Blademaster. Hero. General. He was the best there ever was.
Butcher. Murderer. Traitor. All that he loved, he had destroyed.
That Merciless Blade - Legend of the Arctic Wolf.
We are plodding along slowly, but here is the end of Chapter 28 ... enjoy.
Zhang Wuji thought, “I’d better come out and tell them the truth, so that these two will not senselessly injure their ‘yi qi’ [friendship, code of brotherhood]” He had just finished thinking when suddenly he heard some light breathing noise from the tall grass toward his far left. The noise came from quite a distant away, plus it was very light; if not due to his extremely keen ears, Zhang Wuji would not be able to hear it. His heart was moved, “Could it be that Jin Hua Popo secretly prepared some helpers? I’d better not rashly come forward.” In the meantime, he heard the gusts of wind from the Saber, as Xie Xun and Jin Hua Popo had started fighting each other.
Xie Xun brandished his precious saber around his body like a black dragon circling around him; sometimes fast, other times slow, with a divine variation. Jin Hua Popo was afraid of the Saber’s sharpness; she kept moving in circles some distant away from him. Sometimes Xie Xun would deliberately open up a hole in his defense, trying to entice Jin Hua Popo to enter, but Jin Hua Popo did not buy his trick; she would wait for him to attack, then with extreme ingenuity she would evade and launch a counterattack.
These two people knew their opponent’s martial art very well; victory or defeat would not be easily determined within one or two hundreds moves. Xie Xun relied on the precious saber, while Jin Hua Popo took advantage of his blindness. Each of them was trying to exploit this slight advantage to gain victory. In a way they were having a contest of wits and not of internal energy.
‘Swish, swish!’ suddenly two yellow rays flashed by; Jin Hua Popo launched two of her ‘jin hua’ [golden flower]. Xie Xun turned the Tulong Saber around; both ‘golden flowers’ stuck to the Saber. Turned out the golden flowers were made of pure steel plated with gold; while the Tulong Saber was cast from some ‘xuan tie’ [black/mysterious iron] with some magnetic property, which attract any ferrous metal.
These golden flowers were the secret projectiles that brought fame to Jin Hua Popo’s name, when released, the variation was endless; even if Xie Xun’s eyes were not blind he would be hard pressed to evade them. Unexpectedly, this Tulong Saber was the bane of these secret projectiles. Jin Hua Popo moved swiftly to the left and to the right, successively launching eight more golden flowers; all of them stuck to the Tulong Saber.
It was a dark night, with neither the moon nor the stars in the sky; the golden flowers on the Saber looked like several hundreds of fireflies dancing around in the air. Suddenly Jin Hua Popo let out a cough and shot sixteen, seventeen golden flowers at once, so that if Xie Xun intercepted the ones on his east, he would not be able to evade the ones on his west. Xie Xun waved his sleeve and rolled in about seven, eight golden flowers; while intercepted the other eight or so golden flowers with his Tulong Saber.
“Mrs. Han,” he shouted, “Your title is ‘zi shan long wang’, which is a big taboo against this saber. If you have a prolonged contact with it, I am afraid it won’t be to your advantage.”
Jin Hua Popo shivered. For martial art practitioners who live their lives on the blades of the weapons; mostly they paid particular attention to taboos like this. She was known as the ‘long wang’ [dragon king], while the saber was named ‘tu long’ [slaughtering the dragon]; so it was a very unlucky combination. She forced a laughter and said, “Perhaps my ‘sha shi zhang’ [killing-the-lion staff] will kill the blind lion first.” Abruptly her staff shot out.
Xie Xun shrunk his shoulder to evade, but suddenly his foot stumbled. “Ah!” he cried, as the staff hit his left shoulder. Although the force had been dissipated for the most part, the hit was not light by any means.
Zhang Wuji was delighted, he cheered in his heart. He knew Xie Xun pretended he was not fast enough to dodge and thus took the hit; Zhang Wuji thought, “Yifu only needs to shoot the golden flowers in his sleeve, and then use the Tulong Saber in ‘qian shan wan shui’ [thousand mountains ten thousands rivers] to chop randomly. Jin Hua Popo will not dare to block the blade; she will be forced to move to the left. After two steps she won’t be able to move farther; at that time Yifu will use his internal energy to force the golden flowers on the Tulong Saber to shoot forward. Jin Hua Popo will be powerless to evade; most probably she will be seriously hurt.”
