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Thread: Delicate Hands Drive the Dragon - Sima Ling

  1. #21
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    Wow, that was involved. I'm still not exactly sure what's going on.

    But thank you for your services.

  2. #22
    Senior Member whiteskwirl's Avatar
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    Sep 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by allyspy View Post
    Wow, that was involved. I'm still not exactly sure what's going on.

    But thank you for your services.
    Yeah, there were several groups of people that showed up, and it all seemed coincidental, yet not coincidental at the same time. It seems the four happened to meet at the same place by chance in order to kill Shang Gongzhi, who just happened to decide to pass by that way, so how did the four know to go there? But then they let Shang Gongzhi go because he has a letter signed by Li Xingqiao pardoning him. Who are Li Xingqiao and Zhao Yunpo? The story hasn't told us yet, but we can deduce they are two important figures in the wulin since the four deferred to them.

    Does Bo Le just like to kill everyone he meets? It seems he had no real connection with the four, he just happened to go to that temple that night, or so it seems, yet the first thing he tries to do is kill them all with the poison green flame, and he thinks they are after him, but why? Then he wants to kill Shang Gongzhi, but again, why? We know Bo Le needs to find the doctor, but it seems coincidence that he should come to that temple on that particular night.

    And what's the deal with the two bandit gangs? Apparently they'r good guys because the four wanted revenge on Bo Le when they found out he had poisoned them, but they just showed up at the temple and left, then came back and left again.

    So there is a lot that is unclear at this point. I guess it will be made clearer in subsequent chapters. All I can say is this novel is considered by one highly-regarded wuxia scholar to be one of Sima Ling's two best novels, at least equal to Jin Yong and Gu Long, and that one of the characteristics of Sima Ling's work is his use of deductive logic, battles of wits, and explorations of characters' inner thoughts, so hopefully this will turn out to be a good novel.

    For now, I guess we'll just have to wait for the story to unveil itself. I do know that Li Xingqiao and Zhao Yunpo play substantial roles in the novel, and that the main character in the novel has not shown up yet.

  3. #23
    Senior Member whiteskwirl's Avatar
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    Sep 2009

    Default Chapter 2: Jianghu Practice and Experience Part 1

    Chapter 2: Jianghu Practice and Experience

    Southern Traitor Shang Gongzhi exited the temple and found a place to hide to wait until morning, then continued heading south. On the road the sky was sunny and clear and warm.

    He walked for two days, then at noon arrived at a town at the foot of Mt. Qian. People were coming and going, the town was bustling. It was the day of the market, which happened every ten days in the town, in which villagers from the nearest dozen or so villages gathered to buy and sell their wares.

    Shang Gongzhi strolled aimlessly among the throng, he was elated. Although he had been traveling through big cities and capitals all his life, and had seen all manner of events, but now a life and death riddle was just about to be announced, therefore making him all the more reluctant to leave this mortal life! And now after several days sleeping out in the open, suddenly seeing such hustle and bustle only increased his interest.

    He hadn’t been walking around long before he noticed a young man of about eighteen or nineteen years old who looked to be like him, a traveler just arrived in the town, looking around.

    This in and of itself was not unusual, it was only because Shang Gongzhi perceived there was something about this guy that seemed different then the average person that made him take notice. He quietly forced his way next to him and pushed an acupoint in his back, said, “Ai, don’t jostle!”

    The strength he applied with his hand was the same as any normal person, but touching the acupoint, there would still be some discomfort.

    His hand was just on the verge of touching the youn man’s close when the latter stepped aside, removing that acupoint out of the way.

    Shang Gongzhi still feared it was just chance, so he pushed his palm into the young man’s side, secretly using some real force, but felt the man’s muscles quiver, discharging the force.[1]

    The young man glanced at him off-hand, and Southern Traitor Shang Gongzhi lifted his nose and thought, “Wise guy, pretending in front of me like he’s oblivious.” He reached out and clapped the young man on the shoulder. “Brother, what’s your name?”

    The young man looked at him and smiled politely as if nothing were amiss, and said, “I’m Pei Chun, what can I do for you Uncle?”

    Shang Gongzhi thought, “He’s give himself away! His dress is coarse and plain, his appearance untidy, but his speech is refined…” He said, “So it’s Brother Pei, do you live in this town?”

    Pei Chun said, “No, I live on Mt. Qian.”

    Shang Gongzhi was taken aback, thought to himself, “I had my suspicions you had some connection with Zhao Yunpo, turns out I was right!”

    Pei Chun said, “I still don’t know how to address you, Uncle.”

    Shang Gongzhi told him his name, then asked, “Brother Pei, where on Mt. Qian do you live? You wouldn’t happen to know how to get to Hidden Dragon Valley, would you?”

    Pei Chun’s eyes widened. “I live in Hidden Dragon Valley. There’s only a dilapidated temple there, why do you want to go there, Uncle?”

    Shang Gongzhi said, “To look for someone.”

    Pei Chun said, “That must be to find my teacher.”

    Seeing that he was so straightforward, Shang Gongzhi was puzzled. “Is your teacher a monk? His lay name is Zhao Yunpo?”

    Pei Chun nodded, and Shang Gongzhi continued, “What religious name has he taken?”

    Pei Chun said, “Master just uses Yunpo, those two characters.”

    Shang Gongzhi at the same time thinking it a bad idea, said, “Is Brother Pei here to purchase daily supplies?”

    Pei Chun laughed. “No, we grow our own food up on the mountain, we have no need to buy things.”

    Shang Gongzhi set his sharp eyes roving over Pei Chun and noticed he looked flat broke, but still he sounded him out, “Although we have only met by chance, yet I can see you are honest and kind, how about inviting me for a bite to eat?”

    Pei Chun spread his arms wide. “I don’t have any money, I’m really sorry!”

    Shang Gongzhi said, “It doesn’t matter, I have some silver, but you must accompany me.”

    How could Pei Chun refuse? The two walked into the town’s largest restaurant where Shang Gongzhi ordered six or seven dishes and half a catty[2] of rice wine. The food and drink at this out-of-the-way town although not great, yet Pei Chun since childhood had been used to it, so he ate happily and with abandon.

    They were almost done eating when Shang Gongzhi suddenly said, “If I don’t have any money on me, what then?”

    Pei Chun was stunned, hang Gongzhi continued, “I can run pretty fast, we can wait until they’re not paying attention and make a run for it, they probably won’t be able to catch us!”

    Pei Chun turned pale with fright, the veins on his forehead bulged, Shang Gongzhi laughed, “Don’t worry, I was just joking, there’s a lot of silver in my pocket!”

    Pei Chun relaxed, blew out a long puff of air. Shang Gongzhi said, “You can see just how useful silver is, you’ll need to make some if you want to have a pleasant life.”

    Pei Chun shook his head, “I don’t need to make money, in the future I will follow my teacher and become a monk, live the rest of my life in the temple.”

    Shang Gongzhi said,”What good is that? You’ll never be able to eat good food and wine!”

    Pei Chun said coolly, “Eating it once is enough.”

    Shang Gongzhi observed his expression carefully as he spoke and was half-sure it was true. He turned this over in his mind, “I might die at the hands of Zhao Yunpo, now I can only first misguide his disciple, let Zhao Yunpo know Southern Traitor’s head is not so easy to pluck!” Then he said, “Aside from good wine and food, there are many other pleasures in this world, if you become a monk you will certainly regret it!”

    Pei Chun smiled, but didn’t speak. He really was honest and kind, so he didn’t just refute the other side, but he was very upright toward others, distinguished right and wrong clearly, therefore he did not recklessly say unnecessary words.

    Shang Gongzhi said, “Ha, Do you mean to say that you don’t believe the world has such pleasures? Maybe you don’t have the guts to widen your knowledge with me?”

    Pei Chun at first was roused, then became curious, and he said without thinking, “Widen my experience how?”

    Shang Gongzhi was lost in thought. “So many pleasures, of course you can’t experience it all in a day or so, but I’ll entertain you for a few days, then go pay a visit to your master. But, you must promise not to tell your teacher about it!”

    Pei Chun shook his head. “I can’t!” His tone was extremely firm.

    Shang Gongzhi said, “Don’t say anything for now, you’re not going to go commit murder and arson!”

    Pei Chun felt that was reasonable, he nodded.

    Shang Gongzhi said, “Two years from now you can tell your teacher about it!” Not waiting to see if Pei Chun agreed or not, he began a torrent of questions and soon everything was clear. Zhao Yunpo didn’t pay attention to where Pei Chun went, at the same time every day in the afternoon Zhao Yunpo read the classics and practiced martial arts for six hours. During this time Pei Chun could go anywhere he wanted without worrying about his teacher looking for him.

    Once Southern Traitor Shang Gongzhi had questioned him, he advised Pei Chun to meet him five days later in the afternoon, then he stood and paid the bill, and they bid farewell.


    The five days past by in a flash. In the afternoon the two met in the town. Southern Traitor Shang Gongzhi took him to the western section of town, pointed to a broad house with a courtyard, and said, “This originally was the house of the distinguished Lin family. Although it’s antiquated, after being fixed up it’s rather impressive. In here you can experience a lot of pleasures.”

    They stepped through the gates and immediately two servants came up, bowed, and welcomed them inside. The place was full of female servants, everywhere within the tall, expansive hall, everything including the banisters and eaves was stately and magnificent.

    Not long after the two had been seated, several beautiful maidservants offered fragrant tea, then brought light refreshments. Shang Gongzhi purposely gave some instructions, and several responded with a single call. Pei Chun was dumbfounded by the ostentation and extravagance.

    Then into their room, where there were kingfisher green curtains and canopies and orchid-wax candles, a distinguished and charming scene. how often had Pei Chun seen so many luxurious, beautiful objects? He couldn’t help gazing around, almost unable to take it all in.

