何为贤妻 To Be A Virtuous Wife Chapter One Hundred and Twenty One “Epilogue: Painting of a Beauty”

red dress walkingrobe-redflower-snow

This chapter has been brought to you by me, vivie and leecherleechleech.

This is the first of three epilogues. A bit of longer reading than usual.

Bit of long time since I put pictures up.

Chapter One Hundred and Twenty One Epilogue: Painting of a Beauty

It was another blooming time of the year. Recently, all of Rui Wang Fu was full of cheer. Wang ye had just recovered his qin wang rank, and wang fei was pregnant. This could be considered the best things to have happened in the recent years for Rui Wang Fu.

Before marrying into the wang fu, Lu Yu Rong had thought Rui Wang was a lecherous and preposterous man. But only when she had entered the wang fu did she know how unfounded rumors could be. The third day after she married into the wang fu, wang ye accompanied her back to her paternal home and sent away a crowd of tong fang from the wang fu. Even though some of them had been bestowed down by the Emperor and couldn’t move out of the wang fu, the time that wang ye went to those women’s rooms lessened dramatically.

Gradually, wang ye started to like painting. And what he liked to draw best were bright and eye-catching red flowers. She had once asked him why he liked painting such vivid flowers but he didn’t say anything.

Before marriage, there was someone else in her heart. But one could not rebel against the Imperial Order. She had to marry this man who didn’t have a good reputation but her days were much better than she had imagined.

But maybe it was the nature of all men to be fickle. After she became pregnant, wang ye became interested in a tong fang. He visited her frequently in the day, but the majority of the time, he slept in the tongfang’s place.

But to her, this wasn’t anything major. Since she couldn’t marry the man she liked. Who she married, who that person loved, what did it have to do with her?

All the servants in Rui Wang Fu knew that the relationship between wang ye and the new wang fei was better than the old one so no one dared to slight wang fei. Even more, wang fei was pregnant. But quickly, servants with keen eyes found the brows and mouth of wang ye’s newly favored tongfang were very similar to wang fei. The servants then understood that it was that wang fei couldn’t have relations with wang ye due to her pregnancy so wang ye was finding comfort on another person’s body.

When Lu Yu Rong heard that rumor, she was even more generous to all the tong fang and qieshi. In the end, the houyuan of Rui Wang Fu became more and more peaceful, drastically different than the smoke and fire of the past.

She had once encountered a yahuan named Yao Xi in the wang fu. She recognized this yahuan. She was the personal maid of Qu Yue Su. She remembered that year when she and Qu Yue Su had composed poetry to amuse Jin An Princess Royal and the other wang fei had judged them. But who knew that the previous Rui Wang Fu would be executed, Qu ce fei would die from illness and she would become the second wang fei.

Destiny was just this ironic. If people wanted it, they didn’t get it, if they didn’t want it, it was shoved onto them. Wrongs and rights. By the end, who was the one who was the joke, who was the one that is a pity.

The first time she saw wang ye could draw people, it was the third month of her pregnancy. At that time, the beginning of summer had ended and she was too hot to fall asleep. She had walked around. For some reason, she walked into the study and saw the unfinished painting on the table.

It was a very solitary painting. The blooming plum blossoms, the thick layer of snow, and a half-open exquisite sedan in the midst of the snowflakes. There was a hazy shadow in the sedan, only revealing a shock of black hair and a red sleeve.

An empty painting, but she felt as though she was the artist of the painting, and was admiring the woman in the sedan, waiting for her to raise the curtain the entire way. But in the end, the person had pulled down the curtain instead.

Sighing, she reached out with a hand to touch the corner of the sleeve that was flying in the harsh wind. But before she could touch, heavy steps came from behind her.

She suddenly turned back and saw wang ye standing with a cold face at the door. The eyes he had when he looked at her, it was as though he was looking at a stranger, cool and indifferent.

Wang ye… …” Her voice was somewhat dry and she strangely felt guilty.

“Why has wang fei come here?” He came up and put away the painting, his voice as gentle as usual, “I’ll accompany you back, the road is hard to walk at night.”

She followed him out of the study. Turning back to look at the doors to the study that were already closed, she couldn’t resist asking: “That drawing, wang ye, it’s seems like the landscape outside our plum forest.”

“En,” He nodded ambiguously, “White snow, red plums, it’s beautiful to draw.”

