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LWSL Chapter 46

Shit!
Click here for content warningsGambling, physical violence

In the blink of an eye, it was already 7 days since the winter solstice’s sacrificial rites. The Wu estate was as peaceful as it had always been. Everyone was still doing what had to be done as if they had already completely forgotten about the matter of the three joss sticks breaking during the sacrificial rite’s inquiry to the deities.

After the sacrificial rites, The Wu family Southern main estate’s ninth young master, Wu Shi, and the tenth young master, Wu Bo, went to the gambling dens after returning from the academy practically every day.

The so-called “every ten times you gamble, you lose nine times1This is an idiom that means “gambling is a profitless activity”. I left in the direct translation of the idiom for cultural nuance purposes.“: the more the two young masters gambled, the more they lost. It hadn’t even been a day, and they had already completely lost the money they had won before, in addition to the monthly allowance that the Wu family gave. They had even borrowed a huge sum of money from the gambling den to try and win back their losses, and thus left a written guarantee that they would return the money within 7 days. Who would’ve known, shortly in just half a day, they had lost all the money they had borrowed.

At this, the two young masters were anxious. They both didn’t dare to ask for money from members of the Wu family, and also didn’t dare to let the family members know. In the end, the manager of the gambling den was willing to let them use items as collateral. However, the items for collateral had to be the three weapons: Dragon Bone Nail, Imprisoned Ghost Flute, and Dark Ivory Fan.

When Wu Shi and Wu Bo heard this, they immediately felt suspicious of the gambling den’s manager. How did this person know that their family had these sorts of weapons? But when they reconsidered it again, the gambling den was a place where both dragons and fish mingled2Idiom meaning “both good and bad people/things mix together”.. The manager of the gambling den also had many connections with people, it wasn’t strange if he had a way to know that they had these weapons. As such, they dispelled their suspicions and went home to get the weapons.

However, the weapons were all kept in the storeroom and one had to have the key, only then could they unlock the door to the store.

Wu Shi and Wu Bo patiently waited at home for two days until they found the opportunity when Wu Qianbin and Wu Qiantong went out for an inspection tour together. They then found excuses to ask their mothers to open the storeroom.

“Mum, the people in the academy are all secretly saying that I dress shabbily, that I don’t even have a decent accessory3The ‘accessory’ they’re referring to is these sorts of jade pendant ornaments that were usually hung at the waist back in the days. In non-fantasy settings, they’re usually symbols of status or used to signal permission from the giver to the wearer.



For example, the king/emperor may bestow a jade pendant ornament to his son/prince that is recognised by all the guards/servants within the palace that this son is allowed to freely enter or leave the palace at will (since entrance to the palace was restricted even for princes).



In this case, these ornaments in Loser Wife also serve the double purpose of being enchanted with passive protection spells or some such other things. Most of them seem to be made of jade, but can be carved into any sort of pattern or shape.
, that I can’t even compare to their attendants. Now, I’m about to be too embarrassed to go to the academy for classes4Here, Wu Bo actually says he’s about to “not have any face” to go to the academy for classes, where ‘face’ isn’t literally his face but the concept of esteem, dignity, pride, etc. I changed it so that it’s less confusing..” Wu Bo tugged on his mother Dong Mingji’s hand and said in a spoiled5When I’ve translated it here as spoiled, and later on a few paragraphs down, where Wu Bo ‘acts spoiled’ to his mum, the original Chinese text uses the word 撒娇 (sa jiao) which doesn’t have a proper English translation. I’ve mentioned this before in a previous footnote many chapters ago. If anyone knows Korean, the equivalent is ‘aegyo’.



It’s like behaving cutely to someone older than you, in hopes that they will feel affection towards you and cave to your requests. It works especially in Chinese culture where younger people don’t exactly have the power to demand things of older people, and you kind of have to convince them to do what you want them to by appealing to their affections.



Sajiao is a very cultural thing, if anyone knows a better way to translate this, please let me know!
manner: “Mum, just let me go into the storeroom to choose a few rare ornaments so that I can put out some of their arrogance.”

