Emperor Bai Yan of Zhou died on a snowy night ten years after he became an emperor.
The emperor, who used to be an ordinary people, did not like luxury. After he became an emperor, he abandoned the magnificent palace built by the last emperor Jing, and slept in the emperor’s palace every night. When he died, he was cross-legged on the futon in front of the stone room on the top of the tower, facing a portrait on the wall.
If there is a palace maid who know the history of the previous dynasty, she will recognize the beauty on the painting who is the emperor Jing’s last noble concubine, Zhu Sha.
After had been the master of the country for ten years, Bai Yan eventually followed the woman and died. He left nothing about the truth. All the mysteries about the first emperor of the Zhou Dynasty were burried in the thick history books with the painting hanging on the nine-story pagoda and hidden behind the seven-fold veil.
She is 16 years old when he left, it’s a good youth age.
He said, waited for me for two years, I would marry you in a beautiful way.
The dimples besides her lips were light, and the corners of her eyes were smiling. She whispered a yes.
Eighteen years old is the last time her parents could wait. But he said two years would be enough.
I believe you. She asked him for a dagger, as if remembering something, and cut off a lock of hair growing in front of her ears.
Let’s tie each other’s hair and bind it.
Looking at her blushing cheeks and wandering eyes, he laughed out loud and truthfully cut the hair and handed it to her.
She bowed her head, carefully smoothed their hair, subtly tie a knot of one heart, and then put it into her sachet.
Become a couple, love each other and never doubt.
Here you are. Don’t lose it, or I’ll … She nibbled at her lower lip, the blush still on her cheek, but could think of nothing to threaten him.
Or I’ll never talk to you.
Of course not. He took the sachet and promised earnestly. When I come back, I will let the world know that you are my wife.
If he came back, he would let her put on the most gorgeous wedding clothes, with eight carry big car to welcome her entry. He would tell everyone that this woman was his beloved wife. However, the common thing in the world is no if. The separating become part forever.
After he left, her life became more and more ordinary. Sixteen years old girl, and a rich girl, she usually just play Chinese Zither and embroider, read the books that parents allow daily. Occasionally, she would flutter butterflies with his maidservant. The younger brother egged she to fly kite. At a time when a woman’s lack of talent was a virtue, all she needed to do seemed to be to wait for his return. Her smile was still gentle, but with more melancholy. She would think of the young man who always appeared at her window at night, smiling shyly, but also joking, “Whose daughter is so youthful and beautiful that my heart is in a mess,” and apologize for her anger. The young man looked into her eyes and said we’re gonna be together.
Almost all women of the same age in the city have been married, and some have even became mothers. The family began to worry, but it was difficult to urge due to the previous words. She saw it and but didn’t care. Even if there are thousands of people in the world, but as long as it is not him, she will not. In the late spring of the following year, she accompanied her mother to the temple to make her vows. When she came out of the temple, a strangely dressed man took hold of her crescent-white blouse and wanted to tell fortune for her. Seeing his unfortunate, she consented, and held out her white hand. The man looked for a while, shaking his head, actually said she will have feelings with three men and two marriages in this life. She took it as a joke, but her mother was horrified totally. Three men, two marriages. This is no longer called infidelity, but can be directly accused of lewdness. For a woman, it’s the worst sin of all. Hurrying home, she sighed in her unsteady sedan chair. The wind raised the curtain, floating to the light fragrance of osmanthus. The osmanthus blossom by the lake. She thought, laughing uncontrollably. Then the smile congealed. Through a gap in the curtain, she saw him who had not been heard from for a year. She hastily lifted the curtain and watched him turn into a nearby alley. She knew he had overheard it from the family’s worker, the largest brothel in the city, the Pavilion of Spring.
That evening she called the servant girl back, and sat anxiously by the window, not knowing what to do. For the first time, she felt an uneasiness that was slowly stabbing into her chest like a dagger.
Looking at the hairpin from him beside the bronze mirror, she decided to find him to figure it out. Put on man’s clothes, elude the concierge, run to the place that she had never touched before, buy over the proprietress, and endure fear. Finally, she reach the house. Without knocking on the door, the gasps and groans from the woman in the room come to her ears, she knew what happened even she had not lived in the cruel world alone.
Bai Yan, Bai Yan, The woman called it like a warbler.
She should have been ashamed, she should have flushed and run away, but she stood there with a pale face. Inside the room, the man was whoring. Outside the room, she was crouching in the doorway, biting her cherry lips until they bled and crying her heart out. There was still the knot of the heart, but his love went away. After that night, she stays inside her home. She didn’t want to know what was going on at home these days. Her parents came to see her, and the doctor prescribed a few medicines, then told her just to rest more and not to think too much. She just laughed and reassured them. Her parents told her that her wedding date had been fixed and that it would be on the 18th of the next month. This time, she couldn’t refuse. She shook her head and said, the daughter’s marriage is up to the parents. They had guessed that there would be an argument, so the two people were overjoyed and preparing for their daughter’s marriage. Why the daughter has so much a complete change, they were not concerned. She bowed to her parents, the two people walked away slowly. There is no bigger thing than heart death, and this body, who wants, to give it to the one.
