Tan Xu Ling / Exploring an Empty Tomb

Author: 君sola (Weibo)

Genres: Lesbian romance, fantasy, suspense, adventure, mystery

Length: 300 chapters in 6 volumes (fantasy, ongoing); 664 chapters in 6 volumes (modern setting, also ongoing). The author’s Weibo also contains illustrations and extras.

Editor: douqi

Translator’s summary: Shi Qingyi has lived alone on a mountain with her teacher Kun Lun for ten years, and wouldn’t have it any other way — until her teacher is kidnapped by a mysterious masked woman. In order to save Kun Lun, Shi Qingyi must work together with this strange woman, even as the two of them find themselves mired in a far deeper mystery….

This is a fan translation; please take the time to support the original author! If you aren’t sure how to use JJWXC, a guide for non-Chinese speakers can be found here, and includes methods to support authors even without spending money. The summary below is taken from the novel’s main page on JJWXC.

Author’s summary: In the Shu Di bamboo forest, Shi Qingyi’s shizun has been taken by a masked woman in white. In order to save her shizun, Shi Qingyi must travel with this seemingly-cold and ‘bad’ woman. 

Shi Qingyi before traveling with this ‘bad woman’: “Someone so ugly they won’t even let people see their face? Sounds insufferable.”

Shi Qingyi after traveling with her: (intending to unmask her) “I……..only………only want to take a quick glance.”

Shi Qingyi after sharing life and death with this ‘bad woman’: (completely failing to untie this woman’s belt) “Who….who needs to spend all day every day on you…..r clothes?”

“Oh, she’s the best in all the world.”

In the thousand-year river of history, I only need you. / Two people joining hands and probing a mystery, sweetness every day, super-sweet.

In a sentence: A two-faced icy beauty and a gentle but blackening maiden.

Main concept: Joining hands, they search for the answer to a riddle.

PV for the (modern setting) audio drama

Historical fantasy setting:

Volume One: Weathering the Sheet of Gold

Chapter 1: A Visitor to the Bamboo Grove
Chapter 2: The Night Battle
Chapter 3: Ill Intentions
Chapter 4: Setting Out
Chapter 5: The Inn
Chapter 6: Red Night
Chapter 7: The Whistling Ridge
Chapter 8: A Severing
Chapter 9: A Different Cave
Chapter 10: Emperor Silk Widow
Chapter 11: The Hanging Coffin
Chapter 12: A Lone Shadow
Chapter 13: Within the Array
Chapter 14: Red Lotus Flame
Chapter 15: Escaped from the Array
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18: Her
Chapter 19
Chapter 20: Dust of the Past
Chapter 21: Goldwork
Chapter 22: The Eyes of an Asura
Chapter 23
Chapter 24: Blood-Red Jade
Chapter 25: Only the Beginning

Volume Two: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient City (chapters 26-51)

Volume Three, Part One: Mist-rain in Jiangnan (I) (chapters 52-76)

Volume Three, Part Two: Mist-rain in Jiangnan (II) (chapters 77-112)

Volume Four, Part One: Moyin Wei Valley (I) (chapters 113-146)

Volume Four, Part Two: Moyin Wei Valley (II) (chapters 147-185)

Volume Five: Returning Home Together (chapters 186-273)

Volume Six (chapters 274-300, ongoing)

English titles of yet-untranslated volumes are tentative and may change.

General translation notes:

I like to provide footnotes for context as well as for strictly necessary information, but try to format things so people can read without having to click back and forth every time.

As a general rule, I translate (and footnote) titles/suffixes that would be used in English, but for things that a ‘pure’ English translation would just leave out — kinship/kinship-like courtesy suffixes (such as gege, didi, da-ge), diminutives (a-[name], [name]-er), etc — or occasional terms (like shijie, shixiong) that are clunky in English, well-known in the English-language webnovel sphere, and relatively easy to pick up from context, I will leave them in the text as-is. Additionally, I do not believe in italicizing ‘foreign’ words.

For place-names and other proper nouns, my guideline for when to translate rather than transliterate is ‘would you see this style of naming in a majority-English-speaking country?’, to which the answer is often yes. (Take a look at American town names, for example.)

In Tan Xu Ling (as in many other Chinese — and English — novels) you often see paleness and thinness used as general descriptions of beauty. I have chosen to downplay this in the translation.

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