Fangirling Chinese Novels

One Life, One Incarnation: Beautiful Bones (一生一世美人骨) — Insert Chapter 2


b41c2830f2e779e666b55a85e1b28afae5c9ffd1b82b9-4se2pW_fw658 So… um… Mo Bao Fei Bao had not intended to torture readers and had resolved the cliffhanger the next update, but the publisher decided to move this insert chapter here instead. And since I’m following the published book… tehe… You don’t get to find out what happened to Shi Yi until one more update after.

Insert Chapter 2 – Treasure of My Heart

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Please do not re-post this anywhere. 


When the crown prince was five years old, he learned that the year he was born into the world, the various dukes, marquis, and high-level officials had suspected a mutiny within the imperial palace. The emperor’s reason of death was unclear, and he, the crown prince had also come into position under unclear circumstances. But he was being viewed unjustly as well. The empress at the time had no children of her own, and so, she selected the youngest imperial child to be the crown prince.

And hence, this became the perk that had simply fallen into his lap.

At five years old, he already understood this truth.

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To not contend for, not rob, not seize, and not desire anything.

When Empress Dowager told him to walk, he would walk, and when she told him to stop, he would stop.

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The crown prince was frail from sickness, and the medicines he had taken since he was young numbered more than the food he had partaken. At the empress dowager’s rebuke, he had had to stand one full day and night before the palace gates with a bowl of medicine cupped in his hands, not daring to move. Not allowed to move. Then, he had only been seven years old. He loved birds, and so, birds would die. He adored and yearned for the fish swimming in the waters, so from age seven to sixteen, he never saw another fish. The power to give life or death, including this lowly little person’s life, was held in the hands of the woman who called herself, “Empress Dowager.”

Gradually, he learned to not long for any living thing.

Until he saw her portrait painting.

The daughter of the Cui family of Qinghe –– Shi Yi.

Her features were clean and delicate, but they were nothing more than clean and delicate. The two eunuchs attending by his side bowed and informed him in a low voice, “Imperial Highness, this is your future crown princess.” He looked at the young girl in the portrait, who was merely ten years old and, with brush in hand, was painting.

She was the only gift he had ever been bestowed.

A feeling of wild elation filled him, but he dared not show it.

Since that day, every month, he would receive a painting of her as well as a written record of her each day.

She did not have the ability of speech and only enjoyed reading and painting. The books she read encompassed all varieties of subject matters, and some were very interesting and entertaining. When she painted, she was only willing to paint lotus flowers. Lotus flower? What could be so good about the lotus flower? Perhaps this was an interest of a young girl. He did not understand, nor did he need to understand.

But her lotus flowers were painted very beautifully, indeed.

Each time, he tried to copy, to recreate her paintings, but he was unable to capture their essence.

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Shi Yi. Eleven.

Amid the disciples of the Xiao Nanchen Prince’s manor, she occupied merely the eleventh position. That year when she was seven years old, she had entered the manor and had been treated unkindly. Unable to speak, she could only be submissive and yielding. Later, she had often hidden herself in the library tower, and for an entire day at a time, her presence would not be seen. Was she also like him, averse to sharing her heart with other people?

That is no matter. In the future, you will be the most respected and honored woman in this palace. If you do not want to share your heart with other people, then there will only be you and me. I will never treat you unkindly.

After several years passed, as she gradually grew older, her senior brother and sisters now cherished and protected her, and she was also the sole person who received Xiao Nanchen Prince’s doting affection.

He gathered famous teas from around the lands and sought out a lost music manuscript of a previous dynasty for her.

The relationship between Xiao Nanchen Prince and the preordained crown princess was ambiguous and questionable.

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On the day of the empress dowager’s birthday celebration, someone had submitted a statement to the throne claiming Xiao Nanchen Prince’s intention to rebel against the state.

Many similar statements to the throne were submitted each year, and each year, they would be suppressed and controlled. This year, there was listed an additional charge against him, stating the rumours regarding him and the crown princess. Glaring out at the imperial court, the empress dowager threw down the statement and fiercely demanded, “The one who put forth this statement, stand forward. Should you unseat Xiao Nanchen Prince, the one hundred thousand retainers in his service shall belong to you.”

Nobody dared respond to the summons. All were silent, like the cicadas when the cold fell.

Surely, that was in jest. Xiao Nanchen Prince had led armies into battle since youth and had never suffered a defeat.

