Thursday, June 18, 2015

Cold Sands (Beyond the Frore Dunes) - ch39

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


Cold Sands ch 39





XXXIX A New Era



The Sixth Year of Nan Jing. There has been a lot of snowfall, forming a thick blanket over the dark red dirt. Feathery flakes of snow flutters in the air and the entire world seems to be white. Thick quilts cover the doors and windows of the palace. The maids keep adding beast-shaped coals to the censers around the room. The fire crackles and the warmth entices me to sleep.

I recline on the ta with my chin on my left hand. I yawn carelessly and the maid beside me quickly lowers her head and curls into herself. I frown. I was just yawning. It’s not that scary, is it?

I nod at her and she obediently holds up a cup of tea. Then, she starts massaging my legs. I take a sip and I feel the drowsiness coming back.

Someone starts coughing, not loudly, but I can hear the displeasure. I open my eyes and smile. “Don’t be mad, Master. Go on. I’m listening.”

Master Liao is sitting in the lower seat with a face that says ‘what do I do with you?’

“Your Majesty, even though the Yan have retreated, it would be best if You have a grasp of the situation in Yongjing.”

I shrug. “You have already said what needs to be said. What more could I add?” I say as I hand the cup back to the maid. “Plus, you just came back from over there, you must know more than me.”

He sighs and shows the same frustrated expression as when I used to slack off and try to skip classes. He could still hit my hands with a ruler back then and punish me as much as he wanted but now he can only sigh quietly.

I snicker while he clears his throat.

“Why don’t You take a stab at the current situation in Yan?”

I’m a bit reluctant but I still answer him. “What else is there to say? The eldest prince rushed back at the last minute and foiled the second prince and other princes’ plans. The emperor woke up on his deathbed and gave the eldest prince the power to govern the country in his place.” I take a pause. “Which basically means that the eldest prince is going to be the next emperor.”

Contrary to my retelling the story in a few short words, the reality was much more complicated:

Yongjing fell into a tense, anxious state while Murong Yu was racing nonstop back to Yongjing. The second prince and the right minister had already deployed most of the troops in the capital but made it seem like they hadn’t. The empress ordered the imperial guards to shut the palace gates. They were waiting for Murong Yu to walk into their trap.

Eighty thousand lighthorses and thirty thousand Blood Mounts arrived at Yongjing. Murong Yu proclaimed that the second prince and the right minister were plotting against the crown and threatening the empress in an attempt to take the throne. Although most of the capital’s troops were being forced to obey the right minister, Murong Yu had a strong footing in the army. Many generals laid down their arms after hearing that the eldest prince had returned. The second prince’s shiny, spotless imperial guards were nothing when faced with the bloody, victorious warriors. The left minister’s forces within the palace suddenly moved out. The empress admitted to her crimes. All imperial guards in the palace surrendered.

That night was horrendous. The skies above the towering palaces glowed red from the roaring fires. The palace gates swung open and Murong Yu entered, stepping on the blood running on the ground. The second prince placed all his chips into one last bet and attempted to assassinate his older brother with his personal guards. However, the distance of just a hundred zhang became an uncrossable divide. Deadly arrows shot out from the crooks and corners and his guards used their own bodies as shields to protect him as they pushed forward. The moment the prince drew out his sword, a wolf-tooth white-feathered arrow went straight for him and took his life.

The death of the second prince ended the fight between the princes. The third prince accepted Murong Yu’s conditions and knelt down as his subject. The royal palace’s gates opened wide and the thousands of Blood Mounts surged into the palace in the midst of the faint, early morning rays. Murong Yu was brought to the main palace building by the soldiers and there, the royal families and the officials were awaiting their new ruler under the watch of the soldiers. Some were still unwilling to give up and accused Murong Yu of harming one’s own blood, to which Murong Yu replied with a stack of letters exchanged between the second prince and the enemy state. Instantly, the nobles and officials were silenced.

In his sleeping quarters, the dying emperor opened his eyes and flashed a tired smile at Murong Yu as he handed him the decree he had written previously.

The land that is Great Yan shall welcome its new ruler.

“The prince royal had a private talk with me after the he received the position of acting-emperor.” He chuckles. “He said I know too much and he should not allow me to come back, but he let it go on the account of Your Majesty.”

I press my lips together as a curiously depressing emotion appears for a moment.

“What do you think of this person, Master?”

The smile on his face fades away and is replaced with solemnity. “The prince royal speaks calmly, but his aura is rather fierce and one can feel the thirst for war and strive for success from it. I would think that he will become a great lord.” His tone and expression become harsh as he continues. “However, this person is extremely ambitious and comes from the military. I’m afraid that the world is going to suffer when he becomes emperor.”

I still remember what he had once said.

The throne to an empire—now which man wouldn’t want that?

I sigh out of melancholy but flash a thin smile as I grow sorrowful.

Master Liao’s tone abruptly takes a quick turn. “There is one thing I would like to ask, Your Majesty, and I hope You will be honest with me.”

“Please, Master.”

“The prince royal said to me, ‘I hope His Majesty has not forgotten what he promised.’” His gaze is intense, not giving me room to hide. “If I may ask, what is this promise exactly?”

I cough out of awkwardness as I scream ‘crap!’ in my head. Master Liao has a straightforward temper. He would jump up here and rip me into pieces if he knew the three conditions I have promised to Murong Yu.

“Um, well, it’s okay if you do not know.”

“Your Majesty!” he warns.

