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Thread: The History of the Tang Dynasty Two Dragons (大唐双龙传) - Huang Yi

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    Senior Member Grundle's Avatar
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    Default The History of the Tang Dynasty Two Dragons (大唐双龙传) - Huang Yi

    For Christmas I thought I would post some of the work I have been doing on this novel. My goal was to have the entire 1st chapter done by today, but I got sick last night so there is about 1/3 left.

    Ever since I started translating, this novel has been my ultimate goal and lately I have been feeling that my skills are finally getting good enough to jump into it Hopefully one day I can find someone to take over Longsword Master so I can focus on this full time. Until then I will have to go back and forth.

    This novel's title has also been translated as "Twins of Brothers" but that has to be the worst rendition of the title I have ever seen so I changed it.
    Last edited by Grundle; 12-25-10 at 03:21 PM.
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    Senior Member Grundle's Avatar
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    Merry Christmas! I hope you all enjoy. Chapter one skips around a bit, but it is setting the scene for our epic adventure.

    --------
    Book 1

    Chapter 1 - Relying on Each Other to Survive

    Yuwen Hua Ji stood on the warship’s jutting command platform that allowed him to see from above both banks of the canal up ahead.

    The sky still hadn’t begun to brighten as the five large warships were illuminated by burning lanterns that outshone the light from the moon and the stars, which seemed to illustrate the rise to power of Yuwen’s faction and the Southern Noble’s loss of their former glory.

    Yuwen Hua Ji was about thirty years old with a very thin figure, standing very tall, and an ancient looking face. His expression was cold and detached with eyes that were deep and mysterious which gave others the impression that he was a cold and cruel person. Yet somehow he was also able to cause an awe inspiring and intimidating loyalty from other people with his dominating personality.

    These five warships were constructed under the personal supervision of the famous minister Yang Su from the Sui Dynasty, who had already passed away. They were named Five Tooth Warships because they each had five decks, one on top of the other, rising up 120 feet. Each warship could hold 800 warriors.

    Five masts were under full sail as the group of warships moved rapidly like runaway horses towards Jiang Du at the lower reaches of the canal.

    Yuwen Hua Ji’s eyes fell on the towers of a palace hidden within the trees of a forest lining the shore. It was built years ago by the Sui Emperor Yang Guang, who constructed over 40 temporary palaces along the river.

    When Emperor Yang Guang began to reign, in order to connect the north to the south he ordered the people to dig a canal which allowed traffic to directly flow between the north and the south. Whether it was a military or economic need, it could now be fulfilled. Yet he still continued to carry out massive construction projects, like building the palaces and planting numerous willows along the canal which became a tremendous waste of money and manpower.

    Standing behind him his trusted subordinate Zhang Shi respectfully said, “We will reach Jiang Du before dawn, if Chief can obtain “The Art of Longevity” and present it to His Imperial Majesty, it would be a great merit.”

    An enigmatic smile escaped and traced along Yuwen Hua Ji’s mouth as he said indifferently, “His majesty is obsessed with Taoist alchemy methods for immortality, but these religious things just make people smile. If this strange technique really did exist then someone would have obtained immortality, yet if you observe all of the Taoist sages, not one of them has been able to escape death. If this book weren’t woven from golden thread, and impervious to both fire and water then we could just find someone to make a fake and easily pass it off.”

    Zhang Shi joined him laughing saying, “His Majesty thoroughly investigated, both openly and in secret, for over 10 years before he found out that the book fell into the hands of Yang Zhou’s number one master, “Mountain Splitting Hand” Shi Long. It is funny that Shi Long had such an excessive desire to live that he went after the book, but the second he got his hands on it he sealed his own death, which is really ironic.”

    Yuwen Hua Ji coldly grunted, “Heng!” as he mumbled the name “Shi Long” in a low voice.

    His blood immediately began to boil.

    Over the last few years, because of his high authority and heavy responsibility he was rarely able to fight against another person.

    Now the chance has finally come.


    ‘Unrestrained Sky King’ Wang Xu Ba, following General Jiao Xie, led several dozen men who had superior martial skills galloping quickly down the banks of the Yangtze River. The noise shattered the once tranquil shores of the river.

    Wang Xu Ba was one of the chiefs in a rebel army that was fighting against the Sui Emperor. They had considerable momentum.

    Ever since Yang Guang assumed the title of emeperor he was fond of grandiose accomplishment so he launched many military excursions to the borders and he also loved to indulge in a life of luxury which led him to build many separate palaces that he would periodically visit. He imposed excessive taxes causing the people to suffer unspeakable misery so that eventually thieves began to spring up everywhere. In every province great heroes rose up to declare themselves king so that the Sui Dynasty could no longer return to the grandeur of the days of it’s founding.

