Thanks for the update foxs.
Awww, I always loved the interaction btwn the king and WXB. Can't wait for more.
Thanks for the update foxs.
Awww, I always loved the interaction btwn the king and WXB. Can't wait for more.
Thanks for another great translation Foxs. Always appreciate you taking the time for us.
You are welcome, guys. I like doing this, so the pleasure is also mine. Thanks for keeping me company.
I do not have Minford's book, but one of spcnet member sent me a MS-Word file, without the forewords of Book 2 and Book 3. The other day I visited Amazon.com and read the forewords of those two books. I have not read the original Chinese text, but my guess is that up to Chapter 10 of the original, Minford did a full translation. After that, he condensed 20 chapters into Book 2, and the remaining 20 chapters into Book 3. So I guess we won't see any differences for the time being. FYI, I glanced Minford's work here and there, especially if there is a difficult sentence, but you know what? Minford did not translate those sentences either. So in the end I translated those difficult sentences literally. (Ever wonder why he did not translate the chapter titles?)
“Alright, come here!” Hai Laogong said.
“Yes!” Wei Xiaobao replied, as he walked several steps closer.
Hai Laogong said, “Let me tell you again, if you don’t remember it this time, I am going to kill you.”
“Yes, yes,” Wei Xiaobao said, thinking, “If you tell me all the way through, I won’t forget it for a hundred years.”
Hai Laogong said, “Win the Wen brothers’ money, when they are out of money, you give them loan, the more the better. After a few days, you then want them to take you to the Upper Study Room. They owe you money, they won’t dare not to comply. If they give you all sorts of excuses, tell them that I will settle the account with the Upper Study Room manager, Wu Laogong. If the Wen brothers still do not want to pay, we may have to bring this to the Emperor’s attention …”
“The Emperor?” Wei Xiaobao said.
“What is it?” Hai Laogong asked.
“No … nothing,” Wei Xiaobao said.
Hai Laogong continued, “They may ask you what do you want in the Upper Study Room. You tell them that people are bound to go to higher place, you wish to see the Emperor by doing some errand at the Upper Study Room. Of course the Wen brothers won’t let you see the Emperor, when they take you there, certainly the Emperor won’t be at the Upper Study Room. That’s when you will try to steal a book.”
Hearing him kept mentioning of the Emperor, Wei Xiaobao’s heart was stirred, “Could it be that this is the Imperial Palace? And not Beijing’s biggest brothel? Aiyo hey, that’s right, that’s right, if this is not the Imperial Palace, how could there be such splendor and majesty? These people must be court eunuchs attending the Emperor.”
Although Wei Xiaobao had heard people mentioning the Emperor, Empress, Crown Prince, Princess, as well as palace maids and court eunuch, he only knew that the Emperor are supposed to wear dragon robe, but how the Emperor actually look like, he had no idea. In Yangzhou he had watched a lot of plays, but the court eunuchs in those plays did not dress like Hai Laogong, Lao Wu or the others at all, the actors’ hands always held a whisk, which they waved here and there. The songs in the play were not pleasant to hear. He had contact with Hai Laogong only for a day, he had gambled with Lao Wu, the Wen brothers and the others for half a day, but he did not know they were eunuchs. This time hearing Hai Laogong’s words, he gradually understood; he thought, “Aiyo, in this case, haven’t I turned into a court eunuch?”
In stern voice Hai Laogong said, “Have you understood clearly what you heard?”
“Yes, yes, very clear,” Wei Xiaobao said, “I have to go to the Em … Emperor’s Upper Study Room.”
“To the Emperor’s Upper Study Room for what?” Hai Laogong said, “To play?”
“To steal a book,” Wei Xiaobao replied.
“Steal what book?” Hai Laogong asked.
“This … this … some book … I … I can’t remember,” Wei Xiaobao stammered.
Hai Laogong said, “I’ll tell you one more time, remember it well. It is a Buddhist scripture, called ‘Forty-two-chapter Sutra’. This book will look very old, there are several copies, I want you to bring them all to me. Do you remember? What’s the book called?”
“It is called the ‘Forty-two-chapter Sutra’,” Wei Xiaobao happily replied.
Hai Laogong detected the happiness in his voice, he asked, “Why are you happy?”
Wei Xiaobao said, “As soon as you mentioned it, I then recalled it to mind, therefore I am happy.”
Actually, when he heard that Hai Laogong wanted him to steal a book in the Upper Study Room, the ‘stealing’ part was absolutely not difficult, but the ‘book’ part was actually the real problem for him. He did not know anything about characters as big as a watermelon; wanting him to recognize a book, even if he was beheaded he would be unable to accomplish. As soon as he heard the title of the book to be ‘Forty-two-chapter Sutra’, he could not restrain his heart from swelling in full bloom. ‘Chapter’ and ‘scripture’ he did not know, but ‘forty-two’ three characters [si shi er], he could recognize. Out of five characters [si shi er zhang jing], unexpectedly he knew three, no wonder he was very pleased with himself.
Hai Laogong added, “If you want to steal book at the Upper Study Room, your movements must be clean and in order; if anybody catch you, even if you have a hundred lives, you won’t be able to keep them.”
“I understand this part well,” Wei Xiaobao said, “If you steal something and are caught, how could you sing and play trick?” A sudden inspiration struck; he said, “In no way would I mention Gong-gong’s name.”
Hai Laogong said, “Mention my name or not, it has nothing to do with this matter.” He coughed several times, and then continued, “You have done well today, unexpectedly you win some money. Did they get suspicious?”
“Hey hey,” Wei Xiaobao laughed, “No, no, how could they get suspicious?” He wanted to toot his horn a little bit, but in the end he restrained himself.
“Don’t be lazy, idling left and right without doing anything,” Hai Laogong said, "You must practice a lot.”
Wei Xiaobao complied and walked into the room, he saw bowls and chopsticks on the table, plus four dishes of meat and vegetables, and one soup, but nobody had touched anything. "Gong-gong," he hastily said, "You haven't eaten? Let me get some food for you."
"I am not hungry," Hai Laogong said, "I don't want to eat. You go ahead and eat."
