Page 4 of 17 FirstFirst 1234567891011121314 ... LastLast
Results 61 to 80 of 325

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

  1. #61
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    240

    Default

    Hell... this is a WONDERFUL novel ... I'm truly addicted to it. I'm enjoying it as much as LLFD or even more. The way Gu Long writtes in this two novel is so clever and deep (well in all his novels its like this, but in those two he seems to surpass himself ) Ye Kai is such a Guy.... so interesting as Li Tan Huan....

    The ladies in this thread are amazing me... seems like Bee. was kissed too much on the ROCH thread just joking ...

    ... and bliss, you better speed up even more otherwise I won't read this novel anymore

  2. #62
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,202

    Default Chapter 11 - Midnight Whispers

    Chapter 11 - Midnight Whispers

    Several dozen stalks of green bamboo spread out across the small courtyard. A beautiful maiden with thin lashes and no makeup sat by the window with her hands on her chin, staring at him affectionately.

    You could say that she wasn't astonishingly gorgeous, but she had eyes that seemed like they could talk, and a mouth that you knew was clever and witty. Although she was just sitting there quietly, you could almost feel the intoxicating aura that surrounded her. She was definitely unique compared to the majority of women that you normally see.

    Just being able to talk to a woman like her would be enough for any man.

    In attempts to court her, many suitors came trying their best to appear noble, wealthy, gentlemanly, and cultured.

    But when Ye Kai walked through her door, he marched straight towards her bed and lied down. He didn't even bother to take off his boots. Those two giant holes in his boots pointed straight at the ceiling.

    Cui Nong furrowed her brow playfully and asked, "Can't you afford a new pair of boots?"

    "I can't." Ye Kai replied.

    "Why not?" Cui Nong said.

    "Because these boots protect me." Ye Kai said.

    "They protect you?" Cui Nong said.

    Ye Kai lifted his legs and pointed to the large crevices in his boots, "Do you see these holes? They bite people. Whoever's not courteous to me will get bitten."

    Cui Nong giggled. She stood up and walked over towards him, "I want to see whether they'll really bite me."

    Ye Kai grabbed onto her and said, "They're afraid to bite you, but I'm not."

    Cui Nong whimpered softly and fell onto his chest.

    The doors weren't closed. But even if they were, they couldn't keep the romance from seeping out of that room.

    The young servant girl blushed red. She was glancing at them from afar and secretly wanted to get closer to take a look.

    The golden songbirds that slept under the brims of the roof were awakened and started chirping incessantly.

    Thick green jade, in the thick of Spring.

    ________________________________________

    A figure sprawled over the darkness on the roof, the insipid starlight illuminated her long, slender body. Her face was covered by a thin cotton veil.

    She had been chasing someone here and saw a figure flash by the roof. But when she reached the top of that building, not a soul was in sight.

    She knew what was below, but she couldn't go down - this wasn't a place for women.

    "Who was it? Why was someone eavesdropping on our conversation? What exactly did they hear?" her mind kept asking herself. If someone saw the expression on her face, they would know that she was startled and frightened.

    She couldn't let her secret be known. She just couldn't.

    She thought to herself for a moment, then finally gritted her teeth and leapt down. She decided to take a risk.

    In her lifetime, she had seen a countless number of strange expressions before. But only upon seeing a woman walk into a brothel, could such a look of shock come over the faces of those men. Everybody's eyes widened, as if they had just seen a sheep wander into the wolf's den. To the wolf, this couldn't even be considered a challenge, more like an insult.

    None of them could understand why a woman would wander into here. Yet none of them could deny that she was stunningly beautiful.

    A half drunk butcher had the widest eyes out of them all. He had come from out of town to procure sheep, so he didn't recognize this woman and had no clue as to who she was. His body swayed back and forth as he stood up and tried to walk over. But someone sitting beside him immediately held him back.

    "Don't even think about it."

    "Why not?"

    "She already has a benefactor."

    "'Hall of Ten-Thousand Horses'"

    Those five words seemed to carry some unseen weight, as soon as they were mentioned, the mood in that room felt like a ball being deflated.

    Third Aunt lifted her head and walked in with a smile, pretending not to hear the silent murmurs in the hall, feigning a look of complete indifference. But in reality, she really did mind. When some of those men stared at her, it felt as if she was completely bare.

    Fortunately, Xiao BieLi finally called out to her, "Third Madame Shen, what are you doing here? What a rare sight."

    She immediately walked towards him and replied, "Mr. Xiao, am I not welcome here?"

    Xiao BieLi let out a sigh and said, "Only because I can't stand up to greet you properly."

    "I've come to look for someone." she said.

    "Me?" Xiao BieLi blinked in reply.

    Third Madame Shen smiled and said, "If I came to look for you, I'd come at a time when no one is around."

    "I'll be waiting then, since I don't have to worry about my legs being chopped off anymore."

    Both of them smiled. They knew that they were both sly and cunning old foxes.

    "Is Cui Nong here?" Third Madame Shen asked.

    "Yes, are you looking for her?" Xiao BieLi said.

    "Mmm." she replied.

    Xiao BieLi let out a sigh and said, "Why is everyone, regardless of whether they're male or female, always coming to look for her?"

    "I couldn't fall asleep so I wanted to chat with her a bit." Third Madame Shen replied.

    "A pity though that you've come too late." Xiao BieLi said.

    Third Madame Shen wrinkled her brows and said, "Don't tell me that a guest is staying overnight in her room?"

    "It's a very special guest."

    "How special?"

    "Especially poor."

    Third Madame Shen laughed and said, "She would let an especially poor guest stay with her?"

    "I wanted to stop him, but I'm really not his match, and I can't run as fast as him either." Xiao BieLi replied.

    Third Madame Shen's eyes swiveled, "You're not lying to me?"

    "Can anyone in this world deceive you?" Xiao BieLi replied.

    "Who is her guest?" Third Madame Shen asked.

    "Ye Kai." Xiao BieLi said.

    Third Madame Shen's eyes raised up, "Ye Kai."

    "You probably don't recognize him. But he's only been here for two days and already there aren't many people in this town who don't know who his name." Xiao BieLi said.

    A touching smile appeared on Third Madame Shen's face, but a sharp pricking glance suddenly came over her eyes. Gradually, that look dispersed and her expression calmed.

    Suddenly, with a *PENG*, the doors swung open, and in walked a man with giant strides. A giant of a man! GongSun Duan's hand was clenched firmly on the handle of his sabre.

    Xiao BieLi sighed and remarked, "Those who shouldn't have come, have all arrived. Yet those who should have come, have yet to show."

    He picked up one of the dominoes on the table, then slowly placed it back down. Shaking his head, he said, "Looks like there's going to be a storm tomorrow. If you don't have any business, it's best to just stay home."

    "Come over here!" GongSun Duan shouted angrily.

    Third Madame Shen bit down on her lips and replied, " ... who're you talking to?"

    "You!" GongSun Duan blasted.

    That butcher suddenly leapt forward. The people standing next to him were too slow to stop him. He had already rushed in front of GongSun Duan. With his finger pointed straight at GongSun Duan's nose, he yelled, "Don't shout at the lady like that! Don't you have any manners? Be careful I don't ..."

    Before he could finish his words, the back of GongSun Duan's hand smacked him across the face. This butcher was a pretty big man as well, but his several hundred pound body was sent flying into the air by GongSun Duan's single slap. The butcher flew over two tables and crashed into the wall. As he stumbled over, his mouth was covered in blood, and his head was covered in blood - even his blood reeked of alcohol.

    GongSun Duan didn't even glance at him, his eyes were focused on Third Madame Shen as he ordered sternly, "Come over here."

    This time, Third Madame Shen didn't even say a word. She lowered her head and slowly walked over. GongSun Duan walked out and Third Madame Shen followed him from behind. He took extremely long strides, Third Madame Shen looked like she was struggling to keep up with him. When before her single leap could cover thirty feet, now it seemed as if she could barely cover three.

    It was late into the night.

    The mud on the long street was still damp and wet. Wind blew in from the grasslands.

    Freezing cold wind.

    GongSun Duan stepped onto the street, not bothering to turn around even once. He suddenly asked, "Why did you leave?"

    Third Madame Shen's expression turned pale as she replied, "I'm not a prisoner. I can leave whenever I want to."

