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Thread: Adventures of Lu Xiao Feng, Book 3, Before and After the Duel

  1. #41

    Default Chapter 10

    Chapter 10
    The Seventh Satin Belt

    September 15th, dusk. The spectacular colors of the setting sun filled the sky. Lu Xiao Feng came flying out of the bakery and began speeding down along the already stained red street.

    He must find one satin belt before the moon rises. He could not miss tonight's duel. Absolutely not!

    Because both Ye Gu Cheng and Xi Men Chui Xue were his friends, because he had discovered that, under the full moon, during their duel, something Earth shattering would happen, something even more shocking than the duel itself.

    Of course, he could not get back those satin belts that he had given out. But a stolen satin belt was different. Not only could you demand what was stolen from you back, you could steal it back, or even take it back by force. He had decided to do whatever it took. The only problem was how was he going to find Si Kong Zhai Xing?

    This man was like the wind, maybe even harder to keep track of than wind. Those who did not want to find would often run into him, but those who want to find him would never find him.

    Luckily for Lu Xiao Feng, he still had one lead. He still remembered the name of that pharmacy that Si Kong Zhai Xing stumbled out of.

    Si Kong Zhai Xing was much healthier than most of the people he had victimized, there was no way he was actually purchasing some medicine at the shop. So if he had actually walked out from the pharmacy, then that particular pharmacy surely had at least a little bit of relationship with him.

    The gold letters of the pharmacy glistened in the sunlight. There was one kid at the front door kicking a little shuttlecock around. When he saw Lu Xiao Feng approach, he immediately put to fingers in his mouth and whistled.

    All of the sudden, up and down the street, left and right, a dozen or so giggling kids came streaming out onto the street and gathered in front of Lu Xiao Feng.

    They still recognized Lu Xiao Feng, and of course, still remember that little song that could kill a man by either making him explode with anger or asphyxiate from laughter.

    Lu Xiao Feng was practically giggling as well, he was sure these kids were about to sing "Si Kong Zhai Xing, is a monkey faerie" again.

    But instead the kids began to sing at the top of their lungs:

    "Xiao Feng is no bird, is a big stink bug,
    Pointy headed stink bug, just dig holes all day,
    Dog craps in the hole, so he eats the crap,
    One big stinking pile of dog poo, even stink bugs can fly after it."

    What kind of lines were those? That made almost no sense whatsoever.

    Lu Xiao Feng could not decide if he should laugh or get pissed. He seemed to have forgotten that the lines he came up with were not particularly poetic either.

    Of course, he knew those came up with those lines, Si Kong Zhai Xing had been back to this place.

    After much effort, he finally got those kids to stop.

    "Did that white haired old man come back?" He immediately asked, not taking any risks.

    The kids nodded.

    "He taught us that song, he said that's your favorite song and if we sang it good, you would buy us all candy!" They all shouted.

    Lu Xiao Feng felt like he was about to burst again, who would want to buy others candy after being insulted?

    The kids blinked as they looked up at him expectantly.

    "How did we do?"

    "Good, very good." Lu Xiao Feng nodded.

    "Are you going to buy us candy?"

    Lu Xiao Feng sighed and laughed defeatedly: "Yes, of course I will."

    Anything that others would not be willing to do Lu Xiao Feng often would be willing to do. How could he disappoint all these kids? He immediately went and bought candies, lots and lots of candies. Watching all the kids cheer, his heart melted.

    Candy in mouth, a couple of the kids tugged at his shirt.

    "The gramps is right, your are a good person, Mister!" They cheered.

    "He actually said I was a good person?" Lu Xiao Feng seemed skeptical.

    "He said you were very obedient even when you were a baby."

    Lu Xiao Feng was even more incredulous: "How does he know what I was like when I was a baby?"

    "He saw you grow up, he even used to hold you when you peed, of course he would know."

    Lu Xiao Feng gnarled involuntarily, at the moment, there was nothing he wanted to do more than to tie that little monkey faerie up and cane a couple of times, maybe more.

    "The gramps was just here, if you had showed up just a little earlier, Mister, you would have run into him."

    "Where did he go?"

    "He flew off again, and he got so high! Mister, can you fly higher than him?"

    Lu Xiao Feng fixed his collar and his sleeves: "I'm not too sure, why don't you guys pay attention and see?"

    Since Si Kong Zhai Xing was not here, there was no point for him to stay here any longer either.

    But the kids immediately stopped him: "Wait a second Mister, we have one more thing to tell you."

    "What's that?"

    "That gramps left a little bundle for you. He told us we should give it to you if you buy us candy and throw it in the sewer ditch if you don't."

    The fastest kid had already ran back into the pharmacy and walked out with a bundle in his hand. Not in his wildest dreams could Lu Xiao Feng have suspected that inside the bundle was two satin belts.

    In the setting sun, the satin belts have already turned red in color. Other than the belts, there was also a slip of paper in the bundle: "Steal one from you, give you two back. I'm a monkey faerie, you are a stink bug. You want to beat my ***? I'll make you eat #####."

    Lu Xiao Feng laughed, laughed out loud: "The little bastard really can't ever stand being on the short end of anything can he?"

    Why would he give him back two more satin belts after stealing one? Where did the other one come from?

    Lu Xiao Feng did not bother dwelling on those questions. Now that these two satin belts are in his hands without so much of an effort, he was positively giddier than those kids when they saw how much candy he got them: "Pay attention now, tell me who flies higher ok?"

    Still laughing, he somersaulted three times and landed, again, on the rooftops.

    "You were higher! You were higher than the gramps!" The kids cheered.

    With their bright eyes and innocence, they would never lie. Lu Xiao Feng felt even better, if that was possible. He felt as if he was floating, as if a pair of wings just grew out of his body and was about to fly to the moon. The moon might have have risen yet, but the setting sun have disappeared beyond the horizon.

    The night slowly descended. Lu Xiao Feng returned to Delicious Fragrant Vegetarian through the back door. Through the window, he could tell the lamp had been lit. The soft and gentle lamp light made it easier for him to spot Sun Xiu Qing and Ou Yang Qing through the open window even as far as the flower bushes.

    Both of them were beautiful, and under the lamp light, they seemed somehow even more beautiful. But their faces were covered with an unspeakable anguish, somehow, even the lamp light seemed morose. Did Xi Men Chui Xue already leave?

    Of course he did. There was only this lone lantern keeping them company in this room. The door was not completely closed. Lu Xiao Feng completely forgot to knock for his heart was heavy as well. When did Xi Men Chui Xue leave?

    He wanted to ask, but did not. He did not dare, nor could he bear the thought. There were three empty cups on the table and one flask of wine. He poured a cup for himself and slowly drank the entire cup before pouring another cup and quickly emptying its contents again.

    "He left." Sun Xiu Qing abruptly stated.

    "I know."

    "He said he wanted to leave a bit early so he could leave the city and enter again so people wouldn't think that he's been inside the city this whole time!"

    "I figured."

    "I hoped that you would get there early too, because... because he doesn't have any other friends."

    Lu Xiao Feng could not say anything and Sun Xiu Qing did not say anymore. She turned away and stared out into the night through the window. Night was slowly descending upon the land, a full moon had already slowly climbed its way up onto the sky. The wind was slowly getting colder as well.

    After an untold amount of time, Su Xiu Qing quietly spoke up again.

    "Tonight's dusk is very pretty, much more beautiful than it ususally is. But soon it will be gone." She closed her eyes as tears rolled down her cheek. After another long pause, she continued. "Why must everything good and beautiful be so fleeting? Why can't they remain in this world just a little bit longer?"

    Was she asking the Heavens? Or was she asking Lu Xiao Feng? Lu Xiao Feng was at a lost as to how he should respond. Nobody knows how to respond to this question.

    He finished another cup of wine before he could force a smile onto his face: "I'm leaving too. I promise I'll bring him back!"

    He did not dare say anything more, nor did he dare to look at Ou Yang Qing. He was ready to give that extra satin belt to her so she could witness this duel of the century.

    But he did not even bring the subject up. He knew Ou Yang Qing would undoubtly stay here to keep Sun Xiu Qing company instead. He understood how Sun Xiu Qing felt, it was not anxiety, fear, anguish.... Those words could not possibly be adequate. At this moment, he just hoped to really be able to bring Xi Men Chui Xue back.

    Just as he got up and was about to leave, Ou Yang Qing suddenly grabbed his hand, making him turn around and saw her eyes. There was tears in her eyes as well. Even a fool could see her concern and affection. Of course, Lu Xiao Feng saw it too, although he was having a hard time believing it. --How could the Ou Yang Qing who was looking at him now be the same Ou Yang Qing before who was cold as ice?

    Why did she suddenly change? Only then did Lu Xiao Feng truly discover how little he really understand about women.

    Luckily, he understood enough to know that a woman would never look at him this way if she truly detested him, nor would she grab his hand. Her hand was freezing, but it was tightly holding onto his hand. Only now did she truly understand how painful it it would be for a woman if she was to lose the man she loved.

