MSTP Chapter 10

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Translator: Cheese

(edit 2020/04/18: added some more clarification on what I think is the proper translation for footnote 20)

All men were so impatient, no matter what age!

Song Yuan might not know how to explain other things, but this was all too simple for her!

Song Yuan whipped out her cell phone from her pocket and opened up her photo gallery. Inside was her collection of treasures.

Showing a picture of a very handsome man1, Song Yuan said, both extremely excited and extremely nervous, “This is what I consider hot2.”

Then she searched for a photo of a random stranger on the Internet. “This is not what I consider hot.”

Rong Ting’s current expression was similar to the expression pack3 of an old grandpa looking at his cell phone on the subway.

He was also puzzled as to why Empress Mother was acting like this.

“Empress Mother is essentially asking whether Emperor Father is graceful and elegant4, full of charm and intelligence5, and has good character6?”

Song Yuan let out an “ah,” then immediately laughed: “Well, you could say that.”

No wonder some netizens were calling for more books to be read. By now, her vocabulary was very limited. She only knew “kwsl7,” “awsl8,” “I can,” “so good,” and “hahahaha fuck9.”

She, a college graduate, was no better than a little kid.

Considering that the people Rong Ting saw every day were either duck-voiced10 eunuchs, court ladies, and a Grand Tutor11 with a head full of silver hair, he truly didn’t know whether he should or should not describe Emperor Father with this word.

“Emperor Father has a righteous temperament12, is diligent in political affairs, and has a broad mind. He is a generation’s mingjun13.”

Song Yuan was momentarily silent. “Your Emperor Father is not here. You don’t need to toot his horn14, just tell the truth.”

Rong Ting answered honestly: “I don’t know. Emperor Father should be handsome.”

What does “should be” mean?

It seriously made one’s heart unable to settle down15.

“Alright, I won’t press you. Let me just ask you, is he young or old?”

Seeming to dread hearing an unpleasant answer, Song Yuan then said: “If he’s very old, has a beard16, or doesn’t have a single strand of hair on his head, then don’t tell me! If it’s any of this, don’t tell me, or else I won’t be able to sleep tonight.”

Rong Ting heaved a great sigh, as though a great weight were lifted off his shoulders. “This question is one that gu can answer. Emperor Father is in his prime.”

Song Yuan also let out a sigh of relief. “Thank you, Gugu. I won’t have nightmares tonight.”

Rong Ting also didn’t feel awkward after this chat. While Song Yuan patted lotion on her face, he brought up his own request. “Empress Father, gu is already able to recite by memory the stories you wrote for gu, but gu has never heard Empress Father personally tell them. It’s truly regretful…”

This child was awkward and difficult for half the day, and now he just wanted her to tell him a bedtime story?

Although Song Yuan really wanted to go browse the Internet, she also couldn’t ignore this child’s request. She readily agreed. “Okay! You go to bed first. I’ll come when I’m done.”

When Rong Ting heard this, he inwardly jumped for joy. Delighted, he returned to his room.

This resting chamber was rather small, but because he was together with Empress Mother, he actually felt happier and more comfortable than in his own palace.

He couldn’t resist rolling in bed for a moment. Then, feeling that this was not appropriate for someone of his status, he stealthily stuck out his head to peek. Seeing that Empress Mother had not seen, he felt slightly relieved. 

Ever since that strange thing happened, Song Yuan maintained an even stricter skincare routine.

She was very willing to spend money to take care of her face and body. In addition to the essential medical beauty products, she normally used skincare products from high-end, expensive brands. After this period of repair, her skin was finally restored to its previously fair, tender, and glossy state. She used to stay up all night with her white face full of youthful collagen, but now she dared not seek death. Except for last night, she would always sleep before ten o’clock.

She meticulously completed each tedious step of her skincare routine. At one point, Rong Ting even urged her to hurry up.

All men were so impatient, no matter what age!

Song Yuan entered Rong Ting’s room, bringing over a chair to sit next to the bed. “What story do you want to hear?”

Rong Ting had been sleepy since a while ago, but he still fought to stay awake. For him, hearing Empress Mother tell him a story was more important than sleeping.

“The Crow and the Pitcher17.”

Song Yuan still had a deep impression of this story. It was, after all, a story that her grandmother always told her when she was young. 

She thought back on the fable, then began to smoothly tell the story.

After a little while, Rong Ting’s eyes closed and he fell asleep. Song Yuan didn’t know if it was because his sleeping posture was not good, but he even snored lightly.

Song Yuan looked at his sleeping face, wanting to reach out and touch it.

He was so very cute. When he smiled, he had shallow dimples, but he rarely smiled, and he was so old-fashioned at such a young age.

No matter how mature he was, he was still a child. In the face of this strange and unfamiliar world, he was very reliant on her. But he didn’t say so, and even said several times that he wanted to protect and defend her.

Good night, Gugu. Sleep well.

Sweet dreams.

After returning to her bedroom, Song Yuan didn’t have much desire to browse the Internet. She looked online for an institution that could conduct a maternity test. Fortunately, they were also open on the weekends. She already called to make an appointment in the afternoon; she only needed to bring her and Rong Ting’s hair the day after tomorrow.

