can't wait for the next update.
can't wait for the next update.
The story is getting better and better. More twist and unexpected lines.
I don't understand. If these heroes know that they will die, why don't they just combined force and attack/destroy the island? (just try to be smart).
Thanks again, Mr. Abhay. THis ligthen up my boring days.
They saw that the two envoys of command of reward and punishment were also standing among these two rows of people. Zhang San had put on yellow clothes and was placed on the right hand side on eleventh position and Li Si had put on blue clothes and was placed on the left-hand side on thirteenth position in the row of twenty people.
The people cannot help but sucked in cold air. The martial arts of Zhang San and Li Si were incomparable in the martial art world and everybody had personally seen it and they thought: “No wonder no one came from this island of heroes in last thirty years. Not to mention the other people, these two people can single handedly get rid of numerous heroes in the central plains and have become a famous characters. No one even managed to fight twenty moves with them and these are just two of the followers?”
These two rows of disciples respectively took there place and respectfully bowed to salute the numerous heroes. Everyone hurriedly returned the greetings. Sometime back Zhang San and Li Si were roaming in the central plains and inviting people and presenting them with bronze medal, murdered people and even slaughtered the entire sects but at this moment after they have returned to the island, unexpectedly they did look respectful and prudent.
Amidst a fine tune of music, two old men came in shoulder to shoulder in the hall; one was wearing yellow and another blue.
That person announcing called out loudly: “The island hosts welcome the honored guest for their presence.” Long Daozhu and Mu Daozhu bowed and then clasped their fist in their hand to greet everyone and the numerous heroes too returned their greetings.
That person surnamed Long smiled and said: “I and Brother Mu live in this out-of-the-way desert island, today we are fortunate to see so many heroes and feel really honored. Above in the desert island, various things are crude and we did not receive you cordially, please accept our apology for it.” his voice was really gentle and by his accent he looked like a person from the central plains.
Mu Daozhu said: “Everyone, please take your seats.” His pronunciation was really sharp and his accent resembled to one from Fujian area.
After numerous guests took their seat, Long Daozhu and Mu Daozhu too took their seat on the west side of the hall. The numerous disciples actually did not take any seat and relaxed but still kept standing.
Numerous guests thought in their heart: “These people from the island of heroes are really overbearing, if the visitor does not come then they kill his whole family or sect but after we have arrived in the island, their etiquette is actually really thorough. These are hypocritical people.” Some thought: “We are prisoners anyway, what difference it makes if they give us poison in food or decapitate us.”
The people looked at the two island hosts; the complexion of Long Daozhu was a bit white and a bit red, as if like a child. On the other hand Mu Daozhu was of dark complexion with and his face was actually full of wrinkles. No one was actually able to guess how old are they, they could have been anywhere between sixty to ninety but if someone told them that they are hundred years old then still it won’t be unbelievable.
As various people took their seat, numerous servants came out immediately and started pouring out wine and serving cooked food. On everyone’s table, there were four plates, four bowls, eight different kinds of delicacies, chicken, meat, fish and shrimp and the food smelled really appetizing.
Once Shi Potian settled down on his eat, he looked around in all direction. He saw several recognizable faces in the hall, the Taoist from ShanQing temple, Fan Yifei from the Guangdong along with Lu Zhengping and Gao San Niangzi had also arrived. They all were actually frightened and didn’t say any words to Shi Potian but simply nodded and silently greeted him.
The two island hosts held their wine cup and said: “Please!” and started drinking wine.
The numerous heroes saw that the wine had a glossy look and was of pale purple color. It was really cold and had a very nice aroma but people thought in their heart: “Who knows what kind of a fierce poison is in this wine.” Most of them raised their glasses and touched to their lips but no one actually drank the wine.
Only a small number of people thought: “The opposite party can harm me with a slight effort, what if this wine has some poison, even if one dies then at least die drinking this good wine.” They raised their glass to drink up immediately; the servants were all on their heels and filled the cup as soon as it was empty.
After the two island hosts drank the wine for about three rounds, Long Daozhu raised his left hand to signal. Immediately a group of servants came in the hall with large bowls. Each bowl was full of some kind of gruel and they placed it in front of every guest separately.
The numerous guests thought: “So this is the famous “Eight meat gruel” …everyone knows in the martial art realm.” They saw hot vapor coming out of gruel, small bubbles coming up from bottom, the color of the gruel was deep green color and it looked a bit strange however one was unable to say what actually is weird about it. The original meat gruel is made up of red jujube, husked lotus, and red bean and so on but at present in this gruel, the vegetable does not look like the vegetable but some kind of a grass and the gruel was extremely thickly. The various masters knew that the poison normally assumes the dark green color, this bowl of gruel was also deep green and also the smell of the gruel was really irritating to the nose and it felt like some kind of medicated gruel.
Gao San Niangzi smelled a whiff and was scared in her heart. She thought who knows was kind of a poisonous snakes, centipede, spider and scorpion are inside this boiling gruel and felt like vomiting. As the person carrying the bowl of gruel came near her table, she extended her sleeve to cover up her nose.
Long Daozhu said: “I am honored that each one of you has traveled such a distance to come to this banquet. Actually this bowl of meat gruel is very rare and you won’t find it anywhere else. It is actually prepared from “broken heart eclipse bone spoiled heart grass”. This grass is really rare and it blooms in to flower and separate from its grass once in every ten years. This is why we wait for ten years to invites the leaders from the martial art realm after every ten years. He counted on his fingers and said that this is the fourth such invitation. Please, please, do not be polite.” As he was saying these words, he and Mu Daozhu took the bowl of gruel in their left hand and lifted the chopsticks from their right hand and invite everyone.
The people heard the name “broken heart eclipse bone spoiled heart grass” and were shocked in their heart. Although after arriving in the island, everybody had not planned that they will depart alive but the name of this herb which was used to make this meat gruel was soul-stirring and unexpectedly this Long Daozhu promulgated it such blatantly, they cannot help but the complexion of everyone turned pale.
