Chapter 24 – If you knew that this Lord will use his fists, why did you do what you did?
Disclaimer: This is edited MTL. Do forgive any grammar mistakes as they are my own and not the author’s. I may add some of my own words for clarity sake, but I will try not to change the meaning of the whole sentence. When the author uses 成语 / Cheng Yu, which is something like idiom-like phrases, I may just translate them in simple English if they are not very meaningful. Otherwise, I will add a translation note. An example would be ‘不三不四’, I would most likely translate it as ‘dubious’ depending on the context.
Just a reminder that titles will be in caps, but positions will be left in small letters.
Tang Qi was so angered by Meng You’s words that he couldn’t take it.
There was even a faint thought brewing in his heart about having a short fight with Meng You.
Meng You: “Do you want to compare our ability to fight? Sure, wait for this lord to take him back, then I will give you a chance to.”
Tang Qi retreated a few steps: “……”
Thinking about it was fine, but if he really did take action, reality would probably not match his expectations.
In the past, it wasn’t that the rest of them didn’t resist Meng You milking them. Even after a three versus one fight, they were still beaten into submission by Meng You. So they could only kneel down and call him big brother.
[T/N: Calling Meng You big brother in this context means like they have to listen to his orders since they are now his ‘younger brothers’.]
Meng You snorted coldly, and without any further delays, carried Yan Ke back to his manor.
When the old steward heard that the Crown Princess was back, he began to make arrangements. The person in charge of inviting the imperial physician should go invite him, the person in charge of boiling medicine should go boil it.
Meng You saw the steward who was already so old, and even had to receive punishment in prison, carry a basin of water to him.
Meng You: “Go and rest, this Lord will do it.”
Meng You took out the cloth within the basin, wringed it, and wiped the sweat off Yan Ke’s forehead.
The steward looked at Yan Ke with mixed feelings, hesitated for a while, and finally decided against giving advice to Meng You. He let out a sigh and left.
After the imperial physician visited them, Meng You watched a maid finish feeding Yan Ke medicine and then he arranged matters for Yan Ke. His expressionless face slowly turned cold.
Meng You said to a shadow guard behind him: “Go grab the bridesmaids from Chu Kingdom that this Lord had thrown into the backyard and bring them here.”
Meng You caressed the dagger in his waistband. Whether Yan Ke was guilty or not, it can be determined another time. The crows under his roof need to be cleared away completely this time.
[T/N: Crows are a bad omen, the author is using a metaphor to say that there are enemies/spies living in his house that needs to be completely gotten rid of.]
Yan Ke didn’t know martial arts. Even if he somehow managed to kill his shadow guard, with just his tiny arms and legs, it’s impossible for no one to discover him after he killed the shadow guard, so, someone must have helped him.
After giving out his orders, Meng You faced the maid in the room, he coldly ordered: “If the Crown Princess hears anything, don’t let him leave the room.”
When Meng You stepped out, several dark guards had already brought over the bridesmaids from Chu Kingdom.
Meng You saw that every single face was carrying an unyielding expression, and the corner of his mouth lifted into a subtle curve.
Meng You: “Seems like, all of you should know why this Lord has gathered you here?”
The maids kept silent, their eyes mirrored Meng You’s, each pair carrying a hint of coldness. Before they came to this country, they were already prepared for the possibility of this being a one way journey.
Meng You: “Take them away and watch them carefully. Don’t let them die, this Lord still has a use for them.”
Shadow guard: “Yes.”
Every single person in his manor had all been selected by him personally, after locking the Chu Kingdom maids in the Crown Prince Manor’s prison, Meng You went to the palace.
[T/N: This sentence may seem random in English, but the author is saying that every single person in the manor besides the Chu Kingdom maids, had all been personally selected by him, meaning that he trusts all of them to not be enemies/spies. So after locking up the Chu Kingdom maids, he has ‘cleared the crows under his roof’.]
