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Thread: Kung Fu by Giddens Ko (功夫-九把刀)

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    For those of you wondering when it starts getting cool, I would say that in about 3 updates is when the story really picks up. Stay tuned!
    Current Translation: I Shall Seal the Heavens
    Recommended Translation: Heroes Shed No Tears

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    Old Man (2)

    Why did the phone have cold sweat on it?

    Why why did I not dare to lift my head?

    There were two reasons.

    The first reason lay hidden within my quivering heartbeat.

    The second reason was because I didn't dare to look up at

    The window.

    The window.

    I gnawed my lip and slowly lifted my head. I looked out of the window into the inky blackness.

    There was a withered old face, pressed up against the glass, and two mesmerising eyes, looking at me.

    Looking at me.

    Waahhh I wanted to scream.

    But I didnt. I didnt have the energy to open my mouth and scream.

    The only thing I could do was to grip the telephone tightly.

    I couldnt even have the courage to close my eyes and avoid the twisted face hanging from the glass.

    Why arent you talking? asked Yi Jing suspiciously.

    I My eyes couldnt move from the old mans face.

    Is your body feeling weird again? Yi Jing seemed concerned.

    Yeah, I said. The old mans eyes remained motionless.

    So you mean? Her train of thought moved quickly.

    Yeah, I said faintly. I thought I could see the old mans pupils constricting rapidly.

    How frightening! Ill call the police for you! Yi Jing immediately hung up the phone.

    At the moment, my mind was very clear.

    Actually, what about the old man was frightening?

    He was an old man, thats all.

    Even though he looked a bit odd, and seemed to be stalking me and scaring me yet, he was an old man in the twilight of his life, thats all!

    The strange thing was, even though my mind was working normally, it was difficult to shake off the inexplicable dread. And my heart would not stop its furious beating.

    Was it instinct?

    If so, what were my instincts trying to tell me?

    Should I be afraid?

    The old man once again breathed onto the window.

    And yet again he wrote into the fog.

    Beg me to be your master. The characters were written backwards.

    I huddled on the bed, shaking my head.

    The old mans face had a look of doubt on it, as if he couldnt understand how I felt.

    Separated by the third floor glass window: a demented old man and a youth whose heart would soon explode, looking at each other.

    Facing off.

    The doorbell rang.

    It must be the police checking in, I thought.

    This time, I wouldnt let the old men escape.

    I stared at him, trying to squeeze out a friendly smile.

    From downstairs came the sound of voices talking loudly. It seemed like the stupid adults were kicking up a row, daring to judge the moral quality of a certain middle school student.

    It didnt matter. Soon the truth would be revealed.

    I quietly waited for the sound of knocking on my door, waiting to see the shocked expressions on the faces of the stupid adults, along with their profuse apologies.

    The old man continued to hang motionless from the glass.

    And my heart continued to beat wildly.

    Perhaps because of the atmosphere, it felt like time was moving slowly, too slowly.

    I guess this is what the expression a watched pot never boils means [41]. But why were the stupid adults so slow to come save me?

    Let me ask you, what do you think the fossilised, ancient, infallible, indifferent adults did?

    I could hear the din downstairs slowly dying down.

    I bet my dad had managed to send them away.

    I knew that I had been betrayed by my family again.

    Knock knock knock knock! Knock knock knock knock!

    It was the door knock I had been expecting!

    I tried to suppress the joy in my heart. I slowly walked toward the sound of knocking, careful to prevent the old man from escaping.

    I opened the door. It was mom.

    Mom, look! Theres a weird old man hanging from the window! He scared me to death! I pointed at the glass. This time, the old man just stared at me blankly. He didnt dash away like lightning.

    Her body reeked of smoke and alcohol. Eyes glazed, she casually stuffed a thousand yuan worth of cash into my hand. I just won a bunch, she said. Go buy something you like, or save it

    I grabbed her hand. Mom, I said urgently, look at the window! Theres a person hanging outside!

    She tilted her head, facing the window. Oh, she said. And then, she turned around and staggered back downstairs.

    Just like that, she went downstairs.

    A feeling of grief completely overwhelmed my fear. I slowly closed the door.

    I was left behind, alone.

    I sat down, looking at my only company, the old man.

    Yes, my company.

    After being abandoned by my family, my heart was dark and cold. Even if I died, so what?

