Unstable Chinese Republic (Arc 2.1) auroranovels.wordpress.com
Jing Yang opened his eyes and saw a dark green canopy veil, turning his head, he found that he was lying down on a spacious wooden bed. Looking at this bed and the bedding style, it seemed like he had gone into ancient times this time?
He lifted up the mosquito net and got off the bed, looking around. The decorations were all classic and exquisite, he only needed to take one look at those flower vase arrangements and could assess their value.
Just from looking at this room, this body’s original host should have been the young master of a rich family. In the family there may be some traveling salesmen, even though the room had a desk, there were only some account books, no literature.
He sat down at the desk and casually pulled open a drawer, a watch? Jing Yang took out the watch and played with it a while, and then thought of a different possibility. From the bottom of the drawer he took out a box and opened it to take a look. It was a gun, from the shape and structure of the gun, this should be the Ming Guo, it shouldn’t be wrong.
Jing Yang had gone back to the Chinese Republic several times, but every space-time’s background history would have many differences. How this space-time would be, he would still receive the information about this body and about this world from the system ba, he’ll stop the guessing game.
Jing Yang leaned back in the chair, his consciousness entering the system.
This body’s original name is Cheng Junxi, he was the eldest young master of the Cheng family. The Cheng family had been merchants for four generations, the family was large and business was also strong, they not only had tea shops but also clothing workshops and restaurants, etc., types of business.
The number of males in the Cheng family was low, Cheng Junxi’s father was the only son in three generations, but to Cheng Junxi’s generation, he was not the only son.
Cheng Junxi’s mother was a young lady of the royal family, and when she was marrying to Cheng fu, even though the royal family was already on the verge of collapse, but in any case the emperor was still on the throne, and Cheng Junxi’s grandfather at that time also had a pretty high position. When she was marrying into the Cheng family, it was considered as marrying downward.
Cheng Junxi’s grandfather knew very clearly, the Luoshi dynasty was already almost at its end, how they as officials would end up was hard to say. He had his daughter married downward into the well-off Cheng family because he had thought well of the family’s ample resources and more simple-minded people, he only hoped that his daughter would be able to live her lifetime smoothly and without any worries.
The first few years Cheng Junxi’s parents were married, they were in loving affection of a married couple, in perfect harmony. When Cheng Junxi was around 2 years old, when Cheng fu went out for business, he fell in love with an opera singer. Not caring about the opposition of the family members, he insisted on marrying back this opera singer.
That opera singer was surnamed Xu, her outward appearance was delicate and soft, yet she was an extremely scheming woman inside. She entered the Cheng family as a concubine, and Cheng Junxi’s parents’ relationship became increasingly disharmonious and embarrassed.
Cheng Junxi’s mother was a royal young lady, she wasn’t some woman without any methods. The education that she received since she was small allowed her to maintain the dignity of a proper wife, not quarrelsome or noisy. For the Cheng fu that she had already been very disappointed with, she already no longer wanted to retrieve his heart back. She only spent her thoughts on her son, doing her best to control the family property in her hands.
Even though Cheng fu favored the Xu concubine, but after his wife’s attitude suddenly changed, no longer focusing on his and Xu concubine’s matters, he still gave her the respect deserved of a proper wife. And the wife born from the royal family was proficient at political matters, so many of the family’s matters, as well as some of the assets, were given to her to take care of, and he was also at ease.
Until after Xu concubine gave birth to a bastard son Cheng Jiaming, Cheng fu suddenly wanted to raise Xu concubine into an equivalent wife, and contradictions rose to the forefront. Xu concubine took great pains to convince Cheng fu to raise her into an equal wife, and after Cheng fu reflected on this many times, he felt that only he and Xu concubine were really in true love, and letting his true love be a concubine for a lifetime and making their son shoulder the status of a bastard for a lifetime, in his heart he felt very apologetic, so he agreed.
At that time the status of opera singers couldn’t be compared to now, it was classified as one of the lowest professions. Raising Xu concubine into an equal wife, to Cheng Junxi’s mother, it was an enormous insult. She could no longer care about dignity, her heart’s resentment thoroughly erupted, and she would not agree to this matter no matter what.
Cheng Junxi’s paternal grandmother lived all year round in a small Buddhist temple, abstaining from meat and praying, not asking about the family’s matters. But after she found out that her son wanted to raise an opera singer into an equal wife, she came out of the Buddhist temple, and resolutely did not permit this matter.
Cheng Junxi’s father could disregard his wife’s objections, but he could not ignore his mother’s objections and behave arbitrarily. His mother’s prestige in his heart was even stronger than his father who had already died, therefore this matter was settled by leaving it unsettled.