Meng You looked at the emperor sitting on the dragon throne while holding his face and sighing. After waiting for a while, he spoke: “Imperial Father.”
[T/N: Only the emperor can sit in the dragon throne. It’s a majestic chair in the imperial court where the emperor would usually sit on it and make decisions about the matters raised in court.]
The emperor nodded his head lightly.
Meng You: “This Son heard from a Gong Gong by Imperial Father’s side that Imperial Father did not eat for a whole day because of the issue of the city defence map disappearing.”
“This shouldn’t be the way. What if even before Chu Kingdom attacks us, Imperial Father falls sick?”
The Gong Gong nearby wisely understood Meng You’s meaningful glance and served up a bowl of bird’s nest porridge. Meng You received it and placed it beside the dragon throne.
[T/N: 公公/Gong Gong in the place refers to something like a manager eunuch. There can be multiple Gong Gongs in the palace though.]
The emperor frowned and just stirred the porridge with the spoon. Finally, he sighed heavily and put down the bowl in his hands again: “There are not many able soldiers in the capital. Send out a sealed letter to your lieutenant generals for them to bring back troops to deal with the danger coming to our imperial city first.”
Meng You shook his head: “Even if they came back now, it would be too late. We can’t call for them to retreat. Retreating would only protect our front but not our backs, thus giving Ming Country an opportunity.”
Emperor: “Then what do you intend to do?”
Meng You: “Wait and observe the situation. Regarding the city defence map, it was due to this son’s inability to handle my household well. But Yan Ke said, he gave a fake map away, we can wait for Su Yu to send out troops first, then take action.”
“The defence of the capital was built up from the continuous improvement of our generations of ancestors. Even with the city defence map, if Su Yu wants to conquer the capital city, it can’t be done overnight. He is now going back to Chu Country with a heavy responsibility and the journey there will be long. If in the next few weeks, they fail to prepare their army and gather enough supplies, they will automatically withdraw the troops on their own. “
Emperor: “Can Yan Ke’s words be trusted?”
Meng You: “It doesn’t matter whether Yan Ke’s words can be trusted, we must still prepare for the possibility of him lying.”
The emperor nodded helplessly: “There is no other way now except for this. Shu Li, this Emperor will give you full power over the military today, since anyway, sooner or later, the full power will always be given to you.”
Meng You watched as a Gong Gong brought forward half a tiger tally to him, and then he accepted it.
[T/N: 虎符/Hu Fu is a tiger-shaped tally issued to generals as imperial authorization for troop movement.]
Combining it with the other half in his house, would make a complete tiger tally.
The full power of the Yue Kingdom’s military is all here.
The sudden pressure on Meng You made him a little breathless, especially when added with the look of expectation from the man sitting on the dragon throne with greying hair from his temples.
Meng You knelt: “This Son will not let Imperial Father down!”
The emperor nodded his head: “If I knew that promising Chu Kingdom with your marriage wouldn’t have stopped their wild ambition, this Emperor wouldn’t have forced you to marry Yan Ke.”
Meng You: “………”
“Imperial Father, in this Son’s opinion, a person like Yan Ke should be beheaded and have his head hung at the city gates for the public to see!” Meng Han’s arrogant voice echoed in the hall, Meng You turned and threw a frosty look to him.
“Imperial Elder Brother, don’t blame this Younger Brother for not speaking up for Imperial Sister-in-law, this is just being reasonable. You see, Imperial Sister-in-law has married into our family, so he can be considered as part of our family, yet he stole the city defence map and gave it to Chu Kingdom, can the things that Imperial Sister-in-law has done be considered reasonable?!”
Meng You: “Imperial Father, this son will make a move first to make preparations.”
The emperor nodded, neither of them bothered to acknowledge the idle Meng Han who didn’t hold any responsibilities.
When passing by Meng Han, Meng You reached out and grabbed the collar of Meng Han who was about to run, and he was pulled out of the palace like this all the way.