Wei Xiaobao was delighted. Without taking any rice, he picked a red-cooked pork with his fingers and ate. Although the dishes were already cold, as it entered his stomach, he found it was indescribably delicious. "I wonder who sent this meal over," he mused, "I'd better not ask this kind of trivial matter, I just have to open my eyes and slowly I will find out." He also thought, "If this is really the Imperial Palace, then Lao Wu, the Wen brothers, and that Xiao Xuanzi that I'll have to deal with, are all eunuchs. I wonder what do the old Emperor and Empress really look like? I guess I will have to see to know that. When I return to Yangzhou, hey hey, laozi can tell it with some air. I wonder if Mao Dage can escape from the Imperial Palace? During the gambling nobody mentioned anything about catching anybody, most likely he can get out."
After eating, because he was afraid he might raise Hai Laogong suspicion, he took the six dice and 'ding ling ling', he threw them into the bowl continuously. After throwing dice for a moment, his eyelids grew heavier and heavier. He did not sleep at all the previous night, and only now did he finally feel very weary, so in a short while he was already asleep.
He slept until the evening, when a worker eunuch came to deliver their dinner. Wei Xiaobao waited on Hai Laogong as he ate, he also helped him to bed, and then he lay down on the small bed. He thought, "The most important thing tomorrow is the martial art contest with Xiao Xuanzi. It would be best if I can beat him." Closing his eyes, he recalled the technique Mao Shiba used to fight the Manchu wrestlers at the wine shop, but the picture in his mind was fuzzy; he could not help but feel a tinge of regret, "Mao Dage wanted to teach me martial art, I was not willing to learn. If I had learned it along the way, although Xiao Xuanzi is stronger than me, how can he be my match? If tomorrow he manage to sit on me and I am not able to flip over, losing money is nothing, but losing face is a big thing. I, the Little White Dragon Wei Xiaobao, cannot mingle around in Jianghu anymore." Suddenly another thought popped up, "The Manchu warriors are not Mao Dage's match, but Mao Dage is not the old turtle's match, why not swindle the old turtle to teach me some skill?" Thereupon he said, "Gong-gong, you want me to go to the Upper Study Room to get the book, but there is a small problem."
"What problem?" Hai Laogong asked.
Wei Xiaobao said, "On my way back from gambling today, I met a little ... little eunuch. He stopped me and told me to give him the money. I refused, so we had a duel. He said that if I can beat him, then he would let me go. I fought with him for half a day, that's why ... that's why I was late for lunch."
"And you lost, didn't you?" Hai Laogong said.
Wei Xiaobao said, "He is taller and stronger, a lot stronger than I am. He said he wants to have a duel with me every day. The day I can beat him, that will be the day he won't bother me anymore."
"What's this baby's name?" Hai Laogong asked, "Which building does he belong to?"
"He is called Xiao Xuanzi," Wei Xiaobao replied, "But I don't know which building he belongs to."
Hai Laogong said, "Must be because you won some money, your manner appeared disgusting in the eyes of others; otherwise, why would he look for you?"
Wei Xiaobao said, "I refuse to submit to him, I'll look for him again tomorrow. I just don't know if I can beat him."
"Humph," Hai Laogong said, "You want to ask me to teach you martial art. I told you I won't teach you, so I won't teach you. It's useless for you to ask in a roundabout way."
Wei Xiaobao cursed silently, "This old turtle is smart, he won't fall into my trick." He said, "This Xiao Xuanzi also does not know martial art. If I want to beat him, I don't need to learn any martial art; who ask you to teach me? Today I was plainly able to sit on his body, it's just that he is strong, he managed to turn me over. Tomorrow I am going to grab him with all my strength, this fellow may not necessarily able to turn over like a turtle." For the whole day he had been careful, restraining himself not to speak any vulgar word, but now finally he could not bear not to say one.
Hai Laogong said, "You want to hold him down that he won't turn over, that is easy."
"I also think it won't be difficult," Wei Xiaobao said, "Tomorrow I will grab his shoulder really hard."
"Humph," Hai Laogong snorted, "What good is it to grab his shoulder? He can turn over or not depends on the strength of his back. You must use your knee to press against the acupoint on his lower back. Come here, I'll show you."
Wei Xiaobao rolled down from his bed and leaped toward Hai Laogong's bed. Hai Laogong ran his finger on Wei Xiaobao's lower back, and lightly pressed. Immediately Wei Xiaobao felt his entire body limp and painful, his strength was gone.
"Can you remember it?" Hai Laogong asked.
"Yes," Wei Xiaobao replied, "Tomorrow I'll give it a try, I just don't know if it will work."
Hai Laogong angrily said, "What do you mean it won't work? That is 'one hundred shots, one hundred hits, ten thousand times tests, ten thousand times effective'." He then put out his hand on either side of Wei Xiaobao's neck, and pressed lightly.
"Ah!" Wei Xiaobao screamed, he felt the pit of his stomach was choked, his breathing could not flow.
Hai Laogong said, "If you pressed hard these two acupoints, he won't have any strength to fight you."
Wei Xiaobao was overjoyed, "That will do," he said, "Tomorrow I might be allowed to defeat him." He had just learned the word 'allow' during the gambling that day. Returning to his own bed, he fantasized that the following day the 'Little White Dragon' Wei Xiaobao would beat Xiao Xuanzi so that he would call 'surrender'; and he felt very proud of himself.
The next day Lao Wu called him up again to gamble. The Wen brothers' names were Wen Youdao and Wen Youfang, and today it was these two brothers' turn to be the banker. Wei Xiaobao used his trick and won more than twenty taels from them. The two brothers' luck was quite bad that day, in less than an hour, their fifty taels capital was wiped clean. Wei Xiaobao lent them twenty taels, but by quitting time, the Wen brothers also lost these twenty taels.
Wei Xiaobao's mind was occupied with his martial art competition against Xiao Xuanzi. As soon as the gambling adjourned, he rushed to that room. He saw the table was still loaded with dishes of light refreshments. He picked several pieces and started munching. Soon he heard the sound of boots. Afraid that the incoming person was not Xiao Xuanzi, he thought it would be better for him to hide underneath the table first. But he heard from outside the door Xiao Xuanzi had already called, "Xiao Guizi, Xiao Guizi!"
Why Minford didn't translate the title?
