♫ 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 40 Your Majesty. Sulian’s death, are there any clues? Yes. This bead flower, it was two years ago on the Double Seventh Festival, I gifted them to a few consorts. Everyone received a different flower. This one is Noble Consort Chun’s. Your Majesty is wise. Where did you find it? It was discovered in Sulian’s hand. Sulian held onto this dying, so it must be important. You have done very well. You also know this is Noble Consort Chun’s flower. Yes. However apart from this, I have not yet had a chance to investigate and a bead flower hairpin doesn’t count for much. Yes. A bead flower doesn’t count for much indeed. Where is Noble Consort Chun right now? I just came from the Empress’ Young Sparrow Ship. I saw Noble Consort Chun and Consort Jia busy with funeral arrangements. – Consort Jia is there too?
– Yes. Consort Jia can’t help with much. Everything is by Noble Consort Chun’s order. That Noble Consort Chun is a fierce one. On the one hand she’s working hard to carry out the Empress’s funeral. Even the pregnant Consort Jia is obeying her. She’s something else. Your Majesty, the autopsy examiner said Sulian’s death, it’s either she slipped and bumped herself, or it’s possible that someone grabbed her head and banged it on the rock pillar. It’s just that where Sulian died is a remote place where no one usually goes, so… It can’t be investigated, right? I am useless. Forget it. You can go. Yes. Empress. Sulian died strangely. Noble Consort Chun suddenly rose up. Is there something else I don’t know in this? If there are some things I wrongly blamed you for, don’t blame me. [ Empress Xiaoxian’s Memorial Tablet ] The Empress was virtuous. Only the words “filial” and “virtuous” can describe her. She will be titled Empress Xiaoxian. (T/N filial and virtuous) All people in this nation shall join in the mourning of their national mother. Yes, we will follow your royal command. Empress Xiaoxian’s funeral is so grand, already surpassing all previous ones in Great Qing. Empress Xiaoxian was His Majesty’s legitimate wife and she bore two royal princes. Though they were distanced later on, they shared a special bond. The person is gone and the tea is chilled. This grandness is meaningless. She is gone now, so naturally we will think of her assets. Sixth Prince, please slow down. Yongrong, don’t run around. It’s alright. Let him climb. He’s a child. He’s grown so fast. Do you want to eat this?
[ Sixth Prince, Yongrong ] – Feed me!
– You grab it yourself and eat it. Yongrong, thank Royal Grandmother. Yongrong thanks Royal Grandmother. So good. Empress Xiaoxian’s funeral, though there are previous cases to compare it to, His Majesty is treating it so formidably so you all need to too. Your Highness the Empress Dowager is right. Consort Jia is pregnant. Each palace has consorts that are getting older in age. A pregnant consort needs meticulous care. The palace servants are managed by various palaces and they are easily arranged. Just that right now, there are many matters that need to be tended and everyone needs extra hands. I’m getting exhausted too. No matter how exhausting, we’ve still got the Internal Affairs bureau and Ministry of Rites. Yonghuang is also helping you with the arrangements, is he not? Yonghuang, though he’s an adult, he’s not experienced these matters yet, so he’s an awkward hand. But my Yongzhang is actually very mature. Yongzhang is so helpful now? Yes. The legitimate mother passed away and no matter how childish before, it’s time to be mature. Great then. We can let Yonghuang and Yongzhang share the burdens, as examples. Yes, I thank the Empress Dowager. You’ve got a daughter and son both. All the other concubines can’t compare to you. I heard Empress Xiaoxian even recommended you as the successor before her death. I imagine it’s a rumor. How am I suitable to be the Empress’ successor? It’s nothing. You can sit and talk. Yes. The Empress’ seat is vacant now and it seems someone just can’t hide their intention anymore. Noble Consort Chun has been leading the consorts busying about with the memorial bows. Working especially hard on flattering and gathering support. Consort Jia and the rest are trying to chum up to Noble Consort Chun too. It seems Noble Consort Chun has her sight on the Empress’ seat. Nowadays in the palace, it’s only she and I that are noble consorts, and she’s got son and daughter both. And she has the recommendation of Empress Xiaoxian before her death, so it’s not an overreach that she does this. Noble Consort Chun only has two sons and a foster son as what she relies on. But don’t you forget, Sister. You were born into an Empress’ clan and you have His Majesty’s love. In the case that there’s one after this, it should be you. What I always wanted was love, not a title. Having both love and title is what you call the perfect duo. His Majesty had already put the ruyi (scepter) in your hand at the time he was choosing his main wife. If it hadn’t been for the late Emperor’s obstruction, you’d be Empress already now. At the time, my aunt wanted me to become Empress. But becoming Empress isn’t something you can compete for. It’s all up to His Majesty’s will. His Majesty is in a lamentable state of mind now without the leisure to worry about this so