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Thread: Sword, Flower, Drizzle in the South -- Gu Long

  1. #1
    Senior Member whiteskwirl's Avatar
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    Sep 2009

    Default Sword, Flower, Drizzle in the South -- Gu Long

    This is a translation of 《劍·花·煙雨江南》(Sword, Flower, Drizzle in the South) by Gu Long. This short novel was published in 1974, though according to Chinese wikipedia it was actually written sometime during the 60s before Sentimental Swordsman, Ruthless Sword. This novel is short, only seven chapters. I'm translating this one in order to have something to share with you all while I work on the official translation of Peerless Sword by Qin Hong. My Magic Sword, Sentimental Flower translation is paused for the moment while I wait on talks with Yun Zhongyue's estate. I'm not sure at this time when I will be able to resume that one. So the updates might be slow, but please understand my main project is Peerless Sword, which will I can't share here, so I wanted something else to put up in the meantime. Plus, there's not enough actual wuxia being translated in this forum, so I wanted to add one more. This novel was adapted in 1977 with Jackie Chan in To Kill With Intrigue. I don't know how close the movie follows the original story.

    Sword, Flower, Drizzle in the South

    Chapter 1:
    1 |
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  2. #2
    Senior Member whiteskwirl's Avatar
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    Sep 2009

    Default Ch.1, Part 1

    Chapter 1: Her Face and the Peach Blossoms[1]

    Part 1

    Xianxian hung her head and crossed the threshold and walked on the red rug, in her coiled crow-black hair a gold hairpin, the pearl phoenix on the end calm and unmoving, such was the lissome grace of her walk, so steady.

    She was one of eight who entered at the same time, but all eyes were fixed on her.

    She knew, but her carriage was different than usual, when she was all by herself.

    Xianxian’s beauty and gravity both enjoyed people’s appreciation and admiration. The red candle on the table burned high, reflecting gloriously off a solid gold character for longlife, as glorious as Magistrate Grandfather Lei Qifeng the Eighth.

    Now, he wore a smile, watching his wife’s most beloved servant girl congratulate him on his birthday. Eight people at the same time knelt gracefully before him, but it was as if his smile was only for Xianxian. He was a man, too.

    The sight of a sixty year old man is not so different from that of a sixteen year old’s.

    Xianxian knew, but she did not return the smile. Very few people had seen her smile.

    She had always known herself, a girl like her alreay incapable of happiness, but also incapable of suffering, because her life belonged all to another.

    So no matter if she wanted to laugh or cry, she would hold it in until the middle of the night when no one was around.

    Xianxian hung her head and crossed the threshold and out onto the covered porch. Outside the spring rain was falling, the spring rain of the south.[2]

    The spring rains make people anxious, especially a seventeen or eighteen year old girl who is unmarried. That season always brings about an indescribable feeling, a disconsolate melancholy one just could not express to others.

    Xianxian was a seventeen or eighteen year old girl, who was unmarried. But no matter what time of year, or where, she always was calm and serious. Out onto the porch, away from the sounds of human voices, the spring flowers in the rain looked particularly bright and fresh. The girls became lively and began laughing.

    Although they were servant girls, they couldn’t discard their youthful exuberance, so they rolled up their sleeves, extended their tender lotusroot-like arms, and plucked fresh flowers from the other side of the railing, plucking their youthful exuberance.

    Only Xianxian, who didn’t so much as glance out beyond the railing, hung her head and quietly walked along.

    The girls caught sight of her slim back, and some sneered, some curled their lips and said, “She’s not a person, she’s a block of wood.”

    “Look at her chest, isn’t it flat as a piece of wood, and they say she’s a beauty. If I were a man I would absolutely never want her.”

    “Embracing a girl like that would be just like hugging a block of wood.”

    And the girls all laughed like a group of cheerful honeybees.

    Xianxian hung her head and gently pushed open the door. Her own room was small, but cozy and clean, it was her own little world. Here, no one ever bothered her.

    She gently bolted the door and turned around slowly and leaned on the door and looked out the window on the opposite wall. Her pretty pale face suddenly flushed crimson. In a flash she completely changed.

    She quickly took off her long outer clothes, her inner clothes were thin and light.

    She took out the gold hairpin and let her black tresses fall on her shoulder, faced the mirror on her cosmetic table and blinked, and reached into her garments and untied a long piece of white silk. Then, her flat chest suddenly swelled out.

