Da Mo Yao Chapter 34: Dangerous Plot

What to do when your hubby isn’t around, you’re pregnant, and and the Emperor may want to take your newborn baby hostage? Why, ask your still besotted first love for his help, of course. I stopped feeling sorry for Jiu Ye a long time ago, because if Yu Er is his true love and no one else will do, then at least he got to meet her and spend time with her as opposed to being all alone for the rest of his life without ever having loved before. I’m glad he’s around to help Yu Er in her time of need, and that both of them trust each other and know that thank yous aren’t even necessary. Yu Er continues to take risks that she believes are necessary to protect the people she loves, but she doesn’t always factor in herself in the equation. Her impetuousness and boldness are part of what I love about her, even if sometimes it lands her in heaps of trouble she needs help getting out of.

Chapter 34: Dangerous Plot

The Northern desert battle has the Great General Wei commanding fifty thousand troops and departing from Ding Xiang, while Huo Qu Bing commands fifty thousand troops and departs from Dai Jun, along with fourteen thousand horses and one hundred thousand foot soldiers.

Huo Qu Bing disregards personal conflicts and greatly uses Li Gan as his second-in-command, and he also heavily uses the surrendered Xiong Nu elite talent rom the previous battles. Under his command is a group of seasoned and brave warriors. This leader of the pack roams through the desert over thousands of miles and finally meets up with the Left Sage King of the Xiong Nu army.

Even though he is attacking deep within Xiong Nu territory, but Huo Qu Bing knows this area well. His riders are more fleet and courageous than the Xiong Nu riders, and he defeats the Left Sage King. He also captures important officials to the Shan Yu, kills some tribal leaders and officials, and captures the Left Sage King’s banner and drum. The Xiong Nu forces are in disarray. Huo Qu Bing’s forces quickly cross over the Hou Mountains and he captures more tribal leaders, generals, and ministers numbering a total of eighty-three. He manages to kill over seventy thousand Xiong Nu, completely destroying the Left Sage King’s forces.

Wei Qing’s forces travel over the desert and meet up with the forces of the Shan Yu himself. He faces them with a new formation and also burns their supplies which greatly weakens the Shan Yu’s forces. During the confusion the Han army manages to kill over twenty thousand Xiong Nu soldiers.

Under Liu Che’s orders, because of what happened in the past and Liu Che is superstitious that Li Guang has bad luck at war, plus wanting to give Gong Xun Aou a chance to succeed, Wei Qing refuses Li Guang’s plea to take the first attack and instead gives it to Gong Xun Aou and places Li Guang on backup. Li Guang once again gets lost in the desert and does not have a chance to face the Xiong Nu, and loses another chance to be made a duke. This white-haired general, under extreme rage and despair, commits suicide in front of Wei Qing.

Despite the suicide of Li Guang casting a cloud over the Han army, this remains the most significant victory of the Han army over the Xiong Nu in history of the dynasty. So when Wei Qing defeats the Right Sage King the following year, after five years of war with the Xiong Nu, the Xiong Nu have been completely defeated. Henceforth the Desert South region no longer has the kingdom of the Xiong Nu.

The two generals Huo and Wei will soon return victorious. To celebrate, Huo Q Bing decides to build a temple on the top of Lang Ju Mountains to hold an open air prayer ceremony to the Heavens. The messenger returns to Chang An with this news. Even though I can’t go see Qu Bing, I can imagine his cold and composed exterior hiding his excitement and glee on the inside. Right now he must be proudly on a horse surveying the Xiong Nu lands he conquered.

Since he was small he listened to stories from his uncle about fighting the Xiong Nu. He learned to ride a horse and pull a bow and arrow from his uncle. Since he was small he had a dream to stand on Xiong Nu land and conquer the entire vast expanse. Now his dream has finally come true.

Huo Qu Bing has not returned to Chang An but the poetic song he composed for his ceremony to the Heavens arrive first. It is sung all through the streets and in every house and hovel in Chang An. The song has some hidden meanings that I don’t understand immediately, with Qu Bing seemingly misusing some phrases. Tian Cao compliments that a warrior can do so well already in writing a song about the end of war and hoping for peace to the nation.

I mull over it and discover that within the song are hidden references to the great historical figure Fang Li, who won many wars but eventually gave up his political career to travel the world. Jiu Ye looked at me with a smile that hid his despair “General Huo admires Fang Li?” I nodded my head, happy inside but also worried “Do you think the Emperor will discern the hidden meaning behind his words?”

“Only one word in the entire text references it, and it has a dual meaning. You know that General Huo once complimented Fang Li so you can guess. How many people in the Han dynasty know General Huo as well as you do? Most people will see General Huo as just a fighting man, and that he used a word incorrectly in this song.”

