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Thread: THE LEGENDARY SIBLINGS by Gu Long

  1. #201
    atlantean0208
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wubbles
    Hey all,

    Both because I translate slowly, and also because my school work has been more laborious than usual, I was moving really slow on this. Half hoping maybe someone else would pick up the next chapter, but oh well....I guess it means my half chapter here is not in vain.

    By the way, if anyone else has actually read or is reading The Legendary Siblings in Chinese, would you be able to give a suggestion/explanation?

    This guy shows up in this chapter 25, in Chinese his name is 献果神君 ...but I couldn't translate it really... in the dictionary it was like... "offering...fruit..." But I couldn't think of how to include "fruit" in a name without it sounding...well...fruity. Does the name actually mean something else, and I'm just baffled by a literal translation? I think so...cuz' later I think Xiao Yu'er actually makes a joke about how "献果" is another name for "monkey".

    Anyway, I've left the name as The Lord of Monkeys for now...if that sounds weird, I'd love to hear your suggestion.
    Thanx for continuing translation, slow is ok, at least we have something to read...

  2. #202
    Senior Member eliza bennet's Avatar
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    wow, this gets better and better - it is by now my favorite Gu Long novel!

  3. #203
    Junior Member Wubbles's Avatar
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    Hey all,

    Well what do you know, it's Easter long weekend now! Anyhow, so with the bit of time off, I've finished off the Chapter 25. I tacked it on to the first half so you could read it in its entirety, enjoy

  4. #204
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    I have no idea how they're going to get out.

  5. #205
    Moderator Ren Wo Xing's Avatar
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    I think I understand his plan. By throwing out treasures, he's hoping that other people (maybe through the monkeys) will find them, then come and search for the treasures. Then, they can get out through those people.

  6. #206
    Senior Member Yang Guo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Wo Xing
    I think I understand his plan. By throwing out treasures, he's hoping that other people (maybe through the monkeys) will find them, then come and search for the treasures. Then, they can get out through those people.
    I'm thinking the same thing

    that's why he told them to let him use whatever method

  7. #207
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    Aren't they in a cave in the middle of a cliff? Are they assuming there people down there?

    I am use to peopel being trapped at the bottom lol.

  8. #208
    Senior Member Yang Guo's Avatar
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    there might not be people down there... but within 3 months... people will probably notice monkies with a bunch of shiny stones on the mountain

  9. #209
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    this Xia Yu'er has a lot of surprises. I have no idea what he is thinking... since it's Gu Long I wouldn't be surprised with the craziest plan ever tha will only succeed 'cause he's the author and wants Xia Yu'er to succeed!

  10. #210
    Junior Member Wubbles's Avatar
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    Hi everyone,

    Just wanted to say thanks for all your encouragement, that's awesome! I'm glad you're enjoying it =)

  11. #211
    Junior Member Wubbles's Avatar
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    The Legendary Siblings Chapter 26-first half

    The piece of brilliant jade was still able to dazzle the eyes as it flew through the darkness. Shen Qinghong, who had looked at Xiao Yu’er with a suppressed smile throughout all this, felt a shock at this point. The Lord of Monkeys appeared to have been driven mad- he grabbed Xiao Yu’er and screamed wildly, “You…you idiot, do you even know what you’ve done?”

    “How could I not know?” Xiao Yu’er returned with a laugh.

    The Lord of Monkeys hopped around frantically: “You knew that you just threw out a piece of imperial jade(?), which is equivalent to destroying a big house with smooth walls, completely tiled (?)…it’s worth three hundred big, fat oxen.”

    “Of course I also know that,” Xiao Yu’er said.

    “You…you consider this rescuing me?” cried the Lord of Monkeys. “You may as well kill me now.”

    Xiao Yu’er sighed, “Well, if you desire riches above your own life, then forget it.”

    The Lord of Monkeys protested, “But you…you…what is the point of this?”

    “I already knew that you wouldn’t see my point,” Xiao Yu’er laughed mockingly. “But even you don’t understand?”

    Those last words, of course, were meant for Shen Qinghong.

    Shen Qinghong’s face lit up. “I think I understand a little, but still not entirely.”

    Xiao Yu’er explained, “Once I cast out all these pieces of treasure, the monkeys will, of course, scramble to catch them. They would naturally, like my monkey brother here, not even dream of throwing away such curious and pretty objects.”

    “But of course.” Shen Qinghong agreed, smiling.

    “If I throw out one hundred pieces of treasure,” Xiao Yu’er went on, “at least fifty pieces will be caught by them. Then the monkeys would take the various pieces to different places, to play and catch the light with them.(?) Even if only a single piece caught someone’s attention, that person would be hooked into investigating the origin of the treasure.”

    Shen Qinghong concurred: “If it were me, I would be just the same.”

    Xiao Yu’er further postulated, “The discoverer of the treasure would not trust in his own solitary abilities. He would find a companion to help him. With this type of secret, as soon as you let a second person know, then instantly a third person will know as well. Once a third person hears of the treasure, then the third hundredth person will be aware of it too. As soon as the rumour leaks out, people will come, never you fear.”

    Clapping his hands, Shen Qinghong laughed: “Exactly. Even if the initial finder was a totally inept person, when tempted with a treasure, he would suddenly become resourceful. Besides, when the news spreads, all sorts of talents and treasure hunters will appear.”

    Xiao Yu’er sighed again: “So now you understand, we just need people to find this place, and then we’ll be sure to find a way out. The fact that neither of you managed to think of this simple strategy, is exceedingly strange.”

    The furious expression had long vanished from the Lord of Monkeys, and at this point he actually leapt up and hugged Xiao Yu’er, and began giggling crazily like a madman: “You are truly, indeed, the cleverest man alive.”

    In this way, many baubles and precious objects, the value of which most people could not earn even over a lifetime, were thrown out by Xiao Yu’er like so many rotten peaches or banana peels. Throughout all this, the Lord of Monkeys looked as if he was being gutted by knives; he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

    From then on, as Xiao Yu’er discarded more and still more treasure, the Lord of Monkeys turned blue in the face and his eyes bulged. He ceaselessly muttered and yammered aloud: “Clever one, oh clever one, do you realize how much riches you have thrown away? If we converted them into money, we could have physically filled in this entire pit of a precipice.”

    Xiao Yu’er paid no attention to him.

    By the seventh day, the Lord of Monkeys began to constantly wipe beads of sweat from his forehead, his fists clenched. He hissed, “Intelligent one, oh intelligent one, if your brilliant plan does not succeed, do you know how horribly you are going to die?”

    Xiao Yu’er replied indifferently, “If, by the time I have used up the treasure, no one has come, then you may dispose of me as you wish.” In reality he himself was also beginning to get worried. The treasure had already diminished by half, and not even a curious ghost was to be seen.

    Eventually the Lord of Monkeys seized the chests and sat on top of them, howling: “No more, don’t even think about touching them!”

    “So you really value treasure above your own life?” Xiao Yu’er asked.

    The Lord of Monkeys ground his teeth: “I have suffered fifteen long years for the sake of this treasure. If it all goes to waste at the hands of a runt like you, what’s the point of living?”

    Xiao Yu’er rolled his eyes: “What you say is not entirely unreasonable. But think, it might just take one more precious item to bring some rescuers. It’s a shame to go so far and waste our efforts now.(?)”

    The Lord of Monkeys rubbed his head, thinking, “This…”

    Xiao Yu’er looked at him, smiling, and leisurely added, “Perhaps it just needs one more…only one…”

    At last the Lord of Monkeys gave a screech, and sprang aside: “You little pipsqueak, you’ve got quite a tongue. All right, you’ve convinced me.”

    If it needed one more item, then perhaps it needed two. And if it took two pieces, then maybe three…days passed like this, and still not a soul could be seen.

    Now the Lord of Monkeys seized Xiao Yu’er’s clothes, teeth grinding –grr grr- and hissed: “What does the pipsqueak have to say now?”

    Xiao Yu’er said, “You never know, it could just take…”

    “It could just take one more, right?!” the Lord of Monkeys screamed.

    “Precisely,” Xiao Yu’er laughed.

    The Lord of Monkeys stamped his foot: “Dog crap on your mother! You’ve made me suffer enough, and you still want to…want to…” Two hands, like monkey paws, reached out to wring Xiao Yu’er’s neck.

    At that moment Shen Qinghong let out a “hey”, then whispered, “Someone’s coming!”

    By the side of the cave, a person’s head half peeked out.

    It was indeed someone’s head, which had been combed into a (?) style, but the hat that should have been sitting on it was gone, apparently swept off by the wind.

    This person’s eyebrows were thick and dark, he looked quite threatening. But the eyebrows were drawn together in the middle, as if he was troubled by something. Even if he had many troubles, it was not apparent from his eyes(?).

    His eyes bulged out from his face, almost as if the eyeballs were growing out of the sockets. His pupils were fixed and motionless, while the whites were crisscrossed with blood vessels. Those bloodshot eyes stared at the three people in the cave, empty and expressionless.

    Although these were clearly the eyes of a person, they somehow were not. Such large eyes, and yet no signs of life in them! Xiao Yu’er, Shen Qinghong and the Lord of Monkeys were all looking back at those eyes. Stare as they might, yet for some reason, their hearts all felt a chill.

    Those expressionless and lifeless eyes seemed so cruel, so cold and so terrifying. The motionless pupils carried an inexorable air of death.

    The Lord of Monkeys couldn’t help shouting, “Who the h*ll are you?”
    His cry was cut short-the head flew through the air towards them!

    No hands, no chest, no body…no nothing. This was definitely only a head, one solitary, human head.

    The Lord of Monkeys stood there, stunned. From outside the cave there floated the sounds of eerie, threatening laughter, as a few monkeys showed their laughing faces.

    Xiao Yu’er let out a breath, and smilingly scolded them, “So it was you who were playing tricks!”

    But this head could not have been severed by the monkeys.

    Shen Qinghong picked up the head, and looked at the eyebrows, the bulging pair of eyes. He muttered, “But who killed him?”

    Xiao Yu’er glanced outside at the setting sun, and said slowly, “The killer should arrive shortly.”

    But no one arrived, killer or otherwise.

    The sunset stretched into the long, deep night, which also exhausted itself. During this long while, the Lord of Monkeys could neither sit nor stand still. The misty colours of dawn gradually penetrated the darkness of the cave…Without warning, a hand reached in from the outside of the cave!

    The five fingers on this hand resembled hooks, as if they wished to grasp something. But the hand was empty. The hand somehow looked sinister in the early morning light. The Lord of Monkeys flew over with the speed of wind, and seized the wrist. Without using much force, however, the entire hand was wrenched into the cave!

    Once again, this was a single, solitary hand. And as before, it had been completely cut off. The blood at the wound had already clotted and congealed into a miserable red colour. There was a scar on the back of the hand, long and deep, with twists and turns like the writhing of a snake. Presumably, many years ago this hand had also been chopped at and narrowly missed an amputation.

    The faces of the monkeys with their sly smiles swayed outside the cave, red as if painted with fresh blood.(?) The Lord of Monkeys ground his teeth audibly, and hissed: “The head precedes, and then the hand follows. Heaven forbid, the next body part will be a stinky foot.”

    Xiao Yu’er declared, “The head and the hand do not belong to the same person.”

    “How would you know? Did you ask him?” the Lord of Monkeys laughed coldly.

    Xiao Yu’er observed: “The skin on the face was delicate and soft. On the hand, however, it was like sandpaper. Even if you can’t see it, you should be able to feel the difference.”

    “Hmph!” the Lord of Monkeys retorted. After a while, he couldn’t help admitting, “Then perhaps the hand belongs to another person…”

    “Correct,” Xiao Yu’er said. “Furthermore, it was this hand that chopped off that head!”

    The Lord of Monkeys said, surprised: “What, you know that too? Did you witness it?”

    “Take a look at the hand,” Xiao Yu’er explained. “A single glance, and you should know that this hand is a strong one. Only a hand with this kind of strength could achieve a clean decapitation with one stroke.”

    “Hmph!” the Lord of Monkeys said once more.

    Xiao Yu’er elaborated further: “If you note the markings on this hand, you can tell that just before it was amputated, it must have been tightly gripping a blade. And not just any blade, but the weapon must have been a rare, precious one. Therefore, as soon as the hand that held it was chopped off, the blade was wrenched from its grasp… A strong hand gripping a keen blade, this must have made it much easier to cut off someone’s head. What doesn’t make sense is, how exactly was the hand severed?”

    Shen Qinghong suddenly let out a long sigh: “You speak truly; this is indeed a strong hand, and it was indeed gripping a valuable weapon.”

    The Lord of Monkeys laughed mockingly, his eyes flashed: “Ha, and all of a sudden you are sure of this too?”

    “Of course I do,” Shen Qinghong retorted. “The head I might not know, but the hand I certainly recognize.”

    Xiao Yu’er raised his eyebrows, and guessed: “Is it the scar you recognize?”

    “Precisely.” Shen Qinghong confirmed. “I was the one who injured the hand and made this scar. And it was I who applied healing herbs to this wound. Judging from the way it healed, I(?)…how could I forget?” His voice betrayed much sadness.

    The Lord of Monkeys scratched his nose, saying: “First you wounded him, then you gave him medicines… are you mentally ill or something?”

    Xiao Yu’er blinked his eyes, thinking aloud: “That cut must have been an accident. Thus, at once you felt regret and applied the medicines to the hand, is that it?”

    “Exactly,” Shen Qinghong agreed with a sad smile.

    “In that case, this person must be your friend?” Xiao Yu’er asked.

    Shen Qinghong sighed deeply once again: “In former days, this person was known in wulin as “Boss Tie, the Golden Blade”. Tie Yulong and I were certainly good friends, but it was only because we were competing for the position of protection agency boss that I…I accidentally sliced his hand once. Afterwards I wished to make amends, but he…he had left without saying goodbye. This was roughly twenty years ago now. Who could have guessed that today, he…” Shen Qinghong turned his head away.

