Thank You Foxs
Thank You Foxs
Wow.... at last XB is given some rewards for his hard work...
Mighty Kungfu...such energy. Looks like the princess is in deep trouble and the two are helpless to help. I guess XB's ingenuity will come in again.
Just who are these enemies ??
Tweety ... no comment ... To me it is unreal. Gubrak, Anh, Sky, you are welcome. Crazee, what do you mean by 'rewards'? KChill, you actively compare this to Minford's, right? Did he skip a lot?
Wei Xiaobao reached back to support himself against the wall. He stood up and looked into the room, he said, “Those six lamas are all bad people.” He was standing to Ah Ke’s side, hence he was able to see one more Lama.
“Rubbish!” Ah Ke said, “Naturally they are bad people; do I need you to tell me that?”
Wei Xiaobao laughed and said, “They are not necessarily bad people. Take me for example: I am clearly a good person, yet you keep saying that I am a bad person. These six lamas have the audacity to attack Shitai, they are a lot worse than I am.”
Ah Ke glanced sideways at him. “Humph,” she snorted, “I’ll say you are one of them; you brought these six lamas to harm Shifu.”
Wei Xiaobao replied, “I have a deep respect toward Shitai, I revere her just like I revere the Bodhisattva; I have deep respect toward Miss, just like I respect the deities, why would I want to harm you?”
Ah Ke looked inside with rapt attention; suddenly she cried out in alarm. Wei Xiaobao looked into the room, he saw all six lamas now had jiedao [Buddhist knife] in their hands, ready to pounce and make a kill, but the power of nun in white’s sleeve and the wind from her palm held them at bay so that they were unable to get closer. However, the top of the nun in white’s head emitted a thin streak of white steam; apparently she was using all her strength.
With only one arm she had to fight a life and death fight against six fully armed lamas; if this battle continued, perhaps it would be difficult for her to withstand the enemy. Wei Xiaobao wanted to go forward and help her, but he realized his own martial art skill was almost non-existent; he could not even step over the door, if he crawled in, inevitably he would distract the nun in white, and then instead of helping her, he would bring her harm. In his angst, he suddenly saw a broom leaning against the corner of the wall; immediately he picked it up and positioned himself by the door. Stretching out the broom, he poked it randomly at a lama’s face, hoping that he would distract his attention, so that his internal energy might not be pure anymore, then the nun in white’s palm power might be able to shake him dead.
The broom was barely stretched out, he heard a shout, the broom handle in his hand suddenly felt lighter because the head of the broom was truncated by the lama, followed by the strong wind as the head of the broom flew out of the room, brushing the side of his face, creating several thin lines of blood that felt hot and painful.
Ah Ke anxiously said, “You are just making trouble, that … that won’t work.”
Wei Xiaobao was leaning against the wooden partition, he felt continuous vibration, as if all around the inn, the wooden partitions were about to be knocked down by the wind of the sabers and the power of the palm. Suddenly he had an idea; after looking clearly the six lamas’ position, he walked toward the back of the lama who cut off his broom, pulled out his dagger, and thrust it through the wooden partition.
The dagger was incomparably sharp, the wooden partition was less than a cun thick, as the dagger went in, it penetrated the wood as if it was a piece of tofu [bean curd], and straight into the lama’s back. The lama cried out loudly, his body went limp, he slid slowly along the wooden partition, until finally he sat on the floor.
Hearing the cry, Wei Xiaobao knew he had succeeded. Walking toward the second lama’s back, he thrust his dagger again. In a flash he had successively killed four lamas. The blade of the dagger was short, as it was thrust on the lamas’ bodies, it did not go through to the front of the torso. As each lama fell sitting down, nobody in that room knew how they actually died.
The other two lamas were greatly shocked, they scrambled toward the door, trying to escape. The nun in white leaped with her palm extended, striking the back of a lama, sending a jolt through his body that he spurted a mouthful of blood and died instantly. With a brush of her left sleeve the nun in white blocked the other lama, and then as swift as the wind the finger of her right hand sealed five acupoints on the lama’s body. The lama fell and lay paralyzed on the floor, unable to move a single step.
The nun in white kicked the bodies of the four lamas, and saw the blade wound on their backs, she also noticed the holes on the wooden partition, and immediately understood what had happened. She turned toward the immobilized lama and shouted, “You … who are you …?” Suddenly her body swayed and she fell sitting down, spurting blood from her mouth.
Those six lamas were martial art masters; by fighting one against six, she had exhausted her internal energy. By brushing her sleeve to block and striking the last lama down, she had used up the last ounce of her strength that she was unable to stand anymore.
Ah Ke and Wei Xiaobao were greatly alarmed; they rushed forward to support her. “Shifu, Shifu!” Ah Ke repeatedly called out.
The nun in white’s breathing was very weak, she closed her eyes and did not say anything. When Wei Xiaobao and Ah Ke, two people lifted her up onto the kang [heatable brick bed], she vomited another mouthful of blood. In her panic, Ah Ke's limbs turned weak; she could only burst into tears.
