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Thread: Horizon, Bright Moon, Sabre(天涯, 明月, 刀)

  1. #1
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    Default Horizon, Bright Moon, Sabre(天涯, 明月, 刀)

    I decided to give a shot at translating this one. I am still rather familar with it as I had only read it a couple of months back and I had the book at hand.

    I would also do some minor editing on the first three chapters. Although the previous translator, metwin1 had done an excellent job, the online source he translated from had some missing lines and mistakes. So much for completeness's sake.

    bliss had also previously indicated his willingness to translate this one after he had finished with Bordertown Wanderer, so there is a safety net if I messed up this one. (touch wood)

    Introduction
    This novel is part of the Flying Dagger Series. Following the story after Bordertown Wanderer (边城浪子) and Flying Eagle in the Ninth Month(九月鹰飞). Interestingly, it was written by Gu Long in 1975 after Flying Eagle in the Ninth Month (1974) but before Bordertown Wanderer (1976). It seems that Gulong had first developed the two main characters Ye Kai and Fu Hongxue respectively before interweaving them together in Bordertown Wanderer.

    Several had remarked that this is perhaps Gu Long's greatest work(I agree!) as it is the most emotionally touching and unforgetable. Gulong said that he wrote this novel during the period of his greatest personal pain and suffering, during the period of his greatest emotional stress. Maybe it is for this reason, the novel is so outstanding. To have a better understanding of Gu Long's approach to wuxia novels, I had included a small excerpt.

    ~an excerpt from the introduction of this novel by Gulong himself~
    Looking at the same storyline from different angles, the novel would turned out to be totally different. Human beings' feelings and views are something that are forever changing, forever changing with the times! Although wuxia novels are about the old times, it could be injected with the new feelings and views of the author. For novels are but all in the imagination.

    Writing a novel is not writing a history book. The biggest goal of writing novels is to draw the reader in, to emotionally touch the reader. If storylines of wuxia novel already could not be changed, why not changed the way of writing human emotions. Using the human's feelings, using the emotional feelings to create the climax, to create the "action".

    How to write "action" is one of the wuxia novel's greatest challenge.
    I always believe that "action" is not necessarily "fight".
    The action in novels and movies can give peope a kind of sharp excitment and thrill. However, the action in novels are far less vivid and fresh than the action in movies.

    Thus, the action in novels should be kept simple, short and sweet, lively and never a dull moment. The action in novels should first create conflict, emotional conflicts, situational conflicts. And using the various conflicts to push the story into a climax. Then you can create the atmosphere, the tense atmosphere, the chilling atmosphere. Using the atmoshpere to fan the flames of excitement.

    Writing wuxia novel is not writing a country's history.
    Writing wuxia novel is also not teaching how to fight or kill!

    Although blood and violence would always have their attraction, but too much blood and violence would turn people off.
    ~end~


    I would sincerely try to follow Gu Long's ideas as closely as possible while translating this novel.

    ================================================== =======================

    Horzion, Bright Moon, Sabre - 天涯, 明月, 刀 - Gu Long

    Prologue
    Chapter 01: Man at the Horizon
    Chapter 02: Wild rose at the Horizon
    Chapter 03: Bright Moon at High Mansion
    Chapter 04: The Thumb of the Blackhand
    Chapter 05: Peacock
    Chapter 06: Before the Duel
    Chapter 07: The Duel

    Translation by Ren Wo Xing
    Chapter 8: Peacock Manor
    Chapter 9: Betting One’s Life on a Single Sabre
    Chapter 10: Changes
    Chapter 11: Where Did the Bright Moon Go?
    Chapter 12: Between Life and Death
    Chapter 13: Demon Decapitating Sabre of Heaven’s Monarch
    Chapter 14: First Pay, Then Kill
    Chapter 15: The Ancient Monastery of the Celestial Dragon
    Chapter 16: Funeral Bell
    Chapter 17: Despair
    Chapter 18: When Affection Begins to Thickens, Affection Turns Flimsy
    Chapter 19: Executioner
    Chapter 20: The Grandmaster and the Zither-Playing Servant
    Chapter 21: Emerging From the Cage
    Chapter 22: Gongzi Yu
    Chapter 23: Mysterious Old Man
    Chapter 24: The Last Battle (END)
    Last edited by Ren Wo Xing; 12-22-09 at 09:52 PM.

  2. #2
    Member chowbeng's Avatar
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    Default Prologue

    Prologue
    by metwin1

    Is the horizon far away?
    Not at all!
    Man is at the horizon, how can the horizon be far away?

    What colour is the bright moon?
    It is blue; and like the ocean, blue, deep and sorrowful.

    Where is the bright moon?
    It is in his heart; his heart is the bright moon.

    What about his sabre?
    His sabre is in his hand!
    What kind of blade is that?
    His sabre is as broad and as lonely as the horizon, as pure and sorrowful as the bright moon; even with a flash of steel, some times it is as if it is empty.

    Empty?
    Empty and illusional, as if it never exists, yet present everywhere.
    But the speed of his sabre does not appear to be very swift.
    How can a sabre that is not swift be invincible under the heavens?
    This is because his sabre has gone beyond the limits of speed!

    Where is he?
    He has not returned, but his heart is already broken.
    Where is the path of his return?
    The path is right in front of him.
    Cannot he see the path?
    He is not looking for it.
    So he cannot find the path?
    Perhaps not now, but he will find it sooner or later.
    Willl he find it for sure?
    Definitely!

  3. #3
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    Default Chapter 01: Man at the horizon

    Chapter 01: Man at the horizon
    by metwin1
    ->only added a missing line and a couple of changes

    ONE
    The sun is setting in the west.

    Fu Hongxue stood alone under the setting sun. It was as though he were the only person in the whole wide world.

    It was cold and barren for a thousand miles around; it seemed that even the setting sun had changed colour because of its loneliness, changed into a greyish white that was mournful and desolate.
    He felt the same.

    His hand clenched a sabre; a pale white fist with a pitch black sabre!

    Pale white and pitch black were colours close to Death! And Death was the limit of voidness and loneliness!

    His eyes were lonely and empty; they could almost see death!
    Could it be death was just in front of his eyes?

    He was walking. He walked very slowly, but he never stopped. Even if Death was waiting for him in front, he would never stop.

    His walking posture was strange and unique; the left foot would take a quick step forward, and the right foot would follow slowly. He appeared to walk with considerable difficulty. Nevertheless, he had walked countless of miles, made innumerable journeys; and he walked that entire road by himself, step by step.

    When could he stop walking like this? When could he even stop walking?

    He didn’t know. In fact, he had never considered it!

    Now that he had got here, what lay beyond? Was Death really in front? Definitely! His eyes contained Death, his hand also gripped Death; in fact his sabre represented Death!

    It was a pitch black blade with a pitch black handle and a pitch black sheath.

    His sabre may represent Death, but it was his whole life!

    The sky had become even darker, but still he could make out the presence of a small town in the far distance.

    He knew that was Phoenix Settlement, one of the more populous towns in the remote area. Of course he knew, because that was where the death he was searching for was to be found.

    Little did he know that Phoenix Settlement was already dead!

    TWO
    The street was not very long or very wide, but there were still numerous stores, stalls and houses along the streets.

    There were countless such towns in the world, and every one of them was the same; streets with many stores, stalls and houses; and these stalls had dilapidated store fronts, cheap goods and honest merchants. In the houses lived kind and friendly people. However, Phoenix Settlement was different from these other towns. While the stores and the stalls and the houses were still present, there was nobody around.

    Nobody, not a single person was around.

    There were doors and windows that lined both sides of the street. Some were shut, but all were broken, smashed. Thick stacks of dust covered the streets, inside and outside the houses and stores. The roofs and beams were full of spider webs. A black cat was startled by the footsteps and leaped out, but it had already lost its alertness and agility. It was panting and limping as it crawled across the street; it did not even look like a cat anymore.

    Wasn’t it a well known fact that starvation could change everything?

    Could it be that the cat was the sole surviving creature in this little town?

    Fu Hongxue’s heart turned cold, even colder than the blade in his hand.

    He was presently standing on this street, and seeing everything with his own eyes. But he could not believe, dared not believe, and would not believe.

    - What disaster befell this place?

    - How did this tragedy occur?

    At the side of the street, an old signboard was squeaking in the wind. He could still make out the words beneath all that dust “Chen Family Tavern, Best Vintage In Town!”

    This was originally one of the nicer looking signboards in the district, but it was now tattered and broken, just like teeth of elderly people.

    But the condition of the tavern was much worse than the signboard.

    Fu Hongxue stood silently, observing and waiting. As the wind died down, he strolled over to the tavern and pushed open the door. It was as though he walked into a grave that had been exhumed.

    He had been here before!

    Though the wine was not even good, much less vintage, at least it wasn’t vinegar. And the place had looked far from a grave.

    Exactly a year ago, this place was still a busy establishment. Travellers from all over who past through Phoenix Settlement would be attracted by the signboard outside, and stopped for a drink here.
    Once wine entered empty stomachs, people became chatty. Hence, the tavern was always noisy. Noisy taverns attracted people.

    The tavern was not very small, but it was always crowded. The owner of the tavern was very friendly, and a smile was always seen on his face.

    But the smile had disappeared, clean tables had become table tops filled with dust; the ground was littered with broken wine bottles, the aromatic smell of wine had turned into a putrid odour which was vomit-inducing.

    Laughter, chatter, wine swigging in the tavern; clanking of buckets and knifes, and oil boiling in woks behind the tavern; these sounds had all vanished. Only the creaking sounds of broken window panes swinging in wind were left; and they were oddly reminiscent to the flapping of bats’ wings in prisons.

    The skies had darkened even further; it was almost pitch black.

    Fu Hongxue walked slowly to a corner and sat down unhurriedly, with his back towards the door.

    That was the corner he sat when he came here a year ago. But the place was presently like a grave; there was no place for any living person to hang about.

    Why did he still choose to sit down? Was he reminiscing about the past? Or was he waiting?

    If he was reminiscing, what could have happened that was worthy of his reminiscence?

    If he was waiting, who or what was he waiting for?

    Was it Death? Was it really Death?

    THREE
    The colour of night had finally wrapped her arms around all of the land.
    There were no lamps, candles or fire; only darkness.

    He hated the darkness. However, darkness was similar to death in that they were both inescapable.

    Now that darkness had arrived, what about death? He sat there without moving, his hand still clenched tightly to his sabre. Perhaps you could still see the pale hand, but certainly not the sabre, for it had melted into the darkness.

    Was his sabre as inescapable as death?

    The night was as silent as death. Suddenly, the wind brought the melodious strains of string instrumental music.

    Under such depressing circumstances, it was as though the music came from the heavens.

    His empty eyes had a strange expression after hearing this heavenly music. - Many adjectives could be used to describe this expression, but joyfulness was not one of them.

    The music steadily increased in volume. Amongst the raising music volume, the creaking of the wheels of a horse carriage could also be heard.

    Who other than Fu Hongxue could be rushing to this God-forsaken place?

    Fu Hongxue’s eyes were slowly returning to their original coldness, but the hand that was on his sabre clenched even tighter.

    Could it be that he knew the person that was coming?

    Could it be that he was waiting for this person?

    Could it be that this person was Death himself?

    What kind of music did heavenly music sound like? Nobody had ever heard how heavenly music sound like!

    But if there existed a form of music which could melt one’s heart, and even one’s soul, this music would be as close to as heavenly music as it could be heard on earth. The music that Fu Hongxue was listening to would certainly qualify to be heavenly music.

    But Fu Hongxue did not melt.

    He sat there listening, but remained still and silent. All of a sudden, eight men dressed in black coats with colourful silk sashes tied to their waists walked into the tavern in quick steps. All of them were carrying bamboo baskets; these baskets contained peculiar items, including cloth rags and brooms.

    None of them stopped to give Fu Hongxue a glance. Once in the tavern, they began to clean and tidy up the tavern. All of them worked briskly.

    Not only did they work briskly, they were also worked very efficiently.

    The dilapidated tavern had a miraculous make over in a very short period of time.

    Every nook and cranny was cleaned up until not a speck of dust remained. Wallpaper was put up, and beads hung in front of the door frames. There were table cloths on all tables, and even a red carpet on the floor. Only the corner that Fu Hongxue was sitting at remained untouched.

    Once the eight men were done cleaning up, they stood in attention near the tavern entrance. Four women who were dressed in bright colours walked into the tavern, holding bamboo baskets. They placed fresh flowers, food and wine on a table.

    A row of string ensemble players strolled in, playing beautiful music.

    A single drum beat could be heard amongst the music. It was already mid-night. From the window, a solitary figure could be seen dressed in white, holding a watchman’s drum. He looked like a spirit standing alone in the darkness.

    Where did this night watchman come from?

    Was he constantly reminding people of the coming of death?

    Who was he reminding this time?

    After the reverberation of the watchman drum ended, the song began:

    “The road to the horizon,
    A path of no return,
    Man broke his soul at the horizon ,
    But the soul was broken before reaching the horizon……”


    The song had not yet ended, but a seemingly drunk Yan Nanfei was already walking into the tavern.

    ~End of Chapter 01~
    Last edited by chowbeng; 05-20-09 at 04:21 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Chapter 02: Wild rose at the Horizon

    Chapter 2: Wild rose at the Horizon
    Translated by metwin1
    This chapter was edited quite a fair bit. Corrected minor errors. Fleshed out the fight. Changed some of the text for a better flow as well as following closer to the orginal text.

    ONE
    “The flowers have not yet wilted;
    the moon has not yet waned,
    so where doth the moon shine?
    Wild roses are at the horizon.”


    Was Yan Nanfei truly drunk?

    He sat down beside the fresh flowers, in between beautiful women, in front of a golden cup of wine.

    The wine was amber, and the roses were bright.

    The scent of the roses in his hand were intoxicating, but they were nothing compared to the wine.

    He was totally inebriated, and collapsed on the laps and knees of the beautiful women that were sitting next to him.

    Beautiful women were also intoxicating; they giggled like orioles, and their cheerful faces turned into beautiful shades of pink.

    He was still a youth; a youth with youthful exuberance. He had plenty of gold, he had perfumed flowers, fine wine and beautiful women. What a happy time it is, what a happy life.

    But why did he come to this dead town to enjoy all these pleasures?

    Was he here because of Fu Hongxue?

    He did not even give Fu Hongxue a glance, as though he did not realise Fu Hongxue's existence.

    Fu Hongxue too behaved in the same way, as though others did not exist. Around him, there were no flowers, women, nor wine; it was as though an invisible wall separated him and the other merry makers.

    He had not taken part in such merry-making activities for a very long time.

    The watchman’s drum was struck once again. It was now the second watch.

    They were still drinking and making merry. They seemed to have totally forgotten all the frustrations, sorrow and pain in the world.

    He was stilling holding a cup full of wine in one hand, and a stalk of wild rose on the other. A beautiful woman tugged at his hand and asked, “Why do you like the wild rose?”

    “Wild roses have thorns.”

    “You like thorns?”

    “I like to pierce people. Pierce their hands and pierce their heart.”

    The beautiful woman’s hand was pierced, her heart was also pierced.
    She grimaced in pain, frowned and shook her head, “That is not a good reason, I don’t like it.”

    “You don’t like it? What would you have liked to hear then?”
    Yan Nanfei laughed. “Do you want to listen to another story?”

    “Of course I do.”

    “Once upon a time, in a place far far away, a nightingale saw a wild rose in bloom and fell in love with it. The bird was so much in love, it leaped from the branch into the pond and drowned.”

    “That story is beautiful,” the beautiful woman’s eyes had turned red, “but it is too sad.”

    “You are wrong.” Yan Nanfei’s smile had become even wider, “Death is not something sorrowful. If there was pride in death, or even beauty in death, then there is nothing to fear.”

    The beautiful woman stared at the wild rose that was in his hand. The wild rose appeared to be smiling too.

    She stared at the rose intently for a while, and whispered,

    “This morning, I wanted to give you a few stalks of wild roses.
    I spent a lot of time tying the flowers to my girdle.
    But the girdle loosened and even the flowers were loosened too.
    They fell and scattered, some to the winds and others into the water.
    The river waters flowed eastward, and the flower petals too, never to return.
    River waves had become crimson red with petals, but only a light fragrance remains on my sleeve.”


    Her poem was beautiful, just like a song.
    She lifted her sleeves, “Please smell them. I insist you smell them, as our final rememberance.”

    Yan Nanfei looked at her sleeves and held her hand lightly.

    Just at this moment, the night watchman’s drum reverberated once more.
    It was the third watch!

    TWO
    “The road to the horizon,
    A path of no return,
    In the third watch past midnight,
    Time for the destruction of Man’s soul.”


    Yan Nanfei suddenly released the her hands.
    The music stopped abruptly.

    He waved his hand and gave a short command, “Leave”.

    It was like a magic spell. The ghostly night watchman had just struck his drum for the third watch. Immediately the command was issued and immediately the previously joyful atmosphere disappeared.

    The tavern had become bare, and only two people remained.

    Even the beautiful woman whose hand pricked by the wild rose left. Her hand was hurt but her heart was hurt far more deeply.