    The Lord of Monkeys mused, “ ‘Boss Tie, the Golden Blade’ …hmm, I have heard of this name before. Apparently he not only had more guts, but his martial arts were also superior to yours. What a pity that he wasn’t as devious as you, and so he suffered that blow.”

    Shen Qinghong gloomily agreed, “I am far from his equal.”

    The Lord of Monkeys drew his eyebrows together, and anxiously said: “This person’s martial arts were quite good in the first place. In these twenty years, he must have trained hard, to make up for his injury. Thus his martial arts must have improved quite a bit. Yet even at that advanced level, his hand was cut off. The perpetrator must be very skilled; we must therefore be very cautious.”

    After this speech, he said nothing more, but would only sit cross-legged(?) in the darkest corner of the cave, breathing evenly and cultivating his chi(?), staring at the entrance to the cave.

    Outside the cave, it began to brighten, a tiny breeze was carrying the fragrance and warmth of summer. Occasionally the queer howls of laughter from the monkeys sounded back and forth(?).

    The sunlight, the scents and the warmth, such unfettered freedom… tears suddenly streamed from Shen Qinghong’s eyes. He turned his head and said hoarsely, “Do you…do you honestly think someone will come? Will someone really find this place?”

    Xiao Yu’er responded: “They will.”

    Shen Qinghong asked, “But who will come? And will they rescue us or not?”

    The Lord of Monkeys gave a ferocious laugh: “Of course they will. No matter who, I don’t care, I just need them to lower a rope, that rope…”

    “But if what they want is not you, but your treasure, once they come in here they will kill you, what do they care?” Shen Qinghong interrupted.

    Cackling wildly, the Lord of Monkeys replied, “They can’t kill me, no one can kill me…before they even saw me, I would have killed them first.”

    Shen Qinghong persisted: “And what if it was a friend, you would still kill…”

    The Lord of Monkeys hooted with laughter: “Friend? On this earth, who is my friend? From the age of seven I have been friendless. When I hear the word “friend” I want to vomit.”

    Shen Qinghong slowly blinked his eyes and said: “Very well then.”

    The Lord of Monkeys instructed them, slowly and clearly pronouncing his words: “The two of you, if you want to live to get out of here, don’t do anything stupid. In fact, it doesn’t matter if you don’t do anything. Just when the person enters, distract him, otherwise…”

    Suddenly with a “sough” sound, a sword flew straight into the cave. Without waiting for it to hit the cave wall, Shen Qinghong had already seized it in his hand. He saw a blue light shimmer along the blade; although it was not a rare treasure, it was still certainly a well-crafted weapon(?).

    The Lord of Monkeys shouted: “Where is the swordsman?”

    “The swordsman?” Xiao Yu’er slowly repeated. “Doubtless he is also dead. This weapon was flung into the cave by your monkey brothers. If the sword’s owner were still alive, how could he permit such a well-made weapon fall into the hands of apes?”

    “But of course. While the man exists, so does the sword; when the man dies, the sword also is no more…” sighed Shen Qinghong.

    He lightly stroked the intricate and elegant sword, and found that exact sentiment carved into the blade in eight golden words like glittering thread: “Man and sword live and perish as one.”

    “To match this sword, its owner must have been a superb swordsman,” Xiao Yu’er remarked.

    Shen Qinghong thrust the sword before Xiao Yu’er, saying: “Examine the sword; are there any further markings besides these eight words?”

    There were three golden circles also inscribed on the blade.

    Xiao Yu’er blinked: “Nothing much, merely three circles…”

    Shen Qinghong heaved a sigh: “You are correct in what your eyes observe. But these mere three circles… did you know what serious meaning these would have among the heroes of wulin?”

    “What do they mean?” Xiao Yu’er asked.

    “With these three circles alone,” explained Shen Qinghong, “you could procure vast quantities of silver and gold. You could change the lives of a thousand people. (?) You could make bitter rivals shake hands and vow peace. And you could also turn sworn brothers into lifelong enemies.”

    Laughing, Xiao Yu’er said, “There must be some devilry in these circles then.” Shen Qinghong replied: “They contain no devilry, but these three circles are the mark of “Hunter of spirits, raider of lives, Three-Ring Swordsman” Shen Yang. By using those three circles, a task could be accomplished as easily as crossing a river.” (?)

    “Oh, I see,” Xiao Yu’er said. “This Shen character truly has such influence and power?”

    Shen Qinghong continued: “This Three-Ring Sword is one of the ‘Famed Seven Swords’. As for his stroke “Three Rings Envelop the Moon”, when Shen Yang executes it, it is truly…”

    Shen Qinghong fell silent for a while, then with a long sigh he said, “The Three Ring Swordsman, dying in this fashion, is really something I could not have imagined. From this we can see, the caliber of the experts you have lured here with your treasure, must be great indeed.”

    Xiao Yu’er said, amused: “At the top of the precipice, they must be fighting like mad right now. Only too bad we couldn’t see it.”

    Moodily, Shen Qinghong commented: “True. At this moment, up above, there must be so many of our wulin peers and friends shedding blood and taking lives. This is all as a result of your doing, you should be regretful and sorrowful, instead of…”

    Laughing even harder, Xiao Yu’er pointed out to him: “The sort of people who would, for mere metal and baubles (?), take others’ lives and risk their own, should not be calling themselves heroes of wulin. To my mind, they’re nothing but a herd of idiots; who deserves to be mocked if not them?”

    A brief pause. Shen Qinghong fell silent, and slowly lowered his head. With a sigh he spoke again: “Fighting so ruthlessly for such superficial gains…on second thought, it really does seem stupid. But I…how could I claim to be different from them?”

    Xiao Yu’er told him, “If you start talking with me more often, who knows, in the future you may just get a little smarter.”

    This day also was spent in nervous anticipation. The Lord of Monkeys opened his already wide eyes even further. The day slowly faded, and his eyes became like two lanterns for some intense, brilliant ghost lights(?).

    It was close to midnight,(?) and not a soul was visible outside the cave entrance. But just when they had waited until the long, long night had almost exhausted itself, from the endless outer darkness, there suddenly came a burst of loud noise. Earsplitting and devious cackles; it was the monkeys laughing again.

    His eyebrows drawn together, Xiao Yu’er scolded, “Monkeys, it’s the middle of the night, why are you making all this racket?”

    Shen Qinghong said heavily: “The monkeys dislike the night. If they are making so much noise now, there must be a reason for it.”

    He had barely finished speaking, when “ding dong, wa-la” –a stream of clattering noises announced that the monkeys had hurled about ten or so objects into the cave. The cave interior was pitch-black; no one could see what these objects were. The monkeys’ laughter gradually faded, as if they had accomplished some obscure mission and had left.

    Xiao Yu’er felt around blindly, and grasped an object. He said, “This feels like a sickled(?) sword.”

    Shen Qinghong said glumly, “A sickled sword? In recent years this type of weapon has become rather rare in wulin, and its strokes have gradually been lost to the common repertoire. Anyone able to use this type of sword, must be a top-notch practitioner.”

    “Then it seems, once again, that a top-notch practitioner has just lost his life,” Xiao Yu’er quipped.

    He again searched with his fingers, and fished up another object. Shen Qinghong asked, “What is that?”

    “It is round, smooth, and has a chain attached(?),” Xiao Yu’er noted. “Seems like a morningstar, yet not exactly. (1) I can’t really tell what it is.”

    Shen Qinghong repeated, mumbling: “Round? And smooth…ah, perhaps it is the most poisonous weapon of the Five Great Sects(?) of wulin, ‘the Pearl of Thunder and Five Poisons’!”

    Xiao Yu’er said, “Pearl of Thunder and Five Poisons, this name sounds quite powerful.”

    “When you use it,” Shen Qinghong explained, “you use the same technique as with ordinary morningstars, but in the copper sphere there lies some hidden projectiles. When an enemy encounters it, the hidden projectiles will fly out. Even a high-level martial arts expert would be hard pressed to avoid injury. In this way, the possessor of this weapon, Yang Lu, became quite feared throughout most of wulin.”

    Although Shen Qinghong had been gone from wulin for fifteen years, his knowledge of its inner secrets was as detailed as though they were his household heirlooms.(?)

    Xiao Yu’er laughed: “Well apparently this Yang fellow didn’t get to show off his special technique this time before he was killed. The killer undoubtedly must be an expert of the highest quality.”

    “Take another look, do you see anything more?” Shen Qinghong prompted. “But be careful, since there are experts here from the Five Sects, these objects here must be reeking of poison.”

    Laughing, Xiao Yu’er reassured him, “Do I look like the type of person who would fall for another’s poison? Of course I covered my hands in cloth first. Hmm, there’s a sword here that resembles a Nine-Ring sword.” He made a thrust with his hand; an ear-numbing noise thundered forth.

    “Judging from that sound,” Shen Qinghong observed, “this sword sounds extremely heavy.”

    “It is indeed,” Xiao Yu’er agreed. “About fifty catties, I’m afraid.”

    Shen Qinghong said, “The noise alone from such a sword would be lethal. Presumably its owner had incredible arm strength and martial arts, definitely not below Golden Blade Tie Yulong. Indeed, it could be ‘Evil-Cleansing Sword’ Zeng Lun!”

    Xiao Yu’er continued searching: “Here we have a Judge’s Pen. It’s very heavy too. To be able to use this pen to seal acupoints, the user’s abilities must also be quite superb.”

    “Pass it over, let me see it,” Shen Qinghong said.

    “See it?” joked Xiao Yu’er. “Don’t you mean- let me touch it? I don’t think you could see anything right now.”

    Shen Qinghong’s finger ran lightly over the cold and strong brush. Where he gripped the brush, he thought he felt many engraved words. He blindly spelled them out with his fingers moving down the brush.

    At the top were carved the four words: “Those without righteousness die”.

    Shen Qinghong cried out: “Indeed, it is the ‘Judge of Life and Death’ Zhao Gong, he…how did he die as well?”

    “All people die, what is so strange about that?” asked Xiao Yu’er.

    “But…but the “Judge of Life and Death” was the foremost expert alive in wulin with respect to sealing acupoints. His martial arts were unsurpassed in the central plains. Who killed him? In fact, who could have killed him?!”

    Xiao Yu’er hypothesized, “It is possible that he didn’t die, but was merely parted from his weapon.”

    Shen Qinghong disagreed: “All martial arts experts everywhere, without question, view their esteemed weapons as their lives. Since these weapons have fallen into the hands of monkeys, their owners must have lost their lives as well!”

    By this time, a faint light had started shining into the cave. Although it was not strong, it was enough for the keen eyes of Shen Qinghong and the others to perceive clearly the state of the lost weapons.

    They saw that besides the sickled sword, the Pearl of Five Poisons, and the Nine-Ring sword, there were also two other swords, a spear, a pair of tiger’s head hooks(?), three steel projectiles(?) and two bags of stealth projectiles.

    Shen Qinghong picked up one of the other swords. It was light and skillfully crafted, its blade thin as paper. He said, “This is from the pair of swords called ‘Dragon and Phoenix in Twin Flight, Mandarins’ Swords’ – it is the ‘Skyward Phoenix’ sword. Where is its partner ‘Divine Dragon”? Perhaps they were forced apart…ai!”

    He continued, “The Dragon and Phoenix, what a pair…throughout wulin, they were considered to have wings- they could soar and glide the skies for nine days straight, who could have guessed that in the end, they would be separated by a cruel hand!”

    Sighing, he put down the “Skyward Phoenix” sword. His eyes swept from the spear to the tiger’s head hooks and across the other weapons. His sighs became heavier, and he muttered: “All of these people died for the same reason, this I could never have dreamed of. Certainly the fierce fighting and violent conditions under which they perished, we will not see again in a hundred years.”

    Xiao Yu’er said, “These people not only died, but evidently they died at the same time. To be able to kill so many experts simultaneously, this killer’s abilities must be unimaginable. Can you guess who it was?”

    Shen Qinghong mused, “The people who could slay so many experts at once, are definitely few in number. However, I would say there are about seven or eight. Among them, the ones who have the most skillful martial arts and who use the cruelest tactics, are the two princesses of the Floral Palace!”

    The tone of his voice changed somewhat on uttering the final two words. He glanced about in all directions, as if afraid that the two princesses, beautiful as fairies yet monster-like in their brutality, might suddenly appear out of the darkness.

    Xiao Yu’er smiled and reassured him, “Don’t worry. They would never appear in such an uncouth place.”

    Shen Qinghong released his held breath, and said, “You’re right. Those two are like lofty fairies, why would they kill for such earthly treasures? They are assuredly not the murderers.”

    “Besides them, who else is there?” Xiao Yu’er pressed.

    “Among the “Ten Evils” of old,” Shen Qinghong declared, “the ones with the highest martial arts were “Bloody Hand” Du Sha and “Mad Lion” Tie Shan. I’m afraid they would also be capable of such cruel tactics.”

    Xiao Yu’er rejected the idea: “Neither of them is a possibility.”

    Shen Qinghong corrected himself, “That is right. The first one, no one knows his current whereabouts. According to rumour, he has taken shelter in the “Valley of Evil”. What about “Mad Lion” Tie Shan? Ai…if these people were killed by him, even their weapons would have been torn to pieces; they would never escape intact like this.”

    “Who else is there?” Xiao Yu’er repeated.

    Shen Qinghong replied, “There are a few, but their names are not worth mentioning.”

    “Why is that?”

    “Because although their martial arts are indeed first-class, they are honourable and righteous, truly the heroes of our generation, and would never stoop so low as this kind of act. For example, the Peerless Celestial Sword, Yan Nantian! Although this esteemed swordsman could easily kill those people, he would not, unless they were evildoers. He would rather endure suffering himself than wrongfully commit a murder. “

    Xiao Yu’er had been waiting for him to name Yan Nantian; now, upon hearing Shen Qinghong’s description, his blood rose in his chest, warm and rushing. He cried: “Well spoken! Truly a man! If a man lives on this earth, he should live like Yan Nantian, so that at the mere mention of his name, one would raise a thumb in admiration.”

