Chapter 174

News came from the capital that the second prince, the first child the Jing Emperor had after his ascension, was born.

The second prince, the eldest prince and the eldest princess were all born from the same mother. They had come from the prime senior concubine’s stomach.

This prime senior concubine wasn’t simple. When they were still in the capital, Luo Huai Yuan had told Yan Yan about her. He said this prime senior concubine was the little beauty the Jing Emperor had kept in the golden house back then.

Yan Yan had met her once when the former emperor passed away. At that time she was still Goodwife Tao, and not yet the prime senior concubine. She carried her pregnant stomach while mourning. The delicate little person carrying such a large stomach looked very concerning. Before long, news came that Goodwife Tao’s pregnancy didn’t look good and there was a risk of miscarriage. For the sake of the child, the Jing Emperor exempted her from the funeral rites.

The first child born after his ascension naturally drew everyone’s attention.

Since Luo Huai Yuan’s relationship with the Jing Emperor was pretty good, and he was also his subordinate, he should be sending congratulatory gifts as a vassal prince. Luo Huai Yuan didn’t plan on being an exception and carefully picked out a few things and sent them to the capital with his congratulations.

Yan Yan had wondered why the Jing Emperor only conferred the woman he loved a title of senior concubine. Although she didn’t really understand their relationship, no matter how she viewed it this prime senior concubine meant a lot to the Jing Emperor.

Even without mentioning her being “kept in a golden house”, the Jing Emperor had few children, and they had all come from the prime senior concubine’s stomach. The original crown prince consort, the current empress, was still surnamed Xiao. Others might not be aware, but Yan Yan knew that the fourth and fifth princes who were shunned as children hated the surname Xiao. This was thanks to the former Empress Xiao, the current Royal Concubine Xiao. Furthermore, rumor had it that this Xiao-shi wasn’t liked by the Jing Emperor. Since this was the case, why still confer Xiao-shi as his empress?

Towards her doubts, Luo Huai Yuan laughed and didn’t explain. He merely told her to wait a couple of years and see.

Yan Yan scoffed at seeing her man act profound. Luo Huai Yuan couldn’t endure being looked down upon by his wife and immediately ended up explaining. He said the prime senior concubine’s birth was too lowly. The Jing Emperor’s foundations weren’t stable yet so he might as well confer Xiao-shi as empress to calm everyone’s hearts. This prevented the nobles and officials from making trouble. He also made fun of the Jing Emperor, saying that someone cold on the outside yet warm on the inside like him would definitely clear the way for his darling in the end.

Luo Huai Yuan was quite earnest in the beginning but revealed his vulgar nature towards the end of the explanation. He winked and chuckled, saying “you understand” with his expression.

This won’t be mentioned for now. This was just a brief interlude in the Yun Prince and his wife’s daily life. Their main task was still to help Luo Huai Yuan lose weight.

Luo Huai Yuan hadn’t viewed it as such, but Yan Yan had set her heart on it. From her serious appearance, it seemed she was dead set on having him lose weight.

As the saying goes, those above may plan and those below will plan accordingly.

Who was Luo Huai Yuan?

In terms of cleverness, even ten Yan Yans weren’t his match.

Seeing that acting shameless and playing dead wouldn’t change her mind, Luo Huai Yuan could only try something else. He decided to find something for Yan Yan to do.

First it was internal affairs. When that didn’t work, he handed over some of his businesses. He put it nicely by saying he was focusing on losing weight and didn’t have time to manage these things.

Yan Yan took pity on him. He was truly tired and hungry daily and didn’t have time for these things. Therefore, she took over those businesses. Once she started getting busy, she no longer focused exclusively on making him lose weight.

Luo Huai Yuan was a crafty fellow. On the surface he acted pitiful, either hanging his tongue out from exhaustion or crying about being hungry in front of Yan Yan. Yan Yan didn’t suspect anything. She scarcely realized that this fellow was secretly slacking off and sneaking food. Xiao An Zi was forced to help cover for him. Not only did he fool Yan Yan, he even fooled the two little spies.

During this time, news came from the capital. Shen Yi Yao had given birth.

She gave birth to twins, one boy and one girl. Giving birth at her age, especially to twins, meant she had suffered quite a bit. Luckily she had nourished herself during her pregnancy so she and her babies were safe.

Because of this, Qi Ran decided not to have anymore children. He had planned on dying alone to begin with. He didn’t expect to be able to marry the woman of his dreams who gave birth to two children for him. To Qi Ran, this was something unimaginable in the past. This taciturn man had secretly shed tears of joy after the children were born.

