Fangirling Chinese Novels

One Life, One Incarnation: Beautiful Bones (一生一世美人骨) — Chapter 16.1


15 - 1

I wish I had something to say here, but… Read, and you will understand.

Chapter 16.1 – The Roles People Play (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.


There were doctors continuously coming and going from the room, and Zhousheng Chen had also stepped inside.

She felt even more panicked.

She forced herself to continue looking — at the sun shining high and bright, at the mottled shade cast by the trees, at the handful of Interpol agents and Zhou family members downstairs. After a while, she reached unsettledly for her milk tea, and the tassel on the eighteen prayer beads around her wrist swayed with her motion, the rose-colored tourmaline decoration on the string of the tassel bumping against the glass of the cup and producing a light, clinking sound.

For some reason, she seemed to sense that someone was watching her.

She sought out that uncomfortable gaze. It was Zhou Wenchuan.

However, when she located him, he had already shifted his gaze away and had gently stretched out his hand to stroke Wang Man’s abdomen.

Wang Man lowered her eyes to watch him, lightly placing her hand over his as both their hands covered the position where the baby was. The Wang family was not the large, wealthy family that the Zhou family was, but it had always been secure and stable. For Zhou Wenchuan, she had conceded again and again, but still she could not understand why matters were becoming more and more complicated… Those authorities downstairs had gradually narrowed their investigation down to him.

In the immense Zhou family, there were far more people than simply him, alone, who were involved in shady business. Yet, it was him, alone, who was embroiled in real troubles…

The door to Wenxing’s hospital room abuptly opened…

A middle-aged doctor strode out and, with an extremely grave expression, directed a nurse to call several other doctors. Everyone outside of the room stood up anxiously, watching the people dash in and out.

From early this morning up to now, there had already been three life-threatening instances. This was the fourth…

After a dozen or so minutes, Zhousheng Chen emerged from inside and cast a glance in the direction of Mei Xing and Shi Yi.

Shi Yi and Mei Xing walked up to him, and she gently reached out and took hold of his hand. He returned her grasp and said, “Wenxing wants to see the two of you one last time.”

Her throat clenched and tears nearly spilled over from her eyes.

Originally, this had been a sterile room, but it was apparent that later, the people who entered were no longer required to don isolation gowns. They passed through two consecutive automatic doors and stepped inside. Her legs unable to hold her up anymore, Zhousheng Chen’s mother was sitting on one side of the room, continually wiping her tears with a handkerchief. Wenxing lay upon the bed, her eyes open and fixed on Shi Yi and Mei Xing.

The two walked over to her.

Wenxing first took Shi Yi’s hand in hers, and with great difficulty, she wrote several words in her palm: mobile phone, recording, listen.

Shi Yi nodded, then turned to Zhousheng Chen. “Give me Wenxing’s mobile phone.”

Zhousheng Chen immediately strode out and very soon returned with a bag. From within, he pulled out the phone and handed it to Shi Yi. Seeing that Shi Yi had the phone in her hands, Wenxing slowly moved her gaze away to look at Mei Xing.

She no longer had the strength to speak. Inside the oxygen mask, a faint white mist could be seen forming recurrently.

Very faint. Even breathing required so much effort.

She only gazed at Mei Xing, her eyes unblinking.

Mei Xing crouched down to accommodate her eye level so she could look more comfortably.

<>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.

Shi Yi could not bear to watch any longer, and lowering her head, she turned on the phone and slipped on a pair of earphones.

In the voice memo list, there was a file named, “11.”

She knew it must be this one and tapped to open it. It was Wenxing’s voice:

Sister-in-Law, I’m sorry.

I’m a selfish person. If I’m to die, I’ll definitely leave all my last minutes for Mei Xing. I need to remember him so that next life, I can find him. That’s why I made this recording very early on, to give to you.

This recording… I don’t know where to start.

From really young, I grew up outside of the country, so I’m not really close to the people in my family. The only ones who were truly good to me were my two older brothers. Of course, the one who treated me best is, for sure, Big Brother. But, since I was a kid, I’ve had this sense that Mom doesn’t really like Big Brother.

Later, as I grew up, I found out a secret.

In the recording, there was the sound of Wenxing’s little laugh. After a slight pause, she continued speaking:

But, I can’t tell you the secret. I feel like anybody who knows it will have bad luck. Like me. Like Second Brother.

Shi Yi listened, very baffled.

However, she could sense that the key points Wenxing wanted to say were coming later.

I seem to have said a bunch of useless things and started to waste time.

Shi Yi, actually… I want to tell you, I’m very, very sorry.

Those few days you were in Wuzhen, my second brother wanted to do some bad things to you… I’m guessing Big Brother must not have told you this. If he hadn’t been prepared for it, you might have been hurt. After it happened, lots of people found out about it right away, but everyone chose to keep quiet.

Including me. I admit, the people in my family are all really selfish, and we just protect people in our own family.

Later on, before Big Brother could come back, only Xiao Ren went to Wuzhen… You know that in the Zhou family, Xiao Ren is very special, so him there with you meant no one dared get close to you guys anymore… I admit, I can’t compare with Xiao Ren.

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And then later, you came to stay in our house.

I came back for my sickness…… And then…… You fell into the water. And you were poisoned and unconscious. None of those were accidents.

I don’t know how much you’ve guessed. Who could get close to you like that, or what was the reason for doing all those things? Shi Yi, I really hope that you can guess because that way, my guilt would lessen, even just by a little bit…

The only people that Big Brother trusts completely are me and Mei Xing, right?

