Wow, 1 million taels on the first day of work. The corruption is mind boggling. Of course, can't be compared to confiscating Oboi's fortune.
Wow, 1 million taels on the first day of work. The corruption is mind boggling. Of course, can't be compared to confiscating Oboi's fortune.
Ha ha ha....at least now we are back to the XB we know best....one million taels on the first mission.....imagine how rich he's going to be by the time Shi Lang comes back.
Thanks Foxs, really appreciate your updates inspite of being busy. Thanks, you're really the best.
Hope you'll not burn yourself out because of us.
Thank you for the translation, foxs
Closing to year end already, I was quite busy lately at works
Thanks Foxs. The chinese government should submit this story as a proof of who owns Diao You islands. It turns out WXB and the Qing troops were the first settlers.
If you're talking about loopholes: stranded on an island for years,with no entertainment whatsoever, 7 beautiful healthy wives, and a reputation of a sniper (one shot, one hit).... How could WXB not have like two dozens kids by now?
Proud to be part of http://www.asianfanatics.net/
Sablemagi, it’s alright, even if I was alone, I would still translate. Crazee, ‘not all dimsum are created equal’ … there are many dimsum restaurants, even in the US, but some are better than the others. Anh, that’s right. Ace, Athlon, good analysis. I agree. Smurf, about WXB’s wives … if just one time in the dark could produce three babies, how come after many years no more children? Darkscer, you’re right. Although I’d love to see Jin Yong developed more of these ladies’ characters. Come to think about it, from all the books he wrote, none has strong female character development. Don’t you agree?
Athlon, Ali, Crazee, I wrote the above not long after I posted the last update, as soon as I had time, and I saved it with the thought that I might be busy again and would not have time to respond to your comments. Obviously we have the same thought …
Tweety, I thought from Oboi he only got 450,000? Plus the two treasures, dagger and vest. But you are right in the sense that that was the first fortune he saw, hence it has greater effect on him. Crazee, truth be told, some days I have more time to translate than the others. In those days, I managed to get more than what I need to post. But then there are days I barely have time to translate. Thankfully until today I manage to balance it, so that I am able to provide constant update. Eccentric, quite right. Another year coming to an end … sigh … Single Whip, that’s what I thought too … Anh, you are welcome.
And here’s the end of Chapter 46.
Wei Xiaobao nodded. “Ah, it’s Zheng Jing,” he said, “He looked a bit similar to that kid Zheng Keshuang. Where is my Shifu Chen Junshi’s statue?”
“Chen Junshi did not have any statue,” Lin Xingzhu replied.
Wei Xiaobao said, “This Dong Taifei was very bad, quickly pull her down. Don’t delay, get someone to make a statue in Chen Junshi’s image and put it here to accompany Guoxing Ye.” Lin Xingzhu was greatly delighted; he personally climbed onte the idol platform, and move the Dong Taifei’s image down.
Wei Xiaobao kneeled down in front of Guoxing Ye’s image and kowtowed several times. “Guoxing Ye,” he said, “You are a hero, a warrior. I am kowtowing to you, I assume you will receive it. This old revered granny spoiled your great undertaking, yet she accompanies you every day, you must be angry. I am helping you driving her out, and let my Shifu Chen Junshi come to accompany you.” Thinking about his Shifu’s tragic death, he could not help shedding some tears.
The entire population of Taiwan hated Dong Taifei to the bones, while Chen Yonghua stationed soldiers, developed farms and ran schools, always promoted what was useful and got rid of what was harmful, plus he loved the people. Common people referred him as ‘Taiwan’s Zhuge Liang’. When Zheng Keshuang took over the country, nobody dared to speak any malicious word against Dong Taifei, nobody dared to say any words of praise of Chen Yonghua.
This moment Wei Xiaobao issued the order ‘remove Dong install Chen’, the people were very happy. They also heard that he kowtowed and shed tears in front of Guoxing Ye’s image, all the people were even more grateful. Although this Wei Daren’s demand of money was, quite frankly, rather serious, first of all, he was Chen Junshi’s disciple, Taiwan’s military personel and civilians alike inevitably were fond of him. Secondly, Shi Lang led the Qing troops to take over Taiwan, he wiped out the last remaining rivers and mountains of the Great Ming overseas. For these reasons, although ‘Shi was just and honest, Wei was corrupt’, contrary to expectation, the common people felt that this Wei Daren was affable; they would rather have him guarding Taiwan and thought that it would be best if Shi Lang never returned forever.
