Please read our May Updates and TL Goals post!

Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace (Arc1 Chp2 Pt2)

Chapter 2: Zi Chu [1]自处 (zì chǔ) has several meanings. The Baike page lists six: 1) Find a place or arrangement for oneself; 2) Supporting oneself; 3) Handling things by oneself / Attitude towards oneself; 4) Living by oneself; 5) Taking care of oneself; 6) Being cautious and guarding oneself as though guarding jade. (Part 2)

Translator: Tygris
English proofreader: 247Reader

Jin Yuyan gave [Qingying] a wanfu greeting [2]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 exchanged pingli [3]Greetings exchanged between those of equal status. with Su Luyun. Then, she said pretentiously, “Younger sister also feels that this is strange. Elder Sister Gao has always been gentle and pleasant. Even when she was upset [4]置气 (zhì qì) has meanings ranging from being silently upset to actively attempting to earn face. with Secondary Consort at qiandi, it was still not the same as today. Could it be that each person’s temperament has become more arrogant after entering the palace?”

Luyun hurriedly replied, “What ‘each person’s temperament has become more arrogant’? Younger Sister Yuyan can make such casual jokes, being high in the Emperor’s favor, but we do not dare.”

Yuyan, her eyes as charming as silk strands, said softly, “That Elder Sister mentioned the two words ‘Emperor’s favor’ makes me ashamed. The Secondary Consort is here: it is the Emperor’s attitude towards Secondary Consort that can be termed as thousands upon ten-thousands worth of favor.” She pretended to be deep in thought. “Ai ya! Could it be that Elder Sister Gao thought that after entering the Forbidden City, the Secondary Consort would have a family reunion with that one in Jing’ren Palace and would lose the Emperor’s and the Empress Dowager’s favor, and so was this disrespectful?”

Qingying’s voice grew serious. “The death of the late Emperor is a time to be filial to the country and filial to our family. Is it not an inappropriate time to speak of who receives ‘favor’ or not?”

Luyun quickly calmed down and stood aside respectfully. 

Yuyan held her cheek, saying with a smile, “Secondary Consort has such an imposing manner. If this kind of momentum had been directed at Elder Sister Gao earlier, it could have let Elder Sister Gao know the meaning of power.” 

Yuyan bent her knees, saying, “The night is late and the people are weary. We just entered the palace, and there had already been such a good show. Would anyone be afraid there might be fewer in the future? Younger Sister will leave first; one must rest to cultivate enough energy to watch [these shows].”

Yuyan left in a grandiose manner, and Luyun unconsciously furrowed her eyebrows at the sight.

Qingying comforted her. “Forget it. It’s not as though you do not know Jin Yuyan’s temperament. Although she has the same gege status as you and her tenure in qiandi is shorter than yours, she is a daughter of the Korean Imperial clan and was specially bestowed upon the Emperor by the late Emperor. We should be a bit more courteous to her. There is no need to be angry with her.” 

Luyun continued to frown. “Elder Sister is right; I understand this principle. Now, to make her background better sounding, the Emperor selected Master Sanbao of Shangsiyuan [5]上驷院 (shàng sì yuàn) was one of three departments under the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Qing Dynasty and was in charge of the horses used in the palace. Shangsiyuan is considered an important department, and the officials of Shangsiyuan were of high rank and high status. as her adoptive father. No wonder she has become even more arrogant. “

Qingying consoled her, “I know you are not happy living with her. When the Emperor enthrones the Six Palaces, he will give you a better palace sooner or later. Do not worry: you just birthed the Third Prince. She cannot be ranked higher than you.”

Luyun looked at Qingying worriedly. “[Xi]Yue Consort was the most gentle and considerate person in front of the Emperor. Now, after entering the palace, even her temperament has changed – what else could be impossible?” Luyun looked down the long street corridor. The red walls towered, as though desiring to crush the people underneath. Her slender shoulders shrunk unconsciously. “It is often said that resentful souls haunt the Forbidden City day and night. Could they be powerful enough to change a person’s nature?”

This was an inky-black night; the moon was hidden away and not even a twinkle of starlight was visible. One could see only the ridges of the palace like mountains in the distance, overlapping until it seemed they would topple over. Moreover, the white paper lanterns used during mourning, were now ubiquitous within the palace, floating like will-o’-the-wisps. All those who came and went were dressed in white. The atmosphere truly did have a ghostly and desolate aura.

Qingying held Luyun’s hand, saying gently, “Confucius does not talk about the bizarre, the brave, the rebellious, or the supernatural. [6]子不语怪力乱神 (zǐ bù yǔ guài lì luàn shén) is a line from the Analects of Confucius in a chapter called Shu’er, which describes Confucius’s tireless scholarly spirit. Confucius taught his disciples to stay away from the supernatural, and that a gentleman should keep the right path at heart. If one does not keep righteousness at heart, one will be controlled by the evil and supernatural. Luyun, at the very least, you are still a few years older than I am. Why are you trying to scare me? Besides, Gao Xiyue only showed her gentle face to the Emperor, never towards us.”

Luyun smiled unconsciously as she listened.

Looking at the unfamiliar Forbidden City, Qingying said calmly, “Although you and I are both daughters-in-law of the Forbidden City [7]Here, ‘Forbidden City’ is used as a metonym for the Imperial Family. and had often entered the palace to pay respects, this is the first time we have truly lived here. As for whether there are resentful souls here… I think that in terms of changing one’s nature, humans are always more powerful than ghosts.”

All in all, they had been busy till the end of the day. Once the two finished exchanging words, they parted ways.

