Yun Zhong Ge Chapter 17: A Flower Matter

Ooof, this chapter hurts. This chapter of Yun Zhong Ge really really hurts. I think this kind of heartbreak cuts to the core even worse than what Yu Er must’ve felt when Jiu Ye was rejecting her over and over again. Yun Ge finally learns the truth about Meng Jue, and then sees with her own eyes a moment that can’t ever be erased. I can say Meng Jue brought it all on himself, but I adore his complicated personality and multitude of issues that I know sometimes he can’t be honest with himself. And perhaps he doesn’t yet know what he really wants, but like his adoptive father Jiu Ye learned the hard way, sometimes a split second action can have a lifetime of consequences. We’re one chapter away from the end of volume 1, so hold on to your hats. 

Chapter 17: A Flower Matter

Liu Bing Yi and Meng Jue sat before a Go board but neither was playing. Liu Bing Yi placed white pieces all around the center of the board, and then placed a lone black piece right in the middle. One single black piece surrounded by white pieces, with seemingly no chance of escape.

Meng Jue laughed “The outer ring is the Yu Lin Army, the inner ring is the Imperial Army. Both are now controlled by Huo Guang.”

Liu Bing Yi then took the black pieces and started placing it around the border, signifying the royal forces currently set patrolling the borders. While there are white pieces here and there, now  it appeared the black pieces controlled the board once again.

Meng Jue nodded “This Empire still belongs to the Liu family, and the Emperor in the hearts of the people is still named Liu. But……” Meng Jue pointed to the white pieces “The white pieces have the most strategic position. If the black pieces at the border starts to move, the white pieces sense danger and can strike first.” Meng Jue removed the lone black piece in the center of the board.

Liu Bing Yi placed another black piece inside “These last few years he’s worked hard to reform, lower taxes, lower punishments, stop using military expansion, letting the citizens rest. In the eyes of the scholars and the people, he is a sage ruler. Right now it seems the white pieces simply want more power. Huo Guang is very concerned with his reputation, and someone like that will never want to be remembered in the history books as an evil official.”

Meng Jue laughed “Huo Guang may be capable, but Liu Fu Ling is not a stupid Emperor. Liu Fu Ling also isn’t the only Liu family male progeny. If Huo Guang revolts, it will force the world to turn against him. So unless Liu Fu Ling pushes him to that point, he will not and will dare not revolt. He holds Liu Fu Ling’s life in his hands, but conversely Liu Fu Ling holds Huo Guang’s life in his hands. Right now it’s the Infantes that can’t wait for Huo Guang to make a move against Liu Fu Ling, so they can ride the wave and dispatch their armies and reap the easy rewards.”

Liu Bing Yi pointed to the lone black piece in the middle “What about him? What do you think about Liu Fu Ling?”

Meng Jue thought about it before answering “He’s an Emperor that doesn’t act like an Emperor. Earlier he could have used the impasse between Shang Guan Jie and Huo Guang and at the same time moved his forces from the border region back to Chang An. So when the two sides went after each other, he could sweep in and take both of them out. Afterwards he can truly rule the entire world.”

Liu Bing Yi replied “This method could become an all out war. Since the Han dynasty started to wane, the other Xi Yu tributaries have started to make noise, and could take advantage of any civil war in Chang An. Liu Fu Ling cares more about the people than he cares about his throne, so his only choice is to do nothing.”

Meng Jue smiled “What if it was you? What would you do? Would you choose to sacrifice tens of thousands of lives just to cement your power? Or would you do as Liu Fu Ling did?”

Liu Bing Yi laughed but did not answer the question “I am not him, I will never face this choice.”

Meng Jue smiled and picked up his tea “In the past you paid attention to Han politics, but today………you are not your usual self.”

Liu Bing Yi lowered his head and placed with a piece “Probably because I’m about to become a father. I don’t want my son to follow my path in life, so……….” Liu Bing Yi raised his head and looked at Meng Jue “I think I will try to fight, try to change my fate in life. I don’t ask for much, but the least I can do is allow my son not to live a life hiding like a turtle in a shell.”

Meng Jue smiled “Today, the only two people who can give you such an opportunity is Huo Guang and Liu Fu Ling. Huo Guang must already know you are in Chang An yet he does nothing, so you can’t rely on him. If you can let go of the past, you should go see him” as Meng Jue pointed to the lone black piece in the center of the board.

Liu Bing Yi’s smile was very hopeless “What right do I have to not let it go? The question is not whether I can’t let it go, but whether he will believe that I’ve let it go.”

…………………………………………………………

He received a summons that Huo Guang wanted to see him. Meng Jue knew it was a big deal, but he had to go if he still wanted to stay in Chang An. He cannot afford to offend Huo Guang.

His communications with the Infante of Yen was kept between them, but now Meng Jue wasn’t so sure Huo Guang didn’t somehow know about it. He couldn’t know how much about him Huo Guang knew, so all he could do was be wary and prepared for anything.

In the past when Huo Guang received guests, it was over a yard away so that it was safe. Now after the Shang Guan Jie assassination attempt, it was now two yards away, impossible for any assassin to strike.

“How’s the tea?” Huo Guang was dressed casually at home, impossible to tell that he held the fate of all of Chang An in his hands. Meng Jue smiled and replied “The fragrance is like a cloud. This is the Wu Yi Mountain tea that the former Emperor once complimented. This is the tea for true gentlemen.”

Huo Guang was pleased with his response and stared at him, finally saying “This tea is the finest of tea, but if its not brewed using the best wood chips, the clearest mountain spring water and placed in the finest tea cup, then it wastes half of its excellence.”

Huo Guang lightly coughed and someone emerged and placed a few sheep skin letters before Meng Jue. Meng Jue took a look and then placed it back on the table, smiling despite being wary and alert inside.

Huo Guang smiled and said “You must not have known that this tea was brewed by Cheng Jun. She is my most precious daughter. If you treat her well, I will give you the best wood chips, the best water, the best tea cup, so that you can become the best cup of tea.”

Meng Jue smiled and picked up his tea. Rather than saying he needed to be good to Huo Cheng Jun, what Huo Guang was saying was that he needed to be good and loyal to the Huo family. Huo Guang waited for Meng Jue’s response but Meng Jue remained silent.

Huo Guang looked more and more annoyed. Meng Jue was a genuine talent. His own son could not compare to Meng Jue, and the more Huo Guang studied him, the more Huo Guang liked him. But the more Huo Guang liked Meng Jue, the more dangerous it was for Meng Jue. Huo Guang will not allow Meng Jue to remain as a potential threat.

Huo Guang was about to call a servant and ask Meng Jue to leave when suddenly he heard a rustling from outside. He sighed “Daughters are the most mischievous, and also the most easy to spoil.” Huo Cheng Jun stopped eavesdropping and walked right in “Daddy, you are saying mean things about me.”

Since Gan Quan Mountain, Meng Jue only saw Huo Cheng Jun once more, and that time she was still mad at him. But right now she wasn’t mad at all. She smiled at him shyly. Huo Guang looked between Meng Jue and Cheng Jun and he inwardly sighed. They did make such a beautiful couple.

Huo Cheng Jun used jasmine oil today in her hair and Huo Guang could smell the faint scent of jasmine. He looked at Huo Cheng Jun silently standing there and he felt a pang of pain in his heart. It felt like long ago, another girl stood there and looked at him. He wasn’t sure if it was the scent of her toiletry, or the scent of the jasmine bushes behind her, but he could smell the jasmine.

Huo Guang also thought about his Lian Er, the pain of a white-haired person saying goodbye to a black-haired person. He softened and decided to give Meng Jue another chance. Huo Guang stood up and smiled at Huo Cheng Jun “Dad needs to go take care of some matters, can you walk Meng Jue out?”

