Unruly Phoenix Xiaoyao Glossary

Unruly Phoenix Xiaoyao Glossary

『Last Update: Aug-13-2017

Please Note: Characters are ordered by group 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.


{Imperial Family}

Ning Xiaoyao (宁小药) – a skilled female zombie hunter from an apocalyptic world. 18 years old at time of death, part of a humanity that evolved to combat their world’s growing threat. Possesses supernormal strength, a healing touch, poison immunity, and the ability to understand animals. Ning Xiaoyao’s original body is mostly likely gone, destroyed by the anti-tank grenade from her suicide attack.

  • Ning is a surname that means “peaceful, tranquil.” Xiao means “little,” Yao means “medicine, remedy, cure with medicine, cure with poison.”

Ning Yu (宁玉) – 15 year-old daughter of the empress dowager, raised since childhood at the Grand Preceptor’s (her grandfather’s) estate. The current reigning emperor of the country. Used by her mother as a stand-in for the throne until her baby brother grows up. After Ning Xiaoyao transmigrates into her body, she sees a vision of Ning Yu’s future death by her mother’s hands. The current status of Ning Yu’s original soul is unknown.

  • Ning is a surname that means “peaceful, tranquil.” Yu means “jade.”

Ning Xin (宁心) – Ning Yu’s baby brother and Empress Dowager Xie’s son. She aspires to have him ascend the throne one day when he is older. His given title is Prince Cheng (承王爷).

  • Cheng is “bear, hold, carry on,” Xin is “heart.”

Empress Zhou (周氏皇后) – more precisely, Empress née Zhou. Ning Yu’s official wife, currently secretly pregnant with another man’s child.

Ning Yanhui (宁燕悔) – the late crown prince and Ning Yu’s older brother as well as Lou Zigui’s childhood friend.

  • Ning is a surname that means “peaceful, tranquil.” Yanhui means “the swallow returns.”

Ning Huo (宁火) – second imperial son to the late emperor.

  • Huo means “fire.”

Ning Guang (宁光) – imperial uncle, also known as Prince Fu. Brother to the late emperor.

  • Guang means “light,” Fu means “good fortune, blessing, happiness” and “wealth.”
{Xie Clan}

Empress Dowager Xie (谢太后) – mother to Ning Yu and the late emperor’s most favored consort. A scheming, ruthless woman who appears kindly and good on the outside. Her beautiful was comparable to a fairy when she was younger.

  • Xie is a surname that can mean “thank, decline,” or “wither” (of flowers and leaves).

Grand Preceptor Xie/Xie Wenyuan (谢太师, 谢文远) – Empress Dowager Xie’s father and Ning Yu’s maternal grandfather who raised her since birth. A Grand Preceptor was the top three of the three highest ranking positions in the imperial court, and traditionally one of the emperor’s closest advisors.

  • Wen means “language, composition, literary, gentle/refined,” Yuan means “distant, far away.”
{Dushi’s Faction}

Lou Zigui/Dushi (楼子规, 督师) – a Dushi, or supreme commander, of the imperial army who was injustly accused of betraying his country and sentenced to death by the Grand Preceptor until Ning Xiaoyao rescued him.

  • Lou means “pavilion,” Zigui means “cuckoo.”

Fang Tang (方堂) – one of the generals under Lou Zigui, a blunt and straightforward man. Ning Xiaoyao nicknames him “Lil’ Big Bro Fang” (方小哥).

  • Fang is a surname that means “square, upright, honest,” Tang means “main room of a house, hall.”

Song Jin (宋谨) – deputy general under Lou Zigui’s command. Amongst the men, he’s seventh in terms of seniority, so his nickname in the army is Seventh Song.

  • Song is a surname, Jin means “careful, cautious, solemn, sincere.”

Old Liu (老刘) – an original member of Dushi’s Black Frost Calvary until his family connections got him re-assigned to a post in the capital city with the imperial guards. Currently holds the rank of deputy general (副将) or fujiang.

{Dragon Guards}

Ying Feng (影风) – head commander of the Dragon Guards in charge of protecting the emperor. Has a trained gyrfalcon. Ning Xiaoyao ends up nicknaming him “Big Wind“ (大风).

  • Ying means “shadow,” Feng means “wind.”

Ying Yu (影雨) – one of the four great commanders of the Dragon Guards.

  • Yu means “rain.”

Ying Lei (影雷) – one of the four great commanders of the Dragon Guards.

  • Lei means “thunder.”

Ying Dian (影电) – one of the four great commanders of the Dragon Guards.

  • Ying means “shadow,” Dian in this context means “lightning.”
{Minsters & Officials}

Tao Chen (淘谌) – Nine Gate Infantry Commander in charge of security for the capital city and its nine gates. Serves under the Grand Preceptor.

  • Tao is a surname that means “pottery, earthernware,” Chen is simply a character for a surname.

