Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Heavy Sweetness Ash-Like Frost: Translations (Chapter 9.1 - The Heavenly Empress' Birthday Banquet)

     I've been wanting to write so much more - as there has been so much exciting c-novel news, but I've suffered quite a bad bout of fever and flu! Ugh, Hong Kong winter that blows hot and cold, sometimes in the same day! Hopefully, I will be able to complete all that I wanted to write before I head back home. My 2 months attachment to Hong Kong is almost done, and I can say I will have lots of fond memories of Hong Kong (ah, the food, the people, the chaos) and dim sum (you definitely touched my heart). 

   The photograph above is of Fan Bing Bing in some Wu Ze Tian movie, and gosh does she look great. When I saw it, I immediately thought that's exactly how I imagined the Heavenly Empress to look like. In my opinion,  Fang Bing Bing always looks over the top and ostentatious, but pretty darn awesomely so. With her flamboyant eyes and peony red lips, she has a beauty that is almost violent.

Chapter 9.1: The Heavenly Empress' Birthday Banquet (Part 1 of 5 )

   Holding a chicken feather as a token of authority. What sounded false when heard but is real when seen, it turns out that this phrase is not just a classical allusion. Also, it turned out that Phoenix was a bird stuffed with authority tokens, which is both tragic and admirable. 

   I am not a Phoenix, hence I have no habit of stuffing myself with authority tokens and running around. I didn't know before, but now that I knew, I naturally could no longer use the Phoenix feather as my hair clip. So, after entering the southern sky gate, I changed to a grape stem to clip my hair, and kept the phoenix feather in my robes.

   The Heavenly Empress' Banquet was indeed not ordinary. There were gods from all around, bustling and boisterously riding on a cloud and heading towards the Purple Cloud Palace. The cloud I was riding on was not large and had almost completely dispersed outside the palace gate, but fortunately Master Pu Chi had astutely and quickly gave me a hand and hence I had landed safely.

   The palace was filled with the divine essence of gods. I found a space at the back and satisfiedly sat down. Master Pu Chi grabbed a cushion next to me, and grandly sat down. I waved at him and said, "Master Pu Chi led the way very well, I am very satisfied. Now, Master Pu Chi can go back."

   Master Pu Chi's eyes gave out a flash of surprise, he said in an aggrieved and dejected tone, "Xiao Er Immortal has dismantled the bridge after crossing it so quickly, I have no preparation in my heart at all!"

   "Ah, then Master Pu Chi can prepare now. Just that how long will Master Pu Chi take to prepare?" We fruits are usually generous, easygoing and kind to others. 

   Master Pu Chi seriously reflected for a moment and said, "I'm very weak, I'm afraid that unless there is an hour or two, I will not be able to accept this quick turnaround."

   I raised my eyebrow, and Master Pu Chi laughed widely and continued, "I know astronomy and geography, I can not only lead the way, I can also talk and accompany Xiao Er Immortal, and pass the boring moments in this banquet."

   I looked around and saw that of the gods that were talking to each other, there was none I recognised. Fine, I guess I will leave this water sprite as a companion. 

   At this moment, barely discernible wisps of clouds floated in from outside of the door, one extremely beautiful female goddess gracefully made her willowy slender entrance. "This is Lady Yao, the goddess of Wu Mountain, graceful and curvaceous, she is the most charming of the young goddesses. But, although curvaceous, her waist is twenty four inches, so she lacks some slenderness in the waist." Master Pu Chi, who is well-versed in astronomy and geography, said next to me. 

   Not a moment too soon, another weak and gentle-looking female goddess arrived. "Ah, this is a female elite from Xiang Shui, although her hands are a bit too big, but her gentle weak demeanour leads many to want to treasure her. Men especially likes this type, don't you agree?" Master Pu Chi hit my shoulder and sought to gain my assent. I looked at this female elite in the middle of two other female immortals as they walked daintily as if on the verge of collapse, and nodded my head in approval. Master Pu Chi then sighed, "But it's also not good to be as weak like tofu that is about to break, there still needs to be some vigour."

   At the mention of vigour, the presence of a sword was felt, and in stepped a strong female goddess with a sword. Her slender eyebrows were raised upwards and her gaze was sharp. "Ah, this is Tian Hai's elite guard. Truly a warrior among women!" Master Pu Chi continued to gossip, "But often using her military might, it's afraid that not many male gods in the heavenly realms will be able to take her."

   After criticising another eight to ten goddess' looks and personalities later, I had to admit that Master Pu Chi was someone who loved to gossip and stopped him, "Master Pu Chi appears to know quite comprehensively."

   "Indeed!" Master Pu Chi grandly shook his robe and gave a look of utter pride, "To think that the book, <The Grand Appreciation Tome of the Beauties in the Six Realms>, which was once wildly popular in the six realms was wholly written by me! But now, there is only one existing copy. It's a pity that the beauties in the present age have deteriorated and are nowhere near the beauties of the past. Just reminiscing the Flower Goddess Zi Fen, now that was a real beauty, but a pity that beauties always have brief lives." Master Pu Chi shook his head and wrung his elbow in despair.

   Ah, old ancestor Flower Goddess, I thought of her small tombstone, indeed her life was brief.

   "His Royal Highness Night Deity has arrived! His Second Royal Highness Phoenix Deity has arrived!" The little god attendants outside the palace flicked the horsetail whisk and reported aloud. Master Pu Chi audaciously grabbed my shoulder and said excitedly, "It is said that the Flower Goddess..."

   Suddenly, I felt that above my head was covered by dark clouds. It turns out that Phoenix had grandly sat on one of the palace thrones and had raised his eyebrow and shot a glare at me. Ah, this sharp glance is a bit too good. But, somehow it does not appear to be friendly, perhaps after waking up from the alcohol he has remembered that I cheated him of three hundred years of cultivation.

  Thus, like an ostrich burying its head in the sand, I turned my head in another direction and pretended I did not see him, leaving his gaze which was like a sharp sword to slice at will at my head. 

