Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bu Bu Jing Xin Chapter 3 (Part 7 - 8)

步步惊心/ Bu Bu Jing Xin
Startling Surprises with Every Step
Written by Tong Hua
 Chapter 3 (Part 7-8)
Brought to you by the Magnolia Translation Team
Translated by Hoju and Yanfeng

Hello everyone. To compensate for all of you being so patient and understanding while waiting for chapter 3 to be complete, we have a double release today! We are now back on schedule and will have updates every week as promised. Enjoy!
Download Link:


This work is an amateur fan-translation of original work by Tong Hua as available in free online format in Mandarin Chinese at:

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 demeanor.

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 7-8)

I think to myself, the verdict is finally going to be announced.  My heart feels a little uneasy, not nervous because of what he would do to me but worried about how this will affect Jie-jie.

Noticing my expression of apprehension, Tenth prince reprimands, “You know to be scared now?”

Fourteenth prince, however, restrains his grin and comforts, “Don’t worry.  I will beg for forgiveness on your behalf.”

I look at him in surprise, and he smiles back at me.  In a quiet voice, I say, “Thank you.”

When we walk in, Eighth prince is sitting at the table, writing.  He only nods briefly at Tenth and Fourteenth prince, not even bothering to glance at me once, as he continues to write with his head lowered.  Tenth and Fourteenth prince each take seat themselves.  I, however, continues standing motionless in the middle with my head down as I think, here’s another person who is treating me like I am invisible.

Quite some time passes. Tenth and Fourteenth prince have each finished an entire bowl[1] of tea before Eighth prince puts down his brush, seals what he has been writing, and instructs the eunuch by his side, “Bring this document directly to the Ministry of Official Personnel Affairs[2].”  The eunuch puts away the item carefully and leaves.

After taking a sip of tea, Eighth prince asks Tenth and Fourteenth prince, “What is your opinion regarding this morning’s discussion in which Chang Shou was accused of offering amnesty to and recruiting the Guangdong pirate, A’Baowei?”

Tenth prince declares hotly, “What opinion can you have?  How can you be soft on those pirates who terrorize the seas?  Unless you ‘kill one as a warning example to the hundred,’ the rest will only become even more savage and rampant.”

Eighth prince does not pay any attention to him, looking only towards Fourteenth prince.  Mulling for a moment, Fourteenth prince replies, “Even though Imperial Father did not say anything, I believe he had already made up his mind beforehand and likely agrees with the actions Assistant Minister[3] Chang took.  Those two hundred thirty-seven pirates are all courageously fierce fighters and are extremely familiar with the surrounding waters.  Each one is a true man.  Negotiating surrender and enlisting them as our own soldiers will increase our naval strength, put apprehension into other pirates’ hearts, and also demonstrates the awesome, yet dignified manner of our great Qing, so that all may know that any capable person willing to serve the country will be given a chance by Imperial Father.”

When he finishes speaking, Eighth prince nods.  It appears that Fourteenth prince’s opinion on the matter is the same as his.  “Then I will put in a document to the throne requesting leniency for Assistant Minister Chang.”

Whatever they say afterward, I do not hear at all.  In my mind, all I can think is, politics, maneuvering for power!  And then, I am just standing and standing…

The sky is dark already.  A eunuch comes in and asks if dinner should be readied.

Eighth prince chuckles, “We were so engrossed in discussion that we did not notice the hour!  It’s so late already that if you leave now, it’s going to be a hassle.  If you do not have any important matters to attend to, have dinner here.”

Both Tenth and Fourteenth prince smile and agree.  Having received his instructions, the eunuch turns and leaves.

Eighth prince is looking at me, his fingers tapping the table and his face still smiling.

The room is very quiet.  Only the tapping sound on the table can be heard.  I am still standing there with head lowered and motionless.  Thanks to my strict school military training[4] in the past, I have been standing like this for more than four hours[5].

Turning to look at Tenth and Fourteenth prince, Eighth prince tells them, “You two go first.  I will be there shortly.”

The two stood, and Fourteenth prince proceeds directly out of the house, but Tenth prince stammers, “We should all go together.”

Smiling, Eighth prince turns his eyes towards him as he says, “You go first.”

Tenth prince casts a glance at me, but in the end, he leaves as well.
Eighth prince dismisses the eunuchs inside the room, then walks over in front of me and stands very still.

All I can feel is an invisible pressure weighing down on me, and it seems as if I cannot support myself on my own feet any longer.  Lowering my head so I am staring at his shoes, my heart furiously beats, “thump thump,” and my thoughts swirl around in my head, yet I do not know what I actually am thinking.

After what seems like half a day, he says quietly, “Lift up your head.”

I really do not want to, but in the end, I do not have the courage to refuse and obediently, I raise my head up slowly.  Neck, chin, then mouth, nose, until at last, I meet his eyes, deep like a lake, seeming as if they are very clear, yet the bottommost depths cannot be seen.  I want to turn my eyes away, but for some reason, I do no move and can only continue to stare up at him.

His expression is calm as he gazes at me with a hint of probing look in his eyes, as if he is trying to find something from my face.

I do not know how much time has passed, perhaps only one second, perhaps two hours, and then a faint smile gradually appears at the corner of his lips, slowly spreading to his face, until at last, even his eyes are filled with that smile.  I, however, truly do feel as if I will not be able to stand anymore, and unconsciously, my hand covers my chest and I take a couple steps backwards.  He breaks out into loud laughter.  I think to myself, his voice is so nice when he laughs! It is like a small electrical current darting through your heart, making your heart feel all tingly and weak.