Well, he is a terrible terrible translator who didn't quite translate the spirit of the text and uses literally words like Little Trinket for Wei Xiao Bao!
Troll ControlOriginally Posted by bliss
Thanks, Han. I know you did not mean it as a compliment to me, but I am happy nonetheless ... Anyway, the reason I am back is that I have just found out that for the next two days I will be in a meeting (our company is migrating to SAP, and I am representing my department); so don't expect any update soon. This time I am working alone, hence I do not have any material stashed somewhere. I think I will be able to post something Friday, or Saturday at the latest.
Last edited by foxs; 08-10-10 at 05:28 PM.
From chapter 2:
Madame Ying Lie Temple was dedicated to Madame Han Shizhong, Liang Hongyu. Yangzhou residents called it 'Distinguished Prostitute Temple'. When she was young, Liang Hongyu was a courtesan, and that was how she met Han Shizhong. Every year the courtesans of Yangzhou would visit the Madame Ying Lie Temple to burn incense and pray, asking the spirit of this mistress from Anguo, Hebei province, of the Song Dynasty, to look after the latter generation sisters of the same trade.
From ROCH chapter 13:
A woman’s state of mind goes through many things, many changes. Along
with the different extraordinary characters of each of the famous
historic woman, came laughter, as brows were knitted, joy with worry; it
was even more difficult to understand and surmise. Incorporating the
hundreds and thousand year old feelings of these beautiful woman into
martial arts, and then adding stances that reflect the beauty of
goddesses, the mystery surrounding angels; how could ordinary people
Yang Guo used a stance of “Hong Yu Beats the Drum” his two arms
attacking one after the other; Da’erba raised his rod and attacked. Yang
Guo changed into “Hong Fu Hurries in the Night”, unexpectedly he charged
forward. Da’erba pushed his rod down vertically to block it. Yang Guo
suddenly used “Luu Zhu’s Falling Building”; he threw himself onto the
ground and attacked his lower body.
Are they the same person?
Last edited by SkyWalker; 08-10-10 at 09:38 PM.
It's so obvious that WXB is not Xiao Guizi. WXB should find a way out asap instead of loitering around. But the upcoming fight is exciting.
I wonder if an older WXB would have been able to come up with a way to handle Hai Laogong better.
Pannonian: I think you are right. I found this in Wikipedia:
Liang Hongyu was a female general and the wife of a mighty Song Dynasty general, Han Shizhong. Even today, it is said that, standing on Golden Mountain, one can still hear her beating the mighty war drum which stirred the hearts of her Song soldiers.aliderhamy & tweety: Isn't that a recurring problem even today? Somebody is being used by someone else, and he/she cannot see it, but other people can see it clearly.
Anyway, sorry for the delay, here is the next part.
Wei Xiaobao leaped to the door and said with a laugh, "Appointment to the death, don’t leave before we meet."
Xiao Xuanzi also laughed, "Ha ha ... Appointment to the death, don’t leave before we meet," he said as he walked in.
Wei Xiaobao noticed that Xiao Xuanzi was wearing a brand new set of outfit, it looked really gorgeous, so that he could not help but feeling rather jealous. He thought, "Wait till I tear your new clothes, you won't be so cocky!" With a loud shout he pounced on Xiao Xuanzi.
Xiao Xuanzi also shouted, "Good move!" Grabbing Wei Xiaobao's arms, he swept with his left leg. Wei Xiaobao could not withstand it, he tottered several steps and tumbled down on the ground, pulling Xiao Xuanzi along that he also fell.
Wei Xiaobao rolled away and leaped up to sit on Xiao Xuanzi's back. Remembering Hai Laogong's lesson, he stretched his hand to press on the acupoint on Xiao Xuanzi's lower back. However, he had never practiced sealing acupoints before, how could he seal the acupoint simply by grabbing it? His grab missed a little bit, Xiao Xuanzi had already turned around and caught Wei Xiaobao's left arm, which he twisted backward forcefully.
"Aiyo!" Wei Xiaobao screamed, "Have you no shame, twisting my arm like that?"
Xiao Xuanzi laughed and said, "Learning wrestling is precisely learning how to twist others' arm; what do you mean I have no shame?"
Taking advantage while Xiao Xuanzi was still speaking, Wei Xiaobao threw himself as hard as he could toward Xiao Xuanzi's lower back, ramming his head against his back, while sneaking his right hand underneath Xiao Xuanzi's armpit, and flung him upward as hard as he could. Xiao Xuanzi's body flew over Wei Xiaobao's head and 'thump!' he landed on the floor.
Xiao Xuanzi leaped up and said, "So you also know the move 'antelope hanging its antlers'."
Wei Xiaobao had no idea what an 'antelope hanging its antlers' move look like, he simply moved without thinking and succeeded. Feeling proud of himself he said, "This 'antelope hanging its antlers' is nothing, I still have many formidable moves I haven't used yet."
Xiao Xuanzi happily said, "Nothing better than that; let's fight again."
Wei Xiaobao said in his heart, "Turns out you have practiced martial art, no wonder I cannot beat you. But you use one move, I learn one move; at most you will throw me down several times, I will be able learn your technique." Seeing Xiao Xuanzi was pouncing at him, he also threw himself forward forcefully. To his surprise, Xiao Xuanzi attack was a feign one. As Wei Xiaobao pounced forward, he had already held his momentum and sidestepped, while stretching out his hand to push Wei Xiaobao's back. Wei Xiaobao pounced on an empty air. 'Bang!' His own momentum plus Xiao Xuanzi's push had sent him crashing heavily on the ground.
Xiao Xuanzi cheered loudly and jumped to ride on Wei Xiaobao's back. "Surrender now?" he asked.
"No!" Wei Xiaobao replied. He was about to straighten his back to stand up, suddenly his waist went numb; the two acupoints on his lower back were pressed by Xiao Xuanzi's fingers. This acupoint sealing technique was exactly the one Hai Laogong taught him the previous night. Although he had learned it, the opponent had beaten him in using it first. Wei Xiaobao struggled several times, but all along he was unable to free himself. "Alright," he had no choice but to call out, "I surrender this time!"
