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Thread: Sentimental Swordsman, Ruthless Sword Ch. 63 Onwards (Little Li Flying Dagger)

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    Default Chapter 73 - Cage and Shackles

    Chapter 73 - Cage and Shackles

    It was very hot inside the house, unusually hot. Four pots of fire were burning furiously.

    The raging flames lit up the walls and the ceilings into a bright red.

    Ah Fei's face was red as well. His whole body was red.

    He was in between the four pots of fire. He was bare chested and wore only a pair of worn trousers.

    His trousers were drenched with water.

    He was sweating profusely and breathing heavily.

    His entire body looked exhausted and on the verge of collapse.

    A white-haired old man sat in one corner of the house puffing on his pipe.

    Streams of smoke puffed out from his nose as he filled that corner of the house with a hazy fog.

    He was indeed a peculiar person.

    No one knew from where he came, and no one knew to where he would go.

    In fact, nobody knows who he is exactly. Perhaps he is just a poor old story teller.

    Or perhaps, he really is the incomparable 'Sage of Heaven'!

    But no matter what, he is definitely the first thing that will catch your eye when you step foot into this house.

    Ah Fei's eyes were shut and he didn't notice the people that had entered.

    Sun XiaoHong looked shocked and exclaimed, "Grandpa, what are you doing?"

    Mr. Sun's eyes were still closed. He puffed on his pipe and a cloud of smoke came from his mouth.

    "I am steaming him." Mr. Sun replied.

    Sun XiaoHong's eyes opened wide and asked, "Steaming him? He isn't a bun or a crab, why are you steaming him for?"

    Ah Fei really looked like a crab that was being steamed alive.

    Mr. Sun smiled and said, "I'm steaming him because I'm trying to force the alcohol to evaporate from his body so that he can sober up."

    His eyes shifted to Li XunHuan as he continued, "I'm also trying to force the courage up from his blood so that he can become a whole new man again."

    Li XunHuan smiled and said, "If that's the case, I think I have to take a turn at being steamed as well. But I'm afraid that if all the alcohol is steamed out of my body, I'll end up as an empty shell."

    "So besides wine, there's nothing else in that body of yours?" Mr. Sun said.

    Li XunHuan let out a sigh and said, "Perhaps, also a belly full of inopportunity."

    Mr. Sun laughed and said, "Well said! If that belly wasn't full of knowledge, how would such insightful words come out of your mouth."

    He suddenly stopped laughing and said, "Actually I've always wanted to steam you. I want to see what else is in that body of yours besides wine and knowledge. I want to know what Old Man Heaven used to create a person like you."

    "And then what?" Sun XiaoHong said.

    "And afterwards I want to gather up the entire world and stuff their stomachs full of whatever I find in there." Mr. Sun said.

    "So they'll all be a bit like him?" Sun XiaoHong said.

    "Not just a bit, the more the better." Mr. Sun said.

    "Then won't everyone in the world will be exactly like him." Sun XiaoHong said.

    "And what's wrong with everyone in the world becoming exactly like him?" Mr. Sun said.

    "There would be something wrong." Sun XiaoHong said.

    "And what's that?" Mr. Sun said.

    Sun XiaoHong lowered her head and fell silent.

    This grandfather and granddaughter pair always spoke in a back and forth manner. One would ask, and the other would answer. Any other person would find it impossible to interrupt them.

    It was only now that Li XunHuan had an opportunity to speak.

    "Elder if you are suggesting that the entire world become exactly like me, I'm afraid that there's only one type of person who would agree." Li XunHuan said.

    "What type is that?" Mr. Sun said.

    "Wine vendors." Li XunHuan replied.

    Mr. Sun smiled and said, "The way I see it, there's only one type of person who wouldn't agree to this."

    "Who?" Sun XiaoHong said.

    But as soon as that word left her mouth she wanted to take it back.

    She already knew what her grandfather was going to say.

    Her grandfather smiled at her and said, "You."

    Sun XiaoHong's face blushed red as she lowered her head and said, "Why ... why wouldn't I agree?"

    "If everyone in the world was exactly like him, then you wouldn't know which one you would want." Mr. Sun said with a smile.

    Sun XiaoHong immediately turned around, trying to hide her face which was as red as fire.

    Was her heart also on fire?

    The spring flame of a young maiden. Mr. Sun let out a hearty laugh and began taking another puff from his pipe.

    He didn't seem to notice Lin XianEr in the room at all. Perhaps he was ignoring her because he didn't even glance at her once. He also didn't notice that his pipe had went out.

    The house suddenly fell silent. The only sound that could be heard was the crackling of the burning embers from the fire.

    Lin XianEr walked over in front of Ah Fei.

    Other than Ah Fei, she didn't look at anyone else.

    The raging fire reflected on her. Her face was half white and half red. When it was red she looked like a mischievous angel. When it glowed white she looked like a lonely ghost.

    People have two faces as well. At times we are beautiful and at times we are repulsive.

    Except in her case, she always remained beautiful.

    If she was an angel, she would undoubtedly be the prettiest angel in all the heavens. If she was a lonely spirit, she would definitely be the most beautiful ghost in the underworld.

    But Ah Fei had seemingly made up his mind. No matter who she was, he would never look at her again.

    Lin XianEr let out a sigh and said, "I came all the way here because I wanted to tell you two things. Whether you want to listen is up to you."

    Ah Fei didn't seem like he was listening at all.

    But why did it look like his entire body had frozen solid?

    "That day, I know I hurt you a lot, but there's nothing else that I could've done. I didn't want to see you die in ShangGuan JinHong's hands. It was the only way I that I could've convinced ShangGuan JinHong to spare your life." Lin XianEr said.

