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Thread: Xia Ke Xing translation

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ian Liew's Avatar
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    Default Xia Ke Xing translation

    Here is my ambitious attempt at translating Xia Ke Xing. There are quite a few words I can't read, and so even though I can get the main gist of the story, certain things are out of my league, even with the aid of a dictionary, as I'm not very sure how to find certain words. Notable missing bits are the beginning, when the author speaks about Li Bai and the poem Xia Ke Xing, which I haven't a clue how to even start translating. The bit about the village history, and that middle word (which I don't know how to find in the dictionary) is also off, and a few details such as the descriptions of the man in white, the man in black and the tall man, also contained words which escape me, but I don't think they matter much. I apologise if I left out anything important, and for any mistakes and misrepresentations, and if anybody can append to the thread with corrections I'll be very grateful!

    Here's the first 3 pages - it's much harder than I thought...

    Chapter 1
    The Black Steel Symbol (Xuan Tie Ling)

    There was once a small town called Hou Jian Ji, situated twenty miles east of Kaifeng. The town got its name from Hou Cheng, who was once the head of the guards guarding the eastern gate of Da Liang. (this bit is probably completely inaccurate as I can't read some of the words).

    It was almost dusk on this particular day, with the peasants going about their daily business, when suddenly there came the rumble of hoofbeats from the northeast. The sounds were getting closer and closer, and judging from the noise, there were probably around 200 horses in total coming this way. "It's probably the army", guessed some, while others kept saying "get out of the way - when the army horses come, they'll run you over."

    The horses finally arrived, and the hoofbeats slowed down. The whinnying of the horses could be heard in the town centre, and later on the whinnying seemed to come from all over the place, as if the whole town was surrounded. Some people were understandably concerned that these were bandits. "Oh no, it's those damned chaps" groaned one of the peasants. "Not 'chaps'...." cautioned another. "'masters'... but I've never seen this happen in broad daylight, though. How weird."

    He suddenly stopped as four of the horsemen slowly approached him. At the head of the riders was a man dressed in white, carrying a large sabre. "Old peasant!" he called. "Everybody stays where they are... if anybody moves don't blame my sabre for being blind." He then galloped down the road in a western direction, and the noise of those hooves trotting over the ground made the hearts of the peasants jump.

    As he was riding, another seven horses came galloping in from the west side, this time led by a man in black. He wore a hat low over his face, and he ordered "Don't move and everything will be alright. If anybody wants to taste my "sabre noodles" by all means feel free to step forward.". A peasant chuckled and said "I wonder how "sabre noodles" taste like..." he was joking, but before he had finished his sentence one of the riders lashed out with his whip, caught hold of the peasant and dragged him out onto the road with a thump. He then dragged him across the road, and another rider came across and had his horse trample the peasant to death.

    About five or six doors away from all the commotion there stood a vendor hawking fried cakes. The stall had a big wok filled with oil, and a few flour dumplings were simmering in the oil. Hunched over the stall was a white-haired man tending the oil. He rolled up a ball of flour and flattened it into a cake, all the while ignoring the events happening in front of him. Taking some sesame, he scattered it over the top of the cake, and using a pair of tongs, lowered the cake into the wok of boiling oil.

    By this time, the horses had stopped galloping around town. The seven to eight hundred peasants all around the streets were petrified and didn't dare make a sound. Even crying children were hushed by their parents, and all that could be heard was the leather footsteps of a man walking in slowly from the western side.

    This man took his time walking, and to each peasant, each confident pounding step taken felt as if it was taken on their heads. The sun was setting, and the long shadow cast by the man, walking slowly amidst the silence, was enough to make everybody tremble. Only the cake vendor continued with his business, and the man walked right up to the cake stall, stopped, and started looking at the vendor. He then chuckled coldly.

    The vendor looked up, and saw a very tall man with a very fierce look on his face. "Buy a fried cake, sir? Only one coin each." he asked. Using his tongs, he gently selected a cake from the wok and placed it on the wooden tray. "Hand it over!" ordered the tall man, sticking out his hand, and the vendor said "Yes, sir", took the cake from the tray and put it in the hand of the tall man.

