Keep up the good work, thanks foxs.
Ace, KChill, thanks for answering my question. Sky, Ah-gi, you are welcome. Smurf, if there is one thing I like about WXB is that he always remembered his friends, yi qi. IcyFox, welcome back. Where have you been? Finish school already? Crazee, if a woman is being described, she must be either very pretty, or very ugly (Liu Yan).
A little bit disclaimer here: I am not familiar with four dice, I tried googling it, but all I could find was two dice. I have no idea how come 4 dice would yield 3 dots.
The girl looked at the young man, waiting for his decision. The young man had a difficult time making one; if the nineteen people bet separately with this young general, some would be bound to lose while some would win. If the general was as good as his word, then about half of the nineteen people would live, and someday they might try to get revenge. But if he let the Xiao Shimei to toss the dice, if she won all of them would withdraw, if she lost, it would be a complete wipe-out; unavoidably it would be too dangerous. His gaze slowly swept his companions.
A big man in blue said loudly, “Xiao Shimei is right, we live and die together. Xiao Shimei please throw the dice. Otherwise, even if I won, I can’t live alone.” Seven or eight people echoed his sentiment.
Wei Xiaobao laughed and said, “Very well! Little Miss, you may throw first!” He pushed the dice bowl in front of the young woman.
The girl looked at the young man, she wanted to see how he would handle this matter. The young man nodded and said, “Xiao Shimei, life and death is a fate. Be courageous and throw the dice. We live and die together anyway!”
The girl reached out into the bowl and grabbed the four dice, her long eyelashes drooped down, suddenly she looked up and cast a glance toward Wei Xiaobao; her hand holding the dice trembled slightly, she let the dice dropped into the bowl, creating a sharp and clear tinkling noise. The girl closed her eyes, she did not dare to look. She only heard all around her people were shouting, “Three! Three! Three! Three dots!” The shouts mixed with the sound of Imperial Bodyguards and army officers laughing and cursing. Although the girl did not understand dice and gambling rule, hearing the enemy was shouting and laughing happily, she knew that her throw must be extremely lacking. Opening her eyes slowly, she saw all of her companions’ faces were deathly pale.
The largest value four dice could be thrown was a pair of six and three, followed by the Heaven pair, Earth pair, Man pair, Harmony pair, Plum Blossom, Long Three, Wooden Bench, Ox Head, and other pairs. Even if it was not in pair, there were nine dots down to four dots, which were greater than three dots. When these three dots were thrown, nine out of ten it would lose. Even if Wei Xiaobao also threw three dots, as the banker his three would beat the opponent’s three; he could still chop the nineteen people’s heads.
A man in blue clothes suddenly shouted, “My own head, I want to gamble it myself. Other people’s throw does not count.”
The Taoist priest angrily said, “How can a real man so greedy for life, afraid of death like this? You are damaging our Wangwu Pai’s prestige.”
Wei Xiaobao nodded. “So all of you are from Wangwu Pai?”
The Taoist priest said, “Everybody is going to die anyway, so it’s not a big deal to let you know.”
The man in blue loudly said, “It was my father, my mother who gave birth to me, other than my father, my mother, nobody has any right to decide my life or death.”
The Taoist priest angrily said, “Before your Xiao Shimei threw the dice, you did not say anything, after she threw three dots, you speak out. In our Wangwu Pai there should not be any unreasonable character like you.”
The man wanted to preserve his life, he loudly said, “Wu Fu Shishu [fifth martial uncle surnamed Fu], there is nothing serious with me not being a disciple of Wangwu Pai.”
Another man in blue coldly said, “You only want to save your life and won’t care about anything else, do you not?”
The man said, “This young general plainly said that each of us should bet against him. Xiao Shimei throwing the dice, it was you who agreed to it, have I even said that I agree?”
The young man in blue grimly said, “Alright, Yuan Shixiong, from this moment on, you are not a Wangwu Pai disciple. You may gamble with him yourself.”
The man surnamed Yuan replied, “The sooner I am out the better.”
“You, surnamed Yuan,” Wei Xiaobao said, “What’s your name?”
The man surnamed Yuan hesitated a little bit, seeing that his companions had become his enemy, if he told him a false name, someone would uncover his lie, thereupon he said, “Zaixia Yuan Yifang.”
“Humph,” the young man snorted and said, “There is no harm in Sire changing your name to Yuan Fang.”
“Why does he have to change his name?” Wei Xiaobao asked, “Hmm, Yuan Fang, Yuan Fang, short one character ‘Yi’ [justice/righteous], he is scolding you as having no ‘yi qi’ [spirit of loyalty and self-sacrifice]. Hey, friends of Wangwu Pai, anybody else want to bet with me?” His gaze was fixed on those people in blue; he saw two people with their lips moving slightly, as if they wanted to gamble themselves, but after hesitating for a moment, they did not say anything.