    It looked like the old man could see my sorrowful mood. And then his eyes changed from those of a dead fishs, to the way an old mans eyes should look.

    Im not sure when or why, but my previously wildly beating heart had quieted.

    The old man started breathing on the glass again, and then wrote: Dont be sad.

    I shook my head dispiritedly.

    Lacking all rhyme or reason, the old man and I stared at each other. And thus began a whole night of silent face-off.

    I spent the whole night underneath the soulful eyes of the old man.

    The old man was there with me, hanging from the glass.

    **

    [41] The Chinese expression translated literally is one day seems like a year. The closest idiomatic English expression I could think of was a watched pot never boils. Feel free to chip in with opinions.
    Last edited by deathblade; 05-27-14 at 10:30 PM. Reason: fixed tons of mistakes and made changes suggested by WesY2K
    Current Translation: I Shall Seal the Heavens
    Recommended Translation: Heroes Shed No Tears

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    Thanks deathblade for a quick update

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    Thanks for a quick update

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    A room without walls (1)

    The whole night?

    At least two thirds, or maybe three fourths. I did sleep eventually.

    And your alarm woke you up?

    Yeah. When I woke up I was covered with a blanket.

    Oh? asked Yi Jing disbelievingly. Her jaw had dropped, her chopsticks hovering above her stewed egg [42].

    I looked at Ah Lun, Ah Yi, and Xiao Mi. Then I continued, It wasnt my family who put the blanket on me, it was the old man.

    Are you sure? Ah Lun said, munching on the boxed meal Xiao Mi had brought him. He broke a hole in the glass and went in?

    I guess you could say that. I looked at Yi Jing.

    You guess you can say that? Xiao Mi always payed attention closely to everything. So what youre saying is that he didnt actually break a hole the glass and go in.

    There wasnt a hole broken in the glass. The entire glass pane was removed and shattered. Then the pieces were gathered up into a page ripped from my calendar, and thrown into the trashcan.

    Then the glass was broken, said Ah Yi, mashing up his stewed egg.

    No. If someone had broken the glass, I would definitely have woken up. Especially theft-resistant glass like mine. I think my expression must have been very strange.

    Is the old man some kind of monster? said Xiao Mi.

    Please, a monster? If he was a monster, Ah Yi could never have beaten him.

    Ah Yi snorted. I can beat monsters too.

    Yi Jing looked me over. You must not have gone to sleep until nearly dawn. You barely slept! Arent you tired? How come I didnt see you yawn all morning?

    Xiao Mi giggled and said, How can you be so sure he didnt? Were you watching Shao Yuan the entire class?

    Yi Jings face probably went completely red, but I didnt dare to look at her. Exactly, I said quickly. Ive been energetic all day. My eyes werent dry at all, and during the national anthem I sang extra loud.

    Ah Yi tilted his head. Wow, great! Are you possessed or something?

    Ah Lun licked his meal box clean. Sucking on the last bits of food in his mouth, he said, Youre fine, thats the important thing. If it really was the old man who put the blanket on you, then it means he shattered the glass, went into the room, and covered you with the blanket. He didnt kill you, so he must not have any ill intentions."

    Xiao Mi nodded and said, Yeah. If he keeps hiding outside of your window and scaring you, then you can just call Ah Yi. Hell go over and help.

    Right, said Ah Yi complacently. Im usually not busy.

    I didnt respond.

    I didnt want to cause any problems for the old man.

    Maybe the old man had decided to accompany me because my family had forsaken me and I was lonely.

    If the old man scares you again, you call me, said Yi Jing earnestly.

    Thanks, I laughed.

    On the way home after class, I looked closely for any sign of the old man. Maybe he was waiting for me somewhere.

    Your family is so rich, why havent you bought a Nintendo? Yi Jing kicked a pebble.

    I think wuxia novels are much more interesting, I replied. Although, I wasnt necessarily against buying a Nintendo.

    If Yi Jing wanted to play it.

    You can finish a novel in a day. Yi Jing frowned. Ah Yi, dont walk up in front smoking, it stinks to death.

    Ah Yi looked as if he couldnt care less.

    You need to cut your hair, I said. Theres an inspection tomorrow at flag-raising.

    Ah Yi snorted, tossing his cigarette butt onto the stairs. But really, you should buy a Nintendo. It would save me some money from going to the mall to play Mario Brothers. I could just go to your house.