    "I'm asking you again, why did you leave?" GongSUn Duan slowly repeated. Although he spoke slowly, every word carried an intense ferocity.

    Third Madame Shen bit down on her lips and finally replied, "I came out to look for someone."

    "Who?" GongSun DUan said.

    "Is it any of you business?" Third Madame Shen said.

    "Ma KongQun's business is my business. No one may wrong him." GongSUn Duan said.

    "When did I wrong him?" Third Madame Shen said.

    "Just before!" GongSun Duan shouted.

    Third Madame Shen let out a sigh and said, "Just because I went to look for a friend to chat with means that I have wronged him? Don't forget that I'm a woman. And women enjoy chatting with other women."

    "Who were you looking for?" GongSUn Duan asked.

    "Miss Cui Nong." Third Madame Shen replied.

    "She's not a woman, she's a prostitute." GongSun Duan smiled coldly.

    "A prostitute? Why, you've called for her before? Would she even see someone like you?" Third Madame Shen replied coldly.

    GongSun Duan suddenly turned around and punched her in the stomach. She didn't try to dodge, nor did she resist. Her body bent over from the blow as she stumbled backwards seven or eight steps before falling down. As she hit the floor she began to vomit, throwing up even the bitter acids in her stomach.

    GongSun Duan leapt towards her, grabbed her by the hair, and pulled her to her feet. "I know that you're a ***** as well, but you're a ***** who will no longer be able to sell herself."

    Third Madame Shen gritted her teeth, trying to hold in the pain. But she couldn't hold in her tears as they flowed down her cheeks. "What ... what do you want?" her voice trembled.

    "I'm going to ask you a question, and you're going to answer me, you understand?" GongSun Duan said.

    Third Madame Shen shut her mouth and didn't respond.

    GongSun Duan's large hand chopped sideways at her waist. Her entire body jerked in pain from the blow. Tears started to flow like a river.

    GongSun Duan stared at her again and said, "Do you understand?"

    After more tears streamed down her face, Third Madame Shen finally nodded her head.

    "When did you come out?" GongSun Duan said.

    "Just before." Third Madame Shen replied.

    "You came here as soon as you left?" GongSun Duan asked.

    "You can go in there and ask them yourself." Third Madame Shen said.

    "And you saw that prostitue?" GongSun Duan said.

    "No." Third Madame Shen said.

    "Why not?" GongSun Duan asked.

    "She already had a guest with her." Third Madame Shen replied.

    "You didn't see anyone else? You didn't go anywhere else?" GongSun Duan questioned.

    "I didn't." Third Madame Shen said.

    "You didn't?" GongSun Duan asked.

    He suddenly rammed her with another fist. As his knuckles hit her flesh, they made a very strange sound. It almost seemed as if he enjoyed hearing that sound.

    Third Madame Shen couldn't help but to start screaming, "I really didn't, I really didn't ..."

    GongSun Duan gazed at her, his eyes full of murderous intent, his fists clenched ever so tightly.

    Third Madame Shen suddenly pounced forward and wrapped her arms around him, screaming, "If you're so fond of hitting me, then beat me to death ... just beat me to death ..."

    She wrapped her arms around his neck and her legs around his waist. A odd feeling suddenly came over GongSun Duan's body, he could sense it himself.

    She immediately threw herself over his shoulders and wailed painfully, "I know you enjoy hitting me, just hit me, hit me."

    Her body and her legs twisted around enticingly. She was breathing right into his ear, over his neck.

    His breath suddenly turned coarse and rough.

    "It won't matter at all if you beat me to death, I'll never be able to tell anyone." Third Madame Shen groaned.

    GongSun Duan had already started to tremble. No one would've imagined that a person like him was capable of trembling. Even more unimaginable was what an enormous person like him looked like when he did tremble. If you were to witness it, you wouldn't think of it as comical. Rather, it was frightening, extremely frightening.

    Pain was written all over his face, because he knew that he had to contain the lust that creeped up inside of him. Suddenly, he landed another fist square on her stomach. Her body went into a burst of convulsions again. Her grip loosened as she poured onto the floor like a pile of mud.

    GongSun Duan clenched his fists, stared at her, then spit on her face. He stepped over her body and walked towards his horse. The person he hated wasn't this woman, it was himself. He hated himself for not being able to resist this temptation that he dared not accept.

    Third Madame Shen wiped her tears dry. GongSun Duan's hands were like the horns on a bull, everywhere he hit stung straight to the bone. Before tomorrow morning, her bruises would definitely turn green and swell.

    Yet, she didn't feel resentful or dismayed, because she knew that GongSun Duan would never tell anyone about what happened. Above all, she didn't want Ma KongQun to know that she had left this evening.

    Now, there was only one person who knew her secret, that person who was listening to them on the rooftop.

    Was it Ye Kai?

    She only hoped that it was Ye Kai. Because usually people who had their own secrets rarely divulged the secrets of others.

    She felt confident that she could deal with Ye Kai.

    ________________________________________

    "You're really Ye Kai?"

    "Why wouldn't I be Ye Kai?"

    "What kind of person is Ye Kai supposed to be?"

    "He's male, very poor but very intelligent, and he has his ways when it comes to dealing with women."

    "How many women have you had before?"

    "Try and guess!"

    "What kind of women were they?"

    "None of them were good, but none of them treated me badly."

    "Where are all of them now?"

    "They're everywhere of course. The thing I hate most in life is sleeping alone. It's as tasteless as playing chess by yourself."

    "And none of them try to strap you down?"

    "I can't even tie myself down."

    "There's no one else in your family?"

    "I don't even have a family."

    "Then where did you come from?"

    "I come from where I come."

    "And you go where you want to go?"

    "You got it right this time."

    "You never talk about your past with anyone?"

    "Never."

    "Do you have a lot of secrets that you don't want others to know about?"

    Ye Kai sat up and stared at her. In the blurry candlelight, she looked somewhat pale and tired but her eyes were still wide open.

    "I have only one secret." he suddenly said, "I'm really an old fox demon, alive with nine thousand seven hundred years of cultivation, finally able to take human shape."

    He leapt off the bed, pulled up his boots, put on his clothes, and walked out.

    Cui Nong bit down on her lips and watched as Ye Kai left. She suddenly struck at her pillow forcefully, as if that pillow was Ye Kai.

    ________________________________________

    TRANSLATION NOTES

    1. In Chinese mythology, Fox Demons were cunning, devious creatures that had mystical powers but always longed to lose their demon guises to live a normal human life. It was believed that if they cultivated their energy for long enough, they could actually transform into real humans.

    2. It seems that the word censor on SPCnet is blocking certain words that I'm using. For the uncensored version, visit my translation site.
    Last edited by bliss; 08-03-05 at 09:42 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?

  3. #63
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,202

    Default

    You people asked for it ... be ready, be scared, be prepared ... bliss is going back into PSYCHO-SPEED TRANSLATION MODE!!! PUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    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?

  4. #64
    Senior Member ProtoM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    oDDwORLD
    Posts
    1,207

    Default

    OoO awesome!!!!!! thanx u for your hard work!!!! =)
    "Power tends to corrup and absolute power corrupt absolutely" ~ Lord Acton

  5. #65
    Senior Member rayon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    300

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bliss
    You people asked for it ... be ready, be scared, be prepared ... bliss is going back into PSYCHO-SPEED TRANSLATION MODE!!! PUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    Oh my. Death at the hands of a psycho-translator. Might as well get bitten by Ye Kai's boots.
    "It's good to know what you don't know." - The Twit

    Xiao Shiyi Lang Book 2 - plodding thru Chap 27

  6. #66
    Senior Member eliza bennet's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    721

    Default

    Bliss, reading your translation is indeed bliss Thank you so much.

  7. #67
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    240

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bliss
    You people asked for it ... be ready, be scared, be prepared ... bliss is going back into PSYCHO-SPEED TRANSLATION MODE!!! PUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
    Oh No! Sh** bliss ssj4, I'm trembling with fear

    (YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!! LOL )

  8. #68
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    SFBA
    Posts
    52

    Default

    Heh. I like the boots.

    Thanks for translating, Bliss.

  9. #69
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,202

    Default Chapter 12 - Hidden Projectile Experts

    Although the small courtyard was quiet and still, a light was lit in the building in back.