Actually, that’s not quite right. Big Brother even suspected Mei Xing for a bit…

Shi Yi, you’re so smart. I’ve said so much, you should be able to guess who it is, right?

<>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.

Shi Yi raised her head and looked at Wenxing.

Her recording was still sounding in Shi Yi’s ears, but now, her eyes only held Mei Xing.

Perhaps, only now, in this time, could she so brazenly use such a way to have Mei Xing stay with her.

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I… never intended to hurt you, but I still ended up hurting you. Many times.

I caused you to fall into the water, and I went in to save you.

I poisoned you, but I also put myself into a situation where I needed to be revived.

I was trying to use this way — this way where the two people Big Brother cared the most about were getting hurt — to make Big Brother scared that he’d lose you and drag me into the mess. To make him give up… this family, and to leave this place. Shi Yi, I’m an extremely selfish person. In the critical moments, I can only be concerned about my own family. I don’t want to watch them fight it out until one has to die in order for the other to live.

So, all the consequences, I brought onto myself.

You’re a Buddhist, right? Karma. Reincarnation. Just deserts for this life.

Shi Yi, I’m sorry. If there’s a next life, I’ll make it up to you, for sure.

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The recording ended there.

Shi Yi’s hand was clenching the phone. She was unable to describe what she was feeling.

Many things she had not known now all floated to the surface, and behind all of these were also many complicated relationships and entanglements. It could be because the agony of drowning and intense abdominal pain were in the past now, or maybe because she knew that after death, there was indeed another journey of life awaiting, but she did not feel a great resentment.

Her mind was rather blank, and she did not know what she should be thinking. All she felt was grief.

Amid the oppressive quiet, her tears, without any warning, began to fall, and she could not stop them anymore.

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Wenxing’s eyes blinked once, very faintly.

She had been gazing for too long. She was tired.

Her eyes were stinging very badly, and she really wanted to close them to rest for just a moment…

She seemed to want to smile at Mei Xing, but she did not know whether, after more than a dozen hours of emergency resuscitation, she now looked haggard and in a sorry state or her face looked hideous…

Ever so slightly, she moved her finger.

Mei Xing seemed to understand what she wanted and placed his cheek against her cheek.

He remembered, when she was little, she would sit on his lap and would like to nuzzle her cheek against his like this, then grin at him with blinking eyes. If he wanted to set her back down, she would immediately cover her chest with her hand and cry, “Don’t put me down, don’t put me down! I’ll be unhappy. And once I’m unhappy, my heart will hurt. Ow! My heart hurts…”

Whether it had been true or false, either way, a little girl’s affections had evolved into such deep feelings.

Wenxing was exhausted from watching him, and without warning, her eyes closed… In that stifling silence, Mei Xing slowly brought his forehead down and pressed it into Wenxing’s palm.

Sobs came over Shi Yi almost uncontrollably, and she raised her hand, biting down on it with all her might to prevent herself from weeping out loud…

The monitoring equipment in the hospital room silently declared that she was gone.

She truly did as she had said. She had selfishly left all her remaining strength for Mei Xing.

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Zhou Wenchuan, who had not been allowed to enter the room, was standing outside the door, and when he saw everyone’s reactions, he realized the situation had reached the worst possible outcome… His hands balled tightly into fists, and his eyes instantly grew red as he shoved away the people who had been blocking him.

He charged in past the first automatic door.

But the second door was still tightly shut. He pummeled the glass, but the people inside the room seemed as if they did not hear anything. In the end, he gave one last fierce pound. Zhousheng Chen finally turned around and cast a look at him.

A very cold gaze. One never seen before.

In that instant, Zhou Wenchuan actually felt fear. While he was still frozen where he was, Zhousheng Chen had already motioned to someone to open the door, stepped out, and seized him by the collar, dragging him into the hospital room where he gave him a vicious kick in the leg.

Zhou Wenchuan buckled to his knees with a thump as they hit the floor. A few seconds later, the black muzzle of a gun was shoved up against the back of his head.

The hand holding the gun belonged to Zhousheng Chen.

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He did not speak a word and simply lowered his eyes to look down emotionlessly at Zhou Wenchuan.

His eyes, because of the painful emotions, were frighteningly red.

“Zhousheng Chen…” In shock, Zhousheng Chen’s mother pushed herself up on the arm of the chair until she was standing. “Zhousheng Chen… Put down the gun. I asked the doctor… The harm caused by those drugs was not very significant. Your brother did not want this…”

Wang Man had also thrown herself at Zhousheng Chen’s feet and was kneeling before him. Sobs wracked her so fiercely she nearly fainted as, again and again, she brought her forehead to the floor and cried, “Eldest Young Master!”

Zhousheng Chen showed no response, his finger still on the trigger.

The sound of her weeping cut off abruptly. She clutched tightly to Zhousheng Chen’s pants, and gradually her body curled up into a ball. A large amount of blood could be seen soaking through her dress. “Eldest Young Master… I beg you…” Her entire face was contorted in pain. This sudden miscarriage shocked everyone.

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Zhou Wenchuan suddenly whipped around, pulled her into his arms, and lifted her entire body up.

With the muzzle of Zhousheng Chen’s gun still pressed up against him, he rose to his feet.

The two brothers locked gazes, their eyes both the same scarlet color.

“Xiao Chen [Little Chen]…” Zhousheng Chen’s mother hand was grasping tightly at her own chest, and her tears began to stream forth. “Mom’s begging you, just this once. Mom just lost a daughter. You can’t make her lose a son now, too…”

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


Additional Comments:


When I used to read this scene before I had translated it, it was a sad scene, one that I would sigh regretfully over. I had not thought, though, that it would stir my emotions too much such that it would be difficult to translate. Then, as I was first translating Wenxing’s last words to Shi Yi, I was very carefully choosing each word, almost surgically, you could say, to best communicate Mo Bao Fei Bao’s original writing. However, it just wasn’t right.

