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Thread: The Deer and The Cauldron

  1. #101
    Senior Member SkyWalker's Avatar
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    Thanks for another update foxs.

    I wonder who Kangxi's master is. Looking forward to the attack on Oboi.

  2. #102
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    Thks foxs!

    if only wei xiaobao took the opportunity to master some skills instead of learning sloppily..

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    One of the thing that sets WXB from most typical wuxia heroes is his laziness in learning martial arts. He'd rather use his brains to outsmart other people, which I think is cool too.

    Thanks foxs!

  4. #104
    Senior Member foxs's Avatar
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    Default Chapter 5 - Part 5

    Thanks for stopping by Sky, owlHoot and tweety. You are right, Wei Xiaobao is not your typical wuxia hero. So different from other protagonists. Sky, you get your wish.

    --------------------------------------------------
    "This man's martial art skill is superb," Kangxi said, "Plus you are still little, you are not his match. Moreover, outside the Palace gate his bodyguards are numerous, you will have difficulty just to be near him. Even if you succeed in assassinating him, I am afraid you will also be killed by his bodyguards. I have another idea."

    "Yes," Wei Xiaobao said.

    Kangxi continued, "Let's wait until he come over here to present his memorial, I will arrange several little eunuchs in advance to wait in here. When you see the teacup in my hand falls down, pounce on him and twist his hands behind his back. More than ten little eunuchs will then attack together, pulling his hands and legs, stopping him from using his martial art. If that is still not enough, I will have to come forward and help."

    "This is a wonderful idea," Wei Xiaobao happily said, "Do you have a knife? We must not mess up this matter; if we fail to arrest him, I will simply kill him with the knife."

    At first, after killing Xiao Guizi, he always kept a dagger in his boot; later on he found out that Xiao Xuanzi was the Emperor. During the exchange of palm strikes, oftentimes he had to jump and dodge, he was afraid the dagger would fall from his boot. Other than imperial bodyguards on duty, if anybody else was found carrying any blade, the crime was punishable by beheading; therefore, he did not dare to carry his dagger anymore.

    Kangxi nodded, he pulled his desk drawer and took out a couple of golden-handled daggers. He gave one to Wei Xiaobao, and inserted the other one into his own boot. Wei Xiaobao also hid the dagger into his boot. He felt his blood surged, his body grew hot and his breathing quickened. "Good fellow," he said, "We'll deal with him!"

    Kangxi said, "Go get twelve little eunuchs here." Wei Xiaobao complied and went out to get the eunuchs.

    These little eunuchs had been practicing tumbling and wrestling at the clothes warehouse for the last several months. Although they did not know any martial art, their skill in pulling hands and holding onto legs was not too bad. Kangxi said to the twelve little eunuchs, "You all have trained for several months, I don't know whether you are making progress or not. In a moment a senior minister will come in. This man is our dynasty's expert in tumbling and wrestling. I will let him testing your skill. As soon as you see me throwing down the teacup, attack him together. Catch him unaware with twelve against one. If you can hold him down and render him immovable, I will reward you heavily." After saying that, he pulled the drawer and drew out twelve yuanbao, worth fifty taels each. He said, "If you win, each one will receive one yuanbao, but if you lose, twelve heads will roll together. This bunch of lazy, useless fellows, why would I want to spare?" The last two sentences were said with stern voice and expression.

    The twelve little eunuchs knelt down together and said, "Your servants will do our best to handle this matter for Your Majesty."

    Kangxi laughed and said, "Handle what matter? I am only testing you, I want to see which one is diligent, which one is lazy."

    Wei Xiaobao secretly admired him, "He did not reveal anything in front of the little eunuchs, to guard against these little demons lose their patience and reveal the secret plan in Oboi's presence."

    After the little eunuchs withdrew, Kangxi picked up a book from the desk and started to read. Wei Xiaobao could hear him reciting in low voice; unexpectedly his voice did not tremble, his hands did not shake. Confronted with an important event, he was as calm as ever; while Wei Xiaobao felt his hands were clammy, and his body was hot. He cursed himself secretly, "Wei Xiaobao, you are a son of a b*tch, this time you prove yourself to be inferior to Xiao Xuanzi. Your martial art skill is not as good as his, your mental power is also inferior to him." But then he thought, "He is the Emperor, naturally his courage is greater than mine. Nothing so special about it. If I were the Emperor, naturally I will surpass him." yet in the deepest part of his heart he knew it was hard to justify what he had just told himself.