她该感到羞耻，该脸红跑开，但她偏偏立在原地，面色苍白。 房内，鲛绡红帐，云雨巫山。 房外，她蜷在门边，将樱唇咬到出血，哭得肝肠寸断。同心人挽同心结，可他的心，还是走了。从那晚起，她开始闭门不出。家里不知在忙些什么，她不想去猜，也无心去猜。爹娘来过，大夫药也开了几副，也只是让她多多休息，不要多想。她只是笑，让他们安心。爹娘告诉她，她的婚期已定，便在下月十八。这一次，不容她拒绝。她摇头，说：女儿的婚事全凭爹娘做主。本以为会有一场硬仗要打，这么一来，两人自是喜出望外，忙着准备婚事去了，对于一向坚决的女儿有这么彻底的转变，竟是没有在意。 她恭身行礼，爹娘慢走 哀，莫大于心死，而这个身子，谁想要，便给谁罢。
On the wedding day, the golden dragon and phoenix decorate her clothes, the big sedan chair carries her, the surnay sounded loud, and the wedding procession snaked across the street. Everything was as he had promised her. Today, she is going to marry, but, the man she is going to marry, is not him. Under the hipa, her tears fell one by one, slowly forming a dark water stain on the big red robe. She was a little regretful, reproached herself for having acted recklessly, and hoped that he would stop her and take her away. But when someone lifted her hipa and revealed a gentle but unfamiliar face, her dream was shattered. That’s her husband, Master Xu, Xu Wenjin.
The next day, she looked at the blood stains on the bed and laughed. It’s time to wake up and forget. It’s not hers. She seemed happier than she had ever been, and she couldn’t stop laughing until changed to sadness. She stood up and stroked her cheek. It was cold. It turned out that before she knew it, she had been in tears. The husband’s family is a scholarly family, even the servant girl had read books and knew many words. Everyone was very kind to her. But there’s always something missing. Xu Wenjin was a gentleman, humble and polite. He would do anything she asked, except to get her smile. He’s a totally different kind of man compared with Bai Yan. She wrote poetry and Yan won’t help her choose her words. She played the pipa, Yan wouldn’t play the vertical flute after praise. She drew, he wouldn’t write poetry in the margins with a pen. But that man will, Xu Wenjin will. They were at ease with each other and treated each other with respect. However, such a man, in such an age of war, can only be called cowardly. He’s really nice, but he’s not Bai Yan. He would give her a hairpin inexpensive but run out of his money on her birthday. He would listen to her when she played, even if he did not understand. He would knock on her window at night and smile at her childish face. He would pursue his ideals, his justice, in the war age, and he said, that’s what a man should do. But now that she was married to another man, her bond with him should be broken. However, that person’s figure, in the heart, can not erase, it’s hard to forget.
As time passed, half a year gone by. Even if she had stayed at home for a long time, she also knows the master of the empire will change. The rebels had brought many conflicts here and there before April, and it spread into wildfire quickly. The leader of the rebellion turned out to be Bai Yan. The needle pricked Zhu Sha’s finger, and the red spot stung her eyes. The calm mind becomes chaos again. The young man with a clear smile finds his own direction finally. The previous emperor indulged in unmorality, making the national treasury empty, and the common people couldn’t survive. Even if the current emperor has an outstanding ability to manage the country, the government had lost its people’s trust. It’s hard to redeem. Since ancient times, it has been the key to the victory of emperors. Bai Yan is already to win this time. She laughed, laughing at herself, laughing at her stupidity. How could he remember her once he was king? Let it go.
Another January passed, and her parents-in-law wanted grandson eagerly, and urged her to go to the temple to pray. She promised and took her slave and maidservant with her and went out in a sedan chair.
Kneeling on the futon, she looked up at the tall statue of the giver and felt a sense of wistfulness. He put his hands together and bowed down reverently. After just two years, things have changed. On the way back home, the sedan chair was broken for no reason. She said she wanted to take a walk on the street and let frightened bearers go back first. Leaving only the servant girl by her side. Streets are still busy, for the country, the war is to fight, for the common people, life is to go on. The band of the veil loosened and was blown away. Evening the maidservant hurried to catch up, but it was too late. The man on horseback, holding his veil, smiled faintly at her. She thanked him, took the veil, and hurried away. There was too much meaning in the man’s eyes for her to fear, but more for her to be uneasy. Let’s just hope nothing happens.