However, things turn out contrary to the way they wished; after more than a month, Shi Lang, leading the Navy, came back to Taiwan. Wei Xiaobao waited on the shore to welcome him. He saw a high ranking officer wearing the attire of a one-pin rank high official accompanied Shi Lang as he disembarked from the boat. The high-ranking officer was still walking on the gangplank, he already called out loudly, “Wei Xiongdi, how are you? You made your Gege miss you very much.” Turned out he was Songgotu.
Wei Xiaobao was overjoyed; he scrambled forward. Two people pulled each other’s hand while they both were still on the gangplank, and both roared in laughter.
Songgotu said with a laugh, “Xiongdi, congratuations, congratulations! His Majesty issued am imperial edict, you are to go to Beijing.”
In his heart Wei Xiaobao was both delighted and worried; he thought, “If I wanted to go to Beijing, I would have gone long time ago. The young Emperor is so obstinate, he can’t possibly surrender to me. I won’t agree to attack Tian Di Hui, he won’t want to see my face.”
Shi Lang chuckled and said, “The Emperor’s benevolence is vast and mighty, it is indeed unspeakable. His Majesty has agreed to withdraw the decree of moving Taiwan people inland.”
For the past month or so, day and night all Taiwan military-civilian were anxious, afraid that the Emperor would insist on evacuating Taiwan. Everybody said that the Emperor’s mouth was ‘golden mouth’; whatever he said, he would not renege. As soon as Shi Lang spoke those words, the government officials on the shore heard it, they could not help but cheer loudly. They broke into loud cry together, “Long live, long live, long, long live!” The news spread like wildfire, sound of cheering rose up everywhere, followed by ‘pi pi pa pa’ noise of firecrackers. The atmosphere was much more lively than the New Year celebration.
Songgotu announced the imperial decree, Kangxi was giving Wei Xiaobao quite encouragement and exhortation, ordering him to go to Beijing as soon as possible because he had another appointment for him. After Wei Xiaobao finished expressing his gratitude, the two of them went to the inner hall for a private discussion.
“Xiongdi,” Songgotu said, “This time your face is indeed not small, afraid that you still have apprehensions, His Majesty ordered me to personally deliver the imperial edict in haste. Do you know what mission His Majesty is going to send you to?”
Wei Xiaobao shook his head, “His Majesty’s divine intention, wonderful consideration, we as his servants will never be able to guess.”
Songgotu leaned forward and whispered in Wei Xiaobao’s ear, “Attack Luocha demons!”
Wei Xiaobao was startled; but then he sprang up and cried out, “Wonderful!”
Songgotu said, “His Majesty said that as soon as you find out, you must be very happy. Sure enough, he was right. Xiongdi, ever since Shunzhi’s years, Luocha demons have been occupying our Helongjiang region, and they run amock over there. The late Emperor and His Majesty are magnanimous, they refuse to be bothered about it. Who would have thought that Luocha demons won a cun [inch], they wanted a chi [foot], they took more and more of our land. Liaodong is the place where our Great Qing has our root, how can we let the demons threaten it? Right now the three border defense rebels and Taiwan’s Zheng Clan have all been pacified, there’s no problem in the world, thereupon His Majesty decided to use military force against the Luocha.”
Wei Xiaobao had stayed on Tong Chi Island doing nothing for several years, he was so bored that he felt like while playing Pai Jiu he repeatedly grabbed ten pairs of ‘departing ten’. At this time as he heard the news, he was so happy that he grinned from ear to ear.
Songgotu said, “In order to keep the peace, His Majesty has issued several imperial edicts to the Luocha Country’s Great Khan, but all along they never respond. Afterwards Holland’s envoy minister communicated the information that although Luocha country is big, it is actually a country of barbarians, in the entire country there is not a single person who understand Chinese characters. His Majesty’s imperial decree they received were just a complete unfathomable mystery to them, thereupon without any better option they decided not to respond. However, all along Luocha troops come to the east to occupy our land in endless stream. His Majesty said, our China pays particular attention to benevolence and righteousness, we can’t simply punish the barbarians without telling them first. We need to tell them their error first, and give them the opportunity to repent and change quickly and completely. If after the imperial edict they are still stiffnecked and refuse to accept the enlightenment, only then would we have to kill them. Among the ministers of the imperial court, only Wei Xiongdi, one person is proficient in Luocha language.”
