Unruly Phoenix Xiaoyao Glossary

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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 Guangshun (宁光顺) – imperial uncle, also known as Prince Fu (福王). A leader of sorts to the rest of the imperial uncles.

  • Guang means “light,” Fu means “good fortune, blessing, happiness” and “wealth.” Shun means “smoothly.”

Ning Guangzong (宁光宗) – also known as Prince Xi (禧王), one of the imperial brothers to the late emperor and Ning Xiaoyao’s imperial uncle.

  • Guang means “light,” Zong means “ancestor, clan, model/great master.” Xi means “auspiciousness, happiness, jubilation.”

Ning Guanyuan (宁光源) – also known as Prince Zhi (祉王), one of the imperial brothers to the late emperor and Ning Xiaoyao’s imperial uncle.

  • Zhi means “happiness, blessedness,” Guangyuan together means “light source, illuminiant.”

Ning Guangbei (宁光北) – also known as Prince Qi (祈王), one of the imperial brothers to the late emperor and Ning Xiaoyao’s imperial uncle.

  • Qi means “to implore, pray request,” Guangbei means “northern lights, radiance from the north.

Emperor Mingzong (明宗皇帝) – imperial father to many of the current princes and the late emperor. Once favored Prince Fu to be his successor.

  • Ming is “bright, brilliant, light,” Zong means “ancestor, clan, sect, great master, purpose.”

Emperor Yuanzong (元宗皇帝) – the late emperor who ruled over Yongning before Ning Xiaoyao ascended the throne.

  • Yuan means “essential, element, first/primary,” Zong means “ancestor, clan, sect, great master, purpose.”
{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.”

Xie Laibao (谢来宝) – head steward at the Grand Preceptor’s estate.

  • Laibao literally means “precious arrival,” or “treasure comes.”

Old Madame Xie (老太太) – the Grand Preceptor’s mother.

née Wang, Lady Wang (王氏) – Grand Preceptor’s wife, whose maiden name is Wang.

Xie Laifu (谢来福) – second steward at the Grand Preceptor’s estate.

  • Laifu literally means “come, wealth.” It’s an interesting naming scheme that matches Head Steward Xie Laibao (谢来宝).

Xie Anyi (谢安易) – Eldest son of the Grand Preceptor and the Minister of Revenue in the capital city.

  • An means “peaceful, at ease,” Yi means “easy, amiable.”

Xie Duoying (谢朵莹) – granddaughter (on the son’s side) of Grand Preceptor Xie. Fifth young Miss of the Xie Clan, considered by Old Madame Xie to have the prettiest looks.

  • Duoying could mean “a jade-like stone, lustrous and transparent.”
{Supreme Commander's Faction}

Lou Zigui/Supreme Commander (楼子规, 督师) – leader of the imperial army and Black Frost Calvary, who was unjustly 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 Supreme Commander Lou’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}

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

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

Shadowthunder (影雷) – Ying Lei, one of the four great commanders of the Dragon Guards. Second highest in terms of rank, so Ning Xiaoyao sometimes calls him “Second Thunder.”

  • Lei means “thunder.”

Shadowrain (影雨) – Ying Yu, one of the four great commanders of the Dragon Guards. Third highest in terms of rank, so Ning Xiaoyao sometimes calls him “Third Rain.”

  • Yu means “rain.”

Shadowbolt (影电) – Ying Dian, one of the four great commanders of the Dragon Guards. Fourth in terms of rank, so Ning Xiaoyao sometimes calls him “Fourth Lightning.”

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

General Xu (徐将军) – the father of Empress Zhou’s secret lovechild and a general in the army.

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 and married to his third daughter.

  • 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 and a reputation for being fair and just. Leader of the qingliu (清流), or “clear stream” scholars of the imperial court, who prided themselves on participating in politics while remaining aloof from those in power. His full name is Li Wuqi (李物启).

  • Li is a surname that also means “plum,” Wu means “thing, matter, the outside world as distinct from oneself,” and Qi is “enlighten, awaken, open.”
  • 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.

Chen Lu (陈鲁) – General of the capital city’s military barracks. Sent in to do Tao Chen’s job because of Grand Preceptor’s favortism towards his son-in-law.

  • Chen is surname that also means “old, stale,” Lu means “stupid, rash, rude.”

Ji Jiu (纪久) – 60 year old general in charge of guarding the borders. Once had three sons, but the second and third died in battle while the eldest lost both his legs.

  • Ji is a surname that means “order, discipline, era,” Jiu means “a long time.”

Ji Yuerong (纪月容) – Old General Ji’s granddaughter, 17 years old. After the men of the family all died or were rendered disabled, she took up the mantle of soldierhood to join her grandfather in the battlefield. Her father is Old General Ji’s eldest son (the one who lost both his legs). She also has an older brother blind in both eyes.

  • Ji is a surname that means “order, discipline, era,” Yuerong can mean “appearance like the moon.”
{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 Nanny (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 Yiming (徐义名) – 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 and slapped by Ning Xiaoyao upon their first meeting.

