In case you’re avoiding spoilers – this would’ve been in around episode 49, replacing this scene…
Where Xia Jiang openly accused Mei Chang Su being Lin Su in front of the Emperor and Prince Jing which wasn’t in the original novel.
(The draft of this post has been sitting there for about a month now so I figured I better post it! I’m a bit slow in doing this so it’ll probably end up being in 3 or 4 parts.)
To feed my the Nirvana in Fire 瑯琊榜 obsession I’m STILL having right now, I’ve decided translate a part of the original screenplay! Why? I know I’m not the only one who spent 40+ episodes being frustrated by Jing Yan’s lack of deduction skills and finally had to be told point blank that Mei Chang Su = Lin Shu. And to be honest, whilst I still enjoyed the scene that ended up in the drama, the events in the original screenplay (I haven’t finished the novel yet but I suspect it’s in a similar vein) just seems more detailed and touching. Not to mention I would’ve LOVED to see it played out on screen.
*Note – I’m not a professional translator and didn’t watch NIF with English subs. So if some of the locations / names are incorrect, please let me know!!! As a personal preference, I’ve always preferred to translate more literally and the reader can decide how they can interpret it.
Also, anything in purple italics are my notes / clarifications.
Oh and nope, I don’t know what the numbers in front of the locations meant.
5, Eastern Palace, Side Chambers of Chang Xin Chambers
Prince Ji (the Emperor’s brother) puts down the teacup, “When we just saw the Crown Prince shooting while horseriding, he hit the targets repeatedly. Not only amongst the Princes, but even amongst all of the Imperial Court, there aren’t many others with these type of shooting skills!”
Prince Jing: “I’ve always been a physical person. Royal Uncle, you are too kind in your praises.”
Prince Ji smiles and turns to General Meng, “General, you’re the number one fighter in the Da Liang Kingdom. Tell us, can our Crown Prince’s martial arts skills be ranked on the Lang Ya Rankings?”
General Meng is startled by his question, and does not quite know how to answer.
Prince Jing says, “Royal Uncle, don’t make things difficult for General Meng. I’m a General in an army. It’s not the same as the masters in Jiang Hu. If even I can be ranked on the Lang Ya Rankings, that means there’s no one in Jiang Hu?”
General Meng quickly says, “Your Highness is too modest. The Lang Ya Rankings are based on the decision of the head of Lang Ya Hall. But with Your Highness’ skills, no matter when, you can roam in Jiang Hu. It will be more than adequate.”
Prince Jing gazes towards the distance and says with a sigh, “To be honest, when I was young I often imagined myself in Jiang Hu, travelling with friends. Travelling amongst the mountains and waters, see the greatest sights, bring justice amongst the people, being free and happy.”
Marquis Yan puts down his teacup, and continues, “Not only for Your Highness, for any boys born within the high walls of the deep palace, if they have heard about some legends from Jiang Hu, they would have some dreams about roaming there. Thinking of carrying their sword and travelling 3000 miles, bringing justice where it’s needed.”
Prince Ji decidedly says, “I didn’t. You have to endure many difficulties in Jiang Hu. I cannot bear it so I don’t have that dream. Now I’m also very carefree, many people are jealous.”
Meng Zhi openly laughs, “I’m afraid others cannot imitate Prince Ji’s frankness. But what Marquis Yan said is right. I won’t talk about others but even for Yu Jin, a young master (gongzi) from a rich family, doesn’t he always love to travel? I often hear him say he likes the freedom while travelling, with no responsibilities.”
Marquis Yan shakes his head and says, “Don’t mention him. What he does is not really roaming in Jiang Hu, he’s just having fun. With the title of being the son from the Yan Family, if he gets in trouble, others will back down. He hasn’t even been truly touched by the waters of Jiang Hu.”
Prince Ji lifts his head and thinks for a moment, says, “That is true. Compared to the turbulence you all experienced out there years ago, Ju Yin is having fun.”
Prince Jing shows an expression of interest, “So years ago, Marquis Yan… actually roamed in Jiang Hu? I have never heard about it.”
Marquis Yan waves it off, “Haha, we were young and reckless. Not worth mentioning, not worth mentioning.”
Prince Jing’s expression changed slightly, “We? Who else?”
Marquis Yan’s eyes slightly lowered, the palace suddenly became quiet.
Prince Ji sighs, “Hope Your Highness can understand, some names… Marquis Yan might not want to mention.”
Prince Jing tightens and his expression becomes cold, “What can’t be mentioned? I know Marquis Yan’s old friends. You are a scholar. If the Old Master (Marquis Yan’s father) allowed you to leave home, then… you must’ve travelled with Commander Lin, right?