And so, I took a step back and immersed myself into Wenxing’s role. I spoke the words aloud first before I transferred them over to text form, as if it really was me leaving this recording. A girl who put up a happy front, who possibly could have truly been happy if she had not come from such a family. A girl desperate to put an end to the fighting between the only two people in her family who had truly treated her with genuine affection. A girl eaten away by guilt for the things she had done and the person she had hurt to accomplish what she felt she needed to do. A girl fearful of being found out because her big brother might forever hate her. A girl so overcome by hopelessness and disappointment in her family that she would harm her own life, and in the end, even give it up, just to provide an escape for the brother she loved. Disappointment, fear, desperation, hopelessness, guilt… with no end in sight, it felt. If all of it could end, perhaps she could just love and be loved. But if it was not meant to be, that girl would save her final moments for the man she loved because it was only then could she ignore everything else and blatantly love him, baggage free.<>Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. Thank you.

Anyways, as a result, I’m an emotional wreck right now. (Poor hubby came running over wondering why I was weeping at my computer.) When I started the prep work for this chapter, I quickly realized I would be in no state to reply to comments when I normally do, so you may have noticed I replied to all your comments from last post quite a bit earlier. Therefore… please comment away as you always do, but forgive me if, for the time being, I bow out from participating in any detailed discussions you may have or if I do not answer certain questions. I will come back to any I’ve missed when I’ve gathered myself and the emotions are less raw.

My apologies.



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

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78 thoughts on “One Life, One Incarnation: Beautiful Bones (一生一世美人骨) — Chapter 16.1

  1. Thank you for the chapter. Great work!

  2. Thank you for the chapter. This chapter is truly dedicated piece of translation.

  3. All I felt was anger. Anger for Wen Xing having to die, for her being the one hurting Shi Yi, for using the most selfish way to Apologize and at Wen Chuan for using his innocent child to escape the punishment.

  4. Sob it’s so sad. I thought she would make it. Hoju, thanks for all the efforts in translating the chapter plus bringing across the emotions. Please take time to gather your emotions. Appreciate your dedication. Hugs dear

    • 😦 I’m… better… yes, I think so. I thought I was doing pretty good but thinking about this chapter is chipping away at my control of emotions again. Thank you, and I will take e-hugs. 🙂

  5. //If he wanted to set her back down, she would immediately cover her chest with her hand and cry, “Don’t put me down, don’t put me down! I’ll be unhappy. And once I’m unhappy, my heart will heart. Ow! My heart hurts… \\

    I don’t know how to do italic but the “my heart will heart” should be “my heart will hurt”. I’m simply pointing this out,but I understand why this chapter can cause mistakes.

    After reading this chapter, I don’t know how to describe the feeling. I understand why it will take a while to fully absorb this. Quite sad, I really wanted Wenxing to live ;_; I suspected her,but her motives weren’t truly despicable. Her efforts seem to be in vain as Zhousheng Chen’s anger is not subsiding….

    Thank you for translating this chapter. I’m sure readers understand if you take a leave of absence(in terms of replying to comments).

    • Thank you. 🙂 One post normally goes through translation, then 1 edit and at least 2 proofreads, usually on separate days, and I still don’t always catch the mistakes. I was a mess after the translation and barely made it through the edit. I did do a proofread but I’m not surprised if I missed a lot because my vision was so obscured with tears. :p

      Thanks for catching that. I also saw a couple of other obvious mistakes (*hide myself in embarrassment*) when I went to correct it.

      😦 Because Zhousheng Chen thinks everything is Zhou Wenchuan’s doing. He’s not getting scared…

      Thank you. 🙂 I’m generally better. The right topics will get the tears going again, but the emotions are generally under control.

  6. Omg, I totally avoid this part of the book in my rereads too … and what happens in next chap isnt even that much better sigh *sending hugs*

  7. 😭 … so it was WX after all … from the way WX talk about the secret … looks like he’s not their mother’s biological son? I have bad memory and reading this so spaced out I’m not sure if that was mentioned already earlier and we the audience is in the know but SY doesn’t hence WX said it that way?

    While it’s sad WX had to die … it was her choice in life and I’m kind of glad that MX does not have to take care of her for life and have the opportunity to find new love. He at least deserved that.

    Frankly speaking can’t say I care much about WM and her miscarriage … only felt sad that ZSC had to grieve over the loss of a beloved sister.

    Thank you hoju.

    • Nothing’s really been mentioned explicitly in the novel about anyone’s parentage anywhere, although I recall there were some speculations by you guys somewhere.

      Agree on everything. Everyone has to bear the consequences of their choices. It’s more, after “living” Wenxing’s story, I can’t help wondering what might have been different if she had a different family, a healthy body, someone to confide in, etc. I guess, what could have prevented all this? *sigh*

      You’re welcome.

  8. So sad to know the true. Poor SY and ZSC. Is hurting to hurt those they love. Thank you so much Hoju!!! 😍😘😘

    • I know. For Shi Yi, finding out that the only person who you could talk to, laugh with, have fun with in that family was actually the one hurting you. I actually don’t doubt that Wenxing genuinely liked Shi Yi, but so awful for Shi Yi to find out that behind that smile, genuine or not, that person was calculating how to hurt you. And even though Wenxing brought it upon herself, I don’t doubt that if Zhousheng Chen found out the truth, he might blame himself for causing her death. 😦

      You’re welcome.

