Earlier in the year, when I had finished translating the final chapter of the main story, I hadn’t felt really sad about it because I knew there would be more coming in the published book. Now, though, this is truly the end. We truly have to say goodbye to Toupai and Sheng Sheng, their adorable relationship, and their hilarious friends. It’s more candy sweetness in this last post, of course, so let’s all say goodbye with a silly grin on our faces. To all the readers who have loved this novel with me, thank you!!❤
(Readers who are also fans of Beautiful Bones, don’t miss the “additional comments” section!)
Epilogue (Part 2)
After they received their marriage certificate, the following day, Gu Sheng and Doctor Mo arrived in Sanya.
This time, it was for a medical conference and knowledge exchange, and as a result, it was completely different from the previous time in Southeast Asia, being truly a vacation for only the two of them. Oh wait, no, no. For work. Work!
When they stepped into their hotel room, she discovered their balcony was facing the ocean.
Unfortunately, though, it was not a very good time to vacation here. The temperature was only in the teens, and the ocean wind was blowing strong. From a distance, the view of the ocean was not very attractive.
She turned around. Mo Qingcheng was already sitting peacefully on one of the lounge chairs and was motioning to her.
She stepped over to him. “So cold. When I was coming up just now, I saw the servers at the bar downstairs were even wearing fur…”
He casually answered, “Indeed, not a good season to be here. Why don’t we go to the spa downstairs? They have a private husband and wife room.”
“It should be ‘private couples’ room’…” she correctly him gently.
He gave an “oh” and asked, “Not ‘husband and wife’?”
She squatted down in front of him, patting him on the jaw and teasing, “Dada, I’m immune to you now, you know. It is ‘couples’ room.’ I saw it very clearly.” After saying this, she even could not help letting out a little giggle.
He changed to a different sitting posture, with one hand propping his chin. “Really?”
Oh no, she was done for. He had switched to his cold, dignified emperor’s voice… He casually took her hand in his, and slid his own hand down to encircle the band on her ring finger, slowly turning it. “It’s really not ‘husband and wife’?”
She suddenly clued in. He was talking about that.
On her finger, the ring slowly rotated. She was still in somewhat of a daze.
If she said he had duped her into their marriage registration, would his hundreds of thousands of fans take headshots at her? But it was true…
So neat, quick, and easy. And just like that, their marriage certificate was in hand.
And before she had gotten used to the idea that they were legally recognized as husband and wife now, they had flown here to Sanya?
The ocean wind was blowing in gusts into the balcony.
“What are you thinking about?” His finger twirled her long strands of hair.
She felt a little self-conscious about telling him that she was still thinking about the course of events for yesterday’s marriage registration, especially that moment when they had taken their marriage photograph and the old grandpa had beamed at them while directing them on how to nestle closer together.
She gazed down at his fingers. Fingers where each contour was clearly defined. Hands that belonged to a doctor.
And a very nice-looking pair of doctor’s hands at that.
For the first time, she took the lead, reaching out her arms and wrapping them around his neck. Softly, by his ear, she whispered, “I’m thinking… we’re actually married.”
He chuckled, “Don’t tell me you had other options.”
She was taken aback briefly, but very soon, her cheeks were blushing.
It seemed… this was the first time he had said that. Wait, no. He had said it before, very early on. Not long after they had met each other, he had said it, but at the time, it had been a joke.
“Mind’s wandered again?” He seemed a little displeased.
‘I was thinking about… the first time you hit on me,” she hurriedly explained.
“Hit on you?”
Um, that wasn’t quite right. She discovered that, more and more, she really didn’t let her brain filter her words for her first. “I mean, that time we just met. Rehearsing script.” She felt a little shy about saying those three words and had to take a long, roundabout way before she could manage to explain what she meant.
For a moment, silence filled the air around them.
It was a little cold.
Worried that they would catch a cold since both of them were wearing only short sleeves and shorts, she wanted to climb off from on top of him and tow him back inside the room. But she had just moved to stand when, unexpectedly, he pulled her back into his arms.
