Underneath the fluffly, cudly exterior lies the tormented and complex creature known as the panda.
It's kind of interesting to note that XXDF actually increases in power by itself even without absorbing any more internal energy. Too bad without the method of merging the energies, you're a dead man walking.
We should not force too much about replacing some terms with english. There were many word without its proper english equivalent. But I think it added to its uniqueness. Have you read a novel called 'Otori : Across the nightingale floor' by Lian Hearn ? Many said it was a good novel, but IMHO it's lifeless since it's a 'japanese story' by a 'non japanese author' without using any japanese terms (except samurai and some stupid names).
But if you had to use an english term, I think I'll go with high-priestess Dingjing and Chief-priestess for the leader.
Liberalism is not a philosophy. It's a mental disorder. -- Michael Savage.
He slowly walked up the steep slope and arrived at the beginning of the road between the two peaks. He was around a li away from the ambush place; he sat down and started thinking, "The Devil Sect people have probably seen me here. But they're afraid to alert the enemy so they are just letting me sit here." After waiting for some time, he lied down on the ground. Finally, he heard faint steps coming up from the hillside. He thought, "It's best if I lead the Devil Sect's people to start fighting with me first. After fighting for a little bit, then Heng-Shan School will be aware." He then said angrily at the people on the top of the slope, " What old man hates the most is being stabbed in the back. Then I won’t know whether they are real swords or spears. Stabbing in the back is a very rotten method. You hiding there, get up! Evil ghosts, harming people by ambush! How contemptible and disgraceful." Although his voice wasn't loud, he had put an abundant of qi to deliver it, so it was able to travel far. He was guessing that the Devil Sect people had heard what he said. But who would have thought these people could really hold in their anger and unexpectedly did not pay attention to him at all. Not long after, Heng-Shan School's first group of seven apprentices arrived in front of him.
Under the moonlight, the seven apprentices could see an officer sleeping on the ground with his four limbs extended out. Only one person at a time can go up the mountain pass as it was flanked by high cliffs on both sides. Therefore, if they wanted to go up the slope, they have to step across his body first. These apprentices only had to lightly jump to go across his body, but between man and woman, there must be a separation. In order to jump across, they also have to go over his head. This was just too rude.
A middle-aged nun said with a clear voice, "Excuse me, officer. Please lend us a path."
Linghu Chong made two "woo, woo" sounds snoring loudly. That nun's buddhist name was Yihe but her temper was not peaceful at all (Translator's note: play of words on her name). She saw that this officer was sleeping soundly in the middle of the road snoring so loudly that he must be deliberately pretending to be asleep. This made her all the more agitated. She held back her anger and said, "If you don't make way, we will jump over you." Linghu Chong kept up his loud snoring and muttered, " Lots of demons and ghosts on this road. Mustn't go through it. Woo... woo... the sea of bitterness is endless... turn... turn... turn around then you will see the beach." Yihe was startled when she heard this as his words seemed to carry two meanings. Another nun pulled Yihe back by tugging her sleeve and the seven nuns retreated several steps.
One person whispered, "Apprentice sister, this person is weird."
Another one said, "I'm afraid he might be Devil Sect's spy challenging us."
Another person said, "I don't think Devil Sect's people would go and get a government job as a military officer. I think he's disguising himself. He didn't dirty his attire when he was disguising himself."
Yihe said, "Don't worry about him! He's not letting us get through so we'll jump over him."
Before she jumped, she asked again, "If you're really not making way then we just have to offend you."
Linghu Chong stretched out lazily and slowly got up. He was still afraid that Yilin might recognise him so he faced the hillside. The back of his body was facing the Heng-Shan School apprentices. With his right hand leaning on the cliff face, his body swayed from side to side looking like a drunk. He said, "Good wine! good wine!" At this moment, the second group of Heng-Shan School apprentices arrived.
"Apprentice sister Yihe, what's this person doing here?" asked a secular disciple.
"Who knows what he's doing here!" answered Yihe.
Linghu Chong said in a loud voice, "Just then I butchered a dog. My tummy's so full after eating it. I've also drunk a lot of wine. I'm afraid I might vomit. Aiyo, not good, really gonna vomit!" A vomiting sound was heard briefly.
The female apprentices scowled and one by one retreated back. Linghu Chong made the vomiting sound a few more times although nothing was coming out. The apprentices were discussing among themselves when the third group also arrived.
He heard a soft voice said, "This person is drunk, he's very pitiful. Let him rest, we can't be delayed."
When Linghu Chong heard this voice, his heart fluttered. He thought, "Apprentice sister Yilin has a very good heart."
But Yihe said, "This person is deliberately making a fuss here, he must have some bad intention!" She then took a step forward and shouted, "Make way!" While she pushed Linghu Chong's left shoulder. Linghu Chong swayed forward and shouted, "Aiyo, this is disastrous!" He took a few stumbling steps up the slope, staggering from side to side. After walking a few steps, the situation had become even more awkward. His body was now filling in the narrow pass completely. If it were not for the inappropriateness, the people behind him would have jumped over his head to get pass. Yihe went forward and shouted, "Make way already!"
