The Princess’ Shadow Guard – Chapter 72

Senior Sister Chapter 2

The motto of life is to help others and bring joy (resolve dilemmas)

“Strange, how did I suddenly dream about things from the past…”

Rubbing her eyes, Song Shuqing woke up in a familiar yet unfamiliar room, and after turning her head, she remembered that she had come to listen to Zi Yan play the guqin.

It seems that she had fallen asleep unknowingly…

The teahouse was crowded, and Qinqin was preparing for her honeymoon trip. It was indeed a bit tiring to rely only on herself and Ah Yun to manage everything. It seemed she would need to get more help to take care of things…

The shadow guard robe covering her was dyed with a hint of the unique fragrance of a courtesan. Song Shuqing sat up, glanced around, but did not see the figure of the room’s owner.

Zi Yan might have gone downstairs…

After all, she was the best guqin player in Chunfeng Tower, so being busy was normal.

As the sun began to set, Song Shuqing stretched lazily, opened the window, knocking down a few tiles, before preparing to leave. However, she heard a commotion at the end of the lane.

Normally indifferent and aloof, Song Shuqing didn’t want to pay attention. But upon hearing a familiar voice mixed in, she couldn’t help but stop in her tracks.

“Hong’er, don’t cause trouble…”

“I thought my sister was serving as a maid in a wealthy household, but to think she’s shamelessly working as a prostitute?”

“Hong’er… let’s not block the gate here. Let’s go in first and talk slowly, okay?”

“Hmph! I’m a scholar, how could you make me set foot in such a filthy place?”

Seeing more people gathering around, Zi Yan’s originally delicate face blushed slightly with embarrassment, helplessness gathering in her heart.

“Well, at least not here. Be obedient, Hong’er…” She reached out to grab her brother’s sleeve, but the man, treating her as if she were some kind of virus, evaded her touch. With a wave of his hand, he tried to push the frail woman away.

『Pa』

Just as the man’s hand was about to touch the courtesan, he was suddenly slapped away by a woman who darted out.

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“So scholars are the ones who hit women?” Song Shuqing shielded Zi Yan behind her and covered her mouth, pretending to be surprised. “Truly, the world is full of surprises. Today, I have witnessed something truly enlightening.”

The man whose hand was slapped endured the pain, looking at the person in front of him who was smiling insincerely. He gruffly said, “Who are you? This is our family matter, mind your own business!”

“Oh, you don’t understand. As long as it’s a commotion in front of me, then it becomes my family’s affair!” The eyes of the shadow guard narrowed to slits, devoid of any humor. “After all, I am so warm-hearted, my motto in life is to help others.”

Casually spouting nonsensical words, Song Shuqing tilted her head and subconsciously revealed four or five plain black hairpins from her bun.

“You…” Never encountering such a glib-tongued woman, the man in green stomped his feet, about to retaliate.

“Hong’er!”

“Hong’er, stop it in front of this Lord. Please, don’t do this in front of this Lord…” Zi Yan, firmly grasping Song Shuqing’s sleeve, rebuked, her body trembling slightly. She reached into her sleeve and pulled out a bag of silver coins. “Enough, Hong’er, take them. Let’s talk once you’ve calmed down, alright?”

“I…” Looking at the heavy bag of money in front of him, the man swallowed hard, then suddenly inhaled deeply, swatted away the woman’s hand, and stubbornly said, “I don’t need the dirty money you earned with your body!” He turned around angrily and left. (LP: B*tch, without that money, will you be able to meet your basic needs?!)

Surveying the onlookers, Song Shuqing took off her cloak and draped it over Zi Yan’s shoulders, considerately placing the hood over the woman’s pale complexion to shield her.

“Alright, alright! What’s all this fuss about, don’t you have anything better to do? All very idle, aren’t we?”

Shaking her head in disbelief at the crowd, she then picked up the bag of money that had fallen on the ground, brushing off the dust from her head. “What’s the big deal, why didn’t that despicable man want this money? If he doesn’t, can’t I take it? Money is always welcome, how could I let it fall on the ground?”

