Hell King Sect Series/Yan Wang Sect Series
Singing Spring Melody 咏春曲 Chapter Two
By: Jue Ming 决明
The four of them decided to split up into two groups, one group with the mission to earn money, will head straight to Suzhou; The other will aim to seek out a cure from the doctor. At the foot of the Yuan Mountain they parted ways with their elderly father and younger sister.
Yuan Mountain didn’t have misty clouds, legends of heavenly beings, nor any mountain bandits. The place has an almost desolate feel to it, closed off from the worldliness of outside life. Lush vegetation covered the entire mountain top, sparing no room for even a small path to walk through. Two figures struggled to weave their way through the weeds and trees that towered over them.
Stepping out from within the dark forest and suddenly being welcomed by the light and sight in front of her made Bao Chun gasp, and drop her jaw in amazement.
Holding on to the old emaciated donkey that they bought after having to sell three bangles, she stood in front of a huge luxurious mansion in the woods.
They were lost in the woods for three days and three nights, running around like a headless chicken. But everyone gets lucky sometimes, by a miraculous stroke of luck they actually found the place. Bao Chun shook and woke up the napping Ruo Xia sitting on the back of the donkey.
“We’re here?” Rubbing the sleep from her eyes, Ruo Xia looked around and her eyes lit up.
“Is this the place?” Bao Chun and Ruo Xia both asked the other at the same time. Then both exchanged glances and nodded at the same time.
“Soooooo big ….”
“Yeah, it’s probably ten times, no, twenty times bigger than our house ….” Still sitting on the back of the donkey, Ruo Xia muttered with her mouth slightly ajar, looking like a naive little girl who haven’t been exposed to much of the outside world.
High walls closed off the insides of the mansion. Although unable to catch a glimpse of what the other side held, the set of large, deep red locked doors, and towering buildings seen from the outside was enough to send anyone gasping in awe.
This place was like a secret city.
“Qiu Yue said that being the Godly Doctor he must earn a TON of money, it seems that only the Godly Doctor can afford to live in a house like this. Come on Ruo Xia, let’s go in.” Bao Chun said while she guided the donkey forward.
Beside the gigantic doors of the main entrance stood an upright stone tablet. Unfortunately, the two girls knew fewer words than the number of cockroaches in their house, so this tablet pretty much meant nothing to them.
Bao Chun knocked on the door and asked, “Is the Godly Doctor in? Please open up the door.”
She stood there joyfully waiting for the doors to open. Some time passed … then a lot of time passed … then the sun began to set … and the moon peeked out from the east ….
Other than the party of welcoming mountain mosquitoes not a single sound nor person came from the Godly Doctor’s house.
“Did we come at a bad time?” Bao Chun wondered, her wrists ached from swatting.
“So we are sleeping here tonight? In the deep dark, creepy woods? What if there’s a bear … or a wolf ….” Ruo Xia looked around with terrified eyes.
Bao Chun gulped, although scared to death herself, she still tries to look like a big sister and comfort Ruo Xia. “Don’t be scared, big sister Bao Chun is here to protect you … but if those wolves and bears are still hungry after gobbling me up then … well … there’s nothing else we could do ….”
As the two girls cried on each other’s shoulders someone approached in the distance, atop a black steed in the dark of the night.
“Who are you?” A young man dressed in black appeared in front of the two girls, his strikingly handsome features cold and emotionless, his arrogant eyes did not even bother to look their way.
“The Godly Doctor!” Both girls pointed a finger at the black clad young man.
“Wrong.” The young man leaped off of his horse, and shot them a cold sneer.
His hands pushed open the set of deep red doors, seemingly with ease. Bao Chun’s eyes widened with surprise, since she just tried putting her whole weight into pushing open the doors, yet it still wouldn’t budge.
“Sir! Please wait!” Bao Chun hurried after the young man in black, “Is this the Godly Doctor’s residence?”
The young man’s face remained expressionless, so she continued to ask, “Can we go inside with you? The woods at night can be quite scary … my sister and I have come to ask the Godly Doctor for help, and right now there’s no other place for us to stay in … so ….”
“Can’t you see the rules written on the stone tablet?”
“Rulers? What rulers? Here in the mountains?”
