Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bu Bu Jing Xin Chapter 3 (Part 5)

步步惊心/ Bu Bu Jing Xin
Startling Surprises with Every Step
Written by Tong Hua
Chapter 3 (Part 5)
Brought to you by the Magnolia Translation Team
Translated by Plushie


This work is an amateur fan-translation of original work by Tong Hua as available in free online format in Mandarin Chinese at http://vip.book.sina.com.cn/book/catalog.php?book=80155. The translation is done as good will, so that fellow fans who do not read Mandarin may enjoy this lovely work. We declare that we do not profit monetarily in any way from this work, and also do not pretend to be professional translators, hence apologize in advance for inadvertent translation errors. In addition reposting of the translation must be done with explicit permission of all translators as contactable via spcnet.

Characters Introduced So Far

(In Alphabetical Order)

Dong Yun: One of Ruolan’s maids.

Fourteenth-prince (Aisin-Gioro Yinzheng): The fourteenth son of Emperor Kangxi. He is described as being quite handsome. Is currently around fourteen to fifteen years of age.

Fourth-prince (Asin-Gioro Yinzhen): The fourth son of Emperor Kangxi and the future Emperor Yongzheng. Slightly pale and has an impassive demeanour.

Eighth-prince (Aisin-Gioro Yinsi): The eighth son of Emperor Kangxi. Also known as the Eighth Bei’le. Ruolan is his Ce’fujin (Second Wife). Is often seen smiling out of the corners of his mouth as well as conducting himself with a calm and gentle disposition.

Kangxi: The current Emperor of China.

Mingyu Ge’ge (Guoluoluo Mingyu): Younger sister of the Eighth-prince’s Di’fujin, Guoluoluo Minghui. Not on good terms with Ruoxi. Most likely the one who caused the original Ruoxi’s accident after an argument.

Ninth-prince (Aisin-Gioro Yintang): The ninth son of Emperor Kangxi. Currently not given a peerage title. Seems to have a more taciturn personality. Nicknamed “the venomous snake” by Ruoxi.

Qiao Hui: One of Ruolan’s maids. Qiao Hui used to serve Ruolan even before Ruolan’s marriage. When Ruolan married, Qiaohui accompanied Ruolan to Eighth-prince’s household. Seems to be concerned for her mistress especially regarding Ruolan and Eighth’s relationship.

Ruolan, Maertai: Ruoxi’s older sister. The two are especially close as they are born from the same mother. She is also the Ce’fujin (Second Wife) of the Eighth-prince. Mild and gentle in nature, Ruolan likes to spend a better part of her days reciting Buddhist scriptures. Has a deceased lover who was a soldier in her father’s army. The man was of Han descent and had taught Ruolan how to ride.

Ruoxi, Maertai (Zhang Xiao): Protagonist of the story. Originally a modern day, white collar professional named Zhang Xiao. Under certain unexplainable, supernatural occurrence, Zhang Xiao’s spirit travelled through time upon her death and took over a young Manchurian girl’s body. Now stuck in ancient times, Ruoxi must navigate through an entirely foreign environment armed only with the little historical knowledge she remembers.

Tenth-prince (Aisin-Gioro Yin’e): The tenth son of Emperor Kangxi. Currently not given a peerage title. A bit of a simpleton. Likes to tease and bicker with Ruoxi. Nicknamed “the blockhead” by Ruoxi.

Thirteenth-prince (Aisin-Gioro Yinxiang): The thirteenth son of the Emperor Kangxi. Nicknamed “the Death Challenging Thirteenth” by his brothers. Has a more carefree and unrestrained demeanour.

Glossary of Terms

(In Alphabetical Order)

Bei’le: Shortened from Duo’luo Bei’le. A peerage title that can be bestowed to those within the royal family. It is the third rank in the Qing peerage system for the imperial line.

Ce’fujin: A title. Meaning second wife or ‘side’ wife in Manchurian.

Di’fujin: A title. Meaning first wife or main wife in Manchurian.

Ge’ge: A Manchurian word for young mistress, or lady. It is a title you would call an unmarried noblewoman (or before they are bestowed an official title by the Emperor) above a certain rank.

Jie-jie: Older sister in Chinese.

Chapter 3 (Part 5)

She suddenly pushes her maid away, rushing over towards me to hit back.

Unfortunately, I have the psychological vigor of a twenty-five year old, but the physical body of a thirteen year old. So, what came after can only be described as being too disastrous to look at.

Have you ever seen a catfight? It’s basically clawing, pinching, scratching, pulling, and twisting in addition to hair tearing.

Because we were wearing Manchu horse-hoof shoes[1], we ended up toppling over onto the ground during the scuffle. While on the ground we even utilized the art of biting.

I only heard the young maid next to us crying, “Ge’ge! Ge’ge!” while trying to pry us apart. However, faced with two girls tangled on the ground, she didn’t know how to separate us. Finally I heard her scream, “Someone! Someone come help!” Eunuchs, servants and maids who heard the commotion began to rush over, shouting, “Stop fighting, stop fighting.” It’s unfortunate that their two precious mistresses on the ground are too engrossed in their fight to listen. None of the servants dared to use too much force, fearful that if any one of us gets hurt, it would be hard to account for us to the higher ups.

