Thread: The Deer and The Cauldron

  1. #2701
    Senior Member smurf120's Avatar
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    My opinion on the Trilogy is that all the protagonists lived very secluded lives before becoming embroiled in the world, then once they did have to contact anyone they all somehow gained super martial arts so can disable their enemies without killing them.

    For example, HSDS Cheung Mo Gei never met more than 20 people in his life prior to the 6 sects attacking Brightness Peak. Then at the key time he learns secret Ming kung fu to beat everyone without injuring them.

    WXB does not have that luxury or choice which makes him more realistic.

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    lol at wxb's lies. i feel that wxb needs a little lesson and discipline in his life and the Princess will be useful for that

    thanks for the update.

  3. #2703
    Senior Member Ace High's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by foxs View Post
    Smurf, I noticed that the protagonist killed quite a bit of people; compared to the Trilogy, for example. Other than the war, I don't recall Guo Jing, Yang Guo or Zhang Wuji killed that many individuals.
    Kill or killed, WXB realised it’s either him or his opponents. Leaving living enemies behind his back was not an option he could afford.

    Quote Originally Posted by foxs View Post
    Ace, for that reason I felt that it was out of character if Kangxi knew WXB's secret for a long time and did not do anything about it.
    Why should KX do anything about it before? Look at how WXB use the Green Wood Hall members. They served as his bodyguards while he was doing something that beneficial to the Imperial Court. Wreaking havoc at Yunnan, sowing dissension between Zheng Family and TDH.

    Furthermore, it is in line with KX’s character. For instance, as early as Chapter 13 KX has suspected WSG is up to no good. However, only WXB really knows that and other ministers were left in the dark. WXB also only knew about the spies KX sent to Kunming after he returned to Beijing. For the spies to know accurate information of WSG’s commanders, it implies they have been there for quite a long time already and regularly sending news to KX. It’s the same with what WSG’s spies were doing in Beijing.

    That brings me to another point. KX also has discussed about Zheng Jing of Taiwan and his commanders (Chapter 29, if I’m not mistaken). Chen Jin Nan’s real name, Chen Yong Hua was mentioned by KX (not a small matter). It could probably Shi Lang had supplied the Imperial Court with initial information, but KX certainly sent some spies to verify their accuracy. Moreover, TDH was already well-known by the beginning of the story. Isn’t it a bit weird KX never mention about it before? Especially when he was talking and assessing the threats against the Qing Empire? The Three Feudatories, Taiwan, Russian Empire, Mongolia, Tibet and even the Mu family of Yunnan. Is it possible KX didn’t know about TDH, or just feigning ignorant?
    Last edited by Ace High; 10-05-12 at 11:26 PM.
    You plant a garden and the flowers do not bloom, you poke a stick in the mud and it grows into a tree

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    Senior Member crazee's Avatar
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    Thanks foxs...nice going on and really arm gripping suspense....
    Was busy these days and was away to the village in Malaysia...no net.

    A lot of lives are at stake it seems and Kangxi managed to trap all the rebels and destroy them in a single stroke...
    cheerio..

  5. #2705
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    Thanks foxs.

    Quote Originally Posted by fox
    Xiao Junzhu and Zeng Rou were not a big deal, but Shuang’er’s love and loyalty to him was very deep, she was the most important person in his heart, he simply must not let her delivering her life.
    Is this a love confession? ;-) If Ah Ke were with them, would WXB still have the same thought?

    WXB luck continues to run high. The Princess really shows up at a good time! And speaking of her, she really needs to tone down her attitude a bit.

  6. #2706
    Senior Member foxs's Avatar
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    Default Chapter 43 - Part 7

    Anh, you are welcome. Smurf, Ace, I guess you are right, he did not have anything to defend himself, unlike other wuxia protagonists. Zhx, I doubt about the 'discipline' thing. IMHO, he was not scared of her as a person, he was only afraid of her as 'the Princess'. Ace, I have no doubt that Kangxi had spies everywhere, but the fact that WXB was an important figure in Tian Di Hui was (supposedly) not a well-known fact, just like Wu Liuqi. Unless Kangxi had a mole (which in this case he did), he would not know about this fact. If Kangxi knew about WXB earlier, I think his treatment to him would not be the same. At least this is my impression from reading what Jin Yong had implied. Crazee, I thought internet is ubiquitous nowadays? Welcome back. Sky, good point on Ah Ke. But I don't think WXB had any 'love' toward any of his wives. At least not 'love' as depicted in romance novels or Hollywood movies ...


    Wei Xiaobao laughed and said, “Exactly.” Sticking out his head from inside the sedan chair he beckoned Zhao Qixian to come closer. Zhao Qixian hurriedly came over. Wei Xiaobao said in a low voice, “I received His Majesty’s secret order to go on a top secret mission; if I show my face, I might spoil the mission. Therefore, His Majesty ordered me to sit inside the Princess’ sedan chair, and ask the Princess to cover me up as I go out of the Palace.”

    Zhao Qixian was well aware that he was the Emperor’s most doted on and most trusted aide, and was very familiar with the secretive way [orig. gods disappear and devils vanish] he handled his missions; hence Zhao Qixian did not have any doubt. “Yes, yes,” he busily said, “Lowly officer will open the gate immediately.”

    Wei Xiaobao was suddenly struck by a brainwave, “Do you want to be promoted and gain wealth?” he asked in a low voice.

    Zhao Qixian had worked with him, and all these years his rank had been promoted twice; as for wealth, he had gained more than twenty thousand taels. As soon as he heard the four-character phrase ‘be promoted and gain wealth’ [sheng guan fa cai], he knew that since Deputy Chief Wei had already asked the question, it meant that he was supporting him to be promoted to a higher job. Bursting with joy, hastily he bent his knees to pay his respects and said, “Thank you very much Fu Zongguan for supporting me. Whatever errand Fu Zongguan is sending me to do, even with torn body and crushed bones lowly officer will not decline under any circumstances.”