(Book note: During the China-Russia negotiation, it was a known fact that neither party understood the other’s language and script. The history records that Russian Tsar delivered letter to Kangxi, saying, ‘In the former times the Emperor bestowed a letter, our humble country did not understand the content, hence we did not go through it.’)
Wei Xiaobao thought, “Turns out it was because I understand Luocha demons’ language that the young Emperor surrenders to me.” He could not help dancing and gesticulating for joy, feeling very proud of himself.
Songgotu laughed and said, “Xiongdi is proficient in Luocha language, admittedly it is amazing; but there is one great skill that nobody can reach up to you. We heard that Luocha Country’s Queen Regent is the Great Khan’s Jiejie, this Queen is Xiongdi’s old good friend; is that right?”
Wei Xiaobao roared in laughter and said, “Luocha women’s whole body is covered in golden hair. This Queen Regent Sophia’s appearance is not bad, but when you caress her skin, it felt very rough.”
Songgotu laughed and said, “His Majesty wants Xiongdi to set out on a mission immediately and make an effort to brave the difficulty again, to caress her skin once again.”
Wei Xiaobao laughed while shaking his head. “I have no appetite, I have no appetite,” he said.
Songgotu said, “Xiongdi caresses her, two countries will be good friends, from now on we can avoid the calamity of blade and troops; this is a wonderful merit of bringing peace and stability to our country.”
Wei Xiaobao laughed and said, “Turns out His Majesty did not send me to lead the troops to war, but he wants to unleash my ‘shiba mo shengong’ [eighteen-touch divine skill; ‘mo’ can mean touch/caress/feel (with hand) or grope]. Ha ha …!” And then he started singing, “One touch, two touches, touching the side of Luocha Country Queen’s hair. The Queen’s hair is like gold, Suo Dage [reminder: Songgotu in Chinese is Suo E’tu] and Wei Xiaobao have all the money to spend!” The two of roared in laughter.
Wei Xiaobao asked about the details of Luocha Country invading and occupying Heilongjiang, Songgotu told him everything he knew. Turned out during the reign of Emperor Wanli of the Ming Dynasty [1573-1619] Luocha people determined to invade east. (Book note: Luocha was Russia. The Draft History of the Qing Dynasty, commentaries by Lang Tan, et al. recorded, ‘Russia was called Luocha, with different interpretation to the ears, slow and fast.’ The slow reading was Russia [Eluosi], the fast reading was Luocha. According to Russian original pronounciation, Luocha was closer.)
One after another, Tomsk, Yeniseysk, Yakutsk, Okhotsk and the others in Siberia built fortification. In Shunzhi’s sixth year, Luocha people built fortification in Mount Luding, and called it Albazin (in China it was referred to as Yakesa [Jaxa]), while at the same time spread to the east, robbing and plundering along the way.
In Shunzhi’s ninth year, Manchurian Qing’s Liaoning Guta [district] Commander Ba Hai leading 2,000 troops routed Luocha troops at the bank of Heilongjiang [river]. Later on at the mouth of Songhua River, Manchurian Qing’s Commander in Ming Anda [county, Suihua, Heilongjiang] courageously fought Luocha troops and inflicted heavy damage. The Luocha troops withdrew to the west and built fortiication in Nibuchu, while dispatching an envoy to Moscow to beg for assistance. Along the way he envoy spread rumors, saying that in Heilongjiang region gold and silver were everywhere, oxen and horses in large numbers, the houses of the people were inlaid with gold. The Luocha people dreamed of vast wealth, the troops marched to the east, robbing and plundering along the way, devastating the common people. Cossack cavalry was especially bloody and cruel.
Manchurian Qing’s Liaoning Guta Commander Sha’erhuda, Liaoning Guta General Bahai led the troops to met the enemy, during Shunzhi’s sixteenth and seventeenth year they scored several victories, killing the Luocha troops’ commanders and generals, killing and beheading more than half Cossack cavalry. For this reason Luocha people did not dare to come to the bank of Heilongjiang anymore.