"Yes, yes," answered Linghu Chong. He took a few more steps up. He got even higher as he moved forward making the narrow pass even more difficult to pass. Suddenly he shouted very loudly, "Hello, friends above waiting to ambush, pay attention please! The people you're waiting for have arrived. You guys should come out now, no one here would be able to escape."
When Yihe and the apprentices heard of this, they immediately retreated back. One apprentice said, "This place is really dangerous, if the enemy ambush us now, we'll have great difficulty in fighting back." Yihe said, "If there's someone waiting to ambush us, why is he calling them out? It's just empty threat, empty threat. There's nobody up there. If we retreat in fear, the enemy will laugh at us." Another two middle-aged nun said together, "Yeah! We three people will make way in front, apprentice sisters follow behind us." The three nuns pulled their long swords out and went forward towards Linghu Chong's back.
Linghu Chong continuously panted loudly and said, "This hillside road is very steep. Ai, old man is very old now. I can't go further."
One of the nuns said, "Hey, you go to one side and let us walk ahead first, is this ok?"
"Don't get angry. Walking fast will get us there, walking slow will also get us there. Hai.. Hai.. Ai, when going towards the gates of Hell, it is better to go slowly."
That nun said, "Why are you beating around the bush trying to scold people?"
With a shout, Yihuo thrust her sword towards Linghu Chong's heart from behind. This thrust was only meant to scare him into making way for them. So when the sword was about to pierce his body, it stopped short. At this exact moment, Linghu Chong also turned his body around. He saw that the tip of the sword was pointed at his chest and shouted, "Hey! You... you... what are you doing? I'm a government official. Didn't expect that you dare to be this rude. Come people, seize these nuns!"
Some of the younger nuns couldn't help to hold in their laughter anymore. This person was on a desolated mountainside but was still exhibiting a bureaucratic air. It was really comical.
A nun laughingly said, "Officer, we have an urgent matter and are hurrying along. Please move to a side and let us through."
"What officer, I'm a general. You should call me general. Then I'll let you through," said Linghu Chong.
Seven to eight female apprentices laughingly said, "General, please make way."
Linghu Chong laughed and straightened up. He puffed up his chest and tucked in his stomach, looking arrogant. Suddenly, he slipped and fell on the ground. The female apprentices squealed and called out in alarm, "Be careful." And two of them quickly held onto his arms. Linghu Chong slipped one more time before he stood firm. He then scolded, "His granny.... this ground is so slippery. The local government is a bucket of rice, unlike those common people (Translator's note: "a bucket of rice" means good for nothing). They should keep the mountain road in good condition." He had already slipped twice and now he leaned his body against a small depression on the cliff wall. Heng-Shan School's apprentices quickly used their qinggong to go through. One by one, they went pass him swiftly.
One of them laughed, "The local government will send eight people with a sedan chair to carry general over this mountain range. That's the way to do it."
Another one said, "General rides a horse not a sedan chair."
The next one said, "This general is different than the others. When riding a horse, he's afraid that he might fall down on the ground."
Linghu Chong indignantly said, "Nonsense! How many times have I fallen down from riding a horse? Last month, that horse was scared to death by a tiger. Only then did I slid from the horse's back and injured my upper arm. So that one cannot be counted." The apprentices laughed aloud while climbing the slope like wind.
Linghu Chong saw a slender body shook. It was Yilin. He immediately followed behind her, again blocking the apprentices behind her. His steps were heavy and he was also panting heavily. For every three steps, he slipped two steps. He was climbing and falling at the same time. Fortunately, he was actually walking quite quickly. The apprentices behind were laughing and complaining at the same time. "You, general, is really... ke(coughing sound). Don't know how many times must you fall down in a day!"
Yilin turned her head and said, "Apprentice sister Yiqing, don't rush general. He's already trying to hurry, don't make him slip for real. This slope is really steep, falling down would be serious."
Linghu Chong saw her two big eyes. They were clear and bright like two clear fountains. Her elegant face shone under the moonlight looking very beautiful. He remembered the day when they were evading the pursuit of Qingcheng School. She carried him out from inside the city of Hengshan and he was staring at her right now just like he did at that time. Suddenly, he felt a soft and gentle feeling rising up in his heart. He thought, "At the top of this slope, there are many concealed enemies wanting to harm her. I don't care about my life but I must protect her and make sure she is safe."
Yilin saw his two eyes looking dull and his appearance ugly. She nodded slightly at him, revealing a warm and smiling countenance. She said, "Apprentice sister Yiqing, if General slipped and fell, you must quickly give him a hand."
Yiqing laughed, "He's very heavy, how do I help him?"
Originally, Heng-Shan School's rules were very strict. These female apprentices did not easily chat and laugh with strangers. But Linghu Chong had been acting like a clown making them laugh repeatedly. Also, there were no elders around. As the dark night hurried along and after exchanging some harmless jokes, everyone was feeling livelier.
Linghu Chong indignantly said, "You girls are speaking without knowing what you’re talking about. I'm a great general. Back in those days, in the battlefield, I routed and killed numerous thieves. The type of killing that makes you shiver with fear that the air around it would even be filled with a shimmering murderous aura. If you girls saw it, hey hey, you will admire me completely. This trivial mountain slope is nothing to look at for me. How can I fall down? You're talking rubbish... Aiyo, not good!"