    I said nothing, but I rubbed the cash in my pocket. The money mom had given me last night.

    That night, I went home with a Nintendo. My father wasnt there when I entered, and neither was his gang of loser friends. I didnt hear mother and her Mahjong friends.

    But I could hear sounds coming from mothers room.

    The sound of moaning.

    The kid wont be home so soon said Mom quietly.

    Thanks to Ah Yis timely insights into sexual matters, I wasnt a completely ignorant when it came to sex.

    Now this is a home, I thought to myself, tiptoeing past moms room and quietly climbing the stairs.

    I entered my room and put the Nintendo on the bed, laughing at myself for being so stupid.

    What an idiot! My bedroom didnt have a television. How the hell could I play it?

    I remembered that in the storage room was a brand new television we had won in a raffle. I decided to go down and grab it.

    I opened the door, and then stood at the corner of the staircase, dumbfounded.

    I saw Uncle Wang, walking out of moms bedroom, tightening his pants.

    My fists.

    Clenched.

    Mom followed him lethargically, messing with her hair.

    My breathing stopped, my heart pounded in my chest.

    When is the next time we can . heh heh Uncle Wangs dirty hand kneaded moms backside.

    Can do what? Go, go. Yuan Zai will be back soon Mom brushed aside Uncle Wangs dirty hand flippantly.

    Smiling, Uncle Wang put on his shoes in the entry hall.

    Watching this unbelievable, disgusting scene, my heart was filled neither with sorrow nor anger.

    There was only one word

    Kill.

    Mom went into the main room to watch television, and I went back to my room, dumbfounded.

    I couldnt spit out a single word, nor emit a single noise.

    My eyes couldnt even fill with tears [43]. Most likely the veins in the whites of my eyes were bulging.

    This was the most humiliating moment in my entire life.

    My mom, Uncle Wang

    Bastard!

    My knuckles made cracking sounds, and the blood in my fingers boiled.

    [42] This is a really common type of Chinese food. Basically, you boil eggs, then stew, marinate and/or soak them in spices and liquid. Yum! http://goo.gl/JekORG
    [43] Now that is a true hero! http://goo.gl/wDLIu9
    Last edited by deathblade; 05-27-14 at 10:52 PM. Reason: fixed tons of mistakes and made changes suggested by WesY2K, fixed mistake found by ycb5959
    Current Translation: I Shall Seal the Heavens
    Recommended Translation: Heroes Shed No Tears

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    Thanks deathblade

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    Thanks.
    Error:
    What an idiot! My bedroom didnt have a bedroom.

    Should be:
    What an idiot! My bedroom didnt have a television.

  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by ycb5959 View Post
    Thanks.
    Error:
    What an idiot! My bedroom didnt have a bedroom.

    Should be:
    What an idiot! My bedroom didnt have a television.
    Lol. Great mistake. Ok fixing it....
    Last edited by deathblade; 05-05-14 at 06:34 AM.
    Current Translation: I Shall Seal the Heavens
    Recommended Translation: Heroes Shed No Tears

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    A room without walls (2)

    Cold wind blew in through the window. I looked at the blood colored setting sun.

    Im going to kill you.

    I let out a harrumph and slapped my palm onto the table. Bang.

    A strange, deep sound rang out. Then, the table collapsed.

    Without a sound, the four legs of the table broke into pieces.

    On the surface of the table a ragged palm print, the edges steaming slightly.

    Roiling waves of surprise washed away my furious hatred, which quickly changed into panicked fear.

    I was mad, thats right!

    But the table It was only a wood table, and I had just bought it a year ago!

    Why am I so angry?! I muttered to myself, squatting down and looking at the broken ends of the table legs, where the used to connect to the table.

    It is not an aura of anger, it is an aura of death.

    I was flabbergasted.

    The voice of the old man?

    I looked around my small room cautiously.

    Was I hearing things?

    It is an aura of death!

    Where are you? I said indignantly. Right now my heart had no place for good-for-nothing emotions like dread.

    The closet.

    In my room, the only place where someone could hide would be in the closet or under the bed.

    The closet slowly opened.

    The old man slowly appeared from within the darkness, walking out oh so slowly.

    Why are you hiding in there? I asked, even though it was pointless to ask.

