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Legend of the White Haired Maiden - Page 7
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  1. #121
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    Hmm... I think Queenie is too busy cause she finished and posted the rest of chapter 12 at the wuxia forum sometime ago. Anyway, since "dgsal" and "Moin" won't post it, I'll continue her legacy for her.

    Chapter 12 (part 2)

    When Yang Lian returned home night that night, he said to Yue Ming Ke, “The Supreme Commander of the Nine Gates has issued a search and arrest order for these criminals. I demanded that he have this case solved within ten days” causing Yue to secretly chuckle to himself, “If you leave this case to the Supreme Commander of the Nine Gates, I’m afraid that it’ll still remain unsolved even in ten years’ time!” After Yang Lian had a chance to catch his breath, he suddenly continued, “This whole incident is driving me mad with anger, but luckily, I still have some good news left to tell you.”

    Yue Ming Ke asked, “What good news?” and Yang Lian proceeded to explain, “Today when I went to the Military Department’s Yamen, I received a special message from Military Commissioner Xiong that was delivered posthaste by the means of a messenger riding on a horse that travels eight hundred miles a day. In his letter he said that he expects to arrive at the capital by the day after tomorrow and so he asks me to relate this message onto the other colleagues of the Military Department. He also mentioned in his letter that he plans to stay at my humble residence. This is all such great news! The whole government is currently in a chaotic state of corruption, we really need him to come back and take care of matters.”

    Yue Ming Ke had already learned of Military Commissioner Xiong’s expected return last night, but having this news further validated right now filled his heart with equal elation. He then remarked, “Although Military Commissioner Xiong may possess a great deal of military power, yet he is nevertheless a non-cabinet official. I’m afraid that he won’t be able to interfere with the matters of the council chamber.” Yang Lian said, “Though in terms of ranking, his position may not be higher than that of the cabinet council officials, yet he is the epitome of justice and honour, plus he is the possessor of the Royal Sword, so even Fang Cong Zhe and Wei Zhong Xian will have to be afraid of him.”

    On the day of Xiong Ting Bi’s scheduled arrival, his good friends such as the Minister of the Ministry of Personnel, Zhou Jia Mo, the Minister of the Ministry of Rites Sun Shen Xing, Censor-in-Chief (1) Zou Yuan Biao all gathered together at Yang Lian’s home in anticipation of him. The Ministry of War’s Minister Yang Kun was originally supposed to join them as well, but because he was busy organizing military troops to Shaan Xi, he was therefore unable to attend. The group of them began their wait early in the morning, but even by late afternoon, no sound of clanging gongs to signal the parting of the roads or any parading trumpets to announce Xiong’s arrival could yet be heard. Perplexed, Sun Shen Xing suggested, “Could he have changed dates?” Yang Lian asserted, “Xiong Ting Bi would never fall back on his promise.” These words were immediately followed by the housekeeper coming in to report, “Master, there’s two men outside asking to see you. When I asked them for their name, one of them said that his last name was Xiong. I’m afraid that it might be a member of Military Commissioner Xiong’s family, would you like to see him Master?” Yang Lian cried out, “Oh no!” as he jumped to his feet and then ordered with flustered alarm, “Hurry and escort him inside! This must be old Xiong! I know how he is.”

    After a short while, a muscular man with the demeanour of a tiger and the eyes of a hawk ran up the stairs, covered from head to toe in the dusts of his long journey. Waiting outside and carrying just one bag of luggage over his back was the one and only attendant that accompanied him. The crowd of officials all stood up and exclaimed, “Military Commissioner Xiong! Why didn’t you prepare us ahead of time?” for who could have expected a legendary general of such shocking fame and authoritative military power to be bringing only one attendant along with him as he traveled all the way from the frontiers back to the Imperial capital?

    Xiong Ting Bi laughed and said, “Didn’t I already send someone to deliver a letter two days ago? Why would you say that I didn’t give you any warning?” But what the group of officials meant by “preparation” was of course more than just a letter, still there was nothing more they could do now but joke, “You returning home in such glorified celebration is exactly the sort of elaborate ceremony we’d expect from a big general who is returning home after serving his duty at the frontline.” Xiong Ting Bi bellowed with laughter and said, “Well, I am in truth no more than a big soldier!”

    Yue Ming Ke hurriedly came forward to present his reverence while Xiong Ting Bi remarked, “You’re here as well? That’s wonderful! We’ll chat again tonight.” He then brought his attendant forward and introduced him to everyone. The name of this man was Wang Zan, a member belonging to a celebrated school of martial arts and the first disciple of the Sun-Moon Wheel’s Qiu Tai Xu. Already well acquainted with him, Yue Ming Ke came forward to ask, “You didn’t come across any problems along the journey I hope?” Wang Zan laughed and said, “We did come across a few thugs who made a living by ambushing travelers, but when they saw our measly bit of luggage, they left us alone without so much as batting an eye.” Yue Ming Ke chuckled and said, “Then their karma was working in their favour!”

    Wasting no time at all, the crowd of officials immediately swarmed around Xiong Ting Bi to pour out the details of all the chaotic mayhem and dark corruption that has been poisoning their government. Xiong Ting Bi remained silent as he took all this in and shook his head once in a while. The various officials were just starting to get warmed up when they were interrupted by a loud clamour coming from outside the door. This was instantaneously followed by the sound of Yang’s housekeeper announcing, “The Imperial Emissary has arrived!” The crowd of officials all retreated inside while Xiong Ting Bi and Yue Ming Ke also situated themselves within the guestroom, leaving Yang Lian to wait in the middle of the hall.

    After a while, the big doors flew open as an official wearing a gown embroidered with four-clawed dragons (2) and fastened by a jade belt entered inside. Behind him were a dozen Commandants (3) who also rushed into the room. Yang Lian hurriedly knelt down to receive the announcement of the Imperial edict which only compelled the Imperial Emissary to snap sharply, “This has nothing to do with you. Tell Xiong Ting Bi to come out!”

    Xiong Ting Bi turned towards Yue Ming Ke and smiled, “Wow! I barely stepped foot through the door and already they’ve arrived behind me. The Divine Lord may still be young in age, yet it could be seen that he is already quite sagacious! His sense of timing is exactly right!” He was straightening his attire as he was making this comment, and having tidied up his appearance, he immediately stepped foot outside only to be greeted by a sharp order coming from the Imperial Emissary, “Xiong Ting Bi! Kneel down to accept the orders of the Imperial Edict!”

    Xiong Ting Bi knelt down in wait of the edict’s orders, but what he heard the Imperial Emissary read was, “The convicted official Xiong Ting Bi has been found guilty in the act of coveting power for personal use and disrespecting of his superiors’ authority. His crimes include that of indulging his troops to disturb the peace of the common people and while having guarded the frontiers for many years, he has failed to make any progress in advancing the frontline. Now, he has furthermore left his post without obtaining prior approval, completely disregarding the governmental regulations to secretly steal back into the Imperial Capital and conspire in rebellion. He is now ordered to return the Royal Sword and is then to be transported to the Court of Supreme Justice to be tried.”

    **********************************
    (1) “Censor-in-chief”: An official belonging to the department in the imperial government that was responsible for overseeing or investigating into the conduct and misbehaviour of officials. Headed by one or two censor-in-chiefs, they also worked along with vice-censor-in-chiefs. Their reports to the Emperor about officials’ misconduct have the power to influence or cause their impeachment.
    (2) “gown embroidered with four-clawed dragons”: These gowns worn by Royalty, Lords, Generals and Ministers (as well as the Empress, Honoured Consorts or other important women of the palace) were called “Mang Pao” where “Pao” meant gown and “Mang” was a mythical creature that was a variant of the Dragon. Since the Dragon was reserved for the sole use of the Emperor, thus the differentiating trait that separated the Emperor’s Long-Pao (“Long” meaning Dragon) from the Mang-Pao was the number of claws it had. The dragon had five claws while the Mang-dragon had only four claws. Otherwise, the creature embroidered on the Mang-Paos pretty much resembled the dragons stitched on the Long-Paos. In the Ming dynasty, the right to wear these gowns could only be bestowed upon the officials by the Emperor himself, and thus was considered not only a great honour, but a sign of great authority. Later, by the Qing Dynasty, the number of dragons and claws that were embroidered on the gown further differentiated the rank of the official. The following is a picture of a Mang-Pao from the Ming dynasty: http://www.tianhan.com.cn/yiguan/ming/pic/pic_1204.jpg and this is from the Qing Dynasty: http://www.pep.com.cn/images/200301/pic_1312.jpg
    (3) “Commandant”: A prestige title for military officers (ranked 6 or 7 out of 9 ranks, were 9 was the lowest rank).

  2. #122
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    After he finished reading the edict, the Emissary hollered, “Tie him up!” causing Xiong Ting Bi to be so furious that even his beard and eyebrows were standing on end as they stuck out like a bed of sharp spears that bristled with fury while he growled, “I was summoned home by the Late Emperor, what crime is there in that?” The Imperial Emissary barked back, “Haven’t you heard that the anger of the thunder’s strike and the mercy of the rain’s shower are all controlled by the mercy of the heavens? Do you dare go against the holy orders of the present Lord? Just this one crime is already an unpardonable sin!” Xiong Ting Bi blasted with fury, “The Holy Lord is still young and since the power of the government is now grasped within the hands of the villainous officials and malicious crooks, what more could be done?! Forget it! It’s all over! All over!” as he just stood there and prepared to be shackled. Xiong Ting Bi thought that this really was an authentic Imperial edict, thus even though he was extremely infuriated and felt incredibly wronged, he still did not dare to go against the orders of his Holy Lord.

    Frozen with shock, Yang Lian could only stand by one side as he watched the Commandants surge forward. They were just about to bind Xiong Ting Bi in the shackles when Yue Ming Ke suddenly ripped out from within the guest rooms with one great leap. With a roar forceful enough to shock the heavens, he thundered loudly, “Hold on!” causing the Imperial Emissary to snarl, “Who are you?” Four commandants proceeded to rush forward, but with a flex of his arms, Yue Ming Ke threw them back more than thirty feet and watched as they tumbled down the steps. The Imperial Emissary screeched loudly, “You dare to start a rebellion in broad daylight?!” which only induced Xiong Ting Bi to become all the more infuriated as he scolded in severity, “Yue Ming Ke! Are you trying to dishonour my name?”

    With tears welling up in his piercing eyes, Yue Ming Ke hurriedly explained, “Grand Master! This Imperial edict is a counterfeit!” Xiong Ting Bi was greatly taken back as he questioned, “Counterfeit?” The Imperial Emissary retorted, “Crazy lies!” as he instructed the Commandants to come forward and arrest them. Xiong Ting Bi suddenly unleashed his Royal Sword and roared, “Hold on! Let me get this all straightened out first before I come with you!” The crowd of Commandants all knew that Xiong Ting Bi possessed a dynamic fierceness that could force back a million men and having stood in the wrath of his thundering growl that reigned with majestic solemnity, they suddenly found that they have lost all courage to charge forward. Yue Ming Ke took out a ball of scrunched up paper and after straightening it out, he placed it within the center of his palm and then turned to Yang Lian to ask, “Official Yang, please come here and take a look. Is this, or is this not the authentic handwriting of the present Emperor?”

