Thread: The Deer and The Cauldron

  1. #221
    Senior Member smurf120's Avatar
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    Yeah, this scene could use a little speed up but this is very good translation nonetheless. No wonder the serials always do only a minute of laughing and crying then jump straight into the *almost* fight before...

    click to show/hide spoilers
    Chief Captain Chen comes and nominates WXB for Xiangzhu.

  2. #222
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    Thanks for the translation foxs, I am thoroughly enjoying it. He is definitely different than the rest of Jin Yong's protagonist.

  3. #223
    Senior Member Grundle's Avatar
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    Great to see this being translated. I always hated the Minford translation. His retarded rendering of names really got on my nerves, and now I find out he skipped large portions.

    Well I am extremely happy so see you doing this Foxs. Thanks for the excellent effort. I never believed I would see a better translation appear
    --=={Grundle}==--

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    Senior Member tweety365's Avatar
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    The argument got dull real fast, but the cursing part gave me a couple chuckles .
    Just from this meeting, it's obvious that as a group they are not united. Obviously the mission of fighting the Qing, restoring the Ming is set to fail.


    Thanks for the update, foxs.

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    Default oiy you :D

    Quote Originally Posted by Grundle View Post
    Great to see this being translated. I always hated the Minford translation. His retarded rendering of names really got on my nerves, and now I find out he skipped large portions.

    Well I am extremely happy so see you doing this Foxs. Thanks for the excellent effort. I never believed I would see a better translation appear
    Hey grundle when you gona finish up your translation.... I really wana see what happens to the dude now that hes out of jail.
    Ali Derhamy

  6. #226
    Senior Member Shi-Potian's Avatar
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    is that the huang yi novel he was translating i would love to see that translation resumed

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkyWalker View Post
    Thanks for another update foxs.

    To be honest, I'm a little bored with this part of the story. All I"ve been reading so far is how these non important people keep debating who should be the leader of the Green Wood Hall and it goes round and round and round and now they're back to square one. JY needs to speed this up!
    Have you ever wondered why their resistance failed to achive any significant gains up until that point?
    Last edited by Ace High; 10-09-10 at 03:32 AM.

  8. #228
    Senior Member foxs's Avatar
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    Default Chapter 7 - Part 7

    Sky, Smurf, Tweety & Ace, I had the same thought when translating that part. Single Whip, thanks for dropping by. I also agree with you. This IS different from other Jin Yong's works. Grundle, thanks for the kind words. Although you have to admit, he is an English scholar; his sentences flow much better than mine, it's like comparing a college student with a grade-school. The only thing different is that I am trying to stay as close to Jin Yong's original as possible. Shi-Potian, Ali, I guess you guys have found Grundle's work. (I notice the thread has re-surfaced) Thanks, Grundle, I, too, am looking forward to the completion of your work.

    -------------------------------------------------
    He heard someone was saying, "Drawing a lot is too unreliable, it's a little too much like a child's play. I'll say, let Li Dage and Guan Fuzi have a martial art contest to determine victory or defeat, with fists and kicks is alright, using weapons is also alright, as long as they do not injure each other. Everybody else will stand on the side with eyes open wide, who wins and who loses will be seen clearly, nobody will have dissenting words."

    Jia Laoliu was the first to approve, with a loud voice he said, “Good! Martial art contest to decide victory or defeat it is. If Li Dage wins, I, Jia Laoliu will support Li Dage as the Xiangzhu.”

    As soon as he said that, Wei Xiaobao thought, “You approve the martial art contest because your brother-in-law’s martial art is superior to Li Dage’s, what is there to be contested?”

    If even Wei Xiaobao could have this thought, naturally others could also think the same. One after another those who supported Li voiced their objection; someone said, “Being the Xiangzhu, onemust make the brothers of the entire Hall work together, it does not have too much to do with martial art.” “If the Xiangzhu position is decided based on martial art skill, then if someone within out Hall can defeat Guan Fuzi, will we let him to be the Xiangzhu?” “This is not Xiangzhu election, but a martial art competition stage. Guan Fuzi might as well erect the stage, let the heroes from all over the world come and compete.” “If that treacherous bandit Oboi did not die, he was the ‘number one warrior of Manchuria’; Guan Fuzi may not necessarily win over him. If Oboi had won on the martial art competition stage, could it be that we will invite him to become our Xiangzhu?” As the crowd heard this, they could not bear not to laugh.

    In this confusion, suddenly someone said coldly, "Yin Xiangzhu, oh Yin Xiangzhu, after your death, nobody look up on you anymore. The oath we made in front of your memorial tablet has turned into damn bullsh1t." Wei Xiaobao recognized the voice, it belonged to Qi Laosan who loved to say cold words and make sarcastic comments.