    Shen Qinghong stared at the Lord of Monkeys, and said loudly, “Not only those who have benefited from him, praise him to the skies both openly and behind his back, but even his enemies would not dare speak ill of him outside of his presence.”

    The Lord of Monkeys sneered coldly: “Ha, you think I wouldn’t dare mock him?”

    Without warning, Shen Qinghong was on his feet. He shouted: “How dare you?”

    The Lord of Monkeys sighed, saying: “Although I do wish to curse him, I don’t even know exactly how I should.”

    Shen Qinghong burst into loud laughter: “Did you hear that? Of course there are people who want to curse him, but they don’t even know how. This is because he has never in his life done anything to be ashamed of. Although I haven’t seen him in fifteen years, but this kind of man, who has no regrets under heaven or on earth, must still be alive and well, wouldn’t you agree?”

    Xiao Yu’er echoed, “Definitely, he must be alive and well! He must be living a good life right now…” As he spoke, his eyes moistened. He lowered his head, and hurriedly picked up one of the bags of stealth projectiles, spilling its contents on the floor.

    They saw that there were thirteen poison needles, seven clusters of black metal projectiles (?) , and also one big pile of poison sand. Shen Qinghong’s face changed colour. He said, “The River (?) sect also sent people here!”

    Xiao Yu’er said, “The perpetrator could not be in the list of people you just named. Yet the person also could not be from among the few you said weren’t worth mentioning. In that case, do you have any idea who it is?”

    Shen Qinghong sighed, “I honestly don’t think I would be able to guess.”

    Xiao Yu’er stretched out his cramped waist. He said, “Well, it doesn’t matter anyway. He’ll definitely come soon, let’s just wait and see.”

    The fear and wariness was apparent in the Lord of Monkeys’ wide, round eyes, even though he was indeed confident in his own martial arts, and that they would be able to overpower the killer in the darkness. But the martial arts of the approaching, unfathomable enemy were truly too strong! It was enough to chill one’s courage. If he were to miss on the first stroke, he may not have another chance to attack.

    A breeze gently stirred. Outside the cave unexpectedly there appeared a hand. It was delicate, beautiful and graceful. Each finger seemed carved from white jade. Even the most critical person alive would not be able to pick out a flaw from this hand.

    But here, in this kind of place, to suddenly see such a captivating sight, seemed extremely eerie and strange. To the eyes of Shen Qinghong and the others, this perfect and elegant jade hand, truly seemed to have a sad, mysteriously bewitching air. You could not help but wonder if this could really be a human hand. Right now the Lord of Monkeys appeared to have stopped breathing; he was speechless.

    They saw the hand lightly knock on the stone at the cave entrance…the hand had moved, and so had the fingers, this could not be a dead person’s hand!

    Then a gentle and sweet voice laughed, like a silver bell: “Is anyone home?”

    At this moment and in such a place, they could hardly believe such words could be spoken, by such a soft voice. It sounded as if a neighbour’s young wife had dropped by on a casual social visit. The hair was raised on their skin as the Lord of Monkeys and Shen Qinghong listened. They looked at each other, not knowing whether to laugh or cry. Neither could find any words to say.

    Xiao Yu’er rolled his eyes and replied, laughing: “Oh yes, there certainly are, and quite a few of us!”

    The speaker teased, “Well then, if you are home, you should come out and open the door!”

    “Unfortunately yesterday I ate somebody’s sweets(?) without paying for it, so they came and confiscated my door,” Xiao Yu’er joked back.

    He was answered by another silvery peal of laughter: “I have been waiting outside so long that my legs are getting weak, may I come in and sit for a while?”

    “Of course you may,” said Xiao Yu’er. “But be careful when you enter. The threshold is quite high, you wouldn’t want to tear your new dress.”

    The voice replied, “Many thanks to you.”


    End of Chapter 26


    (1) This is a major guess here, any suggestions would be great- from the description that Xiao Yu’er and Shen Qinghong toss around, it sounds like a great big ball and a chain i.e. a ball and chain mace…I would have called it that, but the 流星锤 translates to more like…comet hammer. Apparently, besides a ball and chain mace, a variation on the weapon is called a morningstar or a morganstern in German. But the morningstar was always spiked, and they never mentioned spikes in TLS. Hey, it’s a small detail- I figured morningstar was closer to the spirit of the thing.
    Last edited by Wubbles; 04-02-05 at 10:33 AM.

  12. #212
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    Thanks for the post!

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    Senior Member fastclock's Avatar
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    Xiao Yu'Er keeps meeting with these strange people.
    Either his luck is broke or just the opposite.

    Thanks for the translation.

  14. #214
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastclock
    Xiao Yu'Er keeps meeting with these strange people.
    Either his luck is broke or just the opposite.

    Thanks for the translation.
    A flock of strange people that come after another is GL novel trademark, you also can found them in earlier chapters of XLFD novel

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    Ya...I haven't read much of Gu Long's works but I also noticed the parade of new and bizarre characters...was hard to keep them all straight-but I guess it keeps the plot fresh. I guess this part is just to let the reader know how incredible the killer must be.

    Happy April Fools' weekend to everyone!

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    bump for reposts
    明月心跳起來,又回頭,嫣然道,“你還要不要我帶上那面具?”
    傅紅雪冷道,“現在你臉上豈非已經戴上了個面具?”

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    The Legendary Siblings Chapter 27

    A young girl, clad in a light blouse and green dress, with a sprig of fresh mountain flowers tucked into her hair, stepped elegantly into the cave. Her steps were delicate, her waist was slender and graceful. Although she had obviously just climbed in out of a steep and dangerous precipice, she truly looked as if she were nothing more than a young woman stepping over a threshold. Even the flowers at her hair were firmly tucked into place, and not crooked a bit.

    In the darkness, the Lord of Monkeys flew at her wildly like a forceful wind- straight towards the delicate and tender girl. It appeared she was about to be thrown out, but then, inexplicably, her waist twisted aside slightly, and there she stood still, gracefully, behind the Lord of Monkeys.

    The Lord of Monkeys spun around in shock, and was about to strike a second time. The maiden in a green dress threw him an enchanting smile, and said softly, “Sir, if you wish me to leave, I will leave of course, there is no need for you to waste so much energy and get so upset.” The smiling face was as beautiful as a living flower, sweet as honey.

    The Lord of Monkeys fumed: “You…you…”

    Although he feared no-one, and was a cruel and devious creature, when faced with such a gentle, and pretty girl, his heart was moved in spite of itself. He found he could no longer hurl insults at her.

    The maiden in a green dress said, “If this kind sir desires it, I will stay here, and cook for you. I will clean for you, mend your clothes…”

    During all this time, Xiao Yu’er had stared at her with wide, steady eyes. Now he suddenly gave a happy laugh: “I have a better idea- why don’t you be my little wife.”

    The girl clad in green smiled demurely, “If you really want me to be your wife, that would be my happiest wish. Such a clever and handsome husband like you, I couldn’t find in ten years of searching- unfortunately…”

    “Unfortunately what?” Xiao Yu’er interrupted.

    She continued softly, “It’s just that I’m too old for you, when you’re thirty, I’ll already be an old woman. By then, you would want to cast me aside, yet you wouldn’t have the heart to. Wouldn’t that be placing a burden on you? How could I bear to do that?”

    Xiao Yu’er clearly knew that she spoke not one word of truth, but somehow, when her words sang in his ears, his heart felt very warm and soft. He couldn’t help smiling: “Instead of complaining that I was too young, you instead claimed that you yourself were too old. Any girl like you, who has such a way with words, it wouldn’t matter if she were a bloodthirsty, murdering pig, I would still like her.”

    “No matter whether you are sincere or not, these words I will forever keep in my heart,” the maiden in a green dress said tenderly.

    “And what if I don’t want to stay?” the Lord of Monkeys cut in harshly, changing the subject.

    She replied, “If you, sir, find this place too confining, and wish to roam outside, I’ve already set up a ladder, you may exit at any time.”

    “Really?” the Lord of Monkeys whispered.

    The green-skirted girl reassured him, “Sir, if you are still worried, you may go up first, and then we will follow. Leave this young gentleman to carry the chest with him last. In this way, you may relax, and we will rest assured also.”

    In his heart were a million voices telling him not to heed her; yet her words did indeed sound reasonable, and were just what he wanted to hear. So the Lord of Monkeys couldn’t help but be convinced. Even Shen Qinghong, who was certain that this girl must be a cold-blooded monster, seemed to have fallen under her spell; he nodded as he listened.

    The two of them thought hard and searched their minds, and still failed to find any evil intent in her actions. What she said made sense, she had considered others as well as herself.

    Xiao Yu’er clapped his hands: “This is indeed the best way. If anyone else climbed up first, my monkey brother would certainly be anxious. Since we’re letting him ascend first, he must wait until finally the treasure chest comes up too. This way he won’t cut the rope.”

    The Lord of Monkeys stared hard at the young girl, and couldn’t restrain himself from asking: “You…you did this entirely with good intentions?”

    The maiden gently protested: “But why would I have any malicious intent?” The Lord of Monkeys cried out: “Are there truly people as good as you in this world?”

    “I was born with this nature,” she lightly sighed. “I only think of others, and do things for them, without thinking for myself.”

    The Lord of Monkeys’ eyes flashed, and darted back and forth, but he could still not figure out why he should mistrust her. He stamped his foot and declared, “Very well. I don’t care if you’re good or evil. Let’s just get up there first!” His heart long ago had been bursting with impatience. The sunlight, the warm wind, the free world outside, beckoned to him invitingly.

    He peeked his head out. As she said, there indeed was a long rope dangling down from above, as thick as an arm. If this rope were somehow rigged to break under a weight, the maiden in a green dress herself would be trapped here with them. So therefore, if the rope were safe, there must be some other trick here. But he’d deal with it after he climbed up first.

    The Lord of Monkeys pondered and reflected, but still could not come up with any sound strategy. At last he decided to ignore his suspicions, and sprang forward to grab the rope. Laughing gleefully, he cried, “Shen Qinghong, you follow me…”

    His laughter was abruptly cut short as his body twisted and plunged straight down the vertical cliff face, thousands of feet down. All that could be heard now were screams of agony.

    Shen Qinghong’s face went white. In alarm, his voice cracked: “This, this…”

    The maiden in green had also turned pale. She said in a trembling voice, “How...how did this happen?”

    Shen Qinghong whipped around to face her. He thundered, “I think we should be asking you this question!”

    She said, “Perhaps…perhaps he was too aged and could not grip the rope properly?”

    “I want the truth,” Shen Qinghong demanded. “Just how did you tamper with the rope?”

    She looked at him with eyes clearer than autumn springs, innocent like a child. Softly she insisted, “There is nothing wrong with the rope. It didn’t break; didn’t I just come down on this rope a short while ago? If you don’t believe me, give it a tug.”

    Accordingly Shen Qinghong reached out his hand, when Xiao Yu’er stopped him dead with a laugh: “Let’s say the rope had a few poison needles hidden within it, that wouldn’t feel very nice when you tugged it, would it?”

    Instantly Shen Qinghong’s hand snaked backwards like lightning. In a loud voice he declared, “You are right. This rope must have contained poison needles, otherwise the Lord of Monkeys would not have loosened his grip. What a vicious woman you are- my eyes are indeed opened today!”

    The tears shone brightly in the girl’s eyes. She said sadly, “If you insist on being suspicious, I can say no more. In that case, I…I can only pull it myself for you to see.” Upon those words she began to ascend the rope.

    Shen Qinghong watched her go up with wide eyes. Her body, graceful as a dancer’s, began to recede upwards into the sky. He began to get anxious, and slightly regretful. He really didn’t dare to climb up on the same rope as this possibly evil, potentially blameless young girl. Yet to just helplessly watch this opportunity escape, would be heartbreaking.

    He struggled with his doubts, unsure whether to take the chance. At this moment, this enigmatic young girl came lightly sliding back down again. Xiao Yu’er laughed: “Oh, I knew you would come back.”

    She softly sighed: “Well, I was thinking of leaving you, but really I couldn’t bear to. Ai! Why is my heart always so tender, I don’t even know myself.”

    She lightly swept her eyes over to Shen Qinghong, then said to him, “Whether the rope can be trusted or not, you should know by now.”

    By this time, Shen Qinghong no longer knew whose words to believe. He even began to wonder if the Lord of Monkeys hadn’t in fact accidentally lost his grip on the rope and fallen.

    The green maiden said leisurely, “If you still have doubts, why not use cloth to cover your hands first?”

    Shen Qinghong looked at the rope. Then he gazed outside the cave, at the blue skies and clear heavens. Finally he glanced at the gloomy, dark interior of the cave, and he brooded on the long, hard fifteen years he had spent here.

    This kind of chance was not easy to pass up.

    He gritted his teeth, and eventually looked at Xiao Yu’er. Xiao Yu’er himself had his eyebrows drawn together tightly, and said, “Don’t look at me, I’m also out of ideas. And yet…I think this rope shouldn’t break, otherwise she would not have been able to descend on it.”

    Shen Qinghong expelled a long breath. Then: “At this point, I must give it a try no matter what.”

    He leapt up, and gripping the rope he started to climb.

    Xiao Yu’er’s spirits also lifted as he saw him ascend. One foot, now two…he had reached thirty or forty metres. Xiao Yu’er released his held breath. He smiled and teased the young girl: “I still can’t figure out whether you’re a good or bad person...”

    His words were cut short- the rope snapped.

    Shen Qinghong screamed, he struggled, and fell past the cave entrance straight down. In the blink of an eye he was out of sight. All that remained of him was the echo of his shocked cries reverberating off the surrounding cliffs.

    Xiao Yu’er stood there stunned, eyes wide open. For a moment he was speechless. Finally he mumbled, “You…you…you truly are a monster, tricking these people to their deaths!”

    The girl smiled captivatingly: “Oh? Really?”