“If the doctor you seek, for three days you kneel in wait.” The young man said emotionless. Would it have killed him to say a bit more?
“Huh?” Bao Chun froze with a silly look on her face, “Kneel for three days?”
The young man nodded.
“But the patient is not in good health. How can she make it through three days of kneeling?” Bao Chun tried to reason with him. She firmly believed that everyone has goodness in them, including this young man before her.
No one asked you to seek for help, you can get the hell out of here and ask someone else to save your life. And with that, Bao Chun was disillusioned.
The young man’s indifference ignited a trace of anger within Bao Chun, “If we weren’t desperate we wouldn’t have come to you for help and get humiliated like this!” She has never seen someone so cold and heartless, treating a human life like it was nothing!
“If you are asking for help then you must kneel.” The young man turned and went back into the mansion, just as the door was about to close completely he said with half a chuckle, “Whether or not my master will save her is up to him, better say your prayers.”
And with a thud, Bao Chun was left standing outside the doors.
How arrogant! Bao Chun pinched her eyebrows together and frowned, if that was just a servant, then it’s hard to imagine what the Godly Doctor’s temper is like.
If only Qiu Yue was here! Her sharp tongue and quick wit will make that young man feel sorry for the rest of his life! But alas, she was no Qiu Yue ….
“What are we going to do? I’m so weak I don’t want to kneel here for three days.” Ruo Xia objected immediately.
Bao Chun patted Ruo Xia’s back, comforting her. “Don’t worry, big sister Bao Chun will kneel in your place.” Knowing Ruo Xia’s poor health and due to the mother-like responsibilities an older sister has, how could she bear letting her precious baby sister kneel for three days.
Bao Chun adjusted the hem of her skirt and started to kneel.
Three days it is, it should be over in the blink of an eye, right?
✧ ✧ ✧
There are actually a lot of things one can do while their knees are firmly planted on the ground. Such as barbecuing.
Yes, Bao Chun is using the spare time she has while kneeling and waiting to hunt a pigeon, spit roast it over the fire she started, and feed herself.
Just as she bit into a fat juicy roasted pigeon thigh, the young man dressed in black came out through the doors.
“Come with me.” The young man glanced at her and commanded.
“Huh? But I didn’t kneel for the three full days!”
“Master is feeling especially generous today, you no longer need to kneel.” The young man answered as his mouth curved upward slightly. How was he supposed to tell her that his master got bored and was curious, so he made an exception and agreed to see a person who haven’t knelt for three full days?
“But Ruo Xia just went to relieve herself … I’m not the one who needs medical attention!”
“The Master ordered me to bring you in NOW. You only have one chance, it’s up to you.” The young man turned and was about to walk away.
“I’ll go I’ll go!” Bao Chun cried anxiously, and wiped her greasy hands on her skirt. She’ll think of a way to get inside and the rest can wait until after she sees the Godly Doctor.
The young man glanced over at her again and led her into the mansion.
WOW! This must be what heaven on earth looks like! Her eyes grew wide and her jaws dropped to the ground, everywhere Bao Chun looked made her gasp in awe.
The village she grew up in was a barren wasteland, not an inch of grass in sight. But this place was covered in lush green plants as far as the eye could see. Flowers she didn’t recognize were all in full bloom, it’s as if the goddess of spring lived in this beautiful garden.
The two walked onto the bridge at the centre of the lake. It was summertime and the lotus flowers were in bloom, their pedals pale pink and delicate.
But the only thing Bao Chun could think of at this time was the big fat lotus roots beneath the water.
“Papa and Qiu Yue will be so happy if I took the lotus leaf and used it to make lotus leaf rice ….” Bao Chun imagined and wiped at the corner of her mouth. It was as if she could smell the overflowing aroma of food.
“Quickly.” The young man in black irritatedly turned to remind her again. But this time he found Bao Chun standing a few feet away in the distance, under the pavilion, eyes fixated upon the white geese on the other side of the lake.
The young man cursed under his breath. Does she think she’s here to look around and go for a stroll? Just look at that silly grin on her face, it seems that she’s just another ditzy woman lost in her imagination.
“Look at the fat geese …. If we use it to make soup, it can probably last us for a whole month.”
When the young man caught wind of what Bao Chun just said he looked at her in disbelief. How can someone ruin this scenery with such a tasteless comment?