    Ah Fei still didn't look like he was listening.

    But why were his fists clenched?

    "I came here today not to beg of you to understand or to beg of you to forgive me. I already know that we're through ..." Lin XianEr said.

    She let out a long sigh before continuing, "I'm telling you this because I want your heart to feel at ease. All along I've wanted nothing more than for you to live on happily. But as for me ..."

    "You've said enough." Sun XiaoHong interrupted.

    Lin XianEr smiled bitterly and said, "You're right. I've said too much."

    She really didn't say another word. Lin XianEr turned around and started to walk out.

    She didn't walk fast but she didn't turn around either.

    Ah Fei was still silent, his eyes still shut tightly.

    Lin XianEr's eyes had turned towards the door.

    Li XunHuan held his breath.

    He knew that if Lin XianEr really did walk out that door, Ah Fei would never see her again.

    As long as Ah Fei never saw her again, he could start over.

    Lin XianEr understood very well herself that if she walked out of that door, she'd be walking out of the world.

    Her steps didn't slow down, but there was a slight hint of fear in her eyes. While it was as bright as day inside the house, it was a pitch black night outside of the door.

    Although the stars still shined brightly, she never bothered to look up at the night sky.

    She only adored the dizzying brightness of this material world.

    She adored praise, flattery, and applause. She enjoyed extravagance, excess, and luxury. She loved to be loved and she loved to be hated.

    She lived for these things only.

    Without these things, even if she did live on, it would be like a living grave.

    The darkness was drawing closer and closer.

    That look of fear in her eyes had slowly turned into resentment and hatred.

    At that moment, she wanted to kill every single person alive.

    But at that moment, Ah Fei suddenly stood up and said loudly, "Wait one second."

    "Wait one second!"

    Who knew that these three simple words could change many a life?

    At that moment, Lin XianEr completely changed as well.

    Her eyes filled with charm, confidence, and pride. She suddenly changed back into an incredible beauty.

    In fact, she had never been so beautiful before in her life.

    Pride and confidence is a woman's best makeup.

    A woman without pride and confidence, no matter how beautiful she is, still will not have that magnetic attractiveness to them.

    This is analogous to how women will always assume that as long as a man is successful then he will be attractive.

    Success is a man's best makeup.

    Lin XianEr stopped, she didn't turn her head but sighed lightly.

    Her sigh was extremely low, but it carried an extremely sad and distressful tone.

    One would never expect such a bittersweet sigh to come from her mouth, especially considering how magnificently beautiful she appeared right now.

    Li XunHuan's heart sunk.

    He knew that there was no music or sound in this world that was more effective than her sad helpess sigh in touching a man's heart. Not the sound of crumpling autumn leaves nor the sound of flowing rivers; not the desolate lyre under the bright moon nor the midnight flute singing to the wind was a match for her desperate whimper.

    He hoped that Ah Fei would look at him for a moment and hear him out.

    But Ah Fei's eyes were set on Lin XianEr, and his ears could only hear her voice.

    "I've finished saying what I had to say. I can't stay any longer." Lin XianEr said.

    "Why not?" Ah Fei said.

    "Because I made a promise that I would only say two sentences and then would leave immediately." Lin XianEr said.

    "You want to leave?" Ah Fei said.

    "Even if I didn't want to leave, someone will chase me out." Lin XianEr said.

    "Who? Who would chase you out?" Ah Fei said.

    His eyes suddenly lit up with strength as he proclaimed loudly, "Why are you letting anyone chase you out, this is your home."

    Lin XianEr turned around and looked straight at Ah Fei.

    There already were tears in her eyes, those eyes that were as soft and delicate as droplets of water.

    After a long while, she sighed again and said, "Is this still my home?"

    "Of course. As long as you are willing, this will be your home." Ah Fei said.

    Lin XianEr's feet started to move again. She seemed as if she was about to throw herself into Ah Fei's embrace, but suddenly stopped and said, "Of course I am willing, but I'm afraid others aren't."

    Ah Fei gritted his teeth and said, "Whoever objects can leave."

    He seemed like he was avoiding Li XunHuan's eyes and didn't care what anyone thought.

    Mr. Sun really did succeed in getting his blood to boil, forcing his courage back up. Not only that but he also steamed all the emotions in his heart right to the surface.

    When a person's body is at its weakest, emotions are at their most abundant.

    His eyes never left Lin XianEr as he said, "In this house, no one can chase you out, only you can chase others out."

    "I really want to be together with you, but, they are your friends too ..." Lin XianEr said with a smile as tears rolled down her cheeks.

    "Anyone who is unwilling to be your friend is no friend of mine." Ah Fei said.

    She threw her arms around Ah Fei and said, "Hearing you say that, I am satisfied. I don't mind what anyone thinks about me, I won't mind how anyone treats me, I won't let any of that bother me."

    The door was still open.

    Li XunHuan slowly walked towards the door and out into the darkness of the night.

    Sun XiaoHong followed him out. She bit her lips and said, "Are we going to leave just like that?"

    Li XunHuan didn't say a word. No words would come out.

    She staggered along angrily and said, "I can't believe that he is that kind of a person! He would actually still treat her that well ... he is totally ungrateful! He cares only for love and betrays his friends!"

    Li XunHuan let out a long sigh and said, "You've misjudged him."

    "How so? You're saying he really isn't that type of person?" Sun XiaoHong said.

    "He isn't." Li XunHuan said.

    "If he isn't then why would he do what he just did?" Sun XiaoHong said.

    Li XunHuan's voice dropped, "Because ... because ..."

    He just didn't know how to say it so Mr. Sun continued for him.

    "He did that because he just can't control himself right now." Mr. Sun said with a sigh.

