[ MOONLIGHT RHAPSODY ]
CHAPTER 01 ♦ THE YOUNG DEMON LORD
last edited on ZLT: 03.12.21
This translation is hosted at ZHANLANN.COM
This novel is also known as “Black Moonlight Holds the BE Script”, that is currently translated by Second Life Translations; i titled it “Moonlight Rhapsody” because “Moonlight” references to the (black) moonlight in the original title. “Rhapsody” in music is a one-movement that is episodic yet integrated, similarly, the story also has various distinct episodes per say, but the character’s lingering memories bind everything together (you’ll see what I mean if you read the story)
this novel had been my on my list of to-translate for a long while now, i’d thought long and hard on how i should translate the title haha, and i’d started it quite a while ago, but damn i recently discovered that it got picked up… oh well i didn’t get too far, so i thought i should just upload whatever i have, it’ll be such a pity to just trash it;
personally i’ve seen a lot of negative ratings for this novel on NU, but i’d quite liked this novel haha, and while i’d been considering translating this, i kinda expected that there may be many who won’t like this;
i felt that both the FL and ML are headstrong and proud in their own ways; and when you try to contain such powerful personalities (each in their own way), you don’t get fireworks, you get an explosion, especially when both sides were already lit up and fuelled by their own motivations — they’d burn each other, and they’d burn themselves; it’s only when the ashes that the fire’s left behind is swept away with the wind do they each come to their own realisation and what they make of the remnants to the explosion;
i saw a quote on Tiktok previously and i thought that it would be a suitable one-liner synopsis for this novel: “a hero would sacrifice you to save the world, but a villain would sacrifice the world to save you” QwQ idk about the others but i definitely liked the author’s writing, and i liked that the plot was also thought-provoking in many ways, got me thinking a lot, is a hero always a hero, and a villain always a villain? who and what determines what a hero is and what a villain is? who and what determines what is good and what is evil? when none of us get to choose our birth, our parents, and sometimes even our perspective;
anyway i only have about 1.5 chapters for this, if you’re interested in reading on, i’ll be adding the current translator’s links into the chapters as well, i didnt check out the current translator’s work yet but this is not an easy novel to translate i feel, there’s a lot to this that threads on a thin line between what’s right and wrong, and what’s good and bad, the translator’s interpretations and hence translations can and will make a huge difference :”) anyway hope you’ll like whatever i’ve got up~ and do check out the current translator’s work too~
“Third miss, run! Don’t stop!”
When Li Su Su gained consciousness, she was shoved forward sharply.
The push had her foot slipping beneath her, and she rolled down the hill.
It was winter, sometime in December. Coupled with the pain from the fall, the thick layer of snow that had gathered on the ground froze her to her bones.
Just as she was about to slam into a tree along the slope of the hill, a white jade bangle appeared on her wrist.
The bangle glowed in a rainbow-coloured light. The energy from the emitted light supported her falling body steadily.
Her head in a daze, it took Li Su Su a moment before she finally registered what was happening.
Before her was a vast expanse of white. She sat up from the ground, realising how tragic of a state she was in.
The pastel-coloured robe she had on was stained, she had strands of hair falling all over, her hairdo almost falling, and she was missing a shoe.
Supporting herself against a tree, Su Su got to her feet.
An adorable, child-like male voice sounded from her jade bangle. The voice spoke in all gravity: “Master, this is the mortal realm five hundred years ago.”
Snowflakes the size of feathers rained down from the sky.
Su Su stretched her hand out. The snowflake that had landed on her hand upon contact with her warmth melted instantly, leaving in its wake a pocket of spiritual energy diffusing thickly into the air.
An expression of shock coloured her pale face.
With spiritual energy in pitiful and occasional wisps, the world five hundred years later was a realm enveloped in dark haze, where malevolent demons roamed, indulgent. The amount of spiritual energy in the air now was vastly different.
“Ye Xi Wu is willing to hand you her body,” the jade bangle paused before continuing, “she hopes you can keep her father and grandmother safe from the hands of that devil.”
Su Su replied: “Tell Ye Xi Wu, that I will ccomplete her request.”
“I’ve exhausted all my spiritual energy returning us five hundred years into the past. Master, I will begin my hibernation. Rouse me again in the event of any life-threatening emergencies.”
