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Thread: Yitian Sword, Tulong Saber Book 4

  1. #41
    Senior Member foxs's Avatar
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    Default Chapter 31 – Part 5

    “You are an honest and considerate, intelligent and virtuous girl,” Zhang Wuji said, “You will not deceive me.”

    Zhou Zhiruo turned around and hid her face in his bosom. “Wuji Gege,” she said in tender voice, “To be able to marry you, my delight is unspeakable. I only hope you won’t belittle me because I am stupid and useless, and bully me because I am unworthy. I … I will do my best to take care of you.”

    The next day Zhang Wuji used the Jiu Yang Shen Gong to help Zhou Zhiruo expel the poison. At first they made a good progress; perhaps because she did not eat too much, her level of poisoning was not as severe as Xie Xun. However, toward the seventh day, suddenly he felt a resistance, which was ‘yin’ [negative/female] and cold in nature, coming from her body, fighting his Jiu Yang energy. Although Zhou Zhiruo strived to control this resistance, it was difficult for the Jiu Yang energy to enter her body. In his astonishment Zhang Wuji went to consult Xie Xun.

    Xie Xun pondered for half a day before saying, “I don’t know for sure, but most likely it was because her Emei Pai’s masters were always women, the internal energy they train is ‘yin rou’ [negative/female, and soft/flexible] in nature.”

    Zhang Wuji nodded his agreement. Luckily Zhou Zhiruo’s internal energy level was far below his, so that he was able to suppress the resisting ‘yin’ energy in her body; but by doing this he was required to use up a lot more energy than when he was helping Xie Xun. Zhang Wuji secretly felt that although at this moment her ‘yin’ energy was still weak, but her achievement in the future would not be a small matter.

    “Zhiruo,” he praised, “Zunshi [revered master] Miejue Shitai was truly an expert of her generation. The internal energy cultivation method she passed on to you is extremely profound; I
    can feel it even now. If you train diligently, your energy level may run neck to neck with my Jiu Yang Shen Gong; you may even surpass me.”

    “Don’t mock me!” Zhou Zhiruo said, “How can Emei Pai’s martial art be compared to Zhang Da Jiaozhu’s [great cult leader Zhang] Jiu Yang Shen Gong and Qian Kun Da Nuo Yi?

    “You have talent,” Zhang Wuji said, “Although you don’t know too many martial art forms and stances, your internal energy foundation is excellent. My Tai Shifu [grand master, he was referring to Zhang Sanfeng] once said, in the advance study of martial art, oftentimes the level of achievement each individual is closely related to one’s natural endowments. Furthermore, someone who is intelligent and possesses excellent comprehension may not necessarily capable of achieving the highest level of mastery. It was said that your sect’s founder, Zushi [ancestor master] Guo Nuxia’s [heroine Guo] father, Guo Jing Daxia [great hero] was slow, yet his martial art skill shook the world from the ancient time until today. Even Tai Shifu said that his energy level has not reached the level of Guo Daxia of the past. It seems to me that your Emei Pai’s internal energy cultivation technique is superior to the Wudang Pai’s; I’ll say that your future achievement may surpass Zunshi Miejue Shitai’s.”

    Zhou Zhiruo rolled her eyes; faking anger she said, “If you want to flatter me, you don’t need to say my martial art is good. If I can master only 10 or 20% of Shifu’s ability, I would be satisfied. If you can teach me one or two techniques from your Jiu Yang Shen Gong and Qian Kun Da Nuo Yi, I would be very grateful.”

    Zhang Wuji hesitated without answering. Zhou Zhiruo continued, “Do you think I am not fit to become Zhang Da Jiaozhu’s disciple?”

    “No!” Zhang Wuji said, “I only aware that your internal energy technique is entirely different than mine. I’ll say our techniques took opposite approach from the start. If you learn my internal energy technique, you are facing a difficult and dangerous problem.”

