Fangirling Chinese Novels

One Life, One Incarnation: Beautiful Bones (一生一世美人骨) — Chapter 15.3



Sometimes, wisdom is knowing when something just is not yours to have…

Chapter 15.3 – To Leave Painted Only Half of One’s Face (3)

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An explanation was not needed because a visit so late in the night, without question, could only be about Wenxing.

Mei Xing did not belong to the Zhou family. After this incident, Zhousheng Chen’s mother naturally wanted to prevent anyone from getting close to Wenxing. Hence, he had received the news but was unable to see her, and finally, he had no other option but to seek out Zhousheng Chen.

The two men were having their discussion in the living room while Shi Yi made tea for them.

Then, closing the door behind her, she stayed alone in the study and read.

It was relatively quiet until, all of a sudden, the noise of something shattering rang out.

Startled, Shi Yi yanked open the door. Turning toward the sound made by the opening door, Mei Xing glanced at her and gave a very apologetic smile. He then shifted his eyes back to Zhousheng Chen, forcing himself to keep his emotions under control. His voice was much lower as he said, “My apologies. I got too worked up a moment ago.”

Zhousheng Chen shook his head. “It’s alright. I was much more worked up than that when I was at the hospital.”

The two of them simultaneously bent down to pick up the broken glass.

“Don’t pick it up with your hands.” Shi Yi hurriedly stopped them and then, from the kitchen, brought over a clean dishtowel. Zhousheng Chen took it, picked up each of the pieces, and wrapped them carefully in the towel before handing it back to her.

“Should I make a new cup of tea for you?” she asked Mei Xing.

“No, it’s getting late.” Mei Xing smiled, rose from the sofa, and bid them farewell.

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After seeing their guest out the door, she picked up his cup of tea and brought it to the kitchen to wash.

The whole time, the living room maintained a state of quiet. Finding this rather odd, she hurriedly finished tidying and stepped back out, where she saw him still silently sitting on the sofa, folding a piece of paper in half, then in half again, and so on, carrying this pattern on repeatedly.

The paper was getting smaller and smaller with each fold until it was so small it could no longer be folded in half anymore.

Hearing the sound of her footsteps, he lifted his eyes to look at her and suddenly chuckled, “At first, everyone believed that a single piece of paper could only be folded in half eight times when done in real life. Later, it was argued and proven that, if you use a machine, you could fold it nine times.”

“And then?” She predicted that someone else must have overturned this conclusion.

“And then, someone later calculated it out that it was twelve times.[1]

“Calculated it out?”

With an “mm,” he explained, “This is actually a math problem.”

“Really?” Shi Yi crouched down in front of him, taking the paper from his hands. “People who study math are so weird. They’d take something like paper folding and use it for calculations, too?”

“Is it weird?” He was smiling. “You never learned this in primary school?”

“Primary school?” Shi Yi was even more astonished.

She tried hard to recall. She should… not have learned it, right?

Had she? How was a math problem like this supposed to be solved?

Intent in her thinking, her eyes were fixated upon that piece of paper that had been folded into a little pile.

“It’s not true.”

“Huh?” She stared blankly at him.

“What I said at the end was not true.” He gave a little laugh. “You could not possibly have learned this in primary school.”

Shi Yi finally realized that he had been joking with her. Zhousheng Chen had already risen and stepped into the bathroom and was now turning on the water to bathe. It was not often that he was in the mood to soak in the bathtub . She grabbed some clean clothes for him, and when she brought it to the bathroom, she saw he was removing his pants.

Perhaps because Zhousheng Chen’s mother was very tall, the three siblings were not short in stature either.

Standing there beside the tub, his legs were long, lean, and straight, and as a result of his cultured upbringing since childhood, his standing and sitting postures, including the one right now where he was bent slightly at the waist to test the water temperature, with that curvature in his lower back… were all very good.

Shi Yi placed the clothing into a basket.

After he was sitting and leaning back in the bathtub, she walked over quietly said, “I’ll help you bathe.”


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Amid the faint steam of the room, she poured some shampoo into her palm and began massaging his hair. “Don’t open your eyes.” Zhousheng Chen was very obedient, allowing her to position and direct him until, at the end, she folded up a warm towel, placed it under his neck as a cushion, and, holding the showerhead in her hand, carefully washed out his hair.

His hair was very soft following the rinsing.

After toweling it dry somewhat, he sat up straight. Some shorter hairs slipped down in front of his forehead, messily obscuring his eyes.

“Feels good, doesn’t it?” She amused herself by stretching out a hand to brush away the hairs falling into his eyes.

Those eyes were still and unperturbed,

She lowered her head and placed a kiss on his browbone. “I know you’re sad, but I don’t know how to console you.”

Gently, he took her chin between his fingers, guiding her head down a little lower. “Before, when you were sad, what would you do?”

