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

  1. #101
    Senior Member overjoy71's Avatar
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    Got MysteriouX.. Thanks for the advice.

    Sorry Moinllieon, if it wasn't right to post the correction here.

  2. #102

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    Quote Originally Posted by overjoy71 View Post
    Sorry Moinllieon, if it wasn't right to post the correction here.
    No worries at all. I can't thank ya enough for the corrections anyways. Don't hesitate in the future to do so.
    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. #103

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    Chapter 12
    The Death of the Nemesis

    Even though the moon was slowly setting in the west, it looked even rounder.

    As if the moon was a bright and round lantern hanging below the upturned eaves of the Hall of Supreme Harmony. The men were above the upturned eaves.

    A lot of men, but nary a sound.

    Even Si Kong Zhai Xing and the Honest Monk had shut their mouths. Because they were able to feel that suffocating pressure and intensity as well.

    Suddenly, with a sound like a dragon howling, sword aura filled the air.

    Ye Gu Cheng's sword had been unsheathed.

    In the moonlight, the sword looked pale white as well.

    The pale white mooon, the pale white sword, the pale white face.

    Ye Gu Cheng stared the tip of his blade.

    "En garde!"

    He did not look at Xi Men Chui Xue, not even a glance, nor did he look at the sword in Xi Men Cui Xue's hand, nevermind Xi Men Chui Xue's eyes.

    This was a huge mistake in swordsmanship.

    Duels between masters are like battles between armies, only when one gain a full knowledge thyself and the enemy can victory be in reach.

    Thus one must pay careful attention and analysis to the foe's every move, every glance, every expression, even every reflex of muscle. Not even the slightest of details could afford to be lost.

    Because any slight detail could be the key in deciding the duel.

    How could an experienced and undefeated master like Ye Gu Cheng not understand this principle?

    This was a mistake he would never have made under normal circumstances.

    Xi Men Chui Xue's gaze cut, like a blade, through not only his hands, but his face, and seemingly his heart.

    "En garde!" Ye Gu Cheng repeated.

    "Not now." Xi Men Chui Xue surprisingly replied.

    "Why?"

    "Because your heart has not calmed yet."

    Ye Gu Cheng did not reply.

    "If a man's heart is in chaos, his sword will be too." Xi Men Chui Xue continued. "If a man's sword is chaotic, then he will die."

    "Are you saying that I've already lost?" Ye Gu Cheng coldly sneered back.

    "At this moment, if you lose, it's not because of skill."

    "And that's why you don't want to fight at this moment?"

    Xi Men Chui Xue did not deny the conclusion.

    "Because you don't want to take advantage of the situation?"

    Xi Men Chui Xue did not deny this either.

    "But this duel must go on."

    "I'm willing to wait."

    "Until my heart and mind calm down?"

    Xi Men Chui Xue nodded: "I trust I shall not have to wait for too long."

    Ye Gu Cheng suddenly looked up and stared at him. A grateful color seemed to appear within his gaze, but it was quickly dissipated by the gaze of the sword in his hand.

    Feeling grateful towards your foe is also a fatal mistake.

    "I won't make you wait long either. But while you wait, can I have a talk with someone?"

    "Talking calms you down?"

    "Only talking to one particular person can calm my heart and mind."

    "Who?"

    This was a question he did not need to ask.

    Of course, Ye Gu Cheng was referring to Lu Xiao Feng, because only Lu Xiao Feng could possibly answer the questions boiling within him.

    Lu Xiao Feng simply sat down, sat down atop the Forbidden City, upon the glass tiles so slippery that one could barely keep one's footing.

    The bright moon was behind him and framed his head, like the halo that shone forth from the head of the divine.

    Ye Gu Cheng silently stared at him for a long time.

    "You are not a god." He suddenly concluded.

    "No, I'm not."

    "So I just can't figure out how you came to know so many secrets."

    Lu Xiao Feng smiled: "Did you really believe there are secrets in this world that nobody can figure out?"

    "Maybe not, but this plan of ours...."

    "Your conspiracy really was quite something, very meticulously planned. Pity no matter how careful and perfect a plan is, there are always miscalculations that leave clues.

    "Where did we make our mistake? And how did you figure it out?"

    Lu Xiao Feng answered in deep thought: "I really don't know exactly how I figured it out either. But I kept thinking that the people who should not have died were dying."

    "Are you referring to Zhang Ying Feng, First Madame Gong Sun, and Ou Yang Qing?"

    "And 'Mr. Big Shot Grandson of a Turtle'."

    "Were you puzzled as to why someone would try to kill him?"

    "Not anymore."

    "Oh?"

    "This conspiracy has been in the works for a long time. Manager Wang had been in contact with the people from the Southern Prince's palace for a long time too. And the place they chose to have their meetings was none other than the brothel where Ou Yang Qing works."

    "Because they were certain that nobody would suspect eunuchs and lamas would be at a brothel."