“Look at those wings … mmmmhm … delicious ….” Bao Chun tried to remember the most recent time she had eaten meat, it came from the tiny sparrow that Qiu Yue picked up. She then looked at the big fat geese in front of her, her mouth began to flood with saliva.
“Miss!” The young man tugged on Bao Chun’s arm and reminded her, “My master hates waiting on other people!”
“Oh, okay.” Bao Chun reluctantly looked away and followed the young man. She couldn’t help it, having lived in poverty for so long, her mind was always on how to feed her family and keep them warm. The goose down from those geese back there can be used to make clothes and keep warm.
They passed through a small forest of bamboo, and onto a flight of stone steps.
“STRAW MUSHROOMS!” Bao Chun covered her mouth and gasped, as if she saw some incredible treasure.
Down the steps to the right was a patch of colourful mushrooms. She crouched down low to take a closer look.
“They are so pretty! I bet they are great in a stir-fry with shredded meat!” Of course the meat meaning the fat geese she saw earlier.
“They are poisonous.” And once again, poor Bao Chun’s dreams were dashed. He reminded her again coldly, “You’ve wasted enough time already.”
“I’m sorry.” Bao Chun apologized and hurried after the young man. But it wasn’t long before she slowed her steps and stopped again.
The young man did not hesitate to show his irritation. What should have been a short walk took much longer than expected, all because this foolish woman kept staring and smiling at the bamboo shoots!
Finally, the angry-looking young man led Bao Chun into a room. Pleasant faint aromas of medicinal herbs filled the room. He respectfully bowed towards an empty seat and said, “Master, the girl is here.”
Bao Chun curiously looked around the room, unsure of who the young man was talking to.
“I was getting so tired of waiting.” A displeased voice came from behind the white chiffon curtains, he sounded quite young.
“My apologies.” The young man didn’t care to explain much, and gestured for Bao Chun to sit down on the chair to the right.
Bao Chun blinked, feeling a little anxious and confused, but still decided to sit down like she was told.
The room was silent for a while, then the voice from behind the curtains said, “Anemia. Just eat some foods rich in iron.”
Bao Chun looked dazed and confused, unsure as to where the sound came from.
“You have to come to me and kneel three days for THIS? Did all the quacks in the world suddenly die off!?” The voice muttered to himself. He got bored and made an exception to let her in. Of course it was also partially due to the fact that the young man in black told him that there was a person kneeling outside roasting meat. But the person he brought in was just slightly anemic, this pissed him off a bit. “Now you can get the hell out.”
At this point Bao Chun finally understood what the person behind the curtains meant, she quickly got up and said, “Please Mister Godly Doctor Sir, I’m not the one that needs medical attention, it’s my younger sister!” She was about to rush over and lift up the curtains, but the young man shot her an angry glance and stopped her.
“Was it you that knelt outside for two days?” The voice asked.
“Since you are the one who was kneeling, then you are the one that needs my help.”
“Ah yes, I want you to help and take a look at my sister.”
“The stone tablet clearly stated that the person seeking my help needs to be the person kneeling, didn’t you see it?”
“I … I … I don’t know how to read ….” Bao Chun said softly, a little afraid to admit her illiteracy.
The person behind the curtains went silent for a brief moment, the only sound in the room being the light tapping of fingertips on the desk.
“Mister Godly Doctor ….”
“I only see patients who abide by the rules, if your sister wants to see me then tell her to kneel for three days. Then we’ll see.” The person behind the curtains waved a lazy hand at her, gesturing her to show herself out.
“Please! My sister is in very poor health, she won’t make it through three days of kneeling. Please make an exception!” Bao Chun cried.
“Then give me a reason to make you an exception.”
“Because you are the Godly Doctor!”
“Nope, try again.” The person behind the curtains wasn’t satisfied with her answer.
“Ummmm, be …. cause … doctors … Godly Doctors are very kind-hearted?” Bao Chun managed to squeeze out a ridiculous answer.
“Kind-hearted? That’s a new word! If I’m kind-hearted then why must I make everyone kneel for three full days before I’m willing to see them. Notice how I said to see, not to treat.” The opening of a paper fan can be heard from behind the curtains, one can almost make out the silhouette of a person leisurely waving a fan back and forth.