Shi Yi dug through her memory for a moment and then laughed, “I’d read ‘Explaining Words and Analyzing Characters[2]” because I didn’t need to think when reading it.”

He also chuckled, “Last time, when I asked you whether you had read “Explaining Words and Analyzing Characters’ and you told me that you had read some, I was quite amused. Why do you like…um…” he paused, searching for the right words before continuing, “this ‘dictionary’ of the ancient times?”

She laughed. “I have so much time anyways. I’ll flip through any book that’s available.”

She had used ten years in that huge library tower and still only managed to read two levels of that collection of books.

For the remainder, she could only remember some of the titles.

His hair in front slipped down again.

In those eyes, besides the glow of light, there was only her.

Her hand slid down along his hair, over his face, and to his shoulders and continued to glide down. At last, it scooped up a handful of warm water and poured it gently over him before going back to lightly knead his shoulders. Her hands were hot. His body was also hot. After massaging him for only a short while, his hand reached to grab her wrist. “Shi Yi?”

“Hmm?” She gazed at him. Her eyes, too, only held him.

Zhousheng Chen stretched out his arms, lifting her entire body up and into the bathtub so that she lay on top of him.

Shi Yi’s nightgown was completely soaked. His hand very easily slipped past all the obstructions and gently entered her body, all the while very patiently tantalizing her.

For an entire hour, they lingered in the water.

In the end, he had utterly drained her, yet still he did not join his body with hers. Finally, he carried her directly out of the bathtub. After the two of them had dried off and were lying together on the bed, Zhousheng Chen at last said quietly, “I’m sorry. Today… I was not really in the mood.”

Shi Yi did not even utter a sound. Exhausted, she tangled her legs with his and, lying on her side, wrapped her arms around his waist.

Soon, she was about drift off to sleep, but she struggled herself dazedly out of her dreams for just a moment and called his name. “Zhousheng Chen.”

He patted her hand and made a sound in acknowledgement.

“I love you.”

With an “mm,” he answered, “I know. Go to sleep now.”

Her mind at ease now, she fell deep into slumber.

In a muddled, half-asleep state, she felt something cool on her wrist, as if he had slipped something onto it.

The following day, she awoke very early. Shi Yi discovered that last night, he had actually taken the eighteen prayer beads that she had carefully stored away and put it on her. She had already been wearing the safety and peace pendant he had given her, and now, there was the circle of eighteen prayer beads as well. Although Zhousheng Chen had not said anything, she could still sense that he was afraid that something truly would happen to her.

With all these unexpected mishaps and obstacles, she, too, was starting to fear.

Fear that a single misstep would result in something terrible happening.

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When she and Zhousheng Chen arrived at the hospital, the people who had been on the main level the previous night were no longer to be found. However, someone had been stationed at every exit, and these people were responsible for monitoring Zhou Wenchuan’s every movement. Zhousheng Chen personally brought Mei Xing in with him, and therefore, no one dared to stop them this time. After all, every person of the Zhou family knew the relationship this this Young Master Mei had with the Zhou family.

They were sitting in the restaurant for this particular level.

Windows that extended to the floor provided a clear view of what was outside.

They sat on the south side while Zhou Wenchuan and Wang Man sat on the other side of the restaurant.

It was an extremely uncanny scene.

However, aside from Shi Yi, everyone seemed to think that this was very normal. She mused in her mind, perhaps for these sorts of families and the internal power struggles that occurred in them, after victory and defeat had been determined, the victor would still organize a dignified and respectable funeral for the other party.

After sitting for a little while, Zhousheng Chen left temporarily to go read through the report from today.

Only she and Mei Xing remained.

Shi Yi threw a casual glance down out the window, and there, she saw Du Feng again.

This person… who was he really? She had never asked Zhousheng Chen because, to some extent, she felt guilty that she had led this “trouble” into the Zhou family. Mei Xing also noticed him, and as he followed her gaze, he said casually, “Isn’t that the Interpol agent who is seeing your friend.”

“Interpol agent?”

“Those people are responsible for investigating terrorist activities, drug production and trafficking, arms smuggling…” Mei Xing paused for a moment, seemingly in contemplation. “After the gun battle in Bremen, he started to investigate the Zhou family.”

Too much information received in too short a period of time.

In her mind, Shi Yi rapidly linked everything that had happened since her return from Germany.

Therefore, the gun fight in Bremen was not a coincidence. So… it was very likely that Zhou Wenchuan was behind it. And then, after she returned to the country, that Du Feng had appeared. Did Zhousheng Chen know about this? He must have known. Even Mei Xing clearly knew everything, how could he not know about the identity of this Interpol officer?

She glanced down at the outline of Du Feng’s back on the first floor and somewhat dazedly asked, “So right now, he’s… he’s investigating Zhou Wenchuan?”

Mei Xing did not provide a direct response. With an indifferent smile, he said, “The second young master of the Zhou family does indeed deserve a solid investigation. I believe… there will be some results soon.”