let us now add chaos to him. The Clan Heir says his father is very ill and may not last until summer. That means Clan Heir should be able to succeed the head position. Yes. The Clan Heir assisted the Old Prince for so many years, so it’s only natural that he becomes the next master. It’s you though. Empress Xiaoxian is dead and the Empress’ seat is vacant. It’s time for you to calculate the next step forward. I only wanted to compete for the favored consort position before, to honor the Clan Heir. But now, I can’t retreat. I must go forward only. Your foes now are only Noble Consort Chun and Noble Consort Xian. Noble Consort Xian is childless and she’s the clanswoman of Jingren Palace. She’s not worthwhile. But Noble Consort Chun has three sons now. I want that to be her fatal weakness. Greetings, First Prince. I’ll go inform Mistress Xian. Mistress, the First Prince is here to greet you. Quickly let him in. Yes. Suoxin, go get some favorite snacks of the First Prince. Yes. Greetings, Mother. Greetings to Mother Yu. Quickly get up. No need to be so formal. Thank you, Mother. Sit. Every time you come to Yikun Palace, you still call Noble Consort Xian “Mother”. Even though I’m being raised by Mother Chun, even if I have no choice but to call you Mother Xian while outside, but when inside, my heart is still like it was before. My doting for you is also the same as before. These past days, you’ve led the different princes to undergo the funeral ceremony. You must be exhausted. I’m the eldest. I have to take part in everything. Even more I should follow the principles of filial piety and not make any lapses. Good thing you have such thoughts. You are the Eldest Prince. It’s natural that you’ll bear more burdens than others. But you must remember to still be careful in your words and actions. I will remember. Today is your natural mother Imperial Consort Zhe Min’s birthday. I’ve already sent offerings to Anhua Hall. Thank you, Mother, for remembering. Mother Chun doesn’t remember my natural mother’s birthday. The Empress just died. There are so many things to take care of. It’s understandable for Noble Consort Chun to neglect some things. Eat some snacks first. Mother Yu, there are still a lot of things to handle outside. I dare not stay long. Quickly go. You are needed in the funeral. Just be careful. As the eldest, I surely will do my best. I’ll take my leave. Since time immemorial, the choice for the Crown Prince has always prioritized the legitimate line and the eldest, before the talented and virtuous. The First Prince is the only adult among the princes. Recently, he even gave His Majesty his first grandchild, making His Majesty a grandfather now. He has all favorable characteristics. Having favorable traits means there are unfavorable ones too. Hope Yonghuang can understand that. [ Changchun Palace ] [ Moon surrounded by the nine clouds and crowd of stars ] I heard that Yonghuang visited you again earlier. You weren’t in Zhongcui Palace, so Yonghuang sat a while in my palace and then left. Noble Consort Xian did raise Yonghuang before. It can’t be helped for him to always think of you. I also have raised Yonghuang so many years. Cared for him with great solicitude. In the end, I still am inferior to you. Noble Consort Chun, you’re overthinking. I only raised Yonghuang for a short time and he didn’t forget me. Moreover, you doted on him a lot. Yonghuang is a filial child. He surely will remember to show gratitude for your love and care. In Yonghuang’s heart, your love and care aren’t that shallow either. You don’t have your own child. It’s just right for Yonghuang to be more filial to you. The offering of wine ceremony has ended. Everyone, please rest for a while. I asked the Imperial Kitchen to cook some “Eight Treasures Sweet Soup”. You all can have some. [ Changchun Palace ] My knees are so painful. Let’s quickly go and return, so as not to induce any criticism that we’re being disrespectful to Empress Xiaoxian. Sister, walk slowly. Since Empress Xiaoxian died, His Majesty has changed to a different person. He has become so moody. A few days ago, he scolded the court ministers as being disrespectful during the funeral rites. He immediately had them dragged out to be flogged. When she was still alive, he didn’t show her a lot of doting. But now, it’s as if they used to be a married couple that’s deeply in love. If Empress Xiaoxian knew all about this in the afterlife, don’t know if she’d feel badly for not dying sooner, so that she could be able to enjoy this much favor. Hai Lan, you’re getting more willful in the manner you talk. Noble Consort Chun used to be quite a coward, but didn’t she dare to disrespect you? The intentions of Noble Consort Chun are now getting more obvious and hard to conceal. Is Sister just going to follow her every command? Let’s not talk about this now. I’ve prepared you some ginseng soup. Drink some to lift your spirit. I’ve also prepared you some hot water. I saw you kneeling all day. Try to massage your legs with it. Why do these unneeded things? I must hurry and guard in front of Royal Mother’s memorial tablet. Royal Mother has died. I’m the eldest among my siblings. If I’m not there, how will that look? In this life, you’ve been restricted by the word “eldest”. You’re not an iron— Lighter.