    In the predawn dark in the Sui province of Jiangdu outside the river city of Yangzhou by the docks were anchored all manner of shipping boats that appeared as small specks of light on the water. It was a bustling place that had a desolate liveliness.

    Yet Jiao Xie’s mind was still focused on the two characters ‘Live Long’ engraved on the ancient green jade.

    It was one of the most famous precious treasures in the history of the Sui Dynasty. The first Sui emperor Yang Jian listened to false charges and abolished Prince Yang Yong, replacing him with Yang Guang, and the history of “Live Long” was the reason that he was implicated, put to death and all his belongings were confiscated, exactly in the same manner as Minister Yang Su.

    At that time Yang Su had the most influence and power as the Right Minister, and even when constantly faced with battles from every side he was invincible. He was also the most accomplished man in the empire, causing the Emperor to be suspicious and jealous of him.

    Yang Su’s personal life was also at odds with others of his generation because he was very secretive, and he amassed weapons, provisions, and wealth. However on the same night that Yang Su died after a long illness, the Emperor murdered all of his followers but he could never find where Yang Su hid his treasures.

    Since then there was a rumor that whoever could find ‘Honorable Yang’s Hidden Treasure’ would unify the world.

    Now since the precious jade had resurfaced in the world, it was enough to become an important clue in the search for the hidden treasures.

    Seven days ago someone found this ancient jade in a Danyang pawn shop. As soon as Wang Xu Ba heard the news he immediately gathered some people together to investigate the truth behind this event.

    The case was difficult to solve, because the person who made the pawn at the pawn shop seemed to have access to the hidden treasure, so they would normally pawn other items as well, but then why did only this one piece of precious jade leak out from the hidden treasure?

    At that moment Jiao Xie was roused from his thoughts as he turned and gazed towards the canal connecting to the river where he saw the burning lamps and the large black shadows of sails on a series of five toothed warships.

    Deep down Jiao Xie felt fear as he quickly raised his hand issuing the order to leave the river bank and recede back into the dark forest.


    East of Yangzhou there was a large abandoned and overgrown estate where most of the buildings had fallen into disrepair a long time ago. Due to constant buffeting and erosion from the wind and rain, and constant gnawing by termites they had mostly decayed and collapsed by now. There was only one small space, that could be considered dry enough to provide shelter, if one were able to huddle in the small corner after crawling through a hole that was sealed by a plank of wood.

    From inside the dark gloomy house came a high pitched groan followed by the noise of a body turning over on the ground.

    The sound of a child’s voice rang out as he called, “Xiao Ling! Xiao Ling! Are you still in pain?”

    Once again a high pitched groan broke the silence before a different child’s voice replied, “That Boss Yan’s mother, his two fists almost killed me, ai! Next time we have something good, we shouldn’t in a million years go back to exchange at that pawn shop. Not only did they unfairly lower the price with fake fees, but then they tried to force me to tell Boss Yan that dog thief, who thinks we got it from some hidden stash. I ended up having to suffer their beatings.”

    The speaker was one of two small dirty children who was living in this dilapidated room. Their families fled during the chaos of war only to be killed by thieving bandits. From then on they became orphans.

    Luckily both boys ran into each other easily becoming friends and subsequently began to depend on each other to survive. They had a bond that even transcended the ties between brothers.

    The larger boy, Kou Zhong was seventeen years old. The smaller boy who was called Xu Zi Ling, had just barely turned sixteen.

    Within the darkness Kou Zhong lifted himself up off the mat he was laying on and moved next to Xu Zi Ling, and began to gently comfort him saying, “Just as long as they didn’t cripple you then it’ll be okay. Even if that villain Boss Yan were a ghost we can endure it, hei! Both of us two Yangzhou two Dragons can suffer a river of kicks as long as we can obtain a few more Liang [1] of silver. Once we have enough travel expensive we can leave the darkness and move into the light where we can join one of the insurgent armies.”

    Xu Zi Ling crumbled to the floor stroking his jaw that was still burning with pain. “How much worse could it get?” he asked. “Still, I really don’t want to see that Old Thief Yan again.”

    Awkwardly Kou Zhong said, “Hey! We only need two and a half more Liang until we have the twenty five we need to travel.”

    Startled, Xu Zi Ling suddenly sat up and stuttered, “Did you just say we only need two and a half? How did it suddenly become two and a half?”

    Heaving a deep sigh Kou Zhong replied, “Actually the amount of money we still need isn’t that important. The most annoying thing is that Peng Xiao failed to live up to our expectations. After only two or three engagements, he was captured by the government soldiers.”

