Thanks for another great chapter foxs. I'm looking forward to read what happens next.
Thanks for another great chapter foxs. I'm looking forward to read what happens next.
You are welcome, Sky, Tweety, Stan and Hoang. Stan, hopefully someone will respond to your plea (of Tian Long Ba Bu). Here is a bit more of Lu Ding Ji ...
Chapter 5 – Golden spear to dispel the society, a book in jade box to keep the fantasy.
(Translated by Foxs)
Seeing the Emperor, even if his appearance was like a demon or a ghost, it was unlikely that Wei Xiaobao would cry out or make any noise; but seeing it was Xiao Xuanzi, his shock was really not mild. As soon as the cry escaped his mouth, he knew he was in deep trouble. He turned around at once, thinking to escape, but then he had a second thought, “Xiao Xuanzi’s martial art skill is higher than mine, but that Oboi is even more formidable, when all is said and done, I still cannot escape.” He also had a sudden inspiration, “Our valuables are already down on the table! Either we make a kill or we get killed, it’s time to roll the dice.”
Leaping out, he stood in front of the Emperor, and shouted to Oboi, “Oboi, what are you doing? You dare to be rude to His Majesty? You want to beat people, kill people, you must go over me first.”
Oboi had fought hundreds of battles, rendered great many services, he had little regard of the young Emperor Kangxi. Kangxi’s scorning his desire to kill Suksaha as stemmed from selfish intention had been exposing his painful sore. This man was a warrior who used to charge and break through enemy lines, in his anger, he was going to let his fist do the talking against Kangxi, he had never thought about rebelling or defying his superior. When he suddenly saw a little eunuch jumping out from behind the bookshelf and blocking in front of the Emperor, reproaching him, he could not help but was startled and only then did he remember that as a subject, he was making a fist and threatening the Emperor. Hastily he retreated several steps and sternly said, “What nonsense are you talking about? I was only going to make a report to His Majesty; who dares to be rude to His Majesty?” While speaking, he took two more steps backward, with hands hanging on his sides.
The Xiao Xuanzi who had martial art match with Wei Xiaobao every day was indeed the current emperor of the Great Qing, Emperor Kangxi. His given name was Xuan Ye. Realizing that Wei Xiaobao did not recognize him and asked for his name, in his childish innocence, he blurted out his name as ‘Xiao Xuanzi’. Inheriting Manchurian’s habit, he loved to wrestle. It’s just that when one is in training of this kind of skill, one must scuffle and tumble, pull the neck and bend the waist. Although the imperial bodyguards taught him the wrestling technique, who would dare to treat the Emperor in this rude, uncouth manner? Who would dare to pull his dragon head or clutch his imperial neck forcefully? When they were compelled, they would put on a good act. When the Emperor’s imperial leg swept, they would immediately tumble over; when the Emperor’s hand twisted theirs, they would immediately kneel down to surrender. When they were forced to retaliate by a move or half a style, they would only touch the edge of the Emperor’s clothing, and would stop instantly.
Kangxi repeatedly urged them to fight for real, but none of the imperial bodyguards had this kind of guts. At most they would make some effort to act better. Even in playing chess with the Emperor, they might make a convincing act of giving a fierce resistance, by making some killing or lock the pieces in inextricably positions, until at the final juncture, they would inevitably lost the game.
Actually, it was extremely difficult to pretend in wrestling. Granted that they had to lose eventually, but during the match, who would dare to grab the emperor and fling him away? Kangxi had a very high interest in wrestling. He always saw the imperial bodyguards staking everything they had and displaying hundreds of brilliant techniques when wrestling with each other, but when they wrestled against him, they would immediately shake with fear, their competency dead and their spirit subdued; he was extremely dissatisfied. Later, he took the court eunuchs as his opponents, but every one of those eunuchs only love to take a beating and none dare to retaliate, just like he was fighting dead people.
Being an emperor means he could do whatever he wanted to do, but to find a genuine opponent in martial art match proved to be a very difficult matter to accomplish. Sometimes he really wanted to leave the palace incognito, to find a commoner with whom he may fight, to find out the level of his own martial art skill level. But this kind of action was extremely dangerous, in the end it was no more than a fantasy, which the young emperor indulged in his heart once in a while.
That day when he met Wei Xiaobao, he had a really good fight. Wei Xiaobao was fighting with everything he had, yet in the end he lost. Kangxi was extremely happy, he felt this fight was the most satisfying he had ever had in his entire life. Wei Xiaobao challenged him to have another match the following day; it was exactly his heart’s desire. Henceforth the two of them had a martial art contest every day. From the very beginning, Kang Xi had never exposed his own status. During the match, he also prohibited other eunuchs from coming too near, so as not to let them divulge the secret. As soon as this little eunuch knew the opponent was the Emperor, the match would be not in the least interesting anymore.
There were thousands of court eunuchs in the Palace, those who had never seen the Emperor was also not a few. But when they first entered the Palace, they had to learn all kinds of customs and regulations of the Palace, as well as the color of the clothes to distinguish the relative superiority of the workforce. No one but the impostor Wei Xiaobao see the Emperor’s clothes Kangxi was wearing yet failed to recognize him. To Kangxi however, this muddleheaded little eunuch worth more than ten thousand taels of gold, indeed it was a rare opportunity and extremely valuable to him.
Hereafter Kangxi’s martial art skill gradually progressed; unexpectedly Wei Xiaobao was also able to keep up with him. The two of them fighting back and forth, all along they were like two armies of equivalent banners and drums. Moreover, Wei Xiaobao was only a notch inferior to him, and thus Kangxi must strive to train harder, so that he would not be defeated. He was a very competitive and always-eager-to-outdo-other type of person, the more he progressed, the higher his interest grew; while his favorable impression toward Wei Xiaobao was also greatly increased.
