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.”
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My reasoning will be the same as "how will so many people in the zhuang mansion survive without outside people getting to know their secret ?"
I suppose for a big group to operate in secret,
1.the mission must be common and binding, ie : common good to keep it secret.
2.Reasonable support team, getting food stuff, essentials, or even generating income.
3.As they seemed to be part of "anti oboi movement", definitely, their goal will be to take revenge on oboi and hence intellegience is of utmost importance.
4.They seemed to be very well organised and as such their leaders will not be simple minded people and seems to be a well planned organisation.
These are my deduction from what our current benefactor, Foxs had revealed and I suppose more will be explained later.
if you watched the 2008 royal tramp, he zhuoyan's portrayal should give you a good idea what shuang'er is like
My liking of Shuang'er is based solely on the 84 adaptation. She was the one who assisted WXB the most and was very likable compared to his other wives.
I think that Shuang'er is pretty much the ultimate perfect wife for any sane man. Pretty, clever, obedient, loyal, put your happiness/safety before her own AND she can kick some serious ***.
Who'd actually help their husband court another woman because he'd be more happy that way?
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This is turning out to be one of my fav JY novels....enjoying it as much if not more than SPW. Thanks again Foxs!!
Athlon, Banh Mi, CFT, I agree with crazee, living in seclusion does not mean that they lived a hermit's life. They were more like a secret organization with a specific mission, i.e. avenge their husbands. Therefore, they would have had eyes and ears everywhere, especially whenever Oboi was concerned. Pannonian, I thought you were going to say 'the internet' ... Tweety, Lzydude, Sky, you know one thing I don't like about Shuang'er? You guys will hate me for this, but here goes ... she had a 'servant mentality'. Everything you said was good (what's not to like being served, protected, et cetera?), but IMHO, a wife should be your equal, not your servant. JoeLee, thanks for the compliment.
On the side note, I am trying my best to finish this chapter, and then I will have to take another short break ... I am really having a hard time keeping up with my own pace. But don't worry, as much as it is in my power to do so, I intend to finish this story.
A moment later, Madame Zhuang returned from the inner hall. “Gui Xianggong,” she said, “Please do not be disturbed. Those who live here are all surviving family of the deceased loyal ministers and patriots who were harmed by Oboi. When we found out that Gui Xianggong has killed Oboi with your own hand, and thus avenging our great enmity, we all feel grateful.”
“So Third Master was … was also harmed by Oboi?” Wei Xiaobao said.
Lowering her head, Madame Zhuang said, “Precisely. Everybody in here is grieving and crying blood, day and night we are waiting for an opportunity to revenge. Who would have thought this traitor, who was strung through and filled with evil, faced the retribution that quickly, unexpectedly he died under Gui Xianggong’s hands.”
“What merit do I have?” Wei Xiaobao said, “It was only a coincident; nothing more than that.”
Shuang’er appeared with his own bundle and placed it on the table. Madame Zhuang said, “Gui Xianggong, your great virtue and great kindness is difficult to repay, by right we should receive you cordially, it’s only proper. Only, living as widows, we feel it is rather inappropriate. After careful discussion, we wanted to present you a meager gift to show our appreciation. But Gui Xianggong’s traveling bag is plentiful, you carry a huge sum of money. We live in the countryside, what do we have that Gui Xianggong may appreciate? As for martial art skill and so on, Gui Xianggong is Tian Di Hui’s Chen Zongduozhu’s disciple; your school’s martial art is far above our little superficial skill. It truly poses difficulties for us.”
Hearing her speaking so courteously, Wei Xiaobao said, “There is no need to stand on ceremonies. I just want to ask, those several companions of mine, where did they go?”
Madame Zhuang contemplated for half a day, and said, “Since you ask, I should have not dared not to answer. But after Benefactor learns about it, I am afraid it would only bring harm and not benefit. These several people are Benefactor’s friends, we will strive to do our best not to let them come into any harm. Someday they may see Benefactor again.”
Wei Xiaobao expected that asking further would be useless. He looked up toward the window and thought, “Why isn’t it daylight already?”