Making a face at the onlookers staring at her, she tucked the bag into her sleeve.

Standing in front of the woman who was half a head shorter than herself, seemingly blocking the view of others, Song Shuqing gently supported Zi Yan’s shoulder, and softly said, “Hey, Zi Yan…”

“It seems like I left my stuff in your room, could you come up with me to get it?”

The woman under the hood didn’t immediately respond, staying silent, but Song Shuqing patiently waited.

After some time, it seemed like Zi Yan had composed herself, no longer trembling, and nodded slightly.

“Let’s go.” With her palm lightly encircling the woman’s slender waist, Song Shuqing led Zi Yan back upstairs, step by step, slowly climbing the stairs.

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Upon reaching the courtesan’s room, Song Shuqing lit the oil lamp inside, helped the woman sit down, and gently stroked her cheek with a comforting tone, “Don’t dwell on it too much.”

After stepping back, Song Shuqing smiled at Zi Yan, giving her a reassuring look as if confirming something, deeply gazing at her for the last time. The shadow guard walked towards the window without hesitation, leaped into the night, and disappeared.

Looking at the money bag on the table, placed there quietly at some point, Zi Yan felt a pang of emotion.

Holding tightly to the cloak left by Song Shuqing, she caught a hint of tea fragrance mixed with her own scent.

It was always like this…

She didn’t mind her identity at all, always comforting her when she didn’t know what to do…

That strange woman was always like this.

Feeling the lingering warmth on her cheek, Zi Yan recalled her first encounter with Song Shuqing.

It was in the spring two years ago.

When she was out alone buying face powder and was threatened by four or five hooligans in broad daylight…

“Hey! Miss, you’re so beautiful, how about coming home with me and becoming my wife.” The man blocked Zi Yan’s path, bending to try to see the face hidden under her hood.

“Bro, this woman seems so familiar to me?” Another man, with his hands in his pockets, squinted his eyes and said, “I think I’ve seen her playing the guqin at the Chunfeng Tower?”

“Oh, turns out she’s still a prostitute, what a shame, your body is too cheap, I can’t marry you.” With a look of regret, the man sized up Zi Yan, who was cloaked in a robe, seemingly evaluating her figure beneath the clothing. “But if you beg me, maybe I’ll be willing to let you become my concubine, give you a status.”

Accustomed to such vulgar language, Zi Yan didn’t want to cause trouble, she just silently held the newly bought face powder and rouge, bowed her head trying to pass by the men blocking her way.

“What, you dare not speak up?” Irritated by the lack of response, the man became angry, grabbed the woman who was trying to leave, tightly grasped her wrist, and tried to drag her into the alley. “I’m giving you face here!”

The newly purchased rouge fell and shattered on the ground, trampled into a mess by the chaotic steps of the men, becoming dirty and ruined. Zi Yan looked at everything before her and felt numb…

No one will come to help her.

No one would be willing to offend a group of vicious ruffians for the sake of a woman of the night…

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She had long understood…

Just endure, just endure…

“Hey! You guys.”

“A group of men bullying a girl, is that even human?”

Suddenly, a lazy voice rang out, clear among the rough and boisterous male voices. Without waiting for a response, the voice self-answered, “Well, they’re just the scum of society, not really human.”

The men turned around but didn’t see any figure at the entrance of the alley.

The mocking voice continued, “Hilarious, she didn’t even ask you to marry her, making yourself out to be so sacrificial. What, do you think you’re as beautiful as Xi Shi1? Everyone wants to marry you?”

“Who is it? Show yourself!” The lead man, his neck turning red, bellowed.

“A girl earns money to support herself without stealing or robbing, and you hooligans want to force her. And you still think you’re noble? Who’s the despicable one here?”

Unable to hold back a light chuckle, the speaking woman turned to her companion beside her and asked, “Qinqin, do you think their brains have degraded from lack of use for too long, so they only understand thinking with the lower half?”

The men finally realized that the mocking voice was coming from above. They looked up and saw two women in black cloaks standing on the rooftop, their faces filled with disdain.

“Senior Sister, after all your words, should we take action now?” The woman crouching on the eaves, her hair tightly bound up high, her face marked with faint white scars, innocently sought approval from her.

