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Thread: 大唐双龙传 [Da Tang Shuang Long Zhuan] by Huang Yi

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    Thanks foxs

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    Great job foxs. Good quality as always.

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    Default Book 1 - Chapter 3, Part 2

    Szfong, Strawberry, Janger, Anh, Weed, you are welcome. Chik, thank you very much! Now I have a reputation to keep. My fear is that I fail to live up to your expectation. CFT, thanks.


    The rumbling river down below sounded very loud from up above the cliff, making them utterly terrified.

    Aaahhhh ! With a roar the two of them jumped from the cliff down to Yangtze River, more than ten zhang [1 zhang is approx. 10ft or 3m] below.

    The wind whooshed in their ears.

    Splash! Splash! One after another they both fell successfully into the raging river and immediately sank into the water.

    In the strong current, they had to struggle hard to float to the surface. Xu Ziling started to see stars, while desperately trying to hold on to Kou Zhongs shoulders. Kou Zhong himself was not any better, sinking and rising, he drank a lot of river water, as the current brought them more than ten zhang downstream. Lets not talk about crossing the river, trying to keep their heads above the water proved to be almost impossible.

    While they were thinking that this time their little lives would be gone, a fishing boat crossed the current toward them. A long rope flew out of the boat, accurately coiled itself around Kou Zhongs neck.

    Actually, with Xi Zilings arms holding tight to him, Kou Zhong had already found it difficult to breathe; plus the river water unceasingly pouring into his nose and mouth. Now with the rope wrapped around his neck, he thought that the soldiers had finally got him.

    While he was crying inwardly, saying goodbye to the world, his ears heard the pleasant voice of the woman-in-white, Idiot! Why havent you held on to the rope?

    Kou Zhong was ecstatic. Freeing one hand, he desperately hung on to the rope. He felt a strong force transmitted via the rope. Miraculously the two of them were being pulled out of the water, and flew sideways toward the small boat.

    The two boys rolled along the deck like a pair of gourds, with only half of their lives remained.

    With one pull the woman-in-white raised the sail, and then she sat on the bow, staring at the two boys without looking happy at all.

    Kou Zhong rolled up first, and then, seeing Xu Ziling also survived, he groaned, and then begged the woman, My Guanyin Dashi, lady Bodhisattva, please be merciful to us, quickly set sail, evil people are after us.

    The woman-in-white already heard the sound of hoof beats and barking dogs. She said with a cold laugh, What qualifications you have that you dare to offend Sui peoples dog soldiers? They are actually after your Miss.

    Kou Zhong remembered something. Heavens! he screamed, Our secret manual! He reached out to grope around his back.

    The woman-in-white only knew that he was anxious that the holy book was damaged by the water; she did not pay any attention to these two words, secret manual. Grapping the sail, she steered the boat upstream.

    After throwing up two mouthfuls of water, Xu Ziling crawled up. The book? he asked in horror.

    He saw Kou Zhong groping around his back several times, with a very strange expression on his face. He made all kinds of signals to Xu Ziling as he sat up. With his back toward the woman-in-white, he winked and said, Completely soaked. This time Bai Lao Fuzi will definitely slap my hands black and blue.

    The woman-in-white said with a snort, You still want to lie to me? Lets see if I dont throw you, these two little demons, back into the river.

    Kou Zhong was shocked; he thought she already saw through the secret of the book. Turning around, he said, I did not lie to you. Honest. The book is finished.

    With displeased expression the woman-in-white said, I am not talking about your book, I am talking about what kind of game are you, two little demons, playing? Didnt you say you must return to the city? Why do you want to go farther away now?

    While the two boys were at a loss of what to say, there were shouts coming from the riverbank. They raised their heads and saw a dozen or so riders galloping along the river. Stop the boat! they shouted.

    The woman-in-white did not move; she turned a deaf ear. She did not even look at them, as if it was beneath her to do so.

    Suddenly there was a long whistle from a distant, but coming closer at an astonishing speed.

    The woman-in-white was amazed, I did not expect there is such a martial art expert in the Central Plains.

    The two boys were stupefied. Could it be that this woman-in-white was of different tribe from foreign country?

    The woman-in-white suddenly stood up, her hand grabbed the hilt of her sword, she said in heavy voice, Two little demons, operate the sail for me.

    The two boys were taken aback. We dont

    The woman-in-white impatiently said, Even if you dont know you have to do it. Come!

