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Thread: Delicate Hands Drive the Dragon - Sima Ling

  1. #41
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    Thanks for the translation. Hoping to see what Pei Chun will say/do when he finds out he has be set up.

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    thanks, whiteskwirl, this Pei Chun is even more naive than Guo Jing, What I dislike is the author keep reminding us of his innocent and naivity(hope the spelling is correct)

  3. #43
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    Thank You for translating this

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    @Laoren, my thought exactly. Hopefully his naivety decrease as he get more experience in Jiang Hu. Because without Huang Rong, Guo Jing is one sorry sight..Lol.

    That purple-clad lady is really mean. Such "poison"... Probably really well off and very spoiled, seeing how she have that Horse traveling 1000 li per day AND there is a personal guard send out to protect her. On another note, Pei Chun seems incredibly strong! Probably because he was diligently practicing up in the mountain with his teacher, and does not concern with worldly affair and therefore does not have any distractions which able him to practice better/faster. More concentration.

    @whiteskwirl, lol. I Didn't mean that you have to compete with anyone. I was just saying that because people are more interested in Xianxia currently, so there is not much supporters for Wuxia. I started out with Wuxia and Xianxia is new to me; it is interesting, yes, but my go-to have always been Wuxia! (:.

    If there is Wuxia, I will support it!!

    Thanks for the chapter!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Laoren View Post
    thanks, whiteskwirl, this Pei Chun is even more naive than Guo Jing, What I dislike is the author keep reminding us of his innocent and naivity(hope the spelling is correct)
    I think that is intentional so that we, the reader, will notice as he wises up. In that last update I posted he is just starting to reflect on what his master told him.


    Although he is naive, it makes sense I guess. Imagine living in the mountains isolated from everyone, not aware how people really are. Then you meet people who suddenly try to kill you. He's going to have to grow up real fast.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drak17 View Post

    That purple-clad lady is really mean. Such "poison"... Probably really well off and very spoiled, seeing how she have that Horse traveling 1000 li per day AND there is a personal guard send out to protect her. On another note, Pei Chun seems incredibly strong! Probably because he was diligently practicing up in the mountain with his teacher, and does not concern with worldly affair and therefore does not have any distractions which able him to practice better/faster. More concentration.
    Yeah, he is pretty strong, seems not to realize his own strength. All that training now gets put into practice. I think a lot of it is no one is expecting this inexperienced kid to be so good, after all no one knows who he is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drak17 View Post
    @Laoren, my thought exactly. Hopefully his naivety decrease as he get more experience in Jiang Hu. Because without Huang Rong, Guo Jing is one sorry sight..Lol.

    That purple-clad lady is really mean. Such "poison"... Probably really well off and very spoiled, seeing how she have that Horse traveling 1000 li per day AND there is a personal guard send out to protect her. On another note, Pei Chun seems incredibly strong! Probably because he was diligently practicing up in the mountain with his teacher, and does not concern with worldly affair and therefore does not have any distractions which able him to practice better/faster. More concentration.

    @whiteskwirl, lol. I Didn't mean that you have to compete with anyone. I was just saying that because people are more interested in Xianxia currently, so there is not much supporters for Wuxia. I started out with Wuxia and Xianxia is new to me; it is interesting, yes, but my go-to have always been Wuxia! (:.

    If there is Wuxia, I will support it!!

    Thanks for the chapter!
    Ya, without Huang Rong,Guo Jing just does not stand out..
    The purple clan lady remind me of Hot Chillies of the Twin of Brothers.

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    Thanks whiteskwirl, please be at easy, I noticed when I am reading each time there are at least 5 to 7 others reading. They are probably shy to comment. You can see, I registered long ago but have few postings, it took along time before I come out from my shell

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    Default Chapter 3, Part 4

    Here is the next part. We're about halfway through chapter 3.

    Chapter 3, Part 4


    He stood there dumb in the water, the scholar not know why he didn’t react, he said, “I am Guo Yinnong, nickname Divine Tree Scholar, these past two years I’ve developed somewhat of a false reputation[1] among the rivers and lakes. Come up and have a few rounds with me, it won’t disgrace yourself!”

    His tone had gone from arrogance to humility, which made Pei Chun confused. He responded with a “My name is Pei Chun”, then lost his tongue.

    Divine Tree Scholar Guo Yinnong knew his adversary’s martial arts was not to be taken lightly, and he thought Pei Chun was pretending to be simple, which made him furious, he said in a stern voice, “Are you going to come up or not? Don’t delay my important business!”

    Pei Chun shook his head. “I’m not going to fight you…” He climbed onto the bank.

    Guo Yinnong all the more thought this person was bizarre, he thought, “He’s not afraid of being struck on his acupoints, I wonder what school he’s from? Not fighting him now is all right, wait til I find out his martial arts background, then it still won’t be too late to fight.” He put away his bamboo hat and ebony staff[2], his face resuming its mild look, he said, “Brother Pei, your acupoint-blocking skill is outstanding, you have my admiration. I wonder who your venerable teacher is?”

    Pei Chun saw him suddenly become amiable again after suddenly turning fierce, he couldn’t help be surprised and puzzled. He said, “Forgive me, but that is difficult to answer!”[3]

    Guo Yinnong didn’t take this the wrong way, said, “Your venerable teacher must be an extraordinary person, naturally you wouldn’t want to rashly let others among the rivers and lakes know!”

    Pei Chun respected his teacher more than anything, so those words were pleasing to his ears, and he immediately developed a good opinion of this man. Guo Yinnong said, “Brother Pei, where do you plan to go?”

    Pei Chun hesitated, then said, “I was thinking of calling on the Poor Family Gang’s chief, Simple Yu Jing.”

    Guo Yinnong laughed. “I’ve heard Chief Simple Yu Jing is currently in Liyang. I’m going there as well, we might as well travel together!”

    Pei Chun unexpectedly had learned the chief’s whereabouts, so he was delighted. The two went together, following the river until they came to a wooden bridge downstream, crossed, and continued heading southeast.