    The horse carriage left, and the lands returned to their original state of deathlike loneliness.

    Only one lamp remained indoors, and the weak light flickered at Yan Nanfei’s bright eyes.

    He appeared to be drunk, but his eyes were far from drunk.

    Fu Hongxue was still sitting quietly at his corner.
    Not listening, not seeing, nor moving.

    But Yan Nanfei was now standing up and in so revealed the sword on his waist.
    Bright red scabbard; bright red hilt!
    More red than the wild rose; more red than blood.

    The tavern was filled with happiness a short while ago, was suddenly filled with an air of murderous intent.

    He walked forward, towards Fu Hongxue.
    He may be drunk, but his sword was certainly not intoxicated.

    His sword was already in his hand.
    A pale white hand clenched to a blood red sword.

    Fu Hongxue’s hand was also clenched to his sabre
    - His sabre never left his hand, no matter what happened.

    A pale white hand clenched to a pitch black sabre!

    The sabre was as black as death, and the scabbard was as red as blood.
    The distance between these weapons was slowly diminishing.
    The distance between Fu Hongxue and Yan Nanfei was slowly diminishing.

    The murderous air thickened even further.

    Yan Nanfei was finally standing in front of Fu Hongxue. Suddenly he pulled his sword out; the light reflected from the blade of the sword was as radiant as the sun’s rays, yet as beautiful as the wild roses under sunlight.

    The sword emitted a powerful aura, right between Fu Hongxue’s eyebrows.

    Fu Hongxue was still not listening, not seeing, nor moving!

    Light rays from the sword flashed passed him. The beaded door curtain that was hanging on the door frame nearby was severed into two; the beads fell from the curtain like tear drops from a beautiful woman.

    Then the sword rays disappeared suddenly.
    The sword was still there, still in Yan Nanfei's hand. He raised his sword with two hands, and presented it to Fu Hongxue.

    The sharpness of the sword was unparalleled under the heavens!
    The sword technique that he used was also unparalleled under the heavens!

    Why was he presenting such a sword to Fu Hongxue?

    He came from afar, made merry and drank.
    He pulled out his sword, swung it, and presented it as a gift.

    What was really happening?

    THREE
    His hands were pale, and the blade of his sword also appeared to be pale under the dim light from a lamp.

    Fu Hongxue’s face was even paler.

    He finally raised his head slowly, and gazed at the sword in Yan Nanfei’s hands.

    He shown no expression, but the pupils of his eyes narrowed.

    Yan Nanfei was also gazing at him; bright eyed, carrying a strange expression. Was it an expression of a person that was close to the ultimate release of joy, or one of unspeakable and helpless sorrow?

    Fun Hongxue raised his head further and stared into Yan Nanfei’s eyes. It was as though he had just noticed Yan Nanfei.

    Two pairs of eyes established contact. There was a flash of some sort, a spark; as though there was silent communication between them.

    “You are here,” said Fu Hongxue, unexpectedly.

    “I am here,” Yan Nanfei replied.

    Fu Hongxue said, “I knew you would come.”

    Yan Nanfei replied, “I would come for sure, and you knew that. If not, you would not have let me go a year ago.”

    Fu Hongxue looked grave, and gazed long and hard at the sword that in Yan Nanfei’s hand before slowly said,

    “Now a year has passed.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “Exactly one full year.”

    Fu Hongxue sighed, “What a long year that was.”

    Yan Nanfei also sighed, “What a short year that was.”

    Was the span of a year truly long or short?

    Yan Nanfei gave a short burst of laughter; his laughter was laced with sarcasm, “You felt that the year had passed slowly only because you were waiting. You have been waiting for today to come.”

    “What about you?” Fu Hongxue asked.

    “I didn’t wait at all,” Yan Nanfei answered.

    He gave a faint smile and continued, “Although I knew that today would be the day I die, but I am not the sort of person to wait for death.”

    Fu Hongxue asked, “Was it because you had so many things to settle that you found the year to be too short?”

    Yan Nanfei answered, “The year was certainly too short.”

    Fun Hongxue asked, “Have you completed everything that you wanted to finish? Your desires and wishes?”

    The sword rays were illumining; the thin blade of the sword flashed like lightning.

    The sabre seemed slower in comparison.

    The sword rays had not arrived, but the sabre was already forcing the sword back.

    Then the sabre was at Yan Nanfei's throat.

    It was Fu Hongxue’s sabre at Yan Nanfei’s throat.

    The sabre was in Fu Hongxue’s hand, and that hand was now back on the table.

    Yan Nanfei stared at this pitch black sabre for a long time, and said slowly,
    “A year ago, I was defeated by your sabre.”

    Fu Hongxue lightly, “Perhaps you should not have lost. You were too young, but yet your swordplay was too worn.”

    Yan Nanfei was slient as if in deep consideration of Fu Hongxue's words. After a long while, he said unhurriedly, “You asked me then, if I had any unfulfilled wishes left.”

    Fu Hongxue nodded, “I had asked you that!”

    Yan Nanfei continued, “I replied then, that though I had unfinished business, that business was my own and only mine to do.”

    Fu Hongxue answered, “I remember.”

    “I told you then, that you could kill me anytime, but you could forget about forcing me to reveal anything if I was unwilling to do so.” Yan Nanfei said.

    Fu Hongxue nodded. “And now…?”

    Yan Nanfei answered, “Now is still the same!”

    Fu Hongxue asked, “Still the same unwillingness to talk?”

    Yan Nanfei answered, “You loaned me a year’s time, to let me finish my business. Now had a year has passed, I…”

    “came back here to die!” Fu Hongxue said.

    Yan Nanfei nodded. “That is correct. I came back here to die!”

    He held his sword, and spoke each word with care, “You can kill me now.”

    He had came here to die!

    He was originally from *Jiangnan. He rushed through thousands of li, just to get to Phoenix Settlement, just in time to die!
    * (Jiangnan, literally South of the River, refers to regions south of the Yangzi River, also known as the Chang Jiang.)
    //li is an unit of distance used in ancient times.

    He drank his fill of wine from gold wine cups and made merry; but all these were merely forms of pre-death entertainment.

    How beautiful and stately was this kind of death.

    The sword was still in his hand; the sabre was still on the table.

    “At this very time and place a year ago, I could have killed you.” Fu Hongxue said.

    Yan Nanfei said, “You let me go a year ago, was it because you were sure I would return?”

    “If you did not, I would probably never have found you.” Fu Hongxue answered.

    “Very possibly” Yan Nanfei agreed.

    “But you came” Fu Hongxue said.

    “I would have come no matter what,” Yan Nanfei replied.

    “Because of this, I can give you one more year for you to complete your unfinished business.” Fu Hongxue said.

    “No need” Yan Nanfei answered.

    “No need?” Fu Hongxue questioned.

    “Since I’m here, I am already mentally prepared to die.” Yan Nanfei said.

    “You don’t want to live for one more year?” Fu Hongxue asked.

    Yan Nanfei suddenly gave a long guffaw, “If a true man lives in the world, but could not help the weak and destroy evil; avenge wrongs and repay kindness. He would be no better than being dead, even if he lived another hundreds of years.”

    He was laughing, yet in his laughter carried an indescribable pain and anguish.

    Fun Hongxue looked at him intently, waited for his laughter to die before abruptly said, “But you still have unfulfilled wishes.”

    “Who said that?” Yan Nanfei retorted.

    “I did. I can tell.” Fu Hongxue answered.

    Yan Nanfei gave a cold laugh, “Even if I have some unfulfilled wishes, it is none of your business.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “But I am…”

    Yan Nanfei interrupted him, “You had never been a man of many words, and I didn’t come here to talk to you!”

    “You only wish for a quick death?” Fu Hongxue asked.

    “Yes.” The answer was short and swift.

    “You would rather die than to reveal your unfulfilled wishes?” Fu Hongxue asked.

    “Yes,” Yan Nanfei said definitely.
    The "YES" came out strong and decisive. Nothing in this world could change his mind.

    The hand that Fu Hongxue was holding the sabre with had veins popping out of the arm.

    Once the sabre left its sheath, death would follow. Nothing in the world could stop it.

    Was his sabre getting ready to leave its sheath?

    Yan Nanfei presented his sword to Fu Hongxue with both hands, “I would rather die by my own sword.”

    “I know!” Fu Hongxue answered.

    “But you are using your sabre anyway?” Yan Nanfei asked.

    “You have some things that you refuse to do. So do I.” Fu Hongxue answered.

    Yan Nanfei was silent, then spoke slowly, “After I die, would you take good care of my sword?”

    Fu Hongxue said coldly, “If the sword is alive, the person is alive. If the person perishes, so will the sword. When you die, your sword will join you in your destruction.”

    Yan Nanfei gave a deep breath out and closed his eyes. “All right, strike me down now!”

    Fu Hongxue’s sabre had already left its sheath, but it had not found its mark yet. There was a deafening rattling noise, like that of a giant wheel rolling on the ground. Then, a loud explosion sounded.

    The already rotting tavern door was blown apart by this explosion, and something rolled in. It was large and shiny golden sphere; the sphere was the size of the wheels on a wagon.

    FOUR
    Fu Hongxue did not move, and neither did Yan Nanfei turn his head.

    The golden sphere was rolling towards Yan Nanfei, and was about to run him over.

    No man can withstand the force of such a collision. That force was not one that mere flesh and blood can stop.

    Just at this very moment, Fu Hongxue drawn his sabre!

    The sabre flashed, and stopped moving.

    All motion and noise stopped too.

    The seemingly unstoppable golden sphere stopped after being tapped lightly with his sabre.

    At the same moment, thirteen spears flew out of the golden sphere, straight towards Yan Nanfei's back.

    Yan Nanfei still did not move, and Fu Hongxue’s sabre moved again.

    Light from the sabre flashed, and the spearheads all broke and fell. The golden sphere looked as though it weighed a ton, but it had been cut into four quarters by the sabre.

    The sphere was actually hollow, and the four quarters opened like those of flower petals. A small, dwarfish man was sitting on the floor amongst the four pieces of what remained of the sphere. He sat there without moving.

    That sabre lopped off thirteen spear heads and hacked the golden sphere to four quarters with one slash; the speed and force of this slash was incredible and unimaginable. It was as though all the magic and energy in this world united to generate this sabre slash.

    The sabre technique that was used was beyond all other sabre techniques; it was enough to destroy everything.

    However, even with the destruction of the spear heads and the golden sphere, that short man was still perfectly fine and sitting on the floor. Not only was he motionless, he had no expression on his face. It was as though he was a man made of wood.

    The windows and door were wrecked by the impact; some roof tiles were loosened and fell. They landed on this wooden man; the sound of ceramic tiles crashing against wood was produced.

    It turned out that the man was really made of wood.

    Fu Hongxue looked at him coldly. Since he didn't move, Fu Hongxue also didn't move.

    How could a wooden man move about anyway?

    Unexpectedly, this one did.

    He moved quickly and suddenly rocketed towards Yan Nanfei’s back.

    He had no weapons.
    He used his own person as a weapon, his entire body, his four limbs were all weapons.
    Even the most menacing weapons required a person to handle them, because weapons themselves were not alive.
    However, this weapon was totally alive!

    Also at that very moment, a pair of hands came up from the ground and grabbed hold of Yan Nanfei’s legs.
    This move was also totally unexpected.
    Now even if Yan Nanfei had wanted to avoid the attack, he would not have been able to.

    This attack was very well coordinated; the sudden movement of the Wood Man; the hands from the ground; attacking from both top and bottom. Wood Man's legs had also wrapped around Yan Nanfei's waist, both his hands already flying at the throat in top speed!

    This attack was not only totally out of ordinary, but also carefully planned. It was a strike that would not have failed to hit the target.

    It is a pity that they forgot that Yan Nanfei had a sabre close to him!
    Fu Hongxue’s sabre!

    A sabre totally unmatched under the heavens!
    The sabre flashed! Just a single flash!

    There were open wounds on all four hands, Wood Man's hand was bleeding originally.
    The blood oozing out from the new wounds was just as red. But his deadwood face had grimaced.

    The hands loosen, all four hands. A man totally covered with soil leaped out from the ground. He looked like a man made of mud.

    Mud Man was also a dwarf.

    Both of them leaped up, made a turn in the air, and each withdrawing to a corner.
    No one chased after them.

    Fu Hongxue's sabre was motionless, as he was. Yan Nanfei didn't even turn his head.

    Mud Man held his hands up, suddenly turned and said, “This is all your fault. You said that nothing could go wrong with our plan of attack.”

    Wood Man replied, “Now that we have failed, we have best kill ourselves now. Returning with failure would mean death anyway.”

    “How do you wish to die?” asked Mud Man.

    “I am a wooden man, certainly the best way to die is to go up in flames,” Wood Man said.

    “All right then, you better burn yourself to ashes.” Mud Man told him.

    Wood Man gave a small sigh, and really set fire to his clothes up with a fire starter.
    The fire burned very quickly. In a very short while, Wood Man was totally in flames.

    Mud Man stood afar to avoid the heat. Suddenly he exclaimed, “Hold on, you cannot die yet; you still have a few thousand taels of silver in paper money. They are of no use to anybody if they are burnt into ashes.”

    A voice actually came out from the flames, “Come and get it yourself.”

    Mud Man said, “I am afraid of the heat.”

    A loud sigh came from within the flames and suddenly a jet of clear water sprouted up vertically within the flames. Falling onto the flaming mass like rain, creating a fog of mist.

    The fire was doused immediately, and creating a lot of think smoke.
    Wood Man remained in the smoke, nobody could see how badly Wood Man was burnt.

    Fu Hongxue did not even glance at him, he was only concerned about one person.

    Yan Nanfei, however looked as though he would not concern himself with anyone ever again.

    The smoke was everywhere in the tavern. The smoke floated out though the door windows.
    There was a small breeze outside.
    The smoke floated out and disappeared into the winds.

    That little black cat that was crossing the street earlier had been hiding behind a pillar some distance away.
    A small wisp of smoke was blown towards the direction of this cat. It stiffened and collapsed; its leg muscles were still twitching.

    Although it had been through the horrors of the destruction and starvation, it was still alive. But, this small wisp of smoke turned it into a bag of rotton bones within the twinkle of an eye.

    At this moment, Fu Hongxue and Yan Nanfei were standing right in the smoke.

    ~End of Chapter 02~
    Last edited by chowbeng; 05-12-09 at 05:36 AM.

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    Default Chapter 03: Bright Moon at High Mansion

    Chapter 03: Bright Moon at High Mansion
    Translated by metwin1.
    metwin1 had done a great job on this chapter, lots of beautiful lines. He however was badly let down by the online source. There was a chuck of missing passage (over 20 lines) and there was another that was prinited out of order, resulting in some confusion.


    ONE
    Thick smoke slowly dispersed.

    This is a life seizing smoke. There were simply too many renowned heroes who had fallen suddenly and noiselessly to this thick smoke.

    As the smoke was dispersing, Wood Man's eyes were shining with elation. He was certain that his opponents had fallen.

    In fact, he hoped to see them on the ground, still struggling to the last. He hoped that they would crawled in front of him and begged for the antidote.

    Even Shi *Batian and *Tong Hu had kneeled in front him before, and begged piteously for the antidote.
    *('Batian' and 'Tong Hu' directly translates as 'Overpowering the Skies' and 'Bronze Tiger' respectively. These names suggest that these two people were very fearsome.)

    They were the most terrifying strongmen in the *Jianghu; but when facing death, even the bravest would become cowardly.
    *(Jianghu literally translates as ‘rivers, lakes’. This term describes a world/society that the pugilistic fraternity (more commonly known as wuxia people) lived in. This world/society had its own laws and moral code which was often very different, even antagonistic, from the laws that were imposed to the rest of the society by the Imperial Court. )

    To him, the suffering and hopelessness of other people were a source of pleasure and gratification.

    But this time, he was disappointed.

    Fu Hongxue and Yan Nanfei did not fall. In fact, their eyes were still shining.

    The light in Wood Man's eyes was extinguished, just like the flames on his torso. His clothes were burnt to ashes and were scattered into the winds along with the thick smoke. Only a person with soot blackened skin was left. It looked like cast iron that was inflammable, yet like burnt charcoal too.

    Yan Nanfei suddenly spoke, “These two people are the Double Killers of the Five Elements.”

    Fu Hongxue gave a “humph” in reply.

    [Wood hidding within Metal, Water and Fire coming from the same source], [Hidden movement in borrowed Earth, Ghost hands grabbing legs], normally these assassination moves that were practically impossible to defend against. Double Killers of the Five Elements were one of a few professional assassins who commanded the highest price. It was rumoured that they were already men of huge fortunes, if not millionaires.

    Unfortunately, in this world no matter how many times a millionare you were, to some people you were essentially worthless.

    Mud Man laughed uneasily, and spoke first, “He is Metal-Wood-Water-Fire, and I am Earth. I am nothing really, a stupid donkey, a useless potato and a worthless dog.”

    He was looking very intently at the sabre in Fu Hongxue's hand.