    The two of them stared into each others eyes for a long time.

    "Are you coming back too?" She finally asked in almost a whisper.

    "I will!"

    "You promise?"

    "I promise!"

    Ou Yang Qing slowly looked away as she slowly let go of his hand: "I'll be waiting for you."

    "I'll be waiting for you." That feeling inside of a man when he knows there is a woman is waiting is something that could not be replaced by any other feeling.

    "I'll be waiting for you." What a beautiful, warm, and wonderful phrase. Lu Xiao Feng felt intoxicated, he was not drunk off of alcohol.

    {Random translator insert: }

    The bright moon was in the sky, and Lu Xiao Feng was facing yet another conundrum -- There was one extra satin belt on him to give away, but who should he give it to? None of those who deserves to have the satin belts were anywhere to be seen.

    The streets were quite crowded, even more so inside of the restaurants and bars. All manners of people are sitting at the tables, discussing whatever their business of the night might be.

    Lu Xiao Feng did not need to hear what them to know that they were waiting for the result of tonight's duel. Without a doubt, many among them have money riding on either Xi Men Chui Xue or Ye Gu Cheng.

    Not only has this duel shaken the martial world, it had penetrated into the depth of the Capital's society. Never have duels had this kind of effect before.

    Lu Xiao Feng found it all very humorous. He was sure that if Xi Men Chui Xue and Ye Gu Cheng knew of this, they would find it all very humorous as well.

    At this moment, he noticed a man walking out of a tea house across the way. This man was very tall and very skinny, well groomed, carried himself in a very cultured way, and wore a very sophistocated blue robe. There were streaks of silver in his sideburns. It was none other than "Master of South City", Du Tong Xuan.

    This might not be Li Yan Bei's territory anymore, but it was still a rival of Du Tong Xuan's. Why would he suddenly appear here? And without even one bodyguard?

    Lu Xiao Feng immediately chased up to him and patted him on the shoulder.

    "Scholar Du, how are you?"

    Du Tong Xuan was completely caught off guard as he snapped his head around. When he realized it was Lu Xiao Feng, he forced a fake smile: "Not bad, thanks you!"

    "Where's your bodyguard?" He asked, referring to that mysterious man dressed in black from earlier.

    "He left!"

    "Why did he leave?"

    "Small ponds can't keep big fishes alive, of course he left!"

    Lu Xiao Feng looked around rather secretively before purposefully lowering his voice: "I got to hand it to you, coming here to Li Yan Bei's territory all by yourself?"

    Du Tong Xuan smiled.

    "This doesn't seem to be Li Yan Bei's territory anymore." He casually replied.

    "He might be dead, but he still has a band of brothers!"

    "After a man dies, even his wives can remarry, nevermind his 'brothers'!"

    Even Lu Xiao Feng had to chuckle: "Looks like not only do you know Boss Li is dead, but you also know that his people have been swallowed up by White Cloud Outlook!"

    Du Tong Xuan's face, however, remained emotionless. "In this business of ours, those who can't get their news fast doesn't last long." He coldly observed.

    "Could Gu Qing Feng be a friend of yours?"

    "He might not be a friend, but at least he isn't a nemesis either!"

    "No wonder you are here by yourself." Lu Xiao Feng smiled.

    "If you, sir, have time, you are always welcomed to come visit my part of town. And you can bring however many people you like."

    Lu Xiao Feng's eyes rolled around as another idea hit him: "Since you've already put so much down on Ye Gu Cheng, I bet you really would like to witness tonight's duel first hand!"

    Du Tong Xuan did not agree nor refute that.

    "I have one extra satin belt with me, if you are interested, I can give it to you!"

    Du Tong Xuan did not answer for a long time, as if he was considering the offer.

    "Boss Bu Ju is in that tea house as well."

    "Oh?"

    "Why don't you give him that extra satin belt?"

    Lu Xiao Feng was speechless. Other people tried everything to get this satin belts, yet now that he was just offering it to Du Tong Xuan for nothing, unbelievably, hrefused it.

    Du Tong Xuan cupped one hand in another and gave a slight salute to Lu Xiao Feng.

    "If there is nothing else, sir, I must be leaving. Fare thee well."

    And just like that, he left, not even showing the slightest trace of wanting to stay.

    Mystified, Lu Xiao Feng stood there like an idiot for a long time before suddenly looking up and noticing that Bu Ju had just walked out of the tea house. Bu Ju noticed him too as well as the satin belt on his shoulder. Suddenly, he broke out into a smile.

    "Did you not sell off all of your belts?" It was a very odd looking smile, there seemed to be an indescribable hint of sarcasm in it.

    "This satin belt isn't up for sell, but could be given away. If you still want it, I'll give it to you!"

    Bu Ju shot another look at him, his smile becoming even more odd: "Pity I don't like to kowtow!"

    "No need to kowtow."

    "Really?"

    "Of course."

    "And I really don't want it either!" His expression suddenly dropped as he dismissively flicked his sleeve at Lu Xiao Feng and walked away, not even looking back at Lu Xiao Feng again.

    Once again, Lu Xiao Feng was speechless. This was the same person who, earlier in the day, was willing to trade 3 huge pieces of jade rings for one satin belt, but now he did not even want it for free.

    Lu Xiao Feng could not understand what was going on, but he did not have time to ponder either. The full moon has risen and he has to make it to the Forbidden City as soon as possible. He could not afford to be late.

    The Hall of Supreme Harmony was inside the Gate of Supreme Harmony. Outside the Gate of Supreme Harmony was Golden Jade Belt River which, under the moonlight, looked just like a golden jade belt.

    Lu Xiao Feng made his way through East Gate, Grand Forefather Gate, and the Meridian Gate located underneath the Dragon and Phoenix Watchtower before finally arriving at the most forbidden part of this Forbidden City, the city within the city.

    On the way here, there were platoons and stations of guards every few steps or so. It would be extremely difficult for anybody to get here without the satin belt on them, and even if they did get here, it was impossible for them to get any further in this literal mine field.

    Even if there was not a shadow of a soul to be seen at the moment, there could be a martial art master within the Imperial Guards waiting to ambush you around every dark corner.

    There were all kinds of hidden dragons and crouching tigers among the Imperial Guard, some were real martial art masters who inherited their family skills, some were ambitious and brave young heroes, and some were also criminals who are trying hide from their enemies. In the end, nobody in the world dared to underestimate their ability. Under the moonlight, there was one person sitting on the bridge over the moat. The top of his head still shining.

    "Honest Monk." Lu Xiao Feng immediately ran up to him.

    "You got here early." He smiled.

    Honest Monk was biting into another steamed bun when he saw Lu Xiao Feng ran up. Hurriedly, he tucked the steamed bun away and made some indistinguishable acknowledgement at Lu Xiao Feng, hoping that he did not see the steamed bun.

    Lu Xiao Feng laughed: "Seeing that in your hands, I suddenly realized something."

    "What?"

    "I realized that I forgot to eat dinner again."

    Honest Monk rolled his eyes: "Are you going to try and trick this steamed bun from me again?"

    Lu Xiao Feng glared back: "When did I ever lie to you? I traded you two satin belts for one steamed bun. Do you actually feel robbed?"

    Honest Monk looked around for a bit before suddenly breaking out into a smile as well: "I'll be honest, I have three more steamed buns on me, plus another half of one. Are you interested in a trade?"

    "Yes."

    "What are you going to use in the exchange?"

    "Everything I have, I have on me. Whatever you want, I'll give it to you!"

    Honest Monk sized him up a couple of times.

    "Looks like you don't have much more than me!" He laughed, as much at his own sorry state as at Lu Xiao Feng.

    Lu Xiao Feng laughed as well.

    "At least I have one more mustache than you, not to mention several thousand strands of hair."

    "I don't want your hair or your mustache, I just want you to promise me one thing, then half of food is yours."

    "And what's that?"

    "That the next time you see me, you pretend you don't know me. That way, at last, I would be able to spend my days in peace."

    Lu Xiao Feng threw his head back in laughter and patted Honest Monk on the shoulder as he sat down next to him, still not able to control this fit of laughter.

    "So what do you say?"

    "No."

    "Don't you want my steamed buns?"

    "Yes."

    "Then why not?"

    "Because I already have a steamed bun."

    Honest Monk was befuddled.

    "Where did you get your it from?"

    "From Si Kong Zhai Xing!"

    "Si Kong Zhai Xing?" Honest Monk was even more confused.

    Lu Xiao Feng smiled.

    "If it wasn't because of the little bit I picked up from him, how could I have possibly taken your steamed bun? So of course it came from him!"

    Honest Monk did not say anything more, by now, he had realized there was one less steamed bun on him. It was already in Lu Xiao Feng's hand, it somehow appeared, as if by magic.

    Honest Monk sighed.

    "He doesn't learn anything else, he has to learn how to steal." He mumbled.

    "At least thieves don't starve." Lu Xiao Feng laughed as he stuffed half of the steamed bun into his mouth. "What are you waiting for here?"

