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Thread: Horizon, Bright Moon, Sabre By GL

  1. #21
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    I'm sorry. But I'm swamped with school work. My term is ending soon though... the last day of exams is on 20th Dec. I'll continue to translate then.

    Sorry to keep you guys waiting. :P

    This is not a long book. I think it's about the same length as Butterfly, Meteor, Sword.

    Regards,
    metwin1

  2. #22
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    Default Chapter 3: Bright Moon at Tall Pagoda

    The following is the original translation made by metwin1 who PM'd it to me, i attempted to edit it but unfortunately was not able to contact metwin1 again.

    Therefore i posted the original translation by metwin done on January 2005 without any editing at all.

    Pls all of us thank metwin1



    Chapter 3

    Bright Moon at Tall Pagoda

    The thick smoke slowly scattered.

    This smoke crushed life. There were simply too many renowned heroes who had fallen suddenly and noiselessly to this thick smoke.

    As the smoke was dispersing, Wood Man’s eyes were shining with elation. He was certain that his opponents had fallen.

    In fact, he hoped to see them on the ground, still struggling to the last. He hoped that they’d crawled in front of him to beg for the antidote.

    Even Shi *Batian and *Tong Hu had kneeled in front him before, and begged piteously for the antidote.
    *(‘Batian’ and ‘Tong Hu’ directly translates as ‘Overpowering the Skies’ and ‘Bronze Tiger’ respectively. These names suggest that these two people were very fearsome.)

    They were the most terrifying strongmen in the *Jianghu; but when facing death, even the bravest men would become cowardly.
    *(Jianghu literally translates as ‘rivers, lakes’. This term describes a world/society that the pugilistic fraternity (more commonly known as wuxia people) lived in. This world/society had its own laws and moral code which was often very different, even antagonistic, from the laws that were imposed to the rest of the society by the Imperial Court. )

    To him, the suffering and hopelessness of other people were a source of pleasure and gratification.

    But this time, he was disappointed.

    Fu Hongxue and Yan Nanfei did not fall. In fact, their eyes were still shining.

    The light in Wood Man’s eyes was extinguished, just like the flames on his torso. His clothes were burnt to ashes and were scattered into the winds with the thick smoke. Only a person with skin that was blackened with soot was left. It looked like cast iron that was inflammable, yet like burnt charcoal too.

    Yan Nanfei suddenly spoke, “This two people are the Two Killers of the Five Elements.”

    Fu Hongxue gave a “humph” in reply.

    ‘Wood hidding within Metal, Water and Fire coming from the same source’, ‘Borrowing Earth in cycle, ghost hands grabbing legs’, these were originally assassination moves that were practically impossible to defend against. The Two Killers of the Five Elements were one of a few professional assassins with very high net worth. It was rumoured that they were men of huge fortunes, if not millionaires.

    Unfortunately, in this world, there were many millionaires that to some people, were essentially worthless.

    Mud Man laughed uneasily, and cut in, “He is Metal-Wood-Water-Fire, and I am Soil. I am nothing really, a stupid donkey, a useless potato and a silly hyena.”

    He was staring at the sabre that was in Fu Hongxue’s hand.

    The sabre was already back in its sheath; only an ebony black handle and an ebony black sheath could be seen.

    Mud Man sighed, and laughed unnaturally, “Even if we did not recognise Hero Fu, we would surely recognise this sabre.”

    Wood Man said, “But we could not imagine that Hero Fu would save him.”

    Fu Hongxue retorted coldly, “His life is mine. No one else but I can touch a strand of his hair.”

    “Yes, yes,” Wood Man hurriedly replied.

    Mud Man pleaded, “If Hero Fu promises to spare my life, I promise to *scram to somewhere far far away.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “*Scram.”
    *(The term that was actually used was “Roll”, as the verb “roll” could mean two things; to roll, or to scram off.)

    His words were barely out of his mouth when Wood Man and Mud Man scrammed off. In fact, they actually rolled out like two balls.

    Yan Nanfei suddenly laughed, and said, “I knew you would not kill them,”

    “Oh?” Fu Hongxue replied.

    Yan Nanfei explained, “because they are still not worthy.”

    Fu Hongxue looked intently at the sabre that was in this hand, but there was an unspeakable sense of loneliness in his expression.

    He never had many friends to begin with. Now even his remaining enemies were dwindling in number.

    How many people under the heavens were still worthy of him using his sabre?

    Fun Hongxue said slowly, “I heard that they asked for three hundred thousand taels before they agreed to kill Shi Batian.”