    Guo Yinnong wanted to test Pei Chun’s footwork, with a rustling sound he sped forward. He heard Pei Chun’s clothing flap in the wind close behind him, so he gradually increased his speed, using about 70 percent of his ability. Although his gait and speed could match that of a galloping horse, his posture was still that of a regular man walking down the road. This was what they called within the martial fraternity the “Divine Walking Skill”. It was a consummate skill.

    Fortunately, Pei Chun, in his over ten years living in the mountains had mastered his qinggong[4]. So he kept up with the scholar step for step, but every step he took, he would make himself light and land on his tiptoes, so that with every footfall he covered about ten feet at a time.

    The two went on singlefile that way for a while, but from the start Pei Chun’s form was stiff, landing hard and rigid with each leap, while Guo Yinnong, it was like he was walking on clouds or treading water, natural and unrestrained. But gradually Pei Chun realized by expending much strength, his posture was becoming not as ugly as it had been before.

    They ran seven or eight li and Guo Yinnong saw he was not able to shake off Pei Chun, so he sped up again, this time to his full capacity, and Pei Chun followed suit with all his might, for about thirty or so li, until finally Pei Chun began to lag behind while Guo Yinnong kept going faster and faster, so that before long they were out of sight of each other.

    Although Guo Yinnong had won, his face wasn’t happy. This “Divine Walking Skill” was his special consummate skill, and even though it couldn’t compete with Yang Lan’s horse Rouge’s thousand-li ability, yet other excellent horses were no match for him, especially over a long distance. Today he had not only used his full ability, but it had taken over a hundred li for him to beat Pei Chun, therefore he was not at all happy.

    Pei Chun couldn’t see Guo Yinnong and feared they would lose each other, and he didn’t know Simple Yu Jing’s whereabouts just from what Guo Yinnong had said, so he steeled himself and ran faster. He had been stubbornly trying to maintain his walking posture so he was unable to use his full strength, but now he advanced with big strides, sprinting, and he immediately increased his speed significantly, and soon he could see Guo Yinnong’s back in the distance.

    More than this, Guo Yinnong was still several li out, and once he had lost sight of Pei Chun he had decreased his speed, but still, seeing Pei Chun quickly gaining on him, he still felt a bad taste in his mouth, and his heart grew more hostile and jealous.

    The two entered a market town and Guo Yinnong stopped to ask people if anyone had seen a beautiful purple-clad girl riding a red horse pass through. He asked at several shops, but everyone said they hadn’t seen anything. The last person he asked said, “I haven’t seen them, but this morning a girl did come through here who was quite pretty!”

    Guo Yinnong was disappointed, said “oh”, and the man continued, “This pretty girl carried a grieved look on her brow, she was with some person, I don’t know if he was a Mongol or a Colored-Eye man, so I got a good look at them!”

    Pei Chun involuntarily let out an “oh” of his own, asked, “Do you know where they were headed?”

    The old man shook his head. “They left town here, probably heading straight ahead for Liyang. But I’m just guessing…”

    Guo Yinnong’s eyes had a murderous look in them. “Brother Pei, let’s go!” He seemed very angry.

    Pei Chun followed him seven or eight steps, then suddenly the old man called after him and he turned and went back.

    The old man saw Guo Yinnong, who was a dozen steps away, didn’t return, and the old man said in a low voice, “Sir, your friend there is quite ferocious!”

    Pei Chun said offhand, “Really? I just met him recently!”

    The old man said, “When I was little I saw some violent things, that murderous look in their eyes was just in your friend’s there, you should be careful!”

    Pei Chun cupped his hand over his fist in farewell, “Thank you sir for your advice!” He turned and went off.

    Guo Yinnong asked, “More news?”

    Pei Chun shook his head, but he couldn’t think up a lie, but he had to say something, so he said haltingly, “He…he’s a good man, told me to be careful…”

    Guo Yinnong said, “Now it’s the Mongol’s world, he’s afraid of you causing trouble and losing your life! Who knew we were the type to lose our lives so easily?”[5] Pei Chun saw Guo Yinnong had it wrong and took advantage of this moment to divert from the original topic, so he gave a noncommittal response.

    It was not yet three in the afternoon when the two entered Liyang. Guo Yinnong wore a sneer on his lips, as if something were amiss. Pei Chun, although he was honest and naive, unsophisticated, yet his eyes were sharp, and once they entered the city he caught an indistinct glimpse of a human figure out of the corner of his eye, then he saw it clearly, it was the silhouette of a beggar.

    As he was mulling this over he heard Guo Yinnong say, “In a while there will be some fun to be had, but let’s get something to eat and drink first…that restaurant over there looks good.”

    Pei Chun also felt hungry, so the two went in and ordered some food and wine. Guo Yinnong repeatedly urged him to drain his cup, and in no time they had downed several cups. Pei Chun’s face was flushed, already tipsy, if he had not drank those times in that mansion with Southern Traitor Shang Gongzhi to build up his tolerance, he would now be already dead drunk!

    Guo Yinnong also felt he had had more than he should have, he thought, “I had wanted to get him drunk so he would be easier to fight, but his alcohol tolerance, although not as high as mine, but I’ve overstepped myself, it I drink any more, pretty soon I won’t be able to deal with him!” So he gave up drinking and started in eating. Pei Chun was not a heavy drinker, so he of course didn’t drink any more either. After the two had eaten their fill, Guo Yinnong went and paid the bill first, and they went out into the street. There were four beggars lined up, blocking the road.

    Guo Yinnong laughed. “Brother Pei, we forgot to bring our leftovers out with us to offer them, looks like it won’t be easy to get down this road!”

    Pei Chun was already tipsy so he wasn’t as steady as he normally would be, he said, “What kind of reasoning is that, are these beggars really trying to block our way?”

    The four beggars just sneered. The one on the right was the older of the two, he held a staff, he said, “We want to invite you to walk over somewhere where we can talk!”