His foot seemed to have step on a small stone and he fell down. He put both of his hands out waving them about trying to grab onto something. The apprentices behind him yelped in surprise. Yilin quickly turned back and stuck her hand out to help him. Linghu Chong grabbed her hand and Yilin used all her strength to pull him upwards. Linghu Chong was now crouching down with his left hand on the ground supporting himself. He appeared to be very distressed. The apprentices behind him were clutching their stomachs laughing loudly.
Linghu Chong said, "My leather boots are too heavy to use for climbing up mountain roads. If I were wearing your hemp shoes, then I guarantee I wouldn't fall down at all. Also, I’m only slipping and falling, what's so funny about that?"
Yilin slowly loosened her hand and said, "Yeah. General is wearing riding boots so it's not comfortable to climb up the mountain."
"Of course it's not comfortable. But with my very high prestige, I have to wear these boots. If I were just an ordinary common person like you people then I can wear those hemp shoes without any shame," said Linghu Chong. After hearing him trying to save face at all cost, the apprentices all laughed again.
By now, a few more groups have arrived at the bottom of the slope while the first person who had gone up have reached the top of the slope
Linghu Chong shouted, "This region has the most thieves, stealing chicken and dogs. They don't care at all if the weather is cold, they'll still come out to steal our money. Although you buddhists don't have too much wealth, be careful. Don't let them steal your hard earned alms money."
Yiqing giggled and said, "General is here, those thieves wouldn't dare to show their faces here."
Linghu Chong answered back, "Hey, hey, be careful. I see some people at the top lurking around."
One of the female apprentices said, "General, you are talking nonsense. With us around you're still afraid of a few small time thieves?"
Just as she said this, two female apprentice suddenly shouted, "Ai yo!" and rolled down the slope.
Two female apprentices hastily went up and held them. From the front, a few of the female apprentices shouted, "The thieves used some projectiles. Be careful!" As soon as they said this, another apprentice rolled down the slope.
Yihe ordered in a loud voice, "Everyone get down! Be careful of projectiles!"
Everyone quickly crouched down while Linghu Chong scolded out loudly, "Bold thieves, you don't know that General is here?" Yilin was pulling his arm and worriedly implored, "Quickly get down!"
The apprentices in front were shooting their metal bead projectiles from inside their sleeves. But the enemies on the hilltop had concealed themselves behind the rocks again. Not one could be seen. So their projectiles did not find their targets. Dingjing Shi Tai rushed forward when she heard that there was enemy at the top. She was jumping over the apprentices' head to get ahead. When she arrived behind Linghu Chong, she also jumped over his head and kept going forward.
Linghu Chong called out, "This is bad luck! Bad luck!" and spitted out some saliva (Translator’s note: It’s bad luck for someone to jump over your head). He saw Dingjing Shi Tai waving her big sleeve around as she charged towards the hilltop. She was met by a rain of the enemy's projectiles. Some of the projectiles were trapped while some were knocked away flying by her sleeves.
Dingjing Shi Tai jumped a few more times and reached the top of the slope. Before she steadied herself, she felt a strong wind; a copper staff was coming towards her head. Hearing the sound of the staff cutting through the air, she knew that the strike was very heavy so she didn't dare to parry it. She dodged to the side of the staff, but at the same time saw two spears coming forward. One was aiming high and the other one low making the situation very dangerous. The enemy was holding an advantageous position by blocking the mountain pass with three good fighters. Dingjing Shi Tai shouted, "Shameless!" while pulling out her long sword. Her sword slashed at the two spears and broke them, while the copper staff was swept at her waist. She countered by hitting the top of the staff with her sword to change its direction. Just then, another spear was thrust towards her right shoulder. The female apprentices on the slope started to scream in surprise and large crashing sounds were heard. Apparently the enemies on the hilltop were pushing big rocks down the slope. Heng-Shan School's apprentices were crowded in the middle of the pass. They were jumping and crouching to avoid the rocks from hitting them, but soon after some of them were hit and got injured.
Dingjing Shi Tai retreated back two steps and ordered, "Everyone turn back! Go back down the hill and regroup!"
She wielded her sword to prevent the enemy from going down but the enemy still managed to continuously toss more rocks down the slope. Then she heard the sounds of fighting coming from below. Apparently, enemies were also waiting for them at the bottom of the slope to prevent them from retreating.
Someone shouted from below, "Martial uncle, the kungfu of the enemies cutting off our escape are strong. We can't go down."
Another one shouted, "Two apprentice sisters are injured."
Dingjing Shi Tai angrily flew down. She saw two Han Chinese wielding sabres preventing two apprentices at the back from retreating down the hill. Dingjing Shi Tai cried out and attacked using her sword. Suddenly she heard two "hu, hu" sounds; two small hammers connected by a long chain were flying down vertically attacking the front of her body. Dingjing Shi Tai lifted her sword to block one of the meteor hammers while the other one went through and almost hit her head. Dingjing Shi Tai was startled, "Great power." If they were on flat ground, she wouldn't have used her sword to block the hammer. She would have instead launched an attack from the side. But the mountain pass was too narrow and there was only two ways to go; which was either up or down. The enemy twirled his meteor hammers quickly and the hammers, looking like two black clouds, came hurtling towards Dingjing Shi Tai. Dingjing Shi Tai was unable to use her clever sword art against him so she retreated step-by-step back towards the hilltop.
