Thanks, Foxs! Man WXB defers to that girl way too much....
szfong, Anh, Sky, you are welcome. Ali, wow ... Crydee, KChill, I am tired of WXB, Ah Ke, ZKS already. I think Jin Yong dragged this entanglement too long, and I haven't seen the end of the tunnel yet, several part after this will still be dealing with these three. Ace, you are right, just as I said above, it's getting unnecessarily too long. Crazee, Smurf, in comparing this part to Minford, I found out that he used 'Young Wei', while the original was 'Wei Xiongdi'. Don't get me wrong, he is an expert, his sentences flow a lot better than mine, but he missed the relational issue of Chinese people. Addressing someone as 'Young Wei' is simply different than 'Wei Xiongdi'. It's kind of hard for me to explain, do you know what I am talking about?
Going out of the room, he saw Ah Ke and Zheng Keshuang were walking side-by-side out of the inn; they looked very intimate with each other. Immediately a whiff of jealousy bubbling up in his chest, hence he followed behind them.
Ah Ke turned her head and said, “Why are you following me?”
“I am not following you,” Wei Xiaobao said, “I am going to buy vegetable for Shifu.”
“Alright,” Ah Ke said, “Zheng Gongzi, let’s go over there.” She pointed to a small hill west of the city walls.
Wei Xiaobao’s jealousy flame was blazing; he said, “Be careful, don’t bump into some mountain’s big kings, I can’t come to rescue you.”
Ah Ke shot him a malicious look and said, “Who needs your rescue?”
Zheng Keshuang knew Wei Xiaobao was mentioning the scandal involving him earlier, he was furious. “Humph,” he snorted, and quickly left.
Wei Xiaobao followed these two people with his eyes. Suddenly he heard Ah Ke was giggling. In his fury, he reached out to pull his dagger, he wanted to pursue them and kill Zheng Keshuang. But after only two steps, he thought, “If we fight for real, I am not those two people’s match.” Therefore, he suppressed his anger and continued to the market to buy some kuomo mushroom, winter-picked mushroom, wooden-ear mushroom, and bean vermicelli, which he brought back to the inn.
Ah Ke and Zheng Keshuang had not returned. Imagining that those two people were discussing passion and talking about love in some secluded place, he could not suppress his anger and cursed silently. Suddenly someone lightly patted his shoulder and embraced him, while saying with a laugh, “Wei Xiongdi, you are here!”
Wei Xiaobao turned his head around and saw that it was the Imperial Bodyguards Chief Dolong. He could not help but was ecstatic. “What are you doing here?” he said with a laugh.
He saw behind Dolong there were about a dozen men, they were all Imperial Bodyguards, but were dressed in common soldiers’ uniform. Seeing Wei Xiaobao, all of them were beaming with joy, but they did not go forward to greet him. Dolong said in a low voice, “There are other people here, let’s go to my room and talk.” Turned out these men were also staying at the same inn.
When they got to Dolong’s room, one by one the Imperial Bodyguards came forward to pay their respect. Wei Xiaobao laughed and said, “Enough, enough.” Taking out one-thousand-tael banknote, he laughed and said, “Brothers, take this to buy some drink.”
The Imperial Bodyguards knew that this Deputy Chief was very liberal with money, each time they saw him, they would always enjoy some advantage. Immediately they happily expressed their thanks.
Dolong said in a low voice, “Wei Xiongdi, ever since you met with danger on Mount Wutai, every day His Majesty was thinking about you, hence he sent us out to seek for you.”
Wei Xiaobao was very grateful; he stood up and said, “Thank you for His Majesty’s benevolence. But how can I dare to toil brothers’ honorable selves?”
Dolong laughed and said, “Actually, His Majesty did not send me out, he only sent fifteen Imperial Bodyguards brothers. But I volunteered myself. First, as your big brother I am anxious to find you; second, this is a good opportunity for me to get out of the Capital and have fun. This has been your brother’s great fortune.” Everybody laughed.
Dolong continued, “This time, it can be considered that we have set up a great merit. When we return to the Capital and His Majesty finds out and Wei Xiongdi has escaped from danger, he must be extremely delighted. We have made inquiries along the way, but did not hear any news about Wei Xiongdi. We heard about a group of traitors palling a rebellion instead, we heard that they are going to hold a large assemble at Hejian Prefecture to discuss business. So we came to investigate.”
“I am here also for this matter,” Wei Xiaobao said, “I heard the assembly this time is called ‘turtle-slaying assembly’ or something like that.”
Dolong raised his thumb. “Formidable, formidable,” he said, “Nothing escape Wei Xiongdi’s eyes.”
“What information have you gathered?” Wei Xiaobao asked.
Dolong said, “Two brothers here sneaked into the assembly. They found out that they want to deal with Wu Sangui. Every province elected their own ‘meng zhu’. We have several names of these ‘meng zhu’.”
Wei Xiaobao ‘s heart was moved; he asked, “Which ones?”
Dolong replied, “Yunnan has Mu Jiansheng, Fujian has Taiwan rebel Zheng Jing’s second son called Zheng Keshuang.” And then he mentioned several other alliance leaders’ names.
Wei Xiaobao asked, “Those Mu Jiansheng, Zheng Keshuang, and so on, do you know what they look like?”
Dolong replied, “It was a dark at night, these two brothers could not see them clearly, they also did not dare to come too close.”
