Really, adventure keeps on coming for WXB and he's a real good gambler eh ?
Really, adventure keeps on coming for WXB and he's a real good gambler eh ?
Anyone can lie, but to do it so convincingly and psychologically pawn the other party, that's innate talent. I wonder if Huang Rong would fall for his tricks?
It would be so awesome if WXB meets women of HR's calibre, but that would take some thunder away from WXB. A pity that the women in this story are only pretty vases.
Sky, I would like to congratulate you publicly on the birth of your first child, a boy! Smurf, Tweety, Crazee, Ali, sometimes the difference between 'wits' and 'lies' is so subtle ... Ace, you mean 'currently' women HR's caliber do not exist?
Chapter 17 – Violently knocking on Buddhism’s gate is not easy, reopening the net of doubt with an example.
(Translated by Foxs)
Suddenly a beam of light appeared some distance away, coming slowly toward the room. Wei Xiaobao was greatly alarmed, “Ghost light, ghost light!” he said in his heart. The light was coming closer and closer, turned out it was a lantern, carried by a female ghost wearing white clothing. Wei Xiaobao hastily closed his eyes. He heard the intermittent sound of footsteps, which stopped right in front of him.
He was so scared that he did not dare to breathe, his whole body trembled, but he heard a young girl’s voice laughing. “Why are you closing your eyes?” she asked. Her voice was gentle, soft and pleasant to the ears.
“Don’t scare me,” Wei Xiaobao said, “I … I don’t dare to look at you.”
The female ghost laughed and said, “You are afraid blood coming out of my seven orifices and my tongue is stretched out, aren’t you? Why don’t you take a quick look?”
With a trembling voice Wei Xiaobao said, “I won’t fall into your trick. You have your hair disheveled and blood coming out of my seven orifices. What … what’s so good to look at?”
The female ghost giggled; she blew a puff of air onto his face. As the air arrived on his face, Wei Xiaobao felt it was warm, and carried a faint smell of delicate fragrance. Wei Xiaobao opened his left eye a slit, he vaguely saw a snow white face, with curved eyebrows and small mouth, her dimpled face looked like flower. Immediately he opened both eyes wide, and now he could see an extremely delicate and pretty young girl’s face, approximately thirteen, fourteen years of age; her hair was tied into a pair of buns on top of her head, she was grinning as she looked at him. Wei Xiaobao’s heart was greatly comforted, “You really are not a ghost?” he asked.
The young girl smiled and said, “Of course I am a ghost, I am a hangman ghost.” [ghost from someone who died of hanging; is there any English term for it?]
Wei Xiaobao’s heart jumped; he was startled and at a loss. The young girl said with a laugh, “How could you boldly kill evil man, but is so timid in front of a hangman ghost?”
Wei Xiaobao let out a breath and said, “I am not afraid of people, I am afraid of ghosts.”
The young girl giggled again and asked, “Which of your acupoint is sealed?”
“I wish I knew,” Wei Xiaobao replied. The young girl massaged the back of his shoulder, she also slapped his back lightly three times. Immediately Wei Xiaobao was able to move his hands. He raised his arms and waved them twice; he laughed and said, "You know how to unseal the acupoint; that's wonderful!"
The young girl said, "I learned it not too long ago, today is the first time I've tried it on you."
She then proceeded by massaging his underarm and waist for a moment. Wei Xiaobao sprang up and said with a laugh, "Stop it, stop it! I am ticklish." In this way, the acupoints on his legs were unsealed. He stretched out his hands and said with a laugh, "You tickled me, now I must tickle you back." While saying that, he took a step forward.
The young girl stuck out her tongue and made a face. But she her supposedly ugly face looked extremely cute and did not look frightening at all. Wei Xiaobao reached out trying to pinch her tongue. The young girl turned her head to evade; she giggled tenderly and said, "Now you are not afraid of hangman ghost?"
"You have a shadow," Wei Xiaobao said, "Your body is warm, you are a human, not a ghost."
The young girl opened her eyes wide; she grimly said, "I am a zombie, not a ghost!"
Wei Xiaobao was startled. Under the lantern light he could see her pinkish complexion; he laughed and said, "Zombies cannot bend their legs, they can't talk either."
The young girl laughed again and said, "In that case, I am a fox-spirit."
Wei Xiaobao laughed, "I am not afraid of fox-spirit," he said. But inwardly he was somewhat suspicious, "Could she be really a fox-spirit?" Walking around her, he looked at her back.
The young girl laughed and said, "I am a thousand-year fox-spirit, my magical skill is very deep, I don't have a tail."