   It was fine to turn my head, but when I saw Night, his starry gaze appeared to float towards my corner and his face had an expression of mild shock, as if seeing me was unexpected, yet also within his expectation. I gave him a smile, but unexpectedly he did not smile, but fell into deep thought. Did he blame me for breaking his boundary and running to the Heavenly Realms myself?

   "The Water God has arrived! The Wind Goddess has arrived!" The small god attendant cried a little too loudly I thought, my heart was feeling a little guilty, and after his shout, my heart almost jumped out. 

    An elegant male god and a dignified looking female goddess grandly made their entrance with one in front and one in the back. They politely tried to invite the other to sit first, and after a while, the Wind Goddess reluctantly sat down first. This was a heavenly couple that treated each other with respect akin to guests. 

  "An unhappy couple!" Master Pu Chi nagged in my ear. 

   The Water God was as I had last seen him, his immortal demeanour was peaceful and indifferent, as if he could comprehend everything but see everything as nothing. He was of an extremely high level and I was extremely envious. 

   Night bowed his head towards the two and the two returned a polite gesture. 

    After this back and forth, a magnificent entourage made a loud and extravagant entrance. At the head was a goddess that was extremely captivating, she wore a fur cap that was very eye-catching. She was accompanied left and right by beautiful female immortals and this elevated her status even more. It was rare that even Master Pu Chi did not give any criticisms, I pondered - could this be today's birthday star, the Heavenly Empress? 

Comments: This chapter was harder to translate than the rest because of all the adjectives and how I tried to avoid repeating them. Translating this, I began to appreciate even more the tiny details Dian Xian gives in her descriptions to reveal the personalities and relationships of the people... I just started to notice it consciously but I like how Dian Xian very often describes Night as having a gaze like the stars. It's such a lovely image, isn't it? 

Also, her description of the marriage between the Water God and Wind Goddess. Pretty kick-ass, if I must say so. Haha. Plus, Master Pu Chi! Ah Master Pu Chi. I probably like him even more in the translations. 


  1. part 1 of my comment

    First to comment! Thanks for the quick update, decembi, despite the fact that you have been feeling under the weather. Thanks so much!

    I am so excited reading this installment. I have listened to the Mandarin audiobook many, many times, but nothing captures the heightening drama as much as your English translation does. Perhaps it is because I can't completely understand the language when listening to the audiobook. With the audiobook, I could vaguely comprehend that Master Pu Chi is gossiping to Jin Mi, but with your translation, I finally KNOW what the gossip is about! And boy, it is hilarious gossip! This Master Pu Chi should be a beauty pageant judge, as he is so opinionated. I wonder what HE looks like, if he looks handsome, as he obviously has very high standards when looking for a wife. :p I wonder what it was about the late Flower Goddess Zi Fen that made her so perfect, even to someone as picky as Master Pu Chi. I can't wait for Master Pu Chi to see Jin Mi's real appearance, which is the spitting image of her mother.

    And here is another example of how oblivious Jin Mi is! Xu Feng is so conspicuously jealous as he is glaring at her because Master Pu Chi has his hands on her shoulders, and yet, she thinks he is scheming at how to get his 300 years of cultivation back. Haha! It is interesting that Ren Yu and Xu Feng have such contrasting reactions at seeing Jin Mi at the Heavenly Empress' Birthday Banquet. Ren Yu seems only slightly surprised at seeing Jin Mi there, but mostly he is just resigned as he knows all along that she would find a way to appear where the excitement is. As for Xu Feng, the first thing that pops into his mind at seeing Jin Mi (with Master Pu Chi's hands on her shoulders) is, "Hands off my girl!" Ren Yu is so calm and resigned, whereas Xu Feng is so fierce and passionate.

    1. part 2 of my comment

      Ah, Dian Xian's description of the Water God is just so...perfect. He's dignified, mature, chivalrous, and so...perfectly gentlemanly. I am falling in love with him just from the few glances I have of him. It makes me wonder what his love story with the Flower Goddess Zi Fen was like. I wish Dian Xian would write a prequel on them. [SPOILER AHEAD] I am still waiting for the translation to get to the part which explains how Jin Mi was conceived with the Water God never knowing he had consummated his relationship with Zi Fen. I am thoroughly confused by this. [END SPOILER]

      When Jin Mi described the Water God as indifferent and peaceful, as if he "could comprehend everything but see everything as nothing," I suddenly felt incredibly sad. I think the Water God sees everything as nothing because the one thing which truly mattered to him (Zi Fen) has already left him. [SPOILER AHEAD] If I remember correctly, he thought Zi Fen no longer loved him, and when she left him and took her love away, nothing else mattered to him anymore. [END SPOILER] Therefore, I don't he is indifferent by choice.

      I think Fan Bing Bing as the Heavenly Empress is brilliant! She totally fits the bill of the lofty, elegant, yet quietly vicious, deeply hurt, and jealous empress.

      This chapter helps me understand the significance of the Phoenix feather Xu Feng gifted Jin Mi. While listening to the audiobook, I vaguely understood that it was something important, but after reading the English translation, I now know that this feather apparently is akin to Xu Feng's presence. What exactly is it? The way Jin Mi describes Xu Feng after learning about the feather's importance is hilarious! "It turned out that Phoenix was a bird stuffed with authority tokens, which is both tragic and admirable." Hahaha! In a way, it is sad that she does not realize what his gift means. He is essentially offering her his protection, for as long as she possesses the Phoenix feather, enemies will think carefully before harming her for fear of ticking off Xu Feng.

      I am so looking forward to that hilarious but awkward moment at the banquet! Jin Mi and her big mouth. I love it!

      Get well soon, decembi! May this very nosy reader ask what your profession is that requires you to travel for business to exotic locations? I am so jealous.

    2. Thanks, Melanie! I really love your comments and they spur me on in my translations! :) I learn a lot from your thoughts as well.

      Heheh beauty pageant Master Pu Chi is indeed right! He is described as having quite nice features, so I think he is relatively good looking, especially because of his back story.

      Oooh, yes. I love Phoenix's jealousy! One never sees Night being jealous --- or at least, instead of feeling jealous, Night immediately starts plotting instead haha.