    Pei Chun saw he carried a staff and felt he looked familiar, then he remembered that morning one of those seven-bag carrying beggars had wielded a staff and he was a bit surprised. He fixed his eyes on them and yep, they both had cloth bags on their backs, though he couldn’t make out how many. He promptly asked, “Are you all from the Poor Family Gang?”

    How could the four beggars know that Pei Chun was fresh off the mountain and into the world? They both thought, the Poor Family Gang’s name has spread far, who among the martial fraternity doesn’t know them? His question had clearly been rhetorical, so they didn’t answer.

    Guo Yinnong sneered, “Even if it’s a dragon pool or a tiger den[6], I, the Divine Tree Scholar have nothing to fear! Let’s go…”

    Pei Chun thought back to what Shang Gongzhi had told him about rivers and lakes’ rules about “fighting” and didn’t say anything lest the Poor Family Gang mistake him for an adversary, so he quietly followed Guo Yinnong. The two beggars gave way and lead the way, two in front, two behind. When he turned back to look, Pei Chun saw clearly that among the four beggars, one carried eight bags, and the other three all carried six.

    The party entered a house, inside it was spacious, but the gates were old and shabby, as if they had been left uncared for for a long time. Inside, everything was dilapidated, the walls peeling, but the roof was new and strong. A group of people sat in one room and three of the beggars went in, leaving only one six-bagger waiting outside the gate.

    Pei Chun said, “I admire they found such a place to hide away…”

    Guo Yinnong said, “They made it look like this on purpose, this place must be their lair!” Then he said in a loud voice, “Hey, is your chief here?”

    The beggar at the gate white-eyed him,[7] but ignored him. Guo Yinnong got angry, shouted, “Others may fear you Poor Family Gang’s power and influence, but I, Divine Tree Scholar, don’t, so quickly call Simple Yu Jing out here!”

    The beggar sneered, “You two had better know your place and wait for the chief to call on you!”

    Guo Yinnong had said his nickname twice, but seeing they didn’t seem to care, he boiled with rage, and shouted, “What is he!”[8]

    The beggar heard him insult his chief and he could barely hold himself back, but glowered at him.

    Guo Yinnong pointed outside with his left hand, said, “You all come on out!”

    The beggar was stunned, turned his head to look, and suddenly a gust of wind blew past and he quickly dodged, a small pebble brushed past his neck, but there was still another that hit an acupoint on his midsection and he went down.

    Guo Yinnong sneered, “Brother Pei, didn’t you want to see Simple Yu Jing? I’ll lead you to him!”


    to be continued...





    [1] He’s being polite here when he says “false reputation”. It’s a humblebrag.

    [2] I just want to point out that his staff is made of ebony wood, I’m not just using the word “ebony” to indicate the color, it’s actually made from that kind of wood, which is very dense.

    [3] A polite way to say “I ain’t telling you!”

    [4] Literally, “lightness skill”, the method of jumping high and running fast. Think all that jumping in the treetops from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. That’s qinggong.

    [5] He’s being sarcastic.

    [6] This is an idiom that simply means a dangerous spot.

    [7] This means to show someone the whites of your eyes, showing contempt, disgust, annoyance, etc.

    [8] Meaning “who is he? He’s nobody!” The Chinese is literally “He is what thing?”, “thing” here being actually a rather derogatory way to refer to someone, much stronger in feeling than it is in English.

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    Thanks whiteskwirl, this Guo guy is arrogance, I hope he get beaten up soon. Ah! our hero is starting to get wiser..

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    Default Chapter 3, Part 5

    @Laoren: Yes, he is getting more and more experienced. People keep scheming against him. Here is the next part.

    Chapter 3, Part 5


    Actually he was testing Pei Chun’s lack of understanding of the rules of the rivers and lakes, therefore he set this trap. If Pei Chun followed him in rushing in to see Simple Yu Jing, even if he could explain it clearly later on, right now it would be very difficult to avoid a misunderstanding.

    Pei Chun saw he was using a ploy to check that beggar, and he hated it, but he was too polite to say anything. The two ran out of the room and charged into the rear house, went through two sets of gates, and suddenly saw two people lying on the ground. It was two of the four beggars who had led them here. Guo Yinnong eyed them, and said, “They’ve been poisoned!”

    Pei Chun was alarmed. “Are their lives in danger?”

    Guo Yinnong shook his head, but he didn’t know if that meant no or that he didn’t know.

    After going through two more sets of doors they saw seven or eight beggars lying on the ground, each one of their faces were black, as if they had been poisoned. They recognized one of them, it was the beggar who had led them here who carried eight bags.

    Guo Yinnong muttered to himself, “This eight-bagger’s skill is profound to be able to hold out this long before falling down! Looks like the Poor Family Gang’s lair has been infiltrated by someone good at using poisons!”

    Pei Chun recalled the poison expert Flying Heaven Yaksha Bo Le, and was about to say something when Guo Yinnong exclaimed, “We’ve all been poisoned!” And he immediately sat down cross-legged and began circulating his qi to resist the toxins. Pei Chun excited his own inner energy, and sure enough he felt a stuffy, oppressive feeling in his chest. He took out his “Warding-Off Poison Pearl” and put it in his mouth and went himself to the back.

    He passed through two courtyards and everywhere he saw beggars all in disarray, unconscious on the ground. Then he heard a faint sound of a human voice, which pricked his senses, and he rushed over, passed through a gate, outside was a garden. The flowers and plants had withered, the trees dried up, a desolate and abandoned scene. Tens of feet away on the lawn stood a man, and ten feet in front of him sat on the ground six beggars. The man was big and tall, with a curly beard, his nose hooked and his eyes sunken, one glance and it was clear he was not Chinese. Pei Chun didn’t need to think, he already knew it was the Colored-Eye Master Flying Heaven Yaksha Bo Le.

    One of the six beggars was in the middle, the other five circling him, all facing outward, all of them looking like they were protecting the one in the middle.

