Chapter 21: Celebrating the Festival

Although she was fooled by Lin Shu, it was not the time to discussed about this. Gu Lian swallowed a mouthful of blood silently and decides to celebrate the festival first. A decent festival atmosphere must not be ruined by that hateful JiangHu cheater. Hence, Gu Lian told Qiao MingYu calmly—

“My mother was born when my grandmother was quite old, so it was unlikely for her to have a younger brother. But there is a grandnephew who is of similar age as Taoist LingSu, who was given birth by her nephew’s wife and it was when she was age 14. My mother’s mother said that the child was very handsome and there is a birthmark on his arm. It is 4 small moles enclosed into a square.”

Gu Lian told Qiao MingYu in a joking manner. Qiao MingYu’s expression was complicated and said in surprise: “LingSu has this kind of birthmark on his arm.”

That was what Qiao MingYu saw it by chance a year ago. That year, LingSu had blocked an arrow for her brother and had to tore off the sleeves to applied medication. Truly little people had known about this matter. So, Gu Lian probably did not lie to her.

“So, LingSu is your nephew?” Qiao MingYu was puzzled. “Then why did he tell me that way?”

Gu Lian shook her head: “Maybe because I am younger than him and he is afraid that if he said I’m his aunt, he would lose face.”

Qiao MingYu believed it.

Hence, this problem was passed over and as who was the elder……Gu Lian sneered in her heart. She would, explain, clearly, to, LingSu.

“Let’s not talk about this for the time being.” Qiao Ming Yu gargled and drank a cup of tea, “The most exciting event of CaiYun festival is at night and it was rather ordinary during the day. Ah Lian, do you have a sweetheart, if not, accompany me.”

There were activities in the palace, but Qiao MingYu was too annoyed to participate in it. If she had stayed in the palace, imperial consort would definitely find the excuse of some banquets to invite some young talents over. Despite knowing she does not like to deal with those people, the Imperial consort had to go against her.

How under the pretence, the other party finds an ideal husband for Qiao MingYu and even the emperor had agreed.

Qiao MingYu simply decides to hide from the palace. She felt that even accompanying Gu Lian to read books in the estate was better than being in the palace.

Naturally, Gu Lian does not have anyone she likes, so she agreed to Qiao MingYu’s suggestion joyfully and even promised to go out with her at night to look at the lanterns. The ladies of boudoir were often bored all day long, and finally, there were some bustling activities, they must go and have a look.

At night there would be a weird activity at the lantern festival. Example, if a young master and young lady had guessed the answer to the same riddle, they would receive the same lantern. And if they met one another on the road, they were destined to be together. This illogical activity had brought together many gifted scholars and beautiful ladies. So, many people were enthusiastic about this game at the lantern festival. To prevent the embarrassment of ‘same lantern clashing’, each family put in a great deal of effort to innovate. Striving to make the same lantern but the end-products were different.

Lan Xiang was the youngest and had never left home before, so this was the first time she had heard about this activity and was instantly curious: “But if many people had guessed the same riddle at the same store, then wouldn’t there be a lot of people carrying the same lantern?” In this case, how could it be destiny.

Thinking of this, Lan Xiang frowned.

Qiao MingYu who was sitting at the side, flipping through the travel book idly, chuckled and reached out to caress her head: “Silly girl.”

Lan Xiang stiffened her body and do not dare to move, looking at her lady pitifully for help.

“Use your brain and think about it first.” Gu Lian watched Qiao MingYu caressing Lan Xiang’s head and was feeling a little unhappy. She pretended to use the fan in her hand to pat Lan Xiang’s head and indeed, Qiao MingYu retracted her hand to avoid colliding with the fan.

Lan Xiang was completely unaware of these obvious and secret small movements. After racking her brain for a long time, she shook her head helplessly.

Gu Lian looked at her and smiled: “In fact, where has there been a destiny that was unique? If one were to look for the same lantern in the crowds all over the street, you will never find it even if you have looked around till your vision had gotten blurry! So, each type of lantern was carried by at least 10men and 10women, and it depends on their luck if they could meet the other person. Otherwise, it is like finding a needle in a haystack, how can one meet each other?”

In fact, there was one more thing that Gu Lian did not mentioned. Majority of the people would not really look at the lanterns to find the same one, instead, they would look at their faces. When they find the one they like, they would lower their head to see what they were holding. So, there had never been a story about 2 people holding the same kind of lanterns, looked at one another and dislike each other. Although, the whole city was huge, and just 1 lantern festival, no matter what, there would always be at least someone who liked the other person and happened to hold the same kind of lantern. Hence, the story has spread more widely.