    Had Xiao BieLi gone back to his quarters? What exactly was he doing when he was up there? Was there a set of dominoes up there? Or maybe a secret woman?

    Ye Kai felt that he was certainly a mysterious and amusing person.

    Just then, figures appeared in the window.

    Three figures.

    They were standing up as their silhouettes shined onto the window. But in an instant, they suddenly disappeared.

    Why were there three figures up there? Who were the other two?

    Ye Kai's eyes started to flash back and forth, he simply couldn't control his curiousity.

    The courtyard wasn't very far from that small building. He lifted his garments and dashed into the air.

    The building was encircled by banisters on all four sides. It was constructed in the style of a traditional pavilion.

    The tip of his feet rested on the banisters as he hung from the roof of the house. The top window was opened just a crack. From where he stood, he could see a circular table in the middle of the room. That table was set with food and wine.

    There were two people drinking, one of them was Xiao BieLi who sat facing the door. The other person was dressed very elegantly, almost to the point of extravagance. His hands grasped onto a pair of chopsticks. On his finger was an odd looking three-piece ring. They appeared to be three stars. That person was actually a humpback.

    The light in that room wasn't very bright, but the food and wine were exquisite.

    That extravagantly dressed humpback picked up a cup of wine with the hand that bore the ring. The cup was completely transparent, it was carved out of an entire piece of crystal.

    "How is the wine?" Xiao BieLi said with a smile.

    "The wine is average, but the wine glass is not bad." the humpback said.

    This humpback seemed to know how to enjoy the finer things in life even more than Xiao BieLi.

    Xiao BieLi let out a sigh and said, "I knew you'd be difficult to please, so I arranged for authentic Persian grape wine to be brought in from the south. Who would've imagined that this wine tastes only average to you."

    "There are many grades of Persian grape wine, I believe that this is only the average kind." the humpback said.

    "Why didn't you bring some good wine with you yourself then?" Xiao BieLi said.

    "I was originally planning to, but something came up along the way. So I had to hurry here." the humpback replied.

    Apparently, they had planned this meeting for quite some time. Ye Kai felt even more intrigued, because that humpback was obviously none other than the 'Golden-Backed Dragon' Ding Qiu. Who would've thought that the 'Golden-Backed Dragon' Ding Qiu would be hiding out here? In addition, he had long planned this meeting with Xiao BieLi. Why did he bring those coffins with him? Were he and Xiao BieLi concocting some plot to take down the 'Hall of Ten-Thousand Horses'?

    Ye Kai hoped that Xiao BieLi would ask Ding Qiu about why he was delayed!

    But Xiao BieLi unexpectedly changed the subject and instead asked, "Did you happen to meet any beautiful women along the way?"

    "No. It seems that beautiful women are getting rarer by the day." Ding Qiu replied.

    "Maybe it's because your interest in women is getting lesser by the day." Xiao BieLi said.

    "I've heard that there's a girl here who's not too bad." Ding Qiu inquired.

    "More than just not bad, she's simply magnificent." Xiao BieLi said.

    "Why didn't you bring her here to accompany us?" Ding Qiu said.

    "She can't these two days." Xiao BieLi replied.

    "Why not?" Ding Qiu asked.

    "These past two days her heart's been with someone else." Xiao BieLi said.

    "Who?" Ding Qiu said.

    "Only a handful of people could make a woman like her fall for them." Xiao BieLi said.

    Ding Qiu nodded his head. He rarely agreed with what others said, but he couldn't help but agree this time.

    Xiao BieLi smiled and continued, "But sometimes this person appears to be an idiot."

    "An idiot?" Ding Qiu said.

    "He gave up a warm and comfortable bed for a cold night with the north-westerly winds." Xiao BieLi said.

    Actually, Ye Kai was quite comfortable. Any man, upon hearing someone else compliment them about their prowess with women, will undoubtedly feel good about themselves.

    Xiao BieLi turned his head and smiled at the window.

    That hand that wore the three starred ring put down the wine cup and made a weird gesture.

    Ye Kai laughed loudly and said, "The master is inside sipping wine while the guest is outside eating wind. I'd say that you're quite a bad host."

    He pushed open the window and leapt inside.

    There were only two sets of chopsticks on the table. There were three figures in the window before, where was that third figure? Who was it? Could it have been Yun ZaiTian? Why did that person suddenly slip away?

    The room was lavishly decorated. Everything in that room seemed to be placed where you could conveniently access it. Xiao BieLi reached out to the cabinet next to him and pulled a Han-styled jade cup. He smiled and said, "I'm lazy and handicapped. I really don't like to move when I don't have to."

    Ye Kai let out a sigh and said, "If there were more lazy people in this world like you, then everyone would probably be much more comfortable."

    He wasn't complimenting him. Great, elaborate inventions often allow people to live even more lazily and comfortably.

    "Those words alone are worth a cup of Persian grape wine." Xiao BieLi said.

    "It's a pity that this wine is only average." Ye Kai said.

    He raised his cup towards Ding Qiu and continued, "The last time I encountered Mr. Ding, I was not able to pay the proper respects. My apologies, my apologies."

    "You were not disrespectful, there is no need for apologies." Ding Qiu replied.

    "It's just that I especially admire men who are knowledgable about both women and wine." Ye Kai said.

    Ding Qiu's ugly pale face suddenly turned rather cheerful as he said delightedly, "Master Xiao was wrong about one thing before though."

    "Oh?" Ye Kai said.

    "Not only are you talented in dealing with women, you're not too shabby in dealing with men as well." Ding Qiu responded.

    "Well that all depends on whether that person is a real man or not. Real men are quite rare nowadays." Ye Kai said.

    Ding Qiu couldn't hold in his laughter. Ugly men always believed that they were manlier than handsome youngsters. Likewise, ugly women always think they they are smarter than beautiful women.

    Ye Kai drank down the wine in his cup. The mood in the room had loosened up considerably, he knew that he had given out enough compliments. What should he say now?

    Ye Kai slowly took a seat. It seemed that this seat was originally for that third person in the room. How could he find out who that person was? How could he get them to reveal their secrets? Not only would he have to phrase his words carefully, he would have to hide his intentions as well. Ye Kai fell silent, silently thinking to himself.

    Suddenly, Ding Qiu said, "I know that you must have a lot of questions for me."

    There was still a smile on his face, but that smile was totally lacking from his eyes, as he continued, "You must be wondering, why I came here for, why I sent for those coffins, and how am I acquainted with Xiao BieLi? And what exactly were we discussing?"

    Ye Kai smiled back, but his eyes looked dead serious. He realized that Ding Qiu was far more difficult to deal with than he had thought.

    Xiao BieLi sat sipping his wine quietly.

    "Would you have answered even if I did ask those things?" Ye Kai asked.

    "Nope." Ding Qiu replied.

    "That's why I didn't bother to ask." Ye Kai said.

    "But there is one thing that I do want to ask you." Ding Qiu said.

    "Oh?" Ye Kai said.

    "Some people say that there are projectiles hidden in almost every part of my body, have you heard this before?" Ding Qiu asked.

    "I have." Ye Kai said.

    "Hearsay is rarely ever reliable, but this saying is an exception." Ding Qiu remarked.

    "So there really are projectiles hidden on every part of your body?" Ye Kai said.

    "Correct." Ding Qiu replied.

    "How many different types in total?" Ye Kai asked.

    "Twenty-three." Ding Qiu said.

    "Is every single type dipped in poison?" Ye Kai said.

    "Only thirteen of them are poisonous. Sometimes I want to leave my opponents alive for questioning." Ding Qiu said.

    "I've also heard that you can unleash seven or eight different projectiles at the same time." Ye Kai said.

    "Seven to be exact." Ding Qiu responded.

    Ye Kai let out a sigh and said, "What an extremely fast release."

    "But there's someone who's probably even faster than me." Ding Qiu said.

    "Who?" Ye Kai replied.

    "The person sitting right next to you, Master Xiao." Ding Qiu said.

    Xiao BieLi had been smiling the entire time. He sighed lightly and explained, "If I didn't take the time to master a couple of hidden projectiles, how else would a lazy and crippled person like me survive?"

    "Makes sense." Ye Kai said.

    "Can you tell where his projectiles are hidden?" Ding Qiu asked.

