Chapter 22: Lantern

Light fragrance floating on the water, butterfly falls on the verdant, looking leisure and soothing, reflecting self-pity(!)

(!)淡香浮水,蝶落青葱,顾盼从容,花影自怜。This is the entire riddle. 

Light fragrance means that the floral fragrance was not strong. Floating and self-pity indicated that it was grown in the water or near the water. Butterflies indicated that the flower fragrance was able to attract the butterflies or the petals are shaped like butterflies. But the whole sentence was ‘butterfly falls on the verdant’, meaning that the butterfly was the petal, and the petals matched together with verdant leaves, like a butterfly falling on it. ‘looking leisure and soothing’ means that this kind of flower looks refined and unconventional.

Therefore, it should be……

“Miss, is it Daffodil?” Zhu Xiang could not help but asked softly near Gu Lian’s ear.

Gu Lian shook her head slightly: “Daffodils has a strong fragrance.”

After that, she looked at the shopkeeper: “Iris.”

Iris was also known as phalaenopsis. It has blue, violet, and other flower colours. The flower shape was beautiful, and the violet butterfly was a symbol of the WuDu poison, hence, iris was Gu Lian’s favourite flower. At the same time, Gu Lian had taken a liking to its lantern style.

The lantern riddles games here were actually for fun and was not intended to be difficult. The iris on the lantern was the iris to the riddle, and one could easily discover this small pattern with quick thinking. This was also the customary rule of the CaiYun Festival and the vendors do not use the lantern riddles as a means of profiteering but instead raise the price for guessing the riddles. It was equivalent of buying a lantern at a high price for auspiciousness.

The stallholder smiled and handed her a brand-new iris lantern and lit it up for her: “Miss, walk slowly. You have guessed the riddle today and will meet your destined one by chance.”

Gu Lian smiled as she left the vendor with a lantern in her hand.

“Do you have any lantern you want to buy? The answer to the riddle is the pattern of the lantern you want. Just say the pattern as your answer.” Gu Lian asked the servants beside her.

Lan Xiang and Ju Xiang each bought one, but because the inside story of the riddle was a blow to Zhu Xiang, she had lost her enthusiasm for guessing. She had thought that guessing the riddle was a meaningful thing, but everyone already knew the answer, so it was boring.

Gu Lian raised her eyebrows but did not persuade her as she walked forward with a lantern in her hand.

Strolling around the market, watching the lively scene as the colourful lanterns adorned the night sky, which was exceptionally beautiful. There were several kinds of novel lanterns hanging on the tall buildings and there were not only flower lanterns and animal lanterns as the rarest ones were the revolving lanterns. Zhu Xiang was only upset for a short moment and was quickly drawn by the revolving lanterns as her gaze was fixed on it.

Naturally, on this long street, there were not only lantern vendors but also rouge powder, jewellery, toys, and snacks vendors. Gu Lian only has a look at it but did not buy any as she continued looking around and walked. Soon, she had reached the bridge.

There was a QinHuai river passing through the HuaiJing city and the arch bridges above the river were decorated with lanterns making it extremely beautiful. Hubbub of voices travelling from both ends of the bridges. Standing at the end of the bridge to look around and one would be able to see long lines of lights. Pleasure-boats passing by under the bridge and with the help of the riverbank’s colourful lights, it made the area exceptionally bright.

Gu Lian was probably standing on the split road on the bridge of QinHuai and the river flow was only about ten metres wide, making it looked long and narrow. The river which was a little further ahead was much wider and there were many lavish painting boats stopping at the centre with many dancers and singers performing on it. The extravagant melodious music travelled along the ripples making people drunk from listening to it.

As if having a hunch about something, Gu Lian turned her head abruptly and saw Qiao MingYu who was about to step onto the bridge.

The other party was carrying a lantern which looked remarkably familiar.

Gu Lian could not help but smiled and raised her lantern to motioned towards her. When Qiao MingYu walked up to her in surprised, she chuckled softly: “Looks like I have an affinity with MingYu.”

“We should be together for a lifetime.” Qiao MingYu following her words and joked as well.

Gu Lian was simply smiling. But Qiao MingYu felt that she had never seen such a beautiful person before.

Looking at the beauty under the light. The more she looks, the more beautiful she was. 

“Aiya!” Lan Xiang was squeezed by the crowd and the lantern which she did not hold firmly, fell off the bridge. Fortunately, it was not swallowed by the water but landed on the water surface. What she had bought was a lotus lantern, and it looks like a glowing lotus floating along the water.

Lan Xiang feeling the loss as she sighed, her lantern…….

“Will buy another one for you later.” Gu Lian said amusedly.

Qiao MingYu walked to Gu Lian’s side and took her hand. “Let’s go, like this, you will not get lost.”  

Su Dan walked over and stuffed the lotus lantern in her hand into Lan Xiang then smiled at Lan Xiang and urged her to follow the 2 masters. Lan Xiang looked at her curiously: “Sister Su Dan, weren’t you not coming to see the lanterns?”

“I just came late.” Su Dan scratched her nose, “There is no steward in the estate, so I have to handle everything.”