During Kangxi’s early years, Luocha military and civilian marched to the east in large scale again, they made Jaxa their base of operations. After Kangxi grew older, he knew Luocha people had enormous ambition, hence he took more rigorous action in defense, by stationing Jilin Navy at Heilongjiang to guard the area. Luocha troops also received continuous reinforcements, and built Jaxa’s city wall to make it completely secured, while at the same time setting up stations along the major road all the way back to Luocha Country’s headquarters, determind to engulf the vast land of Heilongjiang region.
At that time Kangxi was focusing all his resources to deal with Wu Sangui; he could not afford to divide his forces to defend against Luocha Country’s invasion. It was only after the three border defenses were pacified and the Zheng Clan of Taiwan surrendered, so that he had no fear of trouble from the rear, did he finally turn his attention to deal with Luocha Country. He remembered Wei Xiaobao had been to Moscow; not only he was familiar with the nation’s situation, he also had a rather unusual relationship with the Queen Regent who held the power over Luocha Country, since he had offered her advice to escape from the trap and helped her seize power, and was bestowed nobility title by her. It was a very powerful chess piece Kangxi had in his hand; why not use it? As soon as Kangxi learned that Wei Xiaobao had gone to Taiwan, he sent Songgotu to announce the summons.
Wei Xiaobao took his wives and children, and had his servants carried the ‘pleading wealth’ he had gained in Taiwan, ‘both sleeves in the golden breeze’, went onboard the ship to sail north. Before departure he asked Shi Lang for original Taiwan’s high-ranking officers to come with him to assist him in the incoming mission: Lin Xingzhu, Hong Chao, as well as five hundred rattan-shield troops. Shi Lang knew that this time Wei Xiaobao went to the Capital, he would be put in an important position, while in order to maintain his position, Shi Lang himself needed somebody powerful in the imperial court to back him up; naturally he did not raise any objection, on the contrary, he sent off Wei Xiaobao and Songgotu with some serious gifts.
Taiwan people knew that in the imperial court’s withdrawal of the decree to abandon Taiwan and move them inland, this Wei Daren had a very big meritorious service; everybody was grateful. Tens of thousand people sent him off with countless umbrellas, ‘protecting the people’ banners, and so on. When Wei Xiaobao was about to get on the boat, two elderly men took off his boots and held it high above their heads, saying that it was something left behind to consider. Originally this ‘shedding of boots’ ceremony was only performed on upright and honorable local official that the common people loved and respected. Wei Xiaobao was a ‘corrupt official, unexpectedly he also enjoyed this rare honor; not only it was unprecedented, perhaps it would never happen again in the future. The crackling of firecrackers to send him off did not need to be mentioned.
Book note: According to the historical records, when the Qing court determined to abandon Taiwan, the decision had been made; but because Shi Lang contended strongly, the Da Xueshi Li Lei mediated for him. It was only then did the court decide establish local government and set up garrison. At that time it seemed a trivial matter, but it had significant effects toward the later generations. If at that time Shi Lang did not contend strongly, the Qing court abandoned Taiwan as soon as they pacified the Zheng Clan and moved the entire Taiwan military personel and civilians inland, the Dutch was bound to come back, henceforth Taiwan would not be part of China’s territory. For this reason, although some people pointed their fingers to Shi Lang as a traitor to China, with regard to the Chinese people, he strenously opposed the proposal to abandon Taiwan, keeping this wide expanse of land as China’s territory, his meritorious service can be considered enormous. Shi Lang also submitted a memorial to the Emperor to lower Taiwan’s land tax. Based on his proposal, Kangxi gave the common people of Taiwan quite some benefits.
Shi Lang’s second son Shi Shilun was also an uncorrupted government official; whenever the commoners had any dispute with the ‘red silk member of the gentry’, Shi Shilun always took the common people’s side. For this reason among the people he was called ‘Shi Qingtian’ [Blue Sky Shi, i.e. upright and honorable official]; he was also the leading character of the later generations’ book ‘Shi Gong’an’ [gong an means judge’s desk/complex legal case].