Last edited by Abhay; 10-30-09 at 12:44 PM.
They only saw the two island hosts Mu Daozhu and Long Daozhu lifting their chopsticks and hinting everyone to start eating then lifted their bowl to eat.
The numerous guests thought: “In your two bowls of gruel, you might have put ginseng and bird’s nest or some tonic…who knows.”
Suddenly a person stood on the eastern end and pointed at the two island hosts loudly: “Surnamed Long, surnamed Mu listen, I, Xie Wenbao arrived at the island of heroes and already assumed that I am dead but I have an indomitable spirit and I am an honest man. If you have to kill then you must hack but how can someone surnamed Mu wrinkle his frowns and wants me to eat this dirty poison, I won’t!”
Long Daozhu was surprised, he said with a smile: “If the hero is not inclined to eat the gruel then how dare do we force you to do so? Actually why are you losing your temper? Please sit.”
Xie Wenbao shouted loudly: “I surnamed Wenbao is not afraid to die…one dies early or late what difference does it make, everyone dies in the end but you people are bent on insulting everyone of us. I won’t accept this disrespect!” As he was saying these words he took the bowl of hot gruel and threw it at the island hosts.
Suddenly an old man sitting two tables away from Xie Wenbao stood up and shouted: “Xie my worthy brother, don’t play rough!” He stroked his gown sleeves and sent out a strong breeze, the bowl of gruel was stopped in the mid-air. That bowl of gruel was no longer moving forward but kind of hung in the air for moment and then started falling downwards. Everyone thought that it was going to falls on that mosaic floor and gruel will be splashed everywhere however the servant pouring wine suddenly slanted his body vertically and bent his waist and stretched out his arm. He was just in time to lift-off the bowl about several inches from ground.
The numerous guests couldn’t restrain themselves and cheered him loudly: “well done!”
Just and the sound of applause died, everyone was deeply worried and they thought: “If the person who is waiting tables and is a lowly servant is so skillful then how can we even think of living this place alive?”
Various people were perturbed in their heart by this incident, some started thinking of their descendants and family; Some were thinking of their old enmity; Some thought that at least even if one person is dying, their sect and families are safe, on the other hand some people deeply regretted their decision to come to island of heroes and thought that perhaps it would have been better if they would have hidden in some remote mountain. Some people always thought that they have been really fortunate in life and will find some way to avoid this calamity once they are in the island of the heroes but after watching a servant so exceptionally skill, even they too lost the hope of overpowering the island host and escaping.
A middle-aged person with a demeanor of a scholar stood up and called out: “The servants of the island hosts are skillful; they can easily defeat the heroes in the central plains. If the two islands hosts want the martial arts world to rule then it will be as easy as pie. I don’t understand why have we all gathered here? When I came to this island then I already knew that I won’t return back from this island but I am having this doubt in my heart for such a long time and it will be great injustice if I die without knowing the truth. The two island hosts, please enlightening me and open this mental block, this question is bugging me down to death.”
Actually everyone in that hall was having the same thoughts but no one spoke these words because they thought other will think of him as inferior but deep in their heart they were now anxious to hear the answer. They all looked at the two island hosts with great anticipation.
Long Daozhu said with a smile: “’West gate lives first’ does not need to be too modest.”
As soon as the numerous guests listened these words, they all turned their head to look that that scholarly person as if by prior agreement and thought: “Is this the same person who shocked the martial art world about 20 years ago, “the west region scholar” or “west region acme of perfection”? Looking at him, he doesn’t look more than 40 years old but more than 20 years ago, he killed the seven tyrants of North Shanxi by his palm and incited the eight stockades of the Hubei region within three days. However he was already about 40 at that time but he still looked the same age so people were really confused if this is the same person or not but they were unaware that there was someone else in the martial art world with the same name and also with the same scholarly look.”
They only heard Long Daozhu saying: “West region scholar”, you had executed seven tyrants with your palm and the eight strongholds ......” (Everyone thought: so he is the same person) “......I and brother Mu have admired you for such a long time; we don’t dare to be impolite.”
The west region scholar said: “Does not dare; that was way back in the past and was such a minor matter. I might have flaunted crazily in the central plains for a while but here it will be a similar to a novices trick in front of island hosts.”
Long Daozhu said: “West gate lived first is too modest. Your Excellency asked just now that what are the desires of us two people, I will explain to you but first you have to start eating this gruel of ‘broken heart eclipse bone spoiled heart grass' while it is hot. Everybody please first sip the gruel and then I will tell in detail.”
Shi Potian listened to these two people talking politely and using numerous idioms, he didn’t understood half of them but he was getting hungry and was suppressing it for some time. Once the gruel was served in front of him, he wanted to start eating but waited for others to do so. However once Long Daozhu said to start eating then he immediately took the gruel bowl and started eating. At first the smell of the gruel was really irritating him but once he put the gruel in his mouth, it wasn’t as bad and in fact he like it and immediately finished off the bowl upside down.
Some people thought: “This boy does not know the immensity of heaven and earth, this person flaunts his temporary boldness and looks like a stubborn person. He will be soon knocking the Gate of Death if he continues to do so.”
Some thought: “Anyway we are going to die, at least this young hero is not afraid, and he is like a fresh breeze in this closed underground hall.”
Bai Zizai cheered: “Wonderful! Husband of my granddaughter from snow mountain sect is not ordinary.” He still thought that his sect was the best sect among all the various sects in this world. So he mentioned Shi Potian and his sect both in the same line.
lets fight. when will the final fights begin? waiting......
When Bai Zizai left the Ling Xiao city after fighting with Grandma Shi, he was deeply frustrated. He believed these words his entire life: “the leader of the snow mountain sect “power and virtue gentleman” is easily the best swordsman in the world through the ages, his internal strength is the best, his skills in the concealed weapons is the best, he is a big hero and chivalrous person, a great master of profound learning and integrity”.