Madame Zhuang seemingly understood his thought; she asked, “Where is Benefactor going tomorrow?”
Wei Xiaobao thought, “I believe she has heard my conversation with that Zhang Laosan, it will be useless to conceal it from her.” He said, “I am going to Mount Wutai in Shanxi.”
Madame Zhuang said, “In this journey to Mount Wutai, you will have to travel far away; I am afraid you will meet some disturbances along the way. We are thinking of presenting you with a gift, we would ask that you give us the good fortune of not declining it.”
Wei Xiaobao laughed, “Other people have the good intention of giving me anything, I have never refused to accept it,” he said.
“That’s wonderful,” Madame Zhuang said. Pointing toward Shuang’er she said, “This little girl Shuang’er has followed me for many years, the way she is doing her job is fairly appropriate. We are presenting her to Benefactor, please take her with you. Hereafter she will attend to Benefactor.”
Wei Xiaobao was startled, but delighted; he did not expect that the gift she was going to present to him was a person. Just now Shuang’er had taken care of him, ironing his clothes and plaited his braid, she had saved him not a few efforts. If he could have this kind of good-looking and smart servant girl accompanying him by his side, certainly it would be merrier; but the journey to Mount Wutai this time would not be necessarily peaceful or without any trouble, he must act according to the situation, taking a servant girl along would be very inconvenient. He said, “Madame Zhuang is giving me this valuable present, I am really grateful. It’s just that … it’s just that …” He wanted to decline, but first, others were giving him present, how could he not accept? Second, such a nice servant, he really did not want not to accept her. He saw Shuang’er, with her head hung low, was stealing a glance to him; as soon as their eyes met, she hastily turned her head around, her face blushed.
“I wonder what Benefactor’s difficulty is?” Madame Zhuang asked.
Wei Xiaobao said, “I am going to Mount Wutai on a mission, most likely it will … it will not be easy; if I take this Miss along, I am afraid it will be inconvenient.”
“You don’t have to worry actually,” Madame Zhuang said, “Although Shuang’er is young, she is rather agile, she won’t be Benefactor’s burden. Please set your heart at ease.”
Wei Xiaobao took another glance toward Shuang’er, he saw her glazed eyes had an earnest look; he laughed and asked, “Shuang’er, are you willing to come with me?”
Shuang’er lowered her head, in a quiet voice she said, “Third Mistress ordered me to take care of Xianggong, naturally … naturally I must obey Third Mistress’ instruction.”
“Are you yourself willing or not?” Wei Xiaobao asked, “I am afraid we will meet dangers.”
“I am not afraid of dangers,” Shuang’er replied.
Wei Xiaobao smiled and said, “You answered my second question, but did not answer my first. You are not afraid of dangers, it’s just that Madame is presenting you to me, but in your heart you are not willing.”
Shuang’er said, “Madame’s benevolence to me is very heavy, Xianggong has shown great kindness to our Zhuang family, Madame instructs me to attend Xianggong, I will definitely do it with all my heart. If Xianggong treats me well, my fate is good, if you do not treat me well, it’s my … my destiny to suffer hardship.”
Wei Xiaobao laughed aloud and said, “Your fate is very good, how can you be destined to suffer hardship?” The corner of Shuang’er’s mouth revealed a light smile.
“Shuang’er,” Madame Zhuang said, “You pay respect to Gui Xianggong; later on, you will become Gui Xianggong’s.”
Shuang’er looked up; suddenly her eyes turned red. First she kneeled in front of Madame Zhuang and kowtowed, saying, “Third Mistress, I … I …” After saying the word ‘I’ twice, she broke into a light sob.
Madame Zhuang gently stroked her hair, in a warm voice she said, “Gui Xianggong is a young hero. He is still young, yet his name has spread all over the world. You must serve Xianggong well. He has promised to treat you well.”
“Yes,” Shuang’er replied. She turned around, and then gracefully paid her respect to Wei Xiaobao .