Wei Xiaobao said, “Very good, everybody under Wangwu Pai is a hero and a warrior, you really have yi qi. This Yuan Xiong does not belong to Wangwu Pai anyway, so it does not matter if he has yi qi or not.”
The young man showed a faint smile and said, “Thank you very much.”
Wei Xiaobao said, “Pour some wine! I want to drink a cup with these eighteen friends. Either they lose or win, we will part for ever. These eighteen friends have heavy yi qi, I cannot not make friends with them.”
The sergeant under his command poured nineteen cups of wine, he placed one cup in front of Wei Xiaobao, and handed over one cup to each of the eighteen people in blue clothes. As the people in blue saw the young man their leader took the cup, they also accepted the cups.
In a loud and clear voice the young man said, “We will never make friends with Manchu Tatars. It’s just that your conduct is straightforward, plus you hold our Wangwu Pai in high regard, drinking a cup of wine with you is not a big deal.”
“Good,” Wei Xiaobao said, “Cheers!” He tossed down the wine. The eighteen people also downed their drinks, and then one after another they tossed the cup to the ground. Yuan Yifang’s face was ashen, he turned his head around, not wanting to look.
Wei Xiaobao shouted, “Prepare eighteen sharp blades, if I throw three dots or more this time, these eighteen good friends’ heads will be chopped down.” The officers complied with loud voice; eighteen officers raised their sabers or swords and stood behind the eighteen people.
Wei Xiaobao thought, “My set of dice is loaded, it won’t be difficult to throw one or two dots. But I rarely practice lately, my hand skill is out of practice; just now I wanted to throw a pair of Heaven, but it turned out to be six dots. If I made the slightest mistake, inevitably I would harm these eighteen people’s lives. I don’t care if these stinky men are dead, but if this flower-like little girl is also dead, isn’t it a pity?”
He picked up the four dice and shook them inside his hand, blew on them himself, his finger turned lightly, and he tossed the dice. Immediately his left palm covered the mouth of the bowl. He heard the dice were rolling several times, and when they stopped, he did not immediately take his palm away, but only opened a crack from which he took a peek. He saw out of four dice, two showed two dots, one showed one dot, and one showed five dots, so the total was only ten. ‘Departing Ten’ was equal to zero, there was nothing smaller than that. Originally he had concocted a plan, if his technique was ineffective, that is, he threw three dots or more, he would say either one or two dots, and then shook the bowl to disturb the dice, and hence the dead cannot testify, the opposite party would be overjoyed at unexpected good news, at most his own troops would be suspicious, but no one would dare to openly confront him. Now that he succeeded in cheating, he was ecstatic, but cursed himself, “Damn it, Laozi’s hand deserves to be chopped!” With his left hand he slapped his own right hand several time.
As everybody saw the dice, they all shouted, “Departing Ten! It’s Departing Ten!”
Having been in mortal danger and escaped alive, the people in blue clothes could not help but cheering loudly. The young man, the leader of the people in blue, looked at Wei Xiaobao and thought, “Manchu Tatars do not speak in good faith, I wonder if he will keep his words?”
Wei Xiaobao pushed the money on the gambling table forward and said, “You have won the money, take them. Could it be that you still want to gamble with me?”
“We don’t dare to accept the money,” the young man said, “Sire is as good as your word, you are a real hero. I’m sure we’ll meet again someday.” Cupping his fists, he turned around to leave.
“Hey,” Wei Xiaobao called, “You won but don’t want to take the money, aren’t you looking down on Zaixia, Huacha Huacha Xiaobao?”
The young man thought, “We are in a dangerous spot, must not delay too much.” He said, “Thank you very much then.” The eighteen of them took the money, turned around and went out of the tent.
Wei Xiaobao kept staring at the girl’s face. After taking the money, she could not help but casting a glance toward Wei Xiaobao. Four eyes met, the girl blushed; she smiled and said in a low voice, “Thank you.” After taking two steps, she turned her head around and said, “Little General, do you mind giving me the four dice?”
Wei Xiaobao laughed. “Of course I don’t, why should I?” he said, “Are you going to bet against your Shixiong?”
The girl smiled and said, “I am not. I want to keep it well. I was so frightened a moment ago that I lost half of my life.” Wei Xiaobao grabbed the four dice and put them in her hand; he took this opportunity to gently pinch her wrist. He always wanted to take this kind of small advantage. The girl said again, “Thank you,” and left the tent in quick steps.
Seeing his companion walked out the tent, Yuan Yifang was about to follow. “Hey,” Wei Xiaobao called, “I have not bet against you.”
Yuan Yifang’s face immediately paled; he thought, “This is so wrong, if I knew he would throw a Departing Ten, why should I become a vile character?” He said, “General does not have the dice anymore, I … I thought you don’t want to bet.”
