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Thread: A Happy Hero

  1. #161
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    yan qui is def way to close to our hero...
    if hes not a chic, then they must be gay buddies.

  2. #162
    Senior Member Hoju!'s Avatar
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    --------------------------------------------------
    Chapter 9 - To Kill or Be Killed
    --------------------------------------------------

    The tables had all been separated, the cotton blankets stored. It was fast approaching the time when Kui Yuan Guan would start seating its patrons. But right then, on the upstairs level, there was only the four of them sitting motionless, like four wooden statues – wooden statues that knew how to drink wine.

    The wine level in the jug was subsiding like an ebbing tide. They filled their own cups and drank in silence. No one addressed anyone else.

    Then, as if they had prearranged it, Yan Qi, Wang Dong, and Guo DaLu all started laughing loudly at the same time.

    Even if they were idiots, by now, they would have figured out that they had been deceived. The black-clothed man was not a government officer at all and definitely not a secret agent sent by some honourable governor to investigate Golden Lion and GunZi. He, too, was a bad guy who went after other bad guys.

    To be fooled by someone so badly should have been infuriating, but they thought it was hilarious.

    Yan Qi pointed at Guo DaLu, and with mirth in his voice, said, “Wang Laoda’s conclusion was completely correct: when it is time for you to be intelligent, you in fact are a fool. Not just a fool, but an idiot, a complete idiot.

    Guo DaLu pointed his finger back at him and chortled, “What about you? You weren’t much smarter than me.”

    Lin TaiPing had been watching them the whole time. Waiting until their laughter had abated, he asked, “Are you done laughing?”

    Guo DaLu was still breathing heavily, and he struggled to hold back his chuckles. “Not really, but I am too tired to keep laughing.”

    Lin TaiPing: “Do you find the situation very amusing?”

    Wang Dong suddenly rolled his eyes and answered back, “What else can you do if you don’t laugh? Cry?”

    This was their philosophy in life. They were able to laugh, they knew how to laugh, and they were not afraid of laughing. Laughter not only fills you with joy, but it can also strengthen your courage and love for life. “Those who laugh are blessed because it is in them that life is lived to the fullest.”

    But Lin TaiPing looked as if he could not make himself laugh.

    Guo DaLu: “Why won’t you laugh as we are doing?”

    Lin TaiPing: “If laughter could solve the issue, for certain, I would be laughing even harder than you.”

    Guo DaLu: “Even if laughter cannot solve anything, at the very least, it will not add to your worries.” He chuckled again before continuing, “Plus, when you learn to use laughter in facing the things of life, gradually you will discover that there is no problem life can present to you that cannot be resolved.

    Lin TaiPing: “No matter how cheerful your laughter is, it doesn’t change the fact that you have been deceived.”

    Guo DaLu: “Even if you don’t laugh, you still have been deceived. If that’s the case, why wouldn’t you laugh?”

    Lin TaiPing did not say anything.

    Guo DaLu: “What is it that is troubling you?”

    Yan Qi: “And why are you so concerned about this particular circumstance?”

    Lin TaiPing was quiet for quite a while. “Because that person is NanGong Chou.”

    Yan Qi: “How do you know?”

    Lin TaiPing: “I just know.”

    Guo DaLu: “And what connection do you have to NanGong Chou?”

    Lin TaiPing: “No connection. It is because I have no connection to him that I need to …”

    Guo DaLu: “You need to what?”

    Lin TaiPing: “I need to kill him.”

    Guo DaLu looked first at Yan Qi, then Wang Dong. “Did you hear what he just said?”

    Wang Dong did not move. Yan Qi nodded.

    Guo DaLu: “This lad says he wants to kill someone.”

    Wang Dong still did not move. Yan Qi nodded again.

    Guo DaLu turned his head to look over at Lin TaiPing, whose face was expressionless. “You saw him awhile ago?”

    Lin TaiPing: “Yes.”

    Guo DaLu suddenly laughed and asked, “Why didn’t you kill him then?”

    Still, no hint of emotion showed on Lin TaiPing’s face; it seemed as if he was wearing a mask – a cold, iron mask. It was quite frightful to look at. He articulated each word, “I already killed him.”

    The jug was filled with wine again because Wang Dong had instructed, “When you see that our wine jug is empty, come over and fill it up.” The employees of Kui Yuan Guan were very compliant with Wang Dong’s wishes. At that moment, everyone was staring wide-eyed at the wine jug. Guo DaLu suddenly laughed aloud. “You aren’t supposed to use your eyes to drink.”

    Yan Qi: “My mouth is really busy right now.”

    Guo DaLu: “Busy doing what?”

    Yan Qi: “Busy swallowing the questions that I want to ask back into my stomach.”

    Patrons were gradually arriving; the restaurant was not an appropriate place for further discussion. Guo DaLu picked up his wine cup, then set it down again. “It is seldom that Guo Dashao is a host and treats his guests…”

    Yan Qi: “This time, you have been let off easy. Let’s go.”

    Lin TaiPing was the first to rise to his feet. Surprisingly, Wang Dong also stood up. Guo DaLu stretched his arm out in, his hand in front of their faces, blocking their way.

    Looking at him, Wang Dong asked, “What would you like to do? Did you want me to give you a palm reading?

    Guo DaLu forced a laugh. “There’s no need. I know I was destined to live a life of poverty. The worst part is, every time I would like to treat some friends, the money inside my pocket will mysteriously find a way to fly away by itself.”

    Wang Dong: “You want to borrow money from me to pay the tab?”

    Guo DaLu cleared his throat a few times. “Well, you know, my activities last night were quite expensive.”

    Wang Dong had wanted to laugh in response, but after one glance at Lin TaiPing, he could only give a sigh. “You have come to the wrong person.”

    In a tone full of detest, Guo DaLu asked, “You’ve completely spent your money?”

    Wang Dong: “Mm.”

    Guo DaLu: “You… how did you spend it?”

    Wang Dong: “My activities last night were very expensive as well.”

    Guo DaLu: “What were you doing?”

    Wang Dong: “There is only one activity in this world that is more expensive than finding women: gambling.”

    Guo DaLu: “You lost all your money? Who did you lose it to?”

    Wang Dong: “The employees of this restaurant.”

    Guo DaLu paused for a long while in astonishment. He could not help laughing as he responded, “No wonder they are so submissive to you. Every shop’s employees are especially nice to idiot squanderers of money.”

    Wang Dong: “I am not the only idiot squanderer here.”

    Guo DaLu: “Who else?” Wang Dong looked over at Lin TaiPing, then Yan Qi. Guo DaLu leapt up in surprise. “You guys lost all your money too?”

    No one said anything. Their silence was an admission.

    Guo DaLu collapsed back onto his seat. Forcing a smile, he said in a sickly tone, “If that is the case, all the employees here suddenly made a fortune.”

    Wang Dong: “They will not be rich for long. Sooner or later, they will lose the money to someone else.”

    Guo DaLu paced around as he nodded. “True. What comes easily will go easily; how it came is how it will go.”

    Wang Dong: “But at least we have contributed to mankind and society.”

    Guo DaLu: “What type of contribution?”

    Wang Dong: “The faster money circulates, the more prosperous the economy will be. As a result, mankind can progress.”

    Guo DaLu thought this over for a moment. Smiling cynically, he said, “Your words always appear to have some logic behind them.”

    Wang Dong: “That is why you don’t need to be upset either.”

    Guo DaLu: “What would I be upset about? I didn’t lose any…”

    Wang Dong: “Regretfully, we lost your share of the money along with everything else.” Guo DaLu froze in shock. “Even if the mud Buddha statue in the abandoned temple does sleep with people, it certainly would not charge a fee for the service.”

