Oh – I am worried. Really worried. Why does Mu Yan now have a blue fringe?! Oh and you should definitely check out Spcnet’s HXY thread where more pictures of the drama production have surfaced. Frankly, the costuming is just… not very flattering. KC’s hairstyle reminds me of some 90s-noughties wuxia drama – its been a while since I’ve seen fringes and sideburns like that.
It’s a hoot and a half. To date, nobody has seen the female lead (Lin Yuan) and second male lead (Luo Jin). What made me laugh is that apparently there was a meet-and-greet press conference and the poster only had KC, YH and JX. Where are the rest of them?
On a side note, Happy Chap Goh Mei to all my Chinese readers. To celebrate the end of Chinese New Year celebrations and the pretty full moon outside my window, I happily present to you one of my favourite parts in the novel where Mu Yi and A’Fu talks about Mu Yan. What I like about this scene is that a third party objectively assesses Mu Yan’s actions towards A’Fu. There is also a part where A’Fu contemplates Ye Zhen’s death.
[Picture credit: Liu Xiao Xiao @ spcnet’s HXY thread].
[This scene follows on from “If fate permits, we will meet here again“.]
Mu Yi and I shared a tent. I wanted to wait for her to fall asleep before me as I was afraid that she will find out that she was sleeping next to a corpse. But Mu Yi did not understand my kind intentions and instead kept me company outside the tent to watch the stars.
I learned from her the reason why I met Mu Yan here today (as I thought, it cannot be wholly attributed to Fate). It is because he had just settled some matters at home and was returning to his own residence. I thought, it seems like he lives apart from his parents; this means that I won’t need to take care of his parents if I marry him. I then realised that I was really thinking too much.
“Your brother, how old is he? Is he married?” I finally asked Mu Yi the questions that have been bothering me all along.
Mu Yi stiffened before raising her cup to her lips and looked at me, “Speaking of that…”
I felt the Pearl leap up into my throat.
She sipped her tea and repeated, “About that…”
I felt like strangling her as she took another few sips of her tea. I restrained my fingers from reaching out for her.
“Why are you asking these questions?”
I coughed and shifted my position, “Nothing, really. I have a friend whom I’m thinking of introducing to your brother.”
Her eyes sparkled as she looked at me and I coughed uncomfortably again, “That’s the truth.”
She raised her head and said with a small smile, “My brother really cares about you. “Back home, if the pretty ladies who admire my brother linked their hands together, they can easily surround the city! But my brother had never even spared them a single glance. But today, my brother actually personally assisted you because your movements were inconvenienced. If those ladies back at home found about about what happened, they will surely beat you to death!”
I was not happy being cast in the less attractive role, so I said carelessly, “I also have many admirers in the past. The queue from my family’s door can stretch from the start of the street right to the end!”
Of course, I did not mention that half of them came because of money and the other half because of power.
“Wa – then you’re actually quite a good match with my brother.”
Her words made me very happy. I said further, “Don’t speak about these things so carelessly. Doesn’t your brother already have a girl he likes? Isn’t her name Ziyan or something like that…?”
She interrupted me immediately, “She doesn’t have a chance. How dare she try to assassinate my brother. She doesn’t have the good fortune of becoming my sister-in-law this lifetime!”
I asked, “Is it that their relationship being kept secret?”
Mu Yi giggled, “You are really funny. I tell you this, even if that had not happened, our father will never let brother marry Ziyan. In matters such as romance, my brother…” She stopped as if she just thought of something, “Speaking of which, you must really make extra effort with my brother. Compared to Ziyan, there is another woman that you must pay attention to.”
She stopped smiling and looked seriously at me, “There is only one woman whom my brother genuinely respects. You should have heard of her; she is the youngest daughter of the former King of Wei, who committed suicide when her kingdom surrendered, the famous Princess Wenchang, Ye Zhen.”
The incident that Mu Yi brought up only happened half a year ago but it seemed to have happened in another lifetime. Mu Yi continued with a frown, “I was not there. I heard it had not rained in Wei for a very long time, but it rained heavily on the day Ye Zhen died, as if the Heavens were shedding tears of grief for the Princess Wenchang.
They said that Ye Zhen threw herself of the city walls that were at least 1000 feet high without hesitation. Even the Chen warriors respected her resolve. Brother referred to Ye Zhen as incomparable, and said that during these many turbulent years when countries rose and fell, there have only been one such princess who died to preserve the dignity of her state. If only she was not born a woman and was still young at that time, she would definitely have achieved something great in her lifetime.
I also thought it was a pity. It is said that Ye Zhen was very beautiful and educated; her name and talent should have been recorded in history. But unfortunately, she died so young. This is the tragedy of being born into a royal family!”
I said, “What you really want to say is…”
Mu Yi put down her cup and scratched her head, “That’s right… what was I trying to say just now?”
I placed my hand on my chest where I could not feel any heartbeat. I thought for a moment and replied, “The fate of being a royal. There are responsibilities that you must assume in exchange for being given a life of privilege and power from young. Ye Zhen died in the manner befitting her station. One must act in accordance with his position and assume the responsibilities of the same.
When the Royal Family enjoys the benefits of the taxes and tributes paid by their people, do they complain of being born into royalty? It is a greater tragedy for one to only lament his fate of being born into royalty when he has to pay the dues for the privileges that he has enjoyed all this while!”
After I finished my tirade, we felt as if our conversation has taken a serious turn and immediately changed the topic.
I think the reason why this is one of my favourite scenes is because this scene shows that Mu Yan cares for her both as Ye Zhen and A’Fu. It leaves a bittersweet taste because it opens up the question of what could have been; what if Su Yu met Ye Zhen before she died – that they realised that the other was Mo Yan and Jun Fugui? Would Ye Zhen still have chosen to die? If Ye Zhen didn’t die, would they have a future together or would the be like the OTP in Eastern Palace?
But if Ye Zhen didn’t choose to die, Su Yu would never have afforded her that special place in his heart. And I confess, I love that Ye Zhen is so matter of fact about why she had to die. She’s not doing it as a Grand Gesture, but because to her, it is her duty to do so. It doesn’t sit well with modern mores, I know, but I respect the staunchness of her belief.
I’m not sure why they have to make Mu Yan fight for the throne in the drama. Because really, A’Fu/YZ is much happier outside of the palace. Her personality is just not suited for life in the palace; hell that’s what got her killed in the first place.