Watching the person in the mirror’s countenance pale and grow haggard, Examining love together with regret, both new and old. Keeping watch still by a lantern though it is daybreak, drenched with tears, Watching others meet as promised, as twilight falls. Story of Yanxi Palace
Episode 64 An Imperial consort that’s favored, such a sight can make one angry, make one go crazy. You’re really insane. Yes, I’m insane. But this crazy woman… can’t leave on her own, right? Your Majesty! You all are the ones in the wrong here. It’s all your fault! You all deserve to die! You all deserve to die! Why? Why is heaven not punishing you people? Why? Why! Take her away, and temporarily put her in house arrest at Lijing Pavilion. Wei Yingluo, come inside with me. You…when did you know? When did Your Majesty know? You clearly knew that there’s something wrong with Imperial Concubine Shun, but deliberately fell into her trap. Were you luring me to make me anxious? Your Majesty clearly was suspecting Imperial Concubine Shun, but deliberately covered it up. Were you trying to test me? Why would I? Why would I lure you to make Your Majesty anxious? Wei Yingluo, you deliberately used Imperial Concubine Shun to see if I would go crazy from being mad at you! Your Majesty, you used Imperial Concubine Shun to see if Fuheng and I would elope. Your suspicion has no basis! Your Majesty suspected Imperial Concubine Shun and ordered Hailancha to covertly investigate her. After learning the secret report about her, you clearly could have stopped it, but you just allowed things to happen. If an Emperor suspects that his Imperial consort is having an affair, isn’t the first thing he should be doing is to put her in house arrest and strictly interrogate her? Catching them in the act is indeed more pleasurable. But if it gets out, it will tarnish the prestige of the Imperial family. Your Majesty dared to risk such a huge danger because you wanted to test me. Of course, I would do my best to satisfy Your Majesty. Earlier, I was hiding in a corner. I saw how unhappy your face was. You didn’t even have the courage to open the lid of the jar. Rubbish! I was very mad that there might be an Imperial consort who dared to have an affair! Really? What else could be the reason? I’m guessing that Your Majesty favored Imperial Concubine Shun because you wanted me to get jealous. Or else, how come those frequent gifts were all jewelry? Isn’t it obvious that you wanted her to wear them so I’d get jealous? Wei Yingluo. Aren’t you being too assuming? I favored Imperial Concubine Shun to pacify the Huolu Tribe. Even if I don’t love Imperial Concubine Shun, that doesn’t mean that I will love you. What’s wrong? What’s wrong? Li Yu! Li Yu! I’m here. Go and get Ye Tianshi. Yes. I’ll go get him right away. Quickly! Your Majesty, you’re not worried about me at all. – Not one bit.
– You! Your Majesty. Your Majesty, the Empress Dowager is calling for Her Highness Consort Ling. Your Majesty. Save me. Trouble has come. You’re saying that the reincarnation matter was a hoax? Everything is my fault. May Empress Dowager forgive me. Wei Yingluo… You dare to… You dare to! – Your Highness Consort Ling, how could you do such a thing?
– Empress Dowager! Do you know how happy Empress Dowager was thinking that Princess He’an is back? Empress Dowager, I know that my sin is unforgivable. I’m willing to accept any form of punishment. I just wish that you can stop being angry. I can’t forgive you. I will never forgive you! Men! Empress Dowager. Empress Dowager, Yingluo was just trying to rescue someone, hence, made up this big lie out of a moment of desperation. Please forgive her. At this time, you’re still begging for leniency on her behalf? Regarding this matter… I also knew about it. You two colluded to deceive me! No. Yingluo did it to protect Imperial Concubine Shun, while I… just wanted to make you happy. I’ve been deceived by this lie for so long. And now, you two are saying that it’s to make me happy? What a joke. What a huge joke! Emperor, I can forgive your filial piety. But I will never forgive her! Empress Dowager! Empress Dowager! It’s all my fault. Yingluo! Yingluo! Congratulations, Empress Dowager! Congratulations, Your Majesty! What’s wrong with Consort Ling? Your Majesty, Her Highness Consort Ling is pregnant. What did you say? Based on the pulse, it should be three months.Your Majesty!Congratulations, Your Majesty! Is this something that you can be mischievous about? Why didn’t you tell me such great news? My health is weak, hence, I have irregular periods. How could I tell you something that I don’t know myself? Consort Ling. Empress Dowager, please ask. He’an really didn’t