Ying Chong


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Empress Dowager Yi An finally achieved great success in this life, her son became the emperor.

She had a bad fortune in the first half of her life but she was favored by the former Emperor for the second half of her life.

In this situation she should be happy however there was one problem, a tired heart.

If one may ask, who is not tired in this deep palace?

When she woke up, she went back to her fifteen-year-old self, and was still a ‘thin horse’.

When she was sent to the capital as a tool for connection, thus the story began…

T/N: ‘thin horse’ [shòu mǎ 瘦马] – was a term used to denote girls reared specifically for the purpose of supplying Yangzhou City’s [Jiangsu Province] market in concubines.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Related Series
Feng Xing (Alternate Story)
The Job of an Imperial Concubine (3)
Jin Wang Dotes on His Concubine (2)
Counterattack of the Cannon Fodder Chambermaid (2)
Chang’an’s First Beauty (2)
The Beloved Imperial Consort (1)
Why Harem Intrigue When You Can Just Raise a Dog Instead (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. For Sai's eyes only !!!
  2. Harem Intrigue
  4. Books I have read - continued
  5. Rebirth

Latest Release

Date Group Release
03/29/21 Kermille’s Blog c25 part2
03/15/21 Kermille’s Blog c25 part1
03/08/21 Kermille’s Blog c23 part2
03/04/21 YingChong c24 part2
03/04/21 YingChong c24 part3
02/17/21 YingChong c24 part1
02/11/21 YingChong c23 part2
10/27/20 Kermille’s Blog c23 part1
10/10/20 Kermille’s Blog c22 part2
08/03/20 Kermille’s Blog c22 part1
08/03/20 Kermille’s Blog c21
07/13/20 Kermille’s Blog c20
06/30/20 Kermille’s Blog c19
06/29/20 Kermille’s Blog c18
06/17/20 Kermille’s Blog c17
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14 Reviews sorted by

kermille07 rated it
March 30, 2020
Status: Completed
Hi Translator here ~

I've completed reading (MTL-ed) this book and this is one of my favorite works of Mask Feast along with Jin Wang Dotes on his Concubine, .

This is not a story of revenge. Pan Er will not really go on that so bloody path (not so bloody XD). This novel is actually more of realizing what she missed on her past life. There will be some changes with her relationship with the people around her. And of course because of her changes some events in her life will... more>> undoubtedly change too (butterfly effect). Will she be Empress Dowager Yi An again? (¬‿¬) Stay tuned! Hehe

If you like palace drama, historical plot, then please try to read this.

This is my first time translating and I'm not a professional. I don't speak Chinese and English is not my first language.

I just want to share some good novels and alleviate the pain of reading MTL. (~˘▾˘) ~ Please give it a try~ (Shameless plugging) (ᵔᴥᵔ) <<less
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marchmallow rated it
May 19, 2020
Status: Completed
Edit: I decided to add a few more things.

This is a mature and light-hearted read about a crown prince and his favorite concubine. It's eight parts slice of life and two parts political intrigue.

I have to say that, for the time period they're in, the story is very realistic, and the thoughts and actions of both leads are very much in line with the ancient era. That is, they're both people born and raised in ancient times and are bound to follow ancient rules. So, if you can't stomach the... more>> ML touching plenty of women, this ain't for you.

I know there are a million c-novels out there similarly set in ancient China where the MLs are loyal virgin princes. That's part of the reason why it's labeled fiction. But this one is a harem where the ML practices polygamy (don't drop this novel yet just based on this), and realistically so. Especially since the ML is an orthodox and perfectly healthy crown prince. There is literally nothing holding him back from sleeping with his wives.

He is very disciplined and responsible, albeit a little cold and aloof towards certain things. BUT, he isn't forceful or domineering, and he knows his faults and reflects on his mistakes. He's the crown prince, and just based on this title, his innate arrogance and his noble bearing are within expectations. However, towards his other women, he actually feels a bit of sympathy, which is extremely rare for MLs of this genre, especially for an imperial prince. Not all of his women are evil, and they are very human with valid feelings.


Mid-way through, we find out he's been sexually unfaithful as he's impregnated two other women despite claiming to only love the FL. But his reasoning for this is that, he knows that women in the harem don't have it easy, and that having children, especially sons, give them some kind of insurance. Although, if thinking with a modern mindset, this logic seems a bit skewed and morally ambiguous... but he just genuinely wants a harmonious inner court. And since he knows in his heart that he only loves the FL, he figures that giving them children will make them less lonely once they're older.