Huo Cheng Jun happily nodded, her smile like a just bloomed jasmine flower. Huo Guang lovingly looked at her before leaving. Huo Cheng Jun and Meng Jue walked down the corridor. Meng Jue said “Thank you, my lady, for being so considerate.”

Huo Cheng Jun smiled “I told daddy that you and I, you and I……plus my daddy really likes you.” Meng Jue was silent and said nothing. Huo Cheng Jun continued, her face bright red and looking wistful “Even though my daddy says one needs to let go in order to gain, but I don’t believe that. Yun Ge…..Yun Ge is very good. Daddy has a lot of women, too. And my brother-in-laws all have concubines. If you want……I am willing to be with Yun Ge and together……with you………..” Huo Cheng Jun’s face was so red and her voice trailed off.

Meng Jue still said nothing so Huo Cheng Jun also remained silent. The two of them walked to the front door in silence. Huo Cheng Jun stood there with her lead lowered, tugging on her robe. Meng Jue said his farewell and left. Huo Cheng Jun stared at him until his figure disappeared from view.

Madam Huo walked past and she waved her maid away and said with a sigh “Cheng Jun, did you get what you wanted?” Huo Cheng Jun grabbed her mother’s arm “Yes, but it happened so suddenly so Meng Jue needed some time to process it. He didn’t answer daddy right away and daddy was about to get mad, but then he saw me and decided to give Meng Jue another chance. Mommy, why did you have me wear jasmine oil in my hair today, and wear a yellow robe?”

Madam Huo glared at Huo Cheng Jun “Why so many “whys”. You are much too spoiled.” Huo Cheng Jun grabbed her mother like a little girl and said “Mommy, mommy…..” Madam Huo patted Huo Cheng Jun on the back “Mom understands, and I hope you picked the right person. Who to marry is the most important decision in a woman’s life. You can make a mistake on anything, but you can’t marry the wrong man by mistake.”

Huo Cheng Jun replied “I understand, so I don’t want to marry a guy who matches up to our family. One Shang Guan An is enough. I want to be like the other sisters, marry men who rely completely on daddy.”

Madam Huo didn’t respond, but her expression revealed that she agreed with Huo Cheng Jun. She was once angry because her husband didn’t select her daughter to marry Shang Guan An, but now she was so thrilled the daughter who married Shang Guan An was not her own. “Cheng Jun, from now on, you can’t dress like this in front of your dad. This time your dad relented, but in the future he won’t change his mind just because of the way you are dressed.”

Huo Cheng Jun nodded.

…………………………………………..

Xiao Qing was helping Huo Cheng Jun wash up. She stared at the pretty face in the mirror and said “My lady, you’re different than before.”

If someone who witnessed her own sister and brother-in-law die in front of her could stay the same, that would be the odd thing. Huo Cheng Jun asked “In what way different?” Xiao Qin shook her head “I don’t know, just that you are even more beautiful.”

Huo Cheng Jun have a wry smile “Did you smear your lips with honey today?”

Xiao Qing helped Huo Cheng Jun brush her head and could see she was in a good mood. She asked “My lady, if you’ve agreed to let Meng Jue take Yun Ge as a concubine, why did you go see Yun Ge that day and say those things to her?”

Huo Cheng Jun laughed and walked over to the pallet “These things, you don’t need to know. All you need to do is be loyal. If I’m doing well, you’ll do well. My sister’s maid, Shang Guan Lan’s maid, you know what happened to them. Time to sleep, we have lots to take care of in the coming days.”

…………………………………………………

Yun Ge was walking in and out of the room, like a headless chicken. It appeared she was busy, but it wasn’t clear what she was so busy about. Meng Jue sat before the light reading a book, but his eyes unconsciously followed Yun Ge.

Yun Ge checked herself out in the mirror, making sure her hair was in order and her face was not dirty “Hey, King of the Jades, is there something wrong with me?” Meng Jue smiled and shook his head “There is nothing wrong with you.”

Yun Ge pointed at her nose “Then why do you keep staring at me?” Meng Jue suddenly pulled Yun Ge into his arms, holding her snugly. She wriggled “I’m not done with my chores!”

Meng Jue softly murmured “Yun Ge”, as soft as water, but as heavy as lead, sinking immediately into Yun Ge’s heart. Yun Ge was still feeling odd but she quieted down and then wrapped her arms around Meng Jue. She rested her head on his shoulder and tenderly said “I’m here.” Meng Jue replied “Don’t do chores any more, come with me for a walk.”

Yun Ge and Meng Jue slowly walked hand-in-hand, heading towards the countryside and the farm lands. In the dark of the night, a soft breeze brought the scent of fresh produce.

Their footsteps alarmed the frog by the pond and it jumped back in with a plop. It triggered a wave of frog calls which dwindled down to silence once again.

Yun Ge was so mischievous, so that when the frogs quieted down, she called out like a frog, causing them to start once again. She laughed and asked Meng Jue “Did I mimic them well? I can fake a lot of different animal calls!”

Meng Jue laughed and then flicked her forehead “The frogs will think a pretty new female frog is here and they all want to pursue her.” Did he call her a female frog? If she was a pretty female frog, that would make her an ugly human. Yun Ge made a face at Meng Jue and then called out to the pond again. “I just told them that the female frog is currently with an even more goodlooking male frog so they needn’t bother.”

After walking for a long time, Meng Jue still didn’t suggest they head back. Even though Yun Ge was sleepy, but if Meng Jue said nothing, then she wasn’t going to say anything, just keeping him company.

As the road became narrower, harder for them to walk side-by-side, Meng Jue kneeled down “I’ll carry you.” Yun Ge laughed and climbed on his back “I was just getting tired!”

Some tall branches dangled down over the road so Yun Ge would reach up and move it aside. The moonlight shone down and Yun Ge’s hand was as translucent as a jade. “Yun Ge, sing me a song.” Yun Ge rested her head on Meng Jue’s shoulder and started humming a song.

Under the canopy of trees, the moonlight was especially gentle. Yun Ge’s song would rise and fall with the melody, almost like a dream. Meng Jue felt Yun Ge softly kissing him on the neck and he smiled, but before the smile could become wider, it froze in its place.

When Meng Jue carried Yun Ge home it was already late and Yun Ge was fast asleep. He placed her on the bed and sat down in the yard to think.

When Yun Ge slept, she was all over the place. Her blanket got kicked half off the pallet, so Meng Jue would cover her up and then resume sitting in the dark.

When Liu Bing Yi walked into Yun Ge’s courtyard at dawn, he saw Meng Jue sitting on a stool looking tired. The bottom of his robe was wet, as if he sat outside the entire night.

Liu Bing Yi saw Yun Ge’s door still closed, likely she was still asleep. He asked in a low voice “What happened?” Meng Jue raised his head and looked at Liu Bing Yi “So it’s not just an Emperor who struggles with the choice between the Empire or the Beauty. If there was a day when you had to pick between the Empire, or the Beauty, which would you pick?”

Liu Bing Yi seemed like he wanted to answer, but in the end he didn’t “I will never be faced with that choice.” Meng Jue smiled and got up “Yun Ge slept late last night so don’t wake her. I might be home late tonight, tell her not to wait for me to eat dinner.”

His tall figure walked away, without his usual confidence but with more exhaustion.

Inside the room, Yun Ge stood barefoot next to the window. She slowly walked back to the pallet and wrapped herself tightly in the blanket.

The thick blanket was not enough to keep her warm, the coldness seeped out from inside her heart, it was so cold she started sneezing.

Her body was shaking, as if she was a lone Autumn leaf that would fall off the tree at the slightest gust of wind.

………………………………………………………………….

When Meng Jue returned that evening, Yun Ge’s face was a tad pale but otherwise she was normal as usual. She brought out her usual array of strange foods and Meng Jue ate it as usual as well.

