45 days since last reading...................
My sweet Lady Jean
When I see you again
Your servant am I
And will humbly remain.....
Not poetry but a song..... by Mick Jagger....
Thought I'd do a little stand-in translation. Don't expect too much =)
Book 21 Chapter 3 - Surrounded by Enemies
Grasping Bloodwave, Xiang Shaolong overtook an enemy soldier who was lagging behind the rest. He reached from behind to cover his enemy's mouth while Blood Wave pierced the enemy's neck from the side. The enemy only struggled a moment before taking his last breath. Xiang Shaolong handily took over his crossbow and bolts. The rest of the enemies ahead were focused on the path the pursuing dog had gone. The day had also darkened to the point where it was difficult to spot the path, hence the enemies were oblivious to the God of Death pressing from the rear. When Xiang Shaolong had used the same tactic to dispatch the next enemy soldier, the rest of the enemies had halted at a grass patch. A ten-feet high pile of rocks was blocking the path. Apparently, the rabbit was hiding in there somewhere, compelling the dog to pounce and howl continuously. One person shouted "Light the torches!" At this moment, Xiang Shaolong had already used the cover of the trees to sneak up on one of the men, dragged him aside and murdered him while seizing the crossbow in his hand.
Five torches ignited, dyeing the jungle blood-red. All around, ancient trees reached to the sky. As the tall trees cut-off the sunlight all year round, only a few creepers managed to grow on the ground. The only exception was a ten feet wide clump of shrubbery, presenting an obvious target. The remaining twenty four enemies had their crossbows tensed and ready to fire. The leader of the enemies shouted towards the shrubbery: "Xiang Shaolong, you can forget about escaping this time. Come out obediently, else we will burn you till you have no remains left." The dog had been recalled by its master with a low shout and had stopped barking. It had even lain down submissively, extremely obedient.
Xiang Shaolong surveyed the situation and saw that the men were standing close to each other and were illuminated by the torches. It would be difficult to repeat his ploy of attacking from behind. Taking advantage of the crackling from the torches, he took out his climbing hook and shot it over a branch on the tree beside him. Naturally the rabbit in the undergrowth did not respond to the man's shout. However those men appeared unwilling to set fire to the brush for fear of causing collateral damage [I don't actually understand this...]. After abusing him for a while more, one of the men took a look around and exclaimed in surprise: "Yi! Where is Dian Cheng?" Xiang Shaolong emerged from behind the tree and replied "I am here!". As everyone turned towards him in shock, the crossbows in his left and right arms emitted their terrifying twang. Two of the men carrying torches were pierced in the chest and fell. Their torches also fell to the ground.
When the enemies finally returned fire, Xiang Shaolong had dodged behind the large tree and climbed up with his apparatus. As he was hidden amidst the thick leaves and branches, the rest of the men thought he was still taking cover behind the tree. They spread out and surrounded the tree. The fallen torches had started two bush fires which spread rapidly, creating a lot of thick smoke. Xiang Shaolong first retrieved his hook and then shot it towards the branches of another large tree about twenty feet away. Securing the hook, he then surveyed the situation from his vantage point, awaiting the enemies' response.
Coughing sounds emanated and the dog whimpered. Four of the men were compelled forward by the fire and smoke, and were about to dash towards Xiang Shaolong's original hiding place behind the tree when Xiang Shaolong fired the crossbows in his hands. Two enemies collapsed immediately.
The bushfire had now increased greatly with thick smoke everywhere, obscuring Xiang Shaolong's line of sight. After shooting down another enemy, he hurriedly traversed to the other tree in the air using the already secured hook. The enemies had now reached the tree he was originally at under the cover of smoke, only to discover that there was no one there. Meanwhile, three more enemies had been shot down by him. Of the twenty seven enemies originally, nine had been felled by his guerrilla tactics. The remaining men had also been frightened into scattering and hiding, and no longer had their former fighting spirit.
Xiang Shaolong had achieved his objective and traversed to an even further tree before nimbly rappelling back to ground. He ran towards the direction where the enemies' horses' hoof sounds had previously stopped. Slightly more than an hour later, he finally exited the woods. Close to fifty war horses were tied up just outside the woods. It was already midnight and the moon was high in the sky, filling the land with a mysterious atmosphere. After selecting a strong horse, he cut the ropes on the rest and lashed them all together. He then lightly poked one of the horse's thigh with Blood Wave. The horse neighed in pain and ran off together with the rest of the horses shoving and pulling. Xiang Shaolong hopped on the remaining horse, but it was a while before he was able to control the horse and ride away freely.
