Notice: Sorry for being gone for such a long time ಥ_ಥ I’ve got no excuses for why it took so long. But here it is! This chapter was significantly longer than the other two.
Anyway, enough of the chit-chat here’s A Seductive Gentleman Chapter 3~
Peony and Fu Ling looked at each other in dismay, Fu Ling said, "Shaoshi, perhaps doesn't understand, after entering the palace, if you want to be called upon by the emperor, he must first flip over your plaque *. Apart from this, the concubines within the palace are forbidden to secretly meet with the emperor. The rules in the palace are very strict, there has never been any concubine that have served the emperor without getting called on first. Shaoshi…"
*(TL: In Ancient China, if the emperor wants to spend the night with one of his concubines, then he would be presented with a stack of names on tablets and he would choose which one he wanted to sleep with.)
Ming ChangYan cut her off, "Rules are meant to be broken! I'm going to meet him today so that everyone else gets a chance tomorrow. Come, come, come, my dear Peony, step aside, step aside. If you guys don't take me, then I'll just go myself."
After saying that, his body nimbly got up and walked between Peony and Fu Ling's body. Before the two could react, he slipped on his shoes and began running so fast it looked like he was flying. With a whoosh, his figure disappeared from the doorway of the Bamboo House.
Peony and Fu Ling's complexion changed, and they immediately chased after him.
While running, the two loudly shouted "ShaoShi" and "Miss", never stopping as panic arose within them while they pursued their mistress.
Although Ming ChangYan lost all of his cultivation, he still ran like a wild horse. Uncontrollable. The palace maids that he encountered along the way all hastily moved aside for him to pass through.
After wildly rushing out of the Bamboo House and rotating around 4 to 5 hallways, he entered a stone carved arched doorway. After going through ten doors, the terrain suddenly opens up. Ming ChangYan slowed down his footsteps, and in front of him, he saw an expanse of endless jade-green lotus leaves. The sweet fragrance of the white lotuses hits him in the face, dispelling away the summer heat.
Ming ChangYan promptly moved forward two steps. After crossing the bridge, he noticed there was someone standing on the bridge. The person didn't seem to have had a passing of age party yet*. He had the conduct of a proper man, a splendid-looking face, skin the color of white jade, with his hair tied up with a golden headdress. This person must be one of those immortals.
*(TL: 不到弱冠, bu dao ruo guan, in Ancient China, when a man reached twenty of age, they would hold a ceremony to show that they were adults. Ming ChangYan is basically saying that hot guy on the bridge is not yet ready for that ceremony.)
The person held a jar of fish food on his right hand, while his left hand threw the fish food into the lotus pond. Even after Ming ChangYan hastily burst in, the other person's complexion never changed, his imposing body motionless. His gaze didn't even move an inch from the pond.
After Ming ChangYan hurriedly ran in into this foreign place, he realized his mistake. Not being able to find where the Emperor's bedroom was, Ming ChangYan shamelessly cupped his hands together in greeting and said, "This Young Master, do you perhaps know where the Emperor lives?"
The Young Master, didn't apparently seem to hear him which causes Ming ChangYan to think: Is this man deaf?
"Hey! I'm talking to you, Young Master! Xiao Gege! Little Husband*! How come you're ignoring me? Ey, are you deaf?"
*(TL: 小相公, xiao xian gong, could mean other things but I chose the gayest one, plus it fits the timeline the most.)
At that moment, Fu Ling and Peony managed to finally catch up to him. The two panted heavily, their posture slacking. Looking at Ming ChangYan shamelessly pestering the young man, they once again were frightened and astonished. With a swoosh, their entire complexion turned deathly pale. It seemed that the Heavens were shooting lightning down at them. The two's faces look haggard and withered. In the moment of turmoil, they kneel on the ground and hit their heads on the ground.
"Please spare our lives, Immortal Yun Qing! This Shaoshi just entered the imperial palace and has never met an Immortal before! Even though she provoked this immortal, please spare the Shaoshi!"
While kneeling and hitting their heads on the ground, Fu Ling grabbed the hem of Ming ChangYan's robes, trying to pull him down to kneel with them.
Ming ChangYan thought: Immortal Yun Qing? Why does that name sound so familiar? Could this man be one of the troops that he saw earlier pass through the entrance?
He pretended to be ignorant and said, "Peony, what are you grabbing at my robes for? I already kneeled for him this morning, why do I have to kneel for him again without a good reason to? What? Do you want us to perform the kneeling ritual to become husband and wife and pay respects to his parents while at it*?"