Zhousheng Chen was still talking to the doctors, and her heart was feeling agitated, so she did not continue the conversation.

Compared to what was going on with Zhou Wenchuan, she was more worried about whether Wenxing’s health would pull through…

“Last night…” There was a deep look in Mei Xing’s eyes as he watched her.

“Huh?” Shi Yi did not really understand and stared back at him.

“I’m incredibly sorry I broke your teacup.”

Realizing what he meant, she gave a little laugh. “It’s no big deal.”

It was not an expensive cup of any sort, and she did not know why he would suddenly bring it up.

He, too, chuckled. “Will you let me treat you to a cup of tea?”

Without waiting for Shi Yi’s answer, he had already risen to go ask the restaurant servers for two cups of hot, Hong Kong-style milk tea.

He personally carried the tea back and set it in front of her.

“Thank you,” Shi Yi smiled. “I thought you would treat me to a cup of traditional Chinese tea.”

“The Chinese tea here… shouldn’t be as good as the ones you make.”

When he spoke, his voice was low and deep and seemed to carry a slight joking feel, but it also seemed to have been spoken from the bottom of his heart.

Shi Yi felt a little awkward and searched for a topic to help ease past this moment. “Wenxing…”

In a quiet voice, Mei Xing interrupted her, “If Wenxing can pull through this, I will take her and we will leave China to settle in another country.” He stated, “I will take care of her for the rest of her life.”

“She will,” Shi Yi smiled and said. “When she hears you say that, she will get better for sure.”

“But first, I need to help Zhousheng Chen finish the things he wants to do.” With a wry smile, he shook his head. “I don’t know what I owe him from the previous life that I would so willingly, and without the slightest hesitation, stay by his side to do this type of arduous but thankless work.”

The tone of his words had switched so quickly. This time, it really was in jest.

Shi Yi burst out in a laugh. “The previous life, huh? There are too many people who were indebted to him.”

Mei Xing could not contain his chuckles. “Really? And you know this?”

“It’s true. I know it,” Shi Yi smiled as she also used a joking tone to tell him this.

Such a smile…

Mei Xing seemed somewhat in a trance, and Shi Yi puzzledly looked at him.

He suddenly told her in a quiet voice, “Shi Yi, don’t smile at me. I’m genuinely scared that I would try to contend with him [for you].”

She froze in surprise.

The look in Mei Xing’s eyes as he gazed at her in this moment reminded Shi Yi of the riddle Wenxing had mentioned that time in the old Zhou family manor, the one that he had said he was using to select a wife…… Very quickly, she told Mei Xing in a serious voice, “Alright, I will remember that.”

As he raised his cup and drank his own milk tea, an open, forthright smile came onto Mei Xing’s face that carried a sense of sadness from having spoken out the feelings that had been hidden in the heart.

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Once, by way of chance, she had made tea for him. He stored the memory in his heart and also returned the same back to her.

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Unknown it was how or when these feelings had taken root. But, it was to love and never to have.

For their fated affinity was no more than a single cup of tea.

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[1] Here is one site that describes the calculation, if you are interested.

[2]说文解字”Shuo Wen Jie Zi.” I explained this once before in footnote [1] of Chapter 12.3, but just to recap, this book dates back to approximately the 2nd century and describes the etymologies of Chinese characters and how they came about.

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Additional Comments:

In his previous life, for her, he had committed a horrible injustice against an innocent, righteous man and ultimately, had lost the one “her” that he had ever wanted. But perhaps because that life had not been kind to him, this life, he was not severely punished. Instead, he gets to become the good friend of the reincarnated form of the man he had wronged. However, “前世因, 今世果” the seeds of the previous life yields the fruits of this life.” A debt owed in the previous life is still one that needs to be repaid in this life, and though he does not understand why, he feels compelled to stay by his friend’s side, to support him in everything he does.

In that last life, he formed his final wish into a question: “Will you let me have the chance to truly see you, in person?” He asked not for the fate to be with her this life, only to see her in person. Perhaps Heaven was being kind on the man who, although he had made mistakes, had suffered so much in that life and granted him his wish. He did see her and was allowed to share a cup of tea with her. With that wish fulfilled, I feel like the crown prince of the previous life can finally move on in this life.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Thank you.

I really like and appreciate Mei Xing. In this life, he is a 君子 “junzi” or “gentleman,” one who knew to walk away and keep their fate as simple as a sole cup of tea. Such an interesting character. As a man in his mid-thirties and intimately connected not just to Zhousheng Chen but also to the Zhou family, he must be more than aware of what goes on. To be longtime friends of the Zhou family, the Mei family’s background is probably not sparkly clean either. Has he been like Zhousheng Chen, removing himself from the entire setting?