    The crowd immediately quiet down. And then almost together several people asked, "Qi Laosan, what do you mean by that?"

    With a cold laugh Qi Laosan said, "Many years ago, I, the one surnamed Qi, kowtowed in front of Wan Yunlong Dage and Yin Lizhu's memorial tablets, I pricked my finger and shed some blood and made a heavy oath, vowing to avenge Yin Xiangzhu. With my own mouth I said, 'Whichever brother kill Oboi and avenged Yin Xiangzhu deep enmity, I, Qi Biaoqing, will revere him as our Hall's Xiangzhu, will all my heart I will faithfully obey his commands, and promise never to go against him!' Qi Laosan indeed said those words. The one surnamed Qi intends to keep his words; it is definitely not a dog fart!" In that instant, the hall grew very quiet, not the least bit of noise was heard. Actually, everybody in that hall had made the same vow.

    After a while, it was again Jia Laoliu who lost his patient first. He said, "Qi San'ge[18], what you said is not wrong, in fact, everybody had said the same thing, including me, Jia Laoliu. Naturally it was not an empty oath. But ... but ... you know it, I know it, everybody know that the one who killed Oboi was this ... this ..." He turned around looking for Wei Xiaobao, suddenly he saw Wei Xiaobao was at the door with one foot already outside the hall, ready to flee. "Grab him," Jia Laoliu shouted, "Don't let him run away!"

    Wei Xiaobao pulled his foot wishing to dash out. In an instant six, seven men pounced on him. About a dozen hands grabbed his body at the same time and forcefully dragged him back into the hall. "Hey, hey," Wei Xiaobao screamed, "Turtle bastards, why are you pulling laozi back?" He presumed that this time he would not live, so he might as well enjoy hurling curses at them.

    A man wearing xiucai[19] attire, including the hat, walked out from among the crowd. "Xiao Xiongdi," he said, "Don't curse people."

    Wei Xiaobao recognized his voice, he said, "You are Qi Laosan?"

    That man was indeed Qi Laosan, Qi Biaoqing. "You know me?" he asked in surprise.

    "I know your Ma!" Wei Xiaobao replied.

    Qi Biaoqing had 30% bookworm disposition, he did not realize Wei Xiaobao was cursing at him. He was even more surprised, "How did you know my Ma?" he asked.

    "Your Ma and I are old friends," Wei Xiaobao replied, "We are old lovers."

    The crowd roared in laugher. "This little eunuch is a smooth-talker!" they commented.

    Qi Biaoqing's entire face turned red. "Stop laughing!" he said. Immediately his face turned stern as he asked, "Xiao Xiongdi, why did you kill Oboi?"

    Wei Xiaobao got a sudden inspiration. He said in loud voice, "That traitor Oboi had done not a few of evil deeds, he had killed countless our Han people's heroes and warriors. I, Wei Xiaobao, cannot coexist with him. I ... I was fine until he captured me and put me in the Imperial Palace and made me an eunuch. I wish I could chop his head and made him into minced meat, and throw him into the pond to feed the tortoise." He knew that the more vehement he was and the more he aroused indignation, the greater his chance of survival would be.

    The people in the hall looked at each other in astonishment. Qi Biaoqing asked, "How long have you become a eunuch?"

    "How long? Not even half a year yet," Wei Xiaobao replied, "I am originally from Yangzhou, he caught me and brought me to Beijing. Hot piece mama, stinky Oboi is dead I still want him to go up the mountain of blades, to go down the deep fryer, to roll over nail board and have that thief Oboi's bones penetrated." A succession of Yangzhou-style cussing blurted out of his mouth.

    A middle-aged man nodded his head and said, "He is really from Yangzhou." His own voice carried a Yangzhou accent.

    "Uncle," Wei Xiaobao said, "We, Yangzhou people, were tragically killed by the Tatars; they killed us for ten days in a row, from morning to night without stopping. My grandpa, my grandma, my first grandma, my second grandma, my third grandma, my fourth grandma, not a single one escape from the Tatars. The Manchu ghosts went on killing spree from the Eastern Gate all the way to the Western Gate, from the Southerm Gate all the way to the Northern Gate, all under this Oboi's order. I ... I simply cannot live under the same sky as him, that's how deep my enmity is." He tried to remember what people say about the 'Ten Days of Yangzhou' massacre, the more he said, the more believable he was. Hearing him, the people were emotionally moved, they nodded their heads again and again.

    “No wonder, no wonder!” Guan Anji said.

    Wei Xiaobao said, “Not only my grandpa, grandma, even my father was also killed by Oboi.”

    “Poor child, poor child,” Qi Biaoqing said.