As soon as they saw the fight, the innkeeper, the waiters, and the others went into hiding far away. Now that the sound of fighting had ceased, they came back and stuck their heads out and looked around. Seeing blood all over the floor and dead bodies scattered around, they all cried out in fear. Wei Xiaobao picked two jiedao with both hands and shouted, “What are you crying for? Quickly shut your beaks, otherwise I’ll give you each one chop and kill you all.”
Seeing the flickering jiedao, they were frightened and repeatedly said ‘yes, yes’. Wei Xiaobao took out three ingots of silver, worth five taels each, and gave them to a shop attendant and shouted, “Quickly hire two large carriages; the other five taels is for you.” The shop attendant was startled but happy; he dashed out and was back almost immediately with two hired carriages.
Wei Xiaobao took out forty more taels and handed it over to the innkeeper; he said in a loud voice, “These six wicked lamas fought with each other; you kill me, I kill you. All of you have seen it with your own eyes, haven’t you?” How could the innkeeper dare to say ‘no’? He could only nodded. Wei Xiaobao said, “This forty taels is for the room and board.”
Together with Ah Ke, they lifted the nun in white onto a large carriage. He also took the quilt from the kang to cover her. Furthermore, he ordered the shop attendants to lift the lama whose acupoints were sealed onto the other carriage. Wei Xiaobao said to Ah Ke, “You go with Shifu, I’ll go with him.”
They boarded the carriages. Wei Xiaobao ordered the driver to follow the main road going south. He thought, “Shitai is seriously injured, if those lamas attack again, it will be terrible. We must find a remote place for Shitai to recover from her injury.” For fear that the lama’s acupoints would be opened, while he was not his match, he fetch a roll of rope and tightly bound his hands and feet.
After traveling for about the li, Ah Ke suddenly shouted, “Stop!” She leaped down from her carriage and rushed toward Wei Xiaobao’s; with an extremely frightened expression she said, “Shifu’s breathing is getting weaker and weaker; I am afraid … I am afraid …”
Wei Xiaobao was startled; hastily he stepped down the carriage to take a look. The nun in white’s breathing was very weak and shallow. Ah Ke cried and said, “If only we had miracle drug. We’d better find a doctor quickly; it’s just that this place …”
Wei Xiaobao suddenly remembered that the Empress Dowager had given him thirty pills called ‘snow ginseng jade toad pill’ or something like that, which was part of tribute from the King of Korea; she said that the pills would make one’s body strong and healthy, it would neutralize poison and heal injuries, its efficacy was out of the ordinary. Of those thirty pills, he was supposed to give twenty two to Cult Leader and Madame Hong. Immediately he took out the jade bottle from his pocket and said, “Actually, I have miracle drug to heal injuries here with me.”
Taking out two pills, he fed the pills into the nun in white’s mouth. Ah Ke took the water gourd and helped Shifu drink two mouthful. Wei Xiaobao seized that opportunity to sit in the nun in white’s carriage, sitting face to face with Ah Ke; he said, “I don’t know what will happen after Shitai take the drug; I must keep watch over her all the time.” He ordered both carriages to continue their journey.
After the time needed to drink a cup of tea later, the nun in white suddenly took a very deep breath, and slowly opened her eyes. Ah Ke was greatly delighted. “Shifu,” she called out, “Do you feel better?” The nun in white nodded her head.
Wei Xiaobao busily took out two more pills and said, “Shitai, these pills are effective, take two more.”
The nun in white slightly shook her head and said in a low voice, “Today … it’s enough … I must circulate my chi to convert the drug’s power … Stop … stop the carriage.”
“Yes, yes,” Wei Xiaobao said; he ordered the carriages to stop. The nun in white instructed Ah Ke to help her get up. Sitting cross-legged, she closed her eyes and circulated her strength. While Ah Ke could not take her eyes off her master, Wei Xiaobao could not take his eyes off her. He saw that at first there was a worried expression on her face, but gradually her graceful eyebrows began to relax, her eyes started to shine.
Another moment passed, a smile began to form on the corners of her mouth. Wei Xiaobao did not need to look at the nun in white to know that her effort to circulate her strength to heal her body had given its desired effect. A few moments later, he saw Ah Ke’s expression was growing happier and happier. Wei Xiaobao thought, “If only there was no Shitai in this carriage, only me and this little beauty, two people, plus her expression always looks this happy, I can really die happy.”
Suddenly Ah Ke looked up and saw him staring blankly at her; immediately her cheeks blushed. She wanted to scold him, but was afraid she might agitate Shifu and disturb her internal energy cultivation; hence the word was already at the tip of her tongue, but she swallowed it back, and only hatefully shot a malicious look at him. Wei Xiaobao smiled at her. Following her gaze, he looked at the nun in white, and notice that her breathing was even.
The nun in white blew out a mouthful of air, and opened her eyes. “We can continue,” she said in a low voice.
“Resting for a bit longer is not a big deal,” Wei Xiaobao said.
“No need,” the nun in white said.
