Beautiful bones. Rare in this world.
Those with bone do not have skin. Those with skin do not have bone.
Most people’s eyes see only the obvious, seeing only the appearance on the outside and not the appearance of the inside.
If there was someone in today’s society who carried with her the memories of two lifetimes and she loved you, what a blessing that would be.
That is what Shi Yi felt for Zhousheng Chen.
But he had long forgotten her already.
[Ebook] [Epilogues][Eng Translation] [Cốt cách mỹ nhân][일생일세미인골][Drama]
The “bones” and “skin” in the summary are taken from an ancient text in which these actually are referring to inner and outer beauty, respectively. Most people are shallow and only see outward beauty and fail to acknowledge inner beauty.
Shi Yi has the memories of her past life, in which she was betrothed to the Crown Prince. However, her previous incarnation’s heart belonged to her teacher, the Xiao Nan Chen Prince, Zhousheng Chen. However, he died a horrible death because of the Crown Prince’s jealousy and her family’s cooperation, and in that life, she committed suicide.
In this life, Shi Yi, an ordinary person with an ordinary life, has found him again. Not wanting to lose him again, she hastily barges into his life and makes friends with him, not hiding her interest/attraction to him. Zhousheng Chen never shows any signs of reciprocating her interest until one day, an unexpected phone call from him says, for personal reasons, he needs to get engaged and asks if she will be his fiancee. When she agrees to it and start building a deeper relationship, Shi Yi realizes there is much more to Zhousheng Chen than what she knew.
A very beautiful girl but just an ordinary person in this life. However, since she carries her previous life’s memories, she is highly skilled in “ancient” things like brush calligraphy, Chinese painting, poetry, tea as an art, guzheng, etc. Her only true goal in life, though, is to find Zhousheng Chen again and to love him, something she could not do in her previous life. I like Shi Yi, although I will say that there is nothing outstanding about her.
In this life, very plain looking professor, whose outer appearance is easily forgettable. However, he makes up with it with his sheer presence. Of all the male leads that I’ve read about, this guy has the most presence. The descriptions of him, how he carried himself, how he oozed charisma but in a gentlemanly way, how his gestures were always placed in just perfectly. He is a genius, literally, having entered university at age 14. He is confident, but not arrogant; warm and gentle, but not the guy next door type of friendly. However, it turns out he is to inherit his family’s “business” — an underground organization that controls a huge part of China’s dirty money. He does not like nor agree with this lifestyle, but out of necessity, steps in. (Funny side note: he likes to collect ancient erotic poetry. LOL)
The underground/triad society is just a backdrop. The main story is truly about Shi Yi and her love for Zhousheng Chen that started hundreds of years ago. Zhousheng Chen has ridiculously high IQ but has never had any interest in dating. However, with his proposal and their engagement, he sincerely promises to treat this relationship as one of his research targets and “work on it.” It is a story of how a girl “courts” a guy and she little by little finds a way into his heart until he one day realizes how deeply in love he is with her.
Because of the references to the past life, there is a lot of ancient style writing woven into the story. There is so much poetry, calligraphy, etc in this novel that lots of the novel has an ancient feel, despite being set in current day China. In fact, it feels more ancient than some ancient novels I’ve read. But coupled with this is also the mysterious, almost eerie feeling that Zhousheng Chen’s family gives. Shi Yi slowly starts to understand what his family does, but for most of the novel, she does not realize how ruthless they are and how that is actually endangering her life. Since the story is told mostly from her perspective, you can sense that something is not quite right, but yet you can’t completely put your finger on it as Zhousheng Chen is shielding her from the ugly truth.
Most readers either absolutely adore this novel or don’t get it. I think it’s a good read and commands my attention the whole time. I couldn’t put it down. I respect that MBFB was trying to do something different in terms of writing style. I’m not in the camp that completely loves this novel… at least, that’s what I think. However, I will say that, while it’s been more than a week since finishing it and I have moved on to read other novels, my mind still flashes back to this one, and I find myself flipping through it again to reread certain scenes that have left a deep impression.
Zhousheng Chen is the show-stealer here. HIs sincerity in getting to know Shi Yi, properly court her, and build a relationship with her is terribly sweet. MBFB has once again created a very attractive male lead, despite him not being physically attractive. But that’s the point of the story, right? To look past the ‘skin’ into the ‘bones.’