    "Why can't he control himself? Its not like someone is forcing him under knife-point. No one is tying him down." Sun XiaoHong said.

    "You're correct that no one is forcing him, but he is shackling himself up." Mr. Sun said.

    Mr. Sun sighed as he continued, "In fact, everyone in this world has their own shackles and cage."

    "Well I don't." Sun XiaoHong said.

    "You think you don't because you're still a child and you don't understand it yet." Mr. Sun said.

    Sun XiaoHong's voice rose, "Even if I am a child, fine! Then what about him?"

    She was pointing at Li XunHuan, and continued, "He's not a child, yet he doesn't have any shackles or a cage either."

    "Of course he does." Mr. Sun said.

    She looked over at Li XunHuan and asked, "Do you?"

    Li XunHuan smiled and replied, "I admit that I do."

    "He never takes anything to heart. Even if people insult him or wrong him, he would never be upset by it. Such that people would start to think that he reacts that way because his courage has disappeared." Mr. Sun said.

    Li XunHuan smiled.

    "But once he finds out that his friends are in danger, he will abandon all else in order to save them. Whether its enduring boiling water or walking through fire, or having blades pierced through his chest, he would do it all in an instant ..." Mr. Sun said.

    He sighed and continued, "Because 'friendship' is his cage. Only this type of cage can steam his vivacity to the surface! Only this type of cage can have his blood bubbling with courage!"

    "Then what about a person like Long Xiao4Yun, does he have a cage as well?" Sun XiaoHong said.

    "Of course." Mr. Sun said.

    "And what is his cage?" Sun XiaoHong said.

    "Wealth and power!" Mr. Sun said.

    "But the reason he wants to kill Li XunHuan can't be for wealth and power. He knows that Li XunHuan is not the type of person who would fight over wealth and power with him." Sun XiaoHong said.

    "The only reason he wants to kill Li XunHuan is because his heart has shackles." Mr. Sun said.

    "What shackles?" Sun XiaoHong asked.

    Mr. Sun looked over at Li XunHuan and then stopped talking.

    The expression on Li XunHuan's face was gloomier than the night itself.

    Sun XiaoHong suddenly realized the answer.

    Long Xiao4Yun despises Li XunHuan because he is suspicious, and envious.

    He is suspecting that Li XunHuan will avenge all that he has ever done to him.

    And he is envious of Li XunHuan's honor and generosity, because he can never be like that.

    Suspicion and envy are his shackles.

    Most people in this world have these shackles as well.

    What are Ah Fei's shackles?

    Mr. Sun looked up into the bright night sky and sighed, "Ah Fei's shackles are completely different from Long Xiao4Yun's. Ah Fei is chained down by love."

    "Love can be considered shackles as well?" Sun XiaoHong said.

    "Of course, in fact they are much heavier than any other kind." Mr. Sun said.

    "But does he really love Lin XianEr? It seems like he only loves her because he cannot have her." Sun XiaoHong said.

    No one replied.

    Because no one can truly answer her question.

    She sighed and looked at Li XunHuan and said, "He is your friend. You better figure out a way to help free him of his shackles."

    Li XunHuan slowly turned to look back ...

    The light from the window in the house had gone out. The lonely hut sat in the western winds under the dark night. It seemed to resemble the type of person that Ah Fei was: stubborn yet resilient, but lonesome.

    Li XunHuan bent over and started coughing again.

    He knew that no one could help free Ah Fei from his shackles.

    The only person who could free him was himself.

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    Default Translation notes on Ch. 73

    The 'cage' that they are referring to is translated directly as 'bun steamer cage'. It is the kind that is used to steam buns. Mr. Sun uses it metaphorically to refer to the cages that hold each of us back in life so I used the metaphoric meaning over the original since it would be somewhat awkward to hear 'Friendship is his bun steamer cage'.

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    Cool.
    Thanks for the high philosophy...
    It seems A Fei is doomed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bliss
    ... since it would be somewhat awkward to hear 'Friendship is his bun steamer cage'.
    Well, as much as I agree with your assessment... it would be really interesting to see how nonsensical this story would be if you deliberately picked the "wrong" interpretation...

    Thanks for the translation- For a while Li XunHuan was getting pretty... well, boring. Too much agnst. I am glad the story is picking up again. (I don't necessarily need fights, but useful actions are nice.)

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    Bliss, thank you once again for a great translation and also thank you for the note - what you did appealed to me as a reader since I get to read the story in a normal way but also learn about the double side of the translation afterwards.

    And yes, friendship is a bun steamer cage indeed.


    Poor A Fei, I just hope he will be able to see the light or maybe his selfless love would change Li Xian Er into a different, more devoted person.

    I also sort of envy A Fei, it must be nice to be able feel so strongly about a person.

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    Default Chapter 74 - The Most Generous Person

    Chapter 74 - The Most Generous Person

    The lights are out.

    A different type of flame is being ignited inside the house.

    A long, slender pair of legs hung down from the side of the bed, accentuated beautifully by the pale moonlight.

    Her legs bent as his body shivered.

    Ah Fei was as tense as an outstretched bow.

    The arrow was set on the bow, as it sought out its quiver.

    An experienced person knows that that intense sense of urgency is most difficult to endure.

    Lin XianEr was, of course, an experienced person.

    She kept slipping out reach and pushing him away, silently whimpering, "Wait ... wait ..."

    Ah Fei didn't respond with words, but with action.

    He couldn't wait any longer.

    She bit down on her lips and stared into his bulging red eyes.

    "How ... how come you've never asked me before?"

    "Ask you what?"

    "Whether ShangGuan JinHong and I had ..."