When he saw the skill of the servant who was simply pouring wine, at first he too was amazed but then thought perhaps these people have deliberately planted a high martial art exponent in disguise of servant and it might not be necessarily true that the martial art of island of heroes is best in the world.
He saw Shi Potian does not caring about the poison in the gruel and said “Husband of my granddaughter from snow mountain sect” and was quite self-satisfied by him and the heroic spirit rushed in his heart too. He also took the gruel bowl immediately and started eating it and finished it in flash.
He thought: “All the people in this hall did not dare to eat this gruel, only I and this boy have the courage to eat it, what kind of a heroic people are these fellows?” But he immediately remembered: “I am the second person of who has eaten this gruel, even if I am a heroic person still I am actually the world second greatest. They should remove the characters “big hero” from my title. He cannot help but was again greatly depressed and thought: “Since after eating this poisonous gruel, anyway we are going to die so why not drink first and die? Now since I have become the “world’s second best”, it’s actually is quite dull.”
He was lost in his own thought and regrets and didn’t hear the words of Long Daozhu.
Long Daozhu said: “About forty years ago, I and brother Mu became friends, we wanted to collaborate in the martial art realm to punish the wicked and help the good people but unexpectedly we have to leave martial art realm. We actually discovered a map; in that map there were the details and location of a nameless desert island and an earthshaking martial art secret ......”
Xie Wenbao inserted with a sneer: “This obviously was island of heroes, how can it be a nameless desert island?”
The old man who has flicked his sleeve to keeps off the gruel bowl shouted: “Brother Xie, Please don’t break the thread of conversation of Long Daozhu.”
Xie Wenbao said resentfully: “You are desperate to flatter; he will not necessarily forgive your life.”
That old man got angry and took the bowl of meat gruel and ate it in one breath. Once he completed the bowl, he said: “Your and I have crossed each other for half a lifetime, do you still remember when you used to call Zheng Guangzhi elder brother?”
Xie Wenbao said with great regret: “Eldest brother, I have made a mistake; little brother will accompany you to nether world.”
He knelt down immediately and kowtowed in front of him thrice and then took the bowl of meat gruel from the table and finished it off in one breath. Zheng Guangzhi came and hugged him and said: “Brother, you and I became sworn brothers in the past; we swore that we were not born on same month and same day in the same year but will die on same month and same day in the same year. This vow actually is really difficult to fulfill but today we get the opportunity, at least our vow was not in vain.”
Two people embraced each other and were actually both happy and also sad at the same time and burst into tears.
Shi Potian heard him saying that “we were not born on same month and same day in the same year but will die on same month and same day in the same year” and cannot restrain himself and looked at Zhang San and Li Si.
Zhang San and Li Si looked at each other to smile and then turned their head towards the island hosts. Long Daozhu and Mu Daozhu nodded slightly. Zhang San and Li Si both carried a bowl of meat gruel and went to Shi Potian and said: “Brother, please!”
Shi Potian hurriedly said: “No, no! Two elder brothers, you do not need to accompany me with dying. I only ask you to look after A’Xiu......”
Zhang San said with a smile: “Brother, we swore brotherhood; we said that day that we will share happiness and sorrow together so actually we are lucky to be here with you too. You had already eaten the meat gruel; we are the elder brother so how can we not eat it?” As he was saying these words, Zhang San and Li Si both started eating bowl of meat gruel respectively. After they finished the gruel, they turned around and bowed to the two island host and then returns to their original ranks.
The numerous guests saw Zhang San and Li Si to worry about Shi Potian and as a sworn brother accompanying Shi Potian to eat the gruel and were really shocked. They understood however that it was really difficult to outrun the predestined time of death and after watching Zheng Guangzhi and Xie Wenbao reconciling.
Bai Zizai thought: “The character of these two people envoys of Command and punishment can be said as variant. If my sworn brothers have taken some violent poison then would I have worried about the righteousness of vow to my sworn brother and would I have accompanied him to his death?” As he thought these words, he cannot help but felt great hesitation and confusion regarding what he might have done.
Suddenly he thought: “Since I have this moment of hesitation, even if I finally decide to die still those words “big chivalrous person”…these three characters should be removed from my title…what a shame.”
They only heard Zhang San saying: “Brother, here some guest do not like the taste of this eight meat gruel probably, if you like then you may even eat several bowls.” Shi Potian was a person of good appetite and was hungry for half of the day; a bowl of meat gruel was insufficient to satisfy his hunger so he thought that he has already eaten one bowl, what’s the harm in eating some more so he looked around for people offering him more gruel.
Nearby several people saw him looking for gruel and hurriedly came to him carrying their bowl. Someone said: “This gruel smell is too nauseous, I cannot drink. Young hero, please eat it, this way our host will also won’t feel bad.” They saw with their own eyes that Shi Potian stretched his pair of hands and took a bowl. People were afraid that Zhang San might renege on his words and they will lose this good opportunity so they hurriedly put the gruel bowl on the table of Shi Potian.
Shi Potian said: “Many thanks!” he took two bowls and finished it off in one go.
Man. They are really building up the tension with this gruel! I wanna know the secret!!
Abhay - thanks so much for this translation.. i am enjoying this story immensely
Love these fast updates.
I was going through "Xia Ke Xing" withdrawal during the Indian holiday... but you came back so quickly and gave such great updates. I'm getting my cravings sated.
Keep up the great translations.
Just woke up... don't mind having a bowl myself for breakfast... Thanks Abhay!
This Bai Zizai is really some grumpy old, self-centered lunatic. It's a wonder that he could last until this old!
Long Daozhu smiled and nodded, he said: “Brother Xie has said well, on the map that nameless desert island was indeed this island of heroes however the name of island of heroes was given to it by me and Brother Mu once we arrived in the island. It was a little arrogant of us to two people to overstep one's authority and posing as heroes but there is another reason which you will know later. We followed the instructions in the map and searched for this location and finally after 18 days we managed to find that martial art secret. Originally this martial art was in form of some ancient poetic verses and pictorial illustrations; the meaning was extremely abstruse and profound. We two brothers were extremely glad and didn’t care much and started practicing according to the pictorial illustrations.”