    "For the Emperor to go to bed." Honest Monk replied with a straight face.

    "So we can't go in just yet?"

    "No."

    "How long do we have to wait?"

    "We'll know when the time comes!"

    Lu Xiao Feng stood back up and looked around more closely.

    "Has Xi Men Chui Xue and Ye Gu Cheng arrived yet?"

    "I don't know."

    "How about the others?"

    "I don't know."

    "Did you see anyone?"

    "I saw one and a half men."

    "One and a half?"

    "One was Yin Xian, he was the one who told me to wait here!"

    "Who is the half a man?"

    "You, at most, you can only count as half a man."

    Once again, Lu Xiao Feng laughed. Suddenly, from the darkness, a shadow appeared. It flew through the air, giving a definitive display of the orthodoxed "Eight Step Cicada Chase". After just a few consecutive hops, the shadow was in front of them. Dressed in green, silver hair flowing, it was none other than the leader of the Wu Dang Sect, the Wooden Taoist.

    "You really are quite honest." Lu Xiao Feng observed with a smile. "So you didn't end up swallowing what belonged to your fellow monk."

    "I only know how to swallow steamed buns, shame that the steamed buns could be stolen."

    The Wooden Taoist shot a look at Lu Xiao Feng and pretended to frown: "What kind of a man would stoop so low as to steal a monk's steamed bun?"

    "When I have the chance, I'm going to steal from a Taoist monk too."

    The Wooden Taoist smiled.

    "At least this guy is honest, he confessed without even the slightest force being applied."

    As he said that, another shadow appeared.

    Lu Xiao Feng took one look and frowned: "Who did you give the other satin belt to?"

    "Yan Ren Ying."

    "This man isn't Yan Ren Ying." The Wooden Taoist immediately concluded.

    "Nor is it Tang Tian Zong, nevermind Si Ma Zi Yi."

    This person's movement was very unique, as he approached with his sleeves flapped in the wind. It seemed as if he was floating in with the breeze without using the slightest bit of effort.

    Yan Ren Ying, Tang Tian Zong, and Si Ma Zi Yi were not capable of such effortless movements. In truth, counting Lu Xiao Feng, there was not more than three to five men in the martial world capable of this.

    "Who is this?" Honest Monk wondered.

    "He's not a person, not even half a person. He is a monkey faerie." Lu Xiao Feng answered.

    Before he finished, the shadow shot towards them like a rocket, the clothes howling in the wind, as if he was about to run smack into Lu Xiao Feng. But just before it did run into Lu Xiao Feng, it suddenly somersaulted backwards three times in midair and gently floated down on the ground. It was a white haired old man, hunched over coughing up a storm.

    "Do you two know who this monkey faerie is?" Lu Xiao Feng said with a straight face.

    "'Si Kong Zhai Xin, is a monkey faerie.' I heard that song earlier this afternoon." The Wooden Taoist said with a smile.

    "Looks like my disguise is completely wasted!" Si Kong Zhai Xing sighed.

    "You shouldn't have showed off your lightness kungfu, other than Si Kong Zhai Xing, who else was capable of that?" The Wooden Taoist pointed out.

    "Me." Lu Xiao Feng declared.

    "'One big stinking pile of dog poo, even stink bugs can fly after it.'" Si Kong Zhai Xing sang with a smile.

    Lu Xiao Feng pretended not to hear him and, instead, stared at the satin belt on him: "You stole one of my belts, and gave me back two."

    "Well, you know me, always looking out for my friends. When I found out you forgot to leave one for yourself, I went and found two for you."

    "Where did you find them"

    "Don't forget that I'm the King of Thieves!"

    "Did you steal the ones on Si Ma Zi Yi and Tang Tian Zong?"

    Si Kong Zhai Xing just laughed and suddenly pointed in the distance: "Why don't you go look at who is coming?"

    Two more streaks of shadows approached from the distance. The person on the left seemed to always be shrugging his shoulders in midair, as if he was already just about to let loose a whole host of projectiles, using a lightness kungfu skill unique to the Tang Family. The person on the right, however, seemed very awkward and cumbersome, as if he had spent too much time in strength training. If Tang Tian Zong did not slow down for him, he would have been trailing far far behind him.

    "Looks like the young master of the Tang Family is here!" Honest Monk observed.

    "Who is the other person?" The Wooden Taoist inquired.

    "Bu Ju!" Honest Monk answered. It really was Bu Ju. Once again, that mocking smile appeared on his face as he noticed Lu Xiao Feng was present, as if he was saying to Lu Xiao Feng: "You didn't give me a belt, I'm still here anyways."

    Incredibly, there was a satin belt tied around his waist. In the moonlight, the belt's color would fluctuate from light purple to silver depending on the angle. Obviously, it was made from the same material as the other satin belts. There were only 6 belts. But, with the two on Lu Xiao Feng, one each on Honest Monk, the Wooden Taoist, and Si Kong Zhai Xing, plus the two belts on them, there were 7 belts.

    How did 6 belts turn into 7? Where did the extra one come from? Bu Ju's face was filled with pride as proudly strode onto the bridge, but Tang Tian Zong's face was stone colored as he did not even look in Lu Xiao Feng's general direction. Lu Xiao Feng knew they would not tell hiim even if he asked; besides, he did not have any time to ask.

    A shadow has shot out from within the Gate of Supreme Harmony. There was a long sword carried sidelong along his back and he was dressed in a uniform of an armed Imperial Guard. The uniform looked a little snug on him, obviously he had been enjoying himself a bit recently. But his movement was still agile. It was none other than one of the four Chief Wardens of the Imperial Guard, Yin Xian.

    His face was also stone colored and his expression was grim.

    "I know everyone here is the creme de la creme of the martial world, but I hope everyone realize what kind of a place this is. This isn't a tea house, if you want to chat, then you have come to the wrong place." He was talking like an official down to commoners, but everyone had to listen. They were taking a huge amount of risk and responsibility for this, so it was not unexpected that they would get somewhat testy. Besides, this really was not the place for a chat.

    After that initial rant, Yin Xian's expression softened a bit as he looked over the 6 people present: "Well, now that everyone is here, please come in. Once you get past the big platform, there's a huge hall. That would be the Hall of Supreme Harmony."

    "Is that also throne room?"

    Yin Xian nodded.

    "The tallest building in the Imperial Palace is the Hall of Grand Harmony. If those two masters must duel atop the Forbidden City, it's probably best for everyone to wait there." He took a look at Bu Ju, and then looked over at the hunched over old man and coldly continued. "Since you've made it this far, your lightness kungfu is undoubtly pretty good. But I should still remind everyone, that isn't just any normal rooftop. It's difficult enough to get on it, but the roof tiles are all slippery glass tiles. So everyone should be careful with every step because all of us are going to suffer the consequences should one of us fall off the roof."

    Bu Ju's expression had turned grim, that smile nowhere to be seen. Even Si Kong Zhai Xing seemed to quietly take a little deep breath. To this point, Lu Xiao Feng did not even have a chance to speak up.

    He was just about to speak up when Yin Xian cut him off: "Don't get on the roof right away, there is somone waiting for you."

    "Who?"

    "If you want to see him, follow me."

    With a simple shrug of his shoulders, he took off, as if he wanted to show off his abilities a little bit in front of all these people.

    He was pretty fast, with just one simple hop, he shot out about 8 meters. Lu Xiao Feng followed him at a distance, not wanting to show him up. So Yin Xian tried even harder to show off as he did a somersault and unleashed "Swallow Parting the Cloud."

    But as soon as he made this move, a person quite gently and effortlessly past him with a small hiss as he pierced through the air. It was none other than that hunched over old man.

    As soon as they passed through the Gate of Grand Harmony, Lu Xiao Feng's attitude and demeanor changed completely. Not only could he not smile anymore, even his breathing became quieter. The authority and power of the Emperor was still something that these heroes of the martial world did not dare to infringe upon.

    Not even Lu Xiao Feng dared to. The two flights of stairs just in front of the Hall looked just like any other staircase made of several dozen slabs of stone. But just imagining the scene when the Emperor holds court with the top officials and generals solemnly standing on either side of the stairway waiting to answer to the Emperor's every beck and whim made even Lu Xiao Feng's body temperature rise in excitement.

    All of the geniuses, prodigies, heroes, and leaders would wrack their brain, sacrifice their body, and some would even sacrifice their lives in hopes of just being able to stand on these stairs for a little bit.

    The Hall of Grand Harmony was even more breathtaking. Looking up, the gleaming roof seemed to be in the clouds. Besides the Hall of Grand Harmony was the Hall of Secure Harmony. Besides the Hall of Secure Harmony, just west of the stairs outside the Pure Heaven Gate, up against the northern wall, was three flat roofed buildings. The black lacquered doors were shut tight and through the windows, a dim flickering of a lamp could be seen. The dim light illuminated a white plaque hanging on top of the door. On the plaque were 6 words that would stop any man in his track: "Those Who Enter Shall Be Executed!"