    "In his iron canes?" Ye Kai guessed.

    Ding Qiu smacked his hand onto the table and exclaimed, "Excellent! Where else?"

    "There are projectiles hidden elsewhere as well?" Ye Kai said.

    "At least eight more, and he can unleash all of them at once." Ding Qiu said.

    "I'm afraid there aren't many who can surpass you two masters here in the field of martial arts." Ye Kai said.

    "I'm afraid that there probably isn't even one." Ding Qiu boasted.

    "I can't believe that I would be sitting here with two of the world's most heralded masters of hidden projectiles, I am really fortunate." Ye Kai said.

    "You've got some guts though, because if you made the slightest move, there would be at least sixteen different projectiles shooting at you at once." Ding Qiu said.

    His expression sunk as he continued, "I can assure you that there isn't a single person in the world who can evade all sixteen projectiles at this distance."

    "I believe you." Ye Kai said.

    "That's why whatever we ask, it's best that you answer immediately." Ding Qiu said.

    Ye Kai let out a sigh and said, "Luckily I'm someone who carries no secrets that he wouldn't mind sharing with others."

    "You'd better hope so." Ding Qiu said.

    He suddenly pulled a piece of paper from his sleeves, and asked, "You're surnamed Ye, given name Kai?"

    "Yes."

    "You were born in the year of the Tiger?"

    "Yes."

    "You were born near here?"

    "Yes."

    "But you left when you were still an infant?"

    "Yes."

    "Prior to the age of fourteen, you lived in a Taoist monastery on Mount Huang?"

    "Yes."

    "You originally practiced 'Mount Huang Swordsmanship'. Afterwards as you wandered the world, you secretly learned many different kinds of martial arts. At the age of sixteen, you became a monk for a couple of months in order to learn Shaolin's 'Ambushing Tiger Fist'?"

    "Yes."

    "Afterwards, you were involved with a protection agency in the Capital, but ran up a large debt, and had no choice but to leave."

    "Yes."

    "In Jiangnan, you killed the 'Three Heroes of the Gai Clan' for a girl name Xiao BeiJing, so you had to escape back to the Central Plains."

    "Yes."

    "In the last few years, you've been to both sides of the Great River, causing trouble everywhere you go, and have made quite a name for yourself."

    Ye Kai let out a sigh, and said with a smile, "You two seem to know me better than myself. Why'd you even bother asking me in the first place."

    Ding Qiu stared back at him and asked, "All I want to know is why exactly have you come back here for?"

    "If I were to answer that leaves always return to their roots, that I came back because this is my home town - would you believe me?"

    "No."

    "Why not?"

    "Because you're a wanderer at heart."

    "What if I said that there's no where left for me to go anymore? Would you believe me then?"

    "That's somewhat more believable." Ding Qiu replied. He put that parchment aside and continued, "The last amount of money you made, was a bag of golden beans you won from an old gamling den, right?"

    "Right."

    "And that bag of golden beans is no longer in your hands anymore, is it?"

    "I hate beans. Whether they be peas, hyacinth beans, or golden beans, I hate them just as much."

    Ding Qiu lifted his head and asked, "Did someone invite you to come back to this town?"

    "No."

    "You know that there's not much opportunity to make a profit here right?"

    "I can tell."

    "So how exactly do you plan on making a living?"

    Ye Kai smiled and replied, "Well I have yet to see someone starve to death around here."

    "If you knew that there were ten-thousand taels of silver to be made elsewhere, would you go?"

    "No."

    "Why not?"

    "Because there just might be more to earn right here."

    "Oh?"

    "I can tell that this town is starting to need more people like me."

    "And what type of person are you?"

    "Someone with decent martial arts and who can keep his mouth shut. If someone were to hire me to work for them, they would not be disappointed."

    Ding Qiu fell silent, his eyes started to slowly light up. Suddenly, he asked, "How much do you usually charge to have someone disposed of?"

    "It depends on who the target is."

    "If it were the most expensive kind?"

    "Thirty thousand."

    "Very well. I can pay ten thousand in advance. When the job is done you'll get the other twenty."

    Ye Kai's eyes started to light up as well, "Who is it that you want dead? Fu HongXue?"

    "He's not worth thirty thousand." Ding Qiu said coldly.

    "Then who is?" Ye Kai asked.

    "Ma KongQun!" Ding Qiu replied.

    Xiao BieLi still sat there quietly, as if he were listening to two people who had nothing to do with him discussing something that had no relevance to him whatsoever.

    Ding Qiu's eyes were glowing as he stared at Ye Kai unblinkingly. The hand that bore that three-starred ring made another peculiar gesture.

    Ye Kai let out a long sigh and said with a smile, "So you're the ones who are trying to kill Ma KongQun."

    "You couldn't have guessed?" Ding Qiu said.

    "What kind of feud do you two have with him? Why do you want him dead?" Ye Kai asked.

    "You should understand that we're the ones asking the questions, not you." Ding Qiu said.

    "I understand." Ye Kai said.

    "Do you want to pocket that thirty thousand taels of silver?" Ding Qiu asked.

    Ye Kai did not reply, nor did he have to reply. He stuck out his hand.

    Twenty brand new bank notes, each worth a thousand taels each.

    "This is twenty thousand?"

    "Yes."

    "At least you're generous." Ye Kai said with a smile.

    "Not generous, but careful." Ding Qiu replied.

    "Careful?"

    "You can't kill Ma KongQun alone."

    "Oh?"

    "So you'll need someone to help you."

    "Ten thousand for me, ten thousand for my helper?"

    "Correct."

    "Who's worth that much around here?"

    "You should know."

    Ye Kai's eyes flashed, "You want me to look for Fu HongXue?"

    Ding Qiu nodded silently.

    "How are you so sure that I can convince him to?" Ye Kai said.

    "Aren't you his friend?" Ding Qiu asked.

    "He has no friends." Ye Kai replied.

    "Thirty thousand taels of silver is good enough reason to make a friend." Ding Qiu said.

    "And if he doesn't accept?" Ye Kai said.

    "You should at least try." Ding Qiu suggested.

    "Why don't you try approaching him yourself." Ye Kai said.

    Ding Qiu sneered coldly, "If you don't want that thirty thousand, you can still back out now."

    Ye Kai smiled, stood up, and started to leave.

    Xiao BieLi suddenly said, "Why don't you stay for a couple more cups of wine first?"

    Ye Kai waved the bank notes in his hand and said, "I'm in a hurry to spend the first ten thousand."

    "The money is already in your hands, what's the rush?" Xiao BieLi urged.

    "Because if I don't spend it now, I probably won't have a chance to in the future." Ye Kai replied.

    Xiao BieLi watched as Ye Kai leapt out of the window. He sighed lightly and exclaimed, "He's definitely a smart person."

    "He really is." Ding Qiu said.

    "Do you trust him?" Xiao BieLi asked.

    "Not at all." Ding Qiu replied.

    "Is that why you went ahead and made a deal with him?" Xiao BieLi said squinting his eyes.

    "It really is quite some deal we have." Ding Qiu said with a smile.

    When a person with empty pockets suddenly finds himself ten thousand taels richer, he'll feel like he's floating around wherever he goes. But for some reason Ye Kai's foot steps became even heavier. Perhaps he was simply too tired.

    Cui Nong tended to tire men out very easily. The light in her room was extinguished, she probably was already asleep. To be able to sleep comfortably next to her until daybreak, breathing in the fragrant scent of her hair, gently caressing her smooth back, it was a temptation that even Ye Kai could not refuse.

    He snuck quietly to her room and pushed open the door - the door wasn't shut. She must have been waiting for him. Starlight leaked through the windows into the room. She slept with her blanket covering her head and looked extremely sweet.

    Ye Kai smiled and gently lifted one corner of the blanket.

    Suddenly, there was a flash of light. A sword shot out from underneath the covers aimed straight at his chest!

    Under these circumstances, from such a close distance, no one would be able to dodge that sword. But Ye Kai was like a fox that was long used to being hunted, he was alert at all times.

    His waist looked like it had suddenly snapped as he bent backwards. The tip of the sword glanced past his chest. He flipped over and landed a kick on the hand that held that sword.

    The assailant leapt up from the bed but didn't counter attack. Instead, the sword circled back around and covered his face as he rushed towards the back window.

