KnoxT's discord server just launched! Come and get updates to your favorite novels! Click here to join!
We're currently recruiting translators as well as authors of their own original series!

TDGDS Chapter 4

The First Dragon Scale (4)

In the beginning, when the world first appeared, the sky and the earth were one, and they were inseparable from the desolate sea. The sun and moon seem to rise and set from the sea, the luminescent Milky Way seems to be embraced by the sea. 1
日月之行,若出其中,
星汉灿烂,若出其里
are two lines from the poem 观沧海 (Gazing at the Vast Ocean) by 曹操
My translation is but one interpretation of the poem, and is similar to that of https://davidbowles.us/poetry/behold-the-dark-green-sea/, another translation can be found at https://sqiouyilu.substack.com/p/two-takes-on-cao-caos-. However, I do believe that my translation of these lines flows better with the story and is what the author intended.
A long, long time ago, the sun, moon, and stars were all in the desolate sea. When heaven and the earth separated, Guixu 2归墟: A bottomless valley in the sea, an underground waterfall, where all waters meet. It can also be a metaphor for the final destination for all things. 归 = return 墟 = ruins appeared in the desolate sea, gathering the world’s seawater, and the Guixu Dragon Girl also woke up from her deep slumber.

She was extremely passionate3多情 (lit. lots of emotions) can also mean affectionate and yet extremely apathetic4无情 (lit. no emotions) can also mean ruthless/heartless. Her unfettered and unrestrained nature caused her to have to feed on human love as food, but love, this thing, was too precious, so she could never eat till full. Then one day, an unattached soul without an owner floated from the sea without apparent reason. The Dragon Girl devoured it muddleheadedly and tasted a sensation that was the opposite of “starving”. Later, she found that “human” souls could be used as food, so she transformed into her real body of the white dragon to head to the human realm, suddenly, the land was flooded with the cries of victims, corpses littered the ground.

But the more she ate, the more hungry she became. The scorching hunger made her unable to control herself, causing her to toss turbulent waves in the desolate sea, causing her to suffer endlessly.

While under such torture, she gave up slaughtering and plundering human souls and quietly returned to Guixu Dragon Palace. In order to avoid hunger, the dragon girl chose to sleep again.

Then in her dream, she went to a world, grew up like an ordinary person, and received the unreserved love of a human being.

When the Dragon Girl woke up from her dream, she realized that the human soul can only satisfy her hunger for a short time. If she really wants to experience “satisfaction”, then only “love” was her food. When she understood this, she swallowed the lonely souls that floated towards her in the desolate sea, and headed towards the human realm where they were from, then she could digest the soul and expropriate it. If she could find pure and full love in that world, then she could stay awake for a long time after returning to the desolate sea without sinking back into a deep slumber.

The human souls who came to the desolated sea were all related to water. The Dragon Girl even kept a drowned soul as her servant. When she left the desolate sea, she guarded the Guixu Dragon Palace.

Now, she couldn’t remember how many people’s love she had eaten.

But this world… mm… The Dragon Girl was also very distressed. Yong An Marquis’ love reeked of a fishy odour, surely not delicious at all, but if she didn’t eat it, she might even forget who she was in the next world!

Forget it, she had never been a person who would rather all or nothing. In regards to food, Dragon Girl had always rejected nothing.

Dragon Girl was the only dragon in the ancient prehistoric world that entangled in nothingness and enjoyed permanent existence. She has no relatives and no companions, so she learned the word “Ling Long”5Ling Long’s own name (玲珑) means exquisite, and as mentioned before, Long is a homophone for dragon in the world and used it as her name. She quickly learned the rules of life of the human realm and worked hard for rations.

With no one to teach or guide her, Ling Long lived her life in solitude but also in happiness. She was not bound by the Dao of Heaven 6Dao (道) is a path, or a way of life, Dao of Heaven means the rules and laws of Heaven and does as she pleases, not putting any life in her eyes except her own7ie. She didn’t care about other people’s lives, only her own. Fortunately, having hunger as a ban has allowed her to do things with some measure, no longer devouring souls with reckless abandon as she did when she first came out of the desolate sea.

Now she occasionally eats a few extra souls on the sly, and heaven and earth will turn a blind eye to it.

Beautiful looks were either heaven’s gifts or heredity, but a beauty needs to be pampered, and Ling Long had never seen many women who could maintain their soft skin and charming natures despite living in rough conditions. Her beauty came from herself, for she was the most beautiful dragon of all, she needed neither care nor maintenance to remain youthful and beautiful forever, how could humans compare with her?

