Beauty to Ashes


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It was a beautiful beginning.

She was a precious princess who was treasured by her father. Her life should have been filled with beauty, without winter, only sunshine.

She just had to meet him.

As she was dozing off, wrapped in a bundle of blankets on her father’s lap in court,

He was kneeling below, with a pale complexion and picturesque eyes. A small red mark was imprinted between his brows, akin to a red-crowned crane – alluring and highly venomous.

He was a prince from the enemy land being held hostage, possessing an uncertain future

She was the princess, with royal blood running in her veins.

Hence, she became a legend passed down in folksongs on the apricot path: To give her life to the one she loves. Even if there came a day of heartless abandonment, there would be no regrets.

But, in this story, there was another person.

At her lowest points, he said to her, I will take you away, to the ends of the earth, not leaving, not forsaking – But, unfortunately, he wasn’t the same young man from the very start.

Till the end, when everything that flourished receded, she realised. Alas, all her former hate and pain was nothing but a lie.

Her one lifetime was the most magnificent beauty. After which, simply reduced to ash.

Associated Names
One entry per line
Related Series
Unrepentant (4)
Lament at Changmen Palace (2)
Shattered Glass (2)
I Couldn’t Ask (2)
Ballad of Ten Thousand Gu (1)
One Night, One Day, One Year, One Lifetime (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Tragedy of tragedies
  2. CN w/ Excellent Plot (BxG)
  3. ceaseless
  4. My favorite Chinese novels
  5. Historical/Futuristic

Latest Release

Date Group Release
08/23/20 Tissue Translations part8 (end)
08/17/20 Tissue Translations part7
08/10/20 Tissue Translations part6
08/05/20 Tissue Translations part5
07/30/20 Tissue Translations part4
07/28/20 Tissue Translations part3
07/24/20 Tissue Translations part2
07/24/20 Tissue Translations part1
Write a Review
15 Reviews sorted by

New Anastrisha rated it
May 11, 2024
Status: Completed
To be honest, I would rate this four but I think it has to do more on personal taste and not liking the MC or ML.

Look, in my humble opinion I don't like characters who have good cards but dealt with them poorly; you made your bed now lay on it.

... more>>

MC was a favoured princess who gave up all of this for wait for it...


And she even went talking about how "To give her life to the one she loves. Even if there came a day of heartless abandonment, there would be no regrets." But then proceed to regret it and hate herself at the end.

I have 0 pity for her foolish act, I felt more sad for her father who has such a foolish daughter that betrayed the country he managed.


Now to be fair with ML, even if he chose to remain, I doubt MC's father would allow an abandoned prince to marry MC. He really had no choice whether it's to protect the country or have enough status for MC. A pity that he was too weak to do what he wants, giving his brother an opportunity.

Overall a very tragic situation starring a star crossed lover. <<less
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earlgreyt rated it
August 31, 2020
Status: Completed
Fantastic translation, poetic language gave the story a dreamy feeling.

Ultimately a tragedy, but there was enough moment of sweetness to make it feel fulfilling.

Twist at the end was foreshadowed and not too unexpected.

... more>>

Seems like both brothers comforted her when she was at her worst time.


Difficult to determine who was right or wrong but...


One could argue that the older brother picked imperial power over her (he could have decided not to get tangled up with the ministers and consolidate power for the throne), but his entire upraising and being the eldest prince of his subjugated country meant that he would have never made any other decision.

Probably, his biggest mistake was taking the path of putting her by his side but not acknowledging her while he was biding his time and grabbing for power. He could have just hid her somewhere outside or farther away from him to keep her safe and gone back for her when he got rid of all the other ministers.

Younger brother dedictated his whole life to her as well, but he also left all the responsibility of the throne to his older brother. But, by being there for her and not being the cause of her pain, he definitely deserved the happiness of having his feelings eventually recipocrated.

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Mochibite rated it
November 23, 2020
Status: Completed
Very sad, but it's tragedy done right T_T. Sometimes all we can do is surrender ourselves to our circumstances and emotions. The pacing is very well done, as the author covers a young woman's journey in life without it feeling rushed. At the beginning, I felt mad at just how much love Jin Xiu had for Chen Ruo, but I guess you just can't help who you love even if it hurts you. Her world was so small that it centered around him, but one of the beauties of the... more>> story is that as Jin Xiu grows and matures event after event her world expands and she is able to see beyond him. She does have a quiet strength in her that you have to respect as you read, and as she grows this strength grows and changes with her as well. As the story develops she really grows on you.


I was pleasantly surprised that Jin Xiu does eventually grow to love Chen Lan, and their love story is so tragic. Normally the second ML pines until the end of time so thankfully they become a loving couple. The part where she realizes what it feels like to be treated well and loved in return by her loved one is so poignant and sad to read. I liked how this short story also demonstrated the importance of being respected and treated well by the one who loves you. Even if Chen Ruo truly loved her, his love was selfish and ruined Jin Xiu's life. The twist at the end that he was actually the one who listened to all her pain was well done. After all he's the one who caused all the pain. I was also so proud of her when she was able to stand up to him and show her resentment!


