Anh, Ali, you are welcome. Wandering, Tweety, Crazee, I wish that is the case. During LOCH, I had to wait for the other translators, hence I finished everything and posted daily update. That was fun, I don't have to worry about not meeting the deadline ... my own deadline, that is ... For many years I spent my lunch time playing card games on the computer (solitaire, freecell, hearts, and the like), now I spend my spare time working on my hobby: wuxia translation. But, as I offered you before, I can always finish one chapter and post it in one go if you like.
9dragons, as I said, I am not Chinese literate, I rely heavily on dictionary, and those were the words I got from it; 斧头 and 菜油. If you think the dictionary is inaccurate, please kindly let me know, I'll report it to them. However, not that I am trying to dampen your spirit, I simply translate what Jin Yong has written. Even if he made mistake, I would still translate it as is. IMHO, we are reading a fiction, not a scientific article. Smurf, Grundle, your discussion is very interesting.
Merry Christmas y'all, and God bless us, everyone! I am not going anywhere this Christmas, hopefully I can get some more before the year is over.
Chen Jinnan rushed forward to hold him up again, they saw Guan Anji’s eyes were wide open, but he had already met a violent death. His body was still warm though, apparently he had not died long. The people were shocked and grieved. Feng Jizhong, Priest Xuanzhen, and the others jumped outside, but did not see any trace of the enemy.
Chen Jinnan untied Guan Anji’s robe, and saw a blood red hand print on his chest. “Feng Xifan!” he said in choked voice.
Priest Xuanzhen angrily said, “It is definitely Feng Xifan! This red sand palm is his Kunlun Pai’s unique martial art skill. After suffering serious injury, that evil thief must have circled around a moment later. It’s really … damn it, it’s alright if he wanted to save Zheng Er Gongzi, but why did he have to kill Guan Erge?”
Everybody cursed in rage. Guan Anji’s brother-in-law, Jia Laoliu’s [Ol’ Six Jia] cry shook the heavens and the earth. In his grief Chen Jinnan was silent.
They returned to the hall. Qian Laoben said, “Zongduozhu, we all know about Er Gongzi and Da Gongzi’s struggle over the Wangye position. Our Tian Di Hui has always been impartial in this matter; Da Gongzi is older, naturally we support Da Gongzi. Er Gongzi has always considered you as a nail in his eyes, this time he received Feng Xifan’s instigation, and was thinking of seizing this opportunity to get rid of you. Today we have offended Er Gongzi. I am afraid Wangye might believe their slanderous report. Hereafter Zongduozhu cannot return to Taiwan anymore.”
Chen Jinnan sighed and said, “Guoxing Ye’s benevolence to me was very heavy, even with torn body and crushed bones it would be difficult for me to repay his kindness. Wangye has always been wise, plus he is very respectful toward me; he can’t possibly harm a loyal and good person.”
Priest Xuanzhen said, “As the saying goes: distant relation cannot separate flesh and blood relation. Er Gongzi has already determined that our Tian Di Hui refuses to follow Taiwan’s order. If even in the Central Plains he was already like this, would he give you any leeway in Taiwan? Their Zheng Family has altogether eight Gongzi, everybody is fighting everybody else to seize the power, our Tian Di Hui does not need to be involved. Zongduozhu, while it’s true that we are not Qin Hui, but we are definitely not Yue Fei either.”
Qian Laoben said, “Zongduozhu is loyal and devoted, and has always served the Zheng Family all your life, yet you were nearly killed by Er Gongzi; no matter what we cannot simply swallow this matter.”
Chen Jinnan sighed again and said, “A real man’s conduct has a clear conscience against the heaven and the earth, whatever other people say, long or short, has nothing to do with him. It’s just that I have never imagined such misfortune would befall us. Just now if it were not for Xiaobao’s resourcefulness, we all would die a violent death … ay, it’s a pity Guan Erge …”
Wei Xiaobao was relieved to hear that his shifu would not investigate the scattering of lime and the nailing of the coffin. Afraid that it was merely a momentary lapse of memory, he decided to change the subject immediately. “We have made quite some noise,” he said, “I am afraid all next door neighbors have heard it; if they report to the authorities, I am afraid … I am afraid … We must move immediately.”
“Absolutely,” Chen Jinnan said, “My mind is in turmoil, unexpectedly I haven’t thought about it.”
Right away they all went back to the garden to dig a hole and bury Guan Anji’s body. After shedding more tears and kowtowing, they carried their belongings out and left immediately. The Tian Di Hui warriors were constantly on the move around the Capital, moving their residence was a common occurrence. Wei Xiaobao was afraid his Shifu would ask him about his martial art training, he took the opportunity to take his leave and return to the Imperial Palace.
