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Thread: Bordertown Wanderer - Bian Cheng Lang Zi - by Gu Long

  1. #221
    Member LiarLiar's Avatar
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    It been a few weeks since this chapter was up, but I never commented I guess I'll do it now. Ding Linglin is an cool character, nothing like the The Black Sabre series I watch. In the series, she was kind of annoying, but I still like her. I like her more in the story through, she had more of an edge to her. Continue the good work. This is a great story.

  2. #222
    Senior Member patricia n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiarLiar
    It been a few weeks since this chapter was up, but I never commented I guess I'll do it now. Ding Linglin is an cool character, nothing like the The Black Sabre series I watch. In the series, she was kind of annoying, but I still like her. I like her more in the story through, she had more of an edge to her. Continue the good work. This is a great story.
    call me slow, but i just went to the review section for the black sabre series and this entire time, i thought miss ma was the main chic. after all, early on in the translation, it sees as though ye kei really liked her. and now, we get introduced to miss ding who i did not realize was the main female lead until now...that's quite a late intro. and to think this entire time, i was visualizing margie tsang playing the role of miss ma.
    if you have the time and enthusiasm, please join in on the new and fabulous wuxia rpg fic /rpg discussion. (<--- click here)

  3. #223
    Senior Member rayon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patricia n
    call me slow, but i just went to the review section for the black sabre series and this entire time, i thought miss ma was the main chic. after all, early on in the translation, it sees as though ye kei really liked her. and now, we get introduced to miss ding who i did not realize was the main female lead until now...that's quite a late intro. and to think this entire time, i was visualizing margie tsang playing the role of miss ma.
    She is? Well, she's definitely cooler than Ma Fangling. That girl's anal in the extreme.
    "It's good to know what you don't know." - The Twit

    Xiao Shiyi Lang Book 2 - plodding thru Chap 27

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    Default Chapter 24 - Grand Flag Waving In The Setting Sun

    The distinctive flag of the 'Hall of Ten-Thousand Horses flapped majestically in the wind. If you stood from afar it sometimes looked like a lover's handkerchief waving goodbye. The five bold words in red were the blood and tears of those lovers.

    Those five words were probably written with blood and tears.

    There was a person standing quietly in the grasslands watching that flag waving in the wind. His body was lean and thin and it carried an indescribable sense of loneliness and solitude.

    He stood in a sea of bluish-green blades of grass like an obstinate tree. Trees are tough and unyielding, lonesome and solitary. But do trees suffer the same pain and hatred in their hearts?

    Ma FangLing caught sight of him, caught sight of the sabre in his hand.

    A cold, emotionless person. An ominous, foreboding sabre.

    But for some reason when she saw him, her heart filled up with inexplicable warmth. Like the taste of warm alcohol as it goes down your throat.

    She really shouldn't be feeling this way.

    Only a lonesome person could understand the feeling one gets upon seeing another lonely soul. But she didn't want to think anymore, her horse raced towards him.

    Fu HongXue didn't even seem to notice her -- at least he didn't turn his head.

    She dismounted and stood gazing at the flag as well. When the wind blew, she could hear her own hurried breath. The winds weren't very heavy. It was as if they were being supressed by the magnificence of the setting sun. But there was enough wind to set that grand flag in motion.

    "I know what is on your mind." Ma FangLing suddenly said.

    Fu HongXue didn't hear her, he refused to listen.

    "You're thinking to yourself that the day will certainly come when you can tear down that flag." Ma FangLing said.

    Fu HongXue shut his lips, he refused to speak.

    But he couldn't stop Ma FangLing from talking on. She laughed coldly and said, "But that day will never come! Never!"

    Veins started to rise on the back of Fu HongXue's hand.

    "So I'd advise you to just leave, the farther the better."

    Fu HongXue suddenly turned his head and stared at her. His eyes were ablaze and looked like they wanted to engulf her in its flames.

    Then, he pronounced, "You know that what I want to cut down isn't that flag, but rather Ma KongQun's head!"

    The tone of his voice was sharper than his blade.

    Ma FangLing took two steps back unknowingly and shouted back, "Why do you hate him so much?"

    Fu HongXue suddenly smiled. Revealing his snow white teeth, his smile was like that of an enraged beast. Anyone who saw that smile would know exactly how great the hatred in his heart was.

    Ma FangLing took another half a step backwards and shouted, "You'll still never be able to take him down. He is much stronger than you could ever imagine. You're simply no match for him!"

    She was shouting. The angrier one was, the louder one's voice usually became.

    Fu HongXue's voice was still very calm, "You know that I can kill him. He's already old, too old. He'll probably bleed himself to death."

    Ma FangLing gritted her teeth, but her entire body had already fallen limp. It felt as if she didn't even have the strength to be angry. All she could feel was dread.

    She lowered her head and said sullenly, "You're right, he is old. He's nothing but a powerless old man now. Even if you did kill him, what joy would it bring?"

    A cruel glimmer filled Fu HongXue's eyes, "Are you begging me to spare his life?"

    "I ... yes, I'm begging you. I've never begged anyone before in my entire life."

    "You think that I'll agree?"

    "If you will agree, I'll ..."

    "You'll what?"

    Ma FangLing's face suddenly blushed red, she lowered her head and replied, "I'll do anything you ask. If you want me to walk, then I'll walk. If you want me to run, then I'll run."

    As soon as those words left her mouth, she regretted saying them at all. She didn't know why she said what she did, she wasn't even sure whether she meant it or not. Could it be that she was just trying to feel him out? Could it be that she anxiously wanted to have him since that day?

    Feeling someone out like this was too silly, too dangerous, and too fearsome.

    Luckily Fu HongXue didn't refuse. He just stared at her coldly. She suddenly realized that the look in his eyes was not only cruel, but felt even more intolerable as they stared at her in a cynical sort of way.

    It was as if he was saying, "You refused me the last time, why are you coming back to me now?" Ma FangLing's heart sunk into her chest. This unspoken ridicule was even worse than being rejected.

    Fu HongXue looked at her and suddenly said, "I only want to know one thing. Are you begging me for your father's sake? Or for your own?"

    He didn't wait for a response. As soon as his words were finished, he turned and started to walk away. His left leg took a step forward, and his right leg dragged along from behind. His strange and awkward gait had somehow turned into a form of mockery as well.

    Ma FangLing clenched her fists and teeth but couldn't keep on her feet as she crumpled to the ground. The dirt was hot; salty, hot and bitter. Her tears tasted just the same. Before she pitied herself, but now, she hated herself. She hated herself to the point of madness, she hated herself to death. She wished that the earth would just split open and swallow her whole. Before she wanted to destroy the people who had abandoned her, now she only wanted to destroy herself.