      Haha it's interesting that you see Water God as gentlemanly. My first impression was that he is so awfully cold to his "wife"! But I agree that it could be because he is so beyond normal feelings now - both perhaps because of his loss but also because of his stature and powers. [SPOILER] I can't remember specifically either, I always recall it being Zi Fen drugging the Water God when it happened, hence his lack of a memory haha. [END SPOILER]

      Glad you like Fang Bing Bing! I agree :). I also have someone in mind for the Flower Goddess after seeing some recent pictures, but I'm still considering.

      Yup, the Phoenix's feather is as good as representing a token of his authority, and he is the commander of the heavenly soldiers. I think the idea is also that Phoenix is so powerful that no one would be able to steal his feather so it must have been given/bestowed on the beholder. And, I love the way you put it - how he gives her protection without she ever realising it. Hah, our clueless Jin Mi.

      Thank you! Shall drink lots of water. Oh, travelling is more the exception rather than the norm. I'm a lawyer.

    3. Yes Melanie I like your comments too cos they are very insightful. Even though you're just hearing the audiobook, you really pick up alot and think much more deeply than I do!

      Yes I was wondering about Phoenix's feather. Cos it seems that he didn't gift it to her but Jin Mi found it randomly so I was abit puzzled. Unless, because we're seeing things from Jin Mi's perspective so everything is abit skewed.

      This banquet is most exciting because so many things get revealed and we see the interactions between all the major characters. I also like to see a jealous Phoenix ! :) Night I think already suspected that Jin Mi has power over water when she failed to conjure up buns and his suspicions were proven right when she showed up at the banquet. Because Jin Mi is so oblivious to everything and has skewed perceptions, we can enjoy the humour ;)

      For some reason, I had the impression that Master Pu Chi was pudgy in appearance with a jolly face from his behaviour and actions. But I maybe wrong because I glossed over his parts when reading the book but through your translations I'm appreciating his incisive commentary :p

      Indeed Fan Bing is perfect as the Heavenly Empress! Good casting call :p Actually even though Jin Mi and her mum, Zi Fen are supposed to resemble each other, I think they have a different aura due to the experience. There are a few scenes where characters describe how alike and unalike they are - Zi Fen often appears sombre and rarely smiles, whereas Jin Mi has a bright and cheery countenance. Actually I can imagine the actress Liu Yi Fei as Zi Fen and Liu Shi Shi as Jin Mi. They have similar looks but on closer inspection, quite different. I think Liu Shi Shi looks quite cute when she smiles too. (Maybe I'm influenced by Xiaoyuer because she posted a few chapter headers of LSS as Jin Mi :) )

      Decembi you're really working hard! Lawyers are really busy people, so your translations are really much appreciated!

    4. Hey May, thanks for your comments! I love reading them too <3

      Haha, yes I think Jin Mi just picked it up from the floor actually. It's not very clear if Phoenix left it there, but I like to think he did. Haha making he seem more dedicated than he might actually be.

      Haha me too! I kind of glossed over Master Pu Chi when I first read him, like man another redundant side character... but what I like about Dian Xian is that all her characters have a part to play, even Old Carrot Immortal! Haha. I really do suspect that Master Pu Chi is a pretty fine "young" man, but will see if we get better descriptions.

      I suspect most people will find my casting call for the Flower Goddess to be a bit weird, and maybe even old. Haha. I like your casting of Liu Yi Fei and Liu Shi Shi though, I do find that they have similar looks but ultimately different auras! I think Liu Shi Shi is the ideal actress for everyone's favourite heroine! She's very pretty in a natural way.

      Thank you! Actually, I have more free time on weekdays in HK since most people only visit me during the weekend. I'm not sure if I'll be as free back home. The work comes in peaks and troughs! Thanks for reading :)

    5. part 1 of my comment

      May! Are you the May on peanuts and hui3r's blog who said she doesn't find Wallace Chung charming??? Ahhhhh!!!! Ok, that's ok. One less girl fighting over him. :D

      decembi and May - Well, I think we can form a little mutual admiration society, because I find both of your comments extremely interesting as well, especially the ones about Two Ex-Husbands a few postings ago.

      I didn't know Master Pu Chi had a back story! I must have missed it while listening to the audiobook. Please tell me his back story! I find the guy extremely funny. I actually think he must be pretty handsome, or else Xu Feng wouldn't be bursting a blood vessel when Jin Mi agreed to "cultivate" with Master Pu Chi. :p I think if he were some fat, ugly guy, maybe Xu Feng wouldn't be so alarmed? Or maybe Xu Feng was just alarmed and jealous in general when it came to Jin Mi?

      Regarding the Phoenix feather and whether Jin Mi had found it discarded on the floor or if it was intentionally a gift from Xu Feng, I am sort of confused now. When listening to the audiobook, there was this part in the story (which is coming up soon, I think) in which Xu Feng gave Jin Mi an object that apparently was some sort of weapon. He told her that in the entire Heavenly Realm, there was only one and no duplicate and that this object would help protect her. [SPOILER AHEAD] After it was revealed that Jin Mi was Water God's daughter, which then made her Ren Yu's fiancee, Xu Feng insisted that she still keep this powerful object and said what he had given out, he will not take back. Was this object not the Phoenix feather, or was this an entirely different object? [END SPOILER]

      Whoa! So Zi Fen drugged Water God and raped him???? I'm surprised he was not screaming in outrage, so I suppose he was a willing victim. Why would she do that, though? I wouldn't think she would need to drug and rape some male immortal since she was so beautiful and captivating as everyone kept mentioning.