Shi Lang’s sixth son Shi Shibiao became the Tidu [local commander] of Fujian Navy. In Kangxi’s sixtieth year he was stationed in Taiwan; it was known in history as ‘The thirteenth day of the eighth month, strange wind violent rain disaster caught them unprepared, a lot of soldiers and civilians died. All through the night Shibiao stood outside. Because of this he fell ill. In the ninth month, he died on the line of duty. Imperial decree was issued as lamentation and expression of sympathy, bestowing him the title of Taizi Taibao’ [Tutor to the crown prince]. In the middle of the hurricane that attacked Taiwan this man stayed outside overnight to direct the relieve effort, until he feel ill and died; he could be considered a good officer who loved the people.
Our country historians have always had prejudice against Manchurian-Han relations; they always attacked Shi Lang’s takeover of Taiwan as his fault, calling him ‘a traitor (to Han)’. When our book was first written, it was also based on the same general impressions. Contemporary historians, however, persevere to rally the Chinese people to have a unified notion, giving Shi Lang’s contribution in integrating Taiwan a considerable praise.
In commemorating this national hero, the author has visited Shi Lang’s native place of Quanzhou [Fujian] on a tour, witnessing how the locals erected Shi Lang’s statue by the sea, and built a ‘Qing Hai Hou [marquis of ocean pacifier] Temple’; therefore, our book’s original views of negating Shi Lang is hereby slightly revised.
WXB promised his shifu to be a good person, yet he tricked the poor people to give him 1 million taels . I consider the vest and dagger priceless. They saved WXB’s life many times.
Well... in a way, the people got to keep the island of Taiwan in exchange for the 1 million taels WXB collected. I mean, yes WXB was corrupt - but he actually produced results.
Thank you Foxs, as always. I think I can safely say on behalf of all your avid followers that we all appreciate your work from the bottom of our hearts.
Last edited by muliono; 12-08-12 at 02:07 PM.
Wow...really profitable trip for our Hero.
So our friend is going back to Kangxi.....and I'll bet he thinks his new assignment will be as fun as previously with Princess Sophia.....
Looking forward to his new adventure
Thanks Foxs. You have a good way to save for a rainy day eh ?
Whichever way you practice you're really fast and always ensure that we have a dose when it's due.
Thanks a lot....
Tweety, he did not say anything about corruption to Chen Jinnan ... Muliono, thanks. Anh, Eccentric, you are most welcome. Crazee, I wish I have the time and ability to translate quicker and better, but unfortunately it's not the case ... You are stuck with me. New chapter ...
Chapter 47 – The banner pointing to the clouds went out in the autumn to take tactical border position, the sound of drum transmitted by the wind at the end of the night overlooked the Pass.
(Translated by Foxs)
One day the ship arrived at Tanggu. Wei Xiaobao, Songgotu and their men disembarked and continued their journey by land, passing through Tianjin and continuing to Beijing. When he entered the gate of the Capital, Wei Xiaobao felt as if it was a thing of the previous generation; his heart was bursting with joy, he felt his body was as light as the immortals. Immediately he went to the Palace to appear before the Emperor.
Kangxi summoned him for an audience at the Upper Study Room. Wei Xiaobao walked to Kangxi’s presence, where he kneeled down and kowtowed. Before straightening up his body, his heart was suddenly overwhelmed with mixed feelings of grief and joy; he could not help bursting into tears while still crouching down.
Seeing Wei Xiaobao’s arrival, the greater part of Kangxi’s heart was happy, but there was a small part of his heart that was enraged; he mused, “This kid is undisciplined and out of control, he has the cheek to repeatedly defy the imperial decree. This time although I am going to send him on a mission, I must discipline him well, lest he will rely on my favor and become arrogant, then I can’t control him any longer.” Who would have thought that as soon as Wei Xiaobao saw him he unexpectedly cried loudly? Kangxi’s heart melted. He laughed and said, “Damn it, as soon as you, this kid, saw Laozi, why are you crying?”
Still sobbing, Wei Xiaobao replied, “Your servant thought that for the rest of my life I won’t be able to see Your Majesty. Today we finally meet, my joy is unbearable.”
Kangxi laughed and said, “Get up, get up! Let me look at you.”
Wei Xiaobao crawled up, his face was covered in tears and snot, but the corners of his mouth revealed a smile.