    Shang Gongzhi took out some gold and silver and placed it on the table. “Brother Pei, all you see here is the power of gold and silver. First watch how I enjoy myself, and then, if you have the guts, you can give it a try!” He clapped his hands lightly and four attractive maidservants entered wearing lissome smiles. Shang Gongzhi didn’t need to instruct them, the four maids completely surrounded him, one undressed him and helped him change to more comfortable clothes, another combed his hair, while another pulled off his boots and helped him into shoes, and yet another lightly pounded his shoulders with her fists. This kind of “embracing red, caressing green”[3] dissolute scene made Pei Chun’s heart thump like it was about to jump.

    Shang Gongzhi knew well that if he ordered the girls right away to attend to the young man in this way, it would shock him too bad, so he got up and sent him out, and they agreed to meet again in two days.

    Two days later, Pei Chun found himself again at the magnificent mansion, watching Shang Gongzhi enjoy himself in all sorts of ways. He had mulled it all over these past two days and was already getting used to it.

    In the room exquisite wine and food was soon spread out on the table, and the two drank together. Shang Gongzhi held girls in each arm, frolicking and flirting with them while talking a stream of anecdotes old and new about matters of the martial fraternity, only that for this day. Shang Gongzhi was using a gradual method of advancement so as not to overwhelm this simple, naďve young man.

    Another two days later, Pei Chun went to the mansion, and Shang Gongzhi pointed at a maidservant and said, “She’s called Fluttering Fairy, she just arrived! Today she will drink with you.”

    Pei Chun saw how it was and wasn’t fazed. He saw this Fluttering Fairy’s graceful posture, her softness like she had no bones. Pretty appearance, fair-skinned, and in her loving bright eyes there lay a sweet and agreeable winsome manner, on seeing her his heart thumped and jumped.

    Fluttering Fairy gently and attentively urged him to drink, they gradually moved closer, the hair on her temple brushing his ear, her fragrance wafting by in bursts into Pei Chun’s nose. Although Pei Chun was inexperienced with women, yet his heart felt extremely comfortable.

    On this day he drank a lot of wine, partly because of Fluttering Fairy’s gentle urgings, her method brilliant and refined, and partly because Shang Gongzhi recounted for him the matter in the dilapidated temple that day with the four masters of the martial fraternity and the Colored-Eye Master Flying Heaven Yaksha Bo Le, describing what went down there so lifelike Pei Chun found himself on the edge of his seat, continuously draining his cup.

    Once the effects of alcohol are felt, a person becomes extremely honest and frank, and his bearing also became frivolous and unrestrained, of course Pei Chun was no exception! All the more with a beautiful girl was ingratiating herself with him, sticking close to him and being attentive? Just at the height of his interest, Shang Gongzhi suddenly saw him off, and Pei Chun was forced to disappointedly leave.

    Shang Gongzhi was using the method of loosening the reins to better tighten them, the so-called “when one’s desires are not exhausted, greed remains”, but how could Pei Chun avoid his careful calculations? Not only was he listless then, upon returning to the mountain he was entangled in his thoughts, itching for the day to pass away quickly so he could see that person again!

    Since Fluttering Fairy appeared, after four visits to her, the fifth time there was added song and dance, this was really the upmost of seeing and listening pleasure.

    This time Pei Chun drank even more, and when she saw he was tipsy, Fluttering Fairy wiped a hot rag over his face, then combed his hair and tidied him up, and afterward Pei Chun looked happy, his sword eyebrows, tiger eyes, all manly looking and dignified in appearance. Not only was Fluttering Fairy bewitched, but Shang Gongzhi was surprised as well, thinking, “This kid is really striking, no wonder Zhao Yunpo is passing down his consummate skills to him!”

    Shang Gongzhi was a master among the martial fraternity, so although he had never traded blows with Pei Chun, yet he observed that his internal strength was profound, and when he was tipsy every move he made would sometimes reveal his skill, and especially because of his youth, it was hard to believe the level of his attainment.

    When it was time to stop the party, Shang Gongzhi waves his hand and all the maidservants withdrew. Shang Gongzhi said, “Tomorrow I will go up the mountain and call on your teacher. When that time comes, you can’t show that we have met before.”

    Pei Chun nodded, Shang Gongzhi continued, “When I see your teacher, if I die there’s no need to say much, if I live I’ll leave this place. These past few days you’ve seen a lot of different sights, for now we’ll go our separate ways. You must get together a lot of gold and silver if you want to be able to enjoy these pleasures!”

    Pei Chun said, “What about Fluttering Fairy?”

    Shang Gongzhi said, “If you worry she will wander around destitute with no one to rely on, I can make arrangements to set up a house in another town, let her live there, and you can snatch some time to go see her.”

    Pei Chun was overjoyed. “That would be great.” But then he was overcome with a worried look. “Although she will have a place to live, how will she make a living?”

    Shang Gongzhi thought, “Finally you understand the value of money!” He said, “No worries, no worries, I’ll leave some silver for her, it will be no problem for a year, after that you will have to think of something.”

    How could Pei Chun know how vicious this trap was! He and Fluttering Fairy had formed an indissoluble bond, she would be his responsibility for the rest of her life. Under such a heavy burden, it would naturally be hard to accomplish anything, and he could go his whole life without detecting this deadly trap.

    to be continued...

    [1] If this part is unclear, what it means is Shang Gongzhi pushed with his hand, but the young man’s body repelled the force of the push. I used “discharge”, but could also have used “unload” or “dispel”. It was as if his body had took in the energy from the palm and then scattered it, in affect making the push powerless. This all occurred in the midst of a bustling crowd, so these actions were subtle and only would be detected by the two.

    [2] A catty, or jin, is a unit of measure, about half a kilogram.

    [3] This is an idiom that means to dally with prostitutes, or just to have an improperly intimate contact with a woman.

  4. #24
    Member Drak17's Avatar
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    Thanks for the chapters! Catching up on reading <:

  5. #25
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    I live in Penang, the Pearl of the Orient, famous for its hawker's food


    thank you whiteskwirl for this interesting story. am already waiting for the next chapter

  6. #26
    Senior Member whiteskwirl's Avatar
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    Sep 2009

    Default Chapter 2, Part 2

    Here is part 2 of chapter 2. We're now about halfway through Chapter 2. Thanks for reading!

    Chapter 2, Part 2

    Early the next morning, Southern Traitor Shang Gongzhi entered the area of Mt. Qian and followed the directions Pei Chun had given him, and within two hours he had reached the mouth of Hidden Dragon Valley.

    The valley was broad, seventy to eighty prevent of it was reclaimed paddy fields, but there were also vegetable gardens growing all manner of greens and melons and fruits, and in a recessed area of the mountain slope there was an ancient temple.

    He hurried over and reached the temple gate, but there was no scent of burning incense and his heart sank. He thought, “Damn, how can monks not even burn incense to worship the gods? Looks like Zhao Yunpo has just changed his clothes only!” [4]

    He hesitated, said, “Is Zhao Yunpo there? I, Shang Gongzhi have with me a letter from Li Xingqiao!”

    From within the temple came a clear voice, “Since it’s an old friend who sent you, please come in!”

    Shang Gongzhi yet felt that voice held a boundless killing intent, unconsciously giving birth within his heart a cold dread, but he had no choice but to steel himself and enter.

    The temple was partitioned into two rooms, this room contained plows and hoes and other such instruments, as well as a wooden bed. In a flash Pei Chun came out from the other room, gestured, and Shang Gongzhi followed him.

    The inner room was clean and bright, a wooden shelf hung from the wall, filled with Buddhist classic books, and in the center of the wall there hung an image of the Buddha which possessed and elegant charm.

    Close to the window another wooden bed, and sitting there was a lean and sprightly old monk, his two white brows slanting upward, you could imagine he had been a handsome, dashing xia.

    Shang Gongzhi presented the letter, said, “Mr. Li had become a monk, may I venture to ask your religious name?”

    The monk said, “I just use my lay name…” He opened the letter and looked at it. When he had finished he folded it back into the envelope. Shang Gongzhi used all his intelligence, yet couldn’t discern the expression on Zhao Yunpo’s face, and he was more terrified.

    Zhao Yunpo sat in silence for a moment with his eyes closed, his snow-white eyebrows aloft, radiating power in all directions, and despite his lifetime of hardship and difficulty he had experienced, Shang Gongzhi still could not calm the thumping of his heart, and his palms were sweating.

    After a while, ZhaoYunpo said, “Xingqiao has a mind to force me off this mountain, so he sent you here you your death.”

    Shang Gongzhi didn’t dare speak. Zhao Yunpo said, “Chun’er, take him to go dig a well!”

    Pei Chun assented and led the way. The two went to a place at the mouth of the valley and Pei Chun handed him and iron shovel, he also had one. He said, “Let’s get started!”

    Shang Gongzhi regarded the hole in front of him, about five feet deep, four feet in diameter, but there was a big rock that had not yet been broken through, who knew how far it went until you reached soil. He couldn’t help but gasp in astonishment.

    Pei Chun used the shovel to dig out around the hole, stone fragments chipping off with it.

    Shang Gongzhi leapt into the hole, thinking the stone might be soft, and raised his shovel and began chiseling. Clang! Sparks flew, and the impact shook his left wrist, numbing it a little, and he was shocked. This well would be really heard to dig! He allocated and transported his energy, concentrating it on the edge of the shovel, and the rock slowly began to crack, but this was naturally a very slow process.

    At noon Pei Chun went to prepare lunch. Shang Gongzhi could not fathom why Master Yunpo had ordered him to dig the well. The more he couldn’t guess the reason, the more terrified he became. His life was on the line with this excavation, so he did not dare slack off in the slightest.

    After lunch, Pei Chun accompanied him in meditation to regulate their breathing, and just before three in the afternoon they resumed digging.

    Shang Gongzhi couldn’t take it any more. He said, “Does your teacher know if there is a spring under here?”

    Pei Chun laughed. “He makes me dig wells all the time, but never once have I struck water!”

    Shang Gongzhi dropped his shovel and jumped up and down, heaved a sigh. “Enough, I, Southern Traitor have reached my limit today.” So now it was all clear, Zhao Yunpo used well digging as a method to teach his apprentice to practice his internal energy!