[ Princess Consort of the First Prince, Lady Yilali ] You’re not made of iron. What’s wrong with resting? When you’re free, you even go visit Her Highness the Noble Consort Xian. You should try to consider the pride of Her Highness the Noble Consort Chun too. Mother Chun has her own son. Even in choosing a bride for me, she only chose you, a lower-class family of the Yilali clan of a lower banner. Her Highness the Noble Consort Chun was thinking of increasing the connection to our banner. That’s good too. But in the end, it’s the top family surname that’s more important. You should stop fawning on Mother Chun. You treat her as your distant aunt. But in her heart, she only has her son. She isn’t sincere in her kindness to you. I will remember your words. I won’t dare to frequently accompany Her Highness the Noble Consort Chun again. A person should rely on himself. Now that Royal Mother has died, the Empress’ position will either fall to Mother Chun or Mother. If Mother Chun becomes the Empress, her son then becomes the legitimate son. You think I still have a chance? It’s First Prince and his main wife. Mother has no children. If I keep mentioning her past affection of raising me, you think I can’t compete with that child Yongqi? Even if Mother doesn’t become the Empress, as long as she frequently mentions to Royal Father that I’m the eldest, it will improve my chances of getting the Crown Prince position. It is indeed Her Highness the Noble Consort Xian who loves you more. Who knows? What familial relation? What filial piety? All are false. Only by becoming the Crown Prince, when I have real power in my hand, that’s what’s real. Oh, right. I’ll be going to Anhua Hall to light some incense later at dusk. I’ll be coming home late. Yes. Today is Mother’s birthday. Let me go with you later. If we both go, it will be too obvious. People might say that I’m being disrespectful to the Empress. I’ll just go alone. Yes. Yonghuang is a child that I’ve doted on. How could he… I instead feel that a First Prince like that is acting more like a true prince. Maybe one day, Yongqi will also become like that. But in this palace, all benevolent mothers and filial sons, friendship and respect between brothers, are all just jokes. It’s just some undeserved compliment written on your merits when you die. Hai Lan, your words are so depressing. It is indeed, but was I wrong? In the past, during Emperor Shengzu’s reign, how was the situation when nine of his sons competed to be the heir? How did the late Emperor treat his brothers? All those people weren’t able to escape. Now, Yonghuang is like this. Isn’t Noble Consort Chun too? Sister, I know that you don’t have plans to get the Empress position, but Noble Consort Chun is determined to have it. Aren’t you going to think of a way? Let’s look at what else Noble Consort Chun will do first. You mustn’t delay this matter, Sister. Sister! Noble Consort Chun, you must be tired. Let me massage your legs. Such kinds of things can be done by the servants. Noble Lady Ling, you don’t need to do this. It’s an effortless task. Sister, no need to worry. Noble Lady Ling used to be my maidservant. She is used to doing such things. Oh, right, Sister, why is Third Prince not here? Yongzhang said that some younger princes have developed mouth sores from severe exhaustion. Hence, he personally went to the Bureau of Imperial Physicians to get some honeysuckle and make some drinks for everyone. He probably should be back. It’s still Third Prince who deeply understands the essence of filial piety. – Look at them so openly fawning at her one by one.
