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Thread: Four Constables - Return to the Capital City by Wen Rui'an

  1. #81
    Senior Member Hoju!'s Avatar
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    Hi Jean. I actually started translating this novel years ago and recently found my draft again. I have a little bit of the next chapter translated. I could send it to you if you would like to help move your translation along. PM me if you want it.
    一杯酒,一個朋友!
    --离歌笑

  2. #82
    Senior Member Jean's Avatar
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    Hi Hoju,

    Actually I have translated up to Chapter 5...just that never got around to posting it.... thanks for the offer tho!

  3. #83
    Senior Member Hoju!'s Avatar
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    Awesome! Keep up the great work!
    一杯酒,一個朋友!
    --离歌笑

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    Thank you.

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    I just watched The Four 2 (the movie adaptation) and loved Liu Yifei so badly that I want to be ahead and read the novel but I kinda don't get it. Is what you've posted completed? or you're still working on some of the chapters?

  6. #86
    Senior Member Jean's Avatar
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    Book 2 – Bloody Hand


    Chapter 4 – Enters the Secluded Ghost

    The tragic moonlight.

    Under the ghastly moonlight, a shuddering female voice that is so faint and piteous sounding that it can make one weep, is softly singing, “… dusk as the moon rises, the night dims, inside the ghastly residence, darkness day and night, adding on countless souls again…” The singing floated over the house, floated over the stream, floated over the forest, fading in and out.

    In this forest, there is a huge bonfire, with three people either standing or sitting next to it. They are three bearded and fierce looking men. There are three horses nearby, stamping their hooves on the ground and using their tails to flick on their back to chase away the flies surrounding their bodies.

    Of the three men, one is concentrating on roasting his meat at the fire and looking at the bow and arrows across his back, one can deduce that he is roasting his prey; another man is heartily chewing on a piece of roasted meat while the other man is lying down with his head on his hands and facing the sky, as if in deep thought.

    Heaven and earth is silent, the fire burning and that singing, kept floating over.

    The man who was eating the roasted meat suddenly furrowed his brows, spat on the ground and cursed, “Damn it, it’s the middle of the night, why sing that ghastly song. If I get my hands on her, I’ll have some fun first.”

    The man roasting the meat replied, “The weirdest part is that we can hear the song but not see the person; I walked about seven to eight rounds around the woods just now but I did not even see a ghost. Eerie, eerie!” Suddenly there was a ‘piak’ and he slapped himself once.

    The man who was eating was shocked, “No. 3, why are you slapping yourself? You’ve not been beaten up for too long so you’re starting to feel the itch?”

    The man roasting the mean chided with a laugh, “Damn you, I was swatting the fly. Wonder why the surrounding seventy to eighty miles are all filled with flies!”

    The man eating the roast meat did not reply for quite some time, then suddenly exclaim, “Hey, No.2, why are you so quiet tonight that you’re not even farting?”

    The man lying down replied, “I’m thinking of something…”

    The man eating asked impatiently, “What the hell are you thinking of? You don’t seem happy or sad…”

    The man lying down suddenly leapt up, “Eldest Brother, are we doing any work tonight?”

    The man eating the roast meat was taken aback and replied, “The surrounding seventy to eighty miles, even if we find a household, they can’t even afford an ox, so where can we find work?”

    It turns out that these three men are the infamous ‘Three Evils of Shaanxi’, bandits around the Shaanxi region. The eldest, ‘Mountain Splitting Axe’ Bao Long, the second ‘Trickster’ Bao She, the third ‘Cloud Piercing Arrow’ Bao Hu. Their martial arts are not considered weak and countless good fighters in the martial arts realm, escort agents and guards have either died under Bao She’s evil schemes, Bao Hu’s hidden arrows and Bao Long’s iron axe.

    At that moment Bao She said, “Big Brother, have you ever heard that around the area of River Xiang here, there’s a ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’?”

    This time Bao Hu fought to reply, “Yes, I heard that the owner of ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’ is extremely wealthy and loves collecting gold and jewelry, there are a few huge chests…”Bao Long replied seriously, ‘No way. Have we, Three Evils of Shaanxi’ eaten bear’s gall and become so fearless? The martial arts of the owner of ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’, Shi Youming, is rumored to have reached such a stage that even the Big Brother of our field ‘Nine Icy Interlocks’ also suffered tremendously under his hands. He claims to be ‘The Best in River Xiang’. With the skills of us three, are we good enough to plan on hitting Secluded Brightness Manor’?”

    Bao She waved his hand as he laughed, “Big Brother is not aware that ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’ has now become ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’.”

    Bao Long was perplexed, “Why would you say that?”

    Bao She regaled, “It is said that ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’ has met with a great mishap and not a single person in the whole manor was spared. As to who is the perpetrator, no one knows. I heard that those who died in the manor all died horribly with their eyes and mouth wide opened, the bodies sucked dry of blood and crushed. That’s why everyone is saying that ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’ has now become ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’.”

    At this point in time the singing suddenly stopped. The wind howled and the fire flickered while the sounds made by the insects in the woods amplified. Bao Hu said a little fearfully, “Second Brother, don’t scare us.”

    Bao She laughed, “How can it be scary? I heard from those people who carried the bodies out from ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’, they all said the things and money in the manor were all neat and intact. Everything is still placed there, no one has touched them…”

    Bao Long was ecstatic, “Since there’s no one in the manor, and ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’ is filled with riches, it’s time for us to strike!”

