Fangirling Chinese Novels

One Life, One Incarnation: Beautiful Bones (一生一世美人骨) — Chapter 14.2


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You may have sensed it already in the last few chapters, too, but things are starting to converge. Information and details slipped in over the next several chapters will lead to…

Chapter 14.2 – After Magnificence Has Become But Emptiness (2)

It was the last part of September.

The elderly lady from the Wang family paid an unexpected visit. Accompanying her were the eldest grandson of the Wang family, whom Shi Yi had met once, and several meticulously dressed middle-aged women. Several months had passed since the last time she had seen her, but this elderly grandmother was still very polite and respectful to her, and there was even a slight sense of affection. When the old woman took a seat on the couch, she gently pulled on Shi Yi’s hand and had her sit down as well, as if she knew very clearly that Shi Yi’s health had not been very good.

“This Eldest Young Master’s temperament is a little impatient, and the date of the wedding is too close. He did not leave more time for this granny to work.” The elderly woman smiled and gently held Shi Yi’s hand. “There are only six outfits. Take a look. Are there any that you like?”

Shi Yi suddenly understood. She glanced over toward Zhousheng Chen.

Unconsciously, the corners of her mouth turned up in a smile.

He had left the couch for them to use and was sitting on a wooden chair, his elbow propped on the armrest as he smiled back at her.

“These are still just the initial prototypes.” The old woman observed their silent exchange and could not hold back her smile. “I estimate I will be coming back at least three or four times. Take a look at these ones first.”

“Next time, I will go over to see you.” Shi Yi felt apologetic for making such an elderly woman run around everywhere. “Granny, next time, when you are finished making them, let me know ahead of time and I can go see you.”

“It is no bother,” the old woman smiled. “You are only just recovering from your serious illness and Wenxing is also in a hospital in Shanghai. I am making one trip, but I can visit two people. Otherwise… I don’t know when Wenxing will make a full recovery and come out to my little town to visit me.”

Zhousheng Chen had mentioned Wenxing’s hospitalization to her.

However, because of her health, he had not agreed to let her go to the hospital to visit.

These words of the elderly woman actually provided the opportunity she needed to her, and she took advantage of it, saying she would go with along with her to visit Wenxing. This time, Zhousheng Chen did not stop her.

Someone opened up a box, and shortly after, garments were hanging on a dark red frame.

Six traditional Chinese style gowns as well as a western style wedding dress were all hung up.

By now, she had worn several garments made by the Wang family.

However, most of those had been sewn by the Wang family’s younger generation.

This time, it was a gown for the actual wedding banquet. The grandmother of the Wang family had personally designed it, and indeed, there was a difference. There was an indescrible sense of luxuriousness, yet at the same time, it was understated. From the choice of material to the design to the actual handicraft of sewing, everything was flawless.

Shi Yi was trying on the garments in the study, and only the old woman and Zhousheng Chen were present.

In passing, she had asked the question, why had Wang Man not come this time? She was aware that, because she was a woman and to observe proprieties, the Wang family usually would have Wang Man accompany Shi Yi during fittings. She reckoned that, even if the old woman came together with Wang Man, this practice would still be maintained.

Shi Yi had asked this question originally to show care and concern.

But the old woman sitting beside her grew rather quiet. When Shi Yi detected this, the woman had already let out a slight sigh. “She is in Shanghai, as well, but is here to rest and nurture her pregnancy.”

Nurture her pregnancy?

Shi Yi remembered Wang Man was still unmarried.

Why would she…

She did not dare ask further.

It was actually Zhousheng Chen who gave a very light cough. “Granny Wang, my great apologies…”

“It was the girl’s own choice,” Granny Wang shook her head and said, “Eldest Young Master, you need not feel sorry. The girl had known that Second Young Master was already married, but she still… She has now moved out from the Wang family. She is aware of the Zhou family rules. Apart from the primary wife, all others are not allowed into the ancestral home.”

Shi Yi suddenly comprehended.

When she had finished her clothes fitting and Granny Wang had stepped out of the study first, Shi Yi finally asked quietly, “When did Wang Man become pregnant?”

“Around the same time as Tong Jiaren.” Zhousheng Chen gently patted her on her arm. “Go change.”

“Mm… It’s a pity.”

Based on Granny Wang’s statement that “apart from the primary wife, all others are not allowed into the ancestral home,” Wang Man should have “married” Zhou Wenchuan already. It was not surprising that the old-fashioned Zhou family would allow concubinage.

So what exactly did she find “a pity”?

She was not sure herself.

To have sought something but never been able to possess it. And therefore, a compromise was accepted.

But now, though it had been obtained, was the dream truly fulfilled?

The two of them were changing inside the fitting area. She helped him slip on a dress shirt, and then from the bottom up, she began gently fastening each of his buttons for him. Supporting himself with a hand on the wall cabinet, he pulled in his chest to accommodate her actions. After she was done and had slid her fingers around his collar to ensure that everything was in place, Zhousheng Chen at last explained in a low voice, “There are some things in the Zhou family that, if you are not comfortable with them, you should just treat them as if you did not know about them.”

Shi Yi answered with an “mm.”


Wenxing’s pre-operative medical examination was consistently not meeting criteria and as a result, the date of her surgery was postponed time and again.

She studied medicine herself and also paid careful attention in ensuring that she was getting enough rest, and it seemed her condition was turning for the better.


Granny Wang was old in age, and after exchanging only a few sentences with Wenxing, she left the hospital. Shi Yi and Zhousheng Chen accompanied Wenxing out to the bench on the lawn to enjoy some sunshine. When Wenxing took a seat, Shi Yi stretched out her hand to ask for a blanket from Zhousheng Chen, which she placed over Wenxing’s legs.

The afternoon sunlight of early autumn that fell on their bodies was warm but not hot and parching.

She sat down close to Wenxing while Zhousheng Chen stood to the side, keeping them company.

“In the lunar year, it’s already… the ninth month?” Wenxing smiled and her eyes curved into crescents as she looked at Shi Yi.

Shi Yi nodded. “The seventh day of the ninth month.”

“The ninth lunar month… is Chrysanthemum Month, right?”


Frowning, Wenxing complained, “It’s only the ninth and twenth months that are easy to remember. One takes place during the blooming season of chrysanthemums and is called Chrysanthemum Month while the other occurs when the world is covered in ice and snow and is called Ice Month. As for the other ones, when I was little, I was forced to memorize the names. You can say I did memorize them, but now, I’ve completely forgotten them all.”

Amused by this, Shi Yi laughed, “These have no use, anyways, so it doesn’t matter whether you remember them or not.”

“But,” Wenxing said quietly, “Mei Xing likes… the well-bred and learned young lady type, like those girls from distinguished families.”

She was taken aback but was able to roughly deduce the meaning behind these words.

The person this young girl kept in her heart was the one known as “wasted willows, withered lotuses, but ‘Mei Rugu’ [plum blossoms as before]”.

She might have sensed this previously but it had not been confirmed. If one were to count, Wenxing was actually younger than Mei Xing by twelve or thirteen years. Mei Xing was someone who appeared as if there was much more than meets the eye. It was not very possible that a thirty-five year old unmarried man would not have his own stories, right? It was similar to Zhousheng Chen, who, despite not being interested in the things of romance that occurred between a man and a woman, he had also previously been engaged twice, simply for the sake of managing his family’s wishes.

