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Thread: Legend of the White Haired Maiden

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    Default WHD - Chapt 9 (part 1)

    WHD - Chapt 9 (part 1)

    Posted By: faerie queene
    Date: Wednesday, 31 March 2004


    Chapter 9

    Martial World Lurks Tricksters
    Scheming to cheat Red Pill
    Clever and Extraordinary Youngster
    Sincerely Asks for Sword Manual

    Taoist Priest White Stone was originally surnamed “He.” Before he became a priest, he was a father to two daughters; the elder daughter He E-Hua was now eighteen years of age and his younger daughter who has just recently turned ten was named He Lu Hua. Since the wife of Taoist Priest White Stone died not long after He Lu Hua’s birth, White Stone therefore brought his two daughters to his sister and implored her to take them under her care. During the span of these last ten years, White Stone would make a trip to the TaiShi Mountain every one or two years in order to visit his two daughters. However, Zhuo Yi Hang was never aware of this fact.

    But what he was even more unaware of was the real prospect that Taoist Priest White Stone had in mind for this trip. Because Zhuo Yi Hang was the Wu Tang Sect’s most extraordinary and promising second generation disciple, Taoist Priest White Stone have long yearned to marry his own daughter to him. Yellow Leaf always knew of his brother’s intentions and therefore tried to help him unite this relationship by inquiring about the object of Zhuo’s affections a few days ago.

    After White Stone finished introducing his daughters to Zhuo Yi Hang, he laughed and said, “E-Hua, your martial arts brother is not an outsider, so the two of you don’t have to too formal or polite with each other. This martial arts brother of yours is skilled in both his literary and martial arts, so if there is anything you don’t understand, make sure you ask him.”

    The crowd of them thus proceeded to walk towards the peak of the TaiShi Mountain. For after He Qi Xia shaved off her hair to become a nun, she took the name of Ci Hui (1) and constructed a temple on the peaks of the Tai Shi Mountain in hopes of continuing her practice in peace. Ci Hui brought them all inside the temple and was just inviting Zhuo Yi Hang to have a seat when Taoist Priest White Stone chuckled and said, “Just let the little ones go outside to play by themselves.”

    He E-Hua therefore took Zhuo Yi Hang for a tour around the temple and when they felt tired, they stopped beneath an old cedar tree for a rest. The two of them conversed casually amongst each other and when they got to the topic of Abbess Ci Hui’s experience, He E-Hua remarked with a big sigh, “The fate of a woman is truly dreary!”

    Zhuo Yi Hang laughed and said, “How can that be so? You can only say that Abbess Ci Hui was unfortunate in having encountered the wrong person.” He E-Hua replied, “Is that not so then? Since the beginning of time, women have had to rely on men. If they are lucky enough to marry a good husband, then that might be acceptable. But if they happen to fall into a bad marriage, their whole life would be finished! Even someone who possesses a character and martial arts abilities such as my aunt is still left to grow old by herself in a deserted mountain with nothing but the weak flicker of the oil lamps and the stillness of the ancient Buddha statues to accompany her.”

    Zhuo Yi Hang remarked, “But really, she doesn’t have to make herself unhappy over such a heartless man.” He E-Hua interrupted, “But even in cases where two people were originally very much in love, sometimes it can still be very hard to avoid the mutability of affections. Take SiMa XiangRu and Zhuo Wen Jun (2) as an example, were they not a perfect match of the talented scholar and the virtuous beauty that were very much in love with each other? Can you not say that they were the kind of heavenly matches that could only be found in legends? But when Zhuo Wen Jun grew old, SiMa XiangRu still transferred his affections onto somebody else. Had Zhuo Wen Jun not written the “Bai Tou Yin,” (3) to change SiMa XiangRu’s mind, wouldn’t the heavenly couple have thus ended up as the wretched couple? And had SiMa XiangRu himself not written for Empress Chen (4) the “Chang Men Fu”? (5) But when in his own shoes, he couldn’t see the anguishes and sorrows of the broken-hearted female! Now tell me, is the fate of a woman not very pitiful?”

    When Zhuo Yi Hang heard these words, a strange feeling suddenly washed over him as he uncontrollably thought of Yu Luo Cha. He felt that words such as “Women have a dreary life” would have never been uttered through the lips of Yu Luo Cha!

    This He E-Hua possessed a gracious demeanour while her manner of speech was likewise elegant and refined. In terms of her capabilities, education and martial arts, she could be said to be proficient in all and deficient in none. But for some reason, Zhuo Yi Hang couldn’t help but feel that she was missing something. What exactly was this “something”? Zhuo Yi Hang was unable to describe what it was, perhaps because it was that indescribable and almost mystical form of elusive “radiance” concealed within life? This form of “radiance” was something that Zhuo Yi Hang could very clearly experience through Yu Luo Cha’s presence. Yet at the same time, it was also this “radiance” that arouses his agitation or even “revulsion” towards her. But even if it was “revulsion” he was experiencing, that very feeling of “revulsion” was similarly an extremely captivating force that continues to attract him.

    But all along, Taoist Priest White Stone had no idea to what Zhuo Yi Hang’s feelings were. Therefore after he and his sister had finished recounting their experiences since their last separation, he ventured outside only to see the two youngsters engaged in pleasant conversation. This caused a rush of elated joy to immediately flood into his heart.

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

    1)“Ci Hui”: The two words Ci Hui could be roughly translated as “Compassionate” (Ci) “Intelligence/Intuition” (Hui).

    2)“SiMa XiangRu and Zhuo Wen Jun”: A paired of lovers who belonged to the Western Han era. Their story has been documented by SiMa Qian’s “Shi Ji” (Records of the Grand Historian) and later, Ban Gu et. al. also incorporated it within the “Han Shu” (Book of Han). The story of these lovers goes that Zhuo Wen Jun was a beautiful and very well-educated girl belonging to a wealthy family. She married at the age of seventeen but when her husband died, she returned to live at home. SiMa XiangRu was also a very talented scholar who came across bad times when his Lord lost power. It was at SiMa XiangRu’s most desolate and financially destitute time did he meet Zhuo Wen Jun. After he played for her the song “The Phoenix Woos Her Mate,” Zhuo Wen Jun actually left her home to meet with SiMa XiangRu in the middle of the night, an action which caused quite a scandal in ancient feudal times. Despite her family’s protest and enrage, Zhuo insisted on being with SiMa XiangRu as they opened up a small tavern, living a humble but joyful existence. Later on, SiMa XiangRu’s talents were gradually recognized and rewarded; therefore their financial situation needless to say, gradually became better. But despite SiMa XiangRu’s plaguing medical condition (it is now determined that he was suffering from diabetes) which should restrict him from excessive indulgence in drinking and gluttonous feasting, once SiMa XiangRu grew wealthy, he give himself over to decadence, not only consuming excessive amounts of harmful substances, but his numerous rendezvous with beautiful and famous courtesans also became a widely known fact. Despite being heartbroken, Zhuo Wen Jun continued to withstand this behaviour from SiMa XiangRu, hoping that he will one day change his ways. But when SiMa XiangRu insisted on establishing a famous beauty as his concubine, Zhuo Wen Jun could finally take no more as she wrote him the poem “Bai Tou Yin” as her final attempt to win his heart back. When he read the poem, SiMa XiangRu was in fact so touched after being reminded of the happiness they shared in their youthful times, he abolished the notion of establishing a concubine and then reformed his ways, enabling the two lovers to be reunited. As a result, they spent the rest of their years together in happiness. Due to SiMa XiangRu’s illnesses, he did eventually die a few years later and his wife Zhuo Wen Jun followed after him shortly afterwards.

    3)“Bai Tou Yin”: Roughly translated as the “White Haired Song.”

    4)“Empress Chen”: Book’s footnote: the wife of the Emperor Han Xiao Wu.

    5)“ChangMen Fu”: Roughly translated as “The Poetic Essay of the ChangMen Palace.” This was a long poem composed by SiMa XiangRu. It was said that when Emperor Han Wu’s wife, the Empress Chen A-Jiao lost the Emperor’s affections, she asked SiMa XiangRu to write her a poem that would bring the Emperor back to her. But her attempts would at last prove to be futile. In contrast, the poem that Zhuo Wen Jun wrote for SiMa XiangRu would indeed rekindle his affections.




    Taoist Priest White Stone originally had no intentions of visiting the Shaolin temple. But during early morning of the next day, Abbess Ci Hui suddenly received two invitations from Reverend Zun Xing, the Monastery Inspector of the Shaolin Temple. One of the invitations had her name on it while the other one was addressed to Taoist Priest White Stone. Abbess Ci Hui laughed and said, “Shaolin’s Monastery Inspector has one efficient method of procuring information. You just arrived yesterday and already they have received news!”

    Since Abbess Ci Hui resided on the Tai Shi Mountain with Shaolin as her neighbours, courteous interactions would occasionally ensue between the two parties. White Stone remarked, “They sent someone over to present their respects when our sect leader past away. Out of courtesy, we should also do something to express our gratitude. Since they happen to sent us an invitation today, we may as well go and pay them a visit.” He then turned towards Zhuo Yi Hang to instruct, “Since you are our sect’s future sect leader, you should take this opportunity to meet the elders of Shaolin.”

    The two mountains Tai Shi and Shao Shi were located straight across from each other, separated by a distance of about a dozen miles or so. The three people needed to walk for only an hour before they arrived beneath the Five Bosom Peak located on the Shao Shi Mountain’s Northern corner. What they saw was a field so densely populated with stone pagodas that it came to resemble a forest. And amongst the midst of this forest made out of stone pagodas, the outlines of the Shaolin temple could be seen to tower out. White Stone said, “We should first go and announce our names to the admittance monk first. You stay here and wait for a while.” Zhuo Yi Hang nodded his head to acknowledge these instructions, but just when he was about to speak, distant sounds of outcry and clamour suddenly broke out.

    The three of them ran towards the front gates of the Shaolin temple and found that the doors of the temple were tightly bolted while two old men were standing on top of the large rock in front of the gate, hurtling insults and cursing up a storm. One of them shouted, “Jing Ming you old baldy! Don’t put on your pompous airs with me! Even if you are a grand master of one sect, we’re not nobodies either you know?” The other guy shouted, “From what I can see, your Shaolin sect has merely empty fame that can be backed up by nothing at all! If you really did have some true abilities, then why wouldn’t you have the guts to meddle with us?”

    Zhuo Yi Hang was incredibly taken back when he heard these two people throw out such disrespectful words. For it should be understood that the two sects of Shaolin and Wu Tang were akin to the martial art world’s TaiShan and North Dipper. During that time, though Wu Tang can be said to dominate in terms of sheer numbers and thriving illustriousness, yet when judging from the perspective of the sect with the longest history and greatest production of generational talents, the Shaolin sect still holds prominence over Wu Tang. Who exactly were these two people? Why is it that they would dare to issue words of challenge right in front of Shaolin’s front doors?

    When the two old fellows saw Taoist Priest White Stone and Abbess Ci Hui arrive, they immediately leaped down from the rock and bounded towards them. There was a smile on their faces as they affected a friendly expression in welcome. But they were only greeted with an icy expression from the Abbess Ci Hui who hardened her face and did not even bother to bat an eye at them. On observing his sister’s reaction, White Stone also followed suit by turning up his nose and veering over to one side with big steps and a proud expression.

    Having been completely ignored by White Stone, the two old fellows were left to feel quite disappointed. But when they arrived in front of the three people, they then turned towards Zhuo Yi Hang to try and strike up a conversation, “Young brother, have you come to the Shaolin temple to pay your worship?” Zhuo Yi Hang nodded his head, causing one of the old chaps to snort with disgust and scoff, “You may as well save yourself a trip. Within that whole Shaolin temple, aside from the senior Jing Ming who can manage to withstand a few of my stances, all of their other members are not even worthy of a mention! Why waste all your energy and time to come here and pay worship?”

    Zhuo Yi Hang was almost knocked over with alarm, as he hurriedly inquired with cordial respect, “Please excuse my boldness. But may I be graced with the acquaintance of revered elders’ names?” With another snort, the old man rebuffed, “You wouldn’t know my name even if I told you. In these day and times, all that the young blood knows to worship are merely figures of empty fame. Just because there so happens to be some old bones like us who didn’t bother themselves with opening up any sects or schools, all you can hear people talk about are Shaolin and Wu Tang. So in the end, how would the new generation know of our existence? But if the Wu Tang five elders were here right now, they will most definitely have insisted on taking the status of our junior!” The old man has just been rambling on and on with such frenzy that he has left Zhuo Yi Hang to be completely clueless on what to make of his mouthful of mumble jumble.

    The old chap continued, “Is that Taoist Priest standing over there your Shifu?” Such a question left Zhuo Yi Hang dumbfounded as he silently thought to himself: since he says that even the Wu Tang 5 elders have to pay reverence to him as the senior, then how come he doesn’t recognize my uncle White Stone?” Therefore Zhuo answered, “He is my martial arts uncle” and proceeded to inquired about their names once again.

    The old man remarked with smugness, “Which sect are you from? Didn’t the elders of your sect ever mention to you the two names ‘Immortal on Land’ Hu Mai and the ‘Heavenly Hands’ Meng Fei? I am the Immortal on Land, Hu Mai. Twenty years ago in a martial arts competition, I had crossed swords with Taoist Priest Purple Sun on the top of the Wu Tang Mountain. In the match of hand combat, Purple Sun very kindly allowed me to win by one stance. While in terms of sword skills, even though we were originally tied, yet since I had already beat him in hand combat I felt that I should try to reserve some face for him and therefore let him win in the end by half a stance!” Zhuo Yi Hang has truly never heard of such an occurrence before and when he considered to the humility and magnanimity of his ShiFu’s character, if such a fight truly did happen, how could it be that he has never heard his ShiFu never mention anything about it before?

    The “Heavenly Hands” Meng Fei interrupted, “But that was twenty years ago! At that time, the Taoist Priest Purple Sun may still have been able to pose as a challenging opponent to my old brother Hu, but I dare say that if they had another competition today, he would be defeated in less than fifty stances! As for Shaolin, though they depend on their “Divine Fists” for their fame, yet in reality, the flaws found within this set of martial arts is extremely numerous. From what I can see, the Dhyana Master (6) Jing Ming is not even my match, so forget facing off against my old brother Hu!”

