Arc 5: Harem Competing Strategies Chapter 1 Part 2
In her heart, Empress Dowager prefers Ye Rong more than the original owner and wants him to be the Empress 1. It was not only because Ye Rong was the grandson of the Prime Minister, but also because she believed Ye Rong was more suitable in all aspects to be the Emperor than the original.
However, due to the previous Emperor’s favoritism towards Prince Yu, even though the current Emperor had successfully ascended the throne, his position was not yet secure. Both civil and military officials needed to be placated and won over, and then power would gradually be consolidated. Moreover, the situation at the border was urgent, so in order to appease and win the support of Mu Yongsheng, the Empress Dowager and the Emperor decided to choose Mu Xi as the Empress.
The sound of the Guqin 2 drifted across to the other side of the Lotus Pond, where the Emperor and the princes in the pavilion could also hear his melodious qin playing. They couldn’t help but admire his qin skills in their hearts.
Only Yu Wang Xiao Yuyang 3 is in a complicated mood. He had woken up late, and everything that should have belonged to him was gone. The throne was lost, and even his beloved was soon to become someone else’s.
Although the current Emperor was the legitimate eldest son and crown prince, before the previous Emperor’s death, there had been thoughts of deposing the crown prince and installing Prince Yu as the heir. However, the crown prince had never made any mistakes and had performed well in all aspects, leaving no excuse for the previous Emperor to depose him. Instead, he sent Prince Yu to the border to gain military achievements and garner support from courtiers.
However, the war on the border has no eyes. Yu Wang was seriously injured and was in a coma. The Emperor suddenly fell ill and passed away. Then, the crown prince ascended the throne and became the Emperor smoothly. By the time Prince Yu woke up, everything had already been settled, but he still couldn’t give up and believed that he should be the one sitting on the throne.T/N: LOL
Looking out the window, Xiao Yuyang watched Ye Rong’s figure from afar and felt a sharp pain in his heart, knowing that he would soon become the Emperor. Although Ye Rong assured him that even if he entered the harem, he would remain faithful to him, they could never be openly together in this lifetime.
Ye Rong, in fact, was a transmigrator. Before transmigrating, he was a hardcore otaku who loved playing strategy or dating simulation games, particularly BL games. In his original world, due to dissatisfaction with his real life, he sought a sense of existence through games and played various dating simulation games.
One day, he bought the newly released dating simulation game where there were many characters to pursue, each leading to different endings. After reading the game introduction, he directly chose the highest difficulty level, which was the harem route.
The true meaning of this harem route is that the player first enters the palace intrigue of the harem and gradually becomes the young empress dowager, eventually bringing all the pursued targets into their own harem. And this harem, of course, does not refer to a real harem but rather to those who have been pursued by the player and are infatuated with them, willingly sharing their affection with others.
Before the game began, Ye Rong spent money buying various needed skills—for example, the eighth-level talent, which includes zither, chess, calligraphy, and painting. The fifth-level pharmaceutical skills that allows him to prepare various drugs and antidotes. And the most expensive he bought is the protagonist’s halo. The people around him can’t help but be attracted to him. And even help and save him in a dangerous situation.
Before the game started, he spent money to purchase various skills that would be needed, such as an eighth-level talent that included skills in zither, chess, calligraphy, and painting, as well as a fifth-level pharmaceutical skill that would allow him to prepare various potions and antidotes. The most expensive skill was the protagonist’s halo, which could irresistibly attract others and turn dangerous situations in his favor.
After briefly familiarizing himself with the characters to be pursued, he immediately started the game, and then he transmigrated into the world of the game.
After a short period of disbelief, he quickly accepted the fact that he had transmigrated and was very happy about it. In this world, he had a male identity and could openly express his love for men. Most importantly, he not only had powerful skills but also possessed the protagonist’s halo, which allowed him to experience the feeling of reaching the pinnacle of life firsthand.
The only regret he had was not buying more skills and detailed strategies to save money. However, after careful consideration, he realized that it didn’t matter too much because he already had the protagonist’s halo. Even if the process might be a bit challenging, the possibility of completing the pursuit was very high. Moreover, he had played so many dating simulation games and was well-versed in the patterns of these games, so he had nothing to worry about.