This day Oboi went up the Upper Study Room to present a memorial, wishing the Emperor to kill Suksaha. Kangxi was already aware that because of internal power struggle between Oboi’s Bordered Yellow Banner and Suksaha’s Plain White Banner, Oboi harbored an enmity against Suksaha. Therefore, his insistence today that Suksaha be executed was because of personal grudges, consequently, he played slowly, unwilling to grant the petition. Who would have thought that Oboi was aggressive and domineering, in his raging temper, he exhibited the bad habit of a man of war; stroking his sleeves and made a fist, he was about to charge forward.
Oboi was a huge man with ferocious look; seeing him coming up aggressively, Kangxi was unavoidably shocked. His imperial bodyguards were waiting outside the study room, so even if he shouted they would be too late to help; besides, most of the imperial bodyguards were Oboi’s trusted aides and cannot be relied on. While he was at a loss of what to do, by lucky coincidence Wei Xiaobao leaped out of his hiding place.
Kangxi was greatly delighted, he thought, “If I join hands with Xiao Guizi, we might be able to fight this male servant Oboi.” But then he saw Oboi retreated, so he was even more relieved.
Wei Xiaobao was unable to restrain his emotion and gave out a cry of alarm, and thus revealed himself. He had no choice but to take a chance, to gamble, by dashing out and barking at Oboi. To his own surprise, Oboi backed off; this made him really happy. He loudly said, “To kill Suksaha or not, naturally it’s His Majesty’s decision. You are being rude to His Majesty, by making fist and was about to hit him, aren’t you afraid to be beheaded and your possessions confiscated?”
His words had touched Oboi’s heart; immediately his back was wet with cold sweat, knowing that just now his action was indeed too reckless. At once he said to Kangxi, “Your Majesty must not listen to this little eunuch’s nonsense. Your servant is a greatly loyal minister.”
Since Kangxi had just taken over the government, he was actually very afraid of Oboi. Seeing Oboi withdrew and yielded, he thought that this was not the right moment to confront him face-to-face; thereupon he said, "Xiao Guizi, step aside."
Wei Xiaobao bowed and replied, "Yes!" He retreated to one side of the desk.
"Oboi," Kangxi said, "I know you are a greatly loyal minister. You are used to charge and break through the enemy lines, and not a refine man like those scholars, I am not going to blame you."
Oboi was greatly delighted. "Yes, yes," he hastily said.
Kangxi said, "About Suksaha, I'll leave it you to handle. You are a greatly loyal minister, he is a greatly treacherous minister. Naturally I will reward loyalty and punish treachery."
Oboi was even more delighted; he said, "Your Majesty has understood the truth. Hereafter your servant will loyally and devotedly let Your Majesty handle the government affairs."
"Very good, very good," Kangxi said, "I will petition Empress Dowager during the morning audience tomorrow, to reward you heavily."
"Thank you very much, Your Majesty," Oboi happily said.
"Anything else?" Kangxi asked.
"No, your servant asks to be excused," Oboi replied. Kangxi nodded. With smile across his entire face, Oboi withdrew.
Kangxi waited until Oboi was out of the room before he jumped out of the chair and said with a laugh, "Xiao Guizi, now you know my secret."
Wei Xiaobao said, "Your Majesty, I ... I really deserve to die, I did not know you are the Emperor, and exchange blows and kicks with you; that was really too bold."
Kangxi sighed and said, "Ay, now that you know, you won't dare to fight with me for real, that will be extremely boring."
Wei Xiaobao laughed and said, "As long as you are not offended, there is no harm in me fighting you for real."
Kangxi was delighted. "Alright," he said, "Once you've made a promise, if you don't fight for real, you are not a true man." While saying that, he held out his hand.
First of all, Wei Xiaobao did not know any court customs, secondly, he was a mischievous person who was afraid of neither the heavens nor the earth; he also held out his hand to grasp the extended hand and said with a laugh, "From now on, if I don't fight for real, I am not a true man." Grabbing each other's hand, the two of them broke into a laughter.
As soon as the crown prince leaves his mother's womb, he is doomed to be the future emperor. The instructions with which he was nurtures are completely different from those of the average man. His cry, his laugh, his action, his movement, none was not scrutinized by lots of eyes; in fact, he did not even have a half part of freedom. The prisoner locked up in jail can still talk as he wishes; he can still move at will in the confinement of his prison cell. The restriction the crown prince must abide by is actually a hundred times more strict. The 'master guardian' in charge of teaching him to read, the court eunuchs and palace maids in charge of his day-to-day necessities, were afraid the Crown Prince would befall any mishap, they all lived in constant fear, as if they were facing a bottomless abyss, as if they were treading on thin ice. If the Crown Prince ever utters half a word of wantonness, the master would earnestly advise him, for fear that the Emperor would be provoked to anger. If the Crown Prince wishes to wear a little less clothing, the court eunuchs and palace maids would act as if they were facing imminent catastrophe, for fear that the Crown Prince would catch cold. If any man lives this kind of life since childhood, day and night suffers this kind of strict surveillance, he really miss out a lot of life pleasures. Throughout history, there were a considerable number of muddle-headed monarch and tyrants, this is one of the reasons. After the individual attained the freedom of action when he became the emperor, he would immediately want to vent the depression and anger accumulated over the years, by doing all kinds of misdeed, which other people see as unreliably repulsive, but mostly was nothing more than excessive venting of pent-up energy.
Kangxi also received this kind of strict treatment since childhood. It was not until he took over the government that he often ordered the court eunuchs and palace maids to keep some distance from him, and need not following him left and right. However, in front of his mother and various senior ministers, he still had to follow the rules, to act the part of a youngster with mature disposition. In front of the court eunuchs and palace maids, he still had to display the air of the Emperor, he did not dare to be negligent. In all his life, the number of occasions he was able to laugh heartily was only a handful.
However, young people always love to play and enjoy festivities, which is human nature, there is no difference between an emperor or a beggar. In common people's homes, any boy can shout and jump randomly, can fight and make a ruckus with their playmates daily. But if this young emperor wanted to enjoy this kind of opportunity, he would need 'good fortune' and 'karma'. Only when he was with Wei Xiaobao did he enjoy true freedom, abandoning his emperor's persona and wresting to his heart's content. Indeed he had never experience such happiness in all his life. During these days, even in his sleep he would often dream of wrestling and frolicking with Wei Xiaobao.