    Ah Fei's movements suddenly stopped, as if someone had just kicked him down.

    "Is it because it doesn't bother you anymore?"

    Ah Fei began to sweat, sweat that signaled a person's weakness.

    Lin XianEr had began to notice that weakness.

    "I know that it bothers you, because I know that you love me."

    She sounded sad and distressed, but her eyes carried a sadistic glee. She was like a cat who had a mouse under her paws. She was like ShangGuan JinHong looking down at her when she was in the same situation.

    "Did you or didn't you?" Ah Fei asked in a coarse voice.

    She sighed and answered, "A poor mouse in the grasp of a vicious cat, you don't have to ask to know the outcome."

    Ah Fei suddenly fell over, so full of anger that he couldn't move a muscle.

    Lin XianEr looked down over his face, like her tears were about to drop.

    "I knew it would make you angry, but I couldn't keep it from you. I had wanted to give myself to you pure and chaste, but ..."

    She crawled up into Ah Fei's chest with tears in her eyes and said, "Now I regret waiting for so long, although it was all for you, now I ..."

    Ah Fei suddenly cried out, "I know it was for my sake, that is why I promise I will return your chastity to you."

    "But this is something that can't ever be recovered!" Lin XianEr said.

    "It can, I have a way." Ah Fei said.

    He clenched his hands and said menacingly, "As long as I kill ShangGuan JinHong, as long as I kill the person who has defiled you, then you will be pure once again ..."

    His voice suddenly stopped because he heard a cold shrill laugh coming from the window.

    "If that's the case, then you better be ready to kill a whole lot of people!"

    Another voice chimed in, "That b-i-t-c-h's body has never been clean before! With the exception of you, every man who's ever laid eyes on her has slept with her!"

    A third voice added, "If you really wanted to kill every single person who's been with her before, even if you killed eighty a day until the day you're old, you'd still be far from done!"

    The house had three windows, and there was a person outside each of them.

    The three voices were different, but there was an eerie similarity between them.

    Shrill and forged, anyone who heard them would want to throw up.

    Ah Fei bolted up and covered Lin XianEr with a blanket. He kicked a pillow that knocked over a candle that was on the table. In a sharp voice he asked, "Who's there?"

    He had wanted to rush out but once he got up he decided to stay by Lin XianEr's side instead.

    The three people outside the windows burst out in laughter.

    "Don't tell me you're afraid that one of us will see her naked body!"

    "She's used to people staring at her body! In fact, she feels uncomfortable when people aren't staring at her!"

    *PENG*, all three windows were forced open.

    Three beams of light poured into the room directly at Lin XianEr.

    They were Kongming lanterns.

    You could only see their brightness, you couldn't see from where they came, or who has holding them.

    They were so bright that you could barely keep your eyes open.

    Lin XianEr shielded her eyes with her hands. The cotton blanket covering her body slowly slid off revealing her legs, and then her thighs ...

    She never bothered to pull the blanket up. She really wasn't afraid of being seen.

    Ah Fei gritted his teeth, pulled off his clothes, passed them to Lin XianEr and said, "Put these on."

    Lin XianEr rolled her eyes and snickered,"Why? Are you ashamed of how I look?"

    Even though she was entirely nude she could still smile that frivolously.

    She had used her two deadliest weapons.

    Ah Fei broke a chair on the floor, grabbed its legs, and said, "Whoever steps one foot inside this house will die!"

    The three voices could be heard laughing again, but this time they were coming from outside the door.

    "He still wants to take people's lives."

    "In his current condition he can forget about killing anyone."

    "He can still take one person's life ... his own!"

    With another *PENG*, the thick wooden door was shattered instantly.

    Shards of wood were sent flying, three people slowly walked in.

    Three people clothed in yellow.

    Three people with bamboo hats strapped tightly to their heads covering their faces.

    This was the distinguishing appearance of members of the 'Gold Currency Union'.

    The first one had a golden chain wrapped around his hands, the chain whip had two parts connected by a large iron hammer.

    The second and third used sabre and sword.

    A demon-headed sabre and a funeral-gate sword.

    Their three weapons were at ready, as if in fear of missing the opportunity to kill.

    Ah Fei suddenly stood still. He was like a starved wolf that had just smelled fresh meat.

    Although his reactions had slowed and his strength had lowered, his natural instincts had not diminished.

    He had already drawn the scent of blood.

    Lin XianEr was giggling even more as she said, "So it is the famous 'Twin Meteors of Wind and Rain' Branch-Master Xiang Song. I am honored, I am honored."

    The twin meteor hammer in his hands lightly swung back and forth, he looked as steady and formidable as a mountain.

    "Has Branch-Master Xiang come under the orders of ShangGuan JinHong to kill me today?" Lin XianEr said.

    "You've guessed correctly." Xiang Song replied.

    Lin XianEr sighed and said, "I can't believe ShangGUan JinHong wants to take my life this urgently."

    "People who have run out of their usefulness have to die." Xiang Song replied.

    "You're wrong. He doesn't to kill me for that reason." Lin XianEr replied.

    "Hmm?" Xiang Song replied.

    "He wants me dead because he is afraid that I will find another man and stain his reputation." Lin XianEr said.

    "Chief ShangGuan's orders never required explanantion, they only need to be carried out." Xiang Song replied coldly.

    Lin XianEr glanced over at Ah Fei for a second and said, "You three just barged in here to kill me, because you assume that he isn't capable of protecting me anymore."

    "He can try." Xiang Song said.

    "There's no need for him to try." the one wielding the sabre laughed coldly.

    "Hmm?" Lin XianEr said.

    "Since you can admit that in front of him, then you know yourself that he isn't capable of protecting you. Since we all know this now, what's the point in him trying?"