Since we were never that far from the Banquet grounds in the first place, as the commotion grew, it finally alarmed the Crown Prince, the Princes, Fu’jins and Ge’ges. The few younger princes ran faster than the others and were the first to arrive. The older princes and the Crown Prince followed closely behind them. The women came over last as they were seated further away and were walking slower than the others.

The Thirteenth-prince and Fourteenth-prince were the first to run over with the Eighth-prince and Ninth-prince close behind. The Tenth-prince looked a bit wobbly but he also ran over, unable to stand straight. Being more reserved, both the Fourth-prince and the Crown Prince walked over slower than the others.

The fourteenth-price has yet to arrive at the scene but his voice already carried over, yelling, “What are you guys doing? Stop this right now!”

The Thirteenth-prince also cried, “Stop fighting!”

But who was really listening to him? Mingyu Ge’ge and I continue! Seeing no other alternatives, the Thirteenth-prince and the Fourteenth-prince hasten over, prepared to forcefully pull us apart.

Suddenly, I hear “splash!”, while everyone exclaims in unison.

It just so happened that the place where we were fighting was right next to the lake. Seeing how we were struggling on the ground in a tangle, we already had long lost our bearings of our whereabouts by the time we made a few rolls before falling into the lake.

When I first fell in, I was a bit delighted. Thinking that I am someone who has participated in the breaststroke 200 m swim in University, while Mingyu, being such a precious and delicate Ge’ge, most definitely doesn’t know how to swim at all, I should have the upper hand here. However, I immediately found out how wrong my assumptions were.

Stepping on the horse-hoof shoes, wearing the beautiful, and palace styled clothing and carrying the heavy headdresses on my head, in addition to someone else clutching my clothing tightly while thrashing about, there was no difference between me and someone who couldn’t swim at all. All I could do was hold my breath and wait for someone to rescue me. I thought that it wouldn’t take very long, not with so many people on shore, watching us. They’d be sure to not watch us drown.

But time seemed to pass very slowly and my chest already started tightening up. I got more and more nervous as the time passed. Just when it seemed like I could not hold it any longer, I felt a person close behind my back, with his arms wrapped around me from under my armpits. The hands that were pulling on my clothes were pulled away and I slowly floated to the surface. As I broke the water surface, I took a deep breath and began to pant heavily. The person who saved me was quite surprised, most likely they did not think I actually knew how to hold my breath underwater and had kept my consciousness.

After getting onto the shore, I realize the one hugging me is the Thirteenth-prince. Meanwhile, the Fourteenth-prince is carrying Mingyu Ge’ge to the shore. Her eyes are closed tightly and she has completely lost consciousness, with her body not moving at all.

Although my situation is a lot better than hers, my body has been drained of energy and I softly collapse on the ground and can only pant in the Thirteenth-prince’s arms. The Tenth-prince rushes up, tugging on me and asks, “You alright?”

I weakly blinked at him. The dummy! He can see my eyes are still moving around, even if I was unwell, how bad could it be?

On Mingyu Ge’ge’s side I can see them desperately pressing down on her stomach but still there was no reaction. The few Princes standing around all carried a serious face. I begin to get scared thinking, “She’s not going to die right?”

Just as I was thinking all of this, I see Mingyu finally coughing out a couple mouthfuls of water before slowly opening her eyes. My heart begins to relax at the sight of her revival.

It is then that Jie-jie finally arrives at the scene. Seeing me on the ground, she quickly throws herself at my direction. She barely touches me with her hands but I notice they were shaking. I comfort her, “I’m alright, I’m alright!”

It was only after making sure that I am truly alright that she finally stands up and rushes over to Mingyu Ge’ge’s side to inspect her. Qiaohui and Dongyun come over and take me from the Thirteenth-prince’s arms, helping me to my feet and also bringing a cloak to cover me.

The Eighth-prince’s face was sullen; not a hint of a smile could be found. Mingyu Ge’ge’s young maid is standing next to the Eighth-prince with her face lowered, answering his questions. It is obvious she is most likely snitching on me.

[1] Manchu Horse-hoof shoes – A specific type of shoes worn by Manchurian aristocratic women. It’s usually beautifully embroidered and has a special, elevated, wooden, hoof-like heel that is situated at the center of the bottom of the shoe. During the Qing Dynasty, in order to preserve their cultural identity and differentiate themselves from the Han Chinese, Manchurian women were forbidden to bind their feet like the Han Chinese women. Nevertheless, it is said that though they weren’t allowed to bind their feet, the aristocratic women would wear these horse-hoof shoes to emulate and create the illusion of tiny feet, since it is usually only the hoof-like heel part that peaks out from under their dresses. Also, due to the heightened heel and the need to balance oneself in a specific way when wearing these shoes, the Manchurian women can also imitate the way Han Chinese women with tiny feet would walk, which was considered desirable and pretty. However, there are others who argue that that the shoes are not to imitate the Han women’s tiny feet but a way to show off their cultural and ethnic differences instead.

Google Manchu Horse-hoof shoes for pictures. =)


  1. Ah, thanks so much! Sorry to hear you were sick. Please feel better!

  2. thank you so much. i have been dying to read the other part. i'm going crazy... i need the whole book.