Thinking about the feeling from the painting, she agreed wholeheartedly with wang ye’s explanation. The white of the snow and the red of the plum flowers were especially beautiful. Even that piece of sleeve was to tempt others’ imagination. Wang ye’s skills were getting better and better.

Since then, she never saw wang ye draw other people, not even her or their child. But, wang ye’s paintings steadily became famous in Da Long. Many people would give a thousand gold to beg for one of wang ye’s paintings. But she rarely saw wang ye give them away, the fu accumulating many.

She knew that the relationship between the Emperor and wang ye wasn’t close so she and wang ye rarely were summoned into the palace. Thankfully, wang ye’s personality was a lot better now so even though the palace was cold to wang ye, if he was summoned, wang ye would control his temper and go each time. And in front of the two Empress Dowagers, the Emperor and Empress, he was extremely friendly. Even she couldn’t see any signs of unhappiness.

If wang ye had been like this in the beginning, the circumstances of Rui Wang Fu wouldn’t have been so awkward.

Later, the reason that the circumstances of Rui Wang Fu were resolved was actually because the Empress suddenly became interested in paintings. So the noble families all wanted to curry favor with the Emperor by buying good artwork everywhere in hopes of gaining the Empress’ favor.

The Emperor and Empress had been together for quite a few years. But after so many years, the love between Emperor and Empress was still strong. Many people that were waiting for a spectacle were disappointed. In the end, they reasoned that the Empress was very good at taking care of herself, her looks were still so seductive after so many years.

She scoffed at such sour words. Just by looks, the Empress was beautiful but not to the point of the most beautiful. Even though she had willow brows and “phoenix eyes”, but those weren’t a rarity in the world. Even her own features were the same, but she didn’t have the Empress’ snow white skin and composure.

Beautiful women could be found everywhere, but what was rare was the qualities of attractiveness. The feeling that the Empress gave others was seductive yet out of the world, vivid yet dignified. Such a contradictory woman was rare in the world but it was easy for people’s hearts to move. Because this disregarded the outer shell and was something that came from the deep parts of the soul, it was hard for others to ignore.

When wang ye took out some paintings for her to take in the palace, she was very surprised. But she hoped that the Empress would look on wang ye’s paintings and help Rui Wang Fu to not be in such an awkward position, so her child could establish himself in Da Long as he grew up.

Kui Yuan Palace was forever lavish and bright. Every time she entered this place, she would forget this was the hougong and not some family’s compound.

“Good day, Third Aunt.” The seven years-old Crown Prince stood in front of her. His looks were outstanding. Even though he now had didi and meimei, but no one in Jing would think that the position of Crown Prince was going to shake.

The Empress was a great woman. She raised the Crown Prince well. His actions and speech were extremely polite yet didn’t seem rigid.

“Your Highness Crown Prince, good day,” She couldn’t help but smile. Adults frequently were most soft-hearted for children, “Is the Empress free now?”

Muhou just said that if I encountered you on the road, I should tell you to just head in,” the Crown Prince smiled and added, “Third Aunt, I’m going to accompany fuhuang to practice writing.”

Such a young age. It was clearly the Emperor teaching him to write but in his mouth, it became him accompanying the Emperor. Lu Yu Rong sighed. It was clear to see how patient the Emperor and Empress were in teaching the Crown Prince.

Entering the main hall of Kui Yuan Palace, she saw the Empress and the wife of lao si were chatting as they sat together. Seeing her enter, they involved her in talking about some of the interesting things around the city of Jing, the mood so harmonious that one could forget it was still the hougong.

However, she still remembered to take out the three paintings that wang ye gave her. She didn’t know what was drawn on the scrolls so when the Empress went to open them, she was curious as well.

The first painting was a cat playing with an orchid. Just a glance made people relax and refreshed. She had seen this before. Wang ye had done many copies before he made one he was satisfied with. She hadn’t thought he would willingly send it to the palace.

The second painting was of spring. The green mountains, the blue waters, the hundreds of flowers blooming. This was a scene that couldn’t be seen in the hougong. So beautiful it seemed unreal. Her heart moved when she saw it. Wang ye had spent more than a few months to finish painting this work. He had hung it in his bedroom to admire, but now he also sent it to the palace.

When the third scroll was gradually opened, she was shocked still. She didn’t think that this painting that wang ye had put away that year would once again appear in front of her.