From above, she heard the cries of the apprentices and saw some of them falling down on the ground after being hit by projectiles. Dingjing Shi Tai calmed herself down and thought to herself that the enemies' martial art were weaker at the hilltop and should be easier to deal with. So she quickly rushed back up and jumped over some of the apprentices and also passed over Linghu Chong's head.
Linghu Chong called out to her, "Ai yo, what are you doing? Do you think you're jumping over a chicken here? You're already so old but still joking around, jumping over my head to go here and there. Do you think I can still gamble after this?"
Dingjing Shi Tai was hurrying trying to break through the enemy's trap so she didn't hear those words. But Yilin apologised, "Sorry, my martial uncle didn't do it on purpose." Linghu Chong grumbled and complained, "I already said earlier that there were thieves here. But none of you believed me." But in his heart, he was thinking, "I saw earlier that the Devil Sect people were setting up an ambush on the hilltop, but apparently they also have people at the bottom. Even though Heng-Shan School has many people here, they're all crowded in the middle of this narrow pass. So they can't display their skills. The situation is not encouraging at all."
When Dingjing Shi Tai arrived at the hilltop, she suddenly saw the shadow of a stick moving. A Buddhist steel staff was coming towards her head. The enemies have adjusted so that their better skilled people were now fighting her. Dingjing Shi Tai thought, "Today, if I don't manage to break through this pass, I'm afraid these apprentices will be annihilated." She leaned to one side and thrust her sword out in an angle. The Buddhist staff missed her body by only a few inches. She then shot forward and plunged her sword towards the monk. In making this move, she disregarded her own life, as it was potentially disastrous to both people. That monk tried hard to protect himself but it was too late. He scoffed lightly as the sword pierced the side of his body. But that monk was extremely brave. Uttering a cry, he broke the long sword in two with his fist. His fist was bloodied as it hit the sword.
Dingjing Shi Tai shouted, "Quickly get up here! Give me a sword!"
Yihe flew up and held her sword horizontally. She shouted, "Martial uncle, sword!" Dingjing Shi Tai turned her body around to take the sword. But a spear was thrust slantingly towards Yihe, while another spear was thrust towards Dingjing Shi Tai. Yihe had to use her sword to ward off the attack which allowed the spear wielding person to close in on her bit by bit. This also forced Yihe to retreat back down the slope. With this happening, Yihe wasn't able to pass the sword to Dingjing Shi Tai. In the mean time, three people charged onto the hilltop, two with sabres and the other one with a judge's pen, surrounding Dingjing Shi Tai. Dingjing Shi Tai's two palms were flitting about using Heng-Shan School's "Tian Zhang Zhang Fa" (Heaven's Palm) to ward off the attack from the four people. She was already around sixty years old but her hands were still agile. Unexpectedly, she was holding her own using only her bare hands even though the four masters from the Devil Sect were fighting cooperatively against her.
Yilin was frightened and whispered, "Ai yo! What do I do? What do I do?"
Linghu Chong said with a loud voice, "These small time thieves are too unruly. Make way! Make way! General is going up there to capture these thieves!"
Yilin worriedly said, "You mustn't go! They're not small time thieves. All of them have good martial art. If you go up there then they'll kill you."
Linghu Chong puffed up his chest and shouted boldly, "Under a sunny day... " He then raised his head up to the sky; it was almost daybreak, but it wasn't a "sunny day". But he didn't care and continued, "These small time thieves are cutting off the road and plundering people. Bullying women. Hng, hng, aren't they afraid of the law?"
"We're not ordinary women. Enemies are also not small time thieves cutting off the road and plundering people," said Yilin.
Linghu Chong took a big step going up the slope. He squeezed through the female apprentices to go up. The female apprentices were staying close to the side of the cliff face and allowed him to go up.
When Linghu Chong reached the hilltop, he extended his hand to pull out his Yaodao sabre. As a fraction of the sabre was pulled out, he suddenly stopped and pretended that he couldn't pull the sabre out anymore. He scolded, "Your granny, this sabre is looking for trouble. When an important matter comes up, it suddenly becomes rusted. How can General capture thieves with a rusted sabre?"
Yihe was fighting for her life against one of the Devil Sect’s people on the hilltop when she heard Linghu Chong behind her talking nonsense about his sword rusting and why he couldn't pull out his sword. She was angry but also found it funny. She shouted, "Quick! Go away! It's dangerous up here As she called out, she lost her concentration slightly and her defense wasn't as tight. With a fierce sound, a spear was thrust forward and nearly hit her shoulder. Yihe retreated half a step while that person thrust his spear again.
Linghu Chong shouted, "That's wrong, that's wrong! Bold thieves, don't you see General standing right here?" In a flash, he slanted his body and was in front of Yihe. The spear wielding Han chinese was startled. As the sky was gradually becoming brighter, he was able to see his clothes were like those that government officials wear. Just at that moment, even though his spear was pointing at the officer's chest, he didn't thrust it forward. He shouted, "Who are you? Before this, someone was calling out from the bottom of the hill. Was it you, government dog?"