She did not understand Mei Xing, but she did know that Wenxing was revealing something that she kept hidden in her heart.

And she just happened to be a person who did not know how to comfort people.

Fortunately, Wenxing quickly changed the topic. When she spoke, her eyes would sometimes bend into little crescents and other times, would open wide. She was very immersed into the conversation, as if she had not spoken for a long time and finally had the opportunity to meet someone likeminded whom she got along with. They sat there like this for more than forty minutes. When Zhousheng Chen and Shi Yi brought her back up to her room, Wenxing’s cheeks were rosy and she was very happy.

At last, when they were leaving, Wenxing suddenly instructed Shi Yi, “Wang Man’s status is rather special. Eldest Sister-in-Law… it’s best that you don’t visit her.”

After saying this, she also turned to Zhousheng Chen. “Hey, remember that, okay?”

Zhousheng Chen smiled and lightly shook his head. “Be good and focus on getting better. Don’t think about these things.”

“I’m just concerned about you guys,” Wenxing protested with a smile. “Also, your wedding, I’m going to be there for sure. For sure.”

“Then get better first, pass all those criteria, and go for surgery.”

“Oh!” she exclaimed quietly, and she grabbed Zhousheng Chen’s right hand. “Let’s push back the surgery… What if, for some reason, after I have someone else’s heart in me, I won’t love my big brother the most anymore? What do we do then?”

Her tone was a little pouty.

Zhousheng Chen’s eyes were filled with warmth as he quietly gave her instructions, which were all merely some basic orders of the doctor.


Late that night, when all was still, she mulled over Wenxing’s words again, and as she did, she seemed to feel a sense of regret in them. Lying down in bed, she casually asked him whether he knew Wenxing liked Mei Xing. Zhousheng Chen was not surprised by the question. “I can tell.”

“You can tell?”

He did not really expound in detail. “It is very easy to see. It is similar to the first time you saw me, there were… feelings there that were quite surprising.”

With an “oh,” she told him, “Carry on.”

Even though she was pretending to be nonchalant, the tone of her voice had become floaty with anticipation.

Zhousheng Chen really did began to analyze it out for her. “The most difficult thing to conceal is emotions. Whom a girl likes is actually very easy to recognize. You watch her eyes, her actions, and the intonation of her voice when she speaks. Those things are basically enough for you to draw a conclusion.”

He was discussing the psychology of the large majority of women.

However, the association she drew was that, he had watched, from the stance of an onlooker, all her subtle little thoughts and posturing she had once had.

She coughed. “So, before, if someone… um… liked you, you would just look on like a spectator?”

“Yes, like a spectator.” He pondered again. “And perhaps, I would also avoid being alone with that person so as to not give off any false impressions that could be interpreted incorrectly.”

“Well…… what if that person was someone you were required to respond to?”

She avoided using the word, “fiancée.”

He gave a low chuckle, not exposing whom she was implying. “Only if that person is my wife, then a response is required.”

The ideal answer.

Shi Yi did not pursue the topic, evidently satisfied already with his reply.

However, she was still concerned about Wenxing. She was not particularly eager to be a matchmaker, but since Zhousheng Chen understood the situation, she wanted to ask a bit more thoroughly about it in private. Gently tugging on his sleeve, she said, “So… Mei Xing’s feelings for Wenxing…”

“I don’t know.”

“You don’t know?”

He contemplated briefly. “He and I do not talk about these things.”

“But Wenxing is your little sister. Being a little concerned about it is a good thing.”

“The most difficult thing to encounter in the world is where ‘you have feelings, as do I[1].’”

Shi Yi could not believe that this was something Zhousheng Chen would say.

Sure enough, he quickly told her, “That is what Mei Xing said.”


Shi Yi thought for a moment, then out of the blue, asked, “What is the other name for the second lunar month?”

“Gan Xiang [Fragrant Violet].”

“What about the fourth month?”

“Huai Xu [A Row of Chinese Scholar Trees].” With a smile, he asked, “Why do you suddenly ask?”

“I was just thinking, isn’t it remarkable that a person would be insistent that his other half should like ancient literature?”

He replied with an “mm.”


Lying there beside him, she was still immersed in the story of Wenxing’s unrequited longing when she realized the wall lamps had been turned a little brighter. He lowered himself down to her and asked quietly, “Do you know how to speak the Suzhou dialect?”

“Yes.” She was somewhat baffled by his question. “I have relatives in Suzhou. It’s similar to Shanghainese. I’ve known it since I was a kid.”

They had both drank some water that had been soaked with lotus seed sprouts.

When they spoke, there was a very subtle, sweet fragrance on their breaths.

“Use the Suzhou dialect to recite some of those poems I taught you, alright?” He tilted his head slightly.

Softly, she answered him, “Alright.”

When had he ever taught her? He was obviously referring to, those Wu songs when he had… with her.

Those veiled or, sometimes, obvious lyrics and lines of flirting and seduction.

“I will go a little slower. If you feel uncomfortable, let me know, alright?”

She uttered an “mm” in answer, feeling as if her entire body was burning up.

These were thoughtful, considerate words, but yet, when he spoke them, they were laden with a thick, seductive overtone. She did not know whether it was deliberate or unintentional.

From memory, she began to recite them to him. Occasionally, when she was embarrassed, she would stop. The early autumn nights were already carrying a chill, so as the two of them turned and rolled together beneath the thin blanket, even though they were perspiring, he did not dare tear the covers away, for fear she would catch a cold.

Gradually, she was unable to recite any further. The poems and verses from her lips were becoming disjointed and inarticulate, and her thoughts were no longer coherent in her mind.


Before she drifted off into sleep, she finally remembered the question that had been puzzling her. “Zhousheng Chen?”


“Why did you want me to use the Suzhou dialect?……”

In the darkness, he seemed to be smiling. “Have you ever heard this line? ‘Tinged with drunkenness, Wu voices speak so tenderly. Whose white-haired father and mother would they be?[2]’ A Wu accent speaking a Wu dialect to recite Wu songs is quite amusing.”

She suddenly understood. This was a famous line that praised the sound of the Wu accent.

Amongst the Wu dialects, the Suzhou dialect was the softest and most mellow and soothing. “The speakers of Wu, soft are their words.[3]” How very gentle and tender.

But the scene depicted in that line of poetry was simply describing warm, tender words spoken while a little drunken. From his lips, though, it seemed to take on a sensual, suggestive flavor…

Zhousheng Chen suddenly added, “There is nothing really remarkable about a person wanting his other half to like ancient literature. In itself, it can be a form of delight and appeal.” Like reciting poems related to tea, like reciting tea names, or like the Wu songs he recited to her and the lines of poetry he would tell her.

Shi Yi thought about this. That was true.

But, because of these last words of his, she finally detected something. Resting her face against his chest, she listened to his rhythmic heartbeat and giggled quietly. “Zhousheng Chen, you were jealous.”


[1] 你情我愿 “ni qing wo yuan.” In a more general sense, this actually means, “you are willing, as am I” or basically a situation of mutual consent. In the context of what it is saying here, it is a situation where two people are mutually willing to start a relationship.

[2] 醉里吴音相媚好,白发谁家翁媪?This is a line from the poem, 清平乐 “Song of Peace and Tranquility” by Song dynasty poet, 辛弃疾 Xin Qiji. The first half of the poem describes the peaceful scene of a little thatched hut beside a grassy stream. From within that hut, soft voices that sound slightly drunken are speaking a Wu dialect and whispering sweet nothings, and it turns out that inside is an elderly couple.