“No formalities, please!” Wei Xiaobao said. He helped her up, opened his bundle, took out a strand of pearls and said with a laugh, “Just consider this as my gift on the first meeting!” while thinking, “This strand of pearls at least worth three, four thousand taels of silver. If used to buy servant girls, it can buy several dozens of them. But several dozens of servant girls added together won’t be more lovely than this Shuang’er.”
Shuang’er received the gift with both hands, saying, “Many thanks Xianggong,” and hanged it on her neck. The pearls flickered under the light, it shined on her smart face, making her look even more beautiful.
Madame Zhuang said, “Benefactor is going to Mount Wutai, I wonder if you are going to investigate openly, or make secret inquiries?”
“Naturally I will make secret inquiries,” Wei Xiaobao replied.
Madame Zhuang said, “The various Buddhist monasteries and temples on Mount Wutai are separated into green and yellow, they are full of crouching tigers and hidden dragons. Benefactor must be very careful.”
“Yes,” Wei Xiaobao replied, “Thank you very much for your advice. But your calling me ‘Benefactor’, I do not dare to accept. Just call me Xiaobao.”
“I do not dare,” Madame Zhuang said. Standing up, she said, “Please take good care of yourself along the way, forgive this widow for not sending you far off.” To Shuang’er she said, “Shuang’er, as soon as you leave this door, you don’t belong to Zhuang family anymore. Hereafter whatever you say, whatever you do, will not be your former master’s concern. If you fool around outside, our Zhuang family will not shelter you anymore.” While saying these words, her expression was very serious. Shuang’er complied. Madame Zhuang saluted Wei Xiaobao again, and then walked in.
They saw the window paper turned translucent, the sky gradually brightened. Shuang’er went in to get her bundle, and then along with Wei Xiaobao’s bundle, she slung both bundles over her shoulder. “Let’s go!” Wei Xiaobao said.
“Yes!” Shuang’er replied. Her head hung low, her expression mournful, she kept looking back toward the hall. Apparently she was rather reluctant to part with Madame Zhuang. Her eyes were red, obviously she had just been crying.
Wei Xiaobao went out the front gate, Shuang’er followed behind him. By this time the heavy rain had stopped, but in the mountain streams, water was flowing rapidly, they could hear the sound of water everywhere. After walking for several dozen steps, Wei Xiaobao looked back toward the big house, but the mist had shrouded the front corner of the wall. After walking for several more dozen steps, he looked back again only to see white expanse of mist, nothing else was visible.
He sighed and said, “The matter of last night was really like a dream. Shuang’er, what did the Madame mean when she said those last sentences to you?”
Shuang’er said, “The Third Mistress said that later on I am serving Xianggong; no matter what I say or do, it won’t be the responsibility of her Zhuang family.”
“In that case,” Wei Xiaobao said, “You can tell me where did my companions go?”
Shuang’er was startled. “Yes,” she said, “Xianggong’s companions were originally saved by us, Zhang Laosan and his men were also originally captured by us. But afterward some formidable characters from Shen Long Jiao arrived and those prisoners were snatched away. Third Mistress said that we are womenfolk, it was inappropriate for us to fight with those uncouth men. Besides, we may not necessarily be able to overcome those men. For the time being, we submit to them while looking for another way to rescue your several companions. Seeing we retreated, Shen Long Jiao people also withdrew. Before leaving, they spoke several polite words.” Wei Xiaobao nodded; he was rather concerned over Fang Yi and Mu Jianping’s safety.
Shuang’er said, “Third Mistress has persuaded the Shen Long Jiao leader that they must not harm your several companions’ lives. The man has agreed to it with his own mouth.”
Wei Xiaobao sighed and said, “I am afraid those Shen Long Jiao fellows speak just like they fart. Ay, I guess it can’t be helped.” He then asked, “Does the Third Mistress know martial art?”
“She does,” Shuang’er said, “Not only she knows martial art, she is very good at it.”
Wei Xiaobao shook his head and said, “She is such a horn-tooter, what ‘very good at martial art’? If she is really good at martial art, how could she let Oboi killed the Third Master?”