    Pei Chun leapt into the hole. With every drop of his shovel he chipped away a piece of rock, his level of internal energy almost stronger than his ten years of cultivation could muster. Shang Gongzhi sat for a while, but Pei Chun was not the least bit tired, such incredible stamina was really surprising.

    Later on Master Yunpo came to the well, frowned. “Digging a whole day and only accomplished so little!” He raised his sleeves and jumped into the hole, took the shovel from Pei Chun. He wielded the shovel like wind, and in no time had dug down a foot deeper.

    Shang Gongzhi saw how strong his skill was and he was scared half to death. If Master Yunpo had then and there ordered him to slit his own throat, he would not have dared even try to put up a fight.

    That night Shang Gongzhi and Pei Chun slept in the outer room, and the next day Pei Chun once again went to digging as usual, but Shang Gongzhi was indecisive, could only wait for death!

    Two days passed like this. In the afternoon Shang Gongzhi walked by himself on the mountain slope. Suddenly he saw his shadow beside him was met by another shadow and his blood froze. He stared dumbly at the other shadow. Suddenly he felt something falling over the top of his head, he raised his head to look, and only then came to his senses. He turned his head quickly, but looking around he saw there was nothing, this whole area was empty, how could there have been a second shadow?

    Where Shang Gongzhi stood it was bright and sunny, not a single tree within two-hundred feet of him, and the grass on the slope was no higher than half a foot, more or less, not talk enough for even a rabbit to hide itself, much less a person?

    At this point Shang Gongzhi gave up all thought of escape. Crestfallen, he went to find Pei Chun. “Brother Pei, I won’t survive long!”

    Pei Chun was digging with vigor. He said, “Why?” After several more shovels, he suddenly realized what had been said and was startled. He came up out of the hole, said, “Why?”

    Shang Gongzhi sighed. “I just saw the “Phantom”!”

    Pei Chun said, “Who’s the Phantom? He said he was going to kill you?”

    Shang Gongzhi said, “Ai, running into her is more savage than death!”

    Pei Chun thought he was afraid of his teacher killing him, that’s why he was speaking irrationally. He tried to console him, “Don’t worry, later I’ll ask Teacher to hurry up and kill you so there will be no need to fear the Phantom!” When Shang Gongzhi heard these words of comfort, he was in better spirits and laughed.

    Pei Chun’s character was honest and sincere, seeing him with that worried look on his face, he stopped work for a bit and sat with him. Master Yunpo’s instructions for Pei Chun he knew was very important, but this was the first time he had violated his teacher’s orders by stopping digging for a moment.

    Shang Gongzhi thought of that fleeting shadow and he was still scared. “For the past decade, even if the number one expert martial artist still fears coming into contact with the Phantom…”

    Pei Chun thought was thinking to himself a way to get him off talking that nonsense when Shang Gongzhi continued, “If you get caught up with the Phantom, day and night, even going to the bathroom you can’t feel comfortable, and don’t even think about eating or sleeping…”

    Pei Chun looked on the fat man with pity, and the man continued, “When you eat, she’ll sprinkle sand on the table, when you sleep, she’ll pull the quilt up so you roast in your room, when lay down she tells you to sit up, when you are sitting she tells you to stand…”

    Pei Chun interjected, “When you stand she makes you walk, right?” But to himself he thought, “Nonsense, what kind of thinking is that?”

    Shang Gongzhi continued. “That’s right, that’s right. She’ll make you black and blue, but won’t kill you, she’ll make you weary and hungry, vexed and disturbed to your limit, until life becomes tasteless, so that only suicide can you be free of her!”

    Pei Chun didn’t contradict him, just said, “Where is she now?”

    Shang Gongzhi said, “Humph, don’t try to look for her! Her qinggong is unmatched, but she’s inseparable like a maggot attached to a bone, not even the best martial artist can do anything. Would you say that’s frightful or not?”

    Pei Chun thought his words made sense and was coming around, and he was surprised. He thought, “Is there really such a person?”

    But he didn’t want to mention such strange things anymore, and suddenly recalled the events Shang Gongzhi had told him about at that old temple. So he said, “That Sun Jade talisman you gave that girl that time, if it were me I would have given her a different treasure.”

    Shang Gongzhi said, “What would you give her?”

    Pei Chun said, “You said you had a pearl that could ward off poison, maybe it could dispel the poison in her body, wouldn’t that be good to give her?”

    Shang Gongzhi had never thought of that, he suddenly blurted out in surprise, and took out a small dark green pearl. “I’ve never done a good deed in my life, now that life and death is uncertain, give this pearl to her!”

    Pei Chun said, “When will I have the chance to see her?”

    Shang Gongzhi said, “That’s none of my concern!” He put the pearl firmly into Pei Chun’s hand.

    Pei Chun thought, if he doesn’t die I can still give it back to him later, I’ll just keep it for now.

    Shang Gongzhi recovered his composure a bit, and an evil idea formed. He said slowly, “I also have a secret I need to tell you, otherwise if I die, no one in the world will know.”

    Pei Chun said, “What’s that?”

    Shang Gongzhi said, “Presently everyone in the martial fraternity calls me ‘Southern Traitor’, so there must also be a ‘Northern Evil’. Only I know where this person lives, this person’s martial arts is more profound than you can fathom, his heart is cruel and vicious, he’s killed countless people among the martial fraternity these past ten years or so! A lot of people are looking for him to seek revenge, they just don’t know where this person lives.” He smiled, pleased with himself. “Every time I wat to tell one of these revenge-seekers this person’s address, they all have to swear not to tell anyone else, so when they die, only I know.”

    Pei Chun didn’t understand why he wanted to play this game, said, “Do I also have to take an oath?”

    Shang Gongzhi said, “That’s right, but this oath is different: you can tell other people, but those people must pledge not to tell anyone else.” Pei Chun thought that was reasonable, so he took the oath.

    Shang Gongzhi told him Northern Evil’s address, and told him Northern Evil’s name was Murong Chi, and that because of his vicious and violent nature, and because he had made so many enemies, he refused to take a wife or have children.

    They talked until dusk, then returned to the temple. Master Yunpo ordered Shang Gongzhi to come see him. Shang Gongzhi knew this was the moment of life or death, his feet unconsciosly hesitated before going forward.

    He entered the room, Master Yunpo was seated cross-legged on the bed, his eyes half closed, his face completely expressionless. Shang Gongzhi felt this monk’s breadth of mind was unfathomable, so naturally he oozed fear, and automatically knelt and lowered his head. “I quietly await your ruling, Master.”

    Master Yunpo chanted a Buddhist mantra, his voice deep and cold.

    Shang Gongzhi listened and was scared half to death. He thought, “Today is the end for me!”

    As he chanted, Master Yunpo raised his sleeves and Shang Gongzhi felt an incomparably strong force lash out at him, stifling his breathing. In his fear, his body was rolled up in this force and he was flung out the gate and fell down.

    Pei Chun saw Shang Gongzhi’s desperate situation and he couldn’t help but call out in alarm, “Master, spare his life…”

    Master Yunpo yelled, “You come in here!”

    Pei Chun ran inside, knelt on both knees, and repeatedly kowtowed. His exclamation had been entirely from the bottom of his heart.

    Master Yunpo said, “You are kind and honest, in the days to come you will unavoidably suffer great loss!” Pei Chun only kowtowed. He was not the type to talk back or defy orders, and at this moment with his heart in such a state he couldn’t say any more.

    Shang Gongzhi heard master and pupil talking, then saw Pei Chun come out and pick him up and say happily, “Brother Shang, you can go!”

    Shang Gongzhi never expected such a happy and unrestrained result, so he was taken aback. “Is this for real?” Then he said, “Master has no other instructions for me?”

    Pei Chun said, “Nope!”

    Shang Gongzhi was afraid Master Yunpo would go back on his word, so he didn’t dare ask further, but turned and fled out of the temple and hurriedly left the valley.

    Pei Chun went back inside and Master Yunpo said slowly, “Chun’er, get your things together tonight, tomorrow it’s time to leave this mountain.”

    Pei Chun was stupefied. “Where are we going?”

    Master Yunpo said, “Not we, you will descend alone and roam the rivers and lakes for a while.”

    Pei Chun shook his head. “I don’t dare leave you, Master!”

    Master Yunpo muttered to himself, his face showing compassion, he said slowly, “Your teacher is already in the last stages of his life, you wouldn’t be able to stay with me for long.”

    Pei Chun said without thinking, “Master, when you return to the Western Land, I will shave my head and become a monk. I won’t take a step away from here!”

    Master Yunpo shook his head. “In the past you could, but now Southern Traitor Shang Gongzhi has come, if I die you will have a hard time continuing on. The reason I have decided to send you down the mountain today, first is to let you get some life experience and practice so you can learn about the evil that resides in men’s hearts, and so you can learn how to guard against it, at that time your martial arts will have improved a lot…”

    Pei Chun was puzzled, he didn’t follow what the “evil that resides in men’s hearts” had to do with his martial arts training, but he trusted his teacher completely, so he kept these words firmly in his mind.

    Master Yunpo continued, “Second, my sworn brother Li Xingqiao is in trouble, you will go in my place to see him, and help him out.”

    Pei Chun was startled. He thought, “Master has mentioned Uncle Li in the past, he said his skill was not inferior to Master’s own, now he’s in trouble, how can I be of any help to him?”

    Master Yunpo said, “I don’t know what sort of trouble he is in, but seeing that he sent Shang Gongzhi to court death here, and used the awe-inspiring Phantom Xin Wuhen's tally to control him to make sure he didn’t break faith, it’s not that Xingqiao’s martial arts has declined, it was all to force me to re-enter the rivers and lakes, so I want you to leave this mountain and go check it out. You meeting with him is the same as me going. Do whatever he tells you to do, you must not defy him!”

    Pei Chun assented and Master Yunpo gave him a letter, a small leather bag he could keep close to his body, and told him, “This is an introductory letter for Xingqiao, in the bag there is some silver, as well as three valuable treasures. When you enter the rivers and lakes, you must watch your expenses so you don’t use up all your money and become destitute. Now, go to the northeast part of the slope and fill in that hole with dirt, cover it with some sod, make sure no one can tell that a hole was dug there!”

