a mouth full for me to say. I almost always mess up when trying to say it

    ~Michaela

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  88. ohhhhhh, well they do look cool anyway, actually our English teacher gave us a project to do and i added China in my project, how cool kong Fu is and i bragged about flying, i actually said that if i was born then and i wasn't an empress (i've got got high ambition XD) i'd like to become a bandit, that's actually because i thought Lu Cang from HHYL was cool, and had a mountain by his name as well as men who he calls brothers, i guess it issn't really that cool in real life ha? *sniff sniff* (dreams wrecked)
    anyway, to the next question, about the phoenex and Dragon thing, is it only for the emperor and empress?? it is, right?? but what's the meaning of it?? i don't really get why..
    oh and another question.. doesn't the empress get jealous?? i mean her man having loootss of concubines and whatever, Oh My God, i'd kill my husband if i were them.. Do emperors HAVE to have concubines?? don't they just get enough with their a wife??
    i just can't take it, too many women, a jealous wife, a jealous concubines aiming for power, on top of that countless enemies from inside and outside the palace!!! if i was an emperor i'd kill myseklf.. it is an unbearble life !!!

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  89. oh and i forgot, before in china they accepted Gayness, right???
    soooo , umm, doesn't the empress get jealous that a MAN gets all of the emperor's attention ?? and Does the emperor HAVE to marry??
    i've never searched about the history of homosexuality, i only passed once by this story called 'the cut sleeve.. something' and it's about this emperor who didn't want to wake his male lover and cut his sleeve because he was sleeping on it.. did their acceptance start then??
    agh, i'm super tired cause it's like 1 AM !!!
    can't help it though, i'm trying to enjoy my weekend to the fullest.. soo i'l be going to sleep now , and maybe i'll come back tomorrow if i have more questions

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  90. I shall, I have read this far and am committed!

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  91. 100 comments please!!! >_< I'm so engrossed with this novel :3 :3

    oh god, I don't know if i'm the only one this weird but, does anyone here ship Han Xin and Heng Ziyu?

    Thanks for translating this awesome novel >_< kya kyaa kya kyaa kyaaa.. damn. I'm being effeminate right now.. =3=

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  92. We're so close to 100 comments! We can do this guys! *fist in the air*

    ~Michaela

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  93. The emperor didn't HAVE to have a lot of concubines but he was expected to leave behind lots of heirs and expand the royal family (to keep it striving, keep in mind the chance of death was a lot higher back then for infants/children. i.e. many kids die before they reach adulthood). So obviously one woman couldn't produce as many heirs as, say, 10 women. So the empress couldn't stop the emperor from impregnating other women and if she doesn't bear a son, her position could be in danger as well! That's the cruel way of inner palace life. If a low-ranking concubine bore a son, she might be promoted to a consort or even royal consort if the emperor liked her/ she has powerful connections, etc.
    As for acceptance...well, I wouldn't say it's the same acceptance as modern day. It was acceptable (people won't arrest u or anything) to hire male prostitutes (some scholars believe this is because female prostitution was banned at one point) and have sexual relationships with males of a lower rank (say a servant, houseboy, etc). However, those prostitutes or servants could not have the same status as their female counterparts, i.e. wife or concubine status. They were closer to sexual companions/toys/slaves. Even if the two men were actually in love, they couldn't be publicly and legally accepted as a couple. As for jealousy of the emperor's male lovers, the empress couldn't really tell the emperor what to do... if he wanted to fuck a guy, she couldn't stop him. Of course, she could do other things to stop him from taking the emperor's love away such as poisoning him, spreading rumours about him, (insert 29309394 scenes from dramas)...
    Haha yeaaa there's that story about the sleeve. I believe the emperor indeed liked his male lover.
    Another thing I must clarify is that there wasnt a clear idea of sexual orientation in China. Homosexual relationships were more of a fad, or a stimulation for rich men. Commoners thought of homosexual relationships as bad and immoral; only the gentry had the time and status to have those relationships. The male prostitutes/lovers were seen as feminine men and were admired for their femininity **** important! Not many records describe these male lovers as "manly"--- they all focus on how feminine they look. I think there are only one or two records expressing appreciation for their masculinity :(
    So perhaps in those rich men's minds, they only saw those men as replacements for women (women with a twist?dick?). Afterwards, homosexuality was shunned in modern china during a period of Mao's rule because there was a movement to remove everything that was considered "old-fashioned" and this included the culture of keeping male lovers. A large part of Chinese culture was lost but thankfully much of it has been preserved and kept alive in Taiwan ^^