    The sabre was already back in its sheath. A pitch black hilt and a pitch black sheath.

    Mud Man sighed, and laughed bitterly, “Even if we did not recognise Hero Fu, we would have recognised this sabre.”

    Wood Man said, “But we could not imagine that Hero Fu would save him.”

    Fu Hongxue retorted coldly, “This life is already mine.”

    Wood Man answered, “Yes”

    Fu Hongxue:“Apart from me, no one else can touch a strand of his hair.”

    Wood Man, “Yes, yes”
    Mud Man pleaded, “If Hero Fu promises to spare my life, I would immediately *scram somewhere far far away.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “*Scram.”
    *(The term that was actually used was “Roll”, as the verb “roll” could mean two things; to roll, or to scram off.)

    His words were barely out of his mouth when Wood Man and Mud Man scrammed off. In fact, they actually rolled out like two balls.

    Yan Nanfei suddenly laughed, and said, “I knew you definitely would not kill them,”

    “Oh?” Fu Hongxue replied.

    Yan Nanfei explained, “because they are not worthy enough.”

    Fu Hongxue looked intently at the sabre that was in this hand, but there was an unspeakable sense of loneliness in his expression.
    He never had many friends to begin with. Now even his remaining enemies were dwindling in number.
    Under the heavens, how many people were still worthy of his sabre?

    Fun Hongxue said slowly, “I heard that their price for killing Shi Batian was three hundred thousand taels.”

    Yan Nanfei replied, “Absolutely correct.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Your life is obviously worth more than Shi Batian's.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “Far more.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Not many people can afford their price for you.”

    Yan Nanfei shut his mouth.

    Fu Hongxue said, “I didn't ask as you had known that person's identify long ago.”

    Yan Nanfei's mouth was still shut tight. Silence without words.

    Fu Hongxue continued, “Your unfulfilled wishes was to deal with this person?”

    Without warning, Yan Nanfei laughed coldly, “You had already asked too much!”

    Fu Hongxue, “You are not willing to say?”

    Yan Nanfei, “Not willing.”

    Fu Hongxue, “Then, you go!”

    Yan Nanfei, “I am even more unwilling to go!”

    Fu Hongxue, “Don't forget that I had already loaned you a year. What you still own me was the span of a year.”

    Yan Nanfei, “You want me to repay it? In what way?”

    Fu Hongxue, “By clearing up your unfinished business.”

    Yan Nanfei, “But, I....”

    Fu Hongxue lifted his head slowly and looked hard at him, “If you are a true man, even when facing death, you would want to die with integrity.”

    He had lifted his head up high, but Yan Nanfei followed his head, as if unwilling to let him see the expressions on his face.

    Nobody could explain what was that expression. - Was it sadness? Pain? or Fear?

    Fu Hongxue said, “Your sword is still alive, your body still alive. Why did you have no courage to face him?”

    Yan Nanfei lifted his head up, held his sword tightly in his hand, “Fine, I would go. After a year, I would certainly return.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “I know!”

    There was still wine on the table.
    Yan Nanfei suddenly turned around to grab the wine bottle, “You still do not drink?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “I don't drink!”

    Yan Nanfei looked at him, “People who don't drink, are they always sober?”

    Fu Hongxue replied, “Not necessarily.”

    Yan Nanfei tilted his head backwards, guffawed loudly and drank half the bottle of wine in one gulp. Then he walked out of the tavern in large strides.

    He walked very fast.
    Because he knew the road ahead was not only difficult, but also very long. So long that it was mind-boggling.


    TWO
    Dead town. Deserted street. Lonely world. Lonely bright moon too.

    Tonight was a night of a full moon.

    The moon was full, but the heart was already empty.

    Yan Nanfei walked under the moon light. He was walking in large strides, walking very fast.

    But Fu Hongxue kept following behind him. No matter how fast he walked. The moment he turned around, he would immediately see the lonely cripple, using that clumsy looking and strange posture, slowly shuffling behind.

    The stars were dispersing, the moon was dimming and the night was almost over. He was still following, still keeping the same distance behind.

    Finally, Yan Nanfei could take it no more. He turned around and yelled loudly, “Are you my shadow?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “No.”

    “Then why do you kept following me?” Yan Nanfei questioned.

    Fu Hongxue answered, “I am not willing to allow you to die in someone else's hands.”

    Yan Nanfei gave a cold laugh, “I don't need you to worry for me. I have always been able to take care of myself.”

    Fu Hongxue asked, “Can you really?”

    He did not let Yan Nanfei but immediately continued, “Only the a truly emotionless person can take care of themselves. You feel too much.”

    Yan Nanfei asked, “What about you?”

    Fu Hongxue said grimly, “I may used to have feelings, but I had forgotten them. Long forgotten them.”

    His pale face was without emotion. Who could have noticed that behind this cold, grim mask hid deep, heart wrenching pain? Who could have seen those painful memories?

    If a person's heart was truly dead, feelings totally extinguished, no one in the world could hurt him.

    Yan Nanfei gazed hard at him and unhurriedly said, “You are wrong if you think you can take care of yourself. “

    “Oh?” Fu Hongxue replied.

    Yan Nanfei said, “There's one more person in this world that can hurt you.”

    Fu Hongxue asked, “Who?”

    “Yourself,” Yan Nanfei answered.

    The day broke, and the sun rose.

    The sun had already illuminated the dark, gloomy and cold Earth. And also the three words on a stone plaque at the side of the road: “Phoenix Settlement”.
    //Yes, I can count up to three. Three words were used for the two in chinese: "凤凰集".

    Only this stone plaque, and these three words, remained the same as they had been a year ago.

    Fu Hongxue was not a man who shown his sadness easily. But when he walked past this plaque, he could not help but turned and looked at it again.

    The lands were broad as the seas were wide. Changes that happened in this world were often large. But the change that occurred here was undoubtedly too fast, so fast that it was unnatural.

    Yan Nanfei could guessed Fu Hongxue's feelings, and asked suddenly, “You didn't expect this at all?”

    Fu Hongxue nodded his head slowly, and said, “No, I didn't, but you already knew.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “Oh?”

    Fu Hongxue answered, “You already knew that this town was dead, that was why you brought your wine and your music with you.

    Yan Nanfei did not deny this.

    Fu Hongxue said, “You obviously know why this town ended up in such a sorry state too. “

    Yan Nanfei answered, “Of course I know.”

    Fu Hongxue asked, “Why?”

    Yan Nanfei's eyes suddenly showed a mixture of pain and anger. After a long time, he muttered, “Because of me.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Because of you? How did you turn the entire bustling town to transform into a grave?”

    Yan Nanfei clamped his mouth shut.

    The lines of his mouth were thin and cold; in fact, they were almost cruel.
    So the moment he closed his mouth, anybody could see that he would no longer discuss the matter any further.

    So Fu Hongxue closed his mouth too.

    But their eyes were not closed. They both saw a stallion approaching towards them from the side road. Galloping, galloping at a high speed.

    The stallion was a thoroughbred, and the rider's skills was superb. By the time they saw the horse, both the rider and his horse were already in front of them.

    Yan Nanfei suddenly shot out like an arrow, and did a flip midair as he leaped over the stallion's head. He was already pulling on the reins of the stallion when his feet touched the ground again.

    He stood there like a nail driven into the ground; with just one hand, he managed to rein in a galloping horse.

    The stallion was startled, and reared up.

    The rider was so angry; he cracked his whip and lashed it in the direction of Yan Nanfei's head.

    Suddenly he found himself sprawled on the ground; his perspiration-drenched face was already pale and tense with fear and terror. He stared at Yan Nanfei, stupefied.

    Yan Nanfei was smiling. “Why are you such in a terrible hurry to get to your destination?” he asked.

    The rider was trying to keep his temper. He had to, after witnessing Yan Nanfei's skill. He felt that he had to answer Yan Nanfei's question. “I am rushing to get to a funeral wake.”

    “A relative of yours died?” Yan Nanfei asked.

    The rider answered, “Yes, my second uncle.”

    “By hurrying there, will you be able to save your uncle?”

    It was a rhetorical question, for who could raise the dead?

    “Nothing changes anyway, why travel in such haste?” Yan Nanfei asked.

    The rider was confused, and asked, “What exactly do you want from me?”

    Yan Nanfei said, “I want to buy your horse.”

    The rider answered, “The horse is not for sale.”

    Yan Nanfei reached into his pocket casually, took out a bundle of gold leaves and threw it in front of the rider. “Is this enough?”

    The rider was shocked by Yan Nanfei's gesture. He stared blankly at the bundle of gold leaves. He finally gave a long sigh, and said, “A dead man cannot come back to life. Why do I need to rush to get there?”

    Yan Nanfei laughed. As he was stroking the mane of the stallion, he smiled at Fu Hongxue, and said, “I know I can't get away from you, but now I have six legs.”

    Fu Hongxue was speechless.

    Yan Nanfei guffawed, and waved good bye, “So long! I'll see you in a year's time!”

    He was about to jump onto the intricately designed saddle that was on this beautiful thoroughbred. Suddenly, there was a flash of sabre light.

    Fu Hongxue had already pulled out his sabre.
    The sabre flashed with light, and returned to its sheath.

    The horse was not startled, and nobody present was injured in anyway. This flash of sabre light looked like shooting stars in the sky; shooting stars that gave people beauty and hope, not fear and horror.

    But Yan Nanfei was shocked. He looked at the sabre in Fu Hongxue's hand. “I know you very seldom drawn your sabre.”

    Fu Hongxue grunted an agreement.

    Yan Nanfei said, “Your sabre was not meant for viewing pleasure.”

    Fu Hongxue grunted once again.

    “Then why did you pull your sabre out for no reason whatsoever?” Yan Nanfei asked.

    Fu Hongxue answered, “Because of your legs.”

    Yan Nanfei did not understand, “My legs?”

    Fu Hongxue continued, “You don't have six legs. In fact, the moment you mount this horse, you won’t have even one leg.”

    Yan Nanfei tensed, and turned back to look at the horse. He saw blood!

    Crimson red blood was flowing out. The blood did not flow out from anybody, nor the horse.

    The blood was flowing out from the saddle of the horse.

    The horse rider, who had been sitting on the ground all this time, suddenly jumped to his feet and sprinted away, as quickly as a flying arrow.

    Fu Hongxue did not stop him, neither did Yan Nanfei; they did not even glance at the rider.

    Both their eyes were glued to the horse saddle. Yan Nanfei cautiously used two fingers to lift the saddle. - Only one half of the saddle.

    This intricately designed saddle had been severed into 2 halves by the flash of sabre light.

    How could the horse saddle bleed?

    It couldn't, obviously.

    The blood was cool, and was flowing out from snakes. The snakes were in the horse saddle.

    There were four poisonous snakes, and they were too cleaved into two by the flash of sabre light.

    If a person sat on this horse saddle, that had holes for snakes to crawl out, whose seals had been removed, and if the four venomous snakes had crawled out and bit the legs of this person…

    Would this person still have legs?

    Yan Nanfei broke out in cold sweat at the very thought of this horrifying scenario.

    He was still perspiring, when he heard a wretched cry. This cry was so chilling, he felt as though a sword was being stabbed into his chest.

    The escaping rider had used his lightness skill, the [Swallow Pecking Water Trice], to escape, and was already about seven to eight feet away.

    He suddenly gave a cry of horror, and collapsed.

    That flash of sabre light earlier not only severed the saddle and cleaved the snakes, it injured the rider's heart, spleen and liver.

    He collapsed onto the ground, and was writhing like snakes.

    No one turned around and looked at him.

    Yan Nanfei slowly released the severed horse saddle, raised his head, and gazed intently at Fu Hongxue.

    Fu Hongxue's hand was on the hilt of his sabre, and his sabre was in its sheath.

    Yan Nanfei contemplated silently for a while, and suddenly sighed. “I regret very much that I was born too late, and never had the opportunity to see this.”

    Fu Hongxue asked, “You have never seen Ye Kai's sabre?”

    Yan Nanfei answered, “I regret that I never had the fortune. I…”

    Fu Hongxue interrupted him, “You may not have had the fortune, but you are nevertheless also lucky. There were people who had seen his sabre in the past..”

    Yan Nanfei asked, “They had all died?”

    Fun Hongxue answered, “Even if their bodies are still alive, their hearts were already dead.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “Their hearts had died?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “All who had seen him use his sabre, dared not use a sabre for the rest of their lives, without exceptions.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “But his sabre is really just a flying knife.”

    Fu Hongxue replied, “A flying knife is too, a knife.”
    //The sabre and the knife shared the same chinese character 刀 and thus the awkwardness in translation here. Keep that in mind in the following passage.

    Yan Nanfei agreed, could only agree.

    There were all sorts of knifes and sabres. Every single type of sabre and knife can be used to kill.

    Fu Hongxue asked, “Have you ever used a sabre?”

    Yan Nanfei replied, “Never.”

    Fu Hongxue asked, “How many people have you seen, who do actually know how to use sabres properly”

    Yan Nanfei answered, “Not too many.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Then you have no business to be talking about knifes and sabres.”

    Yan Nanfei laughed, and said, “Perhaps I really do not have any business to be talking about knifes and sabres; perhaps your sabre technique isn't unmatched under the heavens. These, I am not too sure. But I am sure about one thing.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “And what is that?”

    Yan Nanfei said, “Now I have six legs again, but you only have two.”

    He gave a loud gaffaw again, and leaped onto the horse.

    The horse saddle may be severed, and the snakes may be slashed, but the horse was still very much alive and alert.

    The horse ran like the wind, and left behind a swirl of fine dust.

    Fu Hongxue looked down at his feet; his eyes had the indescribable look of self ridicule, and whispered to himself, “You are wrong. I don't have two legs; I only have one.”


    THREE
    There were wine tavern in every town; and every wine tavern with long histories had something that was special or unique.

    The “Ten Thousand Longevity” tavern was unique in one way, and that was the exorbitant prices that it charged. Everything that was served, food or wine, were at least double the price of other taverns.

    Man has many weakness. Spending tons of money for the sake of appearance was surely one of them.

    This was why places that charged ridiculous prices also had ridiculously good business.

    When Yan Nanfei walked out of the “Ten Thousand Longevity” tavern and looked at the horse tied outside the tavern, he could not help laughing.

    Two legs were really of no match to six legs.

    Every Man hopes to escape their shadow. This was certainly another of Man’s many weaknesses.

    But as he was untying horse reins, he could no longer laugh.

    The moment he raised his head, he saw Fu Hongxue again.

    Fu Hongxue was standing across the street, and was staring at him coldly. His face was deadly pale, his eyes silently cold, his sword pitch black.

    Yan Nanfei smiled.

    He gave the horse a small pat and the horse trotted away. He, however was still where he was, smiling and looking at Fu Hongxue.

    The horse that was worth thousands of gold, turned into swirl of dust with a mere pat of his hands.

    A thousand taels. Ten thousand taels. Tens and Tens of thousand taels. What are they in his eyes? To him, they are nothing but dust.

    The dust settled, and he walked across the street towards Fu Hongxue. He smiled, and said, “You still managed to catch up after all.”

    Fu Hongxue gave a “humph” in reply.

    Yan Nanfei gave a deep sigh and said, “It’s just as well I am not a female. If not, after being chased and watched like this by you, I’d have had no choice but to marry you.”

    Fu Hongxue’s pale face suddenly blushed red. The blush was so deep red, it was alarming. All the pores on his face contorted as though he was in deep pain.

    What excruciating memory lay in his heart? Why would a simple, ordinary joke like this one cause him so much pain?

    Yan Nanfei closed his mouth.

    He never liked hurting other people. Everytime he hurt a person by mistake, he would feel very bad too.

    They stood there face to face, under the roof of a bakery.

    There was a skinny and withered old lady with two children, a girl and a boy. They were buying some cakes in the bakery. They were barely out of the bakery and the children were already bickering to eat. Though the granny was telling them that it was not good to be eating on the streets, she took out two pieces for them to share.

    The children however, quarrelled even louder after they received their share of the cakes.

    The little boy jumping up and down, “Why is Xiaoping’s piece so much bigger than mine? I want her cake.”

    The little girl naturally refused so the little boy tried to scratch it from her. The little girl had no choice but to run away from him. The old granny couldn't them and could only shake her head and sighed with resignation.

    The girl was not as fast and the boy was going to catch her. She ran behind Yan Nanfei and hid, pulled at Yan Nanfei’s sleeve, and said, “Good uncle, please save me. He’s a little robber.”
    The boy quipped, “ This uncle won’t help you. We are all men, and men stick together.”

    Yan Nanfei laughed at the antics of the children.

    These two children may be mischievious, but they were very intelligent and very cute. Yan Nanfei also had his childhood once, but those golden times were gone, never to return. He too,had a girl playmate once, and he wondered if she was already married.

    He saw something in the two children that reminded him of his childhood.

    His heart was suddenly filled with warmth and nostalgia. He grabbed both the hands of the two children and said gently, “Let’s quarrel no more. Uncle will buy ten cakes for each of you.”

    The faces of the two children lighted up, their smiles were angelic. They both start running into his embrace.

