Ye Bing Shang was lying weakly on the bed.
The winter in Zhou Kingdom was warmer than in the Xia Empire, yet the blood was drained from her face.
Xiao Hui angrily said, “Miss, don’t listen to those gossipy people’s nonsense. His Majesty only has you in his harem, who else could he like if not you? Miss came to the Zhou Kingdom for a virtuous cause1大义 (dàyì) – cardinal principles of righteousness, for your family and country, and they know nothing. They have to look out lest His Majesty slap them when he finds out.”
Ye Bing Shang coughed twice, “Xiao Hui, I’m fine. Go to sleep, it’s already late at night, His Majesty probably won’t come.“
Xiao Hui was just about to speak when she noticed the glazed palace lamps in the hall lighting up one after another.
“Miss, His Majesty came!” Xiao Hui said in surprise.
Ye Bing Shang was stunned. She raised her eyes to look and indeed saw the black-clad youth slowly walking into the palace hall.
Xiao Hui softly said, “His Majesty cares for Miss.” After the truce between the two countries, Tantai Jin didn’t ask for anything but Ye Bing Shang from the Xia Empire.
The following parts of the text will be scrambled to prevent theft from aggregators and unauthorized epub making. Please support our translators by reading on secondlifetranslations (dot) com. If you are currently on the site and and you are seeing this, please clear your cache.
Rv oyp yzalyeu ps zyvl, cwv yp pssd yp bl blyae vbyv Zl Jkdt Fbydt oypd’v qllzkdt olzz, bl kxxlekyvlzu awpble shla.
G ryzynl xyke vssj Mydvyk Kkd’p nzsyj yde Zl Jkdt Fbydt rasrrle wr bla cseu, oydvkdt vs cso vs bkx.
Mydvyk Kkd pyke, “Ls dlle, alpv olzz.”
Mbl kxrlakyz rbupknkyd awpble shla aktbv clbkde bkx yde alkvlayvle Zl Jkdt Fbydt’p nsdekvksd. Mydvyk Kkd zkpvldle lmralppksdzlppzu. Gqvla y zsdt vkxl, bl nyzxzu pyke, “Gzz vbl tsppkrlap byhl clld jkzzle.”
Dkys Twk’p cseu valxczle, dlhla lmrlnvkdt vbyv Tkp Yyflpvu oswze jkzz rlsrzl ekalnvzu.
Zl Jkdt Fbydt’p qynl yzps ryzle. Vlabyrp yqayke sq pnyakdt bla, vbl uswvb’p czynj rwrkzp bye psxl vldeladlpp kd vblx, “Psd’v cl yqayke, R osd’v bwav usw.”
Zl Jkdt Fbydt psqvzu pyke, “Mbkp nsdnwckdl clzklhlp kd Zswa Yyflpvu.”
Fbl zssjle yv bkx elflnvlezu, yp kq pvawttzkdt vs prlyj, yde sdzu yqvla y zsdt vkxl eke pbl xyjl wr bla xkde vs ypj, “Pslp Zswa Yyflpvu…… alyzzu ekpzkjl vbkp nsdnwckdl?”&dcpr;
Tantai Jin gently said, “I don’t. I know your history and appreciate your past kindness. If I really minded, I wouldn’t have asked for you to come.”
Ye Bing Shang’s eyes were brimming with tears, and her hand within the brocade quilt held the youth’s palm.
“But what they said was indeed true. This concubine should’ve hung myself the moment King Xuan died. This concubine has disgraced the Xia Empire and shamed Your Majesty. This concubine is ashamed to stay in the Zhou Kingdom.”
Tantai Jin laughed, “How can you take the words of dead men seriously?”
Ye Bing Shang looked at him with red eyes.
She looked delicate and charming. Tantai Jin was silent for a moment. When he looked into her eyes, a shallow throbbing appeared in his heart, just like a few years ago, and his expression couldn’t help but grow softer as he said, “Sleep, I’ll keep watch over you tonight.”
Ye Bing Shang bit her lip and silently moved inside.
She left a spot for Tantai Jin.
Tantai Jin was silent and lay down with his clothes on.