[3]吴侬软语 “wu nong ruan yu.” This idiom praises the Wu dialects and accents for being mellow, light, gentle, beautiful, and just generally, very pleasant to the ears. (Just to recap, the unique dialects from the southern area of the Yangtze River Delta are called “Wu dialects.” They are mainly spoken in Shanghai and the provinces of Jiangsu, where the cities of Zhenjiang and Suzhou are located, and Zhejiang.)


Additional Comments:

Many interesting discussions came up after the last couple posts, and I’ve been having a ball just being a spectator. Forgive me if I don’t give detailed replies to your comments now. Like I said in the opening, things are slowly starting to come to light, and I’m trying not to influence any of your perceptions. I’ll just say that MBFB wrote certain things for a reason, and I surmise that your big reactions are something she’d be pleased with.😉

However, since my name was called out on the topic of Zhousheng Chen’s lack of response to Shi Yi’s “I love you,” I’ll put in my (long, rambling) few cents on it. 😇 Skip it if you’re not interested. Thought I’d lay out a little summary and timeline of the story to date first, though.

Some time in March (Based on cherry blossom season at Qinglong Temple)
Shi Yi spends a week in Xi’an where she meets up with Zhousheng Chen a few times. She returns to Shanghai, and shortly after, they go on their first real “date” where he tells her he likes Wu songs. :p

April 4-5 or so
Shi Yi visits family in Zhenjiang for Qingming Festival. Zhousheng Chen calls and suggests engagement.

Shi Yi visits the Zhou family ancestral home for the first time. She returns to Shanghai while he stays in Zhenjiang.

End of April
Zhousheng Chen’s surprise visit at Shi Yi’s workplace.

He tells Shi Yi if the experimental method is wrong, they will change to a different one, but the research direction will never change.
He goes to Shi Yi’s home for the first time and she brews him purple perilla leaf medicine.
Shi Yi receives an award.

Early May
Shi Yi sings “Within My Song” for a program, and then after, she initiates their first kiss.
A few days later, they return together to the Zhou manor in Zhenjiang.
Tang Xiaofu’s death occurs. Shi Yi learns she and Zhousheng Chen are legally married, and he gives her the rings with their anniversary date engraved on them (May 11).
Shi Yi paints the lotus flower painting, and later that day, Zhousheng Chen initiates the “naughty kiss” with He Shan still on the phone.
Zhousheng Chen leaves the country the next day for a planned duration of 3 months.

Early July
61 days later, Shi Yi goes to Bremen, Germany to visit him for 1 week. He tells her of his investment plans to help China.

Zhousheng Chen’s wedding ring is returned to Shi Yi by Zhou Wenchuan.
Near the end of the trip, Shi Yi witnesses a gun battle.
That same day, Shi Yi initiates physical intimacy for the first time, but nothing comes of it.

Mid to late July
Shi Yi goes to Wuzhen for work. Zhousheng Chen recites tea names and poetry over the phone because she is scared.
Xiao Ren visits her the next day.
2-3 days later, Zhousheng Chen ends his business trip earlier than expected and goes to see Shi Yi in Wuzhen. They consummate their marriage, and Shi Yi states, “I love you” for the first time.
They return to Shanghai together and stay in Shi Yi’s place, with Zhousheng Chen commuting back and forth between Shanghai and Zhenjiang.

July 31 – Shi Yi goes to the Zhou manor with him for Ghost Month.

August 14 – Shi Yi nearly drowns.

Mid to late August
They visit Grandmother, and Zhou Wenchuan and Tong Jiaren are present.
Zhousheng Chen recreates Shi Yi’s lotus painting with the line of poetry declaring his stance to his mother.

That night, Shi Yi collapses from being poisoned. Zhousheng Chen takes Shi Yi back to Shanghai, by deduction, at the end of August or early September, whenever she is stable enough to be moved.

End of September
Basically this entire chapter, where we are in the story now.


I know I have been saying over and over again that this is a slowly developed romance, and it is to us as readers. It’s not instant sparks and passion, and it takes a large percentage of the novel for Zhousheng Chen to realize his feelings for Shi Yi. However, I also feel this might have created a bit of a misconception that lots of time has passed. When you look at it in novel time, from the beginning of this novel, in Xi’an, to this last chapter, it has only been around 6 months, and only 5.5-ish months since Zhousheng Chen put forth the suggestion of engagement. And, 2.5 of those 5.5 months, he was out of country and their communication was limited to their three phone calls a day.

We read Zhousheng Chen’s thoughts, that he had been physically attracted to Shi Yi in Bremen, but he had suppressed those feelings. Why did he suppress them, given that they were already legally married? Part of it was because he, the gentleman he is, wanted to be sure that Shi Yi truly was comfortable with the intimacy, but I think another big reason is, as the relatively conservative person that he is, he would not be physically intimate with someone unless he was certain of his feelings for that person. That’s why, in Wuzhen, he had thought that perhaps he did not need to suppress the desire anymore. I believe it was in that scene there that he was consciously acknowledging his feelings for her, and hence, Shi Yi could sense the change in him after in their day-to-day lives. It took 3.5 months from when they were engaged for him to fall in love with Shi Yi. That day, when Shi Yi said for the first time that she loved him, he had just truly realized his feelings for her. For someone who was never interested in romance before and in general, is slow to warm to people, let’s give him some credit for that timeframe. Then, the second “I love you” from Shi Yi happens about 1-1.5 months later, after the poisoning.

How would I describe Zhousheng Chen? Aloof, intellectual, logical, reserved, uncomfortable expressing emotions.  Have any of you ever heard of the “5 love languages“? I believe, each person instinctively will first express love through the love language they are most comfortable with and are most affirmed by. I am confident that Zhousheng Chen’s love language is most definitely not “words of affirmation.” However, that does not mean he is not expressing his feelings. Remember he suddenly wanted to give Shi Yi a gift? When Shi Yi asked why, his response was, “Towards the woman he likes, a man’s… instinctive behaviour.” I suspect if we were to classify Zhousheng Chen’s love languages, one of them would be “giving/receiving gifts.” (Remember, when they first started their “courtship,” Zhousheng Chen would regularly send gifts to her and even her family? I also suspect another one of his and Shi Yi’s love languages is “quality time,” like their regular reading time together.) I know it is frustrating to us, especially as smitten female readers, that Zhousheng Chen is not saying those crucial three words, but what’s important is, is Shi Yi feeling that she is loved? Is she feeling frustrated that he has not said those three words to her yet? “He cared about her. All this time, he had steadfastly abided by his promise made at the very beginning: to sincerely learn how to care about, treasure, and love her.” I don’t believe this is  because Shi Yi is extra tolerant due to her love for him. Remember that prior to Wuzhen, she had questioned before where their relationship was, too.  Therefore, if Shi Yi herself is feeling loved and not frustrated that those words have not been said yet, I think Zhousheng Chen is doing more than adequate in speaking to Shi Yi in the love language she needs.