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

Erya (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.”

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

  • Xiao Qiu means “little ball.”

Steward Hu (胡总管) – a head eunuch caught eavesdropping on Ning Xiaoyao and the rest when they were walking through the covered walkway.

Sun Lu (孙鲁) – back door guard for Grand Preceptor’s estate. Fought a few rounds with Lou Zigui’s men when they first invaded the Grand Preceptor’s estate.

  • Sun is a surname. Lu means “stupid, rash, rude.”

Little Peach Blossom (小桃花) – a servant working in the imperial kitchens who has a crush on Shadowgale.

Chef Huang (黄大厨) – He is a chef in Supreme Splendor Hall. The first time he masqueraded as His Majesty’s master was in front of the Empress Dowager.

Xiang Tiange (项天歌) – Young Lord of the rebel forces, adopted by Great Lord. His original name is Xiang Qingshan (项青山). Met Ning Xiaoyao in the forest but she let him go.

Xiang Nong (项农) – Leader of the rebel forces. They either mention him as Lord or Big Boss Xiang

Danian (大年) – He is one of Xiang Tiange’s subordinates. He and Xiang Tiange were rescued by Ning Xiaoyao.

护国公 Lord Protector

裴殷 Pei Yan/ Second Young Master Pei (brother of Lord Protector) he is the new Nine Gate Infantry Commander

邓荣         Deng Rong (the general)

奉州宁氏    Fengzhou Ning Clan

宁晓暮    Ning Xiaomu (First Young Master of the Duke of Yue)

宁晓落    Ning Xiaoluo (Third Young Master of the Duke of Yue)

徐飞羽    Xu Feiyu (he’s the Empress’ lover)

越国公府    Duke of Yue’s estate

破虏军     Destruction Prisoner Army (from the Duke of Yue’s estate)

承影 (Chengying)       Lou Zigui’s courtesy name

墨渊 (Moyuan)       Ning Xiaomu’s courtesy name

东福  (Dongfu)      Ning Xiaoluo’s courtesy name

御林军 Elite Imperial Guards

昏君 fatuous ruler

宗亲 imperial clansmen

义军  the rebel forces

校尉  military officer

撤藩 reclaiming all their assets and privileges

{Capital City}

Yan Hong (艳红) – the kept woman of the Grand Preceptor’s head steward (Xie Laibao), lives in the third big house on the left side of Fragrant Gauze Alley in the capital. Has intimate relations with the head guard in charge of guarding the Grand Preceptor’s secret grain depot.

  • Her name means ‘scarlet.’

Lady Xiang (湘夫人) – Grand Preceptor Xie’s kept mistress.  

  • Xiang is also short for 湘江, which is a river in Hunan Province.
{Northern Hu}

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, because they were destined to be at odds with each other for their entire lives.



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 White (小白) – a white, long-furred cat who hangs out with Big Boss Black at the palace.

Chubby Yellow (肥黄) – one of Big Boss Black’s friends and subordinates.


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.

Wheat (麦子) – a little sparrow who overheard a conversation between Prince Zhi and Lou Zigui.

Huamao (花毛) -another gyrfalcon. Apparently, a super cute female one. 


Grandpa Ash (灰爷爷) – an old mouse of the palace, knowledgeable, respected, and wise. Lives in the empress dowager’s palace. The younger mice all call him Ancestral Grandfather.

Oil Jar (油瓶) a young mouse of the imperial palace, grandson to Grandpa Ash.

Oil Lamp (油灯) – cousin to Oil Jar, the only surviving mouse of his litter. His tail tumor was cured by Ning Xiaoyao and he gave her the key to Grand Preceptor Xie’s secret grain depot as thanks.


Yellow Great Immortal (黄大仙) – a yellow weasel that lives in the palace, known for his good common sense.

Peach (桃子) – a mother snow wolf who gave her smaller, weaker wolf pup to Ning Xiaoyao to raise. Ning Xiaoyao helped her out of a trap, and in exchange she told her the secret location of Grand Preceptor Xie’s stores.

Little White Fatty (白小胖) – the weaker wolf pup that got fat under Xiaoyao’s care. Some people confuse it with a dog or a wolf 😛

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.

Hall of Punishment (慎刑司) – a building that houses various criminals, prison cells, and instruments of torture. The Dragon Guards were nearly executed on its grounds, and Prince Fu was imprisoned here later.

Terms are listed in alphabetical order.

aijia (哀家) – a personal pronoun used by a widowed empress to refer to herself. Translated as “This Dowager.”

chenqie (臣妾) – a humble form of self-address for females equivalent to ‘your subject’ or ‘your servant,’ also used by consorts of the emperor.

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

Supreme Commander (督师) – Dushi, 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) – a proper way to call one’s mother when she is the empress and official consort to the emperor. Translated as Imperial Mother.

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.”

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