Dark Empress


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1st book in Yuan Yuan’s series 老梗也是梗系列之(AKA We were supposed to have died in a plane crash, instead we transmigrated). The stories consist of three modern settings and three historical.

Why was her fate so rough?

Everything has turned disastrous.

She, a high flying working girl, has transmigrated into a black charcoal.

In addition, a completely unfavoured Empress!

That pervert Emperor can go to hell!

No matter what life, men were to lick her toes.

Want her to serve a man? Dream on!

But, she didn’t expect the Emperor to be handsome and seductive.

She wasn’t interested in one moment but rolling with him in the next.

But his acceptance level is high, that he can chew on a piece of charcoal.

And she doesn’t mind reciprocating since he is the meal.

But this ancient man sees her as a new toy.

Did he think that by having her body he could have her heart?

Although she is now an ancient person herself, she has long decided she would not spend the rest of her life in the harem.

How could she let herself become a poor woman waiting for a man to occasionally bestow her with his favours…

Associated Names
One entry per line
Related Series
Love Me Again (Shared Universe)
Master, Hello (Shared Universe)
True and False Young Master (Shared Universe)
It’s Purely an Accident to Love Again (Shared Universe)
Bunny Husband (Shared Universe)
Beloved Empress (1)
Doomed to be Cannon Fodder (1)
Lucia (1)
To Be A Virtuous Wife (1)
Empress with no Virtue (1)
The Men at Her Feet (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Short Completed Romance Novels
  2. Favorite (mostly) Romance Reads [Completed Series]
  3. Another body!? Another life!? (Transmigration, Rei...
  4. Completed Novel I have Read!
  5. Rebirth, Reincarnation & Transmigration

Latest Release

Date Group Release
09/23/18 Zubeneschamali c10 + epilogue
09/22/18 Zubeneschamali c9
09/17/18 Zubeneschamali c8
09/14/18 Zubeneschamali c7
09/11/18 Zubeneschamali c6
09/09/18 Zubeneschamali c5
09/08/18 Zubeneschamali c4
09/04/18 Zubeneschamali c3
09/01/18 Zubeneschamali c2
08/27/18 Zubeneschamali c1
08/27/18 Zubeneschamali prologue
Write a Review
30 Reviews sorted by

New asinensis rated it
May 30, 2020
Status: Completed
Short to the point. It's not the best story out there but not the worst either.

Romance is decent (there is some smut) but nothing out of the ordinary for a cnovel. I know it's part of Asian culture but I found it annoying that the MC keeps complaining about her "dark" complexion. Literally nobody mentions as often as MC did.

Besides that, MC is a likeable character. I'm not a fan of ML though. His motivations for liking the MC is shallow at best. Read if you want to waste some... more>> time but don't into this with high expectations. <<less
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New Novelplease
May 30, 2020
Status: --
What can I say, I like strong independent woman the most. I hate it when some author let the woman turn marysue after falling inlove. So I really like this story, even after she fell inlove she still knows her value, tho sometimes selfish, still I really like her strong personality. It's a short good (sometimes frustrating) novel. Smut is good, story and characters are interesting and funny.
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Attica rated it
October 3, 2018
Status: Completed
I'm going to be honest, overall this novel ended up leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

There were some aspects I liked for sure. In particular, the MC's proud and arrogant personality led to some really fun antics near the beginning, when she had to pretend to be quiet and dutiful on the surface but was secretly running wild. I also enjoyed the MC's reminiscences of her previous life, scant as they were.

But many parts of the novel were just too cringeworthy for me to handle.

  • The smut scenes followed the usual stereotypical "dubious consent" and "overly forceful" dynamics. I know some people like this stuff but it's not my thing at all, especially since it kind of made the MC act out of character.
  • As an extension of the above, the emperor's (the main love interest's) personality was rather unpleasant. He started off arrogant and forceful, and didn't develop at all. (No, becoming obsessed with the MC is not development.)
    • I actually cheered when the MC broke free from his grasp. Unfortunately, I was then really disappointed when he pretty much just kidnapped her back and the novel immediately ended.
  • The aforementioned ending was really abrupt and unpleasant, with many many hanging plot points. (ex: What ended up happening to the MC's friend who also transmigrated?)
    • No, giving birth to a child does not automatically make this a happy ending.
  • As other reviews have pointed out... For some reason, the narrative wouldn't stop chattering on and on about her new body's "dark skin" and "flat breasts". I know cultural standards are different and all. But the excess focus on superficial appearances just gave me really uncomfortable vibes. It didn't help that the MC's nonstop comments felt extremely disrespectful to the original owner of that body, the original Empress.
On the bright side, this novel was nice and short. Whoo?
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dramamonster rated it
September 18, 2018
Status: c8
This was a fun read. A 28-year-old, beautiful, confident, hard-working woman transmigrates into the body of a timid, plain Empress. Her modern soul has zero interest in trying to please the Emperor. He already has a harem of pleasing, gentle beauties and she wants to get out of the Royal Palace and live her new life. Of course, that's exactly what catches his eye and his heart...