Some amusement ended up coming out of this situation. Because the two of them were proven to still be fertile and seeing how Shen Yi Yao had suffered, Qi Ran had some lingering fear. After this, he didn’t dare touch Shen Yi Yao for a long while, deeply afraid of accidentally getting her pregnant again.

Shen Yi Yao became unfrequented by her husand. She was first puzzled and then depressed. Others weren’t aware but she clearly knew that after marriage, the two of them had gotten along very well. They spent a lot of time in bed together. Qi Ran had been abstinent for too long and was rather interested in such things. Now that things suddenly dulled, Shen Yi Yao wasn’t used to it and inevitably overthought. Women loved to think up nonsense. Shen Yi Yao was already quite old when she remarried, and had felt she wasn’t worthy of such a good man like Qi Ran. She would inevitably think that perhaps he wouldn’t cherish her after they got married or that he would forget about her after having children.

The couple had even gotten into an argument over this.

They were both shy people and Qi Ran especially was a closed gourd. He naturally thought about having Shen Yi Yao drink birth control medicine, but in his mind such things were harmful to women. He would rather force himself to endure. After seeing his wife looking depressed, he couldn’t help but wonder whether Sis Yao regretted marrying him.

In the end it was Second Madam Shen who saw the signs and after repeated questioning she finally heard about the matter from Shen Yi Yao. She then had Shen Ding check with Qi Ran before this misunderstanding was cleared up.

Having made such fools of themselves, the two whose ages added up to almost a hundred were both embarrassed. When Yan Yan and Luo Huai Yuan heard about this, their emotions were a little interesting.

It seems that matters between men and women were always extremely complicated. Age had nothing to do with it.

Yan Yan thus thought of herself and Luo Huai Yuan. Such things had never happened between the two of them. This was because of that person’s shamelessness. Even if they had some misunderstanding, it would be cleared up on the spot. Even if she was being difficult and refused to speak, he would come ask flatteringly. Sometimes, even when she was in the wrong, he would still yield to her and coax her.

Thinking of this, Yan Yan had a special feeling in her heart. She recalled how he had proposed to her. He had kept every one of his promises. The two had been married for over ten years, and she didn’t seem to have suffered any grievances. He truly did always treat her well.

This man wasn’t a girl’s ideal husband. He wasn’t upstanding enough and was all smiles. He was fat and lazy, and liked to mouth off and posture. He had many, many shortcomings but in Yan Yan’s mind he couldn’t be replaced.

Having been married to him for so many years, she had never regretted it.

On this day, Yan Yan was more passionate than ever before. It truly made Luo Huai Yuan feel a little overwhelmed by favor. He even had to wonder whether his wife was laying out a honey trap before coming out with the whip.

Fine, Luo Huai Yuan had overthought things. He had a guilty conscience and was naturally worried that Yan Yan had noticed something. He thought she was using a different method to sort him out.

Although he was trembling in fear, he was also basking in this beauty’s passion. Finally, he decided not to think about it. What was going to come will come, and if he was damned then so be it. But what astonished him was that he made it through a wonderful night, and his wife even brewed some nourishing soup for him the next day.

Overwhelmed with favor was no longer able to describe his emotions.

Of course, such amazing treatment only lasted for that one day. The next day, Yan Yan once again supervised him in eating less and exercising more. Luo Huai Yuan once again sank into the abyss of suffering. He had to suffer through the weightloss program while playing subterfuge with his wife and children.

Regarding Yan Yan’s huge change in attitude that day, Luo Huai Yuan remained confused. Of course, that was something for the future.


“Tell me honestly, have you been playing tricks?”

The weightloss program had lasted for several months and the estate was in disarray. However, Luo Huai Yuan still looked the same as before. No matter how naive Yan Yan was, she still noticed something was up.

Luo Huai Yuan’s put on an appearance of being unjustly accused. “Yan Yan, you saying that has hurt your husband’s heart.”

Seeing Yan Yan’s suspicious appearance, he hurriedly approached, “Look, I’ve lost weight. Isn’t my stomach smaller by quite a bit?” As he spoke, he grabbed her hand and placed it on his stomach.

It was truly a little smaller.

Looking at his entire body, he was truly thinner than before by a bit. However, this little bit truly let down Yan Yan’s efforts over the past few months. Especially with the ruckus he made when forced to exercise, this small result was truly unacceptable.

“Perhaps I’m just innately fat. Isn’t my old mom also round? Perhaps I got it from her.” Luo Huai Yuan blinked and said.

This shameless fellow pushed all responsibility on Former Concubine Ma. She definitely hadn’t been fat when she was young, just full-figured. She only gained weight when she got older.

