(This is an amateur translation of Tóng Shī’s My Disciple Eats Too Much, a girls’ love cultivation webnovel. Index post here.)
Alright, that was enough! Why did the Grand Immortal have to bring the topic up again anyways!?
Shū Táng’s pink little snout was burning with embarrassment, and in that moment she really wished she was nothing more than the dumb and senseless creature she appeared to be.
Usually, Fúyù cut such problems off at the outset by ensorcelling her piglets against the dirty business of living, but those spells weren’t trivial. When she’d noticed how clever her Báihuāhuā was, she’d assumed that it wouldn’t need her assistance in such matters of cleanliness, not realizing what disaster she was inviting on her head.
In fact, if Shū Táng was actually going to pay her respects to Fúyù as her master, then the entire matter was a scandal that would see her rightfully mocked for a lifetime. Even more than that, her new master obviously wasn’t adept on the finer points of human interaction. Shū Táng felt humiliated, and Fúyù probably wouldn’t even be able to understand why!
Yes, Shū Táng thought wretchedly. I’ve really lost my dignity as a piglet now.
Surprisingly, Fúyù didn’t press her on the matter, as if she could tell how embarrassed her charge was after all. Instead, she shifted gears. “Well, since you have the wisdom to make your own choices in life, I won’t make you learn the arts for the sake of my own wishes. Instead I’ll ask you - do you want to follow me as my disciple and begin the journey to immortality?”
Shū Táng could only stare in shock for as long as it took her to process the words; then she squealed her assent.
No matter what came next, if she could just regain her human form - as Nántán had implied was a possibility - then that would be infinitely more convenient than living as a pig!
More than that, the entire notion of cultivating mystical powers and becoming an immortal being… it was a profound and peerless fantasy, a miracle among miracles, and her chance to participate in it was literally a once-in-several-lifetimes opportunity.
Fúyù briefly looked her over, and then she asked again. “You really agree, then?”
The piglet did her best to nod her head, snorting again.
Fúyù grinned, allowing her pearly-white teeth to peek out from behind her bright-red lips for the first time since Shū Táng had met her. Her sweet smile had a great deal of charm to it, and even more beauty, but it wasn’t the least bit tacky.
Shū Táng couldn’t do anything more intelligent than stare dumbly at that vision of loveliness before the beauty herself picked her up off of the tabletop and set her on the ground.
“I’ve already seen how Nántán and Lúhuá inducted their own apprentices, so I still remember the proper procedures. To become his master’s disciple, a pupil must kneel and bow his head three times to the ground to show his deference before his master. The prospective disciple is also expected to prattle on with some long-winded speeches - but you’re a piglet, after all, so I suppose you can be exempted from that particular rule, even if the kowtowing is still required.”
Having laid out the letter of the law between master and apprentice, the Grand Immortal sat upright and waited for her piglet to uphold its part of the ceremony.
This relationship was moving so fast! Shū Táng couldn’t keep up!
Even so, looking at Fúyù’s serious and earnest demeanor, she couldn’t not summon up her courage and push through her part of the ritual.
In the end, the problem wasn’t a lack of will at all; rather, the spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak. Her four trotters bent in very different places than a human’s legs would, and she couldn’t find a way to kneel down even after trying for quite some time.
This activity was really something troublesome for a pig to be asked to do...
If I can’t kneel, Shū Táng thought, then maybe I can just kowtow instead?
However, no matter how she tried, her head was too round and her neck too short and thick. She absolutely couldn’t bring her forehead to touch the floor, and thus she was soundly defeated once more.
Rattled twice over, Shū Táng darted her eyes from side to side in desperation, where they caught upon the sight of the table she’d just been standing on.
For lack of a better option, she just broke out into a run, dashing over and smacking her head three times into one of the table legs. Then she turned to Fúyù and began oinking furiously, as if to apologize for her substandard performance, or to make up for it by delivering the formal speech she’d been excused from.
From now on, this woman is going to be the central pillar of my life in this world; my master and my keeper both, the only one supporting me...
Fúyù couldn’t understand the litany she was hearing in the least, but even so, her heart was more than satisfied, and she lifted the piglet back onto the table. She’d wanted to see just how intelligent her Báihuāhuā really was, and it seemed that it was smart indeed.
Abandoning her solemn expression, Fúyù regarded Shū Táng with a warm and pleasant manner once more. “From now on, I am your master in the arts, and you my disciple. But I’ll still call you Báihuāhuā, alright?”
Finally! Shū Táng had an opportunity to make her complaints about that name heard, and she took it with everything she had, shaking her head so hard her little ears flapped against her face.
Fúyù frowned. “You don’t like that name after all…?”
Her voice was so wounded that Shū Táng couldn’t bear to see her like this, but still the piglet braced herself again to act. Stretching out a hoof, she insistently sketched out the symbols making up her name with its motions upon the tabletop.
