『Last Update: Dec-13-2017』
RELATIONSHIP DIAGRAMS (via sithkazar)
Contains MAJOR SPOILERS for characters up to latest translated chapters! Click respective link to view.
Please Note: Characters are ordered by location and their first appearance in the story, rather than alphabetically (to minimize potential spoilers). Major plot details/references have been left out from their descriptions.
Duke of Qin’s Estate (Main Family)
Han Yunxi (韩芸汐) – the protagonist, a poisons expert from modern day who transmigrated to the past and became Qin Wangfei, the Duke of Qin’s wife. The previous owner of her body was the ‘useless trash’ of the Han Family. 17~18 years old.
Han is just a surname. Yun means to “rue” (regret), Xi means “tide during the night, nighttide.”
Long Feiye (龙非夜) – the Duke of Qin (秦王) and the country’s second most powerful man, brother to the reigning emperor of Tianning Country. Han Yunxi’s husband, 23 years old.
Long is “dragon”, Fei is “run counter to, be not”, Ye is “night”.
Grand Concubine Yi (宜太妃) – Long Feiye’s mother, one of the concubines of the late emperor. Has a rivalry with the empress dowager. Around 40 years old. Also referred to as Grand Imperial Concubine.
Yi means “suitable, appropriate, fitting”, or a negative version of “should, ought to.”
Murong Wanru (慕容宛如) – Grand Concubine Yi’s adopted daughter and Long Feiye’s younger foster sister. 17~18 years old.
Murong is a two-character surname, Mu can mean “admire, yearn for”, Rong is “hold,” “tolerate/permit”, “facial expression.” Wan is “winding, tortuous”, Ru is “like, as if”, “surpass/exceed”. Wanru together also means “just like.”
Duke of Qin’s Estate (Other)
Chu Xifeng (楚西风) －interior bodyguard that serves under the Duke of Qin/Long Feiye.
Chu can mean “distinct, clear, pain, suffering,” Xifeng is “west wind.”
Old Gatekeeper Liu (守门奴老刘) – the old gatekeeper who opened the doors to let Han Yunxi in on her wedding day.
Chen Xiang (沉香) – Han Yunxi’s servant girl that was bought for her on Long Feiye’s orders. Hails from a small village, and is slightly younger than Han Yunxi at 15~16 years old.
Chen Xiang can mean “descending fragrance.”
Little Sixth (小六儿) – a young servant boy in the household.
Gui mama (桂嬷嬷) – a mama, or elderly servant, of the household and one of Grand Concubine Yi’s people. Traditionally a wet nurse as well, probably in her youth.
Gui is the character for osmanthus or sweet-scented cassia flower.
Little Fourth (小厮) – xiao si, another servant of the Duke of Qin’s household.
Steward Xia (夏管家) – steward serving at the Duke of Qin’s household.
Xia means “summer.”
Zhao mama (赵嬷嬷) – an elderly servant of the Duke of Qin’s household who once served in the imperial palace. Just over 40 years old.
Cui Ping (翠萍) – a servant of the Duke of Qin’s estate, Murong Wanru’s trusted subordinate.
Cui is ‘emerald green, kingfisher, jadeite,’ Ping is ‘duckweed.’
Mama Su (苏娘) – a mama present while Grand Concubine Yi was giving birth. Supposedly, she slipped into a well and died after helping deliver the baby.
Shuang Xi (双喜) – a female servant present when Grand Concubine Yi gave birth.
Shuang Xi literally means ‘double happiness.’
Mother Chen (陈妈) – a female servant present when Grand Concubine Yi gave birth.
Su Xiaoyu (苏小玉) – a little beggar girl not more than 7 to 8 years old. She accidentally incurred Chu Qingge’s ire when she brushed against the woman’s dress with her dirty hands. She was saved by Mu Linger and Han Yunxi before vowing to become Han Yunxi’s servant girl.
Su is the same character found in 噜苏 lusu, or pesky. Xiaoyu means “little jade.”
Steward Luo (洛管家) – a steward of the estate.
Luo is the name of a river in Shaanxi and Henan Province.
Xu Donglin (徐栋临) – a young 16-17 year old guard of His Highness Duke of Qin. Also known by Han Yunxi.
Xu is a surname that means “slowly, gently,” Dong is “east,” and Ling is “face/overlook, arrive/be present, copy (of calligraphy or painting).
Tianning Imperial Palace (Long Royal Family)
Emperor Tianhui (天徽皇帝) – Long Feiye’s older brother, current emperor of Tianning Country.
Tian can mean “sky, Heavenly, celestial,” Hui can mean “emblem, fine, glorious.”
Empress (皇后) – wife of the emperor, mother to Princess Changping and Crown Prince Long Tianmo.
Empress Dowager (皇太后) – mother to Emperor Tianhui. Han Yunxi’s mother once saved her life. Has a rivalry with Grand Concubine Yi. Sometimes referred to as Imperial Grandmother.
Princess Changping (长平公主) – daughter to the emperor and empress. In love with Mu Qingwu and close friends with his sister, Mu Liuyue.
Changping can mean “long peace.”
Long Tianmo (龙天墨) – crown prince in line for the throne, son of the emperor and empress. Around the same age as Long Feiye.
Long is “dragon,” Tian is “sky, Heavenly, celestial,” Mo is “ink.”
Noble Consort Xiao (萧贵妃) – one of Emperor Tianhui’s imperial concubines, bestowed with the highest rank of Noble Consort, or guifei. Her full name is Xiao Yuru (萧玉茹).
Xiao is a surname that also means “desolate, dreary.” Yu is “jade,” Ru is “endure, bear.”
Qinwang Rong (荣亲王) – prince of the first rank and the younger brother to the late emperor (Emperor Tianhui’s father). An imperial uncle to Long Feiye and Emperor Tianhui’s generation.
Rong means “flourishing, properous, honor, glory.” Scroll down to General Terms to see definition of Qinwang.
Long Tianqing (龙天擎) – second imperial son by Noble Consort Xiao.
Long is dragon, Tianqing means “holding up the skies/Heavens.”