    The tall man's eyebrows raised up, and he said "At this stage, you still try to deceive me?" He then threw the cake at the vendor, who dodged it calmly and the cake flew past him, landing on the street behind him. The tall man then produced two hooks from his waist and brandished them wickedly before the vendor. ""Even now you refuse to hand it over? You who are surnamed Wu, do you not know when to give up?" The vendor replied "Sir, I think you made a mistake. My surname is Wang. Old man Wang the cake seller - everybody in Hou Jian Ji knows me." "Damn it" replied the tall man. "We've checked this very carefully. You can change your appearance and hide for a year or two, but you cannot hide forever!"

    The vendor narrowed his eyes, and calmly said "I heard that Bandit Leader An from the Golden Sabre Bandit Camp was a man who stole from the rich and gave to the poor, and most people in the martial arts world when asked would rate him as a "heroic bandit". Why now must he send some underlings to come looking for a humble fried cake seller?" These words were said with confidence and authority, and were spoken slowly and clearly.

    "Wu Daotong!" cried the tall man. "So you're not going to hand it over, are you?" The vendor then changed expression, and his muscles started to tense up, exuding an aura of menace himself. "Since you know my name, and yet you continue to address me without manners... don't you think you're being a bit too brave?" "Only now you know how brave I am?!!" shouted the tall man as he raised his left hook, and using the stroke "The hand arrives and grabs" (shou dao qin lai) hacked down towards Wu Daotong's left shoulder.
    Last edited by Ian Liew; 07-25-03 at 01:38 PM.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for the translation ! I hated the series. I hope this translation will change my mind.

  3. #3

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    Here's the first 3 pages - it's much harder than I thought...
    Welcome to the club.

    But yeah, it's alot harder than people thinks, because it becomes plodding real quick.

    But keep it up, you are doing great.
    春花秋月几时了,
    往事知多少?
    小楼昨夜又东风,
    故国不堪回首明月中.
    雕栏玉砌应犹在,
    只是朱颜改.
    问君能有几多愁,
    恰似一江春水向东流.
    --南唐后主,李煜.

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    Senior Member someguy44's Avatar
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    Ian, chapter one's already been done. I forgot the link, but it's somewhere. Why don't you attempt from chapter 2 onwards?

    Nevermind. It's not the completed chapter I guess.

    But here it is anyway.

    http://www.geocities.com/jinyongnove...hchapter1.html
    Last edited by someguy44; 07-25-03 at 12:37 PM.
    No longer walking amongst the living...

  5. #5

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    BTW, Ian, about that missing word in the middle of the town name. It's Jian. The complete name of the town is Hou Jian Ji.
    春花秋月几时了,
    往事知多少?
    小楼昨夜又东风,
    故国不堪回首明月中.
    雕栏玉砌应犹在,
    只是朱颜改.
    问君能有几多愁,
    恰似一江春水向东流.
    --南唐后主,李煜.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Ian Liew's Avatar
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    Thanks, Moin!

    That'll teach me to read fantizhi books and use jianbizhi dictionaries.. :P

    I'll insert the jian, which also means that I got the job fairly correct, although I still can't read the bit about the name of the mountain and the relevance of Da Liang to the village.

    Thanks for the link, someguy44.. it's interesting to read the translation and see how far wrong I was. Not that far.... although I completely missed the blaring horns. I'm quite sure I'm correct with the peasant being trampled to death and Wu Daotong being male, although Jin Yong might have revised the book at some point.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Ian Liew's Avatar
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    With the help of the link provided by someguy44, this second section wasn't too hard to translate.. (I wouldn't have been able to read the 'Mu" in 'Zhou Mu' if it wasn't for him) I'm quite sure that the book I'm reading and the book read by this original translator are not the same, though.. so many things are different.