    ________________________________________

    The rays of the sun shined onto the street. Not a single figure was on the street, but behind the cracks of doors and the slits of windows, numerous eyes peered out cautiously at a single person.

    At Lu XiaoJia.

    He was bathing in a giant wooden tub over six feet tall that lay in the middle of the street. The water was quite deep, when he stood inside the top of his head was fully submerged. A set of brand new garments as white as snow was folded neatly on a wooden plank beside the tub. His sword rested there as well, along with a large bag of peanuts.

    He only had to reach out to grab his sword, he only had to reach out to grab his peanuts. Just then, he reached for a peanut, cracked it open, and tossed it into the air. As soon as the peanut fell into his mouth, a look of cheerful satisfaction came over his face.

    The sun was burning hot, the water was steaming as well, but there wasn't a single bead of sweat on his face. As if the water wasn't hot enough, he called out, "Hot water, more hot water." Two people immediately came rushing forth from the narrow doors carrying pots. One of them was Ding LaoSi, the other was Hu JiShou. He sported two rat-like whiskers over his mouth, he was the shopkeep of the foodstuffs store. His appearance really was like that of a food pilfering rat.

    "Why is it only you two? Where is the one surnamed Chen?"

    "He'll be here any moment now, he probably went to find you a woman like you had requested. There aren't many women around these parts." Shopkeeper Hu said.

    As soon as his words were finished, he suddenly saw a woman that was definitely worth seeing.

    She strolled along to the ringing of bells. Her laughter was just as pleasing to the ears as the ringing of bells. The rays of the sun reflected off her entire body in an exquisite golden glow, yet her skin still looked as white as snow. She had on a thin white gown. When the wind blew, men's hearts would undoubtedly stop. Her soft, fine hands and long, delicate fingers were holding on to another man's hand.

    Shopkeeper Hu couldn't help but stare. All the pairs of eyes behind the windows and doors couldn't help but stare as well.

    They all could somewhat recognize that this was the same girl that was so incredibly 'fond' of Lu XiaoJia. But none of them would have imagined that she would be holding on tightly to Ye Kai's hand and that she would suddenly show up here. A woman's heart can change rather quickly, but not as quick as this?

    Ding LingLin could care less what anyone else thought. There was no one else in her eyes except for Ye Kai. She smiled at him and said, "Today is a perfect day for killing humans, yet why do some people choose to kill swine instead?"

    "Kill swine?" Ye Kai replied.

    "Why else would you need to much scalding hot water?" Ding LingLin asked.

    Ye Kai smiled, "I've heard that you need scalding hot water when giving birth as well."

    "Strange, the instant this baby was born, it's already fully grown."

    "Could it be a demon?"

    Ding LingLin nodded sarcastically and replied, "It must be some kind of monster."

    Someone from behind one the doors couldn't help but let out a chuckle. But that chuckle quickly turned into a frightened gasp. A peanut shell flew through the small open crack of his door and knocked out his front two teeth.

    The expression on Lu XiaoJia's face was as cold as iron. He looked as if he was sitting in freezing water as he stared at Ding LingLin and said, "So it is the lethal Miss Ding."

    Ding LingLin's eyes moved as she replied alluringly, "Lethal is such a harsh word, why don't you refer to me by something a little more pleasant?"

    "I should have figured it was you, there aren't many people who dare to impersonate my name." Lu XiaoJia said.

    "Actually, your name doesn't sound very pleasant either. I always wondered why people referred to you as the 'Plum Blossom Deer'." Ding LingLin replied.

    "Perhaps because the antlers on a deer are extremely sharp, and can kill anyone that they touch." Lu XiaoJia said.

    "Maybe they should call you the 'Great Water Ox' instead. Aren't their horns even sharper?" Ding LingLin replied.

    Lu XiaoJia lowered his head. He realized that trading words back and forth with women was a futile act, so he suddenly changed the subject and asked, "How is your eldest brother?"

    Ding LingLin smiled and replied, "He's always been very well. Just recently, he won a fine new sword from dueling with the 'Flying Whale Swordsman' of the Southern Seas. You know how much he adores fine swords."

    "And your second brother?"

    "Of course he's doing well also. Just recently, he raided the 'Wind Tiger Hall' in Hebei and left the entire place a mess. He also cleaved off the heads of the three tigers. You know how much he enjoys killing bandits." Ding LingLin replied.

    "Your third brother?"

    "He's doing the best out of them all. He competed with the NanGong brothers of GuSu for three days straight in the fields of song, chess, palms and swords. He came out victorious and went home with thirty jugs of finely aged 'Lady Red Wine' from the NanGong family cellars as well as a band of young female singers. You know how much Third Master Ding enjoys fine women and fine wine." Ding LingLin said.

    "And what does your brother-in-law like?" Lu XiaoJia asked.

    "That would be my sister of course."

    "How many sisters do you have?"

    "Not many, only six. Surely you've heard of the Family Ding, Three Swordsman and Seven Angels."

    Lu XiaoJia suddenly laughed and replied, "Very good."

    Ding LingLin glared at him and asked, "What?"

    "What I meant was, it's good that there are many females and very few males in the Ding family."

    "What's so good about that?"

    "You should know that I'm not fond of killing women." Lu XiaoJia said.

    "Oh?"

    "I only have to kill three people then."

    Ding LingLin seemed very amused and replied, "Are you preparing to kill my three brothers?"

    "You only have three brothers, correct?"

    Ding LingLin let out a sigh and said, "This isn't good."

    "What?" Lu XiaoJia said.

    "None of them are here right now, of course it isn't good."

    "And if they were?" Lu XiaoJia asked.

    "If any one of them were here, you'd be a corpse by now." Ding LingLin replied.

    Lu XiaoJia stared at her. His eyes slowly shifted from her face to the pile of peanuts. It seemed as if he had finally found something pleasing to his eyes, so he looked very satisfied with himself. Even those two sharp eyes of his started to soften.

    He picked one up, cracked it open, and tossed it into the air. The peanut glistened with a distinct luster under the sun's rays. He followed the peanut as it fell into his mouth and closed his eyes. Then, he let out a breath and started to chew slowly.

    Warm sun. Warm water. Sweet peanuts. He found everything very pleasing.

    Ding LingLin was not pleased at all. This all resembled a play, and this play was supposed to continue on. She had even carefully planned how the rest of it would end. Who would have guessed that Lu XiaoJia was such a lousy actor? It was as if he had completely forgotten the rest of the script and refused to go on. It was definitely frustrating.

    Ding LingLin let out a sigh and turned towards Ye Kai, "By now, you should be able to see for yourself just what kind of person he is."

    Ye Kai nodded his head and replied, "He really is a smart man."

    "A smart man?" Ding LingLin asked.

    "A smart man knows that it's much better to use your mouth to chew peanuts than to argue with woman." Ye Kai replied.