Yun Ge quietly sat beside him, watching Meng Jue finish the food she made. “Is it good?” Meng Jue ate the final bite and then raised his eyes “I don’t know. I don’t taste any food I eat, everything tastes the same.” Yun Ge didn’t look surprised, just nodding her head.

Meng Jue asked “How long have you known? When you started making those weird dishes for me?” Yun Ge smiled “Its my fault for being so useless. You ate all those weird dishes I cooked but it hasn’t cured you.”

Meng Jue grabbed Yun Ge’s hand “My adoptive father’s medical skills are beyond compare and he tried many different ways but could never cure me. He told me that it wasn’t an illness of the body as much as it was an illness of the heart. Since he said no medicine could treat me, you shouldn’t feel bad.”

Yun Ge stared at their entwined hands and felt tears coming to her eyes, so she quickly averted her face. Meng Jue thought she was upset about his illness and grabbed her shoulder “I’m used to it now, so don’t think anymore about it. As long as you don’t dislike me for it. You are a world famous chef yet I cannot taste your food. It’s like a blind man marrying a beauty, all he can do is hear other people complimenting his wife but he can never understand why.”

Yun Ge turned back, her tears gone, and she smiled. When Meng Jue saw her smile, he had this odd feeling that he couldn’t bear to face her smile. He pulled her head into his chest and nervously held her.

In his embrace, the smile on Yun Ge’s face disappeared and she stared straight ahead. At what she was looking at, she didn’t even know.

In these coming days, when Meng Jue left the house, she never asked him where he went. When he came home, she was always very needy towards him. Meng Jue felt that it was because of his illness, plus he always wanted Yun Ge to be this way around him, so he didn’t suspect the real reason why.

When they were alone, they were extra solicitous of each other. They were so sweet that Xu Ping Jun couldn’t stand it, while Liu Bing Yi just looked conflicted.

Liu Bing Yi stood by the gate to the courtyard for some time, but Yun Ge never moved once from her seat. She also never noticed Liu Bing Yi had long arrived. Liu Bing Yi pushed the gate open and the sound alerted Yun Ge. She immediately jumped up with a bright smile. But when she saw it was Liu Bing Yi, she couldn’t hide the emotional exhaustion in her eyes.

Liu Bing Yi pulled Yun Ge under the tree shade “You already know?”

Yun Ge finally couldn’t keep her fake smile on any longer and her face was desolate as she nodded “Big brother, don’t tell him.” Liu Bing Yi felt this sadness in his heart and he didn’t know how to console Yun Ge. This very moment, he truly hated that he was so useless. He also felt deeply once again how things would be different if he had power.

Yun Ge was silent for some time before she smiled “Big brother, I’ll be fine. He hasn’t made his decision, right? Maybe he’ll pick me, and he won’t pick the Empire!” Liu Bing Yi wanted to ask “And if he doesn’t pick you?” but when he saw Yun Ge’s forced smile, he couldn’t bring himself to say it. He nodded his head “He will.”

………………………………………………………………………..

Yun Ge used every hour to calculate the passing of time with Meng Jue. She very carefully treasured his every warmth, his every embrace. She often thought that this might be the last time. With their every laugh, she would think to herself that this might be the last time.

She tried valiantly to grab onto as much happiness as she could hold onto. She tried so hard to leave more memories and marks in Meng Jue’s life. She didn’t know how much longer she had, and in the agony of her wait, she didn’t know how much longer she could endure it. But right now, she didn’t bear to let him go, to let go of his hand.

The streets of Chang An have gone from foreign to familiar to her. In this city, she’s made so many memories with Meng Jue. Yun Ge didn’t know how she walked to the Huo Estate, or why she was hiding in the bushes, staring at the estate in a daze. Perhaps she wanted to see clearly what thing inside was eating away at her happiness.

This estate was like a tiger, powerfully present in Chang An. The Han dynasty, in Chang An, how many people want to be connected to the Huo family. It represented wealth, power, prestige. How many people could decline that opportunity? With a chance to rule the world, how many men would not be tempted?

There are of course men like that. Yun Ge knew three such men – her daddy, her Second Brother, and her Third Brother. In the past she thought men were all like that, but now she knew the men in her family were extraordinary and different. Her mother, her future sisters-in-law, they are the lucky ones. But she didn’t seem to have such luck.

Yun Ge wryly smiled. It was strange, but she felt no hatred for this estate. Or even for Huo Cheng Jun. Perhaps in Yun Ge’s heart, everything rested with Meng Jue making a choice. It was between her and Meng Jue, and whether he wanted to be with her. Huo Cheng Jun and the Huo Estate didn’t matter.

As she was thinking, she didn’t know how long she stood here. It was dark already before she realized it. She needed to go home, Meng Jue might already be home waiting for her.

As she turned to leave, she saw the door open. In the darkness, the figure was murky, but Yun Ge knew who it was because she was so familiar with him. She knew she shouldn’t see this, but her feet seemed to be nailed to the ground.

Huo Cheng Jun was walking Meng Jue out. Xiao Qing brought a lantern over and gave Huo Cheng Jun a knowing look before nodding her head. At the front door, Meng Jue was turning to leave when Huo Cheng Jun grabbed his sleeve.

Her face was red but she said nothing. Meng Jue smiled at her but made no move to pull his sleeve out or to leave. Huo Chen Jun murmured “Haven’t seen daddy so happy in a long time while playing Go. I heard my mom say that he complimented you again, which made my mom happy.”

Meng Jue continued to smile and say nothing. Huo Cheng Jun stepped forward and embraced Meng Jue. His hand was lightly resting on her waist, neither welcoming her closer nor pushing her away. Under the lantern light, the shadow of their figures revealed a tender emotion.

After a long, a long time, still neither of them moved. Longing, it was longing at being parted. Only a couple who liked each other would have such longing at being parted.

Meng Jue smiled and said “I need to go now.” Huo Cheng Jun smiled back “It’s dark, be careful.” He tenderly said “It’s cold outside, go inside so you don’t catch a cold.” He turned and left, his footsteps slow but he didn’t turn around to look back.

Huo Cheng Jun stood at the front door watching until Meng Jue disappeared from sight. She then turned to look towards the bushes where Yun Ge was hiding. Even though it was too dark for her to see anything, she stared at those bushes for a long time.

………………………………………………………………….

It was a moonless night. The sky was very high, and very dark because there were few stars out. The leaves on both sides of the street floated up with the wind.

Yun Ge reached out and grabbed a leaf “It’s windy.” The pedestrians around her were all rushing to get back home. Yun Ge stopped walking and then thought “It’s time to go home.”

She took a few deep breaths to calm the pain in her heart. If she went home it wouldn’t hurt any more. She said to herself “I don’t like feeling pain, I want to get better.”

But was it true? She didn’t dare think about it. All she could do was shrink like a snail back into her shell.

A white haired old man suddenly stopped before Yun Ge with a jaunty smile “Yun Ge, Yun Ge, it really is you! Hahahahaha, it’s my taste buds lucky day. Good Yun Ge, hurry up and give your master a meal.”

Despite being old, he had the personality of a mischievous imp and the swift movements of a young man.

Yun Ge was feeling so sad, so to run into a familiar face in this foreign city was like seeing a relative. Her eyes reddened but she forced herself not to cry “Don’t call yourself that, I never agreed to have you as my master. You forced me to learn your tricks. Uncle Ho, why are you here in Chang An? Did you see my Second Brother?”

Uncle Ho looked all angry, and then realized that while everyone was afraid of his temper, in all his life Yun Ge was never afraid of him. It’s usually him begging Yun Ge for something, she never asked him for anything. He decided to be nice “Good Yun Ge Er, I haven’t seen your Second Brother in ages. I went to the North and was headed back to Xi Yu, deciding to stop in Chang An for a twirl. What are you doing here?”