    6. part 2 of my comment

      Yup, Ren Yu never showed much jealousy. He just plotted silently a lot. That bothered me a bit, because it made him appear slimy and dishonest. I don't think I could trust a guy like that, because I would always be wondering if he is telling me the truth or not. For this reason, I could never favor Ren Yu over Xu Feng, and why I could never completely like Pei Yan Zhen in Two Ex-Husbands. [SPOILER AHEAD] I found it very disturbing that Pei Yan Zhen would let the women he supposedly loved marry another man just so he wouldn't blow his cover with the Emperor. It was like he was giving away his woman to protect his own hide. He sabotaged his own chance of becoming a father, too, by giving her birth control medication on the sly for two years! Like Miao Er later said when she confronted him, this could have made her infertile permanently. Pei Yan Zhen married her for his own political gain; he didn't love her at all. And when he supposedly fell in love with her afterward, he STILL was placing his ambitions above her well-being. I was so mad at Pei Yan Zhen that I actually wanted Miao Er to fall deeply in love with San Gong Zi and just abandon Pei Yan Zhen permanently. To Pei Yan Zhen, Miao Er was first and foremost a pawn in his ambitious plan to become Emperor; he never stopped to think if it was right to treat someone he loved that way. When Miao Er later "died" in his arms, I didn't really have much sympathy for him, even when he clutched her "body" and refused to let go for three days and three nights. After all, this was what he wanted all along, right? He wanted political power at all costs and he finally had it. Miao Er was simply an afterthought, anyway, so why was he acting all pitiful and mournful, I remembered thinking sarcastically. It wasn't until later when I found out that he had cried himself blind over her "death" that I started to have some sympathy for him. After she had "died," he counted every day that she was no longer by his side. Regret was a very bitter pill to swallow. I guess it is true that you don't realize how important something is until you lose it forever. Pei Yan Zhen was very fortunate that he had a second chance with Miao Er, because most people don't get that second chance ever. And what finally redeemed him in my eyes was that he learned from his past mistakes and treasured Miao Er completely after he realized that she still loved him. Sometimes, a love that was lost and then found again is more powerful and enduring than the first time around because the wrong party realizes how miserable it is to live without the other person and learn to cherish that second chance.

      Anyway, I digress! Sorry! Back to Heavy Sweetness...

      I usually find extreme jealousy unbecoming and immature, but for some reason, Xu Feng's jealousy whenever he sees Jin Mi with another man is very sexy. :D I do think it is interesting that Xu Feng is such a jealous guy. Usually, jealousy is a sign of insecurity. Xu Feng, being such a handsome and highly sought after bachelor, should have been totally secure in his attractiveness to females. But I suppose Jin Mi is the exception, since she is completely oblivious to his attractiveness as a man. Ha!

      decembi - A lawyer, huh?! Cool! What kind of law do you practice? My cousin is also a lawyer, corporate law. He's the first lawyer in our family. I bet if we did a poll of every blog reader's profession, we would find some interesting careers! I write wuxia fiction stories that I post online (though I've been a snail at updating lately), and I must say, I have had some highly, highly educated readers over the years, with a wide range of professions.

    7. Hey Melanie,

      Haha for Master Pu Chi's back story, you probably have to wait for many chapters later. My memory is bad, so I rather not spoil it for you. But just as you said, the back story also suggests that Master Pu Chi is quite good looking! Hence, Phoenix's jealousness. Though I think he will probably glare at any tom, dick or harry that grabs Jin Mi haha.

      [SPOILER] Regarding Phoenix's feather, it's different from the weapon he gives Jin Mi later. That's really special! It's never really addressed whether the Phoenix feather is purposely left in the room for Jin Mi at all or just happened to drop (haha after Phoenix got drunk). [END SPOILER]

      [SPOILER] Ahahah, your reaction to Flower Goddess' actions. Ok, I kind of speed read that part the first time, but I rmb that Water God and Flower Goddess were in love, but Water God is a vvv passive and gentlemanly person, and I think Flower Goddess knew she was dying (?), and she fed him lots of alcohol or even a sleeping pill, and consummated the relationship. That's the impression I got! I think he was uconscious throughout hence he didn't think it was possible to have a daughter at first? [END OF SPOILER]

      Regarding Two Ex Husbands, [SPOILER] Yes, it's so sad. I think Pei Yan Zhen clearly regretted it, and he kept trying to make it difficult for San Gong Zi so he could not spend time at home with her. But, the author clearly wanted to give PYZ a happy ending, so San Gong Zi never got a real character, and PYX got so many good parts later. I think it's ok in the end if you see it as a road to redemption novel for PYZ heehee. And like you said, cherishing the second chances! Probably three in the end, since she faked her death twice? Haha. [END OF SPOILER]

      Oh, I rather not say which practice since the legal industry is so close-knit. I agree on the interesting careers! We come from all over the world, which just mind boggles me! Ooh, share your wuxia fiction, but I want to read completed ones! Haha.

    8. Yup Melanie, I'm the same May on peanuts and hui3r's blog! Previously was using serendipity but I realised that someone else was blogging under that name so I changed it :) Sorry I've never watched any of his shows (actually for the past few years I've watched more K-dramas, but under Koala's influence I've started to watch more C-dramas)
      Haha mutal admiration society! (Not mutual cultivation society as JIn Min woud think)

      I think Zi Fen drugged the Water God because he's an honourable person and probably would not have relations with her otherwise especially since he's already married. Zi Fen was deceived by the Heavenly Emperor because he pledged his love to her but married Phoenix's mother instead for consolidation of power. So Zi Fen was very sad but realized than her Shi'Xiong Water God was actually her true love. But the Emperor got angry and jealous and I think he raped?? Zi Fen and she was very sad. He also forced the Water God to marry the Wind Goddess. Not too sure how the Empress could poison Zi Fen and why the Emperor didn't do anything about it (I"m puzzled about this part)
      Yup extreme jealousy isn't good in real life but I also find Phoenix's jealousy in the story sexy as you say :p Maybe because it's set in ancient times so even though they're gods and goddesses, there's still a concept that unrelated men and women shouldn't be too close together? So seeing Jin Mi in a seeminly intimate pose with a attractive young man made Phoenix's jealousy meter shoot up. Although Phoenix has been described as flirtatious in Jin Min's words, he seems to have conventional ideas on how girls should behave - he wasn't to pleased when Jin Mi went to male brothel and learnt the wrong concepts about the pleasures in life. Moreover, he's also the Fire God so some fiery displays of emotions should be expected? :p