    Wei Xiaobao thought, “You said it yourself. When the cannon bombard, blasting you until your body torn and your bones crushed, you said you won’t decline under any circumstances; you must not blame me.” He said in a low voice, “There is a group of rebel thieves in collusion with Wu Sangui. His Majesty concocted a brilliant plan, this very moment we managed to lure them into my Earl Mansion. His Majesty is sending me to lead the Vanguard Battalion troops to capture them. The Vanguard Battalion are usually not in good term with my Valiant Cavalry Brigade; do you know why His Majesty is sending me to lead the Vanguard Battalion?”

    “Lowly officer is very stupid,” Zhao Qixian replied, “I do not know.”

    Wei Xiaobao lowered his voice even more, “The Vanguard Battalion’s Commander Ah colluded with Wu Sangui, His Majesty wanted to seize this opportunity to catch everything in one net. The Princess is Wu Sangui’s daughter-in-law, when they see the Princess, they won’t suspect a thing.”

    Zhao Qixian suddenly saw the light, “So that’s how it is,” he said, “I can’t imagine Commander Ah has the audacity to commit treason and heresy. Most likely this matter was uncovered by Wei Fu Zongguan’s investigation too, and you have set up another great merit.”

    “This merit was set up by the Emperor himself, which he then handed over to me,” Wei Xiaobao said, “We are good brothers; promotions we enjoy together, wealth we gain together. Take forty Imperial Bodyguards and come with me to render great merit.”

    Zhao Qixian was greatly delighted; he thanked Wei Xiaobao profusely, while hurriedly asked the Princess to get on the sedan chair. He then selected forty Imperial Bodyguards who usually loved to lick his behind, telling them that they would act on instructions from a secret imperial decree. They opened the Shen Wu Gate wide and escorted the Princess’ long-tail pheasant sedan chair out of the Palace. He ordered the remaining sixty Imperial Bodyguards to increase their vigilance in guarding the Gate.

    Wei Xiaobao said, “Under no circumstances this Palace Gate is to be opened tonight; unless there is a direct order from either Duo Zongguan or myself, nobody is to be allowed to leave the Palace.” Zhao Qixian passed on Wei Xiaobao’s order. The remaining sixty Imperial Bodyguards guarding the Palace Gate complied in chorus.

    Wei Xiaobao was secretly amused, “This time Laozi left, I will never come back. I wonder if Duo Zongguan’s ghost can come back to give the order to open the Palace Gate?”

    Tong Mao’er [copper hat] Lane was not far from the Imperial Palace, not too long afterwards the party arrived at the Zhong Yong Bo Fu [Loyal and Brave Earl Mansion]. Along the way Wei Xiaobao’s heart was pounding rapidly, he was afraid that they only reached half way, ahead the cannon were already fired for days on end. Fortunately from beginning to end it was extremely quiet with no sound of activity to be heard.

    When they reached the mouth of the alley, the Vanguard Battalion Commander Ajichi, who had already been informed of the arrival of the Princess’ long-tail pheasant sedan chair, was already waiting to welcome her. In the sedan chair, the Princess was enjoying Wei Xiaobao rubbing his back as he gave her detailed instruction on what to say and how to act. When she heard that Ajichi announced his greeting, she immediately stuck out her head from behind the sedan chair curtain and said, “Commander Ah, His Majesty’s secret imperial order: the task at hand tonight is extremely important; have you prepared everything well?”

    Ajichi bowed and responded, “Yes, everything is ready.”

    The Princess said in a low voice, “Those cannon have also been prepared?”

    “Yes,” Ajichi replied, “It’s under Nan Huairen Daren’s personal direction.”

    Inside the sedan chair, Wei Xiaobao was able to hear everything clearly; he mused, “The Emperor really did not lie to me. That foreign devil Nan Huairen is here to personally aim the cannon, how can they miss?”

    The Princess said, “His Majesty’s order: I am to enter the Earl Mansion to do something, you come with me.”

    Ajichi replied, “Reporting to Your Highness: this is a critical time, we must not come in.”

    The Princess angrily said, “What do you mean we can’t come in? This is an imperial edict; you dare to defy?”

    “Your servant does not dare,” Ajichi replied, “But … but … it is really very dangerous. Your Highness’ ten-thousand gold body …”

    Inside the sedan chair Wei Xiaobao coughed once, Tao Hongying stepped forward, her finger moved like the wind, she sealed the three acupoints on Ajichi’s body, left and right waist and the side of his torso. Ajichi cried out in surprised, the upper part of his body was immediately paralyzed; and then he felt his back turned cold, followed by a sharp pain, as a sharp blade made a long cut on his back. He was scared out of his wits and was totally at a loss.

    The Princess said, “His Majesty’s secret order: if you refused, you are to be chopped down immediately, along with the execution of your whole family unto the third generation.”

    “Yes, yes,” Ajichi replied in trembling voice.

    Wei Xiaobao had an idea, “These Imperial Bodyguards have come with me on various missions, they always obey my orders, why would I want to deliver their lives? I’d better have the Vanguard Battalion as the scapegoats.” He whispered in the Princess’ ear, “Tell him to select fifty Vanguard Battalion officers and men to come with us inside.”

    The Princess thundered, “Take fifty of your sergeants, come with us inside to work.”

    Ajichi responded with trembling voice, “Yes … yes …” Immediately he passed on an order to have fifty sergeant follow behind the Princess’ sedan chair into the Earl Mansion.

    Wei Xiaobao ordered Zhao Qixian to lead his Imperial Bodyguards to guard outside the gate, while the sedan chair proceeded to the second reception hall. The Princess and Wei Xiaobao got off the sedan chair, and ordered the fifty sergeants to wait in formation in the courtyard. With Ajichi in custody, Tao Hongying followed the two of them into the reception pavilion.

    When they pushed the door open, they saw Chen Jinnan, Mu Jiansheng, Xu Tianchuan and the others inside the hall. Everybody was greatly puzzled to see Wei Xiaobao entered with a woman dressed in exquisite attire, a palace maid, and a military officer. Wei Xiaobao beckoned, they all crowded around him; he said in a low voice, “The Emperor found out about our meeting in here. The alley outside is surrounded by officers and men; plus there are about a dozen cannon aimed at this place.”