    Pei Chun was confused, but he didn’t dare question it. As he was heading out the gate, Master Yunpo instructed him, “Sleep early tonight, tomorrow morning there’s no need to bid farewell before you go.”

    The next day, Pei Chun kowtowed in front of Master’s door and left with tears in his eyes.

    to be continued...

    [4] Meaning he thinks Zhao Yunpo is not a real monk, but just someone who has put monk’s clothes and is pretending for some reason.
    Last edited by whiteskwirl; 04-13-15 at 06:45 AM.

  7. #27
    Member Drak17's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006


    Thanks for another chapter! So Southern Traitor Shang Ghonzi is pretty smart/clever, just like they say. He "bribe" Yunqo disciple with money/woman/wine and therefore the disciple "feel" a bit closer to Shang Gongzhi and thus plead his master to spare Shang Gongzhi...what a crafty man. Or that Pei Chun is too honest and does not know evil from good. Idk lol.

    And we get more information about that "shadow" that appeared at the old temple that all those experts were staying at. The shadow was something Li Xingqao send inorder to keep Shang Gongzhi in check, making sure he does not run away. These are information I gather so far based on my interpretation, is it Correct? Because I was kind of confused a bit through this whole thing. Haha.

    For the phrase that said "to cross rivers and lakes" is it the same thing as "to enter Jianghu"?

    This Pei Chun reminds me of one of Gu Long's character named Pei Yu? Or something, he was honest too, and doesnt know much.

    Thanks again. Looking forward to new updates!

  8. #28
    Senior Member whiteskwirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by Drak17 View Post
    Thanks for another chapter! So Southern Traitor Shang Ghonzi is pretty smart/clever, just like they say. He "bribe" Yunqo disciple with money/woman/wine and therefore the disciple "feel" a bit closer to Shang Gongzhi and thus plead his master to spare Shang Gongzhi...what a crafty man. Or that Pei Chun is too honest and does not know evil from good. Idk lol.

    And we get more information about that "shadow" that appeared at the old temple that all those experts were staying at. The shadow was something Li Xingqao send inorder to keep Shang Gongzhi in check, making sure he does not run away. These are information I gather so far based on my interpretation, is it Correct? Because I was kind of confused a bit through this whole thing. Haha.

    For the phrase that said "to cross rivers and lakes" is it the same thing as "to enter Jianghu"?

    This Pei Chun reminds me of one of Gu Long's character named Pei Yu? Or something, he was honest too, and doesnt know much.

    Thanks again. Looking forward to new updates!
    Yeah, that's right. Rivers and lakes is jianghu. Yeah, the shadow thing is explained even more in the next update, but you got it. Yeah, Shang Ggongzhi is a scheming bastard. It continues in the next updates. He's one of those bad guys who sometimes does good so you kind of like him, but it turns out it was just part of his evil plan all along!

    I don't know about the Gu Long character. But Gu Long's work apparently was influenced by Sima Ling, so maybe Gu Long's character is an homage to Pei Chun?

  9. #29
    Senior Member whiteskwirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009

    Default Chapter 2: Part 3 END

    Here it is, the rest of chapter 2. Wow, this chapter was even longer than chapter 1. Chapter 3 will be updated slower, I imagine. I can't keep up this pace all the time, but at least here are two chapters done. Don't forget to comment, and thanks for reading!

    Chapter 2: Part 3

    Shang Gongzhi had escaped disaster and fled the valley, thinking that Master Yunpo had never said he wasn’t going to kill him, he felt it a bit improper. He was as treacherous as could be, and when he reached a dangerous area, he hit upon an idea, when suddenly he lost his footing and tumbled down. It was a deep valley below, but he had earlier scoped out the terrain, so even although he tumbled down, his back and elbows and knees had not yet suffered any injury. After rolling about two hundred feet he reached a slope grown over with weeds, which stopped his rolling.

    He lay in the weeds, unmoving, and he thought that if Master Yunpo or that Phantom Xin Wuhen were following behind him, then when they saw him roll down into the valley they would definitely come check him out.

    Soon after it became dark, and the many mosquitoes n the weeds were biting him, but he still didn’t move. He stayed like this for two hours, and all parts of his head and hands and feet that was exposed to the air had been bitten by mosquitoes, it was so itchy it was hard to endure. He thought to himself, “Unlucky”, and climbed to his feet.

    Now he was looking for a road, stumbling in the dark, fell and got a face full of mud. He had tripped and fell into a hole about four feet deep. His vision had been blocked by the weeds, and when he had put his foot down he had tumbled into the hole. He lay on the ground, didn’t get up, his mind thinking back to that shadow he had seen that afternoon, and he thought, “Maybe that person had come to this slope earlier and prepared this hole, and when I had felt something over my head and turned to look, that person had hidden in this hole, so that when I turned my head I naturally couldn’t see anything!”

    It wasn’t a brilliant strategy, but he had learn of Phantom Xin Wuhen’s magical power of coming and going without a trace, and he had had a strong impression so that at that time he had not seen through to reason it out properly, but now that he had fallen into this hole it suddenly came to him, so he stood up and climbed up out of the deep valley and found the original road and rushed back to Hidden Dragon Valley.

    He had been in the valley for two days, so he knew that Master Yunpo went out at night every day to practice martial arts, not returning until daybreak to sit and meditate in the temple, so he didn’t dare rush back into the valley, but found a cave outside the valley and hid in there. When it was light, he walked back into the valley.

    Once in the valley he met head on Pei Chun, who looked shocked, and looked to be just about to ask why he had returned, when Southern Traitor Shang Gongzhi pressed his index finger to his lips to tell him not to make a sound, and in a low voice he said, “I’m just going to take a look at some place.”

    Pei Chun, baffled, followed him to the northeastern corner of the mountain slope and watched him look around in the weeds. It was the exact spot he had been ordered to fill in with soil the night before. He thought Shang Gongzhi had lost something, so he waited quietly.

    Shang Gongzhi walked out an area of a hundred feet, where was the hole, he couldn’t help turn cold and think, “The shadow I saw yesterday had to be Phantom Xin Wuhen, aside from her, no one else under Heaven possesses that king of qinggong. If it were Zhao Yunpo’s doing, how could he foresee that I would have the guts to return to the valley to check it out…” The more he thought, the more alarmed he became, and he immediately fled the valley, not stopping until he was off Mt. Qian.

    With a rush of wind, Pei Chun passed by him and continued walking ahead.

    Shang Gongzhi thought himself extremely unlucky, even this honest and simple youngster had changed so odd that he couldn’t fathom it. He hurried after him and said, “Brother Pei, wait a minute!”

    Pei Chun stopped and turned his head. “Brother Shang, what is it?”

    Shang Gongzhi said, “Where are you going?”

    Pei Chun said, “Master ordered me to leave the mountain on some business.”

    Shang Gongzhi stared blankly, and sized him up head to toe, thought, “Zhao Yunpo dares let this completely unscheming, simple child leave the mountain, he must be trying to get him killed.” He asked, “What business?”

    Pei Chun, in the first place, was an open and honest fellow, and second, Master hadn’t told him to keep it a secret, so although he knew this person was crafty and treacherous, he said to him frankly, “My teacher ordered me to go see Uncle Li Xingqiao and see what kind of trouble he is in.”

    Shang Gongzhi suddenly put his hands on his head and shut his eyes, thought a while, then he breathed out and said, “So that’s it, so that’s it…”

    Pei Chun asked, “What did you say?”

    Shang Gongzhi said, “I was thinking about this, and it’s clogging my stomach, if I don’t tell someone I’ll burst!”

    Pei Chun said quickly, “Well, then just say it, bursting your stomach is no joke!”

    Shang Gongzhi white-eyed him and thought, you really think my stomach is about to burst? But he didn’t say that, but simply answered, “One day I rushed into someone’s house, this house’s master used to be a famous person in the armed escort business, but he had been retired for years. I pulled out a short sword to kill his entire family.”

    Pei Chun said, “You’ve killed people before?”

    Shang Gongzhi said, “This time I didn’t kill anyone.”

    Pei Chun said, “It’s a good thing, killing someone is something that just shouldn’t be done!”

    Shang Gongzhi paid that no mind, but continued, “That escort guy knew he had no way to resist, and pleaded for me to spare his wife and children. I told him to call his family out to the main hall so I could look them over, then make my decision. Actually I just made a lazy inspection. He thought there was a ray of hope and quickly gathered them together. More than twenty people, young and old, were assembled in the hall, and I declared that not a single life would be spared.”

    Pei Chun couldn’t help but interject, “What enmity was there between you two?”

    Shang Gongzhi said, “For several years now I have moved about in secret, do you really not know the reason? It’s because that year the escort guard went into retirement, Li Xingqiao was induced to deal with me, and caused me to receive an internal injury from his ‘Heavenly Design Finger’, it hurt like hell for years, until six months ago when I was finally cured. Just then was when word spread that Li Xinqqiao and your teacher had passed away, so I went to that escort guard’s house.”

    He paused for a moment, then said, “The news of Li Xingqiao and your teacher’s passing was spread by the chief of the Poor Family Gang, Simple Yu Jing. I sent someone to question him and he insisted the news was genuine. Therefore, I, Traitor Shang, have deceived people all my life, but this time I was the pawn!”

    Pei Chun, didn’t know what the Poor Family Gang was, so he just made a noncommittal grunt.

    Shang Gongzhi’s level of discernment was so high, one look and he knew, so he explained, “The Poor Family Gang are a group of beggars, although they aren’t as powerful and influential as they were ten years ago, and Simple Yu Jing’s martial arts has its limits, but the gang’s rules are very strict, and their disciples are all chivalrous, so they still have a lot of prestige among the rivers and lakes. So although I was lied to by this beggar, but to become a pawn to boot, that really made me lose face!”