“I will.” Lifting her slender fingers, she stroked the jade bangle.
The light from the bangle dimmed before dying out.
Su Su closed her eyes, revisiting Ye Xi Wu’s memories that flashed before her in her mind. It wasn’t her own body, so it couldn’t be helped that some memories were in intermittent pieces and were rather blurry.
Ye Xi Wu was General Ye’s third daughter, she was also the only daughter of General Ye’s wife; the rest of her siblings were concubine-born.
The original owner of this body had fallen into a river previously, and she’d been very ill as a result for a long time ever since. Concerned about her health, her grandmother brought her to the Tian Hua Temple to pray.
In the temple however, both Ye Xi Wu and her personal maidservant were kidnapped by bandits.
The two of them managed to sneak out while the bandits were unaware.
Before long however, their escape down the mountain was discovered.
Su Su transmigrated into Ye Xi Wu’s body when Ye Xi Wu’s personal maidservant pushed her forward while telling her to run.
Su Su felt a throbbing pain on her leg. She looked down and realised that her ankle was very swollen.
Trying her best to ignore the pain, Su Su began looking for a way out of this place.
With uneven footsteps, she made her way forward, not forgetting to conceal her footsteps left behind in the snow as she moved. Though exhausated, she didn’t stop in her tracks to rest.
She had no idea when the bandits would return. If they were to find her, things definitely wouldn’t go down well for her.
She didn’t even need to think to know what would happen if a frail girl were to fall into the bandits’ hands.
Before long, she heard rustling footsteps sounding in the snow.
Su Su quickly hid herself behind a stone.
After a short while, a few burly men appeared in the vicinity as expected.
“Useless idiot, that’s just a girl, how did you lose her!” The leader among them panted in anger, raising his hand to slap his suburdinate’s head.
“Brother.” After taking the blow, the subordinate didn’t dare rebuke, instead, he spoke in unease, “our information was incorrect, that girl isn’t the daughter of a rich merchant, she is the daughter of General Ye.”
The expression of their leader twitched, his face darkening.
There was no bandit that would dare brave the court’s army.
His sharpened gaze now merciless: “All the more we need to find her then, and finish her off, we don’t want anything to come out of this and haunt us later, do we.”
“Why are you still here staring at me, go find her!”
Footsteps seemed to approach the stone that Su Su was hidden behind. Frowning, she mentally prepared herself if she were to be discovered.
Fortunately, the footsteps paused before turning elsewhere in another direction.
Su Su stayed put in her hiding spot, waiting it out carefully. It was only until the surrounding was completely quiet before she looked out from behind the stone. The footsteps in the snow were all over the place: the bandits had disappeared too.
Just as Su Su stood up to leave, a bandit that had turned back around suddenly shouted: “Brother, the girl’s here, everyone gather over!”
Without a moment of hesitation, Su Su turned to make a dash for it.
Despite so, the bandits tailing her caught up quickly.
Already very spent, her body was rather weak. Su Su could feel the vision before her blurring. A sheet of white, she felt as though she couldn’t see the pavement before her on the snow-covered ground. Suddenly, she found herself slamming into a person.
A few arrows zipped past her; the bandits that had been chasing her fell to the ground.
Su Su looked up. The face that greeted her vision was a handsome one.
Donned in white robes, the youth seemed to blend in with the snow. His figure was slim, his cheekbones appeared sharp; even his black eyes seemed chilly and indifferent.
He was very pale. With red lips and jet black hair, he was devastatingly beautiful. The pair of bland, cold eyes however removed him of any femininity that otherwise would have enshrouded his appearance.
Even when Su Su slammed into him, he didn’t move. When his gaze met hers, his eyes flickered aside, almost as though in panic.
The youth supported her, his voice low: “Sorry, third miss, I’m late.”
Su Su has no idea who the person before her was, so she could only shake her head.
In the span of their conversation, the bandits behind her fell to the ground, either dead or injured. Those that were alive on the other hand had long fled for their lives.
Behind the youth, a soldier greeted her: “Third miss! This subordinate is late.”
Su Su was reminded of the girl that had pushed her aside and told her to run first. She looked up: “Yin Qiao is still in their hands, please help to find her.”
The youth looked at her: “Alright, I will have the rest to search for her.”