Before Yun Ge could answer, Uncle Ho got all frustrated again “Ay! Ay! Yun Ge Er, so many people want to learn my tricks, some even kneeling for days and nights and I refuse. You stubborn girl, you……… Your family is full of the weirdest people. I wanted to teach your Second Brother but all he did was smile and that was the end of it. Then later I found your Third Brother and tried to teach him, and he acted like I owed him money. He gave me a stone faced look and said “Not interested”. My feelings were so hurt. It’s wonderful to know my skills………..”

Yun Ge looked disgruntled “Don’t flatter yourself. You told me if I learned your amazing pickpocket skills no wonder would ever be able to steal from me. I thought that was a good thing to know so I learned it. But you know what? The moment I arrived in Chang An, someone stole my wallet.”

Uncle Ho was a jokester but he was serious about his pickpocketing martial arts. He grew serious “Yun Ge, is that true? You only learned a portion of my skills, but that’s enough so that no one ought to be able to steal from you.”

Yun Ge nodded “It’s the truth. Someone stole all seven or eight of my pouches and caused me to have no money to spend the night and was embarrassed by the innkeeper. Thank god……” When the person’s name came to mind, Yun Ge stopped talking and just maintained a brittle smile.

Uncle Ho didn’t notice Yun Ge’s oddness and was muttering “Impossible, impossible. Even if Chang An has a master thief, to not alert you, at most he can steal four pouches. Seven or eight pouches? It would only be me. Oh!”

Uncle Ho laughed “Ay ya! I know who stole your things. Ay! Such a joke, such a joke. I only accepted two students, and neither of you know the other. But there is nothing I can do, this is the rule of the trade. Even when accepting students we have to be stealthy about it.” Yun Ge asked “Uncle Ho, who stole my things? Your other student?”

Uncle Ho smiled “Good Yun Ge Er, it’s your big brother disciple. No wait, even though he’s older than you, he learned from me after you did, so you need to refer to him as your younger brother disciple. He likely stole from you. When I told you I was the best, I didn’t yet teach Xiao Jue. Now….now….” Uncle Ho didn’t look happy to concede this “Now I’m probably the second best in the world. Xiao Jue has amazing ability to learn something, plus he made the effort unlike you. But why would Xiao Jue steal your things? There is very little he would ever want to steal, he does it for fun. I haven’t seem him in years, is he in Chang An? Yun Ge Er, don’t be angry, he doesn’t know you are his elder sister disciple under the same master. Too bad you didn’t want to learn it all from me. Which left me with only one serious disciple so I taught him everything so he can carry on my legacy.”

Yun Ge’s body shook and her face was stark white “Uncle Ho, what is Xiao Jue’s full name?” Uncle Ho was pleased to introduce his good disciple “Meng Jue, the adopted son of the only man I’ve ever respected in my life.”

Yun Ge was no longer steady on her feet and she took a few steps back, flashing through her memories so quickly and understanding everything now. Uncle Ho finally noticed Yun Ge was off “Yun Ge Er, what’s wrong? Are you sick?” Yun Ge forced a smile “No, just tired. I’ve been out all day. Uncle Ho, where are you staying? I want to go rest first and I’ll come see you later. Or we’ll meet again in Xi Yu and I’ll cook delicious food for you.”

Uncle Ho pointed to the nearby inn “Right there. It’s windy tonight so you go home and rest and cheer up. Later you can cook for your master me.”

……………………………………..

In the dark night, the wind grew bigger and bigger.

Countless leaves blew past Yun Ge in the wind, obscuring her view. Yun Ge walked in a daze in this swirling maelstrom. So many things she thought was always and forever, but it turned out that it took only a second to destroy it all.

She once thought it was a romantic chance meeting in Chang An, like those magical stories she heard as a child. A girl down on her luck, meets a handsome young man who helps her, and thus plants their destiny for life.

But the truth was that he stole her money. Then he appeared before her to help her, causing the her who had no means to rely on him. He never knew she would cook to earn money, so she ended up not relying on him. His plan didn’t succeed, but he used other methods afterwards to barge into her life nonetheless.

No wonder he knew the tune “Cai Wei” that her Second Brother played for her. He was Uncle Ho’s disciple, so Uncle Ho must’ve mentioned Second Brother. Or perhaps he already knew “Cai Wei” was Second Brother’s favorite tune.

Back then she thought it was an extraordinary coincidence, but once again that was deliberate. But why? Why do this to her? What did she have that needed him to spend so much time and effort on her?

She pulled off the Gold Silver Flower hair pin and looked at it. The she took out the badge Uncle Feng gave her. Everything flashed before her eyes. Her parents forbade her to come to the Han dynasty, but her family lives under Han customs and traditions.

Uncle Feng was strangely caring towards her, and asked about her family. Back then she thought it was because he was curious since she was a potential bride for Meng Jue. But come to think of it, Uncle Feng’s every question was directly aimed at asking if her parents were doing well. If it wasn’t for her, how would Uncle Feng have punished Meng Jue that day? Would he have prohibited Meng Jue from using money and connections?

When Meng Jue told her his feelings, and vowed he would not have any relationship with Huo Cheng Jun going forward, that was the time Uncle Feng was sick. Likely Uncle Feng was deciding who to hand all the businesses to.

He purposely brought her to see Uncle Feng. …………….

Yun Ge suddenly started laughing out loud, so hard that her body felt weak and she slid down on the ground. Her body curled into a ball and she wrapped her arms around her knees and buried her head in her lap, sitting there right in the middle of the darkened street.

The wind picked up leaves that blew past her, and it blew her unsecured hair all around her.

Yun Ge didn’t come home for so long that Liu Bing Yi went in search of her. When he looked down the street, he was alarmed to see a person curled into a tiny ball, like a snail trying to retreat into its shell.

In the billowing wind, her hair was all around her, blowing out her sorrow.

Liu Bing Yi’s heart jerked, and he slowly walked towards Yun Ge. He was so worried, it felt like this girl would suddenly disappear with a gust of wind. “Yun Ge, Yun Ge………..” The Yun Ge on the ground didn’t react.

Because the wind was so strong, the flames in his lantern swirled and caught fire on the lantern paper. The sudden fire illuminated the dark street and Yun Ge was startled enough to raise her head and look at Liu Bing Yi. On her long eyelashes there were traces of tears, but she had a wan smile on her face. She was as delicate as a flower, and under the dancing flames, she appeared like the new dew drop on a lily under the moonlight.

The fire died out and Yun Ge’s face disappeared into the darkness once again. Liu Bing Yi stood there for a long time before he tossed the lantern aside and helped Yun Ge up. He grabbed Yun Ge’s wild hair and tried to reach for the hair pin in her hand to help her secure it, but Yun Ge wouldn’t let go of it no matter what.

Liu Bing Yi had no choice, he pulled apart the Together Knot around his waist and used it as a rope to tied Yun Ge’s hair up. Liu Bing Yi shielded Yun Ge and walked her home.

After they walked for a long time, Yun Ge appeared to finally wake up and she stopped “I want to go home. I don’t want to see him.”

Liu Bing Yi gently said “We’re almost home. He came by once before dinner and saw you weren’t there so he left. He wanted me to tell you that he went to see someone to take care of some matters. He probably won’t come by in the next few days, but he’ll be by once he’s done.”

Yun Ge heard this but had no expression on her face. Her feet started moving again. “What happened today? You’re not waiting for him to decide anymore?” Yun Ge shook her head “Nothing.” Despite all outward appearances of being docile, when Yun Ge got her temper up, there was no way around it.

Liu Bing Yi knew she wasn’t going to say anymore so he didn’t ask again “Just go home and get a good night’s sleep. Everything will get better. Big brother promise you, everything will get better.”