“Why not?” Wei Xiaobao said, “We can bet on anything, we can play finger-guessing game, or rolling copper coin.” Casually he grabbed a pack of banknotes and said, “You can guess altogether how many taels of silver in here.”
Yuan Yifang said, “How can I guess it?”
Wei Xiaobao slapped the table and shouted, “This bandit is being rude to the General, seize him and off with his head!” The crowd of officers complied in chorus.
Yuan Yifang was so scared that his face turned ash-grey, his knees turned soft, he kneeled down on the ground and said, “Xiao … Xiao Ren [lowly man] does not dare, Great General … Great General please spare my life.”
Wei Xiaobao was very happy; he thought, “This fellow is calling me Great General.” He shouted, “I am going to ask you questions, answer everything truthfully, if there is the slightest bit of covering the truth, your head will be chopped down.”
“Yes, yes!” Yuan Yifang repeatedly said.
Wei Xiaobao ordered his men to get foot fetters and handcuffs, and had him shackled. Then he ordered to have the money returned to those who lost and told them to withdraw. Only Zhang Kangnian, Zhao Qixian, two Imperial Bodyguards, and the Valiant Cavalry Regimental Commander [orig. Can Ling] Fu Chun, remained in the tent. Zhang Kangnian commenced the interrogation immediately. He asked one sentence, Yuan Yifang answered one sentence; as expected, he did not conceal anything.
 A little bit of explanation here: so far, the people in blue had always called him ‘Xiao Jiangjun’ – Little/young general, now Yuan Yifang was calling him ‘Da Jiangjun’ – Big/great general.
Thanks for another great update, foxs!
Third! Yuan Yifang betrayed his clan twice!
Hi Foxs, I'm currently at CERN for the summer.
Anyone around here in Switzerland? Maybe we could meet up!
1. Supreme - One, two, two and four.
2. Heaven - All sixes
3. Earth - All ones
4. Man - All fours
5. Harmony - A pair of ones and threes
6. Plum Blossoms - all fives
7. Long Three - all threes
8. Wooden Bench - All twos
9. Tiger Head - A pairs of fives and sixes
10. A pair of fours and sixes
11. Copper Hammer - A pair of ones and sixes
12. A pair of ones and fives
13. Mixed 9 - three, four, five and six
14. Mixed 8 - two, three, five and six
15. Mixed 7 - two, three, four and five
16. Mixed 5 - one, two, three, and four.
Only Zhang Kangnian, Zhao Qixian, the two Imperial Bodyguards, and the Valiant Cavalry Regimental Commander [orig. Can Ling] Fu Chun, remained in the tent.
Last edited by Ace High; 07-10-11 at 06:13 AM.
Thanks for the effort foxs... I've read the Condor Trilogy (I'm relatively new to reading wuxia novels) and I liked what I read.
As for The Deer and The Cauldron, I've tried reading Minford's but I "feel" like I'm reading one of those YA vampire books that I just have to put it down... not really my cup of tea. but after reading this translation, I'm glad the story or the original author isn't the problem but how it was translated into something too western :P
喜欢一个人不就是应该让她感到幸福，让她快乐。别给他带来困扰 - 孟天楚/刑名师爷
Sky, Tweety, Ah-gi, you are most welcome. Smurf, KChill, I agree. There's always people like them. IcyFox, are you in grad school now? In Switzerland? Ace, thanks. Actually, my google result also says Tiger Head, but I checked both the online and the book and both have 'ox'. snowflakesdance, welcome to this thread. Glad you like it.
Anyway, this is only the second time my surname is being mentioned in wuxia, the first was in HSDS, the guy who talked too much and got killed by Emei's grenade.
Turned out the Zhangmen [Sect Leader] of Wangwu Pai was Situ Bolei, a deputy general during the Ming Dynasty, an affiliate and subordinate of the Shanhai Pass Commander Wu Sangui, who, at that time, was fighting against Manchurian’s invasion. He was a brave and very able fighter, and had rendered quite a bit of meritorious deeds. Afterwards Li Zicheng broke into Beijing and Wu Sangui led the Qing army entering the Pass, Situ Bolei led his troops to fight Li Zicheng, killed the enemy using extreme force of will, attacked them back into Beijing. At that time he only knew that the Qing troops entered the Pass in order to avenge Emperor Chongzhen; to his surprise, however, the Qing troops seized that opportunity to occupy the Han people’s rivers and mountains, and Wu Sangui became the great traitor to China.
