Held in the Lonely Castle (Prologue)
In the reign of Emperor Renzong, the empire was in harmony and the world was at peace.
This forgotten love story was buried in the annals of history—
The formerly carefree youth could have passed the imperial civil service examinations or lived unfettered by worldly concerns. Yet, he was confined deeply in the palace, with a lifetime of regret.
Thankfully in this quiet life, there were still some attachments that he could fondly recall.
He watched her grow from an innocent child into a gentle and graceful, fair maiden.
He watched her experience love for the first time and watched her taste the bitterness of heartbreak.
He watched as, all due to the Emperor’s rash decision, she was wrapped in magnificent robes like a Morro doll 磨喝乐 (móhēlè) was a transliteration of the Sanskrit mahoraga, Muo Luo, one of the original eight gods/dragons in Buddhism. Literally, this meant “grinding and drinking.” After it was introduced to China, it evolved into the image of a cute child and was made into a clay doll. It became a sacrifice for the “Qi Xi” festival, which celebrated the Cowherd and Weaver Girl. and placed in a shrine to be burned in sacrifice. The translation was a bit difficult here. In this chapter, I imagined two scenarios: FL being dressed up like a doll as a child and having to sit in the shrine as the “embodiment” of the Morro doll for the festival OR FL being dressed up before being sacrificed at the shrine. Let me know what vibe you get from this sentence: 看着她因为君主的一念之差，被包装成华丽的磨喝乐，置于神龛中被炙烤。
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She regarded him as the only one she could depend on. He was also willing to give her a lifetime of love and warmth.
To them, their love was nobody’s business but their own.
To the world, their love was a treasonous, unforgivable sin.
Their deep love could not win against the etiquette and customs of the time, nor could it silence the people from spreading rumours. Their love was not accepted in this peaceful and flourishing age……
Separated by one palace wall, both sides despaired. In this life and this world, we can never meet again. Only in the next life can we reunite.
“Then, in our next life, you definitely have to come and find me. I’ll be a simple common woman and you’ll probably be a scholar wearing white robes…… One day when I reach to retrieve my basket while picking mulberries, you’ll pass by the path in the fields and pick up the hair ornament I had left behind…….”
I spotted a series in the novel pickup forum and the description swayed me. Maybe it’ll convince you too.
As Teaisgood on NUF described:
- The MC is a eunuch! (omo !!)
- It’s apparently beautifully written and heart wrenching (I don’t read ahead, so I’m in the dark with the rest of you).
- The romance between Princess Fukang (Emperor Renzong’s beloved eldest daughter) and Liang Huaji (the eunuch) is inspired by historical Song Dynasty accounts
- There is a drama adaptation for this series (which makes me slightly worried about copyright and such; If anything, hopefully my translations will promote the series to a broader audience)
- The characters are nuanced, flawed and have their own motives and desires. The so-called antagonists go against the MC/FL for understandable reasons.
- The MC is kind and devoted to the FL.
Please give Held in the Lonely Castle a shot ~
If you like, please check out my other series, Why Harem Intrigue When You Can Raise A Dog Instead? – a fluffy romance between a transmigrator and a doggy Emperor.