    {Translator's Note: This refers to events that happened in Chapter 4 of Book 1. Not to mention this sounds like the setup to a bad joke. So an eunuch and a lama walked into a brothel...(feel free to supply the punchline).}

    "But you were not so certain. Because you knew that Big Shot Sun and Ou Yang Qing were not normal people, so you were always worried that they might have somehow figured out this conspiracy, so you had to kill them to be sure."

    "In truth, I didn't have to kill them."

    "You really didn't."

    "But this was too big of a deal for me to not take that risk."

    "And it was precisely because of that, I knew there was a huge secret hidden behind this duel. And it could not have possibly just been because of Li Yan Bei and Old Man Du's bet."

    Ye Gu Cheng sighed: "You should also know by now why Zhang Ying Feng had to die too."

    "Because Zhang Ying Feng, desperate to find Xi Men Chui Xue, wandered into that eunuch nest and unwittingly discovered you were there as well. So he had to die."

    "So you must know that the third wax figurine he made was of me."

    "And because of that wax figurine, Clay Man Zhang died too."

    "You were just a moment too late that day."

    Lu Xiao Feng sighed.

    "Because I wandered into quite a number of distractions along the way."

    "I killed First Madame Gong Sun with the intentions of blaming it all on her."

    "And you also wanted to shift my suspicions towards Honest Monk."

    Ye Gu Cheng let out a cold laugh at the thought.

    "Do you really truly believes he's all that honest?"

    Lu Xiao Feng suddenly let out a little laugh in reply.

    "I might often misjudge people, do the wrong things, or wander down the wrong paths, but sometimes those mistakes leads me straight to the answer."

    "How so?"

    "Had I not suspected Honest Monk, I would have never asked Ou Yang Qing, and would have never discovered that Manager Wang and the lamas of the Southern Prince's Palace were there on that day as well."

    "Did you begin to suspect me when you discovered this?"

    Lu Xiao Feng sighed.

    "To be honest, I never suspected it was you. Even though I never believed that you could have been ambushed, and even more sure nobody in the Tang family could hurt you, I still never suspected you. Because...." He turned and stared into Ye Gu Cheng's eyes. "Because I had always thought that you were my friend."

    Ye Gu Cheng looked away. Was it because he felt that he could no longer face Lu Xiao Feng?

    "Using the bet between Li Yan Bei and Du Tong Xuan as a smoke screen and this duel as the reason, you planted a man alongside Du Tong Xuan who will act as your double." Lu Xiao Feng continued. "When you appeared, you were literally covered with flower petals, not because you were afraid that people could smell your festering wound, but because you were afraid that people would notice there was no odor."

    Lu Xiao Feng sighed again: "Amazing plan, quite ingenius indeed."

    Ye Gu Cheng did not turn around.

    "But the most ingenius part was the satin belts."

    "Oh?"

    "Wei Zi Yun had intended to use the belts to limit the number of people from the martial world entering the Forbidden City. Yet you got Manager Wang to steal another bundle of the color shifting satin to make into a whole bunch of belts of your own and gave them to the Master of White Cloud Outlook to distribute. Once more people showed up, Wei Zi Yun had no choice but to shift all security to the area surrounding the Hall of Supreme Harmony. That's why it was so easy for you to enter the Imperial Palace to carry out your conspiracy."

    Ye Gu Cheng was staring up at the stars, not saying a word.

    "Best laid plans. Even if you knew Xi Men Chui Xue would never fight an already wounded man, but you forgot about Tang Tian Zong, still set on avenging his brothers."

    "Tang Tian Zong."

    "If Tang Tian Zong hadn't suddenly ambushed of your double, my suspicions probably still would not have shifted to you."

    "Oh?"

    "When I discovered that secret, I immediately thought of the Southern Prince, and then Manager Wang. Only then did I fully comprehend your conspiracy, and how frightening of a conspiracy it really was."

    Ye Gu Cheng suddenly broke into a laugh.

    "Why are you laughing?"

    "I shouldn't laugh?"

    Gazing at him, Lu Xiao Feng slowly nodded: "As long as a man can still laugh, he should take every opportunity to laugh some more."

    But there are many different kinds of laughter, some are joyous, some are forced, some are seductive, and some are bitter.

    What kind of laughter was Ye Gu Cheng's?

    It did not matter which kind of laughter it was, as long as he could still laugh, at this moment, at this place, then he was still an extraordinary hero.

    Suddenly, he gave Lu Xiao Feng a pat on the shoudlers: "I'm going now."

    "You don't have anything more to say?"

    Ye Gu Cheng paused.

    "Only one more sentence."

    "What is it?"

    Ye Gu Cheng turned away.

    "No matter what happens, you will always be my friend."

    Looking at him walking away with assured steps towards Xi Men Chui Xue, Lu Xiao Feng suddenly noticed the autumn winds had turned freezing like the winds of dead winter....
    Last edited by Moinllieon; 07-28-07 at 05:58 AM.
    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.

  4. #104
    Senior Member MysteriouX's Avatar
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    truely brilliant, anticipating this duel is probably 1 of the best fighting scenes in wuxia

  5. #105
    Senior Member overjoy71's Avatar
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    MysteriouX, I can't agree more.. I am hanging by a thread here!

