I think it's becoming pretty obvious that QQ is an imposter of some sort.
I think it's becoming pretty obvious that QQ is an imposter of some sort.
This story can only get more and more interesting. LoCh is my 2nd favourite out of all the novels Jin Yong has written.
wow, ive been offline for a couple of months and now its already 6ch finished throughout book3. im all excited about this....don't know what id do without these dedicated translators.....cant wait to read Guo Jing and Huang Rong's adventure on the island....i love those scenes in LOCH03....gambate, team!
Da One and Only,
Idols: Mark Dacascos and Vicki Zhao Wei
Fav Artists: Zhang Tie Lin, Cheng E Kin, Vin Diesel, Jet Li, Amy Chan Sau Man, Michelle Rodriguez, Theresa Lee Yee Hong
Fav Series: The Great General, Heroine of The Yangs, Huan Zhu Ge Ge I & II, Secret Battle of The Majesties
Fav Movies: The Matrix I, G.I Jane, Fist of Legend, Drive, Gladiator, 2009 Lost Memories, So Close, Crying Freeman
My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius; Commander of the Army of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor; Marcus Aurilius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife, and I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.
- The Spaniard -
At this halfway point in the chapter, I'd like to thank all the readers for the appreciation, and hope that you enjoy the rest of the show.
Jinyong's "LOCH" (3rd Edition), Chapter 26
Translated by owbjhx
Part 5 of 9
“What’s happened to my disciple Mei Chaofeng is also what’s happened to your nephew,” replied Huang Yaoshi icily.
Ouyang Feng felt half his body go cold. Ouyang Ke had been born because of an illicit liaison between him and his sister-in-law; nephew by name, he was actually his dear son, and he loved this illegitimate son like life itself. He had felt that, although Huang Yaoshi and the Quanzhen Taoists had established deep grievances with him, all of these people were renowned champions in jianghu; with Ouyang Ke unable to move either of his legs an inch, there was no way they’d cause him trouble. He just had to wait for them to disperse, before taking his son to a quiet place where he’d recuperate from his injuries. Little did he know that Ouyang Ke had already met with brutality.
Huang Yaoshi watched him standing there, eyes staring straight ahead, about to launch a sudden attack any moment now. He knew that this would be unleashed with a mountain-moving, ocean-churning violence, an unstoppable force; inwardly, he readied himself.
“Who’s the killer?” growled Ouyang Feng. “One of yours, or one of Quanzhen’s?” He knew that, with Huang Yaoshi’s exalted status, he’d never kill with his own hands someone who had two broken legs. He must have got somebody else to do it. By now, Ouyang Feng’s naturally harsh voice had become even more ear-piercingly jarring.
Huang Yaoshi answered coldly: “A brat who’s studied Quanzhen martial arts plus some skills from Peachblossom Island, and who’s well acquainted with you. You go and look for him.”
Huang Yaoshi was actually talking of Yang Kang, but when Ouyang Feng thought about it, Guo Jing instantly came to mind. Bursting with rage and anguish, for a moment he aimed a ferocious glare at Guo Jing, and then turned his head to Huang Yaoshi. “What the heck are you doing taking my nephew’s document pouch?” he asked.
“If the master map of Peachblossom Island was with him, I had to take it back,” said Huang Yaoshi. “In digging down to search for the map, it was necessary for me to trouble your excellent nephew – after his burial – with the sight of daylight once again. Of that, I feel rather regretful. It’s a shame that although he had the document pouch on him, within the pouch, that master map was nowhere to be seen; the search ended up being a waste of Heretic Huang’s efforts. Still, we definitely gave the remains of your nephew a proper resting-place; we dared not have it the least bit deficient.”
“Well said, well said,” remarked Ouyang Feng.
He was aware that victory and defeat against Huang Yaoshi would be hard to tell apart until after one or two thousand moves had been exchanged, and that he’d not necessarily be the one standing in the ascendancy. Fortunately, he’d already gotten his hands on the 9 Yin Scripture, and anyway, there was no impatience for the day of revenge. But if Qiu Qianren could beat up the Jiangnan Six, Guo Jing and Huang Rong – and afterwards, come to his assistance – the two of them joining forces might take the life of Huang Yaoshi there and then. At this time of bereavement, from the sudden news that his dear son had been killed, he was still capable of coolly appraising the situation between himself and the enemy; and having calculated the chances of winning were higher, he wasn’t willing to let the opportunity go. He turned his head to Qiu Qianren.
“Brother Qianren,” he said, “you massacre these eight, while I deal with Heretic Huang.”
Qiu Qianren laughed and gave a few gentle waves of his big cattail-leaf fan. “That’s fine,” he said. “I’ll come and help you after I’ve massacred these eight.”
“Precisely,” said Ouyang Feng.
And with that one word, he fixed his glaring eyes on Huang Yaoshi, and slowly began crouching down. Huang Yaoshi, his legs in a ‘half-nail, half-V’ stance, stepped eastward into a ‘Z-tree’ position. In a moment, the two men were about to use world-class martial arts to distinguish the strong and the weak, the living and the dead.
“Massacre me first!” giggled Huang Rong.
Qiu Qianren shook his head. “Young miss is so cute and lively,” he said, “I almost can’t bear to do it…Oh shit! Oh shit!” He was suddenly clutching his belly with both hands and bending over at the waist. “At this time, of all the rotten coincidences…”
“What?” said Huang Rong, puzzled.
“You wait a moment,” said Qiu Qianren, a strained look on his face. “I’ve suddenly got a stomach-ache. I must be excused!”
Huang Rong spluttered, for once not knowing what to say. Qiu Qianren, his brows knitted in an expression of discomfort, gave another moan; clutching his crotch with both hands, he ran off to one side, a limp in his step. From the look of things, he’d had a sudden stomach-ache and, unable to hold it in, had pooped into his pants. Huang Rong, aghast, had a feeling that he was eight-tenths faking it. But worried that he really did have diarrhoea, she looked on wide-eyed and let him run past, not daring to get in his way.