    Ye Kai didn't give chase. Instead he smiled and said, "Yun ZaiTian, I already recognize you. It's pointless for you to run."

    That person had already knocked open the window when he suddenly stopped. After a long pause, he finally turned his head.

    It really was Yun ZaiTian. Veins were bulging out from the hand that held his sword. His eyes were filled with killer intent.

    "So the person you were looking for wasn't Fu HongXue, nor was it Xiao BieLi. It was Cui Nong." Ye Kai said.

    "Am I not allowed to look for her?" Yun ZaiTian replied coldly.

    "Of course you are." Ye Kai said. A smile broke on his face as he continued, "A man like you coming to look for a woman like her is a pretty normal thing. I don't know why you had to hide it from me."

    Yun ZaiTian's eyes flashed. He suddenly smiled and replied, "I was afraid that you'd be jealous."

    "You're the one who should be jealous, not me." Ye Kai said.

    Yun ZaiTian fell silent, then asked, "Where is she?"

    "I wanted to ask you the same thing." Ye Kai said.

    "You haven't seen her?" Yun ZaiTian asked.

    "Have you seen her?" Ye Kai asked in reply.

    Yun ZaiTian shook his head and said, "She wasn't here when I arrived."

    Ye Kai furrowed his brow and said, "Maybe she went to look for another man ..."

    Yun ZaiTian interrupted him, "She never goes out to look for men, the men who come to look for her are enough."

    Ye Kai let out a laugh, "That's what you don't understand. The men who come to look for her and the men who she goes out to look for are vastly different."

    "Who do you think she went to look for then?" Yun ZaiTian said with a serious look on his face.

    "How many people are worth her looking for around here?" Ye Kai said.

    The expression on Yun ZaiTian's face changed. He suddenly turned around and rushed out.

    This time Ye Kai didn't bother to stop him, because he had already found out several things that he wanted to know.

    He learned that Cui Nong was a very mysterious woman and that she must have many secrets as well. A woman in her profession could make a living anywhere, she had no reason to rot away in these wastelands. She must have an extremely important reason for staying around this town.

    But when Yun ZaiTian came to look for her, it didn't seem like he was seeking the same thing as other men. There must be some hidden connection between the two of them as well.

    Ye Kai suddenly felt that everyone around here had secrets to hide. Of course he had his own. But it seemed as if the time was right for all these secrets to gradually be exposed.

    Ye Kai let out a sigh. There would be even more for him to do tomorrow. He decided to sleep first and think about it tomorrow. He shed his boots and curled up under the blankets.

    It was then that he discovered her undergarments on the bed. What were her undergarments doing on the bed if she wasn't here? Did she have to leave in such a hurry that she even forgot to put them on? Or perhaps, was she kidnapped? Why wouldn't she at least struggle or scream?

    Ye Kai decided to wait here, to wait until she returned. However, she never did return that night. It was only a little more than two hours until dawn.

    Fu HongXue had yet to fall asleep.

    Ma FangLing was awake as well.

    Xiao BieLi and Ding Qiu were still drinking wine in that pavilion.

    GongSun Duan was drinking as well down below.

    It seemed as if everyone was waiting, waiting for some mysterious news to surface.

    And what of Ma KongQun, Hua MenTian, Luo LuoShan, and Third Madame Shen? Where were they? Were they waiting as well?

    ________________________________________

    It was an extremely long night.

    During the night, the 'Hall of Ten-Thousand Horses' lost another eighteen lives!

    Wind and sand danced in the sky. It was always particularly dark, particularly cold just before dawn in these parts.

    The fierce winds brought with them the sound of hoofbeats. Seven or eight people were slouched over their horses, looking half conscious. Luckily, their horses still knew the way back. These lonely horse masters had spent most of their adult lives on horseback. Most of their thighs were blistered and callused. Except for visiting town for a night of drinking, there was not much else that they took delight in.

    "I don't think I'll be on duty for tomorrow, I really should go look for a woman to hug and hold on to tonight." one of them muttered.

    "It's a pity that your wallet probably doesn't agree with you."

    "I really should remember to save up a couple taels the next time we get paid."

    "I think you should just find a nice cow from the fields to sleep with tonight, I doubt that any woman would be willing to take you anyway."

    Everyone in the group broke into laughter, they sounded mad and unrestrained. But who could recognize that their laughs were filled with bitter blood and tears? They had no money, no women, and no family. If any one of them were to suddenly fall dead in this dark wilderness, not a single person would shed a tear for them.

    What kind of an existence was this? What did these people live for?

    A person rode forward furiously on his horse, shouting out loud as he went along.

    Some of the others laughed as he rode by, remarking "Looks like Little Blackie's gone mad."

    "If only I could spend a night with a woman like Cui Nong, I'd even be willing to give my life."

    "I think I'd rather have Third Madame Shen. Her entire body looks so soft and tender that you could squeeze water out of it."

    Suddenly, a painful scream rang out. It was that Little Blackie from before who had just rode out into the darkness.

    A person appeared from the darkness, in his hands was a 'Horse Severing Sabre'.

    Hot wine suddenly turned into cold sweat.

    "Who are you? Are you a ghost?"

    That person smiled and replied, "All of you don't even recognize who I am?"

    The two who stood furthest in front finally got a clear look. "Oh, so it's ..."

    As soon as they spoke, the Horse Severing Sabre hacked down. Fresh blood splattered across the ground. In the darkness of the night, the blood actually looked black. As that person fell over, his eyes were still fixed at the mysterious figure, his expression filled with surprise and disbelief.

    He would've never imagined that he would die under this person's hands!

    Fine steeds neighed in fright, people all around screamed in horror.

    Some of them tried to escape on their horses, but that person chased them from behind and more bodies toppled from their horses.

    "Why? Why are you doing this?" one of them shouted.

    "Don't blame me for this, blame yourselves for being in leagues with the 'Hall of Ten-Thousand Horses'!"

    ________________________________________

    Flames danced in the violent wind. In the distance, that giant sky lantern started to grow dimmer.

    Two people gathered by the fire, their eyes fixed on the metal pot that hung above the flames. The water in the pot had already started to boil. One of them took a tough, dry piece of horse meat and flung it into the pot.

    "I grew up in Jiangnan. When I was young, I always wanted to know what horse meat tasted like. Now I've finally gotten the chance." he bit down on his teeth and continued, "But damn, if I have to eat another piece of horse meat in my next life, I'd rather stay in the eighteen levels of Hell."

    The other person seemed to pay him no attention as he reached his hands into his pants. When he pulled them out, his palms were full of blood.

    "What happened? Did your thighs chafe again? Who told you to have such delicate skin? Even if you can't stand it anymore, you'll have to deal with it again tomorrow."

    But really, who could endure such an existence? Riding nonstop on horseback for twelve hours a day? The first hour might be fine, but after the tenth, it felt like your saddle was full of needles.

    He looked down at the blood in his hands and couldn't help but curse under his breath, "Luo LuoShan, you son of a *****, where the hell did you crawl to? Making us suffer like this just to look for you."

    "I've heard that he's a drunkard. Maybe he's fell off his horse somewhere and broke his neck."

    The sound of snores came from the tent next to them. The water in the pot started to bubble. Was the horse meat ruined? The older one of the two picked up a branch and began to stir the pot.

    Just then, the sound of a rider and a horse approached.

    The two of them lunged up and grabbed for their sabres at the same time, "Who's there?"

    "It's me."

    That voice sounded very familiar. The youngster raised one of the burning branches with his blood soaked hands. The light from the flames shined onto that person's face.

    The two of them smiled at once and asked, "What are you doing here so late? What can we help you with?"

    "I had something to discuss with you."

    "What is it?"

    There was no response. The rider's blade suddenly flashed. A head fell to the floor.

    The youngster's mouth dropped wide open. Even his startled cry seemed to have gotten stuck in his throat. Why was he attacking them? He couldn't figure out for the life of him.

    Snoring still came from inside the tent. People who've been toiling for an entire day have a tendency to sleep through almost anything. The first one to awaken was the most startled. He heard what sounded like a horse trampling on mud, then saw drops of blood splatter all over the tent.

    He wanted to scream, but the blade had already reached his neck.

    ________________________________________

    It was still an hour until daybreak.