She reluctantly set her alarm clock before going to sleep. She could sleep in and naturally wake up on the weekend, but she had to wake up at seven. Gugu, this child, was too punctual and very self-disciplined. He didn’t even laze in bed and got up even earlier than her. Seven o’clock was already her limit as well as her compromise.

The next morning, Song Yuan opened up the delivery app. After searching around, she didn’t see anything she wanted to eat. She was quite heavily influenced by this child, and she cringed a bit when she saw other people’s negative reviews. Before, she had never looked at others’ comments, but now ne, “stale and smells bad,” “too much oil. They said they didn’t make it spicy when I asked for not spicy but it’s spicy enough to kill me,” “ate an unidentified hair, want to vomit” convinced her to give up.

She had an iron stomach, and she had long been immune to poison, but Gugu was still a child ah. As his temporary guardian, she still had to be responsible. She couldn’t let him eat something spoiled and end up in the hospital ba?

“It’s cooler today. Let’s eat something warm ba.”

Song Yuan decided that breakfast would be noodles with bok choy, spam, and poached eggs.

Naturally, there were differences between the two bowls of noodles. Rong Ting’s share was very mild; she wasn’t comfortable if she went even one day without eating something spicy. She placed two spoonfuls of chopped chili peppers18 she had once bought online. The pungent aroma made her mouth water.

Rong Ting was a child, after all, and he was very interested in her bowl of noodles. From time to time he would glance over.

“Empress Mother, what is that?”

Song Yuan was somewhat surprised. “Did you not have chili peppers there?”

Were there truly no chili peppers there?

Rong Ting’s expression shifted slightly. “There are many different capable talents in gu’s country. This trivial thing, as long as Empress Mother likes it, gu will have it planted.”

Song Yuan finally noticed something was off. She lowered her chopsticks and looked at Rong Ting. “Gugu, what do you mean? Surely you don’t want me to follow you back ba?”

Rong Ting kept quiet in silent admission.

He did indeed have this thought. Here, Empress Mother’s life was so miserable. With nobody in the palace to serve her, she had to do everything herself; it was truly hard work. Now that he was reunited with Empress Mother, he naturally wanted to bring her back to the palace.

“You can’t think that way!” Song Yuan felt that it was a matter of principle, but she still felt it was necessary to make it clear to Rong Ting. “I have no interest in the ancient times, really. I can’t survive long without a cell phone or computer. Every day would be so boring ah.”

Gu will accompany you,” Rong Ting said quietly. “So long as Empress Mother wants it and likes it, gu will find it for Empress Mother.”

“Rong Ting, listen to what I’m saying. I definitely couldn’t live in ancient times, nor could I get used to it. It’s not the world I’m familiar with.” Song Yuan thought, then said, “And, from the bottom of my heart, I can’t accept the marriage conventions of ancient times; I wouldn’t be happy there. You know, we have a one husband, one wife policy here. I most definitely could not accept my boyfriend, my husband, having people other than me.”

Perhaps it was Rong Ting’s maturity and intelligence that sometimes made it difficult for Song Yuan to treat him like a child, such as right now.

“Emperor Father has never set foot in the rear palace.” Rong Ting looked at her. “Emperor Father also only has gu by his knees. Isn’t this precisely what you refer to as one husband, one wife? Only Empress Mother is Emperor Father’s wife; those pin fei in the harem are merely concubines19. Is there any need for Empress Mother to care so much?”

This was probably the difference between men from ancient times and men from modern times.

She knew how much Rong Ting cherished and admired the Empress Mother he spoke of, maybe even to the point that Empress Mother was a more important existence in his heart than Emperor Father and other people and things. But his thoughts were deeply rooted in the education of his time.

This was the case with little children, not to mention adults like his Emperor Father.

There was no way to say who was wrong. Nobody was wrong; it was only that their stances were different due to their ideas.

“But I care a lot.”

Song Yuan picked up her chopsticks once more, intending to continue eating her noodles. But Rong Ting seemed to mention more than once that he was his Emperor Father’s only child…

Here came a very serious issue!

“Gugu, you said you’re your dad’s only child?”

Rong Ting was still in a state of disappointment and frustration. He wanted to bring Empress Mother back, but Empress Mother didn’t want to return.

Empress Mother said that she wouldn’t be happy if she returned. He only wanted Empress Mother to be happy.

He who had been as excited as a young quail now looked dejected.

Hearing Song Yuan’s question, he looked up again. “En.”

Song Yuan’s expression was extremely complex.

As an emperor, he had countless beauties in his harem, and he was still in his prime, yet he only had one child. And how was it possible that she, this transmigrated woman, gave birth, while the locals had no news20? So, coming back to the question, why did he not step foot into the rear palace?

She could basically cross out the possibility of “keeping oneself as pure as jade for the wife21.”

Ancient man, ha.

Ancient emperor, ha ha.

How many emperors were said by later generations to be devoted to one person, not happily going off to have children with other people?