    Lin XianEr laughed and said, "You're right, he can barely protect himself right now. I'm just making it harder for him, except ..."

    She slowly stood up, her bare body fully exposed to the light, and continued, "Do you think that I can't protect myself either anymore?"

    Her breasts stood haughtily, her legs fully straight.

    Under the lantern light, her skin looked like milky white satin.

    Her body was definitely worth being proud of.

    Ah Fei's face was twisting with pain, his cold sweat, almost the size of peas, slowly dripped down.

    Lin XianEr's hands slowly crept along her own body, as she said in a sultry voice, "Wouldn't it be a pity if you three were to kill me?"

    Xiang Song sighed and said, "There are women who use their bodies in order to pay for certain things. When they're looking at perfumes, or when they're trying on exquisite dresses, they'll never be shy about it. But you're entirely different."

    "Of course I'm different." Lin XianEr said.

    "You're even much more generous than they are. You use your body to pay for even the smallest things. As long as you're in a good mood you'd even satisfy a lowly servant who opened the door for you." Xiang Song said.

    "Do you want to ask me for a fee as well?" Lin XianEr said.

    She slowly walked over to him, "Come and collect, because if I decided to pay a small fee to you, no one would argue that it'd be too much."

    Xiang Song stood as still as a tree.

    Lin XianEr walked over in front of him and wanted to nibble on his neck.

    Xiang Song suddenly attacked, his hammer struck her chest.

    Lin XianEr was sent flying, her body flipped over onto the bed!

    The bamboo hat fell from Xiang Song's head and revealed his face.

    A pale white face, full of wrinkles, but without a single trace of facial hair.

    Lin XianEr suddenly started laughing and said, "No wonder ShangGuan JinHong sent you here to kill me, you're neither male nor female! You're a half-man, half-woman freak!"

    Xiang Song stared at her coldly, not a single hint of expression on his face. After a long while, he turned to Ah Fei and said, "It's best for you to leave."

    "Leave?" Ah Fei said.

    "Don't tell me you still want to protect this b-i-t-c-h." Xiang Song said.

    Ah Fei slowly lowered his hands.

    "So you should leave, its best that you're not by her side when I kill her." Xiang Song said.

    "Why?" Ah Fei said.

    "Because I'm afraid you'd throw up." Xiang Song said ferociously.

    Ah Fei fell silent, then lowered his head as well.

    Lin XianEr stopped laughing as well. At this point, not even her laughter would come out.

    It was then that Ah Fei struck out!

    Ah Fei's instincts were still sharp.

    He really did pick the best opportunity to attack.

    Unfortunately his reactions had slowed, and his strength had diminished.

    A golden flash of light, twin meteors shot out.

    Shards of wood were sent flying, the legs of the chair in Ah Fei's hands had been shattered.

    "My order was to kill her, not you. You're still alive because I don't like getting too involved." Xiang Song said coldly.

    Ah Fei clenched tightly onto the two wooden stubs in his hands, like a dying person grasping onto one last glimpse of hope.

    But what kind of hope was this?

    He used to be a slayer of men.

    But now, he couldn't kill anybody. To others, he wasn't even worth killing.

    This showed that he was practically useless in their eyes. Whether he was alive or dead made no difference.

    "It is very difficult for a person to crawl back up, but very easy for a person to fall down."

    Ah Fei suddenly remembered when he had went to save Li XunHuan, when he first crossed swords with Jing WuMing ...

    At that time no one dared to take him lightly.

    But what about now?

    That happened only several days ago, yet it seemed like such a far and distant memory.

    Xiang Song's voice sounded far and distant now as well.

    "You can stay here and watch if you prefer. I'll show you how a real slayer kills people."

    Suddenly another voice slowly penetrated the room, "And you're supposed to be adept at killing? I'm afraid you're not worthy."
    Last edited by bliss; 03-18-05 at 04:30 PM.

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    Default Chapter 74 Notes

    'Kongming Lanterns' or 'Sky Lanterns', the ones that you would typically see in Chinese lantern festivals are a combination of a hot-air balloon and a traditional lit lantern. They are said to have been invented by the famed military strategist, Zhuge Liang, whose moniker was Kong Ming.

  8. #88
    Senior Member ChronoReverse's Avatar
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    DIE DIE DIE. It seems that Lin XianEr will die a horrible death and I'm actually looking forward to it.

    Gu Long has manage to create a character that I despise quite thoroughly.

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    You know... as much as I would also like to see Lin XianEr get her just rewards, somehow I really doubt it.

    Just a guess, but I am going to assume that when our "new voice" rescues Ah Fei, he/she/it will also rescue Lin XianEr...

    Ah well.

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    Default Chapter 75 - Between Life and Death

    Chapter 75 - Between Life and Death

    That slow monotonous voice sounded neither high or low and completely void of emotion. Xiang Song was familiar with this voice, the only person who sounded like this was Jing WuMing!

    Jing WuMing!

    Xiang Song was terrified as he slowly turned his head ... it really was Jing WuMing!

    His clothes were worn out and he looked tired and weary, but his eyes ...

    Those deathly pale eyes were as chillingly cold as ever. They could cause a person's blood to freeze over.

    Xiang Song looked away from his eyes and towards his hands.

    His left hand was suspended by cloth. Its color was as pale as ash as if it was a hand that had reached out from the grave.

    This used to be a hand that could kill, but now it was a hand that could only cause people to vomit.

    Xiang Song laughed casually and said, "Although I might not understand how to kill people, at least I can still kill. Mr. Jing may understand fully how to kill people but unfortunately killing isn't done with the mouth but with the hands."