In his rage, Situ Bolei immediately relinquished his official position and went to Wangwu Mountain to live in seclusion. A considerable number of his former subordinates were not willing to surrender to the Manchurian Qing, they came to Wangwu Mountain to live with him. Situ Bolei’s martial art skill was actually very high, having no other engagement, he taught his former subordinates martial art, and after a long time, they automatically became the Wangwu Pai. They were master and disciples first before becoming a sect or a martial art school, so it was not quite the same as other schools. Mentioning Situ Bolei’s name, Zhang Kangnian and the others had also heard about him.
Yuan Yifang said that the young man who led them was Situ Bolei’s son, Situ He; the rest of their group was his martial brothers, and several of his seniors, equivalent to his martial uncles. The young girl was called Zeng Rou; her father was Situ Bolei’s subordinate, who passed away several years earlier. Toward the end of his life, he ordered his daughter to do obeisance and enter his former superior’s school.
Recently they obtained information that Wu Sangui’s son, Wu Yingxiong had come to Beijing. Situ Zhangmen then sent them to meet with him. Passing this place, they saw the Qing troops’ camp. Situ He was young and like to meddle, sneaking into the camp, they saw everybody was gambling, so he had the urge to rob them. His real intention was not for the money, he wanted to kill some Manchu soldiers to vent his anger.
“What do you want to see Wu Sangui’s son for?” Wei Xiaobao asked.
“Shifu’s order,” Yuan Yifang replied, “Is for us to think of a way to kidnap him and bring him back to Wangwu Mountain, thereupon threatening Wu Sangui, coercing him … coercing him …”
“What?” Wei Xiaobao asked, “Coercing him to revolt?”
“It was what Shifu had said,” Yuan Yifang said, “It has nothing to do with Xiao Ren. Xiao Ren is loyal to the Great Qing, I will never dare to revolt. Today Xiao Ren has made a clean break [orig. one knife two segments] with Wangwu Pai, it was exactly because I am unwilling to be attached to the rebels, I want to throw away the dark and invest in the light, to be in the front of the troops against the insurrection.”
Wei Xiaobao kicked him and said with a laugh, “Damn it, you are a big loyalist.”
Yuan Yifang did not dodge at all, he received the kick and said, “Yes, yes! I rely entirely on Great General’s training. Hereafter Xiao Ren will be Great General’s servant, Great General’s slave; I will be loyal and devoted, will go through water and tread on fire, under no circumstances will I decline to obey your command.”
Wei Xiaobao thought that this time the opponent had killed three Imperial Bodyguards, yet I have let Situ He, Zeng Rou and the others go, I am afraid Zhang Kangnian and the other Imperial Bodyguards would not accept, or at least blame Laozi’s luck in throwing the dice was too disappointing. Seeing the case in front of him, he thought that he must give everybody some benefit, so that he could save his own face as the banker that day. After pondering for half a day, he came up with an idea. Stretching out his hand, he heavily slapped the table and shouted, “What a brazen traitor, clearly you are in collusion with Wu Sangui, planning a rebellion, yet you still say you wanted to kidnap his son. How much have you received from Wu Sangui that you are willing to cover up the truth for him? Damn it, son of a b1tch, get someone here, beat this guy severely for me!”
From outside the tent entered seven or eight sergeants, who spread Yuan Yifang on the ground and beat him with the army stick until his flesh was bruised and lacerated.
“Are you going to confess now?” Wei Xiaobao asked, “You said you are going to kidnap Wu Sangui’s son, why did you come to our army camp and kill our Imperial Bodyguards? The Imperial Bodyguard and the Valiant Cavalry are the Emperor’s most trusted subordinates; by offending the Imperial Bodyguard and the Valiant Cavalry, you are not giving the Emperor any face.” Hearing this, Zhang Kangnian, Fu Chun and the others were very pleased, they spoke out together to threaten him.
Wei Xiaobao said, “This fellow utters graceful words, flowery speech, he is fabricating lies to deceive us. This kind of rebellious traitor, how can he tell the truth unless he is beaten? Beat him again!”
The crowd of sergeants shouted and randomly struck their army sticks down. Yuan Yifang screamed, “Don’t hit, don’t hit! Xiao Ren is willing confess!”
Wei Xiaobao asked, “Altogether, how many of you live on Mount Wangwu?”
“Altogether we have more than 400 people,” Yuan Yifang replied.
“Including your families?” Wei Xiaobao asked.
“Approximately two thousand people,” Yuan Yifang replied.
Wei Xiaobao slapped the table and cursed, “F*ck your granny! How can there be so little? Beat him again!”
“Don’t hit, don’t hit!” Yuan Yifang screamed, “There are more than four thousand … five thousand people.”
Wei Xiaobao cursed again, “F*ck your granny’s eighteen-generation ancestors, why don’t you just speak straightforward; nine thousand is nine thousand, why do you have to divide it into four thousand and five thousand?”
“Yes, yes!” Yuan Yifang said, “There are more than nine thousand.”