Zhu Cong took out a piece of straw tissue from his pocket. With flying steps, he caught up with Qiu Qianren and tapped him on the shoulder, saying pleasantly: “Have some toilet paper.”
“Thanks a lot,” said Qiu Qianren. Going into some bushes by a tree, he squatted down.
Huang Rong picked up a stone and threw it at the small of his back, calling out: “Go a bit further!”
The stone was just about to hit Qiu Qianren when he reached behind with his hand and caught hold of it. “Does the smell offend you, miss?” he laughed. “I’ll just go a bit further away, then. And the eight of you better wait for me; don’t be taking the opportunity to slip away!” As he talked, he pulled up his pants and walked further and further; behind a line of low groves over ten zhang away, he squatted down again.
“Second teacher,” said Huang Rong, “that old bastard wants to escape.”
Zhu Cong nodded his head, remarking: “That old bastard might be thick-faced, but he’s slow-footed, too; he won’t be able to escape, I’m afraid.” He added: “Here’s a couple of things for you to play with.”
Huang Rong saw that he had a sharp sword and a cast-iron palm in his hands, and knew that he’d lifted them off Qiu Qianren’s person when he’d patted the oldie on the shoulder just now. From the secret room, she’d already witnessed Qiu Qianren fooling the Quanzhen Seven with the sword-stabbed-through-the-belly stunt; she’d known immediately that it was clearly a sham, but hadn’t been able to guess its mechanism. Now, seeing straight away that the sword had a retractable blade in three sections of interlocking sheaths, she laughed so hard she fell over. Then, she got the idea of messing with Ouyang Feng’s mind. Going over to stand in front of him, she smiled and said: “Uncle Ouyang, I just can’t bear to live!” Raising her right hand, she stabbed the sword violently into her stomach.
Both Huang Yaoshi and Ouyang Feng, who were just then accumulating power in preparation to attack, were shocked to see her do this. Huang Rong promptly held up the sword, showing off the three-section blade and pulling out the ensheathed tip, and laughing as she explained Qiu Qianren’s trickery to her father.
“Could it be true,” thought Ouyang Feng, “that this oldie has whipped up a phoney reputation, cheating his way to worldly renown with a lifetime of deception?”
Huang Yaoshi, noticing him slowly straightening to a stand, had already guessed what he was thinking. He took the cast-iron palm from his daughter’s hands. The hollow of the palm, he noticed, was engraved with the word “Qiu”, and the back of it had a carving in a wave pattern.
“This is the leadership token of Qiu Qianren, the Chief of Hunan’s Iron Palm Gang,” he said. “20 years ago, this token was really of the utmost significance in jianghu. No matter whose hands it was in, it brought an irresistible right of way, from as far east as Jiujiang to as far west as Chengdu; followers of both right and wrong would without exception offer awed obedience at the sight of it. In the past few years, the name of the Iron Palm Gang has long been unheard of, and it’s unknown whether – or how – it’s disbanded. Could this shameless, pathetic, big-talking oldie really be the owner of the token?” With doubts in his mind, he returned the iron palm to his daughter.
Seeing the iron palm, Ouyang Feng peered at it from the corners of his eyes, an expression of great surprise on his face.
“This iron palm could turn out to be a lot of fun,” giggled Huang Rong. “I want it! That deceitful guy has no further use for it.” Lifting the three-section iron sword, she called out “Catch!” and raised her hand to throw it. But seeing the distance to Qiu Qianren was very far, she didn’t have enough strength in her hands; her throw definitely wouldn’t reach.
Smiling to her father, she handed him the sword. “Dad,” she said, “you throw it to him!”
Huang Yaoshi, whose suspicions were aroused, had been intending a further test of whether or not Qiu Qianren had any real ability at all. Raising his left hand, he lay the iron sword flat atop his palm with the tip of the sword pointing away from him, and flicked its handle with the middle finger of his right hand. There was a light clang as the sword shot off sharply, faster and harder than if fired from a taut, powerful crossbow. Huang Rong and Guo Jing clapped their hands and cheered; Ouyang Feng, secretly shocked, thought: “What terrific Divine Flick skill!”
While they roared in acclaim, the sword flew straight at Qiu Qianren. When its tip appeared to be only metres from him, he remained squatting on the ground, unmoving; and in the blink of an eye, the point of the sword had already plunged into his back. Although the three-section sword wasn’t sharp at all, this one flick from Huang Yaoshi had sent it in handle-deep. Even if it were a blade of wood or bamboo – let alone an iron sword – this oldie, if he wasn’t dead, was surely heavily injured.
With flying steps, Guo Jing went over for a closer look. Suddenly, he gave a loud cry of astonishment. There was a yellow ko-hemp jacket on the ground; picking it up and waving it in the air again and again, he shouted: “Oldie sneaked off long ago!”
As it happened, Qiu Qianren had taken off his jacket and hung it over the stem of a small tree – not only was he far apart from the others, the grass and woods were also blocking the view – and he’d somehow pulled off this ‘moult of the golden cicada’ trick. Just now, Huang Yaoshi and Ouyang Feng were concentrating on facing their opponent, their eyes on nothing else; and those two were in turn being watched by Zhu Cong and the rest. In the end, they’d all been deceived by Qiu Qianren. Eastern Heretic and Western Venom, giving each other a glance, couldn’t help bursting simultaneously into loud laughter, both feeling secret cheer at having one less powerful enemy in the world.