Tian Cao, who had thought Qu Bing just misused a word, turned red and stuttered “General Huo is not Xi Ma Xiang Ru, why write a song that is now sung all over Chang An?” I reply “Qu Bing is probably using this song to test the Emperor’s intentions. In the song he mentioned Emperor Wu of the Zhou kingdom, a warrior Emperor who nevertheless garnered the love of his people. Qu Bing was complimenting Emperor Wu, but was actually using that to express his own feelings about future warfare.”

Jiu Ye looked at the ground “The current Emperor is enamored of warfare. Now that the Xiong Nu is defeated, he’s worried the Emperor is eyeing Xi Yu next. But General Huo no longer cares about the weakened Xiong Nu kingdom in the Desert North region, much less wants to prey on the weak and defenseless Xi Yu kingdoms. He’s only interested in fighting an opponent like the Xiong Nu when it was at its strongest.”

Tian Cao thought about it and then said “On the surface General Huo appears arrogant and thoughtless, only knowing to barrel full speed ahead. But based on his song, from composing it to sending it back to Chang An, his thoughts are much deeper than realized, and he’s comparable to the Great General Wei in terms of doing things with forethought.”

Qu Bing’s biggest intelligence was letting everything think that he was stupid at everything else other than fighting wars. I felt happy and let out a small smile. But when my eyes met Jiu Ye, my smile froze and inside I felt a twinge of bitterness. Jiu Ye turned his head and wheeled out “We won’t bother you, get some rest!”

In ten days Qu Bing will be back. Since he deployed, my heart finally started to feel at ease. That is, until Wei Shao Er and Wei Jun Ru suddenly came to visit. Those two sisters are usually so chilly towards me, but now they are quite friendly. Liu Che wants to summon me into the Palace to give birth. They are here to congratulate me since my child will be born into the same treatment as the royal children. It is such a honor and privilege.

Honor and privilege! I see their smiles and want to grab a broom to sweep them out. Do they not know what is behind this great honor and privilege? Do they not know, or don’t want to know? Seeking wealth and power in this dangerous place, even Wei Zhi Fu as the Empress has to endure much danger.

It was nearing the end of Summer, and some of the flowers are at the end of their bloom cycle. Isn’t life just like that? When the water is full means its about to overflow. When the moon is full means its about to wane. When power is at its peak means its will soon weaken.

Is this the Emperor’s response to Qu Bing’s song? When Qu Bing returns, I will already be in the Palace, so will he dare to oppose the Emperor and take me back home? When power is at its peak, even one misstep could mean complete destruction. I have made up my mind.

Inside the study, Jiu Ye is flipping through medical books and I barge in and sit right across from him “Jiu Ye, I need to ask you for a favor. You must agree.” Jiu Ye’s grip on the book tightened and he immediately said “I won’t agree.”

I stare at him without blinking “I’ve flipped through all the medical texts these past few days but can’t find any that discusses speeding up the date of delivery. I understand the risks, but I have no choice despite knowing I am gambling with my life and the life of my baby.”

Jiu Ye’s eyes were filled with despair and he softly said “There are other ways. We can leave Chang An immediately, we can leave all this chaos and fighting behind.” I stare at him but didn’t answer what he said “If you don’t agree, then I will find another doctor.”

I knew I was forcing him, but right now I have no choice. I cannot leave Chang An with him, what position would that place Qu Bing in? His expression turned distressed, within his ashen face was pure hopelessness. My heart hurt to the point it felt numb. We really have passed each other by. I have already chosen Huo Qu Bing. No matter what happens, what obstacles and challenges, I will not leave. I will not leave Huo Qu Bing to be alone in Chang An to weather this storm.

I silently get up and walk out, and his weak voice says “I agree.”

I knew he would agree, because he would never place my life in the hands of another person. I don’t react and continue to calmly walk outside. I keep my voice steady as I coolly say “Thank you!” But silent tears are falling, the tears are falling for him. And I cannot let him know, I would rather he saw only my seemingly cold figure.

A late Summer storm passes and the ground is wet. When I walk the Palace physician sent to check on me out, I slip on a step and in the eyes of everyone my stomach hits the ground first. But in truth I’ve used one hand and my knee to temper the impact. To make it more realistic, I let my other arm hit the ground hard and scrape it so that it is bloody. I crush the Cha Mo flower leaves that is hidden in my hand, and the fragrance wafts in through my nose and hits the medicine I drank earlier. It mixes together to induce labor. Soon my entire body is curled into a ball, my sweat and blood seeping through my clothes.

The physician screams for help and Jiu Ye anxiously picks me off the ground. My blood seeps into his white robe, almost like a red flower blooming. His face has not a shred of color, and in his dark eyes I see only fear as deep as the ocean.

Jiu Ye knows this was all orchestrated but he’s reacting like it’s real. No one will suspect. But when I see him sweating, I know he’s not acting. This is his honest reaction. From the moment I drank the labor inducing medicine, my life was on the line.

