Fangirling Chinese Novels

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



A short chapter to conclude the main story. Three epilogues will follow. (P.S. For those who read this chapter in Chinese and were a little confused, I believe none of the free, online versions of this chapter are correct. Not sure if it was copied from the original online version incorrectly and the error just perpetuated through, or if the confusion was something that was fixed when the book went to publishing.)

The setting, the surroundings, even the weather are as before. But has the passage of time determined that the persons will not be the same?…

Final Chapter – This Floating Life is but a Dream. How Often Can Life’s Pleasures be Enjoyed?

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.


The rain came down in a continuous drizzle, causing Xi’an to seem like misty Jiangnan.

This was Shaanxi province, the vast land of the Three Qins, yet the ancient Chang’an city could not even be seen.

<>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.

In a Mi Family Paomo restaurant, a very small eatery, it was crowded shoulder to shoulder with people. Its setting was very noisy, but business was exceptionally good.

A man sat in the corner. There was a strong scholarly sense emitted from his face, but his appearance and facial features were very ordinary. One could not say he was ugly, but rather, it was an appearance that one would look at, then immediately forget. He was wearing one of those white coats that were used specifically in a laboratory setting, but the buttons were not done up such that the coat was wide open, exposing the light, checkered button-up shirt and trousers that were underneath.

Very neat and clean in appearance. There was nothing whatsoever that was inappropriate or wrong, just that he did not fit in at all with the current surroundings.

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From time to time, someone would maneuver past him, and there would even be people holding bowls in their hands, waiting for a seat to open up.

The business in this place had always been very good, absurdly good, in fact.

When the owner brought over the paomo, the man took it from him, picked up a pair of disposable chopsticks, pulled them apart, and rubbed one chopstick against the other to remove any wood slivers that might be protruding. He lowered his head and quietly began eating his lunch.

He had very good eating habits. From the moment he picked up his chopsticks, he had not spoken.

Of course, he was the lone person sitting at this table. The seats beside him were empty, and there was no one to converse casually with him.

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

Nearby, there were several young people discussing the economy of the Yangtze River Delta region. Following this extremely long period of economic downturn, a significant group of overseas Chinese people had suddenly injected funds into the region, and from the looks of it, it would be a longterm investment.

The subject of conversation of this group of young people gradually shifted over to discuss the backgrounds of those corporations as well as those enticing future job opportunities.

<>The translator sincerely asks that you only read this at its actual site of posting, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com. If you truly do wish to share, please post a link to hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com.

He listened casually. These were things Mei Xing was most adept in, and by entrusting him to handle those operations, he himself did not need to extend any effort at all.

“Teacher Zhousheng.”

Someone jogged in from the restaurant entrance, closed his umbrella, and headed over towards where he was. It was He Shan. “I’ll be responsible for charging your phone everyday, how about that? My only request is that you keep it on twenty-four hours a day for me.” It appeared as if he had been running hurriedly the whole way as the bottoms of his jeans were drenched. “I ran around to several different places. If I hadn’t seen the research institute’s vehicle, I don’t even know how long I would have had to continue looking.”

He Shan had not finished speaking when the mobile phone inside Zhousheng Chen’s pocket started ringing.

He Shan hastily cut himself off. He knew this was Zhousheng Chen’s own personal mobile phone, and the only time it would ring was if there was something to do with Shiniang[1] [teacher-mother].

<>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.

Zhousheng Chen was listening to what was being said on the other end of the phone when all of a sudden, he rose to his feet.

With large strides, he walked out the door, completely overlooking He Shan, who was still standing beside his table.

It was only after Zhousheng Chen had stepped into the research institute’s vehicle did He Shan finally turn around to stare, dumbstruck, after the car that had left so abruptly.

<>Please support this translation by only reading it at its actual site of posting, hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com.  Thank you very much.

Outside the window, there was wind and rain.