When the crown prince heard news of this in the Eastern Palace, he also did not say anything.

Who did not know that, in his ten years in this position, this puppet crown prince had always also been a voiceless crown prince?

How could the empress dowager not be afraid? The former armed uprising by the dukes, marquis, and high-level officials had been a result of a single statement by this Xiao Nanchen Prince:

“A rebellion is suspected within the palace.”

If he should he want the entire empire, she would have no choice but to submissively offer it up to him, so what was a mere crown princess? The empress dowager had once told her closest eunuchs, the roles people play all must mutually give some face to one another. She had chosen to disregard the lands to the northwest, asking only for peace and security for the remainder of her life and that Xiao Nanchen Prince would spare this imperial palace and dynasty so she, halfway into old age already, could peacefully enjoy riches and honor.

But the affairs of the world were unpredictable. The empress dowager died unexpectedly within the palace.

The crown prince sealed the imperial city[1] and prevented the announcement of this to the world. Using the empress dowager’s name, the first imperial decree he wrote was to summon the crown princess into the palace to complete the marriage ceremony. And on that same day, he sent out a secret imperial summons to the Cui family of Qinghe to enter the palace.

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That day, the representatives of the Cui family of Qinghe walked past each heavy palace gate and knelt outside of the Eastern Palace for two full shichen [four hours]. Half a chi [approximately 15-16 cm][2] of snow had accumulated. Their garments were sodden, and their knees had long since grown numb from the cold. They knelt into the middle of the night until finally, a eunuch came to lead them inside.

The crown prince of the Eastern Palace. Nobody from outside of the imperial palace had ever seen him before. The father and sons of the Cui family of Qinghe had been bestowed an utmost honour.

Upon the daybed, the pasty-complexioned man, who had eyes so dark they seemed as if ink had been dabbed on them, was wrapped in a thick, heavy cloak as he watched them for one entire shichen [two hours].

He uttered not a single word or phrase, occasionally merely drinking some water to moisten his throat.

As daybreak approached, someone brought in medicine. Through the rising steam of the medicine, his face seemed hazy, and he began to cough.

Within the vast Eastern Palace, there was not the slightest sound except for his wave after wave of coughing.

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The father and sons of the Cui family of Qinghe hastily fell to their knees, pressing their faces to the ground, and they revealed to him what they had discussed on their way here: how Eleven’s name would be used to lure Xiao Nanchen Prince into a trap to kill him. Crown Prince listened quietly but was somewhat displeased. “No matter what, Xiao Nanchen Prince is Zhen’s [the imperial “I”][3] uncle. Your plan… is too wicked and underhanded. If the empress learns of this, how will Zhen explain it to her?”

An imperial succession ceremony had not yet been held, yet he was addressing himself as “Zhen.”

“Your Imperial Majesty…” The father and sons of the Cui family of Qinghe hurriedly touched their foreheads against the floor further. “Zhousheng Chen is a great threat. To not eliminate him thus means that stability and order cannot be brought to the empire!”

He carried on drinking his medicine with lowered head. The steam seemed to stain his features until they became rather indistinct.

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This scheme ultimately had captured the Xiao Nanchen Prince.

From when he assumed the position of crown prince, the first time he had ever met this Xiao Nanchen Prince was in a dimly lit dungeon. He as the ruler, he as the subject. He stood before him, yet he did not bow to him.

The crown prince of the past, now the emperor of the present.

To have taken the world but to have never received a bow from him.

Yet, he could not be blamed for that. He was dead already.

He wore a thick robe and cloak, but he still could not bear the cold, damp air of the dungeon. In his ten years in the imperial palace, by the bestowment of the empress dowager, daily, he had drunk poison, and now, he could only daily take medicines to prolong his life.

All he wanted was the one gift he had ever been granted, the only person that had ever belonged to him.

“In the imperial decree that day, when Zhen ordered you to adopt her as your daughter, my meaning had been to grant this empire to you in exchange for the beautiful maiden.” He smiled forlornly, and in a somewhat self-depracating manner, he said to that person who was already dead, “At most, my lifespan is only another ten years. Ten years from now, who would have dared try to take it from you?

“In the entire world, only the empress dowager and I knew the mystery of your birth and background. The empress dowager is dead, and Zhen will not say anything either. It is Zhen who has done wrong against you.” The night wind dispersed the smoke of the candle.