    Ye Kai's eyes were shut as he lay on the bed, he had already fallen asleep.

    Fu HongXue was filling up a basin with water in the back kitchen and was about to wash his face.

    GongSun Duan was heavily drunk. He staggered out of the door, leapt onto his horse, and rode away.

    The light in the small pavilion was no longer lit.

    Ma FangLing's eyes were still wide open as she lay on her bed.

    And what of Ma KongQun, Yun ZaiTian, Hua MenTian, and Third Madame Shen?

    Where were they when fresh blood started to spill in the barren wilderness?

    And where was Cui Nong?

    Ma FangLing was holding on tightly to her blanket, her body was still covered in cold sweat. She thought she had just heard agonizing cries echoing in the night. She would've went to take a look if it weren't so late.

    But she had already witnessed so many horrifying events lately, she really didn't want to see anymore. She couldn't bare to see anymore. Her room was dark and gloomy, but she didn't even dare to open the windows.

    The building they lived in was wide and spacious. With the exception of two old nannies, only she, her father, GongSun Duan, and Third Madame Shen lived there.

    Maybe it was because they were the only ones who could be trusted in the 'Hall of Ten-Thousand Horses'.

    XiaoHu Zi was deep asleep as well. The nanny that watched over him was half-deaf and half-blind. There really wasn't much of a difference when she was awake and when she was asleep.

    Now it felt like Ma FangLing was the only person left in that entire house.

    Loneliness was always a type of fear. In addition, there was the darkness, the deathly quiet darkness. That person from the darkness who sought vengeance.

    Ma FangLing bit down on her lips and sat up.

    Wind blew against her shutters. Suddenly, a figure appeared at her window. It was a long, slender figure. She knew it couldn't be her dad or GongSun Duan.

    Ma FangLing felt her own stomach slowly shrinking. There was a sword hanging from the wall. The black figure remained motionless, as if it was listening in on the movements inside the house. Ma FangLing bit down on her lips as she slowly walked towards the wall and pulled out that sword.

    The figure started to move, as if it was about to push open the window. Cold sweat from her palms had already soaked the purple cloth covering the handle of the sword.

    Ma FangLing gathered herself and tried hard not to tremble. The room was extremely dark, she got into position and was prepared to strike. She only hoped that the figure outside hadn't seen her yet.

    But before her sword could even move, the figure in the window had already disappeared. Afterwards, she heard hoofbeats trailing off in the wind. The figure outside her window probably saw someone returning and fled.

    "At least someone has finally come back."

    Ma FangLing fell on top of her bed, her entire body felt like it had just crumbled to pieces. She finally knew what real fear tasted like.

    Who was outside her window?

    When she finally gathered enough courage to push open her window to take a look, the sound of hoofbeats again rang out from outside. She heard her father's stern voice, "Don't say a word, follow me upstairs!"

    Ma KongQun didn't come back alone! Who came back with him? She only heard one horse return, why would Ma KongQun be willing to share his saddle with another person? Ma FangLing felt quite perplexed when she heard a woman grunting softly, then the sound of footsteps ascending the stairs. Why would Ma KongQun bring back a woman with him?

    She knew that the woman wasn't Third Aunt because that voice sounded young and flirtatious. She sat up, then fell back down. She wasn't really upset at her father.

    The more nervous that men become, the more that they needed women. The older that men become, the younger that they needed their women to be. Third Aunt was starting to age, Ma FangLing suddenly felt sorry for her. Men could bring women home at anytime, but women leaving the house at night was almost unforgivable.

    Her windows slowly filled with white.

    Where was that figure from before?

    "That figure probably didn't just disappear into the night, and is still hiding in some dark corner somewhere, waiting for the chance to strangle it's victim. And that victim could very well be me."

    Ma FangLing was filled with fear again, but luckily her father had returned and it would soon be light out. She hesitated, but finally grasped onto that sword and walked out her door - but there was no one to be seen. The hallway was still very dark and very quiet.

    She walked along the ice cold floors, hoping to spot that figure, yet in her heart she was quite afraid that that person would suddenly spring out.

    Just then, she heard the sounds of splashing water. That sound was coming from Third Aunt's room.

    Had Third Aunt returned? Or was that figure hiding in Third Aunt's room?

    Ma FangLing felt her heart beating so fast that it seemed like it could jump out of her chest at any time. She gritted her teeth and slowly approached the room. Suddenly, the floor boards creaked.

    She almost leapt up in fright. She noticed that Third Aunt's door was opened just a crack. A pair of bright eyes looked out from inside, they were Third Aunt's eyes.

    Ma FangLing let out a long sigh of relief and exclaimed, "Thank heavens you've finally returned."
    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?

  10. #70
    Senior Member fastclock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    580

    Default

    Thanks Bliss
    I'm really glad you're back at full strength, with all the translation chapters flying around at full speed...

  11. #71
    Senior Member rayon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    300

    Default

    That was a long one. Devoured it for breakfast. Yum.
    "It's good to know what you don't know." - The Twit

    Xiao Shiyi Lang Book 2 - plodding thru Chap 27

  12. #72
    Senior Member ccsakura's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    QLD, Australia
    Posts
    545

    Default

    Cool update, I love reading about Ye Kai, he has such an interesting past his been everywhere and done so many things!

  13. #73
    Member BeeDreamer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    150

    Default

    Oohh.. a wanderer at heart..

    Is it only my imagination or did GL actually make this bordertown story hotter than others? Even Li Xunhuan is pretty tame compared to Ye Kai..

    And the love scenes.. did you write it yourself blissie?!!!

    [I doubt if he'll like his new nick LOL.. but bliss-ge is already taken! ]

  14. #74
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,202

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fastclock
    Thanks Bliss
    I'm really glad you're back at full strength, with all the translation chapters flying around at full speed...
    Yea I had a month to cultivate my neigong, I should be good to go for a bit.


    Quote Originally Posted by rayon
    That was a long one. Devoured it for breakfast. Yum.
    Stop eating so quickly! You have to chew slowly and cherish each bite.


    Quote Originally Posted by ccsakura
    Cool update, I love reading about Ye Kai, he has such an interesting past his been everywhere and done so many things!
    It only gets better!


    Quote Originally Posted by BeeDreamer
    And the love scenes.. did you write it yourself blissie?!!!

    [I doubt if he'll like his new nick LOL.. but bliss-ge is already taken! ]
    That's gotta be the worse nickname ever ...

    The story's plot is starting to thicken ... I'd advise readers to go over the previous chapters once more to get all the details fresh in their heads.
    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?

  15. #75
    Member BeeDreamer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    150

    Default

    Yikesss...

    Now I'm gonna have to come up with something worse than worse!

  16. #76
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,202

    Default Chapter 13 - Third Madame Shen's Secret

    It was pitch black inside that room.

    Third Madame Shen had on a long flowing robe, it looked like she had just washed her face. Her countenance looked pale and afflicted. Streaks of blood covered the towel in her hands.

    "Are ... are you okay?" Ma FangLing asked.

    Third Madame Shen did not answer, instead she asked her, "You knew that I left here before?"

    Ma FangLing smiled and winked at her, "Don't worry, I'm a woman too. I can pretend that I didn't see a thing."

    She was smiling not because it was the first time that she felt like an adult. Keeping secrets was something that only fully mature people were capable of doing.

    Third Madame Shen didn't say another word. She soaked her towel in a tub of water and watched as the blood washed away.

    The taste of blood was still fresh in her mouth. She had kept in that mouthful of blood the whole time she was running back until she reached her room.

    GongSun Duan's fists really weren't light.

    Ma FangLing jumped onto her bed and lifted her legs. She was usually very reserved in this room but now she was acting rather casual and unrestrained.

    "Do you have any wine here? I feel like drinking wine!" Ma FangLing suddenly said.

    Third Madame Shen furrowed her brows and said, "When did you learn how to drink wine?"

    "Don't tell me you never drank when you were my age?" Ma FangLing replied.

    Third Madame Shen let out a sigh and said, "There's wine in the bottom drawer of that cabinet over there."

    "I knew you'd have wine stashed away here. If I were you I'd probably drink a few cups when I'm having trouble falling asleep at night." Ma FangLing said.

    "You seem to have really grown up in these last two days." Third Madame Shen said.