Wei Xiaobao took out five taels and gave the money to the drivers, telling them to continue the journey. At that time, hiring a large carriage only cost a qian and a half a day. Seeing how generous he was with the money, the two carriage drivers were overjoyed; they expressed their thanks repeatedly.
The nun in white slowly said, “Xiaobao, what kind of medicine did you give me?”
“It’s called ‘snow ginseng jade toad pill’,” Wei Xiaobao replied, “It was the tribute of the King of Korea to the young emperor.”
A delighted expression flashed on the nun in white’s face; she said, “Snow ginseng and jade toad are two miracle drugs with great healing power; they can almost raise people from the dead. Who would have thought that unexpectedly I could come across it? My life is not meant to be cut short yet.” After suffering such a heavy injury, unexpectedly by this time her voice was very steady, there was no hint of her internal power was lacking.
Ah Ke happily asked, “Shifu, you, Senior, is completely healed?”
“I won’t die,” the nun in white replied.
“I still have twenty-eight more here,” Wei Xiaobao said, “Shitai may take and use them all.” While saying that, he handed over the jade bottle.
The nun in white did not accept, she said, “At most I only need two or three more pills, that will be enough. I have no use for that many.”
Wei Xiaobao was generous by nature, he thought, “What’s so big of a deal if you take all thirty pills? The old wh0re must have some more over there.” So he said, “Shitai, your body is important, since these pills are beneficial to you, next time I see the young emperor, I will just ask him some more.” And he pushed the jade bottle into her hand. The nun in white nodded, but she still gave the bottle back to him.
After traveling for some time, the nun in white said, “Find a secluded place and tell the drivers to stop; we need to question that lama.”
“Yes,” Wei Xiaobao complied. He ordered the carriages to enter a valley, and told the drivers to get the lama to the ground. He also told them to have the mule grazing at the back of the mountain. “If you do not hear me call, don’t come over here,” he said. The drivers complied and pulled the mules away.
The nun in white said, “You question him.”
Wei Xiaobao pulled the dagger, ‘swish!’ he cut a strip of tree branch, and easily pared the small twigs that shortly thereafter the tree branch turned into a stick. “Laoxiong [old chap],” he said, would you like to be a human stick?”
The lama could see that the dagger was very sharp, hence he was already frightened. “May I ask Xiaoye [little master], what do you mean by a human stick?”
Foxs..thanks again, and to answer your question, pretty much every time you post a translation there's a new piece of information that I never read in Minford's translation. It almost seems as if he thinks the English reader would be bored with the details. I'd say all together it would probably total as much as one chapter at this point.
For example, in Minford's translation, WXB never even told the nun what type of drug he gave her or where it came from....that part was entirely omitted. To me that's a big omission, a full paragraph -- and that's just from what you translated now.
Last edited by KChill; 10-18-11 at 10:49 PM.
Smurf, Ali, that's true, but I can understand KChill's reasoning too, 'three' is the magic number, although there were more: dirty fighting method, drugs, poison, and his 'friends', not to mention his unbelieveably good luck, always at the right place at the right time. KChill, thanks for your input, he tends to summarize several sentences of dialog into a paragraph. Crazee, 'oh!' ... Sky, Anh, you are welcome; I appreciate your 'faithfulness'. CFT, thanks for the input, I'll fix it later.
On the side note, I am going out of town tomorow for the weekend, my parents are here. I will bring my laptop, but if I cannot get any internet access, the next update will be Monday morning (US time).
Wei Xiaobao replied, “I’ll have your arms cut off; your ears, your nose will also be scraped, anything that is sticking out of your body will be pared flat, that’s a human stick. It’s very fun, do you want to try?” While saying that, he waved his dagger several times in front of the lama’s nose.
“No, no,” the lama said, “Xiaoseng [little monk] does not want to be a human stick.”
“I am not lying to you,” Wei Xiaobao said, “It’s very fun, there is no harm in you being one this time.”
“I am afraid it’s not fun,” the lama said.
“You have not been one, how do you know it’s not fun?” Wei Xiaobao said, “Let’s try it first, then we’ll talk later.” While saying that, he ran the dagger back and forth on the lama’s shoulder.
“Xiaoye, please spare my life,” the lama begged, “Xiaoseng was too brazen to offend Shitai; I should not have done that.”
“Alright,” Wei Xiaobao said, “I ask you a question, you give me an answer; if you give me even half a sentence of lie, I will immediately make you a human stick. I will plant you here, put some manure on you, and water you some; perhaps after ten days or half a month, you will grow some arms, ears and nose.”
“No, no,” the lama said, “Xiaoseng will definitely give you honest answers.”
“What’s your name?” Wei Xiaobao started, “Why did you offend Shitai?”
The lama said, “Xiaoseng’s name is Hubayin, a Tibetan Lama. I received our Da Shixiong [first martial (older) brother] Sangjie’s order to … to capture this Shitai alive.”
Wei Xiaobao remembered that he had heard the name Sangjie on Mount Wutai. He asked, “This Shitai is perfectly all right, she has never offended your stinky Shixiong; why did you take such a brazenly rash action?”