    Horrified, the two boys looked up, only to see a figure coming down on them. At first the figure looked small, but it grew big quickly, like a big bird coming down on the fishing boat. The power was extremely astonishing.

    The two boys instinctively threw themselves at the rudder. The man was flying about a zhang away from the small boat, a very strong and violent qi was pressing down on them.

    The surrounding air suddenly turned cold, as if it was condensing to be ice. Cold air permeated everywhere. Kou Zhong and Xu Zilings teeth were chattering, as they swayed from side to side.

    Heavy gauze covered the woman-in-whites face, so that nobody could see her expression. But just like when she was dealing with Jiao Xie and his men, she maintained her carefree attitude, the clothes on her body fluttered everywhere, but she still did not look at Yuwen Huaji, who came down to them like descending devil or immortal.

    The out-of-control sail, the attack of the river water, plus the stronger vortex due to Yuwen Huajis fantastic Mysterious Ice Energy, made the boat tilt and spin, ready to capsize anytime.

    Ring! the woman-in-whites sword left its sheathe, as she leaped upward.

    The sword turned into millions strong tips, meeting Yuwen Huajis attack head on. Right away the cold air was cut more than half. By the time Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling recovered from their earlier stupor, the battle between the two martial art experts had already begun.

    Yuwen Huaji knew that if with one strike he could not hit his target, the boat would sail farther away; therefore, he put everything he had in this one strike to generate maximum impact.

    He was the most accomplished expert under Yuwen Shang, the Yuwen Clan Leader of one of the four most powerful clans. Even Shi Long, whose fame shook Yangzhou, lost his life under his hands. Therefore, his best shot was not a small matter at all.

    Boom! Palm and swords energy collided.

    Like flash of lightning or sparks of fire the woman-in-whites sword stabbed twelve times. He also countered with twelve palm strikes.

    The two combatants were sometimes engaged in close battle, another time they suddenly separated. Yuwen Huaji let out a fierce hiss. Borrowing the momentum he flitted across and flew toward a mud pier on the riverbank. The woman-in-white fell back onto the boat, she held her sword with the tip pointing at Yuwen Huaji.

    When these two people fought, Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling felt that the small fishing boat was sinking down, only when they stopped that the boat floated again. From this one could see clearly how powerful Yuwen Huajis palm was.

    By this time one after another the other soldiers have arrived at the shore. It was only then did Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling realized that their small fishing boat has been brought by the current to the shore downstream. Crying out in panic, they scrambled toward the rudder and desperately tried to control the boat.

    The woman-in-white acted as if she was completely oblivious of everything else, her attention was focused solely on Yuwen Huaji, who, by this time, had landed on a large rock on the riverbank.

    The fishing boat suddenly regained its balance. Coupled with favorable strong wind, the boat traversed diagonally toward the shore of the opposite bank. Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling cheered in their shrill voice.

    While they were feeling very proud of themselves, Yuwen Huajis voice came across the water, Such swordsmanship is rarely seen indeed. Miss, what relationship do you have with Gaolis[2] Yi Jian Dashi [great master of peaceful sword] Fu Cailin?

    With Kou Zhong on the helm and the full wind behind, the boat sailed upstream like an arrow.

    The woman-in-white did not utter a single word in response to Yuwen Huajis question, giving the impression that she was unfathomable.

    Yuwen Huajis voice was heard again, Miss is protecting these two kids, it is really unwise. Yuwen Huaji will definitely ask to have the benefit of your expertise again.

    The fishing boat was moving faster and faster away that over time they have left the enemy far behind. The woman-in-white was still standing on the bow, her clothes were fluttering in the wind. She did indeed look like a goddess from the world of the immortals.

    Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling had already regarded her as an immortal; they felt like they wanted to prostrate themselves in front of her and worship her.

    Right this moment, the woman-in-whites bamboo rain hat suddenly shattered, the pieces rained down on the deck, revealing the woman-in-whites matchless elegance, but also the unrivalled paleness of her jade countenance. She let out a tender moan, threw up a mouthful of blood, and sat down dejectedly on the deck.

    Shocked, the two boys rushed toward her. Kou Zhong barked, You steer the boat! Let me help her!

    Bang! The woman-in-white suddenly sat up cross-legged; with one palm she pushed Kou Zhong back to the rudder.

    Dont you dare touching me! she hissed hoarsely. And then she closed her eyes.