I force a smile for him to indicate I’m fine, but then I realize I can’t control my body anymore. The pain makes me moan and my teeth clench. I bite my lip until its bleeding. Jiu Ye’s brows are furrowed and he puts his hand in my mouth so that I will bite him instead. He doesn’t want me to hurt myself. I try to turn away so I don’t hurt him but my clenching teeth still bites down on his hand.

His beads of sweat are rolling down his face, almost like his tears are falling. My blood, his blood, my sweat, his sweat, it all mixes together. I taste the sweet acrid blood in my mouth and all my strength dissipates. My consciousness starts to muddle and my bodily pain seems to going away. But my emotional pain appears even more pronounced, so much that my feelings break free of my logical shackles and everything is expressed in my eyes. My tears also cannot be controlled and I just start crying in front of him.

Before I pass out, all I hear is “Yu Er, don’t cry, don’t cry, don’t cry……”

The moment I regain consciousness, the feeling of body-rendering pain causes even the normally tough me to cry out in pain. I don’t know how long I have been passed out, but its already dark outside the room. A curtain is pulled across my chest, with two midwives busy behind the curtain and Jiu Ye sitting beside me outside the curtain. He looked tired but he was calm and tightly gripped my hand “Nothing will happen to you. You will be fine.” But his shaking hand betrayed his real feelings. He was frightened, so I use my energy to smile and weakly nodded my head.

One hour passes, and another, and yet another. Still there is only indescribable pain. The baby still won’t come out. Baby, why don’t you come out? Mom’s energy is almost all used up. With one more scream from me, the midwife suddenly cried out “The baby is out! It’s a boy, and despite being born two months early and is so tiny, it has a lot of energy. You can tell it’s not an average baby.”

Jiu Ye relaxed “Yu Er, you did well.”

One midwife carried the baby out and happily showed him to me. I heard his cries and my heart shook. I felt this immense sorrow that almost knocked me out. Baby, are you crying because you know that from the moment you are born you won’t be able to see your mom?

Jiu Ye pressed on my forehead and woke me up, then he exchanged a look with Tian Cao standing in the doorway. They looked at me and despite all my longing, I nod my head. Tian Cao came inside to take the baby “The nanny has been waiting for quite some time. The Palace has also sent someone to wait for the baby. I will bring the baby to them.”

I make this noise that I can’t even tell what I’m trying to say. Tian Cao stopped and I stared at the bundle in his arms. After a few moments, I forcefully close my eyes. Jiu Ye said to Tian Cao “You can go!”

Jiu Ye’s hand on my wrist, I can feel the heavy emotion and his fingers turning cold. I force a smile “I’m not hurting anymore, just tired and sleepy. My body is strong, you don’t need to worry. After a good rest I’ll recover.”

The midwife cried out “The bleeding won’t stop, won’t stop.” She was afraid to look Jiu Ye in the eye and just lowered her head and shook it. Jiu Ye froze and then in a low voice ordered the midwife to do something and then ordered medicine to be brewed.

Buckets of clean water are brought in one after another, and buckets of bloody water are removed one after another. I wondered if all that blood came from me? There was a sense of bone deep exhaustion coming over me, making me weak and lazy. All I want to do is sleep, but Jiu Ye won’t let me. He keeps whispering in my ear and forcing me to stare at his eyes and won’t let me close my eyes “Yu Er, do you remember when we first met?”

How could I forget? The vast yellow sand, the blue-green spring water, this white-robed young man that was as clear at the moon above the Sky Mountain.

“Do you remember that outfit? It was given to me by a good friend in Luo Lan. He said it was for my wife, and laughed that since I had a wedding dress, my bride will be sure to appear. Then you appeared. Despite the rags on you, it couldn’t hide your spirit, an entire body filled with fearlessness but your eyes showed hidden sadness. But your face had only the most brilliant smile. It was the first time I had heard a girl laugh out loud without reservation like that. It was like the entire universe was under your control. At that moment, I thought only about how beautiful you would look wearing that outfit. But…..but I never got to see you wearing it…..”

My eyes teared up and, drop by drop, the tears fell on the palm of his hand. I try valiantly to listen to him but his face turns blurry. My eyes cloud over with this white fog and everything grows faint “Jiu Ye, am I dying?” Jiu Ye tightly gripped my hand “No, no, you’re not…..” I don’t know if he’s trying to convince me or himself.

I lay in his embrace without any fear, completely calm. Things I would never say I finally tell him “Jiu Ye, I’m sorry. What I owe you, I will owe you for this lifetime. I always wanted you to be happy, and I used to think of many ways just to make you more at ease and to not let anyone hurt you. But in the end the person who hurt you the most was me.”

His face was lightly pressed against mine and I felt the dampness. Who was crying?