    Ding LingLin was itching to use her mouth to bite him.

    If Ye Kai had called Lu XiaoJia deaf or cowardly, then the show could've continued. Who knew that Ye Kai was such a lousy actor as well, totally uncooperative with her intentions.

    When Lu XiaoJia finished chewing on that peanut, he sighed deeply and said, "So it turns out that women enjoy watching men bathe, why else would she still be here?"

    Ding LingLin stamped her feet, tugged at Ye Kai's hand as her face blushed red and said, "Let's go!"

    Ye Kai followed her away. When they turned their heads, they saw Lu XiaoJia laughing, laughing very heartily.

    Ding LingLin gritted her teeth and dug her nails into Ye Kai's hand.

    "Does your hand hurt?" Ye Kai asked.

    "No it doesn't." Ding LingLin replied.

    "Then why does my hand hurt so much?" Ye Kai said.

    "Because you're an idiot, you never say what you're supposed to." Ding LingLin replied angrily.

    "I never say what I'm not supposed to either." Ye Kai said with a bitter smile.

    "You knew what I wanted you to say?"

    "Anything I could've said would've been useless."

    "Why's that?"

    "Because Lu XiaoJia knew that we were trying to antagonize him, and he better than to let it bother him."

    "How are you so sure that he's that clever?"

    "Because if he wasn't, he'd be a dead deer by now."

    "You seem to admire him quite a bit." Ding LingLin said with a cold smile.

    "But he's not the one I admire most."

    "Who is?"

    "I am."

    Ding LingLin couldn't help but laugh, "I can't think of a single admirable trait of yours."

    "There is at least one."

    "And what's that?"

    "When people scratch me with their fingernails, I don't seem to notice at all."

    Ding LingLin finally couldn't help but smile affectionately. She suddenly felt very satisfied with how everything turned out.

    She didn't even notice the pair of eyes that were staring right at them.

    Ma FangLing's eyes were filled with hateful jealousy as they walked towards Chen DaGuan's embroidery shop. They had chosen to wait there. They would wait there for Fu HongXue to arrive. They would wait there for that frightful duel to unfold.

    Ding LingLin was somewhat upset that she was missing the chance to buy a couple new sets of clothes. Very few women could ever pass up the chance to buy new clothes.

    Ma FangLing stared at their hands holding on tightly to each other, it felt like their hands were strangling her heart. How come no one had ever held her hand like that? She detested herself, she detested the fact that she never had another person's affection.

    The corner of the walls was very dimly lit, not even the sunlight reached it. She felt like an orphan that had been abandoned by her parents at birth.

    The hot water had arrived.

    Lu XiaoJia watched as Shopkeeper Hu of the foodstuffs store poured hot water into the tub.

    "Why hasn't the person arrived yet?"

    "What person?" Shopkeeper Hu smiled coyly.

    "The person you all wanted me to kill."

    "He will be here."

    "Him alone is not enough."

    "Who else do you want to come?"

    "A woman."

    "I was just about to look for Chen DaGuan."

    Lu XiaoJia did not bother to reply. His eyes were focused on Shopkeeper Hu's hand. Although they were yellow and wrinkled, they were very steady. The pail full of water seemed as if it was empty as he carried and poured it into the tub quite effortlessly.

    Lu XiaoJia let out a laugh and said, "Everyone thinks you're the shopkeeper of the foodstuffs store. Are you really?"

    "Of course ..." Shopkeeper Hu mumbled.

    "But you don't look like it one bit." He suddenly lowered his voice and said, "I don't think you people needed to invite me here at all."

    "Why's that?"

    "When you people needed someone dead before, you did the killing yourselves."

    The pail was empty, but the hand holding it up was still in the air. Finally, the pair of hands were lowered as Shopkeeper Hu voice lowered as well, "We invited you here to kill, we didn't invite you here to interrogate us about our backgrounds."

    Lu XiaoJia nodded his head and smiled, "That makes sense."

    "The price that you set forth, we have paid in full. And not one of us dared to ask about your background."

    "But what about the woman I requested?"

    "Woman ..."

    Before shopkeeper Hu could finish his words, a loud voice interrupted, "That depends on what kind of woman you are looking for."

    It was the voice of a woman. Lu XiaoJia turned his head and saw a girl walk towards him from behind the wall. A beautiful, young girl, but her eyes were filled with sadness and hatred.

    Ma FangLing walked towards the middle of the street. The sunlight shined upon her face. Her face carried an extremely weird expression. Her expression was like someone who was being suffocated.

    Lu XiaoJia's eyes went from her feet to her eyes and finally to her mouth. Her lips looked soft and moist, like a piece of ripe fruit.

    "You're asking me what kind of woman I want?" Lu XiaoJia said with a smile.

    Ma FangLing nodded her head.

    "You're exactly the type of woman I want. You of course should know that."

    "Then the woman you want is already here."

    "You?"

    "Yes, me."

    Lu XiaoJia smiled.

    "You think I'm lying to you?"

    "Of course you wouldn't lie to me, but you should at least smile for me first."

    So Ma FangLing smiled. No one could deny that she was smiling. Lu XiaoJia furrowed his eyebrows.

    "You're still not satisfied?"

    Lu XiaoJia sighed and replied, "I was never fond of women who looked like they were crying when they smiled."

    Ma FangLing bit down on her lips. After a while, she replied softly, "Although I might not smile well, I can do other things much better."

    "What else can you do?"

    "What else would you like me to do?"

    Lu XiaoJia stared at her. Suddenly, he picked up a towel from inside the tub and threw it towards her. All Ma FangLing could do was catch.

    "Do you know what that is used for?" Lu XiaoJia asked.

    Ma FangLing shook her head.

    "It's for scrubbing backs."

    Ma FangLing looked at the towel in her hands and started to tremble. She was trembling so hard that the towel slipped out of her hands. But she quickly picked it back up and held on to it tightly. It seemed as if she was grasping on to it with all the strength in her body, green veins bulged out from the back of her hand. But she was determined not to let it slip out of her hands this time. She wouldn't let anything slip out of her hands ever again. She had already lost too much.

    Lu XiaoJia was still staring at her sharply, as if he was trying to pierce into her heart.

    She bit down on her teeth and said, "I have one more thing to ask."

    "I'm not fond of talkative women, but I'll let you ask just this once."

    "Now that the woman you want is already here, why is the person you're supposed to kill still alive?"

    "You don't want him to live?"

    Ma FangLing nodded her head.

    "You came, because you wanted me to kill him?"

    Ma FangLing nodded her head.

    Lu XiaoJia laughed, "Rest assured, I guarantee that he won't be alive for much longer."