    A good half a day later, there was sound of boots outside the door, an imperial bodyguard announced, "Oboi desires to have an audience with the Emperor, wishing His Majesty ten thousand good fortune and peace like gold."

    "Oboi, come in!" Kangxi said. Oboi raised the curtain and walked in. He knelt down and kowtowed.

    Kangxi said with a laugh, "Oboi, you are just in time. I have here more than ten little eunuchs who have practiced wrestling. I heard that you are our Manchuria’s warrior with number one martial art skill. How about you give directions to them for several stances?”

    With a smile Oboi said, “Your Majesty has the desire, the Minister will serve with my ability.”

    Kangxi laughed and said, “Xiao Guizi, tell the imperial bodyguards outside to go take a break. They do not need to come back unless summoned.” As he said that, he laughed toward Oboi and made a face. Oboi laughed aloud. Wei Xiaobao went out to do the bidding.

    In a low voice Kangxi said, “Oboi, you advised me not to read Han people’s books, I think you are very right. We’d better spend our time in the study room wrestling and having fun, but don’t let other people hear about it. If the Empress Dowager finds out, she will force me to study.”

    Oboi was delighted. “That’s right, that’s right, that’s right!” he repeatedly said, “Your Majesty’s idea is very brilliant. Those Han people books, what’s the use of reading them?”

    Wei Xiaobao returned and said, “The imperial bodyguards thank Your Majesty for your kindness, they all have withdrawn.”

    “Good,” Kang laughed, “Let us play. Little eunuchs, twelve of you form six pairs, spar with each other.”

    The twelve little eunuchs rolled their sleeves and tightened their belts, they split into six pairs and attacked each other. Oboi watched with smile on his face; seeing these little eunuchs’ skill was only so-so, he shook his head and laughed. Kangxi picked up the teacup and drank a mouthful. He said with a laugh, “Oboi, do you think these children’s skill is useable?”

    Oboi laughed and said, “To put up a show, they are passable!”

    Kangxi laughed, “Compared to you, Oboi, naturally they are inadequate!” he said. He leaned sideways, his hand loosened, ‘crash!’ the teacup fell to the floor. “Aiyo!” he cried out.

    Oboi was startled, he said, “Your Majesty …” the two words had just come out of his mouth, behind him the twelve little eunuchs pounced at him at the same time, pulling his hands and climbing onto his arms, wrapping their arms around his waist and holding on to his legs, attacking him from all sides.

    Kangxi laughed aloud and said, "Oboi, pay attention!"

    Oboi only knew the young Emperor was inciting the little eunuchs to test his martial art skill; with a smile he flung his arms, four little eunuchs fell down to the ground. He still did not dare to use too much force, for fear that he might injure the little eunuchs. His left leg lightly swept, two more little eunuchs were swept down. He roared in laughter. The remaining little eunuchs remembered the Emperor's words, 'if you lose, twelve heads will roll together'; with everything they had they firmly hold on to Oboi's waist and legs.

    Wei Xiaobao had already slipped behind him, aiming for the 'sun acupoint' on Oboi's temple, he sent out a ferocious punch. Oboi only felt a burst of dizziness in his brain; he was slightly angered, "These little eunuchs are very rude," he thought. With a swift sweep of his left arm he threw three little eunuchs away. But when he turned around, his chest was hit by Wei Xiaobao's fist. Although Wei Xiaobao's two sneak attacks could be considered very quick, his strength was lacking, so that although Oboi was hit on vital points, he did not suffer any serious harm.

    Seeing the one launching the sneak attack was unexpectedly the little eunuch close to the Emperor, he had a vague feeling that things were worse than he thought, yet in the end he refused to believe that the Emperor was using these children to apprehend him. Stretching out his left palm, he pressed down on Wei Xiaobao's left shoulder. Wei Xiaobao used the move ‘Emptiness After Realization’, his left palm feigned two attacks in front of Oboi. As Oboi ducked, 'bang!' the pit of his stomach was squarely kicked. "Ah!" but it was Wei Xiaobao who cried out. What happened was that when his kick landed on Oboi's chest, he felt as if he was kicking a brick wall, he felt severe pain on his own leg instead.

