♫ The sounds from the sheng and xiao die away in the distance, in the sparse, declining light ♫
(T/N reed instrument made of vertical pipes; end-blown flute) ♫ Memories of my past, my companions in youth. ♫ ♫ Over boundless years, old affairs have become difficult to recall. ♫ ♫ I’ve used a lifetime of truth to put up a pretense. ♫ ♫ Parting without opening these cupped hands full of tears. ♫ ♫ Clears my vision and permits me to resist ♫ ♫ Perhaps when targeted by love it is not wise to separate ♫ ♫ The morning wind can not dispel the aftermath. ♫ ♫ Whose hidden tears made the blooming flowers blush, ♫ ♫ And in the desolate and dreary torrential storms to painfully droop low, ♫ ♫ Unwilling to blossom again alone? ♫ ♫ The coming day belongs to the young. ♫ ♫ As the glimmer of dawn becomes again the setting sun. ♫ ♫ Who is this person who does not sleep soundly in the middle of the night? ♫ ♫Sitting and watching the autumn wind puff out and penetrate the palace curtains. ♫ ♫One strand held in remembrance, shackling sentiment and concern. ♫ ♫ Always submerged in the fragrant incense of fleeting time ♫ Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace Episode 14 Sanbao, stand guard nearby. Yes. Get Lianxin a set of clothes to change into. Yes. How could you try to kill yourself? I didn’t. I…I was careless. I was merely careless. One who falls into the water would call for help. You didn’t shout for help. It’s a serious crime for palace women to commit suicide. Your family will be dragged into this. You still have your husband, Wang Qin. If I were to die and I could drag Wang Qin into hell with me, I would do it. You were the one who was screaming in the salon? Ever since that day when I was paired with Wang Qin, my life was over. During the day, I’m the respectable palace attendant of the Empress and I’m the wife of the Deputy Chief Eunuch. I seem respectable but no one knows that I’m being manipulated in the background. I apologize for what A’Ruo said. She has been lectured and wouldn’t dare to do it again. Compared to my crimes during the night, this is considered nothing at all. Once it’s night, Wang Qin is not a human. He is a beast. Is this from his beatings? He would continue to beat me nonstop. He even bit me, used needles to prick me and humiliated me in every possible way. If he treats you this way, why would he request Her Highness the Empress for permission to marry you? Because he needed a woman. One who can give him dignity during the day and one whom he can torture during the night. Your Highness Consort Xian, with regard to my life, do you know how I have been living? Why didn’t you report this to Her Highness the Empress? It’s useless. Her Highness the Empress married me to Wang Qin to know what’s on His Majesty’s mind and to protect herself. It’s also to pave the way for the Second Prince. So that I will be obedient, Her Highness’ family will take care of my younger brother and sister. If Her Highness the Empress finds out this is how I live with Wang Qin, would she fall out with Wang Qin to save me? I’m just a palace maid. She will never let me off. I wouldn’t be able to live anymore. I can’t commit suicide. I could only fall into the water. When I’m dead, no one can give my younger brother and sister a hard time again. But Lianxin, if you die, the family the Empress will deem your family as useless. Perhaps they will not take care of them again. If Wang Qin were to fly into a rage, he may not spare your family either. I’m just a palace maid. What can I do? I’ll help you. I’ll help you. Thank you, Your Highness Consort Xian. It’s just that you must wait for the right time. Just endure for the time being. When the time is right, this matter will naturally be resolved. Thank you, Your Highness Consort Xian. If I can escape from this wretched plight, I will use my life to repay you. Mistress, I specially picked this set of clothes for Lianxin to wear today. Change into the clean clothes. Pretend that nothing has happened and go back to Changchun Palace. Thank you very much, Your Highness Consort Xian. It has been tough for you to carry this child. It’s my good fortune to be carrying the first child of Your Majesty after your enthronement. This is indeed a blessing. It’s worth suffering for this. The Imperial Physician’s memorial states that your due date is in spring. I instructed the Empress to take good care of you. Thank you, Your Majesty. Once the child is born, I will be free from anxiety. The Empress sympathizes with you. The winter is cold. I’ll exempt you from the daily morning greetings. This is the my first son born after I’ve become Emperor. You must take good care of