Ouyang Feng knew that Huang Yaoshi was quick-witted in thought, and not straightforward like Hong Qigong; it wasn’t easy to connive against him and succeed. But seeing him laughing in an easy-going manner, totally off-guard, how could he not take advantage of this opportunity to land a vicious strike? He gave three clanging laughs – a noise just like the din of gold clashing with iron – then stopped abruptly, as quick as lightning making a sudden bow low towards Huang Yaoshi.
Huang Yaoshi, still laughing with his head held high, raised his left palm sharply and clenched his right in a hook – and clasped his hands, returning the courtesy.
Both men swayed slightly.
His surprise attack failing to connect, Ouyang Feng stood unmoving, before suddenly retreating three steps. “Heretic Huang,” he shouted, “we’ll meet again!” With a shake of his long sleeves, cloth swirled as he turned to go.
There was the faintest change of expression on Huang Yaoshi’s face: he thrust out his left palm in front of his daughter, shielding her. Guo Jing had also recognised that Western Venom, in the midst of this turn, was stealthily unleashing his ruthless, sinister skills, and was about to use an Air-Splitting Palm-type technique to launch a sneak attack on Huang Rong. But both in reactions and making his move, he wasn’t as quick as Huang Yaoshi; seeing the danger, it was already too late to help. So with a loud shout, he threw a double punch straight at Western Venom’s stomach, hoping to force him to counterpunch in self-defence. The power applied in the sneak attack on Huang Rong would then not be enough.
The force unleashed by Ouyang Feng had just been repelled by Huang Yaoshi; exploiting the momentum, he immediately swung it around to attack Guo Jing instead. This move augmented the original force from himself with energy borrowed from Huang Yaoshi’s block, amplifying its power. Guo Jing, in a critical position, ducked and rolled away. Leaping up afterwards, his face was already pale with shock.
“Good little boy!” swore Ouyang Feng. “I don’t see you for a few days, and your skills improve yet again.” Just now, his counterattacking move – borrowing an opponent’s strength to injure another, an unfathomable variation delivered with unspeakable speed – had somehow been dodged by Guo Jing. That was completely beyond his expectations.
The Six Freaks of Jiangnan, seeing both sides go on the attack, had clustered into a semicircular barrier behind Ouyang Feng. Paying no attention to them in the slightest, he dashed straight through, taking big strides. Quan Jinfa and Han Xiaoying, not daring to obstruct him, stepped aside to get out of his way and watched wide-eyed as he left the forest.
If Huang Yaoshi had wanted to avenge Mei Chaofeng right now, he could have got everyone to join forces, surround Western Venom, and overwhelm him. But being proud and arrogant by nature, he was unwilling to let anyone say a word about him ‘using the many to persecute the few’, and would rather seek him out again in the future, alone. Following the figure of Ouyang Feng with his gaze, he gave a cold laugh.
Even though I truly dislike Ouyang Feng, I couldn't help but feel sad at his heartbreak over his son's death. Even a snake like him feels parental affection.
Thank you owbjhx.
Why can't HYS just said plainly the killer is YK. That would have avoid many future problems as OYF would not wrongly think it was GJ.
Too bad you are too busy to answer my call on translating the later chapters ... Sigh!Originally Posted by owbjhx
Great translation. I think Huang Yaoshi doesn't want to be known as a snitch, which is the reason he didn't mention Yang Kang by name. Also, he is always been fond of playing word games with people, and this may be another example. The charlatan Qiu Quanren is hilarious, though.
Jinyong's "LOCH" (3rd Edition), Chapter 26
Translated by owbjhx
Part 6 of 9
Guo Jing, Quan Jinfa and the others untied Huazheng, Tuolei, Zhebie and Bo’erhu. Already beside themselves with joy at the sight of Guo Jing still alive, they loudly cursed Yang Kang for his deceitful rumourmongering. “That Yang character said that he had to hurry to Yuezhou for something,” fumed Tuolei. “I thought he was just a decent person, so I wasted three fine horses on him as a gift.”
Earlier, they’d been told of Guo Jing’s tragic loss; in the midst of their grief they heard Yang Kang talking on and on about wanting to avenge his sworn brother, and had fallen for his spiel. That evening, while they were staying together at an inn in a small town north of Lin’an, Yang Kang had wanted to go and stab Tuolei to death. But he hadn’t expected that Fatty and Skinny – the two beggars who’d seen him holding the stick of the Chief’s authority – were guarding him vigilantly, taking turns on night watch outside his window. Yang Kang had several times been just about launch his attack, only to see if not Fatty then Skinny, patrolling to and fro in the courtyard with blade in hand. After waiting a whole night and from start to finish not getting an opportunity, he just gave up; the next day, he cheated Tuolei out of three fine horses, and rode off westward along with the two beggars.
Tuolei and the others, unaware that the previous night they’d nearly died a brutal death, were about to head north when they saw the pair of white eagles turn around and fly south. Waiting for half a day, there was no sign of them coming back. Tuolei knew that the eagles were unusually intelligent and that there must have been a reason for them to go south; as there was fortunately no urgency at all to return north, they therefore waited in the inn for a couple of days. When the third day arrived, the eagles suddenly flew back, crying incessantly at Huazheng. Tuolei and the others followed in a group as the pair of eagles led the way, once again travelling south. Unfortunately, they then chanced upon Qiu Qianren and Ouyang Feng in the forest.
The Jin Empire had conferred a mission upon Qiu Qianren: incite the champions in Jiangnan to get fired up against each other, so that the Jin army could come south. While talking trash to Ouyang Feng in the forest, he’d spotted Tuolei – the Mongolian ambassador – and, together with Ouyang Feng, had instantly gone on the attack. Although Zhebie and the others were extraordinarily brave, how were they a match for Western Venom? The two eagles had actually flown south because they’d discovered the tracks made by the Little Red horse, but had ended up unwittingly leading their master into a catastrophe. And if they hadn’t brought Guo Jing and Huang Rong over just in time, Tuolei’s entire group would have inadvertently lost their lives there and then in the forest.
