Fangirling Chinese Novels

One Life, One Incarnation: Beautiful Bones (一生一世美人骨) — Chapter 15.1



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Chapter 15.1 – To Leave Painted Only Half of One’s Face (1)

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.

Please do not repost this anywhere.


Zhousheng, with the single character given name, Chen.

Zhousheng, Chen.

Zhousheng Chen.

So many years have passed since being separated by life and death, yet never did your soul enter my dreams.[1]

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Outside the boat, the rain came down in a fine, continuous drizzle. There was no wind.

Inside the boat, the light and shadows cast on the bamboo curtain seemed as if they had been infinitely stretched out as they fluttered slightly. The young couple in the adjoining space did not want to disturb them either and were not speaking loudly. And hence, she could only hear him, and he could only hear her.

She exhaled softly, and then said in a low voice, “Noble young master’s name… is one this lowly girl has heard before.”

His eyes were bright and clear. “From where was it heard?”

She seemed to grow serious. “Noble young master’s name is renowned through the land. Naturally, then, it would have been from the mouths of the common man.”

“Oh?” He smiled, “And what is it that is said?”

Her voice light and her eyes gazing straight into his, Shi Yi said, “ ‘Drunken he lays upon a stretch of white bones, uninhibited and free in song. A jug of wine, a single horse; in this world, how many are true rulers?’ ”

Zhousheng Chen fell silent for a moment, carefully absorbing her words.

He believed he could guess whom she was referring to. “You really like that Xiao Nanchen Prince?”

“You know about him?”

“Yes,” he told her. “He is in the Zhousheng family geneaology records. My name was taken from his.”

“Right…” She remembered, “Xiao Ren mentioned that to me. Would what’s written about him in your family’s geneaology records have more information than what’s commonly available?”

“There are only a few sentences.”

“What about that crown princess?”

“The Cui family’s daughter?”

It was rare to find a woman’s name documented in historical records. To have something such as “Cui family’s daughter” recorded was already considered a special treatment and was only because of her high and esteemed status.

“Mm-hmm. Is there anything?”

Zhousheng Chen thought back in his mind for a little while, but then shook his head and said, “No.”

So many years have passed since being separated by life and death. Apart from her, truly, no one would remember anymore.

For one brief moment, she stared out blankly in despondency.

The boat was swaying slightly. The boatman said that the rain seemed as if it would be coming down for the entire night and advised that it would be best if they returned to shore as soon as possible to allow the guests to be able to return home. Their boat pulled out from under the canopy created by the old trees and followed back along the same way they had come. After leaving the protection of the tree covering, quite a bit of rain would splatter in. With rain coming in on both sides of the boat, there was no place to hide from it. Zhousheng Chen pulled off his coat and covered Shi Yi’s legs with it.

Very shortly, his own trousers were soaked..

Prior to tonight, there had still been the remnants of summer heat in the air, but this rain really left behind the feeling of autumn.

Only the bottom of her slacks and her shoes had gotten wet, and she already felt the cold was unbearable.

He went to the vehicle first to get an umbrella to pick her up, and in his trip there and back, his button-up shirt became sodden as well. After the two had gotten into their vehicle, he went to the trunk and pulled out two pairs of track pants and two shirts from a small suitcase that was inside before he walked back to the front, reclined the seat, and handed one of the pants to her. “It is a little big, but put it on first.” Fortunately, it was late and there was no one in the parking lot.

“Mm.” She took it from him and in that tight, little space, began to remove her slacks, shoes, and socks.

And then, she slipped on his pants. It was much more than just “a little big,” and it was very long, too…

Her feet bare, she stepped on the bottom part of the pant legs, not needing to wear shoes at all.

She heaved a long sigh. “I only just discovered today that your legs are so much longer than mine.”

Finding the sight rather amusing, Zhousheng Chen threw a couple extra glances at her.

He took a clean dress shirt, folded it, and placed it underneath her feet. His hand brushed against her foot. It was frightfully cold. “Are you very cold?”

“A little bit.” Her voice had already started to take on a nasal tone.

Taking her two feet into his hands, he set them on his knees and gently began to rub them.

Shi Yi was somewhat surprised, but she compliantly allowed him to do so.

He had never been skilled at verbally expressing his emotions, but in their times together, he would occasionally do something that would allow her to tangibly sense his feelings for her. They were not intense and scorching, but slowly, they penetrated deep into her.

The warm wind of the car’s heat and his actions allowed her feet to gradually warm up.

Shi Yi shifted her feet.

He lifted his eyes to look at her. “Warmer now?”

“Mm-hmm.” She urged him, “Hurry and change your clothes.”

She pulled her feet back and set them on the clean shirt he had folded, then handed the clothes that had been on the backseat to him.

Zhousheng Chen swiftly changed out of his button-up shirt and trousers. When he had put on the clean pants, she took his wet clothing from him and tossed them into the backseat. Unexpectedly, she sensed him leaning in towards her. The distinct, gentle warmth of his breath caused her awareness to grow fuzzy, and she turned her head to the side, allowing her lips to bump his.