 Book note: Kangxi was an era name (subdivision in the reign of an emperor), but it is a common practice in popular fiction not to call him by his original name Xuan Ye (‘xuan’ - black/mysterious, ‘ye’ glorious/blaze of fire), instead, he was only known as Kangxi.
 Book note: reportedly, during the final years of the Qing Dynasty, Empress Dowager Cixi (1835-1908) was playing Chinese chess with certain eunuch; the eunuch captured Cixi’s horse (or knight) and said, ‘Your servant has captured one of Old Buddha’s horses’. [In late Qing Court, the term ‘Old Buddha’ refers exclusively to Empress Dowager Cixi]. Angered by his rude remark, Cixi immediately ordered him to be dragged out and beaten to death.
 Orig. 'Shi Bao', same 'shi' character as in 'Shifu'. I started to think that Oboi's title 'shao bao' must have similar meaning, which I do not know yet. Any help?
During these days, even in his sleep he would often dream of wrestling and frolicking with Wei Xiaobao.
This emperor.... :P
Another translation, thanks foxs!
This isn't a knock on any of the previous translators or their work. I really appreciate the effort each one has put into the project, and it's very understandable that things just come up, life gets busy, etc. I have a bit of a Chinese background but am nowhere near literate, otherwise I would buy and read the Chinese version and try to help out with translation as well.
Ali ... your imagination was really running wild.
Stan, I don't think it is a matter of length. We have had long stories before, besides, AFAIK, we have about 30% (?) translated already. I guess it's a matter of finding an interested translator.
Ace High, thanks for your input. That is certainly a possibility.
Sky, owlHoot, nexus, thanks for stopping by.
Holding Wei Xiaobao's hand, Kangxi said, "In front of other people, you call me 'His Majesty', but if nobody’s around, we are still like before.”
Wei Xiaobao laughed and said, “Nothing better than that. Even in my wildest dream I would never thought that you are the Emperor. I always thought that the emperor is an old man with white beard.”
Kangxi mused, “When Father Emperor passed away, he was no more than twenty four years old, not any old man with white beard. Don’t you, this little kid, know anything?” He asked, “Could it be that Hai Laogong has never told you about me?”
“Never,” Wei Xiaobao shook his head, “He only taught me how to practice martial art. Your Majesty, who taught you martial art?”
Kangxi laughed and said, “We said when nobody’s around, we are still like before; why do you call me ‘Your Majesty’?”
Wei Xiaobao also laughed, “That’s right,” he said, “I am a bit nervous.”
Kangxi sighed, he said, “I knew it, as soon as you know I am the Emperor, you won’t fight me like you used to do.”
Wei Xiaobao smiled and said, “I will definitely fight you like I used to, it’s just that I am afraid it won’t be easy. Hey, Xiao Xuanzi, who taught you martial art?”
“I can’t tell you that,” Kangxi replied, “Why do you ask?”
Wei Xiaobao said, “That fellow Oboi thinks that his own martial art skill is superb, so he wanted to crush you with his fist and wipe you with his palm, he seemed eager to beat people. I am thinking that your Shifu’s martial art skill must be very high, let’s invite your Shifu to deal with him.”
With a faint smile Kangxi shook his head and said, “That won’t do; how can my Shifu do such thing?”
Wei Xiaobao said, “Too bad my Shifu Hai Laogong is blind, otherwise we can ask him to beat Oboi, most likely he will be able to defeat him. Ah, I know, tomorrow the two of us join hands to fight him, what do you say? Although this Oboi is Manchurian’s number one warrior, but with the two of us fighting together, we might not necessarily lose.”
Kangxi was ecstatic; “Wonderful, wonderful!” he called out; but immediately realized that this plan would be difficult to execute. He shook his head and sighed, “The Emperor fights his senior minister, that doesn’t make any sense.”
“It would be better if you are not the Emperor,” Wei Xiaobao said.
Kangxi nodded; for an instant he was envious of this little eunuch Wei Xiaobao, who was able to do anything he liked. Although he was in the Imperial Palace, he was still free and unrestrained. He also recalled Oboi’s furrowed brows and blazing eyes just now, his aggressive bearing as he strode toward him, and could not stop his heart from thumping fast. He thought, “This man was so rude to me, whoever he wanted to kill, he would simply kill, without giving me any consideration at all. Who is the real emperor? Is it he, or I? But all Imperial Bodyguards in the Palace are under his command, the Eight Banners troops’ movement is also under his control. If I issue an imperial decree ordering his execution, he might raise an upheaval and perhaps he would kill me first. I must replace the Imperial Bodyguard Chief first, and then take away his military leadership; next I must remove him from his Executive Minister position, and lastly push him out of the Meridian Gate, and behead him publicly; only then will I vent the hatred in my heart.”
But then he had a second thought that this plan was not appropriate, since as soon as he replaced the Imperial Bodyguard Chief, Oboi would immediately know that he was about to deal with him. This man wielded enormous power; if he managed to strike first and gain the upper hand, Kangxi himself would suffer calamity. Thereupon he decided not to make any move for the time being, and waited until he could think of a proper method before making his move.
He did not want to appear clueless in front of Wei Xiaobao, thereupon he said, “Go back to Hai Laogong’s place, practice your martial art well, tomorrow we still have a martial art match over there.”
“Yes,” Wei Xiaobao complied.
Kangxi added, “Don’t say anything about you seeing me and Oboi.”
“Yes,” Wei Xiaobao replied, “There is no one else here, if I want to leave I can just leave, I don’t have to pay respect and kowtow to you.”
Kangxi laughed aloud; he waved his hand and said, “No need, tomorrow we still have an appointment to the death, don’t leave before we meet.”
Although Wei Xiaobao had failed to steal the ‘Forty-two-chapter Sutra’, but he discovered that the person he had martial art match with every day was unexpectedly the Emperor, so he was extremely excited. Fortunately Hai Laogong was blind, so he was unable to see anything different on Wei Xiaobao’s expression; yet he felt that Wei Xiaobao was especially talkative that day, only he did not know what matter had made him very cheerful, so he tried to probe him with several questions, but Wei Xiaobao was alert, he did not slip even half a word.