Linghu Chong rebuked, "Your granny, are you calling me a government dog? You're a thief dog! You're here cutting off the road and plundering. And even though General is here, you still haven't run away. You're the real outlaw! After General has captured you, he's gonna send you to the local authority. With fifty planks each, you all are going to be beaten until your bottom is swollen and you are calling out for your mommy!" The spear-wielding Han Chinese didn't want to kill a government official. But he was greatly annoyed and shouted, "Scram you rotten egg! If you talk nonsense again, old man will poke three holes through your government dog's body!"
Linghu Chong saw Dingjing Shi Tai had not been defeated yet and the Devil Sect people had stopped shooting projectiles and throwing rocks down the slope. He shouted, "Bold thieves, quickly kneel down and kowtow. If General sees your eighty years old mother in your home, then maybe I'll go easy on you. If not, hng, hng, I'll chop everyone's head off... ..."
When Heng-Shan School's apprentices heard this, they all scowled and shook their heads. They all had the same thought, "This person is crazy." Yihe walked up a step with her sword up. If the enemy thrust his spear towards the General, then it's going to be easier for her to block it. Linghu Chong used his strength to pull out his sabre again and then scolded, "Your granny, just before battle, my precious sabre from my ancestor has suddenly become rusted. Hng, if only my precious sabre were not rusted, all of your small time thieves' heads will be chopped off."
That Han chinese wielding the spear laughed loudly and shouted, "Go back to your mum!" He then swept his spear towards Linghu Chong's waist. Linghu Chong was hit and pushed down but at the same time he pulled out his sheath. He shouted, "Ai yo!" and pushed his body forward. Yihe shouted, "Be careful!" As Linghu Chong was falling down, he held his sheathed sabre out and used the point of his sheath to hit the spear wielding Han Chinese’s side of the small of the back.
That Han Chinese dropped to the ground wordlessly. With a slapping sound, Linghu Chong also fell to the ground. Then as he struggled to get up, he shouted, "Ah ha! You also fell down. We've both fallen down. Old man here isn't going to concede defeat. Come on, we fight again!" Yihe grabbed that Han Chinese and threw him behind. She was thinking that now she had captured an enemy, things would become easier. Another three Devil Sect people came over to save that person. Linghu Chong called out, "Ah Ha, this is disastrous, these small time thieves are really going to refuse being captured."
Linghu Chong raised his sabre to the west and his finger on the other hand was pointed to the east. It was completely unmethodical. Dugu Nine Swords didn't have any set moves so when it was used, it can be either graceful or clumsy and awkward, but strangely still maintaining the same power. This was because Dugu Nine Swords concentrated on the sword intention not set moves.
He was now thrusting his sword towards an enemy's various accupoints without any great force. During a fight, it would be difficult to accurately hit people's accupoints. But a refined sword art attached vigorous internal energy to the strike, so even though the thrust might not be that accurate, it might still perhaps hit the side of the accupoints. So considering this, the enemy in front of him continuously protected himself following Linghu Chong's sheathed sabre wherever it went.
At the same time, Linghu Chong was staggering, looking like he was about to fall down, and waving his sheathed sabre about. When suddenly, the point of the scabbard hit that enemy's stomach. That person gasped and went limp. Linghu Chong yelled, "Ah Ha!" and jumped back a step. At the same time, his sword handle hit the back of another enemy's shoulder. That person immediately fell down and swayed back and forth on the ground. Linghu Chong continued to step back and tripped on that person's body. He scolded him, "Your granny!" and kicked his body away.
Then his sword handle inadvertently hit a Devil Sect person wielding a sabre. This person was one of the three masters besieging Dingjing Shi Tai. The back of his body was hit and he dropped his sword. Dingjing Shi Tai took this opportunity to hit his chest making that person sprout blood from his mouth and life fled from his body.
Linghu Chong called out, "Careful, careful!" While he retreated a few steps and was about to bump into the back of the person holding the judge's pen. That person quickly sent his pen back to protect himself. Linghu Chong staggered and dashed forward while waving his scabbard around. Soon, more Devil Sect people were hit and fell down.
That person wielding the judge's pen was greatly annoyed and rushed at Linghu Chong. Linghu Chong yelled, "Mommy!" as he pulled up and ran away with that person pursuing him. Linghu Chong suddenly stopped and bent his waist forward; while at the same time poked his sword handle through his armpit. That person never expected him to be able to run so fast and suddenly stopped motionless. Although his martial art is already high, he was still inferior. He quickly applied downward force to stop, but his chest was still hit by Linghu Chong's extended sword handle. That person's face showed an extremely odd expression. He couldn't believe what just happened. But his body had slowly started to fall down.
Linghu Chong turned around and saw the fighting on the hilltop had ceased. A few of the Heng-Shan School's apprentices had already gone up the slope. Both the orthodox and Devil Sect people were now facing each other while the remaining apprentices were quickly rushing up the slope. He shouted, "Hey, small time thieves, you've seen General here. Quickly kneel down and surrender. Really strange!" He then started to dance his sheathed sabre around, cried out and charged towards the cluster of Devil Sect people. The Devil Sect people quickly sent out their swords and spears.