Summary: If you have problems with the language of ancient novels, don’t touch this one, even though it’s technically a modern novel. If you want a sweetl, slow-development romance, give this a try. Because of the ancient feel in a modern setting, the feel is very different from the usual sweet, warm, modern romances I have read. Don’t be scared off by the triad family setting. I don’t like to read blood, guns, and guts, but this novel doesn’t really have any of that, despite the readers knowing that those are all taking place offscreen. The love story is really beautiful, especially with the previous life woven in
Omo. I want.
Hoju – you really know how to sell books. 😛
The title of this book is very similar to the title of her other book, 一生一世 (突然想要地老天荒). Really Really Miss You’s title also fairly similar to another of her book abt the entertainment industry also. Someone complained to be your MBFB is misleading lol.
MBFB has a triad/underground society series called the 一生一世 series.
一生一世, otherwise known by it’s published name突然想地老天荒, is actually the first book in this series. Zhousheng Chen makes a couple of brief appearances in that one, which is set about 8-9 years earlier. It’s actually the first book of the series, and is definitely full on descriptive of the workings of the underground society — think guns, explosions, etc. I actually read Beautiful Bones first, not knowing there was a previous story, but those who read it in order would have had a better idea of Zhousheng Chen’s background.
There is a third book in the series called 一生一世，梵唱. I think this one has fallen victim to the recent crackdown in China on books of material the government deems inappropriate. I’m not sure of the details but read briefly there’s publishing issues or something along those lines.
I’m not sure about the entertainment industry one? 念念不想忘？
But, yes, some of her novel titles are similar. I’m not sure if it’s all completely on purpose, but it looks like she does have a few series, and books within the series sometimes have similar titles. Don’t quote me; I’m just a fan of several of her books, and that’s my observation. 🙂
Hoju, do you have other recommendations of MBFB’s book that have HEs? Beautiful bones is a lovely story but I find it a difficult read as it switches from ancient to modern times.
Hoju can the epilogues be found in any other sites then 19lou….can’t open…
Yup my chinese name is Shi yi. Different characters in chinese though.
i think this is my first time doing some comment here. I’ve been stalking this website for half a year. Both english and chinese not my first languages . And honestly my grammar very bad, thats why it makes me so hesitant to comment . But i cant resist anymore after finished this book last nite with a main lead called shiyi ( who can resist???) (btw , i read/listen all the chinese books using my best pal Google translation, hehe) . So Pardon my grammar here :p .
I Loved HE books , thats why i skipped most part of ancients parts of shiyi and Zhousheng.
Got some difficulties understanding the chinese poems too.But over all i loved this book! with smart main lead like Shi yi and character like Zhousheng , its almost perfect <3
I want to send a Big Hug and Smooch to all the contributors here. all chinese books that i read now was recommended by u all. Because honestly some other official synopsis of the novel is very plain or very vague. If you didnt say u like it , i wont start reading it.
Love u all and hope u keep recommend nice and HE books
I haven’t read all MBFB’s books. Most of her books, with a couple exceptions, are HE. I have read 1.5 more that aren’t posted yet on SSB.
一生一世. The first book in the series, in which Zhousheng Chen makes a couple of appearances. Let me first say, it is well-written. It definitely has a big fan base amongst MBFB book lovers. Personally, I did not finish it, though. It has nothing to do with the writing quality, which is detailed and spins a great story. However, I do not like the setting of the underground society, which takes a forefront in this story (think gun fights, gambling, explosions, murders, etc). The love story is lovely, and the male lead has a fanatical following… I just am not a fan of this type of story, but you may be!
Light, sweet romance set in the entertainment circle. I finished reading this, so I’ll make a new post on it soon and put up a more detailed review. Basically, a script writer finds herself being pursued by her idol since her teenage years. He is very sweet to her, almost dotes on her. When I read this, I felt like this was an earlier version of Really, Really Miss You. This novel was written ~3 years ago, and MBFB’s writing seems less mature. It is so sweet, too sweet at times, almost cheesy, that sometimes I felt like I was reading a fanfic. However, if sweet and romantic with a HE is what you’re looking for, go ahead. I would say, nice light read, not amazing, but enjoyable.
If you want to read online, I can only find the epilogues in jjwc and 19lou right now. The epilogues were exclusive to the published book, which only just came out recently. They’ll be more widely available on the internet soon.
Funny, though. I am able to open the 19lou link.
I’m relatively new here as well, but I’d still like to say, welcome to the bar. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the book. I think MBFB really did a great job with her characterization in this book. How fun that you “share” a name with the female lead, at least in pinyin.