“You are a rebellious traitor,” Wei Xiaobao said, “How can you tell the truth? If you say nine thousand, there must be at least nineteen thousand of you.” ‘Bang!’ he slapped the table again and shouted, “The rebels gathering on Mount Wangwu, how many are there?”
Listening to his tone, Yuan Yifang realized that the higher the number he mentioned, the happier the young general was; thereupon he said, “I heard … I heard there are thirty thousand people altogether.”
“That’s right,” Wei Xiaobao happily said, “That’s more like it.” Turning toward the Regimental Commander Fu Chun he said, “This miserable wretch will not confess unless he is beaten.”
“Exactly,” Fu Chun replied, “But he must be beaten ferociously.”
“No need to hit,” Yuan Yifang shouted, “Whatever Great General ask, Xiao Ren will confess.” He had already decided that he would simply follow this young general’s tone of speech so that his skin and flesh would not suffer.
Wei Xiaobao said, “With more than thirty thousand of you, each one is trained in martial art, is that right? The young miss just now, she is only fourteen or fifteen, but she is trained in martial art. You are all Wu Sangui’s former subordinates, but some of you are young, you must be the offspring of his former high-ranking military officer, are you not?”
“Yes, yes!” Yuan Yifang said, “Everybody knows … knows martial art, all of us are Wu Sangui’s former subordinates.”
Wei Xiaobao said, “Your leader Situ Bolei, he was Wu Sangui’s favorite general, when he fought a battle, he was very formidable, was he not? He said he wanted to completely wipe us, the Manchu people, out?”
“That was his talk of treason and heresy,” Yuan Yifang said, “It was … it was extremely wrong of him.”
Wei Xiaobao said, “He sent you to Beijing to see Wu Sangui’s son, to discuss how you are going to revolt. Why didn’t you go to Yunnan and discuss it with Wu Sangui face to face?”
Yuan Yifang said, “This … this … perhaps … perhaps there is another reason.” In reality, they only wanted to kidnap Wu Yingxiong, so it was really not easy to answer Wei Xiaobao’s question.
“Scoundrel!” Wei Xiaobao angrily said, “What other reason? Your Situ Bolei has already gone to Yunnan and has reached an agreement with Wu Sangui, hasn’t he?”
“Probably … probably he has,” Yuan Yifang replied.
Wei Xiaobao cursed, “What do you mean probably or probably not? Damn it, if yes say yes, if no say no.”
“Yes … yes,” Yuan Yifang said, “He has.”
Zhang Kangnian, Zhao Qixian and Fu Chun, three people heard how Wei Xiaobao was guiding the confession, gradually pushing the blame of major crime of scheming a rebellion to Ping Xi Wang Wu Sangui’s head. They could not help but look at each other in blank dismay, while worrying inwardly, not knowing Wei Xiaobao’s real intention.
Wei Xiaobao asked further, “Situ Bolei was Wu Sangui’s favorite general, he raised these more than thirty thousand elite troops, why didn’t he set up his garrison in Yunnan? Your granny, where in the world is Wangwu Mountain?” He thought, “If Wangwu Mountain is in Yunnan, my question is a wrong question.” Fortunately Yuan Yifang replied, “It’s in Jiyuan County, Henan province.” But Wei Xiaobao did not have the slightest idea what kind of place Jiyuan County, Henan province was. He asked, “That’s close to Beijing, is it?”
“It’s not too far,” Yuan Yifang replied.
“F*ck your granny,” Wei Xiaobao cursed, “Close to Beijing is close to Beijing, what do you mean not too far?”
“Yes, yes,” Yuan Yifang said, “It’s very close, it’s very close.”
“Alright,” Wei Xiaobao said, “So it is very close to Beijing! You, rebellious thieves indeed have a malicious intention, on a mountain very close to Beijing you dare to raise elite troops. When Wu Sangui in Yunnan raises a rebellion, you will immediately go down the mountain to attack straight to Beijing, and will have each and every one of the Imperial Bodyguards and Valiant Cavalry killed like chopping melon or slicing vegetables, you will make a killing until the blood flow like a river, the corpses pile up like a mountain. You will attack like a billowing sandstorm and leave us to piss in our pants in terror, right?”
Yuan Yifang kowtowed and said, “This is Wu Sangui and Situ Bolei, two rebellious thieves’ conspiracy on treason and heresy, it has nothing … nothing to do with Xiao Ren.”
Wei Xiaobao showed a faint smile; he mused, “This fellow is very clever.” He said, “In your Wangwu Pai, how many people have worked as military officers under Wu Sangui? I want you to give me names, one by one.”
“There are too many of them,” Yuan Yifang said. Immediately he started mentioning names, but this time he did not fabricate the names.
“Very good!” Wei Xiaobao said, “Write down these people’s names, I also want the names of those who were previously holding official positions under Wu Sangui.”