    As he listened, Guo DaLu’s eyes slowly grew rounder and rounder. “You all knew?! You had been conspiring the whole time, hadn’t you? … The sneaky, little thief who stole from me, it was…?” He suddenly stabbed a finger at Yan Qi’s nose and cried, “It was you!”

    Yan Qi: “You are correct.”

    Guo DaLu seized him by the collar. Gritting his teeth, he asked, “Why would you do such a thing?” Yan Qi did not reply, but his face showed a faint red color.

    Wang Dong: “It was for your own good. He did not want his friend to get a venereal disease.”

    Slowly, Guo DaLu’s fingers released Yan Qi’s clothing. He sank back to his seat, his hand rubbing his scalp as he muttered under his breath. “Oh Heaven! … Oh Heaven! Why did you make me befriend such a person?” He suddenly jumped up again and, through clenched teeth, demanded, “If you knew that all four of our wallets were emptied, why would you still sit here feasting and drinking away?”

    Wang Dong: “To make you happy.”

    Guo DaLu could not contain his voice as he cried incredulously, “Make me happy?”

    Wang Dong: “An individual is always especially happy when he is entertaining guests, right?”

    Guo DaLu held his head in his hands as he moaned, “Yes yes yes! I am so happy, so frigging happy I might as well just die right now.”

    A waiter suddenly walked over to them and said, “Wang Dage, you need not fret about paying the bill. The tab has already been cleared.”

    Guo DaLu sighed. “I never would have expected it, but at least there is one person with a kind heart in this place.”

    The waiter’s face grew pink with embarrassment. Smiling, he said, “I had planned on paying the bill for Wang Dage, but unfortunately, someone stole this opportunity from me and paid it first.”

    Wang Dong: “Who?”

    The waiter answered, “The patron sitting in that corner over there.” He turned around to point out the kind person to them. Dishes of food and wine were still on the table in the corner, but there was no one to be seen.
    Last edited by Hoju!; 11-07-07 at 11:13 PM.

  3. #163
    Senior Member Shi-Potian's Avatar
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    I Love This Novel Always A Entertaining Read Highly Appreciate The Translation Thank You For Taking Time To Do This Novel It's Great!!!

  4. #164
    Senior Member Hoju!'s Avatar
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    Chapter 9 continued.....
    --------------------------------------------------

    The waiter answered, “The patron sitting in that corner over there.” He turned around to point out the kind person to them. Dishes of food and wine were still on the table in the corner, but there was no one to be seen.

    Guo DaLu was the last in the group as they got up to leave. He took a few steps, then turned around again. Patting the shoulder of the employee who was showing them out the door, he said, “There is something I would like to ask you.”

    Employee: “Please ask.”

    Guo DaLu: “How are you planning to spend all that money you won?”

    Employee: “I do not plan on spending it.” Guo DaLu stared incredulously at him, as if a saint had suddenly appeared before his eyes. The employee continued, “I plan on using it as my gambling principal to win even more. I have had quite a bit of luck at the gambling table lately.”

    Guo DaLu continued to stare at him. Suddenly, he burst into laughter, doubling over and laughing so hard he nearly fell down the stairs. He gave another pat on the employee’s shoulder and commended him, “Great idea. That is what we need in order for mankind to advance. On behalf of all the people in the world, I thank you.”

    The employee wanted to ask, “Thank me? For what?” but Guo DaLu was already down the stairs. Confused, he knocked on his own head with his fist and sighed, “It seems that these people are not only idiot squanderers, they are also a bunch of lunatics.”

    A wise person once had a very wise saying: “To be regarded as an idiot squander and lunatic can be a very remarkable thing. Indeed, it is even more remarkable than being regarded as a hero or a saint.” That restaurant employee was not wise, and naturally had never heard this saying before. Even if he had, he would not understand its true meaning. In reality, there are very few people who would understand the truth in this saying.

    There are two types of people in this world. The first type is people who abide by the rules in everything they do, and their ways are logical. Anyone would be able to understand what and why they do things.

    The other type is completely differently. This sort of person deliberately enjoys doing things in mysterious ways so that, not only are others not able to figure out what he will do, sometimes he does not even know himself. Wang Dong was this sort of person. Lin TaiPing was as well.

    However, there is something of this world that is even more mysterious: money. When you do not want it, for no reason at all, it will somehow find its way to you. But in the times that you really need money, more often than not, you will not even be able to catch a glimpse of any.

    What is it like to kill someone? Very few people know. Maybe one out of ten thousand people has ever killed a person.

    Someone once said, “Regardless of what it is like to kill someone, at the very least, it is better than being killed.” Anyone who says this has never killed before.

    Someone else also said, “The feeling you get when you kill a person is much more terrifying than dying itself.”

    “How did you kill him?” “Why did you kill him?” Lin TaiPing was waiting for them to ask these two questions. They did not ask.

    Wang Dong, Yan Qi, and Guo DaLu seemed to have an agreement. They did not ask a single question. In fact, the three of them had not even opened their mouths to speak.

    Xiancheng was not a long way from the mountain city, but the absence of conversation made the distance seem very far. Guo DaLu was humming a tune. The melody line had probably been passed on for several generations already, but the lyrics most certainly were composed by him. No one else would be able to create lyrics such as these:

    When we came, we were so impressive
    When we left, we were so trivial
    When we came, we rode a carriage
    When we left, we rode nothing but the wind beneath our feet
    When we came, bells and gongs announced our arrival
    When we left, all had become hollow and empty
    When we came…


    Yan Qi piped up, “What are you singing?”

    Guo DaLu: “It’s called ‘The Come and Go Song.’ Come come, go go. You come, you go. Those who go don’t come; those who come don’t go.”

    Yan Qi suddenly started singing along with his melody. “Pass it out, but it’s obstructed. If it was open, you wouldn’t need to pass. Pass pass, open open. Once it’s open, let it pass.”

    Guo DaLu asked curiously: “Pass what out?”

    Yan Qi: “Dog fart. The song is called, ‘Passing Dog Farts.’ ” [* “Passing dog farts” is a phrase that means bull***t, nonsense, or rubbish]

    Guo DaLu scowled and as he retorted, “You guys should not mock me. In the past, someone begged me to sing for him, and I turned him down because I wasn’t in the mood.”

    Wang Dong nodded knowingly. “I know what type of person that was.”

    Yan Qi blinked innocently. “What type?”

    Wang Dong: “A deaf person.”

    Guo DaLu wanted to scowl at them again, but even he could not contain his laughter.’

    Lin TaiPing suddenly gave a cold laugh. “A deaf person is better than those who pretend to be deaf and mute.”

    Guo DaLu blinked back at him. “Who is pretending to be deaf and mute?”

    Lin TaiPing: “You, you, and you.” He jabbed his finger into each of their faces before continuing, “You obviously have questions that you want to ask. Why are you not asking them?”

    Wang Dong: “It is not that we are not asking; there is no need to ask.”

    Lin TaiPing: “Why is there no need?”

    Wang Dong: “Those types of people, you may not complain that there are too many when they are alive, but you definitely would not protest the loss when they are dead.”

    Guo DaLu: “Very true. If one dies, that is one less in the world. The fewer there are of that type of people, the better.” He patted Lin TaiPing on the shoulder and smiled comfortingly as he said, “Since you did not wrongly kill anyone, why would I question you?”

    Lin TaiPing was clenching his teeth. He suddenly asked them, “Have any of you killed someone before?”

    Guo DaLu looked at Wang Dong. Wang Dong looked over at Yan Qi. Yan Qi gave a wry smile as he answered, “I have only ever been killed by someone.”

    Lin TaiPing suddenly leapt into the air. He brushed past them as he flew towards the side of the road. As he landed behind a tree, the echo of his sobs carried back towards them.

    Yan Qi looked at Guo DaLu. Guo DaLu looked over at Wang Dong. Wang Dong said, “He had never killed anyone in the past.”

    Guo DaLu nodded. “This is his first time.”