    Ma FangLing reached for the wine jug and removed the lid. She put her mouth to the brim and took a sip.

    "I'm already an adult you know. You should really just tell me who you went to see before." Ma FangLing said.

    "Don't worry, it wasn't Ye Kai." Third Madame Shen said.

    Ma FangLing's eyes flashed, "Who was it then? Was it Fu HongXue?"

    Third Madame Shen's hand that was still rinsing her towel suddenly froze still. After a long while, she finally turned her head and stared at Ma FangLing.

    "Why are you looking at me like that? Was my guess correct?" Ma FangLing said.

    Third Madame Shen suddenly snatched the wine jug out of Ma FangLing's hands and scolded, "You're drunk, you should go back to your room and sleep. Come back tomorrow when you're sober and awake."

    Ma FangLing made a sarcastic face at her and replied, "I just wanted to know how you managed to seduce a man like him. Otherwise, why would he fall for a woman of your age?"

    "Don't tell me he's the one you like? I thought it was Ye Kai?" Third Madame Shen said.

    Ma FangLing looked like someone had just slapped her across the face. Her pale white cheeks suddenly flushed red. It seemed as if she was about to slap Third Madame Shen as well, but just then the sound of footsteps were heard coming from the corridor.

    The footsteps were slow and heavy, they stopped in front of the door and were followed by the person's voice, "Third Madame, are you awake?"

    It was Ma KongQun's voice.

    Ma FangLing and Third Madame Shen were both startled. Third Madame Shen gestured with her mouth at the bottom of her bed. Ma FangLing bit down on her lips and slipped underneath.

    She felt just as uneasy as Third Madame Shen because she had unspeakable secrets as well.

    Luckily Ma KongQun did not barge in, he stayed at the door and asked, "Are you awake yet?"

    "Mmm."

    "Did you sleep well?"

    "Not really."

    "Come upstairs with me, okay?"

    "Okay."

    They had spent many years together, the words they shared were terse yet intimate.

    Ma FangLing felt slightly confused. She had heard her father bringing home a woman just now, why would he ask Third Aunt to go upstairs with him?

    And just who was that woman?

    Ma KongQun occupied three rooms upstairs. The first was his study, the second his bedroom, and the third was his private quarters. Even Third Madame Shen had never been inside there before.

    His posture was perfectly straight even when he walked up stairs. If someone were to see his figure from behind, they would've never imagined that he was such an old man.

    Third Madame Shen followed him quietly from behind, she had never refused him before. She was never too affectionate towards him, yet she was never too cold either. Whenever necessary, she could fully satisfy all his desires. She was exactly the type of woman that Ma KongQun needed. A man of his age had no need for women who were too passionate.

    The door to the first room was shut, Ma KongQun stopped just before it. He suddenly turned to face her and asked, "Do you know why I asked you to come up here?"

    Third Madame Shen lowered her head and replied softly, "It doesn't matter what you ask of me."

    "What if I wanted to kill you?" Ma KongQun said.

    His tone was very solemn, not even the slightest trace of humor could be found. Third Madame Shen suddenly felt a cold sensation rush through from her feet, it was only then that she realized she was barefooted.

    Ma KongQun suddenly smiled and said, "Of course I could never bring myself to harm you. There's someone waiting to see you inside this room."

    "Someone waiting to see me? Who is it?" Third Madame Shen replied.

    The smile on Ma KongQun's face looked extremely odd, "You'll never guess who it is!"

    He turned and pushed open the door. Third Madame Shen just didn't have the courage to go inside.

    ________________________________________

    The morning sun had finally risen.

    Fu HongXue was slowly sipping on his hot porridge.

    Ye Kai had a nagging feeling that Cui Nong would not return. He started to put on his boots.

    Everything in the small pavilion was calm and quiet.

    GongSun Duan had just dunked his head into one of the horse troughs and was guzzling cold water like one of the horses. But it seemed like all the water in all the rivers in the world wouldn't sober him up now.

    There was still the stench of blood and flesh that drifted in the morning winds.

    Hua MenTian and Yun ZaiTian had both returned to their rooms and were preparing to go to the main hall for breakfast. The two of them would always show up in the mornings at the main hall for breakfast, it was one of the 'Hall of Ten-Thousand Horses' customs.

    ________________________________________

    Third Madame Shen finally gathered the courage to step through those doors.

    Who was inside that room waiting for her?

    Cui Nong's hands were wrapped around her knees as she sat curled up in one of the large chairs in that study room. She looked exhausted and stricken with fear.

    When Third Madame Shen met eyes with her, both of them seemed a bit startled.

    Ma KongQun slowly examined the expressions on both of their faces as he coldly remarked, "I see that the two of you are acquainted."

    Third Madame Shen nodded her head.

    "I've brought her here to stay with us so you don't have to go off in the middle of the night to look for her anymore." Ma KongQun sneered.

    Third Madame Shen's reaction was very peculiar. She seemed to be in deep thought and she seemed to not have heard Ma KongQun's words at all.

    After a long while, she finally turned to face Ma KongQun and said, "I did leave the house last night."

    "I know." Ma KongQun said.

    "The person that I went to look for wasn't Cui Nong." Third Madame Shen said.

    "I know." Ma KongQun said.

    He had taken a seat by now, his expression was still extremely calm. No one could tell just what he was thinking.

    Third Madame Shen stared at him and slowly said, "The person I went to see was Fu HongXue!"

    Ma KongQun heard her clearly, but it seemed as if his eyes didn't even show the slightest reaction. Not only was shock and anger missing from his expression, he almost seemed sympathetic and understanding.

    Third Madame Shen was very calm as well as she continued, "I went to look for him because I had a feeling that he was the killer!"

    "He's not." Ma KongQun replied casually.

    "I know that now, but I had to find out for myself, or else I would've felt uneasy." Third Madame Shen said.

    "I understand." Ma KongQun said.

    "I could tell from his mannerisms. Women have this innate feeling, if he really did hate you, then his mannerisms towards me would've been different." Third Madame Shen explained.

    "I see." Ma KongQun said.

    "But the entire time that I was there, he was really courteous to me. Although he was a bit startled when he first saw me, he didn't try to keep me when I wanted to leave." Third Madame Shen said.

    "He is a true gentleman." Ma KongQun replied.

    "It's a shame that the same can't be said of one of your friends." Third Madame Shen said.

    "Oh?" Ma KongQun exclaimed.

    Third Madame Shen gritted her teeth, her eyes shot red. She unbuttoned her collar and her garments fell to the floor. Although she was in her thirties, her body still looked youthful. Her breasts were firm, her stomach was flat, and her legs were long and slender. It was a pity that her snow white complexion was bruised and swollen all over.

    Cui Nong couldn't help but let out a soft scream. Third Madame Shen started to tear as she asked softly, "Do you know who did this to me?"

    Ma KongQun stared at the bruises on her body, anger leaked from his eyes. After a long while he finally replied, "I don't want to know."

    Of course Third Madame Shen knew what he meant. She slowly picked up her clothes and said, "It's fine if you don't want to know, I just wanted you to understand that I'd do anything for you."

    The anger and rage in Ma KongQun's eyes turned into pain. After a long while he sighed and said, "These past few years, you've really done a lot for me. You've suffered many hardships for me."

    Third Madame Shen suddenly fell to the floor and started weeping at his knees. Ma KongQun gently consoled her and brushed his hands through her hair, while his eyes were fixed at the window.

    The early morning breeze blew over the grasslands.

    "This place was originally nothing but wilderness. I don't think I could have made this place as grand and magnificent as it is now without your help. No one really knows how important you are to me." Ma KongQun said.

    "As long as you understand then I'll be satisfied." Third Madame Shen said.

    "Of course I understand. You helped me build up my empire because you want me to suffer even more when I lose it all." Ma KongQun said.

    Third Madame Shen suddenly lifted her head and exclaimed, "What ... what ... are you talking about?"

    Ma KongQun didn't look at her anymore as he replied, "I'm talking about your little secret."

    "What ... what secret?" Third Madame Shen said.

    The pain in Ma KongQun's eyes looked even deeper as he continued, "I knew who you were since the first day you arrived!"

    Third Madame Shen's entire body started to tremble, it looked like somebody was strangling her. Her breath had even stopped as she stood up slowly up and retreated step by step. Her eyes were filled with dread.

