Eastern Palace · Novel Translations

Second Translation Project: Eastern Palace 《东宫》 – Chapter 1

Hi everyone, karma here! I’ll be collaborating with suteki on translating Eastern Palace from now on. She’s been looking for someone to collaborate with for a while now, and unfortunately ended up with me. I probably caused both her and evida a ton of stress because of my late translations/edits, so I just wanted to say how much I appreciate their patience!!

For those of you who have faithfully followed suteki’s blog, you’ve probably already seen chapter one of Eastern Palace; I’ve edited and added foot notes to chapter one as a start for the Eastern Palace translations. Enjoy!! 

Sutekii: I’m so glad to be collaborating with karma on this project. As for those who have read my translation… can see/read her translation is a lot more accurate and flows better compare to mine *blushes, feeling ashamed* I hope you all enjoy her revised version.

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The novel consists of 42 Chapters + Epilogue. Although there’s 42 Chapters each chapter isn’t too long. xia0yuer over her blog Confession of a Drama Addict has translated a few of her favorite scenes from the novel. Her translations are detailed and well translated compared to mine.

This fan made video basically summaries the novel. Plenty of spoilers so for readers that want to enjoy their reading experience without spoilers do not watch.

This novel is not your fluffy romance novel, there’s plenty of angst and tears involve while reading the novel, it doesn’t have your typical happily ever after ending, be prepared to have a tissue box next to you while reading.

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 Brief Introduction

She is the much-loved and spoilt ninth princess of Xi Liang country. She embarked on the road to Central Plains (Zhongyuan) for an arranged marriage. He is the almighty and powerful crown prince. Because of a political marriage, he is forced to marry a foreign princess. He has his own beloved concubine, Zhao Liang Di. She has her own life, escaped from the palace to ride horse, disguised as a young man, chased thieves, sent lost children home and drinking wine. Initially, their lives are like two parallel lines, never intersect. However, the fight for power and position in eastern palace, endless gossips and hidden murderous intention, led her to get involved step-by-step.

After surviving a near death experience, she suddenly recalled what happened three years ago:

His blind date with her ​​in the desert,

He beheaded the white-eyed wolf king in Tian Gen mountain for her sake,

They held a grand wedding on the prairie.

However, he also brought her disaster, a bloody genocide …

River of Forgetfulness, to forget a love.

When her memory returned, how should she choose?

(Credits: this part is translated by peanuts (peanuts if you’re reading this… so sorry peanuts that I wrote decembi before that) on bookshushengbar.)

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Disclaimer: This chapter has been translated by sutekii and karma

Chapter 1 

As usual, I had another argument with Li Cheng Yin. Every time we quarrel, he always ignores me, and also does not allow others to speak with me.

When I felt exceedingly bored, I would sneak out to play. A’Du would follow me, she has always been at my side, no matter where I go, I just can’t shake her off, just like a shadow. Fortunately, I do not hate this person A’Du, apart from being a little stubborn, she’s good in everything else, she even knows martial arts, which is helpful in fighting off bad guys.

We went to the tea house to listen to stories, Mr. Storyteller is very enthusiastic, when he reached the part about how the Immortal Swordsman from thousands of miles away can save someone’s life, I asked A’Du, “Hey, do you believe there are Sword Immortals in this world?”

A’Du shook her head.

I also feel that it can’t be true.

In this word there are definitely martial arts experts, like A’Du handling the gold inlaid knife, I have seen her in action, as fast as lightning. But from thousands of miles away to save lives, I think that’s purely an exaggeration.

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When we walked out of the wine shop, we saw a circle of people on the street. I am someone who innately loves to get in on the action, naturally I squeezed past to see what happened. It turned out to be a girl dressed in white mourning clothes on her knees weeping and sobbing, behind her was a worn out mat, covering a stiff corpse, beneath the straw mat, there only revealed a pair of rigid feet, no shoes even worn. Everyone around sighed and shook their heads while pointing at the five words on her front “selling body to bury father”,  written in black ink on a white cloth.

“Whoa. Selling body to bury father! Dare I ask, how much does this young miss intend to sell herself for?”

