♫ 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 46 I’ll do it myself. Let me. You don’t move. Jinchuan war is at the pivotal point. Narqin losing battles in succession is one thing. But he’s so senseless to even plead His Majesty to send Master Qian to assist with the war. There’s talk that there are gods and ghosts assisting in war. This will lead to defeat of army morale. Narqin is desperate to win. But he can’t let the army morale break. Empress Dowager. Bad news, Empress Dowagaer. Sir Narqin came back to the capital unauthorized and His Majesty is extremely angry. Go on. Empress Dowager. Narqin is such a fool. He’s asking to die. Sir Narqin did indeed fail in war strategy. But if you can put in a few words for Sir Narqin, His Majesty might perhaps, on the account of yours and the Niohuru’s reputation, have a soft heart and let Sir Narqin off the hook. It’s on war matter. I can’t put a word to it. But Sir Narqin, he’s your Niohuru clan’s endorsement in the royal court. You should try to persuade. Things aren’t the same as before. Nowadays, Emperor’s wings have hardened and he advocates for himself. If I beg Emperor’s favor over this matter, Emperor, if he were to forgive Narqin today, he would still bury a resentment of me and Niohuru clan. Then the troubles are infinite. Jinchuan’s war is in distress due to Narqin’s error in strategy. But he returns to the court and dares to push off the responsibility. So shameless. Why don’t you talk? Your Majesty is talking about the royal court and I don’t dare to talk. Then I’ll talk about the harem. Narqin is Royal Mother’s clansman. If I kill him, would she blame me? You are a filial son. I imagine you wouldn’t let her be sad. In killing off Narqin, I want the court to watch hat I only use competent people. I don’t allow personal relationships. Yes, Your Majesty’s all are in consideration of the court. You really know your measure. What? Emperor had Narqin executed in the army camp? Condolences, Empress Dowager. Sir Narqin has already been decapitated. Emperor makes his moves so fast. Empress Dowager, you don’t know this but after Sir Narqin was granted a death by His Majesty, everyone in the army and court are horrified, desperate to win the war. Emperor killed Narqin. It’s to provoke the army to not take things with ease. And to leave me speechless. I’ve got no one to rely on in the court anymore. Emperor’s ways are getting more and more seasoned. Sit. You walked for long. Do your legs hurt? Manageable. I walk slowly and it’s fine. Your leg is getting better and I feel less worried. Suoxin, you are always in the palace and it’s not easy for me to visit you. His Majesty already consented to Imperial Noble Consort to grant our marriage, as long as you agree. I can’t agree. Jiang Yubin. You’ve got a great prospect at the royal physician’s court now. You can have all the good wives and concubines. I’m old and my leg is crippled. You and I really don’t suit. – Suoxin.
– Don’t say anymore. I’m tired. You should hurry and get to your work. Suoxin. Go. [ Yikun Palace ] Greetings to Imperial Noble Consort. Get on up. What’s wrong? Suoxin still wouldn’t consent? Faith will open mountains. Don’t rush. Take it slow. The more you rush to care for her, the more she will feel unfitting to you. I will slowly persuade her. Thank you, Your Highness. – Mistress.
– Don’t get up. Concubine Yu is worried about your leg injury and made a pair of kneepads for you. Thanks to Concubine Yu for thinking of me. Your leg injury is getting better. Why are you still hiding from Jiang Yubin? I — You and Jiang Yubin knew each other since you were in your youth. You know most well his character. He is a great man you can lean on forever. I just want to continue serving you by your side. We’ve been together for so long and went through so much together. Of course I don’t want to let you go. But instead of letting you stay to serve me longer, I wish more for you to be settled well and living well. You are pushing me to leave? No. I married someone I like. I hope you can marry someone you like too. Someone devoted like Jiang Yubin is rare. You must not allow yourself to reject his love over your leg injury. But if I leave, you won’t have anyone close to you by you. Suoxin, you have the blessing to leave the palace, to live an ordinary peaceful life. Then you must cherish the person before you well. You know that I admire that kind of life so much. But in my life, I can only stay here. Mistress, I shall remember your words. Be good together with Jiang Yubin. I will see to it that you are married with dignity. She’s coming out. Wow, so pretty. Suoxin is so beautiful today. Suoxin is loyal and even His Majesty treasures her. This time, she got granted marriage to Physician Jiang and it’s such a joy. Mistress, I am marrying and I won’t be able to serve you all the time anymore. Why are you crying? It’s your happy day. Jiang Yubin. You must treat Suoxin well. I shall treat Suoxin with my utmost devotion and pampering. I heard you set up a house. Live well. If anything’s lacking or missing, you can tell me anything. I thank Your Highness. Everything’s settled at home. May you be at ease. I don’t want to leave far away from you. I beg for the future, when I have the leisure, that I could come to the palace and work a few days. As long as you are willing, Yikun Palace is yours to come and go anytime. Thank you, Imperial Noble Consort. Alright. The auspicious time is here. Suoxin should marry off in full bliss. Imperial Noble Consort and Suoxin are a pair of mistress and servant with deep attachment. But you can’t miss out on the auspicious time. It’s time you put the veil on Suoxin. The auspicious time is here. Escort the new bride out of the door. Congratulations, Suoxin. Suoxin. I can only walk you this far. After you leave the palace, live your life peacefully. You don’t need to be living in a state of anxiety and fright anymore. I just worry that you are alone now. Lingzhi and Yunzhi are the only big maids who can serve you. And you aren’t willing to get someone new. Maybe later when I have someone I trust. Suoxin. – Suoxin.