“Yu Er, the person who needs to be sorry is me. I was correct about entering the Palace, your grudge with Li Yan likely started because of me, otherwise you wouldn’t have gotten close to her or helped her enter the Palace. You did everything right, and I was the one who always kept you outside. If I had been honest with you, then we wouldn’t have this pain today.”

Xiao Feng brought medicine and Jiu Ye fed it to me. Every sip felt like it took every ounce of my strength. Jiu Ye wiped my sweat “I know it’s hard for you to hold on, but you have to hold on. You cannot give up, otherwise many people will be devastated.”

I thought about Qu Bing, about our new son, and I felt like my body gained a bit more strength. Jiu Ye started to sing the Xiong Nu ballad I once sang for him, his voice swirling in my ears. In tune with the song, he inserted needles into my body. “Yu Er, I now know that all I want is for you to be alive. I don’t care who you are with, I just want you to be alive. I just want to know that you are alive and happy, then I will be happy. Didn’t you say you didn’t want to see me sad. Then you must stay alive so that I won’t be sad.”

My eyes slowly closed and I heard Jiu Ye’s voice “You must stay alive, you must stay alive, you must stay alive……”

His voice, with such conviction and insistence to fight against the Heavens, even though my consciousness was scattered, but it became imprinted with another voice from a long time ago “You must stay alive, promise Papa, you must stay alive.”

A very long dark corridor, with a faint light at the end. I chase the light and see a wolf pack running ahead, including the wolf that nursed me. I rush to catch up but the wolves disappear and Yu Dan is there. He smiles and waves at me, and I call out wanting to run to him. Suddenly Papa appeared behind Yu Dan, and I happily call out “Papa” and run towards him like I did as a child. But he didn’t open his arms like he used to to embrace me, but he looked very angry like he didn’t want to see me.

I stand in place not moving, thinking of something but not being able to remember. I look back and its all dark, but there is warmth and light ahead, with Yu Dan and Papa. I take another step forward and see Papa’s despairing face staring at me. His sad face triggered something…..my mind flashed two blurry faces. Will they be sad like this?

You must stay alive, you must stay alive….

I don’t know what that means but it stops me from going forward. I take a step back towards the darkness and Papa smiles. My body begins to hurt.

You must stay alive, you must stay alive….

Every step backward takes me further from the light and my body is in more pain. Going forward means happiness, going backward means pain. But Papa is smiling and those two faces in my mind also seem overjoyed, so no matter the pain I keep walking backwards. I don’t know why I’m willing to endure so much pain that I feel crushed, rather than let the two of them feel sad. Step by step I endure the pain and walk backwards……

“Yu Er!” Two voices call out simultaneously in joy. In my eyes I see two different faces, both haggard and exhausted. Both reach out for me, and both stop right before touching my face. Huo Qu Bing turned to look at Jiu Ye, whose initial joy at my awakening gradually turns into sadness. His face still has his usual smile but his hands turns into a fist. The veins on his hand are still faintly twitching but he slowly pulls his hand back. He turned his wheelchair around and headed out “I’ll tell the kitchen to prepare some food.”

Huo Qu Bing silently sat on the pallet and carefully embraced me. His hands are clasped together but his arms aren’t touching me, but remain in a protective stance. It’s clear he’s hiding his worry and uncertainty. I try hard to turn my head towards him but can’t move it so he helps place my head on his shoulder. He finally had a smile and truly embraced me, then he said “Yu Er, let’s not have any more children.”

Mention of children makes my heart ache, so I force a smile “And someone wanted an entire football team! Didn’t you want a father-son team?” His chin was resting on my head “Nothing is as important as you. I don’t even want to see the baby right now. As I stayed beside you, I thought about how giving birth to him caused this to happen to you, and I didn’t want to see him.”

I hesitated and then asked “Did you see the baby?”

He was silent and his voice was somber when he said “No. He was already taken to the Palace when I returned. The Emperor bestowed the name Tan, and he will be raised by the Empress herself. He will be treated like the Crown Prince was treated. Because he was born two months early, he is weak and all the Palace physicians are there. The Palace is all atwitter with this new baby. You were at death’s door so I just bowed to the Emperor and gave him a quick update of the battle before hurrying here.”

I see his blood shot eyes and my heart feels warm and ache for him “You again went days without sleep, right? Sleep first!” He shook his head “I want to keep you company here, I don’t want to leave.” I smell his familiar scent and it gives me an indescribable feeling of comfort “Then sleep here. I really missed you.” I’ve never said such things to him first so he’s stunned so much he props himself up and stares at me “What did you say?”

I pout and refuse to answer him so he stares at me “Repeat what you just said.” I casually say “Good things shouldn’t be said twice.” He looked disappointed and laid back down on the pillow. I whisper in his ears “I really missed you. I really missed you, so don’t even leave me alone in Chang An again.”

He was initially happy but it turned into forlorn sadness. His hands brushed across my lips “I’m sorry.” He must know everything that happened since he’s been away, and I don’t know how he thinks about everything. Perhaps his “I’m sorry” includes his suspicion of Empress Wei now, and the worry about the baby being raised in the Palace.

