Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost (Summaries - Chapter 6)



  Dear readers, sorry for the slowness in updates! I have been very much under the weather and having a slushy brain. But, I'm getting better and I hope the Summary of Chapter 6 will do for now. 

  Additionally, I don't have that many pretty ancient chinese fantasy pictures - I will be grateful if readers could send in pictures at onesecondspring@gmail.com to be used for the future entries! I really love the picture above... and thought it really looked like how Night Deity would be - crossing the night sky alone... leaving white flowers in his wake. 

  Now, on to the summaries: 


Chapter 6: The Mortal World in An Instant

     The Flower Leader makes Jin Mi kneel before the Flower Goddess's tombstone. She warns Jin Mi not to lie. First, she asks Jin Mi where her Spirit Sealing Hairpin went and Jin Mi said she lost it. She then asks Jin Mi how many people have seen her real appearance besides Phoenix and Jin Mi starts to name many gods like the Moon God, the Night Deity, etc...

   The Flower Leader gets more angry. She asks if Phoenix brought Jin Mi out of the Flower World, if she has been staying at Phoenix's palace for the last hundred years and if she was the one who made the ling zhi (glossy ganodema) for Phoenix to cure his poison. Jin Mi says yes to all three. Jin Mi gets so used to saying yes that she also says yes to Flower Leader's next question which is if Jin Mi has romantic feelings for Phoenix. The Flower Leader is furious and started to say she needs to give up half of her immortal essence, so Jin Mi tells the Flower Leader that she does not have feelings for Phoenix and Phoenix owes her three hundred years of cultivation for the ling zhi. The Flower Leader is relieved. 

  The Flower Leader reminds Jin Mi that the Flower World and Heavenly Realm are enemies and she must make an oath never to have a connection with anyone from the Heavenly Realm. So, Jin Mi makes an oath that if she has a relationship with people (人) from the Heavenly Realm - her immortal essence will be destroyed, she can never be an immortal again, she will be a human in her next life, and a carrot in her next next life! Jin Mi secretly laughs to herself because there are only gods in the Heavenly Realm and no people, so the Flower Leader has been tricked by her oath.




    The Flower Leader puts her in a room with three magical amulets at the door to prevent her from escaping. Jin Mi waits for Phoenix, believing that he will come. In a dash of seven coloured lights, Phoenix makes his grand entrance in the Flower World. The Twenty Four Flower Leaders are present and asks why he has barged into the Flower World without permission again. Phoenix says he is here to fulfill his promise to Jin Mi, someone he admires. 

   The Flower Leader tells Phoenix to give up his hopes and to ask the Heavenly Jade Emperor himself --- everyone is ok for Phoenix, except Jin Mi. Phoenix is confused for a moment than thunderstruck... he pauses... is Jin Mi... the Flower Goddess'....

   Phoenix looks absolutely lost as he leaves the Flower World in confusion. 

   Jin Mi grows bored in her room and wonders who will free her. A few days later, she sees a meteor light and makes a wish to escape. Suddenly, an elegant figure on a deer, the Nightmare Beast, appears in her courtyard. It is Night. 

   Night asks if Jin Mi wants to join him? So Jin Mi eagerly follows Night, she sits on his Nightmare Beast and Night leads the Nightmare Beast as they cross the starlight and the heavenly river. Jin Mi says Night must be quite lonely since he is on duty when everyone is asleep and only has this mute Nightmare Beast for company. 

   Night gives a smile - only people who have experienced liveliness will be lonely. For someone like him who is destined to thousands of years of loneliness, who have never experienced liveliness, how could he be lonely? 

   Jin Mi tells Night that she sleeps late so he can find her or she can find him when he is lonely, and they can be lonely together**. Jin Mi asks where Night lives. 

  Night's eyes sparkle. He tells her his palace is at the end of the rainbow at An (暗 - the chinese word for Dark) Forest. They had met around the boundary of An Forest previously. 

  Jin Mi passes Night a seed from her pocket. She tells him this is a flower*** that blooms in the night and retracts its petals to sleep in the day - just like Night, so it can accompany him. 

   Night places it in his chest pocket carefully and thanks Jin Mi. 