He left, leaving orders for a generous burial, but the criminal charge of conspiring and rebelling against the state still remained.

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All of you were the ones who forced Zhen.

If Empress Dowager had not intended on allowing you to be with her, I would not have had to poison her, my imperial mother.

If you had not defied the decree, Zhen would not have plotted your death. With the death of Xiao Nanchen Prince, who in the imperial courts is now capable of shouldering the weight of this land? Nobody. Lives shall fall into suffering. People shall be forced to leave their homes into wandering.

Zhen had not intended this, nor did Zhen want this. But Zhen

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Historical records stated:

Emperor Dongling: Since childhood, he had been confined within the Eastern Palace, not allowed to come forth and be seen by others. Later, he received the assistance of the Cui family of Qinghe and captured the treasonous official, Xiao Nanchen Prince to bring justice back into the laws of the imperial court. The emperor’s hatred for the Xiao Nanchen Prince ran deep into his bones due to rumors of the illicit relationship with the crown princess and hence, bestowed the punishment of death by deboning upon him.

Xiao Nanchen Prince’s sentence was carried out for a full three shichen [6 hours], but there was not a single cry or howl of anguish. Even to death, he refused to repent.

His reign was for three years before his abrupt death. He left no offspring.

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By the river, threads of spring rain; by the river, grass stretches levelly along the shore.
The Six Dynasties[4] of the past now seem but a dream amid the birds’ empty twitters.
Most unfeeling are the willow trees of Taicheng,
For still they stand unchanging along the miles of misty riverbanks.[5]

The Six Dynasties were but faded away. Enmities and grievances had passed. Yet, Chang’an still stood.

Will you let me have the chance to truly see you, in person?

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[1]皇城 “huang cheng.” This term, “imperial city” is not referring to the capital city, nor is it referring to the imperial palace. It was an area between the capital city (where the commoners resided) and the imperial palace. The imperial city, which was surrounded by its own city wall, was where the imperial kin lived (imperial uncles, aunts, etc.) and also contained things like government storehouses and offices, etc.

[2]尺 “chi.” A Chinese unit of length. Often described as the “Chinese foot.” The exact measurement of a “chi” has changed throughout history, ranging between 17 to 33 cm. In the 20th century, it was standardized to be equivalent to 33.33 cm. Although the ancient parts in this story are set in a purely fictional era, based on the clues we’ve been given, we know it is after the Tang dynasty and at the latest, in the early Song dynasty (hoju’s deduction only…), when the “chi” was approximately 31-32 cm.

[3]朕 “zhen.” In far ancient times, this character meant simply “I” or “me.” From the time of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China, this became something used by the emperor only. Hence, “Zhen” is the self-address used by Chinese emperors and can be thought of as the “imperial I”.

[4]六朝 “liu chao.” The Six Dynasties was a period spanning from 220-589 A.D. (see footnote [1] in Chapter 10.1)

[5] These four lines make up the poem, 台城 “Taicheng” by Tang dynasty poet, 韦庄 Wei Zhuang. The city of Jinling, which is now present day Nanjing, was the capital capital city during the time of the Six Dynasties and was a prosperous city at the time. This poem was written ~300 years after the end of that period. Taicheng was the site within the capital where the government site and palace once stood during that period. In short, the poem is saying, where once there stood a site of prosperity, now there is only a stretch of grass being dampened by the spring rain. But the willow trees that may have even witnessed the fall of that era are unfeeling, for unaffected by all of it, they continue to do as they always did, changing only with the seasons.

This story was translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only. All forms of reproduction, redistribution, or re-posting are not authorized. If you are not reading this from hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, the copy is unauthorized and has been taken without consent of the translator.

