Aaahhh... FOXS_... as always.. thank you very much for this third part of the triology..
Aaahhh... FOXS_... as always.. thank you very much for this third part of the triology..
I have read Tolkien's Ring Trilogy & the Hobbit, and I have seen the movies, and I agree, they are great. (CS Lewis' Narnia is also great) I have never read neither Harry Potter nor Star Wars although I have seen the movies. I simply am not interested (in reading the books). However, I cannot discount the fact that these series are highly popular. My point is: wuxia is NOT inferior to these 'popular icons'.... which is no less exciting than Harry Potter or Star Wars or Lord of the Rings.
Last edited by foxs; 11-14-07 at 10:30 AM.
Zhu’Er sneered. “This Zhou Jiejie [elder sister Zhou] is a good person; I have received her loving care in the western region. If she is not fit to become the Sect Leader, do you think you are? You dare to blubber your big mouth in front of Popo; you make me want to slap your ugly face!”
Ding Minjun was angry. ‘Swish!’ her sword stabbed toward Zhu’Er. Zhu’Er leaned sideways to evade, her palm struck toward Ding Minjun’s face. Her movement was exactly the same as Jin Hua Popo’s, but her speed was far inferior than Popo’s. Ding Minjun ducked to avoid the strike, but her sword also missed its target.
Jin Hua Popo said with a smile, “Girl, I have taught you many, many times, but you have not mastered such an easy move. Watch carefully!” Her right palm moved, conveniently slapped Ding Minjun’s left cheek. She flipped her palm and slapped her right cheek. Then her palm returned and slapped her left cheek, flipped over and slapped her right cheek again. These four palm strikes were very distinct; everybody could see them clearly. But Ding Minjun felt as if her body was enveloped with a great power that her limbs were completely unmovable, so her cheeks were slapped four times without her having any strength to block or evade. Fortunately, Jin Hua Popo held up her strength that Ding Minjun did not suffer any serious injury.
Zhu’Er smiled and said, “Popo, I have mastered your palm technique, but I don’t have the kind of power you do. Let me try again!”
Ding Minjun was still bound by Jin Hua Popo’s internal strength; she saw Zhu’Er’s palm was about to strike her face. In her fury she almost passed out. Suddenly Zhou Zhiruo moved sideways; stretching her left hand she blocked Zhu’Er’s palm and said, “Jiejie [elder sister], hold on!” Turning her head toward Jin Hua Popo she said, “Popo, my Shijie Jing Xuan has said it clearly; although our martial art skills are not as exquisite as Popo’s, we will not let ourselves to be bullied by others.”
Jin Hua Popo smiled and said, “This surnamed Ding woman’s mouth is too sharp; she kept on saying she won’t submit to your leadership, yet you still stand up for her?”
Zhou Zhiruo replied, “The internal affair of our school is not any outsider’s business. Xiao Nuzi [lit. young woman] has received Xian Shi’s order. Although my skill is too shallow, I will not let any outsider to humiliate my fellow disciple.”
Jin Hua Popo smiled. “Good, good, good!” she said ‘good’ three times, then broke up in coughing again. Zhu’Er immediately handed a pill to her. Jin Hua Popo took it, while gasping heavily. With a sudden movement both of her palms reached out; one palm pressing Zhou Zhiruo’s chest, the other pressing her back, so that all Zhou Zhiruo’s fatal acupoints were covered by her palms. As soon as she pressed her palms, Zhou Zhiruo’s life would be gone.
It was a very strange move. Although Zhou Zhiruo had not learned martial art for a long time, she had mastered about 30% of Miejue Shitai’s skill, yet she was baffled and was rendered speechless by this strange move that held her in between the opponent’s palms, she was shocked and scared, and it showed on her face.
“Miss Zhou,” in a gloomy voice Jin Hua Popo said, “As the Sect Leader, your skill is really shoddy. I wonder if Zun Shi did really assign this heavy responsibility to a pampered pretty young girl like you. I’ll say you are merely boasting.”
Zhou Zhiruo made up her mind; she thought it in her heart, “If she exerted her strength right now, my arteries would be shaken and immediately broken, then I will die on the spot. But how can I degrade Shifu’s power and prestige?” As soon as she remembered her Shifu, her courage escalated a hundred folds; lifting her right hand high she said, “This is Emei Pai’s Iron Ring of the Sect Leader; Xian Shi has personally put it on my finger. How can it be a fake?”