    Yin Xian had led Lu Xiao Feng here and stopped in front of that particular door: "Someone's waiting for you inside, go in!"

    Lu Xiao Feng immediately shook his head.

    "I can still read you know." He said with a rather weak smile. "I don't want to lose my head."

    Yin Xian smiled as well.

    "I'm the one who is telling you to go in, whatever happens, I'll take care of it. What are you scared of?"

    Lu Xiao Feng looked at him and decided that he did not look like the type that was sending him into a trap. But here, at such a important and solemn place, even Lu Xiao Feng could not help but be especially careful. He would much rather just stand outside.

    Yin Xian smiled again: "Can you figure out who is inside waiting for you?"

    Lu Xiao Feng shook his head.

    "Who?"

    "Xi Men Chui Xue."

    Lu Xiao Feng was momentarily flabbergasted.

    "How did he get in?"

    Yin Xian looked around to make sure nobody was around before moving closer.

    "We all put money down on him." He whispered. "So of course we are going to treat him nicely and let him get a good rest so he would have the energy to take on that Outter Heaven Angel."

    Lu Xiao Feng smiled as well.

    "This place might be a restricted area, but His Majesty has gone to bed and it is long time until the morning court. So other than we Chief Wardens, nobody would come here!" Still smiling, he gave Lu Xiao Feng a pat on the shoulder. "So stop worrying and just go in. If you have a couple of secret moves that counters Ye Gu Cheng's moves, then give him a couple of pointers. We are all on his side anyways!"

    He might have been pulling rank just a bit earlier, but now he seemed to be a completely different person. Even his smile seemed friendlier, he even went so far as pushing the door open for Lu Xiao Feng.

    With a smile, Lu Xiao Feng gave him a pat on the shoulder as well.

    "When you have time to take some leave, I'll take you out for some drinks."

    The room was not big, nor were there any fancy furnitures, but it still possessed a natural austere and final feel, the livelihood and fortunes of tens of hundreds of thousands of lives have been decided here with a mere stroke of a pen.

    The moment that a person, any person, first enters this room would undoubtly be the most nervous and most excited moment of his life. As Lu Xiao Feng silently walked in, his heart seemed to be beating must faster than normal as well.

    With his hands behind his back, Xi Men Chui Xue was quietly standing next to a little window, his clothes white as snow. Of course, he heard someone open the door and enter, but he did not turn around, as if he already knew that the person must be Lu Xiao Feng. Lu Xiao Feng did not speak up either.

    The door had been closed and the lamp light dimly flickered in the dark and humid room. He suddenly noticed how cold his hands and feet were. He really wanted a cup of wine. Of course, there was no wine in this room, but how much blood, tear, and sweat have been spent here?

    Lu Xiao Feng sighed in his heart. He finally understood that he was not the most troubled man in the world, that the people who come to this room everyday were much much more troubled than he would ever be.

    Xi Men Chui Xue still did not turn around, but he suddenly broke the silence: "Did you go back to my place?"

    "I just came from there."

    "Did you see her?"

    "Mm.

    "How... how is she holding up?"

    Lu Xiao Feng weakly smiled.

    "You should know better than me she isn't some weak willed woman, the Three Valiants and Four Beauties aren't much less famous than we are."

    He might be smiling on his face, but his heart was sinking. At such a crucial juncture before the duel, when the life or death moment was so close upon him, this man was still thinking about his wife, he was not even holding his sword.

    Lu Xiao Feng was finding it almost impossible to believe that this was the same Xi Men Chui Xue he knew before. But he could not help but be somewhat comforted, because finally, Xi Men Chui Xue has turned into a flesh and blood human being.

    Abruptly, Xi Men Chui Xue snapped around. "Are we friends?" He asked, looking Lu Xiao Feng in the eyes.

    "Yes."

    "If I die, will you take care of her?"

    "No."

    Xi Men Chui Xue's face turned deathly pale: "You won't?"

    "I won't, only because you are not acting like my friend anymore. My friend is a real men's man and would never hope for death instead of hoping to live."

    "I'm not hoping for death."

    "But the only thing in your mind and your heart is death." Lu Xiao Feng coldly observed. "Why aren't you thinking about your past glories? Why aren't you thinking of ways to defeat Ye Gu Cheng?"

    Xi Men Chui Xue glared at him, glared at him for a long time before he looked down and stared at the sword laying on the table. He suddenly grabbed the sword and pulled it out of its sheath.

    The motion of his hands as he pulled out his sword was still that fast, still that elegant, there was absolutely no way anyone in the world could match him.

    Si Ma Zi Yi's technique for pulling out his sword might be also very quick and clever, but compared to Xi Men Chui Xue, he looked like a butcher pulling his cleaver out of a dead pig.

    "Are you my friend?" Lu Xiao Feng suddenly asked back.

    Xi Men Chui Xue paused before finally nodding.

    "Do you believe what I tell you?"

    Again, Xi Men Chui Xue nodded.

    "Then I'm going tell you, I'm almost sure I can handle an attack from any swordsman in the world, save one man." He stared straight into Xi Men Chui Xue's eyes, not blinking once, slowly continued. "That man is you!"

    Xi Men Chui Xue stared down at the sword in his hand, a strange shade of crimson suddenly appeared on his pale face. The lamp light seemed brighter, the shine on the sword seemed brighter as well.

    Immediately, Lu Xiao Feng felt the forboding aura of the sword, so forboding was the aura that it made him squint. He knew Xi Men Chui Xue's confidence has returned.

    To a dispirited man, a word of encouragement from a friend could be much more powerful than all of the medicine in the world combined.

    The hint of a smile appeared on Lu Xiao Feng's face. Without saying another word, he quietly turned and walked out of the room.

    Outside, the moon hung in the sky like a mirror.
    Last edited by Moinllieon; 03-30-05 at 03:22 PM.
    春花秋月几时了,
    往事知多少?
    小楼昨夜又东风,
    故国不堪回首明月中.
    雕栏玉砌应犹在,
    只是朱颜改.
    问君能有几多愁,
    恰似一江春水向东流.
    --南唐后主,李煜.

  2. #42

    Default Some Comments

    Some comments:

    First of all, those are a lot of copying-and-pasting. I hope I didn't make any mistakes. If I have, I apologize and please point them out to me so I can post up the right stuff.

    Secondly, sorry for the delay and thank you for your patience. I know it's been a long time since I updated but I really haven't had the break. And no, I wasn't guilted into it by the "Lack of Follow-Up" thread. I was planning on taking a break to do a huge chunk of translations anyways before that thread showed up (similiar overtures will be rebuked in the future as well, unless it happens to coincide with another one of my breaks, so don't get any ideas).

    I figured this was a nice little cliffhanger for you guys to hang onto until next update. I don't know when the next update will come, but that'll probably be the last one since there's not that many more chapters to go.

    I hope you guys like this one.
    Last edited by Moinllieon; 03-30-05 at 03:19 PM.
    春花秋月几时了,
    往事知多少?
    小楼昨夜又东风,
    故国不堪回首明月中.
    雕栏玉砌应犹在,
    只是朱颜改.
    问君能有几多愁,
    恰似一江春水向东流.
    --南唐后主,李煜.

  3. #43
    Senior Member fastclock's Avatar
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    Thank you so much.... This will satisfy for a while
    Glad the site go back to normal too.

  4. #44
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    I just started to read it in your website and I love it! Thank's for translating this story.

  5. #45
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    Awesome, awesome, awesome.

    While he may not be the most powerful character in the wuxia genre, Lu Xiao Feng is still my favorite. Thanks so much, Moinllieon, for translating.


  6. #46
    Moderator CrazyT's Avatar
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    Bump bump bump
    I would love to change the world, but they won't give me the source code.

  7. #47
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    If someone has the time, I would be so grateful if you could pick up this translation. I've been dying to know who won the duel since last year!

    I'm keeping the faith that this project hasn't been abandoned. Thanks!

  8. #48
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    Unhappy

    Can someone pick up this thread/story? Like Moinllieon says above, it's not really far from the end and this will be a great story to have completed.

    Thanks to all translators for their hard work - I've tried to translate just using online translators and well, I'm hopeless. I am genuinely amazed that all of you can put in such fine efforts.

  9. #49
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    Since no one responded, I am going to make an attempt to translate the last two chapters 12 and 13.

    I should be able to finish it in 2 weeks, a month top, however I will post it at wuxiamania forum, details is coming up soon.

    If anyone interested, I'll do it.

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by chickenfeet
    Since no one responded, I am going to make an attempt to translate the last two chapters 12 and 13.

    I should be able to finish it in 2 weeks, a month top, however I will post it at wuxiamania forum, details is coming up soon.

    If anyone interested, I'll do it.
    Yes, please do. I'm very eager to read the conclusion of this great Gu Long novel.

  11. #51
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    Sorry actually, it's chapter 11, 12 and an epilogue left, 2 full chapters and a short one

    I won't disrupt Moin's plan to continue his own translation, so I'm going to leave this thread the way it is now. Moin can still update this thread in the future, as my translation won't be worthy of his quality of translation... but hey, if you guys can't wait to read the conclusion....