    Pei Chun was not really interested in these kinds fo treacherous schemes, but he was really concerned how that escort guard’s family escaped trouble. Shang Gongzhi said, “As I was just about to put those twenty or so people, young and old, to death, suddenly from the doorway came a loud yell, ‘Shang Gongzhi, you’re doing evil again!’ The hall was already filled with the sounds of weeping and wailing, but this shout drowned it all out. When I heard I was frightened to death, raised my head to look, and saw a white-haired, white-bearded tall old man standing in the doorway.”

    Pei Chun said, “That was my Uncle Li!”

    Shang Gongzhi said, “Yep, he entered the hall, first waving his hand to order all the people gathered there to withdraw, not allowing even a single person to linger. At the time I had no idea that this action had a deeper meaning!”

    Pei Chun said, “What deeper meaning?”

    Shang Gongzhi said, “Wait a minute and you will know. After Li Xingqiao had them all cleared out, he glared at me coldly. I had suffered at his hands some years before, now he stood right before me. After suffering so much hardship at his hands these several years, when I saw him this time, how dare I attack? I didn’t even dare try to escape. He said, ‘Shang Gongzhi, commit suicide!’ His voice was powerful, his expression fierce! I dare refuse to listen, yet also dared not comply. Just as I was hesitatingly, looking for a way out, suddenly a girl rushed in, only about fifteen or sixteen years old, but she was already beautiful, well-proportioned, especially from her big clear eyes you could tell she was extremely intelligent. She said, ‘Grandpa, This villain is well-known for his ruthlessness, you mustn’t let him escape with his life from your Heavenly Design Finger and wreak havoc in the world! However…’ My heart was frozen after hearing these words, but that last ‘however’ gave me some hope…”

    Shang Gongzhi had narrated his story so well that Pei Chun was absorbed, but he didn’t know what the point of telling this story was.

    “That girl continued, ‘However, if he dares to escape, Grandpa you must make him suffer for three to five years before letting him die!’ Li Xingqiao smiled, his amiability still containing some fierceness. The girl glared at me, then said, ‘My Grandpa is not a ruthless person, he already showed you mercy last time, but once you heard the news that he had passed away you immediately went looking for revenge without a trace of repentance or reform, let me ask you, do you deserve death or don’t you?’ I dared not offend her, so I had to say I deserved death. She said, ‘Humph, you scheme to your heart’s content, I should ask Grandpa to think up some other method! Grandpa, where’s your Phantom tally?’

    “Li Xingqiao took out the tally, said, ‘What do you want this for?’ She said, ‘Grandpa Zhao is more ruthless than you, why don’t you make him take an oath before this tally, then you write a letter saying you are giving this person to Grandpa Zhao, that once he steps through the doors, kill him?’ Li Xingqiao laughed. ‘You little Y-head[5], your cleverness might have overreached itself! Brother Zhao has already become a monk, whether or not he would be willing to take action is doubtful.’

    “I was overjoyed and quickly made the oath before the tally. That girl shifted her big eyes, said, ‘Grandpa! Recently I’ve seen you’ve already mastered the “Thousand-Li Flying Finger”, you should show it to this person in order to expand his horizons, so he’ll know he’ll never be your match. That way, even if he is lucky enough to thwart death, he might still harbor some fear in his heart and not dare to do evil anymore!’ Li Xingqiao just humphed, but said nothing…”

    Shang Gongzhi suddenly stopped and smiled dangerously. “Brother Pei, can you guess why Li Xingqiao didn’t show me?”

    Pei Chun said, “How can I know?”

    Shang Gongzhi ‘s face sank, his voice squeezing out through clenched teeth. “That’s because his martial arts had already waned, he was unable to do it!”

    Pei Chun was amazed. He thought, “Oh no! With one word from me he was able to guess my uncle’s secret. Ai, Master also said Uncle Li’s martial arts could have already declined and had no strength to kill this person, so that’s why he sent him court death. I accidentally revealed the secret, what should I do?”

    Shang Gongzhi observed his face and already understood. He wanted to prove his guess, so he couldn’t help be overjoyed, and in an instant seven or eight plans flitted through his mind, and he promptly selected one and said, “That girl walked to the wall and used a knife to dig a hole, then used a wooden plug to stuff it up, all the while using her body to block my line of sight. Li Xingqiao was about thirty feet away from the wooden plug in the wall, and after three urgings from that girl, he raised his sleeve and pointed forward, but I never saw his finger shoot forward, not was there any sound of a strong force splitting the air. That girl was grinning and went to the wall, pulled it out, and it was clear that the wooden plug had been shattered. I saw Li Xingqiao had such skill, I couldn’t help but be shocked dumb, so I waited for him to write the letter, took it, and promptly set out on my journey…”

    Pei Chun said, “You headed straight for Mt. Qian?”

    Shang Gongzhi said, “That’s right, this little Y-head had hoodwinked me. That wood was all her trick. At that time Li Xingqiao was still unwilling to shoot out his finger and lie to me, but under that little Y-head’s urgings, he had no choice but to shake his sleeve and strike a pose. Ai, I should have realized the hoax much earlier. First of all, when Li Xinagqiao appeared, that escort guard Wang Jiao’s wife and children all left the hall obediently, obviously they already knew what was up. Since they knew, they also knew Li Xingqiao’s skill, so why from the start were they scared and crying if it wasn’t all part of Li Xingqiao’s plan? Second, when Li Xingqiao ordered everyone out, not one person stayed. This clearly indicated he was afraid that if people were still present, I would risk my life to save face and so reveal that he had lost his true martial arts capability!”

    Pei Chun thought a moment, then said, “Brother Shang, where are you heading now?”

    Shang Gongzhi answered, “I have to avenge this humiliation!”

    Pei Chun said, “You want to find my Uncle Li?”

    Shang Gongzhi nodded, and Pei Chun squared his shoulders. “That won’t do!”

    Shang Gongzhi sneered, “Why?”

    Pei Chun said loudly, “Since Uncle Li’s martial arts has declined, you shouldn’t come to blows with him!”

    He said this righteously, and this argument Shang Gongzhi would never in his dreams have thought of! He was stupefied, thought, “That makes sense!” Then he reconsidered, “So I have to swallow my humiliation?” Then said, “That’s a story for later. According to the rules of the rivers and lakes, if you want to start out blocking my way, I first need to see what ability you have, then we’ll see if I dare to butt heads with you!”

    Pei Chun thought that was logical, and he thought Uncle Li’s affairs were the same as his master’s, so he agreed and said, “All right, how do you want to do it?”

    Shang Gongzhi knew the boy’s internal strength was profound, but he guessed that such a well-behaved youngster probably had yet to be taught Zhao Yunpo’s best martial arts, so he said, “We’ll exchange a few blows and then we’ll know, careful!” He raised his palms and struck out, but only slapped his cheek without harm.

    Southern Traitor was cunning by nature, so although he believed Pei Chun to be gullible, that first strike was just to feel him out, so he could see how Pei Chun dodged it to gauge his movement ability, and so as to be on his guard just in case Pei Chun had reached an unmatched level of skill, so his first attack was not that violent.

    Pei Chun’s mind in that split second was flooded with many moves he could employ, but he didn’t use any of them and “slap!”, his cheek was struck by Gongzhi’s palm!

    Southern Traitor Shang Gongzhi thought that Pei Chun had seen through his attack and knew it was not a vicious one, so had purposely let Gongzhi strike him, and he was alarmed and quickly jumped back ten feet.

    He looked and saw Pei Chun rubbing his cheek, staring blankly. One look and it was clear he had not thought of a way to ward of the attack, so afterward he was still in a daze. He couldn’t help laughing. “You don’t have the skill for this, better go back to your temple!”

    Pei Chun thought, “I knew a move to use to block it, so that even if he were able to avoid a fatal blow, it would still have been enough to at least break his arm! Master always told me not to rashly hurt or kill anyone, so how could I use that move?” He looked disheartened, and said, “Brother Shang, you’re right, I’m not cut our for this!” Actually, he couldn’t avoid thinking his martial arts was too good, how could that Shang Gongzhi with just a smattering of knowledge beat him?

    Shang Gongzhi thought to himself, “I never would have guessed this kid was so quick to heed advice!” He asked, “So, you’re not going?”

    Pei Chun said, “No, I’m going!”

    Shang Gongzhis temper flared, he thought is this kid purposely making fun of me? He said, “Then I still need to smack your mouth…” He leapt forward, extended his hand to slap him.

    This attack was the same as before, he thought Pei Chun would not believe he would use the same kind of attack again, so in his waiting to see if it really was the same, he would become flustered.

    Who knew that Pei Chun actually had no such misgivings, he had already thought up a way to strike back without wounding, so he raised his right palm toward his opponent’s meridian on his wrist. Shang Gongzhi saw this out and thought if he were to retract his arm, Pei Chun would take that opportunity to change, and if it wasn’t to strike out at a vital point on his chest, it would be a joint lock that could break his arm. He went cold, and dodged to the left. He suddenly felt five fingers grab his elbow and direct and guide it off to the left, and Shang Gongzhi couldn’t help flying twenty feet out. His feet struck the ground and he stabled himself.

    Pei Chun smiled, “Brother Shang was unable to smack my mouth!”

    This was the first time in Shang Gongzhi’s life that he had been checked by another and tossed twenty feet. He was alarmed and thought, “If he had used those five fingers to strike out with his internal energy, I would have suffered a serious internal injury, and my arm would have been a goner.” He said, “All right, that move shows you are worthy to be Master Yunpo’s disciple. Go on!”

    Pei Chun was happy. “Brother Shang, you’re not going to seek revenge?”

    Shang Gongzhi smiled. “There’s no hurry, after you leave Li Xingqiao I’ll go look for him. Now I’ll go find that unlucky Poor Family Gang!”

    Pei Chun thought for a moment, said, “Brother Shang, Can I go with you?”

    Shang Gongzhi smiled, “Why not? Let’s go!”

    So they both headed southeast together. Pei Chun had his own plan. He knew the Poor Family Gang were chivalrous, so they should help each other. Moreover, Shang Gongzhi said their chief, Simple Yu Jing’s martial arts was mediocre. If Shang Gongzhi really went looking for revenge, Uncle Li Xingqiao would understand, and would definitely not blame him for concerning himself with personal matters and heeding righteousness.