“Sheng Sheng Man…” He nibbled on her little ear.
“Hmm?” The palms of her hands were somewhat numb and tingly.
“I love you.” His voice resonated slightly with a gentle warmth that seemed to cast a spell. “Do you… love me?”
In that instant, it seemed like time had suddenly turned back.
They had returned to the very beginning… Two people, separated by the vast Internet, carrying out this dialogue.
As if, right now, they were not in Sanya but in front of their computers. He had not yet shown his face to her, and she did not know that, from the beginning, he had already known her name and had wanted her, one step at a time, to fall in love with him.
“Let’s go back in the room,” he said softly.
Her heartbeat was getting louder and louder.
Her heart rate, though, was getting slower and slower…
His words had made her body grow somewhat weak.
“Don’t want to go in? You want it to be out here?”
“…… No.” She tried to wriggle out of his embrace.
Oh gawd, out on the balcony…
Even though it was completely enclosed and no one could see into it, still, that was just too…
Unfortunately, Toupai DaRen seemed to feel that this was a very good place. It would seem that this most significant of nights should also carry a slightly different ambience. He did not give her any opportunity to refuse, directly using action instead to convey his resolve.
Continuously, beside her ear, there was the sound of his voice, speaking to her softly. He called her Sheng Sheng, called her Sheng Sheng Man, called her Gu Sheng, called her baby. Whispering, doting, beguiling, and containing a sense of desire that he did not wish at all to hide…
Since they had been together, he had always halted himself at the final moment.
Regardless of how many times they had shared the same bed, he had always refused to cross that boundary by even a single step.
Until this evening.
The light inside the room passed through the glass balcony door and shone upon her. Gradually, everything grew still.
Feeling slightly puzzled, she nervously opened her eyes to see him, framed against the sunlight behind him, face to face with her. “Sheng Sheng…” He was completely stirred by his desires and emotions now, and he did not conceal this at all as he gazed intently at her. “Be good. Let me see.” She bit down on her lip and closed her eyes, listening as the sound of her breathing intermingled with his… Slowly, she at last loosened her two hands, which had been gripping his shirt tightly…
No longer resisting.
When he finally carried her into the room, her entire body felt as if it could fall apart, and she really did not even want to lift a single finger in the slightest. All she knew was that he was holding her in his embrace. And then, after a little while, it happened all over again. Not knowing whether to laugh or cry and unable even to lift her eyelids, she begged for mercy. “I’m really sleepy…”
In a low and husky voice, he coaxed her.
She seemed to hear herself protest but at the same time, also seemed to feel that she had actually fallen asleep. In the end, she was uncertain whether she truly had been dreaming or that it had been real and he simply did not feel exhaustion. When she awoke again, the sky was already dark.
Where they were going to have dinner was the question.
Downstairs in the hotel restaurant, she glanced through the menu of dishes the server had recommended and could not resist sighing silently. Too expensive!
The man beside her did not seem to care too much about the prices. After all, in his mind, this was their true honeymoon vacation. Unfortunately, Gu Sheng, who was still a not-yet-graduated student, was already thoroughly conscious of her role as his wife and quickly put down the menu, grabbed his hand, and hightailed it out of there.
Really, it didn’t matter at all what they ate.
Simply having his hand held by hers like this as they walked down a street where no one knew them – that was what was truly fulfilling.
The two of them strolled along to a place where restaurants congregated in large numbers, selected one that specialized in seafood, and sat down in it. Mo Qingcheng, the seafood lover, had very soon ordered enough to fill a large table. She glanced at the prices on those water tanks of live seafood and once again wanted to……
“This afternoon was really tiring.” He casually leaned his body weight onto her. “I need to replenish my energy.”
“……” Her face instantly grew crimson all the way to her ears.
“What are you thinking about?” His voice was low and a hint of a teasing tone could be heard at the end of his sentence.
“……” She immediately sat down and did not dare entertain the idea of having him change restaurants again.
