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Thread: Flying Dagger, The Flying Dagger Reappears 《飛刀,又見飛刀》 - Gu Long

  1. #1
    Senior Member whiteskwirl's Avatar
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    Default Flying Dagger, The Flying Dagger Reappears 《飛刀,又見飛刀》 - Gu Long

    Flying Dagger, The Flying Dagger Reappears


    Gu Long

    Table of Contents
    Regarding the Flying Dagger
    Part 1 - The Wanderer's Blood and Tears
    Chapter 1
    Chapter 2
    Chapter 3
    Chapter 4
    Chapter 5
    Part 2 - The Past Nine Years Went Like Smoke
    Chapter 1
    Part 3 - A Battle to Melt the Soul
    Chapter 1
    Part 4 - The Price
    Chapter 1
    Chapter 2
    Part 5 - Moonlight Like Snow, Moonlight Like Blood
    Chapter 1
    Chapter 2
    Chapter 3

    Since there is currently a new TV adaptation, I thought might as well start a translation of the novel. This is the only story in the Dagger Li series not to be translated. Although Gu Long only dictated this while Ding Qing wrote it, I still think it's worth translating.

    Wulin Waishi is still my main project and will be unaffected by this one. This is a secondary project and so updates will be slower.
    Last edited by whiteskwirl; 12-08-16 at 01:02 PM.

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    Senior Member whiteskwirl's Avatar
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    Default Regarding the Flying Dagger



    Dao (knife, dagger, sabre) is not just a weapon, its ranked first among the Eighteen Weapons.

    But in a way it is inferior to the jian (double-edged sword), it lacks the swords elegance, mystery, and romance, and is not as esteemed as the sword.

    A sword sometimes is a gorgeous ornament, at other times is symbol of identity and status.

    The dao is not.

    The sword is graceful, belonging to nobles, the dao rather belongs to the common people.

    The sword is associated with the imperial court, with the deep remote mountains, or among white clouds.

    The dao is closely linked with human existence.

    A person comes into the world and begins by having his umbilical cord cut by scissors (jiandao), and then cannot be rid of dao: they are used to cut vegetables, for farming, to cut cloth, to cut hair, to trim ones beard, to trim ones nails, to cut meat, to gut fish, to cut cigars, to give warning, to flaunt ones strength, to execute criminalsnone of these things can be done without a dao.

    You cant live life without a dao, its as vital to life as rice or water.

    Whats strange is that in peoples mind the dao is far more ruthless, violent, ferocious, savage, and more staunchly fearsome than the sword.


    There are many kinds of dao: broadsword, twin sabres, pudao, monks knife, sawtooth sabre, machete, executioners sabre (ghost-head sabre), goosequill sabre, Five Phoenix Rising Sun Sabre, Fish Scale Golden Sabre.

    The flying dagger is another kind, and though it is seldom written about in the official histories, yet this just adds to its mystery and legend.

    As for whether the push dagger counts as a dao, I cant say.


    Li Xunhuan is a fictional character, and his Little Li Flying Dagger of course is fictional as well.

    Everyone believes there couldnt be a real-life Li Xunhuan in the world, nor could there be such a weapon as the Little Li Flying Dagger.

    Because this character is too chivalrous, always yielding to others, and this weapon is too mysterious and fantastical, already so unrealistic.

    Because the reality people talk about is that of the living modern age, not Li Xunhuans age.

    So whether or not Li Xunhuan and his Little Li Flying Dagger are fictional or not is unimportant, whats important is whether or not this character can live in the hearts of readers and resonate with them, whether or not he can share with the reader grief, happiness, and allow them to laugh together.


    At first no one knew what Li Xunhuan and his flying dagger looked like, but after being put to film, they became more symbolic, more popularized.

    From every viewpoint what is popular is considered common, what is common is far away from literature and art.

    But I always felt there was nothing wrong with popularization in this modern society.

    Its better than hiding alone in your ivory tower crying to yourself.


    Concerning Li Xunhuan and his flying dagger is this novel, Flying Dagger, The Flying Dagger Reappears. Of course it is closely linked to Li Xunhuans story.

    But there are some big differences between them.

    Though these two stories are tales of gratitude and revenge set within the same two generations of Li Xunhuan, yet each completely stands on its own.

    Little Li Flying Daggers story has been told many times on stage and the silver screen, and his story has been told in many novels already, this Flying Dagger story has already been made into a movie, the novel is just now being written.


    This is just like The Eleventh Son, first there was a movie, then there was a novel.

    This circumstance can avoid a lot of unnecessary plotlines and make the story simpler, and give it more twists and turns.

    Because film is an entire production, consuming who knows how many peoples sweat and blood, consuming who knows how much material and financial resources.

    So the frame of mind when writing the novelization to a movie is completely different [than writing a novel from scratch].


    Fortunately, there are two similarities between these two kinds of novels, they both hope to please the reader and arouse sympathy with him.

    I think that is one of my main goals when writing a novel.

    Of course its not my only goal.


    Theres one other thing I must make clear.

    Right now my wrist injury is not yet healed, I cant write a lot at once, so I can only dictate and ask someone else to write it for me.

    This way of writing is something I was never willing to do before.

    Because this way of writing will often overlook a lot of details with regard to language and story, and lacks the personal touch when depicting human nature, sentimental feelings.

    At the very least it wont have that meticulous, indirect sentiment, the deep thoughts and feelings.

    Of course the writing will lack a bit, because the exquisiteness of Chinese writing is as exquisite man of letters sentiment.


    Fortunately, I need not apologize to you because with this way of writing the plot will be more smooth and tight, it wont be clumsy, boring, or longwinded.

    And clumsy, boring, and longwinded is an old shortcoming of mine often seen in my novels.

    February 12, 1981, during convalescence,

    not because of alcoholism. Not under the influence of alcohol.

  3. #3
    Senior Member whiteskwirl's Avatar
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    Default Preface


    In former years during a violent time of vicious turmoil, among the jianghu a flying dagger suddenly appeared, no one knew its form or style, and no one could describe its power and speed.

    In the eyes of men it was already not only a weapon that could quell unrest, but was a symbol of justice and honor. This kind of power of course was the greatest and strongest, invincible.

    Later, after the turmoil had subsided, it disappeared, like the surging waves disappear in a calm, peaceful sea.

    But everyone knew that if another disturbance began within the jianghu, it would appear again, and as before would give people inexhaustible faith and hope.

  4. #4
    Senior Member whiteskwirl's Avatar
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    Default Prologue



    Duan Bafang was seven foot, nine inches tall (Chinese units of measure), a hard as nails fellow strong as thirteen men, no one in the world could match him.

    Duan Bafang this year was fifty-one years old. At thirty he was already commanding the seven major sects north of the Yangzi River, forty-two camps, and controlled the four major security agency chiefs. His fame and influence flourished, he was unequaled for a time.

    So far he was beyond a doubt one of the most important figures among the jianghu, and there were few whose wugong could compare to his.

    However, last year three days before New Years Eve an extremely strange thing happened to him.

    What it was almost no one would believe.


    Duan Bafang on that day was scared to death by a piece of white paper that contained merely a drawing of a small dagger.


    Three days before New Years Eve, the year quickly approaching its end, the new year just around the corner.

    During that time everyone who was away from home had only one thing on his mind, to return home.

    Duan Bafang was no exception.

    He had just intervened to settle one of the biggest disputed in the jianghu in the last ten years and had received the heartfelt gratitude and praise of the Thirteen major sects of Huaiyang, and had drank the Luzhou wine they had specially prepared for him, he drank no less than six catties.

    He was just exiting Zhenhai Tavern with his friends and retinue when his entire body flushed with heat. From his point of view his life was like a bottomless cup of fine wine just waiting for him to slowly enjoy.

    But then he suddenly died.

    You could say he died under his own knife, as if his life had already completely lost all interest for him.


    For someone like that to end up like he did, who would have thought it.


    Duan Bafang died after receiving a letter. There was no address, nor any signature.

    The letter contained no words at all, only a drawing of a small dagger drawn with an old worn-out brush on a piece of especially large paper. From the drawing no one could make out the style of the dagger nor its form, but everyone could tell it was a dagger.

    The letter was delivered by a down-and-out youth, on the road in the gloomy night, though there was a little faint light, yet no one could make out the persons appearance or face.

    Luckily everyone could tell it was a person.


    He walked out from the gloomiest street, walking very well-behaved.

    Then he very mannerly walked up to Duan Bafang and respectfully handed him the letter with both hands.

    Then Duan Bafangs face changed, as if someone had suddenly jabbed him in the throat with a red-hot iron bar.

    Then everyones face changed, becoming more strangely grotesque than even Duan Bafangs.

    Because everyone saw Duan Bafang suddenly draw a knife and with a well-practiced, fast and nimble motion brutally stabbed the knife into his own belly, as if he were taking out his most hated enemy.

    Who could explain something like this?

    If that incident was inexplicable, then what happened to Duan Bafang next was even more inexplicable, more unbelievable, more unimaginable.


    Duan Bafang died violently in the street three days before New Years Eve, but on the first day of the New Year he was perfectly alive.

    To put it another way, Duan Bafang didnt die three days before New Years Eve, but rather died on the evening of the first day of the New Year.

    A person only has one life, Duan Bafang was a person, how could he die twice?


    Who knew where the youth who delivered the letter had went? Duan Bafang, seven feet, nine inches tall, weighing a hundred-forty-three jin, imposing and strong, already lay in a pool of blood.

    No one could do anything, who could say anything?

    The first to speak was the calm and quick-witted Second Master Tu, one of the Three Gallants of Huaiyang.

    Quick, quick go find a doctor! he said.

    Actually, he already knew finding a doctor was already no use, what they really need right now was a coffin.


    The coffin was sped double-time over land and sea, shipped back to Duan Bafangs hometown, it was already dusk.

    Dusk of the first day of the New Year.

    First day of the New year, mothers hands slick with oil, childrens joyful faces.