Thank you so much Tissue Translations for translating this amazing short story!! And thank you 云狐不喜 for writing such a well written tragic story :'). <<less
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Isw rated it
December 10, 2020
Status: Completed
The beginning was so beautiful... my heart broke and my eyes puffed and my nose was stuffed while reading and especially after finishing. Read at you own peril... more tragic than Unrepentant.... I feel sad for the fate of the three of them... ahhh... the choices that they made..
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honingzoet rated it
December 3, 2020
Status: Completed
im ngl, this was amazing; a masterpiece, even. I knew what I was getting into when I read the other reviews and saw the tragedy tag

but didn't know it'd be this heart wrenching.

I played funny videos whilst reading this to try and make sure I wouldn't cry; I even thought that it couldn't possibly be this tragic. But it was, and by chapter 8, I was having a meltdown on a school night at 11pm. I totally recommend this and it's now my 3rd favorite chinese novel!
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tedy2004 rated it
September 3, 2020
Status: Completed
I would definetly recommend, not with saying that you will actually cry but at least to read something that might make you feel something.

P.S We are not entirely useless, we make ourselves worthy or useless through our decisions.
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08phamann rated it
November 4, 2023
Status: Completed
This is going to be an unpopular opinion, but here goes.

... more>>

MC is dumb. She falls in love when she is like, what, 6? And then gives up literally everything, her father, her country, her home, her status, to follow this guy who was literally held hostage by her own father? Moreover, he wasn't even the one who asked her to follow him she did it of her own free will. She even helped him escape despite knowing that her father had refused to let him go. Love must have blasted some serious holes in her brain for her to do this. I agree with her when she admits that it was all her fault. She choose to help and follow him, so most of the things that follow are the consequences of her own actions. Except when ML was cruel and essentially tried to kill her. That's on him. ML is a selfish and heartless bastard. Imagine leaving the so called love of your life for dead, and then when your littler brother, who you apparently also love, saves her and gets together with her, and you still have the audacity to ask him to let her go so you can be with her? The brother and MC should have just set everything on fire and gone out in a blaze of glory instead of just complying obediently. MC is so unlucky in love.

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HuangDoudou rated it
September 25, 2022
Status: Completed
This is a beautifully written and beautifully translated story of a princess in love with an enemy prince. The enemy prince's brother helps her run away from her country to follow her love, only to find out how cruel love can be. It is a tear-jerking story of painful love. If you want to cry, this story is perfect.

She falls in love with the second male lead which only enhances the tragedy

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Eclat123 rated it
December 9, 2020
Status: Completed
Such a beautifully written poignant piece. My heart ached numerous times reading this. The characters were portrayed so vividly with their emotions fully conveyed through the author's words. A must re-read.
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Hanisshi rated it
December 2, 2020
Status: Completed
Very heart wrenching. I cried right off the bat. The writing style is the one that you know it has a tragic ending. The plot is very well written and well paced. The story brought you to tears, with the regret behind all the decisions made by the characters. Contains some joyful moments albeit very little and short while.
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papapa rated it
December 1, 2020
Status: Completed
tragedy done right!

i thought the 2nd ML done his job well, but the twist near end quite satisfying and justify. I kinda feel a liiiittle bad for Chen Ruo (just a tiny bit tho), but he deserved it.

the pace is perfect and not too much dragged on.
2 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
junmoxiao7 rated it
October 11, 2021
Status: Completed
The author beautifully wrote this story. The right amount of tragedy indeed. It gave me a sense of heaviness in my chest.
1 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
August 31, 2021
Status: --
what the. urgh!

... more>>

chen rou is a piece of shit. greedy bastard. I would have truly liked him BUT he just HADD to take FL away from her lover, chen lan.

like dude, chen rou, you know you can't protect her so let. her. go!

Both brothers are in love with her but chen lan is the man. he is not selfish like his sh*t brother, chen rou.


and this is ?? I am still amazed.


FL's hair turned white within a night because she was so heartbroken knowing she will get taken away from chen lan in the morning. how does this happen?? I initially thought she took poison in an attempt to die but nahh... homegirl is THAT heart broken. which is sad (of course unrealistic but still sad). her soul left her body, that is the only explanation I can think of.

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Mesnaryan rated it
February 5, 2024
Status: Completed
Beautiful short story with a lot of symbolism. It's a little angsty but very well written. Thank you for the translations and for sharing!!
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Mishita531 rated it
April 2, 2022
Status: Completed
... Just read it. You won't regret touching this one.

I am a reader who will read the spoilers to see if there is a happy ending when there is a tragedy tag on a story just to avoid bad endings. But this...

This made my heart ache. I'm making it illegal to come out of this unaffected. (I know that sounds weird, but it's my way of adding humor to the review. It's probably not working because I'm so melancholic at the moment, so.)

The characters are beautifully crafted, complete beings.... more>> The story is so heartwrenching that it keeps you unable to move your eyes away, and the writing/translation is spectacular and matches the kind of work this is perfectly. It's a woman-centric story and tells Jin Xiu's story and encapsulates her love and heartbreak and suffering and recovery and sadness and hatred.

I won't give any more details, please just read it.

0% recommend if you want to read a comedy or a romantic story full of fluff and sweetness (hey, me too), but 10000000% recommend if you're looking randomly or are in the mood for feelings. <<less
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