Lol. Yeah, I didn't meant to say he had 7 wives, but more like 7 people he encounter. Hahaha, just speculations and authors are freaking creative!
Thanks again foxs!
Lol. Yeah, I didn't meant to say he had 7 wives, but more like 7 people he encounter. Hahaha, just speculations and authors are freaking creative!
Thanks again foxs!
I meant they are drifting apart due to divided loyalties - also WXB has become more careful with what he talks about in front of KX. Also KX more often "commands" WXB (e.g. regarding Shen Long mission) than "requests" his help. So the friendship has taken a more formal take....I liken it to your best friend becoming your boss in the corp world so there is a bit joking around when only two of them but superior must make hard decisions and direct actions when the time comes.
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Crazee, please stop this 'crazee' mentality ... I always enjoy your comment, and I've never seen anything that indicates anything bad. Like Drak said, writers like Jin Yong can be very creative. Although I am alright in writing papers (mostly technical), I can't write a story, not enough imagination. According to you, I also belong to 'mentalville'. Smurf, I see your point. Good one. But I am with Athlon in this one. I always think that their relationship was always like that since WXB found that Xiao Xuanzi was the Emperor. Granted, the mission was getting more important and dangerous. In this matter, you are right, they both grew.
Shi Lang said, “His Majesty also inquired about the strategy to attack Taiwan. In response to the imperial inquiry, lowly officer reported: Although Taiwan’s troops are exquisite, when all is said and done, their number is small. When the Great Qing attacks Taiwan, we should attack one problem from two angles at the same time [orig. ‘painting using two brushes’]. The first step is to use spies, we scheme to set the people inside to be at odds with each other. It would be best if we could disseminate rumors, saying that Chen Yonghua is harboring the desire to abandon his master and be independent, that he and Liu Guoxuan, two people, are plotting to seize the throne. As soon as Zheng Jing is suspicious, there is a good chance that he would kill Chen and Liu, two people. Even if he did not kill them, he would not put them in important position, he would strip them of any authority. Chen and Liu, two people, one an important figure the other a general, they are indeed Taiwan’s two pillars. If we can deal with both, that is certainly the best. But if we can only get rid of one of them, one of them working alone, a single log cannot support a large building.”
Wei Xiaobao was secretly shocked, “Damn it,” he mused, “You want to harm my Shifu.” He asked, “Isn’t there a certain ‘One Sword Without Blood’, Feng Xifan?”
Shi Lang was greatly surprised, “Unexpectedly Wei Daren also know about Feng Xifan.”
Wei Xiaobao said, “I heard His Majesty mentioned it when we were chatting. His Majesty is very clear about Taiwan’s inside story! His Majesty said, ‘Madame Dong is fond of her ‘little white face’ grandson Zheng Keshuang, she does not like the heir apparent Zheng Keshang; she wants her son to change the heir apparent, but Zheng Jing is unwilling. Is there really such thing?”
Shi Lang was startled, but was also full of admiration, “The Holy Son of Heaven is intelligent and wise, indeed a rarity since the dawn of time. He resides deep in the Palace, but can see clearly ten thousand li away. His Majesty’s words are not the least bit incorrect.”
Wei Xiaobao said, “You that there are two ways to attack Taiwan; one is using scheme to kill Chen Yonghua and Liu Guoxuan, what is the other one?”
Shi Lang said, “The other is to attack using naval force. Attacking only in one direction won’t be easy to succeed, we must attack it from three directions at once. From the north attack Jilong Gang [lit. chicken coop port], in the middle attack Taiwan’s government seat, from the south attack Dagou Gang [lit. beating a dog port; my dictionary says ‘old name for Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan’]. As long as one direction succeed, the landing will definitely plant our feet in Taiwan, the people’s heart will be thrown into confusion, it will be a clean sweep.”
Wei Xiaobao said, “Leading naval forces, fighting naval battle, you are the expert.”
Shi Lang said, “In all my life lowly officer has been in the navy, I am well acquainted with naval warfare.”
Wei Xiaobao had a brainwave; he pondered, “This man wants to kill the entire family of surname Zheng, hence he will get rid of that kid Zheng Keshuang; that won’t be so bad. However, Zheng Chenggong was a great hero, killing his entire family cannot be justified. Much less attacking Taiwan means bringing harm to my Shifu; that won’t be good at all. This man is an expert in naval battle, by sending him on this mission, I will kill two birds with one stone.”
Turning toward Songgotu he asked, “Dage, what do you think we must do?”
Songgotu said, “His Majesty is wise, he stands tall and sees far, his reckoning will not fail. As his servants, all we need to do is just listen to his instruction, and that’s that.”
Wei Xiaobao thought, “What a crafty fellow you are; you are unwilling to take any responsibility.” He picked up the teacup with both hands. The servant waiting on them loudly announced, “See the visitor out!”
Shi Lang stood up, saluted, and took his leave. Songgotu stayed for a short chat, and then he also took his leave.
Wei Xiaobao went to the Palace to see the Emperor, he reported Shi Lang’s wish to attack Taiwan. Kangxi said, “Eliminate threats from three borders first, then pacify Taiwan; this is the basic order of priority. This man Shi Lang indeed has talent, but I am afraid after I let him go back to Fujian, this man will become impatient to render merit and take revenge, he would act blindly without thinking, and then Taiwan would be alerted instead; therefore, all along I keep him in Beijing.”
Wei Xiaobao was immediately enlightened. “Right, right,” he said, “As soon as Shi Lang reached Fujian, he would want to build battleships and recruit the troops, he would beat the grass to scare the snake. While if we want to attack Taiwan, it has to be ‘the gods did not know, the ghost did not realize’; everybody has to think that we are not attacking, and then we suddenly attack, so that the kid surnamed Zheng will be thrown into confusion.”