Does that mean I don’t think those three words should be said? Definitely not. I think there is definitely power in a spoken confession, and I think it would thrill Shi Yi when he finally does say them. However, considering Zhousheng Chen’s reserved personality, I don’t think it’s fair to judge the depths of his love by the lack of vocal expression of love at this moment. It’s simply not fair to compare him to Shi Yi. Even if you completely disregard her previous life, Shi Yi has used this entire lifetime to realize and then focus on the depth of her love for him. Zhousheng Chen has had only one month or so. Is it realistic to expect that his awareness of his love be as deep as Shi Yi’s? Eleven was a mute, and her deep desire was to be able to speak, to say his name, and probably to say how much she loved him. To me, the most important thing is that he *is* changing. Give him some time. If you go back and read how they interacted at the beginning of their relationship, the way he spoke to her was much more formal and cultured, similar to how he talked to everyone else, too. He is used to being reserved in language… partly personality, partly upbringing. He grew up in a family where, I’m pretty sure, he was rarely told by anyone that he was loved. Therefore, it is not surprising he does not know how to react to a spoken expression of love.  Have you noticed, though, that now, when they are together, he speaks much more casually and naturally to her? I think he will eventually come around and say those words. It may never be out in public or romantically written across the sky or something extravagant like that. Most likely, it will be behind closed doors with only the two of them. Using a love language you are not accustomed to requires learning, but I think, one day, he will learn how to do it.


1 of 1 Prologue
45 of 56 Main story segments
0 of 3 Epilogues

54 thoughts on “One Life, One Incarnation: Beautiful Bones (一生一世美人骨) — Chapter 14.2

  1. Thank you so much!!! 😘😘😘

  2. Truly beautiful!

  3. I love Saturdays when I can enjoy your translations with my breakfast. Thank you Hoju!

    With regards to ZSC’s ways towards SY, I agree that we can really see him warming up to her. The pace feels quite natural for me too.

    • Nice.🙂 I’d take reading c-novels over the newspaper with my breakfast, too.😉 You’re welcome!

      I love the pacing of their relationship. As you say, natural.🙂 You know it won’t be something where he was overcome by a moment of passion now but in the future, when the passion dies out, the relationship ends.

  4. Thank you for the chapter. Great work! They really suit each other. I’m glad that they meet again on that fated day. When will that happen to me? Fate, can you please hurry up?

    • You can try by either standing at security in an airport with your shoes off and chasing after the random guy that catches your eye, or stalking outside the nearest chemistry lab that you know of. No guarantees the guy won’t have a crazy family, though. :p

  5. love your insights on their relationship!

  6. Mei Xing, the reincarnated crown prince? Could the reincarnated CP also have some if his memories?

  7. Thanks for the time line – it does make it easier to understand. Eventually, I think we’ll need an ancient times timeline as well but just not yet.

    • Hmm… the ancient timeline should be much more simplistic. Something along the lines of

      Xiao Nanchen Prince 14 years old, rebellion in the palace. Shi Yi and Crown Prince born into the world
      7 year old Eleven becomes Xiao Nanchen Prince’s disciple.
      At 17 years old, Eleven leaves Xiao Nanchen Prince’s manor to ready for marriage to the crown prince. Xiao Nanchen Prince takes her for a ride on horseback together through Chang’an city, her first view of the city in the 10 years she had been there.
      Shortly after, Xiao Nanchen Prince at 31-ish years old is accused of treason and sentenced to death by deboning. 17 year old Eleven commits suicide after hearing of his death. Crown prince ascends the throne at age 18-ish to be emperor with era name, Dongling.
      Emperor Dongling dies at age 21-ish.

      The individual little scenes, like the tea name writing or are hard to accurately place. The writing on the wall by Eleven would be somewhere between 7-9 years old, as it was when she first discovered the library tower and she was still be ostracized by her senior brothers and sisters. Anything you want to specifically place?

  8. This is really a slow paced romance. Even their conversations are so unique that sometimes you wonder if this can truly happen in the real life.
    But I love it anyway because it is very different.

    • They are both rather unique individuals in terms of the way their minds think, so I guess that might explain their unique conversations.🙂

  9. Thank you, especially for the time line!!!

    …But why was he jealous?

    • I was going to ask the same thing too? I didn’t get it why SY said he was jealous. 😊

    • Perhaps it has something to do with Shi Yi being the only person capable of answering that question he sent via email…no? Since Wenxing said something about him using it as a qualifying question for selecting his future wife…Zhousheng Chen acted like he wasn’t even listening to the conversation back then too haha…well that’s the only thing I can think of anyway but I might be wrong lol

    • I pondered on this one myself. So, this is strictly my own interpretation.

      Their entire conversation regarding the names of the lunar months was because Shi Yi was “just thinking, isn’t it remarkable that a person would be insistent that his other half should like ancient literature?” So Shi Yi is thinking how unique it is that Mei Xing likes ancient literature so much that he would want to choose a spouse/significant other based on that criteria.

      Zhousheng Chen was probably jealous that his wife had been pondering on Mei Xing for so long and thinking how unique he was. So, during their intimate moment, he again brings back his little hobby of ancient Wu songs. Then, after, he out of the blue says, ““There is nothing really remarkable about a person wanting his other half to like ancient literature. In itself, it can be a form of delight and appeal.” And he’s thinking, “Like reciting poems related to tea, like reciting tea names, or like the Wu songs he recited to her and the lines of poetry he would tell her.”

      Hoju’s interpretation: “What’s so special about him wanting his other half to like ancient literature? It can be fun, and I DO IT, TOO.”… And in his mind, he’s thinking, “Like how I recited you tea poems and tea names, and *ahem* *ahem* Wu Songs, which we just did. So focus on me.”😉

      Shi Yi finally clued in because, well, that conversation had ended a long time ago. They’d spent time doing their bedroom activities and their minds should have long left that topic. But after, he brings it up again completely out of the blue.

  10. Well, the couple seems like they’re under the same wavelength. While the rest of us are interpreted by Shi Yi who knows what ZSC actions mean. Shi Yi and ZSC are like an ancient couple trapped in modern time both so reserved but romantic. It’s exactly showing love with action and wooing each with poems and gestures. ZSC woos Shi Yi with Wu’s poems and Shi Yi with her knowledge of painting and teas.

    • LOL. I have to laugh at the idea of Zhousheng Chen “wooing” Shi Yi with erotic poetry. Yes, they’re subtle and they use ancient, flowery language, but I have to laugh because it’s veiled, naughty poetry. Haha!

      But yes, while we have an open window into Shi Yi’s thoughts, we really have had only small little glimpses into Zhousheng Chen’s, and we don’t truly know his feelings or motivations yet. Sometimes, the most puzzling of problems actually is really the simplest of answers.

  11. Thank you for the chapter and analysis. I also wondered how SY figured he was jealous. Perhaps if I reread the chapter with some coffee, everything will become clear😄

    • Did your coffee help? I wrote my speculations up above under Termas’ comment, but I’m open to any other interpretations.🙂

  12. Thank you hoju 😀
    The timeline is superb.
    Have a nice weekend 😊

  13. So Lovely 😍

    Thanks So Much 😘

  14. Thank you for the chapter, and thank you for your beautiful essay in the “additional comments” section.🙂 I always enjoy reading your thoughts, and your comments above were very thoughtful, your description & analysis of ZSC’s character & behavior very perceptive.
    I definitely agree that Zhousheng Chen has come plenty far already, for such a short time frame, in regards to opening up and learning to care for Shi Yu. I also agree that, with his reserved, analytical etc. personality, ZSC would be uncomfortable with verbally expressing his feelings, and that his tender, considerate gestures and his gentle care of Shi Yu are beautiful “proof” of his affection.
    Still. You said, “I don’t think it’s fair to judge the depths of his love by the lack of vocal expression of love at this moment”, and I agree. What I meant in my comments on the previous chapter, and what I still mean now, is that–fair or not–I kinda can’t help myself from judging the depths of his love by ZSC not telling Shi Yi the truth about the danger to her life, and by him taking away her freedom to choose how she would handle that truth.😦 I can only hope that MBFB will eventually unveil ZSC’s motivations, and that they’ll be satisfactory in “redeeming” him.