“You want to change your name to ‘Shū Táng’?” Fúyù asked, once she’d read and understood the characters. (Naturally, she wasn’t the least bit surprised or concerned by the fact that her little piglet could already read and write.)
Shū Táng snorted and nodded, overjoyed to finally cast off that old and unsophisticated name.
Then her beautiful master replied. “Very well! From now on, I’ll call you Shū Táng… for the outside world and the ears of others to hear. When we’re alone, I’ll still call you my little Huāhuā.”
Great master! How can you be so unfair to your poor disciple!?
But no matter what she might have said, her master considered the matter concluded; and respecting her master meant respecting this, too.
Because Shū Táng’s body was young and unprepared, Fúyù didn’t leap straight into teaching her the mystical arts, as strenuous as they were. Instead, she fed her disciple a few more radishes before retiring to study the text Nántán had given her; and where she found the booklet insufficient, she departed to ask Lúhuá for advice on the finer points of instructing a pupil.
So it came to pass that Shū Táng enjoyed one last day of comfort and leisure in Fúyù’s abode. The very next morning, her master plucked her snoring from her bed, grabbed her by the ears, and threw her into the unbearable brightness of her open courtyard.
Fúyù was rather reticent to manhandle her charge like this, but Lúhuá had explained everything to her: pigs were naturally careless and indolent creatures, and so she would have to be exceedingly strict with her disciple if she wished to induct it into the honest life and rigorous practices of a mystic!
On her part, Shū Táng had been truly intimidated by her sudden egress from the comfort of her den. Standing on the jade walkway that ringed the courtyard, she watched her stately master without any clue what was going on or what to do next.
“A healthy body will be the foundation of your efforts!” Fúyù barked. In order to adopt the mien of the severe master, she spoke with the fiercest attitude she could muster. “Every morning, you’ll be doing ten laps around the courtyard, and if you fall short of the full ten-count, you won’t be allowed your daily radishes.”
Taking in her beautiful master’s wrathful aura, Shū Táng finally obeyed, starting her morning run with no small amount of irritation at her stolen winks of sleep.
If she wanted to become a human again, then she would just have to pay the price! The heavens had already smiled upon her in giving her this opportunity to live once more, so if she had to run a little, then what was the problem with that?
Her confidence thusly bolstered, she worked her four little legs with all her might and pushed ever onwards, her heartbeat the metronome to her march. She could do this!
Actually, she couldn’t even complete three laps around the courtyard before she began to flag.
She’d drunk her fill of her mother’s milk every day after she was born again, and had gobbled down radishes no matter how tired she got of them. Now that she was faced with this test, she was confronted with the unhappy truth: she’d been fattened up like any other farm animal!
By the time she’d finished her second lap, her entire body had begun to ache, every cell united in protest against her as if they were screaming out: Shū Táng, you spoiled little pig! If you keep running, you’re going to work yourself to death!
Huffing and puffing across the finish line for her third lap, Shū Táng wasn’t sure she could take so much as two steps more. Then she caught sight of her master, reclining in the comfort of her chair and staring directly at her, and she hurriedly set her legs to moving on anyways.
As her fifth lap drew to a close, Shū Táng wondered for a split second if her master was forcing her to run in the hopes of getting her to lose weight and then cooking lean pork for dinner.
Bringing such flights of fancy with her to the end of her seventh lap, she took hardly one step more before she felt her legs giving way underneath her, hitting the ground with a dull thud.
Fúyù stared down at her disciple in some shock and horror. She wanted nothing more than to go out and take her charge into her embrace once more, but what Lúhuá had shared of his relentless pedagogy still echoed in her mind.
Making your disciple run will temper its will! Strengthen its perseverance! Dare I say it, build character!
Tell me, what is it a cultivator relies upon the most? Why, the only thing a cultivator can rely upon is his constant companion: his will to continue ever onward!
To realize one’s full potential is the work of centuries, or even millennia! How will your apprentice attain the discipline to reach the apex if it can’t even bring itself to run a few lousy laps!?
And yet all these words only occupied her mind for a moment, ultimately passing through her consciousness without any power to move her. As soon as her reflexes kicked in, she was already stepping forward, lifting her trembling disciple into her arms.
She took one of its legs into her hand, checking it carefully. Before, the hoof had been soft and untested; now, it had been tested hard enough to squeeze blood from a stone, red and swollen with aches and pains from the road. Today might have been the most her disciple had ever run in the time since it was born.
When Shū Táng fell, her legs unceremoniously throwing her body to the cold jade tiles, her vision went dark, and she almost passed out from the shock and exhaustion. Then the moment passed, and she felt the warmth of a caring embrace.