The maidservants in Ye Bing Shang’s palace were all very sensible, and they quickly retreated once they saw.
Xiao Hui’s face couldn’t help but look happy. Just like I said. How could His Majesty not touch Miss when she’s so beautiful? After tonight, Miss will surely have a status, so she won’t be humiliated by the palace attendants anymore.
Xiao Hui also hurriedly retreated.
The palace attendants only left two dim palace lamps lit. Tantai Jin’s eyes were open and his dark pupils gazed at Ye Bing Shang.
He was born without feelings, and learned proper human relationships from Jing Lan An. However, imitation was still imitation after all. Most of the time, his heart was as cold as a winter pool in the tenth month.
But only when facing the woman in front of him would his heart have a somewhat complicated feeling, like silk reeling from a cocoon.
A blush tinted Ye Bing Shang’s pale face. She lowered her gaze, her temperament still as light as a chrysanthemum, and her fingers slightly trembling as she took off Tantai Jin’s clothes.
“Thank you, Your Majesty, for giving this concubine a place to settle down.”
She had just taken off the youth’s outer clothing when he grasped her hand. Ye Bing Shang looked up, and Tantai Jin smiled and said, “You’re not feeling well, there’s no need to do this. Sleep.”
Ye Bing Shang’s lips quivered. She nodded obediently and went to sleep.
Tantai Jin turned with his back facing her. The smile on his face had disappeared and was replaced with gloom.
He looked indifferent, and his lower body had no reaction.
When he was young, Tantai Jin had wondered if there was something wrong with him. He lived in the filthy harem of Xia Palace, so he understood the love affairs of the world at the age of eleven or twelve.
He’d not only seen the affairs between men and women, but also the filthiness between men and men.
A normal male would’ve had wet dreams when they were at the right age, but he didn’t.
There were also female officials who coveted his appearance and came to seduce him. At that time, he was only thirteen years old, low and degraded, a weak hostage prince, unaware that he could ward off evil spirits.
A female official used drugs, and impatiently pushed him down, panting as she undressed him, “Hostage prince, I’ll make you happy. As long as you taste it once, you’ll never forget it. You can touch anywhere you want……”
Her plump body seemed like a lump of fatty meat to him, making him feel nauseous.
The female official’s hands groped his body, but even after a long time, the small flushed teenager under her didn’t react at all, like a pile of wood.
She lifted the hem of her skirt and ruthlessly spat at him, then kicked him.
He was half naked, hugging himself tightly without saying a word as he listened to her insults.
Nausea slowly rose up. The teenager protected his head, and under his arms, his pitch-black pupils were blinking.
His fingers slightly moved.
The female official’s eyes widened in horror. She wanted to scream, but she couldn’t make a sound.
She watched as the teenager slowly got up from the floor, picked up his clothes and put them on, staring at her expressionlessly. In his eyes, she saw her neck being tightly strangled by a black snake.
Soon, she collapsed to the ground, no longer able to make a sound.
The teenager looked at his hand, seemingly lost in thought.
For Tantai Jin, many things had happened to him over the years. Nothing could frighten him except death, and the reason why he remembered this so well was because it was the first time he was able to summon a demonic creature to kill someone.
Even though it was just a small snake with a muddled consciousness.
The female official’s death was unsightly.
When she was discovered, there were still flies buzzing around her corpse.
I should be scared of being able to summon demons, Tantai Jin thought to himself. He struggled to look like he was frightened, but his eyes couldn’t help but reveal a somewhat wicked smile.
Killing people this way…… is so simple.
As long as I have power, I can be a demon or even a devil. I can be anything.
Any man, learning that he was impotent when he was young, should feel terrible about it. But Tantai Jin didn’t, and he quickly accepted his reality.
Just like when Tantai Minglang wanted to gouge out his eye, he was still very calm after one of his eyes was blinded.
Whether it was his eyes or his lower body, they were just ornaments to him.
But… his dark eyes looked at the flickering candle flame as he rested his head on his arm. His “beloved” was clearly sleeping behind him, but he still didn’t have a reaction.
But a few moments ago, in Chengqian Hall, he clearly……
Tantai Jin raised his hand and coldly touched the scratch on his face.
