Thanks for another update foxs.
Oh man, here we go again with this stupid verbal fight for the rightful prince. Hope this doesn't drag on for the entire chapter.
Banh Mi, he has always been a busy doctor, I know that. But in the past, he always made time to visit our forum (he is our moderator, you know ). JoeLee, Ali and Sky, I had the same thought ... 'here we go again ...' but this time it is not that bad. Tweety, I am looking forward to the part he left the Palace. This 'Empress Dowager' stuff also drives me nuts. Ren and Athlee, thanks for the input, I will fix it per your suggestions. Man, how I wish Ren (or people of his caliber) could translate this story (and many other stories as well), so I can just sit back, relax and enjoy the stories ... I am looking forward to retirement (from translating, that is) too, it's just that we (the translators) are kind of 'endangered species'.
Upon his arrival in Beijing, he inquired right away and to found that the situation was much better than he anticipated. Tian Di Hui people in Beijing, under the leadership of Wei Xiaobao, had already met face to face with the head of the Mu Palace, neither side dishonor each other, there was hope yet for the better. After learning that Wei Xiaobao had saved Wu Lishen and the others, three people, he had no doubt that the unintentional killing of Ban Hansong by Xu Tianchuan would be settled. Unexpectedly Qi Biaoqing and Liu Dahong raised the subject of Tang-Gui’s strive for the throne; the situation had once again become gradually tense.
Seeing Liu Dahong shedding tears when mentioning about Yongli losing his life for his country, he could not help his own heart from hurting; he said, “His Majesty Yongli died for his country, man and heaven were angered. The people of old said, ‘Although Chu has only three households, when the Qin perishes, Chu must rise’, much less our Han people, who are a hundred times more numerous than the Tatars? Although the Tatars’ power is great, our Han people must be ‘millions of people all of one mind’, there’s no need to worry about not able to drive out the barbarians and restoring our rivers and mountains. Mu Xiao Gongye, Liu Laoyezi, our hatred is unavenged, why we have dispute among ourselves first? Today we make a plan, we ought to work together with our heart and soul, to kill that servant Wu Sangui, to avenge His Majesty Yongli, and to avenge Mu Lao Gongye [old duke Mu].”
Mu Jiansheng, Liu Dahong, Wu Lishen, and the others stood up and said together, “Very true, very true!” Some people had tears streaming down their faces, some people shook all over their bodies, they were all overwhelmed with excitement.
Chen Jinnan continued, “In the end, whether it will be Long Wu or Yongli on the throne, we need not haggle over it now. Mu Xiao Gongye, Liu Laoyezi, heroes all over the world, whoever kill Wu Sangui, everybody will accept his orders!”
Mu Jiansheng’s father, Mu Tianbo, was killed by Wu Sangui; day and night he always considered how to kill Wu Sangui. Hearing Chen Jinnan, he was the first to call out, “Exactly, whoever kills Wu Sangui, the heroes all over the world will accept his orders.”
Chen Jinnan said, “Mu Xiao Gongye, my humble Society will make a pledge to your honorable Palace, if your honorable Palace’s hero kills Wu Sangui, Tian Di Hui, from top to bottom, will accept Mu Palace’s orders …”
Mu Jiansheng caught on and said, “If Tian Di Hui’s hero kills Wu Sangui, Mu Family of Yunnan, from Mu Jiansheng to the next in line, each and every one will accept Chen Zongduozhu’s orders!” The two of them stretched out their hands and ‘clap!’ they struck each other palm.
In Jianghu, an oath set up by three strikes of palms means neither side could renege on their words.
The two of them had just about to strike their palms the second time when suddenly from the roof came a long laugh and a voice said, “What if I killed Wu Sangui?”
From the east and west corners of the house some people shouted, “Who’s there?” Tian Di Hui people on guard duty rushed in to question the newcomer. There was a light clapping noise as someone leaped from the top of the house to the courtyard, the long window of the hall opened without any blowing wind, with speed beyond imagination, a dark green shadow flashed and entered the hall. From the east Guan Anji and Xu Tianchuan, from the west Liu Dahong and Wu Lishen, simultaneously stretched out their arms to block. The man lighly leaped up and flew over the top of the four men’s heads, and stood in front of Chen Jinnan and Mu Jiansheng.
