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Thread: Legend of the White Haired Maiden

  1. #21
    Senior Member Du Gu seeking a win's Avatar
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    Post Chapter 2 & 3 (pt. form)

    The last 2 paragraphs to Chapter 2

    -because the Honoured Consort Zheng was the favoured concubine of the Emperor, the Emperors second son Chang Xun had always harboured ambitions to take over the throne.
    -but most of the high officials w/in the palace belonged to the Crown Princes clique, thereby kicking Chang Xun out of the capital to Luo Yang.
    -Chang Xuns mother, the Honoured Consort Zheng not wanting to admit defeat, therefore along with her brother the State Uncle Zheng, Eunuch Wei Zhong Xian, and a few officials belonging to their circle came up with a conspiracy.
    -they found a trusted member in their clique who was willing to take on the suicide mission of posing as a madman and running into the palace during broad daylight and using a stick to force his way through the Palace of Celestial Purity.
    -after he lets himself be captured, he was to purposely utter a string of crazy babble, listing a whole bunch of accomplices to purposely frame the officials who were supportive of the Crown Prince, as well as eradicating the two most powerful eunuchs within the palace.
    -thus Eunuch Wei Zhong Xian can take over the Eastern Coalition (books footnote: The Ming dynastys Division of Special Agents was separated into the Eastern Coalition, Western Coalition and Imperial Bodyguards three main groups. The East and West Coalitions were governed by the eunuchs, whilst the imperial bodyguards were governed by the Military officials)
    -after the Case of the Clubbing Assault occurred, causing many people to be dragged into the affair, the Honoured Consort thought that their plan had succeeded, and therefore sent for her son to steal back into the palace.
    -but the Crown Prince was quite intelligent and had a bunch of loyal warriors under his command, thus enabling him to find out about Chang Xuns plan to steal back into the palace, therefore resulting to this massacre within the palace.

    -after Zhuo Yi Hang had broken through the palace doors, he ran inside and found the Honoured Consort Zheng and a chubby white eunuch within the palace halls.
    -Zhuo Yi Hang had already determined the Honoured Consort to be the enemy who caused his fathers death, therefore immediately struck out at her.
    -the eunuch was Wei Zhong Xian, and he immediately signalled with his hands to send out 4 Commanders of the guards belonging to the Eastern Coalition to retaliate simultaneously
    -Zhuo Yi Hang attacked the first commander with a sweeping palm, but the man just extended his arms to sustain that attack and though his body tottered slightly, yet he did not fall back
    -the second commander also attacked using the Iron PiPa Hands (note: PiPa is an ancient Chinese instrument)
    -while the third commander used his left shoulder to charge forward and impact directly against Zhuo Yi Hang. The reverberating energy coming from Zhuo caused him to fall back on the floor, yet Zhuo Yi Hang himself was forced to totter about unstably, almost losing his balance.
    -at this time, the fourth commander jumped up and executed a flying kick to Zhuos thigh, causing Zhuo Yi Hang to fly back for more than 10 feet, although still managing to land on his feet, not falling to the floor.
    -these four commanders were all highly skilled martial artists within the Eastern Coalition
    -although Zhuo was also a skilled martial artist, yet he still needed time to refine his skills, thus when taking on all four commanders at the same time he was actually put at a great disadvantage.
    -Angered, Zhuo took out his sword and by this time, Wang Zhao Xi and the Crown Prince had also arrived inside the palace halls.
    -the Crown Prince shouted out that Chang Xun left his post without permission, and was conspiring with others to rebel, therefore anybody who dares to defend him will also be arrested as well.
    -Hearing this, Wei Zhong Xian immediately shouted, I acknowledge your commands your highness and with a wave of his hands, he sent out the 4 commanders to capture the Honoured Consort and her brother, while laughingly he said, The Honoured Consort and her brother are both conspirators in a rebellion. I am the witness.

    Such is: Massacre in the inner palace, creates great chaos. Under the glint of blades, bloodshed between the brothers.

    *******************************************

    Chapter 3
    Bloodbath between Brothers
    Swords Force Explodes Inner Palace
    Love and Hate unresolved
    Extraordinary Encounter in Ancient Cave

    -the Honoured Consort Zheng said with alarm to the Eunuch Wei, What is the meaning of this? Wei Zhong Xian said softly, You, your son and your brother are all conspiring to take over the throne, I, Wei Zhong Xian being a loyal servant of our lord, purposely pretended to join your group in order uncover your evil plans, did you think I would really rebel against the lord?
    -the Crown Prince was not sure whether he could believe this Eunuch Weis words, but then he thought to how this Eunuch had just taken over the East Coalition, regardless of whether his words were honest or not, as long as he was helping him now, that was all that matters.
    -therefore the Prince commanded the Honoured Consort, State Uncle and Chang Xun to be tied up tightly and was just about to retreat when Wang Zhao Xi was suddenly heard to shout, Uncle Meng, Im coming!
    -the Crown Prince suddenly remembered and asked the Honoured Consort where she hid his primary martial arts trainer.

    -With a look from Wei Zhong Xian, the four commanders revealed the secret entrance to the dark cave.
    -Wang Zhao Xi ran in with the four guards, and after taking only a few steps, the sounds of shouting and weapons impacting against each other can be heard.
    -Wang Zhao Xi lighted up a torch and ran forward with the commanders towards the sounds of fighting.
    -they saw a burly man engaged in intense battle with the two watch guards.
    -the man was Wangs father in law, Meng Can.
    -when Meng Can heard sounds of combat occurring outside, he immediately knew that something was happening, which was why he used his inner Qi to force apart the chains on his hands and then used the chains as his weapon to engage in fierce battle with the guards in the Palace of Celestial Purity.

    -the two watch guards were both skilled fighters, and the heavy chains still intact on Meng Cans feet were severely impending his movements.
    -although Meng Can had wounded the guards, yet he himself had to also sustain seven or eight cuts from their blades.
    -when the 4 commanders ran up, the two guards were filled with relief and joy as they shouted for them to quickly come over to finish off Meng Can.
    -but instead, the four commanders split up in two groups and killed off the two watch guards in just a split of a second.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Du Gu seeking a win's Avatar
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    Post Chapter 3 (translated & pt. form)

    With his sword in his hand Wang Zhao Xi immediately rushed ahead, but the first thing he saw was his father-in-law completely drenched in blood. He hurriedly ran forward to help him out of the cave while saying by Mengs ear, Father, it is your son-in-law. Meng Can replied, Wheres Xia er? Have you seen her? His trembling voice was very weak and he was uttering every word with extreme difficulty. Wang Zhao Xi replied, Xia mei is also outside. Hearing this, Meng Can was suddenly infused with strength as he clung onto Wangs shoulder as they walked out of the cave together.

    Within the palace, the Crown Prince Chang Luo was in the midst of conversing with Zhuo Yi Hang. Zhuo Yi Hangs grandfather was a Supreme Commander and his father a Vice-Minister, therefore once their names were mentioned the Crown Prince would naturally know who they were. The Crown Prince said, Your father was wrongfully accused, I will certainly clear his name for him. Meng Qiu Xia had already arrived in the inner palace and was standing by Zhuo Yi Hang when she suddenly saw Wang Zhao Xi come in supporting a person covered from head to toes with blood. She was extremely alarmed, but when she steadied her gaze and discovered that it was her own father, her distress at that moment was akin to having her soul suddenly flee her body and her spirit shattering into a million pieces. With tears spurting from her eyes, she immediately ran forward. Meng Can said, Crown Prince, please forgive me for not being able to serve you. With his left hand clinging onto his daughter and right hand clutching onto his son-in-law, Meng Can was about to say more when suddenly two imperial bodyguards came dashing in from outside the hall. With a strange sounding cry, one came from the left side while the other attacked on the right as they both simultaneously struck out at Wang Zhao Xi. With a twist of his body, Wang Zhao Xi extended out with his elbows to knocked over one of the guards and then followed with his palm to force back the second guard. When he collected himself and took a look, he discovered that the guard was the man who had hunted after him when he was in the Shaan Xi area and who was later scared away by Yu Luo Cha. He was a commander of the imperial bodyguards, Shi Hao.

    Shi Hao had always been a very proud and arrogant person, thus having been forced back with just one strike of Wang Zhao Xis palm, he immediately flexed his shoulders to attack again. The Crown Prince shouted, Shi Hao! What do you think youre doing? Shi Hao replied, This man is a famed bandit in the Shaan Xi area! The Crown Prince said with surprise, What? He is a rebel? Shi Hao replied, When I saw him in the Shaan Xi area, he was pretending to be Commander Zhuos bodyguard. I was a blind fool and actually let him off the hook so easily. Little could I have known that Yu Luo Cha would later stand up for him and kill three of my guards.

    The Imperial Bodyguards were in charge of the external matters of the palace, while the imperial guards of the East and West Coalitions dealt solely with the internal affairs. They were all unconnected and independent from each other. Shi Haos group had entered from the Gate of Supreme Harmony after hearing about the news of an attack. The Imperial Bodyguards were directly under the command of the Emperor himself and thus if they really were to search and capture any rebels or rioters, even the Crown Prince himself can do nothing about it. The Crown Prince thus asked, Who is this Yu Luo Cha? Is this person a male or female bandit? Shi Hao replied, She is the present eras most powerful and deadly female bandit. If she could stand up for him, they must be related in some way. After saying this, Shi Hao looked as if he was preparing to attack again when Wang Zhao Xi suddenly laughed out loudly and said, Commander Zhuos grandson is right here, you can ask him yourself whether I am indeed his familys bodyguard? Zhuo Yi Hang looked over at Wang Zhao Xi and said with clear sincerity, Crown Prince, this Brother Wang is indeed my familys bodyguard. I brought him along with me into the palace tonight in order to help your highness in capturing the rioters. Shi Hao growled, Then why did Yu Lou Cha help you?

    Although Meng Can was severely wounded, yet his mind was still very alert and aware as he immediately bowed to the Crown Prince and said, This man is my own son-in-law, he came with my daughter here tonight in hope to rescue me. Id like to beseech you Commander Shi, please do not wrongfully accuse others. Meng Qiu Xia was standing beside her father at that moment, and although her fathers voice was very weak and fragile, yet his every word can still be heard very clearly. Her whole body suddenly became very hot, and though she wasnt even sure whether it was a result of her shyness or her happiness, yet her heart continued to flutter about uncontrollably.

    **************************************

    -during the past few years, Meng Can had served as the martial arts trainer within the Palace of Compassion and Celebration and was on good terms with the Crown Prince.
    -a few days ago, he personally captured the offender of the Case of the Clubbing Assault.
    -now it was also because of the Crown Prince, that he was tortured to such a blood pulp, giving cause for the Crown Prince to be quite apologetic.
    -therefore hearing Meng Cans words, he immediately said, Commander Shi, Master Meng and Lord Zhuo most definitely wouldnt lie, let them go.
    -Meng Can then said that it was most likely because Yu Luo Cha was a malicious bandit that she would purposely give Shi Hao a hard time.
    -Shi Hao wanted to respect the Crown Princes orders and also because Meng Can was nevertheless considered as his elder, therefore although he still harboured suspicion in his heart, he could only retreat.

    -the Crown Prince offered to bring Meng Can back to his palace in hope to aid him in recuperating, while also asking Zhuo Yi Hang & Wang Zhao Xi to come along with them as well.
    -but Meng Can replied, I thank your highnesss concern, but your unworthy servant is afraid that he will not be able to serve you ever again. Please allow your humble servant to return home in order to prepare for his funeral.
    -the Crown Prince judging from Mengs wounds knew that there was indeed no hope for him and therefore let him go while also offering his own coach as a transportation vehicle as well as giving him medicine from the palace.

    -after they returned home, Zhuo Yi Hang, Meng Qiu Xia and Wang Zhao Xi all helped Meng Can onto his bed.
    -after Meng Can had rested a while, he opened his eyes and with difficulty asked them to come in closer for he had something to tell them.

    -Zhuo Yi Hang thought they were discussing some private matters therefore quietly began to step out
    -but Meng Can immediately asked him back in and inquired about whether Zhuo was the prized disciple of Priest Purple Sun, and after validating that he indeed was, Meng thanked him for helping himself and his son-in-law thus asked him to remain in the room as well.
    -Zhuo therefore remained and Wang poured out a cup of tea for Meng Can.
    -Meng Can then said that he supposed Wang Zhao Xi and his father were displeased with his actions during the last few years, because they disliked him taking the position of a servant within the palace.
    -he then asked Wang whether he knew the reasons why he decided to take the position of the primary martial arts instructor within the palace.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Du Gu seeking a win's Avatar
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    Post Chapter 3 (translated)

    Meng Cans expression was grave and solemn even though his body was trembling severely. Nobody dared to say anything. After a while, Meng Can said in a low voice, You should all know that I am good friends with JiBeis Hero Luo, Luo Jin Feng. Five years ago, Luo Jin Feng suddenly suffered a terrible death. Are you all aware of that? Wang Zhao Xi replied, Ive heard some JiangHu friends mention that incident. Meng Can then said, Luo Jin Feng was an extremely brave and righteous man, a true and loyal patriot of his country. Years ago, he journeyed outside the countrys borders and procured some secret information. He discovered that the Manchurians were conspiring to invade, continually sending undercover agents into our country to bribe a whole group of people to work for them and act as internal spies. Included within this group are high and powerful officials of the government as well as skilled fighters of the martial arts world. Luo Jin Feng was able to uncover the identities of two of these traitors, but he was never able to discover the actual name of the second person. With ardent fervour and anger filling their hearts, Zhuo Yi Hang and Wang Zhao Xi simultaneously asked, Who are these two people?

    Meng Can replied, One of them is Ying Xiu Yang from the borders of the Chuan area. Wang Zhao Xi murmured an Oh in acknowledgement. Meng Can then continued, Ying Xiu Yangs whereabouts have always been secretive and mysterious, but within these ten years nobody knows where he is or what he is doing. The other person is a skilled fighter within the palace, but we do not know whether he is an Imperial Bodyguard or a member of the East or West Coalitions. However, we do know that he would come into contact with high and respected officials, thus this mysterious person is even more important than Ying Xiu Yang. After Luo Jin Feng discovered this secret, he was murdered as soon as he stepped foot back into our country. But just before he died, he was able to tell me about this secret. For me to enter into the Palace of Compassion and Celebration as the primary martial arts trainer was also his suggestion. It was only at this time was Wang Zhao Xi finally able to understand why his father-in-law decided to enter the palace. It was because he was trying to investigate this incident.

    Meng Can sighed and continued, Its a shame. Ive been working in the palace for five years now, yet I havent been able to uncover even one or two traces. After resting for a while, he again continued, The secret wars occurring within the palace are dreadfully intense. Although the Crown Prince is more intelligent than his father, as well as harbouring the desire to rule the country in a just and proficient manner, yet Im afraid that in the end he wont be able to escape the furtive attacks. I dont want any of you to take a position within the palace, but I do hope that you can all remember the name Ying Xiu Yang.

    Meng Can was able to finish all his words in one sitting but his breathing has suddenly become very rushed and choked. Meng Qiu Xia lightly brushed his back for him as Meng Can suddenly asked, Wheres Bai Min? Meng Qiu Xia replied, Hes in Uncle Lius home. It was Wang gege who rescued us and took us over to the Lius residence. Wang Zhao Xi thought to himself: this Bai Min is obviously his favoured disciple, no wonder Qiu Xia and he are so close. Feeling the pangs of jealousy again, Wang Zhao Xi said, Uncle Meng, since you desire to see Brother Bai, then let me bring him here to you. Meng Can smiled bitterly and said, Theres no need. Its too late. Oh, Zhao Xi, why are you calling me uncle? After my death, you and Qiu Xia have to take good care of each other and remember to treat each other with love and respect. To be able to see the two of you here together now makes my heart feel incredibly relieved and happy very happy. His voice started to become disjointed and incoherent, gradually growing softer and softer. He was not able to finish all his words, as with a final jerk of his legs, his breathing stopped completely.

    With a hoarse scream, Meng Qiu Xia burst out into a desolate wail. Wang Zhao Xi knelt down in front of the body and paid his respects by knocking his head against the floor a few times before saying, I will ask Uncle Liu to help organize the funeral, and there will also be your Bai gege. Meng Qiu Xia said with tears in her eyes, What about you? Arent you going to help me as well? Why should we bother others? Wang Zhao Xi murmured, I I and though he wanted to say more, yet he nevertheless refrained from doing so. It was at this time that suddenly somebody started knocking from outside. Zhuo Yi Hang descended the stairs and opened the front doors to discover that it was the Crown Princes envoy.

    The Crown Prince had sent over an agent to inquire about Meng Can, and when he heard the news of his death he also felt incredibly remorseful and apologetic. Later, the agent returned again to deliver the Crown Princes invitation welcoming Zhuo Yi Hang to stay at the Palace of Compassion and Celebration as his guest. Zhuo Yi Hang took the invitation and asked the Crown Princes envoy to stay in the waiting room while he himself entered into the inner rooms to change his clothes and say his farewells to Wang Zhao Xi.

    Wang Zhao Xi had prepared a memorial tablet for his father-in-law, and with Zhuo Yi Hang they both arrived in front of it to pay their respects. After completing that, Wang suddenly pulled Zhuo into the inner rooms and softly whispered, Brother Zhuo, since the Crown Prince is asking you to enter the palace, he must be hoping to give you an important mission or position. But I would like to dissuade you from taking any governmental position. Zhuo Yi Hang replied, I am still in the position of a mourner. Why would I become a governmental official? According to the ancient customs of the families that served as governmental officials for many generations, when a family member is in mourning they must remain so for three years and within these three years and they must not take a governmental position, get married or engage in any pleasure.

    Wang Zhao Xi then asked, Brother Zhuo, are you going to be bringing your fathers honoured remains back to Shaan Xi to be buried? Zhuo Yi Hang replied, Yes, that is my intention. But the journey will be long, I wonder if I can safely bring my fathers remains back to my ancestral home? Wang Zhao Xi said, Based on Brother Zhuos abilities, you should be able to travel to anyplace with no problems. But I do want to warn you to take caution of one person. Zhuo Yi Hang asked, Who? Wang Zhao Xi replied, Yu Luo Cha! Zhuo Yi Hang asked with curiosity, Why? Wang Zhao Xi replied, Shes had a few run-ins with your Wu Tang sect. Zhuo Yi Hang asked, Why is it that Ive never heard anything about it before? Wang Zhao Xi replied, It is only a recent occurrence. He then related the incidents of Yu Luo Cha robbing his grandfather and ridiculing his martial arts brothers to Zhuo Yi Hang.

    Zhuo Yi Hang angrily condemned, A vicious and despicable wench indeed! Wang Zhao Xis eyebrows knitted together with displeasure. He couldnt have guessed that Zhuo Yi Hangs snobbish upper-class attitude would be so strong and would actually ruthlessly insult Yu Luo Cha with such a haughty attitude, using such words as wench. Wang, himself being the son of the Underground worlds famed Lord would naturally also feel offended by these words. Therefore he coldly remarked, The mercilessness of Yu Luo Chas actions are indeed rarely seen or heard of. However she is nevertheless a charismatic female who simultaneously exhibits the traits of a noble-spirited male. For centuries, there hasnt been such an extraordinary woman to appear within the marital arts world. Zhuo Yi Hang said dryly, Really? Then I hope I can have the chance to encounter her. Wang Zhao Xi was immediately alarmed as he thought to how Zhuo Yi Hang had nonetheless performed an act of goodwill towards him earlier, how could he possibly watch him walk into a death trap?

    Wang hurriedly said, Brother Zhuo, I believe it is wiser if you dont meddle with her. Your position and status is so exalted and important, if anything happened to you, that would only add to my sins. Although Zhuo Yi Hang was still disgruntled within his heart, yet on observing at how sincere and genuine Wangs manner was, he then conceded, Since that is the case, then I wont go and seek her out. Wang Zhao Xi said, Thats right. Although Brother Zhuo's martial arts may indeed by powerful, yet it will still be unwise to clash with her. Besides, Brother Zhuo if you wanted to return home, naturally you will go through Dai Tong, passing by Shan Xi and the Northern Shaan area. As long as you dont enter into the Southern Shaan area, then you can avoid encountering Yu Luo Cha. Zhuo Yi Hang thanked him for his concern and then signalled his intent to depart when Wang Zhao Xi suddenly whispered in his ear, Brother Zhuo, after you return home, if anything happens please go to the Yan An City to find your unworthy brother. You only need to state my worthless name and there would most definitely be friends of the JiangHu who would inform me. Zhuo Yi Hangs character had always been honest and straightforward, therefore at this moment he only felt this person to have a very mysterious background, yet never would he have imagined that Wang would actually turn out to be the son of a powerful Lord within the Underground world.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Du Gu seeking a win's Avatar
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    Post Chapter 3 (pt form)

    -after Zhuo departed from Wang, he rode the Princes horse and travelled straight into the palace.
    -he was shown into a courtyard surrounded by stone fences in which a few martial artists were performing for the Prince who was watching from a elaborately decorated pulpit.
    -according to the feudal system reinstated by the Ming dynastys founding emperor Zhu YuanZhang, descendants of royal lineage were to only be honoured as a Lord of foreign lands. To avoid the foreign lords from rebelling, they establish very strict regulations such as the foreign lords were not allowed back into the capital, lords were not allowed to correspond amongst each other, and they are also not allowed to interfere with the governmental politics. Once they disobey these rules, their ranks will be immediately taken away from them and they will be demoted to the level of an average peasant while being taken to Feng Yang Citys prison, forced to be incarcerated within its high walls forever.
    -therefore although Ming Shen Zong often indulges and spoils the Honoured Consort and Chang Xun, yet Chang Xun stealing back into the capital without permission was a direct violation of the ancestral rules.
    -as well, many high officials were also supportive of the Crown Prince, therefore though Ming Shen Zong was partial towards his second son, yet he couldnt afford to be reckless.
    -originally when Wei Zhong Xian observed how the Honoured Consort Zheng and her son are favoured by the Emperor, he purposely sided with her, therefore joining together their forces and utilizing the other persons power to their own purposes. Through the Honoured Consorts help he was able to take over the Eastern Coalition, but after seeing that the situation had suddenly changed, he immediately joined the Crown Princes clique, causing the Crown Prince to be incredibly pompous over his new addition of power.

    -Zhuo Yi Hang thought to himself: though the second prince may indeed be an incompetent disappointment, yet nevertheless he was still the brother of the Crown Prince, they really shouldnt be so mistrustful and guarded towards each other. And since his brother was conspiring a rebellion, to capture him is indeed understandable, but to take such pleasure in anothers pain is nevertheless not what a true gentleman should do.
    -thinking over these royal battles, Zhuo couldnt help from feeling a chill from the bottom of his heart as he also thought how despite the fact that Meng Can had died for the Crown Prince, yet after the Crown Prince heard of the news of Mengs death, he did not seem a bit saddened or apologetic, causing Zhuo Yi Hang to eliminate most of his intentions of joining the Crown Princes force of power.

    -seeing how Zhuo was looking as if he was lost in deep thought, the Crown Prince tried to arouse his interest by bringing him to the attention of the performance occurring below.

    -seen was 4 men all with a long bamboo pole balanced upon their shoulders as on top of each bamboo sticks there stood a youngster who was holding onto the bamboo stick with the left hand, and was wielding their sword with their right hand.
    -although the men on the ground were running and dodging around, yet the end of the stick that was balanced on their shoulders was nonetheless firmly fastened.
    -the youngsters that were on top of the sticks were not only securely seated, but they were also playing around with their swords.
    -Zhuo Yi Hang having observed how that though the youngsters were just swishing their swords around freely, without any established opponent or purposeful attack, yet their stances were not without organization or order, and their levitation skills were certainly far above the calibre of the average martial artists.

    -the Crown Prince clapped his hands together and amongst the crowd of guards came out a man in his mid fifties sporting a goatee, his face of a red purplish colour. He was also carrying a bamboo pole in his hands.
    -he ran into the middle of the court and snapped the pole into two pieces, driving the ends of the pole into the ground while he himself jumped up onto the tip of the poles other end.
    -to be able to drive the bamboo pole hard into the ground was already a hard task, but to be able to stabilize ones balance on top of the poles narrow end was even more difficult. Thus the person must not only possess levitation skills of a very high grade, but the usage and dispersion of their strength must also be properly and exactly executed.
    -the man then shouted alright! as the four youngsters on the bamboo sticks suddenly jumped down and started to run towards him with their swords in their hands.
    -the man on the pole extended his two hands, grab the youngsters running towards him from the left side and threw him towards the right side, while throwing the youngsters running towards him from the right side to the left side. Yet not only was he able to grab and throw these youngsters while still remaining standing on the pole, but what was even more impressive was how he threw the youngsters right back on top of the bamboo poles that were remained balanced on the shoulders of the 4 men.

    -when the Crown Prince clapped his hands again, the performance halted.
    -the man with the goatee gave a slight smile and also jumped down to the floor, but the two poles of bamboo were still firmly rooted in the ground.
    -Zhuo Yi Hang was able to discern with one look that the pole has become quite a portion shorter, thus arousing his attention.
    -with a laugh, the man then plucked the bamboo poles out of the ground, leaving behind two small holes on the ground. It should be understood that the poles were made of very weak material while the dirt ground was quite hard, the person must have concentrated his internal energies on the tip of his toes in order to drive the pole into the ground. Such a degree of internal energy is certainly far above the league of the amateurs.
    -the Crown Prince called him over and introduced him to Zhuo, saying that he was the most skilled martial artist within the Western Coalition, and was granted to him by his father.
    -his name was Zheng Hong Tai.
    -Zheng Hong Tai extended out his hands to shake Zhuos hands, and Zhuo found that Zheng Hong Tai suddenly exerted force as his hand felt like it was being bound by metal.

    -Zhuo Yi Hang thought to himself that this Zheng Hong Tai must be purposely trying to test the level of his martial arts, therefore he relaxed his palms and Zheng suddenly felt as if his hand was holding on to cotton as Zhuo Yi Hangs hand had already slipped out of his grasp with the agile speed of a fish.
    -Zheng Hong Tai was impressed by Zhuos cultivation of inner energies as he immediately guessed that he must belong to either the Wu Tang or Song Yang sect, causing Zhuo Yi Hang to be alarmed at how he could have guessed his background with just that one stance.
    -Zhuo consequently related to Zheng his background and ShiFu.
    -shortly after, the Crown Prince ushered Zhuo into the study.

    -since Emperor Shen Zong was already old, the Crown Prince was expected to ascend to the throne very shortly in the future which was why he was in desperate need to procure more talents to order to aid him in expanding his power.
    -seeing that Zhuo Yi Hang was not only skilled in both the literary and martial spheres, but was also the descendant of a family that has served the government for many generations, the Prince therefore highly valued Zhuo and expressed his wishes to establish him as a governmental official.
    -but Zhuo used the excuse of how he was expected to remain in mourning for three years to decline the Princes offer, while also insisting that he wanted to bring the remains of his father back to his ancestral home so that he may also take care of his old grandfather.
    -thus the Crown Prince expressed his admiration for Zhuos filial piety, commenting on how loyal officials often originated from families that stresses filial piety.
    -the Prince therefore did not force Zhuo to accept his offer, but he did insist that Zhuo return to the capital once he has finished burying his fathers remains.
    -he also asked that Zhou remain in the palace for the next few days

    -after a few days, Emperor Shen Zong had no choice but to ban the Honoured Consort to the deserted palace while Chang Xun was removed of his rank and imprisoned. The State Uncle Zheng was hung.
    -all the governmental officials who have been wrongfully accused also received their deserved recognition, clearing their names.
    -Zhuo Yi Hangs father Zhuo Ji Xian was also honoured as the Vice Instructor of the Prince, giving cause for Zhuo Yi Hang to be very relieved and satisfied

    -after Zhuo received a permission from the Crown Prince for a brief departure, he then traveled to the Meng familys abode to visit Wang Zhao Xi.
    -but little could he have guessed that Wang Zhao Xi and Meng Qiu Xia would already be gone.
    -Zhuo returned to the palace and told the Crown Prince about this.
    -the Crown Prince seemed very disappointed and upset over this as he immediately asked someone to record down Meng Cans bravery and to draw the pictures of both Mengs daughter and son-in-law so as to aid them in searching for them in the future.
    -but in his heart Zhuo was thinking of how the Prince never cared about Meng Can when he died, and yet now he was deliberately putting on a performance in order to win other people over to his side.

    -after a few days as Zhuo was officially departing from the Crown Prince, the Crown Prince suddenly said that there was somebody else who wanted to come with Zhuo on his trip.

    -he brought out the man who performed martial arts the other day: Zheng Hong Tai.
    -Zheng smiled and said, If we journey together, then no matter how powerful of a bandit we may encounter, we should be able to handle them together.
    -Zhuo Yi Hang immediately asked, what if we encountered Yu Luo Cha?
    -Zheng Hong Tai's face immediately changed colour as he forced himself to smile and say, If we dont interfere with Yu Luo Chas business, there would be no need for us to worry.

    -the two of them left the capital, conversing about martial arts all along the journey, enabling the time to pass quite easily.
    -after about 20 odd days, they were passing through the Western Shan area and arriving at the borders of the Shaan-Xi territory.
    -all along the journey, there continually appeared people who would greet Zheng Hong Tai.
    -after arriving near Hua Shan, Zhuo Yi Hang immediately thought to how at the top of the mountain was a temple, and within the temple was a Taoist priest called Zhen Qian, an old acquaintance of his ShiFus. ShiFu had once told him that when he returned to his ancestral home, he was to stop by and pay his respects to this Taoist priest.
    -after Zhuo told Zheng Hong Tai about his intentions, Zheng said, Thats perfect, why dont we just stay here for a few days while I wait here for a few friends.

  5. #25
    Senior Member Du Gu seeking a win's Avatar
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    Default The rest of Chapter 3

    WHD translated by faerie queene (JY Forum)


    During the early morning of the second day, Zhuo Yi Hang invited Zheng Hong Tai to ascend Hua Shan with him, but Zheng Hong Tai declined the offer by saying that he has to attend to other things for the time being. He instead ushered Zhuo to depart early so that he may also return promptly, therefore Zhuo Yi Hang was left to trek up Hua Shan all by himself. Hua Shan was celebrated as one of the five renowned mountains of China, it encompassed five peaks which included the Sun Facing Peak, Geese Plummeting peak, Lotus Flower Peak, Cloud Stand Peak and the Jade Maiden Peak. The five peaks gathered around each other, closely connected together as if one peak was growing out of the other. The form of the mountain takes the shape of a blooming flower that was emerging out of the clouds, creating an image that is both picturesque and overwhelming.

    Zhuo Yi Hang journeyed for quite a while before finally arriving at the Geese Plummeting Peak by noontime. The overcastting clouds enveloped over the top of the peak as the skies darkened and a heavy mist settled in. Zhuo Yi Hang was worried that a huge rainstorm would be coming this way but luckily, the temple was already within sight. He stepped inside to find that within the sparsely decorated temple, a few worshippers could actually still be found. Zhuo Yi Hang walked past the meditation hall and ascended the stairs to the main hall when he suddenly saw a young woman hastily rush by. The beauty of her face was as exquisite as the immortals from heaven and although Zhuo Yi Hang had merely caught that one glimpse of her colours that flitted by like the flight of a startled phoenix, yet already he felt as if his mind was being dazed and his soul was being extracted from him. Zhuo Yi Hang thought to himself: if the rainstorm begins just as she has descended halfway down the mountain, she will most definitely be caught in the storm. That would really be terrible.