“Ummmm, I think … that’s because of … ummmm … because of … ummmm ….” The more desperate Bao Chun was for an answer the more her mind started to go blank.
“If you don’t talk, then I’ll have to see you out.” A gentle threat came from behind the curtains.
Bao Chun became desperate for an answer so without thinking she suddenly blurted out, “I heard Qiu Yue say that everyone with some sort of ‘Godly’ title has some strange habits. I think that wanting people to kneel for three days is probably your strange habit, right?”
“I … I’m not accusing you or blaming you in any way, but it seems to me that you have such dish rag guard for human life ….”
“You mean disregard?” A sudden burst of laughter made Bao Chun’s face flush with shame.
“Did … did I say it wrong?” Oh, if only she hadn’t tried to sound more serious and sophisticated with such a big word! Bao Chun nervously twisted around the fabric of her skirt.
The laugh did not stop, instead it turned into chuckles, and asked her, “Are you and your sister very close?”
Bao Chun quickly nodded her head.
“Close enough to die for her?” The voice asked her, sounding doubtful.
“If there comes a day when this becomes necessary, then yes. I’m willing to die for her.”
“Why?” From behind the curtains the doctor’s eyes stared at Bao Chun’s face motionlessly.
“Because she’s my sister.” Bao Chun answered without hesitation.
The look on her face proved that she really did mean what she said.
This little girl doesn’t lie or hide the truth, her clear, bright eyes made it easy to read her thoughts.
Silence washed over the room, after a long while the person behind the curtains called out a number.
“Huh?” Bao Chun looked up, clearly puzzled. Nineteen? What kind of answer is nineteen?
The black clad young man beside her stepped forward and answered, “Yes Master.”
“Bring the sister inside.”
So, Nineteen is the name of the young man dressed in black! Bao Chun suddenly realized. Strange name for a strange person.
The person behind the curtains stood up, lifted up the edge of the curtain with the fan in his hand and slowly walked out.
“I can bring her inside. However, whether or not I will save her is a whole other thing.” He spoke slowly, his words in sync with his slow leisurely mannerisms.
Bao Chun looked up from the bottom of the white silk robe and blue gown he was wearing, a gasp escaped her pink lips. Just like when she saw the scenery inside the mansion, her jaw dropped in amazement.
Stepping out from behind the curtains was a man about twenty-five or twenty-six years old.
The handsome face before her had a full smile, staring into his bright eyes, she saw her own reflection. His thin lips stirred up a touch of warmth within her heart. The centre of his brows was branded with a star-shaped pattern, and his head of light silvery hair was tied casually from behind ….
The man standing in front of her was the most beautiful person she has ever seen.
He smiled, and studied Bao Chun’s absent-minded face. Closing the fan in his hand he used it to lift up Bao Chun’s chin.
✧ ✧ ✧
“Embarrassing! That was so embarrassing!”
She drooled while staring at a man! Oh god!
Bao Chun covered her face with shame, the redness in her cheeks have yet to fade. She just stood there, staring at the Godly Doctor like some silly love-crazed ditz.
It wasn’t until when Nineteen brought Ruo Xia into the room did she realized what she was doing …. She literally felt like dying of embarrassment!
The smirk on the Godly Doctor’s face just then was probably from seeing her all embarrassed!
“Big sister Bao Chun! Big sister Bao Chun!” Ruo Xia impatiently called to the dazed Bao Chun.
“Yeah?” Bao Chun looked at Ruo Xia, her face still dazed and confused.
“Did you hear what I said?”
“Uh … no.” Bao Chun answered truthfully. The only thing she can think of right now is that bright charming smile.
Ruo Xia rolled her eyes and said, “Didn’t that Godly Doctor agree to help and cure me? We’ve waited for a whole day already, but where is he? I haven’t seen a single person.”
“He’s probably busy.” Bao Chun didn’t want to tell Ruo Xia right away that the Godly Doctor only promised to let them in, he said nothing about helping Ruo Xia cure her illness.
“Big sister Bao Chun, go and ask him.” Ruo Xia said with an air of entitlement, like it was only natural for Bao Chun to take care of everything for her. Ruo Xia’s personality became this way because she had been sick for as long as she could remember, her family members all took special care of her. Regardless of how arrogant and unreasonable she got, no one could bear scolding her in any way.