    The beggar in the middle was middle-aged, fair-skinned, his clothed clean and neat, upright in appearance, although at this moment he was seated with his eyes closed, he still possessed a dignified and impressive air. The five surrounding him were all elderly, all of them carrying nine cloth bags on their backs. Three held walking sticks, two held sectional iron whips. Turns out, to avoid astounding the world with something extraordinary, members of the Poor Family Gang used only those two weapons, and the height of their staffs were ordinary, and of course, the iron whips could wrap around one’s waist so that ordinary people would not notice it.

    Pei Chun ran over, Flying Heaven Yaksha Bo Le and the five beggars were startled to see him. Bo Le frowned, said, “You passed through my poison, now can only circulate your qi to press in here, obviously you came through the main gate!” Pei Chun had the “Warding-Off Poison Pearl” in his mouth, so speaking was inconvenient, he just nodded his head.

    One of the beggars shouted, “Be careful Brother Pei, he’s a poison master, you can breathe in his poison and be injured, best not to open your mouth!”

    When Flying Heaven Yaksha Bo Le heard this he was extremely pleased, he threw his head back and laughed. “Eighteen years ago when I entered the Central Plains, I had alrady heard of the Five Elders of the Poor Family Gang. Today I quickly learned just how profound your skills are, very experienced and knowledgeable, but I will make you completely collapse, it’s not difficult!”

    While saying this he was already secretly employing his strange skills, sending his poison out at Pei Chun’s head! Five different poisons in succession invaded Pei Chun’s five sense organs, but who would have expected that after five poisons, Pei Chun was still standing strong like a mountain.

    Flying Heaven Yaksha Bo Le went pale! He thought, after eighteen years I’m once again in the Central Plains and have met a lot of capable people. Then he thought, “This youngster, although he’s not afraid of my poison, I wonder how his martial arts are? I must test it out!” He shouted, “Pei, be careful, I’m coming at you!” He immediately gathered his internal skill, and struck out from a distance.

    Since Pei Chun had come down from the mountains, he had been having many headaches because of fighting, but this time he was inwardly happy, and completely without hesitation used his left hand to hold his right elbow and lightly shot out his right palm.

    Bo Le saw his double-handed posture and was startled, just then their two internal skills struck with a bang and Bo Le was forced back two steps. The Five Elders of the Poor Family Gang saw Pei Chun’s skill was so profound, they were all shocked! Bo Le’s alarm showed on his face, he rolled his sleeves and a surge of wind spun forth, and the beggars’ clothing flapped about ceaselessly. During this time, Bo Le had already spun his body and closed in.

    Eighteen years ago, Flying Heaven Yaksha Bo Le had been driven out of the Central Plains by the “Two Elders of the Central Plains”, Zhao Yunpo and Li Xingqiao, so when he saw Pei Chun’s palm striking form, he had gone cold from shock. At this moment, while feeling terrified, his force of power decreased by half, Pei Chun’s internal skill forced itself in with its profound strength. He feared it was just a close hand-to-hand fight, so he didn’t fear using his palms, so when he struck out he used his full strength. As the distance closed, Bo Le was shaken back by him.

    Bo Le saw this disciple of Zhao Yunpo was already so incredible, maybe Zhao Yunpo was in the area, how could he dare fight? With his sleeve he sent out another wave of wind and using his unique skill he called back his poisons and hurriedly ran away.

    How could the Five Elders and Pei Chun know of the details that let to this result, they couldn’t help be stupefied. Pei Chun suddenly thought, “He might have another deadly trap outside.” He quickly gave chase and in no time passed the enclosing wall, followed the alley and ran out into the street. Just then he felt he had become quite astute and capable and he was gratified. He scanned the area but couldn’t see any trace of Flying Heaven Yaksha Bo Le.

    Off to the right, out of the corner of his eye he suddenly saw a red horse some ten feet away, and sitting on that horse was the purple-clad girl, Yang Lan. Pei Chun heard the hoofbeats and turned to look, saw it was her, and quickly scurried back down the alley.


    to be continued...

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    Thanks whiteskwirl, like this chapter, hahaa...Pei Chun really scared of the crazy chick.

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    Lol. I'll be scared of that crazy chick too, if she shoots poison needles everytime she sees me. Haha.

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    Default Chapter 3, Part 6 END

    Here is the rest of chapter 3! Another long chapter, almost 11,000 words. But some good developments in this one. Thanks for reading!

    Chapter 3, Part 6


    The hoofbeats slowly passed by the mouth of the alley and Pei Chun relaxed as a purple figure flashed by and a fragrant wind assailed his nostrils. Then he jumped twenty feet, turned around, and ran. Behind him came the sound of Yang Lan’s curses, but he didn’t hear clearly, just followed the road and leapt into the garden.

    The Five Elders of the Poor Family Gang were still where he had left them, and they stood up in unison when they saw Pei Chun rush in, being chased by a purple-clad girl. Three of the beggars blocked her way, and the other two blocked Pei Chun.

    The purple-clad girl saw these beggars all carried nine bags and she was delighted, “Are you all the Five Elders of the Poor Family Gang? Quick, help me nab this little traitor!”

    One of the elders said, “Miss, are you the one who made a name for herself these past few years among the rivers and lakes, one Purple Swallow Yang Lan?”

    The purple-clad girl said, “Yes!”

    Another elder said, “Then is your teacher Mother Guan the Second? We haven’t been face to face in years, how is Mother Guan the Second doing?”

    Purple Swallow Yang Lan said, “Thank you for asking, Elder, she’s doing as well as before!”

    Another elder asked, “Miss Yang Lan, why are you chasing Brother Pei?”

    Purple Swallow Yang Lan remembered how Pei Chun had set that trap for her. She thought, if I tell it all from the beginning it will take all day, and I don’t want them mediating. She said, “Five Elders, please look, then you’ll know!” She took down her pipa and thrust it in front of Pei Chun and stared at him. “Little Traitor, take out your weapon fight!”

