Mei Gongqing 01

Please check the index page for a brief introduction if you’d like. Otherwise, read on!

Chapter 1: For what?

It was another full moon night.

Behind the silk screens in the storied loft, candle wax slowly dripped, highlighting a pair of shadows that were joining as one.

Chen Rong stood dazedly under a banyan tree as she motionlessly watched the couple clinging to each other, her lips pressing into a tight line unknowingly.

In the burning lamplight, a sound of laughter unbrokenly came her way. It was jubilant and bright, as if pain never existed in this world, as if it were the brilliance of spring flowers themselves.

A soft voice unexpectedly rose behind her: “So it’s you? Hadn’t His Lordship abandoned you? Why are you still here? Oh, that’s right, at your tearful request, he had agreed to let you stay a few more days.”

With these vicious words came a burst of fragrance. A dainty figure was now standing next to Chen Rong’s side. She followed Chen Rong’s gaze, and when she saw the pair of joined shadows on the storied loft, her lips drew into a hard line.

Nevertheless, though her eyes were filled with jealousy, she became delighted at the sight of Chen Rong standing in a daze. Her soft laughter sounded again: “Dear me, is that not your cousin? You did everything possible to get rid of her so that His Lordship would take you as his wife. You must not have thought that what isn’t yours would never belong to you and that one day your cousin would still come back to take what was her.”

The dainty woman clucked her tongue and smiled. “Scheming all sorts of calculations only to get discarded. Ah Rong of the Chen house, if I were you, I’d set myself on fire to erase it all!”

She offered one line after another, aggressive and vicious. But no matter how taunting and sarcastic she may be, the rival in front of her never spoke a word. At this moment, Chen Rong who had always been contentiously insidious seemed to have become a whole other person. She was just staring away at the entwining shadows behind the screens, motionlessly and with an ashen face.

Not receiving a response, the dainty woman gave a laugher. “Oh that’s right, I heard that after His Lordship married you, he had not touched you once. Tsk, tsk, tsk, how regrettable for the famed beautiful and talented Ah Rong of the Chen house. His Lordship had always looked down on you!”

Her words were like a sword that drew blood from Chen Rong’s heart.

This translation belongs to hamster428.

With a rustle, Chen Yong who had been standing in a daze suddenly turned around.

In her lifeless eyes was a frightening dreariness. The moment she saw her glare, the dainty woman could not help herself from retreating backward.

Chen Rong took a step toward her.

Stunned, she retreated while hastily demanding: “You… what do you want to do?”

Chen Rong faced the panicking woman with a cold smile. Unknowingly, she had forced her to press back against the banyan tree.

At the time the woman’s scream was heard, only a cold light flashed by. “Thud,” a dagger had flown past her hair and firmly drove into the trunk, three inches deep.

The dainty woman gave a frightful scream.

“Shut up!” Chen Rong growled a growl full of murderous intent. The woman shuddered and actually closed her mouth.

Chen Rong stared at her. Under the moonlight, her eyes were as dark and deep as wolves’.

“Originally,” she coldly began, “I was going to kill you. But after thinking about it, you are quite adept at pretending that you’ve always managed to draw his attention. If I keep you alive, I can still give that cousin of mine some heartaches.”

At this, Chen Rong withdrew her dagger with a quick motion of the wrist. As soon as her dagger entered her sleeve, a burst of rapid footsteps arrived. Several guards shouted: “Who’s here? Do we have assassins?”

“Nothing,” both women answered at the same time.

The guards could see the two woman glancing at each other and receding to the back. Lady Chen and Lady Lu had never gotten along; it was guaranteed to be fussy whenever they were together, and thus they had become accustomed to it.

As soon as the guards went away, Chen Rong flapped her sleeve and turned to leave.

Lady Lu watched her receding figure and for some reason suddenly felt a biting chill. She shivered and thought to herself that it was actually quite sad for someone as proud as Chen Rong to love a man as heartless as their master.

At this thought, Lady Lu gave a sigh and dejectedly walked toward her own courtyard.

No sooner had she stepped into her yard did she suddenly hear a loud explosion from the east wing. She whipped around only to find smoke billowing in the east, firelight aglow.

“Bring water, bring water!”

This translation belongs to hamster428.

Bouts of shouts and stomping feet gave rise. Lady Lu’s heart suddenly jumped. Without putting on her outer robe, she hastily headed to the east wing – that was Chen Rong’s courtyard. With that woman’s obstinacy, she might have really listened to her and set herself on fire.

As Lady Lu rushed over, she happened to see their master and his newly married wife also running toward the east wing from the main hall.

All three headed for the east wing.

The moment they entered the courtyard, a sudden burst of mad laughter rang. In the hoarseness was boundless pain and hatred, and even regret.

Lady Lu took a few unsteady steps forward. When she looked up, her face was drained of its color.

In the crackling fire, the eastern half of the building had collapsed, leaving only the wall in the far west corner standing. It was nevertheless also beginning to sway. Billowing smoke had consumed the entire courtyard. In the rolling flames, the woman dressed in silk with long loose hair gazed heavenward and laughed. Wasn’t she Chen Rong?