  6. #106
    Moderator Ren Wo Xing's Avatar
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    Suddenly, he gave Lu Xiao Feng a pat on the shoudlers: "I'm going now."

    "You don't have anything more to say?"

    Ye Gu Cheng paused.

    "Only one more sentence."

    "What is it?"

    Ye Gu Cheng turned away.

    "No matter what happens, you will always be my friend."

    Looking at him walking away with assured steps towards Xi Men Chui Xue, Lu Xiao Feng suddenly noticed the autumn winds had turned freezing like the winds of dead winter....
    Magnificent. This is what Gulong excels at.
    Read the latest chapters of Coiling Dragon at Wuxia World!

  7. #107
    Senior Member MysteriouX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ren Wo Xing View Post
    Magnificent. This is what Gulong excels at.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again,

    Jin Yong may be the master of beautiful settings and fantastic fight scenes, but Gu Long is the master of word play and mind games.

  8. #108

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    By now, the moonlight had begun to fade, fade like the stars.

    The stars faintly glittered like a dream, lovers' dream.

    A lover will forever be the most adored. Sometimes, a person would be more adored than a lover, but those things happen very rarely.

    Resentment is not an absolute emotion either, for within that resentment, there might be found a certain amount empathy and respect.

    Pity there are not too many nemesis who deserves love, and even less who deserves respect.

    Hatred is different.

    Resentment is for the past, but hatred is for the future. Resentment is passive, but hatred is active.

    Could you say that Xi men Chui Xue resented Ye Gu Cheng? Could you say Ye Gu Cheng resented Xi Men Chui Xue.

    There was no hatred between them, only resentment. A type of innate and instinctive, wonderful but foolish, foolish yet wonderful resentment.

    Perhaps, what Ye Gu Cheng really resented was -- If there was already a Ye Gu Cheng, why must there be a Xi Men Chui Xue?

    Maybe what Xi Men Chui Xue resented was the same.

    Why must the distance between love and hate always be so difficult for people to measure?

    But, at long last, the time for the duel has arrived.

    Truly arrived. For at this moment, there was not a single person, not a single event, in this world and the next, that could stop this duel.

    This moment might be fleeting, but for this fleeting moment, quite a number of people have already lost their everything.

    Thinking about those people, Lu Xiao Feng suddenly felt an indescrible pinge of bitterness in his heart.

    Was this duel worth it?

    Was the wait worth it for those people?

    Nobody could answer, nobody could explain, nobody could decide.

    Not even Lu Xiao Feng.

    But he also felt that pressing and menacing sword aura. But he might have felt more pressure than anybody else.

    Because Xi Men Chui Xue was his friend, and so was Ye Gu Cheng.

    --Once a person is thought of as a friend, then that person forever will be a friend.

    That was why Lu Xiao Feng's gaze never left Xi Men Chui Xue and Ye Gu Cheng's swords. He made careful and meticulous analysis to their every move, every glance, every expression, even every reflex of muscle.

    He was afraid for Xi Men Chui Xue--

    Xi Men Chui Xue's sword was a sword of a god, a god of swords. But at this moment, he was no longer a god, he was a man.

    Because he has felt human love, human emotions.

    Humans are weak and soft, and will always have weak points, will always be vulnerable, it is for this very reason that humans are really human.

    Has Ye Gu Cheng already grasped Xi Men Chui Xue's weak point?

    Lu Xiao Feng was afraid, for he knew it matters little how many weak points exist, for any one of them could be fatal.

    For he knew, even if Ye Gu Cheng went easy Xi Men Chui Xue, Xi Men Chui Xue would never allow that for himself.

    Victory means life, defeat means death. For people like Xi Men Chui Xue and Ye Gu Cheng, there was no wiggle room at all to these absolutes.

    But the strangest thing of all was that he was also afraid for Ye Gu Cheng.

    He never felt Ye Gu Cheng had experienced human love or emotions.

    Ye Gu Cheng's life was the sword, and the sword was Ye Gu Cheng's life. After all, life itself is a war full of various type of battles, big and small.

    But no matter what kind of battle, there is usually just one goal--victory.

    Victory meant glory, it meant honour.

    But now, to Ye Gu Cheng, victory had lost its meaning. Because while defeat meant death to him, victory also meant death.

    Because no matter if he wins or loses, he would never be able to get back the honour he had lost. And everybody knew there was no way he could leave the Forbidden City alive tonight.

    So even though both men had reasons why he should win, both had factors saying he must lose.

    In the end, who really wins and who really loses in this duel?

    Moonlight and starlight faded even more as all the brilliance in the world concentrated and those two swords.

    Two flawless and untarnishable swords.

    Two unleashed swords!

    One more update left, it's going to be a longer wait because I'm going to have the climax and the epilogue all in one. Because, let's face it, nobody wants to read the epilogue a week after they read the climax.
    Last edited by Moinllieon; 03-19-16 at 02:16 AM. Reason: Typos.
    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.