“Duo Dage [reminder: in Chinese ‘Dolong’ is Duo Long],” Wei Xiaobao said, “When you return to the Capital, please report to His Majesty, tell him that his servant Wei Xiaobao is also investigating this matter. As soon as I have their appearance, I will go back to the Capital to present a memorial to the Emperor.”
“Yes, yes,” Dolong said, “Wei Xiongdi is so loyal in working for the Emperor. This time you set up a great merit, His Majesty will surely reward you handsomely.”
Wei Xiaobao said, “If there is any merit, won’t that be for the benefit of our Imperial Bodyguards’ face? Right now I have something that I’d like to ask brothers to toil for me.”
All the Imperial Bodyguards replied, “Wei Fu Zongguan [deputy chief] sends us for an errand, we will definitely do.”
Wei Xiaobao said, “This is a matter that annoys me the most. I have a good lady friend that is fooling around with a frivolous young fellow right now …”
He had just spoken to this point, fury had already filled the Imperial Bodyguards’ breasts; they all opened their mouth, cussing and swearing, “His granny, which fellow is so brazen, dare to make a move on Wei Fu Zongguan’s girl? Let’s go and kill this fellow.”
“You don’t need to kill him,” Wei Xiaobao said, “I only want you to beat him a little, to vent my anger. But this fellow is my friend, so I don’t want you to beat him too severely either. Especially you must not touch that young lady.”
The Imperial Bodyguards laughed and said, “Naturally we will pay particular attention to this. Wei Fu Zongguan’s good lady friend, who dare to offend?”
Wei Xiaobao said, “Those two people were heading west. As soon as you make your move, I will pretend to come out and save them by driving you away. I want you yield to me so much that Xiongdi can show off in front of my beloved.”
The Imperial Bodyguards burst out in laughter; they all said, “Wei Fu Zongguan’s assignment this time is most amusing.”
Dolong said with a laugh, “In doing this job, hey, every one of us has to be extra careful. If we reveal the horse’ leg, Wei Fu Zongguan will not consider all of you as brothers anymore.”
The Imperial Bodyguards all laughed and said, “For Wei Fu Zongguan’s important matter, we will all go through water and tread on fire, how could we dare to shrink away?”
An imperial bodyguard said, “Damn it, this fellow harasses Wei Fu Zongguan’s good lady friend, it’s just like he is harassing my own mother. Laozi will fight him to the death.” Everybody laughed.
“Quiet down,” Wei Xiaobao said, “Don’t let other people hear.”
Stroking their fists and rubbing their palms, the Imperial Bodyguards went out the room, laughing and giggling. Wei Xiaobao brought the vegetable to the kitchen, he gave five qian to the cook and instructed him to prepare exquisite vegetarian dish. And then he slowly walked to the western end of the town.
He only walked for a little more than a li when he heard shouting and cursing, and saw in the distance several dozen of people were fighting with weapons in their hands; it was a very noisy fight. He thought, “This fellow is not bad, fighting alone against many enemies, unexpectedly he is able to stand.”
Unhurriedly he walked toward the fight, and could not help but was startled. He saw the Imperial Bodyguards were surrounding seven, eight people, engaging them in a fierce combat. The opponents had their backs against the city wall, they were trapped in a corner but were fighting fiercely. They were none other than Mu Jiansheng, Wu Lishen and several other people.
There was a young woman by Mu Jiansheng’s side; his hands wielded a pair of sabers, he fought ferociously that his hair was in a mess. On top of the city wall there were a couple of people standing hand-in-hand, watching the fight below; they were precisely Ah Ke and Zheng Keshuang.
Wei Xiaobao was angry, but he was also amused; he thought, “Damn it, they have the wrong people. They must have seen Mu Gongzi first, and saw that he has a young lady by his side; without distinguishing red-blue or black-white, they simply rushed to attack.”
He saw Dolong, holding a demon-head saber in his hand, was standing behind those people, supervising the fight. Immediately he walked over to him and said in a low voice, “You have the wrong couple, it’s those two on top of the city wall.” Finished speaking, he immediately walked away.
Dolong shouted, “It’s not right, hey, they are friends. The person who owes money is not you. Alright, everybody step back, let them go.” As soon as the Imperial Bodyguards heard it, they pulled back one after another.
Mu Jiansheng, Wu Lishen and the others were not many, they were not these people’s match. Previously they thought that they had been recognized and that these Qing soldiers wanted to arrest them. Luckily they withdrew, which was exactly what they had been hoping for.
Wu Lishen caught a glimpse of Wei Xiaobao. “Ashamed,” he groaned inwardly, “This time we also receive Wei En Gong’s [benefactor] help. Otherwise, it’s not a big deal if I get killed, but if Xiao Gongye [young master/Duke] fell into the Tatars’ hands, I can’t redeem it with ten thousand deaths.” Since at that time it was inconvenient to acknowledge Wei Xiaobao, he hurried along with Mu Jiansheng and the others out of the city gate, and rushed northward.
Wei Xiaobao went up the city wall and asked Ah Ke, “Shijie, why did they fight? Who are those people?”
Ah Ke pouted her little mouth and said, “Who knows? Those soldiers were demanding some payment.”
Wei Xiaobao said, “Let us quickly return to the inn, don’t let Shifu be anxious over us.”
Ah Ke said, “You go back first, I’ll come soon afterward.”
She had just finished speaking, the numerous Imperial Bodyguards already rushed up the city wall. An Imperial Bodyguard pointed to Zheng Keshuang and shouted, “It’s him, this fellow is the one who owes me money.”