Elder Li (李阁老) – an outspoken white-haired official in his 70s with a stiff standing on traditional values. During the Tang Dynasty, 阁老 (gelao), or Elder, was a respectful form of address for certain persons, usually those who had read many books and were considered well-versed in their knowledge.

General Xu (徐将军) – the father of Empress Zhou’s secret lovechild.

{Servants & Misc.}

Eunuch Xu (徐太监) – a servant of the empress dowager.

Imperial Physician Gao (高太医) – a young imperial physician captured by Fang Tang and the rest to treat Lou Zigui’s wounds. Later on ends up treating injuries of all the men under Ning Xiaoyao’s protection.

  • Gao means “tall.”

Lai mama (赖氏嬷嬷) – more precisely, née Lai mama, an elderly female servant of the empress dowager in charge of managing her affairs.

  • Lai is a surname that means “depend on, bad, blame, rascal, to renege (on a promise).”

Mute Granny (哑婆) – a mute, elderly female servant sent by the empress dowager to serve (and keep tabs on) Ning Xiaoyao. In her 50s, has no tongue.

Xu Yi (徐义) – Grand Preceptor Xie’s most capable assistant, a middle-aged man with white hair and a hunchback. Treated with the rites of a close friend by the Grand Preceptor.

  • Xu is a surname that means “slowly, gently,” Yi means “bring under control, put in order,” as well as “righteousness.”

Er Ya (二丫) – a 10-year old refugee girl that Ning Xiaoyao rescues from an alleyway. Her grandfather died, her mother ran away with another man, and her old brother went missing.

  • Er Ya literally means “second lass.”

Xiao Qiu (小球) – Er Ya’s little brother, around two to three years old.

  • Xiao Qiu means “little ball.”



Big Boss Black (黑老大) – a fat black cat who hangs around the palace as a de facto leader of the other felines. Ning Xiaoyao considers him a fanboy of Lou Zigui and calls him ‘Black Tubby.’. He knows Lou Zigui’s life history and adores him religiously.

Jiao Jiao (娇娇) – a pretty cat that Big Boss Black crushes on, chased after by all the cats in the capital city. Lives in Minister Hong of the Ministry of Public Work’s estate.


Little Gyrfalcon (小海东青) – Ying Feng’s pet gyrfalcon, who first found Ning Xiaoyao to save his master and the other Dragon Guards from the empress dowager’s clutches.

Grandfather Sparrow (麻爷爷) – an elderly sparrow of the palace grounds.

Wifey Magpie, Husband Magpie (喜鹊夫人,喜鹊先生) – a married magpie couple.


Grandpa Ash (灰爷爷) – an old mouse of the palace, knowledgeable, respected, and wise. Lives in the empress dowager’s palace.

Oil Jar (油瓶) a young mouse who calls Grandpa Ash his Ancestral Grandpa.


Yellow Great Immortal (黄大仙) – a yellow weasel that lives in the palace.


Modou (莫都) – a member of the southern Man tribe and supreme khan to the northern barbarians, said to have faked Dushi’s letters to the northern barbarians’ royal court to frame him for betraying his country.


Grand Master Kumu (枯木大师) – the Buddhist monk who decreed that Empress Dowager Xie and Ning Yu should be separated at birth. Possibly arranged by the empress dowager in the first place.

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.
{Estates & Residences}

Supreme Splendor Hall (帝华宫) – name for the emperor’s quarters in the imperial palace.

Hall of Golden Chimes (金銮殿) – jinluandian, a popular name for the emperor’s audience hall in the imperial palace.

{Shops & Institutions}

Fragrant Storey (香楼) – the capital city’s most famous brothel, located on West Street.

Terms are listed in alphabetical order.

aijia (哀家) – a personal pronoun used by a widowed empress to refer to herself.

chenqie (臣妾) – a humble form of self-address for females equivalent to ‘your subject’ or ‘your servant’.

Dragon Guards (龙禁卫) – long jinwei, imperial bodyguards specially tasked with protecting the emperor.

Dushi (督师) – a high-ranking military title with greater status than a general, an all-around supreme commander of the army.

mama (嬷嬷) – a form of address for an elderly female servant, also a wet nurse.

movie queen (影后) – yinghou, an actress considered to be the top of her line by public and critics alike.

muhou (母后) – imperial mother, a proper way to call one’s mother when she is the empress and official consort to the emperor.

Nine Gate Infantry Commander (九门提督) – military appointment during imperial China. The person with this title was in charge of overseeing and safeguarding the nine city gates of the imperial capital.

qiuliu (清流) – literally “clear stream,” a moniker for groups of scholars who were concerned with politics but held themselves aloof from those in power.

self-injury ruse (苦肉计) – strategy where one inflicts injury to oneself to win the confidence of the enemy

Yongning Dynasty (雍宁) – name for the current reigning dynasty and/or kingdom under Ning Yu/Ning Xiaoyao’s rule. Yong means “harmony,” Ning means “peaceful, tranquil.”