    Seeing Wei Xiaobao repeatedly using killer stances against him, Oboi was startled and angered. In the heat of the battle, he did not have time to think the Emperor's real intention; he only thought that as soon as he was able to extricate himself from the little eunuchs' entanglement, he would deal with Wei Xiaobao first. But the little eunuchs were holding fast to his waist and legs, as soon as he managed to throw several eunuchs, the rest were pouncing at him.

    Kangxi clapped his hands and laughed. "Oboi," he said, "I am afraid you are going to lose."

    Oboi was about to crush the top of Wei Xiaobao's head with his fist, hearing Kangxi, he said in his heart, "So you just want to joke with me; how can I lower myself to these little children's level?" Deflecting his arm slightly and reducing his power, 'whack!' his punch landed on Wei Xiaobao's right shoulder with only one-tenth of his strength. But Oboi's strength was inexhaustible, it was said that during the battle with the Ming army, with his bare hands he was able to grab Ming's officers and soldiers and hurled them away randomly, just like a tornado sweeping away everything in its path.

    Wei Xiaobao only learned martial art casually for several months, plus he was only a child; although he had a throng of little eunuchs to help him, how could he overcome him? When the punch landed, Wei Xiaobao staggered and tumbled forward. Seizing this opportunity, he sent out his left elbow to strike the small of Oboi's back.

    Oboi laughed and cursed him, "You, a baby, is very crafty!" while lightly pushing Wei Xiaobao's back with his right hand. Wei Xiaobao hit the ground head first, but when he stood up, there was a dagger in his hand. Turning around swiftly, he pounced on Oboi.

    Suddenly seeing the shining dagger in Wei Xiaobao's hand, Oboi was taken by surprise, he stared blankly for a moment then called out, “You … what are you doing?”

    Wei Xiaobao laughed and said, “I use dagger, you use your bare hands, let us fight!”

    “Quickly put the knife down!” Oboi barked, “In the presence of His Majesty, must not use any murder weapon.”

    “Alright,” Wei Xiaobao said with a laugh, “You want me to put it down, I’ll put it down.” Stooping down, he inserted the dagger into his boot.

    By this time there were still seven, eight little eunuchs holding on firmly onto Oboi. Suddenly Wei Xiaobao dropped down, as if he had lost his footing; his body bumped into Oboi, the dagger went straight up, he wanted to stab Oboi’s belly. Unexpectedly Oboi had a quick reaction in facing danger; swiftly he shrank backward and the dagger stabbed his thigh. With a loud roar Oboi flung three little eunuchs and seized Wei Xiaobao’s neck.

    Seeing Wei Xiaobao and the little eunuchs failed to hold Oboi down, Kangxi knew their situation was dire; circling toward Oboi’s back, he pulled his dagger and stabbed it toward Oboi’s back. Feeling the sting of pain on his back, Oboi quickly contracted the muscle on his back, Kangxi’s stab slipped; it did not hit any vital point. Without too much trouble Oboi fung Wei Xiaobao away, and turned around as swift as a whirlwind; he saw a young man before his eyes, which was precisely the Emperor.

    Oboi was stupefied; Kangxi jumped two steps back. Oboi let out another roar; at last he understood that the Emperor wanted to take his life. Shaking his fist in the air he pounced on Kangxi. Kangxi sidestepped, Oboi grabbed two little eunuchs and smashed their heads against each other. Two skulls immediately split open. Oboi sent out his left fist straight toward a little eunuch’s chest, followed by a fierce kick with his right leg, sending four little eunuchs crashing onto the wall. Their muscle torn, their bones broken; without even a grunt they all died instantly. Right away he raised his left leg to trample the abdomen of a little eunuch holding on to his right leg, the little eunuch’s stomach burst open and his intestines spilled out. In a split second he had successively killed eight eunuchs. The remaining four little eunuchs were so scared that they stared blankly without knowing what to do.