Kangxi smiled and said, “That should be the way to move the troops. Besides, dispatching a general is not as good as stimulating a general; I keep Shi Lang in Beijing, so that his strength won’t be used, he will be bored half-dead. By the time I send him out, he will do everything he can to follow my order, and will not dare to goof off.”
Wei Xiaobao said, “This strategy of Your Majesty’s, even Zhuge Liang cannot surpass. Your servant has seen the play ‘Ding Jun Shan’ [lit. Fixing-the-army Mountain], Zhuge Liang stimulated Huang Zhong that he staked everything and fought ruthlessly, and thus with one saber he chopped that ‘chunxiaqiudong’ [spring, summer, autumn, winter – the four season] painted-face.”
Kangxi smiled, “Xia Houyuan,” he said. [Xia - summer]
“Right, right,” Wei Xiaobao said, “Your Majesty’s memory is really good, you watched the play, and remember that big painted-face’s name.”
Kangxi laughed. “That big painted-face’s name is actually written in the book,” he said, “What did Shi Lang give you?”
Wei Xiaobao was surprised. “Your Majesty knows everything,” he said, “That Shi Lang gave me a jade bowl, but I don’t like it too much.”
“So what’s not good about the jade bowl?” Kangxi asked.
Wei Xiaobao replied, “Although the jade bowl is precious, once it fell it breaks. Your servant has worked for Your Majesty, my pair of hands are holding a golden rice bowl [an allegory to ‘secure and lucrative job’], which for a thousand years won’t break when it fell, for ten thousand years won’t rust. That is the big difference.”
Kangxi burst out laughing. Wei Xiaobao said, “Your Majesty, your servant suddenly thinks of an idea, would you hear it and tell me if it is possible?”
“What idea?” Kangxi asked.
Wei Xiaobao said, “That Shi Lang said that he is a naval commander, and is very good at naval warfare …”
Kangxi slapped his left hand on the table. “Good idea, good idea,” he said, “Xiao Guizi, you are very smart. You may take him to Liaodong, send him to attack Shen Long Jiao.”
Wei Xiaobao was very amazed in his heart, he stared at Kangxi for half a day before saying, “Your Majesty must be an immortal descending into the world; your servant had not even said the thought in my mind, Your Majesty already knew.”
Kangxi smiled. “Enough patting the horse’s butt,” he said, “Xiao Guizi, that is a wonderful idea. I was anxious, you are going to attack Shen Long Jiao, I don’t know if you will succeed. This Shi Lang is a talent in naval warfare, I’ll have him go to Shen Long Island to practice first, but he must not leak the secret beforehand.”
“Yes, yes,” Wei Xiaobao hastily said.
Kangxi sent for Shi Lang at once. When he arrived, Kangxi said, “We [orig. zhen, the Emperor is referring to self] send Wei Xiaobao to Changbai Mountain to offer sacrifice to the Heaven. He highly recommends you, saying that you handled matters competently; he wants to take you along. We accept his words a bit reluctantly, not quite convinced yet.”
Wei Xiaobao was amused inwardly. “Zhuge Liang is stimulating the Old Huang Zhong,” he thought.
Shi Lang repeatedly kowtowed; he said, “Your Servant [orig. ‘chen’, a minister referring to self in front of the Emperor] will go with Wei Dutong [commander] on this mission, I will definitely display utter loyalty in obeying his order, I will dash on bravely with no thought of personal safety, in order to repay Your Majesty’s as-high-as-the-sky kindness.”
Kangxi said, “This is a test for you. If you succeed, I will send you on different mission in the future.”
Shi Lang was greatly delighted; he kowtowed and said, “Your Majesty’s kindness ascends the sky, it is broad and powerful.”
Kangxi said, “This is a secret mission, other than Wei Xiaobao one person, nobody else in the Imperial Court knew about it. In everything you are to follow Wei Xiaobao’s order. You are dismissed.”
Shi Lang kowtowed. He was about to withdraw, Kangxi suddenly smiled and said, “Wei Dutong treats you well; go, send him a big golden rice bowl.”
Shi Lang complied, in his heart he did not understand a thing, he was unclear of the Emperor’s intention; but seeing ‘the Heaven’s countenance’ was very happy, he believed it must not be a bad thing.
By the time Wei Xiaobao returned to his viscount mansion, he saw Shi Lang was already waiting at the gate, saying a lot of things about gratitude for the promotion. Wei Xiaobao laughed and said, “General Shi, this time I have no choice but to wrong you: I would like you to be a tiny Canling [Regimental Commander] in my brigade, to protect against outsider knew about this.”
Shi Lang was greatly delighted; he said, “In everything I will follow Dutong Daren’s instruction.” He realized that the lower the official position Wei Xiaobao assigned to him, that means the more Wei Xiaobao considered him as his own people, the more opportunity for him to gain meteoric rise [orig. ‘the divine steed Huang flashes past’] in his career later on. If Wei Xiaobao assigned him to be his personal guard, that would be even better. He also said, “His Majesty instructed lowly officer to make a golden bowl and present it as a gift to Dutong; I wonder which style Dutong Daren likes the most, lowly officer will send for some master artisan to manufacture one overnight.”
Wei Xiaobao laughed and said, “That was His Majesty’s grace; no matter what style, we as the servants will hold the golden bowl with both hands to eat our rice, with our hearts full of gratitude for the vast and mighty benevolence of the Emperor.” Shi Lang repeatedly voiced his agreement.
Wei Xiaobao mused, “Laozi originally wanted to escape without a trace, to resign and not have anything to do with government anymore. And now I found you, this scapegoat, it would be best if you fight desperately with Hong Jiaozhu that both of you perish together; then you two brothers’ long lives will be the same as the bugs.”
