Second Arc ー Chapter 7 (Part 2): To Cheng
The sun set in the west. The red clouds in the dusk sky were like brocade. But the palace chambers were deep inside. Under the multiple layers of eaves, there were faint shadows visible. Almost as soon as she stepped into the palace hall, chilliness shrouded her. Jiang Chenyu could not help but pulled her lapel tighter.
In the Imperial Study, Zhao Yin was standing before the window with his hands beside his back and gazing at the setting sun in the distance. He was silent and seemed to be thinking about something. When he saw her, he only waved his hand for Luo Heng to withdraw. Luo Heng was able to understand his signal and took all the palace servants waiting upon the emperor out with him. Click. The door of the room was closed. Only the two of them were left in the room. Free and Original at Michilun Translations.
Jiang Chenyu kowtowed. “Chenyu pays my respect to Your Majesty.”
“Mhm,” Zhao Yin acknowledged her but did not turn around, his gaze still on the sunset glow. As long as he did not speak, she did not dare to get up. She was aware of her place so she could only continue kneeling. She was feeling a little anxious, apprehensive about what this capricious emperor was exactly thinking about.
The sand in the hourglass on the long desk dripped down. Even any minute sound was extremely clear in such a silent space. She heard her breathing become a little more rapid due to her nervousness but the strange thing was that Zhao Yin was not any better than her. His breathing alternated between slow and fast. It was clear that he was still in hesitation. Free and Original at Michilun Translations.
A long time passed like this. Zhao Yin finally inhaled and broke the silence. “You wrote ‘Willing to be a pure and upright lotus one can always trust in, accompanying the emperor for a long time as a chess piece’. Do you truly mean that?”
Her eyelashes drooped down as she answered. “This is due to my sincerity. I dare not lie to the sovereign.” Free and Original at Michilun Translations.
Only then did Zhao Yin turned around. After his deep and unfathomable gaze swept over her, he personally helped her get up. “Rise.” Free and Original at Michilun Translations.
Jiang Chenyu raised her eyes and looked back at him, their gazes exchanging in midair. Zhao Yin gazed fixedly at her and used a very genuine voice to slowly inform her, “Chenyu, you’re a beauty.” Free and Original at Michilun Translations.
Her eyelashes trembled for a moment. She could sense that there was an overtone in his words. As expected, Zhao Yin let go of her arms the next moment. He turned around and walked towards the imperial desk before sitting down in front of it. He continued, “But, what this palace doesn’t lack the most is beauties.”
She gazed at him silently and offer any reply. Free and Original at Michilun Translations.
Zhao Yin asked, “This emperor chose you to enter the palace. Do you resent me?”
Do I resent him? Chenyu thought about it indifferently. Perhaps I had… When she first heard the imperial decree and found out that she could no longer marry Marquis Qi Ao, when her Elder Sister ignored her due to this… she had indeed vented her anger on this emperor. However, after her heart calmed down, it was clear to her that Zhao Yin was just a fuse while the cause of the calamity had already been long buried. Hence, when he asked her whether she resented her at this moment, how would she be able to reply?
Zhao Yin did not wait for her response and simply continued, “Even if you resent me, it is already a foregone conclusion and things are already fixed. Regardless of whether you like it or don’t like it, this inner palace courtyard will be your sky and the earth from now on. As for your title as an imperial consort, it will also follow you for your whole life with no possibility of it changing.” Free and Original at Michilun Translations.
Jiang Chenyu’s lips moved a few times. Some words were almost going to gush forth from her throat but when it reached the tip of her tongue, she suppressed it. What he said isn’t wrong. Everything is already a foregone conclusion. There’s no longer any possibility of it being changed. Free and Original at Michilun Translations.
“This emperor knows that you’re not resigned to it. That’s why you took the initiative to submit a request for a military assignment. I also know that I owe you, soー” Zhao Yin’s pupils reflected her figure. He added profoundly, “This emperor has decided to help you fulfil your wish.” Free and Original at Michilun Translations.