    That Shang Gongzhi, although he did not think of Pei Chun having this kind of noble and righteous heart, his goal all along was to lure Pei Chun into accompanying him so that he could look for an opportunity to use someone else to get rid of him.

    Several days later later reached the flat plains of the Jiangsu-Zhejiang region. This was Pei Chun’s first time seeing the sights of Jiangnan, it was beautiful as a painting, he was admiring and worry-free, and aside from this he had passed through several metropolises, flourishing, prosperous places, it was more than he could have dreamed. Today they were in Danyang. Shang Gongzhi had told him the Poor Family Gang moved about in Jiangnan, so although he did not yet know where their headquarters were set up, they would likely be able to ascertain Simple Yu Jing’s whereabouts within the city.

    With Danyang looming ahead, the two walked the main road and in the distance in front of the city gates they could make out some shops, before which stood two beggars.

    Shang Gongzhi studied them and not only made out that the two wore cotton bags slung on their backs, he could also see they were middle-aged, so their position within the beggar’s gang was probably not low, and he thought of a bad idea. Then he heard Pei Chun say, “Brother Shang, look, that red horse over there is really something!”

    Shang Gongzhi shifted his gaze to look. To the side of the road in the woods a magnificent red horse stood munching grass. Its saddle was resplendent, the reins had been left sitting on the saddle, not fastened to any tree trunk.

    He calculated, then said, “Brother Pei, that horse is called ‘Rouge’, it’s famous among the rivers and lakes, its owner is a girl, very pretty.”

    Pei Chun was rapt by this horse. He said, “What’s her family name? Is she well-known because her martial arts is so good?”

    Shang Gongzhi said, “Her family name is Yang, given name Lan, her nickname is ‘Poison Fox’, not only is her martial arts outstanding, she’s also vicious and dissolute…”

    Pei Chun heard “Poison Fox”, those two words, and he frowned, didn’t speak.

    Shang Gongzhi saw the look of detest on his face and was inwardly happy, he said, “Brother Pei, do you see those two beggars around the city gates?”

    Pei Chun nodded, and Shang Gongzhi continued, “those are two adepts of the Poor Family Gang. They had a custom of using the number of cloth bags on their backs to distinguish their rank. Those two beggars, since they look to be waiting, and the dishonorable ‘Poison Fox’ has also shown up in this place, you ought to know the crux of the situation?”

    Pei Chun looked afar, nodded. “I know! Those two beggar adepts have seven bags on their backs, if you hadn’t pointed it out I wouldn’t have known what those bags were for!”

    Shang Gongzhi heard him say the number of bags and it was difficult to believe, he thought, his own vision was extremely sharp, but he couldn’t make it out clearly, could this Pei Chun’s vision be stronger than his?

    But he said nothing. He just hurried over to the wood’s edge, through something, then withdrew. The “Rouge” horse came forward several steps, found the object, and swallowed it.

    Shang Gongzhi said, “I’ve never liked good, always taking a liking for cunning, teasing others, so the talismans in my bag are many. What I just threw was medicine, that horse has already swallowed it. Soon its stomach will be so pained it will be hard to endure, it’ll neigh and call out, it will certainly alarm that ‘Poison Fox’!”

    Pei Chun said, “Alarm her how?”

    Shang Gongzhi said, “When she sees her beloved horse in such a helpless state, she’ll certainly hunt out the reason, and when she does I’ll tell her it was those two beggars that did it!”

    Pei Chun suddenly understood. “You want her to quickly come out, and are wondering if those two beggar uncles can beat her?”

    Shang Gongzhi stared at him, thought, “He called those beggars ‘Uncle’, but only calls me ‘Brother’, am I lower than beggars?” But then he remembered his present plan, so although he was a bit annoyed, there was no need to care about that. He said, “They dare to wait for Poison Fox so they must have some confidence, but that Poison Fox’s martial arts is really vicious and superb, I can’t say who would win or lose between them! Even if those beggars’ skill is profound, but Poison Fox’s martial arts tactics aren’t afraid of him, they’re only afraid of one person!”

    Pei Chun was worried for the two beggars. He asked, “Who’s she afraid of?”

    Shang Gongzhi pointed at his own nose. “Me!” Then he took out a short sword inlaid and embedded with jewels, and said, “Her master was once wounded by my sword here, so if she sees this sword, you hide it in your sleeve, and when you pull it out, she’ll definitely scamper off like a frightened mouse!”

    When Pei Chun heard of the usefulness of this sword, he quickly took it.

    Shang Gongzhi said, “All right, let’s allocate our internal energy to make us sweat, and go sit under the trees. When she comes out she will think we are weary from traveling and went to rest in a cool place, that way she will believe what I tell her!”

    Just then the horse, Rouge, started neighing and kicking wildly, its wailing gradually getting more terrible.

    Pei Chun was afraid, said, “That horse won’t die will it, that would be too pitiful!”

    Shang Gongzhi said, “It won’t die. Hurry up and use your internal energy to start sweating!”

    The horse had not been hollering long before a slim girl came pouncing out of the woods and landed beside the horse. Rouge kicked and jumped, near to falling down, wailing without cease. Pei Chun saw her and detested her, so he stopped looking at her.

    After a bit he heard a girl call out “hey”, the sound graceful and clear in his ear.

    Shang Gongzhi responded, “Are you calling to us?”

    Pei Chun heard her say, “Yes, did you two see anyone come by here?”

    Shang Gongzhi said, “Not long ago two beggars walked by, they walked into the woods, then turned around and left!”

    Pei Chun didn’t hear the response, in the end his youthful temperament made him look up, and he saw standing before him a beautiful woman wearing all purple, a pipa strung on her back at a slant, it was also enclosed in a purple cloth bag.

    She was just turning back after looking off toward the city gates and her eyes fell on Pei Chun, she smiled coldly. “You mean those two?” Turns out as Pei Chun was avoiding looking at her, he had been facing the direction of the two beggars, to the purple-clad woman thought he was indicating them, so she felt no suspicion.

    Pei Chun saw her cold smile, her face clouded with thoughts of murder, yet still beautiful so that you could hardly look away from her. He thought, “This Poison Fox really is vicious and dissolute…”

    She didn’t wait for either of them to respond, but strode over to the city gates. Her movements were lithe and splendid, her movements quick yet did not disturb the air with any strong rushes of wind.

    They waited until she was more than a hundred feet away, they stood up and hurried off. They saw the purple-clad woman walk up to the two beggars and point at them and stamp her feet, cursing them, then she took down her pipa, slipped it out of its bag, then waved it around as if to hit them with it.

    The two beggars took out their own weapons to meet the attack, one was a seven-sectioned steel whip, the other used a long staff. The girl and the two beggars thus fought on the main road.

    The purple-clad girl’s pipa moves were eccentric, suddenly pounding, then suddenly sweeping, sometimes turning around to use a sharp point or tuning peg to strike at an acupoint, every move a vicious killing blow. The two beggars at first just defended, not attacking, but after several rounds they were beset by danger, having no choice to fight for their lives, and the whip shot out like an arrow, the staff launched a rapid attack, their skill was really profound, their moves refined, gradually bringing the contest to a more even footing.

    Shang Gongzhi led Pei Chun to an area forty feet away, hiding behind the corner of a building to watch the battle. He could see clearly now the seven bags the beggars carried, and he was startled. He thought, “If I had not earlier thought up a plan to get rid of Pei Chun, with his natural gifts, and after he gained some practice and experience, he definitely could rival the ‘Two Elders of the Central Plains’, Zhao Yunpo and Li Xingqiao.”

    By this time the three had fought a dozen rounds. The purple-clad girl launched a strange move, the head and tail of her pipa striking out suddenly at the two beggars. The one with the staff gave way and countered with a sweep of his staff, striking the center of the pipa and there was the sound of metal clashing, turns out the two weapons were both made of steel.

    In the midst of the clamor the pipa suddenly emitted a ray of gold light, hitting the whip-wielding beggar. This beggar flew back three steps, cried out pitifully, and said, “I’ve been hit by this Y-head’s poison needle!”

    The staff-wielding beggar cursed, “Ugly Y-head, you dare to use your ‘Scorpion Tail Golden Needle’ to hurt people, I’ll fight you to the death!” He brandished his staff and attacked fiercely.

    The purple-clad girl said coldly, “Wicked beggar, don’t think of trying to escape!”

    She quickly dodged the staff strike and her pipa swept out, but her move was only half completed when it suddenly changed direction and the other party was left to parry at the air, and at that moment a ray of golden light shot out from the belly of the pipa, striking the beggar’s “Upper Arm acupoint” on his arm, and he immediately dropped his steel staff, and cried out.

    The purple-clad took the opportunity to force the issue, her pipa pounded out violently, but the beggar couldn’t raise his right arm, he could only use his body skill to dodge the attack, and the other beggar had already been struck with a needle on an acupoint on his leg, so he couldn’t move it, so there was no way he could come to the rescue.

    Pei Chun saw the two beggars were on the verge of losing their lives and he was very anxious, he pounced out and said, “Poison Fox, don’t hurt them…”

    The purple-clad girl was taken aback, and she stepped away about a foot, turned and saw Pei Chun and said angrily, “Did you call me Poison Fox?”

    Pei Chun thought she didn’t like that nickname, so he said nothing more, but reached into his sleeve and took out the short sword, said, “Miss, perhaps you recognize this sword!”

    The purple-clad girl suddenly turned very calm, said slowly, “That’s Southern Traitor Shang Gongzhi’s Seven Treasure Heart Punishing Sword, am I right?”

    Pei Chun nodded and had not yet said anything when the purple-clad girl continued, “Those golden needles don’t contain poison, this is a star-extracting stone, catch!” She threw something, but it was thrown for the whip-wielding beggar to catch, actually her words had been directed at them.

    The beggar quickly used the star-extracting stone to extract the gold needles, then tossed the stone to the staff-wielding beggar.