Inside the car, the two of them silently kissed.

Her body had gone from feelng icy-cold to a somewhat unbearable parching heat. As her fingers toyed with his shirt, they unintentionally brushed against his chest.

She suddenly became aware that this was still the car park.

She nudged him and said quietly, “Let’s go home.”

He kissed her lightly on the cheek and said an “alright” before, at last, buttoning up his shirt.

As their vehicle pulled out of the car park, he suddenly remembered something. “When we have confirmed a date for our wedding, how about we arrange for my mother to have dinner with your parents?”

Shi Yi was taken aback for a moment, and she gaped incredulously at him, her eyes filled with a delighted surprise. “Really?”

He smiled. “Really.”

<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only. Please do not repost this anywhere, including, but not limited to, on Wattpad, on personal blogs, as distributable electronic files, etc.

It had been Shi Yi’s desire to not set a firm wedding date yet.

She wanted their wedding ceremony to be held after Wenxing’s surgery. After all, prior to that, most of Zhousheng Chen’s thoughts would be on Wenxing anyway, and Shi Yi was the same. However, she could inform her parents with certainty that they were already starting to prepare for their wedding. She had faith in Zhousheng Chen. Since he had already arranged for Granny Wang to begin making their wedding attire, this indicated that he was fully assured that he would be victorious in regards to the matters of the family.

Today, she would be recording at the studio, and this particular studio happened to be in the same building as the television station.

As a result, she arranged to meet-up with Hong Xiaoyu for lunch, planning to chat with her for a little while before she officially started her day’s work.

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They were both not particular about what they ate, so they simply went to a small restaurant in the vicinity.

Not long after their food had been served, Hong Xiaoyu began telling her about her boyfriend. “Shi Yi, I’m going to tell you something. I think my feelings are genuine. I want to get married.”

Shi Yi smiled, “Let me eat first.”

“No, no. You have to talk to me…”

“Alright. You talk, I’m listening.”

“Um… There’s actually really not much to say. I just feel like he has very good character. You know, the type of goodness that comes from the very core of who you are. You can sense it.” Wang Xiaoyu thought for a moment and added, “He’s different from that scientist of yours. Your scientist seems almost like he ‘does not partake of the food of mere mortals[2]’ [not part of this world]… Gives people a sense of being distant and removed.”

“Does he?” Shi Yi thought he was rather normal.

“ ‘Does not partake of the food of mere mortals’ seems a little strange when used to describe a man. Anyway, it’s like, he does not really care about the vast majority of things. When you guys are together… is it pleasant and harmonious?”

Her question made Shi Yi feel, um… seriously. She glanced at Hong Xiaoyu, but did not say anything.

“It’s really good? Really bad?”

“Alright, alright. “She shoved a cup of tea over to Hong Xiaoyu. “Change the topic.”

Typically, her working hours went from noon until eleven or twelve o’clock at night.

Since she had just recovered from a serious illness, in the first half a month after she went back to work, she would record only until nine o’clock and then finish up. Today, because the recording engineer had matters to attend to, they had already finished their work for the day shortly after eight.

She made a phone call to Zhousheng Chen. “I’m finished early.”

“Alright. I will be there in approximately thirty minutes.”

“Don’t rush.” She sat down on the couch and, from the shelf beside her, pulled out a magazine. “I have a place here where I can rest. Just come after you’re done taking care of your things.”


Zhousheng Chen hung up his mobile phone and then looked over at Tong Jiaren, who was sitting beside him.

Earlier on, when he had stepped into the parking garage, he had seen her standing beside his vehicle. She was already four or five months pregnant, but there was no one with her. He did not know what her purpose for coming was and merely invited her into the car first before any further discussions.

Their conversation was in the vehicle, so Uncle Lin stepped out the car.

“That was Shi Yi?”

Zhousheng Chen smiled but did not reply.

Tong Jiaren also did not immediately speak and simply tugged down gently on her gloves, glancing at him from the corner of her eye.

The Zhousheng Chen sitting beside her still liked to wear plain trousers and light-colored, checkered dress shirts. A suit jacket worn overtop and he would be ready to meet visitors or clients. Changing into the long, white coat on top and he could step straight into the laboratory. This was the man that she truly kept in her heart, the one who could dialogue with people of all skin colors, completely uninhibited by national borders, and who did things that would benefit mankind.

She recalled, the first time she had seen him outside of a laboratory setting, he had been different from the normal Zhousheng Chen.

At that moment, he had been arguing about something with a black person, focused and passionate. She had not understood what he was saying.

From when he entered university at fourteen years old, they had become separated into two different worlds. She had tried with all her might to catch up to him, but this had still only qualified her to be invited to some of the same meetings as him that were more about formalities than of actual substance. That was all.

The world of his mind, thoughts, and beliefs had been her life’s goal.

In that moment, Tong Jiaren’s mind was on the things of the past. She even started to doubt why she had come to see him. To be able to quietly be with him for a few minutes, or to…?

“I will not choose to make the situation the worst possible.”

