♫ 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 45 Greetings, Noble Consort Jia. Greetings, Noble Lady Qing and Imperial Concubine Mei. Eunuch Li, you are very respectful. His Majesty has received a pair of new dangling ornaments. He especially asked me to deliver it to you. Thank you for His Majesty’s graces. His Majesty only dotes Noble Consort Jiao with whatever good items he gets. Today, we get to see them too. His Majesty especially ordered Eunuch Li to come here for some additional instructions, am I right? It’s better that we go back first. I’ll take my leave. Eunuch Li, this seems to be carnelian. It’s very similar to agate. If you don’t look at it carefully, it would be hard to differentiate. Noble Consort Jia, you have good eyesight. It is indeed carnelian. Carnelian isn’t some precious gem. How come His Majesty thought of using it to make a dangling ornament? When Empress Xiaoxian was still alive, she doesn’t like extravagant things. His Majesty these past days kept thinking about Empress Xiaoxian, hence, he especially had carnelian be made into dangling ornaments to express his veneration on Empress Xiaoxian’s simplicity. Now, Noble Consort Jia is above thousands. Do you understand the meaning of it? So, His Majesty has such profound meaning behind it. Thank you, Eunuch Li, for explaining it. There is one more thing that I must inform you. His Majesty said that the illicit affair scandal of Imperial Noble Consort involved Master and there is the seven treasures beads as evidence. Hence, His Majesty is asking every palace to write the names of the seven treasure beads. You currently has the highest position among the other harem, so I must start with you. May I ask if that’s okay with you? Since His Majesty ordered it, of course, I will abide. Zhenshu, go call all the servants. Yes. Gugu Zhenshu is also a member of Qixiang Palace. Please write first before leaving. Zhenshu is from my home tribe. She doesn’t recognize Central Plain’s characters. I think she can be spared from it. I can’t decide on that. May Noble Consort Jia ask His Majesty about it. Zhenshu, although you can’t write Central Plain’s characters, you still must be serious in writing them. Yes. Write legibly. After using your right hand, you must also write with your left hand. Gugu Zhenshu, these words of yours are so illegible. Okay then. I must let His Majesty see these. Eunuch Li, my words are so illegible. Don’t let His Majesty see them anymore. No matter how illegible the words are, someone must still judge them. Gugu Zhenshu, come with us. Take her away. Mistress! Mistress! Why are you calling Noble Consort Jia out of nowhere? Don’t scare the child in her womb. Let’s go. Zhenshu. Stop right there! Noble Consort Jia. Why are you running out when you’re pregnant? Quickly go back. Be careful of the imperial child in your womb. Li Yu, you’re so bold. Why are you taking Zhenshu away? His Majesty has one instruction that I forgot to say earlier. His Majesty said that whoever’s character was written in the most awkward way, he or she must also be taken back to him for checking. Hence, I’m taking Gugu Zhenshu away. You must take care of your imperial child. Gugu Zhenshu, let’s go. Your Majesty. In the whole Qixiang Palace, not one has handwriting that’s very similar to Imperial Noble Consort, That’s why, I took her back here. Zhenshu? You were brought by Noble Consort Jia from the Yu Clan, right? Yes. These characters are so illegible. Did you write them? Yes. These past years, you do write letters back home, right? I haven’t written for a long time, hence, I got rusty. Rusty? Your Majesty, I sent men to check and they were able to find an unfinished letter in her room that’s for her family. The handwriting is completely different. May Your Majesty read it. Did you write this? Your handwriting was very beautiful. How come the difference with Li Yu’s testing is so different? Your Majesty, please forgive me. Earlier, when Eunuch Li came to our palace to test us, I was too nervous. Hence, my writing became illegible. Nervous? I think you did it deliberately. Regarding the handwriting, I won’t pursue it for now. Li Yu. This is agate. It’s my gift to you. Choose a good one to take home and make a necklace out of it. It’s a reward for your so many years of service to Noble Consort Jia. I thank Your Majesty’s gift. Li Yu. Earlier, I told you to gift Noble Consort Jia a pair of dangling ornament earlier. What did she say? Noble Consort Jia thank you for the carnelian dangling ornament that you gifted her. She is quite good in differentiating them. Those two are not agates, both are also carnelian. You couldn’t tell the difference. No wonder, you don’t even know the agate in the seven treasures beads that Master uses in cultivation. Your Majesty, I am stupid. I don’t know how to discern precious gems. Hope Your Majesty can forgive me! Li Yu. Send Zhenshu to the Office of Careful Punishment in exchange for Suoxin. Tell the Office of Careful Punishment that they can torture Zhenshu anywhere,except harm her hands, until she can write characters similar to Imperial Noble Consort. I will go now. Take her away. Your Majesty! I’m innocent! Your Majesty! I’m being falsely accused! – Your Majesty!
