Friday, March 25, 2016

东宫 Eastern Palace: Chapter 9

I made a mistake on the previous post. It was suppose to be jade pendant not jade bracelet.

I looked at the jade pendants in his hand. Western Liang have a lot of foreign merchants and the place that makes jades weren't far away, so I have seen a lot of jade jewelries. Ever since I came to the Capital, the Eastern Palace have all kinds of jewelries, so I have seen all kinds of jade jewelries before, but I have never seen a jade pendant that was this beautiful. This white jade was very smooth, under the moon, it would shine very brightly.

"This jade pendant I have never seen before." I was very curious, "You said we had agreed to leave together, but how come we didn't leave together?"

He slowly lowered his hand, said in a low voice: "I'm sorry. That day I all of a sudden had an important matter, so I couldn't wait for you at the Yumen gate. When I have arrived at the Yumen gate, three days and three nights have already passed. When I have arrived, I saw your jade pendant in the sand, but you were already gone......" I looked at him, he doesn't seem like he was lying when he said he wasn't able to go to the Yumen gate on that day. His expression was filled with regret and disappointment as if there was an unspoken feeling of regret.

I felt that his story was uninteresting: "Even if you have anything good to say, the story would be meaningless, since you were the one who couldn't come that day. I don't know you, so you must have recognized the wrong person." I turned around to look at the color of the sky: "I need to sleep now. Also, you shouldn't come here anymore. If someone sees you, it would be very troublesome. I already have enough problems to handle." He stared at my face for a while, asked: "Xiao Feng, are you still blaming it on me?" "I don't have the effort to blame it on you! I really don't know you." He didn't create any sound for a while. In the end, he let out a long sigh, took out an arrowhead, said: "If you encounter any dangerous situation, shoot the arrowhead in the air, I will come and save you." I have A'Du by my side, what dangerous situation would I encounter? I didn't want the arrowhead, but he forced me to accept it. He gently lifted me up, but before I was able to shout, we were already on the ground. When he was sending me back to the palace residence, not waiting for me to turn around, he had already returned to the top of the roof tiles, without a sound, staring at me at a distance. He turned his head around and finally left.

I closed the window. I handed the arrowhead to A'Du and faced towards her: "This Gu Jian, although he has exceptional martial art skills, he always seems like a mysterious person. He says that I know him, but if I know him, then how come I don't recognize him at all?" A'Du stared at me, her gaze was filled with gentleness and pity. I don't understand why she gave me that type of gaze. I sighed and went to bed. A'Du couldn't speak, so how could she tell me? This Gu Jian, what type of person is he?

I couldn't sleep properly because there were a lot of things that had happened tonight. I had a messy dream, inside the dream there was a person playing the guan, I wanted to approach him, but there was a thick fog everywhere, so I couldn't see his face. He was standing there, not too close, but not too far. My heart understands that I could not approach him. I hesitated within the fog, finally I was able to find him. I was so happy to see him that I ran towards him, but I slipped and fell into a bottomless pit.

When I was in despair, suddenly someone caught me in midair, the sound of the wind went through my ears. He was holding onto me, slowly falling downwards.....he saved me, holding onto me in midair spinning.....spinning.....slowly spinning......The sky was filled with stars as if they were raindrops falling down......Between heaven and earth, it was only him staring at me with his pair of eyes.......His eyes only had me.....I wanted to faint. It was that person who was holding onto me.....I know he loved me deeply. When he was around, I felt relieved.

When I woke up, it was already daytime. I had this dream numerous times before, but every time when I woke up, I would feel disappointed because I couldn't see his face clearly. Every time I had this dream, I would use all my effort to see his face clearly, but every time I wasn't successful, this time was no exception. I turned around and noticed that there was a flower on my pillow, refreshing and dewy.

I was surprised, A'Du was sleeping in front of the window, almost no one can avoid her eyes and ears except for that Gu Jian. I quickly opened the windows. I saw the shadow of a person wearing white clothes, but Gu Jian quickly disappeared.

I placed the flower inside the flower vase. My mood was a bit better, but my good mood didn't last long because Yong Niang quickly told me that yesterday Li Cheng Yin drank wine the whole night and is really drunk, creating chaos.
 
I can't look at this type of man. If I was him, I would have sneak out to see Zhao Liang Di, since she was still alive and I would think of ways for the two of us to be together. As long as the green mountains are there, one needs to not worry about firewood [1].

I told Yong Niang that we don't need to take care of Li Cheng Yin and letting him be drunk to death would be good.
 
Although I had said it like that, but Li Cheng Yin has been drinking wine continuously for three days, every day he would drink until he's in a drunk state. On the fourth day, he finally fell ill.

