The Twelve Spirits: Ugly Spirit (Chapters 4-5)

Hi everyone!! Sorry for disappearing in the past year; real life got in the way shortly after I posted chapters 1 to 3 and I forgot about it for a year. But I’ll be posting the rest of this story over this weekend. It’s a short novel, so it will end by chapter 8 🙂

Continue reading “The Twelve Spirits: Ugly Spirit (Chapters 4-5)”

The Twelve Spirits: Ugly Spirit (Chapters 1-3)

Title: The Twelve Spirits: Ugly Spirit
Translation of:《十二魂:丑魅•画颜》 又名 《残妆》
Author: 叶笑 (Ye Xiao)
Length: Short story (part of a series but can be read standalone)
Genre: Historical, Romance, Angst, Tragedy

Summary: ‘I wish to become the happiest woman on this planet; to meet him at my happiest, then have him fall for me and paint my face for a lifetime.’ – Ning Xishi

Translator’s Note: Another of Ye Xiao’s novels (she’s also the author of Ballad of Ten Thousand Gu) which I translated a year ago but never found the time to edit. Will post the rest once I’m done editing.

This is a short story that is part of Ye Xiao’s The Twelve Spirits series, which comprises 11 interlinked short stories, but can each be read as a standalone. This particular story, Ugly Spirit, is the second in the series & one of my favourites – though I might be slightly biased because the FL’s name is a one letter difference from mine 😀

Continue reading “The Twelve Spirits: Ugly Spirit (Chapters 1-3)”

There Was Once a Person, Who Loved Me with His Life – Sun Jiayu’s extra story

This is Sun Jiayu’s extra story from the novel, There Was Once a Person, Who Loved Me with His Life. I translated this about a year ago but never posted.

[曾有一个人,爱我如生命 | shushengbar]

Maybe one day, someone will translate this novel, but that person won’t be me. It hurt so much translating his extra story, so I will never survive the translating the novel.

Sun Jiayu. I loved Sun Jiayu so much. My mind keeps going back to him; to the days he and Zhao Mei spent in Odessa; to that night in the snowstorm they survived through together, wishing now that they had never made it out instead.

世间再无孙嘉遇, Sun Jiayu no longer exists in this world. At least, by translating his story, maybe one additional person will remember him: there was once a person named Sun Jiayu who loved a girl named Zhao Mei with his life.

Maybe some people will think this story far-fetched, with the gun fights and mafia… but the author has said that this was based on a true story which happened years ago in Odessa, Ukraine, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The characters and story were based on real people and events. Even the small details, like Zhao Mei and Sun Jiayu’s fight for survival in the snowstorm and confrontation with the mafia… these details also happened in real life.

The difference lies in the ending. As the author wrote this story, the couple on which this novel was based on returned to China from Ukraine, but because of various reasons, did not end up together.

In There Was Once a Person, Who Loved Me with His Life, Zhao Mei and Sun Jiayu did not have a happy ending either. Zhao Mei was forced to leave, against her wishes; Sun Jiayu spent his final days alone, and Zhao Mei never knew the truth of what had happened until years later.

This is Sun Jiayu’s story of his last days – the days Zhao Mei can never return to… Continue reading “There Was Once a Person, Who Loved Me with His Life – Sun Jiayu’s extra story”

Lament at Changmen Palace (Oneshot)

Lament at Changmen Palace

Translation of: Changmen Yuan《长门怨》
Author: Qiao Xi [乔夕]
Genre: Romance, Historical, Tragedy, Oneshot


A long time later, I began to understand the value of a golden palace.

If Wei Zifu loved you, then her story could only have ended the way mine did.

People often said that the limits of love lay in one’s ability to endure – to endure the fact that the man we loved would have three wives and four concubines.

Wei Zifu managed to tolerate. So, she accompanied you by your side for thirty-eight years.

She could accomplish this because she did not love you.

All along, what she wanted was never love.

If, from the beginning, all I wanted was only the precious throne belonging to an Empress, perhaps I would not have lost you as quickly as I had.

– Notes –

This novel narrates the true story between Emperor Han Wudi (Liu Che) and his first wife, the deposed Empress Chen Jiao. Their story has been encapsulated into a chinese idiom called “金屋藏娇” (jīn wū cáng jiāo), which literally means ‘putting (Chen) Jiao into a golden house’.

This saying originated when, in his childhood, the Emperor Han Wudi declared that if he could marry his beautiful elder cousin, Chen Jiao, as his wife, he would treasure her with all his heart to the extent of building her a golden palace to live in. Later, though Han Wudi married Chen Jiao, she eventually lost his favour. After being accused of dabbling in witchcraft, she was deposed.

Although Chen Jiao was often portrayed as a jealous Empress, this novel attempts to view history from her perspective.

Changmen Palace, literally translated, means Long Gate Palace.

Continue reading “Lament at Changmen Palace (Oneshot)”