    Everybody was shocked; their countenance changed greatly. Liu Dahong said, “Let’s charge out.”

    Wei Xiaobao shook his head, “Can’t do!” he hissed, “The officers and men outside are a lot, and the cannon are even more formidable. I have brought dozens of officers and men. Let us strip their clothes and sneak out.” The crowd of warriors all praised this brilliant scheme.

    Wei Xiaobao turned around to talk to the Princess. The Princess nodded and said to Ajichi, “Tell twenty sergeants to come in.”

    Ajichi could readily see that the situation was far from good, but there was a steel blade pressed against his neck, how could he dare to disobey? Without any choice he issued the order. Tian Di Hui and Mu Palace warriors laid an ambush behind the door. As soon as twenty Vanguard Battalion sergeants entered the reception pavilion, punches, kicks, elbow-strikes and finger jabs flew everywhere, the twenty men were immediately knocked down.

    The second time they called fifteen people, the third time they also called fifteen people; after all fifty sergeants were overthrown, their uniforms were stripped. The crowd of warriors quickly changed their clothes. Even the Princess also changed her clothes.

    Wei Xiaobao saw Mu Jianping and Zeng Rou also changed their clothes, but he did not see Shuang’er; hastily he asked Zeng Rou. Zeng Rou said, “Shuang’er Meizi saw you entered the Palace and did not come back for a very long time, while Gui Er Xia and the others also went into the Palace to assassinate but we also have not heard any news, she was very anxious, hence accompanied by Feng Daye [big master, term of respect for older man] they went out to scout for information.”

    Mu Jianping said, “The two of them left right after lunch; why haven’t they come back until now?”

    Wei Xiaobao knitted his brows; he was quite worried. Although he knew that Feng Jizhong was exceptionally skillful in martial arts and was quite capable of protecting Shuang’er thoroughly, but the two of them did not know about the Emperor’s plan. Supposing they returned after everybody else escaped and the cannon happened to fire, wouldn’t it be terrible?

    After short deliberation he said to Qian Laoben, “Qian Dage, Feng Dage and Shuang’er went out to scout for information and have not come back, we must leave a number of warning sign so that when they see it, they will immediately leave.”

    Qian Laoben complied. The situation was urgent, he pulled a dagger, cut the thigh of two Qing soldiers, cut a piece of their clothes, dipped it to the blood on the two men’s wounds, and wrote two big bloody characters ‘kuai tao’ [quickly flee] on the doors. In succession he wrote the characters on all eight doors, while everybody finished changing their clothes.

    Wei Xiaobao led everybody to the stable to get some horses. Four Tian Di Hui brothers masqueraded themselves as eunuchs to carry the Princess’ long-tail pheasant sedan chair. With Ajichi in custody they went out of the Earl Mansion. The fifty sergeants were left inside the Earl Mansion with either their acupoints sealed or their hands and feet bound. Wei Xiaobao was still sitting inside the Princess’ sedan chair. When they were out of the mansion, he sighed, thinking, “Those attendants, stable hands, cooks, personal guards, men and maidservants, in their respective rooms in the Mansion will inevitably die of the cannon blast. But if I told them to leave, the officers and men guarding outside would definitely see something was wrong.” He also recalled, “That day on Mount Wutai by disguising ourselves as Lama, we saved the Old Emperor’s life. Today we are using the same trick. First this ‘turtle shedding its shell’ stratagem saved the Old Emperor’s life, now it saves Xiao Guizi’s life. It is greatly useful.”

    The crowd of warriors, with the Princess and Ajichi in the middle, reached the end of the alley. They saw officers and men on patrol, the security was very tight, but momentarily they were not able to see where the cannon were set up.

    Having escaped from danger, Wei Xiaobao heaved a deep sigh. Seeing his Shifu and all his friends escaped the disaster of artillery barrage, he was greatly comforted. He said to Zhao Qixian, “This Commander Ah rebels against the Emperor, he committed treason and heresy; I want you to put him in jail. Unless His Majesty personally wants to bring him to trial, wait for my return before you can let him go.” Zhao Qixian complied.

    Wei Xiaobao continued, “This man is an offender to the throne, His Majesty hates him to the bones; when hearing his name, he will be very angry. Tell the brothers, everybody must be a bit more careful, don’t let His Majesty hear this rebel thief’s name.”

    Zhao Qixian received the order; leading the forty Imperial Bodyguards, they left with Ajichi in custody. With Ajichi in jail, Wei Xiaobao did not give a damn as to when he was going to be released.

    The group of warriors continued walking in silence toward a secluded area. After about a li or so, Wei Xiaobao abandoned the sedan chair and mounted a horse instead. Chen Jinnan asked, “After Gui Er Xia and the others entered the Palace to assassinate the Emperor, what happened next?”

    “The three of them …” Wei Xiaobao started. Suddenly they heard ‘bang, bang, bang!’ loud explosion, followed by black smoke rising from the direction of the Earl Mansion. From the distance they saw beams, tiles and bricks flew to the air. The group of warriors felt the ground under their feet was shaking. At this time the cannon blast was rumbling continuously, from the Earl Mansion red-blood flame rose high, reaching more than ten zhang into the sky. The group of warriors was already far away from the Copper Hat Lane, but they still felt blasts of hot air hit them on the face. They looked at each other, aghast; nobody had ever imagined that the cannon power was that formidable. If they were late even for a short moment, how could they stay alive?

    Liu Dahong cursed, “His granny, what an earth shaking …” his voice was drowned in the subsequent cannon blast that nobody heard the rest of his words.

    Looking toward the Earl Mansion, they saw the flame subsided, but immediately afterwards it rose again to the sky, burning half the sky red. Wei Xiaobao thought, “The young Emperor must have heard the explosion, if he sent someone to get me, the trickery would be exposed immediately.” Walking away from the sedan chair, he said to Chen Jinnan, “Shifu, we must leave the city without delay. As soon as the news spread, the questioning on the city gates will be very strict, it won’t be easy to leave town.”

    “That’s right,” Chen Jinnan said, “Let’s go.”