I was about to pick an ancient story to read next and chance upon this hybrid. I agree with all of you that ZSC is a lovely lead. I am a sucker for nerdy prof and I really LOL on how his brain work..be it kissing or his research. SY has a very pretty face with a beautiful voice…..she is like Ms perfect….I love the ancient portion and wish there were more of it.. I am suspicious that she is not the only one who recall the past and has a weird feeling that Mei Heng (Xing) is the reincarnation of crown prince, only he can’t remember as much as she does. I should love this novel…but unfortunately I don’t. I find the modern portion of the story too unrealistic and lacks the punch of a complicated “underground” family….I know it is written from SY innocent eye. But as she had lived the life of the crown princess for 17 years in the past, I expect her to be a lot “smarter” in her views after she marries ZSC in the present. I find the ancient writing to be better. My mandarin is not good enough to understand all the poems but the main theme on the “beautiful bone and human being shallow” is very well written…I feel that too much was written just to hammer in the point that she live this life with only one purpose….that is to find and Love him and never let it go….
Hiya hoju….yep..sorry my bad…think they were fixing sth or the other when I was trying….but managed to open now….thanks 🙂
@hoju – OMG, I cried when I read the part about how he died. *heartaches* I love ancient ZSC. I swear, we’re lucky that this mainly takes part in the modern, cos the ancient bits are too heartbreaking. Especially what the crown prince did. D:
I’m actually a bit fan of shiyi. 🙂
Hoju, thanks for the recommendation. I’m reading this at the moment. I’ve also finished a short story from MBFB between a scriptwriter and the director which I stumbled across. A lost love. Also quite sweet.
Mini, vague spoilers embedded in this post.
One of the epilogues very clearly confirms that Mei Heng is indeed the Crown Prince of the previous life. However, I don’t think he has any memories of his previous life. In the epilogue, Mei Heng says something along the lines that he doesn’t know why but he just can’t seem to refuse Zhousheng Chen and will do anything for him. I think MBFB is trying to bring the point across that 前世债，今世还 (the debts of a previous life are repaid in this life). Hence, because the Crown Prince wronged ZSC, destroyed his reputation, and gave him a horrible death, he has to repay him now.
I actually think the modern portion and Zhousheng Chen’s family were well done. We don’t know what’s happening offscreen. Things are supposed to appear like nothing is happening because the rules of the family requires that they all behave “properly” on the surface and don’t do anything that causes the family to lose face. Remember when the police showed up investigating the murder case? It’s the appearance that everything is prim and proper, yet the sense that things are not right but you can’t find where — it gave such an eerie atmosphere.
Weren’t the ancient parts so poignant? Ancient ZSC barely made any appearances, yet somehow you can understand why Shi Yi loves him. At first, I was thinking MBFB should have written more about their previous life since really, we only have a few scenes of them together and none of them are really romantic scenes. But, I think now, less is more. MBFB gave us just enough to leave a deep impression because those little recollections we get from Shi Yi really show us how “perfect” (for lack of a better word) he was to her. I think if she had said more about ZSC, it would almost bring him back down to reality.
When I read about his death, I felt a dull ache. “Chen, in this life, never betrayed the world, and only let down 11.” I think the worst part was actually reading immediately after what the historical records said about him. His life — dedicated to serving his country, countless military accomplishments, loyal, educated, the gentleman — all these things got completely written off, and all that was left was the simple description of “committed treason, suspected of having an affair with the Crown Prince’s bride-to-be.” I’ve been thinking how painful it would be for Shi Yi, who knows what type of man he truly was, to know the truth in this life and then read the historical critique of him.
You’re persisting through this novel? Which is the scriptwriter/director one you’re talking about? 念念不想忘?
Hi thank you Hoju…didn’t realised I miss out the 3 epilogues. Can you also help me with the following qns:
1.surname. My understanding is every generation only the first son can have the surname. So after ZSC’s dad passed away, his brother (ZSC’s uncle) take the surname. But why did xiao ren need to become ZSC brother to have the surname? In his generation, ZSC already takes the “Zhou sheng” surname. Why is the surname of ZSC’s son “Zhou”? He should be the first male born in the new generation and should be rightfully name ZS rt? Or is his twin sister name ZS instead? I am a fan of Xiao Ren…hee hee. He feel so right to be the next leader.