No matter what I do or say, I won’t be getting away unscathed today so I can only dismiss the servants and tell him in nervous stutters. As expected, he springs up to his feet and glares angrily at me, flames of fury burning in his eyes.

“Your Majesty, the land of Rui should not be trespassed, not even an inch, by foreign peoples. This is what so many young men have bled and died for! How could You just hand over seven hundred li of land to an outsider?!”

Filled with anguish, I can only pull a bitter smile.

The people all think the Yan army retreated because they were forced to while Master thought we altered the Yan’s plans solely with the disturbance in Yongjing. They would never know that if someone like Murong Yu was angered, the end result would be even more horrifying than a massacre.

I did everything in my power, working within the constraints of each force of power, only hoping to salvage my country.

Giving away seven hundred li of land is going to be an unchangeable flaw in my section of the history books. But I know better than they that Great Rui cannot withstand another hit. She needs time to recover.

Murong Yu still needs to face the many parties within his country. He has too many people to soothe and manage. He won’t have the opportunity to invade again within the next ten years.

Seven hundred li of land for several years of peaceful recovery is more valuable than going insane from fighting back against the Yan army. 

“All that I have learnt was taught by you, Master,” I reply calmly. “You told me, ‘where there is life there is hope.’ I was unwilling to relocate the capital because I wanted to tell them that we cannot be conquered and now I am parting with the country because I want to tell them that we will have the chance to rise again if we endure the present. The two messages do not contradict each other.”

Master Liao watches me steadily while the emotions fluctuate in his eyes.

“They can call me spineless or they can call me weak but the day will come when they understand me.” I let out a deep sigh.

“Your Majesty,” Master Liao lowers his head. “You speak rightly but if we really are to give the land away, the court officials…”

“Sure, I will have to take a few bad words but I’ve had worse. It does not matter.”

He is bowed so low I cannot see his face clearly, so I just let out a scoff. “It’s not just you who are mad. I bet my dad and mom would disown me if they heard of this down there. But, it is impossible to please everybody as the emperor.”

Master Liao raises his head and his expression changes slightly as he gets up from his seat.

I sigh, “I do not wish for Great Rui’s lands to be divided either but what can I do? Between annihilation and resting time, I had no other choice but this. I’ve already done all that I could.”

The hall is eerily silent for a moment.

Master Liao lifts up the train of his robe and kneels down on one knee. “I cannot express my gratitude for Your Majesty’s honesty. ‘Tis an emperor who endures that which others cannot.”

I crack a smile. That is definitely true.

“Ever since Your ascension, I have witnessed You growing day by day and I feel relieved that I have not let down His Lordship’s wishes. I have one favour to beg of You now.”

I nod. “Yes, please, Master.”

“I am reaching old age and Your Majesty does not need my assistance anymore. I beg that You grant my wishes to retire and return home.”

“But I remember you said that you don’t have a home anymore, Master.”

“I beg that You grant the Xiang Lu Academy to me. I will continue being a teacher.”

I’m slightly taken by surprise. Xiang Lu Academy is the most accredited academy aside from the Capital University. I can make a few guesses as to why he would ask for retirement—it’s none other than for those reasons that cannot be spoken of—but why would he ask for the academy?

He looks at me with a smirk. “I think someone needs to teach those academics and students the reason behind Your actions.”

I laugh along and wave my hand. “Granted.”

Master Liao looks back down in contemplation and asks after a while, “What do You want to do with His and Her Lordship’s remains?”

I asked some older servants in the palace,” I answer in a depressed tone. “Mother was buried in a small coffin in the Empress and Cypress Garden in the south of the city. I do not know about Father. Do you?”

He nods solemnly.

“Then I’ll ask that you please retrieve Father’s remains in secret. I will find a good time in the near future to give him a posthumous title and build a temple in his honour. Then we would have one less thing to worry about.”

He kneels down and touches his head to the ground. “You have my gratitude, Your Majesty.”

I proceed to yawn. “This is not all you came for today, right?”

“Two more things.” He continues after a short pause. “First, You are of age to choose an empress and take in consorts.”

I was in the middle of drinking tea when he spoke and I almost spit it out. I take a handkerchief and wipe my mouth. “Master,” I say with a frown. “Those old farts are annoying enough. Why are you nagging at me too?”

He frowns back at me. “You are already twenty-one years old. Commoners this age would have many children already. Furthermore, the royal family is the ruler of this land and Your Majesty taking a wife is for the sake of the land. It symbolises the miracle of birth and is the auspice of the people. The country is currently recovering from chaos. Naming an empress and consorts is a good way to soothe the people.”

Here we go again!

I wave my hand at him to stop. “Master, if you want to lecture me, at least pick something new. Those old farts must have said it a hundred times already. Leading a good example this, fulfilling an emperor’s duty that, blah blah blah.” I get moody as I go on. “According to the ceremonial laws, the emperor takes nine women’s hand in marriage. They just don’t want to see me live long, do they?”

He seems to heave a sigh, looking helpless. “Great Rui’s ceremonial laws state that the emperor must take nine women: one wife, the empress; two concubines, the royal consorts; and each one brings along two accompanying concubines. Your Majesty does not have any wives or concubines as of now, so it must be so.”

I grit my teeth because I just want to turn and escape, not wanting to listen to what he has to say anymore.

“This is Your responsibility, Your Majesty. You must act appropriately.”

“All right, all right, all right!” My head is starting to hurt again. “You just want me to get a wife, right? Let’s at least wait until spring.”