Shuang’er said, “When the Old Master and the Third Master were executed, none of their several dozen family members knew martial art. All the men in the family were arrested by Oboi and taken to Beijing to be executed, the women were to be banished to Guta district of Liaoning, to be slaves to the armored troops. Fortunately along the way they met the saving star, who killed the prisoner escorts and saved our several dozen women, helped us settled in here, and taught the Third Mistress and the others some skill.” Wei Xiaobao gradually understood.
 The word ‘xiao yatou’ means a girl or a servant girl (used deprecatingly, but sometimes also as a term of endearment).
Thanks for the update foxs and hope you have a good break!
I agreed that Shuang'er does have a servant mentality but compared to his other female companions, she's the most likable. I can't remember them all but I don't think I'm very much fond of the rest of them. Who knows, maybe after finishing the novel, my opinion will change.
Fang Yi and Mu Jianping seem quite nice so far. I'm quite taken with Fang Yi actually.
I won't say anymore in case of spoilers.
Enjoy your break foxs, you've earned it.
Last edited by CFT; 03-24-11 at 01:20 PM.
I agree with Sky. Shuang'er has a servant mentality and that is one aspect of her personality that I don't like either. I wish she is more independent and stands up for herself, but I think it is difficult for her since being a servant is all she knows. Compare to the other women, she is a blessing to WXB.
Although I would love to see more updates, you definitely deserve a break . Thank you for entertaining us, foxs!
thought I would try putting a wuxia spin on this statement.as much Inner power as is developed by years of training will allow me to do so, I intend to finish this story
Cheers for the updat foxs...
take it easy bro, we all care about you.
Last edited by aliderhamy; 03-24-11 at 03:12 PM.
Thank you. I knew I could depend on you! CFT, so far, according to what Jin Yong has said, I believe Fang Yi was the prettiest. Sky, Tweety, don't get me wrong, I did not say I do not like Shuang'er, I think you are right, she was the 'best' wife, but she had a flaw too. Ali, LOL ... you are funny. I will continue translating during my 'break', it's just that I won't follow my own strict schedule of posting an update every other day. That way, I hope I can accumulate enough material for several days.
In the meantime, the sky had brightened considerably, the sun had appeared on the eastern horizon. The heavy rain last night had washed the trees of the forest that everything looked fresh and green, with droplets of water hanging from their leaves. It was only now that Wei Xiaobao no longer doubted that the ones he saw last night were not female ghosts. He asked, “You have so many mourning halls in your house; are those all for your Masters and Young Masters who were killed by Oboi?”
“Exactly,” Shuang’er said, “We live in seclusion deep in the mountains, we have never had any dealings with outsiders before. The neighboring country people are curious and come over to stick their heads out and look around, so we always masquerade ourselves as ghosts to scare them off. Therefore, everybody says this is a haunted house. Over the last year, nobody has ever dared to come over. Unexpectedly Xianggong came last night. Third Mistress said that now that our great enmity has been avenged, it would be best if everything is kept in secret. The names of Master, Young Master and the others are written on memorial tablets in the mourning hall, if outsiders saw it, it would be greatly inconvenient. When Xianggong asked me last night, I did not dare to explain. But Third Mistress has said that henceforth I am to serve Xianggong, and no longer the Zhuang family’s responsibility. Naturally I must not conceal anything from you anymore.”
“That’s right,” Wei Xiaobao delightedly said, “Let me tell you: my real name is Wei Xiaobao. That Gui Gong-gong or what have you, is a fake name. You belong to the Wei family, not the Gui family.”
Shuang’er was overjoyed; she said, “Xianggong even tell me your real name, I can’t possibly reveal it to anybody else.”
Wei Xiaobao laughed. “My real name is not such a big secret,” he said, “Many of Tian Di Hui brethrens already know about it.”
Shuang’er said, “When those Shen Long Jiao people fought with your companions, Third Mistress and the others were outside, enjoying watching the fun. They saw those people were able to chant spells, reciting mumbo-jumbo incantation …”
Wei Xiaobao laughed and said, “Hong Jiaozhu’s magical power is extensive, his long-life is the same as the Heaven's. This kind of incantation, I am also able to recite.”