    He then excitedly grabbed Xu Zi Ling’s shoulder saying, “But you shouldn’t be worried. Last night when I went to the Spring Wind House to steal something to eat, I heard people saying that the most powerful right now is Li Zi Tong who leads a lot of brave warriors. Among these warriors are Bai Xin and Qin Chao Wen who are both top martial arts masters. Recently they also forced one of the other insurgent armies led by Zuo Xiao You to join them. They are really gaining momentum.”

    Suspiciously Xu Zi Ling said, “Before, didn’t you say that Peng Xiao was the most ferocious and before that wasn’t it the high ranking Yang minister who ambushed Yang Guang’s army? Where did you suddenly drill Li Zi Tong from? You were also excessively convinced about Li Hong Zhi, Hu Liu Miao, Wang Deren, and so on. What happened to all of them?”

    Kou Zhong was clearly unable to answer his questions so after stammering for an answer he finally laughed saying, “Out of all the people in this world, who else can you believe but your brother? How could I possibly lead you down a dark road? I think that I can find the most promising insurgent army that is going to conquer the world. No matter what I will force them to see the talent that we two brothers have to offer. I Kou Zhong will go from nothing to become the Prime Minister and you will become a great general.”

    Xu Zi Ling smiled bitterly, “We just let Boss Yan beat us until we could barely stand up, what talents do we have suitable for becoming a great general?”

    Passionately Kou Zhong replied, “That is why I forced you to go eavesdrop on Venerable Master Bai’s lectures and to go hide behind the big tree next to the Shi Long Martial academy so we could secretly learn their kung fu. Outstanding virtue and abilities only emerge after training them, so we should be able to reach the summit of virtue and ability. At the very least we have to come back and work in the Yang Zhou government. Then Boss Yan is going to have some big problems.”

    Xu Zi Ling wrinkled his brows before saying, “I am in a lot of pain and Venerable Master Bai could bore a bird into laying an egg. Is it okay if I go early tomorrow morning?”

    Kou Zong quietly muttered to himself for a few moments before finally giving in, “Tomorrow as early as possible I want you to get a horse, but it has to be early in the morning so that you still have time to raise money. I want to eat the elegant Zhen Sao’s vegetable buns that she prepared before they are all gone.

    Xu Zi Ling groaned lightly before going back to lay down on his mat.

    Because the world was in turmoil, thieves sprang up everywhere causing everyone to feel like they were in danger, so the first things to prosper within the cities were Martial academies and Taoist ceremonies.

    On the scale of prestige the top ranked in Yang Zhou was the Shi Long Martial academy founded by Master “Mountain Splitting Hand” Shi Long himself.

    Over the last decade Shi Long rarely appeared at the school. Instead the entire business was managed by his disciples, but since the school carried his name it still attracted a steady stream of people from near and far.

    Shi Long academy was still able to produce first class experts, otherwise how could it’s reputation not change over the last decade.

    Who could have known that this person was still celibate and unmarried, living in a small courtyard on the outskirts of the city? He never left his home, regularly sending a disciple out to gather living supplies while he continually researched the Taoist secrets he was obsessed with in the treasured tome of “The Art of Longevity”.

    According to oral traditions passed from generation to generation this book came from the ancient times of the Yellow Emperor’s teacher Guang Cheng Zi, written in the oracle bone script[2], making it very obscure and difficult to decipher. Many worthy predecessors already reviewed this book, but even though there was no shortage of brilliant men until now nobody could comprehend the essence of the book, and crack the code it held. The book contained over seven thousand four hundred different characters, but only about three thousand of the characters were considered solved and understandable.

    The pages of the book were also densely packed with the notes of previous men who scoured the book trying to understand it, but the original text alone was enough to make someone lose their mind.

    Fortunately there were also seven illustrations of the human figure, each of them showing a different posture. They were also marked with various symbols such as red dots that were connected by a series of guiding arrow symbols. It appeared to narrate some kind of Taoist cultivation techniques, but someone who didn’t understand the meaning couldn’t just easily practice it. If you tried to rush and force your qi through one of the symbols too quickly you would immediately have a surge of qi and blood followed by convulsions as if possessed by a devil. It was extremely dangerous.

    Shi Long has had this book for three years, but he has still gained nothing. It is as if a treasure was waiting before his eyes, but he didn’t have the key to open the door.

    On this day as he sat meditating, he felt an alarming surge. How could he not focus completely on the contents of the precious tome? While he deeply pondered, the sound of a dry cough came from the courtyard outside the room.

    Shi long quickly stuffed the precious tome in the folds of his cloak next to his chest as countless thoughts flashed through is mind. In one breath he exclaimed, “Noble visitor you grace me with your presence. Please come in and drink a cup of hot tea!”

    The other person only had to move to the door before their ability was revealed. It was clearly obvious that they had already reached a master level.