    He then extracted from his traveling pouch a book which had the words “The Ten Weaknesses of Shaolin’s Fist Skills” imprinted on its cover. Turning to Zhuo, he then said, “In order to abolish the ignorance of the worldly mortals, I have purposely written this book in order to outline in detail the various deficiencies of Shaolin’s Divine Fists.” Zhuo Yi Hang thus said, “Oh I see, so you have come here with the purpose of presenting this book to Elder Jing Ming?” Meng Fei replied, “But it’s too bad that despite having such a respectable name, Jing Ming that old baldy has in reality an extremely cramped breadth of heart. We purposely came here to pay him a visit and he actually dares to lock up his doors and refuse us the right to enter!” Zhuo Yi Hang was just about to ask for permission to flip through the old man’s book when the front doors of the Shaolin temple suddenly swung wide open as two old monks walked out together shoulder to shoulder.

    Hu Mai shouted loudly, “Ha! So you finally dare to show your face? Jing Ming! Do you have enough guts to exchange ten stances with me?” Standing on the left hand side was a monk with a pair of gentle eyes and a compassionate gaze who incanted, “Blessed is the divine Amitabha Buddha and his merciful guidance” before he said, “These old bones of this humble monk are already much too brittle and it has been a long time since he has taken an interest in such activities.”

    But the monk standing on the left side only snickered and snapped, “I’ve been informed that over the past few days, the two of you have come to our front doors every day demanding to exchange stances with our head abbot. But our admittance monk has already informed you of Shaolin’s rules; if you have come to Shaolin with the purpose of exchanging stances, then you must start competing with our disciples of the fifth generation. You must ascend the stages one at a time, and if you really were able to defeat the representatives from each of our generations then I will naturally have to come out and meet your expertly stances! You disregard the rules of our sect and yet you still have the audacity to come around here kicking and screaming?!”

    Then with a signal of his hands he shouted, “Wu Jing! Come out and exchange a few stances with these two guests.” A little novice monk of about fourteen or fifteen years of age immediately leaped out in answer to his command. Hu Mai puffed up with fury as he shrieked, “Zun Xing, you bald headed old bloke! How dare you look down on us like this? Even if you’re the Monastery Inspector, we’re also important people you know?! Are we not worthy enough to exchange a few moves with you?”

    The little novice monk immediately positioned himself into a fighting position and called out, “Alright! Since you two guys are guests, I’ll let you guys execute three stances first before I retaliate!” Hu Mai squeaked with fury, “You no hair little brat, do you know who I am?” The little novice monk made a funny face and quipped back, “I know that you are a lowlife bum!” When Zhuo Yi Hang heard this, he could not refrain from bursting out into laughter, for the two words “Wu Lai” which comprises “lowlife bum” when pronounced with a HeNan accent sounds exactly like “Hu Mai”!

    Hu Mai continued to rave, “Wu Tang and Shaolin are both considered as leaders of the martial art world, so Jing Ming, why is it that you don’t follow after Taoist Priest Purple Sun’s gracious example? That day, Purple Sun personally accompanied me up Wu Tang and then even after losing to me in hand combat, he still brought his four martial art brothers along with him as he personally saw me down the mountain. Now this is the kind of class that a leader of the martial art world should have!” But before he could even finish his words, a loud smack was suddenly heard as a hard slap was delivered straight across his face. Then with just a sweep of his hands, Taoist Priest White Stone has already thrown Hu Mai more than thirty feet off to the side causing Hu to roll around the ground squealing hysterically like a pig that was being slaughtered.

    Meng Fei stood by one side and wailed loudly, “Is there no room for the country’s law in the eyes of Shaolin? Can you just commit murder under the glare of broad daylight?!” Meanwhile, Hu Mai continued to quack about with pain as he rolled around all over the ground, his voice gradually becoming choked and raspy as if he really was about to die any minute. The old Dhyana Master Jing Ming’s eyebrows knitted together as he turned to the Monastery Inspector Zun Xing and said, “Give him a small rejuvenation pill to ingest.”

    The Dhyana Master Zun Xing took out a silver jar to pour out a very tiny red pill and then asked the little novice monk to bring it to Meng Fei while he said, “Our merciful head abbot grants you this miraculous pill.” Meng Fei immediately grabbed the pill and delivered it into Hu Mai’s mouth. But after just a brief pause, Hu Mai began to howl out with pain again. Meng Fei barked, “My brother was secretly attacked by the evil tricks of your people, just one little red pill will not do any good! Give me two more!” Zun Xing retorted with fury, “Who do you think you’re fooling?” But the old Dhyana Master Jing Ming had a compassionate heart and was worried that Hu Mai really has been severely injured, therefore said, “Give him another pill then.” Zun Xing had no choice but to take out yet another red pill to hand over to him. With euphoric jubilation, Meng Fei greedily snatched up the pill and then hurriedly tucked it away before throwing Hu Mai on his back and with a large step, proceeded to descend the mountain.

    But Taoist Priest White Stone’s rage was still unabated as he thundered out with rage, “Do you guys know who I am?” Meng Fei turned around and responded, “I was just about to ask.” White Stone snickered and said coldly, “I am the fourth martial arts brother of the Taoist Priest Purple Sun, known to others as the Dragon Slaying Swordsman, Taoist Priest White Stone! Didn’t that old lowlife bum say that I had personally accompanied him down the Wu Tang Mountain once? Why is it that he couldn’t recognize me when I’m standing right in front of his face?!” Standing around them was a crowd of little novice monks who all burst out into hysterics upon hearing this.

    While still draped across Meng Fei’s back, Hu Mai suddenly lifted up his head to exclaim, “Ohhhhhh! And I was wondering who that was! So it’s one of the Wu Tang five elders, no wonder he has a bit of strength to him! I’m old now and my energy is not as vibrant as before. In three years, I will tell my disciple to come find you and settle this score!” Though his voice was not particularly vociferous, yet one could tell that there also was not a bit of hoarseness to it. White Stone found the whole incident both aggravating and amusing as he loudly bellowed, “Now get out of my sight you dirty rat!” as the figure of Meng Fei was seen to hurriedly scamper down the mountain.

    With a chuckle, Zun Xing said, “Brother White Stone, you really shouldn’t have revealed your name to him.” White Stone asked, “Why is that?” Zun Xing replied, “Now that you have given him your name, it’s going to give them more material to construct their tall tales in the future. So that even when they die, they will now be able to etch upon their tombstones with big bold letters the words: Once exchanged stances with the Wu Tang five elders!”

    Taoist Priest White Stone burst out with laughter and said, “What ridiculousness!” as Zun Xing continued, “But brother White Stone, I really wasn’t trying to make a joke out of all this. Within the martial arts world, there really are a countless number of frivolous people who have too much time on their hands. Take those two lowlife rats that were just here for example! They knew very well that our head abbot wouldn’t exchange moves with them. And because they were absolutely certain that the members of the Shaolin temple wouldn’t hurt their lives, they take advantage of it by causing such a huge ruckus right in front of our doors in hopes of somehow making a name for themselves!” White Stone remarked, “Only your Shaolin sect would be so graciously forgiving. Had this happened on our Wu Tang Mountain, it would have been a miracle if their two legs weren’t broken by now!” Zun Xing laughed and said, “That is why they wouldn’t dare to bother your Wu Tang sect, but they wouldn’t have thought that even when bringing out the name of Wu Tang on the Song Mountain, they would still come across their unlucky star – you.”

    White Stone rubbed his hands together and was laughing out with satisfaction when Zun Xing suddenly interrupted, “Brother White Stone, when I watched you deliver that palm strike just a moment ago, it seemed to me that you had originally exerted your full force but then suddenly retracted all but three tenths of power when you actually came into contact with his clothing. Are my observations correct?” Taoist Priest White Stone was incredibly impressed as he replied, “Reverend, the clarity of your observational abilities is truly alarming. When I originally saw how arrogant the words of those two lowlife bums were, I struck towards him with full force. But when I actually caught a clear glimpse of his movements, I realize that he was not even worthy of my attention and therefore only used three tenths of power.” The Dhyana Master Zun Xing sighed and said, “Then we have been tricked.” White Stone asked, “What?” as Zun Xing explained, “We have let them cheat away from us an extra miraculous pill.”

    But the old Dhyana Master Jing Ming said, “Brother, you must take caution not to be too miserly. Even if we have let them take away an extra pill, yet this pill could only be used to save lives and we need not worry that they will be using this pill to do bad deeds.” Meanwhile, Zun Xing only shook his head and remained silent. But who would have thought that there would be a twist of fate in store? This tiny red pill would actually ignite the second “strange case” in the history of the Ming dynasty. What is now known as the “Red Pill Case” would end up taking the life of an Emperor! But this concerns a subsequent matter and will not be presently disclosed.

    Taoist Priest White Stone later beckoned Zhuo Yi Hang to come over and express his worship to the Reverend Jing Ming after he had finished officially greeting him. When the Revered Jing Ming saw how exceptional Zhuo Yi Hang’s demeanour was, he was quite full of praise.

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

    6)“Dhyana Master”: Also known as the “Ch’an Master,” this was a title conferred upon monks who have attained a degree of enlightenment in Ch’an Buddhism. Although the Ch’an Buddhism also branched into what will later be known as Zen Buddhism in Japan, yet unlike Zen, Chan does not stress the art of meditation, but rather relied on the enlightenment that could be found in the everyday routines and events of life, as well as the humdrum simplicity of the ordinary conversations of ordinary life as their basis of achieving clarity of mind. Ch’an did not hold the scriptural study of traditional Buddhist texts as their basis of enlightenment, and similarly they did not view existence as a state of suffering that required salvation. Rather, they tried to enter into a new state of existence through a shift of the mind which could allow an opening of one’s consciousness, an “unveiling” of sorts that would occur through the patience and simplicity of ordinary living. The Chan Buddhism actually underwent a division and separated into the South and North schools. The south school was actually founded under the teachings of the monk Hui Neng, the Chan Master whose famous parable was cited in the opening poem of this book’s first chapter.

    That night, the Reverend Jing Ming hosted a banquet in the “Awareness Edification Chapel” in honour of Taoist Priest White Stone’s arrival. During the banquet, they conversed to Taoist Priest Purple Sun’s recent passing and all that was heard around the table were sighs and laments coming from everyone. Zhuo Yi Hang was also secretly filled with despondency as he thought to himself: Ever since his ShiFu’s death, the Wu Tang Sect has come to resemble a crowd of dragons that were without a leader. And although the martial art abilities of his four martial arts uncle were pretty good, yet they did not possess any leadership talents. It really seems that from now on, the throne of the martial arts world’s central divinity could only be conferred upon the Shaolin sect.

    The last colours of the sunset began to gradually dissipate as the luminous moon rose high above the mountains, drowning all thirty six stupas and fifty-four pagodas in a film of luminous moonlight. The Reverend Jing Ming was taking a sip of green tea when he turned towards the moonlit sky to suddenly ask with a smile, “Do you think that the nightwalker would have an easy time moving about under such a moonlit night?”

    Taoist Priest White Stone asked with surprised, “Revered Dhyana Master, what do you mean by these words? Could it be that there are some night trawlers in this world who would dare to cause trouble at the Shaolin temple? Even if those two lowlife bums wanted to continue latching onto the Shaolin sect, they still wouldn’t have such remarkable abilities!” Reverend Jing Ming laughed and said, “The person who will be coming tonight is not some kind of pesky rascal, but is one of Military Commissioner Xiong’s men. Furthermore, it is I who personally invited him to come.”

    Taoist Priest White Stone had absolutely no idea what to make of these remarks and could only ask, “Who is Military Commissioner Xiong? Do you mean the Managing Governor of the Eastern LiaoNing Province (7) , the great general Xiong Ting Bi?” Jing Ming replied, “Where else in the world could you find another Military Commissioner Xiong?” White Stone remarked with perplexity, “But Military Commissioner Xiong is the current era’s famed warrior whose character and military strategizing abilities are admired throughout the world. Could it be possible that he would actually try to cause trouble for Shaolin?” Jing Ming laughed and said, “Of course he would not,” and after a slight pause he suddenly said, “There is one person named Yue Ming Ke. Have all of you heard of his name before?”

    A jolt shocked through Zhuo Yi Hang’s heart as he said, “I know this person.” Jing Ming stated, “It is him who will be coming tonight.” Surprised, Zhuo Yi Hang asked, “Why would he come here?” Jing Ming replied, “He was sent over here by Military Commissioner Xiong.”

    What had happened was that when Xiong Ting Bi was appointed as the Managing Governor of Eastern LianNing Province, the Ming Emperor also simultaneously bestowed him with the Royal Sword that grants its wielder the right to execute other members of the imperial court before reporting to the Emperor. It should be understood that the threat at the border has now reached the state of extreme concern. And of course the decadent and degenerate military power stationed at the border contributed as one big causal factor.

    Therefore after Military Commissioner Xiong was granted the Royal Sword, he set off with the determination of conducting a huge reorganization of military order. Bringing along with him his personal troops, he expedited along his journey and traveled throughout the nights to arrive swiftly at the borders. Once entering LiaoYang, Xiong immediately executed the three generals Liu Yu Jie, Wang Jie and Wang Wen Ding who were all debasing the country’s laws by indulging in acts such as extortion or spoiling their troops to oppress the common peasants. Xiong then took their severed heads around to the military tents and exhibited them to all the troops. Once the troops saw the heads, they were all intimidated into a state of solemn sobriety and from them on, all the troops abided by Xiong’s commands.

    Xiong Ting Bi then expanded his area of reorganization and while training his troops he was also simultaneously constructing war chariots and cannons, excavating trenches and fortifying the city’s structure. As a result, what was originally a troop of eighteen million useless soldiers that were degenerate beyond hope have suddenly been transformed into an mighty crowd of thriving and effective military troops to station at Fu Shun and face off against the Manchurian troops. Upon receiving news that Xiong Ting Bi was personally heading the military defence, the Manchurian king did not dare to advance or attack and could only retreat his troops to station in Xing Jing. While the two armies stood off against each other, no battles have broken out so far.

    During this time, Yue Ming Ke was positioned within the army as a Grand Adjutant (8) , and though his post wasn’t a very high one, yet in reality, his importance to Xiong Ting Bi akin to being one of his arms.