    Because the only places I can fit in your bedroom are the closet or under the bed! said the old man speciously.

    How long do you plan to scare me and bother me and annoy me? I asked coldly.

    When some people encounter certain situations, situations that constitute huge reversals in life, they will completely change.

    I stood on a precipice in life, standing above the winds of hell.

    Perhaps I would become a cold person, and in the future I could go around killing people to uphold justice.

    I did not scare you. I just want to teach you kung fu. All the kung fu I possess.

    The old man looked at me cordially with his deep, mysterious eyes.

    Theres no need, I said firmly, looking at him.

    Justice requires kung fu. Within the old mans eyes, tears glistened.

    Kung fu? I just destroyed a table with a single palm slap! And I still need to study kung fu? My patience with the old man was almost completely gone.

    Yes, you do! Afterwards, you will be able to level mountains and cut off rivers, root out the villains and protect the weak! He placed his arms behind his back. The evening sun shone on his dark green Tang suit, its golden brilliance reflecting off of the wrinkles on his face.

    You smash a cliff and cut off a river! I howled. I didnt care if mom heard. I want to see! Chop down Bagua Mountain and Ill kneel to accept you as my master!

    Well, said the old man, looking a little embarrassed. I was speaking figuratively

    Beat it! I shouted, pointing at the window.

    The old man shook his head. If this was a few years ago, I would not force you to accept me as master. But now

    With my palm, I slapped the wall next to the window as hard as I could, and shouted, Knock this wall down! Knock it down and Ill accept you as my master! If you cant knock it down, then

    The old man strode forward with one step. His right hand shot out with a strange motion, seemingly fast, and yet slow. He slapped his palm onto the wall.

    Then My voice dissipated into the air.

    Dissipated into complete nothingness, into a complete, wall-less empty space.

    My room was now missing a wall.

    I couldnt wrap my mind around the idea of losing a wall. Not at all.

    I could only stand there stupidly as the cold wind filled my room. If a room without a wall could still be called a room.

    Creak. bang crash!

    It seemed the wall had landed on my dads car outside.

    Kneel!

    The old man slowly pulled back his hand, looking calm and composed and quite pleased with himself.

    Perhaps I was just too scared. I couldnt bring myself to wake up from the surreal situation. I just stood there stupidly.

    True men stick to their word! Kneel! I will pass some skill on to you. He paced blissfully back and forth. If you learn the art well, then forget about knocking down a single wall. If you want to knock down several walls, it will be no problem.

    I tilted my head. You I said dumbly. How did you do that?

    The old man was just opening his mouth when suddenly we heard the sound of mom rushing up the stairs. The old man jumped into the air, leaping out of the empty . the gigantic empty hole. I dashed forward to look. The old man was already at the end of the alley, a tiny green dot.

    What happened? mom cried out in alarm. Your room!

    I dont know. It was like this when I came back, I said dryly.

    When when did you get back? mom asked nervously.

    Just now. I pushed mom out of the door and locked it.

    As far as I was concerned, mom was dead to me.

    I had completely given up on this family.

    I would rather live in a wall-less room.

    Many years later, I would regret my childish decision.

    Sometimes, people dont understand the truth about their own feelings. They suddenly get hurt, and then feel that the only choice they have is to give up in hopelessness. What they dont realize is that what truly can hurt them the most is their own precious love. And because love is so precious, one should never give up, one should never run away.

    By the time most peopled understand this truth, they have already lost their precious love.

    Many years later, I wanted to go home.

    It turned out, Dad did go to the mainland.

    And yes, he went whoring. Then later, he passed on diseases to my mom, who in turn infected Uncle Wang.

    As far as the wall that fell on my dads Benz, it got taken away by a backhoe.

    Mom wanted me to sleep in the living room, wanted to hire people to fix the wall. I refused.

    If you try to make me move to the living room, if you try to fix the wall, Ill run away, I said. I wore a sweater while studying in the cold wind.

    You Since when did you start using this tone on me! said mom, shaking angrily.

    Its been a long time since you talked to me. I continued to work on my algebra.

    When your father gets back," she said angrily, "you
    Last edited by deathblade; 05-27-14 at 10:58 PM. Reason: fixed tons of mistakes and made changes suggested by WesY2K, fixed mistake found by ycb5959
    Current Translation: I Shall Seal the Heavens
    Recommended Translation: Heroes Shed No Tears

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    Thanks deathblade for a quick update.