    Jing WuMing's pupils contracted. He stared at Xiang Song and said slowly, "You can't see my hand?"

    "There are many kinds of hands. What I see is not the kind of hand that can kill." Xiang Song said.

    "You don't think my right hand can kill?" Jing WuMing said.

    "There are many kinds of people as well. Some are easy to kill while others are not." Xiang Song said.

    "Which kind are you?" Jing WuMing said.

    Xiang Song lowered his head and said coldly, "The kind that you can't kill."

    His eyes filled with hatred as if he was trying to lure Jing WuMing into attacking. As if he was looking for a reason to kill him.

    Jing WuMing suddenly broke out in laughter.

    He was the same as ShangGuan JinHong, he looked much more formidable and frightening when he was laughing than when he wasn't.

    Xiang Song unknowingly took a single step back.

    "So you've always hated me?" Jing WuMing said.

    Xiang Song gritted his teeth and said, "I'm afraid there aren't many people in this world who don't hate you."

    "You want to kill me?" Jing WuMing said.

    "I'm not the only one either." Xiang Song replied.

    "But did you wait until now?" Jing WuMing said.

    "You have to wait for the right opportunity to kill, you should understand this better than anyone." Xiang Song said.

    "You think that your opportunity has come now?" Jing WuMing said.

    "Correct." Xiang Song said.

    Jing WuMing sighed as he said, "It's a pity that I have a secret that you aren't aware of."

    "What secret?" Xiang Song couldn't help but ask.

    Jing WuMing's morbid eyes stared directly at his throat as he slowly spoke.

    "My right hand can kill as well. In fact, compared to my left hand it kills even faster!"

    As soon as his last word came out, his sword had already pierced through Xiang Song's throat!

    No one saw where his sword had come from, and no one saw how his sword had pierced into Xiang Song's throat.

    The only thing anyone saw a flash of light and a spray of blood. With a *GE* Xiang Song's breath had stopped. His eyes looked like they were hanging out from their sockets.

    'Demon-Head Sabre' and 'Funeral-Gate Sword' looked like their eyes were about to drop from their sockets as well.

    The two of them slowly retreated backwards towards the door.

    Jing WuMing didn't turn his head and coldly said, "You two still think that you can leave after you've seen my secret?"

    Another cold flash of light!

    Blood splashed across the floor. Under the lantern light it looked like a strand of glistening red pearls.

    Potent medicines taste bitter while venemous poisons are always irresistably sweet.

    Some things in life are just that peculiar ... even the most repulsive, disgusting things, if looked at in a certain way can appear to be priceless and beautiful.

    That is why the sword that kills always appears particularly bright and the blood that is spilled appears particularly radiant.

    That is why there is a saying that, "Beauty, fades within the blink of an eye. Only true skill lasts forever."

    'True skill' is never beautiful.

    The sword that kills people is also the same as the knife that cuts vegetables, both are nothing but steel. The question is whether you look deep enough or not.

    But there are others who say, "Let me grasp only that single moment of beauty. Let those things that last forever lie in wait forever, they are of no use to me."

    In those moments right before, Xiang Song was still the heralded 'Twin Meteors of Wind and Rain', Branch-Leader of the Eighth Branch of the Golden Currency Union.

    But now, he was just another dead person, not much different from any other dead person.

    Jing WuMing looked down at his corpse. The expression on his face changed rather strangely, as if this was the first time that he had ever seen a dead person.

    Was it because this was the first time that he felt 'death'?

    Was it because that only when a person was truly desolate that he could feel 'death'?

    Lin XianEr let out a long sigh.

    She had been holding it in for quite some time but was finally able to exhale.

    She smiled at Jing WuMing and said, "I can't believe that you would come to save me."

    Jing WuMing didn't raise his head and coldly replied, "You think I came here to save you?"

    She nodded her head and said, "I know your intentions."

    Jing WuMing slowly lifted his head and said, "What do you know?"

    "You saved me because ShangGuan JinHong wanted to kill me." Lin XianEr said.

    Jing WuMing stared at her.

    "You despise him. So anything that he plans to do, you'll try to ruin." Lin XianEr said.

    Jing WuMing still stared at her.

    "Even until now, I had always understood what kind of person you are, and I also know that ShangGuan Fei died under your hands." Lin XianEr said.

    Jing WuMing's eyes suddenly shifted to his sword.

    "You know too much." he said.

    Lin XianEr laughed and said, "I know that you won't kill me either. Because if you did, that would be exactly what ShangGuan JinHong wanted."

    She smiled sweetly and continued, "Not only will you let me live, you'll take me along with you as well, correct?"

    "Take you with me?" Jing WuMing said.

    "Because if you don't want me to die under ShangGuan JinHong's hands, and you don't want me to leak out your secret, you have no choice but to take me with you." Lin XianEr said.

    Her voice became gentle and alluring, "I'm whole-heartedly willing to go with you, wherever you will go I'll follow."

    Jing WuMing fell silent for a while, and then glanced at Ah Fei.

    It was like he had just realized that Ah Fei was there.

    Even Ah Fei had forgotten that he was there himself.

    Lin XianEr glanced at him as well. She walked over and kissed him on his cheeks.

    She didn't say another word.

    She didn't have to say anything else.

    Lin XianEr finally followed Jing WuMing out.

    Ah Fei didn't move.

    His mouth dried up.

    Ah Fei didn't move.

    Light poured in from the windows, it was already morning.

    Ah Fei still hadn't moved.

    He laid on the floor soaked in blood next to the bodies.

    He hung between life and death by a single thread ...

    ________________________________________

    "X X Day, ten li outside the western wall, under the tree near the pavilion."

    "ShangGuan JinHong."

