Mulberry Song

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One leap from the city tower thus fulfills the Marquis of Chang Ye’s triumph in conquering the world, establishing a new era. Yet she only turns into a lonely wisp, accompanying him day and night.

Note: the title shares the same name as the female lead – Sang Ge 桑歌 meaning mulberry song

Associated Names
One entry per line
桑歌
Related Series
N/A
Recommendations
Ballad of Ten Thousand Gu (8)
To Be A Virtuous Wife (5)
Unrepentant (5)
The Wolf Lord’s Lady (5)
Gu Fang Bu Zi Shang (5)
Love in Another Life: My Gentle Tyrant (4)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Tear drops.
  2. Novels that made me cry
  3. Oh the misery~
  4. Tragic Pasts, Good Endings
  5. Favoritiess

Latest Release

Date Group Release
09/03/15 xia0xiao1mei c3-4
09/02/15 xia0xiao1mei c2
09/01/15 xia0xiao1mei c1
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93 Reviews sorted by


neri21
neri21
August 4, 2020
Status: --
I find it really strange that a lot of readers don't seem to get this story at all. ML did nothing wrong except mourn for MC who didn't wait for him to save her, so it's a star-cross love story of two people who love each other but death came and she waited for him blah blah blah, writes one reader.

I've read other novels of the same writer and most of them are not that simple. The writer makes you think because what is written is the continuation of a... more>> backstory that's actually violent, murderous and cankerous.

The first time I read this story, I only have one question: why didn't the marquis take his wife with him when he rebelled against the emperor? Turns out, that is the right question to ask because then you get at the backstory which is not at all pretty and ladidah to read.

The gist of the backstory is this: an aloof aristocrat marries a songstress. She is an orphan without any family. Again, an aristocrat marries a backgroundless nobody. According to the account of the wife, she knew that he didn't love her, even neglected her most of the time because he was busy plotting against the emperor.

Yet, the first thing he did when marrying was to spread out the rumor that he and she were in love and that they were the perfect couple. Then he left to do his thing and she was left to the mercy of the emperor who took her hostage after the husband rebelled.

Again, why didn't he take her with him? Why would he? She was to be his pawn, his hostage to appease the emperor's wrath so he won't take out his anger on members of his family. Isn't that the usual thing a monarch would do to avenge himself against a rebel? Line up the rebel's family, descendants whatever then destroy them? But wait a minute. There's the rebel's wife whom the rumors said he loved. They were the perfect couple. So, why not take the wife, torture and r*pe her so that the rebel would truly feel the emperor's wrath. More fun than the one-time death of his entire family, right?

The girl is a nobody, even if the marquis threw her out into the wild, have her carcass eaten by dogs or have her hanged and quartered, who will say no to that? No one will demand justice, no one will cry, no one will look for her, no one will care.

A penniless, powerless songstress doesn't count in the overall scheme of things anyway, especially if you're gunning for the top spot in the imperial totem pole. What is a songstress in the ancient times? It's not like Taylor Swift who earns millions. This songstress probably sings in a brothel or a tea house. Really small fry, waiting to be abused and manipulated by a dirty aristocrat with imperial ambitions.

The second time I read this story my second question was: did the wife know?

The third time I did so, I finally got the answer: She knew. That's why she threw out this observation the last time she saw her husband on the ramparts of the castle: he married her then spread the rumors of their love and devotion to each other. She was actually saying it with derision, implying that the marquis wanted to protect his reputation before he commits regicide. He wanted to depose the emperor but he still cared enough for his reputation when the time comes and he takes over.

Alas for the marquis. In the battle of wits with the more seasoned emperor, he really lost big time. Everytime his forces digs a win, the emperor goes to the wife, tortures and r*pes her, then sends out the news for the husband to hear. One year of this and the husband is almost psychologically whittled to a mental state. I mean, your wife is your wife. Love her or hate her, there is really no honor in her prostituting herself for your ambitions, right?

The wife is even puzzled why she stayed with the husband until the priest tells him you must really let go of your attachment to your wife. Otherwise, she'll become a bitter soul and roam the world later as a ghoul. It is implied that the emperor later committed suicide to prevent that. After the abuse he heaped on her, he finally realized that it was his guilt that prevented her from leaving him.

Is this a love story? More about a guy coming to terms with his guilt, his remorse and his regrets. And we see from the wife's point of view how his final triumph didn't really give him any satisfaction. It took him years to finally visit the room where the bastard emperor kept his wife for his imperial brand of r*pe and torture.

