Happy New Year! A new year, a new project.
I can't start this project without recognising that the prologue and chapters 1 to 7 have already been beautifully translated by xiaoyuer. It's with much appreciation to xiaoyuer for letting me continue the project and also much thanks to Peanuts for helping me get started as well <3
This was my first ancient c-novel, thus naturally a sentimental old favourite. I think it's probably one of the best books that tears your heart between two equally worthy male leads (though we can all debate and differ later haha and please discuss in the comments or at shusheng bar because that makes it so much more fun).
I am not sure if xiaoyuer was translating from the same website source (because some websites seem to divide the chapters a bit differently) but the source I am using has 68 chapters for the main story and a few epilogues. The chapters are usually split into a few parts but xiaoyuer has combined them so her translations are especially long. I should be able to get at least a part of a chapter out weekly and will try my best to get them out as fast as possible since as a reader, I also love to read everything in one go (heh).
I am providing a summary of the prologue and chapters 1-7 as I still have problems trying to access xiaoyuer's translations online and so I'm guessing some readers might have that problem too.
First, a summary. This is translated by xiaoyuer and also available at the shusheng bar:
In the prehistoric times, the 200,000 year of Tian Yuan, the flower deity Zi Fen dies after giving birth to a daughter. Before she passed [away], she fed her daughter the Unfeeling Pill, ordered her subordinates to keep the girl’s birth story a secret and to imprison her within Shui Jing for ten thousand years. The girl’s name is Jin Mi.
Four thousand years later, the Heavenly Emperor’s second son, the Phoenix Fire Deity was entrapped by someone and mistakenly entered Shui Jing. He was saved by the ignorant Jin Mi. After living together for a hundred years, the Fire Deity gradually developed feelings for Jin Mi. Who would have thought that he would be attracted to Jin Mi?
In between the Heavenly World and the Devil World, there is an immeasurably deep River of Forgetfulness, where the war between the Fire Deity and Night Deity finally erupts.
I will generally follow xiaoyuer's names and phrasing for the novel so there's not too much confusion. Instead of flower deity Zi Fen, I will use Flower Goddess. For Phoenix Fire Deity and the Night Deity I will use the full name sometimes, if not it will just be Phoenix and Night.
Here is the summary for the Prologue and Chapters 1-3:
Prologue: The Origin of a Flower's Premature Death
In the prologue, the Flower Goddess is in the last breaths of her life. In her last breath, she gives birth to a daughter, Jin Mi. She asks her subordinates, the Twenty Four Flower Leaders, to keep the birth of her daughter a secret - from now on, there will be no more Flower Goddess and the Twenty Four Flower Leaders will take turns to manage the seasons and the flowers. She senses that her daughter will face a love trial in the first ten thousand years of her life so she asks the leaders to keep her daughter within Shui Jing (water boundary) and never to leave the flower world. She just wants her daughter to lead a simple free life - without being trapped by love, unlike her. She also feeds Jin Mi an 'Unfeeling Pill', so she will never feel any emotions - no affection or love.
Four thousand years later, the son of the Heavenly Emperor, Phoenix, was bathed in a fiery nirvana - the branch of the parasol tree burned for forty nine days. When the fire extinguished, Phoenix was nowhere to be seen. The Heavenly Emperor was furious.
Chapter 1: The First Meeting in Shui Jing
When we first meet Jin Mi, she is a grape sprite - not even an immortal yet. Her nickname is Xiao Tao Tao (Little Grape). She is trying to get out of the Shui Jing (water boundary) to go out of the Flower World, but she is not powerful enough to. Lao Hu (a carrot immortal) warns her that flower and fruit immortals like them are very rare and will surely be eaten in the dangerous world outside. The previous Flower Goddess had set up the boundary to protect weak flower and fruit immortals - as normal deity and demons will not have the power to enter the Flower World as well due to the boundary.
Lian Qiao another flower immortal who likes to collect things, excitedly shows Jin Mi a black thing she has found. Jin Mi recognises it as a crow. The crow is almost dead and Jin Mi decides to use it as fertiliser - so she buries it in her garden. In the middle of the night, Jin Mi suddenly wakes up and thinks that the crow cannot be an ordinary crow as it managed to cross the Shui Jing to enter the Flower World. So, she digs the crow out of the garden again and decides to eat it! As she believes the crow has a special internal essence which will improve her own internal essence!
She decides to resuscitate it before she eats it - so she feeds the crow her specially refined 500 year old honey. The crow is amazingly revived - and turns into a human form. Jin Mi is bedazzled for a moment by the crow's beauty. She looks at the crow's human form and tries to find out where the crow is hiding its internal essence - she sees the lower abdomen has a part that is soft and hard, and takes out a razor to cut it off to eat...
The crow in human form wakes up at that moment and shouts at her! Jin Mi is shameless and says she is his benefactor and was only cutting off what she thought was a tumour. The crow is slightly astounded at how Jin Mi does not know the difference between males and females and decides to forgive her since she lives in the "barbaric land" outside the heaven kingdom. With a few words, the crow changes Jin Mi (she was in a human form - which is only ten years old due to her lack of cultivation) into her real form, and he laughs that she is a grape sprite. The crow makes Jin Mi his servant - but it kind of backfires on him, she gives him earthworms for his breakfast, and when he wants to drink water, she brings him to her pond. He was enjoying the spring water till he realises that the spring is used for washing clothes!