Meng Han: “Big brother!”
Meng You: “Just now, in front of the Emperor, younger brother, weren’t you being pretty arrogant?”
Meng Han: “………This younger brother was just joking around!”
Meng You: “Then this big brother will also just joke around with you.”
Meng You took out a whip from his robes and tied Meng Han to a big tree in front of the Crown Prince Manor.
Meng Han: “……Big brother! I didn’t say anything wrong!”
Meng You: “The people under this Lord, if they have done wrong, they should be punished by this Lord, yet you dared to say ‘beheaded and have his head hung for the public to see’?
Meng Han: “……”
He had never received even half of an elder brother’s care from this cruel elder brother! Now he was even being treated worse than a traitor who stole the city defence map to give to others.
Meng Han felt that he was as pitiful as if he had been thrown into a pit and scrubbed hundreds of times.
Meng You entered the manor and ordered a shadow guard at his side: “After an hour, release him.”
Shadow guard: “Yes.”
Meng You was about to return to the study when the maid serving Yan Ke came to find him after hearing that he had returned.
Maid: “My lord, the Crown Princess is looking for you.”
Meng You: “………”
The bones of this fellow was really tough, after stealing the city defence map, he himself didn’t go find him, yet this fellow dared to take the initiative to send himself to his door.
[T/N: Bones being tough means that the person will maintain his stand/position/toughness and not soften and give in, it also has the implication of not being afraid of punishment.]
Meng You: “This lord will go see him.”
Meng You had just walked to Yan Ke’s door and was about to push open the door when he discovered that Yan Ke had bolted shut the door from the inside.
Meng You frowned: “What are you doing?”
Yan Ke: “You can just speak from outside; I’m scared that you will use your fists.”
Meng You: “If you knew that this Lord will use his fists, why did you do what you did?”
Yan Ke: “This matter really can’t be blamed on me, I just wanted to tell you this, even though you won’t believe me anyway. After Su Yu has been dealt with, my contributions and crimes in this matter can offset each other. So let’s not torture each other further, can you write a divorce letter for me?”
Author has something to say:
Meng You: You, come out, I won’t hit you!
Yan Ke: I won’t!!!!!
Yan Ke: Meng You, you come out, I won’t hit you!
Meng You: Yan Ke, enough! Shutting me in the study room, do you think that this lord doesn’t want his face?
Yan Ke: Then come out and restore your lost face!
Meng You: …………Not coming out.
(Treasure the times while you are still the high and mighty Lord Crown Prince 23333)
[T/N: 23333 is like slang for laughter..]
So regarding the bridesmaids, when nobles in the past marry into a family, they would usually enter their husband’s household along with at least one servant from their household to serve them. The richer they were, the more servants they would bring. Since Yan Ke is a crown prince, he probably had a lot of servants following him with his marriage.
I’ve translated these servants as bridesmaids but it’s a more permanent role than it sounds. They will usually serve the noble for at least a few years. If the servants and their masters have a good relationship, the master may even arrange a good marriage for the servants, e.g. a marriage between the servant and a rich family and then the servant can leave their household.
Some extra information about the tiger tally is that in the past, the emperor is the top of the hierarchy among the people of China. So, besides the emperor, it isn’t wise for anyone else to have full power over the military, which is why the tally is made up of two halves. When going to war, the person leading the army may not always be the emperor, so in this situation, the emperor will grant that person leading the army half of the tally and keep the other half with him. If the emperor gave that person the full tally, that person can easily rebel and become the emperor as the military will usually only obey the person with the tally.
As for why the military only listens to the person with the tiger tally, it is rare for commoners to have seen the emperor’s face, and it is said that it is also a crime to look directly at the emperor’s face. So in my opinion, why the military only listens to the owner of the tiger tally is that, the tally represents a token of confidence that whoever holds it, has been entrusted by the emperor to hold power over the military.
Chapter 25-29 are now set with a password. See Translation Permission for reason.