  9. So sad…no words to describe this scene >.<

  10. I think, it’s just fitting…WX lost his unborn child. It’s not ZC fault for WM weak body in miscarriage.


    Thanks so much for sharing 😘

  11. So intense! That totally took me by surprise, the beginning, middle and the end… Wow. Despite the warning I so didn’t expect this emotional roller coaster! Thanks for the update!

  12. Thank you…i m confused…to be sad for WX or angry …for SY to feel betrayed….does ZSC know about this…feeling quiet drained emotionally…

    • Personally, I have no doubt that ZSC knew about this. After all, he knew about the Wu Zhen’s failed kidnaping attempt of SY or ZWC was drugging Wenxing at the hospital. Wenxing said the Zhou’s family protects each other. ZSC is after all a member of the Zhou’s family and is trying to be their leader. It’ll be strange for a guy that seems to know everything and has connections in the high up places, not to ask someone to really investigate after SY’s third murder attempts. I remembered he was reflecting everything back after SY’s poison attempt and he had mentioned that Wenxing & Mei Xing were the only two trusted people that could get close to SY. There were only two “suspects” back then. One of the suspects was always around SY in those “accidents.” I’m not a genius like ZSC but if I could guess that Wenxing might be the real culprit back in chapter 14.3, it would be hard to believe that he didn’t have the same suspicion as mine. He just didn’t want to say anything to SY since it involved his family member. Repeating what Wenxing said: “I admit, the people in my family are all really selfish, and we just protect people in our own family.”

      • Your bias and eagerness to use that quote on Zhousheng Chen is showing through. 😉 No, he did not know.

        1. Why was Sian able to figure it out after chapter 14.3?
        While I don’t doubt you’re a genius, 😉
        a) The most important reason: the author allowed you, as a spectator, to be semi-omnipresent and even semi-omniscient. You were given the luxury of “seeing” the scene of Mei Xing preventing Shi Yi from drinking the tea. You were even allowed to know Shi Yi’s feelings, “…she was influenced by the atmosphere Mei Xing had exuded and actually started to think that there had been something wrong with that cup of tea.” This was the scene that raised suspicions or, at least, questions in people’s minds. If you removed that sentence I quoted above, plus the other two following (that said Shi Yi should not have any misgivings considering she should know, in comparison, who should be closer to her), that might have already not piqued so many questions. MBFB deliberately placed the clue in there.
        b) Hoju’s slip. You’re one of the only ones crazy enough to read all my comments. “Hoju, your second paragraph’s answer to Rebecca made me re-think this whole Wenxing & Shi Yi’s accidents connection…” Hoju wanted to kick herself. :p

        2. Why was Zhousheng Chen unable to figure it out?
        a) The flip side of 1(a). Zhousheng Chen was not present when Mei Xing wouldn’t let Shi Yi have the tea for no apparent reason. He was talking to doctors, and Shi Yi never mentioned it to him after. Therefore, he did not have that piece of information that clued everyone else in.
        b) Zhousheng Chen, indeed, tried to think through every person and connection possible, but he is human. 当局者迷 旁观者清 “The players within the game do not see as clearly as the spectators.” After the poisoning, when Shi Yi was still being revived, he thought, “[he was] always a bystander. He had always been able to remove himself from all those interpersonal relationships.” And as he tried to think through what went wrong: “Perhaps he too easily trusted people? But the number of people who could freely get close to Shi Yi was very few. Besides his most trusted subordinates, there was also Mei Xing. […] In his head, he tallied the connections and relationships behind each person and various potential motives.” Notice Wenxing is missing? Zhousheng Chen has always been able to be that spectator with almost everyone, which includes Zhou Wenchuan, so he could figure out Zhou Wenchuan’s plans; hence, the foiled abduction. But with Wenxing, he never thought he needed to be a spectator. He allowed his emotions to pour out into his relationship with Wenxing and never thought he needed to do otherwise because he trusted her with all his heart, unconditionally. In the entire Zhou family, only her and Xiao Ren, I believe, did he allow himself to do that. It’s not a reflection of intelligence at this point. If even most of the readers of this translation, as spectators, never truly suspected her until the tea incident with Mei Xing because “it couldn’t be… she’s an ally,” how much more difficult for Zhousheng Chen who loves her so much?

        • Hahaha…. Oh my gosh, Hoju…. You’re cracking me up with your response… “b) Hoju’s slip. You’re one of the only ones crazy enough to read all my comments. “Hoju, your second paragraph’s answer to Rebecca made me re-think this whole Wenxing & Shi Yi’s accidents connection…” Hoju wanted to kick herself. :p” Wohooo… I was able to trick Hoju, our “no spoiler” translator. 😜

    • @juli, both. Sad for such a terrible story, angry for her betrayal of trust, etc.

      No, Zhousheng Chen did not know about it.

  13. speechless.. i read word by word and until the end, what happen?? this family is a big issue, they are selfish, crazy and grrrrrrr… why?? what’s the secret to make everybody in a chaos situation.. im curious.. SY and ZSC go live in other place la.. 😦

    thank you hoju ^^

    • Why? Fame, wealth, or power. 😦

      Do you really think Zhou Wenchuan would allow them to walk away and live in peace? 😦

      You’re welcome.

  14. I really don’t expect this. What a horrible family to live in.
    Thank you hoju ☺


  16. Thanking you Hoju for translating such an emotional impact chapter. It was intense as well and I never thought it was WX who did all the accidents and poisoning. Here I thought it was the mother who never like SY from the very beginning.