Dishes of various types of periwinkles and snails were served up onto the table…
She finally discovered the extent to which Mo Qingcheng knew how to eat.
Snail meat that should clearly have been very tiring and very hard to get out of the shell, in his hands, required practically no effort at all. Two seconds and then he would have one taken care of. She worked hard for half a minute until the snail meat inside was mashed from her poking, but still, she had not pulled out a single one…
Until, a toothpick was extended in front of her.
He had personally picked out the meat with the toothpick and brought it up to her lips.
She lowered her eyes, bit down on it, and slid it into her mouth.
“Taste good?” He served up another one to her.
“Mm.” It honestly tasted so good.
Without prompting, she stretched her head over and pulled the next one into her mouth. Before she even experienced its taste, though, he leaned over and “ate” both her tongue and the snail meat back into his own mouth. And then, he let go of her, grinning slightly. “Tasty, indeed.”
How come… there was this feeling… that they were blatantly doing public display of affection?
And displaying it so…
As she silently shifted away a little bit, she felt her mobile phone vibrate once.
A special notification appeared on the screen. He had posted on Weibo?
That Weibo of his that he never updated, even in ten thousand years… Don’t tell me… Oh gawd!
Hastily, she threw a glance over at him. He had on an innocent look as he continued, with lowered head, to calmly and unhurriedly pick the snail meat out of the shells for her to eat. She didn’t dare look…
“What did you post?”
He continued eating. “A few words.”
With that one response, he managed to choke off any words she might have wanted to say, and she decided she would feel better if she went to take a look.
The result: the instant she opened up her Weibo, she was madly inundated with @ from all directions.
And his so-called “few words” were actually… truly just a few words…
Qiang Qing Ci: Status: married. *smile*
Below his post was an overwhelming barrage of congratulatory words and cries of heartbreak.
In particular, the several people she followed on Weibo all popped up together, as if they had arranged it.
Fei Shao: @ShengShengMan. Whoa! Is it a real marriage? How does it feel?
Dou Dou Dou Bing: @ShengShengMan… *teary-eyed* DaRen is your Weibo just for flaunting your lovey-dovey relationship? Do you still remember us your old playmates or your association huh huh huh huh?
Wwwwk: @ShengShengMan. Mark. They’re in Sanya.
Feng Ya Song: @ShengShengMan. I just went to use the dang toilet. How did you manage to suddenly be married? It’s the middle of the night already. Did you hop on the bus first and go back afterwards to get your ticket and then claimed you were married already? Tell me the truth!
Jue Mei Sha Yi: @ShengShengMan… When did this happen?
Geng Xiaoxing: @ShengShengMan. Just feebly going to mark here. When did this happen, ah? …
Suddenly, another Weibo post came in. Wait, no. It was post after post… Post after post…
The total number of posts in his Weibo was only a hundred and something, you know? Ten days to a half a month could pass without a single piece of news or word from him. But today, he was actually spamming the screen, and on top of that, they were all replies! Not a single comment was missed! Every single one was given a reply!
Lined up, one after another, down the entire screen were all his replies…
Qiang Qing Ci: Very good. // Fei Shao: @ShengShengMan. Whoa! Is it a real marriage? How does it feel?
Qiang Qing Ci: Yes. // Dou Dou Dou Bing: @ShengShengMan… *teary-eyed* DaRen is your Weibo just for flaunting your lovey-dovey relationship? Do you still remember us, your old playmates, or your association huh huh huh huh?
Qiang Qing Ci: On business and while we’re here, a little honeymoon, too. // Wwwwk: @ShengShengMan. Mark. They’re in Sanya.
Qiang Qing Ci: No. Registered our marriage yesterday. // Feng Ya Song: @ShengShengMan. I just went to use the dang toilet. How did you manage to suddenly be married? It’s the middle of the night already. Did you hop on the bus first and go back afterwards to get your ticket and then claimed you were married already? Tell me the truth!
Qiang Qing Ci: Same as previous post. // Jue Mei Sha Yi: @ShengShengMan… When did this happen?