  9. #109
    Senior Member rati4u's Avatar
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    thats correct..epilogue must immediately follow climax

  10. #110
    Senior Member overjoy71's Avatar
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    AARRGGHHH!!!! Thanks Moinllieon.. This is so good!!

  11. #111
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Moinllieon View Post
    One more update left, it's going to be a longer wait because I'm going to have the climax and the epilogue all in one. Because, let's face it, nobody wants to read the epilogue a week after they read the climax.
    And let's also face it that you will have maximum effect in putting them both together and making us wait! I know this story from films and I still can't wait to hear the end - i dread to think how much people who are discovering this story for the first time are finding the wait.

    Two thumbs up Moinllieon! Excellent translation and dare I say it, excellent storytelling by controlling the amount you post each time!

  12. #112
    Senior Member CC's Avatar
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    I know the outcome but still, I am rooting for the underdog. Wish it had turned out otherwise...
    Its BIxie Jianfa Gawdammit you guys!!!!

  13. #113
    atlantean0208
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    I know how this is going to end, and I'm going to spoil it - it is Andy Lau the culprit - lol - mwahahaha -

  14. #114

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    The momentums were not very quick and the distance between Xi Men Chui Xue and Ye Gu Cheng were still quite large.

    Though their blades have not met, their moves had began to change. Though their bodies were moving quite slowly, their blades were moving extremely quick. For even before they exchanged one blow, their swords were already responding to each other.

    To others, this duel did not look the least bit spectacular or impressive, but Wei Zi Yun, Ding Ao, Yin Xian, and Du Fang all have begun to sweat.

    For all four were among the best swordsmen of this era, and could tell that this type of swordplay have reached the relm of absolute connection with the heart, the absolute pinnacle of martial arts.

    Had his oppoent been anyone other than Xi Men Chui Xue, every change, every deception, every variation would have spelt certain death for his foe.

    It was as if they had become one with their swords, as if they were moving the swords not with their arms or minds, but their hearts.

    Suddenly, Lu Xiao Feng's fists were wet with cold sweat as well. For he suddenly realized that dispite how quick his variation looked, Xi Men Chui Xue's moves were rather stiff and mannered; at least, they were not up to par the free flowing nature of Ye Gu Cheng's moves.

    Ye Gu Cheng's sword were like a breeze on the outter edges of a cloud.

    But Xi Men Chui Xue's sword felt almost as if there was an invisible thread tugging at its very tip - his wife, his family, his feelings - an invisible thread.

    Lu Xiao Feng could also tell, in the next 20 variations or so, Ye Gu Cheng's sword would undoubtly pierce Xi Men Chui Xue's throat.

    At this speed, twenty variation passes in a blink of an eye.

    Even Lu Xiao Feng's finger tips felt as cold as ice.

    By now, nobody in the world could change Xi Men Chui Xue's fate, not Lu Xiao Feng, not even Xi Men Chui Xue himself.

    The distance between the two men had closed to mere meters.

    The two swords have been thrusted out at full strength.

    This was the final strike, the deciding strike.

    It was only at this moment did Xi Men Chui Xue realize his strike was ever so slightly slow, by the time the tip of his sword touches Ye Gu Cheng's chest, Ye Gu Cheng's sword would surely have pierced through his own throat.

    This fate was one that he could no long accept.

    But he suddenly also discovered that Ye Gu Cheng's strike was slightly off target, maybe by no more than a centimeter or two, but that was the difference between life and death.

    How could this error have happened?

    Was it because Ye Gu Cheng knew that for him, there was no difference between life and death?

    The blade of the sword is ice cold.

    The ice cold blade of the sword pierced through Ye Gu Cheng's chest, he could almost feel the sword tip touching his heart.

    Soon after, he felt a strange pain, like the pain he felt when he watched his first love die of sickness on her bed.

    It was not just pain, but also horror, disappointment, and hopelessness.

    Because he knew, everything joyous and beautiful in his life was about to end in this one instant.

    But he felt no hatred towards Xi Men Chui Xue, only an unexplainable gratefulness.

    For at this last instant, Xi Men Chui Xue's sword slowed down too. He was prepared to retract this fatal strike.

    Ye Gu Cheng could tell.

    He could tell that Xi Men Chui Xue did not want to kill him, but nevertheless did. For Xi Men Chui Xue knew that he wanted to die under this blade.

    - If death is certain, then why not die under Xi Men Chui Xue's blade?

    - To be able to die under Xi Men Chui Xue's blade is, at least, so much more honourable than dying under the blade of others.

    Xi Men Chui Xue understood how he felt, so he granted his wish.

    That was why he was grateful.

    This was the kind understanding and empathy could only occur among the heroes of the world.

    At that instant, the two men looked into each others eyes, and Ye Gu Cheng let out one final breath from the deepest regions of his heart.

    "Thanks."

    He never said that word, but his eyes said it all too clearly.

    He knew that Xi Men Chui Xue would understand.

    He fell.