Prince Ji quickly said, “Your Highness… His Majesty has always avoided this, for your own good, we shouldn’t talk about it.”
Prince Jing looks at Marquis Yan.
Marquis Yan’s white eyebrows raises, says, “His Majesty avoids it, but we do not have to. If Your Highness wants to talk about it, I can. Years ago the five of us used pseudonyms, travelled around Jiang Hu and saw some of the world. The cultures, the scenery, we have only heard about them in the past and it was difficult to truly understand. I realised this so I have never stopped Yu Jin from travelling.”
Prince Jing: “There were five of you?”
Marquis Yan looks slightly mysterious, “Yes, all 17 / 18 year olds who didn’t know much about the world, travelling together, taking in the scenery, thought our friendship will last forever…”
Prince Jing: “It didn’t?”
Marquis Yan pauses and slowly says, “The five of us, besides Lin Xie and I whom Your Highness already knows, there was also Xie Yu…”
Prince Jing’s eyes slightly widens, “Xie Yu? ….Yes, he was part of the Chi Yan army… Commander Lin treated him like a brother… Who were the other two people?”
Marquis Yan: “During the Five Prince’s rebellion on the 25th year of Jing Yun, they both died in front of the Imperial Palace. So Your Highness have never met them.”
Prince Ji sighs, “They also lived a life of gallantry…”
Marquis Yan laments, “Back then we left the Capital in disguise and travelled around Jiang Hu, we were all courageous and in high spirits. But now, some have died and some have disbanded. Someone died when he was in his prime, someone betrayed their original intentions, when someone died, he even had to carry…”
Prince Ji warns with a lowered voice, “Marquis Yan!”
7, Eastern Palace, Chang Xin palace
Prince Jing’s expression turns cold.
Marquis Yan lowers his head and the corner of his mouth puckers.
Meng Zhi comforts, “Life is like this. Jiang Hu also has its grudges and its helplessness. It’s not necessarily so carefree. Marquis Yan shouldn’t talk about this in front of His Highness….”
Marquis Yan looks over to Prince Jing, says, “The Commander General is right. I’m old now and lost the jovialness from my youth. My emotions are mostly of lamenting the past. Your Highness, please don’t think too much of it.”
Prince Jing’s gazes towards a part of the wall, where Lin Shu’s bow which was in the study room of his residence now hangs. He firmly looks at it for a bit, turns his head and asks, “So you all… must’ve travelled to many places?”
Marquis Yan: “We travelled through all the famous mountains and rivers, and even went to Lang Ya Mountain to see the release of the rankings. Even when I think about those days now, it brings back many memories.”
Prince Ji laughs and interrupts, “You went to so many places. You must’ve met some heroes and beauties?”
Marquis Yan: “There’re many hidden talents and strange characters in Jiang Hu. After our travels, I did meet a few good friends whom I can be sincere with…”
Prince Ji: “What about beauties?”
Marquis Yan wryly smiles, “The beauties in Jiang Hu mostly have thorns, it’s better to stay away.”
Prince Ji openly laughs, “Not similar, not similar. On this point you’re not similar to Yu Jin at all. Xiao Jin will first meet beauties before friends.”
Meng Zhi also smiles and says, “But I think Marquis Yan is not telling the truth. Just look at Yu Jin. You must’ve loved poetry with wine, loved beauties and good music.”
Prince Jing’s expression relaxes slightly and asks, “I don’t know about other people but I know how skillful Commander Lin was in Kungfu. It was above those of ordinary people. Based on your travels, did you make a name for yourselves in the next year’s Lang Ya Rankings?”
Marquis Yan shakes his head and laughs, “Regretfully we went to gain more knowledge, so we didn’t dare to be so arrogant and always fighting to be the strongest. We did have some experiences, but it was better to keep a low profile. Also, we weren’t really from Jiang Hu. So even if news spread about our adventures, it wouldn’t be in our real names.”
Prince Ji sways his head and says, “To be honest, I was young at the time. So I only knew you all spent some exciting times for at least half a year. But afterwards, I’ve never really heard about you all talking about those times. I thought they weren’t interesting.”
Marquis Yan: “After we returned to the Capital, we were caught up in a political storm. Bad things happened one after another. Eventually, the times we spent in Jiang Hu were so far away. At the end of the day, we didn’t belong there. We were just guests.”
Prince Jing takes a look at him deeply, says, “Marquis Yan just said… when you were travelling, you all used pseudonyms?”