*(TL: It's an old wedding ritual where the bride and groom do three bows, first one for the heavens, second for the family, and the third one for each other. Search it up if you're curious about it.)
After hearing Ming ChangYan shoot his mouth off, not once, but twice offending Immortal YunQing, she was afraid that even dying ten thousand times wouldn't be adequate. She blinked as teardrops flowed down her cheeks. Her body began trembling, trying not to let out a sound, and started crying.
Ming ChangYan seeing Fu Ling cry as if her liver and guts were being cut up, was astonished, and thought: What is this charming youngster's influence? If he really did meet and brought the devil's incarnate, to be born just to die, wouldn't it be a huge misfortune?
Before becoming a cultivator Ming shaoxia was a jack-of-all-trades for a short while. If he couldn't win he fled, if he couldn't flee then he would bow to protect his life. In addition, he could bow and submit, his face sturdy, merciful and flattering words flowed out of him the moment he opened his mouth. No one could ever think that one of JiangHu's most powerful martial artist and gentleman could suck up to people with this much skill.
This is translated by , any other translation of this is stolen work and if you read stolen work, may all your bacon burn
Many people have preposterous reasoning, thinking that when someone becomes a hero, they can also commit treacherous evil-doings. The times are different and so are the situations they're in. Only those who are able to recognize recent trends can be chivalrous heroes.
For the elite Ming ShaoXia—forget about committing evils, he has already dressed up as a woman, what's the worse he could do? Kneel for a child? For a gentleman like him, revenge is a dish best served cold. When he gets a hold of the Immortal Grass and regain his golden core, then he'd come back and settle accounts with him.
Ming ChangYan promptly lifts up his skirt, and humbly knelt down, "Ok, ok, ok. Good JieJie*, there's no need to cry. I spoke without thinking, if you want me to kneel, I'll kneel. I'm kneeling, really kneeling, do you see?"
(TN: Means older sister in Chinese)
That Yun Qing Immortal paused for a second, finished feeding the fish, and finally opened his mouth to speak, "What part of the palace is this person from?"
Peony didn't have much guts, after bowing her head once, she was so frightened that her entire body was shaking. She replied, "In—In the Bamboo House. She just became a ShaoShi today. She was shouting saying she wanted to see the emperor, saying—saying that she was going to find her husband. This servant couldn't stop her in time, allowing her to trespass into the Lotus Terrace. This servant should die a thousand times! A thousand times!"
Yun Qing glanced at her, and said, "No need to meet him. Bring her back."
Fu Ling and Peony while pushing and hauling, dragged Ming ChangYan up from the floor, and hurriedly rushed him out of Lotus Terrace.
After walking approximately 15 minutes, the Lotus Terrace had completely disappeared from the three's line of sight, Ming ChangYan turned to Fu Ling and asked, "Peony, who is that Yun Qing Immortal?"
Peony said, "Yan ShaoShi, I'm Peony, she's Fu Ling."
Ming ChangYan turned around, "Fu Ling, then you answer."
Peony who seemed to have been choked by him, slowly explained, "Immortal Yun Qing is the last blood-related disciple of Chang GuoXiang, and is also called Xiao GuoXiang. Different from other cultivators, Xiao GuoXiang grew up in the palace, his food, clothing, and conduct are equal to that of a prince. The emperor has always been infatuated with the idea of cultivation, resulting in his status within the palace to be extremely high. Forget about a lowly ShaoShi, even an Imperial Concubine has to show him proper courtesy. ShaoShi must remember to never contradict him again like today."
Ming ChangYan said, "I was only asking for directions, how does this count as contradicting him when all I did was ask a question? It's only because you two didn't tell me where the emperor was that I slandered with that, that Yun Qing or whatever!"
Peony covered her mouth, stunned, "How could ShaoShi talk this way."
Ming ChangYan, "It's because you two JieJie look so pretty that I talk this way, if it were others, I wouldn't dare speak to them."
Peony and Fu Ling glanced at each other, grabbed Ming ChangYan's arm and persuaded, "While ShaoShi is in the palace, you must be very careful, especially when it comes to talking. Just now, the way you called us, must not be heard by others and you should never call us by that again. In the palace, you're the mistress, we're the servants. What kind of mistress calls their servants JieJie?"
Ming ChangYan took his hand out from between the two and spurt out a few words of security, "I can walk by myself, no need to trouble these two JieJie."
He asked, "Then doesn't that mean that this Yun Qing Immortal is able to enter harem by himself?"
Fu Ling, "No one else is able to, but he is the only one who has the privilege to do so. The harem is full of womenfolk. Usually, without the consent of the Imperial Bodyguards, going into the palace harem could get your head cut off."