Wei Xiaobao said, "To such a good-looking fox-spirit like you, I don't mind if you bewitch me that I die."
The young girl blushed slightly; she put a finger on her face to shame him, saying, "You are shameless. Just a moment ago you were so afraid of ghosts, and now you are taking advantage of me."
Wei Xiaobao was afraid of, number one: zombie, number two: ghost. As for the fox-spirit, he was not particularly afraid. He saw that this young girl was affable, compared to Fang Yi and Mu Jianping, she was considerably friendlier. Much less she spoke with Jiangnan accent, which was a lot more pleasant to the ear than Fang and Mu, two girls' Yunnan accent. "Miss," he said with a laugh, "What is your name?"
"I am Shuang'er," the young girl replied, "Shuang from 'yi shuang' [a pair]."
Wei Xiaobao laughed, "That's very good," he said, "I wonder if you are a pair of fragrant shoes, or a pair of smelly socks."
Shuang'er laughed and said, "A pair of smelly socks is good, a pair of fragrant shoes is also good; you decide. Gui Gong-gong, you are dripping wet, surely it is very uncomfortable, please come over there and change into dry clothes. It's just that there is a problem, you must not blame me."
"What problem?" Wei Xiaobao asked.
"We do not have any men's clothes in here," Shuang'er replied.
Wei Xiaobao's heart jumped, immediately his countenance changed, "This house is full of female ghosts," he mused.
Shuang'er raised the lantern and said, "Please come this way." Wei Xiaobao hesitated, he did not know what to do. Shuang'er was already at the door; she turned her head around to wait for him. With a smile she said, "Putting on women's clothes, you are afraid it will be inauspicious, aren't you? Let's do it this way then: you stay on the bed, I'll get hot iron to dry your clothes."
Seeing her gentle and soft expression, and how she was being very considerate, Wei Xiaobao found it hard to refuse; he had no choice but to follow her out the door. "What happened to my companions?" he asked, "Where are they going?"
Shuang'er halted while he walked two more steps, and then walking side by side with him, she said in low voice, "Third Mistress' [orig. 'san shao nai' - third young madame] order: I must not tell you anything. Wait until you have had some refreshments, then Third Mistress herself will tell you everything." Wei Xiaobao had been very hungry for a long time, hearing that he was going to get some refreshment, his spirit was aroused considerably.
Shuang'er took Wei Xiaobao along a pitch-black corridor into a dark room. She lighted the candle on the table. The room only had a bed and a table, the furnishing was simple, but was very clean. The bed was covered in cotton quilt. Shuang'er lifted a corner of the quilt and let down the mosquito net, saying, "Gui Xianggong [lord/master/young gentleman, etc.], take off your clothes on the bed and tossed it to me."
Following her instruction, Wei Xiaobao jumped onto the bed, removed all his clothes and crawled underneath the quilt before tossing the clothes outside the net. Shuang'er caught the clothes, walked toward the door, and said, "I'll get the refreshment. Do you prefer sweet zongzi, or salty zongzi?"
"My stomach is growling of hunger," Wei Xiaobao replied, "Even if you give me mud zongzi, I'll eat three." Shuang'er laughed and walked out.
As soon as she left, Wei Xiaobao felt the room was extremely quiet. Looking at the flickering candle, sometimes it brightened, sometimes it dimmed, his fear returned. "Aiyo, not good," he mused, "When female ghosts invite people to eat noodles, eat wonton, they actually serve earthworm and caterpillar. I must not be fooled."
After a while, Wei Xiaobao smelled the sweet fragrance of meat and sugar. Shuang'er was back with a wooden tray on her hands, she used her elbow to push the mosquito net aside. Wei Xiaobao saw four already unwrapped zongzi on a plate, and was delighted. In all honesty, he was very hungry so that even if the zongzi was stuffed with earthworm and caterpillar, he would eat it first and talk about it later. Therefore, he picked the chopsticks and started to eat. When the zongzi entered his mouth, it tasted sweet and incomparably tasty. After two bites, he said, "Shuang'er, this tastes like Huzhou's zongzi, it's really good."
Zongzi produced by Huzhou prefecture of Zhejiang province has soft rice and tasty meat-stuffing; it was unparalleled in the world. Yangzhou had a Huzhou zongzi shop. The patrons of Lovely Spring Courtyard often sent Wei Xiaobao to buy some. The zongzi was wrapped using bamboo leaves, so it was difficult for Wei Xiaobao to steal, but he always managed to squeeze some rice out of the corner of the zongzi and had a taste. Ever since he arrived north, he could not find Huzhou's zongzi any longer.