    The Northeast regions were famous for their production of white gold and exceptional bronze, compelling Xiong Ting Bi to suddenly decide that he wanted to have a noble sword custom made. He therefore asked Yue Ming Ke to be in charge of accomplishing this task. But it was also at this time that rumours started to drift in from the capital. It was said that because officials such as Fang Cong Zhe and Liu Guo Jin were jealous of the trust and military power that the Emperor has bestowed upon Xiong Ting Bi, they were therefore trying to get Xiong impeached by the imperial court.

    Therefore upon Xiong’s order, Yue Ming Ke returned to the capital in order that he may investigate into what the situation was and help Xiong Ting Bi make the necessary arrangements in case anything was to happen. That was one reason behind his trip, but Yue Ming Ke was also planning to take this opportunity to try and seek out a suitable sword-maker who would be willing to travel to the borders in order to help Xiong Ting Bi make his sword.

    When Yue Ming Ke arrived in the capital, he was able to discover that though the conspiracy was indeed in the midst of festering, yet there were still a bunch of upright and incorruptible high officials such as Yang Lian and Liu Yi Jing whom were all actively supporting and protecting Xiong Ting Bi. Therefore conjecturing that Xiong should be safe for the time being, Yue Ming Ke’s thoughts returned to the task of constructing a first-rate sword.

    But all the famous sword makers were either dead or so old that they would be unable to travel such long distances. Though Yue Ming Ke was a master of the sword himself, yet he knew nothing about the art of sword making. After thinking over this matter for a long time, he suddenly remembered that amongst the various sects of the martial arts world, only the Shaolin sect has in their possession a book that discusses the art of sword making. This book was called “The One Hundred Constructive Arts of the Dragon Springs. (9) ” Yue Ming Ke immediately thought of asking the Shaolin temple’s head abbot to grant him the permission of copying out a duplicate of this book. That way, not only could he use this book to make a sword for Xiong Ting Bi, but they could also use the sterling bronze from the Northeast area to construct weapons for their military troops. Therefore taking advantage of the fact that the borders were not requiring any immediate attention at present, Yue Ming Ke hurriedly traveled towards the Xiao Shi Mountain’s Shaolin temple to express his intentions.

    After Reverend Jing Ming finished explaining to Taoist Priest White Stone about Yue Ming Ke’s purpose, he then said, “This was originally a good deed, not to mention this was all conducted on behalf of Military Commissioner Xiong’s request. But the rules of Shaolin have always strictly prohibited the circulation of ancient texts to outsiders. Therefore after thinking over this for a long time, I could only ask him to come here and steal the book!” Having finished these words, Jing Ming erupted into a hearty guffaw.

    The Dhyana Master Zun Xing suddenly turned towards Zhuo Yi Hang and asked, “What are the martial arts of this Yue Ming Ke like?” Zhuo Yi Hang replied, “The superiority of his martial arts is at a level more than ten times beyond that of mine!” Greatly taken back by these words, a displeased expression also simultaneously appeared on White Stone’s face.

    Dhyana Master Zun Xing chuckled and said, “Brother, you are much too humble. There is a reason to why I wanted to know about the degree of his martial art skills; Even though our head abbot and I hope that he will be able to attain what he wants smoothly, yet we still can’t guarantee that our fellow sect members won’t give him a hard time. Therefore if his martial art abilities were lowly, then we will not send out our first rate fighters to guard the stations.” Taoist Priest White Stone suddenly added, “Considering Shaolin’s great fame, even if you were purposely intending to let him by, you still can’t let him obtain his goal too easily.” Zun Xing smiled and said, “Most definitely. If brother you are interested, why don’t you come along tonight and have a look for yourself?”

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

    7) “Managing Governor of the Eastern LiaoNing Province”: Some online resources translate this position as the Managing Governor of Manchuria. The original term was actually “LiaoDeng” in which the translator believes in this case, would be more accurate to translate as Eastern (Deng) LiaoNing Province. During the end of the Ming Dynasty, a great part of LiaoNing was indeed occupied by the Manchurians (who would later construct what would become known as the “ShenYang Imperial Palace,” the Forbidden Palace of the Manchurians stationed in the city of ShenYang which was the capital of LiaoNing). As the Manchurian army grew stronger by the day while the Ming dynasty became increasingly more unstable and problematic, the Manchurians took over more and more of this province. Therefore by the time that the Qing army took over the Ming dynasty completely to officially established the Qing Dynasty and enter into the Imperial Capital, LiaoNing was basically seized by the Manchurians and claimed as their land. As a result, some translations would categorize the same area as Manchuria (for it is indeed where the kingdom of the Manchurians started to prosper), but during the time when Xiong Ting Bi was in post as a Managing Governor, the power that the Manchurians held was unlikely to be as strong as the dominance they held slightly afterwards. Therefore, the translator conjectures that it may be slightly more accurate to translate LiaoDeng as simply the Eastern part of the LiaoNing Province.

    8) “Grand Adjutant”: The following footnote was provided through the kind help and expertise of fellow wuxia fan Laviathan: “(in the) Ming Dynasty: Canzhan Jiwu - Grand Adjutant, third in a triumvirate to whom military control of the auxiliary capital of Najing was entrusted after 1420, normally a concurrent appointment for the Najing Minister of War.

    9) “Dragon Springs”: Translated from “LongQuan,” a city in the Province of ZheJiang. It was said that during the Spring and Autumn warring period, a famous sword craftsman named Ou YeZi received orders from the King of Chu to craft a sword. Arriving by the springs of the LongQuan County, Ou YeZi found the environment and atmosphere incredibly suitable for the crafting of a sword. Not only was the quiet area peaceful and undisturbed, but there were seven separate creeks that were coincidently arranged in approximation to the positioning of the seven stars in the big dipper. The water from the creek was cold and pure, thus in the end, Ou YeZi was able to construct three priceless swords of which he handed over to the Chu King who highly valued them. Of the three swords, it was the “Long Yuan” (Dragon Abyss) Sword which became the most famous. But due to political reasons, this sword was renamed as “Long Quan” (Dragon Spring) Sword during the Tang Dynasty. And because of this incident, the waters of the LongQuan Springs have longed been graced with the famous reputation of producing steel blades of superb quality.

  2. #62
    Senior Member Du Gu seeking a win's Avatar
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    Default Post translation rant

    PTR

    Posted By: faerie queene
    Date: Wednesday, 31 March 2004


    There's not much I wanted to say so far, just wanted to highlight the following passage which I found interesting:

    When Zhuo Yi Hang heard these words, a strange feeling suddenly washed over him as he uncontrollably thought of Yu Luo Cha. He felt that words such as “Women have a dreary life” would have never been uttered through the lips of Yu Luo Cha!

    This He E-Hua possessed a gracious demeanour while her manner of speech was likewise elegant and refined. In terms of her capabilities, education and martial arts, she could be said to be proficient in all and deficient in none. But for some reason, Zhuo Yi Hang couldn’t help but feel that she was missing something. What exactly was this “something”? Zhuo Yi Hang was unable to describe what it was, perhaps because it was that indescribable and almost mystical form of elusive “radiance” concealed within life? This form of “radiance” was something that Zhuo Yi Hang could very clearly experience through Yu Luo Cha’s presence. Yet at the same time, it was also this “radiance” that arouses his agitation or even “revulsion” towards her. But even if it was “revulsion” he was experiencing, that very feeling of “revulsion” was similarly an extremely captivating force that continues to attract him.

    I love how this passage very simply outlines how YLC stands out amongst all the other characters.

    The strength, "radiance" and life that she emanates is exactly what makes her so special. And it's true that she would not be the type of girl to lament about the dreariness of a woman's life, but then, that's also b/c she's YLC. But I wonder at the same time whether Zhuo Yi Hang was taking He E-Hua's remark too lightly. He feels that Abbess Ci Hui didn't need to make herself unhappy over her failed marriage ... and I do agree, but at the same time, I think what the passage about SiMa XiangRu and Zhuo Wen Jun's marriage is trying to emphasize is that sometimes to give up a relationship is easier said than done. Sometimes when love goes bad, often in its place are the more complicated emotions of bitterness, hatred, sorrow ... can one really forget about everything and move on so easily? When Zhuo sidesteps this issue by comparing YLC to He E-Hua, was he taking these serious issues too lightly? Was he like SiMa XiangRu, unable to recognize the pains of the broken-hearted female until it was too late?

    BTW., just as a side note, SiMa XiangRu and Zhuo Wen Jun's story really holds no parralel to this story (and it's not used as some kind of foreshadowing device). The screen adaptations tends to elaborate on the Zhuo & He E-Hua relationship a bit too much, though He E-Hua posed as a bit of a problem to Zhuo & Lian NiChang's relationship, yet it was never as big as deal as it was in the series/movies (He E-Hua in the book was a much likeable person than the movies/series). The real problem b/w Zhuo & Lian lies not in another woman, but more in the incompatability of their characters and other extraneous factors in their surrounding environments. I'm telling you guys this just incase (like me) you saw an adaptation before you started to read this story, and might end up waiting for some dramatic love triangle to present itself. Such a plot device might work on the screen for dramatization, but I feel if used in the novel, it might cheapen the relationship into just another love triange. And whether you personally like Lian & Zhuo's romance, it is at least unique in its own right.

    Lastly, I wanted to say thanks to those of you who helped me figure out the Buddhist terms: la primavera, jinjin, lanny (curtsies)

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    good chaps, dugu, thanx for posting!
    Da One and Only,
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    Default Stuff I forgot to say ...

    To Dugu Xiongdi ... thanks for posting my translation I ran out of time and had to fly out of the house before I had a chance to post it here ... and by the time I did find some time, you've already posted it for me!

    Since I was rushing w/ the rant, there are of course many things I forgot to say

    Just connecting w/ the rant of this chapter, I was going to ask all the guys (and gals if they have any inputs in regards to this matter) if they have any thoughts on the feelings of "revulsion" and attraction that Zhuo has towards YLC?

    Why is her radiance a source of "revulsion" for him? Is it b/c of the age old conception that men don't like their women to be more powerful than they are? I remember once asking my guy friend what he thinks is a guy's worst fear. He answered me something like powerful women, or rather women who are more powerful than him. He said it was intimidating ....

    Maybe I'm a little optimistic (or naive), but I've always felt that w/ the progression of society, more guys are becoming "okay" w/ the idea of their woman being more "successful" than they are. Of course, it doesn't apply to all guys and maybe deep down, there is still that residual fear or antagonism towards this trend? Makes me think of the new up-coming remake of THE STEPFORD WIVES

    Just wondering whether anybody has anything to say ...

    Okay, moving on, I just wanted to add that quite a while ago, I was re-editing my past chapters and fixing up my footnotes. I did some research on the term "Luo Cha" (as in Yu Luo Cha) again, and this time found more information (I think I typed in the wrong chinese characters last time), but anyways, ignore what I said in the previous footnote about this term, the following should be more accurate:

    "Yu Luo Cha": The nickname of Lian Ni Chang. Á_„x ("Luo Cha") is a certain class of supernatural beings (along with the Yecha/Yasha and Ashura) that functions as demonic servants of the underworld lords.

    According to mythology, the "LuoCha ghost" is commonly understood as being these supernatural beings that literally eats people. They are conceived as possessing supernatural speed regardless of whether they are in the air or on ground. The term Luo Cha in original Sanskrit is "Rasetsu," and the "female LuoCha" (LuoCha Nu) is known in Sanskrit as "Rasetsunyo." LuoCha are typically known as being hideous and horrific in appearance, they are very dark in skin colour, with green eyes and red hair. While, the female LuoCha are known to be extremely beautiful and captivating, they can be very deadly for the men who fall under their spells.

    The transformation of this figure in Buddhism is similarly complex. They were originally conceived as soldiers of the Underworld, then they gradually became to be known as "Niu Tuo, Ma Mian" (Ox head, horse face), who were messengers that came up to the living world to bring the dead souls into the Afterworld. In Liang YuSheng's other work, "Bing Pu Han Guan Jian," a character living in Nepal (hence, influences of Hinduism) mentioned to another character that the "LuoCha ghost" will come and "hook" a person's soul away, and drag it to the Underworld. Though presently, the common interpretation of Luo Cha are like Yecha, that they were beings who perform guardian roles for the Lord of the Underworld, while also acting as their punisher/enforcer.

    Further information about the Luo Cha beings can be found at the following Chinese site where the majority of the above information was procured from: http://www.geocities.com/tokyo/harbo...book010721.htm

    The term "Yu" in Yu Luo Cha means "Jade" which is a reference to a woman¡¯s jade-like beauty.

    Thus Yu Luo Cha is a name that refers to someone who is as vicious and demonic as the Luosa demons, but who is also as beautiful as a piece of jade. Overall, the term Yu Luo Cha can be translated to Jade Rasetsu.
    At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napolean -- and my ambition has steadily grown ever since.

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    Red face Argh! More stuff I forgot to say!

    I keep on forgetting stuff! ... getting old lah! :

    Cheng peipei (of "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" & "Come Drink w/ me" fame) actually made a movie called The Jade Raksha (which though I haven't seen, yet I believe is probably a WHD adaptation). So I'm not even too sure whether Luo Cha should be translated as "Rasetsu" or "Raksha."

    If anybody does happen to come across more information, please let me know!

    What I had forgot to mention in my last post about the Luo Cha footnote is that LuoChas were supposed to possess supernatural speed, and similarly, the speed of Lian NiChang is also emphasized throughout the novel. The novel said that it was because Lian NiChang was raised by wolves and thus ran wild in the mountainous terrain ever since she was an infant, that it gave her such an advantage in terms of speed. I do believe that YLC is the fastest character in the novel (she will be competiting w/ someone much later on in the novel, you can make your own conclusions then), and should be amongst the fastest in the LYS cannon. What she has is not just speed and agility, but she also seemed to be able to travel long distances at such a high speed, whereas, female characters in other LYS novels who were also known for their speed relied on horses after a while since they could not travel for very long times at such high velocities.
    At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napolean -- and my ambition has steadily grown ever since.

    ~ Salvador Dali


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    Just connecting w/ the rant of this chapter, I was going to ask all the guys (and gals if they have any inputs in regards to this matter) if they have any thoughts on the feelings of "revulsion" and attraction that Zhuo has towards YLC?
    I wonder whether it is just a sign that he is very much in love with her.

    How to explain this?

