Chapter 89.2 <— click on the link to read it. Thanks to anonymous for the donation.
If a Chinese person read the kanji in the Japanese word moe (萌え) it’s “meng.” You might have noticed that a lot of Chinese novels these days use (or overuse) the word meng.
Meng (萌) has become a popular slang word in China. Generally, it’s translated as “cute.” However, originally it came from “moe” which is actually not the same as cute. Kawaii is cute but moe is a different concept altogether.
Moe refers to:
feelings of affection, adoration, devotion, and excitement felt towards characters that appear in manga, anime, or video games. Characters that elicit feelings of moe are called “moe characters.” – source
People also use the word “moe” for other media, so long as it is a feeling of affection towards something or someone that is impossible for a person to have a real life relationship with.
There is no exact English word for “moe.”
萌主 (méng zhǔ) – Moe Lord is the literal translation of this but it simply means a person that someone thinks is really cute.
The word meng is normally translated as “cute” even though it’s not really what moe means because the Chinese have co-opted this term and most non-otaku use it to mean just cute or adorable.
Having said that, the Chinese otaku do still use meng to mean “moe” (source), meaning a translator can still chose whichever translation seems more appropriate. Since Du Ze used the term to refer to Xiu in the context of Xiu being a moe character, I believe “moe” is better to use than cute.
Besides, the gnome form Xiu might be cute but it would strain credulity to call the other forms cute.
Last, but not the least, “Moe Lord” just sounds funnier. That’s why I like it.
Moe vs Cute
If Xiu looked like this:
Instead of like this:
Then I might have used the word “cute” instead.
Thank you for reading.