2. ZSC’s original fiancée turns down the marriage cos her sister marries the uncle (she is the one who ends up dead on the cruise). She wants to avoid the awkwardness of potential power struggle between ZSC and her sister’s husband. So why did she end up marrying the 2nd brother herself? It would be quite possible that her husband will fight to inherited the family businese when the uncle relinquish his power to the new leader?
3. In the ancient portion, why did the emperess dowager wants the crown prince dead? She was feeding him poison. Did she wants to eventually past the crown to the Xiao nan Cheng prince? If so, why can’t she do it right after the late Emperor past away…..
Hoju, sorry for the confusion. Yes, I’ve read 念念不想忘 the shorter one between the director and script writer
The one I’m reading now is 轻易放火, the one you recommended.
Sorry for hijacking this page for the other stories… As for this story, I prefer the ancient parts better as although the scenes are not that long, but I feel that it is more real…. In the present life, I feel that she takes things for granted just because she remembered her past life/ gone through the reincarnation cycle. I’m not sure it this makes sense to anyone else…
You’re right. Only the eldest son of the one who leads the “family business” is allowed to take the Zhousheng surname. Before Zhousheng Chen came of age to inherit and lead the family, his uncle stood in as acting leader and therefore was allowed to use the surname Zhousheng. His only son, Xiao Ren, was also given the surname Zhousheng. I’m not exactly sure why Xiao Ren had to then be given in adoption to Zhousheng Chen’s mother. I don’t think it was explicitly stated. Perhaps to have the honour of that surname, you had to be the son of the wife of the leader. Just like Zhousheng Chen wasn’t the actual son of his “mother” but still had to call her as such. Once ZSC came into rightful ownership of everything, they were supposed to relinquish their right to that surname.
(BTW, Xiao Ren makes an appearance in 一生一世 as a 4 or 5 year old. The event on the cruise ship is described in detail.)
As for ZSC’s son, I don’t remember his name being mentioned. However, I would guess that since ZSC relinquished his position as leader, his son would take the surname Zhou and not Zhousheng.
(2) Yes, Tong Jiaren was engaged to ZSC, but probably ~ 10 years ago, broke off the engagement because her sister married ZSC’s uncle. It doesn’t explain in the book why she married the second brother, but we know it wasn’t for love. ZSC was the rightful heir to the family, so I guess even if she knew her husband would fight for the helm, he would not have support?? That’s just my speculation. Tong Jiaren is a bit of a mystery, really.
(3) It doesn’t tell why the empress dowager wanted to kill the Crown Prince, but he was a puppet Crown Prince anyways. The true power was in the Empress Dowager’s hands. She did not intend to pass the throne to (ancient) ZSC, but she was smart enough to know that with his military prowess and accomplishments, it was better to keep him happy and on her side. She had intended on giving (ancient) Shi Yi to him to appease him.
I just read 念念不想忘. Another sweet story by MBFB. I wish it had been slightly longer. I find MBFB’s endings are her weakness, at least to me. I often find that the story ends too abruptly, although I am happy with Beautiful Bones’ ending.
Hi Hoju…thank you for your explanation. Now I understand much better…His rush engagement and marriage is to proof his coming of age. I was initially questioning why he only plan to take over from his uncle at a ripe “old” age of 28..Only as ZSC will he has the power and financial means to help China. I respect his vision to step down 10 years later and hand over to ZSR. I have this image in my head that ZSR is properly groom now to take over the ZS empire. ZSC is really a great man, be it in the past or present. I read on the 3rd epilogue , during their visit to the temple, that their son is call 周慕时….let me know if the adult version of Ah Ren will make an appearance in the 3rd book.
Ah thanks! I remember now. I like their son’s name.
Yup. Like underage emperors or crown princes in history, ZSC’s engagement and subsequent marriage was a signaling of his coming of age. That was one of the reasons why Zhou Wenchuan tried to hurt Shi Yi and kept dragging out Zhou Wenxing’s operation. ZSC would not have his wedding without his little sister being present and healthy. That was also why they started getting so panicked at the end because even ZSC’s mom was showing that she had finally accepted Shi Yi and therefore, accepted that ZSC was taking over, so the entire clan was starting to throw their support behind ZSC.
Shi Yi was right. ZSC is a hero (in both lives). He returned to this lifestyle that he hated because he knew that was the way he could help China. If it weren’t for that reason, he probably would have continued being just a professor for all his life and just left everything in his uncle’s hands.