When she finally managed to open her eyes again, straining like she was trying to stand up and not just bat her eyelashes, a brilliant whiteness danced across her vision like she was staring into the sun. Then she realized she was just peering at Fúyù’s snow-bright robes.
Nnn! She let out a feeble little whimper in her actual voice, but in her heart she was just crying out, master...
Seeing her disciple laid up like this, Fúyù felt almost as if she was staring into the faces of the countless pigs who had died in her arms before, and her chest clenched painfully. She couldn’t bear to make it keep running, so she just took it inside.
After a time, Shū Táng’s strength slowly began to return to her. Propping herself up on Fúyù’s arm, she tried to stand up again-
-and her trembling legs gave out underneath her again, too, as she fell back into Fúyù’s bosom. Apparently her strength wasn’t returning that quickly.
Fúyù snapped her fingers, the sound ringing out through the air with an unnatural force. One of her maidservants hurried into the room.
“Go to the gardens and pluck three radishes-” Fúyù cut herself off. “No, never mind that. Go to the kitchens and instruct my cooks to make two bowls of porridge for us, instead. Once you’ve passed that message along, go to Lúhuá’s home and tell him I demand a gift as a token of restitution for having wronged me.”
Her reason for this second request was simple - however indirectly, Lúhuá had hurt her vulnerable little disciple, and that left her filled with an anger for which there was obviously only one target!
Her maidservant clearly didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry in the face of this whole embarrassing affair, but she gave her assent and left as quickly as she’d arrived in order to carry out her tasks.
After a time, several more servants entered their room, bringing two bowls of piping-hot rice porridge, as requested. One of them was also carrying several side dishes to spice up the bland meal.
Fúyù just took one look at all these dishes, delicate cuisines stacked on equally-colorful porcelain plates, and turned to her companion. “Can you eat these, little Huāhuā?”
Shū Táng nodded eagerly. She was hungry enough for anything, but after days on a diet of nothing but those radishes, she desperately wanted to jump to the tabletop and eat her fill!
Fúyù was surprised at this; she hadn’t expected her disciple to be so happy about it all.
Her mind suddenly went back once more to the countless pigs she’d raised in her very long lifetime - for whom she had only ever brought radishes to eat, assuming that the root vegetables were all they wanted or needed. A pang of guilt ran through her heart.
It seemed that the proper diet for a pig was only one of the things she still had yet to learn. If she hadn’t promised her disciple that it wouldn’t receive its radishes until it ran that impossible little marathon, then she never would have thought to feed it something else, instead.
Ah well. I learned something from all of this, and I was able to keep my word, too! The Grand Immortal’s ego assuaged once more, she could accept this turn of events with grace.
Shū Táng was wriggling in Fúyù’s arms, throwing off all her exhaustion in the face of this scrumptious meal, but her master still held her fast, and she didn’t get where this was going. Was she just being taunted with the sights and smells of a reward her labors hadn’t earned?
As she whined, she saw her master lift a spoonful of steaming-hot porridge to her lips, blowing gently to cool it down… Then she lowered the spoon to her piglet’s mouth.
Shū Táng stared blankly down her snout, crossing her eyes at the offering. Then her master dispelled her shock with two words: “Eat up!”
Well, if you insist...!
Shū Táng opened up and took a big bite.
In her previous life, she’d been unable to eat all sorts of things on pain of illness, reduced to an inoffensive diet almost entirely composed of rice porridge very much like this meal. If she hadn’t been desperate for a break from the radishes, she would never have been so eager to go back to this tired old gruel.
But now that Fúyù was feeding her, she quickly realized that her porridge was really surprisingly delicious! She was quite enjoying herself, and she didn’t even know why.
I bet it’s because the rice they grow in this heavenly realm is richer than the rice they grew back on earth, she thought to herself, licking the spoon clean and patiently waiting for more.
Fúyù happily watched her disciple slurp through her porridge - a bit slowly at first, and then increasing in enthusiasm and speed with every spoonful. Every once in a while, she’d take a scoop of one of the side dishes, or summon the plate over entirely, and watch her piglet eat that up, too. It was eating with utmost relish, its eyes closed and crinkled with contentment as it worked to pack it all away.
By the time it was done - which really didn’t take long at all! - it had licked both bowls and every plate clean. Fúyù snapped her fingers again, and another maidservant hurried in to tidy up and carry the dishes back off to the kitchens.
Finally, Fúyù set her disciple back down on the table, and Shū Táng stretched her little legs with satisfaction. She felt as if she’d practically come back from the dead, well-fed and thirst quenched, filled with vim and vigor once again
Fúyù just patted her on the head. “You couldn’t run ten laps after all, but you still gave it your all. For your next week of training… yes, I think six laps every day for the next seven days will be enough.”
Six laps? That wasn’t so bad after all. Shū Táng shook her tail out, wagging in agreement.
