Here is a translation of one of my favorite passages in Wuxia. The raw, primal emotions that Gu Long is able to conjure up with his writing are simply enchanting. In my opinion, it is in these existentialist styled passages that Gu Long excels most. It is from Tianya, Mingyue, Dao (Horizon, Bright Moon, Sabre), Chapter 7 - The Duel:
Du Leiís entire body stiffened and his voice fell coarse.
"So you are certain that you will prevail, thatís why you are not nervous?"
Fu Hongxuet nodded.
"Then, when are you going to draw your sabre?"
"When you draw yours."
"And if I donít draw mine?"
"You definitely will, in fact you will draw it very hastily."
"Because you are the one who wants to kill me, I am not the one who wants to kill you. That is why the moment of your death will come when you draw your sabre, not when I draw mine."
Green veins started to protrude from the back of Du Leiís hand. His sabre was still in its sheathe, but he knew that sooner or later he would draw.
Freezing drops of rain pelted down onto his body, and his face. He was facing Fu Hongxuet, he was facing the greatest warrior in the land. Suddenly, his mind wandered back to the past, to his childhood, his loathsome, poverty-stricken childhood.
The heavy rains flooded the streets with soil and mud. He was barefooted, running in the mud because there was someone chasing him from behind. He had just darted out from a bureau office with one of the officer's brand new pair of boots. The boots were too big for him and he had thrown them down after he fled not even halfway down the street.
But the officer wasn't willing to let him go. After he was caught, the officer tied him to a tree, stripped him naked, and whipped him mercilessly.
Now, as he stood in front of Fu Hongxuet, all the pain and suffering that he endured suddenly came rushing back. He felt the tip of that officer's whip cracking on his skin once again. It was an agonizing pain that was beyond description. It was an agonizing pain that he could never forget for as long as he lived.
The rain fell harder. The dirt and soil on the ground had already turned into mud.
He took off the new pair of boots that he had just purchased for eighteen taels of silver and stood barefooted in the middle of the muddy path.
Suddenly, Fu Hongxuet became the officer that whipped him so unrelentingly. Suddenly, Fu Hongxuet became the embodiment of his pain and suffering. He started to scream as he tore his own clothes to shreds. There he stood, naked in the mud and rain, howling and screaming like a madman. All the anger and tension that had been concealed for so many years suddenly came pouring out.
And so, he drew his sabre.
The instant he drew his sabre was the instant that he died.
And so, he died.
Death was both passion and suffering, two things that he could never hope to attain in his life. Only in death was he able to experience both at the same time.
The rain had ceased.
The footpath was full of mud, Fu Hongxuet stood quietly still, his hand holding firmly onto his sabre.
The sabre had been returned to its sheathe, the blood on its blade had been cleaned off.
The sabre was black as coal, his eyes were dark as night. Dark and deep, enough to conceal mercy and his own suffering.