    First day of the New Year, new clothes, fresh flowers, wintersweet, fresh fruit, firecrackers, dumplings, foil ingots, New Year money for the children.

    First day of the New Year, wish blessings, happiness, the sound of laughter.

    First day of the New Year was a day of many variations and many festivities, but Bafang Manor received a coffin.

    This coffin, though worth over a thousand taels of silver, after all it was still a coffin.

    At that moment, not having a coffin was absolutely better than having one.


    Bafang Manor was extensive. Large in scope, row upon row of houses, who knew how many buildings and how many storeys.

    Bafang Manos main entrance was two zhang four chi tall, one zhang eight chi wide, red lacquered and adorned with gold rings, stone lions out front.

    The coffin was carried in through this entrance, carried in on long poles by thirty-six hefty men.

    Thirty-six hefty men wearing white hemp mourning clothes, white cloth belts, barefoot in straw sandals, carrying the shiny black-lacquered coffin inside the compound, then slowly backing out. They backtracked a hundred-fifty-six steps before exiting the main gate.

    Then the big gate was immediately shut.

    From the rear compound thirty-six men with quick, short steps ran out, lifted the coffin, and carried it back to the rear compound.

    After the rear compound was another rear compound.

    After the rear compound after the rear compound was another rear compound.

    Within the deepest, final compound, the courtyard was deep, deep and dark like ink.

    Within the inkcolored courtyard only a single lamplight, a single lamplight setting off a sheet of pale white.

    A mourning hall was always like that, always pale white like that.

    Thirty-six hefty men brought the coffin into the mourning hall and placed it before the pale-white widow and children, then they began their retreat, going back with short, quick steps.

    They didnt exit doorway.

    From the hands of the widow and children who looked like they could be blown over by a gust of wind suddenly shot out dozens of light yellow light, and the thirty-six hefty men, hard as lions, all fell down.

    Once they fell they were dead.

    They were dead as soon as their bodies hit the ground, once down they would not ever get up again.


    Duan Bafang had a wife, of course only one wife.

    Duan Bafang had concubines, twenty-nine of them.

    Duan Bafang had sons, forty of them.

    Duan Bafang had daughters, sixteen of them.

    Now in the mourning hall, aside from his wife, concubines, children, all eighty-six of them, there were two other people.

    Those two people seemed to be very, very, very old, like they should have already died many, many, many times already. Their faces were completely devoid of expression.

    Only blade scars, no expressions.

    But every blade scar could be considered a kind of expression, expressions depicting the complicated sorrows from the glint and flash of cold steel, the ardor of love and hate, gratitude and enmity of past events.

    Thousands upon thousands of blade scars, were thousands upon thousands of expressions.

    Thousands upon thousands of expressions became no expression.


    The dark courtyard originally had only a single lamplight, within the mourning hall. Before the bier, on the spirit table.

    Suddenly, a dismal cold breeze blew in and extinguished the lamplight.

    When the lamp was re-lit, the coffin was gone.


    The secret room was constructed from gray stone bricks, gray like the bones of the dead.

    The lamplight was also this color.

    The two old people lifted the coffin and entered, the entrance to the secret room closing automatically behind them. They carefully set the coffin down and quietly looked at it. The blade scars and wrinkles on their faces seemed deeper, as if they had already interweaved to form a desolate and plaintive pattern.

    They quietly stood there and watched for a long time, no one could decipher the patterns of their faces, so no one knew what they were thinking, what they wanted to do.

    They did something that no one would have ever expected.

    Because they suddenly bashed their heads against the stone wall.


    The lamplight flickered like ghost fire.

    The lid of the coffin unexpectedly moved, lightly and slowly, then from within the coffin a hand extended.

    The hand lightly and slowly pushed open the coffin, then Duan Bafang got out and stood up.

    He looked around the secret room, his face revealing a satisfied and complacent smile.

    Because he knew he was now absolutely safe.

    Right now among the jianghu everyone knew he had cut his own throat and died in the street, all the enmity from old enemies when he was alive had disappeared along with his death.

    Now no one would pursue him to seek vengeance, because he was already dead.

    A dead man who was alive and well in the world. Of course this secret couldnt leak out, but every person who knew this secret was now dead, really dead.

    Whose mouth was more reliable than the mouth of a dead man?

    Duan Bafang let out a long sigh and pulled a copper ring on the stone wall, opening another secret door. His face suddenly changed.

    He assumed he would be looking at previously-prepared food, water and wine, clothing, and household utensils.

    But he didnt see any of that.

    He assumed he would never again see someone pursue him to seek vengeance.

    But he did see one.


    His face changed horribly, but his bodily functions didnt change.

    His muscles elasticity and his resourceful wugong was maintained at its peak state, at any time under any circumstance he could pierce the belly of a mosquito with a needle.

    Such a pity that this time his reaction was not quick enough.

    By the time he started moving he already saw the blade flash.

    A flying dagger.

    He knew he had seen the flying dagger that no matter what he did, no matter how he tried to dodge, he could not dodge it.

    So he died.

    A person using his own prepared knife to stab his own stomach, even though blood filled the ground, hes not necessarily really dead.

    A knife can be fitted with a spring mechanism.

    But the one he saw this time was a flying dagger, the flying dagger that never misses.

    So this time he really died.


    As a result, the flying dagger reappeared among the jianghu.

    Last edited by whiteskwirl; 12-08-16 at 10:30 AM.

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    Senior Member Ilovewuxia's Avatar
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    Thank you.

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    Thank you.

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    Senior Member whiteskwirl's Avatar
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    Default Part 1, Chapter 1




    A mountain town.

    This small town in the distant mountains, the distant mountains a thousand li away.


    Li Huai returned, returned to the town.

    The loess sandstorms and the people here he had long since become accustomed to.

    Because he had grown up here. He was a wanderer, he had no roots, his childhood was merely a series of nightmares, but among his nightmares what he could not forget the most was this place.


    A steamed bun shop doesnt necessarily just sell steamed buns, when people started calling him Old Zhang he wasnt even old.

    But he was old now.

    Every day he used his dim weak eyes, watching the sand dust roll through, appearing like the marvels that would always happen at any time along this street that he had lived on for decades.

    A marvel he never would have dreamed of really happened today.


    He saw a travel-worn and weary youth wearing dust-beaten clothes lazily stroll to the entrance of his small steamed bun shop.

    The steamed bun basket was piping hot with white steam, blurring Old Zhangs old eyes.

    He could only tell the youth was a good-looking young man, with a pair of sharp eyes, a very special appearance. Old Zhang had never seen such an appearance, he would dare say the youth had never been to this place before.

    Sir, Old Zhang asked, The stove has not been turned on yet, but the stuffed buns, steamed buns, and pot-stewed dishes are all ready, what would you like to eat, sir?

    I want to eat you.

    The young man spoke each word in a soft, mild voice. These words really shocked Old Zhang.

    You want to eat me? Old Zhang was simply petrified. Why do you want to eat me? Whats so tasty about me?

    Of course youre tasty, the young man said. If I didnt eat you, how could I have survived until now?

    Old Zhang looked at him in shock, then suddenly laughed, laughed loudly, laughed happily.

    So its you, you little bastard! Old Zhang smiled and all the wrinkles on his face folded up. You used to eat me everyday, ate me for many years. I havent seen you in many years, yet you still want to eat me?

    If I dont eat you who will I eat?

    The young man was really extreme, not only his words, but his actions as well.

    He really opened the steamed bun basket on Old Zhangs stall and took out every steamed and stuffed bun and ate every one.

    You really ate them?

    Of course I really ate them.

    Old Zhang laughed, Do you remember your eleventh birthday, when you snuck in here late at night and ate how many stuffed buns? I never would have guessed today you would eat even more.

    Ive been practicing.

    This young mans smile seemed to become somewhat pained, A person who has been starving for six months cant practice much else, but he can always practice this.

    Go ahead and eat! Old Zhang sighed willfully. Go ahead and eat, anyway Im already used to you eating.

    Youre of course also used to not receiving my money.

    Since youre already in the habit of not giving it, of course I must be in the habit of not receiving it. Old Zhang forced a smile, Anyway I I couldnt take any.


    But Old Zhangs tone was a bit different from how he usually said it.

    Because he suddenly saw something he rarely saw.

    In the street where sand dust rolled there were suddenly four round faces, round eyes, round hairbunned children, wearing big red round gowns, with glistening yellow gold rings around their necks, on their wrists a pair of shiny jade bracelets, and gold hoop earrings. They carried round plates in their round, white, plump little hands, and on the round plates was piled countless round gold ingots. With round smiles and round dimples that walked toward the steamed bun shop.

    Old Zhang was stunned.

    He had never seen such people in these parts.

    But the round little kids didnt just walk over to the shop, but carried the four plates of gold ingots to the front of the shop.

    Old Zhang looked at the pile of round gold ingots on the plates and his eyes were also round.

    Whats all this? he asked the young man. Dont tell me these ingots were sent here by you?

    Ingots? What ingots? Where are there ingots? I dont see a single ingot!

    Then what do you see? Old Zhang stared intensely at the feigning-ignorant young man. If what you see arent ingots then what are they?

    I only see steamed buns, the young man said. Its just a shame the steamed buns you gave me saved my life, while the steamed buns Im giving you cant be eaten.

    I understand what you mean.

    Old Zhang sighed for real this time.

    You want to repay me. You once said you would repay me a hundred, no a thousand times over, Old Zhang said. I believed there would come a day when you would be able to do it, but now I somewhat cant believe it.


    Because I cant believe a young kid like you in just these few short years could amass a wealth such as this.

    The young man was handsome, but his whole face was also dusty and weary, his clothes were plain and simple, but this young man who spent money like water suddenly revealed a very mysterious smile.

    You dont believe? he said. To tell you the truth, not only do you not believe it, but even I actually dont believe it.

    Old Zhangs face was covered with wrinkles, which suddenly revealed a mysterious expression, he intentionally lowered his voice, Ive heard recently a lone robber has appeared among the jianghu whose martial arts is very strong, who is very brave, who even dares to steal the official silver from the imperial palace.


