Has anyone done it yet? If not, I want to
Has anyone done it yet? If not, I want to
If an alaskan bear and a californian bear both jumped into water, which one will dissolve faster?
Go for it.
Some guy at the old WuxiaWorld forum started the first chapters but since then it's all quiet.
The 7 Weapons stories are really great.
*asteroid heads are notes
please leave anything i can improve on (ie. grammar) tkx
so here's the first book: Longevity Sword
Chapter 1: Wind & Cloud Inn
*Wind & Cloud (Feng Yun) implies an unstable or stormy situation
Upon the stone plated road, nine eccentric looking people appear, all wearing yellow hemp tunics, hemp shoes, and large bowl-sized golden earrings stringed on their left earlobe. They all have a head full of untidy red hair that spreads across their shoulders like flames.
Among the nine, there are tall, short, old, young; each with a different countenance, but they all have the same dead facial expression. They walk, without moving their shoulders or bending their knees, like zombies.
They slowly march through the long street, silencing everywhere they pass. Even the children suddenly stop crying because they are too scared.
At the end of the street, four giant lanterns sat atop a ten-meter flagpole.
Bright red lanterns, lacquer black words!
Written “Wind & Cloud Inn”.
The nine red-haired strange people walk to doorstep of the inn and stop. The first person takes off his golden earring and waves his hand. THUMP! The large earring strikes upon the stone wall besides the lacquer black gate.
Sparks flash as the earring wedges into the stone. The second person lifts a bundle of read hair from his shoulder and gently slices his left hand, as if it were a knife, through the hair.
The second person ties the locket of hair he had just cut to the golden earring upon the wall. The nine continue to walk forward.
The strands of red hairs wave in the wind as if they are flames, but the nine people have already disappeared into the boundless darkness.
Just at this moment, eight sturdy steeds came galloping from the darkness. The sounds of hooves thunders upon the stoned street as if they were rain hitting a wind sill or drums beating in battle.
All the riders wear green cloth robes, white cloths wrapped around their head, pointed shoes, and puttees around their lower leg. Every single one of them appeared bold and nimbly skilled.
As the eight horses fly pass “Inn of the Moment,” the eight riders all wave a hand at the same exact moment.
The sabers flash like lightning and another THUMP thudded. Suddenly, there are now eight glistening steel sabers stuck on the thick flagpole.
The sabers’ handles still vibrate as the red silk pieces at the handle butts puff and roll along.
The eight horses vanish.
Darkness thickens. The sound of hooves suddenly reappears in the street, seemingly more intense than the horde that had just passed.
But, there is only one horse.
A purely white without a single strand of mixed hair from head to toe arrives at the doorstep. With an unexpected neighing sound, the rider straightens up.
Now we can see clearly that the rider is a burly shirtless man with a curly beard. He black muscles seemed to be made of steel.
The husky man pulls the reins and sees the golden ring and red hair by the door and the eight sabers on the flagpole. With a smirk, he jumps off the saddle and his left and right hand, each grabs a leg of the his horse.
With a thundering howl, the man raises his horse up in the air and places it atop the door eave.
Another neigh sounds. Its manes dance in the air, but its four hooves, without a single movement, seem to be nailed to the eave.
The bearded man throws back his head with a sound of laughter and strides away. In a twinkle, he is gone, but the white horse is left deserted, standing under dark clouds and west winds, leaving an eerie feeling in the air.
The long street is desolate, for all the households have closed their doors.
“Wind & Cloud Inn” is also uninhabited. When customers saw the gold earring and eight sabers, they slipped away through the back door.
But, the white horse still stands not moving, as if it were a stone statue, in the face of the west wind.
Suddenly, a middle-aged thin-faced scholar wearing a blue robe and white socks slowly walks in a very leisure mood, but his pair of pupils shines with glory.
He folds his hands behind his back, walks slowly towards the inn, raises his chin to take a look, and sighs, “Excellent horse! Indeed an excellent horse, but pity the owner is heartless and wronged you.”
He suddenly waves an arm from behind his back, flying his long sleeves, sweeping a wave of strong wind.
The white horse is frightened and neighs again, as it leaps down from the door eave.
The middle-aged scholar supports the horse stomach with both his hands and places it lightly on the ground. He pats its rear and says, “Go back to tell you owner to come. Just say there is a good friend waiting for him.”
As if it understood the man’s intentions, the white horse instantly kicks its hooves and gallops away.
Middle-aged scholar pulls down the golden ring on the door side, then walks into the inn and taps the flagpole.
Eight steel sabers all fall down at the same moment.
The scholar sweeps his sleeve again and wraps the eight sabers within his sleeve. He then asks solemnly, “Where is the flag?”
A thin small shadow suddenly sweeps from within the inn, climbs atop the flagpole like an ape, and within seconds, reaches the top.
A large flag all of a sudden rolls out from the pole tip.
Upon the snow white flag is rampant jet-black dragon, looking as if it will burst pass the clouds and fly away any moment!
If an alaskan bear and a californian bear both jumped into water, which one will dissolve faster?
this book is one of Gu Long gems. Thanks for the effort
wow, many new translator just appeared. Good sign for Chinese illiterate member including me .
Disappeared Into Unannoying Signature
can someone give me some info on this story? does it take place during the XLFD era? this story has already caught my attention
Formerly DuGu Qiu Bai
The "Green Dragon Era" in which the Seven Weapons series take place should have existed during and right after XLFD's era.Originally posted by DuGu Qiu Bai
can someone give me some info on this story? does it take place during the XLFD era? this story has already caught my attention
There are no stars or moon, with dark clouds and intense winds.
But in the garden, the lights are brightly lit and the table is presented with wine.
The middle-aged scholar murmurs to himself slowly while drinking. Suddenly, he raises his cup towards the a large banyan tree outside the garden and smiles, “I’ve heard that Clan Leader Miao has the quality of rivers and oceans. Since you’re already here, why not come and have a drink?”
From the think shady banyan leaves rises an owl-like strange laughter. A shadow flies like an arrow and lands on the ground lightly as if it were a four ounce cotton.
The man has a pug nose, wide mouth, a head full of red hair, and wears three golden earrings upon his ears. Even when he has already reached the ground, his earrings still jingle. He is the Red Hair Clan Leader, “Flame God”, Miao Shao-Tian.
* Miao Shao-Tian: Miao=Surname, but also imply “tongue of fire”; Shao=Burn; Tian=Sky
His pair of eyes, as if they too have flames burning within, glares at the middle-aged scholar, and said heavily, “Is your excellency Sub-Clan Leader Gong-Suen of the Green Dragon Clan?”