“If You want to marry in spring, we must begin planning and settle on the proper persons now.” He drops his smile and his eyes flash with wariness. “Inside the palace and outside the palace as well, every party must be considered.”

My head is swimming with thoughts and frustration and my heart feels constricted as though an invisible hand is tugging at it.

Marriage, bleh. It’s finally here. I thought I could stall it indefinitely but it seems I have no chance of avoiding it now.

“His and Her Lordship—bless their souls—would be delighted to see Your Majesty marry and bear children, continuing the lineage.”

Annoyed, I interrupt him. “Enough. I got it. Next.”

He watches me for a bit before asking tentatively, “What do You plan to do with regards to the Protector of the Seas?”

I heave a deep breath and lie back down on the ta while rubbing my temple.

“What else? He made the highest contribution during the siege. It’s only natural that I promote him and raise his peerage,” I say as I look right back at him. “I know what he’s thinking and I know what he wants.”

“Although this siege has taken a toll on his power, he is not to be underestimated. It is wise to make preparations now.”

For a moment, I’m not sure what to say. After some contemplation, I tell him, “I have thought about it. I won’t make things sour between us as long as he stay put for two or three years. Raising his peerage and his salary, also those of all of his soldiers, as long as he doesn’t push my limit, I can turn a blind eye.”

He stays quiet so I continue after a while, “If it must be, I won’t hold back. It is not up to me, but Heng Ziyu.” I heave a sigh. “This country cannot take another hit.”

He finally makes a sound, “The army and the officials need to be calmed and soothed after this war. Why don’t You start with the Protector of the Seas? Position and peerage seem rather conventional. If You would like, forming familial bonds through marriage is also an option.”

“Do you mean marrying a princess off to him?” I confirm hesitantly, “There are still two princesses not yet in wedlock. If possible, we can choose one and I will request the empress dowager’s blessings.”

“That is an option, of course. Your Majesty can also take someone’s hand in marriage, especially a daughter of the military. I heard that the Protector of the Sea’s younger sister has not wedded yet,” he speaks calmly.

I’m puzzled for a second but I realize right away. “Now you’re just not playing fair, Master. You set me up.”

“It is commonplace for the ruler and subject to become in-laws. The Protector of the Seas seems to love his sister very much. You must consider everything, Your Majesty.”

I purse my lips as I don’t know what to say.

Of course it’s normal for the emperor to reach an alliance and display friendliness with his subjects through women and marriage. The subject in turn uses this to solidify his family’s power. If she happens to give birth to a prince, then the child becomes another powerful political leverage.

I sigh. “Once a teacher, always a father, Master. Why can’t you be more considerate of my future happiness? Don’t just push whatever you see onto me. I still want to live a long life, okay?”

He stops and frowns at me, but finally turns his head away and sighs.

Not getting married is probably just my wishful thinking. I need to have an empress and consorts and continue the royal lineage so long as I’m still the emperor. Master is right. This is my responsibility. Whether I want to or not, I have to.

What about you, Murong Yu? You have to marry Xiao Qinyun in order to repay the left minister, and you probably have to make her your empress after ascending the throne, right?

Being loyal to one another is just the most beautiful illusion. Not to mention, neither you nor I ever made such pledges anyways.

I let out a deep sigh as my temples start stinging painfully like a spike.

The wisps of pain are slow but strong, turning into a dull ache in the deepest part of my heart.

♚♔

Five days later, the military and civil officials in the capital gather at the Yuanxiao banquet. Many military officials have brought their family. The festivity has cleaned out the gloominess from the war and the capital, after the storm, has begun to return to its original prosperity.

The glazed lanterns light up when night falls, and the banquet begins.

Music fills the hall, sliding between the seats. The opulence of the royal family is apparent. Silk veils and lanterns hang high along the building and corridors, casting fuzzy, enigmatic light and shadows. Maidservants adorned with pearl and jade stand behind the guests, pouring wine with a coy smile. It is a picture of luxury.

I’ve never enjoyed loud and crowded occasions. After drinking all the toasts from my subjects while sitting at the foremost seat, I exit discreetly, leaving them to their fun and games.

Walking down the tiled steps covered by a silk carpet, I notice a brightly lit chamber a little ways off. I can faintly hear music and the shy laughs of girls. I ask Liu An beside me, “What is going on over there?”

“That is Yao Guang Hall. The female family members are there.”

I nod as the winds pick up. I wrap the fox fur cloak tighter around myself and lower my head. I just want to go back as soon as possible. When I reach the corridor in front of the hall, I spot a petit figure looking around.

“Who is it?” I call out.

The person halts and quickly runs over. With the light, I see that it’s a young girl wearing puce coloured palatial attire and dangling trinkets. Her face glows healthily under the hazy lantern light and her eyes are beautiful.

Wearing only thin indoor attire, she seems to be shivering from the night wind. She looks at me with a careful expression, “Excuse me, um, how do I get to Yao Guang Hall? I came out for just a second and now I can’t find my way back.”

Liu An looks like he’s about to scold her but I stop him. Seeing her shivering, I take off my fox fur and put it on her. “Are you a family member attending the banquet?”

She pulls the cloak close and nods. “I came with my brother. He’s in the hall over there.”

I think about it for a bit. She’s probably what she says she is, so I tell her, “Yao Guang Hall is not far from here. I, ahem, I will walk you back.”

She stays still while looking me up and down with her big, round eyes. She sticks her tongue out playfully. “I’m holding you to that.”

She keeps studying me. “Are you a duke?”

I’m not sure how to reply. “Something like that.” She quickly adds, “Then have you seen the emperor?”