    10. Regarding Two Ex-Husbands, PYZ admitted to ME that he didn't marry her for love initially but he admitted it to her eventually. Anyway, ME's a lady with a high social status so she probably wouldn't interact with young men much since propriety was quite a major thing in those days. (although she did go out in men's clothing to attend plays) So I think it is highly possible and more plausible for me that he fell in love with her through their daily interactions. Actually I am puzzled how come ME could get pregnant if he gave her birth control medicine? Unless he realized his mistake and then he stopped giving it to her? I think he really didn't want to have a child with ME because the political situation was not very stable then. Although it has been quite a number of years and many concubines, the Emperor still did not have a living healthy son. He probably had some suspicions about PYZ's true background too. He looked really envious when he saw ME's healthy baby boy, even she noted it. Perhaps Dian Xian wanted to give Night and Jin Mi's character a happy ending in the story so the redemption arc was written in Two Ex-husbands. Because I re-read the book and there was this scene where a play about the Night Deity and Jin Mi was being performed - the part where Jin Mi find out that Night has deceived her all along but he says that he doesn't regret his actions. I think ME and PYZ were onsite but I can't remember which chapter. If you're interested I can try and find it again (actually I had an inner squee reading this part because it seems that Dian Xian herself wants an alternate happy pairing) Also maybe that's why SGZ's character wasn't really developed in this story. Don't forget that SGZ himself also deceived ME about PYZ wanting to get rid of her family and he didn't confess until she confronted him about it. Since PYZ didn't have any power, he couldn't stop the Emperor from issuing the edict to divorce ME. Also he could have gotten not only himself killed but ME as well for defying the Emperor. I think he didn't expect that ME would marry again so soon. He probably hoped to gain power soon and marry ME again. Yup you're right a second chance to love again after thinking it was lost is the most powerful! I like the redemption arc in the story - PYZ could win ME over because he was sincere and proved that he could give up the jiangshan to be with the meiren! I'm glad Melanie you could give PYZ a chance :D
      Glad to have found a community to discuss these novels with. So far no one in my circle is interested I reading these stories :p

    11. part 1 of my comment

      May - I think If Jin Mi were to form a mutual cultivation society, it would have to only consist of her and Xu Feng, as I think Xu Feng would surely pop several major arteries if she were to include other men in the society. Or he would try to set the other society members on fire. Haha. :D I'm sure Xu Feng has not reached his exemplary status as the most outstanding Fire Deity in history (isn't this mentioned in the book, or am I incorrect?) by being rash, but he somehow just loses his senses when it involves Jin Mi. I think that is what makes him so sexy to me. When a handsome and powerful guy loses his typical control for me and me only, well, that just makes me swoon. :D What makes Jin Mi so wonderfully likeable and funny is that she doesn't even realize the control she wields over the powerful Fire God. She just goes about her business of trying to gain more years of cultivation and ignores Xu Feng's obvious adoration for her.

      May and decembi - [SPOILER] Oh, well I didn't realize Water God was already married to Wind Goddess when he had relations with Flower Goddess. I had always thought that Flower Goddess knew she would have to die soon from the Heavenly Empress' poison and wanted to give herself to Water God before she died. Then after their intimate encounter, she lied to him that she didn't love him anymore and disappeared from his life, hoping that he would move on and marry Wind Goddess. I didn't think the Heavenly Emperor even knew about the Empress' jealous act of poisoning Flower Goddess. Wasn't this whole poisoning incident revealed much later in the story when the Empress wanted to kill Jin Mi while everyone was listening to a Buddhist sermon? While Jin Mi bought herself some time by lying to the Empress that she was pregnant with Xu Feng's baby, everyone showed up, including the Heavenly Emperor, Xu Feng, and Water God, and that was when the truth about how Flower Goddess died was revealed. I could be wrong, because I can't seem to get the timeline correct and I haven't listened to the whole audiobook for a long time.

      Also, can someone tell me why the Heavenly Empress wanted to kill Jin Mi? Jin Mi hadn't really done anything to the Empress to incur such wrath, right?

      Another thing... How is it possible for Water God the naughty deed if he was passed out? That doesn't make sense, unless immortals can "cultivate" even when sleeping. :p

      Yes! I completely agree that Xu Feng had some extremely old fashioned views on how "good girls" should behave. He obviously was furious with the soil god for trying to contaminate Jin Mi's mind with bad teachings. Yet, I find it ironic and hypocritical that he ended up being the one corrupting Jin Mi by being intimate with her before marriage, and with her being his future sister-in-law, too! That was the one thing that bothered me about Xu Feng. Jin Mi didn't know any better. She was just a naive young lady, thinking she was gaining years of cultivation by sleeping with him. But Xu Feng should have known better! [END SPOILER]

    12. part 2 of my comment

      [SPOILER] Regarding PYZ in Two Ex-Husbands, I think Pei Yan Zhen got Miao Er pregnant after he had divorced her, at least that was the impression I got after listening to the radiodrama, which I know was not the most accurate thing, but I didn't think they would switch up the timeline of incidents. I recall that after the divorce, PYZ saw Miao Er again. She was drunk, but he wasn't, so he clearly knew what he was doing when he slept with her. I found that a bit shady on his part, since supposedly they were forced to divorce because he was her far-removed uncle on her mother's side of the family. However, I guess he already knew he was completely unrelated to her (since he was adopted) and so he was fine being intimate with his "niece." Even not considering the family ties, I STILL thought his actions were shady! She was drunk and hence not able to consent to having intimacy with him! Now thinking back, I think PYZ was more of a blend of Ren Yu and Xu Feng. He had Ren Yu's scheming and ambitious nature but Xu Feng's hot-blooded passion and lack of control when it came to the female lead. :p

      Oh, there was a play about Heavy Sweetness in Two Ex-Husbands?! That was an ingenious move on Dian Xian's part to tie the two novels and their characters together! Please, if you have time, May, could you find that chapter and translate it? I had the most difficult time listening to the bland audiobook on Two Ex-Husbands and ended up skipping around most of the story, so I hope this story would be decembi's next translation project. Despite the flaws in the male lead of Two Ex-Husbands, I still find the story rather funny and very enjoyable with all its twists and surprises.