    The bright moon has disappeared, the stars have disappeared as well. Disappeared within the approaching dawn.

    This peerless swordmaster finally fell.

    But would his fame and honor disappear as well?

    From of edge of the sky, a puff of white cloud floated over. Was it coming to carry his soul back to the outter heavens? Or did it come by to pay one last special respect to this unparalleled swordsman?

    The dawn might be approaching, but the world felt even colder, even darker.

    The color on Ye Gu Cheng's face was like the colors of the coming dawn: cold, lost, and mysterious.

    There was still one last drop of blood on the sword.

    Xi Men Chui Xue gently blew the blood off the tip of his sword and looked around at the world, the slow and unstirred world. A wave of unspeakable loneliness suddenly washed over him.

    He put his sword away, bent over, and picked up Ye Gu Cheng's body. The sword was cold, the body was even colder.

    But the coldest place of all was within Xi Men Chui Xue's heart.

    The earth shattering duel had come and passed, and the foe who was even more worthy of respect than a friend had died under his blade.

    Would there ver be anything in this world that stirs his heart once again? Stirs his blood?

    Has he decided to lay down his sword forever, just like he will lay down Ye Gu Cheng's body into his grave?

    No matter what though, he could never allow anyone to disgrace either one of these two things.

    Because the respect he felt for both were one and the same.

    Suddenly, Ding Ao lunged forth and, sword in hand, blocked his path.

    "You can't take him with you, dead or alive, you can't take him with you." He threatened.

    Xi Men Chui Xue did not even seem to see him.

    "This man is a guilty of high treason, thus those who pay homage and respect to him are guilty by association." Ding Ao continued.

    "Are you going to stop me?" Xi Men Chui Xue asked point blank.

    "Are you saying I can't?"

    The veins on Xi Men Chui Xue's temple began to bulge out.

    "Perhaps it is true that nothing in the world can Xi Men Chui Xue and Ye Gu Cheng, but pity now Ye Gu Cheng is nothing more than a corpse now and there are still 3000 imperial guards alive and well here."

    Ding Ao had just finished before he heard someone laughing behind him.

    "Ye Gu Cheng might be dead, but Lu Xiao Feng is still alive and well too." The voice pointed out.

    Lu Xiao Feng again.

    Ding Ao snapped around: "What do you intend do?"

    "I just want to merely remind you that both Xi Men Chui Xue and Ye Gu Cheng are friends of mine." Lu Xiao Feng matter of factly replied.

    "Are you going to protect these traitors? Do you know what kind of crime that is in and of itself?"

    "I know one thing for certain."

    "And what's that?"

    "I know that I would never do things I shouldn't do. But I don't care if I lose my head, I will go until the end to do the right thing."

    Ding Ao's expression changed noticeably.

    Du Fang and Yin Xian both arrived with the imperial guards. The bows were drawn, the sabres and swords have been unsheathed. Once again, everything was teetering on the knife's edge.

    Suddenly, another man lunged forth.

    "You guys might have 3000 imperial guards, but at least Lu Xiao Feng has one more friend, a friend who isn't afraid of losing his head either!" He shouted.

    This man was none other than Bu Ju.

    "This humble Taoist might have placed himself outside of the politics and society," the Wooden Taoist immediately followed, "but even those on the outside make friends on the outside."

    He turned towards Honest Monk: "How about Buddhist monks?"

    Honest Monk shot the Wooden Taoist a rather aggressive look: "If Taoist monks can have friends, why can't Buddhist monks have them?"

    In the middle of answering, he turned and shot a similar look at Si Kong Zhai Xing.

    "How about you?"

    Si Kong Zhai Xing sighed rather ruefully.

    "Not only are all the guards here master martial artists, but they are officials of law. I'm a mere thief, and you know the thing that thieves fear the most are officials. So..."

    "So?" The Wooden Taoist asked.

    "So I really don't want to admit Lu Xiao Feng is my friend, but pity I don't have a choice but to admit he is." Si Kong Zhai Xing replied with a exasperated laugh.

    "Very good." The Wooden Taoist commented.

    "Very bad." Si Kong Zhai Xing corrected.

    "Bad?"

    "If they want to keep Xi Men Chui Xue here, do you think Lu Xiao Feng would allow that?"

    "Never."

    "And if they were to go up against Lu Xiao Feng, do you think we would allow that?"

    "Never."

    "Then, by that logic, aren't we going to have to go up against them?"

    The Wooden Taoist's silence admitted as much."

    "So, I just did a quick calculation, if we were going to fight. Then each one of us would have to take down at least 317 of them."

    He took a deep breath and continued: "The saying goes 'two fists can't beat four hands'. So I guess taking on 600 plus hands with my own two hands must not be a good feeling."

    The Wooden Taoist suddenly broke out into a smile.

    "Are you forgetting that you have 3 hands?"

    Si Kong Zhai Xing smiled in response.

    Their smiles were very relaxed. Here, in the shadows of the Son of Heaven, inside the Forbidden City, facing the glittering mountain of sabres and spears, they somehow was still able to look relaxed and at ease.