    In my book Zhou Mu is not introduced, but rather all of a sudden the book refers to the old man as Zhou Mu, so I added a "The old man," before the first time I translated Zhou Mu, in order to make it clearer as to who he was. Here goes, anyway..


    Chapter 1
    The Black Steel Symbol (cont'd)

    Wu Daotong moved to his right. The tall man's hook sliced through thin air, but with a pivot of his left wrist, brought the hook slicing across towards Wu Daotong's back. Wu Daotong ducked under the slice, and lashed out with his right foot. Kicking his stall, he sent the whole pile of burning coals flying towards the tall man, and at the same time a wok filled with boiling oil flipped in the air towards the tall man's head. The tall man got a big shock and retreated as fast as he could. He managed to avoid the hot coals, but not the splashing oil. With a horrific sound, the boiling oil splashed on his legs, leaving him screaming in agony.

    Wu Daotong braced his legs, leapt into the air and landed on the roof opposite, his hands still holding the tongs which were his tools of trade. Suddenly a flash of green appeared and a single sabre was swinging towards his head. Raising his tongs, Wu Daotong parried the blow. Sparks flew as the blow connected, and Wu Daotong's tongs, although dark and nondescript, were obviously made of a very strong alloy. He fended off the single sabre, and suddenly to his left and right a spear and a pair of twin sabres attacked simultaneously. The enemy had already taken up position on the roof as well. Wu Daotong snorted and yelled out "Shameless, you wish to win by sheer numbers?". He stood up straight, seperated his tongs and parried the spear with his left hand, while the right hand fended off the twin sabres. His tongs had now become a pair of metal brushes - all this while he had concealed his two brushes by using them as tongs.

    Using his brushes, Wu Daotong went on the offensive, aiming for his opponents' pressure points. Despite being outnumbered three to one, he was actually gaining the upper hand. With a cry of "Look!", he thrust his brush at the spear-wielding opponent. With a cry of pain, the man's left leg was struck, and he slowly retreated back down the roof.

    On a roof on the northwest corner of town stood a short, thin old man, hands on his hips, coldly watching the three men fight. With a sudden flash, the man with the single sabre received a kick from Wu Daotong's right leg, and tumbled down the roof onto the streets below. The remaining man with the twin sabres, seeing that he had lost the advantage, held position with his twin sabres in a snow flower stance, ready to concentrate purely on defence.

    The old man slowly approached, and thrust his right index finger at Wu Daotong's left eye. This stroke was lethal, and as Wu Daotong raised a brush to fend off the finger, the finger deftly avoided the brush and switched target to Wu Daotong's throat. Wu Daotong had already committed to his initial stroke and, having no way of changing his stroke to fend off the new attack, took a step back. The old man pressed forward, and thrust his right index finger out again, this time heading for Wu Daotong's stomach. Wu Daotong retaliated by thrusting his right brush at the old man's head. The old man continued forward, and in a flash was within the arms of Wu Daotong, having completely avoided the brush attack. He thrust out two palms, aimed for Wu Daotong's chest. Wu gasped in shock, and immediately stepped back. With a sudden rip the old man had tore off a part of Wu's robe at the chest area. Wu didn't even bother to check if he had actually sustained any injury, but braced himself, and utilising the stroke "Wan Bao Liu He" brought both brushes across in an arc aimed at the old man's temples.

    The old man didn't even bother to dodge, but continued to press forward. With a sickening crunch, both his palms had landed solid blows on Wu Daotong's chest. Several ribs were fractured with this blow.. and Wu Daotong fell from the roof.

    The tall man was standing on the ground below, both legs burned badly by the boiling oil. He was furious with the embarrasment of the initial encounter, but as his legs were injured, he was unable to leap onto the roof to join in the fight. In addition, the old man who had just attacked was a very proud man, and once he was fighting would not have taken kindly to anybody offering assistance. All he could do was watch the fight from below, but seeing Wu Daotong fall from the roof, he got excited and rushed towards Wu, both hooks drawn and thrusting towards Wu's stomach.