    Pei Chun feared her “Scorpion Tail Golden Needles” from her pipa, so he didn’t take the “Warding-Off Poison Pearl” out of his mouth, therefore he couldn’t open his mouth to speak. As he stood there awkwardly, Purple Swallow Yang Lan shouted, “Little traitor, I see you can only play nasty tricks. If you have any guts, take out that sword in your sleeve and let’s have it out!”

    Pei Chun was no fool, at this moment he suddenly realized, he knew she wanted to force him to take out Southern Traitor Shang Gongzhi’s “Seven Treasure Heart-Punishing Sword” so that the Five Elders of the Poor Family Gang would mistakenly think he was Shang Gongzhi’s disciple. He thought, he must say something to make things clear so that the Five Elders didn’t fall for her plan, and ask about the Five Elders calling her “Purple Swallow”, not “Poison Fox”! He took the sword out from his sleeve, it gleamed precious light, dazzling to the eye.

    The faces Five Elders of the Poor Family Gang sank, one on the left shouted, “Is this Southern Traitor Shang Gongzhi’s Seven Treasure Heart-Punishing Sword?”

    Pei Chun nodded. Purple Swallow Yang Lan laughed loudly. “That’s why I asked you Five Elders for your assistance. Little traitor, watch out!” She smashed out at him with a swift swoosh of wind with the iron pipa in her hand.

    pei Chun quickly dodged and Yang Lan rebuked him, “This guy can really play dumb, he originally wasn’t afraid of my ‘Scorpion Tail Golden Needle’, yet he pretends to be scared of it…” She attacked again and again violently, and again Pei Chun dodged one by one.

    The Five Elders could already see his skill was profound, and his body movements were light and agile, clearly his martial arts was incredibly strong. They all thought, “That Southern Traitor Shang Gongzhi looks honest and sincere on the surface, but inside he is treacherous. Since this Pei Chun is his disciple, we naturally can’t let him off because he looks honest and unsophisticated!” So the Five Elders all brandished their weapons and came forward, surrounding Pei Chun.

    Pei Chun could see every one of Purple Swallow Yang Lan’s moves was intended to be a fatal blow and he was alarmed, he grit his teeth and pulled out his short sword and easily flashed it out. Yang Lan was fully aware this person was formidable, her iron pipa would not be able to finish him off, she was inwardly startled and slowed her strikes.

    Pei Chun brandished his sword and charged swiftly, two beggars quickly intercepted, each swinging his weapon, striking down, but they saw Pei Chun slash right, then slash left, there was no seam to exploit, so they couldn’t strike and they were stunned. Pei Chun took advantage of the situation to rush out of their encirclement and run with big strides. Purple Swallow Yang Lan wasn’t willing to let him off, so she chased after him. The Five Elders were sore afraid Yang Lan would lose,so they sent two of them to give chase as well.

    Pei Chun ran out to the street, heard the hoofbeats closing in on him from behind, and flashed down an alley. The city wasn’t like the wilderness, although that horse Rouge was fast, Pei Chun purposely took many twists and turns, exiting one street and entering an alley, soon he didn’t hear the hoofbeats anymore.

    The two Poor Family Gang Elders caught up to Yang Lan and urged her to give up the chase for the time being, and they asked her he she had come to see Pei Chun. Yang Lan said, “While going down the street, I suddenly saw a Colored-Eye man fleeing rapidly, he looked extremely flustered. I thought it was really strange, so I followed the way he had come, looked around to see what strange thing made him so panic-stricken, when I unexpectedly saw that little traitor!”

    One of the Elders said, “Ai, that Colored-Eye man was Flying Heaven Yaksha Bo Le. Our chief has already been poisoned, his internal skill is profound so he’s okay, but several disciples I fear won’t be able to take it!”

    ***

    Just then Pei Chun was hiding in a dead-end alley. He knew the Poor Family Gang had a lot of followers, it would be difficult to hide from them in the city, so he decided to leave Liyang and stay away from two days, then return.

    As he was about to leave the alley, he suddenly heard hoofbeats and was startled! He listened carefully and could faintly hear Purple Swallow Yang Lan’s voice. At this moment it was really a case of not having an outlet in front, with troops pursuing your from behind. He turned to look, he would have to climb over the wall and drop down the other side, where there was a small courtyard.

    The courtyard was gloomy and damp, he stood there and faintly smelled a strange scent, looked down and saw ten potted flowers on the ground, their leaves red, the flowers as big around as a bowl, but were green.

    Pei Chun frowned, waited for the hoofbeats to be far away, then he felt a little safer. Again looking at the strange flowers, he realized that the flowers in the pots were growing in not soil, but the corpses of a mass of innumerable centipedes, scorpions, toads, etc. He suddenly felt nauseous. He turned to measure up the gates and windows of the courtyard and was shocked! Within one of the windows sat a white figure. Looking closer, he saw it was a beautiful young girl wearing white, her eyes hazy and lacking vitality, if he had not seen her eyes move he would have thought she was a porcelain figure.

    He looked away and was about to leave this place when he heard a light sigh, and he couldn’t help turn back to look, say the beautiful girl’s eyebrows pinched slightly, her face wearing a remote, cold and plaintive expression.

    Pei Chun felt pity, said, “Miss, why are you sighing?”

    The white-clad girl slowly raised her hand and pointed at the strange flowers, said, “Have you…see…those flowers…before?” Her words were forced out with great effort, her tongue rigid.

    Pei Chun shook his head. “I’ve never seen them before.” He thought, “These flowers are really ugly, I would rather have never seen them!”

    The white-clad girl said, “They are Dakini flowers, their fragrance…is poisonous…”

    Pei Chun went “ah”, said, “I see, no wonder I felt so uncomfortable when I inhaled their fragrance, aren’t you afraid?”

    The white-clad girl shook her head, “I’m not afraid! Without…those flowers…I’ll die…”

    Pei Chun was amazed, “Without them you’ll die? Why is that? You…you…” His head suddenly thought of the encounter Southern Traitor Shang Gongzhi had told him about in that ancient temple, and he suddenly realized, “You’re that girl who’s always with Flying Heaven Yaksha Bo Le?”

