Lilsasa小疯子

下雪了,周叶两便遛狗便撒狗粮,连小点都吃不下了。

被屏蔽了所以重发

スカーレット·ベリ子的四代目·大和辰之里有一段主角吸烟那姿态太太太美了,我看了后立马脑补叶修做那姿态所以就照原样的画了。要不是有这么好的参考我是完全画不出来这种图的orz

相信我,这确实是all叶

我也来玩玩姿势play吧

本来想着第一次画全职应该画个正经点的图。但一看到2p的姿势满脑袋就是叶神摆那个pose,没办法,不画不行。

至于第3p嘛,其实也没什么,只是不想放弃最先的想法所以也发上来了。不是车但是还是注意一下吧

Peerless [倾国 ENG] Ch4

上一次更文时是八个月前的事了吧_(:3 」∠)_

真的不好意思脱了这么久才把倾国第四章的翻译发上来。觉得辜负了 @寂寞屠城 太太的期待。实在是没办法,因为IRL的事耽误了这么久。我也不能保证翻译会从此快一些所以在这里向大家道歉了(シ_ _)シ

合作翻译: @of.seven.seas 

Peerless [倾国 ENG] (11671 words) by ofsevenseasLeilyue

Chapters: 4/49
Fandom: 琅琊榜 | Nirvana in Fire (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Lin Shu | Mei Changsu | Su Zhe/Xiao Jingyan, 靖苏

Characters: Lin Shu | Mei Changsu | Su Zhe, Xiao Jingyan
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Post-Canon, It's basically NiF 2, Translation

Summary: This is the story of how Jingyan, now Emperor, visits Langya moutain three times to find out if Mei Changsu is alive, and manages to keep him, against all odds.

--------------------------------------  

Chapter 4

Unexpectedly, the first person to visit the manor in search of Mei Changsu was not Meng Zhi, nor was it even Xiao Jingyan. Rather, it was Prince Qi, Xiao Tingsheng.

When the new emperor had ascended to the throne, he had acted with his customary lightning speed, and all matters regarding promotions, demotions, and the conferring of titles were completed within one month. He had promoted his mother to Empress Dowager, crowned his Empress, reorganized the palace staff, and granted a general amnesty in celebration, swift and decisive like thunder, leaving no time for so much as a twitch from onlookers. When, in the second month, all government matters were already back on track, the first order of business in Xiao Jingyan's new court was to pass an edict conferring the title of Prince Qi upon his adopted son, Xiao Tingsheng.

Even leaving aside the fact that an imperial title was inappropriate for his youth, the title itself raised considerable disapproval. Prince Qi and Prince Qi, though written differently, were still the same sound.[1] Despite the repeal and exoneration of those involved in the Chiyan case, Prince Qi's death still impaired the previous emperor's reputation, and was not easily spoken of. This new title would always remind the court and the people of the bloodsoaked history of Chiyan, and of imperial filicide. The imperial officials and the censorate felt that first, the title was inauspicious, and that second, it verged on violating the naming taboo. But Xiao Jingyan, legendary in his stubbornness, replied instead: "One who bears the name Qi, whether taken to mean 'together', or 'similar', is of the same essence.[2] Though Tingsheng is our adopted son in name, he is the eldest son of our heart. This title will serve to remind both ourself and the court to remember the injustice of Chiyan. It is also our hope that Tingsheng will follow the footsteps of our eldest imperial brother and be a prince of renowned virtue."

Despite the opposition, after Prince Qi received his title, he exceeded all expectations and, even in extreme youth, was truly comparable to the late Prince Qi in bearing. One after another, the rumors among the populace spread: that though Prince Qi was adopted by the Emperor and had the imperial surname of Xiao bestowed upon him, he was born of low status; or even that he was an ordinary palace slave conveniently taken by the strategist Su Zhe from the servant's prison to challenge the warrior Baili Qi, and thus named Tingsheng.[3] But there were also rumors claiming Tingsheng had shown extraordinary aptitude and thus caught General Meng's attention, and from there was recommended to Su Zhe. After the fight that defeated the warrior Baili Qi, Su Zhe gained great fame, but Tingsheng's contribution could not be denied. Thus both Su Zhe and Prince Jing took a liking to this child, one taking him as disciple and the other as adopted son, leading to Tingsheng's rapid progress in recent years. His success was as the saying went, 'the sun rose past bamboo poles, leaping a thousand miles in an instant'.[4] Of course, a lot of this was all hearsay, as neither His Majesty nor General Meng had ever personally confirmed the rumours. Su Zhe, the only other person in this matter, had also long vanished without a trace.Slowly, people lost interest in the new Prince Qi's origins, their attention instead taken by his brilliant talents and exceptional virtues.[5]

After bestowing the title, the Emperor did not really dote on Prince Qi. In fact, the manner of his education more closely resembled the way the previous Emperor had treated Prince Jing: studies before morning court, again late at night after returning to his manor, handling government affairs in the morning and practicing martial arts in the afternoon; if the assigned workload was not finished on time, punishments followed. Even so, there were many other tasks given to Prince Qi in the course of a normal day. He had already been sent out to patrol the borders several times within the same year, at his tender age; he had also been heaped with many thankless cases to judge, all of them sure to offend the involved parties. At a later date, the Emperor would not allow Prince Qi any complaints of hardship, and chose only to listen to the outcome of the cases.

Prince Qi was young; he lacked the dextrous handling required by many involved cases, and did not have the connections he needed in the bigger cases, and therefore many of the aggrieved parties would stonewall Prince Qi in front of the emperor. The Emperor did not show any favoritism, and as long as the accusations were proven to be Prince Qi's fault, he would be punished without exception. There were also cases that only peripherally involved Prince Qi, and yet he would be punished just the same. Despite the circumstances, Prince Qi, from beginning to end, had never uttered a single word complaining of suffering or injustice. He gained the ability to handle court affairs and patrol the borders, full of with life and dignity, never blaming himself or holding a grudge, never splitting hairs or becoming vindictive. Over time, even the officials who had previously found him objectionable would raise their thumbs up in approval.

It was this Prince Qi, who, when paying a visit to the Su residence, did it privately and dressed in commoner robes. Moreover, he paid his calls in the dusky twilight, and always by jumping over the manor walls.

 

Tingsheng was already seventeen. The imperial blood flowing within his veins gave him a bone-deep regality in his bearing, as he stood with a jade hairpin fastening his hair and a jade belt on his waist; his eyes conveyed intelligence and refinement with every glance, and he cut a dashing and elegant figure as he approached. When he walked into the gallery, his strides confident with the disposition of heavenly-ordained royalty. He cleverly dodged Fei Liu's attempt to capture him, and even Li Gang and Zhen Ping were caught unprepared. Mei Changsu stood up, halting Fei Liu.