      Yes, I think poor SGZ would have made a wonderful character if Dian Xian had given him more of a chance. I remember an epilogue explaining how he had fallen in love with Miao Er and it was simply lovely and very touching. In the end, SGZ was more like Ren Yu in the epilogue of Heavy Sweetness - an emperor with unlimited power yet unable to keep the one person he loved most by his side. [END SPOILER]

      decembi - Sorry, my two stories are incomplete. I used to write one chapter every day, then it became one chapter every week, then every month. And now...the updates just get further and further apart. I don't have much time now. :( If you are interested in sampling a chapter or two of my writing just for fun, I can give you the link. But a word of warning... I am just an amateur writing as a hobby, so my stories are definitely not a match for the stories you have read from professional authors.

    13. Heehee mutual admiration society! Thanks for all the comments, this is really why I started the blog and translating so I could discuss and gush over all the details with fellow like-minded people! I tried to explain my passion to some of my closer friends and they gave me this "you are possessed" look. So sadly, no one in real life to really discuss it with.

      [SPOILERS for Heavy Sweetness]

      I'm not certain but from my memory Water God was only engaged to the Wind Goddess and only married her after the Flower Goddess died. But this could be me changing the storyline to make Water God more romantic haha. So, I really will only know when I translate that part - I'm not reading forward, just translating as the chapters go by which makes it pretty exciting.

      If the Emperor raped the Flower Goddess then he is a super jerk! Glad that Night took revenge against him. I think the Empress poisoned Flower Goddess because she was jealous of the Flower Goddess' place in the Emperor's heart. The Empress used to have real feelings for the Emperor but he is such a flirt that she gave up. Actually, the Empress also has a great back story.

      I think the Empress wanted to poison Jin Mi because she saw her as an extension of her hatred for the Flower Goddess, and probably didn't want her to seduce her son. Her mind is probably going, the Emperor fell for your mother, now my son fell for you... it seems she is doomed to always be defeated by the Flower Goddess' family.

      I think the anger about Jin Mi being brought to the brothel and gambling house - partly is because of jealousy, but the other part is that if it taints her divine essence, she will become a demon and loses her immortal/god status. I think that Phoenix didn't set out to trick Jin Mi for mutual cultivation - all along he thought that Jin Mi genuinely had feelings for him and it's only because Jin Mi was "poisoned" so to speak by the Unfeeling Pill which made her logic for her actions rather skewered. But, I felt that Jin Mi's passion for Phoenix was real, and it's an instinctive physical reaction that circumvented the Unfeeling Pill.

      [END SPOILER for Heavy Sweetness]

    14. [SPOILER for Two Ex-Husbands]

      Yes, Melanie is right, PYZ actually slept with Miao Er after the divorce once, because she was very drunk (upset about the divorce) and he had secretly went to visit her. I was also very uncomfortable with the intercourse when someone is clearly drunk bit, but anyway, the author did it for plot purposes because Miao Er was stunned and did not know when the baby came about. Poor Miao Er!

      I think PYZ didn't want Miao Er to be pregnant to save her life, because the Emperor would kill any heir of PYZ, so I could accept that reason. Plus, part of the reason why PYZ had the determination to go after the throne in the end was to protect Miao Er and gained her back since as long as the Emperor was alive, PYZ could not get back with Miao Er. The Emperor also tried to poison Miao Er and kill her before.

      SGZ had his own character arc, just that it wasn't as well developed. He started out being a golden playboy who had about everything - and the epilogue where it shows how he fell in love with Miao Er was awesome. He was just too late, by the time he came back, Miao Er had married, and it's really great that he didn't mind she had married before, and still married her! I love that. He became a "Night" so to speak later because of PYZ and circumstances, having to protect his family from not being killed - so he really is v pitiful. He gained nothing in the end, and he was kind in a way - because it's unrealistic for the emperor not to kill PYZ at the end I thought? And to allow PYZ and Miao Er to live happily ever after? It's a generosity that allowed a happy ending.

      But for PYZ, he grew up with his royal burden, and when he was finally appreciating love with Miao Er, the Emperor issued a royal edict for him to divorce. Actually, I can't blame PYZ as well, because his life was always under threat unless he took over the throne. Royal politics are always complicated and he had his own reasons.

      [END SPOILER for two ex husbands]

      Yay, May, do share about the Night scene in Two Ex-husbands. I vaguely recall some play, but have no real recollection. That is super cool.

      I almost translated Two ex-husbands, but I really doubt it would be my next translation project (if there is a next one). After translating Heavy Sweetness, I realised how hard translating is - even the shortest entry takes at least one hour, it's easy to literally translate something, but then all the editing for it to make sense, to capture the tone and rhythm of the piece --- whoa, so much work. Haha. I think it's very difficult for anyone to finish a project without readership support, because it is a lot of effort for very little output. So, I'm grateful for all the support and discussion, because it really helps me stay on track for the translation. I never thought it would be so much work to be honest! Haha.

      I plan to write a comparison piece for Heavy Sweetness and Ten Thousand Miles of Peach Blossom when I'm done, and also a detailed review for 2 ex husbands, but that will be after the translations are done! :)

      Melanie - oooh ok, still share? I will read and try not and get addicted since you might not finish. Haha.

    15. Hi all! Good Weekend to everyone :)

      [POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD for Heavy Sweetness]

      Hehehe agree with your first paragraph Melanie, it would be an exclusive society :D Yup I think Xu Feng is a very conscientious person when doing his work (even as the Demon Leader) but somehow Jin Mi causes him to lose his rationality. Maybe cos he's never encountered anyone like Jin Mi!