    Winter had finally arrived. The western winds swept away the last withered leaves from the trees.

    The letter was the same color as the dried yellow leaves. But it was a shade of yellow that brought with it a grim sense of decay. A shade of yellow that was lifeless and frightening.

    The letter had only those nineteen words. Simple and clear. It was exactly like the way ShangGuan JinHong killed, never superfluous.

    The letter was delivered by one of the workers at the inn. After he read it, his hands couldn't stop trembling.

    Sun XiaoHong grabbed hold of the letter, and as she read it, a cold aura of death shivered through her spine and to her hands. Her fignertips suddenly felt extremely cold.

    "The day after tomorrow, it is the day after tomorrow."

    "Looking at the calendar, the day after tomorrow is not a good day. Several things aren't right." Sun XiaoHong mumbled.

    Li XunHuan smiled and said, "Why would you need to select an appropriate day to kill?"

    Sun XiaoHong's gaze was fixed on him. After a while, she asked loudly, "Can you kill him?"

    Li XunHuan's mouth stayed shut. The smile on his face slowly vanished.

    Sun XiaoHong suddenly stood up and walked out of the room. Li XunHuan couldn't figure out what she was up to. She ran back in with brush, ink, and paper in hand.

    A finely polished brush, and premium quality paper.

    She didn't look at Li XunHuan but merely said, "You speak, I'll write."

    Li XunHuan was a little surprised, "What do you want me to say?"

    "Do you have any unfulfilled wishes? Or any unfinished business?"

    Her voice was extremely calm, but the brush in her hand shook slightly.

    Li XunHuan smiled and said, "You want me to tell you now? I'm not dead yet."

    "After you're dead you won't be able to tell me anything." Sun XiaoHong said.

    Her head was lowered the entire time, her eyes staring the the brush in her hands. But she still couldn't avoid Li XunHuan's gaze.

    Her eyes began to water, she bit her lips and said, "You can name anything. Ah Fei for example, is there anything you want me to tell him, or is there anything you want me to do for him?"

    There was a certain pain in Li XunHuan's eyes as he sighed and said, "Nothing."

    "Nothing? There really is nothing?" Sun XiaoHong said.

    "I can urge him not to kill someone, but I can't stop him from loving someone." Li XunHuan replied.

    "What if someone else wanted to kill him?" Sun XiaoHong said.

    Li XunHuan laughed bitterly and said, "Who would want to kill him now?"

    "ShangGuan JinHong ..." Sun XiaoHong said.

    "If ShangGuan JinHong was willing to let him go, then he won't want to kill him again. Otherwise he'd already be dead by now." Li XunHuan said.

    "But what about in the future?" Sun XiaoHong said.

    Li XunHuan stared out the window into the distance and slowly said, "The moment of awakening will come even after the longest of dreams. Once that time arrives, he will understand everything for himself. Anything I say to him now is of no use."

    Sun XiaoHong was quiet for some time before saying, "What about her?"

    It appeared as if she had to muster all of her strength to say those words.

    Of course Li XunHuan realized who she was referring to.

    The pain in his eyes seemed to deepen. He suddenly walked over and pushed open the windows.

    Sun XiaoHong, her head still lowered, said, "If you ... you have any words, anything ..."

    Li XunHuan cut her off and said, "Nothing, absolutely nothing."

    "But you ..." Sun XiaoHong said.

    "While she's alive, there will always be someone to look after her. When he passes away, there will be someone to oversee her burial. She has no need of me. She will only benefit from my death." Li XunHuan said.

    His voice sounded very calm as well, but he didn't turn his head.

    Why was he afraid to turn around?

    Sun XiaoHong looked at his thin, emaciated figure from behind. A single drop of tear fell onto the piece of paper.

    She quietly wiped away the tear and said, "But you must have something you want to say. How come you're unwilling to tell me?"

    "Why do you want me to speak for." Li XunHuan said.

    "Once you tell me, I'll forever remember. Then after you die, I'll carry them out one by one, then afterwards ..." Sun XiaoHong said.

    Li XunHuan quickly turned around and asked, "Then what afterwards?"

    "Then afterwards I will die!" Sun XiaoHong replied.

    She stood straight up and looked directly at Li XunHuan. She didn't glance away and she didn't try to conceal anything.

    "Why ... why do you want to die for?" Li XunHuan said.

    "I can't avoid dying, because after you're gone, living will be even worse than death." Sun XiaoHong said.

    She was still staring right into Li XunHuan's eyes, not even blinking once.

    Her sentiment suddenly became very calm and resolute. It was obvious that she had already made up her mind. No one could convince her otherwise.

    Li XunHuan felt a sharp twinge of pain in his chest. He bent down and started to cough excessively.

    After his coughing has subsided, Sun XiaoHong sighed and said quietly, "If you want me to live on, then you mustn't die ... ShangGuan JinHong didn't necessarily seek you out to duel. Even he is somewhat intimidated by you."

    She suddenly ran over and held his hand and said, "We can run away, run away as far as we can. We'll forget about everything, I ... I can bring you back to my home. No one knows of that place, even if ShangGuan JinHong wanted to seek you out he would never be able to find you there."

    Li XunHuan didn't respond, he didn't say a single word.

    He just stared at her silently.

    A cold wind blew through. A cloud of smoke swirled into the room and muddled his sight.

    Mr. Sun's wise old voice filled the room, "No matter what you say, he won't run away."

    Sun XiaoHong stamped her foot and said, "How do you know he won't leave?"

    "If he was the kind of person who would run away, then you wouldn't feel how you do towards him." Mr. Sun said.

    Sun XiaoHong was silent for a moment, then turned around and covered her head.