However, it was only half a month later that she was summoned to the palace. It’s coming. Sitting in a lakeside pavilion with a blue palace suit, she has a gentle expression. The man who caught a glimpse on the road that day was the current emperor. That day, he fell in love with her appearance, regardless of her married, forcing her to be summoned to the palace and be a concubine. The government was crumbling but the palace was still partying every night. He said, “You can drink today, just to drink. If he wants this country, he can give it to him.” She touched his eyebrows, so why are you still unhappy? He doted on her and allowed her to call him by his name. He said he didn’t care and smiled gladly. Because he knew that the court had lost the hearts of the people and that the anger of the people could not be assuaged without a change of government. But this, after all, was his country, he was unwilling but powerless. How did she tell him that the man who led the army against him was the man she was always thinking of? At the beginning of the marriage, because of a moment of despair, she didn’t think over.
After married Xu, she got love from her husband’s family, so she decided to forget Bai Yan. Now she had entered the palace and was the concubine of her lover’s rival. Three men, two marriages, and finally, the prophecy came true. She smiled, her life is more dangerous than duckweed drifting with the water. The end is destruction, and who will care? Play pipa on the west side of the painting building, feel the warm wind everywhere, who is lost in her mind. There’s a dull ache in my heart.
Gradually, the palace also began to panic, even the soft flowers seem to have more death breath. Calm as ever, it is him, it is her.
The time will come when the country will be destroyed. Seven folds of gauze, at his request, she came to him in a splendid white dress, her face unpainted, but still beautiful.
It’s beautiful. He praised her, and took her in his arms, and held her tight as if he would never let her go again.
Let’s go. he said.
The man under the gate tower is Bai Yan. They had reached this point in a short time, and the battle is over. Her body trembled slightly, and her eyes could not hide the excitement. The man beside her looked at her reaction and looked sad. Then he said: Baiyan, I give you the world. This woman is the one you loved. Although I title her concubine, you must treat her well after the overthrow of the government.
She looked back in surprise and met his eyes. He knows! He knows everything! And yet he kept herself around! He had told him to leave her alone! She stepped back and smiled bitterly. The dagger in her right hand was cold and the scarlet blood between her waist and stomach was striking.
He rushed up, called her name, and that was the first time she saw him so out of control. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” She repeated. Pushing him aside with all her strength, leaping over the wall. His sleeves fluttered like a beautiful butterfly. He stood under the wall, just standing there, watching her jump and die in front of him. Clenched fists, palms dripping with blood. Then, eyes closed, he gave the order. Attack the city. The armies are under the gate tower, who can predict that there is no word between us. Can you understand, there are so many brothers behind me, they risked their lives for me, I can’t lose them. I’m sorry, I’m sorry. The knot of hearts remains, and… What about the man?
他冲上来，叫着她的名字，那时她，第一次见温柔的他如此失控。 对不起，对不起。 她重复着，用尽力气推开他，从城墙上纵身跃下。衣袂飘飞，像一只华美的蝶。他站在城墙之下，就那样站在那里，看着她跳下来，看着她死在自己面前。双拳紧握，掌心鲜血淋漓。然后，他闭着眼，下令。 攻城。兵临城下六军不发，谁知再见已是生死无话。你能谅解么，我背后还有那么多兄弟，他们为我出生入死，我不能负了他们。 对不起，对不起。 同心结仍在，而……人呢？
Inside the nine-story pagoda, the woman in the portrait smiled and acted as if she were alive. He often looked at her with sleeplessness all night. He had always remembered her resolute face when she jumped from the tower on the day of the fall, and the piercing love that desperation could not conceal.
He didn’t blame her for not waiting for him. In the late spring of that year, the person she saw was herself, but the person who was in the spring Pavilion was not him. It’s a surrogate he’s looking for to disrupt the court’s spies. Everything, unexpectedly, is gradually out of control.
The day she suffered, he could only be there, watching.
She married that day, he can only be sad secretly beside the lake the two people made a vow of love.
On the day she came to the palace, he lost his mind for a moment on the battlefield, and then he fought again.
On the day of her death, his adjutant had seized him so firmly that he could not save her body.
She’s not wrong. He failed her. He failed her. If he had not been so young and frivolous at that time, always wanted to do something for the national cause. He wants to give her the world. If he had taken her, maybe this wouldn’t have happened. The subordinate said it was for the sake of the final win, but he only laughed and said nothing.
It’s too late and too late. The emperor had let them pass easily for her, giving everything for her life. The old emperor gave everything he had for her. And he, after the overthrow of the kingdom, ascended the throne and was worshiped by all.
This is for her to get the world, but in the end, was to win the world, lost her.