In the end, it was Zhousheng Chen who spoke first. Before she had said anything, he had first given her the answer.

His words were frank. “No matter what, we are family.”

His lenience and forgiveness made her unable to find words.

Since Uncle’s return, all the things that Zhou Wenchuan had done had filled her with disdain.

Never before had she ever seen such a tumultuous Zhou family. The elder generation all turned a deaf ear while the younger generation was restlessly stirring, preoccupied with choosing their side – to join themselves with the Eldest Young Master, who was the rightful and legitimate person, or to choose Uncle and Zhou Wenchuan, whose foundation of power was firm and well-established. Only a few days ago, Zhousheng Chen’s mother, who had since the beginning remained silent on all of this, finally began to recognize Shi Yi’s status. This was equivalent to siding with her eldest son.

Uncle could be remarkably capable, but he still was not the rightful successor. The choice of Zhousheng Chen’s mother was clearly pointing out the direction for everyone else, including close friends from the past of Zhousheng Chen’s father, who were now gradually starting to reveal their stance.

“I’m sorry,” she said.

He looked at her.

“I’m talking about the incident when she was in Wuzhen.”

“I know.” Zhousheng Chen’s tone was very impassive.

“It was because I… was jealous of her.”

He smiled, but did not speak.

Tong Jiaren thought, before such an intelligent person, it seemed like anything she said was merely repeating something he already knew. It was out of jealousy that, when she learned that Zhou Wenchuan had sent people to abduct Shi Yi, she had not tried to prevent it or even to warn her. She recalled that every time Zhou Wenchuan mentioned this topic, he would always mockingly jeer, “My dear wife, I truly did trust you during that time because I knew you must be jealous of her.”

“My apologies, Jiaren.” He glanced at his watch. “I need to leave now.”

It required fifteen minutes driving time from this place to where Shi Yi was, and their conversation just now had already used ten minutes.

She forced a smile. “It is I who should apologize.”

She knew he honored punctuality, so she did not attempt to say anymore. Opening the door, she stepped out of the vehicle.

Uncle Lin, too, was looking at his watch. When he saw Tong Jiaren had gotten out, he nodded and inquired, “Do you, Second Young Madam require a vehicle to be arranged to pick you up?”

“No, thank you. A vehicle will be here soon for me.”

Uncle Lin nodded once more. Soon after he had sat back into the car, he had driven out of the parking garage.

She stood off to the side of the road, completely unable to see through the window to the person on the other side, but in her mind, she could easily evoke the image of a figure sitting inside.

The curve of his back, the position of his arm, as well as his expression when he spoke to Uncle Lin.

When she was only a few years old, she had already sat in the same car with him. Even up to their teenage years, up to when she had graduated from university, up to the time prior to the wedding, she had been the only girl who had ever shared a vehicle with him. It was to the extent that, even now, she still was not accustomed to the feeling of Zhou Wenchuan sitting beside her. He was too restless and edgy. No matter how hard he tried to conceal it, Zhou Wenchuan’s heart was restless and edgy because he coveted.

Unlike him. He would never be able to be like him.

<>Copyright of Fanatical, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Translated with the express permission of the author for hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com only. Please do not repost this anywhere, including, but not limited to, on Wattpad, on personal blogs, as distributable electronic files, etc.

[1] 悠悠生死别经年,魂魄不曾来入梦。This is a line from Tang dynasty poet, Bai Juyi’s (see footnote [1], chapter 9.1) famous poem, 长恨歌 “Song of Everlasting Regret.”

[2] 不食人间烟火 “bu shi ren jian yan huo.” This phrase, “to not partake of the food of mere mortals,” was originally used to describe immortals or those who studied Taoist ways, i.e. removed from the things of the mortal world. When used to describe a person, especially a woman, it could be referring to someone who has such beauty or bearing that appears almost ethereal. (Think Xiao Long Nü from Jin Yong’s “Return of the Condor Heroes.”) But on the flip side, it could simply carry connotations that a person has an aloof, even antisocial temperament, and does not really fit in with the crowd. In describing Zhousheng Chen, it is kind of carrying all those connotations. His aspirations and career seem so far from the things of ordinary people that he does seem almost separate from the mortal world, to the point that he exudes a sense that people can’t get close to him.

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.

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

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55 thoughts on “One Life, One Incarnation: Beautiful Bones (一生一世美人骨) — Chapter 15.1

  1. Thanks. I’m sad that we’re nearing the end.

    Hmm… I feel a wee bit sorry for Tong Jiaren. She’s kind of similar to the Crown Princess. Raised next to Zhousheng Chen but not able to be with him.

    As usual, mention of the Xiao Nanchen Prince makes me despondent. The injustice of it sometimes overpowers the rest of the story for me. I wonder how many stories there are like this throughout history? History is always written by the winners.

    • I can’t believe we are nearing the ending!