    You havent heard of this person?


    But his disposition is about like yours, and I know since you were little you have always had courage.

    Old Zhang looked at him, his dim-sighted eyes brimming with a cunning smile.

    If I were a great bandit being pursued by the government I would also hide out here, Old Zhang said. Who could find you hiding out in a place like this where chickens dont fly, dogs dont jump, and rabbits dont pee.

    The young man laughed, Isnt that really the truth.


    When the young girl appeared was when the young mans smile was at its most charming.

    In all fairness, the young mans smile was really a bit naughty, especially when looking at a young girl.

    She was angry.

    Though she wasnt riding a horse, her hand still held a horse whip. It looked like she didnt use it to whip horses but to lash people.

    She pointed the whip at the young mans nose and asked Old Zhang, Who is this person?

    Old Zhang didnt say because the young man had already cut him off, Who this person is, theres probably no one in the world who knows better than me. He caught the tip of the whip between two fingers, and used the tip to point at his own nose. My surname is Li, given name Huai. (his name, Huai, means bad, spoiled, evil, etc.)


    Youre bad? The young girl almost couldnt help from laughing, Even you know youre bad!

    A person named Li Huai is not necessarily a bad person, Li Huai said seriously.

    The girl seemed even more curious.

    Your name is really Li Huai?

    Really, of course it is, he said. I also have another four-character name.

    A four-character name? The girl looked at him in surprise with her big eyes. What is your four-character name?

    Li Huai Is Dead. [Translators Note: 李壞死了 is the name. 壞死 could be Huai, his name, is dead. But 壞死 can also mean extremely bad, so theres a double meaning here.]

    The girl laughed.

    Li Huai, you really are very bad.


    Her laugh was so so cute.

    If Li Huai was the cutest laugher among men, then this girl was definitely the cutest laugher among women.

    Li Huai looked at her crazily, as if he had already been driven to distraction.

    Just then the whip in the girls hand suddenly snapped, like a snake, and wrapped around Li Huais neck.

    Her other hand slapped him twice in the face, then gave him a leg sweep.

    And so our dandy from the Li family who had just returned after coming into some money ended up looking like a weakling, falling face-up, hitting the loess-covered street, his mouth stuffed with a large steamed bun.


    Old Zhang saw Li Huai covered in dust and laughed straightaway.

    Youre not that lone robber. Old Zhang smiled crookedly, Theres no lone robber on earth as useless as you, to be manhandled like that by a girl, knocked flat.

    That girl is really mean. I didnt provoke her, I didnt offend her, why did she do me like that?

    Who says you didnt offend her? Dont tell me you really forgot who she is Old Zhang started laughing deviously, Dont tell me you forgot about the girl who wore flowered dresses who you liked to take the opportunity to put her face in the mud.

    Li Huai was shocked.

    Was that really Keke?

    Thats her.

    Li Huai smiled bitterly, I didnt foresee that she would still hate me.

    Old Zhang laughed cheerfully, Of course you didnt foresee she would become as pretty as she is now.


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    thanks for tling for us.

  9. #9
    Senior Member 徐中銳's Avatar
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    Thanks very much, it'll be great to know, completing...

    Quote Originally Posted by whiteskwirl View Post
    This is the only story in the Dagger Li series not yet translated.
    I know more than I can express in words, and the little I can express would not have been expressed, had I not known more. 弗拉基米爾弗拉基米羅維奇納博科夫

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    More Gu Long goodness! This is great! Thank you so much! (Is there a way to already see thenew series with eng subs?)

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    I see that this translation is stalled. This book isn't so long, so if I have the time, I'll try and complete it. The OP seems to have forgotten about it.
    Last edited by kychong; 01-05-22 at 06:57 AM.

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    Here's the next installment.


    There are doubtlessly many different kinds of people in this world. And many similar ones. They may share many traits and can be classified under the same category. They may reside in different parts of the world. They may not have met, yet can in many ways be more alike than real brothers.
      Fang Tianhao and Duan Bafang were two very good examples.
      Fang Tianhao was almost as tall and brawny as Duan. They practiced the same hard martial arts. Although Fang wasnt as well known or highly esteemed as Duan, he was definitely a significant chief of some repute in this border town.
      There were only three things he liked in life:
      Power, a good name, and his only daughter, Keke.
      In a hall as spacious as a horse grazing field, Fang Tianhao now sat on a pinewood chair resembling a big latrine pit, giving instructions as usual to his trusted lackey, Xiaowu, in a raspy voice:
      Go write me an invitation card. Use the gilt letter paper from the capital. Address the man politely.
      To who? Xiaowu didnt seem happy or convinced. Why should we address him politely?
      Boss Fang suddenly blew his top.
      Why shouldnt we write a polite letter? Who do you think you are, Wu Xinliu? And who do you think I am? We arent worth even a hair of the man!
      Of course.
      Boss Fang said, The man made so much moneymillions out of nothing. You guys cant hold a candle to him!
      Xiaowu bowed his head.
      Some men would always submit before power and wealth. Absolutely and willingly.
      Xiaowu was such a man.
      Why dont we give ourselves a few more days to prepare for the dinner? Why must we make the date tonight?
      Suddenly, rage could be seen on Boss Fangs face. Real rage.
      Youve been asking too many questions of late. He glared at the smart man before him. You should go back home and learn how to shut your trap.


      The fifteen day of the month. A moonlit night.
      A full moon.
      There was water below the moon. Between the moon overhead and the waters below, there was a Water Moon Pavilion.
    Someone had built a pond inside this garden of the mountain border town. That man should be sent to the desert and made to die of dehydration for his extravagance.
      That man happened to be Boss Fang.
      The Water Moon Pavilion was where he was holding the banquet for his guest. His honored guest tonight was Li Huai.
      So Li Huai sat on the seat of honor like a bashful girl.
      A girl must eat like any other man. Since he was invited to dinner, there ought to be food on the table.
      But there wasnt any wine or dish on the table.
      Boss Fang could no longer sit still.
      Since he had asked a guest for dinner, there must be food on the table.
      Why wasnt anyone serving the dishes or the wine?
      Boss Fang knew why, but he couldnt blow his top. It was all because of his daughter, Fang Keke.
      Keke had smashed all the plates and jugs of wine on the ground. She didnt like the guest tonight.
      She told the flabbergasted servants:
      My silly father invited not a man for dinner, but a young bad egg, she said curtly. Why must we invite a bad egg for dinner, and give it the food and wine reserved for human beings?
      Luckily, Li Huai managed to eat the food and drink the wine reserved for human beings.
      Many inhuman men were lucky. So why shouldnt Li Huai be as lucky?
      Of course, all the servants from the Fang kitchen had undergone special training. Round one: four hot meat dishes, four cold plates, four stir-fried dishes, four salad dressings. All of a sudden, the dishes were set on the table.
      A sculpted serving plate, cast from silver and seven inches in diameter, was placed on the table. It was carried in the hands of eight male servants in teal attire, wearing plain headgears, and eight servant girls in close-fitting scarlet blouses.
      Then the attendants retreated to the sides.
      Li Huai sighed in his heart. Why was dinner so awkward tonight?
      So many people were watching him eat. So how could he feel easy? He couldnt be Li Huai (Li the Bad) if he felt easy eating like this, could he?
      If he felt easy eating like this, his name should be Li Hao (Li the Good).
      Luckily, he couldnt have guessed that the worst moment was to come. Or he wouldnt be able to drink even a mouthful of wine, take a morsel of food.
      Li Huai ate three mouthfuls of food.
      He had already downed eleven cups of wine by the second mouthful. Boss Fang and Mr. Wu were heavy drinkers too. The lamps illuminated the room in the pavilion like it was a scene from a painting. Amid the warm wine and scented flowers, everyone was smiling. The host attended to the guest cordially. The considerate attendants opened a window.
      There was a moon outside the window. And light streamed in from the full moon.
      Li Huai was about to toss his small wine cup aside and drink directly from the jug when he heard a hideous shriek from a distance.
      A hideous shriek. Someone was shrieking in sadness, terror, pain and desperation.
      A hideous shriek wouldnt sound pleasant to the ear.
      But the shriek in Li Huais ear could not be described as merely sad, terrifying, painful, desperate, or unpleasant to the ear.
      The shriek he heard now was heartrendingtearing his flesh, bones, marrows, liver, organs, blood meridians, sinews, nails and hair apart.
      Even his soul could have been ripped apart.
      The shriek was like a drum beating in battle one after another in quick succession
      Wine splashed out from his cup.
      The faces of everyone became like dead animal skin.
      Then Li Huai saw 108 youth warriors in short martial outfits, each holding a swift saber. They descended like flying generals from the sky on Meandering Bridge just outside the Water Moon Pavilion, like warriors occupying an important strategic point in battle, taking over the bridge.

  13. #13
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    I will correct errors from time to time. The internet text I am using seems a bit garbled. Gu Long seemed to have given this book different chapter divisions, so I don't know if the internet text is the final edition.

