Week 4: 薬屋のひとりごと

That’s interessting.
I got that jinshi was the wirepuller behind it all. I also made the connection that this 武官 is the one with honors mentioned previously. I instinctly remember Jinshi thinking that the plan is pretty reliant on Maumau.
But as you said, I also didn’t connect the dots in so far that he used the “medicine” from MauMau and smuggeled a love letter.
Why did he go through these lengths though? Did I misunderstand that this particular 武官 already had set his eyes on the princess long before she even entered the palace and was accumulating honors exactly for the purpose of obtaining enough honors to be able to get her?
So maybe I misunderstood something but it seems to me the whole thing would have played out the same without jinshis help?

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I just finished the last chapter of week 3 and my motivation to read this book is pretty low right now, so I don’t see myself keeping up with the bookclub going forward. I simply started too many things at once, between other books, manga, anime, and American TV and this is the one I’m least interested in right now. I’m not dropping the book per se. I do plan to finish it at some point. I’m just going to prioritize finishing 魔法少女育成計画 book four and reading some 本好き first to reenergize myself and get back to a consistent reading schedule. I’ll come back to this book sometime after that.

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Accumulating honors is a guess from 猫猫. We only know for sure that he got honors this time around. It’s also not sure that he would have asked for her, as there social status is very different (as noted by 猫猫). Maybe he would have given up before even trying?
But anyway

That’s what I thought the first time around too. I still feel like we are not shown that clearly anyway. It’s maybe fine, considering that 猫猫 has no way of knowing better… but since the author is already showing us some things that 猫猫 doesn’t know, it would have been nice to have more info.
Additionally, all I said could just be the interpretation of the mangaka. Technically, the author is supervising the writing of the manga adaptation, but, as already noted, some liberties are taken anyway.

Oof, this club is losing all its frequent posters. It will get quiet around these parts in the next few weeks :upside_down_face:

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I started reading the book again this week. Who knows if I’ll actually read it straight through without getting distracted again, but for now I have questions and comments about chapter 10.

Chapter 10

本来、洗濯物を運ぶのは侍女の仕事ではなく、大部屋の下女たちがやる仕事である。しかし、以前、玉葉妃の衣に毒針が刺さっていたことから桜花たちがやるようになった。

下女の真似事をするのは、これらも踏まえてのことである。 ここはこうきゅう、周りは敵ばかりなのだ。

I’m not quite following this. Who is doing the 真似事? The 侍女? Or the would-be assassin who put the poison needle in the clothing? And what is the exact meaning of 踏まえてのこと? (And why is it in て-form?)


Ah yes, the word 正道, which as we all know is pronounced “normal”. :upside_down_face:


後宮という場所が場所だけに、医官も人手不足のようだ。

What is going on here? :sweat_smile: My understanding of ~だけに is that it’s like “as one would expect from ~”. (Jisho says it can be “contrary to expectations” instead when used with a negative, but the native dictionary I checked doesn’t list that as a meaning, and I don’t know if 人手不足 would count as a negative anyway.) I think I’m mostly just confused by the repeating of 場所.


女は医官になれず、医官になれば好きこのんで宦官になる必要はない。

I also don’t really understand this. I’m confused by it jumping so quickly from 女 to 宦官. I don’t really get the connection.


「ではシャオマオ
(いきなりちゃん付けですか)

And then there’s this… I feel like I’m in some weird twilight zone where one person is speaking Chinese and the other is speaking Japanese. I mean, the whole “小 as an affectionate prefix” thing was already established earlier in the book (I’m assuming it is or was a real thing in China, but even if it’s not it has been established in this book), and I remember this even after having not read the book in over a month! Did the author really need Maomao to think it as ちゃん to explain it to the readers? Come on!

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The first one I feel like I understand but not well enough to explain or to answer your questions. But I’d say the people acting like 下女 (because they’re doing the laundry) are the 侍女, and that’s something that was understood as part of the circumstances because their household was surrounded by enemies in the 後宮.

As one would expect from the place being (the place called) the 後宮, it seemed there was a shortage of 医官.

Women couldn’t become doctors, and if a person became a doctor there was no need for them to willingly become a eunuch. (And since only women and eunuchs can go into the 後宮 there is a shortage of 医官.)

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Ahh, I didn’t make that connection. That helps clear up a lot of my confusion.

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I had a really hard time following chapter 11. Other than “soldier loves girl” I pretty much have no idea what happened. I also have no idea how the sleepwalking incident was resolved, just that 猫猫 said it seemed to be.

Also, random question. When they use 姫, is it actually “princess” or just like “noblewoman” or something like that? From 来月、功労として下賜される姫である, I felt “noblewoman” didn’t fit. Or is it like a double meaning for (or just nice way of saying) “prostitute” (to the emperor) in this case? Part of my confusion is that 公主ひめ was also used earlier, which seems to be how the book decided to call the real princess, so I suspect 姫 also isn’t meant as “princess” here.

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She believes the 妃 was faking it to keep the emperor away and keep her virginity for the man she actually loves.

Why? Technically, it means the daughter of someone of high rank, but that’s still how I read it here.

That word means the daughter of the emperor, which also fits the word ひめ (since, you know, being an emperor is pretty high rank). The kanji are more specific, though. I’ve seen authors use that ひめ reading for that word in other series as well, but it’s obviously not the real reading. I guess it’s just here to help the average reader.
So, both ひめ have the same meaning, but one is the daughter of a random noble (well, not so random, he is in charge of some region if I remember correctly?), and the other the daughter of the emperor.

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Never mind, I think I misread the sentence I quoted. So this definition does seem to make sense and aligns with my expectations of how 姫 is used from 本好き.

Thanks for explaining the other bits too!

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