He had just finished thinking when yellow rays streaked out, Xie Xun did indeed broadcast the golden flowers rolled inside his sleeve; forcing Jin Hua Popo to withdraw to the left. Zhang Wuji was watching the fight when suddenly he remembered something. “Aiyo, not good!” he thought, “Jin Hua Popo also has already calculated her steps.”
By this time Zhang Wuji had acquired a universal knowledge of the martial art. When these two martial art masters attacked and blocked, not a single one of their movements was outside his anticipation. He saw Xie Xun’s ‘qian shan wan shui’ was successful in forcing Jin Hua Popo to withdraw to the left. With a loud shout Xie Xun shot the dozen or so golden flowers on his precious saber; “Aiyo!” Jin Hua Popo cried out and staggered several steps backwards. Xie Xun was a man of his words; after ‘ge pao duan yi’ [breaking the friendship], he showed no mercy whatsoever. He leaped forward to pursue, brandishing his saber to strike Jin Hua Popo.
“Watch out!” suddenly he heard Yin Li shouted loudly, “There are sharp spikes underneath your feet!”
Xie Xun heard the shout, and was shocked; but it was too late for him to stop. Suddenly he heard a series of ‘swish, swish’ noise; more than a dozen golden flowers came his way. Jin Hua Popo was taking advantage as his body was midair and incapable to evade; she wanted to force him to land and thus tread on the sharp spikes.
Xie Xun had no alternative but brandish his saber to block the golden flowers. Suddenly a series of clinking noises were heard; his feet reached the ground, uninjured. He stooped down and groped around. He found out that there were seven, eight inches long of steel spikes planted among the rocks on the ground. He could feel the spikes were very sharp; but someone had already shot the four spikes that his feet were supposed to land on, with gravels, sending the spikes fly away from him. From the wind generated by the gravels, Xie Xun could tell that the shooter was the youngster from the Gigantic Whale Clan who shot the seven pebbles to help him that afternoon. This man had been hiding nearby, but Xie Xun had not had the slightest idea; if not because of that man’s help, he would have been seriously injured by now, and then Jin Hua Popo only needed to butcher what was left of him. Thinking about this possibility, he was unable to restrain cold sweat from trickling down his back.
These two people had both laid a trap to harm their opponent; Xie Xun’s shoulder was hit by the staff, Jin Hua Popo was hit by two golden flowers from Xie Xun’s saber. Although the injuries were not life-threatening, considering the strength of their opponents, both of them were nonetheless suffering considerable disadvantages.
Jin Hua Popo was coughing badly several times before turning toward the place Zhang Wuji was hiding, “Ju Jing Bang kid,” she said, “You have repeatedly interfered with Lao Pozi’s business. Quickly give me your name.”
Zhang Wuji had not replied when suddenly he saw a yellow ray flashed by and Yin Li grunted as three golden flowers hit her on the vital points on her chest. Turned out Jin Hua Popo had realized that Zhang Wuji’s martial art was superior, and if she wanted to punish Yin Li, he would try to thwart it; therefore, she faced and spoke to him, and when he was the least expecting it, she backhandedly shot out some golden flowers.
Zhang Wuji was shocked; he flew up and caught two golden flowers midair; and as soon as he landed, he embraced Yin Li in his bosom. Yin Li had not lost her consciousness; seeing a bearded man embracing her, she pushed out and struggled trying to get free, but when she exerted some strength, she threw up some blood. Zhang Wuji realized immediately what was going on; he quickly pulled the fake beard and moustache, and wiped the makeup from his face, revealing his real face.
Yin Li was dazed; “Ah Niu Gege [big brother Ah Niu],” she called out, “Is it you?”
“It’s me!” Zhang Wuji smiled. Yin Li felt relieved and immediately passed out. Seeing her injury was serious, Zhang Wuji did not dare to pull away the golden flowers; he quickly sealed her ‘shen feng’ [divine grace], ‘ling xu’ [spirit grave], ‘bu lang’ [stepping porch], and other vital acupoints connected to the injury, to protect her main artery.
He heard Xie Xun say with a loud voice, “Sire has lent your hands twice to save me; Xie Xun is greatly indebted.”
With a choking voice Zhang Wuji said, “Yi … Yi … You don’t have to …”
End of Chapter 28.