Kangxi laughed and said, “Damn it, you, this kid, has grown.” With childlike innocence he suddenly stood up and walked down his throne. “Let me see,” he said, “Are you taller, or am I taller?” He walked pass him and stood back to back with him. Wei Xiaobao could see right away that in term of height the two of them were comparable to each other; but the Emperor wanted to compare height, how could he be taller than the Emperor? He slightly bent his knees at once.
Kangxi held his hand above their heads to measure, he was about one cun taller. He laughed and said, “We are about the same height.” Turning around and walked a few steps away, he asked with a smile, “Xiao Guizi, how many children do you have?”
“Your servant is no good at anything,” Wei Xiaobao replied, “I only have two sons and a daughter.”
Kangxi laughed heartily and said, “I am better in this matter. I already have four sons and three daughters.”
Wei Xiaobao said, “Your Majesty has great skill and strategy, naturally … naturally you are also extraordinary in this matter.
Kangxi laughed and said, “We have not seen each other for several years, your literary knowledge did not make the least bit of progress. What does having sons and daughters have anything to do with great skill and strategy?”
Wei Xiaobao replied, “In the past King Wen of Zhou had one hundred sons; every good emperor certainly has a lot of sons.”
Kangxi laughed, “How do you know?” he asked.
Wei Xiaobao said, “Your Majesty sent your servant to fish; the two of us are like King Wen of Zhou and Jiang Taigong. King Wen of Zhou’s affairs, naturally your servant has to ask clearly, so that when I see Your Majesty, I can report back to my superior.”
These past several years Kangxi was busy fighting the war against Wu Sangui; day and night he worked hard, making plans, dealing with national affairs; he missed having this young minister, Wei Xiaobao, by his side, with whom he used to chat and joke to relieve boredom, so much so that sometimes he was extremely bored. This moment as the ruler and his minister reunited, he was very happy. After some more chitchat, he asked Wei Xiaobao about his life on Tong Chi Island, he also wanted to know Taiwan’s local conditions and the people there.
“Taiwan’s soil is fertile,” Wei Xiaobao replied, “The climate is warm, the output is abundant; the people there pass their days in happiness. When they found out that Your Majesty allows them to continue living in Taiwan, everybody was grateful for the vast and mighty imperial kindness; they all said that Your Majesty is a hundred per cent raw bird fish soup [see Chapter 14].”
Kangxi nodded and said, “Governance should not be a nuisance. The people have lived in peace and worked happily in Taiwan, forcing them to move inland is greatly disruptive. The high-ranking ministers of the imperial court do not understand Taiwan’s situation, they submitted this preposterous proposal and nearly spoiled the big affair. You and Shi Lang submitted the advice, your merit is not small.”
‘Poof’, Wei Xiaobao sank on his knees; he kowtowed and said, “Your servant repeatedly disobeyed the imperial decree, I deserve to be beheaded seventeen, eighteen times; no matter what merit, Your Majesty need not care about it. I am just asking Your Majesty’s grace, please spare your servant’s life, allow me to serve by your side.”
Kangxi smiled and said, “You knew you deserve to be beheaded seventeen, eighteen times; too bad you don’t have eighteen heads. Otherwise, I would definitely chop seventeen of those heads.”
“Yes, yes,” Wei Xiaobao said, “Your servant does not want too many heads either. Only one head with a mouth to speak and eat, and I will be perfectly contented.”
Kangxi said, “Whether your head will remain or not, I must see first whether you are loyal or not, whether you still dare to disobey the imperial decree.”
Wei Xiaobao said, “In term of loyalty, your servant is loyal and devoted, I have a red-bellied devotion, I will display utter loyalty to dedicate myself to the service of my country.”
Kangxi laughed and said, “You remember quite a bit of those idioms with the ‘loyalty’ character in them; are there some more?” [Translator’s note: as you may already guessed, each of the idioms (expression made up of four characters) Wei Xiaobao mentioned above has a ‘loyal’ character in it.]
Wei Xiaobao said, “In my heart I only have one ‘loyal’ character, naturally I remember some. There’s … there’s ‘loyal to the lord love one’s country’, and then ‘loyal minister are not afraid of death, those who are afraid of death are not loyal minister’ [naturally this last one is not strictly an idiom of four characters]. And then there’s ‘loyal, considerate, open and guileless’ …”
“Get up!” Kangxi said, “If you are really ‘loyal, considerate, open and guileless’, there is nobody in the world who is wicked, mischievous, and crafty.”