Jin Hua Popo laughed; she said, “Just now your Shijie said that Emei is a major sect in the Wulin world. She was right, but relying on your meager skill, can you be the Wulin world great Sect’s Sect Leader? I think you’d better be an obedient child and listen to what I have to say.”
“Jin Hua Popo,” Zhou Zhiruo said, “Although Xian Shi has already died, Emei Pai did not die with her. I have fallen under your hands, so if you want to kill me you can just kill me; but if you want to force me to submit to your desire, I suggest you give up that idea. Our Sect was fallen into the royal government’s sinister plot and we were imprisoned in the Pagoda; but did you see any of us surrender? Zhou Zhiruo is merely a young and feeble woman, yet I have accepted the heavy responsibility assigned to me. I know it is very difficult, so early on I have already disregarded my own life and death.”
Zhang Wuji saw the vital acupoints on her back were threatened by Jin Hua Popo; her life was hanging on a thread of hair, yet she was stubbornly standing up. He was afraid that in her anger Jin Hua Popo would take her life. He realized the situation was desperate; he wanted to jump out to rescue her. Zhao Min had already guessed his intention; she grabbed his right arm while lightly shaking her head, meaning that he should not act recklessly.
They heard Jin Hua Popo laugh aloud and say, “Miejue Shitai did not make a wrong decision. This young Sect Leader’s martial art skill is weak, but her character is actually very strong. Hmm, that’s right, that’s right, insufficient martial art can be learned, river and mountain can be changed, but character is difficult to be altered.”
Actually, right at that moment Zhou Zhiruo was scared to death, only she remembered about how her Shifu just before her death had placed her great trust on her, so she summoned all her courage and stood unyieldingly upright.
The other Emei disciples were originally looking down upon Zhou Zhiruo, but at this moment they saw her disregarding personal dislike bravely stepping forward to protect Ding Minjun, and then she did not demean their school prestige at all even under a powerful enemy’s threat, feelings of respect and admiration started to grow in their hearts.
Jing Xuan brandished her sword and let out some signal whistles; the Emei disciples moved at once, with weapons in their hands they dispersed surrounding the pavilion.
“What is it?” Jin Hua Popo smiled and asked.
Jing Xuan said, “Popo captures Emei’s Pai Leader, what do you want?”
Jin Hua Popo coughed several times and said, “You want to achieve victory by sheer numbers? Hey, hey, will ten times your number make any difference in Jin Hua Popo’s eyes?”
Abruptly she let Zhou Zhiruo go, and then her body swayed and dashed straight toward Jing Xuan. Her two fingers moved toward Jing Xuan’s eyes as if she wanted to dig her eyes out. Jing Xuan hastily waved her sword trying to chop her arm. Suddenly she heard a ‘hey’ noise, followed by a grunt; one of her Shimei standing close to her had fallen down. Turned out that when Jin Hua Popo faked an attack to Jing Xuan, her left foot actually kicked the acupoint on the waist of an Emei female disciple.
Her shadow dashed around the pavilion, her sleeves fluttered in the air, occasional coughs were heard, Emei disciples thrust their swords, but nobody was able to stab her; on the contrary, seven male and female disciples fell down because their acupoints were sealed. Her acupoint sealing technique was very strange; those who were hit were screaming from pain. In a short moment the garden was full of sad and shrill screams, rending the hearts of those who heard them.
Jin Hua Popo clapped her hands and returned to the pavilion. “Miss Zhou,” she said, “How is Jin Hua Popo’s martial art compared to your Emei Pai’s?”
“Our Sect’s martial art is certainly better than Popo’s,” Zhou Zhiruo replied, “You were defeated by my Xian Shi’s sword the other day; have you forgotten?”
Jin Hua Popo was furious, “The Old Nun Miejue was using a precious sword; that doesn’t count!” she said.
“Popo, let’s be honest,” Zhou Zhiruo said, “If Xian Shi and you fight barehanded, who do you think will win?”
Of the 4, HP is the odd one out. The other 3 are definitive works for their genre - LOTR for high fantasy, Condor Heroes for wuxia and SW for special effects movie making. As for HP, I tried reading and watching the first movie to see what the hype was all about. I got bored and didn't finish. IMO, HP's popularity is 75% due to marketing.
Last edited by ROI; 11-14-07 at 11:04 AM.
I am the same as ROI. I never got into HP and would certainly not put it up there with the classics and yes I would definite Condor Heroes as a classic though I know SW may not fit into that group.