    It wouldn't be abnormal to have mixed feelings when on the verge of starting a relationship.

    To be so fascinated with someone, you will also look deep into them, and see the warts all pictures. At times, the thoughts about a potential mate's weaknesses may cloud over the perception of them.

    Guys get commitment problems all the time. Zhuo is a guy.

    Plus Zhuo is well aware of the animal magnetism of YLC, of her vicious side when provoked.

    Ramblings,
    Han Solo

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    Default movies of WHD

    Hi,
    I didn't know about the Cheng Pei Pei movie, Jade Raksha but the one I saw, besides the famous Bridget Lin and Leslie Cheung one is a movie called "The White Haired Devil Lady". In that one the title character goes around in a mask. She is depicted as a kind of female Zorro. I don't know the actors in this one. One thing I remember is that the movie starts out something like the novel; Something like Queenie's translation. Beyond this I don't see too many similarities.
    Cheers

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    Senior Member Battosai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Argh! More stuff I forgot to say!

    Originally posted by Faerie Queene
    So I'm not even too sure whether Luo Cha should be translated as "Rasetsu" or "Raksha."

    If anybody does happen to come across more information, please let me know!

    It's actually rakshasa. Rasetsu is Japanese. Yecha is something different in Hinduism/Buddhism, being more of trickster spirits. Rakshasas are demons, anti-gods of sort.

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    Senior Member Battosai's Avatar
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    Default Faerie Queene!

    Hi,

    I was wondering; could you give a summary of this novel, including the ending? I'm afraid I'm beginning to like this novel too much and am dying to know how it ends. You can PM me if you don't want to divulge the ending in the open.

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    Default

    Originally posted by Han Solo
    I wonder whether it is just a sign that he is very much in love with her.

    How to explain this?

    It wouldn't be abnormal to have mixed feelings when on the verge of starting a relationship.

    To be so fascinated with someone, you will also look deep into them, and see the warts all pictures. At times, the thoughts about a potential mate's weaknesses may cloud over the perception of them.

    Guys get commitment problems all the time. Zhuo is a guy.

    Plus Zhuo is well aware of the animal magnetism of YLC, of her vicious side when provoked.

    Ramblings,
    Han Solo
    Interesting. You're the second person to mention this as a reason. It's strange how this never occured to me before even though it certainly makes sense now


    Originally posted by jotaro
    Hi,
    I didn't know about the Cheng Pei Pei movie, Jade Raksha but the one I saw, besides the famous Bridget Lin and Leslie Cheung one is a movie called "The White Haired Devil Lady". In that one the title character goes around in a mask. She is depicted as a kind of female Zorro. I don't know the actors in this one. One thing I remember is that the movie starts out something like the novel; Something like Queenie's translation. Beyond this I don't see too many similarities.
    Cheers
    Oh my gaaa! How did you manage to get a copy of "The White Haired Devil Lady"? I looked high and low for a copy of that movie. In the end, I found it on rarekungfumovies.com. I paid 20 bucks for that DVD (which is like $30 CAD for me) ... alright, that's okay, I can handle that. But what pissed me off was the poor quality of their product! Not only did it take forever to ship, but it was just a DVD that they burned themselves ... very unprofessional. No words or graphics on the disc, the DVD case itself took the cover from a VHS cover slip... and not only was the DVD crap quality, but there was also two audios (Canto and Mandarin) running simultaneously (and no, I couldn't switch between the Left or Right audio). Needless to say, I'm still a little bitter I should really ask them for a refund ... if only I could bother myself with it. So anybody who does want to watch this movie, just message me and I'll burn you a copy. But don't waste your money on those idiots

    Whew! Feel better So okay, more info. about this movie. This was apparently made in 1980 (or 79). The funny thing is, when my parents went on their honeymoon in the late 70s, they past by HuangShan (which was where the movie was shot -- they took the landscape of HuangShan as a substitute for TianShan -- which was and probably still is, a mountain that was too cold and dangerous to be accessible by the public). They saw the crew for this very movie who happened to be filming there and were taking over the hotels etc -- I think it's a sign that their daughter (me!) would end up translating this story eh?

    The author LYS wrote in the 70s (right before this movie was completed) about his feelings and high expectations towards this film, he also mentioned that there were already 3 (or 2?) other WHD adaptations made before this one (even though I haven't been able to find them). And of course, there's been many more since then.

    I have read the comments of some BaiFa fans saying that this version is the most faithful and as one person say, "the must see for all BaiFa fans." Indeed, I'm very impressed by its ability to capture the most important parts of the novel. But as a film, I can't say it's very memorable or impressive, though I was very impressed with the script itself. But the actual movie still pales greatly in comparison to your imagination when reading the book. I was also quite disappointed about their choice of actors.

    But there was one key change made to the script that I really liked. They abolished the "Yu Luo Cha" character and instead had Lian NiChang be known to others from the very beginning as the "Bai Fa Mo Nu." This was due to her wearing a white wig and a face shield around her as she whooped *** (she purposely did this in order to conceal her true beauty to everyone). I was originally not too sure what to make of this change, but then realized that it was a very smart move. Basically, the title of the movie would tend to give away the fact that the heroine becomes the White-haired Demoness, and thus that tends to give away one of the key plot twists. What this movie does is creates this illusion that the movie is about the legend of his "female zorro" character who calls herself BaiFa Mo Nu. But what is ironic is that what was originally an illusive disguise eventually becomes the inescapabe reality. Quite a nice touch I think.

    The actress for this movie was (in Cantonese) Bao Hay Jing (Bao QiJing in Mandarin). I'm sure that if you've seen enough television series, you would have seen her: http://app.hkatv.com/info/atvstar/search.php?id=148&s=1

    http://app.hkatv.com/info/atvstar/search.php?id=148&s=4

    I suppose you can say that she was never considered to be truly "beautiful" to begin with (at least not to Yu Luo Cha's level), but really, time was not very kind to her. It kinda echoes YLC's own sentiments about the fleeting qualities of beauty.

    Anyhow, her father is Bao Fong (which I'm SURE you've seen if you've watched enough TVB wuxia series -- he's the Zhang 3 Feng in HSDS 86, Feng Qing Yang in SOD 96) and also, the guy who played Zhuo Yi Hang in the movie eventually became her husband (don't remember his name) ... btw., my mom gave me all this info

    The director who made this movie was called Zhang XinYang. He's made 2 other LYS movie adaptations (that I know of): one being Yun Hai Yue Gong Yuan (which is commonly translated as "Lofty Bow, Verdant Arrow"). Again, the quality of his movies don't really impress me, but I am very impressed by his ability to manage the script so it encompass the most important and emotionally relevant events of the originaly novel. To capture the major events of a whole novel w/in such short movies is not an easy feat, but he understands which events are the most important and touching to the novel's fans. Which is why I'm very excited to hear that he will be collaborating w/ Tsui Hark as a director/producer in the new 7 Jian Xia Tian Shan television series. It seems promising to know that along with Tsui Hark's creative liberality in adaptations, there will also be Zhang's understanding and expertise of the novel's original brilliance.

    At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napolean -- and my ambition has steadily grown ever since.

    ~ Salvador Dali


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    Originally posted by Battosai
    It's actually rakshasa. Rasetsu is Japanese. Yecha is something different in Hinduism/Buddhism, being more of trickster spirits. Rakshasas are demons, anti-gods of sort.
    Thanks so much for the info Battosi. I still have a question: so is Raksha the same thing as Rakshasa? Would you happen to have any links to the term? Also, do you mind if I incorporate your info into my footnotes? I'll be sure to credit you.

    Originally posted by Battosai
    Hi,

    I was wondering; could you give a summary of this novel, including the ending? I'm afraid I'm beginning to like this novel too much and am dying to know how it ends. You can PM me if you don't want to divulge the ending in the open.
    Hehe. I don't blame you. I wouldn't have put up with my own translating speed Actually, I have already disclosed the novel's ending to someone else before, I only need to provide for you the link to that discussion and add in some more info. But are you really sure you want to know the ending?

    My personal feelings are this: those people who love this story really love it for 2 reasons: the romance and/or the heroine -- I belong to the second category. Though I do like the romantic angle of the story, yet ZYH just kinda ruins the romantic fantasy for me And to appreciate the characters, their emotions, their journey ... you need to actually engage in the whole novel and let it sink in. Afterall, there's still many good parts coming up ahead. Personally for me, I blew through the novel very quickly and though I greatly enjoyed it, yet it was actual letting the story sink in with time, letting myself think over the events, happenings, sentiments and characters that gradually induced me to love and appreciate the story. Which is why I hope that adding in my post-translation rants can somehow speed up that process for you guys, so that you can also faster come to your own conclusions and insights.

    So basically what I'm saying is this: Yes, I can definitely give you a summary. And I don't think you would be disappointed by what I have to tell you about the ending ... but LYS's novels (unlike GL)are never really about shocking and exciting plot twists. WHD has a few, but I don't think that the greatest enjoyment of this novel comes from knowing how it ends. It's more about walking through the journey with the characters, and if by near the end, you're still in love with the story, then I GUARANTEE you that the feelings that would be elicited by the ending would be MUCH stronger and the novel made more beautiful. Which btw., YLC & ZYH's story after the time period in WHD's ending is actually continued in LYS's subsequent TianShan novel series

    I should be updating the rest of chapter 9 in a week (hopefully). And chapter 10 should be a quicky (there's less fights, more dialogue, less footnotes, lesser pages). So why don't I let you think about this? If you really do want a summary, PM me and I'll write you one when I finish chapter 9?
    At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napolean -- and my ambition has steadily grown ever since.

    ~ Salvador Dali


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    Default response to queenie's comments

    Hi Queenie,
    The "White Haired Devil Lady" movie that I saw was not from rarekungfumovies.com, it was the Hong Kong version which was available for a little while on VCD. The quality of this VCD version is slick and clean. So the movie looked much better and YES the scenery and cinematography was lush and gorgeous to look at. The acting was competent especially from the female lead actor. I didn't like the male lead's performance. One drawback to this VCD version is that there is no English subtitles. Happy huntings,
    J
    Last edited by jotaro; 04-14-04 at 03:43 PM.

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    Default Which peak?

    Chapter 8 (Part 2)



    The Song Shan was comprised of two peaks; one which houses the Shaolin temple located in the TaiShi Shan region, just a dozen miles away from ShaoShi Shan. Therefore Zhuo asked his uncle whether he was interested in visiting the Shaolin temple. White Stone said no, causing Zhuo to be more confused, for if his uncle didn’t want to go to Shaolin, then why would he want to travel around the Song Mountain?



    Chapt 9 (part 1)


    Since Abbess Ci Hui resided on the Tai Shi Mountain with Shaolin as her neighbours, courteous interactions would occasionally ensue between the two parties. White Stone remarked, “They sent someone over to present their respects when our sect leader past away. Out of courtesy, we should also do something to express our gratitude. Since they happen to sent us an invitation today, we may as well go and pay them a visit.” He then turned towards Zhuo Yi Hang to instruct, “Since you are our sect’s future sect leader, you should take this opportunity to meet the elders of Shaolin.”

    The two mountains Tai Shi and Shao Shi were located straight across from each other, separated by a distance of about a dozen miles or so. The three people needed to walk for only an hour before they arrived beneath the Five Bosom Peak located on the Shao Shi Mountain’s Northern corner. What they saw was a field so densely populated with stone pagodas that it came to resemble a forest. And amongst the midst of this forest made out of stone pagodas, the outlines of the Shaolin temple could be seen to tower out. White Stone said, “We should first go and announce our names to the admittance monk first. You stay here and wait for a while.” Zhuo Yi Hang nodded his head to acknowledge these instructions, but just when he was about to speak, distant sounds of outcry and clamour suddenly broke out.

    ...............



    Which peak (Tai Shi or Shao Shi) at Song Shan has the ShaoLin temple?

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    Default Response to Jotaro & Dugu Xiong's comments!

    Originally posted by jotaro
    Hi Queenie,
    The "White Haired Devil Lady" movie that I saw was not from rarekungfumovies.com, it was the Hong Kong version which was available for a little while on VCD. The quality of this VCD version is slick and clean.
    Hey-ya!

    Oh ... lucky you. Some guy posted on the internet a site where we could buy this version, but of course it was all gone by the time I discovered the post Biiittttteeerrrr......

    Originally posted by jotaro
    So the movie looked much better and YES the scenery and cinematography was lush and gorgeous to look at. [/i]
    Yeah, but I don't like it when the Mainland films showcase their landmarks so overtly that it resembles a travel documentary -- in the WHD movie, they broke the rhythm of the movie by distracting the viewers with a series of shots on this & that rock or so & so peak ... they even slapped on the names of those landmarks on the screen. Hello! We're watching a movie here!

    Originally posted by jotaro
    The acting was competent especially from the female lead actor. I didn't like the male lead's performance. One drawback to this VCD version is that there is no English subtitles. Happy huntings,
    J
    Yeah, Bao Hay Jing had a perky sweetness to her which I thought was a well captured trait of YLC. She also had a very lovely smile that made her looked quite nice when her face was partially covered by the organza shield -- and I've always felt that YLC's smile & laugh was one of the definining traits of her beauty. Overall, I would say that she wasn't too bad, but still didn't define for me the "ultimate" portrayal.

    I didn't like the performances from the actors who portrayed Zhuo Yi Hang, Yue Ming Ke or Tie Fei Long either.

    In my version, I don't think there were any titles period

    Originally posted by Du Gu seeking a win
    Which peak (Tai Shi or Shao Shi) at Song Shan has the ShaoLin temple?
    Ai-yah! :

    hehe ... it is the SHAOshi Mountain. Totally my bad

    Wow Dugu Xiong! You're the human error-detecting matchine eh?

    I can only say one thing:
    At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napolean -- and my ambition has steadily grown ever since.

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    Talking WHD - Chapter 9 (part deux)

    Let us now turn our attention back to Yue Ming Ke who was extremely elated after receiving the hint from the Dhyana Master Jing Ming. That night, having changed into a dark coloured night traveler’s outfit, Yue Ming Ke arrived at the Shaolin temple’s front doors and bowed respectfully three times before he dashed inwards. But it was also at this time that he happened to catch the whiff of a light draft that suddenly glided past him. He was then able to vaguely discern what appeared to be a black shadow that hurtled towards the Northeast corner with the speed of a shooting comet. The levitation skill of this person was already an indication of first-rate abilities! The average fighter would have never been able to detect the presence of such a person. Startled, Yue Ming Ke was worried that the Reverend Jing Ming might have changed his mind and sent over first-rate fighters to secretly watch over him.