yourself and the child’s health. We don’t even know if it’s a boy or girl, and Your Majesty is already certain that it’s a boy. Whether it’s a boy or girl, I will still like it. But it’s still best that it’s a boy. You are not feeling well again? The Imperial Physician said that I will have occasional discomfort while I’m pregnant. Mistress, it’s time for your snacks. This bowl of black carp was stewed with ginger and vinegar. Please try it. You still love to eat fish? Her Highness Imperial Concubine Chun said that’s how the baby will be smart. Fine. You have a blister on your mouth. I will feed you. Sulian, Noble Lady Mei is eight months pregnant. Are the preparations for her delivery ready? The House of Internal Affairs have already chosen the staff. Deliver these to Yonghe Palace in a few days. According to the rule, after delivery, she must stay the month in Yonghe Palace. Also, you must let the Imperial Physician attend to her needs. Yes. Noble Lady Mei is very fortunate. There is no one in her family and Your Highness the Empress has to take care of them. The Emperor places importance on her pregnancy. You already know that. But it’s still not known yet if she will give birth to a boy or girl. To add further, she’s always sick and in pain. It doesn’t seem like she has good fortune. Your Highness the Empress, it has been tough for you. When it’s the Twelfth Lunar month, you will be busy with the New Year festival as well as busy taking care of her. Fortunately, I have someone smart like you to help me. Noble Lady Yi, what’s wrong? Your Highness the Empress, please forgive me. Your Highness the Noble Consort, please forgive me. I was impolite. Mistress, look at how adorable this is. Although we still don’t know if it’s a boy or girl, the House of Internal Affairs has sent more male clothes than female clothes. The toy is a horse. What’s the tiger for? His Majesty hopes for a boy. The House of Internal Affairs is still trying to figure it out. If it’s a princess, I will disappoint His Majesty then. A princess is fine too. She will be caring. What’s so good about a princess? Empress Dowager is complaining that there isn’t another son yet. Mistress, have happy thoughts. The House of Internal Affairs has already ordered their officials to propose a name for him for His Majesty to choose. His Majesty is really anxious. Must one undergarment deserve such an effort? (T/N child’s undergarment, covering chest and stomach) First Attendant Mei is giving you a child. One must be more detailed in close-fitting items. The practice is that after giving birth, the House of Internal Affairs will order its officials to propose a name. Why are they sending this so early? The House of Internal Affairs knows how to see this. They know that I place importance on this child and want them to propose a name for this child. Ruyi, come here and take a look. Yes. There are three names for if it’s a prince. The first character will be “yong”, and the second character will have a side symbol of “yu”. They are Yongcheng, Yongxi, Yongjue. If it’s a princess, there are two possible names, Jingying or Jingfu. Which do you think is better? Shouldn’t you be asking Noble Lady Mei that? How come you’re asking me instead? You will also become a mother in the future. When we have our own child, I’ll let you name him. Your Majesty just loves to laugh at me. I initially wanted to ask Noble Lady Mei too, but her health has been bad. I only wish now that she can safely give birth to our child. Since Your Majesty is placing much hope on Noble Lady Mei’s child, I then feel… Yongxi is the best. If it’s a princess… “Ying” and “Fu”…both seem to be names for a quiet girl. Yongxi… I also feel that the name Yongxi is very nice. Mistress! Mistress! The midwife has already moved in to the adjacent room. Astronomer Qin also said that he plans to come to our palace and choose the auspicious place to dig the ceremonial pit. We need to put chopsticks, red silk, gold, silver, and jewelry into the pit. Why must we do this? It’s to make a good start. A sign of good luck for the impending birth. When the Empress gave birth to her princess, she also did this. There are so many rules here in the palace. Rules are one thing. His Majesty is very concerned about you and your child. They all want to be on your good side. Where is His Majesty resting? He’s currently in Yanxi Palace. How about you go rest early too? Come. Get up slowly. Mistress! Mistress! Your Majesty, Yonghe Palace reported that Noble Lady Mei’s womb showed sudden movement. She might be giving birth soon. What? Your Majesty, go check on Noble Lady Mei. – Let’s go. Accompany me to check on her.