    But I do feel sad for WM for her miscarriage because come down to the end it is still not the child fault for the parents’ crimes. Killing WC is a waste and cheap, should just send him to prison to reflect his selfish and cruel actions.

    If ZSC is not his mother’s son the who is he belong to?

    • I think no one truly suspected her until Mei Xing took the tea from Shi Yi, and even then, half of the readers didn’t. Many of you liked her, as did I during my first read, and those positive feelings meant that you discarded her in your suspicions. When I was translating, I realized how obvious it actually was, but quickly we had thrown out that conclusion because “it couldn’t be.” I seem to remember someone had mentioned after the drowning incident that Wenxing was the only one there and should be suspicious but she couldn’t be the one. Now imagine that for Zhousheng Chen. How even more impossible it would be to him, her being his beloved sister and one of only two people he 100% trusted in the family.

      The poor baby. 😦

  17. Thank you 🙂

  18. Thanks for the chapter!

  19. Thank you for this.

    Mmm… I have lots of initial thoughts, but definitely will be thinking about this chapter a lot. I think more happens here than any other part so far, with repercussions for everyone.

    I want to feel bad for Wenxing but I mostly feel anger. She deeply hurt two people who loved and trusted her on multiple occassions. She could have killed Shi Yi. In fact, what she did is as bad as, if not worse than, what Zhou Wenchuan did to her. What would she have done if she didn’t get hospitalised and Zhousheng Chen continued to stay with the family? Kept putting Shi Yi into danger? Ugh! I’m glad that she isn’t going to tie Mei Xing dwn for life. She says she did it for the two brothers who treated her well. But she loves Mei Xing and yet lets his best friend believe that he could be trying to harm his own wife. The selfishness is amazing. It’s all so she doesn’t have to watch them fight. She doesn’t care about how they feel or what they want, or not enough to trump her own desires.

    I don’t have anything to say about Zhou Wenchan except that he’s despicable.

    The miscarriage is a shame and I hope Zhousheng Chen doesn’t blame himself too much. Although, the whole thing is infuriating. If people in this family, I mean Zhousheng Chen, stopped keeping secrets and working in the shadows and confronted people head on, this whole situation wouldn’t have escalated so badly. If he’d confronted a few people about what was happening to Shi Yi, Wenxing might have come clean and Zhou Wenchuan might also have come out and he could have been banished and lose his power base and so Wenxing might have not been given any more drugs. Grasping at straws but Zhousheng Chen is so intelligent and has allies, but seems impotent.

    I’m guessing the secret is that he isn’t the mother’s? Or maybe he is, but he isn’t the father’s and that’s why she hates him as he’s a reminder of her infidelity.

    • And I understand the anger. Everyone is having their own set of of emotions associated with this reveal, even if they somewhat suspected it before. For me, I’m drawing an analogy to reading a newspaper and finding out that someone committed a crime. The newspaper-readers will have various reactions — indignation, anger, surface level sadness at what people will stoop to, etc. You always read interviews with the family members that “He/she was such a good kid/person before…” because they were part of that person’s background and know some of what built up. On my initial read, I actually felt indifferent towards her — “She got what she deserved. How sad for the people who actually cared about her.” — like the newspaper readers. Allowing myself to immerse into her role truly helped me appreciate that she wasn’t bad to the core, not just know it but to feel it, and I genuinely ache now thinking about how she must have felt seeing her brothers fighting… it’s not the watching, it’s that one will end up getting hurt, even dead. But I stand by the stance that, while I pity her, what happened to her was brought onto her by herself.

      Agreed. There’s nothing worth liking about Zhou Wenchuan.

      Firstly, I believe Zhousheng Chen has made clear to the key people that he knows that there are people trying to harm Shi Yi. Remember his discussion with his mother? You need to keep in mind, this isn’t an ordinary family. The consequence of confronting head on is not as simple as him not showing up at the next family dinner. These are people fighting for power and their actions can have dangerous consequences. Since, as per Tong Jiaren, “never before has there been such a tumultuous Zhou family” with people scrambling to try to figure out sides, Uncle and Zhou Wenchuan’s power and backing were firmly entrenched enough that they would not be dissolved by a simple revelation of plotting, at least early in in the game. If a semblance of civility had not been maintained and they had been openly hostile, instead of banishment, it would have been open fighting — gun fights, like Bremen, but between family members — for control and, likely, people dying.Right after Shi Yi collapsed from poisoning, as Zhousheng Chen was trying to figure out what went wrong, he had thought to himself that “the game was already nearing its end…” I suspect Zhousheng Chen had been chipping away at their support and was nearly there, so that a big reveal would not result in an uncontrollable situation. And the other reason for maintaining civility,especially later, was… probably because he was trying to prevent harm to Wenxing, 😦 (as per Zhou Wenchuan’s words to Zhousheng Chen in the freshly posted chapter 16.2.)

      Thanks for the comment.

  20. Off topic. I’ve just seen the Silent Separation caller ID header and got a chuckle out of that.

  21. Very intense indeed. WX’s way of showing her love for her brothers I can’t even fathom.
    Hats off for an incredible translation showing raw emotions that us readers can understand.
    Thanks hoju.

  22. Hoju can you translate’ If I have you what more could I ask for?’After translating this novel.
    I tried Google translation but nothing made sense.You wrote such nice review about it on SBS but sigh there is no English translation.
    Anyway I love your translations and your awesome speed.Thanks.