Heng-Shan School apprentices were about to go forward and help when they heard Linghu Chong shouted, "Skillful! Skillful! Very fierce thieves!" and he came out from the cluster of Devil Sect people. His steps were heavy and he was dragging his feet through the mud as he ran. He missed a step and fell down. His scabbard shot up and hit his own forehead making him dizzy. But he had already managed to hit five people as he entered and exited the cluster of Devil Sect people. Both groups were dumbfounded looking at him.
Both Yihe and Yiqing rushed forward and asked, "General, are you alright?"
Both of Linghu Chong's eyes were closed. He didn't answer them pretending to have passed out. The leader of the Devil Sect group saw that one person had died and this lunatic general had hit eleven of his people. Just now, when the General charged at his party, he made his moves one after another to grab the General. But all of his moves ended up with him in danger of being hit by the scabbard. Although the scabbard was not attacking any accupoints, it was coming in swift and fierce with its positioning weird. He didn't know this person's background but sensed that his kungfu was high and its true depth couldn't be measured.
He then saw the people who had been hit; the Heng-Shan School had now captured five of them. Today, everything had gone pear-shaped. He shouted with a clear voice, "Dingjing Shi Tai, do you want the antidotes for your apprentices who got hit by the projectiles?"
Dingjing Shi Tai already saw that those apprentices who got hit by the projectiles fell into a coma and couldn't be woken up. The injuries made by the projectiles were also leaking black blood. She knew that the projectiles were poisoned. When she heard his words, she already had a clear idea of what to do. She shouted, "Give us the antidotes in exchange for your people!" That person nodded his head and muttered something under his breath. One of the Devil Sect people took out a porcelain bottle and stood in front of Dingjing Shi Tai and bowed slightly. Dingjing Shi Tai took the bottle and fiercely said, "If the antidote is effective then I'll release them myself."
lol...linghu chong is really good at acting like a spoiled general
adds some humor to the story
"The most happy marriage I can picture or imagine would be union of a deaf man to a blind woman."
Thanks for the great long translation! Its nice to see Linghu Chong fighting again
hahahahaha this part is hilarious!!! i wonder if linghu chong will continue protecting sister yilin. i wonder why he didn't do more to protect the apprentices from the projectiles though- it would've certainly been in his power, although he would've probably lost his disguise.
Either way, he should've just whipped out the sword and clean house on the Sect Members, why act the fool?
Underneath the fluffly, cudly exterior lies the tormented and complex creature known as the panda.
There are a few reasons why he didn't just kick their butts. First, he didn't want Dingjing Shi Tai to find out his real identity because she might attack him instead. Even the Devil Sect might attack him also because of Ying-Ying's order. This would be big trouble if both parties decided to kill him first before dealing with each other.
Second, he didn't know his real ability yet. He probably thought he could only take them on one on one. So he made them think that he wasn't important so he would be able to fight without much trouble.
Although with the scene of him charging the Devil Sect group, it seemed that he knew what he was capable of. Or maybe he was counting on them taking him easy when he decided to charge into the group.
mm, i like your excellent analysis pokit, i agree with you! i forgot how important it was that he keep his disguise.
yay..thank you for the long post.
Wow, what a fast update ! Maybe after this SPW you can help the guy's doing LoCH. That would be great.
Liberalism is not a philosophy. It's a mental disorder. -- Michael Savage.
Wow pokit, that was a great update. How amusing LGC is, very funny and mischievious.
Ugh I thought I'd start translating again since I liked this story but then I realized how long everything was and I decided to do something else so I'll just throw this bit out there so there's less to translate. Thanks to the current translator and for all translators for translating these.
Chapter 24 An Injustice
Linghu Chong turned toward the main street and found out from passersby the where the Fortune Prestige Escort House was. At that moment he felt he wouldn't want to go and wound up wandering down the street. Whether he didn't want to meet with Master and Master Wife, or because he didn't want to find out himself about little apprentice sister and apprentice brother Lin's current relationship couldn't be said. He looked only for excuses to procrastinate, and it seemed whatever distraction was closest by became good enough.
Suddenly, a very familiar voice entered his ears: “Little Lin, are you going to come drinking with me or not?” The warm blood in Linghu Chong's chest quickly rose, his mind was quickly dazed. This long journey, had all been just to hear this voice, just to see the face that spoke with this voice. But now hearing it, he'd become afraid to go over. Frozen into a clay statue, his sight blurred from tears welling up in a thin layer over his eyes. Hearing the way she'd called, hearing that sentence, he knew that little apprentice sister and apprentice brother Lin had grown intimately close.
Lin Pingzhi responded, “I shouldn't. I still haven't learned the lessons that Master's taught me.” Yue Lingshan answered, “Those three sword stances are all so easy. Come drink with me and I'll tell you about the key to understanding them, 'kay?” Lin Pingzhi responded, “Master and Master-wife said that we're not to wander about the city and avoid stirring up a conflict. We should just go back.” Yue Lingshan spoke, “Can't we just look around the street? I don't see any Martial artists here. And even if there were, if we didn't provoke anything then what would there be to worry about?” Their conversation continued and slowly they'd walked a long way. Linghu Chong turned around. The sight of Yue Lingshan's slim back on the left walking shoulder to shoulder with Lin Pingzhi's tall back on the right, Yue Lingshan wearing a lake-green upper gown with an emerald green skirt and Lin Pingzhi wearing a light yellow robe, their clothing and footsteps fresh and clean... seeing them just from behind, they really seemed like a pair of jade figurines.