Ming ChangYan thoughtfully nodded his head. Fu Ling, seeing that he was unwilling to be lent a hand for support, thought that her mistress’s temperament was extremely weird. After realizing she was falling behind a few steps, she immediately followed after them and said, "There's still enough time for ShaoShi to return to the harem to freshen up. At around 5-7 pm, all newly entered concubines are to pay a formal visit to the Imperial Concubine Yuan."
Ming ChangYan returned to the Bamboo House together with the other two. While Peony was selecting hairpins and cosmetic powders, the other person already had their eyes closed, sleeping soundly. After they had finished applying makeup on, and only after some pushing did he wake up.
The amount of rouge and face powder Ming ChangYan had brought throughout his life and the number of young ladies that he would give them to were all because they were following a fashion trend. He never thought that one day this kind of cute thing would end up on his face.
Peony said, "Yan ShaoShi. Let us go together with Wang ShaoShi from the western side of the Bamboo House to formally greet Imperial Concubine Yuan."
Wang ShaoShi was born with an egg face and perfect eyebrows, who walked while swinging her hips side to side and had an incomparable flirtatious behavior. Ming ChangYan exited through the door, stepped forward and said, "Wang JieJie, sorry to make you wait."
Wang ShaoShi covered her mouth and delicately smiled, her fan swaying back and forth, "The way you talk is so interesting."
Ming ChangYan smiled, "I have something even more interesting. What kind of perfume does Wang JieJie have on? Just smelling it is intoxicating."
Wang ShaoShi, "That mouth you have says the sweetest things. This is a special perfume from my hometown Yanjing*. If you like it, then I can send someone over later to give you one. But there are so many people that use perfume in the palace, mine isn't all that special compared to others. When that happens, don't regret it."
(TN: Present day Beijing)
Ming ChangYan questioned, "There's a lot of perfumes in the palace? If everyone uses perfumes in the palace, does that mean that the men wear it too? Since Yanjing produces an abundance of perfumes, has Wang JieJie ever smelled a perfume similar to a lotus yet refreshing as winter snow? Just smelling it makes one's heart flutter and the mind unable to calm down."
Wang ShaoShi's blushed, displeasing said, "Where on earth would there be a perfume like that? The effect that you said is no different from the drug that is unrequited love. Please never say those words again."
Ming ChangYan smiled embarrassedly, "I know. Does Wang JieJie know why we're paying respects to Imperial Concubine Yuan instead of the empress?"
Wang ShaoShi whispered, "The empress went to Dahan temple to burn incense and is going to return after half a month. Nowadays, the harem is under Imperial Concubine Yuan's supervision. Let me just say, Imperial Concubine Yuan's is arrogant and bossy, you and me both have to be extremely careful. We mustn't say any nonsense and get on her bad side."
Ming ChangYan absentmindedly nodded his head, "Of course, of course. Throughout my life, I've always hated having to dispute over mindless things."
The number one gentleman, Ming ChangYan, never liked arguing with people. If someone had an objection, he'd fight them. If they still had complaints, then he'd beat them. Until the other party changed their mind. This kind of method worked better than any heavenly elixir. Ming ChangYan knew this after experiencing it many times back in JiangHu.
The two gracefully walked together, passing through two long conjoined corridors. Turning, they entered the Inner Palace. The Inner Palace was splendidly decorated, the soothing sound of water flowing could be heard. Though after walking ahead a few steps, quarreling could be heard from the distance.
Wang ShaoShi frowned, "Who dares to make a racket in ZhaoHe Court?"
Ming ChangYan walked forwards, yet only saw two concubines intertwined in the distance, in the middle of grabbing each other. Yanking at the flowers in their hairs and using their palms to slap at each other. They shouted accusations at towards the other party and began to fight them. Ming ChangYan was scared and surprised at the same time: These two women's bones are different from what I expected! Their posture whilst fighting have surpassed what the human body is capable of! This gentleman can't help but admire them!
The two were lying on the floor when someone said, "Slut!" Another person said, "Foul wrenches! Without even saying three sentences, they already created a more anger some way to let out your rage than yelling at each other. They were trying to reach an agreement, but just when they began to mutually talk, the two began spitting in each other's faces!"
Wang ShaoShi reminded, "You better not mind other people's businesses. It's best to avoid disasters."
Just as her voice fell, within ZhaoHe Court, a palace eunuch shouted loudly, "Who dares disturb the Imperial Concubine dine!"