  Jin Mi asks if she can go stay at Night's palace and not return to the Flower World. Night says yes, but as the Flower Leaders will be looking for her, it will be better for her to go to the mortal world. So Night brings Jin Mi to a hut in the mortal world and changes her appearance to a man. 

   The local soil god appears to greet Night and says he is honoured to have the arrival of such a great god. Night asks him to take care of Jin Mi as his esteemed guest. The local soil god eagerly agrees, then says he has poor eyesight and that Night and Jin Mi can continue... and quickly leaves. 

   Jin Mi is confused and asks Night to continue. Night does not know whether to laugh or cry and massages his temple. 

** The literal translation is more like Jin Mi says we can accompany each other. But, I found it more lovely to translate it as lonely together. 

***This flower is called tuberosa flower. Its name is particularly lovely in Chinese - meaning Beautiful Night Scent. 

Comment: This chapter is for the Night fans :) and one of my favourite chapters ever. I could imagine how Night felt when Jin Mi tells him - they can look for each other, and be lonely together. One warm word in his long lonely existence --- and when he kept the seed, I'm sure it was at the bosom of his heart.




8 comments:

  1. Thank you for this summary! Hahaha Jin Mi is smart! xD
    Aw, Night must have been warmed and moved by her words. :')
    Can I ask you to write in chinese characters the tuberosa flower? I'm curious to see if the characters are beautiful ^^

    And don't worry, I think you're quite fast and you're not doing an easy work. Jia You !:3

    Little Red

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    1. Hello Little Red,

      You are welcome! :) Thanks for your support as always.

      The chinese characters are 晚香玉 - 晚 (meaning night) 香 (meaning beautiful smell) 玉 (meaning jade/beauty). :)

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  2. part 1 of my posting

    Hello decembi,

    Well, here I am again, attempting to post something, hoping the post won't get deleted. I have been lurking about, reading your updates, but have hesitated to post anything until now. I had tried to post last time, only to have my very long post deleted for some reason. :( Anyway, thanks for the frequent updates. It is so wonderful to know that the translation to this story will continue on! (Thanks to peanuts for asking you to pick up where xia0yuer left off!)

    Why have I suddenly decided to make my voice heard again? Well, it is mainly because I have a few words I would like to say about Night and Fire Deities, and I am very opinionated (as hamster, peanuts, and xia0yuer have found out from my comments on their sites), so please bear with me.

    After xia0yuer had stopped translating, I continued the story via audiobook, jumping around, listening to bits and pieces of the rest of the story. My Mandarin is rudimentary at best, so needless to say, my understanding of the story is NOT comprehensive. However, I did get the gist of what happened in the latter parts of the novel.

    I started off favoring Fire Deity. He was such a typical hero - handsome, powerful, a bit aloof, but quite endearing as he obviously had a soft spot for Jin Mi, though he tried very hard to hide it. He was a very straightforward type of guy with no hidden agendas. Once he realized he loved Jin Mi, he whole-heartedly embraced that knowledge and was not afraid to let the world know of it.

    Night Deity, on the other hand, did not make a great first impression on me, but neither was it a bad first impression, either. It was just not a very remarkable introduction to his character. However, I slowly fell in love with him in Chapter 6. I began to see fleeting glimpses of his loneliness, of his yearning for someone who could understand that loneliness. When Jin Mi had casually offered to keep him company, my heart broke a little at that brief spark in Ren Yu's eyes. It was a spark of hope. He reminded me of a child who had been ignored for a long time, and finally one day, someone came along and offered to play with him, to be his friend. At that moment, even though I was still firmly a Xu Feng shipper, I almost wanted Jin Mi to love Ren Yu back, even if just a little bit, because this poor man needed love so badly.

    Melanie

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    1. part 2 of my posting

      (SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!)