– Drink more. Sister, you have worked hard today. No such thing. Everyone has worked hard. Go and bring Yongqi here. Yes. Mistress, it’s time to take the conception medicine. You’re still taking conception medicine? In the past, I’d be given it each time I served in bed. But now, I suppose I’m eager to get pregnant. I’m drinking it more diligently. Medicines are thirty percent poison. If you can skip this, then skip it. Imperial Noble Consort Huixian was eager to have a baby too. She drank so much conception medicine and it was still useless. I know this medicine may not be effective. But His Majesty treats me well and I know that. I’ll go first. Sister. I heard Yongqi cough a couple of times. I’ll take him to Royal Physician’s Court to have them look at him. Go fast and return quickly. Don’t get chilled on the way. Mother Xian, your son takes his leave. Let’s go. Good thing we’ve got you managing the great affairs today so everything can be so properly done. No, it was all due to you sisters doing things well. Yongqi, be close to me so you don’t get wet. Come, Yongqi, this way. I have something to tell you. Yongqi, tomorrow is your royal mother’s transfer to Mount Jing’s Guande Temple. It’s a big day that day. You must remember this. You mustn’t cry, got that? But Mother Xian says everyone should cry sorrowfully, or Royal Father will be angry. That’s for usual days, but not for that day. All the princes and princesses will cry very sadly that day. But if you can be resolute, your royal father will see you in a different light. Because you will be among the crying people, yet the only one who isn’t crying. Why? Because your royal father not only lost an Empress, but also the Seventh Prince, the legitimate heir as well. So what he needs now are not a multitude of filial sons. He needs someone who is not affected by sadness or joy. Someone who can be the crown prince when chance comes. I understand. Greetings to Mother Yu. – Third Brother.
– Fifth Brother. Third Prince, why are you here? I saw that many of my brothers were showing mouth sores from the fatigue. So I went to get honeysuckle flowers from the royal medicine office to boil in water for my brothers to drink. Third Prince is thoughtful. You have overpraised me. Then I take my leave first. Go now. Come, Yongqi, let’s go. You must be exhausted. Of course I am. So busy all day. My back. My legs. – Everywhere hurts.
– Slower. This is all from when I gave birth to Yongzhang. Leftover illness. I will massage you well soon. I finally know, managing the six palaces isn’t an easy task after all. Everything needs to be in detail and all need attention. I can’t offend anyone either. If in the future — Greetings to Mother. Yongzhang is back. Hurry and rise. Mother, I have something to say to you. Go ahead. Kexin, you may leave. Yes. Say it. What is it? Greetings to Mistress Yu and the Fifth Prince. Mistress Yu, Why are you here with the Fifth Prince? I heard Yongqi coughing a bit earlier. I was going to take him to see the royal physicians. But Yongqi misses His Majesty, saying he wants to greet him first before we go. Fifth Prince is so devoted. But His Majesty isn’t seeing anyone much now. I fear… Empress Xiaoxian passed away recently. Everyone in the palace is filled with grief. His Majesty should be careful of his royal health. Yongqi, your royal father is busy so we shouldn’t bother him. Let’s do this. You go up the hall and make a bow to Royal Father, leave the ginseng soup we brought and that’ll do. Yes. Go now. I bow to Royal Father. Royal Mother passed away first and I am as sad as you. But may Royal Father think of your royal health. Don’t let Royal Mother be worried in the afterlife. May Royal Father drink some ginseng soup I made to restore some energy. I take my leave. Yongqi. Come. Royal Father. Consort Yu, come inside as well. Yes. I thought Consort Yu was a docile one. But she’s got her motive too now. Then you mean? Fifth Prince may not cry. But I can still make him cry. But you should learn from Consort Yu’s teaching and be calm and controlled. I thank you for your teaching. Who would my heart ache for if not for you? Yonghuang is just my foster son. Besides him, you’re the eldest among the princes. If you can earn Royal Father’s love, you can be crown prince and that’ll be great. Plus we still have the recommendation of Empress Xiaoxian before her death. Before Royal Mother passed away, she thought of you. That’s because she owes us that. That year, if it weren’t for her sending you to Xiefang Hall so early on, the two of us wouldn’t be apart. If it weren’t for her letting those maids spoil you on purpose, your royal father would’ve had no reason not to love you. Now she’s gone and it’s time to give it back to us. Your wish is my wish. Are you writing these words for Empress Xiaoxian? It’s ode to tragedy for Empress