Shuang'er was amazed; she said, "You are very knowledgeable, you can tell by eating it that it is Huzhou's zongzi."
Wei Xiaobao was busy chewing as he mumbled, "So this is really Huzhou's zongzi? How can you buy Huzhou's zongzi in this place?"
Shuang'er laughed and said, "We did not buy it, it's from fox-spirit ... (tee hee) fox-spirit magic."
"Fox-spirit magical power is extensive," Wei Xiaobao praised. Suddenly Zhang Laosan and his men came to his mind, thereupon he added, "It's long-life is the same as the Heaven's!"
Shuang'er laughed. "Enjoy your meal; I'll iron your clothes." After only taking a step, she asked, "Are you still afraid?"
Wei Xiaobao's fear had diminished for the most part, but when all is said and done, he was still somewhat scared; he said, "Come back quickly."
"Yes!" Shuang'er promised.
Not too long afterwards, Wei Xiaobao heard 'chi chi' noise. Shuang'er was back carrying an iron with glowing red coal in it. She spread his clothes on the table, so that while ironing, she could keep him company.
Of the four zongzi, two were savory, two were sweet. Wei Xiaobao ate three, and he could not eat anymore. He said, "These zongzi are very good. Did you wrap them yourself?"
"Third Mistress seasoned and mixed the ingredients, I helped her wrapping them," Shuang'er replied.
Hearing she spoke with a Jiangnan accent, Wei Xiaobao's heart was moved. "Are you from Huzhou?" he asked.
Shuang'er hesitated and did not answer. "When the clothes are ironed," she said, "And Gui Xianggong see the Third Mistress later, you can ask her yourself, all right?" She was speaking soft and gentle words, her manner was very respectful.
"Alright," Wei Xiaobao said, "What's there not all right?" He lifted the mosquito net to look at her ironing his clothes.
Shuang'er looked up and smiled at him, she said, "You are not wearing any clothes, you may catch cold."
Suddenly Wei Xiaobao's mischievousness arose; he raised his body and called out, "I am going to jump out without any clothes on, I can't possibly catch cold." Shuang'er was shocked, but then she saw he slid down and hid underneath the quilt that even his head was not visible; she could not help but giggle.
 rice dumplings wrapped in leaves
Thanks again for everything foxs.
Finally, Shuang'er is here!
like WXB with kangxi and tian di hui (kangxi actually used that quote)
HR was also an authority figure to YG (his parent's generation) and YG was quite distraught at the time. Also, YG didn't follow up with many questions during the 16 years hence so I don't feel that HR had to follow up lie after lie.
WXB is 14 yrs old lying to martial arts elder he just met stringing together tremendous amount of detail and giving his audience enough to draw their own conclusion. In that department I believe WXB wins. As for strategizing, quoting poems, solving math equations, and planning for war, I just don't believe WXB has the patience for that.
His expertise is to put out fires in the time of extreme crisis and find people who are good with the "working" details.
I also like Shuang'er the most.
Crazee, JoeLee, you are welcome. Sky, Tweety, was your decision based on reading the story, or from adaptation? Ace, I was just teasing you. Lzydude, seems to me that you have already read the story. The original Chinese? Or Minford's? Smurf, I can't agree with you more. IMHO, Huang Rong was a genius, while WXB is street-smart. There is a big difference between the two. Please note: I am not saying which one is better.
About the time needed to eat a bowl of rice later, Shuang'er handed the ironed clothes over to the bed. Wei Xiaobao put it on and climbed down of the bed. Shuang'er helped him buttoned the jacket. She took out a small wooden comb to comb his hair and plait a braid. Wei Xiaobao smelled the light delicate fragrance coming from her body; he was very happy. "Turns out fox-spirits are such nice people."
Shuang'er pouted and said with a laugh, "What fox-spirit? It's so unpleasant to hear. I am not a fox-spirit."
"Ah, I know," Wei Xiaobao exclaimed, "You are a great immortal; I must not call you fox-spirit."
Shuang'er laughed and said, "I am not a great immortal either, I am just a little servant girl."
"I am a little eunuch, and you are a little servant," Wei Xiaobao said, "Both of us are serving other people, we are a couple."
"You are serving the Emperor," Shuang'er said, "How can do I compare to you? One in the sky, the other on the earth." While chatting, the braid was finished.
Shuang'er said, "I can't plait men's braids, I don't know if this is alright?"