“Oh! How can we know that our good fortune turned to disaster? We two people studied for several months but our martial art showed no improvement and we had certain disagreement. I said that we should follow one method to practice and Brother Mu thought that my idea has some flaw and should practice in some other way. We two people argued for several days and it was pretty hard to convince the opposite party throughout, so we agreed to disagree and immediately started practicing separately and thought that we will verify afterwards who is right and who is wrong. After having practiced more than half a year, we two people begin to doubt our approach, whenever we were looking for solutions, it actually led to another question and much to the amazement of we two people ….actually….actually....”
He spoke in a very low voice and in a very low-spirited tone and stopped talking. Mu Daozhu sighed and looked at him but didn’t say anything.
After a long period of time, Long Daozhu said: “Originally we two people practiced incorrectly!”
The numerous guests listened these words and were shocked. They thought that the martial art of their apprentice Zhang San and Li Si is so high so naturally they might also have superb martial art skills. Various people were already familiar with the amazing internal strength of these two envoys so they were expecting that the internal energy of both island hosts would be immeasurably deep. The study of internal energy is a lot different from normal martial art involving palm and feet, if there is a slight mistake then the person will suffer severe injury. The more the profound internal strength, the result would be more disastrous for even a small mistake, a person can immediately get killed.
They only listened to the Long Daozhu saying: “We two people detected the mistake but didn’t stopped practicing right away and debated the analysis mutually to study truth. The intelligence of us two people too bad, after some time we were not able to properly understand the pictorial illustrations too as those illustrations were far too abstruse, We studied diligently again for several months relentlessly.
In this time, some pirate ship drifted in towards this island, my brother and I killed three bandit chiefs. We conducted separate trials and executed all the evil doers on the ship one by one and coerced other people on the ship to stay in the island.
We also discussed that since we are only following the pictorial illustrations but are not studying the ancient poetic verses so we might need some help to understand this martial art skill. We were now practicing for two years, as they say the first impressions are most lasting. We thought that we have made a mistake to consider only the pictorial illustrations but ignoring the poetic verses so we decided to receive several disciples and let them think. We both selected six disciples from the people in ship who were literate and intelligent by mental disposition but with average martial art skills. We taught them separately but didn’t pass on the internal strength knowledge but directed their skill at swordsmanship and then sent them to study the poetic verses.
Afterwards the three disciples of mine and the three disciple of Brother Mu studied those verses and came back and told about their meaning. There was no doubt among those people that all of them gave similar explanations. We two people discussed again carefully that this pictorial illustrations and came to conclusion that these have been based on Li Taibai's ancient poetry. We are the uncouthly people from martial art realm and have limited knowledge of literature and were much inferior to the well-versed scholars who are skilled in the poetry and art. It came to our understanding that to understand this martial art, one has to be proficient in not only martial art skills but also in literary skills. Therefore I and Brother Mu came to the central plains and spent one year here and receives four disciples respectively. Each one of them was well versed with the poetry books and was Confucian scholars, perhaps had some poetic talent or was famous littérateur.”
He pointed at the 7-8 disciples standing in black cloths and said: “I have to pretty candid about the fact that if these disciples took an examination, then it would be as easy as a pie for them to get selected for the Hanlin academy (academic and administrative institution founded in eighth century Tang dynasty, these were elite group of scholars, who performed secretarial and literary tasks for the court).
In the beginning when they arrives at the island of heroes, they were is not necessarily forced to study martial art skills too but they studied martial art also to get better understanding of the verses and illustrations and have whole-heartedly remained here. They thought that studying martial arts is by far better then serving as an official.”
Numerous guests listened to him saying: “Studying martial arts is by far better then serving as an official” and couldn’t agree more to his words and nodded at the same.
Long Daozhu also said: “But these eight famous littérateur have all come from different family backgrounds and places and after going through the verses and illustrations they all had different insights. I and brother Mu actually discussed these different theories but we were not convinced and couldn’t agree on any one approach conclusively and instead we two people got more and more confused.
“We were unable to find a way to understand and properly identify our next step and were extremely worried. If we decide to abandon and let it go then all these effort would be wasted.
Suddenly Brother Mu had an idea, he said: “In the martial art world, whenever people speak of the essence of martial art study, they always look up to the leader of the Shaolin temple, wondrous truth master, why not we ask him to come to advice?”
I said: “The wondrous truth master lives in seclusion for tens of years and don’t take much interest in the worldly affair, I am afraid that he will accept our invitation.”
Brother Mu said: Why not we transcribe those twelve illustrations and deliver to Shaolin Temple and ask him to glance? If the wondrous truth master ignores then also that place is good enough for that illustrations and we don’t have to be afraid that it will fall in wrong hands and we brothers do not need to pay attention to this nuisance again.”
I said: “This idea is great; we might as well make two copies and deliver it to Mt. Wudang to Taoist priest Yu Chadao. Shaolin and Wudang are the most famous two schools of martial art in the realm and it go without saying that these two are the most skilled people currently in the martial art realm and their distinguished opinion might be really helpful.”
“We two people drew the replica of poetic verses and pictorial illustrations; we drew the pictorial illustrations in first chart and nearby copied the verses and made sure not to omit a single word and went to deliver these to Shaolin Temple personally.
As I was quite honest earlier too that we were extremely glad when we two people discovered this ancient poetry and pictorial illustrations and only wanted to study ourselves. We wouldn’t have even considered to share this secret with even a third person in the martial art world but the more we studied the more we got engrossed and even after relentless efforts we were not able to understand it so we made up mind to go to Shaolin Temple with this rare book. We actually reached to a position that we were ready to share the book with the entire world only if someone can solve this enigma.