Noble Consort Yun (韵贵妃) – one of Emperor Tianhui’s concubines and mother to his seventh imperial son.
Yun means “charm, rhythm, musical/pleasing sound.”
Noble Consort Xue (雪贵妃) – one of Emperor Tianhui’s consorts. Daughter of Emperor Tianhui’s maternal uncle, via his concubine, and related to the empress dowager. A close ‘sister’ of sorts to the empress.
Xue means “snow.”
Noble Consort Ning (宁贵妃) – one of Emperor Tianhui’s consorts. Younger sister to the Great General of the cavalry–one of Tianning’s three Great Generals along with General Mu and General Baili.
Ning means “peaceful.”
Li Zhiyuan (李智远) – granduncle to Emperor Tianhui on his mother’s side.
Li is a surname that means “plum tree,” Zhi is “wisdom, resourcefulness,” and Yuan is “far away, distant.”
Li Changzai (李常在) – a lady of the palace who ends up taking the fall for Noble Consort Yun’s poisoning. She was the culprit who supposedly framed Noble Consort Xiao for the deed, but Han Yunxi suspects she was just acting as the empress dowager’s scapegoat. Lives in the Rosy Cloudflight Palace.
Li is a surname that means “plum tree,” Changzai means “often around.”
Li Leyuan (李乐远) – third child and only son to the imperial uncle, saved by Han Yunxi during the plague that raged through Tianning’s capital cityLi Li is a surname that means “plum tree,” Le is “joy, amusement, pleasure” Yuan is “distant.”
Tianning Imperial Palace
Gu Beiyue/Imperial Physician Gu (顾北月, 顾太医) – head of all the imperial physicians in the palace, highly trusted by the court. Kind and reputable, just over 20 years old.
Gu is a surname also meaning to “turn around and look at,“ Beiyue means ”north moon.”
Imperial Physician Li (李太医) – one of the palace’s imperial physicians, default doctor for the Duke of Qin’s residence.
Li is a surname that also means “plum” (as in plum tree).
Imperial Physician Xue (薛太医) – an imperial physician in the palace, often consulted by the royal concubines on matters related to the bedroom. Supposedly an expert in such things.
Imperial Physician Chen (陈太医) – the imperial physician in charge of the empress dowager’s insomnia medication and one of her loyal subordinates.
Chen is a surname that means “lay out, put on display, explain.”
Imperial Physician Lin (林太医) – one of the imperial physicians closely acquainted with Imperial Physician Chen. Also a subordinate of the empress dowager. It is unknown whether he has any related with the same Imperial Physician Lin who works at the justice courts, as Lin is a very common last name.
Lin is a surname that means “forest.”
Imperial Physician Huang (黄太医) – an imperial physician of the palace who is secretly good friends with Gu Beiyue and privy to his secrets.
Huang is a surname that means “yellow.”
Eunuch Xue (薛公公) – personal eunuch of the Tianhui Emperor. His full name is Xue Guiping (薛桂平).
Xue is a surname. Gui is osmanthus, cassia flower, Ping is “smooth, level, peace.”
Eunuch Li (李公公) – an eunuch of the imperial palace.
Eunuch Gu (顾公公) – an eunuch sent by the empress dowager to specifically investigate Murong Wanru’s past as part of her counter schemes.
Eunuch Luo (洛公公) – an eunuch sent by the emperor to summon Han Yunxi to the palace in the middle of the night.
Shuang Hong (霜红) – Princess Changping’s servant girl.
Shuang Hong means “red frost.”
Liangchen, Meijing (良辰，美景) – Two court ladies of the imperial palace, on attendance at the Plum Blossom Meet. Their names form a 4-character idiom that means “a fine moment, a beautiful scene,” respectively.
Xu mama (许嬷嬷) – an elderly court lady of the palace that made her first appearance at the family feast on New Year’s Eve. Attended to Qin Wangfei.
Xu is a surname that also means “praise, promise, betrothed.”
Qian mama (钱嬷嬷) – an old female servant in charge of household affairs for the empress in the palace’s western wing.
Qian is a surname that also means “copper coin, cash.”
Xiao Yue (晓月) – a court lady who worked in the western wing of the imperial palace.
Xiao is “dawn, daybreak, to know,” Yue is “moon.”
Li mama (李嬷嬷) – an elderly female servant in the service of the empress dowager. Replaced Gui mama when the latter got beaten up on Han Yunxi’s orders.
Baozhu (宝珠) – Noble Consort Xiao’s court lady, who accused her mistress of poisoning another consort to death.
Baozhu means “treasured pearl.”
Gui mama (桂嬷嬷) – an elderly female servant in the service of the empress dowager who has served her for over 30 years. No relation to Grand Concubine Yi’s Gui mama, though they share the same name.
Xu mama (徐嬷嬷) – an elderly female servant in the service of the empress dowager. Replaced Li mama when the latter got beaten up on the empress dowager’s orders.
Xu means “slowly, gently.”
General Mu’s Estate (Main Family)
Mu Liuyue (穆琉月) – daughter of General Mu and the household’s third young miss, proficient at throwing darts. Loves her brother and has a crush on Long Feiye.
Mu is the surname meaning “solemn, reverent”, Liu is a character found in “琉璃” (liu li), or ceramic glass, and Yue is “moon.”
Mu Qingwu (穆清武) – General Mu’s only son and heir, also a general for the imperial army. Older brother to Mu Liuyue, known for his upright and straightforward personality. Often referred to as the Young General.
Qing refers to “clear, quiet, just and honest, pure”, while Wu means “military, martial, valiant, fierce.”
General Mu (穆大将军) – Father to the Mu siblings and commander of the imperial army. A brash and headstrong man skilled with the whip.
General Mu’s Estate (Other)
Li Changfeng (李长峰) – Mu Qingwu’s personal guard.
Li is the surname, also meaning “plum,” Changfeng could mean “long peak, long summit.”
Tianning Justice Courts
North Court Official (北宫大人) – head official of the northern justice courts in the capital. His full name is He Ze (何泽).
He can mean “what/how/why/which/carry,” Ze can mean “pool, luster of metals, favor/beneficence, damp.”