    The two boys stared blankly at the woman-in-white; they realized that although she managed to force Yuwen Huaji back, she had suffered a heavy injury.

    Momentarily they were at a loss of what to do. The fishing boat sailed farther and farther away from Yangzhou city walls.



    [2] Specifically, Gaoli refers to Korean Goryeo dynasty [918-1392], but generally, it refers to Korea, especially in context of art and culture.

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    Thanks for the update foxs...

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    Thanks for the hard work and great writing foxs.

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    Default Book 1 - Chapter 4, Part 1

    Szfong, Janger, you are welcome. Here's the beginning of Chapter 4.


    Book 1 Chapter 4 Impossible to unravel

    Kou Zhong put his mouth next to Xu Zilings ear and said in a very low voice, This woman [orig. poniang, usually used derogatorily] is prettier than Auntie Hong of Spring Breeze Courtyard.

    Xu Ziling was staring blankly at the woman-in-whites stately and elegant jade-countenance; hearing Kou Zhong, he nodded in approval. The woman-in-white, who was still sitting in meditation, suddenly opened her eyes and glowered at them.

    The two boys were startled; they withdrew and huddled together, trying to get as far away from her as possible. The woman-in-whites delicate body suddenly shook violently, which forced her to close her eyes again.

    It was quite some time later that she opened her eyes again. Casting an angry look at them, she asked in one breath, Where are we?

    The two boys perfunctorily looked around both banks of Yangtze River, and then shook their heads together.

    The woman-in-white looked up to the sky trying to determine the time of day. Seeing the sun was about to set behind the mountain, and the banks of the Great River was bathed in the glow of the setting sun, she knew that she has been meditating four close to two sichen [1 sichen is equal to two hours]. After pondering for a moment, she asked in soft voice, Why is Yuwen Huaji after you?

    Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling exchanged glances, and then both of them shook their heads vigorously, Dont know!

    The woman-in-whites eyes flashed with cold rays. After staring fiercely at the two boys, she suddenly burst into tender laughter and said, I want you, two little demons, to jump into the river right now!

    The two boys were so hungry that their limbs did not have any strength; hearing her, their countenance turned pale with fright since they did not know what to do.

    The woman-in-white suddenly sighed; she said unenthusiastically, I want to sleep for three sichen, the two of you little demons must steer the boat nicely. If the boat capsize, I will want your lives as compensation.

    Stars filled the whole sky, the moon was low on the horizon. In the dim moonlight, these two good friends, who depended on each other for survival, huddled together to keep themselves against the attack of hunger and of the river breeze, while their palm was pressed on the rudder.

    The woman-in-white had her back toward them, as she sat facing the bow in meditation to heal her injury. She did look like a beautiful goddess idol carved from jade and stone. Her beautiful hair has been loosened by the wind, it fluttered freely in the breeze like a cloud.

    Kou Zhong whispered as softly as he could in Xu Zilings ear, Do you think she can hear us?

    Xu Ziling was watching her as if he was in a trance, hence he did not hear him. What did you say? he blurted out.

    Kou Zhong pinched his leg hard. He sighed and said, I wonder what kind of fellow is that Yuwen Huaji, compared to this wo hey, this evil woman, he seems to be more formidable.

    Horrified, Xu Ziling looked at the woman-in-whites back. It was quite a moment later that he finally breathed a sigh of relief. Kou Zhong elbowed his arm and said in ecstasy, She really cant hear.

    Xu Ziling asked the question he has been dying to ask, So the secret manual is really not damaged by the water?

    Kou Zhong reached out to fetch The Secret to Long Life and flipped a few pages before handing it to Xu Ziling. Why dont you look at it yourself! he said, Ive already told you that this is genuine goods at fair prices, a special treasure. Otherwise, why is that Yuwen Huagu so anxious to get it? Ha! Thats funny, the name Huagu [transforming bone] is a bit more-fitting than Huaji. [hua change into/transform, ji and/to reach/up to/in time for. I dont think it means anything.]

    Xu Ziling turned the book back and forth a few times. If it is waterproof, he mused, Chances are it might also be fireproof Ah!

    With lightning speed Kou Zhong snatched the book back, he deftly hid the valuable and heavy treasure well, while muttering, Dont even think of testing it. Ha! We are finally leaving that stuffy, confining egg Yangzhou city. And now everything is fine. Except for our precious belly.