She… she was serious!

Lady Lu’s face grew ashen. She staggered one step backward. At this time, an indescribable pity and sadness swept over her.

All of a sudden, she heard their master’s command: “Saver her. Save her!”

After those few urgent words, she heard him ask: “What caused the fire?”

“Her Ladyship, that is, the Chen woman dismissed us and then set the fire herself.”

Shock emerged on their master’s face. He hastily turned around to search for Chen Rong from the flames. Under the night sky, his cold voice sounded: “Chen Rong, for what must you do this?”

Illuminated by bright red flames, on that imperiously handsome face was a touch of ill-concealed dismay.

Chen Rong did not answer from the blazing sea. She only stared at her husband unblinkingly while laughing madly. She gazed skyward and, with open arms, laughed till she went hoarse, sounding as if she was singing an epic poem while also as if she was weeping. A flame wrapped her up as her painful laughter became increasingly louder in its madness.

At this sight, her husband frowned and waved his hand, coldly shouting: “If she wants to die, then let her.” Then he flapped his sleeve and unconcernedly walked away, leaving behind the woman to be gradually swallowed by fire.

Lady Lu watched their master’s unfeeling back in shock. At this moment, a bone-deep chill took over her entire being. She hastily turned to look at Chen Rong to see that she was laughing harder and harder. Though she was laughing, Lady Lu could see two streaks of tears falling from Chen Rong’s face, dripping into the fire and turning into ashes. What she saw even more clearly was a tearful Chen Rong, who had been laughing madly, slowly choking smaller laughter in self-disdain and pain. She heard her loud and clear: “For what! For what! For what…”

The laughter became smaller and smaller and gradually abated into nothingness.

This translation belongs to hamster428.

***

“Ahh…”

A scream tore across the night sky. Chen Rong sat up and placed her hand on her chest, gasping for air.

After heaving for a while, she left her bed and followed the lamp light toward the bronze mirror on the table.

In the bronze mirror was a young girl, delicate and beautiful. At this second, her face was dripping with cold sweat, horror and madness remained in her widened eyes.

Slowly raising her sleeve, she wiped the sweat from her face.

Hasty footsteps arrived from the room next door as a gentle, concerned voice came to her from the doorway: “Ah Rong, did you have a nightmare?”

Chen Rong turned her back, took a breath and replied: “I’m all right now.”

Behind the door, a woman’s head poked in. She glanced toward Chen Rong’s figure and whispered a consolation: “We have clan people in the south. Ah Rong, don’t be too worried.”

“I know. You may leave.”

Hearing her footsteps slowly receding, Chen Rong again stretched her sleeve to dab her sweat. She turned and walked to the dressing table, sitting down opposite the bronze mirror.

The beautiful young girl in the mirror was opening her black, bottomless eyes to look back at her.

Ah Rong’s mouth slowly raised, revealing fine white teeth. She whispered, “It’s all passed and will never happen again, right?”

The person in the mirror replied with a brilliant smile.

Watching this smile, Chen Rong looked to be very satisfied. She rose, picked up an ox horn comb and slowly combed her tangled hair.

In the mirror, she was only 14 or 15 years old. She was not yet developed though her youthful innocence barely concealed a gorgeous face.

She had returned to the past.

All madness, all obsessive love, all obstinacy, all resentment and pain, everything had simply turned into a memory after waking up!

She could remember all the experiences she had gone through, and yet her body was still at the tender age of fifteen.

She was still herself; nothing had changed. The only thing that changed was time. The heavens were playing with her, letting her return to a time when nothing had yet occurred.

This year, due to the imminent war, she and everyone in the City of Ping would be rushing south. She would return to her clan and then encounter the nightmare of her life.

But it wasn’t to be a nightmare this time. Chen Rong smiled at her reflection in the mirror, her hand stroking her face, whispering: “You were too stupid before. Since the heavens have let you start over again, you must control the pieces in this new chess game. What say you, Chen Rong?”

The person in the mirror once again answered her with a brilliant smile.

 

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51 thoughts on “Mei Gongqing 01

    • Yes, this is a sub-genre called 重生 ‘rebirth’ which means the person gets to live their life twice. It makes the story more authentic bcoz she’s from that era, living her own life. So she’s not some modern oddball spouting modern lingo and preaching modern beliefs.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Ooo, I’m so excited for this story! I think I stumbled upon an audiobook for this novel quite a few years ago. I listened to a few chapters before losing interest (audiobooks are too slow for an impatient reader like me, lol) and vaguely remember a character named 瑯琊王七.

    I love Chinese historical fiction, and my favorite eras for research are the Chu-Han Contention (楚汉战争), the Wei, Jin, and Northern and Southern Dynasties (魏晋南北朝), the Reign of Zhenguan (贞观之治) in the Tang Dynasty, and the Liao Dynasty (大辽). There are so many hot guys who lived during those troubled times, and I’m shamelessly obsessed with quite a few historical figures from the 魏晋 era, haha.