Yuan Yifang said, “Some … some names Xiao Ren is not too clear.”
“You are not clear?” Wei Xiaobao asked, “Drag him down and beat him thirty more times. I am sure he will be clear.”
Yuan Yifang busily said, “No … don’t hit, Xiao Ren will … will write down everything.” A sergeant brought pen and paper, Yuan Yifang wrote a list of names.
Seeing he had not finished after writing for half a day, Wei Xiaobao was getting impatient; he turned to Zhang Kangnian and said, “Get Mr. Secretary to record his oral confession.” He shouted to Yuan Yifang, “I want you to repeat the oral confession you gave just now, if you are being unclear for even half a sentence, your head will roll. Take him away.” Two officers took him away.
Wei Xiaobao chuckled and said to his three companions, “Laoxiong, this time we are really lucky, to be able to uncover this gargantuan rebellion conspiracy; all four of us will definitely enjoy big promotion.”
Zhang Kangnian and the others, three people, were surprised and happy at the same time. Zhao Qixian said, “This is Commander’s clear eye and brave decision, what merit do subordinates have?”
“Everybody has a share in seeing this matter,” Wei Xiaobao said, “Everyone has meritorious service.”
Last edited by foxs; 07-12-11 at 10:14 AM.
They are playing pai gow (牌九) by the way, only they used 4 dice instead of pai gow dominoes.
Last edited by Ace High; 07-10-11 at 09:57 AM.
@Foxs: Not in grad school yet; doing summer research now... Though I haven't been following your work regularly, I see you've come a long way from when we 1st started, and you're just getting better all the time. Way to go, North Star of Wuxia Translations!
Wow, a real explanation of who Situ Bolei is(was). I always thought he was just another insignificant martial clan leader. Thanks, Minford!
Ace, it should be Qing (qwerty keyboard, I meant to type 'Q' but got 'W' instead ). Crazee, KChill, Ali, thanks for dropping by. IcyFox, thanks for the compliment. North Star? I don't think so ... Have you ever seen a north star receiving so many corrections? Sky, you are welcome.
Zhang Kangnian said, “About Ping Xi Wang staging a rebellion, I wonder if we have enough evidence?”
Wei Xiaobao said, “This bunch of rebellious thieves of Mount Wangwu is planning to revolt, isn’t that the truth? They are going to Beijing to see Wu Sangui’s son, what good thing can possibly come out of that meeting?”
Zhang Kangnian said, “This man surnamed Yuan said that they wanted to kidnap Ping Xi Wang’s Heir Apparent, to compel Ping Xi Wang into revolting, I am afraid Ping Xi Wang did not necessarily have prior contact with them.”
Wei Xiaobao said, “Zhang Dage has had some dealings with Ping Xi Wang Mansion’s people, therefore, you know quite a bit of inside information, don’t you? If their rebellion succeeded, Ping Xi Wang will become the Emperor, hey, hey.”
Hearing the ill-intention in the tone of his voice, Zhang Kangnian was shocked; he hastily said, “I don’t know even one of the Ping Xi Wang Mansion’s people. Com … Commander is … is right, that servant Wu Sangui is … is planning treason and heresy, we must … must immediately report this to His Majesty.”
Wei Xiaobao said, “Would the three gentlemen discuss it with Mr. Secretary on how we are going to present this memorial to the throne.”
After Zhang Kangnian, three people and the armed force secretary finished writing the memorial to the throne, they read it out for Wei Xiaobao. The content was just like Yuan Yifang’s oral confession, with the list of names of Wu Sangui’s former subordinates on Wangwu Mountain attached to the letter. The memorial was replenished with sauce and spice, recounting how Wei Xiaobao had seen the rebellious traitors during the day, and pretended to be unprepared when they set up camp in the night, to lure the bandits to attack. The rebellious traitors were exceptionally fierce; Wei Xiaobao led the troops to fight bravely, he provided the leadership and captured the chief of the traitors, whose name was Yuan Yifang, alive, and learned about the rebellion plan. The Imperial Bodyguard Getong and two others gallantly died for their country, asking the Emperor to bestow grace by generously rewarding comfort and aid to the three persons’ bereaved families.
After listening to this, Wei Xiaobao said, “Please also add several sentences on the meritorious service of the Regimental Commander Fu and Zhang and Zhao, two captains of the Imperial Bodyguards.” Fu Chun and the others, three people, were greatly delighted and immediately expressed their gratitude.
Wei Xiaobao added, “Also, add several sentences about we captured nineteen rebellious thieves, but no matter what, those rebellious traitors were unwilling to reveal the rebellion plan, therefore, according to His Majesty’s prior instruction, I intentionally release eighteen rebellious traitors, so that we can investigate clearly the entire rebellion plan.”