    - END CHAPTER 24 -
    Last edited by bliss; 03-28-06 at 11:37 PM.
    明月心跳起來,又回頭,嫣然道,你還要不要我帶上那面具?
    傅紅雪冷道,現在你臉上豈非已經戴上了個面具?

  5. #225
    Senior Member fastclock's Avatar
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    Thanks bliss,

    Everytime you update, there are pieces of the puzzle that click, and I got more detailed view of Ye Kai/Fu Hongxue's mozaic.

    I know I've read this book, but how come it's so blurry today, like I don't remember anything... Either I didn't read the book properly the first time or the translation/printing was so bad that I just "flew" across the pages.

  6. #226
    Senior Member rayon's Avatar
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    Ooh, that was fun.
    "It's good to know what you don't know." - The Twit

    Xiao Shiyi Lang Book 2 - plodding thru Chap 27

  7. #227
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    Translation of chapter 24 has been completed in its original post. Ma FangLing is becoming more and more pitiable, no?
    明月心跳起來,又回頭,嫣然道,你還要不要我帶上那面具?
    傅紅雪冷道,現在你臉上豈非已經戴上了個面具?

  8. #228
    Senior Member rayon's Avatar
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    I've always liked tragic characters. But not pitiable characters. Pitiable characters deserve just that - pity. But I do so love this story. I've never read any Gu Long novel translation that held my attention for this long. How many chapters is this? Master Biss, I'm thinking I'm going to read this to the very end. <hint>don't stop translating</hint>
    "It's good to know what you don't know." - The Twit

    Xiao Shiyi Lang Book 2 - plodding thru Chap 27

  9. #229
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    Hope I don't spoil it for the readers but

    .
    .
    .
    .
    *spoiler alert*

    .
    .
    don't look if you don;t want to.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .


    The damn fight between Lu Xiao Jia and FXH never happens right?

  10. #230
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    There are 46 chapters total, we're more than halfway through. About Ma Fangling, other than her being brash and arrogant, what else did she do wrong? Deep down she seems really naive and innocent and is such a victim here. I think the way I pity her is kind of like how I pitied Lin Xianer. I actually kind of hoped Ah Fei would take her back at the end and she would genuinely change for the better. But alas, anyway, you know I can't give away any spoilers Humplewumps!

    Chapter 25 Preview - One Sword Shakes All Four Directions

    Fu HongXue and Lu XiaoJia finally meet face to face!
    明月心跳起來,又回頭,嫣然道,你還要不要我帶上那面具?
    傅紅雪冷道,現在你臉上豈非已經戴上了個面具?

  11. #231
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    Default Chapter 25 - One Sword Shakes All Four Directions

    Blazing heat.

    It was never supposed to be this hot after a long rain.

    Beads of sweat trickled down everyone's necks and onto their shirts making them look transparent. A large chameleon crawled about the rocky gravel as if it was looking for shade. The fields of grass that had just been drenched in the rain looked as if they were being dried up by the sun.

    Even the wind was hot. The winds that blew in from the grasslands felt like demons from Hell breathing on them.

    It was only slightly more bearable indoors.

    A counter three feet wide was stacked with bolts and bolts of brightly colored silk and satin, and sets and sets of fully tailored garments. Ye Kai sat on a bench to the side with outstretched legs and watched lazily as Ding LingLin perused through the shop.

    There were two attendants in the shop. One was relatively older and stood with hands at his side. The other was much younger and had already slipped to the front of the store to see what was going on outside.

    The two of them had been in this business for quite a while. They knew that women shouldn't be bothered with opinions and suggestions when they were browsing through clothes.

    Ding LingLin picked out a light green dress, put it against her body, then put it back down. She let out a sigh and remarked, "Who would've thought that they have so much in stock here."

    "People usually complain about there being little variety, you're complaining about there being too much?" Ye Kai said.

    Ding LingLin nodded her head and replied, "The more choices there are, the harder it is for me to make up my mind. If there were only a few for sale, I could just buy them all."

    "Isn't that the truth." Ye Kai sighed.

    "Because the Madame and Young Misses from the 'Hall of Ten-Thousand Horses' frequently patronize our store, we have no choice but to keep a large selection in stock. We truly regret this very much." the young attendant explained.

    Ding LingLin couldn't help but laugh, "Why should you regret this, it's not your fault."

    "The patron is always right. If you think that we have too much in stock, then it is our fault." the elder attendant chimed in.

    "You guys really know how to run a business, looks like I have no other choice but to buy something." Ding LingLin replied.

    The younger attendant at the entrance let out a sigh and said, "I would've never thought, I really would've never thought ..."

    "You would've never thought what?" Ding LingLin asked.

    He looked slightly startled as he turned to her and said, "Sorry, I wouldn't dare question such things."

    "Question what things?" Ding LingLin asked.

    "I just never would've imagined that Miss Ma would actually be scrubbing someone else's back." the youngster replied.

    "Miss Ma?"

    "The beloved daughter of the Third Boss of the 'Hall of Ten-Thousand Horses'"

    "The one dressed all in red?"

    "The Third Boss only has one such daughter."

    "Whose back is she scrubbing?"

    "It's ... it's that gentleman who was bathing in the middle of the street."

    Ding LingLin's eyes lit up and suddenly turned to look at Ye Kai. His eyes were closed and he seemed to have dozed off.

    "Hey, did you hear what he just said?" Ding LingLin asked him.

    "Mmm." Ye Kai replied.

    "Your good friend is scrubbing someone else's back, don't you want to go take a look?"

    "Mmm."

    "What's that supposed to mean?"

    Ye Kai let out a yawn and replied, "If it was a man scrubbing a woman's back, before you even told me I would've gone to take a look. But a woman scrubbing a man's back is perfectly normal, what's there to look at?"

    Ding LingLin stared at him and finally couldn't help but smile.

    The young attendant sighed and said, "I think I know why Miss Ma would degrade herself like this."

    "Oh?"

    "Miss Ma is doing all of this for the Third Boss."

    "How so?"

    "The cripple is the Third Boss' mortal enemy. She is afraid that the Third Boss has gotten old in his years and won't be a match for him."

    "So she willingly degrades herself in hopes that Lu XiaoJia will kill the cripple for her?"

    "She really is a filial daughter." the attendant sighed.

    Ding LingLin smiled coldly and remarked, "Maybe she just enjoys scrubbing men's backs."

    The younger attendant was shocked and looked like he wanted to say something. But the elder attendant shot him a look and he lowered his head.

    Just then, the sound of horse hooves filled the air. It was obvious from the rumbling that it was more than just one person.

    Ding LingLin's eyes darted around as she said, "Go outside and take a look and tell me who has come to town."

    Although the younger attendant seemed very displeased with her, he still obliged and went outside.

    "They are old masters from the 'Hall of Ten-Thousand Horses'."

    "How many?"

    "At least forty or fifty."