 Additional Comments:

My ancient-setting translating is a little rusty. :p All those palace terms…

You all know how Xiao Nanchen Prince’s death saddens me and how I really feel for Shi Yi, who has to know the historical records of this great man are all lies. Eleven was anguished that it was her father and brothers who had framed and plotted against him, and modern day Shi Yi, despite having only fuzzy memories and not knowing how exactly he had died, knows that she owes him a great debt (following the belief that the debts of one’s father is paid by his children). What would happen if Eleven had ever found out, or if Shi Yi somehow gains the knowledge that Xiao Nanchen Prince had only fallen into the trap because her family had used her as bait? How devastating. 😦

By the way, I know you are all eagerly wanting to find out what’s going on with modern Shi Yi, but this chapter is rather interesting. Did you change your perception of the crown prince? It was not for power or out of fear of losing his throne to his imperial uncle that he participated in the trap that ultimately captured Xiao Nanchen Prince and led to his death. He just wanted something to belong to him exclusively, and it was done out of jealousy and fear of not getting to “have” Shi Yi. If a psychological assessment was done on him, I’m sure more than one flag would pop up saying the poor man did not have all of his marbles, but a life of confinement, psychological torture, and then physical harm through slow poisoning would be enough to cause anyone to be a little unstable. The crown prince is called a “man,” but he was born in the same year as Eleven — he was only 17 or 18 years old. And he spent 7 of those years placing all his hope and yearning into those portraits of Eleven, wanting only to see her, to “have” her.

Also, I wonder, why did he choose such a horrible death for Xiao Nanchen Prince? Or was he the one who chose it? Was it his psychological instability, waffling between extreme hate for the man who was about to take “the treasure of his heart” from him and respect for this uncle, who was the only one capable of shouldering the weight of the land, hence his remorse and admission that he had done a wrong against him?

Lastly, just wanted to point out a little observation. The crown prince also tried to recreate Eleven’s paintings, but though he must have studied them, he was not able to capture their essence. While Zhousheng Chen did not completely recreate the mood of Shi Yi’s painting because “the atmosphere of the scene was a reflection of the atmosphere of the heart,” after a single, hurried viewing, according to his mother, it was already 70-80% like the original. Think this translates to something in terms of the fated affinity between them?


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67 thoughts on “One Life, One Incarnation: Beautiful Bones (一生一世美人骨) — Insert Chapter 2

  1. Thank you for the chapter.

  2. This chapter is quite depressing. While I cannot condone his reasoning and method, the Crown Prince is just too sad a character. I wonder what is the secret of the NP’s birth that the Crown Prince was alluding to? So the Crown Prince knew that the land will fall into NP’s hand in the end? That’s just too sad. Deboning sounds so scary….

    • Deboning sounds absolutely horrible. Likely more painful than impalement, and until now, I thought that was the scariest torture/death method devised by sick minds.

    • The crown prince’s life was indeed a tragedy. It illustrates that behind each person, there is a story.

      Deboning sounds terrible. I keep thinking of the chicken getting deboned on the food channel, and then translate that back to a torture method…

  3. So tragic … being nobility or holding power of any sort is not a blessing during those eras. I wonder how many people are really happy with their lives.

    • Or had they ever even experienced true satisfaction with their lives? How many genuine relationships were there? I think I’ve decided the life of an only child of a rich merchant would be best. :p

  4. I feel somewhat biased. He was pitiful but the man he became is scary. I wonder who is crown prince in the present. He has done sin against ZSC which means he’ll need to repay them according to karma for the novel is based on reincarnation theme.

    • I was wondering that, too! If we do have the reincarnation of the crown prince will he desire Shi Yi? Right now I don’t have any suspicions as to who the reincarnated crown prince is, but if the publishers decided to insert this story at this point I wonder if that means we’ll get a significant clue to his identity in the next chapter?

    • That’s a good deduction. Now, come to think of it, we need an antagonist or is he already in our midst?

    • I’m suspecting someone who might be the Crown Prince reincarnated in modern times. He checks quite a few boxes: is drawn to and admires Shi Yi, likely would have pursued her if she wasn’t already married, and is a good friend to the man he’d wronged in a previous life–which means that he’ll have the chance to pay his debts from that past life.

    • It’s terrible what he did, but I think it was clever how this insert chapter gave us a new perspective of him. There’s almost always a reason for something. Every person has a story and it can really shape who you are.

      And I’ll just say, good observations and good questions to everyone. *walks away whistling*

  5. Thank you so much!!! 😘😘😘😘

  6. Sigh…… SY hold on ZSC will get to you soon ha…ha…ha
    Anyway it’s good to know what happened back then from crown prince point of view. Sad and scary though.
    thanks hoju ☺

    • Hahaha! Yes, Zhousheng Chen to the rescue!

      Definitely sad. It makes you wonder what kind of man who would have turned out to be if he could have just lived out his life as an ordinary imperial child.