The scholar stands and bows with his fists in front of his chest and replies, “Yes, it is I, Gong-Suen Jing.”
* Gong-Suen Jing: Gong-Suen=Surname; Jing=quite, still, calm
Miao Shao-Tian’s owl-like laughter roars again, “Indeed worthy of being a top figure in the Green Dragon Clan, such an keen pair of eyes.”
Suddenly, there is the sound of horse hooves, thick as rapid successions of heavy rain, galloping towards them.
Miao Shao-Tian’s pair of think flaming eyebrows wrinkled as he said, “Little Zhang has arrived, too. Not at all slow.”
The hooves sound abruptly stops; a clear voice laughs, “Green Dragon’s important date, who on earth is bold enough to be late?”
While the clear voice laughs, a person had already jumped over the wall to within. The man wears a study suit, purposely opened at the chest to show off his muscular pectorals that are even whiter than his suit.
Miao Shao-Tian gives a thumb up and snorted, “What a fine ‘White Horse’ Little Zhang San. Haven’t seen you for a few years, but you seem to have grown younger and more handsome? If Old Miao had a daughter, I’d definitely pick you as a son-in-law.”
* Zhang San: Zhang=Surname; San=three
“Even if you had a daughter, no one is daring enough to want her,” lightly replies White Horse Zhang San.
“Why?” Miao Shao-Tian stares at him.
“With your dignity, your daughter cannot be any better.”
Miao Shao-Tian stares at him, stares for a while until he finally replies, “We’ve come here today to do business, and don’t be impatient to start a fight.”
“How about drinking wine?” asks White Horse Zhang San .
“Then the more impatient, the better. Come, let’s toast three cups to Sub-Clan Leader Gong-Suen first.”
Gong-Suen Jing chuckled, “I have a weak wine capacity, how about let me first toast a cup for you three?”
Miao Shao-Tian folded his eyebrows, “Three?”
Only to hear a person chuckle from the ridge of a neighboring roof, “East-River Red Hair and West-River White Horse have already arrived, how could I be bold enough to be late?”
Miao Shao-Tian asks “Zhao Yi-Dao of Tai-Xing?”
But, he doesn’t need to wait for an answer.
He has already seen the bright saber, sharp saber!
* Zhao Yi-Dao: Zhao=Surname; Yi=one; Dao=saber
There is no scabbard.
The bright saber is inserted directly in the strap of his red belt.
A green cloth robe, white head wrap, and a belt redder than Miao Shao-Tian’s hair, match perfectly with his saber’s cloth.
Gong-Suen Jing’s eyes were sharp like the saber, slicing across the man’s face, “Green Dragon Clan passed out twelve invitations, but only three of you arrived tonight. Are the other nine no longer coming?”
“Nice, very directly asked,” says Zhao Yi-Dao.
“The three of you have come from thousands of miles away, of course you’ve not come to listen to nonsense,” Gong-Suen Jing says.
Miao Shao-Tian hideously grinned, “Of the rest of the nine guests, at least three will not be showing up.”
Zhao Yi-Dao corrects, “Six.”
“the Bamboo Clan, Steel Ring Sect, and Li Family of Tai-Yuan were all my doing,” says Miao Shao-Tian.
Zhao Yi-Dao adds, “Our three friends from Twelve Chained Chickens, Yangtze Waterways, and Yen Family Fists of Chen-Zhou, suddenly felt headaches when they were halfway here, so…”
“Now, their heads don’t hurt anymore,” Zhao Yi-Dao answers.
“Who cured them?”
Zhao Yi-Dao replies, “I sliced their heads off.”
He then adds slowly, “No matter whose head is cut off, they will have no more headaches.”
no...i don't think soif that so, will XLFD appear here?
Last edited by Huang YaoShi; 06-22-04 at 01:41 AM.
If an alaskan bear and a californian bear both jumped into water, which one will dissolve faster?
Miao Shao-Tian laughs, “Good method, very straight forth.”
White Horse Zhang San abruptly declares, “I’m afraid the two elders form Thousand Bamboo Village and Flying Fish Temple will not be coming.”
“They are sleeping, and in very deep sleep.”
“Where are they sleeping?”
“Bottom of Dong-Ting Lake.”
Miao Shao-Tian chuckles, “Clever. It’s not just a cooling area, but will never be disturbed.”
White Horse Zhang San calmly replies, “I have always given great care to the elders of Wulin.”
Zhao Yi-Dao says, “Those that should be here, should have already arrived, but where is Green Dragon Clan’s good?”
“Nice, directly asked,” replies Gong-Suen Jing.
“Sub-Leader has invited us here not to listen to nonsense either, I assume.”
Gong-Suen Jing nodded, “Indeed not.”
Zhao Yi-Dao asks, “Would you first like to hear my price?”
“What are we still waiting for?” asks Zhao Yi-Dao.
“The good did not come to us easily; the more people willing to auction, the better the price will be.”
Miao Shao-Tian stares, “You are still waiting for someone?”
“Don’t forget, I’ve invited nine more guests here, but you all have only finished off eight.”
“Who’s the one that’s left?”
“A person who neither has a headache or sleeps.”
“Honestly, this good is definitely going to us Red Hair Clan, so it doesn’t matter if there is someone else coming or not,” sneers Miao Shao-Tian.
White Horse Zhang San scoffs coldly, “Green Dragon Clan is generally fair in business deals. As long as your price offer is the highest, the good will go naturally to Red Hair Clan.”
Miao Shao-Tian says sternly, “Unless you want to compete with my price?”
“Why else would I come?”
Miao Shao-Tian rapidly stands up, staring at him. The golden earrings on his ears still jingled.
A sudden sound of a rattling and neighing reverberates a magnificent carriage, pulled by six horses, stops outside.
Four burly chest-puffing men strides the shaft of the cart, leaps off, and bends over to pull open the door.
After a long time, a beardless and obese pale man steps out of the carriage, panting. Having not even taken three steps, he is already tired and gasping for air like a bull.
Behind him is a tall and thin man dressed in black, following him like a shadow. He has a toasty tanned face and two eyes that sank in, as if he were a sickly ghost. But, his footsteps are extremely light and a shinny objects hang from his waist. At a closer look, the objects are a pair of solitary shaped swords.
These types of weapons are not only hard to practice, but also hard to make. People who use this type weapon are very rare, but those who do use this weapon, nine out of ten are experts.
Miao Shao-Tian, Zhao Yi-Dao, and White Horse Zhang San, three pairs of eyes, all immediately focuses on this pair of solitary swords.