“How well-dressed are your tangge?” When Dong Mingji heard that people were speaking poorly of her darling son, she was immediately unhappy: “I remember the last time I went to your academy, I didn’t see many other people dressed better than you. What right do they have to criticize you? For example, the ornament that you have on your waist. That is made of premium white jade, handmade by a master jade carver from the capital city. Mm, where did your waist ornament go?”

Wu Bo’s gaze flashed with a bit of guilt, naturally, he didn’t dare to tell her that the valuable things that he possessed had all been pawned off at the pawnshop: “I left it in my room, wearing it will only make a fool of me.”

“How could it make a fool of you, that’s…”

Wu Bo interrupted her words: “Mum, you don’t know that the tangge and tangjie from the Western and Eastern main estates are now wearing either antique jade pendant bangles or some jade ornament weapons. All of them are better than me.”

“Is this really the case?” When Dong Mingji thought of how her darling son was dressed shabbily compared to others, she felt bad in her heart. She didn’t want to be laughed at by her sisters-in-law either, so she straightened up and went into the inner room to get the storeroom key: “Let’s go, follow me to the storeroom.”

Wu Bo’s plan had succeeded and he was internally greatly pleased. He went to the storeroom with Dong Mingji and chose three rare ornaments suitable for men. Then, he acted spoiled to Dong Mingji again to ask her to let him take a look around in the secret room where the weapons were kept.

Dong Mingji’s heart was soft, so she opened up the secret room and let him enter.

Wu Bo took the opportunity when she wasn’t paying attention, discreetly stuffing the Imprisoned Ghost Flute and Dark Ivory Fan into his sleeves. When they had left the storeroom, he hurriedly found an excuse to leave Shutong Garden and went to wait in the horse carriage at the main entrance that he’d agreed to meet Wu Shi at.

After about half a shichen had passed, Wu Shi also got onto the horse carriage.

Wu Bo anxiously said: “Jiuge, how did it go? Did you get it?”

“Who do you think I am, how could I have not gotten it.” Wu Shi smiled, pleased with himself: “I was the one who came up with the idea to get our mums to open the storerooms for us, remember6Wu Shi actually literally says: “You should know that I was the one who came up with the idea to get our mums to open the storerooms.” but it doesn’t really go well with the previous sentence and the context, so this isn’t the exact translation here.?”

Wu Bo smiled happily, then soon after drooped spiritlessly again: “Jiuge, if my dad finds out I stole the weapons to use as collateral, he’ll definitely break both my legs.”

Wu Shi’s smile faded: “Don’t worry, recently my dad and xiaoshu haven’t had any use for the weapons. We just have to gamble back the weapons before they realise and it’ll be fine.”

“But, where will we find so much money to gamble back the weapons? Oh, that’s right, my mum gave me three rare ornaments just now. We can pawn it and pay off the debt.”

Wu Shi rolled his eyes: “Are you stupid? You have to keep these ornaments on you every day. If they disappear, how will you explain it to your mum?”

“That’s true. Then where will we get the money to gamble the weapons back?”

“Isn’t it the New Year’s? When the time comes, we’ll receive red packets7Quick explanation post about red packets/hongbao here. TL;DR: it’s a red envelope with money inside given during Chinese/Lunar New Year (as well as some other occasions), where the giver sends their well wishes to the receiver., then we’ll have money to pay off the debt.”

“Oh, that’s right.” Wu Bo smiled with a ‘heehee’: “Jiuge is so clever.”

When the two people arrived at the gambling den, they hurriedly rushed up to the 3rd floor.

There were especially many people gambling at the gambling den, with people coming and going, bubbling with excitement.

When Wu Shi and Wu Bo had run up to the 2nd floor, suddenly, they ran into a man who was just about to come down the stairs. Following that, with a ‘pa’ sound, a dark blue8Note, this actually says 黑篮 (hei lan) which means ‘black-blue’. In order not to create the imagery of a bruise, I’ve opted to translate it as dark blue. However, there are several different ways to actually describe dark blue in Chinese, so do take note that heilan is not literally ‘dark blue’. jade flute fell out of Wu Bo’s sleeve.

Wu Bo was startled and hurriedly stuffed the Imprisoned Ghost Flute back in his arms, angrily saying: “Do you walk around without your eyes? If you break my weapon when crashing into me, how are you going to compensate me for it?”