    Yan Nanfei replied, “That is absolutely correct.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Your life is obviously worth more than Shi Batian’s.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “Far more.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Not many people can afford the price tag for them to have you killed.”

    Yan Nanfei tilted his head backwards and guffawed. He drank half a bottle of wine in one gulped, and took large steps out of the tavern.

    He walked quickly, because he knew that the road ahead was not only difficult, it was very long. So long it was mind-boggling.

    The town was dead, and the streets were deserted. The skies were lonely, and the bright moon was lonely too.

    That night was a night of a full moon.

    So what if the moon was full, if a man’s heart had already waned?

    Yan Nanfei was walking quickly under the moon light. He was taking very large steps.

    But Fu Hongxue kept following behind him. No matter how quickly he walked, the moment he turned around he would see a seemingly disabled Fu Hongxue shuffling slowly behind him. The way Fu Hongxue walked always appeared to be laboured and awkward.

    The stars were getting more and more dispersed, and the moon was dimming in its brilliant hue. The night was almost over, but still Fu Hongxue followed behind Yan Nanfei. He kept the same distance between the both of them.

    Finally, Yan Nanfei could not take it anymore. He turned around and yelled, “Are you my shadow?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “No.”

    “Then why do you keep following me?” Yan Nanfei questioned.

    Fu Hongxue answered, “I'd rather not let someone else kill you.”

    Yan Nanfei gave a cold laugh, “I don’t need you to worry for me. I have always been able to take care of myself.”

    Fu Hongxue asked, “Can you really?”

    He did not wait for Yan Nanfei to reply before continuing, “Only truly emotionless people can take care of themselves. You feel too much.”

    Yan Nanfei asked, “What about you?”

    Fu Hongxue said grimly, “I may have had feelings once, but I have forgotten them. That was a long time ago.”

    His pale face was emotionless, but who could see that behind this cold and cruel mask hid all the pain of his past? Who could see the painful memories?

    If a man’s heart is already dead, and feels no more, nothing else in this world can hurt him.

    Yan Nanfei stared at him, and said unhurriedly, “You are wrong if you think you can take care of yourself. “

    “Oh?” Fu Hongxue replied.

    Yan Nanfei said, “There’s one more person in this world that can hurt you.”

    Fu Hongxue asked, “Who?”

    “You,” Yan Nanfei answered.

    The day broke, and the sun rose.

    The light had already illuminated the dark, gloomy and cold lands, and lighted up the two words on a stone plaque at the side of the road – “Phoenix Settlement”.

    Only this stone plaque, and these two words, remained the same as they had been a year ago.

    Fu Hongxue,was not not a man who showed his sadness. But when he walked past this plaque, he could not help but turn his head and looked at it again.

    The lands were broad as the seas were wide. Changes that happened in this world were often large. But the change that occurred here was undoubtedly very fast, so fast that it was unnatural.

    Yan Nanfei could actually guess what Fu Hongxue was thinking, and asked suddenly, “You didn’t expect this?”

    Fu Hongxue nodded his head slowly, and said, “No, I didn’t, but you already knew.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “Oh?”

    Fu Hongxue answered, “You already knew that this town was dead, that was why you brought your wine and your music with you.

    Yan Nanfei did not deny this.

    Fu Hongxue said, “You obviously know why this town ended up in such a sorry state. “

    Yan Nanfei answered, “Of course I know.”

    Fu Hongxue asked, “Why?”

    Yan Nanfei’s eyes suddenly showed a mixture of pain and anger. After a long time, he muttered, “Because of me.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Because of you? How did you cause the entire bustling town to transform into a grave?”

    Yan Nanfei clamped his mouth shut.

    The lines of his mouth were thin and cold; in fact, they were almost cruel.

    The moment he closed his mouth, anybody could see that he was already refusing to discuss the matter any further.

    So Fu Hongxue closed his mouth too.

    But their eyes were not shut. The both saw a stallion galloping on the road that forked at the side.

    The stallion was a thoroughbred, and the rider’s skills were superb. By the time they saw the horse, both the rider and his horse were already in front of them.

    Yan Nanfei suddenly shot out like an arrow, and did a flip midair as he leaped over the stallion’s head. He was already pulling on the reins of the stallion when his feet touched the ground again.

    He stood there like a nail driven into the ground; with just one hand, he managed to rein in a galloping horse.

    The stallion was startled, and reared up.

    The rider was so angry; he cracked his whip and lashed it in the direction of Yan Nanfei’s head.