The soldiers dispersed to locate Yin Qiao.
The youth looked down, asking: “You’re injured?”
Before Su Su could reply, he had lifted her silently, carrying her horizontally in his arms.
Su Su wasn’t very keen on the idea of being carried by a youth she didn’t know. She still wasn’t sure what the situation was, so she didn’t dare to struggle either. Instead, she looked up, observing the person carrying her.
Then she realised, there was a problem. And it was a big one.
Though she’d inherited parts of Ye Xi Wu’s memories, she couldn’t quite match the names to the faces yet.
So, the person before her. Exactly who was he?
His embrace was not at all warm. Instead, it was as cold as the winter chill.
Uncomfortable, Su Su was so cold she was trembling. She contemplated for a moment before starting: “I fell down a hill and hit my head earlier, I’m having trouble with my memory. I’m sorry, but I don’t recognise you…”
At her words, the youth gave a strange expression.
It didn’t last long though. Very quickly, his expression returned to normal, replying: “My name is Tan Tai Jin, we were married three months ago.”
At his words, Su Su froze, before she looked up in shock.
A snowflake that had fallen on his hair made him out to appear as cold as the winter.
The youth tightened his grip on her, asking softly: “Third miss, are you cold?”
With black eyes and dark hair, he seemed frail and harmless.
When he noticed that Su Su was observing him, he lowered his gaze quietly, almost in a respectful and abject manner.
Su Su’s frozen body stiffened further.
She minced her lips tightly, concealing the emotions in her gaze.
Not in a million years did Su Su expect this delicate and beautiful youth before her to be the target of her mission this time.
That he would become someone who killed and shattered souls without batting an eyelash, that he would become the demon lord in the future she came from.
Resting in his embrace, she could feel his lanky figure, he was very, very thin, bony in fact, and uncomfortable to lean against.
In that moment, a hundred different celestial spells to kill a person flashed before her eyes.
The thought having taken root in her head started spiralling out of control. Before she knew it, her hand seemed to have a mind of its own, and it had already instinctively performed a celestial spell that could kill a person silently.
Despite so, nothing happened.
It was only then did Su Su realise that she was now only a mortal.
She was cold, and her leg was hurting badly. If the original owner of the body was still in this body, she would have long fainted. Su Su on the other hand had tried her best to remain conscious, but she knew that she was reaching her limit.
She tried to struggle out of this fiend’s embrace, but she was way too spent. The next moment, her vision blacked out and she lost consciousness.
The youth paused in his tracks.
It’s only after she’d fainted did he lower his gaze to look at the girl in his embrace.
The girl’s pale face, contrary to her usual arrogance and despicable expression, appeared almost gentle and pure in the snowy winter.
He frowned, before looking away, unconcerned, and walked towards the bandit’s lair.
Before long, General Ye’s soldiers had brought back Ye Xi Wu’s personal maidservant Yin Qiao.
The girl was lying on the ground.
Tan Tai Jin looked at the corpse silently.
Yin Qiao spotted several dozens of gashes. Her clothes were all over the place, her stomach was punctured, and her face was already a bloody mess.
The thick stench of blood saturated the air.
The soldier asked: “Zhi’zi*, your orders?”
* 质子 (zhi’zi): hostage prince; back in the ancient times, the kings would send their (often unfavoured) royalty to other kingdoms as guarantee that they would not wage war
He swept the body but a glance, his tone careless: “Dead? Burn it then.”
His tone feathery and light-weighted, as though he was speaking of the heavy snow this winter.
Amidst the swaying carriage, Li Su Su had a dream.
She dreamt of her childhood.
She was born five hundred years later, and was the daughter of the head of the celestial sect.
Despite her noble birth and identity, Li Su Su wasn’t very fortunate.
Long story short, the period she was born in was a dark time ruled by the evils.
Simply put, demons and spirits dominated the realm. Cultivators and mortals on the other hand were seen as inferior and low-borns.
No one knew when the fiend was born. What the people knew however was that he had been merciless the moment he appeared. His victorious advances too had the celestial sect retreating.
There had been sects that didn’t believe that the fiend was indeed this powerful, and had tried to annihilate him. In the end, the cultivators were wiped, and buried at the “Mound of Thousand Immortals”, their souls disintegrated.