      Yup I'm quite fuzzy about timeline of the older generation. If Jin Mi is younger than XF and RY, it must be after the marriage of the Heavenly Emperor to the Empress. But the events of the poisoning of Flower Goddess and conceiving of Jin Mi, I'm not sure. Hopefully it will become clear when Decembi translates the later chapters. I think Flower Goddess was indeed raped by the Emperor if not he wouldn't have thought that Jin Mi was his child. Also, there's a scene when Jin Mi and XF went to the Underworld with the boatman and he mentioned that he also saw a beautiful lady like Jin Mi before who wanted to drink/jump into the River of Forgetfulness (?) but a man stopped her. Then later I think the Water God/Flower immortals(?) related the sad events of the past. And we realise it was the Emperor who prevented Flower Goddess from jumping into the River. This is what I think happened and when we get to the translated part we can see if I remember correctly :p

      Ah I see about the tainting of the divine essence part, thanks for explaining Decembi. Regarding the intimate scene between Jin Mi and XF, I'm also in two minds. I don't think that XF forced JM to do it with him and probably JM did have some romantic feelings for him which was suppressed by the Unfeeling Pill. But in the context of knowing that this person is engaged to your older brother and being a person of principles (XF actually seems like a decent guy), I don't think it was right of him to get intimate with JM. But probably he just couldn't control his passion for her and also because of Jin Mi's misguided notions of mutual cultivations, her actions were misintepreted as being a willing partner. So I wouldn't blame XF totally. But I think he could have said "No, we can't do this because you're still engaged to my brother. Let's wait until we can marry." Or maybe Dian Xian just wanted to write one romantic scene for the readers? :D

      [END SPOILERS for Heavy Sweetness]

      - May

    16. oops my reply to Two Ex-Husbands is posted below and not as a reply to this thread.


    17. Oh yes Decembi did you manage to get your book copy of Heavy Sweetness? (with the epilogues?) I think I looked in Kino for the book before but couldn't find it.

      - May

    18. Hey May,

      I didn't manage to find a copy of Heavy Sweetness in Hong Kong, but I plan to order it online from dang dang when I reach home. Decided not to order while I was in HK, though the shipping is SO MUCH cheaper because I don't have luggage space haha.

      [SPOILERS for heavy sweetness]

      Ahaha, it's pretty funny how all three of us read the book but are not very clear about the mystery of the older generation? I actually read this novel in full speed and finished it over one night! I remember sleeping at 4 am and thinking, oh no, I'm too old to be doing such things anymore. Haha. I actually am not sure if it was the Water God or Jade Emperor who pulled her back - but seriously, if the Jade Emperor raped her, he is scum.

      Oh I think Dian Xian wrote it plot-wise as well, because Night saw their consummation I think in one of Jin Mi's dreams and I'm sure... that strengthened his resolve to carry out his ruthless plan.

      [end of spoiler]

  2. thank you for the wonderful translations :D

  3. Wah, such speedy update. You are making me look bad, lol. Like Mel, I get more out of your translation than listening to the audiobook. We've such poor Mandarin:( But we've you now, thank you, lol.

    Btw, did you kidnap my Yi Chen, Mo Sheng & their baby son He Zhao:P? Initially I tut I went to the wrong blog, lol.

    1. Hahaha! Not really, I just try and post a translation every week. Wait till you see my review for one of the books you wanted, think I will post it tomorrow. It's so long, it's as if it's a thesis :(. I guess it's because it's my last week, so I want to finish some entries and return home on a clean slate. New place, new books! Thanks for reading :)

      Hehehe. Lend them to me? Did I get the picture from your blog? I can't quite rmb haha! I was just saving pretty pictures. I was bored with my previous picture banner and tried to change to many other pictures, but they all got blown up very bit. Only this one was ok! Hahaha

    2. Oooh! I went to try another picture and it can work as a header too! :) All these layout stuff gives me a headache.

  4. Wakaka, another lawyer. Hui3r (Jessy) is also a lawyer. I notice a common traits in lawyers which are they like to blog & translate, lol. I guess it is bcos they've a lot to write & talk abt. Whereas lidge & I don't like to write much bcos we prefer to count, lol.

    1. Heheh, are you and lidge accountants? I'm very bad with maths. The only thing I'm good at is reading large volumes of text and capturing the essence quickly.

  5. [SPOILERS for Two Ex-husbands]

    Thanks Melanie & Decembi for explaining the pregnancy timeline of ME! I didn't realize that baby Xiao-er was conceived during that drunken night. No wonder there was the controversy about the three month pregnancy thing that I didn't understand before. Did SGZ ever realize that Xiao-er wasn't his son? Because in the epilogue, he's very close to Xiao-er, and he still didn't name a Crown Prince and Empress.
    Ok I will find the chapter with the play scene over the weekend. But actually the scene of the play was a very brief one - just the scene where Renyu was begging Jin Mi not to leave him and he didn't regret his actions. I will look at the chapter first and see whether it's within my ability to translate. :D Although I can read Chinese, some of the more complicated expressions went over my head, and I'm too lazy to use a dictionary so like RuoXi I made guesses :p . Honestly I've never read a Chinese novel since graduating from secondary/middle school many years ago until Ms Koala's translations of DMY motivated me to read the actual Chinese version. But I'll try my best Melanie. If I do translate, can I post it in the comments section here Decembi?
    [END of spoilers]

    Decembi, maybe when reviewing Two Ex-Husbands, you can consider translating some of your favourite scenes or epilogues. (If you feel up to it!) Just to reward your loyal readers like Melanie :D

    Actually Melanie, you're really great to grasp the essence of the story through listening to the audiobooks! I'm not sure I can do the same with a foreign language. How did you learn Chinese?

    - May

    1. [spoiler for two ex husbands]

      Actually, very good question! I think SGZ wasn't sure if xiao-er was his son at first, but there was a strong physical resemblance btw Xiao er and PYZ when Xiao-er grew up, so I think he realised it later. But SGZ definitely loves Xiao er as if he was his own son! That's v sweet. Actually SGZ is quite pitiful, he really needs to find a good match.
      [end of spoiler]

      Oh, my comment section would be SUPER honoured to have your translation. You could email me if you need help me any phrases, though my Chinese isn't that great as well honestly haha. If you don't mind, I can post up the translation with full credits to you of cos in a proper entry, so I can link it at the side bar and anyone interested can also read it in future.

      Haha, ok! Actually, the opening of the novel is my favourite, and the part where PYZ sculpted wedding dolls for her? Aww warms my heart. I see if I can pinch out some time to translate more stuff. Maybe, I'll translate the opening, which is so epic. Haha.