    Suddenly he found himself sprawled on the ground; his perspiration-drenched face was already pale and tense with fear and terror. He stared at Yan Nanfei, stupefied.

    Yan Nanfei was smiling. “Why are you such in a terrible hurry to get to your destination?” he asked.

    The rider was trying to keep his temper. He had to, after witnessing Yan Nanfei’s skill. He felt that he had to answer Yan Nanfei’s question. “I am rushing to get to a funeral wake.”

    “A relative of yours died?” Yan Nanfei asked.

    The rider answered, “Yes, my second uncle.”

    “By hurrying, will you be able to save your uncle?” It was a rhetorical question, for who could raise the dead?

    “Nothing changes anyway, why travel in such haste?” Yan Nanfei asked.

    The rider was confused, and asked, “What exactly do you want from me?”

    Yan Nanfei said, “I want to buy your horse.”

    The rider answered, “The horse is not for sale.”

    Yan Nanfei reached into his pocket casually, took out a bundle of gold leaves and threw the bundle in front of the rider. “Is this enough?”

    The rider was shocked by Yan Nanfei’s gesture. He stared blankly at the bundle of gold leaves. He finally gave a long sigh, and said, “A dead man cannot come back to life. Why do I need to rush to get there?”

    Yan Nanfei laughed. As he was stroking the mane of the stallion, he smiled at Fu Hongxue, and said, “I know I can’t get away from you, but now I have six legs.”

    Fu Hongxue was speechless.

    Yan Nanfei guffawed, and waved good bye, “So long! I’ll see you in a year’s time!”

    He was about to jump onto the intricately designed saddle that was on this beautiful thoroughbred. Suddenly, there was a flash of sabre light.

    Fu Hongxue had already pulled his sabre out. The sabre flashed with light, and returned to its sheath.

    The horse was not startled, and nobody present was injured in anyway. This flash of sabre light looked like shooting stars in the sky; shooting stars gave people beauty and hope, not fear and horror.

    But Yan Nanfei was shocked. He looked at the sabre in Fu Hongxue’s hand. “I know you very seldom pulled your sabre.”

    Fu Hongxue grunted an agreement.

    Yan Nanfei said, “Your sabre was not meant for viewing pleasure.”

    Fu Hongxue grunted once again.

    “Then why did you pull your sabre out for no reason whatsoever?” Yan Nanfei asked.

    Fu Hongxue answered, “Because of your legs.”

    Yan Nanfei did not understand, “My legs?”

    Fu Hongxue continued, “You don’t have six legs. In fact, the moment you mount this horse, you won’t have even one leg.”

    Yan Nanfei tensed, and turned back to look at the horse. He saw blood.

    Crimson red blood was flowing out. The blood did not flow out from anybody, nor the horse.

    The blood was flowing out from the saddle of the horse.

    The horse rider, who had been sitting on the ground all this time, suddenly jumped to his feet and sprinted away, as quickly as a flying arrow.

    Fu Hongxue did not stop him, neither did Yan Nanfei; they did not bother to even watch the rider run off.

    Both their eyes were glued to the horse saddle. Yan Nanfei slowly raised two fingers, and lifted a section of the horse saddle cautiously.

    This intricately designed saddle had been severed into 2 halves by the flash of sabre light.

    How could the horse saddle bleed?

    It couldn’t, obviously.

    The blood was cool, and was flowing out from snakes. The snakes were in the horse saddle.

    There were four poisonous snakes, and they were too slashed into two by the flash of sabre light.

    If a person sat on this horse saddle, that had holes for snakes to crawl out, whose seals had been removed, and if the four venomous snakes had crawled out and bit the legs of this person…

    …would this person still have legs?

    Yan Nanfei broke out in cold sweat at the very thought of this horrific scenario.

    He was still perspiring, when he heard a wretched cry. This cry was so chilling, he felt as though a sword was being stabbed into his chest.

    The escaping rider had used his lightness skill, the “Swallow Pecking Water Trice” skill, to leap and run off, and was already about seven metres away.

    He suddenly gave a cry of horror, and collapsed.

    That flash of sabre light earlier not only severed the saddle and slashed the snakes, it injured the rider’s heart, spleen and liver.

    He collapsed onto the ground, and was writhing like snakes.

    No one turned around and looked at him.

    Yan Nanfei slowly released the severed horse saddle, raised his head, and gazed intently at Fu Hongxue.

    Fu Hongxue’s hand was on the handle of his sabre, and his sabre was in its sheath.

