This work is an amateur fan-translation of original work by Tong Hua as available in free online format in Mandarin Chinese at:
The translation is done as good will, so that fellow fans who do not read Mandarin may enjoy this lovely work. We declare that we do not profit monetarily in any way from this work, and also do not pretend to be professional translators. Hence, we apologize in advance for inadvertent translation errors. In addition, reposting of the translation must be done with explicit permission of all translators as contactable via spcnet.
Characters Introduced So Far
(In Alphabetical Order)
Fourth-prince (Asin-Gioro Yinzhen): The fourth son of Emperor Kangxi and the future Emperor Yongzheng. Slightly pale and has an impassive demeanour.
Qiao Hui: One of Ruolan’s maids. Qiao Hui used to serve Ruolan even before Ruolan’s marriage. When Ruolan married, Qiaohui accompanied Ruolan to Eighth-prince’s household. Seems to be concerned for her mistress especially regarding Ruolan and Eighth’s relationship.
Tenth-prince (Aisin-Gioro Yin’e): The tenth son of Emperor Kangxi. Currently not given a peerage title. A bit of a simpleton. Likes to tease and bicker with Ruoxi. Nicknamed “the blockhead” by Ruoxi. Likes Ruoxi but is forced to marry Mingyu Ge’ge.
Thirteenth-prince (Aisin-Gioro Yinxiang): The thirteenth son of the Emperor Kangxi. Nicknamed “the Death Challenging Thirteenth” by his brothers. Has a more carefree and unrestrained demeanour.
Glossary of Terms
(In Alphabetical Order)
Bei’le: Shortened from Duo’luo Bei’le. A peerage title that can be bestowed to those within the royal family. It is the third rank in the Qing peerage system for the imperial line.
Ce’fujin: A title. Meaning second wife or ‘side’ wife in Manchurian.
Di’fujin: A title. Meaning first wife or main wife in Manchurian.
Chapter 7 (Parts5-6)
I stared at him, “What kind of books I’m reading, my father and sister can ask but it definitely not your place to speak!”
Seeing how the Fourteenth-prince and I was glowering at each other, the Eighth-prince couldn’t help but to chuckle, shaking his head, “Stop glaring Fourteenth brother, you should go back now. This matter with Ruoxi, I will deal with it.”
The Fourteenth-prince stared at me, and then looked back at the Eighth-prince. He started to say something but stopped. He turned to stare at me once more before flinging his sleeves back and left.
Facing the Fourteenth-prince, I did not feel any fear, but now that he has left leaving me alone with the Eighth-prince, I began to feel tense. I stood with my head lowered, playing with the ribbon on my cloak, unsure of what to do.
The Eighth-prince looked at me and smilingly said, “The Crown Prince’s joke is actually very accurate. I feel that not only is your vigor the same as Thirteenth brother, but also your respect for the lower class as well as your free and inhibited character is the same as well.” He smiling he continued, “Don’t just keep standing there.”
I was about to sit down when he said, “Come sit over here. I have some things to discuss with you.” I became even more nervous, but since I cannot disobey, I slowly walked over and sat down next to him.
He watched me sit down and sighed before facing forward again in silence.
The two of us sat silently for a while when he suddenly said, “Scared?”
Startled and not knowing what he meant, I looked at him in confusion.
He turned to me, “The concubine selection, are you scared?”
After hearing that, the fear that already filled my body welled up. I quietly nodded, then lowered my head, frowning worriedly.
After a while, he suddenly began to talk softly, as if to himself, “The first time I saw your sister was when she was fifteen.”
I hurriedly swept my fears to the side and listened with rapt attention.
“That year, your father had come to Beijing, and your sister had come along with him. It was springtime and the weather was exceptionally nice. The blue sky seemed like it had just been washed by water and the breeze was filled with the fragrance of flowers, blowing right through people’s hearts. I went with two servants to the outskirts for some horseback riding. From far, I could see a young lady riding her horse on a hill,” he stopped and smiled, “You’ve seen Ruolan ride; you should also know how beautiful and exquisite she is.”
I recalled my sister’s elegance at the racecourse and unconsciously nodded.
He continued, “Her riding that day was even better than at the racecourse. Her laughter was like silver bells, ringing through the wind. It was filled with so much happiness, that it makes anyone who has heard it filled with happiness as well, instilling the desire to laugh along with her.” He stopped for a bit before resuming, “I couldn’t believe what I saw. There were many beautiful ladies in the Forbidden City, but Ruolan was different.”
I thought, Jie-jie at that time was a young girl in love, believing that she and her lover would stay forever on cloud nine. Her happiness glowed from within. Of course the girls in the Forbidden City who have never experience true love before cannot compare.