– Eunuch Li. Greetings to Imperial Noble Consort. I had a hard time getting my shift changed. Thankfully I got to get here in time to send you couple off. You work in His Majesty’s attendance. You shouldn’t have troubled with this. Your happy event. I am truly happy for you. The three of us are old aquiantances. Now that Suoxin has a good settlement, I feel at ease. Suoxin, you and Physician Jiang must live well. You’ve got me serving Imperial Noble Consort in the palace. So you can be at ease. Yes. By the way, there are 50 acres of good farmland right outside the capital. That’s my wedding gift from me to you guys. You must not reject it. Thank you, Eunuch Li. Suoxin, do you still remember? When you wore the velvet flower, I already told you. That you will certainly have honor and peace. Yes. Your words of blessing came true. The palace gates will close soon. Imperial Noble Consort. Eunuch Li, it’s time for us to leave. – Go now.
– Mistress. Hurry and go. Mistress, the night’s deep. If Imperial Noble Consort hears you playing the northern zither. Zhenshu left. I’ve got no one to talk with. I can’t even be allowed to play the northern zither? I didn’t mean that. His Majesty. From Mid-Autumn till now, he’s not come to Qixiang Palace even once. He used to love to hear me play the northern zither. Now I can only play for myself. How so? His Majesty still cares for you just the same. Forget it. You are competent enough. Even though Zhenshu isn’t here, I will certainly do chores for you well. They all think I’m useless now. Far from that. Congratulations, Mistress, for your promotion to Imperial Concubine. Everyone get up. Thank you, Imperial Concubine Ling. You all go now. Mistress, you are a mistress of a palace now. You can start calling yourself ‘this palace’ now. Though this Yongshuo Palace has been occupied by just me all along, I was not a concubine in ranking and could not be a mistress. So I couldn’t sit in the main hall. But now, I am properly titled. What’s wrong, Mistress? You’re not happy? I had to compromise so much. I became a mistress. So naturally I feel sentimental. Concubine Wan and Ling came to thank me for promotions earlier. They got promoted and surely they should come give thanks. This Concubine Wan has no talent or children. It’s only because she married me while I was still at the prince manor that I honored her with the title. As for Concubine Ling, though she was once favored by me, she is just average and without talent. Except that when you were framed, she put in grand effort to plea for you and that’s a virtue. It’s a given that I should reward her. Your Majesty is clear with rewards and punishments. As for punishments, Jin clan has been demoted to Noble Lady for half a year now. These days I’ve not paid any attention to her. Then you’re saying you will now pay her attention? This Jin clan is still the mother of 4th Prince and 8th Prince. And the first noble lady married into Great Qing from the Yu people. These days, I have punished her. It was to warn the Yu king and to have them remember it. Then Your Majesty wants to promote Jin to a consort? If I were to promote her to a consort, I still wouldn’t want to. But at least an imperial concubine. Or else the Yu clan will send letter asking about Jin. Knowing Jin did not get benevolent treatment from me. They will suspect I might still harbor grudge over their king’s misconduct. Your intention is to show a tap is enough and not any severe punishment. Ruyi, now, you are already an imperial noble consort. You have to put the big picture as priority. I understand it. Your Majesty, what will you do if Jin continues to misbehave? She wouldn’t. I already punished her. She had to suffer and I imagine she wouldn’t recommit. If she somehow holds indecent thought again, I shall never forgive her. His Majesty’s order. Received from Heaven, ordered by His Majesty the Emperor. Noble Lady of Jin clan is gentle-mannered. She beholds a dignified character with prudent and respectful disposition. Bringing comfort to Emperor. I promote her to Concubine Jia. Signed personally by Emperor. Thank you, your majesty for your grace. Royal court and back harem are one. Concubine Jia’s promotion is in part due to His Majesty paying respect to her maiden clan. I only wish to receive His Majesty’s sincerity. Not for these other reasons. Mistress, Concubine Ling is here. Invite her in. Greetings to Imperial Noble Consort. Consort