“Da Shixiong says that our Living Buddha has eight copies of treasured sutra, which this Shitai stole … no, not steal, she borrowed,” Hubayin said, “We want to ask her to return it.”
“What treasured sutra?” Wei Xiaobao asked.
“It’s Cha Yan Gu Tu Wu Sutra,” Hubayin replied.
“Rubbish,” Wei Xiaobao said, “What Ji Li Gu Lu Wu sutra?”
“Yes, yes,” Hubayin said, “It’s in our Tibetan language. In Chinese tongue, it is called ‘Forty-two Chapter Sutra’.”
Wei Xiaobao said, “How did you stinky Shixiong know that Shitai has taken the ‘Forty-two Chapter Sutra’?”
“I really don’t know,” Hubayin replied.
“You don’t know?” Wei Xiaobao said, “What good is your tongue then? Stick it out.” While saying that, he raised his dagger.
How could Hubayin dare to stick his tongue out? He begged, “Xiaoseng really does not know.”
Wei Xiaobao said, “Your stinky Shixiong is in Tibet, how could he send you out so quickly?”
Hubayin said, “Da Shixiong and some of us were originally in Beijing, so we pursued from Beijing to this place.”
Wei Xiaobao nodded, he understood what had happened, “Naturally it was the old wh0re who sent them the news.” He asked, “From your stinky lama companions this time, how many have higher, or almost the same, martial art skill?”
Hubayin said, “This time there are thirteen of us, martial brothers, Shitai has killed five, there are eight people left.”
Wei Xiaobao was secretly alarmed. “What do you mean ‘eight’?” he shouted, “Can you still be considered one of them? Sooner or later you’ll be a human stick.”
Hubayin said, “Xiaoye has promised not to make Xiaoseng a human stick.”
“Those remaining seven human sticks,” Wei Xiaobao asked, “Where are they now?”
Hubayin said, “Our Da Shixiong’s skill is very superior, he won’t change into a human stick.”
Wei Xiaobao kicked the small of his back heavily while cursing, “Stinky thief, death is at hand, you still dare to blow your horn really loud. Even if your stinky shixiong’s skill was higher, I will still make him into a human stick and show it to you.”
“Yes, yes,” Hubayin said; but it was obvious from his expression that he thought otherwise.
Wei Xiaobao continued the interrogation for quite a long time, but no longer gained any useful information, thereupon he returned to the large carriage, put the carriage screen down, and in a low voice passed on what Hubayin had said. He added, “Shitai, there are still seven lamas left. If all of them catch up with us at the same time, they won’t be easy to deal with. Normally Shitai won’t have any problem, but right now you are not feeling very well …”
The nun in white shook her head and said, “Even if I were well without any injury, I would have a hard time fighting one against six, much less they have their Da Shixiong, whose martial art skill far surpasses his fellow disciples of the same generation. I heard Sangjie is the number one martial art expert of the Tibetan Tantra; his ‘Big Hand Print Divine Skill’ has been trained to almost perfection.”
“I have an idea,” Wei Xiaobao said, “It’s just that … it’s just that Shitai’s prestige would be lowered too much.”
The nun in white sighed and said, “What prestige there is left to be said for those who have left home? What’s your idea?”
Wei Xiaobao said, “We go to a remote place, find a peasant family home to temporarily hide. I am asking Shitai to change into peasant woman’s attire, and sleep on the bed to heal your injury. Miss Ah Ke and I will change into peasant girl and boy’s clothing, we can pose as … as Shitai’s son and daughter.”
The nun in white shook her head. Ah Ke said, “You are bad, your idea is naturally bad. Shifu is a martial art master of the present age, how could she hide? Won’t that mean she is scared of others?”
The nun in white said, “We can follow your idea. The two of you can be my nephew and niece.”
“Yes, yes,” Wei Xiaobao happily said, while saying in his heart, “It would be best if we can be your nephew and nephew’s wife.”
Ah Ke shot him a malicious look; she was really unhappy Shifu had accepted his idea.
Wei Xiaobao said, “If we leave this lama’s mouth alive, I am afraid he might reveal our secret; we’d better bury him alive here, so we won’t leave any trace.”
The nun in white said, “When I fought them earlier, I was already acting against my will, it was hard for me to accept it in my heart. This lama is powerless to defend himself, to kill him would inevitably be too vicious. However … however, we can’t let him go either. We’ll have to take him for the time being, and think about another plan later.”
Wei Xiaobao complied. He called the drivers, told them to get Hubayin back onto the carriage, and ordered them to continue the journey.
Along the way, they actually did not see any peasant homes; afraid that Sangjie would catch up, they were thinking that as soon as they saw a small path, they would make a detour. However, all the side roads along the way were simply too narrow for a large carriage to pass.
While continuing along the main road, suddenly they heard sound of hooves from behind; several dozens of riders were galloping toward them. Wei Xiaobao groaned inwardly, “Doomed, we are doomed! Turns out there are dozens of stinky lamas.” He ordered the carriages to run faster. The two drivers urged their mules verbally and with their whips, but the pursuing riders were getting closer and closer; not too long afterwards, they were already behind the carriages.