When he was always drunk, he would kick out all the palace maids and not allow them to enter into his palace residence. After he was drunk, he got a cold, a sore throat and then a fever. The place I live was half of the palace away from his place, so the information that I get were not fast and abundant. When I know about this situation, he was already very sick, since the whole palace doesn't know about the situation until now. "The Crown Prince doesn't want to take the medicine and he doesn't want the whole palace to know about this situation." Yong Niang lowered her voice: "Because of Zhao Liang Di's situation, he is still angry at the Empress." I felt that this was foolish and funny: "Is torturing himself a way of taking revenge for Zhao Liang Di?" Yong Niang said: "The Crown Prince is naturally kindhearted and have received a lot of love from the Emperor and the Empress, can't help but....." She didn't say anything bad about Li Cheng Yin, only spoken up to here. She continued to talk, but then stopped.

I decided to go see Li Cheng Yin to see if he was really sick. Even if he dies from illness, it doesn't matter, but I don't want to be a widow.

Li Cheng Yin must have been very sick because when I went to his bedside, he didn't get angry. He must have forgotten that whenever I go into his palace residence, he would treat me like a rat and kick me out. The palace maid helped me open the bed net. I saw that Li Cheng Yin's face was as red as a cooked crab. Speaking of eating crabs, before coming to the Capital, I have never eaten crabs before. On the first year of the Double Ninth Festival [2], the palace had a grand banquet with one of the dishes being the steamed crab. I looked at the red crab, but I didn't know how to eat it. Li Cheng Yin would be harsh on me for this matter and whenever this matter was mentioned, he would always say that I was a Western Liang woman who have never seen crabs before.

I touched Li Cheng Yin's forehead, it was boiling hot.

I yelled out a few times: "Li Cheng Yin!" He didn't respond to me.
 
It looks like he had lost his consciousness, gasping for air and even the white skin on his lips had broken into pieces.

I wanted to pull my hand away, but suddenly he grabbed onto my hand. His hand was boiling hot like a piece of heated iron. His breath rushed, but his vague voice could still be heard: "Niang....Niang..." I have never heard him call the Empress "Niang." The Empress was after all an Empress and he was the successor to the throne, so the two of them would speak in a polite way. The Empress treated him the same as me, besides "rise," "sit," "go," she would say a lengthy speech to lecture him.

I felt that Li Cheng Yin was very pitiful.

Being a Crown Princess was very frustrating, this cannot do, that cannot do. Every year there were numerous ceremonies in the palace, having to wear ceremonial clothes and the phoenix crown would always make my waist sore and my back hurt. The Empress has taken care of me, saying that I was young and having to come from Western Liang to the Capital to get married, so she wouldn't criticize me harshly. Compared to being a Crown Princess, being a Crown Prince was one thousand, one million times more frustrating. If I had to read those books, I would get a headache. Li Cheng Yin had to be able to memorize those books, recite poems, draw, have good archery and horseback riding skills. His childhood must have been unhappy, having to learn so many things must have been very frustrating.

I couldn't pull my hand away, Li Cheng Yin was grasping onto my hand very tightly. At this moment, the palace maid brought the medicine. Yong Niang handed over the medicine, said in a low voice: "Crown Princess, the medicine is here." I called out: "Li Cheng Yin! Get up and drink the medicine!" Li Cheng Yin didn't answer me, but only continued to grasp onto my hand. Yong Niang ordered the palace maids to place a few pillows on the bedside and help Li Cheng Yin get up. He was half leaning and half sitting there. Yong Niang fed him medicine with a jade spoon, but he didn't open his mouth. We could only place half of the spoon in the corner of his mouth and let the medicine flow into his mouth.

I couldn't bear this anymore, said: "I'll do it." Li Cheng Yin was still holding onto my right hand, so I could only hold the bowl of medicine with my left hand. I turned my head around to call A'Du: "Pinch his nose." A'Du moved towards Li Cheng Yin and pinched his nose, so that no air would come out.  After a while, he finally opened his mouth, so I poured the bowl of medicine into his mouth. With his nose pinched, he could only drink the medicine, but because he drank it very quickly, he coughed a few times. His eyes opened: "Hot........very hot......." Being burned to death was better than being sick to death.

I hinted at A'Du to let go. Li Cheng Yin was still holding onto my hand, but he wasn't looking at me. He closed his eyes and slowly fell asleep.

Yong Niang helped me get a wooden stool, so that I could sit close to the window. I sat there for a while, but I felt very uncomfortable. Li Cheng Yin was still holding onto my hand, so my arm was numb. I tried to pull my hand away, but once I moved, Li Cheng Yin would hold onto my hand tighter. A'Du "shua"took out her knife and placed the knife onto Li Cheng Yin's wrist. I shook my head, hinting at her to not do that. If A'Du hurts him, then the Emperor would send the army to attack Western Liang.

I'm starting to miss Zhao Liang Di. At least if she was here, then I don't have to take care of Li Cheng Yin and even if he was this sick, he wouldn't be holding onto my hand and not letting go.