He is actually sympathetic towards his other women despite not loving them.

Towards Pan'er, we could say he definitely wronged her for that, but afterwards, he's only ever been faithful to her... Although there was a scene where Pan'er once admitted that her feelings wavered after he's been sexually unfaithful, it was quickly resolved after he expressed his sincerity (by killing his own brother, who used FL to plot against him).

Towards his other children, although he favors FL's children the most, he also isn't completely apathetic. He spends the most time and is most familiar with FL and her children, but he educates all his sons in a similar fashion and provides similar care for his other daughters. It naturally isn't easy to rule a country, so he has very little time to interact with his children, but he really, really tries his best. He isn't at all a bad father for someone who carries the weight of the world on his shoulders.


On to the FL⁠—Pan'er is someone who, after experiencing a lifetime in the harem and eventually becoming the Empress Dowager, is given a second chance to relive life in the ML's harem after waking up in her 15-year-old body as a "thin horse" who has yet to enter.

I guess you can consider her past life to be a successful one as her son became the Emperor and she became the Empress Dowager, so there's really not much for her to avenge. In her second life, she just tries to live her best and corrects her past mistakes so that her life in the harem will be smooth early on, as opposed to her past life, wherein she had a hard time for the first few decades and only succeeded in winning the Emperor's favor on the later half of her life. She is very calm and steady, and, when experiencing internal and external troubles, she really sits her self down and reflects.

Did she and the ML love each other? Yes.

As for the side characters! They're all fleshed out and very human, especially the women. They make us feel just how hard it was for the women in their era, especially within the harem. Some of them don't bear unreasonable hate towards the FL (jealousy is inevitable, but intense hatred... it's questionable), and some characters who were aggressive at the start eventually mellowed down after experiencing setbacks. The author treats them with kindness and gives them satisfactory endings. <<less
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Ginonymous rated it
April 12, 2021
Status: Completed
This is one of the few non-comedic stories I go back to.

If you are looking for a strictly monogamous pairing, this isn't the story for you. The ML is, after all, the crown prince and later, emperor. Whether or not he desires monogamy, it is expected for him to have a harem to "spread the dew and rain" so to speak (have lots of babies, namely, sons). He's obviously not a virgin pre-MC's entrance into his harem (he's already got an official wife plus kids with various women in the... more>> harem, after all) and he isn't solely faithful to the MC afterwards as there is a span of several years where he gets other members of his harem pregnant. While this might disgust some readers who aren't willing to stomach anything other than strict monogamy even in this ancient era or who conflate love with sex, the ML has his reasons (and it relates to the MC) for doing so.


He heavily favors and is almost completely monogamous to our FL. Later, our FL discovers the extent of his protection of her, which allowed her to live in the harem in a sort of blissful ignorance for a number of years. Part of his protection? Visiting and impregnating (carefully chosen) women in his harem who have the family background to withstand (survive and raise) having an imperial prince for a son and needs/could use the protection afforded harem women with a son. By doing this, he draws attention of outsiders (including the maiden families of his harem members) /his political rivals/the other princes away from the FL whose sole source of protection is him (her given family background at this time being... pretty much nothing. Remember, she was sold and then brought into the harem as a "thin horse" with no familial backing). Not only does visiting the other harem members help protect his role as crown prince (remember, his father doesn't favor him and wants to give the position to one of his favored concubine-born sons (aka ML's brothers)), but it detracts attention away from the MC as being the one he solely favors/loves (making her less of a target) while also changing the focus of the harem (and through them, their maiden families) into carefully raising their children.

Once he gets those women pregnant (I want to say there was 3-5 of them), he stops and becomes completely faithful to the FL. I believe (but its been a while so am not completely certain) he even carefully chose the dates he visited the other harem members he impregnated in order to maximize their chances of pregnancy.


Though the FL admits her feelings wavered during this particular period of time, she also realizes later that the fact that she was able to live so well in the harem (including being able have the expectation of fidelity) is because of the many protections the ML had set up for her. His doting and sole favoring of her had been such that she actually 'forgot', in a sense, what it was like in her previous life where she wasn't nearly as favored until the last decade or so of ML's life (she only outlives him by a year or two I believe).

Though FL isn't the most clever person out there, she isn't dumb. She might not seem like empress material but that's because even in her previous life, it was not a role she sought/prepared for/had. In her previous life, it was less her being the empress dowager and more, her being the emperor's mother. Though she may have had control of the harem in her later years, by then, the emperor (ML) was older, his children grown, and the battle for the throne pretty much over (her son becoming the heir presumptive). In both lifetimes, she didn't look for, nor want, to be an empress. She only wanted for herself and her children to be able to live well and safely.