After we reached Shaolin Temple, I and Brother Mu sealed that book in an envelope and asked the monk in charge of reception of visitors to submit it to the wondrous truth master. In the beginning that monk was not willing. He said that the wondrous truth master is living in seclusion for many years and we do not send any message to him from bystanders. We two people then respectively took the futon and blocked the Shaolin Temple's front door and sat there for seven days and seven nights and did not let the Buddhist priest to come in and go out. The monk in charge of reception of visitors was helpless and finally agreed to hand over that letter.”
The numerous guests thought: “He said these words pretty lightly but blocking the front entrance of Shaolin Temple for seven days and nights is seriously easier said than done? In this period who knows they would have passed through many fierce struggles with several highly skilled opponents. The Shaolin monks were unable to drive out them so they agreed to give his letter.”
Long Daozhu continued and said: “After that monk in charge of reception of visitors received the envelope, we stood up and left Shaolin Temple and waited in a small inn near the mountain foot. We have not waited for even a half hour when wondrous truth master rushed in and only asked: “where?”
Brother Mu said: “We must also to another person.”
The wondrous truth master said: “good, then lets us get Yu Chadao!”
“Three people arrived on Mt. Wudang, the wondrous truth master said: “I am the Shaolin Temple’s wondrous truth, I have to see Taoist priest Yu Chadao.”
They do not have to wait for the notification and rushed in. the reputation of the Shaolin Temple’s wondrous truth master was such that no Wudang disciples dared to detain. We two people followed after him. The wondrous truth master arrived in the room and immediately opened that manual and gave it to the Taoist priest. Yu Chadao looked at the pictorial illustrations and then the poetic verses and did not say a word and then turned around to walk. We were pleasantly surprised by this behavior of Taoist priest Yu Chadao and we all came back to island of heroes.
Wondrous truth master was adept in Shaolin martial arts and all sort of unsurpassed artistries, Yu Chadao wielded the sword like a god, these two were apex characters in the martial arts world and everyone recognized them. They arrived in the island and then started studying the verses and illustrations. In the first month, they mostly had same ideas with some minor differences but by second month the difference started growing significantly. By the third month, the situation actually went out of control and these two highly skilled master actually had a big dispute over the interpretation of the illustrations and verses and even ......even, oh! It began unexpectedly.”
The various guests were all surprised and then someone asked: “Did these two people of great martial art skills decided to resolve their dispute by a duel…who actually won and who was defeated?”
Long Daozhu said: “Wondrous truth master and Taoist priest Yu Chadao both used their own understanding of the verses and illustrations to fight. They fought up to fifth move and realized that they are actually using similar moves but from sixth moves onwards there were subtle differences. So sometimes they fought and then rested and again fight. This went on for several months and the two people kept on reading the verses and illustrations and fought using their interpretation. Sometimes they both used similar moves and some times there were startling difference however it is pretty difficult for us two brothers to say who was better or inferior.
I and Brothers Mu discussed in detail and came to conclusion that this martial art is broad and profound, it was so difficult for even the wondrous truth master and Taoist Yu Chadao to understand and master this skill so we should contact people of high martial art skills and ask them to look at these verses and illustration and try to comprehend the meaning. As the saying goes "Three smelly tanners can surpass Zhuge Liang". We should invite the numerous heroes from the martial art realm who was well versed in different skills and will ask them to look at these.
In the meantime we found that this “broken heart eclipse bone spoiled heart grass” had blossomed exactly at that time. If this grass is used properly and mixed with proper herbs and then cooked down as a hot gruel then it benefits the martial art exponent greatly therefore we sent two people as our envoy to invite the famous masters of the sects and schools to come to this island of heroes and request them to help us to found the solution and interpret the meaning of these verse and illustration and also to eat the meat gruel. Once they have eaten the gruel then I ask them to have a look at the verses and give their views.”
As he said these words, various people looked at each other in blank dismay, half believing and half doubting and the complexion of everyone look totally confused.
For half of the day no one said anything then Ding Busi asked loudly: “So it means that you have really invited everyone to eat the meat gruel and your intension was pure and good.”
Long Daozhu said: “To say that our intension is good is not necessarily true. I and brother Mu are a bit selfish in our heart, we only hope that the great martial art experts from numerous sects and schools can give their insight and help us solve this puzzle which is bugging our life for such a long time and also help to put the study of martial art to the next level but if you mean that we have any intension to hurt any one of numerous honored guest then please be at ease. We certainly have no such intension.”
Ding Busi sneered and said: “How can you say these kinds of words in front of everyone and believe that you can deceive people just like that? If a person doesn’t accept your invitation to come to eat this gruel and help you study this martial art secret then why do you kill those people? You not only kill them but kill their entire family or even the entire sect. Do you think that this is your way of treating people in such an overbearing manner exudes your good intension?
Long Daozhu nodded and clapped twice. He said: “Bring the account books of Command of reward and punishment.”
Then eight disciples came inside the hall and everyone held a pack of account books, each pack was at least two feet high.
Long Daozhu said: “Distribute it among the honored guests.” The numerous disciples took the account books and delivered it to various heroes. The name of some sects or school was written on the top of each account books.
Ding Busi looked at one book and saw the characters written on top “The Ding family”. He cannot help but was startled in his heart and thought: “The movement of us brothers is really unusual, this island of heroes is such out-of-way desert island, totally isolated from the martial art realm, how are they aware of so much news about our family.”
He turned over the pages and saw the notes that on some day on some month on some year Ding Busan had done this thing and on some day on some month on some year Ding Busi had done that. Although it didn’t covered everything but still all the big and significant incidents of their life in past 20 years was captured in the book.
A stream of sweat started streamed across him as Ding Busi looked at his book, he stole a glance and looked at other people, in fact everyone was looking distressed and everyone’s complexion turned pale. Only Shi Potian was still eating more gruel and did not pay any attention to the book which had “Clan of eternal happiness” inscribed in its front, actually no one knew about his character at all so nothing was written regarding him.
Long Daozhu suddenly said: “So everyone is enjoying the account books of the Command of reward and punishment.” The disciples took back the account books separately.