“Oh, okay.” Bao Chun couldn’t say no to Ruo Xia’s request so she bit the bullet and walked back to the study.
Unable to find anyone behind the white chiffon curtains, Bao Chun started to look for him in the garden.
The Godly Doctor’s mansion is a quiet and picturesque place, he didn’t have a ton of servants, Nineteen was the only other person she had seen. Speaking of him, who uses a number as a name? Bao Chun wondered as she walked.
Walking around aimlessly she arrived at the lake where she saw the geese earlier.
“No one is around, I really want to catch and cook you guys.” Bao Chun muttered to the two fat geese in front of her.
It’s unsure whether they could understand human speech or they just saw the desire to eat them burn strong in Bao Chun’s eyes. Either way, they quickly swam several feet away from where Bao Chun stood.
“Steamed, braised, fried, boiled ….” Bao Chun started to imagine all the possible ways she could cook them, as if just by staring at them she was able to turn these geese into delicious dishes.
“Everything Master has around here is useful and has a purpose, don’t you get any funny ideas.” A cold voice interrupted Bao Chun mid-thought and pulled her back to reality.
Bao Chun didn’t turn around, she knew who that dream-dashing voice belonged to. “Nineteen Gong Zi.”
“Don’t call me Gong Zi.” Nineteen furrowed his brows in disgust.
Bao Chun smiled at him, but Nineteen turned a blind eye towards her smile.
“Is your younger sister called Twenty?” Deliberately ignoring the indifference Nineteen is showing her, Bao Chun joked and asked. “Usually people who use numbers to name their children has that many number of children, are you the nineteenth kid in your family?”
Nineteen ignored her question, the only answer she got in return was a gust of cold wind.
It’s certainly not easy to get him to open up. Bao Chun shook her head.
Nineteen can certainly be considered a very good-looking boy, but those cold looks that he always has on his face tend to keep people away. His good looks are frosty, compared to his master, Nineteen has to retreat to second place. Because the Godly Doctor’s features are already more handsome in comparison, on top of that, his smile was certainly better than Nineteen’s. When he smiles he seems so kind and affable.
“Where is your master? If it’s possible, I’d like to ask him if it is convenient for him to come and take a look at my sister.”
It’s a simple yes or no question. If he refuses, they can meet up with Papa earlier.
“Master’s old illness was acting up again, he is resting. He will let you know after a few days.”
“Old illness?! Even the Godly Doctor gets sick?” Bao Chun’s shock and disbelief was written all over her face, she has always thought that doctors like him would be invulnerable to any and all things.
“The Godly Doctor is still only human. Besides, Master never self-proclaimed to be a Godly Doctor. Miss, when you see him again next time, please refrain from calling him that. He doesn’t like it.”
“Then how should I address him?”
“The Master’s family name is Huangfu.”
Bao Chun repeated the name to herself three times, and his face began to surface in her mind.
His voice was like the spring wind, so comforting it turned people to putty. And his head of shiny silver hair, does it feel like silk if she were to touch it? And his lips, they curved upward in the most perfect arch …. So, his name is Huangfu!
“What’s his full name?” Bao Chun wanted to know everything about him so she kept on pestering Nineteen.
“Don’t know.” Nineteen’s tone sounded like he didn’t want to answer the question, but he really didn’t know Huangfu’s full name. He usually just addressed him as master, out of respect.
“He looks so affable, his smile is so kind, how can you be so frigid and unfeeling?” Bao Chun simply couldn’t get used to Nineteen’s expressionless face.
Affable? Kind!? Using these words to describe his master is an insult to the words!
But he didn’t let that show on his face, instead he said, “Miss, you simply haven’t gotten to know The Master yet.” As for what Bao Chun said about him being frigid and unfeeling, he acted like he didn’t even hear it.
“And you too, don’t keep calling me miss over and over again, I’m Bao Chun.” Bao Chun saw the bowl of black soup-like liquid in Nineteen’s hand and asked curiously, “What kind of illness does your master suffer from? Is it serious? He looks pretty healthy!”