  14. #14
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       "Has something happened here at Uncle Fangs place? I can slip away through the back gate first."
       Boss Fang smiled and shook his head.
       "It's alright, don't worry." Fang Tianhao's smile was full of confidence, "Here in my place, even if some trivial or insignificant matter happens, it wont matter. Even if the sky falls down, there will be someone like Old Uncle Fang to hold the sky up.
       He had not finished speaking when the expression vanished on his face.
       Fang Tianhao was so deeply confident of his specially trained suicide squad that he was convinced no one could come up the bridge if they held fort resolutely.
       No one had ever been able to convince him otherwise.
       Unfortunately, that someone was here.
       That swarthy-faced man was dressed in a blazing red robe, even taller and burlier than Duan Bafang and Fang Tianhao. With his hands behind his back, he was like a fair-faced scholar strolling under the moon reciting poetry, coming up the bridge from the gravel pathway in a leisurely manner.
       He did not seem to have done anything at all.
       Yet the moment he stepped on the bridge, the suicide squad on the bridge suddenly shrieked miserably and was thrown to a distance one after another. It was a long time before one could hear them fall on the man-made hillock by the pond, their bones cracking loudly.
       By now, the red-robed man had sat down.
       The Water Moon Pavilion was bright and resplendent, like a flower market at Lantern Festival.
       Like a scene of a flower market from a painting.
       The red-robed man walked in casually, sat down next to the host Boss Fang, and opposite the main guest Li Huan.
       His face didnt look like a spring flower at Lantern Festival.
       It didnt look like a human face either.
       His face looked like a mask cast out of pure refined steel. Even if his face was smiling, it did not even look at all like he was happy. Rather, he seemed to be trying to make his opponent weak from feet up.
       He was smiling.
       And he was looking at the smiling Li Huai.
       Mr. Li, he said in a very peculiar, husky voice full of mockery. Mr. Li, may I know your surname?
       Li Huai smiled, showing a mouthful of snowy-white teeth.
       Of course Mr. Li has the surname of Li." His smile wasnt the least bit mocking. "But what about you, Mr. Han? What is your surname?"
       The red-robed man's smile remained.
       The smile was stamped on his iron-like face. "You know that my surname is Han? You know who I am?"
       "Everyone in this world knows the Fiery Iron Judge, Han Jun.
       A light shot out of Han Jun's eyes. Only then did everyone realize that his eyes were actually teal-blue in color, like the teal-blue of a million-year-old sheet of ice. His fiery red robe made a scary contrast in an extremely interesting and totally bizarre sort of way.
       He stared at Li Huai for a long time before enunciating each word slowly. Yes, I am a Sixth Grade Imperial Guard granted the use of the saber by His Majesty, the Constable-in-Chief of the Ministry of Justice, a lay disciple of the Southern Shaolin SectHan Jun from Putian.
       Fang Tianhaos panicky face finally managed to squeeze out a smile. He quickly stood up.
       I never thought that the world-famous Chief Constable of the Ministry of Justice, Senior Han, would be here tonight.
       Han Jun interrupted him coldly.
       I'm not your senior and I'm not here for you.
       Are you here for me?" asked Li Huai.
       Han Jun stared at him for a long time again. "You are Li Huai?"
       How many days did you take to come from Zhangjiakou?
       I don't know, said Li Huai. I never counted.
       I know. I did, said Han Jun. You have walked a total of sixty-one days.
       Li Huai shook his head and smiled wryly. "I'm not a big shot and not an imperial guard armed with a saber. Nor am I the Chief Constable of the Ministry of Justice. Why would anyone care about these things of mine in such detail?"
       Of course youre not a constable of the Ministry of Justice. The yearly wages of a hundred constables wont last even a day for you." Han Jun sneered, asking Li Huai. And do you know how much you've spent in the last sixty-one days?
       I don't know. I didnt count that either.
       I did. Han Jun said, "You spent a total of 86, 650 taels of silver."
       Li Huai whistled, exhaling air. Did I really spend so much?
       It is no lie.
       Li Huai smiled very pleasantly again, "So it seems that I'm really kind and really rich."
       "Of course you are." Han Jun's voice turned even colder. "You were just a poor boy. Where did you get all the money you spent?
       That's my business and none of yours.
       But it concerns me too.
       In what way?
       Some caskets of gold were recently stolen from the Imperial Palace. They are worth one million seven hundred thousand taels of silver. No one person can afford to take the blame, so the Ministry of Justice will have to." Han Jun riveted his eyes on Li Huai. "Unfortunately, I happen to be Chief Constable of the Ministry of Justice."
       Li Huai exhaled a long breath, shaking his head and sighing.
       Youre so unlucky."
       Unlucky people always need a partner in misery, so you have to make a trip with me to the Ministry of Justice.
       Why do I need to go to the Ministry of Justice with you? Li Huai asked, staring with his big eyes. "Does Your Excellency from the Ministry of Justice want to invite me to dinner?
       Han Jun did not say anything.
       His face became darker, his eyes even bluer.
       His eyes were still like nails, as he slowly stood up from his chair, inch by inch. Every inch of his movement was slow, yet with each lurked an unpredictable danger. And everyone could just about feel it.
       Everyone's breathing changed, as his majestic torso moved and changed. Only Li Huais had not.
       Why are you looking at me like that? Are you guys stupid enough to think I could have singlehandedly robbed all the gold?" Li Huai shook his head and sighed wryly. "I wish I were blessed with such a great ability. If only I had such ability, no one would have dared to bully me."
       Han Jun did not open his mouth, but made a sound.
       His voice didnt come from his lips but his body.
       There were more than three hundred bones in his body and every joint was cracking.
       His hands, feet and limbs seemed to be growing a few more inches.
       Although he hadnt struck yet, he had already displayed the Shaolin external kungfu to the utmost.
       Fang Tianhao could not help but sigh. He was also a practitioner of external kungfu, so only he could deeply appreciate the power of Han Jun's strike. He could even see Li Huai falling to the ground, writhing in pain.
       Li Huai was terrified and turned around to run. Unfortunately, there was nowhere he could run to.
       He was surrounded by peoplemen, women and children. Since he was an honored guest, they were here to serve him.
       Although Han Juns movements were getting slower and slower, even grinding to a halt, the pressure he put on the other man became heavier and heavier. It was like an arrow pulled tautly on the bow, ready to be released.
       Fang Tianhao, of course, would not intervene in such matters.
       Li Huai became frantic. He suddenly kicked the table and with a clever borrowed force, directed the dozen dishes on the table towards Han Jun.
       The plates had not reached him yet, but the vegetable soup and gravy had already splashed out.
       If the Fiery Iron Judge was splashed with shepherd's purse and tofu, it would be embarrassing. Han Jun took a step backward, swift as the wind.
       If Li Huai did not take this opportunity to escape, he would not be Li Huai.
       Unfortunately, he still couldnt.
       Suddenly, fierce winds accompanied seven steel swords, gleaming with chill and stabbing in from seven different directions.
       If Li Huai fought the same way as he did against Keke that day, he would have a transparent hole in his body if one of these seven words managed to stab directly at him.
       Fortunately, none of these seven swords was aimed directly at him. He only heard seven "ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. The seven swords became interlinked, making a strange and clever contraption, like a weird-shaped steel yoke trying to trap Li Huai in the center.
       All the people in the Jianghu knew the track record of the Seven Adroit Heart Swords. No one trapped in them had managed to escape.
       No matter who that person was, he would be like the heart of a young girl trapped by her first lover, unable to escape. The seven swords are identical in length, width, weight, shape and quality as tempered in the furnace. Every sword was the same.
       These seven swords were undoubtedly forged in the same furnace.
       But the seven hands holding these seven swords were completely different.
       The only thing they had in common was that they have just served Li Huai at the table.
       Instead of being afraid, Li Huai laughed.
       How unexpected, how unexpected. So the Seven Adroit Harmonious Heart Swords have actually become attendants serving tea and rice." He looked at a tall slim lady from among the seven, her pretty face lightly freckled.
       Hu Daniang, Li Huai said. "Since you enjoy this sort of thing, you can make my bed and fold my quilt whenever you like." He looked at Han Jun and shook his head. "Of course this is also an arrangement of Your Excellency. Who else have you got here?"
       Arent they enough?
       Not really.
       Han Jun's face sank and he shouted in a low voice:
       Lock him.
       In this sword style, to lock meant to kill. The seven interlocked swords would rupture his meridians and blood veins.
       They had formed the sword locking stance. No one could save him now.
       Li Huais veins and meridians were not ruptured. His limbs, hands, feet, liver and organs were all not ruptured.
       What broke instead were the swords.
       What broke were the refined steel frames of the Seven Adroit Harmonious Heart Swords. All seven of them.
       The tips of all seven swords were in Li Huais hand.
       No one had seen his movements, but everyone could see the seven gleaming sword tips in his hand.
       Broken swords can still kill.
       The sword light soared again, and was broken yet again.
       The sound of them breaking resembled pearls dropping on a jade plate.
       The faces of everyone changed. Han Jun's body became elongated, like a tiger ready to pounce and attack Li Huai.
       Li Huai was walking on the edge, attacking indirectly with slicing backhands.
       His strike was much slower than Han Jun's, and his head must have been shattered by the time his palm chopped Han Jun's soft underbelly.
       But everyone was wrong again.
       Han Jun suddenly staggered back and retreated five steps, before checking the backward momentum. Blood oozed out from the corners of his mouth.
       Li Huai smiled and bowed. His smile was so bad and adorable.
       Goodbye, everyone.
       The moonlight was still the same, so were the blanket of water, the bridge and the pavilion. But the people were not the same as they once were.
       Li Huai walked leisurely across Meandering Bridge, looking like Han Jun walking on the bridge just now.
       Everyone could only watch him go. No one dared to stop him.
       There seemed to be mists rising between the moon and the rippling water. The faint outline of a human figure appeared amid the rising mists.
       Li Huai suddenly saw the figure.
       No one could describe the feeling in his heart when he saw this silhouette. He felt like a blind man suddenly seeing the bright moon for the first time in the sky.
       The silhouette in the moon amid watery mists.
       Li Huan halted his steps.
       "Who are you?" He looked at the misty person in white and asked again, "Who are you?
       There was no answer.
       Li Huai walked towards her, as if drawn by some mysterious attraction, holding himself upright as he walked towards her.
       The clouds unfolded and the moon revealed itself. By chance, the dim moonlight shone on her face.
       A pale face, as pale as the moon.
       You arent human." Li Huai looked at her and said, "You must have come from the moon." A mysterious smile suddenly appeared on that pale face that no one could understand. The woman from the moon suddenly said with a dreamy, mysterious voice. "Yes, I came from the moon, I came to earth only bring you people one thing."
       The faint light of the saber was as faint as moonlight.
       The moonlight was also like a saber.
       The moment the faint light resembling moonlight appeared on her blade, there seemed to be a killing aura from the bright moon in the sky as well.
       Those who must die shall die. A killing aura that allows for no escape.
       The saber light was dim, and so was the moonlight. The killing aura was as thick as blood.
       The saber light flashed, and the silver moon changed color. Li Huai died.
       A snap of the fingers would take sixty split seconds, but Li Huai's death only took one.
       That split second when the saber light appeared.
       When the saber light disappeared, Li Huai's body was already lying limp over the carved railing of Meandering Bridge, like a ragged piece of clothing.
       The saber blade had penetrated his chest to the hilt.
       The heart was undoubtedly the most vital and vulnerable organ of a human being. No one can survive a saber pierced into his heart, but still, some people arent easily convinced.
       Han Jun darted over, using his pinched fingers to pull out the saber hilt of that pale gold blade, light as the moonlight, plunged into Li Huais heart. Blood spattered and the blade emerged.
       The slim saber was broad enough to penetrate the heart.
       He wont survive.
       Han Jun tried not to show a happy expression on his face. The man is dead for sure.
       The moonlight remained the same, the woman in white under the moon seemed to have dissolved into the moonlight.
    Last edited by kychong; 01-05-22 at 09:24 AM.