The woman standing with her hands behind her back, her hair intricately fixed with too many silver hairpins, smilingly replied, “Sure, I’ve already shattered their pitiful self-esteem with magical attacks. Now, let’s have Qinqin break their bones with physical attacks, so they’ll remember this moment when they think of being disrespectful in the future.”

Hearing such arrogant words, the man with a haughty expression was about to shout when the woman with bound hair suddenly leaped down. Without any weapons, she swiftly moved through the alley with just her hands, easily stunning several big and burly troublemakers.

With a smile on her lips, Song Shuqing also jumped down, landing conveniently in front of the lead man. She heard the man beneath her wail like a pig in pain and pretended innocently, “Oh dear, my apologies, I didn’t see you there.”

With a forceful twist, she shifted her weight before finally lifting her foot and stepping away.

“Sister, I’ll go check next door for some ropes to tie these guys up and send them to the authorities, okay?” Ming Qin watched her unscrupulous sister’s actions without any particular reaction, merely tilting her head to ask.

“Sure. This group of troublemakers has been causing headaches for a long time, so let’s help boost the achievements of the officials for dealing with these little rascals,” Song Shuqing said as she crossed the crowd with her hands clasped behind her back. She looked at Zi Yan, who was still trembling slightly, and asked softly, “Are you alright?”

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“Yes… I’m… fine.” Holding onto her reddened wrist tightly to restrain her panic, Zi Yan bowed to the two women. “Thank you both for saving my life. Zi Yan is eternally grateful…”

“Don’t mention it, those people were despicable. We just acted on impulse, but…”

Before Ming Qin, who was about to lend a hand in helping the woman, could speak, Song Shuqing took the lead in responding. She naturally held the woman’s slightly trembling hand and patted her shoulder, asking, “I heard you play the guqin, is your music enjoyable to listen to?”

Feeling the warmth spreading from her palm, Zi Yan seemed to calm down, adjusted her breathing, and replied, “My guqin skills, are passable.”

“Fantastic!”

Pushing the woman’s slightly disheveled hair behind her ears, Song Shuqing’s voice was full of excitement. “In that case, no need for thanks. If you’re free, let us listen to you play the guqin.” Paying no attention to Ming Qin’s efforts, she casually made this arrangement.

Thinking about this chaotic first meeting, Zi Yan couldn’t help but purse her lips.

To this day, Song Shuqing still felt like she had gotten a great deal by being able to listen to the talented courtesan play the guqin for free.

Little did she know, in Zi Yan’s heart, she was the one benefiting from this transaction.

Every time she saw Song Shuqing lost in the music of her guqin, occasionally visiting with a tired, sleepy look, or even begging for forgiveness with her cheeky words, Zi Yan would recall the imposing figure of the woman in black robes standing on the roof during their first encounter.

Unconcerned with her appearance while speaking out to offer a way out, as if not only rescuing her from the perilous situation physically, but also saving a heart that had long been plagued by self-loathing.

Looking at the window that had never been locked in the past two years, the courtesan in the room, cloaked and tightly wrapped, as if persuading herself, seemed to be immersed in a warm embrace at that moment.


The author has something to say:

Zi Yan and Ming Qin are the same age, so Zi Yan also calls Ming Qin “Qinqin”.

Song Shuqing is five years older than Zi Yan, so Zi Yan still refers to her as “Lord Song” (there are, of course, other reasons as well~).

Recently, I’ve been on a trip to rest, but even when I’m on the train, I find myself typing… (helplessly facepalms).

To this extent of madness, I’m a bit unsure whether I’m spoiling the readers too much or being controlled by the stories in my head like this (laughs).

P.S. Oh, there won’t be an update tomorrow, but there will be one on Friday~


LP: Re-translated on April 19, 2024



  1. Xi Shi, Wang Zhaojun, Diao Chan and Yang Guifei are known as the “Four Beauties in Ancient China”, among which Xi Shi is the first.
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Lade

Now I’m rootinh for Zi Yan and Song Shu Qing

Little Panda
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