He sat there at her bedside. Just as she had throughout these two months, she still laid there. Sleeping. Living within the world of her own dreams. Had it not been for the telephone call this afternoon, he would not have even believed that she had awoken once for a handful of seconds. Perhaps, because she had not seen him then, she had fallen back into a slumbering state again. He was not hurried. He would wait for her until she awoke.

His eyes were like crystal waters.

Quietly, he watched her.

After a long time had passed, Shi Yi’s eyelashes gave a small flutter, and, as if sensing his presence, her fingers also moved ever so slightly.

“Shi Yi?” He held her hand in his and bent down over her.

She heard his voice and tried very hard to open her eyes. However, her eyelids were simply too heavy, and despite her efforts, she was unable to do so.

“Don’t be anxious. Take your time.”

Within that endless darkness, she finally could see a sliver of light.

Worried that she would be uncomfortable when she wakened, he had adjusted the lighting of the room so that it was very dim, so dim that initially, she could only make out the outline of his face. Gradually, after her eyes grew accustomed, she was able to see his features. She wanted to tell him, she had woken out of her dreams because she had wanted to see him. Her dreams this time had seemed like a reincarnation of her previous life. So wonderful. But she… wanted to see him.

She had been worried he was waiting, waiting for so long he would grow impatient.

Shi Yi wanted to speak, but the long coma had made it difficult now for her to produce speech, and she could only ever so slightly move her lips.

“This is Xi’an.” His voice was somewhat lowered and was steady and gentle. “From now on, we will be living here.”

Xi’an? Chang’an…

Within her eyes, there were roiling emotions that were difficult to conceal.

Smiling, he told her, “Riding a horse through the city would be very difficult, but I can still take you around here to see everything.”

For a moment, she froze. And then, the view before her eyes grew misty.

Taking her hand, he guided it to touch his face.

Her fingers slid from his brows and eyes down the length of his nose.

Over each inch, she moved very slowly.

Those subtle rises and drops of the bridge of his nose and his browbone had not changed in the slightest.


“I have finished writing out ‘Rhapsody of the Imperial Park.’ Not a single word was missed,” he told her softly.

She smiled, tears falling from her eyes.

“ ‘Beautiful bones. Those with bone do not have skin. Those with skin do not have bone. Yet, most people’s eyes are shallow, seeing only the skin-deep appearance and not the bones.’” His voice was clear, like water, as he reiterated the words she had written on the title page of her book. “Shi Yi, say my name.”

All this time, her eyes had been blurred with tears, unable to see him.

But, bewitched by his voice, she moved her lips to call him. “Zhousheng Chen…”

He made a sound in acknowledgement and told her in a low voice, “I think, I must have used my beautiful bones as an exchange for you to have unrivalled beauty, as an exchange for you to remember me, as an exchange for you to be able to utter my name when your lips moved.”

<>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.

She smiled. Such extravagantly sentimental words were so unlike him.

Laughing also, he stated, “It seems it wasn’t too bad a deal.”

“Then…” She pretended to frown. “What about next life?…”

He could not help chuckling. “You continue being unrivalled in beauty. That’s something… I don’t really need.”

Shi Yi smiled gently and gazed at him.

She heard him say:

“I don’t remember, but I do believe. Shi Yi, everything you wrote, I believe.”

<>Please support this translation by only reading it at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com, its actual site of posting. This would be greatly appreciated by the translator.

This floating life is but a dream. How often can life’s pleasures be enjoyed?

Through the thousand years of desolation, when even that stretch of white bones has become as sand, Shi Yi, alone, is all that I ask.

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

[1] 师娘 “shi niang.” Interchangable with 师母 “shi mu”, which He Shan had once called Shi Yi as well (in chapter 8.1, on the phone.) Both mean “teacher-mother,” the wife of one’s teacher.

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:

It’s been 6.5 months since I posted the first chapter of this translation, so I know some people’s memories of the beginning may be fuzzy. If the scene in this final chapter doesn’t strike you as being familiar — in fact, almost déjà vu — I encourage you to go back and read the first chapter, just to get the effect the author intended. 🙂


Such an atmosphere that tugs at my heart. I’m misty-eyed.