  15. #15
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    Join Date
    May 2010




    A clear sky.
       The constantly falling snow was about to stop, but it was becoming even more chilly. The bronze-green fire basin was scrubbed as clean and shiny as snow, its fiery redness like the face of a bashful small girl.
       Boss Fang leaned on a large stove bed covered with sable hide. There was a low table in the middle of the stove bed. On it were a few bottles and jars for candies and snacks on a jade plate, and also a lamp and a spear.
       The lamp wasnt the kind used for lighting. The spear was even less likely the kind used for stabbing enemies to death on horseback.
       The spear could be used to kill of course, only slower and more painfully.
       The warm room was filled with an aroma of evil.
       Human beings have their weaknesses, so evil will always be one of the greatest seduction to a human being.
       So too this aroma seemed far more alluring than the most fragrant flowers in spring, south of the Yangtze River.
       It was opium, which came with the red-haired people from beyond India.
       Boss Fang squinted his eyes and looked at Han Jun who just appeared in the warm room.
       You must try this, or you would have lived in vain."
       Han Jun seemed to be deaf to his words and only asked coldly,
       Have you buried the man?
       He was buried long ago.
       What about the little boy with him?
       Fang Tianhao smiled wryly. Would there be an unbroken egg in a massacre?
       So the whole thing is over?
       A most successful end, and more perfect than a round egg.
       Any problems to come?"
       No, said Fang Tianhao, looking smug. Absolutely not.
       Han Jun stared coldly at him for a long time, turned around, walked out, and then suddenly turned back.
       You'd better remember this. The next time you smoke something like this, I'd better not see it, or I'd put you behind bars for eight or ten years in that big jail at the Ministry of Justice.
       Outside the warm room, there was snow in the small courtyard and on the plums.
       An old plum tree was blossoming by itself in this small courtyard deep in white snow. All the loneliness in the world seemed to be under its roots.
       How lonely.
       What a lonely courtyard. What a lonely plum, what a lonely man.
       Han Jun walked out and faced the cold wind. He took a long breath and exhaled again. His breathing suddenly stopped.
       He suddenly saw a pale face among the red plum branches and leaves, looking at him with a wicked smile.
       Han Jun must have seen the faces of countless people. Although most were crying, there are also many smiling faces.
       But he has never seen such a smileso crooked, evil, ambiguous and horrifying.
       Amid the thousands of scarlet plum blossoms, there was suddenly a smiling face, looking at him and smiling.
       What would you do if you were him?
       Han Jun took a step back, twisted his hips, and leaped up. His left arm crossed his chest to defend himself, as his right hand clutched like a big eagles claw, ready to grab this pale face from the red plums.
       He did not grab, because he suddenly recognized whose face it was.
       The second of the Seven Harmonious Sword Warriors, Liu Wei, was a magnificent and handsome man. But after death, he was no different from other dead men.
       Especially since those who died under the Seven Rupture and Seven Heartbreak Palms would contort their face as if smiling, but their smiles would be ghastly and more miserable than a weeping face.
       Liu Wei died under the Heartbreak Palms.
       Han Jun leaped on the body, recognized his face, and also realized that he died under the Heartbreak Palms.
       The Seven Harmonious Swords were all consummate fighters, each one a master, especially Liu Wei and Meng Wu.
       The second person he found died was Meng Wu.
       His body was pushed back in a one-wheeled cart.
       He was also fatally wounded by the Seven Rupture and Seven Heartbreak Palms.
       The Seven Ruptures.
       The heart meridian ruptured, the blood meridian rupturedthe tendon meridian, the liver and intestines meridian, the kidney meridian, the bones and marrows, the wrist meridian all ruptured.
       The Seven Heartbreaks.
       The heart broken, the love gonegratitude, hatred, pain, life and death all gone. Sentiments and longing all gone.
       The Seven Rupture and Seven Heartbreak could rupture and break an opponents heart.
       This kind of kungfu was almost extinct. No one liked to practice a loveless and absolutely heartless form of kungfu, and no one was willing to pass it on.
       Fang Tianhao asked Han Jun some questions.
       He asked three questions, all very difficult to answer. He had to ask Han Jun, because the man was not only the few great masters of the martial arts world, his mind was as sophisticated as a wonderful piece of machinery invented by an eccentric genius.
       As long as he saw something with his eyes, heard something with his ears, and think something through in his heart, he would forget nothing.
       Isn't the Seven Rupture and Seven Heartbreak Palms extinct? Is there someone in the Jianghu who still knows this kungfu? Who is it?
       One person knows it, Han Jun replied.
       Li Huai.
       He does? Fang Tianhao asked, How did he learn it?
       I know he was the only friend of Liu Lang the Seven Ruptures and Hu Niang the Seven Heartbreaks before they died.
       But isn't Li Huai already dead? Fang Tianhao asked, Didn't you say that the Moon Goddesss saber is like the flying daggers of Little Li Xunhuan of old? She never misses.
       Han Jun turned his head and looked out the window at the cold hook of a crescent moon with his cold savage eyes.
       The moonlight was cold as a saber.
       Han Jun's voice sounded very distant like it was far away by the moon.
       Moonlight like saber, the saber-like moonlight." He said, "The moon goddesss saber is like a person under moonlight. No one can hide from the moonlight, so no one can hide from the moon goddesss saber."
       No one? You mean absolutely no one?
       I mean no one at all."
       Then what about Li Huai?
       Li Huai is dead. Han Jun said, He is so wicked and so bad that he must die."
       If Li Huai was the only one in this world who knew the Seven Rupture and Seven Heartbreak Palms, and if he was already dead then, who killed the Seven Harmonious Heart Swords?"
       Han Jun did not answer this question, because no one could.
       But he unraveled a thread that might reveal something.
       Light suddenly shone in his eyes again.
       Yes, it was five years ago." Han Jun said, "Five years ago, on the sixth day of the second month. It was also snowing."
       What about that day?" Fang Tianhao asked.
       I was on duty at the Ministry of Justice, sleeping in the Ministry's archive room that night. I couldn't sleep in the middle of the night and got up to look through the archives. One file in particular caught my eyes.
       An archival file from the cabinet talked about a man called Ye Shengkang."
       What about that man?
       He was stabbed three times in the heart. All three penetrated his chest, which would have been absolutely fatal."
       Did he not die?
       He didnt. Han Jun said, Hes still alive and well in Beijing.
       The sword pierced his heart and no one could save him. So why is he still alive today?" Fang Tianhao asked.
       Because the sharp sword did not pierce that spot with his heart," Han Jun said. "In other words, his heart was not where it ought to be."
       I don't understand. Fang Tianhao looked as if a flower was suddenly growing out of the mans nose. "I really don't get what you are saying."
       Alright, let me explain as plainly as I can," Han Jun said. "That man Ye Shengkangs heart is on the right side."
       Heart on the right side? Fang Tianhao asked. What do you mean?
       I mean that his heart isnt on the left side of the chest, but on the right. All the organs in his body are on the opposite side of an ordinary persons."
       Fang Tianhao froze.
       He could only speak after a long time. He asked Han Jun, putting stress on each word: So you think Li Huai's heart is on the left side like Ye Shengkangs?
       Yes, said Han Jun, stressing each word like him. There can be no other explanation.
       Fang Tianhao stared at Han Jun and asked, Since Li Huais heart is on the left side, he did not die under the Moon Goddess's saber. Although her saber pierced his chest, his heart wasnt in the place it ought to be.
       Is this what you mean?

  16. #16
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    May 2010


    Chapter 3

    If a mans heart wasnt in the place where it ought to be, how would the man feel?
       He would feel very happy!
       Happy? Why?
       Because its an error. And errors often lead to many kinds of happiness.

       Li Huai must be feeling very happy.
       He wasnt dead. No one wishing him dead knew where he was.
       He must be dying of happiness, under such circumstances.

       An arrest warrant was issued.
       All the highly skilled constables from the neighboring provinces, counties, prefectures and circuits had gathered here.
       Hunt Li Huai down. Han Jun gave his order. He must be somewhere around this place. We must search him out at all costs.
       But they couldnt.
       Because Li Huai was lying in a place not one of them would ever dream of, snoring soundly.
       This Li Huai was really so wicked.
       He was snoring soundly, his two feet propped high up on a tabletop.
       It was so strange. He was obviously a man, and could even be considered a very coarse one. Yet his feet were like a womansfair, tender, and spotlessly clean.
       He claimed that many girls adored his feet.
       We, of course, cannot simply take Mr. Li Huai at his word. But we can certainly believe some parts of what he said.
       This place was really perfect for sleeping. Not just perfect for sleeping, it was perfect for everythingall sorts of things.
       It was such a nice place and so comfortable.
       A young rascal like Li Huai really didnt deserve to be in this place.
       Yet here he was. Which was why it was so unexpected.
       Where exactly was this place?
       A girl pushed the door open and slipped in noiselessly. She came in front of Li Huai just as noiselessly, fixing her gentle eyes on Li Huai tenderlyon his face, on his sleepy eyes, on his feet.
       Li Huai slept like a dead man. Yet this dead man suddenly stretched out a hand.
       What a sneaky and bad dead man.
       That sneaky hand of his did something worse, reaching for some spot it shouldnt try touching.
       Bad, the girl said. Li Huai, you young bastard, youre so bad.
       Who was this girl?
       Did she have a unique relationship with Li Huai and harbor special feelings for him? Why was this girl keeping him company when he was in such danger? What special powers did she have, that she could ensure his safety and keep his whereabouts a secret?
       So carefree and easy huh? the girl said. Do you know that those guys hired by my dad and Han Jun are combing every inch of this ground trying to hunt you down?
       I know, of course I know, Li Huai said. But Im not in the least worried.
       Why not?
       They all think that you hate me the most in this city. And youre your dads daughter. They must be ghosts, not humans, if they managed to track me down here.
       But Li Huai really met a ghost this time.