  6. Hi, I've found the chapter where it has the small Heavy Sweetness meta. It's when Miao-er was looking for her son. And she found a clue because of the cat that her son keeps as a pet. She happened to walk past a play that was just being peformed, I will just post the scene in Chinese here first :)














    - May

    1. There's also another scene in the next chapter with more Heavy Sweetness meta. It's when PYZ finds Xiao-er (who escaped from his residence) in the theatre. Miao-er is there as well because she was hoping to find Xiao-er but PYZ got to him first. PYZ doesn't realize Miao-er is there as she is hiding from him :





    2. May, would it be very weird if I said I love you!!! Omg, the two scenes were breath-taking and melted my heart, made me want to cry but also exclaim about the genius of DIAN XIAN. With that, I don't know how people can say Dian Xian purposely changed Night's character so she could have the ending she wanted with Heavy Sweetness... to me, it was all quite organic. <3

      Love love love love love this so much, it makes me want to read 2 ex husbands again too. Do tell me if you want me to help with the translations!

    3. Haha, thanks decembi. (Is your husband like Xu Feng? Will I get dangers from his eyes if he hears you say that? Luckily I'm a girl :p )

      Yes I'm so glad to have found those scenes! It validates my belief that Dian Xian also likes Ren Yu and wanted to give him a chance to redeem himself in another novel!

      Actually I have no idea where to start with the translation because the scene appears in the middle of the story where so much has happened!

      - May

    4. Haha! My husband is neither like Xu Feng nor Night, though maybe leaning more towards Xu Feng if we have to choose between the two. Actually, out of all the c-novels I've read so far, my husband is probably closest to the Ye Hua that cooks for Bai Qian haha.

      Yeah! You are amazing! I think I vaguely recall reading it but I was so entranced with the OMG Miao Er going to re-unite with her son and PYZ part. [End of spoiler]

      My suggestion is just to translate it as it is? It's interesting here for now in the meta for Heavy Sweetness. But, oooh, when you think about it, Dian Xian did agree with the suggestion to give a happy ending for people to think about :) instead of tragedy. Awww. I love Dian Xian. Why did she stop writing?!!!

      And, I think Dian Xian actually loves Ren Yu more than Night, since she wrote a whole novel for him!!!

    5. Typo error - meant to type daggers instead of dangers but I suppose that works too :p You're a lucky girl to have a Ye Hua-Xu Feng as a husband ;)

      Ok will try my best, might need a few days though ! Probably will do a kind of summary with translation of key scenes.

      May I know your email please ? :)


    6. Ahahah, closest to the cooking Ye Hua, but not the super handsome powerful Kingly Ye Hua. Haha. But thanks!

      Oh, take your time! No rush. Translating should be fun and meaningful, not burdensome or pressured. That's important! My email is Feel free to ask me for anything.

    7. Hi decembi, it's better to have a husband who cooks then one who has looks ;)

      I haven't started on any translation at all! Getting caught up with reading Ms Koala's Lost You Forever and your Once Promised! So many websites to check out recently! Recently also joined a discussion group for these books with Moonblossom and Cloudnsea. Welcome to join us if you want but there are spoilers for Once promised :)


    8. Oooh where's the discussion group? I just finished Book 1 of Once Promised actually and read the ending and epilogue of Book 2. My heart is just reeling from everything right now. Haha.

    9. it is on google groups, i can ask cloudnsea to add you :)

    10. Okies! Sounds good! I will be busy this week end but will be able to join actively by next week :)

  7. I didn't know 香蜜沉沉烬如霜 was picked up!

    Thank you decembi c for continuing the translation project. <3 Both you and xia0yuer did a wonderful job with your translations. I went and read through each and every one of your blog posts this morning (especially loved how you chose to translate chapter 18 of 三生三世枕上書 because it was such an epic chapter) and and thankful for your well written and extensive reviews. I will definitely be using them as recommendations as to which c-novel to read/listen to next.

    I never got around to listening to the audiobook of 香蜜沉沉烬如霜 but did turn to the radiodrama a few months ago (hehehehe, I'm laughing out loud just remembering how insulted Xu Feng was in the scene where Jin Mi assumed he was a crow and tried to cut off his male member). Thus, your summaries reminded me why and how much I was hooked on this book in the first place and I was giddy with happiness to see translations of new chapters.

    Thank you for doing such a grand job with the translations and giving us fans something to look forward to! I know translating is definitely not as easy it appears considering when to translate verbatim with a bunch of footnotes (so that much of the original lovely prose isn't lost or to at least to keep as much of it intact) vs translating into colloquial English (to give an easier understanding for those with cultural differences).

    I had the very same problem during my college days when I was into drama fansubbing years ago. What seemed so easy turned out to be much difficult than expected, an episode of a drama series had over 500-700 lines despite being only about 40-60 minutes in length. So I can imagine how daunting and time-consuming it is to take on such a large project as translating a book which is why I really admire you (and Ms. Koala, hamster, peanuts, xia0yuer, rockharlequin, chancy and raini, everyone at SSB, sookybabi, asiaisaru, and all the novel translators out there) and have nothing but utter respect and love for all the work you (and everyone) crank out for us.

    /yeshhhhhh, sorry for going off on a tangent there!! ^^;;


    1. Thank you, Joanna :)! Your comment really made my day. It's so sweet of you! And wow, to finish my blog in one morning! Amazing! Do tell me if you enjoy or dislike any of my recommendations - always interested to hear other views! :) Oh, I love love love chapter 18, I re-read it often haha.

      I'm very grateful for the support and to have people reading the translations! I've learned so much from translating and also from everyone's insights about the characters and the story, it has been really a wonderful experience and a revelation in others! Dian Xian is difficult to translate, not because she uses difficult chinese words, because she's fairly colloquial, but because of her witticisms and humour! I often have to go back and edit the translations a few times, trying to figure out the best way for the jokes to come out.

      Wow, drama fan-subbing! That sounds amazing. :) I'm so respectful of all the other translators too. They are an inspiration to me!