This is different from the other transmigration stories because:

    • the heroine is an experienced, confidant woman who has lived and worked a lot, rather than a naive ingenue
    • the story moves very quickly, and there is quite a lot of smut
    • there are almost no harem politics because she simply doesn't care
There are some very minor typos, but the translation is good and the plot moves fast.

Just so you know, the novel mentions that the empress is considered unattractive because she has dark skin, which is an archaic beauty standard, but this novel is set in ancient times...
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The Lazy Slug
The Lazy Slug
September 19, 2018
Status: Completed

... more>>

I like it how MC was still able to get her freedom. I was afraid after everything that happened, she would easily relent just to solve the conflict (which is totally against her personality and something I would've hate) or ML finally being too forceful. But that didn't happen, and instead I like how things turned out. The Emperor was truly too considerate. No doubt ML is the 'saving grace' in all this. Anyhow, I thought it would be difficult to end it given the things that happened in Ch8 and only two more chapters to go. Then again, I can say the author was good! It ended really well.

This story's MC is unlike any other MC in my opinion. She's selfish, very stubborn, a bit narcissistic and just the opposite of the usual gentle and virtuous wives in other slice-of-life/imperial intrigue stories (let's not include the OP-vengeful ones here because they're on a different track l0l). She was so stubborn in admitting she loved ML, to a point it became the central conflict in the long run.

However, reading on, you will come to understand her personality, and her thoughts. I don't find her that bad, because I came to understand her stubbornness, which I think was justifiable. She only did what she did to protect herself, at least that's the conclusion I came to. Well, it's not everyday we get to see an un-"gentle" and pious young lady for an MC. HAHAHA I gotta admit she's a bit... conflicting for an FL- this time she'll say these hateful things and the next, she says this. For others, I admit this personality could prove a hindrance in reading and liking the story. But, for me, that's what made her realistic. My only issue was the one stated below (on my past review) but even that, I've gotten to understand as well.

Anyway, if you get past all this, then read on. I'll let you be the judge.


When everything is said and done... all I can say, the ending was truly satisfying.

[REVIEW as of CH8][9/19]

I actually thought by 'Dark' Empress there, it was an artistic way of describing a sort-of evil Empress / Female Protagonist. Turns out it can actually mean in the literal sense. Dark because of her being a dark-skinned empress. lol


Now, I know some of you might be put off with this considering the novel's jab indirectly hinting dark-skinned women are not beautiful (the first few chapters somehow had this as an issue) but! I don't think it's to a point of being hateful once you read it. For one, don't go washing your hands saying society isn't like this. If the numerous whitening product advertisements are anything to go by, and/ artists actively promoting fair and white skin (AND female protagonists of various novels out there being depicted as such), you can't deny the connotation that being fair skinned is the beauty norm (though I gotta admit the severity of it might vary depending on the country). This novel is just being truthful about it and smacking it right at us in the face.

However! Like I said, I just love how 'truthful' and cute this novel is. For one, our Female Protagonist didn't like the fact that she was dark-skinned because deep inside she thought of it inferior (hello society). However, she didn't let it bother her too much. I don't really know how to explain it but just think of society and you'll understand.

On the other hand though, it seemed it was only Female MC who was bothered by her beauty. Because other people really liked the past (i.e. the original owner of the body) her's personality and even the her now. Cue in the Empress who love her because of her virtue and even persuaded the Emperor to care for her more, and others. I don't know... like I said, I really can't explain it. I just find it wonderful how it was only female MC who feel repulsed by herself because of her "downgrade" in appearance (because her past modern self turned out to be very beautiful) but others really treasure her beyond that. I find it... meaningful. Like... how many girls out there didn't like themselves because they find their appearance ugly? Completely ignoring the fact that their friends, family or even their right partners love them so much despite the flaws they thought they had? Idk... I just thought of it that way and for me, I really like it. In fact, if I remembered correctly, ML never said he didn't like her because she was a "black charcoal" or "ugly", but because she simply lacked personality -- always looking down, always scared, like a wooden block. Maybe I'm just romanticising it too much? I'll let you guys decide.

Either way, I find it cute. And when I thought I would hate the FL in the later chapters because I find her unreasonable.

Hint: She didn't want to have a baby. She pushed the entire blame on ML like... girl, you're from modern times, right? And you clearly know things like that lead to pregnancy, etc.

But! When I read the next chapter and author made me realise things again, I was like... shoot, right! I almost forgot. I'm sorry for being insensitive. Author was really clever in "saving" her. The arguments were sound. Hence, FL won me over again. Anyway, when you read it, you'll completely understand.