       The first person Li Huai saw was Han Jun. The moment the man pushed open the door, Li Huai thought he had just seen a ghost. A living ghost fallen from the sky.
       Han Jun gazed at the astounded man before him with gentle, almost sympathetic eyes.
       I know you didnt expect this. Neither did I. Han Jun sighed. We thought we would never see your face again in this life.
       A special smile beamed on Li Huais oh-so-bad-yet-so-adorable face.
       Wheres that girl? That pretty, mysterious girl from the moon who loves killing people? Li Huai asked Han Jun. Is she here?
       I guessed that she wont be coming.
       You knew?
       Of course, Li Huai said. Moonlight like saber, the saber-like moonlight. I almost died under her saber. Of course I know she strikes like Li Xunhuans famous flying daggers of old. The Goddess of Saber almost never misses a target. And I know how much it costs to hire her.
       A strange emotion seemed to be quavering Li Huais voice.
       Most importantly, I know that the Goddess of Saber never strikes twice. Like Li Xunhuan, she wont strike a second time if she misses the first.
       So you think she definitely wont come? asked Han Jun.
       Yes, definitely not, said Li Huai. You cant afford her services again. Even if you could, she wouldnt come kill the same man twice.
       Youre right, youre absolutely right. The Moon Goddess is indeed the costliest killer in the world right now. Shes indeed not coming today.
       Li Huai smiled.
       But I believe you must have guessed I won't come alone today either."
       Li Huai smiled. "Of course you wont come alone. If you came alone, you wouldnt be able to leave today.
       Han Jun gazed at him with the same gentle, almost sympathetic eyes as before.
       Then do you know who I brought along with me today?
       Of course Li Huai wouldnt know. Nor could he have guessed.
       No one could.
       No one could imagine the Chief Constable of the Ministry of Justice, the world-famous "Fiery Iron Judge" Han Jun, would dispatch so many first-class fighters in the martial arts world, just to hunt down an unknown lad.
       All the experts linked to the six departments of the Ministry of Justice were after him. As if summoned by a sleight of hand, they had arrived suddenly from every direction and location in this mountain town. And they were suddenly in this hut Li Huai thought the most peaceful in the world.
       Li Huai was really in trouble this time.
       There would be no escape for anyone bumping into these experts, the way Li Huai bumped into them today.
       He couldnt even run to his death.
       Because some of them didnt want him to die so fast.
       He could neither live nor beg for death. Then what do you suggest Li Huai do?
       If he could find no solution at all, he would not be Li Huai.
       Li Huai suddenly did something no one would ever dream of, especially Keke. She could not imagine him doing it even in her worst nightmare.
       Someone suddenly grabbed her hand.
       That someone was Li Huai.
       Of course Li Huai had often grabbed her hand before, as he did to many parts of her body. But this time, it was different from all other times.
       This time, Li Huai was actually using the most powerful of the Little 72 Grips to lock her hand.
       It was as if her wrist was suddenly locked by an iron handcuff. She suddenly heard Li Huai say, "You people can start congratulating me now, since I can no longer die."
       Li Huais smile was so wicked.
       "Im sure none of you would like to see Miss Fang die so suddenly, when the girl is still so young and pretty. So I will probably live too," Li Huai said. "If I die, Miss Keke won't live either."
       Li Huai sighed. "I believe everyone can understand this as well as I do."
       Such despicable and shameless words from Li Huai's mouth! Keke could not believe her ears.
       Not only her, the others could not believe their ears either.
       In that instant, Boss Fang's face turned pig liver color.
       "You little bastard, are you even human? How could you do such a thing!" Fang Tianhao growled angrily. "My daughter treated you so well, how could you do such a thing to her?"
      Its nothing strange at all," Li Huai said, "I, Li Huai, have always been a bad manso rotten that it would be strange if I didnt do such a thing."
       He bowed in a very elegant manner.
       "I'm sure everyone can see whats happening now," Li Huai said. "So I believe you will let me go." Then he said, "What on earth is Li Huai? Hes just a rascal, so how could you use Miss Keke's life to exchange for a bastards? So I believe I can now say goodbye to you all."
       With that, Li Huai really said goodbye to these first-class martial arts exponents who were out to kill him.
       And indeed, he actually came out of the tiger's den in one piece.
       Not even he himself could believe that.
       Although Li Huai had a hostage with him, and although Fang Tianhao doted on his daughter, he should not have gotten away so easily.
       Everyone here after him had a trump card, so even if he had a hostage, they could also have come up with ways to deal with him. Not to mention these men did not necessarily care about the life of Boss Fang's precious daughter.
       So why would they let Li Huai go?
       No one could quite understand this.

      A swift horse galloping post-haste. Slowly, the mountain town got farther and farther away.
      The mountain town was now far away.
      Although the mountain town was now far away, the moon was still visible. One could still see the same bright round moon as in that mountain town.
      At this moment, the moonlight was certainly not as keen as a saber; at this moment, the moonlight was as pale as water.
      The pale moonlight shone into the shack through a half-shut window, accompanied by a cold mountain draft.
      A wooden shack in the mountains; Li Huai was in the shack.
      Keke, of course, was also there.
      Her face reflected the crimson red of a roaring fire, as she stood before the fire alone.
      Li Huai's face was pale. Gone was that bad look on his face and that bad smile too.
      He actually seemed to be thinking.
      Because he did not understand, but he seemed to have almost understood. While he was running away, he seemed to have seen a pale white figurea figure as pale as moonlightbrush past him. It was as if the moonlight and mountain peaks were brushing past him lightly.
      He did indeed see the figure, since at that moment, he also heard someones voicea woman with a gentle moonlight-like voice speak. "Stop where you are, all of you. Let Li Huai go."
      Li Huai wasnt dreaming. He had stopped dreaming since he was very, very young.
      He had indeed heard her speak.
      But now, he was even more confused.
      He was able to get away so easily because the Moon Goddess had obstructed his pursuers.
      Now why would the Moon Goddess do that?
      The fire flickered and the crimson faces became even redder.
      "I've made up my mind," Keke suddenly said. "Completely and absolutely."
      She spoke in such a strange voice.
      "Made up your mind to do what?" Li Huai asked.
      "Made up my mind to do something," Keke said. "I've made up my mind to do something that will make you feel both so happy and so very, very grateful to me."
      What exactly?"
      For a long time, Keke stared at the man with deep, deep, deep emotions. Then she said to him in a voice full of deep, deep feelings. "I know you will feel so, so touched once you hear my words. I just hope you won't cry after that, and tears wont fall from your eyes."
      "Don't worry, I won't cry."
      "You will."
      Li Huai gave up. "Alright, no matter how touched I feel after listening to you, you should at least tell me what you have decided to do."
      "Okay, I'll say it." Keke looked really determined, "I've decided to forgive you."
      She said in such a determined manner, almost like Zhuge Liang making up his mind to kill Ma Su. "No matter what you did to me, Ive decided to forgive you, because I know you have your reasons, and that you must survive."
      She suddenly ran over and wrapped her arms around Li Huai's neck.
      "Enough, you don't have to explain anything," Keke said. "Since I have forgiven you, you don't have to explain anything."
      Li Huai did not explain.
      There are certain things you don't want to say and cant say that others must say for you. Since these are exactly what that person wants to hear spoken to herself.
      "I know you are never an ungrateful, vengeful person. You did this to me just to survive."
      Keke was making excuses for Li Huai.
      "Any man would do what you did under those circumstances. A man who wants to be with his beloved has to first survive." Keke smiled sweetly, "In those circumstances, how can a man not take me along with him, if he wants to be with me? What method can he use but this?"
      She chuckled more and more happily. "So I don't blame you at all, because I fully understand why you did this. Youre... youre such a little rascal. Luckily, I'm not such a nice girl either."
      She laughed happily because she had said precisely the things she herself most liked to hear.
      So she didn't even notice that faint white figure in Li Huai's pupils.
      Could that lady from the moon have appeared again, right in front of Li Huai's eyes?
      "I'm leaving." Li Huai suddenly said.
      "You're leaving?" Keke asked in surprise, "Where to?"
      I don't know."
      "Why do you want to go?"
      "I don't know."
      "Don't you know anything?"
      "No, I don't know anything," Li Huai said. "I just know I have to leave now."
      This extremely smart and bad little rascal, now actually had a stupefied expression on his face and even in his eyes.
      That dream-like figure in white, of course, was also still in his eyes.
      Keke looked at him, like a drowning man watching a piece of driftwood he could clamber on suddenly washed away by the tides. She watched as Li Huai walked past her out the door. She could do nothing at all.