    “It’s all right if you don’t want to teach me,” Zhou Zhiruo said, “The worst thing that can happen if I learn martial art skill is I fail; how can there be any danger?”

    “No, no!” Zhang Wuji was serious, “My Jiu Yang Shen Gong is purely ‘yang gang’ [positive/male and hard/firm] in nature. Right now you are training in the Emei Pai’s internal energy, which takes the purely ‘yin rou’ approach. If you also train my internal energy technique, then the ‘yin’ and ‘yang’ would collide in your body. Unless it is a martial art genius like my Tai Shifu; he might be able to combine water and fire, harmonize the firm and the supple. Otherwise, if you miss a single step, you’ll face a terrible, terrible disaster. Mmm, let’s wait until your internal energy is strong enough, I’ll teach you the Qian Kun Da Nuo Yi theory and you can start training it.”

    Zhou Zhiruo laughed, “I was only joking,” she said, “Later on I will always be together with you; your martial art skill, my martial art skill, what difference does it make? I am too lazy, your Jiu Yang Shen Gong is very difficult to train, even if you force me to practice, I am afraid it will be too difficult for me.” Hearing her saying this, Zhang Wuji felt sweetness in his heart.

    With love and happiness in their hearts, time was passing swiftly. Several months had passed in a flash. Zhou Zhiruo’s internal energy had been completely recovered; she did not feel anything unusual, hence she believed the poison had been completely expelled from her system.

    One particular day, they saw the peach blossom trees on the eastern side of the island were blooming beautifully. Zhang Wuji picked several branches of the peach blossom and planted them in front of Yin Li’s grave. He saw the piece of wood he carved with the characters ‘The Tomb of my Beloved Wife, Zhu’Er Yin Li’ was laying flat on the ground; perhaps it was knocked down by some wild animals. He picked it up and re-inserted it deeply to the ground. He remembered how his cousin lived a miserable life; perhaps she did not even have a single day of happiness.

    While he was still reveling in sadness, suddenly he heard the clamoring noise of seagulls on the sea. Lifting his head up, he saw a ship in the distant sailing toward the island. He was overjoyed at this unexpected scene and loudly shouted, “Yifu, Zhiruo, there’s a ship coming in, there’s a ship coming in!”

    Xie Xun and Zhou Zhiruo heard his shout and they rushed together to the shore. In a trembling voice Zhou Zhiruo said, “How can there be a ship coming to this desolate island?”

    “It’s strange indeed,” Zhang Wuji said, “Could it be that they are pirates?”

    In less than an hour that ship had dropped its anchor offshore, and sent a small boat to the island. Zhang Wuji, three people, waiting for them on the beach. They saw the sailors on that small boat wear Mongolian naval military uniforms. Zhang Wuji’s heart was stirred, “Could it be that Miss Zhao was pricked by her conscience and returned to this island?” Casting a sidelong glance toward Zhou Zhiruo, he saw that her beautiful eyebrows were slightly wrinkled, while her chest was heaving up and down; apparently she was very much concerned.

    A short moment later the small boat landed. Five sailors stepped on to the beach. Their leader, a naval officer, bowed respectfully toward Zhang Wuji and said, “Are you Zhang Wuji, Zhang Gongzi [honorable master Zhang]?”

    “I am,” Zhang Wuji replied, “Who are you, Officer?”

    As that officer heard Zhang Wuji answering in affirmative, he looked delighted and relieved. “Xiao Ren’s [lit. little/lowly person, a subordinate addressing him/herself] humble name is Pastai. I truly am fortunate to be able to find Gongzi today. I have received order to find Zhang Gongzi and Xie Daxia and take you back to the Central Earth.” He did mention Zhang and Xie, two people’s names, but did not mention Zhou Zhiruo.

    “Officer has toiled to come from afar, I wonder who has sent you?” Zhang Wuji asked.