Wei Xiaobao said in a low voice, “Zheng Gongzi, Shijie, let’s go quickly. Tatar soldiers commit all kind of outrages, it will be very troublesome to provoke them.”
Ah Ke was also somewhat afraid, she said, “Right, let’s go.”
An Imperial Bodyguard rushed over; pointing to Zheng Keshuang he said, “The night before last you were having fun spending money with young women in a brothel in Hejian Prefecture, you owed me ten thousand taels, quickly pay me back.”
“Rubbish,” Zheng Keshuang angrily said, “Who went to the brothel? How can I owe you money?”
“You still deny it?” the Imperial Bodyguard said, “The day before yesterday in the evening, you had two ‘powdered heads’ on your knees, what were their names again?”
Another Imperial Bodyguard said, “The older one was called Ah Cui, the younger one was Hong Bao. You turned to the left and kissed and drank a mouthful of wine, then you turned to the right and caressed her cheek and drank another mouthful of wine, so loose and happy. Do you still deny it?”
Another Imperial Bodyguard said, “With two ‘powdered heads’ in your arms you threw the dice with us, and lost two thousand taels. Eager to win your capital back, you borrowed from me three thousand taels, and borrowed from this laoxiong two thousand taels. Afterward you borrowed from him one thousand five hundred, and from him two thousand taels.”
Another man said, “And from me you borrowed one thousand five hundred taels; altogether you owe us ten thousand taels of shiny white silver.”
Five men held out their hands together and said, “Killing people you pay with your life, owing money you have to pay back. Quickly pay!”
Ah Ke recalled the scene at the brothel where she saw Wei Xiaobao was fooling around with the prostitutes, she also recalled a few days ago inside the haystack was groping and pinching her body; it seemed to her that these men were not faking it. Moreover, she remembered that the night before last was exactly the eve of the ‘turtle-slaying assembly’. She recalled that Zheng Gongzi did not return to the inn until very late at night, and in the morning she saw him having a hangover; he said that certain hero and warrior invited him for a drink. He did drink all right, but it was not any hero or warrior, rather, it was the s1uts at the brothel. Thinking to this point, she could not stop tears from flowing down her face.
The Imperial Bodyguards had blocked Zheng Keshuang’s escape route; they had him completely surrounded. Someone behind him reached out and grabbed the back of his neck. Zheng Keshuang was furious; his elbow struck backward, heavily hit the pit of the man’s stomach. The Imperial Bodyguard cried out and doubled up in pain. The rest of the Imperial Bodyguards closed in, giving him punches and kicks. Fighting one on one, these people were not Zheng Keshuang’s match, but with seven, eight people attacking him at once, very soon he was sprawling on the ground.
Ah Ke anxiously called out, “If you have something to say, let’s talk. Don’t hit people carelessly.” And she scrambled forward to help him.
“Hey, Big Miss,” Dolong said, “It has nothing to do with you; don’t get involved with this muddle head.”
“Go away,” Ah Ke anxiously said; she reached out to push Dolong’s shoulder away.
Dolong was a martial art master of the Imperial Palace, naturally his martial art skill was superb. With light brush of his left hand, he sent her tumbling several steps backward.
 Da Guniang; ‘big’ here is not derogatory, but showing respect, as in ‘first/oldest’ or ‘great’; i.e. Dolong was being respectful.
Thanks for the update foxs.
When is WXB going to stop this charade of being the heroic guy in hope of attaining Ah Ke's love? It needs to stop!!! This girl just doesn't deserve it. Let Zheng Keshuang have her already!
Thanks foxs. This is by far the funniest JY novel.
I like how WXB tips the Imperial Guards 1,000 taels but knows to tip the kitchen chef 5 qian so you can say that he is free with his money but not careless. This part is long but amusing in its own way - get to know Jiu Nan as very astute, emotional character capable of understanding jokes - her portrayals are usually cold and b1tchy; the Heaven Earth/Imperial Guard guys are pretty good at playacting and enjoy having fun like real people.
I really have to rewatch DOMD 2008 with Huang Xiao Ming!
Great show foxs, thanks for the update. I was discussing wuxia stories with my friends....chinese literate ones but sigh......I can classify them as JY Wuxia illiterate ( if there is such a term heh heh heh ) It's much more fun to read and discuss here .....which sort make me miss zhaomin's site where there was a big group of fans participating....well I suppose we cannot be too greedy. I think you ppl out there will understand.
ZKS was pretty lucky he wasn't recognised or heard bragging by a Qing official.
You plant a garden and the flowers do not bloom, you poke a stick in the mud and it grows into a tree
Thanks Foxs. I learn a lot of things about Chinese Culture that I could never learn from an official translation.
At first I wondered how they were going to identify Zheng Keshuang and Ah Ke without Wei Xiaobao having described them, then the story explains it by having them make assumptions and pick on the wrong people before being called off and redirected. I also like Dolong's explanation of how he volunteered for this mission so he could get out of the palace for a change. The characters in DOMD certainly have more human foibles than other Jinyong stories.
Sky, I am tired of them as well, but I can' skip this part, can I? Hoang, Smurf, Ali, I agree, it's funny, but I really feel sorry for the poor guy. Other than his shortcomings like Ace mentioned, he did not do anything wrong (yet!), except being WXB's rival, and the poor guy did not even realize it. Crazee, Anh, Pannonian, it's details like this that makes the story interesting. Ace, I had the same thought: they had never thought about spies? But then I realized that this is Jin Yong, not Tom Clancy.