"You came," he said with a smile, as if their meeting were a reunion after a long separation.

Tingsheng took a few steps forward and went down on one knee.

"Tingsheng pays his respects to Teacher," he said, excitement colouring his voice.

"Prince Qi, please rise," Mei Changsu said, his voice wavering a little as he attempted to lift Tingsheng with both hands.

"In front of Teacher, I do not dare to be called Prince Qi,"Tingsheng said, trembling the slightest bit as he bowed again.

"Nonsense, this title was granted personally by the Emperor. How could Prince Qi refuse that just because of one person?"Mei Changsu smiled, eyes teary.

"Then when Teacher meets my Lord Father tomorrow, please listen carefully to see if he would dare use the imperial we[6] in front of Teacher," Tingsheng replied.

Mei Changsu smiled. Tingsheng did not resist this time when Mei Changsu pulled him up. All the lingering unfamiliarity from two years of separation, the differences in status, all of these were washed away with that quip. Mei Changsu carefully observed Tingsheng's appearance, taking measure of him. It was as if the years of sorrow did not leave a single mark on this child. He was graceful and charming, with an imposing presence, just like his birth father.

If it were not for Zhen Ping and Li Gang bringing tea and then leaving, Mei Changsu was afraid he might have forgotten himself. He blinked away the tears in his eyes and sat down across from Tingsheng. He said slowly, "Your martial arts has improved a lot. Your character... has also improved immensely."

As if not noticing Mei Changsu's loss of composure, Tingsheng instead smiled. "My Lord Father personally appointed the Grand Tutor for my studies, Minister Shen Zhui for court politics, General Lie Zhanying for military affairs, Minister Cai Quan for all legal investigations, and little Prince Mu and General Nie Duo[7] as supervisors for general patrols. As for my martial arts, I was - obviously - taught by General Meng. With such support, how could I have not grown speedily as a strong sapling?"

Mei Changsu smiled gently at him. Indeed, he had grown. His wisdom had surpassed even Mei Changsu's expectations. Though Tingsheng appeared not to pay attention to Mei Changsu's mood, his every word, every tone was carefully controlled, and calculated to bring the right emotions to the surface. Through his expression, manner of speaking, and choice of phrase, he was telling Mei Changsu: "Everything is fine. Please be at ease."

Mei Changsu thought to himself that Prince Qi truly had a successor now, and even Jingyan had support with the ruling of his empire.[8] Unhurriedly, as if they were chatting about the weather, Mei Changsu filled Tingsheng's tea cup to the brim and smiled at him.

"It seems His Majesty must really dote upon you," he said.

"Dote? I'm good as long as my Lord Father doesn't chastise me."Tingsheng replied while laughing.

"His Majesty is perhaps a little too strict, but those on the inside know how his Majesty truly treats Prince Qi."

Hearing this, Tingsheng put down his cup and saluted with fists clasped, a resolute look on his face, and said, "Tingsheng owes Lord Father and Teacher a great favor, and Tingsheng would never forget for as long as Tingsheng lives!"

Mei Changsu smiled again, waving away his gestures. After all, he was not trying to test Prince Qi's loyalty.

They sat together, drinking their tea, talking about the events of the past few years. Most of the time Tingsheng spoke and Mei Changsu listened, as Tingsheng explained the affairs in the capital, and farther, to the whole of Da Liang and beyond. There were some things that Mei Changsu did not say, and some that Tingsheng did not ask. Many times during their conversation, Mei Changsu thought that perhaps it was Jingyang who more or less influenced Tingsheng to come visit. Otherwise, why would Tingsheng have been the first visitor - if it had not been Jingyan then it ought to have been Meng Zhi. However, if Jingyan did not lead Tingsheng to him, how could Tingsheng have known that Mei Changsu was back in the Capital, or to jump over the manor walls where there were the least guards around. And so, with every sentence of his chat with Tingsheng, Mei Changsu considered first what should and should not have been said, and also whether such a matter should have been passed to Jingyan's ears or not.

In all respects, Tingsheng's conversation fell well within the bounds of propriety. Mei Changshu found both joy and worry in this proof of Tingsheng's maturity. This was a child who once stole books and insisted on self-reliance even within the palace slave quarters, who now observed all the protocols, almost excessively. This measure of control was utterly unexpected in someone his age. It was as if he knew exactly which topics to avoid whilst conversing with Mei Changsu. Every time unsuitable topics were brought up, he always skillfully diverted the conversation to another topic. Moreover, every issue he brought up happened to be a matter Mei Changsu was concerned about. Gradually, Mei Changsu felt the different gaps line themselves up, revealing clues to a vital problem.

He heated the teapot on the fire for a few moments and warmed his hands, and took advantage of the lull in the conversation to ask bluntly, "Are things in Xianzhou becoming troublesome?"

Tingsheng very clearly gave himself time to pause and think before answering, a small smile on his face. "As expected, nothing gets past Teacher."

Mei Changsu also smiled slightly. "Why didn't you tell me directly?"

"Father said that Teacher is still recovering, and should not worry." Tingsheng replied.

For a moment, Mei Changsu was silent as he considered - even if he tried not to worry, he would still do so. He had already chosen to return to Jinling; how could he avoid worrying? Jingyan had always prioritised affairs of state, so why would he start fussing over trivialities now?

He continued in thought, and said slowly, "Report back to His Majesty, and tell him to cut off all official and mercantile trade Xianzhou has with foreign powers."

When his words sunk in, even Tingsheng experienced a moment of shock.

"Teacher?"

Mei Changsu nodded slightly, and said nothing else. After not too long, Tingsheng gradually became more and more serious.

"What Teacher said was very correct. Xianzhou is a very barren area; if they want to have an army, they must first raise one. But if they want to sustain an army, Prince Xian would need money and grain. It would not be possible to get the money and grain from inside Xianzhou, so they most likely originate from foreign sources. As long as outgoing connections are severed, even if messages could be sent out, the money and grain would not be able to appear of their own volition."

Mei Changsu maintained a tranquil silence. Tingsheng saluted him with clasped fists. "Teacher is truly a great talent, to strike straight to the heart of the matter."

"My suggestion will treat the symptoms but not the root of the disease," Mei Changsu said.

While thinking, Tingsheng said, "I understand what Teacher is worried about. Da Liang has already faced invasions from all four sides at once, but they failed, so they will seek to attack us by creating internal strife. Though the empire may rise or fall, responsibility falls on everyone.[9] I am untalented, but I wish to bear some of these burdens for Father's sake."