    Pastai replied, “Xiao Ren is a subordinate of Tawa-chelu, the local naval commander in charge of Fujian defense. We have received order from General Pordu to set sail and meet you. Altogether General Pordu dispatches eight ships to search for Zhang Gongzi and Xie Daxia on the water around Fujian, Zhejiang and Guangdong, three provinces. I can’t believe in the end Xiao Ren is the one who render this great merit.” His meaning was obvious; apparently his superior had promised promotion and great reward to whoever succeeded in finding Zhang Wuji.

  2. #42
    Senior Member overjoy71's Avatar
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    Thanks Foxs_

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    Member Icefrog's Avatar
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    Fox... great timing for this great chunk of translation. thank you very much!!

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    Senior Member IcyFox's Avatar
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    HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!!!

  5. #45
    Senior Member foxs's Avatar
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    Default Chapter 31 – Part 6

    Happy New Year, everyone! May this new year bring you the blessing from above.
    ------------------------------------

    Hearing that unfamiliar Mongolian general’s name, Zhang Wuji thought the general must have received Zhao Min’s order to find him at any cost. “How did your honorable superior find out about me?” he asked.

    “According to General Pordu’s instructions,” Pastai replied, “Zhang Gongzi is a noblemanof high status, also a great hero of the present age. Xiao Ren was ordered that after we find you, we must serve Gongzi attentively. As for why we must find Gongzi, Xiao Ren’s rank is too low for the Mongolian General to explain the reason.”

    “Is this Shaomin Junzhu’s idea?” Zhou Zhiruo interrupted.

    Pastai was startled, “Shaomin Junzhu?” he asked, “Xiao Ren has not had any good fortune to see her.”

    Zhou Zhiruo coldly said, “What good fortune or bad fortune?”

    “Shaomin Junzhu is our Mongolia’s most beautiful woman,” Pastai said, “No, she is the world’s most beautiful woman; well-versed in both pen and sword [wen wu quan cai – skilled in both literature and military], she is the Ruyang Wangye’s [prince of Ruyang] ‘qian jin’ [lit. thousand gold, the most valuable, honorable term for a daughter]. How can Xiao Ren have the good fortune of seeing her ‘jin mian’ [lit. golden face]?”

    “Humph,” Zhou Zhiruo snorted, but didn’t say anything further.

    “Yifu,” Zhang Wuji said to Xie Xun, “In that case, let us go aboard.”

    “Let’s go back to our cave to fetch some things first before we embark the ship,” Xie Xun said, “Officer, please wait here for a moment.”

    Pastai said, “Let Xiao Ren and the sailors get your luggage.”

    Xie Xun laughed and said, “What luggage do we have? Please don’t bother.” Taking Zhang Wuji and Zhou Zhiruo’s hands, he went to the back of the hill and said, “Out of the blue Zhao Min sends a ship to take us back; she must have a sinister plan. How do you think we must deal with it?”

    “Yifu,” Zhou Zhiruo said, “Do you suppose … do you suppose Zhao Min … she might be on board?”

    “If this little witch is onboard, that would be better,” Xie Xun said, “We must watch our food and drink; and not to fall into her trap again.”

    “That’s right,” Zhang Wuji said, “We’d better bring the salted fish and the dried fruit we have collected, also water from this island. We must not eat the food from the ship.”

    “I think Zhao Min is not onboard,” Xie Xun said, “She wants to copy those Persians’ plot; she lures us onboard, once we are on the open sea, then she’d send Mongolian navy ships to open fire and sink our ship.”

    Zhang Wuji’s heart sank, with a trembling voice he said, “She … is she that evil? She has left us stranded on this desolate island, let us live or die on our own, without any chance to return to the Central Earth, wasn’t that enough? The three of us would not bother her anymore, would we?”