    Li XunHuan sighed and said, "Elder ..."

    Mr. Sun interrupted him and said, "I know what you're thinking, but ... I can only urge her not to kill someone, I can't force her not to love someone."

    Love, this is one thing in life that can't be forced.

    Li XunHuan started to cough again, even harder than before.

    ________________________________________

    "Ten li outside the western wall, under the tree near the pavilion."

    It was an eight sided pavilion. It stood at the foot of a mountain right outside of a forest.

    The forest had withered. The paint on the pillars of the pavilion had started to peel off.

    The western winds were blistering. The vast plains stood silently.

    Li XunHuan walked back and forth along the forest. He had seemingly walked on every stretch of earth along that path.

    "The day after tomorrow, it is the day after tomorrow."

    The sun started to set in the west. Another day had passed.

    The day after next, under the same setting sun, all enmity between Li XunHuan and ShangGuan JinHong would be settled.

    This would be one of the most amazing battles in history!

    Li XunHuan let out a long sigh and lifted his head. The setting sun filled the entire sky with its beauty and magnificence.

    But in the eyes of a dead person, was this eternal sun just as majestic?

    Mr. Sun and Sun XiaoHong sat quietly inside the pavilion. Sun XiaoHong suddenly asked, "The time of the duel hasn't arrived yet, why has he come here beforehand?"

    "In a duel between experts, not only must you take into account the strengths and weaknesses of a peron's martial arts, but you also consider the weather, surroundings, and people. Since ShangGuan JinHong chose this place for the duel, he must have his reasons." Mr. Sun replied.

    "What reason is that?" Sun XiaoHong said.

    "He must be very familiar with the terrain here, he might have even come here earlier to set up traps." Mr. Sun said.

    "So Li XunHuan must come here beforehand to look around and inspect whether ShangGuan JinHong had set up traps and where they could be." SUn XiaoHong said.

    "Exactly. The generals of old would always patrol the site before an important battle. No matter what kind of battle, as long as one first observes the surroundings, one will ensure an advantage." Mr. Sun said.

    "But why is he strolling back and forth at that spot?" Sun XiaoHong asked.

    "That back and forth stroll has its purpose as well." Mr. Sun said with a laugh.

    "Huh?" Sun XiaoHong said.

    "He wants to walk over every inch of dirt here and see how the surface is. He wants to know whether it's soft, whether it's parched, or whether it's damp." Mr. Sun replied.

    "And what use is that?" Sun XiaoHong said.

    "Because the dirt can be different at different spots, it can affect one's lightness. If when using seven-tenths of your strength you are able to leap seven meters on wet dirt, on solid dirt you can leap ten meters." Mr. Sun said.

    "The difference isn't that much." Sun XiaoHong said.

    Mr. Sun sighed and said, "When experts clash, their margin of error can't be more than a single inch!"

    Li XunHuan suddenly walked over and stood outside of the pavilion. He faced the evening sun as it set over the withered forest. It brought forth a surge of emotion but no one could really tell what was on his mind.

    Sun XiaoHong couldn't help but ask quietly, "And what is he doing just standing there?"
    Last edited by bliss; 03-25-05 at 11:44 AM.

  11. #91
    Senior Member ChronoReverse's Avatar
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    Argh, it's the Gu Long build up. I wonder if we'll really have an epic battle.

    Can't express my thanks for the translation bliss =)

  12. #92
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    Very good work bliss.

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    Wow, exciting part. I really appreciate your efforts Bliss, thanks!

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    Ah Fei is getting on my nerves...

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    he is the most stupid character ever - period!

    I guess when you're living in the jungle by yourself - that is gonna happen to you, strange XYSL doesn't have the same trait like him, even though both living in the jungle by themself

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    Quote Originally Posted by atlantean0208
    he is the most stupid character ever - period!

    I guess when you're living in the jungle by yourself - that is gonna happen to you, strange XYSL doesn't have the same trait like him, even though both living in the jungle by themself
    Who is XYLS?

  17. #97
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    why is it so hard to kill a beautiful woman? couldn't they just send a blind guy to finish the job? only gu long can create such a terrible villain who doesn't even know kung fu. anyhow, i love ms. sun. she's such a straightforward woman with brains and wit. i wish i can have her courage to declare my feelings for my crush so openly. i wish nothing but the best for her and lxh.
    if you have the time and enthusiasm, please join in on the new and fabulous wuxia rpg fic /rpg discussion. (<--- click here)

  18. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Felipe
    Who is XYLS?
    sorry its XSYL = Xiao Shiyi Lang

  19. #99
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    That woman is too much but still I can not wish her a terrible death (although I truly wanted to slap her face at one point).

    Ah Fei is in this state since they never made love. The more she makes him wait the more he is in her power. Poor guy can not think properly and is miserable. I hope he does not do something stupid and take his life.

    I think Ah Fei should kill Lin Xian Er, since he would be merciful remembering the good times he thinks they had.

    On the other hand I think it is very tragic for Ms.Sun since the man she loves is going to make a duel and the outcome can not be guessed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eliza bennet

    Ah Fei is in this state since they never made love. The more she makes him wait the more he is in her power. Poor guy can not think properly and is miserable. I hope he does not do something stupid and take his life.

    I don't believe sex abscence has the power to transform someone into SOMETHING like Ah Fei... The fact is that he wants to run away. He doesn't want to face that he was playing the fool and she slept with almost every character of the novel, but not him. He is only a weakling ... THAT is something that love can make to anyone, the wish to not loose the securuty and happiness of the old happy times that can not come back... at least not exactly like before..,

    sorry for grammar errors... too lazy know to correct it...
    Last edited by Felipe; 03-21-05 at 07:44 PM.

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