I was uncertain and hesitated about whether to tell him the truth about the baby, but he suddenly said “The Xiong Nu have been pushed out of the Desert South. They will have no more energy to fight wars anymore, and at most it will be small tussles in the future.”

My heart shook “How did the Emperor reward you?” “Just the same old wealth and power type of rewards” his voice was filled with exhaustion and distaste. His usual excitement and bright aura around his eyes are all gone.

His battle with the Xiong Nu was because of a childhood dream, but with his success means he gains higher positions and more power in court. The initial excitement about being so powerful will pass and afterwards comes more than just fighting the Xiong Nu, it comes with political intrigue and battles in court. From now on, the burden of power will only grow more heavy.

He never paid attention in the past to these things. He once said to me “It’s not that I don’t understand, it’s that I don’t care.” But now he can’t avoid it, he’s already been dragged into it. “Yu Er, let’s go home tonight, okay?” After months on the battlefield and traveling thousands of miles in the desert, and not being able to rest because of me, he was closing his eyes even as he spoke.

I let down all my burdens and softly reply “Okay, tonight let’s go…..home.” He feel asleep with a smile on his face. I put my head in his chest and snuggle there listening to his steady breathing. I actually am already home! Wherever you are at is home, your embrace is home!

…………………………………………….

Despite wanting to leave that night, Huo Qu Bing slept until the next morning. When we left the Shi Estate, only Tian Cao came out to send us off. Jiu Ye went to the kitchen and never appeared again, and we all forget that ever happened. Tian Cao gave a long list of medicines to Huo Qu Bing, saying that the Palace physicians can treat me within this month, but don’t use any of their medicines. He must strictly follow the instructions on this list. One month later, a “trusted” doctor can treat me and prescribe medicine. Huo Qu Bing looked it over and then unexpectedly bowed to Tian Cao, who smiled and said “I will let Jiu Ye know.”

Qu Bing didn’t trust anyone else so he insisted on carrying me to the carriage himself. I can’t convince him otherwise so I let him be. As we walk past the lake in the Shi Estate, the Lover’s Vines along the edge of the lake are almost ready to bloom. The white is not yet out, but the golden flowers glitter along the green leaves. Huo Qu Bing took a look and didn’t change his expression as he carried me between the Lover’s Vines. I bury my head in his neck as I cannot bear to look.

Before the carriage has even stopped, a fourteen year old boy comes running out calling “big brother”. His voice showed his happiness. When he saw Qu Bing carrying me down, he quickly helped hold the curtains up. Qu Bing looked at him with a warmth he rarely displayed “Yu Er, this is Huo Guang, my younger brother. I went to see my father on my way back and Guang wanted to come to Chang An so I brought him.”

Being called Qu Bing’s younger brother gave Huo Guang a sense of pride and nervousness, like he wanted to be worthy of it. He bowed to me stiffly and said “Sister-in-law, are you feeling better?” Even though everyone knew my relationship with Qu Bing, but no one dared to openly admit it. His calling me “sister-in-law” left me unsure how to respond. Qu Bing happily smiled and said to Huo Guang “Your sister-in-law is embarrassed. When she’s recovered, you two can talk all you want. What have you been up to these past few days?”

Huo Guang happily told him everything he did, his face full of excitement. From a rural area to the capital of the Empire that is Chang An, even an adult will get excited, much less a child. Plus he entered Chang An as the younger brother of the most acclaimed General Huo Qu Bing. I can see Qu Bing quietly listening and in his eyes I can see his protectiveness towards his younger brother. Huo Guang is smart and can tell I’ve already accepted him. He looked relieved and confident, not calling me sister-in-law anymore, but still being very warm and familiar with me.

When I am fully recovered, the late Summer has turned into early Winter. This is the longest I have ever been sick in my entire life. It was due to my heartiness and Jiu Ye’s medical skills that I was saved. Any other woman would already be six feet under.

When it’s late at night and I think about it, I break into a cold sweat. I can’t believe how audacious I was. If anything went wrong, once Qu Bing found out, would he ever forgive Jiu Ye? But for the sake of the baby, I didn’t even consider these things. All I could think about was how to protect my child so that he would not be taken into the dark Palace where there was no sunlight. I would never allow my baby to become a chess piece for Liu Che to control Qu Bing.

© 2012, ockoala. All rights reserved.


Comments

Da Mo Yao Chapter 34: Dangerous Plot — 57 Comments

  1. You got me so hooked on your stories. My day is not alive without a reading of your charpter. How do you do it? Are you a professional writer?

  2. thank you.. thank you.. i been waiting patiently.. finally it arrived.. this is better than christmas morning, when i wake up and see another episode, its a great way to start a new day right? thank you Miss wonder Koala..