    • Thanks for the kind words. I’ve got my translation projects lined up for the next little while. Together Forever will be taking the place of Beautiful Bones, and then, if my life allows me the time to continue translating, I have a couple of other novels I have in mind. Thanks either way for the vote of confidence. 😉

  23. My oh my……………….. i’m speechless……………..

  24. Hi Hoju, many thanks for your translations. I enjoyed reading them and very much appreciate the care and attention you put to getting it right. I especially love the detailed translation of the various deep Chinese proverbs and poems.

    Please keep up the good work!

    • Hi Yukikumori! Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. 🙂 I truly do appreciate them. and I am very happy that you are enjoying the translation. 🙂

  25. Totally unexpected.. Sigh.. Thanks for this update

  26. I have no feelings left for WeiXing no anger nor any sympathy. Just a bland thoughts of someone so cold blooded and selfish that passed away leaving behind her a very dysfunctional family which even their wealth is not worthy. it’s good that MX doesn’t have to spend his life with WX taking care this scary soul. Oh my.. For whatever reason how can you even think to put someone life at a risk not to mention even tried more than one time to take someone life.

    • Indifference was also what I felt towards her after my first read. I actually don’t think she was cold-blooded, which to me, would imply without emotion. I actually think the opposite, that she allowed those emotions to overtake her so she did stupid things. Either way, I don’t agree with what she did. 😦

      Thanks for the comment. 🙂

  27. This is what I commented in chapter 14.3:
    August 29, 2015 at 9:19 am
    Hmmm… Hoju, your second paragraph’s answer to Rebecca made me re-think this whole Wenxing & Shi Yi’s accidents connection. I know you’re not going to give us any spoiler. But it made me wonder if Wenxing was indeed involved in those accidents to scare off ZSC to not take over the family business. I think her reason though will be totally different than the uncle or Zhou wenchuan’s reason. I think her reason maybe genuinely not wanting her beloved brother to take over the family business because she wants her bother to live happily ever after with Shi Yi without worrying about the mafia affairs. This is totally speculation on my part. This novel made me think like a detective. 😉

    Either I could read 1/2 of MBFB’s mind when she was writing this novel or I’m a really good detective. 😜 I should change my job. Hehehe… With that said, Wenxing was right when she said everybody in the Zhou’s family is selfish and that (*gasp*) includes ZSC. I’ve said it in the previous chapter also that he was pretty selfish in forcing this whole issue to take over this mafia/family business. He never cared about the business to begin with and should have walked away when the power struggle in his family put his “wife” in danger after danger after danger. Yes, Wenchuan’s character is despicable but he’s supposed to be the bad guy and should be the leader of the mafia (aka Zhou’s family) as far as I’m concern. A supposedly good guy like ZSC should have no business being a leader of the mafia regardless of what the reasoning behind it. 😳 I know I’m in the minority but I can’t like ZSC’s character anymore. 😂 This is the first novel that I love the male character at the beginning, start disliking his character at the middle and despise his character at the end of the novel. 😂

    My poor Mei Xing… I didn’t think that MBFB would kill off his consolation prize. 😂😂😂😂 I feel sorry for Wenxing for growing up in such a yucky family. I should implore Mei Xing to kidnap Shi Yi and don’t let her live & deal with the Zhou family any longer. I can’t imagine how her parents will think or feel if they know what Shi Yi has to put up with this yucky family of her “husband.” 😁😁😁

    Your translation is always so beautiful, Hoju! Thank you for this emotional segment…

    • *thumbs up* Detective Sian. 😀

      I wrote a response to your comment that you believe Zhousheng Chen is selfish, when you had mentioned it elsewhere. I don’t know if you ever saw it, but I won’t restate what I said here. As for the rest, I once told someone (I can’t remember who… *sigh* I need sleep) that I would possibly write up my thoughts on Zhousheng Chen as a character. That write-up would include some of my thoughts that address most or all of your points. Either way, the role I’ve taken on is only to provide the most accurate and faithful translation. One of the downsides of my anal personality is I like to take all the pieces and try to put together the puzzle that MBFB had in her mind of each character, which led to me asking and trying to answer some interesting questions. Thought I’d share some of those questions with everyone, which may or may not change your feelings towards him but may at least get you thinking in a different light about some things, like why “a supposedly good guy like Zhousheng Chen” is trying to take the leadership of an underground family.

      Unfortunately, I have tons of commitments coming up in this next week or so, and while I thought I’d be posting it next update, I may just have to delay it for a couple of weeks. (Hopefully, I don’t run out of steam before that because I’m fast on the track to burnout.)

      In regards to Mei Xing as Shi Yi’s “rescuer”:

      Mei Xing was the one who prevented Shi Yi from having the tea in the scene that set many people’s mental alarms going. For what reason? Logically, the answer is, because he feared there might be something in there. Why he would feel that, we, as readers, don’t know, but obviously, since Wenxing was the one who personally made the tea, it was either because he suspected Wenxing or that he possibly even knew the truth. In other words, he knew or had great suspicions whom the source of danger to Shi Yi was. And he chose to keep quiet about it, neither warning his close friend or Shi Yi. Was this to protect Wenxing? Or to protect Zhousheng Chen from heartache of knowing it was his sister doing these things? We don’t know, but we do know that he also chose not to warn Shi Yi about the dangers. In your mind, you ideally want Mei Xing to rescue Shi Yi from the “big bad Zhou family” but clearly, Mei Xing is not as removed from this as you seem to think he is and also has other priorities. It’s not clear-cut black and white. If one still maintains that he should be the person to rescue her because he is a good guy and has such “deep” feelings from her that he wouldn’t let her be caught up in the Zhou family, then, like you did for Zhousheng Chen, the supposed depth of those feelings towards Shi Yi should also be questioned since he, also, did not warn her she was in danger. Granted, it could be argued that with Mei Xing’s choice not to tell Shi Yi, it is because he has no responsibility to tell her like Zhousheng Chen does, but then, the other side of that argument means that he therefore also has no right to “rescue” Shi Yi.