    Yan Nanfei contemplated silently for a while, and suddenly sighed. “I regret very much that I was born too late, and never had the opportunity to see.”
    Fu Hongxue asked, “You’ve never seen Shi Kai’s sabre?”

    Yan Nanfei answered, “I regret that I never had the fortune. I…”

    Fu Hongxue interrupted him, “You may not have had the fortune, but you were fortunate, nonetheless. There were people who had seen his sabre leave its sheath in the past.”

    Yan Nanfei asked, “Are all these people already dead now?”

    Fun Hongxue answered, “Even if their bodies are still living, their hearts are already dead.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “Their hearts are dead?”

    Fu Hongxue said, “All who had seen him use his sabre, dared not use a sabre for the rest of their lives, without exceptions.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “But his sabre is really just a flying knife.”

    Fu Hongxue replied, “A flying knife is too, a knife.”

    Yan Nanfei had to agree.

    There were all sorts of knifes and sabres. Every single type of sabre and knife can be used to kill.

    Fu Hongxue asked, “Have you ever used a sabre?”

    Yan Nanfei replied, “Never.”

    Fu Hongxue asked, “How many people have you seen, who do actually know how to use sabres properly”

    Yan Nanfei answered, “Not too many.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “Then you have no business to be talking about knifes and sabres.”

    Yan Nanfei laughed, and said, “Perhaps I really do not have any business to be talking about knifes and sabres; perhaps your sabre technique isn’t the best sabre technique that exists under the heavens. I don’t know the answers to these questions. But I do know one thing definitely.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “And what is that?”

    Yan Nanfei said, “Now I have six legs again, but you only have two.”

    He gave a loud gaffaw again, and leaped onto the horse.

    The horse saddle may be severed, and the snakes may be slashed, but the horse was still very much alive and alert.

    The horse ran like the wind, and left behind a swirl of fine dust.

    Fu Hongxue looked down at his feet; his eyes had the indescribable look ofself-derision, and whispered to himself, “You are wrong. I don’t have two legs; I only have one.”

    There were wine tavern in every town; and every wine tavern that could remain open for business for a long time had something that was special or unique.

    The “Ten Thousand Longevity” tavern was unique in one way, and that was the exorbitant prices that it charged. Everything that was served, food or wine, were at least double the price that taverns charged elsewhere.

    Many forms of weaknesses existed in Man. Spending tons of money for the sake of appearance was surely one of Man’s many weaknesses.

    This was why places that charged ridiculous prices also had ridiculously good business.

    When Yan Nanfei walked out of the “Ten Thousand Longevity” tavern and looked at the horse that had been left outside the tavern, he could not help laughing.

    Two legs were really of no match to six legs.

    The ability to be able to get away from one’s shadow was the common wish of all men. This had to be another one of Man’s many weaknesses. But as he was untying the rope around the pillar, he suddenly lost his ability to laugh.

    This was because the moment he raised his head, he saw Fu Hongxue again.

    Fu Hongxue was standing across the street, and was staring at him coldly. His face was deadly pale, and his eyes were black and cold.

    Yan Nanfei smiled.

    He gave the horse a small pat and the horse trotted away. However, he was still standing where he was and looking at Fu Hongxue.

    He paid gold leafs for this horse, and yet a pat with his hands, and all that was left was a swirl of dust that the horse kicked up as it was trotting away.

    So what if there were thousands and thousands of taels of gold? They were nothing as far as he was concerned. Gold was about as precious to him as a swirl of dust.

    The dust settled, and he walked across the street towards Fu Hongxue. He smiled, and said, “You managed to catch up with me after all.”

    Fu Hongxue gave a “humph” in reply.

    Yan Nanfei gave a deep sigh and said, “It’s just as well I am not a female. If not, after being chased and watched like this by you, I’d have had no choice but to marry you.”

    Fu Hongxue’s pale face suddenly blushed red. The blush was so deep red, it was alarming. All the pores on his face contorted as though he was in deep pain.

    What excruciating memory lay in his heart? Why would a simple, ordinary joke like this one cause him so much pain?

    Yan Nanfei closed his mouth.

    He never liked hurting other people. Everytime he hurt a person by mistake, he would feel very bad too.

    They stood there face to face, under the roof of a bakery.

    There was a skinny and withered old lady with two children in the bakery. They were buying some cakes. They barely walked out of the bakery and the children were already bickering for cakes to eat immediately. Though the granny was telling them that it was not good to be eating on the streets, she was already taking out two pieces of cake for the two children.

