Once Promised (A Life Time Love) 曾许诺 by Tong Hua (BE)


If there’s a man, love you regardless of house, race, belief, what kind of happiness will you be in? If there’s a man, when you are in need will immediately appear, regardless of high mountains vast seas, fire or ice, what kind of happiness will you be in? If there’s a man, regardless of what kind of trouble you meet, he can effortlessly resolve all of it, even if it’s life-age-illness-death, what kind of happiness will you be in? If, in your most beautiful years, if you encounter this kind of man, possess his vow to love you lifetime after lifetime, what kind of happiness will you be in?

“This lifetime, the proudest thing I have done, is my promise of love to you.”  Famed author Tonghua’s popular works 《Startled by the Step》《Song in the Clouds》《Ballad of the Desert》 all are historical romances, hailed by readers as China’s #1 historical romance figure. 《Once Promised》 is her comeback masterpiece to historical romance, depicting an epic love story. Within the book, there is the most engrossing love and hate, the most vast grace and grief, the most perfect man, can satisfy a reader’s most beautiful yearning towards love.

*Shan Jing Hai Ji takes place during the myth-shrouded period in ancient Chinese history 三皇五帝 “Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors”

The sequel is Eternally Yearning For You (Lost You Forever).

[Ebook 1& 2] [Eng Translation] [Từng thề ước][증허락][Brief Intro & Scene Translation] [Spoilers – Ending]

[Eng Summary][Drama with Eng Subs][Audiobook 1 & 2] [Audiobook2][Radio Drama]


81 Responses

  1. peanuts
    peanuts August 5, 2012 at 5:49 am |

    Of course I can recognise his soft like candy voice saying he’ll wait for me under the cherry blossom tree, LOL. Arrrgh, why got him to read the teaser only? The girl also read the male’s part in the audio book? Please leave a msg to him telling him how much I like his voice only:P

  2. joyyyeo
    joyyyeo August 14, 2012 at 6:13 am |

    I couldn’t read beyond the first book because it was too depressing. I loved and was touched by how much Ah Heng trusted and loved Chi You but I can’t reconcile with the fact that our hero is someone who can’t even trust the one he supposedly loves. I know it fits into his character (how untrusting, how vicious he is) BUT i can’t tolerate the way he treated her especially during the times when Ah Heng had to put so much at risk just to keep to THEIR promise.

    Ok enough rant. I did tell myself to finish the second volume eventually coz I know Chi You redeemed himself (and their r/s) but my heart just felt too heavy after the first volume. Tong Hua has this power to inflict so much sadness and heaviness of heart through her novels. I rem moping around for minimum 1 week after finishing 步步惊心 and 云中歌

  3. joyyyeo
    joyyyeo August 14, 2012 at 9:22 am |

    You reckon?? it’s too depressing and heavy that i think i need to set aside one weekend to marathon the second volume.
    definitely agree on the heart-pulling portion, i felt so weak emotionally after finishing the first volume. i don’t think i can read in between work days if i ever do decide to finish this title.

  4. chancy426
    chancy426 August 22, 2012 at 4:31 pm |

    I think that they say he’s the oldest son of Huang Di is where Tong Hua played with the whole Shao Hao = Qing Yang. Saying Huang Di is his uncle and also Shao Hao is considered his oldest son. It did say he had one son. Tong Hua is really amazing.

    I think that his heart beat in her is not the same as being able to hear his heart beat which is what she misses the most. T_T That’s also why she makes all those loud drum sounds in the Peach Blossom Forest that Chi You became. She was trying to mimick his heartbeat. I was fine if she had left off when Ah Heng told Chi You that their first fate was actually initiated by her. That she hadn’t just asked him for directions because he just happened to be there, it’s because she wanted to talk to him. I felt soo much sweetness in my heart when she told him that. BUT, cruel Tong Hua just had to wash that sweetness away by showing us how miserable Ah Heng was after Chi You’s death. She’s so Cruel Cruel Cruel!

    I wonder why Zhuan Xu forbid close kin marriage? Is he really gonna be in a romantic relationship with Xiao Yao?

  5. Chancy426
    Chancy426 August 22, 2012 at 8:57 pm |

    I think getting a new heart offset her demon heart. If she’s still having that problem she wouldn’t bear to let her powers burn up the forest that chi you became. Since she’s staying there id think chi you healed her.

  6. chancy426
    chancy426 September 15, 2012 at 2:43 am |

    Yes Yes! In the first half of the novel it was more dedicated to the world Tong Hua was trying to create. Part two would be more focused on Ah Heng. I admit that during Part 1 I also wasn’t feeling much for Ah Heng because everything around them was much more interesting.

    I dunno, while reading I really wanted to know more about Wang Mu – Lei Zhu – and Yan Di’s story, but I think the way it’s left made it more meaningful. I sort of felt that their friendship was something that was taken for granted because they were young. They didn’t want to resolve their problems so they just let it go for all these hundreds of years that even at the end they weren’t able to see each other face to face. Did you get a little feel that Wang Mu might have had a crush on Yan Di? ^__^ But maybe them three was just a very pure untainted friendship. I think that all the beautiful memories between these triplet had already been told. The end of their friendship was left with so much regret, so i wouldn’t want a side story that recapped their side of the story.