    After Zhuo Yi Hang had arrived in the main hall, he presented his name and asked for permission to be received. Priest Zhen Qian was incredibly delighted to see him and invited him into the meditation room while telling a young apprentice to bring in Hua Shans famed tea. On behalf of his ShiFu, Zhuo Yi Hang paid his respects to Priest Zhen Qian. Zhen Qian replied, I havent seen your ShiFu for about ten years now. I never would have expected him to have produced such a wonderful disciple. After a brief pause, he continued to say, Your third martial arts uncle, Priest Red Cloud came here a month ago. Zhuo Yi Hang asked with curiosity, What did my third uncle come here for? Zhen Qian replied, I heard that within your Wu Tang sect, there were five second-generation disciples who all had a finger severed and then ridiculed by Yu Luo Cha. Now Red Cloud wants to find Yu Luo Cha to settle this score. I tried to persuade him again and again to not engage in these silly quarrels with youngsters. He left afterwards, so I wondered whether he really did go seek her out after all? Zhuo Yi Hang thought to himself: I keep hearing everyone speak of this Yu Luo Cha. I wonder exactly how fierce and vicious this demoness is?

    The two men conversed for a little while longer as flashes of thunder continued to spark outside, warning of rain. Zhen Qian said, Im afraid that there will be a huge storm coming. Why dont you rest here tonight? But Zhuo Yi Hang was concerned about Zheng Hong Tai and his fathers cremated remains, therefore he immediately replied, I still have a friend who is waiting for me. Descending the mountain should take less time, I think it is better that I immediately return right now. Zhen Qian thus sent his regards to Zhuos ShiFu before he personally showed him to the mountains exit.

    As Zhuo Yi Hang reached halfway down the mountain, the sound of thunder suddenly blasted out as dark clouds enveloped the sky and the raindrops threatened to descend.

    Zhuo Yi Hang looked around and suddenly discovered that halfway down the mountain was a huge cave. Found etched on the slab of the crag near the entrance of the cave were three large words reading Yellow Dragon Cave. Outside the cave was a grove of bamboo trees, a few old pine trees, as well as stone tables and stools. Zhuo imagined that this most likely was a result of the priests within the temples having discovered the scenery around the cave to be especially divine, therefore deciding to manage the property. The cave was perfect for being used as a place to momentarily escape the rain, thus Zhuo Yi Hang uttered, Just my lucky day, and dashed inside. As soon as he entered into the cave, the sound of thunder rang incessantly outside as a heavy rainfall started to pour down.

    The cave was deep and eerily silent as Zhuo Yi Hang walked towards the middle of the cave when suddenly a beautiful sight lighted up in front of his eyes. Lying on a stone bench within the cave was actually a young woman, a beauty whose exquisiteness can humiliate the flowers and triumph over snow. It was the same girl he saw within the temple. Watching her sleep with the sweetness of a HaiTang (1) in spring, her loveliness was made all the more charming. Zhuo Yi Hang belonged to a wealthy and illustrious family that stresses the importance of self-regulation in the act of abiding by ancient customs and manners, thus he almost didnt even dare to observe the girl directly. But seeing that she was in the midst of her sweet slumber, he didnt dare to wake her up either as he thought to himself: what if she wakes up and then misconstrues my intentions, thinking that Im one of those flirty coquets?

    Therefore he lightly stepped away from the girl, returning towards the entrance of the cave and sat down in silence to watch the great downpour occurring outside even though his heart was jumping around restlessly. He thought to how the beauty of that girl was something that can seldom be seen in this world, yet at the same time he did not dare to turn around to have another look.

    After sitting for a while, Zhuo Yi Hang suddenly felt that the chilly temperature of the cave to be bitingly cold. He thought to himself: I am a practitioner of martial arts and yet even I am feeling the nippy chill. How could the young girl inside the cave possibly withstand this temperature? Im afraid that she might get ill from this draft. Then he also thought: In a situation that leaves a solitary male and female alone together, I must try to avoid any misunderstandings and evade any improper allusions. Yet how can I possibly watch her fall ill from this cold? Matters of propriety are nevertheless still relatively minor issues, I would rather let her scold and reprimand me when she wakes up. Therefore he lightened his footsteps again and quietly approached the centre of the cave, took off his outer coat and gently placed it on her body before softly retreating again.

    ******************************

    (1) HaiTang: Flowering Chinese Crabapple


    He was only able to walk a few steps before he suddenly heard from behind him the sounds of the girl getting up. Zhuo Yi Hang didnt dare to turn around, but only heard the young girl rebuke in a severe tone, Whos there that dares to take advantage of me?

    Zhuo Yi Hang hurriedly stammered, Young Maam, please do not misinterpret my intentions. When I found how bitingly cold the cave was, I was worried that you would catch a cold which is the only reason why I would dare to be so audacious so as to add another garment to you. The young girl suddenly sighed and said, Please turn around. Zhuo Yi Hang was surprised and perplexed as he turned his head around, still not daring to look at her directly.

    The young girl returned the outer coat to Zhuo and said, I was watching you, and I saw what you just did. Mister, you are truly a sincere and genuine gentleman. Throughout my whole life I have never met anyone like you. Im afraid that had somebody else been in your place, they would have attempted to take advantage of me. Zhuo Yi Hangs face was burning from embarrassment as he thought to himself: why are the words of this girl so upfront and frank? The girl was heard again to say, I purposely yelled at you a while ago just to scare you. Please dont take notice of it. Zhuo Yi Hangs eyebrows knitted together with slight displeasure as he thought to himself: why are her emotions of delight and displeasure in such an unpredictable and antithetical manner? How can she treat the act of scolding others as a joke? Judging from his expression, the young woman was able to guess his emotions as she laughed and said, My nature is like this, which is there are so many people that are terrified of me. From now on, I will try to change my ways. Zhuo Yi Hang felt that her words were incredibly odd and nonsensical as he became even more confused while thinking to himself: If your nature is indeed like this, then why should you suddenly change it? What does the act of whether you will change or not have anything to do with me?

    The young girl having observed how he continually remained silent while his countenance communicated signs of displeasure immediately asked, Mister, are you still angry at me? Zhuo Yi Hang immediately answered, What do you mean by these words Maam? Why would I possibly be angry at you? The young girl said with joy, I knew that you wouldnt be angry at me. You are such a kind person. Since the day I was born, I have never encountered somebody whos taken care of me as you did. Zhuo Yi Hang asked, Where are your father and mother? The young girl replied, Before I could even understand a single thing, my father and mother had already died. Zhuo Yi Hang immediately said apologetically, Oh! Please forgive me for asking these insensitive questions, Im afraid that I have reminded you of your sorrows. With a sweep of her jade-like hands, the young girl suddenly started to grab onto his shoulder.

    With a flash of his body, Zhuo Yi Hang immediately dodged away. The young womans body tottered about as if she was going to fall when Zhuo Yi Hang used his fingers to hook onto his sash and with a quick flicker, he used his sash to knock against her slim waist, thus preventing her from falling down. The young woman steadied her balance before saying with embarrassment, The floors wet, my foot slipped. Had Mister not lend out a helping hand to steady me, I would have fallen down. She suddenly laughed and said, Actually my words were wrong, I should have said that you lend out a helping sash to steady me, not a hand. Zhuo Yi Hangs face blushed a colour of red, spreading all the way to his scarlet coloured ears. The young girl suddenly asked, Are you afraid of me too? Zhuo Yi Hang was puzzling over why this young girls words sounded so crazy and bizarre when he suddenly remembered: it must be because she doesnt have a father and mother, therefore causing her to feel deep unhappiness within her heart. No wonder she is acting like this. Therefore he said, I just find young Maam to be very pitiable. The young girl cut off his words as she asked with a slightly trembling voice, Pitiable? Zhuo Yi Hang continued to say, And also very admirable. Young Maam you were left by yourself to live in this world to the present day, and yet still you would ascend Hua Shan by your solitary self to light incenses in prayers. Had you not possessed great courage, it would not have been possible.

    The young girl lowered her graceful neck and said, Your words are so accurate. Why do you seem like such an old friend to me? Hey, whats your name? I forgot to ask you. Zhuo Yi Hang imparted his name to her before asking the girl her name in return. The young girl replied, My surname is Lian. But I dont have a name, why dont you give me a name? The rain outside was gradually ceasing as a waft of wind came blowing in, causing the ends of the young womans garments to dance lightly in the wind, her posture graceful and exquisite, causing Zhuo Yi Hang to suddenly remember the phrase, Skirt of the Rainbow, Garment made of Plumage (2) as he immediately blurted out, How about Ni Chang? Wouldnt that be nice? The young womans face suddenly underwent a change of colour as she angrily shouted, Who are you? Confess! Zhuo Yi Hang croaked with alarm, Im Zhuo Yi Hang remember? If Miss Lian does not like that name you don't need to use it, but theres really no need to be that angry. The young womans eyes flashed briefly as she studied Zhuo Yi Hang, the look in her eyes were like sharp blades that were piercing into him. After hearing his words, she remained silent for a while before saying, I lost my temper again, the name you gave me is very nice. From now on, Ill call myself Lian Ni Chang.

    Zhuo Yi Hang wiped the cold sweat from his forehead as he thought to himself: this young woman is truly very scary. Lian Ni Chang suddenly asked, It seems that Mister are very skilled in martial arts, may I ask why you came to Hua Shan? Zhuo Yi Hang replied, I merely learned a few measly tricks from the Wu Tang sect, in no way can I be said to deserve the praise of the two words very skilled. Currently, I am in the process of taking my fathers remains back to my ancestral home, and since I happened to past by Hua Shan, I thought I should pay a visit to the temples and light a stick of incense in prayers. Most likely our readers would have guessed by now that this young woman was Yu Luo Cha, Lian Ni Chang. Coincidently the name that Zhuo Yi Hang would come up with would actually turn out to be her original name. Yu Luo Cha was filled with suspicion, and when she tested him earlier, she already discovered that he was a skilled martial artist of the Wu Tang sect, his proficiency far above that of Geng Shao Nans. Even Taoist Priest Red Cloud would have to admit of being slightly below Zhuo in terms of martial arts proficiency. She had originally thought that he must be here to seek revenge, but little could she have guessed that he would not make any attempts to conceal his identity. Judging from his expression, he definitely didnt seem to be aware of the fact that she was Yu Luo Cha, causing her to be silent, losing all traces of her smile. It must be known that Yu Luo Cha had a merciless hand and had Zhuo Yi Hang harboured a single intention of concealing anything, then the result would have been terribly severe.

    With a dazzling smile, Yu Luo Cha said, I heard that Wu Tang sects sword skills were without a match in this world, how can they possibly be considered as measly tricks? Zhuo Yi Hang replied, The road to knowledge knows no end. There will always be another level of heaven beyond the one that we know of. Every sects martial arts has their own strengths, how could anything be said to be unmatched in the world? It only happens that Wu Tang and Shaolin are both sects with a long history, producing heroes and honourable men in every generation, thus causing the people of the martial arts world to generously heap on words of exalted praise. As for myself, my nature is much too slow and untalented, for even though I have a famed teacher, yet I excel in neither my literary nor martial arts studies, certainly not deserving to be even mentioned. By this time, Zhuo Yi Hang had already suspected that Yu Luo Cha knew martial arts which was why he took pains to speak in a particularly humble manner. Yu Luo Cha listened carefully and gave a slight nod of her head before suddenly rushing towards Zhuo Yi Hang and with a swipe of her sleeve that moved with the speed of lightning, she clasp down on Zhou Yi Hangs wrist.

    Zhuo Yi Hang was incredibly alarmed as he thought to himself, how could it be that I wasnt able to evade that move? His face was red with embarrassment as he struggled to free himself. Yu Luo Cha purposely released his hand. Outside, the rain was starting to cease while traces of strange whistling sounds can be heard throughout the mountain. Yu Luo Cha then said, Oh! Im very scared. Whenever Im scared, I want to find somebody to stay with me. Are you going to leave me too? Zhuo Yi Hang couldnt be sure whether her actions were purposefully executed, and he couldnt figure out whether she knew marital arts or not. But observing her delicate and fragile appearance, he couldnt stop himself from saying, If Maam is scared, then let me accompany you home. Yu Luo Cha walked towards the caves entrance and looked towards the skies saying, The rain will be stopping soon and there will be someone waiting for me. Theres no need to bother you.

    After a while, the rain stopped and the clouds dispersed as Yu Luo Cha said, Alright, I have to go home now. Zhuo Yi Hang had originally wanted to ask her: You have no father and mother, who else would be in your home? But observing at how mysterious and secretive her words and actions were, for some reason, within his heart, Zhuo suddenly became a little afraid of her. Therefore he dared not ask about her history and background in such a bold manner but said instead, Since that is the case, I have to descend the mountain as well. Yu Luo Cha replied, Then go. As Zhuo Yi Hang reached the caves entrance, Yu Luo Cha suddenly called him back. Zhuo Yi Hang turned around with fright. Yu Luo Cha then said, I want to ask you to do one thing for me. Zhuo Yi Hang replied, Tell me what it is. If I can do, then I will. Yu Luo Cha said, I dont want you to tell anybody else that you've encountered me today. Zhuo Yi Hang smiled and said, This can be done easily. We are merely casual acquaintances, once our encounter is over, then it is over. Why would I talk about it? Yu Luo Chas eyes reddened as she suddenly asked, So in your heart, I dont even exist? Zhuo Yi Hang didnt know how to react as he could only say, I have to return to my ancestral home in the Northern Shaan area, we most likely wont have the chance to meet again in the future. But if we do see each other again, then I will definitely treat you as my good friend. Yu Luo Cha waved her hand and said, Fine, then leave. Zhuo Yi Hang immediately ran down the mountain and it was only when he reached a cavity in the mountain did he finally dare to turn his head around for a look. The faint silhouette of Lian Ni Chang standing in front of the crag can still be vaguely discerned.

    When Zhuo Yi Hang returned to the inn, Zheng Hong Tai asked, Youve been to Hua Shan to offer a stick of incense in worship right? Did you see Priest Zhen Qian? Zhuo Yi Hang replied, Yes. Zheng Hong Tai suddenly sighed, Its too bad that the Priest Zhen Qian never intrudes into other peoples affairs. Zhuo Yi Hang realized that there was another meaning behind Zhengs words, thus he asked, Is there something wrong Elder Zheng? Zheng Hong Tai seemed as if he wanted to say more, but in the end he refrained from doing so as he suddenly asked instead, On your journey up the Hua Shan, aside from Zhen Qian, did you happen to encounter any other people with notable abilities? A thought flashed across Zhuo Yi Hangs mind as he also simultaneously remembered Yu Luo Chas words and replied, No. Zheng Hong Tai did not persist with his question, but changed the subject and conversed with Zhou about the affairs of the marital arts world instead. After they finished their dinner, they then separated to their respective bedrooms to rest.

    During the middle of the night, Zhuo Yi Hang was in the midst of slumber when he suddenly heard some whistling sounds to come from afar, causing him to immediately jump out of his bed. Someone was tapping lightly on his door as Zheng Hong Tais voice can be heard to say, Brother Zhuo, open the door. When Zhuo Yi Hang unlocked the door, Zheng Hong Tai entered and immediately started to light up an oil lamp before suddenly asking, Brother Zhuo, are you afraid of Yu Luo Cha? Zhuo Yi Hang asked with surprise, What? Zheng Hong Tai replied, I only want you answer my question honestly, are you scared of her? Zhuo Yi Hang then said, Ive never seen her before, why would I be afraid of her? Zheng Hong Tai exclaimed with joy, Thats great! Then since she robbed your grandfather and ridiculed your martial arts brothers, you must want to seek revenge right? Zhuo Yi Hang replied, Unless my ShiFu gives me the order, I dont want to purposely seek her out in revenge. Zheng Hong Tai said, But what if you happen to encounter her? Zhuo Yi Hang felt this was becoming stranger by the moment as he jumped up and said, Are you saying that Yu Luo Cha is here now?

    Such is: Like an illusion and like a dream, resembling rain and resembling cloud.

    *******************************

    (2) Skirt of the Rainbow, Garment made of Plumage: translated from the phrase NiChang YuYi which forms Lian Ni Changs name. It was said that the Tang Emperor, Tang MingHuang (also known as Tang XuanZong) once had a dream that took him to the moon where immortals were dancing to divine melodies, their skirts and garments billowing within the breeze as they danced. When he awoke, he was inspired by this dream to have the NiChang YuYi song to be composed. It is also said that Tang MingHuangs favoured concubine, the Honoured Consort Yang YuHuan was famed for her superb dancing to this melody.

  6. #26
    Senior Member someguy44's Avatar
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    Chapter 4
    Seven Greats Formation Efforts Voided
    Great Villain Surrenders Life
    Thirty Years Love A Dream
    Stone Wall Yields Manual


    Zheng Hong Tai snapped his fingers and said, Thats right. Shes here. A tremor jolted through Zhuo Yi Hangs whole body as an idea suddenly flashed through his head. Could it be that the Lian Ni Chang he encountered in the cave would actually turn out to be this Yu Luo Cha? But that couldnt possibly be, he thought, for Yu Luo Cha must be this incredibly vicious and hideous Demoness while Lian Ni Chang was an extremely enchanting and charming young girl. How can they possibly be confused with each other? Observing that Zhuo Yi Hangs head was lowered in deep thought, Zheng Hong Tai decided to purposely provok him again by saying, Why is it that as soon as you hear Yu Luo Cha is around here, you would suddenly become so chicken? Zhuo Yi Hang retorted, Who said I was scared? Its true that there are some conflictive issues between the two of us, yet it is still not over very serious matters. Why should I make such a big deal over it and purposely seek her out in revenge? Zheng Hong Tai scolded, So youre not even going to do anything despite how she robbed your grandfather? Zhuo Yi Hang replied, My grandfather has already returned home safely. The little bit of money that was lost is not much of a big deal. Zheng Hong Tai persisted, But what about how she humiliated your martial art brothers? This is a matter that concerns the Wu Tang sects honour and reputation, are you just going to let that pass too? Zhuo Yi Hang countered back, Concerning matters of my sect, I will only listen to my ShiFus commands. Zheng Hong Tai shouted, Fine! Then even if Yu Luo Cha comes barging through our door, you wont need to concern yourself with it. Just let the fame and honour of the Wu Tang sect be disgraced and shamed through your own hands. Zhuo Yi Hang replied, But she hasnt come knocking on our door. Zheng Hong Tai then coldly stated, To tell you the truth, I will be dueling with her tomorrow night. Dont forget youre with me right now, can you really just ignore and stay detached from all this?

    Zhuo Yi Hangs eyebrows knitted together as he thought to himself how although Zheng Hong Tai and him can not be considered as close acquaintances, yet they were nonetheless traveling companions. Furthermore, this Yu Luo Cha was indeed an adversary of their sect. Zheng Hong Tai criticizing and condemning him may not be much of big deal, yet if he didnt lend out a helping hand this time, acquaintances of the martial arts world might all think that he was indeed a coward that was too chicken to meddle with Yu Luo Cha. He then also thought: my third marital arts uncle also has intentions of seeking her out for a battle in order to settle their scores. So Im sure ShiFu wont reproach me even if I did lend out a helping hand to this Zheng Hong Tai to combat Yu Luo Cha. Thus, Zhuo Yi Hang said, Elder Zheng, since this Yu Luo Cha is causing you trouble, then I also want to have a look and see exactly what she is made of. But Im afraid that I am too young and incompetent to be of much help to you. Zheng Hong Tais eyebrows were raised towards his forehead, his expression filled with jubilation while he bellowed out with laughter and said, Youre much too humble! Now youre finally displaying the true colours of a gutsy man. Let me now introduce you to a few of my friends. Tomorrow night we will all combat the Demoness together. Zheng pulled Zhuo to his feet as they then jumped out the door and ran towards the wilderness.

    Under the wan moon and sparsely dispersed stars, there were traces of Will O Wisps glowering from afar. Suddenly a strange sounding cry was heard as Zheng Hong Tai immediately halted and clapped his hands together twice. From the untamed wilderness and amongst the uncultivated graves, a few people suddenly leapt out. Zhuo Yi Hang focused his eyes to discover that it was a cluster comprised of tall, short, old and young people, combining to form a group of four altogether. Zheng Hong Tai asked, I already know that the younger Brother Fan has an emergency and will not be able to make it. But is Brother Ying not coming as well? This wont work without him! One of the people responded, He is purposely calculating his time of arrival so that he may suddenly emerge tomorrow night to scare the Demoness.

    One by one, Zheng Hong Tai introduced each of the mysterious men to Zhuo Yi Hang. The first one was called Zhao Ting, and he was the famed fighter of the Song Yang Sect. The second person was called Fan Zhu and was renowned throughout the marital arts world for his Golden Steel Heavy Hands. The third man was a youngster around twenty six or seven years of age, and was known as the Jade Faced Demonic Fox. His name was Ling Xiao and though it may have only been a few years since he first made his appearance within the marital arts world, yet he has already established a reputation as a ferocious bandit. The fourth person was a Taoist Priest, known as the Green Pine Priest. The four men were all considered as established fighters within the martial arts world. Zhuo Yi Hang thought to himself: that Zhao Ting and Fan Zhu are sill relatively acceptable and Im not familiar with Green Pine Priests past. However, this Jade Faced Demonic Fox was definitely not considered as a member of the orthodox sects. Why would Zheng Hong Tai be mixed up with such a motley crew of people?

    Zheng Hong Tai said, Brother Zhuo, tomorrow night we will be battling with the Demoness on top of Hua Shans highest peak. But let us now first practice the steps to our formation. Zhuo Yi Hang asked, What formation? Zheng Hong Tai replied, We had originally intended to meet up as a group of seven, but each of us is from a different school of training with our own unique and distinctive style of martial arts. We are planning to bring together our various skills when we battle Yu Luo Cha to complement and correspond with each other, thus facilitating and benefiting each other through the process. Because we are all trained in different martial arts, we must practice in advance in order to be perfectly coordinated with each other. Right now, amongst the men who are supposed to be here tonight there is one who will not be able to come here due to a sudden crisis. This is why we need Brother Zhuo you to join us in order to comprise the right number of fighters. Zhuo Yi Hang then said, But even including me you have only six people. Zheng Hong Tai replied, Our brother will show up here at exactly the right moment. This formation was conceptualized by him, therefore we need not wait for him. Zhuo Yi Hang thought to himself: Alright. I may as well see how they practice this formation.

    Zheng Hong Tai arranged them all into a circle with everyone facing the middle as he said, The essence of martial arts lies in the ability to time your attack so that it may be executed at exactly the right moment. For example, lets say that your stance was originally supposed to be very deadly and powerful, yet if you execute it too early your opponent might have the chance to counter that attack. However, if you execute your stance too late, the positions might have already changed and your opponent can take advantage of your slow execution to retaliate. This is what they mean by the phrase The difference of centimeters can lead to the discrepancy of a thousand miles. Although this theory may sound very simple and straightforward, yet to be able to actually implement it is not at all easy. If ones martial art abilities has not achieved a skillful level akin to the intensity emanating from the blue tip of a burning flame or if it has not transcended beyond the stages of divinity to extend into the pinnacle of sublimity and perfection, then how can it really be as easy as it sounds?

    Even though the seven of us can all be considered as first-rate fighters, yet Yu Luo Cha strikes with the speed of lightning so we must get enough practice in advance. Combining the powers of the seven of us, to win her may not be hard, but Im afraid that if we wanted to take her life it will still not be enough. That is why our Brother created this formation that is called the Seven Greats Exterminating the Demon Formation which requires three fighters to act as primary attackers while three fighters remain as defensive guards. One person will remain positioned in the center to act as the commander and orchestrate the formation from all sides. The attackers and guards can mutually interchange positions thus transforming and revolutionizing the arrangement to form a formation of unpredictable and unbelievable power. This alternating strategy of where three fighters attack while three fighters defend will cause the attacks to succeed each other like lapping waves. Plus, with somebody remaining in the center to issue instructions, the opponent will undoubtedly be forced to the point of where even the act of finding the time to gasp for help would prove to be a difficulty. Even if Yu Luo Cha can suddenly grow three heads and three pairs of arms, she most definitely wont be escaping this time.

    Right at this moment, our Brother is not here yet and so we are momentarily lacking a commander. But the six of us can first practice coordinating the configuration of our offensive attacks. Thus after he had finished relating the strategies of the attack, he signaled with a wave of his hands and they started to implement the moves of the formation. As the three attackers each executed a stance, the guards immediately advanced to replace their mark. The structure of the formation was radically fluctuating from a round shape into a square outline, where at one moment it will resemble the dead straight figure of a long snake while another minute it will suddenly transform into two dragons upsetting the seas. Although the attack may initially envelop from all four directions, yet it can suddenly change to flanking the opponent from the left and right sides. However, despite the radical shifts, the steps of the formation continues to remain in methodological and structured control while the power of the formations attack comes to resemble the astonishing force of the Yangtze Rivers rushing currents.

    Zhuo Yi Hang had always been smart and thus required not much time before he was able to comprehend the dynamics of the formation. He thought to himself: now the so called Brother hasnt even arrived yet and already the formation is so powerful. When he comes, that means that there will be someone to strategize in the middle. By that time, the formation can really be said to be the Heavens net and the Earths web, as even if one can grow wings they will never be able to escape. I wonder what scores of vengeance these people can possibly have with Yu Luo Cha that would make them to so determined to kill her?

    Having observed that everyone has familiarized themselves with the formation, Zheng Hong Tai ordered to halt the action before smiling and saying, Brother Zhuo, your Wu Tangs Sequential Chain-linking Swords when synchronized with Brother Zhaos Song Yang Sect Wind Dispersing Sword really causes this formation to be adorned with much colour. He then continued to talk about the various atrocities of Yu Luo Cha, which turned out to be the usual run of how she maliciously harms the people of the martial arts world. Zhuo Yi Hang was thinking to himself that since this Yu Luo Cha was indeed so brutal and inhuman, then it would be a good thing to eradicate her.

    The moon was slanting towards the West as the sparse stars were becoming increasingly pallid while Zheng Hong Tai said, Why dont we all go back now. Tomorrow at midnight, we will gather together again at the Jade Maiden peak of Hua Shan. But before he could even finish his words, not far from where they were standing a sound of chilling laughter suddenly rang through the air. With a commanding shout from Zheng Hong Tai, the six of them immediately dashed towards the direction of the laughter.

    The gust of icy wind came rushing by while the illumination of the Will O Wisps flickered and flared. The leaves descended within the sparsely populated forest and the inhabiting birds fled in startled flight. Yet not a human shadow was to be seen anywhere. The six of them arranged themselves in the formation in preparation for battle, yet nothing happened. Golden Steel Hands Fan Zhu asked with alarm, Could that have been Yu Luo Cha messing around with us? Priest Green Pine remarked, But it doesnt sound like a girls laughter. The Jade Faced Demonic Fox Ling Xiao asked, Could it have been a ghost? But even ghosts cant move that fast. The Song Yang swordsman Zhao Ting also asked, Could it be that we were merely imagining things? Zheng Hong Tai was secretly petrified even though he didnt utter a single word. Zhuo Yi Hang was thinking to himself: for what purpose could this person have come for? If this person turns out to be Yu Luo Chas helper, then were finished.

    When Zheng Hong Tai saw how the enthusiasm of everyone was dulled as their concentration was also shattered, immediately bellowed loudly, Regardless of whether that person was a friend or foe, if they dare to step foot into our Seven Greats Formation, then even if they dont die they will most definitely be severely injured. Whats there to be afraid of? Though in truth, he was terrified himself. As the six of them departed from each other, Zheng Hong Tai and Zhuo Yi Hang were both returning to the inn when Zheng Hong Tai sighed and said, If only your ShiFu was willing to grace us with his presence, this whole thing would be easily taken care of. Zhuo Yi Hang remarked, My ShiFu never interferes into other peoples business. Zheng Hong Tai said, Observing your sword skills a while ago, its exquisiteness and intricateness can without a doubt be readily observed. Tomorrow night you and the Song Yang swordsman have to cooperate together for we will be all be depending on the two of you. Zhuo Yi Hang noticed that Zheng Hong Tais manner seemed to be betraying his anxiety over the possibility that Zhuo would refuse to lend out a helping hand. Therefore Zhuo scowled with resentment, Since Ive made you a promise, despite how great Yu Luo Chas abilities may turn out to be, I most definitely wont retreat at the last minute. Zheng Hong Tai immediately assured, Brother, please do not misunderstand. Faced with a big fight, your brother I just cant help but feel anxious and worried.
    No longer walking amongst the living...

  7. #27
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    The two of them rested for a day, finished their dinner and then immediately ascended Hua Shan. The night was still in the dark forest as the mountain streams trickled down from the tall hills to reach fathomless depths. The crawling vines obscured the paths and the thatch grass grew to waist height, making the act of ascending the mountain ten times more difficult that it was during broad daylight. Luckily, both Zheng Hong Tai and Zhuo Yi Hang possessed supreme martial arts. By tugging on the vines and leaning against the coarse foliage, they arrived at the Jade Maiden Peak. By that time, the moon still has not fully risen yet.

    Priest Green Pine and the other four men were already waiting for them, the expressions on their faces betraying their nervous anxiety. They all stared at the moon that was slowly inching across the sky, as sweat erupted all over Zheng Hong Tais palms. Suddenly, he jumped up and shouted, Look at the moon! By then, the moon has already fully risen above their heads. However, all around them was still only silence. Priest Green Pine said, Yu Luo Cha still hasnt shown her face. Zhao Ting said, Yu Luo Cha will always keep her word. Im only worried that Brother Ying wont arrive here in time. Zheng Hong Tai retorted, Brother Ying most definitely will not miss our engagement. Hearing them continually repeat the name Brother Ying, Zhuo Yi Hang couldnt stop a certain idea from surfacing in his head. He was just about to say something when the mountain breeze suddenly carried the sound of a cold laughter towards them. Words are often slower than words, as a young girl dressed in white and looking very much like the Heavenly Immortal Ling Buo gradually came into sight. She then suddenly soared straight from the adjacent peak towards the Jade Maiden Peak. The six men all got up immediately. Zhuo Yi Hang was stunned speechless by what he saw.

    Even in his dreams Zhuo Yi Hang would not have dared to imagine that he would see what he now saw. This Yu Luo Cha actually turned out to be Liang Ni Chang, the same young girl that he had encountered yesterday within the Hua Shans Yellow Dragon Cave. At that moment, all kinds of eccentric thoughts and suspicions were flooding into his mind. Dazed and confused, he felt as if he was immersed in a dream. Could yesterdays frail and delicate young girl who impels others to take her under protection and shelter actually turn out to be the infamous Yu Luo Cha? The same Yu Luo Cha who kills others without batting an eye and where within the martial arts world, just a mention of her name is enough to cause others to completely abandon all traces of their courage? He remembered how he had promised her the day before that they can be friends, and if they ever reunite again he will treat her as a sister. He couldnt have predicted that over just a separation of a day, they will not only reunite together here, but would actually become fatal enemies.