    Bao She waved his hand and said, “Big Brother, don’t be anxious. This ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’ is indeed a little spooky. Over the past year, there have been at least a few dozen people whom like us have harbored some thoughts over this manor but once they entered ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’, they disappeared without any news. It’s rumored that some of their bodies were found at the hill behind ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’, with their stomachs split open and the heart taken out. The whole body was pale and there are two teeth marks on the throat, even the blood was sucked dry…” As he said this, the icy wind blew over and he can’t help but shiver.

    However Bao Long snickered, “Second Brother, since when have you become superstitious as well? Who cares if it’s the work of humans or ghosts. It’s just that the damned manor owner of ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’ is not around, but even if he’s a ghost I’ll also kill him with my axe!”

    Bao She laughed, “Big Brother’s power and prestige is imposing so of course you’re not afraid. Besides, those who went into ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’, if you compare them to us, I’m afraid they won’t be able to take even three of Big Brother’s axe blows. And us brothers are doing the job ourselves tonight so it’ll be different too. But the spookiness of this ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’ cannot be taken lightly too. Those nobodies who entered ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’, maybe they’re not that skillful and ended up being eaten by wolves but even those who were involved in carrying the corpses out of ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’, they all died mysteriously after a shout within a month. That’s how ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’ became a haunted place and those living nearby all moved far, far away. The story of ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’ being haunted was thus confirmed…”

    Bao Hu squeaked, “In that case, we better not go and antagonize ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’.”

    Bao Long roared, “No. 3, leaving such easy gold and jewelry behind, you better not shame me.”

    Bao She said instead, “Big Brother, don’t be angry. If I don’t dare to go, I wouldn’t have brought up this matter to you. But we have to plan each step carefully.”

    Bao Long chortled, “That is indeed my good Second Brother! Even if Shi Youming is not dead, I can still block a few of his blows with my axe. He won’t win so easily and there’s time for us to make our escape. No. 3, are you going or not?”

    Bao Hu answered wryly, “Since my two elder brothers are going, how dare I not go!”

    Bao Long chortled, “I bet you wouldn’t dare! That’s right, No. 2, where is the manor?”

    Bao She pointed, “Nearby, just outside the woods.”
     
    Bao Long waved the huge axe in his hands, “Great, I’m going to chop ghosts tonight, swish, swish, swish, one axe one ghost. Haha, let’s go get our horses!”

    Three men on three horses flew by and reached the border of the woods in short time. They saw the corner of a roof from between the trees outside the woods. The ‘Three Evils of Shaanxi’ exchanged looks and spurred their horses out of the words, to see an imposing and huge manor appearing in front of their eyes. This manor is built between a dense forest and a steep cliff and looks magnificent and imposing. It’s just become dilapidated so it gives off an eerie feeling. The three of them reined in their horses and that lingering singing which sounded both piteous and joyful sounded in their ears again.

    “… dusk as the moon rises, the night dims, once inside the ghastly residence, will never reincarnate again, pity the countless souls…”

    Bao Long jumped off his horse with a thud and shouted, “The noise is irritating, let’s go inside right now.”

    After hearing the singing, Bao Hu is indeed feeling his goose pimples coming out and asked, “Big… Big Brother, we’re really going in?”

  7. #87
    Senior Member LuDongBin's Avatar
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    Aha, Jean, it has been a long time ... finally another traditional wuxia novel. What a nice lunar new year present! Thanks.

  8. #88
    Senior Member Jean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuDongBin View Post
    Aha, Jean, it has been a long time ... finally another traditional wuxia novel. What a nice lunar new year present! Thanks.
    Haha... thanks! I actually have half of this story translated last year but got side tracked so never posted it. Haven't been back for a looong time and yup, noticed that the translations section is getting very active but have not heard of most of the authors/ stories before. Will be keen to read some of them to see what's the in thing now.

  9. #89
    Senior Member 徐中銳's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean View Post
    Haha... Haven't been back for a looong time...
    I didn't thank you years ago because I hadn't join...

    But, look, the other day, I chanced upon :


    It's my favourite CantoPop/WuXia track If you speak Mandarin, I'll search the lyrics... And, of course, some readers might know which film it's from.

    Good to see you translating, see you around
    « I know more than I can express in words, and the little I can express would not have been expressed, had I not known more. » — 弗拉基米爾·弗拉基米羅維奇·納博科夫

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by 徐 中 銳 View Post

    It's my favourite CantoPop/WuXia track If you speak Mandarin, I'll search the lyrics... And, of course, some readers might know which film it's from.

    Good to see you translating, see you around
    Unfortunately I'm not really into canto songs... so not familiar with this. Thanks for sharing tho!

  11. #91
    Senior Member Jean's Avatar
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    To continue......

    ***********************************************

    Bao She suddenly said, “All right then, Big Brother, we will leave Third Brother behind to look after the horses, in case the horses get stolen instead after we enter the manor. It won’t be that difficult to move just a few chests of treasures. Third Brother, if Big Brother and I don’t come out, then you better run far, far away and never come back here. If even Big Brother and I are not the match of the enemy, you’ll be killing yourself if you come too.”

    It’s Bao Hu’s greatest wish that he does not have to go into that eerily quiet manor so he immediately replied, “I will wait got Big Brother and Second Brother.”