Before I can answer, she starts off on her own. “The rumour goes amongst the civilians that the emperor is handsome and talented. He is able as well, able to go up against the enemy army and their marshall. Even the Yan army is afraid of him.”

I find this girl lively and innocent and I start chuckling. “That is because he was lucky.”

She turns around when I say this and glares at me with what appears to be discontentment. “How could you say that about him? He is a hero who can ride into battle and wield his weapon, unlike you who has peerage at such a young age and only lives each day idly, not wanting to better yourself.”

I burst out in laughter and shake my head. This girl really is naive. I wonder whose sister she is. What a funny character.

With that in mind, I tease her, “So, it appears you have fallen for him?”

A red flush appears on her cheeks as she bites her lips. “I haven’t seen him yet. Earlier at the banquet, I heard some noblewomen speaking about him, saying that he’s handsome and he’s a gentleman…” Her voice trails off so that I can barely catch the end.

I fix the cloak for her and tell her quietly, “You should not marry the emperor.”

She looks up with her bottom lip still in her teeth. “Why not?”

“He will have many other women and you will only be one of them. If he does not adore you and have you in his heart, you will just stay in the palace, separated from your family for the rest of your life.” I let out a scoff. “Spending the final days of life and dying alone, is that not–”

“I don’t believe you one bit.” Her brows furrow together.

I chuckle at her reply. She pouts and doesn’t talk to me again. Thankfully, we have arrived at Yao Guang Hall. I stand at the bottom of the stairs and say to her, “You go on inside. I will take my leave.”

She looks back with a confused expression. “You braced the cold wind for so long after letting me wear your cloak. At least warm up inside before you go.”

I shake my head with a smile. “It’s fine. Also, keep in mind what I said earlier.”

I have not yet taken a step when she jumps down the steps and latches on my sleeve. “Wait. Tell me your name.”

I look at the girl in front of me and reach up to fix the cloak. “It’s naught but a chance meeting.”

Before I finish, someone calls out from behind me in a deep voice, “Watch your behaviour, Zixiang.”

Heng Ziyu walks over briskly wearing a light cloak and casual dress with his hair coiffed. It gives a different feel compared to the armour that he usually wears. Bewilderment flashes in his eyes when he spots me and he tries to kneel down to perform the rituals but I stop him with a signal.

The girl calls brightly, “Brother.” I slowly turn to look at her. A-hah, I see.

“So this is your sister, Heng Zixiang. What a rare beauty.” He and I smile at each other as I take back the hand around the cloak collar. His expression returns to normal and he nods. “My sister does not understand the rules of the palace. I ask…to forgive us.”

I ignore the weird emotion in his eyes and flash a smile to the girl. “Your name is Heng Zixiang?”

The girl nods furiously while showing a sweet smile. “Yeah, Brother usually calls me ‘Ah-Yao.’”

I sneak a glance at Heng Ziyu before laughing meaningfully, “Ah-Yao, it’s a nice name.”

Heng Ziyu’s face turns even sourer by the second but I pretend as if I can’t see it. I lean in closer and lift up a strand of her hair. “I am thinking of a folk song,” I say as I sniff it. “The Xiang splish and splash, the Yao ladies twirl and swirl; the beauties await their lovers by the hazy banks.”

Heng Zixiang immediately lowers her head and drops her gaze, and blushes after hearing my words.

I glance at Heng Ziyu from the corner of my eye while smirking. “You are here to pick Your sister up, right, Marshal? I will stop being a bother now. The night is dark and cold. Careful not to let her catch a cold, now.” Then, I let out an ambiguous chuckle as I stride away.

I hear a yelp of surprise from behind me and Heng Zixiang’s soft, shaky voice asking, “Brother…was that His Majesty?”

I chortle. This girl is indeed very interesting.

♚♔

The beginning of April. Spring has brought back hope for the future and the spirits of the people have settled down for now.

I release a decree, changing the era name to Yan Xing, making it the First Year of Yan Xing.

Heng Ziyu is given the title of Duke of Huai Nan. Xu Zheng is given the posthumous title of Marquis of Guang De. The ones who were brave and active in the war out of the remaining officials and soldiers are all promoted and awarded with a large amount of gold and silver.

I deploy twenty-five thousand lighthorses to be stationed south of Rope Hill Creek, across from the Yan soldiers on the other side. I also gather the refugees who have lost their homes due to the war south of Rope Hill Creek and teach them farming techniques to develop the land and recover production.

Master, on the other hand, has secretly transported Father’s remains back to the capital. Father and Mother’s remains are being kept temporarily in the underground hall of the Yi Xin Temple until the appropriate occasion comes along for me to give them posthumous titles. Under my request, Master has not immediately gone to Xiang Lu Academy, but instead returned to Father’s enfeoffment, the County of Feng Hai, to secretly prepare for war.

♚♔

The month of May in the First Year of Yan Xing, the Yan Emperor passed away to heaven. The country mourned. The princes, dukes and the officials cried until the night in Feng Zi Palace and Chong De Hall. The next day, a decree was announced and the prince royal ascended the throne. The Archduke of Zhen Guo, the Left Minister, Xiao Yong, and the Marshal of Jian Wei, Yuwen Yuan were to assist the emperor in governing the country.

Soon after, the new emperor changed the era name to Tian De.

♚♔

Hundreds or thousands of years later, all that will be left in the historical records are a few lines of words like this, erasing the disaster and bloodshed that accompanies every ascension of a new emperor. With the skilled brush of a historian, all that is left is the peace between each word.