    Yan Nanfei opened his arms, preparing to carry a child in each arm.

    At this instant, there was a flash of sabre light.

    Fu Hongxue was a person who never drawn his sabre out lightly, and yet he suddenly draw his sabre!

    The sabre light flashed pass, and the cakes that were in the children’s hands fell onto the ground. They had been slashed into halfs.

    Both children were so frightened that they started crying and ran back to their grandmother.

    Yan Nanfei was also stunned. He stared at Fu Hongxue in bewilderment.

    Fu Hongxue’s sabre was already back in its sheath. His face was expressionless.

    Yan Nanfei suddenly laughed coldly. “Now I know. Other than killing, your sabre has one more function.”

    Fun Hongxue said, “Oh?”

    Yan Nanfei said, “You also use your sabre to frighten children.”

    Fu Hongxue replied coldly, “I only scare one type of children.”

    Yan Nanfei asked, “Which type?”

    Fu Hongxue answered, “The type that kills.”

    Yan Nanfei was stunned once more, and turned his back slowly. The old lady was backing away with the two children. The children were no longer crying; their eyes were wide open, and they were glaring at Yan Nanfei.

    It was as though their glare was filled with murderous intentions and hatred.

    Yan Nanfei lowered his head. His heart beginning to sink. His eyes fell on the cakes on the ground. There were reflective bits inside the cakes.

    He picked up one of the halves, and found a mechanised hollow tube filled with [Five-Poison Needles].

    He suddenly leaped up like a bird, and landed in front of the old lady. “You are the Ghostly Granny?”

    The old lady laughed. The wrinkled and shrivelled face, suddenly became evil and cruel. “You’ve heard of me. Now, that is unexpected.”

    Yan Nanfei gazed at her for a long time, and said calmly, “You do know that I have a habit.”

    Ghostly Granny said, “What habit is it?”

    Yan Nanfei answered, “I never kill women.”

    Ghostly Granny laughed. “It's a good habit to have.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “You may be old, but you are still women.”

    Ghostly Granny let out a breath, and said, “It's too bad for you that you've never seen me when I was still young, or else….

    Yan Nanfei interrupted coldly, “… I would have still killed you.”

    Ghostly Granny said, “I seem to recall you just mentioning that you never killed women.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “You are an exception.”

    Ghostly Granny asked, “Why am I an exception?”

    Yan Nanfei said, “Children are pure and innocent. You should not have used them. You've wrecked their lives…”

    Ghostly Granny smiled again. Her smile was chilling, “Granny loves the children, and the children love to help their Granny with her work. What business is it of yours?”

    Yan Nanfei shut his mouth.

    He was no longer bear to discuss this matter. His hand was already griping his sword sword.

    A bright red sword, red as fresh blood!

    Ghostly Granny cackled in laughter. “Other people are afraid of your Wild Rose Sword, but I…”
    She didn't finish her sentence, but threw a bag of sugared pastries heavily on the ground.

    There was a suddenly clap of thunderous explosion. There was dust flying high, acrid smoke everywhere and sparks flying about.

    Yan Nanfei leaped into the air and somersaulted two feet back.

    By the time the smoke dispersed and the dust settled, Ghostly Granny and the two children had vanished. There was however, a large hole left in the ground.

    A crowd gathered around to watch, but soon scattered.

    Yan Nanfei was still standing there, shell-shocked. After a good while, he turned and faced Fu Hongxue.

    Fu Hongxue was as cold as snow.

    Yan Nanfei let out a long sigh, and said, “You are right once again.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “I'm rarely wrong.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “The children are innocent. They must have been kidnapped by Ghostly Granny when they were tiny.”

    In the dark of the night, and babies in cloth bundles…
    A shrivelled old lady knocking on the door in the middle of the night…
    Grieving parents, pitiful children…

    Yan Nanfei said sorrowfully, “She must had used all kinds of methods to have taught the children nothing but evil and hatred from a young and tender age.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “That's why you should not have let escape.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “I did not suspect that fire seeds from Jiangnan's Thunderclap Hall could be hidden in that the bag of sugared pastries.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “You should have thought of that possibility. If the cakes could contain the [Five-posion Needles], they could also contain the [Thunderclap Seed].”

    Yan Nanfei asked, “You expected something like this would occur?”

    Fu Hongxue did not deny it.

    Yan Nanfei asked, “Since you are of the opinion that that I should not have let her go, why didn’t you strike her down?”

    Fu Hongxue answered coldly, “That is because her target was you, not me. Besides, I never expect you to be so dumb.”

    Yan Nanfei looked intently at him, and laughed bitterly. “Perhaps it is not that I'm too dumb, but it is that you are too sharp.”

    Fu Hongxue, “Oh?”

    Yan Nanfei said, “Right to this very moment, I still find it hard to understand how you detect the toxic mist amidst the smoke and the poisonous snakes in the saddle?”

    Fu Hongxue was silent for a long time. He calmly said, “There are many ways to kill a person. Assassination is but one of them, and yet this way of killing is the most fearsome of them all.

    Yan Nanfei answered, “I know that.”

    Fu Hongxue continued, “Then do you know how many assassination methods are there?”

    Yan Nanfei answered, “I don’t know.”

    Fu Hongxue asked again, “Do you know how many people in the last three centuries have died undeserved deaths because of successful assassinations?”

    Yan Nanfei answered, “I don’t know.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “At least 538 people.”

    Yan Nanfei asked, “You counted?”

    Fu Hongxue replied, “I counted. It took me seven years of time and effort to get this exact number.”

    Yan Nanfei could not stop himself from asking the obvious question, “Why did you waste so much time to find the exact answer to this trivial question?”

    Fu Hongxue replied, “If I had not taken the trouble to do so, I would have already died at least ten times , and you three times.”

    Yan Nanfei let out a small breath. He was going to say something, but stopped himself.

    Fu Hongxue continued “These 538 people that I mentioned, they were all highly skilled members of the pugilistic fraternity. They were all killed by people who were normally not their match in martial arts.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “They only succeed because the assassination methods were so lowly and ingenious.”

    Fu Hongxue nodded. “There may have been 538 deaths, but there were only 483 assassins.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “Some were victims of the same assassin.”

    Fu Hongxue nodded again. “Also, different assassins might shared the similar methods.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “I would have imagine so.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “In all, the assassins had used 227 different methods.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “It goes without saying that these 227 methods must be the most malicious and ingenious.”

    Fu Hongxue replied, “Obviously so.”

    Yan Nanfei asked, “Of these, how many of them do you know?”

    Fu Hongxue answered, “227.”

    Yan Nanfei let out another breath, and said, “Originally, I know none of these methods.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “At the very least, you now know three of them.”

    Yan Nanfei answered, “More than three methods!”

    Fu Hongxue, “More than three methods?”

    Yan Nanfei smiled, “Do you know the number of assassination attempts I had survived in the last six months?”

    Fu Hongxue shook his head.

    Yan Nanfei said, “39 attempts, not counting the three that you witnessed.”

    Fu Hongxue asked, “Their methods were all different?”

    Yan Nanfei replied, “Not only were they totally different, they all came unexpected. But I’m still alive today.”

    It was now Fu Hongxue’s turn to be speechless.

    Yan Nanfei laughed and walked into a small road that was intersecting the major street that they were on. There was a high mansion. There were floral scents emitting from the upper floors.

    What floral scent was it?

    Could it be that of wild roses?


    FOUR
    There was a high mansion.
    There were windows in the mansion.
    There was moon outside the window.
    There were flowers beneath the moon.
    Flowers were wild roses.
    The moon was bright moon.

    There was no lamp. The moonlight came in from the window, and shone at the wild roses that were beside Yan Nanfei.

    He had more than wild roses by his side, he also have a person pricked by wild roses.

    Tonight, of all nights..

    The moon is like fluid, two people leaning on each other.
    There were countless burdens to be shared.
    There were neverending words of love to be said.

    The night was deep, and Man was getting intoxicated.

    Yan Nanfei was however very much alert, his eyes were still clear as the bright moon. But the expresssion on his face was, as if pricked by the thorns of wild roses

    Wild roses had thorns, but what about the bright moon?
    The bright moon did have a heart, that was why the moon would lend its rays to illuminate manknd. The name of this lady was *Mingyue Xin.
    *(Mingyue Xin literally translates as “Heart of the Bright Moon”. She is a recurring character, and the moon is often used as a pun/metaphor for her. Keep this in mind henceforth when the “bright moon” or “the heart of the bright moon” comes up. The author may be just be literally describing about the bright moon hanging in the sky. Then again, the author may actually be referring to Mingyue Xin.)

    The deeper the night,
    The clearer the moon,
    The more beautiful she is,
    However, the expression on his face was even more hurt.

    She gazed intently at him for a long time. Finally she had to break the silence. She whispered, “What is in your mind?”

    Yan Nanfei remained quiet for a long time, before he answered softly, “I'm thinking of people. Two people in particular.”

    Mingyue Xin’s voice was even gentler now, “Am I one of the two?

    Yan Nanfei answered, “No.”

    His voice became ice-cold, “You are not either of the two people I'm thinking of.”

    The beauty was pricked once again, but she did not withdraw. She asked, “Who are they then?”

    Yan Nanfei answered, “One of them is Fu Hongxue.”

    Mingyue Xin asked, “Fu Hongxue? The person who was waiting for you at Phoenix Settlement?”

    Yan Nanfei nodded.

    Mingyue Xin asked, “He is your enemy, isn't he?”

    Yan Nanfei answered, “No.”

    Mingyue Xin asked, “Is he your friend then?”

    Yan Nanfei said, “No, he's not my friend either.”

    He suddenly laughed, and said, “You'd never guess in a million years why he was waiting for me at Phoenix Settlement.”

    Mingyue Xin asked, “Why was he waiting for you?

    Yan Nanfei said, “He was waiting to kill me.”

    Mingyue Xin let out a small breath, and said, “But he didn't kill you.”

    Yan Nanfei was still smiling, but his expression was mocking, “Not only did he not kill me, he even saved me three times.”

    Mingyue Xin sighed once more, and said, “We women will never understand these kind of men.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “Woman don't understand man in the first place.”

    Mingyue Xin turned her head towards the window and stared at the moon hanging outside the window. She asked, “Who else were you thinking of?”

    Yan Nanfei's expression turned from gibe back to pain, and said slowly, “A man I want to kill, but I know I would never be able to kill him.”

    Seeing his pain, her eyes dimmed; even the moon outside also dimmed.

    A dark cloud floated quietly across the sky, and covered the moon.

    She got up silently, and whispered, “I'm leaving now, you should be sleeping soon.”

    Yan Nanfei did not raise his head. “You are leaving?”

    Mingyue Xin said, “I know that I should be with you when you are feeling down, but…”

    “But you had to leave anyway, even though this room is amongst the *wind and dust, you had never allowed guests to stay overnight. You are giving me face by letting me remain here,” Yan Nanfei interrupted.
    *(“Wind and Dust” is a euphemistic term referring to prostitution. Yan Nanfei's present location can be left to the reader's imagination.)

    Mingyue Xin looked at him, and her eyes also began to show the pain. She suddenly turned around, and said, “Perhaps I never should have asked you to stay. Perhaps you never should have come.” Her voice was calm, yet not without a hint of resentment.

    Man in an empty room. The empty room thicked with loneliness. Outside the window, raindrops was like the chord of a qin. It was slowly nearing, louder and denser.

    The rain was heavy and came very fast. The wild roses on the balcony were ravaged by the torrent of raindrops.

    Across the street, at the corner, there stood a man who could not be ravaged. Nothing could devastate him; not his person, not his determination.

    When Yan Nanfei pushed open the windows, he saw this man.

    “He's still here,” Yan Nanfei mumbled to himself. The storm was worsening, but this man stood there, motionless. Even if the raindrops were like hundreds and thousands of little daggers raining down on him, he would not retreat. Other than smiling bitterly to himself, Yan Nanfei had no other appropriate response to this sight. “Fu Hongxue, Fu Hongxue, what kind of a human are you?”

    There was a slight breeze, and the raindrops hit his face. They were cold, and their chill wormed their way into his heart.

    However, there was a sudden rush of hot blood in his heart. Pounding hard with emotion, it rushed through the icy raindrops, over the high wall and falling in front of Fu Hongxue.

    Fu Hongxue seemed far away. It was as though he wasn't experiencing this downpour, and didn’t see Yan Nanfei.

    Yan Nanfei was only under the rain for a short while, but his clothes were quickly drenched through. But if Fu Hongxue remained silent, so would he as well.

    Fu Hongxue’s gaze fell on him at last. He said coldly, “It's raining heavily outside.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “I know.”

    Fu Hongxue continued, “You should not have come out.”

    Yan Nanfei laughed, and asked, “If you can be standing under the pouring rain, why cannot I do the same?”

    Fu Hongxue only said three words, “You certainly can.”

    With that, he turned his gaze away. It was obvious that he was terminating the conversation.

    But Yan Nanfei refused to let the dialogue end. He continued speaking, “Of course I can stand under the rain. Anybody has the right to stand under the rain if he so chooses.”

    Fu Hongxue was silent. He was again as though he was physically somewhere far far away.

    Yan Nanfei yelled, “But I didn’t come out here specially to get drenched.”

    His voice was just too loud. It was even louder than the hundreds of thousands of raindrops that were hitting the tiled rooftop.

    Fu Hongxue was undoubtedly not deaf. He finally asked nonchalantly, “Then what are you doing outside?”

    Yan Nanfei said, “I want to tell you something. A secret.”

    Fu Hongxue’s eyes brightened. “You are now prepared to tell me?”

    Yan Nanfei nodded. Fu Hongxue asked, “But you were originally intending to take that secret to your grave?”

    Yan Nanfei nodded in admission, and said, “I had made up my mind not to tell anybody, ever.”

    Fu Hongxue asked, “Then why are you telling me now?” Yan Nanfei stared at him, at the raindrops on his face, at his pale face, and answered, “I'm going to tell you now, because I've suddenly realised one thing.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “And what is that?”

    Yan Nanfei laughed. He said, unconcerned, “You are not human. Not human at all

    ~End of Chapter 03~

    Notes:

    I had changed the title from "Pagoda" to "Mansion". I really had thought over this for a long while. It is surprisingly hard to translate simple term like 高楼. It directly translated to "tall buliding" but it isn't very descriptive nor elegant. It is however in no way a "pagoda". A Pagoda sounds wonderfully, but it is also misleading. I can't let it pass as "pagoda" because it was not only mentioned in this chapter but the next as well. While "mansion" is not a perfect match for 高楼 (tall buliding), it was the closest term I could think of, that fits my interpretation of the story. (suggestions welcome!)
    Last edited by chowbeng; 05-25-09 at 03:14 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Chapter 04: The Thumb of the Blackhand

    Translation Notes

    1. Blackhand - I had translated 黑手 directly as Blackhand for the sake of simplicity, however there is also a hidden meaning behind that. 幕后黑手 means the manipulator/boss behind the scenes, thus Blackhand ( 黑手 ) also strongly hinted as such. Do take of it as it is kind of important in this chapter and beyond.

    2 Qin - Qin is a ancient chinese musical instrument. It looks (and sounds) very much like a zither.

    2.Laughing Buddha - "Laughing Buddha" is the common English name for the Buddhist figure variously known as Budai or Hotei ( 布袋 ). He is depicted as a stout, smiling or laughing shaved man in robes with a largely exposed pot belly stomach. A picture speaks for itself.

    3. Nameless Finger - It refers to the ring finger. The ring finger is more commonly known as the nameless finger in chinese culture. In case you are still confused, it is the fourth digit of the human hand.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Chapter 04: The Thumb of the Blackhand


    ONE
    What was he then, if not human?
    Was he a wild animal? Ghost or demon? Block of wood? Or immortal Buddha?

    Perhaps, not all that.
    It merely was the uncannily ability to perform deeds that were beyond the limits of normal beings and at the same time able to endure far more than any normal being.

    Yan Nanfei had the very good explaination, "Even if you are human, you are at the most an inhuman human."

    Fu Hongxue smiled, he actually smiled.
    Although he did not laugh out loud, his eyes did indeed have the hint of laughter.
    This was already something very rare, like a ray of sunshine suddenly appearing in middle of a violent storm.

    Yan Nanfei looked at him and suddenly sighed, "What I didn't expect is that an inhuman human like you could also smile."

    Fu Hongxue quipped, "Not only could smile, but could listen as well."

    Yan Nanfei said, "Then, just follow me."

    Fu Hongxue asked, "Where to?"

    Yan Nanfei replied, "To somewhere without rain, to somewhere with wine"

    In the small mansion, there was wine and there were bright lights. In such a chilly cold rainy night, it might be even warmer than Fu Hongxue's smile. But Fu Hongxue only lifted his head and with a single look, the laughter in his eyes immediately froze.

    He coldly said, "This place might be for you but it is not for me."

    Yan Nanfei said, "You are not going in?"

    "Certainly not", Fu Hongxue replied.

    Yan Nanfei said, "If I can go in, why can't you do the same?"

    Fu Hongxue said, "Because you are not me, and I am not you."