    The old man, Zhou Mu, yelled out "Leave a live tongue!" but was too late, and both hooks had sunk deep into Wu's stomach. At the same time the tall man gasped, and staggered back. Embedded in his chest were two steel brushes which penetrated all the way and emerged out his back, blood spraying from all four wounds. With a shudder he fell to the ground - Wu Daotong, with his dying breath, had put everything into this last attack, and the tall man was caught completely unawares. Other members of the Golden Sabre Bandit Camp ran to his side and lifted him up but he was already dead.

    Zhou Mu couldn't care less whether then tall man was alive or dead, and murmuring something, picked up Wu Daotong. Seeing that he was no longer breathing, he creased his eyebrows and yelled "Take off his clothes! Search everything!" Four of his men replied "Yes, sir!" and started searching the corpse. All they found was a small bundle concealed in his outer robe. They opened the bundle, only to find a smaller bundle within, all wrapped in oiled cloth. As each bundle was opened, the look of anticipation on Zhou Mu's face got stronger and stronger. In total over ten bundles of oil cloth were removed, and the bundle kept getting smaller and smaller. Eventually he started getting irritated, and the bundle was reduced to a 3-inch by 2-inch bundle. He weighed it with his hands, and screamed "Damn it! What sort of trick is this? Forget this - go in and search the house!"

    About ten of the men dressed in black rushed into the house. The cake shop was only about two rooms big, and the ten men went in searching. The sounds of items smashing and breaking rang about as cutlery, furniture and everything else were checked thoroughly. Zhou Mu shouted "Check everything carefully - don't let anything pass you!".
    Last edited by Ian Liew; 07-25-03 at 03:09 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Yon's Avatar
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    YEAH!!!! Finally somebody is doing my favorite novel!!!!

    thank you !!!
    Please email me with questions. Do not use PM here.

  9. #9
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    Good job Ian
    I'm worse at what I do best
    And for this gift I feel blessed

  10. #10
    Senior Member Goofy's Avatar
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    Originally posted by someguy44
    Ian, chapter one's already been done. I forgot the link, but it's somewhere. Why don't you attempt from chapter 2 onwards?

    Nevermind. It's not the completed chapter I guess.

    But here it is anyway.

    http://www.geocities.com/jinyongnove...hchapter1.html
    wow, is it still there? I first thought that it was the one I used to read online, but this seems to be different somewhat. Also, if this comes from viet translation, the version would be original.



    Looking forward to reading more, Ian.

    Now, I spend most my online time reading all the translations.
    "History's third dimension is always fiction."
    -- The Glass Bead Game, Hermann Hesse

  11. #11
    Senior Member Goofy's Avatar
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    Cool My Insights

    The 2 inch bundle could contain a key to the 'thing' those guys wanted.
    "History's third dimension is always fiction."
    -- The Glass Bead Game, Hermann Hesse

  12. #12
    Senior Member Ian Liew's Avatar
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    That two-inch bundle? Nah.. but I'll let you guys figure it out.

    Here's where I need some help. My next translation introduces a few major characters, including the male lead, but.. um.. I have a few problems with names. My problem is I read in Fantizhi, and in Cantonese, while my dictionary is in jianbizhi, and I'm translating in Mandarin (mainly because Cantonese sounds very rough when written in pinyin). When it comes to events, I can roughly figure out what is happening and narrate it thus, but when it comes to names, such as the Hou Jian Ji, there's no room for compromise, and when the word has a jianbizhi equivalent, I can't find it in my dictionary (there being no way to convert words - one must re-learn them). So.. there are going to be a lot of people being introduced, and I'm stuck... could somebody help me fill in the blanks (and check the others) before I go write the next bit?