White Horse Zhang San frowned as asked quietly, “Who is he?”
Gong-Suen Jing replies, “Young Master Zhu from Million Gold Hall of Suzhou.”
“And his bodyguard?”
Gong-Suen Jing smiles, “I’m afraid he’s only a bodyguard.”
White Horse Zhang San goes silent, but he then suddenly turned to Zhao Yi-Dao, “Didn’t he come from your way?”
“I think so,” replies Zhao Yi-Dao.
“How come he doesn’t have a headache?”
“Even if he did, I can’t cure it.”
“His head is too big,” says Zhao Yi-Dao lightly.
Young Master Zhu has already sat down, but he still constantly wipes his sweat and pants.
He had only walked a grand total of at most twenty or thirty steps, but looks as if he had just climbed seven or eight mountains.
The man in black still stuck behind him like a shadow, never more than an inch from his side, his pair of claw-like bony hands never able to leave the pair of rare weapons hanging from his waist.
Within his deep sunken in eyes contains a strange jeering spirit, as if mocking those who stand before his eyes, asking them why they have wasted their time in coming here.
The lanterns of Wing & Cloud Inn sway in the wind; just as Miao Shao Tian’s golden earrings jingle.
White Horse Zhang San feels a chill, and gently pulled his clothes over his bare chest, narrowing the gap of uncovered skin.
However, Zhao Yi-Dao looks contemplatively at the wine cup atop the table, as if deciding upon a harsh dilemma.
No one speaks because there is much hostility between the people present.
Gong Suen Jing is obviously enjoying their air of animosity. He slowly sighs and smiles, “The four of you do not know each other, but surely have heard of each other’s names. Therefore, you won’t need me to introduce yourselves.”
“Indeed not,” says Miao Shao-Tian.
“We didn’t come here with the purpose of making friends,” adds White Horse Zhang San.
“Even if we were originally friends, for this object, we won’t be anymore.” Miao Shao-Tian rolls his eyes sideways to look at him.
White Horse Zhang San scoffs, “Leader Miao has always been a sensible person.”
Miao Shao-Tian also scoffs, “Now that everyone is here, where is the stuff?”
“Of course there is the stuff, but…” says Gong-Suen Jing.
“The Green Dragon Clan always follows the rules exactly while doing business. We stress attention to equal honesty with aged and young customers and money exchange on the spot.”
“Okay!” agreed Miao Shao-Tian.
He clapped his hands, and the nine hemp dressed freaky men suddenly appears from the darkness. Every one of them holds a hemp bag, obviously not of lightweight.
At this moment, there is again the sound of heavy footsteps at the door. The curly bearded man carries a large iron chest above him, walking slowing inside. Blocks of his iron-like black muscles protrude out. Every step he takes, his foot leaves a deep impression in the ground.
“Golden ring surrounds eight walls, white horse neighing in wind, now that I’ve seen, I see that Red Haired Nine Heroes and Giant Hercules have arrived,” smiles Gong-Suen Jing.
“Don’t forget about Eight Blasting Sabers,” adds White Horse Zhang San.
Zhao Yi-Dao finally lifts his head and chuckles, “Red Hair of East-River and White Horse of West-River are both of great wealth and power. How can Fast Sabers of Tai-Xing compete for first? This stuff, us brothers will resign from competition.”
Miao Shao-Tian laughs wildly, “Good, Chief Zhao is a sensible man.”
His laughter suddenly stops, his fire-like vision nailed at Young Master Zhu, “So what is Million Gold Hall’s young master’s intention?”
Young Master Zhu’s heavy breathing has finally stopped and gazes at his hands like a young man looking at his first love.
But, he still replies to Miao Shao-Tian’s question by asking, “You are asking for my meaning?”
“I have no meanings. I’m usually too lazy to think.”
Miao Shao-Tian’s face now shows anger, “No meanings? No gold?”
“How much did you bring?”
“You want to see?”
“Here, they stress attention on hard money exchange on the spot.”
“You’ve already seen it.”
“My words are the gold.”
Miao Shao-Tian’s face turns solemn, “So however much you say, is amount counted?”
“You mean, if I offered one hundred thousand, you would offer one hundred thousand and one?”
“You are indeed a sensible man.”
Miao Shao-Tian’s eyesight suddenly moves toward the pair of solitary shaped swords.
The nine hemp-dressed red haired freaks has already quietly moved themselves to surround Young Master Zhu. But, Young Master Zhu still stares at his pair of hands, as if except for this pair of hands, there is nothing worth looking at.
With a sudden “ding” sound, as if two golden cups striking each other, Miao Shao-Tian’s hand has already clawed toward the pair of solitary swords.
His movement is both swift and accurate.
He never would have thought that another pair of hands is faster than his—a pair of fat and well maintained hands.
His hands has not yet reached the pair of solitary swords, but this pair of hands suddenly took the golden earrings off his ear.
The golden earrings clashed against themselves, and another “ding” sounded.
Miao Shao-Tian turns his body over high in the air and retreats six meters.
The man in black still sticks behind Young Master Zhu like a shadow, not moving.
Young Master Zhu still gazes at his pair of hands, only this time, astonishingly, they hold an extra pair golden rings.
White Horse Zhang San’s facial expression changed, too.
Zhao Yi-Dao looks at the wine cup in front of him and suddenly sighs, “Now you understand what I mean?”
“Even if he had a headache, I can’t cure it.”
White Horse Zhang San couldn’t help but also sigh, “Yes, his head is truly too large.”
Gong-Suen Jing, showing a slight smile, says slowly, “Since everyone has brought their money, we shall go see the stuff.”
“Right, it’s best to see the stuff first. Perhaps I might not even be willing to offer a price,” says Young Master Zhu leisurely.
He puts the golden rings in the hands atop the table, takes out a snow-white silk cloth to carefully wipe his hands, and finally rises up, “please, please show the way.”
“Please, please follow me,” says Gong-Suen Jing.
He is the first to walk toward the inn, followed behind by Young Master Zhu slowly, as if about to pant again.
The man in black still follows, no more than one step away, Young Master Zhu. Now, White Horse Zhang San understands why his eyes contained such jeering spirit.
He isn’t scorning the people around him, but instead, himself.
Because only he understands that the person he is protecting, simply does not need his protection.
Miao Shao-Tian walks at the end, tightly gripping his pair of golden rings, with the blue veins on the back of his hand popping out.
He wasn’t suppose to come, but he must come.
The stuff seems as if it has a strange magnet, sucking him towards it step by step.