The three people asked together, “So releasing the eighteen rebellious traitors was part of His Majesty’s plan?”
“Naturally,” Wei Xiaobao replied, “I am so young, how can I be that smart? If not for His Majesty's foresight, how can I uncover this major rebellion plan?"
Previously, Kangxi had ordered Wei Xiaobao to release Wu Lishen, Ao Biao, Liu Yizhou, three people, in order to find the fact about the rebels entering the Palace. Zhang Kangnian and the others thought that the Emperor had already known that Wangwu Pai people would come to attack. In that case, the framing of Wu Sangui was also part of the Emperor's plan. Seeing that for no rhyme or reason great riches and honor was being delivered into their hands, they were all overjoyed and did not stop expressing their thousand thanks and ten thousands gratitude.
According to Manchurian Qing custom, when a general went into battle, he could not return without an imperial edict. Although Wei Xiaobao was only about twenty li from Beijing, he could not personally return to Beijing to submit the memorial to the throne. Thereupon he sent two Company Commanders and ten Imperial Bodyguards to lead one company [orig. 'niu lu', lit. cow/ox record] of three hundred ordinary soldiers that very same night, with Yuan Yifang in custody, to present the memorial to the throne to Kangxi.
[Author's note: in the Eight Banners Army, three hundred men formed one 'niu lu'. The idea behind 'niu lu' was 'big arrow', the leader held a big arrow as the symbol of his authority. Five 'niu lu' formed one 'jia la', five 'jia la' formed one 'gu shan'.]
[Translator's note: I won't bother translating these terms, since I think they are transliteration of Manchu language. The literal translation of those terms does not make any sense. See also Ace High's note above.]
Wei Xiaobao was very proud of himself; he thought, "This time I am giving Wu Sangui enough trouble. Mu Palace is having a competition against us, Tian Di hui, to see who will topple Wu Sangui first. Today Laozi has rendered great service to both Shifu. Shifu Chen of Tian Di Hui will be happy, Emperor Shifu will also be happy."
The next day he led his troops to continue their journey slowly southwards. By noon, two Imperial Bodyguards from Beijing, riding fast horses, caught up with them. They said, "His Majesty has a secret imperial edict."
Wei Xiaobao was greatly delighted, immediately he gathered all the Imperial Bodyguards and the Valiant Cavalry officers in his tent to receive the imperial decree. The Imperial Bodyguard bearing the imperial decree stood in the middle and read in loud and clear voice: "The Deputy Commander of Valiant Cavalry of Plain Yellow Banner, who simultaneously hold the Deputy Chief of the Imperial Bodyguards position, Wei Xiaobao, listen to this: I told you to go to Shaolin Temple on a mission, who told you to meddle in other people's business along the way? You have listened to lowly characters speaking nonsense, bringing a false charge against a minister who has given outstanding service, foolishly pursuing this kind of business; how could you not bitterly disappoint your lord? Henceforth you are forbidden to mention that kind of rubbish talk, if even a word or a sentence leak out, all of you will return to Beijing to see me [see footnote 2 below] with your heads hanging by your sides. By the Emperor himself."
As soon as Wei Xiaobao heard it, he was so scared that his back was wet with cold sweat. He had no choice but to kowtow and thank the Emperor's favor. The faces of everybody else in the tent went pale, they were very ashamed. Fu Chun, Zhang Kangnian and the others did not dare to talk too much, they thought that this little child was fooling around deliberately, His Majesty did not blame him for the crime, it could be considered that the Emperor treated him very well. Realizing that right now Wei Xiaobao's mood must be very bad, they did not want to look for a nail to bump, thereupon they took their leave and walked out the tent.
The Imperial Bodyguard bearing the imperial decree walked toward Wei Xiaobao and said in a low voice, "His Majesty's order: you must be very careful in everything."
"Yes," Wei Xiaobao replied, "His Majesty's grace, servant Wei Xiaobao is extremely grateful." Taking out four hundred taels of silver, he gave the money to the two Imperial Bodyguards.
After the two Imperial Bodyguards left, Wei Xiaobao was puzzled, "Could it be that the Emperor knows that I am slandering Wu Sangui? Or after he arrived in Beijing that servant Yuan Yifang retracted his statement and reported that he had confessed under torture? The Emperor seems to be very fond of Wu Sangui, toppling him is actually not going to be easy."
That evening, the Imperial Bodyguards and the Valiant Cavalry soldiers who were sent to escort Yuan Yifang caught up with them. After Wei Xiaobao bumped into this big nail, everybody did not have any interest to gamble anymore. Without speaking too much, one day the group arrived at the Shaolin Temple on Mount Song.
Having received the report of the arrival of the imperial decree, the Abbot led a group of monks going down the mountain to welcome the party, and then they took Wei Xiaobao and his entourage into the Temple.