Long Daozhu said with a smile: “My brother sends some of his subordinates to inquire about the news in the martial art world. By no means are they prying in our friends' privacy but whatever they learn, they simply write it down. Every single person or school or sects who are exterminated by the island of heroes is guilty of the most heinous crime and no one can say that he doesn’t deserve it. Although we do not dare to say that we are enforcing the justice on behalf of Heaven, however the right or wrong and good or evil is ascertain and then only we act.
I and Brother Mu already live in this island of heroes; the actions we take must always be to do the right thing and should protect the integrity of the character “Hero”. We only hate that the island of heroes is limited and we cannot completely execute the evil person in all over the world. Everybody please carefully remember when we have killed a sect or a family who were good and chivalrous people and upheld justice. Just because we have sent the bronze medal invitation to you doesn’t mean that island of heroes wants to exterminate you too.”
People remained silent for half of the day and nobody answered.
Long Daozhu said: “Therefore we kill the people then actually this is the punishment which he deserves ......”
Bai Zizai sneered and said suddenly: “In Tongzhou, Hebei province, Master pugilist Nie Laozi was not wicked person, why did you kill his whole family?”
Long Daozhu extracts a book and threw it towards Bai Zizai gently and said: “Power and virtue gentleman please look.” That notebook flew to Bai Zizai really slowly. Bai Zizai puts out his hand as soon as he threw but unexpectedly that account book suddenly crashed fiercely just a couple of two feet in front of his fingers.
Bai Zizai put out a hand to hurriedly catch account book before it fell on the gruel bowl and made a hash of catching a book. Once he got the account books suddenly it dawned to him that: “This person shoots a several pages thick book such conveniently, the incoming speed is really slow but the strength and vigor is extremely unpleasant and unpredictable. They should also remove the words “skills in the concealed weapons are the best” from my title. The skill of these people is really as in fables, the so-called “fly to attack the enemy, to pick the leaf to offend somebody” things are achieved by them. The strength of hand and the projection speed of concealed weapon are pretty difficult to judge and to evade.”
He saw the words “Nie family from Hebei, Tongzhou” and turned on the pages. He was shocked to learn that “On second day of fifth month, Nie Zongtai raped and killed two people in Cangzhou and shifted the blame on black tiger stronghold bandits and thieves”. Another incident was mentioned in other paged: “On seventeenth day of tenth month, Nie Zongfeng wounded the eldest son of official Liu Wen in the Jinan province and on the same night killed the entire 13 people of the Liu family to eliminate a potential informant.” Nie Zongtai and Nie Zongfeng are the sons of Nie Laozi and he was aware of these incidents but he unexpectedly did not tried to stop them or told anyone about these incidents.
Bai Zizai hesitated and said: “These matters can’t be verified, I did not know that if it is really false or true. I do not dare saying that two hosts are intentionally slaughtering the innocents but I am afraid that in some instances the disciples of island of heroes might have listened to wrong criticism or information also.”
Zhang San said suddenly: “Power and virtue gentleman does not believe then please have a look at this thing.” As he was saying these words, he turned around and came back immediately, raised his right hand and threw an account books to Bai Zizai. The account book flew to him and dipped at the last moment just as earlier but Bai Zizai was ready for this and noted that his technique and Long Daozhu was not different. He puts out a hand to take up and obtained the book but felt that the power with which he has thrown the book was much less compared to Long Daozhu.
Bai Zizai and Nie Laozi were well acquainted in their youth and he recognized the handwriting immediately, he saw that this book was really in Nie Laozi’s own handwriting and had records of several of his monetary communications and on the top of it were written characters “may kill”, this account was: “On 8th bought the 83 Chinese acres of land in Zhoujia Village at the price 72.”
Bai Zizai thought: “This much money must have bought only about 80 Chinese acres of fields, this field was bought too cheaply, had he used some kind of intimidation or influence to buy in such cheap rates.”
He also looked at another account, on its top were “has been possible to kill” written, the account was: “on 15th, received 2520 silvers from the Tongzhou magistrate.”
Bai Zizai thought: “Nie Laozi was a chivalrous person from martial art world, why is he receiving money from the government authorities', was he colluding with the corrupt officials, he gave the impression that he was kindhearted but was making dishonorable deals.”
He turned over the page with “may kill” these two characters written over more than 50-60 pages, he understood that this red ink two characters were information obtained by Zhang San or Li Si and cannot help but closed the book and said with a deep sigh: “One can be intimate to a person but cannot understand what is underneath the surface! This Nie Laozi was killed deservedly. If I surnamed Bai would have seen this book earlier that even if island of heroes might have shown mercy to him but I would have killed his entire family.”
As he said these words he stood but and went to the envoys of Command of reward and punishment and held the book by both hands and said: “Admires, really admires!”
He turned his head to look at both island hosts and admired their sentiment and thought in his heart: “the people from island of heroes are not only outstanding in martial arts but their conduct is also thorough and they uphold the justice. Although I don’t know much about the rewarding the punishment but punishing the wicked will be entirely appropriate for me too. Although my snow mountain sect has numerous disciples but I don’t have a single disciple who is as talented as Zhang San or Li Si… Oh…”big master of great learning and integrity” these three characters should also be removed from my title or I will be ashamed for the rest of my life.”
Long Daozhu understood that Bai Zizai is ashamed to voice his concern about Nie family so he said with a smile: “Power and virtue gentleman, please sit down. You have been in the western region for such a long time and had not been aware of this beast in human’s clothing and other incidents in central plains, it’s not really surprising.”
Bai Zizai nodded and returned back to his place.
thanks for the translation
Wow, Mr. Abhay.
You are the Lord of Translation.
THank you very much for these long ones.
Ding Busi said loudly: “This means that island of heroes have killed all the people in past couple of dozen of years, they all deserve the punishment and the one who accepted the invitation were only invited to study and interpret this big martial art secret.”
Long Daozhu nodded and said: “Yes!”
Ding Busi said: “Why is it then the heroes who have arrived to the island of the heroes have not unexpectedly returned home? There is not a shred of information about their well being. It is said that they are all dead.”