    Xuan Su Mansion
    Shi Qing - his horse was Sunny Clouds ____ Snow
    ___ Rou - her horse was ___ Hooves Jade Hare

    Gold Sabre Bandit Camp
    Zhuang ___ Zhong (Yi Fei Chong Tian)
    An __ Re (Big Boss)
    Fong __ Wu (Second Boss)
    Yuan Deng Taoist (Third Boss)

    Snow Mountain Sect
    Wang Wan Ren? It's a Ren with a Ren-zhi pang on the left.
    Ke Wan ___
    Geng Wan Zhong/Chong/Zong?
    Hua Wan Zi


    Thanks!.. Or I could just translate and leave the blanks in...


    Ian

  13. #13
    Senior Member Goofy's Avatar
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    Cool

    Ian,
    why don't you just stick to Cantonese name then if you are more comfortable with it and just make a side note explain that?

    In time, you can go back and edit to Mandarin pinyin if you like.

    As long as you gave the translation of the names as needed, I don't think this issue is a big deal.
    "History's third dimension is always fiction."
    -- The Glass Bead Game, Hermann Hesse

  14. #14
    Senior Member Ian Liew's Avatar
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    Because the dialect issue is only a minor issue. With a bit of trial and error it works. For example, I knew Hou Jian Ji was "How ___ Chap" in Cantonese. Hou I knew from experience, Jian I hadn't a clue, while Ji I basically thought of all possible Mandarin approximations (jia, ji, che, chia, xia, xie) and through trial and error found 'ji' in Chinese Star

    The dialect issue is a small but frustrating problem, and compounds the whole problem by making it forcing me to double-check words which I think I know, but the end result looks so much more authentic and classic

    Maybe I just post the names with blanks and let kind-hearted people append with the right word!


    Ian

  15. #15
    Senior Member Ian Liew's Avatar
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    here's the third instalment. It's only about two pages long, but it's late and I have to go to church tomorrow morning. It's quite interesting, and should give everyone a clue as to where that 'thing' was, and who has it now...

    Chapter 1
    The Black Steel Symbol (cont'd)

    After searching for half a day, it became too dark for them to see anything. They lit a fire, and tore down the entire cake shop, the flour within the building flying everywhere. Amidst the commotion, a little beggar boy darted across the street, and picked up the fried cake that was lying near the drain. This boy, about 12 to 13 years old, had not eaten anything for a few days, and was sitting limply on top of the wall corner. When the tall man threw the fried cake which Wu Daotong had given him, the cake landed near the drain, and the boy's eyes had not stopped staring at the fried cake since. He had wanted to climb down and pick up the cake, but there were too many fierce people around, and he didn't dare move out of fright. In addition, there were those two dead bodies of Wu Daotong and the tall man, and they lay not far from the fried cake.

    However, once the sky became dark enough, the light from the torches could not reach the area near the drain, and as such the boy summoned all his courage and grabbed the cake. He was so hungry that he didn't care about the cake being tainted with dirty smelly water, and put the cake in his mouth. He held the cake in his mouth, not even daring to bite or chew, in case the sound of the chewing attracted the attention of the sabre-wielding men around the area. With the cake between his teeth, his stomach felt so much better even though he hadn't swallowed anything.

    By this time the men had already demolished the cake shop entirely, even to the extent of ripping up the floor tiles one by one to check. Zhou Mu saw that there was nothing left to search, and as such yelled "Let's go!". A horn sounded, and the sounds of horses galloping started. The Golden Sabre Bandit Camp prepared to leave, and two of the bandits carried the corpse of the tall man, placing his across on of the horse saddles, and were gone in an instant.

    It wasn't until the sounds of the hoofbeats had completely faded away, that Hou Jian Ji started to hear the voices of men whispering again. The peasants were afraid that the bandits would return, however, and as such no one dared to raise his voice. The innkeeper and another peasant carried the corpse of the dead peasant into the shop, and immediately bolted the doors, not daring to come out again. The town resonated with the sounds of locks clicking, doors slamming - people were either locking their doors, or at least shutting them tight - and not long after, the streets were abandoned, and not a sound was to be heard.