It takes an out and out bastard to seize a throne and accept without blinking the demeaning and inhumane sacrifices that go with it. The marquis thought himself hardened but he was only a husband who in the end wanted to cherish a wife he longed abandoned for his ambition. <<less
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rdawv
rdawv rated it
March 28, 2016
Status: --
What if the deceased could see the mourning of her beloved? Told from the deceased perspective who watches over her husband; we get read the obsession and longing of the widower, the most powerful man of the land. A man who became emperor after the selfless sacrifice of the female protagonist, and yet remains a husband without his beloved wife. Unable to move on, grieving for his lateness in returning to save her, forever burdened by guilt and loss. A short bittersweet story.
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Sae
Sae rated it
October 22, 2016
Status: Completed
The type of story that's not one word wasted, the scenes, the characters and their feelings vividly depicted.

What had me the most however is not the beautiful, bittersweet love story, but the MC's personality.

She told the story in a nonchalant manner, sometimes included flashbacks, occasionally express her emotional takes on what she saw while being next to him, yet we can clearly see how deep the Emperor's love was. Not only so, through her matter-of-factly narration, it was her character that shined even more. Strong-willed yet tender and understanding, having... more>> to suffer severely yet never giving up, always patiently waiting but don't think of it as a big deal.

One of the best story I've read, and never have I seen such a cute, adoring and awe inspiring female lead. One of those that you wouldn't forget. <<less
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Liri
Liri rated it
September 5, 2016
Status: Completed
The story is beautiful. It is hard to describe the story of four chapters. It is basically about a wife, whose ghost is stuck and can only observe her husband, who feels guilty for her death and therefore lives the rest of his life in grief. So many stories are glorious, so many heroes are victorious. But this story shows the other side that is rarely explored. This story is not happy, it is not light. There is no way to survive it without shedding tears, but in a way,... more>> the ending lifts the heavy feeling a little. Therefore, it was totally worth it! <<less
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whosays25
whosays25
June 12, 2016
Status: c4
For me, this is the best chinese romance I've ever read. Every chapter made me cry hard, but, even though it only made me cry, I still love to reread this. I won't elaborate on this story's plot and whatnots. If you're looking for a romance that can really touch the heart then read this. Highly recommended to those with few bags of tissue. If you don't have tissue, it's still fine, just blow your nose on your shirts. XD Jk.
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makenai89
makenai89 rated it
November 15, 2015
Status: --
If you need something to make you cry, this short story is a perfect choice.

The background of the story is not described well, perhaps because of the low chapter count, thus some holes left unfulfilled till the end. Nevertheless, it excellently portrays the unfortunate life that the main characters have to bear as the price of their ideals. For every future that a country has, there are people bearing the weight; for every ideal that someone want to fight, there are sacrifices that has to be paid. This is the... more>> reality, and Mulberry Song depicts this bitter reality like a poetic love story, albeit a sad one. <<less
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MangoGuy
MangoGuy rated it
December 25, 2017
Status: --
4 chapters. That is how long this is. But the amount of feels that I had... And I am someone who doesn't really feel too much about written tragedy.

This is a hauntingly beautiful tragedy. I don't want to call it a love story, for this is not about how they fall in love, or how their love blossoms. This is about how a lover, who has lost his lover and only has her memories and guilt, survives. Survives, a life that he would much rather give up, but cannot for... more>> that would be disrespectful to the ultimate sacrifice that his other half had done.

THIS IS MANGO APPROVED.

I cannot tell you how good the writing is, to make me feel this much in just 4 short chapters. All I can say is, you will never be able to tell with clarity if you are happy or sad with the way the story goes... It just goes, and shows you what it means to truly lose a loved one, and what it means to be able to die with that longing.

I may not have cried, but the emotions are raw enough even for me. The ending... is bittersweet. The story, is tragic. <<less
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blazikens
blazikens rated it
April 2, 2020
Status: Completed
EDIT: nenuphar's review made me lower this two stars, because they're right: even tho, the idea and execution of the story are really well done.... the story is just basically rather superficial. Or... like it glorifies a woman's sacrifice and loyalty towards a man who did her extremely dirty. Idk, I hadn't really thought deeply about Sang Ge's life as a hostage, maybe I even ignored it, but as nenuphar said, she was most probably tortured and even r*ped. A lot.

That's why, no matter how much she loves that bastard,... more>> how can she not feel even an ounce of anger towards him?? And the fact that the ML probably planned all of this from the start.... idk, I feel this story would've been better from a revengeful or spiteful ghost's POV taking delight in her husband's pain and misery, like he caused her. If Sang Ge hadn't suffered so much in her life, okay.... but she did, so I can't understand nor can I condone the message that her basically forgiving the ML is somehow "touching" or something to be admired. Yuck.

-

Still not a fan of tragedy, but having just read Unrepentant, I decided why not? I was much happier to see this was so much shorter lol.