……………………………………………

Xu Ping Jun heard a knocking on the door and got up to open it. “Yun Ge, it’s so windy out, where did you go? You worried me to death, and look at your disarray…..” When Xu Ping Jun saw her Together Knot in Yun Ge’s hair, the rest of what she was going to say got stuck in her throat.

Liu Bing Yi handed Yun Ge to Xu Ping Jun “I’ll go boil some water for Yun Ge and then make something to eat.” He turned and went to the kitchen.

On her way back, Yun Ge already decided that she was going home. She knew she had little time left to spend with Xu Ping Jun and Liu Bing Yi so she felt even more sad. Xu Ping Jun got water and helped clean up Yun Ge.

Yun Ge noticed Xu Ping Jun kept glancing at her hair. Despite her smile, something was odd. Yun Ge touched her hair and asked “Something wrong with my hair?” She touched the rope securing her hair and pulled it off, finally seeing that it was a Together Knot.

When Hong Yi taught her how to make it, she understood why Hong Yi wouldn’t make it for her, asking instead that Yun Ge make it herself.

Together Knot…..Heart Knotted Together.

A girl puts her heart into the Together Knot and gives it to her beloved to wear around the waist, symbolizing that their hearts are forever knotted together.

Yun Ge was so startled that she shoved the Together Knot back to Xu Ping Jun “I….I…..” She had no excuse for how Liu Bing Yi’s Together Knot ended up in her hair. She was alarmed to realize that all she could remember was walking home with Liu Bing Yi.

Xu Ping Jun smiled and accepted the Together Knot “No big deal! Men don’t pay attention to these little things. Your big brother can’t tell this from any other accessory.” She found her own hair accessory and helped fix Yun Ge’s hair. She casually asked “What happened between you and Meng dage? When I mention Meng dage in front of your big brother, he always reacts oddly. Has Meng dage been mean to you?”

Yun Ge heard the underlying unsaid thoughts in Xu Ping Jun’s question, and she felt even more sorry. Her love was over, but now her friendship seems so fragile as well. Even now, Xu Ping Jun doesn’t completely trust her.

Yun Ge suddenly felt like there was not a single person for her to miss in Chang An. She sat down next to Xu Ping Jun “Jiejie, I’m leaving.” “Leaving? Where to?” “I’m going home.”

Xu Ping Jun stopped “Home? Isn’t this your home? Do you mean Xi Yu? Why? Does your big brother know?” Yun Ge shook her head “Big brother doesn’t know, I just decided. And I’m afraid of farewells, so I don’t want to say goodbye.”

“What about Meng dage? He’s not going with you?” Yun Ge rested her head on Xu Ping Jun’s shoulder “He’ll be marrying Ms. Huo.” “What?” Xu Ping Jun was furious and wanted to jump up. Yun Ge grabbed her “Jiejie, you’re pregnant! Don’t be angry, I’m not even angry.”

Yun Ge handed her Gold Silver Flower hair pin and the badge to Xu Ping Jun “When Meng Jue comes by, please give this to him.”

Xu Ping Jun thought about their status in life and the disparity with Huo Cheng Jun and her anger dissipated. She was just so sad that Yun Ge had to endure this fate “Yun Ge, you don’t want to fight for him? Why are you giving up before even competing? Don’t you always have the best ideas? If you want to fight, you will find a way. Other than family background, there is nothing you don’t measure up to Huo Cheng Jun.”

“Not worth it. Love is not like other things, if its yours, then its yours. If its not, you can’t force it.” Yun Ge reached into the bucket of water and used her hand to grab the water, but the water seeped out regardless. She showed Xu Ping Jun her hand which had no water in it, then she used the palm of her other hand to splash over the water and it come up all wet. “This is love. Somethings when you try too hard, you’ll end up with nothing.”

What Yun Ge was saying had a deeper meaning meant for Xu Ping Jun as well. Xu Ping Jun knew it and grabbed the Together Knot even more tightly. No, since she was small she learned that she had to fight for what she wanted. She could hold on to this, she could hold on to their knotted hearts.

“Yun Ge, will we meet again?”

“Why not? I’m just tired and want to go home to rest for a bit. When I’m recovered, perhaps I’ll come visit you. If I don’t come to Chang An, you and big brother can come visit me.” Yun Ge said this with a smile, but she couldn’t see that her face was tightly wound and her demeanor exhausted.

Xu Ping Jun lightly patted Yun Ge on the back. She didn’t want Yun Ge to go, wanting to counsel her, but in the end she said nothing.

When the Huo family marries off its daughter, it’ll be even more lavish than when the princess gets married. If Yun Ge remained in Chang An, she will have to see the festivities. And now there was no Meng Jue, Yun Ge was single again………….

“When are you leaving?”

“I don’t want to see him, so as quickly as possible.”

Xu Ping Jun had tears in her eyes “Yun Ge…..” Yun Ge was teary as well “Don’t cry! Pregnant ladies are not supposed to cry, otherwise the baby will be a crybaby.”

They heard Liu Bing Yi call from outside “Time to eat.” Xu Ping Jun brushed aside her tears and Yun Ge said “Wait until I leave before telling big brother.” Xu Ping Jun hesitated for a moment, and then nodded her head.

© 2012, ockoala. All rights reserved.


Comments

Yun Zhong Ge Chapter 17: A Flower Matter — 64 Comments

  1. I could empathize with Yun Ge. I admire her for let go of Meng Jue. Yes Meng Jue will definitely pays heavy price for being so greedy and indecisive.

    I am waiting with anticipation how she would run into Liu Fu Ling in next chapter.

    Ms Koala, thank you

    • I may be one of the few here but I say to Yun Ge “no big loss!” How can a man who cannot decisively choose you instead of his ambitions compete with someone who has been true to you for years even in your absence? If she was to hang around and wait for him and he ultimately chooses her, whats not to say that somewhere down the road she will not be similarly subjected to this same emotional torment? Leave him asap!

      • It’s not an easy choice as it means choosing between his family (revenge) and his love Yun Ge.

  2. I agree that this is more heartbreaking then Jiu Ye repeatedly pushing Jin Yu away because Yun Ge actually felt betrayed by this one man who she offered her heart to. First, she had to witness the scene with Meng Jue and Cheng Jun, then she came to a realization that her fateful encounter with Meng Jue was staged. Everything was just too much for this poor girl to handle, and to top it off, like she was alone in Chang An – Xing Pun was a friend, but she worries that her husband will be taken away from her by Yun Ge, and she couldn’t be too close to Li Bing Yi without alerting Xing Pun. Her decision is go back home is a wise choice. Meng Jue’s wavering between power/revenge and Yun Ge have cost him the love of his life – he lost his chance just like Jiu Ye did. However, Jiu Ye’s only fault was thinking and caring too much about others while Meng Jue’s fault is his desire for power and revenge. Thank you Ms. Koala for this amazingly heartbreaking chapter. I look forward for the next chapter !

  3. I think I will wait for Ling gege to appear before I read this. Me heart can’t take anything that Ms Koala says hurts. I think you guys have a greater capacity for tortured love than me.

  4. Oh my… poor Yun Ge… the staging revelation is the most heartbreaking thing…
    looking forward for next chapter and the coming of Ling gege

  5. I know many here feel that Meng Jue is a scoundrel and deserved to be dumped. But in the real world, what is a man without ambitions ? He is nothing and one who follows his heart without weighing the costs would most likely be deemed unwise. Meng Jue has ambitions and he is torn between his head and his heart. I admire him for weighing the costs and taking his time. No respect is lost by his actions. I would not want to be in his position as it could mean life and death. Have some heart for Meng Jeu.

    • Hi Babe…

      I agree with you that it is not wrong to have ambitions but it is definitely not right to lead an innocent girl on. I am glad that Yun Ge plucked up and decided to move on. Sounds like her mother when she decided to leave Jiu Ye.