come back? Replying to Empress Dowager, Imperial Concubine Shun isn’t He’an. The Princess has already gone to the happy land. You’re very good. Very good. Your Majesty, I was so scared earlier. Empress Dowager looked so frightening. If I didn’t come, the Empress Dowager would really have killed you. She wouldn’t have. I’m pregnant with your child. She wouldn’t have killed me. And you still claim that you didn’t know? I knew about it when I was locked up in Yanxi Palace. But Your Majesty, when I was locked up, those servants wanted to starve me to death. Wrong. They wanted to starve Your Majesty’s son to death. They even said that Your Majesty ordered it. That group of dog-like slaves! They should be sliced into pieces. When have I said those damned words? It was Your Majesty who locked me up in Yanxi Palace. With such a situation then, if I didn’t do that, the Empress Dowager would surely have killed you. Your Majesty said that you didn’t care about me. I almost believed it. Don’t flatter yourself. I’m not concerned about you. I’m concerned… concerned about the child in your womb. Your Majesty, I hope that this is a prince. Why? If it’s a princess, she’ll also bear children in the future. That is a gate to hell. Yingluo, you’ve suffered. Regardless of others, I’m risking my life just for you. Yet you still treat me like this. I treated you coldly and kept testing you because I want to understand if you truly have placed me in your heart. Your Majesty, a woman would only be willing to bear children for the man she loves. Chief Steward Li. Greetings to Your Highness the Empress. Chief Steward Li, why are you here? Arrest him. Chief Steward Li, what is the meaning of this? Yuan Chunwang, you haven’t forgotten what you’ve done to Consort Ling, right? I only followed the Imperial decree. Chief Steward Li, did I do anything wrong? Did His Majesty told you to stop the food supply of Yanxi Palace? Chief Steward Li, you don’t know the real story. Her Highness Consort Ling has a stomach ailment.Providing her clear porridge every day is for the good of her health.What stomach ailment? Consort Ling is pregnant! Impossible! This is impossible! Consort Ling has been locked up in her palace for so long! How could she have the chance— Consort Ling has been pregnant for more than three months, which is consistent with the chamber records. Not only you, not even the Imperial physician on duty then can’t escape punishment! If you want to explain, just save it for the Office of Careful Punishment. Take him away! – No! No!
– Get lost. Your Highness the Empress, I’ll take my leave now. That Consort Ling is really something. Your Highness, I beg you to save Yuan Chunwang. He has bent his back and spared no effort to help you. He has always been loyal. Idiot! Why didn’t Li Yu wait for Yuan Chunwang to leave this palace before arresting him? Because Consort Ling suffered torment, His Majesty is venting his anger on me. He wants to openly punish Yuan Chunwang to make things difficult for me. That is his fate. Let him accept it. Your Highness! Your Highness! Your servant greets Your Highness Consort Ling. What are you all doing? His Majesty ordered that Lijing Pavilion will be put on lockdown. Your Highness, you mustn’t pity Imperial Concubine Shun. She’s so vicious. Even I got caned thirty times and had to be bedridden in Anle Hall for a month.I almost didn’t make it.You were able to learn well this survival skill of pretending to be insane. – You’re here.
– Right. I’m here. Why did you come? I came to tell you that because of your assassination attempt, your three older brothers have been implicated. People have been executed or exiled. In front of me, you don’t need to act anymore. Chenbi, at the start, I didn’t understand. You had so many chances to kill His Majesty. Why must you attempt to assassinate him so openly? You clearly know that if you do such a thing, your clan would be affected. Now, I understand. What you’ve always wanted is for them to be punished. Is that so? You did everything to harm me, even to the point of sacrificing yourself. Everything you did was so extreme and wild. Can you tell me why that was? Aibida has always remembered the defeat and death of his biological brother, Necin. He fears that he has no more hope for a promising career. Hence, he searched for beautiful women among his territory to be offered as tribute to the Emperor of the Qing Empire. Afterwards, he chose me. I already know that. Do you know then that he got me drunk and delivered into a horse carriage? When I woke up, he used the safety of my son to threaten me. He asked me to be obedient. Left with no choice, I could only agree to his