If he truly had an understanding of one husband, one wife, then he wouldn’t have other imperial concubines in the rear palace.

He either was too busy to deal with his physiological needs.

Or he just wanted an excuse to cover up some sort of hidden illness.

As for Gugu, she thought, he was probably the outcome of a transmigrator’s golden finger22, en!

[1] 大帅比: colloquial term for a very handsome guy/boy (can sometimes be used ironically)

[2] 帅: I realize that I didn’t explain this term in the previous chapter. The more common dictionary terms for 帅 (shuai) are:

(v) To follow/adhere to

(adj) Rapid/sharp/sudden

(n) commander-in-chief/marshal OR senior officials OR leader/guider

(n) the marshal piece in Chinese chess

but it’s colloquially used to mean that a man is handsome/good-looking/hot, or that someone is elegant, beautiful, or impressive. This is why Rong Ting is confused and doesn’t know what it means to be “帅” in the previous chapter.

[3] 表情包: have you ever seen those meme images of a panda with a human’s face and some Chinese text?

[4] 风度翩翩: describes personality, but can also refer to a handsome man with a good temperament and appearance. Searching this term up on the Internet typically gives you (good-looking) men dressed in suits and ties

[5] 英俊潇洒: lit. handsome and unrestrained/free; describes a man with outstanding intelligence, extraordinary looks, and natural generosity and charm

[6] 风光霁月: lit. view of the moon after rain; a metaphor for an open mind and heart/good character

[7] kwsl: stands for 磕死我了 (kē sǐ wǒ le). I couldn’t find a lot of sources for this so I might be off, but from what I can tell it means being obsessed over a CP (a drama/movie couple; like an OTP)

[8] awsl: stands for 阿伟死了 (ā wěi sǐ le). Something like “AHH {insert thing here} is too cute, I’m going to die”

[9] 哈哈哈哈卧槽了: 卧槽了 is a homophone for “fuck”

[10] 公鸭嗓: lit. male duck voice/drake voice; someone with a harsh, grating, or hoarse voice. Despite the phrase, the term can also be used to describe females, so it’s not limited to men

[11] 太傅: Grand Tutor: one of top three civil positions (Zhou dynasty). The modern equivalent of the White House Chief of Staff or Prime Minister

[12] 不怒自威: someone in a high position who has a majestic/leader-like aura

[13] 明君: lit. bright/wise monarch/ruler; a term reserved for particularly excellent rulers. They usually were either a founding father who established a country or era, brought in a golden age, governed extremely well, or brought together the leaders of their country’s subordinate lands. Considering that it seems to be a formal term, I opted to leave it in pinyin; hope people don’t mind

[14] 吹彩虹屁: lit. to blow rainbow farts LMAO. Die-hard fans bragging about their idols

[15] 七上八下: lit. seven up, eight down; a well in which seven buckets are drawn up and eight dropped down; fig. one’s heart is chaotic, uneasy, agitated, etc.; an unsettled state of mind

[16] 胡子拉渣: stubbly facial hair, I think? It’s a look LOL some people like it, others don’t. Clearly Song Yuan is in the “dislike” camp

[17] 乌鸦喝水: lit. crow drinks water. One of Aesop’s fables. This story is available for free at the Library of Congress’s website! It’s one of the first Aesop’s fables that I’ve ever read

[18] 辣椒: I got Capsicum annuum but basically all the common peppers you can think of are some cultivar of this species and they vary a lot in spice level. I’m assuming this term is specifically referring to this red pepper?

[19] Back in the day, there was a distinction between legally wedded wives and concubines, both in their (as well as their children’s) statuses and how they were treated. For example, legal wives would enter their husband’s home with a thorough process, complete with a feast and a wedding procession and the exchange of nuptial cups/wine. Concubines did not have anything like this; even if they had a sedan, they couldn’t cross the threshold through the front door, and celebrations, if any, were private and subdued. Since concubines were not legal wives, it also meant they could be discarded or given away, vs. legal wives, who had to be divorced (and even then, it was only possible in certain conditions, such as if they committed one of the seven sins)

[20] Locals as in the people of the ancient times. No news as in news of pregnancy, I think?

[21] 守身如玉: to remain pure/chaste

[22] A golden finger, or a cheat, is an amazing ability/privilege/connection to someone, such as an extremely rare spiritual root (in cultivation novels), an ancient and long-lost magic tome, a magical guardian beast or great and talented teacher, a one-in-a-million penchant for a legendary martial art, etc. etc. Most protagonists have at least one golden finger, maybe even several if the author really really loves their bb

Cheese: I HATE THAT I HAVE SO MANY FOOTNOTES 。:゚(。ノω\。)゚・。 release me from this hell that is html……… i do this for you, niche readers who actually read footnotes

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10 thoughts on “MSTP Chapter 10

  1. I’m getting more and more curious about the mysterious husband, but Gugu is still the #1!

    I do read the footnotes so hang in there~!
    Thank you very much for the chapter~🌸

  2. Thank you for your hard work! The footnotes are helpful and I am thankful for them, but I do feel bad that you have to deal with so many…

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