This novel is good, and not just in the bed stuffs. (͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) <<less
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September 27, 2018
Status: Completed
Good for Smut. The story is just so-so to me, I don't like how the author portrays that a black woman is not beautiful (racist LoL). The flow of the story is unbelievably fast and the dialogues between the main characters don't match the timeline. I can understand MC about her coming from the present time but the male lead is an ancient guy (duh 😒), it's unbelievable how he just go with it and openly accept that MC is another soul. So yeah, stayed coz of smut only and... more>> that's my opinion. 3/5 <<less
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Liri rated it
September 18, 2018
Status: c8
This time, the novel is everything that the plot promises and more. Greatly recommended.

The story is simple and fun to read, but never too silly. Every now and then, it switches between commentary to funny to adorable and gleeful moments, with sad and vulnerable moments in between. It is a great mix of a little of everything. The character and the plot are very interesting so far and I keep looking forward to it!

I really like the MC. She is strong, smart and independent and refuses to budge to any... more>> expectation. My favourite part is how she is playing the conceited emperor like a fiddle. Again, like the plot promises, he falls head over heels for her, while she remains an ice-cold woman. There are a lot of stories, in which the modern woman entices the Ancient guy through her modern mentality, but I think that this novel executes it very well, better than most. The female comes off as smart and strong, creating fun situation without being too ridiculous and s*upid. However, what also makes her a great character is that every now and then, she proves to be vulnerable as well, making her a round character. However, I will have to deduct one star from the rating. While it is great in terms of plot and characters, the MC and story have one flaw that really bugged me. The story is very superficial and contains a lot of beauty stereotypes and appearance bashing.

She is constantly complaining about being ugly because of her dark skin, which is not only offensive but terribly superficial

+ Warning <<less
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Nekonekochan00 rated it
September 8, 2018
Status: c4
Found another gem (hopefully)

The plot was interesting and so the characters. So far the interaction between the MC and ML are hilarious and cute.

MC doesn’t fall in love with the ML at first sight (refreshing) And the smut part has a potential also. Lol. 😝 Just hoping that this will not be another typical stereo type transmigration.
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Anikarp rated it
May 24, 2019
Status: Completed
I feel like I really wasted my time, but it was only 10 chapters. This MC is one of the most unlikable MCs, so superficial and only focusing on the importance of looks. It feels like it was written by a teenager. She's constantly ranting about her ugly skin while she's of course gaining the affection of other handsome men.

On the other hand you have ML who is equally superficial and unlikable.

Someone said it was dubious consent, but that's not the case. They keep mentioning how she wants it and... more>> she's not panicking, she gives coquettish 'no's but that's about it. If anything I'd say it's the only good thing about this novel.

The smut had some potential since MC isn't a human fish, it would be better if the author focused less on the bad plot and more on the smut tbh.

It doesn't help with the translator's constant comments either, it was so distracting.

Not a very good read but if you have some time available, then... Eh. <<less
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wisteriag25 rated it
September 10, 2018
Status: c5
So far, it's good.

Maybe a gem for smut and romance. But still can't fully tell if it really is good.

A woman who doesn't fall in love at first sight and a man who found a new interesting toy. Like every story, they would collide/ clash and fight over things then roll on the bed.

But the writings are good. Translation okay.
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natasha_habib rated it
November 7, 2019
Status: Completed
Even though at the start I felt a bit uncomfortable at the mention of dark skin being ugly, I got used to it. In Asia, even now light skin is preferred.

So ignoring that, I really enjoyed the story. I could understand our FL's sadness and insecurities. I could understand our ML's confusion about his feelings.

I really liked how much ML loved FL. Even when he was confused and mad at her he still always loved her and gave into her easily. ❤❤
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irrykat rated it
September 20, 2018
Status: c3
The translator did a good job, and I did like their asides throughout (though I can see where some might find it a turn-off).

Still, after reading a few chapters, I'll have to take a pass on this one. Me and this MC don't jive, sadly. I found her rather obnoxious.
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GooGooDolls rated it
February 23, 2020
Status: Completed
After reading all the reviews and how much they like Author's writing, so I decided to choose the Book 1 to begin. My first comment: WOW! I'm in love! The plot was good (to my opinion can be pro-long a little to share more POV and extend the stories) ; but still is a good book and great story! And I also would like to give credits to the Translator; you did a great job! In the first Prologue Chapter, it was a very little all over the place but... more>> no worry on that because it was your style of translating. So I did my best to understand your style and I got that eventually :D So wasn't a big issue to me. And I am totally impressed on the Translator put the words to expressed Author's detailed of MC & ML "Sexy Times".. That way of putting words are totally as if like you're reading a English Novel. So again, Thank you Author & Translator for sharing such this wonderful and lovely story with us :) <<less
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Kei-Em03 rated it
February 26, 2019
Status: Completed
Its quite good. Smooth and steady pacing, not much fillers, characters are quite likeable. Only downside is its too short