Three days later, while crossing a prairie, Xiang Shaolong nonchalantly ditched his horse and crossed the Wei-Han border. His mood was now greatly improved, feeling as if he were on a sight-seeing tour. Between the Wei capitol Daliang and the Han capitol Nanheng lay Zhongmu, which was at present only 100 miles North of where he was. Xiang Shaolong had to exert a large amount of his self-control before he could suppress his strong urge to head straight to the refuge in Zhongmu. That would of-course be most unwise and reckless.
The weather had gradually turned cold. Fortunately, Jing Nian had prepared Winter clothing for him, allowing him to avoid suffering in the cold. He walked for five days before reaching the outskirts of Lianshan district. The rising sun emerged in the East. Sunshine sprinkled over the ridges and plains, finishing the grass and trees in yellow, presenting a scene of boundless vitality. Nearby was a lake. As the cold wind blew over, the water rippled and the reflection of the trees danced in a delightfully colourful pattern, causing Xiang Shaolong to be even more carefree and relaxed, forgetting his situation as a fugitive.
Lush primeval forests and dense undergrowth, endless wild meadows and marshland surrounding a lake resembling a large mirror, truly a wonderful scenery. Many tents were pitched on the meadow beside the lake. Large numbers of horses and sheep were also leisurely grazing on the grassland. The atmosphere was harmonious and peaceful. Xiang Shaolong watched for a long time before collecting his thoughts, and headed towards Daliang. He naturally wouldn't walk right into a trap by heading for Daliang directly, but intended to reach the outskirts of Daliang before using the previous route he had taken from Zhao to Daliang to enter the Zhao border. Even though he had to go in a big circle, it was the safest route he could think of.
Two hours later, he was on a prairie deep within the Wei border. He recalled on the night of the ambush, Ji Feng must have borne him close to three hundred miles in escape, from his location then, to the Zhao-Wei border and then to the mountain range near the Jing family village before collapsing in exhaustion. Presently, he could be said to be in familiar ground.
After walking Northeast for another six hours, he heard hoof beats ahead. Xiang Shaolong hurriedly hid himself. A moment later, a close to twenty strong squad of Wei soldiers galloped into view. They ascended a nearby hill, raised camp and posted sentries. Xiang Shaolong felt his scalp numb, his heart exclaiming in dismay. The Wei people must have received news that he was alive and had possibly escaped here.
Man is glue. You are man. How then can you step away from glue?
thanks a lot for the new chapter.
Thanks yeongwee. God bless you ^^
"Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is Mystery.
Today is a gift... That`s why we called it Present."
XSL escapes again! thank you thank you thank you!
Thanx for the update.. In Wei he only trusts the cross-dresser LongYang or the new Empress Dan Meimei, he's gonna get to have fun with another empress it seems
The fact was, whether he headed to Zhongmu or Daliang, it would be open plains all the way. The Weis would certainly be familiar with their own territory and would only need to post sentries on all the high points. If he was even slightly careless, his route would be revealed and it would be difficult for him to avoid the consequences of capture. The enemy had evidently just started their operations. Once the sentry post had been established, they would certainly start a blanket search of the entire area. With fast horses and hunting dogs searching for him, he could forget about escaping with his life. Most vexing was the fact that there were several large rivers on his path to Daliang. The Weis would only need to post sentries along the river, then he would not have the confidence to sneak across even at night. Pondering this, he nonetheless know he had to forge ahead. The alternative was to return to the mountains, which was not an option. At the moment, the danger would not be any less returning to the Han border or heading South to Chu territory. The question was whether he should steel himself and dash North to Zhongmu. He could then regroup with Teng Yi and Jing Jun in a matter of days. This thought was now even more enticing than before, but he also knew that that was the most dangerous of all routes.
Xiang Shaolong continued this internal struggle on where to proceed until the sun set in the West. In the end, he resolved to explore the route to Zhongmu. Only if he could not find a way past the blockade would he head East towards Daliang, following his original plan to return to Qin via Zhao. Having made the decision, he felt more relaxed. He took another hour to bypass the enemy's sentry post before continuing North towards Zhongmu.
Before reaching Zhongmu, he needed to pass by another Wei city "Jiao Cheng". Naturally he would not think of entering the city. He had to be extra careful to avoid being discovered by the city's defenders. Relying on his Special Forces training, he covered thirty miles before daybreak, running until his legs ached. In the end, he hid in a patch of dense jungle to rest. Not letting down his guard, he exerted more effort to climb up a large tree and concealing himself in its thick foliage before lying down on a branch and closing his eyes to rest. This tree was taller than others and was at the edge of the forest grove. From it, he could survey the surrounding plains as well as the main road to Jiao Cheng. He was soon fast asleep.