    Now that he mentioned it, suddenly Xu Zilings tummy reacted with an unhappy rumbling. Do you think this beautiful evil woman would be willing to lend us some traveling expenses for us to treat our ailing belly? After all, her eyes have taken advantage of our best.

    Kou Zhongs eyes lit up because he spotted the small bundle lying by her side. He made some eye signals to Xu Ziling, and then started to crawl quietly toward the bundle. Naturally Xu Ziling knew that he was going to imitate the dog and steal chicken, to be a thief and to do some shady business. Quickly he grabbed Kou Zhongs ankle while shaking his head vigorously with a firm expression on his face.

    Kou Zhong struggled twice, yet he was unable to break free. Dejected, he sat back down by Xu Zilings side and said sadly, If Zhong Shaoye turns into a hungry ghost, I will definitely come to you, the other hungry ghost, to settle the account.

    Xu Ziling said, Dont forget that we are heroes. Right now we are rushing together on a meteoric rise [orig. divine steed flashes past] on a highway to the abundant enterprise of Duke, Marquis, General and Prime Minister. Making such a move against a weak and unsuspecting woman like this will really bring harm to our good reputation as Yangzhous two dragons; not to mention she did after all save our lives.

    Kou Zhong surrendered. This evil womans skill cant be considered bad, he said, But she is a weak and unsuspecting woman. Oh! Why does it have to rain now?

    They both looked up to the sky, and saw black clouds rolling in fast. Very quickly the moon and the stars disappeared, followed by heavy rain pouring down. In no time at all the tranquil river turned into a wildly turbulent one. The Great River was pitched black, they could not even see the fingers in front of their nose, let alone the woman-in-white. Therefore, they could forget about steering the boat in such a difficult situation.

    The fishing boat was tossed around endlessly by the river; they were surrounded by vast darkness. The rain shot down like arrows. Their clothes were completely drenched, making them cold and miserable.

    In their frantic struggle, Boom! the fishing boat suddenly hit something, immediately it leaned sideways and capsized. They both cried out in alarm and threw themselves in the direction of the woman-in-white.

    With its earth-shattering power [orig. hiding the sky and covering the earth], the river water swoop down on them. The three people held on to each other and sank down together into the river.

    In this situation, where the violent storm blew the rain horizontally, where the waves surged rapidly, where the turbulent water prevented them from seeing their own fingers, where Xu Ziling and Kou Zhong were starving and freezing, where they were attacked relentlessly by the water, every time they struggled hard to surface, they would immediately be pulled down into the water again.

    The two boys original intention was to rescue the woman-in-white, but in the end Xu Ziling was holding on to her neck, while Kou Zhong was pulling her legs. The woman-in-white was still in deep sleep, but her body was perfectly straight; no matter how hard the wind and the rain attacked her, she stayed floating face up on the river. In a way, she has become the two little demons life-saving raft.

    They were struggling between being living persons versus being water ghosts for nobody knows how long. The power of the rain finally lessened. The moon also showed its face a little. It was only then did they realize that the water has washed them out closer to the shore. In their great delight they exerted the strength that they did not know they still had, to pull the woman-in-white along to the shore.

    As soon as they reached the muddy shore, the two boys were not able to hold on anymore; they lay down on the sand on either side of the woman-in-white.

    The river still sent its waves to the shore, but no longer with the violent force of a moment ago. The two boys could not stop panting, in contrast to the woman-in-white soft and slow breathing, as if she was sleeping soundly.

    The moon was obscure by drifting clouds once again. Before the three people were shrouded by the darkness, light suddenly came from the direction of the lower reached of the river. The two boys forced themselves to look up, and were shocked to see six big, brightly lit five-mast warships, with all their sails down, sailing at full speed toward them.

    They were so scared that their scalps felt numb. Quickly they crouched as low as possible behind a sandbar. In time like this they really wish the river tide would be a bit more violent.

    Time seemed to stop to a stand still.

    While in their hearts Kou Zhong and Xu Ziling beseeched all gods and Buddhas, known or unknown to them, the huge warships finally sailed far away. Fortunately the ships were so tall that their lights barely reached the darkness where the three of them were lying down, plus at that time the sky was still filled with drizzle, so the visibility was low, plus lantern lights could not reach far; hence the three of them escaped great calamity.

    With the woman-in-white between their hands and feet, the two boys huffed and puffed to get her onto the grassy area farther up the shore, and then both of them dropped down, totally exhausted.