After Shi Lang left, Wei Xiaobao summoned Li Lishi, Feng Jizhong, Xu Tianchuan, Priest Xuanzhen, and the other Tian Di Hui brothers; he told them what had happened in details. Li Lishi said, “This thief surnamed Shi rebelled against Guoxing Ye, and he wants to attack Taiwan and frame Zongduozhu; it’s by the Heaven’s providence that he came across Wei Xiangzhu. What should we do to manipulate him?”
Wei Xiaobao said, “Shen Long Jiao colludes with Wu Sangui and Luocha Country, presently the Emperor is sending me leading Shi Lang to destroy Shen Long Jiao. Let’s let this surnamed Shi fight with Shen Long Jiao until the sky turns dark and the earth black, until both sides suffer, and then we’ll come to pick the fish out of the net.” Everybody approved this plan in one voice.
Wei Xiaobao said, “This surnamed Shi is astute and competent, I need to rely on him to strike Shen Long Island, so we cannot kill him yet. All Gege must be careful, don’t let him see through our secret.”
Gao Yanchao said, “We will dress as Valiant Cavalry Brigade Tatars; ordinarily we won’t see him too much. Even if we do, he won’t dare to offend the Tatars.”
By the afternoon of the next day, Shi Lang came to the viscount mansion asking for an audience, carrying a brocade box with both hands. Wei Xiaobao opened the brocade box, and sure enough, he saw a big golden rice bowl, weighed at least six or seven taels. Shi Lang said, “Lowly officer should make it a bit bigger, but I am afraid … I am afraid it would not be convenient for Dutong Daren to use.”
Wei Xiaobao weighed the golden bowl with his left hand. “It’s heavy enough,” he said with a laugh, “General Shi, what do these many characters say?”
Shi Lang said, “The middle four large characters say, ‘Gong Zhong Ti Guo’ [serving one’s country loyally’. This line of little characters above it says, ‘Personally presented to Internal Imperial Bodyguard Deputy Minister, simultaneously holding Valiant Cavalry Brigade Plain Yellow Banner Dutong position, the wearer of Yellow Magua, Batulu Brave title, First Class Viscount Wei Xiaobao.’ Below, in even smaller characters, are ‘Made by Minister Jinghai Jiangjun Shi Lang on imperial orders.’”
Wei Xiaobao was very happy; he laughed and said, “Thank you very much for this.” He said in his heart, “That’s right, my golden bowl is bestowed by His Majesty; how can you give me any golden rice bowl [i.e. secure and lucrative job]? This Old Shi is actually not a fool?”
Two days later, Kangxi proclaimed the imperial edict, ordering Wei Xiaobao to take the ten ‘Shen Wu Da Pao’ and set out to sea from Dagu, passing through Liaodong Bay to the north; first to offer sacrifice at Liaohai [east and south of Liaoning province], and then to land at Liaodong, travel to Changbai Mountain and set off the cannon to offer sacrifice to the Heaven.
Wei Xiaobao accepted the imperial edict; thinking that since this time they were going to attack Divine Dragon Cult, he could not bring Fat Toutuo and Lu Gaoxuan along, hence he ordered the two of them to stay in Beijing. He brought Shuang’er and Tian Di Hui brothers, leading the Valiant Cavalry Brigade troops, and set off to Tianjin.
Hundreds of civil and military officials welcomed the Imperial Envoy Minister; some of them were respectful and solemn beyond ordinary, a hundred-percent bootlicking; some of them flattered appropriately, it was just perfect. There was only one bearded military officer with haughty air, when he saluted, it was clear that he was saluting half-heartedly, obviously he did not have any regard toward Wei Xiaobao.
 Huang Zhong (died 220) was a military general servingunder the warlord Liu Bei during the late Han Dynasty period. He was most notedfor his victory in the Battle of Mount Dingjun, in which his force routed thatof Xia Hou Yuan, who was slain during battle. For his merits, Huang Zhong wasranked among the five leading generals of Shu Han, also known as the Five TigerGenerals in popular culture. Huang Zhong had always been portrayed in popularliterature and arts as an elderly general with youthful vigor and constitution.(Courtesy of Ace High)
 FYI, Wei Xiaobao was a Dutong [commander], under him was Fu Dutong [deputy commander]; and then Canling. Hence he made Shi Lang two ranks below him.
 1 tael = 1/16 catty, approximately equal to modern 50 grams.
 Da – great, Gu – abbreviation for Tianjin (also called Jin Gu).
Last edited by foxs; 04-27-12 at 11:09 AM.
First thing i do... check the thread
Hey Foxs.... I'm one crazee nut, so will be crazee always....mental case beyond hope heh heh heh.
Anyway, thought I'll bring in some crazeeness into the forum rather that be so serious afterall XB is crazee if
Tony Leung's portrayal is accurate.
Wow...a golden bowl..imagine the value nowadays,
As usual XB is killing multiple birds with one stone, and the best part is only he knows his real intention.
Yes, his relationship with Kangxi was never the same after he found out that his head can roll if he does not careful......
Ali, good for you! Crazee, I think you are one of those highly skilled person or very powerful persona, but always say that you are not good, someone who would select Wu Fu ('No Luck') or Wu Ming ('No Name') as your name. Anh, you are most welcome. Here's a bit more for the weekend.
Wei Xiaobao was angry, he was about to lash it out immediately when he had a second thought, “His Majesty’s order: this time everything must be kept in strict confidence, must not create too much disturbance and attract unnecessary attention. You look down on me, do you think Laozi will look up to your big beard? Let us, two boys, have a contest, whose official position is higher?” And then another official highly praised him for his heroic deed in killing Oboi with his own hand. Wei Xiaobao was immensely proud of himself, and was no longer bothered with the big beard.