    The white-clad girl smiled, nodded. “Yes.”

    Pei Chun was surprised. “Brother Shang said you didn’t speak Chinese, turns out it’s not so!”

    The pretty girl said, “Brother Shang? Ah, you mean Shang Gongzhi…I originally…couldn’t speak…Chinese…but I can…read books and recognize the characters…” She could never finish a sentence with one breath, she always had to stop and think it over.

    Pei Chun heard her say she could read books and was even more amazed. She beckoned him to come over and he entered, glanced around the room, it was impeccably clean. She took out a sheet of paper, and from a cylindrical metal tube took out a stick of black charcoal. She held the paper with one hand and the stick with the other, which was tapered to a point like a brush. She wrote on the paper, “My family name is Yun, given name Qiuxin.”[9] She stopped and asked, “Is that all right?”

    Pei Chun read aloud, “Yun Qiuxin…Yun Qiuxin…”

    She repeated it as well, smiled, and said, “I can’t say the Qiu in Yun Qiuxin…”

    Pei Chun said, “Who taught you to read?”

    Yun Qiuxin raised her charcoal pencil and wrote quickly, “When I was in the Western Regions a neighbor who had been in the Central Plains, his home had a copy of the Records of the Grand Historian, and Selected Poems of the Tang Dynasty, which he gave me, my family and given name I chose myself!” She stopped writing and asked, “Is that all right?”

    Pei Chun knew she had been taken by Bo Le to the Western Regions when she was little, so that must be why she didn’t know her family name, he felt pity for her, and said, “That’s great!”

    Yun Qiuxin smiled happily, “Qiuxin, those…two characters…how do you say it if you combine them together?”

    Pei Chun answered, “Put together they form the character Chou!”[10]

    She nodded. “Ah, it’s Chou! I often…by myself feel worry…”

    Pei Chun saw her happy expression give way to one of gloomy sadness. But he felt her happy expression also carried within it a flavor of melancholy, so her choice of using “Chou” split up to form her name was quite appropriate!

    His natural disposition was kind and peaceful, always without worries, so he didn’t really like talking about depressing topics. So he changed the subject, “Have you been to see the King of Remedies Liang Kang?”

    She shook her head, too up her pencil and wrote, “My foster father said the beggars had reported to the King of Remedies, so I haven’t seen him yet!”

    Pei Chun suddenly realized why that Flying Heaven Yaksha Bo Le had dealt with the Poor Family Gang. He saw her write, “Foster Father said he had to go out for several days, so he planted these ten or so Dakini flowers to give me…” Pei Chun had head she had to eat the Five Poison Melon Seeds or else she would die, so he knew these poisonous flowers’ function was the same as the melon seeds.

    Yun Qiuxin stopped writing and said slowly, “My name is Yun Qiuxin, what’s yours?”

    He told her and she asked him to write it, but when he did he saw his handwriting was clumsy, far inferior to hers which was lucid and elegant, and he felt inwardly ashamed.

    She smiled and scrutinized his name, then after a moment said, “So similar…just like you…”[11]

    Pei Chun nodded earnestly. “That’s what everyone says.”

    She suddenly reached out and touched his cheek, her delicate and beautiful white fingers slender as a jade onion,[12] and Pei Chun’s heart jumped and his face flushed. He heard her say, “Pei Chun, what are you eating?”

    Pei Chun rolled his tongue and just then remembered the Warding-Off Poison Pearl lodged between his teeth and cheek, which had impeded his speaking. No wonder she had reached out to touch his cheek. He spit the pearl out and said, “This is a Warding-Off Poison Pearl, before I heard Brother Shang talk about your condition, and he gave me this pearl to give you. Maybe it can dispel the poisons in your body.”

    She happily took the pearl and suddenly her whole body shook, her palm dropped down, and the pearl fell to the floor.

    Pei Chun quickly picked it up. “You don’t like it?”

    She moaned, said, “I…I hurt…”

    Pei Chun was at a loss at to what to do, but seeing her looking like she was ready to fall, quickly jumped over and supported her. Yun Qiuxin leaned on his arm for a few minutes, then recovered. Even so, Pei Chun felt nauseous, his five viscera were seething, his whole body felt uncomfortable so he secretly circulated his qi, but it didn’t do any good.

    Yun Qiuxin noticed he hadn’t said anything for a while, so she raised her eyes to look, and saw his face was pale and unsightly, she couldn’t help but be alarmed. “Ai, you’re poisoned!” Pei Chun only then understood, and quickly put the Warding-Off Poison Pearl in his mouth, and soon a fresh and cool feeling suffused his entire body.

    Just then he remembered something and asked, “There are many beggars who were poisoned by your foster father, what if I go back and put the pearl in their mouths?”

    Yun Qiuxin thought about it, then lifted her pencil and wrote, “This pearl will only be effective if the poisoned people have strong internal skill, if their martial arts is weak, this pearl can only temporarily preserve their life, in the end they’l; have to take an antidote to rescue them.”

    Pei Chun said worriedly, “I exchanged blows with your foster father, then he ran off, if I go to him asking for the antidote he definitely wouldn’t give it to me.”

    Yun Qiuxin didn’t seem to care about rescuing the people, she continued writing, “I sit here by myself every day, sometimes I think living in this world is meaningless, but so long as you often come here and talk with me to divert myself, that would be totally different!” As she was writing, Pei Chun read along out loud, and she read along with him. Her memory was very good, if she but read something once she could remember how to pronounce it.

    Suddenly, the sound of footsteps, Pei Chun said, “Someone’s coming!”

    Yun Qiuxin pointed outside the window and made a gesture indicating he should go outside and hide. She said, “You have to come back…” Pei Chun nodded, and in a split second he had went out and leapt over the wall and into the alley.