Mei Changsu fell into contemplation once more. Then, suddenly, he asked, "Has your Lord Father been stalled by this matter in court?"

Jingyan had been willing to exchange the pearl, back then, to compel him to emerge, but now a month had gone by without his making any appearances. Mei Changsu was forced to conclude that Jingyan must be facing a crucial problem.

Hearing that, Tingsheng's expression turned grave. Though it was only momentary, Mei Changsu caught the change nonetheless. However capable Prince Qi was, he was still young. As for Mei Changsu? Ever since his rebirth at Meiling, he had become shrewd and perspicacious beyond measure.

"If you prefer not to say it, then don't. As Su Zhe is merely a commoner, there's no need for me to know about matters in court," he said calmly.

Though the remark gave the impression that he was backing down, in truth he was pushing forward by appearing to back down. By disparaging himself, he made Tingsheng feel guilty and ashamed. Though seemingly nonchalant, the remark was, in fact, deliberately calculated to provoke.

As expected, Tingsheng could not hold on to his neutrality for long. He rose suddenly and bowed, with his head close to the floor.

"Teacher should not undervalue yourself. Father just wanted to conceal this matter from Teacher. But Teacher is wise and has shown great kindness to me, so I could not bear to say it," he replied.

"What is such an important matter that His Majesty would want to you to come first and put me at ease?" Mei Changsu asked lightly, getting up to pull Tingsheng to his feet.

There it was. If Meng Zhi had come, he would have let the truth slip within a few words. Although Tingsheng was young, he was sufficiently resolute not to slip up. But Jingyan, oh Jingyan, since you have already called me back, how could you claim the right to hide things from me?

Tingsheng said nothing, and refused to get up from the floor.

Weighing his voice down with seriousness, Mei Changsu asked, "You prefer not to say it, but I will find out regardless, or does His Majesty intend to send me back to Langya Manor?"

Tingsheng saw that he could no longer conceal the truth. He had no choice but to bow, still on the floor, and said, "Lord Father's son, who was just one year old, had passed away only two days ago. Lord Father had given a verbal order that this matter must be kept a secret until we could verify the cause of death. Irrefutable evidence has been found in the palace today. It would seem that my little brother's funeral will most likely be held tomorrow."

After that, Tingsheng broke down in tears. Hearing this admission, Mei Changsu stumbled, his poise shattered. He had not even met Jingyan's only son yet, and... he was already dead? Mei Changsu steadied himself and slowly sat down. Holding back the ache in his heart, he asked, "What was the cause?"

Once again, Tingsheng became solemn and grave.

"If I truly wished to investigate, you could not hide it from me," Mei Changsu sighed.

Upon hearing this, Tingsheng sat still for a while. Then, bowing again, he said two words quietly.

"Palace intrigues."[10]

Notes:

[1]齐 and 祁: The former used for Xiao Tingsheng, meaning "identical, level with"; the latter used for Prince Qi, Xiao Jingyu, meaning "vast, abundant". Same pronunciation, same tone.

[2]齐者,同也: Lit. One who is identical is the same. In this case it's also "One who is Qi is the same" because 齐 and 同 means about the same, and Jingyan is emphasizing that fact.

[3]庭生 lit. born in Yeyouting (servant's prison).

[4]竿头日上一瞬千里 lit. the sun rises above bamboo tip (success), passing a thousand miles in an instant. Describes quick academic progress.

[5]怀瑾握瑜 lit. hold gems in one's bosom and jade in one's hand; fig. Be in possession of learning and virtue; Used to describe Tingsheng's virtues.

[6]朕 zhèn - the original generic first-person pronoun, arrogated to the emperors during the reign of Qin Shi Huang. The closest English equivalent would be the royal we.
T/N:
In fact, in many cases in this translation, we've forgone the more literal translation of the honorifics for the sake of clarity but we've lost the nuances in terms of formality in the language. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_honorifics#Emperors.2C_Kings_and_the_imperial_family

[7]聂铎 Nie Duo, Nie Feng's younger brother, book-only character. Was the one sent out to help Nihuang with the Southern Chu linked-ship tactics and in that time, fell in love with Nihuang. By the end of the book, they were married.

[8]江山 - lit. rivers and mountains. Fig. kingdom/empire/nation.

[9]国家兴亡匹夫有责 - the rise and fall of the nation concerns everyone; or everyone bears responsibility for the prosperity of society

[10]宫斗 - lit. palace fights, can take place in inner palace (empresses & consorts) or outer palace (court politics), clearly visible to all or in the form of conspiracies.


Peerless [倾国 ENG] Ch3

合作翻译: @of.seven.seas 

Peerless [倾国 ENG] (8827 words) by ofsevenseasLeilyue

Chapters: 3/49
Fandom: 琅琊榜 | Nirvana in Fire (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Lin Shu | Mei Changsu | Su Zhe/Xiao Jingyan, 靖苏

Characters: Lin Shu | Mei Changsu | Su Zhe, Xiao Jingyan
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Post-Canon, It's basically NiF 2, Translation

Summary: This is the story of how Jingyan, now Emperor, visits Langya moutain three times to find out if Mei Changsu is alive, and manages to keep him, against all odds.

-------------------------------------- 

Chapter 3

Mei Changsu sat in the carriage with Li Gang and Zhen Ping following along outside, and Fei Liu flying around somewhere.

He suddenly thought about the ups and downs, the fears in his heart on the journey toward exoneration. Years ago, Mei Changsu had ridden into the Capital, a simple commoner dressed in undyed cloth, Sir Mei of Jiangzuo, with only Fei Liu by his side. Two years later, his body had been escorted from the northern border to Langya Manor by Li Gang and Zhen Ping on a stretcher, wrapped in that same cloth. The complicated emotions and grief in between could not be expressed, nor could it be explained.

How Fei Liu, who loved him with a fierce and simple-minded focus, and saw Mei Changsu as his only family, had unflinchingly dug him him from the mountain of corpses, Mei Changsu could not recall. He only found when he woke up that he was already in Langya Manor, and that the news of Sir Mei of Jiangzuo's death on the battlefield had spread across the land. The word of his passing had come directly from Meng Zhi. It had been an escape from death by the narrowest of margins. In order to save his life, in order to force Mei Changsu to concentrate on his recovery and not even think of any worldly affairs, Lin Chen had even kept Meng Zhi in the dark. Mei Changsu was afraid that even he would not be able to explain himself this time, once he returned to the capital.

And yet, which identity should he use to enter the capital this time? Mei Changsu? Or Lin Shu? Both were dead, both had lived hard and bitter lives, and neither should have returned.