demands. Since you’d already agreed, why must you stir up trouble? Along the way, the maidservant attending to me couldn’t hold it in and told me that A’Xia snuck out. He said that he wanted to find his mother. However, Aibida discovered it and chased after him throughout the night. Accidentally, A’Xia fell into a trap set up to hunt beasts. He fell. I initially planned to just follow A’Xia and leave this world. But Fuheng meddled and saved me. Just like that, I arrived in the Forbidden City. I understand now. You wanted to force His Majesty to kill Fuheng and I. Getting betrayed by his Imperial consort and favored subject would also deliver a fatal blow to the Emperor. I…was just an item that could be sacrificed. Don’t make yourself look so innocent. The so-outstanding Wei Yingluo, there’s no one here in the Forbidden City who understands you more than I do. What do you understand about me? Since Mingyu died, you started to suspect me. You didn’t directly confront me, but went to Yangxin Palace instead. You probably wanted to tell it to His Majesty. But His Majesty got misled by me and wouldn’t see you. After leaving Yangxin Palace, you’d already come up with a plan. You carried the weapon with you at all times, forcing me to attack you. Taking advantage of the situation to get grounded in Yanxi Palace. Really? First, you wanted to borrow the hands of Empress and my own to fall into a miserable abyss. Lure me to expose my true self. Second, use the elopement matter to make His Majesty realize how much he cares about you. But once he learns of the truth, he surely will feel so much guilt. Look. Everything was schemed by me. You’re so innocent. So loyal. So pitiful. And Fuheng… Between you and I, he chose to fulfill your wish. He didn’t fulfill my wish. He just knows me. Since I chose to enter the palace to become an Imperial consort, I then will never turn back. Wei Yingluo, I’m guessing that you still have a third card, am I right? I’m pregnant. Wei Yingluo, Wei Yingluo… You’re really good. All the words that should be said have been said. It’s time for the show to end. How come I never heard you mention your husband? Where is he? – I don’t have a husband.
– If you don’t have a husband, where did your son come from? Having a beautiful face might not be a good thing. A gift that only drifted with the waves. How can there be a husband? Wei Yingluo, you are very fortunate. There are two men who love you. Even if I’ve employed all the tricks that I know, I wasn’t able to earn the love of His Majesty. I’vespouted lotus flowers, but Fuheng still chose to protect you. (T/N spoke elegantly and persuasively) I want to ask you this. Between these two men, who do you really love? Chenbi, continue to be insane. If you stay crazy for a lifetime, you can continue to live. Take care. Chief Steward Yuan, you’ve worked hard. Xiao Quanzi, you’ve been acting all along? I’m a traitorous servant. Her Highness Consort Ling gave me a chance to start over. How could I not cherish it? Moreover, a lowly eunuch like me is just one of the many here in the Forbidden City. If I want to progress, I must closely protect only one master. Stick onto her to continue climbing. Just one word from her and I already knew that this was a ruse to inflict suffering on herself to win other people’s trust.And I am that yellow lid.(T/N double agent) Hence, you came here to brag? You’re being released. The Office of Careful Punishment sentenced you totwo hundred strokes of caning.(T/N absolutely fatal) Her Highness Consort Ling pardoned you, and is allowing you to maintain your life. She told me to deliver a message to you. What she owed you has now been totally repaid. From this day on, you two go your separate ways and have no more ties. Dream on! Your Highness, I have changed your water. If you want to beg for leniency in behalf of Yuan Chunwang, don’t bother saying it. Your Highness, even if Yuan Chunwang committed a grave mistake, it was also for your sake. He used my name to settle a personal grudge. He still dared to say that it’s for my sake? Your Highness the Empress, even though Yuan Chunwang has some selfish intentions, he was indeed good in fulfilling his tasks. Your Highness needs him by your side. I beg Your Highness to give him one more chance. He surely will be more serious in doing his tasks from now on, and won’t leave any traces. I don’t have a servant that’s unruly like that. Your Highness. Why must you fall in love with a man that is so scheming? Zhen’er, you’re only bringing yourself hardships. Your Highness, I ask that you give considerations on past affection and forgive him this time.I will be grateful to you forever!Rise. – Quickly get up.