    Cui Xiazi asked, “How old are you this year?”

    “Thirteen or fourteen years old,” Wei Xiaobao replied.

    Cui Xiazi said, “The massacre at Yangzhou was more than twenty years ago, how can your father be killed by Oboi?”

    Wei Xiaobao thought something was amiss, his lies had been discovered, thereupon he blurted out whatever was in his mind, “How should I know? I wasn’t even born yet, it was what my ma told me.”

    Cui Xiazi said, “Even if you were born after his death, it’s still impossible.”

    “Cui Xiongdi,” Qi Biaoqing said, “You are wrong. This Xiao Xiongdi said his father was killed by Oboi, he did not say that he was killed during the ‘Ten days of Yangzhou’. Oboi was an arrogant officer, until today, in which year he did not kill anybody? Our Yin Xiangzhu was killed by Oboi; it happened only a little bit more than two years ago.”

    “Yes, yes!” Cui Xiazi said.

    Jia Laoliu suddenly asked, “Xiao … Friend, you said that Oboi has killed countless heroes and warriors, what does it have to do with you?”

    “Who says it has nothing to do with me?” Wei Xiaobao replied, “I have a good friend who was arrested by Oboi at the Qing Palace and was killed. He and I were caught together.”

    “Who is it, who is it?” the crowd asked together.

    “This man has quite a reputation in Jianghu,” Wei Xiaobao replied, “His name is Mao Shiba!”

    “Oh!” more than a dozen men exclaimed. “Mao Shiba is your friend?” Jia Laoliu asked, “But he did not die.”

    Wei Xiaobao was delighted, “He didn’t die?” he said, “That’s wonderful! Jia Laoliu, when you cursed the salt smugglers in Yangzhou, Mao Shiba fought them on your behalf. I was also helping him to fight.”

    Jia Laoliu scratched his head, “Is there really such thing?” he wondered.

    “Very good!” Guan Anji said, “Whether this little friend is indeed a friend or a foe, it is a matter of great importance. Laoliu, take several brothers with you, go get Mao Shiba, invite him to identify him.”

    “Yes!” Jia Laoliu complied; he turned around and went out the hall.

    Qi Biaoqing pulled a chair. “Xiao Xiongdi,” he said, “Please sit down!”

    Wei Xiaobao was not bashful at all, he sat down. Someone gave him a bowl of noodles and a cup of tea. Wei Xiaobao was indeed very hungry, he ate the noodles clean. Guan Anji, Qi Biaoqing, and the one they called Li Dage, Li Lishi, sat with him and chatted. Their tone was quite polite, but actually they were interrogating him about his life and what he had been through lately. Wei Xiaobao did not conceal anything, occasionally he would toot his horn, hurl some cuss words to Oboi, and tell them in detail how he helped Kangxi capture Oboi. Only the fact that he learned martial art from Hai Laogong and Kangxi personally stab Oboi on the back, he did not mention at all. Guan Anji and the others had already heard about how Oboi was arrested by the young emperor and a group of little eunuchs. Listening to Wei Xiaobao’s vivid narrative, they knew most likely it was not a fabrication.

    Guan Anji sighed and said, “Oboi had a reputation as the Number One Warrior of Manchuria; not only he was killed by you, but he was captured also by you. It must have been the heaven’s will.”

    They were chatting for about an hour. Guan Anji, Li Lishi, Qi Biaoqing and the others were Jianghu veterans with rich experience; although they felt that Wei Xiaobao’s story was somewhat flippant and insincere, the crux of the story was unambiguous. Suddenly they heard footsteps, the door to the hall was pushed open, two men carrying a stretcher walked in. Jia Laoliu followed behind them; he said, “Brother-in-law, Mao Shiba has been invited here!”

    Wei Xiaobao sprang up. He saw Mao Shiba was lying on the stretcher, his cheeks were hollow, his eye sockets sank deep, his countenance was extremely wan and sallow. Wei Xiaobao asked, “You … you are sick?”

    When Jia Laoliu came to get him, Mao Shiba only knew that the Green Wood Hall of Tian Di Hui had an important matter they would like to discuss with him, but he did not know the nature of the matter. Now that he suddenly saw Wei Xiaobao, he was wild with joy. “Xiaobao,” he called out, “You … you also ran away; that’s wonderful! I … all this time I have been thinking about you. I was hoping that as soon as I recover, I will go back to the Imperial Palace to get you out. This … this is really good!”