    Yan Qi heaved a sigh. “So, it turns out that the feeling you get when you kill someone truly is much more horrible than being killed.”

    Wang Dong: “When NanGong Chou realized that he was being followed, he must have thought that Lin TaiPing had discovered his secret and therefore, attacked him first to permanently shut him up.

    Guo DaLu: “But instead, the one with the intention to kill ended up being killed.”

    Yan Qi: “Lin TaiPing’s martial arts seems to be much stronger than ours and also much stronger than NanGong Chou.”

    Guo DaLu sighed. “This is an example where ‘a person cannot be judged by his appearance, the ocean’s water cannot be measured in a dou [5].’ When I first laid eyes upon him, I thought he didn’t even have the strength to catch a chicken.”

    The sounds of sobbing had not yet ceased.

    Yan Qi: “One with intentions to kill may not be have the ability to kill. And yet, even though Lin TaiPing may have killed someone, he never wanted to kill.”

    Guo DaLu: “Let’s go over and console him.”

    Wang Dong: “No.”

    Guo Dalu: “Why?”

    Wang Dong: “Even though crying is not as good as laughing, it is not a bad thing for a person to occasionally have a good cry.”

    Sighing again, Guo DaLu said, “I, personally, still prefer laughing. At least, when you are laughing, you do not need to hide behind a tree to do it.”

    Yan Qi also gave a sigh. “And, no matter how hard you laugh, you need not worry that other people will come watch the scene you are making.”

    The more concerned you are about people staring at you, the more people will come to stare. The sky was not yet dark. There were still lots of people on the road, and many of them had stopped, stretching their necks and peering curiously at Guo DaLu and the others. Some of the passersby had even walked over towards where they were standing.

    Guo DaLu wiped the sweat on his brow nervously. Forcing an uneasy smile, he whispered, “I only hope people will not suspect that he is crying because we were bullying him.”

    Nobody “suspected.” Everyone was practically certain this was the case.

    Seeing the accusing expression in their eyes, Yan Qi could not help wiping at the sweat on his forehead as well. “Can you just hurry up and think of a way to convince these people to leave?”

    Guo DaLu smiled wryly and answered, “I don’t have such a talent. The best I can do is dig a hole.”

    Yan Qi: “What would you dig a hole for?”

    Guo DaLu: “So that I can crawl in there and avoid getting stared to death by these people.”

    Yan Qi let out another sigh. “Then, it would be great if you dug a bigger hole.”

    Guo DaLu accused bitterly, “If you guys had not lost all that money, or at the very least, not lost all of it, we could have at least rented a carriage so that he could sit in it and cry to his heart’s content.” He had just finished his sentence when an elegant horse drawn carriage actually appeared, driving towards them. It stopped in front of them.

    Yan Qi cast a sidelong glance over at Wang Dong and murmured to him, “We actually should not have gambled in that last round. It was nearly certain we were going to lose. We shouldn’t have tried to recoup our losses.”

    Wang Dong: “If gamblers didn’t want to recoup their losses, then those who relied on gambling to put food on their table would starve to death. And you wouldn’t want to see people starving to death,would you?”

    The driver of the carriage had suddenly jumped down and walked over to them. He had a cordial smile on his face as he asked, “Which one of you is Guo Daye?” [*daye is respectful form of ‘mister’ or ‘sir;’ often used in addressing a patron]

    Guo DaLu: “Who is looking for me? And for what reason?”

    The driver bowed respectfully and replied, “Guo Daye, please step into the carriage.”
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    [5] A unit of measure where 1 dou = 1 decalitre. Also, is a dipper or cup-like object measuring 1 dou
    Last edited by Hoju!; 11-07-07 at 11:14 PM.

  5. #165
    Senior Member overjoy71's Avatar
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    Ohhh.. who wants our hero now!!

  6. #166
    Senior Member Hoju!'s Avatar
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    A little of GL's philosophy on life in this next section?
    --------------------------------------------------



    Chapter 9 continued.....
    --------------------------------------------------

    The driver bowed respectfully and replied, “Guo Daye, please step into the carriage.”

    Guo DaLu: “I don’t like riding in a carriage. I prefer walking.”

    The driver smiled again. “This carriage was hired by a friend of Guo Daye. The hiring cost has already been paid.”

    Guo DaLu gave a start of surprise. “Who hired it?”

    The driver laughed as he said, “He is Guo Daye’s friend. If Guo Daye you do not know, how would I know?”

    Guo DaLu thought for a moment, then all of a sudden nodded his head. “I know who it is. He is my godson.”

    Once they had sat down in the carriage, Lin TaiPing stopped crying. He merely sat staring forward with a blank expression on his face.

    Guo DaLu was also silent. Yan Qi could not contain his curiosity and asked him, “Do you really have a godson?”

    Guo DaLu smiled sarcastically. “Sure, I have a ghost as a godson. Even if I asked to be someone’s godson, no one would have me because I’m so dirty. Who would ever want to be my godson?”

    Yan Qi’s brow furrowed. “Then who hired the coach?”

    Guo DaLu: “I am eighty percent certain that it is the person who paid our tab in Kui Yuan Guan.”

    Yan Qi: “Did you see who that person was?”

    Guo DaLu: “At that moment, I was already thanking the heavens if no one was looking at me. Do you think I would have been looking around?” That was true. A person does not dare hold up his head if it comes time to settle the tab and his wallet is empty.

    Yan Qi: “What about you?” He was not addressing Lin TaiPing. Of course, Lin TaiPing had not been in the mood to notice other people around him.

    Wang Dong chuckled. “The only thing I was bothering to concern myself with at that instant was the expression on Guo Dashao’s face. I had never before seen him look so adorable.”

    Guo DaLu glared back at him. “My only regret is that I could not be there to see the expression on your face when you lost all the money. I’m certain it would have been very adorable as well.”

    And so, Yan Qi fell into silence also. He, too, had not noticed the person who had paid the bill for them.

    Wang Dong: “The driver was looking for Guo Dashao, so this person must be Guo Dashao’s friend.”

    Guo DaLu let out a long sigh. “I do not have any friends that are so wealthy. Out of all my friends, the richest one is you.”

    Wang Dong: “I’m rich?”

    Guo DaLu: “At least you have a house. Even though it is a house that people loathe and ghosts despise, a house is still a house.”

    Wang Dong replied lightly, “If you like it, I will give it to you.”

    Guo DaLu: “I don’t want it.”

    Wang Dong: “Why not?”

    Guo DaLu: “Presently, I have no possessions and my wallet is empty. I am content because there is nothing tying me down, unlike all of you who need to worry about other things.”

    Yan Qi: “Wang Laoda has a house to worry about, but what about me?”

    Guo DaLu eyed him up and down before he grinned and replied, “You still have a brand new set of clothes. Before you do anything, you cannot help wondering whether it will dirty your outfit. When you sit, you will have to first check whether there is any mud on the ground. How can you compare to me? I am completely carefree.”

    Yan Qi looked steadily at him and asked, “Is there truly no person in this world that you care about? Nothing that you are concerned about?”

    Guo DaLu all of a sudden grew silent. There seemed to be a trace of sorrow hidden behind his eyes. In that moment, Yan Qi realized that perhaps this person was not as happy as he portrayed himself on the outside to be, that perhaps he, too, had some painful experiences in his past. He merely was very adept at concealing these and would never reveal them to people. He would only let people know and share in his joy. He did not want people to share in the burden of his pains and sorrows.

    As Yan Qi gazed at Guo DaLu, his eyes became radiant. The longer he spent with him, the more he realized that Guo DaLu was indeed quite adorable.

    It was uncertain how much time had passed before Wang Dong suddenly let out a long sigh and cried, “Almost there. We’re almost home.” The sound of his sigh was filled with joy and contentment.

    The little mountain slope could be seen through the window.