      Outside the door, the moon was like water.
      Under the moon, there was someone dressed in white. Someone in the rain and mists, between the mountain and the moon, in that mountain village.
      She was silent.
      Even more silent than the mountain village in the rain and mists under the moon and above the waters, just watching Li Huai quietly.
      She did not say a word.
      But Li Huai seemed to have heard a mysterious incantation.
      She did not beckon him, neither did she move.
      But Li Huai seemed to be attracted by the most powerful sorcery in the universe.
      She did not ask Li Huai to follow her.
      But Li Huai walked past the woman who most loved him, walking towards her into the moonlight, clear and cold as water.
      This time Li Huai did not seem bad at all. Not only was he not bad, he was also better behaved than the most docile, most obedient of children.
      Every bad guy will behave like this before certain people. This might be the greatest sorrow of bad guys.
      "I didn't ask you to come."
      "I know."
      "So why did you?"
      "I don't know."
      "What do you know?"
      "I only know that now that I have come, I will surely not leave," Li Huai said.
      "No matter what place this is, you wont leave?"
      "Yes, never."
      "You wont regret?"
      "I will never regret, not even if I die."
      So Li Huai entered this world.
      This world was one never visited by human beings before, nor one belonging to humankind.
      Everything in this mysterious, distant and beautiful world belonged to the moon.
      No one knew where it was.
      No one knew the appearance and shape of the mountains and rivers there.
      No one even knew it existed.

      So Li Huai left the world of men from then on.
    Last edited by kychong; 01-16-22 at 04:22 AM.

  17. #17
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010


      Chapter 4

      Spring snow had melted, and clear molten spring water was already trickling down the high mountains.
      At a mountain summit, deep in the white clouds, there was a mass of snow that had existed since time immemorial. It was still gleaming with silver.
      In this silvery-white world, everything rarely changed. Nothing might have even changed at all.
      One only experiences changes in life.
      But life almost never existed here at all.
      Li Huai had already sensed this when he came.
      He didn't care.
      Because he already had that mysterious relationship he could never dream ofwith a woman he had never dreamed to have, giving him a new lease of life.
      He also brought life to this world.
      But everything between heaven and earth was annihilated for Li Huai this morning.
      Li Huai had been here 117 days, 2,808 hours.
      Every day, every hour, every moment was thick with tender, loving, amorous feelings.
      The moon wasnt cold.
      The gentleness of moonlight was something no ordinary mortals could ever appreciate.
      Li Huai felt fortunate and proud of himself, because of what he had. It was something others would never have.
      The sword has two edges; everything has a positive and a negative side.
      When you get what you most cherish, you will often lose something else you most cherish too. The more you get, the more you lose.
      Amid such tender, loving, amorous feelings, Li Huai would often suddenly feel a pain he had never felt before.
      He was afraid of losing.
      He was afraid of losing the woman he most loved in his life.
      From the start, he had a feeling he would lose her sooner or later.
      That morning, this feeling came true.
      It was oddly quiet that morningoddly cold and oddly beautiful. The rest of the 117 mornings were no different from this one at all.
      The only difference was that there was no one by Li Huais side in the morning.
      Where was she?
      She had gonelike a dream, like a fog, like a mist.
      She had gone without saying anything, not leaving even a word. She had left just like that.
       Are you really gone just like that?
      It was all real. The love was real, the dream was real, their union was real, her departure was real too.
      There was nothing more real in this world than separation.

      Li Huai became bad again.
      Li Huai ate, Li Huai drank, Li Huai whor'ed [word censored by board], Li Huai gambled, Li Huai got himself drunk.
      He tried to eat but could not. He gambled and could never lose. He whor'ed, but others might be whoring him too.
      So he could only make himself drunk.
      But so what if he got drunk? To stay drunk forever is just an empty dream of the poet.
      Who can remain drunk forever?
      Who can understand the empty loneliness suddenly assailing like a cold wind after you awake?
      A prodigal son without roots always hopes to find a place of his own.


      So Li Huai went back to the mountain town.
      This small mountain town, like the mountains with that eternal snow mass, used to change little.
      But this time upon his return, it had completely changed.
      The mountain city had changed.
      The distant mountains were still there, the teal rocks, green trees, red flowers and yellow soil by the mountains were still there.
      But the mountain town was no longer there.
      The inhabitants of the mountain town were gone.
      This mountain town, which in Li Huais mind have existed since time immemorial and would continue to exist forever, was now suddenly gone.
      This mountain town had turned into a dead town.
      A dead chicken, a dying dog, behind a clattery wind-tossed window in a deathly silent street dusty with yellow loess. A cold fireless stove, a smashed, upended empty wine jar, an empty steam basket with not even one moldy steamed bun in it.
      And a man dying like that dog.
      He was the only person Li Huai saw after returning to the mountain town.
      He recognized him, of course he recognized this man.
      He was none other than Old Zhang who used to run the steamed bun shop.
      "What happened here? Where are the people? What the hells going on?"
      Li Huai tried so hard to question Old Zhang, but still could not get anything out of him.
      Old Zhang was starving like the dog and seemed almost dead.
      Li Huai took out all the food and water in his bag and fed the man and the dog, so that the dog could bark again and the man could speak.
      What a pity the man could only say one word throughout. Although he kept repeating it, it was still the same word, "Keke".
      "Keke, Keke, Keke, Keke ......"
      He kept repeating this for goodness knows how many times. Nor could anyone guess how long he would keep repeating it.
      Li Huai yelled and almost jumped up.
      He had not heard her name for a long time. Why did Old Zhang keep repeating the name over and over again?
      The mountain town was now a dead town. Did anyone else in this dead town survive besides Old Zhang?
      "Wheres Keke?" Li Huai asked. "Is she still alive?"
      Old Zhang raised his head and stared at him. A light suddenly flashed out of his dull and confused old eyes.

      This was how Li Huai finally saw Keke again.
      The back garden of the Fangs was deserted. In the abandoned courtyard, amid the cold, broken courtyard terrace, the sparse grass and trees were three small pinewood buildings.
      It was already very late at night.
      There was just a little lamplight in the deserted garden.
      Li Huai walked over behind Old Zhang, and found himself looking at a small wooden hut.
      There was light in the hut, and someone under the light.
      A girl so thin she seemed almost deformed, with a pale and obsessed-looking face.
      "Li Huai, you bad boy, youre so bad."
      Her mouth kept repeating the same words over and over again. Her heart had been completely broken, everything in the world had been shattered into pieces with her broken heart. Besides those three phrases, she could not link anything together in this world.
      Someone with a broken heart will have a broken mind too.
      Li Huai's heart also broke, but there was still that cute and hateful smile on his face.
      Under such circumstances, at this moment, what else could he do but smile? Would you rather him cry?
      "Keke, Im Li Huai, Im that bad bad boy. Ive been so bad that Im even mad with myself," Li Huai said. "Im so bad, Im sure you wont find anyone as bad. So you must still recognize me."
      But Keke didn't seem to recognize him at all.
      Keke stared at him like he were a total stranger.
      Keke stared at him as if she wasn't even looking at a human being, more like at a pile of dog shit.
      Then Keke gave him a slap.
      She gave Li Huai's face a cold, hard slap. Li Huai laughed instead, mirthfully.
      "You still recognize me! You must have, or you wouldnt have hit me."
      "Did I?" There was still that same dazed look on Keke's face. "Do I know you?"
      Li Huai nodded.
      The moment he nodded, her other palm hit his face again.
      He liked being slapped by her, which was why he allowed her to slap him.
      He knew he had done her wrong, so he would willingly take even 876 slaps from her.
      He did not get 876 slaps, but only three instead.
      The moment the crazy and obsessed-looking Miss Keke slapped his face three times, her thumb also sealed his "Yingxiang acupoint under the nose.
      So Li Huai ended up in a bad situation again.

      The old mansion and deep courtyard were bleak and chilly with indescribable solemnity and awe.
      Red plums dotted the scene. There were a few old buildings. A courtyard, a terrace, a tower and a pavilion. A lonely old man sat alone under the porch, looking long isolated from the world.
      It wasnt that the world wanted to isolate him, but that he wanted to isolate the world.
      A tall and brawny old man with similar white hair, crossed the snowy courtyard with footsteps almost lighter than a civet cats.
      They left almost no footprints in the snow.
      The tall and brawny old man came to him and suddenly seemed much shorter.
      "We've got news of the young master."
      "Go and bring him back." The lonely old eyes of the lonely old man suddenly glittered, "No matter where he is, no matter what method you use, you must bring him back."
    Last edited by kychong; 01-16-22 at 04:01 AM.

  18. #18
    Junior Member onlyforotherstuff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015


    thank you for picking this up!!

  19. #19
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010


    Chapter 5

      Even Li Huai was somewhat bewildered this time, not knowing how he got himself into such trouble. He never thought he would end up so badly in the soup one day.
      He was really unlucky. Someone had sealed his "Yingxiang acupoint under his nose so deviously.
      Even worse, it was sealed by a girla girl he trusted completely. She followed that by sealing another 17 or 18 of his acupoints.
      So Mr. Li Huai, himself notorious for every sort of devious tricks, could only sit obediently on a rosewood chair, waiting for someone to fix him.
      Who and how would that someone fix him?
      "Keke, why did you do that to me?"
      "Because I hate you, I hate you so much."
      "How have I offended you?"
      "You're not even a human, you're a ghost. That's why you only like that female ghost from the moon."
      Li Huai laughed. He laughed wickedly.
      You have to admire him for laughing at this moment.
      "What are you laughing at?"
      "I'm laughing at you. So you're jealous."
      In fact, he shouldn't have laughed.
      He must know that one mustn't laugh at jealous girls.
      Because jealous girls can end up murdering people.