      Yes. I can’t say I really like Tong Jiaren because while there’s nothing about her to really dislike, I haven’t been given anything to like, too. She does have a pretty pitiable life. Everyone has a backstory, and while we don’t know the details, we know she was raised to be someone’s wife and had made that her life’s goal, pouring her heart into it. Then, she suddenly had to give that up. While I think she voluntarily went and told Zhousheng Chen that she was calling off their engagement, I believe she was told by her family to do it because they wanted to side with Uncle instead. Her life basically had to fall to the whim of her family.

      I think Xiao Nanchen Prince was brilliantly written. I had initially wished that more had been written about him, about how he interacted with Shi Yi, more first person accounts, or something. But I realized that Mo Bao Fei Bao really had exercised the technique of touching upon something, just enough, and then leaving it be. Through the history books and narrations, we know just enough about his battle achievements and morals to understand how formidable and righteous he was. Through Eleven’s fragmented memories, we get glimpses of his kindness and gentle touches so that he is more than just a figure in the history books. But we don’t have complete, whole memories that show too much of him, so he still is this amazing character worthy of admiration, but yet, through Eleven, he was real, not just a name. Too much more and he would have been too grounded into reality.

      Definitely. Especially emperors that had to rise out of chaos. How many could truly be that benevolent, considering the tumultuous times?

  2. Thank you for the chapter.

  3. *sigh* I love their interaction… 😍
    I feel sorry for Tong Jiaren also. I wonder if she didn’t break off their engagement, would ZSC try as hard as he was trying to be a good husband to SY? Or would their marriage be forever a political marriage? Listen to me, I’m trying to re-write this whole novel into totally different plots. 😜 With the exception of the uncle & Zhou Wenchuan, everybody else is actually a “good” person. Part of me still wants to ship SY with Mei Xing. 😉

    • Thanks for the translation, Hoju!

    • Me too. ❤

      I don't like her, but I do pity her (for the reasons I wrote to urbanscrappy, above). There may be some bias here because I think Zhousheng Chen should only be with Shi Yi (tehe… :p) but no, I don't think so. I believe that Zhousheng Chen tried so hard with Shi Yi because he, himself, made the promise. It was not out of fiancé or husbandly duties that he worked so hard on the relationship, but, I think, because he had made the commitment to her. He asked her to come into the relationship with him and knew what he was bringing her into. He promised that, besides the weird start, he would progress their relationship as normal as possible and learn to love her, and so, as a gentleman of his word, he did just that. With Tong Jiaren, the obligation lay only in that his family had arranged this for him and Tong Jiaren knew it was a marriage not based on love or even feelings, at least from his part.

      I don't think you're trying to rewrite the novel. I think it's a sign that the author has gotten you thinking. I've said this again and again, but really, each person has their own story. Choices were made, whether you deem them right or not, and thinking "what if" means that MBFB created characters that were not simply wallflowers.

      I really, really like Mei Xing, but I don't ship him with Shi Yi and not simply because I believe Shi Yi belongs to Zhousheng Chen. On the surface, they seem so compatible because of Mei Xing's love for the traditional arts and classic literature, but Shi Yi's love for those things are largely because of the feelings and memories they conjure up in her. She loves tea and painting and poetry because those connect her to the past. She can intellectually talk about them with Mei Xing, but that's not what she is passionate about. Mei Xing is looking for someone who shares that passion.


  4. I love the contemplative tone of this story. It really does evoke ancient times, which works so well with the plot and themes.

    • Thank you for that. 🙂 I know we are deep in the mystery part of the novel, and that’s what the bulk of the discussion is about, so I’m glad that the atmosphere is still coming across in the translation. 🙂

  5. i’m gonna cry when this is over 😦

  6. ZSC really sweet. Thank you so much!! 😘😘😘

    • Mm-hmm… I’m kind of amused that our chemistry professor’s attempt at making a romantic date turned out to be cold and soggy. I guess he had to make up for it in the car. 😉

      You’re welcome!

  7. Can’t wait till epilogues! I remember that I really liked one of them but cant remember details so Im glad you are translating them too 🙂 Also perfect timing for her upcoming novel *squeal* I think she just started a countdown.

    • And I know which epilogue you’re talking about. 😉

      MBFB is back! And posting as she promised. LOL, yes, she had a countdown, but she started the countdown on the wrong number. :p BTW, you knew that Ding Mo unexpectedly popped up on MBFB’s weibo a couple months ago and made a comment. Then, yesterday, when MBFB posted the link to her first chapter, DM forwarded it in her own weibo and said she doesn’t need to worry that she has nothing to read. I guess they’re friends, now. Now, if only Ding Mo would start Lin Mochen, I’ll be very happy (although, part of me is torn because Lin Mochen is almost perfect, and I don’t want him dragged to reality). I am waiting to start reading on Cheng Muyun, though, until a sizeable chunk has been written. I nearly died when she stopped in the middle of Healing Sunshine and went back to re-write and I had to wait and wait…

      • Yea! I was reading comments today from her post on starting the book and Ding Mo commented that she will follow/start. Sounds like it will be soon!