    Originally, Yu Luo Cha was calm and composed, with her head lowered in a faint smile. But like the lapping waves of the autumn springs, her expression suddenly changed as her face blanched and an extreme sorrow filled her heart. Two drops of tears rushed out beyond her control. Zheng Hong Tai was standing in the front and could discern everything very clearly. Yu Luo Cha actually cries? That truly was even more unbelievable than witnessing the Tai Shan collapse and the Yellow River dry up! What made it even more unbelievable was that this wasnt just a rumour, but was something he was witnessing with his very own eyes!

    The Jade Faced Demonic Fox Ling Xiao was naturally born with a lewd disposition. Furthermore, he had never met Yu Luo Cha before and was therefore never afforded with the chance to encounter a taste of Yu Luo Chas deadliness. He only laughed and said smugly, Those who dont arrive at the Yellow River will never give up and those who dont see their coffin will never know to cry. Yu LuoCha, why dont you surrender like a nice little girl and we can perhaps let you off the hook. Yu LuoChas face changed colours and a slight smile suddenly appeared on her face as she said, Thank you for your heartfelt concern. Zheng Hong Tai quickly blurted out, Yu Luo Cha, you have to respect the rules and honour of the JiangHu. Its still not time yet and were still waiting for all our people to arrive so dont you dare to make a move yet!

    But before Zheng Hong Tai could even finish his words, the Jade Faced Demonic Fox Ling Xiao suddenly flew up more than ten feet into the air, clutching his abdomen while screaming out in pain. Yu Luo Chas specialty projectiles the Immobilizing Needles had already ripped through the air. She first feigned an attack towards Ling Xiaos San-Tai acupoint located on the waist area. Because Ling Xiaos levitation skills were incredibly apt, when he observed the slight quiver of Yu Luo Chas slender hands, he immediately jumped out of the way. But he couldnt have anticipated that it would be so impossible to differentiate between the feigned and authentic attacks of Yu Luo Chas projectiles. She had already predicted that he would jump to evade and therefore with a flick of her two fingers, the sharp needles immediately pierced into the bubbling springs acupoint located on his heel. Immediately a pain that was both aching and excruciating seared through him as his tears poured out and spilled over like the waters of a bubbling spring. Priest Green Pine immediately extracted the needles from him and massaged his wound for a while before Ling Xiao felt better.

    Yu Luo Cha laughed coldly and said, And I thought that he was supposed to be some kind of tenacious and hardboiled man that never cries. Who would have guessed that he would turn out to be such a useless sac of puss? The Jade Faced Demonic Fox Ling Xiao was completely mortified and no longer dared to say anything else while Yu Luo Cha continued, Did you know that I was merely mourning for all of you at your funeral wake? Its a pity that the new friend I had just made will also end up selecting the path of death for himself. Zhuo Yi Hang knew that Yu Luo Cha was referring to him, as he was also commiserating within his heart. He thought: I also pity the fact that despite being the peerless Beauty of your era, you would actually be willing to become a bandit. The Seven Greats Formation is so incredibly lethal, regardless of how great your martial arts may be, today you would also be ushered onto this path of death.

    Seeing how Zhuo Yi Hangs eyebrows were knitted closely together, Yu Luo Cha gazed at him intently with an expression that appears to be brimming with emotion while also being completely void of feeling. Her voice was filled with hatred as she uttered, You you before her voice started choking up, disabling her from continuing on. Zheng Hong Tai and Priest Green Pine knew that Yu Luo Chas happiness and sorrows have always unpredictable and erratic. Thus even though they didnt know who she was referring to, they didnt find her behaviour to be particularly unusual. On the other hand, the other three people were all confused and bewildered.

    The Song Yang Swordsman Zhao Ting hurriedly nudged Zheng Hong Tai, trying to prompt him to prepare the initiation of the formation incase Yu Luo Cha would suddenly attack unexpectedly. Zheng Hong Tai was just about to reassure him that Yu Luo Cha will never attack anybody surreptitiously, but he wasnt aware that Yu Luo Cha was becoming increasingly filled with hatred the more she thought about this. She was angry over how Zhuo Yi Hang had purposely deceived her the other day when he was obviously determined to be her enemy from the very beginning. When she saw how everyone was preparing to situate themselves into the formation, she suddenly ripped out into a long and icy laugh. The cold blade of a glinting sword was already within her hands. She shouted, Fine! Its midnight now! Im not going to wait any longer! and with a slight stir of her body, she flashed by like a spark of lighting. With a swipe of her sword she headed straight towards Zheng Hong Tai. Zheng Hong Tais weapon was the Sun and Moon Wheels and by using his Sun Wheel to lock and his Moon Wheel to thrust out, he initiated the Seven Greats Formation.
    No longer walking amongst the living...

  8. #28
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    Queenie's Half-Translation Rant

    There's something I keep forgeting to mention about the chapter tiles. I tried to retain the original structure of the titles which is actually very carefully structured. Sometimes the lines parallels off each other, and sometimes the words within each line parallels off each other.

    Take the title of this chapter for example:

    Seven Greatsf Formation Efforts Voided
    Great Villain Surrenders Life
    Thirty Yearfs Love A Dream
    Stone Wall Yields Manual

    Notice how the 1st and 3rd line parallels off each other, as does the 2nd & 4th lines.

    In the first line, we have "7" to counter the third line's "30" ... similarly, the "void" of the 1st sentence is similar to the illusive qualities in the 3rd line's "Dream" ...

    The organic quality of "Great villains" (2nd line) also works off the inorganic "stone wall" of the 4th line, while the villain has to "surrender" their lives, the stone wall also "yields" the manual.

    The first two lines are referring to the 7 Greats Formation whereas the last two lines are talking about the ShiFu of Yu LuoSha ... more about them in the second half

    Of course, the number of words in each line are also patterned in a 5, 4, 5, 4 manner. That's how Chinese often is ... its poeticism tends to be very highly structured ... there's almost a very mathematical quality about it. Chinese is very cool eh?

    **************************

    Someone asked me last time I updated whether Zhuo Yi Hang was wishy-washy like Zhang WuJi. It's true that ZYH has problems making decisions, but unlike ZWJ, ZYH's problem isn't the inability to figure out what he wants, not rather not being able to actually carry out these decisions. He's very gullible and easily influenced by others. He doesn't have much of a backbone and lacks character. These qualities are very apparent within this chapter ... Zheng Hong Tai was very obviously blackmailing ZYH, coercing him to battle YLC. But ZYH very easily falls prey to these pressures. He doesn't have the kind of character that goes, "Hell no!" but would easily yield under pressure instead. Also, he just believes things that people tells him ... so just b/c Zheng Hong Tai talks about how bad YLC is, ZYH believes him. He judges things by appearances ... just b/c YLC is beautiful, looks frail and delicate, he naturally assumes that she can't be the infamous demoness. Yet when he sees ZHeng Hong Tai hanging around w/ someone like "Jade Faced Demonic Fox" he wouldn't really make the same association that ... "Hey! Maybe this Zheng Hong Tai dude isn't such a great man! Maybe I should take everything in w/ a grain of salt." That's just plain stupidity for ya.

    I also forgot to mention in the post-trans rant for chapter 3 that ZYH also has pride and arrogance as well ... not as bad as Geng Shao Nan, yet he's also not immune to these same tendencies to take pride in Wu Tang's name and look down on those from unorthodox sects.

    ******************

    One thing I picked up reading another Liang Yu Sheng book "Bing Po Han Guan Jian" ... there was a brief mention of the "LuoCha" demon there. When the main character was in Nepal, somebody mentioned that the "LuoCha" demon is some figure that will come to take away ("hook") one's soul. Keep in mind the Hinduism influences on all of this.

    **************************

    Two questions for you to think about (no need to answer):

    Who was the mysterious person who laughed as Zheng Hong Tai and co. was practicing their formation?

    Who is Brother Ying?



    Well, I hope you enjoyed this portion of the chapter ... sorry I'm so slow ... I haven't been home much lately, and my concentration is kinda crappy as well. But honestly, even just this little bit took a long time though you can't really tell ... I'm just slow, so please be patient w/ me Overall, I found this chapter very enjoyable to translate. Hopefully I can finish the second half by the end of next week.

    Thanks for reading!
    No longer walking amongst the living...

  9. #29
    Senior Member Du Gu seeking a win's Avatar
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    Default Chapter 4 continued

    Priest Green Pines sabre (1) attacked from the left side as Ling Xiao slanted his Scholars brush (2) in attempts to seal off Yu Luo Chas Guan Yuan acupoint. As Yu Luo Cha flitted by Ling Xiao, the three rear guards advanced in criss-cross fashion and substituted the empty place. Yu Luo Cha suddenly flipped her body over as the tip of her sword glided past Zhao Tings shoulder just when the Golden Steel Hands Fan Zhu extended his hands into the grappling technique to clamp down on her. Yet he was unable to grasp her as she darted past and like a soaring bird plunged straight towards Zhuo Yi Hang. Zhuo Yi Hang hastily executed the sequential linking sword skills defence technique Jade Band Clasping Waist, to ignite with his sword a blaze of light. This was a stance that garnered one the capability to simultaneously defend and attack at the same time. The air was immediately filled with a frosty and chilling current as a streak of silver headed straight towards Yu Luo Chas face.

    Using the stance Plucking the Stallion in Dry Land, Zhuo Yi Hang hastily leapt into the air as the tip of Yu Luo Chas sword glazed over the bottom of his feet. This was in reality a result of Yu Luo Cha purposely holding back on her attack, otherwise Zhuo Yi Hang would most definitely have been hurt. In just a blink of an eye, Yu Luo Cha had already struck out to attack all six skilled fighters, forcing Zheng Hong Tai to shout loudly, Pay attention! and the formation immediately transformed to trap Yu Luo Cha within the core of the configuration.

    Yu Luo Chas every stance was deadly, while the speed and potency of her attacks were all something that has never been seen before. She continued to execute one obliterating stance after another, but because the six fighters were corresponding their attacks with each other, they were thus able to closely seal off the combat circle while defending and rescuing each other. Thus even though Yu Luo Cha continued to attack successively, she was still unable to escape out of the formations containment.

    Attacking while wedged within the middle of the formation was Zhuo Yi Hang, though for some reason he just couldnt bring himself to fall into annihilation mode. Using the 72 hands of the Sequential Linking Swords, he was only concerned with protecting himself but did not exert much effort towards his attacks. As for Yu Luo Cha, although she did indeed feel extremely hateful towards Zhuo, yet for some reason whenever she struck out towards him, she would always try to not aim for his vital areas.

    Like tidal waves, the six fighters advanced and retreated, moving back and forth while constricting the size of the circle, forcing the fervor of the formation to heat up and become increasingly intense. Yu Luo Chas prior decision to withhold her attack on Zhuo Yi Hang by not using her most powerful moves to obliterate him had actually in result caused her to be continually placed in situations of danger. She was enraged and thus with a determined grind of her exquisite teeth, she thought to herself: Since you are being this way, theres no need for me to be concerned about you any longer. The force of her swords attack immediately transformed as it suddenly struck out without a single intention of holding back. It was at this moment when a strange howl was suddenly heard from the top of the peak as an emaciated old man suddenly jumped down from the cliff to bellow loudly, Yu Luo Cha! How dare you not keep your word of honour?

    With a signal from Zheng Hong Tai, and the six people receded like the tidal waves as Yu Luo Cha also retracted her sword and jumped out of the combat ring before stating clearly, How can you say that I didnt keep my word? It was you who messed up on the time. The old man tilted his head towards the sky to discover that at that moment, the moon had just rotated past the center of the sky. He cackled loudly and said, Ive already been waiting a long time for you, but you werent even able to break out of the entrapment guarded by my six brothers, what chance do you have if I join them too? Zhuo Yi Hang thought: this person was truly a cunning and sneaky crook. He was here all along, waiting and observing the battle and then coming out only when he knew that everything would be perfectly secure.

    Yu Luo Cha suddenly laughed coldly and said, Old Crook Ying, did you really think that nobody would ever discover that it was you who murdered Hero Luo Jin Feng? Are these small crooks following you out of their own will or were they all deluded by you? Upon hearing this, both the Priest Green Pine and the Song Yang Swordsman Zhao Ting were immediately shocked to the core. But the emaciated old man hurriedly shrieked, Dont fall prey to the wenchs strategies! Shes just trying to incite disharmony and tension amongst us. The acquaintances of the underground world in the Chuan-Shaan area have already had enough of her bullying. She was also the one who injured the head escort of the Song Yang sect and the disciples of the Wu Tang sect. This woman is the public enemy of the whole martial arts world. If we dont eradicate her right now, the consequences will soon be irreparable!

    The old man lifted his tassel whip and Zheng Hong Tai immediately changed the composition of the formation to once again enclose Yu Luo Cha within the center. The Seven Greats Formation has finally gathered the proper number of fighters, with the emaciated old man standing within the center to orchestrate the movements. Attached to a shaft, his tassel whip was suddenly wielded as a five-element sword that also has the dual function of sealing off acupoints, comprising a truly mystical and unbelievable attack. Her attention now fully concentrated on combating her opponents, Yu Luo Cha could no longer divide her attention to retort.

    Priest Green Pine and Zhao Ting were both acquainted with Luo Jin Feng in the past. After hearing Yu Luo Chas words, suspicions started to surface within them. But when they thought to how deadly Yu Luo Chas ways can be, they were also petrified within their hearts. Their situation right now was akin to riding on top of a tiger (3), they had no other choice but to fight. The variations of the formation were unpredictable and each one of the seven first-rate fighters were performing their specialty skills, forcing an aromatic sweat to erupt all over Yu Luo Chas body.

    Yu Luo Cha had always been proud and arrogant, therefore she originally thought that even if the seven of them combined their efforts to attack simultaneously, she could still manage to not lose. But to her surprise, they actually came up with some kind of peculiar formation to attack. The pace of the fighting got increasingly faster, the movements were becoming increasingly risky, and the situation grew to be increasingly dangerous. She knew that it would be very difficult for her to escape this time. But she has also observed that amongst the seven people, there was only Zhuo Yi Hang who hasnt exerted full force, nor has he thrown all his efforts into the battle. With a few quick swipes of her sword, she deflected the weapons that were coming towards her and waited for the moment when Zhuo Yi Hangs sword would strike towards her. Using her inner energies and her sword as a guide, she drew Zhuo Yi Hang towards her and flitted past him, whispering lightly by his ears, Are you truly content to help the villain succeed in his schemes? A suspicion suddenly struck Zhuo Yi Hang before the emaciated old man quickly swept his metal like tassel whip to swiftly disband for him Yu Luo Chas attack.

    Yu Luo Cha wasnt sure whether Zhuo Yi Hang heard her, but she did observe that he has visibly decelerated his attack while his footwork has also become lethargic. Considering Yu Luo Chas abilities, she was experienced enough to take full advantage of the fact that the formation has not yet been restored to full force by striking out with her sword to wound the Golden Steel Hands Fan Zhu. With a coil of his tassel whip, the emaciated old man immediately sealed off Yu Luo Chas escape route as Zheng Hong Tai gave a lock and thrust with his two wheels to replace the vacant spot, further tightening the circle. Even though Fan Zhu was injured, but with a thunderous roar of fury he continued to barge forward.

    The emaciated old man grew suspicious having noticed the hesitation in Zhuo Yi Hangs attack when he had just previously witnessed himself the brilliance of Zhuos sword skills. He was just about to question him when Zhuo Yi Hang drew a few stances with his sword to ward off Yu Luo Chas attack and then suddenly whispering by the emaciated old mans ear, Elder Ying Xiu Yang! At the time when the emaciated old man suddenly heard Zhuo call out his name, he was engaged in intense battle and very instinctively responded to Zhuo Yi Hangs call. He thought that because Zhuo was one of Zheng Hong Tais men and has never met him before, he was thus hereby addressing him by his full name in order to express his respect. He was just about to remind him to pay attention to his attack when Zhuo Yi Hang unexpectedly turned around to attack him instead.

    Ying Xiu Yang was quite taken back as he immediately dodged with his body and screamed, Have you lost your mind? Zhuo Yi Hang was wielding his sword with the swiftness of wind as he shouted loudly, Im going to kill you first, traitor! A tremor jolted through Ying Xiu Yangs body as his metal-like tassel whip coiled towards Zhuo Yi Hang. Yu Luo Cha shouted in a severe tone, So youre really the fool thats conspiring with the Manchurians! Her sword suddenly pierced out with a force that extended like a rainbow. Zheng Hong Tai and Zhao Ting hurriedly approached to help Ying Xiu Yang ward off the attack while the two Scholars Brushes of the Jade Faced Demonic Fox Ling Xiao immediately advanced to seal the Zhi-Tang acupoint located on Zhuo Yi Hangs back. Zhuo Yi Hang flipped his sword around to thus engage into an intense battle with Ling Xiao.

    ********************************

    (1) Sabre: Original text says Jie Dao which could possibly be translated as Knife of Interdict which one online source states is a knife used by Buddhists. But due to inadequate information to confirm this usage, thus the word Sabre was used instead.

    (2) Scholars brush: the Pan Guan Bi is also known as the Ghost Judge (Pan Guan) Pen although Scholars brush seems to be the term that is more commonly used.

    (3) Their situation right now was akin to riding on top of a tiger: A common phrase that describes how one is left with no options. Although riding on top of a tiger is very dangerous act, and therefore one must get down from the tiger. Yet the act of descending the tiger itself is also equally dangerous. Thus you can move forward, and you cant turn back.

  10. #30
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    The formation had now lost all sense of control and organization. The situation was completely turned around as Yu Luo Cha and Zhuo Yi Hang joined their powers and fought back to back, combatting the six fighters comprising of Ying Xiu Yang and Zheng Hong Tai. Zheng Hong Tai yelled loudly, Zhuo Yi Hang, you are the descendant of a respected officials family, how can you turn around to help a bandit? How are you going to face the Crown Prince again? Yu Luo Cha laughed and said, You yourself call Ying Xiu Yang brother. While one of you is running around outside the countrys borders, the other one stays behind to act as a contact within the palace. Since hes conspiring with the Manchurians, you undoubtedly cant be free from any blame. With a thrust of her esteemed sword, cold lightning shot out and the shadow of Yu Luo Cha suddenly erupted in every direction and on every side. Zhuo Yi Hangs stances were linked with each other sequentially and under the cover of the light showered from Yu Luo Chas sword, he forcefully attacked with every stance.

    Due to his injuries, after battling a while the Golden Steel Hands Fan Zhu was about to forfeit when Yu Luo Cha suddenly sliced off four of his fingers with one swipe of her sword, leaving him howling in pain. He hastily tried to retreat but Yu Luo Cha immediately lurched high into the air and twisted full circle while carrying a sword in her right hand. Then with a brush of her sword, the weapons of Zheng Hong Tai and the others all flew out of their hands. Her left hand then grasped down like a wild eagle that was preying upon a rabbit as she quickly swiped up Fan Zhu, while laughing and saying, Im afraid your Golden Steel hands cant compare with mine. Finally, with a fling of her hands, the body of Fan Zhu was actually tossed right over the cliff, falling from the highest peak of Hua Shan all the way down towards the bottom. Amongst the howling wind and the angry shouts, his terrified and fatalistic screams can still be faintly discerned. Even though the weather was not cold, Zheng Hong Tai and his crew were still trembling uncontrollably.

    Yu Luo Cha struck towards the East and slashed towards the West, she swung towards the left and swiped towards the right, while stroking towards the front, she also stabbed towards the back. Every stance executed was deadly and fatal. On top of all this, there was also Zhuo Yi Hangs 72 Styles of the Wu Tang Sequential Linking Swords that was striking out even in the midst of its retreat, each stance supporting and supported by the subsequent stance and thus also comprising a very powerful attack as well. Although Ying Xiu Yang and his men were all first rate fighters, yet at this moment they only had the ability to defend and not to retaliate. Just when the outcome of the battle was gradually becoming obvious, Yu Luo Cha suddenly shouted, Theres going to be a huge bloodshed here today! Green Pine and Song Yang Swordsman, since the two of you were originally considered as decent people, let me warn you: if you dont know enough to retreat right now, then be prepared to be exterminated as well! This warning from Yu Luo Cha was equivalent to having a path to survival being pointed out to them. Priest Green Pine and Zhao Ting immediately picked up their weapons and jumped out of the combat ring before expressing their gratitude and hurriedly scurrying down the mountain. Ying Xiu Yangs face was a ghostly white while Zheng Hong Tai was trembling from the bottom of his heart and the pits of his stomach. Each stance that Yu Luo Cha was executing grew to be faster than the previous one, and just when Ying Xiu Yang was falling backwards he simultaneously gave a wave of his hands and five little daggers were released, charging towards Yu Luo Cha with the speed of lightning.

    Yu Luo Cha laughed loudly and said, What are these pieces of scrap metal good for? With a sweep of her long sword, the advance of the five little daggers were all halted and immediately deflected back towards Ying Xiu Yang. But though Ying Xiu Yang appeared to be attacking, he was in actuality using this attack as a shield. After he released the little daggers, he immediately wrapped his outer garments around his body and actually rolled downwards from the highest peak of Hua Shan.

    Zheng Hong Tai retracted his two wheels and immediately jumped up more than ten feet into the air in his attempts to escape by following after Ying Xiu Yangs footsteps. Yu Luo Cha shouted, Where do you think youre going? On the other side was the Jade Faced Demonic Fox Ling Xiao who also feigned an attack before his silhouette flitted by and darted in the opposite direction of Zheng. In terms of martial art skills, the Jade Faced Demonic Fox was below the likes of Zheng Hong Tai. However, in terms of levitation skills he was above Zheng Hong Tai. Because Yu Luo Cha was a skilled expert, she was able to discern all this with just a single glance. Furthermore, she was also displeased with the lewd attittude that the Jade Faced Demonic Fox had taken towards her earlier, therefore Yu Luo Cha immediately decided to chase after him. With a wave of her jade hands, three long Immobilizing Needles were projected, every one of them piercing through Ling Xiaos acupoints. Ling Xiao howled out in pain as he tottered about and was just about to fall down when Yu Luo Cha added another slash with her sword and then with a flying kick, drove his corpse over the cliffs. Zhuo Yi Hang shouted, Miss Lian, its more important to capture Zheng Hong Tai! Yu Luo Cha was suddenly reminded, but by the time she grabbed her sword and chased after him Zheng Hong Tai had already rolled to the bottom of the mountain. From afar, only a black spot could be seen.

    Yu Luo Cha immediately shouted, Lets go! when suddenly a voice from halfway down the mountain said, There's no need to worry, I've already captured him for you! Although no figure could be seen, yet a voice can still be heard with utmost clarity. Yu Luo Cha was taken back as this practice of internal energy cultivation was called Transmitting Sounds Through the Impenetrable and was indeed a truly extraordinary skill. It should be understood that if one was to direct his voice from the top of the mountain towards the bottom, the people situated near the bottom would still be able to hear the voice very clearly. However, to project ones voice from low places to higher places, the people situated on the higher altitude would have a very hard time discerning what was being said. This mysterious persons voice was not particularly vociferous or forceful, but was instead as calm and composed as if the person was merely speaking casually to somebody who was situated right beside them near the middle of the mountain. Furthermore, every word was heard with precise clarity forcing Yu Luo Cha to have no choice but to be secretly impressed.

    When she converged her gaze, she was suddenly greeted with a glimpse of a silhouette that flashed by with the speed of a shooting comet. The person had arrived with the termination of his voice. It was a young man around thirty years of age with large ears and a square face. He was clutching a person under his arms, a person whom he let go of as soon as he got to the mountains highest peak. Of course the person this man was carrying would turn out to be Zheng Hong Tai. The man looked over at Yu Luo Cha and asked, Are you Yu Luo Cha? Who is this other person? Even though Lian Ni Chang had made herself famous within the martial arts world by using the title of Yu Luo Cha, yet she really doesnt like it when people calls her Yu Luo Cha to her face. She laughed coldly and said, And what if I am?

    Zhuo Yi Hang replied with courteous respect, Your humble brother am Wu Tangs sect-leader Taoist Priest Purple Suns disciple. My name is Zhuo Yi Hang, may I be bold enough to inquire about your name and sect? The person replied, My unworthy name is Yue Ming Ke, but let us first take care of business before we disclose our personal background. What do you guys propose we should do with this person? Yu Luo Cha said, Since he was captured by you, then its up to you to decide. Yue Ming Ke smiled and said, We need not follow the rules of the Black societal clans. I dont know much about this person, is he a co-conspirator of Bandit Ying? Yu Luo Cha was becoming increasingly unhappy, for even though she was indeed a female bandit, yet she really doesnt like it when people label her as a female bandit. But by openly disclosing that she was speaking in accordance to the rules of the black societal clans, Yue Ming Ke really was touching on her deepest insecurities.

    Zhuo Yi Hang replied, Yes, he is now the Crown Princes attendant. However, before he was working as the most skilled fighter within the Western Coalition! After studying Zhuo Yi Hang for while, Yue Ming Ke suddenly laughed and said, So Brother Zhuo, you were the person that was meeting with them last night in the wilderness, no wonder youre so acquainted with their background. Zhuo Yi Hangs faced turned red for now he realized that Yue Ming Ke was the mysterious person who emitted the chilling laughter last night in the wilderness. He then said, Your unworthy brother got involved with the wrong kind of people. I am truly filled with tremendous shame. Since that Ying Xiu Yang was secretly conspiring with the Manchurians, then Zheng Hong Tai must also be the Manchurians spy as well. Zheng Hong Tai was rolling around on the ground until Yu Luo Cha suddenly issued a kick towards him. Because Zheng Hong Tai knew that he was not going to be escaping this time, he was therefore trying to bite through his tongue in an attempt to commit suicide. But Yu Luo Cha was well experienced with the JiangHus ways and therefore with a hook of the tip of her shoe, she immediately shattered his lower jaw. His mouth then dropped open. No longer was he able to close his mouth.

    Yu Luo Cha then ignored Zheng Hong Tai for the time being and turned towards Zhuo Yi Hang to ask instead, How did you know that Ying Xiu Yang was conspiring with the Manchurians? Doubts and suspicions caused Zhuo Yi Hang to hesitate as he dared not answer immediately. Yu Luo Cha nevertheless continued, I have always suspected that he was conspiring with the Manchurians, which was why within the last two years, I had already paid a visit to his lair three times, forcing him to have no choice but to link up with his helpers to meet with me here on the peak of Hua Shan for a duel. Hmph! But I never would have expected you to also belong to his group as well. The soulful expression in Yue Ming Kes imposing eyes studied Zhuo Yi Hang as well. Zhuo Yi Hang thought to himself: this was really turning out to be a huge misunderstanding. But though this Yu Luo Chas ways were deadly and merciless, yet at least she can still differentiate between black and white to understand what is wrong and what is right. Not to mention the valorous sense of strength that she exudes. This young man Yue Ming Ke was similarly courageous, striking and spirited, possessing of a righteous demeanour and emanating a powerful aura demanding of respect. He most definitely must be an extraordinary person. Since they now harbour suspicions towards me and coincidently already know about some of the details to this incident, I may as well just tell them about everything. Therefore, he related to them the secret that the martial arts instructor Meng Can revealed to him in his last words and also detailed how he ended up with Zheng Hong Tai as a travelling companion. It was only after hearing this explanation did Yu Luo Cha finally flash a relieved smile as she said, I knew you werent that kind of person, otherwise I would have taken your life from the very beginning.

    After Yu Luo Cha had clarified everything with Zhuo Yi Hang, she then turned to Zheng Hong Tai with a dazzling smile and said, So? Not feeling very well are you? Would you like me to make it better for you? Her voice was incredibly soft and gentle, sounding as if she was extremely concerned. Zheng Hong Tais eyes rolled towards the back of his head as he fainted with fear. Yu Luo Cha lifted her leg and gave a light tap at a certain spot on Zhengs back. Zheng Hong Tai really couldnt withstand this attack as he only felt as if there were thousands and millions of sharp needles that were stabbing into his five solid and six hollow organs (4). He wanted to commit suicide by biting off his tongue, but was unable to close his mouth. Yu Luo Cha continued to say, Well? Are you going to talk yet? I know you cant speak now, but your fingers can still move. Quickly write out the names of your co-conspirators, otherwise there will be some even better stuff coming up!

    Zheng Hong Tai was the head of the Western Coalition, and when he had to question criminals he would often use all sorts of torturous methods in order to get them to talk. But he wouldnt have expected that the karmic loop would come full circle for him, as today he would end up as the one being questioned by Yu Luo Cha and the pain that his body has to sustain was even greater than any torture he had ever administered. He had no choice but to reveal all that he knew. Using the tips of his fingers, he wrote quite a few wobbly words on the ground. Yu Luo Cha then asked, What are the positions of these people? Zheng Hong Tai wrote beneath the first three names the four words, Guards within the palace while writing behind the last two names the four words, Bandits of Underground world. Yu Luo Cha shouted, Who else? Zheng Hong Tais forehead was drenched in sweat as he wrote the three words Theres no more. Yu Luo Cha said, I dont believe you. What about regional governors and the governments high ranked officials? Zheng Hong Tai wrote, I really dont know. The Lord of Manchuria only ordered me to contact these five people. Yu Luo Cha shouted, Hmph! You dare to keep secrets from me? and gave another kick towards a spot on his waist area. Zheng Hong Tai was filled with so much pain, he felt as if he had already arrived at the hellish underworld to experience their torturous torment. He continually thrashed about on the ground for quite a while before extending a finger to write. But even after a very long time, he still was unable to actually write anything. In fact, he looked as if he was debating with great difficulty over the exact names that he should reveal.

    Zhuo Yi Hang blurted out, Miss Lian, I believe he really doesnt know any more. If you keep torturing him, Im afraid youll only force him to bring out innocent names and thus drag a whole bunch of guiltless people into this mess with him. Yu Luo Cha asked, How did you know he wanted to frame other people? Zhuo Yi Hang replied, Observe his expression, he is obviously debating over which crowd of people are off on the worst terms with him in order so that he may slander their name. Miss Lian, his expression really scares me, why dont you just give him a clean kick and end off his life right away? Yu Luo Cha said, Youre much too humane. But nevertheless, she finally gave Zheng Hong Tai that last obliterating flying kick to concretely impact him on the acupoint of his back that can immediately end ones life. Zheng Hong Tai spew out a mouth of fresh blood, while his eyes closed and he finally stopped breathing. Zhuo Yi Hang whispered lightly by Yu Luo Chas ears, I dont like it when you are so violent, and I especially dont like how your emotions fluctuate between happiness and anger with such unpredictability. When you act like this, who would dare to come close to you?

    Yu Luo Cha was stunned. Had it been somebody else who had uttered these words to her, she most definitely would have been angered. But now, hearing Zhuo Yi Hang say these words, it was as if somebody had emptied a whole bucket of ice-cold water over her head. She thought to herself: no wonder everybody is so afraid of me. My temper really isnt good, causing others to be so terrified of me while leaving me to be without much pleasure as well. Therefore, she replied in a low voice, Thank you for your honest and sincere words.