Wei Xiaobao took a peek from a crack on the wooden partition of the carriage’s compartment, immediately he heaved a deep sigh of relief; turned out these several dozen riders were men wearing dark green clothes, they were not lamas at all. In no time at all the riders passed swiftly by the side of the carriages, and soon afterwards they were already ahead of the carriages.
Ah Ke suddenly called out, “Zheng … Zheng Gongzi!” [young master]
One of the riders immediately reined in his horse and waited on the side. When the carriage caught up, he rode alongside the carriage. “Is it Miss Chen?” he called out.
“That’s right,” Ah Ke replied, “It’s me.” She sounded very happy.
The rider raised his voice, “It’s a surprise to see you here. Are you with Miss Wang?”
“No, I am not,” Ah Ke replied, “My Shijie is not here.”
“Are you going to Hejian Prefecture?” the rider asked, “We can travel together.”
“No,” Ah Ke replied, “We are not going to Hejian Prefecture.”
The rider said, “Hejian Prefecture is very exciting, you should go.”
While they were talking, the carriages and the horses were still proceeding forward. Wei Xiaobao saw Ah Ke’s cheeks were blushing, her eyes were shining, she looked so happy, as if she was seeing the closest person to her in the world. In that instant, Wei Xiaobao felt as if his heart was heavily struck by a large hammer, again and again. He thought, “Could it be that her sweetheart has arrived?” He said in a low voice, “Finding shelter is more important, don’t talk to someone who has nothing to do with us.”
But Ah Ke did not seem to hear him; she asked, “What’s so exciting about Hejian Prefecture?”
“Don’t you know?” the man said. The carriage’s screen was lifted up, a face looked in.
The man had a handsome face, he was about twenty-three, twenty-four years of age, he looked delighted when he said, “There will be a ‘Turtle-slaying Assembly’ at Hejian Prefecture, all heroes and warriors under the heavens will participate; it’s going to be very exciting.”
“What is a ‘Turtle-slaying Assembly’?” Ah Ke asked, “Are you going to kill a big turtle? What’s so exciting about that?”
The man laughed and said, “We are going to kill a big turtle alright, but not a real turtle, it’s a big criminal. His name has a ‘turtle’ character [gui] in it.”
Ah Ke laughed, “How can someone use a ‘turtle’ character in his name?” she asked, “You must be joking.”
The man laughed. “It’s not the ‘gui’ character of ‘wu gui’ [turtle/tortoise],” he said, “The characters sound alike, it’s the ‘gui’ character of ‘gui hua’ [cassia/laurel flower]; why don’t you guess who’s that person?”
Wei Xiaobao jumped in fright; he mused, “Someone with the ‘gui’ character of ‘gui hua’ in his name; are they going to kill me, Xiao Guizi?”
But he heard Ah Ke clapped her hands and said with a laugh, “I know it! It’s the big traitor to China, Wu Sangui.”
The man laughed and said, “Exactly. You are so smart, just one guess and you got it.”
“Have you captured Wu Sangui?” Ah Ke asked.
“That, we have not,” the man replied, “But we are going to discuss how we are going to kill that big traitor to China.”
Wei Xiaobao let out a breath; he thought, “So that’s it. Come to think about it, I, Xiao Guizi, am a little child, they can’t possibly want to kill me. Even if they did, they won’t need any ‘Turtle-slaying assembly’. Damn it, even in posing as someone else, laozi can be considered as having a bad luck; why did I impersonate someone with a ‘gui’ character in his name?”
He saw that the man was looking at Ah Ke with a smile on his face, yet the sound of hoof and the carriage did not stop at all. The man was riding a horse, but he leaned over and looked into the carriage; indeed he had an extremely fine horsemanship.
Ah Ke turned toward the nun in white and said in a low voice, “Shifu, are we going or not?”
Although the nun in white’s martial art was very high, she lacked the ability to adapt to changes. She had frequently hoped to participate and had heard about Wulin heroes jointly discussing the plan to kill Wu Sangui. However, Sangjie and the other lamas might catch up with them very soon, the situation was very urgent. After hesitating for a short moment, she asked Wei Xiaobao, “What do you think?”
Seeing Ah Ke’s expression and mannerism toward the young man, Wei Xiaobao’s heart was filled with unspeakable hatred, he simply did not want to let Ah Ke be together with him; thereupon he hastily said, “When those wicked lamas arrived, we won’t be able to deal with them. We’d better get away from them as quickly as possible.”
“What wicked lamas?” the young man asked.
“Zheng Gongzi,” Ah Ke said, “This is my Shifu, we ran into a group of wicked lamas on our journey, they injured my Shifu. She, the Senior, received a serious injury. There are seven other lamas pursuing behind us.”
“Yes!” the young man said. Turning around, he let out several whistles; the group of riders halted, the two large carriages also stopped. The young man leaped down from the horseback, rolled up the carriage’s screen, bowed and said, “Junior Zheng Keshuang pays his respect to Senior.” The nun in white nodded.
Zheng Keshuang said, “Please don’t worry about seven or eight lamas, junior will take care of them, just leave it to us.”
