Engraved in Bone


Engraved in Bone Volume 1 extra 1

When Fu Hong Wen had met Zhao Li Xin that year, he was just a little 'girl’ no taller than a beansprout. His lovely appearance had pierced his heart in that moment. He had thought, how nice it would be if he had a beautiful daughter that was as lovely as the Tenth Princess. Of course, he had only thought about it.

When he saw him again, Zhao Li Xin had grown a bit. That appearance had turned even more moving- those eyes misty with tears in that instant had taken root into his heart, and unbeknownst to him, slowly grew.

He had liked ‘her’ just like that- liked each and every expression of ‘hers’, and loved each and every movement ‘she’ made. He had saw how ‘she’ grew up from a little girl, gradually into a maiden, and slowly grew into a tall tree that could reached the skies inside his heart.

Like falling in love at every sight from start to finish, but to be as faithful as a small but steady stream[1].

At that time, he really wanted to treat only him well. Even if he knew he was a boy, he was still willing. It was as his little sister had said- what if he had really marry off to a foreign land? In a place he could not see, his Qing Qing would be tormented to death, unable to see him smile to himself any longer. When he thought about it, it would be as though there was a formless large hand squeezing his heart.

Stumbling the entire way into the palace, not caring for his own messy attire, he wanted to see him right then.

The him of that time really didn’t care for anything else, and wanted to treat him well with his whole heart. He could do without any riches or royal power- he was content with only having his shining moon.

After marrying Zhao Li Xin, it was as though he was entranced in a dream. Everything felt unreal, to the point he did not dare believe that Zhao Li Xin would give up his identity as a man for him, to give up the chance of ascending to the throne. He had even more so wanted to treat him well, and if he could, have the person by his side at each and every moment, and fill up the once empty space of his with love.

He tried his best to make him more delighted, thinking of how to make it so his brilliant moon could go on even more as he wished to make him a bit more happy.

But there would still be some people who could not bear seeing his brilliant moon to be well off. That day, when Third Prince was coming from the court, he had maliciously poked fun at him, asking, “How is the taste of my good Imperial Sister like? I would again suggest you find a mistress sooner, as to not cut off the next generation.”

Even Imperial Concubine Liu, Zhao Li Xin’s birth mother, did not take pity in using the entire Fu family to threaten him.

“I know you are fond of him, love him- but he is still a man.” The graceful and dignified Concubine sat at a high position, looking at him like an ant, “If the common people knew the former Grand Tutor was together with another man, how do you think other people would treat your Fu family?”

“I’ve heard your family still has a little sister, no? If the big brother’s reputation drops, the little sister would have a hard time marrying, right?”

Fu Hong Wen had not known the world was like this, so black and dark. As vicious as tigers are, even they did not eat their own cubs [1] . His brilliant moon was the flesh that came out of her stomach after a ten month pregnancy. How could she not even let her own child be even a little bit well off?

He had originally thought to spoil him even more, to love Zhao Li Xin even a little bit more. But then, there were rumours circulating about how a noble household was about to propose to the Fu household.

Those within the capital who were more informed had all known- the eldest son of that noble household was an impotent. Fu Hong Wen knew that this was the choice Imperial Concubine Liu had forced upon him.

Seeing his sister at home with a distressed expression, how could Fu Hong Wen so heartlessly have her lose out on a life of happiness for him? And thus, the first child appeared.

Fu Hong Wen had still remembered the Zhao Li Xin’s eyes carrying tears, wanting to fall but not- the stubborn look had made his heart hurt. He had wanted to hug him, and tell him that child was not his.

The Princess residence had the Imperial Concubine’s eyes- he knew he could not be headstrong. In the end, the tear in Zhao Li Xin’s eyes had not fallen. He only calmly knocked out the child in that woman’s stomach- a corpse with two lives.

As the person slept by his side, he would often find that even if he was asleep in the middle night, he wouldn’t be at peace, even to the point of often waking up startled.