    With dagger in his hand Wei Xiaobao lunged forward. Oboi met him with his left fist. Wei Xiaobao felt a strong gust of wind assaulting his face so that he could not breathe. Brandishing the dagger, he attacked Oboi’s arm. Oboi slightly turned his arm to evade the dagger, immediately he sent another punch and hit Wei Xiaobao on the left shoulder, sending him flying over the desk and landed on the incense burner. Immediately the ashes from the censer flew up to the air.

    From the beginning Kangxi was very calm and collected, he used the ‘Ba Gua Roaming Dragon Palm’ to fight Oboi, but Kangxi's power in using this palm technique was rather limited, plus he was fighting Oboi, a valiant military leader who was divinely brave by nature; in all honesty the palm technique did not have too much usefulness. Oboi was hit twice by Kangxi's palm, but he seemed hardly noticed it. Oboi sent out a left kick toward Kangxi's right leg. Kangxi staggered and fell forward. Oboi roared like thunder, he shouted, "Let us all die together!" Both fists came down on Kangxi's head.

    Kangxi and Wei Xiaobao had been fighting each other for quite a long time, his ability to adapt to changes in the small room where they spar had been trained that he was able to react fast. Seeing Oboi's fists came, he dropped down at once and rolled away underneath the desk. With his left leg Oboi kick the desk, while with his right leg he repeatedly kicked on Kangxi's body. Suddenly a cloud of dust rose upward, a layer of ash covered Oboi's eyes.

    Oboi let out a 'wah! wah!' cry, while frantically rubbed his eyes with both hands. His right leg kept kicking forward at lightning speed, for fear that the enemy would seize this opportunity to attack.

    What happened was that when Wei Xiaobao saw the urgency of their situation, he grabbed two handfuls of ashes from the incense burner and threw it toward Oboi. The particles of ashes from the incense was very fine, as soon as it made contact with Oboi's eyes, it quickly dispersed.

    Suddenly Oboi felt a stabbing pain on his left arm; it was Wei Xiaobao's dagger that he threw, it was aimed toward the vital point on the pit of his stomach, but it hit his arm instead.

    By this time the table in the study room was overturned and the stools lying on their sides, it was a complete chaos. Wei Xiaobao saw a chair behind Oboi, it was precisely the dragon chair the Emperor used on day-to-day basis. With all his might he picked up the bronze censer using both hands, jumped onto the dragon chair, aimed the censer on the back of Oboi's head, and smashed it down as hard as he could.

    The censer was an object from the Tang dynasty, at least it weighed about thirty catties. Oboi's eyes were blinded, he could not evade. 'Bang!' the top of his head was hit. Oboi's body swayed and he tumbled down on the ground, fainted. The incense burner was cracked, unexpectedly Oboi's head remained intact.
    Last edited by foxs; 09-04-10 at 01:07 PM.

  5. #105
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    That was a pretty intense fight. Thanks foxs.

  6. #106
    Senior Member SkyWalker's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great update foxs.

    WXB did indeed resort to his dirty tricks to win fights again.

  7. #107
    Senior Member Ace High's Avatar
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    WXB is the master of improvisation.

  8. #108
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    Thanks you foxs. Your work is great and the writing is so fluid.

    I am still trying to catch up but I love this story.

    Thank you for taking on the endeavor.
    "Every man dies, but not every man really lives." -BH

  9. #109
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    Thanks foxs!

    I remember this scene pretty well from the '84 DOMD. They had Kwan Hoi-Shan (RIP) playing Oboi and the guy was pretty convincingly menacing. That raspy voice and crazy eyes really did it.

  10. #110
    Senior Member smurf120's Avatar
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    This is great translation! I have the whole set of Minford books. Number one is good but two and three were kinda yawns. The only part he spent inordinate amount of time on was the trip to Russia which the TV serials never talk much about.

    Love the translation - keep up the good work!

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    This gruesome scene is a complete 180 degree turn of Stephen Chow hilarious version in Royal Tramp. You guys need to check that out!
    thanks foxs

  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by smurf120 View Post
    This is great translation! I have the whole set of Minford books. Number one is good but two and three were kinda yawns. The only part he spent inordinate amount of time on was the trip to Russia which the TV serials never talk much about.