    “You placed venomous needles in the rope to poison the old monkey,” Xiao Yu’er grimly accused her. “Then you cut the rope across half its thickness, to trick Shen Qinghong. But with your skill in martial arts, you never needed to use such devious methods to kill them!”

    Pleasantly, she explained: “There’s not much point in killing them using skills in violence. Never in my life have I lifted so much as a finger to kill a single person. All of them died voluntarily and of their own free will.”

    “But I still don’t understand,” Xiao Yu’er said. “Since the rope is now severed, how are you going to get back up?”

    The girl in green said, “This place is nice and comfortable, I like it here; I don’t intend on leaving.”

    Xiao Yu’er scratched his head in surprise, then smiled wryly, “A girl saying something that I can’t figure out; you are indeed the first.”

    She gazed at him steadily, then said softly, “Your friends died by my hand, aren’t you going to avenge them?”

    He sighed: “I can’t beat you with my martial arts, and I’m not skilled enough to trick you either, how am I supposed to avenge them? Besides, as you said, you didn’t force them, they willingly let themselves be fooled.”

    “You’re not angry or upset at all?” she asked.

    Xiao Yu’er said, “Of these two, one of them deserved to die a long time ago. The other one was ready to die fifteen years before. Their deaths today are therefore appropriate, why should I be upset?”

    Her eyes darted back and forth, then she said, giggling: “You little kid, I’ve never met anyone like you.”

    Joining in her laughter, Xiao Yu’er said, “Right then, you can start tricking me. Go ahead, lure me to my death.”

    The maiden in green said, “If I did that, I’d be pretty lonely all here by myself…”

    Xiao Yu’er said, wide-eyed, “You…you mean you’re really not going back up there?”

    “I don’t have wings, and I can’t fly,” she replied.

    He was silent for a while. Finally he smiled: “You really are a monster among women!”

    She joked back: “If I was a girl monster, you would be a baby monster.”

    Xiao Yu’er sighed: “That’s actually quite right. A girl monster and a little monster, spending their lives in this ghostly cave. Perhaps in the future we’ll spawn a whole brood of tiny monster babies…” Before he had finished, she was laughing so hard she was doubled over.

    Unexpectedly, a wave of crazed laughter floated over from afar.

    A demented voice cackled, “Xiao, you wench, you can’t run from me, your old man knows where you’re hiding. He’s waiting for you here, you can’t wait forever down there!” (1)

    The voice clearly came from somewhere in the mist and mountains, but it sounded like it was madly screaming right in your ear. Instantly the girl’s expression changed; now it was whiter than paper.

    Xiao Yu’er asked, “Who is he?”

    She answered, “He…he isn’t human, he’s an old fiend!”

    “Are you really that afraid of him?” Xiao Yu’er demanded.

    The maiden in a green dress shook her head and sighed, “You don’t understand, you don’t…the things he does to you, no one could imagine.”

    They heard the voice cry out again: “Xiao, you’re really not coming up?”

    She bit her lip and made no reply.

    After a pause, the voice called out, “All right then, your old man is going to count to ten. If you don’t come up by then, and you wait for me to catch you, I swear I will keep you in a living hell for ten days and ten nights straight. If I let you suffer less a minute, I won’t call myself a man!”

    Xiao Yu’er blinked his eyes, then sighed, “It appears that he has the ability to torture people beyond the point of being able to die.”

    The voice howled, “We’re counting down now! One!”

    The strength seemed to drain from her entire body; the green maiden collapsed onto the floor, unable to move. The flowers that were tucked into her hair shook uncontrollably.

    “Two!”

    Xiao Yu’er’s eyes flickered. “Could it be that he is one of the ‘Ten Evils’?”

    The girl sighed, “The ‘Ten Evils’, when compared with him, would be obedient little children.”

    Xiao Yu’er cried out, shocked, “You mean he’s worse than the ‘Ten Evils’?”

    “Three!” the voice shouted.

    “What’s his name?” Xiao Yu’er asked her after a pause.

    She answered, “You wouldn’t recognize it.”

    He said, “Well if he’s more vicious than the ‘Ten Evils’, his name should be exceedingly famous.”

    The girl in green let out a long sigh: “Don’t you know that dogs who give the most vicious bites, are usually the most silent? The nameless ones are the most to be feared. Even if he committed the most unimaginable horrors, no-one would know.”

    “Four!” the voice hollered. “Fine, it appears that you’re not coming back up. Would you like to hear how your old man will torture you when he does catch you?” It seemed the speaker was in the throes of a paroxysmal rage. He screamed, “When I get you, I’ll poke out one of your eyes, then start filling its socket with salt water. Ten days later, your entire body will be a hunk of salted pork.”

    Xiao Yu’er chuckled bitterly: “What a demon- such a style of salting meat alive, I don’t think even Li Dazhui has tried it.”

    Abruptly she asked him: “You know Li Dazhui?”

    Blinking, he answered her with a question of his own: “Why, do you know him?”

    The girl in green paused, then said slowly, “Throughout wulin, who wouldn’t know him?”

    Now the voice screamed shrilly from above: “Five! You heard it, five! Five more counts, and you’re dead. If you think your old man won’t be able to catch you, you’re making a big mistake!”

    Suddenly she stood up and gave a long, despairing sigh: “It’s over. Rather than waiting for him to torture me, I may as well kill myself properly first.”

    Xiao Yu’er asked: “You…what are you scared of? Let’s just wait here and not go up, he’s not going to come down.”

    The girl clad in green sighed again: “You don’t understand. This person has never made an empty threat. If he claims to be able to capture me, then I don’t doubt that he can.”

    He protested, “You can’t die just like that. If you die, then I’ll be left all alone here.”

    She gave a melancholic smile: “Do you still want to live?”

    “Why wouldn’t I? My life has just started to become interesting.”

    She shook her head. “He won’t let you go either…” she said, sighing.

    “Six!” the voice threatened. “I’ve counted to six now!”

    The girl in green said, “He’ll be able to catch you somehow. If I die, he’ll vent his anger on you. At that time you’ll really be in trouble!”

    As she spoke, she slowly stepped toward the cave entrance.

    Xiao Yu’er asked, “You’re going to jump?”

    She replied, “If you ask me, I think you’d be better off coming with me.”

    His voice cracked in surprise: “You want me to jump with you?”

    Unexpectedly she turned back towards him. Gazing at him, she slowly said, “If I die by myself, I would also feel terribly lonely. Would you be willing to come with me?”

    Xiao Yu’er rubbed his head. He muttered to himself: “Asking someone to die with her so she won’t feel lonely…ha! This is certainly a rare type of request.”

    Slowly she spoke again: “The only reason I ask is because I am fond of you. Otherwise…I wouldn’t care if you lived or died.”

    “Seven!” the voice cut in from above.

    Xiao Yu’er looked back at her. He gazed at her for a long time. Finally he said, “You are fond of me?”

    “You are a clever person, couldn’t you tell?” she slowly replied.

    Still he stared at her for a while. Abruptly he cried: “Fine! I will come with you!”

    In shock, the girl said hoarsely, “You will?”

    Xiao Yu’er told her, “Not only will we go together, but I will hold you in my arms as well.”

    Again her eyes were fixed on him. Eventually she said, “Very well. You are very good to me.”

    “Eight!” the voice interrupted. “Still holding out, are you, you little wench? You won’t be living much longer!”

    Xiao Yu’er did indeed jump up and bound towards her. He held her tightly to him, and even laughed, murmuring: “You smell wonderful…dying with you in my arms, is not bad at all.”

    She suddenly laughed with him: “You are really an adorable little boy. Dying while being held by you, doesn’t feel bad at all.”

    “Nine!” the voice screeched. “Nine! Did you hear me, you wench? Your old man has counted to nine!”

    She asked him, “Are you holding on tight? Hang on firmly now, I am going to jump!”

    “Go ahead!” he replied. He closed his eyes tightly. He took a few deep breaths, and reflected: “To die, I wonder what it feels like.”

    She said ironically, “Well, you’ll find out shortly.” With that, she really did leap into the air, and they began their rapid plunge into the invisible depths of nothingness.(?)

    He heard the rapid whistling of the wind by his ears, (?) and his body continued to descend. At this moment, you could have said he felt afraid; yet he was also fascinated, and comfortable at the same time. No matter what, you had to admit that not many people had had the experience of jumping down through a depth of a thousand metres.

    Or perhaps it was that the word “frightened” had already been frightened from his thoughts. Or maybe he had never believed that the girl in green would really jump to begin with.

    The deeper the fell, the faster they went. He felt as though his lower body would split apart from his upper half. Now he thought to himself: “Am I really clever? Or incredibly stupid?”

    Then with a “foong” sound, his body was stunned; their descent began to slow down. He heard the girl clad in green softly laugh in his ear: “How does it feel to die?”

    He joked back: “Not bad, not bad at all…”

    Xiao Yu’er opened his eyes. He looked left, then right. On both sides, the mountain slopes were covered in forest, giving a peaceful and calm feeling, as if one by one each tree were floating upwards. From this you could tell that the speed of his fall was very slow indeed.

    His companion laughed: “You know, you are one very lucky person. You have tasted death without really losing your life.”

    “How…how is this possible?” Xiao Yu’er asked.

    “Lift your head, take a look,” she replied.

    Upon raising his head, he saw a bizarre contraption. It looked like an umbrella and yet was not. It was larger than an umbrella by at least ten times.

    This odd device had actually burst out from the back of the girl in green. Apparently she had used a lot of thread and rope to make a multi-coloured, giant umbrella. This ‘umbrella’ caught the wind, therefore their descent naturally slowed down.

    Xiao Yu’er felt as if he were riding downwards on a cloud. This feeling was very fun and interesting. He couldn’t help but laugh out loud: “This little toy isn’t bad, how did you come up with it?”

    Unexpectedly another shock hit his body- they had landed on the ground. The huge ‘umbrella’ began to roll away in the wind, tugging at them.

    The girl in green pulled out a small dagger and started cutting the ropes. She smiled sweetly: “Little flirt, you can let go of my hand now.”

    Instead, Xiao Yu’er squeezed her hand tighter: “No, I won’t. You really tricked me good, I almost went mad. Now you should let me hug you for a bit, to make up for it.”

    “You little flirt, are you really clever, or an idiot?” she asked laughing.

    He replied, amused, “I just asked that myself a while ago. Even I couldn’t come up with an answer.”

    “Well, if you ask me, you’re just a little bit of an idiot,” she teased.

    Xiao Yu’er suddenly sprang to his feet. His eyes flashed; staring at her he said, “You really think that you deceived me?”

    She looked back at him with an enchanting smile: “You haven’t figured it out?”

    He laughed loudly: “Let me tell you, I already knew you wouldn’t let yourself die. That’s why I agreed to jump with you. You don’t seem the sort to kill yourself.”

    The girl blinked a few times: “Oh? Really?”

    Xiao Yu’er drew himself up and declared loudly: “I tell you, no one in this world can fool Jiang Yu.”

    She looked at him, then softly said, “Indeed then, I find now you are truly a man, no longer a child. I have never met a man like you.” Her eyes were warm and kind. Xiao Yu’er puffed out his chest and thought to himself that he agreed with her. He had grown up and was now a man.

    The girl clad in green looked around in all directions, then abruptly sighed: “Although I haven’t died, but now at this point, I’m really out of ideas. Now…I really have to rely on you, please don’t leave me.”

    Xiao Yu’er thought he had never felt more strong or brave than at this moment. He felt that he must really be quite capable, or this girl would never have wholeheartedly put her faith in him.

    He said firmly, “You can rely on me, I won’t regret it.”

    She smiled gratefully: “You are so good, I know I haven’t picked the wrong person.” He laughed: “Of course you haven’t, you’ve chosen the best.”

    The girl in green relaxed and said, “Good, now if you could think of a way out of here, we’ll be able to leave this godforsaken place.”

    “Certainly,” agreed Xiao Yu’er. Although the word came readily from his lips, in his heart he felt anxious, because he had already surveyed this ‘godforsaken place’ and truly could not see a way out.

    This place resembled the bottom of a wine bottle. Even with as many legs as a centipede, and the strongest will to live, it was impossible to climb out.

    The strangest thing was, the place didn’t seem as damp as they might have imagined. There wasn’t the slightest bit of humidity, in fact it was warm and rather dry. The dense fog and clouds from above were very far away.

    Below his feet, instead of thick and sticky mud, (?) was refreshing grass. It was soft, springy, and green, like a large colourful blanket. Under the bright shards of sunlight, the air was filled with a delightful fragrance.

    Everywhere there was thick and dense forest. In between the trees would peek some grass and flowers. Xiao Yu’er felt as though he had landed in a paradise.

    The only disturbing part about this paradise was, there was an endless silence and stillness. No breeze, and no sounds. Every blade of grass, each leaf, was motionless. There was no breath of life anywhere.

    This terrible stillness was enough to drive a person mad. Such a beautiful paradise was actually a place of death.

    The girl in green softly interrupted his thoughts: “Have you thought of a way out yet?”

    Xiao Yu’er could no longer force a smile to his lips. He could only keep mumbling, “There must be a way, of course there is.”

    She said, “All right then, you lead and I’ll obey your instructions.” She looked at him gently and fell silent.

    With his hands behind his back, Xiao Yu’er began to turn in circles. By about the seventeenth or eighteenth circle, he suddenly cried out: “Something’s wrong, something’s not right here!”

    “What’s wrong?” the girl asked.

    He asked her, “What’s missing here?”

    “Something’s missing? What’s missing?” she echoed.

    Xiao Yu’er said worriedly, “Where are the old monkey and Shen Qinghong? Flown up to heaven?”

    She said, “Didn’t…didn’t they fall to their deaths?”

    He said excitedly, “Right, exactly, they did. But where are the bodies? I’ve looked everywhere, and I can’t find a single bone. Even if they were devoured by wolves, they couldn’t have been eaten that fast. Furthermore, there’s not even a kitten to be found here, let alone a wolf.”

    The expression on the girl’s face changed. She said anxiously, “You really couldn’t find their corpses?”