Shuang’er said, “Third Mistress said that while their mouths were chanting the incantations, there must be some other magic going on in the dark; otherwise, it’s impossible that as soon as they recite the spell, their power increased several folds. Afterwards, when that Zhang Laosan was talking to you, Third Mistress was listening outside, while the rest of us extinguished the light in the main hall and caught everybody using fishing net.”
Wei Xiaobao slapped his thigh and exclaimed, “Wonderful! Catching people using fishing net? That’s great!”
Shuang’er said, “Third Mistress said that there is nothing special about that Zhang Laosan’s martial art skill, only his sorcery is formidable, thereupon she did not fight him face to face. As soon as she managed to lure him out, she extinguished the light and with the fishing net …”
“Caught the old turtle,” Wei Xiaobao finished.
Shuang’er giggled. She said, “There is a lake behind the mountain, we often went fishing at night. When we were in Huzhou, the big house of the Zhuang family was located near Taihu. The lake is very big, at that time our Zhuang family owned a lot of fishing boat, which we rented to the fishermen to catch fish. Third Mistress and the others learned how to use net to catch fish from watching the fishermen.”
“You really are Huzhou people, no wonder your Huzhou’s zongzi is really delicious,” Wei Xiaobao said, “How did the Third Master get killed by Oboi?”
“According to the Third Mistress,” Shuang’er said, “It was called ‘literary inquisition’.”
“Mosquito meat?” Wei Xiaobao was puzzled, “Mosquito has meat?”
“Not ‘mosquito’, it’s ‘literary’,” Shuang’er said, "Learn to write! Our First Young Master was a scholar, his knowledge was very profound. After he'd gone blind, he wrote a book, in his book there was a sentence scolding the Manchu people ..."
"Tsk, tsk, tsk," Wei Xiaobao clucked his tongue, "Amazing, he was blind yet was able to write a literary work. My eyes are not blind, yet when looking at other people's writing, I still do not know anything. This might be called 'bright-eyed blind person'!"
Shuang'er said, "Old Mistress often said that we live in a wrong era, being illiterate is actually better. The women who live together in our house are from several different families, each family's Laoye [Old Master], Shaoye [Young Master] were all gifted scholars and intellects, none of their literary works was not renowned in the world, yet each one ran into misfortune. It was precisely because of their literary works that disaster came. But Third Mistress said the more the Manchurian Tatars did not want us, Han people to study and create literary works, the more reason for us to study, the more reason for us to create literary works; only then will we prevent the Tatars from achieving their hearts' desire."
"Can you create literary works?" Wei Xiaobao asked.
Shuang'er giggled and said, "Xianggong really loves to joke. How can a little servant girl create literary works? The Third Mistress taught me to read, yet I have read only seven or eight books."
"Wow!" Wei Xiaobao said, "You have read seven or eight books? That's a lot more than I can read. I only know seven or eight characters."
Shuang'er laughed and said, "Xianggong does not like to study, I am sure the Old Mistress would have loved you. She said that as soon as the Qing Dynasty arrived, only prodigal sons study."
"That's true!" Wei Xiaobao said, "I think that thief Oboi was not too literate. It must be those bootlickers who read to him."
"Right!" Shuang'er said, "The book our First Young Master wrote was called something like 'History of the Ming Dynasty'. There were some words in the book scolding the Manchurian Qing. There was an evil man called Wu Zhirong who took the book to Oboi and lodged an accusation. This matter was blown out of proportion; several hundred people were executed; even the business proprietors who sold the book, the customers who bought the book, were all arrested and executed. Xianggong, you live in Beijing, have you met this man Wu Zhirong?"
"I have not," Wei Xiaobao replied, "I will slowly look for him, I am sure I will find him. Shuang'er, I am thinking of replacing you with someone else."
Shuang'er was shocked. "You ... you want to give me to someone else?" she said with trembling voice.
"Not giving you to someone else," Wei Xiaobao said, "I want to replace you with someone else."
Shuang'er's eyes had already turned red; she was about to cry. "What ... what do you mean replacing me with someone else?" she asked.