Qiang Qing Ci: Same as previous post. // Geng Xiaoxing: @ShengShengMan. Just feebly going to mark here. When did this happen, ah? …
Deep breaths. Deep breaths.
Most importantly, there were already people accusing her over why she had not re-tweeted this post yet.
But, she really was not used to such public flaunting of their love. Each time she saw him post something on Weibo, she already felt guilty. She felt like she had already undeservingly been given an amazingly good thing and it should not be flaunted. If she flaunted it, then she truly would incur the wrath of both the gods and man.
She wrestled with herself. To re-tweet or not re-tweet?
Beside her, the real culprit of this whole situation — the Unrivalled Allure Toupai DaRen — suddenly ordered a bottle of beer. Pouring some into a glass, he teased her, “Want to drink our wedding wine?”
She got embarrassed.
Don’t say it so loudly …
And especially saying it with such a gorgeous-sounding voice!
He poured two full glasses of beer. Raising his own glass, he stared into her eyes and, one word, one sentence at a time, said, “To our happy marriage. May we forever be blessed with happiness.”
When he finished saying this, he gazed fixedly upon her, not speaking anymore.
In that moment, the entire world seemed to fall into quietness. The astonishment from all their friends, the congratulations and heartbreak of all the fans, and even the people at the neighbouring tables who had watched them eating their snail meat — all of these faded away.
He, Mo Qingcheng, was gazing so seriously, so sincerely at her, wishing her blessings of happiness as well as wishing himself happiness.
Yes, he was wishing the two of them — together — happiness.
She held the icy cold glass, raised it, and lightly clinked it against his.
A clear sound.
Pure, yet simple.
“To our happy marriage,” she echoed softly. “May we forever be blessed with happiness.”
先上车后补票. A slang phrase. “To hop on the bus first” is saying that a guy has been physically intimate with a girl prior to marriage (and often, is referring to an unplanned pregnancy) , and to “go back afterwards to get your ticket” is saying, after the fact, the guy and girl get married and become legitimate to “ride the bus.”
交杯酒 “jiao bei jiu.” In a traditional Chinese wedding ceremony, after the groom has entered the nuptial chambers where his bride awaits, the two will drink a wine together. They would interlink their arms that were holding the wine cups, and in that position, they would drink the wine. Now, in modern times, this tradition is no longer necessarily reserved for the moment within the nuptial chambers and is often performed before the guests of the wedding. Toupai is teasingly asking if Sheng Sheng wants to interlink her arm with his and drink the beer with him, as husband and wife. Very simplistically, I’ve translated this entire action, “drinking wedding wine.”
*happy sigh* So glad the friends made a little Weibo appearance like before. Loved the ending.❤
I’ve said this before, but just in case you missed it, due to copyright reasons, the novel was completely revised so that all the real songs sung by 2-D world singers in real life were removed and replaced with songs and lyrics made up by Mo Bao Fei Bao. The only exception is “Song Without an End”, I believe, which still remains in the novel. Even the official online copy has been revised.
I cried about it before since part of the magic of this story was the beautiful music that I would play as I read, but it is understandable. Since I’ve been head down and just translating, I still haven’t read through the entire published novel, but I did flip to the very important recording studio and duet singing scene to see what replaced my favourite “Shang Ye.” I got a pleasant consolation.
The new, made-up song is called 与君归 “To Share Your Ending.” Three characters that say, “wherever the journey of life takes you, I choose to share your ending, whatever it may be.” Beautiful, huh?
Excerpts of the published novel from what were chapter 18 and 19 of the online version:
“Mm. Sure,” Toupai agreed, not showing any awkwardness. “We can upload it onto 5sing after we are done recording. Consider it as a Valentine’s Day gift to the fans.”
Valentine’s Day… gift…
Alright… Many DaRen in the online world liked to do something on special occasions like Valentine’s Day, Children’s Day, etc. Normal, totally normal.
Gu Sheng was still digesting this suggestion, but he, after thinking briefly, stated the name of a song. “Yu Jun Gui [To Share Your Ending]… okay with you?”