    At these words, the 30% remaining doubt that was still in everybody’s hearts was swept away in an instant. This little eunuch was indeed Mao Shiba’s friend, who was captured together with him and was brought into the Qing Palace. Although Mao Shiba was not a member of Tian Di Hui, he was a man with quite a reputation in Jianghu, he always said one as one and two as two. Over the last few years, his arrest by the Qing court was a matter of public knowledge. Since Wei Xiaobao was his friend, naturally he could not be a real eunuch of the Qing Palace. Moreover, when Mao Shiba talked, they saw how he revealed his true feelings, obviously his friendship with the child was extremely good.

    “Mao Dage,” Wei Xiaobao said, “Are … are you injured?”

    Mao Shiba sighed and said, “Ay, when I ran away from the Imperial Palace that night, I managed to reach the Palace gate, finally I met some imperial bodyguards. It was one against five. I killed two of them, but I also received two saber chops. I desperately ran out of the Palace gate. More imperial bodyguards from the Palace ran after me. It was actually a dead end for me. Fortunately Tian Di Hui friends lent me their hands, and thus my life was spared. Were you also being rescued by the good friends of Tian Di Hui?”

    Immediately the look on Guan Anji and the others’ faces turned awkward. They felt that the way they handled this matter was not exactly too pretty. Who would have thought that Wei Xiaobao said, “Exactly. That old eunuch forced me to become a little eunuch. It was not until today that I finally able to escape. Fortunately I came across these … these gentlemen from Tian Di Hui.”

    -------------------------------------------------
    [18] Third older brother.

    [19] [I forgot to add the footnote earlier] Xiucai was a scholar who had passed the county level of imperial exam.
    -------------------------------------------------

    There is a little bit left from Chapter 7. I'll try to work on it tonight and post it as soon as I can.

  9. #229
    Senior Member Ace High's Avatar
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    If i'm not mistaken, in later chapters its Qi Qing Biao instead of Qi Biao Qing.

    In the 2008 mainland adaptions also use Qi Qing Biao.

  10. #230
    Senior Member foxs's Avatar
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    Both the book and online text have Qi Biaoqing. If the text changes later, we can always change it. (My book is the 2001 version, I am not aware if there is a newer edition)

    I was going to respond to this earlier:
    Quote Originally Posted by smurf120 View Post
    DOMD fans are more money oriented and practical??? LOL
    Not only that, but from those who responded, with the exception of Ali, we are all in north America. Does that mean people who live in other places do not like Lu Ding Ji?

    ---------------------------------------------------
    The Tian Di Hui warriors secretly let out a relieved breath, they knew that by saying that, Wei Xiaobao was giving careful consideration to their face; they were secretly grateful, thinking that although this boy was young, he was a good friend, indeed.

    Right away Jia Laoliu invited Mao Shiba and Wei Xiaobao to take a rest in a side room, while the Green Wood Hall warriors continued their conference in the main hall. Mao Shiba’s injury was very heavy, although he had been recuperating for several months, his body was still very weak. Just now when he was being brought up on the stretcher, his body was jolted and shaken, his wound was aching. Mentally he was very tired; he wanted to talk some more, but he simply did not have any strength. Wei Xiaobao thought, “No matter what, they are not going to kill me.” His mood improved tremendously. Curling on a large round-backed wooden armchair, he fell asleep immediately. In his sleep, he felt someone lifted him up, put him on a bed, and covered him with a quilt.

    When he woke up the next morning, someone came and brought water with which to wash his face, a cup of green tea, and a large bowl of meat noodles. “They treat laozi better and better,” he thought, “Unexpectedly they regard me like a big boss.” But then he saw two men standing outside the side room, and two more men standing outside the window. Although they pretended to be idle and were chatting with each other, it was obvious that they had received order to watch over him, perhaps they were afraid he might escape.

    Wei Xiaobao was a bit anxious; he thought, “If they really treat me as an honored guest, why did they send these four men to guard me?” Suddenly his childish heart rose up. “Humph, I am afraid guarding Wei Xiaobao is not that easy. I am going to slip out and have a stroll, I want to see how these four idiots will deal with me!” After looking clearly at his surroundings, he hatched a plan. Straight away he reached out and pushed hard the window facing east. At the noise, four men looked to the window. When Wei Xiaobao was sure that these four men’s eyes were still looking at the window, he slammed the side room’s door to the inside, and quickly rolled underneath the bed.

    Hearing the door, the four men turned their heads around and saw the double door was already open; the leaves were swinging continuously. They were shocked. These four men indeed were sent to watch over Wei Xiaobao. When they saw the door open, their first thought was that Wei Xiaobao had already escaped. “Aiyo!” they all called out together, and rushed into the room. They saw Mao Shiba was still sleeping soundly on the bed, but Wei Xiaobao was nowhere to be seen.

    “This child couldn’t be too far,” one man said, “Let’s spread out and pursue him, and report this to our superior.”

    “Yes!” the other tree complied, and together they rushed out of the room. Two of them leaped up to the roof.