    • Here is where you and I differ. I think of it as a mistake, and not a light one either. However, I don’t associate it to how deep his love may be. Yup, I absolutely agree it took away her ability to choose. I also often agree with the, “if you love him/her, set him/her free” that we see in dramas, etc because that love has become completely selfless. But to me, it’s not always true that, “if you didn’t set him/her free, you didn’t really love them.” Sometimes. Not all the time. Because, how many people can truly reach that completely selfless love phase? Most people’s love is a work in progress. So, until we know the motivations behind the decision, I will only judge it at the moment as a mistake.

      Anyhoo… I’ll leave this particular topic at that.🙂

  15. Hoju,
    I apologize for the double post.
    I just saw your reply to a comment I left on the previous chapter, and because I can’t reply in that thread, and the theme of our discussion there is also the theme of the discussion you started here in the “additional comments”–i.e. comparisons between Shi Yi’s love and ZSC’s–I hope you won’t mind that I copy a part of your comment, and write my reply here as well.

    My original comment:
    “I do believe that [ZSC] loves [Shi Yi], in his way, and the reason why he doesn’t say the words is because he’s not an expressive man. Unfortunately, I also believe that Shi Yi is the one who loves way more in their relationship. As she proves time and again, he’s the entire focus and center of her existence, whereas she occupies only a small place in his life/heart (according to Shi Yi’s own words in a previous chapter).”

    You reply:
    “More accurately, Shi Yi told him that she only needed and desired to occupy a small place in his life/heart. […] She does not find it sad or that she is not valued by occupying only a small place in his heart. A man whose heart is large enough to hold the world, whose love is great enough to care for more than just himself and those around him, then even a small part of that love can be great enough to satisfy.
    “As for who loves more in the relationship, can we really judge that? […] at some point in time, the line becomes fuzzy and it comes down to us judging people’s love based on our personal values when ultimately, it’s the values of the parties involved, especially the one who should be receiving that love, that is important. But even if we say we have the capability of making that call here, still, we have most of the story only from Shi Yi’s perspective […] but all we have had for Zhousheng Chen is just a brief glimpse of the paralyzing fear he feels when faced with losing her. It seems the information is not very complete yet.”

    • My reply to your last comment: (I apologize in advance for the length. Sigh.)

      Thank you for your endless patience in reading my rambling comments and in always replying so thoughtfully.
      I may be fretting a tad much, and over-analyzing these characters and their interactions, but for me, that’s always gone hand-in-hand with being truly invested in a novel. If I didn’t care so deeply about these characters and this story, I wouldn’t feel so challenged and inspired, wouldn’t have all these questions and yes, sometimes niggles of dissatisfaction. Though even with the few narrative aspects that I’m unhappy with at the moment, I try to maintain a wait-and-see approach since I do have faith that MBFB will eventually resolve outstanding issues satisfactorily.
      Like say, I really need (and hope that MBFB will provide) more narrative from Zhousheng Chen’s POV, more insight into his inner thoughts and feelings. I love what I’ve seen so far, and I realize this is mainly Shi Yi’s story and thus told mainly from her POV. And I realize that Zhousheng Chen (same as all of the background story itself, about the Zhou family) is purposely a mystery that is supposed to unfold slowly–but while there is still so much unknown about ZSC and his thought processes, he is imo rightfully vulnerable to being misunderstood by readers when it comes to some of his “shadier” decisions (like his lying to Shi Yi about her near-brushes with death) and to what those decisions might say about his feelings for Shi Yi. And if I dare say, MBFB would have maybe done well if at least that little part of ZSC’s thoughts had been revealed before it came to this point where he becomes susceptible to reader distrust. I mean yes, I might later find out that he had a perfectly sound reason for lying, and I’ll “forgive” him–but it won’t change the fact that by the time I learn the truth, I will have carried my bit of disappointment with him for who knows how many story segments (which would naturally have affected my reading experience during that time).

      As for the discussion about who loves more… I actually half-regret that it’s popped up (and I acknowledge my fault for the role I played there) because yes, it’s hard (if not outright impossible) to quantify love; and it’s likely unfair–and potentially hurtful–to even try to do so. Not to mention that yes, if there’s even any love measuring to be done, it can only be done by the people involved, based on their values, and not on the values of us outsiders. But that’s in real life.
      Novels (and anything similar offered for public consumption) don’t necessarily subscribe to the same rules. Those fictional people, those fictional lives, have purposely been offered for public scrutiny. It’s permitted and expected that we analyze them, that we judge them. That we even put ourselves in their shoes. After all, when I immerse myself in a book or a movie etc., I’m living vicariously through those characters, living their story with them, on some level. If I reach that degree of investment, it’s natural that I might need to know all answers–even or especially answers that I wouldn’t want (or dare) to seek in my personal life. As humans I think we’re prone to wonder about such things, at least subconsciously, and in the context of a fictional story, why not actually give voice to that admittedly inappropriate question “who loves more in the relationship?”.

      Unlike in real life, when reading a novel, we’re privileged to know everything there is to know in terms of inner thoughts and outer actions of all “persons” involved, so we should have sufficient data to make a fair comparison (again, in so far as such comparisons can be fair at all). And unlike in real life, we don’t have to be fair and measure according to the values of the persons involved. We may interpret according to our own standards, go by our personal gut feeling, and we don’t have to try and be fair.
      Shi Yi may be perfectly content as long as she gets to occupy a small part in ZSC’s heart/life–and I realize that even a small part of a heart as big as his may well translate into a deeper love that most people are able to experience–but I still want more for HER. Because she’s Shi Yi and she loves him with everything that she is, with *all* of her heart (and her heart, too, is immense); she lives and dies for him. I want ZSC to love her the same way in return. Not right now–after all, her love has had time to grow and mature for years upon years (and over 2 lifetimes), whereas he’s only known her for a few short months. But eventually, I want for Shi Yi to receive the same love she gives.

      It’s maybe worth noting that I don’t go and naturally wonder about degrees of love any time I read a romance. It’s not a question that arises coincidentally or instinctively for me–only when a certain book sets the stage for it. I would never have had to wonder whether Shi Yi of ZSC loves more–that question wouldn’t have occurred to me–if I hadn’t been jarred & provoked by events, if I hadn’t somehow perceived an imbalance in what we so far know of their feelings. Which doesn’t mean that, once more data becomes available, that perceived imbalance won’t be redressed. But that possible (and hoped-for) future doesn’t change–nor will it negate–my feelings now.
      Right now, subjectively, I perceive an imbalance between them. At the least, I feel that ZSC is Shi Yi’s first priority–but she’s not his. I’m not happy to be feeling like this. I hope that the book will change my mind, because that’s my ideal when reading a romance: I want the hero and the heroine to be each other’s first priority. But if “Beautiful Bones” isn’t that kind of romance, if ZSC isn’t that kind of hero–if he’s the kind who cares too much about the world to make his beloved his first priority, before his concern for that greater, abstract world–then I’ll accept it. I’ll be okay with it. ZSC will still be a great man to me, a great hero. Just not *my* kind of romantic hero.