    Whenever an Emperor ascends the throne, Imperial decrees must be sent out to the various ministries in order to provide encouragement and solace for the high officials. Yang Lian came over to take a look and immediately saw the words “Xiong Ting Bi is an official of absolute and unquestionable loyalty” jump out at him, repeated seven or eight times as it filled up the entire piece of paper. The words were wobbly and crooked, but it was indeed the writing of You Jiao. With courage suddenly awoken in his heart, Yang Lian didn’t even bother to ask Yue Ming Ke about where he obtained the paper and immediately burst out with elation, “Official Xiong! This is indeed the handwriting coming out from the hands of our current Holy Emperor!” and then continued to call out, “Fellow officials! Please come out and take a look for yourselves!”

    This Imperial Emissary was one of the conspirators belonging to Wei Zhong Xian’s clan, his name was Cui Cheng Xiu and even though he was at a complete loss with what to do right now, he still forced himself to act calm as he hollered, “How could an Imperial edict be fake?” and then rolled out the edict to reveal the brand of the Emperor’s Imperial Jade Seal. Although the writing did not resemble that of You Jiao’s, yet Xiong Ting Bi could discern with just one glance that the stamp of the Jade Seal was indeed authentic. Yue Ming Ke hurriedly added, “The castrated fiend is usurping power and now dares to steal the national seal for his own use. Grand Master, please take this trial right up to the Imperial Courts with him!”

    With a derisive sneer, Xiong Ting Bi stated, “Cui Cheng Xiu, I’ll personally go with you to the courts!” The crowd of officials all chimed in, “We’ll come with you!” Cui Cheng Xiu screeched, “Xiong Ting Bi! You dare to belittle the Imperial court and go against the orders of the Emperor? This is a crime big enough to have all your familial possession confiscated and your whole household clan executed!” Xiong Ting Bi said, “No need to say anymore! I will risk death and decapitation to accompany you to the daily Imperial courts!”

    An idea suddenly sparked in Cui’s head, causing him to say, “The Holy Emperor is now fulfilling the duties of mourning within the palaces. Even if you wanted to go to the Imperial Courts, you would still have to wait until tomorrow.” He continued upholding his menacing act by threatening, “Yang Lian! Xiong Ting Bi will now be left under your surveillance! If I come back tomorrow to find him gone, you will be held fully responsible!” Having said this, he then took the group of Commandants along with him as they hurriedly retreated. Xiong Ting Bi knew that this rogue would not be able to escape very far and was taking in consideration of the fact that he was after all a non-cabinet official which wouldn’t make it very appropriate for him to arrest Cui right here and now, therefore stopped Yue Ming Ke from detaining them. Cui Cheng Xiu and his men were free to leave the mansion unimpeded, leaving a few of the high officials speechless with angered frustration.

    Xiong Ting Bi fell to his chair with a long dejected sigh. Shaking his head, he lamented, “Even if that edict can be proven as a counterfeit, the fact that the conniving fiends within the government would dare to be so unrestrained in carrying out their evil plots already indicates that there is no hope for our country!” The crowd of officials all came forward to offer their consolation and Yang Lian remarked, “Brother Xiong has traveled such far distances in order to return to the capital, please do not let these villainous scoundrels spoil your dynamic spirit! Come, let us all have a drink.”

    In the midst of this conversation, loud hollering suddenly broke out from outside as the sound of somebody knocking on the door thundered with earth-splitting fervour! Yang Lian lambasted with fury, “Cui Cheng Xiu actually dares to show his face here again?” but before he could even finish his sentence, the front doors blasted apart and a crowd of people swarmed inside, every one of them had their face masked with a piece of black cloth to reveal only a pair of eyes.

    The man who was leading the way shouted loudly, “We’ve heard that the great general Xiong has returned so we’ve come here today to borrow some spending money from him!” Xiong Ting Bi ripped into wild laughter as he said, “My two sleeves are filled only with the empty breezes of the cool winds, where am I to find money?” Yang Lian screamed loudly, “You actually dare to publicly declare burglary under the glare of broad daylight?! Is this world coming to an end?!” Yue Ming Ke said, “These people are not your regular bandits!” while a few dozen bandits surged forward to surround them.

    Xiong Ting Bi pushed Yang Lian inside a room and the “bandit” leader extended his hands to grasp out. With a loud roar, Xiong Ting Bi brandished out his treasured sword, but with a slant of his body the “bandit” blocked off the attack with just one strike of his palm, causing Xiong Ting Bi to remonstrate, “Don’t you think you’re putting your remarkable skills to waste by being a bandit?” Yue Ming Ke intercepted with a side strike and followed by saying, “MuRong Chong, do you want to live or not?” Jolted by this sudden shock, the bandit hesitated briefly while Xiong Ting Bi asked, “Ming Ke, do you know him?” Having had his identity revealed, MuRong Chong screamed out, “Finish them all off!” as the few dozen first rate fighters of the Eastern Faction surged forward like a great tidal wave, pushing both Xiong and Yue back up against the wall.

    It turns out that the announcement of the Imperial edict and the attack of bandits were all part of a plan concocted by Wei Zhong Xian and Madam Ke who were trying to secretly exterminate Xiong Ting Bi behind the Emperor’s back.

    With a swing of his five-element wheel, Wang Zan dashed out from within the rooms. One of the guards branded his whip and attempted to strike him down, but with just a spin of his wheel, Wang snapped the guard’s whip into two pieces and caused it to fly out of his hands. Suddenly, an old man arose from amongst the crowd of guards. He fired out with his two palms, the intensity conjured up by his palms’ strikes blazing forward with crushing force, shocking Wang’s five-element wheel over to one side.

    Yue Ming Ke kept his back against the wall and lashed out with his sword. With a half twist of his feet, the old man’s left palm smashed down towards Yue’s head with the stance “Thundering Bolt Flashes Overhead” and under the bright light of the cloudless day, everything could be discerned clearly – the palms of this old man were stained the colour of a vermillion red!

    Yue Ming Ke declared loud and clear, “Old freak Jin! So you’ve come as well?” The old man cackled loudly and did away with all disguises by ripping off his face cloth and tossing it over to one side as he hissed, “Yue Ming Ke! Today I will avenge that one scar wound you left on me!” Yue Ming Ke called out, “Grand Master, this old crook practices the Venomous Palms, don’t let him touch you!” all the while swirling his sword around with tempestuous fury and standing guard in front of Xiong Ting Bi. But MuRong Chong and Jin Du Yi each stood by one side and attacked simultaneously, forcing Yue Ming Ke into an extremely dangerous position!

    With a fiery glare, Xiong Ting Bi thundered, “Dirty Rats! How dare you?” and then suddenly exploded with colossal force by picking up a guard and tossing him right out the door! The guards were all frozen with panic, compelling MuRong Chong to urge, “Don’t be afraid of him!” and then by executing the Joint Lock technique, he came forward to snatch Xiong Ting Bi’s treasured sword! Although Xiong Ting Bi had the strength to counter a million men, yet techniques of sparring and duelling were nevertheless not his most prized skills and as a result, almost fell under the deadly attack of MuRong Chong. Wang Zan was already prepared to fight to his death by completely disregarding all concern for his own life in order to protect Xiong, yet he was still unable to withstand the advancement of these attacks.

    In the midst of all this tension, another person weaved out from within the rooms and shouted loudly, “Brothers, please let me say something!” This person was none other than Cheng Kun. Since all the guards of the Eastern Faction knew and recognized him, half of them stopped in their tracks the moment they heard him speak out. Cheng Kun continued, “Military Commissioner Xiong is the central pillar of our Imperial Government and the one supporting the world with his two bare hands! How could you all engage in such an atrocious and barbaric act as that of conspiring to induce harm upon him? The emasculated Wei may be in power now, but he will most definitely be meeting a terrible end in the future. My brothers, listen to me and disband this group instead!”

    A few of the guards suddenly broke down and having thrown down their weapons, immediately fled from the place. Bewildered, MuRong Chong hurriedly proclaimed, “Cheng Kun is already a wanted criminal! Those who dare listen to his words will be found guilty of a crime punishable through death!” Amongst this group of guards specially chosen for the mission, nine-tenths of them were selected from Wei Zhong Xian’s own personal troops, thus having heard MuRong Chong’s warning, aside from a few of them who had discarded their weapons to make a secret escape, everyone else resumed their collective attack.

    Yue Ming Ke stood in front of Xiong Ting Bi and continued to ward off the mass of attacks while Cheng Kun and Wang Zan took to the side and with their backs facing the wall, one of them defended on the left while the other one guarded on the right, exerting all they had as they fought to their deaths. Luckily for them, it just so happens that though these palace guards did not dare to escape due to the threat posed by Wei Zhong Xian and MuRong Chong’s sphere of power, yet more than half of them were already unwilling to exert their full efforts in attacking. Still, despite this fact, MuRong Chong and Jin Du Yi’s martial arts were indeed powerful, so powerful that just the combined attack of these two opponents was already enough to force Yue Ming Ke and his company of three to the point of where they were struggling to uphold the fight, not to mention the additional threat posed by all those guards who were entrapping them. As the battle continued on, Cheng Kun ended up sustaining a fist punch to his shoulder while Xiong Ting Bi’s left arm was wounded by a sabre. Yue Ming Ke’s eyes were spitting out fire as he generated a flurry with his sword and fought fearlessly in the face of death.

  3. #123
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    Suddenly, a series of painful screams pierced the air, all of which belonged to the guards ambushed outside the building. An old voice was then heard to thunder loudly, “Old freak Jin, I’ve got you this time!” inducing Jin Du Yi to holler out, “Brother Hao, hold him off for ten stances!”

    Amidst the pandemonium of all the screaming and shouting, somebody was suddenly heard to peal out into a gleeful laughter that chimed with crystal clear musicality. This person then said with a giggle, “Hey old freak Jin! What about me? This is our first time meeting, are you not going to do me the honour of exchanging a few stances?” Silvery laughter filled the air as it reverberated all around and left a melodic ring echoing in everyone’s ears. Then amongst the dance of icy rays that stung at the eyes, Yu Luo Cha was suddenly seen to rocket out from amongst the crowd of people, the long sword in her hand glistening with an ethereal radiance!

    In just a blink of an eye, she has already wounded seven or eight guards as she charged straight for the centre of the combat ring. Infuriated, MuRong Chong flipped his arms over into a back-hook so that Yu Luo Cha’s sword ended up striking thin air as she almost fell prey to his strike! With a writhe of her sword, Yu Luo Cha pierced towards the left only to suddenly reappear on the right instead, causing MuRong Chong to be almost wounded under her blade. Having exchanged just one stance, both fighters were secretly taken back.

    Yu Luo Cha knew that she had blades pointing at her from all directions, thus with a smile she remarked, “This isn’t a good way to fight” and with a flip of her body, rocketed over to Yue Ming Ke’s side to take after his example by also pressing her back against the wall in combat.

    Yue Ming Ke called out with elation, “Heroine Lian! Quickly come over here and protect the Grand Master!” which only caused Yu Luo Cha to snicker coldly, “I don’t care about your so and so Grand Master, I’m only here for my sword manual!” Then with a sudden leap forward, she jumped back into the sea of blades and pierced directly towards Jin Du Yi!