    Zhuo Yi Hang was staring at Zheng Hong Tais corpse when he suddenly cried, Oh no! Yu Luo Cha asked, Whats wrong? Zhuo Yi Hang said, Him and I both departed from the capital and was supposed to arrive in the Northern Shaan area together. Now that he died here without a suitable explanation, when the Crown Prince finds out, the blame would be linked to me! Yue Ming Ke laughed out loud and said, Thats easily taken care of. He then took out his sword and with a clean swipe decapitated Zheng Hong Tais head and placed it into a leather sack before saying, Your humble brother and Xiong Jing Lue (5) are old family friends. Xiong Jing Lue has received orders to patrol the borders and therefore sent a letter ushering me to accompany him in order to assist him with his military duties. Therefore, I have to journey to the capital and report to the authorities before I can accompany Xiong Jing Lue outside the countrys borders. When I arrive at the capital, I will be able to find a way to explain everything to the Crown Prince.

    Relieved, Zhuo Yi Hang joyfully expressed his gratitude and was then about to impart his intentions to depart when Yu Luo Cha suddenly asked, Hey, exactly which sects famed fighter are you? I would like to take a look at what your martial arts are like. Yue Ming Ke chuckled out loud and said, Youve just finished an intensive battle. Would you like to rest for a while? Yu Luo Cha replied with displeasure, I can easily combat with you for three or five days. Thus, Yue Ming Ke flipped over his sword, smiled and then said, If I wasnt interested in witnessing your martial arts for myself, I wouldnt have come here to Hua Shan today. Brother Zhuo, you were asking me a while ago which sect and school Im belong to. Just observe Yu Luo Cha and you will see in a moment. Zhuo Yi Hang exclaimed with startled bewilderment, Where in the world did this sudden desire to compete sword skills come from? Yue Ming Ke just replied, When the chess player encounters a worthy opponent, its inevitable that they will have the itch to compete in a match. (6) Brother Zhuo, if you dont have anything urgent to do right away, why dont you stay and watch this match? Yu Luo Cha was silently displeased in her heart as she was thinking: Who does this kid think he is? What makes him think that he will necessarily be a worthy opponent for me? She then immediately took the lower position and prepared herself into a fighting stance, purposely giving Yue Ming Ke the advantageous position. With a dazzling smile, she lifted up her sword and addressed Yue with a, Please.

    *********************************

    (4) Five solid and six hollow organs: 5 Zang, 6 Fu where the 5 Zang organs consisted of the liver, heart, spleen, lungs and kidney and are Yin in nature. The gallbladder, small intestine, stomach, large intestine, Urinary Bladder and San-Jian (triple warmers upper, middle and lower) comprises the 6 Fu organs that are Yang in nature.

    (5) Xiong Jing Lue: Jing Luo was a military position that was translated by someone as the managing governor. There was indeed a real historical figure called Xiong TingBi, who resided in the position of the Supervisor of Military Ministry

    (6) When the chess player encounters a worthy opponent, its inevitable that they will have the itch to compete in a match: Fun fact: Liang Yu Sheng was a fanatic of Chinese Chess. His passion for Chess can even be said to extend beyond his love for Wuxia, as even now in his old age he remains to be very interested in studying and playing a game or two. Before he wrote wuxia, he made a name for himself by writing many essays that would describe the steps and dynamics of a chess match. Many people praised his writing style for these match summaries as being even more exciting and entertaining than witnessing the actual battle in person. Traces of wuxias elements can be discerned throughout these writings, leaving many readers feeling as if they were immersed in the cold glint of the swordplay in a wuxia battle when reading about a chess match written through the pen of Liang Yu Sheng.

  11. #31
    Senior Member Du Gu seeking a win's Avatar
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    Yue Ming Ke and Yu Luo Cha stood there facing each other, each focusing their full concentration on the other person. Nobody moved for a very very long time. Suddenly, with a stir of his sword Yue Ming Ke shouted, Watch out! as the tip of his sword zipped towards Yu Luo Chas shoulder, all the while radiating sparkling cold light. With a diverting slash of her sword, a stance that was originally heading towards the left was suddenly changed to turn full circle and head towards the right. With a whoosh, Yue Ming Ke had already flipped around while simultaneously performing Coiled Dragon Blasting Twist with his treasured sword. Yu Luo Chas sword skinned past the top of his head, while with a rotate of his body the edge of Yue Ming Kes blade also arrived exactly at the right moment and in exactly the right spot against Yu Luo Chas heart. Zhuo Yi Hang was frightfully startled, but Yu Luo Cha only struck out with the speed of lighting as her valued sword brushed downwards to ward off Yue Ming Kes attack. Then with a vibration of her swords handle, her whole sword stirred and actually shot up to pierce towards Yue Ming Kes eyes. Zhuo Yi Hang was again startled, but little would he have expected Yue Ming Ke to change his stance with a speed that cannot even be discerned, much less described. With a swipe and a push of his sword, he also deflected Yu Luo Chas blade. Zhuo Yi Hang heard the both of them simultaneously exclaim with a surprised, Hey! but immediately the two swords had engaged into battle again.

    The duel continued on while still no observable winner can yet be ascertained. Zhuo Yi Hang was so transfixed by the battle, his eyes were sticking out and he felt as if his whole soul was shaken when he suddenly heard Yue Ming Ke exclaim, Go! as Yu Luo Chas body leapt up high into the air. Yet, not only were her sword stances not the least bit affected, but she continued on to execute a Soaring Phoenix Diving into Forest to bring her whole person along with her sword plunging downwards from mid air. Yue Ming Ke retaliated with the stance Raising Torch to Scorch the Heavens, causing the two swords to fiercely impact against each other. Relying on the forceful shock projecting from the two sword tips impact, Yu Luo Cha propelled her whole body forward as her rare sword blasted through with the force of a tornado. With two brushes of her sword, her blade immediately headed straight towards Yue Ming Kes back. How can this in any way be considered as a sword skill competition? This was even more dangerous, more fatal and more frightening than the intense battle within the Seven Greats Formation!

    Zhuo Yi Hang attempted to approach in order to stop this battle but Yue Ming Ke immediately swept back with his sword to prevent Zhuo Yi Hang from advancing, rendering himself unable to retaliate when he turned around only to be met with a succession of attacks from Yu Luo Cha. Yue Ming Ke was situated in the centre and was thus able to calmly and steadily deflect these stances while piercing sword after sword towards Yu Luo Chas heart. In just a blink of an eye, the battle had again returned to an equally matched state.

    Yu Luo Chas stances were all incredibly erratic and bizarre, for though you may observe her attack from right in front of you, she would suddenly appear from behind. And even when you watch her come from the right, she would unexpectedly emerge from the left. Resembling a fierce hawk soaring through the air at one moment at then resembling a ferocious tigers squatting ambush at another. Like a water snake slithering away one moment while also like a dragon leaping from a bottomless abyss at another. Her weightless body was like the flowing streams and floating clouds, while the force of her sword was like a light spirit soaring high above the air. But Yue Ming Ke was not at all afraid, and his swords attacks were not at all affected or disorganized. When he encountered a stance, he would dismantle that stance. His attacks were like the raging claps of thunderstorms, while his defences were as unperturbed as the congealed image reflected off a calm rivers tranquil surface. The peak of Hua Shan was encased in a haunting cold light as the moon has lost her luminosity and the stars robbed of their sparkle. All that can be seen was the ruling force of the sword blades, the blinding spectrum of sword energy that pierced into ones eyes. The two fighters attacked and retaliated, while the counts of their stances already reached three hundred in number.

    Zhuo Yi Hang was the prized disciple of the worlds number one swordsman, but when watching this battle, even he couldnt help but be truly amazed. The fantastical exquisiteness of these two fighters sword skills seemed to extend beyond that of even the Wu Tang sects. After observing a while, he suddenly recognized a certain principle about their attacks and couldnt help himself from repeatedly exclaiming with surprise.

    At first glance, the styles of the two fighters combat were completely different from each other. But after one studies it for a while, similarities would start to appear between the two styles. Yue Ming Kes sword skills were incredibly eclectic, as it would seem to include within it sword stances from the E-Mei sect, Song Yang sect, Shaolin sect, as well as his own Wu Tang sect. The most complex and superior moves were extracted from each sect and then slight changes would be applied in such a way so as to modify and enhance it to be even more ingenious than the original. To be able to witness this fight here today really played a huge part in the benefits that Zhuo Yi Hang would profit from in the future. But this concerns a subsequent incident.

    As for Yu Luo Cha, her style of sword art also seemed to be an eclectic mix of the most famous schools, but yet her every stance would go in the opposite direction of the original stance. For example, Hua Shan sects Golden Condor Extends Wings should originally be initiated from the left side and then proceeded towards the right. But in Yu Luo Chas hands, it went in the opposite direction of right to left. As for Wu Tang sects Erratically Seizing Life, it was supposed to proceed from the top towards the bottom, thus attacking the opponents lower body. But in her hands, it went from bottom to top, attacking the opponent at mid level.

    At first, to counter Yu Luo Chas advances, Yue Ming Ke would utilize stances from other sects to dismantle her attacks. For example, when Yu Luo Cha used Wu Tang sects Erratically Seizing Life, he would use Xue Shan sects Famed Camel Travelling a Thousand Miles to evade her stance while also attacking at the same time. But after a while, he would actually employ the stances that she imitated to disassemble her attacks. For example, when she switched the directions of the stance Golden Condor Extending Wings, to attack, he also used the original, but slightly modified Golden Condor Extending Wings stance to ward off her attack. What was even more odd was how he seemed to be able to predict her every move ahead of time, and therefore when she actually implements that stance, to counter her he would use exactly the same original stance that she imitated.

    The two fighters continued to struggle amidst their intense battle, neither of them able to come out as the winner. Zhuo was transfixed by the battle when he suddenly heard Yue Ming Ke shout Back! as Yu Luo Cha flew back more than ten feet, and was just about to approach and resume her attack when Yue Ming Ke loudly shouted, Theres no use in fighting anymore, where is your ShiFu right now? Did she relate to you the complete set of the sword skill she created? Hurry, go and tell her that the Tian Du Philosopher is waiting for her, highly anticipating their reunion.

    Yu Luo Cha suddenly retracted her sword and said, Your ShiNiang has already passed away three years ago. Yue Ming Ke was severely taken back and with an angry swipe of his esteemed sword, he shouted, Who was the villain that dared to murder her? Yu Luo Cha replied, She died when she fell into a death seizure through incorrect exertion, nobody could be blamed. Yue Ming Ke then asked, Where are her remains now? Yu Luo Cha replied, Within the Yellow Dragon Caves inner stone rooms. Once you move away the caves two screen-like slabs of rocks, you will be able to find it. Her last orders to me was that three years after the day of she died, I was to report the news of her death to Taoist Priest Zhen Qian. The original intention was to have Priest Zhen Qian deliver this message to your ShiFu, but since youve come now, go find it yourself!

    Yue Ming Ke then said, Please lead the way. Yu Luo Cha laughed coldly and said, Equally matched first rate fighters should not exist together on the same grounds. Ten years from now, Ill seek you out for another fight! And with a wave to Zhuo Yi Hang, she used her supreme levitation skills to descend the mountain. Yue Ming Ke sighed and said, Yu Luo Chas temper is truly very similar to my ShiNiangs! Zhuo Yi Hang said, Her martial arts truly are extremely skilled, but shes also too proud! Yue Ming Ke suddenly asked, I wonder where the Yellow Dragon Cave is located? Amongst the five peaks of Hua Shan, where could I find it? Zhuo Yi Hang said, I know where it is as he then led Yue Ming Ke from the Jade Maiden Peak towards the Cloud Stand Peak.


    While Yue Ming Ke was walking, he narrated to Zhuo Yi Hang the whole history of his ShiFus romantic tragedy. Yue Ming Kes ShiFu was a famous swordsman named Huo Tian Du, whose fame had already spread beyond the four seas more than thirty years ago. His wife Ling Mu Hua was also a famous expert in the art of the sword. The two of them lived on the peak of E-Mei Shan, together establishing a home and studying together, passing the years in the lifestyle of immortals. But what was not expected was how extremely competitive Ling Mu Hua would turn out to be as she was continually experiencing contempt towards her husbands success.

    Huo Tian Du spent half a lifetime trying to gather together the sword manuals of the various famous sects of the world and fixated his full attention on a complete study of them. One day, he was suddenly enlightened by an inspiration and boasted to his wife, Twenty years from now, I will be able to congregate the essence of a hundred schools of sword art together into one theory, thus forming my own unique sect. By then, I can be undefeated within the world. You better entreat me to take you as my disciple right now so that we can practice swords together. Otherwise, I wont relate to you the intricacies of my theory."This was originally intended as a joke that is dropped in causal conversation between two spouses that are teasing each other. But he couldnt have predicted that Ling Mu Huas character would be so stubborn and headstrong, as she only laughed coldly and stated, Do you think that only you can form your own unique sword skill? I can also do that. I wont call you ShiFu. Twenty years from now, we can compete together once again, then we can see whether its you whos stronger, or me."

    At that time, Huo Tian Du was only teasing his wife and therefore after having a laugh over it he took no further notice over her words. But he couldnt have predicted that when he woke up the next morning, he would discover that his wife has departed over the night without a single word and taken along with her all the manuals that Huo Tian Du collected over the years. Huo Tian Du was incredibly devastated, and even after roaming through the main seas and major mountains of the world, he still could not find her. (7) In the midst of his sorrows, he no longer desired to return to his abode on E-Mei Shan and instead seized his sword and travelled by his solitary self towards the Northwest regions. When he fell in love with Tian Shans vast and overwhelming scenery, he decided to settle down on the Tian Shans high Northern peaks thinking to himself: since my wife has already decided to establish her own school, I should also continue on with my studying so that when we meet up again in the future, we can each be the judge of the other. Though the manuals were lost, yet he has already completely memorized them within his heart and thus spent twenty yearsEtime to examine and form a style of sword art that exceeded the common to approach the heavenly. Henceforth, the sword skill was titled, the Tian Shan Sword Art."

    Yue Ming Ke was the disciple Huo took the third year he arrived at the Tian Shan. Through Yue Ming Kes progression from childhood to adulthood, he also was to practice the art of the sword as the ShiFu and his disciple would often use their newly created sword stances to spar with each other. Therefore the fact that the Tian Shan sword skill could be completed, Yue Ming Ke should also be noted for his key contribution. Two years ago, Huo Tian Du suddenly heard from the friends of the martial arts world that in the Northern Shaan area there suddenly appeared a young girl whose martial arts were incredibly exceptional and possessed of a sword skill with a mysterious background and unbelievable power. Upon calculation, Huo Tian Du realized that the span of twenty years had passed. At that time, Yue Ming Ke had already descended the mountain but Huo Tian Du called him back and told him all about the incident that happened twenty years ago. He then instructed him that when he passes by the Shaan Xi area, he must look for this Yu Luo Cha.

    Having gotten to this point, Yue Ming Ke then said, When I was just duelling with Yu Luo Cha, I noticed that her sword attacks were executed in exactly the opposite fashion as the stances that my ShiFu uses. Therefore, based on this I was able to ascertain that she was my ShiNiangs disciple." The two of them talked as they walked and before they knew it, they had already arrived at the Yellow Dragon Cave. Zhuo Yi Hang entered the cave first and was immediately greeted with the remnants of a fragrant aroma that still remained behind. Much beyond his control, the slender and enchanting image of Yu Luo Cha emerged within his mind, mixed in with an inexplicable and befuddled sense of disappointment and regret. The two of them entered further into the deeper portions of the cave and found that there were indeed two slabs of stone that were arranged together to resemble a screen. Yue Ming Ke generated his inner energy and with two whooshes of his palms caused the slabs of stone to wobble about, and with another pull with his hands he was able to move apart the two stones to emit a small opening. The two of them then entered inside and immediately saw the skeleton that was sitting amidst the centre of a stone shrine.

    Yue Ming Ke knelt down on the ground and knocked his head on the floor three loud times as a sign of reverend respect. When he lifted his head, he found that etched along the stonewalls were various sword stances. He lighted a fire and looked around everywhere, yet still was unable to find the sword manual. He figured that his ShiNiang must have destroyed it once she has familiarized herself with it. He then lifted his head towards the heavens and stated solemnly, Reverend ShiNiang, today your disciple dares to bring you to Tian Shan to be reunited with ShiFu. Please give me your blessings so that your remains may remain undisturbed along the journey."

    He then took down the skeleton and immediately discovered that amongst the shrine there was a scroll made of lambskin. Recorded within the manual were the various sword stances that were similar to the ones etched along the walls. When he arrived at the end of the manual, he found words that were written in blood. Yue Ming Ke studied these words closely and found that it was actually a broken up account of his ShiNiangs memoirs. The first two entries talked of the deep remorse that would plague her in the late nights after she departed from her husband, causing her to often jolt up from her dreams in the middle of the night. She would then bite through her fingers and then use her own blood to write down these words in the hope that twenty years later, she may use this journal to prove the profundity of her love to her husband. The following few entries talked of her progress in the development of the sword skill and then there was one section that said:

    Since Tian Du collected manuals from all over the world, he must therefore study and discover the essence of each skill in order to create an original sword art. I will purposely create a sword skill that is antagonistic towards his so that I may always be able to have the upper hand. The thunderstrike that attack first rules as lord, from now on, the swordsmen of the world would know of the authentic and the false, allowing for my sword skill to be undefeated within the world."
    After a long sigh, Yue Ming Ke then jumped over a section before he suddenly came upon an entry that read:

    Last night, a hungry pack of wolves were howling ravenously outside. I exited the cave with my sword in hand when I suddenly heard the cries of a little girl. Once I dispersed the pack of wolves, I found that amongst the wolves' pack there was a little infant girl. Her whole body was completely naked and was only about three or four years old. Once she saw me coming, she became incredibly alarmed and extremely petrified, as she immediately shot up and flew in fright while screaming sounds of ee-yah' which stood for something that was not understood by humans. Hmmm, this girl infant was raised on wolves' milk, is that not very strange? I arrived at the wolves' lair and searched around to find a piece of cloth that was already beginning to putrefy and corrode. Upon closer inspection, writings can be vaguely discerned and it can be finally ascertained that this girl's surname was Lian. Her father was a destitute and poverty-stricken scholar who had no choice but to escape to this place during hard times. After her mother died when gaving birth to her, her father abandoned her amongst the bushes by the foot of the Hua Shan. She was then adopted by the monks of the Ji Shan to be reared, but was unexpectedly abducted by a mother wolf. Surprisingly, she didnt die and would actually come across my path. Can it be predestined fate? Thus I seized this girl and brought her back to the cave as I am determined to take her as my disciple. By building on her inborn endowment, strengthening her foundation and coaching her in martial arts, she may be able to emit a beacon or two of light in the future thus also glorifying our sect."

    Yue Ming Ke waved his hands and beckoned Zhuo Yi Hang to come and read as well, while remarking, It says here that Yu Luo Cha was actually suckled by a mother wolf." Reading further, there was another entry that said, Today Lian had completely shed off all her fur (8) and I descended the mountain to visit the market in order to make her some clothes. She has already begun to speak human words and could even say mama' which really filled me with so much remorse that I couldnt stop myself from crying. Since this girl departed from the wolves' lair, her untamed wildness has gradually subsided and she was no longer biting at people and snapping at objects. I gave her the name Ni Chang' to commemorate the day when I first tailored a new set of colourful clothing for her."

    Further down, there were a few more entries that detailed Lian Ni Changs progress in her sword training. The final entry was filled with a disarray of chaotic writing that said:

    Last night I was sitting in meditation, cultivating my inner energy reserve. But suddenly I fell into a dark nightmare that projected an endless number of demons and ghosts to struggle with me. I exerted full force in combating the swarm of demons and when I woke up, my lower body was completely crippled and I could no longer move. My upper body was also starting to experience the loss of sensation. I was never able to elevate my training to the most proficient levels, thus leading to this cataclysmic misfortune of seizure through incorrect exertion. Pity that I will no longer be able to see the day when I can reunite with Tian Du."

    Yue Ming Ke sighed and said, My ShiFu once said that the progress of inner energy cultivation must not be rushed or forced, and it most definitely must not be a competition to arrive at or attain something. Its hard to imagine that even an expert like ShiNiang will also fall prey to this calamity." After Yue Ming Ke finished reading, he then placed the lambskin manual back within his possession and said, This manual is my ShiNiangs heart and soul, I want to ask somebody to bring it back to my ShiFu." In the midst of their conversation, a blaze of fire suddenly flashed from outside the cave.

    The two of them were both startled and immediately shot up just to see Priest Zhen Qian calmly step in. Yue Ming Ke let out a sigh of relief as he heard Zhen Qian explain, I happened to be very good friends with the Tian Du Philosopher and Priest Purple Sun. Two days ago, Yu Luo Cha came and implored me to take her ShiFus remains back to E-Mei Shan. But unfortunately she came upon Ying Xiu Yang and his pack of cronies, thus coming up here to battle with them instead. Only now is everything finally taken care of. Coincidently I would come across the two of you, thats truly wonderful indeed." Yue Ming Ke said, Theres no need to bring the remains back to E-Mei, my ShiFu is now residing on Tian Shan." Priest Zhen Qian said, I was informed of that a long time ago, only your ShiNiang was never aware of this fact."

    The Taoist Priest Zhen Qian had brought with him a wooden box, which he had placed outside the cave. Yue Ming Ke placed his ShiNiangs remains into the box and then suddenly said, Priest Zhen Qian, I also beseech you to bring this manual roll to Tian Shan and place it into my ShiFus hands. But you must take extreme caution not to lose it." The slight traces of displeasure appeared on Priest Zhen Qians face causing Yue Ming Ke to hurriedly add, Your humble student is not trying to be disrespectful, but this manual concerns extremely important and serious matters. If it lands into the wrong hands, the repercussions will be terribly severe." Zhen Qian thus opened the manual and looked over it before finally saying with a smile, Then I will do anything and everything I can in order to protect this manual. But are you not afraid that I will steal it?" Yue Ming Ke repeatedly insisted, I dare not." With a long laugh, Taoist Priest Zhen Qian thus placed the manual within his possession.

    Yue Ming Ke inspected the whole area once again and then suddenly took out his sword and drew wildly all over the stonewalls. In just a short lapse of time, the sword stances that were etched on the stonewalls have been all removed. Priest Zhen Qian then said, The sword art that your ShiNiang created is much too cruel and deadly. It really isnt a good idea to let it remain in this world." Zhuo Yi Hang then said, The sword skill is indeed very deadly, but if used for the right causes, it can also play a large role in eradicating the villains and instilling the peace." Zhen Qian thus laughed and said, It seems that you and Yu Luo Cha are quite understanding towards each other." Zhuo Yi Hang quickly added, Please do not tease me Elder Priest."

    After the three people had finished their final words, they all departed and each went on his separate way. After a few days of travelling during the day and sleeping through the night, Zhuo Yi Hang had finally returned home. When his old servants saw him, they were all filled with joyful tears as they said, Young master, after praying for thousands and millions of times, we are finally able to see you return to us. Old master has missed you so much that he has fallen ill from anxious concern, hes waiting to see you right now!" Zhuo Yi Hang immediately ran into the inner rooms and when he saw his grandfather, he immediately bowed down in tears. When Zhuo Zhong Xian saw him, his illness was immediately alleviated quite a bit as he said, Why are you crying? Has your father returned as well?" When Zhuo Yi Hang saw how sick his grandfather was, how could he possibly dare to tell him the truth? Therefore he only made up some excuses saying that since his father was an important official within the capital, he was not yet able to resign his position. Zhuo Zhong Xian murmured, The world of officialdom is much too dark and deadly. Its probably better to resign soon."

    After a few days, Zhuo Zhong Xians sick body started to gradually strengthened. He even began to talk about the day when he encountered Yu Luo Cha, all the while displaying the residual traces of fear. When he came to ask about Geng Shao Nans background, Zhuo Yi Hang could only relate to his grandfather the truth. It was only then that Zhuo Zhong Xian knew that his grandson was so accomplished in both the literary and martial arts, and was even a disciple of the great Wu Tang sect. Although he was shocked, he was also delighted as he said, It is a good thing to know that you are so proficient in both your martial and literary studies. But even though you are the disciple of the Wu Tang sect, you must take caution to not run around the JiangHu world recklessly. If you ever happen to come across Yu Luo Cha, there would undoubtedly be trouble because Yu Luo Cha seems to be particularly hateful towards Wu Tangs disciples." Zhuo Yi Hang dared not to mention his encounter with Yu Luo Cha and only said, After everything is properly taken care of, your grandson I will study in order to attain a proper position within the government and continue our family legacy." Zhuo Zhong Xian said, That would be even better" and then continued, To tell you the truth, Yu Luo Cha really cannot be considered a bad person. Even though she has taken away my money, yet I am not the least bit angry or hateful towards her." Hearing his grandfather say these words, Zhuo Yi Hang didnt know why, but he secretly felt joy within his heart.

    From then on, Zhuo Yi Hang kept himself within his house, dedicating himself to studying books and practicing his sword skill. After the passage of two months, the capital sent two imperial emissaries over to their house requesting to see Zhuo Zhong Xian. Zhuo Yi Hang was in his room when he heard his grandfathers anguished cries. He immediately dashed out only to see that his grandfather had already crumbled to the floor.

    Such is: Cruel sea of officialdom renders tides of heartbreak, arrival of one letter brings sorrow to shatter the soul.

    *****************

    (7) The story of Huo Tian Du and Ling Mu Hua/Ling Yun Feng is mainly narrated in LYSs Lian Jian Feng Yun Lu." However, what should be noted is that Liang wrote Lian Jian" about 4 years after he wrote Bai Fa Mo Nu Zhuan", thus the characters and incidents that were outlined here in Bai Fa" would turn out differently in Lian Jian." What was detailed in Lian Jian" was a relationship between two well matched people who has gone through a lot together and who loved and cared about each other very much, but due to personality differences and further disagreements and misunderstandings, they had to eventually separate from each other. The relationship between Huo and Ling in Lian Jian" would turn out to be a very sophisticated exploration into the disintegration of a marriage, and not the fragile and childish separation that would seem to be portrayed in this passage. The character of Ling Mu Hua (who later renamed herself as Ling Yun Feng") would also be very different than what seems to be portrayed in the brief summary that appeared in Bai Fa."

    (8) Today Lian had completely shed off her fur" . According to an age-old myth, it was said that an infant who was raised by nursing on wolfs milk will end up growing fur all over its body.

  12. #32
    Senior Member Du Gu seeking a win's Avatar
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    Default Post Translation Rant

    By Fairie Queene (JY Forum)


    One of the things that impacted me the most in this chapter was Yu Luo Cha's past and the story about both her and Yue Ming Ke's ShiFu. As I already mentioned in the footnote, the story between Ling Mu Hua/Ling Yun Feng and Huo Tian Du really did not progress as what was described in the summary provided here in WHD. It seems that by the time LYS got to writing "Lian Jian" he has decided to depict the characters differently and seemed to have taken sympathy towards as well as expressing respect and admiration for the character of Ling Mu Hua whom he has thus renamed as Ling Yun Feng to highlight the "Ling Yun Yi Feng" quality about her. It's said that Ling Mu Hua renamed herself as "Ling Yun Feng" ... where "Ling Yun" means something like "high clouds" and "Feng" means Phoenix. Thus the term "Ling Yun Yi (one) Feng" works very well to highlight her character. Though this sense of standing out above and beyond the common crowd is in a way a proud and arrogant claim, but at the same time it also emphasizes the majestic boldness and high ambition that simultaneously characterizes her. Ling Yun Feng in "Lian Jian" often comes across (to me) as being even more admirable and impressive than her husband despite her many faults.

    Within Ling Mu Hua's narration, examples of the haunting darkness that would sometimes pervade into LYS's writing can be found ... the writing of one's memoirs using one's own blood reminds me of another character in another LYS book. The subsequent novel he wrote after "Bai Fa" was one of his favourite and most famous novel "Ping Zhong Xia Ying Lu." In that book, there was a female character called Ye Ying Ying (also known as the "Heaven Soaring Dragon Girl") who bares the same kind of competitive and rebellious nature that characterizes Yu Luo Cha & Ling Mu Hua.

    When Ye Ying Ying was bequeathed a sword skill from her ShiFu (Chen Xuan Ji), each of her three other martial art brothers were also taught a martial art skill of their own. But their ShiFu has also ordered that they were NOT allowed to relate their skill to each other, and even when practicing their skills, they must do so separately from each other. Ye Ying Ying and her martial arts brother Xie Tian Hua were extremely close and were also in love with each other, but because Ye Ying Ying was filled with curiosity over this secrecy in the separate practice of martial arts, she continually hounded him to perform for her his sword skill, only to be continually met with Xie Tian Hua's refusal. When he came to visit her one New Years' eve, she once again urged him to show her his martial arts, but he only smiled and remained silent. Thus she took her sword out and attacked him, hoping to force him to use his martial arts. But she couldn't have expected that he wouldn't retaliate and would just stand there to sustain her attack, causing her to wound him accidentally. After this, Xie Tian Hua left and her ShiFu came to reprimand her severely, ordering her to remain on a mountain for fifteen years. Over these 15 years, Ye Ying Ying would be continually plagued with regret and remorse over what she has done. From then on, every New Years Eve, when she would be overcome with sorrow and pain, she would take out a small knife and draw on her arm in order to relieve the pain in her heart through the distraction of inducing pain on her body. For every year that passed, she would draw a petal to a rose, thus forming a beautiful red bloodstained rose on her arm. As she said while half laughing and half crying, "Look at this big red flower that has been drenched with my blood, is it not very beautiful?"

    Kind of haunting isn't it? Though I think that there is a sort of beauty to this darkness.

    Well ...

    A few more passages I thought may be useful to point out:

    First the obvious: in this chapter we catch a glimpse of YLC's patriotism and the mercy she shows to Priest Green Pine and Song Yang Swordsman Zhao Ting by letting them go.

    When YLC was finishing off the Jade Faced Demonic Fox Ling Xiao, she originally had a choice to either go after Zheng Hong Tai or Ling Xiao. But YLC chose to go after LX mainly b/c he pissed her off before. But at that point, it was more important to capture Zheng Hong Tai b/c he was the one who was conspiring w/ the Manchurians. I think this is a good passage to show what I consider to be one of YLC's worst traits. Though some people dislike her for being too cruel and wild, these qualities don't bother me at all ... in fact, I think it's cool. However, the one quality about her that I truly dislike is that her inability to concentrate on the larger picture and how she succumbs too easily to her impulses. Her indulgence in her impulses is in a way a good thing because it makes her interesting and a very colourful character that stands in the face of conventions and authorities. However, I always felt that considering her abilities, she should have done something truly great and wonderful. It would be better if she could have controlled these impulses once in a while. Therefore her character really can't be elevated to the statue of a **true** "Heroine" even though she was indeed brave, courageous, strong and possessed many heroic qualities such as righteousness, patriotism and mercy to those who deserved it. But she lacks that great sense of altruism and acceptance that would characterize a true hero.

    Even though YLC is not at all stupid (she is streetwise), she lacks that "larger/greater intelligence" which I think could have made her an even greater woman. Such a sense of impulsiveness such as she shows in this passage, is in my opinion, one of Liang Yu Sheng's greatest criticism to her character. Yet at the same time, I don't think that she wasn't capable of attaining the larger form of intelligence, and I think LYS probably recognized this as well. Because YLC had to grow up quickly and was experienced within the JiangHu world, she sometimes would seem to have a good grasp on the great philosophies of life. But working in very well with her character, YLC never had the education and guidance that would have been needed to develop this quality. She seems for the most part as someone who comes across as the wild child who survived and was subsequently discovered amongst a crowd of hungry wolves. One thing that seems very clear from the narration on YLC's childhood though ... YLC is a survivor.