A moment later, from within ZhaoHe palace came a palace maid. It was Imperial Concubine Yuan's paternal aunt, Aunt Chun. Besides her, there was also an old palace eunuch, surname Li, everyone calls him Li GongGong*. Li GongGong followed behind Aunt Chun and said, "Quickly, pull these two apart!"
(TN: "公公"; means old man, grandpa)
Two palace eunuchs heard the order, their movements nimble and their arm strength strong. While pulling the two apart, the two were still blood-curdling screaming at each other. The old eunuch eccentrically opened his mouth, "Block up their mouths for me, the Imperial Concubine's perfectly good dinner time was ruined by these two who don't seem to understand rules. If you can't block their mouths, then beat their mouths till they can't speak. Anything better than to hear their screeching."
Ming ChangYan's heart jumped up and terrifyingly thought: Such an angry palace eunuch. Such angry women. But to have their mouths beat up till they can't speak over a few words, that Imperial Concubine Yuan sure has the guts to punish someone over selfish reasons.
The two concubine's mouths were beaten by a wooden board until they were drenched with blood. Their saliva mixed in with the blood, making the blood watery; sparsely dripping from the corners of their mouths down on the floor. Aunt Chun sealed her nose, waved her hand and said, "Quick, Quick, Quick! Drag them to the punishment chamber and kill them! Just looking at them makes my eyes hurt."
Ming ChangYan stared blankly while Wan ShaoShi promptly smiled at her and greeted, "Aunt Chun."
Aunt Chun was born with almond-shaped eyes with the inner canthus pointing down and the inner canthus pointing up and a shrewd face, with thin lips. Ming ChangYan saw her raise her head and thought that this Aunt Chun was about to use her nostril to poke him to speak. Luckily this Aunt Chun wasn't born with such a gift, but if she was able to it would be awe-inspiring. She opened her mouth to speak, "You guys must be the new concubines."
Wang ShaoShi smiled, "Aunt Chun, has Imperial Concubine Yuan finished dining? Yan ShaoShi and I are here to pay respects to her."
Aunt Chun adjusted her hairpin, rolled her eyes hauntingly, turned her back to walk back into the Inner Palace and said, "You guys can wait. The Imperial Concubine just sat down to eat. Just having anyone simply coming into the palace is wreaking havoc. Xiao TingZi, keep an eye out these days, don't let any of these bitches enter ZhaoHe Court. As to avoid them disrupting the Imperial Concubine."
Ming ChangYan pulled out half a piece of sweet bun from his bosom, sat on a lump of rock on the floor, and unselfconsciously began eating it, "Wang JieJie, I think this Imperial Concubine Yuan will be eating for a while. Are you hungry? I'll give you half of my bun."
This is translated by , any other translation of this is stolen work and if you read stolen work, may all your bacon burn
Wang ShaoShi rejected his kind offer, giving Ming ChangYan a complex look instead. He was sitting improperly on the ground, and after he finished eating his bun, he went to ZhaoHe Court's carp pond to wash his hands. He found a green foxtail and began teasing a tortoise in the pond.
"Tortoise ah, tortoise. If you want to eat then eat, why must you have me accompany you here? You're really are a bad person."
After listening to the two's conversation, Wang ShaoShi let out a "pfft" and began laughing.
"If it was someone else's crab, then it can tyrannize people all they want. Why is it that you, a tortoise, took on that role instead?" Ming ChangYan reached his hand out and grabbed a small tortoise, turned his upside down, happily smiled and said, "Let's see if you're a male or a female."
Wang ShaoShi in a low voice said, "Is it male or female?"
Ming ChangYan put the green foxtail between his lips, didn't even look and based on its behavior alone exclaimed, "Female."
Wang ShaoShi made an unable to speak gesture, indicating that his words shouldn't be so brash. After finishing paying their respects, they returned to the Bamboo House. Fu Ling went up to Ming ChangYan wanting to help him undress, resulting in him becoming startled, almost jumping three chi* high.
(TN: "尺"; a Chinese foot, one-third of a meter)
"No, no, no. Myself, I can do it myself."
He grabbed his belt, laughed and began to retreat as Peony walked in holding basin of fresh water, "ShaoShi is really strange, everyone else would love to have their servants do everything for them. Yet you seem to think everything of yours is precious, I don't want this, I don't want that. If other people saw this, they'd think that you're disgusted with us two dirtying your stuff."
Ming ChangYan redressed them, "Impossible, you two JieJie are kind, virtuous, and graceful. There's not enough time to list all your good traits, how could I be disgusted."
While speaking, he had already finished dressing behind the screen.