Anyway, I really liked this, and I found it much better written than Unrepentant - which had sooo many flashbacks and felt like it was "told" too much, not "shown" as much (altho idk if the translator summarized some parts, or that's just how it was written). I especially liked the beginning, and seeing the FL's unyielding and sacrificing character - altho would've liked it more if she did it just to spite her husband at least a little, lol.

This story was much more poignant, the writing style was very beautiful, and I liked the FL's character more. Altho I still wanted to shake her and ask her to feel at least some anger, damn! The ML also wasn't as hateful as the one in Unrepentant. Can't say I liked him, he definitely deserved what he got, but I did like seeing him "repent" right away.

The problem w/ Unrepentant was that it had too many flashbacks, and too little time dedicated to the ML's suffering (who imo, deserved it even more). In this one, we aren't shown as much the ML's hateful actions, true, or their past, so their isn't as much to hate but we also see him repenting more.

I also found that while the actions of Mulberry Song's ML weren't good nor fair to Sang Ge, it was also much more realistic with the era, and idk....I'm more willing to allow for a highly ambitious man to not realize how much he loved his wife until after her death / sacrifice, than Unrepentant's ML who practically threw away Unrepentant's MC's TWENTY YRS of lovesick, single-minded devotion for his white moonlight and the fact that she lied to him, like ONCE. He even sends her to war knowing she has no experience in war - what did he expect was going to happen?? Ofc she was going to die! (Still really salty over it lol).

Back to Mulberry Song, I enjoyed it. Still didn't make me cry, but touched my heart more and didn't make me raging mad like the other one lol. I still didn't like Sang Ge's selfless devotion to the point she didn't even get mad at the ML.... for leaving her as a hostage. Couldn't he have sent her quietly away? Idk, maybe that would've given up his plans of rebellion, but.... sigh. As the translator said, it was the classic "don't know what you have until it's gone" case - cliché, sure, but much better than Unrepentant's endless misunderstandings, tbh.

In conclusion, a short but angsty tragedy to read if you want to cry or get some turmoil roiling in your heart! <<less
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eryafii
eryafii rated it
July 25, 2019
Status: Completed
If you're a sucker for angst, you're missing a lot it your life if you don't read this.

I cried in every chapter. Every paragraph.

It's either my tears are cheap or the novel is exceptional. It could also be both.
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Bellaxys
Bellaxys rated it
February 1, 2018
Status: Completed
Simply beautifully done but painful.

Beautifully written short story, there is a part of me that wonders, if this was a full novel, how would it have turned out, would I hate and despise the ML? As we only see a short snippet into their marriage life, so brief that it makes you wonder endlessly, and that is witch it the beauty of this book, we shall forever wonder and be idealistic, constantly dreaming of how this would have become.
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Eulear
Eulear rated it
August 17, 2021
Status: --
Oh my like the other reviewer said, the MC probably got r*ped and tortured by the ex-emperor. The story doesn't say it outright, but it's highly implied with MC saying how when she was captured, the emperor took it out on her when his plans weren't going well and liked to taunt the ML by describing what he was doing to her. At first, I skimmed the story and didn't really understand the details, but the subtle hints showed MC suffered a lot. I'm surprised that she doesn't want revenge... more>> on that emperor in the afterlife and still loves the ML even though she knew he was using her. I don't even know if the ML truly loves her because it felt like he just felt guilty about what happened to her. He used his wife as a pawn to overthrow the king. If he really liked the MC, why did you throw her in the emperor's arm when he knows fully well how cruel he is? If the MC did survive I wonder if the outcome would be different. I don't know the ML was just confusing and I felt bad for the MC. It's a sad story, but it didn't induce tears. (Maybe I'm cold-hearted) The short story is well written so it's worth to give it try. <<less
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clowred
clowred rated it
October 16, 2018
Status: c4
A man's anger burns the whole world to the ground and his sadness freezes everything inside. Having everything yet losing the most important in the process of obtaining it means not success but failure. In a bittersweet turn of events, only at the end of their path they could be truly happy. I sincerely recommend this story for everyone, no matter the age or education. Meditate and try to see what little gift could this story give you.
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OtakuGirl99
OtakuGirl99
September 29, 2021
Status: Completed
Since I don't usually read tragedies I decided to give this a try since there were only 4 chapters and also the comments were very positive. I, like most of the other readers, got so angry at the ML for not being with the FL, but I didn't get the real message from the author until I read the comment from neri21. He/she very logically explained the "real" story behind the plot and broke my illusion of a tragic love story. It made me think of a phrase from a... more>> manga I recently read: "He lost her, and then gained everything. Yet, at the same time, he felt that he had lost everything. -Blake "I became the wife of the monstrous crown prince" ch 95. The ML realized that at the end of the day you can't hug a bag of money or his status. He felt lonely for the rest of his life and could never amend for his mistake and that was his karma. The FL knew the truth of the situation but never once rebelled but always respected her husband. She know the truth and accepted it, and thus suffered. And that was also her karma. Maybe the situation would've been different if she chose a different path, but at the end of the day that was her decision, who are we to judge her actions? <<less
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amleigh
amleigh
March 23, 2021
Status: Completed
My goodness, this novel. Beautifully written and well worth the very short time spent reading. We don't need hundreds of chapters to understand and feel the story. In fact, it is what is left to our imaginations that makes this novel such a gem.