    Bao Long sniggered, “You better be alert.”

    He looked at Bao She and climbed up the wall.

    The walls of ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’ are about 10 feet tall and strangely sturdy. Even if the Lightness Skill of the ‘Three Evils of Shaanxi’ is not bad, they cannot jump over it in one leap.

    Bao Hu saw Bao Long and Bao She going up the top of the wall and surveyed the area inside the wall for a moment. They waved and then jumped down, and there was no noise after that.

    Bao Hu just waited and with the cold wind blowing and the tree leaves rustling, there was a few times that Bao Hu thought someone was blowing behind his back. After waiting for one watch*, Bao Long and Bao Hu are still not out and there are no noises from the yard at all. Because of the tall wall, Bao Hu can’t see what has happened inside the manor as well.

    *In ancient china, the hours of the night are split into 5 timings, each timing called ‘a watch’. Each watch is 2 hours, beginning from 7pm.

    Bao Hu steeled himself to keep on waiting and another watch passed but there’s still no news from inside at all. Logically speaking, even if Bao Long and Bao She is stealing the wealth of the whole manor, they would have finished the job long ago or if they have met with enemies, there should be some noise too. Bao Hu thought it over and felt something is terribly amiss. Bao She’s instructions to him to run away first kept ringing in his ears but Bao She is still considered a loyal man. He considered that the three of them had roamed the world together for so many years and if his elder brothers have met with mishap, what’s the purpose in him living alone? As he mulled over it, he gritted his teeth, pulled out an arrow and shot it. ‘Swoosh’. The arrow is embedded into the wall, with a long rope tied to the end of the arrow. Bao Hu grabbed the rope and pulled himself up to the top of the wall in no time. He jumped down and disappeared within the walls of the compound.

    But once he jumped over the wall, he let out a blood-curdling scream filled with fear and alarm. After this scream, there’s no more noise. ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’ is still quiet and no one came out from it either. Once in a while, the frightening howls of wolves can be heard coming from the back mountain.

    ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’ still stands magnificently at the side of the cliff, in total darkness, in silence.

    No one ever saw the ‘Three Evils of Shaanxi’ again.

    The rope on the wall and the sharp arrow, after being exposed to the sun and rain day by day, moss has grown all over the rope and the sharp arrow is now rusty.

    The morning sun shone down from between the leaves of the trees, the warm sunlight making one feel extremely comfortable.

    In the woods, morning dew sliding down the wild grass and the fog is wetting the branches.

    Suddenly there were sounds of hurried hoof beats, obviously speeding and by now they have passed the woods and ran out of it. They suddenly reined in the horses and there were a total of four horses. To be pulled to a sudden stop while at top speed with the four horses not showing an ounce of shock at all, it can be seen that the four riders had extremely good arm strength and seamless coordination.

    Once the horses stopped, four robust looking monks jumped down from the horses, their loose robes and sleeves fluttering with the wind. The four of them may look strong and sturdy but when they jumped down the horses, they made no noise at all.

    These four monks stopped in front of the door to ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’ and looked around. Suddenly they heard a long laugh coming from the woods and someone said loudly and clearly, “The four monks Long, Hu, Biao, Bao from Shaolin’s Damo Hall indeed lives up to their reputation.” An old man with white long beard with a walking staff walked towards them. This old man may be old but his eyes are still bright and intense and the walking stick he is holding weighs at least 40 to 50 jin but he can easily carry it around.

    (Note: 1 jin is about 500 gm)

    There are two people next to this old man, one of them about 40-50 years old, with long eyebrows and black beard and he looks very upright. The other person is about 20 odd years old, but looks very mature yet meek and humble and he’s dressed as a scholar.

    The four monks immediately clapped their hands in respect towards the three of them and said, Amitabha, we are late and hope Master Weng won’t blame us.”

    The old man laughed, “This time it is I who have asked for the help of experts from Shaolin and Wudang so of course I should be here first to wait for you. I already feel very bad that all of you have to make the arduous journey, I wouldn’t dare be upset. Oh, that’s right.” The old man pointed to the man with the stubborn look and said, “This is ‘Ten Unrivalled Soul Chaser’ Mister Guo Zhigeng and that one is ‘Laughing Soul Chaser’, Scholar Yu Wenxiu. I’m sure you’ve seen each other before!”

    The four monks from Shaolin were freshly out into the martial arts realm so of course they’ve never seen them but they have heard that there is a scholar from Henan who is skilled in both martial arts and academics but his greatest love is to collect stories of strange folklores. It is said that he has written books especially in this area and it seems that this person in the same as the one in front, ‘Laughing Soul Chaser’ Yu Wenxiu; the martial arts realm also has a good fighter but with a stubborn streak called Guo Zhigeng, who has ten different unique skills and he has ten disciples, and each is only taught one skill. He’s already very famous in the martial arts world and this other person in front of them is obviously that ‘Ten Unrivalled Soul Chaser’. Even though the four monks think highly of themselves, they still bowed respectfully towards Yu Wenxiu and Guo Zhigeng.

    Guo Zhigeng only nodded his head coldly and said, “My intention on coming here is different from the rest of you. I am coming to this haunted house to look for my three disobedient disciples and kill them so there’s no need for us to make friends. If you’re going to dilly-dally outside here, I am going in myself.”