That’s why, Ling Long could barely recognise Chu Zhi, who had been left out in the cold for over a month, when she saw her again.

Skin that could split with a breath8Basically, soft skin and carefree attitude were things that could only be obtained in a life of luxury. Chu Zhi was just a servant spurned by the Madam, everyone in the Marquis residence had gotten the Madam’s message and knew that she was not loved by the Madam, so who would look at her properly9They wouldn’t look at her “straight”, they would look down on her? The usual ostracism and bullying was a small matter, but the fact that all of Chu Zhi’s expensive clothes and jewellery have been taken away from her was a big deal. Without the rouge and powder given to her by the Madam, without her jade pendant, and without seeing the Marquis for a few dozen days, her heart was in a tizzy, and she became haggard and old, a completely different person from the charming servant girl of a month ago.

The original owner really treated this servant girl, whom she grew up with, as her sister, as long as the original owner had beautiful clothes, she always remembered to prepare a set for Chu Zhi as well, even the original owner’s parents also extremely favoured Chu Zhi. They sent Chu Zhi as a dowry maid, who knew that they sent their daughter’s life and soul away as well, goodness knows how the couple would react if they knew the truth.

“Madam! Madam, this slave knows she’s wrong, please let this slave come back to serve! Madam!” As soon as she came in, Chu Zhi prostrated herself on the ground, her posture extremely low. She had no other choice, the other servants sharing the room were watching her very closely, and she even wanted to sneak out in the middle of the night to find the Marquis? No way. Even her three daily meals were being messed with, either by accidentally bumping into her and spilling them, or by adding dirt and leaves in them. These days were not a comfortable time for Chu Zhi.

She was really desperate. Although she would be tortured if she stayed with the Madam, at least she would have a chance to see the Marquis, at this stage, if not the Marquis, who else could save her? All she can hope for now was that the Madam would still recall old friendships, be softhearted and forgive her this once when seeing her humble attitude.

“You know that you were in the wrong?” Ling Long’s almond eyes widened slightly in surprise. “Then tell me, where were you wrong?”

Chu Zhi lowered her head and dared not raise it: “This slave’s mistake was that I should not have stolen the jade pendant from Madam with sticky fingers and toes, nor should I have served her poorly and nearly scalded Madam with hot tea, nor should I have argued that I was not guilty…”

“Very good, very good.” Ling Long was so moved that she put down the pastry in her hand and got up herself, bending down to help Chu Zhi up, her beautiful eyes full of gentle relief. “You and I have grown up together since we were children, and I see you as a sister in my heart. If you hadn’t been unrepentant, how could I bear to have let you leave my side? Right now, if you admit your mistakes, I won’t be angry. In the future, we will still be sisters as usual and still share everything. What do you say?”

Chu Zhi was caught up in Ling Long’s description of such a bright future and was about to nod her head in agreement when she suddenly realized that Madam was no longer smiling. She burst into a cold sweat and hurriedly knelt down again, “Slave dares not! Slave dares not! How can this slave be a sister to Madam when this slave is only a servant of humble origins? Begging you to be gracious and let this slave serve you, and do some work, then this slave would be more than satisfied.”

Ling Long then laughed again, “You, oh you are really, but since you are asking for this, it would be too unkind of me not to agree.”

She stretched out her hands and said to Chu Shuang, “Is the balsam10 a flower Impatiens- Camellia Flowered Mix (Balsam) seeds | The Seed Collection juice you were asked to prepare ready?”

“Replying to Madam, it is ready, this slave will go and fetch it now.”

Chu Zhi got up and stood to one side, still slightly hunched over to show her humility. Her eyes could not help but be drawn to Ling Long’s outstretched pair of lush, tender hands. What hands they were, white and slender, delicate as if they were freshly peeled shoots, without a single blemish, and with her usual pampering, there was not even a thin callus on her hands. Her nails were rounded and neatly manicured, unlike Chu Zhi’s, who always had to do work, and when her nails grew long, they accumulated dust.

She also used to have delicate fingers, painted with nail polish, but now her hands were old and wrinkled, thickly calloused and even slightly deformed from the heavy work she always does.

Cho Shuang fetched the juice of the balsam flower and carefully painted Linglong’s nails, and had just painted one hand when Chu Xue came in to report that the Marquis had returned.