Cheng Junxi’s paternal grandfather was dissolute and romantic by nature, his concubines and outside lovers even he himself may not be able to remember every single one. In this kind of situation, Cheng Junxi’s father being able to be the only son of the Cheng family, Cheng Junxi’s paternal grandmother’s methods could be seen.
Xu concubine dared to go against Cheng Junxi’s mother, but didn’t dare to show the least bit of scheming in front of the mother-in-law, so she was very well-behaved for a period of time. But her desire to become the equal wife never stopped, she just wanted to wait until her son had grown older, and the mother-in-law had died, and then find opportunities to bring up this matter again.
One day, Cheng fu brought Xu concubine and the bastard Cheng Jiaming to go out to play, and they got a chill outside. Because his body was usually quite good, he didn’t pay too much attention to it.
Who knew that when returning home several days later, the cold suddenly turned much more severe, every day coughing and having problems with his vitality. Even though they invited physicians to prescribe medicine, but he was unable to rest well, so the cold didn’t show any sign of improving.
Cheng Jiaming couldn’t see his father for over ten days at a time, it was not easy to finally see each other, so he was noisy about wanting to go play in the street. Cheng fu brought his mother to go along, and when they came back there was a sudden downpour, making all three of them completely drenched.
Xu concubine and her son drank some ginger decoctions and didn’t have much problems afterwards, but that night Cheng fu had a fever, his entire body burned until his consciousness was hazy. Xu concubine had played for an entire day with her son, she was extremely tired, she slept very deeply, and didn’t discover that the Cheng fu who was sleeping beside her was already burning to a scary extent.
Until the next morning Xu concubine finally hastily had people go invite physicians, Cheng fu was already breathing very faintly, the entire family was terrified. The elderly lady guarded in the room, watching doctors look over Cheng fu one after another. After several days, there was still not the slightest improvement.
The Cheng fu who was still in the prime of his life, suddenly died just like this. The elderly lady only had this one son, when she was young she went through so many twists and turns and finally brought him up, and he inherited such a big family business. Extremely grieved, the elderly lady also fell gravely ill, and placed all of the responsibility and blame on the head of Xu concubine. Before she closed her eyes, she instructed the butler to chase the Xu concubine and son out, forever prohibited from ever entering the Cheng family doors.
Xu concubine had originally planned well her scheme, she wanted to wait until the elderly lady died and then let Cheng fu raise her up to an equal wife. Cheng fu also favored her son, her son could also vie for the family business, and may have been able to take over the majority.
Yet God’s plans supersede our own, Cheng fu suddenly died like this, she and her son were also chased out by the gravely ill elderly lady. Even if they had not been chased out, after the entire Cheng family had landed into the Cheng mother’s hands, just from those matters she had done before, she would definitely not have any good days.
Xu concubine had nowhere to go, she could only bring her son to return to her original opera troupe. Even though she was only a concubine in the Cheng family, she had lived with no difference to a noble married woman, and now that she had again fallen to the lowest, she was unable to accept this kind of disparity. So she could only ruthlessly leave her son in the opera troupe, and run away with an over 50 year old merchant.
Cheng Jiaming was only 6 or 7 years old at that time, even though he had already started remembering things, he did not have the capability to live independently, and even more so had no way to find his mother. So he could only stay in the opera troupe doing odd jobs and learning how to perform. In the past he had been a young master of the Cheng family, he didn’t know anything, so now he went through a lot of suffering. Xu concubine did not leave him anything, only leaving behind a letter, telling him, no matter what he still had the Cheng family blood in his veins, and the Cheng family business should have his portion. She told him that in the future he definitely had to think of ways to wrest away the Cheng family business.
This letter was Cheng Jiaming’s only keepsake, so every day he would take it out to look over it, and the content of the letter was deeply engraved in his mind, turning into the reason for his survival. Gradually, the memories about the Cheng family and Xu concubine all started to become indistinct in his mind, but from beginning to end he still remembered that he needed to return to the Cheng family, and needed to take back the things that originally should have belonged to him.
After the Tang, Song, Yuan, and Ming dynasties should have been the Qing dynasty, but don’t know which butterfly flapped its wing, the Qing dynasty actually didn’t exist in this world. After the Ming dynasty was the Wei dynasty, and after the Wei dynasty was the Luoshi imperial dynasty. The nation was called Qi, also known as the Da Qi Chao.