That evening Wei Xiaobao invited Tianjin’s Naval Zongbing [regional commander] to come over, and showed him Kangxi’s secret order. The Naval Zongbing was called Huang Fu. He read the imperial decree ordering him to lead the naval officers and men to board the ships and follow the Imperial Envoy Minister’s direction, in an important clandestine military mission. He received the imperial decree and bowed, saying he was ready to hear the direction. Wei Xiaobao inquired about the strength of the navy: how many sailors they had, how many boats were available, and so on. And then he summoned Shi Lang to join them. He ordered Shi Lang and Huang Fu to discuss the plan to go to sea, while he himself went to the rear barrack and gambled and played Pai Jiu with the soldiers.
They stopped over in Tianjin for three days, the Naval Force Brigade loaded food, fresh water, ammunition, bows and arrows and other stuffs onto the ships. Wei Xiaobao led the Naval Force Brigade, the Valiant Cavalry Brigade, ten big battleships, and thirty-eight second-class battleships, to set sail.
It was not until after they left Dagu and reached the open sea that Wei Xiaobao announced the imperial decree, that their mission this time was to eliminate Divine Dragon Island, that all officers and men must follow the order bravely, and that after their success, there would be promotion and rewards all around. The officers and soldiers saw that their side had overwhelming numerical strength, plus the Imperial Envoy Minister had ten western-style cannon, while their opponent on the Divine Dragon Island was no more than a bunch or pirate who illegally occupied the island. With a series of bombardments from the cannon, the pirates would be struck that none will remain. This time meritorious service and promotion were guaranteed. Immediately they broke out in cheers, their spirit was boosted a hundred times.
Wei Xiaobao rode the main ship. He reminisced about the last time he went to the Divine Dragon Island under Fang Yi’s deception. Although that young woman was crafty, looking back this time, he was greatly charmed by the warmth of their being together for several days on the ocean. He thought, “As soon as we reach the Island, if the cannon fire randomly, most of the Cult members of Shen Long Jiao will die by the explosion first. Once the several thousand officers and soldiers rush ashore, even if Hong Jiaozhu’s martial art skill were higher, he won’t be able to resist the enemy. However, if this happens, perhaps my Xiao Niang Pi [little mother skin] Fang Yi will be blasted to death; that will be very far from good. Even if she did not die, if she lost an arm in the explosion, that will be too bad.”
Originally, he was afraid of Cult Leader Hong, and only wanted to smear oil to the soles of his feet and would feel very lucky if he could escape alive; but now with Shi Lang in charge plus several dozen battleships deployed on the ocean and ten newly-manufactured ‘Shen Wu Da Pao’, this battle would only result in victory and not defeat. If only he could find a way to guarantee Fang Yi’s safety while destroying the Divine Dragon Cult completely, then he would get the best of both worlds. Thereupon he summoned Shi Lang and asked him about the plan of attacking the Island.
Shi Lang opened the file he brought along in his hand; he took out a large map and spread it out on the table. Pointing to a small island on the map, he said, “This is the Shen Long Island.”
Wei Xiaobao noticed that there was a red circle drawn on the island, with three arrows from north, east and south pointing to the red circle. He was full of admiration, saying, “Turns out you have already prepared a plan to attack the Shen Long Island. I only announced the Emperor’s secret order after we left Dagu, how could you have a nautical chart ready?”
Shi Lang replied, “Lowly officer heard that Daren was going to leave Dagu and proceed toward Liaodong by the sea, thereupon I prepared this nautical chart. Lowly officer has always loved to have a career in the ocean, I am accustomed to look at nautical charts.”
“So that’s how it is,” Wei Xiaobao said, “Apparently in our mission this time we are bound to win a victory on raising the flag, to succeed upon embarking the ships.”
“That is entirely dependent on His Majesty’s sacred virtue and Wei Daren’s prestige,” Shi Lang said, “In Lowly officer’s humble opinion, we must divide our forces into three groups; we’ll launch tree-pronged attack from the north, east and south of the Island, and leave the west side of the Island free of any assault. After the cannon blast, the bandits on the Island won’t be able to withstand, most likely they would run to the west of the Island to escape to sea. Behind this little island about thirty li or so west of the Island, we prepare an ambush of twenty ships. As soon as the bandit escapees arrived, these twenty battleships will appear to cut their escape route, the cannon blast, the battleships from the north, east and south will catch up, and surround the pirate ship in the middle. At that time we can catch everything in one net, not one pirate would be able to escape alive.”
Wei Xiaobao cheered and applauded, repeatedly saying that it was an ingenious plan. Shi Lang said, “I am asking Daren to lead the troops, by setting up a central command and supervise the battle from this nameless island, please do not get on the boat and join the battle. The central command must be as steady as Mount Tai. If there is any slightest damage to the command flagship, the mast is broken by the gale or what have you, inevitably the morale of the troops will be shaken. Lowly officer will lead the battleships to launch the three-pronged attack. Huang Zongbing will lead the ambushing ships to intercept the enemy. Ten little ships will come and go to communicate military intelligence. About how the operation should be executed, Daren may give orders at any time, Lowly officer and Huang Zongbing will follow.”
Wei Xiaobao was greatly delighted; he thought, “This man is actually very perceptive; he knew perfectly well than I am afraid of death, hence he let me assume personal command on this little island more than thirty li away, so that I will be absolutely safe. Even if you are completely wiped out, laozi will still have enough time to go onboard a ship and make a dash out of there. Ingenious plan, ingenious plan.” Thereupon he praised him greatly.
Shi Lang said, “When Lowly officer first heard of Wei Daren’s prestige, I found out that Wei Daren has killed the Manchu’s Number One Warrior Oboi with your own hand, and has snatched the title Manchurian-Han’s Number One Warrior; therefore, you were bestowed the ‘Batulu’ title of bravery, your courage became famous all over the world. Lowly officer is only afraid that in your desire to repay the Heaven’s benevolence, Daren might dash on bravely in battle with no thought of personal safety. Supposing the cannon harm Daren’s one little finger, His Majesty would surely greatly blame Lowly officer. That my whole life career would be ruined is not a big deal, but I would fail to live up to Daren’s kindness by entrusting this heavy responsibility to me, a crime that Lowly officer will not be able to redeem by ten thousand deaths. Therefore, I urgently ask Daren’s to show understanding by taking a good care of your ten-thousand-gold body.”