    But just as he was in the midst of contemplating, a little novice monk immediately leaped out from the LoHan Hall. Though the little monk appeared to be only about fifteen or sixteen years of age, yet his movements were actually extremely agile and athletic. The very moment he appeared, he executed the “Yin Yang Clashing Palms” to strike towards Yue’s face while stating loudly, “Dirty Scoundrel! How dare you break into our temple?”

    Having been instructed by Jing Ming beforehand, Yue Ming Ke knew that the little novice monk was just putting on an act. But now watching him getting into the “role” with such genuine passion, Yue couldn’t help but be secretly amused. After evading a few stances, Yue already began to contemplate on how he could pass this station in a way that would allow the little novice monk to save some face. But it seems that the little novice monk was actually quite competitive for he has suddenly initiated the Shaolin “Soft Palms” attack. Alternating between palm and finger attacks, the little monk was stabbing one moment and then piercing at another.

    Accompanied by a revered monk of the DaMo Sanctuary, Zhuo Yi Hang and his uncle were observing the fight from the heights of the stone pagodas. On observing the little novice monk, they discovered that he just happened to be the little monk who had jumped out to challenge Hu Mai during the daytime. Zhuo couldn’t help but find this funny as he remarked, “The movements of this little Dhyana Master are extremely lithe! I’m afraid that had he struck out during the daytime, that old lowlife bum would have been injured even more severely!”

    Having humoured the little novice monk by accompanying him for a few twists and turns, Yue Ming Ke suddenly revealed a weak spot to him. Unable to retract his attack in time, the palm of the little novice monk landed right on the Qi Men Acupoint located under the left side of Yue’s chest. Yue’s body immediately flitted upwards as he flew over the outer walls and said, “Young master’s palm force really is powerful! I bow down to you!”

    The little novice monk was frozen on the spot with astonishment for he had felt the muscle on Yue’s body sink inwards the very moment he made contact with his clothing. He wasn’t even able to concretely impact Yue’s body yet and already Yue was “impacted” so hard that his whole body was shocked into the air!

    Seeing how his opponent was unable to maintain his balance despite the fact that his palm hasn’t even concretely impacted upon his opponent’s body yet, the little novice monk was led to believe that all of this was really due to his skilful mastery of the soft palms. Watching his opponent flit away to dodge his attack, he was just about to call after him, “Since you are willing to admit to defeat, then why are you still charging towards the inner stations? Come back for a few more rounds!” But just when he was about to utter these words, a voice was suddenly heard to drift towards him through mid air. It turned out to be none other than the Dhyana Master Zun Xing who was currently stationed at the Ancestral Founder Temple. Zun Xing reprimanded in a severe tone, “Foolish child! You have just been granted a win and yet you don’t even know enough to express your gratitude? The mastery of your soft palms is far from being a worthy match!”

    The face of the little novice monk blushed the shade of a fiery scarlet that spread all the way to the tips of his crimson ears. He hurriedly folded his palms together and said, “Thank you honoured guest for showing mercy.” But Yue Ming Ke was similarly surprised at how the Dhyana Master Zun Xing was able to observe everything so clearly despite being physically stationed at such a far distance! This really goes to show that the fame of the Shaolin temple was certainly well deserved.

    After Yue Ming Ke whisked past the LoHan Hall, he entered into the Awareness Edification Chapel, the very same place that the Reverend Jing Ming had used to receive Taoist Priest White Stone just a while ago. The very moment that Yue Ming Ke arrived there, he immediately heard a series of whooshing sounds that cut through the air and hurtled straight towards his face. Executing his supreme levitation skills, Yue Ming Ke rocketed to the top of the large roof beam with just one flit of his body. What he immediately heard was a monk say with a laugh, “No need to be alarmed my guest, please come down for a competition of projectiles.” When Yue Ming Ke observed the rectangular shaped object arrive back into the hands of the monk, he became quite perplexed.

    This monk was named Xuan Tong and was the disciple of the Monastery Inspector Zun Xing. He was only intending to give his visitor a little scare when he unleashed his specialty projectile just a moment ago. But what he didn’t expect was how incredibly superb Yue Ming Ke’s levitations skills would turn out to be, far exceeding his original expectations. Initially, he was just planning to hurl the “Yuan Yang Pillow(1)” past his opponent’s ears, but as soon as the projectile arrived near Yue Ming Ke’s body, Yue Ming Ke suddenly disappeared from sight completely. It was only after Xuan Tong had retracted his projectile did he discover that Yue had already arrived on the top of the roof beam. Such a feat actually ended up igniting the competitive side in Xuan Tong, compelling him to really have the desire to contest with Yue Ming Ke!

    With a smile, Yue Ming Ke descended upon the floor and with a wrap of his fists he said, “Then please go easy on me Reverend.” Xuan Tong replied, “Your words are much too humble. What projectile will you be using?” Since Yue Ming Ke never uses any projectiles, he had to think over this question for a little while. When he happened to lift his head to glance outside, he discovered that planted right in front of the chapel was a Dragon’s Eye Tree (2) densely populated with bunches of ripe fruit. Thus with a smile he said, “I happen to be a little thirsty, may I go pick a few Dragon’s Eyes in order to quench my thirst?” Slightly staggered, Xuan Tong replied, “Please do.”

    In just a breath, Yue Ming Ke has already consumed twenty or thirty dragon’s eyes and by collecting together all their seeds in the palm of his hand, he smiled and said, “Alright. I have my projectiles. Reverend, please proceed to enlighten your disciple.”

    When Xuan Tong saw Yue Ming Ke use the Dragon’s Eye seeds as his projectiles, he involuntarily began to simper with anger. Therefore with just a flip of his wrist, he first tossed out five Bronzed Bodhi Beads(3). What immediately followed was a series of tinkling sounds that chimed out continually under the sequential flicks of Yue Ming Ke’s fingers. All of Xuan Tong’s Bronzed Bodhi Beads have been shot down by the Dragon’s Eye Seeds that were catapulted out of Yue Ming Ke’s palm!

    Xuan Tong was absolutely astounded, but with a sweep of his two hands, two of his specialty projectiles the “Yuan Yang Pillow” immediately hurtled out in two paths. This projectile was quite a powerful weapon for even though it was shaped like a pillow, yet concealed within its center were numerous sharp blades that had the ability to retract and extend out of the pillow. Yue Ming Ke’s two fingers continued to flick out in a sequential fashion as four Dragon’s Eye Seeds blasted out. Once the tiny Dragon’s Eye seeds impacted upon the Yuan Yang Pillow, the pillow flipped flopped in mid air and completely lost its direction.

    With a wave of his hands, Xuan Tong retracted his weapon and since his eyes were sharp, Yue Ming Ke was able to discern that tied to the “Yuan Yang Pillow” was an extremely thin piece of metal twine that was connected to Xuan Tong’s finger. Therefore he waited until Xuan Tong tossed out his weapon again before he suddenly bounded up and snipped towards the metal twine with his two bare fingers, cutting it cleanly in two halves. As a result, the Yuan Yang Pillow suddenly flew off to one side and hurtled right out of the Awareness Edification Chapel while the blades concealed within the pillow all shot out and nailed right into the Dragon’s Eye Tree. Having past the second stage, Yue Ming Ke immediately dashed towards the Sutras Treasury Chamber after leaving behind a final “Thank you for your mercy!”

    Before he has taken more than a few steps, another monk was seen to jump out from the DaMo Sanctuary. In his hand was a Monks Spade (4) that glinted menacingly in the light as he blocked Yue’s path and said, “Please stay behind sir.”

    **************************
    (1)“Yuan Yang Pillow”: Remember, Yuan-Yang translates as “Mandarin Duck” while also keep in mind that pillows in ancient times are often hard and rectangular box-shaped objects made from pottery or porcelain (such as the example in the following picture: http://www.buygobi.com/potteryporcelain11018.html)
    (2)“Dragon Eye Tree”: What is here translated as “Dragon’s Eye” is the fruit known in Chinese as “Long (Dragon) Yan (Eye).”
    (3)“Bronzed Bodhi Beads”: The term used in the novel was “Tie (Bronze) Pu-Ti (Bodhi).” The translator interprets this as a reference to the Bodhi beads in the Buddhist Mala (or beaded rosary), which were made from the Bodhi tree seeds.
    (4) “Monks Spade”: http://www.gungfu.com/pics_info_page...onks_spade.jpg The actual term used in the novel was “Fan Bian (convenience?) Chan (spade/shovel),” but Monks spade was used in this case as it seems the most suitable and fitting.
    At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napolean -- and my ambition has steadily grown ever since.

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  16. #76
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    Default cont'd ...

    Yue Ming Ke knew that amongst all the sects, the Shaolin temple had the strictest examination standards. The monks of the temple were either skilled with their fist combat, accomplished in the art of projectiles or experts of blades. Furthermore, it was only when they have achieved a certain level of skill in all three areas of the fists, projectiles and blades will they then be allowed to probe into the intricacies of inner energy cultivation. And it is only after one has been able to achieve a substantial reserve and understanding in the art of inner Qi cultivation will one then be allowed to enter into the DaMo Sanctuary. Therefore, the revered monks of the Shaolin temple’s DaMo Sanctuary were all masters of both inner and outer martial arts, and were without any doubt first rate fighters possessive of extraordinary powers. Since this monk bounded out from the DaMo Sanctuary, he was obviously one of the top figures of the Shaolin temple.

    Therefore Yue immediately folded together his fists in introduction. This monk was named Tian Yuan, the head disciple of the Dhyana Master Jing Ming. He stood there defending the barricade with his spade and then with a bow of his head, he smiled and instructed, “Please reveal your weapon Sir Yue.”

    After declaring, “Forgive me,” Yue Ming Ke immediately extracted out his sword. All that followed was a bright streak that glistened with the crystal clarity of the autumn streams, dazzling the whole area with radiant luminosity!

    When Yue Ming Ke’s ShiFu, the Philosopher Tian Du extracted from Tian Shan the finest of its Five Metals, he proceeded to solicit the help of the Master Sword-maker, elder OuYang YeZi (5) to construct two priceless swords – one short, one long. The long one was named “Gliding Dragon(6)” while the short one was titled “Jade Fracturing.” The very one that Yue Ming Ke had in his hand just happened to be Tian Shan sect’s exclusive and prized treasure, the Gliding Dragon Sword.

    When the monk Tian Yuan saw him bring out such a phenomenal sword, he was slightly staggered. But when he thought to what a heavy and solid weapon the Monks Spade was, he knew that it was hard for even a treasured sword to cut into it and was therefore reassured.

    After Yue finished performing the rites of greeting, he held up his blade and blocked it in front of his chest. With a loud smack, the monk Tian Yuan brought down his monks spade but Yue Ming Ke’s two shoulders immediately swung to one side and then with a half-turn of his body, retaliated with a back swing of his sword. Yue Ming Ke pierced directly towards Tian Yuan’s wrist with the velocity of a lightning flash and a sparking explosion. The monk Tian Yuan exclaimed “Very fast!” and with a flourish of his wrist, his monks spade rocketed upwards. Yue Ming Ke retracted his sword and turned his blade around to pierce directly while Tian Yuan simultaneously pushed his monks spade forward, bringing about a loud ring that shocked through the air as sparks flew out all around. The monks spade was chipped in this process, but Yue Ming Ke’s arm was also aching with pain! Yet despite this fact, he still did not dare not to hesitate in his movements or loosen his concentration, but instead in the blink of an eye, he swiped, slashed and stabbed out with the sword in his hand to complete three sequential stances!

    The monk Tian Yuan had the advantage of possessing colossal strength in his arms and therefore when he discovered how potent Yue Ming Ke’s sword advances were, he began to swirl up a frenzied storm with his spade. Suddenly, it was as if there was a green glare that encased over him from head to toe, protecting him with a safety shield that extended to a twenty feet radius, permitting neither wind nor rain to penetrate through. Yue Ming Ke praised, “Impressive!” and by calling upon all aspects of his combat training, he branded the Gliding Dragon Sword to conjure up a ferocious storm that swallowed, spitted, expanded and unleashed like a tornado, thus enabling Yue to manoeuvre with ease amongst the encasement of the green rays!

    Tian Yuan was the DaMo Sanctuary’s revered monk and in terms of martial arts, he could sit tight in the third place within the whole Shaolin temple. His rich experience and expertise enabled him to be knowledgeable in the martial arts of all the sects spanning from North to South. But Yue Ming Ke’s sword art was formed through compiling the elements of the various schools’ sword skills, therefore was substantially solid while also being dynamically powerful. Even after exchanging fifty stances, Tian Yuan was still unable to determine the background of Yue Ming Ke’s school!

    As the two fighters battled back and forth, simultaneously advancing and retreating, another thirty or fifty stances have been exchanged. The sword stances of Yue Ming Ke grew tighter and tighter, truly resembling the vast currents of the ChangJiang and the grand tides of the Yellow River that gushed forward with ferocity. He twisted and turned amongst the rays of green light, both attacking and defending at the same. All that could be heard were the sounds of splintering gold and shattering jade that rung out incessantly. Having just reached the most intense portion of their battle, another voice was suddenly heard to descend upon them from mid air. It turned out to be none other than the old Dhyana Master Jing Ming who was transmitting his message from the very heights of a pagoda. In a slightly scoffing tone he said, “Tian Yuan, you have already lost. Why are you not retreating?” Though the volume of his voice wasn’t particularly vociferous, yet upon entering its listener’s eardrums, its reverberations shocked straight towards one’s heart!

    Tian Yuan retracted his stances with bewilderment and discovered that the two blades on his Monks Spade have been completely blunted! However, even though he was shaken, yet he was also thinking to himself: This was just a result of my opponent possessing a superior weapon, but in terms of actual martial abilities, I have not lost by a stance yet. As a result, even though he had to halt due to his ShiFu’s orders, yet he was feeling disgruntlement at heart.