“Drawing of winter snow and red plums……” The white fingers of the Empress gently touched the corner of the drawing. A long time later, she said, “Such a good plum blossom painting. The whiter the snow, the redder the plum blossoms.”

She just was able to see where the Empress had touched, there was half a figure barely discernable. But because that person had been wearing white, it was very hard for others to find.

“A person’s life on earth is like a white steed racing past, suddenly gone……” She didn’t understand the expression on the Empress’ face. She didn’t even understand why the Empress would recite such a line.

Even when she was leaving the palace, she still didn’t understand what the Empress meant. She didn’t know if the Empress liked wang ye’s paintings. However, not long after, the Empress became tired of admiring paintings and turned to favor listening to the stories of talented women across the country.

She didn’t tell wang ye of the two lines of nonsensical poetry that the Empress had said. But wang ye had never asked her what happened when she went to the palace that time. It was as though nothing had happened, unperturbed and quiet.

Later, wang ye was pardoned by the Emperor and could attend court. But she felt that wang ye didn’t feel very happy at such a thing.

Wang ye still liked painting, and still didn’t like giving the paintings away to anyone. Gradually, the child grew up. The one she had once liked was indistinct in her mind, just like a dream. After a while, one woke up.

The day of her son’s wedding, seeing her son and erxi kneel to her, she suddenly realized that this was pretty much her lifetime.

After the newlyweds were sent into the bridal rooms, she suddenly turned but only saw the back of wang ye as he personally sent the Crown Prince out the door.

The day that wang ye left, feathery snow came down from the sky, and the plum flowers in the plum forest had bloomed exceptionally well.

She sat at the head of the bed, looking at this old yet still handsome man. Sorrow quietly creeping in.

“Today’s snow is quite heavy, did it snow all night?” He suddenly became focused, even his pale face became red.

“En,” Her voice was choked. Beside her, her son and grandchildren started to cry.

“The snow that year wasn’t this heavy, the plum blossoms weren’t as good as this year……” His gaze landed on the branch of plum flowers in the pot and shook his head, saying: “A pity, a pity.”

Fu wang… …” Her son sobbed in front of the bed, and her own eyes started to mist up.

“Guan’er, don’t cry. After I pass, remember to take that painting in the sandalwood box of the fifth square in my study into my coffin,” He slowly closed his eyes and sighed.

“After seeing the ocean, no other water can compare ……that’s it…… that’s it……”

She didn’t know how she stood up, how she watched the white banners hung up over the wang fu until she saw her son take out the sandalwood box that held the painting.

The scroll slowly rolled open and she froze in place..

On the painting, it was a busy street during the Lantern Festival. The beautiful lanterns, a beautiful woman dressed plainly holding a lantern and the fireworks exploding in the sky.

It was a painting that was so beautiful one couldn’t tear the eyes away. It contained all the feelings of the artist, just to depict the skin of the beauty, the bones of the beauty and the emotions buried deep in the heart.

“You walk and walk and don’t stop, and tear you and I part. Now, there are thousand upon ten thousand miles that separate you and I, I at this end of the world while you at the other … …” Shaking as she recited the poem inscribed on the painting, Lu Yu Rong suddenly remembered how he had gently touched her brow on their wedding night.

Gently rolling up the painting, she put it in the wood box. Closing the box, she dried off her tears: “Put this under the pillow of wang ye.”

A painting of a beauty, the bones of a hero. In the end, it was all a handful of dirt.

A person’s life in this world is like a white steed racing past, suddenly gone.

She thought, she understood somewhat now.

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100 thoughts on “何为贤妻 To Be A Virtuous Wife Chapter One Hundred and Twenty One “Epilogue: Painting of a Beauty””

  1. So He really did love her…I dont know if to call his ending tragic or not. For all the things he did, for all his arrogant ways in the past…

  2. what a sorrowful yet peaceful ending for Rui Wang..
    it’s actually my second male choice after the emperor..
    such a good character

  3. I feel like this story with the right director, producers & actors, can turn into a really great drama.

    1. yup…that’s what i was thinking too… but hopefully if someone want to pick this up as a drama. let it be an awesome team else they won’t do the story justice.