    Sorry for not checking back on your TQGZ blog post and forgetting to reply! Haha yeah, I’m trying to pass four exams that make up one professional designation, and so far have only managed to pass one of them. So I’m keeping my nose to the grindstone for the next six months. It’s really hard to force myself to study instead of reading, writing stories, or watching dramas after a long day at work. I appreciate your encouragement, which motivates me to work hard to put the tough times behind me ASAP so that I can either kick back and relax or continue to work my butt off, but this time to pursue my dreams. Although I’m really bad at replying timely, I will always support your translations! 🙂

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    • Oh yes I heard peanuts’ woes that she cannot skim through audiobooks lol. Prose aside (since my Chinese isn’t at a level to discuss prose), I like the moody atmosphere in this novel. Everyone only speaks half what he means, and there’s always tension sizzling around haha. I also like the heroine’s standing her grounds. She isn’t doing it out of some sense of right or wrong, since monogamy is way beyond her times, but just a fierce sense of knowing oneself. She knew she was the kind to love all-consumedly and would bring downfall to her husband and herself both if she were to settle for a polygamist. It’s so rare to come across a heroine who is so sure of what she wants. Also, Qilang is love. You’ve done well to remember his name haha.

      Though I’m definitely not well versed in history, I think I’m fascinated by all periods pre Song. in my mind, I imagine them to be more epic lol, esp before various unifications happened since having diversed states seemed more interesting. Let’s just say I’m glad it’s not another Qing dynasty novel. Even the language is so refreshingly different though it’s all ancient.

      Oh I feel ya. Studying is so hard the older we get. I kinda got into a quarter life crisis two years ago which helped moved everything forward in panic mode. Otherwise, my greatest passion in life is bumming around. Just keep adding that oil!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Why you don’t continue the audio book which is very good? Chancy, Hui4r & I were crazy abt it lol. However the beginning is really slow & I felt asleep a lot of times but I persevered 😛

      Hamster, I can skim thru audio book now bcos of the lack of time in my life 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      • Haha, I have so much trouble staying awake listening to romance audiobooks! But history and horror genres capture my attention and have me sitting on the edge of my seat, lol. I’ll try to revisit the audiobook once hamster’s translation arrives at the juicy parts!

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  2. Was she really THAT bad in the previous lifetime? I hope the heartless husband gets his just dessert. To marry your own wife’s cousin and let your own wife die, yeah, he’s such a ()@#*$##(. I hope she gets a better guy who loves her!!! Thank you hamster! I cannot wait for this!!!!

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    • She was pretty bad, yes. She was consumed by her love for her husband, so she did everything to try to keep him for herself.

      To be fair, polygamy was very normal in this period as you will see throughout the course of the story, so her hubby wasn’t committing any crime per se. Women were treated very poorly, and in these people’s mindset, taking someone with a lowly background like Chen Rong as a mistress was already a blessing for her.

      Thus you will see her struggle to rise above social norms and attain her happiness.

      Male lead is a dear.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I believe I am going to love this story! 🙂

    This is going to be fun, watching her revenge!!
    but this sort of of going back into the past to undo her mistakes and regrets is something I think everyone secretly yearns for…lucky for her, she gets the chance to!
    Thank goodness the male lead is not her ex…if it is, I am going to personally choke that guy for being so heartless!

    Thank you for the awesome chapter! 🙂
    Can’t wait for the next chapter…199 more chapters to go! :p

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This sure sounds interesting. It takes a lot to seek what she wants, too bad her previous target of affection was not the right guy for her. Good thing she gets her second chance, just that, this novel is so long. I look forward to her revenge. Fighting!

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  5. I’m in!!
    i read this long time ago but never finished (since the story too long)
    if i remember correctly she will try any tricks and plans to avoid marrying her past husband

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  6. I’m really looking forward to more of this story 🙂 – I like all the projects you pick, so I trust that it will be awesome. I’m also feeling a bit bloodthirsty for some revenge on the husband.

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  7. It will be nice to see her get sweet revenge, considering her husband is very deserving of it, I mean how could he simply turns his back telling them to just let her die if she wishes to die, just how heartless can he be? But rather than the revenge, I am much more interested in seeing her have a much happier romance blossoming with a much more deserving male lead ^_^

    Liked by 3 people

  8. So happy ur back.
    What an interesting story. I like the rebirth of the deceased consort, so i think ill like this one two.
    I love sweet revenge. Will it be long before she got revenge on her ex husband?

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  9. I’m reading from the start once again hamster..actually i’m quite confuse with the male character name..i also read all the reviews..glad to know that in her 2nd life, the main hero is not her husband..he is so cruel!if she still want him then she is stupid and haven’t take her lessons

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  10. Thank you so much for translating this story. I have to admit that the female lead didn´t come of as really likable in this first chapter…in romance movies she would have been the antagonist..but there are some hints here and there that make me curious..not everything seems to be what it seems…and so I am really looking forward to the next chapters, to get to know Chen Rong better.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Thanks for this!
    This seems pretty interesting so far! -nods to self- i’ll be following! With her advantage of time, things will hipefully go better this time for her! Though sometimes, even knowing how things occur, is not enough. Fate, is still fate!

    Liked by 2 people

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