    But Ding Ao and his martial brothers were beginning to get nervous, the guards were even more in awe of the task that might be facing them.

    Should this fight occur, its carnage and repercussion would be unimaginable.

    But it seemed as if this fight was destined to take place.

    Wei Zi Yun's face was as grave as death. Fist clenched, he slowly began to speak: "Everyone here is a master that I have humbly admired for a long time. I dare not disrespect any of you, but duty...."

    Lu Xiao Feng interrupted him.

    "We appreciate your situation, but I hope you appreciate the temperament and disposition of people like us."

    "Please continue."

    "People like us, some are greedy, some are womanizing, some are avarice, and some are even quite cowardly. But when push comes to shove, at the crucial moment, we put friendship above everything else."

    Wei Zi Yun pondered silently for a long time before letting out a sigh and nod: "I understand."

    "I know you would."

    "But there is one more thing you should appreciate."

    "Oh?"

    "The repercussion of this savage fight would undoubtly be grave and crippling for both sides, on whose shoulders will the fault and the responsibility fall upon?"

    Lu Xiao Feng did not reply. His heart just as heavy and Wei Zi Yun.

    Wei Zi Yun's eyes scanned around at the situation surrounding him. He sighed tiredly.

    "No matter who the responsibility falls upon, looks like this battle can't be stopped by anything or anyone."

    "Maybe there is still one person who could." Lu Xiao Feng hesitated before slowly answering.

    "Who?"

    With a strange expression on his face, Lu Xiao Feng stared far into the distance, into the depth of the Forbidden City.

    At this precise moment, someone in the great hall beneath them shouted: "Imperial Edict!"

    An eunuch, dressed in yellow, scroll in hand, hurriedly came scrampering this way.

    There, atop of the very spine of the great hall, everybody kneeled in preparation for the reading of the edict.

    "By the Mandate of Heaven, the Son of Heaven decrees. Summons Lu Xiao Feng to the South Library. All other non-palace personnel are to leave the Forbidden City immediately."

    The infallible words of the Son of Heaven cannot be defied.

    All other non-palace personnel, of course also includes the dead. Thus before this battle even occurred, it was resolved.
    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. #115

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    Epilogue

    Click here to go to last update

    September 16th. Dusk. The moon was about to rise once more. This night's moon would surely be even rounder than that of the 15th.

    Si Kong Zhai Xing had walked up and down the entire length of the Inner Golden Water River in the yard. He had meant to count, once and for all, the total number of railings on either side of the river, but he always lost count. He had something else on his mind-

    Why has Lu Xiao Feng still not come out?

    What was the Emperor keeping him for?

    "Circa Regna Tonat" Having a laid back and carefree person like Lu Xiao Feng at the Emperor's side was just asking for trouble. One misspoken word, one mistaken action, and he would be hard pressed to keep his head.

    {Translator's note: I figured I throw in some extra cultural reference. The phrase "Circa Regna Tonat", Latin for "around the throne, the thunder roars," was written by Thomas Wyatt as he watched Henry VIII kill Anne Boleyn.}

    This point did not just make Si Kong Zhai Xing worry, but all of Lu Xiao Feng's friends. Lu Xiao Feng had quite alot of friends.

    Wei Zi Yun had gone in to check the situation many times, but nothing seemed to be happening inside the South Library.

    Without summons, nobody dared to enter the South Library on his own, even Wei Zi Yun. Every time he came back out without any news, everyone worried that much more.

    So by the 6th time he came out, some people were practically jumping out of their own skin with worry. But this time, Wei Zi Yun did not seem as upset or disappointed as before. Instead his eyes seemed aglow.

    Seeing the look in his eye, Si Kong Zhai Xing immediately ran over to his side: "Do you have any news?"

    Wei Zi Yun simply nodded.

    "Has little bastard come out of there?"

    Wei Zi Yun shook his head.

    "Did you see him?"

    Once again, Wei Zi Yun shook his head.

    "In what world does this qualify as news?" Si Kong Zhai Xing was practically shouting at this point.

    "I might not have seen him, but I did hear his voice."

    "Voice? What type of voice."

    "Laughter, of course."

    Wei Zi Yun paused and began to laugh himself as well. "Other than laughter, have you ever heard his voice in do anything else?"

    Si Kong Zhai Xing's eyes were huge at this point.

    "Was the laugher really loud?"

    "I trust you know much better than I what his laughter sounds like."

    Si Kong Zhai Xing's eyes got even bigger.

    "In front of the Emperor, he was still laughing as usual?"

    "Do you think there is anything left in this world this guy isn't capable of?"

    "No, I really can't." Si Kong Zhai Xing sighed.

    "Neither can I."

    "What's even more puzzling for me though, is what made him laugh so hard in the South Library."

    "I hear they are having a drink. "Wei Zi Yun whispered.

    "Who are they?"

    "They are none other than the Emperor and Lu Xiao Feng." Wei Zi Yun's whisper was even quieter.