She instantly raised her head and gazed at him, joy and sorrow undistinguishable on her countenance. Free and Original at Michilun Translations.
“There are currently two paths in front of you. The first path is also the one all other women in the palace walk on. That is to become this emperor’s partner in bed and help me give birth to children. If your son is promising and is appointed as the crown prince in the future, you will be able to become the empress dowager. You will die of old age in the palace while rich with good fortune.” Free and Original at Michilun Translations.
Jiang Chenyu pursed her lips tightly. Free and Original at Michilun Translations.
“The second path,” Zhao Yin suddenly smiled. His eyes were twinkling and carried admiration. “Which is what you requested. That is to become this emperor’s strategist and assist me in my career as well as become my right-hand person and help me guard this nation. I won’t promise you the position of empress and won’t promise you personal relationships but as long as I am still on this throne, there will always be a place for you beside this dragon seat.” Free and Original at Michilun Translations.
Jiang Chenyu bowed deeply. “I am willing to guard Nation Bi with Your Majesty, never ever forsaking.” That’s right, this is what I really want. Zhao Yin has understood my self-recommendation letter. She used the allusion to ‘Chang’e flying to the moon’ in the poem to inform him that she did not wish to be his wife because favour could easily fade away and it was hard to preserve love. However, a right-hand person is different. If I say that Ji Ying is Zhao Yin’s right-hand person on his left, then I would want to become his right-hand person on his right. Even if we can no longer become husband and wife, I want to stand at a position equal to Ji Ying and look at this landscape of a period of prosperity with him.
Because… Free and Original at Michilun Translations.
Because… Free and Original at Michilun Translations.
My love is too inferior, so inferior that I would feel contented even if I can only exist under the same sky as me. Free and Original at Michilun Translations.
It’s alright if Ji Ying doesn’t like me. If we are destined to not be husband and wife in this lifetime, then let us at have feelings as comrades. Only if it’s like this will I not let down the fact that I exist in this era together with him, live on Nation Bi’s territory like him and is the emperor’s subject like him. Free and Original at Michilun Translations.
When her forehead touched the icy-cold floor, her hot tears immediately welled up. Her heart felt a little relieved but a little desolate at the same time. Free and Original at Michilun Translations.
Zhao Yin looked at her indifferently and it seemed as if something flickered across his eyes, revealing that he could not bear to see this sight. However, it was ultimately drowned out by his harshness. “But I’ll bluntly forewarn you first. It’s not that easy to be this emperor’s right-hand person. I already have a taste of your resourcefulness once but that is far from enough. Thus, I am going to give you a second trial. Whether you can complete it will concern you as well as your Jiang Family’s destiny from now on.”
A gigantic rock slowly weighed down somewhere in her heart. Jiang Chenyu widened her eyes and held her breath. Then, she saw Zhao Yin’s lips slowly open. “This emperor wants you to go to Nation Cheng with Pan Fang and Jiang Wanyi.”
Her breathing instantly came to a standstill. Free and Original at Michilun Translations.
Go to Nation Cheng… Free and Original at Michilun Translations.
Go to Nation Cheng! Free and Original at Michilun Translations.
This second chance is actually for me to go to Nation Cheng.
Hello! Sorry for the late update. >< I was previously very busy with some matters but then I got sick for quite a prolonged period of time. When I finally recovered, there were again lots of stuff waiting for me since I hardly did anything when I was sick. T^T
Anyway, it is very likely that I’m going to officially take up a 770 chapter project >< so I am worried about the future of my projects here since 770 is a really daunting number. Furthermore, I recognise that my translation works here aren’t really approved which is why there is a high chance that I’ll eventually focus on my new official project where I actually have the rights to translate it. It is also pretty demoralizing to see the aggregator sites faring better than the original website but I suppose that it’s my fault since I didn’t take precautions but oh well at least I have learnt something!
I will still add in new novel recommendations whenever I come across something interesting!