    Love the translation - keep up the good work!
    i think the most tiresome chapter will be chapter 48, the negotiation with the russian empire.

  13. #113
    Senior Member foxs's Avatar
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    Default Chapter 5 - Part 6

    Kangxi was ecstatic. "Xiao Guizi," he called out, "You've done it." He had prepared some cow tendon and rope, which he busily took out from the drawer of the overturned desk. Together with Wei Xiaobao he bound Oboi's hands and feet.

    Wei Xiaobao was so scared that his whole body was soaked in cold sweat, his limbs trembled, he pulled the rope, but felt that his strength was completely gone. Kangxi and Wei Xiaobao looked at each other, their joy was unspeakable.

    Not too long afterwards Oboi came to his senses, he shouted, "I am a loyal minister, I am innocent! This is a conspiracy to harm me, I refuse to accept even to my death!"

    "Traitor!" Wei Xiaobao sternly said, "You brought knife to the Upper Study Room, for that crime alone you deserve to die ten thousand times."

    "I did not bring any knife!" Oboi shouted.

    Wei Xiaobao also shout harshly, "Aren't those two knives on your body? One on your back and the other on your arm. You still dare to say you did not bring any knife?" With Wei Xiaobao forcefully pushing his twisted logic, how could Oboi debate him? Much less the top of his head was smashed heavily with the bronze censer, his back and his arm were pierced by the knives; although his injuries were not life-threatening, they were not light either. In a moment of desperation, all he could do was shouting and screaming exasperatedly.

    Seeing out of the twelve little eunuchs only four were left alive, Kangxi said, "You have seen it with your own eyes, Oboi is rebelling against his superior, he is planning on assassinating me."

    The four little eunuchs were still shaken, their faces were ashen. One of them repeatedly agreed, "Yes, yes!" The other three could not even utter a single word.

    Kangxi said, "Get out now, proclaim my decree, summon the Distinguished Learned Prince Kang and Songgotu to come over here. Do not mention even one word of what has just happened. If there is any rumor leaked out, just watch your heads." The four little eunuchs complied and went out.

    Oboi was still shouting defiantly, "Injustice, injustice! The Emperor is personally trying to kill me, a loyal minister. If the former Emperor found out, he would never spare you!"

    Kangxi's countenance sank, he said, "Think of a way, don't let him sprout nonsense!"

    "Yes!" Wei Xiaobao complied. He walked over and stretched out his left hand to pinch Oboi's nose. Oboi opened his mouth to take a breath, with his right hand Wei Xiaobao tore off the dagger from Oboi's arm and stabbed randomly into Oboi's mouth several times. He also grabbed two handfuls of incense ashes from the ground and stuffed it inside Oboi's mouth. Oboi's throat created some gurgling noise, he was chocked and was barely able to breathe, how could he say another word?

    Wei Xiaobao also pulled the dagger piercing Oboi's back and stuck both daggers side by side on the desk, while he himself stood guard by Oboi's side. If he saw the Oboi making the slightest movement, he would immediately pull out the dagger and stab him several times.

    Seeing the important matter had reached its conclusion, in his heart Kangxi was very happy. To see Oboi's impressive build and his mean and ferocious expression with bloodstain all over his face, he could not help but secretly alarmed and scared; he realized now that he had been too reckless, by only relying on he and Xiao Guizi, who had learned martial art for only so long, plus twelve little eunuchs, who had just started training wrestling, he was determined to deal with Oboi. He had never thought that dealing with a genuine warrior, several children would be completely useless; besides, his own martial art skill, as well as Xiao Guizi's, was nowhere near the expert level. If it was not for Xiao Guizi's ruse, right now he would have been killed by Oboi. Once this male servant made his move, he would stop at nothing; most likely he would also harm the Emperor's Grandmother and the Empress Dowager. All the ministers of the dynasty, as well as the imperial bodyguards inside the Palace, were his trusted aides. If this male servant set up another young ruler, no one would dare to inquire about his crime. Thinking to this point, he could not help but shivered.