Anyway, another chapter is finished ...
On the other side, the Imperial Bodyguards were punching and kicking, hacking and chopping Zheng Keshuang; they did not stop slapping Zheng Keshuang’s face. Ah Ke anxiously attacked several moves, but with a chuckle Dolong easily parried her and pushed her farther and farther away from Zheng Keshuang. Dolong said with a laugh, “Big Miss, this playboy is dining, wining, whoring and gambling; nothing that he did not do. Early morning today he still wanted to borrow five thousand taels from me, saying that he wanted to marry two ‘powdered heads’ and take them home to be his concubines. Why do you want to protect him?”
Ah Ke took several steps back and shouted anxiously, “If you have something else to say … we can talk it over slowly.”
An Imperial Bodyguard laughed and said, “If you tell him to pay back our money, naturally we won’t beat him.” While saying that, ‘whack!’ he sent another punch on Zheng Keshuang’s face; immediately blood flowing out of his nose.
Another Imperial Bodyguard pulled his saber and shouted, “Let’s cut his two ears first, and then we talk.” While saying that, he waved his saber in chopping motion, twice.
Ah Ke pulled Wei Xiaobao’s hand, in her anxiety, she almost cried. “What shall we do? What shall we do?” she said.
Wei Xiaobao said, “Actually, I do have ten thousand taels; but I really don’t want to give it to him so that he can gamble and visit prostitutes.”
“They are going to cut his ears,” Ah Ke said, “Please lend the money to me then.”
Wei Xiaobao said, “If Shijie wants to borrow money, I would lend you even a hundred thousand taels, let alone only ten thousand taels. But you will be my wife in the future, so it does not count as a debt. Just tell Zheng Gongzi to borrow from me.”
Ah Ke stomped her feet. “Ay,” she said, “You are really …” She called out, “Hey, don’t hit, we’ll pay you back.”
The Imperial Bodyguards had hit enough, so they stopped, but they still held on to Zheng Keshuang and did not let him go.
Ah called out, “Zheng Gongzi, my Shidi has the money, just borrow from him to pay them back.”
Zheng Keshuang was really angry that he almost passed out; but seeing the steel saber swaying back and fro in front of his face, he was afraid that they would really cut his ears. He became terrified and looked at Wei Xiaobao, imploring him with his eyes.
Ah Ke tugged at Wei Xiaobao’s sleeve. “Lend him,” she said in a low voice.
An Imperial Bodyguard said with a cold laugh, “Ten thousand taels is not a small amount of money. Without any guarantee, how can he easily loan it to others? This fellow loves to borrow money the most, didn’t we all fall into his trick?”
“If only this Miss is willing to be the guarantee,” another Imperial Bodyguard said, “If this fellow did not pay back, then it will fall onto this Miss’ responsibility to pay it back.”
The Imperial Bodyguard who had his saber raised said in a loud voice, “Another family’s Big Miss is neither a friend nor a relative to this stinky fellow, why would she be willing to be the guarantor? If the ten thousand taels is not paid back, what else can she do unless using her body to repay the debt by marrying this young rich kid?”
The Imperial Bodyguards roared with laughter. “That’s right,” they said, “That is a brilliant idea.”
“Shijie,” Wei Xiaobao said in a low voice, “It won’t work. You heard them, won’t it be too unfair to you?”
‘Slap!’ an Imperial Bodyguard heavily slapped Zheng Keshuang on his face again. His hands and feet were being held by these people, he was helpless to resist. An Imperial Bodyguard shouted, “Just beat him severely, beat him to death, just consider the ten thousand taels is going down the drain. This is called ‘the eyes do not see, the heart does not feel vexed’.” ‘Slap! Slap!’ he then slapped Zheng Keshuang several times.
Zheng Keshuang called out, “Don’t hit! Don’t hit! Wei Xiongdi, if you have the money, please lend ten thousand taels to me. I … I guarantee that I will pay you back.”
Wei Xiaobao cast a sideway glance toward Ah Ke. “Shijie,” he asked, “Do you think I should lend it to him?”
With tears brimming on her eyes, Ah Ke sobbed, “Lend … lend it to him.”
An Imperial Bodyguard on the side caught on to please Wei Xiaobao, he said with a loud voice, “Big Miss is willing to be the guarantor. In the future Big Miss will marry the young rich gentleman, this stinky fellow is actually the matchmaker.”
Wei Xiaobao fished a pack of banknotes from his pocket, counted ten thousand taels, and was about to give it to Zheng Keshuang, but then he changed his mind and handed it over to Ah Ke instead. Ah Ke received it and said, “Here’s the money, please let him go.”
The Imperial Bodyguards all thought that Deputy Chief Wei said that he was going to fight to rescue others, but now he was using money to save others; they were not sure if it was what Wei Xiaobao had in mind, thereupon they were still holding on to Zheng Keshuang and did not let him go.
Wei Xiaobao said, “Here is ten thousand taels, take it and divide it among yourselves. Damn it, just consider it a reward of your effort. You are all such muddleheaded son of a b1tch, quickly release him.”
As soon as the Imperial Bodyguards heard it, they were delighted. They understood that Wei Xiaobao intended to give them the ten thousand taels as their reward; hence they let Zheng Keshuang go immediately.
Ah Ke reached out to help him up and to give the money to him. Zheng Keshuang was extremely angry, he snatched the money away and without looking he handed it to an Imperial Bodyguard by his side.