Wei Xiaobao sighed and said, “Fighting a battle on a ship is a very interesting experience. I originally wanted to personally lead the attack and capture that Shen Long Jiao’s Jiaozhu. But since you put it that way, I have no choice but to let you do it.”
“Yes, yes,” Shi Lang said, “Daren is showing understanding, Lowly officer is deeply grateful.”
Wei Xiaobao thought, “You were simmering in Beijing for three years, already you are very proficient in the way of the government officials. Laozi originally wanted to deal with you, but seeing you this well-behaved, I cannot bear to do it. This is the first time I‘ve ever heard the title ‘Manchurian-Han’s Number One Warrior’; only you can fabricate such title.” He said, “There are several hundred young women on Shen Long Island, including several women who escaped from the Palace. His Majesty instructed that they must be captured alive. When attacking the Island, you must be very careful, the cannon cannot be fired randomly. If those several palace maids die in the blast, His Majesty will definitely blame us; even if you render bigger merit, your merit cannot make up for it. This is most important.”
Shi Lang was shocked; he said, “If not for Daren’s warning, Lowly officer nearly rush into a disaster. When we attack the Island, as long as it is a female, we will capture her alive, no one can kill or injure them; we’ll send them all to Daren to be dealt with.”
“So be it,” Wei Xiaobao said, “I have seen these several palace maids, as soon as I see them, I would be able to recognize them. But this kind of imperial palace’s matter, um, you know.”
“Yes,” Shi Lang replied, “Daren please set your heart at ease, Lowly officer will guard my mouth like a closed bottle. The matter of the Palace, who dares to speak thoughtlessly and talk randomly?”
The battleship continued their voyage northeasterly, they happened to meet headwind, hence the progress was very slow. One day Shen Long Island was not too far away ahead. Shi Lang pointed to a small island to the port side and said, “That is the place where Dutong Daren will set up your command station. This small island does not have any name, would Daren bestow a name to it?”
Wei Xiaobao scratched his head, “You want me to think of a name is like you want me to deliver my old life,” he said, “Hmm, this time I am the banker, you are my subordinate, the banker’s assistant who opens the corner of the tiles; we are playing Pai Jiu, and we must beat Shen Long Island and sweep it clean. Hence, this small island will be called ‘Tong Chi’ Island.”
Shi Lang laughed. “Wonderful, wonderful!” he said, “Wei Daren assumes personal command on Tong Chi Island, indeed it is great luck, great profit; no matter how strong or formidable the enemy is, we will always ‘eat’ them clean. Daren was dealt ‘heaven’ pair first, this is Daren’s own hand. Later you’ll be dealt ‘supreme treasure’, that will be His Majesty’s. With these two sets of card, how can we not sweep the deck (of cards) clean?”
Wei Xiaobao burst out in laughter. “Generals!” he shouted, “Move the troops to Tong Chi Island!” He had seen an actor shouted that order on the stage; now he shouted it out, it was indeed majestic, extremely high-spirited and vigorous.
Dozens of battleships all around followed the flagship of their commander-in-chief, slowly sailed to the Tong Chi Island. Suddenly a sailor in one of the smaller ships shouted. Soon afterwards the small ship came near to report, saying that they saw a body floating on the water. Wei Xiaobao frowned; he thought, “It’s a bad omen for the deployed troops to come across a floating corpse! Could it be that this time I become the banker I must pay all?”
Shi Lang said, “Congratulations Daren on winning a victory on raising the flag; before we even fire the cannon and shoot the arrows, one of the enemy is already dead; this is indeed a greatly lucky omen. Let lowly officer go over to look.” Finished speaking, he jumped onto the small ship.
A moment later, Shi Lang returned to the flagship and said, “Reporting to Dutong Daren: the floating corpse has its hands and feet behind its back. Apparently the pirates killed him for his money and pushed him into the ocean.” Just as he spoke, there was another shout from the small ship, saying that they saw two more floating corpse.
Wei Xiaobao’s countenance turned really ugly. This time Shi Lang could not say anything auspicious. He jumped onto the small ship again, and when he returned to the command ship, there was a happy expression across his face. “Reporting to Daren,” he said, “It seems that these three floating corpses came from Shen Long Island.”
“How did you know?” Wei Xiaobao asked.
Shi Lang said, “The first corpse did not show anything, but the following two corpses are obviously pirates; their bodies look strong, clearly they knew martial art.”
“Could it be that there is an internal strife within the Shen Long Island?” Wei Xiaobao wondered.
Shi Lang said, “The wind is blowing from the Shen Long Island’s direction, most probably these three corpses were blown here by the wind. If there is indeed an internal strife within the enemy’s rank, this time Wei Daren become the banker, you can eat them all as simmer-fried tofu; no need to bite, just swallow them all clean.”
Wei Xiaobao cast his gaze to the distance, but fog was rising from the ocean, the white mist filled the air, he was unable to see Shen Long Island. Suddenly he seemed to see something like a ball bobbing up and down on the surface of the water, the ball gradually floated near. “What is that?” he asked.
Shi Lang focused his gaze. “There is something strange about that thing,” he said. He transmitted an order to the small ship to fish the object up. Following the order, the small ship sailed away to dredge the object up from the water. The officer on the ship shouted loudly, “Another floating corpse. It’s a short and fat guy.”
Wei Xiaobao’s heart was moved. “Could it be him?” he mused. He said, “Lift it up here, let me look.”