    After a short while, the sound of talking came out from behind the wall. Pei Chun inclined his ear to listen, but the sounds were fragmented, he couldn’t make it out, but he recognized Bo Le’s voice. Soon, all was quiet behind the wall and he leapt up to take a look, and saw Yun Qiuxin still sitting by the window, a worried frown on her face and tears on her cheeks.

    Pei Chun’s chest burned with righteous indignation, and he hurried inside. “Who bullied you? Was it your foster father?”

    Yun Qiuxin shook her head, “He treats me well…”

    Pei Chun stared blankly, then said, “Then I’ll go!”

    Tears welled up in Yun Qiuxin’s pretty pupils, she said faintly, “Do you not like me?”

    Pei Chun quickly said, “No, no! I have to go see about those people who were poisoned!”

    Yun Qiuxin hesitated, then took from her clothes a bottle and said, “This is the antidote…you only need a little bit…this should do it!” She wiped her nose with her finger.

    Pei Chun was overjoyed, he took the bottle. “You’ve saved them, your good deeds are boundless, I really don’t know how to thank you!”

    She hung her head, sighed lightly, and waved her hand. “Go!”

    Pei Chun saw her suddenly so desolate, and he felt a little awkward, but he was still extremely grateful. He said, “Thank you, I have to go!”

    He turned leapt out over the wall, not hesitating, and ran with big strides down the street. After passing two streets he saw out of the corner of his eye four beggars come out, blocking the road. Pei Chun stopped and cupped his hand over his fist in greeting. “I was just coming to pay my respects to your esteemed chief!”

    The four beggars were taken aback, the middle-aged one on the far left with a thick beard, said heavily, “Why do you want to see our chief?”

    Pei Chun patted his pocket, smiled. “To give him the antidote!”

    The four beggars were among the ten or so Poor Family Gang beggars left in Liyang. Since Bo Le had left, they had received the Five Elders’ order to lead a tight search looking for Bo Le and Pei Chun. The Five Elders’ order was to find Bo Le, but not fight; but if they found Pei Chun they could act as circumstance dictated, blocking the road while sending someone to go report. The Poor Family Gang’s chief, Simple Yu Jing, had already been poisoned, and the Five Elders, because of what Purple Swallow Yang Lan had said, all thought Pei Chun was one of Shang Gongzhi’s disciples, so of course they wanted to harm him, and Bo Le’s actions could have been at the behest of him. The act of him defeating and running off Bo Le must have been previously planned. Now there was only one thing still hard to understand: why had he plotted to harm the Poor Family Gang like this?

    The four beggars heard “antidote” and didn’t dare be impolite, yet they also dared not make the decision to lead him back to see their chief. The thick-bearded beggar changed to a smiling face, and said, “That’s great, I just don’t know how we should repay you in exchange for the antidote?”

    Pei Chun shook his head.

    Another beggar said, “You might as well say it, if the antidote really works, we will reward you handsomely…”

    Pei Chun never expected they would purposely try to hold him up while waiting for the Five Elders to show up. He thought, “They mentioned something I hadn’t thought of, if the antidote would really work, and if so, what kind of reward would Yun Qiuxin want? She’s a girl, unlike me who was sent down the mountain to benefit the world and rescue people. Naturally she’ll want some kind of reward…”

    The four beggars saw him hesitating, not speaking, and they all thought he was considering what reward to ask for, and they were further on their guard. Just then, a whistle was heard from a distance, and the thick-bearded one said, “Brother Pei, let’s go somewhere quiet and talk about it, how about that?”

    Pei Chun nodded and followed them down a wide deserted alley.

    Ten feet or so down the alley, from the left side wall a sound was heard, Pei Chun raised his head to look, and saw the Five Elders standing on the wall in a row, all with stern, solemn expressions on their faces, they clearly regarded him with some importance.

    Although he felt their expressions were strange, he didn’t think much of it and said happily, “You all came just in time, I have the antidote…”

    The Five Elders of the Poor Family Gang dropped down off the wall, and one asked, “How does our friend Pei address Shang Gongzhi?”

    Pei Chun said calmly, “I call him Brother Shang.”

    The Five Elders simultaneously nodded. The shortest among them said, “That’s right, although Shang Gongshi’s martial arts is strong, it seems he can’t teach our friend here his skills.”

    The tallest elder said, “My name is Zhao Yibei, I would like to request you to grant me a sword.” He took out his iron staff and came before Pei Chun.

    Pei Chun was stunned. “A sword?”

    Zhao Yibei said, “That’s right, a sword.” Pei Chun was more confused, but he knew the word “sword” referred to that “Seven Treasure Heart-Punishing Sword”, so he took it out and was about to ask. Zhao Yibei said, “I’ve heard this sword is peerlessly sharp, and that it can chop nails and cut iron. I would like to test it out on my iron staff.”

    Pei Chun saw his speech was calm, so although he was doubtful, he nevertheless drew the sword from its scabbard. Once the blade was revealed, Zhao Yibei shouted and raised his iron staff and quickly thrust it out, the wind from the staff’s force blowing past his face, and Pei Chun had to brandish the sword and block it. There was a “ding” sound as the staff hit the blade, but there was no damage. Pei Chun inwardly cheered! When the two had touched, he had already detected that his opponent’s staff’s power was at once hard, yet yielding, and after several times, the sword blade was still unable to cut the iron staff.

    Zhao Yibei turned his wrist, and the staff from underneath the blade turned up and came down at the short sword. Pei Chun tightened his grip on the handle, and “ding”, the staff end came down on the sword body and didn’t move.

    Pei Chun felt the strong internal force of the staff and he was inwardly alarmed. He remembered what his teacher had said, if a person combines his internal skill, you must be very careful handling him, or else your life will be in danger. So he quickly used his strength to resist, and said, “Elder Zhao, why are you using your internal skill?”

    When he spoke, Zhao Yibei’s face was solemn as before, but the other four elders were startled, their eyes wide, and one among them brandished his steel whip and said, “Qian Erchou also wants to try out your sword.” The steel whip whipped out, brushing past his face, and “ding”, it hit the sword and lodged there, unmoving.