    Yue Ming Ke turned towards the open space and bowed to the person observing from far away before he dashed past the DaMo Sanctuary and headed towards the direction of the Sutras Treasury Chamber. By that time, the monk Tian Yuan has already ascended the pagoda to ask his ShiFu, “Your humble disciple has not lost in terms of stances, why must honoured ShiFu force me to retreat? Even if we are intent on letting him pass, yet we should still let him know that we are purposely letting him go. By allowing him past in such a way, wouldn’t it give him the chance to look down upon Shaolin’s spade skill?”

    It should be understood that Shaolin’s Spade Skill was already an extinct art within the martial arts world. At that time, even though Wu Tang dominated in terms of sword arts, yet when concerning the mastery of the fist, palm, projectiles and other miscellaneous weapons, Shaolin still held the authority. This was what propelled the monk Tian Yuan to say such words. But the Reverend Jing Ming again scoffed lightly and said, “You have accompanied by my side all these years and have even ascended to the head position within the DaMo Sanctuary. Yet why is it that you wouldn’t even recognize your own defeat? Take a look at the patch of clothing covering your chest.” The monk Tian Yuan lowered his head for a look only to discover that on the chest area of his monk’s robe were three tiny holes. Such a discovery caused his whole body to break into a cold sweat for he finally realized that Yue Ming Ke really was holding mercy within his attack.

    The old Dhyana Master Jing Ming brought his palms together and praised, “As they say: The world witnesses the birth of new talents in every generation, each of which basks in triumphant glory for a few dozen years. I never would have thought that I would be able to personally witness the martial arts world radiate this spectrum of glorious brilliance in my last years!”

    Monk Tian Yuan asked with perplexity, “ShiFu, exactly which sect or school does the sword skill of this Yue Ming Ke belong to that would merit such approval from you?” The old Dhyana Master Jing Ming replied, “His sword skill was compiled by extracting the essence embodied within the soul of the sword art belonging to the various sects and schools. I have long heard that the Philosopher Tian Du residing on the Heavenly Mountain was engaged in the study of a special sword skill, thus I believe that this person must be his favoured disciple.” The Heavenly Mountain was separated from the Song Mountain by more than tens of thousands of miles, and furthermore, the fact that Huo Tian Du was dedicated to creating an unique sword skill was something of which only a few of the old masters in the marital art world would know about. Therefore even though Tian Yuan was the revered monk of the DaMo Sanctuary, yet he wasn’t even acquainted with the name of Huo Tian Du. As a result, this knowledge only caused him to be even more astounded.

    Old Dhyana Master Jing Ming continued, “Though the internal energy cultivation of this person might still be somewhat lacking in substantiality, yet in terms of sword skills, I’m afraid that even if the Taoist Priest Purple Sun was brought back to life, he probably would still be unable to defeat him. From the looks of the situation, it seems that even if we weren’t purposely allowing him to pass the stations, he would still have the ability to pass the four levels on his own. The philosophy of martial arts is boundless like the never-ending cycle of sunrise and sunset, for if one does not advance, that is already equivalent to regressing. You have to take caution of this from now on.”

    Amongst all the disciples of Jing Ming, monk Tian Yuan was able to learn and master the most of his ShiFu’s martial arts. The fact that he possessed the most powerful martial arts within all the disciples did originally cause him to have a bit of arrogance to him, but after this lesson, his cultivation became even more pure and his practice more devout. Therefore, in the future he would end up succeeding the Dhyana Master Jing Ming as the next head abbot of the Shaolin temple. But this concerns a subsequent matter.

    After flitting past the DaMo Sanctuary, Yue Ming Ke arrived at the Ancestral Founder Temple from where the Sutras Treasury Chamber was already in sight. This Ancestral Founder Temple was an extremely important architectural structure, for the monks of Shaolin had constructed it in remembrance of the ancestral master DaMo. Therefore Yue Ming Ke knelt down in front of it and performed obeisance three times before Dhyana Master Zun Xing’s laughter suddenly rang out from within the temple as he said, “Please come in for a brief rest Sir Yue.” When Yue Ming Ke entered the temple, he performed the rites of greeting with the utmost sincerity and respect as he said, “Your disciple offers his worship and does not dare to issue any challenges.” Since this Dhyana Master Zun Xing belonged to the same generation as the Reverend Jing Ming, he originally had no intentions of guarding the barricade himself. But upon observing the superb martial art skills of Yue Ming Ke, his curiosity was suddenly ignited as he descended the pagoda with the intention of personally testing out Yue’s martial arts.

    Dhyana Master Zun Xing smiled and said, “You don’t have to be too humble. Please sit down. In the pursuance of knowledge, it matters not who is the novice and who is the expert for it is he who arrives at the final destination that is deemed as the master. By studying from each other, we can both learn and benefit in the process.” Therefore Yue Ming Ke replied, “Then please forgive me” as he sat on top of the rattan mat on the West end. Zun Xing sat on the rattan mat located on the East side so that they both faced each other, separated by a distance of thirty feet. Zun Xing said, “In order for us to compete, there is no need for us to actually exchange stances. I will sit right here on this mat to compare fist skills with you.” Yue Ming Ke was thinking to himself: how is one to compare fist skills by sitting on this rattan mat? But Zun Xing was immediately heard to continue, “We are separated by thirty feet, a distance of which the force of our fist strikes can reach. Let the two of us sit on our rattan mat as we strike with our fists. The person who is struck off their rattan mat first will be considered as defeated. If the two of us can both manage to remain sitting, then we will determine our points through bell chimes.” Yue Ming Ke asked, “How are we to use bell chimes to calculate our points?”

    The Dhyana Master Zun Xing smiled faintly and took out a chain of copper bells of which he tossed to Yue while saying, “Hang this around yourself.” Yue Ming Ke did as he was told while the Dhyana Master Zun Xing sat down cross-legged. After Zun Xing had finished hanging a set of copper bells on himself, he continued by saying, “You and I can both execute our fists strikes at will. We will use the duration of time it takes to burn one stick of incense as our limit. If both of us can manage to remain seated on our rattan mats, then we will determine our victory by counting to see whose copper bells rings the most number of times.” Such a method of competition was really quite unique and novel, inducing Yue Ming Ke to nod his head in acknowledgement of these instructions.

    Zun Xing sat up straight on the rattan mat and said, “Please begin.” Yue Ming Ke punched through the air with his fist, causing Zun Xing to shout, “Good!” as he drove out a punch in retaliation. The two forces crashed into each other, but because Yue Ming Ke’s dynamic power was slightly weaker, he immediately felt a light gust of air brush across his face. Yet luckily, his bells didn’t ring.

    Zun Xing punched out in sequential fashion, forcing Yue Ming Ke to expend all his efforts into defending. Every time the thrusts of the two fighters’ fist strikes clashed into each other, a light blast of air would come blowing towards Yue. And furthermore, that blast of air would show signs of becoming increasingly more forceful each and every single time. This immediately caused Yue Ming Ke to be worried for he thought to himself: Shaolin’s divine fist skills were without match. If I engaged in hard combat with him, I will most definitely be unable to withstand for very long. Thus when Zun Xing struck out with his next punch, Yue secretly generated the “Pressure of a Thousand Pounds” skill to stabilize his body and did not retaliate with any punches. All that was heard were the chimes of bells as Zun Xing counted, “One, two …” while Yue Ming Ke took advantage of this opening to suddenly thrust out with a punch. Since Zun Xing has just released a punch, he was unable to execute another strike in time to counter Yue’s attack, causing the bells hanging around him to also ring out as Yue Ming Ke counted, “One, two …” The bells suspended on each fighter had both rung three times. Zun Xing laughed and said, “You’re quite clever” and continued to drive out yet another punch. Yue Ming Ke employed the same tactic as before by waiting until Zun Xing has punched out before he proceeded with his attack. But what he didn’t know was this punch just thrown out by Zun Xing was a decoy strike that didn’t actually embody hard power. Zun Xing thus waited until Yue Ming Ke had attacked before he executed his real fist strike, causing the force of the two punches to collide into each other again. Yue Ming Ke hurriedly retracted his arm but Zun Xing’s speed of execution was unbelievably fast and he had already followed his previous attack with another punch, causing the bells around Yue Ming Ke to ring out again. This round, Yue Ming Ke lost by two points.

    After this lesson, Yue Ming Ke paid close attention to the authentic and decoy nature behind Zun Xing’s moves, taking care to look out for the weak spots of Zun Xing’s attacks while guarding his own space. In such a manner, bell chimes were heard to ring out incessantly as the stick of incense burnt past its three-quarter mark. After a quick mental tally, Yue Ming Ke discovered that he was losing by five points, causing him to be extremely anxious within his heart.

    Zun Xing thought to himself: I should let him win a few. Thus when Yue Ming Ke struck out his next two punches in a consecutive fashion, Zun Xing did not attempt to withstand his attack. As a result, the bells around him chimed out four times so that in comparison, Yue Ming Ke was now only losing by one point. This caused Yue Ming Ke to unconsciously break into a big grin, influencing Zun Xing to think: Alright, let’s see you squirm a little again. This time, he no longer held any reserve as he forced out his punches with a frenzied fervour. Yue Ming Ke focused his utmost attention on the battle, both withstanding and attacking at the same time. But after a while, Yue was still losing by three points as the stick of incense was almost finished burning!

    Since Yue Ming Ke didn’t know what Zun Xing’s thoughts were, he thought that Zun Xing was purposely trying to give him a hard time. But also because of this reason, a plan suddenly popped into Yue Ming Ke’s head. As Zun Xing threw out another punch, Yue Ming Ke generated his inner energy and with a thrust, caused the bells hanging around his chest to suddenly jump up as he immediately proceeded to propel forth another punch. The dynamic force coming from the punches of both fighters impacted into each other, causing the copper bells to explode in mid air. As the snippets of copper spewed out all around them, Yue Ming Ke cried out, “Oh no! My bells have been destroyed! What should I do now?” With a startle, Zun Xing was just about to get up when Yue Ming Ke took advantage of this opening to immediately send out a fierce punch, causing the bells around Zun Xing to ring three times as they tumbled down the rattan mat. The stick of incense has just finished burning!

    Zun Xing ripped out into hearty laughter and said, “Brother! You really are something! Since we are tied, then you are said to have passed this stage.” Yue Ming Ke replied, “Please forgive my rudeness” as he jumped down from rattan mat and performed obeisance with a bow. He immediately felt an aching pain within his two arms, but Zun Xing just laughed and praised, “Such a young age and already in possession of such a reserve of inner energy! You deserve to pass this stage.”

    Once stepping out of the Ancestral Founder Temple and under the pale gleam coming from the wan moon and the vacillating sparkle glittering from the sea of stars, Yue Ming Ke suddenly thought back to the black shadow that flitted past him when he was entering the temple earlier this evening. He thought to himself: I have already past through four consecutive stages and now the night has already reached the third hour, if that black shadow was someone sent by the Shaolin temple to watch over me, then why is it that this person still won’t show their face? But before he knew it, he had already arrived in front of the Sutras Treasury Chamber.


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

    (5) “OuYang YeZi”: In history, there really was a master sword maker by the name of Ou YeZi (who made the “Dragon Abyss/Spring Sword” – refer to previous footnote in chapter 9). But Ou YeZi lived during the Spring-Autumn period, about 2000 years before Huo Tian Du’s time. Thus LYS was probably intent on winking at this historical figure by naming the sword-maker who made the “Gliding Dragon” sword as OuYANG YeZi. Otherwise, it would be that he made the mistake of confusing the name and time period of which Ou YeZi lived in.
    (6) “Gliding Dragon Sword”: This is a very famous sword that appears in multiple books of the LYS’s Tian Shan series. In Chinese, the actual name of the sword is “You Long,” in which the word “You” can refer to both “swimming” or “wandering.” But the greatest likelihood should be “swimming” for the image of the “swimming dragon” is often found in Chinese phrases (also keep in mind, Dragons are said to be creatures of the sea). As well, the two swords Jade Fracturing and Swimming Dragon should parallel each other in the nature of their name – one which has the solid resilience that shatters jade while the other embodies the lithe flexibility of a swimming dragon. However, for aesthetic purposes, I personally prefer “Wandering Dragon” but have in the end opted to use “Gliding Dragon” in order to be more faithful to the original concept embodied by the term.
    At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napolean -- and my ambition has steadily grown ever since.

    ~ Salvador Dali


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    Default More!

    Yue Ming Ke once again knelt to the floor and knocked his head three times against the ground as his sign of respect. He immediately heard an elderly voice call out, “My good child, please come in!”

    When Yue Ming Ke pushed opened the door and entered inside, the Dhyana Master Jing Ming was seen to be sitting up straight on top of the rattan mat. Yue Ming Ke hurriedly tidied up his appearance and then knelt down to perform obeisance. Jing Ming asked, “Are you the disciple of Philosopher Tian Du?” Yue Ming Ke replied, “Yes.” Dhyana Master Jing Ming continued, “Thirty years ago, I was traveling past the E-Mei Mountain and once had the honour of meeting your ShiFu. At that time, he was still collecting together the sword manuals of the world and was immersed in silent contemplation and meticulous study in attempts to understand the essence of these sword arts. But since he retired to the Tian Shan, all news of him has since been lost. Now watching you strike out tonight, it can be conjectured that his Tian Shan Sword skill has already been completed. This humble monk really has to express my congratulations to his old acquaintance.”

    Yue Ming Ke brought his hands together and said, “The Tian Shan Sword skill is still in its early stages of development. We are still in high anticipation for Reverend’s constructive criticism.” Reverend Jing Ming laughed and said, “In the realm of sword combat, this old monk is nowhere near the level of your ShiFu’s expertise. But since you have already come here tonight, then let me test you on your inner energy.” Yue Ming Ke was taken back as he thought to himself: in the competition of inner energy, the winner and loser are determined right on the spot. There is no room for clever stratagems to cover up for inadequacies. What should I do now?

    Jing Ming continued, “Please sit down on the rattan mat over there.” Yue Ming Ke thought that he wanted to compete fist forces with him like Zun Xing and therefore hurriedly insisted, “Your disciple dares not to receive the punches of old Dhyana Master.” Jing Ming smiles faintly and assured, “I was not planning to compete fist skills with you. Please have a seat first.” Yue Ming Ke realized that he had just made a blunder with his words, for the Dhyana Master Jing Ming was the grand master of a generation, there was absolutely no way that he would compete fist skills with himself. With a blush, Yue followed his instructions and sat on top of the rattan mat. Jing Ming picked up another rattan mat and sat right in front of Yue Ming Ke while taking out a cord and handing it over to Yue saying, “You and I will each hold onto one end of the cord. Sit still and circulate your Qi as you usually would during your daily energy cultivation practices. I will be observing what degree of profundity your inner energy level reaches.”