Back at his residence, he bolted the door, and opened the six copies of sutra one by one. Indeed he saw a lot of sheepskin pieces in between the cover of the sutras. He took out the pieces and stitched the cover back to its original state. But after stitching the cover of less than one book he already fed up with it; he thought, “It would be best if Shuang’er is here. Right this moment she is most likely still outside Shaolin Temple waiting for me. I was captured by Shifu Jiu Nan, this good servant girl must be extremely worried. I must send someone to tell here to come here.” Sewing several stitches later, his eyes grew very heavy; he hid the sutra well and fell asleep.
Early in the morning the next day he went to the Upper Study Room to wait upon the Emperor. Kangxi said, “I am going to issue an imperial decree tomorrow, sending you to escort Princess Jianning to Yunnan, to be married to that little b@stard surnamed Wu.”
“Yes,” Wei Xiaobao replied, “It’s just a pity that I have not served Your Majesty for several days and I will have to be far away from you.”
Kangxi lowered his voice and said, “The Empress Dowager has told me a very important matter. This time you go to Yunnan, you may try to take this opportunity to work on it.” Wei Xiaobao complied.
Kangxi continued, “The Empress Dowager said, that evil maid servant impersonating the Empress Dowager, actually it was part of a great conspiracy: her mission was to find the location of our Manchu’s dragon vein, and try to find a way to break it.”
Wei Xiaobao blurted out without thinking, “That old wh0re’s crime is great, her evil extreme!” But then he hastily covered his mouth, realizing that he had cursed with vulgar language in front of the Emperor, unavoidably it was too disrespectful.
Who would have thought that Kangxi did not give it the slightest thought? “Correct!” he responded, “That old wh0re is indeed not a ‘thing’. The Empress Dowager had to endure disgrace and endure suffering, she would rather die than reveal the secret; only by doing that did the old wh0re’s evil scheme fail. With the Heaven’s blessing therefore the Empress Dowager is safe and sound until today, and has been able to hold on without revealing this big secret.”
Wei Xiaobao already knew the secret early on, but he said, “Your Majesty, it would be best if you do not tell me this huge secret. One more person knows about it, the danger that the secret will leak also increases by one part.”
Kangxi praised him, “You are making good progress; you understand that in everything we must be cautious. However, since the first time you work for me, you have never leaked anything. If I can’t even trust you, I can trust nobody else.”
Wei Xiaobao felt that the several hundred bones in his body, each bone was several taels several qians lighter. He kneeled down and kowtowed, while saying, “Your Majesty trust me this much, even if your servant’s tongue is cut, I will not dare to divulge half a word of what Your Majesty is going to tell me.”
Kangxi nodded; he said, “The secret of our Great Qing’s dragon vein is actually hidden in the eight copies of the ‘Forty-two-chapter Sutra’.”
Wei Xiaobao pretended to be astonished; he repeatedly said, “Ah, strange, is there such thing? It’s absolutely unthinkable!”
Kangxi continued, “After the Shezheng Wangye [master king regent] entered the pass, he bestowed eight copies of sutra to the Eight Banners’ Banner Commander. Within the Eight Banners, the troops and horses of Plain Yellow, Plain White and Bordered Yellow, three banners are under the command of the Son of Heaven. But the farmland and material belongings of these three banners are still the Banner Commanders’ responsibility. The Plain Yellow Banner’s copy has always been in Fu Huang’s [father emperor] possession, which he took with him to Mount Wutai. Later on he sent you to bring it back and bestowed it to me. Because the Bordered White Banner’s Banner Commander committed a crime, the Bordered White Banner’s sutra ended up in the Palace, and Fu Huang bestowed it to Empress Duan Jing.”
Wei Xiaobao said in his heart, “The Old Emperor doted on Empress Duan Jing; naturally he wanted to give the best thing to her. If it were me, if all eight copies ended up in the Palace, I would bestow all to her.”
Kangxi continued, “The old wh0re murdered Empress Duan Jing, naturally she took hold of her sutra. Oboi was the Bordered Yellow Banner’s Banner Commander. When I sent you to search and seize Oboi’s home that day, the old wh0re wanted you to find two sutras, one was precisely the Bordered Yellow Banner’s, the other was Plain White Banner’s.”
“Yes,” Wei Xiaobao said, “If I had known the old wh0re was bad, your servant would have reported to the old wh0re that I could not find it, and quietly presented the sutras to Your Majesty.”
Kangxi laughed and said, “At that time we did not know that the old wh0re was a fake Empress Dowager; we also did not know that there is such great responsibility inside the ‘Forty-two-chapter Sutra’. If you were fooling around like that, I would have … I would have flogged your buttocks.”
“Yes, yes,” Wei Xiaobao said. In his heart he said, “Flogging my buttocks and that’s it? You don’t need to be polite!” He asked, “The Plain White Banner’s copy, I wonder where did Oboi get it from?”