Unexpectedly, she was lucky enough to run into Qiao Mingyu who was lost. Without her, Qiao MingYu would not have come here and bumped into Gu Lian. Her princess’s EQ and IQ would soar when meeting outsiders but when she saw her own people, she would often become stupid. Fortunately, she had guessed it right. To find Qiao MingYu more conveniently, and to let Qiao MingYu find herself more conveniently, Gu Lian chose to stay on the bridge. When Su Dan led Qiao MingYu to the vicinity, she saw Gu Lian with her sharp eyes, otherwise, it would be a waste of time.

Zhu Xiang turned around and called out to Lan Xiang: “Hurry up, you 2 are so slow!”

Only then did Lan Xiang and Su Dan quickly followed up so they would not get lost again.

“Princess likes Iris too?” Gu Lian asked.

This was too coincidental. Qiao MingYu actually likes this flower too.

Who knew Qiao MingYu shook her head honestly: “I do not like flowers.” But when I first saw it, I thought you might like it, and unexpectedly bought it.

Guessing it wrong, Gu Lian was not embarrassed but instead, she asked: “Does princess have any favourite plants? Conifers? Bamboo?”

This question made Qiao MingYu struggled for a long time as she had never thought about it before, meanwhile Gu Lian waited patiently. Although she had wanted to tell Qiao MingYu that she was asking it casually, she saw that Qiao MingYu was thinking it seriously, so she did not say anything to interrupt her.

After a long time, Qiao MingYu said: “I like pear blossom.”

“…..” Gu Lian does not know how to respond. 

She had said that she did not like flowers, now, she likes them again.

She asked her the reason, but Qiao MingYu refused to tell her so Gu Lian gave up.

After strolling around for a few times, they had seen all the lively scenes and without waiting for the crowd to die down, Gu Lian and Qiao MingYu went back.

Qiao MingYu was plausible and had assumed that Gu Lian’s health was not good, so she could not stroll around anymore and it was dangerous to wander around in the middle of the night so it was better to go back to the estate. Gu Lian has no objections and accepted it readily.

When parting in front of the bedroom, Qiao MingYu suddenly said on a whim: “I have never slept with someone before.”

“???” So, what do you want to say, Your Highness? Gu Lian deliberate for a moment: “Neither did I.”

Qiao MingYu nodded and wanted to say something but was suddenly embarrassed and felt that it was very rude. Hence, she pushed open the door and hurried in without leaving Gu Lian any chance of saying goodnight. In fact, Gu Lian had wanted to ask how many days she would be staying in the estate before returning to the palace.

After washing and was sitting on the bed, Gu Lian frowned slightly. Feeling strange about Qiao MingYu’s words that held a deeper meaning. Does she want to sleep with her? It was alright to sleep together. Although, in the game, the Tang Dynasty customs were much more open and there were more same-sex couples than heterosexual couples. But in this world, there were few who likes gay let alone lesbian. Maybe the princess does not even know that women could like women. And maybe she had purely thought of sleeping with her good friend? After all, the princess probably does not have any friends before.

However, thinking that the princess has a boy-like personality, she was a little worried that the princess has regarded herself as a male in her heart.

Cough Cough. These are her blind guesses, so it was better to ask the princess tomorrow. Maybe the other party had suddenly thought of this and sighed with sorrow.

What was Qiao MingYu thinking about? She had the sudden idea of wanting to sleep together with Gu Lian but was too embarrassed to say it. Feeling that she would scare Gu Lian, this little white flower away, she swallowed it back silently. Actually, really, it was nothing special, really.

At night, Gu Lian did not sleep well, worried and could not help but to think about it more. As a result, the next morning when she met Her Royal Highness and had greeted her normally while having her breakfast happily, she felt that she had thought too much. Seeing that the princess was so natural, so why did she fantasize about these and that?

She did not know that when she removed her gaze away from Qiao MingYu, Qiao MingYu let out a sigh of relief quietly.


[T/L Note]: So……..Someone had guessed the correct answer to the riddle so double update today…….. translating 2 chapters in 1 day for this novel is excruciating. I need to go heal my soul ( ͒˃̩̩⌂˂̩̩ ͒)

I love and hate Chinese language. Hate it because it is a difficult language. Love it because it is beautiful. Do you know that idioms/phrases/sentences and even the Chinese characters were created by observing one’s surroundings? It is why a lot of description of some things were based on the nature. If one had the time to observed their surroundings and appreciate their beauty, would be able to guess the riddle.


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5 thoughts on “Chapter 22: Lantern

  1. Oh wow that is nice. The info you gave on the chinese language and idioms etc. The chapter was also nice. We’re starting to jump on the gay train. Thanks for the chapter! (And the next one)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, the butterfly was the petals of the iris… the idea that the petals of the flower could be the butterfly’s wings did cross my mind at one point but there were too many possibilities and I fixated too much on other parts of the riddle. (Tried to interpret the self-pity phrase, which seems to not mean anything in particular; did not come close to solving the final phrase)

    Thanks for translating; I have not finished reading yet, I just jumped to the bottom to respond to the riddle answer. Back to the chapter now. :p

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i do not know how to explain how the self-pity has got to do with water reflection properly. from what I understand (that tiny bits) is that in ancient time, when one looks at the reflection in the water is often to reflect on themselves or even pity themselves etc. It is not easy to comprehend riddles unless u have research extensively about their culture. Even though I am a Chinese, I still struggle to understand it because I am not from China/taiwan/hongkong

      Like

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