Mei Changsu swept aside the curtain and looked outside the carriage. It was early autumn, the sun austerely bright and the air briskly clear. Though it was said that all things change, the scenery here had remained the same. Even Mei Changsu himself did not know who he was, what he lived for, and why he returned.

Being vigilant, Zhen Ping immediately heard his Chief lifting the carriage curtain behind him; he halted his horse and leaned into the shadow of the carriage.

"Chief, are you perhaps thirsty?" He asked. "There is an inn and a tea house up ahead - we can take a rest there."

"That's not a bad idea," Mei Changsu said after some thought. "Call Fei Liu down to rest as well"

The owners of the tea house were an old couple who had forgotten more about the art of tea-making than anyone would ever know. Mei Changsu sat in the gallery, holding a cup between his palms to warm his hands.

He turned slightly and said, "Won't you come drink some water?"

Just as he finished speaking, Fei Liu flew down from the ledge to stand by his side. "Thirsty."

Fei Liu had become taller; he was grown now and was rather handsome. But unfortunately, he had not become more knowing. Every time Mei Changsu thought about Fei Liu's eternal youth, his heart would tighten just a little. He handed the cup to Fei Liu who drained it with one gulp and then stiffly extended the cup back to Mei Changsu. "Another!"

Mei Changsu complied readily and personally poured the tea for Fei Liu.

"If you were so tired, why didn't you come down?" Handing the cup to Fei Liu, he asked, "What did you see?"

"Wine," Fei Liu said after some thought.

Wine? Having been used to Fei Liu's short expressions, Mei Changsu automatically filled in the blanks.

"You're saying you saw people delivering wine?”

"Yep," Fei Liu nodded.

"We are taking the merchant road. It is common to see people delivering a few carts of wine for sale," Mei Changsu said with a gentle smile.

Fei Liu nodded again. Mei Changsu poured another cup of tea for himself, and was about to drink when the fragrance of rice wine reached him, floating through the air and growing more pungent by the second. The flavor assailed his nose, sweet and intense. He paused.

"What kind of wine smells this strong and pure?" He asked, curious.

Li Gang stood up and looked outside. "It is not one or two carts of wine; there are many carts," he said. "They line the road one after another, and there are even more coming up behind them."

"No wonder our Fei Liu watched them for such a long time," Mei Changsu nodded. "A dozen or so carts delivering wine together is quite a striking sight."

At that moment, Zhen Ping came in from instructing the shop owner to feed and groom the horses and settling down them down. Seeing the looks on everyone's faces as they talked, Zhen Ping reflected on the topic for a moment before saying, "Rumour goes that the current Emperor likes this wine - those in the capital like to inquire about His Majesty's preferences, and so this wine has grown popular in Jinling and even in the rest of Daliang. From the nobles to the commoners, everyone is drinking this wine. That is why large-scale wine peddling now happens on the merchant road."

Though Zhen Ping spoke to everyone, the only who had not left the Manor in two years but still cared about changes in popular customs was Mei Changsu. Mei Changsu knew Zhen Ping was scrupulous. With this frank explanation, Zhen Ping probably felt that, one, this had something to do with Xiao Jingyan and two, he had already thought it over and believed it was not worth hiding; merely that His Majesty loved wine and the court followed suit. But Mei Changsu still had his doubts, because Xiao Jingyan had not been prone to drinking in the past. Though Xiao Jingyan had been born a prince, and Mei Changsu had seen him drink at occasions when the previous Emperor had been present, Mei Changsu had never heard of him liking wine. Moreover, it was obvious that this was not a rare wine. That there was a dozen or so carts of it delivered together, that even the commoners could afford to drink it, meant it was definitely not a luxury. He felt all this was worth investigating further.

Mei Changsu calmly lifted the pot, poured hot water into his cup and held it his hands. Then, smiling casually, he asked, "What kind of wine?"

"It is Du Kang." Zhen Ping answered after some thought.

Du Kang? Mei Changsu furrowed his brows. He put down his cup after some time and said, "Fei Liu, go get Su- gege a bottle of it."

Without another word, Fei Liu turned and disappeared without a trace. A while later, he returned with a bottle of wine and even a small wine cup. "Su- gege , here."

"Chief," Li Gang worried, "Young Master Lin said you should not drink while ill."

Mei Changsu smiled. "Just one cup."

Seeing that he could not convince the Chief, Li Gang looked at Zhen Ping, and tried to convey blame with as much subtlety as he could summon. Zhen Ping returned a look that clearly said, 'How could I keep this a secret? Besides, I don't see the need to keep it from Chief.'

Mei Changsu watched the unspoken exchange between them without a word. Instead, he gently lifted his cup of rice wine and took a sip before putting it back down.

Seeing that he did not continue after that sip, Li Gang and Zhen Ping both relaxed. They chivvied Fei Liu along until he finished his tea and then hurried Mei Changsu back on the road for fear that the Chief was in the mood to drink his fill.

Mei Changsu knew why they worried, and did not object. Instead, he got into the carriage and resumed their journey.

For all that it was the main merchant route, the mountain roads were rugged and bumpy; Mei Changsu jolted around in the carriage as it swayed from side to side. He could not drink even a single sip of tea, leaving the clear fragrance of the wine between his lips and teeth.

Now he knew why Lin Chen had asked him about 'Short Song Style'.

                                        I lift my drink and sing a song,

                                        For who knows if life is short or long?

                                        Man's life is but the morning dew,

                                        Past days many, future ones few.

                                        The melancholy my heart begets,

                                        Comes from cares I cannot forget.

                                        What can unravel these woes of mine?

                                        Except for only the Du Kang wine.[1]

'Only Du Kang wine.’

'Only Du Kang wine.’

His expression remained calm and relaxed, but his fingers could not help but knead on the edge of his robes, swiping across the fabric again and again.

'What can unravel these woes of mine? Only Du Kang wine.', indeed.

--------------------------------------

In the serene and austere courtyard, Li Gang stood under some nearby eaves and sent off a messenger pigeon.

He walked to the stairs and sat shoulder to shoulder with Zhen Ping, both observing the autumn leaves fluttering in the courtyard and the taller, larger red-tiled palace walls flanking one side of the manor walls.

"Have all the things in the Alliance been settled?" Zhen Ping asked.

Li Gang nodded, his voice steady, "Daliang has become more peaceful and tranquil in these two years under the former Crown Prince's regency, and continuing with his ascension to the throne. The brethren are also used to the rules established under Chief, none of them are handling anything troublesome at the moment."

Thus, the two fell quiet again. They sat next to each other for a long time, until they heard the faint sounds of ministers and officials leaving morning court through the palace walls. Although the officials were solemn and respectful during their daily audience with the Emperor and made little noise, the clarion call of the eunuchs' announcements and the bells ringing from atop the watchtowers lost none of the awe and majesty of imperial authority, muffled as they were by the thick palace walls.