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    Thanks, fast update!

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    Error
    If try you make me move to the living room, if you try to fix the wall, Ill run away,

    Should be "if you try to make me..."

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    A room without walls (3)

    Go play your mahjong. If my room is like this, its my business. I frowned.

    Youre going to let the neighbours watch you sleep? Its already November! Youll catch cold! She stared at me wide-eyed.

    If you dont get out, Ill jump out of this hole. Although, I said sarcastically, you probably wouldnt notice I was gone for at least a month.

    What did you just say?! Mom howled.

    Ill count to three and then Im going to jump. One! I put down my math book and walked over to the edge.

    Mom was flabbergasted, but at least I was left alone.

    Actually, this room was quite fitting.

    A huge whole had been knocked out of it, just like my heart.

    They both felt equally ice-cold.

    It was all thanks to the old mans palm. My family was already falling apart, all he had to do was punch out a big hole and let me see the outside world.

    I stood in front of the hole, looking up at the crescent moon in the sky.

    Yi Jing probably isnt asleep yet, is she? I looked at the telephone.

    A figure appeared, tearing down the alley. It stepped onto my dads Benz and then leaped up into the big hole.

    The old man wearing his Tang suit.

    Of course.

    Just who are you? I felt no more shock or surprise. I just wanted to know where the old man came from.

    He was covered with filth, but he definitely was not an ordinary person.

    Ordinary people dont knock down walls.

    Your master, he said confidently, sucking in his cheeks.

    Yeah. I kneeled down.

    This change in attitude wasnt just simply an oath between true men. It was also the hope that an atomic bomb would be thrown onto my future prospects.

    Correct. All the signs were clear. The old man standing in front of me really was equipped with incredible martial arts, just like Master Roshi [44] from Dragonball [45]. But in the society of Taiwan, where academic advancement was so important, becoming a disciple and studying martial arts, no mater how amazing the master was, would be a road filled with ridicule and derision. It was definitely an atomic bomb that would obliterate all future prospects. There is a saying that goes you can produce outstanding achievements in any task. [46] Sadly that saying is a bunch of crap.

    I kowtowed, tapping my head against the floor. It hurt a little bit.

    Goodbye, family. Never mind. There was no need at all to say farewell to them.

    I kowtowed a second time, banging my head more forcefully.

    I was on a path of chaos, becoming the disciple of a lunatic master who was an expert of the martial world. This would surely leave my family hurt and sad. Great. No, they actually wouldnt care.

    I kowtowed a third time, hard. I banged my head very hard.

    My head felt a bit murky. It was good. In the future, I wouldnt be needing a clear head. I planned to live a dark and unclear life.

    In the past, I had no personality.

    In the future I didnt need a future.

    Master, I said feebly.

    The old man rubbed my head, and I could feel that his strong hand was trembling.

    He was crying.

    1986.

    That year, I was 13 years old, an inauspicious age.

    That year, Chang Yu-sheng was still alive, Dave Wong was popular, and Fang Jiwei was still the Sweetheart of the Military.

    Their songs filled my room every day.

    That year, I met him.

    That year, kung fu.

    From today on, you are my eldest disciple. You are now a member of the Heaven Reaching Sect.

    Oh? Heaven Reaching Sect?

    Very powerful!

    Yes, master.

    Glittering moonlight, a large hole.

    An old man, a middle-school student.

    The beginning of a grand, although somewhat hard to classify, story.

    **

    [44] Master Roshi, also known as Kame-Sennin or Muten-Rōshi, is the old guy in Dragonball who wears a turtle shell on his back http://goo.gl/PPsAAY
    [45] Im sure everyone knows Dragonball http://goo.gl/oF5Wu
    [46] This is a relatively common Chinese saying. It literally means any profession can produce a Zhuangyuan. The Zhuangyuan was the title you got for placing first in the national imperial examinations of ancient China. Remember in Little Lis Flying Dagger, Li Xunhuan is also known as Li Tanhua? Tanhua was the title of the person who placed third in the examinations.
    Last edited by deathblade; 05-27-14 at 11:00 PM. Reason: fixed tons of mistakes and made changes suggested by WesY2K
    Current Translation: I Shall Seal the Heavens
    Recommended Translation: Heroes Shed No Tears

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