Xiao Xuanzi laughed aloud and let him stand up. Suddenly Wei Xiaobao extended his foot to trip him. Xiao Xuanzi's body tilted sideways, he was about to fall. Wei Xiaobao sent a punch toward his lower back. Xiao Xuanzi grunted in pain and doubled over. From behind Wei Xiaobao pounced with both hands grabbed his neck from two directions. Xiao Xuanzi had a spell of dizziness and fell down on the ground. Wei Xiaobao was delighted, without taking his hands away, he asked, "Surrender now?"
Xiao Xuanzi grunted; suddenly both of his elbows struck backwards. Wei Xiaobao felt a severe pain that he thought his ribs were about to break. He screamed and fell face up. Xiao Xuanzi turned around and sat on the pit of his stomach. He had just scored another victory, but he was panting heavily and was feeling very tired that he was unable to breath normally. "Do ... do ... do you surrender now?" he asked.
"Surrender your fart!" Wei Xiaobao said, "No ... no ... surrender. A hundred times ... ten ... ten thousand times no surrender. You've just won by chance."
Xiao Xuanzi said, "If you don't surrender, then get up and fight again."
With both hands pushing the floor, Wei Xiaobao wanted to stand up, but the vital acupoint on the pit of his stomach was still being pressed by the opponent, his body was numb and aching that he was unable to exert his strength. After struggling for a long time, he did not have any choice but to surrender one more time.
Xiao Xuanzi stood up, his arms were limp and painful. Wei Xiaobao strived to get up, but his body swaggered; he said, "Tomorrow ... tomorrow we'll fight again, I must ... must make you surrender."
Xiao Xuanzi laughed and said, "Fighting a hundred times more, you will ... will ... will lose. If you have guts, tomorrow we'll fight again."
"I am afraid it's you who don't have guts," Wei Xiaobao said, "Why wouldn't I have guts? Appointment to the death, don’t leave before we meet."
"Alright," Xiao Xuanzi said, "Appointment to the death, don’t leave before we meet."
They both were fired up because of the fight, nobody mentioned anything about the money. Since Xiao Xuanzi did not mention it, Wei Xiaobao was glad to pretend that he forget. If he were the victor, he would definitely want his money.
Wei Xiaobao returned to his room and said to Hai Laogong, "Gong-gong, your technique was useless, it was too sloppy and ordinary."
"Humph," Hai Laogong snorted, "Hopeless, you lost again.”
Wei Xiaobao said, “If I had used my own technique, granted that although I may not win, I may not necessarily lose either. But your technique is just too useless, all other people already know how to us it, what's so special?"
"He also know this technique?" Hai Laogong wondered, "Show me."
Wei Xiaobao thought, "You are blind, you want me to show you, can you see it?" But then he had a second thought, "But I don't know if he is really blind or just pretending to be blind, I might as well test him." Immediately both of his elbows struck backward and he said, "He strikes like this and each one of the three-thousand bones in my body was very painful."
Hai Laogong sighed and said, "You told me he strike like that, how can I see it?" He rose up shakily and said, "Try to do what he did."
Wei Xiaobao was secretly delighted, "The old turtle is really blind." With his back against Hai Laogong, he thrust his elbows slowly backwards, and said, "He used his elbows like this to strike me." As soon as his elbow reached Hai Laogong's chest, he no longer exerted any strength.
"Hmm," Hai Laogong said, "This is 'armpit-bottom hammer'; nothing special about it.
Wei Xiaobao said, "Then there is this one." He pulled Hai Laogong's left hand and placed it on his right shoulder; he said, "He put forth his strength and flung me, my body then flew over his head." Actually, it was he who flung Xiao Xuanzi, which he was very proud of, but he intentionally reversed the role to test Hai Laogong.
"It is the 'antelope hanging its antlers'," Hai Laogong said.
"So you know that one," Wei Xiaobao said. Then he pulled Hai Laogong's arm and slowly twisted it backward.
"Um, that one is the third stance of the 'Falling Broken Plum'," Hai Laogong said, "What else?"
Wei Xiaobao said, "Turns out all Xiao Xuanzi's moves have famous names. Then the techniques I used, my random punch and random twist against him should also have some pleasant sounding famous names. I pounced at him, this kid sidestepped, but taking the opportunity he pushed on my back, and I ..."
Without waiting for him to finish, Hai Laogong cut him off, "Where did he push?"
"As soon as he pushed, I was thrown and knocked out of my mind, how could I remember where he pushed?" Wei Xiaobao said.
Hai Laogong said, "Try to remember it, did he push here?" He stretched out his hand to push behind Wei Xiaobao's left shoulder.
"Not there," Wei Xiaobao replied.
"Is it here?" Hai Laogong asked.
Wei Xiaobao still replied, "Not there."
Successively Hai Laogong pressed seven or eight locations, Wei Xiaobao always replied, "Not there." Hai Laogong stretched out his palm to press Wei Xiaobao's right waist underneath his ribs and asked, "Is it here?" While saying that, he gently pushed.
Wei Xiaobao staggered and tumbled several steps away. Right away he remembered it was the exact spot Xiao Xuanzi had pushed. "That's it!" he shouted, "Dead on, that's the exact spot. Gong-gong, how do you know?"
Hai Laogong did not answer, he was deep in thought for half a day, then said, "I taught you two techniques, yet you say he knew both of them already. Are you telling me the truth?"
"Naturally it's the truth," Wei Xiaobao said, "Genuine goods at fair prices, treating both the young and the old honestly. Not only this kid can press my lower back, he can also crush the pit of my stomach right here, so that I could not breathe, and thus I was forced to surrender that time. It was called ..."
Hai Laogong did not care whatever name Wei Xiaobao was going to mention; he held out his hand and said, "He pressed on the pit of your stomach where?"
Wei Xiaobao pulled his hand and pressed it against the pit of his stomach, right on the spot where Xiao Xuanzi had pressed. "Right here," he said.
Hai Laogong sighed and said, "This is the 'Purple Palace' acupoint. This child's Shifu is a martial art master."
Wei Xiaobao said, "That's nothing, a real man can submit or can stand tall, living on a green mountain, no need to worry there won't be cooking firewood. I ... I, Wei ... I, Xiao Guizi has lost a fight today, tomorrow I will win it back from him, it's not a difficult matter."
