Part of a Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms translation project at fruitydeer.com.
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Source: 三生三世十里桃花 by Tang Qi Gong Zi // Translated By: fruitydeer
This is part 4 of 4. Our short journey has finally reached its end. Hope you all enjoyed this reading this side of Ye Hua’s story as much as I did! Although, this epilogue should probably be renamed, “The One Where Ye Hua is a Ding Dong.”
Tianjun indeed sent Ye Hua to the Southern Seas to subdue the Merman Clan. Lian Song, who had always stayed in the Heavenly Palace, also asked to join the fight. Tianjun allowed for it.
Ye Hua feared that Su Su would worry, so he only said that he was going somewhere very far away to deal with a very important matter. Worried that she would be lonely, he pulled a copper mirror out of his sleeve and gave it to her, promising he would talk to her when he wasn’t busy.
In order to deceive Tianjun, on the battlefield in the Southern Seas, Ye Hua completely surrendered himself to a strike from the chief of the Merman Clan. The Merman Clan’s Soul Slaying Sword sliced straight from his chest to his abdomen, leaving an extremely long and narrow cut. Ye Hua met the edge of the blade with the perfect strength and just the right amount of depth. Any deeper might’ve lead to an actual demise, any shallower and he wouldn’t have looked like a fatal injury.
After Ye Hua’s accident, Lian Song quickly assumed Ye Hua’s role. An army burning with indignant righteousness is bound to win and the Crown Prince’s injury from the head of the Merman Clan had him straddling between life and death. This left the soldiers serving under him in a state of grief and anger. Within three days, they turned the Southern Seas upside down and destroyed the entire Merman Clan.
As such, Lian Song returned to the Heavenly Palace and reported the funeral service to Tianjun. He also added some flair to the tale of Ye Hua’s annihilation in the Southern Seas. The entire matter was resolved successfully. However, Ye Hua never could have predicted that at this crucial moment, Su Su would break through the magical barrier he created on Junji Mountain. Right away, the Heavenly Palace discovered her.
He could no longer carry on with the act.
The day Ye Hua was carried back to the Heavenly Palace, the long drought-ridden Southern Seas had its first rainfall.
Though he had lived for this long, he never understood the feeling of regret until now. As he now lied groggily in his bed in Zi Chen Hall, he felt total remorse that he didn’t make the barrier on Junji Mountain just a bit thicker. Ye Hua thought that because his injury at the Southern Seas was too severe, it affected the barrier and created an opening, allowing Su Su to break out of it. He didn’t realize that even if he made the barrier as thick as ten city walls, his wife would still find a way break through.
Tianjun went to Xi Wu Palace to call on Ye Hua, first asking after his injuries. After a momentary pause, he finally said, “A few days ago, I noticed a mortal in the Mortal Realm. Her womb just so happened to be carrying your flesh and blood. What’s going on?”
Ye Hua laid on the bed and responded with an air of apathy, “When this grandchild went to subdue the Scarlet Flamed Lion Beast, I suffered some small injuries and was rescued by that mortal woman. The child in her womb can be regarded as a repayment of her kindness.”
Tianjun nodded his head and said, “Since this is to repay a debt, it’s no big deal. In the future, you’ll be taking my mantle, so it’s not good to attach too much importance to romance. As long as you remember this, I don’t have much to worry about. Since she’s pregnant with her child, let’s bring her up to the Heavens.”
Ye Hua glanced above at the blooming lotus blossom on the canopy of his bed and continued to reply apathetically, “Bringing a mortal to the Heavens is improper, she’s already in the Mortal Realm. Why bother with the trouble of bringing her here?
His expression matched what Tianjun wanted to see and the man smiled in satisfaction. However, after a long pause, Tianjun still said, “A child of the Heavens ought to be born in the Heavens, being born in the wilderness is what would be improper. When you’ve recovered from your injury, go and bring her up here.”