As for HP, you underestimate it in my opinion. One of the most interesting things about this series is that it follows the point of view of its protagonists very closely, so in the beginning, the world is seen through the eyes of a child. As Harry Potter himself grows up, the world as he perceives it becomes more and more nuanced and complex. HP doesn't get away from its roots as a children's series of course, but it will be a children's classic forever I think.
SW is the weakest of the lot in my opinion and its plot and themes the shallowest. When it was made SW was incredible in the way it used special effects to tell the story of a classic heroic journey, but it has aged and Lucas' bungling of the prequel trilogy has only diminished it further.
A full discussion of wuxia's relative merits should rightly take place in another thread I think. In short, wuxia is great entertainment and, yes, I agree that it deserves more worldwide recognition and at its best is the equal of such popular series as HP, but I would disagree that wuxia is great art.
Honestly, i cant even remember a good action series that can compare to wuxia in writing. Sure lotr and hp is cool and all but for an action book i'd go for wuxia any day.
re LOTR/HP/wuxia: Hm... should this be a poll?
Last edited by dewyloony123; 11-15-07 at 03:43 AM.
Troll ControlOriginally Posted by bliss
BTTT, I think Ding Minjun is the most irritating character I've read, since Guo Fu.....always talking trash, then getting slapped around in return. MJST's second-to-last act should have been to expel her from the sect.
Last edited by KChill; 11-15-07 at 05:05 PM.
Thanks so much, foxs for the translation. HSDS is actually my favorite of the trilogy. It has everything a wuxia novel should have and in the right doses, with a hero (ZWJ) and a heroine (ZM) that have their good and bad points. Not an overdose of patriotism and politics like LOCH or BXJ, not too much romance like ROCH. Keep up the translation, I can't wait to read the development of ZWJ and ZM's relationship.
Jin Hua Popo was silent for half a day before answering, “I don’t know. I came to Dadou today to find out between your Zun Shi and me, who’s weak and who’s strong. Ay! Miejue Shitai has died, Wulin world lost one of its martial art masters. Someone like her had never been seen in the past, and will never be seen in the future. Henceforth Emei Pai will become weak.”
Those seven disciples were still screaming and wailing, as if they were underlining Jin Hua Popo’s words. Jing Xuan and several other senior disciples tried hard to unseal their acupoints, but their efforts did not show any effect. It looked like they would have to be released by Jin Hua Popo herself.
Zhang Wuji had treated not just a few of Wulin world’s characters who were injured by Jin Hua Popo in the past. He knew this granny was very vicious, a person of her caliber was rare in the Jianghu. He was thinking of coming out and help, but after careful consideration he decided against it. He thought, “If I help Miss Zhou, I will offend Zhu’Er. This cousin of mine has been so good to me; moreover, she is my close relative. How can I favor one and discriminate against the other?”
In the meantime, Jin Hua Popo said, “Miss Zhou, do you admit defeat?”
Zhou Zhiruo gathered up her courage and said, “Our Sect’s martial art is as deep as the ocean, it can’t be learned in a short time. We are still young. Right now we are inferior to Popo, but our progress in the future will be immeasurable.”
Jin Hua Popo laughed. “Wonderful, wonderful!” she said, “Since that’s the case, Jin Hua Popo is taking my leave now. Just wait until your progress is immeasurable then you can come back and unseal their acupoints.” While saying that she took Zhu’Er’s hand, and turned around to leave.
Zhou Zhiruo realized her fellow disciples were too much in pain; they might not be able to endure another hour and might die from their pain. “Popo, wait a minute!” she hastily said, “Please help my Shijie’s and Shixiong’s [martial (older) sisters and brothers].”
“You want me to help them? That’s easy,” Jin Hua Popo said, “From this day forward, wherever Jin Hua Popo or her disciples go, Emei disciples have to make yourselves scarce.”
Zhou Zhiruo thought, “I have just accepted the Sect Leader responsibility, already I have to face this strong enemy. If I agree to her condition, how can Emei Pai set our feet in the Wulin world? How can I let the demise of Emei Pai to be in my hand?”
Jin Hua Popo saw her hesitation; she laughed and said, “You don’t want Emei Pai’s prestige to fall; that’s fine. Just let me borrow the Yitian Sword then I will help your fellow disciples.”
Zhou Zhiruo said, “Our Sect’s master and disciples all fell into the royal government’s evil plot and were held captives on that Pagoda. How can the Yitian Sword still be in our hands?”