    The translation will be posted here

    http://www.phorumz.com/wuxiamania-about953.html

    in a day or two.... stay tuned for an update.
    Last edited by chickenfeet; 07-27-06 at 02:05 AM.

  12. #52
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    Talking

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!!
    I've waited so long to see who would win this duel!

  13. #53
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    Since I don't want to disrupt Moin's future plan to update his own translate updates, I have started a new thread for LXF chapter 11, 12, and 13 (epilogue).

    Here's the Link

    http://www.spcnet.tv/forums/showthre...191#post568191
    Last edited by chickenfeet; 08-01-06 at 06:38 PM.

  14. #54

    Default

    I don't know how far along chickenfeet's translation is, as I don't have an account at wuxiasociety, but for those who are interested, the link is:
    http://wuxiasociety.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=15

    As for me, hopefully this effort will represent the final push for Book 3. And who knows, I've just finished reading Book 4 and 5 again, so maybe I'll need breaks from copy-editing the first 3 books? No promises, but it's something right?


    Chapter 11
    Rescue at the Palace

    September 15th, night.

    The moon was clear as the water.

    Lu Xiao Feng walked out of the ebony colored door of that meant death to its trespassers and made his way towards the Hall of Supreme Harmony under the shadow of the walls. He was in the middle of finding a good place to make his way up when he noticed a person standing there, alone in the shadows of the great hall, not moving an inch but in obvious distress and trouble.

    He did not need to look a second time to know this person was Bu Ju. He noticed long ago that Bu Ju's lightness kungfu was tip top; getting to the golden, almost cloud covered, summit of this great hall, however, takes top level skills.

    He had not forgotten the smile that Bu Ju had just given him, so he wanted to go over and return that smile back to Bu Ju. But once he made his way over, the only expression on his face was sympathy.

    Sometimes sympathy can hurt as much as ridicule.

    Bu Ju only saw him for an instant before quickly looking away.

    'There once was this sparrow that fancied itself quite accomplished," Lu Xiao Feng suddenly said. "Because it could fly. So when he saw a tiger, he challenged the tiger to see who can fly higher. Do you know what the tiger did?"

    Bu Ju shook his head.

    He was going to leave, but stayed because he could not figure out why Lu Xiao Feng was telling him this story. Curiosity is something that everybody has.

    "Obviously, the tiger couldn't fly, so it just took a deep breath and swallowed the sparrow," Lu Xiao Feng let out a small laugh before continuing. "Ever since then, no sparrow ever challenged a tiger to a flying contest again. Because sparrows finally understood that being able to fly high doesn't make you anything special."

    Bu Ju laughed. His laughter was filled with gratefulness, his heart was filled with warmth. Suddenly, he discovered this Lu Xiao Feng was not quite the ******* he had imagined him to be.

    "Have you ever seen a tiger climb rope?" Lu Xiao Feng asked, patting Bu Ju on the shoulder.

    "No."

    "Me neither, but I've always wanted to see it."

    "Have you ever seen a tiger that carried a rope with him?"

    "No."

    "Well now you have."

    He had brought a rope with him all along, but was too embarrased to take it out. He would rather die than to lose face.

    With a smile on his face, Lu Xiao Feng took the rope in his hand and looked up.

    "I'm not even sure if a sparrow can get up that high." He sighed with a miserable look on his face.

    From below, the upturned eaves on the Hall of Supreme Harmony looked like hooks. Even the moon was hooked.

    Nobody could jump that high in one leap, not even Lu Xiao Feng.

    But he had other ways.

    To Bu Ju, looking on from below, he resembled a gecko one moment and a chimp the next as he made several quick hops before disappearing from sight.

    The others had gone up from the front, but he did not see because by then, he had already snuck his way to the back of the hall. But he was sure that none of them were as swift or agile as Lu Xiao Feng.

    Because he already thought of Lu Xiao Feng as a friend.

    A rope had already dropped down from over the upturned eaves. His heart felt even warmer. - To have someone like Lu Xiao Feng as a friend is quite nice indeed.

    The roof of the hall was covered with gold colored glass tiles. Under the bright moon, it looked as if they were standing in a golden world.

    Lu Xiao Feng secured the rope on one of the upturned eaves and turned around. He froze.

    There should have been only 5 people up here, but the moment he turned around, he saw there was at least a dozen, each with a color-changing satin belt. And that did not include the 5 people he knew. Honest Monk and company were on the other side of the roof.

    He did not get a clear look at these men's faces before another person came bounding over the top of the roof, white faced and sneering, none other than Fourth Warden of the Imperial Guards, Ding Ao.

    "What is going on here?" Lu Xiao Feng had to ask.

    "I was about to ask you the same thing." Ding Ao sneered back.

    "Me?"

    "How many satin belts did we give you?"

    "Six."

    "But now we have 21 men here, where did they get their satin belts from?"

    "I was about to ask you the same thing." Lu Xiao Feng answered with an exasperated sigh.

    Two more men came walking over the spine of the roof, Yin Xian in the front with "Hunan Swordsman" Wei Zi Yun following behind him.

    Yin Xian was walking very fast, obviously very nervous, but Wei Zi Yun was a picture of calm, his pace much more leisure and composed.

    On a surface as steep and slippery as glass tiles, a slow pace was much more difficult to maintain than a quick one. Nevermind the circumstances made it even more difficult to keep one's composure.

    At this moment, Lu Xiao Feng understood that this Chief Warden of the Imperial Guard was fully deserving of his fame. His martial prowess and composure was not below that of any master out there in the martial world.

    Yin Xian quickly charged over.

    "Did you two get anywhere?" He demanded.

    Lu Xiao Feng shook his head, not knowing what else to do.

    "This isn't something that can be figured out with a word or two," Wei Zi Yun offered. "Now isn't the time for thorough investigations either."

    "Then what should we be doing?" Yin Xian asked.

    "Put up extra guards and be ready for any sudden changes." Wei Zi Yun paused for a bit before continuing. "Send out the order, I want the security level of this area to turn up a notch, and nobody is allowed to move about without permission."

    "Yes, sir." Yin Xian acknowledged.

    "Fourth brother, you transfer over some off duty guards from Pure Heaven Gate, we might need them when the time comes. But from this point on, we only allow people to leave, not enter."

    "Yes, sir!" Ding Ao took his leave as well. They had obviously developed a special set of skills and was able to make their ways up and down the hall with just one somersault.

    Only now did Wei Zi Yun look over towards Lu Xiao Feng, he smiled.

    "Why don't we take a look around?"

    "Great!"

    This was not a place one can see all at once. It almost did not look like a roof, more like a town square, but with the spine of the roof in the middle, it also looked like a hill side.

    There were 13 men on this side, most of them standing alone on the farside of the slope, not chatting with anyone, instead quietly waiting for the duel to begin.

    They were not carrying any weapons with them, but they were their hats extremely low and there appeared to some very delicate disguises on some of their faces. They obviously did not want to be recognized.

    They did not seem to notice Wei Zi Yu and Lu Xiao Feng walked by right in front of them at all.

    Where did they come from? Why are they being so mysterious?

    Wei Zi Yun's pace was still that slow, his voice was still that quiet.

    "Have you figured out who they are, where they are from?" He slowly asked.

    "Oh?"

    "These last couple of days, quite a number of underground people have arrived here at the capital. Rumor has it among them were several retired masters of the previous generation, not to mention some famed fugitives with very powerful enemies still looking for revenge."

    "No wonder they didn't want to be recognized."

    "These men may be secretive, but it doesn't seem like they are up to no good. Maybe it is just because they want to remain unknown but still see the two foremost swordsman in the world duel."

    "I hope so." Lu Xiao Feng sighed.

    "What I can't figure out is how did they get their hands on those satin belts?"

    "Is it possible to get those belts outside the Palace?"

    "Absolutely not," He explained. "These belts were tributes to the last emperor from Persia, so there wasn't much to begin with. In the last couple of years, we are down to the last roll or two. Even the royal concubines treasure these belts to no end."

    Lu Xiao Feng did not say anything for Si Kong Zhai Xing suddenly popped into his head.

    "I do know that the 'King of Thieves' has also arrived in the capital, and is even here." Wei Zi Yun had saw through Lu Xiao Feng's expression.

    "Do you think he stole these satin belts?" Lu Xiao Feng had to ask.

    Wei Zi Yun smiled.

    "We had just decided on this plan yesterday morning. Before that decision, these satin belts would have been completely worthless to him. He would not have taken that much risk to steal them."

    "But last night...."

    "The 4 of us did not sleep last night," Wei Zi Yun casually cut him off. "Even if a fly got in here, we wouldn't have let him got out."

    His voice was full of confidence, just what Lu Xiao Feng needed to hear.

    "So he's not a suspect in your mind." He asked after letting out a sigh of relief.

    "No."

    "Then who is?"

    "There are only 4 men who could have stolen the satin belts." Wei Zi Yun lowered his voice even more.

    "Four?"