“That’s quite an amazing ability that you have Miss Bao Chun. You are able to tell if a person is healthy or not with a single glance, you should be honoured with the title of the Godly Doctor.” Nineteen’s words certainly wasn’t a real compliment, but Bao Chun couldn’t tell the difference just by listening to the words. But she does sense that he didn’t mean well.
“Nineteen, do you not like me?”
“Miss Bao Chun you are overthinking. I have to bring Master his medicine, sorry I can’t stay and chat.” Bao Chun felt a little hurt by the way he answered her.
Although she wasn’t a beautiful girl, but she treats everyone with sincerity, so people generally liked her. What does Nineteen have against her then? Bao Chun sighed as she watched Nineteen walk away.
“Could it be that I’ve become unlikeable after leaving my hometown?” Bao Chun muttered to herself and pinched at her cheeks.
“That’s just how Nineteen is, he doesn’t like to talk. He has nothing against you my child.” A kindly old woman peeked out from behind the flower shrubs, and tried to comfort her.
Bao Chun was startled by this, since she didn’t expect there to be anyone else here in the mansion.
“Granny, and you are …?”
“Me? I’m the cook. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop on your conversation, it’s just that—” the old woman stood up and showed Bao Chun the basket of weeds she was holding. “I was weeding the garden.”
“These?” Bao Chun walked over to take a closer look, “Granny, you are getting rid of all these?”
“Yes, if you don’t remove the weeds they will hinder the growth of the medicinal herbs.” She pointed to the flowers and bushes around them, “These are all of The Master’s favourite medicinal herbs.”
Bao Chun looked at the weeds she held in her hands and got a little emotional. “But those weeds you are holding is about ten days worth of food for us. There is a terrible drought in our village, all the green plants died off. If we really got hungry, we would even eat the yellow dried up grass …. Granny, can you give these weeds to me instead of throwing them away? I want to use them to make wild herb congee.”
With a faint smile in her eyes she said, “I make really delicious wild herb congee.”
“You can cook?”
“Yup, everyday home-cooked dishes are easy for me, but if we are cooking some delicacies then I need to start learning.”
“So you are the new servant?” The old woman looked at all the patches Bao Chun has on her clothes and took a guess.
“Oh, no I’m not. I’m just here with my younger sister to ask the Godly … I mean Mister Huangfu for help.”
“Ooooooooooh.” The old woman understood, but was a little surprised. She has never seen any of her master’s patients stay for as long as she has. “Has The Master finished with seeing your sister?”
Bao Chun shook her head and walked over to help support the old woman, helping her lighten up her load.
“Mister Huangfu seems to have fallen ill, I think we have to wait for a few days.”
“Well then, you just stay for a few more days here and keep this old lady company. If you have time, make me some of that wild herb congee.” The old woman felt a liking towards Bao Chun as soon as she saw her, she said this to her while patting her lightly on the hand.
“No problem, we have so much wild herbs here, enough to make a huge pot! Too bad Mister Huangfu’s house doesn’t have a lot of people, and Nineteen probably won’t want to eat food made by me ….” She remembered how cold Nineteen was towards her.
“That boy Nineteen isn’t picky about food. Back there when you two were talking, he said more than five sentences to you, so that meant he liked you.” Nineteen was cold but he certainly wasn’t mean-spirited, it wasn’t hard for the old woman to see through him.
“Really?” Bao Chun suddenly saw a glimmer of hope again.
“Yes! He doesn’t say a single word to people he doesn’t like!”
“Then … what about Mister Huangfu? What is he like?” Bao Chun was still more interested in Huangfu.
“The Master ….” The old woman thought about it for a while and selected her words carefully, “You will know after you’ve been around him for a while.” She didn’t want this little girl to be deceived by her master’s kind looks. “You can’t judge a book by its cover, especially the cover that The Master has on.”
Bao Chun quietly thought about the words that granny said to her. It sounds like Huangfu isn’t who he appears to be.
“So you are saying that his gentle smile is fake?”
“Oh no, the smile is real. But the meaning that lies beneath the smile, that’s what people are unsure of.”
“So I was right! How can such a kind smile be fake!”
“So you think that The Master is a good person?” The old woman asked.
Bao Chun nodded her head quickly, she has always trusted her intuition.
The old woman gave her a sympathetic look and said to her with pity, “Look out and take care of yourself my child.”