Wei Xiaobao took out the imperial decree, opened the sealed envelope, and handed it over to Zhang Kangnian to be read. He heard quite a bit of lengthy and flowery sentences, something like 'The Masters have profound understanding of mysterious principles of Buddhism, have the foreknowledge of wonderful reason, able to establish auspicious scheme, supporting the Emperor on both sides', or 'In the Palace of Nirvana hang the sun and the moon in their splendor, changing the color of the mist and cloud in the garden of Buddha', or 'The cloud circles peaks of Mount Song, the luan return to Shaoshi, the grass bend down of the immortal dew, peaceful forest under Buddha's sun, the manifest of Buddhist people, the clear wisdom of our generation'. Following those sentences, the Head Monk of Shaolin Temple, Abbot Hui Cong was bestowed the title of 'The Zen Master [orig. chan shi] Protector of the Country, Blessing to the Sages', also, the eighteen Shaolin monks who had rendered great service on Mount Wutai were duly rewarded. Finally Zhang Kangnian read, "Hereby I am sending the Deputy Commander of Valiant Cavalry of Plain Yellow Banner, who simultaneously hold the Deputy Chief of the Imperial Bodyguards position, the wearer of Yellow Magua bestowed personally by the Emperor, Wei Xiaobao, to act on my [orig. 'zhen', see footnote 2 above] behalf, to become a Buddhist monk in Shaolin Temple, granted by the Emperor to spend time to learn Buddhist law, namely, to take the tonsure. By the Emperor himself."
Listening to the bookish part in the front, Wei Xiaobao had no idea where the Emperor was driving at, but toward the end, he actually understood; he could not restrain his countenance from changing greatly. Kangxi wanted him to go to Mount Wutai and be a Buddhist monk there, and he had agreed. But never in his wildest dream would he expect that he was being sent to Shaolin Temple to have his head shaved here. He had the imperial decree continuously in his possession, but before arriving at the destination, how could he dare to open it? Besides, even if he took a peek, he would not know what was written on it anyway.
Hui Cong Chanshi led the monks to thank the Emperor's favor. The officers took out the gift and distribute it. Wei Xiaobao stood on the side, watching. His heart was in chaos.
Hui Cong Chanshi said, "Wei Da Ren is going to be a monk in place of His Majesty, this is our Temple's rare honor." He took out a razor on the spot, and said, "Wei Da Ren is His Majesty's proxy, this is not a small matter, even Lao Na [lit. old cassock] does not dare to be your Shifu. Let Lao Na's late master receive you as his disciple, you are Lao Na's Shidi [younger martial brother], your Buddhist name will be Hui Ming. In all Shaolin Temple, other than you and Lao Na, two people, nobody else has this 'Hui' generation-character in his name."
Facing this situation, Wei Xiaobao had no choice but kneeling down with tears in his eyes to have his head shaved. Using the razor, Hui Cong Chanshi shaved his head three times first, and then the tonsure monk continued shaving his sparse hair, whatever was left of his burnt pigtail, until nothing was left. With authority Hui Cong Chanshi said, "Do not consider Shaolin's unadorned wall as an obstruction. Do not consider becoming a monk on the Emperor's behalf as grandeur. The glory and splendor of the dust was unlucky ['Hui'] in the past, but now it is bright ['Ming']. No coming, no going, no decrease, no increase!" Taking out the document conferred by the Emperor, he filled in the name 'Hui Ming' onto the document and had Wei Xiaobao kneeled down to worship the Tathagata. The crowd of monks chorused in calling the name of Buddha.
Wei Xiaobao cursed in his heart, "You, bald-headed thief, do not have eighteen generations ancestors who accumulate merits, but come here and shave Laozi's head. You recite Amitabha Buddha, Laozi recite hot piece Mama in my heart." Suddenly he was overwhelmed with grief and bawled. The officers filling the hall were startled and stared at him. The monks continued their recitation; nobody paid him any attention.
 Orig. 'zhen', a term use by the Emperor to refer to himself.
 Orig. 'fashi' - one who has mastered the Buddhist sutras.
 Mythical bird, related to Phoenix.
 Shaoshi Peak was the location of Shaolin Temple.
 I remember in White Hair Demoness Faerie Queene translated Chanshi as Dhyana Master, but I think I am going to keep it in its original form.
 Lit. big person, the term a commoner used to address government officials.
 From the dictionary: Buddha's name for himself, having many layers of meaning - Sanskrit: thus gone, having been Brahman, gone to the absolute etc.
WXB may have been great at dice, but he would have sucked at poker! Thanks, Foxs!
Last edited by Ace High; 07-12-11 at 10:12 AM.
You plant a garden and the flowers do not bloom, you poke a stick in the mud and it grows into a tree