Hoju’s brief description of Shi Yi, “highly skilled in “ancient” things like brush calligraphy, Chinese painting, poetry, tea as an art, guzheng, etc” and yet still say, “there is nothing outstanding about her”. Wow…..Hoju certainly has extremely high taste and expectations…LOL…
I finally finished the book and I absolutely loved it. Hahaha.
@xinnxinn Hahaha – I think what Hoju meant when she said that she’s nothing outstanding about Shiyi is that she is very “ping fan”. She’s a pretty girl (no doubt), but there’s a scene where ZSC’s mother described her life as very orderly because she knows what she wants, that is to treasure the relationships that she has. So she prefers simple relationships/friendships and, in that, a simple life. So that’s why she is not suitable for ZSC because the Zhou family is nothing like that. Shiyi herself says in the book that when you’ve gone through the cycle of reincarnation and remembers entering the gates of hell, material wealth, reputation and power becomes fleeting.
@Snow Berries – A bit late, but my two cents. Ancient!Shiyi was in the protective care of Ancient ZSC since young, she she never had to deal with a the turmoil of the inner palace or even within her family. And in any case, present Shiyi only remembers snippets of her past; her time with ZSC being the clearest that’s why she knows the ancient arts quite well – because ZSC was the one who taught her those things. about 3 quarters of the book in, she still can’t remember everything, especially how she died.
@Hoju – Omo omo. I really can’t stand reading the ancient parts. It’s like Eastern Palace, except much sweeter. I actually trembled when I heard how cruel the Crown Prince was, the martial punishment he dealt out because he was jealous of his uncle’s “Beautiful Bones”.
But I actually love this pairing a lot. Very very sweet and steady, and in a lot of ways, ideal for each other. Makes me so happy that they get a chance to be together.
On a side note, MBFB wrote the theme song lyrics for the CP3 couple Xu Changqing and Zi Xuan, 此生不換 (the title carries the sentiment along the lines of “I’ll never exchange you for someone else in this lifetime”). That one’s another heartbreaking couple. But I think the theme song would also suit Shiyi and ZSC here.
May I know where I can find the epilogues for this book? 19lou is currently down so the link above doesn’t work anymore…Been finding the epilogues but to no avail…Really wanna read them! Anyone knows? 🙁
I did a quick search and can’t find the new epilogues for you yet. The published novel only came out a few months ago, so it will take a while for them to be widely circulated on the internet. I’ll report back if I find them. 🙂
Oh no :'( Thank you so much! 🙂 Hopefully the epilogues will be posted around the Internet soon…Felt abit empty after reading the ending!
[…] can read my translation of the official novel synopsis on SSB and further down in the comments, I have written a more detailed summary. (Be forewarned that if […]
Hello! Is there another source for the eBook? I can’t access because it requires me to sign in, I also tried registering but they won’t allow me either :/
I’d be grateful if someone provides me another source.
Thanks in advance!
I’ll put this link in here for now. Not the best because there’s ads all over the screen, but at least there wasn’t any “questionable” advertising or pop-ups when I was looking through it.
Wow, there is a lot of ads. I guess adblocker doesn’t work for that page :/
Anyway I really appreciate the link! Thanks a lot 🙂
Sorry em. If I find a better site, that’s easy to navigate for the Chinese-illiterate, I’ll let you know.
Answering a question from ❅ t.c posted over on Fanatical:
Ancient Zhousheng Chen = Shi Yi’s teacher = Xiao Nan Chen Prince. He is *not* the Crown Prince. (I am still debating for the translation how to translate Xiao Nan Chen “Prince”.)
Ancient Shi Yi = Crown Princess (betrothed to Crown Prince) = student of Zhousheng Chen.
With those character explanations in mind, does re-reading the summary help you understand better now? 🙂
Oh I see… yes it makes more sense now haha thanks! So the Crown Prince (past) is not Zhousheng Chen ancient/teacher and is someone else entirely. Basically it could be the “three lives three loves” but it’s only two lives two loves now XD 😛 (because they fell in love again with each other)
[…] authors Mo Bao Fei Bao just started daily updates of a new novel last week that belongs to the Beautiful Bones series (Beautiful Bones is currently being translated by the super talented Hoju). To celebrate, I […]
I read this. Oh my God, the past life part is just so hauntingly beautiful. She could’ve write that as a whole different story, but then again don’t know if I’d happily read that knowing what will happen (almost all ancient stories has tragic ending after all) 🙁
The present day part is okay, but the past life part sticks in my mind for the next couple of days after I finished reading which was funny because what hooked me up to the story on the first place was their present day story,
Is this drama adapted from this book?