Jin Hua Popo had already expected this answer, she knew her chance of borrowing the Sword was only one in ten thousands, yet hearing Zhou Zhiruo say so, her countenance showed disappointment nonetheless. Suddenly in a stern voice she said, “If you want to save Emei Pai’s reputation, you cannot save your own life …” Taking a pill from her bosom she said, “This is the ‘duan chang lie xin’ [breaking intestines, cracking the heart] poison. You take this, then I’ll save your people.”
Zhou Zhiruo remembered that her heart was already broken when she received her Shifu’s injuction; she said in her heart, “Shifu told me to deceive Zhang Gongzi [young master Zhang]; I can’t do this. Rather than keep on living with this constant torture, death is a hundred times better; nothing matters anymore.” With a trembling hand she took the poison.
“Zhou Shimei, don’t eat that!” Jing Xuan shouted.
Zhang Wuji saw the situation was critical; he was ready to jump out and snatch the poison away. Zhao Min hissed into his ear, “Idiot! It’s a fake; that is not a poison.”
Zhang Wuji was stunned, but Zhou Zhiruo had already swallowed the pill. Jing Xuan and the others shouted and rushed toward Jin Hua Popo, ready to strike.
“Excellent, you have guts!” Jin Hua Popo said, “The poison won’t kill you in an hour or two. Miss Zhou, come with me and nicely listen to me. If Lao Po [the old granny] is happy, she might give the antidote to you.” Finished speaking she walked around and slapped and kicked those Emei disciples. Immediately their pain stopped; so their screams stopped as well. Only their limbs were still weak that they would not be able to move for a while.
These people saw with their own eyes that Zhou Zhiruo took the poison to save their lives; they were overwhelmed with gratitude. “Thank you, Sect Leader!” one of them shouted.
Jin Hua Popo pulled Zhou Zhiruo’s hand, “Good child,” she tenderly said, “Come with me, Popo won’t make things difficult for you.”
Before she could reply, Zhou Zhiruo felt an enormous power pulling her body and she jumped forward against her own will.
“Zhou Shimei …” Jing Xuan shouted and rushed forward, trying to block, but suddenly she felt a strong wind from her side, a finger almost touched her. It was Zhu’Er attacking her from the side. Jing Xuan used her left palm to block, but to her surprise Zhu’Er’s move was a fake one. ‘Slap!’ Ding Minjun’s face ate her palm. This ‘zhi dong da xi’ [aim to the east strike to the west] was indeed Jin Hua Popo’s technique.
Zhu’Er chuckled and jumped over the wall.
“After them!” Zhang Wuji said. With one hand pulling Zhao Min along and the other carrying Xiao Zhao, he also jumped over the wall.
Jing Xuan and the others were startled to suddenly see three people coming out from the grass. They tried to pursue after them, but how could their ‘qing gong’ [lightness skill] be compared to Jian Hua Popo and Zhang Wuji? By the time they jumped over the wall, six people had already disappeared into the darkness.
Zhang Wuji and the others pursued for a dozen of ‘zhang’s or so. Without slowing down the least bit Jin Hua Popo shouted, “I am surprised Emei Pai disciples have the courage to pursue Jin Hua Popo. Hey, hey, it’s amazing!”
“Let our Sect Leader go!” Zhao Min shouted. Her body swayed and she flew several ‘zhang’s forward. The tip of her Yitian Sword threatening Jin Hua Popo’s back. She was using the ‘jin ding fu guang’ [golden peak like a ray of light], one of Emei’s sword techniques; which she learned from an Emei female disciple in the Wan An Temple. It could not be compared to Miejue Shitai, but it was exquisite nonetheless.
As Jin Hua Popo heard the gust of wind behind her back, she let Zhou Zhiruo go and quickly turned around. Zhao Min flicked her wrist and launched another stance, ‘qian feng jing xiu’ [a thousand peaks compete to show their elegance].
Jin Hua Popo knew the sword in Zhao Min’s hand was the Yitian Sword; she was alarmed yet happy. Stretching out her hand, she tried to snatch the sword away.
Several stances later Jin Hua Popo pressed in front of Zhao Min, her finger was just about to reach Zhao Min’s wrist, which was holding the sword; unexpectedly Zhao Min turned her sword around with one of Kunlun Pai’s sword techniques, the ‘shen tuo jun zu’ [divine camel with stallion’s feet].