  4. Wait.. This means QQJ realized HY’s feeling right? And in the end Rui wang fei also realized? No wonder HY dissatisfied being called back to court, imagine seeing someone you long for with someone else, I can’t say poor HY, but it does leave a bittersweet taste

  5. Thank you. In the end, he is still pining for his lost love. At least his marriage ended well and his position was restored to him.

  6. Beautiful….. I like the story of HY….. After realizing that he fell in love with QQJ, he turned a new leaf and became a better person….. His love, like HH’s, was also lasting…..only that there was only one destined for QQJ….. But HY never forgot…. He immortalized it with his paintings…. Indeed, it was a beautiful, poignant love…. Thanks a lot for this epilogue…. 2 more to go and I’m already missing this novel…..

  7. “You walk and walk and don’t stop, and tear you and I part. Now, there are thousand upon ten thousand miles that separate you and I, I at this end of the world while you at the other … …”

    The end shows that He Yuan is a hopeless romantic. What a beautiful epilogue. I love it. Thank you.

    And I agree that this story could be a really great drama. I love how everything adds up in the end. The writer is very clever.

    1. Uh it so sad. at first I hate He Yuan but at the end he was… uh I don’t know the wright word to describe him.

      1. He matured the most out of everyone. But he made the wrong choices before that so it’s like he is stuck in a situation the present him doesn’t “deserve”.

  8. Wow. This was a powerful chapter. Thank you! It was in this chapter that I can finally sympathize with Rui wang. =/ sigh, that poor man

  9. Such a bliss how he turned to be a peaceful guy after all his childish arrogance before. Unrequited love is such a bitch, too bad He Heng and QQJ are destined and he just dont have any place in between.

    I hope the next chap is thru CP’s POV.

  10. thank you very much!
    ah—- so it is the epilogue of lu yu rong! so many feels—-! she might not have felt happiness, but she had peace and respect. i think it also stems from her being accepting and not expecting more from her husband and life. i just…
    -goes to bury self in melancholy and sadness- -sobs-

    1. also, also—- i forgot to say, that, yay—-! as expected, qing ju and he heng raised their children excellently!

  11. HY’s new wife said that her feature was similar with QJ. Do you think that HH perhaps realized HY’s feeling toward QJ and purposely decreed the marriage to took away HY’s attention with someone similar with QJ?

    When it was impossible to have the real deal, at least made it up with a compromise?

    1. first, the emperor never met the girl before. The marriage was decreed becoz he somewhat has a bad impression on the Lu family
      second; who in their right mind will allow someone else to fantasize about their wife? Even family members cannot won over a man jealousy especially a prideful one like the emperor. It’s just a coincidence, I think it’s just a noble act of the writer towards HYdue to a shred of pity of his unrequited love

    2. I do think that He Heng realize that He Yuan has some feeling towards Qu Qing Ju.. There are many instances where he tried to block He Yuan from viewing Qu Qing Ju:

      1) During the New Year celebration at the palace when QQJ walked down the stairs
      2) During the Plum viewing (Spring) in Ruan Wang Fu

      He also show some dissatisfaction/coldness towards He Yuan when he offered congratulation and wine during Tun Tun 100 days.

      I know that QQJ is for HH. But I kind of hoping for a story of “What will happened if QQJ is He Yuan Wangfei?” Don’t you think that He Yuan might become a good guy?? oh well.. it is a wish…

      1. It would take a lot longer, and He Heng would still become the Emperor because he has already established his foundation. Qu Qing Ju would also want He Yuan not to be Emperor so she can have a easier life.

  12. I think we all make those choices, choosing something that we can live with rather than the greatness we envisioned in our youth.

  13. Thank you for the update, seeing HY unrequited love, if he has QQJ, I don’t think he can cherish her for life, like how he hold on to his longing when he didn’t has her till he died.

  14. One wrong move and fate was sealed he did accept that the throne and thd wife will never be his

  15. Oh.My.Gad.. *cries* Such a beautiful epilogue for HY. This chapter makes me wants to read back all the past chapters that have connection with this (lantern festival, plum blossom at Rui Wangfu). I think from QQJ’s respond shows that she and maybe HH already suspect his deep affection on QQJ. i know this is useless but i wonder what kind of story if QQJ really did wake up as HY’s wife. hmmm. Don’t cut my head Emperor!! ^^

  16. I truly feel sad for HY because I wished he had a happier ending. I feel sorry for his wife too!!

    1. Compared to Qu Yue Su and Qin Bai Lu, she got a seriously good husband. She also admitted that she forgot her crush. For a woman in historical society, she really had a pretty good life, since Qu Qing Ju is more of an outlier.