Hai Laogong sat back on his chair. He bent his right hand and stretched it out again, then he stretched it out and bent it again. His eyes closed in contemplation. After quite a long time, he said, "He knows 'little grappling technique', it's not so strange; but his palm pushed the 'desire residence' acupoint on your right waist, it was exactly Wudang Pai's 'Soft Palm' technique. Afterwards he pressed your 'muscle shrinkage' acupoint, and then your 'purple palace' acupoint. Those are Wudang Pai's acupoint striking technique. Turns out there is a Wudang master hiding in our palace. Hmm, very good! Very good! Tell me, that Xiao ... Xiao Xuanzi, how old is he?"
"He is a lot older than I am," Wei Xiaobao replied.
"How much older?" Hai Laogong asked.
"Several years," Wei Xiaobao replied.
Hai Laogong angrily said, "What do you mean several years? One or two years is several years, eight or nine years is also several years. If he is eight or nine years older than you, do you still want to fight him?"
"Alright," Wei Xiaobao said, "Let's just say he is one or two years older than I am. But he is a lot bigger and taller than I am."
 Book note: the actual phrase is 'firewood to cook with' but he changed it to 'cooking firewood'.
 Orig. 'Xiao Qin Na' - little grab and capture.
I have not read the original Chinese text, but my guess is that up to Chapter 10 of the original, Minford did a full translation. After that, he condensed 20 chapters into Book 2, and the remaining 20 chapters into Book 3. So I guess we won't see any differences for the time being.
Let's just say (diplomatically) if I had forewarning, I would have saved my $60 instead of buying those 3 books by Minford. Utter crap.
For example, there was an elaborate and dramatic scene involving a death and a misunderstanding, and it is revealed through very strong words. Instead Minford just translates the entire scene (which takes several pages and lasts about 15 minutes in the HK films/series) with the simple sentence "After talking it over, they realized that they had been tricked."
Thanks for the update foxs!
Does it state in the novel how old Xiao Xuanzi is?
bchin, it's that bad, huh? Well, hopefully my work is acceptable to you.
sky, here is the answer to your question. BTW, thanks for faithfully leave you comment here.
Luckily the opponent was older and bigger, so losing was not considered a major face loss. If not that he wanted Hai Laogong to teach him some martial art, Wei Xiaobao would have not say anything about his defeat in the duel; when he returned, he would inevitably give an exaggerated account of things, he would say that it was him who scored a big victory instead.
Hai Laogong muttered, "This child is fourteen, fifteen years old. Hmm, how long did you fight him before you were beaten?"
"At least four or six hours, " Wei Xiaobao said.
Hai Laogong's face sack. "Don't brag!" he barked, "How long?"
Wei Xiaobao said, "Perhaps it's less than 2 hours, but it is more than one hour."
"Humph," Hai Laogong said, "I am asking you, you'd better answer nicely. This kid knows martial art, you don't; so even if you lose the fight, you don't lose your face. It does not matter whether you fought ten times or eight times, even if you lose a hundred times, two hundred times, you are still young, what are you afraid of? So long as the last one time you win, your opponent will not dare to fight with you anymore. Now that is a hero and a warrior."
"That's right," Wei Xiaobao said, "In the past, Han Gaozu fought a hundred battles and lost a hundred times. Finally in the last battle he beat the overlord of Chu that he hanged himself by the River Wu ..."
Hai Laogong said, "What do you mean he hanged himself by the River Wu? He cut his own throat by the River Wu."
"Hanging himself or cutting his own throat, it does not matter, he lost and thus he killed himself," Wei Xiaobao said.
"You always want to win every argument," Hai Laogong said, "Tell me, during your fight with Xiao Xuanzi today, how many times did he beat you?"
Wei Xiaobao said, "About one or two times, maybe two or three times."
"It was four times, wasn't it?" Hai Laogong said.
Wei Xiaobao said, "Actually, I really lost twice, the other two times he was cheating, it didn't count."
"Each time how long did you fight?" Hai Laogong asked.
"I didn't keep track of the time," Wei Xiaobao replied, "Sometimes it was like pooping, sometimes it was like peeing."
"Rubbish!" Hai Laogong said, "What do you mean sometimes it was like pooping, sometimes it was like peeing?"
"Defecating is somewhat slower," Wei Xiaobao explained, "Urinating does not take too much time."
Hai Laogong chuckled, he said, "Although this kid's analogy is vulgar, what he said is very clear." After pondering for half a day he said, "You have not learned martial art, this Xiao Xuanzi still need to fight you for a while before he can knock you down, that means his 'little grappling technique' is newly learned. Don't be afraid, I'll teach you the 'big grappling technique'. Learn it well, and tomorrow you may challenge him again."
Wei Xiaobao was delighted. "He is using the 'little grappling technique', we are using the 'big grappling technique', big will overcome small, we will definitely win," he said.
"That's not necessarily true," Hai Laogong said, "Both big and small grappling techniques have their own strong points. We must take the practitioner into consideration. If he trained better than you do, the little grappling technique will surpass the big grappling technique. This big grappling technique altogether has eighteen moves, each one has seven or eight variations. You won't be able to remember all, let's practice one or two moves before we proceed further."
Right away he stood up and performed the move. Finished with one move, he said, "This move is called 'Immortal Crane Combing its Plume'. Practice it well, then try it with me."
Wei Xiaobao only looked one time, and he already remembered. After practicing for seven, eight times, he thought he had mastered it well. He said, "I have mastered it."
Still sitting on a chair, Hai Laogong stretched out his left arm to grab Wei Xiaobao's shoulder. Wei Xiaobao raised his hand to ward it off, but he was one step slower, his shoulder was already grabbed.
"Mastered what? Practice again," Hai Laogong said.
Wei Xiaobao practiced several more times, then he tried it again with Hai Laogong. Hai Laogong stretched out his left arm, he was using exactly the same posture and move as the previous time. This time Wei Xiaobao was prepared, as soon as he saw the hand moved, he raised his hand to ward off; who would have thought that he was still somewhat slower and his shoulder was grabbed again.
"Humph," Hai Laogong said, "Little idiot!"
In his heart, Wei Xiaobao cursed, "Old turtle!" And he was back practicing again.
By the third try, his shoulder was still grabbed; he could not help but feeling at a loss, without knowing the reason.