Oh boy oh boy! The second chapter is up! I proofread this five times and still caught stupid mistakes and typos …. I am starting to hate verb tenses because Chinese doesn’t really have them in the same way English has. But alas, I have finished. I highly recommend the Chrome plugin called Ginger, it’s a grammar checker, and the best one I’ve used! I wish I had this when I was still in school! Anyway, you can read the footnotes to learn some Chinese and extra juicy bits of knowledge ;). I highly recommend it!
If you want some visual aids, I’ve read the author’s manga and her drawings for the two main characters pretty much look just like Shi Ryuuki and Kou Shuurei from Saiunkoku Monogatari. Google them, you won’t be disappointed!
P.S. Ruo Xia gets less and less likeable as we get into the book …. Yeah … no one likes her ….
As always, please like, comment, and follow if you’ve enjoyed reading!~ Ciao! <3
1 Original words here being 瞎猫碰上死耗子 xiā māo pèng shàng sǐ hào zi, which literally translates to a blind cat bumps into a dead mouse. A blind cat can’t very well hunt so it’s by a stroke of luck that it bumped into this free lunch.↩
2 In the original book this part was a play on the word “规条” which meant rules and regulation, Bao Chun being uneducated and generally confused thought he said “龟条” which IS NOT a real thing, it just has the same sound as “规条”. The author made and attempt to make the readers laugh because “龟条”, although isn’t a real thing, translates literally to something like “turtle strips”. ↩
3 The original words here being 长姐如母. In China there is a saying 长兄如父，长姐如母 zhǎng xiōng rú fù, zhǎng jiě rú mǔ, which translates to the eldest brother is like a father, the eldest sister is like a mother. This meant that the oldest siblings have the same responsibilities as a parent, if the parents are not around, they must assume all parental responsibilities.↩
4 This is a relatively well known Chinese dish originating from Guangdong (or so the wiki says ….) its Chinese name being 荷叶饭. You can Google it to see some pictures or click here —>LINK. Usually rice, seasonings along with some meat and other ingredients are mixed together, wrapped up in lotus leaf and steamed. You can make it with plain rice as well if you really just want the special aroma of the lotus leaf to seep into the rice. You can read about it in the Chinese wiki here —>LINK. It shares similar traits with Beggar’s Chicken 叫花鸡 —>LINK. If you would like to taste Lotus Leaf Rice then go to a Dim Sum place, they should all have it.↩
5 Really cute and interesting little balls of mushrooms called 草菇 in Chinese, you will be amazed when you cut one open! Click here for a picture —>LINK.↩
6 The original words being 补血, which literally translates to “supplementing blood”, this was before the discovery of minerals and vitamins, anemic people who suffer from anemia or 贫血 meaning “lacking blood” were instructed to change their diet. They didn’t know about iron and what not, only that certain foods helped them get better, they supplemented them with what the body needed. It didn’t make sense in English without a lengthy explanation so I opted for a more modern term.↩
7 This was a joke the author put in. Now, we know that Bao Chun is illiterate and uneducated, she doesn’t know how to read so she doesn’t know many complicated four-character idiom that educated people knew and understood. She made the mistake of trying to say one of them, but instead of saying 草菅人命 she said 草管人命. Notice how the second characters of both sayings are similar looking. Bao Chun either confused one for the other and said the wrong thing or she doesn’t know the correct way 菅 was pronounced so she took a guess and was wrong. The meaning was the same as what I translated and I tried to keep the joke similar to what the author intended. But for your sake, 草菅人命 is pronounced like cǎo jiān rén mìng. TADA~ The more you know~ Thank you for not dish rag guarding my footnotes.↩
8 I have to step in because I want to say the description makes him sound like some male Mary Sue … or maybe it’s just me …. But I’ve seen manngas the author drew and he actually looks like Ryuuki from Saiunkoku Monogatari, but with silver hair and a star and no hair ornaments. Click here to see a visual aid —>LINK.↩
9 Gong Zi or 公子 in Chinese, used to be a way of addressing the sons of dukes or princes. It is later used to address the sons or noble families and a general term to address other people’s sons, but more commonly, it’s a way to address young men politely.↩
10 The name Huangfu 皇甫 huáng fǔ is a family name, it has two characters so it’s called a 复姓 which means compound surname or two-character surname.↩