    After waiting for quite some time, Prince Kang and Songgotu who were summoned by the four little eunuchs came in. As soon as they entered the Upper Study Room, they saw dead bodies sprawled all around with bloodstain scattered everywhere; to say that they were mildly shocked was definitely an understatement. They knelt down immediately and kowtowed repeatedly, while proclaimed together, "Wishing Your Majesty ten thousand good fortune and peace like gold."

    Kangxi said, "Oboi committed treason and heresy, he brought a blade into the Palace, he dared to assault me. Fortunately our ancestors protected me; the little eunuch Xiao Guizi, with the help of other eunuchs, strenuously resisted the ominous rebel, and arrested him. On how to deal with the aftermath, I leave it to you to do as you see fit."

    Prince Kang and Songgotu had never gotten along well with Oboi, they had been under Oboi's oppression for a long time. To suddenly see a big change in the Palace, they were pleasantly surprised. After paying their respect to the Emperor again, they admitted that they had neglected to take precautions, that they had committed grave offense, that fortunately the Emperor was blessed with flood of good fortune filled the heavens, that the Emperor was cherished by hundreds of deities, such that Oboi's vicious scheme was thwarted.

    Kangxi said, "This matter of assassination attempt, you do not need to mention it to outsiders, to avoid Empress Grandmother and Empress Dowager being startled. If this matter is spread out, the Han officials and the common people will laugh at us. Oboi's crime is great, even without today's matter, he deserved to be punished a long time ago."

    Prince Kang and Songgotu kowtowed again, "Yes, yes!" they said. Yet in their hearts they had doubts, "Oboi is divinely brave by nature, he is our Manchu's number one warrior. If he really wanted to assassinate the Emperor, how could several little eunuchs capture him? There must be something else in this matter." Luckily the two of them were eager to heavily punish Oboi, so they did not see any reason to inquire deeper into the story. Much less the Emperor had said so, who would dare to question him?

    Prince Kang said, "Reporting to Your Majesty: Oboi has too many henchmen, we must spread the net and capture them all, to guard against another rebellion. Let Official Songgotu stay here to protect Your Majesty; he must not leave you Holy Self even for half a step. Your servant will relay the decree, all Oboi's henchmen must be arrested at once. What does Your Majesty think?"

    Kangxi nodded. "Very well!" he said. Prince Kang withdrew.

    Songgotu looked up and down Xiao Guizi, sizing him up, he said, "Xiao Gong-gong, your meritorious deed in protecting His Majesty today is indeed not small."

    "It was His Majesty's good fortune," Xiao Guizi said, "As slaves, what meritorious service can we possibly do?"

    Kangxi was very pleased to see Wei Xiaobao did not claim credit for himself at all, and did not mention even a word of the violent battle just now; he thought that if his personal involvement by stabbing Oboi from the back was ever spread outside, as the ruler, he would lost considerable respect. He also mused, "Xiao Guizi's merit today big beyond compare, it could be said that he had saved my life. It's a pity that he is an eunuch, no matter how I promote him, he will always be an eunuch. Our ancestor has set up a strict rule that an eunuch must not be involved in politics; apparently I can only reward him generously with money."

    Prince Kang handled the matter very rapidly; he was back in a short time, leading several trusted royalties and senior ministers to pay their respect to the Emperor, reporting that most of Oboi's party had been arrested, all guilty imperial bodyguards inside the Palace had been sent outside on imperial orders, not even one was left. Then he requested the Emperor to assign another minister to preside over the imperial bodyguards, and to elect another trusted team of personal bodyguards.

    Kangxi was greatly delighted, "You have managed it very well!" he said.

    The several Princes and civil and military ministers saw the devastation in the Upper Study Room, how Oboi had killed the eight little eunuchs that their skulls disintegrated and their brains scattered, their intestine spilled and their bones broken; no one was not horrified, they all raised up their voices to curse Oboi's treason and heresy. Immediately the head of the Ministry of Justice personally led Oboi away to be detained. The Princes and Ministers also said many other praise and respectful wishes to the Emperor before taking their leave to discuss among themselves what to do with Oboi's crime.