After countless Immortal Sovereigns were defeated and fell, the remaining sects grew to fear the fiend and his power. As a result, they could only go into hiding to protect themselves.
Ever since then, just the mention of this fiend was enough to have one trembling in fear.
The dark sky was grey, evident of the spiritual energy that had been starkly overshowed by the demonic energy. Cultivators could not cultivate as a result. Even in the mortal realm, widespread plagues threatened the lives of the people, leaving in its wake carcasses of the lives stolen.
That was the world Li Su Su grew up in.
Her current mortal body was too tired, perhaps that was why Li Su Su suddenly dreamt of her childhood.
She’s not had such a nightmare in ages.
Back then, she’d just transformed into a human form; a young child still, with her forehead spotting a red dot of cinnabar*.
* culture: ancient chinese wore a red decoration on their forehead, this originated from the legend of Princess Shouyang whose forehead had been imprinted with a plum blossom mark when she fell asleep under the plum blossom tree, the mark later became a trend among court ladies; later the forehead of young children was decorated with a red pigment(often a dot) in their infancy
The head of the sect, her father, had told her: “Su Su, you must not leave the sect, you’ll be captured by evil spirits and demons otherwise, and sent to the Demon Lord.”
The Immortal Soverign in green robes pointed at the first spiritual altar.
“Do you see, that is your eldest sect uncle*, he was killed by the Demon Lord.”
* refers to brother of the sect head
He pointed towards the second spiritual alter.
“This is your fifth sect uncle, he was killed by the Demon Lord too; his soul was disintegrated.”
When her father’s hand proceeded to point at the next spiritual altar, Su Su, still in the form of a little lolita, nodded her head in earnest. Her expression one of gravity, she continued in her father’s stead: “I know, this is second sect uncle, he was killed by the Demon Lord too. Even his core weapon had been scattered together with his soul. When Su Su grows up, Su Su will definitely avenge my sect uncles.”
The sect head looked at the exquisite doll of child before him, nodding his head in gratification at her righteous spirit.
Despite the sect head’s reminders, Su Su was still only a child. Before long, she was lured out the sect by a sect member-turned-traitor.
She was caught by evil spirits and demons the moment she left the sect.
The evil spirits and demons that had surrounded her praised the sect traitor: “Good job, what a pure soul this little girl has, even the soul stone is lit. You will be greatly rewarded by the Demon Lord!”
The obsequious traitor was elated.
They offered Su Su to the Demon Lord.
The dark and eerie Demon Palace was a bloodhouse. The surrounding evil spirits and demons made a sport of her. That had been Su Su’s first time encountering something like this. She wasn’t powerful enough to defeat them so she had no way of escaping.
In her anxiety, the little girl shifted back into her original form in the end, covering her face with her wings as she sobbed.
That had been her first time meeting the Demon Lord, the person who had slain countless of her sect uncles.
He was very tall. Seated in his throne, his figure was enveloped in a dark haze.
Save for a pair of unfeeling eyes, the black hooded robe shrouded his entire being.
The Demon Lord was ghastly pale. A hand supporting his chin, his gaze swept down as he looked at her.
The flame in the lights within the Demon Palace crackled away noisily.
Regretful and despondent, the little girl having being lured into the Demon’s nest was sobbing so badly she hiccuped.
“I have come to join the force with your sovereign, allow me to offer your soverign my tribute.” The traitor pointed at Su Su as he smiled in a servile manner.
His eyes widened, and blood flowed down the corner of his lips the next moment, coupled with a squirting sound at his throat.
Opening her wings, Su Su with wide eyes looked at the sect member that had died so easily before her.
The Demon Lord stretched a pale finger out, and lifted the little girl.
Stubborn tears gathered in her glistening large eyes, yet none of them inched off down her cheeks. She managed: “I’m not scared of you!”
She’d thought that she’d be the next in line to die.
She gathered her courage, and craned her neck, ready to be chopped.
The Demon Lord observed her for a long while, before he threw her back to Hengyang Sect with a flick of his wrist.
No one knew why the Demon Lord didn’t kill Su Su. Even Su Su herself had no idea.
Many years later, the sect elders consulted the divinations. They then decided to select someone and send that person back 500 years ago to understand how the Demon Lord came about, prevent him from awakening and save the world and all its beings.