An indefinite time later, he was awakened by the sound of horses and men. Xiang Shaolong opened his eyes and started in shock. Both the insides and outside of the jungle were filled with Wei soldiers. Even a conservative estimate numbered them at about a thousand. They were making a thorough search of the area. He was immediately covered in cold sweat, realising that being overly exhausted, he was not aroused until the enemy was directly below him. In fact, if he had not been sleeping in a groove formed by three branches, he night have fallen to the ground in his stupor. He did not dare move even his fingers and toes [I think in English this translates to "did not move a hair"]. Only after the Wei soldiers had passed by did he dare to peek his head out to survey the situation.
Two teams of cavalry rode past on the official road outside the jungle grove. Further out, there was a hill with even more horses and men. The commanders of this search appeared to be there. Looking at the scale of the search, he knew that the Wei King whom he had formerly benefitted had spared no effort in his command to capture or kill Xiang Shaolong. This contingent of more than two thousand soldiers were likely from Jiao Cheng's garrison, and were likely only a portion of the entire search party. With such strength in numbers and the Wei people's home ground advantage, he realised he would be unable to advance even an inch.
He couldn't help feeling a tinge of regret. If he had not impatiently reached for Zhongmu but had detoured to Daliang instead, he would not be in his present danger. Right now, it seemed the safest option would be to return to the mountainous Wei-Han border. He could then hide there for ten days to half a month while the tempest died down. It would then be much easier to get to wherever he wanted to go.
At this moment, the sound of dogs barking rang out in the forest. Xiang Shaolong's tensed, awaiting his fate. At present, the large number of people present had muddied the scents so he was not afraid of being discovered by the hounds' acute noses. However, if he was escaping alone in the dead of the night, it would be difficult for him to escape the hounds' attention. Seeing the enemy's troop disposition, how would he dare to continue towards Jiao Cheng? Once the patrolling soldiers had left, he would change his direction from North to East towards the South of Daliang.
This is about two-thirds of the way through the chapter...
Man is glue. You are man. How then can you step away from glue?
What a difficult predicament for XSL. It's like a maze with traps everywhere
Thank you for picking up the translation, yeongwee! I really would like to finish reading this story and just grateful for any updates.
Staking his all and after avoiding endless waves of pursuing soldiers, Xiang Shaolong finally arrived at the West bank of the famous river "Jia Lu He". Looking across, both sides were tranquil and undisturbed, nary a person in sight. But he was also certain that there were concealed sentries in the jungle overlooking the river. He scrutinised carefully, spotting a place where more than ten enemies could conceal themselves. He then ascended a tree and hid himself patiently, waiting for nightfall.
He quickly fell asleep from his exhaustion. When he awoke, the entire landscape had turned into beautiful white wonderland. His face and upper body were covered with light snow, but he did not feel cold. The first snowfall had finally arrived. Xiang Shaolong brushed off the powdery snow on his body and looked somberly at the continuing snowfall. Snow storms were good for concealing hiding places, but terrible for flight. If he jumped into the water now and emerged from the river wet, he would freeze to death. Moreover, once the snowfall stopped, the footprints he left behind would make it impossible for him to evade the pursuing enemies.
At the moment, he only had three choices:
The first was to chop wood and construct a raft to ford the great river. However this would be time consuming and prone to incidents and dangerous, unless he could be sure that the enemies' sentries were not nearby. Else once he alerted the enemy, he would not even have the chance to defend himself.
The second option was to follow the bank upriver. From Jing Nian's map, the source of this river was a mountainous region Southwest of Zhongmu. Nonetheless, once he rounded the river, he would be near the Southern corner of Zhongmu, which would be extremely dangerous. Moreover, if he then wanted to carry on to Daliang, the route would be 500 miles longer than what he originally planned, totally not worth it.
The final option was to head downriver. Even though this would bring him further and further from Daliang, it would allow him to escape the danger zone relatively easily. If he could reach the peaceful areas where several large rivers converged, he could even look for an opportunity to cross the river on a boat. More, he could divert even further South to the Chu border. Then even if he was captured by the Chus, he might even be released by Li Yan Yan or Li Yuan privately on account of their former affections.