Of these particulars, there were some Huazheng knew of, and there were some she was oblivious to. Tugging at Guo Jing’s hand, she chattered away endlessly. Huang Rong, seeing the manner between Huazheng and Guo Jing so intimate, was already somewhat unhappy. Even more uncomfortably, Huazheng was speaking entirely in Mongolian, which Huang Rong couldn’t understand a single word of. She had become an outsider.
Huang Yaoshi noticed the odd expression on his daughter’s face. “Rong’er,” he asked, “who’s this barbarian girl?”
“Brother Jing’s wife-to-be,” answered Huang Rong, morose.
Hearing this, Huang Yaoshi almost couldn’t believe his own ears. “What?” he asked, insistently.
Huang Rong hung her head. “Dad,” she said, “go and ask him for yourself.”
Zhu Cong, nearby, had recognised in advance that things were getting inauspicious, and hastened forward. Delicately, he raised the circumstances of Guo Jing’s already having gotten engaged with Huazheng earlier in Mongolia.
Huang Yaoshi, unable to restrain his anger, cast an accusing glance at Guo Jing. Icily, he said: “So it turns out that, before coming to Peachblossom Island as a suitor, he’d already set on an engagement in Mongolia?”
“We ought to think of a…think of a way to satisfy both parties,” stuttered Zhu Cong.
“Rong’er,” said Huang Yaoshi sharply, “dad’s going to do something, and you’d better not get in the way.”
“Dad, what is it?” asked Huang Rong, her voice trembling.
“That disgusting boy, that worthless girl – I’ll slaughter both of them together!” said Huang Yaoshi. “How could we allow anyone to disgrace the two of us, father and daughter?”
Huang Rong dashed forward a step and grabbed her father’s right hand. “Dad,” she said, “Brother Jing said wholeheartedly that he really, really loves me – that he’s never taken this barbarian girl to heart!”
“Well, fine,” snorted Huang Yaoshi. Raising his voice, he shouted: “Boy, hurry up and kill the barbarian girl, to display evidence of your own feelings!”
Guo Jing had never in his entire life met with such an awkward situation. Naturally hesitant in his thoughts, he heard what Huang Yaoshi just said and felt totally at a loss; standing there in a daze, dumbfounded, he didn’t know what to do.
“You’d already set on a marriage beforehand,” continued Huang Yaoshi frostily, “yet you still came to me in suit! Whoever heard of such a thing?”
Seeing Huang Yaoshi’s ashen expression, the Jiangnan Freaks knew that Guo Jing was one sudden flick of a palm away from fatal misfortune; furtively, each of them went on guard. But with their ability so far inferior by comparison, they’d actually be helpless to assist should the fighting get serious.
Guo Jing had always been unable to tell lies. Having heard these questions, he answered with the plain truth: “All I hoped for was to be with Rong’er for the rest of my life. Without Rong’er, there’s no way I can live.”
Huang Yaoshi’s expression softened slightly. “Very well,” he said. “If you don’t kill this girl, that’s fine; but from now on, you cannot ever see her again.”
Guo Jing, faltering, had yet to respond, when Huang Rong asked: “You definitely need to see her, don’t you?”
“I’ve always treated her just like a dear sister,” said Guo Jing. “If I can’t see her, sometimes I’d worry about her.”
Huang Rong gave a beautiful smile. “Just see who you’d like to see – I don’t mind!” she said. “I have faith that you don’t really love her. And how could it be that I don’t compare to her?”
“Fine!” said Huang Yaoshi. “I am here. The barbarian girl’s family are here. And your six teachers are here, too. Now you better say it loud and clear: the one you want to marry is my daughter, and not that barbarian girl!” It was already greatly against his nature to concede repeatedly like this; but out of respect for his beloved daughter, he restrained himself with all his might, and tolerated it. His heart had also softened briefly since Mei Chaofeng lost her life while shielding her teacher.
Lost in thought, Guo Jing hung his head. Stashed around his waist, he glimpsed both the golden blade granted to him by Genghis Khan, and the small dagger gifted to him by Qiu Chuji.
“Going by the will of father,” he pondered, “Yang Kang and I should be good brothers, not changing through life and death. But how can I keep faith in this tie if he acts like he does? And going by the will of Uncle Yang Tiexin, I should take Sister Mu as a wife. But that obviously can’t be right. It looks like I don’t always have to follow the orders laid down for me by elders. The engagement between myself and Sister Huazheng was made by Genghis Khan. How can it be that, because some person said a few words, Rong’er and I have to spend our lives apart?” Having thought this far, he’d already made up his mind. He raised his head.
By now, Tuolei had clarified with Zhu Cong what had been spoken about in the exchange between Huang Yaoshi and Guo Jing. He saw Guo Jing dithering and ruminating, seemingly embarrassed; and he realised that he truly felt no sentiments towards his sister. Bursting with rage, he took a long, wolf-fanged-and-vulture-plumed arrow out from his quiver, and gripped it in both hands.
“Brother Guo Jing!” he called out. “Everywhere under heaven, ‘One’s word is one’s bond’ is the conduct of the true man! Now that you’ve treated my sister heartlessly, how could the heroic sons and daughters of Genghis Khan seek sincerity from you? The brotherly tie between you and me…from now, I demand it severed! As for the bond of life and death the two of us had when we were children, and also your saving the lives of father and me – let’s keep kindness and grievance clearly separated. Because your mother’s in the north, I’ll certainly provide for her, properly and respectfully. But if you want to see her come south, I’ll be sure to send people in escort. There won’t be the least bit of neglect – no way! A real man’s words are set in stone. You put your mind at rest!”
Done with talking, there was a loud crack as he snapped the arrow in two, flinging the shards before the horse.