With Guan, Xu, Li and Wu, four people cooperation, unexpectedly they still failed to block. The man’s one foot barely landed on the floor, four people’s fingers had already grabbed his body. Guan Anji grabbed his right shoulder, Xu Tianchuan grabbed his left flank, Liu Dahong pinched his left arm, Wu Lishen wrapped his arms around his lower back. All four had used high-level qin na technique.
The man did not resist at all, he laughed and said, “Is this the way Tian Di Hui and Mu Palace treat a good friend?”
They saw this man was wearing a dark green long robe, his age was about twenty five, twenty age, his stature was tall and slim, his appearance looked like a feeble scholar.
Chen Jinnan cupped his fist and said, “May I ask Sire’s honored surname and great given name? Are you a good friend?”
The scholar said with a laugh, “If not a good friend, I won’t be here.” Suddenly he shrank his body as if he turned into a lump of meat. Guan Anji and the others, four people’s grip suddenly loosened, they grabbed empty air. Amidst the ripping noise of the silk, a dark shadow rose upward. Chen Jinnan let out a long laugh as he grabbed with his right hand. The scholar escaped from the four people’s clutch, but suddenly he felt his left ankle was grabbed as if it was bound with an iron hoop. Swiftly he moved his right foot to kick Chen Jinnan’s face. It was a powerful kick; with one swift motion Chen Jinnan picked up a small table beside him and raised it to block. 'Crash!' the mahogany table was smashed. Chen Jinnan swung his right hand to throw him to the ground. The scholar's buttocks landed on the floor, but like a skater, his body slid several zhang on the dark green brick floor. Straightening up his waist, he stood up leaning against the wall.
There was a piece of cloth remained in each of Guan Anji, Xu Tianchuan, Liu Dahong and Wu Lishen, four people's hands; it was the piece they pulled from the scholar's long gown. This turn of events was as swift as a falcon swooping on a rabbit, it was unbelievably fast and nimble. The six of them moved with such agility and clarity that the spectators on the side could see everything clearly, they all could not help but broke in loud cheer. The one cheered the loudest was still the 'Iron Back Blue Dragon' Liu Dahong, while Wu Lishen shook his head repeatedly; his face showed part ashamed, part full of admiration.
Chen Jinnan smiled and said, "Since Sire is a good friend, why don't you sit down and drink some tea?"
The scholar cupped his fist and said, "I'll drink the tea to thank you for your hospitality." With slow and measured steps he walked toward the row of chairs, cupped his fist toward everybody to salute, and then sat down on the last chair. If they did not see him demonstrating his agility just now, nobody would believe this gentle scholar possessed such profound martial art skill.
Chen Jinnan laughed and said, "Sire, why too modest? Please take the seat of honor!"
The scholar shook his hand, "I don't dare, I don't dare!" he said, "That Zaixia can sit together with gentlemen, the heroes, is already the biggest good fortune in my entire life, how can I dare to take the seat of honor? Chen Zongduozhu, just now you asked my name, but I have not replied; it was very disrespectful. Zaixia surnamed Li, my given name is Xihua."
When Chen Jinnan, Liu Dahong and the others heard him announcing his name, they all thought, "I have never heard of Li Xihua in Wulin world, most probably it's a fictitious name. But among the young generation heroes, I have never heard someone with such excellent martial art skill either."
Chen Jinnan said, "Zaixia is ignorant and inexperienced. That there is such excellent hero in Jianghu, unexpectedly I have not heard, I am indeed ashamed."
Li Xihua laughed aloud and said, "People say that Chen Zongduozhu of Tian Di Hui treats people with sincerity, and sure enough, it is a fully justified reputation. When you heard my lowly name, if you had said, 'It's an honor to meet you at last', then unavoidably in my heart I would have a thirty percent lack of respect. Zaixia has just made my debut, I have not made the least bit of name in Jianghu. Even I won't greet myself with 'It's an honor to meet you at last', much less other people? Ha ha, ha ha ...!"