Ling Long sensed Chu Zhi’s momentary, unconcealed joy then laughed inwardly, she thought this was her chance? No, this was her hell.

The Yong An Marquis had recently become so enchanted by his newly changed wife that he rushed home at the end of his daily duties without drinking or writing with his colleagues. Everyone laughed at him, but he didn’t mind it at all. How could a bachelor11Single dog, you may have seen this term before know what it’s like to have a beautiful wife in his arms, and how foolish was it to listen to the water like a chant on a cold day?

Wouldn’t it be better to come back and hold his wife in his arms and have a good time than to be out in the cold?

When he entered the door, his tall body seemed to bring a cold wind with him. Ling Long didn’t even raise her head, she had never done anything virtuous in front of the Yong An Marquis, the original owner was virtuous enough, but unfortunately Yong An Marquis didn’t like it, and was seduced by Chu Zhi because of her enchanting temperament.

But an enchanting woman was just an enchanting woman, it couldn’t be compared to the gorgeous beauty that could topple a country.

To Ling Long’s, there was no difference between men and women, except that the Yong An Marquis had become her alternative food supply and was therefore allowed to struggle on death’s door for a while longer. She liked his handsome appearance and strong body, so it had to be maintained until she eats him. As for Chu Zhi, she wasn’t going to eat her, so she was like a cat that caught a rat, playing with it and torturing it to death until it died.

Seeing that the Yong An Marquis had waved away Chu Shuang, sat himself down in front of Ling Long, and had taken over the small brush dripping with balsam flower juice in Chu Shuang’s hand. Ling Long snickered: “The Marquis is in really good spirits, why, do you like these women’s trinkets too?”

“The pleasures of the boudoir are as sweet as they come.12甘之如饴 (lit. as sweet as syrup) means to enjoy hardships as if they were sweet” The Yong An Marquis didn’t take her irony seriously, but felt that such a wife was kind of cute. His hands had held swords, had gone to war and killed enemies, but this was the first time he had done such a delicate thing. Ling Long’s eyes narrowed, “So ugly, go away, let Chu Shuang come.”

Chu Shuang was about to come over, but was scared back by the glare of the Yong An Marquis. The fierceness towards the maidservant turned into fawning in front of Ling Long, “Don’t be angry, don’t be angry, let Husband paint it again.”

This pair of delicate little hands were held in his palms like tender tofu. He often pinches these little hands between the bedsheets, licking, kissing, gnawing and biting. Now that he could fiddle with it to his heart’s content, how could he bare to let it go.

“Okay.” Ling Long was also very good with words. “Then I will paint on Maquis later.”

The Marquis: “……”

 


 

 

I’m so sorry that this is late!!! But… surely it’s still Monday somewhere, right…? Surely…

  • 1

    日月之行,若出其中,
    星汉灿烂,若出其里
    are two lines from the poem 观沧海 (Gazing at the Vast Ocean) by 曹操
    My translation is but one interpretation of the poem, and is similar to that of https://davidbowles.us/poetry/behold-the-dark-green-sea/, another translation can be found at https://sqiouyilu.substack.com/p/two-takes-on-cao-caos-. However, I do believe that my translation of these lines flows better with the story and is what the author intended.
  • 2
    归墟: A bottomless valley in the sea, an underground waterfall, where all waters meet. It can also be a metaphor for the final destination for all things. 归 = return 墟 = ruins
  • 3
    多情 (lit. lots of emotions) can also mean affectionate
  • 4
    无情 (lit. no emotions) can also mean ruthless/heartless
  • 5
    Ling Long’s own name (玲珑) means exquisite, and as mentioned before, Long is a homophone for dragon
  • 6
    Dao (道) is a path, or a way of life, Dao of Heaven means the rules and laws of Heaven
  • 7
    ie. She didn’t care about other people’s lives, only her own
  • 8
    Basically, soft skin
  • 9
    They wouldn’t look at her “straight”, they would look down on her
  • 10
    a flower Impatiens- Camellia Flowered Mix (Balsam) seeds | The Seed Collection
  • 11
    Single dog, you may have seen this term before
  • 12
    甘之如饴 (lit. as sweet as syrup) means to enjoy hardships as if they were sweet
KnoxT's discord server just launched! Come and get updates to your favorite novels!Click here to join!

Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Options

not work with dark mode
Reset