Wei Xiaobao cursed, “You are a bunch of sons of a b1tch, Tatars soldiers, you beat my friend like this, laozi will not let this matter rest.”
Ah Ke was afraid of prolonged dispute, she hastily said, “Don’t curse, let’s go back.”
Wei Xiaobao said, “I am furious just thinking about this, the debt has to be paid, and we have already paid it. But Zheng Gongzi has suffered the beatings, didn’t he suffer it in vain?”
Dolong laughed aloud and said, “This fellow has just shed away his ‘poor star’, but his lewdness is on the rise. Damn it, why do you always want to be near other family’s Big Miss?” Reaching out, he grabbed the back of Zheng Keshuang’s neck and lifted his body up. Turning him around in the air, he shouted, “Let me throw you down the city wall, I want to see whether you will die or you will live.” Zheng Keshuang and Ah Ke screamed together.
Dolong dropped Zheng Keshuang heavily on the ground; he shouted, “Later on I want you to leave this Miss far away. Other family’s good Miss, if she is seen together with you, a boy who crazily visit prostitute and gamble excessively, who ‘imitate the dog and steal chicken’ [i.e. to dally with women], her reputation will be ruined. Let me tell you this: if in the future I ever see you by this Miss’ side, laozi will definitely wring your dog head off your neck.” While saying that, his left hand grabbed the root of Zheng Keshuang’s braid, he coiled Zheng Keshuang’s braid twice around the palm of his right hand; and then he took a very deep breath, his chest swelled, the muscles on his arms and the back of his hands bulged out, with a loud roar his hands pulled apart, ‘snap!’ the braid broke into two.
Seeing a display of such a divine strength, the Imperial Bodyguards broke into thunderous applause. Dolong’s natural strength was enormous, plus he trained the external, hard type of martial art. His arms had a thousand-catty power. Fortunately his left hand was holding the root of the braid, otherwise, since Zheng Keshuang’s braid was fake, with one light pull it would be revealed that he was not obeying the imperial court’s order, which was a major criminal offense for a subject of Qing Dynasty.
Dolong tossed the half braid away, his five fingers, which knuckles were as big as pestles, forked Zheng Keshuang’s neck, followed by his left hand also grabbed the back of his neck. His hands slowly tightened, Zheng Keshuang’s face slowly swollen red, until finally his tongue stuck out; very soon he would be choked to death. The dozen or so Imperial Bodyguards drew their weapons and positioned themselves around the two people, to prevent Ah Ke from stepping forward and rescue him.
Wei Xiaobao shouted, “The money has been returned, you still want to kill him?” He charged forward, ‘Bang!’ and he sent a punch toward an Imperial Bodyguard’s lower abdomen. “Aiyo!” the Imperial Bodyguard cried out, and tumbled down, howling and screaming, flailing his hands and feet randomly, and was not able to crawl up no matter what.
With both fists Wei Xiaobao attacked Dolong using the move ‘a pair of dragons fought over a pearl’. Dolong’s two hands were holding Zheng Keshuang’s neck, he could not parry, and thus was hit by the fists. The move ‘a pair of dragons fought over a pearl’ was originally intended to strike the enemy’s temples [‘sun’ acupoints], but Dolong was big and tall, while Wei Xiaobao was short and small; his two fists were hitting Dolong’s lower back.
Pretending to be angry, Dolong cursed, “Dead little demon, laozi will choke you to death.” Letting Zheng Keshuang go, he fought with Wei Xiaobao.
Wei Xiaobao unleashed the martial art he learned from Hai Dafu and Cheng Guan. His movements were agile, each move each style was ingenious and very pleasing to the eye. Dolong’s fists created strong gust of wind. He struck just a few cun from within Wei Xiaobao’s side, suddenly he advanced swiftly and sent a ferocious kick. ‘Crack!’ the jujube tree by Wei Xiaobao’s side was broken. The Imperial Bodyguards broke into loud cheers.
Witnessing Dolong’s divine power, Ah Ke was afraid Wei Xiaobao would be beaten to death. “Shidi,” she called out, “Don’t fight, let’s go back.”
Wei Xiaobao was greatly delighted. “She cares about me. In the end this little mother skin [xiao niang pi] is not without any conscience.”
Dolong sent another kick, sending a large rock on the ground flying away and falling down from the city wall. Wei Xiaobao moved faster and faster, ‘whack!’ his palm struck the opponent’s abdomen. “Ah!” Dolong cried out; he bent his knees and fell sitting down on the ground. “Laozi won’t give in, let’s fight again,” he called out.
Springing up, his arms moved up and down rapidly. Wei Xiaobao leaned sideways to evade, Dolong’s punch hit the city wall; instantly three pieces of large greenish black brick fell off. Amidst the flying dust, Wei Xiaobao sent a flying kick with his right leg; but before his toes even touched him, Dolong already roared as he slipped down from the city wall and fell onto the ground at the foot of the wall, and lay unmoving.
Wei Xiaobao was shocked; afraid that Dolong might really fell to his death, he bent over to look. Dolong raised his head and smiled, he winked and waved his hand, indicating that he was all right, and then immediately lay facing down on the ground. Wei Xiaobao finally felt relieved. The Imperial Bodyguards were shocked and frightened; they rushed down the city wall to look.
Wei Xiaobao pulled Ah Ke and said in a low voice, “Quickly go, quickly go.” Like a wisp of smoke the three of them ran back to the inn.