The next day Wei Xiaobao went to have a martial art match with Kangxi. He had every intention to fight just like he always did, for since he was aware the opponent was the Emperor, although while he managed to give a tight defense, his offense was involuntary weak and powerless. Kangxi understood his kindly feelings, so he also reduce his power in his offense, thinking that since the opponent was damped by his own conscience, if he launched an all out attack, the victory he earned would be an unfair one. They only fought for a short moment and Wei Xiaobao had already lost two rounds.
Kangxi sighed and said, "Xiao Guizi, why did you go to my study room yesterday?"
Wei Xiaobao replied, "Wen Youdao had a fever yesterday, and could not get up. His brother asked me to help him clean up and tidying the Upper Study Room. I have never done it before, so I was a bit slow; I did not expect to meet you." He spoke those words seriously, not only his face did not change, he himself was also convinced that that was what actually happened.
Kangxi said, "After you find out that I am the Emperor, we cannot have any real fight anymore." There was disappointment in his voice.
"I also felt that I don't have any strength to fight today," Wei Xiaobao said.
Suddenly Kangxi remembered something, he said, "I know what to do. Since we cannot fight anymore, I can watch you fight with other people. At least that will satisfy my craving. Come, let us change our clothes, we'll go to the clothes warehouse."
"What kind of place is the clothes warehouse?" Wei Xiaobao asked, "Is it the place where you store the fabric?"
Kangxi laughed, "No," he said, "The clothes warehouse is where the warriors train martial art and wrestling."
Clapping his hands, Wei Xiaobao said, "That's wonderful!"
Kangxi changed his clothes, Wei Xiaobao followed behind him. When he finished changing his long gown, accompanied by sixteen court eunuchs, the ones in front shouting his arrival, the ones in rear escorting him, he went to the clothes warehouse to see the warriors wrestling. His expression was stately, he no longer chit-chatting with Wei Xiaobao.
Seeing the arrival of the Emperor, none of the warriors did not strive to excel the others. Kangxi watched for a while, then he called a big and fat warrior over and said, "I have a little eunuch here, he had learned a bit of wrestling. I want you to teach him some tricks." Turning his head to Wei Xiaobao he said, "I want you to learn from him." As he said this he signaled him with his left eye. The two of them had seen that although this warrior was big and tall, he was quite clumsy, it looked like he was not Wei Xiaobao's match.
The two of them went down the arena and wrestled several rounds. Wei Xiaobao launched the 'push the boat with the current' move, intending to push the warrior away. Unexpectedly, the warrior's body was too heavy, whatever he did, he simply could not push him away. The warriors' chief turned around and winked several times. The big fat warrior understood, he pretended to stumble and fell down on the floor, and did not crawl back up for quite some time.
The crowd of warriors and eunuchs broke in loud cheers. Kangxi was very happy, he ordered a nearby eunuch to reward Wei Xiaobao with a silver ingot. Kangxi thought, "Xiao Guizi's martial art skill is inferior to mine, if he can push this fat fellow down, so can I." His heart was unbearably itching to give it a try, but he was the Lord of Ten-thousand Years, and must not go down the arena to fight. He sighed and said to the nearby eunuch, "Choose thirty little eunuchs, around fourteen, fifteen years of age, tell them to come over here to train every day. Whoever makes the fastest progress like Xiao Guizi here, will receive a reward." With a smile on his face the eunuch complied, thinking that the Emperor still had his childish nature, and wanted to have some new toys to play with.
Wei Xiaobao returned to his room. Hai Laogong asked him the result of his martial art match with Xiao Xuanzi today. Wei Xiaobao narrated the fight dramatically, as if it was a great war, with both sides involved in an extraordinarily intense battle. But under Hai Laogong's interrogation, he soon revealed some flaws in the story. With a straight face Hai Laogong asked, "What happened to Xiao Xuanzi? Is he ill today?"
"He isn't," Wei Xiaobao replied, "But he is not in a good spirit."
"Humph," Hai Laogong said, "Tell me everything, from beginning to end, every move and every style." Wei Xiaobao knew he could not conceal anything from him; having no other choice, he gave him a truthful account of what actually happened.
Hai Laogong raised his head and slowly said, "With this move you clearly can pull his head to the left, but you wrapped your arms around his body instead, to such an extent that you lost. It's not that you cannot do it, but rather, you were deliberately yielding to him; why is that?"
"I was not deliberately yielding to him," Wei Xiaobao said with a laugh, "It's just that he did not hit me too hard, so I was also being lenient to him. He and I have become good friends, naturally we both did not use too much force." Thinking that he had become a good friend of the Emperor, he could not help but was feeling very proud of himself.
"You and he have become good friends?" Hai Laogong said, "Humph, it's not that you were being lenient to him, but you did not dare to knock him. Finally ... finally you know?"
Wei Xiaobao’s heart skipped a beat, with a trembling voice he said, “Know … know what?”
Hai Laogong said, “Did he tell you himself, or did you guess?”
“What are you talking about?” Wei Xiaobao said, “I don’t understand.”
Hai Laogong sternly said, “Just tell me truthfully! (Cough, cough … Cough, cough …) How did you know Xiao Xuanzi’s identity?” He reached out and grabbed Wei Xiaobao’s left wrist.
Immediately Wei Xiaobao felt severe pain enter his bone marrow, with the bones of his hand cracking, as if it was about to snap. “I surrender, I surrender!” he called out.
“How did you know?” Hai Laogong asked, his grip was getting tighter instead.
“Hey, hey, you … you ... don’t you understand the rule?” Wei Xiaobao cried out, “I already shouted ‘surrender’ and you still haven’t let go?”
“I am asking you, you’d better answer me nicely,” Hai Laogong said.
“Alright,” Wei Xiaobao replied, “If you knew long ago who Xiao Xuanzi really is, I will talk reason with you. Otherwise, even if you pinch me to death, I will not tell you.”