Anyhow, Mo Bao Fei Bao just started writing her latest novel, which is a continuation of this series. There’s a couple characters whom I hope make it into the story, Mei Xing being one of them, even if they just have cameo roles. That’s wishful thinking for now.


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65 thoughts on “One Life, One Incarnation: Beautiful Bones (一生一世美人骨) — Chapter 15.3

    Now my weekend bliss begins 😉

  2. Thank you for the chapter. Great work! I’m so happy to have another chapter.

  3. a tear slipped at “For their fated affinity was no more than a single cup of tea.” There’s just something awfully sorrowful about that one sentence. I suppose for the crown prince, Shi Yi would always be “The one that got away” even if he was never allowed much fate with her to begin with.

    This story is really giving me such a slow death.

    • I think, for him, Shi Yi will always be “What if?” Shi Yi fits his criteria for what he was looking for in a girl and he was certainly pulled to her, but he was wise enough to know not to even allow those feelings to get away and to lock that door before he even allowed himself to open it.

      Well, at most, it’s only another 4 weeks…

  4. As I thought Mei Xing was the crown prince. His life was full of sadness and this life, he may not be blissful but not hard and controlled so it was better. And Wen Xing loves him. I really wish the girl would come through.

    • Fate was kinder to him this life. How many people truly have blissful lives? Those are called dreams, not life. His actions last life were awful but I appreciate how, it seems, his circumstances were taken into consideration. He was given the chance to a better life, but still, he has to repay his debt.

    • What are the clues that Mei Xing was the crown prince? It seems that I did not noticed it. Heelppp

  5. Poor Mei Xing… 😦
    I hope the author’s next book is just as good or even better than this one…Though I’d probably like this one better cuz of ZC and SY 😛

  6. “He suddenly told her in a quiet voice, “Shi Yi, don’t smile at me. I’m genuinely scared that I would try to contend with him [for you].” *sigh* I feel sad for Mei Xing. 😂😂😂😂 Go for it, Mei Xing. At least you have Melanie & I that will root for you.😉😉😉😉 But I’m also happy that he has his own happy ending with Wen Xing… So that’s my consolation prize, I suppose.
    Thanks, Hoju!

    • I think I hold the unpopular opinion that Mei Xing did NOT move on after that cup of tea. Like Sian, a secret part of me wishes that Mei Xing would follow his heart and contend for Shi Yi’s heart. With that said, I am glad that he is choosing to quietly walk away, for his gentlemanly act of never trying to steal another’s love is what attracted me to him. However, choosing to love silently and unobtrusively on the sidelines and even eventually going on to marry someone else doesn’t mean he has moved on. I believe a part of his heart will never leave Shi Yi, will always long for the girl who could make his heart ache with one smile, who could make the strongest and most bitter of teas taste sweet.

      I agree with Sian that Wenxing is a consolation prize. As wonderful a girl Wenxing is, I have this feeling that Mei Xing sees her as an extension of his inexplicable debt to Zhousheng Chen. He may eventually come to love Wenxing, but it will never be the type of love he has for Shi Yi, for what he feels for Shi Yi are emotions and longing carried over from centuries ago. A very selfish part of me wishes that he would never love another the way he loves Shi Yi, because that is what makes him special to me. To only love one woman, to remain steadfast through the challenges of time. My thoroughly romantic view is very unrealistic and perhaps unpopular, but in literature, I dare to hope for the impossible.

      • I disagree that Mei Xing ever loved Shi Yi, whether it be this life or last life, at least according to my definition of love.

        His intense desire to have something of his own, to have a piece of his life that belonged to him only, was what Eleven was to him. He knew about her, not even knew her, through reports and drawings. I felt terrible for the Crown Prince and truly wish he had not had such a hard life. And who knows? He possibly might have truly fallen in love with Eleven if they had married. However, to me, those emotions and longings from centuries ago were purely selfish. By “selfish,” I’m not saying he had any underlying motives or anything, just that Eleven fulfilled a need for him. She filled up a tiny part of that great void that was his entire life. While those emotions, I don’t doubt, must have been intense, they would not be love, according to my book, because there is no part of it that thought of things from Eleven’s perspective. Completely selfless love is something that is dreamlike and a goal that people strive for — it will never happen when you’re alive because we are all human — and yes, in a relationship we all need it to fulfill some of our own needs. But love is not all centred around one’s own needs because you will forever be taking and never giving. You can see from how he did not even care to think about why Eleven liked painting only the lotus, that he was not yet considering things from Eleven’s perspective or trying to understand her.