      In fact the scenario where Yun Ge witnessed Meng Jue and Huo Cheng Jun in a tender embrace mirrored a real life situation where I caught my 1st boyfriend holding another girl’s hand and sending her home in the very same bus and they didnt see me. At that point, I was very sure that I would marry this man but after seeing him with another girl, I couldnt accept this blow. Yeah I dumped him eventually when I married my 2nd boyfriend behind his back. hahahaha :P
      Anyway fast forward, I am now happily married with 2 lovely girls.

      I sincerely wish that Yun Ge would marry Emperor but we already knew some scant bit that Emperor was dying at a tender age of 20 according to real life history.

      So will Lord He appear next?? I am waiting for the moment when Meng Jue finally found Yun Ge in the palace…what was his reaction and what would he say to her?

    • We know from the start that MJ is ambitious. We are clear of the stakes of this situation and the sacrifices he had made to reach this point. I don’t think the readers are mad at him for wavering because it is indeed something he had worked his whole life for. This is more than ambition for MJ, it is a mix of passion and revenge.
      However, to have seen MJ and YG together and how their relationship unfold, I cant help but feel a deep sense of betrayal for YG. To use people is one thing, to manipulate their emotion is something else. In this sense, the way he ‘make’ YG fall for him is really ruthless.
      I love MJ and YG’s relationship. Although they were hints that MJ intend to use YG, but i had hope that some moments were real and were not driven by an ulterior motive. However this chapter shows that there were more ‘intended’ moments that I previously thought. So now when i think about every of their past interactions, it makes me shiver to think of what is real and what is fake.
      Yes he is ambitious but he is also ruthless in his attempts. Some might say that for MJ, the end justifies the means, but there are many ways to go about things. He chose his path and he need to face the wrath. Just saying~

      • Hi Annie,
        I have the same name 2 :)
        So true. Ambitions are good but at what/whose expense…
        In this case, it is at YG’s expense her love. To be engaged albeit unofficially to MJ and then exposed that her ‘romantic love’ was actually meticulously preplanned and manipulated… Talk about a really cold dose of reality!
        Hell hath no fury like a woman betrayed :)
        Bring it on Ms K!

  6. He hasn’t made his decision yet! He is still vacillating so Yun Ge has jumped the gun. I do still feel for Meng Jue because it is an extremely tempting prospect and he has so much at stake regardless of his final decision. I think Yun Ge is deeply hurt more by his deception than by the fact that he is tempted by Huo Cheng Yun’s hand in marriage. She probably felt used like a pawn in his elaborate chess game. Coupled with the fact that her best friend forever is jealous of her, little wonder then that she would want to return to the safety of her own home. This is where Ling Ge Ge with his steadfast loyalty and love totally wins me over!

    Thanks Ms K! I cannot wait for the next chapter!

    • I agree with everything that you sat esp “Yun Ge is deeply hurt more by his deception than by the fact that he is tempted by Huo Cheng Yun’s hand in marriage.” but I disagree about Ling Gege. Somehow, I cannot fathom how a man can live on his past. He met Yun Ge only once when he was still a child and because of that one promise, he does not see a Princess who cares for him, he seems to live in shadows. Perhaps I am too different from him, my motto has always been ?Let’s move on!” :} Liuve for the future and not the past.

      That said, knowing that he is a kind and thoughtful man, I am happy for Yun Ge that she will meet him again and be loved as she should be (at least I hope so) which she is not getting from Meng Jue.

      My heart goes to Meng Jue bcos I totally understand his situation. It is not ruthless to arrange things to go your way, it is called working for what you want. Sometimes hearts are broken along the way but, that is life.

  7. So so good! Thanks so much.

    I was cautious when u warn that it will hurt in a split second it it cam unhurling at me three different time. First my heart dropped at her witness of them, second my tears starts falling when she curled in a ball realizinf the truth and lastly my heart in my throat that the chapter ended !

    Go home baby girl! It’s long over due n hope only happiness will ensue.

    Now I know wht she only look at ling fever when she’s about to fall to her near death experience with the iceberg slide.

    U r too awesome to share these two about three novel with us.

    Until next time XOXO.

  8. I have a feeling Meng Jue will choose Yun Ge , but it will be too late , coz Yun ge had decided to go home :(…. too bad she saw the scene bet. Meng Jue and Huo cheng jun , before she knew his decision … poor yun ge , she was devastated by the realization of Meng Jue’s deceptions ……and poor Meng Jue ….he is in for a heartbreak …
    But ,I’m excited for the vol. 2 , Ling gege and Yun ge will finally meet !
    Thanks ,Koala san ! fighting !!!

    • I bet that pseudo love scene between MJ and HCY was orchestrated by HCY for YG’s benefit. Hence, the knowing looks exchanged with the maid and the lingering look in YG’s direction long after MJ has left. But YG is so gormless, she can’t see through the act. It’s a pity because I’m pretty certain if she had stayed on, she would know that MJ’s choice would be her. But then again, we do want her to meet Ling Ge Ge…

      • It’s not really a pity. The guy deceived her from the very beginning. Does anyone enjoy being manipulated?

      • I agree with joie. although MJ may have reasons for his actions, manipulating someone else’s feelings not just once but as a carefully orchestrated plan is not justifiable. Afterall, YG is an innocent pawn and has never hurt him or his family in any way. Once he got to know YG better, he still continued to manipulate and use her ( the Feng uncle incidents). So in my book he is not worthy. I wouldnt want someone like that for myself nor for anyone I cared about. esp when someone so much better is just waiting in the wings:)))

  9. Wow this chapter confirm my suspicion regarding that incident at the Qing palace and how meng June “break up” with HCJ. nothing hurt more than betrayal , this add so much more depth than YG leaving just because MJ is marrying someone else. I can’t wait until she is reunited with lfl

  10. Why is everyone so hard on Meng Jue? It’s not just about power… if he opposes the marriage to Huo Cheng Jun… he could die as well. So it’s not that he’s indecisive, he has to be careful how he handles the matter.

    I just wish that there were more lovey dovey memorable moments that Tong Hua created for Meng Jue and Yun Ge, then again it would just hurt more…

    It seems to be a trend for Tong Hua to have the female lead fall in love with the second male lead first and have her heart broken by him, then have the first male lead swoop in and heal the female lead’s broken heart. I guess that’s the only way Tong Hua can justify the female lead jumping ship.

    With Meng Jiu, I can see why Yu er left him… it was his own doing… but with Meng Jue I don’t see it that way. Was he calculating? Yes. But he didn’t know he was going to fall in love with her and when he did, he was already in the thick of things. Unlike Yu er, she waited and waited and gave time to Meng Jiu. It doesn’t seem like Yun Ge is giving that chance to Meng Jue, she’s bolting after a few days… not even giving him the benefit of a doubt to tell her or to explain. If she truly loved him, she owed him at least that.

    As I’m sure Tong Hua will make me love Ling gege, at this moment I’m finding it hard to let go of Meng Jue. So unfair!

    • Maybe i’m the type of person who care about the process more than the end, so even if MJ explain to YG and choose her instead, I don’t see how YG can let go of the betrayal though. Because their whole relationship was based off an intricate web of lies that turns real in the end, but nevertheless the foundation was a lie.

      • Yeah, I agree with you Annie. Based on YG’s character, she is one of those girls who is honest, forthright, and you see is what you get type of girl. It’s hard to see her accept MJ after figuring out how he has lied to her and has used her since day one even if he is sincere now. It’s kinda nice to know that even though YG can be clueless and sheltered at times, but she has inherited her parents’ intuition and perception with things. She figured it out pretty fast. And her stubborn personality is what helps her follow through with the decisions she makes.