Once he made his decision, he hurriedly got on the move and followed the river South. He walked until daybreak before the snow finally stopped. When Xiang Shaolong turned his head to look, he saw his footprints like a long tail on the virgin snow and silently called out in misery. After he carried on a while more, he realised that if he carried on thus, he would be discovered by the pursuing soldiers sooner or later. With sudden inspiration, he stopped, inspected his surroundings, formulated a plan and hurried towards a nearby forest grove. Entering the forest, he drew Blood Wave and cut down a relatively slender pomegranate tree. He next used his dagger to pare the tree into two five feet long skis. The front foot of the skis were raised slightly. The middle of the skis were also raised slightly, extending front and back, just enough for him to step on it with his booted feet. He next drilled four small holes in the wood, cut his hooks into two and used them to secure his boots to the skis through the holes. The most clever was the groove at the bottom of the skis from front to back, emulating modern skis.
At dusk, this first pair of skis in China was finally realised. As a Special Force soldier, Xiang Shaolong had received expert skiing training. Proceeding thus was as easy as ABC to him. After completing the skis, he also fashioned some ski poles. The top was wider and the bottom narrowed to a point. Three inches above the sharpened point, he lashed a horizontal stick, serving as "snow disks" [I think he's referring to the discs at the bottom of ski poles that prevent them from sinking in too deep. Huang Yi must be a fan of skiing to think of this detail =)].
When everything was complete, it was already late at night. Cutting and paring the hard as iron pomegranate tree had cost him a lot of energy, so he rested a while before making his next move. He hung the skis and ski poles on his back and ran to the riverbank on foot. Although it was difficult to make each step, his mood was greatly improved from before. By daybreak, he had covered about three miles, arriving at the banks of the great river. He deliberately climbed down the banks, leaving distinct footprints before doubling back by stepping into the footprints, climbing back up the bank. Next, he put on his skis, and secured them. He gave a shout and began his miraculous feat of skiing.
He utilised the undulating landscape, increasing his speed, unhurried but quick, rounded a large circle and returned to the forest grove. He then hid himself on top of a taller than average tree and waited. His spirit was immeasurably stimulated, and required a long time before he was able to calm himself down and close his eyes to get some sleep.
Man is glue. You are man. How then can you step away from glue?
Roused by noise, Xiang Shaolong opened his eyes to look, and was shocked out of his wits. The entire landscape was covered with Wei cavalry, at least a thousand strong. They were following his distinct footprints towards the forest grove. He saw them pass through the forest grove towards the riverbank, to where his footprints ended before suddenly halting to confer. Soon, the Wei soldiers dismounted and rapidly cut wood to build rafts, and endless hum of activity. At this moment, Snow started falling again, more heavily than the previous snowfall. Waves of snow clumps started falling from the ash grey sky, sometimes slowly, sometimes flurriedly. By midday, all hoofprints and footprints prior to the snowfall had been obscured.
Xiang Shaolong silently thanked the heavens for their assistance. This way, once the enemy had forded the river and failed to find his footprints, they could only spread out to comb the area, getting further and further away from him in their pursuit. Originally detrimental to him, the snowfall had become his protective charm. As he was celebrating in his heart, barking sounds started in the distance. A hundred plus strong contingent of Wei foot soldiers with hunting dogs was coming along the river.
Xiang Shaolong suddenly realised that this team was part of the cavalry regiment that had constructed rafts and crossed the river. The cavalry had rushed ahead because they had seen his footprints and also because of the impending snowfall, hence the canine contingent had lagged behind by two hours. He couldn't help exclaiming at his close shave. If it had been the canine contingent that had arrived first earlier, his brilliant plan might not have succeeded. But now, the heavy snowfall had covered his scent!
It was dusk before the entire Wei regiment crossed the river. Xiang Shaolong patiently waited for another two hours before climbing down the tree. Taking advantage of the dark night, high winds and snow-filled sky, he took up his ski poles, and like a bird over a boundless snowscape, he flew towards the Jia Lu river. With this apparatus to "fly over" the snowy landscape, he decided to risk a bit of danger and edged towards Zhongmu. From his first escape until now, this was the first time he felt any hope for the future.
Last edited by yeongwee; 02-18-12 at 04:47 AM.
Man is glue. You are man. How then can you step away from glue?
Thanks yeongwee for continuing the translation. Having been translated this far, it'll be a shame if the story never got finished.
I would love to change the world, but they won't give me the source code.
What a wonderful weekend treat! Very grateful
Thanks yeongwee. You made my day.
Oh brilliant. thanks so much Yeongwee.
I've lived a life that's full
I traveled each and every highway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way
Regrets I've had a few
But then again too few to mention
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption
Yes there were times I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out, I faced it all
And I stood tall and did it my way
For what is a man what has he got
If not himself then he has not
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my... way...
Last edited by balikpapan; 02-20-12 at 03:39 AM.
Wow! Only 58 chapters of this monster story left! I am impressed!
thank you for making my life a little brighter