  7. The Crown prince must be that uncle that they were talking about in last chapter

  8. The crown prince is a rather tragic figure here. His entire life was one of denial, repression and fear and he poured all of his hopes and longing into an idealised ShiYi. It’s interesting to me that his only contact with her is through her paintings and reports that are all second hand. He could perhaps glean a small insight into her nature from the Lotus flowers, but I don’t think that he could ever really love her true self, only his fantasy of what she could be. How can you love something that is only a shadow?

    I know we’ve discussed how ShiYi loves ZSC because she sees and knows him – down to his bones (hence the title) and though I’ve had misgivings about this, I am now really coming around. It’s one thing to feel like you know someone, to have all of your instincts tell you that this person is fated for you, but it’s another thing altogether to actually experience it. Love has to be lived in, with actions and words and that is the difference between ShiYi (Eleven) and the Crown Prince (who is also hopefully reincarnated in this life)

    Thank you for the wonderful translation as always!! 😀

    • I don’t think he cared about the lotus flowers or read into her paintings. Even he thought, what was so good about lotus flowers? He did not love her. It became a stubborn thought, probably a form of hope that he held onto and he projected it all onto her. He loved the idea of being himself, of having something of his own, and Shi Yi represented all that to him.

      I’m glad the author convinced you. I have to remind myself that I have the hindsight of having read this novel to the end (several times) and now as I translate, I can see the things MBFB planted into the text. I like that you said “love has to be lived in.” I was thinking the other day that, in some ways, Eleven and Xiao Nanchen Prince spent their time together, much like Shi Yi and Zhousheng Chen of the present do. Small actions, little things that showed they cared for each other, time together reading, painting, etc, and even though they had their teacher/disciple relationship between them, it did not stop them from loving one another and realizing it. It’s just that, they also understood where the boundaries stood and the love was never spoken about.

      You’re welcome!

  9. Ok, this is scary but I think I can guess who the reincarnation of the Crown Prince is from the clues scattered throughout the story so far and from this insert! I don’t want to ruin anyone’s enjoyment of the story by blurting out the name, but the clues are within the poems. I am going to pat myself on the back for being a super sleuth if I get this right!

    • i have an inkling as to who he might be too, i went back and read most of the chapters again with him in it and it just confirms my suspicions….i wonder if we are thinking the same person here..hmm
      This insert chapter shows just how pitiful a character he was and this plot line kinda reminds me of Gong Li’s character in the curse of the golden flower. Although you would never condone her actions …cant help but feel sympathy and understand of her situation. The crown prince here sorta resembles the same.
      I wonder how this person is going to react from now on in the novel…will he become protective of her too?
      OMG wat if HE…as in the CP has memories of the past?? it seems as though both Shi Yi and the CP died with tons of regrets ….can’t wait for the next the chapter!! =)

      • Hmm… We might be referring to the same person. I have a lot to say about my suspicions, but I have to guard my words carefully and hold back my comments for fear of possibly spoiling anything, just in case my guess on the Crown Prince’s reincarnation is correct. I think maybe there is some truth to the concept that a person’s true nature, his bones, don’t change, even after cycles of reincarnation. Perhaps if the Crown Prince weren’t psychologically tortured from childhood, perhaps if he had a normal upbringing surrounded by love, he would have grown up to be the person he is many cycles of reincarnation later. Although the “bones” remain unchanged, the “skin” is affected by our environment we grow up in, by the people and circumstances which shape who we become. And there may come a time when the “skin” become so warped by circumstances that the true nature of the “bones” remain buried and suppressed.

        • I had a inkling who the reincarnation of the CP was before I read this chapter. Now that I read this, I’m sure that he’s the one that I’m thinking. 😉 I think we can guess away. Hoju just won’t confirm or deny it. 😜

        • Skin vs Bones–That’s wonderfully said, Melanie. 🙂 It sounds completely plausible.

        • Too true, it was the poisonous environment that he lived in that forced him into the way he was. Without all of that maybe things might have been different, by that i mean his reactions since Shi yi would still enter XNP’s mansion anyway. Are you thinking along the line of Adanna? (above comment)

        • I shall refrain from commenting even though this is a fun conversation. 🙂 As MBFB starts revealing more and more clues, I need to be more cognizant that I don’t ruin the fun for anyone since I have an unfair advantage of having read the book. I do want to revisit this topic on skin vs bones. It was something that I had planned on discussing but at the moment, the chapter I feel it would be appropriate to discuss this after still has a few more weeks. Please continue, though, and don’t let me spoil the party.