        I’ve decided if I dont like the Lin Mo Chen from the book, I’ll just read it as a standalone. I do really like how she has epilogues where her characters interact. Now if she would write about all their kids when they are older… If she does I’m totally on the Bo Jin boat unless Ji Bai ‘s son gets more interesting. Bo Jin is actually pretty cute in all the Fan Wais that he is in ^_^

        • That’s true. I’ll pretend he’s someone unrelated to the Lin Mochen I love. :p Did you read the 2nd meeting between Han Chen and Bo Jin Yan? God Bo is simply hilarious. I heard their first meeting is in an epilogue in the published book of Memory Lost. I haven’t searched for it online yet because I intend on buying the book, but I’m so curious what the initial meeting between these two “gods” would be like and how jealous Han Chen would be when Su Mian gushed over her idol.

          • Don’t think so, I’ve only read the ones she posts on her Weibo too. You must be really good at Chinese to use published books. I use a pop-up app for words I’m uncertain of such as names so Chinese books I own are more for supporting authors and looking pretty.

          • There’s nothing like reading from a good ol’ hardcopy book. There’s so many typos in the online versions and the formatting sometimes isn’t the best. A professionally edited version really improves the reading experience. If possible, I buy my favourites, although it is not cheap to buy Chinese books where I am, if I can get them at all. I’ve got a few that I’ve been waiting for, but only one site has it that will ship to where I am, and the shipping is 7-8x the cost of the book! That was the case for RRMY, and I had to bite the bullet because I *needed* that on my shelf (two copies, in fact… tehe).

          • Hmm I guess I feel that way about English books but with ipads and tablets and their adjustable lighting/background color, I tend to read much more on screens. It’s not really something I can do in Chinese though right now bc I have only taken Chinese classes on Saturdays for four-five years total-and that was nearly ten years ago! Also two of those years were translation level classes so it wasn’t vocabulary focussed .

            On the bright side my comprehension and guessing abilities are pretty good and speaking-wise everyone thinks I’m a fob in the best way. I just need the pin yin for words such as names of people or terms that are not commonly used so reading on comp is the best option. I used to watch Korean dramas with chi subs bc 1 they came out earlier than English subs, 2 I could understand all of it bc the names are spoken, and 3 I could learn some Chinese… But now with new regulations they aren’t subbed and released anymore. 😢 So now I translate for fun sometimes as a way to destress, reread fun passages, and learn some Chinese.

            Oh wow shipping sounds so bad! Do you taobao and ship? I usually taobao things and ship to relative and get someone to bring it when they come. They accept Visa…so it’s quite convenient for me. But shipping internationally seems complicated so I haven’t tried that yet.

          • I don’t have people that I would want to trouble to bring back to me that visit regularly enough. 😉 Dangdang is the exorbitant, although wickedly fast, shipping. I used to do yesasia because I prefer traditional characters and they are HK based so have a greater selection, but they charge an arm and a leg. I usually now go through the international division of jd and just get everything in simplified.

          • Wow traditional! I’m even worse in traditional… So impressed by people who can write out all those strokes by hand. It makes sense you’d prefer it if you learned it first. Ah, I get so many feels when people speak really proper Mandarin – – takes me back to childhood. One time at my Uni library I heard a guy with a great voice speaking really good chinese and I literally did a double take (this has never happened before for looks or voices, and I promise I’m actually not creepy). I think comfort/nostalgia from voices is one of the reasons I liked RRMY so much. Good voices can bring out so many emotions ^_^ that and who doesn’t love good food heheh

  8. Did Zhou Wenchuan poison SY as well?

  9. Kidnapping attempt ? When this event occurs? Can anyone pls tell me which chapter that is. I really need to re-read for 4th time. Haizzz

    • I think it was when Shi Yi’s agency had that talent show to sign new voice actors in Wuzhen. Remember when she woke up from a bad dream so she called ZSC. During their middle of the night conversation, SY thought she heard foot steps & noises outside of the bedroom that she was staying in Wuzhen. Then, the next day, Xiao Ren showed up to accompany her before ZSC came back into the country. My guess was that there were indeed people outside trying to abduct her at that time. But what I didn’t understand was why those people decided not to abduct her after all. I don’t remember which chapter though.

    • In Wuzhen. Remember, most of this is written from Shi Yi’s perspective, so it’s not explicit. I’d go back to read chapters 10 and 11. Well, 11 partly because I love that chapter, but also you may have a fresh perspective on some of the things Zhousheng Chen says.

      Wow, fourth time? You’re catching up to me. :p

  10. Thank you 🙂

  11. Thank you for the chapter 🙂
    Is the kidnapping attempt the one in chapter 10-2? The sound of footstep outside of SY’s room?

    • I’d say that’s a very reasonable deduction. 😉 Re-read it, especially some of the things Zhousheng Chen says to Shi Yi on the phone to calm her and keep her away from the door. With this little piece of info, it gives you a new light on some of the things he says. And also what he said when he arrives in Wuzhen and she asked him why he had suddenly shown up there.