Everyone glared at me. I forgot I was still in men’s clothing, so I pulled back, and stuck out my tongue. At this point, A’Du tugged my sleeve, I understood her gesture, A’Du is always worried that I will get into trouble. Really, although I spend much of the day wandering about the streets, but besides stopping a frightened horse one time, fighting some young ruffians twice, sending lost children home three times, chasing thieves four if not occasionally five times, I really do not meddle over other people’s business……I secretly snuck around to the back of the crowd, and carefully studied the carcass beneath the worn out woven mat, then I knelt down, conveniently pulled a strand from the straw mat, and lightly scratched those stiff soles.

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Scratch scratch scratch ah…. scratch…… I very patiently continued scratching. The “corpse” below the mat finally found it unbearable and began to tremble, the more it shook, the more severe the shaking, the more violent the shaking…… Those around finally found it strange. A man screamed, pointed at the trembling mat, teeth chattering and speechless; while others shouted “moving corpse” [1]; more people were dumbfounded, just standing there motionless, I relentlessly continued scratching. The “corpse” beneath the mat, finally finding the itching too unbearable, lifted the mat, and loudly cursed: “Which bastard is scratching my feet soles?”

I shrewdly retorted, “Bastard [2] scolding who?”

As expected, he was indeed fooled, “Bastard scolding you!”

I laughed and clapped, “It really is a bastard scolding me!”

He scrambled up and prepared to send a kick my way, A’Du, in a flash, stepped in between us. I made a face at him, “You damned swindler, pretending to be a corpse, only worth three copper pennies!”

That girl dressed entirely in white mourning clothes rushed at us with him. A’Du, who is usually reluctant to fight with people on the street, quickly pulled me and ran away.

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Sometimes I really don’t like being with A’Du, because often the fun has only just begun, and she’ll pull me away running. But her hands are like iron pincers, no matter what I do, I cannot pull free, left with no other choice but to allow her to drag me along, stumbling all along the way. Just as we ran half way down the street and got mixed within the crowd, I suddenly saw in front of a tea shop, a man looking at me. This person had a handsome appearance, wearing moon-white robes and quietly staring at me with his jet-black eyes.

I don’t know why, my heart suddenly jumped. Only after arriving underneath the memorial arch did A’Du finally let go of my hand, I turned my head to look at that man once more, but he was already gone.

A’Du didn’t ask what I was looking at, this was one of her good points, she never asked questions. I felt a little restless today, perhaps it was because of the quarrel with Li Cheng Yin. Even though he can never beat me in an argument, and I can always render him speechless, but he will always use other ways to fight back, such as letting others ignore me, as if I am an invisible person that no one else can see. That sort of feeling is really hard to cope with, if I don’t sneak out to play, sooner or later I will suffocate to death..

I felt extremely bored, I looked down and kicked a stone, the rock bounced around, just like in Cuju [3]. Li Cheng Yin is an expert at Cuju, the small rubber ball on the tips of his feet, as if it were a living thing, letting him do many tricks with it. I do not know how to play Cuju, nor have I ever learned it, because Li Cheng Yin refuses to teach me, and won’t allow anyone else to teach me, he has always been very petty.

I used slightly more force, and kicked the stone into a gutter, only after the “plop” sound did I realize that unexpectedly, I had already unconsciously walked into an alley. On either side were the high walls of households, the houses here always build them very high, and the odd switch sitting on the fence, I suddenly felt a little creeped out…… the kind of feeling that makes one’s hair ends stand vertically up.

I looked back, and surprisingly I didn’t see A’Du, I shouted loudly, “A’Du!”

The alley, completely desolate and empty, resounded with the sound of my voice. An unprecedented feeling of panic came over me. For the past few years, A’Du and I have been inseparable, even when I went to the toilet, she would dash to my side. When I woke up, she would accompany me, when I went to sleep, she would sleep at the front of my bed, she has never left me farther than ten feet away without a word, but now A’Du was suddenly gone.

I saw that man, that man in moon-white robes, he stood at the other end of the alley, watching me from a distance.

My mind was in a huge state of confusion, I turned around and shouted, “A’Du!”

This person, I do not recognize at all, but the way he looked at me on the street earlier was very strange. I feel the way he is looking at me right now, is also very strange.

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I asked him, “Hey! Have you seen A’Du?”

He did not answer, but instead slowly walked towards me. The sun shone on our faces, he was very good-looking, even better looking than Li Cheng Yin. His eyebrows were like two swords, eyes black as gems, tall nose bridge, thin lips, but the shape was very nice, in short, he was a good-looking man. He kept walking until he was in front of me, suddenly he smiled, “Miss, may I ask which A’Du you are looking for?”