    Wei Xiaobao coughed, and then got out from under the bed and haughtily walked toward the main hall. He pushed the door and saw Guan Anji and Li Lishi were sitting side by side, while the men sent to guard him breathlessly reported, “That … that child suddenly ran … ran away; we don’t know … where he is.” Before he finished, he saw Wei Xiaobao suddenly appear. “Ah!” the man exclaimed, his eyes grew big as he stared at Wei Xiaobao, speechless.

    Wei Xiaobao stretched his body and said, “Li Dage, Guan Fuzi, how are you?”

    Guan Anji and Li Lishi looked at each other, and then said to the men, “Dismissed! You are useless!” Immediately they laughed toward Wei Xiaobao and said, “Please sit down, did you sleep well last night?”

    With a chuckle Wei Xiaobao sat down and said, “Very well, very well!”

    The main hall door suddenly burst open as the other two men rushed in. “Guan Fuzi,” one of them shouted, that … that child has gone …” Suddenly he saw Wei Xiaobao sitting there. “Oh!” he cried out in amazement, “He … he …”

    Wei Xiaobao could not help but laughing aloud as he said, “You four men are really useless, you can’t even watch over a child. If I really wanted to run away, I am already gone by now.”

    A foolish-looking man asked, “How did you get out? There must be something in my eyes, I did not see even a shadow, yet you were already gone.”

    Wei Xiaobao said with a laugh, “I know the art of invisibility; I can teach it to you if you like.”

    Guan Anji frowned; he waved his hands to the two men and said, “Dismissed!”

    The foolish-looking man was still asking, “There is really the art of invisibility? No wonder, no wonder.”

    Li Lishi said, “Xiao Xiongdi is young, but smart and sharp, making people quite admire you.”

    Suddenly they heard faint hoof beats in the distant, a large number of riders were coming their way. Guan Anji and Li Lishi stood up immediately. “Tatars’ troops?” Li Lishi said in a low voice. Guan Anji nodded. Pointing his finger to the door he let out three shrill whistles. Five men rushed into the hall.

    “Tell everybody to get ready!” Guan Anji said, “Tell Jia Laoliu to lead several brothers to protect Master Mao Shiba. A large number of Tatars’ troops have arrived, we can’t face them in battle, we must retreat separately per pre-arranged routes.”

    The five men complied and went out to transmit the order. Everywhere the Tian Di Hui people were roused. Guan Anji said, “Xiao Xiongdi, you’d better stay with me.”

    Suddenly a man rushed into the hall and said loudly, “Zongduozhu has arrived!”

    “What?” Guan Anji and Li Lishi asked together.

    The man said, “Zongduozhu, accompanied by five Halls’ Xiangzhu, are riding toward this place.”

    Guan and Li two people were delighted; they both asked, “How do you know?”

    The man replied, “Subordinate met Zongduozhu on the way, he personally ordered subordinate to inform his arrival in advance.”

    Seeing the man had run and was out of breath, Guan Anji nodded and said, “Very well, you go and take a rest.” He let out a whistle to summon the guard, and issued his order, “It’s not Tatars’ troops, it’s Zongduozhu’s arrival! Tell everybody to go out and welcome him.”

    As soon as the news spread, the building was buzzing with excitement. Holding Wei Xiaobao’s hand, Guan Anji said, “Xiao Xiongdi, our Society’s Zongduozhu has arrived. Let us greet him together!”

  11. #231
    Senior Member tweety365's Avatar
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    wow, 2 updates back to back! you are spoiling us, foxs!
    things are getting exciting now...

  12. #232
    Senior Member SkyWalker's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great updates foxs!

    The story is finally moving forward! Thank goodness!

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    Thanks foxs! can't wait for the next update woohoo!

  14. #234
    Senior Member Ace High's Avatar
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    foxs

    that's why i'm pretty confused, since it's only on chapter 30 onwards. maybe it's a typo
    Last edited by Ace High; 10-11-10 at 09:40 AM.

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    Senior Member smurf120's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by foxs View Post
    Not only that, but from those who responded, with the exception of Ali, we are all in north America. Does that mean people who live in other places do not like Lu Ding Ji?
    Funny you mention that because I always get the sense that most people who post in Wuxia Fiction basically hate WXB. Can't get a word in sideways unless its a ROCH/LOCH discussion.

  16. #236
    Senior Member SkyWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smurf120 View Post
    Funny you mention that because I always get the sense that most people who post in Wuxia Fiction basically hate WXB. Can't get a word in sideways unless its a ROCH/LOCH discussion.
    I think it's because WXB is not a typical so called "hero" and a lot of people who read wuxia like to read about the fightings and the different martial arts, hence the limited discussion on Lu Ding Ji. WXB doesn't rely on his martial arts to win battles due to his lack of them but instead, rely heavily on his wits and luck.