    Guo DaLu could not help heaving a lengthy sigh as well. “It seems that neither dens of gold nor dens of silver can compare to your dog den.” [*dog den is a slang term for home]

    Wang Dong: “My dog den?”

    Guo DaLu laughed. “Our dog den.”

    ********************************

    Dusk. The rays of the setting sun filled the mountainside. In this light, the half-withered autumn grass appeared to be like blades of gold, gold as far as the eye could see. The little flagstone pathway that stretched forward as it slanted down the slope was like a string of white jade amidst the mountain of gold.

    A breeze was sighing. Birds were singing. The insects of autumn were murmuring in low tones. All these intermingled to form a sound that was even sweeter than music, like soft whispers in the ear of a lover.

    The air was filled with the fragrance of flowers, the smell of grass, and the scent of the wind. Even the sunset seemed to have absorbed the pleasant smells of its surroundings, gentle like wisps of hair on your lover’s temple.

    Life could actually be so deliciously fragrant, so lovely.

    Guo DaLu let out a long sigh of contentment. He laughed loudly and said, “Only now do I realize that being poor can, in fact, be a happy thing.”

    Yan Qi: “Happy?”

    Guo DaLu: “How many rich people can actually relish in such beautiful surroundings? Or breathe in such lovely smells? The only thing they are able to smell is the stink of copper. [*the stink of money]”

    Yan Qi had to laugh as well. In that instant, Guo DaLu suddenly noticed that when he smiled, his face was as radiant as the setting sun. “I have only just now discovered that you are actually not the least bit ugly. But you are a little too dirty most of the time.”

    Surprisingly, this time Yan Qi did not send a cutting retort back at him, and on the contrary, lowered his head slowly. He was normally not one who allowed himself to be teased without responding. What could have caused this change? Was it the sunset? The quiet breeze? Or perhaps it was the cheerful smile on Guo DaLu’s face?

    Wang Dong suddenly interrupted, “Having money is not necessarily a bad thing.”

    Guo DaLu: “What about being poor?”

    Wang Dong: “Neither is being poor.”

    Guo DaLu: “Than what would be bad?”

    Wang Dong: “Nothing is truly bad. Whether something is good or bad is a function of whether you know how to truly live and enjoy life.”

    Guo DaLu mulled over these words carefully. His heart all of a sudden was flooded with warmth, joy, and contentment. He was content for the mere fact that he was alive. And because he was alive, he could enjoy the life he lived – this life that was filled with such beauty.

    That is why, my friends, you should not worry when you do have money, and even more importantly, not be anxious when you are poor. If you learn how to take pleasure in life itself, then your existence will not be pointless. Even when, one day, you depart from this world, you will die happy because you will know that your life had been fuller and happier than others.

    The carriage could not drive up the mountain, so they got off and travelled the remainder of the way on foot. They took their time, strolling at a leisurely pace, because they understood that no matter how slow they walked, they would still eventually arrive at their destination.

    Night gradually fell, but they did not grow concerned. They knew that it would not be long before the sky was bright again.

    And so, their hearts were flooded with pleasure. Even Lin TaiPing’s eyes sparkled once again.

    Finally, Wang Dong’s house came into sight. Though the house was old and worn, under the hazy light of the dusk sky, it appeared to be as beautiful as a palace.

    Each person has a palace of their own; that palace exists within the heart. Strangely, though, some people may never find their palace.

    The sharp, angular features of Wang Dong’s face appeared to have grown softer as well. He suddenly gave a wide grin and asked, “Can you guess what will be the first thing I do when I get home?”

    Guo DaLu and Yan Qi scrambled to give the answer first as they cried simultaneously, “Get on your bed and sleep.”

    Wang Dong: “Correct answer.”

    But life is always filled with unforeseen circumstances.

    They had not yet arrived at the manor when they suddenly saw a window become illuminated from the light of a lamp. At first, it was just the one window facing the doorway. Then, they watched as, one by one, every window was lit up with lamplight from inside the house and glowed brightly in the night.

    They stopped in astonishment.

    Yan Qi: “There is someone in the house.”

    Guo DaLu: “Do you have friends that would come for a visit?”

    Wang Dong: “I used to, but ever since I sold my last chair, all my friends suddenly disappeared.” He gave a nonchalant smile before resuming, “Perhaps they are all as lazy as I am and afraid they won’t have anything to sit on when they come.”

    That one nonchalant smile showed how deep an understanding he had on life. Hence, he never placed too high an expectation on anyone. When he gave, he never expected to receive anything in return – perhaps this was one of the reasons why his life was so much happier than most people.

    Yan Qi frowned. “Then, who could have lit the lamps?”

    Guo DaLu’s lips formed a little smile. “Why should we stand here and guess? Once we go in, won’t we know the answer?”

    Normally, this would be a correct approach. This time, though, he was wrong.


    End of Chapter 9
    Last edited by Hoju!; 11-07-07 at 11:14 PM.

  7. #167
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    --------------------------------------------------
    Chapter 10 - The Scholar of Unknown Origin
    --------------------------------------------------

    There was nobody inside the house. It was as if the lamps had lit themselves.

    Brand new lamps burned brilliantly, glimmering like gold, on a brand-new table made of wood from a pear tree. And this new table stood on top of a new Persian rug. Freshly picked flowers had been placed next to the lamps – everything you could possibly need was there. So long as it was something that you would see in a house, this manor had it. It was like a miracle had happened there.

    The lone thing that had been left in its original position was Wang Dong’s large bed. But new sheets had been arranged neatly on it, and someone had even a laid a flower blossom on the blankets.

    Guo DaLu’s eyes were ready to fall from his head as he stared in awe from the doorway. He muttered, “Have we gone to the wrong place?”

    Yan Qi smiled dryly. “Not possible. No other place would have such a large bed.”

    Guo DaLu: “It appears that a supernatural deity has taken care of this place for us. I wonder if it was a female fairy?”

    Yan Qi: “I would guess that it is because Wang Laoda, like Dong Yong[6], is a filial son and a fairy in heaven has been moved by his actions.”

    Guo DaLu: “Perhaps the fairy came to find me. I am a filial person also.”

    Yan Qi: “You’re a foolish person.”

    Though they were saying this with their lips, in their hearts, they understood that a person had to have brought all these items there. This person could very likely have been the one who paid for their meal at Kui Yuan Guan. Their jesting was merely a way to conceal their surprise and apprehension because they could not deduce who this person was and, furthermore, why he would do all this for them.

    Wang Dong slowly strolled over to his bed, lazily removed the shoes on his feet, then speedily plopped himself onto the bed. Everything he did was always nice and leisurely, never one bit hurried. But when it came to lying down in bed, he was extremely quick about it, as if his life depended on it.

    Guo DaLu frowned at him. “You are going to sleep, just like that?”

    Wang Dong gave a loud yawn. That was his answer.

    Guo DaLu: “Do you know who brought all these things?”

    Wang Dong: “No. All I know is that when I am tired, I should sleep.” Whether these items were brought by a fairy or left by an angry ghost, he did not care one bit. Even if all the fairies and angry ghosts of the world were to arrive at the moment, he still would not let it disturb his slumber. All he needed to do was to close his eyes, and he would be able to fall asleep.

    Guo DaLu sighed, “I do admire this ability of his.”

    Yan Qi bit his lip as he said, “I am going to the courtyard in the back to have a look. Maybe the person is there.”

    There was a row of dwellings along the rear courtyard. These were where Sour Plum Soup and the others had stayed.

    In the front of the manor, in addition to the main hall and the flower hall, there were seven or eight rooms. Besides the one that Wang Dong slept in, comfortable-looking beds had been set-up in three other rooms. Guo DaLu mumbled to himself, “He actually knew that there are four of us living here. How considerate.”