Tuolei had spoken with a steely finality and an iron will. Deep down, Guo Jing felt in awe, and he suddenly recalled all kinds of heroic deeds that him and Tuolei had got up to during their youth in the great desert.
“He said: ‘A real man’s words are set in stone,’” thought Guo Jing. “The agreement to marry Sister Huazheng was from my own mouth. To go back on one’s word – how is that the way to behave? Even if Master Huang kills me today and Rong’er hates me for the rest of her life, I can’t be seeing it like that.”
Immediately, he raised his head high. “Master Huang, my six kind teachers, Brother Tuolei, and masters Zhebie and Bo’erhu,” he announced, “Guo Jing really isn’t the type who has no honour, no virtue. I have to marry Sister Huazheng.”
Last edited by owbjhx; 02-12-07 at 01:01 PM.
Thanks owbjh .
What will happen next ? It is really getting intersting .
I hope nothing in this thread was lost during the temporary server crash?
Thank you owbjhx.
Why doesn't Huazheng say something after hearing her brother's speech?
Poor Guo Jing is really having a tough time but I still admire him since there are more important things to him than life and/or love.
I know what the next line is! "...and immediately the Eastern Heretic flicked his entire head off with one finger!!!"
Jinyong's "LOCH" (3rd Edition), Chapter 26
Translated by owbjhx
Part 7 of 9
He made this announcement in Chinese, and separately, in Mongolian. For everyone, it was far off what they’d expected. Tuolei, Huazheng, Zhebie and Bo’erhu were surprised but delighted; the Jiangnan Freaks privately praised their disciple for being a true man of hard backbone; and Huang Yaoshi, casting him a sideways glance, gave a cold sneer.
Huang Rong was deeply heartbroken. After a moment’s pause, she took a few steps towards Huazheng, and assessed her carefully. She noticed Huazheng’s athletic figure, her large eyes and dashing eyebrows, her features everywhere noble; and she couldn’t help giving a long sigh.
“Jing gege,” she said, “I understand. You and her are the same. The two of you are a pair of white eagles rising over the great desert. But I’m just a little swallow, sitting under a willow branch in Jiangnan.”
Guo Jing stepped over to her. “Rong’er,” he said, grasping her hands, “I don’t know if what you said is right or wrong. In my heart, there’s only you – and you know it! Who cares what others say we should or shouldn’t do? They can burn my body ‘til the ashes blow away, but I’ll only be thinking of you!”
“Then why did you say that you’ll marry her?” said Huang Rong, tears welling in her eyes.
“I am a fool,” said Guo Jing. “I don’t know about any reasoning. I only know this: the promises that you make, you just can’t take back. But I’m not lying when I say that, no matter what, you’re the only one in my heart. There’s no way I can be apart from you. I would rather die!”
Huang Rong felt a confusion inside – feelings of love and of pain. After a moment, she gave a faint smile. “Jing gege,” she said, “if I’d known things would be this way, we’d never have returned from the ‘Island of Rubicund Clouds’. Wouldn’t that have been great?”
Huang Yaoshi, raising an eyebrow, suddenly shouted: “That’s easy!” With a flap of his robe sleeves, he swung out a hand chopping at Huazheng.
To Huang Rong, her old dad’s intentions had been plain to see. Spotting a cold glint in his eyes, and knowing an attempt to kill was imminent, she’d pre-emptively dashed to obstruct him before he’d thrown out his hand. Huang Yaoshi, afraid of harming his beloved daughter, at once stopped his hand’s momentum. Huang Rong had already grabbed Huazheng by the arm and pulled her off her horse when Huang Yaoshi’s hand struck the horse on the saddle, making a loud noise.
Initially, the horse didn’t seem unduly affected at all. But gradually, its head drooped and its legs bowed as it curled, paralysed, into a ball on the ground – where, in the end, it died. This was a sturdy horse from a renowned Mongolian breed; although it wasn’t as fabulous as the treasured blood-sweating horse, it was still a fine, muscular animal, strong-boned and with a high, bulky body. But with just one wave of Huang Yaoshi’s palm, it had died under his hand. Martial arts this extreme were a rare sight indeed. The hearts of Tuolei, Zhu Cong and all the others were pounding wildly; if, they thought, this hand had struck Huazheng, how would she have survived?
Huang Yaoshi hadn’t expected his daughter would actually take action and rescue Huazheng. He was stunned for a moment, before understanding why: if he killed the barbarian girl, Guo Jing would surely turn against his daughter, and they’d become enemies. He snorted, thinking: “To turn against is to turn against; how could I even be scared of this boy?” But with one glance at his daughter, he saw her expression was one of misery and pain, but obviously also of feeling intertwined with someone in a thousand ways – unable to part, unable to leave. Deep down, he couldn’t help trembling: this was exactly the same look that his wife, on the verge of death, had on her face. Huang Rong had always been very similar in looks to her departed mother. Back then, that emotional event had affected Huang Yaoshi like a dementia, like a madness; although it had been fifteen years, every day since it was as if it was still right before his very eyes. Now, to see it suddenly appear on his daughter’s face, made him realise that her feelings of love for Guo Jing were already rooted bone-deep. Reflecting that this was precisely the natural character of her father and mother – self-willed and disposed towards irresolvable passion – he gave a long sigh, and intoned:
“Earth and heaven
Are a stove,
Nature is the worker!
Yin and Yang are
Thousand things are copper!”
Huang Rong stood still, teardrops falling slowly.
Han Baoju gave Zhu Cong’s lapels a tug. “What’s he singing about?” he asked, in a whisper.
“It’s from a composition written by someone called Jia, during the Han Dynasty,” answered Zhu Cong, also whispering. “It’s saying that existence on this world – for mankind and the ten thousand creatures – is an anguish just like that of suffering incineration inside a huge furnace.”