Yu. Sister Shu. Get on up. Sit. I heard His Majesty promoted the Jin clan to concubine. She’s committed such a grand offense. She doesn’t suit to reclaim her title. Fitting or not is up to His Majesty’s discernment. Why are you so worried and panicky? I worry she will bully me again. Though we are both concubines, she is a noble daughter of a clan. She has the assistance of her maiden clan and she is also calculating. She gets whatever she wants, unlike me. Favored today but maybe there’s no tomorrow. I can’t even get a baby I wish for. Forget it. Even if we are unhappy we can’t say it or it will cause upset from His Majesty. We can only act like a smart person and shut the mouth. Imperial Noble Consort. Sister Shu, we are all sad souls. Concubine Shu, you are still young. You will have a kid eventually. You too. Yes. Actually you are in your prime too. You should drink conception medicine for pregnancy. Children are predetermined by your fate. No matter how much conception medicine you drink, you can’t force this. It’s true. Since Imperial Noble Consort advised me, my eagerness to have a baby has gotten fainted too. This conception medicine. I won’t really drink it anymore. It’s getting late. I should go first. Sister. I shall go too. I willl come talk to you another day. Alright. Miss, today is the 15th. It’s perfect to go pray at Anhua Hall. Allow me to make the trip with you. Chunchan, I’ve been drinking conception medicine for years. How is there no movement at all? Or maybe I should stop the medicine. This medicine was granted to Concubine Shu by His Majesty. It was already hard for us to get our hand on it. If we don’t drink it it might be harder even to get pregnant. True. Concubine Jia also asked royal physician’s court to prescribe conception medicine to her. Careful. Don’t let her learn our recipe. That’s granted by His Majesty. It will be better than physician’s court’s. Mistress, don’t worry. Concubine Jia won’t get to it. Mistress, it’s getting late. You should sleep. I’m going to draw a few more strokes. His Majesty used to come see Noble Consort Chun and pay you a visit on the way too. Ever since Noble Consort Chun lost grace with His Majesty, he has not visited her. Now that you has been conferred as the Imperial Concubine, His Majesty didn’t come too. Even if I can’t see him, he’s in my heart too. Mistress. Stop talking. I’m drawing his eyes. Look, His Majesty’s eyes are looking at me. Your Majesty, what are you and Imperial Concubine Shu reading that’s so interesting? It’s Water Drinking Words by Nalan Rongruo. When I enter the palace, I then discovered that His Majesty really likes Nalan Rongruo’s poetry. Nalan Rongruo’s poetry are excellent. When you read it, it is like you have fragrance in the corner of your mouth. My favorite phrase is, Now I finally realized my past mistakes, I am desolate and lost. When Nalan Rongruo wrote about love, it’s very strong and full of emotions. And it doesn’t end tragically as scattering ashes and dispering smokes. You really have to meticulously read it, so you’ll get that lasting flavor. On a nice day like today, I should drink and write poetry with the both of you. It’s better than those old geezers in the imperial court who are making noise in front of my ears. Be done with it. Wait till Zhang Tingyu goes back to his hometown tomorrow and the accounts book have been sent out, I will have peace then. Your Majesty, the country is stable but the family matters… Your Majesty, Yonghuang’s wife came to report that Yonghuang’s health has been deteriorating since the start of spring. You should visit him when you have the time. Yonghuang’s illness is just in his mind. Moreover, he shouldn’t think of anything that he shouldn’t. I already told Qi Ru to watch over him and let him recuperate in peace. Tell him to stop having those hopeless thoughts. But I’m worried. When you have time, take a look at him with Imperial Concubine Chun. Yes. Aunt. The Emperor wants to harm you. – Husband…
– Mother… Husband Husband…did you have a nightmare again? Why are you vomiting blood again? I’m going to get the Imperial Physician now. Don’t. I had a dream just now. The Emperor…she… Today is the death anniversary of Empress Xiaoxian. Did you think of her again? I am going to argue with Empress Xiaoxian. You are confused by your illness. I’m going to heat up the medicine for you. You should drink this first. I’m not drinking this. – Come.