Shidi.” Wu Shi was worried that he would cause a scene, and hurriedly stopped him from continuing: “It’s fine as long as the weapon isn’t broken. We’re in a rush to meet Manager Yu right now.”

Wu Bo humphed coldly, glared fiercely at the man who had crashed into them then followed Wu Shi up to the 3rd floor. They walked towards the innermost room; after obtaining the bodyguard’s permission, they entered Manager Yu’s study room.

The man who had knocked into Wu Bo was none other than Hei Gan, who had been ordered to come here to keep an eye on Wu Shi and Wu Bo. After he saw the door to the room on the 3rd floor close, he turned around and also followed them up to the 3rd floor, and following behind him were 6 bodyguards.

“Manager Yu, we’ve brought the weapons that you wanted.”

Wu Shi and Wu Bo took out the weapons.

Manager Yu smiled and said: “Ninth Young Master and Tenth Young Master are indeed as good as your word, bringing me the collateral weapons within the agreed-upon timeframe.”

He stretched his hand out to them: “Give them to me, so that I can check if these are the weapons I wanted.”

Wu Shi raised a hand to block Wu Bo from presenting forth the weapons: “Manager Yu, before you take a look at these weapons, I’d like to know why you singled these three weapons out for collateral.”

Manager Yu’s gaze flashed a little: “I’m not afraid to tell you about this. I have a friend recently who wants to capture a large Yao. He requires a few weapons that are both high in quality and have special attributes to assist him, only then can he succeed.

“However, he doesn’t have this sort of weapon. When I asked around, I found out that only the weapons from your Wu family suit him, but he’s not familiar with anyone from your Wu family. So, he came to me for help, and I also coincidentally had something I needed his help with. I was thinking about what I could do to help him borrow these weapons, but I didn’t think that you would…”

He laughed with a ‘hehe’: “And the rest of it, you know as well.”

Wu Shi’s gaze darkened: “You didn’t purposely make us lose just to borrow the weapons, did you?”

The smile slowly dropped off of Manager Yu’s face, and he looked at Wu Shi sternly: “Ninth Young Master, do you think that I’m that sort of person? If I really did that, who would dare to come to the gambling den in the future?”

Wu Shi thought that he had a point, and so he handed the weapons over.

Once Manager Yu had checked the three weapons once over, and confirmed that it was the weapons that he wanted, he got them to sign off on a written pledge. Then he got them to stamp their seal9Not sure if this exists in other cultures, but I don’t think it’s that common in the Western cultures I know of. Basically, when they talk about stamping their seal, they’re most likely referring to a family or personal seal. Even till now, the practice of having a family/personal seal still exists.



The family seal usually has the family surname stylistically carved onto either a piece of wood or jade or some similar material that can be carved. A personal seal is similar, except with your own name on it. It’s possible to also have symbols or some such other things carved. A visual example of the stamp and how it looks here, and more details about the seal here.
, proving that these weapons had been pledged to him as collateral.

Wu Shi said: “The weapons have been pledged to you, but you have to guarantee that when we gamble it back, the weapons must be undamaged.”

“Of course.” Manager Yu smiled genially, his eyes turning into half-crescents. He picked up the written pledge and looked at it: “Ninth Young Master, Tenth Young Master, since it’s still early, would you like to go downstairs and bet on a few rounds to turn your luck around?”

Wu Shi laughed coldly: “I’m afraid if I keep gambling, I’ll have to mortgage another two weapons to cover my debt.”

He dragged Wu Bo and turned around to open the room’s door when he saw that the man who had crashed into them just now was blocking the room’s doorway.

Wu Bo angrily said: “Get out of the way.”

Hei Gan ignored his anger, advancing forth, forcing Wu Bo and Wu Shi back into the room.

Wu Shi felt that this was no average man. He was even followed by 6 bodyguards. He hurriedly pulled Wu Bo back, not letting him speak, in case they accidentally offended someone they couldn’t afford to offend.

Hei Gan went straight to Manager Yu, picking up the weapons on the table, speaking indifferently: “These weapons are the betrothal gifts that my master sent to our madam. How did it end up in your hands?”