    Ding LingLin fell silent and glanced at Ye Kai from the corner of her eyes. "Do you think they've come to help? Or just to watch the show?"

    Ye Kai let out another sigh and replied, "That depends on whether they're idiots or smart men."

    "So if they came to help, then they would be idiots?" Ding LingLin said.

    "Complete idiots." Ye Kai replied. "Only complete idiots would pass up on such a good show."

    Ding LingLin let out a laugh and said, "So you're really interested in seeing whether Fu HongXue's sabre is faster or Lu XiaoJia's sword is faster, eh?"

    "Even if I had to wait for three days, it'd be worth it." Ye Kai replied.

    "That's why you're not an idiot."

    "Definitely not."

    By now the streets had gradually filled with all sorts of noises, coughing, and muttering, but the majority of the people were sighing with pity or gasping in surprise. Many people were astounded and shocked at watching Miss Ma scrub another person's back. But not a single person dared to interfere.

    There really were very few idiots in this world.

    Suddenly, all the clamoring came to a complete halt. Even the wind seemed to have stopped.

    The two attendants in the shop suddenly felt an inexplicable pressure pushing up against them and felt as if they were suffocating.

    Ding LingLin's eyes lit up, "He has arrived, he has finally arrived ..."

    No one moved. No one made a sound.

    Everyone felt that overwhelming sense of pressure choking them such that they could barely breathe.

    "He has arrived, he has finally arrived ..."

    Blistering sun. Blazing heat.

    The wind blew in from the grasslands. This person came from the grasslands as well.

    The dirt on the street was parched and cracked. He slowly walked up, his left foot took a small step forward, then his right foot dragged along from behind. Every single person was staring right at him. The sun was shining right on his face.

    His face was completely pale white, like the snow and ice atop a faraway peak. But his eyes were filled with fire, his eyes were staring right at Ma FangLing.

    Ma FangLing's hand stopped. The towel was still dripping wet with water. Her heart was dripping with blood.

    One drop, two drops ... sorrow, anger, humiliation, hatred.

    "Why haven't you left yet? Why are you still here?"

    "I can't leave, because I want to watch him die, in front of my very eyes!"

    Her heart was struggling and fighting, but there wasn't a single trace of emotion on her face.

    Fu HongXue's eyes had shifted to Lu XiaoJia. Lu XiaoJia didn't even cast him a glance. Instead, he waved towards Ding LaoSi and Shopkeeper Hu. They could only oblige.

    "The person that you want me to kill, he is the one?"

    Ding LaoSi hesistated and looked towards Shopkeeper Hu. They then both nodded their heads.

    "He's really the one you want me to kill?"

    "Certainly." Ding LaoSi replied.

    Lu XiaoJia let out a laugh and said, "Fine, then I will certainly kill him for you."

    He reached out and picked up his sword. Fu HongXue immediately clenched the hand that held onto his sabre.

    Lu XiaoJia still hadn't looked at him as he glanced over his sword and said, "I always carry out what I promise."

    "Certainly." Ding LaoSi said.

    "So you're confident?" Lu XiaoJia asked.

    "Of course." Ding LaoSi replied.

    Lu XiaoJia sighed lightly and said, "Since the two of you are confident, then the two of you can die now."

    "What did you say?"

    "I said, the two of you can die now."

    He suddenly waved his sword around. It swung out very slowly, and didn't seem like it was thrusting at anyone at all. As Ding LaoSi slowly followed the sword with his eyes, his face suddenly fell stiff. Then, his entire body fell stiff.

    Everyone stared in shock at his face, no one knew what had just happened. Then, Ding LaoSi's body fell over. As he fell to the floor, a stream of blood shot out from his stomach.

    Then, everyone realized that there was another sword inside the tub, and it was dripping with blood. As Ding LaoSi was watching the sword in Lu XiaoJia's right hand, the sword in Lu XiaoJia's left hand struck from the tub and pierced into his stomach.

    Just then, Shopkeeper Hu fell over as well. A stream of blood gushed out from his throat.

    The sword in Lu XiaoJia's right hand was dripping with blood as well now. When Shopkeeper Hu finally realized there was another sword in Lu XiaoJia's left hand, the wandering sword in his right hand suddenly changed directions and shot out like lightning. Before he could even realize what had happened, the sword had already entered his throat.

    No one moved. No one made a sound. No one even dared to breathe.

    Blood was still dripping from the point of his swords. As he watched the drops of blood hit the floor, Lu XiaoJia sighed and said, "In my line of work, even when I'm bathing, I would leave an extra sword around. At least now the two of you will understand this."

    "But I don't understand." Ma FangLing suddenly asked.

    "You don't understand why I killed them?" Lu XiaoJia said.

    Of course Ma FangLing didn't understand, "They're not the ones you're supposed to kill!"

    Lu XiaoJia let out a laugh and turned his head. He finally laid his eyes on Fu HongXue.

    "Do you understand?"

    Of course Fu HongXue didn't understand either. No one understood.

    "They didn't really invite me here to kill you. They merely wanted to ambush you while we exchanged blows with each other." Lu XiaoJia explained.

    Fu HongXue still didn't understand very clearly.

    "Their plan was good. No one would able to evade a barrage of hidden weapons if they're engaged in a duel with me. Especially if they were shot out from inside this tub."

    "Inside the tub?" Fu HongXue asked.

    Suddenly, there was a loud *PENG* that came from inside the tub. Then, the tub completely shattered and burst open. Water splashed in every direction, under the reflection of the sun it looked like a silvery gleam of light.

    Just then, another figure actually ran out from the tub. This person was extremely quick, but Lu XiaoJia's sword was even quicker. His sword flashed and what followed was a wretched shriek.

    Another stream of blood filled the streets. Another person fell to the floor. It was actually the 'Golden-Backed Dragon'!"

    No one dared to make a sound. No one dared to take a breath. His wretched shriek was carried away by the scorching winds that blew in from the grasslands.

    After who knows how long, Ding LingLin finally let out a deep sigh and remarked, "What an extremely fast sword!"

    Ye Kai nodded his head. He apparently agreed.

    No one could deny it. Pieces of metal forged into swords, upon entering Lu XiaoJia's hands, were no longer just swords. They became striking vipers, bolts of lightning that emanated from the depths of hell.

    "Even I somewhat admire him now." Ding LingLin sighed.

    "Oh?" Ye Kai said.

    "He might not be a smart man, or a good man, but he is definitely a formidable swordsman." Ding LingLin said.

    The last drop of blood had finally dripped to the floor. Lu XiaoJia's gaze shifted from the blade of his sword upwards towards Fu HongXue.

    "Now do you understand?"

    Fu HongXue nodded his head. Of course he understood now, everyone understood.