Not until the last moment, he will not give up any chances.
The stone stairs had originally faced upward, but now they suddenly sink downwards, revealing a shady tunnel.
At the entrance of the tunnel, there stand two statue-like men. For every ten steps afterward, there also stand two men, alike the first two. Their faces sullen like the green stoned walls.
On the stonewall, there is a carved rampant green dragon.
It has been rumored that the Green Dragon Clan has three hundred sixty-five secret alters. This place is no doubt one of them.
At the end of the passage, there are a couple very thick iron bars.
Gong-Suen Jing takes out a large chain of keys from his belt and used three of the keys to open three locks. Only then, did the two guards behind the bars pull open the door.
But this is still not the last door.
Gong-Suen Jing gently smiled, “I know many people are able to come here; the security here is not the most difficult to pass. But, to move forward from here on is an arduous task.”
“Why?” asks Young Master Zhu.
“Between here and the stone door over there, there are a total of thirty hidden triggers. I can guarantee that there are no more than seven people in this world that can pass all thirty of them.”
Young Master Zhu sighs, “Luckily, I’m definitely not one of these seven people.”
“Why don’t you give it a try?” says [/I]Gong-Suen Jing[/I] in a even more amiable manner.
“Perhaps I’ll try sometime in the future, but as of the present, I won’t.”
“Because I’m still very happy with living right now.”
The distance from the iron bars to the stone door is not very far, but after hearing Gong-Suen Jing’s words, the stone door seems to be ten times farther away.
The stone door is very heavy.
Gong-Suen Jing, again, used three keys to open the locks on the door.
Behind the two feet thick door, lays a stone cell that is nine feet wide.
Inside the room seems ghastly and frosty, as if inside the heart of the tomb of an ancient king.
Where the coffin is supposed to lie, lays instead a giant iron trunk.
To open this trunk, requires at least three more keys.
But, these three keys were not the last three, for inside the giant trunk was another, smaller iron chest.
Young Master Zhu sighed again, “Just judging by this unbeatable security, we should offer higher prices.”
“Young Master Zhu is indeed a sensible man,” grins Gong-Suen Jing.
He raises the small chest out and opens it.
His amiable smile suddenly disappears, his expression seems as if someone had stuffed a rotten persimmon in his mouth.
Inside the small iron chest is empty, save a single piece of paper.
On the paper is written, “Thank you, you are truly a kind man.”
The stone room was ghastly and frosty, but Gong-Suen Jing actually starts to sweat. Drops as large as soybeans drip down his pale face.
Young Master Zhu looks at him, his eyes as gentle as when he was looking at his own hands, and tenderly says, “You must know.”
“Know who is thanking you.”
Gong-Suen Jing clenches his fists and suddenly turns and dashes outward.
Young Master Zhu sighs and murmurs, “Looks like he really is a kind man. Too bad they say that kind people don’t live long…”
“Suppose there really is only seven people who can pass the thirty triggers, which seven are they?”
“There is one that definitely does not have any problem. No matter how you count them, he must be one of the seven.”
“Who is it?”
END OF CHAPTER 1
Can you please tell me the order of GL's 7 Weapon series to be read? Qiqi.com doesn't arrange all series in order.
The order I read them in were:
Fists (direct sequel to Tyrant Spear)
Seemed to work for me.
The version I read had it this way:Originally posted by TigerWong
The order I read them in were:
Fists (direct sequel to Tyrant Spear)
Seemed to work for me.
Maybe Gu Long was into prequels?
Just wondering. Iti's quite weel done, and I'd like to read more of it, what with the thr TV/movie adaptation coming up.
I'd like to continue finishing the Longevity Sword part of the 7 Weapon Series. I don't have Chinese skills, so some part of the translations are probably not correct. Feel free to jump in and give the corrected version.
I'll include Chapter 2 part 1 and 2 done by Siven as well.
A city of white jade in the sky,
Has five towers and twelve castles,
Where a divine being touched the top of my head,
Making the hair grow long and my life with it.
~ Li Bai*
[Famous Tang dynasty poet. This poem originally appears at the start of the story, but since the first translation did not include it, I'm giving it here as a reference.]
Chapter 2: Heavenly Bai Yu-jing
Bai Yu Jing* was not in heaven, but on a horse.
[Bai: surname, literally means white; Yu: jade; Jing – capital city; taken together the name becomes “White Jade City,” which appears in the famous poem, and is used by the author for the name of the protagonist as a wordplay.]
His saddle was worn with age, his boots and scabbard just as old, but his clothes were brand new.
The scabbard dangled loosely against his saddle; the spring breeze blew softly across his face.
He felt very pleased, very comfortable.
An old saddle was better for sitting; well-worn boots felt cozier on his feet; a used scabbard would never harm the finely-hone edge of his sword; new clothes always made him feel alert and rested, full of energy.
What he was most pleased about, however, were not these things, but a pair of eyes.
In a large carriage in front of him, a pair of captivating eyes peered at him furtively. This was not the first time he had seen these eyes. He remembered that the first time he saw them was in the inn of a small town.
He had just entered the inn, she was coming out.
She bumped into him.
Her apologetic smile was full of self-conscious shyness, her face bright red as rain-soaked sunset.
Embarrassed as she was, he secretly hoped that she would bump into him again, because though she really was a very attractive woman, he really was not a perfect gentleman.
The second time he saw her was in a restaurant. He had just began his third drink when she came in, saw him, and gave him that same smile, bowing her head demurely.
Her smile was still filled with shyness and embarrassment. That time he smiled too.
This was because he knew, had she bumped into another person, she would never have smiled again and again.
He also knew that he was not a dislikable man, something he was quite confident about.
That was why he left first, but did not hurry along the road.
As expected, her carriage had now caught up to his horse -- did this happen for a purpose? Or was it pure chance? He thought himself a vagrant, born to wander, and had met all kinds of people along the road of his travels.
There were barbarians with red beards who roamed outside the walls of civilization, and cataphracts that rumbled across the great desert; there were fearless outlaws who slaughtered without blinking, as well as young, idealistic champions of chivalry.
During his wanderings, his saddle and scabbard gradually became worn and old; his beard grew stiff and thick.
But his life was always fresh and colorful.
He could never foresee these things -- what events might take place in the next stage of his journey? What kind of people he would meet?
The wind grew cold.
Misty spring rain suddenly fell from the clouds, wetting his new clothes.
The carriage before him stopped. He approached it, only to find the curtain already pulled aside, and those captivating eyes gazing intently at him.