    At the same moment Jiao Xie arrived at the edge of the thick forest north of the city. He dismounted his horse with the rest of his men. Using shen fa[3] they passed through the forest and ascended a small hill that overlooked a run down monastery.

    Two men emerged from the monastery as Jiao Xie heard one of his men whisper in his ear, “They have been in the monastery all night. Since midnight they haven’t left the monastery gate. It looks like they are waiting for someone.”

    Jiao Xie muttered to himself before giving his orders.

    The men following him began to leave as they scattered toward the four sides of the run down monastery and surrounded it.

    Jiao Xie watched as they finally reached the front gate when a clear voice called out, “Under the banner of ‘Life Stealing Knife’ Jiao Xie, Unrestrained Sky King is respectfully carrying out his orders and would like to consult the young lady about a certain matter.”

    “Bang!”

    The rundown monastery gate shattered into splinters while at the same time a woman appeared at the gate opening.

    Jiao Xie noticed how quick and fierce her response was and felt a surge of fear in his heart. His hand wandered down to rest on top of the hilt of the life stealing knife that had helped him kill countless enemies.

    From head to toe the woman was clothed in a snow white warrior’s outfit. She had a charming appearance and she casually rested her hand on her sword.

    She wore a bamboo hat to shield her head from the sun that had a piece of cotton string hanging down. From her lips up the rest of her face was completely concealed by the hat. Only her chin was completely exposed, but they could already tell that she was a rare beauty.

    The woman was very tall and she had a very proud bearing as if she was a crane standing in the midst of a flock of chicken. The elegance she possessed was indescribable.

    The feature that seemed to impress people the most was a small mole at the corner of her mouth that seemed to be painted on. It seemed to add to the mystery of her beauty.

    Jiao Xie was dumbstruck for a long time [4] before he regained his composure. Just as he was about to speak everyone heard what sounded like the flute of an immortal as the beautiful woman’s cherry lips said, “You are finally here.”

    Jiao Xie jumped in surprise and temporarily forgot about the Honorable Yang hidden treasure as he said in amazement, “Young Lady was waiting for us?”

    From the corner of the white-clad woman’s mouth came the trace of a matchless smiling expression as she said, “I was just waiting for someone to test my sword on.”

    “Qiang!”

    The woman pulled her sword from it’s sheath and a cold sword swept the forest and engulfed Jiao Xie.

    Jiao Xie had travelled Jiang Hu[5] for more than half his life so he was very experienced and careful. After only unsheathing her sword and taking a stance he knew that she was the most formidable swordsman he had ever met in his life. Letting out a loud shout he retreated a step and drew his knife while commanding his men to attack from all sides at the same time.

    There originally wasn’t any enmity between them, but as soon as they met a fierce fight started even though it was the first time they met.

    The sleeves of the woman’s robe flew as her sword suddenly rose sharply.

    A chilling cold murderous aura swept over everyone in the forest.

    Jiao Xie knew he couldn’t let his opponent seize the advantage so he unleashed another wild shout and rushed with his knife like a powerful tsunami towards the woman.

    By this time his men appeared as they hurried to help.

    The woman in white cried out and jumped up flying over Jiao Xie’s head, her long sword slashed down like a bolt of electricity.

    “Dang!”

    The two blades struck each other.

    Jiao Xie couldn’t resist the huge force that passed through his knife to the pit of his stomach as if he were suddenly struck by lightning. Unexpectedly he was unable to bear it and staggered backwards.

    In that way he was already put at a major disadvantage and furthermore it was the first time Jiao Xie had had this happen in a one on one fight. He knew that the women in white’s sword was extremely potent.

    She continued to soar through the air and caught up to a pair of large men who were already hurrying to the fight. With a circular flourish the two men tumbled to the ground and didn’t move again.

    The tip of her sword licked blood as more men were injured in the heated combat. The violent action excited their fierce nature as they rushed forward with no regard to their lives.

    The woman in white snorted contemptuously as her sword changed into a thousand shadowy images and like a demon it attacked the crowd of violently attacking men. The woman looked calm advancing and retreating when necessary, the tip of her blade was everywhere at once and whenever it arrived someone would fall down dead.

    No matter where on an opponent’s body the sword struck it was a killing blow as the sword energy would shake and destroy the five organs causing death.

    When Jiao Xie was able to circulate his qi, there were only four martial experts left struggling to support him. He felt his blood begin to boil and he became furious.

    Finally one of the experts dropped to the ground.

    The edge of her sword and Jiao Xie’s knife struck together again.

    Jiao Xie used all of his skill just to resist her six sword strikes, but when the sword struck his knife again it broke it in two.

    Astonished Jiao Xie used the broken section of knife he still held as a projectile and threw it at the women while at the same time raised his qi and rapidly retreated.