    “No, I didn’t, not even a bone,” he repeated.

    Even as he said it, Xiao Yu’er still couldn’t believe his own words. As he spoke, he continued his search. The girl in green followed along, helping him. The area was not large, and very soon they had already finished two or three complete searches. They had looked in every corner, under every tree, and over all the patches of grass.

    Not only were even the bones missing, but not even a single bloodstain was visible. There was no evidence at all of the two others having died here.

    Suddenly Xiao Yu’er began to grow afraid. He said, “Maybe there are ghosts here.”

    The girl shrank back, but forced herself to laugh, “Ghosts, how could there be ghosts?”

    Xiao Yu’er said, “If it weren’t for ghosts, how could they have disappeared? Even if they weren’t killed by the fall, they should still be here. Besides, there is no way they could still be alive.”

    He added, “There is something weird about this place. I must get to the root of this mystery.” As he spoke, he began to search for clues again. But the trees remained just trees, and the grassy patched yielded no further clues.

    Firmly he concluded, “There must be someone else in this place.”

    “How could there be anyone else in this place?” she asked.

    Xiao Yu’er explained, “If this were a natural and freely growing patch of grass, how could it be so neat and tidy? Therefore, there must be someone here, someone who regularly tends the grounds.”

    Her puzzled expression cleared: “Ah, you are right. Not only is your brain clever, but your eyes are observant…since someone lives here, I’m a little more relieved.”

    She jumped up, her eyes dancing, but then drew her eyebrows in worry and said, “But…where are they then?”

    Xiao Yu’er said, “They…they…”

    He looked around, but not a soul could be seen, let alone a living human.

    A mystery. A puzzling, unsolvable mystery.

    The girl in green said, “I can’t even bear to think of it, it’s too creepy.”

    Xiao Yu’er said steadfastly: “Don’t you worry about it, you can leave the thinking to me.”

    In reality he couldn’t figure it out either, he was starting to get a headache.

    The light was beginning to fade, and quickly too. Xiao Yu’er ceaselessly walked, here and there, back and forth. He was so hungry he was sure his stomach would start to leak acid.

    He was starting to go crazy.

    He always used to say, “There is nothing impossible in this world.” At this point, he was beginning to feel that anyone who could say that was either a madman or a simpleton.

    He didn’t dare look at the girl in green. She had said that she would leave everything up to him. If she had chosen the right person, well, perhaps her eyes were a little blind.

    Eventually Xiao Yu’er began to feel faint. He mumbled, “I’ll rest for a bit, then we’ll see. If only I could sleep and never have to wake up…”

    Suddenly the girl cried, “Come over here…come!”

    He turned his head in her direction, but had already lost sight of her. He shouted, “Where are you? Have you learned the art of invisibility or something?”

    “I’m here, over here!” she called back. Her voice could be heard from behind a tree. The tree was thick in diameter, and large. Its leaves were especially green. Xiao Yu’er had been suspicious of it a long time ago, but had not been able to pinpoint anything specific.

    Xiao Yu’er flew over to her side, and found her kneeling on the ground behind the tree, as if praying.(?) She made no move, but her eyes were huge.

    He drew his eyebrows together, frowning: “What are you doing? Praying?”

    She beckoned him with her hand, urging him: “Come quickly, take a look at this spot.”

    Accordingly, Xiao Yu’er crouched down beside her and looked. After a while he said, “There’s nothing there, only…whoa, wait, there is something!”

    He had suddenly noticed that the bark on the lower part of the tree was different from its upper half. It was thick and rough above; below it was shiny and smooth.

    The girl pointed out, “Look here, the bark appears to be regularly touched by people. And why should they touch this spot? Clearly there is only one explanation…there must be a door in this tree.”

    Xiao Yu’er’s face lit up. He returned her compliment from before: “Not only is your brain clever, but your eyes are observant.”

    She teased back, “Thank you, thank you.”

    He winked at her, then knocked on the tree a few times, laughing: “Is anybody home?”

    End of Chapter 27


    (1) Xiao is her last name, not her first. The original would be something more like “The wench surnamed Xiao, you can’t run from me”

  18. #218
    Junior Member Wubbles's Avatar
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    The Legendary Siblings Chapter 28

    Xiao Yu’er had an odd habit. He liked to make jokes at any time, and no matter where he was. But this particular joke wasn’t exactly purposeless either; he wished to see if the tree was hollow or solid.

    Never in his dreams would he have guessed that he would get a response. Indeed, no one answered him, but the piece of bark suddenly moved aside, and in the middle of a live tree, there unexpectedly appeared a doorway!

    This was quite a shock to Xiao Yu’er. He was so startled that he flew backwards out of the doorway. The girl in green was also surprised; she fell to her knees, unable to move.

    The tree was indeed hollow. Xiao Yu’er stared into the black hole and called loudly, “Is anyone in here? Ghost or human, I want you to come out right now.”

    Not a sound or reply. He advanced step by step. His fists were clenched so tightly that the knuckles were white. (?) His eyes, already wide, grew even bigger and rounder.

    The girl in green said to him in a trembling voice, “Don’t go in, we don’t know what’s in there.”

    Xiao Yu’er said firmly, “What’s there to be scared of? Anything that’s sneaking around is nothing to be scared of, otherwise it wouldn’t be hiding from us!”

    She asked, “You…are you going in?”

    His body shrank back a bit. He stuttered, “Go…go in…” But then he coughed and shouted, “Of course I’m going in, this is the only lead we have. How could I not investigate it properly?”

    Suddenly, a wonderful fragrance wafted outside from within.

    It smelled like chicken cooking in a pot, simmering in sauces and fragrant spices.

    Xiao Yu’er’s nose twitched. Right now to him this was the best smell in the world. He drooled and swallowed a few times, then cried out: “There must be people inside, ghosts don’t eat chicken. Monsters might eat chicken, but they wouldn’t cook it…therefore there’s nothing to be scared of.”

    These words appeared to be spoken to reassure the girl in green, or maybe they were for his own sake. Her voice shook: “Please be careful if you insist on going in.”

    He said loudly, “Of course I’ll be careful, I’m careful in all things, otherwise how would I have lived this long?” As he spoke, he scooped up a stone from the bottom of the tree and flung it into the opening.

    They heard a “kwa” sound as it hit something. Xiao Yu’er observed, “This hole isn’t very big.”

    The girl in green gently praised him, “You really are the most cautious person I’ve met.”

    Xiao Yu’er unconsciously puffed out his chest and said: “You stay here and wait for me. I’m going to take a look.”

    In a quavering voice she protested, “No…no wait. How could I wait outside all alone? I’d be scared to death. I’m coming with you, with you by my side, I’ll feel safe.”

    Xiao Yu’er looked into her eyes. Finally he said, “Ai, women, women…all right, follow me then. Hold on tight and don’t stray.”

    She murmured, “I wouldn’t stray if you beat me with a whip.” Xiao Yu’er felt as if he were floating on air as he stepped inside.

    The interior of the tree was indeed hollow. Although it was not large, it was quite dark.

    The girl in green clung tightly to Xiao Yu’er. Her voice shook: “Strange, there’s not a single person here.”

    “No, there must be someone here,” Xiao Yu’er insisted.

    She said, puzzled, “This place can only be so big, where could they be?”

    The tree’s diameter only spanned five metres. There wasn’t a single place to hide in it.

    Xiao Yu’er drew his eyebrows together. “That’s really odd. Where did that chicken smell come from?”

    “It seems to be coming from below,” the girl in green realized.

    Upon her words, the ground beneath their feet began to sink. The girl in green threw herself into Xiao Yu’er’s arms. In a trembling voice she whispered, “What’s happening? What are we going to do?”

    Xiao Yu’er’s eyes were wide. He cried out loudly, “Don’t be scared, we may as well go down and take a look.”

    They continued to descend. They were surrounded by blackness. Apparently they were standing in some sort of tube, one that could go up and down. The girl in green clutched Xiao Yu’er’s hand tightly. Her hand was damp and cold. This cold blooded killer, reduced to such a state, was actually quite surprising.

    The ‘tube’ finally stopped. Xiao Yu’er opened his eyes and saw a door. A few rays of light shone from behind it into the tube.

    He crouched down, and with a “shhh” he squirmed out. Outside there was a tunnel. On either side the stone walls were intricately carved, and there were bronze torches set into the walls.

    Xiao Yu’er muttered, “This bastard sure knows how to treat himself. What a luxurious place. The owner of this place is no monster, but to call him a monster would be quite fitting.”

    He turned his head to tell the girl in green to come out. Just then she screamed in pain. The door to the metal tube had suddenly shut itself, and the tube was going down. Her cries could be heard coming from the tube as it descended.

    Xiao Yu’er heard her scream: “Fire…help me, save me…fire….” He quickly tried to pull, but there was no way he could stop that big metal tube from moving. He decided to jump in after the tube, but at that moment it stopped moving. He could still hear the girl in green shrieking: “Fire…oh I beg you, save me…fire…”

    Her yells made Xiao Yu’er break out in a cold sweat. He struck out with his fists and legs, trying to break through the roof of the metal tube, but it was made of well-tempered steel. He exhausted his energy in vain.

    Her cries grew weaker and weaker. “Please…I’m going to die…help me…” Suddenly the sounds stopped. Then, a deathly silence.

    Xiao Yu’er’s fists also stopped. He stood there stunned. The girl in green had been burned to death in the metal tube!

    Although she had been vicious, and they were not related in any way, she had still fully trusted her life to him. Having ended up like this, one could only say that she picked the wrong hero, she had chosen poorly indeed…

    Xiao Yu’er’s eyes were damp. He suddenly yelled, “Listen to me, I don’t care who you are. You can’t scare me, and you won’t kill me either. I am going to murder you!”

    No answer came from the tunnel. Xiao Yu’er gritted his teeth and boldly advanced.

    The tunnel was short. At its end was another door, engraved with a scene of people and flowers and grass. This underground tunnel must have taken a lot of time, effort and money to create. The owner must be a strange person, to want to build such an elaborate structure underground.

    The door was unlocked. With one hand he pushed it open.

    He didn’t know why he was being so bold. Perhaps he felt he was invincible. If he was going to die, he would have been burnt to death just now like the girl in green. He felt somehow that the owner of this place didn’t want to kill him. He had no idea why.

    He didn’t think much more beyond that. This was the secret to his thinking. Just focus on one thought, and don’t worry too much about other things. Otherwise you just got mixed up.

    A hall lay beyond the door. Since even the tunnel was fancy, the hall was naturally even more lavish. Aside from not having windows, this underground hall was more than comparable with the houses of the gentry above ground. Luxurious though it was, no one was in it.

    Xiao Yu’er remarked, “Well the owner might be a monster but he sure knew how to live the life. If he let this place be all dark and cold, it would scare off enemies, but he wouldn’t be enjoying it either.”

    A peal of laughter suddenly sounded: “How well you know the master of this place.”

    The voice was male, but the slow, gentle tone was very feminine. Xiao Yu’er turned around but still saw no one. He shouted: “Who are you? And where are you?”

    The voice answered, “You can’t see me, but I can certainly see you.”

    Although Xiao Yu’er couldn’t see anyone, he did see another door. He crossed over in huge strides and pushed it open. Yet another hall.

    In the centre of the hall was a long table. The table held a large blue bowl, which was the source of the fragrance that had attracted him here. In the bowl, there was indeed cooked chicken, young and tender.

    His eyes grew round. The voice said slowly, “Jiang Yu, this chicken is very nice, it was especially prepared for you.”

    Xiao Yu’er shook. He cried out: “You…how do you know my name?”

    The voice laughed, “The master of this place knows everything.”

    “Who are you exactly?” Xiao Yu’er asked again.

    The voice replied, “How do you know we are human?”

    Xiao Yu’er stepped backward in alarm. Finally he said, “What do you want from me?”

    The voice said, “Fine, we will show ourselves. Put on the blindfold in front of you first.”

    Xiao Yu’er did as instructed, then said, “Hmm.”

    The voice teased, “How do you know you are living and not dead? A person or a ghost? Now, open your eyes and look.”

    As he spoke, torches flared up everywhere. Suddenly Xiao Yu’er saw that there were seven or eight people in chairs sitting around him.

    They were dressed in large, flowing robes. Their ages seemed to be about twenty years old or so. Each person was elegant and refined in appearance.

    All of them were men, but somehow they seemed feminine as well. They all lounged on their chairs as if draped across them, and smiled lazily at Xiao Yu’er.

    He asked, “You are the masters of this place?”

    They shook their heads simultaneously. All of them seemed to be delicate and soft, not a bone in their bodies. Although they were alive, they weren’t far off from being dead.

    Xiao Yu’er hollered in frustration: “Who is your master? Why won’t he come out and see me? If he’s like you androgynous freaks, half alive and half dead, I’d rather not meet him.”

    One of them said, “I wouldn’t be mocking us if I were you. In three months time, you’ll be just like us.”

    Xiao Yu’er jeered, “I don’t think so.”

    The speaker smiled and retorted, “You don’t think so? You have a strong body, but you can’t beat her.”

    Xiao Yu’er echoed, “Her? Who is she?”

    “She is our empress.”

    He heard a ripple of laughter like a silvery bell: “I am, indeed, the empress of this place!”

    That particular laugh was very familiar to Xiao Yu’er. He turned, and saw her. The girl in green, who apparently had been burned alive.

    Xiao Yu’er stood there, stunned, his staring eyes larger than a chicken’s egg.

    The girl in green laughed “ge ge” while gazing at him. She quoted him, “Oh, the most intelligent man in the world, no one can fool you, can they?”

    His eyes were still fixed on her in shock. “No wonder the two bodies disappeared. No wonder you found the tree entrance so easily. Because you are the master of this place…you…you have really tricked me this time.”

    “Now do you respect me?” she teased.

    He sighed, “I do indeed…like I said before, you can lure people to their deaths. What I didn’t know was that you came from the underground.”

    She spun around in a circle, her arms apart, and laughed, “What do you think of my palace?”