    Xu Ziling was the first to suffer a dizzy spell, he could not hold on, his vision blackened and he blacked out. Kou Zhong called him twice. And then after feeling his back to make sure the secret manual was safe, he felt relieved and closed his eyes to sleep.

    After sleeping for nobody knows how long, Kou Zhong was the first to wake up. He saw the sun was shining on the open space around him, his body felt comfortably warm, the heat seemed to penetrate his body and soul. Moaning in comfort, for a moment he felt as if he was still in his little nest in Yangzhou. It was not until he heard the rumbling noise of the river beneath his feet did he finally remembered what had happened the previous day. He woke up with a jolt, opened his eyes wide, and sat up.

    The place where they were was surrounded by range of hills, the sun had already at the top of the hills, the Great River was flowing from the south, flowing right next to them.

    After looking more clearly, he could not help sucking a breath of cold air. Turned out in this section of the river the rapid water merged with rugged shoal, reefs stood up everywhere; no wonder that although he tried to steer it, their boat suddenly crashed and sank.

    But it was a good accident; if not for their boat capsized, perhaps Yuwen Huagus ships would have caught up with them early on.

    Xu Ziling was still sleeping like a dead person.

    Heavens! Where is that woman-in-white?

    Kou Zhong was at a loss, but he was also being paranoid; he was afraid she might slip back into the river. Quickly he crawled toward Xu Ziling and slapped his face in his usual technique. Xiao Ling! Xiao Ling! Wake up! That evil woman is gone.

    Xu Ziling struggled hard to open his eyes, but unable to withstand the harsh sunlight, he closed his eyes immediately. Ay, he moaned, I was just dreaming of Zhen Saos delicious meat and vegetable steamed buns! What? That evil woman slipped away? Suddenly he sat up and glanced to the left and looked to the right with a look of disappointment on his face.

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    Thanks foxs...

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    Thanks foxs

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    Thanks foxs

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    Got to know from a friend that someone is translating this great story here in this forum. Thought I should to get registered and thank foxs for doing this. Thanks a lot and keep up the excellent work.

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    Ohohoh! Foxs is translating another novel I see! I'll keep an eye on this project too. :P

    -Thanks!

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    Thanks for the updates foxs

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    TY foxs, great work as usual.

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    Thanks foxs

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    Default Book 1 - Chapter 4, Part 2

    Szfong, Weed, Anh, Janger, Strawberry, you are welcome. Scrapper, welcome to the forum. In case you did not know, you may want to check other great stories here, quite a number have been finished. Drak, welcome back. It's always nice to see familiar names. Weed, I meant to post this last night, but was busy.


    Kou Zhong burst into laughter, Xiao Ling! he said, You fell in love with that woman, didnt you? Be careful, I think she might want to take your little life. Hey! Ha ha! Ow! Ay! You are not supposed to laugh on an empty stomach.

    Xu Ziling shot him an angry glare, I am just afraid she slipped away for personal gain, taking along our secret manual with her!

    Startled, Kou Zhong felt his back. Suddenly he sprang up, his countenance changed. Stinky woman, mother thief, she really stole our secret manual!

    Xu Ziling still thought he was joking; reaching out to feel Kou Zhongs back and lower waist, he let out a miserable scream and threw himself to the ground. Spreading out his hands and feet, he sobbed, Its finished! The person is gone, the money is gone, the secret manual is gone, and we have become fugitives. O God! Everything is finished.

    Gnashing his teeth, Kou Zhong stood up, made a fist toward the heavens and shouted madly, No! I will do whatever it takes to get the secret manual back! Ah ! Something flew across and hit his face. Kou Zhong screamed miserably and tumbled down to the ground.

    Xu Ziling sat up, aghast. He saw standing on a rock about a zhang away, was the woman-in-white. Her beautiful face looked as if it was covered in a layer of cold frost; with her apricot eyes opened wide, she glowered at them.

    When Kou Zhong was struggling to crawl up, he discovered that the secret projectile that attacked him was precisely the darling of their hearts, their life treasure. With a strange cry he returned the book inside his clothes on his back. His manner of regarding the book as important as his life was ridiculously funny.

    With a cold snort the woman-in-white said, What martial art secret manual? Dont make people laugh until they die. Just by looking at those seven diagrams, I know that its a plaything about training to reach immortality that the Taoists use to cheat people. Those talisman scribbling are to make it deliberately mystifying. Only Yuwen Huaji and you, the two ignorant children, consider it a treasure.