    Yu Wenxiu bowed respectfully and smiled at Guo Zhigeng, “Brother Guo, what you’ve said is not quite right. You must know that in this ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’, there have been countless mysteries. Shi Youming’s family of 23 people all died with no reason and following that, anyone who came to visit Manor Master Shi or who came to steal, all died or went missing. For my research writings on ‘Wonderful Secrets of the World’, I would need to see for myself cases such as this but on seeing that even people like Manor Master Shi have met with mishap, I would not dare to enter the manor rashly. If Brother is too anxious, won’t you be taking a risk on your own? Let’s wait a little longer for the three disciples of Wudang before we go in together. No matter how formidable the opponent is, at least we can cover each other’s back.”

    Guo Zhigeng is extremely hotheaded. It turns out that he originally had ten disciples and the 7th, 8th and 9th disciples are three brothers and what they learnt are ‘Mountain Splitting Axe’, ‘Serpent Whip’ and ‘Cloud Piercing Arrow’. But these three committed many evil secretly behind their Teacher’s back and sullied the reputation of Guo Zhigeng. Guo Zhigeng by nature is a stubborn man and strictly upright in his actions so how can he let this ‘Three Evils of Shaanxi’ create trouble in the martial arts realm. Therefore he gave the orders to kill them but the news was leaked out so the ‘Three Evils of Shaanxi’ escaped in the night and killed, raped and plundered along the way. Guo Zhigeng and the rest of his seven disciples split up to pursue them and found out that they have run to the area around River Xiang. A month ago, they heard that on the wall of ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’, there is a certain rope and arrow which can only be made by him. So he came immediately to ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’ in order to see for himself. If the ‘Three Evils of Shaanxi’ are really dead, then the case will be closed but if they are still alive, he must kill them with his own hands. On the way he bumped into Yu Wenxiu and Yu Wenxiu had heard that the ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’ is haunted so once he knew that Guo Zhigeng is going there to punish his evil disciples, Yu Wenxiu followed along to see what will happen. On arrival at the door of ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’, they bumped into ‘Iron Crutch’ Mister Weng Si. Weng Si also came because of ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’ and he requested that Yu Wenxiu, Guo Zhigeng wait until the martial arts exponents from Shaoling and Wudang arrive before they all go into ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’ together. Naturally Yu Wenxiu would have no objections and although Guo Zhigeng is impatient, but because of Weng Si’s stature, he dare not flare up and had to wait as well.

    It must be known that this ‘Iron Crutch’ Weng Si, is not only highly skilled but he has always been very upright and have been given the title of Hero. He had once coincidentally met with the Leaders of the seven major sects while at Mount Shaohua, and enjoys a close friendship with the owner of ‘Wind Cloud Escort Agency’, whom every refers to as the ‘First Person of the Martial Arts Realm’ and the ‘No. 1 Blade of the World’, ‘Nine Crescent Blade’ Long Fangxiao. So usually those of both the orthodox and unorthodox realms will respect Weng Si a little and fear Weng Si a little. But it was with good intentions that ‘Iron Crutch’ Weng Si is trying so hard to stop Guo Zhigeng from entering the manor rashly. Because if the enemy is able to defeat the Manor Master Shi Youming of ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’, if Guo Zhigeng is to rush into the manor alone, he won’t be gaining any advantage at all.

    There is only one reason why Weng Si had come to ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’ this time. He had met with the Manor Master of ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’, Shi Youming, a few times. Shi Youming is a haughty person by nature and have few close friends but Weng Si is a person who values loyalty so on learning that the people in ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’ have died mysteriously, he came here to find out what happened. But he has always been very careful in his ways so he invited good fighters from Shaolin and Wudang to investigate this matter together.

    Nine years ago the Leaders of the seven major sects gathered at Mount Shaohua and unknowingly drank the spring water from the mountain, which contained poisonous particles. The seven Leaders used their internal energy to try and purge the poison but evil minions from ‘Bloody Clothes Sect’ took the opportunity to launch a sneak attack. Luckily Mister Wng Si happened to pass by Mount Shaohua and helped the seven Leaders out of their predicament. The two sects Shaolin and Wudang have always been the leaders in the martial arts realm and the murder case of ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’ not only alarmed the magistrate courts, but also alarmed Shaolin and Wudang. And now that Weng Si have written to invite them, Shaolin sent out the four senior disciples from Damo Hall, Long, Hu, Biao and Bao while Wudang also sent the ‘Three Disciples of Wudang’ to rush to River Xiang. At this point in time, they heard the sounds of hurried hoof beats and three middle-aged Taoists dressed in white rode towards them. ‘Iron Crutch’ Weng Si chortled, “Is it the ‘Three Disciples of Wudang’ who have arrived?”

    The three on the horses reined their horses and dismounted as they laughed and replied, “The three disciples of Wudang pay their respects to Mister Weng.”

    Weng Si nodded his head, “Good. We’ll enter ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’ right now. No matter what kind of demons or ghouls reside in the manor, the ten of us would be able to deal with them.” He laughed heartily and went into the manor first with a huge step.

    The four Shaolin monks, three disciples of Wudang, ‘Ten Unrivalled Soul Chaser’ Guo Zhigeng and ‘Laughing Soul Chaser’ Yu Wenxiu followed him.

    ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’ is still silent.

    There is no noise.