  3. Thank you so much Koala! Been patiently waiting for days. I also love reading YZG but Da Mo Yao is so addicting right now…

    • This chapter is just so sad on many levels! I’m not even happy that HQB returned because of all the heartbreaking moments.

      I’m a little dissapointed because of the following reasons:

      1) I really wanted HQB to return and see Yu Er all big and pregnant.

      2) I was expecting HQB to be by Yu Er’s side during labor.

      3) The baby was born 2 months premature! Poor kid! No incubator yet during their time.

      4) There was no description of the baby’s physical looks. Does he have HQB’s hair color, etc.

      5) The baby taken away from Yu Er plus HQB not seeing their baby yet is just so heartbreaking! They were so looking forward to this child :(

    • If she had gone into the palace to give birth, the child would become a ‘hostage’ and could be used to control Huo Qu Bing. By inducing labour early, she would then have the opportunity to move her biological child to safety, and swap another child to be brought into the palace..

      • Whose baby was sent to the palace, though?? Where did they find another 7 months premature baby?

        If that’s what happened (the switch) then it was a nice turnaround, because until the last paragraph, I thought their (real) baby had been taken into the palace, making Yu Er’s sacrifice useless…

      • they switched out her baby with another weak sickly baby… her real child was squirrelled away to a safe place by JiuYe.. and that child is Second Brother in YZG…

      • I know this was explained before but I couldn’t find the comment… So the first born baby is safe somewhere and in YZG he becomes the Second Brother? (why call him 2nd brother, though?)

      • yupp.. he’s called second brother cos JY and HQB wanted to honour that poor kid that they swopped into the palace on behalf of their firstborn…

  4. oh oh.. the baby been switch?..(But for the sake of the baby, I didn’t even consider these things. All I could think about was how to protect my child so that he would not be taken into the dark Palace where there was no sunlight. I would never allow my baby to become a chess piece for Liu Che to control Qu Bing.)),, i’m in the edge of my seat.. .i am so addicted.next.chapter plss..
    .

  5. Brilliant chapter.
    Thank you Ms. Koala.
    And I love Huo Guang’s appearance. I wonder if TH already thought ahead when she wrote him in, or she just wanted to honour the official in this cameo.

  6. So . . . what is the end game? Yu Er had her labor induced to avoid delivering the baby in the palace. Because once she stepped foot in the palace she would be forced to remain in the palace and place HQB in direct opposition to the emperor for wanting to take Yu Er home? And their baby was going to be used as a pawn . . . to force HQB to marry a princess (guessing here)?

    I initially thought Yu Er’s motive was to prevent the emperor from taking her baby, so she chose to give birth prematurely outside the palace.

    Any way, much obliged Ms. K for your generosity in translating this book.

  7. Thx so much MsKoala….
    WOW…Yu Er is one smart.. brave person… Bet the Emperor be so mad to find out that the baby he have in the Palace is not Yu Er and Hua Qu child…

  8. So, when will You-er and Huo get back their son from Jiu Ye? Is this the Second Brother You Ge? Thanks so much for doing the two novels at the same time. I don’t know about the translator, but as a reader i find it rather difficult to keep the characters in each story straight! What a magnificent job you’re doing, you’re really a literary Super Woman, Ms. Koala.

  9. What did Jiu Ye and Yu Er do to stop the baby from ending up in the dark palace? This chapter is telling about a “plot” so I hope there was a switch or sth….Oh, noes.

    HQB is back…..<3<3<3

  10. Oh, Yu Er, you are brave indeed. Its so sad that what could have been a joyful occasion of giving birth ended up being a gamble for her life. But what can else can she do, right? Its not like she can refuse the emperor’s orders.

    And yes, I agree with you Koala, I think Jiu Ye has accepted that she chose HQB and for him its enough that he is able to show her how much he loves her. Still…heartbreeeeaaaaak! :(

    Can’t they just share? Polyamory, anyone? Haha. Just kidding. What I really appreciate though is that both Jiu Ye and Quo Bing deeply respect each other. Any lesser man would really feel insecure and try to outdo the other for sure. If they had not loved the same woman, I think they could have been best friends.

    Thanks, Koala for this chapter. :D

  11. wow first ch i semi-cry. great read and great translator. once again, many thanks! (=

    im so excited for the ending hahahah

    ah, i think i reread this book like 4 times alraedy….

  12. Even though I have a Jiu Ye bias, I am happy HQB is back because I don’t think Jiu Ye can take another episode of ‘save-Yu Er-from-the-clutches-of-death-again.’ The emotional toll of this chapter, and the poisoning chapter, in addition to his heartbreak is almost too much to bear for Jiu Ye. He needs a vacation ASAP! I wish HQB gave him a proper thank you, a bow to his servant doesn’t count.