Back at the inn, Jiu Nan notice unusual expression on Ah Ke’s face, plus she was panting incessantly. “What happened?” she asked.
Ah Ke replied, “There were more than a dozen Tatar soldiers giving Zheng Gongzi some trouble, fortunately … fortunately Shidi overthrew the leader of those soldiers.”
Jiu Nan said, “Do this for me: stay quietly in the inn, do not wander anywhere and create trouble.” Ah Ke lowered her head in compliance.
After a while, concerned over Zheng Keshuang’s injury, she went to his room to pay a visit. She saw that his attendants had applied medicine on his wounds; he was asleep with the attendants accompanying him in the room.
Seeing her coming out of Zheng Keshuang’s room, Wei Xiaobao was angry and upset at the same time. “Why didn’t I tell them to really cut this fellow’s ears?” he mused, “This little girl is always worrying wholeheartedly about this stinky fellow. Even if I cut this fellow’s ears and poke his eyes blind, it seems that she will still consider him as her beloved treasure.”
Despite of his sharp-witted and extensive knowledge, encountering this kind of matter of the heart between men and women, he was actually at his wits’ end.
The phrase ‘thorny gate provided another source of amusement’ in the Chapter’s title originated from Han Wendi’s [fourth Han emperor, personal name Liu Heng, reigned 180-157 BC] commendation of Zhou Yafu’s speech, referring to his strict military order; other generals fell short of his achievement. The original poem sang about Wu Sangui’s brutal and tyrannical way of dealing with the people as well as operating his armed forces. ‘Thorny gate’ was the ‘halberd gate’, which may also refer to the Imperial City Gates. This book borrows the phrase as an allegory of the Imperial Bodyguards went out of the Palace and deliberately created trouble.
Although I don't like Ah Ke and ZKS, I absolutely hate WXB's underhanded method of framing ZKS. Beating someone for no valid reason other than to impress a girl is so very wrong.
Thanks for your hard work, foxs. I hope we get through this arc soon because I am tired of the pointless WXB-AK-ZKS love triangle. Everyone looks bad
hmm I think he is going a little to far...
at some point carma needs to be evened out.
Well, much as it's not too much fun reading the love struggle of our hero for his Ah Ke, it's still part the storyline. However is it a subplot or is it in the main plot..... I suppose we'll have to wait till it reveals as to reveal will be spoilers.....
I suppose Ah Ke and the insufferable Zheng will have more to play in this story otherwise why would JY spend time with the character.....
Thanks Foxs...lovely monday.
Tweety, Ali, I guess we have no choice but stay with those three for a bit longer. Sky, Anh, you are welcome. Crazee, the thing is ... it's too long. I don't think developing character needs to be this long. First it was the lamas, then Tian Di Hui, Manchu soldiers, and now Mu Palace? It's getting old ...
Anyway, new chapter.
Chapter 28 – Over the top passion takes a lot of twists and turns, but exquisite to those who painstakingly open their hearts.
(Translated by Foxs)
That night Wei Xiaobao slept until midnight, when suddenly he heard a light knock on his window. Still in daze, he sat up, and heard someone outside the window said in a low voice, “Wei En Gong [benefactor], it’s me.”
He focused his attention and recognized the voice as Wu Lishen’s. Quickly he walked toward the window and said in a low voice, “Is it Wu Er Shu [second uncle]?”
“I do not dare to accept the honor, it’s me,” Wu Lishen said.
Wei Xiaobao quietly opened the window. Wu Lishen leaped inside and embraced him. He seemed to be very happy. “En Gong,” he said is a low voice, “I think about you every day; I did not expect to see you in here.” Turning around, he closed the window, and then pulled Wei Xiaobao to sit side by side on the kang. He said, “During the great assembly at Hejian Prefecture, I inquired about you from your precious Society’s friends, but they were not willing to tell me.”
Wei Xiaobao laughed and said, “It’s not that they considered you as an outsider, and intentionally did not want to tell you. Actually, I attended the ‘turtle-slaying assembly’ in disguise; the Society brothers did not know.”
Wu Lishen felt relieved. “So that’s how it is,” he said, “Today we bumped into the Tatar soldiers, we also received En Gong’s help in getting out of difficult situation. Otherwise, I am afraid our Xiao Gongye would suffer mishap. Xiao Gongye wanted me to pay his utmost respect to En Gong, he is deeply grateful.”
“We all are good friends, there is no need to be polite,” Wei Xiaobao said, “Wu Er Shu, you keep calling me En Gong this and En Gong that, it sounds really awkward. If you consider me a friend, henceforth the use of this word to address me must be avoided.”
“Very well,” Wu Lishen replied, “I won’t call you En Gong, but you must not call me Er Shu either. From now on we call each other ‘Xiongdi’ [brother]. I am several years older, so I will call you Xiongdi.”
Wei Xiaobao laughed and said, “Wonderful. That martial nephew of yours, Liu Yizhou, shouldn’t he call me Shishu then?”
Wu Lishen felt slightly embarrassed; he said, “That fellow has no future prospect; let us not mind him. Xiongdi, what are you up to?”
“This matter is complicated and not easy to express succinctly,” Wei Xiaobao said, “Er Ge [second brother], your Xiongdi has decided on marriage.”
“Congratulations, congratulations,” Wu Lishen said, “I wonder which family’s young lady?” Immediately he recalled, “Could it be Fang Yi? Has he found Miss Fang and Xiao Junzhu?” His whole face was beaming with delight.