    The Distinguished Learned Prince Kang conveyed Kangxi's intention by urging them, "His Majesty is benevolent and filial, he does not wish to massacre too many people and alarm the Emperor's Grandmother and the Empress Dowager; therefore, the matter of Oboi committed treason and heresy does not need to be exposed outside the imperial court. He will only be charged with dominating the government, with being illegally harsh and unreasonable, so we must make a list of detailed charges." All the Princes and Ministers raised their voices to praise the sage's virtue.

    Assassinating the Emperor was not a small matter, without a doubt Oboi would have been put to death by dismemberment[9], along with his entire family, young and old, women and children, as well as the family members of those associated with him, and all his clansmen; no one would be lucky enough to escape with their lives. If this major case was pursued down, the implication would be widespread, at least several thousand people would have to die. Although Kangxi hated Oboi's dominance, he did not wish to heap random accusation on his head, he was even more unwilling to implicate the innocents.

    Kangxi’s days of being personally in-charge of the government was not lacking, however, all government affairs, big and small, were handled by Oboi; all along the court officials were only doing what Oboi directed them to do. Today he had arrested Oboi; he saw that the Princes and Ministers’ expression was different all of a sudden, he could see that they were a lot more respectful and submissive to him. It was only this time that Kangxi finally felt the joy of being the ruler. He also took a glance at Wei Xiaobao, and saw that he had withdrawn into a corner, without saying anything. Kangxi thought, “This kid does not talk too much, he is very perceptive.”

    After the Ministers had all withdrawn, Songgotu said, “Your Majesty, the Upper Study Room must be cleaned up properly. May I suggest Your Majesty take the trouble of withdrawing to your personal palace[10] to rest?”

    Kangxi nodded. Accompanied by Prince Kang and Songgotu he headed toward his personal palace. Wei Xiaobao was unsure if he should follow; while he was hesitating, Kangxi nodded to him and said, “You may come with me.”

    Prince Kang and Songgotu took their leave several hundred steps outside the personal palace. Other than imperial wives and concubines, princes, court eunuchs and palace maids, outer ministers must not set their feet into the inner courtyard of the Imperial Palace.

    Wei Xiaobao followed Kangxi inside. At first he thought that the Emperor's personal palace would be filled with gold and jade in glorious splendor, that everything would be inlaid with emerald and white jade, that there would be at least two, three thousand pearls on the wall so that there would not be any need of lantern at night. Who would have thought that as he entered the personal palace, it looked like an ordinary room, only the bedding and pillow cases were made of yellow silk, embroidered with dragon and phoenix, nothing more than that. He was quite disappointed, thinking, "Compared to the rooms in our Yangzhou's Spring Courtyard, the style here is far too inferior."

    Kangxi drank a bowl of ginseng soup presented by a palace maid; he let out a long sigh and said, "Xiao Guizi, come with me to see the Empress Dowager." By this time Kangxi had not married yet, his personal palace was not too far away from the Compassionate and Peaceful Palace where the Empress Dowager resided.

    When they reached the Empress Dowager's personal palace, Kangxi went in alone, he told Wei Xiaobao to wait outside. Wei Xiaobao waited for a long time and was bored; he mused, "I learned the 'Great Compassion Great Sorrow Thousand-Leaf Hand' Hai Laogong taught me, His Majesty learned the ‘Ba Gua Roaming Dragon Palm’, but when we fought Oboi today, any 'Thousand-Leaf Hand' or ‘Roaming Dragon Palm’ were all useless. It was only because of Little White Dragon Wei Xiaobao's third-class trick of scattering the incense ash and smashing the censer did we accomplish our mission successfully. There won't be any more fun in continuing learning those martial art skills. I always pretend to be an eunuch in the imperial palace, kowtowing to Xiao Xuanzi; it's really boring. Oboi is already arrested, Xiao Xuanzi does not need my help anymore. Tomorrow I'll slip out of the palace and won't be coming back."

    While he was contemplating on how to leave the Palace, an eunuch came out and said with a laugh, "Gui Xiongdi, Empress Dowager orders you to come in."

    "His granny," Wei Xiaobao cursed in his belly, "More kowtow! Why don't you, hot piece mama Empress Dowager, kowtow to laozi?" But he said respectfully, "Yes!" and followed the eunuch inside.