    Furthermore on Yu Luo Cha, in her interactions with Yue Ming Ke, we catch a glimpse of her insecurities. I find this to be a very humane shade in her character. Even a very proud and confident character such as Yu Luo Cha will have moments of where she will be filled with insecurities (and perhaps also embarrassment/shame in her upbringings/past). Similarly, when she can be so tough and decisive about everything else, she would also have difficulty letting go of her uncertain relationship with Zhuo Yi Hang.

    As for Yue Ming Ke, I've always found LYS's description of him to be kind of strange ... "big ears" ??? ... just seems like a strange choice of words. But thinking over it this time around, I've developed another theory as to why LYS might have chosen this physical characterization. But this concerns a subsequent incident that won't be of importance until near the end.

    The kind of miscommunication between YLC and YMK will also surface again later in their interactions. It's amusing to see it play out here right from the very beginning.

    Of course, the infamous part where ZYH whispers in YLC's ears should be mentioned. Really Arctic was right ... it really did come out of nowhere and was quite out of character ... hehe

    Finally, did anybody else has found this passage to be really beautiful? (I don't mean the translated words, but the whole concept that was expressed by the words):

    Yu Luo Cha's stances were all incredibly erratic and bizarre, for though you may observe her attack from right in front of you, she would suddenly appear from behind. And even when you watch her come from the right, she would unexpectedly emerge from the left. Resembling a fierce hawk soaring through the air at one moment at then resembling a ferocious tiger's squatting ambush at another. Like a water snake slithering away one moment while also like a dragon leaping from a bottomless abyss at another. Her weightless body was like the flowing streams and floating clouds, while the force of her sword was like a light spirit soaring through the air. But Yue Ming Ke was not at all afraid, and his sword's attacks were not at all affected or disorganized. When he encountered a stance, he would dismantle that stance. His attacks were like the raging claps of thunderstorms, while his defences were as unperturbed as the congealed image reflected off a calm river's tranquil surface. The peak of Hua Shan was encased in a haunting cold light as the moon has lost her luminosity and the stars robbed of their sparkle. All that can be seen was the ruling force of the sword blades, the blinding spectrum of sword energy that pierced into one's eyes.

    For me, I find this passage to be very beautiful (especially when read in its original Chinese). **Generally** speaking LYS's *description* (not actual theory) of martial arts in particular, tends to be (for me) more metaphorical and vague than JY's. When JY writes, he tends to be more detailed and specific about the dynamics of the various moves and forms of martial arts ... which is great. LYS's writing tends to be for me, more fantastical ... which is also great. LYS's characters, martial arts and setting tends to be more heavily coated with a shade of fantasy ... the characters tends to embody qualities of perfection, the exchange of martial arts (esp. swords) often would literally involve spectrums of light beams (very "Zu" Mountain form of fantasy), where a character's image can appear in 8 different directions at one time (which reminds me of modern cinematic editing techniques) and they would move at a ghostly speed (zooming from location to location in a matter of milliseconds).

    JY's characters also tend to be more grounded in reality ... his heroines and heroes are not perfect (but often will be greatly flawed), and their motivations, desires and hatred are also more human, more rooted in the beauty and baseness of mankind (whereas LYS's heroes and heroines sometimes would seem to be closer to the more honourable, less complicated and more idealistic nature of the immortals). Thus I particularly like "Bai Fa Mo Nu Zhuan" b/c I find the characters to be more human and complex.

    I think both writers' styles and approaches are great in their own right, and to allow both to exist would make wuxia more interesting. B/c I don't really care very much about the dynamics of the actual martial arts fighting, I tend to particularly enjoy the dreamlike beauty quality in LYS's description of fighting ... where the metaphorical nature of Chinese language compounded with LYS's writing style just delivers to me a certain kind of romantic atmosphere and fantastical imagination.

    BTW., sorry that it took me soooo long to finish this chapter ... I already brought this translation to work in attempts to steal some time and work on it ... but that didn't work out very well. But I think I will be home more now, so hopefully I can deliver the next chapters at a faster pace

    Chapter 5 & 6 will be good ... it was during these chapters that I truly began getting into the story. But I think I will post chapter 5 in parts as I wanted to work on the HSDS chapter that I begged Meh to allow me to translate as well.

    Thanks for reading!

  13. #33

    Default Chapter 5, I think

    Well, since it seems like the two people who were doing this posting thing have taken a little break, I'll make the effort to transfer this thing over from JYDF to over here just this one time. Once again, this is by Farie Queene of JYDF fame}

    Happy holidays folks! I tried to get this out earlier, but alas, I failed

    Quick recap (since I know it's been really long since I last updated): Yu Luo Cha had this huge fight against 7 figters on the peak of Hua Shan (one of the fighters was Zhuo Yi Hang, her love interest). ZYH realized that these people he was fighting together with were basically bad people and ended up turning around to help Yu Luo Cha in kicking their asses. One of the bad guys (Zheng HOng Tai) runs away but was captured by a mysterious swordsman called Yue Ming Ke (who turns out to be the disciple of the husband of Yu Luo Cha's ShiFu ... so in a way, he's actually YLC's martial arts brother). They finished off Zheng Hong Tai after getting him to reveal the identities of the other baddies who were conspiring with the Manchurians. Then YLC and Yue Ming Ke has a duel. They are equally tied, causing YLC to leave in a huff. YMK goes with ZYH to YLC's abode, where she said they could find the remains of her Shifu and her sword manual. That's where they discover the history of YLC and her ShiFu's past. A Priest called Zhen Qian shows up (he's the friend of YMK, YLC and ZYH's Shifus) and YMK asks him to please escort his ShiNiang remains and sword manual back to Tian Shan where his ShiFu is waiting (YMK himself has to go to Beijing for dispatch so that he can help Military Commissioner Xiong to fight against foreign invaders). ZYH goes back to his ancestoral home to reunite with his sickly grandfather. He spends a few months studying books and sword, when one day Imperial emissaries from the capital arrives and asks to see Zhuo's grandfather (who was a retired official). ZYH suddenly hears a scream and rushes out to find ...


    Chapter 5

    Trouble Hits Smooth Road
    Villain Strikes With Deadly Hand
    Little City Catches Fire
    Wicked Conspiracy Revealed in Dungeon

    As soon as Zhuo Yi Hang stepped out of the room, the first sight he was met with was the sickly yellow colour of his grandfathers face. At that time, his grandfathers breathing had grown so faint that it was barely hanging by a thread. Zhuo Yi Hang hurriedly ordered his servants to carry his grandfather into the bedroom, but because the imperial emissaries were also present at that time, somebody needed to be there to attend to them. Therefore even though Zhuo Yi Hang's heart was in a state of great turmoil, he had no choice but to remain behind. The head emissary was greatly alarmed and said apologetically, The Emperor misses Old Master Zhuo so very much, but nobody could have predicted that just one edict would have brought so much sorrow to master Zhuo. Zhuo Yi Hang asked, What did the edict say? Can its contents be disclosed? The two imperial emissaries and Zhuo Zhong Lian were officials that used to belong to the same palace hall, thus they were on fairly good terms with each other. Therefore they truthfully related to Zhuo Yi Hang the details of the Emperors sudden decision to recall Zhuo Zhong Lian back into the palace.

    Because Emperor Shen Zong had previously placed his confidence in the wrong people, he ended up ordering the execution of Zhuo Yi Hang's father Zhuo Ji Xian. Although the case was revoked and justice was reinstated afterwards so that Zhuo Ji Xian was further titled as the Vice Instructor of the Crown Prince, yet the Emperor's guilt-ridden heart still remained to be unsettled. One day when he was conversing with the Grand Academician Fang Cong, Shen Zong suddenly thought of Zhuo Ji Xian's father Zhuo Zhong Lian, and remarked with a long sigh, Both father and son were such capable and honest officials. I wonder if Zhuo Zhong Lian would blame me(1) when he sees the Imperial Announcement?(2) Fang Cong replied, Zhuo Zhong Lian and his ancestors have been blessed under the palace's care for generations, how could he possibly harbour any resentful blame? If your majesty misses him, the position for the Minister of the Personnel Department is vacant at the present moment, why not recall him back to the capital? Shen Zong said, You have read my mind, right now the palace is indeed in desperate need of experienced and knowledgeable officials who has the state's best interest in mind. Therefore he immediately wrote out an edict and then sent two imperial emissaries to personally deliver the edict to Shaanxi and bring Zhuo Zhong Lian back to the capital. Within the edict, there was mention of Zhuo Ji Xian being titled as the Vice Instructor of the Crown Prince. Shen Zong's intentions were solely that of expressing gratitude towards his official, but he never would have guessed that Zhuo Zhong Lian haven't even read the Imperial Announcement yet and would instead come across the news of his son's death. Zhuo Zhong Lian was no longer able to withstand the shock as grief and sorrow overwhelmed his frail body that had barely recovered from his previous illnesses to begin with.

    Their conversation was suddenly interrupted by sounds of crying coming from within the inner rooms. The imperial emissaries hurriedly insisted, Honoured brother, do not worry about obliging us. Please give Old Master Zhuo our sincere respects. Zhuo Yi Hang expressed his regrets and immediately ran into the inner room. All of his servants were in a state of confusion and turmoil for Zhuo Zhong Lian was on the brink of death. When he saw Zhuo Yi Hang come in, he beckoned with his hands while saying, Come over here. Zhuo Yi Hang ran towards his grandfather's side and with tears in his eyes cried, Grandpa, please forgive your grandson for being so unfilial. Zhuo Zhong Lian mumbled brokenly, From now on, you don't have to take your state examinations. Stay at home to study and take care of the agricultural business instead. Then with a convulsion of his two feet, Zhuo Zhong Lian stopped breathing. Zhuo Yi Hang burst into a tearful wail as his servants tried to console him by saying, Old master lived past his sixtieth year and in the end died peacefully in his sleep. Please do not be too overly stricken with grief young master. The reverend emissaries are still outside. We should ask them to report to the Emperor while we start to arrange the funeral and burial ceremonies. Zhuo Yi Hang forced off his tears and returned to the main hall to inform the emissaries who were also very sympathetic.

    The emissaries spent the night at the Zhuo household and by the next day, the Zhuo family had already erected a memorial tablet while they placed the coffin in one of the West rooms. As Zhuo Zhong Lian's co-patriots, the two emissaries lighted three sticks of incense in front of the tablet, paying their respects in a very solemn and reverential manner. Zhuo Yi Hang himself knelt by the floor, returning the courteous act by bowing his head as a sign of expressing his gratitude. The head emissary extended his hand to help him up while saying, Honoured brother, please take care of yourself. We will return to the capital and report to the Emperor, and will most definitely try to secure a posthumous title for Old Master. The housekeepers had already prepared the funds and resources for the emissaries return trip, and was just about to see them to the doors when Zhuo Yi Hang suddenly leaped up and cried out in a trembling voice, Honoured Emissaries please remain behind!

    The Imperial Emissaries and housekeeper were all greatly taken back, for they all thought: Zhuo Yi Hang was a well-bred person who has always been very well-mannered. Why would he suddenly erupt into such an unrefined act of discourtesy? Jumping up so abruptly was already highly frowned upon, but to further order the imperial emissaries to remain behind was even more impertinent and ill-mannered. The housekeeper quickly stammered, Young master, the Old master was glorified during his life and mourned after his death. Now the reverend Emissaries have come in person to pay their final respects, shouldn't you quickly express your gratitude towards the gracious Emperor? Zhuo Yi Hang took a brief moment to calm himself down before saying abruptly, Honoured Emissaries, please accompany me inside to the inner rooms for a brief rest. The housekeeper's heart was palpitating so wildly that even his muscles were twitching, while the countenance of the Imperial Emissaries darkened with displeasure.

    Zhuo Yi Hang led the two emissaries into the study while the housekeeper followed behind them. Upon arrival at the room, Zhuo Yi Hang turned to the housekeeper and ordered him to Go outside and stay by the shrine while he closed the door on him. The housekeeper was terribly worried as he couldn't understand why his young master's behaviour was so abnormal. Could it be that he was possessed by some kind of demon? But because he didn't think it was proper to inquire further in front of the emissaries, he could only retreat outside while mumbling all the way, May the heavenly lord protect us with your blessings.

    The two emissaries were both perplexed and suspicious, for they thought that Zhuo Yi Hang had wanted to beseech them for something. But because Zhuo was in the midst of conducting a funeral ceremony, they therefore felt that even if he was desirous to secure a position in the realm of officialdom, it can certainly wait until another time. After Zhuo had locked up the door to the room, he immediately asked in a hushed voice, Honoured Emissaries, may I ask whether you are feeling any signs of discomfort or sickness? The head emissary's colour changed as he exclaimed, Of course not! The sub emissary said, Honoured brother you have provided such excellent accommodations for us that even though our ages may indeed be old, yet our old bodies can still withstand a bit of toil from all this traveling around and bustling about. However esteemed brother, you on the other hand still have to complete the duties of filial piety, it is more important for you to take care and not be overly saddened so that you yourself won't fall prey to sickness. There were traces of sarcasm and scathing contempt in the words and tone of the emissary, but Zhuo Yi Hang continued, Honoured emissaries, please pardon me for my brazenness, but while we were back in the hall I noticed that there appears to be an aberrant anomaly on the centre of Official Li's right palm.

    The head emissary was surnamed Li, and when he heard these words he quickly flipped over his palms for a look. Immediately his countenance blanched, as his expression became one of panic and surprise for all over his palms was a rash of red bumps, much resembling a case of measles. The sub emissary was surnamed Zhou, and when he flipped over his hands for a look, he was also met with the same condition. Zhuo Yi Hang said, I would like to ask the both of you to use your nail to tweak the bumps and see if there is any pain. The two emissaries followed his instructions, and with the very long fingernails that ancient scholars were fond of leaving, they used their left hand's index finger to stab at their right palm. Not only was there no pain whatsoever, but there was actually a bit of numbness. Zhuo Yi Hang continued, Honoured emissaries, please use your fingers to lightly massage the seventh joint at the back of your neck and see what happens? By that time, the two emissaries were under the full control of Zhuo Yi Hang's words, as they became as compliant and obedient as little children. They each used their fingers to massage the seventh joint of the other person's spine. With just a light application of pressure, they both screamed out in pain as they hurriedly cried out, What does this mean? How did esteem brother know of this?

    With a sigh Zhuo Yi Hang said, Honoured emissaries, I'm afraid that you've fallen prey to a furtive attack. These are the signs of the JiangHu world's deadly Venomous Palms of the Yin Winds.(3) I was only able to notice it when Official Li extended his hands to help me up. It seems that the red spots have only recently begun to erupt, which is why honoured emissaries have not been able to notice it yet. After one has been injured by the Venomous Palms of the Yin Winds, if that person does not receive treatment within 24 hours after exhibiting the first signs, I'm afraid that it will pose a threat to one's life. Therefore your respectful minor had no choice other than to behave so discourteously in order that I may inform honoured officials of the situation. It should be understood that in the feudal imperial dynasties, the imperial emissaries were a representation of the Emperor himself. If they did indeed die within the Zhuo household, not only would the whole Zhuo lineage be faced with the danger of confiscation and extermination, but even the high officials of the region will be dragged into the matter. The repercussions were so severe that even though Zhuo was in mourning, he had no choice but to personally handle this matter.

    By now, the faces of the two emissaries have turned the colour of parched earth as they hurriedly pleaded, Then I beseech you Brother Zhuo, please heal us! Zhuo Yi Hang called in his housekeeper and told him to first isolate a vacant room. He then left orders that unless the closest relatives and friends of the household came to call, otherwise they were not to release news of the old master's death to the public yet. When they were inside the vacant room, Zhuo then took out some gold needles and used them to penetrate into the Ji Xin, Feng Wei and Jing Cu acupoints of the emissaries bodies. The two emissaries immediately felt their stomach to fill up with gastric acid and then they both spitted out a mouthful of yellow fluid. Not long after, their whole body started to burn with heat. Zhuo Yi Hang said, I am taking advantage of our early detection but I would like to ask honoured emissaries to please lie down for the time being for we still have to continue the treatment later tonight. He then proceeded to collect his needles when he suddenly asked, Who are the guards responsible for honoured emissaries' safety? Can they be trusted?

    Emissary Li replied, The Emperor sent us the imperial bodyguard, Commander Qin to accompany us on our trip outside the Imperial City. This person is a descendant from a long lineage of imperial bodyguards and is a trusted servant of the Emperor. Furthermore, his character is honest and upright, there would be no reason for him to assassinate us. Zhuo Yi Hang said, Your unworthy brother I would still like to ask him to step inside for a few words. Emissary Li said, As you wish then and therefore Zhuo Yi Hang sent his housekeeper to bring in the Commander Qin. This man was of average height and built, and though he looked to be quite kind, yet you could tell right away that he didn't possess the brightest disposition.

    Zhuo Yi Hang said to him, I have long heard of your great name, it is a pleasure to meet you as he extended his hand to shake Commander Qin's hand. Commander Qin immediately jumped back for his wrist was suddenly overcome with an aching numbness. He looked over and discovered that the faces of the two emissaries were so red that it was as if they were being burned by fire as they laid on the bed with sweat pouring from their foreheads. He was severely taken back and shouted, How dare you try to secretly attack the Imperial Emissaries? and with a flip of his hands, he immediately attacked with his palm. Zhuo Yi Hang jumped out of the way while the two emissaries immediately ordered for them to halt. Zhuo Yi Hang said, Forgive my rude behaviour Commander, but I was only trying to clear the suspicion for you. The emissaries have fallen under a furtive attack, but the person who attacked them was not me and it was you. I am hoping to have a word with you Commander.

    The Commander Qin was about as quick and sharp as a wooden chicken, thus it was only after Zhuo Yi Hang had finished speaking did he finally realize, So you were just testing me? Zhuo Yi Hang replied, I dare not. I only wanted to see whether Commander Qin knew the Venomous Palms of the Yin Winds. But now I know that though Commander Qin's martial art skills are superb, yet you've never practiced this deadly set of palms. Commander Qin said with alarm, What Venomous Palms of the Yin Winds? Zhuo Yi Hang replied, The two honoured emissaries have fallen prey to the furtive attacks of these Venomous Palms. Thus he led Commander Qin over to the sick bed to have a look, and outlined in detail the various symptoms of the Venomous Palms. Though in actuality, Commander Qin's martial arts were not particularly skilled, yet he was still quite knowledgeable and therefore recognized that Zhuo Yi Hang's words were not false. A cold sweat erupted all over his whole body as he immediately expressed his gratitude.

    Zhuo Yi Hang explained, The potency of the Venomous Palms of the Yin Winds lies in the fact that it doesn't kill immediately, but rather takes its effect gradually. Judging from their symptoms, it should be about three days ago when the honoured emissaries were secretly attacked. Commander, I'd like you to think carefully. Did you come across any suspicious looking people during the past few days? Commander Qin silently muttered an I'm so ashamed, before lowering his head, lost in deep thought. Emissary Li suddenly asked, Can it be the old man who served us tea? Commander Qin has also thought to that as well for he immediately exclaimed, At that time I also found him to be somewhat suspicious, but seeing that he was of such an old age and didn't seem to be a person who was harbouring any powers, in my moment of carelessness, I actually let him go.

    Zhuo Yi Hang quickly inquired about the old man who served them tea. Emissary Li said, Three days ago, we were taking shade under a tree beside the road, quite overcome with thirst. Suddenly, there was an old man who passed by while lugging around a big pail of cool tea. Coincidently, he happened to rest under the same tree's shade. When we were talking, he told us that he was bringing tea to his family who were working on the farm. After talking to him for a while, he heard that we were headed for your mansion and said that he was one of your farmers, and even detailed for us the directions to your house. He was the one who offered a bowl of tea to the two of us, but Commander Qin didn't drink any. When he handed us the bowl, he pressed his finger against my palm briefly, but at that time I didn't take much notice. Emissary Zhou added, When he brought me tea, his finger also bumped against my palm. Zhuo Yi Hang said, That's it then. Did he know that the two of you were emissaries? Commander Qin said, The bandits that were stationed along the Chuan-Shaan paths are as numerous as the strands of hair on a person's head. Now that we have to journey through these roads, how could we possibly dare to display the status of our governmental positions?

    Zhuo Yi Hang did not say anything as he thought over their words, but the more he thought about it, the more terrified he became. This old man was obviously trying to bring blame onto his household. He thought to: If the emissaries had died from poisoning after immediately paying a visit to my house, then by that time, even all the waters of the Yellow River can't wash my house from blame! While pondering over this matter, his servant suddenly came running while simultaneously calling with alarm, Master, master! Zhuo Yi Hang pushed open the doors of the room and scolded, What's wrong? His servant replied, There's a young man outside whose face is bruised and swollen as if he has just been in a fight with others. He barged in, requesting to see you master. We told him that our household is in mourning and our master will not receive any guests. But he wouldn't listen to us, and continued to force his way through. When we struck out to stop him, he only had to extend out his arm to block us and already all the people who advanced ended up falling backwards. We were just about to shoe him outside when he suddenly begged for forgiveness and said that he was in a hurry to see Master you, and was not intentionally trying to hurt us.

    Zhuo Yi Hang said, Is that so? and immediately asked to be excused from the emissaries before closing the room doors behind him and then ran out to the main reception hall. All that was seen was a person on the steps who loudly cried, Brother Zhuo! Oh man, I'm so glad I made it to see you! Upon a closer look, Zhuo Yi Hang discovered that it was Meng Can's disciple Bai Min. Zhuo Yi Hang only saw him once in Beijing and had merely exchanged a few words with him. They could hardly be considered as acquaintances, thus Zhuo Yi Hang really could not understand why he would travel such great distances to come here and visit him.

    ****************************
    1)me: The actual term used in the original novel was actually Zhen (literally means I/me) which is a term that is solely reserved for the Emperors use.
    2)Imperial Announcement: the original term is Di Chao which is sometimes also known as Di Bao (Bao can literally translate as announcement/newsletter/paper). The Imperial Announcements basically served the purpose of a periodical newsletter that is delivered to the major officials in order to detail the recent decisions and major events of the imperial courts.
    3)Venomous Palms of the Yin Winds: The original title of this martial art was actually Yin feng du sha zhang which should literally translate as something like: Palms of the Yin Winds and Venomous pellets/grains/sand. But because this martial art is mentioned quite often, the translator has decided to shorten the title in order to bring about a better linguistic flow.
    春花秋月几时了,
    往事知多少?
    小楼昨夜又东风,
    故国不堪回首明月中.
    雕栏玉砌应犹在,
    只是朱颜改.
    问君能有几多愁,
    恰似一江春水向东流.
    --南唐后主,李煜.

  14. #34

    Default

    Bai Min joined his hands together and bowed by kneeling to the floor and pleading, Save me brother Zhuo! Zhuo Yi Hang asked, Brother Bai, what trouble are you in? Bai Min replied, I'm not in any trouble, but I've only been beaten up by a bunch of people for no reason, plus sustaining the attack of the Venomous Palms of the Yin Winds on top of it all! Zhuo Yi Hang was shocked, thinking Venomous Palms of the Yin Winds again? while he hurriedly took him into the inner rooms and asked him to explain in detail.

    What had happened was that as soon as Bai Min received notice about Meng Can dying from his injuries, he immediately returned to discover that Wang Zhao Xi was his little martial art sister's betrothed husband. When he saw what a young and promising hero Wang Zhao Xi was, in the midst of his great sorrow over his ShiFu's sudden death, there was also joy in knowing that his martial arts sister will now have a worthy person to take care of her for the rest of her life. But he never would have expected that Wang Zhao Xi would suddenly disappear the next day without as much as a single word. Meng QiuXia cried and cried and cried, but regardless of how hard Bai Min tried to console her, his martial arts sister still would not say or respond to anything.

    Having gotten to this part, Bai Min asked with a very clueless expression, Brother Zhuo, you're friends with brother Wang, tell me, what do you think made him act so strangely? He traveled so many miles just for the sole purpose of receiving his bride, now that he happened to come across his father-in-law's death, regardless of what, he should act as half a son and organize the funeral proceedings. Why would he suddenly run away and leave everything behind, including his own wife? My martial arts sister is acting equally strange. It's not my fault that brother Wang suddenly left! But she's completely ignoring me, as if it was me who made him go away! Zhuo Yi Hang was able to come up with a theory after just briefly analyzing over the situation. He was thinking to himself, It really was because of you that he went away while simultaneously consoling Bai Min, It's only a small misunderstanding. I'll explain everything to brother Wang later and everything will be okay. Bai Min asked, Explain to him about what? I didn't do him any wrong, and he's done nothing to wrong me! There's no need for you to explain anything to him. If you talk to him, he might actually laugh at us and think that theres a petty squabble between us siblings. But in all honesty, we didn't even have a fight! My sister herself even told me later that it wasn't my fault, and then she also told me to go to sleep. So I listened to her and went to sleep, but when I woke up the next day, I found that even she's left as well!

    Zhuo Yi Hang said, What? She's left as well? Bai Min said, Yeah! ShiFu has just been buried, and not only does she not stay home to mourn, but she actually goes out to run after her husband! Zhuo Yi Hang asked, How did you know that she went to look for Wang Zhao Xi? Bai Min replied, Because that's what she said in the note that she left me! She also told me to stay home to keep company by ShiFus shrine for her, and that I was not to run around outside in case I cause any trouble. Upon hearing these words, had Zhuo Yi Hang not been in mourning, he would have most likely been unable to hold back his laughter. He couldn't believe how goofy and foolish this guy was, he was being misunderstood by others and yet he was completely clueless! Bai Min paused before continuing, I was worried that my sister would come across danger traveling by herself, so even though she told me not to run around, I still had to come after her. Having gotten to this part, he suddenly raised his hands.

    The red measles on the center of his palm were visibly striking, causing Zhuo Yi Hang to ask, Did you also come under attack three days ago? Bai Min replied, Yeah! When I arrived in the Western Shaan area, I realized that I didn't know where Wang Zhao Xi lived. Your residence on the other hand is much easier to find. As soon as I asked about the Zhuo family who had once resided in the position of the Supreme Commander, many people knew where you lived. I thought that since it was so much easier to find you, you can most likely tell me where Wang lived. Zhuo Yi Hang replied, Actually, I don't know where he lives either. Bai Min said, Man! If only I knew that earlier! I wish I hadn't come to find you because as soon as I arrived in Yan An City, I realized that there was somebody tailing me!

    Zhuo Yi Hang remarked, That's good that you kept your guard up. Bai Min replied, I still know a few things about the basic rules of survival in the JiangHu world. The day before yesterday I was passing by PanLong Shan (4) and everything was just fine and dandy when suddenly a pair of riders came up behind me and asked if I was going to see the Gao Qiao Town's Zhuo family. When I said that I was, those two guys suddenly jumped down from their horses and started to attack me out of the blue for no reason! Zhuo Yi Hang asked, Really? So you lost to them? Bai Min replied, Man, those two stinkers were really tough. At first I could pull even with them in battle, but I eventually found it harder and harder to ward off their attacks. Standing behind them was an old man who didn't lift a finger himself, but just stood there repeatedly saying, 'I want him alive, not dead. I almost thought I was going to die from anger! So the execution of my fist attacks became more and more disorganized and more and more muddled because of this anger.

    Zhuo Yi Hang then asked, So how did you manage to escape them in the end? Bai Min replied, During the beginning of this year, I went to the Tian Qiao(5) and saw a fortune teller who told me that because this was a year that was being ruled by my astrological house, many troubles will be coming along my way. But, I will be able to overcome these dangers every time and my perils will turn into providence. Zhuo Yi Hang couldn't stop himself from saying, I'm asking you how you escaped the danger! Why are you suddenly talking about getting your fortune read at the Tian Qiao? What does that have to do with anything? Bai Min replied, But that fortune teller really did know what he was talking about. At that time, I was in great danger and was staring defeat straight in the face, but suddenly the sound of somebody's cold laughter came from the direction of the PanLong Shan's mountaintop. The sound of that laughter was extremely piercing to the ears, and the old man was suddenly heard to shout out, Retreat quickly! The sounds of laughter and shouting were mixed together, and while the last sounds lingered in the air, that person was already seen to fly down from the top of the mountain. Like a shooting comet, that person ripped across the distance with the speed of a flying arrow and the two stinkers I fought with were immediately tossed aside as soon as they came into contact with that person. The old man who was giving the orders leaped forward, and in a flash delivered two palms my way. Just when I extended my palm to ward off that attack, somebody was suddenly heard to say in a low voice by my ear, Move away! as a loud scream was immediately heard to come from the old man who has already been thrown backwards. Then after he picked up his two cronies, they immediately ran for their lives. It was only then that I was finally able to see that the person who had saved me was a beautiful young woman!

    A thought immediately struck Zhuo Yi Hang as he blurted out, Yu Luo Cha! Bai Min asked, What Yu Luo Cha? Zhuo Yi Hang replied, That woman's name is Yu Luo Cha, she is a powerful bandit in the Southern Shaan area. Didn't you know? Bai Min said, Oh, so she knows you! No wonder she told me to come find you. Well, back to the story: as the old man start running away, she didn't chase after him but only remained behind and laughed while saying, 'Your Venomous Palms of the Yin Winds is not too shabby. When do you want to get together for another fight? After the man had escaped a far distance, she suddenly grabbed my hand and flipped over my palm to study it. I asked her, 'Hey, are you going to read my fortune too?' She said, 'Silly boy, who said I was reading your fortune? You've been injured by the Venomous Palms of the Yin Winds.' And then she took out a pill and told me to swallow it before saying, 'I can only prevent your martial arts from degenerating by helping to preserve your central Qi. But I don't know how to cure the Venomous Palms of the Yin Winds. Hurry to Zhuo Yi Hang's place, he's the sole disciple of Wu Tang's Purple Sun Taoist Priest. The old priest Purple Sun is experienced with curing these kinds of venomous poisons. Go now! Hurry!

    Zhuo Yi Hang remarked, No wonder your symptoms are so moderate! So it was Yu Luo Cha who used medication to preserve your central Qi. To cure these kinds of venomous and deadly poisons was indeed the specialty of Wu Tang's Purple Sun Taoist Priest. By studying under him during the last twelve years, Zhuo Yi Hang was able to inherit this skill as well. Therefore, he took out his golden needles and pierced the essential acupoints for Bai Min in order to relieve his poison and then helped him to resume his proper blood circulation. The operation was finally completed after quite a while of bustling about. By that time, Bai Min was already busy snoring away, lost in deep slumber.