Wei Xiaobao stood up and said, “Reporting to Your Majesty: I am loyal and devoted to you, one person, only. Regarding other people, I am not that loyal, sometimes I still swindle him a bit. Your servant’s character is a bit slippery, this fact Your Majesty also knows very well. However, toward Your Majesty I pay particular attention to ‘loyalty’ [zhong xin], toward my friends I pay particular attention to ‘spirit of loyalty and self-sacrifice / code of brotherhood’ [yi qi]. When loyalty and righteousness cannot satisfy both sides, your servant has no choice but to shrink my head like a turtle and went fishing on Tong Chi Island.”
“No need to worry,” Kangxi said, “We are going to talk about this day onward; I am not going to order you to attack Tian Di Hui.”
With hands behind his back Kangxi paced back and forth several times; he said slowly, “Toward your friends you uphold yi qi, that is a virtue; I can’t blame you for that. The sage [usually refers to Confucius] paid particular attention to loyalty and forgiveness; this ‘loyal’ character does not necessarily refer only to the ruler, toward everybody we must spare no effort, and that is the real meaning of ‘loyalty’. Loyal and righteousness [zhong yi], two characters, originally one cannot exist without the other. You would rather die than turning your back on your friends, you are unwilling to sell your friends for the sake of riches and honor, glory and splendor, it is also considered very rare, you really have the air of the ancient people. Since you are unwilling to turn your back on your friends, naturally you will not turn your back on me. Xiao Guizi, I pardon your guilt, not entirely because of your past meritorious service, not entirely because you and I are kindred spirits since we were young, but it is also because you attach importance to yi qi, which is really not a bad thing.”
Wei Xiaobao shed tears of gratitude; choking with emotion he said, “Your servant … your servant does not understand anything. I only feel that other people sincerely treat me well, I really … really cannot … cannot do them wrong.”
Kangxi nodded his head and said, “Your Luocha Country’s Queen Regent, her treatment to you was not bad either, but now I am sending you to attack her; what do you think?”
“Pft,” Wei Xiaobao broke out in laughter. “She was locked up by others, her life almost could not be guaranteed. Your servant taught her to instigate the gunmen to start a rebellion and finally seize the throne; it can be considered I already repaid her kindness. She sent her troops, presumably to seize Your Majesty’s beautiful rivers and mountains, we simply cannot let her do that. This woman is a fickle; today she fools around with this man, tomorrow she will fool around with that man, she really must not do that. It’s a pity that Luocha Country is really too far, otherwise your servant will bring some troops to capture this Queen and have Your Majesty look at her. It will be quite interesting.”
“Luocha Country is really too far,” Kangxi repeated, “These five characters are very important. Based on these five characters alone, once we go out to war, we must grasp the victory. Although Luocha Country’s firearms are sharp, their cavalry brave, but they are far, we are near. They came tens of thousands li to the east; their soldiers, horses, firearms, ammunitions, grain and straw, their clothes, everything is not easy to get. Presently I have already sent the Minister of Revenue Yu Sang’a to go ahead to Guta, Liaoning, to build the two cities Aigun and Kumarsk, to amass grain and straw and ammunition, also to set up ten relay station for post horses, so that military logistic and army provisions can flow unimpeded, continuous from the source. The other day I also issued an imperial decree to Mongolia, forbiding them to have any trade relation with Luocha people. Moreover, I sent Heilongjiang General Sabusu to dispatch cavalry far and wide; if they see Luocha people’s rations and fodder and their vehicles, to set those damn things on fire, if they see Luocha troops’ horses, to immediately slaughter those damn horses.”
Wei Xiaobao was greatly delighted; he said, “Your Majesty so deployed, whatever is near, whatever is thousand li distant, this war has already been won seventy, eighty percent.”
“That’s not necessarily true,” Kangxi replied, “Luocha is a big country. According to Nan Huairen, the extent of their country is bigger than our China, we really must not underestimate the enemy. If we lose the war, Liaodong will fall, the foundation of our country will be shaken. If they are defeated, it won’t affect their present situation; all they have to do is retreat to the west. Hence in this war we must win and cannot lose. If you are defeated, I will have to personally lead the troops out of the Pass. The first order of business is to chop your head.” While speaking the last sentence, his voice was stern.