Though the custom of morning courts had been established since the Xia dynasty, neither the Qin nor the Han dynasties had formalised the system of daily audiences at dawn, and this had continued even into the Wei and Jin dynasties. However, with the ascension of Daliang's newest emperor, a small assembly would be held every three days and a large one held every five. Conscientious and meticulous, he never allowed a single lapse - a principled, hidebound, and rule-abiding lord. At first, officials accustomed to the laxity and idleness of the previous Emperor's rule were dissatisfied, and one after another, presented protests to the Emperor. They protested the heavy workload, stating that it would adversely affect the pace of ministerial matters. But no matter what justifications the officials presented, they were all rejected with no explanation by this Emperor who, from the time he was still just Prince Jing, was known to be rigid, obstinate, and not afraid of making enemies.

As time went on, everyone adjusted. If one day morning court were suddenly canceled, the officials were sure to speculate on the state of the Emperor's household, whether the Empress Dowager or the Crown Prince or Prince were indisposed, if the Emperor was busy with the seasonal Spring and Autumn Hunt rituals, or if he was personally supervising troop drills with the Changlin Army, or if, on each anniversary of the Chiyan Army's exoneration, the Emperor would by all accounts halt court for a day to personally burn incense and give offerings. Aside from those occasions, the ministers and officials would gather for an audience every day at the sound of the bells and the eunuchs' calls. The commoners living in the Capital came to expect starting their days with the sound of bells. Even Li Gang and Zhen Ping, who had been in Jinling for only a month, became used to it as well.

Everyone praised the Emperor's diligence and love for his empire. Ever since the daily state audiences became formal protocol, officials took on more and more duties. Matters, from large scale plans to minutiae, were presented in public for debate and resolution. The Emperor rarely held private meetings, much less dealt with any single issue out of favoritism. All court affairs became fair and just. And so, for the moment, those who were idle and corrupt tucked their tails in and tried to their best to give an impression of being an honourable and upright official.

On their way to the Capital, Li Gang and Zhen Ping, and even Mei Changsu from inside his carriage, marveled at the vivacious atmosphere and the citizens of the capital living in peace and working happily.

When they passed what used to be Marquis Ning's Manor, they found it was no longer sealed off but instead bestowed to Shen Zhui of the Ministry of Revenue by the Emperor. Shen Zhui had fully supported Prince Jing's in the past. Even if His Majesty cared not for past fellowship, he still cared for Shen's integrity, how he remained diligent, loyal, concerned for the people, and never betrayed his original intentions. Even now, Shen Zhui had not taken advantage of his relationship with the Emperor.

Shen Zhui and Prince Jing did not unite out of self-interest, and now would be even less likely parted for that same reason. To them, everything began and ended with the people. In all his years in the Ministry of Revenue, Shen Zhui handled everything that came his way with full effort and dedication, be it tax collection, disaster relief, or military wages. His only son, he sent to the battlefields, and two years ago, when Daliang had been beset on all sides, proved himself in battle, and was worthy of recognition as a young hero. A minister such as Shen Zhui, with both talent and morals, could not just be described as upright.

He was wise, tenacious, righteous, and feared no risks. Who said that only generals were worthy of 'The Pillar of Defense[2]'? When Xiao Jingyan bestowed the manor to Shen Zhui, he personally penned an imperial edict: "The love of its people is the foundation of Daliang. He who allowed the empire to become wealthy, the citizens strong, and defenses strong, is worthy of being the Pillar of Defense of this empire."

However, no matter how peacefully Jinling presented itself, and no matter that it was no longer the a place that allowed someone like Prince Yu to wantonly destroy a street of homes, Li Gang could not see any wave of emotions on the Chief's face. Instead, the Chief looked to be more and more at ease. Ever since they entered the new manor that sat right outside the palace walls, ever since they heard morning audiences on the first day, Chief no longer stepped outside his room in the morning, as if the very sound of court frightened him. During the day, Chief would request pen and paper, and read military tactics, if he didn't compose poetry instead. Li Gang tried to quietly observe him.

In the past, Chief had not been one for poems but recently, for whatever reason, he had developed a taste for Cao Cao's compositions. Although Li Gang was not highborn, he could still read and understand most widely read poems, and he could recognize what the Chief's poems were. He mulled over this repeatedly, and discussed it privately with Zhen Ping. They both felt it was just a normal poem, but there could not put their finger on what niggled at them.

Ever since he began writing those poems, the Chief became more and more enthusiastic about calligraphy, and he himself became more and more refined, content to stay home all day and play at being a scholar.

"Both the Chief and Young Master Lin are clearly geniuses, and they all say great minds think alike. They have been bosom friends for a long time so they ought to be similar right?" Li Gang remarked to Zhen Ping with a small sigh. "But look at this, how could there be such a difference? The more nervous Young Master Lin gets, the more he likes to torment others. But our Chief? The bigger the problems, the idler he becomes."

Zhen Ping looked directly at the palace walls without a word. Li Gang elbowed him, "What do you think?"

"Yes," Zhen Ping answered.

"But what is the Chief nervous about? We were bound to come back sooner or later. It's not as if we didn't try to hide it or try to hinder him back then. But Chief has his own views on everything. Once he settles on an idea, no one can convince him out of it. Even Young Master Lin did not try to persuade him out of returning to Jinling. It obviously meant the Chief had decided on the matter. His mood was as calm as the clear sky when we hadn't returned, but now? With only the palace wall in between, the Chief is uneasy again." Li Gang said with another small sigh. Then he elbowed Zhen Ping again.

"Yes," Zhen Ping said.

"Do you think Chief is afraid of meeting His Majesty?" Li Gang asked after a little thought.

Zhen Ping did not answer.

"Say something. You're always observant and can read people well. Tell me, why would the Chief be afraid of meeting His Majesty?" Li Gang looked at Zhen Ping. "We're afraid of Chief worrying himself to death, but what's the Chief got to be worried about? For so many years, Chief and His Majesty were best friends through life and death."

"It'll be good if things were indeed that way," Zhen Ping gradually commented, confusing Li Gang.

"What?"

Zhen Ping asked, "Who do you think His Majesty misses more? Lin Shu or Mei Changsu?"

Li Gang was a clear-headed person, and when things were laid out like so obviously, he immediately understood what Zhen Ping meant.

"I'm afraid it's probably Lin Shu," he muttered after a moment. "After all, they were together for such a long time as children. If one of them had been a girl, they would've been called childhood sweethearts[3]. He only knew Mei Changsu for a short while and knew Mei Changsu was Lin Shu for even shorter. Before he found out, His Majesty was not that fond of our Chief. We both saw how Chief had begged for an audience with His Majesty that time in the snow."