      Unfortunately, as the story progressed, my sympathy for Ren Yu started to wane. I began to feel that Ren Yu should share the blame for his own loneliness. No doubt, his illegitimate birth made him somewhat of an outcast in the Heavenly Realm. He was the unwanted but tolerated illegitimate son, certainly not as favored as Xu Feng, whom everyone loved and respected. However, Ren Yu also chose to hold his anger at being ostracized deep inside him, to withdraw from anybody who may have wanted to befriend him. And because he was angry at the world, he chose to use Jin Mi to kill Xu Feng. Though Jin Mi was certainly not the most compassionate person in the first half of the story due to the Unfeeling Pill she had swallowed, she nonetheless truly wanted to be Ren Yu's friend. In fact, she was probably the only one who was thoughtful enough to volunteer to keep him company during his long nights. But Ren Yu turned around and took advantage of her naivete and innocence, misleading her into thinking Xu Feng had harmed her father. I had no doubts that Ren Yu truly loved Jin Mi, but I also felt that he loved his ambition too much and placed that ambition too far ahead of the woman he loved. Perhaps if he had loved her more, he would not have used her as a pawn in his plan to become Heavenly Emperor. Perhaps if he had loved her more, he would have given up his aspirations to become emperor and would have been content with just having Jin Mi by his side. But he didn't love her more. And in the end, I just couldn't bring myself to pity him very much. His plan succeeded. He became Heavenly Emperor. He became the most powerful deity, just as he had planned and dreamed about all along, but he was still lonely. I should feel sorry for him, especially after listening to that epilogue when Jin Mi met Ren Yu again many thousands of years later, but I just don't. Perhaps this man deserved to be lonely, for he did not know how to choose, for he could not see that power was only a fleeting brightness that would fade very quickly and become consumed by the dark void of an eternity of loneliness without the woman he loved.

      With Ren Yu's choices and actions in mind, I grew to love Xu Feng even more. His character was by no means as multi-faceted as Ren Yu's character. In comparison to his scheming older brother, Xu Feng was "simple." He knew what he wanted in life (Jin Mi), and willingly chose to abandon his privileged background to be with his love. Xu Feng could have chosen to seek revenge on Ren Yu for taking away the position of Heavenly Emperor, a position which could have been his as he was the more favored prince. He could have used Jin Mi, like Ren Yu had, to help him become Emperor. But he didn't. He left the Heavenly Realm behind with no regrets, for he really didn't have anything to regret as long as Jin Mi was once again by his side. He had Jin Mi, and that was enough for him. He realized that happiness was very attainable. He just simply had to let go of his anger, something that Ren Yu sadly could not do.

      ****

      Ah, sorry for the long-winded post. Thanks for reading my ramblings, though. I am looking forward to more future postings! By the way, I have lots to say about Donghua and Fengjiu, but let's leave that for another time. :p

      Melanie

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    2. Wow O_O great analysis! I can't say more 'cause I only read xia0yuer's chapters and some spoilers but it's really interesting to me. Your arguments are very clear and I can't help but wish I could read the entire novel.

      It was a great pleasure te read your post :)

      Little Red

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    3. Dear Melanie,

      I hope you will be able to see my comment. Thank you so much for your beautiful posting because it really captures how I felt the first time I read the book and you express it with such clarity and thought that I doubt I ever could! It's so good. You should be writing more! On your own blog or anywhere :)

      What I find compelling about ancient c-novels is that the higher stakes - often the male characters have to decide will they choose the empire or the beauty? In most of the really touching novels, the one who gains the beauty in the end --- chooses her over the empire. Maybe because it is hard for a king to love a woman wholeheartedly and devotedly - when he has to take care of the fates of everyone else in the land. On the other hand, it is also a choice between power or love. I love these kinds of struggles and hence my love for ancient c novels! Haha. For me, I don't think it was because Night did not love Jin Mi more - but because Jin Mi did not love him at all. If she had shown just a bit of romantic love, or even just the possibility of it, I think Night may have wavered - but no, Jin Mi clearly never saw him more than just a friend or even just a brother. Night is a very very very lonely person - he is very cunning as well. He is so lonely that he has probably hid his heart too well and far away, hiding his ambition, hiding his feelings, hiding his anger and repressed hate.

      I think love is all about choice in the end. And, undoubtedly, Phoenix deserves Jin Mi. Maybe he was lucky- because Phoenix was loved ever since he was born, so he knows the value of love and how to love when he finally found love. So, that is why I have a huge soft spot for Night, who never knew love --- and lost his only chance of ever gaining true warmth --- that fleeting brightness and endless dark void you wonderfully described will envelope him forever. Ah, eternity can be so long for a god.