    By now, Si Kong Zhai Xing's eyes looked like they were about to jump out of their sockets.

    "Where did you hear this from?"

    "When I went in, I just so happened to run into a young eunuch in the middle of taking some wine inside."

    "And you asked him to take a look at what was going on inside while he's at it?"

    Wei Zi Yun sighed.

    "I had to promise to buy him an house outside the palace before he said ok."

    "So what did he hear?"

    "He only heard one sentence."

    "A house for one sentence? Quite an expensive price on that sentence don't you think?"

    "No, not expensive at all."

    "Not expensive?"

    "That single sentence might be worth more than a whole myriad of houses."

    He was truly quite something else at holding his calm. Even at this point, he was still unwilling to just say what that sentence was straight out.

    But Si Kong Zhai Xing's was frustrated to the point where steam seemed to be enmanating from his head.

    "So who the hell said that sentence? What the hell was that sentence anyhow?" He was beginning to lose it.

    "His Majesty the Emperor said that sentence, and he promised Lu Xiao Feng one thing."

    "What?"

    "Whatever he wants."

    "So whatever Lu Xiao Feng wants, the Emperor has promised to give him?"

    "The Son of Heaven does not utter words he does not mean. And there is absolutely nothing in this world that the Son of Heaven cannot do."

    Si Kong Zhai Xing was dumbfounded, truly dumbfounded.

    During this entire conversation, he might have been the only one asking the questions, but he was by no means the only one listening to the answers. At this point, everyone was dumbfounded.

    To everyday world and people, the words of the Son of Heaven was literally like the magical wand of those legendary demons or gods. They could turn iron into gold, turn the poor and dispicable to the rich and famous, turn the backward and barbaric to the future and vanguard. The silence seemed to drag on forever until Si Kong Zhai Xing finally broke it with a huge sigh.

    "So what did that little bastard ask for?"

    "I don't know, the little eunuch only heard that one sentence."

    "Actually, I don't need to ask to know what that little bastard asked for."

    "Oh?"

    "Within the Forbidden City, there must be all kinds of rare and delicious wine."

    "So you think he'll ask for wine?"

    "Are there people who don't want to live?"

    "Even if there are, there aren't many of them."

    "Well, wine is that little bastard's life, what would he want if not wine?"

    "His livelihood!" Honest Monk suddenly pipped up.

    "His livelihood?" Si Kong Zhai Xing did not understand.

    "Wine might be his life, but women are his livelihood." Honest Monk observed.

    "So you think he asked the Emperor to grant him a woman?" The Wooden Taoist queried.

    "Maybe not one, maybe three hundred sixty five!"

    The Wooden Taoist burst out with laughter.

    "So this is what the Buddhist Monk thinks? This monk must have gone crazy thinking about women. We must not use monk logic to guess what Lu Xiao Feng feels or wants."

    {Translator's note: Honest Monk is a dirty dirty monk.}

    "So what does the Taoist think?" Honest Monk demanded.

    "That little bastard might be a slave to both wine and women, but he's not an idiot. He should realize as long as he has money, he'll never be short of either wine or women. Not to mention his uncontrolled spending habit always leaves him want of money."

    Honest Monk sighed.

    "No wonder people say: 'the older you get the greedier you get'. The old Taoist here is a miser, a moneygrubber!"

    Bu Ju had been wanting to speak up since the beginning and finally could not hold back any longer. "If I were him. I would surely ask the Emperor to make me a Marshall of the Empire. So I can lead armies to the west to conquer in the name of the Emperor and the Empire. To make my name known throughout the world and history."

    Wei Zi Yun immediately agreed with this guess.

    Fame, forture, women, power, are they not all a man fantasizes about? Other than these, what could he possibly ask for?

    "Maybe what he asked for wasn't just one thing." Si Kong Zhai Xing suddenly suggested. "That little bastard's heart has always been quite black."

    "No matter what though, the thing he asked for must have been one of the things we guessed." Honest Monk concluded.

    "Wrong." A voice suddenly replied from beneath the Gate of Everlasting Calm.

    {Translator's note: This is another instance where I think Gu Long has got his geography wrong. The Gate of Everlasting Calm, or Yongdingmen, is/was the front gate to the city of Beijing itself. I highly doubt the Emperor not only kicked those men out of the Forbidden City, but the entire city of Beijing as well.}

    A man walked forth from within the gate, a proud and positively glowing man -- Lu Xiao Feng had finally reappeared. Immediately, everyone ran over to his side.

    "Did all of us get it wrong?"

    Lu Xiao Feng nodded.

    "So what did you ask for?" Honest Monk demanded.

    "I can't tell you, I just can't."

    He parted the gathering of men in front of him and began walking away. No matter what the people around him said, he refused to open his mouth.

    He seemed to have his heart set on killing these men with suspense.

    Pity, for these men were not the type who gave up that easily. As Lu Xiao Feng walked along in big, casual steps, they followed closely behind.

    Honest Monk gave Si Kong Zhai Xing's sleeve a little tug to get his attention.