Almost a year ago, he had been here, in a rainy Xi’an, in the Mi Family Paomo restaurant and had unexpectedly encountered her. That time, she had taken a chance, had taken the initiative, and from that time on, she had slowly become a part of his life until, unbeknownst to him, he discovered he could not be without her.

Their fated affinity.<>This is Hoju, the translator. Please read this at hui3r[dot]wordpress[dot]com.

Almost a year later, in the same city, in the same eatery, even the same weather… Everything is the same, except she is not here… Or is she? Fate is perhaps being kind to him, and what he had been waiting for — the phone call, her awakening, his name being spoken once again from her lips — finally happens.

Hundreds of years ago, he rode with her on horseback throughout Chang’an, but in the end, they chose to dismount, to part, for there was a greater need.

Hundreds of years later, he has returned to that same city, though the name has now changed. Although he may not remember what happened centuries ago, he can take her through the city once again, and this time, he will not part from her. The sacrifices in the past life perhaps touched Heaven, and in exchange, he received another chance to see her, beautiful before him, still loving him as she always had, and… finally able to speak his name aloud.

Time may have passed, but fate, more than once, has brought them full circle back to the same place to give them another chance.

Fate, in the end, was kind to them.


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

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

  1. What a beautiful story. Ive read this several times and every time I find something new in it. The characters are so well defined and the atmosphere is so intense yet at the same time poetic. The reason why someone like me, who doesnt speak the language, can enjoy this so much is because of the way you have translated it Hoju. Being multilingual myself, I know how easy it is for things to get lost in translation and can appreciate your talent even more.
    This blog and the books here have become my “go to” whenever I need an escape from life.

    • This story is so beautiful!! I still haven’t found a novel that’s like this one and carries an atmosphere that is almost tangible.

      Thank you. ❤ Those are such sweet and kind words, and so very encouraging.

      Aaaaw… come visit often. Glad we can give you a little haven to escape to. 🙂

  2. Oh my god … finished. Its beautiful story and well translate.. mo bao fei bao is great writer…. I can feel how unique the character.. its my first time reading story that have plain (appearance) male lead, but just like that i feel in love with this character … I love shi yi character too.. she is so wise.. so humble..

    Thank you for your hard work..

    • Yay! You made it past the finish line. I’m glad it was an enjoyable ride. Plain looking male leads are so uncommon in Cnovels but he more Han made up with it with his gentlemanly, yet commanding presence. 🙂 Thank you for reading!

  3. Since you i have found this site and this novel 1 years ego, i have reading it back for 5 times. And each time i reading it, gave me the same feeling like the frist one. Great story, great autor, and great stranlator, thanks for your hard work. Be able to reading back is same feeling like recieving roses bouque in Valentine’s Day. Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you 😊😊

  4. I cannot thank you enough for translating! This story definitely touches the heart, and the flashbacks and sorrowful past lives make it so much more poignant!
    He read it! He believes her!! She’s no longer alone in her memories. It was so tragic that she alone remembered and feared him finding out in case he thought her crazy. It’s like they can share in their love twice over now !
    I want this to be made into a drama. Except, i know it will never be as good as this!!!

    • I’m so, so glad it struck a chord! It’s such a poignant story to me.

      So… I made a little announcement about it a few months ago, but… the rights to adapt this story have been sold. That’s all that has been made public. Still very, very preliminary. I’m… torn. I suspect the author will be the screenwriter, so I want to support her. I am nervous that casting, interpretation, etc. will not do the book justice. Well, we will see when it gets there. 🙂

  5. This was truly beautiful, like the comment above say your translation make this novels the best and the most expressed!
    Every single word was perfectly fitting… the sigue were too touching with only 3 days I read it all… maybe some will not have the feeling but I who read it from begging to end the feeling was too strong… my heart jumped along with them, they love, their connection… every character in the story was touching, everything have something to tell… secretly across the word…
    I don’t know what more to say!
    Only was beautiful and never regretted to read it over and over!