– Li Yu, carefully take Suoxin out. Let the best Imperial Physician examine her. Tomorrow will be mid-autumn. Go to Yikun Palace and tell Imperial Noble Consort that I’ll be waiting for her to lead the Mid-autumn Family Banquet. I understand. – Lord Ling! Lord Ling!
– What is it? Go get Imperial Physician Jiang and let’s fetch Suoxin out of the prison together. Let’s go now. Mistress, be careful of having a miscarriage. Things are already like this. You must distance yourself from it. You mustn’t get dragged into it. I must think of a way to get Zhenshu out of there. – Suoxin.
– Suoxin. Mistress, they won’t be able to get anything from me. It is my fault. I saved you too late. I know that…only by enduring all the punishment can those gossips outside stop and prove your innocence. Take her to the adjacent room. Ling Yunche, thank you for this. This is what I should do. Thank you for saving her and bringing her back. Since I have sent her here, I’m taking my leave. Endure it a little. Lighter… – Sister, endure it a little.
– Sister Suoxin, how come you got wounded like this. Mistress, look at Suoxin’s legs. Imperial Physician Jiang. What’s wrong? Look at her legs. The wounds and her clothes are already stuck together. What should we do, Imperial Physician Jiang? Those people are so cruel. Bring the scissors here now. Suoxin, endure it a little. It will ache a bit. Hold her well for me. Older Sister, hang in there. Older Sister, hang in there. Hang in there, Older Sister. Give me the bandage now. Older Sister, hang in there. Older Sister, hang in there. Sister, don’t move. – Sister Suoxin.
– Sister Suoxin. Will she still be able to walk? Older Sister, hang in there. Okay, it will be done soon. Older Sister. Your Highness, Eunuch Li Yu is here. Let him in. Greetings, Imperial Noble Consort. Li Yu, I was about to thank you. You risked getting executed and switched the evidences for me. This is what I should do for you. Moreover, this matter concerns Suoxin’s safety. Even if I risk my life, I will do it. I heard that Suoxin is back. I want to visit her. Jiang Yubin is currently treating her. I fear that you won’t be able to see her that soon. Can you allow me to wait here for news? Of course. It’s me who brought harm to Suoxin. I will not let Suoxin endure these in vain. Suoxin is a loyal servant. Protecting you is also protecting her loyal heart. Yes. Your Highness Imperial Noble Consort, Eunuch Li. How is Suoxin? She has already fallen asleep under Lingzhi’s care. Please don’t worry. Based on the wounds, Suoxin got hit by planks and whipped. Pepper water was poured on the wounds, hence, the severe decomposition. But all these can be cured. You also saw it earlier. A leg vise was used on her left leg. Her calf bones has fractured because of it. Even if they recover, she might not be able to walk normally. It’s Noble Consort Jia. She told the Office of Careful Punishment to not spare using heavy tortures just to get the truth. Suoxin is just a weak lady. How come she got tortured to this level?! Jiang Yubin, just focus on treating Suoxin. Use any medicines that you need. Don’t think of anything else. Yes, I won’t overthink, and just think about treating Suoxin. – Your Highness, I have one request.