If one of the most important things in a story for you is that the ML is basically solely FL-sexual (that is, once he meets her, even if he's not a virgin, he will never ever touch another woman but her), however improbable it may be given the setting, this is definitely not the story for you.

If you don't mind a bit more realism or don't equate s*x with love, I would recommend giving this story a chance. It is much more romance-driven than it's counterpart (Feng Xing, which is more politically-focused and takes place during the FL's first lifetime) and the author fleshes out the characters well, including villain characters. Even the characters that aren't too fleshed out can be considered well-thought out--for example,

A low-key concubine may suddenly seem like she came out swinging in the harem battle/battle for the throne out of nowhere but upon reflection, there were keys strewn about that she was more than she displayed... heck, the lack of too much fleshing out of her character, in comparison to another 'villain, ' may be purposeful as it goes with her theme of being a silent actor whose long-term strategy was to lay low and work from the background.


One of the things I like about this story is that there isn't an instant connection/love between the ML and FL. Though both FL and ML initially have their own reasons for seeking the other out (she, bc she was brought in to serve as a helping concubine for the crown princess and for her own protection (not to mention, her not yet born son (/children) and he because of lust, it's a nice progression to their actually falling for one another in a way that makes sense given their setting/environment. She is able to win his near-exclusive (he actively does not want to favor the concubine over the main wife, given his own experience with it through his mother growing up) favor both by using her knowledge of him from her previous life and by making great use of an opportunity where she is the one harem member brought with him for a long trip. She shows herself to be intelligent/clever, but not too intelligent/clever, which he won't like (bc it could lead to her having ideas she shouldn't have) and she shows she has no desire for control over the harem. I think, oddly enough, her poor background is one of the things that draw the two together--her lack of backing makes her seek refuge in him for security while conversely, he seeks her for the sense of security that comes from being with someone who doesn't have a powerful family he has to keep in mind and whose actions he knows isn't dictated/influenced by the interests of the maiden family. As mentioned in the story, one of the reasons the ML favors the FL as he does is because he was able to interact with her with a peace of mind that he simply wasn't able to with other harem members who all had their own family backings and thus, familial pressures/"outside" interests that didn't necessarily coincide with what he wanted. <<less
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silent hobby
silent hobby
May 30, 2020
Status: Completed
I think this was a leisure reading journey.

In this story, I couldn't bring myself to hate the side characters especially the crown princess from Chen family. She has her own desperation because her husband didn't like her and then her big family's pressure. She just want to have a secure seat as crown princess, but her methods were wrong. One thing wrong and the next thing also wrong. I feel sympathy for her.

For MC, I don't have any comments, because it was obvious that they were the beloved children of... more>> the author.

For me, this story enjoyable without exaggerated schemes. <<less
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Sista777 rated it
June 30, 2020
Status: c203
3.5 stars


My curiosity killing me and my time

... more>> The prince (ML) is not sexually faithful (having another 3 children from other concubines eventho he doesn't love them). I don't get him LMFAO

One thing I love the most is in the ch 76/96 (I forget), but the FMC actually revealed that she doesn't love the ML, that's why she can please him eventho she is extremely jealous of him make pregnant other concubines

Overall, this novel is not my cup of tea, I love one-one-one love story, but my curiosity of the plot is killing me till ch 203 : (

P.s. I love the author of this Jinwang Dotes on His Concubine <<less
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Shinygold13 rated it
May 17, 2020
Status: Completed
Fairly good second chance rebirth story but be warned, this is eight parts realistic and two parts fictional so since it’s a harem the prince wasn’t the ideal male lead ... more>>

as he wasn’t sexually faithful because even after being with Pan-er he was able to impregnate two of his concubines

However, there was no repeat after this and quite frankly, I did not see the significance of this aside from showing us Pan-er’s emotional conflict so in my opinion the author should’ve just remove that bit or timed it earlier.

Overall, the questions and hints the author dropped throughout the story are answered gradually, each chapter revealing the image of the puzzle with a dash of pampering on the side.