Su Su tightly closed her legs, her face looked unwell.
Curved Jade asked, “Little Master, what’s wrong with you?”
Su Su said, “Humans have three urges2人有三急 (rén yǒusān jí) – an idiom; It says that humans have three urgencies, namely: urinary urgency, defecatory urgency and farting urgency. There is another saying, but I won’t be putting it here as it’s too long. Feel free to comment below if you want to know more..”
So Curved Jade was anxious along with her, “Tantai Jin hasn’t returned yet, what should we do?”
Su Su gritted her teeth and said, “I really wish I could kill him.”
“Little Master, how about you call out for someone?”
Although Su Su could use the qigong breathing technique3吐纳 (tǔ nà) – a martial art technique/to practice qigong, a system of deep breathing exercises; method: exhaling turbid Qi in the body and inhaling pure Qi to delay her body’s reaction, there were many inconveniences in a mortal body. She held out for a little while then called in a palace maid.
Troubled, the palace maid said, “This maidservant can’t untie the rope on Young Lady’s wrists.”
“Where’s Tantai Jin!”
The palace maid was very frightened to hear his name. Seeing Su Su angrily calling out His Majesty’s name, she fearfully glanced at her, “His Majesty is in Commandery Princess Zhaohua’s palace.”
“What about Nian Muning! Please call Nian Muning over!” Su Su said.
Not long after, Nian Muning entered. The woman who looked as cold as Nian Baiyu glanced at her and frowned impatiently, “Third Lady Ye, what’s the matter with you this time?”
“Untie the weak water rope.”
The young girl in the bed helplessly said, “If you want me to pee on Tantai Jin’s bed, you can just keep watching.”
Nian Muning froze, then after a long moment she said, “What a vulgar remark!”
Su Su: “……”
Although she said so, Nian Muning also realized how embarrassed Su Su was right now. As someone who practiced the ways of Dao and wouldn’t betray Tantai Jin, she naturally knew how to untie the weak water rope.
She made a complicated gesture, her lips slightly moved, the rope at the head of the bed untied itself and Su Su jumped around and ran out.
After a while, Su Su returned and lay back on the bed, letting out a long sigh, it’s so hard to be a human.
Nian Muning re-tied the weak water rope on her.
Su Su didn’t protest and watched as Nian Muning coldly left.
As soon as Nian Muning left, a smile appeared on Su Su’s lips.
Curved Jade said, “Little Master, quickly untie it.”
One could see Su Su’s long and slender fingers casting a few techniques4掐诀 (qiājué) – of a Buddhist monk or Taoist priest) calculate on one’s fingers (while chanting incantations), exactly the same as Nian Muning’s technique just now.
She muttered incantations and tried several times, then after a while, the weak water rope was undone.
Although she had little experience in the Immortal Realm, Su Su was very talented at learning things.
She could remember a hand technique after seeing it once, and as for incantations, she could guess from the occasional movements of Nian Muning’s lips.
Su Su untied the rope and lay back down.
It was very late outside, she couldn’t do much if she went out now, so she would see how the situation went tomorrow.
Without the restraints, Su Su felt a little more peaceful inside.
Curved Jade sighed, understanding why Tantai Jin was so afraid of its Little Master. Compared to them, she was indeed a very powerful being.
When dawn broke, an imperial edict was widely spread throughout the palace.
The eunuch held a black-colored imperial edict and said to Ye Bing Shang with a flattering smile, “Congratulations5In the original context, it’s actually said twice but in different ways, so I only put it once here. 恭喜 (gōngxǐ) – to congratulate someone courteously; 贺喜 (hè//xǐ) – congratulate somebody on a happy occasion (e.g. a wedding, the birth of a child, etc.); offer congratulations, Madame.”
Ye Bing Shang rose from the ground, her eyes like pools of spring water, and she softly expressed her thanks.
The system of conferring a concubine in the Zhou Kingdom was different from Great Xia.