    There was an empty compartment under the tub, perfectly suited to fit this person inside of it. After the tub was filled with water, no one could tell how deep it was. Lu XiaoJia wasn't standing up straight as well, so no one would've guessed that there was another compartment under the tub. So if the 'Golden-Backed Dragon' had unleashed his hidden weapons from there, Fu HongXue would've never expected it, even in his dreams.

    "So now you should know that I bathe not because I loathe being dirty, but because someone paid me five thousand taels of silver." Lu XiaoJia let out a laugh and continued, "Even Ye Kai would be willing to take a bath for five thousand taels."

    Ye Kai let out a smile.

    Fu HongXue's expression was still pale and cold as ice. Under the blazing sun, there still wasn't a single drop of sweat on his head.

    "Even I thought that their plan was pretty good. But they misjudged one thing."

    Fu HongXue couldn't help but ask, "What?"

    "Me." Lu XiaoJia replied.

    "Oh?"

    "I've killed before, and I will always kill. I'm fond of money as well. For five thousand taels of silver I'd be willing to take a bath anytime and anywhere." Lu XiaoJia laughed as he continued, "But I detest being used by others. And I detest anyone who thinks they can use me as their tool."

    Fu HongXue let out a long sigh. The ice in his eyes slowly started to melt.

    "If I were to kill someone, I will do the killing myself." Lu XiaoJia said.

    "That is a good habit." Fu HongXue replied.

    "I have a lot of other good habits."

    "Oh?"

    "Another habit I have is that I never swallow my own words."

    "So I've heard."

    "So I still have to kill you."

    "But I don't want to kill you."

    "Why?"

    "Because I never enjoyed killing your type."

    "And what type of person am I?"

    "The comical type."

    Lu XiaoJia looked startled, "I'm comical?"

    He's been labeled many different nasty things, but never has anyone called him comical!

    "I've always felt that people who bathe with their pants on are even more comical than people who pull down their pants to fart." Fu HongXue said.

    Ye Kai couldn't hold in his laughter. Neither could Ding LingLin.

    A grown man wearing nothing but a pair of wet trousers was indeed a comical sight. At the very least, this wasn't the kind of person you would expect that could kill.

    Lu XiaoJia suddenly smiled and said, "Amusing, very amusing! Who would've thought that you would be this amusing. I've always been fond of people like you."

    Then, he suddenly dropped his voice and proclaimed, "But it's a pity that I still have to take your life!"

    "At this very moment?"

    "At this very moment!"

    "In those wet trousers?"

    "Even if I wasn't wearing trousers at all."

    "Very good." Fu HongXue exclaimed.

    "Very good?" Lu XiaoJia asked.

    "I felt that it would be a pity to let this opportunity slip as well." Fu HongXue replied.

    "What opportunity?"

    "The opportunity to kill me."

    "I only have the opportunity to kill you right now?" Lu XiaoJia asked.

    "Because right now you know that I don't want to kill you!" Fu HongXue replied.

    "What do you mean by that?" Lu XiaoJia asked as the expression on his face changed.

    "I just want to let you know that I never swallow my words either." Fu HongXue said.

    Lu XiaoJia stared at him, a strange expression came over his face.

    Fu HongXue's face was completely emotionless.

    Then, Lu XiaoJia began to laugh.

    There was a leather pouch underneath his pile of clothes. He pried it open with his sword and fetched two bank notes from within. One was worth ten thousand taels of silver, the other was worth five thousand taels of silver.

    "Although I haven't killed the person, I have taken the bath. So I'll be keeping these five thousand taels. But as for these ten thousand taels, I'll be returning it to you."

    Lu XiaoJia tossed the bank note onto Ding LaoSi's body and said, "I'm deeply sorry, it's difficult for anyone not to break their word once in awhile. I'm sure you all will not blame me."

    Of course they wouldn't blame him. Dead people couldn't open their mouths.

    Lu XiaoJia picked up his pouch with the tip of his sword and went on his way without another word. He didn't even cast another glance at Fu HongXue or Ma FangLing. Everyone could only watch in amazement as he strolled off.

    But as he passed by Ye Kai, his feet immediately stopped. Ye Kai was still smiling.

    Lu XiaoJia looked him up and down and let out a laugh, "Do you know why I kept these five thousand taels?"

    "No I don't." Ye Kai replied.

    Lu XiaoJia passed the note towards him and said, "To give to you."

    "To give to me? What for?"

    "Because I want to beg something of you."

    "What's that?"

    "I'm begging you to take a bath. If you don't bathe for much longer, I think your stench will suffocate me to death."

    He didn't let Ye Kai reply as he turned and walked away. Ye Kai stared at the bank note in his hands and didn't know whether to be angry or happy.

    Ding LingLin couldn't help but laugh, "Whatever the case, taking a bath for five thousand taels will always be a deal worth doing."

    Ye Kai frowned playfully and replied, "You really admire him don't you?"

    Ding LingLin winked and said, "But the person I admire most isn't him."

    "Is it yourself?" Ye Kai asked.

    "No, it's you." Ding LingLin replied.

    "So you admire me as well?"

    Ding LingLin nodded her head and said, "Because there is actually a man in this world willing to pay five thousand taels of silver for you to take a bath."

    Ye Kai wanted to burst out in laughter, but he held it in. Because just then, the sounds of crying filled his ears.

    They were the sounds of Ma FangLing's tears. She had been trying to hold it in for quite a while, she was using all the strength in her body to control herself. But she had reached her limit and couldn't help but cry out at the top of her lungs. She was overflowing with sadness and anger, because it seemed like she was always the one being insulted and hurt.

    As she was crying, Fu HongXue walked right past her. But he didn't turn his head, he didn't even cast her a single glance. It was as if he was walking past the 'Golden-Backed Dragon's' corpse.

    All the horse masters from the 'Hall of Ten-Thousand Horses' were standing to the side. Some had their heads down, others were looking away at other things. They were all tough and rugged men, but upon seeing the Hall Master's daughter being completely disgraced, they all pretended as if nothing had happened.

    Ma FangLing suddenly rushed over to them and pointed at Fu HongXue as he was walking away and hissed, "Do you all know who he is? He is the mortal enemy of the Hall Master. He is the murderer who took the lives of your beloved comrades."

    Still, no one said a word. Still, no one laid a single eye on her. All of their eyes were on the weathered face of a middle-aged man. They all called him Old Jiao, because he was the eldest of the middle-aged horse masters. He seemed to have spent his entire life serving the 'Hall of Ten-Thousand Horses'. The best years of his life were spent on the back of a horse. His legs were crooked and his back was arched. His two eyes which used to be so full of life were seeped in red veins from a lifetime of alcohol. Every night when he slept on his cold and hard bed, he always wished he could run off and pursue other things. But he really had no other place to go, all he had known for his entire life was the 'Hall of Ten-Thousand Horses'.