    • ❤ Thank you for the kind words. This story *feels* so beautiful, doesn’t it? I’m so glad it spoke to something in your heart.

      Keep coming back to reread. 🙂 It will be here.

  6. Oh, my god, Zhousheng Chen read what she had written. It’s only been a few days since I had read the first chapter so when I started to read this one, I thought I clicked the wrong link. To tell you the truth, at first, I did not really appreciate the story. It was slow, and Shi Yi was too calm– and then I realized everything seemed to have fallen to its original place and I’m wrong for judging it based on the initial chapters.
    I appreciate how you translated the story and delivered the intention its supposed to tell. It was a great ride!

  7. I think this book gave me the most complex feelings i have ever gotten from reading a book so far. Well thoght out, joyful, yet painful in a sense. Thanks Hoju , for your translations. The thought and care you put in your translations for the readers is plain to see , and i really appreciate it. I guess you have beautiful bones too…
    After reading this book i think beauty can be more than skin deep sometimes, and inner beauty is more to be desired. Thanks for the great job.

    • It’s funny how this books is. Beneath that veiled, misty atmosphere, there are so many things to ponder upon and emotions that are stirred, if you choose to let yourself lift up a corner of that veil.
      Thank you. 🙂 That is very sweet of you. I believe there can be beauty in everyone’s bones, and, as you said, that is the beauty that is truly desired.

  8. this is one of beautiful story I ever read and one of my favourite. this is my 2nd time re-read this story and maybe there is a third time. I will never get bored re-read this. I already read all mbfb’s and gu man’s novel that u have translated. and now im somewhat lost don’t know what story I should read next 😩 I love romance+dramatic plot tbh and fluffy romance (like Honey Stewed Squid). do you have any recommendation? well, I’m not good with words. Hoju, u did a great job translating this beautiful story. Keep it up! Jiayouu 🙌 I will keep follow up your update. 💓

    • I hope there will be a third time. 🙂
      If you want more stories, check out Shushengbar. There is a whole listing of romance novels in there and translation links. 🙂

      Thank you for your kind encouragement. I look forward to seeing you around.

  9. Hello Hoju thanks for translating this beautiful novel. Can I ask what is the title of the ancient text use in this novel about the “bone and skin”? And where can I find an english translation of the whole text if ever there is. Thanks. Best wishes to u and your family.

  10. THANK YOU!!! SO MUCH!!!! FOR TRANSLATING THIS BEAUTIFUL NOVEL!!!! I’m in awe. I read this in one day in between my commitments. I can see myself coming back when I need a break from life to enjoy this novel again. I feel like I cried a whole lot. Laughed a whole lot. Definitely felt a whole lot for these characters. I would love to have SY and ZC’s first life given a story, but just imagining their time together is already making me feel sooooo wistful. I did a double take and had to re-read the sentence when ZC brought up horse riding and squeed when I realized he must have found the file of the memories SY did her best to write down. He believes her. Ugh. I’m so emotional for these two!!!! Thank you again for translating this wonderful novel!

    • I love this novel as well. I find the atmosphere it weaves so beautiful, and, of course, love the love story of Zhousheng Chen and Shi Yi. Everyone has their own story. We have been given just enough information about nearly everyone to get a glimpse into why they are who they are.
      Gosh, wishing I had time to do a good re-read of this. Maybe next month.
      Thank you for reading! I’m so happy to hear you connected with the story.

  11. Dear Hoju,

    I’ve read your other translated works. I’ve never left any comments because I am too shy, but this time I had to. I was very apprehensive about starting this novel but I am glad I did. Thank you for translating this and providing context for the references. I have honestly cried a lot while reading this and still am crying while writing this. Shi Yi and Zhousheng Chen are characters beautiful beyond words. If I had to describe them in a word, I’d pick peaceful. Thank you once again!

    • ❤ Thank you for dropping a line, despite being a shy person. I really appreciate it. Indeed, even with all the tempests raging around them, their relationship is peaceful. 🙂

      Thank you for reading!