After Ye Rong finished playing a piece*song and piece are used interchangeably. Quick fact (which you probably know) a song is when someone is singing, and a piece or piece of music is purely instrumentals., the Empress Dowager and the consorts praised his piano skills for improving.
Ye Rong stood up, bowed, and then returned to his seat. Seeing the envious or jealous looks from others, he felt extremely proud. He thought that spending so much money on skills was indeed worth it, but unfortunately, in his original world, he still had some money left unused.
“How about Mu Xi playing a tune as well?” the Empress Dowager looked at Tao Yuan and said. Since she personally requested Ye Rong to play a piece, it was only natural for her to also ask Tao Yuan to perform. Although she leaned more towards Ye Rong in her heart, she couldn’t show it too obviously in front of so many people, or else it would bring shame to the Mu family.
Tao Yuan stood up and replied, “Replying to Empress Dowager. I*Polite “I” may also be “This/The Courtier”; usually they used I when talking to Emperor and EMpress Dowager recently learned a new piece in playing pipa 4 and would like to play the song for the Empress Dowager.”
“Oh?” The Empress Dowager thought, ‘So he can play the pipa.’ Since he asked for it, she agreed, “Okay, then you can play a song for Aijia 5 and everyone to listen to enjoy.”
Song Zhi brought over the pipa that Tao Yuan had brought with him. After cleansing his hands, Tao Yuan took the pipa and sat on the central chair, preparing to begin playing.
The pipa is a challenging and magical instrument that can produce various distinct musical styles, making it sound like different instruments altogether. Since today was a flower-viewing banquet, Tao Yuan’s performance naturally had to match the occasion.
Tao Yuan gently plucked the strings, evoking a sense of spring rain trickling down, bringing a feeling of nourishment to the soul. As the sound grew louder, it felt like the clouds were dispersing, and the sun emerged, creating a comfortable atmosphere in people’s hearts.
The sound of pipa is sometimes light and smooth, resembling the flowing of melted ice and the bubbling of springs, and at times, it was crisp and joyful, like the beautiful sounds of birds singing. In an instant, flowers bloomed, birds chirped, and anyone who immersed themselves in the ambiance of the music felt as if they truly witnessed the gradual unfolding of blossoms, filling their hearts with joy.
All the princes looked out through the open window, their hearts stirred by the melody of the pipa, unable to help but exclaim in amazement.
Emperor Xiao Junye stood up and walked to the window, looking outside. He initially thought that nothing could surpass the previous exquisite guqin performance, considering everything else as mere accompaniment. However, listening to this pipa piece, he completely forgot about the guqin performance.
Of these two people, one will be his Imperial Noble Consort, the other will be the Empress. They will marry him to secure his position. Whether they want to or not, there is no other choice. Even if he is the Emperor, there are many things he is helpless about and lack autonomy, let alone them.
After the piece concluded, Tao Yuan stood up, holding the pipa, and bowed.
The Empress Dowager nodded and praised, “Such exquisite musical skills, captivating and touching. It seems you have put in a lot of effort. Why haven’t I heard you play before?”
The reason the Empress Dowager asked this question was that such exquisite skill on the pipa cannot be achieved in just a few days. When she was still the empress, she held flower-viewing banquet every year, but she had never heard him play the pipa before.
“In the past, the courtier*Polite way of saying ‘I’ felt their playing was not good enough. So, I dare not show it to the Empress Dowager so as not to make a fool out of myself. Recently, I have been diligently practicing the pipa and finally felt that it was pleasing to the ear. That’s why I wanted to perform a piece for Your Majesty,” Tao Yuan replied.
“It’s not just pleasing to the ear,” the Empress Dowager chuckled. “With such sincerity, Aijia must reward you.”
Two palace maids approached, carrying trays. The Empress Dowager instructed one of the maids to bring the contents of the tray to Tao Yuan and said, “This tea set, Aijia has been cherishing it and is reluctant to use it. However, Aijia believe only this tea set is worthy of your performance just now. Therefore, I bestow it upon you.”
Two maidservants came up with trays. The Empress Dowagerasked one of the maidservant to deliver the things to Tao Yuan and said to Tao Yuan, “This tea set, Aijia has been cherishing it and is reluctant to use it. Aiji feels that only this tea set is worthy of the song you just presented, so I reward it to you. “
“Thank you for your gracious reward, Your Majesty.” Tao Yuan bowed to the Empress Dowager, then accepted the tray and returned to his seat.