I close the official letter from Yan and crack a smile to the kneeling officials below me. “Do not forget, everyone, that this is only the beginning.”

They all raise their heads and look at me with worry.

Holding my smile, I glance at Heng Ziyu. He is now wearing the Nine Ornaments Panlong Regalia stitched with gold befitting of a prince. The air he gives off is mighty and overwhelming, making it hard to look directly at him.

His gaze is not sharp and intrusive but rather dark and bottomless, and on his lips dances a calm and collected smile.

♚♔

The month of September in the First Year of Yan Xing, delegates arrive in the capital from Yan to deliver another official letter requesting the meeting of the emperors of the two countries at the border of Rope Hill Creek to discuss the ownership of the seven hundred li of land.

The letter has caused a controversy in the court when many auditors expressed strong opinions against the emperor personally attending the meeting, but I cast aside all the arguments and make up my mind to go.

Murong Yu, if you dare invite me then I dare accept!


__________________

ayszhang: It's the beginning of the end OAO It's so sad to see that this project will be over soon! My baby has grown up *wipes tears* Ahem. Anyways, I've finished with chapter 41... Then there are the extras after that... Wow, one year has passed really fast huh!

And of course, the author left us at a cliffhanger once again...

Chapter 38
Creative Commons Licence
Cold Sands - English Translation by ayszhang is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

80 comments:

  1. Dammit I thought I was gonna be first Q.Q

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  2. Ah I think if Xin did get married and Murong finds out he'll probably start another war out of spite/anger lol. He seems like the type of guy to say to his lover "I can get married and produce heirs but I'll kill you and all your lovers if you do" XP

    I'm happy that they'll meet again but based on your comments I know nothing good will come of it. I'm already getting a little teary thinking of how sad it'll be.

    And I'm wondering, how does Rui still have so much money to reward everyone and throw lavish banquets after such a devastating war? Guess you can't lose face as royalty and still have to be opulent as always.

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  3. Thank you for update ^_^

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  4. Haha. I like this chapter. how Xin played with HZ's sister was interesting... Can't wait for emperors meeting.

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  5. Close to the end when I'm finally 1st.

    I'll miss and sad at the same time when the story comes to an end.

    LOL! the sentence "emperor takes nine women's hand in marriage. They just don't want to see me live long, Do they? that just crack me up.

    Poor HX, "damn if he do and damn if he don't", no one will leave him alone even his shifu nagging him on a subject that he doesn't like to think about, and I'm pretty sure MY wouldn't like it either on that subject if HX was to given in to the pressure. Maybe MY will give him another condition when he tell MY about it during their private meeting (but knowing him maybe he won't say anything). Private meeting, huh? mmm ~ maybe another heavy & hot session before business.

    Even ZH is jealous of his little sister when he see HX giving her the attention, and in his mind, he was probably hoping that HX wouldn't want anyone for his wife especially his little sister.

    Why do they have to prepare for war? Are they going to be in another war, you think? But, you will mum the words, so no use in me asking.

    Yeah, the author is evil. She always left us with cliffhangers. But then again, AZ, you like to tease us with these cliffhangers too.

    AZ, thanks for the really calm & festive chapter (bring the new era & forget the old, sad, painful & heartbreak era).

    Yeaaaah & hip-hip hooray to AZ for giving us a new series to look forward to after this story end.

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  6. OvOb Congratz on the gold medal haha

    >u> hot and sexy session mmmm

    Well, without giving anything away: I think the logic behind preparing for war is the thirty thousand men that Murong left behind! Don't you think so? Han Xin has to be prepared for anything

    Omg i know. Heng Ziyu is jealous of anyone and everyone!!! XDD even his own dear sister!

    8D I'm looking forward to it too! I started translating it already. It's taking much more effort than any other project I've done D: it's such an "intricate" story (in Dairytea's words). Oh and btw after I finish CS I will start another project as well. I kind of have to do two at the same time 😛

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  7. Aww *pats on head* it's okay~ i love you no matter what place you are 😚

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  8. 😥 I'm sorry for ruining the reading experience... I should have kept my mouth(fingers) shut(off the keyboard).

    Bahahha yeah! I can totally see that XDD obsessive bastard

    Oh about that... The government always has a shit ton of gold/silver because 90% (i might be exaggerating a lil) of the population = farmers whose crops get confiscated by the government. Basically most of the people work their whole lives for nothing and just to keep the royals and affluent alive and happy with their fancy shanigans

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  9. Hahaha yeah XD Heng was super jealous

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  10. waiting for this chapter proved to be worthy . a great chapter indeed. now i'll carry on waiting for the next release (^_^)

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  11. Yeah, I want to say thank-you ahead for the new series that you will be given to us. I likes the stories that you have given us to read. It had every varieties genres: historical, modern, bio, mystery, murder, fantasy, etc... with so many good plots & climaxes.

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  12. No I like spoilers especially if something bad happens haha.

    Yea I suppose the government would always be rich. I think it's just a waste to throw fancy banquets when that money could be used on the poor commoners and refugees at this time. But I guess the politicians and soldiers need to relax and have fun to boost their morale.

    I get a feeling that this peaceful atmosphere won't be lasting long.

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  13. cliffhanger??? what is it? what cliffhanger? they wont end up together? *worry*

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  14. How the author lets us know that they will be meeting but stops there...