"Your Third Mistress gave you to me," Wei Xiaobao said, "Such a big gift is not easy to repay. I am thinking of catching that thief Wu Zhirong and give him to your Third Mistress. Then my gift will have more or less the same value as her gift."
Shuang'er laughed through her tears; she gently patted her own chest and said, "You scared me big time; I thought Xianggong did not want me anymore."
Wei Xiaobao was very happy; he said, "You were afraid I did not want you and became anxious like that. Don't worry, even if people pile a mountain of gold, a mountain of silver, a mountain of pearls, a mountain of gems, I will never trade you off."
While chatting, the two of them had reached the foot of the mountain. They saw the clear blue sky as if it had just been washed; there was not a single speck of dust within ten thousand li. Wei Xiaobao thought that the circumstances right now was entirely different from last night, where they were forced by the heavy rain to take shelter in the 'haunted house'. It's just that Xu Tianchuan, Fang Yi, Mu Jianping and the others lost the battle and were captured by the enemy; he did not know whether they would be able to escape from danger. Based on his own ability, he would not be able to save them anyway, so thinking about them would be useless, it would be better for him not to think.
After walking for several li, they arrived at a small town. The two of them found a noodle shop, so they went in to eat. After Wei Xiaobao had been seated, Shuang'er stood behind him, ready to serve.
Wei Xiaobao laughed and said, "You can't be too polite, sit down, let's eat together."
"It won't do," Shuang'er replied, "How can I sit and eat together with Xianggong? There is no such custom."
"Why should I care about damn custom or no custom?" Wei Xiaobao said, "When I say you can, then you can. If you wait until I finish eating before you start, we would be delayed too much."
"We'll leave as soon as Xianggong finish eating," Shuang'er said, "I'll buy some mantou [steamed bun], and eat it while we are walking. That way there won't be any delay."
Wei Xiaobao sighed. "I have a strange temperament," he said, "If I eat something alone, my stomach will definitely give me some trouble. If nobody accompanies me eating, a moment later I will be tummy ache, and then I'll have to accept my fate."
Shuang'er smiled sweetly; she had no choice but to pull the bench and sat down at an oblique angle from Wei Xiaobao at the corner of the table.
[The following part about the three lamas does not exist in the book.]
Wei Xiaobao had only eaten several chopsticks from his bowl of noodles when he saw three Tibetan Lama entered the shop and sat facing the street. They repeatedly called out, "Bring out the noodles, bring out the noodles!"
One of the lamas' glance caught the string of pearls on Shuang'er's neck, he nudged his companion with his left elbow and pouted to hint toward the pearls. As soon as the other two saw it, a happy expression appeared on their faces; they could not take their eyes off the necklace, sizing it up.
"Not good," Wei Xiaobao mused, "These three fellows are going to rob us on the way." Taking out a piece of silver, he ordered the noodle shop waiter to hire a large carriage. After finishing his noodles in haste, he boarded the carriage, and ordered the driver to hurry to the west.
After galloping for several li, they heard the sound of hoof beat behind the carriage. Wei Xiaobao looked back, and sure enough, he saw those three lamas on horseback, coming to pursue them. He said to Shuang'er, "Those three bandits are going to snatch your pearls away. Just give it to them, I'll buy another string for you later."
"Yes!" Shuang'er said, "You don't need to buy another one for me."
They heard the three lamas called out, "Stop! Stop!" The driver pulled the reins of his mule. The three lamas leaped forward to block the carriage. One of them said, "You, two babies, get out!"
Shuang'er took the pearls necklace from her neck and held it outside the carriage; she said, "You fancy this string of pearls, Xianggong says you can have it, just get it."
 Lake Tai, near Wuxi City, bordering Jiangsu and Zhejiang, one of China’s largest fresh water lake.
 Shuang’er said ‘wenzi yu’, Wei Xiaobao thought she said ‘wenzi rou’ (different characters, sound alike).
i don't quite get the part about the 3 lamas not being in the book... was it added in your version or is it some fan fiction sort of thing?
Yeah, me too. If the part about the lamas is not in the novel, did you added the scene based on the tv adaptations, foxs?
Thanks for the update foxs.
What's up with the part about the 3 lamas not being in the book?