Official Ouyang (欧阳大人) – an official of the justice courts appointed by the Minstry of Appointment’s magistrate to replace North Court Official He Ze.
Ouyang is a two-character surname. Ou is a variant of 讴 (Ou) which means “to sing, ballad, folk song,” Yang is the positive principle in yinyang according to Daoist philosophy, and also means “sun.”
Xu Xiangguang (徐向光) – a magistrate of the judicial courts in the Ministry of Appointments/Board of Civil Offices, superior of the North Court Official and Official Ouyang. He’s also Second Consort Lady Xu’s father and Han Yuqi’s maternal grandfather.
Xu means “slowly, gently.” Xiangguang can mean “towards the light.”
Old Xia (老夏) – Shuntian Prefecture’s full-time coroner that examined the body in the case of Doctor Li and Madam Hong’s mother-in-law
Xia is a surname that means “summer.”
Imperial Physician Lin (林太医)- the imperial physician in charge of appraising the medicinal ingredients of a key prescription in the case of Doctor Li and Madam Hong’s mother-in-law. Hails from the Imperial Physician Courtyard, but also holds concurrent posts with the justice courts and Shuntian Prefecture.
Lin is a surname that means “forest.”
Lady Tianxin (天心夫人) – Han Yunxi’s mother, a skilled doctor who once cured the empress dowager’s illness. Died giving birth to her daughter. Her “official” name was recorded as Baili Tianxin (白里天心).
Tian means “sky, the Heavens,” and xin means “heart.” Baili is a two-character surname that also means “100 li.”
Han Congan (韩从安) – Han Yunxi’s father and current head of the Han Family. One of the directors of the Cloud Realm Medical Academy. Also known as Divine Doctor Han.
Congan could mean “from peace.”
Second Consort Lady Xu (二夫人 徐夫人) – Han Congan’s second wife, raised to status of concubine after Lady Tianxin’s death. Her father is the magistrate of the Ministry of Appointments. In her mid-30s and mother to Han Yuqi.
Xu is a surname meaning “slowly, gently.”
Han Yuqi (韩玉骐) – Han Congan’s son born from Lady Xu. The eldest young master of the Han house, younger than Han Yunxi.
Yu means “jade,” Qi means “a black horse.”
Third Madame Li (三姨娘 李氏) – Han Congan’s third concubine, calm and somewhat mysterious. Around 30 years old and mother to Han Ruoxue. Her real name is Li Mingyue (李明月), but…she goes by Li Mingmei (李明媚) in the Han estate.
Li is a surname that also means “plum.” Shi is a suffix used after a married woman’s maiden name. Mingyue means “clear moon.”Mingmei means “bright and beautiful,” “radiant and enchanting.”
Han Ruoxue (韩若雪) – Madame Li’s daughter and Han Yunxi’s younger sister, third oldest child of the Han family. Her nickname is Xue’er (雪儿).
Ruoxue means “like snow.”
Seventh Madame Helian Zuixiang (七姨娘 赫连醉香) – Han Congan’s last and youngest concubine, as well as the one he dotes on most. Just over 20 years old and mother to Han Yunyi.
He is a surname meaning “conspicuous, grand.” Lian could mean “link/join/connect” or “continuously, in succession.” Zuixiang can mean “intoxicating fragrance.”
Han Yunyi (韩云逸) – Han Congan’s son born from Madame He Lian. The seventh and youngest young master of the Han house. Six-years-old at time of introduction. His nickname is Yi’er (逸儿).
Yun means “cloud,” Yi means “ease, leisure, flee,” or “excel.”
Han Family (Other)
Wang Xiaosi (王小四) – a pageboy of the Han house, head of the gatekeepers. Was the first to meet and escort Han Yunxi inside when she visited her family post-marriage.
Xiaosi means “little fourth,” and is most likely a nickname or some form of denomination of rank/age in his placement amongst the servants.
Pill Fiend Valley
Gu Qi Sha/Pill Fiend (古七刹/药鬼) – an eccentric medical genius who was expelled from Cloud Realm Medical Academy and founded Pill Fiend Valley. Known to have a clawed hand, always hides his face beneath a hood, enjoys amusing himself at the expense of others.
Gu means “ancient,” Qi means “seven,” and Sha means “stop, check.” The characters for Pill Fiend come from Yao (药), which also means “medicine, drug,” and Gui (鬼), which can mean “ghost, spirit, apparition, demon, damnable, clever, sly.”
Steward Ming (铭管家) – a steward in charge of approving/denying customers at the gates of Pill Fiend Valley.
Ming means “to engrave, an inscription/motto.”
Western Zhou Country (Duanmu Royal Family)
Duanmu Yao/Princess Changle/Princess Rongle (端木瑶, 长乐公主, 荣乐公主) – princess of Western Zhou country and daughter to its emperor, shares a martial arts master with her crush, Long Feiye. Her nickname is Yao Yao (瑶瑶). Younger than 18 years old at the start of the story. When she appears for the second time in the story, her title changes to Princess Rongle.
Duanmu is a two-character surname; Duan can mean “end, beginning”, or “upright, proper,” Mu is “wood,” and Yao is a term for “precious jade, jasper.” Changle means “long joy.” Rongle means “prosperous/flourishing/glorious joy.”
Duanmu Baiye/Crown Prince Ye (端木白烨/烨太子) – crown prince of Western Zhou country, older brother to Duanmu Yao.
Bai means white, Ye means “firelight/sunlight, bright.”
Empress (皇后) – empress of Western Zhou, mother to Duanmu Baiye and Duanmu Yao.
Emperor Chongrui (崇瑞皇帝) – emperor of Western Zhou.
Chong means “high, lofty, sublime; esteem, worship,” Rui means “auspicious, lucky.”
Western Zhou Country (Other)
Qiu’er (秋儿) – Duanmu Yao’s maidservant.
Qiu is “autumn,” Er is a diminutive suffix added to names and nicknames.
Celestial Fragrance Teashop & Plantation – a well-known teashop on prime property at the outskirts of the capital. It even has its own hot springs, and its private courtyards are often booked by society’s elites.