Ah Ke was pleasantly surprised, but was also a bit worried; she said, “Those wicked lamas are very formidable.”
Zheng Keshuang said, “These companions I brought with me are all highly skilled in martial art, we can handle it. Not to mention we can fight them many against a few, even if we have to fight them one-on-one, we have nothing to be afraid of those seven, eight lamas.”
Ah Ke turned her head toward her Shifu with a questioning look; actually, it was more like hoping than asking.
“That won’t work,” Wei Xiaobao said, “Shitai whose martial art skill is this profound still received injury; what good are twenty-something people like you?”
Ah Ke angrily said, “I did not ask you, why do you talk too much?”
“I am concerned about Shitai’s wellbeing,” Wei Xiaobao said.
Ah Ke said, “You are scared of death, yet still say that you are concerned about Shifu. You are a little evil person, all you can do is evil thing, how can you possibly have any good intention?”
Wei Xiaobao said, “This man surnamed Zheng, is his skill great? Is he stronger than Shitai?”
Ah Ke said, “He brings more than twenty men, each one is exceptionally skillful in martial arts. Are you saying that these more than twenty men are afraid of seven lamas?”
Wei Xiaobao said, “How do you know each one of these men is exceptionally skillful in martial arts? I’ll say they all have low and weak martial art skill.”
“Of course I do,” Ah Ke said, “I have seen them in action; each one of them is equal to a hundred of you.”
Sky, Crazee, Gubrak, thanks. Actually, I am in Canada right now. I am on board the ferry from Victoria to Vancouver, BC, and found that I have internet access. It was raining yesterday, and it's going to rain again today. But we will try to enjoy our visit.
The nun in white was deep in thought without saying anything; Wei Xiaobao wanted her to dress as a peasant woman to hide from the lamas. This matter had already been decided, but it was actually against her deepest wish. To have these two children know about it was not a big deal, but in front of these twenty, thirty Jianghu warriors, she would rather die than letting them know that she was going to assume a disguise to avoid disaster. She slowly said, “Those lama took me, one person, by surprise. Zheng Gongzi, thank you for your good intention. Please lead the way.”
“Why would Shitai say such thing?” Zheng Keshuang said, “When the road is rough, we must pull our blades to help each other. Much less … much less Shitai is Miss Chen’s Shifu, for junior to spend a tiny effort is not a burden at all.”
Ah Ke blushed and bowed her head, but she seemed to be very pleased.
The nun in white nodded and said, “Very well, in that case we will go to Hejian Prefecture together to take a look. But you don’t need to mention me to other people. My natural disposition is indolent, I don’t like meeting other people.”
“Yes, yes,” Zheng Keshuang happily said, “Junior will respectfully obey Senior’s instruction.”
The nun in white said, “Which school Zheng Gongzi belong to? Who is your revered master?” Asking about the school he learned his martial art from, was the same as examining his martial art skill.
Zheng Keshuang said, “Junior has received martial art instruction from three Shifu. The teacher who has awakened me from ignorance was surnamed Shi, a martial art expert from a foreign sect. The second Shifu was surnamed Liu, a martial art master, lay person disciple from Shaolin Temple, Putian Prefecture, Fujian.”
“Um, what is that Liu Shifu’s great name?” the nun in white asked.
Zheng Keshuang replied, “His name is Liu Guoxuan.”
Hearing him blurting his Shifu’s name without any respect, the nun in white felt a bit strange. Immediately she remembered someone, she said, “Isn’t that the same name of the Great General Liu of Taiwan?”
Zheng Keshuang said, “He is precisely the provincial governor Liu Guoxuan, Great General Liu under the Yanping Junwang of Taiwan’s banner.”
“So Zheng Gongzi belongs to Yanping Junwang’s family?” the nun in white asked.
“Junior is Yanping Junwang’s second son,” Zheng Keshuang replied.
The nun in white nodded. “So you are the descendant of loyal subjects.”
Zheng Chenggong [Koxinga] seized Taiwan from the Dutch. King Gui bestowed the title ‘Yanping Jun Wang’, and allowed him to recruit great generals. Zheng Chenggong passed away in the fifth month of Yongli’s sixteenth year (i.e. Kangxi’s first year). In the meantime, his heir apparent Zheng Jing was guarding Jinmen and Xiamen, while Zheng Chenggong’s younger brother Zheng Xi was in command over Taiwan. Zheng Jing led Zhou Guanbin, Chen Jinnan, and other generals with their troops back to Taiwan to support Zheng Xi’s army and established the position Yanping Junwang.
Counting from Zheng Chenggong’s father Zheng Zhilong, Zheng Jing’s oldest son Kezang [? – can’t even find it in the dictionary], and second son Keshuang were the fourth generation of the Zheng family. For generations Yanping Junwang has unyieldingly using their military power to resist the Manchurian Qing, alone across the sea, just like when they first received the order from the Great Ming; no man with vision under the heavens did not highly esteem them. When Zheng Keshuang revealed his status, he presumed that this nun would definitely feel deep veneration toward him; who would have thought that this nun in white was only nodding her head and said one sentence, ‘So you are the descendant of loyal subjects’, and said nothing else? He did not know that the nun in white was the Emperor Chongzhen’s Princess. His Shifu Liu Guoxuan was his father’s subordinate, hence he did not hold him in such a high regards. Yet in the nun in white’s eyes, Zheng Jing was no more than a ‘loyal subject’.