    With a cold laugh Xie Xun said, “You have freed the masters of the Six Major Sects she held captive in the Wan An Temple; how could she not hate you to the bone? Besides, the Cult Leader of the Ming Cult is missing, at this moment, everybody in the Ming Cult, from the top to the bottom, is involved in the large scale search and rescue operation. There is no guarantee that they will not find this desolate island. Only by burying us in the bottom of the ocean floor would she be free of trouble forever.”

    “Firing their cannons?” Zhang Wuji said, “Wouldn’t that mean Pastai and all these Mongolian sailors will deliver their lives in vain?”

    Xie Xun laughed out loud, followed by a sigh, he said, “Wuji, Child, those people wield power over the entire Mongolian armed forces; how can they value human lives? If they were like you, kind hearted and merciful, how can the Mongolians conquer four oceans, sweep hundreds of nations? From the ancient times, which great hero, who earned great honor, did not take the bull by its horns, if they must kill then they killed? Let’s not talk about ordinary officers and soldiers, they would even kill their own father and mother, their sons and daughters.”

    Zhang Wuji was silent for half a day then grimly said, “Yifu is right.” He had always known that the Mongolians were brutal and merciless toward their enemies, but surely they would cherish their own subordinates and people? At this moment, listening to Xie Xun, he felt as if his heart was torn in two: he wanted to return to the Central Earth, to hold command over the heroes and warriors in driving the Tartars away; but speaking about governing a country to maintain peace and security, he was convinced it was not in his power to do so.

    “Yifu,” Zhou Zhiruo said, “What shall we do?”

    “What is in my daughter-in-law’s mind?” Xie Xun asked.

    “Can we not board the boat?” Zhou Zhiruo said, “Let’s tell those Mongolian sailors that we enjoy living in this island and do not have any desire to return to the Central Plains.”

    Xie Xun smiled and said, “That is a naïve little girl’s naïve idea. We do not want to go on board, do you think the enemy will let us go just like that? Let’s say we kill everybody on this ship, officers and sailors alike, do you think they will not dispatch ten more, eight more ships to find us? Besides, there are a lot of important matters in the Central Plains, waiting for Wuji to attend to. How can we let him grow old and die on this deserted island?”

    Zhou Zhiruo’s pretty face blushed profusely. “Please give us instruction; we’ll listen to Yifu’s advice,” she said in a low voice.

    Xie Xun thought of a plan for a moment and then said, “Let’s do it this way.” Zhang Wuji and Zhou Zhiruo listened to his plan and agreed that it was a marvelous plan.

    Zhang Wuji went to Yin Li’s grave to pray and shed some farewell tears before embarking the ship. To fight boredom on the island, Zhou Zhiruo had carved many little wooden horses and wooden figurines. She wrapped everything in one big bundle and carried it on her back.

    Zhang Wuji checked the cabin, inside and out, very carefully. Indeed Zhao Min was not onboard; he also made sure that there was nobody onboard who might do them harm. He noticed that the officers and sailors were not martial art practitioners.

    After the ship had weighed the anchor, when they only set sail for dozens of ‘zhang’s, suddenly Zhang Wuji reached back and grabbed Pastai’s right wrist, while his other hand snatched the saber hanging on Pastai’s belt, and pressed the saber behind his neck. “Listen to my order,” he shouted, “Tell the helmsman to turn eastward!”

    Pastai was shocked, “Zhang Gong … Gongzi,” he trembled, “Xiao … Xiao Ren does not dare to offend you.”

    “Listen to my orders,” Zhang Wuji said, “If you disobey, I am going to chop your head.”

    “Yes, yes!” Pastai said, and shouted his order, “Helms … helmsman! Quick … turn the ship eastward!” The helmsman turned the rudder to follow his command. The ship circled around the island and sailed to the east.

    Zhang Wuji shouted, “You Mongolians are setting a trap to harm us. I have seen through your scheme. Quickly admit it! If you lie to me, I’ll take your life.” Having said that he raised his right palm and slapped the ship’s edge. Wood debris flew everywhere, as a big chunk of wood came off from the ship’s edge. The officers and sailors onboard watched with amazement.