    Greatly delighted, Kou Zhong said, It is best that Dashi is thinking that way. Hee hee ! Last night we finally managed to save Dashis life. Although theres a saying, confer a favor do not expect recompense, slight reward is always ones duty under the circumstances. Is it possible for Dashi to give us a couple of coin strings? And then everybody may peacefully take different roads and urge the horses on. Good beginning and good end.

    Pow! Once again Kou Zhong tumbled down to the ground. Five clear finger marks appeared on his face. Of course it was the woman-in-white who sent him a slap through the air.

    The woman-in-white ignored Kou Zhongs cry of pain; she turned her eyes on Xu Ziling. Xu Ziling raised his hands to show his innocence.

    I didnt say anything, he said, Could you not stare at Zaixia [lit. under, a humble way to call oneself. I think only Jianghu people used this, Ive never seen usage among ordinary/common citizens.] like that?

    You didnt say anything? the woman-in-white indifferently said, Then who said just now that I slipped away taking your rotten book along?

    Xu Ziling scooted several cun [1 cun is approx. an inch/a thumb] backward, while putting up a big smile on his face, It was just a misunderstanding! And now the misunderstanding has been dispelled, let the bygone be bygone.

    By this time Kou Zhong has crawled back up; while stroking his burning cheek, he nodded incessantly and said, Right! Right! Theres no more misunderstanding, we all are still good friends.

    The woman-in-white cast him a sidelong glance; she said in disdain, You little demon, who do you think you are that you are fit to bargain with your Miss? I only wanted to look at your stinking book with weird scribbling, thats why I took it. Alright, I want each of you to give yourself ten heavy slaps on your mouth; lets see if after this you still dare to call me woman, woman? [See the beginning of this chapter.]

    The two boys looked at each other. Xu Ziling suddenly stood up straight with indignant look on his face. A warrior can be killed, must not be humiliated, he said firmly, You can kill me!

    Kou Zhong got a shock. Xiao Ling! he said, We can discuss everything slowly. Turning toward the woman-in-white, he said, My Dashi Miss, after we slap ourselves, will we go our own ways, from now on all gratitude and grudges, kindness and enmity, will be severed, both parties wont have anything to do with each other anymore?

    The woman-in-whites cold eyes flashed with thick killing aura; she said coldly, I changed my mind. One of you must take my sword. The two of you may decide for yourself, which one will die.

    The two boys looked at each other, and then they exclaimed together, Me!

    Ring! The woman-in-white unsheathed her treasured sword.

    The two boys exchanged glances again, and then they screamed together, turned around and ran toward the river. But before they could even take two steps, the clothes on their back tightened, because the woman-in-white picked them up like a couple of chicken. The wind swished by the two boys ears. They left the riverbank, but not toward the plain or the forest lining up both sides of the rivers for hundreds of li.

    Bang! Bang! The two were dropped down one after another from about a zhang away, along a hard surface on inclined slope. Because of their own momentum, they rolled down the slope seven, eight times, before finally landed on the bottom, totally confused, and with all four limbs facing the sky.

    They had been hungry for a day and a night, their limbs had been devoid of strength early on, it was with great difficulty that they were finally able to crawl up. Looking around, they found out that they were actually at the entrance of a small town. People were walking around, the place was buzzing with activity, it was a lively town, but the woman-in-white was nowhere to be seen.

    Kpu Zhong was greatly delighted, That wo ha! Dashi has left.

    Licking his lips, Xu Ziling said, How can we find something to eat?

    Kou Zhong slapped his chest, assuming an upright and unafraid stance. Walking away from the wilderness, he took the ancient road leading to the entrance of the town, and went straight into the marketplace.

    Xu Ziling ran after him. He saw the signboard above the city gate had three big characters Bei Po Xian [lit. north slope county] written on it. I wonder if they have militia army in here, he said hopefully.

    Kou Zhong snapped, When our tummy is rumbling, even Emperor or Laozi[1] will have to step aside.

    By this time the two boys have reached the main street, which was lined on both sides with houses, shops, and inns and restaurants. When the people saw their shabby clothes and unkempt hair, they raised their eyebrows and cast a despising look on them. They were accustomed to this kind of look; therefore, they did not think differently.