“What’s so strange about it?” Hai Laogong said, “Xiao Xuanzi is His Majesty; when I started teaching you the ‘big grappling technique', I was already aware of it.” While saying that he let Wei Xiaobao go.
“Turns out you already knew,” Wei Xiaobao happily said, “I had a hard time hiding it from you. In that case there is no harm in me telling you.” Thereupon he narrated how he met Kangxi and Oboi by accident in the Upper Study Room the previous day, he also talked about how he knock down a big fat warrior at the clothes warehouse today; he spoke with his eyebrows dancing around. Hai Laogong was listening attentively, he constantly interrupted the story with questions.
Last edited by foxs; 08-29-10 at 07:25 PM.
How long did you say will take to translate this novel? Just kidding. Thanks for the effort. I gave the translated novels to my son and my nieces, hoping that they will read them, absorb some Chinese/Eastern culture, not just American's
You are welcome, Sky & Hoang. Bundak, welcome! Hoatran, how old is your son? My oldest will turn ten in a couple of days, he is not interested in wuxia yet. I do hope he will. I started reading wuxia when I was in high school.
It took me 3 years to finish Eagle Shooting Hero and Heaven Sword Dragon Saber. So I figure it will take about the same amount of time to finish this story. There are 50 chapters altogether, and each chapter is long ... a lot longer than Liang Yusheng's or Gu Long's; and I only have so much time to translate ...
Finished telling the story, Wei Xiaobao said, “His Majesty ordered me not to say anything to you, if you reveal this secret, our two heads will roll.”
Hai Laogong coldly said, “His Majesty is your good friend, he won’t kill you, he’ll kill me.”
Immensely proud of himself, Wei Xiaobao said, “It’s good that you know.”
Hai Laogong was deep in thought for half a day, then he said, “His Majesty wants thirty little eunuchs to train martial art together, what's his intention? Most probably his hands are itching, fighting with you did not satisfy his craving, so he is looking for some little eunuchs to receive his beatings." Standing up, he walked in circle around the room for ten times, he then said, "Xiao Guizi, do you want to flatter the Emperor?"
Wei Xiaobao said, "He is my good friend; making a friend happy is also a principle of being friends."
Hai Laogong sternly said, "I have something to tell you, I want you to remember it well. From now on, whenever the Emperor says you are his friend or what have you, you must never accept it. Who do you think you are, that you can be the Emperor's friend? Today he is only a child, and he said that in a cheerful mood; how can you take it seriously? If you keep speaking nonsense, just be careful with the head above your neck."
Actually, Wei Xiaobao also realized that this kind of matter should not be spoken thoughtlessly or randomly; as soon as he was reminded by Hai Laogong with such hasty words and stern countenance, he stuck out his tongue and said, "Later I won't say it even if my head is chopped. It's just that after the head rolls to the ground, whether the mouth can still speak or not, perhaps we need to pay particular attention."
"Humph," Hai Laogong snorted, "Do you want to learn high quality martial art or not?" he asked.
Wei Xiaobao happily said, "If you want to teach me high quality martial art, that's truly what I've been looking for. Gong-gong, you have such a good martial art skill, but you did not take a single disciple to pass it on, isn't that a pity?"
Hai Laogong said, "There are too many sinister and deceitful people in the world, while those who are honest, considerate and sincere are a few. If I took a bad disciple and let him conspire against his Shifu, why bother?"
Wei Xiaobao's heart was stirred, he mused, "I made his eyes blind, I wonder if he had a bit of suspicion in his heart? This is a matter of life and death, I simply must investigate it clearly." But looking at Hai Laogong's wooden face, he could not see any trace of anger; thereupon he said, "That's right, one who is trustworthy and loyal to you, is not easy to find. I am afraid in this whole wide world there is only Xiao Guizi one person. Gong-gong, why do you think I went to the Upper Study Room? I brave the danger, risking my head, to steal that 'Forty-two-chapter Sutra' for you. It's just that in His Majesty's study room the books number in thousands and ten thousands, and I don't know too many characters ..."
"Um," Hai Laogong interrupted, "You don't know too many characters!"
Wei Xiaobao's heart jumped. "Aiyo, not good!" he cried out inwardly, "I don't know if Xiao Guizi knew many characters or not, if he knew a lot of characters, what I said might give me away." He said hastily, "I looked everywhere, but did not find that 'Forty-two-chapter Sutra'. But don't worry, later I can go to the Upper Study Room often, I will then be able to snatch this book like leading away a got in passing, or plucking the peach away while the leaves are falling."
"You haven't forgotten," Hai Laogong said, "That's good."
"How can I forget?" Wei Xiaobao said, "Gong-gong's kind treatment to me need not be mentioned. If I cannot think of something to repay you, in my entire life, I would have become a man in vain."
"Hmm," Hai Laogong mumbled, "If I cannot think of something to repay you, in my entire life, I would have become a man in vain." These words were said in icy cold tone. Listening to this, Wei Xiaobao could not restrain the hair on his back from rising up. But when he stole a glance toward Hai Laogong's face, he could not read the slightest bit of clue of what he was thinking.
"The old turtle is very formidable," Wei Xiaobao thought, "He knew early on that Xiao Xuanzi is the Emperor, but never revealed it the least bit. I must be very careful; if he knew that I caused his blindness, if I, Wei Xiaobao, can keep my own eyes, then surely the Heavens do not have eyes."
The two of them faced each other silently. Half-step by half-step Wei Xiaobao crept toward the door. As soon as he saw Hai Laogong's face show ill-expression, he would bolt out the door and escape from the Palace, this time he would never come back. But he only heard Hai Laogong said, "Later on you must not use the ‘big grappling technique' against His Majesty. If the training of this kind of martial art continued, it would become a tendon-tearing, bone-snapping technique, it could dislocate joints and break people's muscles and bones; how can it be used against the Emperor?"
"Yes!" Wei Xiaobao replied.