    Jin Du Yi hurriedly swerved up a gust of palm strikes to create a wave of blasting palm currents that formed a solid shield in front of his chest, shocking Yu Luo Cha back one whole step. But with a twist of her blade, she attacked offensively while maintaining her defensive guard, all the while laughing with enchanting charm as she said, “Ha! Quite impressive indeed! But still not worthy enough to use my sword manual!” Then by leaning over and drawing up two erratic stances, she forced Jin Du Yi to retreat two steps!

    Yue Ming Ke called out, “Heroine Lian! I personally guarantee that you will get your sword manual, I thank you ahead of time for contributing your immense help here today!” Yu Luo Cha retorted, “I’m not going to accept your help, nor am I here to help you out today!” But despite these words, the sword in her hand did not pause for even a brief moment as her every move struck with fatal deadliness.

    Yue Ming Ke managed to steal a glance amongst all this chaos to discover that the treasured sword in Yu Luo Cha’s hand looked very much like his own Gliding Dragon Sword! Though he found this all extremely mystifying, yet surrounded by a mass attack, he was left with no other opportunity to study over the details.

    Amidst the mayhem of this intense battle, someone was suddenly heard to scream from outside the house, “Brother Jin! This is a tough one!” Jin Du Yi answered, “I know. Send half of the troops to surround him.” But Yu Luo Cha only laughed and said, “Father, hurry and charge inside! The old freak Jin is in here!” A coarse old voice answered from outside, “Alright I’m coming little Jade!” and following these words, a few guards were instantaneously seen to explode into the air. These guards were all snatched using the Stone Tablet Obliterating Hands technique and then tossed right out the door! Just a heartbeat later, an old man slowly fought his way inside. Yue Ming Ke didn’t know then that this person was the Tie Fei Long whose great fame shocks the Northwest regions, but seeing such a shocking display of force, he was left incredibly astounded as he secretly thought to himself: This Demoness really does have some earth-shattering abilities! She has actually adopted such a man as her father?!

    Now that Tie Fei Long and Yue Luo Cha have arrived, Yue Ming Ke’s side immediately received a surge of power. But the spurt of power on their opponent’s side was even greater! This was due to the fact that the guards were originally not desirous to induce harm upon Xiong Ting Bi and therefore half of them were actually not contributing their real efforts in the battle. But the moment that Tie Fei Long and Yu Luo Cha arrived, they proceeded to attack with a mercilessness that was deadly beyond means and as a result, ended up inciting the guards’ collective anger.

    Those guards who were not willing to exert their full effort just a moment ago were now witnessing their companions crumble and pile up on the floor after being wounded by Yu Luo Cha. Furthermore, every one of them were either pierced through their major joints or crucial acupoints, causing them to roll about on the floor screaming wildly in pain, comprising a sight that was simply too horrific to behold. But those who were crushed up and annihilated by Tie Fei Long were in worse shape, for their heads were smashed open and their brains were sprayed all over the place. Outraged, all the guards surged forward to surround Yu Luo Cha and Tie Fei Long, which ended up alleviating the pressure from Xiong Ting Bi’s side.

    Although Yu Luo Cha’s swordsmanship was supreme, yet a combination of her agile levitation skills was required in order to unleash its full power. Now being enclosed within the guards’ collective attack, she was unable to execute her levitation skills which decreased her power by half. Luckily, Tie Fei Long’s lower body work was extremely solid and the force of his palms was unbelievably explosive, thus it was only through combining the power of both the sword and palm were they able to withstand the attacks.

    Although the threat of their situation has diminished somewhat, Yue Ming Ke was still worried that their danger has not yet been abolished, while the possibility of the Eastern Faction sending support troops further caused his heart to remain wrought with tense anxiety. Whipping out with a few deadly lashes of her sword, Yu Luo Cha sliced up one of the guards who was advancing towards her and then giggled again with sonorous musicality as she asked, “Hey Yue Ming Ke! Where’s your good friend?” A thought jolted through Yue Ming Ke as he answered, “Coming!” and then with just a flex of his left arm, he had already taken out the gloves that Cheng Kun had given to him and put them over this hand. Then, to the surprise of everyone, Yue Ming Ke suddenly charged straight for the exit!

    Jin Du Yi thundered loudly, “Where do you think you’re going?” as he swept out from the side and blasted forth with his venomous palm. Yue Ming Ke immediately reached out with his left hand to directly impact with Jin’s palm while the sword in his right hand flashed out with such lightning speed and ripped out with such cyclonic fury that a loud cracking sound instantaneously followed as Yue’s blade sliced right through Jin Du Yi’s calf bone! Then through the momentum reverberating off the impact with Jin’s palm, Yue used this dynamism to thrust his whole body into the air as he shot over the head of all the guards and rocketed over the confines of the wall!

    By logic, Jin Du Yi’s martial arts were definitely not inferior to that of Yue Ming Ke’s, then why is it that he would end up falling victim to such an injurious blow? This was all due to the excessive pride that Jin took in the lethalness of his poisonous palms. Since Jin Du Yi never expected that Yue Ming Ke would actually be daring to directly clash palms with him, he let down his guard not knowing that Yue had already put on the Golden Silk glove that would protect his palms against any sort of poisonous attack. As a result, Yue was able to use a blindingly fast stance to meet Jin Du Yi’s attack through the method of counter-attacking. And having succeeded with this one stance, Yue Ming Ke immediately made his escape.

    Witnessing Yue Ming Ke flee from the scene while they were still in the face of grave danger left Xiong Ting Bi flabbergasted and puzzled. Wang Zan growled angrily, “They say you can only see into a person’s heart during the direst times, how true that is!” Xiong Ting Bi retorted, “Yue Ming Ke must have his reasons. Don’t jump to conclusions” and flourished his magnificent sword to shoot out rays of blindingly cold light that thrashed wildly about.

    Having been wounded under Yue’s sword, Jin Du Yi’s power was significantly weakened and even though MuRong Chong’s martial arts were masterful, yet Xiong Ting Bi was fearless and indomitable beyond comparison and plus he had the two skilled fighters Wang Zan and Cheng Kun present there to protect him while the other palace guards were unwilling to attack him. Therefore even though Xiong’s group was unable to break out of the barricade, they still managed to uphold their defence for the time being.

    Across town, Taoist Priest White Stone was still fuming with indignant anger over the fact of having been threatened and challenged. Gathered together and filling up the entire hall were the dozen Wu Tang disciples that resided in the Imperial capital along with a dozen other skilled fighters present on the behalf of Liu Xi Ming. They were all ready for a glorious battle with their enemy. But having waited for two whole days, they did not catch even a glimpse of their enemies’ shadow and since today was the last day set by the threat, their anxiety levels were particularly high.

    The crowd of fighters have gathered together at the Liu family ever since early morning, but having waited all the way until late afternoon, there was still no trace of their enemy. Liu Xi Ming laughed and said, “Wu Tang’s great fame resounds throughout the whole world, who would dare to play with the tiger’s whiskers?” Taoist Priest White Stone puffed up with smug satisfaction and laughed pompously, “But I won’t bother myself with hanging around here to wait for him after today.” Just when they were smirking and snickering to each other, a Wu Tang disciple was suddenly heard to report, “There’s someone coming!” Liu Xi Ming asked, “How many people are there?” The disciple who was standing on guard reported back, “Only one person!” causing Liu Xi Ming to exclaim with surprise, “They’ve got some nerve! Open the doors and let him in!”

    Shortly afterwards, a person charged into the room with sweat dripping from his forehead. The crowd of fighters immediately got up and prepared to meet their enemy, but Zhuo Yi Hang was immediately heard to cry out, “Oh! It’s only Brother Yue!” Taoist Priest White Stone let out a breath of relief and thinking that Yue had somehow gotten news of their predicament and have thus arrived to lend in his assistance, he snickered coldly, “Hero Yue, there’s no need to trouble you for your exalted presence.”

    But Yue Ming Ke only smiled and then came forward to tug at Zhuo Yi Hang’s hand. He then suddenly extended his two fingers and jabbed them into Zhuo’s waist, sealing his acupoint to render him immobile and mute! Then with a twist of his body, he threw Zhuo onto his back and dashed out of the door, catching a room full of masterful fighters completely off guard as they were all left frozen with shock.

    Such is: Soldier extraordinaire suddenly executes ingenious plan, a hall of skilled fighters left in absolute shock.

  4. #124
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    Her rant....

    I wanted to highlight some of intricate shadings in some of the character depiciton of this chapter.

    Let's start w/ Xiong Ting Bi (and I apologize if what I have to say is painfully obvious to you). So the great general we've been hearing about has finally made his appearance, and we see that he is extremely humble and low-key while not at all lacking in courage and force. The fact that a general of his stature and fame would only bring one attendant along with him and maintain such a low-key presence is already worthy of respect and admiration. But notice also how he refers to himself as merely a "big soldier" and when asked by Yang Lian's servant to present his name, he doesn't pound his chest and holler, "Me: Big Man Xiong Ting Bi," but instead just says that his surname is Xiong. Contrasted this with how Wu Tang is just all too eager to throw their name around ... e.g: Geng Shao Nan (remember him?).

    But though patriotic and brave, Xiong may also fall under the common trappings of tradition and country. When he was soooooooo obviously wronged by the charges of the fake Imperial edict, he was still willing to accept his fate as long as these charges were issued by the "Holy Lord." Reminds you of another famous patriot in history doesn't it? Yue Ming Ke almost fell under similar trappings, but Tie Shan Hu's comment reminded him that to remain loyal to one's country, one doesn't have to serve the government. That is the difference between the Jianghu Xia and the Imperial war hero.

    Tying in to this is Yu Luo Cha's attitude towards the government. I wanted to stress that Yu Luo Cha's refusal to come help Yue protect his Grand Master has nothing to do with her patriotism. This brings back a remark Zhuo Yi Hang made in Chapter 8,

    "Within the hearts of the Underground heroes, they feel that though the Emperor抯 position may be something which can be seized, yet the country most definitely cannot fall into the hands of a foreign race."

    I wanted to highlight this b/c I remember when I first read this part, I was like, "why was she refusing to help Yue protect Xiong? He's a good guy!" But you have to remember, at that time, Yu Luo Cha had no idea that this Grand Master was Xiong Ting Bi. She just heard Yue call out to protect some Grand Master. She had no idea what he was talking about (she only discovers his identity later on in the next chapter). Furthermore, although she said that she was not there to help Yue, yet the fact that she remained there (despite the danger) to join the battle shows that heroic strain within her:

    Yue Ming Ke called out, 揌eroine Lian! I personally guarantee that you will get your sword manual, I thank you ahead of time for contributing your immense help here today!?Yu Luo Cha retorted, 揑抦 not going to accept your help, nor am I here to help you out today!?But despite these words, the sword in her hand did not pause for even a brief moment as her every move struck with fatal deadliness.