The Luoshi imperial dynasty was overthrown and the nation sank into incessant fighting between warlords. After several years of chaos, now the Yang president came into power and had already subdued most of the warlords, but there were always still some warlords still struggling, unwilling to acknowledge allegiance.
It was now the era of the Chinese Republic, opera was already not like during the times of feudalism, being despised like that. Even though they were still not superior, but they were considered as ordinary people. Some famous singers who sang better also received the appreciation of influential officials and the popularity from the masses, not too much difference from the celebrities nowadays.
Cheng Jiaming had gone through nearly ten years of suffering and started revealing his outstanding talent, gradually becoming a famous singer. He returned to the Li city to perform.
Li city was an illustrious and glorious place, Li city’s merchants and plays all had high reputations in the entire country. The city was extremely flourishing, many people here did business, there were also many wealthy people. The people in the city all enjoyed listening to the opera, even the poorest families could comment a bit on good and bad operas.
After Cheng Jiaming returned to Li city, he established his own Cheng family troupe, and bought the Ya Garden. He not only became the famous singer who received the most praise and had the best skills in Li city, but also became friends with the local army’s tyrant Wei Tianxiong, and started his plans to take back the Cheng family property.
Even though the Cheng family’s industries were numerous, after Cheng Junxi’s father died, the world started becoming chaotic and warlords were fighting everywhere. The Cheng family closed quite a few stores, only the tea shops still had quite good business. After Cheng fu died, Cheng Junxi’s mother was a woman and it was not good for her to show her face in public, but she still supported the family business with great difficulty.
In the previous couple years, Cheng Junxi’s mother had also died, he also didn’t have much talent in business, so the Cheng family gradually declined. Fortunately after the president came to power, the world started calming down and there stopped being wars everywhere. Even if he was not adept at doing business, but relying on the Cheng family’s long-established reputation, and the accumulated wealth over many years, it was enough to let him live a life of high position and great wealth.
But after Cheng Jiaming returned to Li city and was together with the local tyrant Wei Tianxiong, he started the plan of plundering the Cheng family. In the past as long as Cheng family paid their taxes in a timely fashion, they would be able to exist in harmony. But later Wei Tianxiong’s appetite increased more and more, and adding on the influx of foreign goods into the country, the Cheng family’s business became more and more difficult.
At this time opium started entering the country. Wei Tianxiong was extremely greedy, he obviously knew the dangers of opium, but in order to rake in money, he started to sell opium. Opium dens started being set up one after another in Li city, these opium dens all acquired their stock from Wei Tianxiong, even if there were other places to get their stock, they still didn’t dare to go.
Cheng Junxi was someone who was happy with the status quo and didn’t have much ambition, he wasn’t even able to manage well his own family business, so he didn’t have much interest in opening an opium den. But those merchants who had opened opium dens started earning money in large amounts, and only his shops didn’t have the least amount of movement. Under the half persuasion and half threats of the men dispatched by Wei Tianxiong, in order to give face to Wei Tianxiong, he also opened an opium den.
Because opium dens had just became popular, the dangers were still not that obvious, and the people who really understood it were not many. Later Cheng Junxi also got into an opium addiction, his body kept on deteriorating, and the Cheng family business was slowly swallowed by Wei Tianxiong. This also had Cheng Jiaming’s handwriting in the background.
The dangers of opium were spread out larger and larger, the men dispatched to Li city by Yang president were unable to go against Wei Tianxiong and had no way to ban opium. Later Yang president’s nephew, Yang commander, came to Li city. This person was not very old, but his ability was not low, he was an extremely powerful person. His purpose for coming to Li city was precisely for dealing with Wei Tianxiong and tidying up Li city.
Wei Tianxiong was unable to go against Yang commander and was shot dead while fleeing with his confidants. Because Cheng Jiaming had worked together with Yang commander and had good achievements, and also put a lot of effort into the campaign to prohibit opium afterwards, he remained the famous actor who had immense popularity.
Cheng Junxi was a boss of an opium den, not to mention his store being smashed, his family business had basically been taken away by Wei Tianxiong and Cheng Jiaming these two people. The remaining family property was also confiscated and used to construct opium rehabilitation centers. Under Cheng Jiaming’s manipulations, Cheng Junxi, who had become addicted to opium, was unable to enter the rehabilitation center and was stranded in the streets. When his addiction broke out, he intruded into someone’s home, and was killed by a stray bullet by police who had rushed over.