    - It was because you are not me, you would never understand my pain and sufferings. -

    This was left unspoken, neither was there the need. Yan Nanfei had seen his pain, his face was already distorted with this pain.

    This place was just only a brothel, a place where people seeked pleasures and joys. Why would it cause him such intense pain and suffering? Could it be that he had previously endured great pain and sufferings in such a place?

    Yan Nanfei suddenly asked, "Did you see the person accompanying me to Phoenix Settlement, the one who carried my qin?"

    Fu Hongxue shook his head.

    Yan Nanfei continued, "I know that you had not seen it, because you never drink and never look at women"

    He stared at Fu Hongxue, and slowly said, "Is it because those two things had hurt you in the past?

    Fu Hongxue had not moved, neither did he speak but every muscle in his face was already taut.
    Yan Nanfei's words were like a sharp needle, stabbing into his heart.

    - Couldn't a place of happiness also have deep and painful memories?
    - Without happiness, how could there be pain and sufferings?
    - Isn't happiness and pain separated just by a thin thread?

    Yan Nanfei shut his mouth.
    He didn't want to ask further, he couldn't bear to ask further.

    At this moment, two people suddenly flew out behind the high walls. One of them hit the ground with a "PU" and didn't move an inch after that. The other however had already made his way up the mansion with the exquisite lightness skill, [Swallow Pecking Water Trice].

    When Yan Nanfei came out, the windows were still open and the lamps were still bright.
    Under the lamp light, he could only made out a flash of delicatly agile shadow before it disappeared through the window.

    The one on the ground, was a small, thin blackclothed old man. Long white beard and a wax yellow complexion. He had stopped breathing by the time he hit the ground.

    When Yan Nanfei realised that he was dead, he flew up the mansion in the greatest haste, straight through the window.

    By the time he passed through the window, Fu Hongxue was already inside.

    There was nobody in the house, only a wet footprint. A delicate footprint. The swallow-like shadow was obviously a woman.

    Yan Nanfei creased his bows and mumbled, "Could it be her?"

    Fu Hongxue asked, "Who is she?"

    Yan Nanfei answered, "Mingyue Xin." //reminder: Mingyue Xin translate directly as "Heart of the bright moon"

    Fu Hongxue coldly, "Sky has no moon, bright moon has no heart, how could there be Ming Yue Xin(heart of bright moon)?"

    Yan Nanfei sighed, with a bitter laugh, "You were wrong. I was wrong too. Only now I realised that bright moon do have heart"
    The heartless one was the wild rose.
    Wild rose at the horizon.

    Fu Hongxue said, "Mingyue Xin is the owner here?"

    Yan Nanfei nodded, still slient. Outside, someone had already came knocking on the door.

    The door was not latched properly, a redcheeked girl with a pair of huge eyes walked in. Dressed in a thin spring grown, carrying a food basket on her left hand and on her right, was a wine jar with a still unbroken seal.

    With her pair of nimble huge eyes, she looked at Fu Hongxue for a long while before suddenly asking, "Are you the honoured guest my mistress is expecting?"

    Fu Hongxue did not understand, nor did Yan Nanfei.

    The young girl continued, "Our mistress said that a honoured guest is coming and had instructed us to prepare food and wine. But you don't look the part of the honoured guest."

    She seemed reluctant to even take another glance at Fu Hongxue. For while talking she had already turned around to tidy up the table and arrange the cutlery.

    The person just now was indeed Mingxue Xing.

    The blackclothed old man was plotting to assassinate Yan Nanfei. She had killed the old man without revealing herself, most likely to lure Fu Hongxue into this mansion.

    Yan Nanfei smiled, "It looks like her ability to invite guests greatly surpassed mine."

    Fu Hongxue pulled a long face and coldly said, "Too bad that I am not the type of honoured guest she expected."

    Yan Nanfei reasoned, "But since you are already here, then there is no point not staying."

    Fu Hongxue retorted, "Since I am already here, then why did you still waste such words?"

    Yan Nanfei smiled again, walked over and broke open the clay seal of the wine jar. The fragrance greeted the nostrils immediately.

    "Good wine." He laughed. "Even when I was here, I didn't get to drink such good wine."

    The young girl was pouring wine, from the wine jar to the wine pot and then from the wine pot to the wine cup.

    Yan Nanfei remarked, "It looks like she not only recognise you, but she clearly also knows what kind of person you are."

    The wine cup was full to the brim. He drained it in a one glup, then turned to face Fu Hongxue and slowly said, "I had unfulfilled wishes because one person is still not dead."

    Fu Hongxue asked, "Who is that?"

    Yan Nanfei said, "He is the kind that deserved to die."

    Fu Hongxue asked again, "You want to kill him?"

    Yan Nanfei said, "Every single day and night."

    Fu Hongxue was slient for a long time before calmly said, "People who deserved to die would die sooner or later. Why must you kill him with your own hands?"

    Yan Nanfei said, "Because apart from me, no one else knows that he deserved to die."

    Fu Hongxue questioned, "Who exactly is this person?"

    Yan Nanfei replied, "Gongzi Yu!"

    It was suddenly very dead still, even the young girl who was serving wine had momentally forgotten to pour wine!

    Gongzi Yu!
    These three characters alone was enough to frighten people into submission.

    The raindrops trickled down from the roof like a curtain of beads.

    Fu Hongxue faced the windows for a long time before abruptly asked, "In the last 40 years, how many people could be consider as true heroes."

    Yan Nanfei answered, "Three persons."

    Fu Hongxue, "Only three?"

    Yan Nanfei said, "I didn't include you, you...

    Fu Hongxue interrupted him, calmly said, "I know I am not a hero. I know only how to kill people, but not how to save them."

    Yan Nanfei continued, "I did know that you are not a hero, simply because you have no intention to be one."

    Fu Hongxue said, "The three you mentioned are Shen Lang, Li XunHuan and Ye Kai?"

    Yan Nanfei nodded, "Only those three are fit to be called true heroes. No one in Jianghu could dispute that. The first decade belongs to Shen Lang, XiaoLi Flying Dagger dominated the second decade and in the third decade Ye Kai took over."

    Fu Hongxue said, "In the last ten years?"

    Yan Nanfei laughed coldly, "Jianghu of today without a doubt belongs to Gongzi Yu." The winecup was full again, he again quaffed it down in one go. "He not only have close ties with the Imperial family, he is also Shen Lang's only successor. He is famous, charming and suave. Excellent in literary arts and unmatched martial skills. A great swordman!"

    Fu Hongxue said, "Yet you want to kill him."

    Yan Nanfei slowly nodded his head, "I want to kill him but it is not for fame, neither it is for vengeance."

    Fu Hongxue asked, "Then, for what reason."

    "For justice and righteousness, because I know his secret. Only I.....", said Yan Nanfei.

    He was draining his third toast when the wine cup suddenly crushed in his hands with a "BO".

    His complexion had changed, changed into a kind of ghostly dead greenish hue.

    Fu Hongxue took just one look at him and shot up like wind. First, jamming a pair of silver chopstick into his mouth and then without delay sealing all the acupoints leading to his heart.

    Yan Nanfei's mouth was already clamping shut but he couldn't bite through the pair of silver chopsticks, thus leaving a small gap. Through this gap, Fu Hongxue was then able to pour a vial of antidote into his mouth.

    With his fingers, he lightly tapped a couple of times on Yan Nanfei's forehand.

    The silver chopsticks came popping out, and the antidote was already in his belly.

    The young girl was already frightened to death and was about to slip away quietly. But before she could do so, she felt a pair of eyes, sharper and colder than any knife edge already boring into her.

    The wine pot and wine cup were made of pure silver, the clay seal on the wine jar shown no signs of tampering.

    But Yan Nanfei was poisoned, already deeply poisoned after only three cups of wine. How did the poison get into the wine?

    Fu Hongxue smashed the wine jar, the bottom was exposed. Under the bright lamp, something was shining like a star at the bottom of the wine jar.

    It was a three inch long needle. The jar bottom was only slightly thicker than an inch. By pushing the needle into the bottom of the wine jar, the poison on the needle would then dissolved into the wine.

    He had found the answer to the question within seconds. But there was more than one question. - The poison is from the needle, but where did the needle come from?

    Fu Hongxue's eyes was as cold as a knife edge, calmly asked, "You brought this jar of wine?"

    The young girl nodded her head, her apple cheeks were already white with fear.

    Fu Hongxue asked again, "Where did you bring it from?"

    Young Girl quivering, "This is our own wine, which were all stored in the basement."

    Fu Hongxue again, "Why did you pick this particular jar?"

    Young Girl replied, "It was not me who picked the wine. Our mistress told us to serve the very best for the honoured guest. That jar of wine was the best of the best!"

    Fu Hongxue followed up, "Where is she?"

    Young Girl replied, "She was changing because...."

    Before she could finished, someone from outside already continued for her, "...because when I returned just now, I was also completely drenched"

    Her voice was pleasant, her smile was attractive. Her bearing was graceful and elegant while she dressed very softly in pale hues.

    Perhaps she could not be regarded as a beauty who could break up dynasties or take over cities with a bat of her eyelids. But when she walked in, she was like a light ray of moon shinning through the window in a lifeless night. Emitting a sense of unspeakable beauty and a sense of indescribable tranquil happiness.

    Her eyes were gentle, just like the moon in spring. But they became much keener upon seeing the poison needle in Fu Hongxue's hand.

    "Since you are able to find this needle, then you would surely know its origins." Her voice had also became much more incisive. "This is Sichuan* Tang Family's unqiue hidden projectile. The dead old man outside is the disgrace of the Tang Family, Tang Xiang. He had been inside here before, since this mansion was hardly a heavily guarded place. In fact, the wine storage at the basement wasn't even locked."
    //sichuan is a region in south western china.

    Fu Hongxue didn't seem to hear a single word of what she said. He only stared at her blankly, his pale face turned into a crimison red, his breathing ragged and urgent. Torrents of cold sweat had replaced, the rain that had only just dried on his face. Mingyue Xin looked up and only then saw these odd changes on his face. She exclaimed loudly, "You are poisoned as well?!"

    Fu Hong held both his hands tightly together, but still he couldn't stop himself from trembling. Without warning, he flipped in the air and shot out of the window like an arrow. The young girl looked in surprise as he vanished from view. Raising her eyebrowns, "This person seems to have quite a few problems"

    Mingyue Xin exhaled lightly, "Indeed, his sickness is very severe."

    Young Girl said, "What sickness is that?"

    Mingyue Xin answered her, "Sickness of the heart."

    Young Girl blinked, "How could his heart be ill?"

    Mingyue Xin was slient for a long while before sighing again, "It is because he is a man of great grief."


    TWO
    Only the wind and the rain, no light.
    The town in darkness was just like a barren wilderness.

    Fu Hongxue had collapsed beside an alley sewer, his body curled with spasms and was vomiting non stop.
    He perhaps did not vomit out anything but the pain and sorrow in his heart. He was indeed sick.

    To him, this sickness was not only pain and suffering that he could not be freed from, but also a source of shame and humiliation. His sickness would manifest itself whenever he was in extreme anger or sorrow. He would then hide away and torture himself the most cruelly.

    All because he hated himself, hated himself for having such sickness.

    The icy rain pounded his body like lashs of whip. His heart was bleeding, his hands were also bleeding. He dug hard into the gravel, shoving the mixture of blood and dirt into his mouth.

    He had a deep fear that he would wailed and howled like a wild animal. He much rather bleed than to let others see his suffering and humiliation.

    Unforunately, someone came into this empty alley.

    The delicate shadow slowly walked over and stopped in front of him. He didn't see her person, only her feet. A pair of dainty and elegent feet. A pair of soft satin shoes, that totally matched the rest of her attire.

    The colours she wore were always very soft, very pale. Pale like the moon in spring.

    Fu Hongxue suddenly let out an animalistic howl, like a tiger with a belly wound.

    He would much rather anyone else in the world but her, to see his suffering and humiliation.

    He struggled to get up, but somehow every single muscle in his body shook violently in convulsion.

    She sighed, sighing as she bended on her knees.

    He heard her sigh, and felt a pair of icy hands lightly carassing his face.

    Then he lost conscious. All his sufferings and humiliation were instantly extricated.

    When he came to, he was already back in that small mansion.

    She was looking at him by the bedside. Her gown was pale like the moon in spring, but orbs in her eyes were shinning like the stars in autumn.

    Seeing that pair of eyes, he felt another spasm deep inside his heart trembling like a qin chord.

    Her expression was however very cool, softly said, "You need not say anything. The only reason I brought you back here is to save Yan Nanfei, the poison had already worked deeply into him."

    Fu Hongxue shut his eyes. Not only to escape her gaze but also to hide the pain in his eyes.

    Mingyue Xin continued, "To my knowledge, there are at the most only three person in Jianghu who could counteract the poison from Tang Family. And you are one of them."

    Fu Hongxue shown no reactions at all. But all in an instant, he already stood up, facing the window and away from her.

    He was still wearing his original clothes, his sabre still by his side. These two things put him somewhat at ease, thus he didn't shot out of the window this time. Calmly he asked, "Is he still here?"

    "Still here, just right inside."

    "I go in, you wait here."

    She stood there, watched him walked in slowly. Seeing his walking posture, the orbs in her eyes could not help but to betray a kind of unexplainable grief and anguish.

    It was quite some time before she heard him from beyond the door curtain, "Antidote is on the table." His voice was still ice cold, "He is no longer deeply poisoned. After three days, he will regain conscious. After seven days, he will recover."

    "But you can't leave now!" She said in a great hurry, as if knowing that he was going to leave immediately, "Even if you are very unwilling to see me, you still shouldn't leave now!"

    A light breeze from the window and the curtain on the door passively moved. Inside, there was no response at all.

    Had he left?

    "I do understand you, and also know that you had some very painful memories. The person who had hurt you deeply in the past must have looked very much like me." Mingyue Xin said very firmly, "But you must be clear on one thing: she is she, she is not me, nor anyone else."

    - So there is no need to escape, nobody needs to escape. -
    The last sentence was left unsaid, for she believed that he would certainly understand her meaning.

    The breeze was still blowing and the curtain was still wavering. He had not left!

    She heard his breathing and right away said, "If you really want him to live one more year, you must agree to do two things."

    Finally he opened his mouth, "What are they?"

    "You must not leave for the next seven days." She blinks and continued, "At noon, you must also accompany me onto the streets to observe a few people."

    "What kind of people?"

    "The kind that absolutely would not allow Yan Nanfei to live three more days."

    Noon.
    A horse carriage stopped outside the backdoor behind the rear garden, the window screens were all drawn down.

    "Why must we go by carriage?"

    "Because I want you to see them without being seen by them." Mingyue Xin unexpectedly smiled a little, "I know that you don't wish to see me too, so I had brought a mask."

    The mask she wore was one of the Laughing Buddha*. The plump round face with an ear to ear doll-like grin, contrasted with her slim and slender waist, looked absolutely ridiculous. //refer to notes

    Even so, Fu Hongxue did not give her a single look, the pale white hand was still tightly holding that pitch black sabre.
    In his eyes, there was already nothing that could make him smile.

    Behind the mask, the pair of orbs in Mingyue Xin's eyes was locked tightly on to him. Abruptly she asked, "Don't you want to know who is the first person I am bringing you to see?"

    Fu Hongxue did not respond.

    Mingyue Xin answered herself, "It is Du Lei. Thunder Wind Sabre, Du Lei.

    Fu Hongxue did not respond.

    Mingyue Xin exhaled, "I guess you was already out of touch with Jianghu for too long and don't even know about someone like him"

    Fu Hongxue finally opened his mouth again, coldly said, "Why must I know about him?"

    Mingyue Xin replied, "Because he was also one of the person in the List.

    Fu Hongxue, "What list?"

    Mingyue Xin, "[Jianghu Hall of Fame]"(List)

    Fu Hongxue turned even paler.
    He knew that in Jianghu, anyone who had made a name for themselves, certainly would not bow to anyone else.

    Years ago, Bai Xiaosheng's [Weapons List] appraised all top pugilists under the heavens. Although it had been very fair handed, still it caused a long succession of killings. In later years, some had speculated that he was intentionally stiring up chaos in Jianghu.

    What about the present [Jianghu Hall of Fame]? Could it also have some sinister ulterior motives?

    Mingyue Xin said, "It is said that the List was put together by Gongzhi Yu himself. On the List there is a total of thirteen names."

    Fu Hongxue sneered, "His own name is of course not on the List."

    Mingyue Xin confirmed, "You are certainly right."

    Fu Hongxue's eyes flashed and asked again, "What about Ye Kai?"

    Mingyue Xin answered, "Ye Kai's name isn't there too. Maybe it is because he had completely severed his ties with Jianghu, already a man above Man, already a cloud above Heaven." Fu Hongxue, his eyes seems to have gone somewhere far away.
    In the far-away place, a person danced without care in the smoothing cool breeze, almost floating in the wind.

    Mingyue Xin said, "I know that Ye Kai is your only friend, even you don't have news of him?

    Fu Hongxue's eyes instantly snapped back, as grim as the sabre's edge and callously said, "I have no friends at all, not a single one."