      Don’t get me wrong. I will say again, as I always have, I think Zhousheng Chen made a mistake not telling Shi Yi. I don’t judge Mei Xing like I would Zhousheng Chen for not telling her, but I also subscribe to the belief that Mei Xing’s feelings are attraction, a great “like” for Shi Yi, but he never loved Shi Yi, even in the past life, and it is not appropriate for him to “rescue” her. And hence, it makes sense that he would make such choices. Mei Xing clearly has his own things he values and chooses to take care of (and judging from his reaction to her death, Wenxing was one of them, even if it wasn’t romantic love). I still maintain, based on textual evidence, he is a morally upright character whom I really, really like. But he IS involved in the Zhou family and those other “underground” families. He knows how to and will play those games, just like his friend. Despite having little “screen time,” Mei Xing was also created by MBFB to be a more complex character as well and is not simply a refined gentleman and loyal friend who fell for a girl but has to bury those feelings.

      Anyways, thanks for the comment. 🙂

      • You wrote some good points about Mei Xing’s character… And yes, I also read your comment in the previous chapter when I stated my belief that ZSC was a selfish guy (at least that’s what I believe personally). 😂

  28. Hoju! Thank you so much for translating such a sad and heartbreaking chapter. I hope you manage to calm and take care of yourself..

    From this chapter, I felt betrayed by WX’s confession. I loved her for being a good sis, but now, I hate her putting herself in the middle of her siblings fight. Somehow I additions to making ZC fed up with this family, could her jealousy of MX liking SY contributes to her action? First, she tried to kill SY, but then, she saved SY..

    Sigh.. this family is so full of dark secrets. I think I agreed to a comment which state that perhaps ZC is the child from an affair. Hence, the mother hate him as he is the reminder of the affair..

    I just hope that the Dr is able to save WM’s child. That unborn child is just innocent… He shouldn’t be burden with the parents’ sins.. I hope SY is able to save the day..

    Thanks again, hoju.. take care.. n gosh, another 6 chapters left.. I’m so gonna miss this novel!


    • 😦 Betrayal is a very understandable reaction, especially considering you loved the character prior to learning this. I like to always ask the question, if you as the reader felt that just from the little exposure you had to Wenxing, can you imagine the enormity of the sorrow and other feelings that Zhousheng Chen would feel if he ever found out, considering how much he loved his little sister?

      That’s an interesting question. I suspect… no. I believe her like towards Shi Yi was genuine, and her actions were not directed at Shi Yi herself but as a means to get Zhousheng Chen to leave. I don’t think she ever intended on killing Shi Yi but making those near death experiences so real and frightening that Zhousheng Chen would want to take her away, which, really, he did, at least physically. (After the poisoning incident, they went back to Shanghai, both of them, and never set foot in the Zhou manor grounds until Wenxing’s funeral.) It’s just that the fighting and maneuvering behind the scenes between him and Zhou Wenchuan probably never stopped. That’s why, she saved Shi Yi from the water. I think the poisoning got out of hand… she never knew that her mother would close off her courtyard wing so that Zhousheng Chen wouldn’t get the news that Shi Yi had collapsed because by then, she was barely conscious. Remember how she kept writing on ZHousheng Chen’s palm, “GO” and “11”? Zhousheng Chen thought she was telling him to leave the manor with Shi Yi, which she could have been, but perhaps she was trying in some ways just to make him leave and go back to Shi Yi right at that moment?

      Every time she put Shi Yi in danger, she deliberately endangered her own life. Yes, it was an attempt to make Zhousheng Chen fearful that his little sister was getting hurt, too, but could it also be guilt? She was hurting someone she knew shouldn’t be hurt, and maybe as a form of recompense, she hurt herself, too?

      Yes, poor baby… 😦 😦

      I can’t believe it’s nearing the end… wow.

  29. Thanks Hoju. I finished reading the book months ago and it was definitely a good read!! The complicated Chinese was quite daunting at first but the first few chapters that you translated helped me to understand more about the storyline.

    It definitely took me by surprise that it was the one closer to Zhou Sheng Chen that poisoned Shi Yi. But she did not want to do so too. And she ended up risking her life for that. She loves her family very, very, very much.

    • cloudandsea! Long time no see. 🙂 I have a handicap male lead novel for you. :p How are you?

      On my first read, while I wasn’t completely shocked, I really hadn’t thought it was her who planned and executed those two incidents. So, I still felt that sadness. I’ve realized, when you’re reading the whole book without any breaks, you tend to only skim over the little details like the clues that pointed to her. Reading chapter by chapter, released once every few days allows you to ponder over them and I noticed them much more. Actually, when I was translating, I was thinking how obvious it was, that there couldn’t be anyone but her… but we were just blinded because we liked her!

      She loves her brothers very, very, very much. She’s one of those girls who, on the outside, would not be lacking in anything but what she lacked was love and solid, healthy relationships… So she clung to the only relationships that had ever brought her joy and love, even if, in the end, she probably knew that Zhou Wenchuan didn’t value her like he used to when they were young. 😦

  30. So basically every person in that family will play with lives…even the seemingly nice and innocent ones

  31. Such an intense chapter! I initially read this when I was in Japan and was quite distraught, sniffling to myself on the train – people probably thought I was crazy! I had guessed at this plot twist a while back as the author left quite a few breadcrumbs along the way and although her betrayal seems shocking, I’m not

    • ack! (pressed repy too soon!!) angry at WenXing – rather I feel an intense pity for her to have so wasted her love and affection (and ultimately her life) for her brothers in such an ineffectual way. The knife in the shadows was wielded with a half-hearted intensity because she could not ultimately carry out the terrible things that she imagined would change fate. I feel her guilt and desperation and sorrow and surely the anger that even in death the love that she craves can only be momentary.