Now that her feet weren’t to the fire, she could admit that she hadn’t really hoped to escape her training, however relentless. But to be shown this consideration from her master… she already couldn’t thank her enough.
Truth be told, even after yesterday’s formal introduction to her apprenticeship, she still hadn’t quite felt in her heart those deep feelings about the matter that she knew she ought to have; hadn’t seen between her and her teacher the bonds wrought of tutelage she knew ought to come to exist between every master and disciple. It had only been one day, after all.
And yet, when she’d fallen to the ground and all but fallen unconscious, the only thing running through her mind in that moment had been the hope that her beautiful master would catch her.
And in the end, her master had lifted her back onto her feet when she fell; and in the end, her master would never allow the burden of this journey to crush her entirely.
From that moment on, Shū Táng knew at last - from the bottom of her heart and deep in her bones - that Fúyù was the one she could recognize as her master.
You know, Shū Táng thought. Immortal Nántán said that I was Grand Immortal Fúyù’s very first disciple... ever. To attract such a beautiful woman’s exclusive instruction and attention, even as a lowly little piglet...
She couldn’t have explained it even if she tried; couldn’t have pinned the feeling down save to admit it existed; but a strange kind of pride was ebbing up in her. Behind her, her tail was wagging so quickly that it could have been a lively little flower, blossoming in the wind.
“Now,” Fúyù said abruptly, and Shū Táng felt a sudden stab of foreboding, looking back at the woman who had just seen all her hunger laid bare. “Once you’re completely rested, I’m going to start teaching you how to absorb qi energy into your body - and if you can’t learn the basics by tonight, you won’t be having any of that rice porridge for dinner.”
Shū Táng’s tail went utterly slack, like a rope hanging from a gallows.
That smug self-satisfaction I just felt… what exactly did I think I was proud of, again!?
(This is an amateur translation of Tóng Shī’s My Disciple Eats Too Much, a girls’ love cultivation webnovel. Index post here.)
In all the world between heaven and earth, there were three different realms. One realm belonged to humanity, the flickering children of mortality; one realm belonged to daemons, those strange and uncanny creatures of mystery; and one realm belonged to the immortals themselves, who had transcended humans and daemons both.
Both humans and daemons were capable of mastering the arts and ascending to immortality, but in all the immortal realm, no more than three hundred had ever attained apotheosis and taken their place in the heavens, and only a thousand more rogues lived on the outskirts of their society.
Of course, that count made no measure of the Three Grand Immortals. Known as Grand Immortals Nántán, Fúyù, and Lúhuá, and led themselves by Grand Immortal Nántán, the three of them sat in the seat of power and held an authority above all others. Together, they managed the many affairs of the immortal realm, both big and small.
Of the three, Grand Immortal Fúyù was without a doubt the most carefree. When she first completed her journey to immortality, she set aside all those common practices she’d picked up along the way and returned to her true passion, the thing she wanted to do with her life more than anything else in the world: raising pigs!
Her beauty, too, was exceptional, for it was said that she was the loveliest in all the immortal realm - and it was no simple thing for her to stand out in that crowd, for although there weren’t many immortals, they were one and all a people known for their refinement.
That such a peerless beauty would love nothing more than to all but wallow in the mud with the pigs she raised wasn’t something other people could understand...
Even Lúhuá himself couldn’t quell his reservations. He had come to visit his fellow Grand Immortal at her home in seclusion, and his reluctance to turn his back on the piglet she was holding in her arms was written all over his face.
“Fúyù,” he said. “You’ve been doing this for such a long time that you’ve already raised thousands of pigs just to die. Are you really so stubborn and set in your ways that you want to go on and hurt this creature, too?”
Fúyù was quite serious in the face of Lúhuá’s condemnation. “How do you know that I won’t keep this one alive?” she asked.
“It’s what happens every time you get a new pig,” Lúhuá said, looking rather sorry for Fúyù’s new charge and the life it was going to lead. “No matter what I try and say to you about it.”
As Lúhuá spoke, the piglet in question began to stir, wriggling and fussing about in Fúyù’s arms until she gave in at last. Pursing her lips, she fell silent and began to pet her pig.
However, no matter how Fúyù tried to comfort her new charge, it remained anything but calm, struggling with its whole being as if to get away from her!
Lúhuá couldn’t help but crack a smile. “Look!” he said, unable to contain himself. “It also knows about the terrible ending you have in store for it - it won’t go out without a fight!”
Fúyù simply nodded her head, continuing to comfort the piglet in her arms. “All living things are born to the course of their fates. Whether it lives or dies - either way, what happens will be ordained.”
The snort of protest the piglet let out made its thoughts on that matter quite clear, but Fúyù continued undeterred:
“See, I’m sure the creature agrees with me.”
Bah! If this creature had a destiny, then obviously it was destined to stand and fight!