    Mingyue Xin sighed quietly in her heart again before returning to the topic, "Why didn't you ask me if your name is in the List?"

    Fu Hongxue didn't ask, because there is simply no need to.

    Mingyue Xin said, "Maybe it is not neccessary to ask. Your name is of course on the List, but so is Yan Nanfei's!"

    Mingyue Xin hesitated before continuing, "Although it had been stressed that the List isn't ranked in any order, but a list of thirteen names would naturally have some sort of order."

    Fu Hongxue finally gave in and asked, "Who is the first name?"

    Mingyue Xin, "Yan Nanfei!"

    Fu Hongxue's hand on the sabre tightened momentarily before slowly relaxing.

    Mingyue Xin said, "You could now understand why while as long as he is in Jianghu, he would never have a day of peace and quiet."

    Fu Hongxue did not reply, the carriage stopped, stopped right opposite a tall buliding.
    The restaurant was 10 feet tall.

    "I know that Du Lei have his afternoon meal here everyday, always leaving around this hour." Mingyue Xin said, "He ate the same thing everyday, four side dishes, two bowls of rice and a bottle of wine. His menu had never yet changed at all."

    Fu Hongxue's pale face still show no expression at all, but the orbs of his eyes was already contracting.

    He knew that he had yet again met a fearsome opponent.

    There were numerous highly skilled pugilists in Jianghu, in hundreds and thousands. But there were only thirteen persons on the List.
    These thirteen persons certainly were the most fearsome of all.

    Mingyue Xin lifted the window screen up slightly and quickly spied outside. Suddenly she exclaimed, "He is coming out."


    THREE
    The sun is at its zenith.
    When Du Lei stepped out of the restaurant, his feet had stepped right on his shadow.

    On his feet, he wore a pair of soft soled shoes costing eighteen taels, they were still very new.

    Whenever he stepped on his own shadow with new shoes, he always had this strange impluse to strip off his shoes and all his clothes, and then ran off hollering crazily in the center of the town.

    He of course couldn't do such things because he was already famous, very famous.

    Presently all his actions were as precise as the nightwatchman's drum.

    No matter where he went, no matter how long he had stayed, he would arise and have his meals punctually everyday. Even the dishes were also exactly the same.

    At times, it drove him crazy, but he was nonetheless not willing to change one bit.

    All because he hoped that others would think of him as a very exact and efficent person. He knows that everyone had a certain respect and admiration for such a person. This was his greatest pride and joy.

    Seventeen years of harsh training, five years of tough struggle, forty-three big and small bloody battles. What he had hoped to achieve was just that.

    He must make himself believed, believed that he was no longer that barefooted street urchin.

    The sabre set with precious jade was gleaming under the sunlight, on the streets many were sizing up that sabre of his, opposite in a pitch black horse carriage, two pairs of eyes seemed to be staring at him.

    Recently, he had gotton used to people staring at him to size him up. Everyone could get used to it.

    But today he suddenly felt ill at ease again, liked a naked girl among a large group of men.

    Could it be that the two pairs of eyes in the carriage across the street had pierced his golden plated outer shell, and seen that barefooted street urchin.

    - Cleave the carriage open in one single move and poke out the two pair of eyes.
    - That was the kind of impluse he had, but he did no such thing for he didn't come all the way here for these kind of trouble.

    Recently, he had also learnt to endure.

    He didn't even look once in the direction, and walked back to his inn along the sunny long street. Every step he took was as exact as that of an old tailor taking measurements of a young girl. Not an inch more, not an inch less, exactly 2.3 inches.

    He hoped that others would be able to understand his sabre was just as exact.

    Mingyue Xin exhaled lightly, "What do you think of him?

    Fu Hongxue said coldly, "Even if he don't die within three years, he certainly would have turned into a lunatic by then.

    Mingyue Xin sighed, "Too bad, right now he isn't insane yet...


    FOUR
    The horse carriage stopped again, opposite the "Top Fragrance".

    "Top Fragrance" is a very big teahouse with people from all walks of life. The bigger the teahouse, the more people in the teahouse.

    Mingyue Xin inched up the window screen again, allowing Fu Hongxue to take a long good look before asking, "What did you see?"

    Fu Hongxue said, "Humans."

    Mingyue Xin, "How many?"

    Fu Hongxue, "Seven."

    It was now the peak hour and business was good, there were at least one-two hundred people inside the teahouse. Why did he see only seven?

    Mingyue Xin didn't find it puzzling at all, in fact her eyes shone with respect and asked again, "Which are the seven you saw?"

    The seven Fu Hongxue saw were: the two chess players, the one peeling peanuts, the monk, the pockmarked man, the young songstress and lastly the fat man who was snoozing on the table.

    These seven people were scattered all over the teahouse and didn't look special in any way.
    Why did he not see the other people but these seven particular people?

    Mingyue Xin again wasn't puzzled by his answer, on the contrary her admiration grew. Sighing softly, "I know your sabre is fast, but your eyes are even faster."

    Fu Hongxue added, "Actually, seeing just one is enough."

    He was looking at a person.

    The snoozing fat man had now awaken. He yawned and poured himself a cup of tea to rinse his mouth. He spat that wash of tea onto the floor with a "PU" and dirtied the trouser leg of someone by the side. He hurriedly bent down with apologies and wiped the trouser leg with his sleeves.

    If a man was too fat, his actions would naturally be a little silly and funny.

    But as Fu Hongxue looked at him, the orbs in his eyes contracted exactly the same way as he looked at Du Lei just now.

    Did he regard the fatty as another fearsome opponent?

    Mingyue Xin asked, "You recognise that person?"

    Fu Hongxue shook his head.

    "But you take great notice of him," persisted Mingyue Xin.

    Fu Hongxue nodded.

    Mingyue Xin said, "Have you notice anything special about him?"

    Fu Hongxue held his silence for a long while before he slowly answered, "This man has a murderous aura!"

    Mingyue Xin said, "Murderous aura?"

    "Only an expert who had killed countless times would carry such an aura," Fu Hongxue's grip on his sabre tighten.

    Mingyue Xin baited, "But he looked nothing more than silly fatty."

    "That is only his cover, similar to the sheath of a sword" Fu Hongxue sneered.

    Mingyue Xin sighed yet again, "It looks like your eye is sharper than your sabre."

    Evidently, she recognised this person, moreover she also knew alot about his background.

    Fu Hongxue asked, "Who is he?"

    "He is the Thumb." Mingyue Xin answered

    "Thumb?" Fu Hongxue queried

    Minyue Xin explained, "Do you know about a very fearsome secret organisation that appeared in Jianghu during recent years."

    "What is this organisation's name?" Fu Hongxue followed up.

    "Blackhand!" Mingyue Xin announced.

    Fu Hongxue had never heard of it, but still he felt some sort of unexplained pressure.

    Mingyue Xin said, "Presently, in Jianghu there are not many people who knows about the inner workings of this organisation because its dealings were totally underground, nothing it done could be seen by the daylight."

    Fu Hongxue said, "What does it deals in?"

    Mingyue Xin said, "Kidnappings, extortions and assassinations."

    As a hand has five fingers, this organisation has five heads.
    This fat man is the Thumb, Thumb of the Blackhand!

    The horse carriage continued its way, window screens already drawn down.

    Mingyue Xin suddenly asked, "In a hand, which finger has the greatest strength?"

    "The thumb," Fu Hongxue replied.

    Mingyue Xin, "Which finger is the most agile?" .

    "The index finger," Fu Hongxue suppiled.

    Mingyue Xin said, "Thus, in Blackhand it is the Thumb and the Index Finger that are responsible for assassinations."

    The Thumb is fearful because he had learnt the [Destructive Vrigin Art of 13 Heroes] which usually can't be mastered by most in a lifetime.
    //thanks to Pacifian for the spot translation.

    He managed to because he was orginally an eunuch in the palace and was trained from young by several grandmasters in the Inner Palace.

    The Index Finger had an even more complicated background. He is said to have a stint as an usher monk in Shaolin Temple, as a six-sack elder in Begger Sect and also had been a hall master of the 12 Docks in Jiangna Fengwei clan.

    They both had a team working under them, each and every one of the team had some special skill. Futhermore they had worked together seamlessly for a long time. Thus they had not failed once in their assassination operations.

    Mingyue Xin said, "However, these two were not the most fearful person in the organisation."

    Fu Hongxue said, "Then who?"

    Mingyue Xin said, "Nameless Finger." In a hand, the most clumsy finger is the nameless finger. //refer to notes

    Fu Hongxue said, "Why is the Nameless Finger so fearful?"

    Mingyue Xin said, "Precisely because he is nameless."

    Fu Hongxue agreed.

    A famous big shot in Jianghu had its advantages, but on many occasions nameless persons were often more fearful. It was so because it was only after they had a knife in your chest before you realised how fearful they were.

    Mingyue Xin said, "Nobody in Jianghu know Nameless Finger's identity, much less seen his face."

    Fu Hongxue said, "Not even you?"

    Mingyu Xin forced a smile, "Perhaps I too, must wait till his knife was in my chest before I know."

    Fu Hongxue was silent, only after a very long while he asked again, “Are we still checking on anyone else?”

    Mingyue Xin did not reply directly, “This small town orginally was not a very lively place, but many unfamiliar Jianghu faces had arrived during the last few days.”

    But now, these faces were no longer unfamiliar to her, because she had thoroughly investigated the background and habits of each and every one of them.

    Fu Hongxue was not surprised.

    He had long realised that she definitely wasn't the delicate and naive woman she resembled. Her pair of slender and beautiful hands wielded a force of tremendous strength, far stronger than anyone imagined.

    Mingyue Xin said, “I had investigated and confirmed the background of nearly all of them, with one exception.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Who?”

    Before she could answer, the horse pulling the carriage suddenly neighed loudly and reared up. The carriage tilted violently and almost overturned.

    Her person was already out of the compartment, only to see a man dressed in a green gown and white leggings directly under the horse's hoofs.

    The driver could no longer control the horse. The man on the ground could not move away at all and curled up like a ball.

    The horse was going to trample on the poor man any moment now, but Mingyue Xin had not made any move to help him. In fact, she shown no such intentions at all and wasn't even looking in his direction.

    She was looking at Fu Hongxue. Fu Hongxue was also out of the compartment. His pale face shown no expression at all, much less any intention to help.

    The crowd cried in alarm as the horse brought down its hoofs. Everyone could clearly see that the green gown man was directly beneath the horse hoofs, but yet he managed to avoid being trampled. When the horse finally calmed down, that man then slowly climbed up to his feet and panted furiously.

    Although his face was very pale from fear and shock, he still looked very ordinary. He was indeed an ordinary man, not a thing special about him.

    But when Fu Hongxue saw him, his eyes turned frosty.

    He had seen this person. He was the person whose trouser leg soiled by the Thumb a while ago.

    Mingyue Xin smiled suddenly, "Looked like you are down on your luck today, your pants was soiled with mouthwash just a while ago and now your whole body was covered with dirt."

    This person also smiled and softly said, "Today my luck isn't good, but who knows how many people have worse luck than me. Today I am unlucky, tomorrow who knows how many people will be even more unlucky. Life is like that, mistress don't have to be so worried."

    ~End of Chapter 04~

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    Translation Help

    I would use this section to seek help whenever I ran into things that I don't understand. I had never translate thing before so I am learning as I translate. If I make any errors or if you have any suggestions, please do PM me. That way, I can improve.

    1. 十三太保横练童子功 - This is the martial arts that Thumb have mastered, but if it isn't the most nonsensically one in the whole of Jianghu, I don't know what is. I am not even sure how to translate 太保, I checked wiki which tells me it means unruly teenagers. I really gave up on this one and used [13 Rascals] in the end.

    This one is NOT important to the story in the slightest way, but I do hope to get it right. Completeness for completeness's sake so please help!

    Many thanks to Pacifian, corrected to [Destructive Vrigin Art of 13 Heroes]. He had explained each part to me in great detail, so it isn't as silly as I first thought.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------


    Personal Rant

    A section for me to whine and complain. Hopefully, this don't degrade into an ego trip.

    Names
    Yan Nanfei is a name that I had typed out many times in this chapter. I can't count the number of times I mistype it as "Yan Shishan" or "Yan Nantian". I just revised a couple of chapters of "Sword of Three Young Master" whereby I got to replace all the names.

    Yan Nantian is from Legendary Twins, I don't know why but this name struck a deep impression with me and very often I type Yan Nantian instead of Fei.

    Fu Hongxue and Mingyue Xin is also as problematic for me. Why? I had typo from "Fu Hongyue", "Fu HongXue", "Mingxue Xin" to "Mingyue Yin". I guess the "xue" and "yue" messed me up. To be honest, I am easily confused.

    It is tough
    I took a week to do this chapter. I translated it directly from the book and it is hell. But for the next chapter, I have smarted up a little, take the advice of fastclock and ran the online script into babelfish and worked from there.

    Although the babelfish don't make much sense, but it does make translating easier and speed things up. It gives lots of very useful alternatives words so I don't have to manually translate each and every word. The basic struture is there, so sometimes I just edited it some and it's done.

    The only problem with babelfish is that the online script is far from perfect. There are missing lines and sometimes quite a considerable number of errors. Some of errors could be figured out with a little guesswork but some are not. Luckily, I have the book handly so it is not a problem.

    Next chapter
    The title of the next chapter is: Peacock. And for those who had read the Seven Weapons Series, one of the weapons is also going to be introduce here.
    Last edited by chowbeng; 05-19-09 at 03:31 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member fastclock's Avatar
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    chowbeng,

    Thanks for translating the book. I know it's painful.
    I sent you a pm

  8. #8
    Senior Member CC's Avatar
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    Thanks for the work put into translating this. I find it harder to translate GL compared to JY.
    Its BIxie Jianfa Gawdammit you guys!!!!

  9. #9
    Moderator Han Solo's Avatar
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    To add to the crowd, thank you for your translation.

    I used to be metwin's editor when the first few chapters was translated years ago.

    So thanks for continuing with the translation.

    HAn Solo

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    You're doing a great job with the translation chowbeng. I know that translating is pretty hard but you've managed to maintain a flow in your translation which i feel is the hardest part. The best part is, your translatated chapter flows from the previous chapters translated by metwin1 so it reads very well and doesn't feel like it's been translated by different people. Well done. Keep up the good work. From here it only gets harder. =P

  11. #11
    Senior Member JigSta's Avatar
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    Thanks for translating chowbeng.

    If you're having trouble with typing names over and over, just add a place holder name and use the replace tool in a text editor to change the name.

    For example, when I was translating some shows I would put names that were annoying to type as a code (say "f45"). When I was done for the day I would click replace and replace all "f45" with the proper name.
    All that's needed to say have been said, why say anything more? The man is drunk, why stay any longer?....
    Quote Originally Posted by Question
    if CarMAN Lee hair is green, then am sure carMAN #$%@ a dog to give birth to you.

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    Wow.. this story looks good chowbeng.. great job!!! And I love the translator note. It will be nice to know some of the original phrases sometimes.. help to improve my Chinese a lil bit =P

    So we already seen the bright moon and the sabre.. but where is the horizon? Horizon is "Tian Ya" in Chinese rite? So it isn't Yan Nan Fei.

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    Default Chapter 05: Peacock

    Translation Notes
    • A bodhisattva 菩萨 is a being that has the compassionate determination to aid all beings on their quest for the highest state of development, full enlightenment of a Buddha. Bodhisattva is also interpreted as one who delays his own final and complete enlightenment in order to save all sentient beings out of his enormous compassion. He is on a mission to liberate all sentient beings, and only then will he rest and complete his own enlightenment.
    • I had changed 暗器 from "secret projectile" to "hidden projectile". I feel that it might be accurate as well as more familiar. Corrected in the previous chapter as well.
    • The Double Ninth Festival 重阳 is observed on the ninth day of the ninth month in the Lunar calendar. As the number 9 symbolise Yang, it is also know as the Double Yang Festival. In order to reduce the yang, people usually hike up onto mountains and drink chrysanthemum tea during this festival. It is an ancient festival but now in most parts, it is only a minor one. I don't really know much more than this so it would be nice if anyone can add on more details.
    If there is anything part of the translation that you(the readers) don't completely understand or want further clarification or details, please feel free to ask. I would try my best to explain, even if I couldn't I am sure there are others who could.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Chapter 05: Peacock

    ONE
    The horse didn't hurt no one, the carriage didn't turn over flat.

    This ordinary, unremarkable person had melt into the sea of people in a blink of the eye, the same way a small bubble disappeared in the vast ocean. Things like these were both hardly noticeably at all.

    Fu Hongxue slowly raised his head. Mingyue Xin saw that he was smiling, smiling in an odd way but yet very sweetly.

    Out of the blue, he seemed to be lashed by an invisible whip and he instantly turned around and stepped back into the compartment.

    Within that moment, Mingyue Xin had seen not only the dread and pain on his face but could also felt the unbearable sorrow buried deep in his heart.

    Memories that had flowed away like running water and persons that had been blown away by the wind. Why had they resurfaced in his eyes?