“Your Majesty,” Wei Xiaobao said, “Please set your heart at ease. If your servant cannot save my neck, it is because Luocha troops chop it down, definitely I won’t let Your Majesty come and do it.”
“It’s good that you understand it,” Kangxi said, “Weapons are ominous, war is dangerous, nobody can guarantee victory. I only tell you that you absolutely cannot be careless; war is not a matter of smooth talk and oily mouth.”
Wei Xiaobao respectfully replied, “Yes.”
Kangxi continued, “If the only thing I need is sending the troops to fight, I did not need to send you. But this time we start a war with Luocha Country, it is not to wipe them out at all, I only want them to sound out the difficulties and retreat to avoid defeat, and won’t dare to come and invade our territory, that’s all. Thus we must show them kindness and power at the same time, to make them deeply grateful, to have both countries live in harmony forever. If you indulge in killings, the Luocha Country’s monarch might become hostile out of shame, and incite the whole country to attack. Even if we can win, it will be a military disaster, the gains will not make up for the losses. Only if we can live in harmony, not fighting or wrong the other’s troops, will it be considered very auspicious. If you can persuade the Luocha Country Queen Regent to withdraw the troops, both countries make peace, it will be your greatest merit.”
Wei Xiaobao said, “When your servant sees Luocha troop’s generals, I will enlighten them with Your Majesty’s imperial edict, and ask them to bring words back to Luocha Country Queen Regent.”
Kangxi said, “I have had quite a few western missionaries here, I asked them in details about Luocha Country history, dynasty and past events, their natural conditions and social customs, geography, military and administrative affairs …”
“Right, right,” Wei Xiaobao said, “Your Majesty knows them and knows ourselves, we will emerge victorious in every battle.”
Kangxi showed a faint smile; he said, “Those clergymen all said that Luocha people love to take unfair advantage of good people but are afraid of the evil ones. If we blindly speak good words with them, they win a cun and want a chi, they will be more and more vicious. We should explicitly show our true colors, let them know that we are not to be trifled with. Consequently, on one hand we must mobilize a large army, prepare everything well, so if we have to fight we’ll fight; on the other hand we must appear to be a righteous nation. China is a superior country, we won’t show off our power and bully people at will.”
“Your servant understands,” Wei Xiaobao said, “Sometimes we put up our red face, draw our knife and use the damn thing; sometimes we put up our white face, laughing happily stroking him several times. Just like Zhuge Liang captured Meng Huo seven times, so that he would submit completely and henceforth did not dare to revolt.”
Kangxi let out a ‘hey, hey’ laughter; he said, “That’s exactly it.”
Noticing Kangxi’s strange laughter, Wei Xiaobao had a second thought; he understood Kangxi’s mind. He laughed and said, “Just like the Lord of Ten Thousand Years captured Xiao Guizi seven times, so that your servant would be grateful and afraid at the same time, henceforth will not dare to play any trick. Xiao Guizi is just like Sun Wukong [Monkey King, Journey to the West]; in a word, he cannot jump out of the Lord of Ten Thousand Years’ Tathagata Buddha’s palm.”
Kangxi laughed and said, “As you grew several years older, you also become more and more modest. If you really want to jump out of my palm, I can’t really catch you.”
Wei Xiaobao said, “Your servant is very comfortable in Your Majesty’s palm, why would I want to jump out?”
Last edited by foxs; 12-10-12 at 11:25 PM.
Thank you Foxs. That was a really nice episode.
Thanks Foxs..Its really a heartwarming chapter, glad to see them reunited together
Originally I thought that WXB was unreasonable and mean to Shi Lang, but he really did Shi Lang a favor teaching him a lesson about politics in the imperial court (which is populated with hundreds of people as corrupt) thus saving Taiwan. Loved KX and WXB reunion - even KX showing begrudging respect and WXB showing that he knows his place.
The battle with Russia should be exciting since they always gloss over this part too!
WXB was a petty jealous jerk to Shi Lang. The fact that SL benefited from the situation was his luck. WXB could have been a better friend and advised SL in a better manner.
This reunion is very bittersweet. Although the camaraderie is still there, the distance between them makes me kinda sad.
Thanks foxs! There are so many details that are left out from the adaptations. I'm highly looking forward to the next segment.