  10. Thank you 🙂

  11. Thank you…the crown prince is just too sad….

  12. Thank you, hoju! I wonder who is the reincarnated crown prince and will he still be after Shi Yi? Such a long cliff hanger, how is our Shi Yi doing!?

  13. Actually i didn’t understand why the crown prince involved in the scheming to kill Nanchen Prince, i mean why he believed the rumor. If he didn’t kill the nanchen prince, shiyi would not kill herself and both could get married. He should meet shi yi and observe her whether there were any illicit affair had happened between her and nanchen prince, hhhh (v _ v)

    • It wasn’t the rumor that pushed the crown prince over the edge.

      “If he should he want the entire empire, she would have no choice but to submissively offer it up to him, so what was a mere crown princess? The empress dowager had once told her closest eunuchs, the roles people play all must mutually give some face to one another. She had chosen to disregard the lands to the northwest, asking only for peace and security for the remainder of her life and that Xiao Nanchen Prince would spare this imperial palace and dynasty so she, halfway into old age already, could peacefully enjoy riches and honor.”

      This section is from the empress dowager’s perspective. She knew the heart of the people lay with the Xiao Nanchen Prince. It doesn’t say what or if he was going to do anything to her, but she felt an obvious threat that she would be losing her position, and so, she was willing to offer up the “mere crown princess,” i.e. Eleven, as a bargaining chip in exchange that she could keep her status and “peacefully enjoy riches and honor.”

      “If Empress Dowager had not intended on allowing you to be with her, I would not have had to poison her, my imperial mother.

      If you had not defied the decree, Zhen would not have plotted your death.”

      The crown prince learned that the empress dowager intended on giving Eleven to Xiao Nanchen Prince, somehow. She was later poisoned by the crown prince for this. The crown prince then issued an imperial decree in her name, ordering Xiao Nanchen Prince to adopt Eleven as his daughter. But remember? He asked Eleven, and she did not want this, so for the first time, he defied an imperial decree. Convinced that he had defied the decree because he wanted Eleven, the crown prince therefore plotted his death. 😦

  14. Thanx for the translation (^ – ^)v

  15. We have to wait for the next post to see what happened to Shi Yi, but this insert is interesting. And maybe an introduction of what lays ahead.

    • I love the clever change in perspective so that a formerly evil, power craving crown prince who turned against a loyal subject because he feared for his throne turned into such a sad, pathetic character.

      You’re welcome!

  16. After seeing this chapter from point of view of crown Prince, there is a hope that we ‘ll have a chapter from Xiao nanchan Prince….😊

  17. I completely changed my opinion about the CP. Wow, I didn’t think that he had such a miserable life even though he was the crown prince that would succeed the throne. 😂 I almost cried reading this insert. I’m still choking as I write this comment. It’s so sad…. I didn’t condone what he did to Xiao Nancheng Prince obviously but under the circumstances, I could understand and did not blame him at all. I wonder why the Empress Dowager wanted to kill him slowly? Because she was afraid of XNC Prince? I’m never a big fans of palace politic either. No loyal & outstanding general in any kingdom could live safely. If you’re a loyal & oustanding General & the people love you, the emperor & other court officials will be jealous of you & try to do anything to bring you down. 😁

    The CP was right in saying if XNC Prince agreed to take SY as his adopted daughter, XNC Prince would be alive. Either way, SY was the crown princess & they both didn’t have any faith due to their student-teacher relationship. But of course, then, SY wouldn’t remember her past life & we will not have this BB novel. 😜

    I think since the present ZSC was actually watching when SY painted that lotus flower, he was able to re-create it due to his high memory. But the CP was only trying to re-create the painting by watching her painting only (he never saw SY painted it herself), that was why he wasn’t able to re-create it. If the CP saw the past SY did the painting, he might be able to re-create it also. This is just my humble opinion since I’m a visualize person also. I have to actually see it in order to remember anything. Lets say my husband drives me to the same place 20 times, I still will not remember how to get there unless I drive to this place by myself once. 😊

    • “fate” instead of “faith” ☺️

    • Whoa, Sian. You guessed who the Crown Prince’s reincarnation was before reading this insert? That’s pretty impressive. I had no idea until this insert gave us a major clue, and then everything clicked into place. Just curious, hoju… Where did the author intend for this insert to appear (since the published book reorganized the sequence of the inserts)?