    She couldn't stop herself and lightly touched her own face.
    That clay Buddha mask was jerked down when she shot out of the compartment, she let him see her face again.

    She suddenly despised herself a little, hated herself for resembling that woman.

    However, she hated that woman even more for causing others such deep pain.

    - Why must humans hurt each other? The deeper the love, the greater the hurt.

    Her fingertip lightly caressed her eye, only then she realised that her eyes were already moist.

    Who is she crying for?

    Is it for ignorance of Man? Or for this lonely stranger?

    She quietly dried her eyes and stepped back into the compartment, her face was once again covered by the always smiling Buddha mask. In her heart she only wished that she could be the same as this stout and carefree Bodhisattva and forget all the pain and sufferings in the world. Even if it was just for a single moment.

    - However Man is not divine.
    - Even Bodhisattvas no doubt have their own moments of pain. Their smile is perhaps only to deliberately hide that pain for the benefit of Man.

    She comforted her heart with this.

    Fu Hongxue's pale face was still twitching in convulsion. She barely suppressed the sharp pain in heart, "You certainly recognise the person just now."

    He certainly recognised.

    Mingyue Xin added, "But you never take any notice of him because he is genuinely too ordinary."

    As ordinary as a bubble in the ocean, a seed in the grain bin. Nobody would give him a second look.

    Only when you were drowning with seawater in your mouth, would you discover that the bubble had turned a black finger stabbing in through the mouth into your heart.

    Mingyue Xin exhaled, "That is why I always considered this kind of people as the most fearsome of all. If he had not shown himself, you might never notice him."

    Fu Hongxue acknowledged.

    - But why did he deliberately blown his own cover just now?

    Mingyue Xin explained. "He did so to check us out."

    Thumb must have noticed someone spying from the carriage across the street so he purposely spat on his trouser leg. While pretending to clean up, he must had secretly informed him.

    He then deliberately threw himself in front of the horse. For he knew, only by doing so, he could lure out the persons from inside the compartment.

    Mingyue Xin lamented, "We had not yet checked them out but they had already known all about us. Within two hours, they would know where Yan Nanfei is."

    Fu Hongxue immediately asked, "Blackhand had a grudge with Yan Nanfei?"

    Mingxue Xin replied, "No, they never kill for reasons such as personal grudges."

    Fu Hongxue, "Then they kill for what sort of reasons?"

    Mingxue Xin said, "Only orders."

    On orders, they would kill, no matter whom.

    Fu Hongxue said, "Where do they take orders from?"

    Mingyue Xin said, "They only take orders from one man."

    Fu Hongxue, "Who?"

    Mingyue Xin, "Gongzi Yu."

    Fu Hongxue tightened his grip.

    Mingyue Xin, "By themselves, the five Fingers of Blackhand certainly would not have the power to establish such an organisation."

    Their organisation had gained control of almost all the top killers and assassins. Double Killers of Five Elements and Ghostly Granny were no doubt also members of this organisation.

    Figures such as them would demand a high price for any single operation, to totally control them was thus not a simple task.

    Mingyue Xin continued, "In the whole wide world, only one person alone have that sort of power"

    Fu Hongxue guessed, "Gongzi Yu?"

    Mingyue Xin stated, "Only him alone!"

    Fu Hongxue stared at the hand on his sabre, the orbs of his eyes contracting.

    Mingyue Xin was also silent for a long while before softly, "Stop killing with killing, you should have killed that man just now."

    Fu Hongxue laughed coldly.

    Mingyue Xin said, "I know that you never draw your sabre easily, but he is already worthy of it."

    Fu Hongxue mused, "You suppose he is the Nameless Finger himself?

    Mingyue Xin slowly nodded, "I even suspect him to be the Peacock."

    Fu Hongxue, "Peacock?"

    Mingyue Xin, "Peacock is a kind of bird, a beautiful bird especially its plume...."

    Fu Hongxue quipped, "But the Peacock you are referring is however not a bird."

    Mingxue Xin admitted, "I was referring not to a bird but a person. A very fearsome person."

    The orbs of her eyes also contracted and slowly she continued, "I even feel that he is the most fearsome person under the heavens."

    Fu Hongxue said, "Why is it?"

    "Because he has the Peacock Plume!" Mingyue Xin exclaimed.

    Peacock Plume!
    When she said these three words, her eyes momentarily shone with awe and fear. //孔雀翎 - three words.

    Even Fu Hongxue's face changed.

    The plume of a peacock is just like the antlers of the antelope, not only precious but beautiful as well.

    But the peacock plume they were referring to was not the tail feathers of a peacock but a hidden projectile!

    A mystical, yet beautiful hidden projectile.
    A fearsome hidden projectile.
    Nobody could describe its beauty, nobody could also evade it, withstand it!

    In that moment of its release, the mystical splendid and beauty was not only completely dizzying but also capable of momentarily banishing the fear of death! It was said that all the victims of this hidden projectile died with a mysterious and peculiar smile.

    So, there were many people who were happy to die under this hidden projectile in same way as those who knew perfectly well that the wild rose has thorns, and yet still reached out to pluck it.

    Because this kind of splendid beauty wasn't something that mere mortals could refuse!

    "You, of course know about the Peacock Plume!"

    "I know."

    "But what you certainly don't know is: Peacock Plume is no longer in the Peacock Manor."

    Fu Hongxue had always been a man who wasn't easily flustered, but on hearing this, he was totally flabbergasted.

    He not only knew about Peacock Plume, but had also visited Peacock Manor.

    At that time, he felt like a pilgrim upon reaching the holy land.

    It was then early autumn, autumn night.

    He had never before seen such an extraordinary beautiful and stately place. The night scenery of Peacock Manor was near that of the mystical Imperial Palace.

    "There were altogether nine large estates. The majority were built 330 years ago and experienced generations of change before achieving their present grandeur and scale."

    His host was the younger brother of the Master of Peacock Manor, Qiu Shuiqing. //秋水清 - Qiu Water Clear. Qiu is the surname.

    Qiu Shuiqing was a man that was very conservative in speech.

    The truth was this place was more than plain grandeur, it was simply miraculous.

    "This was indeed miraculous. After being invaded countless times by war and plunder, the place still retained its tranquil peace."

    At the rear court, just in front of the gate, on the decorative wall facing the hall, thirteen coloured lanterns stood hanging.

    Their magnificent light illuminated the huge painting on that wall. -

    There were around a dozen of ferociously savage ruffians, each armed with a different kind of weapon. But their eyes were all cowering with awe and fear.
    All in fear of a golden sphere, in the hands of a pale scholar. A golden sphere radiating with rainbow-like rays.
    The radiance more gloriously beautiful than any rainbow.

    "That was an event long passed. At that time, The 36 Death Stars of the underworld allied together and jointly attacked in order to destroy this place. With the combined strength of all 36, it was said that they were all but invincible."

    But not one of the 36 returned with their lives.

    "From that day on, nobody in Jianghu would dare to lightly violate the peace of Peacock Manor and the name, Peacock Plume spread all across the world!"

    Even till this moment, Qiu Shuiqing's words at that time were still ringing in his ears.

    Never in his dreams, would he believe that Peacock Plume was now no longer in Peacock Manor.

    "The secret ..." Mingyue Xin declared. "The secret was something that no one in Jianghu had known.

    The head of the 13th generation of Qiu family had lost the Peacock Plume at the summit of Mt Tai! //Tai Shan. Shan - mountain.

    "This secret was now only starting to be known because the Peacock Plume had suddenly reappeared in Jianghu."

    Only appeared twice, only claimed two victims!

    Both victims were certainly well known and highly skilled, the killer was however not from Peacock Manor.

    "As long as the Peacock Plume existed, nobody in Jianghu dared to violate Peacock Manor. Otherwise it faced destruction."

    "Peacock Manor 300 years of reputation, eighty li of property, 500 human lives were all in fact built on the tiny Peacock Plume!"

    But the Peacock Plume was now in the hands of a completely unknown stranger!

    Fu Hongxue couldn't hold it, "And that person is Peacock?"

    "Yes!"


    TWO
    The antelope was hunted and killed only because of its antlers. Graves were uncovered and robbed only because of its buried treasure.

    More often than not, calamities avoided the clumsy and weak and ugly maidens kept their chastity.

    Peacock understood this very well.

    Only the most ordinary, the most anonymous could securely possess a weapon like Peacock Plume!

    Actually he wasn't such a person in the beginning; he was like most people who dreamed of wealth and fame.

    Since that stuffy hot summer night, when he saw the girl of his dreams pressed down on the grass with a rich dandy, humping and grasping, he resolved to obtain undreamt of wealth and fame.

    He had obtained something that was far more precious than he ever dreamt of - He had obtained the Peacock Plume!

    Thus his resolve changed as well. For he was an intelligent person, he didn't want to be hunted and killed like the antelope!

    He wanted to kill!

    Everytime he remembered that stuffy hot summer night, everytime he remembered that girl humping and grasping in sweat, he only wanted to kill.

    But today he didn't kill!

    Not that he didn't want to, but because he didn't dare to!

    Faced with that pale white face and callous icy stare, he instantly felt a little fear in his heart.

    Since he obtained the Peacock Plume, this was the first time that he was fearful of a person.

    His fear was not of the pitch black sabre, but the man holding the sabre. Although he just stood there quietly, he was by far sharper than a sabre out of its sheath.

    That callous icy stare made his heart skip. His heart was still beating crazily when he reached his own house.

    The fast beating of his heart was however not entirely out of fear and dread.

    He was excited!

    Because he really wanted to test it out, wanted to test if the Peacock Plume could kill this person.

    But sadly he lacked exactly that kind of courage!

    A very simple house, only with a bed, a chest and a table, a chair.

    He collapsed the moment he made in past the door, collapsed onto the bed, the cold and hard bedboard did nothing to calm him down. Abruptly, he discovered inside the pants his thing had already risen up from the root.

    He was really too excited, because he wanted to kill again, because he again remembered that stuffy summer night....

    The lust of killing actually would ignite his sexual impulse; this was something that he himself could not comprehend.

    Most unbearably was that once aroused, this kind of impulse was all but impossible to suppress.

    He had no women.

    He had trusted no women, never allowed women to touch him. He resolved this kind of need with the only method he knows: Killing.

    Unfortunately, now he lacked the courage to kill the person he wanted to kill.

    That spring afternoon, suddenly turned as stuffy as the summer night.

    He slowly reached out with his sweaty hands -
    At this moment, he could only ease his impulse with his hands.
    After that, he lay prostrated on the bed, vomiting without a pause.

    Vomiting while in tears!

    Dusk, nearing dusk but yet dusk.

    A person pushed open the door silently, entering silently. His body was potty and clumsy, and yet his movements were quick and light as a wild cat.

    Peacock was still lying motionlessly on the bed; he looked coldly at this person. He had always disliked this silly fatty, but now in his heart, there was an indescribable loathing.

    - This person was only a eunuch, a worthless being, a pig!

    However, this pig was unfortunately immune to the stirring of lust and thus would never be tormented by such numbing ache.

    Looking at the fat smiling face, he almost could not stop himself from giving him a good punch on the nose.

    But he could only endure it.

    Because he was his comrade as well as his thumb.

    Thumb was still smiling away and silently sat down on the chair beside the bed. With a smile, "I know you certainly would have a way to lure them out, you never fail in your task."

    Peacock calmly remarked, "You see them, right?"

    Thumb nodded, "The woman is Mingyue Xin. The man is Fu Hongxue."

    Fu Hongxue!

    Peacock tightened his grip again.

    He had heard of that name, also recognised this person and further acknowledged this person's sabre!

    The matchless fast sabre under the heavens!

    Thumb said, "Yan Nanfei is still alive sorely because of Fu Hongxue, so..."

    Peacock instantly jumped up, "In order to kill Yan Nanfei, Fu Hongxue must be first eliminated!"

    His face was already flushed with excitement, even his eyes had too turned red.

    Thumb looked at him in surprise, for none had ever seen him to be so excited and animated.

    - The Calm Peacock, The Ordinary Peacock, The Nameless Peacock, The Killer Peacock.

    Thumb baited, "You want to kill Fu Hongxue that much?"

    Peacock smiled and lightly said, "I have always like to kill humans, and Fu Hongxue is also one."

    Thumb said, "But he is not an ordinary human, it is not an easy thing to kill him."

    Peacock said, "I know that, that is why I, myself don't want to act"

    Thumb said, "If you don't act, who else dare to."

    Peacock smiled again, "I don't act, because I am not a famous person and also don't wish to be famous."

    Thumb also smiled, with the twinkle in his eyes, "You are thinking of getting Du Lei to risk his life first and then take the winnings later."

    Peacock nonchalantly said, "In any case, whoever win or lose, I would not be discomforted."


    THREE
    Mingyue Xin was much discomforted, discomforted like a snail that had hidden in its shell for a long time without sunning itself.

    The mask on her face was bought at last year's temple fair. Although the workmanship is superb, wearing it for long periods would still cause some itchiness on her face.

    Once the face itched, the rest of the body would not be too comfortable.

    However, she didn't want to remove this mask. Presently, she was also somewhat frightful of allowing Fu Hongxue to see her face.

    This subtle feeling was something that she could not comprehend nor did she wish to comprehend.

    They came in when the setting sun was shining directly at the wild roses outside the window. The colour of the wild roses was even more striking after the rain.

    Yan Nanfei's face was however as white as a sheet of paper.

    "Has Young Master Yan regain consciousness?"

    "No," The one who had been at Yan Nanfei's bedside all the while was that same Young Girl with large eyes.

    "Have you feed him the medicine?"

    "No too," Young Girl pursed her lips, hid her smile, "Without any instructions from Miss, I wouldn't even dare to touch him."

    "Why?"

    "Because...." Young Girl could no longer stop herself from laughing out loud. "Because I am afraid that Miss might eat vinegar(be jealous)!"
    // http://channels.crienglish.com/china...t.aspx?id=5251 - Thanks Jean.

    Mingyue Xin gave her a fierce stare, turned around to Fu Hongxue, "Is it time for him to take his medicine now?"

    Fu Hongxue faced the window, slowly nodded.

    The rays of setting sun filled up the whole window.

    The window frame was as new as the newly glued window paper, shiny as a mirror.

    The two window panels were set at an angle. The lower panel was reflected with a field of wild roses, the upper panel reflected that of the room -
    Young Girl as well as Mingyue Xin.

    Mingyue Xin was now standing at the head of the bed. She took a pill from the vial of antidote and dissolved it in warm water.

    Her every movement was slow and careful as though fearing that spoonful of medicine's effectiveness would weaken if she spilt a little.

    But she did not feed Yan Nanfei with that spoonful of medicine!

    Fu Hongxue's back was still facing them. She gave him a fugitive glance and quickly dumped that spoonful of medicine into Young Girl's sleeve. Then she helped Yan Nanfei up and put the empty spoon into his mouth.

    What's the meaning of this?

    Her purpose of getting Fu Hongxue here was to save Yan Nanfei. But an empty spoon wasn't going to save anyone.

    Fu Hongxue was still standing there silently.

    Although he didn't turn his head, window panel was as reflective as the shiny mirror. He could very clearly see her each and very move.

    But he didn't show the slightest reaction.

    Mingyue Xin fugitively glanced at him again, and then slowly lay Yan Nanfei down. Muttering, "After this dose of medicine, with a good sleep, I think he would wake up tomorrow morning."

    Of course, in her heart she knew that he certainly would not wake up.

    She was sighing. However in that pair of eyes, clear as the moon betrayed a hint of cunning.

    At this moment, someone from outside suddenly said, "A letter for Hero Fu."

    The envelope and the letter paper was both the most expensive kind available in the market!

    The letter was very brief, the characters were very tidy. "Tomorrow noon. In the abandoned Ni Family Garden, outside the hexagonal pavilion, bring your sabre! One man, one sabre!"

    Fu Hongxue had almost no need to read the signature at the bottom, for this letter was most certainly from Du Lei.

    He could see that although Du Lei was very orderly, he was also extravagantly showy.

    His assessment was not wrong.

    Mingyue Xin breathed out deeply, "I know that Du Lei would certainly challenge you, but never thought that it would come so soon!"

    Fu Hongxue folded the letter carefully using the hand not holding the sabre and then asked, "Where is the abandoned Ni Family Garden?"

    Mingyue Xin, "Just right opposite here."

    Fu Hongxue said, "Very good."

    Mingyue Xin puzzled, "Very good?"

    Fu Hongxue coldly said, "I am a cripple, I don't like to walk too far before a duel!"

    Mingyue Xin said, "You intend to go?"

    Fu Hongxue confirmed, "Certainly."

    Mingyue Xin, "Going alone?"

    Fu Hongxue, "One man, one sabre!"

    Mingyue Xin suddenly laughed coldly, "Good, very good!"

    This was a puzzling statement, and a puzzling smirk. Fu Hongxue did not understand, but he did not ask.

    Mingyue Xin, "Tonight, you could have a good sleep. Tomorrow after breakfast, you would reach the abandoned Ni Garden in just a few steps, certainly enough time for you check out the surroundings."

