*Underlined = main characters
Long Fei-li (Emperor Qingjia). 龙非离 (庆嘉皇帝).
The 9th son of the previous Emperor. Ascended the throne at the age of 7. His name, 非离 (fēi lí) can be interpreted as ‘never to part’. His courtesy name, bestowed upon adulthood, is Youzhi (由之 yóu zhī).
Long Zijin (Prince Lingrui). 龙梓锦 (陵瑞王爷).
Long Fei-li’s 10th and closest brother. After Long Fei-li’s ascension to the throne, he was the only Prince allowed to remain in the capital. Loves Wen Ruyi.
Long Xiuwen (Prince Yunyang). 龙修文 (云杨王爷).
Long Fei-li’s 7th brother. Appears to be a scholarly and refined man, but is in fact ruthless and ambitious.
Long Liyu (Prince Zining). 龙立煜 (紫宁王爷).
Long Fei-li’s 3rd brother. Not as intelligent/sharp as compared to the other Princes, but is the favoured son of Empress Dowager Wen.
Long Yuzhi (Princess Yuzhi). 龙玉致 (玉致公主).
Long Fei-li’s younger cousin. Carefree and mischievous. Often hangs around Xia Sang. A close friend to Xuanji.
Empress Dowager Wen. 温太后.
Reigning Empress Dowager, with a strong maternal family backing her power.
Empress Dowager Ru. 茹太后.
Long Fei-li’s biological mother. Wrongfully imprisoned by Empress Dowager Wen.
Grand Empress Dowager. 太皇太后.
Long Fei-li’s grandmother.
Bai Zhanfeng. 白战枫.
General of the Xi Liang army. Fought in both battles against the Xiongnu. One-sided love towards Xuanji, hence he acts like a big brother to her.
Xia Sang. 夏桑.
Long Fei-li’s head attendant and bodyguard. A kind-hearted person. Loves Long Yuzhi.
Xu Xi. 徐熹.
Long Fei-li’s head eunuch and bodyguard. Has strong affection to Wen Ruyi’s mother, hence he often tries to help Wen Ruyi.
Long Fei-li’s bodyguard and junior in martial arts. His feelings towards Xuanji are complicated; he both loves and hates her.
Duan Yuhuan. 段玉桓.
Commander of the imperial guards. Yue Jingying’s husband.
Yue Jingying. 乐晶莹.
Female military commander who is highly skilled in medicine as well. Later became Duan Yuhuan’s wife. Xuanji’s friend.
Cui Nichang. 崔霓裳.
Highly skilled physician lady. Loves Long Zijin. Xuanji’s friend.
Empress (Yu Mixiu). 皇后 (郁弥秀).
Resides in Luanxiu Hall (Elegant Phoenix Hall). Minister Yu’s granddaughter.
Noble Consort Hua (Wen Huamin). 华妃 (温华敏).
Resides in Qinfang Palace (Fragrant Zither Palace). Empress Dowager Wen’s niece. Wen Ruyi’s sister of a different mother.
Noble Consort Hui (Rong Hui). 慧妃 (容慧).
Resides in Liuli Palace (Coloured Glass Palace). Daughter of General Rong.
Consort Nian (Nian Xuanji). 年妃 (年璇玑).
Resides in Fengjiu Palace (Phoenix-Vulture Palace). Zhu Qi time-travelled into her body after the original Xuanji was sentenced to death by the Empress Dowager. Loves Long Fei-li in both lives. Her name, 璇玑 (xuán jī) is a combination and reference to the beta star (天璇 tiān xuán) and the gamma star (天玑 tiān jī) of the Seven Stars of the Northern Dipper (北斗七星 běi dǒu qī xīng).
Consort Yi (Wen Xinyi). 漪妃 (温心漪).
Resides in Xuesong Palace (Cedarwood Palace). Was Empress Dowager Wen’s personal attendant before she became a Consort. Loves Long Fei-li. Her name can be interpreted as a ‘ripple on the heart’, where 心 (xīn) refers to heart, and 漪 (yī) means ripple.
Concubine Jin (An Jin). 瑾嫔 (安瑾).