  12. Hoju, I am a very shy person, but thank you so much for all your hard work. I love it so much. I am not good with words, but I still have to say it. I Just wish I could understand chinese just to be able to buy this book. That’s how much I love it. I really can’t think about any other words, but I hope you understand me.

    I Just saw that the drama adaptation is coming soon, could you please talk about It? I am scared…

    • Hi ZZZ!
      Welcome to the blog. Thank you for leaving this comment. ❤
      I am so happy you love this book. I still find it very unique; it weaves a beautiful atmosphere and I have not seen that in many c-novels.

      I left some of my initial thoughts on the drama adaptation in the comments here (scroll down to see my reply to Rachel). In a nutshell, the actors don’t physically meet what I imagined for either of the main characters, but I’m willing to be convinced by their acting. The plot may need to be changed by the rules imposed by SARFT, and that actually concerns me more. I’m just crossing my fingers.十二年-故人戏-chapter-1-1/

      • Hi Hoju!
        My exact thoughts. I am worried about all that as well. I can only hope that the cast will be able to give us good acting. I just hope they will love and understand our beloved characters well. I hope they are aware of how much this novel is loved by us all. This is such a beautiful, touching and meaningful story, and there’s so much depth to its characters… I just hope they will pour their hearts into it. Fingers crossed!

        Thank you very much for answering me! ❤

  13. Thank you sharing this wonderful story. It certainly feels like an roller coaster ride. Up and down in all sorts of feels. Although the length is short it certainly did not feel rush. Thank you again

  14. Beautiful story and translation!! Thanks a million.

  15. “I think, I must have used my beautiful bones as an exchange for you to have unrivalled beauty, as an exchange for you to remember me, as an exchange for you to be able to utter my name when your lips moved.”

    This line. 💜

  16. Has anyone else seen the cdrama of this novel? Only the first ‘ancient’ part is released and I loved it. After reading the novel, which has been beautifully translated in this site, I realized they added to the original to make it a longer drama. I thought it was well acted. Would like to hear others’ thoughts, who have read the novel first. I am looking forward to the sequel since the modern day is a much bigger part of the novel.

  17. Thank you so much for translating this book. Thank you for all your detailed notes and references. I have learned so much. This is a beautiful story and it will be etched in my heart. I will definitely be reading more translated pieces from you

  18. The final chapter made me cry. Reading the additional comments made me cry harder.
    What a beautiful masterpiece. Thank you for the translation. 💜

  19. I just started watching the drama adapted from this Novel and I couldn’t resist myself from reading the story…I couldn’t stop my tears…Thanks For the subtle and serene descriptions and notes you provided…I could feel it…

    Thanks Hoju..
    Love from India❤️

  20. Finally, finish reading. I love this story and indeed came here because of the drama but, I couldn’t finish watching the first chapter of the drama which is the timeline was in the era of the past life. I’m glad that I found this page and thank you Hoju for translating the book.

  21. only few novels had left me be contented with its ending, seems like Beautiful Bones will be added to my list.

    the parallelism (their past and present lives), the setting, the tone of the story had me hooked and more importantly, how Shi Yi was so patient on waiting for Zhousheng Chen afterall they were separated and waited for about 2 lifetimes, what more if she just endure for a few months? her patience and being understanding for ZSC had paid off eventually.

    as for Zhousheng Chen, his appearance may somewhat be “ordinary” but actually, if you look closely to his inward appearance, you’ll surely be captivated. indeed, the poem fits him may it be in his past or his present self. I love how meticulous and just slowly but surely reciprocated his love for Shi Yi, and it’s not just a big tidal wave that comes over once but a very steady and seemingly a calm running water.

    I love this novel so much, I may have been a few years late but still, thank you Hoju for translating this novel. I’ve been looking forward to all the footnotes that you’ve included and your little (sometimes long) after chapter thoughts. Your translations are very much appreciated and loved!

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