    “Yu Er, I now know that all I want is for you to be alive. I don’t care who you are with, I just want you to be alive. I just want to know that you are alive and happy, then I will be happy. Didn’t you say you didn’t want to see me sad. Then you must stay alive so that I won’t be sad.”(*Sob* Where can I get my very own Jiu Ye?)

    I may not always agree with what Yu Er does but I have to admit she has got guts even though I am conflicted with what Yu Er did. It’s nice and all that her baby wouldn’t be raised in the palace but on the flip-side, someone else’s baby will be the guinea pig.

    “When it’s late at night and I think about it, I break into a cold sweat. I can’t believe how audacious I was. If anything went wrong, once Qu Bing found out, would he ever forgive Jiu Ye?” Why would HQB get angry at Jiu Ye when he should be angry at Yu Er as it was her idea?

    I have to admit HQB can at times appear to be an enigma to me. All throughout the book he has been depicted as a valiant hero with a single focus (be it winning the war and Yu Er.) But there are times where he is depicted as very intuitive (able to tell understand MDD motives when they were in Xiong Nu, Li Yan’s agenda), and calculating (the victory song, wearing a facade in order to appear less threatening to the emperor). So if he has all this qualities and knowing Yu Er’s character shouldn’t he had prepared some countermeasures in advance for Yu Er in his absence? Or was Jiu Ye his plan b? Or he never expected it to become this bad?

    Thanks Koala for the translation.

    • I think what was more fantastical to read is the Emperor’s move to take HQB’s family from him after winning the war for the Hans. The reward no doubt paled in comparison to finding out what was done. If HQB did not know the Emperor’s thoughts towards him, he does now….

  13. HQB is back. I miss him!!! :P Yu Er has to do wat she did to protect her child from going to the palace. It is really brave of her. But the child tat replaced her child is very pitiful.

  14. I’m a little confused. So what baby was brought to the palace? Was it a fake baby? So Tian Cao has taken Yu Er’s baby away to keep him safe…..and HQB has no idea, right?

  15. *whew* too much suspense for one chapter…its not action pack, but the thoughts are such a thrill. so wise and pre-emptive of Yu Er….im sure both JY HQB respects and admires her more for it.

    thanks ms WonderK for an enchanting chapter *mwaaah*

  16. So much happened in this chapter!!! Add me to the list of those confused by the baby switcheroo. Where was there another newborn for YE to “fake” being in premature labor and give the other baby to the Emperor, all the while still safely pregnant with her and HQB’s child?

    If she faked early labor, why was there a life & death crisis where she almost doesn’t recover? (You know…when she was walking toward Papa and the light…)

    If YE does have her/HQB’s (full term) baby, how will they explain having an infant at home when “their newborn” was taken to the palace and raised by the Emperess?

    In view of the chapter title “Dangerous Plot”, was this refering to switching the babies or YE’s induced labor to avoid being taken inside the palace (baby goes, mom stays put)?

    So many questions! I’m going to read this chapter (and the preceeding ones!) again.

    • Ok, I see that she actually did go through labor and have a baby (which is what I thought at first). So, Tian Cao has her son….who can never see his mom???

      *”Baby, are you crying because you know that from the moment you are born you won’t be able to see your mom?”*

      • If you also follow the story of YZG, I think you will be able able to figure out the fate of this child. As in why was “2nd Brother” called 2nd and not the first, and “3rd Brother” the 3rd and not the 2nd, despite only 2 sons were mentioned.

    • With Jiu Ye as the accomplice, I think he would have settled the substitution. Even if it is not written here, I envisioned that Xiao Feng or someone would have switched a baby with Tian Cao as he walked down a corridor to meet the Palace people, who would likely be waiting at the hall. Having gone through the whole charade, the real baby could not have stayed in Huo residences so Jin Yu/Jiu Ye should have arranged for foster care. Again, with so many people owing Jiu Ye favours, I would bet that it is Jiu Ye who seen to all arrangements.

      I gather induced labour is uncommon and dangerous back in Han era. Judging from Jiu Ye’s reaction, he probably did not expect a post-natal haemorage (else he would have medicine and needles on standby) so there was a very real danger for Jin Yu to die from blood loss. As for baby, premature = no incubator = danger. The whole child birth is dangerous to both Jin Yu and her baby, which is why Jiu Ye was quick to reject her outright when she asked for his help.

      • @vivi & @Moonblossom –

        Thank you both for your comments. This chapter has lead to some interesting discussions!

        After re-reading the first few chapters of YZG, I realize that “Second Brother” is/was this baby and he was raised by YE & HQB. And even though I’ve been reading YZG and knowing full well YE doesn’t die in this ordeal, I was still on the edge of my seat!

  17. so its really a “switch”? Wheres the real baby?
    Anyway, how many child does YE and HQB have? Because in YZG, its said that shes (the protagonist in YZG) is the YOUNGEST child.