    "You are this little bastard's nemesis, if there was one person in the world who can make him talk, it's you." He whispered.

    Si Kong Zhai Xing batted his eyes a couple of times.

    "Damn right!" He answered as he casually stroded up to Lu Xiao Feng and gave his sleeve a little tug to get his attention.

    "Are you sure you don't want to tell?"

    "Yes."

    "Good."

    "Why is that good?"

    "Because if you don't tell, then I will... I will...."

    He whispered a couple words into Lu Xiao Feng's ear. Lu Xiao Feng's foot steps came to a sudden halt as he stood there, dumbfounded for what seemed like an eternity. Finally, he let out a long sigh and whispered a couple of words into Si Kong Zhai Xing's ear.

    Si Kong Zhai Xing was immediately dumbstruck. His expression looking like he had just, simultaneously, swallowed whole 3 chicken eggs, 2 duck eggs, and 4 very large steamed buns.

    Lu Xiao Feng resumed his old leisure pace.

    Si Kong Zhai Xing blanked followed and resumed walking as well. But within the first step, he began to laugh, laugh uncontrollably, laugh to the point of tears.

    Honest Monk tugged at his sleeves again.

    "So what did he tell you?"

    Still unable to stop laughing, Si Kong Zhai Xing shook his head and replied between bouts of laughter: "I can't tell you, I just can't."

    "Don't you forget who was the one who told you to go ask him? Besides, if you don't tell me, then I will...."

    He also whispered a couple of words into Si Kong Zhai Xing's ear.

    Si Kong Zhai Xing's foot steps also came to immediate halt as he stood there, dumbfounded for what seemed like another eternity before finally whispering something into Honest Monk's ear.

    Honest Monk was dumbstruck as well. Then he began to laugh too, laugh uncontrollably, laughing as if Buddha himself suddenly appeared an granted him three big nuns, two small nuns, and four not-so-big-and-not-so-small-but-just-right nuns.

    {Translator's note: Like I said, the Honest Monk is a dirty dirty man.}

    There after, the Wooden Taoist forced him to tell him as well, then Wei Zi Yun got the information from the Wooden Taoist. Eventually, Ding Ao, Du Fang, Yin Xian, and Bu Ju all knew.

    Then everyone began to laugh, laugh uncontrollably....

    September 16th. Night. The moonlight shone from the edge of the Heavens like pure water. Lu Xiao Feng walked assuredly along the moonlit bridge that was glowing like ice, full of energy and life, absolutely certain of himself and his purpose.

    He was not laughing. But behind him everybody was laughing, laughing uncontrollably. Laughing so hard that they were either doubled over or leaning back in laughter. Laughing like a group of little children. Still laughing, they made their way off the bridge and onto the street glittering in the lamp light. Everywhere they walk, by their side on the streets, out of the windows of their houses, from the front doors of their shops, people gawked at them in shock. None of them could ever possibly imagine that these men were all the greatest martial arts masters of their era. And none of them could ever possibly guess why they were laughing so heartily, absolutely none. Maybe nobody ever will....
    Last edited by Moinllieon; 10-08-07 at 06:27 PM. Reason: Typos
    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.

  16. #116

    Default

    The End?

    Some analysis:

    click to show/hide spoilers

    I think, for certain, Ye Gu Cheng was a better swordsman at the moment of the duel and would have won. But he could not accept the fate of dying to an executioner's blade so, once he proved to himself and Xi Men Chui Xue that he was better, he lost on purpose. This is a personal interpretation of mine, but I think it makes the most thematic sense.

    Also, any guess what Lu Xiao Feng asked the Emperor for? My guess is that he asked the Emperor to bark like a dog. Just a hunch I had when I first read the epilogue, no real basis for one or another. Any other guesses?


    What's next for me is massive copy-editing from all the way back to the first book and well... who knows... Silver Hook Casino and the Pavilion of Lost Spirits looked pretty interesting as I was flipping through it the last couple of days. Who knows.
    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.

  17. #117
    Member LiarLiar's Avatar
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    Thanks for finishing this story. The three LXF stories you translated is my favorite translated wuxia works on the net. Thanks for all the hard work. If you can translated more of the LXF series it will be great, but no pressure. These three stories are already a job well done.

  18. #118
    Senior Member Han Solo's Avatar
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    Moin,

    Congrats and thank you.

    I really would love to know what LXF is asking the emperor for though.

    Also, you should start thinking about asking for rights to the translation publications.

    Han Solo
    Wuxiapedia

    Quote Originally Posted by bliss
    I think they're probably at the same level as or one level below Ah Qing, which is about the level of a 2nd or 3rd generation Quan Zhen disciple.
    Troll Control

  19. #119
    Senior Member CC's Avatar
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    A big thank you for the effort put into finishing this translation. It is a great wuxia piece.

    I suspect GL never did think of what LXF really asked the Emperor.
    Its BIxie Jianfa Gawdammit you guys!!!!

  20. #120
    Senior Member
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    Thank you for this great translation. I agree with your analysis of the duel.

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