“My wife is surnamed Chen,” Wei Xiaobao said, “But there is one problem, for which I am quite ashamed.”
“Why?” Wu Lishen asked.
“My wife has another good friend surnamed Zheng,” Wei Xiaobao replied, “This fellow’s moral quality is not upright and honest. He is fooling around with my wife, that is a small matter; he actually informed the Tatar soldiers about you. Those soldiers who were giving Xiao Gongye a hard time today, it was actually his idea.”
Wu Lishen was furious. “This fellow really is bored to be alive,” he said, “But I wonder why did he do that?”
“Do you know who this fellow is?” Wei Xiaobao said, “He is none other than Taiwan’s Yan Ping Jun Wang’s second son. He said that Yan Ping Jun Wang is in command over a large army, while your Mu Palace is in decline; without power and without potential, what else can you do?”
Wu Lishen angrily said, “Our Mu Palace is also an outstanding founding minister of the Great Ming who subdued Yunnan; how can it be compared to their Zheng Family who rise to power just recently?”
“Isn’t that so?” Wei Xiaobao said, “Yet this fellow said: whoever kill Wu Sangui will gain an enormous face in front of the world’s heroes; in Yunnan, you are the local bullies, compared to their Zheng Family in Taiwan, it will be a hundred times more convenient for you to kill Wu Sangui. He confides with me, saying that he wanted to eliminate Mu Family people first. I told him that our Tian Di Hui has already made a bet with Mu Palace to see who will get rid of Wu Sangui first. We are heroes and warriors; if we win, we must win brilliantly, if we lose, we must lose gracefully; how could we secretly plot against the competitor? This fellow refused to accept, hence he resorted to different ruse. Fortunately Tatar soldiers did not recognize Xiao Gongye, hence I was able to trick them into thinking that they had the wrong person and thus you were able to get away.”
“So that’s how it is! So that’s how it is!” Wu Lishen repeatedly said, “Damn it, this fellow is not human.”
“Er Ge,” Wei Xiaobao said, “We must teach this fellow a lesson. But looking at Yan Ping Jun Wang’s face, we must not kill him. It would be best if you could beat him a bit, and then Xiongdi will boldly come out to help him, and fight with you a little bit. You deliberately yield to me several stances, then you pretend to retreat in defeat. I wonder if you’d willing to do that.”
“Xiongdi is venting our anger, why would I be unwilling?” Wu Lishen said, “It would be best since we won’t damage the relationship with Taiwan’s Zheng Family and won’t provoke any dispute.”
“He is the one with wounds on his head and face, the fellow who is with Xiongdi,” Wei Xiaobao said.
“Yes,” Wu Lishen said, “Who does he think his Zheng Family is? Although nowadays our Mu Palace has fallen into dire straits, we are not one to be bullied.”
“Isn’t that so?” Wei Xiaobao said.
Following which he asked about ‘seeing the ghost’ at the Zhuang Family’s big house. Although he had seen Xu Tianchuan during the day, at that time it was inconvenient to ask, hence his mind had been preoccupied with this matter.
Wu Lishen revealed an ashamed look on his face; continuously shaking his head, he said, “Xiongdi, today you are calling me ‘Er Ge’; honestly, your big brother is quite ashamed. That day we were subdued by those fellows who ‘dress up as god, play the devil’ using some demonic method; who would have thought that those fellows were lured out of the room and were taken captive? Several women had just come out to set us free when a bunch of crafty fellows rushed into the room and rescued Zhang Laosan and his men.”
Wei Xiaobao nodded; he said in his heart, “They must be Shen Long Jiao people, the Third Young Mistress of the Zhuang Family and the others were not able to resist them.”
Wu Lishen shook his head and said, “At that time Xu Laoye [old master] and I had just had our acupoints unsealed, our hands and feet could not move freely yet. In the darkness we fought randomly; we were separated from each other. It was not until the next morning did we finally get together, except you, Xiongdi, Xiao Junzhu and Miss Fang, three people; we could not find you no matter what. We went back to that haunted house to look for you, but there was only an old woman there. I don’t know whether she was really deaf or pretending to be deaf, after interrogating her for half a day, we could not find the least bit of useful information. Xu Laoyezi and I were unwilling to give up, we searched openly and investigated in secret, and done so for over half a month straight, ay, yet we did not find the least bit of clue. Good Xiongdi, seeing you today, I am very happy. Where did Xiao Junzhu and Miss Fang go? Do you have any news? Our Xiao Wangye is worried about his sister, he is always anxious.”
Wei Xiaobao gave him a vague answer, “I am also concerned over those two ladies. Miss Fang is smart and quick-witted, but Xiao Junzhu is a bit naïve. The sooner she can meet her brother the better.” While in his heart he mused, “Turns out you did not get captured by Shen Long Jiao, and did not get forced to take the poison and compelled to be spies; that’s very good.” He knew Wu Lishen was upright and frank, he could not lie; if this story was told by Liu Yizhou, it would not necessarily be credible.
Wu Lishen said, “Xiongdi, take a good care of yourself, your Gege is leaving.” While saying that, he stood up, seemingly very reluctant to leave. Pulling Wei Xiaobao’s hand, he said, “Xiongdi, there is no lack of good ladies in the world, if that lady of yours does not treat you well, you should not take it to heart too much.”