Some people said that these lanterns have magical power, so it helped to bring 2 people together and would find each other congenial. Utterly nonsense.

After learning the truth, Lan Xiang gave a weak ‘oh’, her dream disappeared.

Zhu Xiang could not help covering her mouth to laugh at her, she had actually believed the story from a script. Lan Xiang has a good temperament, so she ignored her. If it were Mei Xiang, she would have pulled her ears.

Qiao MingYu watches Gu Lian and the servants interacting with great interest. She suddenly felt that these kinds of days were interesting as compared to the dark days in the palace.

After having meal at dusk, Gu Lian and Qiao MingYu changed clothes one after another. Qiao MingYu does not like to wear women’s clothes, so she simply wore men’s clothes. This would also put an end to those noble men who would recognise and tangled up to show their affections. In the past, Qiao MingYu would always turn up at the palace or banquets in women’s clothes. She would only wear men’s clothes in private to visit the markets and had never been recognised before, so it was quite convenient.

Gu Lian looked at her carefully for a while. Indeed, there was quite a difference compared to the past Qiao MingYu’s appearance. The most conspicuous differences were her demeanour. If dressed in women’s clothes made her looked like noble and laid-back eldest princess, dressing in men’s clothes made her looked like a swift and steady young general.

Feeling uncomfortable being stared by Gu Lian, Qiao MingYu walked over awkwardly and said to Gu Lian: “Let’s go, the lantern festival is about to begin.”

This time, the guards did not follow but the hidden guards were hiding in the surrounding areas so there should be no problem with regards to the safety. It was inevitable for there to be accidents in the crowded lantern festival. So, soldiers from the military army were deliberately transferred to maintained order. It was just that, where there were people, there would be accidents. Gu Lian and Qiao MingYu were walking together when suddenly there were a crowd of people squeezing and the 2 were separated.

Making it like an exaggerated romance fiction, the hero and heroine would always separate due to various reasons. Then, the plot would suddenly turn around and the person would be under the dim light. Although the story was old-fashioned, readers could not help but hooked onto this.

Expressionless, Gu Lian continued forward. Anyway, there were some servant girls protecting her and a group of hidden guards following them secretly, so she was not afraid of a mishap. The capital’s topography was simple so she would not get lost and if it were too impossible, she could just go back to the estate.

Thinking up to this, Gu Lian was prepared to breathe a sigh of relief when she suddenly realized a problem she had overlooked.

Getting! Lost!

My god, princess has a poor sense of direction!

Gu Lian could not hold back her long sigh, it is over, it is over, the princess was about to get lost on the streets of the capital. She would stop roasting those conventional and clichés storyline and beg heaven to let the princess and her have an unexpected encounter quickly even if they were not the hero and heroine.

Fortunately, there were hidden guards beside the princess. But she fears that the princess would suffer just to keep her dignity intact and would not tell the hidden guards that she was lost. Moreover, the hidden guards in novels were generally idiots. When the owner does not say anything, they would not do anything more. Ai, thinking about it gives her headache, she was worried to death.

Taking a deep breath, Gu Lian instructed the servants beside her: “If you saw the princess later, tell me immediately.”

“Yes, Miss.” The servants were also panicking a little. As there were too many people, so if one were not careful, the consequences of a stampede were unimaginable. Although they knew that their lady’s strength was not bad, without the highly trained princess, they could not help but feel a little timid.

Since they were here, they may as well stay and make the best of it. After assigning the task to her servants, Gu Lian began to relax and admired the lanterns.

The surround stalls had hung up various kinds of lanterns. They were dazzling multi-coloured and superb lanterns making Gu Lian felt that it was all really pretty and was hesitating if she should buy one.

“Not for sale.” The stallholder waved his hand. “If the lady really likes it, then guess the riddle, if you guessed it right, you could have it.”

Must pay for guessing the riddle and must pay once for each riddle. Whether if one had guessed it right or not, the money would not be refunded. This had always been the rule and one must oblige it.

Gu Lian looked at the pedestrians around and noticed that they were all holding onto their lanterns. She was feeling odd with both hands empty and so she decided to guess it. She pointed to the lantern she wanted to buy and said: “What is this riddle?”

Zhu Xiang at the side hurried over and paid, the stallholder smiled and said: “The strip of wood under the lantern is 2 layers. Opening the surface layer would reveal the riddle. Miss, just have a look.”

Gu Lian took a closer look and it really was a riddle. She had thought that it was a decoration piece but turned out to be lantern riddle.