    When Zhuo Yi Hang went over to check on the emissaries, he found that they were also in the midst of sweet slumber. Thus Zhuo Yi Hang took a walk outside his house's back garden along with the Commander Qin who had accompanied the emissaries on this trip and said to him, If anything happens, you can take the honoured emissaries and escape out the side doors in the western corner. There will be a secluded path that leads straight to the top of the mountain. Then Zhuo also walked him through the front and back portions of the mansion, making sure that he was familiar with the surroundings before returning inside. He then ordered his servants to first go inside the kitchen to heat up ten pots of boiling water and then bring Bai Min and the two emissaries inside the kitchen. He also ordered Commander Qin and an old servant to go inside the kitchen to take care of the patients, but this was only after they themselves have consumed some extremely cold medicine (6). They were to take off all the patients' clothes and then use the heated force from the water's steam to expel the poison from within their bodies. When the doors were opened again after four hours, the old servant was so overwhelmed with heat that he almost fainted. Zhuo Yi Hang and Commander Qin helped the three patients into their clothes and brought them outside, they then fed them the freshly boiled ginseng extract that was made from the first grade ginseng. After massaging them for a while, they watched them fall into a deep sleep before finally leaving their side. Zhuo Yi Hang had bustled about for the whole day and by that time it was already midnight. An old servant came up to him and said, Yan An City's District Magistrate (7) sent someone over to call upon us, but because master you were busy at that time, we didn't report to you. Zhuo Yi Hang replied, Deliver a thank you card to them tomorrow. We will send them an obituary notice when we officially conduct the burial ceremonies. In regards to such small matters, Zhuo Yi Hang really didn't bother taking it to heart and therefore immediately went to bed instead.

    By the next day, the two emissaries and Bai Min were already significantly more energized and could begin to consume some diluted congee. By dusk, aside from having not yet regained his full strength, Bai Min's body had already recovered to functioning with the regularity of a healthy person. Zhuo Yi Hang spent some time chatting with him in the study, and found that his character was so kind and honest that he could converse with him quite naturally and without any restrictions. They were suddenly interrupted in the midst of their causal conversation by the noises coming from a crowd of horses and men that drifted in from outside. An old servant came in to report, The prefecture's military defence officer Wang has brought his men here and is asking to see you Master. Zhuo Yi Hang's eyebrows knitted together as he thought to himself: Grandpa is no longer an official, why must they persist in badgering us with bribery and string pulling? After issuing a command of Bring them in, he stepped foot outside the main reception hall only to find that the military defence officer Wang had already brought twenty or thirty men into the reception hall. Perplexed, Zhuo Yi Hang wondered to himself why this official was daring to be so rude. He originally thought that Officer Wang had brought his men here to service the Zhuo family, but never would he have expected Officer Wang to suddenly shout, Zhuo Yi Hang you are under arrest!

    Zhuo Yi Hang asked, What crimes am I guilty of? Officer Wang retorted, You're committing the huge crime of harbouring a convicted criminal. Zhuo Yi Hang shouted with anger, My family has been governmental officials for generations! How dare you spew out such a load of garbage! Officer Wang gave a cold laugh and said, How dare you try to intimidate us with your powers and connections? Search his house! His troops started to rush into the inner rooms while Zhuo Yi Hang shouted, You dare disturb the Imperial emissaries? Officer Wang gave a cold snicker and said, I've received the orders of the imperial courts and would very much like to report to the emissaries. The clanging and banging sounds of fighting was heard to come from the direction of the study. Zhuo Yi Hang shouted, Brother Bai! Don't fight with them! We'll go to the courts of Yan An and reason with them!

    Officer Wang commanded his men to tie Zhuo Yi Hang up, causing Zhuo to be so infuriated that with a cold laugh, he placed his two hands on the rosewood table and with a press, caused the whole table to immediately flip over. Zhuo Yi Hang shouted, I'll go only if you reason civilly. But if you use brute force, I will only hurt you first and then worry about pleading guilty when I get to the capital. The two soldiers standing beside Officer Wang gave a wink of their eyes and Officer Wang immediately got the hint and thus said, Fine! Taking account of the fact that you're the descendant of a high official, I'll let you save some face! Zhuo Yi Hang rushed ahead of Officer Wang, and charged straight into the inner rooms. Yet when he pushed open the doors, the two emissaries were nowhere to be found!

    Zhuo Yi Hang was greatly taken back but immediately thought to himself: Can it be that they had run away because they thought the ruckus outside signalled the attack of bandits? Officer Wang came up behind him and laughed coldly while saying, So where are the emissaries? Zhuo Yi Hang replied, Let me go find them for you. Officer Wang said, The emissaries were already murdered by you, where are you going to find them? A thought suddenly flashed across Zhuo Yi Hang's mind as he suddenly whipped his head around and grasp out with his hand while yelling, So you're the scoundrel who's committing those villainous acts!

    A soldier from behind officer Wang blazed forward and extended out his arms to ward off Zhuo before quickly transforming his stance into in a grappling attack. Through the exchange of that one stance, Zhuo Yi Hang and the soldier were equally matched. The man shouted, First you murder the emissaries and now you dare to resist arrest? Zhuo Yi Hang collected his thoughts briefly and said, Fine, then we'll bring this case to the royal courts! The soldier took out shackles and barked, You were still able to deny your guilt before because we didn't have any solid proof. But now the emissaries are gone, what else do you have to say for yourself? There are laws in our country, and there's no room for you to put on airs and make your own rules! Hurry and put these shackles on! Zhuo Yi Hang's countenance immediately changed colours, but just when he was about to resist arrest, he immediately thought to the fact that his grandfather and father were both high officials within the imperial palace. If he resisted arrest, then he would be willingly taking on the blame of a rebel, thus slandering and bringing shame onto his whole family's legacy. Having thought to this, his hands started to lower unconsciously, leaving the soldier to cuff the manacles onto his wrists.

    After all the commotion, the whole Zhuo household was left in an utter state of mayhem and chaos. All the old servants were crying and wailing as Zhuo Yi Hang said to them, You don't have to worry about me. The divine Emperor presides over the millions miles of land, he most definitely will clear this unjust charge for me. But despite these words, when Zhuo Yi Hang thought to how his father ended up being wrongfully executed, he couldn't help but be chilled to core of his heart. Zhuo Yi Hang was just able to leave orders for his housekeeper, You have to take good care of the old master's altar before officer Wang urged, Move! and pushed Zhuo Yi Hang outside the main gates. Already waiting for him was Bai Min who had been brought outside after having been tightly bonded.

    The troop of soldiers took away the two of them and traveled all throughout the whole night, so that by the time they arrived in the Yan An City it was already dawn. After waiting two hours, the courts rose for the trial. However, it was not the district magistrate for the Yan An City who resided in the position of the judge but instead, it was another official of the second rank (8) who sat in his place.

    He questioned Zhuo Yi Hang first, Your family has been blessed with the imperial court's care for many generations. Why did you conspire with rebels to induce harm onto the imperial emissaries? Zhuo Yi Hang replied, The emissaries were indeed attacked by somebody, but I was not that perpetrator. The official asked, Then who was it? Zhuo Yi Hang replied, Officer, please give me one month's time and I will personally bring the perpetrators who furtively attacked the emissaries to you. The judge knocked his wooden gavel (9) and bellowed, Rubbish! An imperial officer is not a three year old child who can be so easily deceived by your slick words that they will end up releasing you! Zhuo Yi Hang said, If I was intending to escape, I need not come here in the first place! The judge knocked his wooden gavel again and said, Then confess everything! Zhuo Yi Hang retorted, I have nothing to confess to.

    The Judge said, You say that you didn't bring any harm onto the imperial emissaries, but then how would you know who the true perpetrators were that harmed them? Zhuo Yi Hang replied, I will reveal this only to the revered Emperor. The presiding judge was enraged and shouted, Am I not worthy enough to question you? Zhuo Yi Hang remained silent and did not reply while the judge picked up a command stick and was just about to give orders for the administration of punishment on Zhuo, when for some reason he suddenly decided to hold back and commanded instead, Bring forth the accomplice convict! When the soldiers brought forth Bai Min, the Judge asked, What is your name and where are you from? Bai Min replied, I'm Bai Min and I'm from Beijing. The Judge asked, You are the disciple of the Crown Prince's Primary Martial Arts Instructor Meng Can, are you not? Bai Min replied, Yeah! You've heard of me? The Judge slammed down his gavel again and said, For what reasons did you travel these thousands of miles to arrive in Yan An? Confess now and don't you dare hold anything back! Bai Min raised his head up high and said, A true man would never conceal his actions! I came to Yan An because I wanted to look for a friend. Is that illegal now? The Judge asked, Who are you looking for? Bai Min loudly replied, Wang Zhao Xi! The Judge knocked his wooden gavel so hard that the sound reverberated to the heavens and shook the ground. The whole court ruptured into a loud murmur while the prefect of the Yan An City who was also present during the trial suddenly underwent a change of countenance.

    The presiding judge told the recording clerk to write down the testimonial and hand it over to Bai Min before ordering him to sign his name. After Bai Min made sure that the recorded testimonial did not add in any false allegations, he immediately picked up the ink-brush and wrote his name without any deliberation. The presiding judge handed the testimonial over to Yan An's district magistrate and smiled, We're finished here then. He then gave a final knock with his wooden gavel and said to Zhuo Yi Hang, Your accomplice has already confessed to all his crimes, are you not going to follow in his steps? Zhuo Yi Hang was completely baffled as he asked, What did he confess to? Yan An's prefect shouted, Wang Zhao Xi and his father are the malicious bandits who terrorizes our city, everybody knows that! Zhuo Yi Hang was greatly taken back and was left completely speechless. The presiding judge said, The fact that you're daring to conspire with such malicious bandits is already a severe crime. Zhuo Yi Hang said, Say whatever you will, I want to argue this case with you in the capital's royal courts! The judge ripped out into cold laughter and said, Did you think you will still be going to the capital? and told a prison guard to transport him to the prison cells. Zhuo Yi Hang was shocked and angry, while Bai Min who was standing beside him asked, Is Wang Zhao Xi really a bandit? Zhuo Yi Hang did not answer him, but his face was green with rage. Bai Min was incredibly devastated as he hurriedly said, It's all my fault! Zhuo Yi Hang replied, It's not your fault while the prison guard barked, Prisoners are not allowed to talk in private! and thus separated the two of them into different cells.

    ***********************************
    4) PanLong Shan: translated as Coiling Dragon Mountain.
    5) TianQiao: translated as Bridge of Heaven
    6) Cold medicine: refers to the temperature characteristics of the herbs. Herbs can be classified into hot, neutral or cool categories that will have an influence on the Yin and Yang patterns of the body.
    7) District Magistrate: low-ranking officers/prefects who were responsible for the supervising a district.
    8) official of second rank: the imperial system assigned their civil officials ranks so as to designate their importance and power. There are officially 9 ranks, but because often each rank will be separated into various classes, there are actually 30 grades in total. The 9th rank is the smallest, while the 1st rank represents the highest grade.
    (9) wooden gavel: Though I used the word gavel, the actual object used by Chinese imperial judges to silence the courts, or add emphasis should look more like a small block/slab of wood rather than the hammer or mallet-like object as used by western courts.
    春花秋月几时了,
    往事知多少?
    小楼昨夜又东风,
    故国不堪回首明月中.
    雕栏玉砌应犹在,
    只是朱颜改.
    问君能有几多愁,
    恰似一江春水向东流.
    --南唐后主,李煜.

  15. #35

    Default

    Zhuo Yi Hang was put into a prison cell all by himself, but the cell was actually surprisingly tidy and clean, not at all resembling that of a typical prison cell. However, three days passed and he still did not receive a single visitor. Within his heart, he really hoped that his servants would come to visit him for he wanted them to go seek help from his grandfather's students and friends. But three days passed and nobody came, not knowing whether it was because his servants didn't have the courage to approach, or whether the courts were refusing them the rights to enter. It was only until the fourth day, did military defence officer Wang and the soldier who exchanged stances with Zhuo the other day suddenly arrive to take him out of the cell. They passed by room after room and weaved through corridor after corridor, walking quite a while before finally arriving at their destination. They promptly threw Zhuo inside the room and immediately locked up the doors behind him.

    When Zhuo Yi Hang lifted his head, he saw that in the middle of the room stood a red-faced old man with the most dark and demonic glint in his eyes. He gestured for Zhuo Yi Hang to have a seat while saying with a sly smile, The Crown Prince highly praises you. Zhuo Yi Hang had absolutely no clue what was happening. The old man continued, The divine Lord of a million years is old now and often ridden with illnesses. The Crown Prince will be ascending the throne very soon, but I'm afraid that he will still need to rely on the help of Eunuch Wei on many matters. Zhuo Yi Hang's face changed colours as he said, I am a convict, if you want to say something then say it. What are you telling me all this for? The old man thus said, Eunuch Wei also highly praises you. Zhuo Yi Hang retorted with anger, Who cares for his praises? The red faced old man praised, You are quite the tough guy! But did you know that your life is now in our hands? Zhuo Yi Hang laughed coldly and said, What is it that you want? The red faced old man suddenly asked, You were old acquaintances with Zheng Hong Tai weren't you?

    A thought suddenly flitted across Zhuo Yi Hang's head as he asked, So what? The red faced old man continued, What did he say to you before he died? Zhuo Yi Hang retorted, What are you talking about? I don't know anything! The red faced old man laughed and said, Alright, let's lay all our cards on the table. My name is Yun Yan Ping, have you heard of my name before? Zhuo Yi Hang suddenly unleashed a loud roar while he immediately stretched his arms out to the sides and broke apart the manacles binding his hands. Then with a forward sweep of his palm, he shouted, So you're the traitor! The red faced old man leaned backwards and kicked out with the tip of his foot, causing the stool to fly forward. All that was heard was a loud smashing sound as the stool splintered into a million pieces under the force of Zhuo Yi Hang's palm. Yun Yan Ping then took down his belt and whipped it forward while laughing, So I finally got it out of you didn't I? Zhuo Yi Hang, are you going to confess now or what?

    You may be wondering why Zhuo Yi Hang would suddenly become so angry? Well, that day before Zheng Hong Tai died, he revealed the identity of five conspirators who were bribed by the Manchurians. There were three people amongst that list who were guards within the palace while the other two were bandits of the underground world. Amongst the guards who were listed as spies, there was one who was called Yun Yan Ping!

    With a flex of his body, Zhuo Yi Hang attacked with his palms while Yun Yan Ping retaliated by slashing out with his belt and bringing forth a sudden gust of fierce winds. Zhuo Yi Hang struck out consecutively, but whether he swept from the side or hacked from the front, Yun Yan Ping's movements still remained to be incredibly agile, as he dodged, attacked and navigated around the cell-like room with ease. The belt in his hand was wielded like a soft whip, and even after the duration of twenty, thirty stances, Zhuo Yi Hang was still unable to gain the lead by even a single stance. He suddenly thought to himself: since the situation has come to this point, then why don't I just escape and then report to the Crown Prince myself? He increased the intensity of his strikes and bludgeoned forward with a few stances before suddenly turning around and with a loud bang, kicked open the rooms door. Yun Yan Ping shrieked with laughter and said, Think you're getting away from me? Dream on!

    With a huge leap, Zhuo Yi Hang attempted to flit by Yun when suddenly the room was filled with the chilling draft of a palms strike that was blasting towards Zhuo with full force. Zhuo Yi Hang slanted his body and slid over to the side, but just when he was about to retaliate with his palms, somebody suddenly flitted in and struck out with vermilion coloured palms, catching Zhuo completely off guard. Two palms were immediately thrown out, accompanied by gusting winds that tore through the room like a raging storm. Zhuo Yi Hang roared with anger, Did you think I was afraid of your Venomous Palms of the Yin Winds? and then by executing the Five Men Demolishing Mountain Palms, he hurtled palm after palm of raw force, staking his own life by undergoing the risk of mutual fatality. That man didn't dare to intercept Zhuo's palm attack directly, but instead targeted his palms towards Zhuo Yi Hang's acupoint. Zhuo Yi Hang didn't dare to sustain that palm attack with his body and since he couldn't barge forward, he could only retreat back inside the room. With a twist of his belt, Yun Yan Ping was able to entwine Zhuo and then with a tug brought Zhuo Yi Hang crashing to the ground. The old man who used the Venomous Palms of the Yin Winds immediately followed inside and closed the door behind him.

    While standing guard by the door, the old man asked, Brother Yun, were you able to get it out of him? Yun Yan Ping replied, The little rascal won't confess the truth. Just finish him off with one of your palms brother Jin. The old man surnamed Jin lifted his palm and prepared to smash it down against the back of Zhuo Yi Hang's head. Zhuo Yi Hang did not show an ounce of fear but only said coldly, Even if you kill me it won't do you any good. After I die, my friends will go to the capital and request for an imperial trial. They will disclose the true identities of all of you and reveal your conspiracy. A shock went through Yun Yan Ping's body as he asked, Are you talking about Yu Luo Cha? Zhuo Yi Hang lifted his head and stared straight ahead, ignoring Yun's question but all the while bearing a proud expression on his face.

    The old man surnamed Jin said, Oh really? You little squirt! I never expected that you would have the guts to make acquaintances with Yu Luo Cha. Yun Yan Ping suddenly unleashed an evil cackle as he snickered, It seems that this kid will come in very handy. The old man surnamed Jin suddenly kicked out with his leg to impact on the Wei Zhong acupoint located on curve of Zhuo's back leg. This acupoint was situated right in the juncture where the upper leg connected with the lower leg, and was one of the nine numbing acupoints of the human body. Zhuo Yi Hang immediately fainted and Yun Yan Ping then called in military officer Wang, ordering him to bring Zhuo back into the prison cell.

    After Zhuo Yi Hang was taken away, Yun Yan Ping and the old man Jin looked at each other and smirked. But these two men were not the only traitors who were conspiring with the Manchurians, for Wei Zhong Xian also had associations with Manchuria. After Zheng Hong Tai's death, Yue Ming Ke arrived at the capital and reported the secret of Zheng Hong Tai's death to Military Commissioner Xiong. Xiong then brought this up during daily court, thereby disclosing the identity of the traitors. But Ming Shen Zong only laughed and labelled this report as unsupported rumours, thus ignoring the issue by setting it aside. The three palace guards were actually quite efficient in their methods of obtaining news, for the moment they caught a whiff of the brewing trouble, they immediately ran away. Therefore by the time Ming Shen Zong received news of the guards' escape, despite his regrets, it was already too late to do anything.

    Although the three guards did indeed escape out of the imperial palace, yet they remained within the capital for they were all acquaintances of Wei Zhong Xian. As for Zheng Hong Tai, his relationship with Wei Zhong Xian was relatively more removed, for through his communications with the Manchurian messenger he was only able to discover that the three guards were part of their group and was not aware of the fact that Wei Zhong Xian also had a part to play. Wei Zhong Xian himself knew that Zheng Hong Tai was a co-conspirator, but because the two of them has never mentioned this matter to each other, Wei Zhong Xian was never able to figure out whether Zheng Hong Tai was aware of his secret identity. Overcome with anxiety, Wei Zhong Xian decided to secretly send the three guards to the Shaan area. He also ordered another one of his trusted men who was an imperial official to arrive at the Yan An City and impersonate as an emissary in order to draw out the secret from Zhuo Yi Hang. But coincidently, the Emperor really did end up sending two emissaries over to Zhuo's household for the proclamation of the imperial edict. Therefore, Wei Zhong Xian immediately devised the malicious plot of sending his two guards to kill the emissaries in secret so that they may slander blame onto the Zhuo household. By using this crime as an excuse, Wei Zhong Xian can then capture Zhuo Yi Hang and interrogate him in private.

    Amongst these two imperial guards, there was one who was skilled in the soft martial arts, a skill that was secretly passed down from Tibetan Buddhist's branch of martial arts. This was the Yun Yan Ping who used his waist belt to combat Zhuo Yi Hang earlier. When the practitioner of this soft martial arts has reached the pinnacle levels, they have the ability conquer the hardest forces by using the softest objects. Although Yun Yan Ping has not been able to reach the highest pinnacle of this skill yet, yet he has already captured the majority of its essence. The other man who used the Venomous Palms of the Yin Winds was called Jin Qian Yan. His Venomous Palms of the Yin Winds had the ability to kill people within a crowd and still allow the perpetrator to escape undetected due to the fact that the first symptoms won't start appearing until three days later and it is only after seven days would the victim die from its poison. This time, they had received Wei Zong Xian's orders to furtively attack the imperial emissaries along the journey in order that they may charge the Zhuo household with this crime. But they never would have dreamed that Zhuo Yi Hang would actually be able to discover this plot and end up rescuing the emissaries. This incident ended up causing a series of secret and public feuds within the imperial courts, but this concerns a subsequent matter and will not be revealed presently.

    Back to Zhuo Yi Hang who was becoming increasingly possessed by hatred after being brought back to the prison with his Wei Zhong acupoint sealed. Although his blood was boiling with rage, his whole aching body was numb and limp without a single shred of strength left in him. He secretly lamented to himself, Crap! for thought to how: the Manchurians have now bought out high officials, imperial guards and bandits of the underground world this all concerns a very serious matter. I only know the identity of five traitors, but who knows how many more there are that I don't know of? I must report to the Crown Prince immediately, but now that I'm imprisoned in this cell with nobody to save me, I must rely on my own powers to escape out of this place. The moment I get angry, my respiration and blood flow will not be able to circulate properly. Therefore, how can I release my sealed acupoint if I keep up this blind rage? Therefore his anger slowly dissipated as he sat down and meditated quietly, concentrating his attention as he generated his energy flow. Zhuo Yi Hang's inner energies were originally well established, and after sitting for two hours he felt his Qi to have already circulated throughout his vital points and coursed through his whole body in order to release his sealed acupoint. He was just about to snap apart his manacles and break through the door to escape when he suddenly heard what sounded like noises of combat coming from afar.

    Zhuo Yi Hang pressed his ear against the floor in order to hear more clearly and discovered that the sounds of combat were approaching closer and closer towards him. While he was still in the midst of his surprise, the dungeon doors suddenly blasted opened. Zhuo Yi Hang immediately stood up. Standing there was Yun Yan Ping with a evil grin filling his face as he slowly approached. Zhuo Yi Hang shouted, What do you want? Yun Yan Ping said, Your good friend is here, why don't I take you to her? and before he could even finished these words, a loud thunderous boom was heard as the doors to the Prefecture office exploded, blasted apart by a cannon's (10) fire. In the background, the glare coming from the flames can be seen to flare towards the skies. Yun Yan Ping's face immediately changed colour and with a flip of his palms, he suddenly clamped down on Zhuo Yi Hang's wrist.

    Once the Wei Zhong acupoint has been sealed, it requires a minimum of twelve hours before it will automatically release itself. Therefore, thinking that everything was under control and within his grasp, Yun Yan Ping was not on his guard. Little did he expect that Zhuo Yi Hang would unleash a thunderous roar and then with a jolt of his arms, his handcuffs would fly out as his legs kicked out repeatedly, one foot coming after the other. Because Yun Yan Ping was caught off guard, he immediately sustained a kick to the knee and fell to the ground. But his martial arts were not of a low grade, and with just a roll on the ground he was able to escape Zhuo Yi Hang's attack.

    By the time he stood up, his belt was already in his hands, and with a forceful slash, the belt was then wielded like a soft whip as it sliced towards Zhuo Yi Hang's waist area. Since Zhuo Yi Hang knew that backup help was outside, his spirit was completely rejuvenated. Wherever his body flitted to, he would execute a Fingers striking across the Pipa as he flipped his body over and attacked. With a whip of his belt, Yun Yan Ping attempted to entwine his opponent's arms while Zhuo Yi Hang suddenly bent over backwards at the waist and transformed his palm strike into a fist punch. Every one of his punches whistled in the wind as each stance forcefully impacted forward, causing Yun Yan Ping to retract his belt and retreat a few steps.

    Zhuo Yi Hang continued to advance forward with mad ferocity, throwing out punch after punch while Yun suddenly brought up his left palm to ward off Zhuo's blows, taking advantage of the chance to immediately whip out with his belt. With a loud slap, Yun's belt impact on the side of Zhuo's body in the area under his arms. Zhuo Yi Hang pressed his arm against his body, holding Yun's belt in place while simultaneously pulling backwards. But he was unable to pull Yun forward by even a single inch. Yun Yan Ping laughed coldly and with a whistling sound, his left palm slashed forward towards Zhuo, forcing him to have no other choice but to bring up his palms in order to counter the attack and thus freeing up Yun's belt in the process. Yun's belt was now free to swish around like an lithe snake, curling upwards to bind Zhuo's upper arm and shoulder.

    Because Zhuo Yi Hang's upper right arm and shoulder was restrained, he could only use his left hand to ward off the attacks. But even though Zhuo Yi Hang had already used the Pressure of a Thousand Pounds(11) to stabilize his body, when Yun Yan Ping retracted his belt, the force pulling him back was so strong that Zhuo could barely keep his balance and was almost tugged down to the floor in the process. Just when he was struggling, sounds of footsteps was heard to approach as someone was suddenly heard to shout, Brother Yun, they're on to us, let's go! Yun Yan Ping's face paled greatly, but he continued to exert force with his wrists in hopes of pulling Zhuo Yi Hang over so that they may then use him as a hostage. Suddenly, a series of laughter that chimed like silver bells drifted into the room. Although Zhuo Yi Hang was alarmed, he was similarly ecstatic at the same time as he cried out, Yu Luo Cha! Yun Yan Ping hurriedly loosened his grip and retracted the belt while immediately turning around to dash out of the dungeon.

    **********************
    10)Cannon's: The term that was used in the novel was tu pao which literally translates as earth cannon. I'm not
    exactly sure whether these cannons were any different in size and power when compared to the larger cannons we typically see, but the following link shows a picture of a cannon from the Ming dynasty (1368): http://acc6.its.brooklyn.cuny.edu/~p...es/can1368.jpg
    11) Pounds: The term used in the novel was Jin which when translated correctly should be Catty which equals to approximately 1.1 pounds. Therefore, I've opted to use the word Pounds instead of Catty.
    春花秋月几时了,
    往事知多少?
    小楼昨夜又东风,
    故国不堪回首明月中.
    雕栏玉砌应犹在,
    只是朱颜改.
    问君能有几多愁,
    恰似一江春水向东流.
    --南唐后主,李煜.

  16. #36

    Default

    Zhuo Yi Hang's guess was right, the person who had directed an army to charge into the town was indeed Yu Luo Cha. After she had struck up an alliance pact with Wang Zhao Xi's father Wang Jia Yin, she had originally intended to meet up with him in the Northern Shaan area. But her pact to duel with Ying Xiu Yang on the peak of Mountain Hua caused her to tarry this meeting for three-quarters of the year. This time, she brought along a few dozen female troops with her as she traveled towards WaYaoBao in order to meet up with Wang Jia Yin. But along the journey, she happened to save Bai Min's life and afterwards, the more she thought over this incident, the more suspicious she got. She repeatedly thought to Zhuo Yi Hang and therefore sent someone into town in hopes of finding out some news. By the time she received news of Zhuo Yi Hang's arrest, Wang Zhao Xi has also received the same news. He brought a troop along with him and handed them over to be directed and commanded by Yu Luo Cha. They then charged the city's gates during the middle of the night, breaking through the gates in less than a two hour span and entering into the city to invade the prefecture's building.

    As soon as Yun Yan Ping charged out of the dungeon, the first thing he saw was Jin Qian Yan standing 30 feet ahead of him engaged in intense battle with a young girl. By that time, Jin Qian Yan was already in an extremely dangerous predicament for he was encased under the rays of the sword.

    Yun Yan Ping hurriedly whipped out his belt and with a Golden Dragon (12) Coiling Pillar, tried to wrap his belt around Yu Luo Cha's sword, hoping to use the soft force conquering hard force method to pull Yu Luo Cha's sword to his hand. Yu Luo Cha smiled dazzlingly and with a side sweep of her sword, Yun Yan Ping immediately felt a pain struck at the area between his thumb and index finger (13) . He hurriedly loosened his grip only to discover that his belt had already been broken into two parts by Yu Luo Cha. It should be understood that this method of conquering hard with soft relies completely on the strength of one's internal energies. Although Yun Yan Ping's internal energies were above the likes of Zhuo Yi Hang, yet he was also inferior to Yu Luo Cha. Therefore, to use this conquering hard with soft method on Zhuo Yi Hang may be feasible, but when used on Yu Luo Cha, it was useless.

    Jin Qian Yan took advantage of the fact that Yu Luo Cha was battling Yun Yan Ping by spreading out his palms and attacking Yu Luo Cha's shoulders. Yu Luo Cha's stances were unbelievably fast and after tearing apart Yun Yan Ping's belt with just one swipe, she followed with a rotating kick of her legs. Immediately, cold lighting flashed as the thick Qi emanating from her sword's blade filled the air as Yu Luo Cha's blade arrived at Jin Qian Yan's throat. Jin Qian Yan became so petrified that even his soul was about flee from his body, thus he immediately ceased his attack and devoted all his attention to defending instead. Although Jin Qian Yan's palm attacks were deadly, yet Yu Luo Cha's sword skills were so lethal and merciless that Jin Qian Yan couldn't even approach her. If Yu Luo Cha hadn't been slightly restricted due to the fact that she was harbouring a little caution, Jin Qian Yan would most definitely have been obliterated a long time ago. Yun Yan Ping took a deep breath of cold air and realized that since things have gotten to this point, there was no way that he could escape and therefore was left with no other choice but to fight. Thus he attack from the side and used the 18 grappling palm stances in attempts to counter the enemy and save his acquaintance. Although they were already giving it their all as they combined the power of two people and battled for their lives, yet the fact still remained that they were residing in the position of the losing side.

    The moment Zhuo Yi Hang stepped outside and saw that Yu Luo Cha was engaged in battle with two powerful fighters, he immediately prepared to help out by entering into combat. But Yu Luo Cha called out, Go to the back and help Wang Zhao Xi, these two clowns are no match for me! Zhuo Yi Hang was experienced enough to discern with just one glance that Yu Luo Cha's words were indeed true, therefore he ran towards another corridor and was immediately met with the sounds of slaughter that were shocking the peace of the still night. In the corridor stood two men who were engaged in battle while simultaneously in flight and the man who was running ahead was none other than Wang Zhao Xi. Wang was brewing up a storm with the force of his sword stances, but his opponent's skills were not bad either as he used his sword to block towards the left and impede attacks from the right, attacking while simultaneously defending. The match was evenly tied between the fighters.

    The man who was fighting with Wang Zhao Xi was the same man who had accompanied Officer Wang to arrest Zhuo Yi Hang a few days ago. Zhuo Yi Hang's anger flared up the moment he laid eyes on the man and immediately pounced towards him. The back of Zhuo's fists swept outwards to the left and right sides respectively and with a Gold-shattering hands, double-hanging fists, he attacked the two Tai Yan acupoints on his opponent. That soldier was originally the number one warrior under the governor of ShaanGan, and although his martial arts were not bad yet how could he possibly withstand the combined attack of two skilled fighters? Therefore he managed to dodge Zhuo Yi Hang's punches, but was unable to escape Wang Zhao Xi's sword. As soon as he evaded Zhuo's attack by moving his shoulders to the side, Wang Zhao Xi's sword had already pierced into the Tian Zhu acupoint located on his shoulder blade before he even had time to turn around. His life was ended there immediately.

    Wang Zhao Xi said, Brother Zhuo, your unworthy brother has arrived much too late, causing you to suffer for much too long! Zhuo Yi Hang nodded his head but remained silent. Judging from the current situation, Zhuo Yi Hang finally accepted the fact that Wang Zhao Xi really was a powerful bandit of the Northern ShaanXi area. Wang Zhao Xi continued, Let's go watch how Heroine Lian finishes off those two crooked villains. Although Zhuo Yi Hang was not willing to associate with bandits, yet he could still differentiate between what was right and what was wrong. Since others have risked their lives by coming here to rescue him, he most definitely could not leave with just a wave of his hands. Therefore he could only follow Wang Zhao Xi as they walked towards the other corridor where Yu Luo Cha was dominating the scene.