After having a first one, there would be a second one, and even a third. He looked at Zhao Li Xin’s face go numb, how the light in his eyes would gradually sink, and had thought about telling him the truth without caring any more.

Those children aren’t his! He wanted to embrace him, and tell him he had never betrayed him.

On the second day, everyone in the capital including members of the Fu family had knew of Princess Chun An’s 'great accomplishments’. When his parents asked him if was true or not, he did not know where to start.

He could see the regret and disappointment on his parent’s face, but his train of thought would drift towards where Zhao Li Xin was.

If his brilliant moon knew of it, how hard of a time would he have, how hurt would he be? But Fu Hong Wen had neglected something- the person who truly made Zhao Li Xin have a hard time was none other than himself.

He was reckless- that woman had actually ran off to the Fu family to complain in tears that day. Before seeing Zhao Li Xin, the two elders and his little sister had tried to convince him nonstop.

“If you let the princess make a fuss again, I will go die on the spot.”

“Hong Wen, you are already this big, your mother and I am already old- to not have a single grandchild to hold, do you have the heart to do such a thing?

“Brother, father and mother are already old, would you be so hardhearted as to force them?”

It was not him who was forcing them. It was them who were forcing him and Zhao Li Xin.

When he had especially begged the bone engraver if he could leave his memories intact, no matter how much it hurt it would be okay- he could endure it; but he did not want to forget his Qing Qing. He had originally thought, after having going through the ‘bone engraving’, they would be able to start over. But there wasn’t anyone who would be willing to give them this chance.

“You got what you wished for, then what of mine? What about me?”

“Give him back to me please…… please, apart from him, I don’t have anything left!”

Fu Hong Wen would dream of that despairing face of Zhao Li Xin’s every day and night. He knew he was hurt- he was too. If he wasn’t so weak, and didn’t have other concerns, how could the two of them have it so difficult, to have come to stand off against each other[3]?

It was as he wished- he had become his wife, but was it really as he wished?

When he had been stabbed by Zhao Li Xin in the heart, he had predicted this would be how it ended. With how strong his Qing Qing’s personality was, how could he stand another person’s betrayal? But he was not ruthless enough. What if Qing Qing dreams of this scene each and every moment after his death, what will he do if he became unrestful?

But if this could allow for Zhao Li Xin to free himself, it might not be such a bad thing after all.

“That’s great…… Really great……”

He had really though it was great, only that unfortunately, his brilliant moon would have to be all alone in the skies in the future, without anyone to spoil him with their true heart.

Fu Hong Wen had tightly grabbed onto Zhao Li Xin’s hand- He wanted to tell him, he had never once betrayed him; he wanted to tell him, even if he was by himself, he needed to be good to himself; he wanted to tell him, if he was unhappy, it would be nice if he could eat some candied gourds and think of him…… That’s not right, he was afraid it would make him have an even harder time….. He had also wanted to tell him……

It was not a lie that Zhao Li Xin was the moon of Fu Hong Wen’s heart. He truly was wholeheartedly devoted to him, it was a pity he could not be by his side for a long time.

The finger that gradually grew cold moved a bit, greedily wanting to leave the last of its warmth. Fu Hong Wen wanted to let Zhao Li Xin smile, like the time of their first encounter. The look of his face when smiling was truly beautiful, so beautiful it had directly pierced into his heart like that, and had never left since.

He had thought about the time long ago when he had once drunkenly sung under the moonlight with him. Under the cover of having been drunk, he brought up the courage to stroke his head, and told him he would be with him in the future.

It seems as though he had never told him- his eyes that time looked really beautiful, shining brightly, as though he was the only one remaining inside them.

Ah, it was truly beautiful.

[1] Read, for a long time, without running out.

[2] Read, ‘All men, good or bad, rarely mistreat their own children.’ The expression funnily enough ignores the laws of nature- A cub that has taken on the scent of others, or is sick will be eaten by its mother.

[3] The expression used here is ‘on the same path, they treat each other as strangers’- those who were once very close to each other, for some reason, have come to stop communicating with each other, becoming like strangers.


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