    There’s many stories besides the OTP that were very memorable. I actually really liked the time when Huang Di was Ching Yang’s father and Lei Zhu’s husband, those days were very memorable, until he started having more woman in his harem.

  7. xia0yuer
    xia0yuer January 9, 2013 at 1:08 am |

    Second read! And still love it to bits. I thought it was really slow in the beginning when I first read it but now I think each event adds a piece to the overall story. Still kind of annoyed at Chiyou for ditching A’Heng and constantly questioning her faithfulness to him. Epic story nonetheless!

  8. atsu-chan
    atsu-chan January 9, 2013 at 3:11 pm |

    xiaoyuer, we’ve missed you!!! So glad to hear from you!!

    I have to say, I didn’t really like Chiyou very much. A’Heng was alright but Chiyou was hard for me to relate to. Rereading sounds like a good idea!

  9. cloudandsea
    cloudandsea July 10, 2013 at 9:38 am |

    Hey I’m reading this now T_T The link that you gave is it part 2 of the novel?

    Do you have any audiobook for part 1?

  10. decembi
    decembi February 23, 2014 at 5:03 pm |

    Ok, just started reading Once Promised. Hold on tight, poor heart!

    Translated the synopsis (really lovely) from the site I’m reading it from if anyone is interested:

  11. decembi
    decembi February 24, 2014 at 3:20 pm |

    Oh, quite a number of people came from shusheng to read my synopsis translation. Anyway, I’m not going to keep clog up this board, but just to add that I summarised and translated part of Chapter 1:

    It has a very different tone from Lost You Forever actually – it’s deceptively light-hearted and funny!

  12. cloudandsea
    cloudandsea February 28, 2014 at 4:04 pm |

    Hi. Does anyone have the OST from the audiobook? Thanks 😀

  13. cloudandsea
    cloudandsea March 1, 2014 at 5:33 pm |

    My heart is breaking… Why is it so difficult to love someone? Why does the story revolves around conspiracy created by a stupid Huang Di. He doesn’t deserve to live happily, he should live ALONE. ALONE. T_T What an ambitious man who use stupid excuses to hide his ambitions. I wished Chi You killed him during the battle, and not hesitate because Huang Di is A’heng’s father. I read Lost You Forever followed by Once Promised. Now that I think about it, I cannot believe how Zhuan Xu and Xiao Yao manage to forgive him. Is he worth forgiving? No. Definitely no.

    Even though the palace were filled with scheming people, Qing Yang, Chang Yi, A’Heng and her mum always gathered together to play and eat their favourite popsicles (?)… I wish I knew more about Yun Ze, the guy who is scared of pain, and the guy who is willing to take up the responsibility because he knows his elder brother doesn’t like to be involved in politics. But he died. And subsequently, Qing Yang died. He is no longer there. The man who supports his siblings secretly. The man who doesn’t want to take up responsibility, but have to, in order to protect his family. The man who smiles and wander freely. The man who goes to find Shao Han, biting a piece of grass, with his sword on his shoulder. He has never changed, he just had to hide and put on a cold facade, in order to protect his family. It is only when he died that he told A’heng how much he always want to mess her hair whenever she hits his shadow behind his back. He has always been a playful boy, who valued his family more than anything.

    Huang Di is a scary man, who made use of Lei Zu to achieve his goals. Was the happy family, before he became an emperor, a pretence too? I don’t want to dwell on it…

    Chang Yi love his siblings, who has a quiet temperament but will be the first one to stand up if someone bullies his siblings. Chang Pu love Chang Yi so much that she can’t find any meaning in life to continue living. Not even her son, Zhuan Xu.

    A’heng, rebelled when she found out that Huang Di wanted to force her to marry Shao Han. From then on, she changed from a girl to a woman, to someone who knows that she is part of the royal family, and not everything is within her decision.

    Chi You. Nothing can express my love for him. Someone who loves freely and someone who loves deeply.

  14. decembi
    decembi March 4, 2014 at 3:01 pm |

    Oh just saw this! I love what you wrote, “why is it so difficult to love someone?” I think that captures Once Promised very well. I only finished Book 1 for Once Promised so far, and somewhere in Book 2 for Lost You Forever, but I do think that they mirror each other – resolving threads that were left unravelled, echoing each others pains and longings, and while Lost You Forever is perhaps three aspects of romantic love for one woman, Once Promised is about all the kinds of love that shine in the universe.

  15. decembi
    decembi March 14, 2014 at 5:26 pm |

    Ok, Peppermint Thistles without White flowers’ page kind of got hijacked by xia0yuer and me regarding the Once Promised translations hahaha so I’m trying to move it here.

    Xia0yuer and I are planning to jointly translate Once Promised, so do check out both of our blogs for updates if you are interested!