The propriety Ye Hua spoke of naturally could not compete with whatever propriety Tianjun conveyed. He knew, in reality, this had nothing to do with propriety. By and large, it was because Tianjun didn’t believe his explanation. Back when Sang Ji brought Shao Xin to the Heavens, had it not been for their stroke of luck, it’s obvious what would have happened to Shao Xin. Now, Ye Hua has no choice but to follow the path of Sang Ji’s mistakes and bring Su Su up to the Heavenly Palace.
Ye Hua knew at that moment that they could never be. Henceforth, in this vast palace, he and Su Su could only be strangers. Ye Hua couldn’t bear to drag her into these muddy waters; he wasn’t willing to let her suffer even a little. However, there was actually a tiny bit worth rejoicing. He was grateful that she had yet to fall in love with him. During this relationship, all enthusiasm came from his end. But even from those five months of happiness he experienced on Junji Mountain, he had no regrets. Not even if she completely forgot him in the future.
Three years. As long as he kept her safe for the next three years, once she gives birth to the child, Tianjun would have no reason to keep her in the Heavenly Palace. When the time comes, he’ll give her the Water of Oblivion from the Netherworld and send her back to Junji Mountain. She’ll live happily and free, then grow old while living to her heart’s content. He’d be satisfied just looking at her from time to time through the reflective waters in the Heavens.
Ye Hua soon brought Su Su to the Heavens and let her settle in at Yi Lan Fang Hua.1 He also found a most honest and simple maid from an immortal mountain in the lower realms and brought her to the hall to serve Su Su.
Two years passed in a blink of an eye. These two years, outsiders could see that Ye Hua paid no mind to this immortal that was brought up to the Heavens. Tianjun could see this as well. However, sometimes when it was just the two of them, Ye Hua couldn’t keep himself from expressing tenderness towards her. Fortunately, only the two of them knew about those moments in which he lost propriety.
Fortunately, in those two years, nobody came to bring her trouble. Though Su Su lived in the Heavenly Palace, she had nothing to do with anything in the Nine Heavens nor was she tainted by its wickedness. Still, during those two years and its seven hundred nights, Ye Hua still could hardly sleep a wink.
In the spring of the third year, there was a situation in the Northern Wilderness. Tianjun ordered him to station there and observe the developments in detail. Ye Hua brought several lords working under him and quickly made his way to the Northern Wilderness. He never expected that this was part of Tianjun’s strategy to lure him away.
Tianjun spent fifty thousand years of his time and energy on Ye Hua; of course, he refused to allow for any sort of mishap.
The second day after Ye Hua left, Tianjun’s newly instated consort, the Zhao Ren Princess, Su Jin, sat in Ye Hua’s study with a grand self-directed and self-acted play.
She faced the brush stand sitting on his desk and acted with near perfection as she said, “You married a mortal to get revenge for me marrying Tianjun, right? But what could I do? In the Four Seas and Eight Wildernesses, who can ward off Tianjun’s favor? Tell me, Ye Hua, the one you love is me, is it not? The reason you call her Su Su…isn’t it because, isn’t it all because there’s a Su in my name?”
In reality, Ye Hua never had a clue as to what the “Jin” character in Su Jin was or even what character for the “Su” was. He knew the names of every single male immortal’s title and name, from ranks one through nine, because he often needed to know when reviewing documents. As to this Zhao Ren Princess and which characters were used in her name, well, he never had the idle time to expend energy on looking this up.
If he heard her words, he would simply laugh off this utter nonsense. He might even say, “Were you struck by an evil spirit?” However, the one who heard those words was not Ye Hua, but Su Su.
Naturally, he had no idea that Su Su heard such gossip, told specifically for her ears.
Ye Hua came back to the Heavenly Palace half a year later. Before he could even step into Xi Wu Palace, he saw Nai Nai, the maid serving Su Su, rushing over in a hurry. Seeing him, she cried hoarsely and said that Su Su had come to blows with Consort Su Jin at Zhu Xian Terrace.