Chen Jinnan smiled and said, "Now that we meet, Li Xiong's great name will spread throughout the Jianghu; after this, whoever meet Li Xiong will have to greet you with 'It's an honor to meet you at last'!" Indeed it was the highest praise, everybody could hear it. Four high-level martial art experts from Tian Di Hui and Mu Palace unexpectedly failed to block and hold him down. Chen Jinnan exchanged two moves with him, but he barely gained the upper hand. In a matter of days everybody near and far would naturally hear about such skill.
Li Xihua shook his hand and said, "Not so, the style Zaixia displayed just now was no more than minor skill, unavoidably it is considered somewhat heretical. This old gentleman used 'Claw Appears from the Cloud', he grabbed my arm until it nearly broke. This bearded friend who loves to shake his head wrapped his arms around my waist, presumably it was the move 'Seizing-Rabbit Hand', his grab made me neither cry nor laugh. This white-bearded grandpa used the moved ‘Ape Fetches the Peach’, he really grabbed my flank as if it was a Pantao, he grabbed so firmly and was not willing to release again. This long-bearded friend used the technique … um, um, it was a very ingenious move, wasn’t it the ‘Cheng Huang Pulls Little Demon’?”
Guan Anji raised his left thumb, acknowledging that he was right. Actually, the move was called the ‘Little Demon Pulls Cheng Huang’; by reversing the name, i.e. calling himself ‘liitle demon’, he was being modest.
From the time Guan Anji and the others, four people, made their move together to grab his body to the time he struggled free and leaped was only a moment, yet he unexpectedly was able to name the moves these four people had used without the slightest mistake; apparently his knowledge and experience was above his martial art skill.
Liu Dahong said, "Li Xiong, you skill is profound, your insight is even more profound."
Li Xihua shook his hand and said, "Laoyezi praises me too much. The moves the four gentlemen used on my body, any one of those is able to take my life. But the four gentlemen were careful not to overdo it, hence did not harm Zaixia the slightest bit. The four Seniors were being lenient, Zaixia is very grateful."
Liu Dahong and the others were very pleased in their hearts. Each one of the four moves 'Claw Appears from the Cloud', 'Seizing-Rabbit Hand', ‘Ape Fetches the Peach’ and ‘Little Demon Pulls Cheng Huang’ could turn into extremely fierce killer strike just by adding a little bit more force to it. By pointing out this fact, Li Xihua had considerably increased the four people's face.
Chen Jinnan said, "Li Xiong has honored us with your presence, I wonder what instruction do you have for me?"
"I am here to admit my guilt first," Li Xihua replied, "Zaixia always admires Chen Zongduozhu. This time, quite by accident, I learned about Chen Zongduozhu's arrival in Beijing. No matter what, I have to come to express my admiration. It's just that I do not know anybody who would present me to you. Without any better option, I took the liberty to come uninvited, eavesdropping the gentlemen's conversation on the rooftop. Zaixia hates that traitor Wu Sangui to the bones, I wish to dismember his body into ten thousand pieces, thus I could not bear not to open my mouth. I hope the gentlemen would forgive me." While saying that, he stood up and bowed to salute.
Everybody also stood up simultaneously to return the salute. Several leaders of Tian Di Hui and Mu Palace introduced themselves. Although Wei Xiaobao was a Tian Di Hui leader, and presently his rank was second only to Chen Jinnan, but since all along Li Xihua's gaze had never landed on his face, Wei Xiaobao did not say anything.
Mu Jiansheng said, "Since Sire is the enemy of that thief Wu, we share a common enemy, which means we are of the same principle; there is no harm in us joining hands, in scheming together to punish this big traitor."
"Absolutely, absolutely," Li Xihua said, "Just now Xiao Gongye and Chen Zongduozhu were making an oath by striking your palms three times, but Zaixia brazenly interrupted it. After the two gentlemen finished the three strikes, may Zaixia also strike your palms three times?"
Liu Dahong said, "Sire is saying that if you killed Wu Sangui, all heroes and warriors of Tian Di Hui and Mu Palace should accept your orders?"
