My name is Wei Shi―a name that I received after I became one of the Eastern City’s Five Attendants. This name is an indication of my status and authority. It is also the confirmation of my efforts, a fraction of all the accomplishments of my life. As for my original name, it’s honestly insignificant.
The Eastern City has five attendants, but I am very dissatisfied with the others who share my status. I am truly reliable and honest and have earned Her Majesty the Queen’s appreciation. Among the people who also possess this honorable title, some only appear reliable, while some are actually reliable, these two states being very different. Thus to me they are an eyesore―especially the one who doesn’t have even a shred of self-discipline, that barbarian who could never see the bigger picture.
My greatest wish is simply to be able to stand by Her Majesty the Queen’s side while advising her in making wise and farsighted decisions in order to turn the Eastern City into a perfect, ideal country―one with only good quality people and none of low quality. Everyone in the city looks up to the attendants, so in addition to being wiser than average, it’s also important to possess strength befitting our status. Hence, even though I continuously work hard in order to make this country a better place, I never forget to strengthen my body. I’ve done really well in this respect―so much so that other people can’t find a way to attack my weak point. Nevertheless, all these efforts are in order to strengthen my status in reality as well as in name.
Every day, besides thinking of ways to better the Eastern City, I also carry out my to make myself stronger than ordinary civilians. The fact that my tassel is still dark purple instead of light black makes me unhappy, but I don’t believe I’ve reached the limit of my strength. Perhaps the heavens are testing my patience. Surely one day I will have a breakthrough. This is another reason why I feel very annoyed with the “colleagues” who share my status.
Yin Shi and Ling Shi were already attendants when I assumed my position. At that time, their tassels were already the colors of the two highest levels: pure black and pale black. In my opinion, an unintelligent blockhead and a man who looks like a cross-dressing woman should not be able to become so strong. This is a matter that I simply can’t accept.
Yin Shi goes out to play all day long, and Ling Shi follows after Her Majesty the Queen all day long. Shameless! They completely lack spiritual and mental strength. Why do they have the honor of wearing black tassels?
In order to uphold my philosophy, I dueled Yin Shi once. He only won because he got lucky. That’s all! And yet he still dared to gloat about how he defeated me for three months. This is an intolerable disgrace. I won’t ever acknowledge that he has the strength of a pure black tassel! He doesn’t deserve it! Moreover, he even keeps on losing the tassel!
There must have been a mistake. The heavens couldn’t possibly look favorably upon a childish barbarian. I feel that luck and miracles ought to be bestowed on people like me, people who have put forth honest and sincere effort. The heavenly laws should be perfect. How can the heavens make this kind of inexcusable mistake?
Even that androgynous lady-man is blessed by the heavens. If the heavens weren’t unfairly biased, how could I lose a fight against him? Even if Ling Shi doesn’t yell about how he defeated me every time he runs into me or even glances at me, he sneers mockingly at me, making me feel like I’ve suffered a great insult to my dignity. That’s right. A grave insult.
Unfortunately, the honorable, beautiful, elegant Queen is unlikely to do anything to discipline them, no matter what they do. Even though I have tried many times to guide her into making the proper choice―to not allow those inadequate people to remain in Shen Wang Dian and to not permit those incapable people to keep their high status―Her Majesty the Queen remains unmoved, and I am unable to understand the reason why.
In the end, what kind of charm did they use to get Her Majesty to indulge them like this?
Setting aside the discussion on those two. That upstart child Hui Shi also makes me unhappy.
Yin Shi and Ling Shi are two monsters that never age and should be considered demons that are outside the range of common sense, but Hui Shi was only an ordinary child that the Queen adopted. Why, oh why, was he able to obtain a light black tassel when he was no older than ten? He was only a commoners’ child, nothing more. No matter how I look at the situation, he shouldn’t have been anything special!
I never challenged Hui Shi to a duel. Even if I did look on him with dislike, bullying a child is not proper conduct; my self-respect would never allow me to do that. At least he was not a criminal. If he were a New Resident, of course I would have nothing good to say about him. He seemed loyal to Her Majesty, and he never did anything childish or unscrupulous. Even though he often opposed me on some government affairs, I still upheld that, as a Lord, I should show tolerance and forgive his ignorance.