    Yan Qi’s voice was suddenly heard yelling loudly from the rear of the house, “Hurry and come look! There is a… a …” Whatever there was, he could not seem to say it.

    Guo DaLu was the first to dash out to the back. Lin TaiPing followed closely behind him.

    The courtyard had been swept clean. Even more surprising, from some unknown place, tall bamboos had been moved and placed there in neat rows. There were also clusters of chrysanthemum flowers.

    Yan Qi was standing among the chrysanthemums, staring dumbstruck at an object.

    He was looking at a coffin – a brand new coffin.

    There appeared to be a row of words engraved onto the lid. As they looked closely, they saw that it read, “the coffin of NanGong Chou."

    --------------------------------------------------

    [6] Chinese folklore. Dong Yong was a filial son who worked hard to support his father. When his father passed away, he did not have enough money to properly bury him, and hence, he sold himself to get money for the funeral. This act touched the Seventh Fairy (seventh daughter of the Jade King of Heaven), who went down to earth (and ended up marrying him), and in 3 months, helped him earn the money he needed to repay his debt. There is more to the story, of course… Dong Yong is believed to have been a true person who lived in the Han dynasty, who’s filialness became the subject of folklore.
    Last edited by Hoju!; 11-07-07 at 11:15 PM.

  8. #168
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    Chapter 10 continued.....
    --------------------------------------------------

    There appeared to be a row of words engraved onto the lid. As they looked closely, they saw that it read, “the coffin of NanGong Chou.”

    Lin TaiPing’s body grew icy cold, and the color in his lips disappeared.

    Even Guo DaLu felt his heart seize slightly when he saw the writing. Addressing Lin TaiPing, he asked, “Where did you kill him?”

    Lin TaiPing: “Just… just outside.”

    Guo DaLu: “Outside of where?”

    Lin TaiPing: “Outside of the place he was staying at.”

    Guo DaLu: “After you killed him, did you bury the corpse?”

    Lin TaiPing gnawed on his lower lip nervously. He shook his head.

    Guo DaLu sighed. “You cared only about killing and not about burying.”

    Lin TaiPing looked as if he was about to break down into tears.

    Yan Qi spoke up in his defense. “Anyone who kills for the first time would feel frazzled and nervous at that moment. And after he has done the deed, he does not even dare cast another glance. He would not be in any mood to care about other little details.”

    Guo DaLu: “You seem to be speaking from experience.”

    Yan Qi: “Don’t forget, I may never have killed anyone, but I have been killed by people before.”

    Guo DaLu turned back to Lin TaiPing. Exhaling another sigh, he asked, “At the time it happened, was there anyone present who could have seen you?”

    Lin TaiPing shook his head again.

    Guo DaLu: “If there had been no one there, who could have put the body into the coffin? And who could have brought the coffin here?” A giggle suddenly escaped from him. “The dead man could not have jumped in himself, then sent the coffin here, could he?” Guo DaLu had a bad habit: no matter what the situation, he could not help cracking jokes. He knew, himself, that this last joke was not very funny at all.

    The expression on Lin TaiPing’s face grew even more miserable. Clenching his teeth even harder on his lip, he stammered, “I… I hadn’t intended…”

    But he had not finished his sentence when a “dong” sound was heard echoing from within the casket, then another “dong.”

    Even Yan Qi and Guo DaLu’s faces paled slightly.

    “Is it possible the dead man in the coffin has returned from the grave?”

    Guo DaLu gave a comforting pat on Lin TaiPing’s shoulder. Putting on a forced smile, he reassured, “There’s no need to be frightened. We were not scared of him when he was alive. What is there to fear now that he’s dead?”

    Yan Qi: “Since we’re not afraid, let’s just open the casket and let him out.” He stepped forward, as if he really intended on opening the lid.

    “Wait!” The word slipped out of Guo DaLu’s mouth.

    Yan Qi: “Didn’t you say you were not afraid?”

    Guo DaLu: “Of course I’m not. It’s just that… it’s just that…”

    “Dong, dong dong!” This time, several successive bangs rang out, louder and more persistent than before, as if the corpse inside was desperate to escape. A fainthearted person would have fled the scene long ago.

    Lin TaiPing suddenly spoke up. “Let me open it. He came to find me.”

    Guo DaLu: “You cannot go over there. Let me do it.” While he was speaking, he had already leapt towards the casket.

    In reality, his heart was also trembling with fear, perhaps even more so than anyone else there. If he had been in Lin TaiPing’s place, there was a chance he would have run away already. But Lin TaiPing was his friend, and so long as it involved his friend, even if he was terrified, he would still force himself to persist with the task.

    Yan Qi’s eyes had a tender expression in them as he gazed intently at Guo DaLu. “You are not scared you’re going to be snatched away by a ghost?”

    Guo DaLu: “Who said I’m not scared?” As the word “scared” left his lips, his hand had already reached forward. He raised the coffin lid.
    Last edited by Hoju!; 11-07-07 at 11:15 PM.

  9. #169
    Moderator Han Solo's Avatar
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    Thanks hoju for the translation.

    Han Solo
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    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

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    wow, this story is getting better and better. thanks

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    yeah it is.

    thank for the translation.
    plz keep them coming
    Rose blooms best near death
    You are in full bloom, Pal!

  12. #172
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    Does anyone find the exchanges btw DaLu and Yan Qi.. and bit.. intimate.. esp the unspeakable exchanges? hahaha..

    Thanks Hoju

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    Jusy saying some ones a chick... and it aint the hero...
    so keep in mind the yan qi is eather gay or a women dressed as a man.
    either way, fun times

  14. #174
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    I Love this novel highly enjoyable Thanks for the translation Hojui You Are Awesome.i am getting more and more interested in this novel it is great so basically from what aldirhamy said its either lin taiping or yan qi who is a girl maybe lin taiping is a girl and yan qi is gay or yan qi is a girl in disguise remember she had to die she/he/it said! ^_^

  15. #175
    Senior Member Hoju!'s Avatar
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    Thanks everyone.
    I'm reading the story along with everyone else, so I'm guessing as well, but I concur with all the speculation.

    --------------------------------------------------



    Chapter 10 continued.....
    --------------------------------------------------

    He raised the coffin lid.

    In a flash, something alive and moving jumped out of the casket, making loud cries at them.

    It cried, “Woof woof woof!” It was a dog. A black dog. A live and moving black dog.

    Guo DaLu stood frozen in shock for an instant, then wiped away at the beads of sweat that had formed on his forehead. He wanted to laugh but somehow could not force anything out. A long time passed before he finally let out a long breath and said with a dry smile, “That was not a very clever practical joke. Only an idiot would play a prank like that.”

    Yan Qi: “He definitely is not an idiot, and that most certainly was not a prank.”

    Guo DaLu: “If it wasn’t a prank, then what was it?”

    Yan Qi: “Not only does this person know that Lin TaiPing killed NanGong Chou, he also knows where Lin TaiPing lives.”

    Guo DaLu heaved a sigh. “Yes, he does seem to know a great deal of information. But, why would he do this?”

    Yan Qi answered with a sigh of his own. “Maybe he has some sort of ulterior motive, or maybe it is simply because he is bored and has nothing better to do with his time. Regardless of the reason, one thing is certain: now that he has started, he will not stop.”

    Guo DaLu: “Do you believe he is going to cause more trouble?”

    Yan Qi nodded. “That is why, as long as we are patient and wait, we are certain to find out who he is eventually.” Patting Lin TaiPing on the shoulder, he smiled and said, “Therefore, we should all just go get some rest now. There are some comfortable beds waiting for us, and the individual who chooses not to sleep is the true idiot.”

    Wang Dong’s voice could be heard echoing from far away within the house. “Correct answer.”

    ****************************

    The next day, Guo DaLu was roused from his sleep by the jingling of a bell. By the time he was fully awake, the sounds of “ding ding dong dong” could still be heard. They seemed to be coming from the flower hall.