Was there more than one A’Du in this world? I said, “Of course my A’Du, have you seen her? She is wearing a yellow garment, just like a small yellow Oriole.”

He said exasperatingly slowly, “Wearing a yellow garment, like a small yellow Oriole——I’ve seen such a person.”

“Where is she?”

“Right in front of me.” He was much too close, so close I could see the mysterious radiance shining from his eyes, “Unless it’s not you?”

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I looked down at my clothes, I was wearing a pale yellow male garment, the same as A’Du, this person was really strange.

He said, “Xiao Feng, we haven’t met for several years, you’re still like this, you haven’t changed at all.”

I couldn’t help but be greatly shocked, Xiao Feng is my pet name, ever since coming to Shang Jing [4], no one’s addressed me that way anymore. I blinked, and perplexedly looked at him, “Who are you?”

He smiled faintly, and said, “That’s right, you don’t know who I am.”

“Did my daddy send you?” I blinked, staring at him. Before departing, my father had promised me that he would send someone to see me and give me a lot of delicious food.

He didn’t answer me, he only asked, “Do you want to go home?”

Of course I want to go home, even in my dreams I want to go home.

I asked him, “Were you sent by Brother?”

He smiled at me, and asked, “You also have a brother?”

Of course I have a brother, in fact I have five, fifth brother especially loved me. When I went away, he cried a lot, using the whip, he thrashed all the soil on the floor everywhere. I know it was because he hated to part with me, could not bear me being so far away.

This person didn’t even know that I have a brother, it seems that this person was not actually someone sent from home, I was slightly disappointed. I asked him, “How do you know my name?”

He said, “You once told me.”

I told him? Did I actually know him?

Why do I have no impression of it.

I don’t know why, but I don’t think this man is a liar. Probably because there wouldn’t be such a weird liar. In this world, swindlers will strive to make themselves appear like normal people, so that they would not be strange, because it is easy to reveal their weakness that way, and also be exposed by someone.

I titled my head, sized him up and asked, “Who exactly are you?”

He said, “I am Gu Jian.”

He didn’t say anything else, as if these four words already represented everything.

I had never heard of this name, I said, “I’m going to look for A’Du.”

He said to me, “I’ve been looking for three years and I’ve finally met you, are you so unwilling to speak with me for just a little longer?”

I felt very strange, “Why were you looking for me? Why have you been looking for me for three years? Three years ago, did I know you?”

He smiled lightly and said, “Three years ago I made you angry and you ran away, I could only keep looking until today. But you already no longer recognize me.”

I felt like he was lying, forget three years ago, even matters from thirteen years ago I still remember very clearly. My memory is extremely good, when I was two or three years old, though I had only just started keeping record of things, I already remembered many things. For example, Mother once gave me a type of fruit pulp that was very sour, I really didn’t like it; or Mother holding me, seeing father return on his horse, the first golden rays of the morning sun plating my father’s body, as if he was wearing golden armor, awe-inspiring and majestic.

I was determined to stop speaking to him. I turned and left, where could A’Du have gone? As I was thinking, I turned around to look, that GuJian was still standing there watching me, his eyes staring moment after moment not blinking, seeing me look back at him, he smiled at me again. He had smiled at me several times already, I suddenly felt that his smile was like a layer of broken ice fragments floating on the water’s surface, as if smiling at me was actually something immensely painful for him.


[1] Zha Shi 诈尸: The sudden movement of a corpse (a superstition).

[2] In Chinese, because of the placement of the word “bastard” (王八蛋) in the front of the sentence, it can mean both “a bastard is scolding who?” or “who are you calling bastard?” Therefore he took it as the latter and replied in the same grammar pattern with “I’m calling you bastard”, which can also mean “a bastard is scolding you”, which, as you can see,  is exactly what she wanted.

[3] Cu Ju 蹴鞠: The earliest form of football.

[4] Shang Jing 上京: Modern-day Beijing.

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suteki: so how was the first chapter for you? If you liked it, for those who can read Chinese you can find the novel here and the manga here. Or if you prefer to listen to the novel instead you can find it here.  If you know how to read Vietnamese you can find the translation here

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29 thoughts on “Second Translation Project: Eastern Palace 《东宫》 – Chapter 1

  1. It’s a shame that nobody had translated it yet… I can only hope that you translate it soon, but you said (I remember so) that you have another project (black belly dad)…

    Well if I can read Chinese I would help you, but unfortunately I can not…

    Anyway The first chapter hook me up (is it correctly said?)!!