"This grab of mine," Hai Laogong said, "Even if you practice for three years, you won't necessarily be able to parry. Let me tell you this: if you cannot evade, when my hand is moving to your shoulder, you must use your palm to chop my wrist. It is called using offense as a defense."
Wei Xiaobao was delighted. "So that's how it is, it's very easy!" he said, "If you have told me earlier, I would have mastered it early on."
As soon as Hai Laogong's left hand came to grab him, Wei Xiaobao raised his right palm to chop down on his wrist. Unexpectedly, Hai Laogong did not even withdraw his hand, his palm moved slightly to the side, 'Slap!' he heavily slap Wei Xiaobao's face. Wei Xiaobao was angry, he also tried to slap Hai Laogong's face. Hai Laogong flipped his left palm to catch Wei Xiaobao wrist and casually flung him away. He laughed and said, "Little idiot, have you remembered it?"
As he was being thrown away, Wei Xiaobao's shoulder crashed into the foot of the wall. Fortunately in this throw Hai Laogong only used very light force, otherwise his shoulder bones might be broken by the collision. Wei Xiaobao was very angry, the curse 'Old Turtle' was already at the tip of his tongue, but in the end he was able to curb it. He thought, “These two techniques are very good, when I fight Xiao Xuanzi tomorrow, I’ll use a damn one of these, guaranteed Xiao Xuanzi won’t be able to withstand.” Immediately he crawled up and tried to commit Hai Laogong’s two techniques into his memory, and then practiced it several times.
After practicing it for about a dozen times, Hai Laogong’s mysterious technique did not seem too unfathomable anymore, until finally he was able to evade the grab on his shoulder, but all along he was never able to avoid the slap on his face. It’s just that Hai Laogong did not use as much force as he did the first time, as long as his hand and fingers brushed away lightly on Wei Xiaobao’s face, it was already considered a slap. Although this brush was not painful, each time he was always hit on the same spot. Since Wei Xiaobao was always unable to counter, Hai Laogong did not grab and fling him away like before.
In his heart Wei Xiaobao was dismayed, “Gong-gong,” he asked, “How do I evade this move of yours?”
Hai Laogong smiled faintly and said, “If I want to hit you, even if you practice for ten years you won’t be able to evade. But Xiao Xuanzi won’t be able to beat you either. Let’s practice the second move.” He stood up and demonstrated the second move of the 'big grappling technique', called the ‘apes and monkeys pick the fruits’, and then have Wei Xiaobao tried it to him.
By nature, Wei Xiaobao was very lazy; actually, he was unwilling to diligently learn martial art, but his desire to win and outdo others took precedence, he wholeheartedly wanted to master these several ingenious techniques to force Xiao Xuanzi to call ‘surrender’; therefore, he painstakingly practiced these moves. Surprisingly, Hai Laogong was not fed up with him at all.
From afternoon to evening that day, the two of them incessantly trained. Hai Laogong was sitting on a chair, his arm was able to reach anywhere at will. As soon as he made a move, Wei Xiaobao was hit, but on the whole his force was very light, each move did not use much strength. Even so, when he went the bed that night, Wei Xiaobao felt that no part of his entire body, from head to toe, did not ache. For more than half a day, at least he had received four to five hundred hits. As he lying on the bed, he secretly cursed, “Old turtle, you have hit laozi so many times. Tomorrow laozi will beat Xiao Xuanzi, old turtle, even if you kowtow to laozi for three hundred times, laozi will not learn martial art from you again.”
The afternoon the next day, after gambling Wei Xiaobao had another duel with Xiao Xuanzi. He noticed that Xiao Xuanzi was wearing another set of new clothes; he mused, “This kid is wearing new set of clothes every day, are you going to visit a girl in a brothel?” He was very jealous, so as soon as he made his move, he ripped his new clothes. ‘Rip’ a large tear appeared on Xiao Xuanzi’s clothes. But in doing so, he had forgotten the newly-learned skill, that his waist was punched by Xiao Xuanzi; he screamed in pain.
Xiao Xuanzi seized this opportunity to stretch out his finger and poked Wei Xiaobao’s left leg. Wei Xiaobao’s left leg went numb and he fell kneeling down. From behind Xiao Xuanzi pushed, right away Wei Xiaobao tumbled down. Xiao Xuanzi jumped to ride on his back and pressed his 'desire residence' acupoint. Wei Xiaobao had no choice but to concede.
Wei Xiaobao stood up and focused his attention, waiting for Xiao Xuanzi to make his move, then he used the 'Immortal Crane Combing its Plume', chopping the opponent’s wrist. Xiao Xuanzi hastily withdrew his hand, while sending out a punch. Wei Xiaobao had anticipated this move; he grabbed the wrist and twisted it around, followed by a left elbow strike toward Xiao Xuanzi’s back. Xiao Xuanzi cried out in pain was powerless to resist. This round belonged to Wei Xiaobao.
Ever since the two of them started this martial art competition, this was the first time Wei Xiaobao scored a victory; his joy was unspeakable. Although he had killed a military officer at the Victory Hill in Yangzhou, and killed Xiao Guizi in the palace, but both times he had been cheating. In all the fights in his life, other than bullying eight, nine years old children, which he always triumphed, he had never won any fight against grownups. Occasionally he gained the upper hand by biting, throwing dirt on their eyes, or other despicable tricks. As for chopping people’s legs from underneath the table at the restaurant, that was not really a honorable thing to do, so it need not be mentioned anymore. Using a real skill to achieve victory, this was the very first time in his entire life.
In his self-satisfaction, unavoidably his ego was inflated and he lost the third round. In the fourth round, Wei Xiaobao gathered his thoughts and used the move ‘apes and monkeys pick the fruits’; he wrestled the opponent for quite a long time, unexpectedly they fell into a deadlock until both of them were depleted of their strengths. Holding each other in their arms, they were panting for breath, and had no choice but to stop fighting.
Xiao Xuanzi was very happy; he laughed and said, “Today your … your skill is progressing. Competing martial art with you is bit more interesting. Who … who taught you?”
Also panting for breath, Wei Xiaobao replied, “I’ve already known this skill long ago, it’s just that I did not use it the previous couple of days. Tomorrow I will show you a more … more formidable technique. Will you or will you not dare to oblige?”