    I’ve summarised and translated the Prologue to Chapter 5 at my blog. You can click here for chapter 5: http://onesecondspring.blogspot.sg/2014/03/once-promised-by-tong-hua-summary-and_13.html

  16. xia0yuer
    xia0yuer March 15, 2014 at 2:02 pm |

    Yup, just posted my version of the prologue! I’m excited about this project. Decembi, we should also work to standardize the names and titles in Once Promised. Do you mind if start posting your translations and summaries (except Ch. 5, I’ll wait until next week)?

    Also, I’m going to put faces to the names in Once Promised. The ones that come to mind are:
    A’Heng – Ivy Chen or Ariel Lin
    Chi You – Yuan Hong
    Shao Hao – Wallace Chung (I’m not biased at all)
    Qing Yang – 张天阳 comes to mind but he only has Qing costume dramas
    Yun Sang – Ady An

  17. decembi
    decembi March 15, 2014 at 4:43 pm |

    Hello xia0yuer, yeah sure! I don’t mind. 🙂 I started blogging just to share my thoughts and love for c-novels with more readers, so I’m always happy to share.

    Hahahaha! Actually, I’ve never thought of casting them in my mind. But, I guess Yuan Hong does fit Chi You nicely. I agree.

    Er, I have to disagree on Wallace Chung for Shao Hao. Hahaha! Don’t kill me. I do think Wallace Chung was quite pretty when he was younger, but if you ask me he is more Qing Yang than Shao Hao. Also, because I imagined more of a Hu Ge type playing Shao Hao!

    Ady An as Yun Sang is PERFECT.

    I like Ariel Lin a lot, because of her Huang Rong role. So, I think I prefer her! Ivy Chen irritates me a little haha.

  18. naimisha
    naimisha March 16, 2014 at 5:15 am |


    fell in love reading bits and pieces all over. I started ms. koala’s lost you forever translations and looked this up. Can someone give me a link of rain and chancy’s blog. I’m following your posts decembi and xia0yuer. Please do not stop. There’s no way I’ll be able to read the book if kind souls like you do not translate it. Summaries are fine if you find it too tiring to translate.

  19. decembi
    decembi March 18, 2014 at 6:36 pm |

    Hello naimisha! Thanks for reading :)! I dont know their blogs, think we need peanuts for that haha. I am def continuing with once promised and will translate my favourite scenes!

  20. naimisha
    naimisha March 19, 2014 at 3:09 am |

    Thanks a lot decembi. I think I’ll probably be stalking your blog from now 🙂

    If possible could you ask peanuts about their blogs. I’ve seen that peanuts keeps in touch with you.

    And if peanuts, you’re seeing this then I hope you or maybe someone else will direct me to chancy and rain’s translations.

  21. Peanuts
    Peanuts March 19, 2014 at 6:07 am |

    Chancy & Rain wanted but never translated Once Promised. They just wrote a spoiler post on it. The link [Spoilers – Ending] is under the synopsis. All the links of any novels will always be included after the synopsis.


  22. naimisha
    naimisha March 26, 2014 at 3:12 pm |

    Thanks a lot peanuts. You’re the best 🙂

  23. Suni
    Suni April 4, 2014 at 2:09 am |

    Can’t wait to read this novel. Sounds very interesting

  24. decembi
    decembi April 4, 2014 at 3:26 pm |

    It’s awesome! Highly recommended.

  25. MoonBlossom
    MoonBlossom April 22, 2014 at 2:41 pm |

    I was discussing this book with decembi when she has this brainwave of who Ah Heng and Chi You would most likely pick for their son-in-law given a choice – Jing, Xiang Liu or Zhuan Xu? I can totally imagine Xiang Liu acting cool as he is being interviewed by Chi You as a potential son-in-law. Hope you find it funny:

    CY to XL: “Are you an albino?”
    XL (to himself “shit! I should have dyed my hair today!”) but outwardly to CY: “I’m from the far North, and they don’t have much sun there. But only the strongest can survive in that place, which is why I’m the best mate for Xiao Yao”
    CY to XL :”My ride Xiao Yao is also from the far North. Shall I ask Xiao Yao to choose between you or my bird?”
    XL: ….

  26. chancy426
    chancy426 June 13, 2017 at 6:25 pm |

    Just started watching the first episode of the drama really made me want to reread the book. It’s not exactly disappointing since it’s pretty expected it can’t hold up well. =(

    Reading through the comments I’ve noticed I’ve forgotten so much details about the book and some seems very vague like in a dream. Lol

  27. raini
    raini June 16, 2017 at 7:36 am |

    I’m still sulking over Ah Bi getting turned into some little red and white furby. Yeah, the drama seems like it’ll be a waste of time at this point. I was actually hopeful since the cast seems to be ok, but if the script is the problem, then there’s more than enough things wrong with it as is besides Huang Xiao Ming’s acting.

  28. Dang
    Dang June 22, 2017 at 2:48 pm |

    The drama is very enjoyable.

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