    She let out a loose breath and faced the mirror, made a funny face, then turned and pushed open the window, knelt on her bed and looked out the window, looked all around but there was no one, so with a light push she sprang out the window.

    The end of spring, the third month. The grasses tall and the nightingales in the air. The fresh green grass in the spring rain looked soft as a lover’s hair.

    Xianxian held her hair in one hand, her shoes in the other as she ran barefoot on the green grass.

    The drizzle wet her hair, but she didn’t care. Her delicate and beautiful feet were poked by the spring grass, itchy, tingling, but she didn’t care.

    Now, she was like an oriole that had just sprang from its cage, without a care of any kind, her heart only thinking of finding her springtime companion. The mountain streams clear, drizzle falling on its surface, stirring up circular ripples, just like the hearts of springtime maidens.

    She followed the course of the stream to a peach blossom grove on a hillside slope.

    Deep in the grove, a youth wearing red spring clothes, legs hooked and hanging from the branch of a tree, was just thinking of using his mouth to bit at a peach blossom on the ground.

    He was that kind of person, moving about all the time, he couldn’t be still for a moment.

    The contours of his face were bright, his eyes carrying a bit of childish innocence and mischievousness.

    Xianxian laughed, her laugh so sweet, so pretty. He had already jumped down from the tree, and in his mouth he held a peach blossom. Both hands on his hips, standing there, looking at her. Just one look at him and she could help but burst out laughing.

    She let go of her hair and tossed down her shoes, and ran over with her arms spread out and embraced him tightly. Then, she let out a happy sigh. “Xiao Lei…Xiao Lei…”

    Every time she embraced him it was like embracing a ball of fire, she seemed to transform into a ball of fire.

    The burned each other, they both wanted to fuse together.

    But this time, the body she embraced was ice cold and rigid, no response at all.

    Today was his father’s 60th birthday, he should have stayed home.

    He loved friends, he loved excitement, but he would rather stand here and get wet in the rain waiting for her.

    Thinking about this made her passion rise and she embraced him even tighter, nibbled at his ear, and spoke lowly in his ear her yearning.

    Only apart for one day, yet her yearning was already great.

    Her soft chest pressed against his, everytime his passion would surge like a raging billows.

    But today, he suddenly pushed her away. She was taken aback, her burning cheeks cooled, until he laid on the ground under the tree, and she saw blood on the front of his jacket. Blood on a read jacket is not easy to spot——only the most attentive person would catch it, only a lover would be so attentive.

    Xianxian’s face changed. “You’ve been fighting…”

    Xiao Lei[3] shook his head.

    Xianxian bit her lip. “Don’t lie to me, there’s blood on your clothes.”

    Xiao Lei laughed. “Do you remember that your blood once stained my clothes?” His laugh was cold and sharp, like a knife, piercjing her heart.

    Her whole body suddenly stiffened, and she fixed her eyes on him. “You…Don’t tell me that you have another girl?”

    Xiao Lei still laughed coldly, “Is it impossible for me to have another girl?”

    Xianxian’s body began to tremble, tears already falling, colder than the spring rain. “But, did you forget, I already have your child?”

    Xiao Lei suddenly jumped up, and he slapped her in the face and sneered, “How can I know whose kid that is? All I know is you’re a servant girl.” His laugh was like a wild animal.

    She stared at him, and with each step she took backward, she realized the person before her was a stranger. A stranger lower than a dirty beast. Her tears suddenly dried up, as did her blood, her whole body as if just an empty body remained.

    Xiao Lei, indolently lying down, said, “It’s better if you just hurry up and leave! Go far away! I still have an appointment with someone else.”

    Xianxian’s hands were clenched, her nails digging into the flesh, but she didn’t feel it, only staring at him, and said word by word, “I…will…go! Don’t worry, from now on I will never see you again! But I swear, there will come a day when you will regret it.” She suddenly turned and ran off.

    Xiaol Lei didn’t raise his head, didn’t watch her, but on his cheeks two pearls of water slowly slid down. Was it the spring rain? Or tears?

    [1]Idiomatic phrase referring to a man longing for a loved one who is no longer there.
    [2]the south is specifially called here “Jiangnan”, the area south of the Yangtze river.
    [3]小雷, means Little Thunder. His surname is Lei, or thunder.
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