    2. For all the stupid things he did, I don’t think he deserve his happy ending. What happened to him were the result of his previous actions. He was ‘partly’ at fault for the tragic ending of Qu Yue Su and Qin Bai Lu. It wasn’t fair that they have a very tragic ending yet he will have a good one. And for his unrequited love? It was almost his, its ready to be given to him, but he just let it slip away because he wanted more, wanted what he thinks is better. He didn’t know what was almost his is the best.(or not, unless his tong fang would bully the original to death)

      Pity that he gained the maturity that his Xiandi were waiting for just a few years after the thrown was passed down to someone else, ironically he wouldn’t gain it if it was passed down to him.

      1. HY turned to be a good guy with unrequited love only in his last chapter. Mostly his conduct is far from HH and cannot be admired as great couple of QQJ if she is his wang fei in the first place. The past and time was no return so even throne and true love was not belonged to him.

        Million thanks for the tranlators and writer 🙂

      2. It’s like the first play with HH’s sister. She and QQJ complained about it and talked about a different one.

      3. Everybody makes mistakes & he learned from it.
        In fact, it’s not a happy ending from him cause it’s unrequited (T.T)
        It even seems that from the start he have been denying the fact that he likes the MC yet until the end he cannot run away from his feelings.
        So sad dammit.

  17. I’m so grateful, the author wrote a chapter abt HY. I’ve been interested by him. This chapter really stab me in the heart. I dont know whether he really loves her (bcs they only have one decent interaction) or just longing for ideal woman that stubbornly cant be removed and become infatuation. No matter what, somehow, it ended beautifully for HY. He comes to terms to accept his fate and be good to his family.

    A good ending for HY *sigh*

    Thank you so much for this chapter

    1. Well, it could be both. They did have more than one decent interaction. Qu Qing Ju did save his mother and they had that conversation about one of the historical Emperoros.

  18. I think HY lived his life well…although it was an unrequited love for QQJ but he had a very good life and he treated the ppl around him much better than before ; w ; sometimes you just can’t have what you want no matter how much you desired for it. I’m glad HH didn’t resent him for the actions done by his mother and he even let HY back into court. HH is a good emperor even if he was cunning and deceived many! XD

    1. I think the real reason why HH accept HY back into court is to rub in HY face that HH is the one that got QQJ. If not, why did HH invite HY back only After HY sent the paintings?

  19. Awww! It hit the heart knowing that he was in love with her.
    I think, if HY was the main guy he would’ve cleaned his haughty behavior sooner and been a better man. I’m happy he settled down and was able to live a peaceful life though. At least now we all know that he too, could be in love with one woman for his whole lifetime.

    I’m so sad that it’s ending but this has been a satisfying read. Thank you for translating it.

  20. Bravo to the author for turning a disliked character like He Yuan into a very sympathetic one at the end. Ultimately, He Yuan never moved on. He never learned to love his second wife, and I can’t even quite tell if he liked her for being her or because she reminded him of Qu Qing Ju. The key point was the “beautiful brows” he mentioned to his second wife on their wedding night. Very obviously, he was drowning himself in alcohol, and then in his inebriated state, he saw what he wished to see: Qu Qing Ju’s beautiful brows, brows which evidently were very similar to Lu Yu Rong’s. I don’t even know if he remained kind and largely faithful to Lu Yu Rong because he eventually became fond of his second wife, or if he, in his own way, was remaining faithful to Qu Qing Ju (because he saw some resemblance of Qing Ju in Yu Rong). I suspect the latter. Then when his second wife was pregnant, he again sought another woman, a tongfang, with those “beautiful brows” reminiscent of Qu Qing Ju. Therefore, I believe, in every woman he bedded, he was trying to find a consolation prize, a substitute, for the woman (Qu Qing Ju) he could never have. It’s sad, but surprisingly bittersweet and romantic. Perhaps the brothers He Heng and He Yuan were more similar than we thought they were; at least, they both can be devoted to one woman for their entire lives, if the right woman appeared.

    Thanks Team “Virtuous Wife” for the translation and editing!