    She definitely has a grudge against Yue Ming Ke, but she would not be the type of person to watch him die without helping out. Plus, she loves a good fight and has a score to settle with Jin Du Yi

    And while we're on the topic of Yu Luo Cha, I remember when I first read this part of the chapter, I was seriously like "Whooooooohooooooooooooooo!!!!!!! She's back! And back with such style!" Ahhhhhhhh ... her return was such a rush to me. However, as much as I love her spicy character, I have to simiarly acknowledge her stubborn pride that can sometimes drive her to do stupid things. For example, take this part:

    Yu Luo Cha knew that she had blades pointing at her from all directions, thus with a smile she remarked, 揟his isn抰 a good way to fight?and with a flip of her body, rocketed over to Yue Ming Ke抯 side to take after his example by also pressing her back against the wall in combat.

    Yue Ming Ke called out with elation, 揌eroine Lian! Quickly come over here and protect the Grand Master!?which only caused Yu Luo Cha to snicker coldly, 揑 don抰 care about your so and so Grand Master, I抦 only here for my sword manual!?Then with a sudden leap forward, she jumped back into the sea of blades and pierced directly towards Jin Du Yi!

    She knew right away that it was better to fight with her back towards the wall (like how Yue Ming Ke and his group were fighting) and her quick realization of this indicates that she was a natural fighter with great combat experience, but probably b/c of the grudge she had towards Yue Ming Ke that was making her unwilling to associate herself with his battle, she actually leaps BACK INTO the crowd of soldiers. She was targetting Jin Du Yi -- that was true, but from a logical perspective, this was a bad move to make in a fight. But YLC is often too ruled by her emotions. Surprisingly enough though, she managed to push Jin back 2 steps while Jin could only force her back 1 step.

    Now to say something about Yue Ming Ke. Some fans of WHD have ruminated on the "If onlys" or "What ifs" ... one common "if onlys" include: If only YLC fell in love with YMK instead ...

    For me personally, I have always wished for the same thing, but I can tell you right now that it doesn't hapen ... remember: no typical love triangle in the romances of this novel. However, I do feel that there's something romantic about their relationship. I'll leave it at that for now, but I just wanted to point out the misunderstandings b/w them.

    For example, take this passage:

    Yue Ming Ke didn抰 know then that this person was the Tie Fei Long whose great fame shocks the Northwest regions, but seeing such a shocking display of force, he was left incredibly astounded as he secretly thought to himself: This Demoness really does have some earth-shattering abilities! She has actually adopted such a man as her father?!

    Although we hear Yue Ming Ke refer to YLC as "Heroine Lian" secretly, he calls her "the Demoness" ... I wouldn't call this hypocritical on YMK's part, it's more common sense based on social etiquette. Like YLC, YMK doesn't know how to read people very well, but unlike YLC, YMK is not so blunt/straight-forward. However, that still doesn't excuse him viewing her as a Demoness when she's really done nothing to warrant this label. Her Demoness image has in a way already been ingrained within his mind so that he tends to be prejudiced towards seeing the worst in her. We'll come back to this matter later.

    I hope you all enjoyed this chapter, b/c I loved this chapter -- it was so much fun. However, I wished I had time to do a few more drafts, the quality of the translation was a little rushed and unpolished. It's just too bad that I have to leave the country again and my plane's leaving in a few hours, so in many ways, I'm actually glad I managed to finish this before I left.

    So yeah, I'll be back in a month and don't think I'll get much of a chance to start chapter 13 (however, when I return, I'll make sure to answer all questions and comments first thing). I'm looking forward to the next chapter but right now I gotta go, cuz I'm leeeeeeaving on a jet plane ...

    But I DO know when I'll be back again ... we'll chat again next month lah!

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    Thank you! Very cool!

    Which WuXia forum did she post it at before? If I may ask.

    Rob

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    it is this one

    http://forums.cinple.net/wuxia/

    you got to look pretty hard for it

    and thanks zhaozilong44, I didn't notice that she post it about a month ago.
    Last edited by TaiHan; 11-20-04 at 05:14 PM.

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    Thank you so much for posting this!

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    Quote Originally Posted by zhaozilong44
    Her rant....



    Now to say something about Yue Ming Ke. Some fans of WHD have ruminated on the "If onlys" or "What ifs" ... one common "if onlys" include: If only YLC fell in love with YMK instead ...

    Well, I think YMK was forewarned about such dominating figures like YLC. After all, YMK's shifu's wife was also such a dominating type and had caused the trouble of separating herself from her husband. Btw, don't you agree it was her (the wife's) fault?

    PS
    A dominating woman only suits a feeble male


    Quote Originally Posted by zhaozilong44
    Her rant....

    For example, take this passage:

    Yue Ming Ke didn't know then that this person was the Tie Fei Long whose great fame shocks the Northwest regions, but seeing such a shocking display of force, he was left incredibly astounded as he secretly thought to himself: This Demoness really does have some earth-shattering abilities! She has actually adopted such a man as her father?!

    Although we hear Yue Ming Ke refer to YLC as "Heroine Lian" secretly, he calls her "the Demoness" ... I wouldn't call this hypocritical on YMK's part, it's more common sense based on social etiquette. Like YLC, YMK doesn't know how to read people very well, but unlike YLC, YMK is not so blunt/straight-forward. However, that still doesn't excuse him viewing her as a Demoness when she's really done nothing to warrant this label. Her Demoness image has in a way already been ingrained within his mind so that he tends to be prejudiced towards seeing the worst in her. We'll come back to this matter later.

    What's so queer about that? YMK only called YLC by her 'title'. YLC does mean 'Jade Demoness', doesn't it? You see, I've been diligently consulting the sources (you've given) very closely

    Thx for the fine translations

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    Junior Member pasqualle's Avatar
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    zhaozilong44...Thanx for the great translation...hope you get back soon....
    and where you from..??
    notice that you use the word "LAH".. ..juz being curious
    "High up on top of the Mount Everest I stand.
    Only to realize I have not reach the top of the world
    but rather to know that the world is such a wide place....so much more for me to learn"

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    Quote Originally Posted by pasqualle
    zhaozilong44...Thanx for the great translation...hope you get back soon....
    and where you from..??
    notice that you use the word "LAH".. ..juz being curious
    I'm not taking credit for someone else's work. I didn't translate this. FQ did.
    Thank her, not me. I just posted her translation.

  11. #131
    Senior Member Han Solo's Avatar
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    To FaQ,

    I'm currently doing some research for an article on the roke of eunuch in traditional China.

    One of the books that i borrowed focused extensively on the Ming dynasty's eunuchs.

    As the White Hair Maiden is set in the Ming dynasty and have figures from the forbidden palaces, I would be happy to provide you with some relevant background information.

    Just PM me with the relevant names and their ranks.

    Han Solo

  12. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe__edwards__
    quote - Yu Luo Sha’s expression was as cold as the wintry frost as she fiercely says, “This is to show you that there will always be another level of heaven beyond this one, and to never think that you can depend solely on your sect’s fame! -- first chapter right after she cuts off wutang's fingers

    hey thaks for the great translation.... i was wondering if you could do me a big favor "there will always be another level of heaven beyond this one" could you tell me the original chinese characters?..please also is this a famous proverb

    keep up the great work thanks
    Thanks! But somehow looking back at this translated passage, I can't help but cringe ...

    This is only a small favour, I would be glad to help you ... but I'm just a little confused on what you need ... you want the actual Chinese characters right? Here it is, I hope the encoding works out ... 天外有天

    If you want to know what each character means, here it is in pinyin:

    "Tian wai you tian" where
    Tian literally translates as: Sky
    Wai = Outside/External
    You= Have
    Tian = Sky

    Yes, this is a very famous and commonly known phrase. There is usually another part tagged along with it to form the contrast:

    "Tian wai you tian 天外有天, ren wai you ren 人外有人" (sometimes it's also written as "ren shang you ren" where "shang"= up):

    ren = people/person
    wai/shang : wai=outside shang=up
    you = have
    ren = people/person

    So basically the phrase would translate as "There will always be another sphere of heavens beyond the skies and a person excelling above another person"

    Quote Originally Posted by UltraRob
    Fairie Queen,

    I just wanted to leave a note congratulating you on some really amazing translation work. I love this story, and I owe my being able to read it to you, so please accept my heartfelt thanks.

    Happy Halloween to you and everyone else reading this story!
    Rob
    Thank you thank you and thaaaaaaaaaank you! I really try my best to make this translation as enjoyable for you guys as it was for me ... it really helps that I love this story so much because when you're doing something like translating, motivation is really important to keep you from tearing your hair out and go "F*** it!"

    Besides, readers have more than rewarded me with their interest and enjoyment of the story.

    A late Happy Halloween and Merry Xmas to you and all others ... time passes by so quickly, pretty soon it'll be time to say Happy New Year ...

    This year's resolution: spend more time on translation!

    Quote Originally Posted by dingnoy
    Is it just me, but how come Yu lou cha doesn't seem to be in the last few chapters. I mean theres a lot of zhou Yi hang and Yue ming ke, but wheres Yu Luo cha?

    Also by reading teh last few chapters I'm starting to like Yue Ming Ke more than ZHou Yi Hang, he seems more like the heroe of this story lol.
    I'm happy to say that the Demoness is now back in da house. Whooohoooo

    Actually, there is only one hero in this story ... Yu Luo Cha Zhuo Yi Hang is merely the subcharacter, the romantic interest of the hero. It's just that the movies and series adaptations tends to blow up the character too much to elaborate on the romance. What they don't realize is that the story is a legend about Ba Fa Mo Nu ... some people just don't get it you know?

    In terms of overall weight and significance, Yue far excels over Zhuo. But in this story, I would say they are both equally important subcharacters. Bottom line is: Yu Luo Cha is still the main though
    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


  13. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by zhaozilong44
    Hmm... I think Queenie is too busy cause she finished and posted the rest of chapter 12 at the wuxia forum sometime ago. Anyway, since "dgsal" and "Moin" won't post it, I'll continue her legacy for her.
    You know, there is but only a fine line between one's legacy and one's lunacy

    Thank you General Zhao! True to my character, I always take on more than I can handle. When I had finished posting on the Wuxia DF, I knew it would only take me about 15 minutes to post it here, but thinking that since I have to get to the airport in less than 2 hours and being only 60% packed wtih still a million things to do, I figured I had better finish packing first ... but of course by the time I finished packing, it was already time to dash off and I couldn't post this in time. Well, I knew somebody would pull through for me and pick up after my mistakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Du Gu seeking a win
    Well, I think YMK was forewarned about such dominating figures like YLC. After all, YMK's shifu's wife was also such a dominating type and had caused the trouble of separating herself from her husband. Btw, don't you agree it was her (the wife's) fault?
    All I can say is "ding ding ding ding ding!" You should get a trophy or something for being such a good reader ... as always

    Both Yu Luo Cha and Yue Ming Ke's "prejudices" towards each other definitely gets its roots from their Shifus' past. Remember what YMK said when YLC left in a huff after her battle with him on Hua Shan? "Her character is just like my Shiniang" ... actually YMK should have never met his Shiniang, so whatever "impression" he may have of her is likely founded from what his Shifu has told him and though it was never explicity expressed from either of them, I think it's fair to say that both YLC and YMK somehow blames the other's Shifu for their own Shifu's unhappiness and suffering.