    Laughter came from the woman as her body rotated in a circle. Not only did she avoid the broken dagger, but she also launched out her sword.

    Jiao Xie helplessly watched the sword fly towards him. Many different ways to dodge flashed through his mind, but even as the sword passed through is body he wasn’t able to come up with a life-saving response.

    The woman in white retrieved her sword from his body as if this were just some trivial matter and swiftly left.



    [1] - Liang is a measure of weight corresponding to 33.9 ~ 37.8 grams.
    [2] - Oracle Bone Script are the ancestor characters of today’s modern Chinese. These rudimentary characters were inscribed on bones for the purposes of divination, which eventually became a system of writing.
    [3] - Shen Fa - Literally means “body method” but it is a term used in Martial Arts that doesn’t have an adequate english translation so I left it as-is.
    [4] - Literally “Half a day” but it sounds so wrong in English
    [5] - Jiang Hu literally means “Rivers and Lakes” but it is a term used to denote the Martial Arts World.
    Last edited by Grundle; 12-29-10 at 10:59 AM.
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    I appreciate your effort, but this is like jumping into the biggest project before warm up, this is a 63 book story.

    HY's first wuxia book is breaking the void, which is a 3 book small and sweet story, highly respected and including all the main feature of HY's Myth Hero style and should be first to translate to give a taste of what HY's wuxia is like. asittp and great sword master are not exactly wuxia.

    Beside hy said he enjoy this little gem most.

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    Senior Member Grundle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akolaw View Post
    I appreciate your effort, but this is like jumping into the biggest project before warm up, this is a 63 book story.

    HY's first wuxia book is breaking the void, which is a 3 book small and sweet story, highly respected and including all the main feature of HY's Myth Hero style and should be first to translate to give a taste of what HY's wuxia is like. asittp and great sword master are not exactly wuxia.

    Beside hy said he enjoy this little gem most.
    I have had plenty of warmup I think. One book of longsword master is roughly 40 - 50k words translated o.O But as I said in the beginning, this is the one I have always wanted to do.
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    I see, good luck to you and your project, twin dragon of tang is a great book and some rate it as the best wuxia novel.

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    And a new tv series of twin dragon of tang is now shooting in Mainland by Wong Jing with Alex Fong as Tsui and Chan Kwok Kwan (Sam of the Axe Gang in Kung Fu Hustle) as Kuo.

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    sorry but no offense but i think the more appopriate name for the ship is not five tooth but five fang ship sorry if i am wrong thank u

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    oh? someone taking up the epic task of translating another super long Huang Yi story? awesome

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    Senior Member SkyWalker's Avatar
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    Thanks for starting a new translation Grundle. I'm looking forward to reading more.

    Happy Holidays everyone!

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    You must be very brave to bring up this project, Grundle. I admire you I'm afraid I cannot help in translating the story itself because RL has taken up my time, but if you need any suggestion or you have trouble in translating some of the phrases, I can always offer my 2 cents

    You've done a great job translating the first chapter, though there are some minor mistakes:

    First, the "阀" should be translate to something more like clan, because 宇文阀 or later 宋阀 李阀 etc are actually large groups led by people of the same family name.

    Second, the jade "Live Long" belonged to a General named 史万岁,(literal translate: History Long Live) and was confiscated when he was killed along with the Prince Yang Yong.Yang Su was the one in charge of confiscation.
    Last edited by xlandhenry; 12-29-10 at 12:34 AM.

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    omg I love you Grundle. Hopefully you can do both lol. I love Huang Yi's novels.

    Also I don't see any thing wrong/strange with your translation ( maybe because I am bad at english lol ).

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    Senior Member Grundle's Avatar
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    @xlandhenry - I am grateful for your corrections. I was wondering if you could update your post to show the chinese characters correctly? It is hard for me to know what you are talking about when I can't see the chinese along side your corrections. It also lets me get to the portion of text you are referencing much quicker. As for the Live Long jade you mentioned, I am not sure how I can make changes to reflect it was owned by a general. Currently the text does not mention that, so I do not feel at liberty to add that extra information...unless I missed something.

    @dragonsense - That is a great suggestion. That sounds so much cooler! Thanks a lot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grundle View Post
    @xlandhenry - I am grateful for your corrections. I was wondering if you could update your post to show the chinese characters correctly? It is hard for me to know what you are talking about when I can't see the chinese along side your corrections. It also lets me get to the portion of text you are referencing much quicker. As for the Live Long jade you mentioned, I am not sure how I can make changes to reflect it was owned by a general. Currently the text does not mention that, so I do not feel at liberty to add that extra information...unless I missed something.
    Change the character encoding of your browser to Unicode(UTF-8), and you'll be able to see the Chinese characters, at least it works for me. As for the jade, what I mentioned in the last post was exactly a summary of that paragraph in the novel, I guessed you mistook the General's family name Shi(史) for an meaningful word History(历史).