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  15. Aww ❤️❤️❤️ You're welcome
    I just translate stuff I find really good OuO I guess I just like a lot of diff genres haha :)




    But idk...how are you guys with incest??? :O

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  16. I spoiled the series for myself. Best friend is Chinese and I made him translate it for me. He was so uncomfortable translating boys love outloud. Ahahahahahahahhahhhahha. Sorry, Shung bao bei. You are truly a good friend.

    I could have asked my 92 year old grandma to do it, but she would die of a heart attack if she knew what I read. I like having her around for at least another 10 years, so no translating for her. (I'm 1/4 Chinese, so no Chinese school for me. Can't read it at all.)

    Heng Ziyu sounds so angry at the fact that he doesn't get a piece of HX. Only Murong Yu and the empress and concubines get to have him.

    The ending was bittersweet. Get ready for kleenex, girls and boys.

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  17. Those first couple paragraphs describing how Murong Yu came back to Yan....like whoa, Dr. Murong is such a bad ass, haha!

    Everyone keeps pushing the marriage issue on Han Xin, poor guy. I'm curious- if Han Xin were to tell them how he's not interested in women...what kind of reaction would he get? Was something like acceptable? I feel like it would be like Hua Hua You Long. Han Xin would just have to produce an heir, but wouldn't necessarily have feelings for his concubines/consorts

    I'm liking Heng Zixiang 😆 Her personality is very different from the other females in the story. She's so adorable! Heng Ziyu must've been so jealous!

    Han Xin definitely has got some complicated love-related relationships. It's not even a love triangle when you factor in the fact that he's supposed to marry nine women...it's like one of those love hexagons or octagons 😂

    Thank you thank you!!! 😘😁

    ~Michaela

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  18. Hope next chap they will have sweet time together ....

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  19. very good with it !!! ; )

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  20. Reading this chapter and knowing that there is few chapters to come after, I fear this story will not have a happy end. Like this kind : "they will marry and have a lot of children". Or at least for the children, not together. I feel I will be hurt in the end. I feel already some kind of melancholy in this story that tightens my heart.

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  21. I feels so bad for your friend (if he hetero) but he sound like a great friend. I wish that I could have a friend like that. My guy friends that I have would tell me to go & die, and my girl friends are not into BL and would give me very hard times if I was to ask for translation.

    As for your grand, it is a good thing that you didn't ask; otherwise, maybe she would let your parents have it.

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  22. It isn't that HX has no interest in women; in the early chapters he mentioned he has fooled around and he also was very tempted by the female prostitute. It is just that now that he knows what love is, he prefers to only experience that. He wants to be with his loved one.


    When you are in love, you want to be with your lover after all, not with other people ^^ Though you have exceptions who find it hard to be faithful.

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  23. D: thanks for not writing spoilers ; u ;

    <3 yeah I would agree it's bittersweet tho

    Haha <3 #chinesepride
    And props to your guy friend! I wonder what his orientation is 😛 I'm bi

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  24. 😂😂😂 you say that like there are a lot of female characters! Well, it's pretty common for BL stories so :p

    Yeahhhhh!!! DR MURONG IS A BEAST!

    Bahaha well, most of the time the emperor and his empress/consorts have no love. It's all just political

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  25. Totally agreed 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼
    A cliché line: I'm not gay I just like ____.
    I guess Han Xin is bi then? :) he just happens to love a man

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  26. They will!!!! Have faith!!! 😋

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  27. Thanks for the chapter :) It is nice to see HX just have some fun and not be all tormented and broody all the time.

    The text says 'young girl'..how old is the younger sister? 16? 14? And this
    chapter answered my questions about why a emperor would have so many
    concubines. I would only see it as a waste of resources x) But if you have to
    obtain a certain number of women to show off your virility and all that jazz, it
    makes sense. Otherwise I am sure there would probably be emperors before HX who would say 9 is too much..8 is better :P

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  28. When don't they? :P When I read that HX wanted to meet up with him again, I was thinking, 'Not again?!'. Having sexy time (we all know that will happen) with a person you can't be with just prolongs the sorrow, pain..and body markings.

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  29. Yeah, at chapter 6, when HX was a pow and he thought MY was bi and just needed a release, HX suggested a male brothel. He described that they have all sorts of men there and that he will hook him up with discount.

    This could mean that HX has played around with guys as well. Or it simply means he happens to know about it because it is a 'department' within a famous brothel he has probably visited often enough to be able to get MY a discount by connection alone.

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  30. That last comment is so random xD It is like when you are just chatting and laughing with someone and a comfortable silence falls. Then suddenly that guy bends towards you and whispers in your ear, 'Idk, but how are you with crystal meth?' x)

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  31. it's always wort it to wait for new chapter.. thank you so much aysz

    one more week to go *cry heavily

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  32. As long as it is just a fictional world (in words of story) only, then I'm okay with it. It is better than furies (at least to me). I have already read a lots works in that genre. Have you read an oldie entitled "Flower in the Attic"? It is in that genre but it is really very sad story.

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  33. Haha, true. There haven't been that many female characters...either way, I really like Heng Zixiang 😆 The adorableness is too much to handle!

    I was kinda jealous that Han Xin gave her his fox coat. I was like "Nooo, I want itttt!" 😣

    And it's even cuter that Heng Ziyu cares so much for her. It's like there's this secret side of him 😚

    Anyway, I can't help thinking Han Xin will take Heng Ziyu to be one of the nine women. I can't even imagine how Heng Ziyu would react! Would it be anything like when he was interrogating Han Xin when he came back from the Yan camp?