Hai Laogong continued, "Starting today, I am going to teach you different skill, it is called the 'Great Compassion Great Sorrow Thousand-Leaf Hand'."
"The name is so strange," Wei Xiaobao said, "I have heard the 'great compassion great sorrow, helping the distress, Guanshiyin Pusa' [Goddess of Mercy, Avalokitesvara]."
"Have you seen the 'Thousand-hand Guanyin'?" Hai Laogong asked.
"The 'Thousand-hand Guanyin'?" Wei Xiaobao replied, "Yes, I have. Guanyin Pusa has so many hands. Each hand is holding different object, there is water bottle, there is a twig, and then a basket, a bell, it's very interesting."
"Did you see it in the temple at Yangzhou?" Hai Laogong asked.
"The temple at Yangzhou?" Wei Xiaobao said. This time his shock was really not a small matter. Like an arrow he darted toward the door, and was about to run outside.
Hai Laogong said, "In all the world, the 'Thousand-hand Guanyin' can only be found in the temple at Yangzhou. If you have never been to the temple at Yangzhou, how can you see the 'Thousand-hand Guanyin'?"
Wei Xiaobao silently let out a deep breath, thinking, "Turns out only the temple at Yangzhou has the 'Thousand-hand Guanyin'; you scared the piss out of me." Hastily he said, "How can I go to Yangzhou? What kind of place is Yangzhou? Whatever the 'Thousand-hand Guanyin' is, I only heard it from others, I have never seen it. I was thinking of blowing my horn in front of you, Senior, bragging my knowledge, who would have thought you are experienced and knowledgeable, and was able to see through my big talk."
Hai Laogong sighed and said, "To expose a little smart-aleck's big talk like yours is really not easy."
"It's easy, it's easy," Wei Xiaobao said, "If I say a sentence of lie, you, Senior, will expose it in less than an hour."
"Mmm," Hai Laogong mumbled, "Are you cold?" he asked, "Why don't you wear more clothes?"
"I am not cold," Wei Xiaobao said.
"Then how come your voice is a bit trembling?" Hai Laogong asked.
"There was a cold draft just a moment ago," Wei Xiaobao replied, "But now it's all right."
"The wind is strong by the door," Hai Laogong said, "Don't stand at the entrance."
"Yes, yes!" Wei Xiaobao replied, and walked several steps inside, but all along he did not dare to come close to Hai Laogong.
Hai Laogong said, “The 'Great Compassion Great Sorrow Thousand-Leaf Hand' is a Buddhist martial art, when used in a fight, it can control the opponent, but will not kill or harm people; this is the most benevolent martial art in the world.”
“This style of martial art will not kill or harm people,” Wei Xiaobao said, “To be used in a fight against the Emperor, nothing is better than this.”
“But this martial art is very difficult to learn,” Hai Laogong said, “There are many outstanding styles, it won’t be easy to memorize it thoroughly.”
“Since there are many outstanding styles,” Wei Xiaobao argued, “It doesn’t matter if I cannot remember all; even if I have forgotten most, the remaining ones will still be not a few.”
“Humph, lazy kid,” Hai Laogong said, “You haven’t even started, yet you are already nurturing the idea of laziness. In all your life, you can forget of ever mastering any excellent martial art skill.”
“Yes, yes,” Wei Xiaobao replied, “If I want to learn such a formidable martial art like you, Senior, have, in all my life naturally I will be like an old cat smelling a hanging salted fish, smells good, smells good.” While in his heart he said, “Even if I train so that my martial art skill is exactly the same as yours, in the end your eyes were still blinded by other people, and you old turtle are very happy about it?”
“Come over here,” Hai Laogong said.
“Yes!” Wei Xiaobao replied, and took several steps forward, but he stopped several feet away from Hai Laogong.
“Are you afraid I am going to eat you?” Hai Laogong said.
Wei Xiaobao laughed and said, “My flesh is sour, it does not taste good.”
Hai Laogong raised his left hand, suddenly he sent out a palm strike. Wei Xiaobao was shocked, he wanted to evade to the right, but suddenly, ‘whack, whack!’ his back was slapped twice, immediately he knelt down and was unable to move. He frantically thought, “This is it, he … he is going to take my life away.”
Hai Laogong said, “This is the first move of the 'Great Compassion Great Sorrow Thousand-Leaf Hand', it’s called ‘South Sea Worships Buddha’. The two acupoints on your back are being sealed. But sealing acupoint is a very difficult technique to learn, plus you have to have good internal strength foundation. When fighting against His Majesty, you can’t possibly seal his acupoint for real and force him to kneel down in front of you. Just remember the technique, and go through the motion, performing the style, that should be enough.” As he said that, he reached down on Wei Xiaobao’s back and pressed on the two acupoints.
Immediately Wei Xiaobao’s limbs were able to move again. Calming his heart, he slowly stood up, while thinking, “Turns out the old turtle is teaching me martial art. He scared the wits out of me, I wonder if I will ever get it back.”
That day Hai Laogong taught him three moves, he said, “The first day is especially hard. Later on if you are diligent, you can learn many more moves.”
The next day Wei Xiaobao did not go gambling, shortly before noon he went to the small room where he usually have martial art match, and waited for Kangxi there. Knowing that the cakes, pastries and light snacks were supposed to be for the Emperor, he did not dare to pick up anything anymore. But after waiting for more than an hour, Kangxi still did not show up. “That’s right,” Wei Xiaobao mused, “Since fighting with me has lost its flavor, he does not want to play anymore.” Thereupon he went to the Upper Study Room.
The imperial bodyguard on duty outside the study room had seen Kangxi brought Wei Xiaobao to the clothes warehouse the previous day, he was familiar with Wei Xiaobao’s appearance, knowing that he was the little eunuch whom the Emperor favored, and thus he did not stop him.
Entering the study room, Wei Xiaobao saw Kangxi was kicking a leather stool. He kicked again and again, with anger across his face, while repeatedly shouted, “Kick you to death, kick you to death!”
“Is he practicing a kicking skill?” Wei Xiaobao wondered in his heart. Not daring to interfere, he stood quietly on the side with hands hanging down.