Guard Shangguan (上官执事) – the spokesperson/representative and guard of honor for the Celestial Fragrance teashop’s manager. Around 40 years old.
Shangguan is a two-character surname. Shang means up, rising, Guan means government official, public.
Bilü (碧绿) – a tea servant for Spring Rain Courtyard at the Celestial Fragrance Tea Garden.
Bilü literally means “dark green.” Bi itself is also a name for green jade.
Huo Yang (霍阳) – head of the guards in charge of the south mountains at the Celestial Fragrance tea plantation. A middle-aged man personally promoted by Guard Shangguan for his capable work.
Huo is a surname that can mean “suddenly, quickly.” Yang can mean “sun.”
Gu Qishao (顾七少) – striking, bewitching young man who favors red robes. A skilled whip user with a proficiency in poisons, as well as a successful businessman with many shops in Tianning’s capital city. His origins are shrouded in mystery.
Qi is seven, Shao is “less, young.” Another way to read his name is Young Seventh Gu.
Sister Snake (蛇姐) – literally “Snake Big Sister,” team leader of a group of female spies who specialize in poison. Works for Northern Li and can control poison mosquito swarms.
Heisha (黑煞) – a young Poison Human with strong martial arts skills. Involved in a successful high-profile kidnapping. Better with martial arts than with poisons, works for Northern Li.
Hei means black, Sha meants to ‘stop, halt, tighten’ It’s also another form of Sha (杀), or to kill.
Qingyi (青衣) – an older female poisons expert with superior poisons crafting skills and a long concealed identity in Tianning’s capital city. Her martial arts skills are not as good as Heisha’s. Works for Northern Li.
Qingyi literally means “dark clothing.”
Masked Man – a man wearing a mask, revealed to be the true leader of the Northern Li spies. Ordered the kidnapping of Han Yunxi, proficient in poisons, a ruthless fighter. Long Feiye has suspicions regarding his true identity. Later revealed to be Northern Li’s Duke of Kang, Jun Yixie.
Zhu Zhengyang (朱正阳) – a poisons specialist acquainted with Imperial Physician Lin of Tianning Country. Colloquially known in the poison community as “Elder Zhu” (朱老).
Zhu is a surname that means “vermilion, bright red,” Zheng is “righteous,” Yang is “sunlight.”
Tianning Capital City
Zhangsun Che (长孙澈) – son of the first wife of Marquis Pingbei, commonly known as the North Lord. A scholarly gentlemen with a history of female conquests.
Zhangsun is a two-character surname, the words together also mean “eldest grandson.” Che is “clear, limpid,” usually used to describe water. Pingbei means “north Ping,” while Ping itself can mean “peace, level, even.”
Li Muge (禮牧歌) – son of the first wife of Marquis Pingnan, commonly known as the South Lord. A scholarly man with feminine traits, romantically interested in the same sex.
Li is a common surname also meaning “plum,” Muge together means “pastoral song, madrigal.” Pingnan means “south Ping,” while Ping itself can mean “peace, level, even.”
Xu Yunrong (徐云容) – youngest daughter of the magistrate of the Ministry of Appointments/Board of Civil Offices, Lady Xu’s little sister.
Xu is a surname meaning “slowly, gently,” Yun is “cloud,” and Rong is “tolerate, appearance, permit.”
Zhangsun Zhongde (长孙仲德) – Marquis Pingbei, father to Zhangsun Che.
Zhangsun is a two-character surname. Zhong is a character for ‘second, middle,’ such as the second son of a family, De means ‘virtue, moral character.’
Prefecture governor (府尹大人) – a governor of the Shuntian Prefecture, presides over hearings of cases.
Madam Chen (陈氏) – a poverty-stricken widow with a sickly mother-in-law and young son. Her mother-in-law died after taking cold medicine from Doctor Li.
Doctor Li (李大夫) – manager of the Han family’s southern clinic in Tianning’s capital city.
Madam Hong (洪氏) – Doctor Li’s wife, also referred to as Lady Li (李夫人).
Hong is a surname that also means “big, vast, flood.”
Xiao Zhengxin (萧正信) – Prime Minister of the Left and Noble Consort Xiao’s father. Grandfather to second imperial son Long Tianqing.
Xiao is a surname that also means “desolate, dreary,” Zhengxin means “righteous belief.”
Zhao Ziling (赵子陵) – Minister of Revenue in Tianning’s imperial court, part of second imperial son Long Tianqing’s faction while secretly supporting Long Feiye.
Zhao is a surname, Zi is a noun suffix that sometimes means “son,” and Ling is “hill/mound, tomb/mausoleum.”
Li Xiuyi (李修一) – Grand Preceptor in Tianning’s imperial court, part of second imperial son Long Tianqing’s faction while secretly supporting Long Feiye.
Li is a surname that also means “plum,” Xiu means “to cultivate/embellish/decorate,” and Yi means “one.”
Lin Botong (林伯桐) – Junior Mentor in Tianning’s imperial court, part of second imperial son Long Tianqing’s faction while secretly supporting Long Feiye. Details on his post can be found in the footnotes of Chapter 310.
Lin is a surname that means “forest/woods/grove,” Bo is typically a word used to indicate the eldest son, Tong is “paulownia,” also known as the phoenix tree.
Ouyang Ming (欧阳鸣) – Grand Academician in Tianning’s imperial court, part of second imperial son Long Tianqing’s faction while secretly supporting Long Feiye. Details on his post can be found in the footnotes of Chapter 310.
Ouyang is a two-character surname, Ming means the cry of birds or animals.
Mu Family – currently the strongest family in Medicine City.
Mu Linger (沐灵儿) – the genius Ninth Young Miss from the Mu family in Medicine City, known for her talent and knowledge in medicine. Adores Gu Qishao, whom she refers to as her Qi gege (Big Brother Qi). 16~17 years old.
Mu is a surname that means to “wash one’s hair,” Ling is “quick, clever, sharp; spritely, fairy,” Er is a diminutive that means “youngster, child.”