"I absolutely do not dare," Li Xihua said, "Zaixia is just a kid of younger generation, I will be perfectly contented to follow the heroes here; how can I dare to say I want to hold command over all of you?"
Liu Dahong nodded and said, "In that case, in Sire's mind, which one is the Late Emperor's legitimate successor to the throne of the Great Ming, Longwu or Yongli?"
In the past, Liu Dahong followed Emperor Yongli and Mu Tianbo fled to the southwest, entering Myanmar from Yunnan, experiencing inexhaustible hardships and perils; the result was Yongli was still killed by Wu Sangui. For this reason he made a blood oath to assist Yongli's descendant to ascend the dragon throne. In general, Chen Jinnan was more thoughtful toward their goal, he was unwilling to let internal strife damage their mission, but unexpectedly this hot-blooded old hero could not forget this matter.
Li Xihua said, "Zaixia has something that might be offensive to you, I am asking everybody's forgiveness first."
Liu Dahong's countenance changed slightly; he blurted out, "Sire is King Lu's former subordinate?" After Ming Dynasty's Emperor Chongzhen died, independent resistance against the Qing arose in various regions. There was King Fu, and then King Tang, King Lu and King Gui. As soon as Liu Dahong said that, he realized he was speaking incorrectly. Looking at Li Xihua's age, he was most likely born after the Qing troops entered the pass, so he could not possibly be King Lu's former subordinate. He asked, "Was Sire's former generation King Lu's former subordinate?"
Li Xihua did not answer his inquiry, he said, "When the Tatars are driven out in the future, any descendant of Chongzhen, King Fu, King Tang, King Lu and King Gui could become the emperor. Actually, as long as he is a Han, who cannot be the Emperor? Why can't Mu Xiao Gongye or Liu Laoyezi be the Emperor? Zheng Wangye from Taiwan, even Chen Zongduozhu himself, not necessarily cannot be the Emperor. When the Great Ming's Taizu Huangdi [founder emperor] drove out Mongolian Emperor, he did not ask any descendant of the Song Dynasty's Zhao family to be the Emperor, but he himself ascended the great throne, yet everybody was delighted and sincerely willing to accept him."
Nobody had ever heard such reasoning before, without exception their countenance changed.
 Lit. ‘with swords drawn and bows bent’.
 Chu – a kingdom during the Spring and Autumn and Warring States (722-221 BC), Qin – Qin dynasty (221-207 BC).
 Orig. 'coming out of the thatched cottage'. (I think this is another reference to the Three Kingdoms)
 The peaches of immortality, kept by Xi Wangmu.
 Cheng Huang (Shing Wong) is a deity in Chinese mythology, a City God, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_god
Hi all, happy new year!
Bravo, finally some common sense! All this wrangling about which descendant of the former Ming Emperor should be elevated really cheeses me off... Heck beat off the invaders then talk about it, bunch of loud-mouthed muscle bound braggarts. It's like counting your chicks before they hatch... Less talk, more concrete action you buncha old foggies....
Ok end of rant
Ah well as has been mentioned already, guess if the Han people of the time had been 'insightful' (I'm being nice, the word in mind would probably get me banned XD) and cooperated together they'd driven off any invaders easily seeing as how they are the majority anyway. When reality bites, she sinks her fangs to the bones hehehehe
edit: Oops silly me, thanks foxs!!!!!! Too busy getting on my high ranting horse and didn't even had the courtesy to acknowledge the blood and sweat of our long suffering champion!!! Now I really oughta be banned.......
Last edited by morbiuz666; 01-25-11 at 11:43 AM. Reason: did not say thanks, sorry!
Thanks foxs! This excerpt was cut by Milton in his version of the book. I'm glad I got a chance to read it
Thank goodness for some common sense. Obviously, they can't really argue anymore; however, they will still remain divided
Foxs, please don't retire from translating! You are so right, translators are an endangered species!
Of course, my plea has no intent of coercing you to continue, but we all very much enjoy your and other translators' hard work
Foxs - you are doing an amazing job!
I am sure all the young folks (like WXB) agree with the new guy's reasoning.
After years of occupation, they still fighting amongst each other.