    The children did not stop bickering when they received the cakes. They actually quarrelled even louder.

    The little boy cried, “Why is Xiaoping’s piece so much bigger than mine? I want her cake.”

    The little girl naturally refused. The little boy tried to grab the cake from the little girl, and the little girl tried to run away.

    The girl was not as fast as the boy and the boy was going to catch up. She ran behind Yan Nanfei and hid, pulled at Yan Nanfei’s sleeve, and said, “Good uncle, please save me. He’s a little robber.”
    The boy quipped, “ This uncle won’t help you. We are all men, and men stick together.”

    Yan Nanfei laughed at the antics of the children.

    These two children may be mischievious, but they were very intelligent and very cute. Yan Nanfei also had his childhood once, but those golden times were gone, never to return. He had a female playmate too once, but he didn’t even know if she was now married. He saw something in the two children that reminded him of his childhood.

    His heart was suddenly filled with warmth and nostalgia. He grabbed both the hands of the two children and said gently, “Let’s quarrel no more. Uncle will buy ten cakes for each of you.”

    The faces of the two children lighted up, their smiles were angelic. They both ran towards him.

    Yan Nanfei opened both his arms, preparing to carry a child in each arm.

    At this instant, there was a flash of sabre light.

    Fu Hongxue was a person who never pulled his sabre out lightly, and yet he suddenly pulled out his sabre once again.

    The sabre light flashed pass, and the cakes that were in the children’s hands fell onto the ground. They had been slashed into halfs.

    Both children were so frightened , they started crying. They ran back to their grandmother.

    Yan Nanfei was also stunned. He stared at Fu Hongxue in bewilderment.

    Fu Hongxue’s sabre was already back in its sheath. His face was expressionless.

    Yan Nanfei suddenly laughed coldly. “Now I understand. Other than killing, your sabre has one more function.”

    Fun Hongxue said, “Oh?”

    Yan Nanfei said, “You also use your sabre to frighten children.”

    Fu Hongxue replied coldly, “I only scare one type of children.”

    Yan Nanfei asked, “Which type?”

    Fu Hongxue answered, “The type that kills.”
    Yan Nanfei was stunned once more, and turned back slowly. The old lady was backing away with the two children. The children were no longer crying; their eyes were wide open, and they were glaring at Yan Nanfei.

    It was as though their glare was filled with murderous intentions and hatred.

    Yan Nanfei looked at the ground. His heart was sinking. His eyes fell on the cakes on the ground. There were things shining inside the cakes.

    He picked up one of the halves, and found a mechanised hollow tube filled with five-poison needles.

    He suddenly leaped up like a bird, and landed in front of the old lady. You are the Ghostly Granny?

    The old lady laughed. The wrinkled and shrivelled face, suddenly became evil and cruel. “You’ve heard of me. Now, that is unexpected.”

    Yan Nanfei gazed at her for a long time, and said calmly, “You do know that I have a habit.”

    Ghostly Granny said, “What habit is it?”

    Yan Nanfei answered, “I never kill females.”

    Ghostly Granny laughed. “It’s a good habit to have.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “You may be old, but you are still female.”

    Ghostly Granny let out a breath, and said, “It’s too bad for you that you’ve never seen me when I was still young, because….

    Yan Nanfei interrupted coldly, “…because I would have killed you for sure.”

    Ghostly Granny said, “I seem to recall you mentioning just now, that you never killed females.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “You would have been an exception.”

    Ghostly Granny asked, “Why would I have been an exception?”

    Yan Nanfei said, “Children are pure and innocent. You should not have used them. You’ve wrecked them…”

    Ghostly Granny smiled again. Her smile was chilling, “Granny loves the children, and the children love to help their Granny with her work. What business is it of yours?”

    Yan Nanfei shut his mouth.

    He was no longer interested in talking about this matter. His hand was grasping the handle of his sword.

    The blade of his sword was red, as red as fresh blood!

    Ghostly Granny cackled in laughter. “Other people are afraid of your Wild Rose Sword, but I…” She didn’t finish her sentence, but threw a bag of sugared pastries on the ground.

    There was a suddenly clap of thunderous explosion, and dust was flying everywhere. Acrid smoke spread in all directions, and there were sparks flying about too.

    Yan Nanfei leaped into the air and somersaulted backwards.

    By the time the smoke disappeared and the dust had settled, Ghostly Granny and the two children had vanished. There was however, a large hole left in the ground.