    Pastai said, “Gongzi, please understand: Xiao Ren received my superior’s order to take Gongzi home; we don’t have any other intention. Xiao Ren … Xiao Ren only hoped to render a service and receive the rewards, we really do not have any ill-intention.”

    Zhang Wuji knew he was telling the truth; thereupon he released Pastai’s wrist, walked to the bow, and lifted the iron anchor with his left hand, while his right hand also reached out and lifted another anchor. “Everybody, watch this!” he shouted, while throwing both anchors to the air. The Mongolians gasped and then cried out in alarm.

    As the anchors fell back down, using the Qian Kun Da Nuo Yi technique, one hand snatched, the other pushed, Zhang Wuji threw the anchors back up to the air. He did this three times, before he finally caught the anchors and gently put them down on the bow. The Mongolians have always admired brave warriors; seeing this astonishing demonstration of prowess, they bowed down in respect and did not dare to disobey.

  6. #46
    Member Icefrog's Avatar
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    thanks fox.... and oh yes.... HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Blessings and Good Luck to you and your loved ones for the whole year and for many more years to come!!

  7. #47
    Senior Member odbayarb2000's Avatar
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    Mongolians are bad merciless, brute, heartless barbarians. sigh.

    Am I that bad ?
    "Big Hero Linghu kills frogs with the Dugu Nine Swords!”


  8. #48
    Registered User JamesG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by odbayarb2000 View Post
    Mongolians are bad merciless, brute, heartless barbarians. sigh.

    Am I that bad ?
    Not to worry odbayarb2000. The Chinese produced all of the above
    themselves throughout their history.

  9. #49
    Senior Member duguxiaojing's Avatar
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    is it just me or did ZZR's character do a 360 flip since MJST had that talk with her?

    thx foxs
    wow..04-08....4 years just like that..time flies..

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    Quote Originally Posted by duguxiaojing View Post
    is it just me or did ZZR's character do a 360 flip since MJST had that talk with her?

    thx foxs

    if u mean 180, then yes.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesG View Post
    Not to worry odbayarb2000. The Chinese produced all of the above
    themselves throughout their history.
    as well as the japanese and all other civilizations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsamador View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by JamesG View Post
    Not to worry odbayarb2000. The Chinese produced all of the above
    themselves throughout their history.
    as well as the japanese and all other civilizations.
    That's stretching credulity a bit, to claim that the Chinese produced all other civilisations.

  13. #53
    Senior Member batmankiller's Avatar
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    click to show/hide spoilers
    Zhang Wuji rates ZZR's internal energy pretty high, almost as if it's the rival of 9 Yang. The base of Emei's internal energy is only 20-30% yin yet ZWJ rates her internal energy even higher, similiar to if it were 100% ying.. almost to the opposite of ZWJ's 9 Yang.. hmm

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    hello, i found this forum about 2-3 days ago, when googling about HSDS...
    and I wanna say you guys are doing great
    thx a bunch

  15. #55
    Senior Member foxs's Avatar
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    Default I need your input.

    Folks, when looking at the Jin Yong Trilogy, I could not help but wonder: The titles given by TVB actually do not match the original titles.

    射雕英雄传 (She Diao Ying Xiong Zhuan), literally means biography of the eagle shooting hero, so our title Eagle Shooting Hero was not too far fetched, definitely better than 'Legend of the Condor Heroes'.

    神雕侠侣 (Shen Diao Xia Lu), literally means divine eagle hero's companion. It is definitely NOT 'Return of the Condor Heroes'. Although 'Divine Eagle, Gallant Knights' is not really accurate, but I think it is still OK.

    I have the most problem with 'Heaven Sword Dragon Saber'. Wuxiapedia has this note (written by Kwok, edited by Huang Yushi):

    The first edition was titled "Tian Jian Long Dao", or "The Heaven Sword and the Dragon Sabre". It contained 112 chapters in 28 volumes of 4 chapters each. The revised edition was called 倚天屠龙记 "Yi Tian Tu Long Ji", or literally "Relying on Heaven for the Slaughter of the Dragon". The content was re-arranged into 40 chapters in 4 volumes of 10 chapters each.