    Super jealous lover-like? 😁

    Murong Yu could be one of those action heroes in Hollywood movies. There's explosions all around him, bullets flying everywhere, but none of them even touch him

    "H-how is he doing that?!"

    Murong Yu: "I took Badassery 101 and have a PHD, prepared to be schooled." 😎

    ~Michaela

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  34. I agree ...couse i sense he kinda like Hz 's sister

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  35. eeeeehh! so happy that they're meeting again! it's been so long! i was kinda worried they might both be married before they met each other again..

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  36. Yay! Things are going well but I feel a bit sorry for the Marshall... he was forced to marry a princess because of Xin. Not that I don't find it amusing. This author is amazing at getting the feelings of the characters across! I re-read all the chapters up to now and I can really see how Han Xin has grown as a character. It is nearly the end and I'll be sad yet happy to read the last bit of the novel. Sad because I love it so much and want it to continue forever and happy because I know that to much of a good thing is a bad thing and that its almost time to leave the audience with the memories of the book. I have a bad feeling about the next chapter though, I doubt that Murong would do anything to hurt Xin such as assassination but other people may have the idea >.<

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  37. BADASSERY 101!!! Noooo Michaela! Dr. Murong got his PHD in BADASSERY!!!! 😂😂😂😂😂


    Did u mean Han Xin will take Heng Zixiang as one of his wives? :3

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  38. XD I honestly think he was kidding. He just wanted to wake Murong up from the lusty rampage. Think about it, he was brought to the Yan camp (enemy territory) so he couldn't possibly have known that there was a brothel there let alone a male one where he could get a discount! 😂

    As for sexuality in Ancient China, I know after Confucianism set in, the bonding between man and wife was kind of the basis of establishment. Other than that the man could have concubines and concubinus(male) if they want. Only the wife had rights and the offspring of concubines had to call the wife mom instead of their real mom. Concubinus had no security whatsoever they were basically like sex toys that the man could discard of at any moment (they could discard concubines whenever too but at least they had some say if they bore a son). Having homosexual sex was something along the lines of a fetish that mostly rich people engaged in. It became really popular at one time because the government banned female prostitution...so they turned to male ones XDDD

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  39. That's a legitimate comparison 😁

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  40. I haven't read that :/

    But this book is written really down-to-earthly that you won't even think it's wrong or immoral D: which is the beauty of it i think

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  41. XDDDD I think 14-16 sounds about right. Most girls get married (or start looking) soon after they get their first period.


    Haha yeah! This 9-wife thing was actually used! The author kind of modified certain details but 9 was one of the rules before. And why 9? Because 9 is the best number. Why? Because 9 is the largest single digit number :3

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  42. I would love to read your translation of "Brother" but anything it is fine with me as long as it is not furies. I love to read but just not furies because that genre just turns me off.

    There is another book that is a continuation of "Flower in the Attic" which titled "If There Be Thorn". They are the first books that I ever read in incest about 15 years ago.

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  43. <3 Thank you for supporting us~

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  44. >_< I know~~~ It's gonna be a good chapter!

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  45. What is wrong with me!?!? How could I forget to read the new chapter!? D:
    Well then... let's begin :D

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  46. Marriage! Such pressure >.>
    Oh my, ahahaha, Han Xin's meeting with Heng Ziyu's sister was hilarious for me, and when Heng Ziyu arrived, it was funnier XD
    *happy sigh* That was a nice chapter :3
    Can't wait for the next one~! I'll try not to forget next time XD I really will v.v

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  47. Dx I know~ even Master, the closest thing Han Xin has for a father, is pushing him to get married!
    XDDD Yeah that was a breather after all the killing and stuff
    >o< I'll hold you to that!

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  48. !!!!! Staph tempting me!!! HAHAHAHHA! You're seriously too sweet *nosebleed* I'M NEVA GONNA WASH MY HAIR MWAHAHAHAH ... Jk...maybe xD

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  49. I'm so jealous of dem Chinese skills! I would ask my guy best friend to translate it for me but his Chinese is worse than mine D: Although I did already tell him of my love for Bl ehheheheheheheheh!

    ............

    ....I JUST REALIZED U SAID HIS EMPRESS AND CONCUBINES GET TO HAVE HIM!!!!! GAHHHHH!!!!! (ToT)

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  50. OMG, yes I meant Heng Zixiang 😆😂 Haha, though I'm sure Heng Ziyu wouldn't mind being one of the wives ;D

    ~Michaela

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  51. BAHAHAHAHA omg <3 am I that loved? So much so you won't wash your hair after I've touched it? XDDD

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  52. Nooooo..I want to believe that HX snuck out to find discount whores (with special bright colored stickers and all) x) It should be his special skill (which would no doubt unnerve MY and HZ quite a bit), seen he found himself amongst them again when he was back in the capital ;)

    You're quite knowledgeable about the social and cultural history of China. It is interesting to know more about the norms, values, daily life, social reforms than just ‘this event happened, followed by that event because of..’.

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  53. XDDDD You crack me up every time! I don't know how you do it. It must be the top hat! It's got to be!
    .
    Tehe ;D I lurv history so I've read a lot about it. Good thing with Chinese history is that there are a shit ton of written records and the written system hasn't changed a lot so it's not hard for me to read old texts. The grammar and meaning can be totally different though, so completely understanding it is a challenge but thankfully I've been trained in Classical Chinese too :D
    .
    But yeah :S history can be super dull and dry if taught in a certain way. But if it's incorporated with other things it can be very interesting and thought-provoking

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  54. I once read a summary of Flowers in the Attic (and I think the book after it, when the main character is an adult as well). Not up my street. There are way worse books by now about child abuse (e.g. The Kite Runner), but I am not cool reading about child abuse like that =/ I just take it to heart, way more than I should, because it is about children. Even if it is fiction.