    A crowd gathered around to watch, but scattered.

    Yan Nanfei was still standing there, shell-shocked. After a long time, he turned and faced Fu Hongxue.

    Fu Hongxue was as cold as snow.

    Yan Nanfei let out a long sigh, and said, “Your observations are accurate once again.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “I’m rarely wrong.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “The children are innocent. They must have been kidnapped by Ghostly Granny when they were very small.”

    The darkness of night, and babies in cloth bundles… a skinny, shrivelled old lady knocking at the door in the middle of the night…

    Saddened parents, pitiful children.

    Yan Nanfei said sorrowfully, “She must have used all kinds of methods to have taught the children nothing but evil and hatred, even at such a younger and tender age.

    Fu Honxue said, “This is why you should not have let her go.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “I did not expect that that bag of sugared pastries actually contained the fire equipment of Jiangnan’s Thunder Hall.

    Fu Hongxue said, “You should have thought of that possibility. If the cakes could contain the five-posion needles, they could also contain the Thunder Clapping Seed.

    Yan Nanfei asked, “You expected something like this would occur?”

    Fu Hongxue did not deny.

    Yan Nanfei asked, “Since you are of the opinion that that I should not have let her go, why didn’t you strike her down?”

    Fu Hongxue answered coldly, “That is because her target was you, not me. Besides, you are already very strong.”

    Yan Nanfei looked intently at him, and laughed bitterly. “Perhaps it is not that I’m too strong, but that you are too sharp.”

    Fu Hongxue did not understand. “Oh?”

    Yan Nanfei said, “Right to this very moment, I still do not understand. How did you detect the toxic mist amidst the smoke and the poisonous snakes in the saddle?”

    Fu Hongxue was silent for a long time. He calmly said, “There are many ways to kill a person. Assassination is but one of them, and yet this way of killing is the most fearsome of them all.

    Yan Nanfei answered, “I know this.”

    Fu Hongxue continued, “Do you then know how many methods there are available to assassinate somebody?”

    Yan Nanfei answered, “I don’t know.”

    Fu Hongxue asked again, “Do you know how many people in the last three centuries have died untimely deaths because of successful assassinations?”

    Yan Nanfei answered, “I don’t know.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “At least 538 people.”

    Yan Nanfei asked, “You counted?”

    Fu Hongxue replied, “I counted. It took me seven years of time and effort to get this exact number.”

    Yan Nanfei could not stop himself from asking the obvious question, “Why did you waste so much of your time to find the exact answer to this trivial question?”

    Fu Hongxue replied, “If I had not taken the time to do so, I would have died at least ten times by now, and you would already be trice dead.”

    Yan Nanfei let out a small breath. He was going to say something, but stopped himself.

    Fu Hongxue continued “This 538 people that I mentioned, they were all highly skilled members of the pugilistic fraternity. They were all killed by people who were not on par with them in terms of martial arts abilities.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “These people died because the methods used by the assassins to assassinate them were so evil and ingenious. This was why the assassination attempts were successful.”

    Fu Hongxue nodded. “There may have been 538 deaths, but there were only 483 assassins.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “Some of the people were victims of the same assassin.”

    Fu Hongxue nodded again. “Also, a method of assassination could be used by more than one assassin.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “I’ve thought of that.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “The assassins used 237 different methods of assassination methods in all.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “It goes without saying that these 237 methods must be very malicious and ingenious.

    Fu Hongxue replied, “Obviously, this is so.”

    Yan Nanfei asked, “Of these, how many of them do you know?”

    Fu Hongxue answered, “227.”

    Yan Nanfei let out another breath, and said, “I know none of them.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “At the very least, you now know three of them.”

    It was already deep into the night, and this depth was intoxicating to Man.

    Yan Nanfei was still very much alert, his eyes were still as bright as the moon, but his facial expression was strange. It was as though his expression had too been injured by the thorns of wild roses. Wild roses had thorns, but what about the bright moon?

    The bright moon did have a heart, that was why the moon would lend its rays to illuminate manknd. The name of this lady was *Mingyue Xin.
    *(Mingyue Xin literally translates as “Heart of the Bright Moon”. She is a recurring character, and the moon is often used as a pun/metaphor for her. Keep this in mind henceforth when the “bright moon” or “the heart of the bright moon” comes up. The author may be just be literally describing about the bright moon hanging in the sky. Then again, the author may actually be referring to Mingyue Xin.)