  17. #237
    Senior Member Grundle's Avatar
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    WXB is desirable for many reasons. From a simplified perspective I have always seen him as the antitheses to Linghu Chong. The one common trait that the two share is their quick wits.

    Maybe people from North America enjoy this type of story more, because we love to hear about the underdog. Sure WXB is unscrupulous and selfish, but he is really smart and he is extremely funny when he gets in trouble.
    --=={Grundle}==--

  18. #238
    Senior Member tweety365's Avatar
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    Plus WXB is not without some scruples. At least his friendship with the young king is true. He tries his best to help out his friends whenever possible. Of course, at the end of the day, he cares for himself the most, but that's the case with most people. I like this story because it is entertaining to read.

  19. #239
    Senior Member foxs's Avatar
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    Default Chapter 8 - Part 1

    You are welcome, Tweety, Sky, OwlHoot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ace High View Post
    that's why i'm pretty confused, since it's only on chapter 30 onwards. maybe it's a typo
    Ace, I am not that far ahead yet! We'll deal with it when the time comes.

    Smurf, that was the reason I conducted my 'reader survey' not in that forum. Sky, Grundle & Tweety, perhaps it is refreshing because our 'hero' is not an overly-righteous 'hero' like Guo Jing or having some 'out-of-this-world' martial art ability.

    ----------------------------------------------
    Chapter 8 – Coming across fine guest by accident as if having a previous appointment, famous reputation constantly in fear of being seen without any reason.
    (Translated by Foxs)

    Wei Xiaobao followed Guan Anji, Li Lishi, and the other warriors outside the door, he saw two, three hundred men arranged in two rows shaped like a funnel, their faces showed excitement. A moment later, two men carrying a stretcher with Mao Shiba on it came out.

    Li Lishi said, “Mao Shiba, you are our guest, no need to be so polite.”

    Mao Shiba said, “I’ve long heard of Chen Zongduozhu’s illustrious name, it’s really like thunder piercing my ears. Today I have the opportunity to pay a formal visit, even if … even if I have to die today, my death …. my death won’t be in vain.” His voice was still without any strength, but his face flushed, showing he was in high spirit.

    They heard the sound of hoof beats was coming near. At the front of the riders were about a dozen horses galloping near. Before they even arrived, the first three riders jumped down from their mounts. Li Lishi and the others rushed forward to greet them, they held hands with those three riders and talked; they seemed to know each other very intimately.

    Wei Xiaobao heard one of them say, “Zongduozhu is waiting ahead of us; Li Dage, Guan Fuzi, and other brothers, please come and see him …” These several people conferred with each other while still standing. Li Lishi, Guan Anji, Qi Biaoqing, Priest Xuanzhen, and the others, six people in all, mounted their horses and sped away with these incoming men.

    Mao Shiba was disappointed, “Chen Zongduozhu is not coming?” he asked. But nobody around him knew the answer to that question. They were all dejected because they could not see their Zongduozhu.

    Wei Xiaobao said in his heart, “Did someone owe you all ten thousand taels and did not pay? Or perhaps you lost your wife and your pants in gambling? Your granny, why are your expressions so ugly?”

    After a long time, someone on horseback galloped by. He was conveying an order, mentioning thirteen names, telling them to meet with Zongduozhu. Those thirteen men were delighted; they rushed toward their mounts and galloped away.

    Wei Xiaobao asked Mao Shiba, “Mao Dage, is Chen Zongduozhu a very old man?”

    Mao Shiba replied, “I … I have never … never seen him. Everybody in Jianghu admires Chen Zongduozhu, but to see his … the Senior’s face may be really difficult.”

    “Hey, hey,” Wei Xiaobao laughed, in his heart he said, “Humph, damn it, what an arrogant guy, what’s so special about him anyway? Laozi does not want to see him.”

    Seeing this situation, the crowd of warriors knew that most likely their Zongduozhu would not come. But they still cherished a one in ten thousand chance that he might, thereupon they all stood waiting at the main gate. After standing for a long time, some of them sat down. Someone advised Mao Shiba, “Master Mao, you’d better go back to your room and rest. If our Zongduozhu arrives, we’ll invite Master Mao to meet him as soon as possible.”

    Mao Shiba shook his head and said, “No! I am going to wait here. It’s an honor to meet Chen Zongduozhu, if zaixia[1] is not waiting outside, that … that will be too respectful. Ay, I wonder if during my lifetime, I, Mao Shiba, won’t have the good fortune to see the Senior’s face.”

