Synopsis: Li Yun Zheng, the Dowager Princess and regent for her younger brother the Emperor is hated and feared by many due to her wickedness, intelligence, cruelty and greed. She does however have one weakness, her love for handsome men. After saving the Dowager Princess from an attempted assassination, Gu Xuan Qing enters the Dowager Princess’ Manor as a guard. However, he gradually finds another side to this “evil” princess and falls in love with her in the process. But with the secret he harbors and her position in court, will there ever be a chance for a happy ending?
- Managing the court behind the curtain: An idiom which means acting as the female regent for the Emperor. The term arose because in the past, the Dowager Empress or Empress were not supposed to speak to men outside their family, hence a bamboo curtain or screen would separate the Empress from the court ministers during the court sessions when she handled court affairs on behalf of the ill or young Emperor. This term gradually extended to all females of the Imperial clan who managed court affairs as a regent.
- Your body is worth a thousand taels of gold. One formal way to describe someone’s daughter is 千金 which means thousand taels of gold. Legend has it, the term arose after Wu Zixu threw a thousand taels of gold to repay a young woman who had saved his life when he was hunted down. It gradually became a term to describe the preciousness of a daughter to a family.
- A solitary tree that is higher than the forest will be attacked by the wind: This is a chinese idiom which means that anyone who stands out from the crowd is an easier target of jealousy and criticism.
- Bestowed her honor on him: A traditional way to describe when the Master/Mistress of the House spends the night with them with their concubine/servant.
- Qixi day: The chinese equivalent to Valentine’s day.
- Dowager Princess: The title is usually granted to a daughter of a late Emperor
- Tiger in the disguise of a pig: Saying that describes someone who acts as if he is as docile/innocent/ignorant as a pig but actually so crafty he can catch a tiger
- Make an unhappy choice: This is a term that has several implications depending on the context. In this case, it would imply she doesn’t want to marry someone she doesn’t like.
- White eyed wolf:m To the chinese, wolves are untrustworthy and cold blooded. And someone who rolls their eyes back can’t see so combined together it means something that can’t see your kindness and will treat you with cold blood.
- 9 familial exterminations: Most serious form of capital punishment. It involves the execution of all the relatives of an individual who belong to one of the categories below:
The criminal’s living parents
The criminal’s living grandparents
Any children the criminal may have, over a certain age (varying over different eras, children below that age becoming slaves) and—if married—their spouses.
Any grandchildren the criminal may have, over a certain age (again with enslavement for the underage) and—if married—their spouses.
Siblings and siblings-in-law (the siblings of the criminal and that of his or her spouse, in the case where he or she is married)
Uncles and aunts of the criminal, as well as their spouses
The criminal’s cousins (in case of Korea, this includes up to second and third cousins)
The criminal’s spouse
The criminal’s spouse’s parents
The criminal himself
11. A skilled bird will find a suitable tree to roast in: This idiom is usually used to persuade someone talented to choose a good leader who will appreciate their talents