        In this life, Mei Xing met Shi Yi when she was already married to another man. I really, really like Mei Xing, like I said above, but really, as much as I want Mei Xing to find happiness that belongs to him exclusively, if he had attempted to contend with Zhousheng Chen at any point in time, he would have instantly become a despicable character. Sorry. No ifs, ands, or buts in that one. It would be some basic moral principles that he’s violated, to go after someone who is very happily married and in love. Now, what makes him so very gentlemanly and wonderful and pulls my respect is, it is obvious that he is attracted to her because she fulfills all the criteria he is looking for in a significant other, and many other people would have held those feelings, even nurturing them, because to hold them in his heart and not act on them is okay, right? But to Mei Xing, that is actually not acceptable. He doesn’t even allow himself to toe that line because, if he does, that attraction and those feelings could grow and perhaps, one day, he would do something that violates his basic moral principles. THAT is what is amazing… to not allow oneself to get even close to temptation makes him awesome to me.

        By “move on,” I’m referring to the fact that the crown prince can carry on with life without regrets. His wish was fulfilled. Yes, I believe there is a part of him that will forever remember Shi Yi as someone very special, someone that he might think about, “What if I had met her before Zhousheng Chen?” because often, the thing that you never have will forever be hold its mystery and attraction to you. But to me, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t moved on. The feelings and emotions from centuries past were strong because they were the only thing that kept him going, the hope that he would have something that belonged to him and him only. However, that life, he did not get her in the end or even get to see her. That is the regret of that life. If the crown prince had not seen her this life, something in his soul would never have been able to move out of the feeling of captivity he had felt in that life, that something was unfulfilled, and he would forever have some sort of regret. That may or may not be the reason why he is attracted to Shi Yi (who is also a hottie this life and even Mei Lin said her smile could cause the downfall of a country). But Heaven granted the crown prince his final wish, and I feel like he is free. Very subtly, he expressed his feelings, and I like how he did it. He made it clear what he meant, but then drew the line and withdrew from the temptation.

        So yes, I really like Mei Xing and I think he’s wonderfully written. (Especially considering he really doesn’t have a lot of scenes, what an awesome job MBFB did in creating a character we can feel for.) I don’t want him to have a consolation prize. I want him to find his own happiness, one that truly belongs to him from the very beginning and one that genuinely becomes love and not just a fulfillment of his needs.

        Mel, thanks for the comment. 🙂 I know you love Mei Xing.

        • “In this life, Mei Xing met Shi Yi when she was already married to another man.” While this statement was true, however, we knew that their marriage wasn’t acknowledged by the Zhou’s family. Their marriage may be “lawful” in the eye of the law that the regular people follow but we also know that the Zhou’s family doesn’t follow those laws. They only follow the Zhou’s family rules. Shi Yi’s parents didn’t even know about this so called marriage. So as far as I’m concerned, (& I have to disagree with Hoju 😉), Shi Yi is still “single” & Mei Xing can still contend for Shi Yi as long as her “marriage” to ZSC hasn’t been acknowledged by the Zhou’s family. Of course, I also know that the main leads in this novel are ZSC & SY but that doesn’t mean I can’t hope for Melanie to write an alternate story for Mei Xing & Shi Yi. Hehehe…

        • I’m going to have to disagree on that. 😉 They are recognized by the law and protected by the law. Why do you think people elope to Vegas and get married, even without parental blessing? I know you may have a gripe to pick with Zhousheng Chen that he did it without Shi Yi and her family’s knowledge, but when push comes to shove, Shi Yi herself chose to stay within the marriage, is happy about it, and is committed to it, as is Zhousheng Chen. To him, the marriage being recognized by the family is merely an acknowledgement that he can take over the family, but no matter what, Shi Yi is his wife. Regardless of how much in love or not he was with her at the time, he was choosing to take on the responsibility a husband takes on, and Shi Yi willingly let him.

          And, even if we should step back and say, okay, she is not married, according to your standards, that does not mean Shi Yi is “single.” She is in a committed, long term relationship between two mutually consenting adults who are both happy and either in love or falling in love. She is not “available,” no matter how you look at it. Not being married simply means that Shi Yi can more easily walk away at any time, if she should so choose to. It does not mean Mei Xing can intrude on their relationship if he should so please without violating what I believe to be basic moral principles. Contending for Shi Yi at any point in time from after he met her would have meant Mei Xing being a third party and breaking up a couple’s happiness for his own happiness, which would then, to me, make him selfish and despicable… and to make matters worse, the man he would be stealing from is his close friend.

          Unlike Melanie, the reason why I like Mei Xing is not simply because he has chosen never to steal another’s love. That is a basic expectation I would place on him as a decent person. What makes him amazing to me? His unrequited feelings for Shi Yi? Nope, although it does make you feel for him. His terrible life as the crown prince? Nope, although that, too, makes me pity him. His interest in classical literature and traditional Chinese arts and culture? Nope, although that scholarly, refined feel is attractive and would admittedly make a good catch for any woman who is in to that. His subtle sense of humour and fun personality? Nope, although they’re something to like. The standout feature is that Mei Xing is able to demonstrate the principle that 君子不立于危墙之下 “a gentleman does not stand beneath a collapsing wall.” A virtuous, moral man does not even go near something that could end up falling on him. He does not silently dwell upon those feelings because doing so could let those feelings grow to the point where he may not be able to contain them and cause him to fall into the temptation of going against his own principles. Many like to tread near the line and simply tell themselves they will not cross over, but that’s dangerous ground, like near a crumbling wall. Some may end up staying safe, but some may get crushed. Staying far, far away from the temptation demonstrates strong, moral fibre and resolve and, growing up in a family like his that has intimate connections to the Zhou family, that is definitely a standout point.