In his heart Wei Xiaobao did not stop cursing, “Damn it, what’s so special about it? What’s so amazing about Yanping Junwang anyway?” Actually, he knew very well that Yanping Junwang was a great man; his Shifu Chen Jinnan was Yanping Junwang’s subordinate. The more he thought about it, the more he knew that the turn of events was far from good. He saw Zheng Keshuang’s expression, which showed clear interest in Ah Ke; he was someone in command of powerful army, the magnificent son of a Junwang who really reigned over a region, even the Mu Palace people who wandered destitute in Jianghu could not be compared to them. Moreover, this man’s appearance was ten times more elegant than Wei Xiaobao, his style of conversation was a hundred times more sophisticated, his age was also a lot older. Granted that his martial art skill was still unknown, it seems that if it was not ten times superior than his own, it must be at least seven, eight times.
Ah Ke admired him whole-heartedly, even a blind person could see that. If her Shifu found out that Wei Xiaobao was vying over Ah Ke with this young master Zheng, even without the young master Zheng’s bidding, perhaps she would send a palm strike to kill him herself. Shitai had also praised him as a ‘descendant of loyal subjects’, whose descendant was Wei Xiaobao anyway? He was nothing more than a descendant of a prostitute.
The nun in white cast a glance toward Zheng Keshuang and slowly asked, “Then your first Shifu was Shi Lang, who surrendered to the Manchurian Qing?”
“Yes,” Zheng Keshuang replied, “This man is without any sense of shame and has forgotten righteousness, junior has long ago not regarded him as my Shifu. If we ever see each other in the battlefield, I will definitely kill him with my own hand.” His voice was vehement and full of righteous indignation.
Wei Xiaobao mused, “Turns out your Shifu has surrendered to the Tatars. I must pay attention when I see this Shi Lang next time.”
Zheng Keshuang continued, “For the last ten years or so, junior has been training under Feng Shifu. He is Kunlun Pai’s number one martial art master; he is known as the ‘One Sword Without Blood’. I presume Shitai has heard about him.”
The nun in white said, “Um, that must be Feng Xifan, Feng Shifu. Only I did not know the origin of his nickname.”
Zheng Keshuang said, “While it’s true that Feng Shifu’s swordsmanship is extremely high, his qigong is especially superb. With the tip of his sword he sealed people’s death acupoint, the victim’s skin was not harmed, he died without shedding any blood.”
“Oh,” the nun in white said, “In the present age, the number of people who have trained their qigong to this state, able to use sharp object instead of blunt, is not too many. How old is Feng Shifu, approximately?”
Zheng Keshuang was very proud when he said, “Come winter this year, junior will arrange a fiftieth birthday banquet.”
The nun in white nodded. “He is not even fifty yet, his internal energy has already reached this ‘pure’ state, it is indeed very rare,” she said.
After a short pause, she asked, “Those attendants of yours, are their martial art skills acceptable?”
“Shitai, don’t worry,” Zheng Keshuang said, “They are martial art masters, handpicked among the guards in junior’s palace.”
Wei Xiaobao suddenly said, “Shitai, actually, how many martial art masters are there in the world? This Zheng Gongzi’s first Shifu was a foreign school’s martial art master, his second Shifu was Fujian Shaolin Pai’s martial art master, his third Shifu is Kunlun Pai’s martial art master, the attendants he brought along are all martial art masters, presumably he is also a martial art master.”
Hearing his sarcastic remark, Zheng Keshuang was angry; however, he did not know this kid’s background. He only saw that the kid was traveling in the same carriage with the nun in white and Ah Ke, presumably he was related to them somehow; thereupon he strived to repress his anger.
Ah Ke said, “As the saying goes, ‘Great Teacher will produce Brilliant Student’; since Zheng Gongzi has had three great teachers training him, naturally his martial art skill is superb.”
“What Miss has said is very true,” Wei Xiaobao said, “I have not seen Zheng Gongzi’s martial art; therefore, I have inquired thoughtlessly. If Miss is compared to Zheng Gongzi, I wonder whose martial art is a bit stronger?”
Ah Ke cast a quick glance toward Zheng Keshuang and said, “Naturally he is a lot stronger than me.”
Zheng Keshuang laughed and said, “Miss is too modest.”
“So that’s how it is,” Wei Xiaobao said, “You said that ‘Great Teacher will produce Brilliant Student’, so your martial art skill is not high because your Shifu is a ‘low hand’, an obscure master, a far inferior master compared to Zheng Gongzi’s three great martial art master teachers.” In term of debate, how could Ah Ke be his match? With just one sentence he was able to turn the table around.
