Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Bu Bu Jing Xin (步步惊心) Episode 1 Part III

The princes alight from their horse. Having not met the 13th prince before, he introduces himself and Ruoxi repeats after him, "13th prince." She laughs uneasily and greets him before he offers a hand to help her stand up. The fall results in her spraining her leg, and she stumbles as she attempts to stand up with the 13th prince’s help. The 4th prince is standing at the side observing. He soon disappears into a medical hall and emerges with a bottle of medicine for sprains. He returns to them,, keeping the medicine in his sleeve.

Puzzled, the 13th prince asks if they already know each other. Rouxi replies that she is from the 8th prince’s household and she is his sister-in-law. The 13th prince is astonished and comments that people who live in the 8th prince’s household are refined in their actions like the prince, unlike her to be roaming the streets and randomly throwing herself onto oncoming horses. She snaps back that she was bored so she went for a walk.

Having mounted his horse, the 4th prince retrieves the 13th prince’s horse and heads bak towards them. They tell her that they will be escorting her back to the residence. She thanks them and asks them for a favor, that they would not mention the incident to anyone back at the 8th prince’s residence stating that she would be in trouble if the matter were to be made known. The 13th prince looks to the 4th prince for affirmation of the request and is surprised when the 4th prince actually gives a small nod agreeing to Rouxi’s request. So the 13th prince agrees verbally on behalf of the both of them.

Upon hearing that they have agreed, Rouxi grins and lightly pats the 13th prince’s shoulder declaring him a righteous man. Both men look at her amused; the way Rouxi is behaving is unusual for a lady of her status and social standing, with her bright laughter and bold character.

When they return to the residence, Roulan and Qiao Hui rushes over and greets the two princes. Roulan is concerned about Rouxi’s limp, which the latter lightly dismisses as a small accident where tripped when both the 4th and 13th prince entered looking for the 8th prince. The 13th prince smiles in amusement at Rouxi witty reply to save herself, while the 4th prince looks on thoughtfully, observing Rouxi. The 4th prince supports the ‘excuse’ that Rouxi has provided and requests to meet the 8th prince.

Roulan offers to lead the two princes to the main hall while Qiao Hui goes to inform the 8th prince. Before leaving, the 4th prince requests to speak to Rouxi. Roulan hestitates but has no choice but to leave them, leading the 13th prince to the main hall first. With no one around, the 4th prince confronts Rouxi that she knew what she was doing and deliberately stepped into the path of their oncoming horses. He asks her if she wanted to end her life. Rouxi hatily denies the accusation, claiming that it was an accident and that the 4th prince has misunderstood her. However, the 4th prince states that the first time might have been an accident, but the second time was definitely not an accident. He tells her that is she attempts to do the same for a third time, he will not stop his horse anymore.

Rouxi declares that she did what she did not to die but to live, as there is too much that is to live for, death is not something that she seeks. Her strange comments interests the 4th prince and he ends up staring at her. Soon after he pulls out the medicine that he had purchased earlier and hands it to her saying that it is for her sprain. She quickly accepts it and thanks him. He tells her that since he is the one that saved her live, so her life belongs to him so she better not even consider suicide. With that he turns and leave, leaving a bewildered Rouxi holding the bottle of medicine as he disappears to the main hall.

Her leg not yet healed, Rouxi hobbles to visit her sister. Roulan us grateful to the 4th and 13th princes and proposes a visit to show their appreciation, but Rouxi quickly rejects the ideas claiming that she had already thanked them. Roulan tell her that this is the basic act of courtesy. To which Rouxi retorts, “It's a small matter, both princes would probably not take it to heart. But if this matter comes to Ming Hui's attention, a small matter might become a large incident.” Ruo Lan scolds her younger sister for misusing her intelligence.

Ruoxi grins cheekily before noticing the letter on the table. Ruolan says that the eunuch readerhas not been by yet, so Rouxi offers to read the letter. Ruolan is surprised. Ruoxi declares that it is an easy matter, confidently spreading out the page of the letter from their father and elder brother. Ruoxi initially smiles and then squints while skimming down the page. Much of the script is in the traditional form, quite different from the modern simplified form that is being used in China now.

To add to the challenge, the cursive style of the writing makes it even more indecipherable. Ruolan glances over a Ruoxi clears her throat, stuttering and stammering her way through the letter, skipping words and adding her own little mutters as she struggles to read to the amusement of Roulan. Roulan teases her "What? Is there even a spirit horse in the letter?"as she covers her laughter, gently remarking that she is surprised to hear that Ruoxi was going to read, thinking that she might have improved in her reading since she left home. But it is just as it was.

Sheepishly, Rouxi refolds the letter and places it back in its envelope, answering that it might be better for the eunuch reader to read the letter instead. Ruolan asks if Ruoxi is giving up, but Rouxi deflects, stating that perhaps it would be better if she starts from the beginning. Ruoxi beats a hasty retreat while the Ruolan shakes her head smiling.


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