The night hadn’t ended yet.
The atmosphere was lively because of the singing and dancing in the gorgeous palace; glazed tiles, white jade standing screens, golden pillars ad brocade couches.
The proud emperor was high on the top. Inside his arms, he held his charming and flirtatious pampered consort.
The officials below were also immersed in laughter. They had long forgotten how many days had passed outside the window. However, there was one person sitting upright and still. The gaze swept coldly over the happy officials, the enchanting dancers and the intoxicated emperor. The gaze fell on the pampered consort of the emperor. As if she sensed the man’s gaze, the consort dressed in the robe for consorts turned her head and met the man’s eyes. Natural beauty, carefully dressed, long shapely eyebrows. A few black hairs fell lightly over her seductive eyes. Beneath her eyes was a small red mole. When she smiled, the arc of her mouth could hook away a person’s heart. The woman was so beautiful that she appeared like a demoness.
The two people’s gaze met in the deserted air. The gazes quickly intertwined after. She smiled more seductively and charmingly. He didn’t bat an eyelid.
She was the emperor’s most pampered consort…Consort Rong.
He was the emperor’s most trusted general…The first-rank general.
After many years, he still remembered the day they met. It was a long time ago.
In his memory, there was the falling of the snow and the blowing of the north wind. The young him was racing on the snowfield. Such a young man with vigor, carefree and uninhibited, stopped because he met a girl who had lost her way. The black hair of the beautiful girl was in a luxurious golden knot. The big clear eyes had become red because of crying. The small red mole beneath her eyes made the girl more charming and enchanting for her age.
The him of that year was the eldest son of the past dynasty’s great general…Shangguan Zhao. And, she was the most beloved daughter of the past dynasty’s emperor…Princess Anping.
Like this, she broke into his life and had never came out again. It was like in the books when the snow demoness met the right person, they would not be able to separate for life till their body and mind had passed away.
At that time, he would always wait outside her palace in the early morning to help this naughty princess slip out of the palace and play together in the vast wilderness. When it was spring, the ground was always full of flowers. There were lilacs, winter jasmines and Chinese roses. The spring breeze took the scent of the grass, blew over their soft hair and made her hair messy. He always had to help her re-knot her hair and then stuck a half-blooming Chinese rose in her hair. However, because he was clumsy, he would make her hair messier every time. But she never blamed him. She kept such a messy hair and sat on the grass while holding his hand. They looked at the sunset every day and looked at the sun which was like blood. They watched the light and shadow of the sunset glow.
One day she found a thin red string and tied it around her and his little finger, connecting them. The girl said laughingly that palace maids said that the two people whose little fingers were connected by a red string won’t be separated for their whole lives, their whole lives.
The girl blinked her big eyes and emitted a shining glow.
The her of that time would act cute in front of her imperial father to allow him to enter the palace. The two played hide and seek on The Great Wall. They went together to listen at the imperial teacher’s teaching. They listened together to the old palace maids’ strange stories that they’ve never heard before. It was also at that time that they heard a legend, saying that women in ancient times would cut of the little finger of her right hand and give it to the person she loves before she dies.
“But then, wouldn’t their red strings broken,” the young her muttered slightly dissatisfied.
The old palace maid smiled very mercifully, “Princess, the person was already dead, where would there still be fate?”
She was still dissatisfied. “I won’t do that. Even if I die, I want him to only remember me for the rest of his life.”
The them of that time secretly clenched their hands tightly together.
Anping with the meaning of peace, happiness and auspicious. The emperor gave his daughter too much expectation. However, the years and months flew by. The world was substituted. Just in a few years, the lot of the imperial family came to its end. On the 112002nd year of the dynasty, the army of the enemy’s country drove straight into the capital and attacked it. The capital of the past dynasty embarked on its ruin. The officials and generals rebelled. Even the last hope, his father, the country’s great general also surrendered with the army. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to protect the imperial family. It was that even if he tried his best, he wouldn’t be able to stop it. The great general didn’t want to use the lives of one hundred and six people, his whole family as the last shield.
- 安乐祥平 (an le xiang ping): peace happiness and auspicious is the meaning of her name. The emperor cut it short and named her Anping (安平).
When he rushed back from the south of a thousand miles away, the court had fallen. The glory of the past had become shattered pieces. The scarlet blood was condensed on the bright yellow carpet. The window was poked with countless of holes. There were corpses everywhere. The corpses were that of the palace maids, the eunuchs, the princes, the princesses, the empress, the consorts and the past dynasty’s emperor. He had his eyes open. Even when he was dying, he didn’t close them. However, there was no her.
A surviving palace maid told him that princess Anping had been taken away by the emperor of the enemy’s country. Originally, she should also had been killed together with the other royals. However, when the sword was about to fall, she raised her head and smiled at the enemy who killed her father. No one could reject her smile. So charming and full of seduction. At the corner of her mouth was a drop of blood from the empress when she was killed. She (Anping) was beautiful like a demoness. It was at that moment that she captured the emperor.
The red satin veil in his hand fell on the ground. There was a golden phoenix embroidered on it. That was the veil he personally went to the south to let them make it and that he wanted to put on her.
When they met again, it was on the day the new emperor ascended the throne.
She was the new consort of the emperor…consort Rong.
He was the new general of the emperor…the first-rank general.
She stood next the emperor. Her gaze swept slowly over the officials below. She smiled very seductively. When she saw him, she smiled more beautifully. He saw that there was no smile in her eyes. Those clear eyes were gone. What was left were seduction, callousness and hatred.
Princess Anping of the past dynasty had died. What was left was this dynasty’s consort Rong.
Shangguan Zhao also died, leaving an empty man with the title of the first-rank general.
TLNote: Merry late Christmas! This is another short tragedy that I will be translating. I’m into tragedy these days although it doesn’t match with these festive days.