Linghu Chong felt something stuck at the pit of his stomach, it was almost as if he couldn't breathe. He and Yue Lingshan had been separated for several months, even though during that time he hadn't been able miss her, he'd realized today just how deeply he loved her. He reached toward the handle of his sword, and thought about drawing it and using it to slit his throat. Then, he started to black out and he felt the sky and earth spinning around him and he sat down. After a good while, he'd calmed himself. He slowly stood up, his mind still dazed, he said to himself, “I should never see those two again. What's the use of just feeling emptiness and hurt? Tonight I'll go find Master and Master's wife and leave them a note with news of Ren Woxing's return to Jianghu. That Ren Woxing wishes to be enemies with Huashan and his martial arts are perturbingly high, Master and Master-Wife should be very very careful. I don't think I'll leave my name with the note, from now I'll be heading to somewhere unexplored and I'll never take one step back toward the central regions.” He went back to the shop and called out for wine.
After he'd gotten drunk, he fell clothed into his bed and slept. He slept till the middle of the night, climbed over the wall, and headed to the Fortune Prestige Escort House. The escort house was quite grand and well constructed. Seeing the place was dark and without a bit of sound he wondered, “I don't know where Master and Master's wife are? They're probably sleeping by now.” It was at this time that the shadow of a person flashed at the wall to the left of him, it climbed up the wall. It was a girl's shadow, and the girl ran toward the southwest corner using the qing gong of his sect. As Linghu Chong went to check things out he saw her back, and vaguely realized that it was Yue Lingshan, he wondered, “Where could little apprentice sister be going in the middle of the night?"
Last edited by GottschalkievBrahms; 05-13-06 at 04:52 AM.
wow...so many new translators
i really respect you guys...maybe ill join the translation team during the summer and start on a chapter really far back so i can have lots of time to translate it
"The most happy marriage I can picture or imagine would be union of a deaf man to a blind woman."
That old person said, "Alright. Heng-Shan's DingJing Shi Tai, I'm not the kind of person who eats his own words." He waved his hand and the Devil Sect people went down the west slope taking their injured and dead people with them. A short time later, all of them had left the hilltop leaving their five captured comrades.
After a long time, LingHu Chong woke up and called out, "Ouch, hurts so much!" as he rubbed his swollen forehead. Then with a surprised tone, he asked, "Where did all those thieves go?" YiHe giggled and said, "General, you're really strange. Just then, it was lucky that you somehow hit a number of them when you charged at their group. The leader of those small-time thieves was truly frightened by you."
LingHu Chong laughed loudly and said, "Wonderful, wonderful! Big general has such a big reputation. When I ride out to confront these small-time thieves of course it's a different matter altogether. They would certainly run away with their tails between their legs. Ai yo...” Then he rubbed his swollen forehead again with his face showing a painful expression.
"General, have you been injured? We have some medicine," said Yiqing.
LingHu Chong answered proudly, "No, no, I'm not injured! When a gentleman dies in the battlefield ("Ma Ge Li Shi"*), it's a common thing..."
YiHe pursed her lips smiling and said, "I'm afraid it's "Ma Ge Guo Shi"*, how can it be "Ma Ge Li Shi"*?"
YiQing gave her a stern look and said, "You always love to find other people's fault, what's the point of pointing out his fault?"
LingHu Chong said, "We people from the north learns "Ma Ge Li Shi"*, you southern people must have learnt it differently."
YiHe turned her head and said, "But we're also from the north."
(*Translator's note: "Ma Ge Guo Shi" is a phrase that means "to die in the battlefield". When this is translated literally, it means "corpse wrapped in horse's skin". But what Linghu Chong said "Ma Ge Li Shi" has no meaning. He deliberately replaced the word "Guo" with "Li".)
Master DingJing went to the injured apprentices and gave them the antidote for the poison. When she reached LingHu Chong, she bowed to him and said, "I am Heng-Shan's old nun DingJing. May I ask for young hero's name?"
Linghu Chong's heart shivered in fear, "This Heng-Shan School senior really has good eyesight. She knows that I'm still young and also that I'm actually a brave general."
He immediately bowed and clasped his fist respectfully returning the bow. He said, "As Shi Tai requested, my surname is Wu. My name is Tiande. Tian from "Tian En Hao Dang" (enormous graciousness). De from "Dao De Wen Zhang" (Morality). I'm going to Quanzhou government office to take up office."
(Translator's note: He's telling Dingjing Shi Tai which characters his name "Tiande" use.)
Dingjing Shi Tai already expected that he wouldn't reveal his real identity and he might not necessarily be a real general. She said, "Today, my Heng-Shan School has met difficulty and General has helped us. I don't know how to repay your virtue and kindness. General's martial art is very deep. Although poor nun has taken a look at it, I still don't know which school General comes from. Really admirable."
Linghu Chong laughed loudly and said, "Old Shi Tai flatters me. But to be honest, my martial art has a few foundations. On the top "Snow falling from the sky", at the bottom "Ancient tree root", in the middle "Black tiger stealing heart"..... Ai yo, ai yo." As he was talking, his hands and feet were moving about showing off the martial art moves. It looked like that he had used too much force in his demonstration and had strained himself. He rubbed his aching joints while his eyes stole a look towards Yilin.