          So, I also feel strongly about Mei Xing as a character, as you can see. In his few appearances, MBFB has created a gentlemanly, refined, and morally upright man in my mind, despite his upbringing. Therefore, the reason I do not want him to pursue Shi Yi is not simply because I believe Zhousheng Chen and Shi yi belong together. To me, if Mei Xing were to do what you were suggesting in the name of pursuing his own happiness, it would be completely going against the character he is and he would no longer be worthy of being liked, nor would he be the character MBFB created him to be.

          Anyhow, you and I both really like this character, probably for subtly different reasons, and I know you, too, are quite passionate about him. I’ll, therefore, just finish this off by saying, I would be thrilled if he found happiness that belonged to him, a girl that fulfilled his needs and loved him for who he was, and he too loved her with all of his heart. That is all. 🙂

          Thanks for the comment. 🙂

        • I think for me personally, it was precisely because he insisted to take over the family business was the reason why I treated him differently than the common people. If us common people eloped to Las Vegas to get married without our parents approval, that would be fine & dandy as long as both parties agreed to the elopement and I would recognize their marriage. However, he was a member of the Zhou family & thus bound by the family rules whether he liked it or not. If he would have decided to forget about taking over the family business & live with Shi Yi happily without his family approval, then he wouldn’t have to follow his family rules and I wouldn’t care it so much that his family didn’t acknowledge their marriage. And he could still have a big heart & try to “save” mankind by doing the stuff that he’s been doing as a chemistry professor.

          I don’t think your comments came off as “unfriendly” at all. We can definitely disagree with how we see things. After all, we have agreed to so many things. Hehehe… Thanks for your response, Hoju!

    • No, Mei Xing! Don’t listen to her! Don’t ruin your wonderful image in my mind! 😂😂😂😂

      I do feel for Mei Xing. I do want him to have happiness. I do, I do, I do…

      • To tell you the truth, this is the very first time that I feel very strongly for our second male lead in this novel. It never happens in any novel or drama that I have read or watched before. That’s how much I love Mei Xing’s character. 😍

        • Just realized I replied to everything in the comment above. 🙂

          Would he be a second male lead? Or just a supporting character? Doesn’t change my feelings for him, though.

  7. I knew it! I feel so ridiculously proud for getting his identity right lol and I also feel so glad and thankful of the role given to him in this life, to remain as that loyal friend and the trusted future brother in law 🙂

    Ooh has it been revealed who the main leads are in the novel? A couple we know maybe??

    Thanks for translating Hoju!

    • I am thankful that fate has given him a better chance this time, and he has taken on the gentleman’s role. 🙂

      Yes. The leads are well known to MBFB fans because they were actually the leads of another one of MBFB’s stories, technically, the true Book 3 of the series, but it was shut down during the internet crackdown in mid-2014 because it contained topics the government deemed unacceptable. And if you had read the first book of the series, you would be familiar with the male lead’s name and family. However, they aren’t people Beautiful Bones readers would be familiar with.

      You’re welcome!

  8. Crown Prince is paying his debt to him in the present life which is far better than what he was from the past.
    Does it mean that Mei Xing is aware of who they were from past life? How about ZSC?

    And I almost forgot their close encounter in the bath tub. My imagination ran wild but I’m frustrated that ZSC never answer “I love you” back to Shi Yi. Why???

    • Hehehe… At least, he used more words to response this time around. Rather than just an “hm”, it was actually “hm, I know…” 😉

    • Mei Xing is just saying that for some reason, he feels compelled to help Zhousheng Chen do whatever he needs to do. He is not consciously repaying anything.

      First “I love you,” the response was, “Mm.”
      Second one, the response was “Mm,” followed by a smile.
      Third one, the third was some sort of acknowledgement, followed by an “I know.”

      That’s improvement! 😀

  9. Thanks for your time – it’s chapters like these that make me want to go and read and reread books.

    • You’re welcome!
      Agree! It’s chapters like this one that show that this book was carefully thought out and deliberately executed.

  10. So Mei Xing really happened to be the reincarnated CP, hehe, i guess I got one point on that. Though its sad for him for now, i hope he get to live a good life with Wenshing.

  11. Thank you so much!!! 😘😘😘

  12. Thanks for the update. Things are making sense now. Perhaps MX is like SY. He could remember his past life. Hope WX pulls through and ends up with MX. Frustrating that ZSC doesn’t /unable to say he loves SY.

