Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace (Arc1 Chp1 Pt1)
Chapter 1: Funeral Vigil (Part 1)
English proofreader: 247Reader
The mournful sound of the cloud plate A flat, cloud-shaped gong associated with the Zen school of Buddhist faith. See link. rang out incessantly in all directions, as suffocating and awe-inspiring as the muffled sounds of clouds and lighting spiralling above.
The country held a grand funeral, and the whole world was aware.
Qingying, one in a crowd of many, bent down, kowtowed, stood up, bent down, kowtowed, etc. Tears flowed out from her numb eyes, as ceaselessly as a never-drying spring, but not a single drop originated from the true sorrow of the heart.
In regards to the person in the golden casket, alive or dead, he could not cause Qingying to feel overwhelming sorrow or joy. He was but her husband’s father, the late Emperor of this dynasty, and the man who had abandoned her paternal aunt.
Thinking thus, Qingying unconsciously shuddered, feeling a faint joy. That the dynasty’s Imperial Palace had become Qianlong’s Imperial Palace, and her husband ruled the world, was all thanks to the death of this man. As soon as this thought came to her mind, Qingying quietly raised her eyes and looked at the other wives and concubines and gege① – no, they were all imperial consorts and concubines now, though their statuses had yet to be determined.
Qingying shuddered, then lowered her eyebrows and knelt behind the Primary Consort in an orderly manner. Behind her was Gao Xiyue, who stood on equal footing with her. She was dressed in the same plain white silk, and, in her endless sorrow, seemed as beautiful as a pear blossom stained with raindrops.
Suddenly, there was a slight commotion in the front, and a maid exclaimed in a low voice: “Mistress has fainted!”
Qingying, who knelt in front, immediately moved forward on her knees to support the fainted née Fucha. Gao Xiyue also came up and said anxiously: “Mistress has been kneeling all night, and is likely tired. Quickly go inform the Emperor and the Empress Dowager.”
At this time, the Empress Dowager and the Emperor were both exhausted and weary, having already settled down in another palace. Qingying glanced at Xiyue before loudly announcing to the crowd: “Mistress is feeling excessive grief, quickly help her to the side hall to rest. Suxin, you are among those who serve the Mistress, quickly go report and say that it is enough for just us to serve. There is no need to ask the Emperor and the Empress Dowager to come over late at night.”
Xiyue gave Qingying a sidelong glance, but didn’t desire to add any words. Qingying was also too lazy to argue with her. She moved to support née Fucha and waited for the shrewd young eunuchs to bring the sedan chair. Together, they supported née Fucha into the side hall.
Xiyue wanted to follow in and serve, but Qingying made to stop her, softly saying, “This place cannot be without someone in charge. The Empress Dowager and the Dowager Concubines have all gone to rest. Once Mistress and I go in, elder sister will be the highest-ranking Secondary Consort②.”
The waves within Xiyue’s eyes lightly rippled towards Qingying. A trace of unruliness flashed in her gentle eyes, and she whispered silkily, “Younger sister and I are both Secondary Consorts. How dare I not serve at the side of the Mistress?” She paused briefly, “Besides, once Mistress wakes up, she might not be happy to see younger sister.”
Qingying smiled wordlessly. Looking at [Xiyue], she calmly responded, “Elder sister would of course understand [such matters].”
Xiyue bit her lip slightly. “I hope that I can always understand.”
She took two steps back, knelt again, and cried mournfully towards the late Emperor’s golden casket, as though she were a pear blossom lowering its soft branches in the clear rain, showcasing infinite graceful desolation.
Before entering through the curtain, Qingying glanced at her and sighed. How could there be such a woman? As gentle as a bundle of mist and clouds: even when grieving, she was so beautiful that others could not bear to look away.
Qingying entered the side hall. Suxin and Lianxin had already helped née Fucha to lie down on the bed. Now, one was wiping née Fucha’s face while the other was fluttering a fan. Qingying hurriedly commanded a close-by eunuch, exhorting, “Immediately bring hot water over. Even though it’s September, don’t let the Mistress catch a cold from wiping her face [with cold water]. Lianxin, you serve the Mistress some warm water; be careful not to burn her.”
Then, she started ordering her personal maid. “Suoxin, you go and open the window for some ventilation. There are so many people stifled in here, I’m afraid Mistress will feel worse. The Imperial Physician has already been invited, right?”
Suoxin hurriedly responded, “Yes. I have already sent someone to quietly invite [the Imperial Physician].”