She was startled and for a moment it looked as if she had something to say. He thought, "My martial sister has a really good conscience. I wonder how she will react if she knew I am the general."
Naturally, Dingjing Shi Tai was aware that he was pretending. She smiled and said, "General doesn't want to reveal himself since he's an honorable man. Poor nun can only burn the incense stick from morning till dusk to pray for General's good fortune and health. Best wishes to General."
Linghu Chong said, "Thank you very much, thank you very much. Please pray to Buddha for my promotion and wealth. Little general will also pray for the safety of old Shi Tai and all the little Shi Tai on your journey, for bad luck to turn into good, and for all matters to go smoothly. HaHa! HaHa!" As he was laughing loudly, he bowed deeply to Dingjing Shi Tai and swaggered away.
He had been in the Five Mountains Sword Alliance for a long time, so even though he was pretending to be crazy, he still didn't dare to be inappropriate towards this senior from Heng-Shan School. The school apprentices were now looking at him stumbling towards the south slope. As he disappeared, they quickly surrounded Dingjing Shi Tai and started to barrage her with questions: "Martial uncle, what's his background?" "Is he really insane or is he just pretending?" "Is his martial art very high, or was he merely lucky and mistakenly hit the enemies here and there?" "He doesn't resemble a general. He still looks young, am I right?"
Dingjing Shi Tai sighed and turned her head to look at the apprentices injured by the projectiles. After the medicine was applied to their wounds, the black blood had turned red and their pulses strengthened. They were no longer in danger. She then gave Heng-Shan School's unique medicine to each of the apprentices to administer it to their own injuries. After that she released the acupoints of the five captured Devil Sect people and told them to leave.
She then ordered the apprentices, "Everyone go under that tree to rest", while she went alone and sat on a big stone. She closed her eyes and pondered, "When this person charged at the Devil Sect group, the leader of the group fought with him. But he still managed to hit five of their people. He wasn't using a martial art that aimed at the acupoints. He was using some martial art style but I didn't expect that there was not even a slight demonstration of his school's kungfu. In Wulin, there must be such a young person who's that skilful. But whose disciple is he? This person was a friend and not an enemy. This is really Heng-Shan School's big fortune."
At mid-morning, she ordered the apprentices to fetch a brush, an ink stone, and a thin silk to write a letter. She ordered, "Yizhi, bring the pigeon here." Yizhi answered and took a pigeon out of the bamboo cage she was carrying. In the mean time, Dingjing Shi Tai rolled up the thin silk letter into a thin strip and put it in a slender bamboo tube. She put the cover on and sealed it with melted wax. Then using an iron wire, she put the bamboo tube on the pigeon's left feet. After a silent prayer, she released the pigeon. The pigeon flew north, gradually going higher and further. Not long after, it was only a black dot in the sky.
After Dingjing Shi Tai released the pigeon, everyone became quiet, completely different from before when they were vigorously fighting the enemies. Dingjing Shi Tai raised her head to look up. She saw the black dot entering a white cloud and disappeared, but she continued to look into the distance. All the apprentices didn't dare to make any sound. At the recent battle, although that clown general was jesting around and acting comical, the situation in actuality was really dangerous. It can be said that everyone had now escaped death. After standing there for a long time, Dingjing Shi Tai turned around and beckoned forward a fifteen or sixteen years old girl. The girl immediately went and stood in front of her.
She quietly called out, "Master!"
Dingjing Shi Tai lightly brushed the girl's hair to comfort her and said, "Juan'er, were you scared before?"
The young girl nodded and said, "I was scared! Lucky that General was brave and fought those bad people off."
Dingjing Shi Tai smiled and said, "This General wasn't really brave but his martial was really good."
"Master, is his martial art really that high? I saw his moves were erratic and he was really careless. He even hit his head with his own scabbard. Also he was saying something like his saber was rusting and couldn't pull it out of the scabbard?" said that girl unbelieving.
This young lady Qin Juan was Dingjing Shi Tai's disciple. She was clever and bright, and she was really loved by her master. Between the Heng-Shan School disciples, sixty percent of the disciples were nuns, while the rest were secular disciples. Some of these disciples were middle aged and there were also fifty to sixty year old grannies. Qin Juan was the youngest disciple in the Heng-Shan School.
The other apprentices heard Dingjing Shi Tai conversing with apprentice sister Qin Juan so they slowly gathered around. Yihe interposed herself and said, "What do you mean that his moves were erratic? He was just pretending and was actually concealing his excellent martial art. That is called smart! Martial uncle, what do you think of this General's background? Which house or school is he from?"
Dingjing Shi Tai slowly shook her head and said, "This person's martial art might be "immeasurably deep". I don't know how else to describe him except with these two words."
fun fun. Thank you for the post!
LHC doesnt want to reveal his identity because he's the enemy of all the orthordox and unorthordox martial artists right?
"The most happy marriage I can picture or imagine would be union of a deaf man to a blind woman."
thank you pokit.
A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.
Thank you very much Pokit - what a great update.
New translator welcome! I liked reading your translation, thank you. Would you be so kind to coordinate your translations with Pokit's. This way both of your loads will be lighter and we get to read the translations in correct order.