    The Princess leaped out of the sedan chair immediately. Wei Xiaobao turned toward the Princess and said, “You should return to the Palace, after the situation is calmed down, I will come to get you.”

    The Princess was shocked and angered at the same time. “What did you say?” she shouted. Wei Xiaobao repeated his words.

    The Princess shouted, “You burn the plank after crossing the bridge? You want to cast me away now?”

    “No, not that …” Wei Xiaobao started. But before he could finish, ‘Slap!’ his face was heavily slapped.

  7. #2707
    Senior Member crazee's Avatar
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    Phew....he did it....I suppose if caught...he'll loose his head.
    Now what happens ? will he disappear? I suppose he have no choice but to flee and become a vagrant.....but with the princess around ?? Looking forward for the next update.

    Thanks foxs....

    Well there's internet but my in laws don't need them,,,,,so it not subscribed.
    cheerio..

  8. #2708
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    Very true, what you said about WXB being only afraid of the Princess because of her status.

    He's finally out...with the Princess lol. Oh he got a slap. I suppose it's his first time, right? And LOL I doubt he is going to go back and get her...

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    Thanks foxs

  10. #2710
    Senior Member wandering's Avatar
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    thanks foxs...very much appreciate it..
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    Thanks a lot Foxs! my heart was pounding at this one, thinking "will they get out before something else happens?"

    You know I was thinking a lot, it occcurred to me that the one who could have tipped of Kangxi was that hopeless Zheng Keshuang and/or that guy who tried to stab CJN in the back. they would want to get rid of WXB

  12. #2712
    Senior Member foxs's Avatar
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    Default Chapter 43 - Part 8

    Crazee, I know what you mean. I still have family and relative who feel that they do not need internet. Zhx, yes, it was the first time. Shocking ... But still, you have to give credit for the Princess. She knew that WXB would be fugitive, yet she chose to be with him. The other side of the coin: she was pregnant. Perhaps she would be executed? I don't know enough of Qing law, but I think Kangxi would not execute her just because she was pregnant out of wedlock. Anh, Wandering, you are most welcome. Sablemagi, I thought it must be an insider, since Kangxi could recite Tian Di Hui secret codes. Here's the end of Chapter 43.


    The crowd of warriors was flabbergasted. Just now the bombardment was shaking the heaven and the earth, everybody thought that were it not for Wei Xiaobao’s scheme to save them, by this time each one of them had already turned into flying ash, there would not be any opportunity to flee for their lives at all. As a result, even though usually they did not hold this youngster Xiangzhu in such a high regard, this moment they could not refrain from being grateful and were filled with admiration. Suddenly seeing the Princess made her move and beat him, some people immediately stepped forward to push her away, while some others shouted and scolded her.

    The Princess cried loudly and threw a tantrum, “You said you wanted to bow to the heaven and the earth with me, so I obeyed you, I took you out from the Imperial Palace, I also told that Vanguard Battalion commander to save your friends. You … you are a stinky thief, you want to deny, it’s not over between you and me. In my belly …”

    Wei Xiaobao was afraid she might have a slip of the tongue and announce the scandal in public; he hastily said, “Alright, alright! You can come with me. Let’s get out of the city and then we’ll talk.” The Princess turned tears into laughter; she turned around and mounted a horse.

    The party reached the Chao Yang Gate at the east side of the city. Wei Xiaobao called out, “His Majesty’s secret order: we must get out of the city to pursue and capture the rebel thieves. Quickly open the city gate.”

    Valiant Cavalry Brigade, Guarding Military Camp [national guards?], Vanguard Battalion, three military units were the Emperor’s Yu Lin Jun [lit. imperial forest army] personal guards. Within the City of Beijing, they were the boss [orig. bashing sideways and colliding straight on]; all civil and military officials were somewhat afraid of them. When the officers and men guarding the gate saw a group of Vanguard Battalion sergeants, how could they dare to disobey? Besides, a moment ago they heard the rumbling of the cannon, there must be something big happening in the city; thereupon they opened the city gate at once.

    Everybody exited the city and galloped to the east. Wei Xiaobao and Chen Jinnan rode side by side, he told his Shifu briefly how Gui Xinshu and his family failed in their attempt to assassinate the Emperor, and how the Emperor discovered his secret. Chen Jinnan praised him, “Xiaobao, usually I see you as a flippant and insincere, very dishonest boy, but in this critical moment surprisingly you are able to attach most importance to yi qi, not coveting riches and honor by selling your friends; it is indeed rare.”

    Wei Xiaobao laughed and said, “I don’t care much about other friends, but ‘cardinal offense of exterminating master’ [大义灭师 – da yi mie shi], I absolutely must not do.”

    “What do you mean you don’t care much about other friends?” Chen Jinnan said, “As long as he is your friend, you must never betray him. As for ‘cardinal offense of exterminating master’ these four characters, you did not use it correctly.”

    Wei Xiaobao stuck out his tongue. “Disciple is unlearned,” he said, “I said it wrong, Shifu must not blame me.” Thinking about how in the past he was able to talk nonsense with the young Emperor and had a good time, but with what had been happening today he would never be able to see him face to face, he could not help feeling sad.

    Chen Jinnan said, “We came out dress as Vanguard Battalion sergeants, in less than a day the Tatars will find out. We’d better change our clothes as soon as possible.”

    “Precisely,” Wei Xiaobao said, “As soon as we reach the small town ahead, we can buy some clothes and change.”

    They galloped eastwards for more than twenty li before reaching a small town, but the town did not have any used clothing store. Chen Jinnan was a veteran in marching to battle, and was very adept in governmental affairs, but facing this kind of trivial matter, momentarily he felt as if he had his hands bound and was unable to do anything; seeing there was no place to buy change of clothes, he said, “Let’s go to the next town and see; I hope we can find a used clothing store there.”

    Passing the small town, they saw at the end of the market there was a large house that must belonged to a rich family; it has high wall and vermillion gate, the building looked grand. Wei Xiaobao had an idea; “Shifu,” he said, “Let us go into that house to borrow some clothes so that we can change.”