      Again, I’ve rambled quite a lot, and I don’t know how well I was able to explain what amounts to my jumbled thoughts based on instinctual feelings and gut reactions… but I hope I’ve managed to bring my main points across.🙂

      • Hi Adnana,

        I’ll probably have another long “additional comment” on Zhousheng Chen at the appropriate time, because I really don’t want to sway anyone based on my perceptions. So, forgive me if the answer is not addressing everything, but we may just continue this discussion at a later time. My original intent for this post was truly just to address why it is within character and not unreasonable that Zhousheng Chen has not returned Shi Yi’s two “I love you” confessions in the way most of us would (stereotypically) expect him to or, at least, want him to, since it seems to have been brought up more than once as something that is unreasonable.

        In response to your statement: “Shi Yi may be perfectly content as long as she gets to occupy a small part in ZSC’s heart/life–and I realize that even a small part of a heart as big as his may well translate into a deeper love that most people are able to experience–but I still want more for HER. Because she’s Shi Yi and she loves him with everything that she is, with *all* of her heart (and her heart, too, is immense); she lives and dies for him. I want ZSC to love her the same way in return.”

        I think this is what I was striving to address with judging people based on our values. Yes, this is fiction, and yes, we are allowed to analyze it. But what you desire is based on your values and what you would want in the relationship for Shi Yi. Shi Yi has given all her heart to Zhousheng Chen, so you believe that she in turn deserves someone who gives all his heart to her. But if you were to put yourself in Shi Yi’s shoes, is that what Shi Yi wants? Shi Yi herself said to Mei Lin, “…I would definitely fall for a man who held the wellbeing of mankind in his heart. A man, ultimately, should do something in his life that has nothing to do with fame, money, or romance. Being lovey dovey everyday… doesn’t really suit me.” She doesn’t want a man whose heart holds only her. She wants a man whose heart is magnanimous enough that it cares for things bigger and has a greater impact than just the love between a man and a woman. If Zhousheng Chen was to give her his entire heart and focus his entire life around her only, that would not be the man she loved for hundreds of years, and that would not be who she wants. Her life’s desire is to be with him, to stand by his side, to support him in his greater endeavours that will help other people, and when the job is thankless, she will be there to “keep him from weariness, keep him from suffering, keep him from needing to constantly be on the move, keep him from being alone, without anyone to trust and lean upon.” Because to love this type of man in that way will bring her the greatest joy. And when all is done and when he has accomplished all that he needs to, then, and only then, will she take his whole heart.

        There is nothing wrong at all that you value a man’s heart devoted to a woman, and vice versa. I, too, would never be able to be with someone whose heart held so many things. I’m not big enough for that. But Eleven/Shi Yi of the novel is. And that is what she values. That is why Eleven and later, Shi Yi, in Shi Yi’s own thoughts said that she never blamed him for what he had said, that he had “never forsook the world and only forsook Eleven.” Zhousheng Chen of the past and present both understand that caring for bigger things will mean that sometimes, the woman he loves will have to bear things that most other women will never have to bear in their lives, and I think it pained/pains him, hence his statement that he had forsook Eleven. If he had chosen to be selfish, on that day when they rode on horseback through Chang’an, they could have kept riding into the distance and never turned around… and they could have been together. But they did not. For her family, for his disciples, for the good of the people who still needed his protection as the general… And though Eleven/Shi Yi would sometimes look back on it and wonder, “What if…?” she never regretted it. It’s kind of like military wives. I have an intense admiration for women who can offer up their husband’s time and, potentially, life for service to their country and sometimes, to other countries. I really could not handle it.

        So, perhaps you do feel there’s an imbalance in the love. I can’t and will not persuade you on that, and I’ll let the story unfold naturally and let you respond to it. And perhaps Zhousheng Chen is not your romantic hero. That is all right as well. I love him to bits, flaws (and he does have them!) and all, but the top c-novel male lead spot in my heart actually goes to Toupai and Gu Pingsheng. However, my discussion here is solely to lay out my belief that he is the perfect person for Shi Yi, and it is not because she is carrying love from a past life and will compromise and take something less just to be with him. I don’t believe there is unfairness or mistreatment, but possibly mistakes and character flaws. And all I’m trying to judge is, is the writing of the author consistent and showing that, based on Shi Yi’s values and what she would like from the relationship, Zhousheng Chen is valuing her the way she wants to be valued?

        (I had to sneak in here to reply to this as it’s a bit of a topic hanging over from last post… if there’s stuff associated with this post, I’ll address it later. I must get back to meeting my translation quota for the day, or I won’t make next post. :p)

        Regardless, thank you for spurring on the interesting discussion. I enjoy your insightful comments and wish I had more hours to carry on discussing.

        • As always, you’ve made some excellent points.
          You said, “what you desire is based on your values and what you would want in the relationship for Shi Yi”–which is indeed something I admitted upfront. When reading fiction, and especially romance–moreover, when the story is absorbing–it’s natural for me to experience and react to the narrative on an emotional and therefore highly subjective level first, before trying to do a more detached, intellectual analysis.
          So, on the emotional, subjective level, I say: I’m a more selfish person than Shi Yi.🙂 Particularly, in the context of a romance novel, I expect a whole lot from the hero–the very least of which is reciprocity. Whereas on the intellectual, objective level, I agree with what you said, that “the writing of the author [is] consistent and showing that, based on Shi Yi’s values and what she would like from the relationship, Zhousheng Chen is valuing her the way she wants to be valued”.
          Nevertheless, for me, more often than not, what the story has made me feel instinctively in my heart carries a more lasting impression than the detached conclusions I’ve drawn with my brain afterward.

          I do want to clear up one possible point of misunderstanding, however. When I said that Shi Yi had given all her heart to Zhousheng Chen and therefore I wanted him to eventually love her the same way in return–I didn’t at all mean that I wanted him to “focus his entire life around her only” (your words). I don’t want him to shut down his extraordinary brain, to stop working as a professor and researcher, to stop caring about the well-being of mankind. A Zhousheng Chen who would act “lovey dovey everyday” and would pass his days pining after Shi Yi only is a blasphemy–that man wouldn’t be Zhousheng Chen at all anymore. I don’t want him to become a different person by loving Shi Yi; I don’t want him to give up everything else to have her.
          After all, just because Shi Yi loves him with all her heart, it doesn’t mean that she has no other life outside of him. She is perfectly able to put him on hold on the phone to talk with her mom first, she has her job, she has her own friends and hobbies. That she’s given him *all* her heart (my words) is a metaphor meaning he’s first in her heart–not that her heart holds only him. And on the flipside of that coin, I agree that “[Shi Yi] doesn’t want a man whose heart holds only her” (your words). I don’t want that either. It would be a small heart that can only hold a single thing at one time, and the last thing that either Shi Yi’s or ZSC’s heart is, is small. The heart can and should hold many things; what I was questioning was the way those things are prioritized.
          So the way I see it, Zhousheng Chen isn’t *all* of Shi Yi’s life–only the most important thing in her life. And that’s what I meant when I said I wanted ZSC to love her the same way. Again, his heart can (and should) hold many things. I just want Shi Yi to be his first priority when push comes to shove.
          He can love her as much as she loves him (which I can’t see yet) and still work for mankind, ideally. But if a situation occurred where he had to choose between her life and, say, saving China’s economy, I’m sorry but I wouldn’t want him to sacrifice Shi Yi. Maybe Shi Yi could accept that and not have any regrets–after all, essentially she’s lived through that scenario once already–but I couldn’t. I mean, I can accept why things had to happen the way they did in the previous life, but somehow this current life is completely different in my eyes. Shi Yi is already ZSC’s wife, for one. I don’t know how to explain it better… but I feel that if ZSC is able to sacrifice Shi Yi again, I couldn’t get over that, ever. So yeah, that’s what I meant by priorities.