Spoiler

It was short and tragic, about as short and tragic as the love between Sang Ge and her general, at least in their human lifetime. The silver lining is that they actually find their way back together in the after life.

[collapse]
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nenuphar
nenuphar rated it
November 27, 2019
Status: --
Very good story. I was very emotional reading this... but... how to say? I think if we look deeper ML was an as*hole and everything was his fault. Why would he marry a songstress when he is a noble? And he didnt seem to like her at first, being so cold... so when I think about it, maybe he planned the rebellion a long time ago, and he took her as a wife so he could use her, letting her become an hostage to the mad emperor... And he understood... more>> he loved her too late. That's why he is so filled with guilt and is punishing himself after all these years, not able to turn the page. If we now look at him like this, he deserves all the suffering for letting his wife being tortured and r*ped. And at the end, that's why he was so happy she waited for him in her death, because he thought she would never forgive him <<less
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hikaoru
hikaoru rated it
May 18, 2018
Status: c4
this the best bitter-sweet tragic love story i've ever read.

but the best thing he did for her is he didn't find a replacement just to have someone by his side. He spent his remaining years looking back on their memories. MC on the other hand, unconsciously, stayed true to her promise of waiting for him. Together, they are going to go to the netherworld.

just like the other tragic stories i've read, this displayed true love between two people who loved each other unconditionally.

back to the scene in the tower, I... more>> expected that ML has some plans on rescuing her, though MC thought that he had come so far with his strife to power and she should not be his burden. She died while protecting her husband. On the other hand, if she persevere more or waited for him to rescue her, with a severed arm, she'll still die of blood loss. Either ways, she'll end up dead. <<less
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Naruin
Naruin rated it
October 24, 2017
Status: c4
One phrase: Half Olympic Pool?

One advise: Bring a bucket with you. Maybe tissue won't be enough.

This is a really good one!! Just short (honestly very thankful that it's short whew?) but a very emotional novel that puts knives in your hearts... One step, you're already in 3 feet high pool of tears. The more you read the deeper the pool will be until you get completely submerged. Sigh.. Such bittersweet love..

This tells us how we shouldn't be tsun tsun and just straight out tell us how we feel... more>> especially to our fated ones coz we never know how the future moves. One time its on our side, the next sec its already against us. Also, its very ironic.. its coz of love that leads to self-sacrifice but that same self-sacrifice is what leaves the deepest scar coz of love.

Thanks Mulberry Song for forcing me to write my very first review. gimme back my hearto!!! T^T <<less
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maiha-sama
maiha-sama rated it
April 27, 2017
Status: Completed
This was really beautiful. Short, but the writing delivered the effect of seeing the main leads' feelings develop.

As you read, a melancholy spreads in your stomach and you feel the regret, longing and pain of the ML but its never overdone. It was just right. A few scenes were really beautiful - the river, the ray of sunlight bit, the feast. They were quite powerful in that they completely drove home what the ML's true feelings were... Only, it was too late. The finality really gets you.

As for Sang Ge,... more>> her reactions and thoughts though understated, added to the overall charm of the novel.

I really liked it. <<less
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dysry
dysry rated it
March 8, 2016
Status: --
A man chasing his ambitions and the welfare of his country loses his wife in doing so. Filled with regret, he lives the rest of his life in loneliness while the ghost of his wife watches on. The story is simple but poignant, easily evoking emotions of bitterness and longing. While the length, language and amount of information gave the story depth without diluting the story with too much melodrama. Having read some of the author’s other works, often the experiences of the male leads living on without their love... more>> is glossed over, however unlike Seven Unfortunate Lives and San Sheng, the characters depicted here are mortal, and life and death are permanent. <<less
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HitchHiker
HitchHiker rated it
December 23, 2021
Status: Completed
This starts off with the MC dying. Still it's not all that sad and it's short and well written...

It's neither practical nor all that deep. Plot is very simple and straight-forward and everything is spelt out. But I'm still a sucker for this kind of story coz this is what I always wished the protagonists of a love story set in ancient times would be like. I'm actually quite surprised to see I'm not alone and there's actually a huge market for a sappy love story even when the plot... more>> is wafer thin.

So, yeah, I'm a sap and I'll cry you a river. So, bring it on! <<less
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