The ranks of the imperial harem6There are many different terms and number of ranks in different dynasties under different reigns. From the many that I’ve seen in the list, the one that is used in the context should be from the Three Kingdoms, Cao Wei, during the reign of Cao Cao, but the highest rank is different as Tantai Jin is the emperor instead of king. To know more, do visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_Chinese_harem_system!, from highest to lowest, were, “Empress7皇后 (huáng hòu), Madame8夫人 (fū rén), Lady of Bright Deportment9昭儀 (zhāo yí), Lady of Handsome Fairness10婕妤 (jié yú), Lady of Lovely Countenance11容華 (róng huá), and Beauty12美人 (měi rén).
Tantai Jin had left before dawn.
Soon after, the imperial edict came. Ye Bing Shang originally thought that she would be a Lady of Bright Deportment at best, but against her expectations Tantai Jin directly conferred her as “Madame Zhaohua”, a rank just below the Empress.
She held the imperial edict and for a moment, her feelings were a little mixed.
The teenager that hadn’t looked promising before had become the person she had to rely on from now on, and it was hard to describe the feelings that this kind of change had brought.
At times like these, she inevitably thought of Xiao Lin.
If Xiao Lin had ascended the throne, she was afraid she would’ve been given this title too.
It was said that Tantai Jin was a tyrant. He was ruthless and indifferent, but to Ye Bing Shang, he always looked gentle, and even his voice had the tone of a young lover.
Xiao Hui happily said, “This is great, no one will dare to bully Miss, no, it’s Madame, anymore. Look at this maidservant’s mouth, Miss is already a Madame now.”
Ye Bing Shang frowned, a hint of sadness between her brows, and smiled bitterly without a word.
Everyone thought that Tantai Jin had slept with her last night, but actually, even the hem of the youth’s clothes were cold.
She watched him in a daze for half a night, and suddenly missed Xiao Lin a little.
Ye Bing Shang felt lonely and restless inside.
These things were obtained so quickly that they felt very surreal to her. Naturally, she had treated Xiao Lin sincerely, but she couldn’t really die with him.
The young emperor now was more powerful and ruthless than Xiao Lin. Even though she was sad, she also knew that this man’s temper wouldn’t be as good as Xiao Lin’s.
Even if…… Ye Bing Shang sensed that Tantai Jin seemed to be imitating how Xiao Lin had treated her.
The curvature of his mouth when he smiled was very similar to Xiao Lin.
This didn’t make Ye Bing Shang feel at ease, instead, it made her heart feel heavy. She couldn’t even feel happy when she remembered that there was still her Third Sister in the palace who had disliked her since she was a child.
She gazed out at the palace’s lotus pond and gripped her sleeves tight.
Tantai Jin propped up his chin and lazily looked at the person who was kneeling below.
“Ye Chufeng, how many days has it been and you’re telling me that you still can’t find him?”
Ye Chufeng was silent and didn’t speak. After quite a while, he lowered his head, “This subordinate is incompetent.”
“No, you’re not incompetent,” Tantai Jin sneered and said, “You’re disloyal. A disloyal dog really annoys me.”
Ye Chufeng’s shoulders trembled.
“Do you think I really trust you, mmm?”
The old Daoist’s soul floated out from the Soul Eating Flag behind Ye Chufeng. The ominous Qi on him was very dense and he cruelly laughed, “Reporting to Your Majesty, the whereabouts of Pang Yi Zhi have been found. They’re actually hiding in the old woman’s13老太婆 (lǎotàipó) – sometimes it’s contemptuous, like in this context courtyard!”
The “old woman” that the old Daoist spoke of was Old Madam Ye, Su Su’s grandmother.
“Our men have surrounded the courtyard, and the old woman is still unwilling to hand over the men.”
Tantai Jin mockingly said, “As expected of a woman who was born from a general’s family.”
Ye Chufeng’s face paled and he kowtowed and said, “I beg Your Majesty to spare grand…… Old Madam Ye.”
Tantai Jin was about to speak when Nian Baiyu suddenly said, “Who’s there!”
His long sword flew out but the figure outside the window deftly dodged.
“Third Sister!” Ye Chufeng said.
Edited by: Gaze
Translator’s Note: Happy Lunar New Year to all the readers who celebrates it!!! Hope you have a great year ahead!!! 🧧🐰🎊🎉