Of course, regarding the piglet, it might have been better not to regard it as a common ‘piglet’ at all. Instead, one had to understand that although it indeed had the body of a pig, its soul was that of a human.
While the piglet’s body had been born to a farmhouse sow only a few months ago, its soul came from much further afield, belonging to a modern young woman named Shū Táng.
From the time she was born, Shū Táng had always been a rather sickly child. As a schoolgirl, she was often absent from her classes on medical grounds, and only graduated with great difficulty. When she finally passed her entrance exams and made it into university, her illness only intensified - but by then, she had long since grown accustomed to the presence of death in her life. As she was being wheeled into the operating room for treatment, she even went so far as to flash her surgeons a cutesy ‘V’ for victory.
Needless to say, she did not emerge victorious.
After the surgery was over, all her doctors could say was that she simply hadn’t had the will to live; in the end, they were powerless to save someone who hadn’t wanted to be saved.
All her life, she felt the weight of her illness bearing down on her until she was just too exhausted to go on; isolated by her disease, she was left friendless, and her family was no comfort to her when she only felt like a burden around their necks. By the end, she often thought that maybe it was for the best if she finally died after all.
In those days, she imagined that she would sup of oblivion before crossing over to her next life, never to live with illness or its bitter memory ever again. But when her soul left her body at last, there was no elixir to wash away what had come before for her, and no place for her spirit to go but into the piglet she now inhabited.
As far as she was concerned, the only one who understood what she was going through was the infamous Marshal Tiānpéng himself!
But it wasn’t all bad. As far as piglets went, she wasn’t just healthy; she excelled, standing out amongst the crowd of her peers, hogging the best of her mother’s milk and feeling like the winning piglet of her litter.
It was a pity, then, that this self-satisfied life of hers couldn’t last forever, for it came to pass one day that she was purchased by a woman in a veil. As this mysterious woman took her home, she realized that her new owner was nothing short of an immortal - and not just any immortal at that, but the awesome and famous Grand Immortal Fúyù.
This new life of hers… oh! She’d thought she was lucky after all, to be brought in from the cold as an immortal’s own pet pig!
Perhaps if she hadn’t learned the truth of things from Lúhuá, she would still be so upbeat.
Grand Immortal Fúyù pinched her fingers together, molding a spell of quiescence between her fingertips and pressing it to Shū Táng’s forehead, who immediately fell into a great stillness.
“Báihuāhuā must be worn out from all the hustle and bustle of today. I’m going to take it to bed for a nice rest - while I’m gone, please, make yourself comfortable, Grand Immortal Lúhuá.”
Having said this, Fúyù departed with pig in tow in the blink of an eye, leaving behind only her helpless friend Lúhuá and the faint scent of a pigsty upon the air.
In an instant, person and pig reappeared within a bedroom, and Shū Táng managed to put a hoof to her pounding little heart. Before she could even so much as dwell upon the mortifying name she’d just been given, the room around her beckoned, and she drank it in with wide eyes.
Not only was it the exquisite palace of an Immortal, but it was also the first time she’d ever seen such an antique chamber for real, and she was absolutely brimming with curiosity.
Fúyù quirked a smile as she saw her piglet looking around the room, and she gave it a few pats on the head, feeling very pleased.
It seemed that this new piglet of hers really was quite clever. She would definitely be able to raise this one to adulthood for sure!
Unfortunately, however, she wasn’t being too careful with her strength as she absentmindedly pet her new charge, and Shū Táng let out a whimper of uncomfortable alarm, held fast by Fúyù’s spell. Though she wanted nothing more than to throw out her little legs and leap entirely from her embrace, she could hardly take a single step.
When she wasn’t actually harmed, her fear fell away, but the discomfort of the situation still spurred her to escape, and she tried with all of her might to work her legs.
Suddenly, a sound like crashing jade rang out in her mind, and in an instant, Fúyù’s spell lost all its power over her. Her legs started into a leap, and she almost fell to the ground.
Frowning a bit, Fúyù gathered the piglet back up into her arms. Again, a tawny golden light came to a point at her fingertips, and she pressed the spell to the top of the piglet’s head - who continued to struggle for a moment, but gradually slowed.
After tucking the piglet in and making it cozy and comfortable in its den, Fúyù considered her spellwork. In a flash, she reappeared once more at Lúhuá’s side.
“I see you still haven’t left.”
Seeing Fúyù empty-handed, Lúhuá schooled his face into a look of shock. “Is it really…? It’s dead already!?”
Fúyù paid no attention to his taunts, however, and wore a look of puzzlement as she spoke to him.
“Báihuāhuā isn’t like the other pigs I’ve raised. My settling spell wasn’t fully useful against it.”
“But you’ve been practicing that magic to the point of perfection against your pigs for years, so how can that be…?” Lúhuá cut himself off. “Wait. Who is Báihuāhuā?”