Yan Yan didn’t understand the concept of genetics. However, she knew that if the dad was fat, the son might also be fat. Yet seeing her son getting taller and thinner, Yan Yan doubted this sort of explanation. Jian’er had also been chubby when he was young, but he had gradually lost weight as he matured. It was clear he would become a sturdy kid, and definitely not a fat kid.

Before Yan Yan could figure things out, Luo Huai Yuan interrupted: “Oh, right. An edict came from the capital summoning our entire family back for the New Year. Let’s start making preparations.”

The Yun Province wasn’t close to the capital. It took at least half a month to get there. Leaving now meant arriving near the end of the year. Him bringing this up truly got Yan Yan interested. It wasn’t due to the honor of being summoned by the emperor, but rather because she hadn’t been able to make it back for Shen Yi Yao giving birth. She hadn’t seen her step-siblings yet.

Thinking of this and the preparations that needed to be made, Yan Yan felt a little rushed. Her suspicions were cast unimaginably far away.

Luo Huai Yuan was secretly speechless. Heehee, looks like he got away with it.

Translator’s notes:

Spoilers below.

Author’s notes:

How could the lazy little fatty lose weight properly? He’s both lazy and a glutton.

However, he won’t be able to get away with it for long. He has his schemes but others have theirs. Yan Yan has her way of dealing with him. No need to be anxious, the little fatty will lose weight soon. Based on the timeline, it’s about time for the little fatty to do the Jing Emperor a favor while freeing himself up to travel around. Vassal princes aren’t allowed to run around, so how can he travel the world?

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3 years ago

Time for Yanyan to meet her little siblings♥️ (technically half-siblings by blood)

Thanks for the chapter 😁

1 year ago

Kinda sad however you look at it, that women made to marry for their families are trampled by men for the love of their concubines. Seems it’s better to be low born and be a concubine in these emperor universes, rather than a high born daughter like the current empress who isn’t even allowed to have a child. Prince Jing is no hero.

11 months ago
Reply to  Hani

Just overall the patriarchal system is unkind to women. That said, I don’t feel that Prince Jing’s treatment of his consort is particularly unfair. I think a reoccurring theme in this novel is that often there are grey areas when it comes to human relationships; so many things pile up as people hurt each other that it becomes difficult to say if one party is solely at fault. See: Xue-shi, Concubine Wang, and Yan Ling. Jing Consort Xiao could be said to have been dealt an unfair hand when the Xiao family betrothed her to Prince Jing as a political move–here is a prince who will (seemingly) never amount to anything politically and is “not whole” because he is mute (a lot of ableism embedded there). But how unfair is it really? She lives (and lived, in the first life) a life befitting that of a consort of an unfavored vassal prince–certainly while not as lavish as the lives of the favored princes, there is no shortage of good food to eat, good clothes to wear, and servants to use. Prince Jing also seemed to treat her with the basic respect required of their relationship as husband and wife (did their duty, produced a child, she probably had management rights over the household). Despite this, Consort Jing not only disdains him in her heart but also repeatedly insults him and laments the bitterness of having a “crippled, stupid husband.” She is the one who does not respect him and has never respected him. And of course, please don’t forget that she killed him in the first life. I can understand why she did it because she was trying to protect their child (not knowing that Emperor Jin was probably also paranoid enough to kill both mother and child afterwards to prevent loose ends). The irony being that the Jing household precisely had no power to protect themselves BECAUSE they were trying to show that they were not a threat to the throne to avoid harm. I think Prince Jing understood this too, since he drinks the poison anyway. But even if he understands it, does he have to forgive her for never treating him well and poisoning him? Does he have to love her? I think it would be very difficult for a person to come to love/get along with someone who is obviously and vocally disgusted by them, even without the whole past life murderer angle. Does he (and this is where it gets more grey) have to sacrifice the possibility of his own happiness and joy for her dignity and reputation (given that, if the first life was any indication, she wouldn’t treat him respectfully or kindly regardless)? Prince Jing may not be a hero, but that’s not what the author was going for anyway. He’s reasonably human and is actually a relatively decent one. If the societal rules allowed amicable divorce without stigma, I’m sure neither Consort Jing nor Prince Jing would want to remain married to each other. It’s also not as strange as you make it out to be that though he wasn’t given a choice in who to marry as his legitimate wife (tbh they were both screwed over by the previous Empress Xiao), Prince Jing does have a choice to make sure that he is faithful to the person he loves and to protect her (and their children). And he stands firm by that choice.

tl;dr: It’s unfair that Consort Jing loses out as a side effect of Prince Jing pursuing happiness over duty in a patriarchal, polygamous society, but this is also her lying in the bed that she made. A little nuance doesn’t hurt.