Peony wrung the handkerchief, handed it to Ming ChangYan, and said, "Imperial Concubine Yuan truly is spoiled and arrogant, to have the emperor permit her to have the power to kill other concubines, this is murder!"
Ming ChangYan thought: Turns out that even killing someone has to be reported to the emperor first. If you want to kill, kill, why is there a need to report this to the emperor? That's rather uncanny.
Fu Ling spread out the quilt, straightened her back, "Yan ShaoShi, let me say one thing, your mood is refreshing. You don't treat us like servants, so we will sincerely remind ShaoShi, you mustn't commit an offense towards Imperial Concubine Yuan. Her father is the highest in the five orders of nobility and has the power to overturn society, Zhao HongGuang. Her mother's side of the family is the second most powerful aristocratic families, their clan name Qin. Their emphasis on trading and business led them to power. Often at times, they gang up on merchants and commerce. They truly aren't a force to be reckoned with. You also saw it today, they said they were going to kill those two concubines, and they did. Henceforth, the likelihood of these things will decrease, but you must be careful."
Peony lowered her voice and said, "Nowadays the crown prince has been acting very imminent, the emperor won't allow the eldest prince to become the heir to the throne. Because of this matter, Imperial Concubine Yuan has already killed many people."
Ming ChangYan took a book from within the cupboard and leaned against the bedside.
Peony saw that the book was called《Admonitions for Women》, contently thought: This Yan ShaoShi's way of conduct always seems as if she wanted to escape somewhere. She is extremely free-willed, so reading《Admonitions for Women》might constrain her a little bit.
Ming ChangYan, "No need to worry, I will act appropriately. It's getting late, there's no need for you guys to accompany me to bed. You guys go sleep in the west side room, I'll stay here."
He flipped over a page in his book, on it wrote: How to make love between husband and wife. Look shy and timid. Make faint breaths when doing so. There is ten thousand flirtatious expression that you can wear to appear alluring. It truly is a pleasurable feeling.
Ming ChangYan sighed twice, and with great interest, he raised the lantern and began to attentively read the book.
Before Peony was going to withdraw, saw that he was still reading《Admonitions for Women》, reminded him, "ShaoShi should rest early, if you read too long, it might damage your eyes."
He threw the book aside, blew out the candle, and lied down to sleep.
After two shichen*, he woke up to Wang ShaoShi's screaming. Ming ChangYan was a light sleeper. He was custom to being vigilant even in the evenings. After hearing the noise, Ming ChangYan turned over and rose up out of his bed. Fetching the lantern and his outer clothing, he hurriedly walked towards the West Wing of the Bamboo House.
(TN: two hours in case anyone forgot)
Wang ShaoShi's body was limp from head to toe, her head was covered in sweat and she sat beside a lotus pond. Ming ChangYan shouted, "Peony, help Wang ShaoShi up!"
When Peony and Fu Ling heard the orders, their faces looked like they had both just woken up and had rushed to put on their outer garments. Peony helped the incessantly crying Wang ShaoShi, while Ming ChangYan raised his lantern to look at the closely bunched together lotus on the surface of the lotus pond. His expression worsened.
Wang ShaoShi shrieked, scared and anxious, crawled into Fu Ling's embrace. Peony and Fu Ling looked at the scenery of the lotus pond before them, recoiled while covering their mouths, looking as if they were about to vomit.
Ming ChangYan knitted his eyebrows while lifting his lantern to further examine.
Inside the lotus pond, Aunt Chun's face appeared malevolent, her eyes and mouth opened widely. Her body, which had been soaking in the pond water, was completely swollen while the pond was drenched in blood, which gave off a fishy stench. Ming ChangYan thought that this wasn't the most disgusting part of Aunt Chun death, but instead were the hundreds of needles that were interlaced on her neck. The needles went in from the mouth, went out through the throat and the needles were pierced from inside out. It looked like someone had swallowed hundreds of needles that then impaled outwards. Every needle had thin, scarlet cotton threads tied to them, the threads having been soaked by the blood. The tips of the needles dripped blood, which flowed down the cotton thread and into the lotus pond.
Ming ChangYan reached out his hand and pulled one of the needles out. Wang ShaoShi finally ceased her shrieking and fainted. Peony cried, "ShaoShi! You…you!"
He used the weak fire in his lantern to observe more closely. These black needles were forged from DaYue Nation's black iron and were indeed exactly the same as those he used back in the day, the Moondrop Needle!
This is translated by , any other translation of this is stolen work and if you read stolen work, may all your bacon burn
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