      Li Huai knew that he could lose his life any moment when he saw Boss Fang and Han Jun walk in from the outside.
      Han Jun was laughing too.
      He had reasons to laugh. He could at last account for the missing gold, stolen from the imperial treasury. And at last, he could finally bring the mastermind, Li Huai, to justice.
      "You son of a *****," Li Huai cursed in a quiet voice. "You damn bastard. You stole the gold. You want me to be your scapegoat. I can forgive you that, because if I were you, I would probably have framed you too. But why do you want me dead?"
      "Because you're bad."
      Han Jun hadn't laughed so much since he was five. "If I allowed someone as bad as you to live, how could I ever sleep for the rest of my life?"
      And naturally, Boss Fang was laughing too.
      Li Huai stared at him and suddenly spoke in a mysterious voice. "I wouldn't be laughing if I were you."
      "Why not?"
      Li Huai lowered his voice even more mysteriously. "Don't you know that your daughter's having my baby?"
      The smile on Boss Fang's face froze. He slapped Li Huai's face with the back of his hand.
      That same smile remained on Li Huai's face.
      "It's okay for you to hit me. What a pity, you can't hit that child in your daughter's belly," Li Huai said. "Why she hates me so much and tried so hard to harm me, is because I'm ignoring her now although she's carrying my baby."
      Fang Tianhao's face turned green. He spun around and stormed out.
      Li Huai smiled even more wickedly. He knew that the man was going to settle scores with his daughter. He also knew that Keke's reputation was ruined forever.
      She was a sneaky girl carrying a bad boy's child. She would be in trouble herself once her father caught hold of her.
      Li Huai felt somewhat avenged.

      Li Huai was really bad, but he seldom took revenge as coldly and cruelly as he did now.
      He wasn't that sort of man.
      But a string of misfortunes often accompany an unlucky man.
      Fang Tianhao had stormed out. Now, he was retreating again, suddenly.
      He kept stepping back, looking like he had seen the god of plague.
      Li Huai didn't know what was going on outside, but it wasn't difficult for him to see that Fang Tianhao must have encountered something shocking. He could guess that even with his navel.
      Only a few things could have alarmed Fang Tianhao so much, under those circumstances.
      Li Huai became curious, like a 17-year-old girl with fresh, amorous feelings when taking a new lover.
      What was beyond that door? What had happened? No one could answer these questions, not even Li Huai.
      They were all getting nervous.
      "Who is it?" Han Jun darted out like an arrow, shouting quietly, poised to strike with his fatal left fist and right palm.
      Yet he too retreated like Fang Tianhao, taking steps backward, with a look of shock and fear on his face.
      A tall, elderly, and majestic man with a head of silver hair slowly walked in from the outside. Li Huai's heart sank.
      If there was ever someone in this world who could give him a headache, it was this man.
      The old man's hair was silvery-white. His attire glowed with the same silvery light. Even his belt was pure silver braided with platinum.
      He never once denied he was extremely extravagant and fussyfastidious about every detail concerning his clothes, food, housing, and transport.
      These were clearly his shortcomings, yet everyone could see that his strengths far outweighed his weaknesses.
      Most importantly, he was absolutely entitled to enjoy everything he loved.
      The old man paced in slowly, his hands behind his back. Han Jun and Fang Tianhao immediately bowed, showing him the deepest, most heartfelt respect.
      "Chief Steward, you last showed up in the jianghu nearly ten years ago. What brought you here today?" Fang Tianhao asked.
      "How's the Old Master these days?" Han Jun asked even more reverentially. "Is the Young Master slightly better?"
      The elderly man merely gave them a faint smile. He said nothing. But Li Huai shouted,
      "The Old Master's getting worse each day, and the Young Master's dying. How could he tell you that? He won't even give a fart, of course."
      "How dare you!"
      Fang Tianhao and Han Jun shouted together. Han Jun struck at once. He already wanted to silence Li Huai. Of course, he wouldn't miss this golden opportunity.
      So, of course, he attacked with his most deadly strike.
      A blow that had killed many in the martial arts community.
      With 17 or 18 of his major acupoints sealed, what else could a man do but await death?
      Li Huai knew he had one last trump card. But he didn't like to use it at all.
      Han Jun unleashed his full power, aiming to kill two birds with one stone. He not only wanted to silence Li Huai, but also impress that peerless personage, the Chief Steward.
      So he attacked, intending to kill.
      There was a flash of silvery light. Even Han Jun was surprised as his body flew out. Even more unexpectedly, that silvery flash turned out to be the Chief Steward's long robe sleeve.
      Fang Tianhao was stunned.
      What followed astonished him even more. Despite them showing him such great reverence, the Chief Steward actually walked up to Li Huai and bowedeven more respectfully than they did to himself. In spite of Li Huai insulting him.
      Fang Tianhao and Han Jun could not believe their eyes. What on earth was happening?
      What they next heard astonished them even more. The old man was like a deity from heaven, clad in a majestic shining silver. Yet he actually spoke in a humble servant's voice. "Second Young Master, the Villa Master wants me to take you home.
      Go home?
      A rootless, prodigal son, a bad boy with no home. He had no family, no food to eat... where was his home?
      Amidst the unending procession of long and short pavilions, where was his home? (a quotation from a Chinese poem)
      Keke suddenly appeared at the doorway, blocking the silver-haired elderly man. Unlike the other two, she dared to.
      "Who are you? Are you Tie Yinyi, that man who massacred so many twenty years ago?"
      "I am."
      "Why are you taking him away?"
      "I was ordered to."
      "By who?"
      "Old Villa Master Li, a man whom every hero respects."
      "Why is he ordering you to take him home? I saved this man's life, gave up my life's happiness for him. I'm already pregnant with his child. I worked so hard to catch him. I even turned my hometown into a ghost town."
      Keke's voice was hoarse from shouting.
      "Why won't you let him stay? Villa Master Li has no right to take him away!"
      Tie Yinyi remained silent for a long time. Then he said slowly, stressing each word: "Old Villa Master Li is his father."
      "His father?" Keke laughed maniacally. "What did his father ever do for him? He never wanted him as a boy. He never cared about him. So why is he getting you to take him back?"
      Keke tugged Li Huai's sleeve. Her laughter almost sounded like sobs.
      "I know that you won't go back. You were unwanted as a boy. No one cared or gave a damn about you. So why would you go back now?"
      "I want to."
      Li Huai remained silent for a long time. Then he said slowly, "I don't know. I really don't know why."
      In fact, he knew.
      Every rootless wanderer wants to find a home of his own.


    Another bright moonlit night.
      Like Keke, someone was shedding tears in the bright moonlight. She was using her wispy, moon-like sleeve to wipe away her tears quietly under the bright moon.

  20. #20
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2010


    Part 2: The Nine Years That Had Vanished Like Smoke

    The distant mountains. A mountain town.
      The morning of an unknown New Year's Day. Firecrackers crackled ceaselessly in the distance.
      The auspicious snow on the ground, silvery-white, symbolizes the year's rich harvest. Doubtlessly, it was a joyous year for most.
      But for this boy, it was a year no different from the rest. He had nothing but humiliation, suffering and hunger.
      In this world, he had no kin. And never a single day of rest.
      He had nothing in this world at all.
      When everyone was feeling so happy and joyous, he was feeling utterly miserable and lonely.
      He hid in that thatched hut at the foot of the mountain, all by himself. The red flowers, fresh fruits, new clothes, firecrackers, dumplings, roast pork, and red packets belonged to the other children. He never once dreamed of them.
      A little girl in red brought him a chicken thigh, two chunks of roast pork, three fried pancakes, four marinated eggs, five or six rolls of sugar cakesall wrapped up in a red silk handkerchief. She gave them quietly to him. Yet he drove the girl away.
      He didn't want any pity. He didn't want any alms.
      The little girl cried and cried and went away, leaving the chicken thigh, roast pork, fried pancakes, marinated eggs and sugar cakes scattered in the snow by the slope. He could easily walk out, pick them up, and eat. No one would know, no one would deride him.
      He didn't.
      Although he was starving, he didn't pick them up. He would rather die from starvation than pick them up.
      He was born with such a temperament.
      A temperament that flowed in his blood. Never to compromise, give in, or submit.
      A tall, elderly, majestic man with a head of silver hair suddenly appeared before the boy. The man had been observing him quietly from the distance for a long time.
      The boy stared back at the old man. He asked fiercely,
      "Why are you staring at me like that, on New Year's Day? You should be celebrating with your children at home! What's on me to stare at?"
      The old man sounded solemn, with a solemnity that bordered on pain.
      "What's your family name?" he asked the boy.
      "I don't know."
      "You don't? You don't even know your own family name?"
      "Why must I?" The boy jerked his mouth, squinting and puffing out his chest. "I have no father, no mother, and I don't know my own family name. It's none of your damn business and why are you asking me?"
      The old man stared at him, with a sorrow that intensified in his eyes.
      "How do you know it's none of my business? I came here especially for you."
      "Came here especially for me? You don't even know me! What do you want from me?"
      "But I do. I know you."
      "You know me? Are you kidding?" The boy was a little surprised. "You mean you know who I am?"
      "I know, of course I know." The old man's voice was full of pain and sorrow. "I also know your father. Without him, I would be worse off than you even if I were alive."
      The child stared at him in amazement for a long time.
      "Who are you?" The boy asked him."Give me your family name."
      "My family name is Tie (Iron)."
      "And you know mine?"
      "Your family name is Li," the old man said. "Your name ought to be Li Shan (Li the Benevolent)."
      The boy suddenly laughed.
      "Li Shan? My name ought to be Li Shan? A boy like me, if my family name is Li, must be called Li Huai (Li the Bad)."
      The old man took the boy away.
      "Where are you taking me?"
      "Home? I have a home?"
      "You do," said the old man. "I'm sure you'll be proud of your home, and your home will be proud of you."
      "Proud of me? A kid like me who's been every inch bad, from head to toes?"
      "You aren't bad."
      "I'm not bad? So how bad would mean bad?"
      "You can only be bad if you do mean, shameless, despicable things," the old man said. "But you won't do them."
      "How do you know that?"
      "Because you're a member of the Li family, your father's own flesh and blood." The old man sounded more serious. "As long as you can keep your backbone, I guarantee that no one in this world will ever dare treat you with the slightest contempt."
      So Li Huai went home. It was the first time he went home, nine years ago. \
      Now, he was going home again.
      With the passing of years, so many things had changed. After nine years, the boy was now a grown-up.
      After nine years, he had mastered an unparalleled skill.
      After nine years, he had unearthed a treasure trove as rich as a nation.
      Nine years. How many things had changed in nine years?

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