– Your Highness, I beg you. Fine. Thank you, Your Highness. I’ll tell him to go back now and rest. No. Let him kneel at another place. Your Highness, Yuan Chunwang keeps kneeling outside. He said that Empress ordered him to come here and seek your forgiveness. Xiao Quanzi, didn’t you relay to him my message? How would I dare not do so? I told him every word that you said. Don’t mind him then. He’s still a servant of Chengqian Palace. If we let him continue to kneel like that, won’t that embarrassing the Empress? She sent him to kneel here exactly to make me upset. Don’t mind him. Xiao Quanzi. Her Highness has instructions? Her Highness was very unhappy yesterday. Today, she wants you to go to Yangxin Palace to relay a message. What message? Mistress said that if she’s still unable to eat any Suzhou meat dishes today, he won’t be having any lunch anymore. Tell His Majesty that he’s on his own. I’m relaying such a message? Won’t my head be in danger then? It’s of no use to leave it on anyway. Quickly go. Mistress is waiting. Your Highness the Empress, you’re here to beg for leniency on behalf of Yuan Chunwang? He’s just a servant. I won’t put any attention on him. You’re now pregnant. You’re about to propagate the bloodline of the Imperial family and it is indeed great, joyous news. Of course, I must personally come to congratulate you. Your Highness the Empress, you came here to congratulate me, but didn’t bring any gifts? You are more petty than Consort Shu. When Consort Shu came yesterday, she filled up my whole table. You’re a smart person. Why must you still make things complicated? I’ll be direct then. May Your Highness the Empress please teach me. Looking at how you’ve decorated your palace, from as little asruyiand floral scent, to as huge as purple incense, tables, and chairs, all are the interest of His Majesty. It shows how considerate His Majesty is about you. What do you really want to say? He indeed gives you the most importance. But you’re still from abaoyibackground. Let me remind you that I’m the Empress of the Qing Empire. No matter how favored you are, no one can replace me. Your Highness the Empress, do you know what task I had Xiao Quanzi do earlier? I had him deliver the goat’s milk and mountain herbs soup yesterday to Yangxin Palace, in exchange for a Suzhou meat dish. You can really do things. Yes. I dare to do anything. I also can do anything. This is the advantage of being a favored consort. But if I become the Empress, I have to do everything according to rules, always being restricted. I’m unable to do that. You’re telling me that you don’t have the wild ambition? If Your Highness the Empress doesn’t actively provoke me, of course, I naturally won’t have the desire for it. Even if you give birth to a prince, you won’t make plans for him? What kind of a person is His Majesty? Will he allow his Imperial harem to dictate who should be the Imperial heir? Let me say some practical words to you. I, Wei Yingluo, have never been afraid of fights. The more I fight, the more energetic I become. If you want to continue, I’ll accompany you until the end. But you won’t be able to topple me, nor will I be able to defeat you. Fighting like that back and forth, all just tormenting each other for nothing. Your Highness lowered yourself today just to ask for a reconciliation. Why must you keep testing me? Let me say these words. Rather than fighting until only one remains alive, why not just lay down the flag and still the drums, each one being safe and sound. You’re quite straightforward. But, I have one condition. What condition? Your Highness the Empress must promise me that no matter when or for what reason, you mustn’t hurt the children. Your child, or other people’s children? All the children in the Forbidden City. I disdain hurting the young ones. Aren’t your words belittling me? Okay. As long as Your Highness the Empress will do as you say, I guarantee you that the Forbidden City will only have quiet breezes and calm waves. The world will be at peace. We have a deal then. You have a deal. Yuan Chunwang, I didn’t save you when you committed a mistake. Do you bear any grudge against me? Replying to Mistress, after making such a huge mistake, Mistress was still able to spare my life. That’s already being excessively magnanimous. For punishing you to kneel here, do you find me heartless? Mistress, I’m a servant of the Chengqian Palace. If I commit a mistake and the Empress doesn’t punish me harshly, what would others say? Hence, I know that my kneeling is not for Consort Ling, but for everyone in Forbidden City to see. Let’s go back. Mistress! Consort Ling… Starting today, the Forbidden City will be quiet for a long time. Fifth Prince shot thirty-five times and hit thirty times.– Great!