Xiao Xuanzi laughed aloud and said, “Naturally I will oblige, most probably it will be the new technique of yelling ‘Surrender!’.”
“Pei!” Wei Xiaobao spat, “Tomorrow it will be you who scream ‘Surrender!’”
Wei Xiaobao returned to his room. Immensely proud of himself, he said, “Gong-gong, your 'big grappling technique' is really deathly, I twisted that kid’s wrist, and strike his back with my elbow, this kid did not have any choice but to surrender.”
“How many rounds did you fight with him today?” Hai Laogong asked.
“I fought him four rounds, I won two,” Wei Xiaobao replied, “Actually, I could win three rounds, but I was not being careful the third time.”
Hai Laogong said, “You always speak ‘breaking seven fastening eight’; if you say that you fought four rounds, at most you only won one round.”
Orig. two or three sichen. A sichen is one of the 12 two-hour periods of the day.
Posthumous name of the first Han emperor Liu Bang (reigned 202-195 BC).
Great update as usual Foxs. Thanks a bunch
Been a bit behind in my reading, but caught up now . I so love the interaction b/t WXB and the king. Bunch of thanks to ya, foxs!
this is fun reading, thanks foxs.
Thks for the translation, im really looking forward to the story!
You are welcome, folks. Your comments and appreciation is appreciated. And owlHoot, welcome to the forum. Hope you enjoy it.
Here is a little bit more. Finally I found a couple of little details Minford did not translate. My only regret is that I can't seem to translate fast enough ...
Wei Xiaobao chuckled and said, “The first round I did not win, the second round I really did win. If I have empty words, may the heaven punish and the earth exterminate. The third round he cannot be considered lost, the fourth round we both fought until we are out of strength, so we agree to fight again tomorrow.”
Hai Laogong said, “Tell me truthfully, every move every style, in great details.”
Although Wei Xiaobao had a good memory, his knowledge of martial art was too little, how these four rounds were unfold by every move and every style, he could not narrate in details; he could only remember the third round where he scored a victory and thus the move he was most proud of. But Hai Laogong was insistent that he have a detailed account on how he was defeated. Wei Xiaobao was thinking of giving him a vague answer to dismiss his inquiry, but in the end he had to tell Hai Laogong the truth. The styles Xiao Xuanzi used to score victory, Hai Laogong was able to spell them out one by one, as if he was personally witnessing the fight, adding ten times the details of what Wei Xiaobao was able to tell. As he mentioned one style, Wei Xiaobao was then able to remember that it was indeed so.
“Gong-gong,” Wei Xiaobao said, “You have eyes that can see a thousand li; otherwise, how can you know clearly which technique Xiao Xuanzi was using?”
Hai Laogong lowered his head in contemplation, he muttered, “He is really a Wudang master, he is really a Wudang master.”
Wei Xiaobao was pleasantly surprised, “You said this kid Xiao Xuanzi is a Wudang Pai master? And I was able to fight this master evenly? Ha ha …”
“Pei!” Hai Laogong spat, “Don’t show off shamelessly! Who says he was the master? I was talking about the Shifu who taught him punching and kicking.”
“So what Sect [‘Pai’] do you belong to?” Wei Xiaobao asked, “Our martial art is matchless under the heavens, naturally it is a lot more formidable than Wudang Pai; that is an obvious fact.” He still did not know which school Hai Laogong belonged to, but he bragged about it first without restraint.
“I belong to Shaolin Pai,” Hai Laogong replied.
Wei Xiaobao was greatly delighted, “That’s very good; Wudang Pai’s martial art encounters our Shaolin Pai, of course they will be utterly defeated, they will run away hiding their tails between their legs.”
“Humph,” Hai Laogong snorted and said, “I haven’t taken you as my disciple, how can you consider yourself a Shaolin disciple?”
Wei Xiaobao embarrassedly said, “I did not say I was a Shaolin Pai disciple, I only learned Shaolin Pai martial art, is that correct?”
Hai Laogong said, “The technique Xiao Xuanzi was using is indeed Wudang Pai’s orthodox qin na technique, so we must use Shaolin Pai’s orthodox qin na technique to cope with him, otherwise we would not be his match.”
“That’s right,” Wei Xiaobao said, “My lost to him is small matter, implicating the prestige of our Shaolin Pai is greatly unworthy." On how great Shaolin Pai's prestige really was, he was completely clueless, but if he was somewhat responsible of maintaining Shaolin Pai's prestige, it must be not a trivial business.
Hai Laogong said, "I passed on those two moves from the 'big grappling technique' yesterday with the intention of defeating that kid to back out of a difficult situation, so you won't be entangled anymore and can go to the Upper Study Room to get the book. But right now the situation is slightly different. This kid is definitely a direct disciple of Wudang Pai. Then the eighteen moves of the 'big grappling technique' must be taught to you, each stance and each style, from the start. Do you know the 'bow-and-arrow step'?"
"Bow-and-arrow step?" Wei Xiaobao asked, "Isn't that the posture an archer takes when he is bending the bow?"
Hai Laogong's countenance sank, he said, "You want to learn martial art, you must be modest, if you don't know it, just say so. People who learn martial art must abstain from thinking oneself clever, from believing that oneself is infallible. Bend your forward leg on the knee so that it will look like a bow, that is called 'bow foot'. Stick out your back leg in an angle so that it will look like an arrow, that is called 'arrow foot'. When those two are used together, the posture is called 'bow-and-arrow step'." While saying that, he demonstrated the 'bow-and-arrow step' stance.
Wei Xiaobao copied the stance and said, "What's so difficult about this stance? I can do it a hundred or eighty times a day."
Hai Laogong said, "I don't want you to do it a hundred or eighty times, I just want you to do it once. Now do the stance, I do not tell you to stand up, you must not move." While saying that he ran his hands on Wei Xiaobao's legs to check their positions. He pushed the forward leg further down, and the back leg even straighter.
"It's so easy," Wei Xiaobao said. However, keeping the stance without moving like that, in less than half the time needed to burn an incense, his legs were tingling. "Is it enough?" he called out.
"It is far from enough," Hai Laogong replied.
