T/N: A small change in translation. I will start translating liwang 历王 as Prince Li. At first, I thought liwang was going to be used as an honorific suffix for Xuan Yuan Zhao Hong (the MC’s antagonistic imperial uncle), similar to momo or gonggong, but it’s actually a title specific to XYZH, so it makes more sense to translate it as Prince Li.
Chapter 40 – Kang’er
The chattering of the palace maids outside of the courtyard interrupted Xu Xue Ying’s thoughts.
Xu Xue Ying walked into the yard. The maids were discussing something and they were talking about it with vigor. Xu Xue Ying thought, just wait until I return to my glorious days, I will definitely bring all of them under control.
Xu Xue Ying heard one of the palace maids say: “Hey, what do you think that Lin-xiaozhu looks like? His Royal Highness has never pampered a person so much before.”
Another palace maid said: “I heard from the sisters who work at Ping Le Courtyard that Lin-xiaozhu is very beautiful, just like an immortal, and His Royal Highness is completely enraptured. He favors* him every night, and hasn’t gone to another concubine since. They even partake in meals together!”
[*T/N: 宠幸 chong xing – to show special favor towards someone, often applied to the emperor in olden times. The connotation is, of course, naughty. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) ]
“Wow… that Lin-xiaozhu is really amazing!” One of the palace maids said with envy. “I heard that that Lin-xiaozhu also started out as a palace attendant. Why is his life so good?!”
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“Yeah, yeah, how come such a good thing doesn’t happen to us?!” Another one of the maids was fantasizing.
One of the older palace maids interjected, “What is there to be envious of? These nobles are always enamored with the new and bored with the old. We don’t even know how long this Lin-xiaozhu will be favored for!”
“That’s true, just look at that concubine Xu-shi. I heard that her days used to be very glorious. Even the crown princess didn’t dared to go against her. But right now, isn’t she still being confined. His Royal Highness must have long forgotten about her already,” another maid echoed the words of the previous one.
“That’s right, we only see the laughter and smiles of the new people, and not the tears of the old people. The palace has many cases like this. We better just do our duty, and let’s not think too much about it.”
The other palace maids nodded in agreement to this.
Xu Xue Ying received a huge shock from this overheard gossip. She walked to the other side of the yard. She looked at the tall walls beyond the courtyard fencing. So it turns out that His Royal Highness already has a new favorite… but was she going to be trapped in this yard forever? She was not resigned, absolutely not resigned.
Suddenly, through a gap in the courtyard fencing, a bit of movement caught Xu Xue Ying’s attention. Beyond the fence was a little girl in a beautiful floral dress playing with the flowers and plants by herself.
After ascertaining the identity of the little girl, Xu Xue Ying was delighted.
She whispered, “Kang’er, Kang’er…”
The little girl was Xuan Yuan Han Cheng’s eldest daughter, Kang’er. She was almost five years old this year. The little girl heard someone calling her and walked up to the fence curiously. She looked inside through the gap in the fence.
“Who are you?”
“Kang’er, you don’t remember me? I held you before, when you were a baby.” Xu Xue Ying said softly and kindly. “Why are you by yourself? Where is your nanny?”
“My nanny, I don’t like her. She never lets me come out to play. So I snuck out by myself.” Kang’er said triumphantly.
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Kang’er has been weak and sickly since she was a child. Usually, her nanny looked after her closely, and seldom allowed her to go outside and play, for fear that something might go wrong.
“Kang’er, you’re so amazing! The momo in my courtyard is so strict, you see, I can’t come out to play.” Xu Xue Ying said.
“Haha, that’s right, I’m more amazing!” Kang’er said happily.
“Kang’er, do you usually get to see your father often?” Xu Xue Ying asked.
“Yes, my father sometimes come to check up on me during naptime, to see if I’m good. I’m very good. I always take a nap obediently.” Kang’er replied.
Xuan Yuan Han Cheng would sometimes visit his two daughters when Lin Jia Bao was taking a nap. Especially because Kang’er was his first child, he liked her more.
“Then Kang’er can’t see your father at other times?” Xu Xue Ying asked again.
Kang’er shook her head.
Xu Xue Ying thought to herself, that Song-shi is really useless. His Royal Highness is already at her place, but she doesn’t think of ways to keep him there.
“Kang’er, do you know why your father doesn’t visit you at any other time?” Xu Xue Ying said with a mysterious voice.
“Why?” Seeing Xu Xue Ying’s theatrics, Kang’er asked curiously.
“Because… there is a freak* clinging on to your father and not letting him see you.” Xu Xue Ying lied to Kang’er.
[*T/N: 怪物 guai wu – literal meaning is “strange thing,” but it translates to “freak” or “monster.” Freak makes more sense in this context, since XXY is implying that LJB is a freak of nature by referencing his ger identity.]
“Freak? What freak?” Kang’er questioned.
“It’s a freak that is neither male nor female.” Xu Xue Ying continued to deceive.
Translations by Vanilla Muse.
Kang’er nodded, half understanding, but not really understanding. Then she heard her nanny’s voice calling for her from the distance.
“Nanny is here, I have to leave now…”
“Kang’er… Kang’er, can you come and talk to me often? Look at how pitiful I am. The momo won’t let me go out and play.” Xu Xue Ying said miserably.
“Okay, I will come and talk to you the next time I sneak out.” Kang’er bounced away vivaciously.
Xu Xue Ying watched little Kang’er run away, and smiled a cold smile.