        • “I’m a more selfish person than Shi Yi.”
          As am I. That’s why I said I’m not big enough for it.🙂

          I understand what you’re trying to say. I’m also all for reciprocity. However, I still come back to “time.” Let’s just say, sure, Zhousheng Chen is not putting Shi Yi in first priority (I’m not necessarily saying that is the case, just a potential scenario). And how is that truly, honestly unreasonable? In a grand total of 6-7 months, must the scales really be even? I see genuine effort that he is learning how to fall in love, and then love someone. In another novel I read, a girl was asked whether she liked a boy. The answer was along the lines of, “Yes, a little bit right now. But then, later, it will become a lot and then, it will become love… and then deeply in love.” We’d love for our aloof professor to fast track, but even though moving from attraction to deeply in love may not be impossible, it is also understandable if it’s not there yet.

          Just to let you know, if you read my review when I first read this novel in SSB, I said I *liked* it, not necessarily loved it. I was captured by the atmosphere spun by MBFB’s writing first, but after I finished the story, my mind kept going back to it. And then I re-read it. As I re-read it, I began to more and more appreciate the beautiful writing, the specific details that the author put in, and the consistent characterization. Everything was written for a purpose, well-thought out. A very deliberate execution. And as I pondered and mentally analyzed her work, I truly began to appreciate the book more and more until I really, really liked it.

          So, my instinctive, first reaction to this book was not an emotional one. I read it from the role of a bystander, and it was from a bystander’s eyes, appreciating the details, that made me appreciate the books and then feel for the characters. My lack of an initial emotional response is not a failure on the author’s part. I’m a bit like Zhousheng Chen in that I like to analyze first, and that’s how I draw conclusions, so for the vast majority of books I read, I connect at the mind first before I let it sink into my soul. The fact that I pondered over and over again on it makes it a very well-written book for me. However, it will be one of my most-liked books (like, really, really, really, really like) but still won’t top my list and become my absolute favourite. The absolute favourite spots are reserved for books that caused an emotional response from the get-go. Forget the analytical part. The writing connects to my soul first before my mind. That’s why fluff-and-candy “Really, Really Miss You” is my favourite because, while the writing is not as exquisite and sophisticated as “Beautiful Bones”, I felt sheer happiness from the get-go.

          All this to let you know, I really adore this book, but it is because I have thought long over it. I love the details because that’s what sucked me in and I have mulled over the characterization. That’s why I love talking about and dissecting out the details. (And translating has given me a whole new light on the details, again!) I appreciate that your response comes from an emotional one first before a logical one. It makes for a different perspective for me, and I can ponder again.

          So, long post just to say, thanks for your comments. I respond eagerly because I have all these little ideas floating in my head and they’re dying for an outlet!

          (My next project, “Together Forever” is holds one of the “absolute favourite” spots. I’m pretty darn emotional about that one, so I’m almost cringing in anticipation and definitely am working myself up to it emotionally.)

      • I couldn’t reply directly to your last comment, so I thought I’d just let you know I did write something below.🙂

  16. Thank you so very much!! This chapter was very exciting and I LOVED your commentary on SY and ZSC relationship, and ZSC’s love for her in the end. It was spot on and I’m glad to know the concept of love languages now, I never thought of love that way before

    • I’m glad you didn’t mind reading my little ramblings or philosophies on relationships. :p I loved the concept of love languages, and it’s applicable not just in romantic relationships. I think about it when I am thinking about my kids, friends, etc. as well. It was just a way for me to be able to understand Zhousheng Chen and Shi Yi.🙂

  17. Wow, his family is weirder by the chapter, eh? So the Zhou family still believes in taking a concubine for the younger brother. Hehehe…
    I will definitely ship Wenxing & Mei Xing. I hope it’s not a one side love for Wenxing. 😍
    As always, thanks for the translation! I also love your recap & additional comment, Hoju 公主.

    • Yeah. When you’re dealing with the Zhou family, you almost want to say, “Well, Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

      I like Mei Xing. I’m trying to hold my thoughts on him to myself until the appropriate time, but I genuinely like him in this life. (Tehe.)

      Tehe, that dynasty is long past.😉 Plus, even if it was still around, it’s branched off so many times that at the absolute most, it’d just be “noblewoman” and not “princess.”

  18. Hoju, thanks for this translation and for your additional comments!

  19. I swear Zhousheng Chen accumulated some fantasies whilst carrying out his hobby of wu songs, I mean, he sure knows how to put them to use during their bedroom activities😄

    The Zhousheng/Zhou family continues to add to their endless list of mysterious yet very very traditional customs…

    Oh! And that timeline you made is perfect Hoju! Thank you, and thanks for translating! ^__^

    • Bahaha! A guy’s got to get his entertainment from somewhere, right? :p I’ve always been tickled by Zhousheng Chen’s little hobby that seems so… different from everything else about him.

      “Mysterious” is putting it kindly. I just call them plain “weird.”😀

      Glad the timeline was helpful. Just my little habit I do for most novels because I find it often helps to explain character’s actions. (And yes, I admit to being a little bit anal like Zhousheng Chen, at times. LOL)

  20. Hi Hoju, I really appreciate the time you put into translating this novel and your additional comment is a bonus.

    ZSC has really improve unlike when i started reading this novel,i always wonder if SY will be frustrated by all the response ZSC gives whenever they are chatting but as times goes on,there’s great improvement in his way of responding to her because their communication level is getting better.

    i can easily relate ZSC ways of dealing with SY to how men behave in my tribe. They express their affection towards their love ones through their actions more than saying those THREE WORDS. Though the 3 words will be spoken but not as often as the actions displayed.

    I’m very certain that SY is satisfied with the way ZSC express his affection to her and i know that the 3 words everyone is anticipating ZSC should say will be spoken.

    • Thank you.🙂

      I really find the way Zhousheng Chen has progressed with his love for Shi Yi makes sense with his character and the timeline. I appreciate how carefully thought out Zhousheng Chen’s words and actions are by the author, that his character is consistent but continuously changing. It would have been jarring to me if he had very easily responded with an “I love you,” even after the second time she said it because it would not have made sense in the characterization the author had built up. Of course, doesn’t mean I won’t let out a girly sigh when it does happen.