– Yes. Push hard. Mistress, just hold off for a little longer. Mistress. Push hard. How come Noble Lady Mei’s shouting sounds so mournful? Your Majesty, you’re over-worrying. Don’t all women who give birth sound like that? Mistress. Greetings to Your Majesty. You’re here too. Is Noble Lady Mei not doing well? Your Majesty, please don’t worry. Giving birth a month early isn’t a big deal. It’s just that the child still won’t descend. I have to prescribe a medicine to induce her labor now. Okay. Quickly go. Attend to her well. I’ll heavily reward you. Thank you, Your Majesty. Greetings to Your Majesty. Greetings to Your Highness the Empress. Your Majesty, I heard that Noble Lady Mei is in premature labor, so I rushed over here. Sulian, send more people inside to take care of her. Yes. Your Majesty, Her Highness the Empress brought two more midwives. Both are well-experienced. – Quickly go in.
– Yes. Just to let Noble Lady Mei successfully give birth to her child, I’ve already asked the masters in Anhua Temple to read scriptures and pray, so as to bless both mother and child to be safe. The Empress is virtuous. You have worked hard. Your Majesty, it’s cold out here. Let’s wait inside the adjacent room. That’s good too. The baby is descending. It will come out soon. Your Majesty, it’s not your first time to be a father. You’re still this nervous? This child of Noble Lady Mei is a bit urgent. For some reason, it is preterm. I am worried. What sound is that? The baby most likely has already come out. How come the cry is so weak? Your Majesty! Greetings to Your Majesty. Qi Ru, how is Noble Lady Mei and the child? Your Majesty, Noble Lady Mei fainted from severe exhaustion, but she’s fine. It’s just that…the royal child… What about it? Noble Lady Mei gave birth to a prince, but he was born with deficits. Not long after getting born, he…he died. How is that possible? We heard his cry earlier. – Wang Qin.
– I’m here. – Bring the child here.
– Yes. May Your Majesty contain your grief. Since this Prince has left, it’s better to not see him anymore. Why? This… Wang Qin. Sulian and Suoxin, go out first and wait. Without any instructions, you mustn’t come in. Yes. Bring the child here. Your Majesty… Bring it here. Your Majesty, you…even if you see it, just pretend that you didn’t. You must stand stably. You still have a lot of descendants. You… Your Majesty, this child has physical deformities. Even if he had lived, he also wouldn’t live long. Don’t be too sad. Wang Qin, make the preparations. Tell everyone that Noble Lady Mei unfortunately gave birth to a dead baby and immediately bury that. Yes. No one must know about this anymore. As for those who know, other than myself, His Majesty, and Consort Xian, there’s only you and Wang Qin. – I dare not reveal this.
– I dare not reveal this. Your Majesty… Noble Lady Mei wasn’t blessed to give you descendants. May Your Majesty contain your grief. Hope Noble Lady Mei will have the good fortune of providing descendants to the royal family in the future. Empress, you and Consort Xian go to check on Noble Lady Mei. I’m tired now. Yes. Your Majesty, you have exhausted yourself for tonight. You should go rest. You have Consort Xian and I taking care of things here. May Your Majesty be at ease. Yes, may Your Majesty be at ease. Her Highness the Empress and I will console Noble Lady Mei. Little prince, immediately find a good family to reincarnate. You mustn’t— Eunuch Wang, why are you panicking? Mistress Hui. What is that? His Majesty…asked me… T-This is… This is Noble Lady Mei’s little prince. He died after being born. How did this happen? Noble Lady Mei didn’t have good fortune. Mistress Hui, whatever you saw tonight, just pretend that you didn’t see it. You mustn’t tell anyone. What is it that I’m going to disclose? Yes…yes. Then, I’ll go do the task that His Majesty ordered then. I’ll take my leave. Your Highness. That child that Eunuch Wang is holding… Noble Lady Mei’s child is gone. It’s gone. Yonghe Palace surely is in mourning. Let’s go back first. – Okay.