What a pity that he later proved I’d made an error in judgment. No, I won’t admit that it was my error. I was only deceived because Yin Shi and Ling Shi’s shortcomings were too obvious, so I didn’t really pay attention to the issues with Hui Shi. Of course, I’m unlikely to repeat this kind of mistake. In my lifetime, I won’t allow this kind of stain to exist. As for my defeat at the hands of Yin Shi and Ling Shi, of course it was because I was hiding my true strength. Yes, that’s absolutely what happened.
I’m dissatisfied with Luo Shi because he hasn’t made much progress.
As the honorable Queen’s only son, he should have inherited Her Majesty’s firmness, decisiveness, ruthlessness, and formidable insight. On these points I’ve pretty much lost all hope. The fact that he does not look masculine isn’t a problem, and his red tassel can’t be called weak. Although he can read people, albeit with great difficulty, what can I do about his tendency towards excessive clemency?
A tendency towards excessive clemency is a weakness that a leader shouldn’t have. In his body flows the noble blood of a prince, but his ideology is more or less the same as that of a commoner’s―to forgive the unforgivable. I deeply believe that Her Majesty should put a little more thought in his education in order to prevent a worthless, incapable ruler from coming to power in the Eastern City. While I am still alive, I don’t want to see the Eastern City deteriorate, so naturally I will do everything in my power to prevent this kind of scenario.
Luo Shi’s biggest problem is that he is untaught. Every time I try to earnestly advise him, he swallows hard or looks close to tears, and then Yin Shi says that I bullied him.
Is there no justice? I devote all my thought to the Eastern City’s future. I only have good intentions. What good could come of associating with New Residents? They should be judged and are going to be judged. There’s no need to become unnecessarily involved in their affairs!
Are the people living in Shen Wang Dian all blind or something? The other attendants are unable to manage people. Only Her Majesty the Queen is wise and knows to accept my insightful ideas. Otherwise, perhaps the Eastern City would have already fallen into disrepair. That the other attendants are able to live here lording it over me is all due to my efforts, but they still show me no courtesy, and they do not even support my philosophy. They are indeed biting the hand that feeds them by forgetting favors and violating justice. Fortunately, I have already seen through these people and know their true natures. Their minds are unlikely to be influenced much. Even though others are all so stubborn and difficult to control, I am still able to maintain my noble values, which is rather comforting and makes me feel, more than anything else, that I am shouldering a sacred mission that other people are unable to understand.
I have no friends. I have no friends because this world is filled with vulgar people, and I would have to pervert my sense of honor and lower my standards in order to make friends. That is too ridiculous! I will not try to conform to people who walk different paths. Honestly, it’s unnecessary. Moreover, I would have to spend time with friends, which I think is wasteful. I ought to use my time doing things that have more meaning, such as thinking about the Eastern City’s future or training.
I also have no lover. The reason I have no lover is more or less the same as the reason why I don’t have friends. It might be possible for there to be some additional reasons, such as the fact that I have no emotion in my heart for a lover. My heart and loyalty are already devoted to Her Majesty the Queen, so of course I have no need for a lover. I believe many people admire me, so it’s a pity that I am unable to respond. Only the fact that I won’t have any descendants makes taking a lover worth considering, but then I would have to find a woman who wouldn’t weaken my bloodline. Till now I haven’t found one.
As for family…
I feel like I’ve thought about something wrong just now. There are many more matters worthier of my attention.
Right now there are only four attendants in the Eastern City, but the two I dislike the most haven’t disappeared yet, so my life isn’t very pleasant at the moment.
Yin Shi always interrupts me, always contradicts me, calls me all sorts of discourteous things, and certainly says malicious things behind my back. Moreover, last time he even went so far as to rudely cut off my hair, which is absolutely unforgiveable!
Ling Shi is always at the Queen’s side, and he appears to be very close to her. He lives in the fifth palace, the closest to Her Majesty’s quarters, and he even attends to her when she changes clothes and bathes. This is scandalous! And clearly blasphemous towards Her Majesty, even if he is a sissy! How is it possible to loathe two people this much?
The matter of those despicable New Residents already perplexes me, yet these incompetent, willful colleagues of mine throw everything into disorder. Could it be that the heavens are testing me by fire?