    Under the shimmer of her sword's radiation, when one observed the battle from afar, one was almost unable to differentiate the identities of the different fighters. Wang Zhao Xi praised, Yu Luo Cha really is amazing. These two crooks will soon be facing complete annihilation! The moment he finished his words, a sweet sounding voice was suddenly heard to say, I doubt that! Wang Zhao Xi's countenance immediately changed colours as a figure suddenly sprung down from the eaves of the corridor. It was a young girl whose face was concealed by a cloth. But judging from her voice and figure, she seemed to be even younger than Yu Luo Cha by a few years!

    Wang Zhao Xi cried, What are you doing here? The masked young girl said, You came! So why couldn't I? Hey, someone's waiting for you. Let me go cross swords with Yu Luo Cha first, I'll come back and talk with ya later. Zhuo Yi Hang asked, Who is that? Is that your friend brother Wang? Wang Zhao Xi looked embarrassed and said, You can say that we're acquaintances and immediately chased after her.

    Yu Luo Cha was currently engaged in the midst of an intense battle with Yun Yan Ping and Jin Qian Yan, but her sword's force was lighting up the night like a rainbow, where each and every single metamorphosis executed under her sword was mystifying and unimaginable. Though Jin Qian Yan knew the Venomous Palms of the Yin Winds, yet he couldn't even touch the corners of Yu Luo Cha's clothes. All he could manage to do was to shrink the size of the combat ring and exert all his powers into self-defence. Yu Luo Cha's every stance was insistent and menacing, its force was as overwhelming as the billowing cold waves and high tides that rushed towards shore. After fighting a little longer, the two men found that even self-defence was proving to be an increasingly difficult task. But just when Yu Luo Cha was about to finish them off with her final move, she suddenly heard the sound of a blade slicing through the air come up from behind. With a back sweep of her sword, a loud ringing sound rang out accompanied by sparks that shot out like fireworks. Yet surprisingly, her attacker actually managed to not let her sword fly out of their hand!

    Yu Luo Cha was slightly taken back as she turned around for a look only to discover that it was a masked young girl. She shouted, Are you trying to get yourself killed? while the young girl replied, Everyone boasts of how great your swordsmanship is, I want to witness it for myself. Yu Luo Cha thus retorted, Fine, take a good and close look then! and with a whirl of her sword's handle, her blade twisted around a semi-arch and sliced towards her opponents heart. The young girl swept her sword to impede and by rushing forward with all her strength, she was actually able to block off Yu Luo Cha's stance!

    Yun Yan Ping and Jin Qian Yan both breathed a sigh of relief as they immediately leaped up onto the roof. Yu Luo Cha shouted, Wang Zhao Xi stop them! I'll be there right away! Wang Zhao Xi's toes tapped on the floor as he pounced onto the roof to chase after them, all the while calling out, Heroine Lian, please have mercy on her! Zhuo Yi Hang knew that Yun and Jin's martial arts were above Wang Zhao Xi's, therefore after a slight hesitation and one last look, he also chased after them.

    Yu Luo Cha had originally thought that she would be able to wound the masked girl within three stances, but she never expected that all three of her stances would be warded off by the young girl. Listening to the sounds of combat on the roof drift further and further away, she couldn't help but be greatly angered.

    In order to ward off these last three deadly stances that Yu Luo Cha has executed, the young girl had to exert every ounce of strength she had, drawing out even the primordial energy left from her su*ckling days. She now realized that Yu Luo Cha's swordsmanship was truly far above her own, and after throwing out another stab, she immediately retracted her sword and attempted to escape. Yu Luo Cha laughed and said, Oh, so the little puppet actually dares to fight back huh? Although there were traces of a smile on Yu Luo Cha's face, yet there was really resentful anger within her heart. With two slashes of her sword, Yu Luo Cha forced the young girl to dance around in circles, giving her no chances of escaping.

    The young girl cried out, Since I'm not your match, I can only admit to defeat. Why won't you let me go? Yu Luo Cha retorted, Even admitting to defeat is not good enough! The masked girl said, If you have the guts, I dare to you follow me and go face up to my papa instead! Yu Luo Cha replied, I'm going to face off against you first! Her sword swiped out and the young girl immediately felt a thick and chilly draft envelop her as Yu Luo Cha's sword swished and slashed about in front of her face. After a startled scream, her face shield was peeled off by Yu Luo Cha's sword and it was then that Yu Luo Cha discovered that she was actually an attractive young girl. Thus she said, Fine, I won't kill you, but I'm going to leave my mark on your face instead! and then immediately pierced forward, about to leave a scar on the young girl's face.

    When the young girl heard these words, she was so terrified that in the midst of her anxiety, she flipped up her dark steel sword and pierced upwards from bottom to top, striking against Yu Luo Cha's sword. Then with a sudden slide of her blade, what was originally a stance that was obviously attacking towards the left suddenly switched directions halfway to attack towards the right side, piercing towards the Jiang Tai acupoint located on the left side of Yu Luo Cha's chest. Yu Luo Cha was suddenly dumbfounded, while the young girl took the opportunity to leap up onto the roof. Yu Luo Cha screamed out, Where did you learn those sword stances? as she chased after her.

    Back to Wang Zhao Xi and Zhuo Yi Hang who had followed Yu Luo Cha's orders and were now chasing after the two villains. But they waited and waited, yet Yu Luo Cha was still nowhere to be seen. Since the martial arts of Yun and Jin were above Zhuo and Wang, after the four people have combated with each other for a dozen or so stances, Wang Zhao Xi and Zhuo Yi Hang were already forced to the point of where they only had the ability to defend themselves and not to attack. Jin Qian Yan and Yun Yan Ping were only concerned with escaping and had no intentions of dallying in battle, therefore as soon as they took over the position of the attacker, they quickly faked an attack and then immediately turned around to escape. Wang Zhao Xi asked, Do we chase after them? Zhuo Yi Hang replied, Yes! These two people have sold out their country to act as Manchurian spies! At that time, Wang Zhao Xi's men have already set fire on the prefecture building, its roaring flames were blazing towards the skies as heavy smog and thick smoke filled the air. By the time that Zhuo Yi Hang and Wang Zhao Xi chased to the outside of the prefecture building, they could no longer find any traces of the two villains.

    Zhuo Yi Hang surveyed all four directions with his sword ready in his hand when suddenly a white flash shot out from amongst the smog and zipped right past him with a loud whooshing sound. It was the young masked girl they saw a moment ago, except her mask was now uncovered and she had sneaked out from amongst the smoke and smog. Another whoosh immediately followed, as another white bolt shot out again from amongst the smoke. Wang Zhao Xi cried, Heroine Lian, the two crooks have escaped. Why don't the three of us split up into two groups and chase after them? Yu Luo Cha replied, It's more important to chase after that little kid! Zhuo Yi Hang insisted, Those two people are conspiring with the Manchurians, it's much more important to chase after them! Yu Luo Cha immediately shot forward while stating with determination, I said it's more important to chase after that little doll! Wang Zhao Xi had no other choice and could only along with Zhuo Yi Hang, chase after Yu Luo Cha. Although Zhuo Yi Hang could not comprehend Yu Luo Cha's actions, yet he was extremely displeased for he felt that Yu Luo Cha was completely disregarding the weight between important and minor matters by letting the big crooks run away in order that she may chase after a young girl instead.

    You're probably wondering why Yu Luo Cha was acting this way? Well, the very last stance that the masked young girl executed was a stance taken out from the exclusive school of sword art that was created by Yu Luo Cha's ShiFu. Yu Luo Cha has accompanied by her ShiFu's side since she was a young child. They lived together in the ancient cave, not only practicing martial arts together, but also relying and leaning on each other for support. Thus Yu Luo Cha was absolutely certain that her ShiFu did not take any other disciples. That was why she was so shaken when she saw the masked girl execute that stance, for within her heart she was worried that it was Yue Ming Ke and Zhuo Yi Hang who had taken her sword manual and then secretly passed it off to others afterwards. That day Yu Luo Cha left in a huff after she tied Yue Ming Ke in their sword fight, but when she thought over her actions more carefully afterwards, she truly regretted them. She returned to the cave and searched around, yet not only could she not find the sword manual, but even the sword stances that were carved onto the walls have been abolished. Yu Luo Cha thus silently made a vow to herself that she will retrieve and bring back her ShiFu's sword manual. Therefore, having just seen with her own eyes the masked girl executing the exclusive sword stances of her school, how could she possibly not chase after her with haste?

    The young girl ran ahead of them while Yu Luo Cha, Zhuo Yi Hang and Wang Zhao Xi trailed tightly behind her. After a while, Yu Luo Cha had already caught up to the young girl while Wang Zhao Xi and Zhuo Yi Hang were left behind. Probably due to the fact that she was being pursued so urgently, the young girl started to scream loudly, Papa! Yu Luo Cha slowed down slightly and laughed, Alright, I'll wait till I see your father before I question you.

    By that time, they have already arrived at the foot of the QingFeng mountain located outside the city gates. The young girl was screaming for her father all the while as she was running up the mountain, but Yu Luo Cha stuck to her like a shadow. Yu Luo Cha's sword swayed back and forth as she followed closely behind, while the tip of her blade would constantly arrive at the back of the young girl time after time. The young girl was terror stricken and petrified, but whether she dodged to the left or ducked to the right, she was still unable to escape. Meanwhile Yu Luo Cha was like a nimble cat toying with her mouse, enjoying herself tremendously while playing with this toy. Yu Luo Cha's mischievous and playful laughter rang out incessantly while the young girl was so terrified now that she had started to shriek hysterically. The sounds of laughing and shrieking mixed together and rang throughout the night. Suddenly, the young girl tripped forward and screamed, Papa! as a strange whistling sound came from the mid section of the mountain.

    When Yu Luo Cha retracted her sword and observed closely, all she could see was a grey flash hurtling straight down towards them like a shooting comet and blazing meteor, truly arriving with the speed of sound. Yu Luo Cha jumped a few steps to the side and immediately saw a tall old man with a nose like an eagle and a jaw resembling a lion. A bristly beard filled the lower half of his face to finish off a most unattractive appearance. He roared loudly, Who dares to pick on my daughter?! The young girl's face was streaked with tears as she quickly ran up to hide behind the old man while saying with a pampered pout, Papa! Rip out the eyes of that thieving wench for me!

    With a cold laugh, Yu Luo Cha pointed with her long sword and said, Return my sword manual to me right away old bandit! The old man paused briefly and growled in a low voice, What sword manual? The young girl sobbed, Papa, that thieving wench is accusing me of being a thief! But when did I ever set eyes upon her so called sword manual? She kept on pressing her sword against my back earlier, she's obviously intent on picking on me! Papa, you have to gouge out her eyes for me!

    The young girl was repeatedly insulting Yu Luo Cha by calling her a thieving wench, causing Yu Luo Chas blood to really boil with anger. Though the smile on her face has not yet disappeared, yet the sword in her hand had already pierced out! The old man uttered a Hey! and retreated three steps as he pushed the young girl away with his palm while saying, Stand on top of that crag for now. Don't you dare help out, I saw everything that just happened.

    When Yu Luo Cha did not succeed with her first stab, her second and third stance immediately pierced out in sequential fashion. The old man ripped out with an angry roar as his body soared up, the fingers on his left hand thrusting out like lances, piercing straight for Yu Luo Cha's eyes. His right palm swept out like a sabre, chopping towards the lower part of Yu Luo Cha's legs. His two hands were placed respectively at the top and bottom, a form resembling the Yue (14) family's Rafter propping hands. But when compared to the authentic Rafter propping hands, the dynamic force of this man's palms was even more powerful! Yu Luo Cha had already struck out and could not retract her stance in time, therefore with a sink and charge of her body, she immediately executed the Sparrow gliding through clouds supreme levitation skill in order to soar up thirty feet into the air without using the help of any objects. She twisted a full circle in mid-air to land on top of a large stone crag located on the median point of the mountain.

    The old man immediately followed by jumping up and shouting with rage, Never in my life have I encountered anybody who dares to issue a challenge to my face, how dare you be so rude? What is the name of your ShiFu? Yu Luo Cha's expression changed ever so slightly as she immediately ripped out into laughter and said, Never in my life have I met anybody who dared to scream and shout in my face. What is the name of your ShiFu?

    The old man was a wandering martial arts master who possessed rare abilities, and it is true that within his life, he really has remained undefeated. He asked Yu Luo Cha about her ShiFu and school of martial arts by assuming the status of an senior and elder, but little did he think that such a young girl like Yu Luo Cha would also dare to demand him for the background of his ShiFu and school, treating him like a junior and student. The old man was so angry that even his beard and eyebrows were rippling with fury as he thundered, You pompous little runt! Answer to my palm! Yu Luo Cha smiled faintly before suddenly diving down from the top of the crag.

    Such is: The Demoness faces off against the Old Freak, the champion determined through the sword and palm.

    *********************
    12)Golden Dragon: The literal translation should be Golden SCALY dragon
    13)the area between his thumb and index finger: The original term is hu kou which literally translates as Tigers mouth. This area should be the muscle/flesh part situated between the thumb and index finger, which should be analogous to the group of abductor pollicis muscles in the hand.
    14) Yue Referring to Yue Fei, the Song Dynasty general whom as legend has it, was the founder of various different and important styles of martial arts.
    春花秋月几时了,
    往事知多少?
    小楼昨夜又东风,
    故国不堪回首明月中.
    雕栏玉砌应犹在,
    只是朱颜改.
    问君能有几多愁,
    恰似一江春水向东流.
    --南唐后主,李煜.

  17. #37

    Default Her translation rant, because she can't help it...

    First of all: Happy Holidays everyone!

    Hope everyone is doing well Sorry it took me so long to update ... I am still very enthusiastic and dedicated about translating this book, it's just not always so easy to actually throw a chapter out. But hopefully, I can finish another chapter by Chinese New Year (fingers crossed).

    Okay ... here starts the rant!

    I remember very clearly that chapter 5 is the exact chapter of where I started to fall in love with the story and the character of Yu Luo Cha. Although there were good parts before this chapter, and I felt that Yu Luo Cha was a very different and cool character, plus I enjoyed and appreciated the emphasis on girl power and strength, but it was really a certain part in this chapter which caused me to really love this character. Before this, we knew that Yu Luo Cha was beautiful, deadly yet fair, mysterious, "wicked" but also "heroic", patriotic, impulsive and extremely skilled in martial arts. Basically just these traits is enough to like her. But what really caught my eye in this chapter was another major trait of Yu Luo Cha -- her PLAYFULNESS. Check out these passages of chapter 5:

    The young girl was screaming for her father all the while as she was running up the mountain, but Yu Luo Cha stuck to her like a shadow. Yu Luo Cha's sword swayed back and forth as she followed closely behind, while the tip of her blade would constantly arrive at the back of the young girl time after time. The young girl was terror stricken and petrified, but whether she dodged to the left or ducked to the right, she was still unable to escape. Meanwhile Yu Luo Cha was like a nimble cat toying with her mouse, enjoying herself tremendously while playing with this toy. Yu Luo Cha's mischievous and playful laughter rang out incessantly while the young girl was so terrified now that she had started to shriek hysterically. The sounds of laughing and shrieking mixed together and rang throughout the night.
    .............................
    The old man immediately followed by jumping up and shouting with rage, Never in my life have I encountered anybody who dares to issue a challenge to my face, how dare you be so rude? What is the name of your ShiFu? Yu Luo Cha's expression changed ever so slightly as she immediately ripped out into laughter and said, Never in my life have I met anybody who dared to scream and shout in my face. What is the name of your ShiFu?
    /


    ... I just love it!

    One correction ... in one of my earlier post-trans rants, I said that in the first chapter, I felt that Liang YuSheng wasn't able to fully carve out the characteristics of the character yet ... in that he wasn't exactly sure how he wanted to depict this character ... but when I was translating later chapters, I realize that he had actually hinted at her playful character from the very first chapter:

    Yu Luo Cha smiles gaily and said, Alright, then you better pay attention because here I come! Taking out her sword, she nimbly approaches. Geng Shao Nan noticed that her sword was approaching at an incredibly slow pace and her attitude was not at all serious. It was almost as if she was just goofing around. Geng Shao Nan could not be sure whether she really was serious or whether she was just playing around with him. Nevertheless, he raised his sword to counterattack. Surprisingly, with just a light twist of her wrist, the tip of Yu Luo Chas sword has already arrived at Geng Shao Nans throat as she released a charming laugh and said, Im afraid that your stance wasnt good enough. Come, try again!

    Yu Luo Cha's playfulness is a very different sort of playfulness, very different from what I've encountered before in the other wuxia books ... she's definitely not Princess Poopoo's type of clap-my-hands-and-play-retarded-games type of mentally challenged playfulness. She's also not HR's type of mischevious, yet overall very childlike sort of energetic playfulness. Her kind is an edgier kind of playfulness. It's a playfulness that comes with extreme confidence (and oftentimes: arrogance) over one's martial art abilities, buffered by a personality that is unruly, wild and adventure-seeking. To liken this attitude to JY characters, I can only describe her as being edgier than LWC's type of arrogant and unruly trickster, yet more playful than Ren WoXing's type of the confident and overbearing conqueror. Uh ... don't know how much sense that makes to you guys, but hopefully you'll eventually get what I'm saying as you read on in further chapters.

    Her playfulness was what caught my eye and made me start to love this character, but the character trait that caused me to ultimately love this character after I had first finished reading the novel was her overall COLOURFUL personality. She laughs, cries, fun, lives for adventure, loves and hates with equal fervor .... just a very different, strong and powerful female character ... but also a very colourful person ontop of it all

    Now, doing the translation and spending so much time thinking over the character and her actions, I realize exactly what it is about Yu Luo Cha that I love. It's not just her remarkable qualities and extraordinary abilities, not just her colourful and unique personality, but it's the fact that to me, Yu Luo Cha is the ULTIMATE JIANGHU NU!

    She's NOT the perfect heroine (someone like Nu 4 Niang of "Jianghu 3 Nu Xia" is), she's not an enlightened martial arts master (unlike Nu 4 Niang, Zhang 3 Feng or even DGKB), but she is definitely a girl of the Jianghu world. She is a character that loves martial arts (or rather, loves a good fight ), loves rubbing shoulders with the Jianghu heroes (which would sometimes include people of the Lulin - underground world) and ridiculing/shaming the jianghu hypocrites/villans. She values and lives by the code of righteous honour to friends and brothers/sisters of the Jianghu world rather than traditional customs and social taboos. Though some people have mentioned that she's too competitive and "eager" to start a fight, yet I see her as being a person who just loves martial arts. Just like the kid who likes basketball plays every chance they can get or watch any good match (LYS actually likened her interest in martial arts to a chess fanatic's interest in chess). She's just a passionate fanatic and master of martial arts. I feel that it's the kind of adventure and adreneline rush that she seeks after. She's a bandit and she's proud of who she is. She doesn't always have the easiest life -- but she lives life and loves life. She would never be interested in ZYH's history and literature books - she likes to pick up a sword and have a good fight instead. She belongs in the Jianghu. And this is one of the greatest differences between her and Zhuo Yi Hang. ZYH does NOT belong in the Jianghu, and he could never really adjust to her personality and lifestyle.

    Okay, I'll leave it at that for now ... but I just want to leave you guys with one more thought in regards to this topic ... if you are to understand and FEEL the difference between Yu Luo Cha and Bai Fa Mo Nu (white haired demoness), then there are 2 traits that you have to pick out and like about this character - 1) her beauty (although all LYS characters are good looking, and all female protagonist in his novels are beautiful like immortals, yet I personally feel that he spends extra time and emphasis on YLC's beauty ... this will obviously serve an effect when contrasted with her subsequent fate). 2) her playful and outgoing personality. Won't say too much about this b/c I don't want to give anything away ...

    春花秋月几时了,
    往事知多少?
    小楼昨夜又东风,
    故国不堪回首明月中.
    雕栏玉砌应犹在,
    只是朱颜改.
    问君能有几多愁,
    恰似一江春水向东流.
    --南唐后主,李煜.

  18. #38

    Default First half of Chapter 6

    Chapter 6

    Sentiments Revealed Under Moonlit Night
    Binds Ill-fated Love
    Battling Rare Master on Mountain
    Sword Palm Faces Off


    The old man gathered together the power of his inner Qi and directed it all onto the one strike of his palm, sending forth a gust of howling wind. Yu Luo Cha flitted by to avoid his strike, and as her clothes rippled about in the breeze, her long sword simultaneously plunged downwards from mid air. The old man immediately flipped around to push out with his palms, hastily striking towards Yu Luo Cha's vital acupoints. With just a slight movement of her body, Yu Luo Cha's long sword had already flipped around to pierce upwards by using the Threading the Golden Needle stance. It was almost as if the old man had already expected her to use such a move for he suddenly took a step forward as the tip of Yu Luo Cha's sword immediately glided past his ribs. He then brought his two palms together and then suddenly spread them apart, extending towards the left and right sides, thus causing the Virginal boy praying to the Kuan Yin stance to suddenly transform into the Ying Yang clashing palms that struck towards Yu Luo Cha mercilessly. But for some reason, Yu Luo Cha also seemed to have been able to predict that he was going to use this stance, and with a plunge of her sword, her blade immediately shot back up and pierced towards the Qi Men accupoint located on the old man's underarms. The old man did not budge a step, but suddenly contracted his body to evade this stance while immediately transforming his palms into fists and then charged forward with a Side punch to a Tiger stance. Yu Luo Cha extended her body and jumped up more than ten feet into the air before diving down diagonally. The old man roared, Answer to this stance kid! and immediately attacked forward. Yu Luo Cha flashed a beautiful smile and chimed, Answer to this stance old bandit! and with a sweep of her sword, her blade pared away.

    The old man thought that she was using the DaMo Sword skill's Leaping across river stance, therefore moved from the Kan (1) position to the Li (2) position. Then with a back flip of his hand, he attempted to clamp down onto the wrist of her sword-wielding hand. But Yu Luo Cha charged forward with her sword unexpectedly and just when she's reached the mid point of her attack, she immediately changed the direction of her strike and headed straight towards the position of where her opponent has just dodged to. The old man was greatly taken back, but luckily his martial arts were of such an incredible caliber that it enabled him to change stances with the speed of lightning, and thus with a whirl while still residing in the Li position, he further retaliated by attacking with the middle and index finger of his left hand, striking towards the Phoenix Eye Acupoint located behind Yu Luo Cha's back. Yu Luo Cha's method of countering this attack was to immediately strike back, attacking her opponent as a means of countering her opponent's attack. The old man was forced to flee the Li position, causing the attack of both sides to cancel each other out.

    Yu Luo Cha and the old man were both competing to gain the upper hand, thus there was not a single moment, stance or move of where either of them relented. Their every action was calculated with the utmost precision as they each struggled to gain the edge over the other. Yu Luo Cha's sword skill was mystical and unfathomable, for even when she seemed to be charging forward, she would suddenly appear from behind you, and when she appeared to strike towards the left, she would suddenly come from the right. Her sword skill seemed to comprise the essence of the various schools and sects of sword art, yet at the same time there was not a single stance which bared true similarity to its original.

    Similarly, the old man's palm strikes were incredibly strange as well, for regardless of how thunderous the force and speed of his strikes were, and regardless of how his attacks rained down like a hurricane, his body still continued to move in accordance with the formation of the Eight Houses and Five Steps. For amongst martial art theories, the Eight Houses referred to eight different directions that were plotted out according to the positions of the houses in the Eight Trigrams: Kan, Li, Dui, Zhen, Xun, Qian, Kun and Gen (3). There were four official positions (4) and four slanting positions. (5) As for the five steps, that was in reference to the five step-formations that were determined in accordance to the five elements of Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth. The five step-formations thus proceed as: advance, retreat, attending to the left (6), expecting from the right (7) and remaining at center. These attacking and guarding transformations of the Eight Houses and Five Steps were originally created by Zhang San Feng, the founder of the Tai Chi school. It was known as the Thirteen Positions of Tai Chi, for the Tai Chi fists were founded on the principle of overcoming the hard with the soft. The force of this old man's punches was incredibly dynamic and was an embodiment of raw strength. But the movement and step formations that he was using belonged to the Thirteen positions of Tai Chi. Therefore, his attack was comprised of a mixture of both hard and soft forces. To embody both forces simultaneously and then to use it towards combat was most definitely something that was not possible had one's martial arts not approached the level of the Enlightened yet.

    Yu Luo Cha and the old man could only counter each other's attack by using the method of counter-attacking, yet even after exchanging over one hundred stances, neither one of them were able to gain the slightest edge over the other, causing Yu Luo Cha to be secretly alarmed. She knew it was no longer a joke and thus no longer dared to treat the situation in a playful manner. Instead, her expression became somber and serious, as she concentrated all her attention on combating her opponent and executed the exclusive sword art that was related to her by her ShiFu with increasing intensity and speed, causing the deadliness of her attack to reach a level that she has never attained before.

    Similarly, the old man had already fought over one hundred stances but was still unable to win the upper hand. The mystical brilliance of Yu Luo Cha's sword skill forced him to take extreme caution at every turn. As the battle escalated to its most intense moment, the two silhouettes flitted back and forth in such a blur that amongst the tornado created from the palm's strike and the rays of luminance projected from the sword's attack, it was no longer possible to differentiate which silhouette belonged to the old man and which one belonged to the young girl!

    The old man secretly took a deep breath for he truly could not imagine that a young girl of such an immortal beauty could actually execute a sword skill of such deadliness that it was unmatched by anything he's ever encountered before. She truly was one of the few worthy opponents that he has ever had the chance of encountering throughout his whole life. Similarly, Yu Luo Cha was also taking a deep breath as she never would have expected this old man's palm strikes to embody such thunderous force. She had to admit that in terms of inner energy cultivation, it seems that this old man was a notch above her.

    The battle has now reached a point of where termination or a harmless resolution was made almost impossible for both sides were delivering deadly strikes to the other. In the midst of their intense battle, Yu Luo Cha suddenly heard a scream of terror drifting in from the back of the mountains. It sounded like Zhuo Yi Hang's voice. Her concentration and attention was momentarily disconcerted and as a result, her swords attack slowed down just ever so slightly. But just that little bit was enough for the old man to deliver a strike with a whoosh of his palm while residing in the Gen position. Yu Luo Cha immediately pierced out with the stance astrological shift, cosmic realignment, but by that time the old man's palm has also arrived at the corners of her clothing. Just when it became very evident that the fight was only going to result in a double fatality, the old man suddenly retreated a few steps and shouted, Don't come forward! Yu Luo Cha glanced over to the side and discovered that on the crag of which the young girl was standing on, there had appeared a beautiful middle-age woman. The old man's words were meant for that beautiful matron. Considering the supreme martial art abilities of Yu Luo Cha and the high sensitivity of her acute senses, she was actually unable to detect exactly when this woman had arrived. In fact, there wasn't any space or room during her fight that allowed her to divert her attention for even a brief moment, truly illustrating how intense and dangerous the battle was.

    By now, Yu Luo Cha was truly a little impressed by the old man as she thought to herself: when a first rate fighter is in combat, they must be completely receptive to their surroundings. Their eyes should be able to survey all four directions and their ears must also be sensitive to sounds coming from all eight sides. But once coming across an equally matched opponent, I was unable devote a shred of attention to my surroundings! That really goes to show that I'm still not seasoned enough.

    The old man gave out a loud roar and with a flip of his body, came forward again while shouting, Let's continue the fight! Yu Luo Cha replied with anger, Did you think that I was scared of you? It's a shame that despite having such supreme martial arts, you would actually stoop so low to pull such a dirty trick of stealing someone elses martial arts manual. Today if you don't return my sword manual to me, I swear that you will never see the end of me! Then with two swipes of her sword, she attacked in sequential fashion. The old man roared furiously and countered with a Piling Mountains, Overthrowing Ocean, as the two resumed their fight again.

    Meanwhile, standing on top of the crag was the young girl who had faced off against Yu Luo Cha earlier. She turned towards the lovely matron who came up behind her afterwards and said, Auntie, go and punish that thieving wench for me! The lovely matron said, ah-Hu, your execution of the butterfly darts are notches above mine, why ask me to make a fool of myself? The young girl replied, Papa said that I was not to help out. The lovely matron asked quietly, What sword manual is she talking about? Did that sword manual belong to her? The expression on the young girl's face changed immediately as she pressed her lips against the matron's ear and whispered, Don't say any more, if Papa hears of this, we'll be in big trouble! The lovely matron only smiled faintly while thinking in her heart: That old corpse is in a life and death battle right now, he won't be able to hear me even if I raised my voice louder. But when she noticed the nervousness in the young girl, she smiled and took out three butterfly darts while saying, Fine, I won't say anymore than. Just watch how I punish her for you! and with a grand sweep of her right hand, the three butterfly darts emanated strange whistling sounds as it zipped through the air, and with the speed of lightning headed straight towards Yu Luo Cha.

    At that moment, Yu Luo Cha was in the midst of an intense battle with the old man. Though the execution of Yu Luo Cha's sword stances became increasing faster, the force of the old man's palms was also becoming increasingly dynamic. The two fighters both had their full attention devoted to the battle when the projectiles shot in from the side. Yu Luo Cha had the ability to differentiate the type of weapon that was being thrown just by listening to the sound it emanates. Therefore, she knew right from the beginning that there were three butterfly darts that were shooting towards her and striking towards three different spots on her body the Qi-Men Acupoint, the Dang-Men Acupoint and the Bai Hai Acupoint. If this was any other time, based on Yu Luo Cha's abilities, these three measly butterfly darts were truly nothing more than just mere child's play. She needed only to lift a finger, and all the attacking projectiles would have been shot down. But right now, the two equally matched fighters were battling for their lives. One fighter excelled in having a deep reserve of inner energy levels, while the other fighter's sword skill was incredibly powerful, causing them to be perfectly matched in terms of ability. The situation was akin to the two sides of a balance that was perfectly equal in weight, where adding just a single pin or a thread onto either side would cause a disruption in the perfect equilibrium.

    When Yu Luo Cha heard the sounds of the impending projectiles fly towards her, her face immediately changed colours as she sneered, Shameless bastard! Can't believe you would actually resort to such sleazy moves! Yet surprisingly, she did not evade the projectiles. The sword in her hand executed the Facing the lapping waves and then immediately switched to the Three rings covering the moon, attacking straight towards the Jiang Tai acupoint located on her opponent's front while simultaneously coming in from the side to attack his Ju Gu Acupoint.

    You're probably wondering why Yu Luo Cha was not dodging the projectiles? It was because Yu Luo Cha knew that though to evade the projectiles was not at all a hard task, yet if she divided her attention to impede the projectiles, in accordance with her opponent's skilled martial arts, she knew that he would take the opportunity to attack and then she would most definitely be finished. Therefore, she figured that she might as well bring her opponent down with her. This way, even if she was going to die, she can at least die with dignity. Her last two stances were incredibly vicious, for with just two snipes of her blade she was able to force the old man to jump from the Gen position to the Qian house. Yu Luo Cha's attack did not slow down a slight bit as she lurched forward and attacked with her sword, transforming from the Three rings covering the moon to the White spectrum envelops sun, aiming the tip of her blade straight for the Xuan Ji acupoint located on the old man's chest. By that time, the three butterfly darts were already fast approaching and was just about to make contact with Yu Luo Cha's throat!