To immortals, Zhu Xian Terrace was an ominous place. Immortals standing idly up there cannot cast even one bit of magic. Su Su herself probably wouldn’t be at a disadvantage here. Ye Hua had a sudden realization, frowning as he hurried over. He didn’t see Su Jin hurting Su Su; what he saw instead was Su Su pushing Su Jin off Zhu Xian Terrace. Su Jin’s gaudy outfit swayed over the railing and his heart tensed. Should something happen to that Zhao Ren Princess…
When he leaned down Zhu Xian Terrace to rescue Su Jin, he sensed that her eyes were hurt by the vicious currents below the terrace. At that moment, the Sang Ji’s incident from fifty thousands years ago flashed before his mind. He remembered how the little snake spirit that Sang Ji loved so much was imprisoned in the Demon Sealing Tower (鎖妖塔 // Suo Yao Ta) by Tianjun over some minor issues over her attitude.
Su Jin seemed to be saying some things, but Ye Hua didn’t care.
Even when he was slashed by the Merman Clan’s Soul Slaying Sword three years ago, his heart hadn’t sunk nearly as low as it did now. Su Su came over and said, “It wasn’t me, it wasn’t me. I didn’t push her, Ye Hua, you have to believe me. You have to believe me…”
She kept defending herself, looking rather pitiful. He felt an ache in his heart. Su Su was protected all too well during those first two years. She had no idea that at a time like this, this kind of behavior will only make herself more vulnerable to misunderstandings. Su Jin covered her eyes while groaning deeply. Several maids from afar gathered up their skirts and ran over.
Years of learning to remain calm in the face of disorder allowed him to recover quickly. In his heart, Ye Hua already calculated what was needed to fully resolve the matter. But all this had always been part of Tianjun’s plan. The matter being fought over was who could act sooner, who had more time. Ye Hua was stationed in the Northern Wilderness for half a year, how could he even compete? Before he could even begin carrying out those calculations of his, they had already been put to a stop by those elder immortals working under Tianjun.
In the study, Tianjun happened to have invited several leaders of the Heavenly Clan to discuss matters. These clansmen pitied the Zhao Ren Princess’s childhood background and constantly looked after Su Jin. Seeing her in her current state, they all burned with rage.
Tianjun sat upon the throne and said sternly, “Su Jin’s situation was the result of an honorable sacrifice by clan members, young and old, who gave up their lives for the Heavens. The Heavenly Clan should have treated her with benevolence, but she got hurt like this because of a mortal. If we don’t offer a proper resolution for this, these fellow clansmen will be bitterly disappointed.”
Ye Hua didn’t want want to drag Su Su through these muddy waters of the Nine Heavens. He had used so much caution and care, but in the end, there was no escaping it.
Appropriate to the situation, Su Jin made two sobbing noises. A few leaders stood to the side with their heads down angrily, though they didn’t dare to act.
Tianjun continued to gaze sternly upon Ye Hua.
Half of what Ye Hua knew about governing was learned from that old man sitting on the thrown. Adding in what he knew about Sang Ji’s situation, Ye Hua had a general understanding of what Tianjun was thinking.
Whether or not Su Su pushed Su Jin down Zhu Xian Terrace was irrelevant. The final act of the play that Tianjun was putting on was nearing its end. Tianjun sat and waited for this disappointing grandchild of his, who was willing to exonerate this mortal at all costs, to make his move.
Amongst the study were those several seething court officials, chosen to be here specifically due to their ill-tempers and for the purpose of aiding in the effort of sentencing that mortal to death. Tianjun sat high up on his lofty throne, knowing exactly what was best for and what was bad for his heir.
A moment of silence washed over the room. The quiet sounds of Su Jin’s sobbing rippled through the air.