Xiyue was already extremely sleepy by the time she returned to her palace. She sat down at the auspicious [8]和合 (hé hé) is a Buddhist term referring to harmony and karma. fuxian pearwood [9]T/N: Translating 福仙梨 as the type of wood that the table is made of / a species of pear. Please let us know if this is incorrect. The word 福 means ‘lucky’ or ‘auspicious’ and the word 仙 refers to ‘fairy-like’ or ‘celestial’. 梨 means ‘pear’. table, and immediately, a palace maid brought up a serving of red date bird’s nest. 

She said respectfully, “Little Mistress is tired; please partake of some bird’s nest.” [10]A replenishing, nourishing food often used as a tonic or health supplement. 燕窝 is swallow nest. A few species of cave swallows and swifts build nests with their specialized saliva; these are then harvested and boiled, often in soups.

Xiyue lifted her face and signaled the palace maid to put [the bird’s nest] down. She casually pulled out a few silver hairpins from her head and handed them to her trusted maid Moxin. “How loathsome! It’s so gloomy [in color] and heavy, and the pressure makes my head hurt.” 

As she spoke, she touched the red lotus bracelet of jade beads and golden silk on her wrist. “Fortunately, this bracelet was given to me by Mistress, so there’s no need to take it off even during mourning. Otherwise, looking at these dull colors day after day would make me lose the breath of life.”

Moxin took the hairpin and placed it on the dressing table, then helped take off the white silk flowers and pearls on Xiyue’s temples. She smiled. “Little Mistress is a natural beauty. Even wearing an ebony hairpin, [Little Mistress] is still the most outstandingly beautiful of them all. What’s more, even though the bracelet is the same, Little Mistress looks better wearing it as compared to Qing Consort.”

Xiyue glanced at her and said, laughing, “You sure know how to talk. ‘The most outstandingly beautiful of them all’? Now, there is Jin Yuyan. Does the Emperor not favor her for her unique beauty?”

Moxin smiled. “No matter how unique her beauty is, she is just a lowly girl from a small country. What is she even worth? Mistress is weak. Su Luyun is cowardly. The remaining gege and concubines cannot enter [the Emperor’s] eyes. The only one who can be on an equal footing with Little Mistress is just one Ula Nara Qingying. But now that Little Mistress has made a raft for her to see, [11]作筏子 (zuò fá zǐ) has the meaning of venting one’s anger by using another as a punching bag, i.e. making things difficult for another. let’s see how long she can stay proud!”

Xiyue slowly scooped up two mouthfuls of bird’s nest and said with a slight smile, “In the past, she was overly complacent, relying on being the niece of the late Empress Xiaojing and Jing’ren Palace Niangniang [as her backing], and being specifically married to the Emperor by the late Emperor and the late Empress Dowager. [12]Historically, the late Emperor, Yongzheng, only ever had one Empress while he was alive: Empress Xiaojing of the Ula Nara clan, who passed away before the late Emperor. In the setting of this novel, another of the Ula Nara clan, her younger sister, became Yongzheng’s Empress after Empress Xiaojing passed away but was disgraced. Hence, Empress Xiaojing and Jing’ren Palace Niangniang are two different people who both are of the same generation and clan as Qingying’s father. Now that the Empress Dowager is in power and the late Emperor and the Empress Xiaojing have passed away, that one of the Jing’ren Palace has instead become a burden to her. The Empress Dowager and the Emperor may not continue those superficial actions.”

Moxin hammered Xiyue’s shoulders as she said, “Indeed, is it not so? This slave would rather glance at Little Mistress than look at her.”

Xiyue sighed. “Although I am older than her and previously we were both Secondary Consorts, I entered the [Prince’s] Residence [13]T/N: Original text only says ‘residence’. Assuming Prince’s residence since, in official history, the current Emperor was created Prince Bao of First Rank after his father ascended the throne. as a gege. Although I was created Secondary Consort later, in the eyes of others, I am still not as good as her. Both overtly and covertly, how much anger have I suffered? Similarly, these bracelets originally came as a pair, but I and she were forced to have a singleton each. They are not as beautiful as when paired together.”

Moxin thought about her Little Mistress’s future and was considerably satisfied. “That is indeed true. Little Mistress’s wrists are slender and fair, perfect for wearing jadeite. She could be proud in the past, but now that she has been given a show of strength, it can be considered as letting her understand. What is so important about the position of a Secondary Consort? What is important is one’s ranking in the Imperial Harem, and the Emperor’s favor.”

Xiyue smiled softly and glanced at Moxin approvingly, but she couldn’t help but feel a little worried. “My actions today during the Crying Ceremony were quite risky. Is your news accurate?”

Moxin smiled. “Little Mistress can be utterly at ease. It was Lianxin, who serves next to the Mistress, who personally came to tell me, saying that she had heard what the Emperor and Mistress had discussed. Even if Lianxin had ten thousand guts, she would not dare to come up with such a big lie!”

Xiyue closed her narrow, beautiful phoenix eyes and smiled. “Then all is well.”

TL Notes:

That Analects of Confucius line was sooo annoying to translate. I had to look up Baike Baidu and also watch a video to just kinda get what was going on. If anyone has a better translation, please let me know. Otherwise, I hope you guys will accept my attempt XD 

Mini-Theater ~

Gao Xiyue: Ugh. So annoying. I can’t wear pretty things during the funeral. At least the Primary Consort gave me this pretty bracelet. I love the Primary Consort and her beautiful gifts. 

Moxin: Yes, Little Mistress. Everything you say or do is right. Our family’s Little Mistress is so breathtakingly beautiful as well. I wholeheartedly serve my Little Mistress. I’m so lucky!!!

<< Previous Chapter | Index | Next Chapter >>

Share your thoughts!

This website uses the awesome plugin.