    Pei Chun didn’t understand why the purple-clad girl had suddenly spoken to the beggars and helped them to remove the gold needles. He turned to look and Shang Gongzhi was nowhere in sight!

    He suddenly heard the purple-clad girl say coldly, “You leave your life behind!” Her voice shook the skies.

    Pei Chun was still waiting to respond, when he turned and saw the pipa smashing down toward the crown of his head, and he hurriedly stepped aside, but he was a bit to slow and “bang!”, the pipa came down on his arm and he immediately fell down.

    The two beggars howled in unison, brandished their weapons, and pounced, the whip and the staff at the same time slamming down toward Pei Chun. Although they angrily struck out, but Pei Chun had already fallen down, when the whip and the staff fell he quickly dodged away from the fatal blows, so as to avoid being smashed dead, of course.

    When the purple-clad girl and the two beggars saw Southern Traitor’s sword, then instantly knew it was part of “Southern Traitor’s” plan to kill them. So she had rescued the two beggars and they had together opened up against Pei Chun.


    [5] I’m testing out this translation, see what you all think. Originally it is 丫頭, literally Y-head. It originally referred to a maidservant because they wore their hair coiled in two buns, one on each side of their head, which looked like a Y, or in Chinese, the character 丫, which just happend to look the same as our letter Y. Now it is a derogatory term used for a girl. Li Xingqiao is using it playfully hear to indicate fake derision because she is being naughty. I’m trying out a literal translation because it works, but also because there isn’t really as good English equivalent.

  10. #30
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    Thanks whiteskwirl! Long chapter

    That Pei Chun kid reminds me of Guo Jing? from Condor Hero. Naive/honest to the point of being easily fooled. Lol. But then at the same time, it seems he have some Intelligence in him..?? O.o. Wouldnt be surprise if Pei Chun is just playing the fool and have plans to deal with evil Shang. Maybe he knew that his teacher doesnt have many days left and if evil Shang is left unwatch, he would do more evil; so he thought of a plan to accompany evil Shang to keep him in check?

    Otherwise, Pei Chun is too naive ):

  11. #31
    Senior Member whiteskwirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drak17 View Post
    Thanks whiteskwirl! Long chapter

    That Pei Chun kid reminds me of Guo Jing? from Condor Hero. Naive/honest to the point of being easily fooled. Lol. But then at the same time, it seems he have some Intelligence in him..?? O.o. Wouldnt be surprise if Pei Chun is just playing the fool and have plans to deal with evil Shang. Maybe he knew that his teacher doesnt have many days left and if evil Shang is left unwatch, he would do more evil; so he thought of a plan to accompany evil Shang to keep him in check?

    Otherwise, Pei Chun is too naive ):
    Well, it does say he planned to go with Shang to see the beggars so that he could stop Shang from getting revenge, so he is planning to keep him in check.

    Yeah, he is naive, but don't sumb like Guo Jing was. I suspect (and this is only a guess) that it's just because he has just now entered the jianghu; once he gets some experience I think he should wise up. That's the reason he was sent into the jianghu in the first place, but we'll just have to wait and see.

  12. #32
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    At first i liked Shang Gongzhi’s but now i realized he is one crafty fellow. I hope Pei Chun will learn something from him before they part ways cause he fell in that trap way too easy.

  13. #33
    Senior Member whiteskwirl's Avatar
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    Sep 2009

    Default Chapter 3: Flying Heaven Yaksha, Part 1

    Here is the first part of chapter 3. This story hasn't gotten the kind of response I was hoping for so far. I really want to read this novel and would have be several chapters ahead already if not for taking the time to translate, so if you guys are interested in this story you need to let me know, otherwise there's little point in continuing. I did two whole chapters, over 20,000 words in one week, that's a lot of time invested that I could have used to just read on my own. Nothing personal to anyone, and thanks to those who have commented. If you all want this translation to continue, let me know.

    Chapter 3: The Flying Heaven Yaksha

    Pei Chun moved out of the way six or seven feet and jumped to his feet, the purple-clad girl and the two beggars not able to conceal their surprise, they all knew the hit he had taken was no trivial matter, if it had been a stone it would have been cracked, but he was able to get up, not even dropping his short sword, that kind of skill was really shocking!

    Pei Chun was badly shaken, his shoulder hurting like hell, not sure if the muscles or bones had been injured, but at that moment anger oozed forth, replacing his initial alarm.

    The purple-clad girl shouted, “State your name you little traitor!”

    Pei Chun didn’t know she had taken him for the “Southern Traitor’s” disciple, he just felt she was sinister and overbearing, he definitely wasn’t going to show her any weakness, but he didn’t know why those two beggars has also attacked him. He was honest and naive by nature, but not cowardly, and he had often heard his teacher mention the fortitude exhibited by many elders of the martial fraternity, it was really a case of “cannot be subdued by force, wealth and rank are no temptation.” So he squared his shoulders and said, “I am Pei Chun…”

    The purple-clad girl sneered, “Enough, this girl is going to take your life!”

    The two beggars closed in and the one wielding the staff shouted, “Is Southern Traitor Shang Gongzhi your teacher?”

    Pei Chun was shocked, he thought, “So they think I am Shang Gongzhi’s disciple.” But he hadn’t yet responded when a gust of wind struck out at his midsection, it was the purple-clad girl making a sneak attack. But he was already on his guard and leaned his upper body to the side, extended his hand and reached out and struck at her wrist at the location of her pulse.

    This move extremely profound, at that time his position was such that he was half-sure not to slip up, but if he was just a little too fast then he would miss her wrist, if he were a thread too slow he would catch her wrist, but he would also certainly take a hit from her iron pipa. The purple-clad girl cried out in surprise, it was already too late for her to withdraw her hand, nor could she dodge her arm away, she had no alternative but to charge forward.

    They clashed together, the purple-clad girl colliding into his chest, her pretty face grazing his nose, a scent of orchid wafting into his nostrils.

    Pei Chun at this time was even quicker than the purple-clad girl, he thrust his chest out and knocked her back six or seven steps, and she stumbled and fell down.

    The two beggars had not clearly seen Pei Chun’s exquisite move, instead they all thought Pei Chun had taken liberties with her in colliding with her, and they flew into a rage, iron staff and steel whip lashing out as they roared in anger. Thwack thwack, and the staff and whip both hit Pei Chun, was hurled back ten feet, but he had just hit the ground when he jumped up again, apparently uninjured.

    The purple-clad girl charged him, scolding him out of anger and embarrassment, “You little traitor, have a taste of my poison needle!” She raised her pipa and aimed it at Pei Chun, and a ray or golden light shot out. Pei Chun leaned to the side, and the golden needle grazed past his clothes at the waist. They were only five feet apart, avoiding hidden weapons was not easy at this distance, much less this kind of tiny spring-loaded hidden weapon, which were fast and powerful, difficult even to see as they came at you.

    The purple-clad girl sneered, “See if you can dodge several!” And three more rays of golden light shot out.

    Pei Chun did a somersault and completely avoided the needles! But the purple-clad girl was prepared for this, another ray of gold light shot out, and just as Pei Chun’s feet landed he suddenly felt a minute pain in his foot, like a mosquito had bitten him, and he immediately closed off his acupoint and ran off with big strides, in no time taking cover behind a building on the roadside.

    The purple-clad girl humphed, looked at the beggars, said, “That little traitor’s been hit by my scorpion-tail golden needle, he won’t live longer than six hours!”

    The two beggars were of a chivalrous nature, clearly distinguishing between right and wrong, so although this matter was enough to make one furious, there was still no need to take someone’s life. They didn’t say anything.

    The purple-clad girl said, “I warned him before I shot out the poison needle, you both heard it!”

    The two beggars thought that was correct, both nodded. The staff-wielder said, “Miss Yang, I’ve heard your horse, Rouge, can cover a thousand-li in a single day, it’s a steed without peer in this world, it must possess quite clever, so what happened to it?”

    The purple-clad girl pouted her lips, her expression very cute, and said, “I don’t know, he was rolling around on the ground, howling, I…I…” She suddenly stopped and looked like she was about to cry.

    Just then the sound of hooves approached, the three turned to look, and a red shadow like a dashing arrow shot toward them, soon coming to a stop beside the purple-clad girl, it was none other than the horse they had been talking about, “Rouge”. The purple-clad girl squealed with delight. The horse looked strong and vigorous as always, apparently nothing wrong with it.

    The whip-wielding beggar’s face dropped. “Miss Yang, your precious horse is in good health, you should give the antidote to that Pei youngster!” Although his face was solemn, his tone of voice remained gentle.

    The purple-clad girl didn’t look at him, leapt up on the horse, said, “I was just going to.” She kicked with her heels and the horse galloped off, soon already far away.

    to be continued...

  14. #34
    Senior Member whiteskwirl's Avatar
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    Default Chapter 3, Part 2

    Chapter 3, Part 2

    Pei Chun ran to the desolate outskirts of the town, about five or six li out, when he suddenly felt his right leg go numb and he fell to the ground, knowing this needle’s poison was devastating. Even though he had used all his strength to block his meridians and channels, the course of his running had allowed the toxins to spread so that now his entire leg had lost feeling.

    He turned his head and saw that most of the area along the road was flatland. If someone pursued him he would be able to see them from a long ways off. With the potency of that scorpion-tail golden needle, he would be dead sooner or later, but he couldn’t fall into someone else’s hands lest he suffer humiliation at the hands of that venomous woman before he died. So he looked for a place to take cover. Ahead and to the left was a thicket of short dense shrubs he used to hide in for a while.

    By this time Pei Chun could no longer stand up and walk, so he had to crawl forward, being careful not to leave tracks in the dirt. After crawling for a few feet he came to a hole ten feet long and about four feet deep. Pei Chun recalled how he had seen hunters in the mountains dig holes to snare prey, and he crawled with all his might. Going past the hole, he collected several dried branches and leaves and came back, first laying out the sticks over the hole, then covering them with the leaves, then finally sprinkling dirt over the top. Soon, only the last two feet of the hole remained uncovered. But he had used up all his sticks and leaves, so he crawled back for more, when suddenly a faint sound of hooves was heard in the distance> he listened closely and confirmed it was definitely a horse galloping toward him.