  21. What a nice chapter, I likes how peaceful HY’s ending is, the way he treat his wangfei after realizing his previous mistakes, I can feel his longing for something he can’t reach right in the kokoro 😭
    And there is the grown up Tun Tun! 😊
    Thank you for the chapter 😀

  22. ; _ ; this dude suffers lovesick for a lifetime

    For him to regret why he let his mother to ask Xiandi for QBL as his wang fei
    That feeling where he almost got his dream girl but then shattered put a deep longing for QQJ in him
    The regret because he fall in love just too late ; _ ;

    Dear translator and editors, thank you once again to share this beautiful story with us

  23. I remember the scene on the plum blossoms and snow painting… so this means he had feelings for her from the beginning without he, himself realizing it? well that’s pitiful indeed!
    Thank you soooo very much for the awesome translation, I loved the story, the plot, the characters, and mostly I love Qingju!.
    Can you please recommend another book of this author? I’d love to read another book like this one, even though it’s a pain to read Chinese =.=:
    Thanks again for the translation

    PS. I wonder why all the good novels are always in Chinese? Seriously it’s so not fair!

  24. somewhat a bittersweet ending for both HY and LYR, but at least they lived in harmony. seriously want to see HY art works, too bad

  25. Indeed he loved her and decided it was best to become better and have a happy life so that’s what he did.

    Also glad her life as wang fei went well…

    When QQJ dies…will she go back?

  26. Wow… The story of He Yuan is so bittersweet. I’m glad that he turned his life around & became a descent husband to his second wife even though he was never in love with her as he was always in love with Qu Qing Ju. Sooo sad… Thank you!

  27. T-T what a steadfast man, loving her for so many years. Pity his wife though… Wonder what would it have been like if Qing Ju married him instead of He Heng

  28. HY turned to be a good guy with unrequited love only in his last chapter. Mostly his conduct is far from HH and cannot be admired as great couple of QQJ if she is his wang fei in the first place. The past and time was no return so even the throne and true love was not belonged to him.

    Million thanks for the tranlators and author 🙂

  29. So was marrying Qu Yue Su an attempt to find a girl like Qu Qing Ju (since they were from the same family and were relatives) and the beating of her was possibly related to the bad things that the Qu family did to Qu Qing Ju? I wonder.

    Thanks for the chapter!

    I kind of dislike the fact that he became so lovable, mainly because though I have pity and sympathy and this has effectively changed my opinion of him, I also feel like he shouldn’t have gotten away with beating Qu Yue Su and neglecting her to death really.

    1. So very true. I also use this to compare He Yuan and He Heng. Women don’t have the power in the era of the story, especially if they become concubines. Both Qu Qing Ju (the other one) and Qu Yue Su died due to the choices of their families and themselves.

  30. My imagination is running wild, but what do you think would happen if HY wakes up and finds himself back in time before he got married, but the emperor has already sent down the marriage decrees: QQJ to HH, and QBL to HY? What do you think he would do? What would happen to QQJ and the throne now that HY is back a changed man? Haha. Gosh I wish someone would write a fanfic 😛

    1. He would try to switch, and when he finds it is a different Qu Qing Ju than the one he knows, he won’t do anything. I don’t think he’ll try to be Emperor since he’s seen how good He Heng is at it. He might try to make sure his mother doesn’t get sent away this time.

  31. For all his selfish ways and his heartlessness towards his wives and concubines, I could not bring myself to hate HY at all. He doesn’t even really fit into the second lead role despite his love for the heroine as QQJ could only ever end up with HH seeing as they were married. But I can’t help being struck down with second lead syndrome anyway. I mean who wouldn’t have a soft spot for a beautiful guy who redeemed himself for the woman he loved? I’m glad that he lived a long and peaceful life though I’m sad because it could have been much happier. It wasn’t really his fault that he was surrounded by people like the former emperor, Shu Guifei, and Qin Bai Lu who did nothing but encourage his selfishness. I really wish the author would write an alternative story where QQJ married HY, I can definitely see her tempering his immaturity. HH would probably still end up as the emperor, but I can see HY giving up the empire for the beauty and living the carefree life of immortals with her.

    1. Ahh, that would be an interesting story. I’m glad He Yuan has made so much impact and maybe second-lead syndrome is a part of that. But I still like He Heng paired with Qu Qing Ju better because their little pretenses are amusing.