    • Meng Jue is the male lead of this story. It’s clear by the fact that he has double the amount of story time as Liu Fu Ling. Tong Hua has also confirmed it, the male lead of YZG is Meng Jue and not Liu Fu Ling.

  11. Thanks Koala~ You’re totally awesome! :) This chapter was heartbreaking in many ways. I’m really curious and anticipating what happens next. I wonder why when Meng Jue and Yun Ge first met he purposely stole her money to get close to her. Did he already know her identity back then? And also realize that he could use her to get the businesses from Uncle Feng?

    • Yup! I’m rereading from the beginning and finding a bunch of clues. Basically, Meng Jue was the guy that asked for Yun Ge’s hand in marriage. Yu er knowing that Meng Jue is Meng Jui’s adopted son couldn’t say no, so Qu Bing made 3rd brother do a little nugging to get Yun Ge to run away…

      Meng Jue then followed Yun Ge… goal is to get her to like him so that he can take over Meng Jui’s business. He fell in love with her in the process…. and now he’s in a dilemma. Pick love or revenge?

      So it’s not just about gaining power, if he chooses Yun Ge, he’s ultimately choosing not to avenge for his family.

      BTW… this is completely in my pov…. not sure if I’m on point.

      • Bingo! You’re spot on; except he always loved her, even when he was a kid, even if he might not have understood that that was love. the moment she passed him her shoe, the moment he saw her eyes yet to be sullied by the world, he already started to like her. Meng Jiu’s business was just an added side incentive

      • Omg I didn’t see that in the beginning. But it makes total sense that it was MJ who asked for her hand in marriage back then. Holy crap MJ! You fox! I can’t believe you planned this since the VERY beginning!

      • No, it is about power now.

        Meng Jue has already avenged his family. With the death of Shang Guan Jie, Xang Hong Yang, and the Infante of Yen, everyone who directly had a hand in the Crown Prince Wei revolt, which led to the death of Meng Jue’s family, is now all dead. There is no one left for Meng Jue to avenge, especially since Liu Bing Yi was as much a victim and Meng Jue has made peace with him.

        What’s driving Meng Jue now is validation and power, to never be looked down upon and be able to control his own fate in life.

      • Koala, I have a question.. That’s what I thought because it seems like all those who plotted to kill the crown prince and family (Shang Guan Jie, Infante of Yen, Consort Zhao) have died, but there was a section that talked about how Huo Guang managed to protect the child (Liu Xun) to make everyone seem he was dead. Meng Jue’s bro died as a substitution for Liu Xun so I wondered if Huo Guang orchestrated that or not. If so, why isn’t meng Jue angry at him as well? Also, I remember that Da Gong Zi has some beef against the Infante of Yen and hoped that he suffered more than death. His “suicide” death was a little non-dramatic. That will be eventually be revealed, right?

  12. I still cannot bring myself to dislike Meng Jue. I know he is a flawed character and has hurt Yun Ge very badly, but I like the fact that he is a very complex and grey character. If you are on the outside looking in you would say he should have chosen Yun Ge and forgotten about avenging his family but it is an incredibly difficult thing to do when you have nightmares of your mother and brother being tortured and killed in front of you. Yes he may have taken advantage and used Yun Ge but I do believe he loves her and he will probably regret it for the rest of his life.

    My heart breaks for Yun Ge for finding out this way but I will still ship them as I love their interactions and love the fact that she was doing all her best to try to get him to taste her food again. Who wants to bet that after he realizes she is gone and the hold she has in his heart, Meng jue will be in so much emotional pain that it will cause him to start tasting food again.

    • I still love MJ as a character. He is good boyfriend material but not husband material. I like YG and MJ and the relationship they shares, but at the end of the day if YG has someone like LFL, i don’t see why she would or should be with MJ.
      As a reader, i love MJ. But if I was YG, i may forgive but i can never forget. Trust is the foundation of love, without trust there is no love.
      So unless MJ pulled something like Jiu-ye and sacrifice himself selflessly, i dont think he deserve YunGe no matter how supposedly he ‘love’ her.

  13. MJ has been playing a game with people around him…XBJ should have told YG about how her fiance was gotten rid of and that entire situation so she would have a better idea of the type of person he was.

    I have no pity for MJ. Yes he is flawed and seeking revenge but while YG could deal with him trying to decide between the Empire or the Beauty it is another thing to know he used her to consolidate his business and ruthlessly used her for that purpose from the beginning.

  14. Ooo this chapter it really hurt YunGe T T she can’t even cry out loud. . .MJ was usin her came as major blow to her All tht meetin with Meng Jue was ploted. . . N she knows wats to be done tht is to let go of him. . .but wot she didn’t know tht MJ love her. . .n he won’t be gettin another chance like this line“Love is not like
    other things, if its yours, then
    its yours. If its not, you can’t
    force it.” Still hopin 4 Meng to hav happiness! N Thanks a lot. . . I’ll always sincerely waitin 4 new chapter,hope tht’ll come soon^^

  15. I TOTALLY AGREE “I can say
    Meng Jue brought it all on
    himself, but I adore his
    complicated personality and
    multitude of issues that I know
    sometimes he can’t be honest
    with himself. And perhaps he
    doesn’t yet know what he really
    wants, but like his adoptive
    father Jiu Ye learned the hard
    way, sometimes a split second
    action can have a lifetime of
    consequences.”

  16. I find Yun Ge’s heartbreak really meaningful and beyond that of a girl finding out her guy is considering another choice. She was fine with him being tempted by Huo Cheng Jun and her powerful connections. But to learn Meng Jue was using her just like he’s contemplating using Huo Cheng Jun was the straw that broke the camel’s back. How could she ever believe that he has grown to love her, and since he’s not told her about the other embroidered shoe, she’ll never believe that he’s had her on his mind since they were kids.

    But I can say for a fact that Meng Jue knows he’s in the wrong. Regardless of whether he started out using Yun Ge and then later grew to really love her, their beginning was already fraught with a deceit that I can’t see Yun Ge accepting. She’s candid, she’s forthright, and what she hates the most is duplicity. The Huo Cheng Jun thing was just a catalyst, but ultimately it has no bearing on Yun Ge and Meng Jue’s relationship. Meng Jue could come see Yun Ge that very night and tell her he chose her, but I think she would have still left Chang An and left him. That’s her personality, when she makes her decision, that’s it.

    The Xu Ping Jun issue was yet another reminder that she can’t stick around and always tiptoe around Liu Bing Yi and Xu Ping Jun. I think its pretty clear Liu Bing Yi is pissed he doesn’t have more power, because if he did, then he would have picked Yun Ge from the very beginning. The only reason he couldn’t pursue her, and let Meng Jue do it, was because he knew he had nothing to offer her. But seeing Meng Jue break Yun Ge’s heart is hard on him, and that’s even harder on his wife, Xu Ping Jun.

    I love Meng Jue because he’s written so three dimensionally. He has his own selfish wants, his own ambitions, his own scarred history that’s driving him. Yun Ge is a clean slate, and she’s lucky to be that way. For her the choice is just love or no love. Wouldn’t we be all so lucky. I’m surprised that she didn’t give Meng Jue a bit more chance to explain himself (though it won’t make a difference), since he’s told her a bit of his life story. How he was poor and almost died in the desert with his Second Brother.

    I chalk it up to Tong Hua saying that a person can’t always have it all, love and ambition. I don’t fault Meng Jue, but I do believe he must suffer the consequences of his choice. In comparison, Liu Fu Ling’s life isn’t all that peachy either, but when he is faced with a choice between Yun Ge and his throne…..well, let’s just say the man knows what he wants. I approve of that type of clarity and conviction. But then, Liu Fu Ling was always someone constrained by his birth, so what makes him happy is so very simple. Whereas Meng Jue has dealt with a different kind of pain so that he wants so much more. I can’t say either man is right or wrong.

