Kusuriya no Hitorigoto (The Pharmacist's Monologue)
The Pharmacist's Monologue/Kusuriya no Hitorigoto
Publisher: Shufunotomosha (Hero Bunko)
Novel: 7 (Ongoing, last volume released 2/2018)
There is a certain large country in the central plains of the mainland ruled by an emperor. In that emperor's harem young women are often sold to work there for a set period; in some cases these maids are kidnapped and sold there by strangers. One such case, Maomao, an apothecary from the pleasure quarters, being plain and reluctant, attempts to keep a low profile until her term of service is complete. She has no desire or interest to become an important individual in the inner palace and would much rather be mixing medicines, dealing with poisons, or experimenting (with herself as the most convenient lab rat). However, there is a rumour that the emperor's children are being cursed to death; ever skeptical and inquisitive, Maomao cannot resist a little well-intended investigation and catches the attention of, among others, a mysterious and ludicrously handsome high-ranking official. Thus her peculiar career as an apothecary-cum-food-tester begins.
I really want this translated for multiple reasons: it's not an isekai, it has a female protagonist, it's a mystery series, and because it has a historical setting (which we don't have a lot of in English). Since I'm never gonna get the Saiunkoku Monogatari novels over here, this is the next best thing. It doesn't seem like any of this publisher's series have been licensed over here by anyone yet, though.
Here's an excerpt from the fan translation:
"Maomao received the laundry from the room next door and went back to the washing area.
There was still a lot of work left.
It wasn’t that she liked it. She planned to work for her pay.
Diligent by nature, that was the former pharmacist Maomao.
She could eventually leave if she worked obediently.
By no means would she be chosen as a mistress. It was impossible.
It was regrettable that it could be said that Maomao’s thoughts were too optimistic.
No one knows what will happen. That is life.
She possessed farsighted thinking for a seventeen-year-old girl. Even so, she had something that couldn’t be restrained.
Curiosity and the thirst for knowledge.
And, a little sense of justice.
In a couple of days, Maomao will be exposed to the certain strange truth.
The serial deaths of the infants born from the Inner Palace.
It was called the Previous Concubine’s Curse. For Maomao, it was bizarre, but a trifling thing to her."
This looks like one I’d love to see translated too. Imperial court medical mystery? Sounds great!
Throwing in my support for Kusuriya. It's such a fun series with quite the eccentric protagonist.
Shinberoy last edited by
Ah, KnH! Its such a fun novel :3 I love this series and the protagonist. She is such a strong female lead~
It's also NOT an isekai or a scifi/fantasy story, making it a different genre from most books on JNC, which is good for diversifying.
SilverCat422 last edited by
I've read obe of the manga adaptions and the art was so pretty! The translation of the web novel was also very good to read. This one definitely has my vote.