    In general, a person is usually more ill-tempered when he has just woken up, particularly if he was aroused from his sleep against his will. This is called “out-of-bed temper.”

    Guo DaLu could not contain his temper as he bellowed from his bed, “Who’s the one shaking that blasted bell non-stop? Does your hand have an itch?” He seemed to faintly hear Wang Dong yelling at the same time.

    The bell’s tinkling sound continued.

    Throwing himself out of bed, he tore barefoot out of his room, all the while grumbling under his breath, “It must be the brat, Yan Qi. His hands always seem to have a tendency to itch.”

    A laugh was heard as someone replied, “My hands only like beating people up when they get itchy. They do not shake bells.”

    Yan Qi had come out of his room also. He was dressed already, his clothes neat and orderly. It was as if he never took off his clothes to sleep.

    Guo DaLu rubbed his eyes sleepily, gave a wry little smile, then frowned as he said, “It cannot be Lin TaiPing, though, unless he really has been hypnotized by a ghost.”

    The bell jingled again.

    This time they heard it very clearly. It had definitely come from the flower hall. The two of them exchanged a glance, then at the same time, dashed towards that room.

    Lin TaiPing was in the flower hall, but he was not the one shaking the bell. He only stood there, staring in surprise. The one doing the ringing was a cat – a black cat.

    A bell hung by a string from a planter while the other end of the string had been tied to one of the legs of the cat. The cat was jumping unceasingly, and so the bell continued its non-stop ringing.

    The table in the center of the flower hall had been laden with several different items, and each one of them was edible. There was chicken, duck, baozi, mantou [*a steamed bun, usually with no filling], and even a large jug of wine.

    The black cat was jingling the bell to call them over to eat breakfast.

    Guo DaLu rubbed his eyes again, this time in disbelief. “Is there a problem with my eyesight?”

    Yan Qi: “The only time your eyes have a problem is when you are staring at women.”

    Guo DaLu smiled sarcastically back at him. “Maybe this is a female black cat.”

    Yan Qi: “It’s a male.”

    Guo DaLu: “How do you know?”

    Yan Qi: “Because it seems like he has not taken a fancy to you yet.”

    Guo DaLu blinked. “Even if it is a lady cat, she wouldn’t be interested in me. She would definitely fall for Wang Laoda.”

    It was Yan Qi’s turn to be perplexed. He could not contain his curiosity as he asked, “Why?”

    Guo DaLu: “Because lady cats are attracted to lazy cats.”

    Wang Dong’s voice suddenly rang out from the back of the manor, “In my opinion, this one is a female.”

    This time, both Yan Qi and Guo DaLu did not understand and they yelled, nearly in perfect harmony, “Why?”

    Wang Dong: “Because she knows how to cook.” A cat, naturally, cannot cook.

    Guo DaLu tore off a drumstick from the chicken. He shoved it into his mouth, before pulling it back out again. “The chicken is still warm.”

    Yan Qi: “The baozi are still piping hot as well.”

    Guo DaLu: “It looks as if the food was brought here not long ago.”

    Yan Qi: “Correct answer.”

    Guo DaLu: “Who could have brought it? Could it really be the person who paid for us in Kui Yuan Guan?”

    Yan Qi: “Another correct answer.”

    Guo DaLu: “But why would he try to suck up to us? He wouldn’t really want to be a godson of mine, would he?

    Yan Qi: “Mew mew… mew mew…”

    Guo DaLu: “You’re going to turn into a cat. I don’t understand cat language.”

    A “pffft” was heard as a laugh escaped from Yan Qi. “I was talking to your godson.” He ripped off a little bit from every item on the table and placed them in a dish. The cat bounded over to them. Stroking the fur on its neck gently, he cooed, “You were the one who brought all this good stuff. You should get the first taste.”

    Guo DaLu laughed. “What a filial person he is! It almost seems like he is the cat’s godson.” In actual fact, he knew, of course, that Yan Qi was doing it to test if the food had been poisoned.

    Yan Qi was attentive to every detail in everything he did, but yet judging from his appearance, he did not seem to be a person with this type of characteristic. Attentive people should not be so filthy; he looked as if he had never bathed before.

    There was no poison in the food. Guo DaLu’s drumstick had already disappeared into his belly.

    Yan Qi: “Well, it looks as if this person, whoever he may be, does not want to harm us. But he does act like he has some psychological issues.”

    Guo DaLu: “Not just some psychological issues, a lot of issues. Do you think he would have done this if he just had a few issues?” He swallowed another baozi. Then, unexpectedly, he said, “This person has to be a woman.”

    Yan Qi: “How do you know?”

    Guo DaLu: “Because only a woman would do something insane like that.”

    Yan Qi bit his lip and actually nodded his head in agreement before he replied, “And the reason why she did it could be because she fancies you. She wants to butter you up because…”

    Guo DaLu gave a nonchalant laugh, but he could not stop himself from asking, “Because what? Because I have a manly air? Because I’m handsome?”

    Yan Qi: “None of those.”

    Guo DaLu: “Then what is it?”

    Yan Qi answered offhandedly, “Because she is an insane woman, and only an insane woman would ever fall in love with you.”

    Guo DaLu tried to pull his face into a scowl, but laughter still escaped from his lips as he countered, “An insane woman is better than having no women.”

    Outside, the sun drenched the earth in its brilliance. On such a beautiful day, in such lovely weather, no matter what anyone said to him, he would not be offended. He especially would not get angry at Yan Qi.

    He liked Yan Qi. He was slowly realizing that, amongst his little group of friends, he was fondest of Yan Qi. What was bizarre, though, was that it seemed as if Yan Qi made a deliberate effort to disagree with him in everything. It almost appeared as if he was looking for opportunities to squabble with him.

    However, even more strange was, the more Yan Qi squabbled with him, the more he liked Yan Qi.

    Wang Dong would observe from the sidelines as the two of them bickered back and forth. And as he watched them, his eyes would be filled with a peculiar sort of laughter.

    Guo DaLu’s hand had just finished stuffing another baozi into his mouth before he started reaching for the jug of wine. Yan Qi glared at him and snapped, “Drunkard! Can you not just wait until the sun has set before you drink your alcohol?”

    Guo DaLu smiled, and he actually set his wine cup down. He grumbled, “Who said I was going to drink? I was just going to use the wine to wet my throat a bit.”

    Right at that moment, he suddenly heard someone outside speak in slow tones, reciting poetically, “Travelling far up Hanshan [* Han mountain], the rocky pathway is steep. In the depths of the white clouds there is a dwelling. Halting the cart to sit gazing lovingly upon the maple grove. Frosted leaves grow red amongst flowers of the second month. Aaah… So lovely is this scenery. So lovely is this dwelling.”

    Guo DaLu sniggered. “A suanding [*slang; word used to describe scholars and mock them for being poor] has arrived.”

    Wang Dong: “Not one. Three.”
    Last edited by Hoju!; 11-07-07 at 11:15 PM.

  16. #176
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    There's been so much to read the past few days...keep it up!
    Blademaster. Hero. General. He was the best there ever was.
    Butcher. Murderer. Traitor. All that he loved, he had destroyed.
    Matheius Randas.
    That Merciless Blade - Legend of the Arctic Wolf.

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    Chapter 10 continued.....
    --------------------------------------------------

    Wang Dong: “Not one. Three.”

    Guo DaLu: “Why are you so certain?”

    Before Wang Dong could respond, another voice was heard floating in from outside, “Since gongzi [*an honorific used to address a young man from a wealthy or honourable family] you like this place, why don’t we rest here for a while? My legs are sore from walking.”

    A third voice chimed in, “I wonder who the master of this dwelling is. Do you think he will let us go in to sit and rest?”

    Judging from the two new voices, the speakers were not past their adolescence. But, a youth is still a person. As Wang Dong predicted, three people really had arrived at the manor.