“He’s trained to such a high standard!” spluttered Han Baoju. “What anguish can he have?”
Zhu Cong, shaking his head, gave no response.
“Rong’er,” said Huang Yaoshi gently, “after we go back, you are never to see this boy again.”
“Dad, no!” said Huang Rong. “I still have to get to Yuezhou. Teacher told me to go and be the Chief of the Beggar Gang.”
Huang Yaoshi smiled faintly. “Being the head of the tramps,” he said, “is a serious hassle, and it’s not much fun.”
“I promised teacher I’d do it,” said Huang Rong.
“Well, try it out for a few days, then,” sighed Huang Yaoshi. “When you’re really sick of it, hand it over to another straight away. And afterwards…are you going to see this boy or not?”
Huang Rong took a glance at Guo Jing and saw him gazing back at her. The look in his eyes was one of overflowing tenderness, of a love infinite in depth. She turned her head back towards her father.
“Dad,” she said, “he’s going to marry someone else; so I’ll marry someone else, too. I’m the only one in his heart, just as he’s the only one in my heart.”
Huang Yaoshi laughed. “The daughter of Peachblossom Island cannot lose out, so that’s not too bad. Now, suppose the man you marry doesn’t let you be friends with him…?”
Huang Rong gave a snort. “Who’d dare to stop me?” she said. “I’m your daughter!”
“Silly girl!” said Huang Yaoshi. “It won’t be a few more years before dad dies.”
“Dad!” sobbed Huang Rong. “The way you treat me, would I really be able to live on for much longer?”
“So are you still going to be with this heartless, faithless boy?” enquired Huang Yaoshi.
“Each extra day I stay with him is an extra day of happiness,” said Huang Rong. She said this gently, but with an expression of utter misery.
While father and daughter asked and answered each other like this, the Jiangnan Freaks – despite being eccentric in character – couldn’t help but listen agape. In the Song era, the proscriptions advised by propriety were followed with the most particularity; but because Huang Yaoshi was a man who ‘opposed Tang and Wu and despised Zhou and Kong’ and who perversely went against the conventions of the age, it had led to everyone calling him by the given title of “Eastern Heretic”. As for Huang Rong, she’d been moulded by her father since youth, and regarded marriage as marriage and love as love; when had thoughts of rectitude and chastity ever passed through her little head? This kind of conversation, shocking by the standards of the time, would set tongues wagging incessantly in disapproval among anyone overhearing it. But father and daughter were even talking as if it were only natural – just like common, idle, household chat. Despite the open-mindedness of Ke Zhen’e and the others, they couldn’t help shaking their heads quietly.
Guo Jing, who was feeling very bad, wanted to say a few comforting words to Huang Rong, but he’d always been wooden in speech. Now, he knew even less what was the right thing to say. Huang Yaoshi glanced at his daughter, then glanced at Guo Jing. Lifting his head towards the heavens, he suddenly roared long and loud. The sound shook the treetops and echoed from the mountain valley, startling some magpies; they rose in a flock and flew around the forest.
“Magpies, magpies!” called out Huang Rong. “The cowherd meets the weaving-girl tonight. Why no hurry to build the bridge?”
Huang Yaoshi grabbed a handful of loose stones from the ground and hurled them up into the air. One by one, a dozen magpies dropped, most dying where they fell. “What bridge is there to build?” shouted Huang Yaoshi. “Deep passion, great love: all empty fantasy in the end. More fitting that it die an early death!” He spun around and floated off. In just the space of a blink, the others saw his blue-robed figure disappear beyond the back of the woods.
Tuolei hadn’t understood what they’d been talking about; he knew only that Guo Jing was unwilling to turn his back on agreements from the past. “Brother,” he said, happily, “here’s hoping you soon succeed with your big objective. See you again when you’re back north!”
Huazheng added: “Keep this pair of white eagles by your side, and come back someday soon!”
Guo Jing nodded his head. “Tell my mum,” he said, “that I’m sure I’ll put the enemy to the blade, and get revenge for father.”
Zhebie and Bo’erhu also took their leave of Guo Jing, and the four rode out of the forest together.
“What are your plans?” Han Xiaoying asked Guo Jing.
Guo Jing said: “I…I plan firstly to go and find Teacher Hong.”
Ke Zhen’e nodded his head. “That’s right,” he remarked. “Master Huang went to our households; our families must have been very worried. We ought therefore to return. When you see Chief Hong, you must invite His Eminence to come to Jiaxing and convalesce. We’ll keep a firm guard over him, and assure you his safety.” Guo Jing promised to do so, took leave of his six teachers, and then returned to Lin’an with Huang Rong.
That evening, the two of them went back into the palace for a careful look around the imperial kitchens, but there was no sign of Hong Qigong anywhere. They found and interrogated several eunuchs, all of whom said that there hadn’t been any intruders or trespassers appearing in the palace these past few days. Guo Jing and Huang Rong felt they could put their minds at rest somewhat. Although Hong Qigong had lost his martial arts, he still had the resourcefulness and experience of a great master; they expected he’d surely had a plan of escape. And by now, it was already drawing near to the time of the Beggar Gang’s big meeting – they couldn’t delay any longer. Early next morning, they immediately rode westward together.
At this time, half of China was already occupied by the Jins, the boundary a line from the River Huai in the East to Sanguan in the West. What remained for those of the Southern Song were seventeen provinces in all: Eastern and Western Liangzhe; Eastern and Western Huainan; Eastern and Western Jiangnan; Northern and Southern Jinghu; Southern Jingxi; the five regions of Bashu; Fujian; and Eastern and Western Guangnan. (*) The nation’s influence was in faltering decline, its territory shrinking by the day.