Thanks for another wonderful update foxs!
I agree with foxs that wuxia translators are an "endangered species". That's why foxs can never retire!! We need you more than ever! If only Ren would come back and finish off the rest of The Sword of the Third Young Master, that would be wonderful! But, until that day comes, I'll wait for it. Once again, thank you all for your time and efforts!
As one forumer mentioned, I didn't get to read this part in Milton's translation.
foxs, without your translation I would not have read this part.
Many thanks again for your great effort!
Hmm... and to think that I was hunting down Milton's translated books in Amazon and the local libraries to read this novel but got a watered-down versions instead.
It's not only Milton, most adaptions also scrapped this person. In fact, I don't remember him reappearing.... (maybe jinyong wanted to use him for the next novel?)
I also read somewhere that the dagger of wxb is actually the broken tip of the heavenly sword. Ming cult restored the dragon sabre, nut didn't do it for the sword because too many fell in it's blade.
Proud to be part of http://www.asianfanatics.net/
I read that it was forged from the dragon sabre (or part of it). The dagger's physical description hints at the DS rather than the HS.
Casually he picked a dagger, and felt it to be unusually heavy. The dagger, including the hilt, was no more than a chi and two cun; the sheathe was made of dried shark skin, at a glance it looked no different than an ordinary long knife or a sword. Wei Xiaobao grabbed the hilt with his left hand and pulled it out; he felt a burst of cold air hit his face, his nose itched and ‘Ah-choo!’ he sneezed. When he looked at the dagger again, he saw that the blade was as black as ink, without the least bit of glossiness.
Morbiuz, Tweety, Smurf, Ace, Pannonian, so true, no wonder Qing could rule China for hundreds of years. Myko, Camtay, Athlon, so you guys have read Minford's books? I think he cut quite a bit, especially references to historical/cultural events, as someone said before, it doesn't feel like a Chinese wuxia story. Athlon, CFT, if I remember it correctly, Zhang Wuji had both weapons at the end of HSDS. How did the saber end up in Oboi's hand? Where did you guys read (or watch) about it? I haven't finished reading the original Chinese text, but I don't remember reading it in Minford's book. Sky, Tweety, thanks for your support, but wouldn't you prefer someone of Ren's caliber to translate for you, over a half-illiterate person like me? Translating wuxia is not just converting the text from Chinese to English, it involves a lot more than that, and it's in the historical/cultural aspect that I am lacking.
Liu Dahong slapped a small table by his side with his right hand, "Your speech can be considered treason and heresy," he said in stern voice, "We are the remnant of the Great Ming, lone officials and unfilial sons; we only strive to revive the Ming Dynasty, how can we store this kind of ambition of the wild wolves in our hearts?"
Li Xihua was not angry, he showed a faint smile and said, “Liu Laoyezi, there is one thing Junior does not understand, I’d like to consult you about something we have just talked about. During the last years of the Great Ming, the Mongolian Tatars took possession of our Han people’s beautiful rivers and mountains, our Great Ming’s Emperor Hongwu rose to the dragon throne by popular support. After the Tatars were driven out, why didn’t he set up a descendant from Zhao family to be the Emperor?”
“Humph,” Liu Dahong snorted and said, “Zhao family descendants were already exhausted; these rivers and mountains were won by Taizu Huangdi with bloody battle, naturally he could not possibly pass it on to the Zhao family? Moreover, in the driving out the Tatars, the Zhao family descendants did not have any merit. Even if Taizu Huangdi was willing to hand it over, the common people of the world, along with all the generals and soldiers would definitely not want to accept.”
“That’s exactly right,” Li Xihua said, “Whether the descendants of the Zhu family will have merit in the future or not, at present nobody knows. If they make major contribution, everybody will endorse them as the leader, then other people will not be able to snatch away the throne. But if they do not make any contribution, even if they ascend onto the dragon court, I am afraid their position will not be steady. Liu Laoyezi, the undertaking of fighting the Qing is very complicated, there are things that need to be done quickly, there are things that have to be done slowly. Killing Wu Sangui needs to be done quickly, setting up the new emperor can be done slowly.”