Slowly raising her eyebrows, Fúyù fixed Lúhuá with a look of disgust. “Báihuāhuā is the pig you just saw. Or have you really forgotten it already?”
Pinned down beneath the beautiful immortal’s contemptuous stare, Lúhuá choked up and went red with humiliation. “Hey, you’ve given your pigs countless names over the years! So maybe I forgot for a moment - what’s there for me to be ashamed of!?”
Seeing him like this, Fúyù took her seat in her bejeweled chair, propping her chin up in her hand and putting him out of her mind in favor of more useful contemplations.
“Alright already-!” Lúhuá huffed helplessly, moving to sit beside her and considering the problem aloud. “Look at it this way - beings naturally able to break spells are rarely seen, but that certainly doesn’t mean they don’t exist, right? Seven hundred years ago, a child was born in the mortal world who was naturally able to absorb the energies of heaven and earth, and he was also able to unravel simple spells from a young age. But despite his blessings, when he was sent to a sect of cultivators to further his insight, he spent the rest of his life trying and failing to advance, and his natural talents came to be of no particular importance in the scheme of things.”
Saying this, he casually reached for a cup of tea laid out on the table, and took a sip of it before continuing. “You needn’t worry yourself so. Maybe your piglet has a bit of spiritual insight, and it can dissolve a few simple spells - the world we live in is full of mystery, so it’s really not all that surprising that a pig like Báihuāhuā might come to exist.”
Fúyù removed her hand from her cheek, considering him seriously. Then she said, very slowly, right as Lúhuá took another sip: “That was Báihuāhuā’s tea you just drank.”
Pffft! Tea sprayed from Lúhuá’s lips as he spat it all out, dropping the teacup to the table and aggressively wiping his mouth. Getting up to go, he spoke angrily: “I’ll be taking my leave!”
Fúyù nodded her head in agreement and waved him farewell. It was only after he’d left, riding away upon the winds themselves, that she turned her attention to the teacup and realized she’d probably offended him with it.
After all, he was one of the Three Grand Immortals - and he wasn’t her, at that. If word got out that he’d shared a cup of tea with a pig, he’d be mocked relentlessly!
Fúyù sighed gloomily to herself. She really was quite slow to pick up on things.
After thinking for a while, she called a servant to her side, instructing the girl to bring Lúhuá some minor gifts in apology.
It was shameful to say, but she was always half a beat slow on the uptake when it came to people and problems. She knew it was a flaw of hers, but it wasn’t something that she could fix.
There were those who said that Grand Immortal Fúyù was like a lukewarm stone - that for all she was an exceptional beauty, she was also or only beautiful in the manner of a stone. Those who didn’t know the facts of the matter imagined she was unapproachable, her temperament as hard as forbidding rock. But they could scarcely have imagined the truth.
In truth, their poetry was her reality, for Fúyù was one among the countless kinds of daemons - a precious stone which had practiced the arts until it ascended to immortality, gaining human awareness and form in the process. She was named after flowers and precious stones not because she had any pretensions to culture and elegance, but because her real body was a jade ornament that had been carved into the shape of a lotus blossom.
In all the immortal realm, only Nántán and Lúhuá knew this about her, and the two of them were her closest and only real friends for it.
Though, the two of them still couldn’t understand why a piece of jade would enjoy raising pigs so much…
Fúyù let out a faint sigh, riding the winds to the vegetable garden she kept and tended to with her own two hands. There, she pulled a pair of white radishes from the earth, casting a cleansing spell upon them and taking them back to her bedroom.
In the bedroom, a weary Shū Táng was already fast asleep after the day she’d had. Seeing the soundly sleeping pig, Fúyù set her radishes down on a plate and sat beside the creature, closing her eyes and beginning to meditate.
When Shū Táng awoke at last, batting her fuzzy eyes, she was immediately greeted by the image of a beauty deep in meditation.
When they first met, the immortal’s face was covered, and so Shū Táng hadn’t been able to get a good look at her - but even the glimpse she’d gotten of the woman’s eyes had struck her to the core. Afterwards, she’d only wanted to escape, and so she hadn’t had the time to look at Fúyù clearly even if she had removed her veil.
But now, Shū Táng saw Fúyù again, and it was all she could do to catch her breath in silence - for this woman’s face was perfection. Even the best plastic surgeons, given free rein to make art from the human visage, couldn’t have created something so flawless in every way.
However, before she’d gotten her fill of the sight, the beauty opened her eyes, long lashes casting a shadow over her face and occulting her expression.
Shū Táng let out a little groan, chastising herself for her offensive moment of infatuation with the woman, but quickly forgot the matter in favor of more important things. With a little hum, she tried to make her hunger clear - and to her surprise, the beauty watching over her understood immediately. In an instant, the piglet was facing a big, soft, white, radish.