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    Senior Member Grundle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xlandhenry View Post
    Change the character encoding of your browser to Unicode(UTF-8), and you'll be able to see the Chinese characters, at least it works for me. As for the jade, what I mentioned in the last post was exactly a summary of that paragraph in the novel, I guessed you mistook the General's family name Shi(史) for an meaningful word History(历史).
    Well whoops, I am glad you caught that. I will go back and re-read that paragraph and make the necessary corrections. By the way, my initial translation work I am doing in Google Documents. If you want to be added as a collaborator you can see my work and also add suggested changes to the text itself. Just let me know...and well that invitation goes out to anyone who is interested and can offer helpful suggestions.

    I wonder why I can read the Qiqi.com chinese just fine, but not your previous post. Strangely, in your most recent post the Chinese rendered just fine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grundle View Post
    Well whoops, I am glad you caught that. I will go back and re-read that paragraph and make the necessary corrections. By the way, my initial translation work I am doing in Google Documents. If you want to be added as a collaborator you can see my work and also add suggested changes to the text itself. Just let me know...and well that invitation goes out to anyone who is interested and can offer helpful suggestions.

    I wonder why I can read the Qiqi.com chinese just fine, but not your previous post. Strangely, in your most recent post the Chinese rendered just fine.
    Yes I'm glad to help with editing or proof-reading, just PM me with the details if you think I'm qualified

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    Senior Member Ace High's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grundle View Post
    [1] - Liang is a measure of weight corresponding to 50 grams
    A liang (or tael) would be around 33.9 ~ 37.8 grams, depending on which standard used.

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    Is the novel anything like the TVB series? because that series was terrible melodramatic crap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Demitre View Post
    Is the novel anything like the TVB series? because that series was terrible melodramatic crap.
    Of course not! The novel is waaaaay better than the series, often considered as the best of HY's works. The series just took some names from the novel, aside from that, their stories are totally different.

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    OMG man i love you i been wanting to read this ever since i first found out about wuxia but the novel is mad long so noone trnaslated it
    Last edited by honpaka; 12-30-10 at 05:53 PM.

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    Senior Member Grundle's Avatar
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    Here is some more Enjoy
    --------------------
    “Having reached number one in the world in two professions after raising yourself up from nothing. Everything has gone according to elder brother Shi’s calculations. This wait until you can advance before you attack, retreat to be able to defend philosophy must explain how you can act with complete peace of mind. I, Yuwen Huaji, really admire it.”

    Shi Long knew that the other man read the inscription out loud that was hanging in the reception hall as a pretext to mock him. His self-cultivation was very deep so he wasn’t angry at all. Instead he still sat calmly within the hall before lightly replying, “Of the top four clans, I was originally one of the masters representing the preeminent Yuwen clan, but isn’t elder brother Yuwen busy serving His Holiness?[6] How is it that you suddenly have all this free time to leisurely pay a visit to us on the outside world?”

    Yuwen Huaji placed his hands behind his back and strolled into the reception hall. First he looked around and surveyed the room before his eyes came to rest on Shi Long’s face as he sighed, “Elder brother Shi[7] is still not tired after already obtaining the coveted Taoist methods from The Art of Longevity, yet you never offered His Holiness a look at it’s contents. His imperial heart has become displeased, so part of my salary includes running this small errand for him, but I am sure Elder brother Shi is already aware of the situation.”

    Shi Long felt extremely troubled.

    He was still the vice-chief of the Yuwen clan.

    The Lord of the Yuwen Clan was Yuwen Shang and he had the most outstanding reputation. Directly beneath him were the four Yuwen masters whose duty it was to guard Emperor Yang at all times. Out of the four masters, Yuwen Huaji was the most well known in Jiang Hu and it was said that he would succeed Yuwen Shang. The secret family art, ‘Mysterious Ice Energy’ was secretly passed down to the one who would be the next leader, and he unexpectedly appeared to be so young. How was it that he looked no older than 30 years?”

    Since the Wei, Jin and North-South dynasties one thing that distinguished families did was to develop and extend the influence of their clan with each generation. Whether it be because they had superior weapons, or a better philosophy they were able to clearly separate themselves from the many other common clans and people.

    So there were first rank rich clans, and low rank powerless clans.

    Whether they went into economics or politics the rich clans wielded an enormous amount of power. When the Sui Dynasty was founded and Emperor Yang Jian unified China, he introduced the imperial examination to choose officials and smashed the powerful clans’ monopoly on power.