    Guo DaLu let out a sigh of admiration. “Such an acute pair of ears. Even though he is just a lazy cat, his hearing is still sharper than a normal person.”

    With a “mew,” the black cat scurried outside. A cat’s sense of hearing truly is very sensitive. Even Wang Dong had to laugh.

    They heard the gongzi speak again [Note: - Anytime this gonzi speaks, the style is very flowery and poetic in the original Chinese, stereotypical of how a scholar would speak]. “The tall doors may be closed, but they are not unwelcoming. This intelligent servant [referring to the cat] has already come to receive the guests. It would appear that not only is the master of this dwelling a hospitable person, he is also refined.”

    Guo DaLu could not help laughing in amusement. “Perhaps not exactly refined but definitely hospitable.” He was the first to step outside in greeting.

    The light of the rising sun was brilliant, fresh like a mantou just off the stove. Gazing upon it, one could not help but feel a warmth rise from the depths of the heart. On such a lovely day, everyone would feel especially friendly.

    A cordial smile filled Guo DaLu’s face as he looked at the three strangers outside the door. Two children with bangs covering their foreheads, one with a book chest on his back, the other with a carrying pole on his shoulder and loads hanging from the ends of the pole, stood behind their master. The sun had turned their two little faces into overripe apples.

    Their master was a suave and cultured scholar. He was quite young, very handsome and elegant-looking, and carried himself with a gentle and gracious manner.

    Nobody could possibly take a disliking to this threesome.

    Guo DaLu flashed a grin at them. “Did you come here to look at scenery? You’ve chosen a great day and great weather.”

    The scholar bowed deeply, his hands clasped in front of his breast and replied humbly, “Xiao ke [*a very humble way of saying ‘I’ or ‘me’] has gratuitously intruded and has disturbed your mood, master of this dwelling. Please pardon my offense.”

    Guo DaLu: “I’m not the master, either, just a guest. That’s how I know that the master of this place is hospitable.”

    The scholar smiled. “Wherein does the master reside? Would xiao ke perchance be granted the privilege of meeting him?”

    Guo DaLu: “The master here may be hospitable, but he has a bit of a sickness.”

    Scholar: “May I enquire what this sickness may be? Xiao ke has a modest knowledge in regards to the art of medicinal practice.”

    Guo DaLu laughed. “This sickness of his cannot be healed. He has developed the disease of laziness. If you would like to see him, you will have to go inside yourself.”

    The scholar smiled and answered, “Should that be the case, then ‘obedience is better than politeness.’ ” Even the manner in which he walked was very cultured, to the point that he looked so delicate he would not be able to stand a gust of wind. However, the book chest and carrying loads that the two boys were bearing appeared to be quite heavy.

    The child with the long pole was at the back, carrying the burden easily on his shoulder. As he walked along, something within the load rang “dong dong” with him.

    Guo DaLu rubbed the child’s head gently. “What is inside this load you are carrying? Is it heavy?”

    The child’s large eyes blinked back at him. “Not very heavy. Only a few bottles of wine. Maotai [*a type of wine] should be kept in bottles. Our gongzi loves drinking wine the most. He also enjoys composing poetry. I don’t know how to write poems. I only know how to drink wine.”

    Guo DaLu laughed in delight and asked, “You know how to drink too? How old are you?”

    The child answered, “Fourteen. Tomorrow I’ll be fifteen. My name is DiaoShi [* diao = to fish or the act of fishing; shi = poem or poetry]. He is SaoSu [*sao = to sweep or clean; su = secular, of this world, coarse, unrefined]. Our household’s gongzi is surnamed He. We come from Damingfu. Because our master enjoys travelling around to view the sceneries of mountains and rivers, in one year, there is seldom a day that we are at home.”

    For every question that Guo DaLu asked, this child would respond with at least seven or eight sentences.

    The more Guo DaLu watched him, the more he found the boy extremely entertaining. Deliberately teasing him, he asked, “Why are you called DiaoShi? Poems are not fish. How can you fish them up?”

    DiaoShi’s mouth twitched slighly, as if he looked down on Guo DaLu. “You haven’t even heard of this allusion before? Wine has another name. It is sometimes called diaoshigou. [*diao = to fish, shi = poems or poetry, gou = hook; combined, it can be translated as, “the hook that fishes poetry” because drinking wine can bring the inspiration required to compose poetry] Because I always carry gongzi’s wine for him, I am called DiaoShi. And because reading can cleanse your mind of things that are worldly and coarse, he is called SaoSu.” He eyed Guo DaLu up and down a few times. “You probably haven’t had all that much education?”

    Guo DaLu threw his head back and laughed approvingly. “Good child! It is true that under a strong general, there are no weak soldiers. Not only does the boy appreciate wine, he is learned too.” He let out another guffaw. “I may not have read all that many books, but the quantity of wine I have consumed is not small either. Would you like to drink a few glasses with me?”

    DiaoShi: “If your drinking ability really is that good, why won’t you drink with our gongzi?”

    It was only then that Guo DaLu noticed that, by now, He Gongzi had entered the flower hall for quite awhile and was starting to make small talk with Wang Dong and the others. Observing them through the window, he could tell that Wang Dong and Lin TaiPing had already developed a good impression of the stranger. Yan Qi, though, appeared to be preoccupied with something and was constantly twisting his head around to look outside. The instant he saw Guo DaLu looking at him, he stood up and, with his back to everyone else, made a furtive hand signal in Guo DaLu’s direction as he walked outside.

    When he walked out the flower hall, Guo DaLu greeted him and asked, “Were you looking for me for a reason?”

    Yan Qi glared at him. “Why is it that you never seem to grow up? You show more enthusiasm conversing with a child.”

    Guo DaLu chortled, “That boy’s ability to speak is stronger than a lot of adults. Sometimes, as you are chatting with a child, you will discover that you suddenly feel a lot younger also.”

    Yan Qi did not reply. Instead, he walked slowly along the long hallway, in the direction of the rear courtyard. Guo DaLu had no choice but to follow him but could not help asking again, “Do you have something you want to tell me?”

    Yan Qi walked another distance before he suddenly turned around. “What do you think of this He Gongzi?”

    Guo DaLu: “He appears to be a very cultured and refined person. And I’ve heard rumours that he can drink.”

    Yan Qi: “Do you think he might be that…”

    Understanding flashed across Guo DaLu’s eyes as he interjected, “That person who paid for our meal in Kui Yuan Guan?”

    Yan Qi nodded. “Do you think it’s possible?”

    Guo DaLu: “Mm. I hadn’t thought of this point at first, but the more I think about it, the more I think it’s possible.”

    Yan Qi: “This place here does not have any known sights or scenery. Why would a traveller somehow roam all the way over here? Plus, he decides to arrive, not a little earlier, not a little later but, coincidentally, on this particular morning.”

    Guo DaLu: “Life has many coincidences, but this case does seem a little too coincidental.”

    Yan Qi: “Have you ever seen him before?”

    Guo DaLu: “No.”

    Yan Qi: “Think a little harder.”

    Guo DaLu: “No need to think. I would never forget it if I saw someone like him.”

    Yan Qi nibbled on his lip. “And judging from Wang Laoda and Lin TaiPing’s expressions, they don’t seem to know him either.”

    Guo DaLu: “What is his name?”

    Yan Qi: “He says that he is called He YaFeng, but that could be an alias.”

    Guo DaLu: “Why would he use an alias? Do you think he intends to do us harm?

    Yan Qi: “Up to this point, I have not perceived any bad intentions from him.”

    Guo DaLu: “Not only are there no bad intentions, you could practically say he is treating us much too nicely, to the point that it is unreasonable.”

    Yan Qi: “It is because he is being so nice to us that my suspicions were raised – when a person acts overly kind to others, he more or less has some sort of hidden motive.”