    Yue Ming Ke was not sure what to make of these instructions for he was thinking to himself: How is that suppose to test out the levels of my inner energy? But nevertheless, he still sat down in crossed legged fashion and began to practice his energy cultivation. After sitting for a while, he felt a force of Qi gather at the centre of his chest that rose and fell in accordance with the movements of his breath. This was the energy force that developed in one’s body when one has achieved a certain profundity of inner Qi. Since he was a child, Yue Ming Ke had accompanied by his ShiFu’s side and engaged in the dedicated practice of inner Qi on the Heavenly Mountain. Therefore, he has already attained the full legacy of his ShiFu’s inner energy cultivation methods.

    Having sat for just a while, his energy had already coursed through his body and extended to the extremities of his four limbs while the temperature of his body began to heat up slightly. Yue Ming Ke understood very well that his inner energy has shown signs of progression and felt a delighted thrill within his heart. He opened up his closed eyelids slightly to see Dhyana Master sitting on the rattan mat with his eyes closed and his head slightly lowered as a smile played lightly about his lips. Yue Ming Ke was thinking: Can it be that the Dhyana Master Jing Ming has already been able to assess my inner energy levels? Just this one thought caused a slight wave to lightly ripple across the peacefulness of his heart. But the Dhyana Master Jing Ming continued to sit silently with his eyes closed.

    Having sat for an hour, the bits and pieces of extraneous thoughts started to gradually seep into Yue Ming Ke’s mind. From speculating on Jing Ming’s intentions, his thoughts then switched to “The One Hundred Constructive Arts of the Dragon Springs” and whether he would be able to attain it tonight. Soon those thoughts turned to whether the old Dhyana Master Jing Ming would find his martial arts to be worthy of notice before wandering to thoughts of Military Commissioner Xiong guarding at the borders and whether there would be any changes in the military situation. Once all these extraneous thoughts erupted in Yue Ming Ke’s mind, the ability to control his breathing using his mental will power did not come about as natural as it did just a while ago. Dhyana Master suddenly incanted, “Blessed is the divine Amitabha Buddha and his merciful guidance,” immediately alarming Yue Ming Ke while the Dhyana Master Jing Ming continued, “Abolish all ignorance, forgo all obstinacies. Awaken the Intuition and enter the Impersonal. Since the beginning of time, how many seekers of enlightenment have been able to understand these twelve words?”

    Alarmed, Yue Ming Ke was suddenly filled with vigilant awareness as he chewed over these twelve words and realized that the old Reverend Jing Ming was trying to use the teachings of supreme Buddhist wisdom to point out the intricacies of inner energy cultivation. So-called “ignorance” was in reference to the thoughts of “Desire, Anger and Delusion.” As for “obstinacies,” that was in reference to the irresolvable and un-eradicable matters that haunts the human heart and obstructs the intuitive spirit. What was known as “Impersonal” is the state of awareness where one can be “Without Others, Without Self.” The teachings of Buddhism posits that one must abolish all of one’s ignorance and abandon all forms of obstinacies before one can be awakened to enlightened intelligence and enter into the state of eternity. From these Ch’an teachings, Yue Ming Ke was suddenly enlightened to the principle of inner energy cultivation, causing an inspiring revelation to flood into his mind and illuminate his heart.

    As soon as Yue Ming Ke understood this philosophy, all extraneous thoughts ceased. Then with three generations of his inner Qi, his inner state returned to one of vacant purity. With a tug of the cord, Dhyana Master Jing Ming said, “That’s good enough. As long as you continue your practice in such a way, you will most definitely be able to achieve the heights of supremacy one day.”

    Yue Ming Ke arose and expressed his gratitude, though he was still unsure of how Jing Ming was able to assess his internal states and was just about to inquire when Jing Ming said, “When one is practicing internal energy cultivation, they mustn’t allow one speck of dust to land upon their hearts. If their inner state is not calm, then their four limbs will likewise be unable to still. Therefore once one has extraneous internal thoughts, it will most definitely surface externally. When you first sat down, there were slight vibrations in the rope, but this movement gradually subdued to a static state which is an indication that your inner energy cultivation has already reached a proficient level. However, you were still unable to achieve the level of pure stillness yet, which is why the cord again began to show the signs of slight vibration later on. Such is akin to the light ripples that disturb the surface of a still pond and that is why I knew that your mind have been tainted by extraneous thoughts.” Yue Ming Ke was in absolute reverence and was just about to report his intention of taking the book when the Reverend Jing Ming’s expression suddenly became very grave as he immediately asked, “Did you bring an acquaintance along with you tonight?”

    Severely taken back, Yue Ming Ke hurriedly answered, “No!” causing Dhyana Master Jing Ming to immediately say, “There is someone hiding on top of the Sutras Treasury Chamber. I want you to capture him for me.” The very moment that he finished these words, the Dhyana Master Zun Xing was already heard to state in a loud voice, “All members of the DaMo Sanctuary immediately proceed to the Sutras Treasury Chamber!”

    With his sword in hand, Yue Ming Ke leaped up on to the upper loft as a strange whistling sound suddenly cut through the dark silence and the force of a palm struck straight towards his face. Yue warded off that palm strike with one hand but discovered that his opponent’s palm force was strangely powerful. Thus he hurriedly charged towards the source of the palm strike and pierced out with his sword.

    Since Yue Ming Ke’s internal energy foundation was already quite established, he would of course possess the ability to differentiate the nature of the attack by just listening to the sound it emanates. But what was surprising was that as soon as he stabbed out, he immediately felt the stir of a light breeze brush past him as a black outline suddenly flitted out from right in front of him and arrived by his right side. With a loud roar, Yue’s Gliding Dragon Sword has already thrashed out with a frenzied fury, shooting silver rays out in all directions, illuminating the room with a brilliant flare to reveal a red faced old man hunched up in the corner with an eerie grin on his face.

    With a flip of his treasured sword, cold light shot out as the tip of Yue Ming Ke’s sword penetrated directly towards his opponent’s “Hua-Gai acupoint” with the stance “White Spectrum Envelops Sun.” The red faced old man instantaneously dived towards the floor and started to back away. Since Yue Ming Ke was worried about damaging the Buddhist Sutras on the shelves, he swerved his blade around to block the old man’s exit route. But who would have expected the old man’s movements to be so extraordinary fast, for he took advantage of the time it required for Yue Ming Ke to change his stance to suddenly pounce forward. Then with a flourish if his palm, he slashed down directly towards the wrist of Yue Ming Ke’s sword wielding hand.

    With a quick squat of his body, Yue Ming Ke lifted his sword and sliced towards the pulse point of his opponent’s wrist. But with a half twist of his body, the old man suddenly thrashed out a palm, so that just as Yue Ming Ke was in the midst of hastily changing his stance, his opponent has already scratched across Yue’s wrist with his finger, bringing forth a searing sensation of burning pain. Infuriated, Yue Ming Ke drove his sword forward and with a vibration of his sword’s blade, the movements of retracting and extending suddenly became indiscernible. Such a move secretly harboured quite a few transformations and was a powerful obliterating move of the Tian Shan Sword skill. The red faced old man swerved his shoulder to one side, but Yue Ming Ke’s sword followed right to the spot he had dodged to and with a loud rip, a piece of the old man’s long coat had already been slashed apart.

    Yue Ming Ke branded his sword and pierced out again, but the red faced old man unleashed a ferocious growl and retaliated with a palm sweep, bringing forth a blast of dynamic palm force that actually shocked Yue Ming Ke’s sword so hard that its tip swerved over to one side. The old man then snuck to the top of the roof with the speed of a preying eagle.

    Yue Ming Ke was just about to chase after him when he suddenly heard Dhyana Master Zun Xing bellow loudly from the top of the roof, “Get down!” and what immediately followed was a loud “Peng” that sounded as if two slabs of gigantic wood were crashing into each other. The red faced old man immediately fell down as the Dhyana Master Zun Xing also leaped downwards. But as the fire torch in his hand lighted up the room, they immediately discovered that the old man had already positioned himself in between two book shelves. Though the colour of his face was the shade of ashen grey, yet the same haunting grin remained fixated on his face.
    At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napolean -- and my ambition has steadily grown ever since.

    ~ Salvador Dali


  18. #78
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    Red face Last

    The Dhyana Master Zun Xing growled, “Who are you? How dare you not surrender right away?” With an evil grin, the red faced old man replied, “If you dare come forward one step, I will annihilate all the Buddhist sutras in your Sutras Treasury Chamber. You’ve personally intercepted one of my palms; do you not believe that I would have such a power?”

    The colour of Zun Xing’s face grew green with rage, but having just forcefully clashed palms with the old man, he knew by just that one palm he faced up that the martial arts of this man was something of which should not be taken lightly. He knew that the old man meant what he said and being held back by such a concern, he literally froze on the spot, unsure of what to do next. It was at this time that the Dhyana Master Jing Ming came up to the loft while incanting a Buddhist mantra. The red faced old man said, “Dhyana Master Jing Ming. If your Shaolin temple plans to win by crowding me with your large numbers, then I won’t plan to exit out of these doors alive!” Dhyana Master Jing Ming murmured, “Blessed is the divine Amitabha Buddha and his merciful guidance” and with his palms pressed together he asked, “May I be informed of the intentions behind your visit here today?”

    The red faced old man said, “I’d like to borrow the ‘The One Hundred Constructive Arts of the Dragon Springs’ and the ‘Tendon Altering Sutra’ for a read.” Dhyana Master Jing Ming replied, “I have already promised ‘The One Hundred Constructive Arts of the Dragon Springs’ to someone else. As for the ‘Tendon Altering Sutra,’ that is a treasured legacy handed down by our ancestral founder. So please understand that we will not be able to comply with your request.”

    Zun Xing sneered, “You’ve been hit with my divine fists, are you not going to hasten to find a place to sit down and ameliorate your injuries? What do you think you’re doing by sticking around here and badgering us?” Dhyana Master Jing Ming ran along the book stacks once before suddenly saying, “Leave now. I won’t give you a hard time. You wouldn’t have the ability to take the sutras and ancient texts away with you even if you wanted to.” When the red faced old man thought over these words, he realized that they did indeed make a lot of sense. But even if the elder Jing Ming would be willing to let him off the hook, all the other monks of Shaolin most definitely would not ignore this matter. Therefore he said, “You may be willing to let me go, but what about the others?” Jing Ming replied, “I’ll ask the monastery inspector to accompany you outside and announce to everyone else that they are not to harm you.”

    The red faced old man glanced over at Zun Xing, but his two hands remained tightly clamped on the bookshelves. Jing Ming continued, “The followers of Buddha do not speak words of deceit. What are you still worried about?” The red faced old man replied, “Fine! Then please give me a minor rejuvenation pill!” Zun Xing snorted with disgust while Jing Ming ordered, “Give it to him.” Zun Xing had no choice but to take out the silver bottle and extract a tiny red pill. The red faced old man grabbed it and immediately popped it into his mouth while Zun Xing shouted, “Fine. Follow me, I’ll take you out.” And with a great leap, he bounded out the room.

    The red faced old man turned towards Jing Ming and after a low bow, he also followed out the door with a giant leap. Yue Ming Ke noticed a strange glimmer in his eyes and was worried that something might go wrong, therefore followed closely behind them with his Gliding Dragon sword ready at hand.

    On the tiled roof of the chamber were already a crowd of people guarding about. There were the 8 Revered Fighter Monks of the DaMo Sanctuary along with Taoist Priest White Stone and Zhuo Yi Hang. When Yue Ming Ke noticed that Zhuo Yi Hang was also present, he was slightly surprised. With a sweep of his hand, the Dhyana master Zun Xing announced, “The head abbot gives orders to let this man go!”

    Since Zhuo Yi Hang happened to be standing right by the Dhyana Master Zun Xing, under the gleam of the moonlight he was able to discern everything clearly. He discovered that on the palm of the Dhyana Master Zun Xing were a mass of red spots, causing him to hurriedly ask, “Dhyana Master, did you just exchange palms with that old bandit?” Zun Xing asked, “What?” Zhuo Yi Hang replied, “He is the practitioner of the Venomous Palms of the Yin Winds, the Old Bandit Jin!”

    This caused Zun Xing to be greatly alarmed for he suddenly remembered that when he first intercepted the old man’s palm, he did indeed feel a strange sensation. Yet he wouldn’t have thought that the old man would actually turn out to be the Venomous Palms of the Yin Winds! With a loud roar, he was just about to chase after him when his legs suddenly weakened out from beneath him. By then, Jin Du Yi has already flitted past two great stupas and yet still turned his head around to snicker, “Is the Shaolin temple planning to break their own promise?” The Reverend Jing Ming called out from below, “Let him go!”

    Yue Ming Ke suddenly exclaimed, “I’m not a member of the Shaolin temple!” immediately reminding Zhuo Yi Hang, causing him to hurriedly cry out, “Brother Yue! Let us chase after him! He stole your ShiNiang’s sword manual!” With an angry growl, Yue Ming Ke’s body immediately dashed forward, and with just one giant leap, arrived more than a few dozen feet away from the Sutras Treasury Chamber. With two more leaps, he has already arrived near the back of the Ancestral Founder Temple. Zhuo Yi Hang took flight at the same time as Yue Ming Ke, following closely behind him as they chased over quite a few rooftops.

    Taoist Priest White Stone felt quite perplexed, and was secretly chastising Zhuo Yi Hang for sticking his nose into other people’s business. But what he didn’t know was that Zhuo Yi Hang was doing this solely for Yu Luo Cha’s sake. As soon as he discovered that this was the man who stole Yu Luo Cha’s sword manual, he completely disregarded the differences between the calibres of their martial art abilities and actually chased after them with all his might.

    At the beginning, Zhuo Yi Hang was still able to discern the outline of Yue Ming Ke’s back as he chased after him. But that outline became smaller and smaller until it gradually shrunk to just a tiny black dot that was enveloped by the murky darkness of the night. Though the levitation skills of Zhuo Yi Hang were indeed quite extraordinary, yet when compared to the likes of Yue Ming Ke and Jin Du Yi, he still had quite a distance to go. Therefore though he chased further and further away, yet he eventually lost all traces of them.