Captivating eyes, shy smile, a face the shape of sunflower seed*, untouched by makeup, but wearing a dress vivid as clouds at sunset.
[”Face like a sunflower seed” is a commonly used Chinese expression to describe beautiful women, something like “teardrop-shaped face” in English.]
She pointed at her delicate feet, then at his wet clothes.
Her hand was frail and slender as scallion in the spring.*
[Again, another common Chinese literary expression to describe the slenderness of a woman’s hands.]
He pointed at himself, then at the inside of the carriage.
She nodded, and with a charming smile, opened the door.
The interior of the carriage was cushy and dry, the silken seat covers smooth like her skin.
He dismounted, stepping up into the carriage.
Rain was still falling in a suffusing and playful mist; it rained just at the right time.
In spring time, it seemed that nature often indulged in the arrangement of serendipitous encounters, to bring fascinating people together in unexpected places.
There was not the least bit of awkwardness, nor unnecessary words.
It was as if he had known her since he was born. It was as if for his whole life he had expected to sit in this carriage.
It was a lonely journey, the travelers forlorn -- who can say that they should not have met by chance?
As he thought about wiping his rain-drenched face with his sleeve, she passed him a handkerchief of soft, red silk.
He gazed at her, but she lowered her head to play with a corner of her dress.
“My surname is Bai, call me Bai Yu Jing.”
She smiled charmingly and said, “A city of white jade in the heavens? Has five towers and twelve castles, where a divine being touched the top of my head, making the hair grow long and my life with it.”
He too smiled. “You like Li Bai too?”
She held a corner of her dress between her slender fingers, and began to recite in a soothing voice, “Traveling on the eastern sea, I beheld a mirage of the mountain of Lao. Upon the mountain I met the legendary Master An, who fed me plums big as melons, so that I grew old with no thought of my homeland. The pink vibrancy of youth left my face, and my hair took on the whiteness that signaled the end of life. I thirst for the golden elixir, and to step onto the chariot of clouds. I wish to follow the master into the heavenly beyond, and while away time by sweeping fallen flowers, accompanied by fairy maidens*.”
[An unskilled, rough translation of the original Chinese poem, as was the one in a prior paragraph.]
At the part about the mountain of Lao, she voice seemed to pause.
Bai Yu Jing ventured, “Miss Lao?”
Bowing her head even lower, she replied softly, “Yuan Zi Xia*.”
[Yuan: surname; Zi: purple; Xia: wispy clouds at sunset.]
Suddenly there came the sound of galloping hooves, as three horses dashed past, and three pairs of sharp eyes swept the inside of the carriage.
As the horses sprinted away, the rider in the rear suddenly leaped up from his saddle, lunging backward over the distance of two zhang to land in Bai Yu Jing’s saddle, and with a tap of the point of his foot, picked up the scabbard that hung from the saddle.
The three horses turned back toward the carriage.
With another twist of his body, the rider moved nimbly onto his own saddle.
In an almost imperceptibly short time all three horses disappeared into the hazy mist, no longer to be seen.
Yuan Zi Xia’s beautiful eyes widened as she exclaimed, “They stole your sword!”
Bai Yu Jing gave her a slight grin.
Yuan Zi Xia said, “You saw them taking your property, and you’re not going to do anything about it?”
Bai Yu Jing kept grinning.
Biting her lip, Yuan Zi Xia said, “It is said that there’re some people in the kung-fu world, who hold their swords dear as their lives.”
“I’m not that kind of person,” said Bai Yu Jing.
Yuan Zi Xia sighed softly, seemingly disappointed.
Are there any girls who did not adore dashing heroes? If you fought to the death for a sword, they might liken you to a fool, or they might shed tears for you.
But if you sat there watching others take your sword away and did nothing, they would invariably feel disappointed.
Bai Yu Jing looked at her, then grinned once more and said, “You seem to know a lot about things in the kung-fu world.”
Yuan Zi Xia replied, “Not a lot, but I like to listen, and watch.”
“Is that why you left home to travel alone?” asked Bai Yu Jing.
Yuan Zi Xia nodded, and took to playing with the corner of her dress again.
Bai Yu Jing then said, “Fortunately you have not seen much; when you have seen too much you are bound to be disappointed.”
“Why?” Yuan Zi Xia asked.
“The things you see are never as romantic as the stories you hear,” Bai Yu Jing replied.
Yuan Zi Xia appeared to want to ask something more, but stopped herself.
Just then, galloping hooves resounded once more, as the three horses that just flew past them returned.
The rider in the lead leaned back suddenly like a flag blown away by the wind, and with an outreached hand, returned the scabbard to its former place on the saddle.
At the same time, his two companions brought their raised hands together, open palm covering balled fist*, and bowed forward from their saddles, before disappearing into the fine mist again.
[A gesture of respect.]
Yuan Zi Xia’s eyes became wider, looking perplexed and excited. “They brought back your sword!”
Bai Yu Jing simply grinned.
Yuan Zi Xia blinked, then said, “You knew they were going to return it?”
Bai Yu Jing grinned again.
Yuan Zi Xia stared at him, eyes bright with intensity. “They seemed afraid of you.”
“’Afraid of me?’” Bai Yu Jing repeated.
“You…you must have killed a lot of people with this sword!” Yuan Zi Xia’s voice trembled with excitement.
“Do I look like a killer?” Bai Yu Jing asked.
“No,” Yuan Zi Xia admitted.
“I didn’t think so either,” said Bai Yu Jing.
“But then, why were they afraid of you?” Yuan Zi Xia asked doubtfully.
“Maybe they were afraid of you, not me,” Bai Yu Jing suggested.
Yuan Zi Xia smiled. “Me? Why would they be afraid of me?”
Bai Yu Jing said with a sigh, “’One smile can conquer a city, another smile can lay low a country.’ No matter how sharp a sword is, it can never compare to the smile of a beauty.”
At this Yuan Zi Xia’s smile became even more alluring. Eyes winking, she said, “You…are you afraid of me or not?”
There seemed to be an irresistible power in her eyes, something that seemed to challenge him.
Sighing, Bai Yu Jing said, “Even if I didn’t want to be afraid of you, I can’t help it.”
Yuan Zi Xia bit her lip, then said, “If you’re so afraid of me, you better do as I say, right?”
“Of course,” Bai Yu Jing nodded.
“Good,” Yuan Zi Xia seemed satisfied, “Then I want you to have a drink with me.”
Bai Yu Jing looked surprised. “You can drink?”
“I don’t look like I can hold my liquor?”
“You do,” Bai Yu Jing answered with another sigh.