The divine circle spun and spun, before the cursor stopped in Li Su Su’s direction.
Su Su: “…” She suddenly felt a heavy weight tying itself down on her shoulders.
In her dream, a row of cultivators surrounded her, cheering her on.
Su Su thanked them with a cupped fist. Then, she woke up from her dream.
She was no longer in the field of snow. The bed beneath her was warm; a faint, cosy fragrance wafted in the room she was in.
The fire at the hearth burning away exuberantly had her cheeks coloured a faint pink.
Before her, a young maidservant, around fifteen or so, greeted her carefully: “Miss, you’re awake.”
She helped Su Su up and fed her some water.
Her throat burning, Su Su choked on the water and coughed. The maidservant’s face paled instantly as she dropped to the ground: “Miss, forgive me, Chun Tao didn’t mean to.”
After her words, she started bowing her head on the ground, again and again. Every thud was loud, clear, and without hesitation.
Evidently, she was incredibly afraid of Su Su.
The original owner of this body, Ye Xi Wu has a short, poor temper, her personality verging on one of cruelty almost, or so Su Su figured — just looking at how scared the maidservant was at her cough.
Su Su shook her head, trying not to scare her. She said: “Get up first, I don’t blame you.”
Chun Tao observed Su Su’s expression anxiously. She’s never had it easy when miss wasn’t feeling well in the past.
After a careful scrutiny, she realised that the third miss indeed did not intend to punish her. She sighed in relief before quickly preparing a cup of tea for her.
“Where is this?” Su Su asked.
The maidservant replied: “We’ve left the temple and returned to the residences. Miss, you’ve been down with fever for two days.”
Su Su asked: “Chun Tao, where’s Tan Tai Jin?”
As with the others from the cultivation realm, she was incredibly used to calling him “Demon Lord” or “fiend”. It felt very strange and foreign now that she had to call him by his name from his youth.
Chun Tao observed her expression, before starting softly: “Zhi’zi went to kneel on the ice after returning. Chun Tao has been supervising in your stead miss, he’s definitely not once gotten up or left.”
Su Su looked at Chun Tao in shock. What? He’s kneeling?
Memories suddenly seemed to surface in flashes in her head. Su Su zoned out for a moment before she finally recalled what this was all about.
That had been the original owner’s orders before she was abuducted by the bandits.
Su Su had been unconscious for two days. In other words, Tan Tai Jin had already knelt in the snow for two days.
Su Su thought for a moment before she asked Chun Tao: “Can you get me a mirror?”
Chun Tao immediately handed a bronze mirror over. After which, she sneaked a glance at the third miss. This was the first time the thrid miss was speaking so gently and amiably to her!
Su Su inspected the body she was in right now. The face reflected in the mirror was a girl aged around sixteen or seventeen. She had a slanting pair of almond eyes and minute cherry lips. While her beauty’s nowhere near devastating, her appearance leaned towards a one of warmth and friendliness, as though a friendly neighbour next door.
Su Su tried smiling; her face immediately lit up in happiness.
Su Su didn’t get a mirror to simply appraise her current beauty. She observed her reflection for a long time.
It was so long it even had Chun Tao nervous. The maidservant couldn’t help but ask: “Miss, what are you looking at.”
She couldn’t be mourning why she’s not as attractive as the first miss* could she?
* referring to the eldest daughter in the house
One of her sect uncles had taught her how to read a face; the ninth and tenth Heavenly stem lies in one’s mouth, if coloured red, the person must be able to carry him or herself. If one’s teeth was thin and arranged tightly, one would naturally go far in life and find him or herself in influential positions, Su Su thought to herself.
Well, she possessed none of those features. Judging by her appearance, this body was destined to die young, and she would not live past twenty.
Su Su was rather puzzled. Though mortals’ lives would pass by in a blink of an eye, this body was still very young, how was it that she would die young?
And the situation didn’t seem to improve even after Su Su’s soul entered into this body.
How exactly did she die in the future then?
For some reason, Su Su immediately thought of the young Demon Lord currently kneeling outside in the ice.
At that, Li Su Su’s head shot up.
TRANSLATOR & EDITOR: WYNNE. This translation is hosted at ZHANLANN.COM