    “Not bad, not bad at all,” he complimented her.

    Her eyes flickered over to his, and asked, “And what do you think of my concubines?”

    Xiao Yu’er’s eyes widened at her words.

    She giggled sweetly, “If a man can have three wives and four brides, why can’t a woman?”

    He smiled wryly, then suddenly grasped her meaning, and said with wide eyes, “You mean…you mean that I am also to be one of your concubines?”

    The girl in green looked at him, and smiled: “Wrong.”

    Xiao Yu’er sighed in relief, but stopped short as she said, “I want you to be my queen.”

    Xiao Yu’er stood there stunned, then broke into laughter. He laughed until he became quite breathless, he had never laughed so hard in his life before.

    The girl in green said, “Aren’t you happy?”

    He laughed even louder, “Oh, I’m happy, I’m thrilled to death! I have imagined all manner of crazy possibilities, but I would never have dreamed that one day I would be a queen.”

    “Why, you are not willing?” the girl in green teased.

    Xiao Yu’er opened his eyes wide and said, “Why wouldn’t I be willing? How many men on this earth could be a queen?”

    He suddenly leapt up, sat on the table(?), and commanded in a loud voice, “Hey, aren’t you all going to come over and bow to your new queen?”

    The youths dressed in light robes looked at each other, hesitated, then finally shuffled over. Xiao Yu’er said, “Oh, about three kowtows each should be sufficient, not too many.”

    The youths all looked over at the girl in green, who just smiled and nodded encouragement. At this point they had no choice but to kowtow.

    Xiao Yu’er joked, “Well, now you’ve finished paying your respects, you may leave. Go on now, I’ve got to have a few drinks with the king…I hope none of the royal concubines are thinking of competing for his affections, because the queen will get jealous and chop your heads off.”

    The youths all stared at him as if he were a monster. Without a word they all fled as one and disappeared.

    Xiao Yu’er clapped his hands and laughed, “Fantastic, being a queen feels pretty good after all.”

    Doubled over, the girl in green was laughing so hard that she could not lift her head. Still giggling she said, “Oh, you little flirt, you entertain me. I have been here for over ten years and never have I been more amused.”

    Laughing with her, Xiao Yu’er said, “Well from now on, every day I’ll amuse you, until you die of it. Yes, you are called “the Siren, luring men to death with impunity”, and for good reason, but I still intend to charm you to your death.”

    The laughter died in her throat. Her eyes wide, she looked at him and stammered: “How…how did you know my name?”

    “Not only do I know this name of yours,” Xiao Yu’er went on, “I know that you are also called Xiao Mimi, of the ‘Ten Evils’. (1) You appear to be graceful and tender, but actually you are already four or five decades old. But don’t worry, I won’t be repulsed by your age. The older the ginger, the more bite it has; the more mature a woman, the more I appreciate her.”

    He went on and on like a machine gun, while the girl in green stood motionless in her shock.

    “Don’t just stand there,” Xiao Yu’er teased her. “One moment in a spring evening is worth a thousand pieces of gold, you should come over and show your queen just how intimate you can be.”

    Still, she stared at him. At last she said slowly, “But you were inaccurate regarding one thing.”

    “What’s that?”

    “I am only thirty seven.”

    Xiao Yu’er replied with amusement in his eyes: “It doesn’t matter if you are seventeen. ‘Never debate with a woman about her age’ – I’ve understood this since I was young.”

    The girl in green retorted, “It doesn’t matter if you make any other mistake. But if you get a woman’s age wrong, she will never forgive you.”

    Her hands were soft and tender, as was her smile.

    Yet somehow a murderous expression shone through her smile. Those soft hands, could, in a flash, cruelly take someone’s life. Xiao Yu’er, of course, knew this well.

    However, he insisted on playing dumb, and laughing he asked, “I know who you are, but do you know who I am?”

    Her eyes darting back and forth, Xiao Mimi realized: “You…”

    Xiao Yu’er declared, “If the ‘Ten Evils’ had one friend, it would be me, Jiang Yu.”

    She said, “You dare to call yourself a friend of the ‘Ten Evils’?”

    He laughed, “What, you think I am a person of upstanding and moral character?”

    Xiao Mimi smiled sweetly: “Well, that you are certainly not. But you are far too young to be that smart. I think you…you must be sent here by that old monster, are you not? Otherwise how could you know who I am?”

    Xiao Yu’er admitted, “Well, I do indeed know quite a few monsters.”

    “Quite a few?” she echoed.

    He winked at her, and then laughing he said: “ ‘Ha ha, this little monk here never follows evil, amitaba. ‘Those who follow evil must die.’ ‘When you kill, be careful, don’t spill too much blood, or the meat will not taste fresh.’ ‘Under the gates of hell, there are too many hungry ghosts. The ghosts would eat even unfresh meat.’ ‘Oh you, silly, you are definitely a wicked one.’ .”

    As he quoted these phrases, there appeared the impressions of Ha ha’er, “Bloody Hand” Du Sha, “Not eating the head” Li Dazhui, “Half human, half ghost” Yin Jiuyou, “Neither male nor female”, Du Qiaoqiao. The tones and articulations were exactly identical to each of the original speakers. It was as if they had appeared and were speaking in person. (?)

    Xiao Mimi widened her eyes, then laughed sweetly, “Little flirt, you know all of these people?”

    “I grew up in the Valley of Evil,” Xiao Yu’er told her.

    Xiao Mimi lowered her hands and relaxed. She applauded him and laughed, “Well no wonder that you are a little monster then, you grew up with these people. Do they mention me often?”

    He smiled at her: “They told me that when I met you, to be extremely careful and not be tempted to my death. No matter who, friend or family, you would try your siren tricks on them.”

    Xiao Mimi giggled a few times, then said, “And do you believe their naughty words?”

    Xiao Yu’er stared at her as if enthralled: “To be able to meet someone like you, I wouldn’t care if I really were lured to my death.”

    Another enchanting laugh. “Oh, little flirt, it is you who are charming me; at this rate, I won’t be able to kill you at all.”

    He laughed back: “Now, are you going to drink with me or not?”

    Surprisingly, the winebearer was a young boy. His eyebrows were elegant above clear, clear eyes. And yet he was jaundiced and emaciated, as if his growth spurt had been inadequate. He appeared to be older than Xiao Yu’er, yet his body was quite a bit smaller.

    He shrank his neck into a hunched back and carried the platter with both hands, trembling all the while. But his two eyes would constantly flicker back to rest on Xiao Mimi’s bosom.

    Xiao Mimi laughed and called, “Little pervert, what are you looking at?”

    The boy’s face reddened and he lowered his head. “Nothing, nothing at all.”

    With a tempting smile, she said, “You wanted to kiss me, is that it?”

    He went a deeper shade of red as she said, “Come then, if you want to kiss me then come, what are you afraid of?”

    The boy then set down the platter, and embraced her.

    All of a sudden she slapped him with the back of her hand, so hard that he rolled on the floor a few times. Xiao Yu’er raised his head in time to see a murderous expression on the boy’s face as his back was turned. The hate on his face was terrifying.

    Yet when he stood up and faced her, only a pitiable expression could be seen. His cheeks flushed and head down, step by step, he slowly limped out, as if even walking were a difficult task.

    “Is that boy one of your concubines?” Xiao Yu’er asked.

    Xiao Mimi smiled: “Jealous, are you?”

    He merely said, “Ai, this is like destroying a tender young plant.”

    She bit out, “I insist on torturing him, until he dies.” Xiao Yu’er said in surprise, “Why do you hate him so much? He’s only a kid!”

    Xiao Mimi explained, “He is, but his father…ha, in the whole world, there is not another as vicious and cruel.”

    “Oh?” Xiao Yu’er laughed. “He is crueler than Yin Jiuyou? More vicious than Li Dazhui?”

    She pointed out: “So Yin Jiuyou is cruel. Li Dazhui is indeed vicious. But they at least do not hide their brutality. That brat’s father, however, would commit the most evil crimes, and people would still praise him as a hero.”

    Xiao Yu’er rolled his eyes and laughed: “If even you call him evil, this person must really be unforgivable.” What his heart was really thinking was: [If she considers him bad, he probably is quite a decent sort.]

    He deliberately refrained from asking the father’s name. To his surprise, Xiao Mimi did not mention it either, and merely watched the boy come in again with a fresh platter.

    Xiao Yu’er suddenly said, “Before we drink, I just need to freshen up a bit.”

    “Useless thing,” she scolded him while sipping her wine.

    He teased, “When the queen relieves herself, she must have servants to attend to her.”(?) He tugged at the boy’s hand and ordered, “Come, lead me there.”

    Xiao Mimi called after him: “Hurry up, or I’ll be done eating before you’re done. (?) The wine and food are waiting here for you.”

    The young boy went ahead of Xiao Yu’er, his head lowered and neck shrunk into his shoulders like a turtle. Xiao Yu’er, looking at his profile, seemed to be thinking of something.

    The underground palace was clearly designed with care. There was not an inch of excess or waste. He realized that the places for relieving oneself must be in the twists and turns of the long tunnel.

    Abruptly he asked the young boy, “Hey, what’s your family name?”

    “Jiang.”

    Xiao Yu’er mused, “Your last name is Jiang? What a coincidence. And what’s your first name?”

    The boy replied, “Yulang.”

    Xiao Yu’er scrunched his eyebrows together. His eyes darted back and forth. Suddenly he laughed aloud. “Strange, this is the underground, but where do all the human wastes go? Is there some sort of tunnel underneath?”

    Jiang Yulang answered, “Under here is not a tunnel, but a grave.”

    “A grave?” Xiao Yu’er repeated. “Whose grave?”

    “Supposedly the grave of the workers who built this place,” Jiang Yulang responded.

    Xiao Yu’er couldn’t help frowning. Hurriedly he stood up and remarked, “You know quite a bit, you must have been here for a long time.”

    “One year,” said Jiang Yulang.

    “A year…how did you get here?”

    Jiang Yulang answered him, “And how did you get here?”

    Xiao Yu’er snorted a laugh: “Hmm, that’s right, Xiao Mimi would definitely find a way to get you here.” He spoke again: “There must be some sort of underground opening to the surface…would you know?”

    “No.”

    “You haven’t tried to find one?” Xiao Yu’er inquired.

    “No,” Jiang Yulang said again.

    Xiao Yu’er asked him, “Don’t you want to leave here? You don’t want to go home?”

    Jiang Yulang said, “This place is very nice, it’s good enough for me.”

    Suddenly Xiao Yu’er gripped his shoulder and said in a low voice, “You little trickster, I know you’re thinking about it, you’re always thinking of ways to escape. You can’t fool me. If you work with me, we can think of a way out!”


    End of Chapter 28

    (1) The “mi” in Xiao Mimi means “to be blinded”.

  19. #219
    Junior Member Wubbles's Avatar
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    The Legendary Siblings Chapter 29

    Jiang Yulang’s face was expressionless. Flatly he said, “If you are finished, please return to enjoy your wine.”

    Xiao Yu’er stared at him. For quite some time. Finally he said, each word distinct, “Remember what I said, don’t you forget a word!”

    Jiang Yulang remained impassive, and led him back, with his head lowered and back hunched. Once again Xiao Yu’er stared at his back, as if contemplating something.

    The two of them re-entered. Xiao Mimi laughed: “It appears you had a lot of business to do.”

    Xiao Yu’er rubbed his stomach, and gave a laugh: “Well, this stomach of mine…”

    Jiang Yulang abruptly cut in: “He was lying about relieving himself. He wanted me to conspire with him. He wanted me to tell him a way out of here, and even asked me to escape with him.”

    Xiao Mimi opened her eyes wide. Coldly she laughed, “Did you really want to leave, Jiang Yu? Forget asking him; I would have easily told you.”

    Xiao Yu’er did not react, but merely burst into laughter. He said, “I have lived in the Valley of Evil for over a decade. How could this place be harder to escape from? I was only testing this little devil here, do you really believe him?”

    She slowly replied, “Actually, it doesn’t matter if you lied or not. It would still be useless to ask him. No one knows the exit to this place, except for me.”

    She patted Jiang Yulang on the head, smiling: “I didn’t know you were so honest.”

    Jiang Yulang blushed. With eyes on the ground he murmured, “I only wish to be by my lady’s side. I don’t want to go anywhere else.”

    Xiao Mimi laughed, pleased. “You little pervert, go to bed and rest, don’t think of silly things now.”

    He glanced at Xiao Yu’er, protesting: “But he…my lady…”

    “You want me to kill him?” Xiao Mimi asked.

    Jiang Yulang said, “He…he’s too…” Xiao Mimi teasingly tugged his earlobe, and chuckled, “I don’t think you should be the one to be jealous. Get out of here.”

    He lowered his head, turned around, and obediently left. Xiao Mimi didn’t spare him another glance; this little devil was nothing to her. No matter what tricks he tried to play, she could see right through him. She only had eyes for another little devil.

    With a smile on his face, Xiao Yu’er said, “What a little rascal he is.”

    Xiao Mimi countered: “If he’s a little rascal, you must be even worse.”

    “You think I can’t compare to him?” Xiao Yu’er asked.

    Xiao Mimi’s eyes crinkled in amusement: “Do you know why I haven’t killed you?”

    “Because you can’t bear to,” he teased.

    With a peal of laughter, she admitted, “That’s right. I can’t bear to kill you right now, I want to see just how good you are. Du Qiaoqiao must have taught you some devilry, and I…I want to try it.”

    She slowly slid across the soft couch.(?) Desire flushed across her cheeks and forehead. Gently she murmured: “Won’t you come over? Are you waiting for me to teach you?”

    Xiao Yu’er’s eyes darted back and forth, a smile on his face.

    Xiao Mimi said in a low voice, “Well? What are you waiting for?”

    He said, “It’s just that…”

    Before he could finish his sentence, he was interrupted by Jiang Yulang rushing in. His face was drained of colour. In a trembling voice he said: “My…my lady, something’s wrong!”