Xiaoxian. Expression of my sorrow. Royal Father’s so good to Royal Mother. Your royal mother, when she was alive, I wasn’t as kind to her. I feel sad over it. I know you are sad, Royal Father, so I boiled ginseng soup for you. This ginseng soup was made for me? Tell me, what’s in there? This ginseng soup is called four-ginseng soup. There’s purple powdered ginseng, southern sand ginseng, northern sand ginseng and black ginseng. It’s bitter and sweet both and thick and thin both to the mouth, and restores good energy. Bitter and sweet, and thick and thin? You drank it for me before? Yes. In the “Twenty-Four Filial Exemplars”, it says one must taste the medicine before dedicating it to one’s parents. (T/N Exemplar 2, Liu Heng – Emperor Wen of Western Han) So I tried it in case it was too bitter and you wouldn’t want to drink it. Great child. Your Majesty, try it. Royal Father, I understand all the Twenty-Four Filial Exemplars. But today Big Brother seems to have made some allusion that I don’t really understand. What allusion did he make? Yongqi, your royal father is very well-versed in old teachings. Unlike me, I don’t know most of your questions. Today I went to the mourning ceremony at Changchun Palace for Royal Mother. When I passed by the side hall, I heard Big Brother talking very sadly. Ming Shenzong liked his third son born of his beloved Noble Consort Zheng. (T/N 14th Emperor Wanli) He liked Zhu Changxun. He didn’t like the eldest son, Zhu Changluo. He also said Ming Dynasty has loyal subjects. That’s why they had national competition. He’s worse than Zhu Changluo. I don’t know who Zhu Changluo is. Why would Big Brother compare himself to him? I also heard Big Brother talk to Big Sister-In-Law, and before I dared to hear more, I left. You were making your mourning tribute to Royal Mother and that couple spoke together secretly? Not secretly, but Big Brother said, Royal Mother died. But he’s the eldest among the brothers so he naturally should take on more. I think what he said is right. Royal Father, did I say something wrong? Your Majesty, Yongqi is young and ignorant. If he truly said something wrong, I plead forgiveness for him from you. Consort Yu, you may rise. I know you don’t know about these things. Even Ruyi rarely looks at the previous dynasty of Ming’s scrolls. Yongqi is still young. He would’ve only heard this from others. Yongqi, come. Don’t talk nonsense anymore, okay? Yonghuang is truly my good son. He compares himself to the Zhu Changluo who is not favored. What about Yongzhang then? He’s like Zhu Changxun, with aspirations to snatch the crown prince’s seat? I fear it’s due to the birth mother. Due to the birth mother? Your Majesty speaks of Noble Consort Chun taking the Empress’ seat? What did you say? Isn’t that true? Everyone in the palace says so. Before her death, Empress Xiaoxian recommended to you to have Noble Consort Chun be in the Empress’ seat. I see then. Yongqi, you and Consort Yu may go. I take my leave. I take my leave. [ Yangxin Hall ] Mother, I didn’t say anything wrong, right? No, you spoke very well. You did proud the effort I put in digging through the books to teach you lately. Then when I get back, I will tell Mother Xian. You can’t do that. Why not? You don’t keep any secrets from Mother Xian though. Yongqi. Your Mother Xian is too busy lately. If you tell her that, she will be stressed. You won’t let her get stressed, right? Then don’t mention it. Yes. Come, let’s go. Let’s go then. Yu Hu, Yonghuang and the esteemed guests and ministers at the funeral, how are they getting along? First Prince is cordial and adaptive. He’s very courteous to everyone above and under. What about Yongzhang? Though the Third Prince is younger by many years, he is very good to the subjects as well. And everyone seems to respect Third Prince more because of Noble Consort Chun. Then the two of them are working together in hosting guests? Or are they holding their own courts? The palace has met with tragedy and there are lots of things to tend to, and the brothers are each doing their own. But First Prince, as the eldest son, he’s eager to see to everything himself and Third Prince doesn’t fall behind either. The two of them, if they are truly filial to Empress Xiaoxian, then that is magnificient. If they are each holding ulterior motives to court support, then they should die. The princes wouldn’t dare. I hope so. My sons are older and their minds have grown too. So many tragedies in the royal families begin that way. Yu Hu, I ask you another thing. At Empress Xiaoxian’s funeral, does Noble Consort Chun get more respect or Noble Consort Xian? Noble Consort Xian is childless, so naturally she can’t be compared to Noble Consort Chun. It’s naturally that people react to her more coolly. I got it. Have Noble Consort Xian come by at night. Yes. – Xiao Luzi, did you arrange everything?