He had no choice but to admit.
Because he knew, drinking is like the business of killing, you could never tell who is good at it just from looks.
Chapter 2 Part 2
Bai Yu Jing had been drunk before, quite often, but never as drunk as this.
When he was very young, he had already learned a lesson.
In the kung-fu world three types of people were most difficult to deal with – beggars, monks, and women.
If you wished to pass your days in peace, it was best not to bother them, whether in picking a fight, or in drinking.
Regrettably he forgot this lesson little by little, maybe because he did not want his days to be so peaceful.
This was why he ended up with a splitting headache.
He only remembered that at the end he lost three rounds in a row in their drinking game, and downed three large drinks, very quickly and coolly.
Afterwards his mind seemed to have abruptly became empty, and if not for something icy cold suddenly lying on his face, he might not have awakened.
Something this cold, must be the hand of Xiao Fang*.
[Xiao: little, a prefix of endearment between friends used before a person’s first name, similar to “little brother.”]
No person could have a hand this cold, except that Xiao Fang did not have a right hand.
In place of his right hand was an iron hook.
Xiao Fang was called Fang Long Xiang*, though he was not little.
[Fang: surname; Long – dragon; Xiang – aromatic, sweet-smelling.]
If you heard this name, and thought him a woman, you would be solely mistaken, as there probably were very few men in this world more manly than him.
Though their corners had become lined, his eyes were still sharp and bright, and could often see things you might not notice.
Now he was staring at Bai Yu Jing.
Bai Yu Jing looked up, and, clasping his head in both hands, said, “Heavens, it’s you. Why have you come?”
“I’m here because your ancestors earned enough karma,” Fang Long Xiang replied.
With the iron hook he lightly stroked Bai Yu Jing’s neck, and said in a nonchalant voice, “If I was Twin-Hook Wei Chang*, I’m afraid your head might be elsewhere already.”
[Presumably one of Bai Yu Jing’s enemies, who wielded a pair of hooks.]
Bai Yu Jing sighed, murmuring, “A quick death like that might not be so unpleasant.”
Fang Long Xiang too sighed. “It’s one of your problems, your life has always been entirely too pleasant.”
“How did you know I was here?” Bai Yu Jing asked.
“Do you know how you got here?” Fang Long Xiang enquired in return.
They were in a very clean-looking room, with a window showing the shade of a large maidenhair tree outside.
Bai Yu Jing took a look around, grinned helplessly and said, “Could it really be you who brought me here?”
Fang Long Xiang said, “Who do you think did?”
Bai Yu Jing said, “Where’s Miss Yuan?”
“She was drunk as you,” Fang Long Xiang replied.
Bai Yu Jing smiled. “I knew from the start, there was no way she could drink more than me.”
“She couldn’t drink more than you? Then how did you become drunk first?” Fang Long Xiang asked.
“I drunk a lot more.”
“Being a man, I didn’t insist that she drink the same amount as me every time, and while we played the drinking game, I didn’t hold her to the rules too seriously, so how could I not have drunk so much more than she did?” Bai Yu Jing reasoned.
“If you two were to fight, you’d naturally be too much of a man to take it seriously,” said Fang Long Xiang.
Fang Long Xiang sighed. “The words of old timers’ in the kung-fu world indeed are never wrong.”
“It’s because most men have the same problem as you, so old timers understood, whether for fighting or drinking, never ever go up against a woman.”
“You’re an old timer now?” Bai Yu Jing smirked.
Fang Long Xiang continued, “Still, there’s one thing I wouldn’t have thought, which is how big your ego has grown.”
“While you’re taking a nap here, there’re at least ten people standing guard outside.”
Appearing startled, Bai Yu Jing asked, “What kind of people?”
“Naturally people who were sent by powerful backers.”
“Who are they anyway?”
“If you can still stand up, you can see for yourself.”
This room was the last one on the upper floor of a small building. It had a rear window overlooking a narrow alley.
A hunchback wearing a tattered felt hat and shabby winter coat sat napping under the spring sun.
Fang Long Xiang pushed open the window with his hook. “Can you tell who this hunchback is?”
“I can only see that he’s a hunchback,” Bai Yu Jing observed dryly.
“You’ll know who he is if he took off that hat.”
“How would I know?”
“Because the color of his hair is different from others’.”
Frowning once, Bai Yu Jing said, “East River Red Haired Clan?”
Fang Long Xiang nodded. “Judging by his look, if not the second of the Nine Crimson Haired Fiends, he must be number seven.”
Bai Yu Jing asked no more, having always trusted Fang Long Xiang’s sharp eyes.
Fang Longxiang said: "You have a look again at that person under the lane entrance tree."
At the entrance to the narrow alley stood another large fruit tree, beneath which was a cart hawking soup made from the ground up roots of the lotus. The vendor was just pouring a pot of boiled water into a bowl of powder.
The pot looked very big, very heavy, yet he picked it up with one hand, seemingly without much exertion.
“His wrist strength isn’t bad,” Bai Yu Jing noted.
“Of course it’s not bad,” Fang Long Xiang replied, “Otherwise he wouldn’t be able to wield a twenty-seven-pound* saber.”
[The Chinese pound is about half a kilogram.]
“Twenty-seven-pound saber? He’s from Tai-Hang Mountain?*”
[A famous mountain in China, presumably known for its style of kung-fu utilizing heavy sabers.]
“You finally got it right this time. His saber is hidden in the cart.”
“What about the man having the soup?” Bai Yu Jing pointed out.
Crouched at the foot of the tree was a man holding a bowl of freshly made lotus root soup. He was drinking it slowly, but his eyes appeared riveted in the direction of their room.
Fang Long Xiang said, “The cart has two sabers.”
Bai Yu Jing asked, “Both are brothers of Zhao Yi-Dao*?”
[Zhao: surname; Yi-Dao: roughly, “one stroke of the saber.”]
“He is Zhao Yi-Dao,” Fang Long Xiang replied. He patted Bai Yu Jing on the shoulder. “Having Zhao Yi-Dao as a guard, you can’t say your ego is small.”
Bai Yu Jing smiled. “My ego isn’t small to begin with.”
Just then a government detective, wearing a red ball-tipped hat* and pale colored uniform, meandered over from the other end of the alley. When he reached the foot of the tree, he too bought a bowl of soup.
[A symbol of office, part of the uniform.]
“Looks like Zhao Yi-Dao should really change his job to selling lotus root soup,” Bai Yu Jing said with a grin, “The business doesn’t look bad, and there doesn’t seem to be any risk.”