Three sailors heaved the floating corpse onto the flagship, and lay it down on the deck. This floating corpse’s hands and feet were also bound with leather rope. As soon as Wei Xiaobao saw it, sure enough, it was Thin Toutuo. He was already very fat, and by this time he had drunk a lot of water, his belly was bloated up, just like a fully blown leather ball. He saw sea water gurgling out from his mouth, after a while, his fat tummy started to rise and fall, he started to breathe. The soldiers called out, “The floating corpse came back to live!”
 Lit. ‘eat all’, in the context of playing cards: ‘sweeping the (card) deck clean’.
 Orig. ‘tong pei’, again, in the context of playing cards: ‘lost to everybody’.
Last edited by foxs; 04-22-12 at 09:02 PM.
Yes thanks a lot! its really great.
Definitely an interesting update.
"Wu Li" Da Ren.... Xiao Re Bu gan.
Xiao ren is just a humble reader who is barely literate and can only read and write. Xiao Ren is not someone skilled or powerful, but a crazee man who is a loner and detested by people around.
I'll be careful with thin tou tou still alive.....not even with heroes all around.
You plant a garden and the flowers do not bloom, you poke a stick in the mud and it grows into a tree
thanks alot foxs
I just finished compiling Chapter 1-10 of this novel into an EPUB for reading on your iPad.
Click to download.
Check out WXFS translated comic of Tian Long Ba Bu
Last updated: 02/04/2008
Thanks foxs! and @wandering, really nice of you to compile all of that!
As I have been wandering around the forum reading up other books, I have not been following WXB, preferring to read a few chapters in one sitting. Planning to do so this weekend with my trusty ipad.
I am 1/3 way thro tony leung/andy lau's 1984 series. Definitely more loyal to the book, with fillers for continuity.
Laughed my socks off seeing two-bit actors who later became established stars. Some of them played 2 roles in the series!
Lastly, l love the warm ending between the emperor and WXB.
Last edited by crazee; 04-24-12 at 02:29 AM.
Anh, Sablemagi, you are welcome. Crazee ... if you admit it, then you won't be the expert who is concealing your true identity, will you? Ace, thanks for the additional info. Wandering, thanks for doing that. I have no use of it, since I do not own any pads, but thanks for sharing. I am planning on compiling the pdf like I did on Condor Trilogy later. Drak, enjoy. Ycb, I am not fast enough, am I? Here is the last of Chapter 34. It was a long chapter ...
Shi Lang raised Thin Toutuo and propped his lower back on the chain block at the bow of the ship. With head hanging down, the stream of seawater from his mouth flowed faster. After a while, Thin Toutuo jerked up and cursed, “Your granny!” But then he dropped down again, sitting on the bow. The soldiers were scared, but then they roared in laughter.
Thin Toutuo struggled, but the leather rope was wet with seawater, it became even more tough and pliable, how could he break it? He shook his head with a bewildered look on his eyes “Damn it,” he said, “Is this the Dragon Palace, or the underworld?”
Wei Xiaobao laughed and said, “This is the Dragon Palace, and I am Hai Long Wang [sea dragon king].” The officers and soldiers roared in laughter again.
Thin Toutuo opened wide his pair of slit eyes, and stared hard at Wei Xiaobao. “You … you … why are you here?” he said.
For fear that he might reveal his secret, Wei Xiaobao said, “This man is a freak, perhaps he knows the inside information on Shen Long Island. Quickly take him to my cabin, let me interrogate him.” Two personal guards brought Thin Toutuo into Wei Xiaobao’s cabin. “Wait outside,” Wei Xiaobao ordered them, “If you do not hear my call, don’t come in.”
After the personal guards closed the cabin’s door, Wei Xiaobao asked, “Thin Toutuo, your martial art skill is very high, how could you get tied and thrown into the ocean?”
Thin Toutuo said, “Laozi is not the number one martial artist under the heavens, why can’t I get tied and thrown into the ocean?”
Wei Xiaobao was taken aback. “Ah, you are unable to defeat Jiaozhu,” he said with a laugh.
Thin Toutuo said, “What’s so funny about that? And who can possibly defeat Jiaozhu?”
“How did you offend Jiaozhu?” Wei Xiaobao asked.
“Who dares to offend Jiaozhu, the Senior?” Thin Toutuo said, “Madame said that Mao Dongzhu did not do her best in her mission in the Palace, she deceived Jiaozhu, therefore, she was to be sent into the Divine Dragon Cave to be fed to the dragons. I … I … I …” Speaking to this point, his eyes were bulging, his teeth clenched, the expression on his face showed that he was extremely outraged.
Wei Xiaobao suddenly understood; that night at the Compassionate and Peaceful Palace the fake Empress Dowager, the old wh0re told his Shifu Jiu Nan that she was the daughter of a great general of the Ming Dynasty by the name of Mao something Long, her real name was Mao Dongzhu. He laughed and said, “In the Palace you slept with Mao Dongzhu under the same quilt; that was extremely fun!”
Thin Toutuo looked very pleased with himself. “Isn’t that so?” he said.
“I have saved your life, haven’t I?” Wei Xiaobao asked.
“Just consider it yes,” Thin Toutuo said.
“What do you mean just consider it or not consider it yes?” Wei Xiaobao said, “If you want to say that I did not save your life, isn’t that also very easy?”
“What do you mean very easy?” Thin Toutuo asked.
Wei Xiaobao replied, “I’ll simply push you back into the ocean, then you can consider that I did not save your life; that’s it.”
“That won’t do, that won’t do!” Thin Toutuo yelled, “You drown me, it’s not a big deal, but my Dongzhu Meizi [younger sister, term of endearment] won’t stay alive.”
“Whether she will stay alive or not, in any case you are dead,” Wei Xiaobao said.
“That won’t do, that won’t do!” Thin Toutuo yelled.
“If I let you go,” Wei Xiaobao asked, “What are you going to do?”