Liu Dahong was agape and tongue-tied, he was unable to answer. “What quickly or slowly?” he muttered, “I want everything to be done quickly; I wish everything is already accomplished, only then would it be good.”
Li Xihua said, “Killing Wu Sangui must be done quickly, because that traitor Wu is already old. If we don’t kill him soon, he might die of old age, won’t it be a lifelong regret to people of the world with lofty ideals? Setting up the new ruler is a matter we need to address after the Tatars are driven out. My concern is that we are not able to defeat the Tatars. As for setting up learned and virtuous lord, we can always find one.”
Observing his assurance and composure, and hearing his sensible and reasonable speech, Chen Jinnan was full of admiration. “Li Xiong,” he said, “What you said is very reasonable, but on how we are going to assassinate Wu Sangui, I want to hear Li Xiong’s well-informed opinion.”
“I don’t dare,” Li Xihua said, “Junior was about to ask everybody’s advice.”
Mu Jiansheng said, “What brilliant idea does Chen Zongduozhu have?”
“In Zaixia’s opinion,” Chen Jinnan said, “That traitor Wu’s sin is too great, just by killing him absolutely will not make up for his crime. We must make him losing his standing, his entire family, old and young, must be killed, not a blade of grass must be spared, even the troops under his command who followed him breaking the law and committing crimes must be eliminated in one stroke, and thus the hatred in millions of common people’s hearts will be appeased.”
Liu Dahong slapped the table and shouted, “Very true, very true! Chen Zongduozhu’s words really touch the bottom of my heart. Laodi, hearing you talked, my heart is unbearably itchy. What ingenious plan do you have, so that we can kill that traitor Wu and his entire family, and not leaving even his chicken and dogs?” He grabbed Chen Jinnan’ arms and repeatedly shook him, saying, “Say it quickly, say it quickly!”
Chen Jinnan smiled and said, “This is everybody’s wish, Zaixia does not have any ingenious plan to deal with Wu Sangui.”
“Oh,” Liu Dahong said, he released Chen Jinnan’s arms, while disappointment appeared on his face.
Chen Jinnan stretched out his palm to Mu Jiansheng and said, “Xiao Gongye, we still have two palm strikes we haven't finished.”
"Precisely," Mu Jiansheng said, he stretched out his hand and struck Chen Jinnan's palm twice.
Chen Jinnan turned toward Li Xihua and said, "Li Xiong, what about we also strike our palms three times?" While saying that, he held out his palm.
Li Xihua stood up and respectfully said, "If Chen Zongduozhu can kill that traitor Wu, the old Li will accept Tian Di Hui's orders, I will not dare to disobey. If by luck the old Li can put to death with my own hand this devilish wicked traitor, I only wish for Chen Zongduozhu to do me the honor to become the old Li's sworn brother, let Zaixia reveres you as the elder brother. Apart from this, I do not dare to request anything else."
Chen Jinnan laughed and said, "Li Xiandi [worthy younger brother], you esteem me too much. Very well, a real man gave his words, a team of four horses cannot chase it."
Watching from the side, Wei Xiaobao saw the heroes' fervent expression, he could not help but feeling very excited; he really wished he could grow up right then and there, his martial art skill would reach high level immediately, just like this Li Xihua, who created quite a stir in front of all these heroes. Hearing Shifu said 'a real man gave his words, a team of four horses cannot chase it', he could not refrain from muttering to himself, "A team of four horses cannot chase it, a team of four horses cannot chase it." While thinking, "Damn it, what kind of horses are a team of four horses anyway? How can they run that fast?"
Chen Jinnan instructed his subordinates to prepare a banquet table to have a feast with these outstanding heroes. During the banquet, Li Xihua talked and laughed cheerfully, his knowledge was indeed extensive, but all along he never revealed his martial art school, family background, or his origin.
Li Lishi and Su Gang introduced the rest of their groups to Li Xihua. Seeing Wei Xiaobao was young, yet held the position of the Green Wood Hall's Xiangzhu, Li Xihua could not hide his astonishment; when he was told that Wei Xiaobao was Chen Jinnan's disciple, he thought, "So that's how it is." He drank several cups of wine, and then took his leave.