    Guo DaLu gave an unexpected laugh.

    Yan Qi: “What are you laughing about?”

    Guo DaLu: “It just occurred to me, it is really difficult to know how to conduct yourself in this world. If you treat others too nicely, they will think you have a hidden motive. But, yet, if you treat them badly, they will call you a b*stard.”

    Yan Qi glowered at him. “I knew you would defend him.”

    Guo DaLu: “Why?”

    Yan Qi: “Because he can drink. Drunkards always think that as long as someone enjoys drinking, he cannot be a bad person.”

    Guo DaLu smiled in reply. “That is a true statement. Those who drink without restraint are usually forthright people. You would never see a person who is intoxicated still thinking up schemes to hurt others.”

    Yan Qi: “You are not drunk yet.”

    Guo DaLu: “Soon. I’m planning on going inside right now and getting him drunk.” He laughed before continuing, “Once he’s drunk, we won’t have to worry about whether he’s telling the truth or not.”

    Yan Qi suddenly laughed also.

    Guo DaLu asked curiously, “Why are you laughing?”

    Yan Qi: “I was just thinking, at the very least, you have one good thing about you that you do better than others.”

    Guo DaLu: “I have several good points; at least 300 or more of them. Which one are you talking about?”

    Yan Qi: “You know how to exploit those opportunities.”

    Guo DaLu: “What opportunities?”

    Yan Qi: “Opportunities to drink!”
    Last edited by Hoju!; 11-07-07 at 11:16 PM.

  18. #178
    Senior Member Hoju!'s Avatar
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    Chapter 10 continued.....
    --------------------------------------------------

    Guo DaLu was mistaken about one thing: people do not all behave the same when they are sober, so neither do they all react in the same way to being intoxicated. Not everyone was like him who, once he was drunk, would disclose anything that he had in his heart.

    After drinking, some individuals will boast and exaggerate, saying a bunch of nonsense so that even they themselves do not know what they are talking about. But when their head clears, they have completely forgotten what they had said.

    There are others who do not say anything after they have had much to drink. This type of person may weep his heart out, or collapse into a fit of laughter, or perhaps just put his head down and fall into a deep slumber, but for certain he will not utter a single word.

    Should he cry, it will be like a son grieving the death of his mother. Furthermore, each sob will be more heart wrenching than the previous one, as if he is the only miserable person remaining in the world. Even if you kneel down and plead to him and give him two hundred liang of silver, he will only be more inconsolable. But when he awakens and you ask him why he was crying, he himself will be completely baffled.

    If he laughs, it will be as if the sky has suddenly opened up and littered the ground with ingots of gold, and he is the only one who can pick them up. Even if his home has been burned to the ground, he will still continue to laugh. Should you go and “smack smack smack,” slap him over a dozen times across the face, he may howl even harder.

    Now, when this type of person falls into a drunken sleep, it is even harder to handle. All the people in the world could come and give him a kick, and he still would not awaken. Even tossing him into the river will not rouse him from his slumber. As chance would have it, He FengYa was this type of person.

    In the beginning, he appeared to be a skilled drinker and actually drank rather quickly as, cup after cup, he poured the wine into his throat. But then, in the blink of an eye, he was sound asleep.

    Once he was sleeping, Guo DaLu started to laugh. Yan Qi snapped angrily, “Are you drunk too?”

    Guo DaLu: “Me drunk? Do you see one thing that suggests I am drunk?”

    Yan Qi: “Not one thing, eight or nine things.”

    Guo DaLu: “You’re mistaken. Right now I am as alert as Confucius.”

    Yan Qi: “But you laugh like a mutt.”

    Guo DaLu: “I’m laughing at him because we haven’t even started and he has already let me get him drunk.”

    Yan Qi: “Do you still remember why you wanted him drunk in the first place?”

    Guo DaLu: “Of course I do. I had wanted to get him to speak the truth.”

    Yan Qi: “And has he said it?”

    Guo DaLu: “Yes.”

    Yan Qi: “He said it? What did he say?”

    Guo DaLu: “He said, if he really had malicious intentions, he would not let himself get drunk and moreover, not drunk to the point that he looks like a dead pig.”

    Yan Qi looked him up and down, then shook his head as he said, “Sometimes I really cannot see through you. Are you drunk? Or are you actually clear-headed?

    Guo DaLu giggled and looked over at Wang Dong.

    Wang Dong: “What are you looking at me for?”

    Guo DaLu: “For you to say, when I seem clear-headed, I am actually drunk, but the times when I am drunk, I am in fact clear-headed.”

    Wang Dong had to laugh. That was something that he would say.

    Guo DaLu: “Is that a correct answer?”

    Wang Dong laughed. “Correct answer.”



    Two beds had also been set-up in the row of dwellings at the rear courtyard. It almost seemed as if these beds were placed there in anticipation of drunken guests. He FengYa was carried in, like a dead body, and laid onto one of the beds.

    Guo DaLu chortled, “He chose a good day to come. If he came a couple days earlier, he would have had to sleep on the floorboards.”

    Wang Dong: “I just hope this snooze of his lasts until tomorrow morning.”

    Guo DaLu: “Why?”

    Wang Dong: “So I don’t need to pawn some items.”

    Guo DaLu: “Why would you need to pawn anything?”

    Wang Dong: “To treat the guest to dinner.”

    Guo DaLu: “Perhaps we won’t need to pawn anything. All we need to do is wait for the cat to ring its bell.”

    Yan Qi: “You think dinner is going to be provided by someone?”

    Guo DaLu: “Mm.”

    Yan Qi could not help letting out a giggle. “You are acting as if you will be eating that meal for sure.”

    Guo DaLu laughed hysterically. “Completely correct. I am ready to eat his food for the rest of my life and let him support me into my old age.” His voice was especially loud, as if he deliberately wanted someone to hear him.

    Had that person been hiding the whole time, secretly spying on them? Was that person He YaFeng? Was he really intoxicated?



    People who get drunk easily typically sober up quickly as well. It was not yet sundown when the two youths suddenly ran from the rear courtyard to the front of the manor. They stood respectfully in front of the foursome and presented an invitation card to them.

    DiaoShi: “Our household’s gongzi said that this morning he intruded upon everyone, so tonight should be his opportunity to return the hospitality. He instructed that we must successfully persuade you to accept the invitation.

    Guo DaLu cast a look over at Wang Dong and winked. Wang Dong mumbled under his breath, “Looks as if we do not even need to wait for the cat to ring its bell.”

    DiaoShi did not hear what he had said, but even if he had heard, he would not have understood what he was saying. Unable to restrain his curiosity, he asked, “Wang Daye, what was that you just said?”

    Without waiting for Wang Dong to open his mouth to respond, Guo DaLu jumped in and said, “He said we definitely will accept”

    Yan Qi let out a sigh and shook his head. “This guy’s skin isn’t very thin, is it?”

    DiaoShi blinked his eyes as he asked Yan Qi, “This daye, what is that you said?”

    Guo DaLu barged in once more and replied for him, “He said that we are leaving immediately.”


    End of Chapter 10
    Last edited by Hoju!; 11-07-07 at 11:56 PM.

  19. #179
    Senior Member Hoju!'s Avatar
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    Sorry about the long wait. My internet suddenly stopped working over the weekend.

    My copy of this novel finally arrived in the mail this week. For those of you who have been following and are wondering how we suddenly got from chapter 3 to chapter 10, I have decided to follow the chapter divisions of the hardcopy instead of the online copy I had been using before. It gets kind of depressing when you've been translating for a couple months and you can't get through one chapter.

    I have edited all my previous posts with the new chapter divisions. The content hasn't changed, though.

  20. #180
    Moderator Han Solo's Avatar
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    Thank you for your tanslation.

    I love GL's drunk talk- it takes a drunk to write like that.

    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.
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