– I have everything arranged. Three quarters into the Hour of Monkey, (T/N the hour is 3-5 pm, this means 4:30 pm) all the masters of Anhua Hall will be at Changchun Palace to recite prayers for passing of the soul. You can go then to Anhua Hall to pray for Imperial Noble Consort Zhe Min. You arrange it every year, and I trust you completely. Just that this year, the situation is extraordinary. We must be extra careful later when we go to Anhua Hall. We must not let anyone see us, no matter what. Yes. These days, it’s been unfair to you. I’ve not suffered any unfairness. What do you mean? Come, sit. In and out of the palace, the eyes of power, disregard you as childless and have gone elsewhere to ally themselves, right? So it’s that little affair. How am I childless? Your Majesty granted Yongqi to me to raise. Everyone in the palace knows that. But they still belittle you for never giving birth. Ruyi, it is I who have not been good enough to you. I’ve not protected you well enough. Your Majesty, though I’ve not given birth, but your children are my children. If others deem me lesser for not having given birth to a child. It is they who are narrow-minded, and we need not heed or give them attention. Your magnanimous mind. Compared to those who only think for their own offspring, it consoles me so much more than those who are petty and calculating. First Prince, you have to make your offering in a timely fashion. We still need to return to Changchun Palace afterwards. This year it’s bad luck, and it’s compromising to my mother. Her birthday clashes with Empress Xiaoxian’s funeral, and I can’t properly commemorate her. One of these days, I will win higher honor for my mother. Let her be like Empress Xiaoxian, to have the glory posthumously. Your filial devotion. Imperial Noble Consort Zhe Min will know. Sister Zhuying, since you left, I haven’t been able to rest well. You left in such confusion, I can’t speak of what I know. Now that person has gone to into the ground after you. Sister, if you still have any grudges, ask her. First Prince. Mother Jia’s words are not clear, you must make them clear. First Prince, why are you here? Right. Today is your mother’s birthday, and you are a filial son. Since I’m a filial son, I can’t bear hearing your unclear words. May you please make it clear. – How long has it been though? Talking of it will only be stressful.
– Mother Jia! Don’t go. You need to go and conduct the funeral too in a while, and it will be discourteous of you if you are so upset. Wait. If you don’t make it clear today, I will not sit still! This mouth of mine! I just say whatever I think of and have no tact at all. Mother Jia, please tell me now. But some words can’t be spoken. I married here from far away and though I’ve been promoted to Consort and I bore a royal prince, without anything as my back, I can only make cautious moves in this palace. Mother Jia, be assured on that. I’m the eldest son. I will watch over my brother well. – Mother Jia!
– First Prince, if you’re truly willing to look after my young child, I am content without regret. Mother Jia, please rise quickly first. What you say, I will surely hear. Do you mean it? I mean it. Then I will really say it. Actually that year, your mother’s death… It was the act of Empress Xiaoxian. Mother Jia, there have been rumors in the palace, that Royal Mother disliked my mother for bearing me first. But what you said is very heavy. You must not… We’re at this stage now, could I deceive you? Later on, your mother was pregnant again. Empress Xiaoxian was worried she would continue to bear sons and steal away all the favor. So on her delivery day, she… It’s so pitiful. Your mother was clearly pregnant with a princess. Even if she bore her, she wasn’t going to get in anyone’s way. I understand. Mother. Mother. The few years after your mother passed away, no one dared to mention this again. Later on, you grew up and Empress Xiaoxian, she kept guarding Crown Prince Danhui and shunning you. Everyone all saw it clearly. Slowly then, these words started to go around. Actually, it didn’t matter if Imperial Noble Consort Zhe Min was going to give birth to a boy or a girl. She already had given birth to you, and she wasn’t docile to Empress Xiaoxian. So she had to die. Empress Xiaoxian, while still alive, my mistress was always cautious as well. First Prince, may you please leave a way to survive for me. You must never tell anyone I told you this. And the day after tomorrow, Empress Xiaoxian’s casket will be moved to Guande Temple at Mount Jing. His Majesty will go personally to offer wine. You must endure it. Don’t show signs. Mother. You died so unfairly. ♫ The dawn rises, sweeping over the beautiful woman,♫ ♫ glacially increasing frost to temples’ raven locks.♫ ♫ Lightly caressing the pillow’s edge with tears,♫ ♫ only to realize old dreams are like acts in a play.♫ ♫ Year after year, aspirations have merely served as situations that have already allowed one’s heart to regret.♫ ♫ Ruby lips, rosy cheeks pale with one’s youth brief as a flash in time, disastrous to pursue.♫ ♫ Gazing wistfully at the bright pearl moon through layer upon layer as it waxes and wanes.♫ ♫ Regarding the world as act after acts in a play, departing from one’s own self.♫ ♫ Reasons to leave the aging, worn pavilion, willing to become Zhuang Zhou’s dream butterfly, (T/N Zhuangzi, Warring States period philosopher)♫ ♫ balancing on the wintry edge of a plum blossom branch for a single day.♫