Chen Jinnan walked him to the door, and in a low voice said, "Li Xiandi, just now your humble brother did not know whether you were a friend or a foe, I have offended you. When I grabbed your ankle, I have surreptitiously used special power. It will flare-up after four hours. You must not use the slightest bit of internal energy to defuse it. You must dig a hole in a muddy ground, and bury your entire body in it, revealing only your mouth and nose to breathe. Every day you must be buried for eight hours, for seven days in a row, then there won't be any future trouble."
Li Xihua was shocked. "I was hit by your 'Blood Clotting Divine Claw'?" he said in loud voice.
"Xiandi must not be alarmed," Chen Jinnan said, "By treating it according to the prescribed method, there should not be any major problem. Your humble brother was reckless and has offended you, I am asking Xiandi not to blame me."
Immediately the panic-stricken expression on Li Xihua's face subsided. He laughed and said, "Indeed Xiaodi [little brother] suffers the consequence of my own action." He sighed, and then said, "Only today I know there is heaven outside the heaven, there is an expert above the expert." He bowed to salute, and then floated away.
"Chen Zongduozhu," Liu Dahong said, "Did you use the 'Blood Clotting Divine Claw' on him? I heard that people who got hit by this divine claw will have the blood in his entire body slowly clotting after three days, turning into paste just like starch paste; there is no medicine to cure it. Is that so?"
Chen Jinnan said, "This skill is extremely sinister and ruthless, usually Xiaodi does not dare to recklessly use it, but seeing his formidable martial art skill, plus he was eavesdropping on our secret, I was unclear whether he harbors any evil intention, so I took this drastic action. It's not a straightforward and upright thing to do, I am ashamed just to mention it."
Mu Jiansheng said, "If this man is Tatars' falcon or dog, or perhaps Wu Sangui's troop, and Chen Zongduozhu did not control him, our secret may be leaked out, then the disaster won't be small. Chen Zongduozhu is able to control the enemy in one move, damaging the other side without him knowing it. This kind of divine skill deserves the admiration of other people."
Chen Jinnan reiterated his deep apology on the death of Bai Hansong to Bai Hanfeng. "Chen Zongduozhu," Bai Hanfeng said, "Let this matter rests and do not raise it again. My late brother has died, he can't come back to life. Wei Xiangzhu has rescued Wu Shishu and the others, three people, Zaixia is very grateful."
Mu Jiansheng was concerned over his missing little sister's whereabouts, but since Tian Di Hui warriors did not say anything, he felt it was inappropriate for him to inquire, so as not to appear that he doubted the opposite party's intention. After drinking several more rounds of wine, Mu Jiansheng and the others stood up to take their leave.
"Xiao Gongye," Wei Xiaobao said, "It would be best if you move from your lodging, sooner or later the Tatars will dispatch troops to harass you. Although you are not afraid of them, the Tatars might send more and more troops. I am afraid you cannot kill them all."
Liu Dahong laughed aloud and said, "Xiao Xiongdi is right, thank you very much for your reminder, we will move immediately."
Mu Jiansheng said, "Chen Zongduozhu, Wei Xiangzhu, friends, the green hills will not change, the clear water will always flow, I'm sure we will meet again someday."
After the Mu Palace people left, Chen Jinnan said, "Xiaobao, come with me. I want to see the progress of your martial art training these past several months."
Wei Xiaobao's heart was thumping madly, his countenance changed immediately. "Yes, yes," he replied, and followed his Shifu into a room in the east wing. "Shifu," he said, "The Emperor sends me to investigate the assassins' whereabouts, disciple may have to hurry back and report."
"What assassins' whereabouts?" Chen Jinnan asked. He had just arrived the previous night, so he only heard bits and pieces about the assassins in the Palace. Thereupon Wei Xiaobao told him how the Mu Palace warriors entered the Palace to assassinate the emperor, with the intention of shifting the blame onto Wu Sangui.