  21. Excuse my timing as I recently finished catching up to this story,albeit I still need to finish RRMY. I noticed that there was quite the number of responses on the insert chapter 2. For me, I have a very strong hunch on who the Crown Prince is, mostly because of this chapter😀

    Anyhow, I really appreciate your time and effort for including the timeline. It made me realized that only 6 months passed! From my personal beliefs/opinions, 6 months is a short time to move from strangers to husband and wife. I agree with how their romance is a slow developing one particularly because of Zhousheng Chen’s character. From my understanding, he mostly makes decisions based on an intellectual aspect. Again, from what I understand, such intellectual decisions analyzed and weight in the benefits whilst looking at details and throughout evaluation. To not stray from this chapter content,or the book’s content for the matter, I do respect the consistency of MBFB in creating Zhousheng Chen ‘s character. Thus, his response when Shi Yi said she loves him is very understandable. A joy of reading these many different types of novels is immersing myself into the characters. If I had to put myself in Zhousheng Chen’s perspective, then some aspects of this marriage or a part of Shi Yi remains a mystery. For one, this marriage is one that he, Zhousheng Chen, had personally picked his own wife instead of the previous case with Tong Jiaren.

    Please correct me if I had any wrong information. Since I recently caught up to this story, some information is not recalling.😛

    As the science based type of guy, Zhousheng Chen is still learning more and more about Shi Yi. To him, she is a mystery even though he has gotten very detailed information in regards to her background and her interests. Yet, her “traditional” characteristic or rather her faint past memories of being Eleven remains something unveiled and strange despite Shi Yi’s joking attempt to convey to him her past. For someone like him who relies on facts, such mentions of past lives and reincarnation would be rather odd from his perspective. If someone told me that they knew me from a past life, I honestly would stand there because such information would bewildered me. Anyhow, I felt that since Zhousheng Chen is rather non-vocal or rather lacking in the romantic aspect, his acceptance of his feelings for Shi Yi was rather appropriate for him to realized he loves her. Like many have said, in time Zhousheng Chen will slowly open up more so and express his love for Shi Yi in a more vocal manner as we have often see in those romance movies(or not, who knows).
    Yet,I felt that his actions so far have already expressed his effort and dedication to respecting Shi Yi as a person and as someone he loves. His phone calls to me is a sign of dedication. To be timely in phone call is a feat in my opinion😉

    However, I am glad that Zhousheng Chen has his fare of flaws and in this way, MBFB creates a more character more “human” in flaws rather than a perfect person.
    Although I find it a tad frustrating how Zhousheng Chen keeps Shi Yi hidden in terms of his family affairs and the reasons behind her near-death situations. Zhousheng Chen did mentioned that Shi Yi should treat things uncomfortable to her as though she does not know them. However, I felt at least Zhousheng Chen should tell her why is she in a near-death situation or Shi Yi being more suspicious of the family relations to her near-death experiences. That way, Shi Yi is allowed a choice to ignore possible death threats as something she does not know or treat those with caution.
    Yet, I can see why Shi Yi does not pry for more information. To her, she is comfortable with the way Zhousheng Chen treats her. His actions speak to her more than any words could ever be said because Zhousheng Chen speaking romantic words is not within his character. To Shi Yi, Zhousheng Chen is someone who has great amount of goodwill of the world(or China at least) and is “heroic” in this sense.
    I remembered in the beginning part of another novel,本王在此, when the main male character in his human form(wise old man/god lol) had once said to the main female character, how one cannot judge the love between two people for the female’s opinion was one from an outsider’s perspective. Only the two people in their love relationship can judge each other. So in short, Shi Yi is satisfied with Zhousheng Chen the way he treats her.

    As for his family, bleh. All these issues,tensions,and drama makes staring at wall paint drying more comfortable. Thus, I respect Shi Yi because of this, haha.😀 I might need to draw a tree map to connect the characters for better understanding.

    Excuse my grammar and rambling(the length of this comment,whoa).
    Also thank you for the chapter. Your comment on the love languages is rather interesting and I ,for the most part, agree with it.🙂

    • A familiar ID.🙂 Welcome back.

      I almost always do mental timelines for novels. It’s surprising how passage of time (or lack of it) will change your judgment of a situation or character. And I was worried, even though MBFB had actually marked out the time quite clearly, with the mix of Gregorian and Lunar dates and Chinese holidays in there, for non-Chinese readers, the timeline of this story might have been a little fuzzy.

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

      Yes, absolutely. Zhousheng Chen said that Shi Yi always managed to surprise him. With 200 pages of information on her, he thought he knew all he could know, but her painting skills, her literary knowledge, etc, were not things he knew of. Even her demeanour, the composure she has facing his family situation, her unconditional trust in him, etc — these are all things that, I believe, intrigue him.

      Actually, his reply, the way he played along, when she told him that she knew him in a previous life, felt almost doting to me. As you said, Zhousheng Chen is all logic, reasoning, and analysis. Shi Yi was saying it with the intention that it would sound like a joke, but the impression Zhousheng Chen gives me is, if it was anyone else, he’d reply very indifferently by saying, “Oh, really? I don’t believe in reincarnation,” and would not go along with it. It’s because it was Shi Yi that this serious, aloof atheist would respond the way he did.

      Zhousheng Chen is not meant to be Toupai. He starts out much like a Prince Charming from a fairytale, but slowly, we are seeing more and more human aspects of him. He will get scared, he will lose his ability to think,and he will make mistakes. Yes, I agree with everyone that he should have said something to Shi Yi. And I think MBFB deliberately wrote it that way, as well, that this was an error of some sort. The fact that it has caused so much discussion is evidence that he has become human to the readers, and that, I think, is what the author was striving for. Yes, it may have put a blemish on the “perfect Zhousheng Chen” image that might have been built up, but really, we still have very little understanding of what’s going on and what he’s thinking.

      “… one cannot judge the love between two people for the female’s opinion was one from an outsider’s perspective.” Agree. There’s a Chinese saying that is something along the lines of “Like one who is drinking water, only he knows whether it is warm or cold.”🙂

  22. Hi Hoju,

    No words could describe how much I appreciate your effort in the translations and update in a timely manner as per schedule. It has become something that I look forward twice a week now. Because of your translation and this beautiful blog (Peanut and team, thank you), my love for cdrama and cnovel has become so addictive that I am influencing friends as well🙂 Not even to mention that I had the opportunity to improve my mandarin (unfortunately, some dramas does not come with english subtitle).

    The beautiful and slow progress between the couple are great. I have enjoyed reading each and every chapter. As I have mentioned before, I cheated and got a friend whom through my rambling about how great this novel is, found out the ending only because she bought the actual printed novel and shared some of the important / interesting part of the novel🙂 Spoiler indeed! Patiently anticipating each chapters and progress as they are posted now.

    My only wish is Zhousheng Chen share with Shi Yi about all her near-death situation just so that she is more careful although without a doubt she knows that he truly cares and love her.

    Anyway, thanks again. Have a wonderful day ahead

    • Thank you, mhryu! I’ve been feeling a little translation burnout, so your thoughtful comment has been very encouraging.🙂 Tehe, spread the love. (My Mandarin was learnt in the same way.)

      Oooh… and you’re spreading the Mo Bao Fei Bao love! I really appreciate it when people buy the books that they love because that’s the best way to support the author.🙂

      I’m so glad you love the novel, and the proof is always when you have to tell people about it.🙂 Mm-hmm… *wink wink*

      Yes, I also disagree with Zhousheng Chen’s decision on that one.

      Thank you, as well.🙂 Hope you have a great day, too.

  23. late comment😦

    but thank you dear hoju🙂
    time to move to another chapter ^^

  24. I know it will be a happy ending for ZSC and SY, in addition to that I really want Wenxing to happy also, she totally deserves it!

    Was he jealous of Shi Yi meeting the requirements of Mei Xing’s prospective wife? Lol!

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