He went on, “After I came back, I hurriedly went and inquired about your sister. I kept thinking about how I can get Imperial Father to grant her to me when my mother told me that Imperial Father decided to make the Maertai family’s eldest daughter my Ce’Fujin. At that time, I thought that my life had never been so happy before. The very next day after Imperial Father’s announcement, I went all over the capital in search of a gift. It took me more than six months to be able to find a Phoenix Blood bracelet. I had intended to give it to her on the day of our marriage.”
I looked down at the bracelet on my wrist and couldn’t help but raise it, asking, “Is this the one? That you wanted to give to Jie-jie?”
He looked at the bracelet on my wrist, reached out to hold my hand, then said, “I waited night and day; finally, my wedding day had arrived. But when I lifted the wedding veil, I felt as if nothing was as I had imagined. The person that I’ve been missing for two years and the person sitting in front of me were like two complete different people. She never goes riding and rarely smiles. I kept asking myself, how did things become like this? Could it be that I have the wrong person? Later I sent someone to the Northwest to investigate, and, after many obstacles, I finally found the reason.” He smiled wryly, not saying anything else.
I sighed heavily, how Fate played us humans! I was deep in thought for a while when my heart suddenly raced. I let out a small breath, and nervously asked, “How did that person die?”
He was quiet for a minute then replied, “My sending someone to inquire about your sister alerted your father. He wanted to send that person away and therefore made him a frontline soldier. After that…” He stopped, not saying anything further.
I could only feel my heart still racing vigorously. You did not kill him, but he did die because of you.
I pulled at my wrist, wanting to take off the bracelet and give it back to him. He suddenly grabbed my hand, “Don’t take it off.”
I looked down, staring at the bracelet, “This is for my sister.”
He tightened his hold on my hand and whispered, “This is for the one I love.” He used his other hand to lift my chin up and, staring in my eyes, said, “Promise me, never to take this off.”
I looked deep into his bottomless black eyes. There was gentleness in them that I have never seen before. At the same time, they were filled with so much sadness that it seemed as if it would overflow. I was unable to restrain the confusion in my heart, mixed with a strange bitterness, therefore slowly nodded. He saw that I’ve agreed and couldn’t help but beam.
He smilingly said, “Don’t be afraid. I will think of a way for Imperial Father to bestow you to me.”
I stared at him, stunned. He smiled at me. I quickly shook my head, exclaiming, “Don’t!”
He looked at me, his smile fading, his face turning pale, and suddenly asked, “You’re actually willing to be Imperial Father’s woman?”
I’ve became panic-stricken, hurriedly shook my head. I’m not willing, I’m not willing to do anything. I only wanted to live well, to find someone who truly loves me, who will take care of me, and not just viewed me as a plaything. There’s no need to bestow me; I am a person, not a thing.
He stared at me for a while, suddenly closed his eyes, took a deep breath, reopened them, and, sighed, “I will not force you. As you will!” Saying that, he released me, called Li Fu to come in and instructed him to bring me back to Jie-jie’s place.
I was at the door when he suddenly spoke out from behind, “After entering the palace, don’t dress up like how you did at Ol’ Ten’s birthday.”
I couldn’t understand and turned around to look at him. He looked down and slowly said, “If you don’t want Imperial Father’s attention, then the plainer you look, the better.” I finally understood. I didn’t know whether to be happy or sad, and merely turned around to follow Li Fu.
After returning to the room, Jie-jie saw that I looked pale and thought that the Eighth-prince had lectured me. She came to caress my face, then, sighed, and told Dongyun to help me prepare for bed.
I lay in bed but couldn’t fall asleep. I thought about Jie-jie then thought about myself. I kept wondering whether or not Jie-jie knew of the Eighth-prince’s feelings for her. Then, I suddenly felt stupid. In fact, it was not difficult to see proof of the Eighth-prince’s feelings for Jie-jie.
For example, the Eighth prince was surprised when he first saw me, but was disappointed when he found out that I don’t know how to ride. Jie-jie rarely went to pay respect to Di’Fujin but she didn’t directly made things difficult for Jie-jie. Another example is, on the surface, it looked as if Jie-jie wasn’t well-favored; the servants even gossiped about it in secret. However, from the food and clothing to everyday things, even the most snobbish eunuchs don’t dare to make any mistakes or treat Jie-jie unwell. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how clearly things were laid out in front of me. It was just that I never considered it.
But what about me? What was I? A substitute for Jie-jie? Why did I keep the bracelet? Why didn’t I give it back to him? Was it only because I was softhearted for a moment?
I just couldn’t sleep.
 A frontline soldier heads a military formation and is often the first one into battle, therefore the most easily targeted and killed.