Chapter 29 – The Hopes of Four Women on the Boat
(Translated by Foxs, Edited by Eliza Bennet)
At that moment, they heard two ‘ding-a-ling’ sounds coming from behind them, and very soon three people had arrived. Zhang Wuji took a glance and saw three people wearing wide robes; two of them were very tall, while the one on the left was a woman. They were approaching with their backs to the moon, so that he could not see their faces clearly; but their robes were embroidered with an image of flaming fire, so obviously they were Ming Cult disciples. Each person had their hands high in the air, with each hand holding a black, about two feet long, tablet. The one, which was the tallest, said in a clear and loud voice, “The Ming Cult’s Sheng Huo Ling [Decree of the Holy Fire] have arrived, Cult Protectors Dragon King and Lion King have not kneeled down, what are you waiting for?”
His accent was terrible; he sounded very stiff. Zhang Wuji was startled; he mused, “Yang Jiaozhu [Cult Leader Yang] did mention that our Cult’s Sheng Huo Ling has been lost since the time of our thirty-first generation Cult Leader, Shi Jiaozhu. How can it be in these three people’s hands? Is this the genuine Sheng Huo Ling? Are they really our Cult’s disciples?”
Jin Hua Popo said, “I have left the Cult a long time ago, so these four words ‘hu jiao long wang’ [cult protector dragon king] don’t mean anything to me. What is Sire’s honorable name? Is that Sheng Huo Ling the real one or a fake? Where did it come from?”
That man barked, “You have left the Cult; what are you prattling about?”
Jin Hua Popo coldly said, “In all her life Jin Hua Popo has never allowed others to slander her for even half a word; in the past, when Yang Jiaozhu was still alive, even he was 30% respectful toward me. What is your position in the Cult that you dare to shout and bicker in my face?”
In a sudden movement, the three people’s shadow swayed, and simultaneously three left hands moved to grab Jin Hua Popo. She brandished her walking stick, sweeping horizontally toward them. It was unclear how these people moved, but somehow their position changed and Jin Hua Popo’s stick had struck empty air and three right hands reached out to the back of her neck; her body shook and she was thrown far away.
Based on Jin Hua Popo’s martial art level, even if three highest-skilled martial art masters besieged her, they would not necessarily able to throw her out in one move like that. But, not only the footwork of these three people in white robes was very strange, their coordination was also near perfection; they were just like one person with three heads and six arms.
“Wow!” Zhang Wuji could not stop from exclaiming. As those three people moved, he was able to see their features clearly; the tallest among them had pointy whiskers, his eyes were bluish green. The other man had blonde moustache and eagle nose. The woman’s hair was black, just like the Chinese, but the pupils of her eyes were so pale that they were almost colorless. Her face was watermelon-seed shaped; she was around thirty years of age. Although her features were strange, she looked very beautiful.
Zhang Wuji thought, “Turn out these people are Middle-Easterners; no wonder their accents are so stiff, almost sounds like they are reciting a book.”
In a loud and clear voice the man with the pointy whiskers said, “Seeing the Sheng Huo Ling is like seeing the Jiaozhu; Xie Xun, why haven’t you knelt down?”
“Who are the three of you?” Xie Xun replied, “If you are Ming Cult disciples, then Xie Xun should know you. If you are not Ming Cult disciples, then Sheng Huo Ling has nothing to do with the three of you.”
“Where is the origin of the Ming Cult?” the pointy whisker asked.
“It came from Persia,” Xie Xun answered.
“Correct, correct!” the pointy whisker said, “I am the ‘Liuyun Shi’ [flowing/spreading (take your pick) cloud emissary] from the Persian Central Ming Cult. These other two are ‘Miaofeng Shi’ [wonderful wind emissary] and ‘Huiyue Shi’ [glorious moon emissary]. We come to the Central Earth [‘zhong tu’] from Persia on assignment from the Central Cult Leader.”
Xie Xun and Zhang Wuji were stunned. Zhang Wuji had read Yang Xiao’s book, the ‘Ming Jiao Liu Chuan Zhong Tu Ji’ [A record on the spread of Ming Cult to the Central Earth]; so he knew the Ming Cult came from Persia. He saw these three people were Persian Middle-Easterners, their martial arts were also this good; so they must be telling the truth.