    Wei Xiaobao had followed Mao Shiba from Yangzhou to Beijing. Listening to what he said along the way, Mao Shiba did not have any favorable impression of various Wulin personalities, but toward this Chen Zongduozhu, he showed a complete reverence. Unconsciously Wei Xiaobao was also infected by his sentiment, and did not dare to curse in his heart anymore.

    Suddenly they heard hoof beats again, some people were galloping near. Those who sat on the ground leaped on their feet. Everybody craned his neck; everybody hoped that the person the Zongduozhu want to meet this time would be him. Sure enough, four envoys came by. Their leaders dismounted the horse and cupped his fist, saying, “Zongduozhu wishes to invite Mao Shiba, Master Mao, and Wei Xiaobao, Master Wei, to grant him the favor of meeting the two gentlemen.”

    Mao Shiba cheered, he leaped up from the stretcher, but “Aiyo!” he cried, and fell back onto the stretcher. “Go quickly, go quickly!” he called out.

    Wei Xiaobao was also very happy, he thought, “Everybody has been calling me ‘Gong-gong’ too much, but nobody has ever called me ‘master’. Ha ha … laozi is now Wei Xiaobao, Master Wei.”

    Two envoys took over the stretcher and hang it between two horses. Then they slowly walked. The other envoy gave his ride to Wei Xiaobao, while he took another horse to ride on, following behind the procession. The six of them travelled less than three li on the main road, before they turned right onto a small lane. Along the way they met two or three men, either sitting or walking, they were patrolling or guarding. The leader of the envoys stretched out his middle finger, ring finger and little finger and turned the fingers downward. The two guards nodded their heads; they also stretched out their fingers in secret signal. Wei Xiaobao noticed that the signals these people were showing were all different; he did not know the purpose of those signals.

    After travelling for twelve, thirteen li, they arrived at a courtyard in front of a big building. The man guarding in front of the gate loudly announced, “The guests have arrived!” And then he opened the gate. Li Lishi, Guan Anji, and two men that Wei Xiaobao had never met before came out. They cupped their fists and said, “Master Mao, Master Wei, welcome! Our humble Society’s Zongduozhu requests the pleasure of seeing you.”

    Wei Xiaobao was utterly delighted; the thought, “Looks like my ‘Master Wei’ will stay after all!”

    Mao Shiba struggled to stand up, he said, “How can I see Chen Zongduozhu like this? It’s really … really … Aiyo!” In the end he failed to get up and had to lie on the stretcher.

    Li Lishi said, “Master Mao is injured, no need to be overly courteous.” He let the two guests to enter the main hall.

    A man told Wei Xiaobao, “Master Wei, please sit here and have some tea. Zongduozhu wishes to have a chat with Master Mao first.” Straight away he took Mao Shiba in.

    Wei Xiaobao drank a cup of tea, a servant served him four dishes of light refreshments. Wei Xiaobao took a piece and thought, “Compared to the ones in the Imperial palace, this light refreshments is far too inferior, it can't even reach the level of Lovely Spring Courtyard's." Unavoidably the high regard he had of Zongduozhu's status was reduced a little bit. However, his stomach was really hungry, so he ate not a few of these despised light refreshments.

    About the time needed to eat a meal later, Li Lishi and the others, four people, came out again. One of them was an elderly man with grizzled beard, who said, "Zongduozhu requests the pleasure of seeing Master Wei."

    Wei Xiaobao busily chewed the pastry in his mouth and swallowed it hard into his belly. After wiping his hands onto the front of his clothes, he followed the four people inside. They stopped in front of a side room's door. The elderly man raised the curtain on the door and said, "Little White Dragon, Wei Xiaobao, Master Wei has arrived!"

    Wei Xiaobao was pleasantly surprised; he thought, "Unexpectedly he knew my made-up nickname, Mao Dage must have told them."

    A middle-aged man dressed in scholar attire inside the room stood up; with a smile across his face he said, "Please come in!"

    Wei Xiaobao walked in. His eyes were rolling in confusion. Guan Anji said, "This is our humble Society's Chen Zongduozhu."

    Wei Xiaobao raised his head slightly to take a look; he saw the man had a kind expression, but his eyes were like lightning as he gazed directly toward Wei Xiaobao. He could not help but was startled; he bent his knees and kowtowed to that man. The scholar stooped down to help him up and said with a laugh, "No need to be overly courteous." As his arms were being pulled by the scholar, Wei Xiaobao's entire body was hot; he trembled involuntarily and was not able to continue his kowtow.

    The scholar said with a laugh, "This Xiao Xiongdi captured and killed the number one warrior of Machuria, Oboi; he has taken revenge and swiped out the grudge of our countless Han people compatriots who have died under Oboi’s hands. In just a few days his name has shaken the land under the heavens. To be able to make a name this early in life is truly hard to come by, from the ancient time up to this day.”