Seeing a few lines on the strip of wood: ‘Light fragrance floating on the water, butterfly falls on the verdant, looking leisure and soothing, reflecting self-pity’

[T/L Note]: Can anyone guessed the answer to the riddle? I’m willing to do a double release for this novel next week if someone guessed it right! Dateline is 21st Oct at 00:00 (gmt+8) ☆*:.。.o(≧▽≦)o.。.:*☆

Although in this novel, it is CaiYun festival. There is indeed Lantern Festival(元宵节/Yuan Xiao Jie) and is celebrated on the 15th of the first month of the Chinese calendar. 

Not to be confused with Mid-autumn Festival(中秋节/ Zhong Qiu Jie) which is celebrated on 15th day of the 8th month of the Chinese calendar with a full moon at night.

Both major Festivals are famous for their lanterns, but the meaning behind these 2 is completely different. TangYuan/YuanXiao is eaten during Lantern Festival while people have mooncakes during Mid-autumn festival.


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20 thoughts on “Chapter 21: Celebrating the Festival

    1. Truth be told, it can be hard to guess the riddle without looking at the Chinese characters, for some riddles requires you to break up the phrases and put the characters together.


  1. Thanks for the chapter.

    The riddle looks very hard for anyone not familiar with Chinese culture… I don’t think I’ll even get close, because I’m not sure how literal the expected answer is or even whether it’s an object, concept, or phrase. But you’re not charging us for every attempt so might as well try puzzling it out:

    Fragrance floating on water… sounds like an aquatic flower, maybe a lotus, narcissus or water lily?

    I unfortunately am not too familiar with Chinese horticulture or symbolism but I found a couple of passages which might be a significant clue…

    “A butterfly seeking flowers symbolizes a young man’s quest for love. In particular a butterfly and plum blossom mean a quest for blissful love. A mandarin duck and a butterfly together signifies unrequited young love.”

    So it might be an aquatic flower that together with a butterfly carries the meaning of… unhappiness in love, hence self-pity? Seems like a strange thing to associate with the matchmaking festival, though. Mandarin ducks are sometimes shown holding lotus flowers so maybe that’s actually it, although I think that itself symbolizes a wish for happiness?

    …I have no idea what the correct answer is. If a better answer comes to my mind before time runs out I’ll comment again, otherwise I’ll just accept my defeat gracefully. I tried, but I don’t know how to begin to interpret the second half of the riddle.

    (fragrance floating on water could probably also be a woman on a boat… I’m completely lost. Curious to see the real answer.)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. wow! you take this very seriously! i am very happy! tbh, you are not too far away from the answer though! 淡香浮水,蝶落青葱,顾盼从容,花影自怜 If you are very keen in trying to figure it out, maybe u can try and work it out from the Chinese characters. The explanation would be given next chapter. but tbh, even if the explanation is given, one may find it very hard to associate this riddle with the answer

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Having the original Chinese characters as well as the translation helps a little with some of the ambiguity introduced by translation. (Is the ‘flower’ character in the final phrase omitted from the translation because it’s not meant to be read literally? “looking” in the third phrase is “looking around”, rather than “appearing”, right?)

        花影自怜 might be a play on 顾影自怜, an idiom, “to gaze at one’s shadow and feel self pity” (meaning: to be alone and dejected). I think you’re right, though; that’s not enough for me to figure it out, and I’m just hurting my head trying at this point. Hopefully someone else figures it out.

        I can definitely see some symbolism here relating to the search for love (a lotus blooms on the water; a butterfly lands on a leaf, looking around unhurriedly; the lotus feels self-pity) but unless that actually is the answer, I have no idea how to get from there to the true answer. Looking forward to seeing the real answer in the next chapter. ^^


  2. Haha I’m glad I don’t have to guess and that we get a double release. This has been a super fun story and I’m sad I’ve caught up but now I guess I’ll be able to read weekly so that’s fun in its own way. Thanks for translating this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. you’re welcome! i want to cry now! cuz double release tmr…..urgh!!! I actually love another novel that I am translating hence, I dropped the translation for this novel from 2-3times a week to once a week. go check out ‘the male lead’s backyard is on fire’ it is a really fun story

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahaha, I’m sorry (not sorry) for enjoying your pain. This is super fun already so I can’t wait to read the one you love. I’m just about to actually.

        Also just a sidenote: when I was on chapter 11 and went to next it went to chapter 12 of ‘the male leads backyard is on fire’. It was the same for chapter 12/13. I was very confused for a few seconds until I realised. That could’ve been just for me though.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Appreciating the time and energy you put into your blog and in depth information you offer. It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed material. Fantastic read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀 I do my best! though, i feel that I was not able to translate well for this novel. If you have any feedbacks, or want any more details etc, do let me know! I will add them in


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