Jin Hua Popo saw Zhao Min was a young girl; she was holding the Yitian Sword, she was also using Emei’s sword technique, therefore, she must be an Emei Pai disciple. In order to challenge Miejue Shitai, Jin Hua Popo had extensively studied Emei’s sword techniques for several years. After seeing Zhao Min’s several stances, she knew her internal strength was only mediocre; hence for the next several stances she thought she would understand and able to anticipate her attack. For that reason she pressed on with the intention of snatching the Yitian Sword away. Who would have thought that this young girl was able to launch a Kunlun Pai’s sword technique? If she were not too engrossed with her preconception, Kunlun Pai’s sword technique would never give her any trouble; it was just that she was taken completely by surprise. Although her martial art skill was high, she was unable to block and was forced to hastily roll back to evade the attack; only she was not fast enough that the end of her left sleeve was cut by the sword.
Noooo.... Zhou Zhiruo!! The pill was a fake, right? Argh, if it was real the antidote had better be administered soon. I don't really want to trust Zhao Min's judgement. I feel so sorry for Zhou Zhiruo in the book and movies. I really wish Zhang Wuji chose her instead.
In her anger Jin Hua Popo pounced back. Zhao Min realized that her martial art skill was too far below her opponent; she did not dare to take the attack head on. Relying on the Yitian Sword she stabbed to the left and cut to the right, brandishing the sword to the east and striking to the west, at the same time keep changing her sword style; one time it was Kongtong, another time Huashan. She launched Kunlun’s ‘da mo fei sha’ [great desert flying sand], followed by Shaolin Pai’s ‘jin zhen du jie’ [crossing golden-lily’s pond]. Each stance was the best feature of each Sect; each stance carried an enormous power; enhanced by the very sharp Yitian Sword, confounding Jin Hua Popo and rendering her helpless to press closer.
Zhu’Er was anxious; she loosened the sword from her waist and tossed it towards Jin Hua Popo. Meanwhile Zhao Min ferociously attacked for seven, eight stances. Toward the ninth stance Jin Hua Popo could not help but block using the sword. ‘Crack!’ her sword was cut into two.
Jin Hua Popo’s countenance changed greatly, she rolled away and shouted, “Who are you?”
Zhao Min smiled and said, “Why didn’t you pull out the Tulong Saber?”
Jin Hua Popo was angry, “If I had Tulong Saber in my hand, do you think you can stand eight, ten stances against me? Do you dare to try it?”
Zhao Min laughed and said, “Then go and get the Tulong Saber. I am fine with it. I’ll be waiting for you at Dadou; we’ll fight again when you have the Saber.”
“Turn your head around,” Jin Hua Popo said, “Let me take a look at your face.”
Zhao Min turned her body sideways, stuck out her tongue, closed her left eye and opened her right one, twisted her face muscle; making a ghost face. Jin Hua Popo was very angry; she spat on the ground, tossed her broken sword away, and pulling Zhu’Er and Zhou Zhiruo along she left in big strides.
“Let us go after them,” Zhang Wuji said.
“No need to worry,” Zhao Min said, “You come with me. I guarantee your Miss Zhou’s safety.”
“What Tulong Saber were you talking about?” Zhang Wuji asked.
“In that deserted garden I heard that old granny say that she went all over the world, till the end of it, before she finally found an old acquaintance who’d let her borrow a precious weapon, with which she was going to fight Miejue Shitai’s Yitian Sword,” Zhao Min replied. She recited, “’Yi tian bu chu, shei yu zheng feng’? [Meh’s translation: ‘Power of heaven not appear, who can possibly compete?’ Literal translation: ‘relying on heaven (the ‘Yitian’ of the ‘Yitian Sword’) does not appear, who can fight its (blade) edge?’] There is no weapon which can match the Yitian Sword but the Tulong Saber. Could it be that she acquired the Tulong Saber from your ‘Yifu’ [foster father] Xie Lao Qianbei [Old Senior Xie]? I used the Yitian Sword to attack her, with the intention of forcing her to pull the Saber out. Turns out she did not have the treasured Saber in her hand, and challenged me to fight her in the future. Apparently she knows the Tulong Saber’s whereabouts; only she was unable to get it yet.”
Zhang Wuji thought for a while. “This is strange,” he said.
“My guess is she will go to the seaside,” Zhao Min said, “She will go to the ocean to fetch the Saber. We must precede them; don’t let the old malicious granny swindle blind but kindhearted Xie Lao Qianbei.”