    The character 'ji' of Yi Tian Tu Long Ji, means a note (or a record). Notice that neither the word 'sword' nor 'saber' appeared on the title. I believe Jin Yong changed the title because the story is about 'relying on the power of Heaven to subdue the imperial government (the Yuan Dynasty)'. As we know, the Emperors of China have always used 'dragon' as their symbol.

    So ... if I want to come up with a new English title to reflect this change, what would you suggest?

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    It is not necessary to be pedantic and have a clunky but strictly correct translation. Heaven Sword Dragon Sabre is pithy and describes the book correctly, i.e. it does revolve around the two weapons.

    re: "Relying on Heaven for the Slaughter of the Dragon", I don't think this an accurate translation either. The Tu Lung dao, Dragon Slaying sabre, contains the Wumu Yishu, Yue Fei's war strategies and tactics manual, which is supposed to be used to "slay the dragon", i.e. the Yuan emperor.

    Yi Tian, I can't say that I can appreciate the meaning behind the sword name. I just understand it to be the check/balance to the dragon slaying sabre so that whoever deposes the Yuan emperor cannot rule as a despot/tyrant.
    Last edited by CFT; 02-07-08 at 09:28 PM.

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    Senior Member overjoy71's Avatar
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    Hey Foxs_
    Happy New Year to you and everyone else!

    Quote Originally Posted by foxs_ View Post
    Folks, when looking at the Jin Yong Trilogy, I could not help but wonder: The titles given by TVB actually do not match the original titles.

    射雕英雄传 (She Diao Ying Xiong Zhuan), literally means biography of the eagle shooting hero, so our title Eagle Shooting Hero was not too far fetched, definitely better than 'Legend of the Condor Heroes'.
    For "She Diao Ying Xiong Zhuan" I think "Eagle Shooting Hero" is good

    Quote Originally Posted by foxs_ View Post
    神雕侠侣 (Shen Diao Xia Lu), literally means divine eagle hero's companion. It is definitely NOT 'Return of the Condor Heroes'. Although 'Divine Eagle, Gallant Knights' is not really accurate, but I think it is still OK.
    For "Shen Diao Xia Lu", I like the title "Companion of Divine Eagle Hero" because I think it really descibes the accurate heart of the story.

    Quote Originally Posted by foxs_ View Post
    The first edition was titled "Tian Jian Long Dao", or "The Heaven Sword and the Dragon Sabre". It contained 112 chapters in 28 volumes of 4 chapters each. The revised edition was called 倚天屠龙记 "Yi Tian Tu Long Ji", or literally "Relying on Heaven for the Slaughter of the Dragon". The content was re-arranged into 40 chapters in 4 volumes of 10 chapters each.

    The character 'ji' of Yi Tian Tu Long Ji, means a note (or a record). Notice that neither the word 'sword' nor 'saber' appeared on the title. I believe Jin Yong changed the title because the story is about 'relying on the power of Heaven to subdue the imperial government (the Yuan Dynasty)'. As we know, the Emperors of China have always used 'dragon' as their symbol.

    So ... if I want to come up with a new English title to reflect this change, what would you suggest?
    As for this one, it is tough FOXS_. Since the word "ji" can also mean 'record'. I was think something like 'Heaven Slaughtering Dragon Chronicles'? As CFT, I can see why Jin Yong changed the title because the story doesn't really have much to do with the two weapons. It is more about people rising up to do what the Emperors didn't do.
    Last edited by overjoy71; 02-07-08 at 08:27 PM.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by pannonian View Post
    That's stretching credulity a bit, to claim that the Chinese produced all other civilisations.
    what i said was that all other civilizations committed the same crimes as the mongolians

    i wouldn't agree that the chinese produced all other civilizations.