    • I agree with you. I can’t wait to read Yun Ge and Liu Fu Ling’s relationship.

      I think that what hurt Yun Ge the most was knowing the Meng Jue had use her for his ambitions just the way he is using Huo Cheng Jun. And furthermore, for Yun Ge growing up with parents who truly love each other, I think she would expect that same kind of love from her man too. To love without lies and constraints. Yun Ge is definintely lucky to be able to think and fill like that.

      I also sympathize with Meng Jue because I know it is difficult to let go of a lifetime’s ambition. How do you weigh something you wanted your whole life against something that you didn’t know you wanted until it hit you in the head? How do you chose between something that you have put every effort into against something that was so effortless and comfortable? I think the fact that he has that makes him a more interesting character.

      And about Liu Fu Ling, I don’t think he ever wanted the throne in the first place. Neither do I think he is one that yearns for ultimate power. Or maybe growing up in a high place he knows how powerless one can be despite being on the highest position. If I grew up like that, I would definitely want to throw it all away for a piece of loving. But I also think that kind of line of thinking is irresponsible for a king. This is the reason why even though I didn’t really like Fourth Prince, I ultimately respected him as an emperor.

      I think that while this is Liu Fu Ling and Yun Ge’s love story. This story is really about Meng Jue’s journey as a person.

      • I agree with you in that Liu Fu Ling never wanted the throne as I am reminded of his response to Yu Ge when she suggested that he gives her his jade pendant. He said that he hated it so how could he let her wear it. Just love the man.

  17. Duplicitous . . . deliberate deception. Meng Jue is one conflicted soul. Meng Jue may have been sincere with his proposal of marriage to YG, but I could not have just stood by and watch my fiance be courted by another woman and wait for him to make his choice. How sad, my heart breaks MJ, YG, Liu Bing Yi, and Xu Ping Jun . . . for the love that is lost and for the parting of dear friends.

    Thanks again Ms. K., for your fantastic translations and dedication.

  18. I love how this novel is written in that despite all the deceit and everything, you can still tell that Meng Jue does love Yun Ge. But at the same time I absolutely love and agree with Yun Ge to go home.

    She needs to surround herself with family and people who love her unconditionally. But it’s good that she came to Chang An. She grew up and was no longer the innocent girl (at least not as innocent) that she used to be when she first showed up. Besides, even though I was sometimes melting at stuff between Meng Jue and Yun Ge, I never trusted the guy.

    LING GEGE!!! Hurry up and find and claim your bride!

  19. Ms. Koala, your translations are wonderful. It’s one thing to recap a novel, it’s another to translate and capture the essence and emotions of the novel. Thank you for giving us non-Chinese a chance to enjoy Tong Hua’s stories. I can’t wait to read the next chapter. This chapter is absolute heartbreak. I love that Yun Ge is smart enough to not be a wall flower but vulnerable enough for her to feel all of these emotions.

  20. Thank you Ms. Koala! This was a really good chapter.

    Isn’t it funny? If this were real life and I were Yun Ge, I’d be heartbroken (and of course she is). But I’m really looking forward to her meeting Lin gege again. This is also a lesson about life– that even when we’re going through tough, dark times and can’t see the good coming out of something, there may be great joy not too far down the road. We just never know the next step around the corner.

    Thanks again! :)

  21. I believe that MJ really loves her. So once he loses her, he would realize how important she is to him and he would regret his entire time for lying to her and hesitating between beauty and empire.
    She’s really hurted that her man seeing another woman and knowing that everything happened between them seems to be all the lies.
    Luckily, she will find true love of her life again soon.
    Both LFL and MJ are really pitiful and heartbreaking characters. And they both can only find happiness through Yun Ge

  22. Thank you, Koala! It’s always a welcomed surprise and gift to find another translated chapter posted. Thank you so much for taking your time to do it. It’s fun go through the novel with you and with all the other readers. It makes it even more worthwhile. (=

    • Re-reading this chapter again, I came to another conclusion. Whether it involved Huo Cheng Jun or Meng Jue lying to her, I sincerely believed that if Meng Jue told her the truth, Yun Ge really would’ve forgiven him if she really loved him. She understood that power is tempting, therefore, she understood the Beauty vs. Empire dilemma. She wasn’t even angry at Huo Cheng Jun. It was all down to Meng Jue. Yun Ge already contemplated about going home after she witnessed them hugging. I don’t think that Yun Ge had thought that Meng Jue already picked Huo Cheng Jun yet, but that she came to the realization that Meng Jue’s love for her wasn’t as strong against the temptation of power. Yun Ge was already emotionally drained by that point since she unconsciously ended up at the Huo estate. And I think the hugging just confirmed to her that his love for her is probably not as strong as she thought perhaps. But I don’t think that Yun Ge doubted that he loved her, else he wouldn’t be struggling so hard in making that decision. But the running into that Uncle Ho revealed to her that throughout the entire courtship, it was still about power. Yun Ge’s fantasy of the prince saving the damsel in distress, then they fall in love and it will the “always and forever” was all a means in the plot for power. Yun Ge finally understood Meng Jue, that his every move was calculated thoroughly toward his personal ambition. It’s still evident now through the indecisiveness with Huo Cheng Jun. It’s no longer black and white, therefore, she came to the realization that “if it’s yours, then it’s yours. If it’s not, then it’s not.” Sigh. It is a very painful revelation especially since through it all, their relationship still hasn’t outshined against his want of power. She’s angry that he lied. She’s angry that he used her. She understands his needs now. She doesn’t want to see him. It was kinda a boom boom boom crash revelation.

  23. owww, the pain! YG never saw it coming. She has never personally experienced the machinations of an evil mind. So getting a big dose of it from someone she has learned to love is a double whammy. She needs a nurturing environment to make it easier for her to pick up the pieces of her broken heart, and that could not be her best friend’s home. Life can be very complicated. Her decision to go home is very understandable. I hope she’ll find her own happiness in Volume 2. Otherwise I will never get over this anguish.

  24. I am fortunate not to know firsthand the emotions that come with being thoroughly used and manipulated (and finding out about it later), but I do know what it’s like when your feelings change (as in: fade) for a boyfriend and how nothing he says or does can restore your feelings for him or faith in the relationship.

    For someone who had been coddled and sheltered all her life, YG made a mature and really difficult decision to leave, thereby making up MJ’s mind for him. He was her “grown up” first love and now all her memories and experiences with him are tarnished right now (in her mind). That makes it to difficult for someone as forthright as YG to go forward with MJ. She (like some women, myself included) would always wonder if his expressions and affections are genuine or just a part of “the plan”.

    I know there are small deceptions and sometimes, even major ones that come up in romantic relationships, but if one party can’t get doubt and suspision out of their mind, you would be hardpressed to call that a loving, healthy relationship…..

    And all that is my long way of saying: I hope YG goes through the steps of greiving the loss of the relationship and eventually moves past whatever (well-deserved) anger she may have toward MJ to where the sound of his name and sight of his presence doesn’t bother her.

    And THAT is my long way of saying: bring on Ling gege! :-P

    –sorry for the meandering comment, but this chapter took me back to my young adult days when I dealt with my own “MJ”. I hope in the next couple chapters YG learns the same lesson I did: time does heal.

  25. Same here ur comment totally made the connection with u,novel character n us ur faithful reader. . .Will YunGe know about her other embroidered shoes tht Meng Jue hav? Thanks a lot to read ur views means a lot. . .thankU.

  26. Meng Jue is deceptive and indecisive. I feel bad because he will regret using Yun Ge. Uncle Fang already did warn him.

  27. Im still a bit confused, im sure it was already mentioned but can someone connect the dotes for me? Why did Meng Jue Choose YG? I know they have the same master so he knew her identity before he met her. But something tell me he didnt approach YG just so his father will give him his inheritance and the business.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>