One shichen [3] has passed, my arm was already numb as if it was senseless. I started to think of ways to help Zhao Liang Di get out of prison, so that she could do this hard task instead.

After two shichen, half of my body was already numb as if it was senseless. I couldn't bear this anymore, so I quietly called Yong Niang. She walked towards me and lowered her head to listen to my command. I quickly told her: "Yong Niang.....I need to relieve myself......" Yong Niang quickly said: "I will order someone to bring the chamber pot [4]." She quickly walked out, I couldn't even call her. She ordered the palace maids to bring in the folding screens, told them to stand outside the palace residence, and then she locked the doors. I wrinkled my face showing pain: "Yong Niang.......but I can't....." "I'm here to serve Crown Princess....." I want to cry: "I can't! I can't do it here! Li Cheng Yin is right here........" "The Crown Prince is not a stranger.....The Crown Prince is already asleep." Yong Niang comforted me, said: "Also, Crown Prince and Crown Princess are a married couple. As a married couple, you have the same heart and the same body........" I didn't want to listen to her lengthy speech. I couldn't bear this anymore, doing this in front of Li Cheng Yin, in front of a man......I want to cry. I really want to cry...... "Yong Niang, you think of a way......hurry and think of a way!" Yong Niang thought for a moment, I didn't rush her, but in the end she couldn't think of any other better ways. I couldn't bear this anymore, so I repeatedly said: "Fine, fine, I'll do it here. You come and block me." Yong Niang stood between Li Cheng Yin and I, used her body to block me from Li Cheng Yin, but because Li Cheng Yin was still holding onto my hand, she could only block a small portion of my body. I opened my belt in panic, constantly looking at Li Cheng Yin. A'Du helped me take out the belt and hold onto my dress.

When I recite a poem, I would recite the three verse poem. One of the verses, I have said it in front of Pei Zhao: "How can I solve my own concerns? Only Du Kang." Another verse was: "The rains are loud, the rains are quiet, loud and quiet sounds mixed together, like big and small pearls falling onto a plate." Why would I recite this poem? When I first learned the Central Plains language, it was a poem that was especially hard to recite, so I would recite this poem as a tongue twister. Every year, I would recite this poem.

The rains are loud, the rains are quiet, loud and quiet sounds mixed together, like big and small pearls falling onto a plate.....As expected, my whole body feels light, really comfortable.

When I quickly turned around, I felt that I was very smart because I was still able to remember the poem. Li Cheng Yin suddenly moved slightly and then opened his eyes. "Ah!" I screamed.

A'Du jumped up, and "shua" took out her knife. Yong Niang got scared from my scream, but she was pushed away by A'Du. A'Du's golden inlaid knife was already placed at Li Cheng Yin's neck. I was in a confused state, hurriedly fixed my dress while calling A'Du: "No!" A'Du don't move!" I quickly wore my belt, but the Central Plain's clothes would move here and move there and I couldn't wear these clothes properly. Usually, the palace maids would help me put on the clothes. When I quickly wore the belt, I created a tight knot, so I couldn't fix it. I quickly pulled A'Du: "A'Du! No! He only scared me a little!" A'Du putted the knife away. Li Cheng Yin stared at me, and I stared at him. He appeared to have a lifeless look in his eyes, looking at the folded screens in the back, the dumbstruck Yong Niang, the chamber pot by the window, and then looking at the hand he was holding. Finally, he looked at my waist, all messy with the tight knot. The corner of Li Cheng Yin's mouth suddenly twitched.

Notes:
[1]留得青山在不愁没柴烧 As long as the green mountains are there, one needs to not worry about firewood- The actual meaning of this phrase is that while there's life, there is still hope.
[2]重九 Double Ninth Festival - This festival is on the ninth day of the ninth month. The number nine is regarded as a yang (Chinese spiritual term) number, but this festival is on a day that has too much yang, since the date is a double ninth (ninth day of the ninth month), so this day was considered to be dangerous. ~wikipedia
[3]时辰 Shichen- A day is divided into twelve shichen, so one shichen equals to two hours.
[4]恭桶 Chamber pot- Back in those times, there were no toilets, so they would only sit in a pot to do their thing.

< Chapter 8                                                                                                               Chapter 10 >

9 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for the chapter!
    I am rally glad you decided to pick up this translation project!:)

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  2. Hahahaa so cutee.. thank you

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    1. This chapter is cute, but next chapter is going to be more intense ;).

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  3. Thanks! What's your translation schedule like??

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    Replies
    1. I just update whenever I have free time, so I don’t really have a schedule.

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  4. Thanks for keeping this ongoing! ❣❣❣

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  5. thanks for the translation. cant wait to see the next chapter <3

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  6. as always thank you for the amazing chapter :3

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