Wei Xiaobao pulled the braid to the front and had a look. "Very good," he said, "I hate plaiting braids the most. It would be good if you could help me plaid my braid every day."
"I may not have that good fortune," Shuang'er said, "You are a big hero. Today I can plait your braid, it can already be considered that in the previous incarnation I have cultivated enough virtue."
"Aiyo," Wei Xiaobao said, "No formalities, please. You are such a smart and beautiful woman, and you plaited my braid. It was me who in my previous incarnation has knocked seventeen, eighteen big wooden fish."
Shuang'er's face blushed; she said in low voice, "I am speaking sincerely, yet you are making fun of me."
"I am not, I am not," Wei Xiaobao said, "I am also speaking sincerely."
Shuang'er smiled and said, "The Third Mistress says that whenever Gui Xianggong wishes, you may go and sit in the rear hall."
"Very well," Wei Xiaobao said, "Your Third (Young) Master is not home?"
"Um," Shuang'er hesitated, "He passed away," she said quietly. Remembering the many mourning halls in the house, Wei Xiaobao's heart trembled; he did not dare to ask anymore question.
Following behind her, they arrived at a tiny fancy-looking reception room at the rear hall. He sat down, Shuang'er immediately served a cup of hot tea. Wei Xiaobao's heart was beating fast, he did not dare to chat with her again.
A moment later, he heard light and slow footsteps, from behind the wooden partition a young madame appeared, her entire body was covered in white-silk mourning dress. "Gui Xianggong must have had an exhausting journey," she said. While saying that she bowed deeply, her manner was very respectful.
Wei Xiaobao hastily returned the propriety and said, "I do not dare."
"Gui Xianggong, please sit down," the young madame said.
Wei Xiaobao noticed that the young madame was about twenty six, twenty seven years of age, she was not wearing any cosmetics, her complexion pale, her eyes were red, obviously she had just been crying. Under the lantern light unexpectedly he saw that she had a shadow; although she looked gloomy and grim, most probably she was not a ghost. In his heart, however, he was still apprehensive. "Yes, yes!" he replied. He sat down, leaning his body forward and said, "Third Mistress, thank you very much for your Huzhou's zongzi, they are really delicious."
The young madame said, "My deceased husband was surnamed Zhuang, I do not dare to be addressed as the Third Mistress. How long has Gui Xianggong been in the Palace?"
Wei Xiaobao thought, "In the dark a moment ago, there was a woman asking me if I killed Oboi. After I admitted that I killed him, they sent a servant girl to deliver zongzi for me to eat. Apparently I was betting my treasure correctly." He replied, "Not a lot more than a year."
Madame Zhuang said, "Could Gui Xianggong tell Xiao Nuzi how you kill that traitor Oboi with your own hand?"
Hearing she was calling Oboi a 'traitor', Wei Xiaobao was even more relieved, it was as if he had obtained a pair of very valuable cards in his hands, no matter of what value were the other two cards, when the cards were played, he would only make a kill and not pay for a loss, at most he would be even with the opponent. Thereupon he started by how Kangxi had issued an order for Oboi's capture, how Oboi resisted arrest, how the little eunuchs swarmed on him, but several of them were killed by Oboi, how he had used the ashes of the incense burner to blind him so that finally Oboi was captured. Only about Kangxi stabbing Oboi on the back, he changed it into catching Oboi by surprise, he himself ferociously stabbed him on the back.
Madame Zhuang did not utter a single word, she was listening attentively in silence. When Wei Xiaobao narrated how he blinded Oboi by scattering ashes from the incense burner, how he stabbed him on his back using a dagger, how he smashed his head using the copper incense burner and thus capturing him, she could not help but letting out a breath gently.
Wei Xiaobao was accustomed to listen to the storyteller performing their art; he knew where to pause and where to raise his voice, his technique in grasping the audience’s heart was just perfect. Moreover, it was his own personal experience, he knew all kinds of the minute details so that his narration exhaustive. Plus he added some grease, salt, paste and vinegar, so that perhaps listening to his story was several degrees more soul-stirring than when he was actually capturing Oboi.
“So that’s what happened,” Madame Zhuang said, “The rumor outside is highly exaggerated, they say that Gui Gonggong has such an excellent martial art, that he fiercely fought Oboi for three hundred rounds, and that he used his unique skill to subdue him. Thinking that Oboi had the reputation as the Manchurian’s Number One Warrior, Gui Xianggong must have had very high martial art skill, while his age is still very young.”
Wei Xiaobao laughed and said, “If we fought for real, even a hundred Xiao Guizi are not this traitor’s match.”