    And what I remember, the incest returns even in adulthood. I take an issue with dysfunctional relationships continuing from an abusive situation :x

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  55. Furries are people who enjoy roleplaying/cosplaying as anthropomorphic animals. It can be simply fandom (kind of like how some people enjoy anime or comic characters), but it can also be sexual.

    I don't think there is published fiction novels about it (unless it is self-published or fanfiction). I have seen comics though. I personally don’t consider it as a
    genre; I use as rule of thumb that if a library it has a specific section on it (thriller, horror, romance, sci-fi, etc.), it is a genre.



    In the case with furry stuff it is just not big and popular enough to warrant a ‘anthropomorphic
    animals’ section.

    You can probably find anthropomorphic animals within other genres (e.g. the Narnia books), but not as a main theme (so not the whole book being about furry characters and setting). Unless it is sexual, then it would fall under the erotica genre (I believe that is what eye44can1 is referring to).

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  56. Ooh furries with double r XD

    Yeah I don't know if that's a genre all by itself. It's more like a ... keyword? Like a specialization almost, within a larger genre

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  57. An interestin book I read two years ago was "The Room". It doesn't involve abuse directly but it's very much about it. It was a very good read because the POV was so new!

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  58. If you read the whole book you would know who lay the blame on. The blame on their incestuous relationship are on their very evil grandma & their stupid, weak & selfish mother. They were in the attic for so long that during their adolescent years of awareness of opposite sex, they have no one else except each other. After they are free from their attic prison, the girl did have normal relationship with other men but didn't last long because you know how that turned out (they all died), but the older boy couldn't get pass of his feeling of love (man for a woman) for his sister to have a normal relationship with other women. Well at least they didn't have any children together.

    The very sad part, that I was referred to, is the life & death of the younger twin who died by rodenticides (rat poison).

    In the second book, the stupid & selfish mom struck again but this time she also is evil.

    When I picked up this book, I didn't read the synopsis of the book and just started reading it & got hooked on it even when I got to the part about their taboo relationship, I couldn't stop reading because I wanted to know the ending.

    If you read some history (especially in Europe), you will see that there are lots of incestuous marriages especially in royalty where they wanted to keep it in the family.

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  59. Mind if I asks you who is the author of "The Room" because I just might pick it up & put in my so many books to read plate that I have by my bedside.

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  60. Yuh I'm your number one *coughstalkercough* ... I mean fan! XD

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  61. Like I wrote, I take issues with dysfunctional relationships that continue from abuse. How the books played out, it seems the author wanted it to make romantic. Not impossible, but considering they were deprived of knowledge, social norms and a normal upbringing, I figured that what the brother did in the first book was simply driven by hormones.



    Btw, did they ever experiment and had any knowledge of sex and their bodies? It seems like you would have to know about that to commit such that act.

    I wouldn’t say it could be real love, when it is born out of such traumatic circumstances. Love you have for a family member getting confused and twisted by not knowing better. There have been real incest cases where a family member was unaware that it was wrong or were siblings. In the first case they would get angry and feel abused. In the case of siblings they would immediately separate and stopped the relationship.

    But I never read the books. So the author might have made it more convincing.

    Yeah, I am aware of the incestuous leanings within the royal families in Europe. It wasn’t as bad as outright brother and sister getting together though. But it was bad enough that it has happened a niece and uncle would get married. At some point
    everybody was indeed someone’s second cousin, great uncle, etc.

    Still don’t like the subject in fiction all that much, even if it is written well. Incest generally involves abuse at some level. And any romance that tries to make abuse seem okay, I am much more a critic of.

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  62. i❤PassionFruitJune 20, 2015 at 4:34 PM

    I like Heng's sister she seems cute and innocent. She reminds me of the main girl in chinese dramas. I was laughing when Heng saw Han Xin and his sister together LOL!!! But i feel kinda bad for Heng 😥

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  63. Oh, thanks for the recommendation :) And curse you *waves fists in fury*, you made my list of books-to-read longer ;_;

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  64. What that actually happens D: I need to stop guessing so weeellllll!!!! I can't read anything but english and some spanish lol

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  65. >A< I will keep my big mouth shut now...

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  66. XD Sadly this is a BL story hahaha
    Yea I know what you mean. It's funny but it's sad at the same time

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  67. I agree 100%. But trust me, "Brother" doesn't include abuse :)

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  68. It's by Emma Donoghue (I might have spelled her last name wrong)

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  69. My friend is bisexual, but he was still so uncomfortable translating naughty stuff. Also, he didn't understand some of the characters. XD I will eventually repay him (maybe...)


    Grandma on the other hand...she is very conservative. If she told my dad (a black Southern Baptist, if any of you are from the USA, you know what I'm talking about. Dad's side is from Bible Belt. Mom's side is from LongHai and Manila), I would be dead. Mom is a bit more understanding (I got her addicted to Kyo Kara Maoh a few years back).


    I come from a strange family... One parent likes BL and the other is super conservative. HHHHHmmmmmmmmm....Guess I take after Mom. BL. Yup. Chinese dramas. Yup. Irrational attraction to pretty boys. Yup.


    Random question, anyone else here mixed race?


    Now that I think about it, Murong Yu is technically mixed as well. Half Rui Half Yan.

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