– Back to the palace…Let’s go back to our palace. It’s good that it’s gone too. All troubles are ended. Who among you took my child away? Give it back to me…give it back… Your health is more important. Don’t be too sad. Your Highness the Empress, they are all blocking me and won’t let me see my child. Your Highness the Empress, what’s wrong with the child? Noble Lady Mei, you must contain your grief. The child died upon being born. His Majesty has already ordered that he be buried. Impossible. When he came out, I even heard him crying. You indeed heard it right. When the child was born, he made two cries. But, he was really very weak. Very soon, he stopped breathing. Even if Imperial Physician Qi wanted to save him, it was too late. How could that be? How could he have been buried so quickly? I didn’t even get to see its face! Noble Lady Mei, His Majesty was worried as well that you would be too upset if you saw the child. You were all by Noble Lady Mei’s side at the time. You tell her whether that’s the case. Yes, what Her Highness the Empress said is true. May Noble Lady Mei find solace. Noble Lady Mei, let’s have the Master at Anhua Hall chant for reincarnation, to allow the child to enter bliss sooner. Your Highness the Empress. At least tell me. Was it a boy or girl? It was a prince. You mustn’t be too heartbroken. What Consort Xian said is right. We need the Master of Anhua Hall to chant to send off its soul. You all listen carefully too. These coming days, Noble Lady Mei needs her body restored. She mustn’t walk and get chilled. Don’t let anyone disturb her rest. Yes. It was dead at birth? Yes. His Majesty’s very bothered b it. That Noble Lady Mei is so unlucky. Indeed she is unlucky. It’s one thing if she gave birth early, but all this effort for nothing? What did the Emperor say? His Majesty said nothing. But Her Highness the Empress gave instructions for no one to enter Yonghe Palace, so Noble Lady Mei is spared from disturbance and can focus on recovering. The Empress’ arrangement is proper. Tomorrow invite the Emperor to come. Yes. Emperor. Thank you, Royal Mother. You are not looking very spirited. I close my eyes and I keep thinking of that child, so I then wake up. I already instructed Anhua Hall to carry out the passing prayer well, so the child can leave for the path with ease. Thank you, Royal Mother. You’ve only just been enthroned and this happened. Indeed it’s inauspicious. But that Noble Lady Mei is pitiful too. I heard she didn’t even get to see the child once. Now she needs to do postpartum in vain too, so she can carry out more royal heirs later on. Royal Mother, you are thoughtful in looking after her and I thank you. But at this time, I have no mindset to think of others. Noble Lady Mei’s case. I’d like to ask your intention. Do you want me to investigate? Child birth is akin to making a round by the death door. And Noble Lady Mei’s pregnancy was always looked after in detail by the Empress and the royal physicians without fail. So at this time, there’s no need to disturb the sentiments. That’s fine too. This too shall pass. Emperor, get your spirit up. You will have another child again. This “si” word is good. Not bad. This one too. The brushstroke has power. Second Prince is still very small, but his writing is so shapely. The child’s just writing recklessly. -It’s rare that he did such a good job today.
– It’s indeed so good. Look, the Second Prince was given birth to by Her Highness the Empress. Of course he’s naturally smart and blessed. Not like some others, they overly-indulge in blessings and end up breaking the child’s luck. The incident’s passed. You are not allowed to talk nonsense. Yes. Also, Noble Lady Mei is only just getting her body recovered. Once she’s better, she can have another child. Of course. Our Emperor is gentle and affectionate. Hard to say once if Noble Lady Mei is favored again, she will get pregnant again. Noble Lady Yi, why won’t you eat any? You look pale to me lately too. Answering to Your Highness the Empress, lately I am not feeling right. I’ve been sweating at night too and can’t seem to sleep well. How is it that your body’s weakened suddenly? Last time you felt unwell too. Maybe you’re not recovered yet? Noble Consort Hui and Noble Lady Jia, you two go back first. Noble Lady Yi, you stay. Zhang Yitai, go escort the royal physician here to have a look at Noble Lady Yi. Yes. We take our leave. Quickly be seated. Tell me, where are you unwell? Mistress, it’s time for medicine. Suyun, look. Doesn’t this look more like a prince? Mistress, when you cry more you are only harming your eyes. I cry, or I don’t cry. Who even cares? It’s been over half a month now. His Majesty didn’t come. No one else came either. I am going to be jailed in this Yonghe Palace. Once you’re recovered, you will be able to go out. His Majesty doesn’t want me anymore. Suyun, maybe we can go look for His Majesty? Mistress, you can’t go out. I can’t either. Rather than looking for His Majesty, maybe we think of a way ourselves? Think of a way ourselves? The snow is incessant outside. Noble Lady Mei should be done with her postpartum month, but the Empress won’t allow her to leave Yonghe Palace. It’s like that when you suffer an incident. More people will throw rocks into your well. Few will come bring you coal in the snow. However, rather than come out and see how people look at you, it might be better to just stay at own palace for peace. It’s true. But His Majesty’s giving her the cold shoulder and it’s pitiful. If there’s a day of being favored, there will be a day losing it. Even if you wish to be bedazzled for a hundred days, who can withstand the chilly breeze of the snow? Have peace of mind, and it will be alright. Greetings