    Suddenly there seems to be faint noises coming from the deepest part of the manor, someone howling, screaming, wailing, cries of pain, extremely horrifying. And these ten martial arts experts, even if they met with strong enemies who ambushed them, would not have resulted in such panic and chaos.

    After a series of screams, there is silence again.

    The second screams came from the middle part of the manor, obviously those martial arts experts are not seeking their way in, but looking for a quick retreat. But once they retreated to the middle part, the second horrendous event happened.

    After this series of screams, there is another moment of silence. Suddenly there is another scream, a howl that came from near the manor. Obviously these expert fighters have retreated to the front of the walls of the manor and met with another extremely frightening event.

    ‘Bang!’ The main door of ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’ was thrown open violently. Someone with disheveled hair, tattered clothes stained with fresh blood, the eyes bloodshot dashed out like a madman. His ten fingers were broken from the second joint onwards, the shattered bones piercing through the skin and muscles, the hands full of blood, this person is Yu Wenxiu!

    This ‘Laughing Soul Chaser’ has always been calm and stable, like he’s seen all but now he is like a madman, running away from ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’. There are two teeth marks on his neck and as he ran, he screamed, “Ghost…. That voice…. Can’t live!... let me go… My powers…. Ahhhh… ghost…. Secret Manual of the Dragon’s Song…. Ghost!”

  12. #92
    Senior Member LuDongBin's Avatar
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    As usual, full of mysteries and excitement. Thks Jean.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean View Post
    Unfortunately I'm not really into canto songs... so not familiar with this. Thanks for sharing tho!
    It's the theme-song to 1995's A Chinese Odyssey starring Stephen Chow (visual spoilers) :


    By immigrating to New Zealand (in 1985), WuXia reaches me firstly through TV and films... And I recall noticing a trilogy based-on The Four were recently... But...
    « I know more than I can express in words, and the little I can express would not have been expressed, had I not known more. » — 弗拉基米爾·弗拉基米羅維奇·納博科夫

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    *******************************************

    Chapter 5 – Rushing towards the Pass

    Three years later, on a wintry night with heavy snow and wind.

    30 miles away from ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’, ‘Little Interlocking Marina’, Fenglin Jetty’.

    About 30 to 40 miles around this area there are no more households and even if there were, they have moved out long ago. Ever since the news about ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’ being haunted spread, ‘Secluded Brightness Manor’ has really become ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’ instead and those staying nearby all moved away. Those who are travelling past will choose the longer route and detour around ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’.

    Of course there are those who think highly of themselves, or extremely brave men from the martial arts realm who will not want to change their routes, or those in a hurry and those who are not aware that ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’ is haunted will still pass by this road. But still they will press on and dare not even take a look at ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’, as if even a look will bring them bad luck.

    To get out of River Xiang thru ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’, one will definitely pass by ‘Little Interlocking Marina’. This small ‘Little Interlocking Marina’ has a total of 13 complex water routes and those not familiar with the routes can get lost very easily, that’s why it’s called ‘Little Interlocking Marina’. There is only one jetty on ‘Little Interlocking Marina’, called ‘Fenglin Jetty’. After the haunted incident at ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’, passenger volume dropped tremendously so many boatmen quit and now it’s not easy to find a boatman to ferry people across. If passersby are unable to travel via water, they won’t be able to cross the river so this resulted in even less people passing by this road. But once winter comes, the waterways are frozen into ice and it makes travel even easier instead. Right now it is early winter and a thin layer of ice has formed but not thick enough for people to tread on yet.

    Next to ‘Fenglin Jetty’ there is a restaurant with a tattered flag with the word ‘wine’. In the wintry wind and snow, it looks like a staggering old man with white hair.

    Those travelling past ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’ will drink some wine in this little shop to boost their courage, rest or relieve hunger and thirst in order to energize themselves before passing ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’.

    This little shop is called ‘Fenglin Inn’.

    On this day, the wind is strong and the snow heavy. The old shopkeeper looked at the howling northern wind and darkening sign and mumbled, “Looks like if heaven snows for a few more days, the ice at the jetty will harden and people will be able to cross.” He was flicking his abacus, which made a hollow ‘tak tak’ sound when he suddenly heard his staff Ah Fu shouting from the door, “Old Sir, Old Sir, guests coming, guests coming.”

    Old Sir was taken aback and thought to himself that guests are arriving really early this year. He came out to the door for a look and saw that in the snow, a couple was walking towards them. They have no horses and their clothes were thin but in the wind and snow, they seemed to float effortlessly across like fairies and have already reached the shop. Old Sir can’t help but gape open his mouth. Because this is a desolate area and often deserted so wolves often appear around the area. The average female or child will not dare to venture out but today, this young couple is only in their early twenties and they actually wore such thin outfits out, something which this Old Sir has never seen before. The man was lanky and thin but his eyes look very smart and sharp, like an exquisite jade tree, spirited and handsome; the girl was dressed colorfully, her long hair like a waterfall with a little butterfly knot around her waist on which two small swords was tied to, which made her look even more pretty and brilliant than a flower. The girl looked at the stunned old man and covered her mouth with her hand as she smiled and said, “Greetings, old sir.”

    This smile is enough to bring a whole city down. The old man was stunned and even his senior staff Ah Ben and junior staff Ah Fu were left speechless. The young man laughed, “Old sir, are there any food, can we have a dish first?”

    The old man was woken up from his stupor and he quickly invited them for a seat and asked with concern, “Are the both of you crossing ‘Fenglin Jetty?”