– Please say it. No matter what happens to Suoxin in the future, I want to ask to marry Suoxin and take care of her for the rest of her life. Okay. Suoxin and I weren’t wrong about you. I only will love one person and I don’t care if she is disabled or not. Jiang Yubin, once I relay this to His Majesty, I surely will fulfill your request. Thank you, Your Highness. Imperial Physician, you must take good care of Suoxin. Mistress, don’t worry. Nothing will happen. Mistress, you should drink your medicine. What pregnancy medicine is that? How come it’s bitter like Chinese goldthread? This medicine is especially for the improper positioning of your fetus. Don’t know how Zhenshu is doing. She hasn’t come out of the Office of Careful Punishment after so many days. There are also no news from my home clan. What’s going on? Mistress, drink some of this. Take the spoon away. Slow down. Mistress. Imperial Physician Jiang, the medicine is ready. – Sister—
– Just let me do it. Thank you, Miss Lingzhi. Good. Come. At this time, I know that you’re doing this because you’re a doctor, but don’t take pity on me. I won’t. I just feel tenderness and want to protect you. Come. Ruyi, yesterday was mid-autumn. These were the festival gifts sent by different dukes, marquises, and officials. Look if you like anything. For the rest, I’ll reward them to others. This silk tree dangling ornament is done exquisitely. Good. The silk tree symbolizes good relationship between two lovers. Come, it’s just appropriate that I’m the one to put it on you. Here. Looks good… It fits you well. Your Majesty. Your Highness Imperial Noble Consort. When the Office of Careful Punishment started their tortures, Zhenshu initially wouldn’t confess to anything. I instead asked some servants who were close to her. They saw her hiding some practice calligraphy of Imperial Noble Consort and practicing them in private, hence, we found traceable writings and made her write this confession. Office of Careful Punishment forced Zhenshu to use her left hand to write the confession. Some words in there are very similar to the one used to frame Imperial Noble Consort. Both did come from the same person. And she still won’t admit it? The Office of Careful Punishment tortured her again, which she wasn’t able to endure anymore. Hence, finally admitted that she imitated Imperial Noble Consort’s handwriting. But for the other things, she won’t admit to them. Even regarding imitating Imperial Noble Consort’s handwriting and framing her, she claimed that it was because she can’t take Imperial Noble Consort’s arrogance and has nothing to do with Noble Consort Jia. Arrogance? How is Imperial Noble Consort arrogant? How can Zhenshu do all these by herself? Ruyi, look. This was written by Zhenshu using her left hand. The handwriting is indeed a bit similar. Indeed. Zhenshu accompanied Noble Consort Jia in getting married into here. She is also Noble Consort Jia only co-tribe member and confidante here in the palace. To say that this wasn’t ordered by Noble Consort Jia, I won’t believe it. Yes. I asked around. Zhenshu came from a family of healers, so she knows medical principles and knows how to write. Hence, she was the servant chosen to accompany Noble Consort Jia when she got married. Noble Consort Jia is a considerate person. Leaving a person like that by her side to help her is indeed very beneficial. Li Yu, promulgate a decree to the imperial harem. Noble Consort Jia acted in an unrestrained manner and disrespected Imperial Noble Consort. She is to be demoted into the Imperial Concubine position and locked inside Qixiang Palace to repent on her actions. As for that Zhenshu, she came from the Yu Clan, so it’s inappropriate for me to sentence her to death. Have someone send her back to the Yu Clan. Yes, I will do it now. But with Imperial Concubine Jia being restricted, her two princes… Just send them to Xiefang Palace. Yes. Jin Yuyan and her servant has such sinister hearts. One just got demoted to an Imperial Concubine, while the other is being sent back to her home state. I feel sorry for that leg of Suoxin. Ruyi, I know that Suoxin has suffered. It’s just that I don’t want you being criticized for this. This matter doesn’t only concern your innocence. Only by doing this can you become my empress. Empress? Since Empress Xiaoxian died, I’ve always wanted to give you the empress position. I don’t want any gossips to rock my empress. I feel grateful for your thoughts. It’s just that for me, you are the supreme ruler of the land. If you trust me without a doubt, gossips can never rock me. Even if you claim that your actions are to let others believe me, you are actually doing it to convince yourself. You’d rather use Suoxin’s leg in exchange for your peace of mind, in exchange for other people to acknowledge the empress you choose. Ruyi, I myself want other people’s acknowledgement. Do you still remember when I wanted to make you my legitimate wife? Above, there’s Royal Father and Royal Mother. Below, there’s Empress Xiaoxian. All of them didn’t approve of it. I don’t want it to happen again. But that time, you were just a prince. You must follow your parents. Now, you’re the emperor, the supreme ruler of this land. Ruyi, I’m not a muddled king. I can’t disregard everything just for the woman I love. Gossips are like mud. The more they accumulate, the harder it is to wash them away. I care about the feathers and this is for your own good. This is my good intention. Stop holding a grudge against me and don’t ever hold one again, okay? Even if I commit a mistake, I’m the emperor. This mistake isn’t my original intention. Your Majesty, I want to find Suoxin a good husband. Imperial Physician Jiang Yubin has already asked Suoxin’s hand in marriage from me. May Your Majesty allow it. Suoxin’s loyalty is commendable. I can even grant her an imperial bodyguard to marry. As for an imperial physician… I fear that an imperial physician won’t benefit her future that much. Jiang Yubin and Suoxin love each other. Fine, I will allow them. Thank you, Your Majesty, on behalf of Jiang Yubin and Suoxin. Ruyi, after this matter, no one will doubt you again. I will accompany you until you sit on that empress throne. Your Majesty, I’m leaving it to you to arrange for my everything. It’s just that I…don’t have the heart to have the empress throne. Ruyi, in my heart, other than you, there is no second choice for the empress. Okay then. What’s most pressing now, is to cure Suoxin’s wounds and prepare her wedding with Jiang Yubin. As for the empress matter, I’ll re-discuss it with you after the mourning for Empress Xiaoxian has lapsed. Your Majesty has thought of it thoroughly. I am grateful for your deep love. – How dare you!