      And yes please, do share more of your thoughts & about the Pillow Book! I really have been struggling with flu and cold, but I do plan to write about the PIllow Book again haha!

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    4. Little Red - Thanks for the compliment. I hope I didn't spoil the story too much for you. If you want more spoilers, and if it's ok with decembi, I love giving out spoilers to the best of my knowledge.

      decembi - Thank you also for the compliment. I think I am sometimes too opinionated and may offend fans of novels with my comments, or rather criticisms, or certain characters. That is why I prefer not to blog. I would probably get hate mail.

      I have something to say about Jin Mi. I think she was a very lucky girl to have the love of Ren Yu and Xu Feng. In her defense, the Unfeeling Pill made her obtuse. But part of that obtuseness was her true nature, pill or no pill. She never understood Xu Feng, who was always a very upstanding pillar of righteousness. To go behind his brother's back and sleep with his brother's fiancee and then try to take her away from him, even if there was no love lost between the brothers, was simply not his style. And yet, he did that, because he loved Jin Mi. Jin Mi never really understood how he went against his own morals to be with her. And when he furiously rejected her after he had "reawakened" from his "death," he did so out of pain. The more he loved, the more agony he felt, the more he lashed out. Jin Mi never even suspected it. She simply thought he no longer loved her. On the contrary, he loved her too much.

      If she didn't understand Xu Feng, then she did not understand Ren Yu a hundred times more. In the epilogue, after she met Ren Yu again after he had become Heavenly Emperor, she asked him if he was happy. He didn't answer but only smiled slightly before flying away. After he was gone, she answered her own question in her mind. Of course, he was happy, she thought. He had always dreamed of becoming Heavenly Emperor. Now that he ruled the Heavenly Realm like he had always wanted, of course, he was happy. If she really thought that, then she did not know Ren Yu at all. He was not happy. He was resigned, but he could never be happy. He obtained his throne, but it was not as precious as he had thought. Instead of basking in glory as the Emperor, he was shrouded with gloom and greyness, for when Jin Mi left him, she took away her radiance. But he was resigned, for this was the path he had chosen. Or perhaps, like you had mentioned, it was the path that was chosen for him, as Jin Mi did not love him at all. So no, he was not happy.

      So Jin Mi did not understand the men who loved her at all. But maybe it was her simplicity, her wide-eyed innocence, her cheerful curiosity which attracted them in the first place.

      Melanie

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    5. Oh, I'm perfectly fine with spoilers. But, perhaps you could just preface your comments with a spoiler alert in case some other readers will rather avoid.

      I suppose the web comes with its own brickbats, but never fear to voice your opinions! They are always well thought out and deeply felt :)

      I think Jin Mi is very lucky too indeed! What I liked in reading this c-novel is that despite her being v beautiful (then again, they are all gods and goddesses so we are in a realm of supreme good looks), I can honestly see how each of the male leads fell for her character, more so than for her looks. Jin Mi in her own way as an outsider, so she looked pass rank and stature when she made friends with Ren Yu, and her warm gesture would also be that first step into his heart, even if it seemed to have led to a trap door.

      For Phoenix, it is much more complicated, and sometimes I think the only answer is chemistry (haha).

      It's interesting that you think she's obtuse. I think she just sees the world quite clearly in terms of gain and no gain, and she places herself entirely within the centre of the universe. It's not really that much of an arrogance, but she has always only had only herself, and was orphaned from real love, even if she had some kind of affection from the Flower Leaders. You could see changes within her everytime someone shows her a real act of love.

      Heheh it's also interesting that you see Xu Feng as a pillar of righteousness, because I didn't really see him as that, so that's a different perspective I will try and explore in my re-reading. He strikes me more as a - I will reach out for what I want, because I have always gotten what I want. Haha.

      For the epilogue, I felt that Jin Mi was trying to convince herself more that Ren Yu was happy, because she had her own happiness now. And, the epilogue ends with a more thoughtful note about love and being loved, and the mutual pursuit of being needed. I liked it a lot! Haha. But, I think you captured Ren Yu very well - "resigned" is the word.

      She did not love Ren Yu, so I can't say if she ever understood him - because I don't think she tried that way. But, I do think that Jin Mi and Phoenix developed a very lovely bond and a kind of mutual understanding in the end.

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