  12. When did SY been kidnapped. I don’t remember 😞😂
    Thank you hoju for the chapter

    • I’m glad you don’t remember because she never was. 😉 Tong Jiaren just said that “she learned that Zhou Wenchuan had *sent* people to abduct Shi Yi.” It was only an attempt.

      You’re welcome!

  13. Ohh, I didn’t see this coming.. Didn’t think Zhou Wenchuan and the uncle would be so evil, the attempts on SY’s life were probably all by them. I feel sorry for Tong Jiaren, what a web she’s gotten herself into. She would probably be happier if she was free of the Zhou family, but maybe she couldn’t escape..

    • Yes, things aren’t great for Tong Jiaren. Unfortunately, I think it was a web she was born into. Remember way back when in the early chapters, they had said some of the wealthy families raised daughters specifically to marry them off in business/political marriages. I think Tong Jiaren was one of those, where her entire life, she was groomed to marry someone that would benefit her family — first, Zhousheng Chen, but when they decided he didn’t have real power, she had to call it off, and then, I believe, later they decided it would be Zhou Wenchuan.

  14. Thanks Hoju, same here i also not remember SY been kidnapped ??

    • Haha… honestly, guys, you didn’t get amnesia. Shi Yi was never kidnapped. Tong Jiaren said Zhou Wenchuan *sent* people to abduct her. She didn’t say they successfully abducted her. Somehow, the plan was foiled. 😉

  15. Lol I think we’re all scrambling to try and work out when they tried to kidnap Shi Yi right now haha but since Tong Jiaren stated that it happened in Wuzhen, then I’m guessing it was all those noises she was hearing on the night Zhousheng Chen kept her company over the phone, which means that~ our lovable little Zhousheng Ren’s real reason for going all the way there was to protect her??? Answers, Hoju, we need answers~~~ and also, thank you so much for the update ^_^

  16. It’s really scary to even think of being a part of the Zhuo family. Too many secrets and relationships are broken over power. Hopefully, ZSC and SY will be able to lead a normal life.
    Thanks Hoju!

    • And that’s why Zhousheng Chen is counting down the days until his life returns to its normal trajectory, away from the Zhou family. 😦

      You’re welcome!

  17. Thank you for the chapter.
    There are a few points I’m not completely certain about, so if I may ask for your opinion/elucidation?… Thanks in advance. 😉
    1) “…his feelings for her. They were not intense and scorching, but slowly, they penetrated deep into her.”
    Does Shi Yi mean that Zhousheng Chen’s feelings for her aren’t intense & passionate, but steady and far-reaching?
    2) “Does not partake of the food of mere mortals”
    I thought there was a subtle (or maybe not even that subtle) criticism in Hong Xioayu’s words about ZSC. How did Shi Yi really feel about her friend’s assessment? Did she want to change the topic because she thought her friend was right, or wrong?
    3) I don’t understand Tong Jiaren. If her feelings for ZSC were that strong, why would she ever have decided to break their engagement? And moreover, choose to marry into that same family soon afterward, but the other brother?
    4) Why would Tong Jiaren feel jealous of ZSC’s wife? How would she justify that feeling to herself?
    5) I don’t know if this was ever explained. How did ZSC’s wedding ring come to be in Tong Jiaren’s possession that time in Germany?
    6) Why would ZSC’s mother suddenly change her mind and support Shi Yi now when she so clearly wouldn’t before (and the reasons she gave then aren’t less valid now)?

    • You’re welcome!

      Hmm… good questions. 🙂

      1) Yes, that could be it. I don’t think it’s a description of how much or how deep is the love Zhousheng Chen has for her, but rather, how it feels to her when that love is expressed. I had once written the analogy of a waterfall vs a small, little stream that flows over a rock to describe their relationship. Under the waterfall, the water comes crashing onto you, and you cannot help but feel its intense force. You know that the rock beneath it will be polished. But a slow, steady stream that continuously flows, day in and day out, over a rock may, at first, seem like it can’t do anything, but it can still be seen and felt everyday, as slowly, surely, it etches a path into the rock.

      2) Yes, there is a negative side to that idiom. When it’s not used to describe a woman’s gorgeous beauty or truly, someone who is trying to reach enlightenment, it often carries a negative connotation, basically saying the person is anti-social. I don’t think Hong Xiaoyu was saying it as a direct criticism, but it is implying that he is “weird.”

      3) (My speculations.) Tong Jiaren came from one of the families that was “friends” with the Zhou family, so that implies that her family would certainly have some sort of power and probably operates in certain businesses outside of “the light of the law” as well. My speculation, but Tong jiaren was basically one of those daughters that was mentioned earlier in the novel, raised for the sole purpose to be wedded off in union that would bring some sort of benefits to both families, i.e. a political/business marriage. (They talk about this at the end of chapter 3.3.) She was raised with the idea that she would eventually marry Zhousheng Chen, and somehow, feelings developed. (It could be love, it could be habit or possessiveness… not enough details to judge.) However, Uncle has had the control of the Zhou family this whole time, prior to Zhousheng Chen’s coming of age. At some point in time, the Tong family decided that Uncle’s true power at that moment was more worthy of aligning with than Zhousheng Chen’s status as the future head of the Zhou family. (Perhaps they thought Uncle might attempt to usurp that position and take over, not just as acting leader, and with his well-established connections, he might be able to do it?) So, since Tong Jiaren’s younger sister — Xiao Ren’s mother — liked Uncle, they married her off to him instead. Now, siding with Uncle means that they are not siding with Zhousheng Chen, hence, they probably told Tong Jiaren to end her engagement to him so that they could put this daughter to better use. And by better use, they married her off later to Zhou Wenchuan, who has an alliance with Uncle. We don’t know when she and Zhou Wenchuan officially got married, but it was likely not shortly after she broke off the engagement with Zhousheng Chen, considering that her sister (Uncle’s wife and Xiao Ren’s mom) died almost 10 years ago.