“Then I will thank you very much,” Thin Toutuo replied, “But I still have to return to Shen Long Island to save my Dongzhu Meizi.”
Wei Xiaobao raised his thumb and praised him, “You have both the passion and the righteousness!” while thinking in his heart, “His Majesty wanted me to capture the old wh0re, I was just worried that I could not find her, now I am certain I will find the old wh0re from this fat and short fellow. But this man’s martial art skill is superior; if I let him go, it will be like ‘releasing the tiger is easy, catching the tiger is difficult’. Can’t say for sure, perhaps with an ‘Ahoy’, he will bite me instead.”
Thin Toutuo said, “Luckily there is fighting on Shen Long Island that the sky and earth are turning upside down; it will be a lot more convenient to save someone.”
As soon as Wei Xiaobao heard it, his heart was shaken. “How can there be fighting on Shen Long Island that the sky and earth are turning upside down?” he busily asked.
Thin Toutuo said, “The Five Dragon Gates, you hit me, I strike you, they have been fighting for more than ten days. Whoever got caught by the other party would be immediately bound hands and feet and thrown into the sea to feed the Dragon King.”
“Why are they fighting?” Wei Xiaobao asked.
Thin Toutuo leaned his fat head sideways, he cast a sidelong glance toward Wei Xiaobao and said, “Dongzhu Meizi said that you are our Cult’s White Dragon Envoy, wielding the Five Dragon Command; how can you not know?”
“I received Jiaozhu’s order to go to the Central Plains on a mission,” Wei Xiaobao replied, “Hence I am not clear of what’s been happening on the Island.”
Thin Toutuo suddenly cried out some strange noises. Wei Xiaobao jumped in fright and withdrew two steps back. The four personal guards outside the door heard the strange noise. Afraid that this fat and short man might injure their Commander, with sabers in their hands they burst into the room. After seeing the fat and short man was still bound hands and feet and was sitting nicely on the floor did they feel relieve. Wei Xiaobao waved his hand and said, “You may get out, I am all right.” The personal guards withdrew from the room.
Wei Xiaobao asked, “Why did you let out those strange noises?”
“That’s bad!” Thin Toutuo said, “You are Jiaozhu and Madame’s trusted aide, but I’ve told you everything.”
Wei Xiaobao laughed and said, “It’s not that bad. You can just consider that I have not saved you, that you are still floating around on the ocean, ‘glug, glug’, drinking the seawater to your heart’s content.”
“His granny,” Thin Toutuo said, “That saltwater really does not taste good.”
“If you don’t want to drink saltwater,” Wei Xiaobao said, “Then tell me truthfully, why did the Five Dragon Gates fight each other?”
“By the time Dongzhu Meizi and I returned to Shen Long Island, they have already been fighting for a few days,” Thin Toutuo said, “When I asked someone, I was told that the Blue Dragon Envoy Xu Xueting was suddenly murdered one night. There was one bloody saber on the floor. After some investigation, turned out this bloody saber belonged to the Scarlet Dragon Envoy Priest Wugen’s first disciple, He Sheng.”
Hearing that Xu Xueting was murdered, Wei Xiaobao was slightly startled. He immediately thought, “Most likely Hong Jiaozhu sent someone to kill him.”
He heard Thin Toutuo continued, “Jiaozhu was greatly furious; he asked He Sheng why he plotted against the Blue Dragon Envoy. He Sheng adamantly denied, saying that he did not kill the Blue Dragon Envoy. Afterwards the Blue Dragon Gate’s members avenged their Zhangmen Shi [sect leader envoy, see also Note 1 of Chapter 20] and killed He Sheng. And thus the Scarlet Dragon Gate and Blue Dragon Gate are fighting each other.”
“But that is the Scarlet Dragon and Blue Dragon, two Gates’ business,” Wei Xiaobao said, “Why did you say the Five Dragon Gates are fighting each other silly?”
“I don’t know why,” Thin Toutuo said, “But Black Dragon Gate helped the Blue Dragon Gate, Yellow Dragon Gate helped Scarlet Dragon Gate; you kill me, I kill you, they have been fighting to their hearts’ delight.”
“What about my White Dragon Gate?” Wei Xiaobao asked.
Thin Toutuo stared at him; he said, “You are the White Dragon Envoy; how come you did not know your own Gate’s business?”
“I have told you,” Wei Xiaobao replied, “I was not on the Island; naturally I did not know.”
“Your Gate is divided into two factions,” Thin Toutuo said, “Older brothers became one faction, helping Blue Dragon Gate; the younger disciples are the other faction, helping the Scarlet Dragon Gate.”
Wei Xiaobao knitted his brows. “The Five Dragon Gates are beating each other, could it be that Jiaozhu does not pay any attention?” he asked.
Thin Toutuo said, “Everybody is rising on their own, Jiaozhu is unable to suppress it.”
Right this moment, suddenly they felt that the ship had stopped; they heard the sailors yelled, the chain rattled, dropping the anchor into the sea. They had arrived at the Tong Chi Island.
Wei Xiaobao stepped out to the bow. He saw lush vegetation on the island, rolling hills all around; it was indeed a very good place. Turning to Shi Lang he said, “There are snakes everywhere on the island, you need to send people to scout first whether there are snakes on Tong Chi Island or not.”
Shi Lang complied and transmitted the order. Immediately then small boats were rowed onto the island. The sailors went ashore and entered the woods to look for snakes. Not too long afterwards they lighted a torch to signal that the island was peaceful and nothing to worry about, there was no footprint, and there were no poisonous snakes.
The vanguard landed first, and put up army tents. One large command banner, embroidered with a large graceful character ‘Wei’, was raised in front of the tents. Wei Xiaobao then disembarked; with Shi Lang and Huang Zongbing walking on his left and right he stepped down onto Tong Chi Island. Bugle horns and firecrackers sounded, the troops bowed to salute. With head held high Wei Xiaobao entered the army camp and took his seat. He ordered his personal guard to imprison Thin Toutuo at the back of the tent, and to give him some wine and meat for him to eat, but not to loosen the leather rope binding his hands and feet; instead, he added several links of iron chain to bind him before Wei Xiaobao felt completely safe.