When Wu Shi and Wu Bo heard this, their expressions turned pale.

Shit!

This person was actually someone from the Hei family.

Then wasn’t this as good as Wu Ruo finding out about their dads stealing his betrothal gifts?

If people from the Hei family came to confront them, then it wouldn’t be as simple as having their legs broken anymore.

Wu Bo clenched Wu Shi’s hand tightly, fearfully asking: “Jiu— jiuge10I would just like to clarify that this isn’t any new term, Wu Bo is just stuttering as he’s addressing Wu Shi., what do we do?”

“H— how would I know.” Wu Shi was also very scared. In terms of age, he wasn’t that much older than Wu Bo and didn’t have much experience handling problems. So, when running into such a huge situation, he was naturally also panicked.

When Manager Yu heard him saying this, he already knew who this person was, but he still feigned anger and said: “Who are all of you? How dare you barge into my study? Did you know that this whole gambling den is my territory? You— eh— what are you doing? Give me back that written pledge! Guards! Guards11You might hear this a lot in dramas. The phrase used here is 来人啊 (lai ren ah), which I can’t remember if I’ve explained before. It doesn’t actually translate to ‘guards’. It is basically a way for people to call for other people. It’s much closer to saying “somebody come”, or a generic way to get people’s attention. In this case, Manager Yu is probably calling for back-up, so I’ve translated it as ‘guards’., come quick!”

Hei Gan snatched the three weapons and written pledge directly from him, stuffing them into the pocket of his outer cloak. He turned around and instructed the bodyguards: “Take them away.”

When Wu Shi and Wu Bo heard this, they hurriedly turned around and ran, but their paths were blocked off by the bodyguards. And their spiritual energy was not as high as the bodyguards, so they were knocked out onto the ground by the bodyguards in no time.

Manager Yu was afraid that they would do something to him, and hurriedly said: “Don’t hit me, I will go along with you.”

In order not to attract attention, Hei Gan took them and jumped down directly from the window, leaving from the back gardens of the gambling den and returning to Hei Manor.

When Wu Ruo saw that Hei Gan had captured and brought them back, he raised his eyebrows in surprise.

Previously, he had instructed Shi Jiu to send someone to the gambling den to keep watch and to later capture the culprits along with the stolen goods. Yet, he never thought that Shi Jiu would get Hei Gan to get it done.

Hei Gan placed the three weapons and the written pledge on the table: “Madam, two of the weapons were indeed made by Master. As for the other weapon…”

Wu Ruo picked up the Dark Ivory Fan and took a look at it, nodding his head: “It’s my mum’s weapon.”

He put down the Dark Ivory Fan, and then picked up the written pledge. Not only were Wu Bo and Wu Shi’s signatures and thumbprints on it, but there was also the Wu family seal. The written pledge had no loopholes either. He then put down the written pledge, satisfied, and looked at Hei Xin.

Hei Xin was very intuitive and immediately understood the meaning behind Wu Ruo’s gaze. He gave a slight smile as he stepped forth and asked: “Does Madam have any instructions?”


Notes: Ooh, Hei Gan was pretty suave in this chapter. If this was a drama, he would be the ‘dark horse’ supporting role. Does anyone have any fan casts for any of the characters so far? I’d love to hear your opinion!

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  • 1
    This is an idiom that means “gambling is a profitless activity”. I left in the direct translation of the idiom for cultural nuance purposes.
  • 2
    Idiom meaning “both good and bad people/things mix together”.
  • 3
    The ‘accessory’ they’re referring to is these sorts of jade pendant ornaments that were usually hung at the waist back in the days. In non-fantasy settings, they’re usually symbols of status or used to signal permission from the giver to the wearer.



    For example, the king/emperor may bestow a jade pendant ornament to his son/prince that is recognised by all the guards/servants within the palace that this son is allowed to freely enter or leave the palace at will (since entrance to the palace was restricted even for princes).