    Chen Jinnan hesitated. “I am afraid they won’t let us borrow some clothes,” he said.

    Wei Xiaobao laughed and said, “We are military officers. Military offices do not eat the rich, do not rob from the rich, who else should we eat, who else should we rob?” Leaping down from the horse, ‘dang, dang!’ he banged the copper door knocker randomly.

    A manservant came out to open the gate, everybody swarmed in; whenever they saw someone, they would strip his clothes. The head of the household was a retired government official from the Capital who had returned to his hometown. Seeing these Vanguard Battalion sergeants were acting like wolves and tigers, he repeatedly called, “Gentlemen officers, please do not act rough, let Xiongdi order my people to arrange some food and drink that gentlemen can use, I will also prepare some travel expense for you …”

    Before he could finish, someone already grabbed him and peel off the robe and socks he was wearing. In his fright he screamed, “Xiongdi is already old, this provocation is out of the question …”

    Giggling and laughing, the crowd of warriors stripped several dozen men of their clothes. The retired officer and the womenfolk were frightened as if their souls have left their bodies. Luckily these bunch of Vanguard Battalion officers and men were acting strangely, they only stripped the men’s clothes, but did not insult the women at all. After they stripped the men’s clothes, they did not do any other shady business either. With roar of laughter they simply went out, leaped onto their horses and left. All the men in the house were left stark naked; they could only look at each other in bewilderment.

    When the group of warriors reached a secluded place, they stopped to change their clothes. The Princess, Mu Jianping and Zeng Rou, three women also changed into men’s clothing. And then everybody mounted their horse to continue their journey. Wei Xiaobao was very concerned about Shuang’er; he said, “I wonder what happened to Feng Dage and my servant girl in the Capital. I am thinking of asking a brother from out of the province whose appearance is not familiar in the Capital to come back and ask around about them.” Two Tian Di Hui brothers from Guangxi accepted the order and left.

    Seeing that there were no government troops chasing them at all, the group of warriors felt rather relieved. After traveling for a little bit more, “Ah!” suddenly Mu Jianping cried out in alarm, but then she immediately broke into giggle. Turned out Zeng Rou’s mount suddenly excreted a large puddle of watery feces, it almost splashed onto Mu Jianping’s foot.

    Not too long afterwards, several more horses also excreted some watery feces. And then the horse Priest Xuanzhen was riding suddenly neighed and sank to the ground; no longer willing to stand up. “Daozhang [Taoist priest],” Qian Laoben said, “Let us two brothers ride on one horse!”

    “Alright!” Priest Xuanzhen replied. He leaped onto Qian Laoben’s horse to ride behind him.

    Wei Xiaobao suddenly realized something; he could not help but was greatly alarmed. “Shifu,” he called out, “Retribution! Retribution! This is bad!”

    “What is it?” Chen Jinnan asked.

    Wei Xiaobao said, “Wu … Wu Yingxiong ghost is looking for me. He hated me … hated me for capturing him back, also stole his … his …” he really could not bring himself to speak the last two characters ‘lao po’ [wife].

    He remembered when he received the imperial order to pursue Wu Yingxiong that day, because the horses that Wu Yingxiong’s party were riding were fed with large amount of croton, along the way the horses constantly excreted watery feces, followed by one after another the horses fell dead. Because of this, Wu Yingxiong was not able to escape far and was captured back by Wei Xiaobao. If that time Wu Yingxiong managed to escape to Yunnan, naturally the Emperor could not kill him. So if he thought it over, Wu Yingxiong’s death was caused by him sending people to poison his horses. Now that it was his turn to run away, one by one their horses also suffered diarrhea and fell dead, what is it if not Wu Yingxiong’s ghost was playing trick on him? What’s more, in his escape Wei Xiaobao was taking Wu Yingxiong’s wife along. After Wu Yingxiong had become a ghost, he was still wearing a dark-green-emerald-inlaid one-pin­-rank big green hat; naturally he was unwilling to let his wife go. The more Wei Xiaobao thought about it, the more frightened he was; he could not stop his body from trembling as he heard several horses whinnying, and two more horses fell down.

    Chen Jinnan could also see that something was amiss, hastily he asked for the full details. Wei Xiaobao then told him what happened that day when he captured Wu Yingxiong back; with a trembling voice he said, “Wu Yingxiong ghost lingers on, today he came back for revenge. This … this …”

    The Princess angrily said, “That fellow Wu Yingxiong, when he was alive he was stupid and cowardly, after he was dead, he is also a useless ghost. Why are you afraid of him?”

    Chen Jinnan frowned and said, “Clear sky under the sun, how could there be any ghost? That day you poisoned Wu Yingxiong’s horses, did the Tatar Emperor know about it?”

    “He did,” Wei Xiaobao replied, “He even praised me as a good-luck general.”

    Chen Jinnan nodded. “Right,” he said, “Since the Tatar Emperor knew you are following the good-luck general way, he also knew that you have a good-luck general body. He is afraid you might escape, hence he had already sent people to feed croton to your horses.”

    Wei Xiaobao instantly saw the light. “Right, right,” he repeatedly said, “That day when we captured Wu Yingxiong, the young Emperor was very happy, he bestowed a petty official rank to my head stable hand, sending him to work for the officer in charge of the carriage of the Ministry of War. This time he must have sent him to poison my horses.”

    “That’s right,” Chen Jinnan said, “He is very familiar with your horses, he knew each horse’s temperament, naturally to poison the horse is ‘a hundred shots a hundred hits’.”

    Wei Xiaobao angrily said, “Next time I catch this stable hand, I will stuff all the watery feces in here into his mouth …” Before he could finish, suddenly he felt the mount underneath his crotch lurched forward and dropped on its knees. Wei Xiaobao hopped down, and saw the horse was struggling to get up, but after struggling several times, its hind legs kneeled down again.

    Chen Jinnan said, “These animals are no good. We must buy some horses at the next town.”

    Liu Dahong said, “It’s not easy to find dozens of horses all at once.”

    “Absolutely right,” Chen Jinnan said, “Everybody, let’s disperse for the time being.” While he was still speaking, suddenly they heard faint noise of hoof beats on the road.