    The night was darker and the moon was brighter, and yet his facial expression seemed to show more pain. Yan Nanfei said, “More than three methods.”

    Fu Hongxue asked, “More than three methods?”

    Yan Nanfei smiled, and said, “Do you know how many assassination attempts I’ve survived within the past six months?”

    Fu Hongxue shook his head.

    Yan Nanfei replied, “39 attempts, not counting the three that you witnessed.”

    Fu Hongxue asked, “The methods that they tried to use to assassinate you were all different?”

    Yan Nanfei replied, “Not only were they all different, they all came unexpected. But I’m still alive.”

    It was now Fu Hongxue’s turn to be speechless.

    Yan Nanfei laughed and walked into a small road that was intersecting the major street that they were on. There was a tall pagoda. There were floral scents emitting from the upper floors.

    What floral scent was it?

    Was it the scent of wild roses?

    The was a tall pagoda with windows at the upper floor. The moon was in front of the window, and the flowers were beneath the moon.

    The moon was a bright moon, and the flowers were wild roses.

    There was no lamp. The moonlight came in from the window, and shone at the wild roses that were beside Yan Nanfei.

    He was not alone with the wild roses. There was another person that had been pricked by wild roses that was lying next to him.

    Tonight of all nights?

    The moon is like fluid, two people leaning towards one another.

    How much pining was there?

    How many unspoken words of love remained?

    She gazed intently at him for a long time. Finally she had to break the silence. She whispered, “What are you thinking of?”

    Yan Nanfei remained quiet for a long time, before he answered, “I’m thinking of people. Two people in particular.”

    Mingyue Xin’s voice was even gentler now, “Am I one of the two people that you are thinking of right now?

    Yan Nanfei answered, “No.”

    His voice became colder, “You are not either of the two people I’m thinking of.”

    The beauty was pricked once again, but she did not withdraw. She asked, “Who are they then?”

    Yan Nanfei answered, “One of them is Fu Hongxue.”

    Mingyue Xin asked, “Fu Hongxue? The person who was waiting for you at Phoenix Settlement?”

    Yan Nanfei nodded.

    Mingyue Xin asked, “He is your enemy, isn’t he?”

    Yan Nanfei answered, “No.”

    Mingyue Xin asked, “Is he your friend then?”

    Yan Nanfei said, “No, he’s not my friend either.”

    He suddenly laughed, and said, “You’d never guess in a million years why he was waiting for me at Phoenix Settlement.”

    Mingyue Xin asked, “Why was he waiting for you?

    Yan Nanfei said, “He was waiting to kill me.”

    Mingyue Xin let out a small breath, and said, “But he didn’t kill you.”

    Yan Nanfei was still smiling, but his expression was mocking, “Not only did he not kill me, he even saved me three times.”

    Mingyue Xin sighed once more, and said, “We females will never understand what you males are doing.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “Females never understood males from the beginning.”

    Mingyue Xin turned her head towards the window and stared at the moon hanging outside the window. She asked, “Who else were you thinking of?”

    Yan Nanfei’s expression turned from mocking back to painful, and said slowly, “A man I want to kill, but I know I’ll never be able to kill him in this lifetime.”

    Her bright eyes dimmed at his pain; even the moon hanging outside the window became dim.

    A dark cloud floated quietly across the sky, and covered the moon.

    She got up silently, and whispered, “I’m leaving now, you should be sleeping soon.”

    Yan Nanfei did not raise his head. “You are leaving?”

    Mingyue Xin said, “I know that I should be with you because you are feeling down right now, but…”

    “But you have to leave anyhow, because even though this room is essentially amongst the *wind and dust, you’ve never allowed guests to stay overnight. You are giving me face by letting me remain here,” Yan Nanfei interrupted.
    *(“Wind and Dust” is a euphemistic term referring to prostitution. Yan Nanfei’s present location can be left to the reader’s imagination.)

    Mingyue Xin looked at him, and her eyes began to show the pain. She suddenly turned around, and said, “Perhaps I never should have asked you to say. Perhaps you never should have come.” Her voice was calm, yet it had a hint of resentment in the tone.

    The empty room was thick with loneliness. And yet, outside the window, the sound of raindrops, much like music from a zither, was slowly increasing in volume and velocity. (Can you help come up with something better please? This description sucks.:P )

    The storm came suddenly. Even the wild roses on the balcony were ravaged by the torrent of raindrops.

    Across the street, at the corner, there stood a man who could not be ravaged. Nothing could devastate him; not his person, not even his determination.

    When Yan Nanfei pushed open the windows, he saw this man.