    The man replied with a smile, “Right.”

    The old man sighed, “I hope you will not find this old man a nag but I must tell the both of you, many have died in the ‘Secluded Ghostly Manor’ here…”

    The man replied with a smile, “We know about it, it doesn’t matter.”

    The old man saw that this couple have an outstanding air around them and obviously they are from wealthy families. They have long swords with them but he is still worried so he asked, “You’re not afraid of ghosts?”

    The girl laughed prettily, “Why would there be ghosts?”

    The old man saw that the girl was unafraid so he asked, “The both of you are dressed so thinly, aren’t you afraid of the cold?”

    The girl laughed, “Cold? We’re not feeling cold!”

    The old man knew these two were no ordinary people so he did not waste any more words on them. He sent them their wine and dishes and as the couple was eating, they suddenly realized that at some point in time, there were already another two people standing at the door. The couple did not lift up their heads to look at all but continued their conversation quietly and eating. The old man and his two staff was surprised and the old man thought that his eyesight is so getting bad with age that he did not even notice how those two came in. He immediately came forward with a smile and welcomed them, “Sirs, please take a seat. My eyesight must be so terrible that I did not notice your arrival.” On closer look, he saw that the both of them look identical, quiet and steady, but one of them is missing a right arm while the other is missing a left arm.

    The two men did not answer the old man’s questions but just found themselves a place to sit and ordered some tea. The man on the right said emotionlessly, “We already came in when the snow was falling.” The old man looked at the wind blowing the curtains and indeed snow was blown in but he could not quite understand what this person was talking about too. Suddenly, as the wind blew up the tattered curtain again, he saw seven burly men walking towards his shop.

    The old man shouted, “Ah Ben, Ah Fu, receive guests!”

    *************************************************
    Last edited by Jean; 02-14-16 at 09:52 PM.

  15. #95
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    Thanks Jean. Glad you are back, really miss your Tling. Now have to read back as forgotten the previous parts. Will catch up soon as I am a fast read. Jiayou.

  16. #96
    Senior Member Jean's Avatar
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    *************************************************

    The seven burly men with their thick brows and huge eyes stepped in but their composure was extremely quiet, a stark contrast to the way they look. The interesting thing is that these seven men all hung their weapons on their waist but each weapon is different. The leader of the group has a twin meteor hammer, the second person has a chain spear, the third person is holding a golden spear, the fourth person a chain rope, the fifth person holding a thunder god weapon*, the sixth person is holding a metal brush and the seventh person a long hammer. The weirder thing is that these men were all half naked on a wintry day and on their chest they’ve actually carved out two words with a knife, ‘Take Revenge’! These two words were not simply carved using the knife but would seem that when the words were carved, a lot of strength was used to cut deeply. The weapons of those seven are not commonly seen in the martial arts realm and they all belong to the category of rare weapons.

    * The Thunder God supposedly uses a hammer and nail weapon to create thunder

    Those men did not talk as well. They just sat there quietly. Suddenly the curtain on the door moved again and four old monks in grey outfits, with their palms clasped together, walked in and sat down around a table, not talking as well. That old man, Ah Ben and Ah Fu were all stumped when they heard the sound of horses galloping again. The horses came to an abrupt stop and it seems that while the horses were still neighing, two old Taoist priests with robes, tall hats and swords across their backs have already flitted in, their lower body almost unmoving. Once they entered the shop, they saw the four monks and gave a deep bow. The four monks hurriedly clasped their palms together as well as they quietly greeted each other.

    Right at this time, someone else walked into the shop again. This person is dressed in brocade outfit, with a graceful attitude. He ordered a flask of wine and started drinking it himself. At this time heavy footsteps can be heard far from outside, step by step, neither fast nor slow, the sound not getting any lighter nor louder as it slowly walked to the door of the shop. The curtain was flipped up again and he walked in and sat down opposite the man in brocade. He did not talk as well, but just poured the wine and drank by himself. It must be said that for this person’s footsteps to sound so heavy, his internal strength must be extremely strong. While he was more than a few dozen feet away, his footsteps already sounded as loud as thunder and this is already considered very rare and the person did not try to make his footsteps sound louder because he was coming nearer but still maintained the same, such internal energy is imaginable. The young couple, the man raised his head and took a long look at this person in black with the heavy footsteps, while the girl snapped her head up and stared at the man dressed in brocade. At the same time the man in the black robe and the brocade outfit also lifted their eyes to look at the couple. The eyes of those four suddenly seem to explode and then they all lowered their heads and continued drinking.

    That old man, Ah Fu and Ah Ben has never seen so many weird guests in such a godforsaken wintry night. Just as they were quietly considering the strange event, another four dhutas* suddenly came in, the speed of their movement indescribable. On seeing that the four of them is almost going to collide with a big table, the old man was about to shout out but somehow, the four of them were suddenly seated properly, each on one table. The old man heaved a sigh of relief and felt that tonight is a really weird night.

    Dhutas – ascetic Buddhist monks

    After this, another four burly men dressed in gold arrived at the shop, followed by six martial artists who walked in one after another. For a moment, the old man, Ah Fu and Ah Ben were kept very busy. The ten who came later were chatting and laughing without inhabitations and although they seem to be harboring their own worries, they were unlike the people who came in earlier and looked so serious: the couple, the two handicapped persons, the seven men with the words ‘Take Revenge’ carved on their chests, the four old monks and two old Taoists, the man in brocade, the man in the black robes and the four dhutas. The ten of then were laughing and talking loudly, eating and drinking merrily. Other than the four old monks, the two Taoists and the young couple, the others all looked irritated.