Following which, he issued an order to have Shi Lang leading thirty battleships and attack the Shen Long Island from the east, north and south, three directions; he also ordered Regional Commander Huang to lead the rest of the battleships hiding on the west side of the Tong Chi Island. As soon as they hear Shi Lang’s cannon signal, they were to appear and cut the enemy’s escape route. Which battleship would sail in the front, which battleship would provide support, how to launch the assault, how to make flank attack. All assignments were laid out clearly and in orderly manner, the directives were very detailed.
Regional Commander Huang, as well as the deputy generals and the regimental commanders of the Navy, the garrison commanders, the Valiant Cavalry Brigade’s regimental commanders, the company commanders, and the others military officers, high and low, all gasped in admiration to see that although their Dutong Daren was young, he was surprisingly very well versed in naval warfare; his tactic was exquisite, his commands were appropriate. They did not know that it all came from Shi Lang’s scheming, this Dutong Daren was no more than an actor in front of the stage, singing a shuanghuang.
That evening the troops stuffed themselves with eve-of-battle dinner. When the night fell, one by one the battleships sailed out. The three-pronged attack was scheduled at dawn, at the maoshi hour [between 5-7 am].
The next day at dawn, Wei Xiaobao climbed onto the observation tower the sergeants erected in haste. He looked eastwards, and heard the distant sound of artillery, saw faint flash of sparks, and gusts of thick smoke rising up from the surface of the ocean. He knew that Shi Lang had already started the assault, and could not help but was anxious over Fang Yi’s safety. However, thinking that Shi Lang would handle this matter discretely, plus he himself had repeatedly warned Shi Lang not to harm the women on the Island, he presumed Shi Lang would definitely particularly careful.
After standing on the observation tower for a while, his feet were aching. He returned to the command tent and asked for six dice. He mused, “If we seize total victory this time, let me throw a hall full of red.” But when he threw the dice, unexpectedly all were blacks, not even one red dot turned up.
“Damn it,” he cursed, “You are messing up with me!” Employing his cheating technique, he held the dice in such a way that all three-dots are facing up, and then using a bit of strength in his hand he rolled the dice. This time, as expected, there were five dice showing reds, all four-dots. There was only one showing blacks, a five-dot. He was fully aware than he cheated, hence it could not be considered as a good throw; yet he was quite happy.
Shuang’er came with a bowl of tea for him. “Xianggong,” she said, “Don’t be anxious, this time we will definitely have a greatly successful battle.”
“How do you know?” Wei Xiaobao asked.
Shuang’er said, “We have fired the cannon many times, how can the enemy withstand it?”
Wei Xiaobao said, “Come, Shuang’er, throw the dice with me. If you win, I’ll give the control to you. If I win, this can be considered great success.”
Shuang’er blushed; she hastily said, “No, I won’t come, I won’t come.”
Wei Xiaobao laughed. “Let’s gamble for money then,” he said, “If I win, you pay me one qian [one-tenth of a tael]. If you win, I will pay you one tael of silver. Won’t you say this way you’ll have nothing to lose?”
Shuang’er laughed and said, “I have no money to lose to you.”
Wei Xiaobao said, “You want money? That’s not easy.” But he took out some banknotes from his pocket and gave them to her.
Shuang’er laughed and said, “I have no use of money.”
“Ay,” Wei Xiaobao said, “You have no gambling nature. I’d better release that fat and short man and have him gamble with me.”
Speaking to this point, suddenly they heard repeated cannon shots. Wei Xiaobao sprang up to embrace Shuang’er. “Great success,” he said, “You deserve a kiss.”
Shuang’er hastily laughed and lowered her head. Wei Xiaobao planted a couple of kiss on the back of her neck. “Your neck is really white!” he said.
They heard the ‘toot, toot’ of bugle horn, he rushed out of the command tent and climbed up the observation tower. He saw in the distant three columns of flame rose up from Shen Long Island, went up straight to the sky, while the whole island was blanketed in black smoke; presumably the explosion had turned Shen Long Island into a piece of scorched earth. He also saw one by one the battleships were sailing eastwards; he thought, “This fellow Shi Lang calculates like a half smelly cobbler, his ‘prophecy with supernatural accuracy’ is not worth mentioning, his ‘predicting future matter like a ghost’ is only so-so.”
The battleships went back and forth on the ocean very slowly, he had been standing on the observation tower for half a day, yet did not see any ships from Shen Long Island escaping his way, let alone seeing Shi Lang and Regional Commander Huang’s converging attack from east and west; thereupon he returned to the command tent to take a rest.
After waiting for more than four hours, his personal guard came to report that he had just seen fireworks signal, two groups of battleships were reporting their success to Dutong Daren. Wei Xiaobao was greatly delighted; he thought, “Laozi sits quietly in the command tent, my eyes see victory report arrives, my ears hear good news. In this battle victory comes as easy as blowing off dust. I just hope that Fang Yi, that ‘little mother skin’, won’t have even a strand of her hair scorched by the cannon.”
 According to Chinese legend, the Dragon Palace is where the Dragon King resides, at the bottom of the Eastern Sea.
 A form of theatrical double act, popular since Qing dynasty, with one player seated stage front and acted out the poem or song of the second player hidden backstage.
 Hall full of red (Man tan hong) – success across the board, victory in everything one touches.
Thanks again for the new update!
You're fast enough in my book (think I am stuck with the other books with slower update - can't blame them as this is done voluntarily)
Sigh - remind me not to stray to other books - can't remember "who is who" when I came back to WXB!