– Let go of me! – Stop right there!
– Royal Mother! – Li Yu!
– Royal Mother! – Mistress!
– Your Highness Imperial Concubine Jia! I was decreed to take the two princes away. What mistake have I done that His Majesty is separating my children from me? The one who caused your children to separate from you is not His Majesty. It was you. Take good care of your health. Once your child is born, he will also be sent to Xiefang Palace immediately. Moreover, even if you’re able to save your children, will you be able to protect Zhenshu? Zhenshu is going to be sent to the Yu Clan now. Just stay indoor and reflect on your actions. Mistress! Mistress! Imperial Concubine Jia, if you knew that this will happen, why did all those things? Mistress! Mistress! The Imperial Physician said that you must not be too sad or too depressed! The imperial child is more important! Bring the medicine here now. – No…
– Mistress. Mistress, drink this now. – I still am bearing His Majesty’s child.
– Mistress. – His Majesty will not treat me like this.
– Mistress, drink some. – Where is Zhenshu?
– MIstress…! – Zhenshu!
– Mistress, you can’t go. – Get lost!
– Mistress! Move aside! – Mistress!
– Zhenshu! If you dare block me, I’ll die by hitting my head on that post today! – Zhenshu…
– Mistress… Actually, Zhenshu shouldn’t rush to go back. After just ascending to the position, the new duke of the Yu Clan forced his wife to commit suicide. He has already been ordered by His Majesty to be brought back to the capital to be interrogated. He has now entered the capital and will be entering the palace soon. What did you say? You actually don’t know about the news regarding your mother clan? Mistress. Mistress. No, it can’t be. How come things became like this? Your Majesty. – Li Yu.
– Your Majesty. Your Majesty. – Here.
– What’s going on? Replying to Your Majesty, it is Imperial Concubine Jia that is bowing outside. Your Majesty. Your Majesty. Duke’s actions are indeed improper, but please forgive him, Your Majesty! Forgive Duke, Your Majesty! Who told her those? The Duke of the Yu Clan has entered the capital. We cannot hide this anymore. She is pregnant and still being wild like this. Ruyi, use your position as Imperial Noble Consort to tell her that starting this moment, she’s not Imperial Concubine Jia anymore, and is Noble Lady Jia. If she continues to make a commotion, she will get demoted further, until she becomes a commoner. Yes. Your Majesty. Your Majesty. His Majesty has instructed that, starting from today, Lady Jin of Qixiang Palace is not Imperial Concubine Jia anymore and has been demoted to Noble Lady Jia. If you continue to make a commotion, you will get demoted further, until you are demoted to a commoner. I will escort Noble Lady Jia back to Qixiang Palace. His Majesty also said that you should not come out if there is no other important matters. Imperial Noble Consort, you deliberately schemed to harm me. It’s you who deliberately harmed our Duke. No one wants to harm you, nor your Duke. It was your Duke who treated his wife harshly and it was you who framed me and Master tainting the reputation of His Majesty and the imperial family. Are you any good person? Didn’t you frame me too? I can discern agate and carnelian. Even if Zhenshu couldn’t, I can. That one in the seven treasure beads was clearly agate and not carnelian. Where then did the seven treasure beads with carnelian come from? Noble Lady Jia is so sure of it. I remember that day, you told His Majesty that you didn’t dare to look at these items upon obtaining them and immediately handed them to him. Since you didn’t dare to look at them, how did you know if it was agate or carnelian? If you did look, you have committed an act of lying to the emperor. Or that it was you who created that bracelet, that is why, you know. I have His Majesty’s child in my womb. He will not treat me like this. He will not treat me like this. It must be…you who is instigating him. It must be you! You are instigating! It is you who brought this to yourself. You are bearing His Majesty’s child, yet you are begging like this. Noble Lady is putting more importance on your Duke than His Majesty and His Majesty’s child. You… You… Mistress. Noble Lady is about to give birth. Bring her back to Qixiang Palace. Help! Help! Mistress, what’s wrong with you? Your Majesty. Your Majesty. Your Majesty. Your Majesty. Imperial Noble Consort, please wait. Greetings, Master. Greetings, Imperial Noble Consort. – Raise the carriage!