    By now all the seats in the shop are taken up. Suddenly there was a ruckus again and people were talking outside the shop. Ah Ben has never seen such a thing happening before and can’t help but smile wryly, “My goodness.” Ah Fu walked forward and told the old man, “Old Sir, after today’s business, you should reward me with a little more money.”

    The old man slapped Ah Fu’s head lightly and said with worry and impatience, “Go, go, go, get to work quickly. I’m afraid these people are not your regular guests and if we offend them, even our shop may get smashed and I’ll have to deduct your pay then.”  

    Just as he was talking, those people outside the door have already walked into the shop. Two men lifted up the curtains on the door and a young man dressed in fine silk outfit was grinning as he walked in but once he stepped in, he covered his nose and said, “This shop stinks.”

    The man who held the curtain up said with a laugh, “Young Master just bear with it a little. Take a rest first and we can go on our way once the ice has hardened.”

    The other man laughed along, “Our Young Master is the Number One Talent of the Capital, where has he not gone to before? For such a small establishment like this to have Young Master patronizing it, it’s their luckiest day in generations to come.”

    The young master took out his jade porcelain snuff bottle, wiped it with his hand and took a deep breath from it, as if he doesn’t care at all and walked in. Behind him there were actually 18 people following him, old and young and the expressions on their faces were either fawning, surly or shifty. The young master leading the group is not bad looking but very effeminate and he thinks that he is very refined and good looking and so pretentious that it makes one queasy.

    These 20 odd people came into the shop and saw that it is already filled. A large burly man who was standing behind this young master bellowed, “Our young master of Baidi City, Chang Wutian, Master Chang is here and you’re not backing away? Not afraid of death?” This burly man has quite a loud voice but after shouting a few times, no one bothered to lift up their heads to look at him. The man took a clearer look and saw that everyone in the shop looked stern and this pompous man was so frightened that he dare not make any further sounds.

    The brightly dressed young girl laughingly told the relatively good looking young man, “This person who is dressed like a wealthy young master is the son of a rich man called Chang Wutian
    in Baidi City. His rich but immoral father employed a few famous bodyguards for him and he learned martial arts as well but people like him never put in much effort to practice martial arts so his skills are limited, but his evil deeds are many…” The young girl was chatting happily while the young man kept nodding his head.

    As she said these, the old man, Ah Fu and Ah Ben were all feeling worried for the both of them because the young girl was talking as if there’s no one around them. That Chang Wutian has heard her and turned his head around in anger but his eyes lighted up once he saw that it’s a beautiful lady. His lust was immediately stoked and his anger subsided as he grinned and said, “Little lady, well, you said my martial arts is bad. Here, here, come back with me to practice some martial arts and you’ll soon know how ‘skillful’ I am. Heh heh heh, do you think it’s a good idea…”

    The young man turned and looked angrily at Chang Wutian, his eyes shooting daggers and that Chang Wutian was indeed taken aback. The five burly men dressed in purple asked Wutian quietly, “Master Chang, we’ll capture that lady for you and kill the guy, how’s that?”

    Chang Wutian beamed, “Quick, go, you’ll be well rewarded.”

    Once the five men heard that there’ll be a reward, they all fought to move ahead while the rest who heard there’s a reward can only lament that they lost the opportunity to claim merit.

    The five men dressed in purple are already behind the young couple and one of them with a growth on his cheek shouted, “Little lady, will you come and have some fun with my young Master…”

    **********************************************

  17. #97
    Senior Member LuDongBin's Avatar
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    Thks Jean.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 徐 中 銳 View Post
    It's the theme-song to 1995's A Chinese Odyssey starring Stephen Chow.
    Don't forget that Mr. Chow recently re-used it for his Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons...

    And thanks, Jean! Finally something that is not XianXia. :-D

  19. #99
    Senior Member Jean's Avatar
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    Last update for this week coz I'm traveling tomorrow til next week.


    **********************************************

    The brightly dressed young lady was still looking at the young man lovingly, as if she has not noticed that the five men are behind him and continued talking, “Those people are all Chang Wutian’s mercenaries, a pity all of them are helping the wicked, raping and pillaging and doing all sorts of evil, helping Chang Wutian in his lawless ways; like those five dressed in purple, they are the ‘Five Dragons of the Left River Bank’. In the past they specialize in robbing fishing vessels and murder, committing many evil deeds…”

    Once the man with the growth on his face heard this, he felt a rush of anger and immediately drew his weapon with a ‘clang’, aiming straight for the top of that young man’s head as he shouted, “Fine! I’ll chop off your head first before offering you to Young Master!”

    The young man was still looking intently at the brightly dressed girl, as if he can’t bear to take his eyes off her even if a disaster is looming above him. It seems that he’s totally ignorant of this blade coming at him.

    Right at that time, the man dressed in black who was seated in the east suddenly stood up. No one could see clearly what he did but he was suddenly standing in front of the man with the growth. The man with the growth only felt the shadow of a person appear in front of him and his arms and legs seemed to be sucked by this person, he could not struggle out of the grasp at all and his blade can go no further down.