When Cheng Junxi had been wandering the streets, Cheng Jiaming had come over to find him and tell him the truth about everything. Cheng Jiaming had come back to Li city just to retaliate against the Cheng family, to get revenge against Cheng Junxi. He had succeeded, not only had he taken back the Cheng family, but he had also become a world famous actor, receiving the adulation of everyone. And he Cheng Junxi, was only a street rat, spurned by everyone, this was precisely his retribution.
Cheng Junxi didn’t know why his current situation was because of retribution, he didn’t owe Cheng Jiaming anything. Cheng Jiaming being chased out of the family and learning opera in the troupe, all had no relationship with him, but Cheng Jiaming still calculated all of the responsibility and blame on his head.
He really hated, he hated Cheng Jiaming and hated Wei Tianxiong, and also hated his own lack of ability. Before he died, his last thought was that even if he became a ghost, he would definitely get vengeance. auroranovels.wordpress.com
Translator Notes: auroranovels.wordpress.com
 traveling salesmen – 行商, it means peddler or salesman, but the meaning probably shouldn’t be as derogatory as that in this context…
 Ming Guo – 民国, it refers to 中华民国, or the Republic of China, the name of the new Chinese country after the downfall of the Qing dynasty
 on the verge of collapse – 摇摇欲坠, tottering
 marrying downward – 下嫁, bc ancient dynasties have more of a class system, so she was actually marrying into a lower class/status
 in perfect harmony – 琴瑟和鸣, idiom, literally means qin and se sing in harmony
 opera singer – 戏子, apparently this means opera singer in a derogatory way, or else it means actor
 rose to the forefront – 一触即发, means that something could happen at any moment, it’s on the verge of happening
 took great pains – 费尽心思, idiom, means to rack her brains, probably to use all methods
 felt very apologetic – 过意不去, feel sorry for them
 behave arbitrarily – 任意妄为, 任意 means to behave arbitrarily and 妄为 means to take rash actions
 settled by leaving it unsettled – 不了了之, also means ending up with nothing definite
 downpour – 瓢泼大雨, idiom, don’t really know the literal definition
 fell gravely ill – 一病不起, idiom, usually never to recover
 God’s plans supersede our own – 人算不如天算, also means Man proposes but God disposes
 had nowhere to go – 无处可去, literally means no place she could go
 which butterfly flapped its wing – 哪只蝴蝶扇动了翅膀, refers to the butterfly effect, which is when some minute change causes large effects
 Da Qi Chaozhao – 大启朝, means big Qi dynasty
 incessant fighting between warlords – 军阀混战, basically means fights between warring states right
 superior – 高人一等, more like in status, still common status
 reveal outstanding talent – 崭露头角, idiom, means to stand out as conspicuously brilliant
 illustrious and glorious – 人杰地灵, idiom, literally means illustrious hero, spirit of the place
 show her face in public – 抛头露面, apparently this is derogatory
 high position and great wealth – 荣华富贵, idiom, literally means glory, splendor, wealth, and rank
 taxes – 上供, I honestly forget the term for this, it’s kind of like taxes but also not, it’s more like a sacrifice/offering of allegiance rather than just taxes, there’s a word that’s escaping me rn, maybe it was tribute but that’s not right either…
 happy with the status quo – 安于现状, idiom, means to take things as they are
 work together with – 里应外合, idiom, means to coordinate outside and inside offensives
Random Notes: auroranovels.wordpress.com
Ahh, it’s the start of a new arc, so I knew it was going to be a big one. 2.5 hours, 6 pm – 8:30 pm. 4k characters to 3.6k words. I mean, look at this monstrosity. 26 T/Ns? I’m pretty sure I’ve never even gotten close to this number (went back and checked, actually there was one with 20 but still a lot). Sure enough once you leave the nice and normal modern world it all goes bonkers.
Okay also I have to comment about this. I never noticed this when I was MTLing, but now that I’m actually reading the raws, the MC here has the 曦 xi character in his name. I’m excited bc I have the exact same 曦 character in my Chinese name, and I’ve never seen anyone else have it. It’s like one of the most complicated Chinese characters to write, and I did have to write it a lot in the past. The MC and I have a connection. Who needs the ML. But also you can probably guess who’s the ML from this chapter.
Edit (day before posting): Welcome back everyone! I’m happy to say that after a week of catching up, I have finished translating the entire Arc 2, so there should be smooth scheduled releases as before for the entire arc. Looking at the next arc, I do see one chapter that has 5.6k characters and another that has 5.2k, which kind of scares me a little. We’ll push through!
Also, I may or may not have picked up a fun side project! I’m quite excited about this one, and will likely make it public after this second arc is completed. It’s still BL 🙂 Look forward to it, everyone.