    As the projectiles hurtled forward, Yu Luo Cha was not the only one who underwent a change of colour, for the old man's face has also bloated to a beet red. Having heard Yu Luo Cha's charge, he became even more embarrassed and humiliated. Thus with a shift of his shoulders, his right palm suddenly shot out in the air and deflected a butterfly dart, shocking it out towards the bottom of the mountain. This action took Yu Luo Cha completely by surprise, but by that time it was already too late for her to retract her attack as her sword automatically entered through the lapse. By shifting his shoulders, the old man was only able to evade frontal contact, but a tearing sound was heard as the blade went through his sleeve, causing the tip of the blade to leave a wound on his arm and fresh blood to drip out. The old man did not utter a single sound, but with a melancholy gloom jumped back more than ten feet. By that time, the second and third darts have already arrived in front of Yu Luo Cha.

    Now that her powerful opponent has retreated, Yu Luo Cha only needed to give a sweep of her sword and already the two butterfly darts were struck down. The old man charged towards the mid section of the mountain and pointed to the lovely matron while scolding in a severe tone, Who gave you the orders to shoot out projectiles? The lovely matron had an incredibly flirtatious demeanor, and with a bat of her eyelashes, she put on a hurt and wronged face as she pouted, Master, you never gave me any orders to stay out of it. She was picking on ah-Hu, why should we go easy on her? Master, I did everything for you and your daughter! Her eyes reddened and tears brimmed about. Yu Luo Cha's shadow flitted up high into the air, and like a giant condor gliding in the air she struck towards them while shouting, Bit*ch! So it was you who fired those projectiles and with a sweep of her right hand, three silver needles flashed out, glinting under the sun's glare. The old man lifted up his sleeve and with a billow brought down two needles while the third silver needle pierced straight into the lovely matron's shoulders, causing her to shriek out in pain.

    The old man shouted, You saw for yourself! Her firing the projectiles has nothing to do with me. You are certainly one despicable and ruthless thief, first you pick on my daughter and now you're injuring my beloved mistress! There is no way I'm letting you go. We'll have a one on one fight, but nobody is allowed to bring along any helpers this time. Do you dare to accept my challenge?

    Yu Luo Cha suddenly laughed, causing the old man's face to immediately change colours as he said, We can fight right here and now if you have the guts! He thought that Yu Luo Cha was jeering at the fact that he was injured under her sword, which was why he wanted to arrange another date for them to have a rematch. But in actuality, Yu Luo Cha was laughing at his behaviour. She knew that considering the old man's martial art abilities, to strike down all three of the needles that she fired out earlier would not be a hard task. But he purposely allowed one needle to pass through, thus injuring the lovely matron in the process. She figured that this was very likely his way of punishing and reprimanding his mistress, as she thought to herself: So that woman's his mistress, no wonder he had to conceal his actions and lay the blame of her injury on me. Yu Luo Cha then said, You stole my sword manual, there is no way that I would be letting you off the hook. But we're both tired today, even if we continued fighting, we won't get any results. Where do you live? If you are willing to reveal the location of your abode, I will most definitely pay a visit to you one day. Not only had Yu Luo Cha's words and tone softened greatly, but furthermore, she did not mention anything about the old man being injured.

    The old man was an established and famed figure in the martial arts world, therefore when his beloved mistress secretly fired out darts during the middle of his fight to help him out, he almost wanted to hide with embarrassment. This was the reason why he was not angry even though he had just sustained a sword wound. Hearing Yu Luo Cha ask him this question, he thought for a moment before answering, Alright, a month from now I will be waiting for you at the Tie Mansion located in LongMen. Yu Luo Cha was completely taken back, while the old man took his mistress in one hand and his daughter in the other and immediately flew down the mountain. Yu Luo Cha had more questions to ask and was just about to chase after them when she suddenly heard Zhuo Yi Hang and Wang Zhao Xi cry from the back of the mountain, Heroine Lian! Lian jiejie! (8) Hurry! Come quickly! The person who was calling Lian jiejie was Zhuo Yi Hang, causing Yu Luo Cha's heart to be filled with warmth. But because she was worried that they might have undergone harm, she immediately ran towards the back of the mountain.

    ***********************************
    1)Kan: The Kan house amongst the 8 Gua (Eight Trigrams) is considered as the position representing the element of Water such as the Moon. Sometimes this Yin house is said to reside in the Western sphere, but most resources list it as being in the Northern house. Such discrepancies may be a result of the earlier and later version of the 8 Gua
    2)Li: The Li house amongst the 8 Gua is considered as the position representing the element of Fire such as the Sun. Sometimes this Yang house is said to reside in the Eastern sphere, but most resources lists it as being in the Southern house. Such discrepancies may be a result of the earlier and later version of the 8 Gua.
    3) houses of the 'Eight Trigrams': Kan, Li, Dui, Zhen, Xun, Qian, Kun, Gen: These 8 elements are commonly translated as: Water, Fire, Marsh, Thunder, Wind, Heaven, Earth and Mountain.
    4)four 'official positions': referring to North, South, East and West.
    5)four 'slanting positions': referring to Northwest, Northeast, Southeast and Southwest.
    6)attending to the left: book's footnote: an action which embodies the intention of turning towards the left.
    7)expecting from the right: book's footnote: an action which embodies the intention of turning towards the right.
    8)Jiejie: translates as older sister. Zhuo Yi Hang may indeed be one or two years younger than Yu Luo Cha, but it should also be noted that Zhuos act of addressing Yu Luo Cha as an older sister is a way of expressing respect and veneration. In LYSs novels, such a method of addressing another is quite common, even in cases where the younger person may in actuality be a few years older. Similarly, characters sometimes uses the terms older sister/brother (jiejie/gege) and young sister/brother (meimei/didi) interchangeably even when referring to the same person.
    春花秋月几时了,
    往事知多少?
    小楼昨夜又东风,
    故国不堪回首明月中.
    雕栏玉砌应犹在,
    只是朱颜改.
    问君能有几多愁,
    恰似一江春水向东流.
    --南唐后主,李煜.

  19. #39

    Default

    Amongst the maze of rocks that was scattered behind the mountain, Wang Zhao Xi and Zhuo Yi Hang could both be seen crouching inside a stone cave. Yu Luo Cha asked with curiosity, Hey, what are you guys doing? Zhuo Yi Hang turned around and jumped outside while saying in a somber voice, Taoist Priest Zhen Qian has been murdered! Yu Luo Cha jumped and said, What? Taoist Priest Zhen Qian has been murdered? and immediately ran forward for a look. She immediately saw Taoist Priest Zhen Qian sitting cross legged within the stone cave with blood dripping from his seven orifices. (9) The frozen expression on his face clearly communicated the immeasurable pain he had to sustain. Yu Luo Cha reached out her hand to touch his body, discovering that though his pulse had stopped, his body temperature was still lukewarm, thus indicating that his breath had stopped not long ago. Zhuo Yi Hang said, Someone must have murdered him because they wanted to get their hands on his sword manual! Yu Luo Cha's heart jumped as she gasped and hurriedly asked, What sword manual are you talking about? Zhuo Yi Hang replied, Your ShiFu's sword manual! Brother Ming Ke asked Taoist Priest Zhen Qian to deliver it to Elder Tian Du. But nobody would have expected that he would suddenly die here in the middle of nowhere while the sword manual would end up missing! Yu Luo Cha shouted with anger, It must be that old bandit Tie's doing! And I thought that he was a respectful elder with a strain of the heroic valor within him! I can't believe that the old bandit would not only steal my sword manual, but would actually dare to murder Taoist Priest Zhen Qian! Wang Zhao Xi asked, But how did you know it was him? Yu Luo Cha replied, Taoist Priest's martial arts are of such a skilled level, if it wasn't the old bandit's doing, who else would have the ability to injure him? Hey! Wang Zhao Xi, are you old acquaintances with that old bandit? Tell me now! Zhuo Yi Hang chipped in, You guys keep going on and on, but who exactly is this 'Old Bandit Tie'?

    Yu Luo Cha answered, Even though Ive only branched out on my own for three years, yet I'm quite aware of the figures and heroes belonging to both the black and white sides. Tie Fei Long is from the LongMen County located in the ShanXi province. He is well known to others as a strange martial artist belonging to the Northwest regions. Am I right? Wang Zhao Xi continued, This person resides in the juncture between the good and the bad. He may do good deeds, but he similarly does bad deeds. Anyone who dares to harass him would most definitely be shamed and tortured to their deaths. But he has been very proud and arrogant his whole life, he might not be willing to do such things as steal another sect's sword manual. Yu Luo Cha glared and asked, Did you think my eyes were playing tricks on me then? The girl who appeared in the prefecture building was that his daughter? Wang Zhao Xi nodded and with an embarrassed expression answered, Yes. Yu Luo Chan then said, The sword skill that his daughter used was my very own sect's sword skill. Wang Zhao Xi's eyes widened with surprise and asked, Is that really true? Yu Luo Cha laughed coldly and said, You must be trying to protect her on account of seeing that she's a beautiful young girl! These words took Wang Zhao Xi by such surprise that he stepped back two steps and respectfully stated, My father does indeed know that old man, but all I know of him are what I hear from others' words. In honesty, I am not too aware of exactly what his true character is like. But in actuality, Wang Zhao Xi did have an incident with Tie Fei Long and his daughter. He originally wanted to reveal the details, but when he saw how angry Yu Luo Cha got, he immediately swallowed up the words that had already arrived at his lips.

    Yu Luo Cha continued, I battled Old Bandit Tie for half a day and still had no idea who he was. But before he left, he told me to find him at the Tie Mansion of the LongMen County. He's really got some guts! He actually dares to leave me his name after stealing my sword manual and murdering a good man! I most definitely will seek him out and settle this score!

    Suddenly, Zhuo Yi Hang was heard to cry out with an Ai-yah! and then continued, I remember now. This old man has a nose like a hawk and a mouth of a lion, a bristly short beard also fills the lower half of his face to complete his unappealing appearance am I right? Yu Luo Cha asked, You know him as well?

    Zhuo Yi Hang replied, Around seven or eight years ago, he came to my ShiFu and challenged him to a competition based on the skill of palm attacks. My ShiFu refused, therefore asked my fourth martial arts uncle to compete with him instead. My uncle ended up losing by one stance. After this incident, my uncles all blamed my ShiFu for not helping out and causing Wu Tang's name to be shamed. But my ShiFu replied, 'The way to counter arrogant and competitive people is to let them win, especially since our Wu Tang's eminence is already like a large tree that easily attracts the rage of stray winds. Why should we bring more trouble upon ourselves just to win this one little match? Besides, I can tell that though he won over brother you by one stance, yet within his heart, he already holds our sect in true deference.' My four uncles all asked what my ShiFu based this theory on, but my ShiFu only smiled and did not respond. It was only later did he reveal to me: 'I didn't want to tell them the truth because your fourth uncle is similarly a competitive and arrogant person. The man used the Dragon Subduing Hands to win your fourth uncle by one stance. That was a powerful stance found within his Thunderstorm Palms of the Eight Trigram. After he won, he was discussing the dynamics of his stance with me and his attitude was very pleased and haughty for he thought that there was nobody in the world who would be able to dismantle this stance. I didn't say anything, but when I saw him to the door, I purposely stood in an eight trigram foot sequence, and from the Xun position, I ran straight towards the Qian position before turning straight towards the Li direction. I brought my hands together to form a fist and bowed with my palms slanting downwards. Then with a separation of my left and right hands, I appeared to be performing the rites of seeing one's guest out, but in actuality, I was executing the stance which could overthrow the stance in the Dragon Subduing Hands. He is an expert, therefore of course he would be able to discern my true intention. That was why after he stepped out of the doors, he turned around and brought his hands together in a bow and then asked me to excuse his previous actions.' Wang Zhao Xi praised, Your ShiFu's character is truly magnanimous. Yu Luo Cha snickered coldly, I would never be so nice when dealing with such despicable villains.

    Wang Zhao Xi did not dare to make a sound, but within his heart he was secretly crying for help. Tie Fei Long did not have a male child, he had only one daughter named ShanHu (10) whom he spoiled immensely. He was not only arrogant and competitive, but his personality and ways were always considered as being quite strange and eccentric. Therefore he rarely associates with the people of the martial arts world, and similarly, other people dared not to bother him. Because of this reason, though Tie Shan Hu was actually quite lovely, yet even now at the age of eighteen, she still remains to be unmarried. Tie Fei Long brings her along with him as he roams around the martial arts world, but he was still unable to find a suitable husband for his daughter. Because Wang Zhao Xi assists his father in handling the affairs of the Northern Shaan area's underground world, he has established quite a reputation for himself. Coincidently, Tie Fei Long and Wang Zhao Xi's father Wang Jia Yin knew each other already, thus when Tie heard of Wang Zhao Xi's name, he secretly laughed at himself for not taking notice of the cream of the crop that was standing right in front of him, but was instead digging around at the bottom of the barrel.

    Therefore, along with his daughter they arrived at the Yan An City to visit Wang Jia Yin, and of course Wang Jia Yin showed the greatest respect and devoted his utmost attention to this wandering master of rare ability. After the father and daughter met Wang Zhao Xi, they found him to be extremely suitable and thus after the banquet finished, Tie Fei Long straight out proposed marriage to the Wang family. Wang Jia Yin was extremely apologetic and could only tactfully explain that his son was already engaged to the daughter of Meng Can, the martial arts instructor of Beijing. This marriage engagement was made before the kids were even born, therefore they could only ask Tie Fei Long to please select another suitable husband for his daughter. But what he really didn't expect was that Tie Fei Long could actually be so inconsiderate of social etiquette, for he actually smacked down on the table and shouted, And you call yourself a lord of the underground world when you're accepting a dog that works for the imperial courts as your in-laws? Is there a single thing about my daughter that's not perfect? Call off that marriage engagement right away! Wang Jia Yin knew that he was dealing with an unreasonable man, and since he was also in the midst of putting together important matters, he didn't want to anger such a person. Therefore he could only say, Even if we were to call it off, I still have to explain everything to Master Meng. But we are separated by such great distances, it's not something that can be accomplished over the course of a day or two. Tie Fei Long then took his daughter and left in an angry huff. Afterwards, Wang Jia Yin asked his son what his feelings were towards this incident. Wang Zhao Xi did not particularly like Tie Shan Hu, and did not wish to call off his original marriage engagement for the purpose of establishing another marriage. But at the same time, he also didn't want to anger old Tie, therefore after discussing it over with his father, they decided that Wang Zhao Xi was to hurry towards the capital and quickly complete the marriage ceremonies. But little did they expect that as soon as Wang arrived in the capital, he would come across Meng Can's death, and then come to a misunderstanding with Bai Min.

    Wang Zhao Xi was thinking: Yu Luo Cha is in the midst of striking up a treaty with my family, if she goes to seek out the old freak Tie and end up creating a huge ruckus, then wouldn't all this blame end up being dumped onto my family's head?

    Then Wang Zhao Xi also thought to: Even if all this does end up on my family's front doors, that still may not be much of a big deal. But right now our main task concerns the amalgamation of the world's heroes in hopes that we can come together as one body and do great things one day. These small matters are simply not worth the trouble of ending up on the blacklist of this crazy martial arts master. Besides, old Tie most definitely is not the type to commit murder in order to covet another's manual. Although Wang Zhao Xi was really quite displeased with Yu Luo Cha's way of acting out based on her emotions, yet because he knew that Yu Luo Cha would be even bigger trouble than old Tie, he could only remain silent.

    Having spent half the day in battle and after a long night's toil, the hour was already approaching midday. Yu Luo Cha and the others were all hungry and thirsty, and as the shafts of sunlight shone into the stone cave, the stench of blood became even harder to withstand. Yu Luo Cha tore down a section of her sleeve and returned to the cave to slowly wipe the blood off Taoist Priest Zhen Qian. She noticed that the blood stains were purplish and dark in colour, as if his death was caused by poison. Yu Luo Cha thought to herself: Tie Fei Long's martial arts were above Zhen Qian's, if he wanted to take his manual it seems unlikely that he would need to use poison. She did a careful examination and found that the bones of his jaw were completely shattered, very obviously resulting from the blow of a palm's strike. Then with a closer look at the area of injury, she discovered that the marks of fingers' clenching down onto bone could be vaguely discerned. This was very obviously the result of a victim who was first struck down with a palm strike from his aggressor who then clamped down with their five fingers and utilized the power of inner Qi to injure their victim's throat. Such an act was indeed synonymous with Tie Fei Long's fighting style! Yu Luo Cha's heart was now filled with a great number of unanswered questions.

    The Taoist Priest Zhen Qian was old friends with both Zhuo Yi Hang and Yu Luo Cha's ShiFus. While shedding tears, the two of them dug out a plot in the ground and buried Zhen Qian. Afterwards, Yu Luo Cha gathered together a mound of earth to serve as a representation of lighted incense before then turning towards the heavens to make a solemn vow of seeking revenge for Taoist Priest Zhen Qian.

    The three of them then washed off their blood-stained hands, drank some water from the stream and consumed some dried food. By the time they descended the mountain, Wang Zhao Xi's backup troops has already arrived. Bai Min has also been rescued already and when he saw Yu Luo Cha, he immediately expressed his gratitude with joy.

    When Yu Luo Cha saw how Zhuo Yi Hang's eyebrows were knitted together tightly, she said, Don't worry Brother Zhuo, I have already commanded someone to bring your grandfather's remains to WaYaoBao. When Brother Zhuo you arrive there, we can immediately begin the burial rites. As for your servants, I have already taken the liberty of making the decision for you and have dispersed them after giving them all compensational money. Zhuo Yi Hang remained silent and did not say a single word. He was thinking that since things have come to this point, if he did return home he would most definitely be arrested. Therefore, he could only allow her to arrange things as she pleases.

    Zhuo Yi Hang originally did not want to accompany Wang Zhao Xi to WaYaoBao, but because he needed to rely on him to bury his grandfather's remains, he had no choice but to follow him. WaYaoBao was located around a hundred fifty miles from Yan An City, and since they traveled along with Wang's men and horse troops, by midnight they were able to arrive at their destination. Wang Jia Yin came out personally to greet them and was very happy to finally meet Yu Luo Cha, finding her to be extremely likable. They both exchanged greetings and expressed their admiration for each other. Then when Wang Zhao Xi explained to his father about Zhuo Yi Hang's background, Wang Jia Yin was again filled with joy as he laughed and said, How lucky we are to have someone like Brother Zhuo who is well learned in both the martial and literary arts. What the bunch of us ruffians and hoodlums need is indeed such a talent who has the ability to strategize military tactics. Zhuo Yi Hang acknowledged the praise by returning a greeting with a fold of his hands and then said coldly, We can discuss such matters at later times. Wang Jia Yin was taken back, but Wang Zhao Xi immediately explained in a low voice, Brother Zhuo is in the midst of mourning. Wang Jia Ying then immediately expressed his condolences and then hurriedly ordered someone to bring forth a set of mourning attire for Zhuo Yi Hang to change into.

    Zhuo Yi Hang was desirous to leave as soon as possible, therefore he immediately buried his grandfather the next day and then entreated Wang Zhao Xi to take care of the tomb in the future. Yu Luo Cha had to meet and greet the various fortress leaders during the day time, but by sunset, she still found time to come forward to Zhuo Zhong Lian's tomb to give her respects. Even though she was lighting incenses and candles, as well as accompanying Zhuo Yi Hang in a series of reverential bows, but within her heart she honestly found it funny that she was actually bowing to the high official whom she had robbed in the past. When Zhuo Yi Hang saw how her expression did not communicate any distress or sorrow, he secretly became very displease within his heart for he thought that she was just hypocritically putting on a display of concern. But what he did not understand was Yu Luo Cha's heart. If Yu Luo Cha wasn't doing this for him, even if someone had held the blade of a sword to her neck, they still would never have been able to force her to come and kneel or bow by the tomb.

    The last traces of sunset gradually disappeared from the horizon as the new moon rose in the night sky. Zhuo Yi Hang and Yu Luo Cha were standing shoulder to shoulder as they slowly walked back from the burial grounds. Yu Luo Cha was leaning close by Zhuo Yi Hang, her soulful eyes brimming with expression as she suddenly started to gently play with her hair, seemingly as if desiring to say something, but in the end deciding to remain silent. Zhuo Yi Hang felt as if the air she was exhaling was filled with the fragrance of orchids, causing his soul to palpitate wildly. He hurriedly stepped away, causing Yu Luo Cha to laugh and ask, Even now, you're still scared of me? Zhuo Yi Hang replied, I don't know why you always want to make others be afraid of you. Yu Luo Cha said, Didn't you know that I was nursed by a mother wolf? I never set out with the goal to make others be afraid of me, but maybe it's my untamed wildness that causes others to be scared of me.

    Zhuo Yi Hang suddenly took a deep sigh and thought to how Yu Luo Cha was not only blessed with a beautiful appearance, but she similarly possessed an intelligent mind. She was like a beautiful piece of jade that was so exquisite that it could only have been created by the heavens. It was really a shame that she had nobody to bring her onto the good paths. Yu Luo Cha asked, What's wrong? Why are you suddenly sighing? Zhuo Yi Hang replied, With your supreme martial art abilities, why must you continue to mix in with the crowd of the Underground world?

    Yu Luo Cha's expression changed immediately as she retorted, What's so bad about the underground world? It's at least a much cleaner business than the world of officialdom! Zhuo Yi Hang lowered his head and didn't reply. Yu Luo Cha then said, What plans do you have from now on? Are you really planning to take the position of a government official, and like your grandfather and father, devote your life to the stinking emperor? Zhuo Yi Hang answered with determination, Never in my life will I be an official, but I will similarly never be a bandit! Yu Luo Cha's heart was filled with fury, and had it been someone other than Zhuo Yi Hang who had said these words, she most definitely would have extended out her palm to deliver a hard slap.

    Zhuo Yi Hang then said slowly, I am a Wu Tang disciple, and the rules of our sect states that we are not allowed to act as bandits or escorts. You should know that. Yu Luo Cha sneered and asked, But are your grandfather and father not bandits? Zhuo Yi Hang said with anger, How in the world can they be considered as bandits? Yu Luo Cha answered, Those who act as officials rob from the poor to feed the wealthy. But what we do is rob from the wealthy in order to feed the poor. Yes, we are bandits, but my kind of stealing is at least much better than the kind of stealing that your kind does! Zhuo Yi Hang retorted, Fine! Say as you wish, but we all have our own ways. There's no need to force others to accept your own ideals.

    Yu Luo Cha's body was trembling slightly while an incredible sadness filled her heart. When Zhuo Yi Hang saw the brimming tears that were threatening to fall from her reddened eyes, a compassionate tenderness immediately began to develop within him as he unconsciously reached out to hold her finger and say, Though our ideals and goals may be different, yet our friendship will always remain. Yu Luo Cha asked sadly, When are you going? Zhuo Yi Hang answered, Tomorrow. Yu Luo Cha sighed and did not say anything else. After a long silence, Zhuo Yi Hang changed the topic and asked Yu Luo Cha to tell him all about the strange happenings and interesting anecdotes of the martial arts world, while he himself talked about the colourful lifestyle and attractions of the capital. Under the moonlight, the two of them slowly strolled together while conversing like two old friends. Even though neither of them dared to reveal the feelings concealed within the deepest parts of their hearts, yet they were already able to develop a much better understanding of each other. That evening, they talked until late night before finally parting.

    ***********************************
    9) "Seven orifices: The seven orifices refer to the human body's pair of eyes, pair of ear holes, two nostrils and mouth.
    10) Tie FeiLong ... Tie ShanHu: On the name of these two characters: the surname Tie is the same character for the word Bronze, while the name Fei Long literally translates as Flying/Soaring Dragon and ShanHu translates as Coral.
    春花秋月几时了,
    往事知多少?
    小楼昨夜又东风,
    故国不堪回首明月中.
    雕栏玉砌应犹在,
    只是朱颜改.
    问君能有几多愁,
    恰似一江春水向东流.
    --南唐后主,李煜.

  20. #40

    Default One more translationsal rant.. b/c one just isn't enough.. :D

    hehe ... I'm actually quite proud of the fact that I was able to throw out 1.5 chapters! (big grin) But really, I didn't want to leave you guys hanging with YLC and Tie Fei Long's duel ... it's too disruptive (esp. since y'all know how slow I am). And on a personal level, I couldn't wait to translate the duel part anyways

    Since I ranted about YLC in the 1st rant, I'll say a little bit about ZYH in this 2nd one.

    Again, this is one of the things I came to notice during my translation ... ZYH actually undergoes a transformation throughout the novel. Like I said before, ZYH should not belong to the Jianghu world. He was pretty much a social snob for the first parts of the novel, but gradually came to realize the fickleness and ambiguity in such definitions of "good" v.s "bad" sects. He gradually comes to this realization, but some would say that it was perhaps too late.

    WHD is a novel that heavily emphasizes the seediness and deadliness in the world of officialdom. Obviously, ZYH's father and grandfather were victims of this corrupt system. Contrasted against this is the heroes of the Lulin (underground) world. Notice that when ZYH was locked up in the dungeon during chapter 5 (b/c of this political corrupt system, and his adherence to social rules and customs) ... who were the people that ended up saving him? It wasn't the members of his sect, and it certainly wasn't anybody related to the world of officialdom ... it was the bandits -- Wang Zhao Xi and Yu Luo Cha.

    But ZYH was not particularly thankful. In his heart, there was still resentment and reluctance to associate with these "bandits":

    Wang Zhao Xi said, Brother Zhuo, your unworthy brother has arrived much too late, causing you to suffer for much too long! Zhuo Yi Hang nodded his head but remained silent. Judging from the current situation, Zhuo Yi Hang finally accepted the fact that Wang Zhao Xi really was a powerful bandit of the Northern ShaanXi area. Wang Zhao Xi continued, Let's go watch how Heroine Lian finishes off those two crooked villains. Although Zhuo Yi Hang was not willing to associate with bandits, yet he could still differentiate between what was right and what was wrong. Since others have risked their lives by coming here to rescue him, he most definitely could not leave with just a wave of his hands.
    ....................................
    When Yu Luo Cha saw how Zhuo Yi Hang's eyebrows were knitted together tightly, she said, Don't worry Brother Zhuo, I have already commanded someone to bring your grandfather's remains to WaYaoBao. When Brother Zhuo you arrive there, we can immediately begin the burial rites. As for your servants, I have already taken the liberty of making the decision for you and have dispersed them after giving them all compensational money. Zhuo Yi Hang remained silent and did not say a single word. He was thinking that since things have come to this point, if he did return home he would most definitely be arrested. Therefore, he could only allow her to arrange things as she pleases.
    ...................................
    Wang Jia Yin was again filled with joy as he laughed and said, How lucky we are to have someone like Brother Zhuo who is well learned in both the martial and literary arts. What the bunch of us ruffians and hoodlums need is indeed such a talent who has the ability to strategize military tactics. Zhuo Yi Hang acknowledged the praise by returning a greeting with a fold of his hands and then said coldly, We can discuss such matters at later times. Wang Jia Yin was taken back, but Wang Zhao Xi immediately explained in a low voice, Brother Zhuo is in the midst of mourning. Wang Jia Ying then immediately expressed his condolences and then hurriedly ordered someone to bring forth a set of mourning attire for Zhuo Yi Hang to change into. Zhuo Yi Hang was desirous to leave as soon as possible, therefore he immediately buried his grandfather the next day and then entreated Wang Zhao Xi to take care of the tomb in the future.


    What we see time after time is ZYH's cool attitude to the people who risked their lives for him. We don't see him express a single word of gratitude to them, and even within his heart, he merely feels that it is inappropriate and illmannered to immediately leave the people who has just saved your ***. Yu Luo Cha helped him take care of his family ... but he acted like HE was doing HER a favour by letting her help him. (shakes head)

    Contrast this with YLC and WZX. Though WZX personally wants to enlist the help of ZYH and YLC has romantic feelings towards ZYH, yet the fact was that they both came to his help because of one reason: they were his friends. WZX never used the fact that he saved Zhuo to emotionally blackmail him into helping him, nor did YLC expect anything from Zhuo back in return. They were acting based on the Jianghu "Yi Qi" principles. Zhuo's snobbish actions and cool sentiments contrasts greatly with the passionate righteousness of the "bandits" YLC and WZX. And of course, YLC gives that speech to ZYH about who exactly are the REAL bandits ... the crowd of the Lulin/underground world? Or the government officials?

    Like I said before, YLC acts by the Jianghu codes. Her sense of honour and righteousness (Yi Qi) to her friends is certainly much more admirable. Notice: it was her who went back into the cave to clean up Priest Zhen Qian's dead (and stinky) corpse, and it was also her who swore to avenge his death (not Wang Zhao Xi and certainly not ZYH). Basically, YLC is the kind of person, whom if she regards you as her friend, she would risk her life for you -- no holding back and no questions asked.

    Though to be fair to ZYH, he eventually does change his ways of thinking. In the later parts of the novel, there was one part where ZYH says that he has only 2 true best friends in his life ... Yue Ming Ke and Wang Zhao Xi, and he does eventually view WZX as a true friend. Later on, he was also willing to give up everything to be with YLC. At the beginning, he feels that to be a bandit is a disgrace, and he PITIES YLC b/c he feels that despite her great qualities, it's truly a waste that she would choose to be a bandit. However, as he progresses, what he develops is true admiration for this Lulin bandit, and he is PROUD to be her friend. So to be fair, the guy does make progress. But I still don't like him

    One last passage I want to highlight ... this has got to be my favourite passage in the whole chapter:

    Zhuo Yi Hang was desirous to leave as soon as possible, therefore he immediately buried his grandfather the next day and then entreated Wang Zhao Xi to take care of the tomb in the future. Yu Luo Cha had to meet and greet the various fortress leaders during the day time, but by sunset, she still found time to come forward to Zhuo Zhong Lian's tomb to give her respects. Even though she was lighting incenses and candles, as well as accompanying Zhuo Yi Hang in a series of reverential bows, but within her heart she honestly found it funny that she was actually bowing to the high official whom she had robbed in the past. When Zhuo Yi Hang saw how her expression did not communicate any distress or sorrow, he secretly became very displease within his heart for he thought that she was just hypocritically putting on a display of concern. But what he did not understand was Yu Luo Cha's heart. If Yu Luo Cha wasn't doing this for him, even if someone had held the blade of a sword to her neck, they still would never have been able to force her to come and kneel or bow by the tomb.

    I particularly love that one line "But what he did not understand was YLC's heart." I just love the ideas expressed in this little passage -- it wasn't that ZYH was trying to be an ****hole, but to put it simply, he just didn't understand YLC's heart. I won't say much more on this, but this passage really just fills me with so much sadness Poor YLC.

    Technically, this is the chapter where ZYH and YLC begin to fall in love, but as you can tell with the title of this chapter ... it's not be an ideal union.

    Whew, finally! Time to sleep!

    春花秋月几时了,
    往事知多少?
    小楼昨夜又东风,
    故国不堪回首明月中.
    雕栏玉砌应犹在,
    只是朱颜改.
    问君能有几多愁,
    恰似一江春水向东流.
    --南唐后主,李煜.

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