    Passing through two big courtyards, the eunuch stopped outside a door curtain and said, "Reporting to Empress Dowager, Xiao Guizi is here for an audience." Gently lifted the curtain, he puckered his mouth.

    Wei Xiaobao walked in; there was another curtain ahead. This time the curtain was made entirely of strung pearls, it emitted a soft glow. A palace maid lifted up the pearl curtain. Wei Xiaobao went in with bowed head, but he raised his eyelids slightly, and saw a noble looking woman, approximately thirty years of age, was sitting on a chair. Kangxi was standing by her side. Obviously this woman was the Empress Dowager. Immediately he knelt down and kowtowed.

    The Empress Dowager smiled and nodded, "Arise!" she said. Waiting for Wei Xiaobao to stand up, she said, "I heard from the Emperor that in the arrest of that rebel minister Oboi today you have rendered a great merit."

    ---------------------------------------------
    [9] Or ‘death by a thousand cuts’ or ‘lingering death’.

    [10] Orig. ‘palace to lie down’.
    Last edited by foxs; 09-05-10 at 07:35 PM.

  14. #114
    Senior Member foxs's Avatar
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    Thank you all, for stopping by (hoang, sky, ace, gqonmars2, stan, smurf, and bundak). Here is my take on Wei Xiaobao:

    He did not have any incentive to learn any martial art. Guo Jing learned it for revenge, Yang Guo learned it because he was bullied, Zhang Wuji learned it because he grew up with his parents and Xie Xun, Zhuo Yihang and Yu Luocha had strong master's influence. But what about Xiaobao? His mother was a prostitute, he grew up in a brothel, the only martial art influence he had was from teahouse storytellers. Plus due to his ingenuity, he always managed to escape with what Mao Shiba called 'despicable' tricks. In short, why would he want to learn it? For him, he would use 'whatever works', he believed in 'all's fair in war'.

    smurf, in book one, Minford translated it almost in its entirety, while in book two and three, he squeezed four books into two. I am looking forward to translating chapter 11 and later. Several times I was tempted to skip book 1, but then one, no continuity, two, we can't post it here. That being said ... please bear with me ...

  15. #115
    Senior Member gqonmars2's Avatar
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    Thank you foxs.

    Your hard work is really appreciated.

    I really like stories/novels/characters like Wei Xiaobao. I feel that they are smart and ambitious characters where after reading it, the character can teach you a thing or two. I love how they out smart opponents and gain victory. Following them and see them prevail is a joy.

    Other lead characters like Guo Jing always makes me feel like reaching through the book/story to slap them in the face and teach time a thing or two instead, or to wake them up and smell the coffee; It feels like that they see a manhole, but will just walk right into it, but b/c its a story they are save by luck....sometimes these are frustrating read/watch.

    Well, back to reading foxs' beautiful work.
    "Every man dies, but not every man really lives." -BH

  16. #116
    Senior Member SkyWalker's Avatar
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    Thanks foxs.

    Whether WXB knows martial arts or not, like every other protagonists, he has a shit load of good luck!

  17. #117
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    I've always wanted to read this story that many people here have said to be Jin Yong's masterpiece. Thanks fox for translating the novel!
    I would love to change the world, but they won't give me the source code.

  18. #118
    Moderator Han Solo's Avatar
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    Thanks foxs.

    Suggest that you change the term male servant to Oboi.

    It might make it less confusing.

    Han Solo
    Wuxiapedia

    Quote Originally Posted by bliss
    I think they're probably at the same level as or one level below Ah Qing, which is about the level of a 2nd or 3rd generation Quan Zhen disciple.
    Troll Control

  19. #119
    Senior Member tweety365's Avatar
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    Didn't think Oboi would be apprehended so early in the story. The tv adaptations give a lot more screen time to this character.

    Thanks for feeding our addiction, foxs!

  20. #120
    Senior Member Ace High's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tweety365 View Post
    Didn't think Oboi would be apprehended so early in the story. The tv adaptations give a lot more screen time to this character.

    Thanks for feeding our addiction, foxs!
    I personally think Jin Yong pretty rushed almost everything in the novel.

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