    The little beggar boy saw that Wu Daotong's corpse was still lying unattended on the streets, and he was scared. He took a small bite, and dared to swallow. He was just about to take another bite when he saw Wu Daotong's corpse move. The boy got a fright, and blinked his eyes only to see the corpse sit up. The boy was terrified, his heart beating uncontrollably, as he saw the corpse stand up on its two feet. The boy's teeth started chattering.

    The corpse looked around, but luckily the boy was sitting behind the wall corner, and as such the corpse could not see him. Under the cold rays of the moon, however, the boy could see everything clearly. He could see the corpse bleeding profusely, and the two hooked blades were still impaled in the corpse's stomach. The boy kept biting his teeth together, not daring to make a sound.

    The corpse then squatted down, and felt the ground. Upon finding a fried cake, the corpse weighed it in its hands, tore it apart and threw it away. It then found another fried cake, tore it open, and threw it again. The boy felt as if his heart was going to leap out of his mouth any moment now, as the corpse continued searching the ground. The corpse didn't bother with anything else it found, but everytime it found a fried cake, it tore it open then threw it away. As it continued feeling the ground, it edged closer and closer to the drain. When he got to the wooden tray lying on the floor with over 20 fried cakes on it, it took them one by one, tore them all open, but didn't eat any of them. All were torn in half, and then thrown away.

    The lad saw the corpse approach the wall corner and could only think of fleeing. However, his whole body was numb with fright, and his legs had no way of moving. The corpse moved very slowly, and it took an entire incense burning time to tear open the 20 fried cakes it had found on the tray. It could not find any more fried cakes on the floor, and raised its head, looking around. The boy quickly darted back behind the wall, not daring to look at the corpse anymore, when suddenly he got a fright. Although his body was well hidden behind the wall, the moonlight was shining from behind the wall, and the clear shadow of his head and hair was projected on the ground just beside the legs of the corpse. The boy saw the corpse's legs suddenly move again, and with a shriek tried to flee.

    The corpse moaned "Fried cakes... fried cakes.." and chased after the boy.

  16. #16
    Senior Member kidd's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot, Ian Liew. I've been wanting to know the real story of Xia Ke Xing for so long and was so disappointed when noone stop translating it after the first chapter. Hope u keep up the good work.

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    Senior Member junny's Avatar
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    I have Xia Ke Xing, which I have yet to touch, and I think I could translate some names for you.

    Shi Qing's horse: Black Clouds Covering Snow (so named because the horse's body was black, but its hoofs were white)

    Min Rou's horse: Black Hooved Jade Rabbit (so named because the horse's body was white, but its hoofs were black).

    Gold Sabre Bandit Camp
    Zhuang Zhen Zhong (Yi Fei Chong Tian)
    An Feng Ri (Big Boss)
    Feng Zhen Wu (Second Boss)
    Priest Yuan Deng/Cheng (Third Boss) (The word "Cheng/Deng" has two sounds, I have no idea which is the one that the author meant).

    Snow Mountain Sect
    Wang Wan Ren
    Ke Wan ___ (Sorry, I can't seem to find this)
    Geng Wan Zhong
    Hua Wan Zi
    夏雪宜

  18. #18
    Senior Member Goofy's Avatar
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    Cool

    Hiding the secret in plain sight. Ingenius trick.
    "History's third dimension is always fiction."
    -- The Glass Bead Game, Hermann Hesse

  19. #19
    Senior Member eeyore's Avatar
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    Ian, who's the author for this translation?

    In english what is the title? Journey of the Swordsman?
    Spring Summer Autumn Winter.
    Pair ducks nest fly together.
    Clemencies. Summer life, feather winter white.
    Green meadow in spring, before the autumn bite.
    Watching the red gown.
    And none else, alone.

  20. #20
    Senior Member junny's Avatar
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    Originally posted by eeyore
    Ian, who's the author for this translation?

    In english what is the title? Journey of the Swordsman?
    This is one of Jin Yong's story. I think the English title is "Ode to Gallantry".
    夏雪宜

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