Mu Xin (沐心) – a daughter of the Mu family and older sister to Lady Lianxin (a director of the medical academy). Gu Qishao suspects that she is actually the real identity of Lady Tianxin, Han Yunxi’s mother.
Xin means “heart.”
Mute Granny (哑婆婆) – an old nanny who lives in a bamboo house atop a secret lake (Mu Xin’s original residence) hidden behind a patch of forest at the back of the Mu estate. A deaf-mute who is illiterate and doesn’t understand sign language, she seems to have some connection with Mu Xin.
Mu Yingdong (沐英东) – head of the Mu Clan, a short man with an ape-like chin and thin lips, said to look like the meticulous type. Has a covert partnership with Jun Yixie.
Yingdong can mean “hero of the east.”
Mu Chaoran (沐超然) – eldest son of the Mu Clan.
Chaoran means “aloof, detached.”
Wang Family – the former strongest family in Medicine City. Friends with Long Feiye.
Wang Gong (王公) – Head of the Wang family in Medicine City and Long Feiye’s friend. They met during Long Feiye’s youth.
Wang is a surname that also means “ruler, king,” Gong means “equitable, impartial, common,” or “prince.”
Wang Ruochen (王若辰) – third young master of the Wang Clan, an elegant and pretentious man that enjoys putting on airs. Harbors a longtime admiration for Chu Qingge. The Manager of the Left for the Medical Materials Association, which overlooks financial accounts.
Ruochen can means “like a celestial body, like time.”
Wang Shuchen (王书辰) – fourth young master of the Wang Clan and younger brother to Wang Ruochen, a man with a clean and gentle aura akin to jade. The only person in Medicine City who can equal Mu Linger’s pharmacy skills. The Manager of the Right for the Medical Materials Association, which overlooks the storehouse for raw materials. A low-key figure who rarely shows himself despite being the most well-known of the Wang Clan sons.
Shu is “book, calligraphy, script,” while Chen can be “celestial bodies, time, day.”
Xie Family – third of the three great families of Medicine City. Has yet to be introduced in the story.
Northern Li Country (Imperial Family)
Jun Yixie (君亦邪) – the Duke of Kang (康王) and foster son of the Northern Li emperor, though his standing far exceeds that of the other imperial sons. Has a distinctive, blood-red eyebrow piercing over his right eye, proficient in poisons.
Jun is a surname meaning “monarch, sovereign,” Yi is “also, too,” and Xie is “evil, heretical, disaster.” In other words, his name can be read as “a monarch as well as an evil disaster.” Kang means “health, well-being.”
Tang Clan (唐门) – a clan that specializes in assassination weapons and fighting styles. Their women are said to never marry outside the clan.
Tang Li (唐离) – the young head of the Tang Clan who ran away from his arranged marriage. Uses assassination weapons, looks divine but has a disagreeable personality.
Tang is a surname that means “exaggerative, boastful, in vain,” Li means “leave, part from, independent of.”
Aunt Ru (茹姨) – younger sister to Tang Li and Long Feiye’s mothers, a fierce woman in her 40s who looks like someone in her 20s.
Ru is a surname that is also the formal form of “eat.”
Tang Yiwan (唐意婉) – deceased elder sister to Aunt Ru and aunt to Tang Li, the real mother of Long Feiye.
Yi means “wish, desire, intention, meaning,” and Wan is “gentle, gracious, beautiful, elegant.”
City of Daughters – a mercenary city run by the matriarchal Leng Clan.
Leng Clan (冷氏) – the clan that rules over the City of Daughters. All members are mercenaries by trade.
Leng Shuang Shuang (冷霜霜) – a female assassin in a red qipao sent to snare and attack Long Feiye, fourth daughter of the Leng Clan and a candidate for succession as its head. Her nickname is Shuang’er (霜儿), which means “Little Frost.” Fights with a sword.
Leng is ‘cold,’ Shuang is ‘frost,’ together her name means ‘cold frost.’
Carefree City – a mercenary city run by the Qi Clan.
Qi Clan (齐氏) – the mercenary clan that rules over Carefree City. Qi means “neat, even, uniform, simultaneously,
Qi is a surname that means ‘neat, even, uniform, simultaneously.’
Qi Yaotian (齐姚天) – eldest young master of Carefree City and heir to the position of city and clan head. Fights with a fan as well as trained giant bats.
Yaotian means ‘brilliant/glorious skies.’
Medical City – home to Cloud Realm Medical Academy and the (now defunct) Poison Sect.
Director Xi (玺理事) – member of the Board of Directors at Medical City’s Medical Academy who originally came from Western Zhou and a sixth-ranked Primogenitor Doctor. His full name is Xi Yubo (玺玉伯).
Xi means ‘imperial/royal seal.’ Yu is ‘jade,’ while Bo means ‘uncle, eldest amongst brothers, earl/count.’
Luo Zuishan (洛醉山) – AKA Director Luo, a member of the Board of Directors at Cloud Realm Medical Academy and the only other sixth-ranked Primogenitor Doctor on the board besides Director Xi.
Luo is the name of rivers in Shaanxi and Henan Province, Zui means “drunk,” and Shan means “mountain.”
Gu Yuandong (顾远东) – member of the Board of Directors at Cloud Realm Medical Academy, now deceased. He was a sixth-ranked Primogenitor Doctor when he was alive and Gu Beiyue’s grandfather.
Yuandong is a loanword that literally means “Far East.”
Shen Jueming (沈决明) – Third Elder of the Council of Elders, an old man with white hair and whiskers, said to look like a kindly immortal who is easy to talk to. He is a seventh-ranked Sage Doctor.
Shen is a surname that can also be read as Chen, which means “deep, profound, heavy, to sink.” Jueming means “cassia” in botany; the words themselves means “to determine” and “bright, brilliance, clear,” respectively.
Li Tianci (李天赐) – Fourth Elder of the Council of Elders, a middle-aged man with a stern face that never seems to smile. He is a sixth-ranked Primogenitor Doctor.
Li is a surname that also means “plum.” Tianci means “be bestowed by Heaven.”