    In this case, these ornaments in Loser Wife also serve the double purpose of being enchanted with passive protection spells or some such other things. Most of them seem to be made of jade, but can be carved into any sort of pattern or shape.
  • 4
    Here, Wu Bo actually says he’s about to “not have any face” to go to the academy for classes, where ‘face’ isn’t literally his face but the concept of esteem, dignity, pride, etc. I changed it so that it’s less confusing.
  • 5
    When I’ve translated it here as spoiled, and later on a few paragraphs down, where Wu Bo ‘acts spoiled’ to his mum, the original Chinese text uses the word 撒娇 (sa jiao) which doesn’t have a proper English translation. I’ve mentioned this before in a previous footnote many chapters ago. If anyone knows Korean, the equivalent is ‘aegyo’.



    It’s like behaving cutely to someone older than you, in hopes that they will feel affection towards you and cave to your requests. It works especially in Chinese culture where younger people don’t exactly have the power to demand things of older people, and you kind of have to convince them to do what you want them to by appealing to their affections.



    Sajiao is a very cultural thing, if anyone knows a better way to translate this, please let me know!
  • 6
    Wu Shi actually literally says: “You should know that I was the one who came up with the idea to get our mums to open the storerooms.” but it doesn’t really go well with the previous sentence and the context, so this isn’t the exact translation here.
  • 7
    Quick explanation post about red packets/hongbao here. TL;DR: it’s a red envelope with money inside given during Chinese/Lunar New Year (as well as some other occasions), where the giver sends their well wishes to the receiver.
  • 8
    Note, this actually says 黑篮 (hei lan) which means ‘black-blue’. In order not to create the imagery of a bruise, I’ve opted to translate it as dark blue. However, there are several different ways to actually describe dark blue in Chinese, so do take note that heilan is not literally ‘dark blue’.
  • 9
    Not sure if this exists in other cultures, but I don’t think it’s that common in the Western cultures I know of. Basically, when they talk about stamping their seal, they’re most likely referring to a family or personal seal. Even till now, the practice of having a family/personal seal still exists.



    The family seal usually has the family surname stylistically carved onto either a piece of wood or jade or some similar material that can be carved. A personal seal is similar, except with your own name on it. It’s possible to also have symbols or some such other things carved. A visual example of the stamp and how it looks here, and more details about the seal here.
  • 10
    I would just like to clarify that this isn’t any new term, Wu Bo is just stuttering as he’s addressing Wu Shi.
  • 11
    You might hear this a lot in dramas. The phrase used here is 来人啊 (lai ren ah), which I can’t remember if I’ve explained before. It doesn’t actually translate to ‘guards’. It is basically a way for people to call for other people. It’s much closer to saying “somebody come”, or a generic way to get people’s attention. In this case, Manager Yu is probably calling for back-up, so I’ve translated it as ‘guards’.
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Comment

  1. sadiewoods9 says:

    Hei Gan is stepping up! Masterful capture! I’m impressed because this really is the best way to get these two- their debt remains and their face is completely torn away when someone can easily reveal the theft like that. How could they appeal to the gambling den manager? The items they pawned off arent even their’s. Even if the manager wasn’t already under Wu Ruo’s thumb, they would be doomed. Though really, I’d like to see their family’s excuses for why those betrothal items were in their possession to begin with!

    I really want to get into costume dramas but I a bit of a baby based on what i watch even if I’m way more tolerant on what I read. I’m a crier when it comes to watching tragedy and betrayals! I don’t have a good fan cast in mind. I’d love to see this if it was either animated or filmed though!

    Thanks for your hard work translating!

    1. Peachy says:

      Absolutely love Hei Gan’s suaveness in the way he handled this, and we get to see Hei Xin in action as well too. All of the Hei family servants are super well-trained, and it reflects very well on Hei Xuanyi tbh. The following chapters really breaks down the whole situation in such a delicious manner. I love all the details the author wrote in, so I’m looking forward to posting.

      I’m also super picky about dramas, even more so than I am about written stuff, and I’m already super picky about the written stuff as well. Even if you don’t have any fan casts from period dramas, maybe you have some ideas of who would fit their vibes from dramas of other genres? Like a particular actor who seems like he would be able to pull off the character, yknow?

      Thank you for your kind comment, hope you enjoy today’s chapter!

  2. Deciria says:

    (*≧▽≦) thank for the chapter!

    1. Peachy says:

      Thank you for your kind comment, hope you enjoy following this story!

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