Ye Hua’s fists were clenched so tightly that they went white, but he replied with deference, “Tianjun is quite right. Just now, this grandson did not see things with clarity and only hearing how the Consort said Su Su acted unintentionally. Even though it was unintentional, this caused severe injuries to the Consort’s eyes. These eyes, Su Su naturally must pay back. As a mortal, she dared push an Heavenly Consort down Zhu Xian Terrace. Though the Consort knows this was accidental, Su Su’s mistake is indeed unforgivable. If Su Su was sentenced to three years of lightning strikes, would this be enough to satisfy the Consort’s fellow clansmen?”
Tianjun waited for long time, but never expected Ye Hua to something so sensible. There was nothing the clansmen could complain about. They merely commended the Crown Prince’s good sense and lack of personal bias. They were completely satisfied.
With no other alternative, Tianjun coolly nodded and allowed it.
Ye Hua took a step forward, continuing his deferential manner of speech.
“Su Su once showed kindness to this grandchild. Tianjun has taught this grandchild that kindness received must be repaid, otherwise one would be ungentlemanly. This grandchild was the one who initially brought her to the Heavenly Palace. Now that she’s caused this incident, this grandchild must naturally take responsibility. Her womb still has this grandson’s flesh and blood. This grandchild must plead with Tianjun to let him suffer the three years of lightning strikes on her behalf.”
Logically, these words all made sense.
Tianjun’s expression remained still. Once Ye Hua finished speaking, Tianjun merely looked downwards and drank a sip of tea. When he looked up again, his face was one of careful composure.
He allowed for it.
Ye Hua saw with his own eyes Su Su pushing Su Jin down Zhu Xian Terrace. Paying back a set of eyes was to please Tianjun, Su Jin, and those several clansmen. However, the most important reason was to return all debts owed to Su Jin. A messy entanglement between an immortal and mortal already pushes against natural law. The heavens will naturally work to sort out these entanglements. For instance, if the debt Su Su owes Su Jin is not repaid today, the Heavens will one day put it up to fate to have her pay it clean.
The last thing he wanted was for Su Su to get hurt. Even if Ye Hua had Herculean capabilities, it’d be difficult to say whether or not he would still be able to protect her life, because at that point, calamity would already be written in her destiny.
After Su Su’s eyes were dug out, he immediately went to the Shen Xiao Yu Building2 on the 33rd Level of Heaven to receive his lightning punishment. The immortal managing the lightning division, the Patriarch of Thunder, Pu Hua,3 was dignified and honorable. He didn’t let Ye Hua off easy just because he was the crown prince. Although those powerful lightning bolts could not kill, each strike was so painful that it felt like the primordial spirit was being torn apart. This type of punishment was both safe and torturous. Ye Hua must take on forty-nine lightning strikes every day.
Even the day Su Su gave birth was no exception. The scars on his body continued to build on top of one another, looking extremely horrific. Ye Hua feared that Su Su would notice and that he would give cause to worry, so he dared not return to Yi Lan Fang Hua to spend the night with her again.
Sending Su Su back to Junji Mountain after giving birth had become an impossible dream. Since there was no way to prevent harm on her, Ye Hua had to keep her safe by his side for life. He didn’t know at the time that this was mere wishful thinking on his part. There was no way to achieve happiness with this person whom he loved so dearly.
After all, he was merely her love trial. He was destined to be her trial for ascension. Even if it wasn’t him, it would have been someone else.
He had been too ignorant to the cruelties of fate.
When Su Su jumped off Zhu Xian Terrace, Ye Hua followed with determination. Zhu Xian Terrace was merely a tool for punishing immortals. Under typical circumstances, it wouldn’t be able to actually take his life. However, Ye Hua had just suffered the lightning punishment and was completely out of strength. With this jump, it was clear that he sought out death.
Tianjun originally thought that forcing the woman to her death would only put his grandchild in low spirits for a few days, then Ye Hua would go back to being the most perfect heir apparent of the Nine Heavens. He didn’t expect that his granchild would be so attached to this woman. When he rushed from Ling Xiao Palace to Zhu Xian Terrace and saved Ye Hua, his grandson’s lifeline was nearly exhausted. At that moment, the once untouchable Tianjun aged significantly.