    Priest Xuanzhen happily said, “Soldiers are coming to pursue us. Let us kill the damn kids and grab their horses.”

    Chen Jinnan called out, “Tian Di Hui brothers hide on the left of the road, Mu Palace and Wang Wu Mountain brothers hide on the right. Wait till the soldiers arrive, we will attack by surprise. Aiyo, not right …”

    They heard the hoof beats was getting nearer, the ground was faintly shaking, the pursuing soldiers were at least one of two thousand men. The group of warriors did not need to ask him why he cried ‘aiyo, not right’, these four words, their countenance changed greatly. The group of warriors was only several dozen men. Although their martial art skill was not weak, in broad daylight on an open plain fighting a large group of cavalry, the enemy troops would easily surround them several layers thick. Those with high level of martial art skill might escape alive, but most of the rest were bound to deliver their lives.

    Chen Jinnan made a prompt decision, “The pursuing troops are not a few,” he called, “We cannot fight a head-on battle, everybody disperse into villages, hills and woods.” He only spoke those few words, the hoof beats were getting even closer. As far as the eye could see, the dust on the road rose high into the sky, like a wide expanse of black cloud rolling near.

    “Bad, bad!” Wei Xiaobao cried out, and moved his legs to run.

    “Hey!” the Princess called, “Where are you going?” while running close behind him.

    “Go back to the Palace,” Wei Xiaobao called out, “Coming with me won’t do you any good.”

    “Stinky Xiao Guizi,” the Princess cursed, “You want to run away? Not so easy.”

    (Book Note: In the title of this Chapter, ‘red cloud that always stay close to the sun’ is referring to accompanying the Emperor, ‘the heart follows green jade grass’ is referring to the idea of a long journey.)

  13. #2713
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    Thanks foxs

  14. #2714
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    Thanks Foxs,

    Looks like KX is really prepared for XB's tricks.
    Well, things are getting rather exciting, it almost as if the two youngsters are playing a game amongst themselves to see if each can outwit the other....

    Such a sorry state for the princess, one cannot fault her behaviour....to a certain " It must have been love" (roxette)

    I'm glad XB still remembers Shuang er at this critical moment.
    cheerio..

  15. #2715
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    Quote Originally Posted by foxs View Post
    Wei Xiaobao and Chen Jinnan rode side by side, he told his Shifu briefly how Gui Xinshu and his family failed in their attempt to assassinate the Emperor, and how the Emperor discovered his secret. Chen Jinnan praised him, “Xiaobao, usually I see you as a flippant and insincere, very dishonest boy, but in this critical moment surprisingly you are able to attach most importance to yi qi, not coveting riches and honor by selling your friends; it is indeed rare.”
    Even when WXB were giving very reasonable and tactically sound advices, CJN saw him as ‘as a flippant and insincere, very dishonest boy’? No wonder CJN didn’t really did his best to persuade the Guis against carrying their assassination attempt. Instead, he seems to support the Guis, and WXB had to counter CJN’s arguments. Then CJN will say, ‘Xia Bao, you must help them,’ or ‘Xiao Bao, you must rescue them.’ Only the Mu Family really supported WXB’s arguments.
    You plant a garden and the flowers do not bloom, you poke a stick in the mud and it grows into a tree

  16. #2716
    Senior Member foxs's Avatar
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    Default Chapter 44 - Part 1

    Anh, you are welcome. Crazee, if WXB ever loved someone, I believe it must be Shuang'er. Ace, I agree. I also don't think CJN was a good leader. Not for the country anyway.

    New chapter ... seven more to go!!



    Chapter 44 – People came to faraway and hard-to-reach land as the source of desperate fight, things brought so much grief that everybody was afraid of the truth.
    (Translated by Foxs)

    Wei Xiaobao did not stop whining; he mused, “To get away from the Princess is a lot more difficult than getting away from the pursuing troops.” He saw at the northeast corner there was a field of tall sorghum plants, the plants were taller than a man, immediately he ran desperately toward the sorghum field.

    When he got near, he saw behind the sorghum field there were two farmer houses, other than that, he did not see anywhere else he could hide. Thinking that the pursuing troops were fast and that they would be here in a flash, he ran into the sorghum plants straightaway. Suddenly he felt his back tightened; someone grabbed him from behind, followed by the Princess’ laughter as she said, “Why are you lagging behind?”

    Wei Xiaobao did not have any choice; with a bitter laugh he turned around and said, “You go and hide over there. We’ll talk when the pursuing troops have gone.”

    The Princess shook her head and said, “No way! I want to be with you.” Immediately she crawled into the sorghum field and cuddled next to him.

    Before the two of them were able to hide properly, they heard footsteps, followed by Zeng Rou calling, “Wei Xiangzhu, Wei Xiangzhu!”

    Wei Xiaobao stuck his head out and saw Zeng Rou and Mu Jianping were running side-by-side toward him. “I am here,” he said, “Quickly hide in.” Following his order, the two women crawled in.

    The four of them went deep into the sorghum field, hiding among the branches and leaves; thinking that the pursuing troops would have a hard time finding them, they felt somewhat relieved.

    A short moment later, they heard group by group the pursuing cavalry galloped by on the main road. Wei Xiaobao thought, “That day I was with Ah Ke, Shitai Shifu, and that stinky fellow Zheng Keshuang, also four people, hiding inside the barley stack. Ay, if only by my side is not this mean Princess but Ah Ke, I will die happy. I wonder where is Ah Ke now? Most likely she has already become Zheng Keshuang’s wife. I don’t know what happened to Shuang’er.

    Suddenly they heard voices from a distance; some people were barking orders, followed by a group of cavalry reining their horses to stop. Clatters of hoof beats were moving near, unexpectedly they were searching toward this direction. The Princess was shocked, “They saw us.”

    “Don’t make any noise,” Wei Xiaobao said, “They haven’t seen us.”

    “Aren’t they coming this way?” the Princess said.

    They heard someone shouted, “The rebel thieves’ horses are falling dead around here, they can’t run away too far. Everybody search carefully.”