This is definitely worth a read. <<less
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kyrez rated it
October 21, 2020
Status: Completed
Truly an ironic kind of HE--for me 😉🌈

How to say this? When reading rebirth and historical palace setting, I like the usual 'loyal inside-out to each other' kind of plot. But here, I still feel satisfied with a hint of bittersweet taste 🍭☕️

FL was clever in her planning, and she does have affection for the ML. But by guarding her heart, she survives~ 🍎🍋

ML adores FL, and just like any other crown prince, he feels entitled to her affection. But he's a good man-- though he's definitely not nice, nor... more>> is he a 'perfect husband'. He protects her in every way (and I do mean every way... he uses everyone and everything around him to keep her physically safe) . 🌶🥥

So I find it surprising that when I reached the end of the story, I fell in love with both of them... and I do feel that they both deserved a HE after the very long journey^^ ♥️🏆🍰 <<less
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nnshii rated it
June 4, 2020
Status: Completed
honestly what user marchmallow and silent hobby said is in line with what I thought. Go read their review.

I would say it's a light hearted novel cause FL have a smooth life. Not entirely just focused on the FL, this novel also show typical throne fighting but in case of the ML who is the crown prince, his father the emperor actually disliked him.

FL and ML are really cute like how they call each other pet names. ML got jealous and ask FL to call him Cong gege (or Brother... more>> Cong) which is so cuteeee ~


and ML call FL by her pet name, YuanYuan. I really love this pet names just because of this one lines which ML spoke to FL when they came back from Yangzhou :

" Yuanyuan trust brother Cong, okay ? ". I mean come on, I think it's so cute.


It's a good story and I always love Mask Feast's historical novels. I personally think Mask Feast is one of the authors who knew how to write a character in historical setting. <<less
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October 29, 2020
Status: --
In this novel I like the ML character a lot and also the way the story follow historical sitting without the interfering of modern thinking in some way ( (I hate when the story talk about history but the action they do is modernize)) the ML before the MC rebirth was very respectful and fair to all the women in his harem, he didn't love anyone but he tried his best as their husband. After rebirth both of them love each other then unfortunately follow in some part the... more>> same path like all modernize history story. In the beginning I thought the MC will have a lot of potential after all she was Empress Dowager but I was surprise with way she think I don't understand how she become Empress Dowager in the past life even she didn't know how she manage to do this 😅which I like since it's very realistic but my problem and the reason I drop this novel is the MC later on become very childishly possessive the way she think is very childish like she is the Empress Dowager inside who gone through a lot but the way she think and behave is very naive which shouldn't be the case after all the experience she go through

the translation is very good the translator did good job with it <<less
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June 23, 2020
Status: c179
Like many other reviewers said, it's a very leisurely, slice-of-life story about the imperial harem - specifically the back yard of the crown prince. There's no major conflict, instead the novel focuses on relationships and character development.

The relationships are very realistic given the historic setting - Pan'er might be the crown prince's favorite, but by no means is she his only women. Whilst I don't usually enjoy stories where the ML has women on the side, this novel is able to incorporate polygamy in such a casual manner, you feel... more>> it's natural and to be accepted. I enjoyed seeing how Pan-er's life changed and how (because of her past life), her relationship with the crown prince naturally changed as well.

However, I lost interest as the story is now focused on their children and choosing the next heir to the throne. Might pick this back up again when there's more translated chapters. <<less
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DarkChocolate09 rated it
August 29, 2020
Status: c8
Not my cup of tea.

... more>>

The ML is an unfaithful person who claims to love the FL but managed to get his concubines pregnant. ?? Granted it was normal in that era but how can you stomach to have s*x with someone you dont love? And if he claims to love the FL how can he bear to hurt her?knowing doing that will hurt the FL. Yes he didnt have any sexual contact with others after that but the damage has been done. Its a moot point when you think that he has already hurt her. Why not just not do it in the first place? It was satisfying when the FL admitted she wavered and almost lost her feelings for him for his betrayal.

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Hanmy rated it
July 13, 2020
Status: Completed
I enjoyed reading this story.

For story about second chance: rebirth, it's a very leisurely. No revenge or overpowered female protagonist.
And for imperial harem story, it's very realistic. FL is not the only women of ML.
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Bro.ccoli rated it
May 17, 2020
Status: c15 part2
The story gives great detail on how a courtyard is handled not like most historical CN novels that simply gloss over those parts. The translator also provides illustrations (+1) to improve reading creativity which is very helpful.

There's not much that can be said about since there are only few chapters released but so far, this seems promising and recommended specially if you're into harem infighting.
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theprincesswildflower rated it
September 1, 2021
Status: c25 part2
I really love this novel! I really hope the translators continue translating it, I want to see the FL rise to the top again! All I can do is continue to come back and check🙃🙃
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