Lady Lianxin (怜心夫人) – Fifth Elder of the Council of Elders, a middle-aged woman with a beautiful face, looks formidable at a glance. She is a fifth-ranked Divine Doctor and a daughter of the Mu Clan in Medicine City.
Lian means “sympathize with, pity, love,” and Xin means “heart.”
Great Qin Empire
Great Qin Empire (大秦帝国) – a sprawling empire that used to rule all of Cloud Realm Continent, split between the two imperial clans of West Qin (西秦) and East Qin (东秦), under which were the Seven Noble Families.
Shadow Clan (影族) – one of the Seven Noble Families, Shadow Clan members excelled in the shadow arts, which trained the user into perfecting lightness techniques. They can travel at superior speeds to the other clans and are both quick and soundless. Traditionally, their role was to protect the imperial members of West Qin.
Nether Clan (幽族) – one of the Seven Noble Families of the Great Qin Empire, said to have assassinated the last male heir to the West Qin imperial family with a storm of arrows.
You is a word that could mean multiple things: deep and remote, secluded, dim, secret, hidden, quiet, serene, imprison, of the nether world,” so I went with the last example. (Most of the Seven Noble Families will be named with English equivalent names to maintain a sense of consistency throughout the story.)
Chu Family (Western Zhou’s military powerhouse)
Chu Tianyin (楚天隐) – A celebrated general of Western Zhou, known by his trademark ebony bow.
Chu is a surname that means “clear, neat, suffering,” tianyin can be read as “hidden from the skies/Heavens.”
Chu Qingge (楚清歌) – Chu Tianyin’s younger sister, also skilled in archery as well as poisons. Described to be an “icy beauty.”
Qingge means “clear song.”
The Baili family makes up one of the biggest aristocrat families in Tianning’s capital city. They also have the unique distinction of being nobility and involving themselves in politics, specifically in the case of Baili Yuanlong.
Baili Yuanlong (百里元隆) – Great General of Tianning’s naval forces and a scion of one of the biggest aristocrat clans in the country.
Baili is a two-character surname, Yuan means “first,” Long means “grand, prosperous, thriving.”
Baili Mingxiang (百里茗香) – General Baili’s youngest daughter, 20 years old. A delicate and gentle sort of beauty who has been purposely taking poisons since she was five.
Mingxiang can be read as “the fragrance of tender tea leaves.”
Sky Domain Black Market
Lin Clan (林家) – a large merchant clan that hails from Yucheng. (虞城)
Wang Clan (王家) – a large merchant clan that hails from Yuzhou. (禹州)
Ouyang Clan (欧阳家) – a large merchant clan that hails from Luocheng. (洛城)
Wu Shu (吴叔) – a middle-aged merchant and Long Feiye’s contact in the Sky Domain Black Market. His name can also be read as “Uncle Wu.” Wu is simply a surname, Shu means “uncle.”
Master Lin (林爷) – owner of the Lin Clan grain shop where the imperial uncle has his base of operations.
Manager Qian (钱) – the representative of the imperial uncle that helped seal the grain deal.
Miss Helian (赫连姑娘) – Han Yunxi’s alias while in the Sky Domain Black Market. Helian is a common surname of Northern Li nobility.
South Ning Prefecture
Nanguo Jun (南郭俊) – son of the senior provincial official of South Ning Prefecture, likes to drive a fast carriage, young and arrogant.
Nanguo is a two-character surname that individually means “south” and “outer wall of a city,” Jun is “handsome, pretty, of outstanding talent.”
Please Note: Locations are ordered by their first mention in the story, rather than alphabetically (to minimize potential spoilers). Major plot details/references have been left out from their descriptions.
Nations, States, & Cities
Tianning Country (天宁国) – the main setting for the series. Located beneath Northern Li Country, its enemy. Ruled by the imperial Long family.
Its name can mean “Heavenly Peace” or “Peaceful Skies.”
Northern Li Country (北历国) – a country located north of Tianning, its enemy.
Li is the same character as “history.”
Western Zhou Country (西周国) – Tianning’s ally country to the west, ruled by the imperial Duanmu family.
Cloud Realm Continent (云空大陆) – continent that contains the three nations of Tianning, Northern Li and Western Zhou.
Xuanwu Street (玄武街) – a large main street in Tianning’s capital city. Xuanwu is the “Black Warrior,” an epithet for the guardian spirit of the north in Daoism.
Tianshui City (天水城) – Third Madame Li’s hometown, located in northern Tianning Country. Tianshui could mean “sky/celestial/heavenly water.”
Huai Blossom Lane (槐花巷) – a famous street in Tianning’s capital city known for its night markets. Huai Blossoms are known as Styphnolobium.
Jun City (浚城) – hometown of the second wife of Emperor Tianhui’s maternal uncle. Jun means “dredge.”
Medical City (医城) – one of the Four Great Cities of Cloud Realm Continent, an independent city consisting of prominent medical families within Cloud Realm Continent and Cloud Realm Medical Academy.
Medicine City (药城) – one of the Four Great Cities of Cloud Realm Continent, an independent city consisting of well-established families that own vast quantities of medicinal ingredients. The city itself contains a forest in the center owned by its three great families, with fertile soil suitable for growing medicinal plants.
Snow Domain (雪域) – a patch of land far up in the north, known as a good cultivating ground for rare medicinal plants.
Estates & Residences
Hibiscus Courtyard (芙蓉院) – Long Feiye’s private courtyard within his (the Duke of Qin’s) estate, containing his rooms and gardens.
Palace of Heaven and Earth (乾坤宫) – a palace of the empress dowager at the imperial palace.
Leisurely Cloud Pavilion (云闲阁) – Han Yunxi’s name for her living quarters in the northwest corner of the Hibiscus Courtyard, Duke of Qin’s household.
Orchid Enclosure (兰苑) – Murong Wanru’s quarters, near the flower gardens of Grand Concubine Yi, Duke of Qin’s household.
Peony Courtyard (牡丹院) – Grand Concubine Yi’s quarters in the Duke of Qin’s residence, next to her private flower gardens.
Peaceful Hall (安平宫) – Princess Changping’s quarters in the imperial palace.