    "The four of us."

    Lu Xiao Feng let out another sigh of relief. He had wanted to say precisely just that, but instead it was Wei Zi Yun who did. It seemed not only was this Hunan Swordsman thorough in his logic, but fair too.

    "You probably have thought about this too. I have heard that people were offering 50,000 taels of silver to buy one of these satin belts. Money comes even easier to those men in the criminal world, so they were probably offering even more."

    "Greed kills men, for greed tempts men's heart," Lu Xiao Feng sighed. "Money can literally make some people do anything."

    Wei Zi Yun sighed as well.

    "Yin Xian has traveled everywhere, has friends from all over, throws money around like it's dirt. Ding Ao is still young, can't help but be a bit wild. Du Fang might be steady and reliable, but he is still quite ambitious and have long had the urge to start his own sect, creating his own legacy. So he has always kept contact with his friends from the outside. These are all very costly habits, something a salary of a 6th level imperial guard can't possibly afford."

    {Translator's Note: Gu Long has proven to be wildly inconsistent with the name of the 4th warden of the Imperial Guard, at first it was Du Fang, but after this one last usage, he switches over to Du Wan for the rest of the book. I guess I'll make the correction in the copy-editing process and just stick with one name, but at least for now, please keep in mind that Du Fang and Du Wan are the same person.}

    He turned and looked into Lu Xiao Feng's eyes.

    "But they are all my brothers, without tangible evidence, I can't say anything, no matter what I think. Because I can't risk damaging our relationship."

    "Are you asking me to find some tangible evidence for you?"

    A smile appeared on Wei Zi Yun's face.

    "You are already knee deep in this matter, don't you think figuring out the truth would be good for everybody involved?"

    A different kind of smile appeared on Lu Xiao Feng's face.

    He suddenly discovered he was right about this man, he really was an old fox.

    Fewer men were on the other side of the rooftop. Other than Honest monk, Si Kong Zhai Xing, the Wooden Taoist, Tang Tian Zong, and the newly arrived Bu Ju, there were just Yan Ren Ying and the Ancient Hermit.

    Si Ma Zi Yi, amazingly, was not here.

    "Master Si Ma had an emergency and had to return down south and let me have his satin belt instead." The Ancient Hermit would later explain.

    Lu Xiao Feng understood how Si Ma Zi Yi felt. A person like him had to go back home.

    He did not feel worthy enough to meet Lu Xiao Feng face to face again.

    Some older sect masters in the martial world loved the pomp and circumstance, the fluff of it all, and would never offer to buy some mysterious satin belts from nowhere, and people would never try to sell it off onto them.

    That was why some people never bothered to show up.

    "I have ordered all 4 gates to the Forbidden City closed. From this moment on, nobody will be able to enter." Wei Zi Yun informed Lu Xiao Feng.

    "What about Ye Gu Cheng?"

    "The Master of White Cloud Castle had arrived long ago."

    "Where is he?"

    "They had agreed to duel at midnight, so I have already arranged that they be given a room to rest in one of the dwellings outside of Grand Legacy Gate. From the looks of it...."

    "What? How does he look?"

    "He looks very ill," Wei Zi Yun sighed. "Looks like the stories about him not fully recovered from his injuries were not unfounded."

    He did not say anymore but instead suddenly broke out into a smile.

    "Seems like those friends over there are waiting for you to go over, if you please."

    There really was several pairs of eyes staring at Lu Xiao Feng over there. -Si Kong Zhai Xing's eyes were smiling. Honest Monk's eyes were angry. Bu Ju and Yan Ren Ying's eyes were grateful.

    Lu Xiao Feng walked over and patted Yan Ren Ying's shoulder and smiled: "How come you were late?"

    "I... I was actually too scared to come."

    "Scared? Why were you scared?"

    Yan Ren Ying seemed to blush.

    "If it wasn't for Master Honest's help, I would probably be standing down below anyways."

    "Master Honest?" Lu Xiao Feng cackled. "That's the first time I've ever heard anybody call him that."

    He wandered over to Honest Monk, smile still on his face, as if he was going over to pick on Honest Monk.

    Who knew that he had just taken two steps before suddenly reaching out and, quick as lightning, grabbed Si Kong Zhai Xing's wrist.

    The person most shocked was Si Kong Zhai Xing himself.

    "I already returned those satin belts to you, what more do you want from me?" He almost yelped.

    "That's exactly what I want to ask you." Lu Xiao Feng coldly demanded. "Where did you get those 2 satin belts?"

    "Do I have to tell you?"

    "If you don't, then this hand of yours will never steal anything ever again."

    The sounds of bones grinding were already enminating from Si Kong Zhai Xing's hand.

    "Even if I told you, you wouldn't believe me." Si Kong Zhai Xing sighed and put up a brave smile.

    "Try me!"

    "I didn't steal those two satin belts, somebody bought them for me, because that person owed me."

    "Who is this person?"

    "Look, this person went through all that trouble, not to mention spent tens of thousands of taels of silver to buy me those belts. And all this person wanted in return was for me to keep a secret. Even if I'm not a good friend, you can't expect me to sell out this quickly can you?"

    "How quickly can you sell out?"

    "Two or three days, at least."

    By then, this whole matter would have already settled, by then this piece of information would not mean anything anymore.

    Lu Xiao Feng's eyes glowed.

    "Did that person just ask you to keep a secret for two or three days?"

    Si Kong Zhai Xing did not answer yes, nor did he say no.

    "So there is no way you'll tell me right now?"

    "Go ahead and crush my hand, it won't make a difference." Si Kong Zhai Xing casually replied. "I've been thinking about going into a different line of work anyways."

    Lu Xiao Feng knew full well that while he might be completely shameless when it comes to thievery, he would never betray a friend. So he suddenly broke out into a smile.

    "Actually, even if you don't tell me, I already know."

    "You do?" Si Kong Zhai Xing smiled back. "Why don't you tell me?"

    Lu Xiao Feng whispered a name into Si Kong Zhai Xing's ear.

    Si Kong Zhai Xing suddenly found it impossible to smile, but Lu Xiao Feng's eyes remained aglow. He knew his guess was correct.

    All these small, seemingly unconnected threads were finally starting to come together, but there was still one final piece missing.

    Si Kong Zhai Xing sighed again.

    "And he accuses me of being a monkey demon," he mumbled to nobody in particular, "if you ask me, he...."

    He was suddenly interruped as Yin Xian flew onto the roof.

    "The Master of White Cloud Castle has arrived!"

    More to come, and hopefully soon!
    春花秋月几时了,
    往事知多少?
    小楼昨夜又东风,
    故国不堪回首明月中.
    雕栏玉砌应犹在,
    只是朱颜改.
    问君能有几多愁,
    恰似一江春水向东流.
    --南唐后主,李煜.

  15. #55
    Member LiarLiar's Avatar
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    Thanks! Read both of the first two books translated by you, and had read all the parts you have translated for this book too. Gald, you are continuing. Good luck on completing the story.

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    THANK YOU! Thank you for returning to this project. Chickenfeet has valiantly taken up the mantle but it's nice to welcome you back too.

  17. #57
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    Tremendous! Moinllieon is back!

  18. #58

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    {Thanks everyone. }
    Under the moonlight, a white shadow appeared, shifting and floating with the wind. His lightness kungfu was not beneath that of Si Kong Zhai Xing.

    Si Kong Zhai Xing sighed again.

    "I didn't know Ye Gu Cheng was this agile and fast as well."

    A strange emotion appeared in Lu Xiao Feng's eyes, only after a long pause did he finally let out a sigh.

    "If he wasn't this fast, how could he possibly execute that Outter Heaven Angel?"

    The moon hung overhead.

    The spine of the roof was filled to capacity. Beside those 13 mystery men of unknown origins, there were 8 or so sabre carrying men in Imperial Guard uniform as well. They were obviously highly skilled practioners within the guard who were interested in catching a glimpse of these two famed swordsmen.

    It was actually a much better view from above up there on the spine of the roof.

    In the moonlight, it was obvious that Ye Gu Cheng's complexion was very pale. But Xi Men Chui Xue's complexion was just as pale, and seemingly a little angry too.

    The two men both wore white, white as the snow, not a spec of dirt on them, and their faces were completely devoid of emotions as well.

    At this moment, it was as if the two of them have turned into their swords: cold, cruel, and sharp. Completely devoid of human emotion.

    As they look into each others eyes, their eyes seemingly began to glow.

    Everybody stood a fair distance away. Even though their swords were still sheathed, the aura of their swords were suffocating.

    -Such strong auras were actually eminating from their bodies.

    -The source of the fear was them, not the swords in their hands.

    "Many years since last we met, how have you been?" Ye Gu Cheng suddenly said.

    "Fortunately, everything is fine, thank you for the help."

    "The past is the past, why bring it up again? Both of us have to give our all in today's duel."

    "Yes."

    "Very well."

    His voice had already seemed weak, but after an exchange or two, even his breathing began to get labored.