With this slumber, Ye Hua slept for sixty years. Once awoken, he was completely disheartened, not understanding why he had to wake up. His mother couldn’t bear to see him like this and obtained a Pill of Oblivion from the Medicine Lord. She placed it before Ye Hua but he merely glanced at it with disinterest.
Though the pains of his heartbreak felt like a blunt knife cutting against flesh, slowly bringing death upon him, he still believed that Su Su was the only splash of color in his fifty thousand years of life. If this tiny bit of color was blotted out, he would no longer be himself. Though it was painful, he still refused to forget her.
His attachment to Su Su was just like Su Jin’s attachment to him. However, Su Jin’s attachment to him caused Su Su’s death. He really wanted to kill her.
In front of Xi Wu Palace, he pierced his Qing Ming Sword into Su Jin’s chest. She was wearing a bright red wedding dress while faintly and incredulously asking, “Why?” Ye Hua simply pulled his sword out apathetically and glanced at her coldly. He turned around and entered the palace, shutting the gates of Xi Wu Palace with a raise of his hand.
But Su Jin was too stubborn. Although she was an orphan since childhood, these seventy thousand years had gone smoothly for her. Only he had ever caused her to stumble time and time again. Before the gods of the Eight Wildernesses, she offered her clan’s holy artifact, the Soul Gathering Lamp (結魂燈 // Jie Po Deng), to Tianjun. Three months later, she successfully entered Xi Wu Palace.
In the blink of an eye, another three hundred years passed.
Fortunately, the Heavens was not as lacking in morals as one imagined. Tribulation, then destiny. Now that he and Su Su survived those tribulations, it was time for destiny to come full circle.
After these three hundred years, he met a woman in Zhe Yan’s Peach Blossom Forest. The next day at the the Eastern Sea King’s Crystal Palace, that woman sat on a stone stool while teaching his Second Uncle’s wife a lesson. Her right hand held a fan while the thumb and index finger on her left hand formed a circle. The remaining three fingers lightly tapped against the stone table, a habit that Su Su would often do subconsciously. That scolding tone of voice was also very similar to Su Su’s.4
A shockwave went off in Ye Hua’s mind and he came out from behind shadows of a coral tree. On his lips was a smile that hadn’t crossed his face for three hundred years. He said, “Ye Hua didn’t realize that the maiden is actually Qing Qiu’s High God, Bai Qian.”
- Referred to as Hall of Beautiful Youth in the drama. Yi Lan Fang Hua loosely means to seize the beauty of youth with a grasp. Translator’s Analysis: The name works well as a metaphor for how Ye Hua identifies the best times of his youth and innocence with Su Su, as well as his desire to hang onto this period of innocence. When Bai Qian later marries into the Nine Heavens, she moves into Chang Shang Hall, which loosely means long ascent or always rising, bringing new meaning to their role in each other’s lives and their relationship altogether.
- 神霄玉府 // Shen Xiao Fu Yu: Residence of Daoist god, Shen Xiao Yu Qing Zhen, who was revered by the Shen Xiao sect in the Song Dynasty. The building is known as the authoritative department of the 36 Heavens.
- 九天應元雷聲普化 // Jiu Tian Ying Yuan Lei Sheng Pu Hua: Apparently, the full meaning of the name and title is ‘Heavenly Lord of Universal Transformation Whose Voice of Thunder Resonates from the Origin of the Nine Heavens.’
- ICYMI: In the book, Bai Qian’s appearance changed when Qing Cang seals her immortality, which is why Ye Hua didn’t recognize her right away. Su Su was not nearly as beautiful as Bai Qian, nor did she have such a striking appearance; Ye Hua even admits as such when he first thinks he’s mistaken her for Su Su. The only telltale sign was the silk eye covering, but he ultimately realizes that she’s indeed Su Su through those tiny details he sees.