 An idiom, meaning 'to steal something under cover of an emergency'.
 Orig. 'little slippery/smooth head'.
 Orig. 嗅鲞 (xiu xiang) – smell of wine-preserved pomfret, it sounds similar to 休想 (xiu xiang), i.e. don’t think of it, or give up any idea of.
 Orig. ‘chi’ –Chinese foot, approximately 1/3 of a meter (a little over 1 US foot).
Hai Laogong is scary, as if reading people's minds. Even with his many talents, gong-gong is still not able to best WXB. Oh the luck of a protagonist!
Thanks for the update, foxs!
May I suggest Meridian Gate instead of Wu Gate? Since I believe that is the common translation for 午門.
You are welcome, Tweety and Sky. Ace, yes, you may . It is fixed. Appreciate your input.
After kicking for a while, Kangxi raised his head and saw Wei Xiaobao; with smile on his face he said, “I felt stifled, come play with me.”
“Yes,” Wei Xiaobao said, “Hai Laogong taught me new martial art technique, called the 'Great Compassion Great Sorrow Thousand-Leaf Hand', it is fiercer than the one he previously taught me, the ‘big grappling technique’. He said when I have mastered it, you won’t be my match for sure.”
“What kind of martial art is that?” Kangxi asked, “Show it to me.”
“Alright!” Wei Xiaobao said, “I am going to attack you!” Both of his palms flew up, ‘South Sea Worships Buddha’, ‘Gold and Jade Roof Tiles’, ‘Breath of Life’ altogether three moves were performed, fast and nimble, toward Kangxi’s back, shoulder, left side of his torso, right leg, and his throat, five points, which Wei Xiaobao lightly pat with his fingers. The changes of 'Great Compassion Great Sorrow Thousand-Leaf Hand' were quite peculiar, it was entirely different from the ‘big grappling technique’. Kangxi was caught off-guard and was not able to dodge a single move. Wei Xiaobao was using a very light force, so naturally Kangxi did not feel any pain. Actually, with Wei Xiaobao not having any internal energy, his physical strength was also very weak, even if they fight seriously, several hits would not bring any harm. However, with one attack he successfully hit five times; it had never happened before.
“Ah!” Kangxi cried out in astonishment, “This martial art is very amazing. Come again tomorrow, I am going to ask Shifu to teach me an excellent martial art as well. We’ll have another match.”
“Excellent, excellent!” Wei Xiaobao said.
Returning to his residence, he recounted what Kangxi had said. Hai Laogong said, “I wonder what kind of martial art will his Shifu teach him. Today you are going to learn several more moves from the ‘Thousand-Leaf Hand’.”
That day Wei Xiaobao learned six moves, namely ‘Watching Reflection in the Mirror’, ‘Catching the Moon in the Water’, ‘Floating Clouds Coming and Going’, ‘Water Bubble Vanishing and Reappearing’, ‘A Very Clear Dream’, ‘Emptiness After Realization’. These six moves were all very mysterious; they seemed to be hidden, yet in plain sight, the changes were unpredictable, without clear pattern, many fake attacks, a few real ones. Hai Laogong only wanted Wei Xiaobao to memorize the motion, without explaining the subtlety of the style, so much so that he did not even verify whether the execution of the style was proper, or the position of the move was perfect. First, Hai Laogong could not see, second, he hardly paid any attention.
Seeing how Hai Laogong was so casual in teaching him, Wei Xiaobao was secretly delighted. He mused, “You teach me carelessly, I also learn sloppily; the two of us can be considered going through this muddle-headedly together. If you want to take it seriously, laozi does not have idle time to accompany you playing.”
The next day Wei Xiaobao went to the Upper Study Room, and saw there were four guards, which he had not seen before, standing outside the door. While he was hesitating, one of the guards said with a smile, “Are you Gui Gong-gong? His Majesty ordered you to come in immediately.”
Wei Xiaobao was startled, “What Gui Gong-gong?” he mused, but then understood immediately, “Laozi is Gui Gong-gong! This imperial bodyguard knows I am the Emperor’s trusted aide, so he is particularly polite to me.” Thereupon he laughed and nodded his head, saying, “Fortunate meeting, fortunate meeting. May I ask the surnames of the four of you?” The four imperial guards told him their surnames and given names. Wei Xiaobao exchanged some pleasantries with them.
The guard surnamed Zhang laughed and said, “You’d better go in quickly, His Majesty has been asking about you several times.” Wei Xiaobao walked in.
Kangxi sprang up from the chair and laughed, “Your three moves yesterday, my Shifu has taught me how to counter them. Let us try it.”
Wei Xiaobao said, “Since your Shifu said you are going to counter it, naturally you will counter it; there is no need to try.”
“We must try it!” Kangxi said, “You go quietly to our martial art match hall first, don’t let anybody know, I will come shortly.” Wei Xiaobao complied, and went to the small room. Kangxi had just learned a new set of skill, he was impatient to test it out, therefore, he arrived shortly afterwards.
The two of them fought immediately. Kangxi did indeed use ingenious technique, he managed to neutralize the three moves Wei Xiaobao launched the previous day, but still, Wei Xiaobao managed to land a palm strike on the back of his shoulder.
Seeing the brilliant moves Kangxi was displaying, Wei Xiaobao’s heart was also full of admiration; he asked, “This set of technique you are using, what is it called?”
Kangxi replied, “This is the ‘Ba Gua Roaming Dragon Palm’. My Shifu said, your 'Great Compassion Great Sorrow Thousand-Leaf Hand' has too many styles, and is very troublesome to memorize. Our ‘Ba Gua Roaming Dragon Palm’ only has eight times eight, sixty-four styles, but changes repeatedly, so when used to the greatest extent, it may match your ‘Thousand-leaf Hand’.”
“Which one is superior?” Wei Xiaobao asked.
“I also asked the same thing,” Kangxi said, “Shifu said that these two are equally excellent palm techniques, so it’s hard to say which one is superior. Whoever has profound power, and able to use it ingeniously, will win.”