_ (:з」∠) _

I would have liked an extra epi on the baby and their fluff ≧ω≦

All in all, translation and story


smut is HOT


d= (´▽`) =b
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shngml rated it
January 17, 2019
Status: Completed
I quiet enjoyed it. Not too long, not too short. Had a fulfilling ending. I wish A hao's story was translated though. I would of like to read about him and his adventure. Makes me wonder what the modern stories are about. Don't think I will touch them, since modern stories don't really interest me unless they are manga or anime.

A lot of hot scenes. Good pacing. Translation was good. I like FL because of her strong personality. ML is funny and reminds me of the ML in Empress with... more>> no Virtue. Thanks for the hard work and for translating Zubneschamail. <<less
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Kyrina rated it
January 12, 2019
Status: Completed
I can't believe this come from the same author of Love Me Again. The plot is kinda forced. It doesn't make any sense. Also, as another reviewer mentioned, the dialogues between MC and ML just don't match the timeline. ML is more like a modern man than an ancient emperor.
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January 5, 2019
Status: Completed
I quite like this. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

1-The MC is the independent type but with reason. I mean, I think most woman who live in the modern age cannot stand sharing her husband (trust me most don't, even in cases where the man is allowed to)

2-The emperor was exactly as I expected him to be, albeit possessive at first then turned obsessive. He's flares of anger is reasonable though... with what the MC was doing and his position.

... more>> 3- it's short!!!

4- the snu snu was a great bonus to this

5- for once the whole the whole transmigration was out of the bag quite early!

One of the negative point I guess is the whole monologue of the MC about how 'ugly' she is being dark skinned. I think that's a bit too much. I get it, I'm Asian, most asians prefer being white (and I know some ppl get low key bullied about it esp in school) but it's a little to much to say the original body is ugly because of her skin tone. It's ok if she's average looking or ugly but the story never really pointed out that the MC felt the body's face was ugly cuz of the face structure (only that it's average) which make readers feel on default that the 'ugliness' is due to the skin tone which I feel is really wrong. I can't help wonder from which year did this girl transmigrated from...

2- They were in their own little world... I really wish the MC and ML interaction with other characters were more cuz seriously we didn't even get to read their interaction with other people (most are quite short). The emperor's mother talked for the sake of the plot, the two maids were used to exhibit the MC attitude, we never heard from the person who adopted her, but for some reason that eunuch had a moment to shine...

3-What happened!! So many questions about her friend cross dressing. Maybe there's another book for it but I still feel that it should still be addressed a bit. JUST A LITTLE BIT! <<less
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Thaloe rated it
September 23, 2018
Status: --
I am enjoying the story so far, my biggest issue however is that the translator keeps on adding her remarks incessantly, making me unable to immerse myself in the story. I mean it's fine to add the opinions at the end of the chapters, but not after virtually every paragraph..... I know I should be thankful since the translator has dedicated her time and effort into translating the story (the translation quality btw is superb), but it'd be nice if the translator reduced her commentaries a bit....

Edit: you'll get... more>> used to it, really. When I wrote my initial review I was at ch 3. By the end of the story I barely got affected by the comments :)

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April 9, 2020
Status: c10
For me, the love story plot is good. I enjoyed how the both characters changed. Even only short chapters.

Just lil bit annoying me is the translator comments in the middle of story. Please put the comments later for notes.
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fakeluff rated it
February 4, 2020
Status: Completed
Enjoyed this very frank novel, in all senses. Love it when characters are consistent even if they end up doing s*upid things because of this.

The reunion is all the sweeter!

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sushi roll
sushi roll rated it
December 28, 2019
Status: Completed
Very interesting & fun read!

I liked the female lead being a free spirit (although she is kind of a heartbreaker) and being decisive to what she wanted. I think out of the 3 stories in this series (i only read the historical ones) I liked the spicy scenes in this one the most, mainly because the female knows what she wanted with her desires ((and boy, did they do *it* so much lol))

I am more curious at what happened at the end though, I feel like they could... more>> have elaborated more?


I mean, her becoming an empress again seemed like they just brushed through it, like, shouldn't there be some difficulty even a little? Especially since she isn't acting like the original body anymore, and is her unruly, free spirited, arrogant self? Wouldn't that raise a few complaint for some people? (Well, usually)


Though again, it is understandable to me, since this is just a short one and the focus is in the romance aspect of the leads anyway. <<less
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lightoflamp rated it
May 21, 2019
Status: --
Short and fun read, I enjoyed this story. Light with any unnecessary drag. Translator did a great job!
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