Still laughing, he asks, "Where did all your vigor from the other night go?"

I didn't know what to say and just stand there foolishly.

He laughs again, and starts to leave. At the doorway, he turns with a smile, "Are you planning on just standing there?"

I hurriedly follow after. He instructs Eunuch Wan to send me back to my sister's, then turns and leaves.

My legs were a little stiff from standing for so long and I limp along as the eunuch held the lantern leading the way ahead.

As I walk I ponder on what Eight prince's words meant. Is this the end of the matter?

My thoughts are interrupted by the eunuch suddenly bowing and paying his respects, "Good fortune to Tenth prince, good fortune to Fourteenth prince!"

Tenth prince notices my sorrowful face and anxiously asks, "What's wrong?"

Biting my tongue, I hesitate, and finally bow my head but say nothing.

Tenth prince grabs my hand and quickly says, "Let's go find Eight Brother!"

I pull my hand free, look at him narrowly once, and then look ahead with unfocussed eyes; my face etches with infinite misery, slowly shaking my head.

"Hahaha!" Fourteenth prince buckles over, holding his belly with loud laughter saying, "Gods!"

Tenth prince is confused by this sudden outburst, and glares at him with annoyance. And with a breath, I too join in the laughing.

Tenth prince looks at me, then at Fourteenth prince, only then realizing that he had been made fun of, tosses his sleeve in a huff and leaves, saying "To think I actually wastes my time worrying about you!"

Fourteenth prince and I hurry to stop him.

I smiles and softly said "I wouldn't do it again, forgive me this once?"

Fourteenth prince also apologizes, and only then did Tenth prince calm down.

I turn my gaze on Fourteenth prince and ask, "Who was the one that said he would beg for forgiveness on my behalf?"

Fourteenth prince, laughing, replies, "Eight brother is famous for being a gentleman, in all his interactions he is unfailingly graceful and kind. I knew that if you went in and was treats with politeness, as if nothing had happens, then I would have to beg for forgiveness for you." He pauses, then continues, "But I saw that you were made to stand a long time, so I thought 'Done!' and knew that no intervention from us is necessary."

I was speechless and Tenth prince reprovingly says, "Why didn't you warn me about this?"

Fourteenth prince laughingly responds, "Why, so I could 'watch the show' of course!"

Tenth prince is all annoyed, "Why you...?! Fourteenth you!"

Fourteenth prince interrupts his tirade "Alright, now that we've seen her, and are reassured, isn't it time to go eat? Otherwise we might really anger Eight brother this time!"

I pipe in "I'm hungry too, you should go."

I take two steps, think about it, and then turn to ask them, "What is the reaction from the Guoluoluo House?"

Tenth prince is about to say something but Fourteenth prince answers first, "No matter what, this matter is now considers closed, you needn’t worry about it anymore. Hurry back and have some of the maids massaged your leg!"

Once back in the room, Jie-jie saw me enter, but was expressionless, only instructing the maid next to her, "Have the kitchen staff heat the dishes and send them over."

The maid responds and left. But she nearly immediately returns with a smile "I met little fourth eunuch carrying a food basket just as I went out, and he said the food is for little miss. So I'm back to see if I should still instruct the kitchen to heat the food?"

Behind her a small eunuch carrying a food container stood. Jie-jie eyes the eunuch and says, "Since there is food already prepared, don't worry about reheating the cold dishes."

The maid receives the basket from the eunuch and excuses him, then serves me my meal.

After standing for over four hours, I had long become ravenous and begin eating heartily!

Jie-jie sat on the kang and stares at me thoughtfully. Once I was done eating she evenly says, "Wash up and get some rest."

I sighs, it seems like her anger had not dissipates and yet I have no idea what to do about it, and so I could only obediently return to my room to sleep.

[1] Orig. ‘zhong.’  Often seen in Chinese dramas, the ‘zhong’ consists of a saucer, a small bowl, and a lid.  The lid allows tea to be infused directly in the bowl and then drank straight from the bowl by using the lid to hold back the tea leaves.
[2] Orig. 吏部 ‘Li Bu.’  In Qing feudal China, six government ministries (or ‘bu’ ) reported directly to the emperor.  The Ministry of Official Personnel Affairs or ‘Li Bu’ was the highest of the six, with control of appointments and dismissals, examinations, promotions and demotions, organization, etc. of the entire country’s mandarins.  
[3] Orig. 侍郎 ‘shilang.’  All of the six government ministries were organized in the same fashion.  In each of the ministries, there were two ‘shilang’, who were second in command in the ministry.
[4] In present day China, military training is a subject, at times compulsory, in some schools and universities. 
[5] The original term in the novel was two ‘shi chen.’  In ancient China, a 24 hour day was broken up into twelve ‘shi chen,’ and therefore, one ‘shi chen’ is equivalent to two hours.  When a specific number of hours is seen in this translated text, it will likely be converted from ‘shi chen.’


  1. i've been a silent reader for a while now but i really want to thank all of you for your time in allowing me to read such a wonderful story. please keep up the great work and take your time!!

  2. Sorry for being a bother, but I wanted to ask if you guys could put all the parts of chapter 3 into one pdf file? :) It's okay if you don't though ^^

  3. I clicked c4 1-4.2
    But same as chapter 3.7