– Your Majesty! Mistress. The mid-autumn has passed. The scandal is over. I especially came to say farewell to His Majesty. The problems here in the palace has disturbed your cultivation. When dust sprinkles over Buddha’s body, it will eventually be cleaned away. A lotus grows from mud, yet it can still preserve a clean body. Imperial Noble Consort, you have gathered good karma, hence, you are well now. It is just that the road ahead is still long. There are still a lot of trials and dangers. Only by having no obsessions, being in peace and carefree, no dust can dirty you. Thank you for your guidance, Master. Master, His Majesty is waiting for you inside. This way, please. Master, take care then. I will take my leave now. Lord Lin. Escort Imperial Noble Consort back to her palace. Yes. Blood… Mistress is bleeding! Quickly go back to the palace and call for an imperial physician! Hurry! Hurry the carriage! Mistress, hold on for a while more! Mistress… Hurry! Sanbao. Here. I would like to take a walk alone. Yes. Lord Lin, thank you for escorting me back here. Yangxin Palace is very far from Yikun Palace. I can walk back by myself. Imperial Noble Consort, you are not in a good mood. I am not at ease to let you walk back alone. Please let me escort you. Fine. Your expression does not look good, just like how I was before. That year? Just like before, when I lost Yanwan, and I did not know how to continue moving forward. But His Majesty guided me to a future path. Is this path going to where you want to go? It might be the most precious destination for the women in this world, but it is not what I care for the most. What do you care about? What I care about the most is His Majesty and I mutually trusting each other and sincerely relying on each other for the rest of our lives. But, I might never obtain what I care for the most. I just hope that your future path can be peaceful and smooth. And I will follow behind you, lighting the paths that you once walked on. So that when you look back, you can still clearly find your retreat path. Ling Yunche, thank you. You are not getting any younger. You should get married. I can help arrange a virtuous lady for you. It is also quite carefree to be alone. It is also my blessings to be able to guard by the side of His Majesty and Your Highness. It is good then if you are happy and carefree. Yikun Palace is just in front. You should go back and rest now. Sending off Imperial Noble Consort. Empress Dowager, Qixiang Palace has made a reply. They said that past midnight last night, Noble Lady Jia gave birth to a ninth prince. But when Ninth Prince was born, he was already not breathing. No wonder, Noble Lady Jia had a long labor before delivering him out. She brought bad karma to herself. Framing Imperial Noble Consort and Master while she is pregnant, can her child be well? Does His Majesty know? He knows already, but he did not go visit her. He just ordered that Ninth Prince be buried properly. This matter has finally settled down. Ninth Prince was not breathing upon being born. I also cannot bear to severely punish Duke of Yu Clan. I took away three years of imperial graces and I personally lectured him. Now, I had him return to the Yu Clan and told him to reflect on his sins. Your Majesty showed both benevolence and might. Duke of Yu Clan will surely repent on his mistakes. Although I hate Noble Lady Jia for framing you, She is currently suffering for the lost of our child. I find her pitiful. It is just normal for people to deeply love their child. Mistress…drink some soup. When Ninth Prince was born, he was already not breathing. The imperial physician has already checked him. He said that because of your extreme sadness and depression, you affected the child in your womb plus the difficult labor. Do not say it anymore. My child is gone. Zhenshu has also left. Is the Heaven punishing me? Now that Ninth Prince is gone, the more you should take good care of your body. I heard that…Duke of Yu Clan got personally lectured my His Majesty and will be sent back now. Where is Duke? Where? He is leaving the palace. I want to see Duke… Don’t, Mistress. [Duke of Yu Clan] Duke… Duke! Duke! Duke… Duke! Mistress. Duke. It has been 20 years. Lixin, it has been 20 years. Mistress…you just had your labor. Are you throwing away your love? No. I want my life. As long as I’m alive, as long as I still have one breath, there will be a day that I can see Duke again. Let us light some incense for Ninth Prince. I wronged my pitiful child. Although we do not have the fate of becoming mother and son, hope he can protect Duke. Let’s go back, Mistress. ♫ Intoxicated by the falling flower petals in the plum garden ♫ ♫ as if this life were our first time we have met. ♫ ♫ 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. ♫