    And yes, their Shifu's past as recounted within WHD's story does indeed put YLC's ShiFu in the wrong ... I mean, that woman obviously didn't have her head on right. However, like I had mentioned before, Liang YuSheng does eventually go back to write about the breakup of YLC and YMK's Shifus' marriage in the book "Lian Jian Qi Qing Lu" (which I THINK translates roughly as "Chronicles of the Linking Swords and Extraordinary Adventures") and clearly in that novel, Huo Tian Du (Yue Ming Ke's Shifu) is really the source of the problem. But still, their marriage as outlined within that novel is very sophisticated ... it doesn't so much as put the failure of a marriage all on one person, but rather details how the dreams and personalities of two lovers can grow apart, even if their love for each other doesn't. Hopefully one day I can come back to this, but right now, I won't overload you guys with external info.

    Quote Originally Posted by Du Gu seeking a win
    PS
    A dominating woman only suits a feeble male
    ummmm .... no comment

    YLC is headstrong and competitive no doubt, she can be dominating and even overbearing sometimes. But in terms her relationship with ZYH, I wouldn't agree that she in any point tries to "dominate" him. In fact, regardless of how ugly her relationship got with the Wu Tang sect, she never actually put any pressure on Zhuo Yi Hang -- she always left the decision up to him -- that's something that a truly dominating woman would have never done.

    And besides, I believe that there doesn't (and shouldn't) have to be a "dominator" in a relationship, so I do feel that under the right circumstances and after they have developed a mutual understanding & appreciation, YLC and YMK could have gotten together. But that's just wishful thinking on my part.

    Quote Originally Posted by Du Gu seeking a win
    What's so queer about that? YMK only called YLC by her 'title'. YLC does mean 'Jade Demoness', doesn't it? You see, I've been diligently consulting the sources (you've given) very closely

    Thx for the fine translations
    uh-uh. This I can't give you Dugu Xiong. There is indeed a difference. Luo Chas are a form of demons yes (but they're apparently also protector demons of the underworld), but to call Yu Luo Cha "Yu Luo Cha" is one matter, to call Yu Luo Cha "Demoness" is another matter (the actual words he used were "Nu Mo Tou" (Female Demon Lord). The difference is subtle, but important. "Demoness" is a label indicating that YMK had already judged her. This compounded with the fact that he calls her "Heroine Lian" in public, but secretly thinks of her as a Demoness does indicate a sort of social hypocrisy ... albeit just a pratical one. All in all, it adds to the fact that both Yue Ming Ke and Yu Luo Cha has prejudices towards the other ... this feeling should make itself more clear later on.

    Furthermore, Yu Luo Cha is a nickname that others made up for her, it was not her real name. As a result, Lian Ni Shang doesn't even like it that much when people call her Yu Luo Cha. I think that though she's used to it and can even joke about it, yet when you think about it, it's actually kind of hurtful to have everyone label you as a demon.

    Quote Originally Posted by pasqualle
    and where you from..??
    Somewhere over the rainbow ah-mah

    Quote Originally Posted by pasqualle
    notice that you use the word "LAH".. ..juz being curious
    Heh. I'm Cantonese ... if you're familiar with the dialect, you'd know that we tie into our sentences a whole lot of lah, lah, lor mah, ah-yah, meh, cheh, ay, ah as a sort of added emphasis I guess (shrugs) ... who knows why we do it? ... hehe, I just can't help but add them in when I type ... it just sounds so much more natural mah

    Quote Originally Posted by Han Solo
    To FaQ,

    I'm currently doing some research for an article on the roke of eunuch in traditional China.

    One of the books that i borrowed focused extensively on the Ming dynasty's eunuchs.

    As the White Hair Maiden is set in the Ming dynasty and have figures from the forbidden palaces, I would be happy to provide you with some relevant background information.

    Just PM me with the relevant names and their ranks.

    Han Solo
    Hey Han Solo! How are ya?

    Is your book only on the eunuchs or other important figures as well?

    If you have time and don't mind, I think the other readers would like a bit of background info on Wei Zhong Xian, especially in relation to the social-political aspect of his involvement with the Eastern Faction and the fall of the Ming empire. I don't think any of this information would give much of the story away, so you can just post it here if you'd like. But ONLY if you do have the time.

    Cheers to you
    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


  14. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faerie Queene
    Hey Han Solo! How are ya?

    Is your book only on the eunuchs or other important figures as well?

    If you have time and don't mind, I think the other readers would like a bit of background info on Wei Zhong Xian, especially in relation to the social-political aspect of his involvement with the Eastern Faction and the fall of the Ming empire. I don't think any of this information would give much of the story away, so you can just post it here if you'd like. But ONLY if you do have the time.

    Cheers to you
    Hi Faq,

    I'm fine, thank you. Finished my course and will start work soon.

    How's your work? Still aiming to be a director soon?

    I left my books over in Australia but i'm going back tomorrow. Give me a week and see what i whipped up. But no promises.

    Han Solo

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    Eh, I never get all my postings done in one sitting ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Han Solo
    Hi Faq,

    I'm fine, thank you. Finished my course and will start work soon.

    How's your work? Still aiming to be a director soon?

    I left my books over in Australia but i'm going back tomorrow. Give me a week and see what i whipped up. But no promises.

    Han Solo
    Happy to hear that you're doing well, excited to hear that you're making your way into the working world

    My work's going pretty good I suppose, but still many obstacles to overcome and still much more hard work that lies in store for me. I am still presently at a unstable level of my career, but c'mon, do you think I'm the kind of person to give up on her dreams? Damn this stubbornness, but I'm more determined to stick with this than ever

    Don't worry, give us what you can IF you can, but enjoy your trip most of all okay?



    Okay, just to give a quick update since I've been out of communication for so long. Yes I'm back, doing well, had a great time. But I've been a little sick and extremely tired for a few weeks, then had to bustle around with work and holidays for another few weeks, which is why I haven't been around much ... however, I did continue to work on the translation whenever I can.

    I had originally wanted to give you guys chapter 13 in full as I felt it works better reading it as a whole. But then I knew that wasn't going to happen, so you will have to settle for only half a chapter once again. Then I wanted to give you guys the chapter as a Xmas gift, but couldn't find enough time to put in the necessary work, so obviously that plan goes out the window.

    But I currently have a few more hours of editing work left and the first half of chapter 13 will finally be available. I probably won't be able to get it done today or tomorrow, but it will be around these next few days ... my goal is to get it in before the end of the weekend so those of you who are in school can get read it before school starts again.

    Also a special little visual aid to all you good readers (like Brother Dugu) ...

    This is a picture of a LuoCha demon statue ... it was taken at the famous Feng Du Ghost City of the 3 Gorges. The picture's a little dark because I took it at 5 in the morning, but I feel it adds to the ghostliness doesn't it? This LuoCha demon was part of the 16 (or 18? ... obviously, numbers are not my strength) demons who guards the Gui Men Guan (Ghostly Gates) of the Underworld. Hope you guys can see it ...



    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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    There's no point in me going on and on about why I didn't meet my own deadline ... but to use the late Wong Jim's famous lyrics, it's because: "I am me!"

    Here it is, a little late, but still good gah!

    Chapter 13

    Turbulent Storms Frequently Weathered
    Old Hatred Lingers After Heartbreak
    State’s Changes Transforms Society
    New Vengeances Arise From Adventures

    We left off with the sudden appearance of Yue Ming Ke who unexpectedly sealed off Zhuo Yi Hang’s acupoint to render him momentarily mute and immobile. Then with a twist of his of his body, Yue threw Zhuo onto his back and dashed out the front doors, leaving behind him a room full of masterful fighters, each and every single one of them stupefied with shock.

    Taoist Priest White Stone lambasted furiously, “So you’re the little runt who’s going against me! Get him!” and with his sword in hand, he was the first person to charge out the door. Since Liu Xi Ming knew who Yue Ming Ke was, he hurriedly cried out, “Wait brother! Don’t do anything rash!” but Taoist Priest White Stone had already led all the Wu Tang disciples chasing out the front doors and faced with no other choice, Liu Xi Ming and the rest of the skilled fighters could only chase after them.

    With his exceptional levitation skills, Yue Ming Ke was able to excel over Taoist Priest White Stone by a small measure despite carrying a person on his back. Even though Taoist Priest White Stone had already executed the masterful levitation skill of “Capturing the Cicada in 8 Steps,” he still ended up falling behind Yue by a good twenty to thirty feet, driving White Stone mad with frustration as he grinded his teeth together in anger. But like a mouse cautious of the prongs of its trap, he did not dare to unleash any projectiles at Yue.

    Like a dart, Yue Ming Ke bolted all the way back to the Yang household before releasing Zhuo Yi Hang’s acupoint. The first thing that Zhuo became aware of when he regained his senses was the clang of gold and bronze smashing into each other, all mixing in with the painful screams of slaughter and the heated cries of battle that reverberated out from within the inner regions of the mansion. Zhuo Yi Hang almost thought that he was jolted from the throes of a terrifying nightmare when before he could even say anything Yue Ming Ke was already by his ear saying, “Brother Zhuo, come give me a hand and help save Military Commissioner Xiong!”

    Meanwhile, Yu Luo Cha and Tie Fei Long were struggling with their battle when they suddenly saw Yue Ming Ke reappear with Zhuo Yi Hang following closely behind him! Infused with an immediate resurgence of energy, Yu Luo Cha spun the long sword in her hand and drew out another explosion of incandescence as she targeted straight towards the vital spot on Jin Du Yi’s throat with the stance “Li Guang (1) shoots at rock.” Jin Du Yi slants his shoulder over to one side and with a back swipe, attempts to hook onto Yu Luo Cha’s wrists. But Tie Fei Long immediately pounded forward with a single punch, forcing Jin Du Yi to block the blow through the lowering of his wrist and to his surprise was jolted back two whole steps upon impact! By then, Yu Luo Cha had already zipped past him, the priceless sword in her hand thriving up, down, left and right as she consecutively wounded four Eastern Faction guards in a split of a second while charging forward to break through the enclosure so that she may provide backup support for Zhuo Yi Hang.

    Seeing how both Tie Fei Long and Yu Luo Cha were also present, Zhuo Yi Hang was overcome with both surprise and elation as he asked, “What is all this?” Yue Ming Ke replied, “You and Heroine Lian ward off these bandits while I go and save grandmaster!” Then by conjuring up the force of the winds with his sword, Yue blazed through the crowd by attacking from the sides, leaving behind him a trail of destruction. Zhuo Yi Hang half followed and half watched Yue to discover that trapped against the corner of the wall was a robust man with a girth comparable to a bear and the back of a tiger standing there with all the majestic solemnity of a heavenly deity. Zhuo knew then that this must without a doubt be Xiong Ting Bi. Having held Xiong in reverence for the longest time, upon observing the situation Zhuo Yi Hang immediately understood what Yue Ming Ke’s intentions were and as a result, suddenly developed a warm appreciation for Yu Luo Cha.