    However, the great clans power wasn’t completely consumed, and there were still four great clans that shook Jiang Hu, which were the Yuwen Clan, the Li Clan, the Dugu Clan, and the Song Clan. In politics, economy and martial arts they all had enormous influence.

    Of the four clans, only the Song Clan was located in the Southern reaches of China. They were comprised of Han descent and upheld the orthdox schools. The other three clans were all made up of the darker skinned tribes from Northern China. The Yuwen clan were from wilder tribes even more remote, but since they had already integrated with the local culture and customs they were no longer considered foreigners.

    Although Shi Long’s mind was racing around, on the surface he maintained a calm expression as he slyly said, “This man Shi has always been wild and unruly and has never understood the point in sucking up. It is hard to change a soft person into a hard person and in the process that person may become desperate enough to possibly be affected and destroy indiscriminately the precious book he holds. Then how would you answer your master when you return empty handed?”

    They were now fighting a battle of words and the atmosphere suddenly became very tense.

    Yuwen Huaji looked at Shi Long for a while before he said surprised, “If Elder Brother Shi could destroy the treasured book, then that book really isn’t the famous “Art of Longevity”. Even if you destroyed the book, it isn’t the worst thing that could happen because, elder brother, this kind of attitude is only going to bring harm to your many disciples. It is quite possible that this disaster may even reach their parents. Don’t Taoism and the Buddha both emphasize accumulation of morality and doing good works? It looks like Elder Brother Shi is violating these principles!”

    Shi Long listened to his threatening tone and knew that he was not faking. Finally his complexion slightly changed. When Yuwen Huaji noticed his attention was divided he immediately shot his fist through the air with a strike.

    Since the day before yesterday the weather had been very hot. The weather was no different on this day and it was sizzling outside, however the moment Yuwen Huaji made his strike the air within the reception hall became unnaturally cold. If Shi Long didn’t have such pure inner energy then it would have caused his teeth to begin chattering.[8]

    But he also wasn’t at ease either.

    In response he expertly sent out a powerful fist that generated a spiraling wind to break the enemy’s attack. The cold energy released by Yuwen Huaji’s strike seemed to strike from the left and right, top and bottom towards Shi Long putting immense pressure on him. With an attack that had no obvious target he had no choice but to strike back or he would lose his life.

    Shi Long still calmly sat in his chair while his robes began to billow around him.

    PENG!

    The moving qi coalesced forming a whirling vortex with Shi Long at it’s center while everything else was violently swept away. The nearby chairs and tables flew around like fallen leaves swept away by the wind. Flipping end over end they began to fracture and split apart. When the boiling tempest subsided there was only Shi Long and his chair sitting in the center of the room.

    An astonished expression appeared on Yuwen Huaji’s face as he lowered his fist.

    A silk red ribbon floated down like a cloud in front of Shi Long and he grabbed it out of the air.

    A laugh came from Yuwen Huaji, “You are worthy of being called Yangzhou’s number one master to go so far as to rely on your pure qi to block my fist. At this point let me once again plead with tactful words. If elder brother Shi can be frank and quickly hand over the book and immediately disappear into hiding while concealing your identity, then I can observe the rules of Jiang Hu and let elder brother Shi leave on a horse. To live with honor or to die in disgrace, elder brother Shi just has to say the word.

    Shi Long began to feel completely absurd.

    Ever since he obtained the Taoist treasure “The Art of Longevity” he studied so hard he thought his head was going to split open and he still hadn’t gained anything from it. His mind was the complete opposite of the free and unrestrained thoughts that the book promised. Now to go so far as to offend the emperor who would kill all his disciples, seize and dissolve his martial arts school, and annihilate the region with the military; wasn’t this exactly “the consequence of loving treasure”?

    Of course he wasn’t stupid enough to believe that once he handed over “The Art of Longevity” to Yuwen Huaji that he would just let him freely leave with a horse. He was just as cruel as Yang Guang.

    After exchanging one stance with Yuwen Huaji he knew that ‘Mysterious Ice Energy’ was a unique kind of energy that strangely moved circularly. Compared to his more common linearly moving energy, his enemy’s was harder to understand and more difficult to defend against. Even though he now knew how the energy moved, he still didn’t fully understand the method.

    Shi Long was one of the most revered people in Jiang Hu, and at this point he suddenly hardened his heart and decided that even if he had to risk his life he wasn’t going to let the precious book fall into Yang Guang’s hands.

    Otherwise by means of Yang Guang’s reserve of many talented people it was still possible that he could decipher the book’s oracle bone script to gain the secrets of longevity. At that point he would become an immortal tyrant, and even if Shi Long died ten thousand deaths it wouldn’t be enough to erase the blame he would hold.