On this particular day, Guo Jing and Huang Rong were coming to the border of Western Jiangnan province. (*) While going along a mountain ridge, there was a sudden blast of cold wind across it, and a big layer of jet-black clouds came floating over fast from the east. Right now, it happened to be the height of summer, but rain falls as it pleases; even before the dark, rumbling clouds had arrived overhead, there was a thunderclap, and it was already showering down with soyabean-sized raindrops.
Guo Jing opened an umbrella and went to shelter Huang Rong with it, but a violent, unexpected gust of wind burst over, ripped off the parasol, and carried it far away, leaving only a naked umbrella-handle in Guo Jing’s hands. Huang Rong, laughing loudly, said: “How come you’ve got a Dog-Beating Stick, too?”
Guo Jing laughed with her. Looking ahead along the ridge, there was nowhere in sight where they could escape from the rain. Guo Jing took off his jacket, wanting to use it to shield Huang Rong. “We can cover up for a bit longer,” said Huang Rong, smiling, “but we’ll still get wet!”
“Then let’s walk quicker,” said Guo Jing.
Huang Rong shook her head. “Jing gege,” she said, “here’s a story from a book. One day, it was raining down hard. Everybody travelling on the road was rushing to and fro. But there was one man who just walked at an unhurried pace. The other people were surprised, and asked him why the heck he wasn’t running. The man said: ‘It’s raining down hard ahead of me, too. Won’t running over there still get me soaked just the same?’”
“True!” laughed Guo Jing.
The issue of Huazheng suddenly arose in Huang Rong’s mind. “The future ahead is already doomed with misery and heartbreak,” she thought. “No matter how we run, in the end we can’t escape, can’t hide. It’s just as if we’d encountered rain while along the ridge of a mountain.”
There amidst the downpour, the two of them walked slowly until they’d left the ridge. Seeing a peasant household, they went in to shelter from the rain. As both were totally soaked from head to toe, they changed into clothing borrowed from the peasant family. Huang Rong put on the worn garments of an old farmer’s wife, which she found amusing, when suddenly she heard a series of disappointed groans from Guo Jing in the neighbouring room. Rushing over, she asked: “What is it?”
Guo Jing, an upset look on his face, had in his hands the painting given to him by Huang Yaoshi. It had so happened that the painting had been damaged by rainwater during the downpour just now. “What a shame!” repeated Huang Rong.
Taking the canvas from him for a look, she saw that its paper was torn, its strokes of paint blurred. There was already no way it could be refitted and restored. She was just about to put it down when she suddenly noticed that a few extra lines of dim writing had appeared by the side of the poem annotated by Han Shizhong. A closer look revealed that these words had been written on paper interlying between the painting and the sheet it had been mounted on; if it hadn’t been for the painting getting soaked, they definitely wouldn’t be visible. The disintegration of the rain-soaked paper had made the writing fragmented and difficult to distinguish, but by looking at the form in which it was arranged, Huang Rong could make out there were four sentences in all...
(*) Retained historical province names for expediency.
Last edited by owbjhx; 02-12-07 at 01:03 PM.
Thanks for the translation .
Such a long post everyday is really commendable . Please do continue the amazing work .
Last edited by Yang Chong; 02-10-07 at 08:50 AM.
Go ahead and have a beer, you deserve it!
Thank you for translating!! Poor Huang Rong, I still can't help but feel so sad for her.
Jinyong's "LOCH" (3rd Edition), Chapter 26
Translated by owbjhx
Part 8 of 9
With careful discernment, she read out slowly:
“…posthumous writings of the late…,
The remaining words were so damaged that there was absolutely no way they could be identified.
“It’s about The Posthumous Writings of the Late General!” called out Guo Jing.
“Indeed!” said Huang Rong. “There’s no doubt. That bastard Wanyan Honglie assumed the Writings were hidden by the side of the palace’s Cuihan Hall. But although he got the stone box, the Writings were nowhere to be seen. It looks like the location of the Writings hinges critically on these four lines of text.”
After murmuring “…iron palm…middle…joint…” for a while, she added: “That day at The Villa of the Gathering Clouds, at one point I heard Martial Brother Lu and your six teachers discussing that deceitful guy, Qiu Qianren. They said he was the Chief of the Iron Palm Gang or something. Daddy said that the might of the Iron Palm Gang rocked Sichuan and Hunan; its prestige and reputation really were awesome. Could it be that the Writings actually have something to do with Qiu Qianren?”
Guo Jing shook his head. “As long as it's Qiu Qianren playing up,” he said, “I’m not believing any of it!”
“I wouldn’t believe it either!” said Huang Rong, with a little laugh.
On the fourteenth day of the seventh month, they arrived within the borders of Northern Jinghu province. (*) The next day, before the stroke of noon, they’d already reached Yuezhou. Leading their horses and loosing the eagles, they asked around for directions, and came by path to Yueyang Tower.
After going up into a nearby restaurant and ordering food and drink, they admired the scenery of Dongting Lake: a sweeping vastness of one blue-green hue spread across ten thousand qing. Towering mountains stood out in every direction, a ring of misty, lofty peaks arrayed in an arc of awe-inspiring majesty. Compared to the hazy waters of Tai Lake, this spectacle was something else entirely. While they enjoyed the view, the food arrived. The cuisine of Hunan was very heavily spiced, and Guo Jing and Huang Rong both felt that it wasn’t to their taste; but with such big dishes and such long chopsticks, it nevertheless had a rather generous spirit to it.
The two of them ate some of the food and looked around at the verses inscribed on the four walls. Guo Jing perused Fan Zhongyan’s Remarks on Yueyang Tower in silence, but he couldn’t help reading out loud when he reached the sentence:
“Be first under heaven to worry,
And last under heaven to rejoice.”
“What do you think about this couplet?” asked Huang Rong.
Guo Jing re-read it silently, pondering to himself and giving no immediate response.