    Walking about a dozen zhang, a sweet smelling of food assaulted their nostrils. The two boys could not stop their feet from stepping toward the direction of the smell. There was a small lane crossing the main street, turning to the left, they saw spiraling smoke from kitchen chimneys rose to the air; they were wondering which house was producing such a fragrant smell.

    They had just decided to go in and take a chance when a shout coming from behind them; evidently someone was calling out to them, Stop!

    The two of them turned around in shock, only to see two official looking men, with devils and monsters appearance, were coming toward them. From their expression, it was clear that their intention was not good.

    Seeing they were not Yuwen Huaji or his men, Kou Zhong was relieved. Taking the initiative, he stepped forward, raised his cupped fist and said, Finally seeing Uncle Officers, this is very good indeed.

    The two officers were taken aback. The one that looked a bit older asked in surprise, Why is seeing us good?

    Kou Zhongs eyes turned red, as he narrated his sad story, We, two brothers, are Daxing [district, in Beijing] people, My name is Yuwen Zhong, his is Yuwen Ling. We embarked a ship to Yangzhou, who would have thought that en route we were attacked by rebels? The boat capsized, the people perished, more than a thousand entourage were buried at the bottom of the river, only us, two brothers escaped with our lives, but we lost our way. The purpose of our trip to Yangzhou this time is to visit our uncle, the Zongguan of Yangzhou, Uncle Yuchi. Ay!

    Listening to him, the two officers looked at each other. One of them asked suspiciously, Where exactly did the mishap happen? How did you arrive here?

    Xu Ziling caught on, The accident happened at the Grand Canal[2]. To evade the thieves, we were in panic and did not see where we were going; it was after walking for many days that we are finally here. I wonder what are Uncles honored surname and great given name? If you could send us off to Yangzhou, Uncle Yuchi will definitely reward you handsomely.

    The older officer replied, My name is Zhou Ping, and he is Chen Wang.

    Noticing that the two officers were eyeing their shabby clothes that made them look more like beggars than young masters of prominent family, Kou Zhong promptly offered a remedy, During our journey over the mountains and across the forests, our clothes were ripped and damaged beyond repair, fortunately we came across a small village, where we exchanged our jade ornaments for two sets of clothing, but we were given random direction that we ended up in here. May I ask Uncles, how much farther is it from here to Yangzhou?

    Chen Wang and Zhou Ping exchanged glances; their eyes lit up simultaneously. Zhou Ping let out a dry cough; his mannerism suddenly became a lot more respectful. In a low voice and less air he asked, May we ask which one is your esteemed father?

    With a straight face Kou Zhong replied, My father is Yuwen Huagu, my fathers younger brother is Yuwen Huaji. Ay! Father has never been good in martial art matters, he made us, two brothers, to work hard on the teaching of Confucius and Mencius. Every day we have to read some first concern is affairs of state, enjoying the pleasure comes later[3]. Otherwise, if we only learned one-tenth of our Uncles martial art skill, we wont be in such a sorry state today.

    Zhou Ping and Chen Wang were two straw bags. Hearing him quoting some literature, although they did not understand, plus they were intimidated by Yuwen Huajis prestige, their suspicion vanished. Hurriedly they fell on their knees and loudly expressed their respect.

    Kou Zhong was delighted. He said with a laugh, Two great uncles need not be overly-courteous. I wonder which restaurant nearby has quite decent dishes?

    Zhou Ping respectfully said, Two Gongzi [young master], please follow lowly ones! Our towns Gao Peng Xuan [gao peng high/respected friend, xuan pavilion with a view], although it is local, its appetizer is exceptionally well-known.

    Chen Wang turned around and said, I must report to County Deputy Chen immediately that Yuwen Darens [lit. big/great man, a term of respect toward superiors, usually government officials] nephews have arrived.

    The two boys jumped in fright, but their stomachs were rumbling violently, so they did not care too much about other things.


    [1] Lao-tze (c. 500 BC), Chinese philosopher, the founder of Taoism.

    [2] Da Yunhe, the Grand Canal, 1800km from Beijing to Hangzhou, built starting from 486BC.

    [3] Quotation from essay On Yueyang Tower, by Song Dynasty writer Fan Zhongyan; ergo, it was in the future since this story supposedly happened before Tang Dynasty.

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    Thanks foxs

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    Thanks foxs

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    Thanks again foxs....

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    Thanks foxs

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    Those two little rascals are starting to get warmed up.

    I love the trouble they get into Well done as always foxs
    --=={Grundle}==--

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