He heard that blonde-moustache Miaofeng Shi say, “Our Jiaozhu received the news that the Central Earth’s Jiaozhu was missing and the disciples were killing each other, the Cult was declining quickly. He ordered Cloud, Wind and Moon, three Emissaries, to reorganize the Cult’s affairs. All Cult disciples, from the top to the bottom, must receive our commands without fail.”
Zhang Wuji was delighted, “The Central Cult Leader has sent his orders; nothing can be better than that,” he thought, “Now I don’t have to bear this heavy responsibility with my superficial experience and cause harm on the important matter.”
He heard Xie Xun say, “Even though the Central Earth’s Ming Cult stemmed from Persia, we have become an independent faction for several hundred years; therefore, we are outside the Persian Central Cult’s jurisdiction. The three of you have come from afar to the Central Earth, Xie Xun is very pleased; as for kneeling down and so on, don’t you think it is rather unreasonable?”
The pointy whiskered Liuyun Shi struck the two pieces of black tablets in his hands to each other. ‘Clang!’ The noise was neither those of metals nor jade; it sounded very strange. He said, “This is the Central Earth’s Ming Cult’s Sheng Huo Ling; the former Jiaozhu surnamed Shi was unworthy; he lost it to the outsiders, and now we took it back. Seeing the Sheng Huo Ling is like seeing the Jiaozhu; Xie Xun still does not obey orders?”
When Xie Xun joined the Cult, Sheng Huo Ling had been lost quite a long time, so he had never seen it; but he had heard about its divine features, it was also frequently mentioned in the Ming Cult’s Holy Scripture. Therefore, listening to this unique sound, he knew that the Sheng Huo Ling in that person’s hand was the genuine one. Besides, those three were able to catch and throw Jin Hua Popo away with only one move, which ordinary people would not be able to do; his doubts were gone.
“Subordinate believes what Sire has said,” he said, “I wonder what instructions do you have for me?”
Liuyun Shi waved his left hand; together with Miaofeng Shi and Huiyue Shi they leaped together. In two jumps they landed by Jin Hua Popo’s side. Jin Hua Popo attacked them with some golden flowers; the three Emissaries dodged to the east and swayed to the west; the golden flowers fell to the ground. Huiyue Shi dashed forward with extended finger toward Jin Hua Popo’s throat. Jin Hua Popo raised her walking stick to block, followed by a counterattack. Suddenly her body flew up, because her back was grabbed and lifted up by Liuyun Shi and Miaofeng Shi. Huiyue Shi immediately advanced three steps and her palms struck Jin Hua Popo’s chest and abdomen three times. The palm strikes were not too heavy, but Jin Hua Popo was immobilized.
Zhang Wuji said in his heart, “These three’s movements were not extraordinary, but the ingenuity of their coordination was matchless. Huiyue Shi attacked from the front to entice the enemy and the other two mysteriously come in and out to capture Jin Hua Popo. Strictly speaking, in term of martial art, each one of them is inferior to Jin Hua Popo. That woman’s three palm strikes are not really sealing acupoint technique, but it was cunningly comparable to our Central Earth’s sealing acupoint technique.”
Liuyun Shi grabbed Jin Hua Popo with his left hand and tossed it toward Xie Xun. “Shi Wang [Lion King],” he said, “According to our Cult’s law, once somebody enters our Cult, he cannot rebel and leave the Cult. This woman has left the Cult on her own accord; hence she is a traitor. Behead her.”
Xie Xun was shocked; “The Central Earth Ming Cult does not have this law,” he said.
Liuyun Shi coldly said, “From now on the Central Earth Ming Cult will receive the Persian Central Cult’s orders. A traitor who leaves the Cult will bring disaster later on, if left alive. Quickly execute her.”
Last edited by foxs; 12-12-07 at 10:04 AM. Reason: Double post earlier
"Kchill take a chill pill".
gona make that my signature soon...
I like the way Wuji hides from baddies... I like sneeking around my self.
I dont like people to see me comming if i am about to fight.
the longer you can hid the more options you have in this kind of conflict.
once he shows himself; the granny reacts.
he already shown himself n granny reacted! little wuji is a hidden hero
I am with KChill.. Wuji is righteous but doesn't have that imposing, heroic air about him with all these sneaking around. Not like GJ or XF..
cmon guys...our hero is still "Little wuji" who only wants to find his yifu...i actually liked zhang cuishan! he was a hero! But this story has its nice points! for example, hero n heroine are not god-like ppl! they r down to earth with some negative qualities in them...just like we all are ...this story actually demonstrates how to surpass the emotional barriers of human psyche! character of YX, ZSF and shaolin divine monk who died in XX's hands are all brilliantly portrayed by JY...hats off!