    “What are you doing?” Xiao Mimi snapped crossly.

    Jiang Yulang stammered, “Dead…they are all dead.”

    Her expression changed. “Who is dead?” Jiang Yulang could only say: “You…please come quickly…they…they…” He collapsed on the floor in a dead faint.

    Corpses. Everywhere there were dead bodies. The crowd of youths dressed in light robes, not one of them remained alive.

    Upon turning their faces, they found that some had exsanguinated from the seven orifices,(1) and some had been mutilated beyond recognition(?). Even Xiao Yu’er, normally calm and collected under most circumstances, felt a chill seep into his heart.

    Xiao Mimi stamped her foot in shock and anger: “How…how did this happen?”

    Xiao Yu’er’s eyes flickered back and forth as he realized: “Perhaps the old monster has secretly arrived.”

    “Impossible, that is not possible!” Xiao Mimi declared. “No one knows about this place.”

    Although her lips said “impossible”, she had already dashed outside. Suddenly she turned back and screamed: “Don’t you dare follow, or I’ll kill you!”

    Xiao Yu’er laughed sarcastically, “Don’t worry, of course I know I won’t live long if I eavesdrop on your secrets. I still wish to live a while yet…”

    No sooner had she rushed out the front door, Xiao Yu’er had reached the back entrance. Although he knew that Xiao Mimi was leaving by the secret entrance, he did not follow to find out where it was. The only reason was because he wanted to spy on another person’s secret!

    He crouched on the floor, and opened half an eye. He saw Jiang Yulang suddenly arise from his swoon on the ground, and open an eye to survey his surroundings. He did not see Xiao Yu’er hiding there. Xiao Yu’er quietly breathed and did not move.

    Suddenly Jiang Yulang called out, “Young master Jiang, Jiang Yu, you can come out now.”

    Xiao Yu’er’s heart jumped. But he gritted his teeth and did not make a sound. Jiang Yulang waited a while, then jumped up. Unexpectedly he became swifter than a swallow in his movements, more slippery than a fish, livelier than a fox. With a flash, he darted into a small door to the side.

    The small door was the place where he had taken Xiao Yu’er to relieve himself. Xiao Yu’er had oriented himself properly, and as soon as Jiang Yulang disappeared into the door, he followed and stared at that little door with half an eye.

    He saw Jiang Yulang trying to squirm headfirst into the toilet. Xiao Yu’er, also swallow-like in his speed, crossed over. Jiang Yulang had lifted the lid of the toilet and plunged into it.

    Suddenly his waist went numb, and the waistband of his pants was grasped by someone. He heard Xiao Yu’er laugh mockingly: “Well well well…trying to escape by yourself, that won’t do.”

    This time his face was truly pale from fear. His voice shook: “Please…please don’t kid around with me.”

    Xiao Yu’er burst into cold laughter: “Who’s kidding? Seriously now, what do you think you’re doing?”

    Jiang Yulang stammered, “I…I just had to use the toilet.”

    “Dog crap,” Xiao Yu’er said flatly. “You don’t need to dive into the pile of crap to relieve yourself!”

    “I…I wanted to…”

    Suppressing his laughter, Xiao Yu’er guessed: “You wanted to eat sh*t?”

    Jiang Yulang mumbled, “I heard that feces could be used to cleanse poisons from the body. I am poisoned, so therefore…” Xiao Yu’er chuckled mirthlessly: “You little devil, you’ve got quite a tongue, but don’t think you can fool me. If you don’t tell me the truth now, I’ll drag you in front of Xiao Mimi. And I’ll tell her that you killed all these people!”

    Jiang Yulang began to involuntarily twitch, all over his body. “No…no I didn’t…”

    Xiao Yu’er said: “You killed them to divert Xiao Mimi, then you planned to hide in a secret place. When she finally gave up searching for you, you would then sneak out!”

    “You…you…” was all Jiang Yulang could say.

    Xiao Yu’er added, “What a little fiend; you really deserve to drink the used water from my footbaths. Tell you the truth- I saw through you a long time ago – if you want to escape alive, you’d better be a good boy and co-operate with me.”

    Jiang Yulang let out a sigh, then said, “All right, you win. You were right, my hiding place is in the pile of crap. I wasted an entire year to dig it.”

    Xiao Yu’er whistled: “Amazing, that you could have a hiding place here. You’re not afraid of the stink?”

    “It’s not too smelly that I can’t use it to save my life,” Jiang Yulang retorted.

    “I’ve seen many villains in my time,” Xiao Yu’er remarked, “but one so patient and ruthless, I have never met before, little devil. I have to say, I can’t help but admire you.”

    Jiang Yulang interrupted him, “Quick, we’re running out of time. Let me go, I’ll lead you!”

    Smiling, Xiao Yu’er let go of his hand and said, “If you clean it up a bit, I’ll…”

    His words were cut short, Jiang Yulang suddenly kicked out with his two feet. His kicks were truly vicious and accurate; which was surprising since he didn’t appear to have such advanced martial arts.

    Unfortunately, Xiao Yu’er had already accounted for that possibility. As soon as Jiang Yulang kicked again, the acupoints on his waist were all sealed. The entire lower half of his body was effectively paralyzed.

    Xiao Yu’er sneered again: “Didn’t I already tell you, you can’t trick me. Be a good boy and crawl along now.”

    Jiang Yulang’s voice trembled: “But I…I can’t move.”

    “That’s all right,” Xiao Yu’er said. “You can’t move your legs, but you can pull yourself with your hands!”

    Jiang Yulang fell silent and obediently scrabbled along with his arms.

    The toilet was already designed with an underground drainage tunnel of sorts. What Jiang Yulang had done was scrape out a little tunnel branching out from it, large enough to accommodate his body. He moved along like a young snake.

    Xiao Yu’er plugged his nose and followed. Luckily the stench disappeared after a short distance. He could only smile ironically and say: “And they call me a little monster. I think the little monster is you. Unbelievable, that you could think of this, and do such work in such a place.”

    The small tunnel was only seven or eight feet long, and at its end there was a tiny room, which was only about seven or eight square feet in size. But inside, Jiang Yulang had set up four or five blankets, two tubs of water, one jar of wine, and a big pile of salted meat, preserved sausages, cakes, and there were also about ten books.

    Xiao Yu’er looked and looked. He couldn’t help repeating himself: “You sure put a lot of effort into this, you’ve thought of every detail.” Jiang Yulang crouched in a corner, peering at him. His eyes were like those of a snake, they flickered with a poisonous, hateful, and devious light.

    Xiao Yu’er looked back at him. He didn’t care if Jiang Yulang was a snake or a fox or even a slippery fish. Xiao Yu’er had never been afraid of evil people; the more evil they were, the more interesting he found them.

    It was so still and lonely here underground, which was hard to bear, but at least it was safe. He leisurely flung himself onto a blanket and grabbed a sausage for himself. He sniffed at it and took a bite. The taste was pretty good, not bad at all.

    Xiao Yu’er joked, “Hiding in a pile of crap, eating sausages in a pile of crap… Jiang Yulang you are really a genius.”

    Jiang Yulang lowered his eyelids. He mumbled to himself, “Genius! Genius…”

    “Carving out a hiding spot from a sewage drain is a pretty brilliant idea, only a really smart person would have thought of it,” Xiao Yu’er praised, laughing. “No matter how close an eye Xiao Mimi kept on you, she would never follow you around when you went to the bathroom.”

    Jiang Yulang said glumly, “That’s right, it really is a genius idea. But after coming up with such an intelligent plan, do you know what price I had to pay, what agonies I had to suffer, could you even imagine?”

    “Go ahead, tell me,” Xiao Yu’er said. “I enjoy hearing of others’ miseries.”

    “All you would know about is the need for secrecy while pretending to defecate and digging this place,” Jiang Yulang spat out. “But could you imagine how many times I would have to sh*t in order to dig this kind of a hole?”

    Xiao Yu’er agreed, “Hmm, it would take quite a few times.”

    “Have you ever counted how many times a person goes in a day?” Jiang Yulang went on. “How many chances I would have in a year? If you crap too often, wouldn’t that make others suspicious?”

    Scratching his head, Xiao Yu’er mused, “Mmm…that would…”

    Jiang Yulang continued, “Just think of a person, digging like crazy while he was supposed to be crapping. But where would his crap go? Would he just hold it in forever and never go?”

    Xiao Yu’er scratched his head again. He could only laugh wryly: “Hmm…that would be quite a difficulty. If you really took a sh*t while you were excused to go to the bathroom, you wouldn’t have time to dig your tunnel. But if you spent all your time digging, you wouldn’t be able to crap. So what did you do?”

    Jiang Yulang laughed bitterly. He said, “What I did, you could never imagine. A fancy lord like you, could never dream of what a slave like me had to go through.”

    His eyes widened, and he gritted his teeth. The words fell one by one from his lips: “I became like a dog. I crapped as I worked. I couldn’t waste a second in the toilet. I learned to strip off my clothes in the shortest time possible, once inside the bathroom. I almost froze to death half the time, but I had to stay there naked. I couldn’t dirty my clothes with the sh*t and mud, and arouse suspicion. But my body was covered in it.”

    His lips stopped moving, and trembled, as if he wanted to vomit. Xiao Yu’er felt a strange emotion in his heart, and he tossed aside his half eaten sausage. He wanted to say something, but after a while, no words came out.

    Jiang Yulang’s eyes were fixed on the piece of discarded sausage, and slowly said, “Do you know why I’m so scrawny?”

    Xiao Yu’er said, “You…ummm…you…”

    Jiang Yulang ground his teeth and snarled, “I’m skinny because I was forced to starve myself. To reduce the amount of crap I had to sh*t out every day. To save up food for this place.”

    His teeth flashed white behind his lips as he gave a shrill laugh: “This was the life of a genius for a year. One whole year living like a dog, to get this place. And you! You haven’t done a thing, and you’re lying here ever so comfortable.”

    Xiao Yu’er was still rubbing his head. Suddenly he smiled. “You want to know why?”

    “Tell me,” Jiang Yulang hissed.

    “Let me tell you,” Xiao Yu’er said, laughing, “this is because you are a genius. But I am a genius among geniuses. Someone as brilliant as me, would never be reduced to suffering like this.”

    Jiang Yulang stared at him for a long while. Finally he lowered his head, muttering, “You’re right, I am definitely not your equal. You are brilliant!”

    What should have been a compliment, somehow cast a chill through Xiao Yu’er’s body when he heard it. It sounded like he was spitting out a vicious curse. This stunted and pale youth, although perhaps not as clever as Xiao Yu’er, was far beyond him in terms of spitefulness and hatred.

    This was especially true with respect to patience. Xiao Yu’er could never compare to this child. Patience was a virtue, but sometimes, if used the wrong way, it could be quite horrifying. Xiao Yu’er said no more.

    He thought to himself: [If anyone in the world could be considered a rival for me, it would be this little fox.] But immediately he knew he was wrong. There was still another rival, and quite a formidable one at that!

    Before his eyes flashed an image of an elegant, gentle and courteous figure. An ever considerate figure who never lost his temper.

    Hua Wuque, a flawless gentleman. (2) He was not the least bit vicious, nor devious in any way. He seemed to be without evil intent. Aside from his martial arts, there appeared to be nothing worth fearing. But the type of person who seemed to have nothing worth fearing, was actually the one you should be most wary of. Hua Wuque was like an ocean, deep and vast, unfathomable.

    Xiao Yu’er secretly sighed, and mumbled to himself, “That rascal is really an enigma. Anyone who can puzzle me, is not bad quality at all.”

    Jiang Yulang looked at him, as if wanting to say something, but he restrained himself.

    Xiao Yu’er saw him and laughed: “No, I wasn’t talking about you, I was thinking of someone else.”

    “Oh,” said Jiang Yulang.

    Xiao Yu’er mused, “The thing is, he doesn’t seem intelligent at all. But no matter how smart you are, or what tricks you use, it’s all useless against him. Because whatever strategy you try, he’ll never fall for it. In the end, you somehow wind up the loser.”

    Jiang Yulang laughed indifferently: “I’ve never met that kind of person before…”

    With a chuckle, Xiao Yu’er said, “Just you wait, as long as you live to get out of here, you will.”

    Despairingly, Jiang Yulang echoed him, “If only I live to get out of here…”

    Suddenly his expression changed. His voice cracked: “Oh no.”

    Xiao Yu’er knew that if he was frightened, it must be something serious. Despite himself, his face also began to drain of colour. He said, “What is it?”

    Jiang Yulang stammered, “You…did you replace the cover on top of the toilet after you entered the tunnel?”

    With wide eyes Xiao Yu’er admitted, “Oh no, I didn’t, I forgot.”

    His face pale, Jiang Yulang moaned, “When she finds us missing, Xiao Mimi will search everywhere, if she sees this…”

    Xiao Yu’er smiled comfortingly, “Maybe you’re too obsessive, do you really think she would look for us in the toilet?”

    Jiang Yulang countered: “Of course I’m obsessive. Even a little mistake could cost me my life. Have you any idea of the depth of Xiao Mimi’s martial arts?”

    Xiao Yu’er laughed sarcastically: “It’s precisely because I don’t know how good she is, that’s why I’ve never dared to cross her…when dealing with someone stupid, it doesn’t matter how good their martial arts are. But she, on the other hand, she is a monster.”

    Sighing, Jiang Yulang explained, “You couldn’t even imagine the height of her abilities. According to rumour, she has had more than seven hundred lovers. Among them were disciples of the Famed Seven Swords. If each lover merely taught her a single stroke, that would be enough to make her terrifying.”

    Xiao Yu’er’s eyes darted back and forth. Finally he said, “In that case, we should probably be very careful. I’ll sneak out and cover the lid back up.”

    Jiang Yulang cut him off: “Wait.” As he spoke, he was listening with his ear pressed against the dirt wall. After a pause, he turned to Xiao Yu’er, ashen-faced. “Sh*t. She’s come back.”