    • Mei Xing never said that he was helping Zhousheng Chen because he was trying to repay a debt, only that it seems like he must have owed him something from the previous life because of the way he feel like he must help him.

      Frustrating for us crazy smitten readers, but Shi Yi is obviously very happy with his responses already. 😉

  13. Thank you so much! I love how it’s all coming together and your comment really helped that happen! You put it so well 😀 It is beautiful and bittersweet indeed that the crown prince is Mei Xing, once again in love with SY but wiser, let’s go and may find happiness with WX.
    I loved how this chapter wasn’t just about the violent ongoings, I don’t like those and don’t like Wenchuan, but I love all the feelings, the quiet beautiful moments. Those moments make this book breathtaking.
    Again, thank you so much for allowing us to enjoy this splendid book!!

    • It’s really funny because I’ve read this novel tons of times and I’ve never felt that the power struggle plays a huge role. I mean, it’s underlying throughout the story, but the romance, the atmosphere, and, as you said, the contemplative moments are the forefront. However, translating this and releasing the chapters once every several days make me really dwell upon the power struggle parts now, and they feel a lot more prominent than when I read the novel through without stopping.

      Thank you so much for reading!

  14. Thank you for the beautiful chapter hoju 😀
    Love your additional comments☺

  15. Thanks for the chapter!

  16. Does this mean Mei Xing also have memories from his past life? Such a great chapter! Thank you, hoju!

    • That’s not what Mei Xing is trying to say. It’s just simply that, in Chinese culture, the legends of reincarnation are pretty entrenched, whether you believe them or not, so as an offhand remark, it’s almost like, “Gee, I must have owed him something in my previous life for me to be willing to do all these things for him.” Little does he know that it truly is a repayment of his debts.

  17. Thanks Hoju!

    I like the names of the two main characters she is using for the new novel. Also the title seems better than the old one she was using. For the last two books I havent liked Ding Mo’s names…especially Han Chen because it sounds like 寒碜 in mandarin and I kept thinking about that throughout the novel and wondered whether it was on purpose. I know it shouldnt be a big deal but that did somewhat take away from my reading experience. Mo Bao’s names tend to always be good though… I cant even decide which one I like the most based on name alone 🙂

    • You’re welcome!

      Cheng Muyun has a huge following. I didn’t jump into the “Chants” pit since it was shut down by the government crackdown but he is very, very loved by MBFB fans and you can imagine how thrilled everyone was when she said her new novel would complete his story.

      I remember when DM was soliciting names and 应寒时 was suggested. I’m wracking my brain and I can’t remember the details, but I think it was a good friend or longtime reader or her fan club leader… something like that. I actually find that name quite poetic. Han Chen is average. I do agree that MBFB creates good names, especially for her male leads. I like 顾平生 the most because it evokes the theme of the story without seeming like it was deliberately created that way.

      As for the title of the new novel, I think it sounds nice but overall, MBFB has titles that sound make sense. Before I read Beautiful Bones, I thought it was possibly a ghost novel or possibly ancient, xianxia novel, but after reading, I don’t think any title could work better. I love it. Unfortunately, I do not like the title of the first book, after it went to the publisher. I really think 一生一世 made much more sense, considering the theme and the very, very touching scene it came from compared to 突然想要地老天荒 which I guess kind of works and is less “generic” at first glance but really, doesn’t capture the mind-blowing confession of the male lead.

  18. omg. this chapter is so deep. I am really glad Meixing is able to let go of Shi Yi. I hope he can live a happy life with wenxing. Thank you for your deep analysis on the relationship between the three of them. I have a question: Is ***** from the epilogue?

    • Definitely, this chapter is one that leaves me in introspect.

      😉 Spoiler free. You’ll read the epilogue in 4 weeks or so, and perhaps you’ll have an answer to your question. :p (P.S. I took advantage of my administrative rights to edit out the spoiler in your comment. :p)

  19. hi peanuts. I have a request. I just got done watching Silent separation the movie version with Huang xiaoming….. Love It!!!!
    but the soundtrack that played during the scene where they made love *still fanning myself* I can’t seem to find it.

    could you maybe like help me out with the title and artist? would really appreciate it. thanks

    • Hi. I’m not peanuts. :p However, I can say with 100% surety that peanuts never watched the movie version with HXM. To Peanuts, Wallace Chung will forever be the only Yi Chen. 😉 So unfortunately, she can’t help you with your request.