Hearing this, Suxin, her eyebrows slightly twitching, asked, “Mistress is not feeling well, why are you so secretive about inviting an Imperial Physician?”
Qingying turned around with a smile. “Young lady doesn’t know, this is not to be secretive. It’s just that earlier Elder Sister Gao spoke wrongly.”
Suxin did not understand and became even more suspicious. “Spoke wrongly?”
Qingying did not want to speak more with her, so she walked forward a few steps to watch the eunuchs bring hot water in. Suoxin moved sideways beside Suxin, and in a gentle and yet appropriate volume, said, “Just now, [Xi]Yue Consort said that Mistress fainted due to exhaustion … ”
Suxin still wanted to ask, but née Fucha, who had already slowly woken up, coughed lightly and said, “Muddle-headed!”
Lianxin, with a face full of happiness, supported née Fucha’s chest and said, “Mistress, would you like to drink some water? You should moisten your throat after crying all night.”
Née Fucha slowly took a sip of water. Although she felt uncomfortable, she did not want to mess up the hair on her temples. 鬓发 (bìn fà). A lock of hair or curls situated in front of the ear. She casually touched it, then slowly sat up straight, scolding, “Muddle-headed! You still haven’t invited the Secondary Consort to sit down.”
Qingying, hearing that née Fucha had woken up, had already bowed her head and stood aside. She respectfully said, “Mistress has awakened.”
Née Fucha smiled and said, “Mistress? Only the Empress can bear this title. The Emperor has not yet conducted the canonization ceremony. Is it not too early to use this title?”
Qingying was neither humble nor overbearing. “Mistress sees clearly. The Emperor has already ascended the throne in front of the soul of the late Emperor. Although he has not officially canonized an Empress, Mistress is the Emperor’s hair-bound [wife] 结发 (jié fà). When a couple gets married, as part of marriage customs, each takes a section of hair from their heads and together make a knot. Also understood to refer to the legitimate wife. and is naturally the rightful and justifiable Empress. Now, it is inappropriate to refer to you as the Primary Consort, but there is also no Imperial Decree directly conferring [you] as Empress, so I can only compromise and call you Mistress for now.”
Seeing that née Fucha remained silent, Qingying gave a ceremonial salute The salute performed by Han women in the olden days. Performed by clasping fists loosely with both hands, moving the clasped hands slightly up and down at the lower right side of the chest, and lowering the head and bending the knees slightly at the same time. and said, “May Mistress enjoy ten thousand blessings and golden peace.” 万福金安 (wàn fú jīn ān) is a phrase expressing blessings, generally to one’s elders or those respected.
①Gege: The term ‘gege’ is originally a phonetic transliteration from the Manchu language. When translated into Chinese, it means miss, sister, or girl.
In Manchu, it is a general title for women. But in Chinese, there are several common meanings: first, it is the title of the daughter of a noble family in the Qing Dynasty; second, it refers to the more lowly ranked concubines of the Emperor and closely related princes.
②Secondary Consort: In the 17th year of the Shunzhi Emperor (1660), it was stipulated that qinwang’s, the qinwang’s heir’s and junwang’s wives were created Fujin, or Consort, and those of the side rooms as Side Fujin, or Secondary Consort. It is also used to seal Mongolian noblewomen.
To emphasize the status of the first wife of the royal family, the legitimate wife is also called the Legitimate Fujin, or Primary Consort. Both the Primary Consort and Secondary Consort were canonized by the Ministry of Rites and had court uniforms sponsored by the imperial court, as shown in the Qing Dynasty Huidian. The court uniform of the Secondary Consort is one level lower than that of the Primary Consort.
Once a year, the Imperial Clan will submit a request to update the titles and send it to the Ministry of Rites to be included in the genealogy.
As compared to the Secondary Consort, another way to refer to concubines is Concubine Fujin. The status of Concubine Fujins was relatively low, equivalent to that of maidservants and concubines. They were not entered into the genealogy, had no court uniforms, and had not been canonized by the imperial court. ‘Concubine Fujin’ was just a polite term.
Hi all~ ‘tis Tygris and I will be the main translator for RYZ. Super pumped to share this novel with you guys!
I am a big big BIG fan of the Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace and Empresses in the Palace dramas. And I hear that the novels are even more exciting than the dramas, because … you know … censoring content to be consumable by the public. Oh and the limited airing time.
In the original work, the author left footnotes (as you can see above), so there will be two sets of footnotes for this translation: one from the original author, and one from us.
Easter egg! Did you know that the original author appeared in the drama for RYZ in at least one scene? Guess which!