  19. #59
    Senior Member rati4u's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by odbayarb2000 View Post
    Mongolians are bad merciless, brute, heartless barbarians. sigh.

    Am I that bad ?
    people can not be counted as bad or good only based on their race/clan or religion....mongolians were once proclaimed to be best archers,warriors in the world....but not every mongolian can be good at these...same way,every mongolian cant be cruel...some beauties like you are sweet n kind too

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    Senior Member foxs's Avatar
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    Default Chapter 31 – Part 7

    Thanks for the input. Looks like if we cannot come up with a good title, we'll have to stick with Heaven Sword Dragon Saber ...
    ---------------------------------------------

    Following Zhang Wuji’s instructions, the helmsman drove the ship to the east. They sailed on the open sea for three days, until the only thing they could see was mighty waves whose heights reach the sky. Xie Xun anticipated that Zhao Min only dispatched battleships to search on the water around Fujian and Guangdong area; right now their ship had sailed deep into the ocean, so there was no way the battleships would find them.

    After five days, they instructed the helmsman to turn northward. They continued heading north for more than twenty days, so that even if Zhao Min was ten times smarter, it would be difficult for her to guess the location of the ship correctly. Thereupon, they instructed the helmsman to turn the ship westward, towards the Central Earth. During their voyage of more than a month, Zhang Wuji and the others did not touch the food from the ship; they either ate the provisions brought from the island, or caught fish from the ocean.

    Around the seventh hour one day [between 11am – 1pm], they saw land in the distance. The Mongolian officers and sailors had been on the sea too long; as they saw they were going home, everybody cheered in delight. By the nightfall, the ship had dropped its anchor by the shore.

    The landscape of that area was mountainous and the seawater was really deep so the ship was able to moor right next to the stony shore.

    “Wuji,” Xie Xun said, “Go ashore and find out what kind of place is this?” Zhang Wuji complied and flew ashore.

    He explored for a while and everywhere he went, he saw green thick forest; with the snow that started to melt on the ground, turning the soil into deep mud. After walking for a while, the forest got darker. All around him were gigantic ancient pine trees, the trunks were so big that each one needed several people join hands to encircle it. He flew up a tall tree to get a better view, and no matter which direction he looked he could not see the edge of the forest. Surprisingly, in this sea of trees, he did not see any sign of other human beings either. He thought even if he went further down the forest, he would see the same thing; therefore, he decided to return to the ship.

    Before reaching the shore, he had already heard miserable shouts; and these extremely sad and shrill sounds were coming from the ship. He was shocked, rushed to the shore, and immediately flew to the bow.

    He saw the deck was full of bodies scattered around; they were the Mongolian officers’ and soldiers’ corpses, from Pastai down to the last sailor. Xie Xun and Zhou Zhiruo were standing on the deck, but he did not see any trace of the enemy.

    In shock he asked, “Yifu, Zhiruo, are you all right? Where is the enemy?”

    “What enemy?” Xie Xun asked, “Did you see any trace of them?”

    “No! But these Mongolians …” Zhang Wuji said.

    “Zhiruo and I killed them,” Xie Xun said.

    Zhang Wuji was even more stunned, “I did not expect these Mongolians would dare to harm us as soon as we return to the Central Earth,” he said.

    “They did not dare to harm us,” Xie Xun explained, “I killed them to close their mouths. As they are dead, Zhao Min will not know that we have returned to the Central Earth. From now on, she is in the bright place while we stay in the dark. It will be easier for us to exact our revenge.”

    Zhang Wuji sucked a mouthful of cold air, and was speechless for half a day.

    “What?” Xie Xun dryly said, “Are you blaming me for my cruelty? Tartars’ officers and soldiers are our enemies; are we supposed to treat them with the kindness of Bodhisattva?”