    “So that’s how it is,” the Princess said in her heart, “Those dead horses really cause a lot of trouble.” Reaching out, she gripped Wei Xiaobao’s hand tightly.

    Liaodong, outside the Pass, was vast, but sparsely populated, the soil was fertile; sorghum fields were oftentimes spread thousands of mu hundreds of qing, as far as the eye can see. [1 mu ~ 1/15 of a hectare or 1/6 of an acre, 1 qing = 100 mu]. The sorghum grew tall, it was known as ‘green muslin screen’. It would be very difficult to find anybody hiding inside. But the sorghum fields in Beijing’s suburb were sparse and a lot shorter. The field where Wei Xiaobao and the others, four people were hiding was only twenty or thirty mu; as a large group of officers and men searched carefully, they would be found and captured in no time at all.

    When they heard the troops were getting closer and closer, Wei Xiaobao said in a low voice, “Let’s go to the house over there.” After tugging Mu Jianping’s sleeve, he crept toward the two farm houses; the three women followed behind him.

    Reaching the bamboo fence, they pushed the door and saw that the house was uninhabited, on one corner quite a few of farm tools were piled up. Wei Xiaobao grabbed several woven rush raincoat and handed them over to the three women, saying, “Quickly wear these.” While he also put one on his body. Putting on a conical bamboo hat, he sat on a corner.

    The Princess laughed and said, “We are peasants now; it’s so much fun.”

    Mu Jianping shushed her and said in a low voice, “They’re coming!”

    ‘Bang!’ the plank door was pushed open, seven or eight officers and men came in. Wei Xiaobao and the others quickly turned their heads around.

    A moment later, someone said in a loud voice, “There’s no one here, the peasants are out to the field.”

    Wei Xiaobao thought that this man’s voice and accent sounded familiar. He peeked from under the conical bamboo hat, and sure enough, it was Zhao Liangdong. He was delighted.

    A sergeant said, “Zongbing Daren, these four people …”

    Zhao Liangdong thundered, “Everybody out! Let me search carefully. This room is so small. Damn it, with all of you crowding in here, I can’t even turn around.” The soldiers voiced their agreement, they all trooped out.

    Zhao Liangdong asked in a loud voice, “Have you seen any strangers around here?” As he walked toward Wei Xiaobao, his hand went into his bosom to take out two gold yuanbao and three ingots of silver, which he gently put down by Wei Xiaobao’s feet. Raising his voice, he said, “Turns out those people are running to the north! They knew His Majesty has lost his temper; if they are captured surely they will be beheaded, thus they are fleeing far, running away as fast as they can. This time it is really serious!” Stooping down, he gave Wei Xiaobao a hug and gently shook him several times before turning around and out of the door, while shouting, “The rebel thieves have run to the north, everybody pursue them quickly!”

    Wei Xiaobao sighed. He thought, “Zhao Liangdong has a very strong yi qi toward me. If this matter is discovered, he won’t be able to protect his own head.” He heard the clatter of hooves outside as the officers and men mounted their horses and galloped away to the north.

    The Princess was puzzled, “That Zongbing obviously saw us, why did he say … Ah, and he gave you gold and silver too? He must be your friend.”

    Wei Xiaobao said, “Let’s get out of here from the back door!” Stuffing the gold and silver into his pocket, he walked to the back.

    As they stepped across the rear courtyard, they saw eight or nine people were sitting on the porch. As soon as Wei Xiaobao took a glance, he cried out in fear, turned around and ran. But he only took a couple of steps when the back of his neck was yanked, someone grabbed him and lifted him up. The man coldly said, “You think you can still escape?”

    This man was none other than Cult Leader Hong. The rest of the people were Madame Hong, Fat Toutuo, Lu Gaoxuan, Blue Dragon Envoy Xu Xueting, Scarlet Dragon Envoy Priest Wugen, Black Dragon Envoy Zhang Danyue, and Yellow Dragon Envoy Yin Jin. All Divine Dragon Cult most important characters were gathered here. There was also a young woman, Fang Yi.

    The Princess angrily said, “Why did you catch him?” Her leg flew toward Cult Leader Hong. Cult Leader Hong slightly bent his left hand, his middle finger flicked on the back of her foot. “Ah!” the Princess cried out and fell down to the ground.

    With his body hanging in the air Wei Xiaobao called out, “Jiaozhu and Madame enjoy immortal good fortune forever, your long life the same as the Heaven’s. Disciple Wei Xiaobao pays his respect.”

    With a cold laugh Cult Leader Hong said, “It’s good that you still remember those few words.”

    Wei Xiaobao replied, “Those few words, disciple always remembers in my heart. Early morning when I get up I recite it once, when I wash my face I recite it once, when I eat my breakfast I recited it once, when I eat my lunch I recite it once, when I eat my dinner I recite it once, at night before I go to bed I also recite it once. Never once did I miss to recite it. Every now and then I would remember Jiaozhu and Madame’s benevolence, oftentimes I would be overwhelmed and recite it several more times.”

    Ever since his old lair on the Divine Dragon Island was destroyed, his members dead or scattered all over, only several old brothers remained by his side, Cult Leader Hong wandered around in Jianghu; nobody recited the ode ‘enjoy immortal good fortune forever, long life the same as the Heaven’s’ with the same vigor anymore, oftentimes he barely heard it once in a day. This time hearing Wei Xiaobao’s flattering words surged like the tide, he could not help feeling delighted. He set him down, and his ice-cold countenance revealed the slightest hint of smile.

    Wei Xiaobao said, “Subordinate can see Jiaozhu today, from head to foot my spirit is greatly aroused. There is only one thing that I do not understand.”

    “What is it?” Cult Leader Hong asked.

    Wei Xiaobao said, “From that day I took my leave from Jiaozhu and Madame, not a few days has passed, how come Jiaozhu looks seven, eight years younger, and Madame even looks like you have turned into my little sister. It’s really strange.”

    Madame Hong giggled tenderly, she reached out to pinch his cheek and said with a laugh, “Little monkey, your boot-licking skill can be considered number one under the heavens.”