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  94. Ah... that does remind me. There was a trend (not a trend, a custom really) of binding feet for women. Small feet are considered beautiful. This again goes back to the fact that those who couldn't bind their feet were those too poor to not walk. What I mean is, those who bound their feet couldn't walk properly so they couldn't do physical labour. Which means, those who didn't bind were labour workers. First, it started off as a fashion sort of thing and then it became a sign of status.
    There are still some women alive now who have bound feet. Some can be quite ugly but when done properly the foot should look like a round bun (kinda like a closed fist?)
    This was a Han custom so the noble women of the Qing Dynasty didn't do it because they were Manchu. Manchu people liked to ride horses and hunt so they couldn't have bound feet XDDD

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  95. Oh oh yes! I was aware of the foot binding (weren't they called lily feet, or something like that?). There's a book I was reading called Snowflower and the Secret Fan (which I never finished because someone else had it on hold at the library, and so I was unable to renew it. It had to be returned ): ), and the main character has her feet bound in the early chapters. It was described in great detail too. I can't remember if the book was written in first person, but it really felt like you were experiencing foot binding with her. It was sad because her younger sister's feet got infected during the binding and died :o

    I think the main character ended up successfully having really small feet

    I need to check out the book again. I never finished it, ugh >.<

    ~Michaela

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  96. i've been reading your translations for quite some time and i'm sorry for being a quiet fan. but i would like to thank you all for translating this (cold sand) and love late for us to enjoy it!
    keep it up! :)

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  97. :D Thank youuuu
    Feel free to drop by and leave more comments <3 Anything is better than nothing~

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  98. \(>u<)/ You made it~ *rushes off to translate to make up for double release*

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  99. Yaaaaaaaaay, we have two releases next week ^^

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  100. thank you for your hard work and for provide us of this fabulous novel

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  101. Ohhhhhhh, no worries, i'm into both sides, i love 'double H' as well as 'Murong Xin'


    *reads ayszhang's comment, looks at the name* "KYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA IT'S HENG ZIYU IT'S HENG ZIYUUUU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    please please please, i'm your no.1 fan please sign this paper, please please please.."

    Heng Ziyu looks at me for a second....






    grabs a gun shoots himself and dies !!!!!!!!!

    nii_san looks at him:" ... hmmmm.. he didn't sing for me... what a letdown ><"




    since i tend to die a lot in my comments, i decided to change a little bit.. and before anyone come to beat as usual i'll just declate that it is alllllll tha crime stories fault, they influence very much!!! (not really, i too love to kill nii_san !)
    we passed 100 comments, poor ayszhang, he'll have to work harder, you better satisfy my reading appetite, cause i'm super hungry

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  102. <3 You're welcome~

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  103. I think you guys will like these two releases....;D

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  104. eff, I like the idea of a 3some ff but I am only good in reading about this kind of setting and not the writing. :))) I lack confidence, there's a possibility that I might for Love Late for that's a modern one. XD I guessed that niisan will have to do it,although I have my ideas in mind. :')

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  105. It really saddens me to know how cruel Han Xin's becoming.I wish I could dislike him, but he's the same person inside. :(

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  106. Omigosh, yay!!!! :O Thank you thank you! *kneels down before you* XD

    I can't wait for these chapters :3 I'm so excited now, hahaha

    ~Michaela

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  107. you should try, it is a first time for me to write womething historican, noo to write something other than horror and mystery, i was never into romance until recently ^^

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  108. Yeah,it's just that the flow of the story is a bit overwhelming. Maybe, I'll try to make it light & easy for starters like me. :3

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  109. i am scared for the next release, what will happen when han xin and murong yu get face to face in the battleground......will han xin die???? am anxious on the ending

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  110. i was planning to write a fic about Han Xin and Murong but in present day :3 kinda like their reincarnation?

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  111. :( I second that. Poor Han Xin *sniffles*

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  112. They won't meet just yet...

    But the second extra is coming soon... ;)

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  113. seems a great idea can't wait to read your fanfic

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  114. oh yeah by the way, i just remembered a question, when the emperoro goes to sleep, would there be someone outside to guerd his room???