      4) She’d been groomed to be Zhousheng Chen’s wife for most of her life. She said herself that no one had sat in his vehicle with him all those years, and Shi Yi was probably the first after her. So, love or not, there was probably a feeling that something that used to exclusively be hers was officially not. Even though it had not been hers for so many years, no one had ever “moved in” on it before either like Shi Yi has. (Zhousheng Chen’s second engagement, he did not even know the girl, much less sat in the same car as her.) How does she justify her feelings? Feelings often just occur, even if they aren’t justified. And as long as she never acts on those feelings, it’s okay to me. Did you sense any subtle hints of hostility or perhaps, trying to one-up Shi Yi in any of their scenes together? (Curious because some people did.) Not warning or trying to prevent Shi Yi’s abduction was, to her, acting on her own jealousy, and that is why she felt she needed to apologize, even though she did not actively participate.

      5) I know some people are hung up on this, but I think the info we have is pretty good as it is in order to make some inferences. Zhousheng Chen said he took it off when he was washing his hands and lost it. Given that the location of COSPAR conferences change each time, they are using some sort of venue that is not COSPAR owned and probably somewhat publicly accessible. e.g. hotel, a conference centre, etc. Therefore, if he took his ring off in a bathroom, it’s very possible that someone else could have gotten it. Tong Jiaren is at the same conference as him, and we know she has her own attendants (that would be Zhou Wenchuan’s attendants) nearby. Even Zhou Wenchuan could possibly have been in the facility, just not attending the conference, so when Zhousheng Chen used a public washroom… The exact details don’t need to be known, just that the ring was vulnerable at one point in time, so Zhou Wenchuan definitely had the opportunity.

      6) Are you saying the reasons she gave Shi Yi? They may have been part of the reasons, but how do you know they’re her true or key reason? Plus, it had been said that she had remained silent. She hadn’t taken a side officially, so maybe she was just waffling, not sure which direction to lean towards.

      • Sorry for the late reply. 😉 First and foremost, thank you for the in-depth answers; they’ve definitely cleared up some important details for me.

        You asked: “Did you sense any subtle hints of hostility or perhaps, trying to one-up Shi Yi in any of their scenes together? (Curious because some people did.)”
        Yes, I did gain an impression that Tong Jiaren didn’t like Shi Yi, and the hints weren’t even that subtle, lol. The first time Shi Yi meets her, she says: “A rather cool person, and even slightly hostile.” Also: “she gave off a sense of aloofness”.
        These are all Shi Yi’s impressions, but because she is the heroine, and because as a reader, I’m “living” the book through her POV, I’m being implicitly nudged–or at least encouraged–to adopt her views as my own (until and unless those views are overthrown by contradictory behavior).
        Anyway…This is the first appearance of Tong Jiaren, and as such crucial in establishing how I (the reader) view(s) her now and later on. The first impression is often hard to overcome, especially when the character’s other appearances are rare–and not explicitly revealing of Jiaren’s thoughts/motivations so as to paint an accurate picture of her character. Moreover, the first impression will color my interpretation of Jiaren’s future behavior. She may act cool and reserved, and yet this essentially neutral behavior will be perceived in a negative light (as hiding arrogance, slight hostility, even jealousy) whereas if the first impression had been favorable it could have been perceived more favorably (as shyness etc.).
        To conclude: Shi Yi from the first perceives Tong Jiaren as slightly hostile; I see nothing to contradict Shi Yi’s first impression and so I keep it as my own, too. Later, when other details trickle in (the fact that Zhousheng Chen and Tong Jiaren were engaged, the fact that she maybe appropriates ZSC’s wedding ring or even just her husband’s warning to Shi Yi in Bremen, the fact that her face changes when she sees ZSC carrying Shi Yi in his arms etc. etc.)–though these are only slight hints and may be inconclusive & insufficient for judging Tong Jiaren’s character, added to a bad first impression they paint her as someone who’s very likely still hung up on or at least possessive of ZSC, thus she’s jealous of and hostile towards Shi Yi.