    End of Chapter 29

    (1) These would be the ears, eyes, mouth and two nostrils.

    (2) There’s a little pun here- Hua Wu Que , each word translated, is “flower”, “without” “lack/flaw”. So the original is more like: “Hua Flawless, flawless gentleman…”

  20. #220
    Junior Member Wubbles's Avatar
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    The Legendary Siblings Chapter 30

    Xiao Yu’er pressed his ear to the dirt wall as well. Quietly he listened for sounds up above.

    Xiao Mimi was indeed raging up there. Her yells of anger and curses were clearly audible, although he couldn’t make out her exact words, he could imagine.

    Jiang Yulang said, “I’ve planned for this for so long. I figured that she would never figure out my hiding place. She would think I had escaped somehow. But that toilet cover…”

    Xiao Yu’er comforted him, “She’s so mad right now, if I were her, the last thing I’d notice would be if the toilet lid was on or not.”

    “Let’s hope that’s true,” Jiang Yulang said. He paused, then said, “As long as she doesn’t find us, she won’t stay long here. And if everyone’s dead, why would she stay in this place?”

    Xiao Yu’er agreed: “Right, she would surely leave.”

    “We’d just have to hide here at most for half a month,” Jiang Yulang guessed. “By that time she’ll have left for sure. Then we can walk out of here, free men, not worrying about her chasing us.”

    “So you know about the secret exit?” Xiao Yu’er asked.

    Smiling calmly, Jiang Yulang said, “There’s not a secret in the world that can be kept from everyone.”

    Laughing, Xiao Yu’er said, “Good. We’ll wait our half month. Living underground for half a month, would be rather interesting. I dare say not many people have enjoyed such an experience.”

    He flung himself down again, winked and laughed: “Only…I do apologize, but I cannot unseal your acupoints.”

    “You…you really insist on this?” Jiang Yulang said.

    Xiao Yu’er explained, “I can’t. You and I will be living together day and night, I really have some misgivings. I have to be on my guard.”

    With a smile he went on, “By the way, I almost forgot to tell you, I sealed your acupoints in such a way that you will not be able to independently unseal them.”

    This little hole was like a snake’s lair, and Jiang Yulang was the snake itself. Sleeping with a snake in its home; most people wouldn’t be able to get a wink.

    Xiao Yu’er, however, did it easily. He gobbled up his preserved sausage, wolfed down some cake, and washed it all down with a bowl of wine. Cheeks red and belly full, he settled down nicely into a sweet slumber.

    There was a torch set into the wall. Its light showed Xiao Yu’er’s pink cheeks clearly. Jiang Yulang stared at them for a while. He was secretly counting Xiao Yu’er’s breaths. He had already reached four thousand. Xiao Yu’er’s breaths were even and deep.

    Jiang Yulang had already examined the meridians (?) on his own legs. The bastard wasn’t lying, he must have used some bewitched sealing technique from some d*mned sect. Now he was just lying there, sleeping happily, precisely because he knew Jiang Yulang wouldn’t dare kill him.

    But Jiang Yulang quietly reached out his hands. Xiao Yu’er continued to sleep, and even began to snore lightly.

    With eyes fixed on Xiao Yu’er, Jiang Yulang kept stretching his hands forward. Xiao Yu’er’s sounds grew louder.

    Jiang Yulang’s hands suddenly found a book, and rapidly flipped its pages. There was a piece of folded paper sandwiched within the book. Jiang Yulang let out a breath, and took out the paper.

    Lightly he set the book back, and carefully folded the paper even smaller. He thought for a bit. In the boots? No. Finally he settled on tucking it into his topknot. Now his pale face shone with a light.

    Then he let out another breath, closed his eyes, and fell asleep.

    On the instant, Xiao Yu’er’s eyes popped wide open. The torch in the wall showed Jiang Yulang’s pale cheeks clearly. Xiao Yu’er’s face betrayed a mocking smile.

    His eyes seemed to say: [You cannot fool me, there is nothing in which you can fool me.]

    Jiang Yulang’s breaths also grew even and deep. Silently Xiao Yu’er stood up. He also reached his hands out, and waved them about ten times in front of Jiang Yulang’s face. Still Jiang Yulang breathed steadily. He hadn’t noticed at all.

    The little fox was very exhausted, and had truly fallen asleep. Xiao Yu’er slowly and lightly extended two fingers to pull at Jiang Yulang’s hair. However, he had not yet reached the hair when he changed direction. Now the fingers were aimed at Jiang Yulang’s “sleep” acupoint.

    The sleeping Jiang Yulang suddenly sighed: “If you want to take it, go ahead. There’s hardly a need to seal another acupoint.”

    Xiao Yu’er blinked, then burst into stunned laughter: “Ah, so you weren’t asleep.”

    Jiang Yulang morosely pointed out: “Being with someone like you, how could I sleep at all?”

    “But your acting abilities are superb,” Xiao Yu’er complimented him with a laugh. “Even I was tricked by you.”

    “You’re not bad yourself,” Jiang Yulang snorted.

    Xiao Yu’er laughed out loud: “Excellent! Well then…are you going to let me peek at what’s in your hair?”

    Jiang Yulang smiled bitterly: “How could I refuse?” Meanwhile he drew out the long piece of paper. His fingertips shook. Obviously the piece of paper was very important to him, but still he took it out. With respect to matters in which he had no choice, Jiang Yulang never tried to resist.

    He tossed it to Xiao Yu’er, then sighed deeply: “I must have been really evil in my former life, to be running into you.”

    Xiao Yu’er’s heart was full of curiosity. What secret could be on that paper? By the way Jiang Yulang was acting, this could be no ordinary secret.

    His heart hammering, he flipped open the paper. It took no more than a glance- he burst into giggles.

    Jiang Yulang stared at him: “Smug, aren’t we?”

    Xiao Yu’er laughed even harder, “Oh yes, certainly.”

    “To be able to view this secret, of course you would be smug,” Jiang Yulang growled through gritted teeth. “Otherwise, you would never in one lifetime be able to see the treasures this paper has hidden.”

    Xiao Yu’er gasped, “Oh yes, this paper is truly valuable indeed…” As he spoke, he tore the paper into shreds. Jiang Yulang got the shock of his life. His face went even paler, making him look terrifying. His voice trembled: “You…do you know how much this piece of paper is worth?”

    Slowly Xiao Yu’er said, “Of course I know. I’ve seen this before. Not only that, but I had a copy of my own.”

    Jiang Yulang was stunned. He repeated, “You…you also had a copy?”

    “Not only did I possess a copy, I’ve also been to the hiding place of the treasure!”

    Jiang Yulang’s valuable piece of paper, naturally, was identical to the one Tie Xinlan had given to Xiao Yu’er, the treasure map which had cost many lives.

    Of course, Jiang Yulang could not know these details, and right now could only stand there in shock. “You…you are telling the truth? You have been there?”

    “Why should I lie to you?” Xiao Yu’er retorted.

    Jiang Yulang’s breathing became rapid and shallow. He stammered, “Then…the treasure…who has it now? Where is it?”

    His eyes gleaming, Xiao Yu’er said, “You tell me how you got this map, and I’ll tell you.”

    Jiang Yulang’s hands twisted tightly on his own clothing. He said, “If I tell you, you will really tell me?”

    Xiao Yu’er reassured him, “If you tell me and I don’t tell you, then I’m a turtle.”

    Sighing in relief, Jiang Yulang told him, “I stole the treasure map from my father’s study.”

    “And where did your father get it from?” Xiao Yu’er persisted.

    “This I really don’t know.”

    “Hmm, that’s right,” Xiao Yu’er muttered, “I heard your father is quite a famous man. This map was probably a gift to him. Little did he guess what a good son he had.”

    Sighing and shaking his head, he laughed, “Stealing even your father’s possessions, this type of filial son is rare indeed.”

    Jiang Yulang’s face did not redden in the slightest. He said, “This is nothing, I…”

    Xiao Yu’er cut in: “You wanted the treasure all for yourself, so you stole out secretly, and reached Mount Emei. Who knew you would then fall into Xiao Mimi’s hands. Luckily you did, or you may have been dead at this point.”

    “Why?” Jiang Yulang asked curiously.

    Xiao Yu’er went on, “Indeed, it was fortunate that your father had you for a thieving son, otherwise he would have fallen for a big trick.”

    “Trick?” Jiang Yulang repeated.

    “To tell you the truth,” Xiao Yu’er said, “the treasure map was a fake. It is worthless. The maker of the map merely wished any treasure seekers to kill themselves while fighting each other for it!”

    Jiang Yulang was completely stunned. After a pause, he mumbled, “And who is the mapmaker?”

    Xiao Yu’er said spitefully, “I don’t know either. But I will find them. Not for the sake of any greater good, but because this person has tricked me, and so I will make them pay.”

    Jiang Yulang muttered, “No wonder you asked me where I got the map from, no wonder…”

    Suddenly, sounds came up to them through the underground tunnel.

    It was Xiao Mimi’s voice. She was hollering: “Jiang Yulang, Xiao Yu’er, you little rotten eggs, are you down there?”

    Their hands turned to ice. Neither could move.

    They heard her peals of laughter: “It doesn’t matter if you don’t make a sound, I already know you’re down there.”

    Jiang Yulang said, trembling: “She…she’s trying to trick us.”

    Xiao Yu’er disagreed: “I don’t think so. Right now she’s speaking directly into the toilet hole, or we wouldn’t hear her so clearly.”

    “I told you that toilet cover would get us in trouble,” sighed Jiang Yulang.

    Xiao Yu’er also sighed, “That woman is too much.”

    They heard Xiao Mimi laughing again: “Jiang Yulang, what a genius, what an idea to escape using a sh*t hole.”

    “Did you hear that, she called you a genius,” Xiao Yu’er teased.

    Jiang Yulang asked, incredulous, “How can you even be laughing right now?”

    “Think about it,” Xiao Yu’er said. “Why shouldn’t I be laughing?”

    Jiang Yulang said: “Because…because you aren’t afraid of her?”

    “That’s right,” Xiao Yu’er said. “No matter how powerful she is, as long as we stay here, she won’t dare to come in. And with her temperament, she won’t be waiting around out there either.”

    After reflecting on it, Jiang Yulang also laughed: “Ah, that’s right, she doesn’t know what we’ve got in here. She won’t take the risk. Even if she waited out there, she won’t wait for very long. Eventually we’ll get a chance to escape.”

    Xiao Mimi coaxed: “Come out, you little rotten eggs.”

    Xiao Yu’er yelled back: “Why don’t you come in, you old rotten egg.”

    She said, “So you’re really not coming out?”

    “How about you coming in?” he replied.

    “You’d rather stink yourselves to death?” Xiao Mimi said.

    Xiao Yu’er laughed loudly: “Don’t you worry, we won’t die of the stench. It’s so nice and comfy here, there’s sausages, wine, are you sure you won’t join us for a drink or two?”

    She joked back: “Even if you don’t care, I can’t bear the smell.” In a low voice she added, “Besides, I don’t even want you to come back up.”

    “Really now?” chortled Xiao Yu’er.

    Xiao Mimi explained, “If you come back up, I might kill you in a fit of anger. That would be too easy a death for you; I need you to die in a slow agony.”

    Xiao Yu’er laughed even louder: “And how are you going to make us slowly…” His laughter suddenly died.

    She was laughing now: “Go ahead, laugh, little rotten egg, why aren’t you laughing?”

    Jiang Yulang’s expression also changed. The two men yelled together: “Xiao Guniang, Miss Xiao…”

    No response came up the tunnel. They looked at each other, their faces the colour of ash.

    They heard a rumble, then a “wa la la” clattering and banging cacophony up the tunnel.

    Jiang Yulang stammered, “It’s over…”

    Xiao Yu’er muttered: “Incredible…hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, I should have known she would do this.”

    “Well, now we don’t have to worry about that toilet cover anymore,” Jiang Yulang groaned.

    Xiao Yu’er said loudly, “Well, she may have sealed up the entrance to the tunnel, but we could still dig our way out.”

    Sighing, Jiang Yulang said despairingly, “She meant to trap us in here. She would surely have fixed a metal barrier onto the toilet, or a stone lid or something...”

    “So we’ll just dig upward in another direction,” Xiao Yu’er stubbornly insisted.

    Jiang Yulang pointed out, “When this place was first constructed, it was designed to be water-resistant. Between us and the surface, there is a layer of stone about a foot thick.”

    A pause. Then Xiao Yu’er released Jiang Yulang’s sealed acupoints with a flick of his wrist. He said, “I suppose you won’t be trying anything funny…”

    Jiang Yulang could only mumble: “Half a month…after that, we’ll starve to death in here.”

    Xiao Yu’er slapped him heartily on the shoulder, then laughed loudly: “Come on, don’t give up, we’ve got at least half a month’s life to live then…I should have died so many times before now, this half a month is practically a gift.”

    Although he was laughing, his laughter was harsh and grated on their ears.

    Jiang Yulang had not moved for three hours.

    He was just sitting there, staring at nothing, in a daze, thinking about he knew not what. Xiao Yu’er opened the wine jar, and called to him eight times, but was ignored.

    So Xiao Yu’er had to drink by himself. He drank a mouthful and laughed. Another gulp, then a sigh. He muttered, “Refusing to drink when at death’s door, that person must be an idiot.” Jiang Yulang stared at him without a word.

    Xiao Yu’er continued to rant: “My only regret is, we’re dying a bit too soon. In fact I really regret it now, I should have enjoyed that body of Xiao Mimi’s. Ai, to not enjoy the fairer sex, what a positive waste of youth…”

    Swaying, he got to his feet, and went to swipe another link of sausage.

    Jiang Yulang snapped coldly: “You’re drunk.”

    Laughing, Xiao Yu’er shot back: “Well, drinking yourself to death is a much better way to go than dying of starvation.”

    Suddenly Jiang Yulang sprang up, and struck out with a palm. His body was light, and his hand was quick- this stroke was meant to take Xiao Yu’er’s life!

    End of Chapter 30

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