Zhen Ping sighed. "Right? Even though Lin Shu and Mei Changsu are the same person, they are still distinct. Lin Shu is prideful, magnanimous, and assertive. Mei Changsu, however, is indecipherable, low-key, and shrewd. Even though they came from the same mind and for the same purpose, the way they manifested was completely different. Back then, none of these things were brought up under the bigger picture of repealing the Chiyan case and competing for the throne. But with the passage of time, now that they meet again, would His Majesty really accept Mei Changsu is no longer Lin Shu? And what mindset should Chief have, seeing His Majesty look at him but yearn for Lin Shu? Truly, things have remained the same but the people have changed."

Two long drawn out sighs rose and fell in the courtyard.

"If so, then why would the Chief want to come back?" Li Gang asked slowly after a while.

Zhen Ping asked, "The fight for the throne was fraught with danger and yet the Chief did it without a second thought. Why?"

"Why would you even ask that? That was Chief's sole purpose." Li Gang answered without hesitation.

Fiddling with loose tufts of grass in the courtyard, Zhen Ping asked softly, "Tell me then, now that everything's settled, what else does the Chief live for?"

Li Gang did not answer. The two of them of fell into a silence broken only by occasional sighs as they looked at the red-bricked palace wall just outside the manor.

--------------------------------------

Footnotes:

[1]《短歌行》 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poetry_of_Cao_Cao#Short_Song_Style
http://benotdefeatedbytherain.blogspot.com/2011/02/short-song.html
Given that Du Kang is also the God of Wine, it can also be translated as Du Kang’s wine.

[2]护国柱石 - “pillar of the country’s defense” is the translation from Viki but I feel like “the PIllar of Defense” works just as well and rolls slightly better off the tongue and is actually four words just like the original.

[3]青梅竹马 - lit. green plums and hobby-horse; fig. Innocent children’s games; describes childhood friends of opposite genders and couples who grew up as childhood friends. Of course now China has 竹马竹马 which is applied to male childhood friends with the implication of being lovers (though I’ve only seen this used in BL novels and pretty much nowhere else).


Peerless [倾国 ENG] Ch2

合作翻译: @of.seven.seas 

Peerless [倾国 ENG] (5351 words) by ofsevenseasLeilyue

Chapters: 2/?
Fandom: 琅琊榜 | Nirvana in Fire (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Lin Shu | Mei Changsu | Su Zhe/Xiao Jingyan, 靖苏

Characters: Lin Shu | Mei Changsu | Su Zhe, Xiao Jingyan
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Post-Canon, It's basically NiF 2, Translation

Summary: This is the story of how Jingyan, now Emperor, visits Langya moutain three times to find out if Mei Changsu is alive, and manages to keep him, against all odds.

-------------------------------------- 

Chapter 2

Xiao Jingyan stood in front of the gates of Langya Mountain, looking down at the piece of paper in his hands. The price had been set at a pearl the size of a pigeon egg.

He reached down and touched the hand-embroidered silk pouch with gold lining hanging at his waist. Inside it was the pearl he had carried on his person for the past two years. Records of rites and customs since ancient times dictated that a gentleman must wear jade. The Emperor wore white jade, nobility wore shanxuan, senior officials wore shuicang, and Confucian scholars wore ruanmin.[1] But the current Emperor was unique, having forgone a jade pendant two years ago while he was still the Crown Prince. No matter how the Ministry of Rites implored the Emperor to follow conventions and propriety, he complied in all other matters but would not budge on the matter of wearing jade.

These past two years, the embroidered pouch substituted for a jade pendant, first, when he hung it from the waist sash of the crown prince's robes, then, it accompanied him when he ascended the throne. Even now, the pearl never spent a moment away from his person. Neither the ministers nor the Empress and the Imperial Concubines knew what was in the pouch. Only the Empress Dowager and General Meng knew that it contained the pearl that Lin Shu had once held with his own two hands, and yet ultimately left behind.

His mother, who had been Noble Consort Jing and now assumed the title of Empress Dowager, had tried to persuade him otherwise. "Without due cause or reason, jade must not leave the person.[2] As Emperor, you should set an example for the world."

Xiao Jingyan considered it for a moment. "Although what mother said is true, but even considering etiquette, how is this without cause or reason? In Yuzao of the Rites of Zhou[3], there is a passage: 'Where there is a belt, there must be jade worn with it. Only in mourning can one not wear jade. I would like to substitute this pearl pouch for jade for in this life, so that Xiao-Shu's spirit may rest in peace," he replied, in the respectful and calm way he had.

The Empress Dowager gazed at her son and couldn't help the tide of bitter anguish that washed over her heart. In the end, Xiao-Shu had been lost to them. She, who once was an herbalist employed by the Lin family, whom Xiao-Shu had once called Auntie Jing, had grieved for him for over ten years. But seeing the suffering in her son's heart now, her own heart also ached. She could not discourage him from this small gesture, because she knew Jingyan would only internalise his feelings at the slightest hint of disapproval.

In the end, she swallowed what she wanted to say and fixed his hair with gentle hands, the same way she had done when he was still young. "Your majesty would mourn Xiao-Shu for the rest of your life?" She asked.

Xiao Jingyan looked at his mother and said slowly, "Mother, you know that to me, Xiao-Shu is not only the Lin Shu buried by the Chiyan case. He spent fourteen years to exonerate the loyal warriors of Chiyan, and cleared the way for me to ascend the throne. Ultimately, for the peace and prosperity of Daliang's people, he used up the last of his life on the battlefield. He had such a valorous and pure heart - even if I mourned him, as emperor, with the strength of an entire country, what would be the harm in that?"


After that, no one dared mention the pearl. As Emperor, Jingyan wore it day after day, and General Meng followed him day after day. To outsiders, the pouch became a jade pendant in fact, and for those who knew the truth, it represented a memorial for Lin Shu that Jingyan held in his heart. Today, as he felt it under his fingers, Jingyan felt his conviction shaken. Would he really be willing to part with this most important keepsake from Lin Shu for the merest hint of a clue?

As always, Meng Zhi followed right at his heels. He wanted to ask Meng Zhi, whether he believed Xiao-Shu was really dead. But he thought about it further, and wondered what would come of asking? Mei Changsu was not the Lin Shu of the past, he was full of cunning and deception - if Mei Changsu was determined to a life of seclusion, what could Xiao Jingyan do?

He took the pearl out and looked at it for a while. "Bring it here," he told Meng Zhi, who stood behind him.

Meng Zhi hesitated, then walked closer, taking out a stack from his robes and handing them to Xiao Jingyan. Xiao Jingyan placed the pearl, along with the stack, into the container, then turned around. "Let's return to the capital."

Meng Zhi stared after him blankly. That was it? Put the pearl inside and be done with it? This was the last thing Xiao-Shu had left behind! He felt anxious, and shouted out, "Your Majesty!"

"Yes?" Xiao Jingyan looked at Meng Zhi.

But Meng Zhi did not ask the question hovering on his lips and Xiao Jingyan did not choose to answer. After all years of treating each other with devotion and sincerity, they were ruler and subject in name but were old friends in truth. In many matters, Meng Zhi understood Xiao Jingyan's wishes without asking, and Xiao Jingyan knew of Meng Zhi's simple-minded preoccupations. They had traveled many roads in the darkness, when the difficulties and adversities were akin to climbing through rugged mountain paths - how could many years of difficulties and adversity be summarised in just a few words? In the end, all the questions and answers seemed unnecessary.

A moment later, Meng Zhi knelt on the ground. "I will escort your majesty back to the Capital."

His Majesty was never in the habit of bringing many guards on his private outings, and the few that he had allowed had stayed at the foot of the mountain. Only Meng Zhi remained to accompany him. With no one else in sight, Meng Zhi could have given his habitual salute, but he deliberately bent his body in the most formal bow he knew. Even Meng Zhi himself could not explain his own actions, but he felt that in this moment, his Majesty must have needed a considerable amount of strength. Whether that person was alive or dead, Meng Zhi had seen how the Emperor grieved in his heart for everything Xiao Shu had been to him, how he had not given up even the slightest sliver of hope for Xiao Shu's survival. Meng Zhi felt, based on this fact alone, a deep respect for his Majesty. He was a military man, lacking in eloquence, but he wanted to, in some way, show support to his Majesty through his actions. The formal salute was the only thing he could think of at the moment.

Xiao Jingyan had deciphered Meng Zhi's meaning almost immediately, and understood what his formal salute meant. In that moment, when he put the pearl into Langya Hall's box, he knew he had crossed a boundary. Perhaps, this was also his Rubicon. He had parted with the last keepsake; he had done everything he could have thought of, everything that was within his power to do. If Xiao Shu still did not make himself known, then all hopes really would be cut off here. It would be better if Xiao Shu had merely made up his mind to live in seclusion. If he had no, then they were truly sundered on different sides of life and death.

The last bit of strength that had carried him through the last two years would finally vanish, like mist in the sun.

 

Mei Changsu sat in the pavilion, a scroll of Bingshu Jie Yao[4] in his hands, as Lin Chen set up a multitude of jars and containers of medicine, hemming him in on all sides. A young page appeared suddenly and delivered two things to Lin Chen.

"Young master, his Majesty has left for the capital." He said, head bowed.

Lin Chen saw the pearl, perched atop a fold of paper, and let out an audible sigh. He had thought that with such a difficult request, Xiao Jingyan would have at least hesitated a little. He did not expect him to depart with such haste, nor how easily he had handed the pearl over. It occurred to him that he had been underestimating Xiao Jingyan these past few years. He had thought, that in the numerous difficulties and dangers of exonerating the Chiyan Army and then fighting for the throne, Xiao Jingyan had been relying on Mei Changsu's infinite pains in consolidating his every step. It seemed, however, that Prince Jing's steadfastness and forthright insistence also contributed greatly to his success.

Lin Chen glanced over at Mei Changsu, but the latter did not seem to react at all, and was still calmly reading the book in his hands. Motioning the young page away, Lin Chen took the pearl assessingly. Sure enough, it was perfectly round and glowing gently with iridescence, an evenly toned pale white throughout. Although imperials were wealthy as a rule, he could only imagine what it took Prince Jing, whose birth mother did not come from a prominent family, to find a pearl of this quality and size. Then he looked at the folded paper beneath the pearl. Lin Chen's eyes widened as he waved the paper in the air.

"Changsu! Oi, Changsu!" He exclaimed. "Look at this!" Lin Chen clicked his tongue. "It's a deed title! And it's the manor right next to the palace, you know the one, it belonged to Minister Shen Zhui of the Ministry of Revenue. Just how did our majesty the Emperor move Minister Shen from his ancestral home?”

"Tsk, tsk." His voice fluctuated with excitement, until his throat felt sore, but even then, Mei Changsu kept on reading, without bothering to respond to any of Lin Chen's bids for attention.

"Changsu, you really could bear to keep reading? While I accompanied you north for the campaign as a vice commander under Meng Zhi, I hadn't seen you crack a single useful book. Doing light reading on the battlefield and military strategy off the battlefield, do you like standing out from the masses? Or are you just showing off your superior grasp of 'strategizing from a thousand leagues away yet still controlling the outcome'?"[5] Lin Chen asked in rapid succession.

"Both," Mei Changsu answered.

Lin Chen felt as though the words had been forcibly shoved down his throat, and then recovered, laughing. "My word, Changsu. If I hadn't personally pared your skin and set your bones all those years ago, I would never now know how shamelessly thick-skinned you are."

Mei Changsu smiled, finally putting aside the scroll in his hands.

"Then what opinion does young master Lin hope to hear from me regarding this matter?" He asked.

It might as well be a rhetorical question. Don't you already know what I want to ask you? It's only a matter of whether you will see him and go with him. But Lin Chen knew that Mei Changsu, while deceptive and manipulative against outsiders, was straightforward and upright towards friends. With certain matters, the more he beat around the bush, the more likely it was he had already made up his mind. Likewise, the more nervous Lin Chen became, the more disturbances he created; the sicker Mei Changsu had gotten, the more Lin Chen had liked to pester Feiliu.

Simply from looking at his attitude, Changsu had already reached a decision. Even if Lin Chen blustered and bothered him, it would not change anything - why bother asking? In matters of stratagems and resourcefulness, Lin Chen, who paid attention neither to the court nor to politics, could not be compared with Mei Changsu. In terms of foresight and open-mindedness however, he would not necessarily lose to the famed Sir Su of Jiangzuo. This being the case, what benefit was there to asking?

"Opinions? Then, tell me, what's so great about Cao Cao?" Lin Chen asked, smiling.

"Cao Cao?"

His swift change of topic left even Mei Changsu feeling a little startled. Then he realized what Lin Chen meant. He looked down at the book he had set aside. Sunzi Bingshu Jie Yao was indeed written by Cao Cao. But even so, for young master Lin, who was born in the jianghu and who did not care for matters regarding the court or the military, to suddenly inquire about insights into Cao Cao - it was rather perplexing. Mei Changsu gave the question some thought.

"Cao Cao was formidable and well-suited for a time of chaos. Later generations denounced him for his cruelty, and the massacres he committed that were too numerous to count. But he was exceptional in the art of war and brilliant in statecraft, so much that all would agree he was a hero for the ages.[6] His writing was full of grandness, heroics, ambition, and magnificence. Very good."

Very good. Who was Cao Cao? Even if Lin Chen had no talent for war, he had, at least, learned to read books. History books commented that Cao Cao had a 'brilliant ingenuity' and was a 'capable minister in times of peace, and an unscrupulous schemer in times of chaos*'. Such a man, through the mouth of Mei Changsu, somehow become two very simple words of praise: very good.

Lin Chen laughed. If it had been anyone else, Lin Chen would have scoffed at their arrogance. But Mei Changsu sounded perfectly natural. Lin Chen returned to his vases and bottles.

"How do you find Cao Cao's poetry?” He asked, tone nonchalant.

'Poetry? That's even stranger. It's one thing to ask about Cao Cao's merit but his poetry?' Mei Changsu laughed. "Which poem? 'Though the Tortoise Lives Long'? [7]    

    Though the divine tortoise lives a long life,

    It will die someday.

    Though the soaring serpent on mist arise ,

    At last it would fall to decay.

"Cao Cao wrote about ambition even at old age, 'I on my deathbed still want to fight on the battlefield'. Is young master Lin so afraid that I would would return to Court and work myself to the bone that he is using this poem to test me?"

Lin Chen glanced at him and gave him a look. You think you are so smart.

"I was talking about 'Short Song Style'[8]," he replied.

"Short Song Style?" Mei Changsu smiled at Lin Chen. "What are you trying to say?"

"Nothing much. Just wanted to tell you that you shouldn't be always reading about military treatises. Writing poetry now and then can also be relaxing," Lin Chen chattered casually while concentrating on his medicines.

Mei Changsu smiled while sighing internally. Even though he knew Lin Chen must have brought it up for a reason, he also knew not to push further. The two of them, as doctor and patient, had spent all these years together from dawn til dusk, and had already moved far past the point of thinking of each other as simply a benefactor or a friend. Besides, if Lin Chen were to be the second most astute man in the world, who then could claim to be the first? He must have already known whether Mei Changsu's own plans included leaving or staying.

He called for Li Gang to pack and prepare to depart for Jinling, which gave a severe shock to the latter. But when Li Gang looked at Lin Chen, who continued fiddling with his bottles and jars of medicine, there was no sign of the fuss and bother from earlier.

Notes:

[1]Shanxuan jade (山玄玉) and shuicang jade (水苍玉) are types of jade pendants, both usually carved into signet designs of the person wearing them, which would be decided by their rank and family/clan affiliation. The customs come from the Book of Song, a historical text of the Liu Song Dynasty of the Southern Dynasties of China, which took place before the Liang dynasty. Shanxuan was usually a darker green jade and shuicang was more translucent green.

[2]君子无故,玉不去身; Jades are symbol of status, especially for ‘junzi’ (gentlemen scholars). So unless there are special reasons, often times death, they must always wear a jade pendant. Although even in death, some royalty and nobles (especially of Han dynasty) would be buried in jade burial suit because jade was believed to have the power to prevent decay and ward off evil. Cao Pi of the Three-Kingdoms era imposed a ban on the use these suits after it’s been around for about 400 years.

[3]《周礼·玉藻》 Literal translation “Rites of Zhou - Jade-Bead Pendants of the Royal Cap” though it’s also chapter 13 of the Book of Rites/Liji. Rites of Zhou is a work on bureaucracy and organizational theory and is considered one of the three ancient ritual text aka “Three Rites” with the Book of Rites and the Etiquette and Ceremonial (Yili).

[4]《兵书接要》, also called 《孙子兵法接要》 there are several versions but the text specifically meant Cao Cao’s, which are basically Cao Cao’s notes on The Art of War and other contemporary military treatises.

[5]运筹帷幄,决胜千里; a general planning in the seclusion of his tent is able to determine the outcome of a distant battle (idiom)

[6]子治世之能臣,乱世之奸雄; from Xu Shao (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xu_Shao#Appraisal_of_Cao_Cao)
The archaic term jianxiong (奸雄) is composed of two Chinese characters – jian (奸; "crafty", "villainous") and xiong (雄; "majestic", "heroic"). It was used to describe a person who is very ambitious (typically power hungry) and who resorts to cunning means to achieve aims.

[7]《龟虽寿》

神龟虽寿,犹有竟时。
螣蛇乘雾,终为土灰。

The translation given in Wikipedia    
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poetry_of_Cao_Cao#Though_the_Tortoise_Lives_Long)    

Though the tortoise blessed with magic powers lives long,
Its days have their allotted span;
Though winged serpents ride high on the mist,
They turn to dust and ashes at the last.

    
Another translation found online    
(http://www.shigez.com/gs/110.html)    

Turtles live a long life,
And yet will die someday.
Dragons ride on haze rife,
But will fall to decay.

    
So I went and combined the two translations because I liked the rhyme and rhythm of the second translation but it does lose some of the nuance. Although for the life of me I don’t know why anyone would translate 神龟 which literally means ‘divine/godly tortoise’ into ‘tortoise blessed with magic powers’. And also, ‘winged serpents’ more like ‘flying serpents’ aka a Chinese dragon. Again, don’t know who did the first translation but it’s everywhere.    

[8]《短歌行》, one of Cao Cao’s most widely-known poems, is an ode he composed, apocryphally, after drinking at a celebration with his supporters, in which Cao Cao laid out his ambitions and regrets he had in life. More detail: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poetry_of_Cao_Cao#Short_Song_Style Translation:
http://benotdefeatedbytherain.blogspot.com/2011/02/short-song.html


在奥兰多Universal CityWalk的某个小店里看到的忘羡盐和胡椒罐,很可惜没买回家。

左边一个苏,右边一个殊,虽然不懂得这是怎么回事,这样的小哭包景琰应该还是挺幸福的吧。

江左盟的日常对蔺晨来说不算特别好吧

今天在Tumblr上看了一篇东凰文所以就开始很想画东凰,顺便也练练怎么画亲吻。就把我现在萌的所有CP给画了。。。这里还有其他人吃东凰吗?我觉得我掉进了个很冷很冷的坑/(ㄒoㄒ)/~~

到最后还是觉得画亲吻好尴尬啊啊啊啊啊!!!对不起了忘羡!我也不知道为什么你们脸越看越怪啊啊啊!

实话实说“自古红蓝出西皮,不是百合就是基”真的很有道理。


我保证下次会好好画,不会是涂鸦了!【不