    2. I would rly like to see such a story come to fruition. In an alternate world……

  32. I kind of want to see how it would have been if Qu Qing Ju had married Heng Yuan. I really like everything about this novel, but I’m so curious.

    1. Unmitigated disaster where Qu Qing Ju either ends up living alone, destroying the heck out of He Yuan while coming off as perfect and the victim herself, or managing to turn He Yuan around and then becoming an idle noblewoman who just enjoys herself. Well, the three options I can come up with.

  33. Nooooo!! I’ve been waiting for this part but..
    I know the MC really is meant for the emperor but argh, this is so sad (T.T)
    I fell in lobe with Wang Rui. uwaaaaahhhh.
    Give me back my Rui!!!!

    (so emotional, gomen-ne. thanks TL-san)

  34. I’m currently reading a novel I’m Really a Superstar and came across the rest of the poem that Rui Wang was reciting. @@ I thought it looked really familiar when I was reading IRAS who knew it would lead me back here.


    LI SI: “Thoughts of Separation” No. 4 (of 5)
    — YUAN ZHEN (779-831)

    No other waters could impress me for I’ve seen the vast seas;

    Having viewed majestic Mt. Wu, no other clouds can please.

    I will never glance again at other flowers — (to you I vow) —

    For my destined Love is half for you, Dear, and half for the Dao!

    T-T He Yuan oh He Yuan heres to hoping in an alternate world you and QQJ can have a life together. I still think that HH and QQJ are the OTP but I still feel for He Yuan.

    Thank you again for translating this novel. Even now I still read it every few months =D

    1. He grew up but he and Qu Qing Ju met at the wrong time and with the wrong identities. Someone should imagine write what could have happened if Qu Qing Ju had been reborn in He Yuan’s wife’s body.

  35. This is one good story of Karma. Like… QBL, QYS and HY similarly sharing the same fate during a short period of time – but love and hate towards one woman (QQJ) will go different ways once you change your attitude. Ultimately his love for the empress has changed the lives of all around him. When he was still a brat and only think of women as a possession, a plaything, he felt towards QQJ an irritation when his eyes couldn’t part with her (making HH quite jelly). This crush of a child turned the life of QSY and QBL into a tragedy since he took in QSY to satisfy his lust for QQJ (her beeing QQJs half-sister and all) and also making QBL very anxious. As a woman who has her heart set on a man, seeing this very man turn his gaze towards another, who would not get angry and jealous? When HY sent the very rare gifts to the Empress for being pregnant one could see that he cared for her wellbeings, that was probably when he recognized his love for her – which man would still care like this for a woman he only felt lust towards when she is obviously carrying the child of his hated brother, if not a man deeply in love? With all that happened to him – being degraded and losing the title – he slowly advanced. Also, he was self-aware when he found out that he had no problem calling HH Emperor but stalled when it was his turn to call QQJ sister in law (which obviously pained him). A man as ambiguous as him not caring for the throne that he spent all his live waiting for but for one mere woman – that is probably his very own karma. All the women that loved him, that waited for him, who he disregarded in exchange for this one woman that he waited on until his last breath – only in death was he able to take her with him. It is quite sad for the second wife, but HY treated her well at least. He probably understood what love was once it hit him hard (that’s why he went to pick up QBLs remains, to redeem his fault towards her).
    I find it very good that the picture he took with him to his grave was the lantern festival – it depicted that he is not in love with her because she was grand or so, but he remembered her most vividly in that casual attire, a very normal woman! It shows how much he wished for her to be just a woman, so he could reach her, but since that woman went far ahead to become the Empress he knew she was out of his reach. He has always known that she rejected him – even the plum blossom picture revealed that she was about to close the curtains (isn’t it cute how he drew himself in the corner???). He is quite a romantic, but not a hopeless one, that’s why he never asked his wife how the empress reacted to the picture. QQJs quote about the white steed and how fast life goes by… it’s like saying that in this lifetime he will never get what he wants.

    PS: The three pictures he chose to send to her, a playful cat, that will soothe her heart, shows how he sees her character; the vast scenery is for her to gaze upon, because she will never have much opportunity to go out of the palace, also since he hung it inside his own bedroom it’s like him hoping that she would gaze at the same place as him, like standing where he stands and watching the same horizon… well, the last picture is his confession of love..