Wei Xiaobao said, "What's the use of me practicing this strange posture? Are you saying that by doing this I can knock Xiao Xuanzi down?"
Hai Laogong said, "When you train the 'bow-and-arrow step' until your stance is steady, others cannot push you down. Its usefulness is great."
Wei Xiaobao stubbornly argued, "Even if people push me down, I can always stand back up and not suffer any defeat."
Hai Laogong nodded slowly, but did not pay any attention to him. Seeing him nodding, Wei Xiaobao straightened up his body and patted his tingling legs. Hai Laogong barked, "Who told you to stand up? Quickly do the 'bow-and-arrow step' again!"
"I want to poop!" Wei Xiaobao said.
"You can't!" Hai Laogong said.
"I want to poop!" Wei Xiaobao said.
"You can't!" Hai Laogong said.
"My poop is really about to come out!" Wei Xiaobao said. Hai Laogong sighed; he had no choice but to let him go to the toilet to loosen his legs.
Although Wei Xiaobao was intelligent, but to expect him to follow the compass and go with the set square, to follow a prescribed pattern in martial art training, was easier said than done. In the end Hai Laogong did not force him anymore, he only taught him several qin na and wrestling techniques. During the sparring, Wei Xiaobao was required to bend down and turn around, to squat and crouch low on the ground; Hai Laogong did not join him in performing these exercises, he only called out the directions and stretched out his hand to feel whether there was any mistake in Wei Xiaobao's posture and technique.
The next day Wei Xiaobao had another martial art competition against Xiao Xuanzi. Thinking that the previous day they fought for four rounds, in which he lost two rounds and won one round, with the newly-learned skill, today he should be able to win all four rounds. Who would have thought that as soon as the fight began, when he use several new techniques against Xiao Xuanzi, regardless of how he was using it, one after another Xiao Xuanzi was able to neutralize it. So much so that Wei Xiaobao lost the first two rounds.
Wei Xiaobao was shocked and angry; in the third round he was extra careful, only then did he manage to twist and pull Xiao Xuanzi's left palm backward that Xiao Xuanzi was unable to turn around and was forced to surrender.
Wei Xiaobao was so immensely proud of himself that he lost again the fourth round. Xiao Xuanzi was able to sit on his head, with both legs astride the back of Wei Xiaobao's neck, so that he was almost suffocated.
After he surrendered, Wei Xiaobao stood up and cursed, "Damn it, you ..."
Xiao Xuanzi's countenance sank. "What did you say?" he asked sternly. Instantly his expression turned cold and imposing.
Wei Xiaobao was greatly alarmed; he mused, "It’s not right, this is the imperial palace, I must not speak vulgar language. Mao Dage warned me that when we get to Beijing, we must not say anything wrong. I said ‘damn it’, that means I say something damn wrong, and thus I am exposing my trickery." Thereupon he hastily said, "I said my style 'damn it' cannot defeat you, so I'd better surrender."
Xiao Xuanzi's face showed a smiling expression as he asked, "Your style is called 'damn it' [ta ma de - literally 'his mother's']? What does it mean?"
Wei Xiaobao mused, "I'm lucky, I am lucky! This little turtle lives in the imperial palace all day long, and does not understand the way people on the outside curse." Thereupon he made up a wild story, "This style 'stepping on horse's hoof' [ta ma ti] was originally a skill based on the horse loses its front hooves [figuratively: sudden failure through miscalculation or inattentiveness]. As I 'step on' [ta], you cannot defend against it, so I turn over and press you down. Who would have thought that you were not fooled, so this 'ta ma ti' style was useless."
Xiao Xuanzi roared in laughter and said, "What 'ta ma ti'? Even 'ta niu ti' [stepping on cow's hooof] cannot defeat me. Do you dare to fight with me again tomorrow?"
"Do you need to ask?" Wei Xiaobao said, "Naturally I will fight you. Hey, Xiao Xuanzi, let me ask you one question, please answer me truthfully and honestly, don't conceal anything from me."
"What is it?" Xiao Xuanzi asked.
"The Shifu who teach you martial art, he is a Wudang Pai master, isn't he?" Wei Xiaobao said.
"Uh, how did you know?" Xiao Xuanzi wondered.
"I can see from the technique you are using," Wei Xiaobao said.
"You know my martial art style?" Xiao Xuanzi asked, "What is it called?"
"Who does not know?" Wei Xiaobao replied, "That is Wudang Pai's orthodox skill, handed down in direct line from the founder, called the 'little grappling technique', considered first-rate martial art in the Jianghu. However, against our Shaolin Pai's orthodox skill, handed down in direct line from the founder, called the 'big grappling technique', it is still one class lower."
Xiao Xuanzi laughed aloud and said, "What a horn-tooting! Aren't you ashamed of yourself? In our martial art competition today, did you win, or did I win?"
Wei Xiaobao said, "Victory or defeat is common in a war, a hero is not measured by victory or defeat."
Xiao Xuanzi said with a laugh, "A hero is not measured by success or failure."
"Victory or defeat is the same as success or failure," Wei Xiaobao said. He had once heard the storyteller mentioning 'A hero is not measured by success or failure', but these two words 'success or failure' was too difficult, so he could not remember it. However, since Xiao Xuanzi was able to say the correct phrase, he could not help but feeling admiration, "You are only a year or two older than I am, yet you actually know a lot of things."
Wei Xiaobao returned to his residence and sighed, "Gong-gong," he said, "The more I learn new technique, the more others also learn new ones; but others' Shifu is so skillful, he teaches better technique." He did not say that his own skill was inadequate, but blaming Hai Laogong's teaching method instead.
Hai Laogong said, "Obviously you lost all four rounds today! Muddle-headed kid, you don't blame yourself as being useless, but you come here to complain about others."
"Pei," Wei Xiaobao spat, "How could I lost all four rounds? At least I would win once or twice, or twice, three times. I have asked him today, his Shifu is indeed a direct disciple of orthodox school Wudang Pai."
"Did he admit it?" Hai Laogong asked. He sounded rather excited.
Wei Xiaobao said, "I asked him, 'The Shifu who teach you martial art, he is a Wudang Pai master, isn't he?' He said, 'Uh, how did you know?' Isn't that the same as admitting it?"