    "Your last name is not Shen, it is Hua." Ma KongQun said.

    Those words were like a hammer, slamming down hard onto her head. She collapsed to the floor.

    "Bai TianYu's mistress, Hua BaiFeng, was your elder sister." Ma KongQun said.

    "How ... how did you know?" she said.

    "Maybe you don't believe me, but I've seen you before you came here. You were together with your sister and Bai TianYu. You were still young back then, and your sister was already pregnant with Bai TianYu's child." Ma KongQun said.

    Third Madame Shen suddenly stopped trembling and froze still.

    "After Bai TianYu's death, I had actually looked for the two of you. Your elder sister was nowhere to be found. But who would've guessed that you would show up here by yourself?" Ma KongQun said.

    Third Madame Shen stumbled backwards onto a chair and stared at him. She had spent the last seven years sleeping with this man at least ten times a month, having to endure his clumsy, fingerless hands caressing her body, having to endure his sweat and stench all over her. Many times it felt like she was sleeping next to a horse, an old horse.

    She endured so much for the past seven years because deep down inside she believed that one day he would finally pay the ultimate price. Only now did she realize that she was wrong, so very wrong. She suddenly felt like the worm in a child's hands, constantly being toyed with.

    "I was long aware of who you were, but never said a word. Do you know why?" Ma KongQun asked.

    Third Madame Shen shook her head.

    "Beacause I was quite fond of you, and I really needed a woman like yourself." Ma KongSun replied.

    Third Madame Shen smiled hysterically and added, "Not only that but I delivered myself to your doorstep willingly and free of charge."

    She really was smiling, but smiling was probably much more painful than crying right now. She suddenly wanted to throw up.

    "I long knew about your relationship with Cui Nong as well." Ma KongQun said.

    "Oh?" Third Madame Shen replied.

    "Cui Nong spreads information about the 'Hall of Ten-Thousand Horses' for me, and she tells me everything she hears from the outside." Ma KongQun laughed as he continued, "You were pretty smart in trying to use a person like her to communicate information."

    "It's a pity that you long knew about it already." Third Madame Shen said.

    "I never bothered to stop you two because I never had any important information to reveal anyway." Ma KongQun said.

    "Or maybe because you still wanted to know about the information that I gave her." Third Madame Shen said.

    Ma KongQun let out a sigh and said, "Too bad your sister is so much more clever than you. In all these years I've been unable to find even a single trace of her."

    "That's why she's still alive." Third Madame Shen said.

    "What about her son?" Ma KongQun asked.

    "He's alive as well." Third Madame Shen replied.

    "Has he already come back to Bordertown?" Ma KongQun asked.

    "What do you think?" Third Madame Shen replied.

    "Is it Ye Kai? Or Fu HongXue?" Ma KongQUn said.

    "You can't guess?" Third Madame Shen responded.

    Ma KongQun smiled and said, "Even if you don't tell me, I have ways of finding out."

    "Then why bother asking me for?" Third Madame Shen said.

    Ma KongQun let out a sigh, "You know, even up to this day, I never wanted to expose your secret. Because I really enjoyed the relationship that we had."

    "It's a pity that you have no other choice now." Third Madame Shen said.

    "Because this secret can no longer be hidden." Ma KongQun said.

    "Since you've let it drag on for this long, what difference does it make that you let it drag on for another few days?" Third Madame Shen asked.

    "I have a son, a daughter, and hundreds of followers. I don't want to see any more of them die before my very eyes."

    "How many more people died last night?"

    "Enough." he replied solemnly.

    "Who do you think the killer is? Ye Kai? Fu HongXue?"

    Intense hatred leaked out from his eyes as Ma KongQun exclaimed, "I don't care who the killer is, but this I guarantee: he will never escape!"

    "The heavens are like a great net, nothing can ever slip through. Murderers will always be punished ... isn't that correct?" Third Madame Shen said.

    "Precisely." Ma KongQun replied.

    "Then what about yourself?"

    The anger in Ma KongQun's eyes suddenly turned into fear, a fear so deep that it sunk into the bones. He suddenly stood up and walked towards the window, as if he didn't want to let Third Madame Shen see the expression on his face. It was just then that the sound of gongs rang out from the outside.

    Ma KongQun sighed and exclaimed, "Just like that another day has passed. It's time for breakfast once again."

    "You still have your appetite today?" Third Madame Shen said.

    "This is a custom that I instituted myself, it's not something that I can break!" Without glancing another eye at her, he stormed towards the door.

    "Wait a second." Third Madame Shen said.

    Ma KongQun stopped.

    "You're going to leave just like that?" she asked.

    "Why can't I?" Ma KongQun replied.

    "What ... what are you going to do with me?"

    "Nothing."

    "I don't understand what you mean."

    "There's nothing to understand."

    "You exposed my secret, aren't you going to kill me?"

    "Exposing your secret is one thing, killing you is another!"

    "But ..."

    "I know that you can no longer bear to stay here."

    "You're letting me leave?"

    Ma KongQun smiled and incredibly sorrowful smile, "Why wouldn't I let you leave? Do you really think that I could bear to kill you?"

    Third Madame Shen stared at him in amazement. She realized that she could never understand this person. Perhaps she had never understood this person at all. She couldn't help but ask, "Since you were going to let me go anyway, why did you reveal my secret?"

    Ma KongQun smiled and said, "Because I didn't want you to take me for an idiot."

    "Or maybe you just don't want me here anymore." Third Madame Shen added.

    "Perhaps."

    He didn't say another word as he walked out. The sound of his deep, heavy footsteps echoed as he descended those stairs. It was as if his mood had sunk as well.

    "Why didn't he kill me? Could it be that he genuinely cared for me?"

    Third Madame Shen clenched her fists and was determined not to dwell on it any longer. Thinking about it would only cause even more pain. It was this person who had deceived her, who had played with her. But when others would have had no choice but to kill her, he actually let her go.

    Perhaps he never wanted to deceive her, it was only because she wanted to deceive him.

    No matter what he had done before, he really did owe nothing to her.

    Third Madame Shen suddenly felt a sharp piercing pain in her heart. A pain that she should not be feeling, a pain that she would've never imagined that she would feel.

    But we are only human. Human emotions are always full of contradiction and pain.

    Cui Nong rose to her feet, walked up in front of her and said softly, "Since he's letting us go, why aren't we leaving yet?"

    Third Madame Shen let out a long sigh and replied, "Of course we'll leave, it's just that ... I really should've never came in the first place."


    - END CHAPTER 13 -
    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?

  17. #77
    Senior Member Temujin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Wuxialand
    Posts
    2,383

    Default

    Bliss... Glad you accepted my challenge and going at super light speed at translating

    I still haven't seen Ye Kai in action, but nevertheless...

    Thank you Thank you
    Last edited by Temujin; 08-09-05 at 10:44 PM.
    - WuxiaSociety.org (formerly known as wuxiamania forum) -

    ----- the society of global wuxia fans ----

  18. #78
    Senior Member rayon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    300

    Default

    I give up. I'll stop trying to predict Gu Long's train of thoughts from now on. I just can't take this anymore. I'm all confuzzled. Of course, Shen played an important role but who the crap is Cui Nong to her? Hope you don't lose your momentum, bliss.
    "It's good to know what you don't know." - The Twit

    Xiao Shiyi Lang Book 2 - plodding thru Chap 27

  19. #79
    Moderator Ren Wo Xing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Currently DC
    Posts
    6,553

    Default

    Ho-ly-shit.

    How.

    How do you do it, bliss?

  20. #80
    Member BeeDreamer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    150

    Default

    Hmm.. it's third aunt who slept with the Fu guy right? So Ye Kai must be her nephew.. otherwise it'd be a little too kinky

    Ah-bliss is the best!

Similar Threads

  1. Chi Zi Cheng Long [赤子乘龙]
    By kidd in forum Mainland China TV Series
    Replies: 35
    Last Post: 05-26-09, 10:31 PM
  2. Bordertown
    By Guo Xiang ( : in forum Wuxia Translations
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-23-08, 11:28 PM
  3. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-07-07, 09:27 PM
  4. Questions about GL's Bian Cheng Lang Zi
    By Trinie in forum Wuxia Fiction
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 06-21-04, 04:31 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •