Chapter 1 – Prologue~2 MINS READING TIME

Translated by seal.


“THIS BOOK IS FORBIDDEN, ALL OFFENDERS WILL BE PUNISHED.”


Chonghua had once produced two young and promising generals, like water meets fire, both as different as the eye could see1[泾渭分明 (Jīng Wèi fēn míng) means “as rivers Jing and Wei separate clearly”, and is an idiom meaning “to be entirely different”].

The one like water was called Mo Xi; cold by nature, he practiced abstinence, and has been single to this day. Within the army, the stakes on when General Mo would finally offer up his virginity had accumulated to the point where it could fill any poor man’s belt with ten thousand strings of gold overnight2[腰缠万贯 (yāo chán wàn guàn) means “ten thousand strings of cash in the money belt”, and refers to carrying lots of money or being extremely wealthy.].

The one like fire was called Gu Mang; warm by nature, he was always full of smiles, and treasured the ladies like precious jewels3[怜香惜玉 (lián xiāng xī yù), an idiom meaning “to have tender, protective feelings for the fairer sex”.]. If he had to pay out of his pockets for every single time he kissed a girl, then he’d probably have to pawn off all his possessions down to the underwear he wears to afford it.

There was a day, long before Gu Mang had committed treason, where on a sudden whim, he grabbed a book that he had compiled and ran over to ask Mo Xi to write his opinion of it.

At that time, General Mo was holding several volumes of books, his hands tied with military affairs, so he only asked General Gu one sentence: “What did you write?”

“Everything.” Gu Mang explained enthusiastically, “Fine delicacies, personal experiences, travel notes of the mountains and rivers, weapon catalogs, and other trivial things.”

Mo Xi received the book from him, lifting the brush in his hand, dipping it into the ink pot, preparing to comment.

As Gu Mang finished talking, he smiled and said: “I also wrote about you.”

Mo Xi was suddenly alarmed by this, pausing the movement of his hands to look up at him.

“…What did you write about me?”

Gu Mang honestly replied: “A factual description of our past events.”

“What past events?”

Gu Mang scratched his head, shamelessly grinning with a little “hee hee”, then quickly replied: “All of them.”

“……”

Mo Xi did not respond, staring at him for a moment before dropping his long eyelashes. Then, with an unreadable expression, he wrote two ruthlessly cold lines in Regular script4[正楷 (zhèngkǎi) is Regular script in Chinese Calligraphy and is a very neat calligraphy style, and in this context of usage, it’s meant to feel like the equivalent of Mo Xi red marking in large block capitals across the book.]:

“THIS BOOK IS FORBIDDEN, ALL OFFENDERS WILL BE PUNISHED.”


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9 Comments

  1. hello!! im starting this novel after 2ha and i must say, i really love your translation!! mandarin’s my mother tongue and i must say i love love love how you translated the idioms to capture their meaning without going for a literal translation, and yet still pick words very similar to the imagery the idioms bring out. keep up the good work!!!

  2. The book is forbidden all offenders must be punished 😄 wht a nice quote to start this book I bet no offenders will dare opn it
    Thanks for the translation .

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