to Royal Mother. Greetings to Empress Dowager. May Empress Dowager live long in peace. All rise. Thank you, Empress Dowager. Be seated. Earlier the snow was incessant and I spared you from coming to greet me. Today, the Emperor and Empress are thoughtful to bring you all here. Emperor, Noble Lady Mei’s done with the postpartum month. Why don’t I see her coming to greet me? Royal Mother, Noble Lady Mei was overly upset. It was I who told her to recover well and rest. Overly upset would be Noble Lady Mei’s fault. The child was important of course. But serving the Emperor is a higher priority. Royal Mother is right. The Emperor has been down and low-spirited. I feel worry when I see this. Empress, you’re the mistress of the six palaces. The matters of the inner palace are important naturally. But all things concerning the Emperor are first priorities. I am incompetent and unable to cheer up His Majesty. So these past days, I had the various palaces serve His Majesty. Noble Consort Hui and Consort Xian have spent much time with His Majesty as well. If you’re worried, Royal Mother, we could have the interior bureau send the log for you to see. If it’s all fine, what log is there for me to investigate? Emperor. You’re still young. Look at your wives. They are all young. Though this child of Noble Lady Mei wasn’t smooth, what’s the matter? Her body will recover and she can have a child again soon. I thank Royal Mother for the generous thought. Royal Mother’s words I will remember. But today, there’s another incident for me to report. Noble Lady Yi. Royal Mother, Your Majesty, Noble Lady Yi’s pregnant. It’s already over two months. Empress, these words are true? Why would I dare to speak nonsense? Noble Lady Yi is pregnant with another royal heir. It’s heaven’s arrangement to bring solace to you. Her Highness the Empress was afraid it might be an error, so she had three or four physicians take my pulse. I am indeed pregnant with a royal heir. Great. That’s great. Congratulations, Empress Dowager, Emperor. Great. Great. It’s great indeed. Noble Lady Yi has served the Empress all along. The Empress is even happier about this. Noble Lady Yi is assisting the royal family flourish. I am joyful. I would like to go to Anhua Hall tonight to pray, – to thank the heavens for their grace.
– Great. Even though I dislike you, on paper, you and I are both suffering. What a rarity that we suffer in common. Have you heard about Noble Lady Mei’s child? Not just a stillborn. Look at how downcast the Emperor’s been. Haven’t you discovered something’s strange? Nothing’s strange. Just that this was His Majesty’s first child upon succession. And His Majesty saw him, so he’s upset. No matter how upsetting, you can overcome it. And he was fond of her before, so His Majesty shouldn’t be so put-off by her. There’s got to be some other reason in this. I really don’t know about that. I somehow heard that His Majesty ordered the Master at Anhua Hall to chant the scriptures for a month, praying for reincarnation. It’s because the child birthed by Noble Lady Mei was shaped strangely. Your Highness Noble Consort, Hui please speak to me in private. Where did you hear such ridiculous things? I just heard some words and told them to you. You were at Yonghe Palace that night too. You know something, but you won’t tell me. That’s fine then. That night at Yonghe Palace, what I could do was just to console His Majesty and Noble Lady Mei. I didn’t see anything strange. And His Majesty is mindful of this matter, so you shouldn’t talk recklessly. I wasn’t the one who said it. Then still be careful. I take my leave first. That night with Wang Qin, you and I saw something too. Noble Lady Mei’s child. Do you think Consort Xian saw it clearly? Empress and Emperor won’t allow anyone to speak of it. Consort Xian must keep her mouth diligently too. She acts all respectful. I don’t know what she’s really thinking. A’Rou, did you hear anything lately in and out of palace? Palace never lacks rumors, so many mouths and tongues wagging. Is there anything about Yonghe Palace? Of course that’s the biggest topic. Some talk about how she seduced His Majesty. Some talk about how she got pregnant and looked strange. And some say that child– Mistress. Noble Lady Mei tried to commit suicide. Suicide? I told you in detail, you must watch her closely. Now indeed this has happened! You didn’t serve her well and you allowed her to act out her sadness recklessly. I shall punish you all severely! Your Highness the Empress, forgive us! Your Highness the Empress, forgive us! Reporting to Your Highness the Empress, our mistress has been unstable all along. She sleepwalked at night. This afternoon she was going to nap, but she sent us out. I was worried outside. And I heard the stool hit the ground, so I rushed in. And she actually — Mistress put this over the pole! Over the sadness of the child? What is there that you can’t fathom, you could tell Empress and I. For a wife to commit suicide is a high crime. How can you easily harm yourself? Your Majesty is afraid that I’ll talk to others and find out something. So Empress kept me locked up in here, not allowing me to see others. I understand my life is cheap. Your Majesty should allow me to just die. Ridiculous! Your Majesty, don’t be mad. If I were Noble Lady Mei, I would be the same, hearing so many rumors. Losing a child is one thing. But to hear others say it was an inauspicious monster, what mother could bear that? Where did you hear such a piece of nonsense? All the palace are talking of it privately. Your Majesty, I beg you to tell me the truth. My child, was it a monster, so you now hate me, so you won’t see me, Your Majesty? – Noble Lady Mei, don’t listen to such nonsense.