    Hurriedly executing Wu Tang’s annihilating 72 Styles of the Sequential-Linking Sword Skill to break through the enclosure, every stance that was drawn out by Zhuo was so deadly that a few Eastern Faction palace guards were wounded under his sword in just an instant. By then, Yu Luo Cha has also slashed her way through the crowd to join forces with him causing Zhuo Yi Hang to exclaim happily, “Lian jiejie! So you’re also a pure loyal heart who’s come to save Military Commissioner Xiong?” Although Yu Luo Cha’s original intent was only that of retrieving her sword manual, but hearing Zhuo Yi Hang put it this way she figured that now was not the time to explain in detail anyways and so with a charming smile, she chopped off the arms of the two palace guards standing in front of her and laughed, “Silly boy, let’s finish off these people first before we stop to chat. Your Military Commissioner Xiong will be fine! Your good friend is over there to protect him, what else is there for you to worry about?” Amidst all this merry jesting, her movements were not the least bit hindered as the tip of her sword pierced towards the East and then punctured towards the West, injuring the joints and crucial tendons of even more palace guards as she sent them sprawling across the floor, thrashing wildly about in pain.

    Meanwhile, Taoist Priest White Stone was about ready to burst with pent up anger! Having furiously chased after Yue Ming Ke with his sword ready in hand, White Stone watched as Yue suddenly put down Zhuo Yi Hang and then the two of them charge into Yang Lian’s government-sanctioned home together while the chilling sounds of slaughter drifted out from within! Left completely confounded and not understanding what they were up to, White Stone hesitated briefly before he too charged into the Yang mansion.

    But what he was greeted to was the sight of Zhuo Yi Hang fighting alongside a young girl, their swords joined together as they fought shoulder-to-shoulder, happily absorbed in the frenzy of their slaughter. The young girl’s long elegant eyebrows reached into her hair and framed a pair of eyes that sparkled like the lapping waves of the autumn springs. With her hair tied up by golden rings and red silk wrapped around her wrists, a deathly aura emanated out from within all the radiance of her stunning beauty to strike fear in the core of one’s heart. Stunned, White Stone was secretly thinking to himself: this “witch” must without a doubt be Yu Luo Cha! Since White Stone was wholly intent on marrying off his daughter to his martial arts nephew, he has practically regarded Yu Luo Cha as his enemy and thus to suddenly come across her here filled him with both jealousy and hatred!

    Zhuo Yi Hang called over to him, “Hurry over Uncle! Military Commissioner Xiong is right here!” By using his sword to shield, block, swipe and pierce, Taoist Priest White Stone protected himself first by guarding his whole body. And yet, he did not make any attempts to blast his way through the crowd.

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

    (1) “Li Guang”: A famous general of the Western Han era (206BC – 9 AD) and a descendent of Li Xin who was a famous general of the Qin State accredited for his role in driving the Crown Prince Dan of the Yan State back to the frontiers during the Warring States Periods (475BC – 221 BC, or sometimes also considered as spanning from 403 BC – 221BC). The Crown Prince Dan was the person who bade Jing Ke to engage in the famous attempt of assassinating the Lord of the Qin State (who later became the First Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang).

    Joining the army at a young age, Li Guang actively fought against the invasion of the Huns. He was later sent out to accompany Zhou Ya Fu in the mission to settle the revolt headed by the Lord of Wu and the Lord of Chu. Such a rebellion was part of what was known as the Wu Chu Seven States’ Revolt, where the Lords of the Seven States (lead by the Lord of Wu) got together to raise a rebellion against the central government. These Lords were actually all princes of the Han dynasty bearing the same Royal surname (for princes bearing a different surname were already eradicated by Liu Pi, the Lord of Wu). They were each in possession of significant amounts of land (combined, their land was ¾ of China’s overall territory) and military power, thus they would often ignore the orders of the central government. As a result, the Han Emperor was desirous to decrease the surface area of their territorial land and detract part of their military power, thus instigating the seven lords’ desire to revolt against the central dynasty. During the battle at the ancient city of Chang Yi, Li Guang was able to capture the rebelling army’s military flag, an achievement earning him great merit. After the revolt was finally settled, Li continued on to battle bravely against the Huns.

    There was one time when he and a hundred of his troops had just finished killing two Hun soldiers and capturing one alive, they decided to return to their base camp when a few thousand Hun soldiers suddenly arrived as backup. But the thousands of Hun soldiers seeing Li with the captured Hun soldier thought that this was a trap designed to lure them in, thus as a result, did not dare to attack. Although his troops wanted to retreat right away, Li knew that being so greatly outnumbered, they would never make it back to their camp and further knowing that the Hun army must be in caution of the possibility that he was trying to lure them into the attack of secretly ambushed soldiers, Li went along with their suspicions and ordered his troops to advance forward, stopping two miles in front of the Hun army. Li then ordered his men to descend off their horses and dismount their saddles, leaving the Hun army in befuddled confusion, furthermore not daring to attack. This face-off lasted until nightfall whereby fearing a night invasion from the Chinese army, the Hun army immediately retreated and thus Li and his army averted their deaths.

    There was another time when Li and his troops were again outnumbered by the Hun army. Having heard of Li’s great fame, the Hun soldiers were ordered to capture Li alive. Greatly outnumbered, Li’s army was defeated and having been severely wounded, Li was unfortunately captured. Seeing how Li was severely injured, his enemies placed him in a hammock tied between two horses as they prepared to deliver him back to their headquarters. But along the journey, Li suddenly overtook control of a horse occupied by a Hun soldier, took his bow and arrow before kicking the soldier off the horse and then riding the soldier’s horse all the way back to his own army camp, shooting down the numerous enemies that chased after him. After this incident that illustrated Li Guang’s blinding speed, masterful shooting skills and extraordinary actions, the Hun army began to refer to him as the “Flying General of the Hans.” But when he returned to the capital, due to Li’s losses in the battle, the Emperor demoted Li from his military rank and therefore he was returned to his civilian status.

    A few years later, the Huns became an ever more pressing threat and thus the Emperor decided to reinstate Li Guang’s position. Hearing news that the great “Flying General” was stationed at the city of BeiPing (which is now known as the capital BeiJing), the Huns did not dare to attack for many years.

    When Li Guang was past the age of 60, he once again continued to set out for battle. He was accompanied by another general by the name of Wei Qing who had secretly learned of the whereabouts of the Hun lord and was desirous to capture the enemy himself in order to claim full merit. As a result, he misled Li, Li’s army and the support army off onto another path. Due to the difficult and challenging nature of the terrain, Li and the army briefly lost their way, while Wei Qing himself failed in his attempts to capture the Hun Lord. After the two groups met up again, Wei Qing held the commander of the support army responsible for the troops losing their way and thus costing them the chance to capture the Hun Lord. Angered, Li stood up for this commander and the troops by taking all the responsibility onto himself. He then said to his troops that having joined the army at a young age and fought over seventy battles with the Huns, he could not believe that he would now be placed under such dishonour by a fellow general. Already of such an old age, he could not allow himself to suffer such injustice and immediately committed suicide there on the spot, thus ending the life of one of the most famous generals of an era.

    The phrase “Li Guang shoots at rock” used within this book refers to an incident that happened during one of Li’s hunting expeditions. Greatly experienced in hunting tigers, Li was out hunting during one twilight evening and looking over to the bushes, discovered a striped object which he thought was a tiger. Li immediately drew his bow and shot at it. In accordance to his masterly shooting skills, he of course hit his target but when he walked in closer, he discovered that what he had shot at was a rock and not a tiger. Yet to everyone’s amazement, his arrow had penetrated deep into the rock, in fact it had delved so solidly into the rock that his attendants could not pull the arrow out again. But when Li Guang drew his bow to shoot at the rock once again, tried as he might, he never could get the arrow to penetrate into the rock anymore. But from this day onwards, Li developed a reputation as being able to have the strength to shoot through solid rocks.

    Li Guang’s story was recounted in SiMa Qian’s “ShiJi” (Records of History) and his name was mentioned in numerous poems, including one by Lu Lun who immortalized Li Guang’s rock shooting triumph in one of his poems.
    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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    The battle was progressing on with fierce intensity when one of the disguised men’s mask suddenly fell to the floor, splitting into two halves as it was slashed apart by the tip of Yu Luo Cha’s blade. Taoist Priest White Stone just happened to glancing over at that time and immediately the fires of fury exploded in his heart as he thundered, “Humph! So you’re here! Right now is exactly the end to your three day limit, I want to see exactly how you plan to me drive me out of the capital!” and with the rays of his sword thrashing around and throbbing about, White Stone targeted straight towards this person.

    You’re probably wondering why Taoist Priest White Stone would be so angry? It just so happens that this man was none other than the street performer who had furtively attacked White Stone the other day by the Heavenly Bridge. His name was Hao Jian Chang and he was the head disciple of the Venomous Palms of Yin Winds Jin Du Yi. The series of events involving the furtive attack on Taoist Priest White Stone and the threat towards Liu Xi Ming all turns out to be part of a conspiracy to have White Stone driven out of the Imperial capital that was secretly masterminded by Ying Xiu Yang.

    Ying Xiu Yang was originally Wei Zhong Xian’s trusted minion. Upon GuangZhong’s death, he immediately stole back into the Imperial capital bringing Jin Du Yi along with him. But since Jin Du Yi’s notorious name was simply too infamous, he had to conceal his identity even when inside the Imperial Palace. Ever since Yue Ming Ke overturned the Imperial Palace the very same day that Zhuo Yi Hang was summoned to GuangZhong’s bedside shortly before his death, the bloodhounds of the Eastern Faction have searched out in all directions and have long since discovered the identity and whereabouts of both men.

    Greatly alarmed upon learning that Yue Ming Ke was the envoy of Xiong Ting Bi, Ying Xiu Yang suggested to Wei Zhong Xian, “Xiong Ting Bi will be returning on the twenty-eight, if the Holy Lord wishes to eradicate him, you must first clip his wings.” Wei Zhong Xian remarked, “But I have only recently established power and at least half of the Imperial court breaths out the same crap as that barbarous brute Xiong! How could they possibly be eradicated all at once?” Ying Xiu Yang chuckled and replied, “I’m not talking about Xiong’s cronies within the Imperial court, what I mean are the skilled fighters of the Jianghu world who might be lending Xiong a helping hand. After all, your Holy Lord’s original plan was not to dispose of Xiong Ting Bi within the Imperial courts but was to send somebody out to secretly finish him off. If he had a bunch of skilled fighters backing him up, this would only end up ruining all our plans.”

    Wei Zhong Xian continued, “But I know what that barbarian Xiong is like, he won’t be bringing many men back with him from the frontiers and just a Yue Ming Ke by himself, regardless of how extraordinary his abilities may be, won’t be enough to protect that brute Xiong.” Ying Xiu Yang added, “Of course Yue Ming Ke by himself is like a single hand that cannot produce a clap, but that Zhuo Yi Hang just happens to be good friends with Yue!” Wei Zhong Xian asked, “How good are the martial arts of this Zhuo Yi Hang?” Ying Xiu Yang replied, “Although that Zhuo Yi Hang does not measure up to Yue Ming Ke in terms of marital arts, yet he just happens to be the sect leader of Wu Tang! We’ve also learnt that Zhuo was accompanied by one of his marital art uncles on this trip to the capital, plus there are more than ten skilled fighters of the Wu Tang sect residing here in Beijing!” Wei Zhong Xian retorted, “Then we’ll just finish them all off!”