    Zhang Wuji was silent; he remembered how these people had been taking care of them attentively, without the slightest degree of carelessness. Although they were enemies, he would not have the heart to kill them in cold blood like this.

    “As the saying goes,” Xie Xun continued, “Those with small hearts are not people of noble characters, those who are not cruel are not real men. We don’t want to harm others, others want to harm us. That Zhao Min has treated us like this so we simply follow her way and do to her what she did to us.”

    “Yifu is right,” Zhang Wuji said. But looking at Pastai and the others’ corpses, he could not hold tears from flowing down his cheeks.

    “Make fire, burn the boat down,” Xie Xun said, “Zhiruo, search the bodies, take all gold and silver you can find. Also, get three swords or sabers for our self-defense.” Two people set the ship on fire then leaped to the shore.

    The ship’s hull was really big hence it burned continuously until midnight before the fire gradually died down. The remnant of the ship, along with the bodies, slowly went down to the bottom of the ocean. It was a clean job, without the least bit of trace. Zhang Wuji had to admit that although his Yifu was merciless, he was a veteran of Jianghu, with experience far exceeding him.

    Three people spent the night by the shore. They continued their journey southward early the next morning. It was not until the afternoon of the second day did they finally met seven, eight ginseng pickers. As they asked the men, they found out that that place was Liaodong [East Liaoning], outside the great wall, not too far from Changbai Mountain.

    When they left those men, Zhou Zhiruo asked, “Yifu, shall we kill those men to shut their mouths?”

    “Zhiruo!” Zhang Wuji snapped, “What are you talking about? These ginseng pickers do not even know who we are. Must we kill everybody we meet along the way?”

    Zhou Zhiruo was so ashamed that her face turned completely red. In all her life, Zhang Wuji had never spoken to her like that.

    “If it were me,” Xie Xun said, “I’d kill those ginseng pickers. But since Jiaozhu is unwilling to shed too many blood, we must quickly find a way to change our clothes, to remove any trace of our identities.”

    They immediately quickened their pace. After walking briskly for two days, they finally left the forest. But it was not after walking another day did they finally see a peasant family’s home. Zhang Wuji took out some silver coins to buy clothes from the peasant, but the family was so poor that they did not have any extra clothes to sell. After going to seven, eight different homes, finally they were able to collect three sets of totally filthy clothes. Zhou Zhiruo was used to cleanness; smelling the stench accumulated over several years, she almost threw up. But Xie Xun was delighted; he instructed his two companions to smear their faces with mud. When Zhang Wuji looked at his reflection in the water, he saw a Liaodong’s beggar. Zhao Min might not necessarily recognize him even if she was standing right in front of him.

    As they continued walking southward, they entered the Great Wall. One day they arrived at the suburb of a big town. Three people went straight to a big restaurant.

    Zhang Wuji took three ‘liang’s worth of silver from his pocket and gave it to the innkeeper; he said, “You can settle the bill after we are done eating.” He was afraid that the innkeeper would not give them any food because of the way they dressed in ragged clothes.

    Who would have thought that the innkeeper stood up respectfully and returned the silver with both hands, saying, “We thank Masters for patronizing our humble establishment; what is some insipid wine and crude rice? Please accept it compliment of our small inn.”

    Zhang Wuji was very surprised. As they were seated, he said in low voice to Zhou Zhiruo, “Has our masquerade been exposed? Why did the innkeeper refuse our money?”

    Zhou Zhiruo examined their clothes and appearance carefully, they did look like three beggars; which movement or expression of theirs had given them away?

    “From the way that innkeeper speaks, I can tell that he is afraid of something,” Xie Xun said, “We must be careful.”

    They heard some footsteps on the stairway as seven men walked in. As chance had it, these men also dressed as beggars. These seven men went to sit on the table by the window; their manners were haughty. The waiter appeared and respectfully greeted them, calling them ‘Master this’ and ‘Master that’, as if they were people of nobility or some high-ranking officials.

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