– Your Majesty… I didn’t come see you because I wanted you to rest. Help her get up. How can I get my body to heal? Your Majesty, you wouldn’t even let me see that child’s face. Is it because the rumor is true? – Wang Qin.
– I’m here. You go investigate right away who is making this rumor. Find out who’s spreading false rumors and bring them to punishment bureau for custody. I shall follow your order, I will follow your order immediately! Noble Lady Mei, you ought to listen to His Majesty and let yourself recover. You can have a child again. My child. Your Majesty, there’s something I am not sure I should tell you. You ask me because you want to tell me. Since she bore that kind of child and she’s seeking death, maybe she’s been hit by something. What do you mean that kind of child? Noble Lady Mei’s child died upon birth. Stop listening to nonsense and talking about it. But a stillborn is inauspicious, no matter what. It will stand in the way of Great Qing’s flourishing. And now with Noble Lady Yi pregnant too, if that affects her fetus, that wouldn’t be good. What do you want to say? Noble Lady Mei’s being reckless. She’s ignoring Your Majesty and the laws of the royal family. I think if she wants to go see her child, maybe we let her. This isn’t the first time a palace has lost a child early on, so how is it a bother to others? And she wanted to commit suicide because she got scared and confused by the rumors. Now she’s awake. You sure talk so lightly. What if you and I are lucky one day and get pregnant? And we are affected by Noble Lady Mei and we can’t have smooth births? Then you will go and commit suicide like her too? Enough. Stop talking. ♫Intoxicated by the falling flower petals in the plum garden♫ ♫Intoxicated by the falling flower petals in the plum garden♫ ♫ Black silken hair reflecting the frosty moonlight, ♫ ♫ Hands joined together, for our innumerable mortal lives. ♫ ♫ The burden of concern on my mind has paled rose-kissed cheeks, ♫ ♫ Yearning now turns into confusion. ♫ ♫ Glistening teardrops cover the pledge, ♫ ♫ joining hands for a lifetime, when in the past did he change it? ♫ ♫ Flowers start out blossoming in splendor, but are easily destroyed ♫ ♫ Who is that plucking on qin (zither) strings? ♫ ♫ When love becomes deep, people are prone to separate. ♫ ♫ Alone, I sing the sad song of parting. ♫ ♫ Twilight is tardy, spring is late. ♫ ♫ With graceful reasoning, like it had been empty dream, with sighs. ♫ ♫ Let it flow away with the river of time. ♫ ♫ Vast years apart, with no clear date of return or hope, ♫ ♫ Regretfully not admitting the care held deep within my heart. ♫ ♫ Moonlight flows like water, washing away the pretentiousness of the past affairs. ♫ ♫ Sincerity now is the only thing left to depend upon. ♫ ♫ In the endless night, I cannot put down the gray hairs to pursue youth. ♫ ♫ Nor dare to look at you quietly from afar. ♫ ♫ If we can have another lifetime together, may we both be commoners. ♫ ♫ Reunited, and again pledging faithfully to stand by each other. ♫