The crow is insulted when he realises that Jin Mi thinks he is a crow. He changes into his real form - a phoenix and she is regretful that she did not get to eat his internal essence, as he is such a high grade god! Phoenix is going to return to his kingdom and Jin Mi asks to follow him out of the Flower World. Phoenix decides to bring her along.
Phoenix returns to the heavenly palace and everyone welcomes the return on the second Heavenly Prince. In Phoenix's courtyard, Jin Mi sees a furry creature and pinches its stomach - because she wants to eat it!
Chapter 2: Fruit From Outside Heaven
The furry creature turns out to be a red fox. He laughs and transforms into a fifteen-sixteen year old looking boy. He turns out to be Phoenix's uncle, the Moon God, the matchmaker in Heaven. He arranges marriage and love matches by tying two people's love fates together with a red thread. He asks Jin Mi why she is here - and she tells him that she is Phoenix's benefactor and how they met. The Moon God laughs and says it is a pity that Jin Mi is a boy (her current human form) because his nephew will have to become gay!
Since Jin Mi finds Phoenix annoying, she leaves his palace and stays at the Moon God's Palace. She stays there for about two months. She asks the Moon God why every time she tries to pluck a flower, it disappears - and the Moon God says it concerns love and hate... and flowers cannot exist in the heavenly palace. There was a huge quarrel between the Heavenly Emperor and the previous Flower Goddess and because of it the Flower Goddess made it so that no flower or plant can exist in the heavens. All the flowers and grass they see in the heavenly palace was an illusion by the Heavenly Emperor and will change back to a cloud when plucked.
There is a funny interlude between the Moon God who tries to teach Jin Mi about love (which she is not interested in) through love stories and pornographic books. But, Jin Mi cannot be bothered about love - all she is interested is in increasing her internal essence. In fact, she gains the misconception that the coupling in the books can help increase the internal essence by combining a male's yang energy with a female's yin energy.
During her stay in the Moon God's palace, Jin Mi discovers that she can make flowers grow (though she attributes it to the power of the Moon God's red thread instead of her own power). As these flowers are rare, people exchange the flowers from her with gifts. One of these gifts was eggs from a special bird, rosefinch (legendary vermillion bird), from Phoenix's palace. However, after Jin Mi ate it, she became very ill - as if something was burning inside of her. The Moon God asks for Phoenix's help in saving her.
Phoenix tells her that she is of yin constitution (water) and has hurt herself by eating the eggs from the rosefinch which was of fire composition. Phoenix tells Jin Mi she can stay in his palace till she recovers - as she has lost about half of her internal essence.
Chapter 3: A Beauty Appears
Jin Mi has been staying at Phoenix's palace. She sees Phoenix bathing and wonders what is so special about him - as the palace maids say he is the most handsome deity in the six heavenly realms. Phoenix says a chant and she transforms into her true form and falls into the water (she was caught mid-spell in trying to make the water transparent so she can see for herself why Phoenix is so special haha).
In the past month, Jin Mi learns that Phoenix is the most powerful fire god in existence. She asks Phoenix to give her some internal essence but he refuses. So, Phoenix has been supervising Jin Mi's meditation and self-cultivation to replenish her lost internal essence - but Jin Mi is a bad student. Jin Mi kind of becomes Phoenix's errand boy and she is often asked by the heavenly maids to pass love notes and gifts to Phoenix. Jin Mi finds the love letters (which she will read beforehand) interesting but Phoenix will just carelessly read them and throw them aside.
Hilariously, a young female immortal called Yue Bei falls for Jin Mi's male form. Jin Mi is clueless but feels flattered when Yue Bei calls her, high immortal, so she makes a flower and gives it to Yue Bei. A love letter from Yue Bei is sent to Phoenix's palace later, and Jin Mi passes it to Phoenix naturally, but the love letter turns out to be for Jin Mi!
Jin Mi is confused why a female would send a female a letter (haha) and she meets Yue Bei later and Yue Bei gives her a kiss on her cheek. The next day, a lord from Yue Bei's side comes to Phoenix's palace to propose a marriage between Yue Bei to Jin Mi.
Phoenix declines the marriage for Jin Mi and reveals that Jin Mi is a girl. He removes a hairpin from Jin Mi's head and her real female self is shown. Everyone is stunned because Jin Mi is a true beauty.
Jin Mi stops wearing the Spirit-Sealing Hairpin and shows her true self because she mistakenly thinks Phoenix is jealous of her male form, which is more attractive to females than him. Phoenix laughs when he finds out her mistaken notion and tells her to wear back her hairpin.
One day, Jin Mi was on a journey to pick up some gifts and to head to the Moon Palace when she passes by a pond. She sees little deers and a fish-like tail. This is when she first meets the Night Deity, Ren Yu, the First Heavenly Prince - his top half is a man, and bottom half is a fish-like tail. She is stunned at the beauty of the tail and tells him it is incomparable. Night Deity modestly say it is nothing. Then, Jin Mi misunderstands that Night Deity is in charge of herding deers. Seeing his confusion, Jin Mi thought she has hurt his pride so she assures him that even one herding deers will have great prospects in the future. Night Deity laughs to himself and remembers her name.