    Actually, the skin on Wei Xiaobao’s face was quite thick; if someone else had praised him like this, he would immediately blow his own trumpet. However, in front of this Zongduozhu who did not flaunt his own prestige, unexpectedly he could only hum and haw without able to say anything. The Zongduozhu pointed to a chair and said with a smile, “Please sit down!” While he sat down himself first.

    Wei Xiaobao also sat down. But Li Lishi and the others, four people, remained standing. Zongduozhu smiled and said, “Master Mao Shiba told us that at the foot of Victory Hill in Yangzhou, by using a ruse Xiao Xiongdi has killed an officer of the Qing army, the Black Dragon Whip Shi Song, and thus making a debut and render your first merit. This is already out of the ordinary. I wonder how did Xiao Xiongdi capture Oboi?”

    Wei Xiaobao looked up, their eyes met, he could not stop his heart from thumping, in that instant the big talk and nonsense filling his heart suddenly vanished completely. When he opened his mouth, only the truth came out: how he obtained Kangxi's favor, how Oboi was being rude, how he cooperated with the young emperor in arresting Oboi, and so on. It's just that out of his respect toward Kangxi's loyalty, he did not mention anything about the young emperor stabbed Oboi on the back with a dagger. As the matter stands, he did mention how he threw the ash from the incense burner to Oboi's eyes and how he smashed his head with the copper incense burner, fully aware that if it was not a third-rate way of dealing with the enemy, then it was definitely a second-rate; yet he was unable to conceal it any longer.

    The Zongduozhu listened attentively without asking any question, when Wei Xiaobao finished, he nodded and said, "So that's what happened. Xiao Xiongdi's martial art skill is not of the same school as Master Mao's, I wonder which honorable master is your teacher?"

    Wei Xiaobao said, "I only learn a little bit of martial art, it can't be considered coming from any honorable master. The Old Turtle did not really teach me martial art, all he taught me was fake martial art."

    Although Zongduozhu was a man of vast experience and broad knowledge, he had not heard of any 'Old Turtle'; "The Old Turtle?" he asked.

    Wei Xiaobao laughed aloud and said, "Old turtle is Hai Laogong. His real name is Hai Tianfu. Mao Dage and I were captured by him and were brought to the Palace ..." Speaking to this point, he suddenly realized he had made a mistake. To the Tian Di Hui people he said that Mao Shiba and he were captured by Oboi, and now he said it was Hai Laogong who brought them to the Palace; how could the previous story not match the latter one? Luckily his ability in telling lies and covering up was top-notch; thereupon he said, "This old fellow was acting under Oboi's order to capture us, two people. I supposed Oboi was a very high ranking official, naturally he would not easily do the job personally."

    "Hai Tianfu? Hai Tianfu?" Zongduozhu muttered to himself, "There is such character in the Tatars' Palace? Xiao Xiongdi, show me the martial art he taught you."

    Even if the skin on Wei Xiaobao's face were thicker, he knew that in all honesty his martial art skill was not too brilliant; he said, "The old turtle only taught me fake martial art; he hated me for poisoning his eyes blind, so he did everything possible to harm me. This martial art is truly shameful."

    The Zongduozhu nodded, he waved his left hand, Guan Anji and the others, four people withdrew outside the room and closed the door behind them. Zongduozhu asked, "How did you poison his eyes blind?"

    In front of this heroic-spirited and imposing Zongduozhu, Wei Xiaobao felt that telling lies was extremely difficult; it was a lot more comfortable to tell the truth, a feeling that he had never experienced before. Thereupon he told him how he poisoned Hai Laogong blind, how he killed Xiao Guizi, how he masquerade as him and live as a little eunuch in the Palace. Zongduozhu was amazed and amused at the same time. He reached out with his left hand toward Wei Xiaobao's crotch and found that his pen1s and testicles were intact, Wei Xiaobao had not been 'purified' at all, indeed he was not a court eunuch. Zongduozhu could not help but letting out a sigh of relief as he smiled and said, "Wonderful, wonderful! I have a difficult problem in my mind and have not found the solution for a while. Turns out Xiao Xiongdi has not been purified, you are not a court eunuch!" Slapping lightly on the table with his left hand, he said, "It's settled then! Yin Xiongdi has a successor, the Green Wood Hall has a leader."

    ----------------------------------------------
    [1] Lit. ‘under’; the humble one, referring to self.

  20. #240
    Senior Member SkyWalker's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update foxs.

    It's nice to see WXB being honest and humble in front Chen Zongduozhu. Looking forward to seeing the development between them.

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