– Great!Fourth Brother, Royal Father already said not to take it out on any objects. Why can’t you remember this? Twelfth Brother, since when is it your turn to lecture me? Disrespectful. I hear Fourth Brother went hunting a few days ago and injured his arm. I think it hasn’t recovered yet. There’s no need to be so eager to achieve results. It’s more important for you to recover. If I have recovered from my injury, would you still have a place here? Fourth Prince, before this, you drew the bow before His Majesty when you were hosting Guicheng, you broke the bow accidentally due to carelessness and you were punished by having your salary forfeited for six months. Do you know why? His Majesty studied writing when he was four years old. At nine years old, he learned martial arts, archery and shooting skills. At age eleven, he confined himself to the mountain to focus on shooting. At age twelve, he followed Emperor Kangxi to the Mulan Hunt. Emperor Kangxi shot a black bear and happily went to retrieve it. The black bear suddenly attacked. If His Majesty hadn’t used his gun to shoot in time, the consequences would have been disastrous. When His Majesty goes hunting at Mulan every year,he assesses the princes, dukes, ministers, civil and military officials.It’s because he doesn’t want you to forget that Great Qing was established on the backs of horses. Guicheng was ill in bed for six months and could not shoot an arrow, but he was punished just the same. Even if you are injured, you must not slack off either. Talking about reasons in front of His Majesty will not work. Thank you, Lord Fuheng, for your advice. I will remember it. Fifth Prince. Previously, you talked about improving the musket. I was about to ask you this. Right now, the Green Army’s shotguns are mostly weak. We usually train on flat ground. Just before striking in a battle, the bullet drops before even firing. Yongqi is adept at literary and martial arts. Not to also mention, astronomy, geography and history. Royal Father already said that Yongqi is the most outstanding. Why are you still here wasting your strength? Royal Mother said that practice makes perfect. Even if the skill is not as good as others, we must still catch up. Royal Father won’t despise those who work hard. Take it out. – Your Highness…
– Why are you hiding it? Afraid that I will be unhappy? Your Highness. I… I’m the Mistress of the six palaces. I worry about minor and major matters and age faster than everyone else. No wonder. No wonder what? That year, I asked Consort Ling…No, it’s Noble Consort Ling now, whether she wanted to be the Empress. She said she can’t as she didn’t have the fate for worries. Look at her. For the past ten years, she can eat whatever she likes and play whenever she likes. I observed her carefully that day. Her hair is still glossy without a trace of white hair. Look at me. My eyes are bloodshot. Her eyes are still clear and bright. She’s more than thirty years old and she still lives like a child. That’s because she is selfish. In the past year, when the Empress Dowager didn’t want to see her, she shamelessly sent Seventh Princess to Shoukang Palace. The Empress Dowager couldn’t maintain her frosty face thereafter. Forget about this. Six years ago, when Imperial Concubine Qing was promoted, to pull her to her side, Consort Ling even sent Fifteenth Prince away. I honestly don’t understand. Didn’t she always say that, a woman will never be good to another? I can see that she doesn’t love anyone. She only loves herself like a pearl. Everyone knows this. The princes and princesses have the wet nurses to take care of them. Even if they are sent to others to be raised, it’s only just to make it sound good. Didn’t you see this? When Seventh Princess, Ninth Princess and Fifteenth Prince are not busy, they will run to Yanxi Palace. (T/N Princess Hejing, Princess Heke, and Prince Yongyan – Noble Consort Ling’s children so far) She is naturally playful and will scream and run wild with the children the entire day. Yanxi Palace has become a nest for the children. The well-behaved Fifteenth Prince has been badly influenced by her. Unlike Twelfth Prince who’s diligent in his studies and hardworking in his martial arts training. Even the teachers praise him for his hard work. But compared to Yongqi, his talent is very lacking. – Mistress.
– Greetings, Royal Mother.Mistress. When Twelfth Brother was training today, he injured his hand.What’s wrong? Let me take a look. Look at you. Why are you so careless? To reply, Mistress. Twelfth Prince was training under the scorching sunfor two hours and bruised his hand.I requested the Imperial Physician to bandage and treat the wound. The Imperial Physician repeatedly advised that he can’t draw the bow for a month. Foolish child. Why were you so desperate?Forgetting Each Other♫It’s very likely that recalling vivid images will throw me into upheaval,♫ ♫The past graceful, concerning passions have gone only into hibernation.♫ ♫Along with my lord, my original aspirations are now distant, the promises and wishes to accompany each other♫ ♫Are proof of yearning endured, trembling in the endless night.♫ ♫How true our feelings were, even though our fate was shallow,♫ ♫Hearts locked away in dark halls from the light, difficult to find and recover.♫ ♫Other people envy my splendid, bright clothing, the warmth beside my pillow, (T/N the love of her lord)♫ ♫Then turning round sigh admiringly, through wet tears in somber-colored robes.♫ ♫Who clearly would cling to a moment of being in love and inseparable?♫ ♫The end of passion becomes merely a sentimental entanglement.♫ ♫If one uses separation to cut away the bindings,♫ ♫Forgetting one another is also difficult in the depths of one’s dreams.♫ ♫Who clearly would still cling to these deep feelings and desire them again,♫ ♫And give free rein to this state of mind over and over in their dreams?♫ ♫Glory and splendor give shelter to appearing to forget the pain,♫ ♫From dreams awakening after a time, with nothing new to worry about.♫ ♫Treating them like smoke dissipating, ashes flying away, cold hoarfrost under the moonlight…♫ ♫All the memories of love, memories of hate….♫ ♫All the memories completely vanish.♫