    When top experts duelled, the advantage of familiar ground was one of the decisive factors between victory and defeat.

    Mingyue Xin said, "You had also observed Du Lei very well, knowing his character and habits while he didn't know a thing about you."

    Knowing oneself and one's opponent was of course even more decisive than knowing the ground.

    Mingyue Xin said, "So, you already have all the decisive advantages in this duel. The moment you draw your sabre, there will be only 12 names left on the [Jianghu Hall of Fame]. Even if you don't really like to kill, it is still a very joyous situation!"

    Again she laughed out very coldly and shouted, "What about Yan Nanfei? Have you given him a thought?"

    Fu Hongxue said plainly, "The one with a death duel is not him."

    Mingyue Xin, "The one going to die is however certainly to be him!"

    Fu Hongxue, "Certainly?"

    Mingyue Xin, "Peacock and Thumb would have no doubt know his whereabouts by now, as soon as you stepped into the abandoned Ni garden, they would storm into this house."

    Fu Hongxue's grip tightened again, the roots of green veins stood out like a pattern on the back of his pale white hands.

    Mingyue Xin coldly stared at him and just as coldly mused, "Perhaps you had saved his life in the past, but he would have live longer if not for you."

    The green veins at the back of Fu Hongxue's hand stood out even more distinctly, and suddenly he asked a question that he knew he shouldn't ask.

    "Do you really care for him?"

    Mingyue Xin, "Certainly."

    She replied without thinking, replied immediately and replied very calmly.

    She seemed to bear no resemble at all with the person who had just dumped a spoon of life saving antidote into the sleeve of the Young Girl.

    Fu Hongxue didn't check out the expression on her face. Even if he had looked, he could not see.

    On her face, she was still wearing that ever smiling mask.

    What kind of woman was hidden beneath this mask?

    After another long while, Fu Hongxue softly said, "Unless I shouldn't go?"

    Mingyue Xin answered, "You certainly should go."

    Fu Hongxue said, "But..."

    Mingyue Xin interrupted him, "But before you go, you should send him to a safe place."

    Fu Hongxue said, "Which is a safe place?"

    Mingyue Xin chipped in, "Peacock Manor!"
    - A hidden weapon that no beings under the heavens could evade.
    - The radiance more gloriously beautiful than any rainbow.

    Fu Hongxue exhaled, "You had said that Peacock Plume is no longer in Peacock Manor."

    Mingyue Xin acknowledged, "That's right"

    Fu Hongxue, "Then, is Peacock Manor still standing?"

    Mingyue Xin, "There is still Qiu Shuiqing."
    - A big tall silent man.
    - A prominent name.

    Mingyue Xin declared, "Although he is always very conservative, but he would not refuse the people you sent!"

    Fu Hongxue, "Oh?"

    Mingyue Xin said, "Because he owed you."

    Fu Hongxue said, "Owed what?"

    Mingyue Xin supplied, "Owed you a life."

    She did not give Fu Hongxue a chance to deny it and continued, "All the while, it is true that you seldom save people's lives but you had saved him before. In fact, you had saved him twice. Once on the bank of River Wei, another at the foot of Tai Shan.

    Fu Hongxue could not deny it, because she really knew too much.

    Mingyue Xin added, "Presently, he is already the Master of Peacock Manor, he already have enough strength to pay this debt."

    Fu Hongxue said, "But he no longer has the Peacock Plume."

    - If Peacock Plume is missing, Peacock Manor would face immediate destruction.

    Mingyue Xin explained, "Everyone had long believed that the reputation of Peacock Manor is all built upon the Peacock Plume. It is only now that they realised that Qiu Shuiqing, this person is far more fearsome than the Peacock Plume."

    Fu Hongxue asked, "Why?"

    Mingyue Xin said, "News that the Peacock Plume had fallen into the hands of someone outside the family spread very fast in Jianghu. The Peacock Manor had many enemies, in the last two years there were at least six expeditions to sack Peacock Manor."

    Very slowly she continued, "These six expeditions had altogether 79 people, each of them highly skilled."

    Fu Hongxue, "The outcome?"

    Mingxue Xin, "Once these 79 experts stepped into Peacock Manor, they disappeared like a pebble sunk into the vast ocean. No further news was ever heard of them again."

    Mingyue Xin, "The last expedition set off at last year Double Ninth Festival. Since then, no one in Jianghu dare to violate Peacock Manor."

    Fu Hongxue had shut his mouth.

    Mingyue Xin glanced at him with the corner of her eye, "Peacock Manor isn't far away. If we travel lightly with a fast carriage, we would certainly reach there before tomorrow noon."

    But Fu Hongxue did not comply, neither did he refuse. After another long pause he suddenly said, "Don't you fear that they would block our path?"

    Mingyue Xin said, "In Jianghu, who could block your path?"

    Fu Hongxue said, "At least one."

    Mingyue Xin asked, "Who?"

    Fu Hongxue replied, "Peacock with the Peacock Plume."

    Mingyue Xin assured, "He certainly wouldn't dare to."

    Fu Hongxue, "Why?"

    Mingyue Xin, "Although the Peacock Plume is the matchless hidden weapon under the heavens, Peacock himself was however not an unrivaled master. He was afraid that your sabre might be faster than his hand."

    No matter how fearsome the hidden weapon, it is as good as scrap metal if it couldn't be released.

    Fu Hongxue again fell into silence.

    Mingyue Xin said, "If you really don't wish that he died in the hands of others, you should bring us there now."

    Fu Hongxue finally made up his mind, "I can bring both of you there, but I have something to ask you."

    Mingyue Xin, "Go ahead."

    Fu Hongxue coldly said, "If you really care about him, why did you pour his antidote on other people's sleeve."

    With it, he turned and walked out without looking back, as though he knew that Mingyue Xin had no way to answer that question.

    Mingyue Xin was indeed speechlessly shocked.

    She indeed could not answer, neither was she willing to.

    She only could look on helplessly as Fu Hongxue made his way out. Although he walked slowly, but he never stop.

    Once he started to walk, he certainly would not stop.


    FOUR
    The setting sun had gradually turned pale, pale as the moon.

    The pale rays of setting sun, shined directly on Yan Nanfei's face.

    The wind blowing from the mountains afar carried the light fragrance of the forest. From the spot Mingyue Xin stood, one could see the green of the mountains afar.

    But she was however looking at Yan Nanfei.

    The deeply poisoned and long unconscious Yan Nanfei, unexpectedly also opened his eyes and looked at her.

    She was unexpectedly again not surprised at all.

    Yan Nanfei smiled abruptly, "I had said, I had said long ago, to deceive him is not easy at all."

    Mingyue Xin said, "I also know that it is not easy, but I must give it a try."

    Yan Nanfei said, "Now, have you tried?"

    Mingyue Xin said, "I had tried."

    Yan Nanfei said, "What do you think?"

    Mingyue Xin sighed gently, with a bitter smile, "I only feel that to deceive him is indeed not easy."

    Yan Nanfei said, "But I must give it another try!"

    Mingyue Xin's eyes has shone, Yan Nanfei's eyes was also shinning brightly.

    Why did they want to deceive Fu Hongxue?

    What was their goal?

    The setting sun in the western sky.

    Fu Hongxue under the setting sun.

    Under the setting sun there was only him, in the entire world there was only him.

    He was completely lonely.

    ~End of Chapter 05~

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Translation Help

    None in this chapter.
    Please do point out mistakes as you spot them.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Thanks and Q & A
    First, I would like to use this space to thank everyone for their kind comments. I apologise for not responding earlier but I do read your comments as well as take them seriously. I also thank all the silent lurkers for reading.

    Quote Originally Posted by Han Solo
    To add to the crowd, thank you for your translation.
    I used to be metwin's editor when the first few chapters was translated years ago.
    So thanks for continuing with the translation.
    HAn Solo
    As anyone can plainly see, I certainly need an editor. However, I think it is better to do it after the whole novel is complete so that the editor would have the whole picture and thus a better understanding.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kara
    You're doing a great job with the translation chowbeng. I know that translating is pretty hard but you've managed to maintain a flow in your translation which i feel is the hardest part. The best part is, your translatated chapter flows from the previous chapters translated by metwin1 so it reads very well and doesn't feel like it's been translated by different people. Well done. Keep up the good work. From here it only gets harder. =P
    Thanks again! I insisted on revising the earlier three chapters precisely for that reason so that the story will not have a sudden change in style. Actually if it is possible, I would like to redo the first three chapters after (if) everything is finished.

    In that way, all mistakes would be mine and mine alone.

    Quote Originally Posted by JigSta
    Thanks for translating chowbeng.
    If you're having trouble with typing names over and over, just add a place holder name and use the replace tool in a text editor to change the name.
    For example, when I was translating some shows I would put names that were annoying to type as a code (say "f45"). When I was done for the day I would click replace and replace all "f45" with the proper name.
    That is a good solution. At first, I had even resorted to writing macros that print out the names on a hotkey. But by now, I already got used to the names, so I hope it is no longer necessary.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Personal Rant

    My translation goals
    Basically, I want to translate this novel as close to the author's original style as possible. In most cases, I am almost word for word (not necessarily a good thing). But in many occasions, it is either not possible or too cumbersome, so admittedly I do take some liberties here and there. But I do pay more attention to the dialogue and the emotions than the narration as I think they are the more important bits in GL's novels.

    I also tried to recreate the poetic rhyme from the original passages but sometimes I am far from successful and furthermore messed up with awkward phrases. I apologise for that but I would try to clean up as time goes by. I am the type who revised my work a few thousands times, I mean I already lost count of the times I had edited the earlier chapters since they were posted.

    Also I hope that this novel could act as a tiny window to chinese customs and culture so I would try to explain in detail as we come across them. (However the best I can, because I am really far from an expert in these areas)

    GL vs. JY
    I hope I don't spark off a large debate here but I would like to give my opinions.

    Jin Yong is no doubt a better literary talent. He uses very colourful words and paints an even more colourful universe. He connects up with historical events very well, so well that people wonder or even take it as true history. His plots are epic in nature, he focus mostly on his main characters which are very livid in the readers' mind. Almost every character with more than a passing mention would have a definite role. His strong point is that he pays lots of attention in such details. The background and origins of the main characters are usually described in great detail from cradle to grave. This allows the reader to be more attached to his characters.

    Gu Long on the other hand, is more of a detective story writer. He uses very simple words, short and vague sentences. You don't know what the main trust of the novel is even after more than halfway through the novel. He loves to mislead the reader and more often than not surprise them, making the plot very interesting and engaging. Well, sometimes almost too "interesting" as at times the dots don't quite connect together well.

    His focus is on human interactions, not on their backgrounds. In many cases, he very often kills off characters that he has taken so much time to explicitly describe. His main characters were usually "blurred" and "unclear". He allows the readers themselves to define his main characters through their own interpretation of the characters’ actions. In that sense, although his characters are not rich in descriptions, they are more "deep". To really understand his main characters, you have to read the whole book, up to the last page, and maybe even a few times. In that way, his characters are more credible. It is his strength. But also because of this, his works are less popular than Jin Yong. Why? Because he requires the reader to think for themselves, to exercise their own imagination whilst Jin Yong serves it all up on a plate. Humans are lazy creatures.

    Enough of my rattling....well at least till the next time.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Next Chapter
    Next chapter is named: Before the Duel.
    I am afraid that the next chapter would be a long time in coming. I would be unavailable for the next two weeks on foreseeable but unavoidable circumstances. During my legal but non voluntary "holiday", I would have lots of free time but sadly would not be allowed to do anything productive.
    Last edited by chowbeng; 05-19-09 at 04:32 AM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member tungfuurue's Avatar
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    dear chowbeng,


    I must say, I didn't visit this board for a very long time (after coming here daily for about 2 years)

    but after finding your translation of Tianya Mingyue Dao here I just had to login and express my gratitude

    after watching the TVB series I accidently bought on a trip to china (I couldnt read much chinese back then ad thought it was Yuan Yue Wan Dao^^) ,this work of Gu Long's became my all-time wuxia favourite.....

    I never thought this kind of story would be attractive enough for anyone to translate it on this bbs (or any other), since Jin Yong is more liked and this story is a kind of continuation of what started with Biancheng Langzi.....


    well to make this short, thank you very much for making it possible to enjoy this grand novel in english!
    it is a shame that even with 2 semesters of studying "chinese studies" in university I can never think of even touching the paperback volumes of this novel I bought in taiwan years ago....


    well, thanks again!
    抬 望 眼 风 霜 岁 月
    仗 剑 停 马 问
    谁 在 心 中 刻 上 血 痕
    更 令 我 终 偿 爱 恨

    挥 出 一 片 心
    交 出 一 个 孤 身
    决 战 世 上 人 类 恶 运
    完 全 无 惧 意,心 有 冲 天 志
    振 臂 我 跃 起 上 阵

    啊 啊
    斜 阳 里 跨 开 箭 步 冲 锋 上 路
    我 为 你 傲 然 上 阵
    我 为 你 傲 然 上 阵

  15. #15
    Moderator Ren Wo Xing's Avatar
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    Thanks for the bump! I hadn't realized this much had been translated; the last time I checked, it was Chapter 3. Keep it up if/when you return!
    Blademaster. Hero. General. He was the best there ever was.
    Butcher. Murderer. Traitor. All that he loved, he had destroyed.
    Matheius Randas.
    That Merciless Blade - Legend of the Arctic Wolf.

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    I would also like to thank the translator. Is there any more? Each chapter seems to be very long. This story is very interesting!

  17. #17
    Senior Member fastclock's Avatar
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    Well, chowbeng seems to have left the building.

    Thank you for all his effort, though. Hopefully he'll pick it up again soon.

    In the mean time, if you're desperate, or if you have some time to work on your English: go ahead and look at the half-baked novel at this place:
    http://haddjo.freehostia.com/joomla_...d=50&Itemid=29

    If you make some improvement on the text (hopefully some significant improvement), let me know so I can update the document.

    Otherwise, feel free to guess-read the novel.

  18. #18
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    Fastclock,

    Thanks for the link. I have downloaded the word doc. Someone was also nice enough to post a link to Gu Long's work in chinese in qiqi.com.

    Reading your post was funny for me because it is not my english I need to work on, but my chinese. I can read just a few words of chinese, not enough to be able to read a newspaper or novel.

    I just bought Multitranse to get a rough translation of the chinese, and using my limited knowledge of chinese and looking at the chinese text, I am working on the rough english translation and making it into my own, trying to keep it in tune with the original work. This is a good exercise for me to learn chinese. I can speak Hokkien (Min-Nan) and some Mandarin.

    Each chapter of this novel is quite long. It is about 2 weeks now, and I am only 2/3 thru Chapter 6. If anyone is interested in reading further, I could post it here. You can always pull it in, and replace the complete document, Fastclock. What software did you use to generate the rough translation?

  19. #19
    Moderator Han Solo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genuis8 View Post
    Fastclock,

    Thanks for the link. I have downloaded the word doc. Someone was also nice enough to post a link to Gu Long's work in chinese in qiqi.com.

    Reading your post was funny for me because it is not my english I need to work on, but my chinese. I can read just a few words of chinese, not enough to be able to read a newspaper or novel.

    I just bought Multitranse to get a rough translation of the chinese, and using my limited knowledge of chinese and looking at the chinese text, I am working on the rough english translation and making it into my own, trying to keep it in tune with the original work. This is a good exercise for me to learn chinese. I can speak Hokkien (Min-Nan) and some Mandarin.

    Each chapter of this novel is quite long. It is about 2 weeks now, and I am only 2/3 thru Chapter 6. If anyone is interested in reading further, I could post it here. You can always pull it in, and replace the complete document, Fastclock. What software did you use to generate the rough translation?
    Please do.

    We appreciate any form of translational work that we can get.

    Han solo
    Wuxiapedia

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

  20. #20
    Senior Member fastclock's Avatar
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    genuis8,

    (You can tell me later why you pick such nickname, )

    As Han Solo pointed out, whenever you want to post whatever translation you have, just go ahead...

    I used Systran 5 (same engine as Babelfish) to machine-translate the whole book.

    Now, once they are in the 'half-baked' state (most of the names are translated back and the english are repaired a little bit), I would expect that people sitting quietly and reading each sentence very carefully to be able to "guess" the actual meaning of the sentence, probably 70-80% of the time. Gu Long is that easy. The other 20-30% of the time, they need to get the original text and either use a dictionary, or use something like Chinese Pera-kun (get it if you want, it's great, but only works in Firefox - It's a pop-up Ch/Eng dictionary for web reading).

    I was saying that you will work on your English skills. Trust me, that's what you end up doing. Getting the meaning of the sentence (with the original text + half-baked state + your choice of dictionary) sometimes takes a short time. Putting the words into proper readable English can take a huge amount of time (both picking the words/grammar + typing it). Some people agonizes over choices of English words/flow for a while, until they're satisfied. I don't think I agonized too much, but some people do.

    In the end, the audience here know English perfectly well. They know if you screw up in making the proper English sentences. They don't really know any better if you translate wrongly (hopefully that doesn't happen, of course). So, have fun with it.

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