    The man in the black robes grabbed the man with the growth and suddenly dashed out of the shop. The shop is already quite crowded and there are another dozen odd more people standing near the door but the man in black dashed out in an instant, not even touching anyone else. Even the curtain on the door did not flutter much. Outside the snowy ground, there was a short scream and the man in black swiftly returned to the shop again and was seated in his original position, opposite the man dressed in brocade. He sat down and with his bloodied hands, drank his wine nonchalantly, as if nothing has happened.
      
    When that man in black came into the shop earlier, his steps were heavy so obviously his internal strength is very profound. But the speed with which he executed his lightness skill earlier was even more incredible.

    The brightly dressed young girl was still smiling and chattering to the young man, “…that Mister Black Robe came from Yuedong and his internal strength is extremely intense. It was said that when he was twelve years old, he used his internal energy to shatter and kill ‘Golden Claw Lion Demon’ Qi Wei, who was famous for his internal strength in Hebei. That move executed earlier is ‘Unable to move an inch’ from the ‘Suction Skill’, so how can that Big Dragon take that blow! That gentleman’s nickname is ‘Black Robe’, last name Ba, and first name Tianshi…”

    As she said this, that man in black looked at the brightly dressed young girl in surprise. He did not expect that with just one move he executed, the young girl would be able to tell his background. The brightly dressed young girl smiled at ‘Black Robe’ and at this time, the remaining four Dragons of the ‘Five Dragons of the Left River Bank’ seems to awaken from a daze only to realize that Big Dragon has been killed. They shouted and drew their swords, slashing towards this ‘Black Robe’ Ba Tianshi.

    Ba Tianshi did not try to avoid them at all. The young man smiled at the brightly dressed young girl and said, “That Mr Ba saved me earlier and he was helping us. Now these four people are taking it out on him, it’s time for me to strike…” He had just uttered the words ‘strike’ when he suddenly stood up. Suddenly, a thin and long sword seemed to appear in his hand and with a swish, there was a gleam from the sword and it was returned back to its sheath as suddenly.

    The four burly men only saw a flash from the sword in front of their eyes and were still wondering what to do when there was a ‘clang’ from their hands, their palms have been pierced by the point of the sword and the weapons in their hands fell to the ground. It turns out that in that one ‘swish’, the young man has attacked four times and the four rapidly sounding ‘swishes’ joined together to make one long ‘swishing’ sound. The four ‘Five Dragons of the Left River Bank’ have never seen such fast swordplay. They only realized their pain when they saw the blood on their hands and moaned in pain as they clutched their hands. The young man sat down nonchalantly while ‘Black Robe’ Ba Tianshi looked at the young man in shock. The man seated opposite him exclaimed, “Excellent swordplay!”

    But suddenly, another strange thing happened. The four of the remaining ‘Five Dragons of the Left River Bank’ who were writhing on the floor in pain, were suddenly swiftly sucked in by a draft behind them and banged onto the door of the shop.

    Everyone was astonished to see such a strong force sucking the four of them back. They lifted their head for a look and realized that at some point in tine a seven foot tall, 60-odd year old man with silvery beard was suddenly standing in the shop, his face reddish. He looks very robust and stout, dressed in a fiery red robe with an axe hanging on his waist. The axe was shimmering and black, at least 50 to 60 kilograms.

    The old man in red huffed and turned both his hands over. From the center of his palms, there were two vortexes which sucked the ‘Four Dragons of the Left River Bank’ towards him. Just as the Third and Fourth Dragon were about to collide into his left and right palms, the old man in red suddenly separated his hands and two chopsticks from the container on the tables on his left and right flew up into his hands. By then the Third and Fourth Dragon has knocked into his hands and the chopsticks actually pierced them through their backs! Second and Fifth Dragon also came crashing and the old man in red flicked the thumbs and forefingers on both his hands and the chopsticks actually flew out from Third and Fourth Dragon’s chests to impale themselves on the back of the Second and Fifth Dragon. The four of them did not even scream, but collapsed onto the ground, dead.

    Everyone was shocked to see this old man in red executing his moves. To be able to suck in a person with his palms until they fly is already huge news but this old man in red can actually kill using chopsticks, every move perfectly, accurately and viciously executed. He killed four men in the blink of an eye without any change in his expression.

    The even stranger thing is, this old man in red looks heavy but no one even noticed when he came into the shop and even Chang Wutian and his gang who was standing in front of the door did not notice at all. The way he uses the chopsticks, even those sitting at the tables next to him like the four burly men dressed in gold and the six rich looking men could not even take a clear look. They were so surprised that their jaws were dropping and they were speechless.

    The old man in red looked around and said with a booming voice, “I am Qu Benlei, a guest from Guandong!”

    Once the three words ‘Qu Benlei’ was uttered, most of expressions of those in the room changed. Even the man in black and the huge man in dressed in brocade seemed to turn slightly pale. The two priests shivered slightly while the four old monks exchanged nervous glances. The only unaffected ones were that young man, and the old man together with Ah Fu and Ah Ben. The last 3 because they have no idea about what’s happening in the martial arts realm, totally clueless about matters such as ‘Qu Benlei’ or ‘marrying some stupid girl’.

    *****************************************

  20. #100
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    Wow! Lady Jean! Great to see you back!
    Read the latest chapters of Coiling Dragon at Wuxia World!

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