Ah Ke’s entire little face turned beet red as she hastily said, “I … when did I say that Shifu was a ‘low hand’, an obscure master? You are the one who speak nonsense here.”
The nun in white smiled and said, “Ah Ke, you won’t ever win a squabble against Xiaobao. Let us go.” The large carriage lowered its curtain, the vehicles and horses continued their journey westward. Zheng Keshuang rode his horse alongside the large carriage.
The nun in white asked Ah Ke in a low voice, “This Zheng Gongzi, how did you know him?”
Ah Ke blushed as she replied, “Shijie and I met him at Henan’s Kaifeng Prefecture. That time … that time we were dressed as men, he thought we were men, hence at the restaurant he invited us to come over and drink some wine.”
“You have quite a nerve, huh?” the nun in white said, “Two big girls going to the restaurant to drink wine.”
Ah Ke lowered her head. “We did not drink the wine for real,” she said, “We only pretending to; it was fun.”
“Miss Ah Ke,” Wei Xiaobao said, “You have such a beautiful appearance, even when you are wearing men’s clothes, anybody could see that you are a beautiful girl. I think that Zheng Gongzi was harboring a malicious intention.”
Ah Ke angrily said, “You are the one who harbors malicious intention! We dressed as men, he did not suspect us the least bit. Afterwards Shijie told him, and he apologized repeatedly. Other people are refined and courteous gentlemen, unlike you …”
Shortly before noon the party reached Feng’er Zhuang [‘zhuang’ means village], a large town in western Hebei. They all stopped for lunch in a restaurant. Wei Xiaobao stepped down the carriage, and noticed that Zheng Keshuang was a tall and handsome, straight and impressive looking man, at least half a head taller than Wei Xiaobao; he could not help but feeling inferior even more. He also noticed his luxurious clothes and ornaments, the sheathe of the sword hanging on his waist was inlaid with pearls, jades and precious stones, which sparkled brilliantly under the sun. From among the twenty-some men accompanying him, some were tall and sturdy, some looked energetic, heroic, tall and straight. They all carried sabers and swords, each one of them looked completely spirited.
As they entered the restaurant, Ah Ke wiped the table where the nun in white was going to sit before she took a seat next to her. Hence she and Zheng Keshuang were sitting on adjacent tables to keep each other company. Wei Xiaobao was about to sit down on a table opposite the nun in white, Ah Ke shot him a malicious look and said, “There are plenty of seats over there, can you not sit over here? When I see you, I can’t eat my meal.”
Wei Xiaobao was furious, instantly his entire face turned deep red; he thought, “With this Zheng Gongzi accompanying you, you will be able to eat several more bowls. Damn it, I hope you, this ‘little mother skin’ [小娘皮 - xiao niang pi] will die of bloating.”
“Ah Ke,” the nun in white said, “Why are you always that rude to Xiaobao?”
Ah Ke replied, “He is a bad person who won’t shrink from any crime. Shifu said I must not kill him, otherwise …” Speaking to this point, she shot another malicious look toward him.
In his heart Wei Xiaobao was bitterly angry, he walked away toward a table at the corner of the hall; he thought, “You are bent on marrying this damned stinky Zheng Gongzi and be his wife; how can I, Wei Xiaobao, be willing to give up easily? You want to kill me? It won’t be easy. Laozi will come up with a scheme: I will kill the husband in your mind first, so you won’t have anybody to marry, you will be a widow first, in the end you will have no choice but to marry laozi. Laozi will not consider you a widow to be remarried, you are but a ‘little mother skin’!”
The waiters delivered the meals, the attendants of the Zheng Family immediately wolfed down their food. Wei Xiaobao took seven, eight steamed buns to feed Hubayin, who was still tied on the carriage. He felt that this Hubayin was more amiable than those men from the Zheng family. Returning to his own table, he looked across several tables and saw Ah Ke’s face was glowing, as she was chatting and laughing with Zheng Keshuang, seemingly very intimate with him. Wei Xiaobao was so angry that he nearly choked, “Killing this Zheng Gongzi is not going to be easy,” he pondered, “I must not leave the least bit of trace; otherwise if Ah Ke knew it was me who killed him, she would definitely kill her own husband to avenge this ‘male adulterer’.”
Suddenly they heard hooves beat, several people on horses were rushing into the town. They dismounted and walked into the inn, they were precisely seven lamas. Wei Xiaobao’s heart was pounding, but there was a little bit of delight in his heart, thinking that other people would soon meet misfortune. He thought, “That Zheng Gongzi was tooting his horn really hard just now, saying that he had trained under three martial art masters. Let them have a big fight, laozi will watch with folded arms; it’s going to be wonderful!”
 Orig. ‘yi’, refers to non-Han people, especially to the east of China.
 Jun – county/region, wang – king.
 Qigong (chi kung) – a system of deep breathing exercises.
 The term I translated as ‘(martial art) master’ literally means ‘high hand’ (gao shou).
Thanks for the quick update, foxs!
Hope you have a fun trip.
Thanks for the update Foxs. If you don't do anything in the rain in the Pacific Northwest you will not do anything. Have a good time.