    While my heart always bleeds out for Little Student Ming, I think He Yuan have the biggest and most interesting character development I don’t like abusive men but he was born in a timeline that makes his behavior quite normal (sad thing!)… so for him to change was quite interesting to watch. I have the feeling that HY holds a big space in the author’s heart when she was writing this book.

    1. Wow. You have summarized it so beautifully. I was nodding my head with every statement.

      This part specially touched my heart. 👉🏻 “It shows how much he wished for her to be just a woman, so he could reach her, but since that woman went far ahead to become the Empress he knew she was out of his reach.” It’s like we got a surprise romance (although tragic) within the original romance saga.

      It would be a treat if you could write a fanfic version of HY & QQJ story in an alternate universe. I would definitely be the first fan.

      1. I rly liked dropgirl’s summary as well.
        I feel like He Yuan is the most complete character in this novel. He seems to be the most ‘real’ person.
        Imo HY is a lot more interesting than HH. HH declares his love to the world and then goes back to listen to Han something sing and starts flirting with her.
        HH’s character feels bland and I feel like he doesn’t change much through the story.
        A fanfic with HY and QQJ would be so good.

  36. I think all of these just have to do with the decisions we make, unfortunately once a decision (Shu guifei making xiandi give QQJ to HH and QBL to HY, QBL hating QQJ even before she realise HY likes her, QYS also hating QQJ etc) is made it triggers a series of event each of which might have outcomes you like or you don’t like. You can decide to put the blame on others (QBL blaming QQJ and also xiandi, Shu guifei blaming Jing guifei etc) but it will change nothing, because a decision is just like spilled milk. Lamenting and ranting about it doesn’t change the fact that the milk is on the floor, saving what’s left in the bottle if there’s any left, some extreme people might forcefully want to put the spilled milk back into the bottle (that will just cause complications in one’s system later), or you can just clean it up, get another milk or go for juice, or just take it as fate lol!! That’s how I see this whole situation.

    I know there are still 2 more epilogues, but I really can stop thinking about the old QQJ. I’m not really a fan of body swapping, body switching or someone’s body being possessed by someone else, but if it’s well executed then that good. However, I would really have loved to see the old QQJ actually develop into the new QQJ. I feel sorry for how she just passed on, no one even knew she died. She just left like that… I would have love to see her face all of them QBL, QYS, Liangshi and see how HH’s opinion of her changes over time. To be honest, who HH fell in love with wasn’t the QQJ he married, but someone from the future in QQJ’s body.

    Also we finally have a character that sees things clearly, although she couldn’t get what she wished for, but she made do and was contented.

  37. Oh wow i never thought i would empathize so much with He Yuan by the end of the novel. It’s hard to believe that he is the same person from the beginning of the novel. He was a hateful character, but reading his end is making me extremely sad. It was just so soulful.

    He was a goner after realizing the depth of his feelings for QQJ, his first and only love. I loved his last lines :
    “After seeing the ocean, no other water can compare ……that’s it…… that’s it……” .

    I guess it’s the beautiful tragedy of an unrequited love. Such a bittersweet ending ….and beautifully written.

  38. Was re-reading this whole series this year, right before new year, and saw that you replied to my comment on chapter 103! (sosorryimsolatesob) Thank you for your insight! Even reading the series a second time, I’m still unsure about HY, not sure if he actually matured/became sweeter or he really was putting on an act. I still don’t like him though, especially the way he treated his previous wives, sure, his third wife got lucky (honestly, thank goodness he changed), but daaaaaaa-ng, he’s a douche (excuse my language). He got a better ending than he deserved, in my opinion. Then again, to be in love with someone (or the idea of being in love with someone aka obsession) and yet not being with them is probably the best torture for someone like He Yuan.

    Thank you, once again, for translating this beautiful series from beginning to end! 🙂

  39. eh, I feel like this is ok, especially for a man during this time period and due to his past. what did move my heart was that he did give his new wife a certain amount of respect (only that it disrespectful that he slept with others during his wife’s pregnancy but w/e.) a good life and children (because she totally seems the type to want her own children) and also that she didn’t have a huge ambitious and would he considered a true virtouos wife. (sadly I do not remember what caused He Heng to decree the marriage, like the reason he had bad vibes towards the Lu family). what’s really sad was her unability to marry the person she liked (I consider her innocent)

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