Resides in Qiuying Pavilion (Autumn Fireflies Pavilion). Unfavoured daughter of an official.
Concubine Nian (Nian Yaoguang). 年嫔 (年瑶光).
Resides in Cangshui Pavilion (Azure River Pavilion). Xuanji’s elder sister of a different mother. The favoured daughter of Minister Nian. Her name, 瑶光 (yáo guāng) is a reference to the seventh star of the Seven Stars of the Northern Dipper.
Concubine Luo (Luo Jin). 罗嫔 (罗锦).
A woman who looks like Xuanji.
Lady Wanyi. 宛仪.
Another woman who looks like Xuanji.
Yu Jingqing (Minister Yu). 郁景清 (郁相).
Empress Yu Mixiu’s grandfather. The Right Minister.
Nian Yonghua (Minister Nian). 年永华 (年相).
Nian Xuanji’s father. An ambitious and powerful official who colluded with the Xiongnu to rebel. Favours his sixth child, Nian Yaoguang.
Nian Songting. 年颂庭.
Minister Nian’s adopted son and a military general.
Wen Rukai. 温如凯.
Empress Dowager Wen’s younger brother.
Fang Chufan. 方楚凡.
Empress Dowager Wen’s supporter.
Ning Junwang. 宁君望.
Military commander. Led the battle against Yue Luo.
Lin Sizheng. 林司正.
Minister of Justice. Was a tutor to Long Fei-li when he was a child.
Xiahou Chu. 夏候初.
A high-ranking official trusted by Long Fei-li. Ranked first in the imperial examinations.
Zhang Jin. 张进.
A prison guard who later reinstates his position as a Minister. Married Liu Shimin, his cousin. Took Fang Huaqing as his concubine because of her resemblance to Xuanji.
Xuanji’s personal attendant. Her name means ‘butterfly wind’.
Became Xuanji’s personal attendant after she was rescued by Xuanji.
Xing Jixiang. 刑吉祥.
Head of the female servants, just like Wen Ruyi. The Empress Dowager’s personal attendant. Collectively, their names ‘jí xiáng rú yì’ is an auspicious saying, which means ‘may your wishes come through’.
Lu Song. 吕宋.
A eunuch serving Xuanji.
Lu Kai. 陆凯.
A high-ranking eunuch. Xu Xi’s disciple, but loyal to Long Fei-li.
Yu Kouzi. 玉扣子.
A eunuch serving Empress Dowager Wen.
Na-ming Tianlang. 纳明天朗.
Second prince of Yue Luo, a foreign country. His name means a ‘bright/clear sky’.
Murong Lin. 慕容琳.
An assassin. Murong Pei’s sister. Loves Long Xiuwen.
Murong Pei. 慕容沛.
An assassin. Murong Lin’s brother.
Bai Zhanzhi. 白战止.
Bai Zhanfeng’s father.
Kang Ning. 康宁.
Bai Zhanfeng’s mother.
Bai Zhanfeng’s good friend. His name literally means ‘five seven’.
Loves Bai Zhanfeng. Her name means ‘green phoenix’.
Liu Shimin. 刘诗敏.
Zhang Jin’s wife. Was once rescued by Xuanji.
Fang Huaqing. 方画晴.
Zhang Jin’s second wife, who reminds him of Xuanji.
~ Notes ~
- 皇后 (huáng hòu) – Empress.
- 妃 (fēi) – Imperial Consort. One rank below the Empress.
- Can be sub-classified into 正妃 (zhèng fēi – main consort) and 侧妃 (cè fēi – secondary consort). For this translation, I’ll title main consort as Noble Consort and secondary consort as Consort.
- 嫔 (pín) – Imperial Concubine. One rank below the Imperial Consorts.
- 贵人 (gùi rén) – Noble Lady. Ranked below the Imperial Concubines.
- 姑娘 (gū-niáng) – Lady. Usually unmarried.
- Ah – term of endearment. Eg: Zhu Qi = Ah Qi; Long Fei-li = Ah Li
- Er – term of endearment. Eg: Yu Mixiu = Xiu’er; Wen Huamin = Min’er