  20. Thank you 🙂

  21. Thank you for the chapter 🙂
    May I ask what is the new novel Mo Bao Fei Bao is writing (title)?
    I hoped Mei Xing appears in her new novel. He led such a sad life previously and now in his second chance in life(incarnation) he continues to repay his debts. Although I do find Wenxing to be the second person in terms of who he feels for, the way he showed his anger at the news of her health and incident showed that he cares for Wenxing. Sure, he initially would still longed in some way for Shi Yi,but by returning her the tea, he hopes to end his own feelings for Shi Yi for good. In this way, he comes to an acceptance. I hope in the near future Wen xing’s love and efforts will come through. Despite not having the same feelings for Wenxing compared to Shi Yi, Mei Xing knows his boundaries and Wen xing is such a lovely girl I do see him displaying signs of truly caring for her, hopefully in a romantic way later on.

    • You’re welcome.

      The title is 黑白影画.

      No doubt, Wenxing holds a very special place in his heart. It may not be romance, but there are deep feelings there. Otherwise, if she was simply an ordinary friend, I don’t think, after he heard that the family did not want anyone to visit her in the hospital, he would continue to pursue trying to see her, to the point he needs to go see Zhousheng Chen at late hours.

  22. i read this chapter with.. i dont know how to describe it.. perfectly pace from its beginning to ending.. i just can’t wait for the next chapter..

    he paid back his ‘mistake’ in current life which is a bittersweet thing.. i wish to see him more and more.. ah, a drama would be great 😀

    thanks Hoju 🙂

    • Ah, Yui, but what happens if they are true to the book in the drama and Zhousheng Chen isn’t played by a handsome guy?

      You’re welcome. 🙂

      • omo.. sometimes, i watch a drama not bcuz of the handsome actor, but for the storyline lols.. so.. even if the actor isnt ‘handsome’ means handsome, but someone like eddie or yuan hong, i wont complaint, haha..

  23. A debt being paid to Zhousheng Chen while also achieving his heart’s desire to see Shiyi and having someone who loves that sense he is living a fulfilled life

    • And friendship. His friendship with Zhousheng Chen is obviously something that he values. In his past life, he had no one whom he could share his heart with, but while he is repaying a debt, he is also getting genuine feelings of friendship in return. 🙂

  24. Such a sad affinity, but I love the poignancy of their connection in a cup of tea – and a hospital restaurant milk tea at that. It’s so mundane on the surface but has a hidden meaning – like so many of the connections between characters in this novel. I felt a touch of sadness as she sat opposite Mei Xing and looked into his eyes and maybe saw an echo of the crown prince there; that fleeting recognition that swiftly passed.

    I think I feel the weight of ShiYi’s past life in this chapter – or at least the long hours she spent in the library; that whole lifetime of contemplation is still with her.

    • This brief thread of connection to Mei Xing through a cup of tea is one of my favourite moments of writing in this novel. The words are simple, yet, as you said, the feeling of sadness is tangible. Perhaps it is because that cup of tea carried much in it — regrets and unfulfilled wishes, horrible burdens of the past, a longing from the past life for love that still cannot be seen — and you cannot help but wish happiness on this man.

      That library tower contained nearly all the emotions of her past life. Her happiest memories were there with him. Her times of loneliness as she waited for his return from war were there. Her prayers of safety were made as she read through the shelves of books. It seemed like Eleven’s world was one of silence, as she, unable to speak, spent it mainly in words and pages, and only Xiao Nanchen Prince brought sound into her life, or at least, sound that mattered to her.

      (Had to work to get back into the headspace for this novel. :p The contemplative tone of this is completely different from the current feel of Together Forever.)

  25. I feel bad for Mei Xing… whether it is the previous life or this life, he can’t get the person he likes. I really hope that Wenxing pulls through, so they can have a happy life together.
    Thanks a lot, hoju~

  26. I suspect mei xing was the crown prince

  27. The additional notes made me tear up TwT

  28. I’m confused. How do we know he’s the CP of the past?

    I’m shocked that MX is the reincarnation of the Crown Prince. Did not see that coming at all. Was that hinted anywhere?

    If it was not for the end notes I would have never imagined that was the case. Is that end note from the author or are they your(Hoju’s) thoughts?

  29. However, I am glad that the CP was given another chance. He had such a terrible, short life before so to have the chance to make things right and not suffer so much is a blessing. He also got to have a relationship with the Uncle he had respected even if he ultimately betrayed him.

    While reading I had thought that maybe Wenchuan was the CP. I’m glad that’s not the case. It would have really been a tragedy to have to live such a tumultuous life twice.

  30. I don’t know if anyone will be able to read this as it’s already 2021 but I saw some comments about the character if it will be played by a handsome actor, contrary to the character described in the book, perhaps because I didn’t started the book but midway since I watched the drama so I didn’t know he was portrayed as not so handsome guy in this book, I have no issues with it lmao. The thing is, the actor is handsome for me and charismatic I might say so the readers will be relieved ?

    It’s just that for me, no one is ugly in terms of looks but in character only. I really love reading this translation, and I hope the translator will be able to read this.

    Thank you for your hard work! At the age of 22, is the age where I appreciated this kind of books.

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