“Afterwards, how did Oboi die?” Madame Zhuang asked.
Wei Xiaobao thought, “Eight or nine out of ten, this Third Mistress is not a female ghost; therefore, she must be a Wulin character. If I don’t need to lie, I should not tell a lie, so that after painstakingly win some money, I won’t lose it all in one turn of the cards.” Thereupon he truthfully told her in details how Kangxi sent him to inspect Oboi’s condition, how he came across Tian Di Hui people who came to attack the Prince Kang’s mansion, how the incoming people mistakenly identified him as Oboi’s man, how he struggled to crawl into the prison cell and thus killed Oboi. At the very last he said, “It turned out that these people were Oboi’s adversary; they were the heroes and warriors of the Green Wood Hall of Tian Di Hui. Seeing I killed Oboi, unexpectedly they were very polite to me, telling me that I have avenged their great enmity.”
Madame Zhuang nodded; she said, “And thus Gui Xianggong received the favor of Chen Zongduozhu who took you as his disciple and made you the Tian Di Hui’s Green Wood Hall Xiangzhu. Turns out everything is because of this.”
Wei Xiaobao thought, “You already knew everything, why did you ask me, then?” He said, “I am a muddle head, I don’t know anything. Being the Green Wood Hall Xiangzhu, indeed I only have a name but no reality.” He did not know whether Madame Zhuang was a friend or a foe of Tian Di Hui, therefore, he decided to hold two contradictory views at the same time first and talk about it later.
Madame Zhuang pondered deeply for half a day before saying, “When Gui Xianggong killed Oboi in that prison cell, which move did you use? Is it possible for you to show it to me?”
Seeing her eyes were shining bright, Wei Xiaobao thought, “This woman must belong to some demonic school; if I talk nonsense and toot my horn, most probably she would expose my trickery. I think being honest is the best.” Thereupon he stood up and said, “What fart move do I have?” Flailing his hands around he said, “At that time I was so scared out of my wits, I was in a hideous mess; this is exactly what I did.”
Madame Zhuang nodded. “Gui Xianggong, please sit down,” she said. And then she stood up and turned to Shuang’er, “Shuang’er, why don’t you take our osmanthus flower flavored candy and have Gui Xianggong taste it?” Finished speaking, she bowed in respect again and walked out toward the inner hall.
Wei Xiaobao thought, “She invites me to eat some candy, obviously she does not harbor any evil intention.” But in the end he still did not feel at ease; he thought, “Although this Third Mistress does not look like a female ghost, it is perhaps because her magical skill is so high that the demonic air did not show.”
Shuang’er returned from the inner hall, holding a blue and white china plate with tall legs with both hands, the plate was full of osmanthus flower flavored candy and pine-nut candy. She smiled and said, “Gui Xianggong, please eat some candy.” After setting the china plate on the table, she went back into the inner hall.
Sitting in that reception room, Wei Xiaobao ate quite a lot of osmanthus flower flavored candies and pine-nut candies, hoping that it would be dawn quickly.
After quite a while, suddenly he heard the rustling noise of clothes. Behind the door, by the window, behind the partition screen, there were a lot of eyes secretly stealing a glance at him; it appeared that all those eyes belong to women. In the dark night, it was difficult to tell whether they were humans or ghosts, it’s just that by looking at those eyes, Wei Xiaobao’s heart was really afraid. Suddenly he heard an old woman’s voice from outside the long window said, “Gui Xianggong, you have killed the traitor Oboi, and have avenged the as-deep-as-the-ocean-of-blood enmity of our families. We do not know how to repay this great virtue and great kindness.” The long window opened, revealing several dozens of women wearing white clothing lining up on the floor to pay homage to him.
Wei Xiaobao was startled; he quickly returned the courtesy. Hearing the women were knocking their heads on the floor, ‘dong, dong, dong’, he also kneeled down and kowtowed. The long window suddenly closed. The old woman said, “Benefactor does not need to be overly courteous, we, widows, do not dare to accept the honor.” Suddenly the women outside the long window raised their voices in sobbing and weeping.
Wei Xiaobao was absolutely terrified. After a while, the sound of weeping gradually went away, those women had dispersed. It was as if he was in a dream, or it happened only in his imagination. “Actually, are they humans, or are they ghosts? It looks like … it looks like …”
Referring to wooden fish used by Buddhist in prayers.
Lit. little woman/female. This is the counterpart of Xiao Ren (humble/little one), i.e. she was placing herself in a lower position compared to the person she was talking to.
--- I've always wondered how the secluded zhuang mansion would know so many things in details....
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