    I hear that this novel has a sad ending, is it true?

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    1. Yes it does have a sad ending so you gotta have a tissue box in hand.

      I’m still deciding on Eastern Palace or Black – Bellied Dad..

      I may start earlier on Eastern Palace if I end up finding someone to help me.

      I want readers to have a better reading experience with the correct translated phrases. Ancient novels are a lot more hard to translate depending on the author’s writing style.

      So even if it’s just someone who’s more fluent in Chinese to help me proof read and correct it would be great.

      If not I’ll start when I feel like I’m ready.

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  2. hi sutekii…it’ll be great if you’d continue with the project. Sadly I could not be of any help as I don’t understand Chinese.

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    1. Fingers crossed. I actually drafted chapter 2 and half way through chapter 3 but there are some phrases I’m having trouble with. So unless I figure those out and have drafted at least 5 chapters I won’t be posting anything. As there’s still proof reading to be done.

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  3. Hello sutekii,

    Haha thanks for crediting me but I didn’t translate that! I have never read Eastern Palace lol 🙂 I think the summary is probably by peanuts?

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  4. Hello Sutekii! I’ve been waiting for ages for someone to translate this book. It would really be great if you decide to translate EP. Thank you for the first chapter.

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  5. Wow I’m starting to like this novel of yours. I’m afraid of sad ending and teary novel but I cannot help wanting to read this after read the first chapter. >.< Ugh must resist.. FYI I love Liu Shi Shi XD she is just so pretty.

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    1. If you’re interested in reading it, I know this whole novel translated in Vietnamese. I remember I read on your blog your were translating ‘When a Snail Loves’ from the Vietnamese translation.

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      1. Yes, I can read in Vietnamese. I cried just by watching the MV just now. I don’t think I can handle reading the whole novel without crying a river. T___T

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  6. I will reply you here instead of the bar. Haha, you should notice such crappy translation is from me and not decembi.

    For people who don’t know Chinese, a translation is better than nothing. But you need to be aware quite a fair bit will be lost in translation from Chinese to viet then to English even though viet is fairly similar to Chinese. The gist of the story is still intact but the style and some omissions are inevitable. It is not the fault of the translators but there is no perfect translations.

    I let lidge free rein with Shan Shan’s translation but I am editing nearly every lines of silent because this book is such a classic so I want it to stay as close as possible to the Chinese novel. Hence, lidge hates me for being so fussy, lol. Because EP is also a popular novel, I will advise you to find someone who knows Chinese well to translate or edit.

    This is just my suggestion. If you cannot find Chinese translator then go with the viet translation as it is better than no translation.

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    1. Moonblossom has agreed to help me with the words/phrases that I don’t understand.

      As for Un helping me translate from the vietnamese translation, I will go over and do the editing. Will try my best to keep to the original as possible, thank you for your suggestions peanuts

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  7. Hi everyone! 🙂

    I just found out that Eastern Palace was being translated! Yay!! (will have to scour through the entire blog now :D)

    I’ve listened to the audiobook a while back and like all of stepmom’s books, Eastern Palace had me reaching for my box of tissues by the time I got to the end of the book. *sigh* Her anti-heroes always have me on the border of love/hate at different times in her books. I try not to read Fei Wo Si Cun if I can help it, but her all-too-hateable male leads are way too compelling (Li Cheng Yin, Mo Shao Qian/Murong Feng, I’m shaking my fists at you!) =X

    Thank you very much to you all for taking on this project~ *dances the happy jig* 🙂

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  8. Frickin’ angst! Put me through so much! Watching that YouTube video clip…made me use so many tissues! This needs a sequel where in the next lifetime…she will have a happy ending with the one she loves! Forget that guy..he put you through so much pain! Omg…still crying because of all the shit she had to go through! ;(

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  9. Saw this as someone is translating it now, and saw your link to the youtube “summary”.
    Omg, at the end of it, I am crying bucket of tears… Ugh.. 😭😭😭
    I don’t like SE cause I’m going to be upset and depress thinking about the novel, argh but I want to read this. lol

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  10. Thanks for the hard work…

    May I know where I can read the comic? The first image means that there might be a manga/comic for this one doesn’t it?

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