Long Daozhu shook his and said: “Master Ding this is funny! You have heard some kind of a roadside rumor, how can you completely believe it?”
Ding Busi said: “According to Long Daozhu, then these martial arts exponents are all alive and haven't died? Ha…ha, its laughable… laughable.”
Long Daozhu also had a good laugh and said: “Ha…ha, laughable… laughable?”
Ding Busi asked: “Why are you laughing?”
Long Daozhu said with a smile: “Master Ding is my island’s honored guest. If master Ding said that something is laughable then I have to agree with him, isn’t it?”
Ding Busi said: “In 30 years, about 200-300 people might have arrived at island of heroes to eat that meat gruel, Long Daozhu said unexpectedly that they were still in good health, how could it not be laughable?”
Long Daozhu said: “Mortal people all have a natural lifespan; the predestined time of death can’t be altered. I didn’t say that nobody died but what I meant was that no one was killed by people in island of heroes.”
Ding Busi didn’t think much and asked hurriedly: “I actually want to inquire about a person who it is said came to island of heroes. Some female named ...... named Fanggu, I heard about 20 years ago that she arrived in the island of heroes, is she in good health?”
Long Daozhu said: “What is this female’s surname? How old is she? Is she the leader of some sect or school?”
Ding Busi said: “Surname......That I do not know…maybe surnamed Ding ......”
That woman with veiled face squawked and said: “Is his natural daughter. This girl may be with Ding surname or she might be with her mother’s surname, she might be called Mei Fanggu.”
The face of Ding Busi turned red and he said: “Heh heh, surnamed Mei …surnamed Mei, actually I don’t have much information about her ….she ......She might be roughly 40 years old ......”
That female said in sharp voice: “What roughly 40 years old? She is 39 years old.”
Ding Busi said: “Good, good, she is 39 years old. She is not the leader of any sect or school but she had studies the plum blossom fist, in fact is the first disciple of plum blossom fist and I reckon she might have come to island of heroes.”
Mu Daozhu shook his head and said: “Plum blossom fist? No... no…she doesn’t have the necessary qualifications.”
That woman with veiled face said in sharp voice: “Why doesn't plum blossom fist have the qualifications? I ......Hasn't I received your invitation for this feast and those bronze medals?”
Mu Daozhu shook his head and said: “You didn’t get the invitation for the plum blossom fist.”
Long Daozhu said: “Mei Nuzi, my brother Mu is usually very succinct and does not talks a lot…you can say he is a bit inarticulate. He meant that we have not invited you to the island of heroes for you family’s plum blossom fist but because of you’re the set of swordsmanship which you have newly created in past two years.”
That woman surnamed Mei asked: “My newly created swordsmanship, nobody has seen it yet, how did you know?” her voice was very incisively grating, her tone was coarse and was really uncomfortable for the listeners.
Long Daozhu showed a faint smile and pointed at two disciples. One disciple was in yellow clothes and other in dark green clothes stepped forward immediately and bowed in front of him.
Long Daozhu said: “You two, give a demonstration of this new set of swordsmanship created by Mei Nuzi and why do not ask her for pointers.”
Two disciples said: “Yes.”
They went near to the empty space close to the wall. The person in yellow clothes took out an iron sword; the person in dark green clothes took out a soft whip. The one in yellow clothes bowed in front of Mei Nuzi and said: “Mei Nuzi, please instruct in case I make a mistake.”
He immediately took the posture and then started making various vertical and horizontal strikes. In the hall various heroes from the martial art world had seen all kinds of martial art techniques and fights. The moves of the person in the dark green cloths looked familiar but one in yellow cloths was using some unusual moves and a new set of swordsmanship.
That female does not find it that amusing and said: “This may be wonderful…this may be wonderful! When you do peep?”
Shi Potian looked at several moves and thought: “This person in yellow clothes is good but is that person in dark green clothes is using the Jinlong whip technique of Ding Busi grandpa”
At the same moment he heard the sound of Ding Busi: “Hey….you created this set of swordsmanship to counter my Jinlong whip technique, what was your intention?”
That person in dark green cloths was indeed using the Jinlong whip technique but his every gesture and attack was restrained by the person in yellow cloths using the sword technique of Mei Nuzi. That woman with veiled face sneered but did not reply.
Ding Busi got angrier and shouted loudly: “you wanted to create a sword technique to counter my Jinlong whip technique, I am afraid you failed.”
As he spoke these words, he saw the person in yellow clothes using the sword made a very cunningly and strange move, it was menacing and at the same time ruthless, a little crass and of low quality, certainly does not resemble the grace of any famous expert or style.
Ding Busi called out: “Nonsense, nonsense! What kind of swordsmanship is that? Bah, this is the vixen swordsmanship.” In his heart cannot help but was secretly startled: “If the opposite party uses this kind of moves then he was afraid that he will be in difficult position.” However this kind of a move was sinister strategic move and actually can only be used as a sneak attack and is not suitable for uprightly and fair fights; although under his heart Ding Busi was surprised but was actually also secretly happy and thought: “This kind of sneak attack is a strategic move, if someone acts on it and could have caught me unawares but now I know about this attack so the surprise factor is gone and I just have to keep a eye open for these kind of attacks. This technique is kind of heretical but after all it won’t be that difficult to handle.”
Fan Yifei, Lu Zhengping and Gao San Niangzi had once fought with Ding Busi and suffered against his golden whip. When they saw with their own eyes that this set of Jinlong whip technique was incessantly resisted by the sword technique of Mei Nuzi and were extremely happy and could not restrain themselves and cheered loudly.
Ding Busi got angry: “What good is it?”
Fan Yifei said with a smile: “this is the famous Jinlong whip technique of Ding Busi”
Gao San Niangzi said with a smile: “Jinlong whip technique is wonderful. I am really getting mad…this is so awesome!” She kept on calling these characters “I am getting mad, it’s awesome”. Ding Busi understood that she is trying to provoke him and cause trouble.