Sorry Rati.....I'm with you as far as the story goes, it's a great story....but not a great hero IMO. Could you really see someone like YG hiding in the bushes like that while people are slandering him and attacking his family members? Not even! I agree with Overjoy completely on that.
Foxs, you've kept kinda silent on this debate....what do you think about ZWJ's heroic persona?
kchill, this is what misunderstanding of how a HERO should be! GJ has some negative qualities like it was very easy to decieve him! YG had a quality that he is overly passionate....his actual goal through out ROCH was to find XL and thts it! next it comes to our little wuji....he is very compassionate and some times emotionally weak n easy to decieve...but philosophically he is much more matured and speaking of brother hood and heroic nature, at a very young age he disregarded his life to protect BuHui....just concentrate on the portrayal of his persona....JY has excellently portrayed state of human minds driven by the situations in this master piece....i say if u put martial arts aside and scan the characters, you will find many real life events in this story....As far as heroism is concerned, HQ7,HYS and ofcourse ZSF...thr r many strong characters....i even like Qiu Chuji ....Yang Xiao is also Heroic...but wuji is emotionally weak than these ppl!
Say, I was wondering if any of you have a collection of downloaded and saved various finished novels, and if you don't mind to share it with me? I know I can do it myself, but just the other day I downloaded the Smiling Proud Wanderer, and it took me a while to navigate through the web and copy-n-paste. I thought I could translate a few lines for the same amount of time I spent. Anyway, if you do, would you contact me? Many thanks in advance.
BTW, Chapter 29 Part 1 is up, see post no. 343.
I can personally relate more to ZWJ. I rather remain a little low key to assess the situation before jumping out. Besides, it gives WJ a chance to learn things since he is still inexperienced in the matter of Wulin. If XX and Jin Hua Popo were fighting, I am certain XX doesn't want anyone to interfere. Also, by observing, we get to see how ZWJ was able to anticipate movements during the fight between XX and JHPP.
Personally, I think sneaking around a little accessing the situation is fine. Even hunky Qiao Feng did it when he visited Shaolin and spied on Ma Fu Ren torturing Duan Zhen Chun. If Zhang Wuji stopped sneaking around, his character would be too... Superman or perhaps Nan Hai Er Sheng.
These are all good points, guys....I just happen to disagree. I just think to be a true hero, you have to stop sneaking around and running away from conflict all the time. Case in point, the post #343. As soon as Wuji hears there are 3 supposed Cult elders, who bring "alleged" authority to clean up the Ming Cult mess, his first thought is not protecting his cult brothers from a possible usurp attempt...instead it's....."Great! Now I can get the responsibility off my shoulders!" (paraphrasing). Not the stuff heroes are made of if you ask me.
i disagree kchill ..HERO is not a GOD! acting according to situation is more appropriate for a man. ZWJ actually was not related to ming cult...he was forced to accept the leader position..secondly he is inexperienced...i say keeping martial arts aside, yang xiao is more suited for the leader post.It was always his thought to leave the leader position..next is the issue of persian ppl, not only wuji but also XX thought they were genuine guys...if he knows, he will certainly save ming guys..that is my view!
ZWJ is just being honest. He doesn't believe that he has all the right skills to be an effective leader for Ming sect. Hence, he feels the organization is better served if he were to step down and let someone more capable to take the job. His ambition was at no time to become a sect leader. He probably would prefer to be a Chinese doctor or perhaps a martial arts instructor.
If ZWJ had more encouragement and guidance, he would become a great leader. One of the most important characteristic of a great leader is kindness and compassion.
Just think if leaders of our world were to think, "Aiya, I am really not up to the job. I should let people who are more talented take over." Not! Instead, they know they lack any talent, yet they fight for dear life to hold on to power. And when they die, they want the power to remain within their family. As a result, the populace suffer under them.
I think wuji never had a desire to be a hero in the Guo Jing sense. He's just the neighborhood nice guy who happened to have been entrusted with a position he doesn't want. And being young he can be naive.
This bout with the Persians heat things up