  18. Sing ye choirs of angels!! For another chapter has appeared!! Hal~~lelujah!!
    Major thanks for this chapter, Koala~chan. i was on pins and needles waiting for this chappie.
    hmm…. really…the Emperor does care naught for Yu Er. She was at death’s door and all they could think about was whisking the baby away as a pseudo-hostage to HQB. They didnt even send any royal physicians to care for her. Granted that Jiu Ye is the best doctor in Chang An and having him with Yu Er was the best option, but still….all they could think about was the child.
    “…Because he was born two months early, he is weak and all the Palace physicians are there. The Palace is all atwitter with this new baby. You were at death’s door so I just bowed to the Emperor and gave him a quick update of the battle before hurrying here..”
    Its equivalent to the Chinese saying i hear the older folks mutter “Only the child is needed, not the female” to translate it crudely. I know that the death of Yu Er will only bring more advantages to the Emperor (i.e more reason for HQB to marry a princess since his son will be raised in the palace.) which only incense me more that their disregard is so blatant! *ROAR*

    Neeways, i’m glad HQB is finally back. I was biting my nails from the previous chapter wondering when YE’s hubby would burst onto the scenery and save his damsel. But i feel so sad for Jiu Ye. His life…is absolutely tragic…from birth till the end. If he had opened his heart to Yu Er, maybe his ending would have been a happy one.

  19. Wait…

    “All I could think about was how to protect my child so that he would not be taken into the dark Palace where there was no sunlight. I would never allow my baby to become a chess piece for Liu Che to control Qu Bing.”

    Does that mean the child that’s in the Palace currently named “Tan” is NOT the child born out of the union between YE and HQB? Which would mean her real son is elsewhere?

    I remember reading in the YZG comments that HQB and YE “rescued” a child from the Palace and made him as their first child…

    *is so confused*

  20. First, thanks for another awesome chapter!

    I’m glad HQB is back, but it wasn’t like I imagined… well, not that there’s anything wrong with how it happened is just that we miss so much of what’s happening because we’re reading from Yu Er’s POV… I wanted to see HQB’s reaction to everything that happened to her, and there she goes and becomes unconscious =P

    I’m really bitter because of Liu Che and the life in Chang’An… can’t people leave them alone to be happy?? She just wants to have her baby in peace, must they go and KIDNAP him? They’re so crazy, it’s like no one is human, they’re just chess pieces… I’m glad they got away and are living happily somewhere far from Chang’An. But I have a feeling they’ve a lot to go through before they live “happily ever after” (if that’s what will happen)

    Also curious about Jiu Ye’s fate. Poor dear, I want to hug him.

  21. I was confused about that too, but in the end, it looked like there was a switch so that baby was not YuEr’s who entered the palace and his mother can never make herself known or perhaps thinks her child died (worse). I hope the baby at least is taken care of by the Empress….I do not know if I should hope he will be loved.

    “Is this the Emperor’s response to Qu Bing’s song? When Qu Bing returns, I will already be in the Palace, so will he dare to oppose the Emperor and take me back home? When power is at its peak, even one misstep could mean complete destruction. I have made up my mind.”

    The Emperor is not a very good ruler imo. To use children (as a shield) to control people is very cowardly.

      • @ mskololia –

        Thank you for your thoughts. After re-reading the first few chapters of YZG, I realize that “Second Brother” is/was this baby and he was raised by YE & HQB.

        I’m still interested in how they pulled off the switch & what the fallout will be…. right?!

      • I have not started YZG, but it’s nice to know the baby was rescued. Awwww, that’s so nice of our OTP. Is it a promise kept?

  22. I think only YE would have the guts to do this. It’s a big risk to both her life and her child’s but it’s better than letting him be a pawn/hostage for the rest of his life in that cold place without any sincerity of the palace. God knows what he will turn out like if he’s raised there.

    It never amazes me that HQB always put YE above everything and everyone including his child, first. It’s no wonder that YE love JY as well, since he’s always the one that is there for her during her most crucial moment. She wouldn’t be able to survive these life and death ordeals if it wasn’t for JY being there for her and protecting her all angles.

  23. Ok…So second brother is HQB an Yu Er’s real son right? He was the one switched with another baby and the one taken by Tian Cao, right? So why is there no first brother?

  24. Wow..now i understand who is first and second brother in YZG after reading this chapter and your explanation guys!!…
    HQB is back!!!! Thank you ms koala.

  25. Thank you so much for translating DMY.
    I just spent some wonderful hours reading all the chapters so far. Your translation is beautiful and does the author so much credit! :)
    What an adventure!

  26. Thank you very much…
    I read all the chapters nonstop.
    I love the story… so interesting.
    Can’t wait for the next chapter. ^ _^

  27. Thanks ms K,
    After rereading this chapter make me more excited what happen next!
    so many refresh I make still no new chapter, make feel so sad!!!!!
    New chapter please………………………….!
    You are the best ms K

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