      The thing is, I really like the Crown Prince’s reincarnation (if my guess is correct). Even though the author has only given us small glimpses of his reincarnated self, I think I would like to date a man like him (the reincarnated version, not the ancient Crown Prince version). If Shi Yi and Zhousheng Chen weren’t fated to be with each other, and if Shi Yi had not remembered about her previous love for Xiao Nanchen Prince, I truly think the present-day Shi Yi and present-day Crown Prince might actually make a good couple. This then leads me back to my previous comment about circumstances changing, or at least influencing to some degree, who we become. If the Crown Prince weren’t born as royalty, if he weren’t chosen by the Empress Dowager to take on the thankless position of Crown Prince, if he weren’t tortured psychologically, he might have become someone ancient Shi Yi could love. Perhaps this story is not only about a person’s bones remaining true and constant even through cycles of reincarnation, but also about second chances, not only for for Shi Yi and Zhousheng Chen, but also for the Crown Prince.

      Well…now I wait and see if my guess is correct… I might be over-analyzing this whole situation, though. For all I know, there might not even be a Crown Prince reincarnation in the present-day story. 😛

      • Hey Mel, yes, I guessed who the CP was before this insert. I wrote a comment on the previous chapters indicating that this person has become my favorite character along with ZSC in this novel. For whatever reason, I become “attached” to this character even though he was shown only in a few chapters. I definitely won’t mind to date the present reincarnation of the CP either. I also agreed that if SY didn’t have her past memory, she would definitely be a good match to this guy. We are definitely thinking the same guy here. I know it for sure. 😜

        • Btw, Mel, since I know that you love to write your own fiction, please write a fiction about this reincarnated of the CP if you ever have free time. Hehehehe… That’s how much I love his reincarnated character in this novel. 😍

        • Ooooo….. A derivative fan fiction of the Crown Prince’s reincarnation? It might be an interesting project to pick up, since I am very fond of him. However, Sian, you should probably read a sample of my writing before asking me to write anything, as I may be one of the most horrible writers out there and ruin your image of the Crown Prince’s reincarnation. Just because I like to write doesn’t mean I do it well. Ha. 😛

      • Mel, don’t read too much into the location of the insert chapter. It was supposed to go directly after chapter 14.1, but that’s because MBFB had the advantage of releasing online and she could split up her writing wherever she wanted. You can imagine, when the book went to the printing press, it would be quite awkward to split chapter 14 up by putting that insert chapter right in the middle. So, they moved it to between chapter 13 and 14.

    • Why did the empress dowager want to kill him? Hmm… well, he said it was a long term poison, so my guess is, she would slowly poison him, keep him weak, unable to fight back so the true power would be held in her hands.

      If Eleven did become Xiao Nanchen Prince’s daughter, yes, he would be alive because that would be a clear indication to the crown prince that he had no intentions of changing his relationship with Eleven to be a romantic one. The empress dowager had intended on creating a way for Xiao Nanchen Prince to be with Eleven in exchange for him letting her off the hook and keeping her honour and wealth. As the empress dowager, she could issue an imperial decree nulling their student-teacher relationship, make up an excuse that she was not worthy to be the crown princess, etc, etc. She very well could give them their “fated affinity.” That’s why the crown prince killed her.

      Those who study traditional Chinese painting actually will take famous paintings and attempt to re-create them. The painting is studied in detail for things like brush technique, colour, etc, etc. So, while it would be ideal to see the artist paint and have the painting on hand to try to recreate, having the painting would definitely be a better option if you could only choose one. After all, a quick viewing is strictly by memory whereas with the painting in hand, you can continue to practice until you can emulate it. Don’t underestimate what Zhousheng Chen did. It’s basically pretty mind-blowing because he had to commit to memory every single brush stroke down to force, direction, colour, etc. I think if the crown prince had seen Eleven paint and had the painting on hand after, yes, he could probably do it, but I highly doubt he could do it after just watching her on the spot.