“No risk?” asked Fang Long Xiang.
“What risk is there?” Bai Yu Jing asked in return.
“The man in the red ball-tipped hat, there’s no telling when he might give him a knife in the back.”
“Since when did government detectives kill people at will in small alleys?”
“He may be wearing a detective’s hat now, but he got here on a white horse.”
“White Horse Zhang San*?” said Bai Yu Jing.
[Zhang: surname; San: three. Zhang San is something like John Doe in English, usually used as a pseudonym.]
“It didn’t occur to you?”
“White Horse Zhang San always worked by himself. How did he get on the same boat as these guys?”
Fang Long Xiang replied drily, “That’s what I wanted to ask you.”
“Could it be coincidence?”
“Few things on earth are as coincidental as this then.”
Bai Yu Jing poured himself a cup of cold tea, drained it in one gulp, then asked, “Other than the four of them, who else are here?”
“Don’t you want to take a look outside?” said Fang Long Xiang.
“These ones are enough for me to look at already.”
“Take a nice and long look then, though I assure you the other characters are no less interesting.”
“How did you know all these people came?” Bai Yu Jing asked.
“Don’t forget whose turf this is,” Fang Long Xiang answered with a grin.
Bai Yu Jing too grinned. “If I had forgotten, I wouldn’t have passed out in a drunken stupor.”
Fang Long Xiang eyed him disapprovingly. “So it was all in your plan then. You counted on me to be your bodyguard.”
“You’re my bodyguard, and you’ll pick up my tab too,” Bai Yu Jing said, smiling. “Since I’m a guest here, I’m going to leave everything in your hands.”
“What are you going to be in charge of then?”
“I’m going to be in charge of eating and drinking, until you cry for my help.”
Fang Long Xiang sighed and smiled weakly. “A person like you never gets drunk in the wrong place.”
Below the room’s front window was a courtyard, neither too big nor too small.
A purple-veined tree grew in the courtyard, beneath which stood a large vat of goldfish.
A plump young man, with hands crossed behind him, was looking at the goldfish. A tall and skinny figure in black followed behind him like a shadow.
An elderly woman, her hair all white, led a small, thirteen to fourteen-year-old boy across the courtyard in slow and faltering steps.
Three burly men in light-colored, athletic clothes stood in a row before the rooms on the west side of the courtyard, staring straight at the gates as if expecting someone to enter.
“I saw these three yesterday,” Bai Yu Jing mentioned.
“Where?” said Fang Long Xiang.
“On the road.”
“They were looking for you?”
“They only wanted to borrow my sword for a look.”
“Then they brought it back, naturally,” Bai Yu Jing replied coolly. “Even if it were the boss of the Green Dragon Clan who borrowed my sword, he would have returned it all the same.”
Fang Long Xiang frowned, and said, “You know they’re from the Green Dragon Clan?”
“If not from the Green Dragon Clan, I doubt others would have that much guts.”
Fang Long Xiang glanced at him from the corner of his eye, then shook his head and said, “Who do you think you are?”
“I’m Bai Yu Jing.”
Fang Long Xiang blinked. “What kind of person is Bai Yu Jing then?”
Bai Yu Jing replied with a grin, “A person who can’t be killed easily.”
Suddenly with a sharp sound the vat holding the goldfish cracked open, struck by some unknown object. The water within spilled out, and was about to drench the plump young man from head to toe.
No one could have expected it, but the body of the plump young man, weighing several hundred pounds, suddenly floated upward. With one finger he hooked a branch of the veined tree and hung himself in midair, as if his body were made of paper.
Surprisingly, it was the man in black whose pants became drenched.
“Who’d have thought, his flying technique isn’t bad,” said Bai Yu Jing.
“You can’t tell who he is?” Fang Long Xiang asked.
“From his moves, he seems to be from the Eh-Mei sect, except that since some thirty years ago, all that remained of the sect were nuns, who were all vegetarians. They couldn’t have produced a fat guy like him.”
“You’re forgetting the head mistress of the Eh-Mei sect,” Fang Long Xiang prompted. “Which family did she come from, before she became a nun?”
“The Zhu family, from the province of Su.”
“Correct,” Fang Long Xiang confirmed. “This fat guy is the family’s oldest son, the young master.”
“What about his bodyguard?”
“Not sure,” said Fang Long Xiang, “But judging by his kung-fu, a third-rate character at most.”
“He evidently knows first-rate kung-fu himself, so why take on a third-rate bodyguard?”
“Because it pleases him?” Fang Long Xiang shrugged.
The goldfish in the vat had poured out with the water. They thrashed about on the ground spastically.
The black-clad man, however, stood with his feet in the water motionlessly. His deep-set eyes showed seven parts of gloom, and three parts of grief.
Fang Long Xiang suddenly let out a long sigh, and said, “Now this is someone that deserves sympathy.”
“You pity him?” Bai Yu Jing asked.
“If not backed up against the wall with nowhere to go, who would willingly take a job like this? Also, judging by his weapon, he probably had a little fame in the kung-fu world, but now…” Fang Long Xiang abruptly changed the subject, asking instead, “Can you tell who broke the vat?”
“Si-Ma Guong*?” Bai Yu Jing offered.
[Si-Ma: surname; Guong: light; a famous scholar and official during the Northern Song dynasty, who in a well-known story broke a vat with a brick to save a friend.]
Fang Long Xiang gave him an annoyed look. “Funny, almost funny enough to die for.”
Bai Yu Jing grinned and said, “If it wasn’t Si-Ma Guong who broke the vat, then it must be someone hiding in the third room on the east side.”
Having dropped down from the tree branch, Young Master Zhu was snickering at that very room.
The white-haired old woman appeared with a wash basin, apparently wanting to put the goldfish inside. Her footing unsteady, she suddenly stumbled, and the water in the basin again splashed all over the ground.
“Who do you think this old lady is?” Bai Yu Jing asked.
“She’s an old lady,” Fang Long Xiang replied wryly.
“Why would an old lady come here?”
“This is an inn, anybody can come.”
“At least, she’s not here because of me?”
“You aren’t old enough yet.”
“Pale Dragon, Quick Saber, Crimson Hair and White Horse, all these people are here just for me?” Bai Yu Jing sounded doubtful.
“What do you think?”
“I don’t know.”
“You never ran afoul of them before?”
“No,” Bai Yu Ying shook his head.
“Never took their property?”
“Am I a robber?”
“Even if not, you can’t be far from one.”
Bai Yu Jing gave a quick chuckle, then said unhurriedly, “If they’re really here for me, why haven’t they sought me out?”