The person in dark green clothes made a set of Jinlong whip moves and moved the whip in a circular manner suddenly. Then the person in yellow made the move to attack him. The person in dark- green clothes could mange to avoid his attack and had to let go his whip and took the stance to fight empty-handed.
Shi Potian looked at this move and exclaimed: “Ahhh….this move really seizes the whip adeptly.” Originally the person in dark-green clothes made a set of Ding family palm moves called “phoenix tail”, “tiger fingernail”, “beautiful woman picks up needle” and “demon to lock throat” and so on. Dingdang had taught him these on the long river boat.
Ding Busi got angry, said loudly: “Mei Nuzi, tell me, what are your intentions? This ......This ......Isn't this bewildering?” In his heart, naturally he knew that this female surnamed Mei had deliberately planed to retaliate against him for his thoughtless sex with her sister at first and then later her abandonment.
He saw with his own eyes that person in yellow cloths was resisting the Ding fist and foot martial art moves by his swordsmanship, he was really mean and could have picked up either his abdomen, or could have gouged his eyes or poked on his buttocks but person in green clothes was admirably resisting him. Suddenly, the person in yellow clothes made a horizontal sword swipe, the person in green clothes jumps back to fend. The person in yellow clothes threw his iron sword and used his hands to grasp the pharynx and larynx of person in dark green clothes.
Ding Busi called out in alarm: “Oh!” As if his own throat is in the hands of the other person. His heart was jumping madly and his Jinlong whip technique was ingeniously defeated by this woman.
Both disciples let loose one another and bowed in front of Ding Busi and Mei Nuzi and asked: “We ask elder Ding and Mei Nuzi for advice on our demonstration.” They both greeted the two island hosts and then picked up the iron sword and drew back into the original ranks.
That woman surnamed Mei said: “You have managed to learn about 70-80% of this sword skill secretly without my help, this is admirable but it ….”
Ding Busi said in anger: “This kind of a martial art skill does not need any improvement, such lowly skills and ungraceful underhand tricks don’t need refinement, this scandalous, what is so difficult to study?”
Bai Zizai said provokingly: “What scandal? You surnamed Ding, if you had suddenly met someone with this sword skill then you would have been thrown in confusion and by this time you might have 7-8 holes in your body.”
Ding Busi said in anger: “You should try then.”
Bai Zizai said: “In brief, you are not an eligible rival of Mei Nuzi now. She can nip this throat of yours in a matter of time. Even if your ability is ten times strong still you won’t be able to evade.”
That woman surnamed Mei said in harsh voice: “Who wanted you to flatter? Tell me how will I and Shi Xiaocui compare?”
Bai Zizai said: “You fall far too short in comparison to her. My wife is not here in person and hasn’t come to island of heroes but here….that boy is my granddaughter's husband, you can compare your skills with him”
Shi Potian said: “I have already seen, we do not need to compare our skills.”
That female surnamed Mei asked: “Are you Shi Xiaocui’s disciple?”
Shi Potian said: “Yes.”
That female said: “Then how are you his granddaughter's husband? Are you a bastard or what?”
Shi Potian said: “Yes, I am bastard (Gouzazhong).”
That female could not restrain herself and laughed at him loudly.
Mu Daozhu said in a loud voice: “Enough!” Although he said only this word but his voice was really impressive and totally drowned the voice of Mei Nuzi and she stopped laughing immediately.
Long Daozhu said: “Mei Nuzi, this set of swordsmanship gives the devil his due and is not inferior to the Ding martial art technique. However Mei Nuzi had been innovative and created this set of sword skills so obviously she is a natural talent and is clever. Some of the move in your technique are really ingenious and cleverly thought that is why we have invited you to island of heroes and hope that you can find some meaning in those ancient poetic verses and illustrations. As for the plum blossom fist, you have already inherited it so it doesn’t matter much.”
Mei Nuzi said: “So as you mentioned, Mei Fanggu never arrived at the island of heroes?”
Long Daozhu shook his head and said: “No.”
Mei Nuzi sat dejected but actually muttered: “My elder sister ......When my elder sister was at the point of death, she missed her daughter a lot ......”
Long Daozhu said to the disciple on his the right: “You give her that account book.”
That disciple said: “Yes.” He turns around and came up with several books, he turned several pages and then pointed his fingers at a line of character and started reading in clear and loud voice: “The first disciple of Plum blossom fist, Mei Fanggu, father is surnamed Ding, namely Ding ......(He read here Busi but talked ambiguously, so that people don’t clearly knew that Ding Busi was in fact her father and tried to save him from embarrassment) ......Since childhood she lived along with her mother but when she was 18 years old ......After that she lives in seclusion in Yuxi Lushi east of Mt. Xionger.”
Ding Busi and Mei Nuzi also stood up and said with one voice: “Is she is in Mt. Xionger? How did you know?”
That disciple said: “I did not know, it’s written in this book.”
Ding Busi said: “I did not know…then who will know…how is it written on this book then?”
Long Daozhu said: “The Island of heroes has no talents; we just want to defend the justice in martial arts world and take it as our duty to punish the wicked and reward the good. We just keep an eye on the proceedings of the martial arts world and various people and maintain a detailed record to refer in future.”
That female surnamed Mei said: “So that's how it is. Mei Fanggu… she ......She is at Mt. Xiaonger.”
She got really happy and turned to look at Ding Busi but only saw him looking really dejected and low-spirited, she heaved a deep sigh. That female surnamed Mei also gently sighed. Two people knew that although they had learned the whereabouts of Mei Fanggu but they won’t be able to see her in this life.
<End of chapter -19>
Chapter 20 is tough...I am totally out of depth...lots of obscure poetic verse and some kind of martial art thoeries....
Thinking of completing the entire chapter first and then only posting it...right now the first couple of pages don't make much sense!!
Abhay, if you'd like, you can go ahead and send the poetry/theory parts you're having problems with to me, and I'll do my best with them. I plan to be doing some translation work this weekend, so I'll just take care of it then
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.