    Ying Xiu Yang warned, “Oh! We mustn’t do that my Holy Lord! Wu Tang is the current Jianghu world’s most eminent and celebrated sect! Plus to our advantage, they never meddle with the matters of the state or government and since we don’t concern them and they don’t bother us, everything will go on as before and remain fine just the way it is. But if we suddenly kill off one of their elders and sect leader, wouldn’t that be equal to creating for ourselves a powerful enemy out of the blue for no reason?” Wei Zhong Xian said, “I’m not as familiar with these Jianghu matters as you are – so tell me, what is it that you think we should do?” Ying Xiu Yang replied, “Why don’t we send somebody to go and furtively attack that Taoist Priest first so as to make him suffer a taste of the bitter sting. Then we’ll go threaten him and the host of his accommodations, giving them a three day limit before we expect them to crawl out of the capital. What this implies is that we will be storming their house within three days to give them more trouble. I know how headstrong and stubborn that Taoist Priest has always been, so I guarantee you that he will not be willing to leave the capital and will instead be gathering together all the disciples of his sect as they wait for us within his home. But our aim is not to start up anything with them, we are merely trying to prevent them from meeting up with Yue Ming Ke and hinder us from targeting in on Xiong Ting Bi.” Wei Zhong Xian exclaimed, “This is exactly what they mean by the stratagem of targeting the East and attacking the West! We’ll carry on according to your plan then!”

    Pity Taoist Priest White Stone who remained ignorant towards all this, for never in his dreams could he have guessed that there was such a big conspiracy connected with the whole incident. And of course, Taoist Priest White Stone never did have any intentions of assisting Yue Ming Ke. Ying Xiu Yang was merely preparing for the worst scenario when he concocted this “targeting the East, attacking the West” stratagem as a means of keeping them away from each other in case they did end up merging together.

    But contrary to his expectations, such a move actually ended up eliciting Yue Ming Ke’s suspicions. When pushed to the extremes of their fierce battle, Yue Ming Ke suddenly remembered back to the three day arrangement that Zhuo had made with him earlier, thus leading him to see through the intentions of his enemy. As a result, he immediately went along with this plan and by acting out with thundering movements that struck out before one could even manage to cover their ears, he kidnapped away Zhuo Yi Hang in order to bait White Stone and the whole clan of Wu Tang disciples to chase after them and arrive here at Yang’s home.

    Xiong Ting Bi’s critical danger was now gradually alleviating and the moment that Jin Du Yi saw Taoist Priest White Stone arrive, he knew the Wu Tang sect will without a doubt be arriving behind him en masse. Such a revelation caused him to falter and fumble in alarm as he screeched, “We’ve been busted! Let’s go!” Tie Fei Long’s palm came slapping forward to seal off their escape route, thus forcing MuRong Chong to strike out from the side in attempts to dismantle Tie’s stance with his palm. Then with a wave of his other hand, he was just about to alert his accomplices to the opportunity of escape when marital arts instructor Liu Xi Ming and the other Wu Tang disciples arrived outside. Not knowing that their enemy were the Eastern Faction guards of the Imperial Palace in disguise, Taoist Priest White Stone hurriedly called out, “Stop them!”

    The situation was now completely reversed, for the Wu Tang disciples combined with the skilled fighters brought here by Liu Xi Ming comprised no less than thirty fighters, thus instantaneously turning the tables around as they surrounded the Eastern Faction guards. As the whole hall throbbed under the shadow of swords and the glare of sabres, Jin Du Yi and MuRong Chong attempted to escape by charging forward together, only to be separated again by the advances of White Stone and Liu Xi Ming. Along with a resonating laugh that rippled out and reverberated all around, the long sword in Yu Luo Cha’s hand glittered with deathly iciness as it ripped forward with staggering ferocity. Jin Du Yi countered by conjuring up a storm with his own two palms, thus warding off a few stances by then of which Yue Ming Ke had already arrived to join the battle with a sudden thrust of his sword!

    Jin Du Yi flipped his palms over and swept out while Yue Ming Ke warded off the blow with his left palm. Then by bringing about the sword in his right hand to draw out half an arc, Yue slashed through Jin’s top shirt with a loud rip! Yu Luo Cha immediately followed with the swiftness of wind and by striking out with the stance, “Shooting Star Blazes Fiery Trail” she blazoned her sword towards Jin Du Yi’s heart. Although Jin immediately evaded her attack by moving over to one side, Yu Luo Cha was suddenly heard to shout “Gotcha” and under the flicker of her blade, fresh blood was seen to spurt out as her sword’s tip drew out a huge gash on Jin Du Yi’s chest!

    In terms of marital arts, Jin Du Yi was originally in no way inferior to either Yu Luo Cha or Yue Ming Ke, but Yue Ming Ke has put on the Golden Silk gloves and therefore did not fear Jin’s poisonous attacks which inadvertently increased his powers by a few measures. Add to this the incomparable venomousness of Yu Luo Cha’s bloodthirsty sword skill and even had Jin Du Yi’s martial arts been more powerful, he would still have been unable to withstand the combined attacks of these two fighters. In fact, had he not been fortunate enough to react so quickly, both his heart and bowels would have been lying on the floor by now.

    Hitting her target with that stance, Yu Luo Cha’s sword continued to ravage forward with a menacing streak. Watching the situation at hand become increasingly ugly, MuRong Chong hacked out with his palms and spewed out stances of such blinding speed that in just a blink of an eye, a few Wu Tang disciples were already sent sprawling across the floor. Seeing how Jin Du Yi was injured, Yue Ming Ke knew that Jin would not be Yu Luo Cha’s match and thus extracted himself by executing a flip of his sword to seal off MuRong Chong’s escape route instead.

    Yu Luo Cha drove out one stance closely followed by another, forcing Jin Du Yi to repeatedly retreat while she giggled, “Old freak Jin, are you ready to return my sword manual to me yet?” Generating his internal Qi in attempts to ameliorate his injuries, Jin Du Yi grinded his teeth together and resolved to fight to his death. Meanwhile Yu Luo Cha giggled again as she continued to taunt, “If you don’t hand it over right now, I’m gonna have to finish you off!” and amongst all her captivating laughs and sweet smiles, the stances of her sword howled out with the vehemence of the ravenous tornadoes and stormed forth with the fury of the wild tempests to encase Jin Du Yi completely within the beacon of her sword.
    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. #138
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    As the chaotic battle continued on with full force inside that hall, the clamour of people shouting and horses neighing could suddenly be heard to drift in from outside! A crowd of soldiers immediately came barging in as the officer leading the army hollered loudly, “Military Commissioner Xiong! Your worthless attendant has arrived too late!” before screaming, “Treacherous thieves! How dare you rob the home of a governmental official under broad daylight? Hand over your weapons and surrender right this instant!”

    This person just happened to be the Supreme Commander of the Nine Gates, Tian Er Geng. His army of soldiers surged forward and waved their sabres and spears around with chaotic frenzy, inducing Xiong Ting Bi to command, “My people! Retreat right away!” At that moment Yu Luo Cha was just about to close in on her prey when under the chaotic rush of soldiers that came barging forward, Jin Du Yi immediately took advantage of this chance to escape by slipping out amongst the crowd. Extremely enraged, Yu Luo Cha swept her treasured sword around her and caused the soldiers’ sabres, lances, spears or halberds to be either shocked up high into the air or to come crashing down to the ground shattered in pieces! The crowd of soldiers cried out, “Watch out for that malicious female crook!”

    Vexed with indignant rage, a frosty sneer appeared on Yu Luo Cha’s face causing Tie Fei Long to hurriedly holler out in alarm, “No!” while pulling Yu Luo Cha back. By then Yue Ming Ke has also called out, “This is the heroine who assisted in protecting the Military Commissioner, do not attack her!”

    Shortly afterwards, all the injured Eastern Faction guards lying on the ground were tied up by the soldiers but MuRong Chong and some of his men have already escaped in the midst of all the commotion. The Supreme Commander of the nine gates Tian Er Geng came forward to pay homage to Xiong Ting Bi with a low bow while saying, “Please forgive your worthless subordinate for arriving so late. I have caused your honour much unnecessary distress.”

    Yang Lian, the Secretary of the Ministry of War came out from the inner rooms and after snorting “Humph” with disgust, he remarked with cold sarcasm, “Official Tian, your abilities of acquiring news this time is remarkably efficient!” Tian Er Geng’s face turned red as he mumbled, “The home of your Honoured has twice come under the attack of the malicious criminals, this is certainly an unpardonable failure on your wretched servant’s part. I deserve to be sentenced to a million deaths.” Yang Lian said, “Bandits pernicious enough to show their treacherous faces within the Imperial Capital gives me cause to suspect that those were not your ordinary criminals.” Tian Er Geng replied, “Your menial servant will bring them back and immediately interrogate them on their crimes.” With a roll of his eyes, Yue Ming Ke snickered, “These bandits are backed up by a powerful source, I’m afraid that it won’t be very convenient for official you to try them” and then turned around to Xiong Ting Bi to say, “Ming Ke dares to ask Military Commissioner Xiong to personally try them!” Tian Er Geng hurriedly stammered, “Your useless servant’s duties are presently called upon, he dares not bother the exalted Military Commissioner!” Xiong Ting Bi’s eyes shone with a fiery brilliance that swept over Tian Er Geng, but after a while, he said with a wave of his hand, “Fine, take them away then.”

    After Tian Er Geng had left with his men, Yue Ming Ke asked, “Grand Master, wouldn’t this just be like releasing the tiger back to the mountain?” Yang Lian added in as well, “That little stinker Tian Er Geng, I don’t trust him at all!” With a sigh, Xiong Ting Bi said, “Did you think that I don’t know those bandits were not your ordinary criminals? But I am a General who manages an army in distant territories while he is a Supreme Commander responsible for the law enforcement of the Imperial Capital – we each have our own duties we’re responsible for. There are already people in the courts charging me for hogging power and disregarding authority, how could I overstep my boundaries and claim the right to punish others by taking over the place of the punisher?” Yang Lian sulked with gloomy silence while Xiong Ting Bi declared loudly, “Ming Ke! Please invite all the noble warriors to a seat so I can personally thank them one by one.”

    Yu Luo Cha and Tie Fei Long emerged from amongst the crowd and then bowed in front of Xiong Ting Bi before stating clearly, “We stumbled into all this purely by accident and dare not accept your thanks.” Xiong Ting Bi was slightly taken back while Tie Fei Long continued, “Official Xiong, you are a patriot with a true and loyal heart, I have nothing but the most sincere respect towards you. But me and my daughter are merely uncultured peasants who dare not interact or associate ourselves with the government authorities. Coming across each other here today was a mere coincidence, we really can’t take credit for any heroic acts. Please excuse us Military Commissioner, we will leave now.” Still getting up to express his gratitude with a low bow, Xiong Ting Bi said, “Ming Ke! See my guests out for me.”

    The treasured sword in Yu Luo Cha’s hand has not yet been returned to its sheath and Yue Ming Ke could discern very clearly now that it was none other than the Gliding Dragon Sword that he had lost within the Imperial Palace! It was then that he suddenly remembered that there was a dark shadow that had broke into the Imperial Palace the same night that he did – this must without a doubt be Yu Luo Cha. With the faint traces of a smug smile on her lips, Yu Luo Cha slowly returned the celestial sword back into its sheath. Yue Ming Ke saw them to the steps before suddenly saying, “Heroine Lian, I have something to return to you” and after taking out the sword manual, he said, “Please have an inspection Heroine Lian, is this the original manuscript?”