Eastern Palace (东宫) – Crown Prince Tianmo’s quarters in the imperial palace. Traditionally, the crown prince of a dynasty always resided in the Eastern Palace.
Cloud Water Pavilion (云水阁) – Seventh Madame Helian’s living quarters within the Han Family estate.
Hundred Grass Courtyard (百草院) – Han Congan’s living quarters, the main courtyard of the Han estate and the location of the Han Family storehouse. “Grass” in this case may also refer to plants/flora in general.
Orchid Residence (幽兰局) – Lady Tianxin’s quarters in the Han household.
Falling Serenity Residence (落幽局) – Lady Xu’s quarters in the Han household.
Sunset Cloud Enclosure (落霞苑) – Third Madame Li’s quarters in the Han household.
Solitary Enclosure (孤苑) – one of Long Feiye’s independent houses in the capital. Appears to be a private residence from the outside.
Peace & Wellness Palace (康宁宫) – the empress dowager’s residence in Tianning’s imperial palace.
Earthly Peace Palace (坤宁宫) – the empress’s residence in Tianning’s imperial palace. Kun is the female/earth principle in the Eight Triagrams, Ning is “peaceful, tranquil.”
Flowing Splendor Hall (流华宫) – quarters within Tianning’s imperial palace.
Hall of Regrets (悔思宫) – a place for imprisoned wrongdoers to reflect upon their wrongs, located in Tianning’s imperial palace.
Narcissus Residence (水仙居) – a large compound next to Grand Concubine Yi’s peony courtyard, Duke of Qin’s estate. Han Yunxi moves into this place and renames it the Leisurely Cloud Courtyard (云闲院).
Hidden Pavilion (幽阁) – one of Long Feiye’s secret courtyards in the capital city along with the Solitary Enclosure. This one is located in the western suburbs.
Shops & Institutions:
White Cassia Hall (白决明宫) – the name of a pharmacy located in the capital city.
Cloud Realm Medical Academy (云空大陆医学院) – a premier school of doctors gathering top talent from around the continent. Headed by various directors and elders, the oldest of whom are over 100-years-old. Located in Medical City.
Tea Leaf Celestial (茗仙楼) – a three-story teahouse located in Tianning, the largest one within the capital city. Its name is written as mingxianlou.
Ming is ‘tea, tender tea leaves,’ Xian is ‘immortal/celestial/divine.’ Lou is a common term in shop names, and can mean ‘a storied building,’ ‘tower’ or ‘floor.’
Celestial Fragrance (天香茶园) – a famous plantation and teashop located on the outskirts of Tianning’s capital city, equipped with 30 separate courtyards and its own hot springs. Bordered at the back by three mountains that contain tea plantations, and in the front by a natural stream.
Spring Rain Courtyard (新雨院) – Mu Liuyue’s regular courtyard at the Celestial Fragrance tea plantation.
Xinyu could refer to newly fallen rain or, in a more poetic sense, rain in early spring. Artistic license was taken with this name. 🙂
Tender Fragrance Teahouse (茗香茶楼) – a three-story teahouse located in Tianning’s capital city.
Medicinal Materials Association (药材会所) – a members-only marketplace located in Medicine City that sells first-class medicinal ingredients, accessible only with a golden card pass. All dealings are made with the same pass in lieu of hard currency.
Shuntian Prefecture (顺天府) – mostly like inspired by the historical Shutian Prefecture, the office (yamen) of a local government where citizens could go to plead their grievances. Shuntian means along the lines of “following Heaven’s will, fu is a term (in this case) for a government office, but can also refer to a residence, mansion, or estate.
Four-Way Clinics (四方医馆) – the four charity clinics of the Han family located in the north, south, east, and western sides of Tianning’s capital city.
Suspended Temple (悬空寺) – a temple located near Medical City.
Auspicious Cloud Inn (云祥客栈) – Medical City’s most prestigious inn, whose top room has a window that gives a view of Cloud Realm Medical Academy’s front doors.
Heavenly Fragrance Teahouse (天香茶楼) – successor to the Tender Fragrance Teahouse after Long Feiye closed up shop. Considered to be Tianning’s top-tier teahouse.
Pill Fiend Valley (药鬼谷) – the home of Pill Fiend, a place filled with medicinal/poisonous plants of all kinds. Many of these plants were grafted and grown by Pill Fiend himself.
Snake Gorge (蛇谷) – a valley said to be inhabited by a giant poisonous snake.
Celestial Mountain Sword Sect (天山剑宗) – Long Feiye and Duanmu Yao’s sword sect, a highly selective martial arts school that only accepts one disciple per year.
Tang Clan (唐门) – tangmen, also known as Tang Sect or Tangmen, a well-known jianghu group often found in wuxia novels. Their members usually specialize in assassination and poisons, and have a neutral stance in various martial arts circles.
Lotus Mountain (莲花山) – Medical City’s tallest mountain at the back of the city, used to belong to the Poison Sect. It has five peaks which together resembles a lotus flower, each of them extremely steep.
Dragon King Temple (龙王庙) – a temple located west of Tianning’s capital city, near a cliff.
Listed in alphabetical order.
aifei (爱妃) – literally ‘beloved concubine/consort,’ an ancient equivalent of ‘darling/beloved’ for a noble’s wife.
chendi (臣弟) － a humble form of self-address for a younger brother equivalent to ‘your subject’ or ‘your servant.’
chenqie (臣妾) – a humble form of self-address for females equivalent to ‘your subject’ or ‘your servant’.
erchen (儿臣) – a humble form of self-address for males equivalent to ‘your subject’ or ‘your servant’.
gege (哥哥) – literally ‘older brother,’ also used as an affectionate address to refer to slightly older males that the speaker knows well, even if there is no familial relation.
golden branch and jade leaf (金枝玉叶) – jin zhi yu ye, an idiom used to describe the nobility, especially those of imperial lineage or possessing peerless beauty.
gongzi (公子) – literally ‘prince,’ but also used to refer to the son of a feudal prince or high official, a person of high birth and breeding, or simply ‘young master’ or ‘young gentleman.’
guifei (贵妃) – also known as Noble Consort, a title for the highest-ranking imperial concubine.