Wei Xiaobao heaved a deep sigh; gloomily he remained silent. This time his sigh was a genuine sigh. Wu Lishen pushed open the window and leaped out.
The next day Wei Xiaobao followed Jiu Nan and Ah Ke going out of the city gate and continued their journey north. Zheng Keshuang, accompanied by his entourage, was traveling with them. “Zheng Gongzi,” Jiu Nan asked him, “Where are you heading?”
“I want to go back to Taiwan,” Zheng Keshuang replied, “But I want to walk Shitai off for a while before taking my leave.”
After traveling for twenty some li, suddenly they heard the sound of galloping horses, a group of people were hurrying along toward them. As these people were drawing near, they could see that it was a group of peasants, with hoes, iron rakes and so on in their hands. The one in the front called out, “It’s that fellow; it’s him!” As soon as Wei Xiaobao saw the man, he recognized him as Wu Lishen.
The people surrounded the large carriage, blocking their way. Wu Lishen pointed to Zheng Keshuang and cursed, “Thief boy, what a fine thing indeed you did last night at the Zhang Family Village! The cat has stolen the food, now you want quietly slip away?”
“What Zhang Family Village, Li Family Village?” Zheng Keshuang angrily said, “You don’t have eyes and talk rubbish.”
“Good!” Wu Lishen roared, “Turns out the Li Family girl was also deceived by you; you admit it. Damn it, thief boy! In one night you swindled two maidens; you are really brazen and shameless.”
The attendants shouted together, “This is our Gongzi Ye, you have the wrong person, such a crazy and unfounded ravings!”
Wu Lishen pulled a peasant girl out; pointing to Zheng Keshuang he asked, “Is it him? Look carefully.”
Wei Xiaobao saw the peasant girl had thick eyebrows and big eyes, high cheekbones and buckteeth, she wore green fancy-patterned clothing and had a piece of printed cloth wrapped around her head; presumably this girl was hired by Wu Lishen, he was secretly amused.
With a deep and gruff voice the peasant girl said, “It’s him, it’s him, I am a hundred percent sure. Last night he went to my room and embraced me, boo hoo … this … this dead stinky person, aiyo, boo hoo … ahh … mother …” While saying that, she was bawling.
Another peasant shouted, “You bullied my meizi [younger sister], laozi should be your brother-in-law. Damn it, laozi should fight you to the death.” He was Wu Lishen’s disciple, Ao Biao.
Wei Xiaobao examined carefully the Mu Palace people, he had seen about five or six people, but Liu Yizhou was not among them. Presumably Wu Lishen had carefully selected these people in advance to make sure that there was no one harboring any hostility with him, so that their scheme would not be exposed.
Seeing the peasant girl was so ugly, Ah Ke did not believe that Zheng Keshuang would have illicit relationship with her, it’s just that the girl had personally confirmed that it was him. These peasants had neither enmity nor hatred toward Zheng Keshuang, hence it was unlikely that they would deliberately accused him falsely. She could not help being skeptical.
Wei Xiaobao knitted his brows as he said, “Zheng Gongzi is a bit too loose; going to a brothel and playing with prostitutes is one thing, but why did he go … go … go … ay, this peasant girl is so ugly. Shijie, I think they must have the wrong person.”
“Right,” Ah Ke said, “It must be a case of mistaken identity.”
Wu Lishen told the peasant girl, “Say it quickly, say it quickly, are you afraid of being disgraced? He … what did this thief boy give you?”
The peasant girl took out a big yuanbao worth a hundred taels from her pocket; she said, “He gave me this; he told me to obey him. He said that he came from Taiwan, his father is some Wangye, he has gold mountain, silver mountain in his house, and … and …”
“Ah!” Ah Ke shrieked. She thought that this peasant girl was ignorant and unlearned, it was impossible for her to fabricate that fact, naturally it must be Zheng Keshuang himself who told her that. She could not help but feeling angry and hurt.
The Zheng Mansion’s attendants also thought that it was the truth, since they believed that a peasant girl like her would not have such a big yuanbao; they shouted, “Get out of the way, get out of the way! You already have the yuanbao, what are you fussing about? Don’t stand in your masters’ way.”
“Can’t do!” Ao Biao shouted, “You have raped my meizi, how can she marry someone else in the future? You have to take her as your wife. Quickly go back with me, bow to the Heaven and the Earth with her, and then take her back with you to Taiwan to pay her respect to your father and mother. My meizi is a good family’s daughter, not some servile s1ut; do you think she would take your money to prostitute herself to you? What did he say this hundred-tael for?” The last question was directed to the peasant girl.
The peasant girl said, “He said … he said that it is some betrothal gift, he also said that he would send a matchmaker to take me as his wife, and bring me back to his palace to be some first-rate madam.”
“That’s it,” Ao Biao said, “Meifu [younger sister’s husband], let me tell you: you won’t marry my sister but thinking you can escape by walking away? It won’t be easy. Quickly go back with your Dajiuzi [wife’s older brother].” [Translator’s note: just want to show the different words to describe ‘brother-in-law’.]
Goodness! I feel so bad for ZKS. Being framed time after time without a clue. He's leaving for Taiwan and won't be hanging around them long, must WXB resort to such underhanded schemes?
Thanks for your hard work, foxs!
I agree with tweety365. Why didn't ZKS feel anything is amiss when he successively been accused of wrongdoings and for each time being saved by WXB?
You plant a garden and the flowers do not bloom, you poke a stick in the mud and it grows into a tree