    Pei Chun felt the sword was as heavy as a mountain, he didn’t dare pull back the sword, but blinked rapidly, and said, “You two Elders’ internal skill is profound, it’s difficult for me to continue to block it.”

    When his words reached their ears it had become mocking.[13] Zhao and Qian used their strength to bear down on him, their faces expressionless. The other three Elders were pale with alarm, they thought, this youngster’s internal skill is this profound he can still talk, this is truly the first time we’ve encountered such a master.

    The third Elder said, “Sun Sanku is here!” He brandished his staff and it came down with a “ding”, and Pei Chun’s short sword sunk down half a foot.


    END CHAPTER 3




    [9] Her name is 雲秋心, literally Cloud Autumn-heart.

    [10] 愁 is literally 秋 and 心 put one on top of the other. 愁, Chou, means to worry or be anxious or grieved about something.

    [11] Pei Chun’s name is written 裴淳. 淳 means honest, simple, pure, just like his personality.

    [12] Note: In Chinese literary writing, jade is often used to refer to many things, but the color associated with jade in traditional Chinese literary writings is WHITE, not GREEN as we think of jade today. This is because there are two kinds of jade: nephrite and jadeite. Nephrite is mostly white and was the only kind of jade known to China before about 1800, when jadeite was introduced. Jadeite is more green as we generally think of jade being. But in the past, jade meant white, which is why it is used to describe a woman’s fair skin, the color of the moon, ice, anything that is white.

    [13] This is not Pei Chun’s attention, but the way the Elders perceived it.

  15. #55
    Member Drak17's Avatar
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    Thanks for the chapters. Btw, are you going to change "rivers and lakes" into "Jianghu" and "Poor Family Clan" into "Beggar Sect"? It sounds better IMO, since I am used to it. Haha. Just wondering.

  16. #56
    Senior Member deathblade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drak17 View Post
    Thanks for the chapters. Btw, are you going to change "rivers and lakes" into "Jianghu" and "Poor Family Clan" into "Beggar Sect"? It sounds better IMO, since I am used to it. Haha. Just wondering.
    Does anybody know if John Minford can be credited with "rivers and lakes" for Jianghu, or was it in usage before him?
    Current Translation: I Shall Seal the Heavens
    Recommended Translation: Heroes Shed No Tears

  17. #57
    Senior Member whiteskwirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drak17 View Post
    Thanks for the chapters. Btw, are you going to change "rivers and lakes" into "Jianghu" and "Poor Family Clan" into "Beggar Sect"? It sounds better IMO, since I am used to it. Haha. Just wondering.
    An odd question to ask. If I were going to change it, wouldn't I have already done it? It makes no sense to me to leave random words untranslated, unless there really isn't a good translation for it, but jianghu is easy to translate because it literally means river and lakes. So by translating it you get a sense of some of the flavor of this term that would remain hidden if it were not translated. When I translate it, it's usually within the phrase "among the rivers and lakes" which reinforces this sense that you're talking about a community, which of course is what the term refers to.

    Poor Family Gang (I never used clan) is different from Beggar's Sect. The latter is 丐幫, while Poor Family Gang is 窮家幫. There are other ways you could translate that, but if I went with Beggar's Sect it would be inaccurate since this is not the same group, though clearly it is a copy of the other one.



    Quote Originally Posted by deathblade View Post
    Does anybody know if John Minford can be credited with "rivers and lakes" for Jianghu, or was it in usage before him?
    Don't know who first used it, a lot of scholars translate it that way, while others stick with jianghu. My first encounter with the term was probably in John Christopher Hamm's book Paper Swordsmen, but I'm not sure. I know it wasn't John Minford because I hate his work and avoid it wherever possible. Graham Earnshaw capitalized it "River and Lake" in his translation of Book and Sword.


    My method, as I've discusses in a previous thread, is to translate everything where possible to avoid breaking immersion. Recently, I have been toying with leaving wugong and neigong untranslated, simply because martial arts sometimes sounds a bit awkward in context, as does internal skill. But I don't know. Not easy decisions to make.

  18. #58
    Senior Member LuDongBin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deathblade View Post
    Does anybody know if John Minford can be credited with "rivers and lakes" for Jianghu, or was it in usage before him?
    The term is ably researched by Helena Wu (University of Hong Kong) in her paper: “A Journey across Rivers and Lakes: A Look at the Untranslatable Jianghu in Chinese Culture and Literature”. According to her the term started as a Daoist concept. Burston Watson in translating The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu translated jianghu as rivers and lakes. That was in 1968. The term is also widely used in ancient Chinese poetry such as Du Fu. At a later stage it crept into wuxia novels.

    See: http://www.452f.com/pdf/numero07/07_...-wai-orgnl.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuDongBin View Post
    The term is ably researched by Helena Wu (University of Hong Kong) in her paper: “A Journey across Rivers and Lakes: A Look at the Untranslatable Jianghu in Chinese Culture and Literature”. According to her the term started as a Daoist concept. Burston Watson in translating The Complete Works of Chuang Tzu translated jianghu as rivers and lakes. That was in 1968. The term is also widely used in ancient Chinese poetry such as Du Fu. At a later stage it crept into wuxia novels.

    See: http://www.452f.com/pdf/numero07/07_...-wai-orgnl.pdf
    Thanks for the recommendation. I thought I recognized her name, and now I remember from where. Here is her master's thesis, which is also on the topic of the jianghu: http://hub.hku.hk/bitstream/10722/137084/3/FullText.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by whiteskwirl View Post
    Thanks for the recommendation. I thought I recognized her name, and now I remember from where. Here is her master's thesis, which is also on the topic of the jianghu: http://hub.hku.hk/bitstream/10722/137084/3/FullText.pdf
    Thks whiteskwirl for the lead. That is a definitive study on Jianghu. And I think it underlies the difficulty translators have in translating terms like these. And plenty of these terms abound in wuxia novels.

    Hope you would continue translating this novel.

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