Gu Shu (蛊鼠) – Gu is a word for an ancient venomous insect; Shu is a word that means mouse or rat; on occasional it can also mean squirrel when used in conjunction with Song, aka songshu (松鼠). The official name for the poison beast of the medical academy’s Poison Sect.
Junwang (郡王) – a prince of the second rank. Jun is a character that means “prefecture.”
mama (嬷嬷) – a form of address for an elderly woman, also a wet nurse.
meimei (妹妹) – little sister.
mufei (母妃) －literally “mother concubine,” a respectful way to refer to a mother-in-law who was a concubine of the emperor.
muhou (母后) – literally “mother empress” (or “imperial mother”), a variation on mufei; in this case, the mother is an official consort/empress rather than a concubine.
niangniang (娘娘) – a form of address for an empress or imperial concubine.
Plum Blossom Meet (梅花宴) – an exclusive gathering held by Princess Changping every three years to enjoy the plum blossoms while chatting and drinking together. Open only to females of noble families and via invitation only.
prince, duke, marquis, earl, viscount, baron (王，公，侯，伯，子，男) – wang, gong, hou, bo, zi, nan, noble titles of differing ranks and their approximate English equivalents.
- Note: the Duke of Qin is literally “Qin Wang” (秦王), and his ranking is officially equal to that of the princes (wang). However, I did not translate him as “Prince Qin” to avoid confusion, as his power is greater than that of the imperial princes. There were also consistency/clarity considerations related to spoilers for later on in the story.
qieshen (妾身) – form of self-address used by a wife when speaking to her husband. Also means ‘concubine.’
Qinwang (亲王) – a prince of the first rank in the imperial clan, usually sons of the emperor.
- Note: the “Qin” in Qinwang is a different character from the Qin in Duke of Qin (亲 vs 秦). Qin (亲) means “next of kin, blood relation, relative” while Qin (秦) is a surname.
tangshu (堂叔) – a father’s younger male cousin.
wangfei (王妃) – an official wife in name and in title with higher status than any concubine.
wangye (王爷) – male equivalent of wangfei, a lord.
white lotus (白莲花) – an euphemism for an extremely two-faced woman.
Xuan gold (玄金) – xuan means mysterious, dark, obscure. The strongest, hardest material available in the world of Cloud Realm Continent, best used for making weapons.
your highness (殿下) – dianxia, a formal and respectful way of address for a man of high noble standing but lower in rank than the emperor.
Zhen (朕) – the royal ‘We,’ a personal pronoun used exclusively by the emperor to refer to himself.
Listed in alphabetical order.
Bone Fragrance (骨香) – a type of liquid poison capable of melting through hair, skin, and flesh, leaving nothing but the bones of its victims and delicate fragrance behind.
Disintegrating Muscle Corrosive (蚀肉散) – a poison that eats away at the skin.
Perplexing Butterfly Illusion (迷蝶梦) – a transparent liquid poison contained in a small porcelain bottle. Of unknown age, toxicity, or make-up, but has some sort of connection with Long Feiye. Highly corrosive, a single drop is enough to corrode away human skin, flesh, and bones, leaving nothing but smoke and a faint fragrance behind
Mi Die Meng is the Chinese name, Mi can mean “perplexing, bewitching, entrancing, confusing, confunding, mazelike,” Die is “butterfly,” Meng can mean “dream, fancy, illusion.”
Poison Corpse (毒尸) – a type of poison nurturer with less than a year to live. They possess immunity against both low-level toxins and mid-level, fatal poisons that affect the bones and blood.
Poison Gu (毒蛊) – most mysterious type of poison nurturer. They possess immunity against low-level and mid-level poisons as well as immunity to high-level poisons that target the internal organs. Gu is the name for a legendary venomous insect.
Poison Human (毒人) – a type of poison nurturer who can live at most 30 years. They possess immunity against low level, non-fatal poisons that affect the skin, flesh, and hair.
poison nurturer (养毒) – a human who has built up immunity to poison in his/her body via exposure to various toxins.
Listed in alphabetical order.
Acupoint Needle (点穴针) – literally “striking acupoint needle,” used to attack the acupoints of a victim. One type has three tips on its end, while another has a curved tip.
Mouth Needle (口针) – small needles capable of being stored inside the mouth. The user attacks by spitting out the needles at one’s enemies.
Pear Blossom Rain Needle (暴雨梨花针) – Tang Clan’s second-ranked assassination weapon. Supposedly, there are only two in existence. A needle launcher containing a maximum of 27 needles that can be shot individually or all at the same time by pressing various switches, with speeds approximating that of modern bullets. Very hard to dodge. Each needle is one-time use only and cannot be reloaded after launch, short of remaking the launcher itself. This type of assassination tool is found in various wuxia novels, in which the attacker shoots a literal “rainstorm” of needles at one’s enemies. You can read about the details of its specific lore (including a hypothetical diagram) here.
Pear Blossom Teardrop Rain (梨花泪雨) – an assassination weapon gifted to Han Yunxi by Long Feiye. It resembles a red hand-chain bracelet inlaid with red jade. Inspired by the design of the Pear Blossom Rain Needle (though only 1/3rd as strong), it can hold up to 39 concealed needles.
Plum Blossom Needle (梅花针) – larger in size than usual acupuncture needles, ends with five tips. The lowest-tier weapon of the Tang Clan, good for delaying tactics/scattering attacks against the enemy. Their five sharp edges ensure a hit even at low accuracy. Typically stored in the sleeves when not in use.
Pointer Needle (指针) – can also be interpreted as “finger needle,” they are small needles hidden between the crevices in the fingers and thrown directly at the enemy. Can be used for both short and long distance fights. A maximum of eight needles can be hidden between all ten fingers, though skilled users can stack needles over these eight to replace the ones already thrown away.
Row-Array Needle/Shoe Needle (排针, 鞋针) – possibly named for the arrangement of the needles in a row. Hidden in the tip of one’s shoe, they’re used in conjunction with kicks to surprise the victim.