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  115. He could really go to sleep whenever he wanted but considering that he must wake up for court at around 6am he probably went to sleep around 10pm? But so far Han Xin hasnt been sleeping much.

    Yes there are always soldiers guarding outside his door. Servants are also standing by to serve him 24/7 :)

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  116. I'm thinking to release one on wed and one on thurs. How does that sound Ouo?

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  117. Yep. I pay a great deal of attention to what you say! I might get hints from it afterall!
    I remember somebody listing down their predictions before and ayzhang saying that 1 or 2 of it were gonna happen anddd.... 1 of those were MurongYu and the duchess getting married!
    what do you think, senpai?

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  118. when I checked the page with the spoilers, there was a comment about how Murong and Hanxin will not end up together but they will sort of be 'together'... hmmm... so that's what it means... together in the afterlife!
    ooops! senpai, don't go ballistic on me!
    I'm laughing my ass off thinking how you might react to this!
    but, really senpai you just love sadistic guys don't you... M alert!
    and speaking of sadistic guys, luxiufer's translating The Fallen Hero right? saw it on the comments some time ago. did you check it out? I know you love HuaHuaYouLong's Jin afterall!

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  119. D: omg you remember that! I cant remember which chapter that was tho...seems like so far ago!

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  120. <u< That's possible too~ And I would hope so too! *u* if not the ending would be too much for me to handle. The "sort of together" I was talking about helps with the ending too. I bawled my eyes out at the ending but when I thought of the "sort of together" bond they had I felt better *sniffles*

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  121. My gosh, there are so many comments on here now that I didn't see your question. Sorry! >.<

    One on Wednesday and the other on Thursday sounds lovely

    Thank you so much! :D <3

    ~Michaela

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  122. woaaaaaaaah, you're soo smart, i should try to be like you (lazyy!) well, i sometimes google what i want to know about china but the verrrrrry loong page makes me not want to even look at it, the only thing i love to be loong is the stories or chapters ^^
    anyway thank you for you're bried explanation i'll be asking you more quetions when i think of them, and never think that i am taking advantage of you or anything (totally taking advantage of you!)
    thaaank you again :)

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  123. Awwe thanks. I just like to read about a lot of stuff and I'm interested in Ancient China anyway so I've done a lot of research about it for fun ^^

    I welcome you to "take advantage of me" ;)

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  124. Alright, let's start 'the taking advantgae of you' class
    a question popped up in mind just now, i read before that chinese clothing (they are called 'Hanfu' right?) have pockets in their sleeves! is that true?? is that why the sleeeves are suuuper loong ?? but if they put something there wouldn't it fall all the way down? it's not like the emperor for example would enter his hand inside there and keeps searching for what ever he put there, it would be embarissing right??


    i'm super boored >< HELP ME ! *tears* how much longer till thursdayy? >< i'm bored !!!!!!!

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  125. Haha it'll be my pleasure :)

    Yes in fact I've written that down in one of my floating footnotes, I believe fairly early in the story. Yes thats why they're so long XD no it's not hard to find things because the pocket is stitched on the sleeve on the inside. Its just like the pockets inside purses u just stick ur hand in along the side and u can get ur stuff.

    Noo ch 28 is gonna be released on wednesday ;D so theres not much longer~

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  126. I guess to you that would be ages ago! I've only really started reading cold sands some time after new year... and read the comments after I had more free time. so it hasn't been long for me. Wow. now that I think about it, I'm relatively a freshie here.

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  127. I went back and checked. It was ch 16 XD
    It's never too late <3~
    ^^ Just making sure you know, there will be a release on wednesday and one on thursday!

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  128. ohh yeaaaah, i remembered now, i read that information here..
    Makes sense, why didn't i think about it??


    and yessssssssssss, tomorrow a release (picture nii_san jumping off the chair screamy YESSSSSS)
    i actually thought of a question this morning at school and i forgot about it ><
    i'll try to remember.. Thank youuu~

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  129. awwwwwwww Han Xing and Murong Yu won't end up together? that's sad, i cried reading the Blind Concubine, dont't make me cry on Cold Sands too.....it seems the fallen hero will become sad story too

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  130. D: awww it's ok~~~

    I'm gonna write a fanfic with HE <3 ive already written an outline of the plot *u*

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