“Perhaps they’re afraid of you, or perhaps they’re waiting for someone,” Fang Long Xiang suggested.
“Waiting for whom?”
“The Pale Dragon Clan has three hundred and sixty five separate altars*, each led by an altar-master. None of them are easy to deal with.”
[Here it means a division of the clan.]
“I don’t seem that easy to deal with either,” Bai Yu Jing said with a smile.
“What about her?” Fang Long Xiang asked.
“Your drunken heroine.”
“What about her?”
“Since she came with you, you aren’t going to just leave her are you?” Fang Long Xiang questioned. “They already know she’s with you, so you think they’ll just let her go?”
Frowning, Bai Yu Jing became silent.
Fang Long Xiang sighed. “You were living a pretty good life. Why throw all that away and come here to suffer?”
Bai Yu Jing smiled coolly. “I’m not suffering yet.”
“If it hasn’t began yet, can’t be far now,” Fang Long Xiang said with a grin.
As his words ended, the sound of someone knocking on the wall came from next door.
“Is that her?” Bai Yu Jing asked.
Fang Long Xiang nodded and slapped him on the shoulder. “I’m afraid your suffering is about to begin.”
“Sometimes suffering is a pleasure, and pleasure, a suffering,” Fang Long Xiang observed wisely.
Yuan Zi Xia lay against the pillow upon a head of disheveled hair, her face pale as if she had been deathly sick.
The door to her room was shut but not barred. It was not known whether she had just unbarred it or never did in the first place.
She held a shoe in her hand, the print of which remained on the plaster wall.
Bai Yu Jing entered the room quietly and looked down at her.
He discovered suddenly that a woman who had been drunk the night before, took on a new, indescribable allure the morning after.
His heartbeat quickened.
If a man, who had been drunk the night before, saw a beautiful woman the next morning, his heart was bound to beat faster.
Yuan Zi Xia was gazing at him too. Biting her lip lightly, she said, “My head feels as if it’s about to split open, and you’re still laughing.”
“I’m not laughing,” said Bai Yu Jing.
“There’s no laughter on your face, but your heart is laughing.”
Bai Yu Jing grinned. “You can see into my heart?”
“En*,” Yuan Zi Xia made an affirmative sound.
[A Chinese interjection, meaning yes or a positive reply.]
The sound seemed to have come from her nose.
The sounds a woman makes with her nose, are often far more appealing than those that come out of her mouth.
Bai Yu Jing could not resist but ask, “You can tell what’s in my heart?”
“I can’t,” Yuan Zi Xia shook her head emphatically.
“Because…because…” Her face reddening suddenly, she pulled up the blanket to hide behind, then smiled and said coyly, “Because your heart is having impure thoughts.”
Bai Yu Jing’s heart beat even faster.
Indeed he was having impure thoughts.
A man who was drunk the night before usually became more vulnerable the next morning, and less able to withstand temptation.
What about a woman who was drunk the night before? Bai Yu Jing almost could not resist going over to her.
Yuan Zi Xia’s eyes peered out at him from under the blanket. She too seemed to wish that he would come closer.
He was not a gentleman, but when his thoughts turned to those outside “standing guard” for him, his heart sunk.
Her face bearing the trace of a scarlet sunset, Yuan Zi Xia bit her lip and said, “When I saw you keep trying to get me drunk last night, I knew you weren’t really a nice guy.”
Bai Yu Jing sighed, and said with a strained smile, “I was trying to get you drunk?”
“You weren’t?” Yuan Zi Xia eyed him with annoyance. “Then why did we drink out of big bowls? Since when have you seen girls drink out of big bowls?”
Bai Yu Jing could say nothing.
When a woman is quibbling with you, even if you have something to say, it is best that you keep your mouth shut.
This was something he understood well.
Unlucky for him Yuan Zi Xia was not about to let him off so easily. “Now my head is hurting so much, how are you going to make it up to me?” she went on to say.
“You tell me.” Bai Yu Jing gave her a pitiable grin.
She looked at him thoughtfully. “You…you should at least make my headache go away.”
A voice suddenly yelled, “That’s easy, just cut her head off.”
The voice came from the hallway.
Before it had ended, Bai Yu Jing leaped out of the door.
The hallway was very narrow. The leafs of the maidenhair tree were swaying in the breeze.
There was no one to be seen, not even a shadow, Fang Long Xiang having departed a while earlier.
He did not like being the slice of pickle sandwiched between opponents.
If not Fang Long Xiang, then whose voice was it? The courtyard was once again silent.
Some one had cleaned up the goldfish on the ground. Young Master Zhu and his bodyguard likely went back to their rooms.
Only the three burly men from the Green Dragon Clan remained, still standing there staring at the gates, waiting for someone unknown.
Bai Yu Jing could only go back into the room.
Yuan Zi Xia had sat up in bed. Face turning pale white again, she asked, “Who’s outside?”
“No one,” Bai Yu Jing replied.
Her eyes widened. “No one? Then who was talking?”
Bai Yu Jing smiled rigidly, the only response he could think of.
Yuan Zi Xia’s eyes became clouded with fear as she spoke hesitantly, “He…he told you to cut off my head…You won’t do it will you?”
Bai Yu Jing could only sigh.
Suddenly Yuan Zi Xia jumped up from the bed and dove into his arms, her voice trembling, “I’m scared. This place is creepy, you can’t leave me here by myself.”
Her hands hung from his neck tightly. The sleeves of her dress slid down, revealing arms smooth as jade.
All she wore was a flimsy gown. Her chest felt warm and firm. Bai Yu Jing was not made of wood, nor was he a sage untroubled by wants.
Yuan Zi Xia whispered, “I want you to stay here with me. You…why don’t you close the door?”
Her soft and inviting lips hovered near his ear, a breath away.
Just then, the sound of crying came from the courtyard, heartbreakingly sad.
Who was crying? Whoever it was had picked the worst time.
Yuan Zi Xia’s hands let go. No matter who heard such cries, their hearts would have sank.
She stood on the floor on naked feet, her eyes once more filled with apprehension, like a child who had become lost.
The cries seemed to come from a child too.
Bai Yu Jing walked up to the window and saw a casket. The white-haired old woman from before, and the small boy, were slumped against the coffin weeping loudly, their voice nearing exhaustion.
It was unclear who the pallbearers were, but they had placed the casket where the vat of goldfish once stood.
Enough of the living had come to this place, and now out of the blue, one of the dead as well.
Bai Yu Jing sighed, murmuring, “At least the dead can’t have come because of me…”