      The confrontation between the brothers is a rather thrilling way to end the chapter – I can just see it as a drama episode. ❤

    • You are quite the astute reader. When I first read the novel, I was surprised that it was Wenxing. Later on, when I re-read it, I could see the clues that were pointing to her and face-palmed myself for missing them. Then, when I was translating, going over the novel line by line just made the whole thing glaringly obvious and I was thinking, “How in the world are people not catching this?” especially when Mei Xing took the tea away from Shi Yi. But that really demonstrates how our emotions can cloud our own judgement, even as readers looking in.

  32. Hello! this is my first time commenting on this site.My salutations to all the people who are active here, I would like to thank our ladies for making Chinese novel available for non Chinese readers like me. A huge thank’s to you ladies.

    Coming to this chapter I know it’s sad and filled with angst.However the highlight……… I (personally) feel is the scene where our scientist points the gun to his brother.It’s simply amazing ,I really loved it.That upsurge of emotions accompanied with his action blew me off,isn’t that the best part of this chapter?He really loved his sister.

    Side note : I can’t bring my self to hate Wenxing at all. I am not evil, am I? (but that tea scene in one of the previous chapter was suspicious)

    • Hello Aurora! Warmest welcomes to you. 🙂

      The author of this novel, Mo Bao Fei Bao, is actually a screenwriter as well, and I’ve always found some scenes in Beautiful Bones to be very cinematic. You can almost visualize how they would play out onscreen (of course, that in part is due to her wonderful writing skills as well). This whole post is pretty intense and continues to build, from Wenxing’s final words that reveal the secret, the shock of finding out the motivation behind “innocent and kind” Wenxing’s actions, the almost audible sound of the flatline on the monitoring equipment declaring that she is gone, the weeping of Madam Zhou, the silence that Zhousheng Chen had been maintaining up to that point … all culminating in the normally calm scientist snapping and pulling a gun out on his brother. So yes, the climax of the emotions is right there to me as well. 🙂 What the highlight is of this post for others, I cannot say, but for me personally, digging deep into Wenxing’s emotional state was what hit me the hardest. But really, from Shi Yi’s shock and betrayal, Mei Xing’s loss and maybe guilt of not returning the little girl’s feelings, Zhousheng Chen’s intense loss and anger … the emotions are running strong for everyone here, aren’t they?

      And in response to your side note, as I said in my end ramblings, I don’t hate Wenxing, either. I think her choices were stupid, but she was driven by desperation. I always wonder, if one thing had been different in her life, would she not have reached this point?

      Thank you for your first comment here. 🙂 Hope to see you back.

  33. I just reach this section. it is very intensed. I can feel how you put your best effort to translate this novel. the dedication and heart you put into this story is awesome. even the paid one I dont think could do better. Thank you ao much for the footnotes, explanation and pictures to give us background to understand the atory more.
    two thumbs up. even more.
    you are doing great.
    thank you so much.

  34. You know the fear that grips when you realise you might be right about something, although you hear the reasons you still can’t get rid of the bitter taste that was left behind.

    I like Wenxing, but those moves of her not only harmed her and those who cared for her but she ended up becoming a tool to others.

    I get why she did all she did, but what if Shi Yi actually died or her health deteriorated to something awful? Does she really think ZSC will stop? I don’t think so. He will go berserk, and go crazy for sure, but I doubt he will stop his plan.

    • That’s why I can’t say I like her but I can at least understand. Honestly, to choose such measures, she probably wasn’t thinking it through anyways, just desperate and stupid.

  35. That was totally unexpected… I feel so bad for Wenxing. Until the end, I really hoped for the best, but this is just too sad…
    Many thanks for your hard work, hoju~

  36. Damn! Just have to let this one out. Wenchuan should just die no matter what.

  37. The pain.

    She used her life to make her brothers stop fighting. I don’t feel angry about what she did because in the end she paid the ultimate price.

    ZSC also has a birth secret in this life. But for him to be considered an heir his father is probably really his father. Or he’s his brother. So which is it? And who was his mother?

    What shocked me was ZSC with the gun.

  38. Still can’t get past this. The more I read this chapter the more thoughts and questions I’m left with.

    And Wenchuan losing his child, not to mention sister, for his sins. He seems to care for WM and the baby. But not enough to stop scheming, unfortunately.

    Wondering if ZSC knew about WX’s actions. And since it seems that MX knew or at least suspected WX, why didn’t he say anything? So many shady characters and actions by all involved.

  39. “But, I can’t tell you the secret. I feel like anybody who knows it will have bad luck. Like me. Like Second Brother.”

    Re-reading that line is making me change my view on his parentage. The only way for the knowledge of this secret to cause Wenchuan bad luck is if ZSC is not actually his father’s son nor the son. Because then he would feel that he is in fact the actual heir. So I’m thinking maybe his mother had an affair? I had thought she wasn’t his son because Wenxing said that she got the sense that ZSC is not liked by their mother. But now I’m thinking maybe those feelings were actually resentment borne of regret from an affair and he’s the daily reminder of it. Sigh.

    So many questions.

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