Wei Xiaobao said, “Yesterday I learned six more moves. You may try it.”
Right away he launched the six moves he learned yesterday. Although the second and third moves were completely forgotten, and the fifth move was executed incorrectly, Kangxi was still hit seven, eight times. Kangxi nodded and said, “These six moves of yours are amazing, I must learn how to counter them.”
Wei Xiaobao returned to his residence and told Hai Laogong how Kangxi had learned the ‘Ba Gua Roaming Dragon Palm’. Hai Laogong nodded his head and said, “As a matter of fact, our Shaolin Pai’s ‘Thousand-Leaf Hand', only Wudang Pai’s ‘Ba Gua Roaming Dragon Palm’ can be its match. His Shifu was not wrong. The palm techniques of our two Sects have their respective advantage; whoever master it better will be the more formidable one.”
“He is the Emperor,” Wei Xiaobao said, “How can I surpass him? Of course I’ll have to let him learn a good deal better.” He was unwilling to assiduously train martial art, and thus had arranged a good excuse for his falling behind.
Hai Laogong said, “If you are too disappointing, His Majesty won’t have any interest to spar with you.”
Wei Xiaobao said, “There is a saying: brilliant teacher will produce superior student, there are no poor soldiers under a capable general. You are a brilliant teacher, and also a capable general; the person you teach cannot be too disappointing. You are the Old Wang’an, releasing a hundred and twenty kind-hearted men!” [I am not sure about this, can’t find any reference.]
Hai Laogong shook his head, he said, “Don’t boast too much, the dishes on the table are getting cold, eat the bowl of soup first!”
“Let me serve you, Senior, the soup,” Wei Xiaobao said.
“I don’t eat the soup,” Hai Laogong said, “Each time I eat, I am coughing.”
“Yes,” Wei Xiaobao said. He took the soup by himself and mused, “I, the Senior, ate the soup and am not coughing.”
For the next several months, Kangxi and Wei Xiaobao learned their styles and had martial art contest. The two of them did not have any real fight, neither one of them exerted their full potential and strived with all their hearts to score victory, unavoidably the delight in fighting with everything they had had diminished greatly. The styles they were learning were getting more and more complicated, as were the techniques to counter them, and the variations within the styles. However, the match had turned into a cultured contest, just like a game of chess, not resembling any fight at all. Kangxi knew perfectly well that Wei Xiaobao would not dare to kick his butt fiercely, nor would he be comfortable to deliver a heavy blow on his head.
Wei Xiaobao only learned martial art to keep the Emperor company, himself had no interest at all. He would learn new moves, and forget the previous ones. It was obvious that Kangxi’s Shifu was also rather negligent in teaching him. The two of them made an extremely slow progress, their interest in having a match was also greatly reduced. Later on, several days would pass before Kangxi would exchange a move with Wei Xiaobao.
During this time, other than having martial art match with Wei Xiaobao, Kangxi often took Wei Xiaobao to the study room to accompany him studying. The imperial bodyguards and the court eunuchs in the Palace all knew that the little eunuch from the Catering Department, Xiao Guizi, was now the Emperor’s most favorite person. When they saw him, nobody dared to call his name ‘Xiao Guizi’ straight out, they always addressed him as Gui Gong-gong this and Gui Gong-gong that, and were very respectful and affectionate towards him.
Wei Xiaobao still wanted to win Hai Laogong’s favor, each time he went to the Upper Study Room, he was always looking for the ‘Forty-two-chapter Sutra’ for him, but after looking around everywhere, he was still unable to find it.
One particular day, after having a martial art match with Wei Xiaobao, with a serious expression Kangxi said in low voice, “Xiao Guizi, tomorrow we have a very important thing to do, come a bit earlier to the study room and wait for me.”
“Yes,” Wei Xiaobao complied. He knew the Emperor did not like to talk too much, if he did not say what important thing was, he must not ask too much questions.
The next day he arrived at the study room early and waited. Kangxi said in low voice, “I want you to do something for me, do you have the courage?”
“You want me to do something, what is there for me to be afraid of?” Wei Xiaobao replied.
“This is a matter of utmost importance,” Kangxi said, “If not handled properly, you and I will have our lives to worry.”
Wei Xiaobao was rather alarmed, he said, “At most it is my life we are talking about; you are the Emperor, who dares to harm you? What’s more, with you watching over me, whatever I say will not put my life in jeopardy.” He thought that he must state it up front, that if I, Wei Xiaobao, has my life in jeopardy, you as the Emperor must be responsible, you cannot ignore me.
Kangxi said, “Oboi is harsh and unreasonable, he is a rude bully, his heart has different scheme. Today we are going to deal with him, do you dare?”
Wei Xiaobao had lived in the Palace for quite a long time. Other than practicing martial art and accompanying Kangxi, he had very little time to enjoy himself. For the last several months Hai Laogong forbade him to gamble with the Wen brothers and the others, only occasionally did he manage to steal a game or two. Besides, his martial art match against Kangxi was getting more and more boring. While he was feeling stifled, hearing that they were going to deal with Oboi, he could not help but was delighted.
"Wonderful, wonderful!" he said, "I told earlier that the two of us join hands should take him. Even if he is the number one warrior of Manchuria, you and I have trained so much that our skill is not too bad, definitely we are not afraid of him."
Kangxi shook his head, "I am the Emperor," he said, "I can't fight with him personally. Oboi is holding two consecutive jobs, he is a minister, but also the commander of the internal imperial bodyguards. All the imperial bodyguards in the Palace are his men. If he knew I am going to arrest him, most likely he would revolt. If all the imperial bodyguards join the action, you and I won't be able to protect our lives, even the Emperor's Grandmother and Empress Dowager may run into misfortune. Thus, this matter is really dangerous."
Striking his chest with his hand Wei Xiaobao said, "In that case I am going to wait for him outside the Palace, I'll catch him off-guard, and stab him dead with a dagger. If the stab did not kill him, he wouldn't know it was your idea."
 Eight trigrams.
Last edited by foxs; 09-04-10 at 01:04 PM.