    Shi Long looked up at the ceiling and began to laugh heartily for several moments before exclaiming, “This book will only bring bad karma on the person who gets it. Instead of doing good it will only bring destruction and although elder brother Yuwen is skillful enough to take it, as soon as you return it to that muddle headed ruler to read, he will only study towards his death. Unfortunately there was nobody to warn me when I got ahold of it.”

    While he was speaking he gathered all the power within his body.

    His hearing sharpened immediately, so much so that even the miniscule sound of the ants marching across the floor didn’t escape his notice. Immediately he heard the long slow breathing of more than a dozen people which revealed to him that he had already been expertly surrounded.

    Yuwen Huaji lifted his eyes to gaze at the large beam in the center of the room before sighing, “Not only does elder brother Shi still not know handle a delicate situation, but he is also impenetrably thickheaded...however I remembered that elder brother’s fame didn’t come easily so when I took on this responsibility I made sure to be ready when you gathered all your power. The moment you release your power the light in your eyes will go dark and you will die.”

    From his chair Shi Long’s body suddenly launched into the air and his feet did not touch the ground as he flew over ten feet and in the twinkle of an eye arrived before Yuwen Huaji’s body while thrusting his two palms forward. His strong qi raged like a typhoon and like the rising tide surged toward his opponent.

    At the same time the chair Shi Long had been sitting on crumbled to pieces showing that in the previous exchange he had suffered a major defeat since he could not stop the Mysterious Ice Energy from reaching the chair.

    Energy sparked from Yuwen Huaji’s eyes while at the same time he was greatly surprised. Shi Long knew that his Qi Gong was no match for his Mysterious Ice Energy so instead of remaining fixed why not shoot forward unexpectedly and change the circular situation into a direct confrontation of hard meeting hard?

    He had no time to think because the two masters were now engaged in a contest of strength where there was a fine line between victory and defeat. He was confident that he could easily defeat Shi Long, but if he missed a decisive opportunity it would be difficult to turn the situation back around and instead he would still be risking death at every turn. Without hesitating he quickly took three steps back before rushing straight ahead aiming two separate fist strikes at the center of Shi Long’s palms.

    “BOOM!”

    The two qi energies collided and rushed upward smashing through the red roof tiles creating a large hole in the ceiling.

    By means of Yuwen Huaji’s energy, Shi Long used it’s immense pressure to send him backwards as he retreated and tried to dissolve the tremendous pressure.

    Shi Long suddenly changed while he staggered backward.

    Yuwen Huaji twisted through the air as he quickly gave chase. Shi Long was surprised when he bumped into the wall behind him in an effort to escape the lightning chase. He vainly swatted at the air.

    Energy immediately began to spiral around Shi Long’s body and entering into his robes at such an ingenious angle people would acknowledge that it had reached the peak of perfection.

    Shi Long opened his mouth and a blood arrow shot out straight towards the pit of Yuwen Huaji’s stomach.

    At the same time he arched his back as he was struck by Yuwen Huaji’s Mysterious Ice Energy.

    Yuwen Huaji didn’t expect Shi Long to have such an odd and dangerous device. He quickly bent his body back as the blood dart passed by harmlessly missing him by barely a hair’s width.

    Shi Long shouted pitifully as his whole body severely shook. Trying to protect himself his qi had been completely shattered as dozens of different streams of mysterious ice energy entered his robes and attacked his body.

    Shi Long didn’t know whether he could protect “The Art of Longevity” but he made up his mind that he would give it everything he had. With a loud shout he stood up stiffly and forced his energy circulate while rapidly retreating through the back wall.

    Yuwen Huaji wondered what kind of person this was. Seeing this situation he knew something had gone wrong. He had been hit by over ten different streams of ice energy and it only took one to make the body completely stiff.

    Still he was still a step too late.

    As soon as Shi Long’s back hit the wall he flipped a switch, which activated a hidden door that he immediately went through.

    “BANG!”.

    The hidden door crumbled to pieces revealing another small room, but there was no trace of Shi Long inside.

    Yuwen Huaji calmly lowered himself to the ground and stuck his ear on it to listen. The sound of Shi Long’s wild escape echoed through a tunnel below. He immediately gave chase the moment the noise reached his ear.

    [6] - His Holiness - The title is Sheng Shang 圣上 which is how a minister would address the current Emperor.
    [7] - Shixiong - A contraction in Chinese that adds more meaning to someone’s name, much like in spanish when you add “ito” to a word to denote smaller e.g. (Palo - stick, Palito - little stick). In this case you adding “elder brother”. I chose to translate it out.
    [8] - I am assuming the teeth chattering would be from the extreme cold and not from fear. The body generally shakes if it gets cold in order to warm up.

    End of Chapter 1
    --=={Grundle}==--

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