Kangxi said, “He has killed the Plain White Banner’s Banner Commander Suksaha, and seized his family property, his belongings, including his copy of sutra. Humph, even death cannot wipe out that rebel’s crimes.”
“Yes,” Wei Xiaobao said, “In that case, the old wh0re had three copies in her hands.”
“Only three?” Kangxi said, “She also sent the Deputy Chief of Imperial Bodyguards Rui Dong to make things difficult for the Bordered Red Banner’s Banner Commander Hechabo. At that time I did not know the reason, that fellow Hechabo had always been in collusion with Oboi, so I did not pay him any attention. Now that I think about it, naturally it was to seize his copy of the sutra. And then Rui Dong mysteriously disappeared; the old wh0re must have killed him to close his mouth.”
“Yes, yes,” Wei Xiaobao said, “Your Majesty can see things like a deity [i.e. prophecy with supernatural accuracy; you will see shortly why I kept the literal translation].” While in his heart he said, “You are convinced that Rui Dong was killed by the old wh0re, hence I praised you that you can see things like a deity; that is striking a nail on one foot. If in the future you find out that Rui Dong was killed by me, you cannot go back on your word by questioning me. Otherwise, you are acknowledging that you cannot see things like a deity. In your capacity as the Emperor, how can you see things not like a deity, but like a demon?”
Kangxi said, “But if my guess is incorrect …”
Wei Xiaobao busily said, “Definitely correct.”
Kangxi said, “… the old wh0re had four copies of sutra in her hands. But there is one very strange thing: Fu Huang bestowed to me that copy of the Plain Yellow Banner’s sutra, all along I put it on the table in the Upper Study Room, but suddenly it disappeared. You think who has such a nerve to brazenly come to the Upper Study Room and steal something?”
Wei Xiaobao said, “Can come and go the Upper Study Room, and have guts to take a book without permission, only … only …”
“Princess Jianning!” Kangxi said.
Wei Xiaobao did not dare to interrupt; he mused, “This time indeed you can see things like a deity.”
Kangxi said, “The old wh0re sent her daughter to steal my copy of the sutra. In that case, she had five copies in her hands.”
“Let us quickly go to the Palace of Compassionate and Peaceful to search,” Wei Xiaobao said, “The old wh0re was running away out of the Palace empty-handed, she did not bring anything.” While his heart was pounding madly, “If this moment the Emperor search my room, even if Xiao Guizi has a hundred heads, all will be chopped down.”
Kangxi shook his head, “I have already searched carefully,” he said, “I could not find anything. I only found a monk robe. The old wh0re’s good friend was actually a monk. Ha ha, ha ha …!”
Wei Xiaobao started to laugh, but after only two ‘ha’s, he felt it was extremely rude, so he hastily stopped laughing. Kangxi was still laughing heartily, however, as he said, “It’s just that when that short winter melon ran away, carrying the old wh0re with him, I saw that he had long hair, hence I was surprised. Most likely he was like that palace maid impersonator, his hair was fake. That fellow was short and fat; the old wh0re’s man was not a good steal, why did she look for such a short winter melon?”
Wei Xiaobao laughed and said, “That short winter melon’s martial art skill was very high. If he was handsome, he might not necessarily have the ability to sneak into the Palace. Last time that fake palace maid was also very ugly.”
Kangxi laughed and said, “You got that right.” After a short pause, he said, “The other three copies of the sutra are in the hands of Plain Red Banner, Plain Blue Banner, and Bordered Blue Banner, three Banners’ possession. The current Plain Red Banner’s Banner Commander is Prince Kang, I have already ordered him to present the sutra to me.”
Wei Xiaobao thought, “That night someone stole Prince Kang’s sutra, and right now it is in my possession; how can Prince Kang present it to the Emperor? This time that Ol’ Kang will be a deep trouble.”
Kangxi continued, “The Plain Blue Banner’s Banner Commander Fu Deng is still young. Just now I asked him, he said that his predecessor, the Banner Commander Jia Kun died during the assault of Yunnan; the funeral arrangement was taken over by Wu Sangui. What Wu Sangui handed over to him was an official seal, several army banners, and several tens of thousands taels of silver. Other than that, there was nothing else.”
Wei Xiaobao said, “The sutra must be embezzled by Wu Sangui.”
“That’s right,” Kangxi said, “For that reason, when you get to Wu Sangui’s mansion, carefully investigate this matter, think of a way to get the sutra. That servant Wu Sangui is very crafty, you must never let him know the inside story.”
 Yue Fei (1102-1142), Song Dynasty’s patriot and fames general. Qin Hui (1090-1155), Song Dynasty official who betrayed General Yue Fei and had him executed.