    The first time that Ma FangLing mounted a horse, he was the one who helped her up. Now, she stared at him and screamed, "Old Jiao, you've been with my father longer than anyone, how come you still haven't said anything yet?"

    Old Jiao's eyes looked full of resentment and grief as well, but he managed to hold it all in. After quite a while, he let out a sigh and replied, "I have nothing left to say."

    "Why?" Ma FangLing asked.

    Old Jiao clenched his fists and gritted his teeth as he responded, "I am no longer part of the 'Hall of Ten-Thousand Horses'."

    "Who said?" Ma FangLing questioned.

    "The Third Boss." Old Jiao said.

    Ma FangLing was startled.

    "He gave us each a fine steed and three hundred taels of silver, then told us all to leave." Old Jiao explained.

    Ma FangLing stared at him blankly as her feet started to retreat several steps. She had nothing left to say as well.

    Ye Kai was listening attentively the whole time, he finally uttered, "Not good."

    "What's wrong?" Ding LingLin asked.

    Ye Kai shook his head left and right without saying a word. Suddenly, he caught sight of a thick cloude of smoke billowing towards the sky. It came from where the grand flag of the 'Hall of Ten-Thousand Horses' stood!

    Dense smoke. Raging flames.

    By the time Ye Kai and everyone else had raced over, the 'Hall of Ten-Thousand Horses' had already been engulfed in a sea of flames. The air was quite dry, once the blaze ignited, it was uncontainable. Adding to the flames was the presence of oil - the kind that existed only in the barren wilderness, the kind that was so easily combustible.

    The fire must have started simultaneously in twenty or thirty places. Once it caught blaze, the whole area was immediately inundated in flames. The horses were all in a panic and neighed desperately as they tried to find a way out of the raging inferno. Some were lucky enough to rush out in time but the majority of them suffocated to death.

    The stench of burnt flesh emanated from the unrelenting blaze.

    The 'Hall of Ten-Thousand Horses' was destroyed, completely destroyed.

    "The person who destroyed it was also the person who created it."

    Ye Kai could imagine Ma KongQun standing in the flames with a cold smile mocking, "This is my empire, I will never let anyone snatch it out of my hands!"

    Now, he really had delivered on his promise. Now, the 'Hall of Ten-Thousand Horses' would forever belong to him.

    The fire was still blazing, but the palms of Ye Kai's hands were filled with cold sweat.

    Who could understand what he felt at the moment, who could comprehend what was on his mind?

    Ding LingLin let out a sigh and said, "Since he can't have it, he destroyed it so that no one else can. Maybe his actions aren't completely unreasonable."

    Her pale white complexion shined red from the reflection of the flames. Suddenly, something caught her eye as she exclaimed, "Strange, why is there a little kid here?"

    The blaze painted the entire sky red like a transparent slab of amber. The blood red sun hung motionlessly in the middle of the amber. Suddenly, the winds kicked up. Wherever there was fire, there always happened to be wind. Patches of grass that hadn't caught fire waved back and forth in the distance. Yellow columns of sand blew in from the distance and vanished in the flames. The vomit inducing neighs of horses dying could still be heard.

    Under the blood red sun, in a patch of long grass, there really was a young child standing in the middle. He watched as the merciless flames completely wiped out his home. His tears looked as if they evaporated from the heat. He looked completely numb.

    XiaoHu Zi.

    The child was Ma KongQun's young son.

    Ye Kai rushed over to him and asked, "You ... what are you doing here?"

    XiaoHu Zi turned his head to look at Ye Kai. He softly replied, "I was waiting for you."

    "My father told me to wait for you here. He knew that you would come."

    "Where is he now?" Ye Kai couldn't help but ask.

    "He left ... he already left ..." XiaoHu Zi said.

    Traces of sadness and grief started to appear on this young child's face. He looked like he was on the verge of tears, but managed to hold it all in.

    Ye Kai tried to console him by taking his hand. "When did he leave?"

    "He left long ago."

    "He went alone?"

    XiaoHu Zi shook his head.

    "Who was with him?"

    "Third Aunt."

    "Third Madame Shen?"

    XiaoHu Zi nodded his head as his lips started to quiver. "He brought Thid Aunt with him, but he left me here. He ... he ..."

    Before the child could finish his words, he erupted into tears. His cries were filled with sadness, helplessness and anger. There was also an unmistakable hint of fear and dread in his eyes. After all, he was still just a child.

    Ye Kai couldn't help but feel pained as he watched him cry. Ding LingLin had started to help wipe away XiaoHu Zi's tears as they streamed down his cheeks.

    The child suddenly leapt into Ye Kai's chest and wailed, "My father told me to wait for you, he told me you had promised him that you would take good care of me. And my sister too ... right? Right?"

    How could Ye Kai say no?

    Ding LingLin pulled him aside and said softly, "Don't worry, I promise that he will definitely take care of you."

    XiaoHu Zi looked at her, then lowered his head and asked, "What about my sister? Will he take care of my sister too?"

    Ding LingLin had no way of answering, all she could do was smile weakly.

    Ye Kai just realized that Ma FangLing was nowhere in sight.

    Fu HongXue as well.

    The sun had started to sink to the west.

    Although the fire was still burning, it had finally started to weaken.

    The winds hissed from the west. The evening sky slowly crept overhead.

    The once prominent 'GuanDong Hall of Ten-Thousand Horses' was now nothing but a memory. When the flames subsided, all that would be left would be a couple of graves and a vast expanse of scorched earth.

    And the founder of this once magnificent establishment was nowhere to be found.

    What had caused all this?

    Hatred!

    Sometimes, not even love could match the power of hatred.

    Fu HongXue's heart was filled with hatred. He hated himself the same way -- perhaps the person he hated most was himself.

    The long street was empty. At least, he couldn't see another living soul on the street. Everyone had rushed off to the scene of the fire. They were all scared that the fire would spread to the village. They all feared that their village would end up like the 'Golden-Backed Dragon's' corpse - dry and shriveled up.

    Fu HongXue walked along the street alone. His left foot took a step forward, and his right foot dragged along from behind. Although he walked rather slowly, nothing could make him stop.

    "Maybe I should look for a horse."

    Just as that thought crossed his mind, he caught sight of a person walking out slowly from the small alley. A delicate yet beautiful woman carrying a large bag in her hands.

    Cui Nong.

    A sharp pain filled Fu HongXue's heart, because he had already decided to forget about her. Ever since he found out about her line of work in Xiao BieLi's hall, he decided that he would totally forget about her. But she was still the only woman in his life.

    It looked as if she was waiting for him. She slowly lowered her head and asked, "You're leaving?"

    Fu HongXue nodded.

    "To look for Ma KongQun?"