“The writer of this essay was Fan, ‘The Just Official’,” said Huang Rong. “At that time, he rocked the Western Xia with his might; a literary talent and an astute tactician, you could say that he had absolutely no equal on earth.”
Guo Jing asked her to describe some of Fan Zhongyan’s achievements, and listened as she talked about his various childhood hardships – the poverty of his family, the early death of his father, the remarriage of his mother – and, after he’d attained wealth and honour, everything he did in consideration for the commonfolk. A grave feeling of reverence rising unstoppably within him, Guo Jing solemnly poured a ricebowlful of wine. “‘Be first under heaven to worry, and last under heaven to rejoice.’” he said. “This is surely what’s in the mind of great heroes and great champions!” With that, he lifted his head and drained the wine in a single shot.
Huang Rong laughed. “Although this sort of person is good for sure,” she said, “there’s so much worry under heaven – and so little joy – that wouldn’t he never get to rejoice in his life? I couldn’t be like that.”
Guo Jing gave a slight smile.
“Jing gege,” continued Huang Rong, her voice getting lower, “I don’t care whether there’s worry or joy under heaven. If you aren’t by my side, I’m never going to be joyful.” Her brows were knitted with despair.
“I won’t be joyful either,” remarked Guo Jing, hanging his head. He knew that she was thinking about how the two of them were going to end up, and he had no way of comforting her.
Huang Rong suddenly raised her head and laughed. “Never mind!” she said. “All this is childishness, anyway. Have you heard anyone sing Fan Zhongyan’s poem Spurn the Silver Lantern?”
“I haven’t heard it, of course!” said Guo Jing. “Could you tell it to me?”
Huang Rong said: “The concluding passage of the poem goes like this:
‘The life of man is but
A hundred years in all;
Ends up with aged pall.
Only in between there’s time,
Briefly youthful in one’s prime.
Why grasp on fleeting fame, catch hold
Of first-class rank and thousand gold?
For how to flee white hairs of old?’”
She followed this by explaining the general meaning of the poem.
Guo Jing commented: “He was telling people not to waste their best years by using them up in seeking fame, gaining office, getting rich, and so on. And that’s very well said.”
Huang Rong, in a whisper, recited:
“Wine into the worried stomach
Changes into lovesick tears.”
Guo Jing gazed at her. “Is that a poem of Fan Zhongyan, too?” he asked.
“Yes,” said Huang Rong. “Great heroes and great champions also aren’t the heartless sort, you know.”
The two of them drank a few cups to each other, and Huang Rong had a look at the guests in the restaurant. On the eastern side, she saw three middle-aged beggars sitting around a square table; although they wore many patches, their clothes were clean and fresh. By the look of them, they were important figures within the Beggar Gang who’d come to attend tonight’s big meeting. Besides them, the other guests were all the usual officials and merchants. The incessant chirp of cicadas could be heard coming from a big willow tree outside the restaurant.
“All day long,” said Huang Rong, “these cicadas call out ‘zhi le, zhi le’ endlessly, but whatever they know is unknown. Basically, even among insects there are guys who boast shamelessly. It makes me think of a particular person, and I rather miss him.”
“Who?” demanded Guo Jing.
“That big talker of bull,” said Huang Rong, smiling, “the Iron Palm’s Qiu ‘Floats-Over-Water’ Qianren!”
Guo Jing laughed loudly. “That old trickster…!” he began.
He hadn’t finished speaking when suddenly, from a corner of the restaurant, they heard somebody speaking in a mysterious voice: “Looking down even on ‘Floats-Over-Water’ Elder Qiu of Iron Palm? That’s some big talk!” Guo Jing and Huang Rong glanced at where the voice was coming from and saw a middle-aged beggar, with a swarthy complexion and clad in a tattered jacket, squatting by the corner and looking at them in snickering laughter.
Guo Jing, seeing that he was a Beggar Gang figure, immediately relaxed. Noticing that he had an agreeable expression, Guo Jing clasped his hands in respect and said: “Senior, how about joining us and drinking a cup or three?”
“Sure!” said the beggar, coming over at once.
Huang Rong ordered an extra cup and set of chopsticks from a waiter. Pouring the cup with wine, she said with a smile: “Please take a seat, and drink up!”
“Beggar here doesn’t deserve a seat,” he answered. Sitting right there on the floorboards, he took out a broken bowl and a pair of bamboo chopsticks from a pocket. Extending the bowl, he said: “The leftovers you’re finished with – dump some over, and they’ll do for me.”
“That’d be a bit too disrespectful!” said Guo Jing. “Whatever dishes senior would like to eat, we’ll order them up from the kitchen.”
“A beggar does as a beggar looks,” said the beggar. “If he’s one in name only – just feigning the accent and affecting the appearance – might as well not be a beggar. If you agree to hand it out, then hand it out. If not, I’m going someplace else to beg for food!”
Huang Rong took a glance at Guo Jing. “Indeed!” she laughed. “You said it right!” They then tipped all their leftover food into the broken bowl. The beggar grabbed a few clumps of cold rice from inside a pocket and, along with the leftovers, began eating them up zestfully.
Secretly, Huang Rong counted the number of pockets on him: there were three pockets to a cluster, and three clusters in total – in sum, nine pockets. Having another look at the three beggars around the other table, each of them was wearing nine pockets as well, but on their table was a lavish spread of food and drink. Those three acted as if they hadn’t seen this one beggar, and all along had never so much as glanced at him; but at times, their expressions carried a faint look of disgust.
As the beggar continued eating heartily, they suddenly heard the sound of footsteps on the staircase, and three people started coming up. Guo Jing turned his head and looked towards the stairs...
(*) Retained historical province name for expediency.
Last edited by owbjhx; 02-12-07 at 01:03 PM.