– I’m not drinking this. What’s the use of drinking this? I have been drinking this for many years and it’s not effective at all. You are missing your mother too much. My mother suffered and died miserably. If she didn’t die early, His Majesty wouldn’t have treated me coldly and lost the loving relationship between a father and son. If you place a purple flower here, it will look brighter. Older Sister, you have good taste. After stopping the medicine for inducing pregnancies, you look much better. But His Majesty keeps sending the medicine. I keep feeling ungrateful towards his grace. Mistress. They sent words from the First Prince’s residence. They said that he wouldn’t be able to make it. Does Imperial Concubine Chun know? His wife’s reporting to you first. I already sent someone to inform Imperial Concubine Chun. Prepare the sedan now. I’m going to tell His Majesty. Let’s go. Older Sister, take care. Yonghuang. Yonghuang. Greetings, Your Highness Xian. Greetings, Imperial Noble Consort. Rise. Everyone, rise. Royal Consort, look at his condition. What did Imperial Physician Qi say? He said that he had nightmares. He doesn’t feel at peace every day and his breathing has been ragged. Ever since His Majesty reprimanded him, he has been worried for the past two years. He refused to tell me anything and woke up from his dreams several times. He even cried that he was not filial. On the death anniversary of Empress Xiaoxian, his nightmare became worse. He said that he wanted to find her to discuss the theory… What nonsense are you spouting? Yonghuang is the most filial son. Why would he want to look for the deceased Empress Xiaoxian and discuss any theories? He is confused and you said that he’s not filial? Based on what I see, his bad health was provoked by people like you who doesn’t has any knowledge. Enough, stop it. Imperial Concubine Chun is already anxious because of Yonghuang. Yes, I know that I was wrong. Mother. Mother, mother. Yonghuang. Mother, mother. Yonghuang is calling for his biological mother, Royal Consort Zhemin. Your Majesty. Sanbao just reported that First Prince is not doing well. What? Prepare the sedan now. I want to see Yonghuang. Yes. What medicine is this? To answer the both of you, this is a stimulating medicine. I fear that he has recovered consciousness before dying. If there is anything which is needed to be say, please say them now. Yonghuang. Mother. Yonghuang. Mother. Yonghuang has something to say to the Royal Consort. Let’s leave first. Let’s leave. Thank you, Mother, for still remembering me. You are still here to see me at this moment. Ever since the first time when you called me Mother when you were young, you became my son then. You will always be my son. I lost my mother during childhood. When I was bullied and humiliated, you gave me love and a new life. I have never forgotten your kindness in raising me. It’s just I have wronged you. I want to work hard And even developed thoughts of scheming on you. Today, I fear that I won’t have the opportunity to be filial to you again. Which mother would argue with her son? Yonghuang, your illness came from your anxiety. You shouldn’t think too much. By taking care of your health and nursing it back to health, this is how you can be filial to me. I know that I wouldn’t be able to make it soon. I have been dreaming of my mother. It’s time… I should go and find my mother. If your mother, Royal Consort Zhemin knew from underground, she would want you to nurse your health back too and not think of nonsense. Mother, mother. It was Empress Xiaoxian who caused the death of my mother. The Emperor scolded me for not being filial to her. I’m really not filial. I…I…I hate her. Yonghuang, this is how gossips are like in the palace. But you can’t leave this way with such gossips in your heart. This is not gossip. Someone told me about this. Someone who told me about that year, when Empress Xiaoxian couldn’t tolerate my mother giving birth to me as the eldest son. She couldn’t tolerated it. She blamed my mother for being pregnant again and took actions to cause the death of my mother. And also my unborn younger sister. Someone told you this? Yes. It’s a pity… iIt’s a pity that when I found out, Empress Xiaoxian has already passed away. Once I found out the truth, I couldn’t get the opportunity to take revenge for my mother. Mother, mother. My heart is full of hatred. Who told you this? It was…Jia… Imperial Concubine Jia. Imperial Concubine Jia? Imperial Physician Qi. Imperial Physician Qi! My Ladies, First Prince has passed away. Yonghuang. Thank you, Mother. What did you call me? Mother. In the 15th year of Qianlong’s Reign, his eldest son Aisin-Gioro Yonghuang died. His posthumously named Prince Ding’an. Greetings, Royal Consort. It has been a day since His Majesty has lied down and refused to talk. I’m worried to death. You can leave. Your Majesty. You are here. Have you made the arrangements for Yonghuang’s funeral? Yes. Your Majesty, don’t worry. Look at this sapphire. It’s a pair of lioness and its cub. It’s Zhuying’s dowry. Although both are from the Fuca Clan, but her family background is inferior to Empress Xiaoxian. Hence, this jade is not that renowned or expensive, she has always worn it. It was only removed when she died. Thus, I told someone to preserve it as a memento. Look at how close the lioness and cub are. Domestic bliss. No animosity at all. Your Majesty, you miss Royal Consort Zhemin. I know that you find it hard to accept but today, Royal Consort Zhemin and Yonghuang are considered to have been reunited. Ruyi, it’s not that I wanted to disregard Yonghuang by not going to his funeral. I didn’t dare to face it. When Yonghuang was sick, I didn’t want to hear news about him being sick. I didn’t want to see him because I feared that if I see him, I would only see the hatred in his eyes. I don’t want another child of mine dying before me. I understand. That’s why, I already relayed your message to Yonghuang’s family. The princes, dukes, and their wives have also went there to give their condolences. ♫ 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. ♫