    Zhuo Yi Hang was just in the midst of debating what his next step should be when Taoist Priest White Stone caught up to him. Zhuo Yi Hang said, “They’ve gone towards the Northwest direction. Should we go after them?” White Stone replied, “You will be the future leader of our sect, therefore you must take care to familiarize yourself with the social graces and proprieties of the JiangHu world. We have come to Shaolin as guests, now that the monastery inspector has been injured by the Venomous Palms of the Yin Winds, we should first go to save our host before we chase after the opponent. Not to mention that old bandit Jin has already been injured by Shaolin’s divine fists, he most definitely will not be a match for the Yue lad, so why should he need your help?” Thinking over this, Zhuo Yi Hang realized that they made a lot of sense and therefore followed Taoist Priest White Stone as they turned back towards the Shaolin temple.

    Yue Ming Ke on the other hand has already put his supreme martial arts into action as he tailed closely behind the back of the Venomous Palms of Yin Winds, Jin Du Yi. After chasing for an hour, they have already gone from the ShaoShi Mountain to the foot of the TaiShi Mountain. It was then that Yue Ming Ke suddenly felt a feverish aggravation build up in his heart as his mouth became extremely parched and thirsty. With just that slight pause in his footsteps, Jin Du Yi has already taken advantage of this opportunity to accelerate his speed as he dashed ahead with frenzy, suddenly disappearing from view.

    Yue Ming Ke took in a deep breath and felt his arm to be both aching and itchy at the same time. When he rolled up his sleeve for a look, he discovered that the area from his upper arm downwards was black and swollen as a red streak rose slowly upwards. It was as if he had been bitten by a poisonous snake. Jin Du Yi had attained his fame through his Venomous Palms of Yin Winds, thus in comparison to his nephew Jin Qian Yan, his martial arts were ten times more superior. He had first brushed over Yue Ming Ke’s wrist and then after an intense battle Yue immediately proceeded to engage in a frenzied chase, thus instigating the poison, causing it to spread through his body. When Yue Ming Ke saw this, he couldn’t help but be alarmed as he hurriedly sat down on and generated his internal energy on the spot, attempting to use his supreme inner energy cultivation to force the poison back down.

    After about an hour, that red streak has already retreated to the area beneath his elbow. Yue Ming Ke thought to himself: I should be able to return to the Shaolin temple by daybreak. But just when he was feeling reassured he suddenly heard the lyrical notes of a flute melody drift in not far from where he was situated. Yue Ming Ke went out for a look and discovered that sitting up straight on top of a crag of rock was a young man!

    Yue Ming Ke was greatly surprised, for under the shifting and realignment of the stars and constellations, the fall of the moon and dissolution of the night mist, he conjectured that it must be close to the fourth hour. Why would there be a young man sitting here, playing a flute all by himself?

    After another short while, a number of dark shadows loomed out from the far distance and charged directly towards the young man in a disorderly fashion. The young man put his flute away and then stood up while saying in a clear voice, “You guys are late.”

    There were about ten people who have arrived. The person leading the crowd was a thin and brittle looking old man about fifty years or so of age. He faced the skies and chortled out with loud laughter before saying, “I knew you wouldn’t dare to go escape. Yo kid! What’s your name?”

    With a flare of his eyebrows, the young man laughed and retorted, “Why should I tell you?”

    The old man shouted back, “You snot-nosed little brat! Don’t you know the rules of the Underground world? If you were planning a heist, than why didn’t you first call upon the area’s leader to offer your worship and respect?” The young man replied, “But you’re not the leader around here.” The old man laughed and said, “Seems that you did do your homework. Then I take it you already know who the leader of this area is? That means that you’re purposely breaking the rules, which makes you even guiltier!” The young man just quipped back, “Leader or Loser – I couldn’t care less. But if you guys can steal it, then I can steal it as well.”

    A tall and muscular man suddenly dashed out from beside the old man. He was puffing with rage as he pointed his finger and shouted, “Little rogue! You actually have the guts to mess with the dirty business of the black devouring black?! Give back that jade coral right now!”

    Yue Ming Ke silently mused to himself that this turned out to be an inner conflict between bandits. But upon observing how gentlemanly this youngster appeared to be, Yue couldn’t understand why he would also take part in these dark businesses of the black societal clans?

    Such is: JiangHu’s Black devours Black, the Hero develops suspicions.
    At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napolean -- and my ambition has steadily grown ever since.

    ~ Salvador Dali


  19. #79
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    Wink It's not over till the Faerie Lady rants!

    I have to say I’m pretty glad to finish this chapter – all those fights kill me with the lengthy and detailed metaphorical descriptions of their moves :P (wipes sweat)

    One thing to take notice of is the “You Long” (what I translated as “Gliding Dragon”) sword. Super-famous in the Tian Shan series. Chances are if you read another LYS book belonging to the TianShan series, you’ll encounter it. In Tsui Harks’ new movies and t.v series of the “7 Jian Xia Tian Shan,” you should be hearing about it. Btw., what do you guys think about my translation of the name? Should I try to be more faithful to the original and translate it as “Swimming Dragon” or cheat a little and call it “Wandering Dragon”? Any comments on this?

    Seriously, I have to say that Zhuo Yi Hang chasing after Yue Ming Ke & Jin Qian Yan with the earnest intentions of retrieving YLC’s sword manual, despite the fact that he’s really not qualified to be of much help is really a very sweet and cute gesture in his own bumbling and naïve way.

    Also, I’m sure LYS messed up on the hours of this chapter, did any of you catch it? (*ahem!* DuGu Xiong? ) when Yue Ming Ke exited out of the ancestral founder temple, it was the 3rd hour – then four hours later, when he heard the flute melody in the forest, it was the 4th hour? Unless I interpreted the Chinese wrong and hence resulted in faulty translation – is “Jian” equal to one hour? (“Jian” – you hear it all the times in t.v serials – “2 Jian,” “3 Jian” – you know, when those people who patrol the streets knock on their gongs to indicate the hour?)

    Can anybody guess who the flute-playing youngster is? This is a character who has already appeared, but no, it is not Wang Zhao Xi.

    To C’sah: don’t know when you’ll be reading this – but I haven’t been able to translate the part I promised you b/c I’m having computer problems during these last few days again. I’ll make sure to include it w/ my chapter 10!

    Okay, please make sure to post any comments and questions. But I will be out of town again for about a week. I will be bringing my laptop so I can work on the translation, but don’t think I’ll have access to much internet. So I can only answer all questions when I return.

    Hopefully I can finish chapter 10 soon … it should take less time.

    Hope everyone is doing well …

    At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napolean -- and my ambition has steadily grown ever since.

    ~ Salvador Dali


  20. #80
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    Default Chapter 10...

    Chapter 10
    Sword Deciphers Profound Truth
    Heavenly Mountain Produces Legendary Swordsman
    Capital Rumours Strange Scandals
    Inner Palace Festers Illicit Adulterer


    The youngster giggled and replied, “So I take it that you’re the Leader around here?” The man answered with haughty pride, “Now you know not to mess around with the Black Pocks? Are you going to cough up the Jade Coral or not?” The youngster smiled and replied, “Sorry, but I’ve already exchanged it for money!” Black Pocks was infuriated and with an extension of his two hands, a pair of flying claws rocketed out to clamp down towards the top of his opponent’s head. The skinny old man shouted, “Don’t hurt him!” but with just a sweep of his flute, the youngster knocked the pair of flying claws over to one side and then by adding a poke, caused Black Pocks to fall to the ground with a loud plunk.

    The face of the brittle and emaciated old man underwent a change of colour as he hissed, “What is your relationship to Tie Fie Long?”

    The youngster just happened to be Tie Fei Long’s daughter, Tie Shan Hu. Ever since she was expelled from her home by her father, she disguised herself as a young man and wandered about at will, all in all living quite a free and unrestricted lifestyle. Whenever she ran out of money, she would go to the wealthy households to steal something.

    But when she arrived at DengFeng a few days ago, she suddenly came across Jin Du Yi and his nephew wandering the streets with a big entourage. She hurriedly hid from their view and though she knew that she should have left the place as soon as possible, yet Jin Du Yi turning up here just might mean that her father and Yu Luo Cha would end up pursuing to this place as well! Although Tie Shan Hu was disowned by Tie Fei Long, yet she still misses her father very much. She knew that her father has gone with Yu Luo Cha to hunt down Jin Du Yi in order to retrieve the sword manual, and therefore having come across Jin and his nephew here right here and now, she decided to secretly tail after them despite knowing that her abilities were far from being their match.

    By the time she arrived at DengFeng (1), all the money that she’s stolen along the journey was used up. Therefore that night, she arrived at the mansion of one of the city’s wealthy households to steal something. Coincidently, she happened to come across one of Black Pocks’ men in the midst of doing a job. So she snatched a big bag of goods right out from the hands of the ferocious bandits and upon noticing a very adorable jade coral, snatched it away as well. She originally didn’t take much notice of these bandits, but to her surprise, the very next morning she received an Underground world “invitation” requesting her to arrive at the Five Cedars Hill located on the foot of the Tai Shi Mountain during the third hour of that very night. It was then that she discovered that there were people keeping her under surveillance.

    Tie Shan Hu understood that her situation right now was tricky for if she caused a commotion with these bandits right there in her room, then her whereabouts just might be discovered by the Jin family. Since that was the case, she may as well just steal out quietly to meet with them at their pre-arranged destination, for she was pretty sure that this group of thugs were not her match anyways. But who would have thought that Black Pocks actually knew Jin Du Yi and his nephew and would end up asking Jin Qian Yan to come along that night to help him out?

    Jin Qian Yan and Tie Shan Hu did originally know each other, but due to the fact that she has changed into a male disguise and they were encountering under the pale gleam of the wan moon and faint glitter of the sparsely dispersed stars, he was unable to get a good look right away. It was only when she has struck out did he finally discern clearly that it was the moves of the Tie family!

    Yue Ming Ke was still hiding behind the rock boulder at that time, but upon hearing this he was secretly perplexed. Tie Fei Long and Jin Du Yi were two equally resonant names belonging to the Northwest regions. Why is it that both of them would simultaneously turn up here all of a sudden?

    With a faint smile, Tie Shan Hu twirled her bronze flute around and asked, “Old Jin, haven’t you heard that Yu Luo Cha wants your life? And yet you still dare to hang around to cause trouble?” Jin Du Yi jumped with alarm while his eyes darted all around him as he exclaims, “Are you Shan Hu? Did your papa and Yu Luo Cha come here as well?” Tie Shan Hu brought the flute to her lips and with a toot, she smiled and said, “I know they’ll be able to hear my flute sounds.”

    Tie Shan Hu was only putting up a façade, but Jin Qian Yan was already so terrified that his face turned a sickly green and his lips blanched a ghostly white as he thought to himself: Uncle has gone to the Shaolin temple to steal the manual, but why is it that he still hasn’t returned yet? If Yu Luo Cha and Tie Fei Long both came here at the same time, then by the time they’re finished with me, I wouldn’t even have a bone left over for uncle to bury!

    Tie Shan Hu snickered again, causing Jin Qian Yan to be so worried that he hurriedly scrambled to affect a courteous bow while crooning, “Miss, I never knew it was you! Please don’t be angered!” Then with a sweep of his hands, he twisted around full circle and prepared to run for his life. By this time, Black Pocks has already gotten up from the ground as he suddenly snickered, “Brother Jin, don’t listen to his crap! During the last few days, aside from him, there has been no other JiangHu figure to arrive within the KaiFeng region!”

    This Black Pocks was the leader of the HeNan clans and was furthermore a powerful bully of the KaiFeng area. Even though his abilities were not at all powerful, yet the cronies under his command were actually quite numerous, thus enabling him to have quite an efficient network in procuring news. Having heard these words, Jin Qian Yan’s palpitating soul began to settle down slightly as he shrieked, “Bratty little doll! You actually dare to fool me?”

    Black Pocks was suddenly filled with surprised elation as he asked, “She’s a girl? Give her to me!” This caused Tie Shan Hu to be so infuriated that she issued yet another poke with her flute, causing Black Pocks to crumple to the floor once again with another loud plunk. But this time, he was hurt so much more severely that he was actually unable to get back up!

    Jin Qian Yan cackled with laughter and said, “Little brat, don’t think that you can throw your spoiled little tantrums around me!” as he clamped straight towards her face with his right hand. Tie Shan Hu flitted away to one side as she screamed loudly in a high-pitched tone, “Lian Jiejie! Come save me!” Jin Qian Yan shrivelled up immediately, enabling Tie Shan Hu to sneak more than 20 feet away. Enraged, Jin Qian Yan soared up with one giant leap and arrived in front of Tie Shan Hu, blocking her escape route as he sneered coldly, “Hmph! Using Yu Luo Cha to scare me?” before he grasped out with his hand, forcing Tie Shan Hu to repeatedly retreat.

    When Jin Qian Yan’s palm swept towards her, Tie Shan Hu stabbed out with her bronze flute. But her flute was snatched and tossed to the ground by Jin, whose left palm immediately followed in attack. This time, it was already too late for Tie Shan Hu to retreat! However, Jin Qian Yan suddenly halted his attack and retracted his palm while laughing, “I don’t want to hurt you with my Venomous Palms of Yin Winds yet. Little doll, you better be a good girl and answer my questions truthfully. If you dare say one little false word, I’ll make sure to torment you with so much pain that you could only wish you were dead! Where is your father?! Where did he go with Yu Luo Cha?!”

    Tie Shan Hu asked, “Did you really want to see them?” Jin Qian Yan snapped back, “Did you think I was joking with you?” and flipped his palm over to grasp out. Tie Shan Hu darted over to one side while shouting, “Lian Jiejie!” but Jin Qian Yan would no longer be fooled this time as he stretched out with his talons. But just when his finger was about to touch her clothing, he suddenly screamed “Owww!” as he hurriedly retracted his hand. Even Tie Shan Hu was completely baffled by what just happened!

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

    1) DengFeng: A city located in the capital of HeNan. The Song Mountain (and hence Shaolin temple) is located in this city.
    At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napolean -- and my ambition has steadily grown ever since.

    ~ Salvador Dali


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