    Pei Chun didn’t have time to worry about the incomplete part of his plan, but hurriedly crawled into the bushes. Although his leg was numb, his hands still had their full power, so his movements were still quick and agile, and in no time he had drilled his way into the thicket.

    The purple-clad girl was riding Rouge, fast as lightning, and in the blink of an eye she had reached the area around the hole. Horse and rider at that moment were in the midst of jumping in front of the hole, but when the horse’s hooves landed, who would have expected them to touch air, not real ground, the horse fell.

    The purple-clad girl somersaulted off the saddle and fell. Although it was not a hard landing, yet she couldn’t avoid getting dirt all over herself, and Rouge with a single leap jumped out of the hole, fortunately having not broken any of its legs! The purple-clad girl looked at the dried sticks and leaves in the hole and was enraged, and not bothering to dust herself off, leapt onto the horse and scanned the area, knowing Pei Chun must be hiding in the bushes somewhere.

    She hurried her horse along and curse in a sharp voice, “Little traitor, get your *** out here! Today I’m going to tear your body into a thousand pieces to quell the hate in my heart…” She knew how powerful her “scorpion-tail golden needles” were, even if his internal skill was deeply profound it would be difficult to have escaped far, and he definitely would not have had time to lay a trap, so it was clear this Pei Chun had a way to dispel the poison. Now her murderousness was at its peak, she had completely forgotten she had originally ridden out here to give him the antidote.

    Pei Chun, hiding under the dense layer of shrubs, heard clearly but paid no mind at first, but then he heard her venomous invective and his sense of pride was roused. How could he shrink up under a girl’s insults? His hero heart rising, he went to stand up when his throat suddenly felt parched, his head ached and his bones were sore, and he cried out to himself, “I’m done for!” He closed his eyes, his chestful of heroism completely gone!

    The purple-clad girl was came quickly from afar, then was close, she was clearly searching for him. After closing his eyes, thoughts of recent experiences flitted through Pei Chun’s mind. Suddenly he thought of one thing, and he opened his eyes and reached into his clothes and took out a dark green pearl.

    This was the pearl that Shang Gongzhi, out of a sudden show of kindness, had entrusted to Pei Chun to deliver to the girl always with Flying Heaven Yaksha Bo Le, the “Warding-Off Poison Pearl”. But he didn’t know he had to put it in his mouth and it would automatically begin forcing the poison out. He was dumbfounded for a moment, and then tentatively held the pearl to his wound.

    In no time the pearl began to change color magically. Pei Chun first felt his headache and throat pain go away, then feeling gradually returned to his leg, until the pearl resumed its original dark green color. He removed the pearl and looked, and the needle tip was projecting out of his flesh. He pulled it out and saw there was nothing unusual about it, threw it on the ground. He tried to regulate his qi, and although he could circulate it through his entire channel tracts, it was much weaker than it had been before.

    Now the purple-clad girl’s voice was far away, so he scurried out of the bushes and faced the opposite direction he had come, walked two hundred feet or so, then heard the sound of hooves coming toward him from far off, and he thought she had already spotted him from behind. Pei Chun took off running with everything he had, but felt his speed was worse than before, and his wounded leg was still weak. Behind him the sound of cursing, the hoofbeats now distinct, soon they were very near.

    Just then, a white shadow flashed, he raised his eyes to look, and a crescent of river lay before him. Although it was not wide, it seemed quite deep. He ran to the bank and turned his head to look, and saw the purple-clad girl and the red horse already within two hundred feet of him, and his sharp eyes could clearly see she the furious expression on her face.

    to be continued...

  15. #35
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    Thanks whiteskwirl, please carry on.

  16. #36
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    Thanks for the chapters

  17. #37
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    Nice. Two updates! Thanks

    Lol. I think the market for novels is pretty competitive right now. Majority favors Xianxia over traditional Wuxia. The reigning cham

  18. #38
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    **Reigning champion is Coiling Dragon atm, and then Zhan Long and all these others Xianxia/Virtual Game. The customer base is on the orher websites, lol. So not many people are still here, besides us who also favor Wuxia. ;-;. Btw, on mobile so they won't let me edit the first post, sorry for double posting!

    How many chapters/volume for this novel?

  19. #39
    Senior Member whiteskwirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drak17 View Post
    Nice. Two updates! Thanks

    Lol. I think the market for novels is pretty competitive right now. Majority favors Xianxia over traditional Wuxia. The reigning cham
    Well, I'm not going to compete with anyone. If I don't a good response I'll just stop, no big deal to me. I could read a lot faster that way after all.

    spcnet just isn't as good as it used to be anyway, just the way things go. It's too bad that Jin Yong and Gu Long was all anyone cared about for so long, now that most of their major works are translated, it feels like everyone thinks that's it for the genre, when actually there are a lot of great wuxia authors and books out there few have heard of. I guess I'll just have to enjoy wuxia on my own.

  20. #40
    Senior Member whiteskwirl's Avatar
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    Sep 2009

    Default Chapter 3, Part 3

    Chapter 3, Part 3

    Pei Chun was honest and naive, he just smiled and leapt into the river, held his breath and swam to the bottom. He had decided to hide at the bottom and wait until she couldn’t take the wait anymore and left the riverbank, but staying at the bottom would be tough without holding onto a rock or something to keep himself from floating back to the surface. His right hand still held the Warding-Off Poison Pearl, which hampered his ability to move about in the water, so he put the pearl in his mouth.

    After a while, he slowly floated to the surface. As soon as his eyes were out of the water he saw a gold ray of light coming at him and he quickly sank back down to the bottom.

    The golden needle shot into the water and was about to strike his nose when the friction of the water dispersed its momentum and it floated harmlessly in the water. Pei Chun thought to himself how close that was, and he kept sinking down to the bottom. His legs suddenly touched a large stone and stuck the tip of one foot in a crevice in the stone, and he calmed his mind and spirit, urged his internal energy to travel throughout his body through all his meridians, and his mind became clear and all his myriad worries dispersed, and he had entered the realm of no-self.

    The purple-clad girl rode Rouge up and down the bank of the river, watching for him for close to an hour, but there was absolutely no movement in the water and she thought, that little traitor maybe hid at the bottom and sailed downstream, he’s probably already escaped. She hatefully urged her horse on downstream, looking for a shallow place where she could cross.

    Pei Chun, at the bottom of the river, circulated his energy, his every pore naturally respiring, more unimpeded than in the past when he had breathed with his nose and mouth. In this state of no-self he was unaware, until his entire body was full of true energy, and then he suddenly snapped out of it and felt faintly odd, wondering how long he had been in a trance, and he still didn’t feel stuffy, he didn’t know the reason. He thought about it. It had already been a long time, the purple-clad girl had surely gone by now, so he slowly resurfaced.

    He looked around and saw no trace of the purple-clad girl or the red horse. He swam to the shore.

    On the bank a little grey light flew by, just in time as he lifted his arm out the water, revealing his ribs. Pei Chun felt his right torso’s “Armpit Abyss” acupoint suddenly ache, and his entire right side suddenly went numb. This was no small matter and it scared him, he began circulating his energy, urging his blood to move, and lifted his eyes to look, and on the bank there sat on a rock a person, looking at him coldly.

    Pei Chun’s blood circulated and the numbness in his side dissipated at once. At this time he had already reached a shallow area and he stood up. The person sitting on the rock was young, with sword eyebrows and tiger eyes, handsome and dignified, wearing refined yet understated scholar clothes, and on his back was tied a bamboo hat along with an ebony wooden staff.

    The scholar’s face looked vexed, he shouted, “Why were you hiding at the bottom of the river?”

    Pei Chun also felt vexed, thinking there sure were a lot of busybodies in the world, and his acupoint had been struck by a pebble! No wonder Master wanted me to enter the mundane world of the rivers and lakes to get some experience and practice! He had yet to open his mouth to speak when the scholar continued, “Did you see a purple-clad girl riding a red horse pass by here?”

    Pei Chun stared blankly, thinking this person must be in cahoots with “Poison Fox” Yang Lan, no wonder he was so harsh and unreasonable! He said, “I saw her, but I don’t know which way she was headed!” He still had the Warding-Off Poison Pearl in his mouth, so his words came out garbled.

    The scholar thought he was still numb from getting hit by the pebble on his acupoint, which had affected his throat muscles so that he talked funny, so he was not suspicious. He said to himself, “That girl’s horse can travel a thousand li in a single day, yet Master sent us to protect her. So hard to see even her shadow, one turn and she’s gone!” He said to Pei Chun, “Come here!”

    Pei Chun walked over, spitting out the pearl into his right palm and putting it back in his bag. The scholar saw him do this so effortlessly, so he knew he had also freed his own acupoint. He frowned, shook his hand, and three pebbles shot out at the vital points at Pei Chun’s chest and waist.

    At this point they were close to each other, and the scholar did not give any warning before launching the pebbles, which shot out at his “Walking Corridor”, “Supreme Unity”, and “Great Luminance” acupoints.

    Pei Chun’s body shook a few times, but he remained standing firmly. The pebbles’ force had been dispel by Pei Chun’s shaking, his three acupoints had not been hit at all! The scholar was shocked. He jumped down to a level area on the bank and took down his bamboo hat and ebony staff, and with a loud voice shouted, “You’re really a master of the martial fraternity, sir, I have slighted you gravely, please show me a few pointers!”

    He held the bamboo hat in his left hand like a shield, he held the staff in his right, the handsome face going slightly green.

    How could Pei Chun fight with him on the riverbank? He thought, the affairs of this world are really hard to settle, no wonder Master tirelessly told me, said people among the rivers and lakes are crafty and wicked beyond guessing, and had especially had personally gain experience, like the many mishaps he had suffered today. If he had not encountered this stuff personally, he would not have believed in these kinds of encounters if someone had told him.

    to be continued...

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