    • Mel, I trust your writing ability but I will definitely check out your fiction. I’ve been looking at the blog that you share with Moonblossom for a while. I haven’t really read any of the novels yet because I know it’s not finished yet. I’m very easy to satisfy in term of reading novels. Hehehe…

  18. The crown prince really is a pitiful character, Shi Yi was the only thing/person he hoped to actually gain, the only thing/person that was clearly said to be truly his, having had everything he liked killed off or removed far from reach, but in the end, he even lost Shi Yi, this time due to his very own doings :/ witnessing how life can so easily be crushed with the killing of birds and such since such a young age, he grew overly desensitised to values of life, added on with all the psychological damage years of torture has inflicted on him, it’s no surprise how he can sentence Xiao Nanchen Prince to be deboned without batting an eyelid :/

    With such heated discussion on speculating a reincarnation of the crown prince, I too have an inkling of who it could be if there is a reincarnation, hopefully as Melanie has said, this life could serve as his second chance to repay the debt towards the present day couple…please turn out to be bad guy!

    Whew~…literally marathoned my way through the translations, and right now I just wanna bang my head on the desk…oh Hoju, why oh why did I have to catch up right on this cliffhanger??? T____T

    • …please **don’t** turn out to be bad guy!! – apologies, oh the difference one missing word makes XD

    • Interesting point. Yes, he would likely have been desensitized to killing and such, but yet, I do believe that he knew what he was doing. Otherwise, he would not say he had done a wrong against Xiao Nanchen Prince. I’m still wondering, why?

      LOL. Sorry about the cliffhanger! Hopefully today’s update has helped. 😉

      • That’s true, his desire to gain Shi Yi who he waited for all his life was just too strong too – enough to even give up the entire empire to him in exchange – but there is still so much to be unravelled, particularly with the hint of Xiao Nanchen Prince’s birth secret……

        Ooh thank you for the update 🙂 just gonna skip along to next chapter now~ hehe

  19. while reading this, i questions many things but reading the comments, okay.. they already asked what i wanted to ask, haha.. so im waiting for your reply to them.. 😀

    thanks hoju ^^

    btw i forgot if your next project would be this author’s book, correct me if i was wrong 😀

    • Hoju is still thinking whether she has the courage (emotionally) to translate Together Forever after she’s done with BB. The novel was written by MBFB also. It’s about that teacher-student relationship. So I think we should encourage Hoju to translate this novel between now until October so she’ll take on this project. 😜

      • haha, agree with Sian. we need to encourage you, hoju. we cheer you in every book you translate. Fighting!!! 🙂

        my fave writer is still Gu Man. but i enjoy reading MBFB’s books. she gives us different vibe in every book (i’ve read two and i like both). Uhm yeah, i read good books. haha

    • Hehe. I always try my best to reply to comments, but I stand steadfastly by my no spoilers rule. 😀

      Sian is right. But, unless something drastic happens, I have committed myself to Together Forever. You can all help me mentally and emotionally prepare myself. 😀

  20. Ps home is there a birth secret in the ancient story? I’m thinking there’s something there with XNP and the empress? Wild wild guess here but wat do u think since u hve seen the light!! 😉

  21. I’m disappointed that this chapter ended before the Crown Prince heard about Shi Yi’s “reaction” to the news of Xiao Nanchen Prince’s death.
    Still, it was wonderful background to the main story.

    • I guess you can think of this as a chapter that reveals info and insight into the crown prince’s logic, emotions, and reasons for his actions. Even if the author didn’t write out his reaction, we could probably make some good predictions. Poor guy. When he found out, it would have ripped him apart. Maybe that’s why he only lived for another 3 years and not the “at most, 10 years.”

      • Lol. It’s because MBFB did such a great job establishing the Crown Prince’s character & personality, that I wanted to see his breakdown on page. Such terrible, all-consuming pain he would have felt… I love to see and learn how different writers string words together and compose evocative phrases when describing intense character emotions. 🙂 Plus, I really wanted to “witness” the little coward’s horror rather than just imagine it. Which makes me sound like an emotional vampire, doesn’t it? hahaha.

  22. I’m really getting excited for the upcoming posts!!! I think the ending of the last update and this is totally setting up the mood.

    Just to sad for the CP, I don’t feel any ounce of pity for him. Even after he did it all, they was nothing that could be said of him *tsk tsk*

    I read the other comments and I see others commenting about the reincarnation of the CP, that didn’t even occur to me lol!!

  23. I actually feel bad for the Crown Prince… he suffered throughout his entire life. All throughout, I was wondering if his reincarnation is D. Wang, but that seems too miserable.
    Many thanks, hoju~

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