    “He’s still here,” Yan Nanfei mumbled to himself. The storm may become worse, but this man stood there, motionless. Even if the raindrops were like hundreds and thousands of little daggers raining down on him, he would not retreat. Other than smiling bitterly to himself, Yan Nanfei had no other appropriate response to this sight. “Fu Hongxue, Fu Hongxue, what kind of a person are you?”

    There was a slight breeze, and the raindrops hit his face. They were cold, and their chill wormed their way into his heart.

    There was a sudden warmth in his heart, as it pounded hard with emotion. He suddenly ran outside, jumped over a tall wall, and stood in front of Fu Hongxue.

    Fu Hongxue seemed far away. It was as though he wasn’t experiencing this downpour, and didn’t see Yan Nanfei.

    Yan Nanfei was only under the rain for a short while, but his clothes were quickly drenched through. But if Fu Hongxue remained silent, so would he as well.

    Fu Hongxue’s gaze fell on him at last. He said coldly, “It’s raining heavily outside.”

    Yan Nanfei said, “I know.”

    Fu Hongxue continued, “You should not have come out.”

    Yan Nanfei laughed, and asked, “If you can be standing under the pouring rain, why cannot I do the same?”

    Fu Hongxue only said three words, “You certainly can.”

    With that, he turned his gaze away. It was obvious that he was terminating the conversation.

    But Yan Nanfei refused to let the dialogue end. He continued speaking, “Of course I can stand under the rain. Anybody has the right to stand under the rain if he so chooses.”

    Fu Hongxue was silent. It was as though he was physically somewhere far far away.

    Yan Nanfei yelled, “But I didn’t come out here specially to get drenched.”

    His voice was just too loud. It was even louder than the hundreds of thousands of raindrops that were hitting the tiled rooftop.

    Fu Hongxue was undoubtedly not deaf. He finally asked nonchalantly, “Then what are you doing outside?”

    Yan Nanfei said, “I want to tell you something. A secret.”

    Fu Hongxue’s eyes brightened. “You are now prepared to tell me?”

    Yan Nanfei nodded. Fu Hongxue asked, “But you were originally intending to take the secret with you to your grave?”

    Yan Nanfei nodded in admission, and said, “I had made up my mind not to tell anybody, ever.”

    Fu Hongxue asked, “Then why are you telling me now?” Yan Nanfei stared at him, at the raindrops on his face, at his pale face, and answered, “I’m going to tell you ow, because I’ve suddenly realised one thing.”

    Fu Hongxue said, “And what is that?”

    Yan Nanfei laughed. He said, unconcerned, “You are not human. Not human at

  3. #23
    Junior Member rikku's Avatar
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    wow.. that's so cool.. thanks han solo for continuing!!!.. Fu Hongsue is really cool

  4. #24
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    *sheepish grin*

    I apologise from the bottom of my heart for stranding everybody like this.

    To my beta-readers (you know who you are) thank you so much for your time, and I did receive your suggested editions for Chapter 3. I was going to incorporate your ideas before posting. Which sorts of explain why Chapter 3 remained unposted for so long.

    Sigh. Procrastination is an evil thing. :P Anyway the waiting forced Han Solo's hand, who posted my draft Chapter 3, unedited. :P It is kind of raw, isn't it?

    But I assure you that your time spent editing my very raw Chapter 3 was not wasted. I am going to edit Chapter 3 soon, and then repost. Probably together with Chapter 4. Goodness knows how long translating that chapter will take. My goal is to get the draft out by the end of May. Please check your mailboxes then.

    To my non beta-readers, I hope you'll like this chapter. The version that's posted here is my original draft, which is obviously inferior in quality as compared to the 1st 2 chapters. I hope you guys enjoy it anyway, and I'll try not to let you guys wait too long for Chapter 4.

    Regards,
    metwin1

  5. #25
    Member chowbeng's Avatar
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    I had just borrowed this one from the library and I chanced on this lovely translation.

    Fu Hongxue asked, “You’ve never seen Shi Kai’s sabre?”
    It's Ye Kai, not Shi Kai.

  6. #26
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    This is my favorite Gu Long novel, it's a truly wonderful read and leaves such a lasting impression. Unless the original translator returns, I will definitely be translating this after I finish my current translation of Bordertown Wanderer.
    明月心跳起來,又回頭,嫣然道,“你還要不要我帶上那面具?”
    傅紅雪冷道,“現在你臉上豈非已經戴上了個面具?”

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