That name stated from his lips seemed to carry a heartrending sense of bleakness.
The heckling crowd surrounding them went completely quiet.
Wasn’t this just their first meeting? And already they were going “to share an ending” wha…?
Really. So. Attention-Grabbing.
And skipping ahead a little bit to when they start singing:
Very quickly, the musical intro of the song could be heard.
With one hand on the microphone’s frame, Mo Qingcheng finally started singing the first line along with the background music:
“A thousand years of scrolls of history will scribe things of family, country, and the world
Yet they cannot be used in exchange to bring back your hands holding a cup of tea… ”
When he opened his mouth to sing the first note, Gu Sheng swore she clearly heard her own heartbeat.
Seriously, it sounded so good it could make people cry.
Effortless high notes that carried an intense sense of anguish and unwillingness to let go.
He even gave the listeners the feeling that he was the prince in the story, who had someone whom he loved dearly but could not declare his love for. He was her teacher, was the one whom she loved with all her heart, but between the good of the common people and the one he loved, he had no choice but to choose the former. He had to watch as she left, to let her go to marry the crown prince…
Gu Sheng was a person who loved music, and at the same time, she loved any stories set in the ancient times.
The cruelest thing in the world, perhaps, was after having possessed something… to lose it again. If one had never experienced those beautiful feelings before, they would not be etched into the bones and engraved on the heart. And then to use a knife and slice away, one inch at a time, those veins and bones that were joined together because of love. That was really too cruel.
As she sang this song, she could not help looking straight up at Mo Qingcheng.
Mo Qingcheng’s deep black eyes that turned up at the outer edges also carried her reflection in them.
As the two of them neared the end of the song, that gentle yet sorrowful section, she deliberately sang offbeat to Mo Qingcheng. His male voice sang first followed by her clear and somewhat mournful repetition the end of each line of lyrics.
“In the tower, with several strokes of the brush
The entire ‘Rhapsody of the Imperial Park’ now remains
The chapters of two lifetimes come to a close
And I vow to share the same ending as you…”
As Gu Sheng sang the last note, she found she was having difficulties removing herself from the story. But then, to her surprise, she heard Toupai unexpectedly start to speak some lines. In astonishment, she lifted her head to gaze at him.
It was as if yellow sand filled the sky and a thousand years had passed, and he, alone astride his horse, was turning to look back sorrowfully.
He was adding a monologue…
In Mo Qingcheng’s voice, she had a sense of rapport, as if he, too, was already captured within this story.
A thousand years of desolation, when even that stretch of white bones had become as sand, yet in the end, this could not compare to even her name alone.
He looked straight into her eyes and told her, “’Til the different directions of the world no longer exist, ‘til the seas dry, only then will I cease to love you.”
The background music suddenly came to an end, highlighting this last monologue.
As in the lyrics, Mo Qingcheng’s eyes seemed as if filled with an immeasurably deep love, and once you looked directly into them, it was simply impossible to resist him.
Gu Sheng’s face immediately flushed a deep red…
She watched as he turned around and addressed the recording engineer. “It’s good.”
Beautiful Bones fans, did you like that? In the past life, Eleven shared Xiao Nanchen Prince’s ending and chose death after the injustice against him. In the present life, Shi Yi also gets to share Zhousheng Chen’s ending, but this time, with fate’s kindness, their ending is one that is mundane, ordinary, uninteresting… a blessing of happiness — together. Just like Toupai and Sheng Sheng.❤
Lastly, besides the additional epilogue the published book included most of the Weibo random scenes I had posted, plus an adorable little booklet (first pic below) of chibi drawings of Toupai and Sheng Sheng and food and a poster of the gang on their vacation in Southeast Asia. These are just a handful of the chibis as only a some were posted online on Mo Bao Fei Bao’s blog, including the cover photo of this post, and I didn’t get to taking a picture of each page. I did take a pic of my copy of the poster for you to see, but please forgive the low quality. (Any guesses at who’s who in the poster?)