    He nodded again. How could he not pursue Ma KongQun?

    "Were you going to leave me here all alone?"

    Another wave of pain entered his heart. He was determined to never see her again, but now he couldn't help but cast a glance at her. That one glance was enough.

    The blood red sun shined onto her pale white face, her beautiful yet pallid face. Her eyes were filled with helplessness, as if they were trying to tell him, "If you don't take me with you then I won't keep asking. But I want you to know that I will always be yours."

    Sweet yearning in the darkness, passionate embraces, soft, fragrant lips, all these thoughts swelled up in Fu HongXue's mind at once. His palms started to sweat.

    The sun shined down on top of his head. The blazing hot sun.

    Cui Nong lowered her head further, her streaking black hair flowed down like water in a river.

    Fu HongXue couldn't help as his hand slowly reached out and stroked her hair.

    Her hair was almost as black as his sabre.

    - END CHAPTER 25 -
    Last edited by bliss; 04-07-06 at 03:21 PM.
    明月心跳起來,又回頭,嫣然道,你還要不要我帶上那面具?
    傅紅雪冷道,現在你臉上豈非已經戴上了個面具?

  12. #232
    Senior Member ChronoReverse's Avatar
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    HAHAHAHA. And thus another Gu Long styled ending to a greatly anticipated fight.

  13. #233
    Senior Member patricia n's Avatar
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    another excellent read...and i agree with you about miss ma...she is very naive and innocent in a way. she's different from miss lin in that she was not scheming from the beginning and circumstances forced miss ma into her situation...that and ye kei lead her on.
    if you have the time and enthusiasm, please join in on the new and fabulous wuxia rpg fic /rpg discussion. (<--- click here)

  14. #234
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    hahahaha
    this novel is excellent... really amasing. hahahaha


    thankz bliss

  15. #235
    Senior Member rayon's Avatar
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    I thoroughly enjoyed this portion of the chapter. Gu Long certainly has a way with words. He wastes not a single word. His writing style kind of reminds me of Hemingway. The characteristically short sentences are blazing with wit every time, even if they don't seem to mean anything at first.

    And about Lin Xian'er. I liked her. She's the kind of tragic character that I root for. I share your sentiment about hoping that Ah Fei would take her back in the end, but Gu Long obviously thought otherwise.... Besides, if Ah Fei did take Lin Xian'er back as I hoped, then it would mean he hasn't grown as a character at all, so it was all so very apt. The theme for Sentimental Swordsman, Ruthless Sword was all about letting go and I think Gu Long did justice to every single one of his characters without deviating from that theme.

    Now, as for Ma Fangling.... Yes, she is similar to Lin Xian'er, albeit an immature version. Because Lin Xian'er knew exactly where she stood and what she could do to keep that position. Ma Fangling has yet to realize herself...she is beginning to and the transformation is pathetic to watch. I guess that is the difference between Lin Xian'er and Ma Fangling. One has found herself. The other is still in the midst of it. It's a sharp contrast.

    I think perhaps Lin Xian'er was pathetic, too, when she was only beginning to realize how far she could go without giving up a part of herself. Lin Xian'er was a survivor in a lifeboat, weighed down with several cargoes and she found that she had to give up a few things that she thought were unnecessary - like her conscience, her morals, virtue - because if she did not, the boat would sink. When we see her in the story, she has already done all that, so we do not see the actual struggle. We only see the decadence...and I don't know but there's always something unspeakably romantic about someone else's fall.

    Ma Fangling is spiraling through the same path, I think. But her struggle is different. It's romantic, yes, if you think about it in a wholly abstract way. But unlike Lin Xian'er, we are experiencing her actual struggle as the story progresses. And because her loss is much more palpable this way, it is a sight I'd much rather not like to see.
    "It's good to know what you don't know." - The Twit

    Xiao Shiyi Lang Book 2 - plodding thru Chap 27

  16. #236
    Senior Member CC's Avatar
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    Haha! How many of you were actually expecting the 2 of them to fight? This is Gu Long after all. Remember how long it took SGJH and LXH to actually 'fight'?

    I'd bet the fight never happens.

  17. #237
    Member chowbeng's Avatar
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    Hehee...I was tricked.
    I thought there will be a great fight!
    Alas...I forgot Gu Long is Gu Long.

  18. #238
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    What fun would it be if Gu Long simply wrote fight after fight after fight? I think this was a conscious decision Gu Long made in the path of his writing career. At first, his novels were just that, fight after fight and not much different from ever other wuxia writer at the time. But because of that, he could never carve a name out for himself. It was only after reading and studying many Western and Japanese novelists that he adapted and refined his new terse style of writing. Consequently, his descriptions used less and less words and his fights lasted fewer and fewer moves. So much so that battles between top masters usually only lasted one move. If you think about it, the correlation between his writing and his wuxia fits in perfectly with his style.

    The main point is that when reading Gu Long, you should leave all preconceptions about wuxia novels at the door. Gu Long is not Jin Yong. Gu Long is decidedly different. Jin Yong is all about lush characters, beautifully detailed and historical settings, intricately articulated martial arts systems, and incredibly descriptive and vivid fight scenes. This is one of the reasons that Jin Yong's novels are so easily adapted to film while adaptations of Gu Long's novels always miss the point. Gu Long's novels are predominantly psychological, his novels draw on emotions that his word artistry evokes, things that are extremely difficult to communicate on film.

    But the beauty of reading Gu Long is that his writing paints these feelings and emotions directly onto our minds, where, in my case anyway, they leave ever lasting impressions.
    明月心跳起來,又回頭,嫣然道,你還要不要我帶上那面具?
    傅紅雪冷道,現在你臉上豈非已經戴上了個面具?

  19. #239
    Member chowbeng's Avatar
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    That is a very insightful observation cum analysis.

    Although, I had only read a couple of GuLong novels. Imho, for GuLong, it's the process that leads to the fights that counts...making the fights more meaningful not something clinch like purely good vs evil. I love the way that he managed to surprise me with a sudden twist of the orginal plot(even when I am just waiting for it and antipating them!) The "detective" nature of his novels is also something I really enjoyed.

  20. #240
    Senior Member JigSta's Avatar
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    I enjoyed the end of that chapter, even though we were robbed of an epic battle. Best bit:

    Then, he suddenly dropped his voice and proclaimed, "But it's a pity that I still have to take your life!"

    "At this very moment?"

    "At this very moment!"

    "In those wet trousers?"

    "Even if I wasn't wearing trousers at all."

    "Very good." Fu HongXue exclaimed.


    All that's needed to say have been said, why say anything more? The man is drunk, why stay any longer?....
    Quote Originally Posted by Question
    if CarMAN Lee hair is green, then am sure carMAN #$%@ a dog to give birth to you.

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