    But there was still no emotion on Xi Men Chui Xue's face, as if he did not notice, instead he presented his sword.

    "This sword is a world class weapon, the blade is one meter and 24 centimeters long and it weighs exactly 4.3125 kilograms."

    "Good sword."

    "Very good sword."

    "This sword is the pinnacle of sword making knowledge and skill from over the seas." Ye Gu Cheng presented his sword too. "Slices through floating hair. Blade 1.1 meters, weight 3.25 kilograms."

    "Good sword."

    "Always has been."

    Even though the swords were in front of them, neither sword has been unsheathed. -The drawing of ones sword is an essential part of a sword skill. The two of them were obviously about to duel in that as well.

    "Both of you gentlemen are famed sword masters of our times. I am certain there is no poison on the blades, nor will there be any hidden weapons present." Wei Zi Yun suddenly piped up.

    Not a sound was heard, only the sound of men breathing hung on the air. Everybody waited for him to continue.

    "But because the unprecedented nature and level of this duel, I humbly ask if the two participants can mutually inspect each others sword, for the sake of everybody else present."

    "My sentiments exactly." Ye Gu Cheng immediately concurred.

    Xi Men Chui Xue did not. Only after a long pause did he finally gave a little nod.

    A month ago, he would have never agreed to this. How could he part with his weapon this close to the moment of life and death?

    But he has changed.

    "I will only hand my sword over to one man." He slowly declared.

    "Would that someone be Master Lu Xiao Feng?" Wei Zi Yun inquired.

    "Yes."

    "And you, Master Ye?"

    "No point in having two men do the job of one. Master Lu have my deepest trust as well."

    Si Kong Zhai Xing nearly scoffed.

    "This is the same guy who would even steal steamed buns off of a monk, and there are still people who trust him? Strange world indeed."

    He was mumbling quietly to himself, but at this moment, everybody heard every word.

    While the Wooden Taoist tried hard to keep himself from laughing out loud, Bu Ju suddenly spoke up.

    "Hero Lu is kind and chivalrous. I would gladly place my life in his hands, nevermind a sword."

    Yan Ren Ying immediately followed: "I, Yan Ren Ying, might be a small nobody, but my admiration for Master Lu is as great as Chief Bu's."

    Of course, Yan Ren Ying was not a simple nobody, and Heaven Splitting Palms Bu Ju's thunderous voice was even louder than the fame of his name. The way the two of them immediately spoke up made it seem as if the two of them were afraid others might get the wrong impression of Lu Xiao Feng.

    What could Si Kong Zhai Xing do but laugh?

    "Don't forget everybody is here to watch Xi Men Chui Xue and Ye Gu Cheng."

    "I know."

    "But right now, it seems like everyone is looking at you."

    Lu Xiao Feng let out a little laugh at that remark before making his way over to where Xi Men Chui Xue stood. Without a word, he took Xi Men Chui Xue's sword in hand before turning towards Ye Gu Cheng and doing the same.

    "Really are quite a pair of swords." He mumbled to himself.

    "Will Master Lu please exchange the sword so that the two gentlemen may inspect each others sword?" Wei Zi Yun said.

    "You want me to hand Xi Men Chui Xue's sword to Ye Gu Cheng and Ye Gu Cheng's sword to Xi Men Chui Xue?"

    "Precisely."

    "No."

    "Why not?" Wei Zi Yun was a bit taken aback at the reply.

    "I just got my hands on these two priceless swords, how do you expect me to be willing to give them up that easily?" Lu Xiao Feng explained.

    Wei Zi Yun was dumbfounded.

    Everybody was dumbfounded.

    Lu Xiao Feng held both swords under his arm. With a simple move, both swords were drawn. The aura of the swords were blinding. Even the full moon hanging overhead seemed to lost some of its luster.

    Everybody was asking themselves the same question: "If I got my hands on those two swords, would I be willing to give them up that easily?"

    "Only the worthy can wield divine tools, I trust everyone hear has heard of such a saying?" Lu Xiao Feng asked rhetorically.

    Nobody replied. Nobody knew what to do.

    "Well I have, and I can tell right now there is nothing fishy about either of these swords." Lu Xiao Feng answered himself.

    By the time he finished, the swords were sheathed once again. With quick flicks of his arm, Lu Xiao Feng tossed a sword back to Xi Men Chui Xue and the other back to Ye Gu Cheng before calmly strolling back to his old spot on the roof.

    "What the hell did you just do all that for?" Si Kong Zhai Xing demanded out of curiosity.

    "I just wanted to make it clear to all fo them, next time you got something like this, don't look at me." Lu Xiao Feng casually explained. "I have enough headaches already, I can't be bothered with this kind of pointless exercises anymore."

    "This is pointless?"

    "There is no past, no history between these two men. Yet at this moment neither would like nothing better than to stab their sword through the other's throat. If this isn't pointless, then what is?"

    Si Kong Zhai Xing understood. He was hoping that Xi Men Chui Xue and Ye Gu Cheng would show some restraint and not go for the fatal blow. A contest of skills does not have to end in death.

    Of course, others understood as well. Wei Zi Yun humphed a couple of times to himself before proceeding: "The midnight hour has passed and there is an early morning session scheduled at the court tomorrow. So it is my hope that the duel be limited to one hour in duration and past that a draw will be declared. When two masters meet, the difference really comes down to one single move, so I believe a one hour time limit is more than enough."

    He did not bring up the sword exchange again, so the duel was finally about to commence. Once again, everyone steadied themselves in anticipation.

    Xi Men Chui Xue held the sword in his left hand and let his right hand drop down naturally, as he seemed completely oblivious to what had just happened. To observers, he reminded them of an unsheathed sword, cold, piercing, cruel.

    Ye Gu Cheng, on the other hand, looked even worse for wear. He moved the sword so that he held it flush against his back, but his movement was seemingly sluggish and was coughing non-stop, but very lightly.

    Compared to Xi Men Chui Xue, he looked positively ancient and weathered. Sympathy had appeared in many eyes among the observers for the outcome of the battle could already be predicted.

    But Xi Men Chui Xue's face the same, as if he did not see any of this at all. He had always been a passionless man.

    His sword was even more passionless!

    Finally, Ye Gu Cheng was able to stop his cough and hold his head high to stare back at the sword in his hand.

    "Swords are bringers of death," he began, "in the 30 years since I started training as a boy, I could have died at any moment under the blade of a sword or any other weapon of death."

    Xi Men Chui Xue listened in silence.

    Ye Gu Cheng took a minute to catch his breath before continuing: "So for tonight's duel, neither you nor I need to hold anything back. For a student of the sword, to die beneath the blade of a master swordsman is a death to be desired, a death without regret."

    "Yes." Xi Men Chui Xue replied.

    Some in the audience were silently cheering. They had shown up to watch two of the greatest swordsmen of all time duel to the best of their abilities. If they held back, then what was the point?

    Ye Gu Cheng took a deep breath: "En garde!"

    "Wait." Xi Men Chui Xue suddenly said.

    "Wait? How much longer do we still have to wait?"

    "Until the wound stops bleeding."

    "What bleeding? Who is wounded?"

    "You!"

    Ye Gu Cheng let out a deep sigh and looked down at his chest, suddenly, he looked on the verge of following over.

    Following his eyes, everybody suddenly noticed that his snow white shirt was stained with the bright red colors of blood.

    So he was wounded after all, and the wound have not healed. Yet this proud person gritted his teeth and showed up anyways, not willing to back down despite certain death.

    "My sword might be a bringer of death, but it would never kill anybody with a deathwish." Xi Men Chui Xue coldly mocked.

    "Are you saying I came here to die?" Ye Gu Cheng fiercely demanded.

    "If you aren't, then come back here next month, I'll wait one month for you as well."

    He suddenly leapt into the air and flew off the roof.

    Ye Gu Cheng tried to chase him down.

    "You...." Was all he could yell out before blood filled his mouth. His body could not hold up any longer.

    Right now, not only could he not chased down Xi Men Chui Xue, even a small child might give him trouble.

    Looking at each, once again, everybody was dumbfounded.

    From the very beginning, the circumstances of this duel was in flux, and now, at the last critical moment, it took the strangest turn of all.

    Si Kong Zhai Xing suddenly burst out laughing, almost doubling over.

    "What are you laughing at?" Honest Monk shot him a look.

    "I'm laughing at those guys that spent tens of thousands of taels of silver to get their hands on those satin belts." Si Kong Zhai Xing managed to spit out between chuckles.

    But he had laughed to early, for at this precise moment, Lu Xiao Feng suddenly took off, shouting at the top of his lungs.

    "Stop!"
    春花秋月几时了,
    往事知多少?
    小楼昨夜又东风,
    故国不堪回首明月中.
    雕栏玉砌应犹在,
    只是朱颜改.
    问君能有几多愁,
    恰似一江春水向东流.
    --南唐后主,李煜.

  19. #59

    Default

    Si Kong Zhai Xing might have laughed a moment too soon, but Lu Xiao Feng was a moment too late.