Although it wasn’t the mother’s milk it craved most, the piglet still opened its mouth and took a bite out of the vegetable. As Shū Táng chewed, her tail wagged happily behind her.
As it turned out, the white radishes were sweet!
Nántán’s name is written with the characters 南, ‘south’, and 檀, referring to the timber and the rich purple-red color of certain sandalwoods and rosewoods.
Fúyù’s name is written with the characters 芙, a fragment used in expressions signifying flowers, and 玉, referring to jade and other beautiful precious stones.
Lúhuá’s name is written with the characters 庐, for a rudimentary hut or lodge, and 华, referring to magnificence, exaltation, flowering,and similar.
Shū Táng’s name is written with the characters 舒, denoting physical relaxation (i.e. of posture or arrangement), and 棠, or ‘cherry apple’ (a variety of crab-apple physically reminiscent of cherry fruit, as the name suggests). Her name obeys Chinese name order, with 舒 (Shū) as her surname and 棠 (Táng) as her given name; most two-word names in this story should obey this name order.
Marshal Tiānpéng (i.e. Zhu Bajie) is a major recurring character in Journey to the West. Once a commander of vast armies in Heaven, he fell to his vices and was banished for his crude and impertinent sexual advances upon the goddess of the moon. After his exile from Heaven, he was subsequently reborn as a half-man-half-pig creature, the state in which he is found by the protagonist of the epic novel.
‘Báihuāhuā’ is Fúyù’s pet name for her new pig, of course. It means ‘shining white’ and is written with the characters 白, here meaning something like ‘white’ or ‘pure’ or ‘snowy’ or ‘bright’, and 花花, which means ‘beautiful’ (and is a reduplication of the 花 character for flowers and floral blossoms).
For clarity’s sake, the varying use of she/her and it/its pronouns for Shū Táng is present in the original text, and I’ve made a deliberate choice to try and carry that over in my own narrative voice. (If nothing else, it’s sometimes useful as a tool to avoid the gay pronoun problem.)
More highlights from the OP of the Chinese fantasy GL animation Feng Ling Yu Xiu (2016-)
OP gifsets: 1, 2, 3
Day 13 of TwstOBer
The night is always long when alone.
The Captured Ghost and Her Invisible Thief
Feng Ling Yu Xiu (2016- ), Episode 2
Operation Rescue GF part 1: no wine for you
“You what? You want me to pour wine for you?”
[proceeds to kick the guard she just knocked out]
“In your dreams”
Feng Ling Yu Xiu (2016- ), Episode 02
Feng Ling Yu Xiu (2016- ), Episode 1
The Lady Thief and The White-Haired Princess Who Caught Her
“You think I will get caught? Who caught you in the first place?”
Feng Ling Yu Xiu (2016- ), Episode 1
More scenes from the opening sequence of bilibili’s baihe wuxia donghua Feng Ling Yu Xiu (2016-)
OP gifsets: 1, 2, 3
Feng Ling-er and Bai Yu-xiu in the opening of the fantasy yuri donghua Feng Ling Yu Xiu (2016- )
OP gifsets: 1, 2, 3
i finished reading 泾渭情殇 - Jing Wei Qing Shang - Clear and Muddy Loss of Love and have several comments.
Not too Spoiler-y
- The schemes really do last all 300+ chapters and there are a lot of revenge schemes.
- Quite a few parts get pretty dark.
- It’s mostly presented from Qi Yan | Qiyan Agula’s and Nangong Jingnu’s POV.
- Wasn’t sure what to expect when the author said there was a happy ending despite all the things that happened between the main two, but it could apply. One of the better ways it could realistically end I suppose.
- “Ruse of Self-Inflicted Suffering” Indeed. Very applicable. Iconic words for this novel.
- Was enjoyable throughout. There are two Acts in the book basically and it covers the main pairing in their youth to their “retirement”.
More specific comments (w/ spoilers) under the readmore
- The amount of Times Nangong Jingnu is all “Wow, Qi Yan is prettier than woman”. The fact that the ministers in court notice that Qi Yan has not grown any facial hair despite everyone else having grown some and people thinking that she’s shaving because that’s her wife’s preference.
- Qiyan Agula’s unintended pining from the beginning to the end really did end up saving her life lol, kudos to the doting for ur enemy.
- so all three Nangong sisters had relationships w/ women at some point huh. And 2/3 stayed in said relationships. Nice.
- Was Ding You into Qiyan Agula? Was Gu Rolan also into Qiyan Agula? and Nangong Lie for a bit also?
- Qiyan Agula is canonically handsome.