    The Princess was enraged; she shouted, “You, this woman, is so shameless; how come you casually grope [orig. moving hands moving feet] other people’s face?”

    Madame Hong laughed and said, “I only moved my hands, I did not move my feet at all. Alright! Now I am moving my feet.” Lifting her left foot, ‘smack!’ she heavily kicked the Princess’ buttocks. The Princess screamed in pain.

    Suddenly they heard hoof beats, in an instant all around them were horses, nobody knew how many officers and men had surrounded this farmhouse. The main gate opened, more than a dozen officers and men swarmed in. The two leaders entered the courtyard, they eyed everybody one by one, and then one of them said, “Only some unrelated farmers are here.”

    Wei Xiaobao heard the voice and knew that it was Wang Jinbao’s. He was delighted and turned his head around. He saw the one by Wang Jinbao’s side was Sun Sike. The two men winked at him and waved their hands to order the sergeants to go out. Sun Sike said in loud voice, “Just some ordinary citizens. Hey, have you seen any escaping rebel thieves? No? Alright, we’ll go look someplace else.”

    Wei Xiaobao’s heart was stirred, “This time I fall into Shen Long Jiao’s hands, no matter what graceful words, flowery speech I use, in the end my life is still difficult to protect. I’d rather be with Wang San Ge and the others, get out of Shen Long Jiao’s hands first, then ask those two to let me go.” Seeing Wang Jinbao and Sun Sike were just turning around to leave, he called out, “Wang San Ge, Sun Si Ge, I am Wei Xiaobao. Please take me with you.”

    Sun Sike said, “You are just countryfolks, quickly go far away.”

    Wang Jinbao said, “This peasant Xiao Xiongdi asked you if you have some money. Do you bring some money?”

    “You want some money?” Sun Sike asked, “I have some, I have some!” From his bosom he took a fold of banknotes and handed it to Wei Xiaobao, saying, “There are some rebel thieves running away from Beijing, His Majesty is very angry, he sent several thousand troops and horses in hot pursuit, if they are caught, they will be beheaded immediately. Xiao Xiongdi, this place is very dangerous, if you are caught by mistake, you will deliver your life for sure. It’s really not worth it.”

    Wei Xiaobao said, “Please arrest me, I … I’d rather come with you.”

    Wang Jinbao said, “You want to come with us to be a soldier and eat army provision? It won’t be fun. Outside there is firearm brigade that His Majesty personally dispatched, they have blunderbuss. ‘Bang, bang, bang, bang!’ the guns went off, even if your martial art skill were higher, you won’t be able to resist.”

    Wei Xiaobao thought, “The firearm brigade; that’s even better. Even Hong Jiaozhu will not dare to move randomly.” Hastily he said, “I have something I need to report to His Majesty. Please take me with you.”

    Wang Jinbao said, “As soon as His Majesty sees you, he will chop your head. The Emperor also has two eyes and one mouth, why do you want to see him? Oh, we’ll leave you thirteen horses, so that you, thirteen countryfolks, can have a horse each. After ten years or eight, you must return the horses back to Beijing. If even one horse dies, you must pay us back. You absolutely must be very careful.” While saying that, he walked out.

    Wei Xiaobao was greatly anxious, he stepped forward to stop him. “Wang San Ge,” he called out, “Quickly take me with you.”

    Suddenly, a large hand was pressed on the crown of his head, and he heard Clan Leader Hong said, “Xiao Xiongdi, the General has good intentions, he had just left the Capital, he knew His Majesty’s mind, you must not indulge in flights of fancy.”

    Sun Sike loudly said, “That’s right, let us quickly go to pursue the rebel thieves.”

    Wei Xiaobao knew that right now his life was hanging in Clan Leader Hong’s hands. He only needed to exert a bit of his internal energy, Wei Xiaobao’s brain would immediately shatter. But even if he did not die right now, not too long afterwards he would definitely die anyway. Thereupon he said in a loud voice, “You must quickly arrest me, I am Wei Xiaobao!”

    Everybody was taken by surprise; they halted their steps. Sun Sike burst into loud laughter and said, “Wei Xiaobao is a teenage boy, you, this old granpa, is nearly eighty years old, yet you raise your voice and play a joke; won’t you make people laugh until their mouths askew?” He tugged Wang Jinbao’s sleeve; the two of them walked out in big strides.

    A moment later they heard someone passing on the order, “Leave thirteen horses in here for the later pursuing troops to transmit information, burn these two thatched huts so that the rebel thieves cannot hide in it.”

    The crowd of sergeants complied, “We receive the order!” and then someone set the cottages on fire. The sound of hoof beats was heard as the large group of troops and horses galloped north.

    Wei Xiaobao sighed. He thought, “This time I will die for sure. Wang San Ge and Sun Si Ge are afraid I would stay and not leave, then when other pursuing troops arrive, they might not show the same symphaty.” He saw the sogon grass on the corner of the hut started to burn, the flame slowly came near.

    With a cold laugh Clan Leader Hong said, “Your friends have outstanding yi qi, they gave you money, they also give you horses. Let’s go.”

    Mu Jianping helped the Princess up, they all exited the hut from the rear door, and went around to the front. Sure enough, underneath the tree in front of the cottage they found thirteen fine horses. Two of the horses had exquisite saddle and bridle, obviously these two horses were Wang Jinbao and Su Sike’s personal mounts.

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    Man i wished the Gui family had a massive fight with Cult leader Hong (this would have made good reading).... but now Gui family dead... so BS who will save Wei Xiaobao ?
    Ali Derhamy

  18. #2718
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    Reap what you sow.....I suppose that's what is helping XB.
    How come Hong Jiau Ju happens to be nearby ? Is he waiting for XB ??

    Poor XB....I wonder what comes next...

    Thanks Foxs.

    Should I be anxious for the next dose or not ?
    If yes.....well 7 chapters is going to go by fast and shucks......what am I gonna read ???

    Hong Jiau Ju's cute...I kind of like her...
    cheerio..

  19. #2719
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    Great yi qi from Zhang, Wang and Su xiongdi !!!

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    Thanks foxs

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