        You asked: “Are you saying the reasons [Zhousheng Chen’s mother] gave Shi Yi? They may have been part of the reasons, but how do you know they’re her true or key reason?”
        True, I don’t know her reasons; not only is ZSC’s mother often inscrutable, but she’s also contradictory in her behavior. On the one hand, she seems to start accepting Shi Yi (after the drowning incident)–sending medicine, talking with her and even smiling–on the other hand, she tells ZSC in a cold, flat tone, “I believe that girl is ill-omened.” (when Wenxing is ill, the night Shi Yi is poisoned).
        It seemed weird that she suddenly decided to support ZSC after, in your words “waffling” for so long, when no clear reason for her decision is provided and nothing that would have made her change her previously held views of Shi Yi. I hope this will be explained.

        • I wasn’t questioning anyone’s feelings that Tong Jiaren was unfriendly to Shi Yi. I, too, always felt the same, and I have said, I just don’t like her. More accurately, I felt uncomfortable whenever she appeared, similar to the uncomfortable feelings Shi Yi would feel from her.

          Zhousheng Chen’s mother:
          Her dislike was not directed at Shi Yi, herself, but rather, possibly an overstepping of boundaries by Zhousheng Chen. She was haughty and did not want to like her, and hence, she could find all sorts of reasons not to. Those reasons could be perfectly valid, like the one where she said Shi Yi is not suitable for their family, but that’s not the true reason behind the dislike. Gradually, after the anger of getting her authority taken away from her starts to lessen, she can see at least start to slowly see past her initial bias and acknowledge things like the calm Shi Yi held in the face of authorities showing up at the door, her talent in poetry and painting, etc. It doesn’t mean she supports Zhousheng Chen with Shi Yi — she seemed to want to maintain neutrality — just that she’s not as hostile to her and will reason with her to leave. And then, perhaps, when bad things happen, it’s very easy to fall back on those negative feelings…

  18. Thank you……wondering about the kidnapping too…..

    • Haha… another person who thought she got amnesia. 😉 We only know that Zhou Wenchuan *sent* people. Somehow, the abduction failed but there was an attempt that Tong Jiaren knew about. Read chapters 10 and 11 and pay attention toZhousheng Chen’s words to Shi Yi, including what he said when he first arrived in Wuzhen.

  19. ah.. this jiaren.. if this was a drama, the producer and scriptwriter would make her into a bitch character.. even if in this novel she wasnt good enough, but i came to understand her point of view.. sigh.. she was the only one. but i forget why she and ZSC didnt make it? why they ‘broke up’, i know they didnt even date in the first place but they engaged to each other, right? i really forget 😦

    shi yi and zsc are so lovey dovey.. haha.. dear zsc, get a room please 😛 haha..

    thank you hoju 😀

    • Yes, unfortunately so. For “entertainment purposes,” Tong Jiaren would be throwing evil eyes at Shi Yi or even herself at Zhousheng Chen.

      As for why she broke off the engagement with Zhousheng Chen, she did it when her younger sister married the Zhousheng uncle (Xiao Ren is their son). I wrote something in #3 to Adnana, up above. I won’t repeat it here because it’s so long. Yes, they did not date and they were basically slated to be married since they were kids as an arranged marriage between the two families.

      LOL, yes, Zhousheng Chen, control yourself!

      You’re welcome!

  20. Zhousheng Chen pulled off his coat and covered Shi Yi’s legs with it. ~~~ aaahh so romantic 😍😍😍

  21. I’m finally back to actually type out all my comments on the rest of the story! Though I did faithfully read along on my phone screen stealing free wi-fi when I could ❤

    Tong Jiaren is such an interesting character for me. She's to be pitied in that she was raised for her entire life to be ZSC's partner, only to have it snatched away due to other people's ambitions and agenda. I like how she contrasts with ShiYi; seemingly passive but with a hidden sting. I find her hard to read, in that I'm unsure if she loves him, or if it's more of a residual feeling of possession.

    I love the first section of this chapter though, where ShiYi quotes that passage to him in such a light tone, but you really get the feeling that she longed for ZSC to have some sort of reaction, a spark of recognition.

    • Welcome back to being fully connected to the rest of the world. 🙂

      I think that we haven’t been given enough information to judge whether Tong Jiaren’s feelings are love or just possessiveness. She makes me, as a reader, uncomfortable with her, but that’s because of her veiled hostility towards Shi Yi. As a character, like most of the others, she has depth and is not black and white. I like how the author provides enough information to allow us to ponder on these characters and their motivations and to know pieces of their worlds, but like it is in real life, we can never know anyone’s entire story.

      Carrying the knowledge of their past life is both a joy, as it was her entire motivation in life, and a burden in Shi Yi. To have to hold that all within herself, to never be able to share it with anyone, must be so hard. When that person of her memories is right before her, though she knows it’s in vain, she still longs for him to remember something, even the slightest bit. The smile, the lighthearted tone, are things she has adapted in life to deal with this secret she has held her entire life.

  22. I thought the scene with the maternal grandmother implied that Zhou Wenchuan has some feelings for Tong Jiaren… maybe not? I kinda feel bad for Tong Jiaren. She had been engaged with Zhousheng Chen and developed feelings for him, but she had to break off their engagement.
    Many thanks, hoju~

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