    Tang Tian Zong had already dove behind Ye Gu Cheng and, with a quick flick of his hands, threw up a dark mist of sands into the air.

    The same Ye Gu Cheng who was having trouble standing upright suddenly, in shock, took off in a somersault with the elegance and agility that did not seem possible for a man in his condition.

    Pity his move was a moment too late too.

    The sons and disciples of the Tang family rarely ever miss once they make their move, not to mention Tang Tian Zong had prepared ahead of time and chosen his moment carefully, making it almost impossible to defend against his move.

    "Ah!" With a sickening scream and a thud, Ye Gu Cheng's body fell back onto the roof midsomersault. On that snow white robe of his, there appeared another mist of black.

    This was precisely the famed "Soul Chasing Sands" of the Tang family. When released in close proximity, it was even more powerful than the Poison Bamboo Darts.

    Everyone in the martial world knew, if one pellet of the poison lands on your face, then you had to slice away that half of your face, if it landed on your hand, then you chop off that hand.

    But now countless number of them have landed on Ye Gu Cheng's body. He suddenly rolled over to Tang Tian Zong's feet. and screamed: "The antidote, give me the antidote!"

    "My two eldest brothers have all been crippled for life by your hands," Tang Tian Zong coldy replied through his gritted teeth. "With this much enmity between you and my family, why would I give you the antidote?"

    "That... that's between you and Ye Gu Cheng, it has nothing to do with me!"

    "And you are not Ye Gu Cheng?" Tang Tian Zong mocked.

    Struggling to control himself, Ye Gu Cheng shook his head and suddenly ripped a layer of skin off of his face. It was a mask made out of human skin.

    His face was ugly and thin, his eye sockets were extraordinarily sunken. It was none other than that mysterious black clothed man who was Du Tong Xuan's bodyguard.

    Lu Xiao Feng had met him twice, once in the bath, and another time was at the Oriental Spring Pavilion.

    From his skills and agility, Lu Xiao Feng could tell he had not come to the capital just to be Du Tong Xuan's bodyguard, but never would he have dreamt that he would become Ye Gu Cheng's double.

    Even with the full moon overhead, moonlight was no match for lamp light, and Lu Xiao Feng knew Ye Gu Cheng was wounded, so his face would be sickly. Not to mention he was never that familiar with Ye Gu Cheng's voice nor his various mannerisms.

    Add on top of that Ye Gu Cheng was new in the martial world, so there was not that many people who had seen him to begin with.

    If not for all of that, this disguise would have never fooled everyone present, no matter how ingenius and perfect it was.

    "Who the hell are you?" Eyes red with fury, Tang Tian Zong demanded. "Where is Ye Gu Cheng?"

    The pretender opened his mouth to answer, but no sound came out. Even his tongue was cramping, making it impossible for him to speak.

    The Soul Chasing Sands of the Tang family was truly capable of chasing your soul away in a blink of the eye!

    Tang Tian Zong immediately produced a wooden flask and poured its entire contents down the man's throat. If he wanted to find Ye Gu Cheng, he must save this man's life.

    For other than him, nobody knew where Ye Gu Cheng was, nor did anybody knew why this peerless and world famous swordsman sent a stand in to this duel.

    "What in the world is happening?" Si Kong Zhai Xing wondered out loud. "Even I'm confused out of my mind."

    "You might be confused, but I'm not." Lu Xiao Feng replied coldly.

    "You know why Ye Gu Cheng didn't show up? Then where is he?"

    Lu Xiao Feng's eyes were aglow, but he did not answer. Instead he suddenly jumped over to Wei Zi Yun's side: "Do you know of a eunuch in the palace that goes by the name of Wang?"

    "Manager Wang?"

    "Yes! Him! Does he have access to those satin belts?"

    "He was a reading pal of the current Emperor while His Majesty was studying in the South Library. After His Majesty ascended to the throne, he really solidified his position as His Majesty's favorite...."

    "I'm just asking you this: other than the 4 of you, could he get his hands on those satin belts?"

    "Yes!"

    The glow in Lu Xiao Feng's eyes turned even brighter: "Has His Majesty turned in for the night?"

    "His Majesty is very diligent in his duties and never misses morning court. So His Majesty turns in very early every night."

    "Where?"

    "Even though His Majesty's ascension was long ago, His Majesty retained the love of books from His Majesty's days as the crowned prince. So His Majesty often spends the night in the South Library."

    "Where is the South Library? Take me there."

    Yin Xian had heard enough: "You want us to take you to see His Majesty the Emperor? Are you insane?"

    "I'm not insane, but if you don't take me there, you will soon all be."

    "He really is insane," Yin Xian concluded. "Not only is he spewing all that crazy talk, he want to help the rest of us literally lose our heads."

    Lu Xiao Feng sighed: "I don't want you to lose your heads, I want to help you guys save your heads."

    Wei Zi Yun was silent in thought the entire time: "I guess I'll trust you one more time."

    "Are you actually going to take him to the Emperor?" Yin Xian almost yelled.

    Wei Zi Yun simply nodded.

    "Come with me, all of you...."

    "Thump! Thump! Thump!" Suddenly, they were interrupted by the sound of a human head rolling down from the top of the roof.

    A headless corpse wearing the uniform of the Imperial Guards quickly followed the head down.

    Shocked, Wei Zi Yun turned to see the other 6 Imperial Guards were already accosted by 12 of the mysterious men. In the hand of the 13th man was a bright and curved sabre. A bright, curved, and bloodstained sabre.

    Just a moment ago, these 13 men did not seem to know each other, but now it turned they were together all along.

    "How dare you commit murder here?" Yin Xian shouted in fury. "Do you know that this is punishable by death?"

    "As long as the head that rolls isn't mine, why should I care if a few more rolls?" The man retorted.

    Hand on sword, Yin Xian prepared to strike.

    "If you move a muscle, then there will be one less head attached to a body on this roof."

    Yin Xian did not move, but that did not stop him from unleashing a torrent of curses. Curses so vulgar, nobody could believe it was possible for a person of his stature to utter such words.

    "Shut up!" The 13th man shouted.

    "I can't move, now I can't even curse?" Yin Xian mocked.

    "Who are you cursing?"

    "If you can't figure it out, let me curse some more to help you out."

    The more he cursed, the more vulgar he got. The mysterious man was driven to such fury that he lifted his sabre to strike.

    "Psh!"

    Half a sword suddenly popped out from the front of his chest, spraying blood everywhere.

    As a voice behind him mocked: "He's in charge of the cursing, I'm in charge of the killing...."

    The mysterious man could not make out what was said afterwards as at that instant, Ding Ao, who was standing behind him, had drawn his sword and, in front of him, Yin Xian, Wei Zi Yun, and Lu Xiao Feng all made their move.

    The last thing he heard in his life was the sound of bones breaking.

    The sound of a lot of bones breaking.

    The moon remains clear and silent overhead.

    Along the gold colored glass roof tiles of the Hall of Supreme Harmony, blood flowed quickly down the crevices.

    Those 13 mysterious men in black had all fallen. Nobody cared who they were anymore.

    The only thing on everyone's mind now was something even more mysterious, even more important--

    Why did Lu Xiao Feng force Wei Zi Yun to take him to the Emperor in the South Library?

    Why did the always careful and deliberate Wei Zi Yun acquiesce to his request?

    This duel between Xi Men Chui Xue and Yu Gu Cheng might be a huge deal in the martial world, but it still only concerned those of the martial world. Why disturb the Emperor over it?

    What kind of secret was behind all of these questions?

    Si Kong Zhai Xing looked over at the star gazing Xi Men Chui Xue for a moment, then turned to Honest Monk, who was staring down at him.

    "Monk, do you know what is going on here?"

    Honest Monk shook his head.

    "I'm not the person you should pose that question to."

    "Then who should I ask?"

    "Ye Gu Cheng."
    春花秋月几时了,
    往事知多少?
    小楼昨夜又东风,
    故国不堪回首明月中.
    雕栏玉砌应犹在,
    只是朱颜改.
    问君能有几多愁,
    恰似一江春水向东流.
    --南唐后主,李煜.

  20. #60
    Member honaidy's Avatar
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    Moinllieon, are you still doing this? I'm very curious about the ending. Well, if you're not gonna do this in the next few months, then probably i'll try my hand on translating this last bit. It's been way to long since someone continued this, since it last left at chapter 10. Back then i'm almost illiterate with the chinese language. It's much better now i hope... (it's still seriously lacking though).

    I love reading. But only in english. I read chinese so slowly, like a dyslexic 10 year old kid trying to read an adult novel (by that i mean, an adult level novel and not a dirty novel). So, even though it's possible for me, i'd rather save my time and do something else more productive with my free time (like sleeping, exploring the neighbourhood, practicing the guitar, playing my ps2 games or computer games, etc) and let someone else do the hard work while i enjoy the benefits. Hehehe.

    However, if you decide to drop this project, please let me know. I'll just read from the chinese version on the net, and if i can find time outside work to translate this ending, i'll finish it for you (although nowhere as good).

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