The Empress Dowager had the other tray brought to Ye Rong’s side and said to him, “Your performance was on par with Ah Xi. This white jade lotus-shaped incense burner is also something Aijia cherish. Aijia now bestow it upon you, so you may use it to burn incense when playing the Guqin in the future.”
Ye Rong quickly stood up and bowed, saying, “Thank you for your gracious reward, Your Majesty.”
Indeed, the Empress Dowager was still biased. There was simply no comparison between the two in terms of musical skill. Tao Yuan’s performance was far superior to what Ye Rong played. But there was nothing that could be done. She was the Empress Dowager who can make a water bowl appear flat. As long as she maintained an appearance of fairness and did not overtly show favoritism, one had to be grateful.
Ye Rong maintained a calm exterior, but his heart was in turmoil. He has been in this world for over a year but didn’t know that Mu Xi has such amazing zither skills. In the four arts of Qin, Go, calligraphy, and painting 6, he lost in zither 7. In the end, he thought it did not matter. There are still three arts left. He was certain he wouldn’t lose in all of them. Considering he had chosen the most challenging route, his opponents were bound to be slightly formidable. But the limited attraction of talent couldn’t surpass his protagonist halo, so he had no need to worry.
“The weather is perfect today, and the imperial garden is filled with blooming flowers. Ladies and gentlemen, please go and enjoy the flowers. If inspiration strikes, compose a poem and present it to Aijia. Aijia will have the Emperor reward the one with the best literary talent,” the Empress Dowager said as she stood up. “Aijia will rest for a while. You may go and have fun.”
“We bid farewell to the Empress Dowager.”
After the Empress Dowager and several concubines left, the noble ladies and gentlemen slowly dispersed to enjoy the flowers.
After the Empress Dowager and the consorts left, the noble ladies and gentlemen gradually dispersed to appreciate the flowers.
“Ah Xi, your*informal you pipa performance was truly excellent, far better than what we heard earlier…” Yu Qianyun wanted to say that it was incomparable to the guqin performance, but Tao Yuan stopped him with a glance. The Empress Dowager had just stated that the two performances were on par, so if he were to say otherwise, it would be a disrespect to the Empress Dowager and a grave offense. He had to change his wording and said, “Better, better than the others.”
As Ye Rong passed by them, he glanced at Tao Yuan. The two locked eyes for a moment, engaged in a silent clash, and then simultaneously averted their gaze, walking in different directions.
The author has something to say: He is not competing for the favor. He is already the favorite.
Emperor Xiao: Yes
Tao Yuan: Yes
Announcement: For the next few weeks, I’ll be updating veeeery slow. While waiting you can reread your favorite novels or check out recommendations!
LONG TN EDIT: After translating multiple chapters I confirmed that Empress >> Imperial Noble Consort.
Now in here ta de jun hou (Queen) was used as the imperial noble consort, but in the following chapters huang gui jun (Emperor) was used as Imperial Noble consort. Readers just have to remember Empress>> Imperial Noble Consort.
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If there are any mistakes/error, feel free to comment it down below.
Queen; raws say emperor, but he cannot be one as he is the one marrying to the royal lineage, i.e, emperor the author used piano and Guqin interchangeably; it seems every instrument the author uses the word piano. So, instead of causing confusion, whenever the author says piano in YR part, I will write Guqin; Author is referring to 琴 = Qin; Zither; Piano
- King Xiao YuYang; 誉王 Yu Wang = King Yu (His Title); 萧 Xiao = Last Name 煜阳 Yuyang = First name; the author used it interchangeably, so Yu Wang is Xiao Yuwang and vice versa; edit – may also be called Prince Yu
- I, me (self-referring by a widowed empress
- 琴棋 = Four arts (Qin, Go, calligraphy, painting) are the talents/accomplishments of a well-educated person
- I finally understand. In the raws, they kept saying 琴 (Qin) which, if translated in English, is Piano or Zither. Every time I try to translate a sentence with 琴 character, it says piano instead of the zither. I was also confused about why they would say “amazing piano skills” or something along those lines. Well, it turns out it is zither, i.e., are a class of stringed instruments. ! :>