Hearing her last sentence, Zhang Wuji’s blood bubbled up from his chest, “Yes, yes!” he hastily said. At first he agreed to go with Zhao Min to borrow the Tulong Saber just because as a real man his words must worth a thousand gold; he could not eat his own words. But this time, thinking of Jin Hua Popo was about to make things difficult for his ‘yifu’, he wished he had wings so that he could fly in a hurry and save his ‘yifu’.
Immediately Zhao Min took two people to the Palace. She talked with the guard at the Palace gate without going inside. The guard repeatedly answered in affirmative, then turned around to enter the palace. In a relatively short moment he came back out, leading nine steeds along. He also carried a large bag of gold and silver. Zhao Min, with Zhang Wuji and Xiao Zhao, rode on three steeds, while leading the other six steeds behind. By alternating their mounts, they sped up eastwards.
By early morning the next day, the nine steeds were so exhausted that they were unable even to stand. Zhao Min presented the golden medal of the Ruyang Prince, as the highest commander of the entire army, to the local government; they traded the nine steeds and continued their journey. By late evening that day they had arrived at the seaside.
Zhao Min rode the horse straight to the local government mansion. She ordered the magistrate to quickly prepare a strong ocean ship; complete with the helmsmen, the sailors, food and water, weapons and winter clothes. In addition, all ocean ships were to be moved immediately to the south; no other ships were to be moored within fifty ‘li’s [about 25 km] from that place. With Ruyang Prince’s gold medal, how could a lower ranking county magistrate dare not to obey? Zhao Min, Zhang Wuji and Xiao Zhao waited leisurely inside the mansion, eating and drinking wine. Less than a day later the magistrate came back to report that everything was ready.
When three people went to the seaside to inspect, Zhao Min could not help but stomping her feet repeatedly, “Wasted effort!” she bellowed. Turned out by the beach anchored a really big ship with two decks; the decks of the bow, the port and the starboard were loaded with heavy canons. It was a Mongolian navy’s battleship.
In those years the Mongolians were trying to send military expedition to Japan; hence they recruited a large number of boat makers. Unexpectedly a major hurricane had scattered the Mongolian navy, resulted in the expedition to the east was postponed indefinitely, but since then the extent of boat making had been declining.
Zhao Min was at her wit’s end; she did not expect in order to curry her favor the county magistrate would prepare a battleship for her. By now the food, the water and the supplies had been prepared on board; the other boats had also obeyed the Ruyang Prince’s gold medal, they had sailed dozens of ‘li’s southwards. With a bitter smile Zhao Min ordered the sailors to cover the canons with fishnets, she also had the boat loaded with several hundred catties of fresh fish, to give the impression that it was an old battleship, which was converted to a fishing boat.
Zhao Min, Zhang Wuji and Xiao Zhao three people changed into sailor attire. Using greasepaint they made their faces darker, and then glued some fake moustache and beards; they were not taking any chances. Afterwards they sat quietly in the boat, waiting for Jin Hua Popo’s arrival.
This Zhao Min Junzhu’s prediction was very accurate; sure enough, that very same evening a large carriage arrived by the seaside. Jin Hua Popo, along with Zhu’Er and Zhou Zhiruo, came looking for a boat. The sailors had received Zhao Min’s instruction; they pretended to refuse by saying that the boat was a fishing boat converted from an old battleship, they only caught fish and not interested in taking passengers. It was not until Jin Hua Popo produced two ingots of gold did the captain reluctantly agree to take them aboard. Jin Hua Popo took Zhu’Er and Zhou Zhiruo on board and they set sail immediately, heading east.
On that vast boundless open sea the lone boat sailed to the southeast. During the two days of sailing, Zhang Wuji and Zhao Min looked out their cabin window in the bottom deck. They noticed that during the day, the sun, and in the night, the moon, were both rising from the port side. Obviously the boat was sailing to the south. It was the beginning of winter, the boat had the full advantage of the north wind blowing strong on its sail that they were traveling very fast.
Zhang Wuji and Zhao Min often had some discussions. “My ‘Yifu’ is on the ‘bing huo dao’ [ice and fire island] of the extreme north; if we want to find him, then we must sail to the north. Why are we going to the south instead?”
Each time Zhao Min always replied, “This Jin Hua Popo is certainly a strange woman. More over, right now the south wind has not arrived yet, there is no way we can sail to the north even if we want to.”