Chen Jinnan let out a breath, "Is there such thing?" he said. Although he had gone through many storms, he was rather shocked to learn about this matter, he said, "Those friends from Mu Family are courageous and forthright, unexpectedly they carried out a large-scale operation into the Palace. I only knew that three of their people went to assassinate the Emperor, and thus were captured; turns out it was to deal with that traitor Wu Sangui. You have rescued Wu Lishen, three people, and now you want to return to the Palace, aren't you afraid of the danger?"
Wei Xiaobao wanted to flaunt his heroism, naturally he did not say that he released the assassins under the Emperor's order, so there was absolutely no danger in him returning to the Palace. He bragged, "Disciple has dragged several scapegoats, I shifted the blame on them. Looks like for the time being the suspicion will not fall onto your disciple. Shifu told me to spy for news in the Palace, if for the sake of saving three of Mu Palace's people disciple henceforth cannot return to the Palace, wouldn't I have harmed Shifu's important mission?"
Chen Jinnan was very happy. "That's right," he said, "We have struck palms three time with Mu Jiansheng to seal our oath. It is reasonable to say that Mu Palace does not have too many people left, so they can’t possibly match Tian Di Hui. I made that agreement with them, first, to avoid the argument about the legitimacy of King Tang versus King Gui, and thus harming the friendship between two families. The Tatars have not been wiped out yet, if we, Han people, massacre each other first, how can we accomplish the great undertaking? Second, if we can get the Mu Palace under our Society, it will enormously increase our Tian Di Hui’s power. The fact that they dared to enter the Palace and create havoc shows that in order to topple that traitor Wu, they would stop at nothing. We also must spare no effort to accomplish this goal, otherwise, if they gain the initiative, Tian Di Hui must accept Mu Palace’s orders, won’t everybody be ashamed then?”
"That's right," Wei Xiaobao said, "Mu Xiao Gongye does not any real skill, he only relies on his good Papa. If I re-enter the womb of his mother, I could be born as the Xiao Gongye. For such a great hero like Shifu to be forced to take orders from him, if it were me, I would be angry too."
In all his life Chen Jinnan had heard countless flattering words, but since this time it came from a teenage kid, it sounded so sincere and encouraging; he could not help but showing a faint smile. He did not know that Wei Xiaobao's natural disposition was quick-witted and clever, plus he had lived in both a brothel and the Palace, two most hypocritical and devious places in the world. By living in these places, Wei Xiaobao had early on acquired craftiness, which was far above ordinary grownups. Chen Jinnan was used to dealing daily with heroes and warriors of Tian Di Hui, who treated one another with absolute sincerity, how could he know that this little disciple say something without meaning it? That in ten sentences, perhaps there were five or six sentences that can't be trusted? He patted Wei Xiaobao's shoulder and said with a smile, "What does a child like you understand? How do you know Mu Xiao Gongye does not have real skill?"
Wei Xiaobao said, "By sending assassins to the Palace, he has delivered many of his subordinates' lives for nothing, without really doing any damage to Wu Sangui. Not only he does not have any real skill, I can say that he is a big idiot."
"How do you know he is not doing any damage to Wu Sangui?" Chen Jinnan asked.
Wei Xiaobao said, "This Mu Family's Xiao Gongye used a very stupid strategy. He had the assassins who entered the Palace to wear undergarments with 'Ping Xi Wang Mansion' written on it, and use weapons with 'Ping Xi Wang Mansion' or something like ‘Regional Commander Office of Shanhai Pass of The Great Ming’ carved on it. The Tatars are not stupid, naturally they can think, if they were really Wu Sangui's men, why would they want to use such weapons?"
Chen Jinnan nodded, "You are right," he said.
 Orig. 'hundreds of arteries and veins open up brightly'.
Foxs, I think your translations are wonderful as they are and I honestly greatly enjoy reading your works.
I am not like WXB, my praises are sincere and not bootlicking
In the 1998 TVB version, this Li Xihua character was changed and merged with another character. He had a bigger role and I liked him a lot. Too bad the novel Li Xihua has such a small role.
Thanks for the update foxs. Hmm if Li Xihua never appeared again in the novel, maybe the implication is that he was not cured of the blood clotting claw and died.
What a unique skill, even in the DGSD and condor trilogy books, I don't seem to recall such a skill.