- Qiyan Agula also almost dies more than a few times. The path of revenge is not kind to her. not at all. Needs more post-canon fluff. Where’s the post-canon memory recovery fluff fanfic that the people need. But also the fanfic expanding on what Qiyan Agula does w/ the rest of her life after revenge besides remarrying Nangong Jingnu in that fishing village. Throughout the novel, it seems to be implied that she actually would be a good teacher and it seems to be what she settles on in the end, but that’s because Ding You got it for her so she stopped staying inside all day and pretty much doing nothing. Story ends on that hopeful note that Qiyan Agula probably eventually recovers her memory with Nangong Jingnu, but the specifics aren’t given as the POV is more from an outside narrator than one of the two main characters at this point.
- First translated webnovel I actually finished reading and the one I’ll figure out how to use JJWXC for. I liked the premise and the plot throughout. The prose was unfamiliar to me, but didn’t end up being a pro or a con. I really liked it. Took about 3-ish weeks to get through it.
- Ch 65 : QiJing vibing by a koi pond and Qi Yan plays the Xiao. That’s kinda gay.
- Ch 76 : Damn, I wish there was a official design for Jiya. Also Nangong Jingnu almost discovers Qi Yan is a woman bc of the pierced ear, but not quite. Tender moment in this chapter. Nice.
- Ch 110 : A description of Qi Yan’s default appearances (One of the few specific descriptions in the entire thing, for fanart purposes if that ever happens)
- Ch 119 : Jiya and Nangong Shunu did what
- Ch 130 : Twins have been born under fucky circumstances.
- Ch 144 : Qi Yan and Nangong Jingnu have a playful moment in the rain. It’s cute. Fanart?
- Ch 145 : Oh, Qi Yan cried in front of Nangong Jingnu. Stress and guilt is bad for ur health.
- Ch 146 & 147 : Nangong Shunu and Qiyan Nomin did what? Oh, also the Fuma estate was set on fire. R.I.P.
- Ch 150 : Female Empress?! “I don’t want to die” - “Then just don’t lose” Oh boy.
- Ch 152 : Boom, an imperial exam. Qi Yan is only mildly treasonous in her job as main examiner.
- Ch 153 : “She had once again entrusted her fate and survival to Nangong Jingnu” just like with the fire earlier and the entire thing with Xiao Die.
- Ch 162 : That one nightmare where Qi Yan killed Nangong Jingnu cause revenge. Bad vibes for Qi Yan.
- Ch 206 : Qi Yan carried Nangong Jingnu back to her room and confessed she’s a woman while Jingnu is passed the fuck out from drinking.
- Ch 212 : Qi Yan p much says to hell w/ it after waking up from her poisoning. If u kno what i mean
- Ch 228 : Female Emperor!!
- Ch 231 : Nangong Jingnu is the empress, but there are 73 chapters left. What’s next, when will Qi Yan’s scheming be revealed?
- Ch 238 : Longevity festival or Nangong Jingnu’s birthday p much. Another detailed description of formal Imperial Husband clothing, one of the few so far also.
- Ch 252 : Agula goes to the You province. More clothing descriptions cause I like to collect those.
- Truly, the way that Jingnu is consistently on Agula’s side.
- Ch 276 : Qiyan Agula and Gu Rolan become sworn siblings and there’s a brief POV from Gu Rolan on QiJing as a couple. Jingnu trims a candle and Agula watches for a moment while lamenting that she didn’t learn painting. Gay.
- Ch 295 : The Grand Court Meeting. Reinstate the Husband. All this after Qian Tong put in that complaint. See, it pays to make loyal allies.
- Ch 296 : QiJing meets again.
- Ch 297 : “Who’s the wife” quote.
- Ch 300+ : Ding You is alive after all this time. And is back to help cure Qiyan Agula.
- Ch 302 : Even this late in the story, the schemes really don’t stop, but hm. Interesting.
- Damn, if it wasn’t for Qiyan Agula’s nice ass calligraphy, she wouldn’t have been found. Don’t like the thought of them never meeting again after separating like that.
- Extra 304 : The Masked Person’s backstory! How interesting, there seem to be some parallels between Qiyan Agula and this person.
Chinese GL/Baihe adaptations
Already adapted to donghua and/or live action
Couple of Mirrors/Shuang Jing (Season 2 hinted)
Being adapted or finished filming but not aired yet, etc
Lin Yu: You drew a two-stone bow?!
Lin Wanyue: What like it's hard?
𝚇𝚞 𝚈𝚘𝚞 𝚈𝚒 𝚒𝚗 𝙲𝚘𝚞𝚙𝚕𝚎 𝚘𝚏 𝙼𝚒𝚛𝚛𝚘𝚛𝚜 (双镜) 𝟸𝟶𝟸𝟷
JING WEI QING SHANG | CHAPTER 47: QIJING SETTING OFF FLOATING LANTERNS AT THE SHANGYUAN FESTIVAL
Translation by @/meltesh28