And while we’re on the subject of perplexing things, there is another matter that perplexes me.
I really don’t go out often―or, should I say, I don’t like to go out often―but there are still times when I must go out, and when I do, there are many opportunities to run into troublesome things. For example, when I turn a corner or stop at a curb, I might hear a strange sound.
Some small, furry creature always appears when I least expect it.
“I don’t have any food.”
I have to resign myself to being cold. Whenever I’m working, I don’t bring food with me. Since snacks can be a person’s downfall, I don’t bring those kinds of things with me in order to keep myself from snacking.
That small animal can’t understand human speech, so even after I explain the situation, it still comes over to me and rubs against my legs. I crouch down – not to see it better, my legs have just grown tired from standing―then…
The small, furry creature will paw at me as if it wants to play. Its long fur and big eyes are so… No, it’s not cute. It’s definitely not cute! I never think that they’re cute. They clearly are not cute, right? Not cute!
Then I’ll take that (not cute) furry creature back to Shen Wang Dian. No, I don’t do that. It’s because they follow me. Of course I don’t want to bring them home. I may not keep food on me when I’m working, but there is food at my home, and this has nothing to do with them. It’s just that they come up to me, and if other people saw me turning my back on them, it would leave a bad impression, so I pick them up. Since I just happen to be going home, it’s no trouble bringing them with me. That’s all.
But this has happened too many times, causing my home to become filled with many pets with soft fur and beautiful eyes who depend on me… They’re still not cute! I absolutely do not bring them home because they’re cute. I’ve already explained my reasons, and of course it’s not because I have sympathy for them. I have never felt that kind of emotion in my heart. After bringing them home, even though they’re not cute, I can’t drive them away. If I drove them away, they would just come back, and it is my policy not to do unnecessary things.
There really are too many of them. Anyway… the fourth palace is big. It doesn’t matter since I have no friends and no lover. I don’t want people to know that Wei Shi’s pavilion has so many unlovable creatures, since it would ruin my reputation. I am someone who really values my reputation and dignity, so I can’t allow these (not cute) creatures to destroy everything.
But occasionally one or two run off and hang around Shen Wang Dian. Whenever this happens, I am considerably perplexed. First of all, if they don’t immediately come back to me, they won’t have anything to eat… This doesn’t worry me. It’s just that the food I prepared would go to waste. Moreover, they already are not cute, so if they go hungry and become thin, then they will be even less cute. As far as I’m concerned, this is not a good thing.
Then, if I find them, I have to be very quiet about it, since I don’t want people to see me bringing them back; that would be difficult to explain. I am someone who works for the Eastern City’s future. The fact that these furry creatures take up so much of my time should be punishable, but I can’t punish them by taking away their food, since that would make them thin and thus even more unlovable. I also can’t hurt them, since injuries would also harm their appearance… but my heart still bears a grudge! If a better method of punishment existed, I would do it. Next time I’ll definitely think of one!
Once, when one of them ran away, it ended up in Yin Shi’s hands, and he took it away. I truly don’t understand his animosity! Bullying me in my own home and taking away my pet… that unlovable creature!
Regarding that little creature he carried off, I can’t forget it, and sometimes when I’m passing through the third palace, I definitely don’t look for its shadow. In the end, what did Yin Shi do with it?
Compared to these matters, however, the most terrible situation is when I can’t find them.
If I can’t find them, I can’t sleep for several days. This is some kind of unexplainable phenomenon. I don’t even know why it happens, and it gravely influences my ability to work. When they die after living out their short lives, it’s the same.
Why is it like that when they are not cute! Why do they disappear or die without permission! W-what about all the food I gave them! How could they be like this!
Trouble begets trouble, and I still have my work to consider. In short, every day is filled with troublesome matters, and only when I’m in front of Her Majesty the Queen do I feel happy. Anyway, I will continue to request that matters in the Eastern City follow my expected direction towards progress.
I hope Her Majesty’s eyes will become even more discerning.
I hope Luo Shi will be able to reassure people more.
I curse Yin Shi and Ling Shi to suffer retribution.
…To my pet that Yin Shi kidnapped, as well as to my pets that have run away, quickly come back.
Proofreaders: VRVain, Sherry