    With a small smile, Yu Luo Cha took over the sword manual as Tie Fei Long remarked with baffled surprise, “Me and my daughter have toiled over millions of miles for this sword manual! Where did you get it?” Yue Ming Ke was just about to answer when Yu Luo Cha suddenly said, “I also have something to return to you!” and then by untying the Gliding Dragon Sword, she returned it to Yue Ming Ke while saying with a big grin, “One item in exchange for another, that way, neither of us owes the other person anything!” Tie Fei Long was taken back as he mused silently to himself: this child is just so proud.

    After descending the stairs, Yu Luo Cha suddenly turned around to gesture with her hands and call out, “Hey Zhuo Yi Hang! Come over here!” Lost in a cloud of stupor, Zhuo Yi Hang was just mingling around with the crowd of people, but when he heard Yu Luo Cha’s words it was as if he had suddenly received some kind of divine order that induced him to immediately run outside with uncontrollable obedience, completely oblivious to the angry glare that White Stone shot at him.

    When Zhuo Yi Hang had reached the bottom of the steps, Yu Luo Cha asked, “How are you? Good?” but before Zhuo Yi Hang could answer her, Taoist Priest White Stone had already popped up from behind and interrupted him by saying, “Why wouldn’t he be good?” A saucy stare from Yu Luo Cha caused Zhuo Yi Hang to hurriedly add, “This is my fourth martial arts uncle.” Yu Luo Cha snickered coldly and said, “I seriously detest those who butt into other people’s conversations. Hey, Zhuo Yi Hang, I was talking to you.” Such a remark caused Taoist Priest White Stone to flare up with fury as his hands reached for the handle of his sword, causing Zhuo Yi Hang so much alarm that he quickly stammered, “I’ve been very well! Where are you and Elder Tie staying at right now? I’ll come visit you on another day.” But White Stone grunted, “Yi Hang! Our business here is finished. You will be accompanying me back to the mountains tomorrow!”

    This induced Yu Luo Cha to laugh with icy contempt as she remarked, “Is this guy really your martial arts uncle?” causing White Stone to screech, “What do you mean by these words?” Yu Luo Cha only laughed and snickered, “You look more like his father to me, but even a father would not be so strict towards his son!” With a “Humph,” White Stone hardened his face and turned towards Zhuo Yi Hang to instruct, “The rules of our Wu Tang sect states that we are not to associate ourselves with criminals.”

    With a whoosh, Yu Luo Cha’s sword was already pulled out from its sheath as she snapped, “White Stone! I’ve met quite a number of your Wu Tang disciples but aside from Taoist Priest Purple Sun, I haven’t heard mention of anybody else would could be worthy of a heroic title! Tell me, what have you ever done that’s deserving of other people’s respect? How dare you look down on the valorous fighters of the Underground World?! Humph! I’m exactly what your Orthodox Sects label as criminal, so c’mon! Show me what you’ve got?!”

    Taoist Priest White Stone did not expect that her tongue could be so bitingly sharp and while his face bloated red, he also whipped out his sword with an angry gust. Zhuo Yi Hang jumped out of his skin and frantically blabbed out, “We must not show such acts of disrespect in front of Military Commissioner Xiong!” Thus White Stone declared, “Tomorrow at noon, I’ll be waiting at the MiMo Cliff (2) for your challenge!” Zhuo Yi Hang objected, “But uncle! Didn’t you say that you wanted to go home tomorrow?” Huffing and puffing, White Stone snapped back, “None of your business!” while Yu Luo Cha replied with a smile, “I will be there according to your wishes then!”

    While Yu Luo Cha was bickering with White Stone, Tie Fei Long pulled Yue Ming Ke over to one side and bombarded him with question after question – first asking him for his name, then inquiring him for his familial history and even questioning into the background of his martial arts education. Not knowing that this man was the father of Tie Shan Hu, Yue Ming Ke was secretly baffled as he thought to himself: When he blazoned through that door and joined the battle just a moment ago, he was a force that exploded like a giant tidal wave of fiery intensity. By logic, he should be a bold and spirited man, but why would be he so tedious and wearisome now? Although Yue made an attempt to inquire for his name a number of times, yet Tie Fei Long would not stop with his inquiries, affording Yue Ming Ke with no opportunity to jump in with his question. When Yu Luo Cha finally finished bickering with Taoist Priest White Stone she called out, “Father, let’s get out of here!” inducing Tie to turn towards Yue and say, “Brother Yue, tonight no matter what, please come to the West Mountain’s Ling An Temple for a gathering.”

    Zhuo Yi Hang has also arrived by then and with a low bow, he inquired respectfully, “Elder Tie, how have you been?” A shock jolted through Yue Ming Ke as he asked, “Elder, you are the Northwest’s renown …” before Tie interrupted, “I am Tie Fei Long.” Yue Ming Ke mumbled uncomfortably, “Shan … Shan Hu …” and Tie Fei Long added, “Yes, Shan Hu is my daughter.” And just when Yue Ming Ke was about to explain to Tie Fei Long about Shan Hu’s disappearance, Yu Luo Cha had already come to pull Tie Fei Long away as they stepped out of the front doors.

    ************************
    (2) “MiMo Cliff”: The MiMoYa of Beijing belongs to one of the eight scenic spots of the Xi Shan (West Mountain). Although the name MiMoYa is commonly translated as “Mysterious Devil Cliff” it should also be understood that the name “Mysterious Devil Cliff” bears along with it misleading connotations that have nothing to do with the cliff itself. The cliff is named after a monk called LuShi and of whom is rumored to be the MiMo ZuShi (or the MiMo Ancestor) which like the name of the founder of Chan (Zen) Buddhism DaMo ZuShi (DaMo Ancestor) has meanings different from that of which would be directly interpreted from the characters in their names (The characters “MiMo” could be literally translated into English as “Mysterious Demon” and similarly “DaMo” could be translated as “Attaining Demon [stature]” but that is what neither of the terms mean). The origin and legend surrounding the MiMo Cliff will be further explained in Chapter 14.
    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. #139
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    I don't have a great deal of ranting to do for this part of the chapter, but there was one thing I wanted to elaborate for you.

    In another Liang YuSheng novel, Bi Chuan Tian Nu Zhuan (I translate as: ) "Legend of the Ice Glacier's Heavenly Maiden" which takes place about 300 years after WHD's story, there was mention of Yu Luo Cha and Zhuo Yi Hang. Exploring back into the history of the Wu Tang sect, the book mentioned how the Wu Tang sect originally did not allow their disciples to concern themselves with politics, but during the end of the Ming dynasty, their sect leader Zhuo Yi Hang having been influenced by HEROINE (this was the word used) Lian Ni Shang, eventually changed the ways of the sect to join the Tian Shan (Heavenly Mountain) sect in their battles to counter the Manchurians.

    From this chapter we can see White Stone's cool ambivalence towards patriots like Xiong Ting Bi:

    Zhuo Yi Hang called over to him, “Hurry over Uncle! Military Commissioner Xiong is right here!” By using his sword to shield, block, swipe and pierce, Taoist Priest White Stone protected himself first by guarding his whole body. And yet, he did not make any attempts to blast his way through the crowd.

    It was only after White Stone discover that this crowd of bandits were his "enemies" did he truly exerted any efforts in combating them. There are some very subtle differences between YLC and White Stone's attitudes: Both parties did not come with intentions of helping out Xiong Ting Bi, both were prejudiced against Yue Ming Ke, both did not participate in politics ... yet YLC & Tie Fei Long's attitudes and actions are different from White Stone's -- they fought the BATTLE not just their enemy, they stayed in the battle even when they were struggling, they were the first to step out and admit with honesty that they didn't deserve any heroic glorification. There is a difference and I think that's what Liang meant by YLC's influence on ZYH ... because ZYH was obviously patriotic himself to begin with, it's just that he lacked that sort of *drive*, that bit of fearless valor that YLC had

    The involvement of all these characters with the politics of their era would deepen and become more complicated ... but y'all will just have to wait and see what happens

    Okay, just to finish off by highlighting the style of language used in a few passages ...

    By then, Yu Luo Cha has also slashed her way through the crowd to join forces with him causing Zhuo Yi Hang to exclaim happily, “Lian jiejie! So you’re also a pure loyal heart who’s come to save Military Commissioner Xiong?” Although Yu Luo Cha’s original intent was only that of retrieving her sword manual, but hearing Zhuo Yi Hang put it this way she figured that now was not the time to explain in detail anyways

    hehe ... even a heroine has her slick side? :

    and so with a charming smile, she chopped off the arms of the two palace guards standing in front of her and laughed, “Silly boy, let’s finish off these people first before we stop to chat.

    Okay, this is seriously a little morbid even more me ... hehe, just love Lian jiejie

    The young girl’s long elegant eyebrows reached into her hair and framed a pair of eyes that sparkled like the lapping waves of the autumn springs. With her hair tied up by golden rings and red silk wrapped around her wrists, a deathly aura emanated out from within all the radiance of her stunning beauty to strike fear in the core of one’s heart.

    Wow! Cool.

    Stunned, White Stone was secretly thinking to himself: this “witch” must without a doubt be Yu Luo Cha!

    Notice the quotation marks used by Liang YuSheng (not White Stone)

    that barbarous brute Xiong!

    Wei Zhong Xian continually refers to Xiong Ting Bi as a barbarian ... to him, Xiong is merely a muscle bound savage brute standing in his way.

    With the faint traces of a smug smile on her lips, Yu Luo Cha slowly returned the celestial sword back into its sheath. Yue Ming Ke saw them to the steps before suddenly saying, “Heroine Lian, I have something to return to you” [...]With a small smile, Yu Luo Cha took over the sword manual [...] suddenly said, “I also have something to return to you!” and then by untying the Gliding Dragon Sword, she returned it to Yue Ming Ke while saying with a big grin, “One item in exchange for another, that way, neither of us owes the other person anything!” Tie Fei Long was taken back as he mused silently to himself: this child is just so proud.

    Mmmhmmm. Lian jiejie is certainly too proud ... pride is a good thing, but too much of it can become a bad thing. If one is to list the faults of Lian jiejie, her competitive edge combined with her headstrong/emotional character is certainly one of her most distinguishing traits, but also one of her biggest "problems."

    After descending the stairs, Yu Luo Cha suddenly turned around to gesture with her hands and call out, “Hey Zhuo Yi Hang! Come over here!” Lost in a cloud of stupor, Zhuo Yi Hang was just mingling around with the crowd of people, but when he heard Yu Luo Cha’s words it was as if he had suddenly received some kind of divine order that induced him to immediately run outside with uncontrollable obedience, completely oblivious to the angry glare that White Stone shot at him.

    When Zhuo Yi Hang had reached the bottom of the steps, Yu Luo Cha asked, “How are you? Good?” but before Zhuo Yi Hang could answer her, Taoist Priest White Stone had already popped up from behind and interrupted him by saying, “Why wouldn’t he be good?”


    Am I the only one who finds this scene immensely hilarious? I laugh ...
    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. #140
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    The more I read of Faerie Queene's translations and especially post-ranting, the more I can't help but think that she's becoming more and more absorbed into the yu luo cha character. Our very own siu mor nu.

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